At the moment, the main worry of the environmentalists is the constantly increasing temperatures. However, a team of researchers from Northumbria University discovered that a wave of coldness might soon hit our planet. This means it’s possible that Earth might pass through a mini ice age period, when main rivers could get frozen.
A mini ice age might be right around the corner
To reach this conclusion, the researchers have performed a simulation of how the magnetic waves of the Sun will evolve for the next decades. Judging from the results, it seems the global temperatures on our planet might start going down in 2021. It’s not the first time when something like this would happen, so researchers know what to expect.
The sudden drop of temperatures would lead to a mini ice age, also called the Maunder minimum. This is a reference to a previous cold period which occurred between 1646 and 1715, when famous rivers, like Thames flowing through London, ended up frozen.
For this study, researchers based their analysis on an older paper which predicted two solar magnetic waves. Starting from it, they could predict how they will keep moving from now on. In 2021, a new solar cycle is supposed to start, and they simulated how three more cycles should occur from then on. This stretches over a period of 33 years.
The irregular solar magnetic waves will drop the sun’s intensity
The magnetic waves will keep being irregular but, between 2030 and 2040, they will get completely unorganized. This de-syncing will affect the solar power, and will make it lower by about 60 percent, leading to incredibly low temperatures on our planet. Judging from the previous mini ice age, the model is probably quite accurate.
However, there is a good part in this whole affair. Temperatures are way too high at the moment, so a mini ice age might combat this global warming effect, or at least that’s what researchers hope.
“I hope global warning will be overridden by this effect, giving humankind and the Earth 30 years to sort out our pollution,” says lead author Valentina Zharkova.