WASHINGTON — US scientists say the familiar sunspot cycle seems to be entering a hibernation period unseen since the 17th century, a pattern that could have a slight cooling effect on global temperatures.

For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite.

Experts are now probing whether this period of inactivity could be a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period when hardly any sunspots were observed between 1645-1715 known as the “Little Ice Age.”

“If we are right, this could be the last solar maximum we’ll see for a few decades. That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth’s climate,” said Hill.

Read the rest of the article via AFP: Scientists predict rare ‘hibernation’ of sunspots.


  1. Steve Whitmore

    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is complete nonsense. Please end the Government’s support for the IPCC and the current disastrous energy policies (including the subsidy of windfarms). Something must be done soon about our expensive energy otherwise our industrial base will become ever more uncompetitive.

    Invest in Thorium reactors which have only a small fraction of the dangerous by-products of conventional nuclear power.

  2. Chris Soanes

    I completely agree with Steve W – we do have a major crisis coming but it’s not Climate Change (A stupid term anyway as the climate was never stable, but I digress). The real issue is energy, and artificially advantaging windfarms and PV with tariffs are not the answer. Nuclear (fission) is an excellent short term solution. If fusion had the same feed-in tarrifs as Wind or PV, a lot more would be invested in it.