By 2030 solar activity is going to drop by 60%. When that happens, the conditions will resemble those during the last mini ice age in 1645.
Solar physicists have observed that the activity of the Sun changes during the 10 to 12 years cycle. The cause of this seems to be the dynamo caused by the fluid that is convecting deep within the Sun. However, it has been recently found that by adding a second dynamo near the surface, the situation can be observed accurately.
Zharkova and her colleagues concluded that magnetic wave components appear in pairs and originate in two different layers in the Sun’s interior. These waves fluctuate between the northern and a southern hemisphere of the Sun. The prediction of 97% accuracy was based on comparison of both waves to real data for the current solar cycle.
The model was devised on the basis of principal component analysis of the magnetic field observations from the Wilcox Solar Observatory in California. They examined the magnetic field in the period from 1976-2008. They also compared their predictions to average sunspot numbers and the predictions and observations were closely matched.
Based on this model, it has been predicted that the pair of waves become increasingly offset during Cycle 25, which peaks in 2022. The two waves will become exactly out of synch during Cycle 26, which takes place in 2030-2040 and this will cause a significant reduction in solar activity.
When the waves are separated, the solar activity is on its minimum. Such conditions are known as Maunder minimum and they happened 370 years ago.