Category Archives: Sun

Solar Cycle 24 February Update And Some Thoughts On Cycle 25.

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:

Cycle Start/Finish Max sunspots Sunspotless days-end of cycle
18 Jan44/Feb54 151.8 446
19 Feb54/Oct64 201.3 227
20 Oct64/May76 110.6 272
21 May76/Mar86 164.5 273
22 Mar86/Jun96 158.5 309
23 Jun96/Jan08 120.8 817
24 Jan08/   ?   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.


CO2 And Climate Change Science–Part 2: A Summary Of The Science

The website CO2 Coalition has a post titled “Climate Change: A summary of the Science”.  It one of the best summaries I have come across lately.  It is fairly long, so I could do my usual and summarize it, but there is virtually nothing in it that I would want to skip over.  So, I will not deprive the reader. I will put it in, in its entirety.  I hope that my posting yesterday will fill in any blanks you may have otherwise had.



News 26 Feb, 2017

Climate Change: A Summary of the Science

The climate change science is settled, but not how the climate alarmists want you to think.

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CO2 And Climate Change Science–Part 1 Carbon Cycle

This posting sets out a preliminary understanding of the “carbon cycle” that you may not be aware of. The next posting will build off of this to lay out the science of climate change.

The Sun is the Earth’s source of energy. The energy is transported in the form of waves (radiant energy) known as electromagnetic energy. The Sun’s enormous surface temperatures generates these waves. The waves have a wide range of frequencies. In general, the waves are known familiarly as x rays, ultraviolet, sunlight, short wave infrared, radio waves, and microwaves. These waves heat the Earth.  Not all of the waves get through to the Earth’s surface.  Some are absorbed like Ultraviolet by ozone;  some are reflected back into space by clouds; and some are scattered by encountering mater in the atmosphere.

Much of the  Suns energy is reemitted from the Earth as longwave infrared. Some of the reemitted energy is delayed on its way back out into space by the so called greenhouse gases and water vapor. This slowdown is the reason the Earth has a habitable temperature. The primary greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2).  However, water vapor is the largest factor, by far, in the greenhouse effect.

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German Solar Scientists Say Solar Cycle 25 Will Look Like Cycle 24.

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.

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Svalgaard Discusses How He Forecasts Solar Cycle Activity–Cycle 25 Will Be Up Soon

Before Solar Cycle 24 began, estimates of how active it would be were made by many experts. Because the Sunspot counting system has changed, the estimates have to be translated from the predictions made before the change. NASA’s top Expert using Sunspot as a proxy for activity, estimated it would be in the well over 160 (new system number ca. 265). Most of the estimates at the time were like NASAs. However, Cycle 24 has been much less active than most of the experts expected. The count using the new numbering system for Cycle 24 peak Sunspots at the Solar Maximum is 117. On the other hand, Leif Svalgaard and his partners estimated about 70 (new system ca. 117) which turns out to be as good as it gets. Estimating what Solar Cycle 25 will look like is already underway with many expecting Cycle 25 to be less active that has been the case with Cycle 24.

Because Svalgaard had forecast that Cycle 24 would be much less active and the forecast came reasonably close to the actual number count, it makes me curious about how he did it and what is he is predicting about Cycle 25 now. Well, I have already given that away in my 22 March 2016 blog titled “Dr Svalgaard makes a preliminary prediction of Cycle 25 size.” He thinks it will be close to the size of Cycle 24 and prehaps a little bit bigger. Once again he seems to be the contrarian.

So, how does he make these predictions. This blog will let you see the method he uses.

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Solar Cycle 24 Update—-October 2016

Solar Cycle 24 continues on its way to a Sunspot minimum. The thirty day average Sunspot number for September (Ri) was 44.7, a little less than the August number of 50. The black line of the chart Ri is the sum of the north and south solar magnetic fields. While a year or so ago, the southern magnetic field (Rsouth) was creating the majority of the Sunspots, the north magnetic field (Rnorth) is dominate now. In April the Sun had a period of low activity with a thirty day average of 20.9.


Looking at a comparison of Solar Cycles 23 and 24 shows that the Cycle 24 has been much less active than 23. This, of course, has prompted many to declare we are on our way to another minimum with corresponding cooling of global temperatures. But first a few comments on the difference one of the ways that Sunspots numbers are reported.


Looking at the far right of the chart, the black line is the monthly average Sunspot number and it is 44.7 as noted above. The red line is the official Sunspot number. It is a thirteen month lagging calculation. It is always 6 months behind the current date. It is the means by which the number is smoothed. The green line is a forecast of what it will probably be when the official smoothed number arrives at September 2016 . The green lines forecasts the September Sunspot number at 34.5. It will probably not be exactly 34.5 at that time but the difference will likely be small..

A comment on my blog by provided a concise summary of the official number calculation methodology. It can be seen at the at the end of this blog.

Lastly as a reminder of how Cycle 24 looks in comparison to the preceding Cycles, the chart below gives the needed perspective:


This chart illustrates how much more active recent Solar Cycles have been in comparison to Cycle 24. Cycle 21 began in March of 1976. The peak International Smoothed Sunspot number for Cycle 21 was 232, Cycle 22 was211,Cycle 23 was 180 and Cycle 24 was 117.



A look at a Solar Cycle 25 projection is on my list of topics to post—hopefully soon.


All Charts a courtesy of Soleninfo/solar


International Smoothed Sunspot Number calculation.

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.


Indian, Japanese and Chinese Scientists Publish Research That Predicts Little Ice Age or Maunder Minimum Coming Soon.

The Times of India posted “Sunspots point to looming “little ice age” quoting scientists and astronomers from Physical Research Laboratory in India and their counterparts in China and Japan have fresh evidence that Earth may be heading for another “little ice age” or maybe even another Maunder Mimimum.

Their findings are very similar to those of our scientists. They report that:

“….our blazing sun has been eerily turning quiet and growing less active over the last two decades.”

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