Earth is not heading toward a ‘mini ice age’

Recent media news reported that the Earth will enter “mini ice age” in the 2030s, after a Northumbria University professor, Valentina Zharkova, presented a research on solar variations.

The research predicts that between 2030 and 2040, solar activity should drop significantly, leading to a condition known as a “solar minimum.” Same phenomenon happened in mid 1700s and also coincided with a drop in temperatures leading some to predict the 'mini ice age'.

But the research by Zharkova and her colleagues is focused on the 'solar minimum', not its effects which many have only speculated about.

As far as the solar variations go, “The effect is a drop in the bucket, a barely detectable blip, on the overall warming trajectory we can expect over the next several decades from greenhouse warming,” said Michael Mann, distinguished professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, in an e-mail to The Washington Post.

In the case of a solar minimum, such as the one predicted by Zharkova and colleagues, “The expected decrease in global temperature would be 0.1°C at most, compared to about 1.3°C warming since pre-industrial times by the year 2030,” Georg Feulner, deputy chair of the Earth system analysis research domain at the Potsdam Institute on Climate Change Research, wrote in an e-mail to The Washington Post.


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