Finally, a sunspot, but it is a Cycle 23 spot

Just when you think cycle 23 may be over, it pops out another spot. Here is the SOHO MDI image showing a sunspot dubbed #1012, in solar cycle 23.

mdi_spot1012

From SOHO

For those wondering how this is determined, cycle 24 spots (the new cycle) normally start near the poles and gradually migrate towards the equator as the cycle progresses over 11 years. So in this case, a spot at the equator means it is a cycle 23 spot. The magnetic polarity of the spot also defines it as a cycle 23 spot.

Here is a closer view:

mdi_1012_zoom1

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127 thoughts on “Finally, a sunspot, but it is a Cycle 23 spot

  1. nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (22:50:39) :
    Leif Svalgaard (21:28:20) :
    Don’t believe all you read in forums. In January, there was a SC23 region on a single day, the 19th, and a SC24 region on 9 through 13 January, thus a 5-to-1 favor of SC24.
    You have to be careful what you read in here too. I am not interested in days….more the amount of spots. From what I have found sunspot 1010 was the first spot for the year and was SC24 on the 9th, followed by 1011 which was SC23 on the 19th, then today with 1012 which is SC23.

    Don’t know what your problem or interest really is. As far as I can tell the sumber of spots were as follows:
    Jan 9: 3
    Jan 10: 6
    Jan 11: 5
    Jan 12: 3
    Jan 13: 1
    all SC24 [total 18 spots]
    and
    Jan 19: 2
    SC23
    A long-lived group with many spots is more important than two small one-day visitors.

  2. So every 2 weeks a very weak sunspot! Now even the second cycle 23 sunspot in a row. Where is cycle 24?

  3. – As far as I remember, the sunspit seen around 19/1 2009 was also a cycle 23 spot.. This means neary a month without cycle 24 spots and also that 2009 had only one cycle 24 sunspot group in addition to the 2 cycle 23 sunspot group. As far as I can see.

  4. Some of us are really getting desperate for cycle 24 to begin in earnest. Radio amateurs can really use the propagation that comes with an active Sun.

  5. Leif Svalgaard (23:10:20) said
    the sumber of spots were as follows:
    Jan 9: 3
    Jan 10: 6
    Jan 11: 5
    Jan 12: 3
    Jan 13: 1
    all SC24 [total 18 spots]
    I check out Space Weather every day and never saw that many spots. How are you counting? If you go to Spaceweather’s archive for January 10th they mention just 1 spot #1010. What ever way you got 6 spots, it can not be compared to historical records. Watt’s going on?

  6. This has been interesting for me since it’s something I’ve never paid any attention to, more than I ever used to want to know about solar cycles, minimums, maximums, warming and cooling. Now I am really interested because it makes a whole lot more sense to me than the “science” of global warming cause by man.

  7. Leif Svalgaard (14:23:22) :
    to
    vukcevic (13:52:57) :
    If the planets generate very energetic particles [which they do] these CAN travel upstream [like cosmic rays can]. but only [as for cosmic rays] with difficulty. ……. Of course, in your and all the other cases, that never seems to deter such speculation. but the public is really not well served with this, unless marked with ‘for entertainment only’.

    I did not imply it was particles. Planetary magnetic fields with the associated magnetospheres and the orbital properties are summarily dismissed, while some fanciful hypothesis (often a pure guesswork) are given accolade of supreme science, to be few years later,rejected as worthless (as you often remind the readers).
    It is fact that the formula, I produced is not perfect but it has high level (over 90%) correlation with KNOWN and accepted solar polar fields measurements, for which undoubtedly you made great contribution and are one of the foremost experts in the field.
    As far as public entertainment is concerned, unfortunately the entertainers are valued far more than scientists, to my dismay, I am not either. Science should not be dull and dreary; it should be a ‘magnet’ for any inquisitive mind. I do not claim that plethora of solar scientists are wrong, I even occasionally put a ‘health worming’, it is just a hypothesis, but the formula is just too close to ‘measured data’ to be a coincidence.
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarField.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarField.gif
    ‘the nature is adverse to a coincidence, it is ruled by a cause and the consequence’

  8. I know very little about sun cycles, but find the discussion fascinating. Does the appearance of another cycle 23 spot (one a bit more obvious than some of the previous observations) mean the transition between cycles 23 and 24 will be even longer than postulated, or is there something else going on?

  9. The interest is that the solar cycle is extending much longer than predicted by most , we have had many days of no sunspots and now we finally have one of old cycle 23 appear, and the last spot was an old cycle 23 and that was 3 odd weeks ago. I find in all very interesting for the pure quietness, and rather long cycle change that does not seem to want to ramp up as most expected by now…and just what it bodes for the future temperature on earth in the years ahead.

  10. If this were a Hollywood production, studio execs would be gnashing their teeth. SC23 continues to draw ’em in, while the newest production, SC24, just can’t seem to draw many crowds. Instead of a new mega-hit, the newest effort is making like a boring documentary.

  11. Odd. Solarcycle24.com shopws a much lower activity throughout all of January (up to today, Feb 11) than would be implied by the first post.
    They count 23 days now of zero sunspots -ending apparently with this cycle 23 microspot on Feb 11-12, and have extended their plot of “days per month with no sunspots” to cover the period from November 2008 up to January 2009. That graphic also indicates that the first post is incorrect.

  12. Seems like I checked only yesterday and the magnetogram looked like a sheet of grey linoleum. Can’t believe I missed all that sc 24 activity.
    Leif, while you’re up, where are we in the Milankovic cycle?

  13. @leif
    what is the average duration that the old and new cycle co-excists.?
    i thought sc24 started somewhere oktober 2008 and sc 23 is producing its final sunspots now so around 6 months or will it take longer for sc 23 to die.

  14. Slightly OT but could be linked in some way. Interesting post over on ICECAP about Met Office scientists attack alarmists. Curiously, Dr Viki Pope of the Met Office has launched a heavy attack on scientists claim alarmism over Climate Change endorsed by another UK scientist. The interesting point is that although not apparently making any alarmism claims herself, or the other scientist, neither has been particularly vocal in the past in calming down climate fears, suggesting that they actually endorsed them before now.
    Could it be that now the wheels are falling off the AGW scare, to which the Met Office has contributed greatly, whether intentionally or not, that we are now seeing the good old rear covering action, & we’ll be getting the classic statements like ” well we never actually said , a, b, c, & x, y, z.” Sounds fishy to me.

  15. I think that it is clear that the radiatave energy from the sun changes very little due to the solar cycle. But, because of the strong correlation to temerature and prolonged solar minima, there is likely some link.
    Whether this is due to cosmic rays, or some other as of yet un-known link we will just have to wait and see.
    Whatever the answer is, the current sun spot situation has me worried that my new Jet-Ski may not get as much use as is should.

  16. So, the sun is quiet, there’s a (though not too strong) la nina… and both RSS and UAH are showing extraordinary warming in January and from amsu it is clear that the warm trend is still continuing. What’s up?!

  17. Yes, that small spot belongs to the old cycle 23 because it is close to the Sun’s equator.
    However, apparently nobody noticed another spot. It is situated in the “upper left” quadrant of the SOHO image and, because of its high latitude, it must belong to cycle 24.
    Or is it a defect in the picture?

  18. Alan the Brit (01:44:21) : pointed out:
    Slightly OT but could be linked in some way. Interesting post over on ICECAP about Met Office scientists attack alarmists
    I strongly recommend clicking the trail of links to the original article. I find the timing strange. We will soon be having a number of assorted scientists and other self-interested ones holding a conference to rally up the global warming scare, just before the Copenhagen meeting.
    It appears she is making a pre-emptive shot at underming them. Has she seen their press release?
    And another thing, it’s a bit rich a head of The Hadley Centre now complaing about over-hyping global warming. She also is using the weasel words “climate change” as global warming clearly seems to have become an embarrassment to her. We must always force the believers to wear their words “Global Warming”

  19. Sven (02:14:43) :
    YES! strange things are happening!!
    Around 8-9 january things got quite extraordinary indeed:
    http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/attachments/stratcold.gif
    Many things, here at WUWT in a blog i got this nice graph that shows, that the Sea surface temperatures in January was infact falling:
    http://i40.tinypic.com/1js3kw.jpg
    This implies, that what ever is going on, its likely to be somewhat temporary.
    At ICECAP, it is believe that we might get cold out of this in the end:
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Super_Strong_Stratospheric_Mid.pdf
    What IS going on seems to be a spectacular split up of the big cold lowpressure area over the arctic! a warm area has succeeded to penetrate the arctic cold lowpressure resulting in 2 seperate cold arctic areas, pushed south.
    The net outcome in this speaking warming/cooling? The warm area over the north pole might lose some energy to space?
    If the colder areas reaches open waters at any point this would warm the air quicker than the sea would appera colder?
    I dont know, but here a MUST-READ on the present situation (!) – also found here at WUWT in a blog:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36972
    I think these things are good to know, because soon we will hear the warmies party due to the new heat. I think its a fluctuation caused by very special weather formation over the arctic.

  20. Jim Steele (00:05:24) :

    If you go to Spaceweather’s archive for January 10th they mention just 1 spot #1010. What ever way you got 6 spots, it can not be compared to historical records.

    Jim ….. 1010 was a ‘region’ which contained multiple spots rather than a single spot.

  21. Sunspot dubbed #1012 seems to been seen before as perhaps #1010, #1011 that happened 25 days ago as the sun rotates?

  22. Leif, please tell me what you think of the new de Jager and Duhau study that expects decades of cooling from the action of the sun. Please and thank you.
    ===================================================

  23. At least half of the Jan 9-13 , 2009 SC24 spot was SOHO based.
    It was a very ghostly group.
    I know, I followed it conventionally every day it was declared in existence.
    No matter how you slice it, Sunspot acitivity is atrociously poor, and SC23 activity, whether SOHO or plage-based, outstrips SC24. This latest SC23 peekaboo shot a flare.
    IPS has thier minimum prediction for the crossover out in April, 2009, for good reason.
    The reason is that SC24 is still back at the starting line.
    Examine the SC24 spots of 2008. They are ghosts, with only one being prominent.
    We are comparing ghosts to ghosts to argue which ghost is greater.
    Amatuer Astronomers have a great name for observations this difficult: Faint Fuzzies.

  24. Jeff (01:55:28) :

    I think that it is clear that the radiatave energy from the sun changes very little due to the solar cycle. But, because of the strong correlation to temerature and prolonged solar minima, there is likely some link.

    I agree, though others will disagree. The changes in irradiance are fairly small, however, combined with other factors that change is amplified / manifested in several ways. It does not take much change in sea temperatures to affect the climate.
    Many have told me that a couple of weak solar cycles would not have any noticable effect. Some state that the current level of solar insolation will prevent any cooling let alone dramatic cooling. So I, in my own way, looked into that. My findings disagreed with those claims. My findings also disagreed with claims that the Holocene would continue for another 25,000 years or so. I did a series on that titled:
    A New Glacial Period; When?
    http://penoflight.com/climatebuzz/?page_id=394
    I do not claim that we are going to see a major drop into a glacial period anytime in the (human time) near future. However, the Holocene is ending. We should be grateful for any remaining warming cycles which occur. Man needs to be able to adapt, and prepare for adaptation, to climate change be it warming or cooling. Cooling is far more dangerous and anyone who ignores contingencies for dealing with it is neglegent… in science and in politics.

  25. Leif,
    Just come out and say it- Is CO2 in your opinion a greater climate driver than solar activity?
    The answer is going to unfold in the years ahead. But I’d to know your answer now.
    The globe has indeed cooled in the last few years, which doesn’t exactly support the CO2 theory.

  26. Looks like Archibald is the one who is correct. We could use some more Archibald about now. Mr. Archibald, could you please impart some wisdom on us.

  27. Would this spot have been detected with the techonology available during the Maunder Minimum? …or even pre-satellite era?

  28. Frank Lasner says:
    “I think these things are good to know, because soon we will hear the warmies party due to the new heat. I think its a fluctuation caused by very special weather formation over the arctic.”
    I hope your right but this same formation with the jet stream going over North America hugging the California / Oregon border happened the beginning of last December. I can’t remember seeing a jet stream in the winter like that hang around so long. We all know what happened the end of December. Arctic Outflows for the Pacific Northwest followed by a prolonged cold snap for the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard.
    I should also note that the 14 day forecast with its weighting on the present (in the model) is pushing out the same way it did in December for Northern Alberta, Canada. I watch a couple of spots in Siberia and then Fort Yukon in Alaska to see how deep the cold is going to be. It’s almost a mirror of December.
    All I can say is God Bless Winterpeg, Manitoba, Canada because this winter they didn’t get much of a reprieve. Already, this has been a Winter like I remember from the 70’s.

  29. Cycle 23 is limping along.
    Good question Dell Hunt, I have asked and have gotten no definitive answer. Wouldn’t it be reasonable that we avoid the tiny-tim problem with hurricanes by having a set of sunspot books where the numbers are traceable to historic data with no interruptions? It would seem to be quite easy to use old-style measuring equipment.

  30. Alan the Brit:
    I noticed the same thing. Dr. Viki Pope (head of climate change advice at the Met Office Hadley Centre) is now saying in guardian.co.uk:
    “Recent headlines have proclaimed that Arctic summer sea ice has decreased so much in the past few years that it has reached a tipping point and will disappear very quickly. The truth is that there is little evidence to support this. Indeed, the record-breaking losses in the past couple of years could easily be due to natural fluctuations in the weather, with summer sea ice increasing again over the next few years.”
    The “Recent headline” refers to an article in guardian.co.uk by James Hansen “Twenty years later: tipping points near on global warming”. So Dr. Pope is saying that Dr. Hansen was telling porky pies.
    REPLY: see new thread on this topic. – Anthony

  31. tarpon (05:18:48) :
    Cycle 23 is limping along.
    Good question Dell Hunt, I have asked and have gotten no definitive answer. … It would seem to be quite easy to use old-style measuring equipment.
    I suspect that this one could be seen with old-style measuring equipment. And I do believe that Leif has previously informed us that such equipment is still in service.
    If Leif is right in his numbers for January — and it would be a fool who bets he isn’t — my question is what happens if SC24 stays low for the rest of February, so that February becomes a month in which SC23 exceeds SC24. Does this in any way influence the determination of “official minimum” (in quotes, to let Leif know that I recall what he’s said about the minimum being a human artifact, and not a true physical phenomenon)?

  32. The official sunspot number is calculated from a formula known as the Wolf Sunspot Number Formula.
    R = k(10g + s), where g is the number of sunspot groups (regions), s is the total number of individual spots in all the groups and k is a scaling factor that corrects for seeing conditions.
    http://space-env.esa.int/Data_Plots/noaa/ssn_plot.html
    Since you have ‘k’ in the equation, the result is somewhat subjective and rarely (or maybe never) = 1 If you have a ‘group’ of spots then the result is at least 11 if k>= 1.

  33. Robert Wood:-)
    Right on! I couldn’t agree more.
    Lee Kington:-)
    Surely there is much more in the combination of Milankovitch Cycles & solar output variations. As I understand it the correlations between global temps & solar variations is definitely there, we are at near circular orbit with perihelion in early January, as this precesses thro time closest approach to the Sun will be in July in several thousand years time, we are also about half-way thro our axial tilt upwards with around 10,000 years to go before it all starts back down again. I also understand that at the top end of tilt the northern hemisphere will get about 25% more solar radiation @ about 65N lat, from 400 w/m² to 500w/m². We know the sun is never constant, & as I also understand it TSI may well not be the whole story, particularly as Lockwood & Frolich claim only a 0.2% variations between solar max & min yet it fits the AGW argument for no solar influence. It just doesn’t make sense to discard solar variations of whatever kind from climate influences in favour of a politically selected trace gas (IPCC agrees it is a trace gas) that has increased by one ten thousanth of a part of the volume of the atmosphere.
    When examining a structure for defects & causes of those defects, I discount nothing unless I know for sure I can definitely rule it out, if then.
    BTW if Dr Pope is so concerned by all the clamour & alarmism detracting from the real issues of Global Warming she should stop joining in by promoting government hyped CC conferences which are choreographed & scripted as well as any Hollywood ripping yarn blockbuster, where the special effects (Hockey Sticks & CGI models) are sensational but the acting, script, & plot is thin on the ground. No offence to the hard working actors, directors, producers et al in said Hollywood rip roaring yarn! Not a skeptic in site!
    Completely OT. The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Show is discussing the elderly, & the representative of Help the Aged charity reckons we should not be discriminating against the elderly by referring to them as elderly or aged, & it was politely pointed out that their charity had Aged in its title! What a country I live in, may God help my children.

  34. ” think of the new de Jager and Duhau study that expects decades of cooling from the action of the sun.”
    An interesting dilemma. Dr. S. is cited repeatedly in a paper rampant with cyclomania and statistical speculation. A surprise from Dr. de Jager.
    Not the first to postpone the Grand Minimum until later this century but paper stands out on that count.

  35. Funny, I don’t hear any CO2 or Sun due to the noise from the surf pounding in my ears and the wind blowing up my skirt. But I must ignore the crashing waves and my chilly cheeks so that I can strain to hear these apparently important sources of climate speculation.

  36. Jim Steele (00:05:24) :
    “Jan 10: 6” […] How are you counting?
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 🙂 on this drawing from the 10th Jan.:
    ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/dr090110.jpg
    There is perhaps a semantic problem: An ‘active region’ [the one that gets a number] can contain many ‘spots’. The one in question had 6. A big region at solar maximum can have dozens of spots in it. Here is an example:
    ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/1957/dr570922.jpg
    Robert A Cook PE (01:11:16) :
    Odd.
    Same issue here.
    Pierre Gosselin (03:59:46) :
    Is CO2 in your opinion a greater climate driver than solar activity?
    There has been times in the far past where the CO2 concentration was 30-50 times higher than now. During those times temperatures were 5-10 degrees warmer. I don’t think solar activity was responsible for that [the Sun was actually a bit dimmer as a whole], so, yes, CO2 can be an important driver. Whether that is the case today with the paltry 0.04% concentration is another question which we don’t know the answer to. There has been changes in temperature without any increases in CO2 [e.g. MWP] nor in solar activity. People are all to willing to jump on a band wagon [of either stripe] because it gives them a sense of security of knowing or of belonging. Which band wagon are you on?
    kim (03:51:44) :
    kim (03:51:44) :
    what you think of the new de Jager and Duhau study that expects decades of cooling from the action of the sun.

    Not much. My main problem is Figure 1 and 2, that show the Group Sunspot Number and Earth temperature. First of all the data stops conveniently some 30 years back, second, Figure 1 shows a large difference between 19th and 20th century which I don’t think exists, so the basis for the rest of the paper is sorta shot.
    Dell Hunt, Jackson, Michigan (04:55:28) :
    tarpon (05:18:48) :
    Would this spot have been detected with the techonology available during the Maunder Minimum? …or even pre-satellite era?
    Probably not, but we try to compensate for that by inflating the early sunspot numbers appropriately.
    Basil (05:41:51) :
    is what happens if SC24 stays low for the rest of February, so that February becomes a month in which SC23 exceeds SC24. Does this in any way influence the determination of “official minimum”
    The official minimum is based on an average over 13 months so one or even a few months of imbalance either way would not have any effect.

  37. I’m am not a scientist in anyway just love science, but I have a difficult time believing that in the past they could count these micro-spots or even see them at all. Am I wrong? If that statement is true, how do you compare apples to apples, cycle to cycle. It’s like the era of the dead ball in baseball and the live ball. 1700’s to 2009 something must have changed.

  38. Alan the Brit (06:04:52) :

    We are also about half-way thro our axial tilt upwards with around 10,000 years to go before it all starts back down again. I also understand that at the top end of tilt the northern hemisphere will get about 25% more solar radiation @ about 65N lat, from 400 w/m² to 500w/m².

    I disagree on the above quote. Obliquity is currently at 23.446 degrees and decreasing. 5 Kyr ago it was 24.019 and 10 Kyr ago it was 24.229.
    Insolation at 65N is about 426 and decreasing. 5 Kyr ago it was 452.48 and 10 Kyr ago it was 469.44.
    I don’t believe that the solar cycles are fully responsible for entry into an ice age or glacial period, nor do they cause the exit. Neither does, in whole, the Milankovitch cycles. But both play a part.
    It is possible that the current CO2 levels may play a role in the next entry to a glacial cycle. They could, very slightly, slow the rate of temperature decline. However, they won’t prevent it. Cooling will increase sequestion thus additional CO2, and then some, will disappear from the air in a century or so.
    What little cooling we have had in recent years has already halted addition to the rate of annual increase.
    Trends in Yearly CO2 Increase
    http://penoflight.com/climatebuzz/?p=182
    Thanks for your response.
    Lee

  39. Alan the Brit (06:04:52) :
    As I understand it the correlation between global temps & solar variations is definitely there
    Where?
    gary gulrud (06:14:23) :
    An interesting dilemma. Dr. S. is cited repeatedly in a paper rampant with cyclomania and statistical speculation. A surprise from Dr. de Jager.
    No dilemma. The cyclomania stinks. One should disregard the whole first half of the paper. The last half is a fairly traditional analysis and ‘prediction’, not particularly original or useful.

  40. Leif
    I see the tiny little cluster Jan 9-13 that you mention, is that enough to be sure that cycle 24 is beginning, Do we count each little spec seperately in a group like this? Also is their any significance to their small size and short duration or is that because the cycle is just starting?

  41. Lee Kington (03:35:50) :
    Jim ….. 1010 was a ‘region’ which contained multiple spots rather than a single spot.
    I went back and enlarged the pictures and saw that #1010 was a region with variable spots. The questions remains how those counts compare with historic counts. On enlarged January 9 I can see only 1 spot not 3. January 10 I see 5 spots but 6th looks questionable. Did historic records have the same resolution to 3 vs 1 spot? Were historic records counted every day because those spots change rapidly in a region.

  42. “”” Jeff (01:55:28) :
    I think that it is clear that the radiatave energy from the sun changes very little due to the solar cycle. But, because of the strong correlation to temerature and prolonged solar minima, there is likely some link. “””
    There’s a sunspot cycle Solar Irradiance plot that is a composite of several satellites (I think) The segments are labelled HF, ACRIM-I, ACRIM-2, and VIRGO. As near as I can tell by eye; smoothing the smoothed graph, it has a peak to peak cyclic amplitude of very close to 0.1%, with the peak at
    1367.0, and the trough at 1365.6 W/m^2. There is also a 0.1 % “bar” on the graph. You can find it at:-
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SOLAR_IRRADIANCE/COMPOSITE.v2.GIF
    All the previous separate satellite graphs I have seen seem consistent with a 0.1% amplitude, but their baslines were different so you still couldn’t tell what NOAA thought the solar “constant” was. So I’ll take this one.
    From black body radiation theory, if nothing else changed one would expect to see a 0.025% increase in mean global temperature; or close to it; ignoring some of the finer points; and that amounts to 0.072 deg C P-P; hardly worth writing home about.
    Now personally, I am of the opinion, that even if the solar constant were a straight line at about 1366.2 with zero variation; we would still see the same variations of earth climate showing a solar cycle linkage of about the same magnitude as we have seen.
    It is my opinion, that the magnetic and charged particle/cosmic ray linkages, (and maybe others I don’t know about); some of which are included in Svensmark et al’s thesis, are in fact driving the major earth climate changes; through basically cloud feedback. I bas this on my belief that the water cycle, involving surface warming, evaporation, atmospheric water content, cloud formation, and precipitation, and solar insolation and albedo modulation; is the contolling mechanism, and the solar effects link to that largely through cloud formation.
    I’ve seen enough peer reviewed literature on these matters; plus things like Dr Willie Soon’s book, and what Leif posts here on solar matters; to convince me, of the general behavior, even if I may not be able to quantify my picture of how it all works; and I believe that CO2 has virtually nothing at all to do with earth climate.
    George

  43. Dell Hunt, Jackson, Michigan (04:55:28) :
    Would this spot have been detected with the techonology available during the Maunder Minimum? …or even pre-satellite era?

    Absolutely not. There is no way you are going to take even a 4″ apochromat of tody’s superb optical quality and the finest eyepiece money can buy and expect to see Sunspot 1012.
    No, no, no, no, and NO.
    Why?
    Because of lower limits on the appearance of faint nebulosity expressed in arcminutes will preclude you from resolving such a wispy object. Now we are dealing directly with resolving power. It will take a dedicated solar tower projecting at very high F ratios to break that barrier. So you can pretty much pinpoint how far back this spot would be picked up pre-satellite by what year solar towers (and similar) became available.

  44. I should hasten to add, that I understand at a fairly basic level how CO2 intercepts earth emitted thermal radiation energy and then passes that on to the atmosphere in the form of atmospheric heating; pretty much the same as water vapor does. So I DO NOT deny the CO2 absorption process; it just doesn’t matter much in the end, because of the control that water has, on the outcome.
    George

  45. Jim Steele (07:17:18) :

    I went back and enlarged the pictures and saw that #1010 was a region with variable spots. The questions remains how those counts compare with historic counts. On enlarged January 9 I can see only 1 spot not 3. January 10 I see 5 spots but 6th looks questionable. Did historic records have the same resolution to 3 vs 1 spot? Were historic records counted every day because those spots change rapidly in a region.

    It is quite possible that historic entries were not inclusive of individual spots within a region dependent on the size of the region, strength of individual spots, and separation of them. But, to an extent I think that it is possible to put too much emphasis on spot numbers / count.

  46. Cycle overlap during the transition is normal. It’s just that Cycle 24 is @&## weak, most expectations were that it would have ramped up higher by now.

  47. “Which band wagon are you on?”
    Certainly not on the CO2 bandwagon.
    I think there have been enough studies to show that there’s a close correlation between solar activity and climate change – throughout the history of the earth, and not just a few decades.
    Without the sun, it would be absolute zero here. It’s only logical that solar fluctuations thus cause climate change. Ocean cycles are also a major factor. But the oceans get their energy from the sun, and I think their behaviour is ultimately driven by the sun.
    Little ice ages are not uncommon in recent human history. It would be foolish politically to ignore the chance of them happening again. But politics is foolish for the most part, and not surprisingly they are ignoring what is a real threat to people.
    Everything is going to play out in the next few years.

  48. Wondering Aloud (07:14:06) :
    I see the tiny little cluster Jan 9-13 that you mention, is that enough to be sure that cycle 24 is beginning, Do we count each little spec seperately in a group like this?
    I count the number of ‘regions’ [i.e. as numbered by NOAA] for each day separately for each cycle and plot the count for each month here:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Region%20Days%20per%20Month%20for%2023-24.png
    It is clear that cycle 24 has started.
    Jim Steele (07:17:18) :
    On enlarged January 9 I can see only 1 spot not 3.
    ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/dr090110.jpg
    ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/dr090111.jpg
    ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/dr090112.jpg
    The key point is that different people see different spots with different instruments at different times. In constructing the sunspot number all of these differences are sought to be taken into account. As you go back in time, this adjustment becomes harder and harder. Rudolf Wolf who invented the sunspot number found a solution to this problem of adjusting the counts of different observers to the same uniform scale [that of Rudolf himself, of course]. The solution is described here: http://www.leif.org/research/Napa%20Solar%20Cycle%2024.pdf and here: http://www.leif.org/research/CAWSES%20-%20Sunspots.pdf
    Adam Gallon (08:47:56) :
    Is an overlap of cycles the norm?, since we appear to have Cycle 23&24 spots appearing.
    Yes, you can see the overlap here: http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf on page 4 or here: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/bfly.gif

  49. I think the Axial Tilt or Obliquity is the most important aspect of the Milankovitch cycles.
    As the tilt decreases toward 22.4 degrees, there is less summer warmth produced in the polar regions and less snow melts. Glaciers build up near the poles, spread away from the poles, more sunshine is reflected, Earth cools more and the glaciers spread even farther away from the poles.
    If there was no axial tilt at all, the north pole would consistently have April and October temperatures (ie sun barely breaking the horizon and no melting at all) and the glaciers would be more or less permanent halfway down North America, Europe and Siberia.
    The highest axial tilt at 24.2 degrees coincides with the Holocene Optimum at 8,700 BC. The next ice age is then coming as we get closer to 22.3 degrees in about 9,800 years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_tilt
    Until about 1 million years ago, the glacial cycles followed the 41,000 to 42,000 year Axial Tilt cycle.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png

  50. “Obliquity is currently at 23.446 degrees and decreasing. 5 Kyr ago it was 24.019 and 10 Kyr ago it was 24.229.
    Insolation at 65N is about 426 and decreasing. 5 Kyr ago it was 452.48 and 10 Kyr ago it was 469.44.”
    The distillation is appreciated, much obliged.

  51. George E. Smith (09:49:27) :
    “All the previous separate satellite graphs I have seen seem consistent with a 0.1% amplitude, but their baslines were different so you still couldn’t tell what NOAA thought the solar “constant” was. So I’ll take this one.”
    “From black body radiation theory, if nothing else changed one would expect to see a 0.025% increase in mean global temperature; or close to it; ignoring some of the finer points; and that amounts to 0.072 deg C P-P; hardly worth writing home about.”
    However laws of thermodynamics work on the Kelvin scale not the Celsius scale.
    0 Celsius = 273.15 K
    a degree is the same on both scales.
    14 C (global mean temp) = 287.15 K (I’ll round to 287 K)
    So according to the laws of thermodynamics, an increase in energy input (TSI from the Sun) should have a corresponding increase in temp (with all other factors constant). BUT THIS CALCULATION SHOULD BE DONE ON THE KELVIN SCALE NOT THE CELCIUS SCALE!
    287 X .1% (.001) = .287 degrees.
    Therefore under laws of thermodynamics, an increase of just .1% solar irradiance, should theoretically increase temps by .1%, which is almost .3 degrees, and that amount is worth writing home about.

  52. Leif Svalgaard,
    I am only going by allegedly sound website articles by some geologists. If that is wrong then so be it. I endeavour to trawl a wide variety of simialr sites to get a broader understanding of what these authorities are saying.
    Ditto to Lee, if this data is wrong then I stand corrected. I will go back thro what I have linked on to & pass the site on to you asap. Could you advise of a website where there is an authoratitive stance please?:-)

  53. Slightly OT but could be linked in some way. Interesting post over on ICECAP about Met Office scientists attack alarmists

    I thank you for mentioning it. ICECAP doesn’t have a functional RSS feed so I often miss stuff. Particularly because their web page format scatters stuff around the page so it’s hard to spot new stuff.

  54. Dell Hunt, Jackson, Michigan (10:51:54) :
    So according to the laws of thermodynamics, an increase in energy input (TSI from the Sun) should have a corresponding increase in temp (with all other factors constant).
    No, an increase of energy input of 0.1% causes an increase in temp of 1/4 of that or 0.025%, which of 287K comes to 0.072K which is not worth writing home about.
    The 1/4 comes from the Stefan-Boltzmann law: S = a T^4, so
    dS = 4 aT^3 dT or dS/S = 4 dT/T, or dT/T = 1/4 dS/S

  55. Alan the Brit (11:03:57) :

    Ditto to Lee, if this data is wrong then I stand corrected. I will go back thro what I have linked on to & pass the site on to you asap. Could you advise of a website where there is an authoratitive stance please?:-)

    Alan here is the data for the last 5,000,000 years.
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/insolation/orbit91
    That is with July Insolation which I refered to.
    here is with June..
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/insolation/insol91.jun
    other data here…
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/insolation/

  56. Sunspot numbers are determined by a calculation that depends in part on the observor (for the ‘k’ value); many on-line sites describe this. Clearly there is subjectivity involved; the key thing is for any given approach be applied consistently. NOAA has a site that presents the data side-by-side, with the calculated sunspot number and the sunspot region–the latter being what most of us amateurs consider the “sunspot number” to be:
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/quar_DSD.txt
    The main site for NOAA’s sun-related data is:
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/Data/index.html

  57. Bill Illis (10:31:01) :

    The highest axial tilt at 24.2 degrees coincides with the Holocene Optimum at 8,700 BC. The next ice age is then coming as we get closer to 22.3 degrees in about 9,800 years.

    Bill,
    To me that is the wrong way to look at it. While there is a close tie to precession, thus insolation, to glacial entries and exits that same relationship does not exist with obliquity. Obliquity does not influence the total amount of solar radiation. It does affect the distribution of solar radiation. Hence, the amount of variation (extremes) between seasons at upper and lower latitudes.
    Perhaps I should do a project demonstrating why obliquity, though it may at times contribute, is not a determining factor for glaciation or exit from a glacial period.

  58. The ghosts are marching in!
    Livingston and Penn: “Our data show that there are additional changes occurring in sunspots, independent of the sunspot cycle, and these trends suggest that sunspots will disappear completely. Such an event would not be
    unprecedented, since during a famous episode from 1645-1715, known as the Maunder Minimum”
    This time some people will manage to see (and count) ghosts.

    … as they wring their hands and mutter, sotto voce, “Out, out, damned spot!”
    It has something to do with MacBeth; I’m not sure what.

  59. “that amount is worth writing home about.”
    In connection with Mr. Kington’s insolation data, the ISCCP indicates a 2% rise in cloud associated albedo since 1998, the Earthshine project indicates 1%. These two distinct approaches are taken to be ‘in agreement’.
    As only 40% of TSI reaching earth actually reaches the surface, to be ‘stored’ by the oceans, years of integrating, say, 0.3% less energy would seem to be worth noting to most, if not all, the sentient.

  60. Leif Svalgaard:
    “No, an increase of energy input of 0.1% causes an increase in temp of 1/4 of that or 0.025%, which of 287K comes to 0.072K which is not worth writing home about.
    The 1/4 comes from the Stefan-Boltzmann law: S = a T^4, so
    dS = 4 aT^3 dT or dS/S = 4 dT/T, or dT/T = 1/4 dS/S”
    Are you sure you are looking at that correctly? That 1/4 formula between TSI and temp applies to overall temp, not necessarily the incremental changes.
    While I’m not a physicist, I remember a lot from calculus, etc.
    Looking at the formulas, and again, I’m not sure, but it looks to me like you are essentially double compensating for the Stefan-Boltzmann constant.
    Basically heres why.
    The Stefan Boltzmann law is already built into the base irradiance-temperature relationship. So the ¼ constant is already built into the current temp. So an increase of .1% in TSI, yes results in ¼ irradiance to temp adjustment, but the base temp, is also subject to the same TSI to temp adjustment.
    Here’s a simplified explanation. where TSI = Total Solar Irradiance. S = Stefan-Boltzmann Constant. And T = Temp.
    Then Basically TSI x S = T
    Correct?
    Therefore If TSI x S = 287 K
    Then 1.01xTSI x S = 1.01 x 287 = 287.287
    I’m not saying that’s correct, but after looking at it more, are you sure you are calculating the ¼ factor correct and not doubling up the 1/4 adjustment?

  61. A repost:
    Leif Svalgaard (23:16:03) :
    ” damage to power stations ”
    So if the solar storm’s have no way to change climate, by not adding power.
    how can we blow up million watt power stations?
    I await your answer, BTW I have a degree in power systems.

  62. I see most all the questions were answered except:
    1. The SOHO images were stuck on Feb 9th for a few day due to a data “keyhole” where the spacecraft is to close to the sun for reliable transmission. So, if you were watching onl SOHO instead of:
    http://www.nso.edu/ you might have been suprised.
    2. “Out damned spot” was spoken by a sleepwalking and guilt-ridden Lady MacBeth trying to wash the blood off her hands. (Read that 38 years ago in high school and can’t remember my own cell phone number.)

  63. Robert Bateman (03:52:00) : “Examine the SC24 spots of 2008. They are ghosts, with only one being prominent. We are comparing ghosts to ghosts to argue which ghost is greater.”
    (whisper) I see dead sunspots! 🙂

  64. On an entirely unrelated (or at best very loosely connected) subject, can anyone explain why NSIDC was showing until yesterday a very definate up spike in Arctic Sea ice, whereas today it has been suddenly smoothed out?
    Ben

  65. I am also surprised to see these cycle 23 spots. I had thought cycle 24 had started, we had passed minimum. There is obviously overlap each side of a minimum, but this cycle 24 is not stepping up to base.

  66. Re: gary gulrud (10:48:03) :
    “Obliquity is currently at 23.446 degrees and decreasing. 5 Kyr ago it was 24.019 and 10 Kyr ago it was 24.229.
    Insolation at 65N is about 426 and decreasing. 5 Kyr ago it was 452.48 and 10 Kyr ago it was 469.44.”
    During MIS 11 about 400 kyr ago, which is the interglacial whose Milakovich signature most closely matching the current one, climate switched abruptly to glacial when the insolation at 65N reached about 416.
    We are close to a Tipping Point (and one that we actually knows exists, in contrast to the ones we are constantly hearing about).

  67. Re MC, I have done what I can, including publishing a book entitled Solar Cycle 24. You can see the front cover on my website at: http://www.davidarchibald.info The book will be in bookstores in Australia in at the end of the month.
    Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic (and President of the EU for 2009) sent me a letter of praise after receiving it, and so on the back page for the second print run, above the “Praise from Professors for Solar Cycle 24”, I will put “Praise from Heads of State for Solar Cycle 24”.
    The good thing about the whole AGW scare is that it got non-climate scientists to start looking at climate. We can predict climate based on predictions of solar activity. Otherwise we would be floundering about thinking it was a random walk process. My prediction back in 2006 that Solar Cycle 24 would be the start of a Dalton Minimum rerun was based on Clilverd’s prediction of an amplitude of 45. Landscheidt, Hathaway and others were saying that the big, scary downturn was going to start with Solar Cycle 25.
    On the Jager and Duhau paper, I found it incomprehensible. Perphaps I could understand it if I tried very, very hard, but I don’t think it is worth the effort because they make predictions seemingly without any supporting evidence. Their prediction for Solar Cycle 24 looks like it is already wrong – an amplitude of 116 (?) in 2011. It is possible that a cycle that has had an ultra weak start could ramp up to solar max in two years, but highly unlikely. For once I am in agreement with Dr Svalgaard – that paper has a lot of assertions but not much else.
    On the subject of sunspots, we concentrate on sunspots because that is what we can see. They are a second order derivative feature of the Sun’s magnetic flux. It is like looking at a lava lamp from above, with the magnetic flux tubes rising due to buoyancy. The big thing is the coronal magnetic field strength which we can measure in the form of the Ap Index. Which reminds me that I made a prediction of the Ap Index last month on WUWT of 3 in October 2009. There is a correlation between the strength of the geomagnetic index at solar minimum and the amplitude of the following solar cycle. I have plotted it up and get an amplitude of 25. The margin for error in this estimate is inherently large. The coming solar cycle will be a good opportunity to tighten the calibration on that solar amplitude estimation technique.
    On the progression of this minimum, things are going to plan. Ocean heat content peaked in 2003 in that year of very high proton flare activity, and is now in a steady decline. Craig Loehle will have a paper out on that soon. Sea level looks like it has stopped rising and it would be good to see the latest data from those satellites. The Ap Index has fallen out of bed and is still declining. Oulu neutron count remains in uptrend. The peak of that, and thus peak cooling due to cloud formation, usually comes a year after solar minimum so that should be in 2010. The weakness of Solar Cycle 24 is consistent with a sub-50 amplitude and thus a Dalton Minimum rerun is now inevitable.
    The rate of cooling will cause the oceans to absorb CO2 at a rate which will offset anthropogenic emissions. I expect the annual increase for the next 25 years to be in the range of 0 to 1 ppm.
    The whole AGW scare is like the tragic bushfires in Victoria, in which some greenies forced people to live in deathtraps on the basis of their ideology. A lot of greenies died as a result, but they took a lot of ordinary, decent people with them. So it is with AGW, and when people realise that they were caused great pain and suffering for no good reason, there will be retribution. Thus the Hadley Centre back peddling to a safer position.

  68. “Are you sure you are looking at that correctly? That 1/4 formula between TSI and temp applies to overall temp, not necessarily the incremental changes.”
    Leif did the derivation, that is he gave exactly you a formula which applies to incremental chances.
    The “temperature” of a celestial body with no atmosphere is defined simply by assuming a black body, where the flux (minus an albedo component) is as Leif says proportional to T^4. So by increasing the solar flux by a multiplicative factor of 1.001 (0.1% increase) you multiply the temperature by the square root of the square root of 1.001, and that is 1.00025.
    Yes, the solar cycle signature is that small.

  69. These arcane spot-or-speck disputes ignore the 10.7 cm radio flux from the sun, which is still low. There is data from 1947, and one would think that a new cycle would cause an uptick. The history is long enough to show strong correlation with the activity cycle.

  70. “I am also surprised to see these cycle 23 spots. I had thought cycle 24 had started, we had passed minimum. ”
    That’s a confusion which arises with the simple sunspot number plots. Butterfly diagrams show clearly the overlap of the different cycles.

  71. Dell Hunt, Jackson, Michigan (14:01:25) :
    Are you sure you are looking at that correctly? That 1/4 formula between TSI and temp applies to overall temp, not necessarily the incremental changes.
    Stefan-Boltzmann: S = 5.67 E(-8) T^4
    at T=100K, the energy is thus 5.67 W/m2
    at T=287K, the energy is 384.690 W/m2
    at T=287.072K, the energy is 385.076 W/m2
    Difference dS = 385.076 – 384.690 = 0.386 or 0.386*100/385 = 0.1%
    The 385 W/m2 is what the Earth actually gets, the rest up to TSI = 1361 W/m2 is reflected or spread over a sphere rather than a disk.

  72. there is an great stat page “solaemon’s spotless days page” . Cycle 24 is behaving exactly like the older sc 10-15 average. I think maybe we should stop comparing sc 24 to sc 16-23. if sc 24 is indeed behaving like the older cycles then we are in about the middle of the spotless phase.

  73. There is no definitive passing of minimum at this juncture.
    Mighty SC24 has struck out at the plate.
    If we are going to rely on Butterfly diagrams, they had better get some greater precision built into them.
    This scale @ 4 pixels/year
    http://sidc.oma.be/html/papi22c.html
    will not get the job done.

  74. Gary Hladik (14:30:04) :
    (whisper) I see dead sunspots! 🙂

    Yep, a check of all 6 GONG latest images has 11010 dead and gone.
    Stillborn?

  75. Thank you Lief.
    To continue this delightful discussion by throwing another graph in the mix, look at the updated plot of “Number of spotless days chart at http://www.solarcycle24.com/
    There, you can see that, 16 months into the transistion when cycle 23 started, there was already a “zero spotless days” point for cycle 23.
    At 17 months, 1 spotless day.
    At 18 months, 0 spotless days.
    At 19 months, 0 spotless days.
    At 20 months, 3 spotless days.
    Compare this to the transition into cycle 24.
    At 16 months, 27 spotless days.
    At 17 months, 20 spotless days.
    At 18 months, 16 spotless days.
    At 19 months, 28 spotless days.
    At 20 months, 25 spotless days.
    Unless someone can show that cycle 15 or cycle 16 also started this slowly, I dodn’t think we have an historical precedence for this long lull.
    It is much too early to begin comparisons with the Dalton Minimum without such a comparision, but I don’t think that Cycle 24 can be compared to cycles 21-22-23.

  76. Jari (05:23:13) :
    Alan the Brit:
    I noticed the same thing. Dr. Viki Pope (head of climate change advice at the Met Office Hadley Centre) is now saying in guardian.co.uk:
    “Recent headlines have proclaimed that Arctic summer sea ice has decreased so much in the past few years that it has reached a tipping point and will disappear very quickly. The truth is that there is little evidence to support this.

    Note that, three days ago, the “official” sea-ice-extent graph showed that 2009’s sea ice was at it’s all time highest recorded level ever! Of course, “sea ice extents” have only been recorded since 2001, but still …. 8 causes more warming -> causes more melting/less freezing -> causes more warming …. is proved wrong.

  77. Thinking the unthinkable, and hoping I’m merely being paranoid…
    How can we differentiate between a late Cycle 23 sunspot and and an early Cycle 25 (yes twenty-FIVE) sunspot?

  78. David Archibald (16:39:19) :
    The big thing is the coronal magnetic field strength which we can measure in the form of the Ap Index.
    There is a correlation between the strength of the geomagnetic index at solar minimum and the amplitude of the following solar cycle. I have plotted it up and get an amplitude of 25. The margin for error in this estimate is inherently large. The coming solar cycle will be a good opportunity to tighten the calibration on that solar amplitude estimation technique.

    We have the Ap index and Sunspot number [with good calibration] back to the 1840s. Here http://www.leif.org/research/Sunspot%20Number%20at%20Maximum%20Following%20Ap%20at%20Minimum.png is a plot of Rmax [dark-blue open circles] at the solar max following the year where Ap is minimum [about 6 months after sunspot ‘minimum’] and of Ap at that point [pink curve]. There is a well-known correlation as shown. Both a power-law and a linear relation is shown. There is not much difference [the power-law marginally better]. The blue diamonds show the calculated Rmax for the power-law and the red circles for the linear relation. they both match the observed values as well as their R2 values say that they should. Note that the right-most point is a prediction of cycle 24. Since we don’t know what Ap will be for this minimum I have guessed [based on assuming that the values for the past several months will stay where they are] that Ap = 4 for this transition. The predicted value of Rmax with this guess for Apmin is thus 75+/-10 in good agreement with what the polar field precursor technique gives [ http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%2024%20Smallest%20100%20years.pdf ]. Back at the deep minimum in 1901, Ap was 4.1 so 4 seems a reasonable choice. Keep in mind that the NOAA values for recent Ap are just plain wrong [too low].
    While Rmax=75 is low [as we said in 2004: the lowest in a hundred years], we are not in unknown territory and not quite at Dalton minimum levels.
    Robert A Cook PE (20:01:47) :
    Unless someone can show that cycle 15 or cycle 16 also started this slowly, I dodn’t think we have an historical precedence for this long lull.
    Back in 1810 the lull was ~400 days and presumably much longer during the Maunder Minimum.
    It is much too early to begin comparisons with the Dalton Minimum without such a comparision, but I don’t think that Cycle 24 can be compared to cycles 21-22-23.
    Agree, cycle 24 will be more like cycle 14 and friends.

  79. Robert A Cook PE (20:10:46) :

    Note that, three days ago, the “official” sea-ice-extent graph showed that 2009’s sea ice was at it’s all time highest recorded level ever! Of course, “sea ice extents” have only been recorded since 2001, but still …. 8 causes more warming -> causes more melting/less freezing -> causes more warming …. is proved wrong.

    Don’t forget that Cryospehere’s sea ice area record goes back to 1979, see e.g. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/sea.ice.anomaly.timeseries.jpg (Firefox (not sure about other browsers) will zoom in where you click on the image if it starts out scaled to the window.)

  80. Alan the Brit (06:04:52) : Surely there is much more in the combination of Milankovitch Cycles & solar output variations.
    Solar variation happens on a much different time scale (though still important!). Cycles are in the tens of years to a probable 2400 or so year cycle. The Milankovitch cycles are generally 20,000 to 100,000 year scales. On the very long scale, the sun is warming consistently over it’s billions of years lifetime…
    As I understand it the correlations between global temps & solar variations is definitely there, we are at near circular orbit with perihelion in early January, as this precesses thro time closest approach to the Sun will be in July in several thousand years time, we are also about half-way thro our axial tilt upwards with around 10,000 years to go before it all starts back down again.
    Yes but: Our orbital changes are not really solar variations. The sun is staying (more or less) constant while we change how close we are and how the heat is distributed…
    But your key point is quite valid. We are protected from ices ages only during a very short window when everything lines up “just right” to melt the summer ice and snows on the North Pole. We past optimal ’tilt’ some time ago (as you implied, about 10k yrs ago) and precession was optimal when it had perihelion on December 22 but we’ve gone on past to January.
    That the Warmers are stressing over Arctic ice melt in the summer just makes me think like I did about a car chasing dog: “What will you do with that car tire once you since your teeth into it?” The last thing we EVER want to see is snow and ice persisting through the summer on an ongoing basis (i.e. adding snow each year to a ‘multiyear’ ice pack…)
    So the ‘bottom line’ is that the best, warmest, times are behind us now. The good news is that it can take thousands of years for things to change much. The ice accumulates in a more or less straight line for about 100,000 years. So plot the distance from the North Pole ice to where the ice used to end (New York) and divide by 100,000 years. I got about 800 FEET per year.
    Not exactly going to run you down 😉
    My bigger worry would be the 1500 year Bond Event sequence (that during ice ages is still there and is called a Dansgaard Oeschger event then). It’s about time for one of these… The last one (Bond Event 1) was from about 450AD to 900AD – the Migration Period Pessimum (you know, the Dark Ages?) … 1500 + 450A.D. = 1950 A.D…
    The odd thing about them is that there is no cause known. There is a postulated solar cycle, but little to no evidence. All we really know is that they DO happen.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1500-year_climate_cycle
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_Period_Pessimum
    What we ought to be doing is building robust food production, distribution, and storage sytems; large nuclear reactor facilities; and figuring out how to make a stable world political economic structure that will not devolve into war and chaos if “things go really badly”… Not tilting at CO2 windmills…

  81. Leif Svalgaard (10:28:21) : It is clear that cycle 24 has started.

    In the same way as my old lawn mower: Chuf chuf WHEEZE pop flut flut CHUF flut flu fl pop chuf chuf wheeze flut flut chuf sputter…
    😉
    Nice collection of links, BTW.

  82. Mr. Archibald,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Sir, when you write (or speark) people pay attention.
    I’m over in the US. Any way to purchase your book over here?

  83. Walter Dnes (20:33:59) :
    Thinking the unthinkable, and hoping I’m merely being paranoid…
    How can we differentiate between a late Cycle 23 sunspot and and an early Cycle 25 (yes twenty-FIVE) sunspot?

    Now, now. Don’t you worry your sweet head no more about dat little problem. (grin)
    See, we can’t have an (early) cycle 25 sunspot until there are at least a few cycle 24 sunspots.

  84. tty (15:55:31) :

    During MIS 11 about 400 kyr ago, which is the interglacial whose Milakovich signature most closely matching the current one,

    tty, In my opinion 400 Kyr Ago is a bad comparison. The interglacial which ended about that time was anomalous, essentially a double / long / extended interglacial. Its characteristics are quite different from the Holocene. In fact that was one of the key points of my series on the next glacial period.
    http://penoflight.com/climatebuzz/?page_id=394
    For a close match to the Holocene you need to go back almost 800 Kyr Ago.
    If you don’t want to read through the series of blog entries I have prepared a graphic comparing 800 kyr , 400 kyr, and the Holocene….
    http://penoflight.com/climatebuzz/Files/3GlacComb2.jpg
    We live in exciting times. It seems that modern science is going to get its first up close look at a spectacular solar minimum event. The CO2 theory may well be greatly challenged resulting in a better understanding of our climate and man’s influence on it. Ultimately, over the next few thousand years, science will get a front row seat to the transition into a glacial period. Perhaps even begin to fully understand why they occur. It is a shame life is so short; I will miss most of it.

  85. The old lawn mower analogy wins.
    Ask your physicist if Grand Minimum is right for you.
    We have all seen the coastal land loss images of inundation.
    What about the loss of higher mountain habitat and settlement, as well as crop migrations that would result from a repeat of the Little Ice Age?

  86. Leif and others.
    RE: Stefan-Boltzmann
    I’m not doubting the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, but am doubting the way you are applying in the TSI formula.
    Here’s why it can’t be the way you claim.
    Basically what you are saying is for x% change in TSI you would have a 1/4x% change in temp.
    Correct?
    Which means that a .1% increase in TSI would be a .025% increase in temps.
    Conversely using that same application of formula you would have:
    A .1% decrease in TSI would equate to a .025% decrease in temp.
    Or based upon global mean temp of 14 C or 287 K, a .1% decrease in TSI would result in a .25% decrease in temp, or as you claim, .072 degrees.
    Taking that formula further, a 1% decrease in TSI should result in a .72 degree decrease in temp.
    Taking that formula further, a 10% decrease in TSI should result in a 7.2 degree decrease in temp.
    Taking that formula even further, then a 100% decrease in TSI should result in a 72 degree decrease in temp, or -58 C or 215 K.
    Thats where that application of the formula would be flawed, because we know that if the Sun were to go blank, the temp on Earth would drop to near absolute zero, not 215 K

  87. Dell Hunt, Jackson, Michigan (07:07:44) :
    Here’s why it can’t be the way you claim.
    Basically what you are saying is for x% change in TSI you would have a 1/4x% change in temp.
    Correct?

    No, I say that dT/T = 1/4 dS/S. You said you had calculus. Then you know [?] that dT is an infinitesimal change of T. So the formula is only valid for very small changes, like 0.1%.
    Let me try again:
    Stefan-Boltzmann: S = 5.67 E(-8) T^4
    at T=100K, the energy is thus 5.67 W/m2
    at T=287K, the energy is 384.690 W/m2
    at T=287.072K, the energy is 385.076 W/m2
    Difference dS = 385.076 – 384.690 = 0.386 or 0.386*100/385 = 0.1%
    So, a 0.072K change in T means a 0.1% change in S.
    If you still persist, I suggest you try to get a refund on the money wasted on your education.

  88. Ultimately, over the next few thousand years, science will get a front row seat to the transition into a glacial period.
    Gosh, I hope not . That could kill off most of humanity.
    More likely, humans will take action to prevent the next Ice Age.

  89. Frank Lansner (03:15:55) :
    Your last link is fantastic.
    I wonder if this means that the polar ice has not thickened much this winter. This summer could get the “big melt” the AGW faithful have been hoping for.

  90. 2009 02 11 70 11 10 1 -999 A0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    2009 02 12 70 11 10 0 -999 A0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    One of those spots does not exist, depending on how one calls the time on sunspot 1012.
    Likewise the single spot of Jan 19, 2009 never made it past a SOHO find.
    And at least 1/3 of the spot count for Jan 9-13 is tacked on simply because of playing with time frames.
    Using SOHO as a crutch to inflate sunpot #’s isn’t going to help science gain understanding on what is going on in the Sun during times of extended minimum.
    If muddying the picture so that understanding is rendered next to impossible is a worthwhile scientific goal, then by all mean, continue to inflate the Sunspot #’s.

  91. “I would never think of comparing SC24 to SC15. It doesn’t fit the pattern.
    SC5 sure does.”
    You have company. Indeed, the former comparison requires unstated assumptions and revisions to historical data just as we are revising SS counting procedures on the fly today.
    Re: The daft TSI discussions. 40% of TSI reaches the surface, the majority of which is released chaotically, episodically, intermittently over a period approaching a decade. This energy must for this reason be excluded from grey body consideration.
    30% of TSI is reflected outright back to space. This energy ought to be excluded as well.
    The remainder heats the Atmosphere and is sensibly considered in grey body calculations.
    Analogies between low-temperature, low-pressure gases and black bodies are senseless.

  92. I don’t have any trouble with Leif here, I think he is right but that does bring up a horrible problem. If the small change in TSI and solar activity cannot be the climate driver in the 20th century, which sounds right to me. Than the size of the change caused by the orbital eccentricity changes that we have been using to explain the 100K year glacial cycles is also not nearly large enough to drive that change. So now I know even less than before.
    Isn’t science great?

  93. Throughout history who would have missed this sunspot?
    I’d suggest Maunder Minimum era (1645 to 1715) techniques would have missed this one.
    What about Dalton Minimum (1790-1830)? I’m going to suggest they would have missed it as well.

  94. My optics are far superior to that of the Dalton era, and I have been observing for almost 50 years.
    There is no way 11012 and the Jan 19th spot would have been seen.
    You would have 1 group reported for 2 days on 01/10/09 to 01/13/09.
    The rest would be minispots not seen or too close to resolution limits.
    Same story for the November 2008 sets of spots.
    Throw half of it away.
    I estimate that for 2008, 35-45% of spots counted are bogus for comparing to 1800’s observations.
    Do we have a problem with technology over-reaching in modern sunspot counts? YES.
    Do we also have a problem with the last 100 yrs not comparing well with prior sunspot observations? YES.
    The former problem is serious in that it is badly coloring the historical data and chopping off important correlations.
    The latter problem is not as bad, but still needs to be dealt with.

  95. The sunspot overreporting affects the ability to assess the relative depth of solar minima as compared to other like events.
    What is left is breadth of minima, and I personally thank Dr. Archibald for his good work in that regards.

  96. All Neutron Monitors that I am able to access, Moscow, Irkutsk, Thule, Oulu,
    Newark in the Northern Hemisphere
    plus
    Tsumeb, Namibia
    Potchefstroom, South Africa
    Hermanus, South Africa
    NM64, SANAE, Antarctica
    4NMD, SANAE, Antarctica
    in the Southern Hemisphere
    All monitors are trending up. None are moving back down.
    All show a deramping in the past in lockstep with the previously occuring ramp.
    i.e. – the ramp sets the rate of deramp.
    So, when this thing finally turns around, I have to assume it will recover at the rate at which it rose for Solar Cycle Maximum.
    it will be a slow process.
    If anyone knows of a monitor that is in clear deramp, or has a link to a monitor
    that shows anything other than the rate of deramp equal to the cycle rate of ramp, please post it.
    And thank you Leif for pointing out that one should not cherrypick data.
    I would never have thought to dig this deep.

  97. gary gulrud (09:54:59) :
    “I would never think of comparing SC24 to SC15. It doesn’t fit the pattern. SC5 sure does.”
    SC23 compares well with SC13 and SC24 looks on track to compare with SC14. Our data about SC5 are very poor, Rudolf Wolf made a lot of that ‘data’ up, guessing from counts of aurorae what the sunspot number might have been, changing his mind several times [see e.g. page 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/Napa%20Solar%20Cycle%2024.pdf ]
    Dell Hunt, Michigan (10:49:39) :
    OK, Leif, do you have an “non alarmist” sources to confirm your calculations?
    Do I have a “non alarmist” source to confirm that 2+2=4…
    There are two issues:
    1) does Stefan-Boltzmann’s law mean that dT/T = 1/4 dS/S
    2) if Stefan-Boltzmann’s law applicable
    Issue 1) is well-known physics and mathematics and is not in doubt. Issue 2) is sometimes argued by people with an agenda, if the law does not fit the agenda.
    Wondering Aloud (12:38:35) :
    If the small change in TSI and solar activity cannot be the climate driver in the 20th century, which sounds right to me. Then the size of the change caused by the orbital eccentricity changes that we have been using to explain the 100K year glacial cycles is also not nearly large enough to drive that change.
    The latter change is not small. It is of the order of a hundred times larger than the former.

  98. Robert Bateman (19:32:45) :
    assume it will recover at the rate at which it rose for Solar Cycle Maximum.
    No. The cosmic ray cycle is kinda the inverse of the solar cycle: the fall is faster than the rise.
    If anyone knows of a monitor that is in clear deramp
    Moscow and Thule seem to have turned just in the past few weeks. It may take a little while for you to admit that, so we have to watch those stations in the following few weeks. Especially watch for them to update the bottom plot of http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/realtime/thule.html
    For some reason they are about a month behind [unusual].
    Moscow: http://helios.izmiran.rssi.ru/cosray/days.htm
    Tsumeb seems to have been heading down since Oct. 2008, and Potchefstroom since Dec. 2008. As we are just at or past the turning point, the changes are small and the trend hard to pin down.

  99. Re MC, for a copy of my book, please mail me US$25 in notes to:
    David Archibald
    29 Pindari Road
    City Beach WA 6015
    Australia
    I have been accepting British pounds, Swiss francs and US dollars.

  100. Leif Svalgaard (00:49:50) :

    Robert Bateman (19:32:45) :
    assume it will recover at the rate at which it rose for Solar Cycle Maximum.
    .

    No. The cosmic ray cycle is kinda the inverse of the solar cycle: the fall is faster than the rise
    That was a misspelling on my part: rose from, not rose for
    Oops.

  101. http://cr0.izmiran.rssi.ru/mosc/main.htm
    and hit the Monthly button.
    Otherwise, you can’t see the forest for the trees, and might as well be betting on the stock market short trend.
    As for Thule, the top readings are still climbing, as they are at other stations.
    If you back out of 6 mos graphs and have a look at the course of several years, your stock market moving averages show otherwise.
    A full cycle from Maximum to Maximum shows how deceptive short term trends can be.
    All neutron monitors that have a longstanding history that allow graphs across full cycles show the same. They are not backing down any more that SC24 is ramping.
    Find me one that is backing down over a full cycle.

  102. McMurdo, which still rises, and has been updated:
    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/realtime/mcmurdo.html
    The top graph is raw data, and once pressure corrected and put into the lower graph shows a different picture.
    Thule, which has not been updated:
    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/realtime/thule.html
    And the top graph is raw data, the bottom pressure corrected.
    Look also at Newark:
    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/realtime/newark.html
    What a difference pressure correcting can make.
    I should grow sarcastic here, but I won’t make Anthony’s job harder.

  103. Robert Bateman (02:49:52) :
    The top graph is raw data, and once pressure corrected and put into the lower graph shows a different picture.
    all the graphs have been pressure corrected. The description of the data says:
    “Real-Time: Downloaded automatically from station, standard normalization factors applied, standard pressure correction applied.”
    What a difference pressure correcting can make.
    I should grow sarcastic here, but I won’t make Anthony’s job harder.

    You may safely assume that I would not make the elementary mistake of interpreting uncorrected data. Sarcasm should be reserved for more worthy causes.

  104. And I gave you two concrete examples of apparent flatlined data that when examined in the lower graph, one to one, show a different picture.
    I’ll see your Thule and raise you one McMurdo and one Newark.
    We play with statistics, yes. But we don’t agree what constitutes uncontroversial reversal of current trends. I see this, you see that. We both have our reasons.
    Should we now agree to disagree?

  105. Robert Bateman (11:00:09) :
    Should we now agree to disagree?
    I don’t think you disagree so much with me as with the data 🙂
    At some point in the future even you will see the flux come down. The big picture is [as some people claim] whether the flux will continue up and up to reach values [perhaps 10-15% higher] not seen before or if the flux will stay [with the normal fluctuations] at the usual minimum value until SC24 finally kicks it down.
    The answer to that has a lot to do with what causes the solar modulation in the first place. Somewhat surprisingly we don’t really know the answer to that [although, as usual, there are know-it-alls out there with answers to anything].

  106. Gary Hladik (14:30:04) :
    Robert Bateman (03:52:00) : “Examine the SC24 spots of 2008. They are ghosts, with only one being prominent. We are comparing ghosts to ghosts to argue which ghost is greater.”
    (whisper) I see dead sunspots! 🙂
    If no one has naming rights, I suggest:
    Ghost spot = Duncan
    (Well, if they can name a longevity gene in a fruitfly “I’m not dead yet,” why not sunspots?)

  107. Leif Svalgaard (11:35:29) :
    The answer to that has a lot to do with what causes the solar modulation in the first place. Somewhat surprisingly we don’t really know the answer to that [although, as usual, there are know-it-alls out there with answers to anything].
    Worth framing that one.

  108. Cycle 24 was very short! now waiting for cycle 25! and keep chopping fire wood you’ll need it!

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