A 60-percent drop in the Sun’s activity may unleash a “mini ice age” on the earth in 2030, scientists say.
A team headed by Proffessor Valentina Zharkova used a new model of the Sun’s solar cycles to make the predictions, presented on the last day of the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales.
The team used a technique called “principal component analysis” to create the model, showing conditions last seen in 1645, which resulted in a mini ice age.
“We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs, originating in two different layers in the Sun’s interior. They both have a frequency of approximately 11 years, although this frequency is slightly different, and they are offset in time,” said Zharkova on Thursday.
Around 180 years ago, scientists noted that solar activity varies over a cycle, lasting around 10 to 12 years.
“In cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other — peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun. Their interaction will be disruptive, or they will nearly cancel each other,” Zharkova said .
According to many solar physicists, a dynamo caused by the convection fluid deep within the Sun causes the differences in its cycles.
“We predict that this will lead to the properties of a Maunder minimum…. When there is full phase separation, we have the conditions last seen during the Maunder minimum, 370 years ago,” Zharkova noted.
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