Source - NASA Science News for Feb. 13, 2013
Forecasters say solar maximum is due in 2013. To prepare, the United Nations is taking steps to organize an international response to stormy space weather.
From the article: "Space weather might play a role in Earth’s climate, too. For example, the Maunder minimum, a 70-year period almost devoid of sunspots in the late 17th to early 18th century, coincided with prolonged, very cold winters in the northern hemisphere. Researchers are increasingly convinced that variations in solar activity have regional effects on climate and weather that pay no attention to national boundaries, and thus can only be studied in meaningful detail by international consortia."
The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/