Close this search box.

Astrophysicist Warns About the Coming Little Ice Age: ‘It’s Already Started’

The Astrophysicist Warning About the Coming Little Ice Age: “It’s Already Started”


“CO2 is not a bad gas,” says Valentina Zharkova, a Professor at the Northumbria University in Newcastle, U.K. On the contrary, she points out, every garden centre uses it in its greenhouses to make plants lush and green. “We actually have a CO2 deficit in the world, and it’s three to four times less than the plants would like,” she notes, adding that the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere has been at much higher levels throughout our planet’s history than it is now.

In fact, over the last 140 million years, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has been steadily decreasing and only now slightly starting to rise. It is currently around 420 parts per million (ppm), or 0.042%. 140 million years ago, it was estimated at 2,500 ppm (0.25%), or about six times higher. And it also meant a greener and more biodiverse world. If CO2 were to fall below 150 ppm (0.015%), it would already mean the extinction of vegetation and all other life. We came close to that during the last glacial maximum when it was at 182 ppm (0.018%).

Zharkova says that the fact that CO2 levels in the atmosphere are now increasing is a good thing. “We don’t need to remove CO2 because we would actually need more of it. It’s food for plants to produce oxygen for us. The people who say CO2 is bad are obviously not very well educated at university or wherever they studied. Only uneducated people can come up with such absurd talk that CO2 should be removed from the air,” says Zharkova.

The Sun – a natural driver of climate change

In fact, Professor Zharkova can go on at length about what CO2 does or does not do in nature and how it behaves, but she does not actually study it directly as a scientist. Zharkova is an astrophysicist originally from Ukraine. She graduated in mathematics from Kiev National University and did her PhD at the Main Astronomical Observatory in Kiev, Ukraine. She has worked and done research at various U.K. universities since 1992 and has been a Professor of Mathematics at the Northumbria University since 2013, teaching key Maths and Physics modules.

However, her research has focused on the Sun and she can confirm that, unlike CO2, the Sun plays a major role in Earth’s climate change. So much so, in fact, that Zharkova’s research suggests that we have entered a colder period, or essentially a little ice age, in the next 30 years, as the Sun’s activity weakens in the context of global warming.

In other words, there is not a question of Zharkova – or any other scientist who is justifiably sceptical about the omnipotent power of the CO2 molecule to warm the air – denying climate change. On the contrary, climate change and the cooling or warming of temperatures are very real, she asserts. For example, Zharkova points out that in Scotland, where she has lived for many years, the weather was much warmer 2,000 years ago. “The Romans were growing grapes and making wine in Scotland at that time, for example,” she says.

However, between 1645 and 1715, for example, the period known as the Maunder Minimum, when the Sun’s activity weakened particularly sharply, the weather in Europe became much colder. Britain’s major rivers – such as the Thames and Tyne – could be skated on, and the Dutch canals regularly froze over. Alpine glaciers widened and absorbed large areas of arable land, and the ice mass expanded strongly southwards from the Arctic. Temperatures across the planet were much lower – in Europe and North America, for example, up to 5° to 7°C colder in places. This is a huge change.

Zharkova estimates using some previous research that on average – which of course means potentially much larger changes from region to region – the Earth’s temperature will fall by one degree Celsius over the next 30 years, and not rise, as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns us.

She explains that such abrupt changes depend on the cycles of solar activity. When the Sun is less active, its decreasing magnetic field causes a decrease in irradiance. Less solar radiation means less heat. According to Zharkova, such a change occurs every 350-400 years (grand solar cycle or GSC), and she says we entered one of the Grand Solar Minima (GSM) separating GSCs in 2020. This GSM will continue until 2053 after which in cycle 28 the solar activity will return to normal.

Would not recommend a solar panel investment

So, for the foreseeable future, according to Zharkova, we should not be thinking in terms of global warming, but of a significant cooling, such as that occurred in the 17th century, which will, of course, have a direct impact on our way of life. Take energy, for example, where, under the banner of the ‘green transition’ and move to ‘Net Zero’, the aim is to replace today’s energy production capacity with renewables such as solar panels as we move away from fossil fuels. According to Zharkova, in times of declining solar intensity, it is not worth naively hoping that solar panels will be able to produce any significant amount of energy. “I have only compassion towards the people who have invested in solar panels,” Zharkova says. When you consider that in the low period of solar activity, we can expect winters to get longer and that in northern Europe it may even snow in June, as it did in the 17th century, the prospects for solar panels are not very good. “During the Maunder Minimum, there were years when there was no summer at all – there was a short spring, then autumn and winter again. And if you’ve got snow on your solar panels or cloudy skies, they’re useless,” she says. We can also expect colder weather to put wind power generation under pressure – there are plenty of examples of wind turbines freezing and stalling.

Another serious concern, Zharkova says, is that food production will come under pressure in Europe as the weather gets colder and harvests could become stale. This means that better conditions for food production will have to be sought in southern Europe or even in Africa. In the north, more energy is needed to produce food, to heat homes and for all other activities. According to Zharkova, there is no getting away from fossil fuels now, which are a reliable source of energy, under such conditions. “If people survived in [the cold period in] medieval times, we should survive better because we’re better equipped. We have a little bit more energy resources if they are used wisely,” Zharkova says.

Global warming is also a reality

But Zharkova says a cold period of a few decades is a short episode compared to the current long warming trend. While the colder decades are due to the Sun’s declining activity, the warming is also due to the Sun as it is moving closer to Earth. Again, there is nothing unexpected about a change in the position of the planets and the Sun in space, relative to us. This too has happened repeatedly over a long history. It happens because of the gravitational pull of the big planets, and as the Sun moves closer to Earth, it raises the air temperature here. According to Zharkova, this solar cycle lasts for 2,100-2300 years and it is known as Hallstatt’s cycle of solar radiation. The current cycle will come to an end at around the year 2600, and although there will be another low period of solar activity, or GSM (2375-2415) during this period when it will be colder again, there will be a steady warming over the following five centuries. Based on her calculations, Zharkova estimates a temperature rise of 3.5°C by 2600. “Of course, we won’t be living here then, but our legacy will live on and people will be able to check and say that the blonde woman here was telling the truth about the Hallstatt’s cycle,” she jokes about herself.

According to Zharkova, in the overall context of the CO2 climate change narrative, it is important to understand that humans are actually bystanders in this process of change. “Whatever we do on Earth, we can’t change the orbit of the Sun and the big planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus,” she explains. “We can’t do anything about it.”

Like the Spanish Inquisition”

However, it is precisely the fact that this process is natural that the mainstream climate science currently denies, and the only acceptable cause of climate change is the increase in the proportion of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere. According to Zharkova, one does not bother with such “little things” as the Sun. In fact, she points out, that it has also been scientifically shown that the increase in atmospheric CO2 does follow the increase in temperature, and not the other way round, but this is another point that the proponents of anthropogenic climate warming refuse to take into account. “So this gives you an idea of how uneducated and unprofessional these people are who say that CO2 will lead to a rise in temperature,” Zharkova notes. “They are trying to silence anyone who questions their flawed models,” she adds.

Zharkova herself has experienced such attempts of silencing and persecution. She cites the example of a recent retraction in March 2020 of one of her scientific articles (Zharkova et al., 2019) by the Editor Rafal Marszalek of Nature Scientific Reports under pressure from the proponents of anthropogenic global warming, as she had mentioned in the article that the brightness of the Sun can change depending on where exactly the Sun is relative to Earth. Since you can logically argue that this could also affect the Earth’s climate, the paper had to be retracted. She is no longer welcome to publish in Nature, although she has done so several times in the past.

This retraction threat is the case, she says, for anyone who questions man-made global warming and explains climate change in any other way. “They are acting like the Spanish Inquisition did during the Maunder Minimum,” Zharkova says about the proponents of anthropogenic global warming, with her characteristic humour, and jokingly refers to them as the CO2 mafia.

A year later after the retraction in April 2021, Zharkova published a book chapter proving with the official ephemeris of the Sun-Earth distances provided by the official sides of NASA and Paris-Meudon Observatory, France that these Sun-Earth distances change exactly as they mentioned in the retracted paper. She says it proves that the Sun, its activity and its position in the orbit are the natural source of any climate change on Earth and other planets.

First published by Freedom Research.