The solar cycle is still slumping

It is looking more and more like a double sunspot peak for solar cycle 24.

Sunspot count is down again:

Latest Sunspot number prediction

 A similar drop occurred in radio flux.

Latest F10.7 cm flux number prediction

The Ap magnetic index remains low, but is up 3 units from last month:

Latest Planetary A-index number prediction

On July 1st, solar scientist David Hathaway has updated his prediction page:

ssn_predict.gif (2208 bytes)

Click on image for larger version.

The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 67 in the Summer of 2013. The smoothed sunspot number has already reached 67 (in February 2012) due to the strong peak in late 2011 so the official maximum will be at least this high. The smoothed sunspot number has been rising again over the last four months. We are currently over four years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.
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The sunspot count in this low cycle has been inflated by the counting of tiny ‘pores’ which weren’t counted in previous cycles.
The reality is that this cycle is around the same magnitude as cycle 5 at the start of the 1800’s when the Sun went into the Dalton solar minimum.

I can’t wait till the Progressers realize they’ve been proven wrong by this current Grand Solar Minimum on the subject of Man-Made Climate Change/Man-Made Global Warming.

cynical_scientist

tallbloke: The sunspot count in this low cycle has been inflated by the counting of tiny ‘pores’ which weren’t counted in previous cycles.

As I understand it Tallbloke, corrections are applied which are supposed to deal with this issue. Whether the corrections are correct is another matter. But in any case the situation isn’t as simple as your comment makes it seem.

@tallbloke
A website in Germany shows a comparison of SC5 and SC24, as well as the average of SC1-23.
http://www.kaltesonne.de/?p=11437

Nylo

tallbloke, that may have been the case at the beginning of the cycle, but is not true now, when all sunspots are quite big. So the low numbers may have been exagerated, but not the big ones that we have now.
BTW, the smoothed maximum may be higher, but we didn’t have any single month with average SSN>=100 yet, whereas cycle 14 did. So this one is smaller than Cycle 14… in a way.

Daniel Vogler

Just multiply the older sunspot numbers before 1947 by 1.20 to get the current inflated adjusted sunspots.

J.J.M.Gommers

It’s maybe better to display each hemisphere in SSN count to get a better picture of the progress.

magnetic vs sunspot,
it is a minimum
http://i.minus.com/iYUiVS5I3VEpI.gif

By my 10 year old calculation we are sailing through a SC24 max.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN.htm
Polar magnetic field (lower graph) appears to have a more regular progression, on basis of which one could conclude that the PF is a proxy for the actual solar dynamo driver.

Tonyb

Vuk
Your post has been up nearly ten minutes now. Where is Leif? Is he ill?
Tonyb

William Astley

It is an observational fact that sunspots are being replaced by pores. It is curious that there is no mention of that fact in the solar cycle 24 update. It appears the sun will be spotless by the end of this year if my understanding of what is happening to the sun is correct. That is not a double peak but rather an abrupt unexplained change to the solar magnetic cycle.
We know that the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots has been decaying linearly. There needs to be an explanation for why that is true and how that change affects the solar magnetic cycle.
The magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots has been decaying linearly which supports the assertion that sunspots are formed from magnetic ropes that are create at the narrow region in the sun that separates the solar convection zone from the radiative zone. The magnetic ropes then rise up through the convection zone to the surface of the sun where they form sunspots. Something has changed in the tachocline or the vicinity of the tachocline.
As the magnetic field strength of the ropes that rise up to form the sunspots on the surface of the sun decays, the ropes start to be affected by the turbulence forces in the solar convection zone and what forms on the sun is pores rather than the concentrated strong magnetic field configuration that is called a sunspot.
Eugene Parker did theoretical calculations to determine a minimum magnetic field strength for the magnetic rope to resist the turbulence forces in the solar convection zone. If the field strength of the magnetic ropes continues to decline the field strength will fall below that minimum strength and the magnetic ropes will be torn apart by convection forces. There will be no pores on the surface of the sun.
The consequences of magnetic ropes that are torn apart is different that a reduction in the number of sunspots.
The tachocline mechanism requires the remnants of past sunspots to form the ropes for the next generation of magnetic ropes.

richard verney

Tonyb says:
July 11, 2013 at 12:56 am
//////////////////
He has been rather busy on, and perhaps thereby preoccupied with the article on the faint sun paradox

redc

It would be fun to see this graph with all their previous predictions along with the date each prediction was made.
All we’re seeing here is their latest prediction, undated and still too high. Like a bad doctor they get to bury and forget their previous mistakes.

William Astley says:
July 11, 2013 at 1:03 am
It is an observational fact that sunspots are being replaced by pores. It is curious that there is no mention of that fact in the solar cycle 24 update. It appears the sun will be spotless by the end of this year if my understanding of what is happening to the sun is correct. That is not a double peak but rather an abrupt unexplained change to the solar magnetic cycle.
We know that the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots has been decaying linearly. There needs to be an explanation for why that is true and how that change affects the solar magnetic cycle.
***********************************************************************************************
Leif will jump up and down after this.
Read up on the Electric Universe. It explains far more than the current theories explain.

johnmarshall

We somehow thought the sun was getting quiet with the surface temperature plateauing but unfortunately we are not sure exactly what the various parts of the total solar spectra do to climate. Solar science is advancing, despite climate science, but we are still ignorant of much that goes on.
Yes Tallbloke a Dalton Minimum does seem more likely.

Edim

It will be a long plateau, the decline will start after 2014/15.

Alan the Brit

Could we see a list of predictions for SC24 from the very beginning for comparison? 2006 was the start was it not? I seem to recall some solar “experts” using a “mode”l to “accurately” predict SC24 with great precision by the “experts”, only for it to fall flat on its face!

MattN

Did Archibald predict this?

Patrick

“Edim says:
July 11, 2013 at 2:48 am”
I recall a prediction like that being made by Russian scientists. We didn’t have too long to wait to see some evidence to support that prediction.
http://www.wnd.com/2010/05/155225/

Bill_W

Speaking of Leif: Do we know if the sun puts out more or less energy with lots of sunspots versus very few sunspots? It had always confused me that (if I recall correctly) people thought there was a correlation with lots of sunspots and high solar activity when the spots themselves were actually cooler. In a post the other day you mentioned the possibility that the sun is hotter when there are few sunspots and that the cold weather in some of the historic minimums was due to volcanos. Is this a serious likelihood believed by many solar scientists or is this just a possibility favored by a few?

herkimer

We are currently 11 years since the end of the significant part of the last solar maximum period of sunspot cycle #23 which was the year of 2003 which had a peak sunspot number of 104 . This was part of a long solar cycle of #23 which lasted about 12.6 years. Global temperatures started to drop about 2004/2005 and the winters were cold in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013. Looking back at similar historical solar cycle developments, we can compare 2013 with 1801 or 1873 when we also had 11 years without any major sunspot years and there were longer solar cycles involved, like solar cycle #4 which lasted 13.6 years and solar cycle # 14 which lasted 11.7 years. Global climate tends to drop at the end of long solar cycles and also during the decade following. One can see the global temperatures decline at the end of cycles # 9,13,14,20. If the next solar cycle or cycles continue to be low as they did after # 4 and # 11 , then lower global temperatures may continue for decades there after . This may be the case for the next several decades if the current solar cycle #24 and the next, namely # 25, and # 26 are all low as some are predicting. . Global oceans STT have been now flat for 16 years and are now showing a decline since 2005. Global cooling seems to be indicated. to me even if we do not understand the mechanism yet .

Bill_W says:
July 11, 2013 at 4:22 am
The sunspots are darker and cooler than the surface around the sunspots, but just outside the sunspots, the sun is brighter. The output in total energy is about 0.1% higher for an active sun. In the UV range that is 1% or a factor 10, influencing the ozone layer and the jet stream positions due to an increased temperature difference equator-poles in the lower stratosphere. That influences wind and cloud/rain patterns in each hemisphere…

Mchaelwiseguy: Simple, they will still deny they are wrong. AGW is a religion, not a science. Religion depends on consensus, it depends on having a holy book, on having saints and sinners, on having indulgences, tithes and holy causes. Science depends on skepticism and the willingness to go where evidence leads you. When Keynes was asked why he changed his mind on a subject he famously answered, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?” Can you imagine Al Gore or Michael Mann or Hensen changing their minds on Global Warming?

Bill_W says:
July 11, 2013 at 4:22 am
Do we know if the sun puts out more or less energy with lots of sunspots versus very few sunspots?
Higher magnetic activity, solar flares and x-rays form around areas where Sunspots are, the sunspots themselves are cooler than their surroundings.
In my opinion, during other solar minimums less clouds appear to form but during the height of solar activity electrical activity on earth increases, thunderstorms and related hail, floods etc… during summer, and snowier colder conditions during winter. Its a very complex system that’s for sure.

AQ42

With nothing more sophisticated than my Eyeball(TM) 1.0, that doesn’t look like a double peak to me but as something that has peaked and is now on the downslope.

Tom in Florida

Ah, another solar thread. Here we go again!

DC Cowboy

Anthony,
Off topic but I noticed a couple of days ago that NSIDC has modified their Sea Ice extent pages for both Arctic and Antarctic ice extent so that if you link to them from http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png (as I do every morning) it redirects to the std deviation version of the extent. This has to be just a bit of serendipity, couldn’t have anything to do with your recent experience with that ‘gentleman’ from “Watching the Deniers”, now could it?
REPLY: yes well aware. Most of the changes to the NSIDC graphs in recent years have been spurred by WUWT, they didn’t even have date stamps until we pointed out they were missing, and hadn’t noticed their output went wonky due to a bad satellite until I pointed it out.
I’ve recently learned that NSIDC is mixing political activism with research, and I’ve stopped trusting them. – Anthony

This is the largest sunspot group ever recorded it reached its maximum on 8th April 1947. It covered an area of 18,130 million square kilometers.
http://thetempestspark.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/larsspgr.jpg
As you can see the solar activity of the northern and southern hemispheres were synchronized peaking at the same time, during this solar cycle the northern hemisphere has peaked before the southern hemisphere which is unsynchronized solar activity, unsynchronized solar activity is weaker than synchronized solar activity.
Judging by past solar cycles unsynchronized solar activity may last longer and be weaker exhibiting few or even no sunspots for longer periods during solar maximum, during synchronized solar cycles activity on the sun is greater and lasts the normal length of about 11 years.

steveta_uk

This is quite cool – Solar Tsumani
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23241896

Steve Keohane

Alan the Brit says:July 11, 2013 at 3:34 am
Could we see a list of predictions for SC24 from the very beginning for comparison?

Here is up to February of 2012, I gave up trying to update it as it was too crowded. An animated GIF would have been better in hindsight, but who knew it would turn out this way?
http://i39.tinypic.com/34rufj9.jpg

Barry Cullen

Steve Keohane says:
July 11, 2013 at 7:11 am
Thank you!!!!! Experts???

“electric universe” – on this blog, isn’t saying that something like saying “Niagara Falls”?
“slowly I turned, Step by Step, Inch by Inch….”

jlurtz

Sunspots are fun to watch, but use the 10.7 cm Flux to get a “non-biased” value for Solar activity. Again, thermodynamics states that all energy moves “downhill”. In simple terms, extreme UV becomes less energetic and through various processes eventually becomes the lowest energy: cosmic background radiations. Therefore, all energy must pass through the “10.7cm Flux” measurement frequency. This makes the Flux a great proxy for total Solar energy output. TSI is flawed in that it is biased toward the easy to measure infrared. Before the Solar satellites, it was not even know that extreme UV varied wildly [but up 10x or more] during a Solar sunspot peak.
Lief and others use a simple formula to link Sunspots to Flux before actual Flux measurements began in 1949. After 1949, actual measured Flux values are used.
It is well documented that between a Solar peak and valley, the Global temperature varies by 0.1C. Ask Lief for his summaries.
We are now entering a 2×180=360 year cycle of reduced Solar output. The cooling has started and will continue for 30 to 50 years.
Again, without a decent physical model of how the Sun actually produces energy, we are forced to rely on a statistical model of what the Sun will do! The statistical models can not explain why in 1800s, 1970s etc. there were drops in Solar output.
As per the latest revision to the predicted Solar output and the double “hump”, after the cycle is over they will get it right…

Tom in Florida

For those who may have forgotten or do not know, a certain WUWT commenter predicted Cycle 24 SSN very accurately some time ago based on his understanding of how the Sun works.
(Hint: Svalgaard, et al. 2005 70 ± 2 )

Come on guys Leif has to sleep sometimes.

Resourceguy

Instead of repeating the same cycle of discussion on grand solar minimum with cooling and lack of global temperature correlation, maybe its time to move on to more investigation of the regional effects of solar cycles on the jet stream etc. I would like to see more connections made like this with emphasis on regional impact. We already have opposite behavior in polar sea ice and temps.

herkimer

W. Astley said “It appears the sun will be spotless by the end of this year if my understanding of what is happening to the sun is correct. ”
Looking back at the period of Dalton Minimum, sun was also hovering around low sunspot numbers or even spotless many months between 1807 and and 1812 which was at the end of the first low solar cycle #5. It was spotless all year in 1810, the year of the minimum. We are currently going to approach the end or minimum of the current first low solar cycle # 24 . So there seem to be some similarities between then now .There were some colder than normal winters according to CET between 1807 and 1817 during these very low solar sunspot numbers.

Tom in Florida says:
July 11, 2013 at 7:33 am
Svalgaard, et al. 2005 70 ± 2 )
at the time, the world’s best known solar scientist Dr. Hathaway: SC 24 – strongest ever.
vukcevic 2003 SSN monthly non-smoothed to hit 80 in 2012/13
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN.htm
calculation formula published 8th January 2004
Not a prediction but extrapolation from astronomic orbital parameters !
Derided by the current bunch of solar experts.

jlurtz

To answer ->
Resourceguy says:
July 11, 2013 at 7:58 am
1) Sun heats the Oceans directly under it [Equator +-24.5 degrees].
2) Hadley cells are formed.
3) Hadley cells created trade winds.
4) Trade winds piles up warm water in the Gulf of Mexico/Indonesia.
5) Ocean currents flow from the piled up waters.
6) Gulf Stream is one of the currents.
7) Currents eventually return to Equator.
Results ->
1) Less Sun, less warms currents.
2) Less currents less warmth for Europe/Antarctica.
If you follow all of these threads, you would know this. Why don’t you contribute?

herkimer

Resourceguy
You said
” I would like to see more connections made like this with emphasis on regional impact.”
The average CET winter temperature during the period 1807-1816 or the last near solar spotless period was about 2.98C which is somewhere between the winter temperatures of 2010 and 2011 . I think the latest winter norm is around 4C. However there were some record cold months which were brutal like December 2010. The winter of 1814 is ranked as the 4th coldest per CET records

Dennis Gaskill

http://www.solen.info/solar/images/comparison_similar_cycles.png
compares cycle #24 with with a number of other cycles. This set of cycles doesn’t include #5.
We can have a diminished cycle, but it doesn’t mean we will have a Dalton minimum.
http://www.solen.info/solar/polarfields/polar.html
The polar fields haven’t flipped yet. So we are not on the downside.yet.
Natural processes are really complicated. It causes us to play in our little sand pile and come up with endless speculation.

tallbloke says:
July 11, 2013 at 12:08 am
The sunspot count in this low cycle has been inflated by the counting of tiny ‘pores’ which weren’t counted in previous cycles.
That this is false has been pointed out many times. It is rather the opposite that is happening. A sunspot group contains spots of different sizes, most of them small. The number of spots per group should increase if the count has been inflated by small pores, instead the number of spots per group has been decreasing the past decade, see Slide 11 of http://www.leif.org/research/SSN/Svalgaard12.pdf
William Astley says:
July 11, 2013 at 1:03 am
It appears the sun will be spotless by the end of this year if my understanding of what is happening to the sun is correct.
But since your understanding is not correct [judging from your comments], the Sun will not be spotless by the end of the year. At that time it will be prudent of you to concede that your understanding is wanting.
As the magnetic field strength of the ropes that rise up to form the sunspots on the surface of the sun decays, the ropes start to be affected by the turbulence forces in the solar convection zone and what forms on the sun is pores rather than the concentrated strong magnetic field configuration that is called a sunspot.
The ropes are [and have always been] torn apart by the convection, then when the debris reaches the surface, the magnetic elements reassemble to form spots. It is this reassembly process that seems to be weakening causing the Livingston and Penn effect [why it is weakening is presently not known]. This probably happened during the Maunder Minimum too. So: the magnetic cycle is not going away or changing abruptly, or ‘interrupted’, or anything like this. We know that because the Sun’s magnetic field is dragged out into the heliosphere where it helps modulate the cosmic rays. This modulation was as strong [or perhaps even stronger] during the Maunder minimum as during the past 70 years.

Poor Yorek

“It appears the sun will be spotless by the end of this year if my understanding of what is happening to the sun is correct.”
“But since your understanding is not correct [judging from your comments], the Sun will not be spotless by the end of the year. ”
This is an absurd and silly statement. Whether the sun is spotless (however unlikely) is not predicated on the first commentators understanding. If you are desirous of correcting a scientific point, please do so with class and precision. This foray into polemic simply leads you to make a frankly stupid remark and, in my opinion, makes is more difficult to read with value the important scientific points you have made through this blog (and, of course, published literature).

herkimer

lsvalgaard
The minimum for solar cycle #24 looks to be about 2019. What is your best judgement? Do you see any period of spotless sun coming up around then ?

Poor Yorek says:
July 11, 2013 at 9:29 am
“It appears the sun will be spotless by the end of this year if my understanding of what is happening to the sun is correct.”
“But since your understanding is not correct [judging from your comments], the Sun will not be spotless by the end of the year. ”
This is an absurd and silly statement.

There are two issues here:
1) is William’s understanding correct?
2) even if correct, does it follow that the sun will be spotless in six months?
The answer to both is ‘no’, hence no absurd or silly statement.
As to the correctness one can only judge by his statements made, and they do not display any physical understanding of the problem.
My statement is not a ‘foray into polemic’ but a sober assessment of the merits of William’s ‘understanding’ as revealed by his comments.

herkimer says:
July 11, 2013 at 9:41 am
The minimum for solar cycle #24 looks to be about 2019. What is your best judgement? Do you see any period of spotless sun coming up around then ?
During the coming minimum the Sun will certainly be spotless for extended periods [just as it was during the past minimum]. For Cycle 25 and beyond, the sunspot number will [in my assessment] drop to levels not seen since the Maunder Minimum. The solar magnetic cycle will, however, continue as usual [as it did during the Maunder Minimum].

EW3

Wondering out loud…..
What about a metric that measures sunspot days ?
Suspect that the endurance of a sunspot is significant in terms of it’s effect on our climate.
While we can’t apply this to older observations, we can apply to modern measurements.

EW3

Anthony, May I suggest that you add the earlier predictions for SC24 to your Solar Reference Page. I think it underscores how meager our knowledge is on this subect.

It appears the sun will be spotless by the end of the weekend (it’s possible) never-mind the end of the year, it wont be the end of the cycle.
http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/latest/latest_1024_HMII.jpg

dp

As a matter of curiosity is the complete red plot available to present a complete view of the scale of error over time in the predictions? There appears to be yet another model failure here.