Skip to comments.The sun is still in a funk: sunspot numbers are dropping when they should be rising
Posted on 03/03/2012 7:52:20 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The sunspot number for February from SIDC is down again, to 33.1
Heres the source of that data: http://sidc.oma.be/DATA/monthssn.dat
So far, cycle 24 is significantly lower in SSN number that the last three cycles, in addition to having a delayed start. While the delta of the drop in Feb 2012 is not unusual by itself, it is the lowest observed value of the last three cycles this far into a new cycle.
Compared to the entire data set back to 1749, which Ive plotted below
it shows cycle 24 so far to be on par with cycle 12 and cycle 6 in amplitude.
While this drop in SSN number might appear to some as a signal for a possible peaking of cycle 24, there is other evidence that suggests otherwise. For example the Solar Polar Field Strength. Usually the polarity of the North and South solar hemispheres flips at solar max. As you can see in the graph we are close but not quite there yet. And, it has flattened out compared with previous recent transitions.
Leif Svalgaard also tracks this and here are a couple of his graphs:
Leif has previously suggested that he thinks for solar polar field will see the flip later 2012 or early 2013. We dont have long to wait.
NOAAs Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has not yet updated their Solar Cycle Progression page, but will in a few days. In the meantime, here are the SSN and Ap index graphs manually updated with SIDC data to give you an idea of what they will look like compared to the forecast (in red):
The Ap Geomagnetic field index, just like the SSN, is down again, suggesting the suns magnetic dynamo is not winding up like it did near the peak of cycle 23 and previous cycles.
We live in interesting times.
114 Responses to The sun is still in a funk: sunspot numbers are dropping when they should be rising
Obama needs to get in front of this and take credit for it.
June 11, 2008
...Tsuneta said solar physicists aren’t weather forecasters and they can’t predict the future. They do have the ability to observe, however, and they have observed a longer-than-normal period of solar inactivity. In the past, they observed that the sun once went 50 years without producing sunspots. That period coincided with a little ice age on Earth that lasted from 1650 to 1700. Coincidence? Some scientists say it was, but many worry that it wasnt.
Geophysicist Phil Chapman, the first Australian to become an astronaut with NASA, said pictures from the US Solar and Heliospheric Observatory also show that there are currently no spots on the sun. He also noted that the world cooled quickly between January last year and January this year, by about 0.7C.
“This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record, and it puts us back to where we were in 1930,” Dr Chapman noted in The Australian recently.
If the world does face another mini Ice Age, it could come without warning. Evidence for abrupt climate change is readily found in ice cores taken from Greenland and Antarctica. One of the best known examples of such an event is the Younger Dryas cooling, which occurred about 12,000 years ago, named after the arctic wildflower found in northern European sediments. This event began and ended rather abruptly, and for its entire 1000 year duration the North Atlantic region was about 5°C colder. Could something like this happen again? Theres no way to tell, and because the changes can happen all within one decadewe might not even see it coming.
The Younger Dryas occurred at a time when orbital forcing should have continued to drive climate to the present warm state. The unexplained phenomenon has been the topic of much intense scientific debate, as well as other millennial scale events.
Now this 11-year low in Sunspot activity has raised fears among a small but growing number of scientists that rather than getting warmer, the Earth could possibly be about to return to another cooling period. The idea is especially intriguing considering that most of the world is in preparation for global warming...
My guess it that the lack of Sunspot activity is due to Global Warming brought on by those evil SUV’s.
Harold Ambler says:
I contend in my book that a new Space Race between Russia and the U.S., this one regarding solar variabilitys effects on Earths ocean-atmosphere system, is taking place largely out of public view. Heres a paragraph from the chapter The Quiet Sun:
In 1990, James Hansen wrote that comparisons of available data show that solar variability will not counteract greenhouse warming. Conversely, in 2009, he wrote, it is likely that the sun is an important factor in climate variability. As Hansen moved toward this shift in perspective, a Russian space program scientist had come out swinging, boldly predicting that Hansens forecasted warming during the next half-century would simply not come to pass.
More here: Kindle paperback
You don't get that in a sunspot lull
CQ CQ CQ six meters.
Impressive, I was excited to get about 2oo miles on 146.52 on 5w FM.
I agree the lack of spots is due to Global warming, however is not the evil SUV. It has to be Bush's fault. :) KE4HTS
There is an inverse relationship between the peak in a cycle and the more than 50 percent fall off in cosmic ray bombardment. Thus, a falling off in solar activity means more than a doubling of cosmic rays arriving in our vicinity from outside the solar system, and increased cloud base aerosols together with the small drop in narrow-band IR radiation means colder, perhaps wetter winters.
Since cosmic ray incidence began to be measured continuously, around 1958, the last peak was in 1966, a record unbroken until this last solar minima, if I remember correctly, counted as November 2011.
Solar radiation drives the weather on this planet, regardless of what the global warming types tell you, and we are at the mercy of the sun’s moods. Virtually all of the energy we consume on this planet is directly or indirectly derived from the sun. Coal, oil, gas, and hydroelectric power are all basically stored sunshine the we extract energy from.
Buy Southern farmland.
Maybe it ran out of fuel and is going to die!
I like global warming. Seriously. Longer summer growing season, and milder winters mean shorter, milder flu season.
That said, I would be dandy to live through a cold decade or two to completely bury the AGW theory and make 99% of people realize it is just a lie. I would gladly pay the price of cold winters and getting sick for a few years for that.
So bring it on! Good to see we should get some short term cooling and here is hoping for a very speedy death to the support of AGW among the duped Sheeple. May they soon be awakened from their slumber.
I may have to move south though. Hee, hee, hee.
Obama has even made sunspots unemployed.
Note above, from the long-standing Moscow Neutron monitor, what has been a "typical" pattern in rapid fall off in cosmic ray incidence coinciding with the "usual" relatively rapid increase in solar activity. The valleys above coincide with solar max, the interplanetary magnetic field being our first line of defense in refracting the most energetic and massive radiation nucleons, like iron and gold, spinning in from interstellar space.
The interesting thing here, really, I suppose, is (1.) the huge last peak, during the protracted solar minima just experienced, and what appears also to be a slack valley followed by a steady increase in cosmic rays, meaning the fall off in sun spots and a decrease in solar activity is being mirrored also in the cosmic ray numbers.
This, again, appears to be a genuine trend.
I thought I did well talking across Lake Erie into Canada on my HTX-202 HT using 1 watt and the rubber ducky antenna on 2 meters. All I can say is if this goes on, 10 and 6 meter DX will go down the commode.
The sun will show us who’s boss come Dec 21st 2012.
With a star of the sun’s mass, when the hydrogen fusion really starts to slow down, the helium core sets up for ignition. That would not be good.
Actually, what knowledge I do have of sunspots was gained from obscure studies and related literature directed at revolutionaries, directing them to time their agitation to periods of high sunspot activity. It appears that social unrest correlates well with them. I found that odd and fascinating enough to pursue. Not much online that I'm aware, just scattered oblique references.
Great Data! Thanks!
I appreciate your sentiments however these AGW folks should already have more than enough evidence to discount their untenable assumptions.
Facts alone can't stop the stupid.
I would love to see all those arrogant Canadians buried under glaciers. The good Canadians can move South.
“CQ CQ CQ six meters.”
As an avid DXer ( DXCC TOP OF THE HONOR ROLL), I lived for
the sunspot maximums.
Those days, however, are “Gone With the Wind”.
I now consider solar activity as the driving force in any climate changes.
If only the Goreons could find a way to get their money out of the sun, they could leave the rest of us alone.
Sending to some weather buffs who can help me understand the science better. Very informative article but a bit over my head!
Thanks for the post. Sunspot numbers in the teens last month was a good clue.
Global warming is not caused by the sun.
“It appears that social unrest correlates well with them. I found that odd and fascinating enough to pursue.”
I knew an old, eccentric geologist that had years ago done lots of studies in solar activity and climate and he developed cold-weather plants for crops. He also made the observation that when the solar cycle was low - the price of gold was high.
Too bad he died years ago to see his observations come through again.
That’ll be the day after our 32nd anniversary so we’ll either have had a good time or my wife will be mad at me for some reason ... either way I’ll be OK with it ... ;-)
Interesting data, Earnest. I usually don’t pull data until the end of March after the winter is over, NOAA has cleaned up its review of hurricane data and SIDC posts their Annual Report.
That said, Looks like a very different sunspot minimum than what I have charted in my work thus far.
Keep the good work going.
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