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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

67 JG imageI recall when I started work in the 70’s there was much debate then about the prospects for a mini ice age in the next decade or so. Increasing since then the climate debate has been about getting warmer not cooler. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw this article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper “Earth heading for 'mini ice age' within 15 years”

The article is based on a presentation given recently National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Solar researchers at the University of Northumbria. The researcher’s claim that based on the results of a new model they have developed of the suns activity that fluid movements within the sun, which are thought to create 11-year cycles in the weather, will converge in such a way that temperatures will fall dramatically in the 2030s. The result of this convergence will be similar to freezing conditions experienced in the late 17th century. They predict an effect called a ‘Maunder minimum'". The Maunder minimum, indicating low sunspot activity, has given the name to the period between 1645 and 1715, when Europe and North America experienced very cold winters.

To be honest this is the first time I have been exposed to this solar science and a quick google search did not yield any more references to an impending mini ice age. But I will keep my mind open and look for any further information that arises.

In the mean time I will continue to stock up on sun screen but also keep a pair of thermal lined gloves in my cupboard.