I’ve just been reading this article on the BBC website about the puzzling lack of sunspots. The sun should be entering a period of high activity (equals lots of sunspots) but observations show otherwise. Maybe it’s just a bit late, or possibly our star is doing something rather different to normal. I’ll leave discussion on what this might mean for global warming to the people who know what they are talking about (it is a highly debated issue) and instead look a few more years into the future (a few billion to be more precise).
Life on Earth is fundamentally temporary. If God doesn’t end it first, it will get ended by the sun. In about five billion years time, the sun is likely to become a red giant star, and pretty well swallow up the earth. Not that there will be anyone around to see it – the planet will have got so hot that it will be uninhabitable long before then. We are well and truly doomed.
When I was much much younger (maybe about 8) and read about the fate of the earth in a book, it worried me. What with the sun expanding, the earth was going to get hotter, and I imagined that in about 50 years time (i.e. within my lifetime) it would be unpleasantly hot and our crops would die etc. This was most likely because I failed to grasp just how big a billion really was – (see yesterday’s blog entry) – and as my maths improved my worries subsided.
Little did I know all those years ago that in thirty years time people would be talking about the earth getting much hotter in our lifetimes. Maybe I was right to be scared after all.