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Do solar cycles have any connection to historical events?

Today, we’ll talk about solar cycles and examine how the Ukrainian media manipulates the connection between these cycles and historical events.


Our regular readers may have noticed a recent expansion of our content beyond the scope of war-related topics, as featured in our regular column, #Behind the News of the War. In fact, we have published quasi-scientific articles. One of our most recent texts explored the topic of the Gulf Stream shutdown.

Today, we’ll talk about solar cycles and examine how the Ukrainian media manipulate the connection between these cycles and historical events.

 What’s this all about?

The 25th solar cycle is currently in progress. A single cycle spans an approximate 11-year duration, during which solar activity intensifies, leading to an increase in the number of visible sunspots and flares on the Sun’s surface. Additionally, during this period, the solar poles undergo a change.

The first solar cycle was recorded by scientists as far back as 1755, and they’ve been documenting them ever since. According to a 2020 report [1] from NASA, the 25th cycle began in 2019. Projections indicate that the Sun’s activity will reach a peak around 2025 before subsequently subsiding and reducing its activity.

These cycles have always exhibited varying intensities, with peak solar activity phases recording between 100 and 300 sunspots over a 30-day period. With data available for only 25 cycles, it’s not easy to make precise predictions. But, scientists exercise caution and anticipate that the 25th cycle will be relatively mild, featuring up to 185 sunspots.

The cycle’s zenith, marked by occurrences like coronal mass ejections and other phenomena, can pose risks to astronauts and satellites, while magnetic storms can disrupt power grids. You can learn more about the Eleven-Year Sun Cycle in a video available on the Vsesvit UA channel [2].

 But, do solar cycles have any connection to historical events?

The Historical Truth website presents two - and - rather old articles that claim such a connection. Several days ago, these articles resurfaced due to the impending year 2024, which aligns with the nearing peak of the 25th solar cycle. For instance, here’s the author of one of the articles.

The authors, probably accomplished historians, readily recall historical events that coincide with peaks in solar activity. However, does the Sun really impel humanity into action? 

 Most likely not. Certainly, a proficient historian can recollect various uprisings, wars, significant reforms, revolutions, and riots that transpired in years both associated with and unrelated to the zenith of the solar cycle. 

On the chart in the first comment, historical events seem to align as usual with specific timeframes, suggesting a correlation. However, as taught in every elementary statistics course, correlation does not necessarily signify causation. 

Changes in one variable do not invariably trigger changes in another. Additionally, external factors may instigate changes in these two variables, or there may be multiple factors. It’s even possible that no relationship exists between the variables at all. These notions are exceedingly elementary and have been thoroughly overused in popular science literature. 

The chart presented in the Historical Truth article, which is supposed to demonstrate a connection between solar activity and social phenomena, fails to establish a convincing link. It basically picks data corresponding to the peaks of solar activity from extensive historical data. This selective data fitting results in a misleading picture that can lead to misinterpretations.

Solar activity does not cause social change, just as social change does not influence an increase in sunspots. Similar correlations can be found on this website. The first chart illustrates the correlation between US spending on science and suicide by hanging, while the second chart depicts the relationship between the number of drowning incidents in swimming pools and the number of films featuring Nicolas Cage.

 While we all sincerely desire Ukraine’s swift victory in the war, we shouldn’t anticipate that historical shifts will necessarily coincide with the Sun’s 25th cycle peak, expected in 2024-2025. Offering maximum support to the Ukrainian army is a far more effective means of hastening victory than waiting for the peak of solar activity in “two or three months.” We shouldn’t expect the sun to determine the weather of events.

Specially prepared for Behind the News by Dmytro Filipchuk

Halyna Dolynna
Halyna Dolynna
editor of the English texts
Dmytro Filipchuk
Dmytro Filipchuk
author Behind the news
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