Solar cycle 24 continues weakly, perhaps weakest of the space-age

NOAA SWPC has updated their plot page of solar metrics, and the slump continues.

At spaceweather.com Dr. Tony Phillips writes:

SO THIS IS SOLAR MAXIMUM? Forecasters have long expected the Solar Max of 2013 to be the weakest of the Space Age. It might be even weaker than they thought. As shown in this 20-year plot of sunspot counts vs. time, the sun is underperforming:

Sunspot numbers are notoriously variable, so the actual counts could rapidly rise to meet or exceed the predicted curve. For now, however, the face of the sun is devoid of large sunspots, and there have been no strong flares in more than a week. The threshold of Solar Max looks a lot like Solar Min. NOAA forecasters estimate no more than a 1% chance of X-class solar flares in the next 24 hours.

===================================================

Here’s the other metrics, which are also “underperforming”.

The Ap magnetic proxy for the solar magnetic activity also continues weak, never having recovered from the step change seen in October 2005.

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GlynnMhor

For all the ridicule heaped upon Theodor Landscheidt, his predictions of a Grand Solar Minimum seem to be working out much better than the temperature projections of the AGW alarmists.

P. Solar

OK, it’s looking pretty clear at this stage that cycle 24 has given its best. Predictions need to be scaled down once again and now to 65-70 range.

john

Ice age anyone?

Do you have a graphic comparing this low “max” to the maunder minimum? It’s way too early to tell how this will impact our planet isn’t it?

The Panel prediction of 90 was too high to begin with [as I pointed out already back then] but was a compromise [so much for science]. My own prediction stands at 72. An unknown element is the effect of the Livingston and Penn effect, which will lead to an undercount of sunspots compared to to the magnetic fields present: http://www.leif.org/research/Disappearance-of-Visible-Spots.pdf
There is no doubt that the Sun is ‘up to something’. What it is we don’t know. One may speculate that a Maunder Minimum is in the cards.

Ok sunspot output is a bit mean, but the global field (judging by the polar measurements) has played according to the rule (as ‘set’ by the vukcevic formula)
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
R^2 =0.92 is extraordinary, but Dr.L.S. will tell you it is spurious

I would point out that Leif Svalgard predicted a Cycle 24 solar max at a SSN of 72.
However, I would not rule out a later cycle increase or a flattened top cycle like 23 was. Here is the comparison of some weak cycles, including this one.
http://www.solen.info/solar/images/comparison_similar_cycles.png

The Ap magnetic proxy for the solar magnetic activity also continues weak, never having recovered from the step change seen in October 2005
That ‘step’ is an artifact created by using months as time unit and the single strong storm in September, 2005. What drives Ap is the interplanetary conditions [magnetic field, density, speed, CMEs, etc]. These do not show anything special around October 2005: http://www.leif.org/research/Oct-2005.png [as I have pointed out many times].

Henry Clark

After the peak/plateau of the current solar cycle finishes is going to be interesting, likely terra incognita for the modern era. For instance, while the minimum following cycle 22 and the minimum following cycle 23 both had 0 sunspots, the latter had substantially less magnetic deflection of cosmic rays than the former (illustrating how not all minimums are equal, not having a flat floor), and, from past history, there is reason to believe vastly more variation in GCR flux than seen during recent decades would occur if transitioning towards a Grand Minimum after the current cycle 24 ends a few years from now.
http://s10.postimage.org/l9gokvp09/composite.jpg
The last solar cycle (1996-2008, the temperature plateau) was almost identical to cycle 20 of four decades ago in average cosmic ray count, though differing by 3% from the high solar activity cycles of 21 and 22 (1976-1996, warming and the global warming scare), but a few years from now could come a difference of 10% and beyond, combined with the AMO moving into the post-peak phase of its oscillation…

Edim

It will not go much higher in sunspot numbers, but it’s not maximum yet. It’s a beginning of the plateau, which will be centered around 2014. It’s a weak prolonged cycle. Next minimum not before 2020.
http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/bfly.gif

The AGW industry will shortly be plugging AGC. “Look!” they’ll bleat, “the climate is changing. We said it would a part un petit detail. Send research money!”

Johanus

Leif Svalgaard said:
“An unknown element is the effect of the Livingston and Penn effect, which will lead to an undercount of sunspots…”
Then we should be looking at the solar microwave flux (e.g. 2800MHz) levels, which don’t seem to be affected as much by the L&P effect. It is a more reliable (less subjective) way of measuring solar magnetic activity. I believe we can reconstruct flux levels back as far as the 19th century, is that not correct?

vukcevic says:
November 6, 2012 at 10:54 am
Dr.L.S. will tell you it is spurious
Now that you have seen the light, I don’t need to tell anybody anymore.
Henry Clark says:
November 6, 2012 at 11:13 am
For instance, while the minimum following cycle 22 and the minimum following cycle 23 both had 0 sunspots, the latter had substantially less magnetic deflection of cosmic rays than the former (illustrating how not all minimums are equal, not having a flat floor)
Every second minimum have a [low] flat top, while the intervening minima have a sharp [high] peak. The reason for that is known and has to do with the sign of the solar polar fields. This last minimum was not significantly special, e.g. http://www.puk.ac.za/opencms/export/PUK/html/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/SRU_Graph.jpg
Compare the three peaks at Hermanus [red curve]. Or Thule: http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/~pyle/modplotth.gif

JohnD

Maybe in 2005 the IPCC replaced the sun with a cfl (cosmic fluorescent lightsource), at night, when we weren’t looking…

There was lots of articles online around 2004-2009 claiming that solar cycle 24 would be the most active cycle ever experienced since 1755, which would (they claimed) increase the effect that greenhouse gases have in the atmosphere, which, would dangerously raise the planets temperature etc…
The alarmist scientists quoted by the news media Muppet’s have already conceded that an increase in solar activity will raise the planets temperature, so, therefore they will now have to conceded and acknowledge that also the lack of recent solar activity and a continuation of weaker solar cycles have the ability to cool the planets temperature. They will also have to conceded and acknowledge that solar activity has been stronger in the later half of the 20th century and a lot cooler when the Sun has been quiet and less active in the past.
Check Mate, game set and match!

Folks, we have the world famous solar researcher Mrs. Judith Lean of GISS and she
predicts the global temps of 2014 will be maxed, whether there is more Sunspots
or less,… sunspots are insignificant ….do not be frightened by a few missing Sun-fly
specks … because the evil CO2 will get us 100% Doom and Gloom….We are all doomed
don’t you feel it?…. Forget the micro-driver “sunspots” and concentrate on the macro-drivers….and get ready everybody, 2100 is nearer than you think…..JS

Johanus says:
November 6, 2012 at 11:26 am
Then we should be looking at the solar microwave flux (e.g. 2800MHz) levels, which don’t seem to be affected as much by the L&P effect. It is a more reliable (less subjective) way of measuring solar magnetic activity. I believe we can reconstruct flux levels back as far as the 19th century, is that not correct?
The microwave flux is a better indicator, but not because it is more objective. The L&P effect is a reduced number of spots for a given amount of magnetic flux. The 299Mhz or F10.7 cm flux can be reconstructed back to [at least] the 1840s: slides 13-14 of http://www.leif.org/research/Rudolf%20Wolf%20and%20the%20Sunspot%20Number.pdf

Sparks says:
November 6, 2012 at 11:53 am
They will also have to concede and acknowledge that solar activity has been stronger in the later half of the 20th century and a lot cooler when the Sun has been quiet and less active in the past
No, they won’t ‘i>have to concede that, because it is most likely not true: http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-Past-Present-and-Future.pdf

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 10:53 am
There is no doubt that the Sun is ‘up to something’. What it is we don’t know. One may speculate that a Maunder Minimum is in the cards.
Perhaps you need to consult Vukcevic formula
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
which shows exactly what the sun is up to
Hey ‘What it is we don’t know’ but the ‘vukcevic’ with correlation R^2 = 0.92 ‘we know is spurious’.
LOL
What happened to ‘more like SC14, not SC5,’ not even Dalton, you gone all the way back to Maunder?.

Elizabeth

So it looks clear now that to date anyway that ONLY David Archibalds SSN prediction was correct. He predicted a very low solar max of roughly 40 +/-15SSN 3-4 years ago? . I remember many of the “experts” here laughing off/dissing DA constantly. I for one would welcome another update by DA here

Henry Clark

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 11:33 am
Every second minimum have a [low] flat top, while the intervening minima have a sharp [high] peak. The reason for that is known and has to do with the sign of the solar polar fields. This last minimum was not significantly special, e.g. http://www.puk.ac.za/opencms/export/PUK/html/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/SRU_Graph.jpg
For the last minimum following cycle 23, compared to the minimum following cycle 21, while the http://www.puk.ac.za/opencms/export/PUK/html/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/SRU_Graph.jpg plot has the count at Pc=9.2 GV reach about the same value in both cases, it also shows a difference appearing at lower GV values.
Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 11:33 am
“Compare the three peaks at Hermanus [red curve]. Or Thule: http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/~pyle/modplotth.gif
The difference is noticeable even if just taking the http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/~pyle/modplotth.gif plot and drawing a line at the last minimum for improved readability, adding a horizontal red line to that neutron monitor plot:
http://s9.postimage.org/jz6qpr7zz/lineadded.gif
The minimum after cycle 19 comes closer to the minimum after cycle 23 but still does not reach the same value, while the minimum after cycle 21 does not even come close.
Moreover, clearer than either of the above graphs is rather
cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startday=1&startmonth=01&startyear=1964&starttime=00%3A00&endday=30&endmonth=11&endyear=2012&endtime=23%3A30&resolution=Automatic+choice&picture=on
Such shows that, while the neutron count of the minimums of the four prior cycles depicted from the 1960s onwards did not exceed around 5% to around 7.5% on the scale used there, the last minimum reached around 11% on the same scale.

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm
“No, they won’t ‘i>have to concede that, because it is most likely not true:”
Leif, could you be more specific to what you believe I was inferring, thanks.

Henry Clark

Archibald outsmarted the solar specialists. And they still do not know what the H the sun is doing.

Henry Clark says:
November 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm
The minimum after cycle 19 comes closer to the minimum after cycle 23 but still does not reach the same value, while the minimum after cycle 21 does not even come close.
There are no significant differences between any of the minima taken in pairs that exceed the statistical variation from station to station.
cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cg
It is difficult to maintain the same calibration over decades and Oulu has not been able to do this successfully.
Sparks says:
November 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm
Leif, could you be more specific to what you believe I was inferring, thanks.
Why don’t you explain yourself. You said: “solar activity has been stronger in the later half of the 20th century”. My interpretation of that is that meant ‘stronger than at other times the past several centuries’. Correct me if you think that is not what you meant and you support the notion that activity in the later half of the 20th century was nothing special.

Henry Clark

Sparks:
Good point on the already-failed predictions.
I have never met anybody in the core of the CAGW movement honest enough to concede anything ever under any circumstances, though. There are always two versions of data and history on anything affecting the movement, from sea level history to temperature history: (1) reality prior to recent CAGW-convenient revisionism and (2) propaganda afterwards. The real history of solar activity versus climate over the centuries and decades can be seen in http://s10.postimage.org/l9gokvp09/composite.jpg though.

I wonder if someone can answer a question for me. When it is said that sunspots “disappear”, what exactly does this mean? Does it mean that the magentic strength is so weak, that the sunspot does not form at all? Or does it mean that the sunspot forms, but because the magentic strength is so weak, that there is no contrast with the solar background, so we cannot see it?

J Martin
Jim G

Leif Svalgaard says:
“There is no doubt that the Sun is ‘up to something’. What it is we don’t know.”
Perhaps it is digesting (or puking up) some of that Dark Matter that you indicated is theorized to be hiding inside the sun since none can be found anywhere in our local vacinity?

Henry Clark says:
November 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm
cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cg…
It is difficult to maintain the same calibration over decades and Oulu has not been able to do this successfully. Here you can see how Oulu has drifted over time compared to Thule: http://www.leif.org/research/Oulu-and-Thule.png
Such drifts can have several causes, one is the changing geomagnetic field which affects Oulu much more than Thule [the latter being so close to the magnetic pole]. And here is Oulu vs. Hermanus http://www.leif.org/research/Oulu-and-Hermanus.png
If one compares Oulu with several other stations you can see how Oulu has drifted. The triangles show Oulu divided by the mean of the other stations mentioned on the plot: http://www.leif.org/research/Cosmic%20Ray%20Count%20for%20Different%20Stations-Oulu.png

Jim Cripwell says:
November 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm
Does it mean that the magnetic strength is so weak, that the sunspot does not form at all? Or does it mean that the sunspot forms, but because the magnetic strength is so weak, that there is no contrast with the solar background, so we cannot see it?
A combination of both, with the first being dominant.

MattN

Looks like a max to me. For a dead guy, Landescheidt is making lots of experts look like fools…

Jim G says:
November 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm
Perhaps it is digesting (or puking up) some of that Dark Matter that you indicated is theorized to be hiding inside the sun since none can be found anywhere in our local vicinity?
Dark Matter is not black or ‘dark’, but rather ‘invisible’, i.e. does not interact with electromagnetic radiation [i.e. light].

Billy Liar

Jan Alvestad at:
http://www.solen.info/solar/
has, for several months, postulated that solar max occurred in February 2012 at a smoothed suspot number of 66.9.
Funnily enough, on this site:
http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/SC24.html
a certain Leif Svalgaard, in January 2005, predicted a max SSN of 70, beaten only by De Jager & Duhau who predicted 68 in December 2008. The overall pattern, including timing, was most closely predicted by Choudhuri in March 2007.
Obviously, Leif is going to tell me the fat lady has yet to sing but it sure looks like it’s going to be a win for the physical modelers.

Billy Liar says:
November 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm
Obviously, Leif is going to tell me the fat lady has yet to sing but it sure looks like it’s going to be a win for the physical modelers.
Success has many fathers [including all the ones that are right for the wrong reasons]. Failure is an orphan…

Leif, Manhy thanks. Jim.

David Archibald

Elizabeth says:
November 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm
Thankyou for your kind words. Yes, things are turning out much as expected. What is going to surprise people from here is just how long the ramp down from solar maximum will be – 12 years. That is longer than the average solar cycle.
In hindsight, I should have picked up earlier that this is a normal De Vries cycle event. The last one was the Dalton Minimum. Ours has come along right on schedule. In the last one thousand years, only the Medieval Warm Period seems to have missed out on one.

Elizabeth says:
November 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm
ONLY David Archibalds SSN prediction was correct. He predicted a very low solar max of roughly 40 +/-15SSN 3-4 years ago? .
In that case he is already wrong…

RHS

Based on the graph here (courtesy of the solar page), extreme cooling events do not always appear to follow a minimum event:
http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/4
Both the Dalton and Maunder minimums certainly had their extreme cooling, but these were also during and towards the end of the Little Ice Age. But, Solar Cycles 12 & 20 do not appear to have been as extreme weather wise.
Kind of like Roulette, round and round it goes, where it stops, no knows…

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm
“Correct me if you think that is not what you meant and you support the notion that activity in the later half of the 20th century was nothing special.”
Leif, No, bad Leif!
I read the http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-Past-Present-and-Future.pdf
in fact I rebloged a post about it while you were in Oslo, I respect your work, and I was not inferring anything to it at all. maybe I should have finished my point by saying;
‘They will also have to conceded and acknowledge that solar activity has been how Leif Svalgaard explains how it was in the later half of the 20th century and how it was in the past.
Check Mate, game set and match!’
Thank you, for your pedantic and semantically correct point, where would the fun in this be with out it 🙂

rbateman

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 10:53 am
The Panel prediction of 90 was too high to begin with [as I pointed out already back then] but was a compromise [so much for science]. My own prediction stands at 72. An unknown element is the effect of the Livingston and Penn effect

That effect shows up now in graph #’s 1 and 2 above. Simply draw a line between the peaks of SC23 and SC24 (current) and there’s that L&P slope. Extending the line to the bottom suggests that SC24 will disappear spotwise sometime in 2014-2015 timeframe. Speculative, sure, but what else is new.

Henry Clark

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm
“Here you can see how Oulu has drifted over time compared to Thule: http://www.leif.org/research/Oulu-and-Thule.png
If manually overlaying the plots and drawing a blue line from the post-cycle-21 minimum to the post-cycle-23 minimum on the Thule plot meanwhile, plus a pink line between such on the Oulu plot, the following is highlighted:
http://s11.postimage.org/hporvji77/thuleoulu.gif
The Thule and Oulu plots are not identical, but one thing in common is that both show the solar minimum after cycle 23 as having a significantly higher peak count than the minimum after cycle 21, like the original Thule plot illustration I did at http://s9.postimage.org/jz6qpr7zz/lineadded.gif implied.
Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm
Such drifts can have several causes, one is the changing geomagnetic field which affects Oulu much more than Thule [the latter being so close to the magnetic pole]. And here is Oulu vs. Hermanus http://www.leif.org/research/Oulu-and-Hermanus.png
Variation in the geomagnetic field has an effect, but an illustration can be done with data from the IMP-8 satellite, far from the geomagnetic field source, orbiting tens of earth radii out, a number of times farther out than the outermost part of the Van Allen belts.
As implied in http://www.puk.ac.za/opencms/export/PUK/html/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/SRU_Graph.jpg , the Hermanus plot depicts a much lower peak count in the mid-1990s (the solar minimum following cycle 22) than for the solar minimum following cycle 21. In contrast, not only the Thule and Oulu plots but also the Sanae plot and a cosmic ray plot from the IMP-8 satellite at http://astro.nmsu.edu/~bwebber/Imp8.jpg depicts the solar minimum following cycle 22 as reaching about as high of a count as the solar minimum following cycle 21.
IMP-8 did not continue operation through the time of the solar minimum following cycle 23. However, judged from the preceding, if the IMP-8 satellite had continued operation through then and without excessive adjustment, its results would presumably have again been closer to Thule and Oulu than to that Hermanus plot.
In other words, it appears that the IMP-8 satellite, an observer far away from Earth, would in that event have measured the solar minimum following cycle 23 to have substantially higher peak count than those following cycles 20 and 21, much like Thule (as well as Oulu) measured it to be several percent higher.
Besides, unequal cosmic ray flux at those minimums is what is plausible when the solar magnetic field was not identical between those minimums, with illustrations of that including figure 1 of http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0911/0911.4396v1.pdf if comparing the minimum following cycle 23 on the far right of the plots to the prior minimums.

Henry Clark

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm
The triangles show Oulu divided by the mean of the other stations mentioned on the plot: http://www.leif.org/research/Cosmic%20Ray%20Count%20for%20Different%20Stations-Oulu.png
Even there, adding a red line from the middle of those others in that graph makes blatant the following, of how, despite a particularly zoomed-out graph, the minimum following cycle 23 is still seen to be several percent higher peak count than the minimum following cycle 21:
http://s9.postimage.org/c7s36sxwv/lineadded2.gif

This is a VERY big deal… that is 4 months in a row when we should be streaking toward Solar max.
With all the other indicators already out there, it is becoming more and more obvious to solar physicists that we are headed toward solar quiescence… and chillier times ahead. 🙁

Henry Clark says:
November 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm
Thanks Henry,
In this Cagw based climate change – global warming situation/issue, where energy policy, tax hikes and laws are involved, all the convenient revisionism doesn’t sit well with me either, what happens when political policy or a law is pushed in under a flawed understanding or a misrepresentation of the science such as the hockey stick version of the temperature record?
It can be said that science always evolves but that leaves policy makers, advisers and promoters with two choices, one is to concede that they are wrong and the other involves trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Jimmy Haigh

Just shows that the solar scientists don’t have all the answers yet.
I can picture the alarmists, in private, praying to sun to ramp its activity up… and quickly, please…. Even althought the sun has nothing to do with it because it’s all man made CO2’s fault…

Birdieshooter

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 6, 2012 at 10:53 am..
“One may speculate that a Maunder Minimum is in the cards.”
If a Maunder Minimum is indeed is in the cards, how many more years until you begin to have a high level of confidence that it is coming and then how many more years before it starts to affect our climate?

One of the interesting aspects of SC24 is that it is shaping up to replicate the GSN version of SC5. In our first chance to measure the first cycle of a grand minimum with accuracy it may be revealed the output does not always follow the typical bell shape curve. Talk of a Maunder Minimum is way overstated.
http://tinyurl.com/2dg9u22/images/sc5_sc24.png

Birdieshooter says:
November 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm
If a Maunder Minimum is indeed is in the cards, how many more years until you begin to have a high level of confidence that it is coming and then how many more years before it starts to affect our climate?
20 years, and I don’t think it will have any significant effect on the climate.
Geoff Sharp says:
November 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm
One of the interesting aspects of SC24 is that it is shaping up to replicate the GSN version of SC5.
First: the GSN is flawed and should not be used.
Second: the data for SC5 is so poor that we have no real idea what it looked like
Third: the contemporary observers say that ‘they had never seen to many sunspots as during SC5’

Paul Westhaver

What about period?
With a reduction in the max, and maybe a schedule advance of the max, would it be safe to assume that the the minimum is going to occur sooner? Say 2020?