While many scientists warn global warming caused by burning of fossil fuels, researchers who study the sun predict an extraordinary cooling cycle starting around 2030 and lasting for 10 years could plunge earth into a "mini ice age,' according to Science Daily.
Research presented at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales, predicts solar activity will decline by 60% during the decade, repeating what scientists know as the "Maunder minimum" that led to lower average temperatures for between 1645 and 1715. Rivers, including London's Thames, that otherwise never froze regularly iced over in those 70 years.
The prediction is the result of new "unprecedentedly accurate" models of the sun's 11-year "heartbeat," the cycles of solar flare activity, the report said.
"The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone," it said. "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."
Watch this NASA video that explains the Sun's "heartbeat":
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