Mini ice age?

We tend to think of climate - as opposed to weather - as something unchanging, yet humanity has been at the mercy of climate change for its entire existence, with at least eight glacial episodes in the past 730,000 years. Our ancestors adapted to the universal but irregular global warming since the end of the last great Ice Age, around 10,000 years ago, with dazzling opportunism.


Scientists warn the sun will 'go to sleep' in 2030 and could cause temperatures to plummet. Is it a major factor, or will it just slow down the warming trend?


The activity of the sun knows an 10-11 years cycle. During the period 2008 - 2010 the sun has been very quiet and the expected raise in activity started as late as 2011. Prof. de Jager expects a low maximum of the cycle that just started. It will be followed by a lengthy period of quietness, similar to the Maunder minimum of the 17th century. ~ Sun-Earth publications Prof. dr. C. de Jager

Professor Valentina Zharkova gave a presentation of her Climate and the Solar Magnetic Field hypothesis at the Global Warming Policy Foundation in October, 2018.

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 2000-2100 years (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.
  • A 60% fall in sunspot numbers when extrapolated to the 2030s is predicted.
  • The drop in sunspots may resemble the Maunder minimum, a 17th century lull in solar activity. It lasted about 70 years and roughly coincided with the “Little Ice Age”, a era characterised by an abnormally high number of harsh winters across the UK and Europe.
  • The mini ice age of the 17th century began before the Maunder minimum and may have had multiple causes, including volcanism - that ejected gas and ash in the atmosphere, reflecting solar radiation back into space.
  • Fluctuations in solar activity are not a new discovery. The 11-year variation in the number of dark sunspots on the solar surface was discovered more than 150 years ago. These spots are symptoms of increased magnetic activity and occur during periods when explosive outbursts of energy and material such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections are more frequent.
  • When the amount of energy emitted by the sun changes, it has an affect on our climate. Just how strong this influence is compared to other factors?
    • Changes in the ultraviolet portion of the Sun’s output over a solar cycle can be much greater and can deposit energy in the stratosphere – at altitudes above 10 km.
    • There is growing evidence that during periods of low solar activity, atmospheric “blocking” events are more prevalent. These blocking episodes comprise extensive and almost stationary anti-cyclones in the eastern Atlantic that can last for several weeks, hindering the flow of the jet stream and leading to colder winters in the UK and Europe.