The Times Notices the Solar Minimum
The solar minimum could also be cooling the climate on Earth because of slightly dimished solar irradiance. In fact, the quiet spell on the Sun may be masking some of the warming effects of greenhouse gases, according to recent research by two US solar scientists. The solar minimum, their study suggests, accounts for the somewhat flat temperature trend of the past decade. But even if this solar minimum is offsetting global warming, scientists stress that the overall effect is relatively slight and certainly will not last.
The Sun has gone into long quiet spells before. From 1645 to 1715 few sunspots were seen during a period called the Little Ice Age, when short summers and savage winters often plagued Northern Europe. Scotland was hit particularly hard as harvests were ruined in cold, miserable summers, which led to famine, death, migration and huge depopulation. But whether the quiet Sun was entirely to blame for it remains highly uncertain.
Heresy! I note that unusually for a Times Weather article it is anonymous. Is Paul Simons away? He was peddling the Carteret Island myth on 30th Dec, maybe he is stuck in the ice.