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Mini Ice Age: Nothing To Worry About

Jul 16

Geoffrey.landis writes: Last week a news story suggested that a new model of sunspot activity predicted a dramatic drop in solar activity coming up, possibly resulting in coming a mini-ice age. Take that prediction with a bit of skepticism, though– later news analysis suggests that the story may be more media hype than science. Valentina Zharkova, the scientist whose research is being quoted, made no mention of a “mini Ice age”– her work was only on modelling the solar dynamo. And, in any case, the solar minimum predicted was estimated to last only three solar cycles– far less than the 17th century Maunder Minimum.
Phil Plait, known for his “bad astronomy” column, does a more detailed analysis of the claims, pointing out that the effect, if it even exists at all, is weak– and the much discussed “Little Ice Age” is currently believed to most likely have been triggered by volcanic action, not sunspots. And, in any case, any predicted cooling is small compared to already-present global warming.

So, probably no need to stock up on firewood, dried food, and ammunition quite yet– the mini ice age isn’t likely to be coming quite yet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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