It's a case of bad press reporting. Dr. Hill specifically said his research applies to solar activity and not climate.
"We have not predicted a Little Ice Age," Hill said, speaking from an astronomical meeting in New Mexico. "We have predicted something going on with the Sun."
How strong a connection is there between a Little Ice Age and a Maunder Minimum? "Not as strong a connection as people would like to believe," Hill said by phone.
"The Little Ice Age actually lasted for hundreds of years, of which the Maunder Minimum was only a small segment ... My personal opinion is that there is only an anecdotal connection without a whole lot of scientific background behind it."
"In my opinion, it is a huge leap ... to an abrupt global cooling, since the connections between solar activity and climate are still very poorly understood," he said in an e-mail.