The recurrence of the intense cold period similar to the one that raged the Earth during the “Little Ice Age” freezing the world in the 17th and early 18th centuries may occur again from 2030 to 2040, said scientists in their conclusions at the the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno in Wales.
The alarming findings were presented by Prof. V.Zharkova of Northumbria University at the meeting of the international group of scientists, which included Dr Helen Popova of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics and of the Faculty of Physics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, professor Simon Shepherd of Bradford University (UK) and Dr Sergei Zharkov of Hull University (UK).
Since the Sun’s magnetic field’s amplitude and spatial configuration vary with time, the reduction in the number of solar spots can cause decay of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun, which in turn results in cold or ‘Little Ice Age’, explain the scientists. The Sun’s surface undergoes structural change every 11 years and 90-years causing reduction in the number of solar spots that is associated with periodic reduction in the Earth’s temperature.
Records show that in the 17th century, there was a prolonged solar activity called the Maunder minimum, which lasted roughly from 1645 to 1700. During this period, there were only about 50 sunspots instead of the usual 40,000-50,000 sunspots, said scientists in their three peer-reviewed papers.
Analyzing three cycles of solar activity by applying the so-called “principal component analysis”, the authors extrapolated the prediction of the magnetic waves to the next cycles and discovered that the waves become fully separated into the opposite hemispheres after sometime, producing fewer sunspots. Hence, there will be a decline in solar activity during the years 2030 – 2040, they predicted warning a severe cooling of Earth by 2030 and causing very severe winters and cold summers.
“Several studies have shown that the Maunder Minimum coincided with the coldest phase of global cooling, which was called “the Little Ice Age”. During this period there were very cold winters in Europe and North America. In the days of the Maunder minimum the water in the river Thames and the Danube River froze, the Moscow River was covered by ice every six months, snow lay on some plains year round and Greenland was covered by glaciers,” said Russian scientist Dr Helen Popova, who developed a unique physical-mathematical model.
Dr Popova said, if the existing theories about the impact of solar activity on the climate are true, then a significant cooling, similar to the one occurred during the Maunder minimum, will be visible within the next 5 to 15 years.
“Given that our future minimum will last for at least three solar cycles, which is about 30 years, it is possible, that the lowering of the temperature will not be as deep as during the Maunder minimum. But we will have to examine it in detail. We keep in touch with climatologists from different countries. We plan to work in this direction”, said Dr Helen Popova.
According to the study of deuterium in the Antarctic, there were 5 global warmings and 4 Ice Ages in the past 400,000 years. Human race is believed to have appeared on the Earth about 60,000 years ago.
“However, even if human activities influence the climate, we can say, that the Sun with the new minimum gives humanity more time or a second chance to reduce their industrial emissions and to prepare, when the Sun will return to normal activity,” said Helen Popova.