Solar cycle update for April – sun still slumping

Got a bit sidetracked earlier in the month, this is overdue for an update. Earlier we reported that Hathaway had updated his solar cycle prediction saying “…the predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years. “. April solar index numbers seem to support this prediction.

All three main solar indexes tracked by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center are down in April.

First the sunspot number, down slightly.

Solar radio flux, down slightly, almost unchanged.

The solar geomagnetic field continues to try to get jump started, down 5 units since March.

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Ken Hall

Can you remind us where the solar experts were predicting we would be by now, when they made their predictions back in 2007 – 2008-ish?

Predictions are just opinions, and since the sun is ‘a messy place’ (L.S) they are more likely to be wrong than correct.
Extrapolation of the past is a different matter, the only numerical extrapolation available is still holding strong
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN.htm
‘The experts’ have for number of years made numerous attempts to discredit it, but the up to date results speak clearly for both ‘the experts’ and the extrapolation.

John W.

Looking at those graphs, I’m wondering if the curent cycle may not be very short as well.

Bill

Not a good thing in several ways. First, colder weather is harder on most living creatures. Second, it gives an out to global warming fanatics who (if this ends up being very low solar cycle) will be able to point to this to keep their belief in the CO2 dominated GCM models alive. They can still say their predictions were correct, there is still warming in the pipeline and now when the sun gets active again, it will be really, really bad. Fewer people will listen, but it may drag it out another 30 years.

William Abbott

The strong correlation between extended solar minima and cooler temperatures will do more to defeat the AGW hypothesis than the army of skeptics. We don’t really have the causal mechanism nailed down. But as things get colder it will be impossible to rationalize global warming is the reason. The solar minima’s cooling effects are our strongest argument.

Don K

I’m not remotely an expert on solar activity, but are monthly/weekly/hourly updates useful? It appears to me that short term variability in solar activity is pretty extreme and no man of woman born is likely to be able to do anything meaningful with short term data. Maybe an annual status plus articles when the theorists come up with something new and profound?
In the meantime, those that get their kicks out of finding trends in noise always have http://www.spaceweather.com (Not disparaging Spaceweather. It’s a great site) to satisfy their needs.

The Black Adder

Maybe the Solar Cycle is inversely proportional to the Green movement.
The bigger they get, the colder the sun gets!!
Just to piss `em off !

AleaJactaEst

Plural of index is indices
/pedant

Geoff

Globe has not been warming for 15 years and with the downturn in solar activity, expect generally cooler temperatures for the next 30 years with some potential for very cold weather overall……
Get your blankets ready……..According to Archibald a 2 deg C drop in temps will wipe out the Canadian grain basket…….

Casper

/sarc on
Don’t worry guys, I can bet that this year will be the hottest on record:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/10/uah-global-temperature-up-in-april/
/sarc off

Tripod

If Warmists point to the low solar activity as the reason we havent seen warming over the last 10 years, then they will also have to admit that the higher than average solar activity over the last century is responsible for the increased warming in the recent past.

Allan MacRae

I disagree Bill, but only as follows
Global cooling will falsify the current CAGW dogma. It will demonstrate that natural solar-driven climate variation is much more significant than the impact of atmospheric CO2. it will demonstrate that climate sensitivity to CO2 is low, not high as alleged in CAGW dogma. We could even see a decline in CO2 similar to that observed for several 12-month intervals in 1974 (etc.).
But then the dogs of CAGW dogma will probably invent another very-scary story, because that is just what they do.
I agree that significant global cooling will not be kind to humankind or the environment.

DWR54

Geoff says:
“According to Archibald a 2 deg C drop in temps will wipe out the Canadian grain basket…….”
Archibald’s prediction was that temperatures during solar cycle 24 would on average be -2.2C below what they were during SC23. SC23 ran from May 1996 and ended in December 2008. SC24 has been running since January 2009.
Confusion remains as to the spatial extent of Archibald’s prediction. This has variously been interpreted as ‘global”, ‘northern hemisphere land only’ or ‘Hanover in New Hampshire only’.
Taking NH land only and using UAH as a reference, we can say that average monthly temps during SC23 were +0.18C above the anomaly reference value. During SC24 to date average monthly temps in UAH have been +0.33C above the anomaly reference value.
Monthly average temps during SC24 have so far been warmer than they were during SC23, according to UAH – this is the opposite of what Archibald predicted based on solar activity. If Archibald was referring to NH land for his SC24 prediction, then so far he is out by 2.35C.

Curiousgeorge

In the last 100,000 years there have been approx. 4,500 complete solar cycles (~ 22 years peak to peak). We’re still here.

Keith Pearson, formerly bikermailman, Anonymous no longer

Ken Hall says: May 10, 2012 at 3:33 am
Can you remind us where the solar experts were predicting we would be by now, when they made their predictions back in 2007 – 2008-ish?
I seem to recall that in that time frame, they were predicting the current cycle to start right then, and be a very strong. And that they had to keep pushing their prediction on the timing of the cycle back every few months.

John Judge

We have a major problem. If the earth is cooling, mankind needs to develop strategies to cope with it. But with scientists and politicians so thoroughly discredited, who can we trust to come up with a plan that we could accept and get behind?

chris y

Ken Hall asks- “Can you remind us where the solar experts were predicting we would be by now, when they made their predictions back in 2007 – 2008-ish?”
You betcha. Here are Hathaway’s predictions as time progressed.
The format is:
Date when made- date of minimum, peak activity, date of maximum
01/2004- min 1/07, 160 pk
01/2005- min 1/07, 145 pk 2010
01/2006- min 1/07, 145 pk, 2010
01/2007- min 6/07, 145 pk, 2010
03/2008- min 6/08, 130 pk, 2011.5
01/2009- min 1/09, 105 pk, 2012
04/2009- min 4/09, 104 pk, 2013
05/2009- min 5/09, 90 pk, 2013.5
11/2009- min 5/09, <50 pk, 20??
04/2010- min 12/08, 70 pk, 2013.5
06/2010- min 12/08, 65 pk, 2013.5
10/2010- min 12/08, 64 pk, 2013.5
12/2010- min 12/08, 64 pk, 2013.5
04/2011- min 12/08, 62 pk, 2013.5
12/2011- min 12/08, 99 pk, 2013.2
03/2012- min 12/08, 59 pk, 2013.2
05/2012- min 12/08, 60 pk, 2013.2

Robbie

Let’s wait and see what temperatures are going to do the coming months/years. Because it is still too hot outside globally.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/05/uah-global-temperature-update-for-april-2012-0-30c/

Henry Clark

I’d have to look up the basis of the Archibald prediction, but, in any case, recently cosmic ray flux has been hovering around +4% on the scale at http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=1960/01/01&starttime=00:00&enddate=2012/06/09&endtime=00:00&resolution=Automatic%20choice&picture=on .
That is a value at the moment which overlaps well within the range of prior solar cycles in the past several decades, even though this cycle is weaker than them.
For perspective, the coldest time of the Maunder Minimum appears to have occurred during what would be roughly around +50% on that scale, way beyond anything experienced in the past century or since then. If a Maunder Minimum repeat comes, the current cycle would have to peak first, and then there would be on the order of a decade or more ramp-up in GCR flux and cooling before fully reaching that level, judged from cosmogenic isotope record data (although far less than that would start to be noticeable, start to overwhelm the usual El Nino / La Nina fluctuation cycle temperature effect).
Personally, in event of another Grand Minimum, I would expect to see noticeable cooling start around 2014 – 2015, reaching really major cooling by the early 2020s … not yet, though, not right now, as GCR flux isn’t even that unusual at the moment in itself.

Silver Ralph

>> vukcevic says: May 10, 2012 at 3:57 am
>> http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN.htm
Marvelous stuff, Vuk. You are still the master of the wiggly graph with zero explanation.
If I tied a pen to my cat’s tail, I would probably end up with the same graphs and the same level of explanation.
.
P.S. How does one stop the predictive spelling on this site? – it is driving me crazy.

Silver Ralph

>> Geoff says: May 10, 2012 at 4:36 am
>>According to Archibald a 2 deg C drop in temps will
>>wipe out the Canadian grain basket…….
Maybe, but perhaps it will simply relocate to Arizona.
The north may become colder, but the ITCZ may well move further south, allowing (say) North Africa to become become once more the great grain growing area it was under Roman rule.
I looked at the Libyan and Tunisian records recently, and they have had much wetter winters than normal. The BBC may wail about drought in the Saheel (south of the Sahara) and moan that ‘Global Climate Warming Change’ is destroying people’s lives there, but what they do not say is that the ITCZ has merely moved south a bit. The Saheel’s loss is North Africa’s gain.
.

DWR54 says:
May 10, 2012 at 5:01 am

Confusion remains as to the spatial extent of Archibald’s prediction. This has variously been interpreted as ‘global”, ‘northern hemisphere land only’ or ‘Hanover in New Hampshire only’.
Taking NH land only ….

You’re not doing much to reduce confusion. New Hampshire has nice lakes and rivers too!
In any post I make that includes New Hampshire I spell out both that and Northern Hemisphere if I mention that too.
Those papers about the temperature record in Hanover, NH (that’s not ambiguous to US residents) tripped me up a few times before I got the jargon.

Tim Welhaw

To William Abbott: ‘The strong correlation between extended solar minima and cooler temperatures will do more to defeat the AGW hypothesis than the army of skeptics’.
Yes I agree but only if and when this happens, the CO2 brigade are asked: ‘why didn’t you see this coming and put it in your models’. The fatuous nature of their current analysis will probably be forgotten, a bit like Nixon’s role in the McCarthy era! (I also expect Al Gore will be deified)

Ian of Fremantle

Bill @4.05 am. If the climate cools in line with diminished solar activity , the proponents of CAGW will have to explain why it is occurring in the face of ever increasing CO2 levels as for years their mantra has been warming is due only to CO2.

PRD

This won’t matter. Game-set-match according to today’s Doctor James Hansen’s opinion piece in the NYT. The sun can turn into a dead smoldering ball of charred carbon and we will still cook because of our sinful emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

As Mike Smith has noted (Musings from the Chiefio), we may soon experience another Bond Event. If that happens, mankind is in big trouble.
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/bond-event-zero/

john

Soooo If th4 Sun is slumping, why isn’t it getting cooler?

Stephen Richards

Monthly average temps during SC24 have so far been warmer than they were during SC23, according to UAH – this is the opposite of what Archibald predicted based on solar activity. If Archibald was referring to NH land for his SC24 prediction, then so far he is out by 2.35C.
HYSTERYSIS

CRS, DrPH

@ PRD says:
May 10, 2012 at 6:42 am
This won’t matter. Game-set-match according to today’s Doctor James Hansen’s opinion piece in the NYT. The sun can turn into a dead smoldering ball of charred carbon and we will still cook because of our sinful emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
——
CRS reply
You meant this classy rant? Hansen continues his long, slow slide to dementia….
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/opinion/game-over-for-the-climate.html?_r=1

Luither Wu

vukcevic says:
May 10, 2012 at 3:57 am
“…’The experts’ have for number of years made numerous attempts to discredit it, but the up to date results speak clearly for both ‘the experts’ and the extrapolation…”
______________________________
You are soooo askin’ for it.
lol

Steve Keohane

Silver Ralph says: May 10, 2012 at 5:52 am
>> Geoff says: May 10, 2012 at 4:36 am
>>According to Archibald a 2 deg C drop in temps will
>>wipe out the Canadian grain basket…….
Maybe, but perhaps it will simply relocate to Arizona.

Try growing grain in sand… I bet it would take at least two generations to turn desert into arable land.

Some photos posted 6 minutes ago, about 7:20 am West Coast (USA) time, on NASA’s SDO Facebook page, of the most recent flare:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.361242417256321.74877.118107518236480&type=1

ferdberple

William Abbott says:
May 10, 2012 at 4:19 am
The strong correlation between extended solar minima and cooler temperatures will do more to defeat the AGW hypothesis than the army of skeptics.
=========
Probably not. From what I’ve read, 1934 was the warmest year in the US, until NASA/GISS “corrected” the data. The models say that 1934 can’t be the warmest, so obviously the thermometer readings from 1934 must have been reading too high. As such, the adjustment was to fix the past mistake.
Since the models say temperatures must be going up, and the IPCC says this is correct, if the thermometers stop going up then the problem must be in the thermometer readings and they will need further correction. for example, CRUTEM4
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/28/tisdale-a-closer-look-at-crutem4-since-1975/
The earth’s temperatures have been warming for 300 years since the LIA. AGW rests on the belief that this warming was at first natural, but the natural warming ended, and since then the warming has been a result of humans.
Without knowing the cause of the LIA, scientists are confident they know when it ended. What is their evidence that the LIA warming ended? They took a vote and all the experts agreed, therefore it must be true.

Kelvin Vaughan

Ken Hall says: May 10, 2012 at 3:33 am
Can you remind us where the solar experts were predicting we would be by now, when they made their predictions back in 2007 – 2008-ish?
You start off with the last cycle peak then adjust it as you go along, and it looks like your prediction is going to be wrong. It’s quite a common practice in weather and climate prediction. Eventually you are spot on!

Gunga Din

John Judge says:
May 10, 2012 at 5:09 am
We have a major problem. If the earth is cooling, mankind needs to develop strategies to cope with it. But with scientists and politicians so thoroughly discredited, who can we trust to come up with a plan that we could accept and get behind?
=============================================================
Do we really need or want politicians to come up with or get behind a plan? Many of them, from the UN to Al Gore to Obama, would simply use any plan as a tool to further their lust for power and/or money.
It’s been cool before. It’s been warm before. We’ll adapt.
(I have a picture from when I was a kid in Kentucky of my family in our Easter outfits standing in 6 inches of snow.)

John Finn

DWR54 says:
May 10, 2012 at 5:01 am
Geoff says:
“According to Archibald a 2 deg C drop in temps will wipe out the Canadian grain basket…….”
Archibald’s prediction was that temperatures during solar cycle 24 would on average be -2.2C below what they were during SC23. SC23 ran from May 1996 and ended in December 2008. SC24 has been running since January 2009.

Originally David used the Butler & Johnson calculation which used the averages of an 11 year period centred on the solar max and solar min. However this would have meant that the average temperature for the 1991-2001 period was 2.2 degrees warmer than the 2003-2013 period. Realising this was unlikely, he gradually introduced the idea that the temperature decline would be “over the next cycle”. But, as you imply, he has become increasingly vague as to where this decline will occur. In a 2006 paper he was highly complimentary over the “high quality satellite data” but I don’t think he’s actually referred t it since.

G. Karst

Robbie says:
May 10, 2012 at 5:24 am
Let’s wait and see what temperatures are going to do the coming months/years. Because it is still too hot outside globally.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/05/uah-global-temperature-update-for-april-2012-0-30c/

.
While I agree we should closely monitor the coming months/years – What in the world makes you think the planet is “still too hot globally”. The fractional warming has been nothing but beneficial and is responsible for food production increases as well as important greening of major arid regions. Any cooling will remove these benefits, to the chagrin of all Earth’s inhabitants. You are hooked on the any warming is bad meme. GK

ferdberple

vukcevic says:
May 10, 2012 at 3:57 am
‘The experts’ have for number of years made numerous attempts to discredit it, but the up to date results speak clearly for both ‘the experts’ and the extrapolation.
The earth’s tides are calculated similar to a horoscope, based on matching past observation with the position of the sun and moon, and using this to predict the future with a high degree of accuracy.
No super computer working from “forcings” and “feedback” can even come close to astrological methods in computing the earth’s tides. Yet time and time again we have supposedly knowledgeable scientists argue that curve fitting can’t predict.
Curve fitting works because natural system are generally:
1. too complicated and chaotic to calculate from first principles.
2. cyclic.
3. persist due to resonance.

There are good reasons to assume that both the North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean have strong solar connections, currently both indicators are on a down slope
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NA-Aa.htm
if and how is that translated to the global climate change is a different issue; regretfully no one will ever conclusively prove any of it.

Peter C (UK)

@ Curiousgeorge
“In the last 100,000 years there have been approx. 4,500 complete solar cycles (~ 22 years peak to peak). We’re still here.”
I agree, but it is as well to remember that there are well documented climatic episodes where millions died because of too much rain or too little rain sometimes only of a week or so’s duration, early and late frosts and so on. It does cut the other way as well, of course. I recall two Europe wide episodes around the Medieval Warm Period, ‘though the exact dates have long fallen from memory, first where particularly clement weather over a period of decades, long summers and short winters, saw the population triple and the other where the weather changed and it reportedly rained for two years (two years with no summer) and three quarters of the population died, mainly from starvation.
We don’t live hand to mouth as most did in those days but imagine the problems that would arise if the North American or European harvests failed for two successive years.

Tripod says:
May 10, 2012 at 4:49 am
“…they will also have to admit that the higher than average solar activity over the last century is responsible for the increased warming in the recent past.”
Exactly, To most people with a little common sense a more active sun will mean overall warmer temperatures, more energy reaching the earth equates to a larger “energy budget” so obviously a less active sun will mean overall temperatures will drop, less energy reaching the earth equates to a smaller “energy budget”.

Curiousgeorge

@ Peter C (UK) says:
May 10, 2012 at 9:39 am
@ Curiousgeorge
“In the last 100,000 years there have been approx. 4,500 complete solar cycles (~ 22 years peak to peak). We’re still here.”
I agree, but it is as well to remember that there are well documented climatic episodes where millions died because of too much rain or too little rain sometimes only of a week or so’s duration, early and late frosts and so on. It does cut the other way as well, of course. I recall two Europe wide episodes around the Medieval Warm Period, ‘though the exact dates have long fallen from memory, first where particularly clement weather over a period of decades, long summers and short winters, saw the population triple and the other where the weather changed and it reportedly rained for two years (two years with no summer) and three quarters of the population died, mainly from starvation.
We don’t live hand to mouth as most did in those days but imagine the problems that would arise if the North American or European harvests failed for two successive years.
*************************************************************************************
We’re on the same page. Except my memory of events only goes back about 62 years. 😉 Prior to that is 2nd hand hearsay. 🙂
One other small detail: A great many people do live ‘hand to mouth’ individually in today’s world – even in the 1st world countries. People who are financially comfortable, and with modern amenities, technology, and robust logistical systems, tend to forget that we are the exception, not the rule. Conversely, those who are not so dependent on modern systems would likely fare better than those who are. I’d give a lost tribe in the Amazon a far better chance of survival in your scenario, than the population of NYC, Mexico City, Beijing, London, or any other major population center. The logistics of maintaining life support in a city of any size dictate that they would suffer the most, and would be the first to be impacted from any interruption in supply or waste disposal. In a very real sense, a large city does live from “hand to mouth” as a group.

John Finn

Stephen Richards says:
May 10, 2012 at 7:07 am
Monthly average temps during SC24 have so far been warmer than they were during SC23, according to UAH – this is the opposite of what Archibald predicted based on solar activity. If Archibald was referring to NH land for his SC24 prediction, then so far he is out by 2.35C.
HYSTERYSIS
>
I’m not sure shouting is going to get your point across. You might be bettrr off providing us with examples of where the temperature drop following a reduction in solar activity has been delayed. You see I have a problem with this because prior to the recent solar minimum solar/climate advocates were adamant that periods like the Dalton minimum were cold because of the weak Dalton cycles. There was never talk of any lag or hysterysis. In fact I made the point that cooling in the CET record appeared to take place BEFORE the Dalton cycles. David Archibald continually blames the weak SC20 which started in 1964 for cooling which kicked in about 2 decades earlier.
On the evidence I’ve seen it seems that, far from being a lag, global temperature is able to respond to future solar activity.

Rhys Jaggar

I’m no expert, but is it possible that this cycle has ALREADY peaked??

highflight56433
RACookPE1978

Kelvin Vaughan says:
May 10, 2012 at 7:46 am (Responding to)
Ken Hall says: May 10, 2012 at 3:33 am
Can you remind us where the solar experts were predicting we would be by now, when they made their predictions back in 2007 – 2008-ish?
You start off with the last cycle peak then adjust it as you go along, and it looks like your prediction is going to be wrong. It’s quite a common practice in weather and climate prediction. Eventually you are spot on!

You have, between the two of your responses, nailed the biggest “complaint” (or criticism if Lief will permit the term) of today’s current solar theories.
That is, we have since 2003/2004/2005/2006/2007/2008 (etc) have read a series of predictions about solar cycles 23, 24, and 25.
Each prediction obviously has been based on the best available knowledge at the time, and the best “guesstimate” of future solar activity based on the best projections of the best theory each person used at the time. Knowledge progress -> we SHOULD have improved theories and circulation techniques over time.
So, where are the papers rejecting previous theories, and correcting the previous solar cycle calculations, not just correcting the estimates every 4 months so they match what has been observed. Certainly, Lief, Hathaway, and their brethren are trying their best, but their calculations have failed. So, who has re-written the theories?
If an earlier projection has proved true – and at least one of Lief’s earlier predictions has been closer than the others – then what was different about that theory, and does this single solar cycle being correct for nbr 24 validate that theory for every future cycle?
I repeat an earlier comment that “Sun spot count is a “symptom” of solar magnetic field and circulation changes, they are NOT a cause of the any solar circulation or intensity changes with respect to time.
Further, every sun spot cycles “trendy” analysis needs to be checked very carefully for the solar circulation TIME of the source change. That is, Lief reports that it takes decades for a change in fusion rates to “circulate” up from the fusing depth to the sun’s surface. If so, what time frame represents a potential “delay time” between a change in fusion rate (creation of the energy, or a change in the rate of creation of the energy) to “some up through the photosphere” to the average emitting distance of the sun?

Curiousgeorge

@ RACookPE1978 says:
May 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm
…………… So, who has re-written the theories?
*******************************************************************************
You posed some excellent questions! I hope someone will provide some answers! 🙂

SteveSadlov

This is looking more and more severe.

Fred

Only 1 of the 3 charts in this post show April data. The other two are for March.

Stephen Richards

John Finn says:
May 10, 2012 at 11:18 am
Stephen Richards says:
May 10, 2012 at 7:07 am
Average temps, if there is such a thing, cannot and do change with immediate affect as you are well aware. Ocean heat content as well as ice and snow cover both delay and quicken the transition. The ‘output from the sun’ may well change rapidly (relatively) but the transfer of heat from ocean to air does not and cannot. That is called hysterisis. We may well see a drop in temperature globally or regionally over the next 10years which may well turn out to be a result of activity, or lack of it, on the sun but the jury is still out on definitive proof of any climate connection as it is with CO². It is true to say that there has been a change in seasonal weather type here in SW France over the past 5 years and this change is continuing. Anecdotally, we are approaching a period here similar to the late ’40s. Anecdotal evidence here, among farmers of 80 and 90 years old is far more reliable than anything I’ve seen from Hansen, UKMet Off , Mann or Tenberth and for that matter bugs bunny et al.