Solar Cycle Update for November 2018 – warmth sticking around, or cooling ahead?

Guest essay by David Archibald

In reading the solar data, what we are after in the near term is the likely month of minimum for the Solar Cycle 24/25 minimum and likely amplitude of Solar Cycle 25. Of course that quest for truth gets easier as we approach the minimum, at least apparently. Solar Cycle 24 looks like being unusual in being short while being weak and Solar Cycle 25 looks like being a repeat of Solar Cycle 24 in terms of amplitude.

The concept of the Super Grand Solar Deepest Minimum is fashionable again for the moment. There is no sign of that in the data. That said, activity in Solar Cycle 24 was back-loaded and if the solar activity to atmospheric temperature connection is real, the planet’s temperature will be running warmer for a few more years as a consequence of that.

The Modern Warm Period is now in the rear vision mirror though and we have returned to 19th century levels of activity. Warmth and pleasantness are boring; the climate is going to get a lot more interesting. Thus the record cold currently in the northeastern US may become more common.


Figure 1: Hemispheric sunspot area and F10.7 flux 1985 – 2018

Sunspot area equates to the F10.7 flux. The solar hemispheres have different trends in activity which can hold for decades. What causes this is a known unkown in solar science.


Figure 2: Heliospheric Current Sheet Tilt Angle 1976 – 2018

The solar cycle is not over until the heliospheric current sheet flattens. Figure 2 shows that activity has popped out of the wedge shape it has been in pointing to September 2019 as the month of flattening. If this cycle ends up like Solar Cycle 23 that means that the decline will steepen up to get to the same point. The month of flattening, and thus the true change of one cycle to the next, does not necessarily coincide with the month of minimum derived from the F10.7 flux:



Figure 3: Heliospheric Current Sheet Tilt Angle aligned on month of minimum

Solar Cycle 23 was an outlier in terms of length in the modern instrument record. Solar Cycle 24 is tracking along with Solar Cycles 21 and 22 and looks like being 10 years long.


Figure 4: F10.7 Flux and Oulu Neutron Count 1964 – 2018

Figure 4 shows one of the signs that the Modern Warm Period ended in 2006. The Oulu neutron count parted company from the F10.7 flux which it had tracking closely. Something changed in the Sun.


Figure 5: Solar Wind Flow Pressure 1967 – 2018

As Figure 4 showed in the F10.7 flux, solar activity was back-loaded in Solar Cycle 24 with much higher activity after the solar cycle peak. That effect is more pronounced in the solar wind flow pressure which is still stronger, so late in the cycle, than it was prior to the solar cycle peak in 2014. Note the low and chaotic solar wind activity during the 1970s cooling period at the beginning of the instrument record. A break in trend in 2006 is evident at the end of the Modern Warm Period.



Figure 6: F10.7 Flux and Ap Index 1964 – 2018

Geomagnetic activity was back-loaded in Solar Cycle 24. The break in 2006 is quite evident.


Figure 7: F10.7 Flux of Solar Cycles 19 to 24 aligned on month of minimum

It looks like Solar Cycle 24 won’t make it to the average cycle length of the last 300 years of 11.1 years.


Figure 8: Interplanetary Magnetic Field 1966 – 2018

The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) was flat during the 1970s cooling period but still higher than the average level through Solar Cycle 24. The IMF has been in decline for the last three decades – paralleling the decline in sunspot area are by hemisphere shown in Figure 10 following. Just as the activity in hemispheric sunspot area in Figure 10 has an upper bound, the IMF over the last three cycles has an apparent lower bound shown by the red line. To get to that line by the solar minimum in 2019 will require a rapid decline in activity from here.


Figure 9: Sunspot Area by Hemisphere 1874 – 2018

Because the normal representation of solar activity by sunspot number or F10.7 flux sums the northern and southern hemispheres, that disguises the fact that the hemispheres have different drivers or respond to the same driver differently. As shown in Figure 9, once the hemispheric activity is disaggregated the flatness of activity during the last decades of the Little Ice Age is evident and the break to a higher level of activity from 1933.


Figure 10: Sunspot Area 1985 – 2018

For a sloppy old ball of plasma, the Sun shows a lot of discipline. Activity for both hemispheres has bounced off their respective blue lines above which implies some multidecadal forcing.



Figure 11: Sunspot Area 1874 – 1924

Similarly to Figure 10, there was a four decade period from the late 19th century during which the northern solar hemisphere sunspot area was driven by a consistent multidecadal forcing.


Figure 12: Solar Polar Field aligned on minimum for Solar Cycles 22 – 25

The amplitude of the solar polar field strength at solar minimum is predictive of the amplitude of the next solar cycle. After starting out weak, this activity has been tracking that of the lead up to Solar Cycle 24 and it looks like 25’s amplitude will be much the same. Just as the summing of the activities of the solar hemispheres is a misleading compromise, the month of polar field minimum can have a big departure from the official month of solar cycle maximum as shown in the table following:

There is a case for making the month of heliospheric current sheet flattening the month of solar cycle minimum and the month of polar field minimum as the solar cycle maximum.


Figure 13: GISP2 Be10 Data 40,000 BC to 0 AD

Years ago in comments on WUWT, somebody contributed the observation that climate, in a multidecadal sense, is controlled by the magnetic field from the Sun. The best long term record of that is the Beryllium 10 (Be10) record from the Antarctic ice sheet. Figure 13 shows that there are trends in the Be10 record that last tens of thousands of years. The cold spikes of the Older Dryas and Younger Dryas are associated with spikes in Be10, indicating that a weaker solar magnetic field allowed galactic cosmic rays to flood into the inner planets of the solar system, collide with nitrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere and produce the spikes in the record.


Figure 14: Dye 3 Be10 record 1424 to 1985

If the solar magnetic field causes changes in climate then the warmth of the last eighty years-odd of the Modern Warm Period should be associated with a low in Be10 relative the centuries of the Little Ice Age. Figure 14 shows that that is evident in the Be10 record. The spikes of the Sporer, Maunder and Daltona minima are evident, particularly the ultra-cold decade of the 1690s. And so is the break in activity from the Little Ice Age to the Modern Warm Period in 1933.


Figure 15: aa Index 1868 – 2018

Our longest geomagnetic record as measured by instruments is the aa Index. This also shows the clear breaks at the beginning and end of the Modern Warm Period. The recent peak was 26.9 in September 2015. Activity in Solar Cycle 24 was back-loaded to the second half of the cycle.


Figure 16: Cumulative aa Index against the long term average 1868 – 2018

The changes in activity level associated with the beginning and end of the Modern Warm Period are confirmed by plotting the cumulative aa Index against the long term average of the record.


Figure 17: aa Index plotted against Northern Hemisphere temperature lagged by six years

One of the reasons that this planet is so pleasant to live on is that climate does not instantly respond to changes in solar activity; effects are smoothed and lagged. The correlation between the aa Index and northern hemisphere suggests that the lag correlation peaks at six years.



Figure 18: North Atlantic transect 59N to 800 metres depth

This is a graph prepared by Professor Ole Humlum from his Climate4you site. The diagram was last updated on August 13, 2018 with Argo data to June 2018. The six year lag is hard to tease from the modern temperature record where it is clouded by circulation oscillations. But there is a calorimeter covering 70% of the Earth’s surface which is not affected so much by things that happen in the atmosphere. Figure 18 shows a lag of eight years from the end of the Modern Warm Period to lower temperatures in the North Atlantic.


Figure 19: Average temperature along 59 N, 30-0W, 0-800m depth

This area corresponds to the main part of the North Atlantic current. This is also a graph prepared by Professor Ole Humlum from his Climate4you site. The diagram was last updated on August 13, 2018 with Argo data to June 2018. Temperature started trending down from the end of the Modern Warm Period in 2006 but really dived once the eight year lag kicked in during 2014.


Figure 20: 800,000 years of Antarctic CO2 data relative to plant growth response

Some people have been tearful recently because atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are much higher now than their range over the last 800,000 years as shown by ice core data from Antarctica. For some strange reason they think this is a bad thing when the opposite is true. As the paper Plant responses to low CO2 of the past shows, plant growth has responded to the higher atmospheric carbon dioxide level since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Each 1 ppm increase from here raises plant productivity by 0.3 percent. No wonder world grain production is continuing to rise even though the big increases from genetics are behind us now.

Figure 20 shows the what the amount of plant growth over the last 800,000 years would have been relative to the atmospheric concentration at the time the paper was done of 368 ppm. The current population of the planet of seven billion couldn’t be sustained at the levels of the last 800,000 years. I have helpfully annotated the graphic with zones of relative safety. We are now at the beginning of the safe zone with the current concentration of 408 ppm. Heaven help us when the atmospheric concentration starts falling again as it will when we run out of the fossil fuels and the oceans continue their remorseless 800 year turnover, taking most of our hard-won CO2 down into the Davy Deep where it will be no use to man or beast.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare


128 thoughts on “Solar Cycle Update for November 2018 – warmth sticking around, or cooling ahead?

  1. Lots of speculation. Most of it unfounded. SC25 will probably be intermediate between SC24 and SC20:
    SC25 has already started:
    Solar minimum is not a very meaningful moment with special physical meaning (as far as the sun is concerned): at minimum both the old and the new cycle are still running and we have four sunspot zones, two in each hemisphere. Each cycle lasts 16-17 years, thus overlapping several years with both the previous and the next ‘cycle’. So we cannot really talk about ‘cycles’, but should think in terms of nearly independent ‘eruptions’.

    • A September 2019 demarcation for SC 24/25 appears quite consistent with all available data.

      SIDC and predictions of a Jan 2019 SC25 start appears unjustifiably aggressive. Sept 19 to March 2020 is reasonable cross over estimate. SC25 magnetics are in control now.

      The beauty is that the Sun don’t care about man and our prides.
      Unlike the Earth’s pliable surface temp data by Rent Seekers.

      • “Lots of speculation. Most of it unfounded. ”

        Agreed. Once again I have to point out, David, that your peak and trough lines in your Fig 2 are totally subjective. Try writing a mathematical set of rules for determining which peaks you chose to use and which you ignore. If you can not formalise it you are just cherry picking. This will have no predictive value. Also since the minimum is the cross over point of two cycles it is by definition impossible to predict it using only lines drawn from the last cycle. This looks a lot like amateur stock market analysis methods. Basically tea-leaf reading.

        This is the third or forth time you have presented this kind of baseless nonsense without addressing these criticisms.

        The “length” of solar cycle determined from minima is of limited use anyway. A short cycle does give some indication of a stronger next cycle because it dominates the remnants of the dying cycle earlier. But this is also affected by previous minimum which depends on last cycle but one.

        • “impossible to predict it using only lines drawn from the last cycle. ” I don’t think you have been paying attention. If the intersection of lines does predict it, then they predict it.

          • David, you are not paying attention. You have yet to predict anything. ( Please note “predicting” the past does not count. ) All you have is post hoc cherry picked lines. Maybe you don’t realise that is all you are doing. That is why I suggested you try to develop a mathematical method which decides which peaks you choose. If you can find some objective set of rules which provide the same result, I may be more inclined to consider you have something meaningful. But, like I said, since the minimum depends on the as yet unknown strength of the coming cycle it is logically impossible to predict the minimum without any information from the next cycle.

            As Dr. Strangelove says below: this looks a lot like what laughably gets called “technical analysis “, which of course is nothing technical but similar ad hoc eyeballing of the data.

        • The charts remind me of technical analysis of financial markets. The Elliot wave is based on the magical Fibonacci numbers. With enough imagination, it might also apply to the sun :-0

    • We can hope you are right about that prediction. Shepherd et. al (2014) has a solar cycle 25 sunspot number prediction decrease to around 80% of that of cycle 24, however. In any case, it will be very interesting to cycle 25 unfold.

    • Solar minimum is the time of least activity by different criteria, and it is clearly very meaningful for planet Earth as it is usually the time La Niña situation shifts to El Niño, and the time when Northern Hemisphere has a higher frequency of winter blocking conditions.

      You don’t want to talk about cycles, but most of the world does. Too bad for you.

      The solar minimum is close, as an El Niño is emerging in the Pacific.

        • Also for the Sun. It is the time when it least emits in quite a lot of frequencies from radio to visible, EUV, X-rays, and TSI in general. Also the quietest time for solar flares and coronal mass ejections. It is the time when the Sun is emitting the least energy. Also during solar minima the fast solar wind is at a maximum and the slow solar wind at a minimum. This reflects changes in polar field intensity that follow the 11-year cycle.

          For knowing so much about the Sun, you appear to be bent on leading people astray just to promote your biases.

          The solar minimum is important also for the Sun.

          • The solar minimum is important also for the Sun.
            Of course not. Minimum is just the result or symptom of the sequence of eruptive processes. The minimum in itself is not the course of anything and has no effect on the development of activity. When is is determined by both the old long before the minimum and the new eruption after the minimum. The eruptions [‘cycles’ for you] last 17 years and overlap. The old cycle dies long after the new cycle is born, regardless of the arbitrary formula we use to calculation the time of the completely anthropological ‘minimum’. I realize that this is painful [to wit : your emanations] to a true sufferer of cyclomania, but so be it.

          • Every cycle has a cause. The 17-yr eruptions plus half the delay in the overlap between eruptions result in the 22-yr magnetic cycle, and half of that is the 11-year energy cycle. The 17-yr eruptions are the cause of the 11 and 22-yr cycles, but there is no 17-yr cycle as they do not create that periodicity due to the overlap.

            Even a sufferer of cyclophobia can understand this.

          • but there is no 17-yr cycle as they do not create that periodicity due to the overlap.
            There is not one periodicity as two 17-yr eruptions run concurrently. See the modern view of this in
            Srivastava et al. (2018) The Extended Solar Cycle: Muddying the Waters of Solar/Stellar Dynamo Modeling or Providing Crucial Observational Constraints? Front. Astron. Space Sci. 5:38. doi: 10.3389/fspas.2018.00038
            “sunspot activityis the main phase of a more extended cycle that is triggered at higher solar latitudes prior to the maximum of a given solar cycle”.
            See also
            The old idea of a single 11-yr or even 22-yr cycle is dead.
            But such groupthink lives on long after its expiration date.

      • Javier are you on twitter ?

        I really must find out how to turn off auto correct. Perhaps a mod would like to delete my previous two attempts.

    • Dr. S
      Recently I have looked at the spectral composition of the 9 k year SSN reconstruction. It agrees well with your FFT output despite the reservations I had when the paper was discussed few weeks ago; here you can see comparison of two analysis. I would be happy to look further at any section of the data.

        • Of course I did it right.
          You might be interested to know that in your 9 k year SSN reconstruction the majority if not all of the spectral output above 400 years might be due to the effect of the slow changes in the earth’s magnetic field.
          Whoever extracted the SSN data from the proxies (10Be or/and C14) may have been unable to completely eliminate the GMF effect.
          Comparison of two spectra is shown here
          p.s. Korte’s geomagnetic data is (mainly) based on paleomagnetic proxies which are unlikely to have been modulated by the much weaker geomagnetic storms effect.
          Your opinion on the above will be appreciated.

          • spectral output above 400 years might be due to the effect of the slow changes in the earth’s magnetic field.
            MIGHT be isn’t good enough. There could also be effects of climate variations. Or simply noise. The spectrum is consistent with all variations being stochastic. Goes with the notion that there probably isn’t any memory in the system. An exception might be for timescales of a rotation caused by an asymmetric relic field in the core. But all of this is just speculation. Each sunspot cycle is just a visible top of the underlying ~17-yr eruption process, driven by the meridional circulation in the convection zone. The phase-stability could simply be a reflection of stability of the circulation [itself driven by temperature gradients related to the rotation of the Sun. Our view of the ‘cycle’ is changing at this time.

    • Leif, I haven’t read all your comments about this issue(I imagine it would take some time). So if you can direct me to something if you already discussed this.

      Do you think that the model described by Milankovitch can explain climate changes on earth?

    • When you realize the sun is externally powered, You will have a brand new understanding . Magnetic field strength means everything. It shows you the amount of energy in a system . Right now we have entered a new ice age and by winter of 2019/2020 you will see the temps dropping in all data sets and will remove any doubt. Could last for centuries .

      [Externally powered? .mod]

      • Yes, Meaning the sun is not powered from within . Our solar system moves in and out of high energy streams that feeds the sun , an electrical circuit if you will and we have moved into a low energy area. The 4th phase of matter is plasma , you can call it dark matter in its low energy state.

  2. In fact my study on the cyclic nature of global solar radiation presented sunspot cycle of 10.5 + or – 0.5 and its multiples of 21 + or – 1 and 42 + or -2. The integrated curve of these follow the figure 1 pattern.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • My guess:
      From Figures 3 and 7, it appears there are more Sun things happening in the first 75 months than in the last 75 months of “the cycle.”
      If so, I would have said “front loaded.”
      However, except for #23, this seems not uncommon.

  3. By Jan 2019 SC24 will have reached the average number of months, 11, to the solar minimum of the prior 6 cycles after the first three months of an F10.7cm monthly average of 72 or less. SC24 can break the SC23 record of 16 months for this metric after 6 more months from then, in June 2019.

    SC24 has a long way to go reach the depths of the record SC23 minimum:

    Generic F10.7cm warming/cooling forecast based on Leif’s SC25 range between SC20 and SC24:

    In terms of v2 SSN, SC24 is 10 months ahead of SC5 (Dalton min), and halfway through to the minimum when compared to SC5, when referenced to the occurrence of the first three months of sunspot number average equaling 20 or less. SC5 had 36 months from the start of that time to its minimum.

    So if we have a Dalton-like finish to the minimum, there would be another 18 months to go, and the minimum would then be in the summer of 2020, close to the SWPC forecast.

        • We had some differences at the time (2009ish), Dr. Hathaway even reproduced part of my calculations

          and concluded that it is impossible for the SC24 to be low, despite my projections of such.
          Time as always, is final judge in speculating about the future events.
          What happened (as shown here it could be simply a coincidence, but no one can be sure for certain.

      • I didn’t call them forecasts. They are comparisons, food for thought.

        For simulations of the future, ie scenarios, we need a guide for F10.7cm, and in doing so I used prior cycles that represent real activity, not a made-up pseudo-cycle.

        If you made a set of monthly SC25 datum potentials, similar comparisons could be made.

        IIRC the RCP8.5 solar forcing scenario repeats SC23 into the future, which is very useless:

        The RCP8.5 was published in 2010, so almost eight years have gone by and what has been done to rectify this terrible representation of past and future solar activity?

        • Generic F10.7cm warming/cooling forecast & I didn’t call them forecasts.


          The warming/cooling part was the forecast. The F10.7cm scenarios led to those forecasts, to answer the blog title “warmth sticking around or cooling ahead”.

      • Almost all physical systems exhibit memory for example if you have an earthquake then the relaxed pressure in the region of the earthquake means you are unlikely to get another in the same place soon. So it will be for solar processes. In particular magnetism has Memory. While I respect you have far better knowledge of solar processes than I, I would still challenge that solar cycles are totally independent of each other. That doesn’t seem very likely to me.

        • Agreed. Ed Fix’s model is based on the ideal spring mechanism because flux is carried from one cycle to the next. Solar cycles are not created ex nihilo.

      • Leif, a question far away from solar’s link to the climate: The 11years Schwabe-cycle is at it seems very stable over the time. Do we know the origin? Is it the revolving impuls of the sun? Or simply it’s size? When looking at other sunlike stars: Do they also have activity cycles and how long?

        • The has been speculation that the phase of the 11-yr ‘cycle’ may be stable [e.g. Dicke 1988:
 Another suggestion is that the phase of the polarity of the sun’s large-scale field is stable over decades [e.g. Gough 2017: All this purported stability is supposed to be controlled by a relic magnetic field in the core of the Sun [e.g. Svalgaard 2016: None of this is generally accepted, but is fertile ground for speculation.
          The amplitude of the cycle seems to be determined by the polar fields left over from the previous cycle [and this is generally accepted] that involves a rather random component as only a very small amount of the total magnetic flux is involved [throw a coin five times and you can easily get 4 heads].
          The various comments on this on this post are just fluff with no solid grounding.

          • Thanks Leif, unfortunately none of the links works ( at least in my browser). Your 2016 slides and Dicke (1998) I found when googling. Dicke found a “brakedown” of the model he used for the mounder-minimum. Very impressive… My question was related only to the frequency of the cycle, not the amplitude. My summary: An “oscillator” in the sun’s deep interior and some phase shift due to the “convective journey”to the near surface. Thanks

      • The Sea has very little, if any, memory of what it did in the past, yet analysis of earlier tidal cycles serves up very good forecasts.

        • The Sea has very little, if any, memory of what it did in the past
          The tides are driven by external forces with lots of memory [orbits]. The planetary tides on the sun [and the sea] are negligible.

          • Is it “memory” or is senescence required for same? A poem by ts eliot might answer this, but that is not the point of the post.

      • Leif Svalgaard
        “The Sun has very little, if any, memory of what it did in the past,”
        Harsh though true.
        We are able to record it though so we have a memory which we can use?
        “all those comparisons with earlier cycles are pretty useless and cannot serve as forecasts.”
        Even more harsh and undeserved.
        While you may disagree on good grounds with what people surmise you should not allow yourself to totally dismiss their speculations.
        The problem is more that we cannot, to date, get a lot of use out of the speculation.
        I take it though that you would agree that a very weak cycle or cycles should tie in with a cooler world temperature everything else being equal, or not?

        • I take it though that you would agree that a very weak cycle or cycles should tie in with a cooler world temperature
          I will agree that the temperature would fall about 0.1 degrees. Which would be in the noise and hardly have any measurable effect.
          And, it does not matter what memory we have as long as the Sun does not have any. There is now general agreement about what drives the solar cycles [the polar fields used by the dynamo mechanism]. Speculation that does not involve this driver deserves to be dismissed as unreliable.

  4. In Re Figure 20 on CO2 and plant growth, it amazes me that all those watermelons out driving Teslas which are clueless they are producing more CO2 by using more coal up stream at power plants, that they are also clueless or surprised when I tell them how CO2 has increased plant life as documented from satellites or earth experiments and if how if CO2 fell by 100ppm rather than rise, a large portion of plant life would die and humanity with it. Or no CO2 = no life on earth as we know it. Somehow they envision a hotter planet with more deserts and less plant growth as opposed to opposite with more green plants which thrive on CO2.

    Moreover, there is a feedback not mentioned with respect to atmospheric dust or aerosols well documented in the Milankovitch cycles. When atmospheric C02 is low and oceans more satiated, land plant life dies, the earth’s atmosphere is dusty from bare earth blown up by winds, the dust blocks out incoming light to surface. CliveBest has a good graph:

    • Nice graph.

      A lot of people don’t realize a colder earth is a windier earth. You can see the effect even during seasonal changes. When its colder in winter that hemisphere becomes much windier in the mid-lat to polar-lat region. Hot is (comparatively) close to still air. A glacial is just where the mid-latitude wind band moves further into the tropics, thus much stronger drier colder winds unable to hold much moisture.

      But I’m not so sure that it’s CO2 the kills the plants off. Australia is the perfect example. Large parts of the continent are covered in sand dunes. It would very much resemble the deep Sahara during a glacial. The plant’s grow back on the dunes and lock them in place when the moisture and precipitation level rises, with warming. Not because CO2 made them healthier. It only takes a couple of years of no rain today to kill those plants.

      The plants have locked in the positions of the widespread continental dune fields from the last glaciation. But is was consistent rainfall rise that allowed it. it’s that which meant the wind could not reach the ground so easily and raise the dust as often.

      I’m sure CO2 rise contributes to healthier plants on those dunes 10kya, but it’s precipitation that provided cover from the wind as the strong high pressure wind-band dropped back towards mid-Lats.

      So IMO, I think it’s over-claiming to say CO2 is responsible for the falling dust level in the interglacial’s onset. It is just one factor, and not the most significant. The warming that cause the winds to go south is the largest (i.e. orbital flux), and then rainfall, and then maybe its some soil profile development, and then its CO2 that increases lushness, like now.

    • Human gathering of wheat and barley started when CO2 got to 250 ppm for the first time after the last ice age (the Natufians at 14,000 years ago). Then it went away for 1,000 years as CO2 fell below 250 ppm again (Younger Dryas). And then gathering of wheat and barley started up again after CO2 got back to 250 ppm (southern Turkey, Gobekli Tepe 10,000 years ago).

      The implication being that wheat and barley just does not grow well enough below 250 ppm for agriculture or even gathering of wild wheat. Think of the last ice age for 100,000 years when humans were already wide-spread but there was just no agriculture. Then after CO2 rose to 250 ppm, humans independently started up agriculture all over the world.

      • I posted a reply last night but it never reappeared.

        I would say that CO2 is an explanation, but not the most logical or reasonable one, IMO.

        If you remove water from the growth equation, in a couple of years you have bare dirt and nothing alive. Precipitation is easily the most significant factor in plant growth. There are continuous coral cores from the GBR which show a 400 year long ‘drought’ that straddles either side of the LIA, where the monsoonal ‘Wet-Season’ flow simply failed to occur. This extended dry period (actual climate change) ended just prior to European colonization so we never noticed that it had occurred, until we drilled the coral and saw the lack of sediment inputs to coral growth, for ~350 to 400 years.

        You can imagine what occurred to the outback veg when that took place. These days when we get an El Nino the outback turns to dust once again, it only takes three years, and its a sandy dust bowl again.

        CO2 has nothing to do with the process during El Nino, as higher CO2 can’t stop the demise of plants during a drought. It’s the precipitation that determines when the dustiness stops again, and the ground cover regrows to protect it from the wind, not the temp, and not the CO2 level.

        So I don’t think the CO2 thesis stands up to Ockham’s Razor, precipitation makes much more sense to explain the decrease in dustiness and regrowth of plants with climate amelioration.

        I have no doubt plants grow faster in higher CO2 conditions, obviously, but they will grow any way, at lower levels (dendrochronology confirms it), and it would need to be show that they don’t to claim that CO2 is the cause, and not a simple lack of water with increasing coldness, producing prolonged very dusty conditions.

      • Bill, the historical CO2 readings you are quoting are apparently
        from ice cores, the value of the theory of their accuracy not
        yet proven. The CO2 which feeds plants near the ground comes
        from microbes consuming (oxidizing) the upwelling natural gas
        which enriches the soil in which they grow.

        This is not a theory. It is easy to prove. I dug through the very
        deep and very rich upland topsoil in Kansas and captured
        natural gas, or you can simply invert a ss salad bowl, put your
        CO2 meter on continuous read, put a weight on the inverted
        bowl and you will find many times the ambient CO2 rising
        directly under the plants.

        It also rises continuously and we will never run out. No worries
        about running out of continuously renewing hydrocarbons.

        The only worry is that the socialists and/or the one world
        government will convince the useful idiots not to use it.

  5. In the period of low solar activity, the Earth’s magnetic field concentrates galactic radiation over eastern Siberia. This creates a heat stain in the stratosphere, where water vapor escapes into the stratosphere.
    Next ozone as a stratospheric intrusion falls over North America.

    • Thankyou and I have an interesting climate story to tell. A year ago I cured a bloke of bad prostatitis which he had had for 10 years. He said,”If you don’t commercialise this, I will.” So I went back to cancer research, starting with in vitro work at Curtin Uni. A couple of Fridays ago I received an email from a group to whom I had given a climate lecture on March 23, 2010. They had receive a bequest and wanted to spend it on scientific research. Did I have anything they could help fund? We met on the Monday and I said it would be good to get funds to expand the panel of cancer cell line we are testing things against. They offered three tranches of $5,000 for a total of $15,000. That afternoon I met the professor supervising the work and he said the results on one compound were so good, against ovarian in particular, that he wanted to go to a transgenic mouse study. How much at mice studies? $5,000 each. So it was obvious that the whole $15,000 should be applied to mice and they will be ovarian, pancreatic and glioblastoma. All death sentences and so the oncologists will be open to suggestion. We could be in humans in 2019. Speeded up because of a climate lecture I gave in 2010.

      • My father died from Glioblastoma Multiforme, he was only 57. It was a horror show. that was 30 years ago and not much progress has been made. Can you post a lead to your work?
        Kind regards, B

  6. Solar activity is a magnetic phenomenon that is running at the 22 year periodicity.
    Link 1
    Looking at and building assumptions on non-magnetic 11 year cycles as observed by human eyes does not represent reality, does not and it will not lead to right conclusion.
    However, the 22 year periodicity gives a clear indisputable relationship of the global temperature data and solar magnetic activity
    link 2

    • Looking at and building assumptions on non-magnetic 11 year cycles as observed by human eyes does not represent reality, does not and it will not lead to right conclusion.

      The observed sunspot cycle is reality, as is the observed sunspot cycle produced lagged TSI effect on ocean temps.

      • Hi Bob
        What is seen through the optical telescopes is an after-fact but not true representation of two magnetic cycles, one in each hemisphere, ruining at 22 year periodicity in (near) anti-phase often with a long overlap

        • My comment was directed at the stated fallacy that sunspot cycles don’t represent reality.

          They are just as real as the preceding magnetic waves, and the resulting lagged TSI.

          …picking nits

          …does not and it will not lead to right conclusion.

          Sounds strawmannish. What do you mean? What conclusion is wrong?

          • The chromospheric plages and photospheric white-light facular areas are significant events within the magnetic cycles, they contribute to the total solar irradiance (TSI), but very often are not accompanied by sunspots, hence the visually observed spots do not represent accurate reality of the sunspot magnetic cycles.

          • but very often are not accompanied by sunspots, hence the visually observed spots do not represent accurate reality of the sunspot magnetic cycles.

            Near the minimum when new active region emergence slows down and the spots become smaller, the surface flux generated by new sunspots lives on past the life of the spots.

            This happened a few times this year, as F10.7 and TSI fluctuated higher after the passage of small spots that ended up dissipating, leading to zero sunspot number, before the flux from which TSI is partly derived dissipated. This lag can be seen in the 90 day trends and averages comparisons of v2 SSN to SORCE TSI.



          • The sunspot I mentioned in the first image emerged in May, and the lagged TSI peaked almost 90days later from that sunspot development, which grew to a maximum in three solar rotations, with TSI peaking after the sunspot had dissipated and SSN was zero.

            I’ve corrected the text on the affected image here:


      • Bob, when will the low solar activity start to cool off the oceanic surface waters? Thus far it hasn’t.

        OCEAN TID BITS SITE- Now showing overall oceanic sea surface temperatures at+.393 c above 1981-2010 means. No cooling.

        • when will the low solar activity start to cool off the oceanic surface waters? Thus far it hasn’t.

          Salvatore, I didn’t save the Jan 1 2018 CDAS global SST image from tropicaltidbits so I can’t tell what it has done this year for sure. Next new years day I’m saving it for reference. That data is harder to get, however do I download six of his images daily and visually compare them to a daily TSI plot, but I only save one day’s worth of images.

          I use HadSST3 for the ocean. Let’s see what happened with HadSST3 over the past ten months of this year’s data. We’re warm. I expect a slight decline to year’s end as in 2017.

          As I mentioned earlier in the year, part of my system is based on annual TSI change. The following small table depicts my current expectations for the change of HadSST3 global since 2017:

          The predicted change in SST is currently less than the HadSST3 margin of error, it’s so close to zero. The reason is simple – the 2018 annual TSI change so far is very small.

          When will the ocean cool more? I expect the ENSO situation to go the other way early next spring, with a small short LaNina-ish dip such as HadSST3 exhibited in 2007, before rebounding into what I call a “solar cycle onset ENSO”.

          There just isn’t very far for TSI to fall anymore into the minimum so even next year’s TSI change should also be small. It’s going to get very exciting when SC25 takes off.

    • However, the 22 year periodicity gives a clear indisputable relationship of the global temperature data and solar magnetic activity

      Where is there a regular 22yr temperature peak in any time series?

      The interpretation lacks meaning. One meaning is the climate is most highly effectively controlled, ie weighted, by two 11yr cycles, the last one and the current one. It means heat deposited during the last cycle lingers into the next.

      David Evans modeled an 11 year lag in 2014 that has the same meaning, overlapping heat from the prior 11yr cycle into the next 11 year solar cycle, although he didn’t make the same interpretation as I.

      • I have not looked for such peaks and I don’t need to.
        Cycles, as often visually perceived, are made of peeks and trough i.e. maxima and minima, but that may not be necessarily and exclusively the case. If a variable is what it may look as a ‘random walk’ (the latest meme is ‘chaos’) but every 20-22 years the apparent ‘random pattern’ is repeated for period of time (even if at a different absolute value), then any good spectral analysis program will pick such periodicity.
        Finally the solar periodicity, whether 11 or 22 years it is not only acting periodicity, there are also QBO about 2+, ENSO at 4-5, AMO at 9.1 and 60+, lunar at 7+ and 18.6, the Earth’s core at 16.1 etc, years.

      • I see no promise at this point indicating that the summing of various periodicities as you do can lead to a workable climate model that isn’t just curve-fitting, without taking into account how the main common driver of most of these periodicities is controlling them, ie the incoming solar energy.

        • “I see no promise at this point indicating that the summing of various periodicities as you do can lead to a workable climate model”
          I have not contemplated, and even less suggested such a thing, just noted that there are various cycles floating around, some may have input, others may be a consequence or simply tangled-up feed-back osculations.
          Although, currently there is no valid explanation for high correlation,

          shows to be a very promising guide for the future multi-decadal trend.

        • Vuk, iirc your solar prediction curve(s) are based on a sum of periodicites. Forgive me if I assumed your mere mention of several periodicities implied you intended to add their influences together.

          What does your CT4-GMF graphic imply about causation? First, where does your GMF data come from?

          If I am allowed to speculate here, maybe several plausible mechanisms conspire together to give the illusion that the dipole itself somehow controls temperature with a 10 year lag.

          Earth’s dipole might be related to a cumulative effect of cosmic rays and/or the IMF that is cycle modulated by solar activity, a cumulative effect on the earth’s magnetic field that would operate analogously and very importantly in parallel with the solar cycle modulated TSI cumulative warming/cooling effect on ocean heat content.

          The time lag: the cosmic rays and/or IMF during the former cycle might have an influence on the sun’s polar fields that are thought to control the amplitude of the next cycle, the sunspot amplitude that controls TSI, the main ocean warming/cooling forcing mechanism (land T closely follows ocean T).

          The GMF dipole would then be a fair precursor to future solar TSI warming.

          But until or unless you can connect the GMF and temperature to ongoing and expected solar activity there’s no way to make scenarios about future GMF or temperature past the 10 year window.

          • Geomagnetic data is from NOAA (see note below the graph). Plotting magnetic data shows predominant influence of the S. Hemisphere’s field.
            There are two reasons for this:
            a) N. H’s field is bifurcated (split between the Hudson Bay and Central Siberia maxima), first one runs loosely in reverse with solar activity, while the second one is in the sync, so undermining the overall effect.
            b) S. Hemisphere’s field has relatively good correlation with the long term solar average.

  7. A question, NASA says that the change in Solar output has noticeably cooled the upper Atmosphere causing the Atmosphere to shrink.
    Does the shrinking initially cause a rise in the surface temperature due to compression of the Atmosphere?
    Second question, as the upper Atmosphere has cooled and shrunk does that mean a quicker path for heat to reach space and thus increase the rate of cooling?

    • Shrinkage is in the uppermost regions where the atmosphere density is extremely low, it doesn’t propagate to the surface (but affects low orbit satellites), consequently any temperature rise in these altitudes would re-radiate energy back to space in relatively short time.

    • For the forthcoming cycles 25 and 26 the two waves are found to travel between the hemispheres with decreasing amplitudes and increasing phase shift approaching nearly a half period in cycle 26. This leads, in fact, to a full separation of these waves in cycle 26 into the opposite hemispheres. This separation reduces any possibility for wave interaction for this cycle that will result in significantly reduced amplitudes of the summary curve and, thus, in the strongly reduced solar activity in cycle 26, or the next Maunder Minimum lasting in 3 cycles 25–27.

      • Ren, et al, here is a link Zharkova’s recent lecture from a few weeks ago which goes with her important paper you posted:
        Professor Valentina Zharkova: The Solar Magnet Field and the Terrestrial Climate

        In a decade or two when we are in the cold snap with cycles 25 and 26, history will look back at this current AGW nonsense the same way we now look back at the Nobel Prize being given for lobotomies being a miracle cure for mental illness, or accepted Ptolemaic theory of sun revolving around the earth.

          • Lieif,
            Please explain why “junk.”
            Is it because her model is based mainly on mathematics fitting, with theory only in background on dual dynamo oscillation going in and out of phases, as opposed to a real pure physics model, and her backwards fit on solar cycles is computer generated hogwash whereas it is give me a conclusion and I can get or generate the arbitrary assumptions by picking out from an infinite set of equations via computer, thus future fit forecast likely is to be uncorrelated with estimated parameters unless hit something by accident?
            Is that it?

          • why “junk.”
            Several reasons. First, it is based on only 35 years of data. Second, it does not describe the past. Third, it is just curve-fitting with no physics.
            See: e.g.
            “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 model predictions for the last 800 years with known variability of solar activity, using both direct sunspot observations since 1610 and reconstructions based on cosmogenic radionuclide 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.”
            “The paper by Popova et al. presents an oversimplified mathematical model of solar activity with a claim of predicting/postdicting it for several millennia ahead/backwards. The work contains several flaws devaluating the results: (1) the method is unreliable from the point of view of signal processing (it is impossible to make harmonic predictions for thousands of years based on only 35 years of data) and lacks quality control, (2) the result of post-diction apparently contradicts the observational data. (3) theoretical speculations make little sense, To summarize, a multi-harmonic mathematical model, hardly related to full solar dynamo theory, is presented, which is not applicable to realistic solar conditions because of the significant chaotic/stochastic intrinsic component and strong non-stationarity of solar activity. The obtained result is apparently inconsistent with the data in the past and thus cannot be trusted for the future predictions.”

      • The Zharkova work appears to be the closest I have seen to understanding the small, long term in human scale, variation in climate on Earth.

        The steady beat of different layers in the solar dynamo is appealing.

        • It appears that about every 50 year or so there is a phase shift in North and South hemisphere’s activity phase (North vs South excess), and data goes back to nearly 150 years.

          top graph was published in 2004 (available here:
          the rest, including one showing link to changes in the global climate trend, were published sometime around 2008/9 on a (now defunct) solar blog, where Dr. Svalgaard was a regular contributor, and two of us had there numerous exchanges of views.
          This was some years before Zharkova’s paper, so her hypothesis may be independent but it is not new.
          Dr. Svalgaard is correct, there is no verifiable physics behind it, but numbers in my hypothesis and calculations are based on the planetary orbital resonances.

          • Zharkova is only using observation and essentially applying mathematics to those observations. There are others who have postulated the multi-layer dynamo theory. However a keen observer does not need to understand the physics to apply mathematics to the observed behaviour. No human understands the physics behind the universe or even the sun. We are still searching and rely on keen observers and mathematicians to help identify patterns that lead to better physical models of what is occurring. Observation usually lead the physics although good theories will enable predictions of events yet to be observed.

            Zharkova predicts we are heading into prolonged solar minimum – I may see that in my lifetime and it may be accompanied by surface cooling on Earth.

  8. It looks like at least 40 comments on this article (including 2 of mine) have disappeared since last night – any idea about what happened?

  9. What is surprising me is how warm overall oceanic surface temperatures are now +.383c above 1981-2010 means. I thought this would be closing in on a zero deviation by now due to the very low solar activity.

    However, I still think it is just a matter of time before this take place.

  10. April 12, 2018 Leif said,”It looks to me that SC25 will be a bit stronger than SC24, so probably no Grand Minimum this time”. Yesterday Leif said,”Lots of speculation. Most of it unfounded. SC25 will probably be intermediate between SC24 and SC20:”. So does this mean predictions for 25 are getting somewhat weaker than previously thought? Like Yogi Berra said? “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” My favorite Yogi-ism.

  11. So much junk science in one article, it’s an embarrassment to skeptics to see such garbage posted to support their “cause”. Sort of like supporting burning of witches due to your Christian beliefs. Delete….delete….. delete…

    • DMacKenzie,
      If you have constructive criticism of the paper, such would add to the scientific analysis, but trolling with insults comparing looking at the sun’s empirical data to “burning of witches,” just shows the utter hypocrisy of the nonscience based AGW religion with your “Delete….delete….. delete….” reminiscent to burning Copernicus’s papers or Nazi brownshirts burning books since the conclusion may contradict the NPC AGW meme. People here are open to and invite scientific criticism, not labeling something “garbage” on the basis of purported “cause” without even the smallest shred of evidence.

      May I turn it around?
      “So much junk science in AGW, it’s an embarrassment to alarmists to see such garbage posted to support their “cause”. Sort of like supporting burning of witches due to your Christian beliefs. Delete….delete….. delete…”
      – Yes, junk science when there is no SCIENCE in the criticism, shear hypocrisy, shear garbage in your post. I prefer facts and evidence.

      BYW During the Little Ice Age or Maunder Minimum about 350 years ago when glaciers were advancing across Europe for decades and crushing towns, religious people had priests give sermons and pray at glaciers not to advance, and people like you based on faith were blaming the cold and bad harvests on witches which they literally did horribly execute based on their alarmist climatic religious beliefs. I prefer science over religion.

      DMacKenzie – Please go troll somewhere else where you will have more luck, like the Guardian or NYTs comment pages where real garbage is published as MSM propaganda NPC people take on faith. Else if a paltry 100 rubles an hour is not enough for your trolling, maybe you can get a better job, as you will need to save up for your higher future heating bills when you grow up, or you can go outside 20 years from now when it is colder and just claim it is warmer based on faith and freeze to death which would be a real science experiment.

      • JpinBalt, I may have been too harsh with my assessment. Let’s see…. Start with graph 1… statement of the origin of the data, what institution and what instrument or instruments took the readings. Attribution of the data is an important aspect of technical papers and reports.
        Now on to Figure 2: Heliospheric Current Sheet Tilt Angle 1976 – 2018. The lines are drawn on the peaks of Cycle 21 and 22, but not the peaks of 23 and 24. It is clearly open to interpretation of the person who selected the peaks. A slightly different selection of peaks would could move the intersection point on the horizontal line by up to a whole year, not merely the one month implied accuracy.
        Let’s go on to figure 3. So the Sheet Tilt Angle is aligned on minimum. This doesn’t add anything to the information of Figure 2. Conclusion of the author is that Cycle 24 is tracking along with 21 and 22. But in reality there is too much scatter to make a valid conclusion about future cycles.
        Now let’s go to Fig 4. The Oulu Neuron count back to 1965 can be found with any search engine. The Oulu graph back over those years usually shows about a 20% variation range, not the 100% variation range of the author’s graph. This shows the importance of stating the data source for verification purposes.
        On to Figure 5, Solar Wind Flow Pressure, again no reference as to the source of the data to verify reliability. The author makes statements concerning Figure 5 and the 1970’s cooling period and the “break” in 2006. In reality, the graph shows no particular trend. This same associative “trick” is used in Figure 9, where the Little Ice Age and the Modern Warm Period are shown on the graphs, but one has the opposite slope of the other during the warming trends, so actually no such inference can be made.
        Anyway, I’m only at Figure 5, only 15 more to go, mostly all with similar attribution problems, mis-interpretations, eye-ball best fit peak lines….I think I’ll stop for now. So based on the first five comments, am I too harsh with my comments ? The readers can judge.

  12. The greens have truly bet the farm on AGW, if AGW science seems to disproved by flat lining temperatures then their credibility will truly be shot, and possibly their incomes too. A sunspot minimum may well haul their irons out of the fire, allowing them to claim the heat has been swallowed by the sun, giving a few decades breathing space until they reach cosy retirement.

  13. Fascinating discussion. Thanks for your participation. I am none the wiser! I thought way back in 2006/8 it was going to be a colder BB world but who knows. I based it on data from the web. I published on my blog to instant oblivion. Now I know better than to make claims like this. Today I watch the Sun and the volcanic activity which increases as the space radiation reacts with the Earth’s core. It’s this which MAY cause cooling. I wonder how deep it will go this time around. Of course I have no idea what will happen and I reckon I am in good company. Go Sun.

  14. I learned about Milankovitch cycles about 40 years ago, which explains much but not all in paleoclimatology. NJ Shaviv’s theory on the role of cosmic rays and Earth’s position with respect to the spiral arms of the Milky Way would explain much that Milankovitch does not in terms of longer range climate cycles. Neither are good at describing cyclical climate variations less than 10,000 years or so. We have no explanation and yet we know shorter cycles exist. Correlations can be made to variable solar activity but direct observation is lacking and debate continues. Given a solar constant of about 1361 W/m2, the “solar deniers” say that this doesn’t vary enough to influence climate. This however is power input in the outer atmosphere, not the lower troposphere. It would be interesting to have a simple relationship between power input in the outer atmosphere in W/m2 and resulting average temperature in the lower troposphere in degrees Kelvin. It is also interesting to think about lunar effects. Does variations in the tide due to eccentricities in lunar orbit affect climate? I know enough that both the time and the height of high tide varies throughout the year and from year to year. If a change in elevation of the oceans, 70% of the Earth’s surface, on the order of feet occurring twice daily at different times of day has no effect whatever on climate, I guess I would be surprised. Granted the ocean isn’t affected much, but the question is the effect of tide on the lower troposphere. Can it change circulation or evaporation enough to have measurable climate effects? I’ve always figured that Earth’s remarkable historic climate stability is an indication that it is self-regulating with negative feedbacks, leaving only external forces such as orbital parameters and variable solar activity to force change. Where does the Moon fit in?

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