THE current solar minimum could last for more than three decades which could lead to temperatures plummeting across the globe, scientists have warned.The Sun is currently entering the solar minimum – a period of roughly 11 years when there is less activity on our host star. But experts who have been analysing the Sun believe there is evidence to suggest that it could last until 2055. The Sun follows 11 year cycles where it reaches a solar maximum and then a solar minimum.
However, there are occasions when a solar minimum or maximum can go on for more than one cycle.
The most famous example of this is the Maunder minimum, which saw seven decades of freezing weather, began in 1645 and lasted through to 1715, and happened when sunspots were exceedingly rare. During this period, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees celsius leading to shorter seasons and ultimately food shortages in what was called a “mini Ice Age”.