Solar Cycle 24 Update

Guest post by David Archibald

Solar Cycle 24 is now over a year old, so it is appropriate to see how it is ramping up.

Solar Cycle 24 was a late starter, about three and a half years later than the average of the strong cycles in the late 20th century and almost three year later than the weak cycles of the late 19th century.  It was almost as late as Solar Cycle 5, the first half of the Dalton Minimum.  The last few months have seen it ramp up relatively rapidly.

[Note: Solar Cycle 22 and 23 are overlaid on solar cycle 3 and 4 above to show similarity]

Plotting up the last three solar cycles relative to the Dalton Minimum, another solar minimum is not precluded by the data to date.

With Solar Cycle 23 ending up at twelve and a half years long, applying Friis-Christenson and Lassen theory to the temperature record of Hanover, New Hampshire results in a two degree centigrade decline in the annual average temperature at this location over the expected twelve years of Solar Cycle 24, from December 2009 to late 2021.  Given some record low monthly averages in the northeast US in the recent summer, and the current cold winter, this cooling is well under way.


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Thank you for this update on Earth’s heat source – the Sun!
Propaganda can deceive a lot of folks, but propaganda can’t change what is.
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo


Say what you will, but I do not like the looks of the 10.7 cm data at all. The gamma rays are still off scale to the top. Unfortunately no measurements of either were available in the Dalton Minimum. We are roughly due for a de Vries minimum so we may very well be getting one.

“twelve years of Solar Cycle 24, from December 2009 to late 2011.”
Should “2011” read “2021”?

Thanks typo corrected


I should correct the gamma ray statement with the C14 analysis that can be done carefully. There seems to be a bump up at the Dalton Minimum, but that is just eyeballing a chart.

Peter of Sydney

Wouldn’t it be nice to see climate scientists with any honesty left report this and conclude that reducing CO2 emissions may be the wrong thing to do, and in fact we should temporarily accelerate CO2 emissions to avoid a cold snap over the next couple of decades. By then we should be in a better position to move to more advanced power generation systems, such as nuclear fusion.


In the second figure shouldn’t the green line be labeled Solar Cycle 23?


Why does solar cycle 5 look so smooth in the first graph and solar cycle 24 looks jagged? I see that the big cycles are averages of many cycles, so they would be smoothed, but cycle 5 just looks unnaturally smooth.


Oooooo. Nut cases like the warming. Warming equals panic and control. Not food and water.

Brian G Valentine

Aren’t there some sort of laws we can pass to prevent the possible catastrophic losses that arise from “climate change” impacts of solar cycles?


There is a similar graph of SC24 verses SC5 that is updated monthly at the Layman’s Sunspot Count. Geoff also agrees with David, although Geoff’s graph shows a closer correlation . This will be interesting to watch.


I doubt if Leif Svalgaard would agree with the statement “Given some record low monthly averages in the northeast US in the recent summer, and the current cold winter, this cooling is well under way.” (due to sun activity) Would appreciate hearing from him regarding this. Certainly looks like the sun would have an influence but what if it ramps up to Hathaways original prediction. This is the trouble with making predictions based on our lifetime! The universe has been around for 5 billion years LOL. BTW glad to see we are seeing some science posting back rather than “climategate” etc…


How does that fit with Livingston and Penn paper: “Sunspots may vanish by 2015″? Is there an update to their graph?
Will solar cycle 24 ramp up and then collapse to throw us right into a Maunder Minimum?

Thank you, Dr. Archibald. Those charts certainly put thingsin perspective. The prospect of a 2C decline in temperature does not make me a very happy camper, especially with our governments striving mightily to combat global warming.


This is so cool. Reflect for a minute the importance we place on a month by month divergence of periodic sequences to a sun that has been doing this for billions of years. Our month by month divergence is nothing compared to the stable activity of the sun over this time scale. Consider now our 20 plunges into glaciation that have each lasted over 100,000 years and our 20 periods of interglatial warming that lasts about 20,000 years.
The issue isn’t so much what is the impact of these changes to the planet, because the planet has survived these changes, The question is what would be the impact on our current civilization (less than 7000 years old) to major switchbacks to cold, indicated by long term solar activity.

Layne Blanchard

You have to wonder if that drop will be expressed in the same manner as we saw this last winter, with a negative AO, and a blast thru the center and eastern seaboard of the continent. I’m hoping so, because my little northwest corner stayed warm… 🙂


I think we’ve already passed this cycles max and are headed towards minimum again with the new cycle magnetic polarity showing up in early 2013. We’ll probably be seeing mostly “specks” soon, again, and see 10.7 flux dip below 70 by the end of March.

Very interesting and clear summary, thank you.
Are we facing a new solar minimum? The only way to know is to live and see, correlation and extrapolation are possibilities but not certainties. One thing is certain, though: I am NOT interested in Leif Svalgaard’s opinion on anything.


@Peter of Sydney (21:58:28) :
“Wouldn’t it be nice to see climate scientists with any honesty left report this and conclude that reducing CO2 emissions may be the wrong thing to do, and in fact we should temporarily accelerate CO2 emissions to avoid a cold snap over the next couple of decades.”
Accelerate CO2 emissions to avoid a cold snap? Are you serious? Only if you really do believe that increased CO2 levels causes global warming to the extent believed by the AGW alarmists.


“The universe has been around for 5 billion years LOL”
Umm… Shouldn’t that be “14 billion”, give or take? 😉

John F. Hultquist

The universe has been around for 5 billion years >> Stephan
Try again.

Henry @ Peter of Sydney
Increasing CO2 will only help growth (of forests and crops) if the temp. is right.
I don’t think that will affect global temperatures much.
Henry @ ShrNfr
What is the “De Vries” minimum. Have not heard about that one yet
Henry @ ….
Anyone dare to make a prediction about the weather during the 2010 Soccer world cup? This is in our winter, June & July < South Africa.

John F. Hultquist

We fault proponents of AGW for their faith in CO2 as the cause of the warming (or climate change) when there is no sufficient mechanism.
How then can we claim catastrophic cooling based on these numbers from the Sun? What is the sufficient mechanism in this case?

John Whitman

In the first graphic of the post is a plot of “Solar Cycle Amplitude” vs “Months after peak of previous Solar Cycles”. A plot of SC 25 is shown to date and a plot of SC 5 is shown. I can have confidence of the plot of AC 24 having accurate basic however, what is the confidence in the accuracy of the SC 5 plot? What are the + and – on the SC 5 plot?


Mr. Archibald, can you takes some info I have stumbled on through many papers read in the last few months. It might let you leave one possibly open which might not be in your ensemble of knowledge to date.
Last year I noticed a 9 cycles in 100 year period in the current 1700-2009 data from SIDC when passing an eleven year simple box filter over the yearly data to remove the sine imprint. Of coarse, 1700 seems very close to the end of the preceding Maunder period. The years 1711, 1811, 1911 are all years immediately before a big rise in the smoothed graph data each century. I couldn’t answer the extra year.
Later, just by happenstance, I found something curious from a paper on reconstruction of solar cycles dating back to some 800 B.C. Of coarse, most are Chinese observations by eye at daybreak. Logically each observation most likely is not at an inter-cycle minimum year therefore cycle length can be extracted even in this very sparse data. The paper found the cycle length not at 11.003 years but 11.16 years over this 2800 year period. Other papers have listed this 11.16 year cycle length.
That seemed to answer why 9 by 11 equals 99 was not aligning but 9 by 11.16 equals 100.4 was, but random length-skewing seems to force alignment every ~100 years. Its as if an extra year was forced in every nine cycles of an apparent 11 year average length.
If the Dec. 2009 cycle start you mentioned above falls apart in the following months, this could point, if a minimum is not upon us, that 2011, or nearby, could be when the next cycle actually begins. It would be stange if that happens. I know, looking at cycle 21, 22, and 23 this is two to three years out of alignment but could be why the sun is acting somewhat unusual of late. That pattern has been a curiousity to me ever since. Time will tell if there is anything to it.
Thought you might find that curious also.


There is not enough data presented here to make any conclusions.

John Whitman

Huh, I meant a plot of SC 24 is shown, not SC 25.

Hi John Hultquist
As we all can see, temperatures on earth depend on clouds and overcast conditions. The more clouds are formed, the more light from the sun is bend away, the cooler and darker it gets.
The Svensmark theory holds that galactic cosmic rays (GCR) initiate cloud formation. I have not seen this, but apparently this has been proven in laboratory conditions. So the only real variability in global temperature could be caused by the amount of GCR reaching earth. In turn, this depends on the activity of the sun, i.e. the extent of the solar magnetic field exerted by the sun on the planetary system. Apparently we are now coming out of a period where this field was bigger and more GCR was bent away from earth (this is what we, skeptics, say really caused “global warming”, mostly).
But apparently now the solar geomagnetic field is heading for an all time low.
Look here:
Note that in the first graph, if you look at the smoothed monthly values, there was a tipping point in 2003 (light blue line). I cannot ignore the significance of this. I noted similar tipping points elsewhere round about that same time.. From 2003 the solar magnetic field has been going down. To me it seems for sure that we are now heading for a period of more cloudiness and hence a period of global cooling.
I am not sure why we donot hear much from Henrik Svensmark on his theory? Why he never gets invited on TV is a mystery to me. I would love to see him defend his theory in public.


desmugblog lists “The Sun”, as a driver for climate change as one of the false concepts touted by AGW skeptics. Oh no! It appears we are supposed to write off that big yellow ball in the sky that is the source for 99.999% of earth’s heat as having anything to do with changes in earth’s global temperatures!


Would current sunspots/specs been recordable during cycle 5 ramp up?
I don’t see how one minor spot at a time can be considered “ramping up”.

Overall polar field intensity is on its way down, indicating that the SC24 max is not to far off (possibly some time in 2012).
More polar field graphs at:

Leon Brozyna

With the imminent launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the next decade of discovery should be most exciting as it helps track the evolution of cycle 24. Wonder how many surprises will unfold and how many theories will be revised.

Ed Murphy

210 year de Vries cycle…
[PDF] The Past and Future of Climate solar activity, on a 210 year (de Vries) cycle. As it is now 213 years since the beginning of the Dalton Minimum, …
The intensity of 210-year cycle (the de Vries cycle) is 2-4 times more than that of 90-year ones … century period coincides with epoch of 2400- and 210- year solar activity cycles enhancement. …


Also, thank you Dr. Archibald for the enlightening tie between temperature to the sun’s activity. Will make it a point to read Friis-Christenson and Lassen’s paper.

John Finn

A few questions.
1. Is the cooling only going to affect the “northeast US”. Why for example did David not mention the the “high quality satellite data” (to use his words).
2. Why did he also not mention the Armagh data which is also prominent in his previous work.
3. Can he provide a link to the New Hampshire data.
4. Can he also provide us with the exact data used in his scatterplot and regression. I’ve counted 14 data points – what exactly do these represent.


toyotawhizguy (23:57:37) :
desmugblog lists “The Sun”, as a driver for climate change as one of the false concepts touted by AGW skeptics.”
If they can successfully sell mankind the concept that “it can’t possibly be the sun”, we are all at their mercy! Fits on same level as prisoners learning to love their torturers. Brainwashing.


I trust the comparisons based on the Layman’s Sunspot Count over other sunspot numbers. With better technology we are now seeing spots even a teenager before a date wouldn’t find. The solar cycle comparison to the Dalton minimum is even closer using the Layman’s count.
Further to this I would add that the correlation between solar activity and climate needs to be revisited. All three main global temperature records have been shown to be compromised. In addition there have been too many convenient adjustments to TSI and other solar activity indicators recently. Jack Eddy said “Many plugs”. The CLOUD experiment is one avenue of inquiry but I can think of a few others.

James F. Evans

From the instant post: “The last few months have seen it ramp up relatively rapidly.”
Maybe, I’m missing something, here, but I haven’t noticed a plethora of Sunspots or a large jump in magnetic flux.
Could somebody explain what I’m missing?

TFN Johnson

Why do we count sunspots again when they re-emerge from behind the sun? The large blotch near the top of the sun has been round twice since around Xmas.


I am curious about the claim of Oliver K. Manuel to have been “Former NASA PI for Apollo”. This is a rather enormous claim. If it were true, you’d think there would be some record of this on NASA’s website. But a search for “Oliver Manuel” reveals only one result, which is about a poster presented at a meeting. “Oliver K. Manuel” gives no hits.

Baa Humbug

If memory serves me correctly, cycles always ramp-up quickly and descend slowly. 4.3yrs ascending and 6.7yrs descending.
And according to solar physicist Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center there has been a 6% reduction in the suns extreme UV wavelengths since 1996.
My laymans brain doesn’t comprehend all that too well so maybe someone knowledgable can explain it.


If Dr. Svalgaard shows up, I’d like to thank him for sharing his insights and for keeping his F-10.7 charts updated.

Rhys Jaggar

As a non-specialist could I ask those more knowledgeable to comment on whether the Friis-Christenson approach works in multiple locations around the globe or whether it happens to be especially apposite for the NE USA.


this is your guy, hunter.

Ed Murphy (00:14:15) :
“210 year de Vries cycle…”
Within solar activity, beside the 11 year cycle, most prominent peak is at 107 years, as shown on this FFT spectrum chart by Dr. Svalgaard.
This cycle controls most of the known and recorded anomalies. Of course if you double the 107 year period you get 214 years, very close to 210 known as de Vries cycle.
The 107 year cycle also faithfully reproduces the Maunder minimum; its mathematical and graphical presentation can be seen here:
More anomaly charts:


>1. Is the cooling only going to affect the “northeast US”. Why for example did David not mention the the “high quality satellite data” (to use his words).
because satellite data shows no noticable cooling recently.
I think it’s because ocean area warms up during a (land) iceage, offseting the land cooling.
Not seen this idea supported by WUWT yet, even though if UAH is correct, and records colds are indicative of the land trend, then it MUST be true.


“…Special Recognition from NASA for service as PI in early lunar studies…”


Anthony and Dr. Archibald:
After reading Friis-Christensen and Lassen’s paper I’m a little at loss of words. Wish I had found and read that month’s ago. Seems many of the same things I’ve been posting here were in that paper written back in 1991. A bit embarrassing. The 100 year pattern mentioned above, that must be close to what the paper listed as the 80 to 90 year Gleissberg period. Seems I’ve been recreating something written some 29 years ago! I didn’t realize that (but wish someone could have clued me if they knew). Just wonder if they also tried the area under the SST curve, not the height or width as the parameter.
One related thing that paper didn’t seem to touch on was mentioned by me in re-clarification to Leif near the bottom of the NODC revises ocean heat content.. article. It addresses the slow, decadal lag time of long term solar variation and storage or release of the excess heat in the oceans above or below the current equilibrium temperature. Probably because in 1991 they apparently only had SST readings not thick (700m) layer sea temperatures. That could be incorrect or in some paper I’m not aware of (following the “there’s nothing new under the sun” saying). Someone with proper letters needs to write an updated paper on this topic, peer reviewed of coarse.
Think I’ll pause and find a better way to search scientific papers before jumping in. Keep it up Anthony, to many your site’s a Godsend!

Gary Palmgren

Ap geomagnetic index is out for January. It is 2, same as December. This is still rock bottom.
Neutron count (cosmic rays) is finally showing a drop.
Down about 1% from the peak at Oulu:
The neutron count at last solar max was about 15% lower.


wayne (03:06:34) : How about 19 years ago, not 29. Spell checker went right by it 🙂


there is a very interesting PDF file on his website, concerning the sun’s control of the earths’ climate:
See “NEW: THE SUN: An Electro-Magnetic Plasma Diffuser that controls Earth’s climate” at the top of the page.