Skip to comments.NASA/Hathaway’s updated solar cycle prediction – smallest in 100 years
Posted on 05/03/2012 7:42:20 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 60 in the Spring of 2013. We are currently over three years into Cycle 24. The current predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years.
The prediction method has been slightly revised. The previous method found a fit for both the amplitude and the starting time of the cycle along with a weighted estimate of the amplitude from precursor predictions (polar fields and geomagnetic activity near cycle minimum). Recent work [see Hathaway Solar Physics; 273, 221 (2011)] indicates that the equatorward drift of the sunspot latitudes as seen in the Butterfly Diagram follows a standard path for all cycles provided the dates are taken relative to a starting time determined by fitting the full cycle. Using data for the current sunspot cycle indicates a starting date of May of 2008. Fixing this date and then finding the cycle amplitude that best fits the sunspot number data yields the current (revised) prediction.
(Excerpt) Read more at wattsupwiththat.com ...
It is very powerful.
I wonder what will happen when we also have our own 25,000 year magnetic pole flip? Why does that happen? Most theories deal with currents in the earth and harmonics, but what if it is simpler? What if it has to do with the passing of some large cosmic object like a huge comet? What effect would that also have on our Sun? Just food for thought.
System there is not as chaotic as the system on earth.
Not that it is understood of course.
I am not a Solar or a Climate Scientist....but I have been heavily involved with installed Main Frames...
So I know that computer modeling on any computer is totally dependent on the skill and understanding of those building the software model.
All computers are just High Speed Idiots.
But they have magical qualities.
The sunspot polarity reversal has already occurred - a year or two ago
I’m a little concerned about changes in the Earth’s magnetic field (weakening, could be the advance sign of a polarity reversal). Does the Sun’s magnetism have a ‘harmonic’ effect upon the Earth?
Are you connecting a CME on the Sun with a Hurricane event on our Global Weather Cyclonic events?
* The start of [a new solar] cycle begins with a well-established dipole field component aligned along the solar rotational axis. The field lines tend to be held by the highly conductive solar plasma of the solar surface.
* The solar surface plasma rotation rate is different at different latitudes, and the rotation rate is 20 percent faster at the equator than at the poles (one rotation every 27 days). Consequently, the magnetic field lines are wrapped by 20 percent every 27 days.
* After many rotations, the field lines become highly twisted and bundled, increasing their intensity, and the resulting buoyancy lifts the bundle to the solar surface, forming a bipolar field that appears as two spots, being kinks in the field lines.
* The sunspots result from the strong local magnetic fields in the solar surface that exclude the light-emitting solar plasma and appear as darkened spots on the solar surface.
* The leading spot of the bipolar field has the same polarity as the solar hemisphere, and the trailing spot is of opposite polarity. The leading spot of the bipolar field tends to migrate towards the equator, while the trailing spot of opposite polarity migrates towards the solar pole of the respective hemisphere with a resultant reduction of the solar dipole moment. This process of sunspot formation and migration continues until the solar dipole field reverses (after about 11 years).
* The solar dipole field, through similar processes, reverses again at the end of the 22-year cycle.
* The magnetic field of the spot at the equator sometimes weakens, allowing an influx of coronal plasma that increases the internal pressure and forms a magnetic bubble which may burst and produce an ejection of coronal mass, leaving a coronal hole with open field lines. Such a coronal mass ejections are a source of the high-speed solar wind.
* The fluctuations in the bundled fields convert magnetic field energy into plasma heating, producing emission of electromagnetic radiation as intense ultraviolet (UV) and X-rays."
"Different parts of the Sun rotate at different speeds. The Sun's equator spins fastest, and the poles spin more slowly. This causes the Sun's magnetic field to get all tangled up over time. Loops in the tangled magnetic field poke through the Sun's surface sometimes. When they do, they make sunspots."
Windows to the Universe original artwork.
From March of 2008...
"New solar cycles always begin with a high-latitude, reversed polarity sunspot. High latitude refers to the Sun's grid of latitude and longitude; old sunspots congregate near the Sun's equator and new sunspots appear higher, at around 25-30 degrees latitude. Reversed polarity means a sunspot with opposite magnetic polarity compared to sunspots from the previous solar cycle, such as the one detected on the 4 January this year. However, Solar Cycle 23 has not yet ended, and it may run concurrently with the new cycle for up to a year while sunspots from the old cycle become less numerous."
"The physical basis of the solar cycle was elucidated in the early twentieth century by George Ellery Hale and collaborators, who in 1908 showed that sunspots were strongly magnetized (this was the first detection of magnetic fields outside the Earth), and in 1919 went on to show that the magnetic polarity of sunspot pairs:
* Is always the same in a given solar hemisphere throughout a given sunspot cycle;
* Is opposite across hemispheres throughout a cycle;
* Reverses itself in both hemispheres from one sunspot cycle to the next.
Hale's observations revealed that the solar cycle is a magnetic cycle with an average duration of 22 years. However, because very nearly all manifestations of the solar cycle are insensitive to magnetic polarity, it remains common usage to speak of the "11-year solar cycle". ..."
Solar Cycle 24 Begins
"On January 4, 2008, a reversed-polarity sunspot appearedand this signals the start of Solar Cycle 24," says David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center.
Solar activity waxes and wanes in 11-year cycles. Lately, we've been experiencing the low ebb, "very few flares, sunspots, or activity of any kind," says Hathaway. "Solar minimum is upon us."
The previous solar cycle, Solar Cycle 23, peaked in 2000-2002 with many furious solar storms. That cycle decayed as usual to the present quiet leaving solar physicists little to do other than wonder, when would the next cycle begin?
The answer is now [Jan 4, 2008].
"New solar cycles always begin with a high-latitude, reversed polarity sunspot," explains Hathaway. "Reversed polarity" means a sunspot with opposite magnetic polarity compared to sunspots from the previous solar cycle. "High-latitude" refers to the sun's grid of latitude and longitude. Old cycle spots congregate near the sun's equator. New cycle spots appear higher, around 25 or 30 degrees latitude.
The sunspot that appeared on January 4th fits both these criteria. It was high latitude (30 degrees N) and magnetically reversed. NOAA named the spot AR10981, or "sunspot 981" for short.
kind of an update on the author's research ~ he's got his tight correlations now and lab work to back it all up.
Thanks. I haven't been following the research lately. I'll check it out when I have more time.
Thanks. Looks like a good one. I’ll take a closer look when I’m able. Got to get ready for work.
The Super Novas correlate well with cosmic ray density. The laboratory experiments (and observations of a coronal mass ejection) prove cosmic rays create conditions for production of sulfur compounds that serve as particles around which water droplets/ice can form to create clouds.
It's simpler than I thought it would be ~ not at all Rube Goldburgish ~ just happens all the time.
It's a universal machine, so anywhere in our galaxy, or any galaxy, where there are clouds of gas that can be crunched into potential super novas, the life on the worlds in the vicinity (which is an enormous vicinity BTW0) will be subjected repeatedly to biologically destructive levels of cosmic rays ~ which act through the climate (atmospherics) to do bad stuff to critters.
Leif Svalgaard says:
the predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years
Was part of the title of our prediction paper: http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%2024%20Smallest%20100%20years.pdf
Leif Svalgaard says:
LC Kirk, Perth says:
May 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm
If the monthly plots are smoothed International Sunspot Numbers, as for the predicted numbers, then the factor is Daily Number x 0.65 = Monthly Plotted Value. Though I still dont know if they are plotting the ISN number for the last day of the month, or an average value for the month.
It is much simpler than that. The International Sunspot Number for historical reasons [to be compatible with Rudolf Wolf's count for 1849 to 1865] is reported as 0.6 x the actual count, while the NOAA count is just the raw count [actually = 10 x number of groups + number of spots].
Leif Svalgaard says:
May 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm
what does explain the match in sunspot number but mismatch in maximun date?
We were not predicting the date [our method does not support a date prediction] so were only using the nomimal date eleven years after the previous maximum in 2000.
Robert in Perth (soon to be back in South Africa) says:
Leif @5.10 am
You are being far too modest.
History will record that the seminal article on the length and strength of Solar Cycle 24 was published in Geophysical Research Letters on 11 January 2005 by Leif Svalgaard et al entitled SUNSPOT CYCLE 24: SMALLEST CYCLE IN 100 YEARS?
2005 was the hundredth anniversary of Einsteins miracle year.
With what we are currently witnessing in 2012 with the trenchant behaviour of the Southern Polar Field on the Wilcox Solar Observatories website 7 years after the publication of your article, coupled with the brevity of the article itself, has convinced me that the Svalgaard et al article would no doubt have drawn the Great Mans stamp approval as a fitting commemoration of his achievements.
1687, 1859 and 1905 mark the years of some of humanitys greatest ever achievements.
Sadly, as the 2009 Climategate leaks (my absolute gratitude to the anonymous whistleblower forever) reveal we have now seen the depths of debasement that so-called scientists are prepared to stoop to.
My absolute gratitude goes out to Anthony and heroes like Leif, Bob Tisdale, Ryan Maue, Joe Bastardi, Robert Brown of recent vintage who share their insights and help to bring us to a proper understanding of our place in the universe.
Leif, the final death blow for the debasers and their claims of settled science should have come on 6 December 2011 at the Fall Meeting of the AGU, (who in fact published your article) with the Stevens Lecture on Clouds but the Anthropogenic Global Gravy Train with all its hangers on, has somehow managed to carry on.
Richard Black and his BBC monstrosities somehow never got round to covering Stevenss lecture and its inescapable conclusion that current climate models are incapable of properly modelling for clouds!
Leif, it is one thing to arrive at a prediction that ultimately turns out to provide a the correct answer in PhD length dissertations that you need a PhD in solar physics to understand, but you arrived at the correct outcome that has been validated 7 years later in 4 pages of clear and easily understandable writing. .
It was Einstein who produced a theory of such complexity that he said that only 11 men alive understood it, who endorsed the policy of making things as simple as possible.
The factual evidence is now in, and the science is now settled as we are constantly being bombarded with and Lo and Behold, Svalgaard et al are proven right
FWIW I believe we are witnessing at least an analogue solar cycle similar to the one a century and a half ago that spawned the Carrington event with wild and unpredictable peaks and troughs in solar activity.
As I have reached exactly the opposite conclusion to the one espoused by you in the Forum section regarding the direct influence of the Suns Solar Cycles on the climate of the Earth on the Solarham.com website, (which tragically has gone missing in action in the past 2 days), I believe that a disastrous period of solar-induced global cooling and climate instability awaits mankind.
Now that is Climate change I can believe in!
Science is all about producing models and hypotheses that have predictive power.
Your model has been validated in an area of physics that is vitally important to mankind and the names of Svalgaard and Cliver and Kamide as potential candidates should be drawn to the attention of the judges who awarded the 1921 version of the prize to Albert Einstein.
That is indeed what the experts think is happening (both)
The Earth's magnetic field helps shield us from potentially dangerous solar wind particles [basically same as galactic cosmic rays, only much less energetic/slower moving.
Please click the link.
The Republic you save may be your own.
Correct, I was just noting that the South pole is still at +10G, and the North Pole is still at -10G. I think I noticed this and thought it was odd at first, but looking back to previous cycles it’s really not.
The theory is it's galactic cosmic rays emitted by distant super novas. The galactic cosmic rays help promote cloud formation and COOLING on Earth. The sun's magnetic field acts to repel GCRs, more or less depending on the current level of solar activity. More sunspots = less low-lying, thick cumulus, cooling-effect clouds = warmer temps
Thanks,,,,good stuff...haven’t seen that before.
Enough cosmic rays are produced to simply overwhelm the puny efforts of the Sun ~ and we end up with lots of ice and stuff ~ and fewer species!
Looking at the chart it appears we are heading into another band of Super Novas ~
This knowledge helps us understand where in this and other galaxies life can survive for long enough to come up with some good thoughts and neat inventions.
The danger of focusing all human effort and funding on man made global warming and forcing out any alternative thinking is that we might really miss something that is predictable and deadly. Maybe, if we know far enough in advance, some of the wasted resources that are going into cow farts and car exhaust could be used to figure out how to protect mankind until things stabilize, or food storage for extremely cold weather. How about an inevitable meteor or commit hit? We could use some of the wasted man made global warming resources on actually making a system that could detect and divert “earth killer” objects.
Robert in Perth (soon to be back in South Africa) says:
Maunder or Dalton or a Solar Cycle 14 strength sun, a small solar cycle is alarming.
The current state of the Sun and the refusal of the Southern polar field to budge is not a good sign at all.
The state of the Danube last year points to a slowing down of the hydrological cycle in an area of historically very reliable rainfall. Cold means less evaporation and less rain unless you have access to a sea that is anomalously warm somewhere near you.
Your assessment of where it is on the planet determines how you feel the effects of a weakening sun is exactly correct.
There are vast differences between the Northern & Southern Hemispheres.
The Oceanic Heat Content, or exactly how much heat is stored in the oceans and the rate at it is lost at, (Tropical Cyclones/Hurricanes/ Typhoons such as Yasi here in Australia and El Ninos liberate an enormous amount of heat and transfer it elsewhere), and the ocean circulation patterns when the sun begins its weakening phase is very relevant.
The cost of a Canadian heating bill in an El Nino as opposed to a La Nina winter!
The current pattern of the Gulfstream, (poor pun intended), seems to be succumbing to a renewed Labrador current already.
There many other factors such as the position of Earths geomagnetic poles at the time, the level of volcanism, the stage of the Milankovich cycle.
However, the fact is that the Northern Latitudes have exhibited extreme non-anthropogenic climate change (ie Natural) in the recent past that worries me.
Tree rings in Texas demonstrate mega droughts more extreme than 2011 disaster by orders of magnitude, the Vikings grew barley in Greenland not that long ago and examining the stomach contents of frozen mammoths, shows just how quickly they succumbed to a sudden change in climate.
The Mammoths did not decompose which would have happened in the ordinary course of things if a warm period had intervened.
The ability to predict the size and strength of a Solar Cycle is vital and that is why Leif deserves the accolades due to him.
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