Sunspot activity crashes - The monthly NOAA update of the solar cycle was released yesterday, showing the Sun’s sunspot activity in April…After four months of steady decline matched exactly with the low prediction from 2007 in April sunspot activity plummeted to the lowest level seen since January 2011. This decline shouldn’t surprise anyone. The now ending solar maximum has been the weakest in a century… the big question now is what will happen during the next solar cycle. Will we get another weak solar cycle or will the sun’s sunspot activity recover? Or will sunspots vanish and will the sun enter a grand minimum, with no sunspots for decades? At the moment no one knows, though some solar scientists favor the latter.
“Grand Minimum” - Scientists and astronomers from Physical Research Laboratory in India and counterparts in China and Japan write the decline in solar activity could indicate Earth is heading for another “little ice age” or even a more extended period of low solar activity, a Maunder Minimum, by 2020. During the last Maunder Minimum, between 1645 and 1715 AD, the sun was almost completely spotless and Europe and much of Earth witnessed extremely harsh winters, lack of summer in some places, significantly increased glaciation – an ice age.
Wait, what? I thought we were in a period of major global warming.