Ice Age coming. Forget global warming.

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Image: A ‘Little Ice Age’ which caused severe winters in the 17th Century could return next year due to a predicted fall in solar activity.

The Russians have never been been convinced about the effects of CO2 on the climate. They prefer to look at the Sun.

Professor Valentina Zharkova – while Russian she teaches at the University of Northumbria in the UK – was one of very few who correctly predicted solar cycle 24 would be weaker than cycle 23 — in fact, only 2 out of 150 models predicted this.

Her models have run at a 93% accuracy and her findings suggest a Super Grand Solar Minimum (Ice Age) is on the cards beginning 2020 and running for 350-400 years. 

The last time we had a little ice age only two magnetic fields of the sun went out of phase.

This time, all four magnetic fields are going out of phase.

Here’s a short version.

Here is the Professor’s full presentation: https://youtu.be/M_yqIj38UmY

Northumbria academic says ‘Little Ice Age’ could hit Earth in 2020

A ‘Little Ice Age’ which caused severe winters in the 17th Century could return in five years’ time due to a predicted fall in solar activity.

This possibility was discussed during the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales, by Prof Valentina Zharkova, of Northumbria University, alongside an international group of scientists including Prof Simon Shepherd, of Bradford University, Dr E Popova, of Moscow State University, and Dr Sergei Zharkov, of Hull University.

Prof Zharkova described the research as ‘the first serious prediction of a reduction of solar activity that might affect human lives’. If the decrease in solar activity takes place, it could result in a period similar to the ‘Maunder minimum’ of 1645 to 1700. During this period, there were only about 50 sunspots on the surface of the Sun instead of the usual 40-50 thousand, resulting in very severe winters and cold summers. 

Several studies have shown that the ‘Maunder Minimum’ coincided with the coldest phase of global cooling, which was called the ‘Little Ice Age’. Due to the cold winters in Europe and North America, rivers such as the Thames and the Danube froze and the Moscow River was covered by ice every six months.

Prof Zharkova’s research is based on an analysis of solar activity. The Sun has its own magnetic field whose amplitude and spatial configuration varies with time. The formation and decay of strong magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere results in changes of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun, the intensity of plasma flows, and the number of sunspots on its surface, which varies every 11 years. 

In the current study, the researchers analysed a total background magnetic field from full disk magnetograms by applying the so-called ‘principal component analysis’. As a result, the researchers uncovered a pair of magnetic waves in the Sun responsible for variations during 11-year solar activity. The scientists managed to derive the analytical formulae, describing these two waves and made first the prediction of magnetic activity in the current cycle, which gave 97% accuracy.

Inspired by this success, Zharkova and her co-authors extended the prediction of solar activity to future cycles. They discovered that the waves become fully separated into the opposite hemispheres leading to a sharp decline in solar activity in years 2020 t0 2050 – comparable with the conditions of the Maunder minimum in the 17th Century. This will lead to a reduction of the solar magnetic field and a noticeable decrease in solar irradiance.

Speaking about her confidence in her team’s work, Prof Zharkova added: “I am absolutely confident in our research. It has good mathematical background and reliable data, which has been handled correctly. In fact, our results can be repeated by any researchers with the similar data available in many solar observatories, so they can derive their own evidence of upcoming Maunder Minimum in solar magnetic field and activity.”

Following Prof Zharkova’s prediction at last week’s conference, the story has captured the public imagination with stories across the international press in the UK, USA, Australia, Germany, France, China, Russia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and many other countries including The IndependentThe Telegraph, and Science Daily(UK), ABC News, USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times. Australia Today and numerous other newspapers and radio stations worldwide.

Prof Zharkova said: “The public imagination has been captured by the first serious prediction of a reduction of solar activity that might affect the human lives – as it did in the 17th Century. Solar-terrestrial physics literarily enters everyone’s house – this is the main beauty of the event.”

Prof Zharkova, who works in the Department of Mathematics and Information Sciences at Northumbria, believes the research further positions the University as a leader in this area. Professor Valentina Zharkova gave the presentation of her Climate and the Solar Magnetic Field hypothesis at the Global Warming Policy Foundation in October, 2018. She is an astrophysicist.

She said: “Yes, I think so, given what we have done so far. Previously, in 1998, we with Dr A Kosovichev, of Stanford University, USA, discovered quakes on the Sun associated with solar flares, which were reported in Nature covered by the worldwide media on five continents. This topic continues to be one of the most interested in for the past decade. Now we decided to report the new finding on solar activity at the National Astronomy Meeting to enhance the profile of the UK science and to emphasise the contribution of three UK collaborators, including Northumbria.”

Principal component analysis (PCA) of the solar background magnetic field observed from the Earth, revealed four pairs of dynamo waves, the pair with the highest eigen values are called principal components (PCs). PCs are shown to be produced by magnetic dipoles in inner and outer layers of the Sun, while the second pair of waves is assumed produced by quadruple magnetic sources and so on.

The PC waves produced by a magnetic dipole and their summary curve were described analytically and shown to be closely related to the average sunspot number index used for description of solar activity. Based on this correlation, the summary curve was used for the prediction of long-term solar activity on a millennial timescale. This prediction revealed the presence of a grand cycle of 350-400 years, with a remarkable resemblance to the sunspot and terrestrial activity features reported in the past millennia: Maunder (grand) Minimum (1645-1715), Wolf (grand) minimum (1200), Oort (grand) minimum (1010-1050), Homer (grand) minimum (800-900 BC); the medieval (900-1200) warm period, Roman (400-10BC) and other warm periods.

This approach also predicts the modern grand minimum upcoming in 2020-2055. By utilising the two principal components of solar magnetic field oscillations and their summary curve, we extrapolate the solar activity backwards one hundred millennia and derive weaker oscillations with a period of 2000-2100years (a super-grand cycle) reflecting variations of magnetic field magnitude. The last super-grand minimum occurred during Maunder Minimum with magnetic field growing for 500 years (until ~2150) and decreasing for another 500 years. The most likely nature of this interaction will be discussed and used to explain long-term variations of solar magnetic field and irradiance observed from the Earth.