A leading scientist has revealed that Europe could be just five years away from the start of a new Ice Age.
While climate change campaigners say global warming is the planet's biggest danger, renowned physicist Vladimir Paar says most of central Europe will soon be covered in ice.
The freeze will be so complete that people will be able to walk from England to Ireland or across the North Sea from Scotland to northern Europe.
Professor Paar, from Croatia's Zagreb University, has spent decades analysing previous ice ages in Europe and what caused them.
"Most of Europe will be under ice, including Germany, Poland, France, Austria, Slovakia and a part of Slovenia," said the professor in an interview with the Index.hr
"Previous ice ages lasted about 70,000 years. That's a fact and the new ice age can't be avoided.
"The big question is what will happen to the people of the Central European countries which will be under ice?
"They might migrate to the south, or might stay, but with a huge increase in energy use," he warned.
"This could happen in five, 10, 50 or 100 years, or even later. We can't predict it precisely, but it will come," he added.
And the professor said that scientists think global warming is simply a natural part of the planet.
"What I mean is that global warming is natural. Some 130,000 years ago the earth's temperature was the same as now, the level of CO2 was almost the same and the level of the sea was four metres higher.
"They keep warning people about global warming, but half of America no longer believes it as they keep freezing," he said.
And he added: "The reality is that mankind needs to start preparing for the ice age. We are at the end of the global warming period. The ice age is to follow. The global warming period should have ended a few thousands of years ago, we should have already been in the ice age. Therefore we do not know precisely when it could start – but soon."
The Zagreb based scientist says it will still be possible for man to survive in the ice age, but the spending on energy will be enormous.
"Food production also might be a problem. It would need to be produced in greenhouses with a lot of energy spent to heat it", commented the professor, who remains optimistic despite his predictions.
He said: "The nuclear energy we know today will not last longer than 100 years as we simply do not have enough uranium in the world to match the needs in an ice age. But I'm still optimistic. There is the process of nuclear fusion happening on the Sun. The fuel for that process is hydrogen and such a power plant is already worked on in France as a consortium involving firms from Marseille and the European Union, the US, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea. The head of the project is a Japanese expert, and former Japanese ambassador in Croatia", Vladimir Paar revealed.
He said the building of the new technology power plant will take at least another 10 years.
"In 40 years we'll know how it functions. That would be a solution that could last for thousands of years. We have a lot of hydrogen and the method is an ecological one", the professor concluded.