Much ado in the blogosphere over three papers from impeccable sources which show that it is likely that our Sun is about to enter a prolonged period of severely reduced activity. The last time the same conditions were present was at the time of the Maunder Minimum which coincided with the Little Ice Age. During this time, the growing season in Europe was 15 – 20 percent shorter; the Great Frost caused famine across Europe and particularly in Ireland and reduced resistance to disease helped the spread of the Black Death and amplified the effects of the influenza epidemic in the mid 16th Century. (An interesting aside; cold, damp conditions are ideal for the spread of ergot, which may have contributed to the witch-hunt explosion during the period.)
The weather was bad too; during the LIA, there was a high frequency of storms. Cooler air moving southward strengthened the polar jet stream, causing a higher number of storms – at least four sea floods of the Dutch and German coasts in the thirteenth century were reported to have caused the loss of around 100,000 lives and storms that caused greater than 100,000 deaths were also reported in 1421, 1446, and 1570. Large hailstorms caused by very cold air at high altitudes during the warmer months caused sever damage to farmland and killed great numbers of livestock all over Europe. Similar conditions were prevelant during the Sporer, Dalton and Wolf minima.
Unlike the hype and propaganda put out by the AGW advocates, based on models and flaky statistics, all of this is historical record and the predictions of much reduced solar activity are based on 13 years of careful, empirical observations. it should also be noted that the scientists who produced these results did not make any wild-assed predictions, simply pointed out the data and noted that, ‘…if we are right…’