Astronomers from India, China and Japan have found evidence from sunspots showing that Earth may be heading into a “little ice age.”
A recent, lower than average, sunspot count by the Physical Research Laboratory in India indicates Earth could enter a period of low solar activity by 2020, according to a report published Wednesday in The Times of India. Sunspot activity is currently approaching a 200 year low.
There has been a drastic decline in the number of sunspots and a corresponding decrease in solar wind microturbulence during the Sun’s last two 11-year solar cycles, according to research published online last August.
The scientists openly worry about a repeat of the period between 1645 and 1715 AD when the sun was almost completely spotless, which coincided with most of Earth witnessing extremely harsh winters. The scientists believe that the sun has been growing less active and that sunspots have become rarer over the last two decades.
“The sun is the primary driver of the earth’s weather and climate so fluctuations in the character of the sun’s output are well-worth paying attention to,” Chip Knappenberger, a climate scientist at the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller Caller News Foundation.