"All three of these lines of research to point to the familiar sunspot cycle shutting down for a while."

I’ve managed to get a copy of the official press release provided by the Southwest Research Institute Planetary Science Directorate to MSM journalists, for today’s stunning AAS announcement and it is reprinted in full here:

WHAT’S DOWN WITH THE SUN?

MAJOR DROP IN SOLAR ACTIVITY PREDICTED

Latitude-time plots of jet streams under the Sun's surface show the surprising shutdown of the solar cycle mechanism. New jet streams typically form at about 50 degrees latitude (as in 1999 on this plot) and are associated with the following solar cycle 11 years later. New jet streams associated with a future 2018-2020 solar maximum were expected to form by 2008 but are not present even now, indicating a delayed or missing Cycle 25.

A missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles say that our Sun is heading for a rest period even as it is acting up for the first time in years, according to scientists at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

As the current sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, begins to ramp up toward maximum, independent studies of the solar interior, visible surface, and the corona indicate that the next 11-year solar sunspot cycle, Cycle 25, will be greatly reduced or may not happen at all.

The results were announced at the annual meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society, which is being held this week at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces:

http://astronomy.nmsu.edu/SPD2011/

“This is highly unusual and unexpected,” Dr. Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network, said of the results. “But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.”

Spot numbers and other solar activity rise and fall about every 11 years, which is half of the Sun’s 22-year magnetic interval since the Sun’s magnetic poles reverse with each cycle. An immediate question is whether this slowdown presages a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period with virtually no sunspots during 1645-1715.

Hill is the lead author on one of three papers on these results being presented this week. Using data from the Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) of six observing stations around the world, the team translates surface pulsations caused by sound reverberating through the Sun into models of the internal structure. One of their discoveries is an east-west zonal wind flow inside the Sun, called the torsional oscillation, which starts at

mid-latitudes and migrates towards the equator. The latitude of this wind stream matches the new spot formation in each cycle, and successfully predicted the late onset of the current Cycle 24.

“We expected to see the start of the zonal flow for Cycle 25 by now,” Hill explained, “but we see no sign of it. This indicates that the start of Cycle 25 may be delayed to 2021 or 2022, or may not happen at all.”

In the second paper, Matt Penn and William Livingston see a long-term weakening trend in the strength of sunspots, and predict that by Cycle 25 magnetic fields erupting on the Sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Spots are formed when intense magnetic flux tubes erupt from the interior and keep cooled gas from circulating back to the interior. For typical sunspots this magnetism has a strength of 2,500 to 3,500 gauss

(Earth’s magnetic field is less than 1 gauss at the surface); the field must reach at least 1,500 gauss to form a dark spot.

Average magnetic field strength in sunspot umbras has been steadily declining for over a decade. The trend includes sunspots from Cycles 22, 23, and (the current cycle) 24.

Using more than 13 years of sunspot data collected at the McMath-Pierce Telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona, Penn and Livingston observed that the average field strength declined about 50 gauss per year during Cycle 23 and now in Cycle 24. They also observed that spot temperatures have risen exactly as expected for such changes in the magnetic field. If the trend continues, the field strength will drop below the 1,500 gauss threshold and

spots will largely disappear as the magnetic field is no longer strong enough to overcome convective forces on the solar surface.

Moving outward, Richard Altrock, manager of the Air Force’s coronal research program at NSO’s Sunspot, NM, facilities has observed a slowing of the “rush to the poles,” the rapid poleward march of magnetic activity observed in the Sun’s faint corona. Altrock used four decades of observations with NSO’s 40-cm (16-inch) coronagraphic telescope at Sunspot.

“A key thing to understand is that those wonderful, delicate coronal features are actually powerful, robust magnetic structures rooted in the interior of the Sun,” Altrock explained. “Changes we see in the corona reflect changes deep inside the Sun.”

Altrock used a photometer to map iron heated to 2 million degrees C (3.6 million F). Stripped of half of its electrons, it is easily concentrated by magnetism rising from the Sun. In a well-known pattern, new solar activity emerges first at about 70 degrees latitude at the start of a cycle, then towards the equator as the cycle ages. At the same time, the new magnetic fields push remnants of the older cycle as far as 85 degrees poleward.

“In cycles 21 through 23, solar maximum occurred when this rush appeared at an average latitude of 76 degrees,” Altrock said. “Cycle 24 started out late and slow and may not be strong enough to create a rush to the poles, indicating we’ll see a very weak solar maximum in 2013, if at all. If the rush to the poles fails to complete, this creates a tremendous dilemma for the theorists, as it would mean that Cycle 23’s magnetic field will not completely disappear from the polar regions (the rush to the poles accomplishes this feat). No one knows what the Sun will do in that case.”

All three of these lines of research to point to the familiar sunspot cycle shutting down for a while.

“If we are right,” Hill concluded, “this could be the last solar maximum we’ll see for a few decades. That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth’s climate.”

# # #

Media teleconference information: This release is the subject of a media

teleconference at the current meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s

Solar Physics Division (AAS/SPD). The telecon will be held at 11 a.m. MDT

(17:00 UTC) on Tuesday, 14 June. Bona fide journalists are invited to attend

the teleconference and should send an e-mail to the AAS/SPD press officer,

Craig DeForest, at deforest@boulder.swri.edu, with the subject heading “SPD:

SOLAR MEDIA TELECON”, before 16:00 UTC. You will receive dial-in information

before the telecon.

These results have been presented at the current meeting of the AAS/SPD.

Citations:

16.10: “Large-Scale Zonal Flows During the Solar Minimum — Where Is Cycle

25?” by Frank Hill, R. Howe, R. Komm, J. Christensen-Dalsgaard, T.P. Larson,

J. Schou & M. J. Thompson.

17.21: “A Decade of Diminishing Sunspot Vigor” by W. C. Livingston, M. Penn

& L. Svalgard.

18.04: “Whither Goes Cycle 24? A View from the Fe XIV Corona” by R. C.

Altrock.

Source:

Southwest Research Institute Planetary Science Directorate

http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~deforest/SPD-sunspot-release/SPD_solar_cycle_release.txt

Supplemental images: http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~deforest/SPD-sunspot-release/

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Laura

Wow even national geographic has just conceded I confidently predict the whole AGW scm if over (but for a different reason FEAR! of cold). Just watch the warmistas handle this one! Time to watch the movie get your popcorn out LOL Already noticed the wrmist trolls are out trying to debunk of course all the funds are going to dry up real quick.

Laura
Crito

Time to short Wheat in Canada?

Ghost of John Brown

Time to invest in a snow shoe company.

Eriberto Calante

Time to recognize David Archibald, Svensmark, Landsheit and yes even Vulvecic LOL. I remeber DA actually forecast a maximum of 40 SSN for solar 24. It looks like he might be on track. BTW this is really spinning look at the registers just released
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/14/ice_age/ greatest story of the century me thinks

Richard Lawson

Phase lag between readers of WUWT and ‘the more enlightened scientist’ = about 3 years.
……..and for climate scientists add another 10 – 15 years. (variability is directly proportional to the size of the grant cheque!)

Curiousgeorge

It seems the science isn’t settled after all. That’s all anyone really wanted to be admitted. And if the science is not settled, then why are we convulsing over “Green” jobs, etc., etc.?

golf charley

Joe Romm will be blaming a cloud of CO2, escaping from earth’s atmosphere, having an insulating effect on the sun

Alvin

More yankees on their way to South Carolina

“If the trend continues…”
A word of caution to global coolers going forward, we’ve all heard that phrase before.

DSOvercast

Wow, if this is turns out to be true, we are in for some big changes. This is far scarier than any bs AGW agenda. Here is hoping we somehow see some changes for the better.

DERise

Must keep an eye out for this in the MSM. It should be the top news story, lead in, with experts explaining the possible ramificatiions, history of periods of minimal sunspot activity, this is big…..just kidding, doesn’t fit the meme, ignore it.

Doug Jones

This is another case where if we’re right, we won’t like the results. Last thing we need is cold weather and crop failures. Bring on the global warming, PLEASE!

jack morrow

Is there a history of hurricanes during the Maunder Minimum? I was just wondering if low activity and low number of sunspots had any coerlation to tropical weather. Also, does the earth’s magnetic fields weaken or stay about the same? Maybe the records are bad or non existant for these periods. I believe the Spanish were just starting many voyages to the New World about this time and some hurricane records I know do exist because several gold laden ships were sunk during or soon after the Maunder Minimum and were reported.

TonyG

Laura says:
link to national geographic
Doesn’t exactly read like a concession: “I don’t think you’d see the same cooling effects today if the sun went into another Maunder Minimum-type behavior.”

Robert of Ottawa

I am pleasantly pleased that this paper was finally published; and that it received major news broadcast. There are some scientists who are still scientists, rather than propagandists for their paymasters.

Eriberto Calante

Even science AAA has published it
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/06/end-of-the-sunspot-cycle.html
Yes, mainstream media is really taking this up. Forecast AGW cannot proceed politically economically or in any other way. Cucinelli’s thing for Mann etc… has now become irrelevant LOL

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta

Joshua Science said:
Yeah we’ve heard it said before but it’s not usually in connection to “observed data” , rather a trend drawn by a Nintendo 64.
I don’t think being short wheat, coal, oil or natural gas would be a good investment.

jack morrow

I know-Columbus/1492–etc. But I think most Spanish ships carring gold was late 15 hundreds and early 16 hundred.

Andy G55

Don’t be so silly. The models show that the sun has no effect on the Earth’s climate. 😉

Perhaps the Bilderberg group were receiving advice of this sort when they framed the agenda for their meeting last year.

Jaypan

German news magazine tells us already, that the outcome will be positive. Less distortions for power supply networks and mobile phones, even a “slight decrease in increasing global warming”. No cooling.
So don’t worry.

Eriberto Calante

Warmist trolls Ramsdorf et al below. I thought according to AGW the sun had NOTHING to do with earth’s climate. Apparently, now it suddenly does. Their reply to above findings quoted from AFP just now….
“This “cancelled part of the greenhouse gas warming of the period 2000-2008, causing the net global surface temperature to remain approximately flat — and leading to the big debate of why the Earth hadn’t (been) warming in the past decade,” Lean, who was not involved in the three studies presented, said in an email to AFP””
Hoisted by their own petard…..
.

DirkH

CO2 will keep us warm. After all, there’s 0.04 percent of it in the atmosphere. Imagine the backradiation. Hmmm…. warm backradiation…

DirkH

Jaypan says:
June 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm
“German news magazine tells us already, that the outcome will be positive. Less distortions for power supply networks and mobile phones, even a “slight decrease in increasing global warming”. No cooling.
So don’t worry.”
I hope they did mention less Van Allen belts?

Roy Weiler

While I do find this interesting, it is a long way from matching cause to effect. Please, let us not in our haste to kill CAGW make the same mistakes they have, and jump to conclusions before the proof is in.
I know proposals have been put forth as to the vehicle of effect, but they have not been fully explored and tested. All we have are hypothesis at this point I believe. While they are encouraging and appeal to common sense, let us not form a IPSC (Intergovernmental Panel on Solar Change) and go through this corruption of the scientific process again!

John M

Whew, posts and comments have been coming fast and furious, so apologies if someone has already mentioned this.
We can always count on NASA getting things right.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/11jul_solarcycleupdate/
Maybe Phil Clarke will show up telling us it was all correct, except for what they got wrong.

Eriberto Calante

Tony: They (MSM) are already conceding “it may cool” its enough to stop the warmista agenda. We shall see what eventuates in the coming months, but I am pretty sure the AGW will fall on its legs because of this. REASON most people fear extreme cooling, especially in the higher latitudes, even if its a theory just like AGW. For example consider this: WE are going to prevent warming by AGW when in fact it MAY be cooling. I emphazise the “MAY” because that’s whats scares people. I predict a massive populist backlash against the warmista postion because of this when people become aware of this story. In any case we shall see.

Tom

Piers Corbyn vindicated?
It will be interesting to hear Piers take on all this as it unfolds I think. I don’t expect him to spare the warmists at all and I look forward to some skewering and wriggling.

TonyG

Eriberto Calante says:
Yes, mainstream media is really taking this up. Forecast AGW cannot proceed politically economically or in any other way. Cucinelli’s thing for Mann etc… has now become irrelevant LOL
From the comments at the Register I was just reading, not so much. Then again, nothing changes the mind of the True Believer.

Peter S

John M – Priceless! Thanks for that link

Chilli

Please can we start an archive of links and screenshots of all the warmist claims that the sun has no effect climate – before they start erasing them. Warmists have a habit of trying to re-write history when their claims are proved to be false: Same way they denied the 1970’s claims of a coming ice-age & Nasa’s himalyan glaciers melt page etc.

R. Gates

Eriberto Calante says:
June 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm
Time to recognize David Archibald, Svensmark, Landsheit and yes even Vulvecic LOL. I remeber DA actually forecast a maximum of 40 SSN for solar 24.
____
Um, we’ve already exceeded 40 SSN in Solar Cycle 24, and have about 2 years left to solar max.

I have forwarded links to your article(s) to Sun TV News here in Canada, along with the article from Space.com. I am hoping our new “little network that could” up here will give this lots of airtime. I am beginning to think this may be the turning point — at last. I said it before some years ago that it is ironic that nature itself will prove to be the CO2 alarmists undoing. Regardless, this is a big story on it’s own. Great coverage BTW!
Cheers!
PS. For all my fellow canucks, email, tweet — or whatever — to Sun News to run with this story!
Email links to WUWT? to your favourite host, or go here and fill out the “contact us” form.

mpaul

I have prepared a statement:
“There is consensus among Anthropogenic Solar Minimumologists that western style capitalism human activity is the cause of the impending decline in solar activity — the precise mechanism is yet not fully understood. I hereby propose that the UN form a Intergovernmental Panel to study the link between capitalism human activity and the decline in solar activity. And let me be the first to say, that if you don’t believe in this yet-to-be-fully-understood mechanism, than you are a denier.”
See, it won’t take long for the Team to pivot to a new cash cow. Let the fund raising begin.

Al Gored

Time to drag out the pitchforks and torches.
“The Age of Witch-Hunting thus seems pretty congruent with the era of the
Little Ice Age. The peaks of the persecution coincide with the critical
points of climatic deterioration. Witches traditionally had been held
responsible for bad weather which was so dangerous for the precarious
agriculture of the pre-industrial period. But it was only in the 15th
century that ecclesiastical and secular authorities accepted the reality of
that crime. The 1420ies, the 1450ies, and the last two decades of the
fifteenth century, well known in the history of climate, were decisive years
in which secular and ecclesiastical authorities increasingly accepted the
existence of weather-making witches. During the “cumulative sequences of
coldness” in the years 1560-1574, 1583-1589 and 1623-1630, again 1678-1698
(Pfister 1988, 150) people demanded the eradication of the witches whom they
held responsible for climatic aberrations. Obviously it was the impact of
the Little Ice Age which increased the pressure from below and made parts of
the intellectual elites believe in the existence of witchcraft. So it is
possible to say: witchcraft was the unique crime of the Little Ice Age.”
http://www.scribd.com/doc/32396573/Witch-Hunting-Maunder

R. Gates

Joshua Science says:
June 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm
“If the trend continues…”
A word of caution to global coolers going forward, we’ve all heard that phrase before.
_____
Indeed, and it would seem that some AGW skeptics are nearly frothing at the mouth with excitement over this…which really amounts to pure speculation of what might happen. Meanwhile, in the real world, arctic sea ice extent is at or near record low levels for this date in June.

Eriberto Calante

R gates the current SSN is 16 and has been for a week calculate your means to date. I of course meant mean SSN. It can go to 200 for a day or so it does not mean the mean will be 200 pun intended.
http://www.solarham.com/

Al Gored

Just looked at TV ‘news.’ Too bad the Sun hadn’t fallen down a well, sent out some embarassing tweets, or was on trial for murdering its child. Might have got some coverage.
The other ‘big story’ is almost non-stop stories of ‘hackings’…. which appears to be leading up to the ‘need’ to clamp down on the inconvenient net.

Luther Wu

re: R.Gates: …”arctic sea ice extent is at or near record low levels for this date in June.”
______________
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

Eriberto Calante

R gates Arctic ice at this time of the year is not indicative of arctic minimum ice (which is what warmistas really like to use example 2007 minimum why all of a sudden has June become so important?) look at ALL previous years here:
http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic
http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/total-icearea-from-1978-2007
BTW look at SH ice its still above anomaly for the past 4 years from your pals at cryosphere today (just joking BTW re pals please don’t feel insulted just a bit of sarcasm).
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.antarctic.png

R. Gates

Thank you for the familiar link. It showed exactly what I stated…arctic sea ice extent is at or near record lows for this date in June. Looks like no pending “Little Ice Age” just yet…but in a sick sort of way, it seems the AGW skeptics are almost hoping for one and it can’t come too soon.

Roy Weiler

R Gates
Mostly I disagree with you but:
“Indeed, and it would seem that some AGW skeptics are nearly frothing at the mouth with excitement over this…which really amounts to pure speculation of what might happen. Meanwhile, in the real world, arctic sea ice extent is at or near record low levels for this date in June.”
Makes sense.
My own comment:
“While I do find this interesting, it is a long way from matching cause to effect. Please, let us not in our haste to kill CAGW make the same mistakes they have, and jump to conclusions before the proof is in.
I know proposals have been put forth as to the vehicle of effect, but they have not been fully explored and tested. All we have are hypothesis at this point I believe. While they are encouraging and appeal to common sense, let us not form a IPSC (Intergovernmental Panel on Solar Change) and go through this corruption of the scientific process again!”
Appears to be relevant
Please people, do not succumb to what the IPCC’ers did!! That is, and will never be science. Scientists do not gloat over their victories. They accept the new POSSIBLE paradigm.

Eriberto Calante

R gates you might want to have a look at global temperatures as well while your at it (Tornadoes due to global warming when in fact ALL temperatures were BELOW anomaly SH, NH and tropics pluuezzz…..
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/600/dailyuahtempsmar312010.png/

Jack Morrow,
Just doing a quick search there are records of hurricanes hitting throughout the latter half of the 17th century and the early 18th century. A particularly famous storm created “flooding so great it created new permanent inlets”.
The only thing I’d like to see if it cools as much as some seem to think is a hurricane coming north in late October or November, becomes extratropical, and wraps a bunch of cold air into the system and drops a ton of snow. But I bet Co2 would still be to blame

R. Gates

Eriberto Calante says:
June 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm
R gates the current SSN is 16 and has been for a week calculate your means to date. I of course meant mean SSN. It can go to 200 for a day or so it does not mean the mean will be 200 pun intended.
http://www.solarham.com/
_____
Fair enough, but you said nothing about “the mean” in your original post. Thanks for clarifying your intent. The SSN has been trending upward for about 2 years and hit a peak so far over 50. But the point of a quiet sun is still valid…now we’ll have to see what actual real world effects it will have. If in fact a Maunder type minimum does develop, I think it’s far too early to say it wil definitely cool off globally because of it. I though this kind of frothy speculation was what skeptics were opposed to?

R. Gates

Eriberto Calante says:
June 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm
R gates you might want to have a look at global temperatures as well while your at it (Tornadoes due to global warming when in fact ALL temperatures were BELOW anomaly SH, NH and tropics pluuezzz…..
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/600/dailyuahtempsmar312010.png/
______
I well aware of the temperature variations around the world over the past few decades, years, months, days, and weeks. We know what happens during a La Nina (less heat is given off by the oceans to the atmosphere). Now that this particular La Nina has come to a close, let’s see what the next six months bring. If you were to listen to some of the AGW skeptics, we’ll have glaciers forming soon. I tend to think that we’ll probably say in a ENSO neutral range for a while, and tropo temps will reflect that. The continued near record low extent of artic sea ice reflects continued warmth in the Arctic, but why talk about the facts…

^^^that storm struck New York and New England

Latitude

If this pans out, all of a sudden the Sun is going to become a climate driver……………….again
Only this time “global warming is still there, it would have been a lot worse, just wait until the sun gets back to “normal”

I don’t like that straight line extrapolation. A curve that has nearly or already reached the minimum would be a MUCH better fit, IMO. I would want to see more data to be even slightly convinced, and I am sure there must be more?
It could be just yet another example of looking at too short a period to and dragging out a trend that does not exist (a bit like the warming ‘trend’ from ’79 to ’99).