Amid the dimmest Sun since 1978 – a month without sunspots

The sun today is cue-ball blank, a perfect unmarred sphere:

Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI Continuum

The sun has just passed an entire calendar month with no sunspots. The last time this happened, in August 2008, the sun was in the nadir of a century-class Solar Minimum. The current stretch of blank suns shows that Solar Minimum has returned, and it could be as deep as the last one.

The last time a full calendar month passed without a sunspot was August 2008. At the time, the sun was in the deepest Solar Minimum of the Space Age. Now a new Solar Minimum is in progress and it is shaping up to be similarly deep. So far this year, the sun has been blank 73% of the time–the same as 2008. 

Solar Minimum is a normal part of the solar cycle. Every ~11 years, sunspot counts drop toward zero. Dark cores that produce solar flares and CMEs vanish from the solar disk, leaving the sun blank for long stretches of time. These minima have been coming and going with regularity since the sunspot cycle was discovered in 1859.

Full story at

Here’s the sunspot data:

SIDC sunspot data Graph source:

Meanwhile, the sun is putting out less solar energy towards the Earth, as this graph of PMOD composite monthly total solar irradiance (TSI) data shows:

TSI in watts per square meter Graph source:

What is most interesting is in the PMOD ( Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos (PMOD) composite ) TSI data, measured by satellites, and endorsed by NOAA, shows a drop of 2 watts per square meter since it’s peak around 2003, to the present in 2019, where in the last month, it has literally dropped like a rock, creating the lowest value in the dataset so far.

The estimate of increased solar forcing from increased carbon dioxide and other GHG’s in Earth’s atmosphere could be up to 3 watts/square meter if model estimates are to be believed:

Changes in radiative forcing of long-lived greenhouse gases between 1979 and 2012.

This graph shows changes in radiative forcing of long-lived greenhouse gases between 1979-2012. These gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), chlorofluorocarbon-12 (CFC-12), CFC-11, and fifteen other minor, long-lived, halogenated gases. The 15 other halogenated gases are CFC-113tetrachloromethane (CCl4), trichloromethane (CH3CCl3); hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) 22141b and 142bhydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 134a152a23143a, and 125sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and halons 12111301 and 2402). The graph does not include other forcings, such as aerosols and changes in solar activity. Summary Total forcing in 1979 was 1.712 watts per square metre (W.m-2), and has steadily increased over time to 2.873 W.m-2 in 2012. Between 1979-2012, the largest contributors to radiative forcing have been CO2 and CH4. In 2012, the percentage contributions of each gas to total forcing was approximately: CO2: 64% CH4: 18% N2O: 6% CFC-12: 6% CFC-11: 2% 15 minor gases: 4% Forcing data are briefly summarized below. All the data are available in a later section as comma-separated values. The first value is the year, followed by forcing values (in W.m-2) for CO2, CH4, N2O, CFC-12, CFC-11, the 15-minor halogenated gases, and total forcing, respectively: 1979: 1.027, 0.419, 0.104, 0.092, 0.039, 0.031, 1.712 1980: 1.058, 0.426, 0.104, 0.097, 0.042, 0.034, 1.761 1990: 1.293, 0.472, 0.129, 0.154, 0.065, 0.065, 2.178 2000: 1.513, 0.494, 0.151, 0.173, 0.066, 0.083, 2.481 2010: 1.791, 0.504, 0.174, 0.170, 0.060, 0.106, 2.805 2012: 1.846, 0.507, 0.181, 0.168, 0.059, 0.111, 2.873References: Butler, J.H. and S.A. Montzka (2013-08-01) THE NOAA ANNUAL GREENHOUSE GAS INDEX (AGGI)[1], NOAA/ESRL Global Monitoring Division

It seems the sun has dimmed more than the usual amount at the end of solar cycle 24, and it could be a factor in the severe winter we are experiencing in many parts of the northern hemisphere.


196 thoughts on “Amid the dimmest Sun since 1978 – a month without sunspots

  1. its a brutal cold winter not because of anything to do with the sun, or oceans, or orbits. Nope. its cold because of co2 and 2019 is gonna be the hottest year ever!

    • Yep. About the same as saying our temperatures have dropped since 2016, most be because of our rising cow levels. (Lol).

      • Wait, so you think maybe the Sun is interfering with the CO2 that controls the planet?

        I am putting my money on those guys from Yale that spread that stuff out in the air to block the Sun a few months ago.
        Anybody that has had unprecedented cold and snow recently, I would go see a lawyer, especially if there was damage.
        Those guys said they were gonna cool it down.
        And I think they are quite wealthy up there at Yale.
        What lawyers call “deep pockets”.

        • “Wait, so you think maybe the Sun is interfering with the CO2 that controls the planet?”

          yes, AGW theory says as much

          temperature is a function of ALL FORCING.

          • I must have forgotten my disclaimer:
            Sarcasm that is not explicitly stated should be taken to be strongly implied.
            Void where prohibited.
            You mileage may vary.

          • The problem is “AGW” theory excludes no outcomes. If temps rise, it’s true. If temps remain stable, its true. If temps go down, its true.

            An unfalsifiable hypothesis can never be a useful theory. A tautology? Yes. A valid theory? No.

            I grow weary of AGW apologists bending the rules to fit what ever outcome shows up.

            That said, I see no correlation or underlying mechanism by which sunspots have a major influence on climate.

      • My bad, it was Harvard.
        December 5.
        Crazy mad scientist like plan to cool Earth.
        Since then, people have froze to death in their homes, and while walking to their car, etc.
        Many people, frozen to death in never before seen cold, within weeks of this ill advised and reckless plot.
        In the Sierra, monster snow setting all time records in a place famous for monster snow.
        Forget the yardstick, they are measuring it with a telephone pole up in there.
        I think some people got a case!
        It is egregious, outrageous, preposterous!

      • Wait just a second! Are you accusing lefty climate scientists of having a sense of humor in this deadly serious business?

    • February 2019 was the coldest month of February in recorded history in Calgary Canada.

      I (we) predicted in an article written 1Sept2002 in the Calgary Herald that naturally-caused global cooling would resume by 2020-2030. I am leaning toward a bit earlier, but this is a complex issue and “The science is NOT settled”.

      [excerpt from the 2002 Herald article]

      “If (as we believe) solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”

      Yes, I know, “weather not climate, blah blah blah.” Tell that to the guys who work outdoors.

      We also published with confidence in 2002 in a written debate with the leftist Pembina Institute:

      “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

      We also published with confidence in the same 2002 debate:

      “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

      Past decades of actual global observations adequately prove that these two statements are correct to date. Since then, many trillions of dollars and millions of lives have been wasted due to false global warming alarmism and green energy nonsense. Competent scientists and engineers have known these facts for decades.

      We told you so, 17 years ago.

      Regards, Allan MacRae

      • There is no ” the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming ”

        There is the AGW hypothesis, but nowhere in the science is there a theory of catastrophe.

        Pure strawman on Macrae’s part.

        • No it is not.
          The theory of catastrophic warming is that based on high sensitivity per doubling of CO2.
          Some claim that sensitivity is at the high end of the IPCC prediction or even beyond, eg 4 to 5 deg per doubling.
          Any paper/claim based upon RCP8.5 immediately falls within that category.

        • So the IPCC is wrong about the end of the world in 12yrs (11, now). Gee that’s irresponsible of them, don’t you think? Why monsieur, is all the fuss, concern, expenditure, hysteria, protests, talk of mass extinctions, fisheries collapsing, more intense storms, droughts, premature deaths, topping production of coal, gas, climate lawsuits, if its not something serious to worry about.

          Coeur de Minou Je pense.

        • Cul de Lion wrote:
          “There is the AGW hypothesis, but nowhere in the science is there a theory of catastrophe.”

          Sir or Madame, your comment is nonsensical, perhaps even delusional.

          I did not invent the term CAGW – the global warming alarmists did.

          CAGW = “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming”.

          Look it up:

          • Where in that linked page does it say that “global warming alarmists” invented the term CAGW?

        • Your quibble is with the words “hypothesis” vs. “theory”, I think. Or maybe CAGW is more like a “WAG”. Whatever it is, it’s shaping our world… Political candidates and parties, research grants (and thus) technological innovation, markets, state and national policies and entire governments are allowing the warming of anthropogenic gasses to inflate their thinking.

          The wag that would dog the world.

      • I record temps for EC in Okotoks for only 30 years, and it was the coldest I have ever recorded for any month…

      • Not to worry about February 2019 being the coldest month on record; give the climate alarmists a few revisions of the temperature dataset and those cold temperatures disappear like magic. Cool the past, warm the present.

        At this point, the historical temperature record is so worthless due to revisions by climate alarmists that the revisions are the bulk of any global warming that has taken place. And one needs to keep in mind that they cherry picked the beginning of the temperature records (1880) to start when it was colder than normal.

        I remember reading a paper from Dr Judith Curry a few years ago how temperature revisions were fine and did not impact the temperature record. I vehemently disagree. Due to correlation bias, the entire temperature record has been rewritten to tell a false story. Just look at Australia’s BOM that released Acorn2, showing a .23C rise in temperature over its dataset (1910 to present – 1910 was cherry picked due to some very warm years between 1910 and 1880) compared to Acorn1. Instant AGW global warming of .23C!

    • During the day, which is when these “GHGs” would be warming Earth’s surface, the surface (15 deg C) is always warmer than the air, particularly in the upper tropical troposphere “hotspot” (-17 deg C) from where climate scientists say IR radiation is sent back to the surface, causing warming.

      First, years of measuring the upper tropical troposphere has failed to find any hotspot. In fact, the results show a gentle long term cooling of this region.

      Second, because the surface is always warmer than the air, the energy levels in the surface equivalent to the downward IR would be full and thus reflect the IR back upward—no warming is possible. IR would penetrate the oceans but evaporative cooling cancels that out quite nicely.

      Third, it is at night that these gases, with no energy input except from surrounding air, convert heat energy from the air into IR, which is then lost to space. That is why the air chills so quickly after sundown and why small breezes kick up so quickly in the moving shadows of clouds on a windy day with scudding clouds.

      Fourth and most critical, there is no such thing as a GHG. They made it up to support their agenda. These gases are called “radiative gases,” as they serve to cool themselves by IR emissions from ambient heat. If anything these gases serve to cool the planet, at night. During the day, they are saturated with IR and absorbing and emitting, thus being a wash, no effect can be detected. The GHG model is strictly in computer models and does not relate to the real world.

      • “Fourth and most critical, there is no such thing as a GHG.”

        Really? I think not, as the term greenhouse gas is generally understood from a physics standpoint.

        “The Swinbank formula provides an ad hoc expression for the power radiated by the night sky. . . . This can be converted to an effective temperature via the Stefan-Boltzmann law. Now the question arises as to whether you are asking about the effective black body temperature or effective gray body temperature of the night sky. . . . A couple of examples:
        —A cool clear night in the desert, with a temperature of 5°C and a relative humidity of 5%. The modified Swinbank formula yields a flux of 198 w/m2, which in turn corresponds to a black body temperature of -29.9°C or a gray body temperature of -10.9°C.
        —A warm clear night in the countryside, with a temperature of 15°C and a relative humidity of 25%. The modified Swinbank formula in this case yields a flux of 274 w/m2, which in turn corresponds to a black body temperature of -9.5°C or a gray body temperature of 11.1°C.
        (source of this paragraph is )

        The cosmic background radiation directly from space is equivalent to blackbody radiation at 2.7K (-270 °C)

        “Starlight that does manage to get to Earth is rather minimal. Astronomers estimate that the light is equivalent to a 60-watt lightbulb—the kind used in household light fixtures—as seen from about 2.5 miles away, in complete darkness.” — source:
        So, starlight is an insignificant factor in this discussion, although I find that stated equivalency absolutely stunning . . . for being so low compared to what I imagined before looking it up!)

        Thus, we have an actual nighttime sky temperature in the range of -10 to -30 °C versus a nighttime sky temperature that would be -270 °C if Earth had no atmospheric gases that absorb and re-radiate IR from Earth’s surface during the night.

        Bottom line, without gases that provide a “greenhouse effect” of absorbing and re-radiating IR radiation from Earth’s surface (land and sea), life as we know it on Earth would simply not exist.

        • GORDON, YOU NEGLECT THE MASS OF THE AIR AT PERIL. Also the adiabat and the fact that gases do not have the same Physics (= nature) as solids, hence IGL for instance. Most CAGW misunderstandings are based on these errors. Brett

          • Actually, the consideration that I DID NOT neglect is the mass times heat capacity times temperature difference of the total atmosphere (m*Cp*delta-T) RELATIVE TO the rate of radiation of energy to deep space over time: dQ/dT = ~constant factor * Stefan-Boltzmann constant * effective emissivity * nighttime Earth surface area * (T surface^4 – Tdeep-space^4).

            If you work through the math, without IR absorption and re-radiation of greenhouses gases slowing the theoretical rate-of-cooldown of the earth’s atmosphere, the pre-morning sky temperature would be many tens of degrees colder in difference than what is measured relative to the post-sundown sky temperature (typically, 5-10 C decrease between 2200 and 0400 local time, depending on humidity).

            According to GISS, Earth’s global mean surface air temperature is estimated to be 57 F (14 C) and for that temperature radiating to 2.7 K deep space as a black body and without any back-radiation, the heat loss would be around 250 watts/m^2.

            All matter (gas, liquid, solid and plasma) at a temperature above absolute temperature freely radiates energy, usually isotropically.

          • Sorry, last sentence in my above comment should have “absolute zero” replace “absolute temperature”.

          • Gordon, you continue to compare apples with oranges. It took Poisson and Maxwell to see the reasons for forming the Ideal Gas Laws. Cannot blame you if you do not. There is no greenhouse , just gaseous mass, insolation, gravity, optical depth, convective mass transport, and emissivity to space rising with altitude/decreased blocking. Spectral radiance is an effect of kinetic vibration in Fields, not a cause of that KE in gaseous mass. Try and figure out what actually happens physically. Lists of formulae merely try to put descriptors on that, for convenience. Gases do have degrees of freedom for a start….. No, I am not admonishing, just trying to get and aid understanding. Brett

          • Brett, amongst other meanderings you posted:
            “There is no greenhouse , just gaseous mass, insolation, gravity, optical depth, convective mass transport, and emissivity to space rising with altitude/decreased blocking. Spectral radiance is an effect of kinetic vibration in Fields, not a cause of that KE in gaseous mass.”


            “Molecules with 3 or more atoms can vibrate in more complex patterns. A single molecule can vibrate in various ways; each of these different motions is called a vibration ‘mode. Carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules have three different vibration modes, as illustrated on the right side of the animation.

            “Molecules with more (and more complex!) vibration modes are more likely to interact with passing waves of electromagnetic radiation. This is why carbon dioxide absorbs and emits infrared (IR) radiation, while nitrogen and oxygen molecules do not. This ability to absorb infrared waves is what makes carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas.

            “Water vapor (H2O) and methane (CH4) molecules also have vibration modes that cause them to interact with passing IR waves. As you might expect, methane and water vapor are also greenhouse gases.”

            (source of above quoted paragraphs: )


            “The number of vibrational modes (different types of vibrations) in a molecule is 3N-5 for linear molecules and 3N-6 for nonlinear molecules, where N is the number of atoms. So the diatomic molecule we just discussed has 3 x 2 – 5 = 1 vibration: the stretching of the bond between the atoms. Carbon dioxide, a linear molecule, has 3 x 3 – 5 = 4 vibrations. These vibrational modes, shown in Figure 4, are responsible for the “greenhouse” effect in which heat radiated from the earth is absorbed (trapped) by CO2 molecules in the atmosphere.”
            (source of this quoted paragraph: )

            So, I can only suggest you take your assertions to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and to the California Institute of Technology to correct their misunderstandings about CO2, methane and water vapor being greenhouse gases.

            For me, further discourse would be pointless.

  2. Must be the rising CO2 that is causing the sun to reduce output. Merely another case of lung cancer causing smoking. (face palm)

  3. There were actually six cycle 25 spots in February 2019:
    They were too weak to be included in the ‘official’ count, which has a problem with groups with only one [tiny] spot. The Sunspot Number is constrained to be either 0 or 11 depending on the majority of reporting stations report 0 or 1 spot.

    The PMOD data has a problem with the minimum values in 2008-2009: they are about 0.2 W/m2 too low, see e.g. Slide 31 of

    There is no good evidence for the minimum values being different.

    • Do “too weak to be counted” sunspots affect the official count’s maximums as well?

      • Some spots are hard to see [tiny], so some observers will see them and some will not. This has no effect on the count as what counts is the average, except when there only ONLY spot, then the official sunspot number is set to 10+1=11 if more than half of the observers report the spot or to 0+0 if more than half report no spot. This is a holdover from the classical way of counting.

        • What an absurd way of measuring solar activity. Not only the size of the sunspots is disregarded, but when there is one it counts as 11.

          • At least we have other measurements that are more meaningful, sunspot count is a proxy anyways and you might as well do it the old way to stay consistent.

          • I think your remark is also absurd. And pointless. Like saying “it is absurd that 19th century scientists did not use the Internet”.

            In fact, the Sunspot Number Version 2.0 group that Leif supervised (along with Ed Cliver and Frédéric Clette) have made a major contribution to solar science in identifying and correcting the errors and distortions in the sunspot records that have existed since the 17th century.

          • This is actually not so silly as you think. Already Wolf knew that the appearance of a new GROUP of spots [even if with only one spot] was more important than an extra spot in an existing group that may have several spots already.

            Modern solar science agree fully with that assessment.

          • It is an old way developed when people had no idea what they were measuring. Just counting spots like in a dalmatian dog. They didn’t even know what they were. It also assumes that size doesn’t matter, i.e. a large spot is the same as a small spot. Then you need a lot of people doing nothing but counting the same spots over and over, and in different places because it can’t be done when it is cloudy. What a scientific job, counting spots on sunny days for a living.

            We have better ways nowadays than just counting spots. And when there are no spots the technique is absolutely useless to measure changes in activity. That’s the problem with something that can fall to zero and stay there.

          • It is an old way developed when people had no idea what they were measuring.
            Even today, the ‘old way’ makes a lot of sense. The emergence of a new group [even with only one spot] is a much more significant event than just adding a new spot to an existing group [with perhaps a hundred spots already]. Wolf knew this very well. He wrote in [February 1858] when explaining his formula: sunspot number = 10*groups+spots.
            “Ich halte nun dafuer, dass, wenn eine neue Stelle der Sonne durch die fleckenbildende Thaetigkeit angegriffen wird, diess viel wesentlicher ist, als wenn in einer schon vorhandenen Gruppe durch eine kleine Veraenderung ein neuer Flecken entsteht” [I asserted now that when a new area on the sun is attacked by the spot-forming activity, that that is much more important than if in an already existing group by a small change a new spot should originate].
            This is also the modern viewpoint. Wolf was quite right, and this realization shows the genius in his formula that has stood the test of time.

        • The important point about “adding 10” tends to make the initial count pseudo-logarithmic mathematically.
          There’s is a lot happening just below the photosphere just to get one spot to visible. So when the sun is at solar maximum, so many AR’s all get 10+ added to their spot counts, the result is pseudo-logarithmic. So it makes sense considering that power levels across many natural systems (from sound, EM signal strengths, volcanoes, to Earthquakes) are measured at logarithm scale.

        • Hello Dr. Svalgaard,
          I am very interested in how low that irradiance might go.
          Are there are measurements with a longer record of TSI?
          I got the idea this one is made from space, and goes back to when we first sent up a device to measure from above the atmosphere.
          Is this correct?
          Beyond that, is the Sun in uncharted territory?
          How low can it go?

    • The sun has just passed an entire calendar month with no sunspots.

      Sunspots do not completely characterize solar activity. Two solar flares were logged in the wee hours of 1 Feb 2019.

      There were small (B1.5 and B1.8), but indicative of elevated solar activity associated with AR 12733, which had already produced a series of B and C level flares in Jan 2019

    • If Johann Rudolf Wolf had used satellites and really powerful telescopes and instruments, he, too, would have found more sunspots. Reminds one of when the US Geo Survey switched over to new instruments that were more sensitive and discovered lots and lots of earthquakes greater than they had ever known.
      Sometimes one should wonder if we’re getting down to debating “noise” and the impact of noise. Sunspots below levels not capable of detection even 50 years ago may fall into the same noise category as CO2 models viz climate.
      Climate models, as they now exist, do seem to fall into that area of philosophy sometimes referred to as metaphysics with it being labeled speculative nonsense.

    • Leif, I was looking at slide 31 of your cited source and it seems to be that there was mentioned the 1997/98 minimum, not 2008/09 ( with no minimum at all). And the PMOD data were 0.2 W too high when one takes the PMO6V data as reference. This taken into account how do you interpret the “stall” of PMOD in the presence as one could conclude that the difference between 1998 and now is bigger than shown in the wft-graph presented in the mainpost?

      • He was doing somewhat OK until he got to saying cosmic rays cause volcanic eruptions thru some kind of electrical connection(?). Stopped listening carefully after that.

  4. Better hope for some sort of El Nino to make up for solar minumum+AMO decline in 2019.

  5. Its a good thing that the sun has nothing at all to do with the climate here on earth. We have CO2 to keep us warm.

    • My apologies to Billie Holiday:

      “The snow is snowing
      The wind is blowing
      But I can weather the storm

      Why do I care how much it may storm
      I’ve got my CO2 to keep me warm”

    • LOL! I remember in my youth back in the 70s getting sucked into believing that the earth was cooling (it was, albeit temporarily). After that cooling period ended and we were being sold this crackpot CAGW theory, I read an interesting research paper written in the early 1990s which roughly correlated the earth’s temperatures (this is before the temperature record was ‘adjusted’) to solar cycles, with a 12-24 month lag from solar activity to earth temperature.

      Who would have thought that the earth’s temperature primarily changes depending on what the thermostat (the sun’s solar activity) is set to. The effect of CO2 is de minimus.

    • I think the theory is that low solar wind allows more cosmic rays to penetrate the atmosphere, and cosmic rays seed cloud formation, so yes, solar minima equal more clouds.

      • The theory is to new, I don’t think we have enough cloud records to match up with solar mins, to make the claim. What happens in a lab does not necessarily happen in the real world.


      • I think the main effect is is thought to be in the Hadley Circulation Cell near the equator where warm humid air rises along the equator, moves away from the equator at high altitude where cosmic rays can interact, then circulates back down. I recall research showing a correlation between CMEs and cloud cover which had about a week delay between CME & observed effect. I can’t find the reference or YouTube video. Maybe someone can point us to a reference.

  6. Just had the warmest winter in 70 years here in East Asia. Lots of sun too instead of the normal cloudy winters we have. I write it off to weather but maybe China burning cleaner energy and a slowing economy contributed somewhat. Less particulates in the air meaning more sunlight getting through.

    • One important reason why East Asia was a bit warmer this winter was that temps in the Himalayas were much warmer than I have ever taken note of in 10 years of paying attention. By comparison, last winter temps in the Himalayas were below average, and a strong surface wind blew eastward directly into the heart of China. Around this time last year all of China was below freezing. I have a screenshot of that. Very different this year, so much for my forecast of another cold winter.

      I wonder now if that Sudden Warming at the end of December has something to do with the change?

    • It was a very clear, sunny winter in Beijing. Virtually no precipitation at all. And not too cold.

      • In the US we have not had a single coastal snowstorm all Winter.
        I think there were a couple of ones in the fall, but for most of the past bunch of years, we have seen numerous coastal storms.
        But we have had some record cold in places that have a long record of very cold temperatures.
        Including some all time record low temps for entire large states.
        These sorts of records do not get broken very often.
        But if the global average is pretty much always within a fraction of a degree of the previous month, it is easy to infer that if it is unusually hot or cold where you are, someone is getting the opposite.
        Ditto with too much or too little rain.
        It is just a matter of which way the wind is blowing, how hard it is blowing, and exactly where.
        It is dark and very cold at the North Pole.
        Hot and very sunny and humid near the equator.
        In between, somewhere in the middle.

        • Agreed about the “if it’s cold here, it’s warm somewhere else” bit, Menicholas. Here in Australia, we have had the “warmest February on record”. This record was all due to the fact February was very dry, when it is normally one of the wettest months in the tropical & sub-tropical regions. No cooler than normal wet days = record warmth.

    • Cold is retreating early from Europe, Central Asia and E Asia, not just locally. N America remains cold in the forecast period, the rest are warm. I’ve been watching this pattern develop for a couple of weeks and it sure looks like Spring is kicking in early for Eur-Asia.

    • So you have an operating theory under which clean energy causes warming? That’s certainly interesting. Hope you don’t get attacked by a crazed climate scientist with a hockey stick.

      Sorry, I realize crazed, climate scientist is redundant.

      • john,
        I think he was talking about fewer particulates in the air due to China working towards pollution controls, not CO2.

  7. ” … a month without sunspots”
    But there were coronal holes impacts down here on the planet. the latest one in the last 24 h.
    If there is any geomagnetic effect on the planet’s weather and possibly climate (as I happen to think there is a high probability of it) then impact from coronal holes is just as important as the one from the sunspots.
    Ergo: as far as the Earth is concerned solar activity is not limited to the sunspots alone.

    • I agree with that assessment.
      I think the sun is probably still 8-18 months from the SC24/25 crossover (when 25 spots start vigorously appearing).
      SC24 is still showing some magnetic life.
      Such as S6122 on 19 Feb 2019.

      But the crossover to the next cycle now will be defined (post hoc) on SC25’s timetable. SC24 is just bumping along the bottom now.

      • Just as the SC24 started, sometime in 2010 I looked at certain aspects of the Parker spiral in concluded that SC24/25 crossover might be more like 18 months away, towards the end of 2020 ( link ).
        If this comes about than SC24 would be 11+ years long (the number calculated is 11.87 yr)

    • We are seeing things differently. I believe the solar minimum should be between January-March 2019.

      Out with the old cycle, in with the new.

  8. The most important greenhouse gas, by far, is water vapor. The graph above,

    Changes in radiative forcing of long-lived greenhouse gases between 1979 and 2012.

    doesn’t mention it. In fact, a quick google shows that the warmists bend over backward to obfuscate the importance of water vapor and explain it away.

  9. My hobby is amateur radio. Generally, the higher the sunspot number, the higher the frequencies that are usable for long-distance communications via the F layer. This is the first time that I can remember since I received my license in 1958, that the 10-meter band (28MHz) has been mostly dead to F-layer skip.

    • littlepeaks

      As I as trapped for a couple of years in 3D6-land I was relying on DX a lot of the time. It was a popular QSL destination for the 5-Band DXCC guys, as you could imagine – only one station on regularly.

      Once I attended a Toronto meeting at which one of the presentations was on whether there really is any skip at all. He built an antenna that could tilt as well as turn, and found that he could “inject” (he called it) a signal into the upper atmosphere at a select angle and it would refract, not reflect huge distances with very little attenuation. He got people on the ground at various distances to measure signal strength and showed that the total energy when it emerged from the upper atmosphere was far more than couple possibly have arrived by ‘skipping’.

      He explained that is why asymptotal contacts are so loud and clear – which I confirm as 3D6 is opposite Hawaii. Hawaii was usually armchair quality.

      It is likely that solar energy at long wavelengths entering the atmosphere does not propagate the way classical opinion has it. If it refracts within a charged atmosphere it might do all sorts of unexpected things – which we smile and call teleconnections.

      3DA0AC / VE3IHE

      • Living at Lake Tahoe, I had an hour-long “armchair” 20-meter QSO one night with KC4AAA (Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station) on 2 November 1981. It was like chatting across the room – no noise, fade, or warble. I had a half-wave inverted vee, about 40 feet high at the apex. He had been chatting with someone he knew in the Midwest. When they signed off I casually asked him if he’d mind a short one. What a thrill! Just the two of us, I was 26 and only two years a ham. He told me all about the station and life down there. When we wrapped up, a real pile-up ensued. He graciously worked about twenty guys, then made his excuses and retired. I’ve often wondered what kind of path I had that night. N7DEY

        • “20-meter QSO one night with KC4AAA (Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station)”

          So a 15 MHz clear conversation at night over 9,000 miles? really?
          I’d believe 3-4 MHz at night. Not 15. Unless KC4AAA was spoofing everyone from a repeater in the Northern Hemisphere.

          • There is a mode of propagation that approximates a waveguide. One example is between the sea surface and an atmospheric thermocline or inversion. tropospheric propagation So, it’s plausible to get a waveguide between two atmospheric and/or ionospheric layers.

            The link above gives pretty astounding examples (>1000 miles) at VHF and UHF.

  10. A quieter Sun leads to cooling Arctic waters and a cooling AMO/PDO with a following temperature lag of ~10 years. If this holds during these cycles it’s going to be very hard to hide the decline, but I’m sure they will try.

    The drop in TSI from around 1940 to the late 1960’s resulted in the Arctic waters dropping -1.3C(+-) and when the TSI rebounded, so did the temps.

    • The drop in TSI from around 1940 to the late 1960’s resulted in the Arctic waters dropping -1.3C(+-) and when the TSI rebounded, so did the temps.

      Was there a drop in TSI from “1940 to the late 1960s”? Solar cycles appear to have strengthened during that period.

  11. Funny as winter 2008-09 was brutal here with lots of roofs collapsing. Same thing this year!

  12. Is this the 210 year Suess / de Vries solar cycle?
    210 years ago was right in the middle of the Dalton Minimum.

  13. Darn, read through the entire article waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it didn’t happen.

    Never once was it mentioned, or even implied, that the month-long absence of sunspots and the precipitous decline in measured TSI were the results of climate change.

    Oh, well.

    • Gordon, I see your point.

      How will they be able to get funds for future research without mentioning CAGW?

      • Solar researchers don’t get their funding from the same sources as climate change researchers.
        It’s all about who controls the purse.

  14. The final graph in this post is missing water vapor. Its effect is much greater than the estimated effect of CO2.
    Why isn’t it shown more often? (Maybe because people would then realize that CO2 is relatively unimportant, and not worth destroying our economies).

  15. Dimmest sun in my lifetime and still the 3rd warmest January on record globally. Personally, I can’t wait to sweat it out in the sauna when the sun wakes up again.

  16. Looking casually at the long term sunspot chart (as corrected by Frédéric Clette, Ed Cliver and Leif Svalgaard) …
    … the Maunder Minimum and Dalton Minimum are clearly visible, even though there are still some (Leif Svalgaard included) who do not support the idea that the sun’s activity affects Earth’s climate (well, not by much). A common factor in those two cold periods is that there were two or more consecutive low sunspot cycles. So, to my way of thinking, if the next solar cycle is as weak as the last one, our star and planet will be conducting an experiment for us. But be warned: if the next cycle is indeed weak, and if Earth’s climate does go cold, then the unspeakable apologists for the unusable climate models will have had a further full decade to hone their excuses.

    • It’ll still be Man’s fault. That’s why CAGW has been rebranded as climate change… That way it doesn’t matter what the temperature does.

    • If we enact a solar minimum tax, we will decrease the solar minimum demand (and likely the solar minimums); but we need to be careful when trying to maximize the minimum tax for fear of creating an underground solar minimum market.

      (And, an underground solar minimum may further lead to a disequilibrium of underground/ocean temps, which in turn will exaggerat the likelihood of Guam tipping over)

      • . . . and we sure better hope that any an underground solar minimum market that may develop is not a, ahem, black market.

    • We need to raise the solar minimum to a level sufficient to support a solar system. Maybe $15/hr?

  17. Does anyone know why the wood for trees website data stops at 2017.5? On the graph included above it looks like it stops halfway to 2020 and then at the site, if you choose 2015 as a start date you can see that it does.

    • Excellent point, the first graph goes to 2019 so the reader assumes that the 2nd one does too, but in fact it goes only to 2017.5. I’m guessing that even AW got fooled.

  18. Mods, typo alert in paragraph below TSI chart. Spurious apostrophe in Possesive Pronoun “its”. Suggested correction rendered below.

    …of 2 watts per square meter sinceit’s its peak around 2003, …

    • Well that didn’t work. But you get the idea. The “strike” did not take and the cementhead left off acementhead.


      • Sigh. Well worse and worse. The strike did work, my rotten eyesight didn’t.

        Please delete all my rubbish here.

      • Doesn’t matter. I’m still getting used to bifocals and between them and the auto-correct on my phone, I usually appear to be a knuckle dragging moron.

        But, at least my oncologist says he doesn’t feel concerned about my blood tests and my A1C seems to indicate that diet changes were all that were needed.

        Bastards already stole my prostate and nothing else works right.

        • Some things get better with age. Old age eyes were put in place on purpose. We all get better looking close up!

  19. TSI data, measured by satellites, and endorsed by NOAA, shows a drop of 2 watts per square meter since it’s peak around 2003, to the present in 2019 ..

    The estimate of increased solar forcing from increased carbon dioxide and other GHG’s in Earth’s atmosphere could be up to 3 watts/square meter if model estimates are to be believed:

    I’m not sure a direct comparison of forcing is valid, Anthony. GHGs are present in the atmosphere day and night for 365 days a year. TSI data is measured at the “top of the atmosphere” – 30% of which is reflected back to space from ice and clouds. Of the remaining 70%, only about a quarter reaches the earth’s surface at any single point in time. The solar forcing, therefore, is only about 0.3 watts per m2.

    • I’m not sure I agree with that. What drives climate, or any physical system for that matter, is the difference in some state variable like temperature or pressure over a system. It’s not the average energy you put into it that determines its behavior. Imagine pushing very hard on both sides of a revolving door so that it doesn’t spin at all, versus pushing half as hard on only one side. You’re using less energy, but you’re driving the system much more.

      So if the sun is shining full bore somewhere on the equator on a sunny day but filtered through low clouds 200 miles north of the equator, that creates a large difference in temperature between those extremes, which is what truly drives the phenomena we call climate. Trying to average out the input side of the system over a max/min cycle of a day, and averaging out the spatial differences in the input kind of negates its very effect as an input. Same with cloud reflectance. The fact that clouds are reflecting back to space over one region of the Earth while not at another is important, and shouldn’t just be mathematically eliminated.

  20. By coincidence, dim sun also happens to be a tasty chinese dish, served with tea usually.

  21. I have a hard time believing a 0.2% drop in TSI is going to have any significant effect on climate.
    I also have a hard time believing a 0.15% increase (due to CO2) can have any significant effect on climate.

    • I also have a hard time believing a 0.15% increase (due to CO2) can have any significant effect on climate.

      0.15% increase? Since when?

    • Especially since those percentages have been normalized to 1AU. The TSI change due orbital eccentricity is on the order of 100 watts per m**2. Yet nobody seems to notice the temperature changes that creates annually.

    • Well, let’s calculate: The ambient space temperature is 3K, i.e., -270C. The average Earth temperature is 15C, i.e. 288K. Therefore the Sun keeps the Earth at 285K above ambient space temperature. Therefore if the Sun is 0.2% cooler, the Earth temperature will drop 285K * .002 = 0.57K = 0.57C. See, that wasn’t so hard.

      • The relationship between energy and temperature is not linear.

        Energy (E) is proportional to T^4 (Stefan -Boltzmann Law).

        A 0.2% decline in solar energy should result in a temperature fall of about 0.14 deg C.

        • There is another factor besides electromagnetic energy. Solar minimums have more cosmic rays, thus more cloud formation which affects temperature. I’m assuming negatively, as more clouds would increase albedo. But probably the effect is relatively small. I say probably only because I don’t know and if were more significant, we’d hear more about it.

  22. This February only had 28 days.

    A “month” of 30 consecutive days with no counted spots days would be more impressive.

  23. Looks like we are dropping into a cool period.
    Since WW III can be expected 2019-2024
    ….(1997 book “Fourth Turning” on generational cycles)
    We can expect the “brave and strong” to run to “fruitful countries”
    and various countries to chime “we must share (food)!”
    ….as they fight for the top.

    Snow in LA? Less than 70 degrees all month?
    Will the China dictator (Premier for life) grab everything to feed their people?

    So, the Baby Boom generation had it “lucky” and soon it is a battle.

  24. Measuring TSI is a real problem. You need to do it from a satellite, and instruments must face the Sun, and die slowly while trying to measure it. We are not even sure if the TSI baseline is increasing or decreasing.

    10.7 cm flux is easy to measure and unlike sunspots it never falls to zero.

    Lowest monthly value was November 2018 so far (adjusted value). 10.7 flux usually bottoms between 3 month early to 1 month late respect to sunspots, so the minimum could be in.

    • But you are comparing apples and oranges.

      TSI is a measure of the _total_ electromagnetic energy (i.e. all wavelengths) radiated by the Sun. It even includes the 10.7 cm flux. Its purpose to characterize the total energy radiated by the Sun, which is, on a human lifetime scale, amazingly constant [except for that pesky (and very tiny) EUV component which is energized periodically by solar magnetic activity].

      10.7cm radiation flux is a proxy (better than sunspot counts) for measuring solar magnetic activity. It is not in any way interchangeable with TSI.

    • F10.7 is a proxy for total disc coronal UV/EUV production. Nothing more.

      But UV/EUV flux does depend on magnetic activity to drive the heating process, so the solar cycle is very clearly imprinted (strong correlation to R2 >0.99) on the historical F10.7 record.

      So F10.7 historical record can confirm when the cycle mins and maxs occur (and as Lief has shown how that daily UV flux changes the east orthogonal component of the geomagnetic strength.), but an X-ray flare/CME will also spike the F10.7 for a few days. The heating and particle release as those particle injections drive the corona to much higher temps as the CME gets thrown outward by the magnetic reconnection event/particle ejection process evolves through the suns corona. THus EUV flux goes up tremendously. And a CME/X-class flare can appear just about anytime in the rising and early descending maximum phase of the solar cycle.

      For example, the largest flaring and CME’s (and resulting geomagnetic disturbances) of SC24 occurred in early Sept 2017, over 3 years past SC24’s cycle SSN peak in 2014.

      • Sorry, Patrick. I didn’t use it, I just commented it. Everything I know is based on somebody and I don’t use references in comments. If I had written it in an article for sure I would have cited the source.

    • Somehow the NH winter’s cold and rain/snow will be blamed on a trace gas increase.

      Because… certain political power centers needs it to be so.

      • The NH was well above average temperature this winter. That’s according to both UAH and RSS satellite data.

  25. “It seems the sun has dimmed more than the usual amount at the end of solar cycle 24, and it could be a factor in the severe winter we are experiencing in many parts of the northern hemisphere.”

    Europe, and Asia are both getting an early taste of Spring, it’s North America that’s getting the sustained cold.

    • It seems the sun has dimmed more than the usual amount at the end of solar cycle 24, and it could be a factor in the severe winter we are experiencing in many parts of the northern hemisphere.

      Perhaps so, however, according to the UAH_TLT satellite data, the northern hemisphere as a whole was much warmer than average this winter (‘winter’ in the NH being Dec-Feb).

      Winter 2018/19 was the coldest in the US lower 48 states since that of 2012/13, but it was still +0.22C warmer than the 1981-2010 average for that region. Again according to UAH, across the northern hemisphere temperatures were +0.37 C warmer than average this winter, making it the 7th warmest northern hemisphere winter in the UAH record:

  26. The web site, the number of spotless days for cycle 24 adds up to 1205. Isn’t that a Dalton Minimum kind of number of spotless days?

    • Spotless days in SC 24 is in the low several hundreds. Maybe like < 300 so far. Nothing close to 1205. 1205 days is like 3.3 years, which goes back to SC24 max of 2014 ( hardly plausible even from rough estimation).

      • What’s your source for an official count? As I mentioned, lists the days on the left. I was gong with that count. Another source says cycle 24 started in late 2008. Going with that start date and the solarweather count, the number changes to 725, considerably greater than “the low several hundreds.”

  27. Look at the circulation in the lower stratosphere over North America.,60.27,679
    Not sure how the tropopause height from Feb 28 proves your point but you are correct.
    Look at the forecast of the jet stream at 250 hPa.
    Solid frost in the northeast of the US.
    Temperatures are forecast to dip to 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit below average and are likely be be even colder than that of average for January in many cases.

  28. The name “Dimming and brightening” of the sun has been used in another paper so I am confused buy using it in this context.
    M Wild has noted less clouds (due to less sulfur?)
    Less clouds gives more sun hours and more global sun energy.

    This gives us in Sweden 8% more sun energy and 10% more sun hours since 1983!
    It has nothing to do with changes described in this tread.

    • Measurements have been made of the Earth’s magnetic field more or less continuously since about 1840. Some measurements even go back to the 1500s, for example at Greenwich in London. If we look at the trend in the strength of the magnetic field over this time (for example the so-called ‘dipole moment’ shown in the graph below) we can see a downward trend. Indeed projecting this forward in time would suggest zero dipole moment in about 1500-1600 years time. This is one reason why some people believe the field may be in the early stages of a reversal. We also know from studies of the magnetisation of minerals in ancient clay pots that the Earth’s magnetic field was approximately twice as strong in Roman times as it is now.
      Even so, the current strength of the magnetic field is not particularly low in terms of the range of values it has had over the last 50,000 years.

  29. The boss, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said ‘we just got to see SC25 and that’s it, the end of the world as we know it.

    • Psst. Don’t tell her, but Alexandria is a city, not a name. She’s probably Alejandra and messed up the translation.

      • Nope, Alexandria is a proper girl’s name as well as name of two or more cities.
        European royalty in 19th century shortened it into Alexandra. What the royalty does, the plebs follow e.g. lisping sound ‘s’ in Espagnol .

  30. It is always cold in winter and in particular in the Northern Hemisphere over continental land masses but they get warmer during the summer, how cold varies from region to region. We have to remember that sea ice extent might effect the warming up of the surrounding land in summer, water requires more solar radiation to warm it up and in the arctic region it is further north. I will be interested to see how this solar minimum effects the arctic sea ice minimum this year and the land surrounding the arctic ocean. I remember last year when we had Forrest fires in the far north and high temperatures in many areas hopefully it will be different this summer.

  31. Hopefully, not another year without a summer in 1816, graphs of solar cycles fit the bill. Maybe it wasn’t about volcanos after all.

  32. It would seem to me based on all the evidence available, that IF there is an impact of the sun on Climate, it is isolated to charging the ocean heat. The effect is a combination of solar forcing and cloud formation. In turn, the ocean clearly is the dominant control knob of the atmospheric temperature. All one need to do is evaluate the mechanism possible to explain the almost perfect correlation of SST to atmospheric temperature. SW rad readily penetrates and warms the ocean, LW rad does not.

    • Dr Deanster

      SW rad readily penetrates and warms the ocean, LW rad does not.

      Well and good, but how does heat escape from the ocean and is there anything LW rad might do to slow its exit progress? If so, then LW rad would indeed contribute to ocean warming.

      • A good portion of heat escapes the ocean in the evaporation process. I would speculate the a good share is transported to the poles, where it readily is radiated into the coldest atmospheres where it escapes to space. The lions share is just stored and released in a chaotic fashion ….. hence, why you will never find a good correlation between solar or CO2 with atmospheric temperature, but you’ll find a practically identical correlation between SST and Atmopheric temp.

        I’m not going to make an accusation, but the question is loaded to insinuate the flawed thinking of SKS, that CO2 is hindering that process. But the evidence argues against that, as if CO2 were playing any kind of significant role, we would be seeing identical effects in both the northern and southern seas. It’s not happening.

  33. … and it could be a factor in the severe winter we are experiencing in many parts of the northern hemisphere.

    Whilst in other parts of the northern hemisphere we’ve been experiencing a very warm winter, with record breaking February temperatures in the UK.

    Globally UAH are reporting February was 0.36C warmer than the 1981-2010 average, with the Northern Hemisphere being 0.46C warmer than average.

    • 4th warmest February in the northern hemisphere since the UAH record began. Same in RSS satellite data. According to some on this site, if it’s cold in North America then it must be cold everywhere; data be damned!

      • Bellman/DWR54 …

        Why would anyone expect anything different with a +PDO, +AMO effects and El Nino conditions since mid September?

        • Richard M,

          I quoted the part of the head post that was suggesting that the sun dimming was possible a factor in the severe winter felt in “many parts” of the northern hemisphere.

    • The ‘record breaking temperatures’ in the UK are very dodgy, all at Weather stations that are fairly new. More to the point, the CET shows this Feb as the 15th warmest on record, and the winter the 17th warmest.

      • The record breaking temperatures were for the daytime. Temperatures were cooler at night. CET has this February as the warmest for maximum temperatures on record. The MO has the UK, England and Wales as the warmest maximum temperatures, with Scotland and Northern Ireland being a close 2nd place.

        But regardless of specific records, it’s clear that the UK has not been experiencing a severe winter, and the northern hemisphere as a whole has not been especially cold.

  34. Article excerpt:

    TSI data, measured by satellites, and endorsed by NOAA, shows a drop of 2 watts per square meter since it’s peak around 2003, to the present in 2019

    So, what would be the effect on global average near-surface temperatures after 16 years of a total 2W/m2 decrease in solar irradiance? …… Actually, no effect that could actually be measured and/or recorded. Said effect could only be calculated, estimated, guesstimated and/or insinuated.

    So, what would be the effect on global average sea-surface temperatures after 16 years of a total 2W/m2 decrease in solar irradiance? …… Actually, the effect should be reflected in the water temperature.

      • DWR54, it is a scientific FACT that ocean surface temperatures have been increasing ever since the LIA terminated in the mid-1800’s, which is EXACTLY why atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities have been “steadily and consistently” increasing each and every year as per the Mauna Loa Record (Keeling Curve Graph) attests to.

        And “DUH”, given the FACT that the water temp has been slowly increasing during the past 170+- years, ……. then a calculated 2W/m2 decrease in solar irradiance during the past 16 years would do little more that “slightly retard” the current rate of “warming” ocean waters.

  35. The report of an entire calendar month with no sunspots is premature… While NOAA/SWPC reported no sunspots during February in their daily solar region summaries, in its monthly Ri Report issued on March 1st the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC)’s reported tiny solar cycle 25 sunspots on February 13th and 21st.

  36. The reason there are no sunspots is that the strength of the polar fields is increasing and that we will have A MUCH LARGER SUNSPOT CYCLE THEN EXPECTED.
    We will know when Leif updates the UNFILTERED polar field strength.
    Last mean strength was 66, meaning cycle 25 will be 10 percent above the first part of cycle 24…
    Explanation here:'s_Adjusted_Polar_Fields_are_in_Phase_and_not_in_Anti-Phase
    and here:

  37. Leif Svalgaard has naturally been mentioned several times. But does anyone know why has not been updated for months? It used to be updated daily I believe. I hope that Leif is well.

    Also, does anyone know of good data on Cycle 25 sunspot observations? Google is not helpful in this instance. I think the new sunspot is Cycle 24.


  38. So we should have record lows this spring and summer too, right? I predict the will be the exact opposite.

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