See the rest of this fascinating phenom at the following link:
Quoted from the site:
“The bad news is that some studies show sunspot magnetic field strengths have been declining since 2000 and are already close to the minimum needed to sustain sunspots on the solar surface. This is also supported by independent work in 2015 published in the journal Nature. By Cycle 25 or 26, magnetic fields may be too weak to punch through the solar surface and form recognizable sunspots at all, spelling the end of the sunspot cycle phenomenon, and the start of another Maunder Minimum cooling period perhaps lasting until 2100.”
This is me: When I looked through the data of the number of sunspots measured during the maximum of the sunspot cycle (when the sun gives off the most heat to Earth) I, and others, noticed that before the grand minima (when sunspots disappear from the sun’s surface and insolation was low) there was a much shallower slope to the next cycle. In other words, it took the sun longer to warm up again [see menu topic Climate Change].
One such minimum occurred 400 years ago, mostly in the 17th century during the lifetimes of King Louis XIV of France and Gottfried Leibniz (the inventor of calculus in use today). The years of this, the Maunder Minimum, were purportedly around 1650 to 1715.
If weather forecasts have been somewhat off in some places, it may have to do with the decrease in heat received from the sun now that it is cooling and the number of sunspot storms are decreasing to zero.
The 100,000 year ice ages on Earth (the last ten of them in the last million years) have been mostly due to a combination of how elliptical the orbit of the Earth and the precession of its axis (the more elliptical (large eccentricity) and the north pole precessed away from the sun in the winter the colder the winters).
The increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (thought by most climatologists to find its origins in manmade activities) keeps any heat received from the sun or below ground (since Earth still has a molten core) in the atmosphere.
You might say, we’re lucky that during this new “Little Ice Age” of the potential Maunder Minimum, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may prevent the chill Europeans felt in the 1600s.
For more on the Maunder Minimum and the effect of the solar wind on cosmic rays and the effect of cosmic rays on cloud cover, maybe read other articles that accompany this link.