A new study claims to have cracked predicting solar cycles – and says that between 2020 and 2030 solar cycles will cancel each other out.
This, they say, will lead to a phenomenon known as the ‘Maunder minimum’ – which has previously been known as a mini ice age when it hit between 1646 and 1715, even causing London’s River Thames to freeze over.
The new model of the Sun’s solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun’s 11-year heartbeat.
It draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone.
Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645, according to the results presented by Prof Valentina Zharkova at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno.