Researchers show new Ice Age may begin by 2030

New Ice Age may begin by 2030
In this 1677 painting by Abraham Hondius, "The Frozen Thames, looking Eastwards towards Old London Bridge," people are shown enjoying themselves on the ice. Credit: Museum of London

The arrival of intense cold similar to the weather that raged during the "Little Ice Age", which froze the world during the 17th century and in the beginning of the 18th century, is expected in the years 2030 to 2040. These conclusions were presented by Prof. V. Zharkova (Northumbria University) during the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno in Wales by an international group of scientists, which also includes Dr. Helen Popova of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics and of the Faculty of Physics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, professor Simon Shepherd of Bradford University (UK) and Dr Sergei Zharkov of Hull University (UK).

It is known that the Sun has its own , the amplitude and spatial configuration of which vary with time. The formation and decay of strong magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere results in changes of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun, of the intensity of plasma flows coming from the Sun, and the number of sunspots on the Sun's surface. The study of changes in the number of sunspots reveals an 11-year cyclic structure that affects the Earth's environment, as the analysis of carbon-14, beryllium-10 and other isotopes in glaciers and in trees showed.

There are several cycles with different periods and properties; the 11-year cycle and the 90-year cycle are the best known of them. The 11-year cycle appears as a cyclical reduction in sunspots every 11 years. Its 90-year variation is associated with periodic reduction in the number of spots in the 11-year cycle from 50 percent to 25 percent. But in the , there was a prolonged period of called the Maunder minimum, which lasted roughly from 1645 to 1700. During this period, there were only about 50 sunspots instead of the usual 40 to 50 thousand sunspots. Analysis of solar radiation showed that its maxima and minima almost coincide with the maxima and minima in the number of spots.

In the current study, published in three peer-reviewed papers, the researchers analyzed 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 reduces the data dimensionality and noise and identifies waves with the largest contribution to the observational data. This method can be compared with the decomposition of white light on the rainbow prism revealing waves of different frequencies. As a result, the researchers developed a new method of analysis, which helped to uncover that the sun's magnetic waves are generated in pairs, with the main pair covering 40 percent of variance of the data (Zharkova et al, 2012, MNRAS). The principal component pair is responsible for the variations of a dipole field of the sun, which is changing its polarity from pole to pole during 11 year solar activity.

The magnetic waves travel to the Northern hemisphere (odd cycles) or to Southern hemisphere (even cycles), with the phase shift between the waves increasing with a cycle number. The waves interact with each other in the hemisphere where they have maximum (Northern for odd cycles and Southern for even ones). These two components are assumed to originate in two different layers in the solar interior (inner and outer) with close, but not equal, frequencies and a variable phase shift (Popova et al, 2013, AnnGeo).

The scientists derived the analytical formula describing the evolution of these two waves and calculated the summary curve linked to the variations of sunspot numbers, the original proxy of solar activity when using the modulus of the summary curve (Shepherd et al, 2014, ApJ). By using this formula, the scientists made the prediction of magnetic activity in cycle 24, which gave 97% accuracy in comparison with the principal components derived from the observations.

New Ice Age may begin by 2030
This image of the sun was taken by NASA Solar Dynamics Observations mission on July 15, 2015, at a wavelength of 304 Angstroms. Credit: NASA Solar Dynamics Observations

Inspired by this success, the authors extended the prediction of these two to the next two cycle 25 and 26 and discovered that the waves become fully separated into the opposite hemispheres in cycle 26 and thus have little chance of interacting and producing sunspot numbers. This will lead to a sharp decline in solar activity during the years from 2030 to 2040, comparable with the conditions that existed during the previous Maunder minimum in the XVII century, when there were only about 50 to 70 sunspots observed instead of the usual 40 to 50 thousand.

The new reduction of the solar activity will lead to reduction of the solar irradiance by 3W/m2, according to Lean (1997). This previously resulted in significant cooling of Earth and 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.' During this period, there were very cold winters in Europe and North America. In the days of the Maunder minimum, the water in the river Thames and the Danube River froze, the Moscow River was covered by ice every six months, snow lay on some plains year round, and Greenland was covered by glaciers," says Dr. Helen Popova, who developed a unique physical-mathematical model of the evolution of the magnetic activity of the sun and used it to derive the patterns of occurrence of global minima of solar activity and gave them a physical interpretation.

If a similar reduction is observed during the upcoming Maunder minimum, this can lead to a similar cooling of the Earth's atmosphere. According to Dr Helen Popova, if the existing theories about the impact of solar activity on the climate are true, then this minimum will lead to a significant cooling, similar to the one that occurred during the Maunder minimum.

However, only time will tell (within the next 5 to 15 years) if this will happen.

"Given that our future minimum will last for at least three solar cycles, which is about 30 years, it is possible, that the lowering of the temperature will not be as deep as during the Maunder minimum. But we will have to examine it in detail. We keep in touch with climatologists from different countries. We plan to work in this direction," Popova said.

The notion that solar activity affects the climate appeared long ago. It is known, for example, that a change in the total quantity of the electromagnetic radiation by only 1 percent can result in a noticeable change in the temperature distribution and air flow all over the Earth. Ultraviolet rays cause photochemical effects, which lead to the formation of ozone at an altitude of 30 to 40 km. The flow of ultraviolet rays increases sharply during chromospheric flares from the sun. Ozone, which absorbs the sun's rays well enough, is being heated, and it affects the air currents in the lower layers of the atmosphere and, consequently, the weather. Powerful emission of corpuscles, which can reach the Earth's surface, arise periodically during high solar activity. They can move in complex trajectories, causing aurorae, geomagnetic storms and disturbances of radio communication.

By increasing the flow of particles in the lower atmospheric layers, air flows of meridional direction enhance warm currents from the south with an even greater energy rush in the high latitudes and cold currents, carrying Arctic air deeper southward. In addition, the solar activity affects the intensity of fluxes of galactic cosmic rays. The minimum activity streams become more intense, which also affects the chemical processes in the Earth's atmosphere

The study of deuterium in the Antarctic showed that there were five global warmings and four Ice Ages during the past 400 thousand years. An increase in the volcanic activity comes after the Ice Age and it leads to greenhouse gas emissions. The magnetic field of the Sun grows, which means that the flux of cosmic rays decreases, increasing the number of clouds and leading to the warming again. Next comes the reverse process, when the magnetic field of the sun decreases and the intensity of cosmic ray rises, reducing the clouds and making the atmosphere cool again. This process comes with some delay.

Dr Helen Popova responds cautiously, while speaking about the human influence on climate.

"There is no strong evidence that global warming is caused by human activity. The study of deuterium in the Antarctic shows that there were five global warmings and four Ice Ages during the past 400 thousand years. People first appeared on the Earth about 60 thousand years ago. However, even if human activities influence the climate, we can say that the sun with the new minimum gives humanity more time or a second chance to reduce their industrial emissions and to prepare for the sun's return to normal activity, Popova summarized.


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Jul 17, 2015
Well thank Jebus we warmed the planet a bit ourselves, right? LOL

Jul 17, 2015
What witchcraft be this?
What Maunder minimum?
If it ain't in THE HOCKEY SCHTICK then it never happened.
There won't be enough oil, gas, nor coal to burn that will stop this.

Jul 17, 2015
There is no strong evidence that global warming is caused by human activity. The study of deuterium in the Antarctic shows that there were five global warmings and four Ice Ages during the past 400 thousand years. People first appeared on the Earth about 60 thousand years ago.


Why is this so hard to understand for some people?

Jul 17, 2015
There is no strong evidence that global warming is caused by human activity

Burn this witch!

Jul 17, 2015
I just want to point out, as some articles have been misleading, that the paper is not saying solar output will decrease 60% but the sunspot number will be decreasing 60% to levels similarly seen during the Maunder Min.

http://computing....1_46.pdf

Using the modulus summary curves derived from the principal
components of SBMF(solar background magnetic field), we predict a noticeable decrease
of the average sunspot numbers in cycle 25 to ≈80% of that in
cycle 24 and a decrease in cycle 26 to ≈40% which are linked
to a reduction of the amplitudes and an increase of the phase
between the PCs of SBMF separating these waves into the opposite
hemispheres

Jul 17, 2015
Ok, I was wrong. After the neutral stand phys.org took with "Irregular heartbeat of the Sun driven by double dynamo", I'm surprised to see the same study rehashed with a more "alarmist" headline. Not saying that's the right approach but at least now they are being consistent.

Jul 17, 2015
I'm surprised to see the same study rehashed with a more "alarmist" headline


I was surprised as well. Funny that this time there is no editor named at the top of the article. Seems they like the study, yet don't want their name to be tied to it.

Jul 17, 2015
Where are the warmists? Guess rubbing their butt hurts together to stave off the cold shoulder of science. LOL

Jul 17, 2015
@jeff
@scroof

Both articles and their headlines appeared in in other media before PO copied and pasted to their site.

Jul 17, 2015
@jeff
@scroof

Both articles and their headlines appeared in in other media before PO copied and pasted to their site.


Thanks. Do they normally have that much lag from release date? I honestly thought that PO did their own versions/adaptations of some of these widely released stories or at the very least wrote their own headlines. Who chooses these headlines then? Someone whose job it is to generate clicks I guess?

Jul 17, 2015
No, PO regularly hosts science "news" articles that were published elsewhere. Sometimes the word 'science' should also be in quotes. The articles can and do range to some pretty bizarre "ideas some scientist had" or other sites where a scientific topic is being "discussed" by a particular editorial commentary.

Jul 17, 2015
@jeff

PO is often slow to post breaking "news". Everyday I read science stories on other sites, including main stream media, hours and sometime days before it appears on PO.

Jul 17, 2015
"What Zharkova and her co-authors meant, Renwick explains, was that the amplitude of the solar cycle may decrease by 60 percent during that period. In other words, during an 11-year period in the 2030s, the two magnetic waves that produce sunspots—temporary phenomena that correlate with higher levels of solar activity—are predicted to interact in such a way as to nearly cancel each other out, causing a 60 percent drop in the difference between peak and height solar activity, as compared with the 11-year-cycle before. This would equal a decrease in solar output of roughly 0.1 percent, according to Renwick."

"What would a 0.1 percent drop in solar output mean for us? Not a whole lot."

http://www.newswe...e-354632

Jul 17, 2015
I am confused by some of these numbers..50 to 70 sunspots verses 40,000 to 50,000 sunspots is an 80% difference ? what did I misread ?

Jul 17, 2015
The new reduction of the solar activity will lead to reduction of the solar irradiance by 3W/m2


If this prediction is true you could see some very, very strange meteorological effects, depending on the exact bandwidth of radiation that this 3W/m2 deviation occurs in.

For example, if this causes the stratosphere to cool, and perhaps the upper troposphere to cool, then the potential difference (during the first several years of this scenario) from Sea Surface temperatures(affecting tropical cyclones) or land surface temperatures (effecting tornadoes and "micro-bursts") is increased, thereby paradoxically producing a scenario where more powerful cyclones of every type can form...at least during the first few years before SST come to a new equilibrium with the lower solar flux.

This would also be highly dependent on the timing of the ENSO cycle and PDO cycle to determine which tropical basins and continents are effected the most heavily.

Jul 17, 2015
For example, if the Atlantic has a "neutral" ENSO cycle (like 2005), but the ocean is at least average or above average temperatures, and then the Sun suddenly deacreases its flux by 3W/m^2, then the potential difference between the SST and the upper troposphere will temporarily be well above record levels from ANY storm season in recorded history, including 2005.

This does not guarantee a storm season worse than 2005 would happen, even if the ENSO cycle did time itself on the worst case scenario (neutral is the worst case scenario for the Atlantic basin), however, it "rigs the dice" if the flux change did happen at just the right time in combination with a neutral ENSO.

This would be a worst case scenario for the U.S. because you'd be having ice storms on land in the previous winter and spring, and then you'd have a hurricane and tornado seasons with potential difference far exceeding the records in the modern era.

Jul 17, 2015
Now this doesn't guarantee terrible tornado outbreaks...it just rigs the scenario so that if a low pressure system forms with the suitable CAPE and VIL, then a serious tornado outbreak can occur easier than a normal season.

The tornado seasons could be expected to be like that, with a "hair trigger" until the SST reached a new equilibrium with the weaker flux.

Winters and even late autumn could be extremely bitter, especially along the east coast and New England, as late season tropical cyclones could trigger nor'easters and inland blizzards more frequently (until equilibrium) and ordinary winter storms would just plain be "colder".

This is an important finding, and I wonder what Dr. Jeff Masters, Steve Lyons, or Greg Forbes will have to say about it, since they will no-doubt hear about this finding presently or in the near future.

I wonder if they will interpret the possibilities the same way I have?

I beat NHC about 50% of the time...

Jul 17, 2015
You mean the flow of plasma and the solar wind can affect the climate? Weird! And this is not in the climate models? Weirder still!

Where may we have heard that before? Oh right, from me for the last three years I've been posting on Phys.org...

Now watch, some AGWite JA will jump in and say they knew it all along.

Jul 17, 2015
I was directed to this article (by naga5000, one of Dr. Masters' regular users):

http://climatephy...climate/

In this article it is predicted that the net flux change on Earth will only be about 1/4th of a Watt per meter squared. Some math magic is used to reduce what looks like 2.5W/m^2 to 0.26W/m^2 of negative forcing.

I am not sure where the author of this physorg article got their 3W/m^2 figure, and I am not accusing them of any wrong doing, but I would like to see some sort of citation from a scientific paper or consensus from this scientific panel. It is cited, apparently, coming from someone named "Lean" in 1997. That is relatively old science to be citing in combination with a cutting-edge model, and it would make more sense to cite the model directly.

I don't doubt 3W/m^2 is possible, but this other paper Naga pointed me to would seem to suggest that is greatly exaggerated.

Jul 17, 2015
2000 Follow-up paper to the 1997 paper by Judith Lean, gives a result of 2.8W/m^2 difference from the Maunder minimum to present.

http://citeseerx....type=pdf

The previous paper had apparently given a difference of 3.3W/m^2.

I have informed "Naga5000" on Wunderground of these findings, because the paper he linked appears to reduce this change in flux to a negative forcing of just 0.26W/m^2, even though normal changes in solar flux obey no such scaling down as the "math magic" they used in the other paper, which I also linked here.

This matters obviously, because even if the correct number is 2.8W/m^2 for citing Judith Lean's work, that's still a big difference to the 0.26W/m^2 cited in the other paper on "climatephys.org"

http://climatephy...climate/

This needs to be resolved for disaster planning.

Jul 18, 2015
Yet trillions are being squandered on the AGW Cult's lies.

Jul 19, 2015
Whatever will be the solar activity combined with current and future levels of CO2 changes to earths temperatures, that does not change the fact that there is too much CO2 in the oceans. Someone may argue that similar levels have been there before, but the important thing here is the rate of change, which gives us the hockey stick. Plants and animals can adapt to changes, when they happen slowly, much more slowly what we have caused with CO2 pollution. This article also states that solar activity is predicted to give us more time to fix CO2 pollution. It does not say we don't need to fix it.

Jul 19, 2015
If the U.S. government and our economical model were consisting of even the slightest shred of rationality, we could convert to nearly 100% solar and wind within a couple years by mobilizing government directed manufacturing and installation.

Instead, we are bound by the corporate, capitalistic model, whereby all income and wealth is required to be directed to and concentrated in the hands of a few select individuals, who by defacto result, own everyone else, in spite of slavery technically being illegal.

While slavery is technically illegal, it is in reality still the standard model of the American economy. If corporations cannot acquire the right kind of slaves here, they find them in other nations, such as India and China, or some central american nation where coffee is grown, or fabrics are shipped to be sown.

All this to maximize the income of one or two people per corporation, at the financial, social, and medical expense of everyone else.

Jul 19, 2015
To demonstrate how irrational capitalism has become, observe the search giant, Google, who's stock value climbed, quite irrationally, but some $65 billion in a single day.

Did they buy new assets? No, in fact they seem to have promised to lay off on buying new assets.

Did they invent a new, disruptive technology? No.

Did they accidentally strike a mountain-sized golden or platinum nugget while installing one of their alternative energy systems in California, or some other location? No.

Well...their actual material value did not change.

Yet the irrational "free market" counterfeit wealth system suddenly evaluates them as being worth $65 billion more.

This system of trade and evaluation is unsustainable.

Little middle class investor fleas trained for the circus, defacto slaves.

Poor lower class can't even participate in that part of the farce if they wanted to, direct slaves.

This funneling of all wealth to less than 1% of the population is unsustainable; evil.

Jul 19, 2015
koff "Dr Helen Popova responds cautiously, while speaking about the human influence on climate.There is no strong evidence that global warming is caused by human activity."!!!??? Only a couple of 1
thousand peer reviewed studies that Dr Popova seems to have missed.
To reinforce vietvet's post on the impact of solar minimum on todays planet vs 1700's ..."Howard Diamond, the program director for the federal U.S. Climate Reference Network, came to the same conclusions. "Regionally, there may be more cooling, but overall the globe would go back for a while to conditions experienced in the first half of the 20th century," he says, hardly a period of unusual cold. "Once the solar cycle strengthened again, we would be back to greenhouse gas-related warming again.
In other words, this won't solve our little climate change problem"
Read more at http://americanli...ice-age/

Jul 19, 2015
Having read the report this is based on, I am truly astonished at how poor this article is. This is Daily Mail level of "scientific analysis". I'm actually gobsmacked by it being on this site. I would like to know how something so divorced from reality could be published here so uncritically.

Considering the report and its authors have both been quoted as saying:

1. that the Maunder minimum only caused the so-called regional "little ice age" - not a mini ice age or an ice age but a spot of cold weather in Europe- because of associated volcanic activity and changes in ocean circulation IN THAT REGION and that we wouldn't necessarily see that kind of weather even if

2. a Maunder minimum was sufficient to overcome human activity in the form of increased greenhouse emissions. Which it is not.

This may not be the worst science reporting I've ever seen but it's definitely the worst on this site and is on par with long-term offenders such as the Daily Mail and the Mirror.

Jul 19, 2015
Whatever will be the solar activity combined with current and future levels of CO2 changes to earths temperatures, that does not change the fact that there is too much CO2 in the oceans. Someone may argue that similar levels have been there before, but the important thing here is the rate of change, which gives us the hockey stick. Plants and animals can adapt to changes, when they happen slowly, much more slowly what we have caused with CO2 pollution. This article also states that solar activity is predicted to give us more time to fix CO2 pollution. It does not say we don't need to fix it.


And then there's also this - even if the Maunder minimum was sufficient to counter temperature increases (which it won't be), it wouldn't solve the problem of ocean acidification, plant toxicity or any of the problems caused by the increase in CO2 itself, rather than its associated warming.

Jul 20, 2015
There is no strong evidence that global warming is caused by human activity. The study of deuterium in the Antarctic shows that there were five global warmings and four Ice Ages during the past 400 thousand years. People first appeared on the Earth about 60 thousand years ago.


Why is this so hard to understand for some people?


Its not hard to understand. Just hard to believe since any verbal claim to journalists holds no significance at all in relation to the weight of published peer reviewed science. Why is it so hard for some to understand this??

Jul 22, 2015
I have written down a few thoughts on denial and the impending ice age

https://dameholly...-denial/

Jul 23, 2015
"There is no strong evidence that global warming is caused by human activity". And so labels itself squarely as JUNK SCIENCE. Dam near every psycho denier immediately buys into this drivel based oN that single sentence.

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