Jul 14, 2015

Thanks To Reduced Solar Activity...Heading For A Mini Ice Age with 97% accuracy

Life on Earth has always been dependent on the conditions of the Sun, so scientists spend a lot of time studying its activity. A recent announcement from solar scientists suggests that the Sun may soon enter a period of significant reduced activity, possibly causing a mini ice age by 2030 – just 15 years from now.

These predictions were announced at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales, so it hasn't been possible to evaluate the research yet. However, Professor Valentina Zharkova from the University of Northumbria who made this announcement claims that the findings come from a computer model of sunspots that has made "unprecedentedly accurate predictions," as reported in The Telegraph.

The model has shown to have a 97% accuracy when mapping the past movements of sunspots, using data of solar cycles from 1976 to 2008. And if this reliability continues, then the model also has some alarming predictions for the future: a mini ice age sometime around the 2030s. 

To achieve these findings, the scientists mapped the movement of solar fluid that moves in roughly 11-year cycles, which correspond to weather cycles on Earth. Around the year 2022 (labeled cycle 25), a pair of waves will be moving to the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of the Sun, getting slowly out of synch and reducing solar activity – and thus our warm weather.

"In cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other – peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun. Their interaction will be disruptive, or they will nearly cancel each other. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a 'Maunder minimum'," said Zharkova.