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That mini ice age in 2030...


Melody
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Not gonna happen.

 

The scientists are actually saying that their model suggests low sunspot activity during solar cycle 26, apparently at a level similar to that during the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715). (The Maunder Minimum is a period during which sunspot activity was abnormally low, for reasons not really understood.) They're not saying that this scenario will result in a mini ice age, that's just an invention of the popular press.

 

The Maunder Minimum occurred during the Little Ice Age, but the Little Ice Age started at least 100 years (and, by some definitions, at least 300 years) before the Maunder Minimum began, and went on into the 19th century.

 

Since there's so much highly confident misinformation out there about this, especially in the British press, I just wanted to set the record straight in case anyone has seen this nonsense and believed it. I'm told Professor Zharkova is very upset about the way her work has been misrepresented; I must say I wish she or her university would say so in public, because the Daily Mail is having an anti-global-warming field day.

 

It's certainly an interesting example of how things get distorted beyond recognition when the popular press decides it wants to sensationalise something.

 

Here's the actual press release and an article explaining what's happening (and what isn't).

 

https://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/2680-irregular-heartbeat-of-the-sun-driven-by-double-dynamo

 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/07/13/sunspot_cycles_won_t_cause_a_mini_ice_age_by_2030.html

 

It'll be interesting to see if there really are Maunder Minimum conditions during cycle 26. There were a lot of confident predictions about cycle 24, most of which were shown to be inaccurate when the cycle finally got going.

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