Climate change is one of the most intensively researched topics as it can have a huge impact on the inhabitants of Earth. While melting icebergs and rise in population have been a cause of concern for long, it seems ‘mini ice age’ is a new worry for scientists. An expert has warned that the blue planet can face such a situation when the Sun hibernates during its solar minimum cycle. The scientist claimed that the Sun’s hibernation could last for over 30 years. The solar minimum cycle is a period that occurs after every 11 years. When this happens, sunspots diminish resulting in feeble output from the hottest star of the solar system. Exactly opposite of this happen during a solar maximum as its sunspots increase and emit more energy.
Professor Valentina Zharkhova of Northumbria University said that the Sun will enter a Grand Solar Minimum this year. This is a kind of an extended version of the solar minimum that would last for around 33 years instead of just a couple of years. Valentina said that earth could experience a one degrees Celsius drop in temperature. This drop would be enough to cause harsh weather conditions across the globe. “The sun is moving closer to a hibernation period and during this time period, less sunspots will appear on its surface resulting into fewer energy and radiation,” she said. This will result in cold weather on the blue planet.
Valentina said that this will led to big frosts as is being witnessed now in Canada where the minimum temperature has reached -50 degrees Celsius. Data collected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows that the last time a Grand Solar Minimum took place was in the year 1650. It lasted for almost 60 years. During the period of these six decades, the Sun had entered into a phase called Maunder Minimum. Various parts of Europe and North America went into a deep freeze. Few lakes, rivers and other water bodies got frozen.