The study in “Environmental Research Letters” compared recent low sun spot activity to a solar period called the “Maunder minimum” in the second half of the 17th century, when even the Thames River froze over in London. The period of harsh winters is frequently called “The Little Ice Age.”
To reach this conclusion, the UK researchers incorporated data from the Central England temperature (CET) record, which dates back 351 years, with sun activity data put together by the Max Planck specialists.
Director the Institute for Solar System Research there Sami K. Solanki said he used magnetic field measurements to measure sun activity, but because these records date back to just 1900, researchers reconstructed older levels with the help of computer simulations.
“The connection between sun activity and the cold winter in Europe was only recognisable after we calculated out the overlaying trend of global warming,” Solanki said in a statement.