Could a cooling sun save the planet?
It might not seem like it given the wonderful weather, but the Sun seems to be asleep on the job.
Images taken over the last year show virtually no sun-spot activity and very few solar flares. The observations, which will be presented at the UK National Astronomy Meeting later today, are baffling scientists.
The Sun normally undergoes an 11-year cycle of activity, spitting out flares and planet-sized globs of super-hot gas at its peak, before settling into a calmer period. According to the pattern of recent years the Sun's activity should have started to pick up again, but that simply hasn't happened.
Instead astronomers have been confronted with a 50-year low in solar winds, a 55-year low in radio emissions, and a 100-year low in sunspot activity.
A similar quiet spell in the middle of the 17th Century - known as the Maunder Minimum - lasted 70 years, and coincided with a "mini ice-age".
That's led some climate scientists to suggest that a cooling Sun could undo much of the damage wrought by global warming.
Climate sceptics have gone further arguing that the Sun - rather than man's activities - may be the main driver of climate change. The argument came to a head with the broadcast of Channel 4's The Great Global Warming Swindle in 2007, which focused on the cosmic ray theory.
But speaking on the programme this morning Mike Lockwood from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory said the cycle of the Sun's activity didn't fit with the longer term trend towards global warming.
Solar activity began to tail off in the mid 1980's - a period of steadily rising temperatures. If the Sun was responsible for global warming we would have seen a much more marked decline by now.
Dr Lockwood believes the latest data settles the debate. The Sun has an impact on global temperatures, but it's not enough to account for climate change.
"If the Sun's dimming were to have a cooling effect, we'd have seen it by now," he says.