Some scientists believe that an extreme cooling episode, potentially a mini-ice age, is imminent. Others think that it may already be under way.
Over the past century, climatic conditions have run from cool in the 1900s to warm in the '30s to cool in the '60s to warm in the '80s (scroll the time line above), and many of us have come to believe that mankind has been responsible for the swings. Scientists have blamed us for generating warming greenhouse gases, then polluting the air with sun-blocking particulates, and raising temperatures through urbanization, deforestation, and greenhouse gases.
There is another possible explanation for—or, at least, influence on—climate change. This involves natural factors, most notably the Sun and Earth's oceans. We at the Almanac are among those who believe that sunspot cycles and their effects on oceans correlate with climate changes. Studying these and other factors suggests that a cold, not warm, climate may be in our future.