Weak solar cycle continues – the sun is spotless again

Guest essay by David Archibald

The sun today – spotless

Image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI Continuum

Solar Update October 2017

Solar activity continues to look weak.  If the 23/24 solar minimum was the end of the Modern Warm Period, it does not look like it will be followed by a compensating period of especially low solar activity.

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Figure 1: F10.7 Flux 2014 – 2017

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Figure 2: Heliospheric Current Sheet Tilt Angle 1976 – 2017

The solar cycle isn’t over until the heliospheric current sheet flattens. It is now in striking distance of flattening.

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Figure 3: Aligned on minimum by solar cycle

Aligned on solar minimum, Solar Cycle 24 plots on top of Solar Cycle 22 at the same time elapsed from cycle start. If it followed 22 from here, it would be another 15 months long with the minimum in December 2018.

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Figure 4: Solar Polar Field Strength

After timing, the next consideration is solar cycle amplitude. The best indication of that comes from the solar polar field strength at minimum. While that is at least a year away, current indications are that Solar Cycle 25 will be of an amplitude similar to that of 24.

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Figure 5: Oulu Neutron Count 1964 – 2017

Neutron count has fallen over the last few months in reponse to the higher solar activity evident in Figure 1.

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Figure 6: Ap Index 1932 – 2017

The Ap Index during this cycle has remained around the previous floor of activity.

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Figure 7: Interplanetary Magnetic Field 1966 – 2017

The IMF has not weakened despite being late in the cycle.

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Figure 8: Solar Wind Flow Pressure 1971 – 2017

 


David Archibald is an independent researcher based in Perth, Western Australia. He is author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

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287 thoughts on “Weak solar cycle continues – the sun is spotless again

  1. IMO, it’s too soon for the Modern Warm Period to end. All centennial-scale warm and cool periods show cycles counter to the secular trend. The late 20th century warm cycle can be followed by an early 21st century cool cycle without ending the secular warming trend since the end of the LIA.

    • Yes. The solar cycle in the sixties and seventies aligned with a cooling trend, but the fluctuations since did not seem to have much of an effect on climate.

      • This is one of the problems with data manipulation. If you keep pushing down an earlier very strong warming period of the 1930s-40s (before manipulation by Hansen, 1998 didn’t surpass 1937!), how are you going to match potential correlations with other unmanipulated data? Mosher and others say the changes actually cooled, not warmed. They also argued that the warm thirties was a US only phenomenon and it represents only 3% of the planet.

        However, as it turns out, they had to radically submerge the same warming signal of the thirties-forties in Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, etc in the NH and identical patterns in South Africa, Paraguay, Bolivia, Australia… When they argue that the adjustments actually cooled the record slightly, they mean the average for the 19thand 20th Century. They did this by pushing down the big high of 70-80yrs ago by about a degree.

        This doesn’t change the the warming amount between 1850 and 2017, but it gets rid of a huge warming period that couldn’t be explained by CO2 that was double the rate between 1850 to the 1930s-40s compared to 1850s-2017. Moreover it prevents what would be a “hiatus” stretching from today back to the early – 1930s!! Oh there will be a rilly rilly big shew changing it all back in the coming years! (Probably most don’t know who Ed Sullivan was)

      • SM,
        Gary can at least write complete sentences, with correct punctuation; something that you haven’t demonstrated that you have mastered.

      • Bot Mosh learns.
        I am sure he will show punctuation – for example – quite soon.

        But let us – not exactly reverence – but respect a mildly contradictory opinion here.
        Do all the Watermelon warmunist sites appreciate their occasionally sceptic posters?
        Anecdotally -it seems not with open arms!

        Auto

      • Further to Gary Pearse’s comment, here is the data for the 747 USHCN stations that have extant records during the period 1917 to 2016.

        Tony Heller made the above plot because of the recent criticism by Nick Stokes that the USHCN has a network over 1200 stations, and from time to time stations drop out. This is a point that besets all the time series temperature reconstructions (NOAA, NASA/GISS, HadCru). So Tony has used only the unchanged stations so that like for like comparison can be made. Tony’s code is set out on his site, so if anyone wants to check the code, they can do so.

        The fact is that the US has the most complete historic record, and this shows cooling. There is no geographical or topographical reason why the contiguous US should be an outlier for the Northern Hemisphere between say 25 to 48deg North.. The US covers a number of climatic zones, and has a good mixture of coastal regions, plains, valleys, mountains, deserts, and spans a latitude where most of the NH population live.

        It does not matter whether the US is only 3 to 5% of the surface area, one needs to explain why the US should in some way be an outlier. I have asked that question many times, and no one has ever put forward an explanation as to what renders the US unique.

        Those that have followed this debate will frequently have seen plots covering Greenland and Iceland that shows 1940 the warmest period, and on a couple of occasions, the data from South Africa has been posted showing the same. BOM has had to disregard the late 1800s/early 1900 data since this data shows that earlier period to be the warmest period. There are some issues regarding Stevenson screens, but then again there are some historic photographs showing some of the stations to have these screens fitted.

    • Tom,

      As you know, the Current WP (preferable so as not to be confused with the Medieval WP in abbreviation) had enjoyed three warming cycles and so far two cooling cycles, with the present “Pause” probably the start of the third cooling cycle.

      The CWP started with the mid-19th century warming, followed by the late 19th century (extending into the 20th) cooling, followed by the early 20th century warming, followed by the dramatic mid-20th century cooling, despite rapidly increasing CO2, followed by the late 20th century warming, which accidentally coincided with still rising CO2. Now we’re due for an early 21st century cooling.

      Previous warm and cool periods showed pro- and counter-trend decennial-scale cycles of similar length.

      • Caleb – thanks.
        Indeed – Warmth is good.
        Agreed totally. My concern is possible cooling – and its affects on the fuel [and food] poor.
        The Eat – or Heat – dilemma – for many of Europe’s poorest.

        If it is a cold winter – thousand will die unnecessarily early.
        Al Gore and his elitist mates might applaud that, but families – humans – will be left bereft.
        With no good reason.

        Auto – preferring a little warming to a n y cooling.

    • Looking at the various ice core graphs most of the glaciations ended with a relatively sudden warming, some followed with an extended peak, but most(small sample) ended in a long slow drop to -9 or 10C over 10-20,000 years. Of course, there were some exceptions such as 4-5 cycles ago. A pair of relatively short, mild warming periods stretched out one interglacial to nearly 100,000 years.

      There simply isn’t enough data for confident predictions

      • I’d like to know what planet that 100,000 year interglacial was on, too. On my glacial maximum/interglacial stages chart, no such thing happened. Mine goes back a LOOOOONg time but mine’s related to Earth.
        So, like I said, what planet and in what solar system was this 100,000 year interglacial observed????

    • Not really a problem. We just move to our lower frequency bands which are not as affected. 80 meters, in particular, will be heavily used and there may be a surge in activity on the channelized 60 meter band.

    • I note that radio amateurs are very active in providing emergency communications for Puerto Rico. link Most people wouldn’t think amateur radio communication is worth worrying about but, in case of disaster, they may be the only way to contact the outside world. Short wave radio signals bounce off the ionosphere and the ionosphere changes depending on solar activity. If the ionosphere is crappy it is very hard to communicate over long distances. Solar conditions really matter for emergency communications.

      Totally unrelated: Noting that he has penned a book on the American Gripen, a question for David Archibald. Boeing and the Department of Commerce are trying to wipe Bombardier off the face of the planet. Canada was going to order a bunch of fighter aircraft from Boeing. Do you, David, think that Bombardier could retool and manufacture the Gripen in Canada? link

      • While you can’t really trust the Government to be rational, the policy of the Canadian military has been that our fighter jets should have two engines due to the fact they have such a massive landmass without suitable landing spots to patrol.

      • Yes they could. A similar company, Embraer with similar regional jet offerings, is doing the same in Brazil. If you wanted a Western fighter these days, the choice is between the Gripen and the Rafale. They have the same capability but the Gripen is a lot cheaper. I recommend that the Canadian Government beat the rush and commit soon. With respect to two engines versus one engine, at one stage Canada had signed up for the F-35 which is single-engined. Jet engines are quite reliable these days. Just as many pilots are lost to bird strike as engine failure.

  2. I get somewhat frustrated by many of the articles on this website. Don’t get me wrong, its a wonderful website. But I need simpler articles with a clearer conclusion. What is the actual conclusion of this article? What do these various numbers mean? What is their significance?
    I thought that the Sun was on track to have cycles similar in strength to the Dalton Minimum or such like? This now seems to have changed.

    • I understand, I’ve mentioned to Mr. Archibald on several occasions that his lack of introduction and summaries leave his articles open to interpretation, especially for people who aren’t experts at interpreting these graphs.

      Hopefully he’ll add something in comments that I can add to the body of the essay.

      • I’m trying to figure out myself. I’ve been watching the Sun and the sunspot fields fluctuating and then diminishing for months now at NASA’s SOHO website, and I was wondering if I was the only person paying attention to that. Fewer sunspots mean less solar activity. A few weeks ago, there was another one of those high-end EMPs and then the sunspot numbers began to decline again.
        I’m not sure what he’s trying to tell us, that’s all.

    • I agree, it is sometimes difficult to know what conclusion to draw. It would be really nice with a “and this is important because it tells us that”-type clarification. I also agree that it’s a great website! I view it every day.

    • And, sometimes, there isn’t a “conclusion” ….. Should not even be a conclusion.

      And that – in itself – may become the purpose of the article. It does need to be stated though. 8<)

      The Mediveal Warming Period lasted from 950 through 1350 before dropping into a fairly distinct trough of the Little Ice Age centered in 1650.

      We should not pretend the Current Warming Period (I like that term!) will be a neat, single peak. More likely, a 200 year near-plateau of several 60-70 short climate cycles. Then it drop off in the next LIA.

    • Charles,

      There are no conclusions to draw. The solar cycle is just continuing along, pretty much as expected.

      Those expecting a grand solar minimum or a Dalton type minimum are wrong. We are having just a centennial prolonged minimum with two cycles of reduced activity, SC24 and SC25. That’s all. It is likely to have some climatic effect, but not too much. It might help a continuation of the pause.

      • Says who? Since predictions are difficult, especially those over the next solar cycle and the length of the solar minimum between 24 and 25! Years before 24 the most “researchers” predicted a strong cycle24.

      • Says me, Hans-Georg.

        You are precisely making my point. Most “experts” get it wrong, specially when predicting a continuation of the trend or when predicting a drastic change. We usually get neither.

        There are lots of methods to predict solar activity. See:
        Pesnell, W. D. (2008). Predictions of solar cycle 24. Solar Physics, 252(1), 209-220.
        http://www.landscheidt.info/images/sc24_predictions.pdf

        But only two seem to work.

        One is using polar field strength. This is the one used by Leif Svalgaard. Very accurate, but the problem is that it only predicts the next cycle, and only from the previous minimum, right before it starts.

        The other one is using spectral methods, mainly frequency analysis, wavelets and autoregressions. Less accurate but can predict multiple cycles.

        Clilverd et al., used frequency analysis for their prediction in 2006,

        Clilverd, Mark A., et al. “Predicting solar cycle 24 and beyond.” Space weather 4.9 (2006).
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005SW000207/full

        They got a few things wrong and so predicted somewhat less activity for SC24 that took place, but their figure 2 is in the ball park of what is most likely to happen.

        This is my prediction, based on solar cycles, like that of Clilverd et al., 2006, but taking into account the modulation between different cycles that they ignored.

        If somebody is predicting a solar grand minimum, he is wrong. SGM take place at very specific times, and it is very improbable that we get a new SGM in the next few centuries.

      • That’s fine, Javier, except for one thing: the 18-month decline from 2006 to 2008 was completely unexpected. It was NOT what NASA had predicted, nor was the failure of the sun to reverse its magnetic poles as it would on a normal 11-year cycle and the far LOWER than normal return to activity.

        Nothing is “normal” about this any more. The Sun is not meeting NASA’s predictions and since there were no solar physicists leading up to and during either the Maunder or Dalton minimum periods, all NASA’s solar physicists can do is watch and record data.

        Like the Earth, the Sun has its own agenda and does not care what we try to predict.

      • The modern instrumentation record is too short and didn’t include any deep minimum so it is just logical that they weren’t expecting a so out of range value.

        But solar physicists, whether from NASA or not, can do a lot more than just watch and record. The understanding of how the Sun works has advanced greatly. Since 2009 they can predict the next solar cycle. The 2009 minimum has led to a score of advances on solar wind, solar flux, the centennial solar cycle, the solar-upper atmosphere interaction, and so on.

        That nature surprises us leads to an increase in our knowledge, not to a decrease as you seem to think.

      • ‘It might help a continuation of the pause’. Ah, yes, the pause. Curious expression, that. It seems to me the only way anyone could accurately describe the current situation as a ‘pause’ would be if they had a time machine that allowed them to scoot forward several decades and be able to confirm that it was only temporary. Maybe the IPCC has invented one. They’ve invented everything else, after all!

      • Jay,

        While I understand what you are saying, the pattern since the end of the little ice age is bursts of warming followed by a pause or even a slight downturn followed by another burst of warming. I don’t see the most recent warming as anything special and we will probably continue to see this natural, upward-biased random walk for the foreseeable future.

        As climate scientists still can’t tell me what caused the interglacial or explain any of its natural warmings and coolings, they cannot attribute any warming to man. The observations do not eliminate the null hypothesis and thus are not proven!

      • Javier, my issue with predictions of things like solar cycles is that the primary supposition relates to a steady state environment. The Sun is a star, it has cycles which can and do very in length and intensity. There are plenty of other stars that have been found to have sunspots, which means that our central star is not unique.
        What you’re talking about is that you view the Sun as a steady state object, when (as you indicate) it is not at all steady state.
        I think it would be appropriate to say that unless you know of a way to control solar activity to achieve a steady state, then your statement that we are not facing a Grand Solar Minimum is guessing on your part.
        I’m not saying that we are facing a GSM, just that you are making the assumption that we are NOT facing it. But without your including information in the form of records, which started with the Chinese recordings of sunspots over a much longer period and with Galileo’s camera obscura recordings of sunspots – which you did not do – I disagree with your forecast. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but in my view it is shortsighted.

      • I fail to see the logic in what you say, that the presence of long periodicities in the Sun implies a steady state.

        My statement of no GSM in the short term is not guessing. It is based on pattern repetition. We know when other GSM have taken place during the past 11,700 years based on cosmogenic isotopes records. The pattern that they show responds in 22 out of 25 cases to two known periodicities. None of these two periodicities is in the right phase for a GSM. Therefore the probabilities for a GSM now are extremely low. Probabilities start to increase significantly around 2500 AD.

        The E stands for the Eddy solar cycle (980 years), and the B for the Bray solar cycle (2450 years). As I said, only 3 GSM cannot be assigned to one of these cycles.

        Of course that a pattern has repeated for 12,000 years doesn’t mean that it will continue doing so, but as I like to say quasi-periodicities lead to quasi-predictability, which is a lot better than unpredictability.

      • Javier, your graph is too much cyclomania. Luckily for you there are enough peaks that you can almost always find one suitably close to where you want it to be [this is called cherry picking].

      • Leif,

        Most GSMs during the Holocene are either close to X.3 kyr BP, with X being every millennium, or at the lows of the 2400 year cycle. The first of those conditions to be met in the future is around 2600 AD, so I think we are pretty safe in terms of GSM until around 2500 AD.

      • Your periods (980 and 2450) are just the 87th and 218th subharmonics of the basic 11-yr cycle, so if you believe in cyclomagic you can find solace in that.
        Personally, I don’t think we can predict solar activity more than a cycle in advance as the cycle is chaotic, relies on random events [magnetic flux making it to the polar regions], and is non-linear.

      • Clilverd et al., did predict in 2006 two cycles of lower than average activity followed by a return to 20th century average values for the following 3 cycles. 11 years later it still looks good, even including your own views on SC25, so that would make two cycles correct so far.

      • Sigh. Cliverd et al.’s claim was based on a wrong aa-series and is no longer credible, but can, of course, always be cherry-picked with eyes wide-shut if need be.

      • Well, if you actually read the papers you cite, you will find that they cite their earlier paper from 2004 in support of their ideas [that originated with that paper]. That paper was mainly based on aa with additional ‘support’ from the sunspot number, which we know now was also not correct.

      • Yes, SC24 was too small because they made a mistake and didn’t properly consider the 208-year cycle and the modulation of these cycles by the 2400-year cycle that makes the 2000, 1900, and 1800 extended minima less intense as the time goes by.

        Pesnell is very clear that of the six general categories of SC24 predictions, the spectral category is the one that got the best averaged result. So cyclomania might not be such a wrong approach after all.

      • No, the polar field precursor method is the best with a skill score of 0.73. It is amazing how your bias shines through with your blatantly wrong claim. Spectral only has a skill score of 0.15.

      • And that is all that can be confidently be predicted. To be of use, a prediction must be so good that it is actionable. That is, that one can take action on it. A good example is the prediction of SC24. NASA is mandated to guarantee that its satellites do not fall uncontrollably out of the sky and damage property or cause loss of life. Back in 2005, NASA had to make a decision about whether to de-orbit the Hubble Space Telescope. If SC24 would be a large cycle, the upper atmosphere would expand and the frictional drag of the air would cause Hubble to crash to the ground. A mission to visit Hubble and refuel such that its decent could be controlled would be costly [300 million dollars or so], but necessary. At the time, most predictions were for a very large cycle, except the polar field one. Luckily, NASA chose to believe in our prediction that SC24 would be a small cycle and to keep Hubble in orbit to give us more than a decade [and still going strong] of good science. NASA [for good reasons] does not rely on cyclomania.

      • Yet we find all the time that climatologists are surprised by changes that are predictable in terms of cycles, like the Pause or the increase in September Arctic sea ice since 2007. So it is actually bad in terms of reputation and prediction to ignore known periodicities.

        Divine and Dick predicted in 2006 that Arctic sea ice was going to grow due to the 20-30 and 60-80 year periodicities found in Arctic sea ice for which no cause is known. To my knowledge that was the only such prediction. Extremely successful since nearly everybody else predicted a collapse in Arctic sea ice.

        So not as useless as you believe.

      • Nonsense. Pesnell correctly notes that “predictions based only on the statistics of the sunspot number are not adequate for predicting the next solar maximum”. E.g. Spectral methods.

      • Pesnell can give his opinion, but figure 2 of his 2008 article shows very clearly that spectral methods was the best category.

        Polar fields was the best subcategory, but Solar methods, its category, did worse than spectral. And solar dynamo methods were awful.

        So the real life test is clear. Spectral methods have more value than most methods and are only second to Polar fields method, but with the advantage of predicting multiple cycles, not just one.

      • figure 2 of his 2008 article shows very clearly that spectral methods was the best category
        No, because its error bar is too large. I am at a loss as to how supposedly rational people like you can make statements so biased and false, but I guess that the seductive power of belief is so strong as to make blind.

      • The colored bars represent the one sigma error limits, and is no worse than for other methods.

        You have your own bias against solar variability periodicities and their effect on climate, so you are actually well placed to understand how they work.

      • I already said the polar field method is more accurate, but it is too limited because it only predicts the next cycle and only from near to the previous minimum a few years before it starts.

        Extend that method to several cycles and I will not see any need to use spectral methods, but if you can’t then spectral methods are our best option to predict several cycles in advance.

      • but if you can’t then spectral methods are our best option to predict several cycles in advance
        As the cycles are intrinsically unpredictable [Tobias, 2004] such methods are not reliable nor actionable.

      • You contradict yourself. They are present in your 12,000 year IntCal13 14C graph, they are subharmonics of the 11.2 year periodicity. Therefore they are intrinsically predictable according to you. Tobias is undoubtedly wrong, as you have showed us.

      • Subharmonics are the face of chaos and therefore indicate unpredictability.
        There is no understanding or physics behind your cycles. The danger of chaos is that while a method may seductively seem to work at times, there is no guarantee that it will work in the future. But, as we have discovered. your belief is too strong to be swayed by facts or arguments.

      • “The danger of chaos is that while a method may seductively seem to work at times, there is no guarantee that it will work in the future.”

        Of course, as we don’t know the cause of the observed periodicities we cannot be sure they will continue in the future. But if we don’t accept that they exist, we won’t be able to find their cause. Saying that they are due to chaos and unpredictable doesn’t advance our understanding. With 12,000 years of observations it doesn’t appear to be prudent to request another 12,000.

      • But if we don’t accept that they exist, we won’t be able to find their cause
        Wrong again. Nobody is denying that the noise exists, but that does not do anything as to its cause.
        And we have already discovered the cause of solar cycle variation:

        http://www.leif.org/EOS/Choudhuri-forecast.pdf

        The cause includes a random element that guarantees that repetition of past cycles cannot predict future cycles with enough certainty to be actionable. NASA and commercial satellite operators do not want to bet hundreds of millions of dollars on cyclomania.

      • You might benefit from reading this paper:
        http://www.leif.org/EOS/Tobias-2004.pdf
        “The record of solar activity does, however, appear to be aperiodic rather than multiply periodic: the aperiodicity might have a stochastic origin but we believe that it is more likely to be an example of deterministic chaos (Weiss and Tobias 2000, Weiss 2002). Experience shows that it is possible to recognize periodicities in the power spectra of chaotic data sets. (They correspond to the periods of unstable periodic or multiple periodic orbits – ghost attractors – in the phase space of the system.) What affects the issue here is that the future behaviour of such a chaotic system is intrinsically unpredictable.”

      • Yes, I do have Tobias et al., 2004 and the reply by Clilverd et al. in the following page.

        If Tobias et al. are correct, “future behaviour of such a chaotic system is intrinsically unpredictable.” If they are incorrect we should be able to predict it to a certain extent. So we have a clear distinction between both hypotheses.

      • No, failure is not what is improving weather prediction. Better data and more powerful computers and better understanding of the physics are what makes the predictions better, not curve fitting of past weather.

      • Statistical analysis of past weather under similar conditions is an important part of weather prediction.

      • No cycles are involved and the computer models do not invoke cyclic extrapolation of past weather. They solve numerically the equations governing the motions of the atmosphere.

      • You also have some reading to do, it appears.

        https://www.ecmwf.int/sites/default/files/elibrary/1982/9605-statistical-weather-forecasting.pdf

        “Because forecast models based upon the equations for atmospheric dynamics do not perfectly determine weather conditions, statistical methods have been developed to attempt to correct the forecasts. Statistical models were created based upon the three-dimensional fields produced by numerical weather models, surface observations and the climatological conditions for specific locations. These statistical models are collectively referred to as model output statistics (MOS),[56] and were developed by the National Weather Service for their suite of weather forecasting models in the late 1960s.[15][57]

        Model output statistics differ from the perfect prog technique, which assumes that the output of numerical weather prediction guidance is perfect.[58] MOS can correct for local effects that cannot be resolved by the model due to insufficient grid resolution, as well as model biases. Because MOS is run after its respective global or regional model, its production is known as post-processing. Forecast parameters within MOS include maximum and minimum temperatures, percentage chance of rain within a several hour period, precipitation amount expected, chance that the precipitation will be frozen in nature, chance for thunderstorms, cloudiness, and surface winds.[59]”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numerical_weather_prediction#Model_output_statistics

      • Crucial to you. Using statistics from the past to forecast the future is a very well established methodology in multiple fields. You just reject its application in solar variability, despite SC24 prediction test showing that it performs better than every method that can predict more than one cycle in advance.

      • every method that can predict more than one cycle in advance.
        No method can predict more than one cycle in advance.
        and ‘statistical methods’ are NOT the same as blindly extrapolating cycles that have no known mechanism.

      • Spectral methods can. Clilverd showed how by building a low frequency model based on sunspot variation periodicities. The model can be improved to make better predictions but is already showing promise since it predicted in 2006 that SC25 should be similar to SC24, and SC26 having higher activity than SC25.

      • lready showing promise since it predicted in 2006 that SC25 should be similar to SC24, and SC26 having higher activity than SC25.
        That SC26 should be higher than SC25 is not exactly ‘promise’, but pure guesswork.

      • Once you have a viable physical theory the odds of being wrong fall dramatically. But as Al Gore has said: “if you don’t know anything, everything is possible”. With knowledge the space of possibility shrinks enormously.

      • I stick to the evidence of solar periodicities. You stick to your viable physical theory to reject them. In my experienced sticking to evidence is usually the correct strategy.

        We have the same problem with climatology. Most scientists stick to their viable physical CO2 theory. I rather stick to the evidence that I am not seeing the warming that the theory requires. Evidence trumps theory.

      • So you say. They are described as evidence by multiple independent researchers. Regarding its predictive powers we shall see. It is clear to anybody that the present extended minimum (Eddy minimum) was predictable from the 1900 Gleissberg minimum and the 1800 Dalton minimum. They don’t have predictive power to you because you don’t take them into account.

      • Regarding its predictive powers we shall see
        If you cannot guarantee success there is no true predictive power. No ‘actionable’ intelligence. No assurance that Hubble would stay up. You have to be correct every time. It is like earthquake prediction. If you predict 10% chance of an earthquake next year, nobody would pay attention. If you predict 95% and have been always correct in the past because you have shown that you understand the physics and have the measurements needed, people would act. “We shall see” or “time will tell” is simply not good enough.

      • As Pesnell correctly concluded:
        “predictions based only on the statistics of the sunspot number are not adequate for predicting the next solar maximum”
        Observations bear that out.

      • That’s his opinion. But then his own graph says otherwise.

        For the 21 authors that predicted a value between 60-100, 9 (43%) used spectral methods (light blue). They clearly performed better.

      • The average of the spectral predictions is the lowest of all six general categories. I already showed figure 2 from Pesnell.

      • The general category fallacy. Not all precursor methods are the same, as Pesnell recognized in his Figure two. A good prediction method has to be correct EVERY SINGLE TIME. Not to have a spread all over the map.

      • Then we should ask Kontor, Aguirre, Baranovski, and all the rest to predict SC25 to see if they get it correct again.

      • Javier says: “SGM take place at very specific times, and it is very improbable that we get a new SGM in the next few centuries.”

        For all you know we may get the most severe SGM for thousands of years next century.

      • Javier: Yes, SC24 was too small because they made a mistake and didn’t properly consider the 208-year cycle

        The 208-year cycle is tiny and is just another sub-harmonic of the basic 11-yr cycle, showing tha the sunspot cycle is [deterministic] chaotic.
        Since 14C is less influenced by climate than 10Be, I use the INTCAL13 14C record and calculate its FFT for the last 12,000 years:

      • The 208 frequency is modulated by the 2450 frequency, so while is low when all 12,000 years are considered, it is higher at 1000-year intervals centered in the lows of the 2450 year cycle. This is seen most clearly at wavelet analysis.

        That’s one of the things Clilverd analysis didn’t take into account, so yes, his method can be improved. I took this into account when I drew my graphic prediction. Being farther in time from the low of the 2450 year cycle, the SC24-25 minimum has to have higher activity than the SC14-15 minimum, not the same.

      • Not true. Ancient people were perfectly capable of predicting seasons and eclipses without any understanding. More bias from your part.

        Observation comes first. Explanation later.

      • Not true. Ancient people were perfectly capable of predicting seasons and eclipses without any understanding. More bias from your part.
        No, they had their own physical theories [e.g. that the Sun God traveled in his carriage behind the mountains or a dragon eating and regurgitating the sun if if ventured too close, etc]. We [at least some of us] have made some progress since then.

      • Their theories indicated they had zero understanding, yet they could predict. So what you say continues to be not true.

      • Extrapolating cycles shows that no physical understanding is involved. You yourself compared your methods to those of the ancients who also had no physical understanding.

      • Unless you can explain to me how the 980 and 2450 year periodicities are produced, it is clear that not only me, but we all have no physical understanding.

        You can pretend that you know more than you do by ignoring everything that does not fit your model.

      • but we all have no physical understanding.
        You admitting that you have no physical understanding may be the first step.
        Those ‘cycles’ are not ‘real’ in a physical sense and need no pretension of understanding.

      • Lots of things that are real we don’t understand, and things that we think we understand (like climate change), we actually don’t.

        Understanding something, therefore, has no bearing on it been real or not.

      • Nobody denies that it is better to understand something, but if you can’t presently you do with what you have available.
        Ancient farmers bet their lives on getting the right time based on blind seasonal cyclomania. We are here because the took the right choice.

      • Ancient farmers bet their lives on getting the right time based on blind seasonal cyclomania
        It is becoming clear that you are at the same level as the ancients. We have since progressed beyond that level. And by the way, it is not even true what you claim about spectral methods; several other methods have much smaller error bars, e.g. ‘aa’ and the ‘geomagnetic’. Now, those failed for SC24 because of lack of physical understanding.

      • They failed for SC24 because they don’t know anything about the centennial solar periodicity. Start with Feynman & Ruzmaikin articles.

      • Your faith is touching, but these ‘cycles’ are not real physical oscillations but just intermittent chaos showing its head. It is always easy afterwards to improve your forecasts.

      • They failed for SC24 because they don’t know anything about the centennial solar periodicity.
        Asserting that solar physicists don’t know anything about solar variability is just silly [or worse]. Perhaps they are just more realistic and not so prone to cyclomania as you.

      • I referred to the methods. I don’t presuppose what scientists know or don’t. But if they had included the centennial periodicity their predictions wouldn’t have been so off.

      • Observation comes first. Explanation later.
        Not always. In the case of the polar field method we started [back in 1978] with the theory or explanation by Babcock about how the solar cycle worked, and then from that deduced that the polar fields would be a strong predictor of the cycle. There were very little actual evidence at the time, so we did not get the idea from the observations. Several subsequent cycles have shown that the method actually works so we gain confidence in it and in the Babcock theory that provides the physical understanding underpinning the polar field method. Each coming cycle will either bolster that understanding or show us that the method failed. SC20 was actually a good example of confirmation.After the very strong SC19 one would statistically expect that the polar fields [formed by random influx of magnetic flux from the sunspot zones] would be strong, but observations during the minimum of 1964 and 1965 showed that the polar fields had fallen below the noise level of the magnetographs, thus presaging a weak SC20 as later observed. The polar fields come from only a handful of active regions [compared to the total number of about 3000 for the cycle] and so can [as they did] easily deviate from expectations based on blind statistics. No cyclomania needed.

      • As Tobias points out, deterministic chaos [sub-harmonics] is enough explanation.
        “The record of solar activity in figure 1 does, however, appear to be aperiodic rather than multiply periodic: the aperiodicity might have a stochastic origin but we believe that it is more likely to be an example of deterministic chaos (Weiss and Tobias 2000, Weiss 2002). Experience shows that it is possible to recognize periodicities in the power spectra of chaotic data sets. (They correspond to the periods of unstable periodic or multiply periodic orbits – ghost attractors – in the phase space of the system.) What affects the issue here
        is that the future behaviour of such a chaotic system is intrinsically unpredictable.”

      • That remains to be seen, because it also works the other way around. If the system turns out to be essentially predictable from spectral methods then it cannot be chaotic.

      • Non-spectral predictions are not only all over the map, but their average is even worse, so they are even more useless.

      • For the simple reason that the cycle cannot be confidently predicted more than one cycle ahead as there is a strong element of randomness in the generation of the poloidal field seeding the next cycle. This is a hurdle that cannot be overcome.
        Now, if there really were true long-period cycles, that would be absolutely revolutionary and mark a very significant and extraordinary step forward in our understanding of the sun and stellar structure in general. As Sagan said “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, so the long-cycle claims must be held to a much higher standard than just prediction of the next cycle. The burden of proof is incredible heavy in this case and has not been met as witnessed by the dismal performance of the spectral methods.

      • Long cycles are seen in solar activity reconstructions that you don’t accept as evidence. And being long it will take many centuries of observations to watch their effects. Perhaps evidence will come from other stars with shorter cycles that require modifications to stellar models to be explained, like star HD 147506 in the Hercules constellation, whose planet HAT-P-2b appears to cause changes in its solar output.

        Science never ceases to amaze. Milankovitch theory was quite discredited when it was revived in 1973 by evidence uncovered on the frequency of glaciations.

      • You have this completely wrong. Since the polar fields are formed from decaying sunspots one will find a tendency that a large cycle with many spots will be followed by another large cycle and a small cycle with fewer sunspots will be followed by another smaller cycle. So cycles will occur in groups of a handful of large cycles and a handful of small cycles. Thus giving the illusion of a long super cycle. This has been known a long time. The transition between large cycles and small cycles [or small and large] is caused by the random nature of the formation of the polar fields from the flux of only a few groups. The long ‘cycle’ [e.g. centennial] is thus a natural consequence of the random nature of the movement of the magnetic flux and not a strict real cycle caused by some unknown process within the sun. The long-cycles will have varying lengths of about 10 real cycles and extrapolation of these pseudo super cycles [as some enthusiasts make] hundreds or even thousands of years into the future is pseudo-science of high caliber.
        The planet around HD 147506 is so large and orbits so close to its star that it is inside the magnetosphere of the star and therefore occasionally exchanges material along magnetic field lines causing ‘aurorae’ on the star like Jupiter’s moon Io also does on Jupiter. No modification of stellar structure is required. In addition the very transit of such a large planet also causes variations of the light we receive. In fact, HD 147506 is classified as a ‘planetary transit variable’. Nothing unusual there.

      • As usual you state your opinion as fact, but there are other opinions, like that of the 16 authors from 16 different institutions that report otherwise:

        De Wit, J., et al. “Planet-induced Stellar Pulsations in HAT-P-2’s Eccentric System.” The Astrophysical Journal Letters 836.2 (2017): L17.
        https://arxiv.org/pdf/1702.03797

        “The extensive coverage … yields the detection of stellar pulsations with an amplitude of approximately 40 ppm. These pulsation modes correspond to exact harmonics of the planet’s orbital frequency, indicative of a tidal origin. Transient tidal effects can excite pulsation modes in the envelope of a star, but, to date, such pulsations had only been detected in highly eccentric stellar binaries. Current stellar models are unable to reproduce HAT-P-2ʼs pulsations, suggesting that our understanding of the interactions at play in this system is incomplete.”

        So perhaps it is you who have this completely wrong.

      • Their failure to explain their result as a tidal interaction may simply mean that it is not. Perhaps the auroral mechanism and waves in the magnetosphere that I described might be a better explanation.

      • I am not going to compare your personal opinion with a peer-reviewed published scientific article.

        As I said you state your personal opinion as a fact, and that is a negative characteristic of yours that makes anything you say unreliable.

        [Sheesh… SO many of yours and Leif’s posts ended up in the Trash because of WP’s overachieving IP Blacklist filter. It’s surprising you’ve even managed to have a conversation at all. :) Just note, though, this conversation has been immensely interesting and I, and many others, are very glad it’s occurring. -mod]

      • I am not going to compare your personal opinion
        The authors themselves acknowledge [“The failure of our models”] that they cannot explain their observations by tidal interactions. That you go go by.

      • If your model of your favored hypothesis fails [as the authors admit] that is usually an indication that your assumption that the hypothesis is applicable is wrong. Tidal theory is well-established and if it fails to explain the observations then either the observations are faulty or your hypothesis is wrong.

        And this case has no bearing on the validity of your cyclomania.

      • @Javier

        In 2015 Prof Valentina Zharkova at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno presented a sun model based upon dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. The model accords with the past very well. The model predicts that during Cycle 26, which covers the decade from 2030-2040, the two waves will become exactly out of synch and this will cause a significant reduction in solar activity.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3156594/Is-mini-ICE-AGE-way-Scientists-warn-sun-sleep-2020-cause-temperatures-plummet.html

      • Stephen, I have already answered to that. Run a search for Zharkova in this page and you will learn that her model didn’t accord with the past. Her model is wrong and her predictions very unlikely.

      • Javier says: “It is clear to anybody that the present extended minimum (Eddy minimum) was predictable from the 1900 Gleissberg minimum and the 1800 Dalton minimum.”

        Not exactly, because Dalton was from SC5 and Gleissberg was from SC12, an interval of seven cycles, and this minimum is from SC24, an interval of twelve cycles.

      • Yogi, you are just counting SCs and that is not a good way of defining anything. Since 1700 the centennial cycle is defined by two consecutive low minima. Took place in 1699 and 1711, in 1799 and 1811, and in 1901 and 1913. The appearance of the 2008 low minimum predicted the beginning of a centennial low. SC24 thus had to have a lower than average activity, and the next minimum also has to be a low one. SC25 cannot be a high activity cycle, but doesn’t have to be as low as SC24.

        The minimum of 2008 could also have been predicted, as at least 100 years have to pass from the previous deep low, and the minimum between SC22-23 was too early.

        We can extend this projection 100 more years and around 2110 a low minimum will precede a lower than average solar cycle and another low minimum, with a second reduced activity solar cycle afterwards.

        See how easy it is? Leif can’t do it.

      • owen wrote, “I don’t see the most recent warming as anything special and we will probably continue to see this natural, upward-biased random walk for the foreseeable future.”

        natural due to what?

        where is the energy being added to the
        system coming from?

      • You are backing into an ad ignoratium argument. Criticizing a model as inadequate does not require that the critic supply a better model. So your implication that CO2 caused AGW is true because no other model is proven, either, is a classic fallacy.

      • Javier says: “Yogi, you are just counting SCs and that is not a good way of defining anything.”

        Drivel, it is the most pertinent way to gauge the intervals between the onset of solar minima.

        “Since 1700 the centennial cycle is defined by two consecutive low minima. Took place in 1699 and 1711, in 1799 and 1811, and in 1901 and 1913.”

        Rather that you have redefined it in specious and dishonest ways to suit your confirmation bias of regular centennial cycle. Gleissberg started a good 20 years before 1901, Maunder started decades before 1699, and you know it. Solar minima are defined by whole low cycles, not by a low minimum in single year.

      • Read Feynman & Ruzmaikin 2014
        Well, Joan has changed her view a bit. She used to say that the ‘centennial’ cycle was 88.4+/-0.7 years:

        then she discovered that there were subharmonics and she concluded that the solar cycle was chaotic [and therefore not reliably predictable]:

        Now she is pushing that the cycle is 100 years. You can’t have both 88.4 and 100 years. At least, she is seeing that the ‘period’ is not stable [but chaotic] and hence that blind extrapolation of fixed cycles cannot be a reliable prediction method.
        It is like this: we can predict that next summer will be warmer than this fall, but not precisely what the temperature will be on the 4th of July or if it rain on that day.

      • Javier says: “You are an ignorant, thinking that I hace redefined anything. I don’t like your insults. This is the last time I reply to yo. Read Feynman & Ruzmaikin 2014, so you know what you talk about, big mouth.”

        In fact you are insulting me and in a rather thuggish manner, and you are willfully ignoring that the intervals between recent solar minima have varied between seven and twelve sunspot cycles. Which is why your prediction for the next solar minimum from 2110 is thoroughly baseless. You also have no means whatsoever to determine that it would weaken just two sunspot cycles.
        Why try to bluff it that solar minima occur neatly according to your centennial cycle when they patently do not? If being shown wrong is insulting to you, then you must be story telling rather than doing science.

      • you are willfully ignoring that the intervals between recent solar minima have varied between seven and twelve sunspot cycles
        I agree. There is no strict cycle of fixed length that would allow guaranteed prediction. If the length varies randomly, we cannot in advance know how it will evolve.

      • “There is no strict cycle of fixed length that would allow guaranteed prediction.”

        Or rather that a prediction based on a fixed length would more likely fail as the observed length is so variable. Though given that the last length was twelve cycles and that the long term average is around ten cycles, it’s more likely that the next length would be under ten cycles than over ten cycles.

  3. Several scientists at Marshall do make predictions for solar cycles and they are far better at those prediction than the IPCC is at climate predictions, yet they are the first to admit it is still a work in progress. Last I looked they were predicting a lower than “average” cycle for at least the remainder of this cycle and the next. How low is probably at this point is still a guess. Of course solar activity doesn’t seem to matter to the CAGW crowd since apparently the only driving force is carbon dioxide.

  4. David A – Thanks for the article.
    1. I know that little data is available for the pre-satellite past, but is there any indication that the recent pattern is similar to any set of cycles in the more distant past?
    2. There have been suggestions that solar cycle length is significant, ie. that a long cycle tends to precede a cooling period. Does #24 appear to you more likely to be short than long?
    3. You say “If the 23/24 solar minimum was the end of the Modern Warm Period, it does not look like it will be followed by a compensating period of especially low solar activity.“. What makes you make that “forecast”?

    • Mike:
      1. SC 23 and 24 looks similar to SCs 4 and 5. SC 5 was the first half of the Dalton. But with fewer than 30 recorded cycles, not much to go on with.
      2. To me, SC 24 looks like it is going to be short – that is a bit shorter than the normal 11.1 years.
      3. I made that forecast because SC 24 does not look like it is running cool. It started out very weak magnetically and I thought this is it, then it went normal. Magnetically the Sun is weaker than the second half of the 20th century and there was a step change from SC 23.

      • From the run of the solar polar fields, it is very likely that SC25 will be a bit stronger than SC24. Since the WSO had been broken the first half of 2017, the most reliable measurements are those of the HMI instrument on SDO: http://jsoc.stanford.edu/data/hmi/polarfield/
        The South Pole has been stable the last two years while the North Pole looks like it is still increasing [there is more positive (blue) flux coming up from the equator], so the ‘Dipole moment’ [the difference between North and South] will be a tad larger than the previous minimum. As the North is not yet stable, the minimum is still some time [~three years] away.

      • SC 23 and 24 looks similar to SCs 4 and 5
        The Sun does not have a memory that long [the eggs you boil for breakfast today have no memory of the eggs you boiled yesterday], so no significance can be attached to such ‘similarity’. In particular also because our knowledge of solar activity for SC4 and 5 is very poor.

      • David, your #2 is indeed what I thought your article was about, and I think it is quite a change from what you were suggesting a few years ago (fair enough, more data now available).

        However, looking at the Butterfly Diagram, I am not so convinced of a short cycle. I think there is a north-south asymmetry which could keep it ticking longer than you expect.

        Rich.

      • David A – Thx. It seems that in spite of all the detailed studies of solar activity, we are still unable to forecast what comes next.
        Leif S – When asking about similarity I was simply wondering if there might be something derivable from a repeating pattern. [Using your egg analogy, the eggs I boil for breakfast today have no memory of the eggs I boiled yesterday, but when I do boil them they behave the same way.]. From what you and David A say, it seems that there are not yet any repeating solar patterns of any value..

      • there are not yet any repeating solar patterns of any value.
        For a repeating pattern to have real value [other than inspired guesswork] it must be caused by a physical mechanism that is strictly repeatable, deterministic, and understood. We don’t have any such for the Sun. The best we can do is to measure what the sun is doing when assembling the field for the next cycle.
        when I do boil them they behave the same way
        That would work if we were boiling the Sun [i.e. controlling and ensuring that the Sun behaves the same way], but we are not.

    • Cracker, solar min to solar max shows about .1C of warming. High solar activity coming out of the MM correlates with about .3C of warming during the breadth of the 18th century (until the dalton minimum/ tambora dip)…

    • History and actual observations show that all solar activity taken together, as modulated by earth’s celestial mechanics, is a major influence on climate. The variation in UV is much greater than for TSI. UV affects ozone levels, hence air pressure and winds, while also penetrating sea water more deeply than visible and IR light.

    • The size of the Spring ozone hole is dependent on the size of the Winter Antarctic Ozone Depletion Anomaly discovered by Dobson in the early 1960s. As he speculated then, and as was confirmed by satellites, the Winter Antarctic Ozone Depletion Anomaly is a phenomenon across the interior of the Antarctic Winter-Spring Vortex. Thus, the size of the Spring ozone hole (a further depletion caused by extra free chlorine involved in reactions during the Springtime breakdown of PSC) is dependent on the size of the vortex. So Ren, your question may be about the relationship of an expanded (or tight) vortex with solar activity. I have never understood why NASA makes so much fuss about the size of the hole, as though that would have something to do with the extent of CFC-caused depletion; surely it would be the total amount of depletion (depletion x area) that they should be looking at. Perhaps I am missing something, but, if not, then the effect of this focus on the size of the hole is that the debate over the relative effect of CFCs and other phenomena (solar activity? temperature? circulation?) on the Spring Antarctic ozone layer is distorted by measuring against variable is not directly related to the level of depletion.

      • Look at 2017. In the recent period there have been several strong geomagnetic storms and suddenly the ozone hole has risen. What is more, the sea ice extent in Antarctica is increasing in October.

      • Ren, Interesting. So NOAA does not even distinguish between the Antarctic winter anomaly (discovered and explained by Dobson in the 1960s) and the October hole (which caused all the fuss back in the 1980s). Again I ask: are you proposing at a link of geomagnetic activity with the size of the vortex or with the amount of ozone depletion? Interesting also with the corresponding sea ice increase. But doesn’t it make sense that sea ice might tend to form under the cold stable air inside an enlarged stratospheric vortex?

        As an outsider reading this science I have been left most dissatisfied. In the late 1980s, the controversy over the ‘hole’ was about the amount of ozone depletion (possibly caused by CFCs). This was firstly indicated by the depth of the depletion over Hadley Bay, but then it was noted that a similar depth of depletion was evidence at other places and then the satellite data showed this dip in depletion across the inside of the vortex in October. This dip, the ‘hole’, was explained because CFC-derived chlorine was acting (in sunlight and with PSC) in isolation from the ozone transported from the equator — depletion was evident because the vortex blocked any ozone replenishment due to transportation. But did anyone then, or since, claim that the size of the vortex during winter or spring was a problem related to CFCs or otherwise? If so, I cannot find it.

        This is why I find it so strange that now NASA and NOAA give size such emphasis, while I have never seen graphs showing trends in estimated total amounts of ozone depletion during October inside the vortex. It seems to me that would be the most interesting variation to watch across the satellite record and to compare it graphically with the amount of atmospheric CFCs and with the concentration of chlorine and ClO in the Antarctic stratosphere. That I do not see this, that NASA and NOAA use of the term ‘hole’ for the entire Winter-Spring anomaly, that their emphasize size, all this does seem to distract the non-experts. And it does make me wonder: could it also be distracting the science? Moreover, has it distracted you from what might be the true causal link suggested by the correlations that you note?

      • I think this is due to the action of the magnetic field on ozone (diamagnetism). This field is produced when aurora borealis occurs.
        Influence of the magnetic field is particularly visible at the top of the stratosphere. Ozone is pushed away from the pole.
        Ozone is dimagnetic as water (O2 is paramagnetic). See how water behaves when a magnetic field appears.
        Simple homemade experiment that shows the diamagnetic properties of water.
        https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2FlTmFjQCPfCg&h=ATOOpQnS2eVrqj7NxB7CR71_PMhP43hRK7yiGkBUCAlZzSXesY_5DwTr50XSVlyS85wONJOtAyZOoD7WV4jxHBMdPZdi0z16VV9mWoxobOgnuSI9Gd1e_oHcoKXlQuVnLFQQerSS9FRP
        The emergence of the aurora is the result of the flow of strong electric current. It must produce a magnetic field.
        http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Swarm/Supersonic_plasma_jets_discovered

  5. In examining the surface temperature variations of the rock in the lamp-gas-rock assembly it pays to give very careful consideration to the subtle variations in the lamp for it is indeed the only source of the heat energy in this setup.

    Pro tip: Don’t forget to include the effects of ALL the fields.

  6. Has any one studied the alignment of Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter and Saturn in the same quadrant of space with Earth at the same time?

  7. Solar activity continues to look weak. If the 23/24 solar minimum was the end of the Modern Warm Period, it does not look like it will be followed by a compensating period of especially low solar activity.

    he lost me there: if activity is weak, it DOES look like we will have a period of low activity?
    but it is not co pensating at all, its a continuation of the minimum??

  8. Since 1900 there were 11 sunspot cycles, following much longer centenary pattern, there was only one odd out cycle since and that is not SC24 but it was SC20.

    It is too early to conclude that we are heading for a new ‘Dalton minimum’, the next cycle SC25 will provide more solid basis for a forecast.

    • Nope, SC20 and SC10 are exactly as they should be. You are not recognizing a pentadecadal solar cycle, that was however the first identified secular solar cycle by Wolff in person. I’ll be talking a little bit about the pentadecadal and centennial solar cycles in an article soon.

      • Hi Xavier
        I’ve been looking at solar activity on & off for nearly 15 years, but have not come across credible evidence (spectral analysis) or credible reference regarding ‘pentadecadal’ solar cycle.
        Roll call of cycles is growing, 11 years, 22 years (magnetic), the Gleissberg 77 years (later he corrected to 80 years) maybe confounded by possible centenary (around 100 years) cycles.
        By adding 50 years cycles whole thing becomes just simply a case of an inflated ‘cyclomania’.
        With periodic oscillations of 11, 22, 50, 77/80 and 100 years cycles there is hardly any waveform that can’t be reproduced (von Neumann elephant tail).
        With respect to Wolff, if that is what he claimed, I would hazard to say he was wrong.
        Do you have any credible evidence (based on a scientific method) or a credible reference conclusively proving existence of ‘pentadecadal’ solar cycle?
        I have not come across it, yet.

      • Do you have any credible evidence (based on a scientific method) or a credible reference conclusively proving existence of ‘pentadecadal’ solar cycle?

        Of course I do. Otherwise I would not talk about it. Both in sunspots and 10Be from Dye 3. This figure is from McCracken et al., 2013 Solar Phys. 286, 609-627, I just added the names to the periodicities.

      • Regarding the number of periodicities, the 50, 100, and 200 periodicities appear as harmonics and therefore could be related.

        The 11 and 22 periodicities are related.

        The 77/87 periodicity doesn’t appear to be taking place currently and does not exist as it was originally defined.

        So all your cyclomania gets reduced to two sets, the 11/22 set and the 50/100/200 set.

        They might have a common origin. The 11 year cycle is actually an average of two periodicities, one slightly shorter and one slightly longer. There is at least one study that claims that the 100 year periodicity originates from the different amplitudes for both short cycles over time. Every 100 years the >11 year periodicity contributes more to the Schwabe cycle and solar cycles become longer and less active.

      • Hi again
        There is no reference to source of the above graphs of quoted spectral composition.
        There are very reliable sunspot data since 1800, therefore if there is a ‘pentadecadal’ cycle within sunspot data it should contain four full cycles of such periodicity, however that is no case unless you dig into the noise level.

        Excluding magnetic 22 year cycle there are only two significant cycles 11 and 100+ years. There is some uncertainty with centenary cycle’s exact periodicity in addition to its significantly lower amplitude.
        Therefore there are no ‘pentadecadal’ or 77/80 cycles within the last two hundred years of solar activity.

        10Be data is significantly affected by precipitations, and since there is an assumed ‘pentadecadal’ Pacific Ocean cycle (google it) it is likely that sharp 50 year component in the 10Be spectrum is not of the sunspot effect origin.
        .

      • I gave you the reference McCracken et al., 2013, with journal, issue, and pages.

        You say there is no pentadecadal periodicity, yet you acknowledge its existence when saying that SC10 and SC20 are not as strong as they should be.

        The pentadecadal periodicity can also be seen in the aa index by the low value of 1965. This graph from Leif Svaalgard on Rmax from AAmin shows quite clearly what I am talking about:

        I doubt geomagnetic activity is very much affected by precipitations.

      • lsvalgaard October 9, 2017 at 7:08 am
        “There is some evidence that all the longer period ‘cycles’ are simply sub-harmonics of the basic 11-yr cycle”
        It must be something within solar internal magnetic reverberation/resonance since the periodograph I’ve just posted shows only two notable components with 10.9 and 108 years (10x ratio) periodicities.

      • If all longer periods a just sub-harmonics of the basic 11-yr period, all they show is that the system is chaotic, not that there are ‘things’ inside [or outside] the sun driving them.

      • Vuk,
        This plot shows that the cycle periods [less that 200 years which is the best we can get with 400 years of data] are all simple subharmonics of the basic 11-yr cycle, i.e. integer multiples. This is the classic signature of chaos:

        The left scale [and pink squares] are for the period divided by the basic 11.25 yr period.

        If you have problems with the numbers take them up with Lomb:
        http://www.leif.org/EOS/Lomb-Sunspot-Cycle-Revisited.pdf

      • “You say there is no pentadecadal periodicity, yet you acknowledge its existence when saying that SC10 and SC20 are not as strong as they should be.”

        That is a gross misinterpretation,
        I never mentioned SC10, and I said “SC20 is odd one out”,
        There is a fundamental difference between ‘odd one out’ and ‘not as strong as it should be’.
        Perhaps you care to read my comment again.
        All sunspot cycles if data is good are as ‘as strong as they should be’, but if something is odd it is my or maybe a general inability to understand why it is so.
        It is that some in the climate ‘science’ state that this or that is ‘not as it should be’ and then they go and promptly adjust the data to do as they think it should be.

        On subject of 10Be and geomagnetic activity you mention:
        It is not geomagnetic activity, it is nucleation of the 10Be that is affected by precipitations, as one well known scientist in the field ones said ’10Be is only a good proxy for 10Be’
        There are number of reputable papers, I’m sure you can find references to it.
        BtW McCracken data from Greenland ice cores prior to the satellite ‘age’ matches almost perfectly CET data, than correlation falls to zero.

        You can make whatever you like from it.

      • It is geomagnetic activity because the aa index does also show the corresponding fall in activity that precedes SC20.

        The 10Be data that you criticize is the same data that shows very clearly the centennial and 208 year de Vries cycle, that you accept without problems. So it seems that from the same data only the pentadecadal cycle creates a 10Be credibility problem for you. Otherwise you would think it is fine. When the data is rejected or not depending on what it shows we might have a problem of data selection.

      • Hi doc
        Harmonics and their lower grade relatives sub-harmonics are bane of any spectral analysis.
        100+ year cycle appears to be there for real at least since 1700, but may wobble a bit up or down in the periodicity. I would assume it is some kind of fluid dynamic propagation periodicity between various layers within solar interior.
        I just answered another Xavier’s comment regarding 10Be proxy reliability (may eventually pop up), there is a reputable paper on the subject, would appreciate if you have a link to it.

      • I would assume it is some kind of fluid dynamic propagation periodicity between various layers within solar interior.
        The solar magnetic field is generated in the convection zone [the outer 30% of the sun] which completely overturns [think boiling water] on a time scale of months and is not likely to support any longer-term fluid behaviour.

      • “The 10Be data that you criticize is the same data that shows very clearly the centennial and 208 year de Vries cycle, that you accept without problems.”

        Again I never said such thing.
        What I said is: “ There is some uncertainty with centenary cycle’s exact periodicity in addition to its significantly lower amplitude.”
        and
        “100+ year cycle appears to be there for real at least since 1700, but may wobble a bit up or down in the periodicity.“
        I never mention the de Vries cycle, there isn’t enough observation data to conclusively identify so called de Vries cycle of 200+ years.
        Where is it 1700-1900 or 1800-2000?
        I have strong doubt about it’s existence, hence I never referred to de Vries cycle in any of my comments at WUWT since I joined sometime in 2009 or on the SC24 blog some years before.
        I’m surprised that despite some good writing you have done here and Climate etc, that you would resort to such methods in this discussion.

        Re 10Be data: I suggest reproduce the CET and McCracken’s 10Be data.
        Here is what Usoskin says: “In contrast to the globally
        mixed radiocarbon, deposition of 10Be has
        a pronounced geographical pattern, with the dominant
        precipitation at middle latitudes and relatively
        small deposition in polar regions [11, 12]. Because of
        this, concentration of 10Be in ice core may be greatly
        affected by the local/regional climate/precipitation
        variability, particularly on the temporal scale shorter
        than 100 years.”

        [PDF] Long-term solar/heliospheric variability
        http://www.ihep.ac.cn/english/conference/icrc2011/paper/proc/vc/vc_H10.pdf

        you can easily find more quotes from reputable papers
        All the best.

      • Here you have my identification of the pentadecadal, centennial, and de Vries cycles, in case you find it useful.

        My identification of the de Vries cycle in light blue is in agreement with its cosmogenic isotope-based identification during the Little Ice Age, so it is close to 1900, not 1800. Its effect over SC30 should be small.

      • Javier
        I just posted a comment re 10Be but it disappeared somewhere along the line possible due to the internet link, may pop-up eventually.
        Meanwhile here is what Usoskin said in his paper: Long-term solar/heliospheric variability
        “Here is what Usoskin says: “In contrast to the globally
        mixed radiocarbon, deposition of 10Be has
        a pronounced geographical pattern, with the dominant
        precipitation at middle latitudes and relatively
        small deposition in polar regions [11, 12]. Because of
        this, concentration of 10Be in ice core may be greatly affected by the local/regional climate/precipitation variability,
        particularly on the temporal scale shorter than 100 years.”

        Perhaps you need to look into it a bit further by yourself.
        all the best

      • No proxy is perfect, but solar activity reconstructions based on 10Be are very similar to those based on 14C.

        In any case look at the figure from Leif:

        Pentadecadal frequency is right there, too. So all your arguments about 10Be are moot.

        The real problem here is that you did not include the pentadecadal frequency in your formula, so admitting its existence means admitting your formula is wrong. When one rejects the evidence because it does not fit his hypothesis that’s just bias.

        The pentadecadal periodicity might be barely noticeable, but the evidence is there that it exists, and affects solar activity at certain Schwabe cycles, and those cycles are the ones where your formula performs worst.

  9. “much fuss about the size of the hole, as though that would have something to do with the extent of CFC-caused depletion;”

    We know now that the ozone/CFC connection was junk science perpetrated by Dupont Chem. to have their out of patent refrigerant banned and their more expensive, patented replacement adopted. Twenty years later the “scientist” who fabricated the “science” implicating CFCs admitted to the fraud. Too late, however. The greenies think the Montreal Protocol was a great success, ignorant of their being snookered and the many people who subsequently died from not being able to afford refrigeration. As far as killing people is concerned, it was a great success.

    • Zharkova is usually mentioned in the comments of every solar article at WUWT. The problem is that Zharkova has been shown wrong. Her model doesn’t even hindcast properly.

      • Ha thank you ! I didn’t know that.
        Do you have a reference for the paper that proved her wrong by any chance ?

      • Yes, courtesy of Leif Svalgaard:

        http://www.leif.org/EOS/1512-05516-Zharkova-Fail-by-Usoskin.pdf

        “A two-wave dynamo model was recently proposed by Zharkova et al. (2015, Zh15 henceforth), which aims at long-term predictions of solar activity for millennia ahead and backwards. Here we confront the backward predictions for the last 800 years with known variability of solar activity, using both direct sunspot observations since 1610 and reconstructions based on cosmogenic nuclide data. We show that the Zh15 model fails to reproduce the well-established features of the solar activity evolution during the last millennium. This means that the predictive part for the future is not reliable either”

        Zharkova’s model hindcasts the Dalton minimum at 1750 instead of 1815. That’s how good it is.

      • Javier, I always enjoy your comments here and your articles at Climate Etc; please continue doing both.

    • Of course it would be Lief who proved her wrong! And if he said it, it must be correct. The guy should be given some kind of award, lol.

      • No, you are wrong, it was Usoskin who proved her wrong, Leif just happens to agree. Unlike Leif, Usoskin is a big proponent of a pronounced solar variability effect on climate. Leif has already got quite a few science awards. Despite my many disagreements with him I still think it is best to keep discussions civil and respectful, and I have a hard time understanding why so many people have a spelling problem with a four-letter name. Is that some reading problem?

      • It doesn’t take fancy analysis to show that Zharkova et al. are wrong. Simply overlaying their ‘reconstructed sunspot number’ on actual solar activity shows this at a glance:

        so, let’s close the book on this.

      • It always high in the last few years of a declining solar cycle, because the relative lack of active regions allows the ones that are there to grow and undisturbedly disperse their magnetic flux into coronal holes that are sources of high-speed stream causing geomagnetic activity.

    • “It was a pleasure to read all the interesting comments.”

      I agree – although I may not always agree totally with everyone including Leif, my view has always been that Leif along with the other solar experts are a treasure to have on the board when there is any discussion how the sun works.

      I’ve learned the most about the sun from Leif’s comments (here) and his web page where I periodically read some of the papers linked to his website. http://www.leif.org/research/

  10. I am reminded of the words of a famous sage of the late 20th century: “Prediction is difficult, especially when it’s about the future.” (Yogi Bear)

    • It’s EASY to make predictions. Back when I was single, I did it all the time at the racetrack and at the poker table. The difficult part is making ACCURATE predictions.

  11. We will have to wait until late 2019 in order to understand whether a extraordinary solar minimum will occur. I understand the levels of cosmic particles are increasing and Svensmark team’s work on cloud formation resulting from increased cosmic particles as a result of lower solar radiation will likely lead to possible climate scenarios.
    The Ozone hole increasing in size startled the accepted theories on UFC causation.
    This is an exciting time for studying the natural cyclic effects of our Sun and planet, but unfortunately the AGW funding has siphoned research funding and debate away.

  12. Putting things in the perspective, predictions concerning an object (the sun) that is 4bn years old are being made with observations (and I’ll be generous) over the course of two, three hundred years and we think that we can predict/forecast the behavior of the sun with any kind of great authority. I really doubt that. While we have some broad understating of the science, but our grasp of the particulars are limited.

      • lsvalgaard October 9, 2017 at 11:29 am
        ..because the relative lack of active regions allows the ones that are there to grow and undisturbedly disperse their magnetic flux into coronal holes that are sources of high-speed stream causing geomagnetic activity…
        —————————————————–

        Thanks Dr. S.
        you are true blue,
        can always learn something from you.

        When did wuwt start asking for location?
        I’m in the land of more than 10,000 lakes.

        back to the global news scene………………………………………………………………………………………………………

      • Thanks ren, I’ll take a look…something looks Polish over dar.
        My ancestry is around 65% German with some German, Polish mixing and some Polish. Blame some of it on the old border wars. Dad’s side German from Bavaria since 1856, mom’s side mixes it up (1892).

  13. I will sum it up for you:
    The earth rotate in a variable elliptical orbit around a variable intensity star, furthermore, the water vapor is 1000 times more powerful insulator then a tiny particles of CO2 who tend to fall on ground and can be separated in O2 and C by strong UV and cosmic rays should they infiltrate in the upper atmosphere.
    The global worming is a farce because the climate on earth is dependent on hundreds of variables and not on the CO2, like wind patterns, atmospheric pressures, ocean currents, clouds, aerosols and particle of dust, tilt of the earth (hence four seasons) and the list is endless, like tree covered streets are 5-8 degree Celsius cooler in summer then a bare concrete, but you can come to same conclusion if you are realistic and or factual person, otherwise, keep on dreaming for a payment to be made to you by the wealthy nations as a thank you note for letting them to control your mind.

  14. Javier
    Of course you are entitled to your views and conclusions regarding both, your unquestionable conviction in the existence of ‘pentadecadal’ cycle and that the 10Be ‘proxy is perfect’, but have to say I do not buy either.
    I have recorded number of your extensive articles from here at WUWT and Climate etc blog for future references, but in the light of the above discussion, I may well reconsider taking anything in there for granted.
    Thank you for your comments; however any further discussion is pointless.
    With regards.

    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 472, Issue 3, 11 December 2017, Pages 2913–2918, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2206
      Published: 29 August 2017
      Abstract
      Applying the Hilbert-Huang Transform (HHT) method to the yearly average sunspot group (SG) number reconstructed by Svalgaard & Schatten, we investigate the periodicity of SG number from 1610 to 2015. Our main findings are summarized below. Periodicities of 3.56 ± 0.24 (Quasi-Triennial Oscillations), 9.22 ± 0.13 (Schwabe Cycle), 16.91 ± 0.99 (Hale Cycle), 49.25 ± 0.96, 118.64 ± 2.52 (Centennial Gleissberg Cycle), and 206.32 ± 4.60 yr are statistically significant in the SG numbers. During the Maunder Minimum (MM), the occurrences of the Schwabe Cycle and the Hale Cycle, extracted from SG numbers, are suspended; before and after the MM, Schwabe Cycle and the Hale Cycle, extracted from SG numbers, all exist. The results of applying the Morlet Wavelet Analysis to the SG number confirm that, for SG number, the occurrence of the Schwabe Cycle is suspended during the MM, and, before and after the MM, the Schwabe Cycle all exist. Then we investigate the periodicity in the annual 10Be data from 1391 to 1983, which are given in a supplementary file to McCracken & Beer, using HHT and the Morlet wavelet transform. We find that, for the 10Be data, the Schwabe Cycle and the Hale Cycle persist throughout the MM. Our results support the suggestion that the Schwabe Cycle is too weak to be detected in the sunspot data.

  15. lsvalgaard October 10, 2017 at 5:23 am
    The polar fields come from only a handful of active regions [compared to the total number of about 3000 for the cycle]…
    —————————————————–

    Hi Dr. S., do the active regions that feed the polar fields, always come from the same location on the solar disk? Is there a drift of the regions?

    You know me, I do have a problem with cyclomania.
    The Milky Way is very chaotic and messy place. Even the LISM local interstellar medium, can be messy at times…..past present and future.

    • You may also enjoy:
      http://www.leif.org/EOS/Gough-Is-the-Sun-a-Magnet.pdf
      “It has been argued (Gough and McIntyre in Nature 394, 755, 1998) that the only way for the radiative interior of the Sun to be rotating uniformly in the face of the differentially rotating convection zone is for it to be pervaded by a large-scale magnetic field, a field which is responsible also for the thinness of the tachocline. It is most likely that this field is the predominantly dipolar residual component of a tangled primordial field that was present in the interstellar medium from which the Sun condensed (Braithwaite and Spruit in Nature 431, 819, 2004), and that advection by the meridional flow in the tachocline has caused the dipole axis to be inclined from the axis of rotation by about 60◦ (Gough in Geophys. Astrophys. Fluid Dyn., 106, 429, 2012). It is suggested here that, notwithstanding its turbulent passage through the convection zone, a vestige of that field is transmitted by the solar wind to Earth, where it modulates the geomagnetic field in a periodic way. The field variation reflects the inner rotation of the Sun, and, unlike turbulent-dynamo-generated fields, must maintain phase. I report here a new look at an earlier analysis of the geomagnetic field by Svalgaard and Wilcox (Solar Phys. 41, 461, 1975), which reveals evidence for appropriate phase coherence, thereby adding support to the tachocline theory.”
      Note that such a primordial field would not be cyclic but have a lifetime exceeding that of the Sun’s age at this time.

      • lsvalgaard October 10, 2017 at 8:11 am

        ..It is most likely that this field is the predominantly dipolar residual component of a tangled primordial field that was present in the interstellar medium from which the Sun condensed (Braithwaite and Spruit in Nature 431, 819, 2004),..
        —————————–

        Thank you Dr. S., that’s pretty neat..and the links.

  16. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    “Periodicities of 3.56, 9.22 16.91, 49.25,118.64, 206.32 years are statistically significant in the SG numbers.”

    Oh, yes indeed, cyclomania rampant
    All nonsense my dear doc.
    I have looked at spectrum of the data 1700 – 2016, 1700 –1900 and 1800 – 2016.
    In the first two selections there are all sorts of periodicities some of those mentioned above and some extra depend how long is the period.
    I did lot of spectral analysis of communication signals, I can say about the above is that prior to around 1800 sunspot data contains lot of noise (either sun was more random or data isn’t fully representative of the solar activity).
    However, when 1800 – 2016 data is analysed, there is a much cleaner spectrum with strong10.9 years component (made of trio of periodicities 10.1 @ 12%, 10.8 @ 21% and 11.8 @ 9%) while 216 years of data may not be long enough to accurately and conclusively determine accurate periodicity of the ‘centennial’ component.

    p.s. couldn’t see who is the author, using the Svalgaard & Schatten data.
    I think I’ve got your SG numbers data file, will look into it and keep you posted, till then I assume on the basis of the RAS finding you will be applying to join the cyclomania club.

      • An 88yr double doubling of Hale cannot track the recent solar minima starting from SC5, from SC12, and from SC24.

      • That’s why sub-harmonics won’t work. There must be another explanation for the cyclicity of solar minima that also accounts for the variance around the mean.

      • That’s why sub-harmonics won’t work
        Nevertheless, sub-harmonics are there, see e.g.
        http://www.leif.org/EOS/Lomb-Sunspot-Cycle-Revisited.pdf
        “all five of these longer-term periods in the modified sunspot data are subharmonics of the main 11-year periodicity”. This is an indication of chaos. On the other hand, as Lomb also remarks: “there is no indication if any of the modulation periodicities are real or if they just represent a Fourier fit to a random variation.”, so we have to leave it at that.

      • Though still cannot account for the highly variable intervals between onset of solar minima. What do you make of the sunspot cycles between solar minima tending closely to a mean length of 10.39 years maximum to maximum? e.g. 1907 to 2000.

      • I was remarking upon the relative lack of variability of max-max cycle length in that period: 1907, 1917.6, 1928.4, 1937.4, 1947.5, 1957.9, 1968.9, 1979.9, 1989.6, 2000.5.
        A fixed 10.39yr length gives: 1907, 1917.4, 1927.8, 1938.2, 1948.6, 1958.9, 1969.3, 1979.7, 1990.1, 2000.5.

      • The maxima are ill-defined, e.g. look at cycle 14:

        or cycle 20:

        or even cycle 23 and 24:

        When is maximum? Hard to say.
        From the standpoint of the physics, it is the minima that determine the cycle start and end.

      • Well that is normal for cycles to lengthen when entering a solar minimum. The previous nine lengths are remarkably regular, and the same regular length is also seen between previous solar minima. Because it’s an astronomical period.

      • I know so. It is a phase relationship between four bodies, that breaks down exactly at the onset of Maunder, Dalton, Gleissberg, and from SC24, with each solar minimum ending at the point that the phase relationship is restored.

      • What a tragically comical response. It breaks down consistently and exclusively at the right points, strongly suggesting that it is authentic. This is neither cyclomanic projections or sub-harmomic mathurbation, it is empirical evidence for the real timing and duration of each solar minimum.

      • it is empirical evidence
        Sorry to burst your bubble. The actual empirical evidence shows otherwise:

        The average length is 11.1 years as already Rudolf Wolf found long ago.
        There is nothing special about your 10.39 years except that it clearly does not fit the data.

      • “Sorry to burst your bubble”

        Sorry that you think I have one.

        “The actual empirical evidence shows otherwise:
        The average length is 11.1 years as already Rudolf Wolf found long ago.
        There is nothing special about your 10.39 years except that it clearly does not fit the data.”

        Patently I have been referring to observed cycle lengths between solar minima and not the average length.

        “Your faith is strong. Perhaps it is time for me to agree with Javier about you.”

        That is rather desperate and inconsistent after agreeing with me about the highly variable lengths between solar minima. If the best that you can do is return a specious counter argument accompanied with insults, we’ll end the conversation right here.

      • Patently I have been referring to observed cycle lengths between solar minima
        The graph shows [yellow symbols] the length between minima;as you can see it is not constant [10.39 yrs] but varies random randomly around its mean 11.1. Do I need to show it again?. Just let me know if you have difficulties..

  17. Here we are, sir

    Nonsense, as I said.
    In my past career of analysing transmission signals I (and my colleagues) had standard practice that anything below 30% below the principal component’s amplitude to be dumped into the basket labelled ‘NOISE’, here set at 7% while for the GS 1610-2015 should be a fraction lower.
    As you can see both sets of data after 1800 have only two components of significance, while GS1610-2015 is all over place.

  18. Cycles of solar fracture 0d about 11.2 years on average have the cause of the phenomenon, and whether these cycles and the phenomenon itself does not affect the climate change on the planets, it is an indication that something is causing temperature changes then.
    A human factor does not have such power that it can cause climate change, but it can affect local projections, mainly pollution of the atmosphere.
    Cycles of 11.2 years, as well as many other shorter and longer arise due to mutual relations of the planet and the sun between each other. The main triggers of the phenomena that cause these changes are the four planets with the sun. How and why this occurs, I try to publish, but I am not known in science because I do not deal with the wrong theories that are much more acceptable to today’s science than they are true because In truth, they do not make money. And today’s science is mostly politically colored and dominated by tycoons. Why today’s every scientific institution and magazine necessarily ask for them to pay for the publication of some scientific novelty, no matter how much the work of the author is valid. For journals and scientific institutions, it does not matter how valuable it is to mankind, it’s important that they fill their pockets with that publication. I have many new things that can change the direction of the movement of today’s science (I give a “positive spin”). The same is true for climate change on planets (this does not only apply to the Earth, which tells a lot about the true causes of the phenomenon).
    As an example, take a butterfly diagram of about 123 years-cycle. That’s 11.2×11

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