Make the most of this summer because it could be your last decent one: winter is coming as the planet enters the most devastating cooling period since the 65-year Maunder Minimum of the 17th and early 18th centuries.
This is the dire forecast of Professor Valentina Zharkova, a solar physicist at Northumbria University, who has based her prediction on sun spot activity – known to be a significant driver of global climate – which is currently very low and likely to get even lower during the next three solar cycles.
She has spoken about her research and her battle to get it taken seriously by the climate establishment in an interview with the Global Warming Policy Forum. You can see it in this short film.
According to Professor Zharkova:
We will see it from 2020 to 2053, when the three next cycles will be very reduced magnetic field of the sun. Basically what happens is these two waves, they separate into the opposite hemispheres and they will not be interacting with each other, which means that resulting magnetic field will drop dramatically nearly to zero. And this will be a similar conditions like in Maunder Minimum.
What will happen to the Earth remains to be seen and predicted because nobody has developed any program or any models of terrestrial response – they are based on this period when the sun has maximum activity — when the sun has these nice fluctuations, and its magnetic field [is] very strong. But we’re approaching to the stage when the magnetic field of the sun is going to be very, very small.
The Maunder Minimum occurred during the depths of the Little Ice Age, a period of feeble summers and bitingly cold winters, war, pestilence and famine. It wasn’t all bad: rivers like the Thames in London froze so thickly they could accommodate Ice Fairs; and it’s said that the slow tree growth induced by the cold gave the wood in Stradivarius violins their special timbre. On the whole, though, a descent into a new mini Ice Age would be massively debilitating both to the global economy and people’s living standards. Since the Little Ice Age ended in the middle of the Nineteenth century, we have all got used to the comforts and agricultural advantages (such as being able to grow wheat in more northerly latitudes) of living through a period of global warming. A second Little Ice Age will come as a very nasty shock.