Mini ice age? Why the Sun will lose 7% of its power in about 30 years
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Mini ice age? Why the Sun will lose 7% of its power in about 30 years

A scientific research has been published that depicts a phenomena known as the solar “grand minimum.”

It’s also known as the “prolonged sunspot minimum,” and it’s a period when the Sun’s magnetic pull weakens, sunspots become less frequent, and less UV radiation reaches Earth due to random fluctuations in the Sun’s magnetic field. All of this can result in unusually cool temperatures for us, as well as a dimmer Sun.

The Sun already has an 11-year up/down cycle, but this grand minimum will be especially cold since the Sun’s activity will be lower than the normal 11-year low. This means colder temperatures for certain parts of the world.

NOAA/National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center provided this image via Getty Images.

How cold is it? Based on research of prior sunspot decreases preceding a grand minimum period, predictions are that we’ll witness a 7% drop in the Sun’s light and heat — and keep in mind, that’s 7% less than the lowest of the 11-year cycle that we usually see.

Such a grand minimum happened in the middle of the 17th century. The resultant cold temperatures caused the river Thames and the Baltic Sea to freeze, allowing a Swedish army to march across the ice to invade Denmark. This was known as the “Maunder Minimum” (from the names of two well-respected solar astronomers at the time, Anne Russel Maunder and Edward Walter Maunder).

At the same time, Alaska and Southern Greenland warmed owing to the loss of the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer, which alters global wind and weather patterns.

The exact date and severity of the event is still in question, but the clues all point to things bottoming out around the year 2050. However, it might begin as early as 2030. For context, the Maunder Minimum lasted from around 1645 until 1715.

Will it be able to save us from global warming? The very same scientists don’t think so.

“The cooling effect of a grand minimum is only a fraction of the warming effect caused by the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” according to the study.

I have my own prediction: If I’m still alive by then, I’ll be heading to Jamaica.

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