Is `icy` winter age really coming by 2030?

Soak up that sun as much as you can as scientists have warned that we may face "Little Ice Age" by the year 2030.

Is `icy` winter age really coming by 2030?

Washington DC: Soak up that sun as much as you can as scientists have warned that we may face "Little Ice Age" by the year 2030.

Lomonosov Moscow State University researcher and her colleagues showed that the arrival of intense cold similar to the one raged during the "Little Ice Age", which froze the world during the XVII century and in the beginning of the XVIII century, is expected in the years 2030--2040.

In the current study, the researchers analysed a total background magnetic field from full disk magnetograms for three cycles of solar activity (21-23) by applying the so-called "principal component analysis", which allowed to reduce the data dimensionality and noise and to identify waves with the largest contribution to the observational data.

This method could be compared with the decomposition of white light on the rainbow prism detecting the waves of different frequencies.

As a result, the researchers developed a new method of analysis, which helped to uncover, that the magnetic waves in the Sun were generated in pairs, with the main pair covering 40 percent of variance of the data (Zharkova et al, 2012, MNRAS).

The principal component pair was responsible for the variations of a dipole field of the Sun, which has been changing its polarity from pole to pole during 11 year solar activity.

Dr Helen Popova said that given that our future minimum would last for at least three solar cycles, which is about 30 years, it was possible, that the lowering of the temperature would not be as deep as during the Maunder minimum. But they would have to examine it in detail.

The study of deuterium in the Antarctic showed that there were five global warmings and four Ice Ages for the past 400 thousand years. The increase in the volcanic activity comes after the Ice Age and it leads to the greenhouse gas emissions.

The magnetic field of the Sun grows, what means that the flux of cosmic rays decreases, increasing the number of clouds and leading to the warming again. Next comes the reverse process, where the magnetic field of the Sun decreases, the intensity of cosmic ray rises, reducing the clouds and making the atmosphere cool again. This process comes with some delay.

Dr Helen Popova added that there was no strong evidence, that global warming is caused by human activity. However, even if human activities influence the climate, it was possible that the Sun with the new minimum would give humanity more time or a second chance to reduce their industrial emissions and to prepare, when the Sun will return to normal activity.

The conclusions were presented during the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno in Wales by the international group of scientists and are published in 3 peer-reviewed papers.