Oddly quiet sun: 3 weeks without sunspots

The sun has been blank for 21 straight days–a remarkable 3 weeks without sunspots. This is an almost decade-class event. The last time the sun lost its spots for 21 consecutive days was in the year 2009 coming on the heels of an historic solar minimum. With the current stretch of blank suns, solar minimum conditions have definitely returned.

The sun today. Image: Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI Continuum

To find an equal stretch of spotless suns in the historical record, you have to go back to July-August 2009 when the sun was emerging from a century-class solar minimum. We are now entering a new solar minimum, possibly as deep as the last one.

Solar minimum is a normal part of the solar cycle. Every 11 years or so, sunspot production sputters. Dark cores that produce solar flares and CMEs vanish from the solar disk, leaving the sun blank for long stretches of time. These quiet spells have been coming with regularity since the sunspot cycle was discovered in 1859.

However, not all solar minima are alike. The last one in 2008-2009 surprised observers with its depth and side-effects. Sunspot counts dropped to a 100-year low; the sun dimmed by 0.1%; Earth’s upper atmosphere collapsed, allowing space junk to accumulate; and the pressure of the solar wind flaggedwhile cosmic rays (normally repelled by solar wind) surged to Space Age highs. These events upended the orthodox picture of solar minimum as “uneventful.”

Space weather forecasters have long wondered, will the next solar minimum (2018-2020) be as deep as the previous one (2008-2009)? Twenty-one days without sunspots is not enough to answer that question. During the solar minimum of 2008-2009, the longest unbroken interval of spotlessness was ~52 days, adding to a total of 813 intermittent spotless days observed throughout the multi-year minimum. The corresponding totals now are only 21days and 244 days, respectively. If this solar minimum is like the last one, we still have a long way to go.

How does this affect us on Earth? Contrary to popular belief, auroras do not vanish during solar minimum. Instead, they retreat to polar regions and may change color. Arctic sky watchers can still count on good displays this autumn and winter as streams of solar wind buffet Earth’s magnetic field. The biggest change brought by solar minimum may be cosmic rays. High energy particles from deep space penetrate the inner solar system with greater ease during periods of low solar activity. NASA spacecraft and space weather balloons are already detecting an increase in radiation. Cosmic rays alter the flow of electricity through Earth’s atmosphere, trigger lightning, potentially alter cloud cover, and dose commercial air travelers with extra “rads on a plane.”

At the moment there are no nascent sunspots on the solar disk, so the spotless days counter is likely to keep ticking.

Via NASA Spaceweather.com

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158 thoughts on “Oddly quiet sun: 3 weeks without sunspots

      • Sunspots and solar cycles are related but to be accurate, sunspots were discovered before solar cycles were discovered.

          • Leif

            Your input on solar matters is always welcome, but is this not a pointless argument that you are engaging in which adds nothing of substance to the point made in the article.

            Whilst I personally dislike pedants, on blogs, since it usually adds nothing of real substance to the debate, and whilst none of us here have carried out the background research and whilst Wikipedia is not always reliable, there is no obvious reason to question its summary of the history of early observations.

            It states:

            Solar activity and related events have been regularly recorded since the time of the Babylonians. In the 8th century BC,[5] they described solar eclipses and possibly predicted them from numerological rules. The earliest extant report of sunspots dates back to the Chinese Book of Changes, c. 800 BC. The phrases used in the book translate to “A dou is seen in the Sun” and “A mei is seen in the Sun”, where dou and mei would be darkening or obscuration (based on the context). Observations were regularly noted by Chinese and Korean astronomers at the behest of the emperors, rather than independently.[5]

            The first clear mention of a sunspot in Western literature, around 300 BC, was by the ancient Greek scholar Theophrastus, student of Plato and Aristotle and successor to the latter.[6] On 17 March AD 807 Benedictine monk Adelmus observed a large sunspot that was visible for eight days; however, Adelmus incorrectly concluded he was observing a transit of Mercury.[7]

            The earliest surviving record of deliberate sunspot observation dates from 364 BC, based on comments by Chinese astronomer Gan De in a star catalogue.[8] By 28 BC, Chinese astronomers were regularly recording sunspot observations in official imperial records.[9]

            A large sunspot was observed at the time of Charlemagne’s death in AD 813.[10] Sunspot activity in 1129 was described by John of Worcester and Averroes provided a description of sunspots later in the 12th century;[11] however, these observations were also misinterpreted as planetary transits.[12](my emphasis)

            The supports are set out. Are you claiming that that summary is wrong, and if so in what respect?

            Of course whether the data collected pursuant to early observations has scientific merit, and whether it is fit for scientific study is a different matter. Then again, there are some who would have one believe that the global temperature anomaly (re)construction, going back to the 19th century, is fit for scientific purpose and study!

            I guess that everyone’s view as to fitness for scientific purpose differs.

            PS. I am not suggesting that your date of 1843 is not to be preferred to the date of 1859, but it is difficult to understand your criticism of Marcus. And no one knows to what extent old astronomers had appreciated that their data on sunspots showed a cycle.

          • Well actually you were accusing Dr S of being picky . LOL ?

            and being picky involves being right on a small detail, not being wrong. LOL

          • But it appears that Marcus was not necessarily incorrect, and provided a link supporting his comment. Did you read that link before you yourself commented?

            It may be that Leif is talking about cycles, and Marcus is talking about sunspots (of course, it is the observation on sunspots wherein the cycle is determined, at least in olden days, ie., sunspot count is a good metric for the solar cycle).

          • Yes, It was obvious from the start that the sunspot cycle was not identified until mid-1800’s but spots had been observed much earlier.

          • No, Marcus was not “incorrect”. His statement, that SUNSPOTS were first discovered c. 800 BC, was accurate. However, it was completely irrelevant to the discussion, which was about sunspot CYCLES. Moreover, in making the statement the way he did, as a direct response to Lief, with the “picky” preface, Marcus (at the very least) IMPLIED that Lief was incorrect (or insufficiently “picky”). Lief’s statement, which itself was a correction of the article, was absolutely accurate (AND sufficiently picky), and therefore, Marcus’s implication was “wrong”.

            It’s like if the article had said WWII began in 1941, then a comment was posted correcting the date to 1939, then another comment said, “well, if you want to get picky, the first known war in human history occurred c. 12,000 BC.” Neither the article nor the first comment were talking about war, in general; both were specifically talking about WWII. So the second commenter, though technically correct, is still very wrong.

          • Well actually you were accusing Dr S of being picky when he pointed out that this was not unusual at solar minimum.

            “This is an almost decade-class event.”

            So the last time this happened was at the last solar min. That does not sound that exciting. I think that is what Svalgaard was pointing out.

            Not being picky.

          • “These quiet spells have been coming with regularity since the sunspot cycle was discovered in 1859.
            In 1843…” ..Greg, this is the comment I was referring to as being “picky”

    • well, if you all want to be accurate, picky or not, Heinrich Schwabe, in 1843, ANNOUNCED what he found to be a 10 year sunspot cycle, based on his previous 17 years of data/research.

      confirmation of the cycle came at a later date.

      • OH ! FOR GOD’S SAKE !!
        With ALL this HAGGLING and finicky ARGUING………….
        Bother THE SUN SPOTS !!!!
        THIS IS SERIOUS !
        NOW I’M BREAKING OUT IN SPOTS !!!!!!!!

        • Hello Trevor. Trevor here. Just wanted to make sure everyone knew that there are two of us with the same handle, so neither of use gets accused of saying something the other one said.

  1. I guess CLOUD experiments from Svensmark and co and CERN are now mainstream if even Never A Straight Answer is admitting GCR’s cause clouds. 😀

    Zharkova’s work in plotting the twin heartbeat of the Sun seems solid enough that we can be confident that this is not going to be a peasant few decades heading our way. SC24 had NASA’s Hathaway sounding like a soothsayer of old, constantly issuing new prophesies of what the minimum between Solar Cycle 23 and SC24 would be like.

    He also kept making prophesy over just when SC24 would start (he was out of at least 18 months even on his most accurate guess) and made a number of wild prophesies about how strong it would be. The overall impression was he KNEW that solar activity is the driver and had extreme wishful thinking that SC24 would be major so the whole AGW Religion could keep draining money from real science.

    Now it looks very much like SC25 will be a no-show and SC26/27 won’t be anything to write home about, as the twin magnetic flux engines reach opposition and cancel each other out for the next few decades.

    If you know any Church of AGW doomers this is a great time to offer to buy their winter clothes really cheap.

  2. Spotless Days perspective.

    Current Stretch: 21 days
    2018 total: 108 days (55%)
    2017 total: 104 days (28%)
    2016 total: 32 days (9%)
    2015 total: 0 days (0%)
    2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
    2013 total: 0 days (0%)
    2012 total: 0 days (0%)
    2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
    2010 total: 51 days (14%)
    2009 total: 260 days (71%)
    2008 total: 268 days (73%)
    2007 total: 152 days (42%)
    2006 total: 70 days (19%)y
    Updated 17 Jul 2018

  3. Don’t know about “oddly”, this has been happening for quite some time. Again, ask the ham operators, they will happily give you a clue, or 2, or 100. What they do is directly effected by solar activity, perhaps people should look at their log books. Ya know? Old people have something to contribute. Most hams are on the old side, and they keep records.

        • I love the smell of soldering flux! Back in the 50’s my dad assembled a lot of electronic devices put out by Heath Kit. As he soldered resistors, capacitors, wires, etc. to terminals, I would deeply breath the smoke into my lungs. Back then I’m afraid that the solder he used was an amalgam of tin and lead!

          • I still have quite a few Heath kit contraptions I constructed during the long dark winters in married quarters whilst in the RAF in Scotland in the 60’s. I wonder if the company is still going? What a way to learn science for young people.

          • And when I wasn’t building these I was making home brew beer in the bath and had home-made wine going all over the house. My wife was going insane. Solder flux, coffee, beer fumes and heady wine aromas. I wish I was back there as it was the best time of my life because I also had a self-constructed 6 inch reflector telescope and the stars seen in my backyard on a cold frosty Scottish night had me rushing back inside to sink one or three quaffs of beer and wine to cheer whoever put me on this Earth.

          • Joelo,

            My experience is different.
            [Different Strokes for Different Folks, of course!]
            So –
            Keep the love of your life, and drink wine!

            Auto

          • Solder for electronics still is. Typically a 60/40 mixture, with the “40” being lead.

          • I hate to think of all the fumes I inhaled back when I sweated copper plumbing, mostly in crawlspaces under apartment buildings. That and PVC cleaner and glue in the same places!

          • I was a color matcher for a small paint company for almost 3 years. Worked in a 12×20 foot room with around 15 5 gallon cans of different base paints, thinner, and clears with the lids placed on the cans after opening them. There was a large fan on the roof to pull air out of the room, but it stayed non functional for the first several years. The owner was too cheap to fix it, kept putting it off. In the heat of the summer it got pretty warm in there.

  4. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think this passage needs an edit – “while cosmic rays (normally repelled by solar wind) surged to Space Age highs.”

    I thought it was the solar magnetic field (not the solar wind) that deflected (not repelled) the cosmic rays.

  5. I note that the 10.7 cm flux is 72. It keeps changing even when the sunspots count is zero. Are there sunspots on the hidden side of the Sun that is keeping the count from going down to near 66 or is there some disconnect in the 10.7 reading and the sunspot number?

    • “Are there sunspots on the hidden side of the Sun that is keeping the count from going down to near 66 or is there some disconnect in the 10.7 reading and the sunspot number?”
      _____________________________________________________

      How can there be unseen “sunspots on the hidden side” when earth is revolving around the sun every 24 hours.

    • @REJ:

      … is there some disconnect in the 10.7 reading and the sunspot number?

      These numbers are connected, in the sense that they are both _proxy_ measurements of the _solar dynamo_ (the mechanism responsible for generating the solar magnetic flux). The readings differ because different sensors are being used to measure this magnetic activity:

      10.7cm solar flux: radio-frequency microwave signals (2800MHz)
      sunspot count: visible light observations (“eyeball”)

      Obviously, the human eyeball can’t see all of the electromagnetic radiation from the sun. But humans have been observing, and recording, sunspot counts for hundreds of years. So it is a very useful resource for historical comparisons!

      Sunspots represent active regions where magnetic flux is so intense that it blocks visible light emanating from the sun’s interior. But radio signals in the 2800MHz microwave spectrum (roughly the same as your microwave ovens) are also in sync with this activity and provide a more sensitive (and selective) indicator of solar magnetic activity. (But has only been recorded since 1947, when the Canadian researcher Covington discovered this effect)

      You can’t see these regions with your eyes, in visible light. But they show up nicely in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Here is the latest composite from the Solar Dynamic Observatory, in orbit over the Pacific Ocean:

      https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/latest/latest_256_211193171.jpg

      Jan Alvestad, a very diligent amateur solar observer, also tracks solar active regions, including the very tiny ones SIDC and NOAA miss or ignores, has a list of the current active regions on his “solen.info” website: http://www.solen.info/solar/ (scroll down to Active Solar Regions)
      http://www.solen.info/solar/images/AR_CH_20180717.png [Click to view current magnetogram]

      Note that Alvestad currently lists 3 active regions (using his own numbering system):
      S6003: The big region on the right side, which appeared on 9 July
      S6007,S6008: Smaller regions on the left, which appeared yesterday

      So, yes, the Sun is still showing some magnetic activity, some with tiny spots, (corroborated by SFI =71), but not everyone is seeing/reporting them.

    • Yes, so more frequent astronaut exchanges which I believe reduces the number of unmanned cargo lifts. Thus, reducing the number of lifts available for small satellite dispensers. Stretching the schedule for small payloads and increasing the cost to orbit. It’s a question someone should ask nanoracks or NASA.

    • and extra rads on the ISIS.

      Is it? I honestly don’t know. More cosmic rads, but less solar rads….

  6. I remember some years back where I thought that the next 5 minima after 2008/09 would all be similarly long in duration. That was the impression which I had from looking at the graph of past solar cycles. It appeared to me as if there was a pattern of 6 shorts followed by 6 longs.

  7. We are blessed to have a single, quite stable, G type star.
    No nearby sterilizing GRBs or nursury nebulae fly-bys.
    Our boring sun makes jobs like Leif’s too easy.

    • We are not “blessed to have”. Without it we wouldn’t be here. It’s a prerequisite.

      • Exactly.
        The Lord checked off quite a list of prerequisites when He prepared a lovely home for us. (Or, we could be the result of blind, stupid, ultimately meaningless, yet stupendous luck. There’s that possibility, too.)

      • Indeed. Similarly, whatever life may have existed on Mars didn’t survive very well, if at all, so they aren’t able to speak about how “blessed” they are.

        The fallacy of saying otherwise is called “survivorship bias.”

        • As an extinct genus myself, I’m deeply offended by that statement. How dare you flaunt your survival in the face of these poor cold dead extinct former beings. Have you no sensitivity? Why just being alive automatically makes you alivist! And privileged! You shouldn’t enjoy your privilege of being alive, you should feel guilty all the time. You should think about your alive privileges before you make these blanket statements! I think I need to crawl back into my coffin, where I won’t have to face the blatant brutality of survivors such as you!

          (Is there anyone here who cannot tell I was being sarcastic? Show of hands please? And I’ll add the /sarc tag just for you! Well. Isn’t that special.)

    • Just another piece of anecdotal evidence that a beneficent God has provided humans with a lovely place to live.

  8. “The sun has been blank for 21 straight days–a remarkable 3 weeks without sunspots. This is an almost decade-class event.”

    With an 11-year cycle everything is decade-class. Same will happen when we go for 22 straight spotless days.

    A dull day in the newsroom, I guess.

    • SILSO has tabulated the consecutive “spotless” days >= 30 days:
      http://www.sidc.be/silso/IMAGES/GRAPHICS/spotlessJJ/SC25_periods.png [click to view]

      Note that the record was 92 days, set in 1913, at the end of SC14, to which SC24 bears remarkable resemblance:
      http://www.solen.info/solar/images/comparison_similar_cycles.png [Click SC14 vs SC24 comparison]

      Also remarkable was the end of global cooling, after SC14, which had dominated before this event:
      https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/styles/embedded_original/public/images/2016/11/gw-annual-global-temperature.png

      In other words, I see no compelling proof that low solar magnetic activity leads to climate cooling. [And I’m not saying it causes warming either. It’s just part of a _natural_ cycle.]

      • Using an “Adjustocene” temperature graph from NOAA deflates your argument..(1940’s seem a little cooler than they use to be !)

      • That’s fine, show us a better graph. But if it warms the mid 20th century, does that still ‘deflate’ my argument?

      • That’s why it’s called a “linear trend”. Even using the alleged fiddled NOAA/NCDC, data it only shows a trend of _1 degree Fahrenheit_ per century. And it even shows a slight recent cooling trend.

        Not much to be alarmed about, is it?

        So where is the compelling proof that climate _change_ is solar driven? This is a serious problem for the alarmists, because without a solar scapegoat they really can’t explain the lack of warming they’ve been screaming about.

        Of course the Sun provides the baseline, virtually constant, TSI to keep us comfortable [more or less] here on Earth. But solar magnetic activity only changes that “constant” by a fraction of a percent. Any warming (or cooling) signal contained therein is lost in the “noise of nature”.

        • Salvatore, with respect, you seem to have completely misunderstood what I have written.

          I’m not “against” solar activity theories which explain climate change. I’d love to see a _compelling_ solar-based theory, which clearly explains how changes in solar magnetic activity (aka “sunspot counts”) cause significant changes in the climate. So far I haven’t seen one. For example, a “solar minimum” occurs at the end of every solar cycle. If magnetic activity significantly influences climate, then this 11-year signal should be clearly seen in the global temperature record. So far, I don’t believe anyone has presented a compelling demonstration of this.

          Increased solar magnetic activity does cause an observable rise in TSI. But the change is very small (~0.1%), so the expected forcing is only on the order of 1W/m**2, causing a temperature rise less than 1C, even using IPCC’s exaggerated climate sensitivities.

          The “noise of nature” is a rhetorical trope I use to denote all natural (i.e. non-manmade) variation in climate. So it doesn’t _cause_ changes in nature, it _is_ the observed change, big or small over the ages.But the big changes tend to “swamp out” or hide small scale changes.

          I don’t see how you can “disagree 100%” with what I wrote. Does that mean you think all climate change is man-made?

          • No man has nothing to do with it.

            I think it is solar modified by the geo magnetic field. Normal solar activity is not going to show a noticeable climate correlation it is only when solar enters extreme periods of time like I think we have currently and what we had during the cold periods of the Dalton, Maunder solar minimums.

            Based on that I think the global warming period is coming to a close with this year being a transitional year and a cooling trend there after. Time will tell and soon.

          • @Salvatore:

            I think it is solar modified by the geo magnetic field.

            You have it backwards. The Earth’s magnetic field is modified (on a short time scale) by solar magnetic activity, induced by solar wind and solar flares.

            Again, these solar effects are rather tiny disturbances in the measured intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field, which varies from 25,000 to 65,000 nT (nanoTeslas) over the Earth’s globe. A typical hourly or daily disturbance is just a few nT, about 0.05% or so change. A violent geomagnetic storm (K-index=9) would still only be a few hundred nT at mid-latitudes, perhaps over 1000 nT in the polar regions.

            Can you explain to me how these geomagnetic disturbances influence the climate? Is there any theory or evidence which clearly demonstrate these effects?

          • That is not what I am saying. What I am saying is the state of the geo magnetic field can either be in sync or in opposition to the solar magnetic field. When in sync like they are now(both fields are weakening) the geo magnetic field will enhance some given solar effects which will in turn impact the climate..

            Solar effects like galactic cosmic rays which I believe help to promote explosive major volcanic activity to increase, and enhance global cloud coverage both which will cause a slight reduction in the albedo and thus a cooler climate.

            In addition a weak geo magnetic field will enhance all given solar activity effects upon the earth.

            Solar is sufficiently weak now and for a long enough duration of time to start to impact the climate, in my opinion

          • @Salvatore:

            it is only when solar enters extreme periods of time like I think we have currently and what we had during the cold periods of the Dalton, Maunder solar minimums.

            What makes you think current conditions are like the Dalton, Maunder extremes? Or is that just wishful thinking?

            Isn’t it true that Solar Cycle 24 more closely resembles Solar Cycle 14? Why do you expect the current weak SC24 to be a precursor for future cooling? Did that happen with similarly weak SC14?

            Those are just rhetorical questions and suggestions for thought. Please explain what I am perhaps missing in your explanations.

          • I added the site to my reading list. I was not the one who down-voted it. Perhaps the down-voter will explain his action.

          • Who had the bright idea to include all these stupid votes? And on a site like this, when certain opinion leaders open their big mouths, they’ll get tons of up-votes. Mob rule!

          • “Who had the bright idea to include all these stupid votes?”

            I complained about the votes and my comment got a lot of negative votes. Sigh.

          • LOL. Mob rules what? If those visiting this site believed in science by consensus, we would not be here, but devoutly following Al Gore.

          • Ask yourself this after reading from “Sal’s” site. Do you think that SdP actually wrote everything on that site? Compare his writing style in comments seen here to the clearly phrased and well written text over at that site. Do you note any difference between the two?

            And I was not the down voter. I stopped reading his comments years ago as they mainly parroted the same thoughts over, and over, and over again. For example go over to Dr Spencer’s site and browse through some of the many comments which SdP makes over there. Or for another example, look through the recent posts here where his new buzz word is “…with this year being a transitional year …”. You will find that he has used that specific phrase many dozens of times over the last several months. It has become like a mantra for him.

          • gold minor what is your climate prediction?

            I think you think it stays more or less the same moving forward? Is that right? You do not expect cooling anytime soon? Correct?

            I would like to know your climate outlook for the next 5 years.

          • I say this year is a transitional year, meaning overall oceanic surface temperatures and global temperatures will be falling to or below the 1981-2010 baseline averages.

            After that going out 4 or 5 years from now, I expect global temperatures to fall to around -.5c below the 1981-2010 baseline averages.

            All the above based on satellite data from Dr. Spencer.

          • By specific, I meant the approximate details of each year over the next 4 or 5 years, or is the above the best that you can do? And yes using UAH is fine with me.

          • I can’t do better then that because there are unknowns such as how minimal will solar activity be moving forward? How weak will the geo magnetic field become? Will there be major explosive volcanic eruptions, and if so how many will occur?

            I do not know those answers.

            I do know as far as my way of thinking and you do agree that cooling is much more likely from here then warming.

          • No we are not close. We are 0.5 C apart in our predictions. For one you have no clue as to how I arrive at my prediction. That is because you have no ability to project what the intervening years should look like. Meaning that your prediction is a wild guess at best.

            As you have noted I make rather specific detailed predictions as in my 20 year prediction, plus in my other predictions. Meaning that I believe that I can follow the steps leading up to the end result. That is what I call predicting. If I was not able to do that, then I would not even try to make or claim that I had a predictive ability. What would be the point?

            Now I have missed some of my predictions and shorter forecasts, but I have done well with the majority of them, or I would have stopped this exercise some time ago. What point would there be in fooling myself?

          • My prediction is much more aggressive. I will sink or swim with it.

            When I said our predictions are close it was in regards to AGW theory and what that is calling for. I should have been more clear on that.

            My prediction is based on certain low average value solar parameters, and the secondary effects they may have on the climate.

            I have said quite clearly that they will cause overall sea surface temperatures to drop and increase the albedo slightly. Modified by the geo magnetic field.

            Major explosive volcanic activity is the wild card here. I am thinking one or two happen over the next few years. If they don’t my prediction will probably be to aggressive.

            I am glad to have your prediction. I will save it..

  9. Is it so “odd” that there should be no sunspots an this stage (minimum) in the solar cycle?

  10. “The sun has been blank for 21 straight days–a remarkable 3 weeks without sunspots.”

    I blame global warming! When I was a boy, weather was gentler. Summers were warm but not too hot, winters were cool but not too cold. The wind blew soft upon my face. Then white man come – kill our women, rape our buffalo, burn our fossil fuels, make weather crazy, disrupt our casino business! Oops! Sorry, I was channeling my inner Amerind.

    In 2002, I predicted that natural global cooling would commence by 2020 to 2030, in an article published 1Sept2002 in the Calgary Herald. I am now leaning closer to 2020 for cooling to start, possibly even earlier. I hope to be wrong. Humanity and the environment suffer during cooling periods.

    I suggest that it is long past time for society to prepare for the possibility of moderate global cooling. This would involve:
    1. Strengthening of electrical grid systems, currently destabilized by costly, intermittent green energy schemes;
    2. Reduce energy costs by all practical means.
    3. Development of contingency plans for food production and storage, should early frosts impact harvests;
    4. Develop contingency plans should vital services be disrupted by cold weather events – such as the failure of grid power systems, blocking of transportation corridors, etc.
    5. Improve home insulation and home construction standards.

    The current mania over (fictitious) catastrophic global warming has actually brewed the “perfect storm” – energy systems have been foolishly compromised and energy costs have been needlessly increased, to fight imaginary warming in a (probably) cooling world.

    I suggest this is the prudent path for Western societies to follow. It has no downside, even if global cooling does not occur, and considerable upside if moderate cooling does commence.

    I thank you for giving this modest proposal your consideration. My heart soars like an eagle, my son!

    Regards to all, Allan

    • Good in principle. Expensive in principle and practice.

      There is no significant food storage. What storage there is awaits processing or transportation to better acute markets.

      The depauperate are acutely aware of this and are moving to net producers, a further drain on production economies.

      Can you imagine what would happen if Brunhilde told Olaf to fix the damn roof and he responded, “Mañana mamma!” The northern cultures drug of choice is self-limiting through hangover. The mañana cultures drugs of choice are not so limiting.

      • Sorry Doug – I’ve only had one coffee today – can you clarify your points please?

        Re the alleged high cost of implementation of my proposals – there are huge cost-saving offsets:
        1. Get rid of all biofuels subsidies and use-mandates and move these funds to food growth and quality storage.
        2. Get rid of all green energy subsidies and use-mandates (such as “first into the grid”).
        3. Stop wasting capital on intermittent energy sources.

        I think these three alone amount to trillions of dollars per year.

        Regards, Allan

  11. All I care about is what kind of winter we’ll have here in the upper Midwest.

    There seems to be an el Nino forming in the Pacific, but that could peter out to nothing. I had to run the furnace on June 24 because the temperature never went above 56F all day – no a normal occurrence, although I did not mind the chilly weather. Also, there was snow in the highlands in Vietnam in June.

    We’ve had a heat wave this summer, which is not so odd, but it is annoying. I’ve had to water my lawn several times to keep it green.

    These are not the only odd things going on these days, which seem to coincide with this quiet sun cycle, so you can understand my interest in how it will affect winter weather.

    If I see any early signs of fall, like maples turning color or other trees dropping their leaves, I’ll report it. If it’s too warm this time, the migrations may start late. Geese can be lazy critters. Why should they fly any further south than they have to if there are cornfields to glean? And a mild winter might keep my heating gas bill down, too.

    So how will this spotless solar cycle affect fall and winter weather? If an el Nino does form, is it going to offset a potentially very cold and snowy winter?

    • I just turned the gas log off, normally used for ambience and to take morning chill off. It was 45°F this morning 45°N 86°W, and the house was opened up to cool from yesterdays warmth.

      Signs: The roadside chicory is blooming. No color yet in the trees, but they’ve been weird this year, with a heavy continuing twig fall. I was out in the tractor shed and noticed the sprinklers and soaker hoses that haven’t been used for maybe five years.

      The Niagara Escarpment towers thirty feet above my back windows, it falls to within a meter or two of the cabin. The mountain drains through my property, with my water table surface water within a foot of the surface.

      • Best post of the day and very funny! I can add that today I am 62. I have noticed that my joints this past year seem more stiff than normal.

      • 49F two mornings in a row couple days ago in rural west Maryland. But not nearly so cold in nearby cities…

        Chicory flowers here look nice & blue in the morning, but they close up by afternoon. The ragweeds are near 6′ tall across the road.

    • Hi Sara – check out WeatherBell.com – their long-range winter forecast is due in a month or so. It’s been very good for many years, and far better than your National Weather Service or our Environment Canada “projections”.

      I’ve said many times that Joe d’Aleo and Joe Bastardi of WeatherBell are excellent. Joe A and Joe B are the best forecasters in the business, imo.

      [Disclaimer – I get NO money for saying this – it is just true – an archaic and outmoded concept, I know, I know.}

      Here is a little story about Joe A and me – how we go our Boy Scout merit badges for Energy Forecasting:
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/13/new-butt-covering-end-of-snow-prediction/#comment-2397292

    • There is more than just the weather which is currently unusual, imo. I have been observing the daily quake map since March of 2011. The typical global daily rate patterns changed this year in the first week of April. So much so that I even made a comment here at the time. Global quakes are still running off kilter, imo, as compared to the previous 7+ years of daily observations.

    • . Also, there was snow in the highlands in Vietnam in June.

      Are you sure about this? I know it regularly snows on the Vietnamese mountains in winter, but in June?????

  12. I guess we’ll get the solar impact news from the La Nina Pump later on in the disconnected silos of climate models. Otherwise the sun does not exist as a global warming factor to bother with. /sarc

  13. Almost everybody is confused by the ‘spotless’ days. However, there were quite some ‘active sunspots’ in the previous months. Therefore it is a mathematical certainty that the start of solar cycle 25 was in the time period March-April, 2018! I stated this several times before and i still stick to this… especially considering the fact that the ADJUSTED solar flux is 10 percent higher than at the absolute solar minimum from 2007-2008!
    More info about adjusted solar flux and the start of a new solar cycle:
    http://gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Research%20Papers/View/7246

    • Yep Patrick, you can stick to it until you are proved wrong, and we’ll admire your doggedness. The adjusted solar flux is 10% higher than at the last minimum either because we are now after the minimum (your theory) or because we are still before the minimum. The famed butterfly diagram is betting against your theory…

      Rich.

      • Rich… There is a lot more… I have the complete sunspot theory for the axial dipole field… Working on an update for the northern and southern fields…
        But! I am not allowed to publish a link to my theory from Anthony (Leif says it isn’t right, but can’t find a fault)… Off course, when solar cycle 25 started in March-April, Leif will have to admit my theory is right…
        This link I am allowed to publish. In it you can find my theoretical sunspot theory:
        http://gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Research%20Papers-Astrophysics/Download/7224

  14. Remember driving through a “blizzard” in the Low Country of South Carolina during that winter of 2009-2010 to get back to NC. People in Charleston, SC complained about how cold it was that year.

  15. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5964307/Records-dating-1700s-reveal-new-clues-link-lightning-suns-rotation.html

    How the sun’s rotation affects lightning activity: Records dating back to the 1700s reveal new clues on the nature of storms

    Study analyzed log kept by farm families and government hundreds of years ago
    They found lightning and thunder activity lined up with rotation of sunspots
    Findings suggests the sun’s rotation cycle plays critical role in daily weather

    Any inaccuracies and scientific blunders in the headline and article are The Daily Mail’s problem and nothing to do with the scientists carrying out this research.

    • Interesting, I have often thought that lightning in temperate zones is related to sunspots. This was partly due to lightning becoming a “rare and exciting thing” (to misquote Dr. David Viner) after 2006 when sunspots dropped off a cliff.

      The Met Office is forecasting “thundery downpours” in SE England tomorrow, but I wonder if it will mainly turn out to be showers and no thunder.

      Rich.

  16. You know there are some very smart people here, much smarter than me. Ive learned a lot. But, don’t we already know what causes climate to change….the sun! what we don’t know is HOW the sun, sun changes and orbital changes affect the earth, oceans, atmosphere and cycles. Does anyone think we would have pdo, amo, amoc, sea level rise and el nino/la nina without the sun?

  17. English summer up to now has been warmer and sunnier than usual, many people recall and compare it with the memorable summer of 1976, I do too, but how does it compare in reality rather than in our recollections.
    Here you can see comparison of the daily CET (Cent. England Temperatures) for 1976 and 2018 with the time scale in ‘days starting with 1st of June.
    Although there is no high correlation on the day to day basis there is some more general similarity eg. two sharp peaks at beginning of June and than again sudden jump around 20th of June. We need to see out the second half of the current summer in order to see if there is a some kind of four decadal natural weather pattern ‘memory’.

    • What indicates a pattern ?, 5 days/5 weeks/5 months/5 years/5 decades….

      There is no pattern, too many variables.

    • Sorry to disappoint, but away from UHI in rural England (at least my part), it’s a pretty ordinary, if somewhat dry, Summer so far.

      June was slightly warmer than long term averages; July so far the same. Going back to Spring, it was was cooler than normal. Met Office of course shows all sorts of guff for statistics.

      Just weather – but journos and those with an agenda to peddle have to hyperventilate.

      • Comparison in the link above, shows that late June early July in 1976 was anything up 2 degrees higher , and that makes lot of difference despite all of the current media exaggerations.

    • It’s been hot certainly, and July 2018 may well break 1976’s value (which isn’t the record anyway, but it holds June’s record). However, I experienced 1976 and neither before nor since have I felt in England the feeling of walking out of doors and straight into a furnace. (Oh, except for August 1990.) 1976 was definitely hotter for its peak 2 weeks straddling June and July.

      Rich.

    • This summer is drier than 1976 – at least so far – and in southern England.

      For example Bournemouth airport (Hurn) has received only 1.2 mm since the end of May, and I’m sure most people never noticed as it happened after dark.

      The averages for June and July are 76 mm and 60 mm respectively

    • The warm dry period of 1976 was preceded by almost as hot a summer in 1975, which was the start of a drought which lasted until the end of August 1976. Ironically the beginning of June 1975 was actually rather cold, on June 2nd a county cricket match at Buxton was stopped because of a snowstorm (a match I was planning to go to)! A few days later it started to heat up and the drought started (a week later a match at the same ground had shirtless spectators sunbathing). As I recall Heathrow recorded ~15 consecutive days of 30ºC in June/July 76

  18. that means no UV radiation (well very low). No wonder the global warming indicators are down. But just wait until the Sun comes roaring back…and the UV radiation spikes…then temperatures world-wide will really rise dramatically.

  19. that means the UV radiation is at a low level. No wonder the global warming indicators are down too. But just wait til the Sun comes roaring back…and the UV radiation spikes…the global temperatures will really rise dramatically.

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