NOAA SWPC updates their solar cycle graphs – 3rd straight month of dropping sunspot numbers

Normally, I run this post around the end of the first week of the month, but this month there was a problem. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) botched the March SSN graph with incorrect data and was somewhat reticent to get it updated. Dr. Leif Svalgaard wrote to me on 3/7/12 after I asked him:

Why is there no Feb data on the NOAA graphs even though they show a March 6 update? Very odd. Are they holding out for better data?

He replied:

I have had a long email exchange with Doug Biesecker who is in charge of this. If you look at http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/RecentIndices.txt for December 2011, you see that the data there is that for February 2011. Apparently when they tried to enter data for February 2012 [which is 33.1] they lost that and instead dumped Feb. 2011 on December. Don’t ask how this is possible, we all screw up now and then. The bad news is they don’t know when it will be fixed [!!!]. I suggested just fixing it in the file and replot right now. But they want to find out exactly what the problem is. I suggested that if they just fixed manually right now, they would have all the time in the world to figure out what went wrong, but no cigar. As I said to him:

“your problem should not stop you from a temporary fix involving a few minutes of work, for the benefit of a waiting world that would like to think that NOAA produces reliable data”.

After some additional consideration on the part of NOAA, I’m happy to report they finally got it updated. What we see are three months of dropping sunspot numbers when they should be on the rise. While some variability is normal, compare this drop to the previous cycle.

Like the SSN, the 10.7cm flux is also down for the 3rd straight month:

And, the Ap Geomagnetic index, a proxy for the solar dynamo, is still bumping along the bottom portion of the scale where normally it would be approaching higher levels leading up to solar maximum:

Source: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/

Advertisements

89 thoughts on “NOAA SWPC updates their solar cycle graphs – 3rd straight month of dropping sunspot numbers

  1. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
    Lets hope that there are no significant volcanos over the next few years that may confuse the issue, or at any rate, give rise to speculation and/or uncertainty.

  2. The coming years are looking to be a lot of winter fun…. NOT.
    I’ll take the ’17th warmest winter on record’ that we just had, over what lies down the road.

  3. Looks like late ’00, there was also 3 months of decline from the peak of ~170. So, not unprecedented. However, if it follows the previous cycle, we’ve just had the peak. Which would be…interesting…

  4. Oh dear. this is starting to look very nasty indeed.
    Still we can hope for an upturn shortly.
    It might just be a blip. Fingers crossed.
    Kindest Regards

  5. It was the intern (Snooki perhaps?) from Jersey Shore who did it … and it took ’em nearly a week to figure out how to fix a problem that should never have seen the light of day.

  6. It is a bit off theme but I must say this is something that I notice quite often and still constantly surprises me. I would have thought that the data gathering process would be pretty systematic by now. I can’t begrudge someone the odd mishap but given the importance and profile of what is being dealt with I am a bit surprised by such occurences.
    The worst example of course was, unsurprisingly, the revelations from the famous “Harry Read Me” file in which we discovered that whole tracts of data were in ambiguously named files whose contexts were determined by the directory they had been placed in and nothing else.
    It seems that while the experts are pushing the edge of the climatology modelling envelope they seem to have neglected the mundane old task of properly caring for their raw data.
    Maybe it is because I am a database developer that I am extra sensitive to these things…

  7. There are two similar drops in the graph – one at about half 2000, one at end of 2002. This cycle may not follow the forecast perfectly but I don’t think it’s over yet.

  8. It’s only a couple of weeks, but if this month’s levels continue as they are it looks to me as though we’ll be back up to around the 75 for SSN and 130 for the F10.7.

  9. In the computer era, no halfway organized operation “loses data”. Good heavens, I’m an unorganized old coot operating entirely alone for purely personal ends, and I NEVER lose data or code that’s important to me.
    The WHOLE BLOODY POINT of computers is that you can set them up to do those dull housekeeping operations AUTOMATICALLY without any effort on your part. Either those folks are so astonishingly inept that they shouldn’t be allowed near a keyboard, or they’re intentionally discarding data that doesn’t fit their purposes. No other answers.

  10. If you look at the graphs with an eye for an underlying cycle, you can see there appears to be a smooth cycle with occasional outbursts. For example, the second peak of the previous cycle could also be explained as an outburst which lasted almost 18 months in from mid 2001 to 2002. The most recent decline could be explained as the end of a five month outburst above the baseline cycle. This can also be seen in the 10,7cm radio flux. It appears we could still be on the rise for the current, weak baseline cycle. Time will tell.

  11. Keith Levet says: “Maybe it is because I am a database developer that I am extra sensitive to these things…”
    Maybe it is, Keith, and this is the power of crowd sourcing; expertise from myriad interested experts who in older times would not even see for weeks or even months problems which they have the knowledge to correct or make valid and important observations on.
    Viva la WUWT? (and you).

  12. Another solar record that will need to be stamped flat. There’s no room in climate science for uncooperative variable stars…

  13. Keith Levet says:
    March 14, 2012 at 3:52 am
    “I would have thought that the data gathering process would be pretty systematic by now. I can’t begrudge someone the odd mishap but given the importance and profile of what is being dealt with I am a bit surprised by such occurences.”
    It could be something as simple as an application migration to a new system or database server that could be the issue. Hardware has to be replaced and so does software. Automation has its own ‘rewards’.

  14. James Hansen waffles on solar variability’s impact. He used to insist that any solar influence was now being swamped and would be swamped moving forward by AGW. Abdussamatov says clearly: solar slowdown, cooling on Earth on the way. Because Hansen’s work influences American policy so profoundly, his ideas on this subject have real-world consequences and will continue to do so. I explore the semi-hidden 21st-century Space Race in DSYC.

  15. Harold Ambler says:
    Abdussamatov says clearly: solar slowdown, cooling on Earth on the way.
    Abdussamatov and Lockwood are in a guessing game, they have no solid hypothesis, see:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7a.htm
    and scroll down towards the end of the web page.
    Dr. Svalgaard does, so do I, we differ in our methods but the final result may be the same or slightly different for the SSN 24 max.
    L.S ~72 smoothed annual
    MAV ~80 non-smoothed monthly

  16. MAVukcevic says:
    March 14, 2012 at 4:34 am
    Two strong Japan earthquakes ( M 6.9 & 6.1) in the wake of the strongest solar storm for some years
    Unrelated nonsense. There are 134 earthquakes on average each year of magnitudes between 6 and 7, That is one every 2.7 days.

  17. Harold Ambler says:
    March 14, 2012 at 4:44 am
    Abdussamatov says clearly: solar slowdown, cooling on Earth on the way.
    Unfortunately for him, he bases his statement on an extrapolation of the ‘slowdown’ of TSI the past minimum: Figure 1 of http://www.gao.spb.ru/english/astrometr/abduss_nkj_2009.pdf
    but the slowdown didn’t happen at all. The apparent decrease was due to uncompensated instrument degradation. There is no observational evidence for any difference between minima:
    Slides 31 and 33 of http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2011ScienceMeeting/docs/presentations/1g_Schmutz_SORCE_13.9.11.pdf

  18. Curiousgeorge says:
    March 14, 2012 at 4:26 am
    So, should I plant root crops or grains?
    Now, I wonder what William Herschel would be doing if he was alive today, making money again? It will be interesting to see how the food prices pan out over the same cycle period globally, & if there is any detectable potentially relevant trend line, although I know you can find a trend in anything if you look hard enough. If the prices rise as a result of falling yield as well as rising demand, then that should indicate a semi-direct link between solar activity & climate! Or is it me? Certainly could nail the case for GM crops!

  19. MattN says:
    March 14, 2012 at 3:39 am
    Looks like late ’00, there was also 3 months of decline from the peak of ~170. So, not unprecedented. However, if it follows the previous cycle, we’ve just had the peak. Which would be…interesting…
    even last cycle had a “double peak,” although the second peak was weaker than the first. I expect we’ll see another peak before it’s all over.

  20. The solar cycle peak seems to have a brief drop which correlates with magnet
    ic polarity reversal. This cycle seems to be at that very point now. The southern solar polar field graph should reverse soon. This will be a very weak cycle, brrr.

  21. Livingston and Penn’s observation that the magnetic field strength of newly produced sunspots is declining indicates that magnetic ropes that rise up through the convection zone to form sunspots is weakening. The magentic ropes require a minimum field strength to avoid being torn apart by the convection forces. Observational evidence indicates the sunspot field strength in the convection zone is close that point now.
    Based on current solar observations, past/current geomagnetic field changes, and other observational data/analysis, I would suspect the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted and the sun will move into a spotless stage this year. If it does, I can provide a hypothesis, complete with a mechanism, as to what will happen next.
    Comment:
    The fact the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots is linearly declining supports the assertion that sunspots are formed from magnetic ropes that are created at the tachocline. The magnetic ropes are released at the tachocline and then rise up through the convection zone to form sunspots.

  22. Leif Svalgaard says: March 14, 2012 at 5:17 am
    MAVukcevic Two strong Japan earthquakes ( M 6.9 & 6.1) in the wake of the strongest solar storm for some years
    L.S : Unrelated nonsense. There are 134 earthquakes on average each year of magnitudes between 6 and 7, That is one every 2.7 days.

    Possibly, possibly. Nobody disputes the average, but they have a habit to strike around strong solar storms; not every week gets 2-3 earthquakes M6+, large proportion gets none.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/gms.htm
    At least we agree on otcome of the SC24 max and that your mate Abdussamatov’s hypothesis.
    Other one we disagree about is 88 year cycle in the temperature records; it is one among the strongest in both the CET and the Greenland temperature reconstruction.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GISP2spec.htm

  23. William Astley says:
    March 14, 2012 at 5:59 am
    Livingston and Penn’s observation that the magnetic field strength of newly produced sunspots is declining indicates that magnetic ropes that rise up through the convection zone to form sunspots is weakening
    L&P theory is junk science. The data and method is not up to scientific standard. The only outcome of their research is that the speck ratio has increased.
    http://tinyurl.com/2dg9u22/?q=node/65

  24. Curiousgeorge says:
    March 14, 2012 at 4:26 am
    So, should I plant root crops or grains?
    Popsicles.

  25. With all the attention about the sun lately, a large sphere was recently seen in the sun’s corona attached to the surface. It lasted about a day and disappeared. Probably a hoax or photo problems from NASA. Strange.

  26. I see this reduced solar maximum as being noisy and irregular, and likely
    still yet to peak.
    We just had about a week and a half with sunspot number around 80-90,
    at times in the 90’s, although likely soon decrease somewhat.
    Something else I see: The upcoming ~210 year cycle minimum having a
    minimum of a maybe temporary ~60-62 year cycle, so as to plunge to
    almost-Maunder-like depth of lack of solar activity – but briefly. I see this
    upcoming minimum as “short and sweet” (or “short but painful”).

  27. Planet cools a little, farming gets more difficult. Congress forces us to burn our food for fuel. I hope there are no significant volcanic eruptions.
    My local grocer has about 3 days of inventory on hand. Nationally, our grain reserves have dropped from six months to something around 3 months. We’re one big crop failure away from anarchy that will make the superdome after Katrina look like a summer picnic. Just wait until the masses haven’t eaten for a week.
    I’m stocking up on food and ammo. Go ahead and call me crazy. I’m ok with that.

  28. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:21 am
    The data and method is not up to scientific standard. The only outcome of their research is that the speck ratio has increased.
    The data is produced by the most experienced solar physicist alive. The effect is just the opposite of what you claim: small spots are disappearing, e.g. http://www.leif.org/EOS/aa18034-11-Clette.pdf
    “We find that the Sun has shown an important deficit in small spots since the last activity maximum around 2000. While the number of large-scale spots remained largely unaffected, the occurrence rate of the smallest sunspots, and among them the ones with the shortest lifetimes, was more than halved during cycle 23”
    MAVukcevic says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:06 am
    not every week gets 2-3 earthquakes M6+
    there are 2.6 M6+ quakes per week on average.

  29. Donald L. Klipstein (Jr) says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:55 am
    We just had about a week and a half with sunspot number around 80-90,
    at times in the 90′s, although likely soon decrease somewhat.

    You are conflating the NOAA sunspot number and the official SIDC number. The latter is only about 68% of the former [so far for 2012].
    The last two weeks of official sunspot numbers:
    16 18 43 55 75 83 68 66 71 73 81 81 60 63 (today)

  30. jack morrow says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:41 am
    With all the attention about the sun lately, a large sphere was recently seen in the sun’s corona attached to the surface. It lasted about a day and disappeared. Probably a hoax or photo problems from NASA. Strange.

    That was actually a filament channel associated with a solar prominence, seen edge-on. It stood out particularly well amongst the surrounding corona in the wavelength in which those pictures were taken. SOHO captured the coronal mass ejection that occurred when that filament erupted.
    http://www.space.com/14894-refueling-ufo-solar-prominence.html

  31. Curiousgeorge says:
    March 14, 2012 at 4:26 am
    So, should I plant root crops or grains?
    _______________________________________________
    Alan the Brit answers: @ March 14, 2012 at 5:35 am
    Now, I wonder what William Herschel would be doing if he was alive today, making money again? It will be interesting to see how the food prices pan out over the same cycle period globally, & if there is any detectable potentially relevant trend line, although I know you can find a trend in anything if you look hard enough. If the prices rise as a result of falling yield as well as rising demand, then that should indicate a semi-direct link between solar activity & climate! Or is it me? Certainly could nail the case for GM crops!
    __________________________________________________
    Well it is looking like the next big boom is farmland. I wonder if the World Bank and their buddies know something we do not? Farmers are usually considered something smelly that you stepped in by the Super Market Predators of Wall Street.
    New research accuses the World Bank Group’s policies of facilitating land grabs in Africa
    In Africa
    US universities in Africa ‘land grab’: Institutions including Harvard and Vanderbilt reportedly use hedge funds to buy land
    Hedge funds buying massive tracts of African farmland
    African land grab threatens food security: study
    In The USA
    Crazy Question “Are We in a Farmland Real Estate Bubble?”
    Being Like Soros in Buying Farmland Reaps Annual Gains of 16%

  32. Odd how these technical problems crop up when data defy orthodoxy and give support to CO2-skeptical climate / geophysical hypotheses, e.g. sea ice satellite data, UHA troposphere channel, sea level data delays, and now NOAA choking on reporting this solar nose-dive.
    One is reminded of the megalomaniac director Christof in The Truman show and his command to “cut transmission” when Truman escapes from camera surveillence.
    Within the placid and contrived Seahaven, the sun always shines (with no variation in its output), everyone is happy and CO2 is the only factor affecting climate, geology and life in general. But there’s a real world outside…

  33. Not that WUWT isn’t a valid source, but is there anywhere else (say NOAA) where they admit their oops? Thanks.

  34. Last few days there was one of the nature’s great experiments with the cosmic ray (neutron) count going down by 12-15%.
    Svensmark’s hypothesis proposes significant drop in cloudiness, possibly as much as 7%
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL038429.shtml
    I hope Anthony or Dr. Svalgaard may inform us as soon as some data is available. The CERN’s CLOUD experiment has gone silent about their results. One way or the other this Forbush decrease should be far more significant that anything that comes out of CERN.

  35. Leif Svalgaard says
    there are 2.6 M6+ quakes per week on average.

    in response to this from MAVukcevic:
    “Nobody disputes the average, but they have a habit to strike around strong solar storms; not every week gets 2-3 earthquakes M6+, large proportion gets none.”
    Which was selectively quoted by Leif to remove the agreement about the average and hide the point of the statement, which was the uneven distribution of the M6+ observations about the average.
    Why do you do such things, Leif?

  36. Werner Brozek says (March 14, 2012 at 9:14 am)
    As well, since yesterday morning, the January, 2012 anomaly of 0.218 disappeared from the Hadcrut3 data set and woodfortrees.
    ————————
    Perhaps preparing us for the ‘new,improved’ figures from Hadcrut4, with its super-adjusted Arctic stations showing more warming? Start date 2012; all former figures are now ‘unoperational’?
    Sorry, all this makes for conspiracy theories. It’s probably just another cockup.

  37. JJ says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:35 am
    Which was selectively quoted by Leif to remove the agreement about the average and hide the point of the statement, which was the uneven distribution of the M6+ observations about the average.
    Why do you do such things, Leif?

    Because the assertion was unfounded to begin with. This has been extensively studied. Here is the result of superposing the number of earthquakes M6+ about interplanetary sector boundaries [top] and geomagnetic [solar] storms that actually hit the Earth [middle]: http://www.leif.org/research/Earthquake-Activity.png
    The bottom panel shows the response of the aa-index to the storm, just to show that there was a storm.

  38. JJ says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:35 am
    Which was selectively quoted by Leif to remove the agreement about the average and hide the point of the statement
    MAVukcevic says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:06 am
    but they have a habit to strike around strong solar storms; not every week gets 2-3 earthquakes M6+, large proportion gets none.
    This is the statement that is unfounded, and in addition shows the sloppiness of the assertion: “not every week gets 2-3 earthquakes…” Had he actually made any analysis he would have known that 2-3 is the normal average. Furthermore, many earthquakes [and in particular the ones he refers to] are just aftershocks and do not constitute independent events, e.g. the great M9 Honshu event had some 10 M6+ aftershocks the same day.
    You might have asked: “Why do you do such things, Vuk?”

  39. @ Gail Combs says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:18 am
    Curiousgeorge says:
    March 14, 2012 at 4:26 am
    So, should I plant root crops or grains?
    ==================================================
    Hi, Gail. There has been a ramping up of farmland prices going on for a couple years. Actually, since Nov of 2008 😉 . A lot of it is driven by Wall Street investors looking for a safe haven other than gold. And some of it is due to the cheapening of the dollar. Some foreign investors also.
    But another aspect is that many farmers see the price of food and energy crops continuing to rise due to demand. This is countered by a lot of punitive regulations coming from the EPA among other govt’ agencies. This then becomes a significant issue in this election. If the EPA can be reined in, investors and farmers stand to make a decent profit; but that won’t happen under Obama.

  40. cui bono says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:40 am
    Werner Brozek says (March 14, 2012 at 9:14 am)
    As well, since yesterday morning, the January, 2012 anomaly of 0.218 disappeared from the Hadcrut3 data set and woodfortrees.

    ————————————————————–
    Still 0.218 in Met Office Hadley Centre observations datasets – HadCRUT3 Diagnostics
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut3/diagnostics/index.html
    It’s probably just another cockup. Looks favourite?

  41. Geoff Sharp says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:21 am
    L&P theory is junk science. The data and method is not up to scientific standard. The only outcome of their research is that the speck ratio has increased.

    I wonder why you bother to post such unsubstantiated slander, when it is obvious who does proper science and who doesn’t. L&P offer extremely valuable and interesting observations.

  42. MAVukcevic says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:25 am
    Last few days there was one of the nature’s great experiments with the cosmic ray (neutron) count going down by 12-15%.
    Svensmark’s hypothesis proposes significant drop in cloudiness,….
    ___________________________________
    I wonder if the Earthshine Project will see anything? http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/

  43. In reply to:
    Geoff Sharp says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:21 am
    “L&P theory is junk science. The data and method is not up to scientific standard. The only outcome of their research is that the speck ratio has increased.”
    Hi Geoff,
    Sometimes it is not clear which hypothesis or measurement technique is or is not correct based on observations and the interpretation of observations. This case is interesting as if Livingston and Penn’s sunspot measurement technique and finding is correct and that trend continues they state there will be observational evidence that the solar cycle has been interrupted by 2015. (i.e. A spotless sun by 2015.) Observationally determining whether the magnetic cycle has or has not been interrupted will be clear.
    As the magnetic field strength weakens the lifetime of the sunspot on the surface decreases. I believe that is currently what is observed. During previous periods of very low solar activity there were also very large complex sunspots formed an large CMEs. There is currently a very large complex sunspot that formed a large CME.
    I believe we will find that the extreme AGW paradigm is a red herring. Svensmark estimates that approximately 75% of the the 20th century temperature rise was due to solar magnetic cycle changes. There are cycles of warming and cooling in the paleoclimatic record that correlate with solar magnetic cycle changes. It appears the sun is the cause of what is observed. What is not known is how the sun changes during those periods and how those changes cause what is observed. (Assuming the sun is the cause. Interesting the other possible mechanisms such as changes to ocean currents have been disproved.)
    If the planet starts to signficantly cool that would definitively disprove the extreme AGW hypothesis. In the past there was a 10 to 12 year delay in the cooling, from the change in the solar cycle. The delay it appears was due to the mechanisms not due to thermal lag. We should start to see cooling winter 2012/2013.

  44. Leif Svalgaard says:
    “JJ says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:35 am
    Which was selectively quoted by Leif to remove the agreement about the average and hide the point of the statement, which was the uneven distribution of the M6+ observations about the average.
    Why do you do such things, Leif?”
    Because the assertion was unfounded to begin with.

    How does that justify you ignoring the substanceof the assertion, pretending it was not made, and giving a smarmy, dismissive, non-response? Rhetorical question. It doesnt.
    This is the statement that is unfounded, and in addition shows the sloppiness of the assertion: “not every week gets 2-3 earthquakes…” Had he actually made any analysis he would have known that 2-3 is the normal average.
    He explicilty agreed that 2-3 is the normal average. That is part of his comment that you cut out. This shows the sloppiness of your response.
    His point was not to dispute the average, but that the 2-3/week average is not evenly distributed. Many weeks have much more than the average, and many have none at all. His assertion was that there may be a relationship between the weeks that have very many, and solar activity. You did not address that. Instead, you cut it out, pretended it wasn’t said, and restated your comment about the average.
    Are you too dense to understand that, or simply so arrogant that you dont think that anyone so beneath your contempt as Vukcevic deserves a proper response? Current experience strongly suggest the latter.

  45. Leif Svalgaard says: March 14, 2012 at 11:37 am
    ….as I have told you many times.
    Yes sir.
    Dr. Jeffrey Love said: “it has never been demonstrated that there is a causal relationship”
    But that doesn’t exclude more than random coincidence.
    I have added Dr. Love’s full statement to my web-page
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/gms.htm
    I only speculate on the unusual, and wouldn’t wish to mislead anyone intelligent enough not to look for other sources of information.

  46. cui bono says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:40 am
    Werner Brozek says (March 14, 2012 at 9:14 am)
    As well, since yesterday morning, the January, 2012 anomaly of 0.218 disappeared from the Hadcrut3 data set and woodfortrees.
    ————————
    Perhaps preparing us for the ‘new,improved’ figures from Hadcrut4, with its super-adjusted Arctic stations showing more warming? Start date 2012; all former figures are now ‘unoperational’?
    Sorry, all this makes for conspiracy theories. It’s probably just another cockup.
    ============================================================================
    NH and SH Hadcrut4 figures are already available, so I would imagine the Global figures won’t be far behind.
    A quick comparison of Hadcrut3 and Hadcrut4 for the NH, which is where the “action” is likely to be, shows that the changes are not large – annual averages +/- 0.1C at most – and the overall record has, in fact, cooled.
    However, nearly all the cooling occurs in the early part of the record (pre-1930) while the recent past (post-1930) has been warmed, especially the last decade (2001-2010) where annual averages are now 0.06C “warmer” than in Hadcrut3.

  47. You can bet that Congress will still mandate food as fuel right up to the tipping point at which they flip to the opposite mode called “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

  48. JJ says:
    March 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm
    How does that justify you ignoring the substance of the assertion
    The substance, as I read it, was that there was a correlation between earthquakes and geomagnetic storms which was supposed to be ‘supported’ by a wrong statement [that 2-3 events was unusual].
    His assertion was that there may be a relationship between the weeks that have very many, and solar activity. You did not address that.
    Perhaps you should read my addressing that:
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:46 am
    “This has been extensively studied. Here is the result of superposing the number of earthquakes M6+ about interplanetary sector boundaries [top] and geomagnetic [solar] storms that actually hit the Earth [middle]: http://www.leif.org/research/Earthquake-Activity.png
    The bottom panel shows the response of the aa-index to the storm, just to show that there was a storm.”
    As you can see, the evidence from thousands of event show that there is no relationship.
    MAVukcevic says:
    March 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm
    Dr. Jeffrey Love said: “it has never been demonstrated that there is a causal relationship”
    But that doesn’t exclude more than random coincidence.

    You misread his statement. It does not mean that nobody has looked at this; on the contrary, it means that the subject has been researched extensively, but nobody has been able to show a causal relationship in spite of trying hard.
    You omit Love’s simple demonstration that there is no relationship:
    “over the course of the Sun’s 11-year variable cycle, the occurrence of flares and magnetic storms waxes and wanes, but earthquakes occur without any such 11-year variability”
    I only speculate on the unusual, and wouldn’t wish to mislead anyone intelligent enough not to look for other sources of information.
    But you yourself, apparently, does not fall in that category. Does it take special intelligence not to look for other sources?

  49. [Attempting to get back to the topic du jour]
    @WUWT
    > … 3rd straight month of dropping sunspot numbers
    @Leif
    > such wild swings are not unprecedented, compare e.g. with cycle 14:
    > http://www.leif.org/research/SC14-and-24.png
    These wild swings (after some smoothing) are very roughly sinusoidal, with a period of 6-12 months. => So, Cycle 24 in a nutshell: SSN goes up for a few months and then it goes down for a few months, and repeats this a dozen times, or so.
    Anthony, you seem to worry a lot about the down-swings and report them like clockwork. I can’t recall if you’ve similarly reported the up-swings (“The Sunspot Numbers are Going UP!”), but it seems like never.
    But sunspots, on average, have increased since 2009 and will continue rising until Solar Max occurs. Even though, paradoxically, your reports suggest otherwise!
    FYI, this is an example of Simpson’s Paradox!
    (No relation to Homer) => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson%27s_paradox
    😐

  50. Anthony, any chance that NOAA can archive their actual graphs from previous years? The data is archived, and we could laboriously reconstruct, but the old graphs would sure be useful in comparing this 24th with previous ups and downs.

  51. The data suggests that we have already turned te corner on this max-if things do not significantly pick up in the next couple of months, we may already be heading to the next minima-sure there may be a few more fireworks to be had-such as last week-but now th sun has returned to nearly a blank disk again with perhaps a couple of small regions on the disk which are fading. If things do pick up again, there may be a secondary peak of activity later this year, but it probably will not be as strong.

  52. Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    You omit Love’s simple demonstration that there is no relationship:
    “over the course of the Sun’s 11-year variable cycle, the occurrence of flares and magnetic storms waxes and wanes, but earthquakes occur without any such 11-year variability”
    – – – – –
    This argument is beside the point. It denies a direct causal relationship. But that’s not Vukcevic’s position, as he clearly states:
    “It is not claimed that geomagnetic storm is a primary cause of any earthquake. However if conditions for an earthquake are ‘ripe’ i.e. tectonic fault ‘gone critical’, then solar storm could be a trigger (not the cause) for it, and bring it forward for few hours or days.”
    (see: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/gms.htm)
    So it’s about a few hours or days, and that signal is completely lost in Love’s comparison of 11 year periods.

  53. Jurgen says:
    March 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm
    “It is not claimed that geomagnetic storm is a primary cause of any earthquake. However if conditions for an earthquake are ‘ripe’ i.e. tectonic fault ‘gone critical’, then solar storm could be a trigger (not the cause) for it, and bring it forward for few hours or days.”
    So it’s about a few hours or days, and that signal is completely lost in Love’s comparison of 11 year periods.

    That is taken care of by my superposed epoch analysis. If the storm controls the timing on a time scale of hours or days: http://www.leif.org/research/Earthquake-Activity.png that would cause an excess of storms at or just after the key time [the time of the storm], with a deficit a few days later, so both aspects are covered: no direct cause [because no 11-yr cycle] and no triggering.

  54. Jurgen says:
    March 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm
    It is not claimed that geomagnetic storm is a primary cause of any earthquake.
    It would be good if we stay on topic, so let me close off the earthquake distraction with a discussion of that issue. There are several possibilities [that all have been researched extensively because of the potential usefulness]:
    1) solar storms cause earthquakes. This would produce an 11-yr cycle which is not observed
    2) solar storms trigger earthquakes that would have occurred anyway, but a bit later. This would produce a spike at or shortly after the storm in a superposed epoch analysis, which is not observed
    3) there is a weak ‘precursor’ in that the geomagnetic field shows pulsations or ‘spikes’ just before the earthquake, e.g. created by the solar wind, or by the Earth itself. This has been claimed, but careful analysis fails to confirm the effect, e.g. http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL039020.pdf or http://www.leif.org/EOS/2010Nov22-Quake-Pre.pdf
    4) when major earthquakes occur, the ground shifts and THAT influences the geomagnetic record, which has indeed been observed
    5) The moon through tidal effects could trigger earthquakes. This would produce a lunar phase spike in a superposed epoch analysis, which is not observed.
    So, enough of earthquakes, please.

  55. Dennis Ray Wingo says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm
    Hey Leif, Still holding with 72 as the peak SSN for 24?
    Yep. Although it is not clear what the Livingston & Penn effect will do

  56. I do not expect SC24 to change it’s spots:
    Tardy and half-hearted.
    It wouldn’t be out of character for it to simply tail off over the next couple years to nothing.

  57. MAVukcevic says:
    March 14, 2012 at 5:11 am
    Abdussamatov and Lockwood are in a guessing game, they have no solid hypothesis, see:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7a.htm
    and scroll down towards the end of the web page.
    Dr. Svalgaard does, so do I, we differ in our methods but the final result may be the same or slightly different for the SSN 24 max.
    L.S ~72 smoothed annual
    MAV ~80 non-smoothed monthly
    ;———————————————————–
    Is your hypothesis that given any data set, you and Leif are better at curve fitting than Abdussamatov and Lockwood?

  58. chinese have monitored sunspot activity for 2000 years and noted the change in climate that goes with it and the effect on agriculture.

  59. Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm
    March 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm
    – – – – – – –
    Thanks for the more detailed explanation. I did check before on your link (http://www.leif.org/research/Earthquake-Activity.png) and was wondering about higher and lower resolution of the phenomena and this maybe causing a confusion of arguments. As the “trigger effect” is a pretty weak signal on a short time interval I was wondering about the scale of the graphs both for time and for strength of earthquakes. But you are right it is a bit OT.

  60. Jurgen says:
    March 15, 2012 at 5:18 am
    was wondering about higher and lower resolution of the phenomena and this maybe causing a confusion of arguments
    The time resolution is one day [really plus/minus half a day]. The Strength of the Earthquakes is as given in the official catalogs and is usually good to a tenth of a unit on the Richter scale. In any case they are the best we have.

  61. “Practically, all mud (M-type) volcanoes of the world are located in the zones of subduction and collision and, consequently, reflect the activity of compression processes of Earth. As it was mentioned above, the attempt of detection the connection between the activity of the Sun and magmatic volcanoes activity was made by the number of scientists. However, there was not taken into consideration that the volcanoes are divided into geodynamical types and each type of volcano reflects the activity of various processes: C-type volcanoes characterize the compression processes of Earth (due to subduction); R-type volcanoes characterize the tension processes of Earth (due to spreading).”
    http://i40.tinypic.com/25ahys0.png

Comments are closed.