A short video at the BBC, which I cannot embed, "Has the Sun Gone to Sleep?" explains what is happening—a possible return to the Maunder Minimum.
The Maunder Minimum [1645–1715] of course was a period of almost no sunspots at all for decades and we saw a really dramatic period where there were very cold winters in the northern hemisphere. It was a period where you had a kind of mini ice-age. You had a period where the Thames froze in winters and so on. It was an interesting time.Another name for that period is The Little Ice Age. In the video, you hear researchers talking about phenomena "that we don't really understand." And about "a redistribution of temperature around the North Atlantic."
Full transcript here (scroll down).