NASA/Hathaway's updated solar cycle prediction – smallest in 100 years

…the predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years

(Updated 2012/05/01)

From: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 60 in the Spring of 2013. We are currently over three years into Cycle 24. The current predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years.

The prediction method has been slightly revised. The previous method found a fit for both the amplitude and the starting time of the cycle along with a weighted estimate of the amplitude from precursor predictions (polar fields and geomagnetic activity near cycle minimum). Recent work [see Hathaway Solar Physics; 273, 221 (2011)] indicates that the equatorward drift of the sunspot latitudes as seen in the Butterfly Diagram follows a standard path for all cycles provided the dates are taken relative to a starting time determined by fitting the full cycle. Using data for the current sunspot cycle indicates a starting date of May of 2008. Fixing this date and then finding the cycle amplitude that best fits the sunspot number data yields the current (revised) prediction.

ssn_predict.gif (2208 bytes)

Click on image for larger version.

Predicting the behavior of a sunspot cycle is fairly reliable once the cycle is well underway (about 3 years after the minimum in sunspot number occurs [see Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann Solar Physics; 151, 177 (1994)]). Prior to that time the predictions are less reliable but nonetheless equally as important. Planning for satellite orbits and space missions often require knowledge of solar activity levels years in advance.

A number of techniques are used to predict the amplitude of a cycle during the time near and before sunspot minimum. Relationships have been found between the size of the next cycle maximum and the length of the previous cycle, the level of activity at sunspot minimum, and the size of the previous cycle.

Among the most reliable techniques are those that use the measurements of changes in the Earth’s magnetic field at, and before, sunspot minimum. These changes in the Earth’s magnetic field are known to be caused by solar storms but the precise connections between them and future solar activity levels is still uncertain.

Of these “geomagnetic precursor” techniques three stand out. The earliest is from Ohl and Ohl [Solar-Terrestrial Predictions Proceedings, Vol. II. 258 (1979)] They found that the value of the geomagnetic aa index at its minimum was related to the sunspot number during the ensuing maximum. The primary disadvantage of this technique is that the minimum in the geomagnetic aa index often occurs slightly after sunspot minimum so the prediction isn’t available until the sunspot cycle has started.

An alternative method is due to a process suggested by Joan Feynman. She separates the geomagnetic aa index into two components: one in phase with and proportional to the sunspot number, the other component is then the remaining signal. This remaining signal has, in the past, given good estimates of the sunspot numbers several years in advance. The maximum in this signal occurs near sunspot minimum and is proportional to the sunspot number during the following maximum. This method does allow for a prediction of the next sunspot maximum at the time of sunspot minimum.

A third method is due to Richard Thompson [Solar Physics 148, 383 (1993)]. He found a relationship between the number of days during a sunspot cycle in which the geomagnetic field was “disturbed” and the amplitude of the next sunspot maximum. His method has the advantage of giving a prediction for the size of the next sunspot maximum well before sunspot minimum.

We have suggested using the average of the predictions given by the Feynman-based method and by Thompson’s method. [See Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann J. Geophys. Res. 104, 22,375 (1999)] However, both of these methods were impacted by the “Halloween Events” of October/November 2003 which were not reflected in the sunspot numbers. Both methods give larger than average amplitude to Cycle 24 while its delayed start and low minimum strongly suggest a much smaller cycle.

The smoothed aa index reached its minimum (a record low) of 8.4 in September of 2009. Using Ohl’s method now indicates a maximum sunspot number of 70 ± 18 for cycle 24. We then use the shape of the sunspot cycle as described by Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann [Solar Physics 151, 177 (1994)] and determine a starting time for the cycle by fitting the latitude drift data to produce a prediction of the monthly sunspot numbers through the next cycle. We find a maximum of about 60 in the Spring of 2013. The predicted numbers are available in a text file, as a GIF image, and as a pdf-file. As the cycle progresses, the prediction process switches over to giving more weight to the fitting of the monthly values to the cycle shape function. At this phase of cycle 24 we now give 66% weight to the amplitude from curve-fitting technique of Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann Solar Physics 151, 177 (1994). That technique currently gives similar values to those of Ohl’s method.

Note: These predictions are for “smoothed” International Sunspot Numbers. The smoothing is usually over time periods of about a year or more so both the daily and the monthly values for the International Sunspot Number should fluctuate about our predicted numbers. The dotted lines on the prediction plots indicate the expected range of the monthly sunspot numbers. Also note that the “Boulder” numbers reported daily at www.spaceweather.com are typically about 35% higher than the International sunspot number.

Another indicator of the level of solar activity is the flux of radio emission from the Sun at a wavelength of 10.7 cm (2.8 GHz frequency). This flux has been measured daily since 1947. It is an important indicator of solar activity because it tends to follow the changes in the solar ultraviolet that influence the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere. Many models of the upper atmosphere use the 10.7 cm flux (F10.7) as input to determine atmospheric densities and satellite drag. F10.7 has been shown to follow the sunspot number quite closely and similar prediction techniques can be used. Our predictions for F10.7 are available in a text file, as a GIF image, and as a pdf-file. Current values for F10.7 can be found at: http://www.spaceweather.ca/sx-4-eng.php.

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Told you.

Zac

But you can see where this is going. Falling or stable global temperatures are caused by the Sun and rising temperatures are down to carbon dioxide alone.

Would this be sufficient then to trigger a new LIA?
If so, how low can it go, and how long will it take to kick in?
I see Piers is already predicting the coldest May in 100 years for the UK !!!
Andi

Jimmy Haigh

I remember seeing a “prediction” from a while back saying that the next cycle (i.e.: this one) would be the biggest ever.
Not to worry though: climate (global temperature) has nothing to do with the Sun, Some people say it’s all to do with man made CO2. Has anyone else heard of this or was I hallucinating?

Bruce of Newcastle

Interesting that Dr Hathaway has a predicted solar cycle length for SC24 around 13 years from look of his graph. Suggests the following cycle will also be cool, about 1-1.5 C below average. So, temperatures look like staying down until the mid 2030’s at least.

u.k.(us)

Is it time we stopped trying to predict a non-linear, chaotic system.
It might cut down on foolish attempts to control same ?

EvilDenier

”Climate(global temperature) has nothing to do with the Sun” God please tell me you’re kiding.

Gail Combs

EvilDenier says:
May 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm
”Climate(global temperature) has nothing to do with the Sun” God please tell me you’re kiding.
______________________________
If climate has nothing to do with the sun then we can take it completely away and let CO2 warm us. (snicker)

SteveSadlov

2012 and all that.

ss

not sure id even believe this…ss count is at 140 atm

Paul Westhaver

First time I think he’s error-ing on the low side… ever!!
by 25…
According to my eyeball.

Jimmy Haigh

Jimmy Haigh says:
May 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm
i thought that the /sarc tag was implicit in what I was saying…
[NOTE: You really oughtta know by now that absolutely nothing is beyond belief for some people. Reality imitates art, or art and reality are the same…. /sarc tags are best, lest one wonder…. -REP]

For months I’ve been quoting the statistic that up to a quarter of Scotland’s population died in the 1690s during the last Maunder Minimum. I’ve sent letters to MPs, MSPs, the Prime Minister, First Minister. For Scotland, this famine is a bit like the Boston Tea Party .. but in reverse! Instead of giving us independent, this was one of the events that lost us ours. With a new Minimum on the cards, with the an independence vote being on the cards. I thought this book would be in demand. But no! I’ve had it four months without a squeek.
This is the only copy in Glasgow University. For four months as we stare into the face of a new Minimum, not a single academic or student in the whole university (or interlibrary) has bothered to get out the single most comprehensive book on the single most important event in Scottish climate history. Surely just intellectual curiosity would have caused someone to ask for the book with quotes like:
“It was perhaps the fact that the hardships of the crisis were felt by ‘all ranks of People’ that made the increased burden of supporting the poor unpopular….”
“[those people] that are [still] alive can scarce raise their thoughts to any thing that regards the next life: but are wholly occupied how they may find by buyeing, begging or even takeing what may prolong their little remnant of life the worst is that this year most part of their cattle especially milk-kine which could serv’d them for meal, are dead”
“Sea temperatures off Orkney were possibly as much as 5°C lower than the modern day and ‘stories of eskimos in kayaks arriving dead or exhausted in Orkney and Scottish waters date from this period of outward-flowing Arctic currents’
By the summer of 1698 contemporaries were again beginning to comment on the visibility of famine through the deaths of the poor. In both June and November that year news reached Edinburgh of people found dead on the roads throughout the country.l!” No indication was
given for the causes of these deaths, but it seems plausible that starvation or severe malnourishment among poor people, moving between towns and parishes in search of food, were key factors.”

Then yesterday my library book “Famines in Scotland: the ill years’ of the 1690s” was recalled.

Jeff Mitchell

I’ll put another plug in for having a post on the entire series of predictions for cycle 24. It would also be fun to watch the pro big cycle/pro small cycle ratio over the same time period.

the predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years
Was part of the title of our prediction paper: http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%2024%20Smallest%20100%20years.pdf
Andi Cockroft says:
May 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm
I see Piers is already predicting the coldest May in 100 years for the UK !!!
Piers predicted last week would be with heavy tornadic activity in the US. Instead we got a snowstorm. Reminds me of the reaction of a believer when Uri Geller was caught in faking some of his spoon-bendings: “so what that he is a fraud 90% of the time, the remaining time he is for real”

I beat Hathaway’s new solar cycle 24 prediction by three years. I predicted solar cycle 24 to be the smallest in the past 100 years back in February 2008.

Thomas F. Giella says:
May 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm
I beat Hathaway’s new solar cycle 24 prediction by three years. I predicted solar cycle 24 to be the smallest in the past 100 years back in February 2008.
Success has many fathers. Failure is an orphan.

Jimmy Haigh /sarc

[NOTE: You really oughtta know by now that absolutely nothing is beyond belief for some people. Reality imitates art, or art and reality are the same…. /sarc tags are best, lest one wonder…. -REP]

Greg Cavanagh

I remember just a couple years ago, they were predicting that the next cycle would be the highest on record. And as we slowly grew into the new solar cycle, their projection kept gettting smaller and smaller (and being pushed back years at a time). Now to be the smallest on record.

LC Kirk, Perth

That explains everything, at last! Or at least, it would appear to explain everything about the disparity between the Spaceweather daily sunspot numbers and their subsequent monthly plots, which has been bothering me for quite some time. If the monthly plots are smoothed International Sunspot Numbers, as for the predicted numbers, then the factor is ‘Daily Number’ x 0.65 = ‘Monthly Plotted Value’. Though I still don’t know if they are plotting the ISN number for the last day of the month, or an average value for the month.

LC Kirk, Perth says:
May 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm
If the monthly plots are smoothed International Sunspot Numbers, as for the predicted numbers, then the factor is ‘Daily Number’ x 0.65 = ‘Monthly Plotted Value’. Though I still don’t know if they are plotting the ISN number for the last day of the month, or an average value for the month.
It is much simpler than that. The International Sunspot Number for historical reasons [to be compatible with Rudolf Wolf’s count for 1849 to 1865] is reported as 0.6 x the actual count, while the NOAA count is just the raw count [actually = 10 x number of groups + number of spots].

Leif Svalgaard – “Piers predicted last week would be with heavy tornadic activity in the US. Instead we got a snowstorm.“.
Piers Corbyn is very strong on self-promotion, but even he claims only 85% accuracy on extreme weather events (http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/pv.asp?p=wact45). Thus about 1 in 7 of his predictions can be expected to be wrong. That you managed to find one of the wrong ones isn’t exactly a big deal.

Glenn

“Also note that the “Boulder” numbers reported daily at http://www.spaceweather.com are typically about 35% higher than the International sunspot number.”
http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml
“The Boulder number (reported daily on SpaceWeather.com) is usually about 25% higher than the second official index, the “International Sunspot Number,” published daily by the Solar Influences Data Center in Belgium. Both the Boulder and the International numbers are calculated from the same basic formula, but they incorporate data from different observatories.”
http://spaceweather.com/glossary/sunspotnumber.html
So is “usually” and “typically” different terms in science? And why would different values be observed at different observatories, when the “same basic formula” – and the same data – is used?

rbateman

Recent work [see Hathaway Solar Physics; 273, 221 (2011)] indicates that the equatorward drift of the sunspot latitudes as seen in the Butterfly Diagram follows a standard path for all cycles provided the dates are taken relative to a starting time determined by fitting the full cycle.
Except that it’s not following a standard Butterfly Diagram path:
http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/TempGr/uvp2324a.PNG
If and when the Southern Sunspot Belt manages to gravitate towards the Solar Equator, I suppose there will be something to base the calculations upon.
Until then, it’s SC24 and it’s ill-behaved monkey business as usual.
No sarcasm intended.

Mike Lewis

Will this result in a reduction of ocean heat content? If so, how long will it take for it to noticeably decline – and then how long for surface temps to begin dropping?

Mike Jonas says:
May 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm
Piers Corbyn is very strong on self-promotion
Strongly supported by an army of sycophants …

vicepapr

from Leif’s link
http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%2024%20Smallest%20100%20years.pdf
“Using direct polar field measurements, now available
for four solar cycles, we predict that the approaching solar
cycle 24 (2011 maximum) will have a peak smoothed
monthly sunspot number of 75 ± 8, making it potentially the
smallest cycle in the last 100 years”. Citation: Svalgaard, L.,
E. W. Cliver, and Y. Kamide (2005), Sunspot cycle 24: Smallest
cycle in 100 years?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L01104, doi:10.1029/
2004GL021664.
what does explain the match in sunspot number but mismatch in maximun date?

William Astley

There are cycles of warming, followed by cooling and in some cases abrupt cooling in the paleoclimatic record that correlate with cosmogenic isotope changes. All of the observational data points to the sun as the fundamental driver of the cyclic climate changes, including the very large, very rapid, Younger Dryas (Heinrich events) climate change events, that are capable of terminating interglacial periods. The unanswered question is how the solar magnetic cycle changes cause what is observed.
It will be interesting to watch this cycle end. This does appear to be an interruption to the solar magnetic cycle, as opposed to a slow down in the cycle.
The extreme AGW supporters should have left themselves a way out.

vicepapr says:
May 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm
what does explain the match in sunspot number but mismatch in maximun date?
We were not predicting the date [our method does not support a date prediction] so were only using the ‘nomimal’ date eleven years after the previous maximum in 2000.

Robert in Perth (soon to be back in South Africa)

Leif @5.10 am
You are being far too modest.
History will record that the seminal article on the length and strength of Solar Cycle 24 was published in Geophysical Research Letters on 11 January 2005 by Leif Svalgaard et al entitled SUNSPOT CYCLE 24: SMALLEST CYCLE IN 100 YEARS?
2005 was the hundredth anniversary of Einstein’s miracle year.
With what we are currently witnessing in 2012 with the trenchant behaviour of the Southern Polar Field on the Wilcox Solar Observatories website 7 years after the publication of your article, coupled with the brevity of the article itself, has convinced me that the Svalgaard et al article would no doubt have drawn the Great Man’s stamp approval as a fitting commemoration of his achievements.
1687, 1859 and 1905 mark the years of some of humanity’s greatest ever achievements.
Sadly, as the 2009 Climategate leaks (my absolute gratitude to the anonymous whistleblower forever) reveal we have now seen the depths of debasement that so-called scientists are prepared to stoop to.
My absolute gratitude goes out to Anthony and heroes like Leif, Bob Tisdale, Ryan Maue, Joe Bastardi, Robert Brown of recent vintage who share their insights and help to bring us to a proper understanding of our place in the universe.
Leif, the final death blow for the debasers and their claims of “settled science” should have come on 6 December 2011 at the Fall Meeting of the AGU, (who in fact published your article) with the Stevens Lecture on Clouds but the Anthropogenic Global Gravy Train with all its hangers on, has somehow managed to carry on.
Richard Black and his BBC monstrosities somehow never got round to covering Stevens’s lecture and its inescapable conclusion that current climate models are incapable of properly modelling for clouds!
Leif, it is one thing to arrive at a prediction that ultimately turns out to provide a the correct answer in PhD length dissertations that you need a PhD in solar physics to understand, but you arrived at the correct outcome that has been validated 7 years later in 4 pages of clear and easily understandable writing. .
It was Einstein who produced a theory of such complexity that he said that only 11 men alive understood it, who endorsed the policy of making things as simple as possible.
The factual evidence is now “in”, and the science is now “settled” as we are constantly being bombarded with and Lo and Behold, Svalgaard et al are proven right
FWIW I believe we are witnessing at least an analogue solar cycle similar to the one a century and a half ago that spawned the Carrington event with wild and unpredictable peaks and troughs in solar activity.
As I have reached exactly the opposite conclusion to the one espoused by you in the Forum section regarding the direct influence of the Sun’s Solar Cycles on the climate of the Earth on the Solarham.com website, (which tragically has gone missing in action in the past 2 days), I believe that a disastrous period of solar-induced global cooling and climate instability awaits mankind.
Now that is Climate change I can believe in!
Science is all about producing models and hypotheses that have predictive power.
Your model has been validated in an area of physics that is vitally important to mankind and the names of Svalgaard and Cliver and Kamide as potential candidates should be drawn to the attention of the judges who awarded the 1921 version of the prize to Albert Einstein.
Kind Regards.

Dalton Minimum looks more like it than the Maunder at this time. Dalton dropped Europe by a degree or so, though where you are talking about determines the number you use.
Since we have risen in the 20th, and assuming that prior to 1975 was the recovery from the LIA, a Dalton Minimum at this time would only drop us back to either 1935 or 1960, thereabouts. Which wasn’t cold. We would have to assume that 1900 – 1950 was not a “recovery” but an excess amount after the 19th century for a Dalton type to push us into a serious cold with a drop of 3 degrees again.
Even if we were to go into the Maunder, it took a long time to get seriously going. At this point we can’t say one way or the other. If the SSN had collapsed this year, the odds would have been better about a Maunder, but they didn’t.

It will be interesting to see if meteor showers become heaver or have a greater hourly maximum due to lower cycles, about 15 years ago I read a study on the diminishing frequency of some of the regular meteor showers, I always suspected Higher solar activity could play a part in this, so maybe we’ll begin to have spectacular showers like those reported in the past?.
The Aquarids meteor shower is coming up on the 5th of may I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to have a look.

Leif Svalgaard and colleagues suggested that solar cycle 24 would be the smallest in 100 years in a 2005 paper in Geophysical Research Letters (see link in his post above). In view of NASA’s latest prediction, Leif’s paper will probably receive (and deserve) a good many citations. Leif’s presence adds much to the value of this site and is one of the reasons I often check in.

Andrew30

At what point does predicting become watching?
For some reason they don’t let you place bets on a horse race at the 1/2 mile mark.

Forrest M. Mims III says:
May 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm
In view of NASA’s latest prediction, Leif’s paper will probably receive (and deserve) a good many citations.
At last count, 130:
http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=qFdb2fIAAAAJ&pagesize=100&view_op=list_works

Robert in Perth (soon to be back in South Africa) says:
May 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm
2005 was the hundredth anniversary of Einstein’s miracle year.
Thanks for your kind words, but our work does not rise to the level of Einstein’s [and was not meant to]. We still have a bit to go in this cycle before we can be sure that the prediction was correct, but it is pleasing that an idea put forward in 1978 seems to hold up. If it does, we have a good tool for future predictions. But, as I have said many times “the sun is a messy place” and could still have some surprises in store for us [which would be exciting, e.g. Livingston and Penn’s observations].

John A. Fleming

Since this is the first real solar cycle where all the raw data is now available to anybody who cares to look at it, I have no idea if the curious observed behavior of the Sun this cycle also flummoxes the long-time observers and modellers. The polar field data does look qualitatively different this cycle than last. The magnetic polarity zones on the sun do seem to have large-scale diagonal stripes, and the behaviors of the two hemispheres do seem different.
Do the practitioners get up every day, mutter to themselves “What the heck…” as they look at the latest data, and rush off to stare at their models to figure out what is missing or mis-modelled? Or to the experts, is all this just boring more of the same, we’ve seen it all before?

frozenohio

As a ham radio operator – this is a no brainier – this cycle has been a roller coaster ride! The spots are up – then way down – been that way for the past 2 years. Then there are the constant solar flares. The planetary A & K indexes have been equally strange. I’ve been on the air while these flares have occurred – talk about some weird sounds – one minute propagation outside of the states is excellent, 10 minutes later – nothing but weird sounds and a ‘dead’ band.
Mother nature is a b!tch.

John A. Fleming says:
May 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm
Or to the experts, is all this just boring more of the same, we’ve seen it all before?
I would say yes. Compare cycle 24 with cycle 14: http://www.leif.org/research/SC14-and-24.png
Except, boring it ain’t.

Robert in Perth (soon to be back in South Africa)

Doug @8.42
Maunder or Dalton or a Solar Cycle 14 strength sun, a small solar cycle is alarming.
The current state of the Sun and the refusal of the Southern polar field to budge is not a good sign at all.
The state of the Danube last year points to a slowing down of the hydrological cycle in an area of historically very reliable rainfall. Cold means less evaporation and less rain unless you have access to a sea that is anomalously warm somewhere near you.
Your assessment of where it is on the planet determines how you feel the effects of a weakening sun is exactly correct.
There are vast differences between the Northern & Southern Hemispheres.
The Oceanic Heat Content, or exactly how much heat is stored in the oceans and the rate at it is lost at, (Tropical Cyclones/Hurricanes/ Typhoons such as Yasi here in Australia and El Nino’s liberate an enormous amount of heat and transfer it elsewhere), and the ocean circulation patterns when the sun begins its weakening phase is very relevant.
The cost of a Canadian heating bill in an El Nino as opposed to a La Nina winter!
The current pattern of the Gulfstream, (poor pun intended), seems to be succumbing to a renewed Labrador current already.
There many other factors such as the position of Earth’s geomagnetic poles at the time, the level of volcanism, the stage of the Milankovich cycle.
However, the fact is that the Northern Latitudes have exhibited extreme non-anthropogenic climate change (ie Natural) in the recent past that worries me.
Tree rings in Texas demonstrate mega droughts more extreme than 2011 disaster by orders of magnitude, the Vikings grew barley in Greenland not that long ago and examining the stomach contents of frozen mammoths, shows just how quickly they succumbed to a sudden change in climate.
The Mammoths did not decompose which would have happened in the ordinary course of things if a warm period had intervened.
The ability to predict the size and strength of a Solar Cycle is vital and that is why Leif deserves the accolades due to him.

Allan MacRae

Here is a compilation of predictions for SC24. As you can see, there are 45 of them, more than enough to fill a roulette wheel, and they are “all over the map”, so somebody had to be close.
http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/SC24.html
Not sure that this supports any conclusion, except fundamental concepts of probability. 🙂
Ladies and Gentlemen, faites vos jeux!
P.S. I have NO opinion on this subject since I have not studied it.
Skill Testing Question – How many people were predicting imminent global cooling a decade ago?

Daniel Vogler

solarham.com now has his own private server. his host was not supporting the amount of hits he was getting, had to get his own. Its up and running now, http://www.solarham.com/solarham.com works.

Don K

Robert in Perth (soon to be back in South Africa) says:
…the Vikings grew barley in Greenland not that long ago …
======
I believe that you could possibly grow barley in Southwest Greenland (where the Vikings settled) today although no one seems to do so. Apparently some varieties of barley only require three frost free months. They do grow rye and (recently) potatoes. There are small herds of sheep and a few cattle — which presumably means that Greenlanders can grow enough silage crops in the warmer months to last over the Winter.
What is impressive is that the Vikings in Greenland lasted for about 500 years — which implies that they had enough “climate margin” to survive occasional bad years and probably a few sets of several bad years back to back.

Brian H

My intuitive mesh of available opinion and info 3 yrs ago had me projecting the Hathaway projection as peaking somewhere in the 50s, and I’ve held that through all of his wild excursions. Length of cycle is turning out to be a very interesting indicator …

Brian H

Daniel Vogler says:
May 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm
solarham.com now has his own private server. his host was not supporting the amount of hits he was getting, had to get his own. Its up and running now, http://www.solarham.com/solarham.com works.

No, it doesn’t. The duplicated “solarham.com” is unnecessary and very peculiar. Just http://www.solarham.com

David Jones

Mike Lewis says:
May 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm
Will this result in a reduction of ocean heat content? If so, how long will it take for it to noticeably decline – and then how long for surface temps to begin dropping?
Which heat will decline first? The measured heat or the “hidden heat?” It’s a travetsy that we don’t know!

“Success has many fathers, Failure is an orphan.” I like that. Haha…

Can anybody tell me what kind of Global Temperature we’re facing in the next ten years?

Rhys Jaggar

Anyone who has plotted SSN numbers from the late 18th century to the present (I did it for fun about 4 years ago) would see an obvious ‘beat’ to the cycles which would lead you to predict weaker cycles right now.
Thing is, that 200+ year time span only really covers one or two ‘beats’, so to say it’s real is pure hypothesis.
The reality is almost certainly that it is a ‘beat’ within a ‘rhythm’ within a ‘tempo’.
Thing is, we’ll all need to breed for at least 100 generations before we can say that based on direct scientific observational data……..
Because there may be stochastic events in the Sun which may disrupt that beat for all we know….

Robert in Perth (soon to be back in South Africa)

Leif @ 9.41
I am sorry for the length of this post and I hope I am not being too presumptious to ask you to consider the following:
Leif, the poster, William Astley @ 7.40 states:-
It will be interesting to watch this cycle end. This does appear to be an interruption to the solar magnetic cycle, as opposed to a slow down in the cycle.
The observations of the radio ham operator posted at Frozenohio @ 9.52 regarding the solar roller coaster are also surely relevant.
Leif, In your 2004 paper you pointed out that 2011 should see solar maximum and I thought that you were merely teased us with your comment of “Welcome to Solar Max” on the TSI diagrams on your website.
2011 has come and gone and while we saw the Northern Polar field reverse, we are now seeing the Southern Polar field, if anything, seemingly moving further away from reversing.
The breakdown hypothesis of William Astley, as opposed to mere slowdown, now seems very plausible to me with a worse collapse in solar output than the 2 small cycles in the early 20th Century.
Jan Alvestad at solen.info, using data supplied by Todd Hoeksma of Sanford University has weighed into the solar maximum/polar field strength debate and very helpfully given his thoughts on the issue.
I am certain that you know Hoeksma’s data like the back of your hand and in light of your 2004 article there is nobody better than you and your colleagues to interpret ongoing Solar Polar Field Strength data.
Alvestad’s opinion can be accessed on Anthony’s Solar reference page (http://www.solen.info/solar/polarfields/polar.html).
Jan Alvestad’s prediction made on 27 June 2011 of a reversal of both fields between February 2012 and December 2012 appears to be very unlikely.
It appears to me that for the foreseeable future we will have a Sun with 2 south poles and common sense tells me that this must have some noticeable effect on Earth’s climate.
The effect of a Carrington event solar cycle is stupendous in Australia., I believe can be seen in the April rainfall records for Sydney for the 1860’s, with the wettest and driest years in the same decade and here in Perth in 1862 the original Causeway bridge between Perth & Victoria Park was completely washed away
Has solar maximum in fact been reached in 2011 as your TSI diagram reflects and not in 2012 as predicted by Alvestad or is there going to be explosion in sunspot activity in the Sun’s southern hemisphere?
All the literature speaks of how easy it is to predict the size of a sunspot cycle once it has commenced.
Something very usual is afoot.
As Alvestad last provided an update on 27 June 2011, would you or one of your colleagues please point us in the direction of what might be happening.
Many thanks in advance.