Little Ice Age Coming?: Say Goodbye to Sunspots? – ScienceNOW

Say Goodbye to Sunspots? – ScienceNOW

Excerpts from

The Sun’s magnetic field that triggers Sunspot formation has been steadily declining. By 2016 the sun’s face may become spotless and remain that way for decades—a phenomenon that in the 17th century coincided with a prolonged period of cooling on Earth. The last solar minimum should have ended last year, but something peculiar has been happening. Although solar minimums normally last about 16 months, the current one has stretched over 26 months—The phenomenon has happened before. Sunspots disappeared almost entirely between 1645 and 1715 during a period called the Maunder Minimum, which coincided with decades of lower-than-normal temperatures in Europe nicknamed the Little Ice Age.