A juried research paper in Nature, “Oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic field and solar irradiance on a millennial timescale,” suggests that a “grand solar minimum” — similar to the legendary “Maunder Minimum” — is approaching, starting as early as next year and lasting for three solar cycles. That would be bad news for HF enthusiasts, who are already struggling with marginal conditions.
As the paper’s abstract explains, “Recently discovered long-term oscillations of the solar background magnetic field associated with double dynamo waves generated in inner and outer layers of the Sun indicate that the solar activity is heading in the next three decades (2019–2055) to a Modern grand minimum similar to Maunder one.”
As propagation buff and contester Frank Donovan, W3LPL, observed, “It’s very uncertain if this forecast is correct, but as usual the forecasts of the next solar cycle are all over the map. Let’s hope these scientists are wrong.”