A mini ice age is coming in the next 15 years, Northumbria University (Great Britain) researchers warn. The scientists stated that “competing physical cycles” within the sun will essentially cancel each other out and spark a massive cooling similar to the 1645 t0 1715 event that occurred in the North Hemisphere.
The team of solar scientists, lead by Northumbria University Professor Valentina Zharkova, said the group figured out a “riddle” that had puzzled solar activity researchers for an extremely long time, according to the Telegraph. The British professor claims that her team is now able to predict solar storms with 97 percent accuracy.
During a recent National Astronomy Meeting, professor Zharkova stated that “two dynamic fluid plumes” inside the sun will be functioning in “opposite hemispheres.” As the the plumes cancel each other out, a rare time period of “extremely low” solar activity will occur.
“[In the cycle between 2030 and around 2040] the two waves exactly mirror each other — peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the sun,” the Northumbria University research team leader added. “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.'”
A Maunder Minimum is known as the 70-year period when both Europe and North America suffered through significantly harsh winters due to minimal sunspot activity and extremely low solar activity.
During the 70-year mini ice age, the Thames River froze for at least seven weeks, according to historical records covering the time period.
“We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs, originating in two different layers in the sun’s interior,” the professor added. “Effectively, when the waves are approximately in phase, they can show strong interaction, or resonance, and we have strong solar activity. When they are out of phase [typical or strong solar activity] we have solar minimums. When there is full phase separation, we have the conditions last seen during the Maunder minimum, 370 years ago.”
The two fluid dynamos operate in 11-year cycles, these stages are also commonly referred to as the solar cycle. Both the intensity and length of solar flares (coronal mass ejections) and sunspots vary during the solar cycle. The Northumbria University professor said that by possessing the ability to calculate how the two fluid dynamos impact each other, her team of researchers can hone their solar weather skills and predict solar activity with far more accuracy.
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