Sunspotless 30 day stretch possible in the next day

At the risk of triggering a new sunspot by talking about it, I’ll cautiously mention that by GMT time midnight tomorrow, August 10th, we will possibly have a 30 day stretch of no sunspots at a time when cycle 24 has been forecast by many to be well underway. Here is the most recent (and auto updating) SOHO MDI image of the sun:

Sun Today courtesy of SOHO - click for larger image

Sun Today courtesy of SOHO - click for larger image

Spotless Days Count

(updated data from Spaceweather.com)

Current Stretch: 29 days

2009 total: 171 days (78%)

Since 2004: 682 days

Typical Solar Min: 485 days

Here is the latest data from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center:

:Product: Daily Solar Data            DSD.txt

:Issued: 0225 UT 09 Aug 2009

#

#  Prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center

#  Please send comments and suggestions to SWPC.Webmaster@noaa.gov

#

#                Last 30 Days Daily Solar Data

#

#                         Sunspot       Stanford GOES10

#           Radio  SESC     Area          Solar  X-Ray  ------ Flares ------

#           Flux  Sunspot  10E-6   New     Mean  Bkgd    X-Ray      Optical

#  Date     10.7cm Number  Hemis. Regions Field  Flux   C  M  X  S  1  2  3

#---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009 07 10   68     13       60      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 11   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 12   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 13   67      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 14   67      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 15   67      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 16   67      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 17   66      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 18   67      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 19   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 20   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 21   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 22   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 23   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 24   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 25   69      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 26   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 27   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 28   69      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 29   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 30   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 07 31   69      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 08 01   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 08 02   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 08 03   67      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 08 04   66      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 08 05   66      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 08 06   67      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 08 07   68      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

2009 08 08   67      0        0      0    -999   A0.0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

While it is possible that we’ll see a 30 day stretch of days with no sunspots, we have yet to complete a calendar month without a sunspot.

A year ago in August 2008, we initially had completed a sunspotless calendar month. But, as fate would have it, that distinction was snatched away at the very last moment by the folks in Belgium at SIDC based on one sketch of a plage cum sunspeck from Catainia observatory in Italy.

As Carly Simon once fabulously sung:

I know nothing stays the same

But if youre willing to play the game

Its coming around again

184 thoughts on “Sunspotless 30 day stretch possible in the next day

  1. This is reminds me of a Red Dwarf episode:

    Lister: what’s this?
    Kryten: it’s a eghhhhhh…..
    Lister: it’s an ORANGE!
    LOL
    If you don’t know Red Dwarf, please get the copies, brilliant sci-fi/satire !!

  2. So what if Catania counts meaningless pores.
    It doesn’t change the Sun’s state one bit.
    The current state: All Stop: Run Silent, Run Deep.
    For all intents & purposes, we had a 60+ day run in 2008 and another in early 2009.
    The real question is how long will this run really last (ignore the stupid pore games)?
    60 days is 30 days away for a 3-peat.
    How’s about 90 days to catch attention?

  3. However, according to the (provisional) sunspot numbers issued by the SIDC (Belgium), July 23 and July 30 were not spotless. For these two days, a sunspot number of 8 is given.

  4. Having a spotless streak that fits within a calender month is just as significant as having 5 thursdays in row without a sunspots, well except for the fact that a calender month is a rather long period to observe no spots on the sun.
    It may be interesting for making som eay catching headlines, but thats all.
    What really matters is the absolute length and how long it is compared to other spotless periods.
    The longest so far for this minimum is 31 days and it looks like the sun will set a new record on tuesday for this minimum. But who knows, sunspots never gives us a warning before they apear so there could be one within a few hours without us knowing about it right now.
    See following page for some instersting sunspot statistics:
    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotless.html#Period

  5. Cut out all these tiny tims and We would have about 850 spotless days since 2004, possibly even more.

  6. The question is: Will the next sunspot triggered by the “Watts effect” be a cycle 23, 24 or 25??

  7. Notice that the timestamp for the “auto-updating” image is Friday at 1554?
    The auto updating hasn’t been too reliable over the last week.

  8. Yep, lots of people excited over sunspot 1024, but the rot has set in again, the sun is back to being ultra quiet. All this when we were expecting a ramp up, perhaps something is happening different from what modern science has experienced…something like a grand minimum?

  9. In the month of July just gone before
    One group of sunspots, then, no more
    But worry not for soon we’ll see
    The Watts Effect bring two or three
    Or four or five or even more
    to lift the cycle off the floor
    And bring to life the flagging Ap
    Don’t believe me? Just wait and see.

  10. I guess the cycle 23 one, it was very very tiny.. was too small to count?
    But now youve gone and done it.. the Watts effect will kick in soon, give me somethin to watch besides that hole goin round and round:)

  11. still, following the events of an object with a presumed lifespan of 12 billion years day by day is a bit bizarre. We cannot but be completely lost in the noise at that scale.
    It’s like watching tv with a microscope.

  12. “Jean Meeus (00:49:59) :
    However, according to the (provisional) sunspot numbers issued by the SIDC (Belgium), July 23 and July 30 were not spotless. For these two days, a sunspot number of 8 is given.”
    Desperate times call for desperate measures…

  13. Pouring over data,day after day, makes me feel like a sponge dripping under a faucet… Can you drip faster !!! Please ? Really !? There is a ‘robust’ amount of info and data on S.C. behavior, but only for a brief period of time. How unfortunate. Evaluating data and drawing conclusions has become a national past-time. While mainstream media regurgitates diluted and misleading evidence, people can inform themselves, if they investigate. And they are. Hopefully , historians write a passage of this time and look favorable upon us. Us being a card carrying , flag waving, torch bearing member of Helio-Terrestrial Scalable-Terrans. Sign up now before you get left off the ‘snitch’ list ! – David Alan –

  14. Jean Meeus (00:49:59) :
    However, according to the (provisional) sunspot numbers issued by the SIDC (Belgium), July 23 and July 30 were not spotless. For these two days, a sunspot number of 8 is given
    Is SIDC the official counters of Sunspots? Do they make the final determination that becomes the official number?

  15. Mr. Alex (03:17:59) :
    “Jean Meeus (00:49:59) :
    However, according to the (provisional) sunspot numbers issued by the SIDC (Belgium), July 23 and July 30 were not spotless. For these two days, a sunspot number of 8 is given.”
    Desperate times call for desperate measures…

    Too bad these long streaches wont show up on the soelamons report then since he uses the SIDC numbers

  16. Yeah, knock on wood.
    “Yes, corporal, they can’t possibly hit us here, we’re out of ra…”
    “My wife is standing right behind me, isn’t she?”

  17. You mean the Sun reads this Blog?

    Anthony has some big fans. In this case, with 98% of the mass of the Solar System, the biggest fan.

  18. Hasse@Norway: “The question is: Will the next sunspot triggered by the “Watts effect” be a cycle 23, 24 or 25??”.
    [This may be too immature and stupid… It’s irony against the “band AGW-wagon”.]
    Maybe there will be no more sunspot cycle because of us, greedy humans emitting the (once good and now) evil gas CO2. The strong correlation between sun activity and climate they say ceased to exist 1980 (despite 99.5 percent significance in correlation between GCR and low level clouds detrended until late 2001 [*]), so I’m note surprised if scientists confirm that sun is broken because of us… 😉
    [*] http://www.arm.ac.uk/preprints/433.pdf

  19. I’m not EVEN going to mention there’s as yet been no named storms in the N. Atlantic.
    Arrghh you made me do it!

  20. “Per Strandberg (03:58:41) :
    The wait continues!”
    THAT VIDEO IS BRILLIANT!! Everyone should see it!

  21. Don’t you love it when man (science) thinks he knows what’s going to happen next and it doesn’t? Where’s the massive hurricanes? Cat 6?
    We have no impact on anythng, just like ants on an ant hill.

  22. Jean Meeus (00:49:59) :
    However, according to the (provisional) sunspot numbers issued by the SIDC (Belgium), July 23 and July 30 were not spotless. For these two days, a sunspot number of 8 is given.

    Which by official means should be thrown out along with the 7 other penumbral-only spots that didn’t make it past single-digit hemispherical area measurement.
    You didn’t know those 7 other phantoms were there?
    We all missed them.
    There wasn’t much to be missed.
    At the time of the two proto-spots of 07/23 and 07/30, some of us were resorting to magnetograms and cleaning our monitors.

  23. There once was a sunspot named Gore
    Its umbra was as hot as a whore
    It came very quickly
    then went even quicker
    That’ll give Anthony What for!
    Sorry – too much whiskey last nite!

  24. Anyone subscribe to the cock-up theory of politics that the AGWers intuited that a grand minimum would come along so they pumped carbon dioxide out as a way of retaining warmth in Northern Climes?
    You see, then they COULD be the Jesus Freaks who brought us all to the Promised Land!
    It’s just that the way they did it was slightly different to what they had in mind…….

  25. Jean Meeus (00:49:59) :
    However, according to the (provisional) sunspot numbers issued by the SIDC (Belgium), July 23 and July 30 were not spotless. For these two days, a sunspot number of 8 is given.
    The SIDC are considered conservative in their counting, but still they manage to count specks and some days when the sun is totally clear there is still a count. If you check the records for those days via SOHO it is obvious that an error has been made. This is why we need the Layman’s Sunspot Count to “keep the bastards honest”.
    New article and update here:
    http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50

  26. Take a look at this and decide for yourself if SIDC is justified in making July 23rd non-spotless.

  27. I think too much importance is placed on sunspots. Even Richard Lindzen has expressed doubts about the ability of sunspot activity to effect climate.
    We’ve had how many months or years of low sunspot activity so far? Yet I have not detected any effect on global temperatures.

  28. Matt B posted a comment on SIDC “official” counts. Indeed there were counts in late July. Whether or not the final July report will show them is not clear to me.
    :Issued: 2009 Aug 04 1256 UTC
    :Product: documentation at http://www.sidc.be/products/bul
    #——————————————————————–#
    # SIDC Weekly bulletin on Solar and Geomagnetic activity #
    #——————————————————————–#
    WEEK 448 from 2009 Jul 27
    SOLAR ACTIVITY
    ————–
    There was no noticeable flaring activity this week. Only on Jul 30 a nothern sunspot group was seen: Catania 16.
    A nothern coronal hole at high latitude passed the central meridian on Jul 27.
    GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY
    ——————–
    The co-rotating interaction region associated with the coronal hole mentioned in the section -solar activity- arrived on Jul 30. The solar wind speed increased from 340 km/s to 420 km/s. The typical speed profile of a coronal hole was visible only for 2 days: Jul 31 and Aug 01. The north-south component was mainly positive.
    There were no geomagnetic disturbances.
    —————————————————————————
    DAILY INDICES
    DATE RC EISN 10CM Ak BKG M X
    2009 Jul 27 000 000 68 004 A0.0 0 0
    2009 Jul 28 000 000 69 005 A0.0 0 0
    2009 Jul 29 000 000 68 004 A0.0 0 0
    2009 Jul 30 012 000 68 005 A0.0 0 0
    2009 Jul 31 000 000 69 005 A0.0 0 0
    2009 Aug 01 /// 000 68 005 A0.0 0 0
    2009 Aug 02 /// 000 68 005 A0.0 0 0
    # RC : Sunspot index (Wolf Number) from Catania Observatory (Italy)
    # EISN : Estimated International Sunspot Number
    # 10cm : 10.7 cm radioflux (DRAO, Canada)
    # Ak : Ak Index Wingst (Germany)
    # BKG : Background GOES X-ray level (NOAA, USA)
    # M,X : Number of X-ray flares in M and X class, see below (NOAA, USA)
    The EISN number shows zero sunspots on July 30.
    Two good references to “explain” all the variations of the different methods and how the spot numbers are determined are:
    http://www.sidc.be/news/106/sunspotnumberclarified.pdf
    http://www.aavso.org/observing/programs/solar/dances.shtml
    In the SIDC link there is an explanation of the vagary of determining low counts. Since there are subjective judgments made “A spot or not a spot, that is the question”, we will always have a problem with transitory blips.
    The statement by SIDC on variability is:
    ” If the monthly mean sunspot number is 0 or 0.5, you can definitely say that activity was low.”
    I believe those measuring spots are doing the best objective job with the tools available and the need to make a subjective decision on close calls.
    From the SIDC Link
    Handling very low activity levels
    One of the situations requiring a human arbitration is associated with single small isolated and short-lived sunspots. This is most noticeable around the minimum of the solar activity cycle, like the one occurring now in 2008. Due to the 24hour binning (observations are grouped between 0hUT and 24hUT) and the variable ability of each observer to detect the smallest sunspots, we end up with some stations reporting one sunspot and others who did not see any sunspot.
    Let us explain further. *No sunspot* may mean that the sunspot was present but the observer was unable to see it because of poor observational conditions, such as weather, a small telescope… On the other hand, it may also indicate that the sunspot had actually vanished by that time, while it was present earlier on the same day.
    Individual stations do not observe at exactly the same time.
    In order to validate the existence of such a marginal reported sunspot, a qualified SIDC scientist must then check the detailed chronology within that day and consider the overall observer capability (value of K coefficient).
    In common practice, the fact that a sunspot is reported by a significant group of observers leads to the inclusion of the sunspot on that date, thus neglecting the no-sunspotobservations.
    The rationale is: multiple observations of a sunspot exclude the possibility that the reported sunspot was an independent false detection. So, a sunspot was really present on that day, although it may have existed only for part of the day or it was small enough to be missed by part of the observers with smaller instruments or imperfect atmospheric conditions.
    Also keep in mind that the sunspot index is derived with a limited precision, just like any other index. If the monthly mean sunspot number is 0 or 0.5, you can definitely say that activity was low.
    What index should be used?
    If you want to perform long-term investigations, the definitive ISN series is definitely the most suitable.
    However, there is a delay of a few months. So, when investigating the last cycle and recent evolution, use the definitive numbers in combination with the provisional ISN to be up to date to the last month. The provisional numbers are also used in models forecasting the sunspot number for the coming months.
    Now, if you need a proxy for solar activity in a model that runs in real-time, then you may use the estimated ISN.
    Improvements and rethinking of the processing method is an ongoing project. We are currently developing an alternative program for calculating the PISN. Of course, long-term consistency is vital.
    Therefore, a cross-analysis between the output from the old and new software must be applied over an extended period.

  29. Pierre Gosselin (07:01:25) :
    I think too much importance is placed on sunspots. Even Richard Lindzen has expressed doubts about the ability of sunspot activity to effect climate.
    We’ve had how many months or years of low sunspot activity so far? Yet I have not detected any effect on global temperatures.

    As Gore showed us (incorrectly via his statements) CO2 lags temp by about 800 years. The oceans store the suns energy and time is required to equalize. Dont expect reduced solar activity to have an over night effect.

  30. Mark (03:57:44) :
    “Is SIDC the official counters of Sunspots? Do they make the final determination that becomes the official number?”
    See http://www.spaceweather.com/glossary/sunspotnumber.html .
    There are two official sunspot numbers in common use:
    – The first official index, the daily “Boulder Sunspot Number,” is computed by the NOAA Space Environment Center. It provides the Boulder number.
    – The second official index, the “International Sunspot Number” Ri, is published daily by the Solar Influences Data Center (SIDC) in Belgium.
    “Both the Boulder and the International numbers are calculated from the same basic formula, but they incorporate data from different observatories.”
    So, the international index (Ri) is only provided by SIDC, but the Boulder index has also an official status.

  31. “Geoff Sharp (07:45:59) :
    As Gore showed us (incorrectly via his statements) CO2 lags temp by about 800 years. The oceans store the suns energy and time is required to equalize. Dont expect reduced solar activity to have an over night effect.”
    My thoughts exactly. Patience people, the Earth is quite warmer today than it was just before the Dalton Minimum, so don’t expect a Frost Fair this winter. The lack of such events occurring instantaneously as minimum progresses is not evidence that sunspots have no effect.
    And in any case, we don’t know how much effect this minimum will have on the climate (if any according to some), so we must wait.

  32. Geoff Sharp (06:33:19) : That layman count should be named “free man´s count”.
    Mr. Alex (06:49:11) :Thanks!, evidently Galileo was a better sunspots´observer.

  33. Can’t resist this one Geoff:
    “Dont expect reduced solar activity to have an over night effect.”
    !! 🙂

  34. Is a different type of climate change is coming our way within the near future? Both ice cores and solar sun spot data seem to predict a change is coming, but is the US government properly preparing it’s citizens for this possible change?
    In the opening remarks at her confirmation hearing on Jan. 13, 2009 President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations committee she would use the office to shape foreign policy to fight global warming.
    As Hillary Clinton was speaking about the future security danger of global warming in front of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, the Russian government was preparing to release a massive study which contained evidence of a different type of global climate change.
    In fact, it was much more concerned with the prospect of a global ice age in the years ahead. The Russian report measured ice core samples from Russia’s Vostok Station in Antarctica. The Russian report summarized its findings as follows: “The evidence from ice core samples suggests that the 12,000 years of warmth we call the Holocene period is over. Apparently, we’re headed into an ice age of about 100,000 years, give or take. As for CO2 levels, core samples show conclusively they follow the earth’s temperature rise, not lead it.”
    So, as American and European politicians prepare to fight global warming, Russia is preparing for a different world that may have much colder times ahead. If global temperatures continue to cool, it will be a cold war that Russia can win without ever firing a shot.
    http://www.eworldvu.com/international/2009/2/4/a-cold-war-that-russia-can-win.html
    Another bit of interesting data shows a significant relationship between the length of the each solar cycle and global temperatues. The direct relationship shows the longer the solar sunspot cycle, the colder global temperatures.
    http://www.global-warming-and-the-climate.com/images/sunspot-lenght-&-teperature.gif
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/solar_cycle_length.png
    If this relationship is valid, then the extra long length of Cycle 23 would predict much colder global temperatures, perhaps a drop of close to 1 degree Celsius. The end of the warm-up period from the Little Ice Age to the Modern Warming may be toast in the near future, and the temperature reversal may soon reveal itself with increased vigor. This is not the best the news, as cold can kill more than the warmth.
    As much as I desire that the CO2 based global warming theory be discredited, I do not want an end of our Modern Warming period. My wish for more sunspots in Cycle 24 ASAP!

  35. Mark (03:57:44) :
    < Is SIDC the official counters of Sunspots? Do they make the final
    < determination that becomes the official number?
    Yes, the SIDC is an "official", international center for sunspot
    numbers. Their sunspot numbers are a continuation of the
    famous Zurich sunspot numbers that were devised by Wolf in
    Switzerland in the 19th century, so they make an old tradition.
    In 1980, the sunspot center was transferred from Zurich to the
    Royal Observatory of Uccle, near Brussels, Belgium.
    The SIDC publishes the sunspot numbers of a given month shortly
    after that month's end, generally on the 1st day of the next month.
    However, these are still provisional values. Definitive values are
    published much later. For instance, the definitive numbers for the
    first three months of this year were only published about 10 days ago.

  36. Gary from Chicagoland (08:52:04) :
    Another bit of interesting data shows a significant relationship between the length of the each solar cycle and global temperatues. The direct relationship shows the longer the solar sunspot cycle, the colder global temperatures.
    If this relationship is valid, then the extra long length of Cycle 23

    Except, it is not valid. If there is a relationship [there is no statistically valid one], it is the other way around: http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

  37. This is from the journal of Mary Shelly, author of Frankenstein, written during the Dalton minimum:

    I passed the summer of 1816 in the environs of Geneva. The season was cold and rainy, and in the evenings we crowded around a blazing wood fire, and occasionally amused ourselves with some German stories of ghosts, which happened to fall into our hands. These tales excited in us a playful desire of imitation. Two other friends (a tale from the pen of one of whom would be far more acceptable to the public than any thing I can ever hope to produce) and myself agreed to write each a story, founded on some supernatural occurrence. (Shelley 1998:14)

    Here is the paper on the Novel and climate where I got the quote:
    http://www.atlantisjournal.org/Papers/28_2/BPhillips.pdf
    I know there were volcanoes at that time. It just seems a fine coincidence that the event also happened at an extremely low spot in the sunspot cycle. To write it all off to volcanoes just seems like so much hand waving to me.

  38. Flux is quite low too, hasn’t reached 70 in a while.
    “Nogw (08:30:41) :
    Mr. Alex (06:49:11) :Thanks!, evidently Galileo was a better sunspots´observer.”
    You’ve clearly missed the point there.

  39. TJA (09:56:07) :
    I know there were volcanoes at that time. It just seems a fine coincidence that the event also happened at an extremely low spot in the sunspot cycle. To write it all off to volcanoes just seems like so much hand waving to me.
    That ‘extremely low’ point was actually in 1810 and not in 1816, which was a sunspot maximum year [albeit a weak maximum].

  40. Catania, only and always and forever Catania…
    They have a super-eyes and see what others can’t see—

  41. It’s would appear to me that the Jet stream(s) decides world temp. Figure out what drive this and you will find your answer.

  42. As long as Sunspots Counts are used instead of Sunspot Measurements, no good progress is going to be made as regards Solar influence of Global Climate.
    Use the right tool for the job.
    Spots from cycle to cycle are known to vary, and the number of very small spots in groups increased steadily from 1920 onwards.
    Ask Observatorie de la Paris, they are the ones who state it.
    Wolf’s scheme is arbitrary, based on statistics that he had no idea could change. Every last single measurement of activity on the Sun changes with regards to the others. Umbra to Penumbra, Umbra to Faculae, Faculae to Network, Whole Spot to Flux, etc, etc.
    When these spots are measured as to thier size, intensity (umbra-penumbra) and longevity, then plotted out, it is clearly evident that there is a background of sub-spotting going on. This is to be expected. There is simply no marked boundary when it comes to sunspots fading off into the millions of pores. Neither is there a set intensity of umbra fading off into the Penumbra.
    What is really amazing to me is that this has been know for the better part of a hundred years, yet the stumbling block is still tripped over.
    Oh well.
    Some of us see the problem solved via measurement against standards.
    i.e – measurement first, count derived from measurement.
    The resulting counts will then take care of themselves, rather than the other way around.

  43. Geoff Sharp (07:45:59) :
    As Gore showed us (incorrectly via his statements) CO2 lags temp by about 800 years. The oceans store the suns energy and time is required to equalize. Dont expect reduced solar activity to have an over night effect
    As shown by Svensmark in “The Chilling Stars” p.77 the GCR low peak was about 1991.2 and big el Nino it was in 1997-1998, six years lag. Oulu Neutron monitor GCR count above 10% from 2008.6 on, so, plus six years=2014.

  44. Leif Svalgaard (09:17:55) :If this relationship is valid, then the extra long length of Cycle 23… Except, it is not valid. If there is a relationship [there is no statistically valid one], it is the other way around:
    Your enclosed URL did not work, would you be so kind to resend this to web site to us?
    http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf
    In addition, would be so kind to discuss this chart that indicates a direct relationship between solar cycle length and global temperartures?
    http://www.global-warming-and-the-climate.com/images/sunspot-lenght-&-teperature.gif

  45. Leif Svalgaard (09:17:55) : The direct relationship shows the longer the solar sunspot cycle, the colder global temperatures.
    If this relationship is valid, then the extra long length of Cycle 23
    Except, it is not valid. If there is a relationship [there is no statistically valid one], it is the other way around:
    This web site do not work, would you be so kind to send it to us again?
    http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf
    In addition, would you be so kind to discuss your understanding to this chart that seems to show a direct relationship with temps vs. cycle length?
    http://www.global-warming-and-the-climate.com/images/sunspot-lenght-&-teperature.gif
    Thanks,

  46. Yep, now you did it … RA will get even shortly.
    Trying to convince people that the Universe is far more powerful than mankind, what a waste of time — hah, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  47. I wish some one would make up their mind. Is my lemon tree going to freeze
    again this winter or not?

  48. “which was a sunspot maximum year [albeit a weak maximum].” – Leif
    You are right of course, I was sloppy, but it was the among the weakest maximums seen outside of the Maunder, which is what I should have said.

  49. tarpon (11:11:23) :
    Trying to convince people that the Universe is far more powerful than mankind, what a waste of time
    That is EGOCENTRISM VS. HELIOCENTRISM
    How inconmesurably fool and greedy they are. Noble people can be poor but never quit their beliefs. They have sold their souls, will they be able to bear the Maunder Minimums we all face when old?

  50. Gary from Chicagoland (11:02:50) :
    This web site do not work, would you be so kind to send it to us again?
    http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

    I just tried it. Works fine. If you have trouble perhaps go to http://www.leif.org/research ; at bottom click on ‘list of files’ and try some, especially the one with ‘Cycle Length Temperature ….
    In addition, would you be so kind to discuss your understanding to this chart that seems to show a direct relationship with temps vs. cycle length?
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2004EO390005.pdf
    does it best.
    My plot [in the URL that you couldn’t go to for some reason] compares the solar cycle lengths [as directly ‘observed’ without any dubious smoothing]. You can define the length in two ways: from min to min or from max to max; my graph does both and plots the length so determined at the midpoint of the intervals [blue curves]. The temperatures are HADCRU anomaly averages for the same intervals [pink curve]. There is clearly no correlation between the pink and the blue curves. Because there is a large trend [called Global Warming], one could try to remove that trend and see how if one can recover a correlation. The result is the green curves, and they might show a very weak [an not statisitically significant] correlation in the sense shown: longer cycle, warmer temps. But, as I said, this finding is not significant, and the concept of solar cycle ‘length’ itself is dubious because cycles have significant overlap.

  51. I suppose it is possible that sunspot counts during the Maunder and Dalton minimums were artificially low due to the fact that low solar activity made observation more difficult due to increased cloudiness? Naah!
    Another possible factor in the cold wet summers around 1816 in Europe was the fact that it probably was around the peak of the burning of the North American forest for potash (the main cash crop in the early US). Once Britain’s hand was removed holding settlers back, the forests west to the Mississippi were leveled and nearly all hardwoods were burned for the ashes, which were sold to “Asheries”, which converted them to potash for sale in Europe.

  52. Kath (10:36:59) :
    A lot of people, millions across the USA, are wondering what winter will be like in light of thier failed gardens and wimpy summer.
    There are parts of science that are attempting to provide guidance and answer thier questions in the midst of the tumult.
    About the only thing they missed in that National Security Assessment is that some of the North Polar Icecap may be finding a new home…. Canada. Inquire at the nearest Laurentide Ice Sheet office. Parts of Alaska are excepted. Just don’t try to drive the Alcan Highway when it’s buried under hundreds of feet of ice & snow.

  53. Naah! There were too many observers and too many detailed accounts/drawings when Sunspots did appear in the Maunder. Eddy buried that hatchet with great force.

  54. TJA (11:26:52) :
    You are right of course, I was sloppy, but it was the among the weakest maximums seen outside of the Maunder, which is what I should have said.
    The cycle before was just as weak and cycle 14 almost as weak. So I think you better go with the volcanoes…

  55. It seems to me that I would be more interested in seeing the “Cumulative” sunspot count over say a 10 year period, and then a 20 year period than just this year’s. And, I don’t mean, “min to min,” or “max to max.”
    Obviously, any solar effect would have to be gradual, and “cumulative.”
    At least, that’s how it seems to me.

  56. Chances are that the next minimum will provoke the extintion of the species anthropopithecus thermophilus fanatikoides

  57. Kath (10:36:59) :
    I wonder what this winter will be like.
    According to observations of the Gulf Stream, I would expect for West Europe’s winter to be slightly warmer of 2008-9 and the North American (Canada and USA) Atlantic coastal environs colder of the same.

  58. Kum Dollison (12:28:56) :
    Obviously, any solar effect would have to be gradual, and “cumulative.”
    Like from day to day or from month to month? After a year, we are back to where we started. Same with after a solar cycle.

  59. Thanks for featuring the sun’s image prominently. Please could you do it on a regular basis as it reminds me to clean my laptop screen (to avoid false sunspots).

  60. “So I think you better go with the volcanoes…”
    I am holding out on that one. It seems like volcanoes appear whenever they are needed to explain this or that, their effects are estimated, then fed into the models.
    I have suspended judgement for at least five more years on this whole matter. I am just trying out hypotheses and watching for now. I am a skeptic, not a denier.

  61. Peter Plail (14:33:49)
    I’m with you there Peter. I just scrolled that image on my laptop and counted up to Cycle 28! Explain that one please Leif 🙂

  62. Leif, I’m thinking that if I counted up all the sunspots for the last ten years (or 20 years) I’d get a smaller number than if I started my count in, say, Aug 10, 2005.
    Perhaps the right number would be 10.5 years, and 21, or 11 years, and 22 (whatever is the length of the “average” solar cycle.)
    I think we have to get away from thinking in terms of “a year,” or, perhaps, even, a “cycle.”

  63. Looks like the “Watts effect” has struck again! Is that a cycle 23 spot I see commin’ ’round the mountain?

  64. TJA, I do not deny the planet has undergone some warming recently, and thank goodness, otherwise my home in Ottawa would still be under kilometers of ice!!! Even on a short time scale, since the 17th century, it has gotten warmer, but not in terms of 1000 years; it was warmer then.
    This whole “global warming” scam is a huge cherry picking operation.

  65. Perhaps like earth the sun has some mechanism that buffers its heat output between max and min. It is possible that after a long period of low activity the suns ‘buffer’ will start to get depleted and TSI will begin to drop.
    Could be now is a good time to stock up on fuel and non-perishable foods before the winter starts?

  66. Tenuc (16:31:44) :
    Preparation. What a concept. Think of it as a variation on Civil Defense.
    Something you will never hear one word of out of ‘Climate Change’ catastrophically faster than expected proponents.
    Take a quick look at the STEREO Ahead & Behind images. The deep quiet has uncovered features that more resemble Clouds of Venus. The Sun has a “Mohawk” lately. In addition, the North Polar Coronal hole is well defined and rather circular, both Ahead & Behind. Which brings up Solar Lag as a concept.
    I give you the vote for idea of the week.

  67. INGSOC (16:09:06) :
    The images haven’t been updated since 28th July.
    From the website: “NOTE: MDI is temporarily offline while new commands and data tables are uploaded. Normal operations are expected to resume in a few days.”
    Now. If I was a conspiracy theorist…

  68. How long has it beens since “Normal operations are expected to resume in a few days”?
    EIT and MDI are offline. Extended Bakeout and commands phase.
    Hinode underwent a bakeout in a day.
    Yes, it has been quite some time since the room has breathed.

  69. I’m certainly more people will immediately begin looking for anythong revealing all unforeseen, and most unhindseen, spots on most warm, sunny beaches around the world…. 8<)

  70. Geoff Sharp (01:55:31) : perhaps something is happening different from what modern science has experienced
    It’s so nice to be outside the box!
    p.s. not all scientists are lost at the moment about what is happening in the sun… dare I peep the name Piers Corbyn

  71. Kum Dollison (15:23:11) :
    if I counted up all the sunspots for the last ten years (or 20 years) I’d get a smaller number than if I started my count in, say, Aug 10, 2005.
    If I counted up all the photons received from the Sun for the last ten years or 20, I’d get a larger number [I think you meant ‘larger’, otherwise your statement is wrong on its face, because the latter count is a subset of the former] than if I started my count in, say Aug 10, 2005, but the temperature today is about the same as four years ago.
    Lee (16:51:21) :
    The earths obit is elliptical, but is it tied to the sun or the solar system barycenter?
    The Earth [actually the barycenter of the Earth and the Moon] orbits the barycenter of the system consisting of the Sun and the Earth [incl the Moon]. Similar for all the other planets. This is because the gravitational force between the Sun and the Earth+Moon acts along the line connecting the two. Most people cannot [or will not see or understand this]. For them, there is an observational test: we measure some radiation from the Sun [it can be TSI or F10.7]. Since the radiation intensity falls of with the square of the distance, we have a direct measurement of the distance and it is indeed the distance you get from considering the Earth in orbit about the Sun [and not the SSB].

  72. Lee (16:51:21) :
    The earths obit is elliptical, but is it tied to the sun or the solar system barycenter?
    The best way to determine this is by looking at the JPL data which is freely available. All the planets orbit around their mutual planet/sun barycenters or basically around the sun.
    The sun orbits around the SSB.

  73. Kath (10:36:59) :
    “BTW, now “climate change” is a national security issue…”
    Kath, unbelievable isn’t it? The key sentence from that article is “The Department of Defense’s assessment of the security issue came about after prodding by Congress to include climate issues in its strategic plans — specifically, in 2008 budget authorizations by Hillary Rodham Clinton and John W. Warner, then senators.”
    The DoD doesn’t require prodding from Congress on legitimate security threats.

  74. Okay, let me try to phrase this in such a way that even a scientist could understand it.
    I think the number of sunspots (a proxy for some type of energy affecting the earth) cumulative, from Aug 9, 1999 to Aug 9, 2009 would be a smaller number than the number of sunspots from Aug 9, 1995 to Aug 9, 2005.
    Perhaps, though, I should be using a number closer to the number of years in the average sunspot cycle. Maybe, 11?
    Sunspots (cumulative) above a certain number within a certain timeframe (to be determined) might equal a warming influence. The number of sunspots (within a certain time period) being below a certain number might, all else being equal, be a harbinger of a cooling trend.
    Whether the temperature is the same, or different, than 4 years ago would not, necessarily be important.

  75. Kum Dollison (21:08:23) :
    Okay, let me try to phrase this in such a way that even a scientist could understand it.
    At the end of the cycle we are back to where we were and the temperature would be the same, just like at the end of the year we are back to where we were and the temperature would be the same. If one year is warmer than the previous, then there might be a delay until the temps are back to “normal”. The same for solar cycles. One could discuss how long that delay is, but after it the temps are bound to be back to ‘normal’. For the annual cycle the delay is a couple of months. What would make the delay different for a solar cycle? and how long do you think the delay is?

  76. TJA (09:56:07) :
    “This is from the journal of Mary Shelly, author of Frankenstein, written during the Dalton minimum:
    I passed the summer of 1816 in the environs of Geneva. The season was cold and rainy, and in the evenings we crowded around a blazing wood fire, and occasionally amused ourselves with some German stories of ghosts, which happened to fall into our hands. These tales excited in us a playful desire of imitation. Two other friends (a tale from the pen of one of whom would be far more acceptable to the public than any thing I can ever hope to produce) and myself agreed to write each a story, founded on some supernatural occurrence. (Shelley 1998:14)”
    Here is a link to a very descriptive article in French written by the first Mayor of Val d’Ajol, a small town in the Vosges Mountains in the northeast of France. It describes the year 1815-1816 as ” L’année de la misère” (The year of misery)
    http://www.girmont.org/premier_maire.html
    Here is one paragraph that I have translated into English that gives an idea of the conditions:
    “In 1815, there were only 22 days without rain, and in the month of October, on the plain, the harvested wheat was covered in snow. This lead to 1816 being called the year of misery, their being no wheat from abroad.”
    The article goes on to describe that due to the lack of food people were forced to eat cats, dogs and rodents, and that many died of starvation.

  77. Okay, forget solar “cycles.” Use 15 years, instead (I’m just pulling a number out of a hat, here.)
    How many “spots” have we had in the last 15 years? I’m assuming it’s a smaller number than if I was considering the 15 years leading up to, and including Aug 9, 2005 (or, Aug 9, 2004, or pick a recent date.)
    I’m saying that a “spot” is a proxy for some unit, of something, or other, that causes some small amount of heat to be accumulated on earth (probably, in the oceans.)
    The more “heat units” accumulated, the more OHC (all other things being equal, of course) and thus a warming influence on the atmosphere.
    Forget about “cycles” resetting. Some cycles are more active than others, right? Some are longer, right? How about this: What is the average number of sunspots/day over the laxt X years?
    If that number has been decreasing, does that mean the atmosphere is likely to get cooler?

  78. Despite what Leif says, I am convinced that the temperatures will drift lower due to the spotless (low activity) Sun, and the July temp anomaly is just a temporary spike.
    The arctic ice extent seems to follow the satellite temperatures. From 29th June 09 to 27th July 09 the sea-ice extent trended down compared to last year.
    From 27th July to 9th August it has trended up. From the 6th of August it has been more than last year. On the 9th of August it was 107,500 sq Kms more than on the same date in 2008.

  79. Kum Dollison (22:37:00) :
    If that number has been decreasing, does that mean the atmosphere is likely to get cooler?
    Absolutely. From solar max to solar min, the temperature will fall 0.05-0.1 degree. The average increase over a whole cycle would be about 0 degrees if the cycle was tiny, and about 0.05 degrees for a very large cycle. So, yes, solar cycles do make a difference. A tiny difference, hardly measurable.

  80. PS According to the data I have from SIDC, there were 8 sunspots on the 23rd of July. So these 30 days have not been quite spotless.

  81. Leif, you keep talking in “Solar Cycles.” I think it’s likely that the optimum number of years to study might be some other number. Perhaps, 5. Perhaps, 25. Perhaps, 15. Maybe, 30. That number comes up a lot – PDO?
    It seems to me that heat would build up, until, at some point, after a certain number of below average sunspot years, and then it would start to dissipate. It seems like this could be a very Long cycle. Much more than 10, or 11 years.

  82. “A tiny difference, hardly measurable.” I suspect you’d have to measure these things over thousands of years. But this is actually profoundly significant –
    “From solar max to solar min, the temperature will fall 0.05-0.1 degree. ”
    Now think of undiscovered solar “cycles” in the thousand year time frame. Think of this extra (atmospheric) heat as being a result of sunlight warming the oceans a little bit more than “normal” and then some of this heat being transfrerred in to the armosphere. But the way the oceans process this heat is not understood. I think you’d need to think of all these processes as taking maybe thousands of years. Some people ask how the oceans store away this heat but think about it… the bottom of the ocean contains solar heat, otherwise it would be frozen. I am assuming geo-thermal is not relevant and that may be wrong. How nuch solar heat energy does 1M cubed of incredibly dense deep water contain? How long ago did it fall on the ocean, some sunny day? How did it come to be stored at the bottom of the sea?

  83. Lief,
    Let me see if I have this right. We observe other stars with a patterned wobble in their predicted path, so we imply some planets around that star.
    That means to me that the sun moves through space with a similar wobble – described I assume by the solar orbit around the SS barycenter. And you say the ellipticall earth-sun orbit is known to be an ellipse, which must mean for instance that at earth-sun appogee the earth is approximately the same distance from the sun as at every other appogee whether the sun is far from the barycenter on the earth side of the barycenter or on the far side. That would be at least a million mile potential difference and your description implies that difference is not observed. That must mean that the earth’s orbit actually follows a very complicated cycloid about the barycenter as the sun follows its smaller path around the barycenter.
    Is that, can that, be true? From our point of view is the motion around the barycenter idea even observable?

  84. It seems that more than 13 years have already passed since the last minimum, namely in spring to early summer of 1996.

  85. And there were 8 sunspots on the 30th of July also – so I dont know how the figure of 30 spotless days was gotten.

  86. Leif, I know you don’t like the “The Sun Done It” theories; but, as a layman, I look up there at that big old ball of fire, and I say to myself, “Who Else Could’a Done It?”
    I think we’ve just got caught up in looking at, maybe, too short of Time Frames. My hunch is we’ve gotta go, at least, a little bit past One Solar Cycle.

  87. Kum Dollison (23:13:58) :
    It seems to me that heat would build up, until, at some point, after a certain number of below average sunspot years, and then it would start to dissipate.
    When you heat something up, it becomes warmer. Warmer stuff radiates more heat away, thus cools. So, heat doesn’t ‘build up’. There is a balance between what comes in and what goes out. Since the oceans [and the soil] can hold a large amount of heat any changes in the input will be dampened out and the output will be rather constant [Think of the constant temperature of a deep cave]. The output is what determines the temperature.
    Roddy Baird (23:28:10) :
    I think you’d need to think of all these processes as taking maybe thousands of years.
    See reply above. Indeed, any changes will be smeared out over a long period and there will be very small changes in the output and hence temperature. These changes will be even smaller if the input changes are very small as we think they are.

  88. Mary Shelly’s reports from 1816 are not a good example for the Dalton minimum as in this year Mount Tambora’s eruption caused a severe volcanic winter.

  89. Leif usually makes a mention of using 10.7 cm radio flux as a better proxy of SSN than actual SSN numbers. Oddly enough, the 10.7 cm radio flux has been trending down for 3 months after peaking in May. This is interesting if you though SC24 had finally kicked off in May. Looking at the flux data I’m wondering if we have reached solar minimum yet ?
    On a temperature verses SSN correlation…..
    A simple graph tells a story.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1840/mean:12/normalise/plot/hadsst2gl/mean:12/normalise/from:1840
    – From this data it looks like the relationship follows the peaks of the cycle, meaning a drop in temp being noticed more after 2012 – provided SC24 is a low peak.

  90. “Richard (22:54:33) :
    PS According to the data I have from SIDC, there were 8 sunspots on
    the 23rd of July. So these 30 days have not been quite spotless.”
    The sunspot number is not the number of sunspots. It is derived by considering the number of groups of spots and the number of spots in each group, multiplied by a site-specific ‘fudge-factor- to equalize the differing viewing capabilities. A value of 8 represents a spot so small than some sites could not see it.

  91. Lee (23:42:50) :
    That must mean that the earth’s orbit actually follows a very complicated cycloid about the barycenter as the sun follows its smaller path around the barycenter.
    Is that, can that, be true? From our point of view is the motion around the barycenter idea even observable?

    It would be more correct to say that Sun and the Earth together orbit the barycenter. Or even better: all the bodies in the solar system move under their mutual gravitational attraction, they are all in free fall. At any moment one can calculate the center of mass of the constellation of bodies [call it the Barycenter]. It is convenient to consider that point as the origin of a coordinate system, and seen from afar that will be the ‘fixed’ point of the solar system as it moves through the galaxy. Perhaps this analogy is helpful: a man falls off a tall building, as he falls [ignoring air resistance] he is in free fall and feels no forces on him. His flails his arms and legs in terror and perhaps tumbles head over heel. His center of gravity follows a smooth curve as he falls but when you look at him you see his various parts moving around.
    Ozzie John (03:12:20) :
    Looking at the flux data I’m wondering if we have reached solar minimum yet ?
    It is still higher than it was in December, and since there are more SC24 spots now than SC23 spots, minimum is sometime in the past.
    On a temperature verses SSN correlation…..
    A simple graph tells a story.

    The green and the red curve do not seem to be correlated at all. The green curve has enough little wiggles on it to match some wiggles on the red curve somewhere. But, the trend of the red and green curves are completely different. Now, you can get a match on the trend by this simple procedure: divide the data in two halves, the first half and the last half. Compute the average red and green values for the two divisions. Then you’ll find that both pairs of points trend up, and presto, you have established a correlation.

  92. jtom (04:32:04) :
    The sunspot number is not the number of sunspots.

    Stop it, you’re killing me.
    So, SOHO caught a soso, but the yoyo drew as yoho, but couldn’t photo the mojo.
    but 13 days earlier, a 9 was counted and everybody saw it.
    Smokin’ !

  93. Kum Dollison (00:30:40) :
    I think we’ve just got caught up in looking at, maybe, too short of Time Frames. My hunch is we’ve gotta go, at least, a little bit past One Solar Cycle.
    There is no doubt that the ‘Sun does it’. The question is ‘how much?’
    Consider this thought experiment: We settle the Sun in at its minimum TSI, say 1365, constantly for a thousand years [time enough for this to settle, perhaps, otherwise we just let it sit longer]. Then we increase TSI to 1366.5 and keep it there for another thousand years. The question we now ask is what will be the temperature increase due to this increase of TSI. My answer is 0.07 degrees. If the two intervals are a lot shorter and follow each other cyclically and the oceans and the rocks are dampening out any changes, the variations in temperature with the cycles will be smaller still.

  94. “Leif Svalgaard (08:26:31) :
    Ozzie John (03:12:20) :
    Looking at the flux data I’m wondering if we have reached solar minimum yet ?
    It is still higher than it was in December, and since there are more SC24 spots now than SC23 spots, minimum is sometime in the past.”
    Given that 200 years ago magnetograms did not exist it was not known which spots belonged to which cycle during minimum (only latitude could tell, but even this is not an accurate method as SC 23 has shown), and so which cycle the magnetogram indicates today is irrelevant if you want to keep sunspot cycle data recording consistent.
    Sunspot Minimum has not been reached, there is no official statement which has declared minimum. December 2008 is a CANDIDATE month for minimum. This does not mean that January 2009 cannot be minimum.
    Currently as August progresses quietly and if the streak continues January 2009 may very well be the new candidate for month of minimum.
    Flux has not reached 74 since 17 May and has not reached 70 since 9 July.

  95. I think it’s now been 30 days assuming GMT midnight (0000 Z) today meant 0100 B(ritish)S(ummer)T(ime) today (e.g. based on “spring ahead”).

  96. Mr. Alex (10:01:31) :
    Sunspot Minimum has not been reached, there is no official statement which has declared minimum. December 2008 is a CANDIDATE month for minimum.
    There are many minima, every type of solar activity, sunspots, number of old vs new spots, magnetic field, heliospheric tilt angle, cosmic rays, ephemeral regions, radio flux, TSI, etc all have minima at different times. And there is no official minimum.
    The often-used definition based on the smoothed sunspot number is about the worst one of the bunch, as far a the ‘real’ minimum is concerned. Imagine an interval of 12 months of which the first six [and many months before] only had spots of cycle N and the last six month [and many months thereafter] only had spots of cycle N+1, then it would make sense to put the minimum in the middle, no matter what the sunspot numbers were. Having the N+1 cycle spots ramping up at different rates would move the smoothed ‘minimum’ accordingly, but that movement would be completely artificial.

  97. Mr. Alex (10:01:31) :
    It’s common to hear that Solar activity is very low these days.
    It’s also been very slow to change.
    All ahead slow, bow planes at 5 degrees, rig for silent running.
    It’s Monday, August 10, 2009, and that’s the way it is.

  98. Maybe the last big sc24 sunspot was its last breath?
    To me it seems like all the ‘pores’ were welded together and produced the last mature sunspot and now we’re left without the pores.

  99. “Leif Svalgaard (10:49:20) :
    There are many minima”…
    “And there is no official minimum.”
    True, but here the minimum I refer to deals with the official international sunspot number: http://www.solen.info/solar/
    Indicating that Dec 2008 is “very likely the sunspot minimum” should August bring good activity as seen in June/May.
    It may be the worst, but it is the most accepted.
    Solar Cycle 23 is probably over, but just because SC 23 has ended doesn’t mean that quiet times won’t continue, (hence “minimum” continues).
    “then it would make sense to put the minimum in the middle”
    Ah, but then one must define what ratio between N+1 and N spots constitutes ‘the middle’, the last pseudospot recognized by SIDC in July was Cycle 23.
    Flux may be a better indicator. What are your thoughts with regards to the downward trend in flux since May? Any ideas as to when it may begin to rise uniformly to maximum? Any precursors indicating a rise?

  100. Just musing here… I’m a believer of ancient ‘knowledge’ locked into the genetics of all living things. Considering how long plant DNA has been around, I noticed that all the pine trees in my region of New England are producing a bumper crop of pine cones this year and wonder why are they doing it? Are they detecting the chance of a large competitive advantage in the near future and preparing for it? So I wonder what has happened competitively between deciduous trees and evergreens through million of years of alternating cooling and warming periods? Do the pine trees ‘suspect’ or ‘anticipate’ that deciduous trees may, for example, encounter difficulties with freezing temperatures after leaf deployment over the next few years to give pine seedlings a better success rate? Hmmm?

  101. Mike Lorrey (11:51:59) :
    Leif, whats the green lines represent, and shouldn’t you be implementing some corrections on the temp lines based on recent exposes of NOAAs fraudulent ‘corrections’ being responsible for most all claimed warming?
    The pink curves are the HADCRU temperatures [not NOAA]. They have a clear upward trend [“global warming”] as given by the dashed pink line. If we remove that trend [including then whatever corrections may have been added], we get the green curves. Their trend is the dashed green line, and as you can see there isn’t any [because we removed it]. The second plot shows the correlation with the pink curves [pink symbols] and there is none and also with the green curves, and for the latter there is a very weak positive correlation [longer = warmer] which however is not statistically significant, so there is no evidence for solar cycle length having any effect, and if any, the effect [weak positive correlation] is the opposite what was claimed.
    Mr. Alex (12:06:40) :
    It may be the worst, but it is the most accepted.
    Doesn’t mean it is meaningful.
    Ah, but then one must define what ratio between N+1 and N spots constitutes ‘the middle’, the last pseudospot recognized by SIDC in July was Cycle 23.
    It is simpler than that, just inspect http://www.leif.org/research/Region%20Days%20per%20Month%20for%2023-24.png and check the old [blue] and new regions [pink].
    Flux may be a better indicator. What are your thoughts with regards to the downward trend in flux since May? Any ideas as to when it may begin to rise uniformly to maximum? Any precursors indicating a rise?
    The flux consists of two components:
    1) a ‘slowly varying’ component, S, that is there even when there are no spots. At solar flux minimum back in December that component [the pink line in http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png ] was down to 66 sfu, and is now up to 69 sfu. Superposed on S is the flux from active regions. The active flux will fluctuate with the sunspot number as is clear. Here is a comparison of this minimum with that of 1954: http://www.leif.org/research/F107%20at%20Minima%201954%20and%202008.png which was also a very quiet minimum [albeit followed by one of the most active cycles ever].

  102. Leif Svalgaard (13:03:04) :
    The flux consists of two components:
    1) a ’slowly varying’ component, S, that is there even when there are no spots. At solar flux minimum back in December that component [the pink line in http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png ] was down to 66 sfu, and is now up to 69 sfu, reflecting an increased density and temperature of the corona indicating that solar magnetic fields [that heat the corona] are on the rise.
    2) Superposed on S is the flux from active regions. The active flux will fluctuate with the sunspot number as is clear. Here is a comparison of this minimum with that of 1954: http://www.leif.org/research/F107%20at%20Minima%201954%20and%202008.png which was also a very quiet minimum [albeit followed by one of the most active cycles ever].

  103. “Their effect is seen directly, and as real data they must then be fed into the models” -Lief
    That’s not exactly the same as plugging mass and acceleration into F=MA now, is it? I just don’t believe that the models are close enough for spending trillions on now.

  104. Mike M – The pine trees have picked up on the super-elevated CO2 levels and are betting all their genetic marbles that its going to be plant nirvana for at least decades to come. Oaks and such grow slower so the signal may need to get a little stronger for them to jump on the acorn bandwagon.
    Particularly deep rooted plants will begin to noice that underground petroleum levels are sinking so they may start dying in order to start rotting and replenish the supplies. It’s all cycles!

  105. Why it is futile to attempt comparisons of SSN to Temperature:
    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/SC24/Gr_Pul_Deb_WSvsSSN.PNG
    Doomed from the very start, there is no correlation between the Counting of Sunspots and the Measuring of Sunspot Area.
    Area measurements of solar phenomenon pre-satellite were used to calculate TSI. Goes back way over 100 years. See your Monthy Reports Royal Astronomical Society.
    Now, why would anyone want to insist upon using a counting method (that fails to correlate to actual measurements) to dismiss correlation AND association of one measurement to another?
    Apparently, knowledge has gotten lost along the way.

  106. Laurence Kirk (13:59:45) :
    And how, brother.
    the_butcher (11:06:03) :
    The 1024 plage just won’t let go. Since it formed it has sucked the juice out
    of the battery.

  107. The red plot line is the Hemispherical Area of Sunspots monthly means / SIDC SSN monthly means.
    (raw) is meant to signify that no operations were performed on the data other than the division indicated.

  108. rbateman (15:51:30) :
    The red plot line is the Hemispherical Area of Sunspots monthly means / SIDC SSN monthly means.
    (raw) is meant to signify that no operations were performed on the data other than the division indicated.

    Because the correlation is not linear, try to plot SSM^0.775/SSN instead.

  109. Leif Svalgaard (16:00:28) :
    rbateman (15:51:30) :
    “The red plot line is the Hemispherical Area of Sunspots monthly means / SIDC SSN monthly means.
    (raw) is meant to signify that no operations were performed on the data other than the division indicated.”
    Because the correlation is not linear, try to plot SSM^0.775/SSN instead.

    When you plot ratios, it is better not to plot connecting lines, but stick to a ‘scatter plot’.

  110. Leif Svalgaard (16:00:28) :
    Niether is the comparison/assosciation of SSN to Temperature.
    Who’s been doing that computation to their comparisons?
    Because the correlation is not linear, try to plot SSM^0.775/SSN instead.

    which one, Wolf, Wolferer or Waldmeier?

  111. When you plot ratios, it is better not to plot connecting lines, but stick to a ’scatter plot’.
    In a nutshell, it is behaved only during maximum, goes haywire during minimum, and the best time it was behaved was SC19&20. Going in both directions from SC19&20, it comes unglued.
    But that really isn’t the point.
    The point is that you shouldn’t be performing non-linear synthesizing on measurements to conform to counting schemes prior to comparing to measurements, when all you ever had to do was to compare the existing measurements to measurements.
    We’re walking down the road to the Twilight Zone here.

  112. rbateman (14:17:09) :
    the_butcher (11:06:03) :
    The 1024 plage just won’t let go. Since it formed it has sucked the juice out
    of the battery.
    ====
    Rather, “The 1024 plague just won’t let go. Since it formed it has sucked the juice out of the battery….”
    Doesn’t seem right to call these missing 1024’s a symptom of the latest version of Medievel Warm Period’s Black Death Plague though. ( Wrong color, yah know.)

  113. rbateman (17:12:01) :
    The point is that you shouldn’t be performing non-linear synthesizing on measurements to conform to counting schemes
    Non-linear is not the problem. SSM/SSN is just as misbehaved as SSM^0.775/SSN, when SSN gets near zero.
    when all you ever had to do was to compare the existing measurements to measurements.
    SSM is counting, namely counting pixels, so comparing SSM to SSN is comparing counts [of pixels] to counts [of aggregates of pixels]. Both are counts and can thus be compared as apples with apples. Raising both of them to an exponent does not change the correlation between them, treating the functional relation as a power law.
    So, plot SSM^0.775/SSN as un-connected dots and show us. That way you remove the faux solar cycle variation of the quotient.

  114. SSM is a summation of uniform pixels and correcting only for foreshortening.
    Like your corrected flux, to a standard as viewed from straight on.
    Counting is a summation of arbitrary values to widely varying spots sizes,
    some of them grossly exaggerated by the act of lumping beachballs in with peas and grit of sand. Counting in the case of sunspots is uncorrected.
    Even the definition of what is the boundary of spot to pore is hazy.
    So is the boundary between umbra/penumbra/background or facula. Why do you think that much effort is undertaken via std dev, histogram departures and human examination in the case of area measurements?
    They don’t do that with sunspot counts.
    To take such an undisciplined numbering and equate it with painstakingly careful area measurements is misleading. You don’t like it when people refer to uncorrected flux and draw conclusions. Why should you expect me to accept the practice of uncorrected sunspot counting as an equivalent practice where conclusions are drawn from it?

  115. rbateman (19:42:27) :
    Why should you expect me to accept the practice of uncorrected sunspot counting as an equivalent practice where conclusions are drawn from it?
    The proof of the usefulness of the procedure comes from the top graph of your plot, that shows that the SSM^0,775/SSN ratio is nearly constant. At every minimum the scatter of the point is larger because we are dividing by much smaller numbers [SSN near zero]; this is expected and does not pose a problem. What you have shown is that SSM^0.775 and SSN are very well correlated [in fact the correlation coefficient is in the upper 0.95s]. The 0.775 exponent linearizes SSM vs. SSN and makes them comparable on time scales of months. From day to day the correlation is poor, but that is no news and no problem.

  116. Arguing about number,size and shape of sun spots seems akin to me as to pouring over the size and shapes of bug splats on a truck bumper to determine the operation of the truck. Maybe it’s the best that we can do but it seems to me to be a waste of talent.

  117. Yeah, maybe 95% in the 60’s, but it blows up going either direction from there.
    i.e. – it changes. Who would have guessed that it’s dynamic?
    It may have been useful 30 years ago. Now it runs away from that and grows very noisy.
    You still have not come to terms with the comparison of an non-linear counting system to a temperature measurement. Who applies the opposite correction to the SSN before comparing to temp? Who accounts for the dynamic change it has undergone?
    You know, Lief, the most direct thing about this is that it is far simpler to compare apples to apples, rather than grind up an orange, squeeze out the juiice, add apple juice, pectin & sugar, pack in a mold and create an artificial apple.
    Who’s that guy? Ockham?

  118. p.g.sharrow “PG” (21:59:33) :
    It’s not the best we can do.
    We are here with 31 days, few answers because the best data we have was allowed to collect dust in favor of the Easy Button
    I rest my case.

  119. “See reply above. Indeed, any changes will be smeared out over a long period and there will be very small changes in the output and hence temperature. These changes will be even smaller if the input changes are very small as we think they are.”
    That’s not necessarily conclusive. You have stated that there are temperature changes on earth that correlate with changes in solar activity . You have commented on the fact that those temperature changes correlating with the 11 (22) year solar “sun spot” cycle are too small to make a difference. But what if there are cycles we know nothing about that have a fractal relationship with the known cycle, i.e. similar patterns at all scales? Cycles that may play out over much greater lengths of time, so yes, over 1 million years it all gets smeared out but over 50 000 years you get a little bit more energy absorbed by the ocean which in turn eventually raises the average temp of the oceans, which in turn raises the average temp of the atmosphere. Now imagine these cycles are chaotic and that all the apparent cyclicality is an illusion, or merely intermittent. I asked a question above about the “age” of the solar energy that keeps the water at the bottom of the ocean liquid. I was trying to get people to think about how solar energy is stored and “processed” by the oceans because I firmly believe that is a very important question if one is going understand the earth’s climate. I maintain that the temperature of the oceans is the most important climatic feature and I also believe that the temperature of the atmosphere has little impact on the average temperature of the ocean. In other words the temperature of the atmosphere is, in a sense, a symptom of the world’s “climate”. Therefore the small anthropogenic increase in CO2 levels cannot cause meaningful “climate change”. Although I have no problem in believing that CO2 may cause a small boost to atmospheric temps, I believe this a good thing as it may moderate, or slow down, the descent into the next glacial period.
    Oh and by the way Dr Svalgaard, thank you so much for your time. I find it extraordinary that a scientist of your standing spends so much time attempting to enforce intellectual rigour on this and other boards. I find this stuff fascinating but have no expertise whatsoever and I am sure it shows. 🙂

  120. rbateman (22:17:36) :
    Yeah, maybe 95% in the 60’s, but it blows up going either direction from there.
    i.e. – it changes. Who would have guessed that it’s dynamic?
    It may have been useful 30 years ago. Now it runs away from that and grows very noisy.

    The ratio becomes noisy when SSN becomes small, at every minimum, not just now. There was an equally good correlation between SSM [can I call it SSA from now on] and F10.7 and between SSN and F10.7 up to about 1990. Both SSA and F10.7 now begin to deviate from this correlation. My hunch is that this is due the the L&P effect. The recent several years the SSN is too small. Somewhat contradictory to the the accusation that SIDC overcounts the specks. Independent indication of the undercount can be found here: http://www.leif.org/research/Alfvenic%20Mach%20number%20variation.pdf
    Roddy Baird (22:31:26) :
    Cycles that may play out over much greater lengths of time, so yes, over 1 million years it all gets smeared out but over 50 000 years you get…
    These may be there, but since we cannot readily detect them, I don’t worry about them right now.

  121. Leif Svalgaard (08:26:31) :
    Consider this thought experiment: We settle the Sun in at its minimum TSI, say 1365, constantly for a thousand years .. Then we increase TSI to 1366.5 and keep it there for another thousand years. The question we now ask is what will be the temperature increase due to this increase of TSI. My answer is 0.07 degrees.
    How on Earth do you get this figure of 0.07 degrees?
    Also TSI varies by much more than just 1.5 W/m^2. I plotted the TSI from 01/12/2007 to 29/07/2009.
    The plot is an almost perfect sinusoidal curve (now why should this be so?) and the TSI varies from 1407.76 W/m^2 around the 5th of January to 1316.54 W/m^2 around the 5th of July. A difference of 91.22 W/m^2.
    Now why should this be so? Let me guess – due to our elliptical orbit? we are closest to the Sun on the 5th of Jan and farthest on the 5th of July?
    This should make our northern winters milder and southern summers warmer and our northern summers cooler and our southern winters cooler. And sure enough its cold down here and I just heard from my friend in Newcastle, Australia, north of Sydney – its chilly there.

  122. You can call it SSA.
    I just grabbed the 1st acronym that came to mind.
    How far back does the measurement of umbral magnetic go?
    There is very bad scatter at 1900.
    I updated to include Pulkovo’s Extension to the Greenwich System.
    The heart of SC7 & 11 may be due to insufficient data or not yet measured, backfilled. Nature abhors straight lines. The others look real as well as the unique minimums.

  123. Mike M (12:11:37) :
    Just musing here… I’m a believer of ancient ‘knowledge’ locked into the genetics of all living things. Considering how long plant DNA has been around, I noticed that all the pine trees in my region of New England are producing a bumper crop of pine cones this year and wonder why are they doing it?
    Folk wisdom in Greece says that when there are a lot of pine cones the winter will be severe. It is convenient, because they were used a lot for starting the fire in the fireplaces. I think this year’s crop in my area is normal.

  124. @Leif
    As someone who has been enamored of the “Solar Rotation Shiny Thing” as causing warming / cooling I have to say:
    I now think your assertion that not much has changed with the weather due to the sun is true (at least through the data as of 2008).
    I’ve taken the GHCN data and looked at the “global warming signal” in the data via a couple of methods. There is a strong seasonal signal that can NOT be a function of solar processes.
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/co2-takes-summers-off/
    While it can not be a function of CO2 either, the fact is that neither the sun nor CO2 “has what it takes” to explain the data.
    I’ve put up the code I used to do this study (it is in FORTRAN, but I can make a C translation if folks need it) and it does not depend on GIStemp, only on the GHCN data set (freely downloadable).
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/will-the-good-ghcn-stations-please-stand-up/
    If you have any interest in having this run at your site, let me know on my blog. I’m about 30 minutes away from Stanford and I will happily provide a free porting service to make any of this code (or GIStemp for that matter) run on a box of your choosing as long as it runs some *nix port. (“bigendian” is needed at this point if you want the SST map added in).
    As someone who has spent more of your time than I can ever repay on “the sun did it”, the least I can do is provide the tools to show “the sun didn’t do it, it was the thermometer count / locations.”
    Thank you for your patience, for your teaching, and for your guidance.
    E. Michael Smith

  125. rbateman (00:10:35) :
    How far back does the measurement of umbral magnetic go?
    About to 1917
    There is very bad scatter at 1900.
    Because SSN was so small.
    The heart of SC7 & 11 may be due to insufficient data or not yet measured, backfilled. Nature abhors straight lines. The others look real as well as the unique minimums.
    So you discovered an ugly truth: when there is no data, make some up. The SSA was ‘reconstructed’ from the SSN at times.

  126. ” My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the Sun”
    —Wm Shakespeare
    Old Sol’s in a terrible funk!
    How low has the solar flux sunk!
    It seems like an age
    Since that disc showed a plage–
    It’s as bare as the pate of a monk!

  127. The GONG Big Bear Magnetogram image from 08/11 14:38 UTC shows a Solar Cycle 23 small micro-signature near the equator. No spots though.
    The wait continues…

  128. Leif Svalgaard (00:30:52) :
    Since the oceans [and the soil] can hold a large amount of heat any changes in the input will be dampened out and the output will be rather constant [Think of the constant temperature of a deep cave]. The output is what determines the temperature.

    Specific heat of water = 4186 joules per kilogram and 70% of earth’s surface.
    Specific heat of dry soil = 465 joules per kilogram and 30% of earth’s surface or
    Specific heat of wet soil = 581 joules per kilogram
    So, roughly 95% of “stored energy” is in the oceans.

  129. “When was the solar minimum..”
    Well, if we are on our way into a 50 year Maunder like minimum, a specific minimum date is perhaps not so important. If..

  130. A Glass Esq.
    How I delight in such lttle rhymes and ditties.
    And yes I used to have Mistress whose eyes were nothing like the Sun but rather the deepest blue of the oceans. She is no more and I regret her much.
    The world has changed and in its busyness Academia has neither use nor even the education for such charming little diversions.
    As for what is going on the Sun ask the Sun. If there is one thing I am sure of it is that a set of Tarot cards will predict the future of the current solar funk quite as well as the elaborate mathematical solar dances of the many so called experts: here I except really serious solar physicists because being very wise, as all good Natural Philosophers are, they never make predictions, especially about the future.
    Kindest Regards.

  131. “When was the solar minimum..”
    Well like Leif said there are many minimums…
    If you are referring to international sunspot minimum, the candidate for that is December 2008… for now!
    Dalton Minimum type is quite likely to occur now, Maunder on the other hand…hmm Not likely according to consensus… (yes, consensus!)
    Although, the Bubonic Plague apparently did break out in China just before the Maunder Minimum… Oh and now it has broken out in China again… Coincidence?

  132. Props to Arthur Glass for his solar poetry!
    Wonderful to read amongst all the technical stuff.
    Thanks!

  133. Probably coincidence yes.
    Not least because if you are referring to the Black Death which killed some 30% of the world’s population, greater proportionally in Europe where morbidity was probably closer to 50%, within a few years then that was some 300 years before the Maunder minimum.
    It’s origins, probably from India or Central Asia as well as it’s exact nature, probably Bubonicus, but that is not certain, are still hotly debated.
    But we are fairly sure that it was the Plague which continued to ravage Europe with outbreaks every decade or two but suddenly died out at the beginning of or during the Maunder minimum, one of the last great outbreaks being in London in 1665.
    It has often been suggested that the great fire of London, 1666, destroyed the reservoir of infection but in fact it had virtually disappeared from all Europe by around 1700.
    It has never come back. We don’t really know why.
    Bubonicus still does turn up now and again especially in Asia but modern antibiotics if given in time are very effective at treating it.
    And if it really was the Black Death either it has lost most of it’s virulence or modern people are largely immune to it. Or both.
    Which puts swine flu in its place, mere toytown stuff. Even the Spanish flu, so called because it was first identified in Spain, only managed to kill some 20 million people just after the first world war: whereas with it’s first outbreakthe Black Death killed some 150 million people around the world in a few years and perhaps as many again in the next three hundred years.
    And there weren’t as many people around as there are now. As far as we can tell it was the most devastating pandemic in human history.
    And they worry about AGW. Some people have no sense of proportion.
    Kindest Regards.

  134. Dear E.M. Smith, another convert to the “It ain’t the Sun stupid” crowd. Welcome aboard.

  135. “Survior Immunity” is definitely a factor, but it is probably not the only thing: Certainly, after the victims died, the remainder were resistant to the Black Death. But why the two different forms? (One apparently by flea bites with slow-building lesions, one by air or airborne (some quick-acting) contagion?)
    Why were the children and grandchildren of the original surviors … etc also almost all immune? Where did the disease “go” after the Middle Ages?
    The explanation seems two “quick and simple” and too limited in time – if rat-carried fleas were the cause, these rats and fleas were present long before the first ships came in with the Plague from the east. Why was it not so deadly in the east? There aren’t 1/3 of the populations killers before the Middle Ages, but trade had been crossing the plains since the Roman and Greel times.

  136. E.M.Smith (01:30:49) : How can you say the sun didnt do it?
    If I understand your “CO2 takes summers off” the winters have got milder (less cold or warmer if you wish), since 1880? The summers if anything slightly cooler?
    Today the closest point to the Sun (perihelion) falls on the 5/6th of Jan and the furthest on the 5/6th of July. The difference of the TSI due to this distance is 91.22 W/m^2.
    In 1880 perihelion would have been on the 15th of December and aphelion on the 15th of June. So today in the Northern hemisphere Jan should be a little warmer and July a little cooler than 1880. Do these show in the records?

  137. Pamela Gray (17:31:45) :
    Dear E.M. Smith, another convert to the “It ain’t the Sun stupid” crowd. Welcome aboard.
    Smarter thinking would say “It aint the TSI component stupid”

  138. That’s 32 spotless days in a row now – “officially” the longest stretch in the current solar minimum. This doesn’t exactly instill confidence that solar minimum is behind us.

  139. J. Wilson (08:24:20) :
    This doesn’t exactly instill confidence that solar minimum is behind us.
    What is ‘solar minimum’?
    Here are the monthly sunspot numbers ~108 years ago
    190006 12.1
    190007 8.3
    190008 4.3
    190009 8.3
    190010 12.9
    190011 4.5
    190012 0.3
    190101 0.2
    190102 2.4
    190103 4.5
    190104 0.0
    190105 10.2
    190106 5.8
    190107 0.7
    190108 1.0
    190109 0.6
    190110 3.7
    190111 3.8
    190112 0.0
    190201 5.5
    190202 0.0
    190203 12.4
    190204 0.0
    190205 2.8
    190206 1.4
    190207 0.9
    190208 2.3
    190209 7.6
    190210 16.3
    190211 10.3
    190212 1.1
    when was minimum?

  140. I see what you mean.
    Dec. 1901-April 1902 had three out of five spotless months, but a 12.4 count in March and an average count of 3.0 over those five months.
    On the other hand, the lowest 5-month average was April-Aug. 1902, with an average count of 1.5.
    So I guess in hindsight the *sunspot* minimum was somewhere in early-to-mid 1902, but that wasn’t obvious until the end of 1902.

  141. J. Wilson (12:20:07) :
    I see what you mean.
    So I guess in hindsight the *sunspot* minimum was somewhere in early-to-mid 1902, but that wasn’t obvious until the end of 1902.

    There are other indicators of solar activity, such as the radio flux or magnetic polarities. They didn’t have those in 1902, so couldn’t tell, but we have, so are in a better position to gauge when ‘minimum’ was.

  142. It seems like we can safly say that your posting on lack of sun spots don’t consistently generate sun spots but, to be sure, I’d like to see the raw data compared to the manipulated version. 😉

  143. I decided to check the “3-monthly running mean” (a smoothing technique – no ‘magic’ to it) of sunspot numbers for the past year to see how things were going. The running mean is a way of showing trends in variable data.
    The “gold standard” for sunspot number data is the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC) in Belgium (http://www.sidc.be). SIDC issues a series of “relative sunspot numbers” (R), derived from data sent to them by 60-or-so observatories across the world. The numbers given by Tad Cook K7RA in his week ARRL Propagation Bulletin are generally from the US’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) – one of the contributors to the SIDC data set. Our own IPS Radio and Space Services also issues monthly sunspot numbers, which closely track those issued by SIDC.
    So I graphed the 3-monthly running means for the period June 2008 through June 2009, for these three sources of sunspot numbers – and the results are intriguing, indeed. It appears we have two successive minima, six or seven months apart – one in August last year, the second either in February (SIDC and IPS figures) or March (SWPC figures)

  144. So much for a fantasized “Watts” effect, eh? The last, best hope of the ‘It ain’t the sun, stupid’ coven, gone. So sad.

  145. Richard (22:07:22) :
    < In 1880 perihelion would have been on the 15th of December and
    < aphelion on the 15th of June.
    Where did you get these dates? They are wrong. In 1880 Earth reached
    aphelion on July 3, and perihelion occurred on January 1, 1880, and
    on January 1, 1881.
    Not much different from the present situation.

  146. I calculated them from the fact that in 2000 aphelion was on the 4th of July and this year it seems to be on the 5/6th of July and extrapolated.
    Where did you get your figures from? In any case if it was on the 3rd of July in 1880 perihelion should have been on the 3rd of Jan and not the 1st.

  147. Richard (23:33:30) :
    < I calculated them from the fact that in 2000 aphelion was on the 4th
    < of July and this year it seems to be on the 5/6th of July and extrapolated.
    <
    < Where did you get your figures from?
    You may not extrapolate from dates that are only a few years apart, because there is some scatter in the perihelion/aphelion dates, mainly due to the gravitational action of the Moon. Due to this action, the Earth revolves around the Earth-Moon barycenter, resulting in some "scatter" from the one year to the other in the perihelion/aphelion times. For example, here are the times of the passages of the Earth at perihelion in some years. The times are in UT.
    2005 Jan. 2 01 h
    2006 Jan. 4 16 h
    2007 Jan. 3 20 h
    2008 Jan. 2 24 h
    2009 Jan. 4 15 h
    I am a specialist in mathematical astronomy, and I am making astronomical
    calculations since more than 50 years. My figures are obtained from a variety of sources, for example the French analytical planetary theory VSOP87 by
    the late Bretagnon, or from the excellent and accurate software Solex by
    Aldo Vitagliano.

  148. John C (21:04:19) :
    “I decided to check the “3-monthly running mean” (a smoothing technique – no ‘magic’ to it) of sunspot numbers for the past year to see how things were going. …. So I graphed the 3-monthly running means for the period June 2008 through June 2009, for these three sources of sunspot numbers – and the results are intriguing, indeed. It appears we have two successive minima, six or seven months apart – one in August last year, the second either in February (SIDC and IPS figures) or March (SWPC figures)”
    ===
    I htink one problem with all tests and relationships like this is that sunspots themselves are a symptom (an indication, more accurately) of the patterns of magnetic and heat circulation patterns in the sun. The sunspots we see aren’t themselves what is inducing or influencing climate/weather/geomagnetic storms/cosmic ray shielding here.
    In my opinion, something else – something more fundamental – is influencing both , or is linking both together. The net result of this solar influence is a sum of a short term 70-80 year cycle (maybe a short term 75 year average period that itself has a true length that oscillates between a 65 year and a 85 year timeframe!) – and a larger, longer 800 year cycle (Roman Warm Period, Dark Ages, Medieval Warm Period, Little Age, Modern Optimum.)
    Thow a few orbit pertubations in to get the 10,000 year Ice Ages ….

  149. Jean Meeus – Thank you for that. Is there any way you can explain short term fluctuations of temperature due to the sun?

  150. Richard (04:45:11) :
    Jean Meeus – Thank you for that. Is there any way you can explain short term fluctuations of temperature due to the sun?
    No. If there are short-term fluctuations in the (global?) temperature,
    then certainly they cannot be explained by year-to-year variations in the
    Earth-Sun distance. These variations are much too small. For illustration,
    here are the times of the least Earth-Sun distances during the years
    2000-2009.
    The last column gives the least distance between the centers of Earth and
    Sun in astronomical units. 1 a.u. is the mean distance between Sun and
    Earth. (There is a better, mathematical definition, but this is not to the
    point here). Times are in UT.
    2000 Jan. 3 05h 0.983321
    2001 Jan. 4 09h 0.983286
    2002 Jan. 2 14h 0.983290
    2003 Jan. 4 05h 0.983320
    2004 Jan. 4 16h 0.983265
    2005 Jan. 2 01h 0.983297
    2006 Jan. 4 16h 0.983327
    2007 Jan. 3 20h 0.983260
    2008 Jan. 2 24h 0.983280
    2009 Jan. 4 15h 0.983273

  151. Jean Meeus (02:19:03) :
    Richard (23:33:30) :
    resulting in some “scatter” from the one year to the other in the perihelion/aphelion times.
    Not to mention the scatter introduced simply by our calendar’s leap year system…

  152. Jean Meeus and Leif – thanks for that.
    Yes the Sun-Earth distances and the drift of the aphelion/ perihelion along the seasons are certainly too small to explain the fluctuations of the global temperature on short time scales.
    However on larger times scales of a few tens of thousands of years as the aphelion/ perhelion drifts with respect to the solstices (or vice-versa if that is more correct) this would affect our climate.
    I read that warmer annual average atmospheric temperatures occur when summers are longer, as opposed to being more intense, because temperature is more sensitive to insolation when the atmosphere is cooler, as dictated by radiative equilibrium.
    When autumn and winter occur at perihelion, “as is the case currently in the northern hemisphere, the earth is moving at its maximum velocity and therefore autumn and winter are slightly shorter than spring and summer. Thus, summer in the northern hemisphere is 4.66 days longer than winter and spring is 2.9 days longer than autumn.” – from Wikipedia.
    We would therefore naturally assume to be in a warm period.
    What puzzles me however is that during the last 700,000 years the interglacials have lasted only about 10,000 years, which is about the length of our present interglacial. When this happened CO2 was rising and continued to rise as the temperatures plunged. Clearly the cause was the sun but how?
    Indeed something caused the various warm and cold periods during our present Holocene interglacial. Again the primary cause must have been the sun but again how?
    I am inclined to favour solar wind as the explanation of at least small variations of +/- 1.5C – the component directly incident on us.
    According to some our interglacial will last about 30-40,000 years more some say even about 100,000 years. But this is based solely on classical variation of insolation due to or changing orbits. This clearly does not take into account the uncertainties and unknowns of our recent past climatic history in which interglacials have lasted only 10,000 years with no satisfactory explanation.

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