Category Archives: Sunspots

Sun And Global Temperature Change

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

2. Correlation

3. Galactic Cosmic Rays

4. Ultra-Violet

5. The Non-Linear System

6. A Final Quirk




To read the entire posting click here




March Global Temperature Anomaly And Solar Cycle 24 Update

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.



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






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.


CERN CLOUD Study Says IPCC Climate Sensitivity Is Too High.  Svensmark Vindicated Some What.

Water vapor is acknowledged to be the primary “greenhouse gas”.  In the warmer’s theory, any increase of global temperature due to atmospheric CO2, results in a corresponding increase of water vapor.  The impact on temperature is a tripling of that which would occur from CO2 alone. This feedback loop is called Climate Sensitivity.

Climate Sensitivity


Actual temperature records show that this is not happening.  There has been only a slight rise in global temperatures over the past 20 years and that rise may have been from natural causes rather than CO2. See this argument in this posting. The most recent IPCC global warming report was ambiguous on this issue, apparently recognizing that their long held standard 3X increase was in trouble. Studies by many groups have demonstrated the multiplier is not 3X and at least 2X at best.  See the following chart:

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.