The press has been flooded with a sensational prediction about a mini ice age coming our way in a few years. Sounds funny since we are also in the middle of global warming, right? A team of researchers at the Northumbria University in the UK, led by Professor Valentina Zharkova, have predicted a 60% fall in solar activity about 15 years from now, classified as a “mini ice age”. “Combining both waves together and comparing to real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97 per cent,” Professor Zharkova said to the UK newspaper The Independent recently.
Looking on the bright side that could be a lot of long winter nights to spend by the fire, hopefully and enough power to access the best online casino games at All Slots Casino, a premium provider of real money games to players from all over the world. With All Slots at hand – on desktop computers or mobile devices – the long winter nights will seem shorter, and the cash players can win by playing there could warm up their hearts, with promotions on offer.
Or will we?
The last time such a “mini ice age” has happened, between 1645 and 1715, was at a time of a reduction in the number of sunspots, observed by the scientists of that time. This is a phenomenon linked to two “waves” of fluids deep within the Sun, which operate at different layers, believed to influence solar activity. When the two waves are out of sync, temperatures on our planet fall. And this is exactly what Professor Zharkova has predicted using her mathematical models.
Professor Zharkova may be right about the reduction of solar activity, but her views on its effects on the temperatures on Earth is not generally accepted. She doesn’t accept man-made global warming, blaming the Sun itself for our rising temperatures.
And her predictions regarding the cold spells following the upcoming Maunder Minimum could also be right if her views on global warming are correct. But recent studies suggest that she might not be right about this one.
“Any reduction in global mean near-surface temperature due to a future decline in solar activity is likely to be a small fraction of projected anthropogenic warming,” a study published in Nature concludes. Or, as Michael Mann, professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University was quoted by The Washington Post, “The effect is a drop in the bucket, a barely detectable blip, on the overall warming trajectory we can expect over the next several decades from greenhouse warming.”
There is also debate about the correlation between the “mini ice age” of the late 17th – early 18th century and the Maunder Minimum. For one, the cold spell was restricted to European territories (it is a famous period in the United Kingdom, a time when the Thames River has frozen over).
Besides, scientists studying the period have determined that the volcanic activity was at its peak at the same time, which means much more sun-blocking gas in the atmosphere.
So, instead of a “mini ice age”, we might better call it a long “nuclear winter”.
Image of ice age from Shutterstock