Sun will dim in next 30 years, warns scientists

Scientists have warned that the sun will dim in the next 30 years leaving us in the condition which could be termed as a mini ice age. They claim to have figured out the time for the sun's 11-year cycle of solar maximum and solar minimum predicting the grand minimum in the coming period.

The sun follows an 11-year cycle of active and quiet periods, known as the solar maximum and solar minimum. The process may be likened to our heartbeat where the heart beats and takes rest at a fixed interval.

The nuclear fusion at the sun's core, during a solar maximum, produces extreme ultraviolet wavelengths which in turn forces more magnetic loops to the surface.

A solar minimum is a period of diminishing magnetism around the sun, as it experiences fewer sunspots and less ultraviolet radiation which produces dimming of the surface of the sun.

Scientists have already predicted the solar maximum and solar minimum timing and based on the data they have collected, they predict that within 30 years, the sun will experience a grand minimum.

The sun is expected to be 7 per cent cooler than the lowest point of its 11-year cycle during the period.

During the grand-minimum in the mid-17th century, named Maunder Minimum, the temperature fell so low as to freeze the Thames River.

The cooling is, however, not uniform across the globe and despite the chill in Europe during the Maunder Minimum, other areas such as Alaska and southern Greenland warmed.

According to commentators, the phenomenon appears to offer a natural solution to global warming, but scientists scotch the idea.

They point out that the cooling effect of the grand minimum may only slow down global warming, but cannot stop it.

According to their estimates, the grand minimum would only result in cooling the earth by about 0.25 per cent between 2020 and 2070.

The findings were published by Chicago-based journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.