The sun is currently experiencing its weakest solar cycle in over a century according to scientists.
“The sun is flatlining. For the 6th day in a row, solar activity remains very low. No sunspots are flaring, and the sun’s X-ray output has flatlined” says spaceweather.com
Scientists say that if the solar flatlining continues it may be an indication we are about to enter into a mini ice-age.
“The main driver of all weather and climate, the entity which occupies 99.86% of all of the mass in our solar system, the great ball of fire in the sky – has gone quiet again during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century,” echoes vencoreweather.com. “Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots. We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and today the sun is virtually spotless despite the fact that we are still in what is considered to be its solar maximum phase.”
The flatlining of solar X-ray output in recent days – Courtesy NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center
“There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity,” continues vencoreweather.com. “The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830.
“Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the “Little Ice Age”.
“If this trend continues for the next couple of cycles, then there would likely be more talk of another “grand minimum” for the sun.”