It has been 172 years since scientists first discovered the Sun’s activity varied over a cycle of 10 to 12 years. Fluctuation occurs between the sun’s northern and southern hemispheres, and combining the two waves and comparing them with current data helped the researchers arrive at a 97 percent accurate prediction.
“When they are out of phase, we have solar minimums”, Zharkova reportedly said.
The new model of the Sun’s solar cycle, which is capable of making precise predictions about the Sun’s movements, facilitated the scientists’ ability to observe its 11-year cycle in detail as well as to catch any irregularities.
Scientists are now warning humanity and the rest of Earth’s inhabitants about the possibility of an “Ice Age” occurring 15 years from now.
Professor Valentina Zharkova says the theory has originated from a new interpretation of the sun’s cycles and has a high likelihood to be true.
“Earth heading for “mini ice age” within 15 years”, warned another.
Looking ahead to the next solar cycles, the model predicts that the pair of waves become increasingly offset during Cycle 25, which peaks in 2022.
The Maunder Minimum is the 70-year period from 1645 to 1715 when North America and Europe experienced very cold winters due to lower solar temperatures and minimal sunspot activity.
Zharkova and colleagues believe the variation between cycles can be explained by the existence of two dynamos – phenomena that govern the sun’s magnetic fields.
A “mini-ice-age” bringing with it unprecedented cold winters which could see the River Trent frozen over is expected to arrive by the year 2030. During cycle 26, covering the period 2030-2040, the two waves will be exactly out of synch, causing a “significant reduction” in solar activity.
The information was recently presented at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales by researchers from the University of Northumbria.
While many climate scientists say solar activity has a marginal impact on average global temperature, the effects of solar slowdowns play a bigger role on regional temperatures.
A paper published by Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf in Geophysical Research Letters in 2010 estimated that another solar minimum equivalent to Maunder minima would cause 0.26°C of cooling. “It caused London’s River Thames to freeze over, and “frost fairs” became popular”.
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