Climate Change – Grand Solar Minimum Hits

Tens of millions of Americans in Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states were blanketed with more snow in one setting than the 2019-2020 season. 

This isn’t just an isolated event – record snowfall and cold is increasingly evident throughout the world as the Grand Solar Minimum (GSM) takes shape ending the temperature ramp-up begun with the end of the little ice age.

The GSM is a low frequency oscillation of the baseline solar magnetic field attenuating total solar irradiance (TSI) and baseline terrestrial temperature. The baseline oscillations present a period of 2100-2200 years. Similar oscillations detected in carbon 14C isotope abundances and with wavelet analysis of solar irradiance are also evident.

Zharkova et al, 2019 reports solar inertial motion (SIM) can drive these millennial variations because of a change of the distance between the Sun and Earth.

Double dynamo actions inside the Sun amplify solar irradiance variations and predict two grand solar minima: one in 2020-2053 and 2370-2415. Such minima correspond with temperature declines (see Figure 7, Zhaorkova, 2019).

Historically, we see TSI rising over the past few hundred years which is reflected in rising climate temperatures.

Looking ahead as the GSM unfolds, we should be mindful that the last one resulted in a 1C decline in lower troposphere temperature.

If that experience is repeated, we can expect the GSM we are now entering and scheduled to run through 2053 could unwind most of the 1.4C gain since 1700.


Valentina, Zharkova, Simon, Shepher, and Elena Popova (2019), “Millennial solar irradiance forcing (Hallstatt’s cycle) in the terrestrial temperature”, EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, May 2020,},

Zharkova, V. (2020). Solar activity, solar irradiance and terrestrial temperature. arXiv: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics.

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