While it is not unexpected that experts predicting how active Solar Cycle (SC) 25 will be compared to SC 24, the new forecast from NASA is significantly different than the National Weather Service forecast.
A few weeks ago, I reported that the National Weather Service forecast for SC 25 activity would be slightly greater than SC 24. They added:
“The expectation that Cycle 25 will be comparable in size to Cycle 24 means that the steady decline in solar cycle amplitude, seen from cycles 21-24, has come to an end and that there is no indication that we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”
NASA’s prediction is different, really different. Their expert says:
Research now underway may have found a reliable new method to predict this solar activity. The Sun’s activity rises and falls in an 11-year cycle. The forecast for the next solar cycle says it will be the weakest of the last 200 years. The maximum of this next cycle – measured in terms of sunspot number, a standard measure of solar activity level – could be 30 to 50% lower than the most recent one. The results show that the next cycle will start in 2020 and reach its maximum in 2025.
The NASA prediction did not discuss the possibility of a Maunder minimum. However their prediction does not rule out a Maunder minimum in progress as it forecasts SC25 will not be the end of a steady decline in solar cycle amplitude.
Both of the predicting groups acknowledge that they are still far from a full understanding of how the Sun works. So, we will just have to wait and see.
Solar Cycle 24 still has some surprises. Both the NOAA Sunspot count and F10.7 solar flux spiked. The right hand side of the chart below, from Solen shows the Sunspot count to have peaked at about 120 and the F10.7 solar flux above 130. Sunspot count and Solar Flux usually act in unison. Dr Svalgaard says that F10,7 is a more reliable indicator of solar activity than Sunspots
Last major update issued on September 6, 2017 at 05:00 UT. Update posted at 13:50 UT
The generally accepted way to portray Sunspots is using a smoothed count from Sunspot Index and Long-term Solar Observations (SILSO). SILSO data is provided by the Royal Observatory of Belgium, in Brussels. That number is charted below as Ri smoothed. ” Smoothed” is the process of averaging the daily numbers over some period of time. Silso number uses a formula* (see below) that incorporates some 13 months of monthly data.
In the chart below, Ri is the total monthly Sunspots that were occasioned by the solar polar fields, north (Rnorth ) and south (Rsouth).
Spikes in activity are not uncommon as can be seen in the above chart which chronicles Solar Cycle 24 from its beginning to the current time. I am still surprised at this late date.
*The Silso formula:
The smoothed count is a 13-month averaged sunspot count using this Belgium’s formula:
Rs= (0.5 Rm-6 + Rm-5 + Rm-4 + Rm-3 + Rm-2 + Rm-1 + Rm + Rm+1 + Rm+2 + Rm+3 + Rm+4 + Rm+5 + 0.5 Rm+6 ) / 12
Rs = smoothed monthly sunspot count
Rm = One month’s actual sunspot count
The “-6” through “+6” appended to each Rm is the number of months before or after the month whose smoothed count is being calculated. The beginning and ending months in the formula are only given half the value of the others.*
Solar Cycle 24 continues to become less active. The June 2017 International Sunspot 30 day average number was 19.4. The maximum for Solar Cycle 24 occurred April 2014 at 116.4. The following chart illustrates how the solar cycle activity has dropped off. Solar Cycle 21 was larger than 22 which was larger than 23 which was larger than the current Solar Cycle 24.
The three charts above were posted on WUWT website titled “Trends in the Revised Sunspot Number Dataset“. From that posting comes the following analysis:
In an earlier posting, the case for CO2 controlling global temperature change was discussed. Several cases were examined that suggest that CO2 probably is a minor factor. Yes, I do have a bias that the Sun is most likely the main driver of global climate. But I believe that bias is well founded.
As I began to prepare a posting on this topic, on 10 June a new posting on WattsUpWithThat by Mike Jonas appeared. It covers, most of what I had planned to say. He says it very well, albeit in a lot of words. His Figure 7, “Correlation of sunspot cycle length with temperature” is thought by some to have been disproven, so you may want to tread lightly on that. I also think that he should have used an article from December 2016 CERN publication that strengthened his case for the Svensmark theory of galactic cosmic rays/cloud formation/cooling. See my comment on that by clicking here.
My thoughts on this topic would be less informative than those by Mike Jonas. Thus I am reblogging his posting:
Indirect Effects of the Sun on Earth’s Climate
By Mike Jonas 10 June 2017
For a long time, I have been bitterly disappointed at the blinkered lopsided attitude of the IPCC and of many climate scientists, by which they readily accepted spurious indirect effects from CO2-driven global warming (the “feedbacks”), yet found a range of excuses for ignoring the possibility that there might be any indirect effects from the sun. For example, in AR4 2.7.1 they say “empirical results since the TAR have strengthened the evidence for solar forcing of climate change” but there is nothing in the models for this, because there is “ongoing debate“, or it “remains ambiguous“, etc, etc.
In this article, I explore the scientific literature on possible solar indirect effects on climate, and suggest a reasonable way of looking at them. This should also answer Leif Svalgaard’s question, though it seems rather unlikely that he would be unaware of any of the material cited here. Certainly just about everything in this article has already appeared on WUWT; the aim here is to present it in a single article (sorry it’s so long). I provide some links to the works of people like Jasper Kirkby, Nir Shaviv and Nigel Calder. For those who have time, those works are worth reading in their entirety.
Table of Contents:
1. Henrik Svensmark
3. Galactic Cosmic Rays
5. The Non-Linear System
6. A Final Quirk
To read the entire posting click here
Posted in AGW, Climate Alarmism, Climate Models, CO2, cosmic rays, Earth Orbit, IPCC, Solar Activity, Solar Cycle 24, Solar Flux, Solar System, Sun, sun and climate, Sunspots
This posting combines the March global temperature anomaly and the Solar Cycle 24 stats. Below are the UAH satellite global temperature anomalies from Dr Roy Spencer’s website. The stats below the graph show the summary since 2016 through March 2017 for the regions.
YEAR MO GLOBE NHEM. SHEM. TROPICS
2016 01 +0.54 +0.69 +0.39 +0.84
2016 02 +0.83 +1.16 +0.50 +0.98
2016 03 +0.73 +0.94 +0.52 +1.08
2016 04 +0.71 +0.85 +0.58 +0.93
2016 05 +0.54 +0.64 +0.44 +0.71
2016 06 +0.33 +0.50 +0.17 +0.37
2016 07 +0.39 +0.48 +0.29 +0.47
2016 08 +0.43 +0.55 +0.31 +0.49
2016 09 +0.44 +0.49 +0.38 +0.37
2016 10 +0.40 +0.42 +0.39 +0.46
2016 11 +0.45 +0.40 +0.50 +0.37
2016 12 +0.24 +0.18 +0.30 +0.21
2017 01 +0.30 +0.26 +0.33 +0.07
2017 02 +0.35 +0.54 +0.15 +0.05
2017 03 +0.19 +0.30 +0.07 +0.03
The anomaly drop of 0.16C was a substantial change. This has been happening without a La Nina following the El Nino.
Solar Cycle 24’s to-date April International Sunspot number is 26.6 versus March’s number of 17.7. So, this month is a little more active but still things are quiet. Cycle 24 began in January 2008. The mean Cycle length is 11.1 years so it should be over around January of 2019.
As noted in previous postings the solar polar field strength following a maximum is currently a popular way to predict the following Cycle strength. The Black line in the chart below is the line to watch. That line is the combined North and South solar polar field strength. So far it is slightly smaller than the size of Solar Cycle 23—thus using this theory,
it Cycle 25 should be about the same size as 24 or maybe just a bit smaller. Amended for clarity on 4/20 cbdakota
There were no visible Sunspots on 11 March 2017. There was but one Sunspot cluster showing on 12 March. This will become more common as Solar Cycle continues on its way to its demise and the beginning of Cycle 25. From Wiki, we get the record of The “Spotless days at the end of the cycle”. These numbers have been recorded since Cycle 9 that ended in March 1855. The recent “grand maximum” beginning with Cycle 18 thru Cycle 22 provides us with these numbers:
||Sunspotless days-end of cycle
|| 81.9 (Apr14)
Cycle 24 has been much less active than its recent predecessors. It was ushered in following 817 spotless days. This appears to be significant but we probably need to see how this plays out at the end of Cycle 24 and its effect on Cycle 25.
The current, seemingly, most used way to predict the size of Cycle 25 is examining the Solar Polar Field Strength of Cycle 24. As noted in previous postings the technique is to examine the average field strength after the Maximum occurs. Typically, it levels out. The average field strength is computed by adding North and South field strengths and dividing by 2. Below is a plot of the field strength for Cycles 21,22,23 and 24. Looking at the left
plot, so far the Cycle 24 average is about 50. The high point for Cycle 23 looks to have been about 70. This suggests that Cycle25 will be smaller than 24. But Cycle 24 average field strength of nominally about 50, could become larger over the next year. So again, we will have to wait and see.
(Unfortunately, the expanded left chart is unavailable.An expanded left chart was put in this posting but it was too large to show the period of the Cycle 23 and 24.)
Below is the February 2017 Cycle 24 chart comparing it to Cycle 23.
German solar scientists, Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt say that Solar Cycle 24 is the “..third weakest cycle since observations began in 1755.” The Accumulated Sunspot Anomaly until 97 months after cycle start is shown on the figure below:
Figure 2: Comparison of all the solar cycles. The chart shows the accumulated sunspot number anomaly from the mean value.
The mean value is noted at zero and Cycle 24 is running 3817 spots less than the mean and only two other Cycle had fewer. Note that the seven Cycles that preceded Cycle 24 had more sunspots than the mean.