Solar Update March 2012

by David Archibald

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Figure 1: Heliospheric Current Sheet Tilt Angle 1976 – 2012

The heliospheric current sheet tilt angle is currently at 67°. Solar maximum occurs when it reaches 74° – so a little bit further to go.

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Figure 2: Ap Index 1984 – 2012

Three years into Solar Cycle 24, the Ap Index has now risen to the level of previous minima.

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Figure 3: Solar Wind Flow Pressure 1971 – 2012

Figure 3 shows that solar wind flow pressure has returned to levels prevailing over most of Solar Cycle 23.

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Figure 4: Solar Cycle 20 compared to Solar Cycle 24

The last time the planet had a discernible cooling period was in the 1970s, associated with Solar Cycle 20. This figure was developed to compare the Ap index and neutron count of Solar Cycle 24 with Solar Cycle 20. In Solar Cycle 20, the Ap index diverged a long way from the neutron count.

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Figure 5: Interplanetary Magnetic Field 1968 – 2012

Similar to the Ap Index, the Interplanetary Magnetic Field is now up to the levels of previous solar minima.

(note this figure has been corrected from the original, thanks to Dr. Leif Svalgaard)

Figure 6: Solar Cycle 24 Sunspot Number compared to the Dalton Minimum

This chart compares the development of Solar Cycle 24 with the last de Vries cycle event – the Dalton Minimum. The Solar Cycle 24 ramp up in terms of sunspot number is tracking much the same as that of Solar Cycle 5 but about a year ahead of it.

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Figure 7: Aligned neutron count by solar cycle

In this figure, the neutron count of the last five solar cycles is aligned on month of minimum. It shows that Solar Cycle 24 hasn’t departed much from where Solar Cycle 23 was at the same time. On the other hand, the neutron count could go sideways from here.

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Figure 8: Predicting year of Solar Cycle 25 maximum

It is estimated that Solar Cycle 24 maximum will be centred on May 2013 and using Altrock’s green corona emissions diagram, we can derive the year of the 24/25 minimum as 2026. This means that the fall time for Solar Cycle 24 will be 13 years. For all the numbered solar cycles, plotting fall time from the maximum against the maximum to maximum time enables us to make an estimate of the year of Solar Cycle 25 maximum. From Figure 8, the Solar Cycle 25 maximum will be 19 years after the Solar Cycle 24 maximum in 2013, which makes it 2032.

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Figure 9: Solar Cycles 1749 – 2040

The large decline in the sunspot number and F 10.7 flux at the beginning of the year, prior to the recent major flare, suggests that Solar Cycle 24 will look like Solar Cycle 5 in having a low base of activity with periodic spikes. The estimate of 7 for the peak of Solar Cycle 25 is from Livingston and Penn.

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93 Responses to Solar Update March 2012

  1. R Barker says:

    Very interesting post. Considering the performance of the experts just a few years back in predicting the beginning of cycle 24, how confident can anyone be of the size and shape of the end of 24 and the start of 25?

  2. Tony McGough says:

    Much of this was over my head … but the prediction for Cycle 25 is brave and eyecatching.

    Stock up on winter woolies.

  3. Paul Vaughan says:

    My interpretation of what many WUWT commenters seem to be thinking these days: Linear extrapolation of “L&P” = global terrestrial temperatures go down.

    Not saying I agree or share conception, but I do have a question for those who may be thinking this way (NOT for those who are NOT thinking this way): How do you suggest time of terrestrial year fits into this “model”?

  4. Ric Werme says:

    Paul Vaughan says:
    March 15, 2012 at 4:39 am

    > Not saying I agree or share conception,

    Glad to get past that!

  5. Kasuha says:

    I kinda don’t trust the forecasts made in the last two figures. Cycle 23 is quite on the edge and cycle 24 seems to be way out of known territory and I don’t think it is appropriate to expect the system will continue behaving linearly with such stretched parameters.

  6. Figure 6 is not correct. Cycle 5 did not begin in 1796, but in 1798 or 1799:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-1785-1810.png

  7. Geoff Sharp says:

    What happened to the Ed Fix model?

  8. SAMURAI says:

    From my understanding, the plumetting umbral magnetic field is what is so disconcerting about solar cycle 25. It’s normally averages around 3,000 gauss and it’s already fallen to below 2,000 and continues to fall at 70 gauss per year. When it falls below 1500 gauss, there is insufficient magnetic force to hold sunspots together, so they virtually disappear altogether.

    It’s now projected that the umbral magnetic field is currently projected to fall below 1500 gauss towards the end of solar cycle 24 around 2018, which I assume is why solar cycle 25 is projected to be so weak.

    If all this does happen, at least we’ll have the perfect opportunity to verify the Svensmark Effect on a global scale rather than in some small cloud chamber at CERN….

  9. meemoe_uk says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: Figure 6 is not correct.
    But apart from that David’s post is correct? Usually you have a bit more to say about his posts.

  10. Robert of Ottawa says:

    I’d like a little clarification here: What is the soure of the neutron count? the interplanetary magnetic field?

    Also, regarding the solar cyhcle 25 prediction, I will still be alive in 2032 so I will hold you to account.

  11. meemoe_uk says:
    March 15, 2012 at 6:27 am
    But apart from that David’s post is correct? Usually you have a bit more to say about his posts.
    Well, because of his error, it is also not correct to say that SC24 is a year ahead of SC5. Finally, SC5 data is very uncertain to something like a factor of two, so any detailed comparison is meaningless. Wolf’s original data for SC5 had a much larger cycle, but his successor Wolfer, in 1902 reduced the sunspot number significantly for SC5. In any case, the data for SC5 is not very reliable.

  12. Dr. Lurtz says:

    Questions:
    1) How does the neutron count compare to the recent Sunspot Cycles? In sync, out of sync?
    2) Why is the neutron count in sync or out of sync? What, where in the Sun drives these counts?

  13. sean2829 says:

    I follow what Leif Svalgaard posts over at SolarHam.com. A few weeks ago on the discussion board he spoke about the L&P effect and if it caused the week solar cycles of the Dalton minimum. The answer was quite interesting. No the Dalton minimum was probably not caused by the L&P effect but it was likely a factor in the Maunder minimum. Does that give us a hint at where Leif thinks the sun is headed?

  14. Mike McMillan says:

    Robert of Ottawa says:March 15, 2012 at 6:38 am
    I’d like a little clarification here: What is the soure of the neutron count? the interplanetary magnetic field?

    The neutrons are made when galactic cosmic rays hit the atmosphere and generate a shower of particles, so the neutron count is a measure of cosmic ray activity, which in turn is an inverse measure of the solar wind, which tends to sweep cosmic rays away from us. At least that’s my take on it.

  15. Leo Morgan says:

    Help me out here.
    I can’t be the only reader who doesn’t know what Ap index stands for, or what it’s significance is. Of course I googled to find it and searched Wikipedia, back when you previously used the term, but I admit I failed.
    Actually can I ask you to do a thumbbnamil description of each of the headings you use, explaining the terms and the significance of the data? Without being an idiot, I am nevertheless clearly profoundly ignorant in this are.

  16. John Finn says:

    meemoe_uk says:
    March 15, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Leif Svalgaard says: Figure 6 is not correct.
    But apart from that David’s post is correct? Usually you have a bit more to say about his posts

    David’s post contains it’s usual incorrect assertions. For example, he says

    The last time the planet had a discernible cooling period was in the 1970s, associated with Solar Cycle 20.

    There was no cooling in the 1970s. The 1970s saw the onset of WARMING. There was a cooling period which began in the 1940s, but this was 20 years before the start of Solar Cycle 20 so it’s difficult to see how this can be associated with the cooling.

    Perhaps you can explain this as David seems reluctant to do so.

  17. John Finn says:

    RE: my post above. This bit is my comment – not David’s

    There was no cooling in the 1970s. The 1970s saw the onset of WARMING. There was a cooling period which began in the 1940s, but this was 20 years before the start of Solar Cycle 20 so it’s difficult to see how this can be associated with the cooling.

    Perhaps you can explain this as David seems reluctant to do so.

  18. Geoff Sharp says:

    John Finn says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

    There was no cooling in the 1970s. The 1970s saw the onset of WARMING. There was a cooling period which began in the 1940s, but this was 20 years before the start of Solar Cycle 20

    It seems ground hog day is with us again John. I have pointed out to you several times that solar cycles alone are not enough to explain climate shifts. Once again think of the PDO.

  19. Edim says:

    John Finn says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

    “There was no cooling in the 1970s. The 1970s saw the onset of WARMING.”
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content55-07.png

  20. David Archibald says:

    Well spotted Dr Svalgaard. It is an obvious mistake. I have sent a corrected version to Anthony which he might use to replace the deficient one. The corrected version looks exactly like Solar Cycle 5.

    Geoff Sharp says:
    March 15, 2012 at 6:00 am
    My take on the Ed Fix model is that in times like these, the Sun hits Hilary Clinton’s reset button. All the momentum gets washed out and the magnetic poles may not reverse at maximum. Ed Fix’s model remains the best model going and others can now build on what he achieved. I am very happy that I helped to get Ed’s paper published.

    If we go back five years, I was saying at the time that we are not seeing any spotless days – Solar Cycle 23 is going to be longer that what NASA thinks. A similar situation exists today. Altrock’s green corona emissions diagram suggests that the path of a sunspot cycle is set at its inception at solar maximum of the previous cycle. As Altrock himself said, Solar Cycle 25 is 40% slower than the previous two cycles. So, if it continues its straight line move and does not bend towards the equator and speed up, the 24/25 minimum will be in 2026. NASA’s diagram has it in 2020. Solar Cycle 24 is starting out like Solar Cycle 5 but will have a very much longer fall time. I believe I am right on this and NASA will spend years playing catch up, as they have done with their estimate of Solar Cycle 24 amplitude. This cycle is not like anything we have seen for 400 years.

    What is new in this post is the estimate of year of Solar Cycle 25 maximum. It will be true if the relationship it is based on does not change during this minimum.

    It would be good to get an update on the state of the Sun’s UV flux and where the thermosphere is at. The Earth’s atmosphere shrank 25% at the beginning of the 23/24 minimum.

  21. Don B says:

    To repeat my question asked in comments at yesterday’s solar post,

    Have there been any changes in the day-night temperature differences as a result of the current Forbush decrease? (Possibly supporting the Svensmark hypothesis.)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/11/new-paper-links-cosmic-rays-clouds-and-temperature/

  22. Jim Cripwell says:

    Samauri writes “If all this does happen, at least we’ll have the perfect opportunity to verify the Svensmark Effect on a global scale rather than in some small cloud chamber at CERN….”

    I realise this is off topic, but let me hang a question of this comment. There was a recent Forbush Decrease of 15%. What effect did this have on clouds? Has Svensmark’s idea been tested by this event? I have asked in many places, and have not got an answer. Anyone know?

  23. I’m not selling the fleece-lined Drizabone I bought in Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) during one cold winter that I was staying there.

  24. Jim G says:

    Robert of Ottawa says:
    March 15, 2012 at 6:38 am
    “I’d like a little clarification here: What is the soure of the neutron count? the interplanetary magnetic field?

    Also, regarding the solar cyhcle 25 prediction, I will still be alive in 2032 so I will hold you to account.”

    Your prediction regarding being alive in 2032 is the single boldest prediction I have seen on any of the posts on WUWT so far. I hope you are correct.

  25. David Archibald says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:25 am
    Well spotted Dr Svalgaard. It is an obvious mistake. I have sent a corrected version to Anthony which he might use to replace the deficient one. The corrected version looks exactly like Solar Cycle 5.
    Which lasted only 12 years…

  26. Skeptic Tank says:

    Robert of Ottawa says:
    …, I will still be alive in 2032 so I will hold you to account.

    Do you know something the rest of us don’t? Like, … I dunno, … the next 20 Super Bowl winners?

  27. vukcevic says:

    Jim Cripwell says: March 15, 2012 at 8:41 am
    ………………
    Neither side is too keen to find out; no news is good news.

  28. Mike LaPointe says:

    While looking for more information on Altrock’s green corona diagram, I found that Peter Martinson interviewed Dr. Richard Altrock, of the Air Force Research Laboratory, back on December 7, 2011 at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco. In the video interview (10-12 minute mark), Dr Altrock states solar maximum occurring now (end of 2011), much sooner than his previous estimate.

    Link: http://larouchepac.com/node/21412 (Warning: This is Lyndon LaRouche’s Political Action Committee website)

  29. Veritas says:

    @Leo Morgan,

    Check out this paper to understand solar indices. Ap and Kp measure geomagnetic activity.

    http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/0209038.pdf

  30. William Astley says:

    In reply to:

    Dr. Lurtz says:
    March 15, 2012 at 7:18 am
    Questions:
    1) How does the neutron count compare to the recent Sunspot Cycles? In sync, out of sync?
    2) Why is the neutron count in sync or out of sync? What, where in the Sun drives these counts?

    The neutrons are created by galactic cosmic rays (GCR, high speed protons mostly) that strike that earth’s upper atmosphere creating muons. The intensity and the energy of the GCR are modulated by the solar heliosphere. The extent and the magnetic composition of the solar heliosphere determines how effective it is at deflecting and slowing down the high speed protons (GCR).

    The neutron count is high when the solar magnetic cycle is weak and the solar heliosphere is weak.

    The GCR creates muons in the upper atmosphere. The muons travel through the atmosphere creating cloud forming ions.

    Whether there is or is not an increase in planetary cloud is dependent on other mechanisms also. For example solar wind bursts create a space charge differential in the ionosphere which removes ions (electroscavenging). The past two solar cycles had an increase in solar wind bursts late in the solar cycle which removes ions and result in a reduction in planetary clouds based on satellite measurement on planetary cloud cover.

  31. Casper says:

    @ Mike LaPointe
    Thank you for the link. It was interesting to hear this interview. I think Richard Altrock, L&P are reporting on the same thing which could lead to MM.

  32. Geoff Sharp says:

    David Archibald says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:25 am

    My take on the Ed Fix model is that in times like these, the Sun hits Hilary Clinton’s reset button. All the momentum gets washed out and the magnetic poles may not reverse at maximum. Ed Fix’s model remains the best model going and others can now build on what he achieved.

    Indeed the Hale cycle could be broken during SC24, but using a model that needs to be reset because it goes out of phase quickly is not good. Ed’s mistake is trying to use the SIM function as a solar cycle length predictor instead of a basic background engine. Carl’s AM graph needs no reset and hindcasts over the Holocene with all grand minimum strengths included.

    I seem to remember the Fix forecast for SC25 was very short?

  33. Bill Jamison says:

    It’ll be fascinating to see if the predictions for Cycle 24 are any more accurate than the failed predictions of current cycle were. I wonder if we’ll ever really understand the sun well enough to accurately model future behavior.

    I’m not confident that we will.

  34. John Finn says:

    Geoff Sharp says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:20 am
    John Finn says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

    There was no cooling in the 1970s. The 1970s saw the onset of WARMING. There was a cooling period which began in the 1940s, but this was 20 years before the start of Solar Cycle 20

    It seems ground hog day is with us again John. I have pointed out to you several times that solar cycles alone are not enough to explain climate shifts. Once again think of the PDO

    It seems you agree with me then that David’s statement is flawed. The cooling had nothing to do with solar cycle 20. In fact the cooling began just a few years before the strongest cycle ever recorded.

    Edim says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:25 am
    John Finn says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:08 am
    “There was no cooling in the 1970s. The 1970s saw the onset of WARMING.”
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content55-07.png

    Like I said there was NO cooling in the 1970s.

  35. SAMURAI says:

    There certainly was global cooling from 1940 to 1978 and cooling from 1970 to 1978.

    There was substantial warming from 1979 to 1998, but again, the Earth is in another cooling phase from 1998 to the present. The coming solar minimum which now seems highly probable to be the weakest since the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), it’s high time to take a step back and see how this next solar minimum plays out.

    If solar cycle 25 leads to further cooling, then it’s obvious that Dr. Svensmark got it right and painfully obvious the warmunists got it completely wrong, as the warmunists say any solar minimum will be overwhelmed by CO2 induced global warming, which now seems unlikely.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/to:1978/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/to:1978/trend

  36. Geoff Sharp says:

    John Finn says:
    March 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    It seems you agree with me then that David’s statement is flawed. The cooling had nothing to do with solar cycle 20

    It would be more accurate to state that low solar activity during SC20 added to the cooling in general brought about by a mainly neg PDO during the 70’s. Of interest is why there was a reasonably low cycle at SC20. AMP theory shows a weak disruption right at SC20 with the previous disruption occurring in the 1800’s.

    http://tinyurl.com/2dg9u22/images/sunssbam1620to2180gs.jpg

  37. David Archibald says:

    Geoff Sharp says:
    March 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm
    Every hundred years or so Ed’ model output needs manual reversing to keep it in phase with reality. It is not a bug because it is probably telling us about something that is happening in the Sun. Please email me a link to Carl’s AM graph: david.archibald @ westnet.com.au

  38. Geoff Sharp says:

    David, your figure 6 graph showing the comparison between SC5 (GSN?) and SC24 would look better if you discounted the SC24 values by 22% to allow for the Waldmeier factor. Or you could use the Layman’s count comparison and get something similar.

    http://tinyurl.com/2dg9u22/images/sc5_sc24.png

    Our graphs seem to be at odds concerning timing, I started SC24 at Jan 2008 and SC5 at Jan 1798.

  39. John Finn says:

    Geoff Sharp says:
    March 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm
    John Finn says:
    March 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm
    It seems you agree with me then that David’s statement is flawed. The cooling had nothing to do with solar cycle 20

    It would be more accurate to state that low solar activity during SC20 added to the cooling …

    I’m not sure it would be accurate to say that, Geoff. Solar Cycle 20 ran from 1964 until 1976.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1964/to:1976/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1964/to:1976/trend

    See – no cooling. It’s the same story if you use Edim’s OHC data, i.e.

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content55-07.png

    SAMURAI says:
    March 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    There certainly was global cooling from 1940 to 1978 and cooling from 1970 to 1978.

    See above – no cooling during solar Cycle 20.

    There was substantial warming from 1979 to 1998, but again, the Earth is in another cooling phase from 1998 to the present.

    No cooling since 1998 (even using the ‘preferred’ HadCrut data)

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2011/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2011/trend

    Any short term lack of warming (not cooling) can be explained by the timing of ENSO events.

  40. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm
    Every hundred years or so Ed’ model output needs manual reversing to keep it in phase with reality.
    We know from the geomagnetic record that the solar polar fields have reverse normally ever since the 1840s.

  41. Geoff Sharp says:

    John Finn says:
    March 16, 2012 at 3:47 am

    I’m not sure it would be accurate to say that, Geoff. Solar Cycle 20 ran from 1964 until 1976.
    I think you might be cherry picking John. The standard GISS record which I am not a fan of shows quite a different picture.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.gif

    The cooling period from 1940 to the 1970’s is a combination of cool ocean cycles and a quite sun of SC20, there may also be some global dimming mixed into the equation over that period, but trying to isolate pure solar influence is just pure IPCC talk.

  42. John Finn says:

    Geoff Sharp says:
    March 16, 2012 at 7:02 am
    John Finn says:
    March 16, 2012 at 3:47 am

    I think you might be cherry picking John. The standard GISS record which I am not a fan of shows quite a different picture.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.gif

    I’m not cherrypicking at all, Geoff. The GISS record shows exactly the same as HadCrut over the same period (i.e. 1964-76). See

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1964/to:1976/plot/gistemp/from:1964/to:1976/trend

    No Cooling over the entire duration of Solar Cycle 20. The cooling had already happened, Geoff. Solar Cycle 20 had nothing whatsoever to do with it. In fact, most of the cooling had already occurred by the early 1950s – possibly due to ocean cycles (as you mention).

  43. Geoff Sharp says:

    John Finn says:
    March 16, 2012 at 7:37 am

    No Cooling over the entire duration of Solar Cycle 20. The cooling had already happened, Geoff. Solar Cycle 20 had nothing whatsoever to do with it. In fact, most of the cooling had already occurred by the early 1950s – possibly due to ocean cycles (as you mention).

    Yes most of the cooling had happened from the PDO change, the PDO IMHO is the main driver of climate outside of major solar reductions as in grand minimum type events. SC20 was a minor solar reduction but still I think it had an influence on global temps. Our current weather patterns over the past few years show the power of solar reduction.

  44. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 16, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Geoff Sharp says:
    March 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm
    Every hundred years or so Ed’ model output needs manual reversing to keep it in phase with reality.
    ————————-
    We know from the geomagnetic record that the solar polar fields have reverse normally ever since the 1840s.

    I am not quite sure of your point, I personally dont think it is reasonable to reset a model because it goes out of sync with solar cycles. But we need a pole reversal record that spans a solar grand minimum, which I dont think we have.

    Are you prepared to guarantee both poles will reverse at SC24 max?

  45. Doug Proctor says:

    Cycles 23 to 24 to 25 as projected seem a little abnormal, a little “fast” on the decline. Just the sniff test, of course. The pattern is beyond Dalton, which means that the Maunder is what the model is. Even the drop to no sunspots isn’t enough without a model to say the no-spot period will be very, very long. Models …. where have we heard that.

    Almost a counter-catastrophic global cooling theory. Saying that we are not in Hansen’s special times, but Archibald’s special times. Me, over the past 50 years, I’ve been though enough “special” times that I am jaded about the term. Moderately better or worse than recently, I’d go for. But extraordinary, no. With the global temp up as it is, a drop of 1.0C will make us into the world of somewhere in 1920 – 1940. That should be okay. I can work with that drop in mind. Only later, with the evidence, would I get into the 1820 or 1760 level.

    Of course, if Hollywood could get on-board … Maunder Minimum: the Movie. Technical advisor D. Archibald.

    If Hansen, Gore and Suzuki could make some millions, it would be nice if it were Archibald’s time.

  46. David Archibald says:

    Doug Proctor says:
    March 16, 2012 at 10:21 am
    It is a question of how far ahead you can see with confidence. Professor Solheim replicated my work on solar cycle length – temperature, so we know what the average temperature fall will be over Solar Cycle 24 with confidence – his papers’ figures all have error bars.

    Altrock’s green corona emissions diagram tells us how long Solar Cycle 24 will be, so we know what the average temperature over Solar Cycle 25 will be. We still have 14 years to prepare for that. For that future not to happen, one would have to explain why it wouldn’t. Carbon dioxide’s contribution is lost in the noise of the climate system.

    Thanks for your kind words re a special time, I am already enjoying myself. My last lecture in Washington is now online at: http://www.iwp.edu/news_publications/detail/mr-david-archibald-on-four-great-global-challenges

  47. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:11 am
    I personally dont think it is reasonable to reset a model because it goes out of sync with solar cycles.
    I agree completely.

    Are you prepared to guarantee both poles will reverse at SC24 max?
    Absolutely. I’ll wager $500 on it. You game?

  48. David Archibald says:
    March 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm
    Altrock’s green corona emissions diagram tells us how long Solar Cycle 24 will be, so we know what the average temperature over Solar Cycle 25 will be. We still have 14 years to prepare for that. For that future not to happen, one would have to explain why it wouldn’t.
    Easy, simply because your two premises are so too shaky to base anything on.

  49. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 16, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Absolutely. I’ll wager $500 on it. You game?

    No not game, but happy to see you give up on the Babcock-Leighton model if the Hale cycle fails, as you have previously stated.

  50. Werner Brozek says:

    John Finn says:
    March 16, 2012 at 3:47 am
    No cooling since 1998 (even using the ‘preferred’ HadCrut data)

    Hadcrut3 is flat since April 1997. And that is without the January 2012 reading of 0.218 that showed up and then disappeared for several days now.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.25/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.25/trend

  51. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm
    No not game
    put your money where your mouth is or shut up.
    happy to see you give up on the Babcock-Leighton model if the Hale cycle fails, as you have previously stated.
    what twisted nonsense is that? And Babcock-Leighton is also valid for Grand Minima. The solar cycle operated fine during the Maunder and Spoerer Minima.

  52. rbateman says:

    Comparing the butterfly diagrams (closeup) of SC24 vs 14 shows the departure:
    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/TempGr/uvp1314bh.PNG
    And a very odd behavior of SC24 failing to close the gap in latitudes, which has gotten protracted.
    SC24 is NOT a repeat of SC14, though it may superficially look similar.

  53. rbateman says:
    March 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm
    SC24 is NOT a repeat of SC14, though it may superficially look similar.
    No solar cycle is a repeat of any other.

  54. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    put your money where your mouth is or shut up.

    Charming. Some of us have profited from the public purse more than others. A non reversing pole is just theory without any rigid data right now, but it will stir up solar science if it happens. I am certainly not guaranteeing this to occur but happy to see you are absolutely certain of both poles reversing at SC24 max. Page is bookmarked.

    what twisted nonsense is that? And Babcock-Leighton is also valid for Grand Minima. The solar cycle operated fine during the Maunder and Spoerer Minima.

    That twisted logic is a statement you made a couple of years ago somewhere on here when asked what would be the deal breaker for you regarding the Babcock-Leighton model. If my memory serves me correctly we were talking about the Hale cycle and non reversing poles.

  55. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm
    No solar cycle is a repeat of any other.

    So much for forecasting via hindcasting, then.
    If you can’t predict in what aspect the next Solar Cycle will depart from similar cycles, at some point they will become dissimilar without warning.

  56. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm
    Some of us have profited from the public purse more than others.
    If so, you should be well-provisioned to accept a wager.

    A non reversing pole is just theory without any rigid data right now
    Not even ‘theory’, but wild speculation.

    I am certainly not guaranteeing this to occur but happy to see you are absolutely certain of both poles reversing at SC24 max. Page is bookmarked.
    Then remember to come back to it after the polar reversals and give me the necessary credit. The ‘happy to see’ bit is an unneeded jab.

    That twisted logic is a statement you made a couple of years ago somewhere on here when asked what would be the deal breaker for you regarding the Babcock-Leighton model. If my memory serves me correctly we were talking about the Hale cycle and non reversing poles.
    You seem not to know what the B-L model is about. Central to the model is that the following sunspot polarity migrates to the pole in each hemisphere separately and if enough new flux reaches a pole and reverses the polarity, the next cycle in that hemisphere will have sunspot polarities reversed. If not, the next cycle will not be reversed in the hemisphere. The two hemispheres operate largely separately. The deal breaker would be if the pole did not reverse, but the spots did or vice versa. This may or may not have come across back then.

    rbateman says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:29 pm
    So much for forecasting via hindcasting, then.
    You got it.

  57. rbateman says:
    March 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm
    And a very odd behavior of SC24
    What is interesting is that SC24 seems to have a lot less blue data points, i.e. spots with no penumbra, which are small spots [I have never seen a large spot without penumbra], so SC24 is losing the small spots compared to SC14. This is consistent with a L&P effect.

  58. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    What is interesting is that SC24 seems to have a lot less blue data points, i.e. spots with no penumbra, which are small spots [I have never seen a large spot without penumbra], so SC24 is losing the small spots compared to SC14. This is consistent with a L&P effect.

    Yes, exactly. And it’s demonstrating that the attrition of small spots is well underway.
    A difficulty arises when one tries to determine what SC24 would look like if there were no L&P effect at play.
    You got any ideas on that?

  59. rbateman says:
    March 17, 2012 at 4:13 am
    Yes, exactly. And it’s demonstrating that the attrition of small spots is well underway.
    A difficulty arises when one tries to determine what SC24 would look like if there were no L&P effect at play. You got any ideas on that?

    No

  60. Nikola Milovic says:

    This one time I sent down to NASA.
    There was no answer-which for me is not important.
    The above cycle of sunspots from the 11.18181818 year average for several billion years.
    See how to get a period of 123 years. or other periods.
    Do reriod of 123 years is not butterfly diagram?
    What I have singled out here is something quite small in comparison with what can be obtained from my calculations.
    Mr. Svalgaard is right when he says that there is no repetition of the cycle.
    It is always the basis of 11:18 … whatever. to which add or subtract some value, and receive a longer or shorter cycles, different in intensity.
    ————————————————-
    SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF THE SPOTLESS SUN

    I saw and read this article, and nothing new in disclosure the causes of sunspots’appearances on the Sun and of the reconnecting magnetic poles, e.t.c.
    I think, the science didn’t discover, to nowaday ,the causes of these phenomena on the Sun. Produced evidences don’t explain the causes of phenomena,but only give casual effects on the Sun, with which can’t determine anything in future.
    I realy have mathematical conclusive evidence for majority of these phenomena.
    I wrote to NASA about this problem, several times, by your experts don’t wish to accept and listen “low level”
    I don’t speak enough well English, and if you wish , I can write in Serbian. It will reinforce the exchange necessary data to resolve numerous till now unsolved questions in according with Sun’s phenomena.
    Glance at my several cycles which can be the causes numerous appearances :
    -The shortest relevant cycle of 1.597402597 years has an intensity 683,009 units.
    -The most essential of all is one of 11.18181818 years with intensity of 3832.372 uits, which is connected with period of 123 years (your diagram,too ) and relation :
    11.18181818×11=123 years ,or
    -cycle of 17.57142857 years –relation:
    17.57142857×7=123 years
    Cycle of 13630.63636363=11.18181818×1219, e.t.c.
    There are yet plenty of cycles as : 1947.233766 years and cycle of 22 years (reconnecting magnetic Sun’s poles)
    All of these ones change during of times, and with strong software it will get enormous spectrum of solutions.

  61. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    so SC24 is losing the small spots compared to SC14. This is consistent with a L&P effect.

    Do we have any quantification on the speck ratio of SC24 compared to SC23/22. Something similar to total of all individual spots/specks with a comparison of small size without penumbra, the proportion being the critical measure.

  62. Stephen Wilde says:

    The interplay of ocean cycles (30 years warm and 30 years cool) plus solar cycles (500 years increasing activity and 500 years decreasing activity) results in latitudinal climate zone and jet stream shifting with changes in zonality/meridionality of the main jetstream tracks.

    More jetstream meridionality greatly lengthens the lines of air mass mixing around the globe. More zonality greatly reduces them.

    There are consequential changes in total global cloudiness and albedo which affects solar input to the oceans and skews the balance of ENSO between El Nino dominance and La Nina dominance.

  63. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 18, 2012 at 1:22 am
    Do we have any quantification on the speck ratio of SC24 compared to SC23/22. Something similar to total of all individual spots/specks with a comparison of small size without penumbra, the proportion being the critical measure.
    Yes, of course we do. There are several ways of doing this:
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/aa18034-11-Clette.pdf
    “We find that the Sun has shown an important deficit in small spots since the last activity maximum around 2000. While the number of large-scale spots remained largely unaffected, the occurrence rate of the smallest sunspots, and among them the ones with the shortest lifetimes, was more than halved during cycle 23. This explains the divergence between indices, weighted in favor of the
    largest active regions/magnetic structures, and sunspot counts that do not include such a weighting. It also confirms an actual intrinsic transition in the magnetic field generation inside the Sun, arising years before the exceptional activity minimum.”
    or:
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/Locarno-S-G-Ratio.pdf
    This is a work in progress to be completed and submitted in the coming week.

  64. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 18, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Yes, of course we do. There are several ways of doing this

    Neither of those two reports address the question answered.

  65. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 18, 2012 at 6:19 am

    That should be “question asked”

    The speck ratio is crucial when dealing with any claim you and L&P might propose. The speck ratio increase during SC24 has not been in question from you and L&P until recently. Real data will be required to prove the new position.

  66. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 18, 2012 at 7:26 am
    The speck ratio is crucial when dealing with any claim you and L&P might propose. The speck ratio increase during SC24 has not been in question from you and L&P until recently. Real data will be required to prove the new position.
    I don’t know what your problem is. All the real data [we only have real data, not doctored LSC data] agree, and there is no ‘new’ position. See e.g. the paper by Tapping http://www.leif.org/research/SSN/Tapping.pdf
    “Soon after the maximum of Cycle 23, the relationship between F10.7 and sunspot number changed, with an excess of F10.7 over what we would expect on the basis of the sunspot number value. There was an increase in the short term fluctuations too. There were signs of this change in Cycles 21 and 22. Cycle 24 continues with this deviation. It could be due to decreases in the number of observed small sunspots and the resulting decreased observed short-term sunspot
    activity.”
    Nothing has ‘been in question until recently’. Of course, one could only talk about SC24 after it had begun. The ratio S/G [spots over groups] always shows an increase near minimum and then falls off towards maximum, as is clearly seen in the Figures of http://www.leif.org/EOS/Locarno-S-G-Ratio.pdf
    Your claim that SC23 showed an excess of small spots [that you call specks] is simply not supported by real data.

  67. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 18, 2012 at 7:26 am
    claim you and L&P might propose.
    We do not ‘propose claims’ but just show you the observations, undoctored and without selection bias.

  68. Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 18, 2012 at 8:41 am
    [correction]
    The ratio S/G [spots over groups] is always small near minimum and then increases towards maximum, as is clearly seen in the Figures of http://www.leif.org/EOS/Locarno-S-G-Ratio.pdf
    I meant to refer to the ratio of observed spots to expected spots [Figure 3] which has a maximum at solar minimum and decreases towards maximum.

  69. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 18, 2012 at 7:16 am
    Neither of those two reports address the question asked.
    Possibly you didn’t express yourself clearly. By speck ratio I thought you meant the ratio between small spots and all spots, that is the fraction of all spots that are ‘specks’. A measure of ‘all spots’ or of solar activity as a whole is the number of active regions or groups, and what is found is that that ratio has been decreasing. Superposed on the decrease is a solar cycle variation of the ratio.

  70. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 18, 2012 at 7:26 am
    data will be required to prove the new position.
    you are right that we need data for the next several years to be sure.

  71. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 18, 2012 at 1:22 am
    Something similar to total of all individual spots/specks with a comparison of small size without penumbra, the proportion being the critical measure.
    I have recounted the Locarno spots back to 2003. If your definition of ‘speck’ is a spot without penumbra, then the ratio of weighted spot count to unweighted count should be a good indicator. Spots with no penumbra have weights 1 or 2, while spots with penumbra have weights 3 to 5. So the ratio weighted/not weighted should be large if there are fewer smaller spots with no penumbra. This is what is observed: http://www.leif.org/research/Ratio-Weighted-to-Unweighted-Spot-Count.png
    So, there are fewer and fewer small spots, which is what the L&P effect is.
    Perhaps you define the speck ratio as the inverse ratio, I can’t tell from your question.

  72. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I have recounted the Locarno spots back to 2003. If your definition of ‘speck’ is a spot without penumbra, then the ratio of weighted spot count to unweighted count should be a good indicator. Spots with no penumbra have weights 1 or 2, while spots with penumbra have weights 3 to 5.

    As long as Locarno has followed this principle your analysis is good and covers the terminology of my question. The data would need to be extended back to the start of SC22 or even further to establish if the ratio has changed since SC23 max.

    In your analysis do the unweighted spots include both type 1 & type 2 spots?

    How did you gather the data, did you use every daily drawing back to 2003 or some other method? It would also be interesting to see a smaller range between the data points (monthly) especially on the upslope of SC24.

  73. Ken Methven says:

    Wonderful dialogue which I cannot hope to follow…but David Archibald says …
    “The Earth’s atmosphere shrank 25% at the beginning of the 23/24 minimum.”
    Eh, this sounds like a significant statement. Anybody want to confirm this and help me with an explanation of what the consequences of this are?

  74. Gail Combs says:

    Ken Methven says:
    March 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Wonderful dialogue which I cannot hope to follow…but David Archibald says …
    “The Earth’s atmosphere shrank 25% at the beginning of the 23/24 minimum.”
    Eh, this sounds like a significant statement. Anybody want to confirm this and help me with an explanation of what the consequences of this are?
    ____________________________________
    Check out this NASA page for the explanation: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/01apr_deepsolarminimum/

    A 12-year low in solar “irradiance”: Careful measurements by several NASA spacecraft show that the sun’s brightness has dropped by 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at extreme UV wavelengths since the solar minimum of 1996. The changes so far are not enough to reverse the course of global warming, but there are some other significant side-effects: Earth’s upper atmosphere is heated less by the sun and it is therefore less “puffed up.” Satellites in low Earth orbit experience less atmospheric drag, extending their operational lifetimes

  75. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm
    As long as Locarno has followed this principle your analysis is good and covers the terminology of my question. The data would need to be extended back to the start of SC22 or even further to establish if the ratio has changed since SC23 max.
    Locarno is basically done by one man, Sergio Cortesi, with help recently by Marco Cagnotti. Comparisons show that Marco follow Sergio very closely. Figure 2 of my analysis shows that the ratio has been constant 1947-1995.

    In your analysis do the unweighted spots include both type 1 & type 2 spots?
    The unweighted spots are all spots

    How did you gather the data, did you use every daily drawing back to 2003 or some other method? It would also be interesting to see a smaller range between the data points (monthly) especially on the upslope of SC24.
    Daily drawings are available back to 1981: http://www.specola.ch/e/drawings.html
    You can count yourself. It is mostly straightforward, as I show here: http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf slides 12-18 or here: http://www.leif.org/research/Effect-of-Weighting-on-SSN.pdf .
    I don’t know what you hope to see. The demise of small spots without penumbrae is so robust that it also shows on monthly counts, especially on the upslope of SC24: http://www.leif.org/research/Ratio-Weighted-to-Unweighted-Spot-Count-Monthly.png

  76. Ken Methven says:
    March 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm
    “The Earth’s atmosphere shrank 25% at the beginning of the 23/24 minimum.”
    Eh, this sounds like a significant statement.

    But is a bit misleading as most of Archibald’s statements. It it the upper [100 miles and up], extremely thin [one trillionth of the mass] part of the atmosphere that has contracted. Does not mean that the air down where we are has ‘shrunk’.

  77. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    You have not answered my questions.

  78. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm
    You have not answered my questions.
    Nonsense,
    In your analysis do the unweighted spots include both type 1 & type 2 spots?
    The unweighted spots are all spots, hence both type 1 and 2 and any other ones

    How did you gather the data, did you use every daily drawing back to 2003 or some other method? It would also be interesting to see a smaller range between the data points (monthly) especially on the upslope of SC24.
    Daily drawings are available back to 1981: http://www.specola.ch/e/drawings.html
    You can count yourself. It is mostly straightforward, as I show here: http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf slides 12-18 or here: http://www.leif.org/research/Effect-of-Weighting-on-SSN.pdf .
    I don’t know what you hope to see. The demise of small spots without penumbrae is so robust that it also shows on monthly counts, especially on the upslope of SC24: http://www.leif.org/research/Ratio-Weighted-to-Unweighted-Spot-Count-Monthly.png

  79. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    The unweighted spots are all spots, hence both type 1 and 2 and any other ones

    Your answer is unclear. The aim would be to compare individual spots of type 1 & 2 (total) with the overall total of all individual spots counts. To do this correctly the unweighted data would need to include type 1&2 spots only. Is this the case?

    You also have not described how you collected the data.

  80. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm
    “The unweighted spots are all spots, hence both type 1 and 2 and any other ones”
    Your answer is unclear. The aim would be to compare individual spots of type 1 & 2 (total) with the overall total of all individual spots counts. To do this correctly the unweighted data would need to include type 1&2 spots only. Is this the case?

    My answer was very clear: “all spots”. And it is not necessary to only include type 1 and 2 spots. Since the unweighted data includes all spots, the weighted data will be smaller if they contain many 1&2 spots and large if they contain few. this is trivial and you should be able to see that, without me having to give you some numerical examples.

    You also have not described how you collected the data.
    You have evidently not found it worth your trouble to read the detailed description of the method and its validation by Marco. I’ll repeat:
    Daily drawings are available back to 1981: http://www.specola.ch/e/drawings.html
    One just counts spots on the drawings. It is mostly straightforward, as I show here: http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf slides 12-18 or here: http://www.leif.org/research/Effect-of-Weighting-on-SSN.pdf .

  81. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    No, I can see now what you have plotted, which looks to have nothing to do with extracting a speck ratio or amount of Locarno regions counted as 1 or 2 in proportion to all spots counted.

    This proportion is what is critical in determining what exactly L&P are counting, which I think is a great proportion of lower magnetic strength smaller spots.

    The way to do this is count all spots with each having a value of 1. Then total the number of spots that are counted by Locarno as 1 or 2 and then compare the total of that count with the overall value. This would be a difficult exercise unless the individual values for each Lorcarno spot are held separately. Until this is done there is no solid data on the actual speck ratio over multiple cycles.

  82. Leo Morgan says:

    @ Veritas.
    Thank you.

  83. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 19, 2012 at 12:13 am
    This proportion is what is critical in determining what exactly L&P are counting, which I think is a great proportion of lower magnetic strength smaller spots.
    L&P are measuring all spots whatsoever during their observing slot.

    Until this is done there is no solid data on the actual speck ratio over multiple cycles.
    It is not necessary to determine the actual speck ratio to determine if it is increasing or decreasing. The total number of spots T is T = s+n where s is the number of specks and n is the number of other spots. The total number of weighted spots W is W = s+F*n, where F is the average weight factor. The speck ratio is r = s/n = (F*T-W)/((F*T-T). Let for simplicity F be 3 [weight for spots with penumbrae], then r = 3/2 – (W/T)/2 = 3/2 – Q/2, showing that r and the quantity Q =W/T that I plotted are inversely related. If Q goes up [as it did during SC24], r goes down.

  84. Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 19, 2012 at 6:36 am
    The speck ratio is r = s/n = (F*T-W)/(F*T-T).
    Sorry for the typos: the speck ratio is r = s/T = (F*T-W)/(F*T-T).

  85. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 19, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Sorry for the typos: the speck ratio is r = s/T = (F*T-W)/(F*T-T).

    Looks like mumbo jumbo that cannot try to distinguish if type 1&2 spots are increasing or decreasing. Without proper analysis your claims are just handwaving.

  86. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm
    Looks like mumbo jumbo that cannot try to distinguish if type 1&2 spots are increasing or decreasing. Without proper analysis your claims are just hand waving.
    Well, the resulting formula shows that the speck ratio, r, varies inversely as W/T:
    r = 3/2 – (W/T)/2 = 3/2 – Q/2 and since W/T is known, so is r. The bottom line of all the analysis is that the speck ratio has not been increasing during the up-slope of SC24, because W/T is increasing. But this we knew all along as what has been happening the past couple of cycles is that the small spots [and hence the specks] are disappearing relative to the larger spots. This has now been explained to you so many times [and backed up with suitable papers] that you ought to have gotten it by now. We shall see, if you are still in the dark.

  87. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Do the analysis properly and then come back to us. Nothing to see so far.

    “The way to do this is count all spots with each having a value of 1. Then total the number of spots that are counted by Locarno as 1 or 2 and then compare the total of that count with the overall value. This would be a difficult exercise unless the individual values for each Lorcarno spot are held separately. Until this is done there is no solid data on the actual speck ratio over multiple cycles.”

  88. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm
    Do the analysis properly and then come back to us. Nothing to see so far.
    As your speck-ratio is arbitrarily defined there is nothing gained by trying to duplicate that definition. The fact is still that the small spots are disappearing. This has several consequences as shown so clearly in the data and my proper analyses of those. Your speck ratio straw man prevents you from seeing [admitting, rather] that. So, to be clear: you do not think the small spots are disappearing in proportion to the large spots? Do you think their proportion is the same? or increasing? or don’t you know?

  89. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Until the data is provided no one knows. The proportion of type 1 & 2 spots over several cycles is necessary to determine the speck ratio and is far from a strawman. You have made the statements the speck ratio is decreasing but have not provided as yet any reliable data.

  90. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm
    You have made the statements the speck ratio is decreasing but have not provided as yet any reliable data.
    No, I have pointed out that the small spots are disappearing in proportion to larger spots. All the data we have supports that, e.g. directly shown in the paper by Lefevre and Clette, but also L&P and my own investigations. The speck ratio is your invention, which is not even well-defined. You proposed that your speck ratio might be going up with SC24, and I have shown that the smaller spots are disappearing even faster in SC24.
    Reliable data has always, it seems, been data that supports your speculations. Everything else is ‘junk science’, remember.

  91. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm
    Until the data is provided no one knows.
    All available data shows that the smaller spots are disappearing, that active regions contain fewer and fewer visible spots per region, that spots are weakening. This is the important finding. That ‘nobody knows’ what your speck-ratio is doing does not change those facts. One might infer from the disappearing of the smaller spots that specks would also disappear in the same measure and since ‘nobody knows’ there is no observational evidence contradicting that inference. Correct?

  92. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    You have provided no evidence either way….just more handwaving.

  93. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm
    You have provided no evidence either way….just more hand waving.
    So you give up on trying to understand the issue. Your loss.

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