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The sun is what drives weather and climate on earth. This huge ball of energy gives strength to typhoons and verve to thunderstorms and has been for the 4.5 billion years that the earth has existed. Now scientists believe that it is entering a period of reduced activity that will cause an ice age 15 years from now in 2030.
At the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales, Professor Valentina Zharkova of the University of Northumbria made this prediction. However the predictions haven’t been verified as of yet by third parties and since science operates on consensus of research and results, the predictions are soon going to be treated with doses of healthy skepticism.
Professor Zharkova used a computer model that monitored the activity and movements of sunspots based on data gathered from ’76 to ’08 and the results ere 97% accurate.
Sunspots are regions of relatively lower temperatures on the sun (around 4500K). They are caused by concentration of magnetic fields on the sun that disrupt the flow of solar fluid or plasma to a region on the sun, leading to a dark region being formed; a sunspot. They last from 1 to 100 days.
Scientists modeled the activity of the solar fluid over many 11 year cycles and found that in the year 2022 (cycle 25), a pair of waves will be moving towards the southern and northern hemispheres of the sun and getting slowly out of synch, reducing solar activity.
Around cycle 26, the waves will peak in intensity on opposite sides, canceling each other out. This will lead to a “Maunder minimum”, which was a period of solar activity from 1645 to 1715 during which Europe experienced a mini ice age. The river Thames froze and was passable by foot for seven weeks!
No one’s sure if you should get out your woolen coats just yet but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.