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The next Maunder Minimum?

albion_frost_fair_thames.jpg

Frost fair on the Thames, 1683. The Maunder Minimum, a period of few sunspots and less radiant energy from the Sun, lasted from 1645 to 1715. Edward Maunder, an English accountant, did the counting and the analysis.

We wrote about this way back in January, when we interviewed the Englishman working for the Canadian Space Agency who provides daily updates on the Sun's magnetic activity to NASA.

Back then, when the Sun was at the low end of its typical eleven-year cycle, and not showing any signs of picking up, Ken Tapping and colleagues with the Canadian Space Agency were joking that the Sun was about to shut down.

This idea does not seem so amusing today, though Al Gore continues to haul in the profits from his heated blasts on global warming.

August was the first month in a century without a single visible sunspot being noted. The spots are a sign of magnetic activity which is directly related to the amount of radiant energy the Earth receives, and consequently how warm we are.

Note: The Canadian Space Agency is now providing daily Flux Density Values here.

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