According to weather forecast boffins at the Met Office, Britain could be about to fall into one of the coldest ice ages in over 300 years, and it could last for a very, very long time.
The cause of the ‘mini ice-age’ is due to a continued decline in solar activity from our sun, and, whilst the effects won’t have a larger effect on global warming as whole, it could affect us on a regional level.
The last big freezes took place between 1645 and 1715 (The Maunder Minimum) and 1790 to 1830 (The Dalton Minimum) as a direct result of long episodes of low solar activity. Both time periods saw colder-than-normal temperatures that caused the River Thames to complete freeze over.
Met Office scientist Sarah Ineson, said: “This research shows that the regional impacts of a grand solar minimum are likely to be larger than the global effect.
“...the sun isn’t going to save us from global warming, but it could have impacts at a regional level that should be factored in to decisions about adapting to climate change for the decades to come.”
The long-range expert professor for the Met Office Adam Scaife added that we could expect a decrease in solar activity over the next few years and that early warning signs forecast that we could hit a minimum point by the middle of the century.
“There is a chance of a repeat of the Maunder Minimum period where sun spots completely vanish.”
Looks like it’s time to get stocked up on some addictive boxsets and snacks, it’s going to get chilly.