New solar cycle 24 goalpost established

As I mentioned a few days ago, there was a panel that NASA convened to look at solar cycle 23/24 predictions.

From this story on where they talk about the opposing views solar scientists have for cycle 24 they offer some opinions. NOAA Space Environment Center scientist Douglas Biesecker, who chaired the panel, said in a statement:

 […] despite the panel’s division on the Sun cycle’s intensity, all members have a high confidence that the season will begin in March 2008

Well, obviously March 2008 isn’t happening:

Current sun: blank

So now there’s a new set of numerical predictive numbers issued by NASA solar physicist David Hathaway. You can see the March 2008 updated prediction page here:

There is a lot of discussion there on how the numbers are derived, but plainly absent from the discussion is the real meat of the issue. The goalposts for the start of Cycle 24 have now been moved to May 2008. In addition to the discussion of the “hows” on that page, he also produced a set of numerical data for the prediction curves which you can see here:

I’ve plotted the data for you below.


Click for a larger image

Notice how cycle 23 gets longer and longer, with a sharp upturn for cycle 24 starting in late 2008 and early 2009. Hathaway still believes cycle 24 will be slightly more in amplitude than cycle 23, while others think it will be lower.

I’m no solar physicist, but based on what I’ve seen, I’m betting the goalposts will be moved again in May, pointing to a start in August or September 2008. This would be more in line with the latest numbers predicted by the Space Environment Center (SEC):


We’ll see what happens. I’m still very much concerned about the apparent step change in 2005 to a lower plateau of the Geomagnetic Average Planetary (Ap) index. Which is something that does not appear in the previous cycle:

solar-geomagnetic-Ap Index

click for a larger image

What is most interesting about the Geomagnetic Average Planetary Index graph above is what happened around October 2005. Notice the sharp drop in the magnetic index and the continuance at low levels, almost as if something “switched off”.

UPDATE – Joe D’Aleo of ICECAP writes in with this:

This site catalogs the many forecasts of the next cycle with links where available. The majority of these forecasts (23 of the 33) forecast a quieter cycle 24 than 23.

The Clilverd forecast  is the lowest (peak SSN 42).

Dikpati  the highest (peak SSN 169). Hathaway of NASA was second highest (peak SSN 160) though he projected that cycle 25 could be quietest in centuries due to dramatic slowing of the conveyor belt of hot plasma

If we go to May or later before the solar min is reached, cycle 23 will be the longest cycle since the late 1800s.


63 thoughts on “New solar cycle 24 goalpost established

  1. In addition, Anthony, I cannot understand how some on the panel feel it’s going to be as big as cycle #23. History has shown that following a long cycle like #23, the next cycle is quite small.
    Cycle 4 lingered and lingered and went almost 14 years (like #23 is in the process of doing):
    Cycle 5 was virtually non existent:
    As was Cycle 6:
    Theodore Landscheidt nailed this current solar downturn long before his death.

  2. Anthony, you may have noted this in an earlier post, but this site ( catalogs the many forecasts of the next cycle with links where available. The majority of these forecasts (23 of the 33) forecast a quieter cycle 24 than 23.
    The Clilverd forecast ( is the lowest (peak SSN 42).
    Dikpati ( the highest (peak SSN 169). Hathaway of NASA was second highest (peak SSN 160) though he projected that cycle 25 could be quietest in centuries due to dramatic slowing of the conveyor belt of hot plasma (
    If we go to May or later before the solar min is reached, cycle 23 will be the longest cycle since the late 1800s.
    REPLY: Thanks Joe, I’ve added that info to the original post.

  3. All I can say is, given this, plus, the law of averages, plus, what we know from ice cores and sediment cores, and, given how much more ravaging the impacts of killer cold are, than coddling, lush warmth (and moisture), I think we are in for some hard times. Hold on tight people, the 21st century will test your ability to tolerate a difficult life.

  4. SteveSadlov
    Welcome to the planet Earth 🙂
    If I correctly recall, Landscheidt predicted years ago a rainy midwest at about this time. I’ll have to check up on that to be sure.
    REPLY: “Rainy midwest”, you mean like this? (sorry for hijacking your comment)
    TO: Watts, Anthony; KPAY-AM
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 20, 2008
    *** NEWS FROM NOAA ***
    Contact: Susan Buchanan 301-713-0622, ext. 110
    Current Major Flooding in U.S. a Sign of Things
    to Come This Season; NOAA Urges Communities to
    Prepare During Flood Safety Awareness Week
    Major floods striking America’s heartland
    this week offer a preview of the spring seasonal
    outlook, according to NOAA’s National Weather
    Service. Several factors will contribute to
    above-average flood conditions, including record
    rainfall in some states and snow packs, which are
    melting and causing rivers and streams to crest
    over their banks. This week, more than 250
    communities in a dozen states are experiencing flood conditions.
    The science supporting NOAA’s short-term
    forecasts allows for a high level of certainty.
    National Weather Service forecasters highlighted
    potential for the current major flood event a
    week in advance and began working with emergency
    managers to prepare local communities for the impending danger.
    “We expect rains and melting snow to bring
    more flooding this spring,” said Vickie Nadolski,
    deputy director of NOAA’s National Weather
    Service. “Americans should be on high alert to
    flood conditions in your communities. Arm
    yourselves with information about how to stay
    safe during a flood and do not attempt to drive
    on flooded roadways – remember to always turn around, don’t drown.”
    Nadolski called on local emergency
    management officials to continue preparations for
    a wet spring and focus on public education to
    ensure heightened awareness of the potential for dangerous local conditions.
    Spring Flood Outlook
    Above-normal flood potential is evident in
    much of the Mississippi River basin, the Ohio
    River basin, the lower Missouri River basin,
    Pennsylvania, New Jersey, most of New York, all
    of New England, and portions of the West, including Colorado and Idaho:
    * Heavy winter snow combined with recent rain
    indicates parts of Wisconsin and Illinois should
    see minor to moderate flooding, with as much as a
    20 to 30 percent chance of major flooding on some
    rivers in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
    * Current snow depth in some areas of upstate New
    York and New England is more than a foot greater
    than usual for this time of the year, which
    increases flood potential in the Connecticut River Valley.
    * Locations in the mountains of Colorado and
    Idaho have 150 to 200 percent of average water
    contained in snowpack leading to a higher than normal flood potential.
    Snowfall has been normal or above normal
    across most of the West this winter; however,
    preexisting dryness in many areas will prevent
    most flooding in this region. Runoff from snow
    pack is expected to significantly improve stream
    flows compared to last year for the West.
    Spring Drought Outlook
    The drought outlook indicates continued
    general improvement in the Southeast, although
    some reservoirs are unlikely to recover before
    summer. Winter precipitation chipped away at both
    the western and southeastern drought. On the U.S.
    Drought Monitor, extreme drought coverage dropped
    from nearly 50 percent in mid-December to less
    than 20 percent in the Southeast for March.
    * Overall, the Southeast had near-average
    rainfall during the winter with some areas wetter
    than average. Nevertheless, lingering water
    supply concerns and water restrictions continue in parts of the region.
    * We expect drought to continue in parts of the
    southern Plains despite some recent heavy rain.
    Parts of Texas received less than 25 percent of
    normal rainfall in the winter, leading 165
    counties to enact burn bans by mid-March.
    Seasonal forecasts for warmth and dryness suggest
    drought will expand northward and westward this spring.
    During the spring season, weather can
    change quickly – from drought to flooding to
    severe weather, including outbreaks of tornadoes.
    People can stay abreast of day-to-day weather
    fluctuations, as well as lifesaving advisories,
    watches and warnings, by purchasing a NOAA
    Weather Radio All-Hazards receiver and visiting
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
    Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce
    Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic
    security and national safety through the
    prediction and research of weather and
    climate-related events and information service
    delivery for transportation, and by providing
    environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal
    and marine resources. Through the emerging Global
    Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA
    is working with its federal partners, more than
    70 countries and the European Commission to
    develop a global monitoring network that is as
    integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
    NOTE: Graphics related to this spring flood and
    drought forecast are available within the online
    version of this release appearing on
    On the Web:
    Flood Awareness Week:
    National Hydrologic Assessment (Flood Risk):
    NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s Drought
    Assessment Products (Weekly Drought Monitor and
    Three Month Outlook):
    – 30-

  5. and yet i still got my butt handed to me by my friends when I mentioned the solar cycle and the ever so odd dip in global temperature anomolies over the last year, and the PDO (looking forward to learning more about it too) and so on. They just say “REAL CLIMATE SAID [ad nauseum]” and that’s the end of that.
    Pointing out that the Sporer, Maunder and Dauton Minima coincide with dips in global temperature go over like a lead balloon, since Real Climate proved last year that it’s not solar at all like ever because climate was completely stable from 8000 BCE to 1850 AD! Heh!
    Sorry for the angry post but I might have to lose friendships over an issue and scientific debate that should not be this emotional and should simply be a logical and rational (and open!) scientific debate. I can’t be the only person on planet Earth in this position.

  6. Here are Dr Svalgaard’s thoughts on the sharp drop in the Ap Index:
    “The sharp drop is quite common [e.g. in 1911-1912, 1922-1923, 1964-1965] (but not universal), and doesn’t mean much [it has to come down eventually – sometimes that is abrupt and sometimes not]. The large CMEs do not deliver enough energetic particles per se to do much of anything because they are short lived and in energy usually fall far short of Galactic Cosmic Rays. [On very rare occasions we get strong Solar Energetic Particles from major solar flares].”
    Here are his comments on the relationship between solar cycle length and next peak:
    “Second, the [short cycle high activity, long cycle low activity] rule is not absolute. Whether a long cycle predicts a low next cycle is refuted by e.g. cycle 20 -> cycle 21. The sun doesn’t quite go by our numerology, unfortunately”

  7. Here it is:
    Part 7, Paragraph 5
    “The new rhythm has been stable since 1933. There is a good chance that it will continue until the next BHS (big hand cycle) in 2111. Farmers in the U.S.A. may expect wet climate around the next BFS (big finger cycle) in 2007.”

  8. Anthony,
    I looked at the data you plotted. The minimum is still March 2008. I can see how you got May 2008 out of that data.
    REPLY: Perhaps I made the point confusing, I wasn’t saying that May 2008 marked a new solar minimum point, but that it was the upturn point. The previous statement from the NASA consensus was that the upturn would begin in March 2008.
    […] despite the panel’s division on the Sun cycle’s intensity, all members have a high confidence that the season will begin in March 2008
    From my viewpoint, May looks like the point at which we’ll see an observable difference. Obviously March is already a bust.

  9. We’ve gone from no spots for weeks on end to one or two every week or so. BUT, they are all still cycle 23 spots (with one lousy exception). Last weekend, for example, a couple of 23 spots, now nothing. You can’t have a cycle 24 upturn with cycle 23 spots, just a lenghtening of the 23 tail.
    I guess I was so busy during the 22/23 minimum that I didn’t have time to follow it this closely. I do recall several old time hams remarking that radio conditions during that minimum were poorer than they could recall. Of course, now they are worse yet, but who’s still watching?

  10. I might have to lose friendships over an issue and scientific debate that should not be this emotional and should simply be a logical and rational (and open!) scientific debate. I can’t be the only person on planet Earth in this position.
    terry, it’s indeed sad, but very true what you say. I believe this issue has probably strained and even destroyed many relationships, whether family, friends, or colleagues. It is just one more indication of the quasi-religious nature of the AGW/AGCC belief.

  11. As Dr. Landscheidt points out the 11 year sunspot is not a direct indication of solar activity. The greatest solar flaring often occurs on the falling slope and less so on the rising slope of the 11 yr. cycle. Yet the cycle of activity has a longer period, something like 44 years (I’m afraid I can’t take in eveything he ladles out).
    At any rate, Clilverd’s work reprises Landscheidt’s as spectral analysis, I.R.G. Wilson repeats it as CAM, carrier amplitude modulation, others as wavelet analysis, all relying on Fourier analysis.
    Hathaway, Dikpati, and other well-funded researchers are courageous in sticking with their obviously dead predictions. What is stranger are those like Svalgaard who modify their opinion monthly and make little if any progress.
    Clilverd forecast 42 SSN max for cycle 24 in 2004, and 25 SSN max for cycle 25, and looks to be proven a genius.

  12. NASA and Svaalgard do not quite seem to know what they are doing. It is as if they are trying to fit familiar patterns to an unfamiliar situation, and doing a poor job of it.
    Once they remember that they are scientists, rather than advocates, perhaps all the tax money we shower on their government agency will start to pay dividends.

  13. They just say “REAL CLIMATE SAID [ad nauseum]” and that’s the end of that.
    Terry, tell your friends who the founder of RealClimate is:
    Domain ID:D105219760-LROR
    Created On:19-Nov-2004 16:39:03 UTC
    Last Updated On:30-Oct-2005 21:10:46 UTC
    Expiration Date:19-Nov-2007 16:39:03 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
    Registrant ID:B133AE74B8066012
    Registrant Name:<b?Betsy Ensley
    Registrant Organization:Environmental Media Services
    Registrant Street1:1320 18th St, NW
    Registrant Street2:5th Floor
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:Washington
    Registrant State/Province:DC
    Registrant Postal Code:20036
    Registrant Country:US
    Registrant Phone:+1.2024636670
    Ms. Ensley also founded Bush Green Watch and Women Against Bush, so if your friends are Bush haters, then this probably won’t carry too much weight, but the story behind Environmental Media Services is one of the most interesting you will ever read.

  14. There’s a nice strong negative trend in TSI (SORCE) from March 2003 to February 2008. For those used to ACRIM and PMOD–no, the bottom hasn’t dropped out–the SORCE data is about 5 watts/m^2 lower. How low will it go before it starts its upswing?
    The anomalous drop in October and November, 2003 is present in all three indices. Here’s daily data a month or so before and after.
    Data available here:

  15. Anthony, from the link you supplied for the March 2008 updated predition page was another link leading to a pdf by Hathaway et al. showing their analyses of sunspots for cycles 1 through 22: Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann Solar Physics; 151, 177 (1994)]. Although the paper is a bit dated, the following 3 quotes from their findings seem interesting:
    “We have, however, repeated the Fourier analysis on a series of 16 cycle samples (i.e., cycles 1-16, 2-17, etc) and find that peaks at periods of 8 and 2 cycles persist until we start including the last four cycles (cycles 19-22). This difference in behavior for the most recent cycles might reflect a change in the Sun’s magnetic dynamo. On the other hand it might reflect better observations of the Sun since the IGY in 1959. At present, we do not fully understand the significance of this finding.”
    “…shows that the more recent cycles have been larger in amplitude and shorter in length than the earlier ones.”
    “Perhaps surprisingly, there does appear to be a weak inverse correlation between the amplitude of a cycle and the length of the previous cycle. Cycles that take a long time to get started tend to have small amplitudes.”

  16. MattN, post #1 here.
    Just eye-balling the sunspot curves, it appears to me that whether long or short, the intgral under the curve seems roughly constant. Has anyone looked at that?

  17. George M, if you look at the cycle 22/23 transition, you will notice the first cycle 23 sunspot occours about a year before the “start” of 23. (The graph’s on this site a few posts back). I wouldn’t be surprised to seee #24 hold of ’til next winter, but hey, what do I know?
    But personally, I am hoping for a warmer planet as it will be good for all living things, including humans.

  18. It’s interesting that the Solar Cycle prediction released by NASA/MSFC/Hathaway as recently as March 2006 predicted a start to Cycle 24 in late 2006, with sunspot numbers reaching almost 100 by March 2008.
    In others word, something they predicted to start in about 6 months did not come about in the next 24 months (and counting).
    Can anyone explain why we should pay the slightest attention to predictions issued now?
    Perhaps we should also take a moment to reflect on climate models, as they try to predict a more complex, chaotic and less well-understood system, over a far longer timescale.

  19. terry said
    “and yet i still got my butt handed to me by my friends when I”
    Terry, you have to seperate facts from facts. Do not argue about melting ice or polar bears. Learn all you can about the CO2 induce golbal warming theory. Have your friends to explain the theory to you. Then ask them question on how it suppose to work. Keep in mind that CO2 IS A GAS (how fast can CO2 warm up or cool down), CO2 lags temperature, the not so “Hot Spot” in the upper troposhere, CO2 is only “Heated” by about 8% of long wave radiation (which is always in a state of fluctuation) and there are only about 400ppm of CO2 warming up about 40,000ppm of water vapor or “positive feedback” (Convert ppm to 1/4 inch squares and set them side by side.) How, if you really want to blow their minds, ask them why we don’t have CO2 climate control system in our homes to save money on our heating bills. After all, the GHG models say if we double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere it will cause the surface temperature rise between 2.5C and 4.00C

  20. I would recommend extreme caution when referencing the works of Dr. Theodor Landscheidt. This was one area in which John Daly and I were in disagreement. I have Email correspondence between myself and John Daly and John Daly and Dr. Landscheidt, but since both John Daly and Dr. Landscheidt are deceased I am reluctant to release the documents since neither can defend their positions. I will put the correspondence into chronological order and distribute the document to John’s friends for their input before doing anything else.
    John was not aware that Dr. Landscheidt dabbled in astrology until I informed him of Dr. Landscheidt background. John’s decision on Dr. Landscheidt papers was to let them stand public scrutiny and the test of time; this is why Dr. Landscheidt’s papers are still available on John’s website.
    If you think Dr. Landscheidt works are of value then tabulate all of his predictions and test each one of them. Generic predictions such as “The Climate Is Going To Change” don’t count and the AGW’ers hold the trademark on that one. All predictions must be verifiable with definitive outcomes.
    My own view is that Dr. Landscheidt work is not science and I am extremely skeptical of their value, even if some of the predictions appear to be correct. The problem is that Dr. Landscheidt did not make enough predictions to substantiate their validity. What we are most likely looking at is dumb luck. I will leave religious cults to the AGW true believers. Science must be verifiable and repeatable.
    For additional references follow these links in Google:

  21. First I’m not a solar scientist (closest I ever got was designing the data acquisition system for NASA’s solar magnetograph in Huntsville), but I have looked at a lot of waveforms and something I notice about the one being analyzed here is that the action seems to begin during the 25 months prior to the October 2005 move. A sudden, deep impulse wave followed by a triangular contracting pattern indicates the presence of little “upward” energy, just rebounds, and the ease with which it fell well below the previous low after those rebounds again shows the strength of a downward trend so far. Just my 1.31 Euro cents.

  22. [Apologies if this is a duplicate.]
    I’m a little surprised that doesn’t include a prediction from Timo Niroma. Niroma has an extensive statistical analysis in which he sees a tie-in to Jupiter’s orbit. He was planning to update the site after cycle 23 ends, but apparently he’s getting a bit impatient:

    ALERT 31.10.2007: A probable new Dalton minimum.
    Original alert 31.10.2007
    Updated 26.02.2008
    According to my theory about Jovian effect on sunspots, based on facts measured since 1700 and estimated since 1500 (Schove)
    – The Jupiter perihelion and sunspot minimum never coincide and the nearing perihelion will slow the rise of the height of sunspot cycle, as now is happening to the cycle 23.
    – The Gleissberg cycle has almost reached its lower limit, which is 72 years.
    — In fact this low it has not been ever after the Maunder minimum.
    — So it must go up, the short cycles of the 20th century has created a debt that must be paid.
    Now the next Jovian perihelion is in late March in 2011. I predict that the length of the cycle 23 is in the range of 12.0-13.6 years. This means a minimum earliest in Summer 2008 and latest in Winter 2010. Either way this means that the cycle 24 will be very low, in the range of 30-60, or a Dalton level. This means that the maximum will be reached only in 2014. All this means there will be a cooling for decades, for 60 to 80 years. (A sidestep: The rise of the CO2 in atmosphere from 0.03 to 0.04 % does not have any meaning in this play. The rise should be to more than 1 % to affect the complicated feedback system of Earth if the last 200 million history of Earth is used as a proxy of what has happened yesterday. Another sidestep: I’m a statistician and this is a statistical study, but a remark for those, who urgently for years have asked me about the physical reason: I find the Svensmark theory (2006) of cosmic rays oscillating to the rhythm of the Sun’s magnetic field as most promising. The CERN investigations in 2008 probably will settle the issue.)
    There are some indications that the cycle could be the longest possible, or 13.6 years long, ending only in 2010.4. The following things indicate this is possible (I have used data since 300 BC or for 2300 years using as proxy before year 1700 data auroral observations):
    1. The Gleissberg cycle minimum seems to end with a 13.6 years cycle: 1996.8+13.6 = 2010.4.
    2. Because the sunspot minimum and Jovian perihelion never meet, and most favored difference is 0.8 years: 2011.2-0.8 = 2010.4.
    3. The Gleissberg cycle minimum is followed by a meet-in-the-middle Gleissberg cycle (77 years): 1933+77 = 2010.
    This does not mean that the cycle 23 necessarily lasts 13.6 years, only that it is possible, or even probable.

    I seem to recall before the February update he was predicting only that the next two cycles would be weak, now he’s talking 60-80 years.
    Some of his statistics seem to be a bit of a reach, but there is a lot of good data and conservative statistics too.

  23. Here’s a rather lengthy analysis of some of Dr Landschiedt’s work:
    Now, he may have studied astrology, but this work seems a good bit more valid and scientific to me. Perhaps it was just to understand the mvement of the planets in relation to the sun better. In any event, I don’t lump his work on planetary torque cycles to be “astrology”. He not predicting my luck to change for the better soon.
    It looks to me he predicted:
    1) a downturn in solar activity after 1990.
    2) Cycle 23 would be moderate with a peak R of ~100 at year 2006.6 (May-Sept)
    3) we would have 4-5 cycles starting with #24 with an R<80.
    Looks to me like he nailed point #1. Point 2 is interesting. Official predictions in 1996 had #23 predicted to have an R = 160. Reality was #23 peaked at R=120 in April 2000. Landscheidt was much close, and made his prediction decades before.
    So, call it “astrology” if you want, but the man so far has been a whole lot closer than the other so-called experts….

  24. There are people here who really know Landscheidt’s stuff.
    Some points from Landscheidt, in plain English:
    – Climatic variation is a function of solar activity – not so much CO2.
    – The 90 yr Gleissberg Cycle modulates the 11 year sunspot cycle.
    – The Gleissberg Cycle minimas bring cool periods in N. hemisphere.
    – The lower sunspot activity is, the cooler the temps.
    – Solar oscillation cycles affect sunspots and thus climate.
    – Francis Bacon and E. Bruckner noticed different regions of the world experienced 36-year climate cycles.
    – Based on solar cycles, Lanscheidt predicted a temp drop for 2007 (Jan/Feb 08?).
    – Predicted US farmers would have a a wet 2007.
    – Predicted Lake Huron and Michigan would have a low level in 2007 (I recall
    reading a USA Today panic report on Great Lakes drying up last summer).
    – These 2 Great Lakes will have a high level in 2025.
    – He predicted, three years before the event, that the Sahelian drought would end in 1985.
    – Landscheidt predicted cooler temps for the first part of the 21st century.
    – and a LIA around 2030.
    Landscheidt predicted some kind of Maunder Minimum to occur again soon.
    Can anyone here confirm this? Or is this Nostradamus?

  25. @MattN or Riv Werme
    There’s no denying the existence solar oscillation cycles, and there’s enough data supporting their effects on earth climate. Cycles aren’t chaotic, and thus allow possibility to make future predictions. This aint astrology.
    Can you confirm his prediction of an extended period of low sunspot activity to start at about now, and to cause another little Ice Age in a couple of decades?
    Or did I get that all mixed up?

  26. Some comments and questions.
    A solar cycle 24 sunspot may be on the far side of the sun right now, if I’m reading this image correctly:
    While I believe that solar activity significantly influences climate, it wouldn’t seem that it is directly related to SSN’s per se. The peak SSN’s do not correlate well at all with decadal variations in globally averaged temperatures. I know that there’s been an effort to link it rather to the length of the solar cycle, but if cycle 23 is turning out to be one of the longest, then that doesn’t fit that theory because the rate of increase in temperature has begun to moderate since the the peak of SSN.
    I think it is more likely to have something to do with the influence of solar cycles on geomagnetic activity. If you look at this plot of the aa index
    it shows a pattern of increase through the 20th century that very roughly matches the rise in globally averaged temperatures. Looking at the troughs as a baseline for the minimum activity of each cycle, they gradually rise through the early decades of the 20th century, drop a bit at the mid century mark, and then begin to rise until the end of the century.
    I would love to have access to the data to do some smoothing to it, and compare it to smoothed globally averaged temperatures, but I have yet to be able to find the data itself accessible over the internet. If anyone happens to know where or how I might obtain the data, I would appreciate hearing from you.
    On Landscheidt, I agree with MattN in that if he dabbled in astrology, that doesn’t make his work on solar cycles unscientific. The latter lead him to specific falsifiable predictions, a hallmark of what it means to do science. If, in the end, the predictions turn out to be mainly falsified, that would only make his theories bad science, not unscientific. I’m not suggesting by this that I buy into his theories, but that’s because I’ve never taken the time to fully understand them. So consider me agnostic, for now, about Landscheidt cycles.

  27. Terry,
    You certainly aren’t the only person in this position. My friends simply do not want to hear ANYTHING about this. They don’t even rely on RealClimate and are adopting a “I don’t care how many graphs/studies you show me THERE IS GLOBAL WARMING and CO2/people are to blame”. Anything that shows the contrary is obviously a right wing/big oil plot to frustrate the good fight to save the planet. I still get the ‘95% of all scientists believe CO2/People are to blame and the few that don’t are in the pay of big oil’. They have no basis for making this claim but believe it fervently. Very sad to me.

  28. Terry, and Bruce Cobb, and many, many more…
    Whether scientist, or layman, your above comments are spot on regarding the present state of most climate change “debates” and the effect on relationships, and friendships.
    There are a few more of similar mind at,
    The more the merrier.

  29. Bill, et al:
    “My friends simply do not want to hear ANYTHING about this.”
    I can’t help them, but I recently finished a web page aimed at both people who don’t know much more than “An Inconvenient Truth” and scientists who’ve think skeptic is meant to be used as a derogatory term.
    Science, Method, Climatology, and Forgetting the Basics presents some fundamentals about the scientific method and then looks at just two theories (solar/cosmic ray and CO2/GHG), and presents minimal information in support and against them. I mean for it to be just a start, but hopefully something that will pique anyone’s interest in the actual science behind climate change. Now that the two theories are predicting opposite effects, we have a chance at getting real science to replace mantra.

  30. For the next cycle to rise as steeply as depicted, there would have to be a highly abnormal behavior pattern. Of course, as noted, the seeming change to a new mode back in 2005 is in and of itself abnormal, so I suppose a steep rise cannot be ruled out. But I would be somewhat surprised if it happened.

  31. Chaotic Systems
    I have only a rudimetary knowledge of Solar Physics, Fluid Dynamics and Chaotic Systems. However the sun is a magnetohydrodynamic system, and at such should be considered chaotic. For example in fluid dynamics(hydrodynamics) the transition from laminar to turbulent is chaotic, and cannot be predicted with a set of linear equations. For a simple interesting exercise, one can google the Lorentz Attractor (a set of three coupled differential equations)– the butterfly. This system is mostly periodic, but the an instablity, can cause it to jump from one approximate periodic system to another approximate periodic system (two wings of the butterfly) !
    REPLY: Well said. The sun is a rotating ball of superheated fluid plasma, so the application of fluid dynamics surely applies. MAgnetic field lines get bent due to variances between rotation rates at the poles versus the solar equator.

  32. Dr. Landscheit made another prediction:
    ” PC/8 in 2007.2 has El Niño potential. As the date 2007.2 is closer to 2006/2007 than to 2007/2008 it is to be expected that El Niño will already emerge around July 2006 and last at least till May 2007 (Probability 80 %). The alternative to this early date is a release of the expected El Niño around April 2007; it should last till January 2008 (Probability 20 %). ”
    Anyone can check how right was Landscheit. And this is nothing to do with the astrology. Or maybe be we should discard GTR just because Einstein was a patent clerk without PhD?

  33. Regarding Landscheidt, I have only recently began studying his work in some depth, and we it is true that he studied Astrology. We shouldn’t dismiss that. But having said that, if someone says “he studied Astrology, and therefore his work is not science” then I think that’s a little over the top. First of all, Astrology has both a scienitific and a religious component to it. I am Christian, and would never consider dabbling in the religious nature of it. But that is different from studying and understanding the paths/movements of celestial objects and the science that underlies it.
    All this aside, in my study of his work, I do not see Astrology. I see science. If it isn’t science, somebody please let me know, because I am dumber than I thought if that’s the case.
    Landscheidt’s theory is that the sun revolves around the center of mass of the solar system as our SS traverses its path around the galaxy. The distance of the sun from the center of mass changes as planetary alignment changes, changing the curvature of the revolution, which affects torque and angular momentum. This then impacts solar activity. The helix-type path gets traced every 179 years, and then doubles back so the entire path is about 360 years. Based on his studies, the reasons for changes in solar activity seem to make a lot more sense to me than other explanations I’ve read.
    And yes, he is anticipating a Grand Minimum around 230, thanks to a rare event in 1990 that precedes solar reduction. That reduction typically starts on an 8 year lag historically, and seems to correspond with the start of flattening/cooling in 1998.

  34. But that is different from studying and understanding the paths/movements of celestial objects and the science that underlies it.

    Unfortunately Astrology isn’t about the science of anything, and has no place in scientific circles.

  35. I have looked in to Landscheidt’s work.
    His theory of the Sun’s barycentric solar motional oscillations and the variations this creates in the rotational force of the Sun’s plasma makes a lot of sense to me.
    Correlation with theory and observation is very good both at the current time and when one look at historical data.
    Of course, this type of correlation between observation and theory is completely absent in the AGW theory and it is not very good either in the predictions for the coming solar cycle 24 that have been made by most established academical researchers.
    To me it’s not surprising that someone who have been interested in astrology and is used to look at planetary motions and events also might be interested in planetary motions and changes in the climate.
    Whatever one thinks of astrology, consider this. There exist far more astrologers who have a good knowledge of the motions of the planets of the solar system than there exist solar physicists. And of those solar physicists only a few of them are interested in the Sun’s connection to the Earth’s climate.
    I think more people should look in to his theory and work.
    I favor a theory if it makes sense and there is a good correlation between theory and observations regardless of the background of the person that came up with that theory.
    And his work has nothing more to do with astrology than Newton’s work on gravity had to do with astrology. Although both, I believe, worked as astrologers.
    I wish his work is wrong, because we in for some cold times.

  36. Although I have much respect for Dr. Svalgaard, one may wish to realize his is but one viewpoint and he openly admits is “controversial”.
    It seems logical to me that even if Svalgaard is correct concerning TSI being extremely low in variation, should SC23 linger on and SC24 be very weak and temperatures continue to fail to warm or cool, it would appear the solar connection cannot be denied any longer as he suggests earth’s climate may be hyper sensitive to solar changes.
    On the other hand, Svalgaard refers to Scafetta & West, Hoyt & Schatten and others research as “dogma”. His presence at CA is appreciated, but I also find his unrelenting criticism of other solar researchers disagreeing with him to be a bit egotistical IMO.

  37. One more note about Landscheidt: he was a judge in Germany, and all of his solar works he did when he was retired. This means that he was financially and socially independed from the mainstream science. Everything that he found in his researches was purely based on good scientific curiosity. If you look in the history of science you will see that most of the great discoveries are made exactly by people like this. Contemporary science is heavily professionalized that leads to vulnerability to political influence. Most of that happens with the climatology today is because of this political influence upon the science.

  38. Landscheidt I am sure would have been really interested in all the controversy that he has aroused, after all creating interest in a theory, and the debates that follow is what proving science is all about. I think that to much attention is being paid to the ‘astrology’ aspect of his studies. My wife is a psychiatrist and as a relaxant /hobby she owns and rides and maintains a Harley Davidson. But she is not, I can assure you a ‘Hells Angel’ ( some might say that she is a little eccentric, but Hells Angel never.) Well don’t just stand there get a rag and clean !

  39. ” Doug Taylor (11:25:56) :
    Sir Isaac Newton in his spare time dabbled in Alchemy.”
    I think you’ll find that in reality Newton was virtually a full-time alchemist who dabbled in mathmatics in his spare time! 🙂

  40. Solar flux 68.2 yesterday, a new low for this cycle. I know, I know, it could be 70 tomorrow, but still, definitely not yet starting its slow rise.

  41. Are there any reasonable predictions on what global/local temperatures and rainfall will look like if we enter another solar minimum like Maunder or Dalton? Will CO2 contribution to warming change in a cooler world?
    If you’re an investor, where do you put your money on bets that we are entering a cooler phase based on solar activity?

  42. No fair. They promised me I could start worrying earnest in mid-March and now they’re pulling the opld bait-and-switch. I object. I must insist upon the promised Dalton discount.

  43. The Gliessberg Cycles are what interests the Russian solar scientists. Essientially, we are at the tail end of a positive cycle. The last negative cycle contained The Sporer Minimum, Maunder Minimum, and Dalton Minimum. The last negative cycle ended somewhere between 1820 and 1840. Each cycle lasts between 150 and 200 years.

  44. Landscheidt’s science was looking for cosmic order and how it impacts Earth. His science of the sun was a significant ‘piece’ of that. His ‘Golden Mean’ work was based on something timeless, orderly, and beautiful. He kept an open mind, let his intuition lead, and followed up with facts. hmmm sounds like Galileo, Newton, Kepler, Einstein…let’s throw in Garrett Lisi for the heck of it. (Personally, I’m a Pauli junkie.)
    These were/are all very spiritual men. All believing in cosmic order. Religion had little to do with their work other than attack and censorship of it.
    An astrological chart isn’t something that should cause an immediate mental wall to go up. It’s just an ancient tool for time tracking…and it worked. And it worked so well, it was used for a really long time. It gives a really good topocentric view in which you might see patterns that have more impact than looking at the same data always in data or heliocentric form.
    Look wider and keep an open mind.
    …and if you plug the dates of the last few really big geomagnetic storms in to a natal chart and with their birth location being where they had the most impact…you just might start seeing a pattern you didn’t expect … or maybe don’t really want to see.
    April 2011 is looking intense…no?

  45. I sure would like to see daily and monthly temperature spanning 6 months before and 6 months after the geomagnetic field from the sun “switched off”.

  46. Nobody replied anything to David’s message above: Let’s suppose something like a Dalton Minimum happens. What does it mean for global temperatures/rainfall/demographics?
    I’m not interested in apocalyptic scenarios but some reasonable outcomes.
    Which world regions would be best to live?
    Also, I find it very odd that nobody has taken up the remarkable March 23-April 3 sunspot explosions and what it may imply for sun cycle 24.

  47. Andrew,
    It would mean a reduction in agriculture. How large a reduction is not clear. We have different agriculture methods now than they did several hundred years ago. Crops would still be produced they will just cost more because there would be less of them. There are other effects, colder winters, more snow in North America, and better weather (for humans) in the southern U.S. during the summer. If we were to have several cycles in a row then other things would happen, but lets no go there now.
    If the human caused global warming crowd are correct about human emmisions then perhaps they will cancel each other out for a while.
    quote: Andrew (21:57:32) :
    Nobody replied anything to David’s message above: Let’s suppose something like a Dalton Minimum happens. What does it mean for global temperatures/rainfall/demographics?
    I’m not interested in apocalyptic scenarios but some reasonable outcomes.
    Which world regions would be best to live?
    Also, I find it very odd that nobody has taken up the remarkable March 23-April 3 sunspot explosions and what it may imply for sun cycle 24.

  48. Pingback: Australian Space Weather Agency Pushes Solar Cycle 24 Ahead 6 months « Watts Up With That?

  49. Pingback: NASA moves the goalposts on Solar Cycle 24 again « Watts Up With That?

  50. Pingback: NASA moves the goalposts on Solar Cycle 24 again « An Honest Climate Debate

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