- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A physicist who foresees a 30-year period of global cooling says other climatologists have tried to “silence” her latest research on solar cycles.

Valentina Zharkova, a professor at Northumbria University at Newcastle in the United Kingdom, said the Royal Astronomical Society received requests to withdraw a press release on her team’s latest research pointing to a significant drop in solar activity by mid-century.

She presented her results July 9 at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales.

“Some of them [scientists] were welcoming and discussing. But some of them were quite, I would say, pushy,” said Ms. Zharkova in a video interview posted Tuesday by the Global Warming Policy Forum. “They were trying to actually silence us. Some of them contacted the Royal Astronomical Society demanding behind our back that they withdraw our press release.”

She said the society refused. “The Royal Astronomical Society replied to them and cc’d to us, and said, ‘Look, this is the work by scientists who we support, please discuss this with them,’ ” she said.

“We had about eight or 10 exchanges by email when I tried to prove my point, and I’m saying, ‘I’m willing to look at what you do,’ ” Ms. Zharkova said.

She offered to work with the scientists by adding their data to her results, but she said that “they didn’t want to.”

The press release on her research, “Irregular heartbeat of the Sun driven by double dynamo,” was posted July 9 on the society’s website.

Her sunspot modeling indicates a reduced solar magnetic field from 2020 to 2053, producing conditions similar to those during the Maunder Minimum, or “Little Ice Age,” a 65-year period of reduced solar activity and low global temperatures during the 17th century.

“We didn’t have many measurements in the Southern hemisphere, we don’t know what will happen with that, but in the Northern hemisphere, we know it’s very well protocoled,” Ms. Zharkova said. “The rivers are frozen. There are no winters and no summers, and so on.”

Her research has been controversial because it appears to challenge the prevailing climate-change consensus predicting rising global temperatures from increased carbon dioxide from human-caused emissions in the atmosphere.

“Of course, things are not the same as they were in the 17th century — we have a lot more greenhouse gas in the atmosphere,” the GWPF said in its post. “And it will be interesting to see how the terrestrial and the solar influences play out.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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