New Cycle 24 Sunspot and SSN wavelet analysis

Maybe there is some hope for SC24 ramping up this year yet. This appears to be the largest SC24 spot to date. Previous SC24 spots have faded quickly, we’ll see how long this one lasts.

UPDATE: 9/23 It is already fading fast, see this animation that I’ve produced.

In other news, Jan Jansens reports that SC23-24 continues to behave much more like cycles in the late 19th and early 20th century. See this:

h/t John Sumpton for the link
Also, courtesy Basil, a new way to look at sunspot numbers. This is a Morlet wavelet transform of smoothed sunspot numbers (SSN).

Click for the ful sized image

Time is read along the horizontal axis, and a time scale is drawn across the top of the image.  Frequency is read on the verticle axis.  The scale is 2**x months, where is is 1,2,3..9.  So 2**7 is 128 months.  I’ve drawn lines at approximately 11 yrs, 22 yrs, and 44 yrs.  Amplitude is indicated by color.  The basic 11 year Schwabe cycle is clearly indicated by the red ovals bisected by the line for 11 years.  I’ve noted the Dalton Minimum, which is clearly different in character than the other cycles — with weaker and longer solar cycles.  It is subtle, but you can see the weaker intensity of solar cycles 10-15 compared to solar cycles 16-23 in the weaker color of the earlier cycles.  There is clearly enhanced activity, and of longer duration, at the end of the 20th century.

There is also a weaker, but distinct, level of activity at 22 years, the double sunspot of Hale cycle.  The last three Hale cycles have been stronger than earlier Hale cycles.  There is some indication of a double Hale cycle (~44 years) and at the top of the graph, we’re in Gleissberg cycle territory.

Now, for an interesting observation and speculation, note that at present, which is at the right edge of the chart, from the 11 yr line to the top it is all blue.  There is only one other place on the entire chart where we can draw a vertical line from the 11 yr line to the top without it crossing some portion of color other than blue.  Can you find it?  (It is right at the beginning of Solar Cycle 5, i.e. the Dalton Minimum).  Are we watching the beginning of a new 200 year cycle like what began with the Dalton Minimum in the early 1800’s?  Obviously, no one knows.  But the current transition is certainly unusual, and invites comparison to past transitions.

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Bill Marsh

The magnetogram shows that there is one large ‘north’ (I think white is the North orientation) and at least three separate ‘south’ poles.
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/mdi_mag/1024/latest.html

Bill Marsh

The magnetogram shows one large ‘North’ pole (I think the white is a the North orientation) and at least three smaller ‘south’ orientation (black) poles.
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/mdi_mag/1024/latest.html

coaldust

I’m waiting for more than one region in a rotation before I start to think SC24 is ramping up.

The heck with the spot, Basil’s graphic (did he do that?) is a wonderful, wonderful image. It’s the sort of thing Edward Tufte would be interested in. How many dimensions of data are in it? There’s time, intensity, sample size, and solar cycles and a bunch of relationships. Gonna have to read more about Morlet wavelet transforms.

Richard deSousa

If, indeed, we’re going to experience another Dalton Minimum, we can be thankful. Another Maunder Minimum will be a catastrophic event.

Ray

I bet this one will also go puff, gone! The other indicators are not showing any increase in activity.

Robert Bateman

I can see this spot, just projected it 1 minute ago with a 70mm F/9 Orion Refractor with Meade 26mm Plossl on a sheet of white paper, I see the main spot and the 2 smaller ones.

Robert Bateman

Interesting that the Maunder, Dalton and this latest big pause are all 200 yrs apart.
Will see if I can continue to see that spot later today and tomorrow.

And once again this web site shows why it has huge and growing traffic.

Fernando Mafilli

Fantastic graphic
(almost)..All I need to know the sun
Sun’s teeth (????)
I want to see a count of sunspots from Catania today. (1,2,3 or 5, 11…83.. etc)

AnonyMoose

Are we watching the beginning of a new 200 year cycle like what began with the Dalton Minimum in the early 1800’s?

If that’s the case we Americans have reason to be concerned because that is obviously deadly. NONE of the Native Americans present when it started have survived since the 1800s’ Dalton Minimum. 🙂

Robert Wood

So, this is like a sliding fourier transform with a gaussian enevelope? Higher frequencies to the bottom, lower to the top, and magnitude ranging from blue (zero?) to red hot?
This is amazingly intuitive graph.

Patrick Henry

Just in time to confuse the NASA press conference tomorrow.

AnonyMoose

Aren’t the areas at the top of this wavelet graph increasingly affected by wider areas underneath? So the upper left and the upper right areas are most distorted by the adjoining missing data? If that is the case, we can’t draw any conclusions yet about the pattern in the upper right corner because it will be altered by the future…unless there is no solar activity to distinguish from data values of zero.

Gary Gulrud

“Morlet wavelet transform ”
Oooh, cool. That took a little while but nice work! You guys are persisting.
I would say Janssens’ work makes 23-24 look like something new, outside his set of data of 10 and following.
“some hope … this year”
Like “change”, this is a bit wan & strained. By inauguration, an omen perhaps?

Drew Latta

Basil,
Why use the smoothed sunspot numbers? Is there a real data set that can be used instead, i.e. one without smoothing?

evanjones

Interesting that the Maunder, Dalton and this latest big pause are all 200 yrs apart.
Gleissberg (rhymes with Iceberg). DeVries (rhymes with Freeze).

Robert Bateman

This latest sunpot continues with the pattern that began 05/26/08, and that is at the bottom of both the Planetary A index and Solar Wind speed swings.
Isn’t that a tidy pattern?

John-X

This spot seems a bit oddly tilted.
“Joy’s Law” says the leading spot and leading magnetic polarity should be tilted so as to be closer to the solar equator.
This one seems to be tilted the other way.

Now, for an interesting observation and speculation, note that at present, which is at the right edge of the chart, from the 11 yr line to the top it is all blue.
These transforms are unreliable near the edges. Some information on that may be found on page 57 of here: here
provided I can get the URL to work. If not Google can find the reference: wavelet transform edge-effect addison 2.17
So speculation based on things near the edges is not well-founded.

John-X (12:09:30) :
“Joy’s Law” says the leading spot and leading magnetic polarity should be tilted so as to be closer to the solar equator. This one seems to be tilted the other way.
Joy’s ‘Law’ is only a tendency and does not hold universally, especially not for high-latitude spots where the ‘tendency’ is weak, anyway. Quite normal for this latitude and size of the spots.

blcjr

Ric,
Yes, I did the graph (well, my software did it for me). I used the free PAST (PAleontological STatistics) software. Very easy, really.
Robert,
I agree that this is probably one of the best graphs I’ve ever seen to demonstrate a wavelet transform. We all (who are interested in this) already know the shape of SSN’s in the time dimension, so it is easy for us to see it in this graph.
Drew,
As for using SSN’s, I don’t know if the underlying raw data is readily available the way SSN’s are or not (frankly, I haven’t looked). But I doubt that it would change much, if at all. There’d be more noise in the chart, of course, but I think the main features would still come out the way you see them in this one.
Evan,
Thanks for reminding me of DeVries.

Drew Latta (11:15:46) :
Why use the smoothed sunspot numbers? Is there a real data set that can be used instead, i.e. one without smoothing?
Very good question ! and, yes, there is such a data set. The best would be to use ‘daily’ raw numbers, e.g. as found here: http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-data/
How about it Basil?

Steve Hempell

Basil,
Further to Drew’s question are you using Leif’s latest modified SSN data?
http://www.leif.org/research/Corrected%20SSN%20and%20TSI.txt
http://www.leif.org/research/Corrected%20SSN%20and%20TSI.xls
This is unpublished, preliminary data [that can change at any time] so handle with care.
On the ” New paper from Christy….” post at 18:47:44
See 14:11:34 Line 6 for reference of modifications

Glenn

Steve “This is unpublished, preliminary data”
Actually, isn’t that data from a paper by Lean?
Of course, any scientific finding can change at
any time.

Perry Debell

SOHO image at 14-00 shows shrinking spots. Quoi?

Ray

Could the same thing be done with the ice core data? In this graph we can see up to the 200 years cycle. It would be interesting and worthy to correlate this (if correlation exists) with the ice core data and maybe if that correlates than we could also see the longer cycles. Also, those cycles, do they show the same cycles that was shown by the Russian mathematician back then (sorry I can’t recall his name)?

wow, happy equinox! what pictures!
Just found this excellent website by Per Strandberg which if you scroll down the page shows sunspot cycles quite beautifully – 22, 52, 88, 105, 212, and 420 year cycles. He also shows 300 years of comparing sunspots with the predictions from his model (excellent fit) and predicted spots for the next century.
Despite explanations being a little thin, this highly-relevant page is well worth a visit from readers here.

Robert Wood

This diagram illustrates the periodicities, but also the vagouries.

AnonyMoose

Someone else used a “wavelet coherence” method on solar data: “Analysis of Solar Magnetic Activity with the Wavelet Coherence Method“. It sounds interesting, but it’s only a poster session with little info. They question whether Fourier frequency patterns are valid.

Damek

I’m curious as to the edge effects of this graph. Would it be possible to create a couple of graphs with the end point 2000 and another with 1980? It would give us an idea as to the amount of ‘distortion’ that can be introduced.

Fernando Mafili

Basil : please.
Looking at your graph. I can see three signs.
resistance, capacitor and inductor.
This makes some sense?

Mike Bryant

Or just wrap it with the end connected to the beginning… no ends!

David Archibald

Anthony, please email me and I will send you an interesting graphic that is pertinent to this post.

blcjr

Leif,
Do you happen to have a mainframe I can borrow? I might need that if I’m to do this with daily data. I just gave it a quick shot. First issue was the lack of missing data prior to 1849. And I couldn’t get all the data to import into Excel, where I need it to import it into PAST. I did get the data from 1849 into Excel, but PAST ran out of memory. I’ll try again later with a machine I have at home with 6 GB of RAM. One can hope that would be enough, but who knows?
Steve, Drew, Leif,
I just realized that this is NOT the smoothed SN, but the monthly SIDC number. So until I can change the annotations on the graphic, just realize that you have the monthly numbers here, not the SSN’s.
As for Leif’s adjusted SN’s, here’s what I just quickly came up with:
http://i36.tinypic.com/2gwfe2x.jpg
I can see the effect of Leif’s adjustment, but the basic patterns are still mostly the same.

blcjr

Damek,
That’s a good suggestion, to see if Leif’s point about edge distortion has any merit. Actually, my response to Leif on that is that at the edge of the current graph, there’s no distortion, because there’s no (or little) transformation going on. It’s all (or mostly) blue at the edge.
I’ll see what I can come up with.

John-X

new from NOAA:
“New Region 1002 (N25W27) emerged on the disk as an eight-spot Dso Beta group with new Cycle 24 polarity.”
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/forecast.html

Johnnyb

So, if I understand this correctly… The onset of SC 24 is near. SC23 was a little bit long, but as not really exceptional in the grand scheme of things right?
No Grand Solar minimum is coming, no Dalton or Maunder Minimum, no Little Ice Age, etc. All of this talk about the sun doing something special this time which will cool the Earth off so dramatically that the Global Warmists will have to change their minds, is likely not going to happen, and most likely the Climate will stay pretty much the way it has always been, correct?

kim

johnnyb (15:48:08) Nobody, not even Leif, knows. But then, neither the Dalton nor Maunder Minimums, nor the Little Ice Age were really exceptional in the grand scheme of things, either. This particular cycle transition has not been ‘really exceptional’ but it has been different than the last half dozen or so. Number of spotless days, and numbers of spotless days in a row, and length of spotless runs have all been more for this cycle than recent ones. The ramp-up to Cycle 24 is slower than usual, too. This long after the first spot of a new cycle usually has a lot more activity. Leif might be able to tell us better what this might say about Cycle 25.
But you could be correct. Also, don’t forget the 20-30 years of cooling we might expect from the PDO in its cooling phase.
======================================

AnonyMoose

You’re right, Damek. Appending red-top data would show if a later red period would spill over the current blue top. Also, variations of the graph but ending at the start of the last several cycles may reveal whether this graph tends to show blue all the way to the top at this point of a cycle.

John-X

Johnnyb (15:48:08) :
“…something special this time which will cool the Earth off so dramatically that the Global Warmists will have to change their minds, is likely not going to happen, and most likely the Climate will stay pretty much the way it has always been, correct?”
Global Warmists? I think they’re now called Climate Change-ists
or something.
The cooling trend of the past ten years, and the unusually cold winter of 2008-2009 we’re going to have, are the irrefutable result of _Climate_Change.
Please use the correct terminology.

@John-x
I don’t care what they want to call it, they still have to prove it is anthropogenic in origin.

John-X

All changes in climate are caused by Climate Change.
SINCE the industrial revolution, that is.
Prior to the industrial revolution, changes in climate were NOT caused by Climate Change.

Steve Huntwork

@john-x
The correct terminology is “Global Warming” since that is the unproven hypothesis for the current climate variability caused by anthropogenic released CO2.
“Climate Change” in a nonsense word and is equivalent to “Appitite Change,” since people are always eating and getting hungry again.
In other words, the term “Climate Change” is an admission that the “Global Warming” hypothesis has not matched the actual conditions of the Earth in recent years.

I look at Basil’s graph and see 2 dozen smokestacks with CO2 billowing out.

Robert Wood

Always refer to the scam artists as global warmers; hold their arse to the flame of history.

Robert Wood

Basil, I did a lot of work in sound reconstruction for VOIP telephones. What to do when a packet is lost?
I found the two best were: 1) play the last packet backwards; b) repeat the last packet. Either way, the spectral characteristics were preserved. Either of these two strategies are best for the edge problem. As time continues, we can compare each approach with actuality, and adjust accordingly.

Robert Wood

Steve Huntwork,
In th ’90s, I was working with some folks from what is now “Environment Canada”. They were all agog of “climate change” as they saw it as the gravy train.
How right they were….
….hey, from the horse’s mouth.
But they knew that that the scare had tobe in for the scam to work. They knew they had to prove AGW. It was never overtly expressed; just talk of UN and “cliamte change” being the next BIG THING. But, they knew. This fraudulant scam must be ended.

Bill Illis

I generally think it is good to see a Cycle 24 spot because the Sun was looking a little too quiet.
With 6.6 billion people, we cannot afford to have a Maunder-type Minimum right now because food production has barely kept up with population growth over the past two years as a result of the slight decline in temperatures and another 1.0C decline would be a very big problem.
While we are all thinking that a quiet Sun will finally quiet the warmers, I am not worried that they will eventually be right. They are wrong about the how much temperatures will increase as a result of GHGs and this will be proven in time. We don’t need more food riots to prove it sooner.

Pamela Gray

I am more inclined to look at Leif’s data which takes into account measures other than sunspot numbers. I think understanding the mechanisms of the Sun will lead to much better predictions of its behavioral cycles. Sunspots by themselves just don’t seem to do it for me. Which is why I am so interested in the Sun even though it has fewer zits than granny.