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A New Maunder Minimum?

Still not very many sunspots:

But scientists are watching the sun carefully to see whether cycle 24 is going to be an aberration—or if this solar calmness is going to stretch through the next cycle as well.

“We won’t know that for another good three or four years,” said Biesecker.

Some researchers speculate this could be the start of a prolonged period of weak solar activity.

The last time that happened, during the so-called “Maunder Minimum” between 1650 and 1715, almost no sunspots were observed. During the same period, temperatures dropped sharply on Earth, sparking what is called the “Little Ice Age” in Europe and North America.

As the sunspot numbers continue to stay low, it’s possible the Earth’s climate is being affected again.

But thanks to global warming, we’re unlikely to see another ice age. “Things have not started to cooling, they just have not risen as quickly,” Biesecker said.

Wow, talk about assuming the desired conclusion.

Posted in Climate, SciTech, Space.