Farmers' almanac predicts 'mini ice age' to come

THE population of the world should prepare itself for a mini-ice age, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the United States' oldest periodical which first appeared in 1792.

The latest edition says the Earth has entered a period of global cooling.

"The next 20 years, it's going to be colder," said the assistant editor of the almanac. "We do recognise global cooling could be offset by greenhouse gasses and other human effects on the Earth, but we're trending toward the cool period now."

Almanac staff use the weather prediction method devised by almanac founder Robert B. Thomas, using a combination of solar sciences, meteorology and climatology. The almanac has an 80% success rate for its weather predictions.

In its early years, the almanac was one of the chief sources for weather forecasts for farmers and its format has been the same throughout its history, with its yellow cover and hole punched in the corner for hanging in barns.

In addition to weather predictions for each day of the year, the Old Farmer's Almanac also includes gardening tips.