Letter Re: Approaching Grand Solar Minimum


I have recently heard about the grand solar minimum and am wondering if you guys have any thoughts on it? It seems to have some pretty serious implications regarding more extreme weather and how our climate is changing (which it always has been). I live on the gulf coast so preparedness for me has always been important due to hurricanes. My question is: out of all the climate hype that we have been inundated with over the last decade or so, is this something to really be taken seriously? It is wise to stay prepared nonetheless, however if the implications of a grand solar minimum are correct, could this be a perfect example of “the boy who cried wolf?” No one will bother to believe its implications.

HJL’s Comment:

A grand solar minimum would barely make a dent. The last one the earth experienced in the years between 1645 and 1715 (The Maunder Minimum) barely made any impact. The next lowest one would be the Dalton Minimum between 1790 and 1830 which wasn’t as low as the Maunder Minimum. Number wise, the Dalton Minimum represented about a 0.08% decrease of solar energy and the Maunder Minimum represented a 0.25% decrease. In the grand scheme of things, that is pretty minuscule.Grand Solar Minimum

High altitude flights might see a minor increase in radiation levels, but not enough to worry about. We don’t even know for sure if this is going to be a grand solar minimum or not. I doubt it will have much impact on anything other than communications due to the reduction in solar activity.

When you get down to the bottom of it, there is nothing but conjecture and guess. I would agree that the level of tech is high and there are many unknowns, but there is no hard evidence. Every video, blog, book, or article that I have read that attempt to make links to extreme weather or other phenomena have one incredibly simple but critical  flaw:

Correlation does not mean causation

Just because “A” and “B” occur at the same time does not mean that “A” causes “B”. There are many unknowns. For instance, many sites will point to famine that occurred during grand solar minimums and then make the conclusion that the solar minimum is a cause of the famine. However, you will seldom hear about the famines that happen outside of a solar minimum in these same articles. Nor will you hear about the political atmosphere of the areas that see the famine which is known to have even greater bearing.

We most definitely live in the age of “Junk Science” where you can get a “scientific study” that will tell you anything you want to hear.


  1. The biggest worry is in long distance HF communications. Right now the 75-80m band is in terrible shape most of the time. I’m a member of a group that has a regular “Sked” on 3.900Mhz every morning at 6:30AM CDST. Recently an RTTY signal from who knows where has taken over due to the band “going long” on us. It’s only going to get worse.

  2. HJL,

    Unfortunately, much like with like Global Warming, the science is not settled on this phenomenon.

    There are numerous consequences to the apparently mild decreases in solar output.

    The ongoing reduction of our planets’ magnetic field couples to present increases in both cosmic ray damage as well as cloud formation which increase albedo, cooling the planet.

    Search on the crop failures and famines of that time frame.

  3. During the Maunder minimum, the Mississippi froze all the way to the gulf. While the change in output is tiny, Earth exists at a perfect distance from Sol to maintain seasonal equilibriums. Our temp increases, which ended several years ago, were due to increased solar output. In all of this remember, God still reigns.

  4. https://nextgrandminimum.wordpress.com/
    Some scientist believe food production will be affected.
    NASA says it will affect satellite orbits.
    Some researchers believe a “mini ice age” could occur because it happened before.
    The planet has never had the level of technology that exist today to monitor solar activity. If technology isn’t affected by this solar minimum, we will have numerous events reported globally. Be sure to save information important to you daily as there “could” be disruptions in communication/media sources.

  5. The Maunder minimum had a huge impact on humans. The cold wet climate was a big factor in the spread of disease and in a hundred year period during the Maunder minimum more people died from the black plague alone then were alive when that 100 year period began. While our medical abilities are much better today another major minimum period could still cause many deaths in most of the world

    The likelihood of it happening is 100% we just don’t know when. These are natural cycles caused by factors like the Milankovitch cycles where multiple geophysical cycles and those of other planets and the sun can coincide to multiply the effects and thus create a Maunder minimum condition.

    At the very least another minimum would lead to widespread famine, diaspora and wars.

  6. What I find interesting is the timing of the Carrington Event 20 years after the Dalton Minimum, while I do believe that correlation is not causation, it does make one wonder if there is a relationship. As always, the Scouts motto stands, “Be prepared.”

    The other interesting thing to look at is the history behind the minimums, there has been one roughly every 200 years, some stronger and some weaker but still present, we can see them in the very old tree rings. For instance, Stradivari could not have made the musical instruments he did without the natural densification of the wood that the minimums cause, and as mentioned previously the Black Plague.

  7. Dave of Oregon
    I am not as well studied on this subject as I should be, but as far as minimum concerning Shortwave communications. This minimum so far seems to have a double dip in minimum MUF for HF. I have also noticed during minimums that rain and snow levels seem to increase. Over the last eleven years I have lived in Oregon just east of the cascades. the snow levels were at a high when I came and gradually decreased toward the 9 year mark, then year 10 and we really got dumped on by almost half again from the year before….
    Radio communication on HF is trash. so I use the time working on antennas, and improving my place not getting on the air. I remember about three great Maximums. I think the greatest Maximum for MUF’s was during my time in Vietnam and afterward in California from 1968 through 1970 running phone patches Wow! what a great time for Radio, operating 24 hour stints with almost continuous phone patch quality. Oh, there were dips but you knew when the fades would occur and planned for it.
    Now time on the air the conditions are just almost continuously poor. But I am encouraged and know this too will pass. I am looking forward to the great times in a few years.
    I am working on EMP/CME protection for my gear and made great strides in that direction, CME can more likely happen during the minimums. I think we will find that biblical prophesy regarding an armegeddon event will most probably be a powerful CME on the enemies of Isreal. Anyway I believe that is something to consider when we see these events start to take place.
    My ham radio hobby and operations in the military communications, and when working in HF Radar in some of my civilian capacity all HF oriented has made an impact on my own observations of going on 58 years. The first two cycles I was in the very beginnings of learning about the ramification of the solar effects on radio. Now it is the twilight and I am still learning. Hmmm It never stops. Just gets more interesting.

  8. The shifting weather patterns that result from a Grand Solar Minimum reeked havoc on human populations in India and other areas during the Maunder Minimum. It could be worse this time around due to the Earths weakening magnetic field which generally protects us from cosmic ray influx. According to many who are study solar cycles, we are already descending into a GSM, and it is likely to be a doozy.

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