Solar sunspot activity varies along a solar cycle of approximately 11 years duration. From the Wikipedia article on solar cycles:
In 2015, a new model of the solar cycle was published. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its Convection zone. Model predictions suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘Little ice age’ that began in 1645. Prior models included only the deeper dynamo.
These solar dynamos are driven — at least in part — by the tidal effects of the great gas giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn (and perhaps even Earth and Venus).
The strength of these solar cycles appear to influence Earth’s climate, including cloudiness and average temperatures. During times of extended very low sunspot activity, global temperatures seem to be significantly cooler.
Since 1990, the Sun has been in the declining phase of the quasi-bicentennial variation in total solar irradiance (TSI). The decrease in the portion of TSI absorbed by the Earth since 1990 has remained uncompensated by the Earth’s long-wave radiation into space at the previous high level because of the thermal inertia of the world’s oceans. As a result, the Earth has, and will continue to have, a negative average annual energy balance and a long-term adverse thermal condition. The quasi-centennial epoch of the new Little Ice Age has started at the end 2015 after the maximum phase of solar cycle 24. The start of a solar grand minimum is anticipated in solar cycle 27 ± 1 in 2043 ± 11 and the beginning of phase of deep cooling in the new Little Ice Age in 2060 ± 11. __ Source
As the solar dynamo slows down, the ability of the solar wind to fend off galactic cosmic rays is significantly reduced. As the Earth falls under a stronger rain of galactic cosmic rays, more clouds form, temperatures drop, and a long winter settles in. As a result, growing seasons shorten, shortages of food lead to growing global hunger, malnutrition leads to higher rates of disease mortality, wars are fought over fruitful lands, and life grows more solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. It is all a grand cycle, quite beyond the ken of men currently living in the soft lands of the west.
But times follow cosmic clock cycles, whatever men may have planned or hypothesized.
How science fails when corrupted by politics and petty opportunistic ambition.
As a result of politicised science, governments in the western world are pursuing policies of energy suicide — disarming themselves against the possibility of an abrupt and killing trend of cooling in climate. Wiser and more dispassionate minds had best begin to work out the best ways to escape the energy death traps our arrogant ruling classes are thrusting us into. Else a lot more good people will die than needs be.
We’re gonna need a lot more guillotines, Jacques! 😉
Interesting archives of solar physics articles from not-easily-silenced blogger Tallbloke
Sunspot Cycles and Shifting Centres of Mass
Climate Change on a Watery Planet (PDF): A Foundational Look at Climate on Planet Earth
The problem with another Maunder Minimum is the reduction of agricultural output. This will have deleterious effects on largely non-industrialized societies that nevertheless import a large amount of their food (e.g. the Muslim Middle-East). This food shortage will occur about the same time as Saudi royal family, Iran, and other run out of money from depressed oil prices resulting from the fracking revolution and other causes.
It ought to be an interesting ride.
Yes. Much shorter growing seasons across the global breadbaskets will lead to food shortages. In poor countries, shortages of food will lead to upheaval and wars, which will turn food shortages into outright starvation. Plague will follow on as naturally as night follows day.
Some nuclear exchanges will be a virtual certainty, given the levels of antagonism between India and Pakistan, Saudi Arabia — Israel — Iran, North Korea and its neighbors, and an increasingly unstable Russia surrounded by increasingly unhappy neighbors.
Just a relatively slight slowing of the solar dynamo could have profound geopolitical consequences for the third world, the emerging world, and the increasingly tumultuous cities of the advanced world.