The Bad News: It will mask global warming, and help fuel the skeptics' disbelief.
June 15, 2011
The signals of Sun Cycle 24 are clear: a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles point to the Sun heading for a rest period even as it's flaring up for the first time in years, according to scientists at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Sun spot numbers and other solar activity rise and fall about every 11 years, which is half of the Sun’s 22-year magnetic interval since the Sun’s magnetic poles reverse with each cycle. An immediate question is whether this slowdown presages a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period with virtually no sunspots during 1645-1715.
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