Guest Post by David Archibald
This is a plot of three year windows on the Maunder and Dalton Minimum and the current minimum:
What it is showing is how the start of the current minimum compares with the starts of the Maunder and Dalton Minima. The solar cycle minimum at the start of the Dalton was a lot more active than the current one. If you consider that very small spots are being counted now, the activities are very similar. This is how they look without the Dalton:
If you consider the [current sunspot] counting problem, they are actually a pretty good match.