Solar Flares and Climate Change
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
Last Wednesday, September 6, NASA detected the two largest solar flares of this decade. The second was the most intense to be recorded since 2008. The bursts of radiation from these solar flares were detected by the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite at 9:10 and 12:02 GMT. According to the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), these so-called X-class flares disrupted high frequency radio communications on the side of the Earth facing the Sun and low frequency waves used in navigation, in addition to communication satellites, GPS and electrical distribution networks when they reach the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
2008 was the beginning of the Sun’s current cycle, which lasts an average of 11 years. And at the end of the active phase eruptions become less common but can be very powerful. These solar storms are caused by an accumulation of magnetic energy in some sunspots and are released at high speed from the Sun’s corona up to a height of hundreds of thousands of kilometers. And that is just what is happening now, causing the unexpected climate change currently taking place on Earth.
At the same time that this phenomenon of bursts of solar radiation is occurring there is global warming and its effects on the Planet. According to experts in climate science, it is very likely that this phenomenon of the increase in the average global temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere since the mid-twentieth century reached the level of warming that existed in medieval times and is affecting the whole world.
Although the subject of global warming relates to both the area of science and the political community, there are still some who do not accept it, although everything indicates that the effects can be catastrophic. The ten main consequences of climate change, according to the most recognized scientific agencies globally, are:
1.- The rise in sea level, caused by the melting of the ice from glaciers as well as the polar ice shelves. This produces the volume of water that flows into the oceans, causing sea levels to rise and putting cities below sea level at risk.
2.- Severe Heat Waves have become more common because greenhouse gases are trapped in the atmosphere and these heat waves will continue to increase in the coming years resulting in many diseases and causing very frequent fires.
3 .- Killer Storms are growing in number because with the rise in the temperature of the oceans, storms become more intense. Over the past 30 years, the severity and number of cyclones have been increasing and almost doubled, so that the result is flooding and there is great loss of life and property damage.
4.- Major Droughts are wreaking havoc in many regions of the Earth. The planet is warming and the supply of fresh water is diminishing, which is having negative effects on agriculture. World food production is also falling, hunger is widespread and at the same time the great lakes are disappearing all over the world, from China to Bolivia.
5.- Animal and forest species is heading for extinction. Biodiversity is required for the success of humankind, so the loss of flora and fauna threatens the continuity of the human race.
6.- Habitat change leads to diseases. The current warmer temperatures combined with floods and droughts create conditions for rats, mosquitoes and other pests to thrive.
7.- There is an alarming disappearance of Glaciers around the world.
8.- Wars are on the increase since generally they arise out of the search for control of natural resources that are diminishing every day throughout the world. Experts fear an increase in wars over water and food.
9.- Unstable Economies are related to climate change. All natural disasters are very costly, so the current global crisis leads to an increase in energy and food costs.
10.- Ecological Imbalance, because the increase in greenhouse gases is wreaking havoc on the entire planet, affecting water supply, agriculture and energy resources. As climate change affects livelihood, even humans have to emigrate, resulting in increased competition and conflict between nations because of the scarce resources. A clear example of this situation is the case of the coral reefs, whose ecosystem has been destroyed by heat and which are estimated to disappear in 30 years.
Addendum: Unfortunately, today’s top political leaders lack the intelligence, moral conscience and vision of the future to help stop this current apocalyptic scenario. In the meantime the more enlightened nations have over-controlled their populations, so there are no longer enough young people to operate their bureaucracies, industrial plants, energy sources and the communication media in the digital age of new technologies and they have to accept the entry of immigrants from countries of the ‘Third World’.