The sun to be cooler by 2050: Study
WASHINGTON, Feb 12 : Science just threw shade on the sun. By 2050, that big burning ball of gas is going to be unusually cool, according to a study from the University of California San Diego.
Based on 20 years of data collection and observations, a research team led by physicist Dan Lubin calculated that the sun will be 7% cooler - and dimmer - by the mid-century.
In just 30 years time, the sun could be significantly cooler, leaving us with conditions that may result in freezing conditions.
Scientists estimate the grand minimum would most likely only result in cooling the earth by about 0.25 per cent between 2020 and 2070.
As a result, the surface of the earth would cool by up to several tenths of a degree Celsius, which is not enough to stop global warming, although it could reduce its effects.
Scientists chalk that change up to what they call a "grand minimum," which refers to a low point in the core of the sun's regular 11-year pattern of revving up and resting. At the low point, the sun's magnetism diminishes, the surface calms and less ultraviolet radiation makes it to the surface of Earth.
Researchers will use their research to perform better climate model simulations. They noted that while the reduced solar radiation emitted will give Earth a chance to warm a bit more slowly, it will "not stop global warming."
The research team, led by physicist Dan Lubin, believes they have figured out a way to track the sun's 11-year-cycle.
The sun moves through an 11-year-cycle where it experiences active and quiet periods known as the solar maximum and solar minimum.
Now, scientists believe they have worked out when the next solar minimum could occur.
The next cold period has been labelled as a "grand minimum" during which conditions could be similar to those experienced in Europe in the middle of the 17th century.
During that period, as a result of the extremely low temperatures, the River Thames froze over.
The low temperatures also caused the Baltic Sea to freeze in 1968.
Scientists have said the period, known as the 'Maunder Minimum' was similar to a mini ice age and Mr Lubin believes we may experience even worse conditions in 2050.
The scientists predict a "significant probability" of a near-future grand minimum because the downward sunspot pattern in recent solar cycles is similar to the period prior to previous grand minimum events.
During a solar minimum, the sun's magnetism decreases, fewer sunspots form and less ultraviolet radiation makes it to the surface of the planet.
The conditions mean the sun's surface appears clearer and it becomes dimmer.
When the sun's energy is reduced, the first thing that will occur will be a thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer.
The study notes: "That thinning in turn changes the temperature structure of the stratosphere, which then changes the dynamics of the lower atmosphere, especially wind and weather patterns." —THE EXPRESS