Solar scientists used a new model to predict that a “mini ice age” could hit the planet in the next 15 years, The Independent reported.
The model, which studies the magnetic wave patterns of the sun, offers far greater accuracy than ever before. The pattern showed irregularities in the sun’s activities, causing scientists to reason that solar activity will fall by 60 percent between the years 2030 and 2040 due to fewer sunspots.
The information was recently presented at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales by researchers from the University of Northumbria. The last “mini ice age”, called the Maunder Minimum, lasted from 1645 to 1715.
During that time, it is said that frost fairs were held on the Thames River in England. The river was so frozen that it was “passable by foot” for seven weeks from 1683 to 1684, according to historical records, The Telegraph reported.
Scientists first discovered that the sun’s activity varies over a cycle of 10 to 12 years in 1843. But, the fluctuations were difficult to predict.