First Estimate of Solar Cycle 25 Amplitude – may be the smallest in over 300 years

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/latest_256_45001.jpg

Guest post by David Archibald

Predicting the amplitude of Solar Cycle 24 was a big business. Jan Janssens provides the most complete table of Solar Cycle 24 predictions at: http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/SC24.html

Prediction activity for Solar Cycle 24 seemed to have peaked in 2007. In year before, Dr David Hathaway of NASA made the first general estimate of Solar Cycle 25 amplitude:

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/10may_longrange/

Based on the slowing of the Sun’s “Great Conveyor Belt”, he predicted that

“The slowdown we see now means that Solar Cycle 25, peaking around the year 2022, could be one of the weakest in centuries.” He is very likely to have got the year wrong in that Solar Cycle 25 is unlikely to start until 2025.

In this paper: http://www.probeinternational.org/Livingston-penn-2010.pdf,

Livingston and Penn provided the first hard estimate of Solar Cycle 25 amplitude based on a physical model. That estimate is 7, which would make it the smallest solar cycle for over 300 years.

This is figure 2 from their paper:

image

Livingston and Penn have been tracking the decline in sunspot magnetic field, predicting that sunspots will disappear when the umbral magnetic field strength falls below 1,500 gauss, as per this figure from their 2010 paper:

image

Dr Svalgaard has updated of the progression of that decline on his research page at:

http://www.leif.org/research/Livingston%20and%20Penn.png

With data updated to year end 2011, the line of best fit on Dr Svalgaard’s figure of Umbral Magnetic Field now intersects the 1,500 guass sunspot cutoff in 2030:

image

Using the Livingston and Penn Solar Cycle 25 amplitude estimate, this is what the solar cycle record is projected to look like:

image

And, yes, that means the end of the Modern Warm Period.

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Further reading:

Sun Headed Into Hibernation, Solar Studies Predict –Sunspots may disappear altogether in next cycle.

NASA Long Range Solar Forecast – Solar Cycle 25 peaking around 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries.

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BRRRRRRRRRRR … that’s going to be really really COLD

PaulR

On the bright side, Sahara desert expansion might slow down or even reverse.

P. Hager

Somehow I doubt the projection of a SSN of 7 will prove accurate. We are looking at a curve fit based on 10 years of data. We do not know if this data is oscillatory or what the oscillation period is, if there is one. L & P may have found the explanation for the various grand minimums through out history, but we do not have enough data to know what the long term behavior of this phenomena is. Lacking at least one complete cycle of data the trend line is only speculation.
Nevertheless this is very interesting and thought provoking.

Lew Skannen

I am in two minds about this. One the one hand it appears (if I have my interpretation correct) that we are headed for a couple of decades of rather cold weather and that this is going to have some detrimental effects on global health and food production etc.
On the other hand it appears that a new mini ice age is about the only think that will convince people that Gaia of Warming does not exist and that we should return once again to scientific reasoning.
I think that we have been lucky that the Church of CAGW picked the late 20th century to pull this scam. If this had all kicked off as we were entering a few of decades of warming there would be no way to refute their mad computer generated claims since logic and scientific method have both been well and truly banned from the battlefield.

jones

Oh deary deary me.
May one suggest we start pumping out CO2 with even greater vigour?
Population of nine billion by then to feed…..

SteveSadlov

PaulR – you’ve got it backwards. The Sahara expands during cold periods and contracts during warm periods. Not only will the Sahara expand, the SW US, Australia, and other areas at the intersections of Midlatitude arid zones, Mediterranean zones and Subtropical arid zones, will be in dire straits, with megadroughts rife.

SteveSadlov

And as I write this, here in California, we are probably looking at a record dry rainfall year, unless the persistence of the current block ends and the MJO breaks out of its current death spiral.

William Abbott

David Archibald has not been timid suggesting a big step down in in solar activity. He predicted this current cycle would be much less active, and he was right: The NASA prognosticators (who get paid to prognosticate) were saying, “Eh, it will be about the same as the last one” But even David Archibad was thinking Dalton-like minimum – This looks more and more like a Maunder magnitude minimum. The Grand Minimum correlates strongly with colder temperatures. We live in interesting times.

PaulR: The Sahara Desert has been greening up, shrinking for some time now as a Google search will show.

Randy

Way ahead of you. That’s why I moved from Denver back to Florida a couple years ago.

Pamela Gray

Not sure why this signals the end of a warm period. So will the Sun’s IR be that much less during a La Nina (when the oceans absorb IR)? Will El Nino’s not let go of OHC during cycle 25? How does a low cycle translate into measurably cooler temperatures on the ground? I am aware of cloud seeding and cosmic particle theories connected to that. But we are not talking about lots of clouds versus none. We are talking about a tiny bit of extra seeding available from cosmic particles. These tiny differences will show up as frigid temps? Sorry but I don’t see how the math lines up.

We just need to work out what we are doing to cause all this reduction in Sunspot activity. No doubt modern “science” will come up with some new reason justifying a few million in research into anthropogenic sunspot manufacture or whatever.

RoyFOMR

“It’s worse than we thought it was”
Is that where we are now coming to?

RoyFOMR

Isn’t it time we started to paint wind-mills black. Loads of ‘free’ energy and a decreased albedo. That’s a Win-Win scenario for when the next ice-age cometh, isn’t it?

There is a 208 year cycle observed in solar proxies for many centuries. Over recent centuries the peak in auto-correlation is for 210 years. Based on this, two weak cycles were clearly expected to happen now.

GeologyJim

Low-solar-activity periods are associated with lower general temperatures, but larger latitudinal temperature gradients.
These conditions lead to more/more energetic storm conditions (especially tornadoes, but TCs too), more severe droughts, and declining agricultural/botanical productivity.
Glacial conditions are associated with extreme droughts (esp. in mid-latitudes where lots of folks live), and stupendous winds. Large tracts of the US central plains are typified by wind-scour lake basins and/or sand dune fields that formed and expanded during the ice ages.
Anyone who thinks colder is better is – – to put it gently – – out of their frikken mind.

Careful now, let’s not make too many predictions layered over the solar prediction, we may end up with the prediction snowball effect or PES, therefore increasing the blogging effect or BE, then things are really out of control in the BS effect, or BSE. Good to plan for colder. Plan also what you will eat..

CodeTech

On the other hand, it’s refreshing to see the forecast of doom for once focusing on too LITTLE of something instead of too much. Oh – and something completely and totally outside of possible human influence.

The stratosphere is clear and volcanic activities remain quieter and at a lower altitude. More tranquility in the years ahead if the present conditions hold fairly steady. A clear stratosphere will aid warmth and buy time. Low altitude volcanic action will aid it more should we get it. Then as the next minimum gets toward bottoming look for the volcanic activities to increase and perturb that tranquility again.

Michael D Smith

Yeah, it’s about time to shift back to ice age warnings. It seems the activists have extracted just about all they can from AGW, it’s been a really nice run.
Just look at the charts.
SELL!!!

Combine this and the current “Cold PDO” that is underway in the Pacific, and I would expect to see some very cold winters in the coming years here in North America.

RockyRoad

PaulR says:
January 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm

On the bright side, Sahara desert expansion might slow down or even reverse.

You have it completely backwards–during the Ice Ages (aka “cold weather”), the earth was cold and because it was cold it was dusty and because it was dusty, the dust found its way into the oceans and onto the glaciers where it was preserved for us to study.
It’s documented.

Lawrie Ayres

I find myself on the horns of a dilemma; I want a cold period so the great fraud and it’s perpetraters can be destroyed once and for all but fear for the widespread disruption to food supplies that such occurrence would precipitate.
Do we have an accurate record of conditions in the LIA as they applied to Australia and Canada for example? In the latest cool period from 1940 to 1975 or so Australia experienced a prolonged drought as well as extensive wet seasons particularly in the early 70s. Our winters tended to have colder winters with more frosts but summers still produced hot days and, from our farm records, we managed to produce good crops and fat cattle.
I know Dr. Archibald predicts the northern extent of wheat growing in Canada will move south as temperatures cool mainly because a reduction in the length of the growing season. That probably won’t affect Australia since our wheat areas are controlled by precipitation rather than length of season. If shorter seasons affect the Canadian grain crop would it also affect other northern grain growing areas in the Ukraine and Russia?
My fear is that the preoccupation with Global Warming is preventing research into the far more serious problems associated with a deep cooling. A CSIRO wheat researcher has stated that “there is no point in considering cool weather effects on plants because it’s not going to happen”. This sort of attitude is bordering on dereliction of duty yet is the dangerous outcome of poor and fabricated science. Heads really do need to roll.

The last of DA’s graphs seems to suggest that we had a Modern Warm Period because there was also a Modern Grand Maximum in sunspots. There is compelling evidence that the latter did not exist casting doubt on the association with the former, see e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/IAUS286-Mendoza-Svalgaard.pdf [Right half of Figure 1] or
http://www.leif.org/research/How%20Well%20Do%20We%20Know%20the%20Sunspot%20Number.pdf and finally http://ssnworkshop.wikia.com/wiki/Home

Steptoe Fan

you just know though, that the official ‘line’ is going to be – ‘we’ve added so much CO2 to the atmosphere that we won’t have a prolonged cold spell’ !
it’s the mantra that R Gates and lazy teenager and all the other trolls will bring, not mentioning how all else that they hold dear in their religion has been shown to by junk science, worshiped in their junk science web sites.
current climate science must work to present plausible theory as to the limits, if any, that CO2 can mollify what well looks to be coming.

Steptoe Fan

sorry, make that show to be …

Steptoe Fan

well, how about “shown to be”

Tom in Florida

Randy says: January 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm
“Way ahead of you. That’s why I moved from Denver back to Florida a couple years ago.”
Shhhhhhhhhhh. Too many here already.

Theo Goodwin

Tom in Florida says:
January 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm
‘Randy says: January 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm
“Way ahead of you. That’s why I moved from Denver back to Florida a couple years ago.”
Shhhhhhhhhhh. Too many here already.’
Tom, what about the house prices? Florida could use many more wealthy retirees. Even wealthy refugees.

MattN

How many people is the world projected to have by 2030? Going to be real interesting on how we feed them all.
Dr. Landscheidt is proving to be quite the solar genius…

Terry Jackson

Cryptic replies by Lief may be accurate and effective, but don’t communicate his point. Well, they may if you have a Doctorate and share his approach. Any chance he could make an argument that the modestly knowledgeable could follow and comprehend?

crosspatch

The question that immediately comes to my mind is that if the solar “conveyor belt” is predictive of activity two cycles hence, what is the conveyor belt saying now about cycle 26?
Also, while the Sahara does tend to green when climate warms (because the ITCZ migrates farther Northward away from the equator), if climate is due to cool, the Southern edge of the Sahara will begin to dry out again as the ITCZ’s maximum summer location migrates Southward.

Tilo Reber

Somewhere back in the archives on this site I asked Svalgaard his prediction for 25, and he claimed that it would be large.

William Abbott

Pamela Gray says: “How does a low cycle translate into measurably cooler temperatures on the ground?”
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/stephen-wilde-co2-or-sun-which-one-really-controls-earths-surface-temperatures/
Stephen Wilde does his best to hypotheize what may be driving the cooler temperatures observed in a prolonged period where the sun is quiescent. What can’t be disputed is the cold temperatures associated with the Maunder and Dalton Minimums. I don’t think anybody ought to pretend they have got it figured out – but Stephen Wilde’s observations and theories are a good start for an answer to your question.

Birdieshooter

Serious non snarky question: what is most likely scenario as to how IPCC will acknowledge this? will it be completely ignored?

Keith Pearson, formerly bikermailman, Anonymous no longer

Oh c’mon…we all know that the Sun and its activity don’t have anything to do with climate here on Earth! It’s all the Eeeeevile gas! And SUVs! And capitalism!
/sarc

R. Gates

I actually don’t think that Solar Cycle 25 will be as low as shown in some of these very early forecasts, but regardless, it will be a fantastic time to compare those effects to the 40% increase in CO2 and similar increases in methane and N2O.

Terry Jackson says:
January 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm
Cryptic replies by Leif may be accurate and effective, but don’t communicate his point. Well, they may if you have a Doctorate and share his approach. Any chance he could make an argument that the modestly knowledgeable could follow and comprehend?
How about:
1) the sunspot number is artificially too high [inflated] by 20 after 1945.
2) this means that the cycles appear too large after 1945
3) when we correct for that, there is no longer a distinct Modern Grand Maximum
4) it is therefore not correct to associate the modern warming with a [non-existent] modern grand solar activity maximum

1) the sunspot number is artificially too high [inflated] by 20% after 1945.

R. Gates

Lawrie Ayres says:
January 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm
I find myself on the horns of a dilemma; I want a cold period so the great fraud and it’s perpetraters can be destroyed once and for all but fear for the widespread disruption to food supplies that such occurrence would precipitate.
______
This kind of thinking should be a huge red flag for you and others. It shows that are not really a skeptic in the true scientific sense of the word, as a true skeptic doesn’t “want” anything in particular to happen. What this kind of thinking shows is that your thought processes are guided by some burning desire to prove your “side” right, which is of course, more politically motivated and exactly as expected for a certain segment of those who would otherwise call themselves “skeptics”, but in reality, are nothing of the sort. You give true skeptics a bad reputation.

R. Gates

Leif Svalgaard says:
January 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm
Terry Jackson says:
January 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm
Cryptic replies by Leif may be accurate and effective, but don’t communicate his point. Well, they may if you have a Doctorate and share his approach. Any chance he could make an argument that the modestly knowledgeable could follow and comprehend?
How about:
1) the sunspot number is artificially too high [inflated] by 20 after 1945.
2) this means that the cycles appear too large after 1945
3) when we correct for that, there is no longer a distinct Modern Grand Maximum
4) it is therefore not correct to associate the modern warming with a [non-existent] modern grand solar activity maximum
__________
Indeed, but in pointing this out, you are taking away the last best hope of skeptics who’d like to find something…anything…to pin the late 20th century warming on other than the 40% rise in CO2 since the Industrial Revolution. Now, as we are likely looking at a Dalton or even Maunder Minimum in the next few decades, it will be interesting to see how a very quiet sun counteracts the contined forcing from CO2. I cannot imagine a more exciting time to be studying the sun and the climate in general. We live at a very fortunate juncture in history.
And BTW, thanks for your excellent website.

pokerguy

I can only marvel at the nonchalance on this subject (feigned no doubt) of the climate scientists who’ve built their careers around the pseudoscience of global warming. They must be sweating bullets over this. What I’m not clear on is when this is supposed to kick in sufficiently to effect climate? One chart seems to show sunspots will disappear around 2015. Can someone with a better handle on this set me straight?

Tilo Reber says:
January 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm
Somewhere back in the archives on this site I asked Svalgaard his prediction for 25, and he claimed that it would be large.
You probably misunderstood the issue. To clarify:
1) I don’t think I can predict more than one cycle ahead and that only when the polar fields have become firmly established, sometime in 2016 perhaps
2) Since the polar fields in SC24 seem to reverse abnormally early [especially in the North] it is possible that there will extra time for build-up of the new fields
3) This may mean that they will be rather strong
4) If so, SC25 will be strong
But there are many ifs and maybes in that, so bottom line is that nobody knows. Statistically, SC25 should be weak, but that is just ‘extrapolation’, which must not be confused with ‘prediction’
If L&P are correct [which I think they are] we will have to revise what we mean by ‘solar activity’ as the magnetic fields of activity will still be there, but sunspots will not form. The solar wind and cosmic rays and F10.7 and UV and other indicators will still cycle as usual [perhaps with a bit smaller amplitude]. Perhaps the sunspot number will then no longer be a meaningful indicator as during the Maunder Minimum. At any rate, there will be minimal influence on climate [IMHO].

Camburn

Leif Svalgaard says:
January 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm
“The last of DA’s graphs seems to suggest that we had a Modern Warm Period because there was also a Modern Grand Maximum in sunspots. There is compelling evidence that the latter did not exist casting doubt on the association with the former, see e.g. http:// etc”
Dr. Svalgaard:
Your latest research shows that TSI has in fact been relatively constant for over a century. Within that TSI there are varying lightbands/energy bands.
There has been speculation that UV can and does change the pattern of the NH Jet Streams, as in the potential cause/effect of the Russian heat wave of 2010.
Is there a way to also reconstruct the spectrum within the TSI of the last century in order to better project future variations in climate that may be caused by the sun?
Not to be off topic, but this is a great website where Dr. Svalgaard takes the time to answer questions directed at him. A very learned man who is kind enough to share his information with folks who have questions.
http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=1587

R. Gates says:
January 25, 2012 at 8:06 pm
“4) it is therefore not correct to associate the modern warming with a [non-existent] modern grand solar activity maximum”
Indeed, but in pointing this out, you are taking away the last best hope of skeptics who’d like to find something…anything…to pin the late 20th century warming on other than the 40% rise in CO2 since the Industrial Revolution.

Which explains the hostility towards what I say. but that ‘last best hope’ is just wishful thinking [as you say ‘something….anything’]. One should not let what one wishes to happen control the science [this goes both ways…].
This is a recent invited talk http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf on sun-climate given during a Workshop in Japan for an audience of climate scientists. They didn’t like it either, as the AGW crowd also needs the sun to explain climate variations before SUVs.

crosspatch

At any rate, there will be minimal influence on climate [IMHO].

I can understand why you say this, after having read your remarks here and materials on your site. The interesting thing, though, is an uncanny correlation between cycle length (not magnitude) and climate. This correlation goes back well into the 1800’s and correlates to both warming and cooling (not just one small 30 year period of warming the way CO2 correlates). There definitely appears to be something going on that couples Earth’s climate with solar cycle length. I believe Svensmark has the answer but we shall see in the coming years.

Camburn says:
January 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm
Is there a way to also reconstruct the spectrum within the TSI of the last century in order to better project future variations in climate that may be caused by the sun?
The recent data on spectral variations are very preliminary and need to be confirmed by further observations before we go off to speculate. Figure 3 of http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf on sun shows some possible effect of the [purported] inverse relationship between UV and Visual solar irradiance.

crosspatch says:
January 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm
an uncanny correlation between cycle length (not magnitude) and climate. This correlation goes back well into the 1800′s
There is no such correlation: http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

David Archibald

There is another sign that the end of the Modern Warm Period is at hand – the USDA has just updated the US plant hardiness zones map: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html

AJB

Leif, in what time-frame are we likely to see an adjusted international sunspot number series published and are there any plans to flesh out the early cycles with Vaquero’s recently unearthed records?