Solar Cycle 24 is underperforming its predecessors, Cycles 21, 22 and 23. The chart below, using sunspots as proxy for solar activity, shows the progress for Cycles 21, 22 and 23 over their nominal 11 year life cycle. Solar Cycle 24’s current progress is clearly less active than 21, 22 or 23. This level of activity, if it continues at its current pace, will be the least active Solar Cycle in the last 100 years.The chart maker is Solen. (Click on the chart for clarity.)
How much longer will Cycle 24 go before its maximum activity occurs and quiets down? Experts are forecasting that in the first part of 2013. When the maximum occurs the Sun’s poles switch. So if you want to make your own guess, lets look at how close the poles are to switching right now. The chart below records the position of the North and South poles with time. The three previous Cycles polar locations are shown and you can see when the poles swapped sides. Cycle 24 poles are drawing near that now and it seems likely they will switch soon. If so, it will be a very weak–solar activity–Cycle. (Click chart for clarity.)
Solar experts are predicting that Cycle 25 will be less active than 24. In the past, several Cycles with such low solar activity were associated with cooling global temperatures. The global temperature has plateaued for the past 15 to 16 years. The Warmers say that it has to go at least 20 years to disprove their CO2 man-made global warming theory. We may be heading for a period that will be much longer than 20 years of plateaued or even falling global temperatures. This should send the CO2 theory to the trash bin, but it does not necessarily bode well for mankind. Cooler global temperatures have not provided the era of plenty we now enjoy. Food production will likely be less than optimal and that can’t be a good thing with the continued growth of global population.