A new paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Research shows solar activity peaked at the end of the 20th century, but predicts a strong decrease in solar activity until around 2100 AD to low levels similar to the Dalton Minimum.
Friedhelm Steinhilber, Jürg Beer
Abstract: Recently a new low-noise record of solar activity has been reconstructed for the past 9.400 years by combining two 10 Be records from Greenland and Antarctica with 14 C from tree rings [F. Steinhilber et al., 2012]. This record confirms earlier results, namely that the Sun has varied with distinct periodicities in the past. We present a prediction of mean solar magnetic activity averaged over 22 years for the next 500 years mainly based on the spectral information derived from the record of the past solar activity. Assuming that the Sun will continue varying with the same periodicities for the next centuries we extract the spectral information from the past and apply it in two different methods to predict the future of solar magnetic activity. First, the two methods are tested by predicting past changes. Our methods are able to predict periods of high and low solar activity for a few centuries in the past. However, they are less successful in predicting the correct amplitude. Then, the methods were used to predict the period 2000-2500. Both methods predict a period of low activity around 2100 AD. Between 2100 AD and 2350 AD the results are inconsistent regarding the duration of the low activity state in 2100 AD and the level of activity until 2250 AD. Around 2250 AD both methods predict a period of moderate activity. After 2350 AD both methods point to a period of high activity. The period of high activity will end around 2400 AD and will be followed by a period of moderate activity.