Solar cycle 24: what is the sun up to?
To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-4004.2012.53309.x
March 2012 brought the first solar and geomagnetic disturbances of any note during solar cycle 24. But perhaps what was most remarkable about these events was how unremarkable they were compared to others during the space-age, attracting attention only because solar activity had been so quiet. This follows an exceptionally low and long-lived solar cycle minimum, and so the current cycle looks likely to extend a long-term decline in solar activity that started around 1985 and that could even lead to conditions similar to the Maunder minimum within 40 years from now, with implications for solar-terrestrial science and the mitigation of space weather hazards and maybe even for climate in certain regions and seasons.