Scientists think Britain and Europe could be in for a chilly few years predicting a 'Little Ice Age' could be on its way in just a few decades time.
Average temperatures in Britain could fall by two degrees centigrade, according to the study led by Mike Lockwood, professor of space environment physics at Reading University, because of a drop in the amount of sunspot activity.
Sunspots are darker patches seen in the sun's surface which are caused by small areas of magnetic activity which disrupts the normal flow of intensely heated gases.
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But last year, Professor Lockwood discovered that a drop in sunspots could block winds that can keep Europe from excessive cold in winter, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Professor Lockwood's team looked at the sun's activity of the past 9,300 years using Met Office data.
His findings, published by the Institute of Physics, (IoP) showed that in the next 50 years there is a one in 10 chance of the sun returning to conditions seen between 1645 and 1715 when the River Thames in London regularly froze over, as did the Baltic Sea.
Known as the Maunder Minimum during these years astronomers could not see any sunspots and Europe endured unusually harsh winters which came to be known as the Little Ice Age.
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