In 1645, the Maunder minimum began, which saw a decrease in sunspot activity. This coincided with the Little Ice Age, characterized by cooler temperatures in Europe.
While it is uncertain if there is a direct link between the decrease in sunspot activity of the sun and the Earth’s cooling.
Scientists acknowledge that the relationship of the Sun and the Earth plays a significant role in the planet’s climate.
The Maunder minimum had an absence of sunspots, and some speculate that this led to decreased brightness in the sun and the Earth’s northern latitudes was affected more significantly.
Land areas at higher latitudes are more prone to temperature changes, and even small variations in the output of the sun and the Earth takes significant effects.
Serbian physicist Milutin Milankovitch discovered natural cycles in Earth’s orbit that contribute to climate shifts.
These cycles include changes in Earth’s orbit’s eccentricity, axial tilt, and axial precession. Ice core samples show a strong correlation between these cycles and temperature variations, revealing that ice ages align with periods of reduced sunlight, while with increased light from the sun and the Earth have warm periods.
The last glacial retreat occurred around 12,000 years ago, coinciding with increased sunlight due to these cycles.
However, human-made carbon emissions have disrupted the relationship between the sun and the Earth, overpowering the expected cooling period suggested by the Milankovitch cycles.