Chilling Out

It's been several weeks since I posted anything. I blame the winter blahs, which have lasted pretty much the whole month of February. This has been the worst winter I can remember since I moved to Florida 21 years ago. Of course it's been worse in about every other state than Hawaii, so I guess I can't complain too loudly. We aren't the ones coping with record snowfalls and downed power lines. Still, compared to the mild winters we've had in the past, this one stands out.

The good news is that we may soon be returning to a warmer climate, if the increase in sunspot activity is any indicator. It seems that about the beginning of this year, the sun finally decided to end its long quiet period. Last year, there was no sunspot activity at all on 260 days (71%), according to SpaceWeather.com. However, since the beginning of this year, there have only been 2 days with no sunspot activity (3%). The solar minimum may be over. Since long periods of time with no sunspot activity correlate with colder weather on Earth, the increase in sunspot activity may herald some climatic warming. The length of the solar minimum that appears to be ending was starting to become a little disturbing. The sun is a variable star, after all, and from humankind's perspective, the less variability the better. We don't want another Little Ice Age, although chances are when the next one comes, we won't have much choice in the matter.