Scientists Say Sun’s Next Cycle Stronger

A new computer model suggests the next solar cycle will be more active than the previous one, potentially spawning magnetic storms that will be more disruptive to communication systems on Earth. The next sunspot cycle will be between 30 percent to 50 percent more intense than the last one, scientists said Monday. The cycle will also begin a year later than expected, in late 2007 or early 2008, and peak around 2012, said Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. The last time the solar cycle peaked was in 2001. During the last cycle, solar storms caused extreme radio blackouts in the Pacific.

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