The Sun wakes up: highest values of Solar Cycle 24 observed in February 2014

The updates from NOAA’s SWPC are now available, and there are big jumps all around in February 2014.

Sunspot number reaches the highest ever for SC24:

Latest Sunspot number prediction

10.7cm radio flux reaches the highest ever for SC24:

Latest F10.7 cm flux number prediction

Ap magnetic index, while up, has not surpassed previously higher values in SC24

Latest Planetary A-index number prediction

In other news, Davis Archibald offers this update:

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

Solar Update March 2014

David Archibald

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Figure 1: Oulu Neutron Count 1964 – 2014

With Solar Cycle 24 maximum in March 2013 (see the heliospheric current sheet tilt angle in Figure 5 below) and a one year lag between solar activity and neutron count, we have probably seen the minimum neutron count for this cycle. The minimum count is well above the minimum value for Solar Cycle 20.

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Figure 2: Oulu Neutron Count for Solar Cycles 20 to 24 aligned on month of minimum

In terms of neutron count, Solar Cycle 24 isn’t much weaker than the previous four cycles at a similar stage of development.

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Figure 3: Solar Wind Flow Pressure 1971 – 2014

What is really interesting is what has happened to the solar wind flow pressure. Despite a high sunspot number and F10.7 flux for this cycle, in January 2014 the solar wind flow pressure fell to a new low of 1.2 nPa for the instrumental record. With another 10 years of solar cycle fall time ahead of us, this suggests that the neutron count is going to be impressive by the end of the decade.

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Figure 4: Ap Index 1932 – 2014

Similarly, despite high sunspot numbers and F10.7 flux values, the Ap Index appears to be in a new regime with current values around the previous apparent floor level of activity for the instrumental record.

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Figure 5: Heliospheric Current Sheet Tilt Angle

Based on the heliospheric tilt angle, Solar Cycle 24 maximum was in Carrington rotation 2134, which is March 2013. With the Solar cycle 23/24 minimum in December 2008, Solar Cycle 24 rise time was 4 years and three months.

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Figure 6: Monthly F10.7 Flux 1948 – 2014

The F10.7 flux is having a new peak of activity.

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Figure 7: Interplanetary Magnetic Field 1966 – 2014

As with the solar wind flow pressure and Ap Index, the interplanetary magnetic field appears to be in a new regime in Solar Cycle 24 in which peak activity is at about the level of the previous floor of activity.

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Figure 8: Solar Cycle 24 relative to the Dalton Minimum

Solar Cycle 24 had been tracking Solar Cycle 5, the first half of the Dalton Minimum, quite closely in terms of monthly sunspot number. It is now somewhat stronger at the same stage of the cycle.

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Figure 9: Solar Cycles 1749 – 2040

Livingstone and Penn’s forecast of a Solar Cycle 25 maximum amplitude of 7 is still the only prediction of the size of that cycle from the solar physics community. We are still a few years out before solar poloidal field strength can be used to estimate the size of the next cycle.

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Figure 10: Predicted Solar Cycle 24 peak sunspot number

Of 54 predictions of Solar Cycle 24 peak amplitude, the six at the bottom of the range could be considered to be in the ball park of the achieved result. This suggests that the solar physics community’s understanding of the Sun, and thus climate, has the potential to evolve further. From: Pesnell, W.D., Predictions of Solar Cycle 24, Solar Phys., 252, 209-220, 2008

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Mario Lento

Waiting for Dr. Svalgaard 1….2….3….

“This suggests that the solar physics community’s understanding of the Sun, and thus climate, has the potential to evolve further.”
How polite – I mean, instead of saying the solar physics community doesn’t know its hindquarters from third base, or that it’s been corrupted by global warming politics, etc.

Jai Mitchell

Why does this image show the little ice age ending in 1890.
and your image from this post shows that the solar cycles continued to trend lower until several decades after warming began (until 1915)???
it seems that the end of the little ice age has absolutely nothing to do with the solar cycles. . .what else could have caused it to end?

Ttom in Florida

Figure 10 – Gee, I wonder which WUWT frequent poster on solar matters got it right?

MattS

Anthony, Can you mark Dr. Svalgaard’s prediction for SC 24 in that last graphic?

TRM

The infamous double peak has shown up. Who was it that was predicting that a while back? Good call whoever it was. Nice to see us break away from the Dalton Minimum trend. Here is hoping it doesn’t get that bad over the next 30+ years.

AJB

Long drawn out pole switch Phase II perhaps:
PFS: http://postimg.org/image/94wh5z4j1/full
NMS: http://postimg.org/image/uda5neizx/full
http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/magbfly.jpg
Let’s see where we’re at in June and December. Interesting times.

David Archibald – you say”The minimum count is well above the minimum value for Solar Cycle 20.”. I note that the 23/24 maximum is a bit higher too. Is it the case (like the solar cycle minima) that the neutron count maxima tend not to change much? And if they don’t change much, at what point can changes be interpreted as an underlying GCR change? Do we know how today’s neutron count compares with eg. MWP or LIA? TIA.
Ttom in Florida : The difference between solar physicists and certain climate ‘scientists’ is hubris (lack of) and integrity (presence of).

James Abbott

The lesson here is that Solar physicists – and climate sceptics – dont have a good handle on predicting future solar activity.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/13/like-the-pause-in-surface-temperatures-the-slump-in-solar-activity-continues/

unlike the co2 deathstar warmists i’m happy to go where the evidence goes. i won’t be looking to explain away the actual data with wild conjecture. if its broken the dalton style pattern then it shows there is a failpoint in the design-unlike with the co2ers who have no fail point regardless of the data because ‘they know’ it to be true so will always look to explain away the divergences and failed predictions.
by analogy with the co2ers no one is going to be looking to explain away the actual because they ‘know it to be true’ that the dalton is on the way?
the chart would have to make a new low to suggest it was ‘back on track’?

jai mitchell says:
it seems that the end of the little ice age has absolutely nothing to do with the solar cycles. . .what else could have caused it to end?
Why don’t you tell us? While you’re at it, tell us what caused the LIA in the first place.
One thing is certain: it didn’t have anything to do with human emissions either way.

G. E. Pease

James Abbott says:
The lesson here is that Solar physicists – and climate sceptics – dont have a good handle on predicting future solar activity.
James, the lesson here went right over your head. Scientific skeptics do not have the job of explaining why something has happened. It is the job of skeptics to falsify a hypothesis or a conjecture.
Skeptics have done a damned fine job of falsifying the catastrophic AGW conjecture, haven’t they? You should be happy about that, because scientific knowledge is only what remains standing after all attempts to falsify a conjecture or hypothesis have failed.
Now that cAGW has been falsified, we know the cause of this variability must be something else. If you have any suggestions, by all means, post them here.

eyesonu

It would be nice if someone would put all/some of this data in perspective for those of us who are out of the loop. If one should do so please note points of controversy in any explanation.
Thanks in advance. I’m just trying to understand. It looks like we are in interesting times.

a trend is higher highers or lower lows. until one of them is taken out its just trendless. taking out the high would be significant but if it took out the low then u could start drawing trend channels again. if it stays under 100 its going to be in the weaker half of cycles?

I remember Leif pointing out that Cycle 14 had a lot of peaks, and I think he downplayed the concept of a “double peak”.
Here is Cycle 14’s noisy curve
http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl14.html

Eliza

Oh well; goes to prove other solar physicists, amateurs and myself included don’t have a @@@@@ clue what is happening to the sun and all predictions were wrong it appears. LOL

Jai Mitchell

dbstealey,
as you wish. . .
abrupt onset of the little ice age triggered by volcanism
Here we present precisely dated records of ice-cap growth from Arctic Canada and Iceland showing that LIA summer cold and ice growth began abruptly between 1275 and 1300 AD, followed by a substantial intensification 1430–1455 AD. Intervals of sudden ice growth coincide with two of the most volcanically perturbed half centuries of the past millennium. A transient climate model simulation shows that explosive volcanism produces abrupt summer cooling at these times, and that cold summers can be maintained by sea-ice/ocean feedbacks long after volcanic aerosols are removed. Our results suggest that the onset of the LIA can be linked to an unusual 50-year-long episode with four large sulfur-rich explosive eruptions, each with global sulfate loading >60 Tg.

Jim Cripwell

Maybe this is the place to ask my question. One sunspot has just reappeared for the third time, and is still active. I have been trying to find data on how many times sunspots come back again, and still stay active, without success. Does anyone know where such data might be, and whether this measure correlates with anything?

highflight56433

Certainly has been interesting watching this cycle 24. And not just the sunspot number.
It will be also very interesting to watch the climate and those things with the sun that are markedly different from what is posed as typical; not that there is a norm. The declining solar wind, the magnetic field and AP index. Reduction in UV. Is there an increase in GCR (Galactic Cosmic Radiation), is there going to be a corresponding increase in cloud coverage? Where is Svensmark? Is there going to be a resulting increase in snow, continental ice and sea ice coverage resulting in an increase in total global solar reflection?
If the northern hemisphere is destined to have growing glaciation, we all can’t fit into the equatorial zone with out some food production. (Maybe penguin soup is good.) Of course that is assuming certain predictions regarding the inter-glacial period is nearing it’s end; to be followed by the 100,000 yr glaciation. That truly would suck.!!

jai mitchell,
Thanx for the carefully selected passage. But what you left out was the sentence preceding your cherry-pick:
…the causes of superposed century-scale cold summer anomalies, of which the Little Ice Age (LIA) is the most extreme, remain debated, largely because the natural forcings are either weak or, in the case of volcanism, short lived. [my emphasis]
Aren’t you embarassed being caught playing games like that? I would be.

James Abbott

dbstealey
You don’t appear to have looked at the link I posted which showed that WUWT stated, clearly, that the current cycle max had passed (last year) and that the current cycle was a flop.
My point was that such a statement can now be seen as clearly wrong and alongside the predictions of many solar physicists, the lesson is that the Sun is difficult to predict.
As to your total conviction that global warming “has been falsified”, that is not a very scientific approach is it – and is a similar “prediction” ?

Truthseeker

It just looks like another “double peak” which has happened before. I think that it becomes more likely that a prolonged solar decline is upon us.

the co2ers of course ‘know’ why the heating ‘paused’ although they didn’t predict it. They just haven’t found evidence of the mechanism yet so we just have to believe them until they do lol.

James Abbott says:
March 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm
The current cycle is a flop.

Brent Walker

I don’t think the direct sunspot count comparison with Solar cycle 5 means very much. If you compare what could be seen with a 40″ telescope back then with what can be seen with space-based telescopes today it is like comparing apples with oranges. I think you have to try and correct for these differences. Also currently there are nine distinct types of sunspots and no doubt this will be increased in a few years as scientists better understand their composition. If field A had a hundred animals on it being 30 horses, 25 cows, 20 rabbits, 15 sheep and 10 goats you could say it has the same number of animals as field B which has 100 cows and none of the other animals but that is the only comparison that is correct!
The sun’s absolute magnetic strength is, in my opinion, the key factor as it reflects the overall electromagnetic activity within the sun. Figs 4 and 7 are interesting indeed as are the figures on the Oulu neutron count – but there are other variables that create this count. The sun’s AP Index (fig 4) I think is another indicator that would be linked to the sun’s electromagnetic activity. As it also seems to be doing something way outside the normal range since it has been measured it also suggests the sun’s electromagnetic activity is quite different to anything experienced for many decades.
We certainly do live in interesting times. If I was relying on AGW money for my income I think I would become a skeptic and look for another job before I have to compete with 10’s of thousands of warmists who will eventually be retrenched.

a cycle has to be judged on its full cycle not at a random point thro it? who knows what the final profile will be? its too early to jump to any conclusions as to the character of a cycle?

James Abbott,
You can easily change my mind. Just post verifiable, measurable scientific evidence showing that human-emitted CO2 has caused X degrees of global warming.
Easy-peasy… if you have any such measurable, testable evidence.
But I don’t think you do. And that means you’re winging it. You believe in cAGW, but you have no evidence showing that it exists. None at all [and I’m sure you’re aware that ‘evidence’ means measurable data and/or verifiable, real world observations; not papers, or models].
So your belief in cAGW is nothing but a conjecture. An opinion. An evidence-free belief.
That is not nearly good enough, when such baseless belief is used to propose national and international Policy. Witch doctors operate on Belief. But scientists require evidence. See the difference?

David Ball

jauntycyclist says:
March 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm
Predictability is a basic tenet of the scientific method. The predictions are made based on hypothesis (also conjecture), and they are borne out,…….or not. 🙂

Tom in Florida

Mike Jonas says:
March 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm
Tom in Florida : The difference between solar physicists and certain climate ‘scientists’ is hubris (lack of) and integrity (presence of).
==========================================================================
I was referring to Dr Svalgaard, who, as most long time readers of this blog know, was correct in his prediction. He based that prediction on his knowledge of how the Sun works. In an era where proof is demanded, his pudding on this matter appears to be mighty tasty.

James Abbott

dbstealey
I think the chances of any evidence changing your mind is zilch so I am not going to waste your time or mine going over old ground.
But I notice as ever you have ignored the main point – which was that WUWT commented on and predicted the solar activity trend which has proved to be wrong.
What counts is observations.

Anthony, this link shows the past four solar cycles all aligned, and is a good visual for comparison of cycles 21, 22, 23, and 24.
http://solen.info/solar/images/comparison_recent_cycles.png

Hi James Abbott,
Your original comment, which I responded to, was specifically aimed at skeptics:
“…climate sceptics – dont have a good handle on predicting future solar activity.”
Now you’re moving the goal posts to something else, and defining it as the “main point”.
How do I keep up?
Also, I agree with what Sparks said above:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/clip_image018.gif

actuator

Seems patently obvious that James Abbott knows he can’t produce the evidence dbstealey suggests. The “old ground” he refers to is either flawed or nonexistent.

geran

dbstealey says:
March 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm
Hi James Abbott,
…..
How do I keep up?
>>>>>>
You’re too far ahead!

TRM says:
March 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm
The infamous double peak has shown up. Who was it that was predicting that a while back? Good call whoever it was. Nice to see us break away from the Dalton Minimum trend. Here is hoping it doesn’t get that bad over the next 30+ years.
—————————————————————————————–
When first looking at the 2,000 year tree ring study which was produced at JG/U some two years ago, it struck me that a gm landing in the middle of a Warm Period appeared to be subdued. This may be what is happening now. Another point is that cyclical events have endless variation for duration and intensity for any given reiteration of a similar event. In that light, if the next gm is strong that could signal the end of the Warm Period. If it is a weak event, then that would likely signal the continuation of the Warm Period.

Richard M

Add me to the list of folks that think this will likely be a double peak. The timing is about right. The count should now start dropping rather quickly if this view is correct. By the end of the year we could be back below 50.

eyesonu

TRM says:
March 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm
===========
I remember reading that comment about a possible double peak before a downturn. I don’t know if it means anything though. I’m in a learning curve on this.
Something I’ve wondered about is if there are some force/forces of some type deep in space that could possibly effect the sun (ours) that has an effect on both the earth and sun. Those are just wandering thoughts.

James Abbott

actuator
Its not “patently obvious” at all. There is a shed load of evidence, which I have produced on this site many times. I just know what the response will be. I could equally ask you to produce evidence of sceptic assertions that there is no GW and no link between warming and GHGs. Warming has clearly taken place since about 1970 (all major global data sets) and the second is basic physics.
:

James Abbott says:
March 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm
—————————————-
There is no question that WUWT made wrong assumptions in that article. At least it is admitted to, whereas, the IPCC has resisted doing the same with their failed models for many years now. That is a big difference. Nature has falsified the contention of co2 being the major driver of climate change. Unless the consensus scientists can fully explain the ‘why’ of that, then their premise stands falsified.

Carla

“””What is really interesting is what has happened to the solar wind flow pressure. Despite a high sunspot number and F10.7 flux for this cycle, in January 2014 the solar wind flow pressure fell to a new low of 1.2 nPa for the instrumental record. With another 10 years of solar cycle fall time ahead of us, this suggests that the neutron count is going to be impressive by the end of the decade.”””
Yes, this is interesting, in light of, the last time it was that low (2008) there was a lowering of the lower ionosphere and lowering of the thermosphere.
Behaviour of the low-latitude ionosphere-plasmasphere system at long deep solar minimum
N Balan, CY Chen, JY Liu & GJ Bailey
http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/14034/1/IJRSP%2041(2)%2089-97.pdf
from intro page 1 and 2
…”””A number of interesting observations has been reported covering the unusual solar minimum. The thermosphere contracted to record low levels.”””…
…”””The ionosphere also contracted to extremely low levels. Using the C/NOFS data Heelis et al. showed that the ionosphere contracted to a thin shell, with the O / H transition height and ion temperature reaching record low values..
..satellites also showed the ionosphere contracting by 50% in 2008 and by more than 60% in 2009 as compared to IRI2007 (International Reference Ionosphere) predictions.”””
..Tides and waves found their way to the thermosphere and ionosphere more easily in the 23/24 solar minimum than in previous mimima. The diurnal pattern of the vertical ExB drift velocity observed by the C/NOFS satellite shows downward drifts in the afternoon and upward drifts near midnight at some equatorial locations instead of the usual upward drifts during daytime and downward drifts at night..”””
It’s time to check the vortex progress..

James (Aus.)

dbstealy: “Witch doctors operate on Belief. But scientists require evidence. See the difference?”.
It’s very difficult for a believer to change his mind, dbs.
You’ll notice there was no attempt at all by J Abbott to come back with a paper supporting any hypothesis with CO2 as its variable, as requested. Not even a try. How hard is it to copy the name(s) of the author(s), date, name of paper and publishing journal?
Too hard for JAbbott, it seems.
And we all know why, he he.
Instead, there was the vacuous, “What counts is observations”. Observations as precursors to formulating an hypothesis? Observations as data (evidence) to support or negate an hypothesis under test?
What garbled and confused nonsense.

Walt Stone (@Cuppacafe) says:
March 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm
————————————————–
I think he did favor a double peak if I am remembering correctly. One thing that I have learned is that it is very difficult to get a ‘feel’ for solar interactions, where otherwise my thoughts can often penetrate partly into new concepts.

kent blaker

The increase in sunspot activity over the last few months has been primarily in the southern hemisphere. Will the new cycle high mean an extended cycle? Only time will tell. it is not the opinion of experts that count but the chaotic nature of reality. It is exciting to watch it though.

Tiburon

Hmmm. Isn’t on of the issues regards terrestrial weather, that while there are a reasonable number of sunspots, they seem to stop flaring once they swing round to face earth? Pretty well all the time the last year or so? Like monster spots that deliver X flares and multiple M flares on the backside and as they crest the limb, and then….nothing. And then as they are departing, off they go again.
And isn’t it the case that moderate range flaring is very good for our magnetosphere? (sp?) Sort of builds it, and the higher atmospheric levels, up – hence more protection from galactic gamma rays? Which is coupled with an apparent decrease in the ‘strength of our shields’ by some 15% in the last ‘x’ decades?
‘Cause I believe the last time we saw such behaviour by sunspots, was leading to and during the Maunder Minimum. And as much as it would be sweet schadenfreud (sp?) to put it to the CAGW fanatics, we really really don’t want that.

geran

James Abbott says:
March 3, 2014 at 5:36 pm
“…I could equally ask you to produce evidence of sceptic assertions that there is no GW and no link between warming and GHGs.”
>>>>>>>>
James, how about the last 5-6 winters of new record low temps and snowfalls, with increasing CO2.
“…and the second is basic physics.”
>>>>>>>
No, James, you do not want to go to basic physics. You get busted way too early!

Carla

Eliza says:
March 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm
Oh well; goes to prove other solar physicists, amateurs and myself included don’t have a @@@@@ clue what is happening to the sun and all predictions were wrong it appears. LOL
____________
The piano graph of cycle predictions above, “Pesnell, W.D., Predictions of Solar Cycle 24, Solar Phys., 252, 209-220, 2008,” is how I ran into Dr. S. on another board..
Dr. S. cycle prediction has been doing pretty good. And the theory behind it, at that time (08) sounded pretty good to me. Seeing as how I had only discovered that the sun had a such a thing as a solar magnetic cycle, only 6 months or so earlier..or that solar magnetic flux transports to the solar poles and back..well if there is flux to transport, that is..
And clues there are many..sorting them all out, that’s another something else..

Bob Weber

“…suggests that the solar physics community’s understanding of the Sun, and thus climate, has the potential to evolve further…” So, solar science and thus climate science isn’t settled yet? An amazing admission.
Nice set of graphs here. Would like to see a “global” temperature plot superimposed on the SSN and solar flux plots for illustration purposes.
Looking at Figure 9: Solar Cycles 1749 – 2040, the four top most active cycles out of all 24 occured since 1949, cycles 18, 19, 21, and 22. Add in cycles 17 and 23 to get the top 6 out of the top 11 of all 24 cycles, which puts us back into the 1930’s, when we had the highest recorded temperatures in the US.
Too bad Figure 6: Monthly F10.7 Flux 1948 – 2014, doesn’t go back to 1749 too.
What happens when solar activity goes up? Flux goes up. Flux is the energy per second from photons. Solar activity goes up, flux goes up, and photon energy goes up. When more photon energy hits the Earth, it warms up.
“Global” warming resulted from the accumulated heating effect from the increased solar flux activity over several cycles, not from CO2 downwelling radiation. The overall modest warming slowed to a crawl if not a stop since solar activity started to decline. Extreme weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes have dropped off too in number with the solar activity decline.
Here’s an experiment to try at home: go outside in the direct sunlight. Feel the heat. Now, wait for a cloud to pass in front of the sun. What happened? It cooled off! What! Why? Less photon energy made it through the cloud, delivering less heat.
If you think that’s wrong, then you have to explain the 1970’s cooling, the little ice age, or the Dalton Minimum on some other basis. More or less solar flux (photon energy) causes warming or cooling, and the solar wind (IMF, pressure) causes geomagnetics and extreme weather events.

Steve in Seattle

James Abbott
… and the second is basic physics.
please, lay out for me your basic physics ? I would like to understand your detailed explanation of “basic physics” as it concerns GHGs and warming of the atmosphere.

The Sun must function and expel in its own way to maintain viability.
What are the odds the SUN defies its historic pattern?