Declining Solar Activity


In the 1990s, solar physicists, Penn and Livingston, called for a long decline in solar activity. This is the case and it is nice to see such work confirmed by events. Solar Cycles # 23 and 24 are the weakest since the early 1900s. The current run of consecutive Spotless Days is out to 33, or 75%, for the year.

The following table shows the record back to the minimum of Solar Cycle # 23 when the count was at 268 days, or 73%, for 2008.

So far this year, the count is out to 33 consecutive days, which is exceptional. So much so, that SILSO keeps a table of such long runs.


Solar Cycle # 24 is expected to reach its minimum by late in this year.

For hundreds of millions of years such changes in solar activity have been associated with changes from warming to cooling. And back again. The long run to the recent peak in activity was the strongest in thousands of years. Despite this, temperatures were not as warm for as long as set during the Medieval Warm Period. The end to that long trend and turn to cooling in the early 1300s was drastic, causing widespread crop failures and famine in Northern Europe and England. A book by William Rosen, “The Third Horseman” covers it thoroughly. The die-off from 1315 to 1320 is estimated at some 10 percent of the population. Deaths of cattle, sheep and horses were severe as well. All due to the turn to cold and unusually wet weather.

The change to what some are calling the Modern Minimum is significant. In geological perspective, it is now a built-in cooling force.

The next chart shows that the satellite record is again approaching the flat-lying trend, which is out to some 20 years. The El Ninos of 1998 and 2016 were distinctive weather- warming events.


NOAA’s Winter Forecast made on October 18th has been wrong on temperature and precipitation. North America has suffered a cold, snowy and lengthy winter, beyond what could be blamed upon the demon “Polar Vortex”.

Over time, diminishing solar activity has been likely to be accompanied by more cosmic rays and more cloud cover. Which would be associated with cooler and snowier winters. And possibly cooler summers, which the Danish Met Institute reported for 2018 and 2017.


146 thoughts on “Declining Solar Activity

  1. Does lower Solar activity really mean lower temps on earth?

    I know the US got that deep freeze up in the more northern states, but here in the UK its been very mild. Last year we got plenty of snow, this year the worst we got was a bit of frost.

    Not complaining, its been an easy winter!

    • The UK is protected by the Atlantic just like the west coast of the US is protected by the Pacific. Both regions will eventually be affected by the cold trend later on in the trend, imo.

      • We are freezing our butts off here on the Pacific NW Coast. The water has been about 43-46 degF range for the last month, and we’ve had unusual amounts snow. Haven’t seen this kind of cold in many years (about 11 in fact)

        • In fact, PDX recorded the 3rd coldest Feb ever and Seattle the coldest Feb (that, after a warm Dec and Jan which had me thinking that I wasn’t going to see a snowflake this winter-there still is snow in the forecast!) And since the 3rd of Feb we have received more snow than we normally get for an entire winter. Quite often by mid-February, the cherry trees are blossoming-not this year!!!

        • True enough, especialy for the Sierras. I live in Trinity County. Approximately 100 miles from the ocean. The Trinity River provides good access for air movement from the oceans to here, a micro climate. This is the best snowpack for local mountain peaks in the area. Mostly rain below 2000′. It is suppossed to snow tonight.

          Back in thr 1940s to around the early 1989s the main town of Weaverville could get 5 or 6 feet of snow. The warming since then meant less winter snow. The Trinity Alps lost all of their glaciers. there were a number of years in the 8 years I’ve lived here where the Alps had no snow as early as February. The drought years.

      • The UK is protected by the Atlantic just like the west coast of the US is protected by the Pacific.
        There is a difference. The Gulf Stream in the Atlantic is warm water. The current off the west coast is south-bound – cold water.

        • There is a BIG difference. London is further north than nearly all the major cities of Canada with Scotland being nearly as far north as Anchorage Alaska, and the British Islands are a LOT warmer than the West Coast of Canada. With the exception of Victoria and Vancouver BC which are further south than London, all of Canada’s west coast experiences snow all winter long. Bit of trivia for you: Vancouver BC is the only port city in the world that is only twenty minutes from ski resorts. If I recall correctly, you can take a city bus to one of them.

    • Does lower Solar activity really mean lower temps on earth?

      Not for a short term. Low solar activity skews probabilities towards colder winters. After decades of low solar activity it translates to lower global temperatures. Yet we can still get warm winters during low solar activity when the QBO is westerly. But we get less.

      • Agreed.

        It is important to remember that all the “warming” measured since the 1970’s that created all the current CAGW hysteria, when measured in degrees Kelvin, the appropriate scale, amounts to a fraction of 1% change. So the change in TSI (total solar insolation) being also in a small fraction of 1% is consistent with a slow change in the average global temps—if persistent over decades. If the TSI signal is amplified by cloud cover changes by the Svensmark cosmic ray modulation process, as theorized, perhaps larger changes could follow. A higher CO2 level in the atmosphere could then be a blessing, if it moderates cooling. Even a little ice age is no joke.

        • Higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere are already a blessing…a great blessing! CO2 fertilization is huge. The slightly warmer temperatures are also a blessing by any reasonable measure, although much harder to quantify than the CO2 fertilization.

          It takes some kind of pessimistic psychosis to believe increasing atmospheric CO2 is a huge problem; that, or ignorance. I can’t fault the general public, but the politicians, academics and scientists promoting a climate crisis should be held responsible for needlessly scaring the public half to death.

        • It is important to remember that all the “warming” measured since the 1970’s that created all the current CAGW hysteria, when measured in degrees Kelvin, the appropriate scale, amounts to a fraction of 1% change. So the change in TSI (total solar insolation) being also in a small fraction of 1% is consistent with a slow change in the average global temps

          Thanks for the reminder. The change over the last century of the Earth’s mean temperature is claimed to be 0.7 deg C (13.9 to 14.6) that comes out to be a rise in temperature of 0.24%. Once you put it into those terms you realize how absurd CAGW is.

        • I was reading recently that we have been in a rather atypically long lull in volcanic activity, such that the stratosphere is now in an exceptionally clear state.
          Pinatubo was, IIRC, the last eruption strong enough to send a lot of SO2 into the stratosphere.
          So it seems we are, if not overdue, at least at a higher risk of some large eruptions coming up in the near future.
          I am basing this guess on the belief that volcanic eruptions are not like rolls of a set of dice.
          Like earthquakes, having none for a long time means the odds go up.
          Perhaps this is wrong.
          Any other opinions on this?
          So anyway, with TSI at very low levels as compared to recent periods, it seem to me that an untimely eruption sending a large amount of gas into the stratosphere could have a larger effect than it otherwise might.
          And going from clear to obstructed would be a larger change from what we have now than if there had been recent eruptions.
          I do not think cooling is good, but I am finding myself hoping that the GAT does trend down, and does so enough to make a satellite era low.
          Among my reasons for wanting to see this is a genuine curiosity how the warmistas would react?
          Of course, if it does happen during low TSI and after a large eruption, they can say use that as an excuse to claim we are still in grave danger of having some snow and ice melt, and cause the death of us all.

          • “I am basing this guess on the belief that volcanic eruptions are not like rolls of a set of dice. Like earthquakes, having none for a long time means the odds go up. Perhaps this is wrong.”

            They’re innately stochastic.

    • The sun is the driver and the oceans the modulator. The major effects of a long term of low solar activity won’t be felt for quite awhile. Decades even. 99.8 percent of this planets thermal capacity is in it’s bodies of water. So when the oceans cool we’re in for the worst of it. Let me put it this way. I’m 63 years old and I don’t think I’ll be around to see the Arctic ice extent surround Iceland as it did two winter’s during the LIA.

      • “I don’t think I’ll be around to see the Arctic ice extent surround Iceland as it did two winter’s during the LIA.”

        This is actually the first use of arctic ice extent where I can see that it’s a useful metric, i.e., long term. The incessant year-to-year comparison is ridiculous.

    • If you graph Central England monthly temperature that goes back to 1850 to the sunspot record that goes back to 1750, then there is no correlation whatsoever for Central England temperature from 1850 to now compared to sun spots. The correlation is total noise.

    • Mason, “Not complaining, its been an easy winter!” for you!

      For me it was the hardest winter since 1978.

    • Mason, “Not complaining, its been an easy winter!” for you!

      For me it was the hardest winter since 1978.

      While 1974 was one of the the mildest years in the European pre-alps / alpine footlands I ever lived through.

    • Much of Europe would fit in Quebec or Ontario. We had it cold from coast to coast in Canada and in USA, and Greenland and most of Russia too. For an idea of the size of Russia, most are surprized to learn that the distance from Moscow to Chicago is roughly the same as Moscow to Vladivostok on the P.acific

    • The US as a whole has just had its coldest winter since 1976, a time when all of the “learned” scientists were sure that we were entering a new ice age.

      • Are you sure? I do know that the lower 48 states experienced (overall) the coldest February in many decades, and the wettest winter ever. But I haven’t been able to find anything supporting your claim.

  2. I haven’t noticed any association between solar activity as reflected by sunspots and weather. El Niño’s yes, sunspots no.

    • It goes back to William Herschel who noticed a correlation between the price of wheat and sunspot cycles. The resulting controversy has resulted in drunken brawls at the Royal Astronomical Society.

      • Herschel was wrong. It has been demonstrated. Labitzke demonstrated that the association starts in the stratosphere and affects the polar vortex. And the polar vortex is weather. In the US that should be clear by now.

    • One cycle doesn’t make lot of difference hence no 11 year component in temperature specs.
      TSI variable is to small, it is magnetic cycle with 22 year periodicity that does the job, hence we need 2 or three low sunspot cycles to register noticeable cooling. 22 year cycles are in temperature specs (see link below) but ney-sayers tend to bypass that little inconvenience.
      p.s. posted from mobile/cell very difficult to edit any errors since the device has mind of its own.

        Google has warned owners of Windows and Mac computers to urgently update their Chrome browser.
        Do it by “opening a window and clicking on the three vertical dots in the right-hand corner. Clicking “help”, followed by ‘about Google Chrome’ in the drop down menu will lead to a page that will assist with updating.”

          • I’m using Lubuntu Linux and get updates pretty much daily, Chrome and Firefox both get included.

        • There are no “three vertical dots in the right-hand corner” of my Chrome – either right-hand corner (upper or lower). What say you?

          • My Chrome has a red arrow, pointing upward, in the upper-right corner. And my Chrome auto-updates. That’s probably why it looks different.

          • Mine has the 3 dots and says “no updates available”. I didn’t install the patch. But my Chrome was just put on at Dell less than 3 months ago when they put in a new hard drive.

    • I haven’t noticed any association between solar activity as reflected by sunspots and weather.

      It affects weather intermittently, so it is only noticeable on climate. 1890-1910 for example. And the pause is also due in great part to low solar activity.

      • Looking at longer term data, there was the Maunder Minimum in the middle of the LIA, but temperature changes do not seem to track with sunspot numbers generally.

        • Because that is not how solar variability affects climate. If it did it that way we would have known it for a very long time.

          • The cold winters in Maunder kept track with how the planets were ordering weekly solar activity levels, every one of them. Without that none of them would have happened. It was generally colder for three sunspot cycles maximum to maximum, from 1672 to 1705. The warm interlude at 1685-86 at a sunspot cycle maximum, was at the same type of heliocentric Jovian configuration behind the 1934, 1976, and 2003 heatwaves.

      • Javier says:
        “It affects weather intermittently, so it is only noticeable on climate.”

        That is not only made up, but it doesn’t make sense. When it effects weather it cannot change into climate before you notice it LOL. It effects weather patterns every week.

    • An El Nino winter in California starts in September. A La Nina winter in California starts in January. So, most of the time, La Ninas have less rain and Sierra snow pack. Not this year. We are in a horrifically cold and wet La Nina winter here in California this year. Normal temperature minima is December. This year is was February. Essentially, we have had a Midwest winter here in terms of the timing and extent of cold and rain. This will last until early April. So what you just said is low sunspot count makes winter occur later.

  3. “The change to what some are calling the Modern Minimum is significant. In geological perspective, it is now a built-in cooling force.”
    The solar activity declined at least since SC21, this was around 1990:
    The troposhere warmed since than about 0.4 °C:
    How stróng is the “cooling force” of the solar forcing? If it would be strong the author needs a much stronger impact of GHG to explain the observed temperatures. If so, the sensititvity vs. GHG must be stronger. Is it this what the author wanted to say?

  4. “The change to what some are calling the Modern Minimum is significant. In geological perspective, it is now a built-in cooling force.”

    What is the mechanism for the “Built in cooling force”?

    Until we know this then this article seems to be lacking data to support your claims. More like an opinion piece to me.

    • What is the mechanism for the “Built in cooling force”?

      Agree — good question. I continue to see assertions that changes in solar cycles affect temperatures, but never see a demonstrable mechanism — just the UV, cosmic rays, “magnetic” stuff.

        • It’s included in the UV “stuff”. I don’t buy it. Ozone is a greenhouse gas, but a minor one at best.

          • In addition to absorbing radiation in the far UV, ozone also absorbs significantly across the visible. Ozone is produced in the stratosphere when oxygen absorbs UV. UV can also destroy ozone. TSI (total solar irradiance) may not change much during solar (sunspot) cycles, but the ratio of UV to visible can change by 1.5% and some estimates are that the ratio since the LIA has changed by 3%. Thus, anything that changes UR received by Earth changes the amount of ozone existing in the stratosphere, which in turn changes the ratio of solar energy absorbed high up versus that reaching the surface. Although not like most greenhouse gases, ozone can influence global temperature.

          • donb says:

            ozone also absorbs significantly across the visible.

            I can’t find much support for that. A questionable source, says:

            We take the plot for oxygen and ozone as an example; the absorption is very high in the ultraviolet region (below 0.3 microns or 300 nanometers) but essentially zero in the visible and infrared regions, except for isolated peaks. It is interpreted that this gas absorbs essentially all radiation in the ultraviolet but transparent in the visible and mostly transparent in infrared portions of the spectrum.

            Three absorption spectra show small peaks in the near-IR, but doesn’t say if they’re due to O2 (I assume unlikely, being a two atom molecule) or O3.

          • It would have been nice if you listed the relevant pages instead of making be go search through all the uses of “absorption”.

            That paper is 95% focused on UV absorption. The graph on page 15 has the only reference I saw to visible light. Its logarithmic scale seems to say essentially nothing about what percentage of visible light is absorbed by the typical atmosphere except there’s not much.

            The graph shows some 1000 units of absorption in the middle of UV-B and about 4 in the middle of the visible lump. That lump doesn’t show the near IR absorption in the graphs of my reference.

            My guess remains that ozone doesn’t absorb a significant amount of non-UV light.

          • That UV “stuff” warms the oceans. But don´t buy it.

            You have bought something, which you could, perhaps, share with us. What strong greenhouse gas you bought? We know it´s not CO2.

        • From your linked article: (good article by the way)
          “The Sun —-> UV or charged particles —- > ozone —-> polar jet streams —–> clouds —–> surface temperatures.”
          I would suggest the “charged particles” part, i.e. solar wind variability, is linked strongly to coronal holes, not sun spots. We fixate on sun spots because they are a visible feature of the sun, whereas the coronal holes are invisible to us, observed only in wave lengths we can not see. High speed solar wind (charged particles) emanates from coronal holes and interacts energetically with the geomagnetic field and the ionosphere directly and through induction.

          • The Sun emits charged particles across a wide energy range. The solar wind, the lowest energy (few keV), is an expansion of the outer, hot solar atmosphere and does not change much in flux rate. Higher energy particles are emitted from coronal holes and are called coronal mass ejections (tens of keV to MeV). Because such holes form and fade, the CME particles do vary in flux. The highest energy particles (MeV to tens of MeV) are emitted from solar flares, which vary greatly in abundance and typically associate with an energetic Sun. These also more readily penetrate through Earth’s magnetic field protection.

    • What is the mechanism for the “Built in cooling force”?

      Until we know this then this article seems to be lacking data to support your claims.

      That is not correct. You have to distinguish between knowing the mechanism and having the evidence. The best claims are those based on evidence, rather than on theory, as the AGW demonstrates for its lack of evidence despite strong theory.

      On the contrary, primitive men had very good evidence for the succession of the seasons thousands of years before it had any knowledge of the mechanism.

      The evidence for a solar variability effect on climate is very good. The mechanism is being elucidated and it appears to be complex, involving the stratosphere, that is not even represented in climate models in any realistic way.

  5. We had the double pole switch on the sun in 2014 heralding the beginning of the new Gleissberg cycle.
    It is what it is. Global cooling has already set in, bringing some contradictory results, like colder winters and warmer and dryer summers at the higher latitudes.
    I donot trust the sats too much due to the detoriation of measuring devices by the sun spuwing more of the most energetic particles, due to its lower magnetic fields. The GB cycle runs for ca. 87 years and every 87 years we have serious droughts at the higher latitudes.
    Click on my name to read my reports on that.
    Remember, the coming droughts will be due to natural climate change, not man made….

    • Thank goodness for the drought, or California would have been washed into the ocean this winter.

  6. This explains the Socialist push to get their policies in place, a world dying from cold does not fit their agenda. It was a nice read (Indefensible Fiction: Climate Change as Security Threat findout how some of this got started…

  7. “Solar Cycles # 23 and 24 are the weakest since the early 1900s”

    Are you sure about #23? I guess it depends on what you mean by “early 1900s”.

  8. And remember,
    No “once hired, can’t be fired” NOAA employee was inconvenienced by the bogus forecast.

  9. Iv’e been watching oold doco’s one global cooling, the ice age cometh.

    Only in the last one [ bbc 1988 ] do all the new buzz words ”greenhouse effect” ”climate change” & ”global warming” rear their heads.

    Thats right the greenhouse effect and global warming bring on rapid cooling, and the climate system flips in just 4 yrs into a deep ice age.

    From what ive read in the article here, and a vid i randoml watched yesterday, i think the fellas in the 1988 doco may very well be right.


    Solar vid……this is a goodun.

  10. Until we can show the mechanism for solar forcing (both warming and cooling) we are left with the null hypothesis of carbon forcing.
    Oh wait.

    • Or, we concentrate on building a good, long term measurement plan so our great great grand kids can figure this out and and stop trying to meddle in politics and the economy.

    • March is already having more sunspots. I may have predicted the exact month of the minimum 8 months before.

      • You didn’t! The sunspot 12734 belongs to the SC24, it’s not a spot of the new cycle SC25. You interpret noise!

          • Agree, and Javier is simply wrong.

            At 2K resolution for February, only two very small SC25 spots were countable. 1 on the 13th with 3 spots, and the other on 20th with 1, both lasted less than 24 hours. SC24 spots had countable SSNs on 10 days.
            So for February, SC24 spots had an average of SSN of 6.3, and SC25 had SSN 0.9 to their respective contributions to the monthly average SSN of 7.2.
            SC24 is still in charge. This is made even more evident by the current 12734 AR as a SC24 AR at N10 lat with 17 spots at 2K res.

            SC25 could start in 2 months or 2 years. No one knows at this point. But it hasn’t yet.

          • AR 12734 also is popping off some minor C-class X-ray flares right now. But it will probably decay away over the next 48 hours.
            It has some very beautiful magnetic loop-filaments between its polarity regions right now.

            As an aside,
            Prediction: March 21-22, an SC24 active region will rotate into view and go bgd-magnetic classification and pop-off a few M class flares between 22-27 March.

          • As a matter of interest, Joel, where do you get data to confirm which cycle a sunspot belongs to? Presumably it’s polarity tells you, but I don’t see where that is recorded. Also its latitude (which gives) gives a strong hint, but might be erroneous.

            Finally, where is Leif Svalgaard? I hope he is well, and I await his robust contributions to a thread such as this.

          • owe2rich,

            both: polarity orientation and latitude identify which spots go with a magnetic cycle.

      • “March is already having more sunspots.”

        Difficult task, to have more than 0 sunspots in a month…yep were up to 1 for March /sarc.

        • SILSO counted 23 sunspots in February. 12 on the 13th and 11 on the 21st. It has already counted 42 in March.

          • Javier, Silso didn’t count 23 sunspots or 12 or 11! This is not the way the SSN record is produced! The “12” says: 2 sunspots in one group, 11 says 1 sunspot in one group… the characters 03,04… do never arise. Whether the SSN on the low end is 0 or 11. The formula is: number of sunspots +10* number of groups in which the spots are observed. Leif pointed this out a few days ago repeatedly for those who are not familiar with this stuff.

  11. “North America has suffered a cold, snowy and lengthy winter, beyond what could be blamed upon the demon “Polar Vortex”.”

    No it hasn’t (cold ) ….
    UAH v6 TLT data show the contiguous US temps this winter to have been (Dec/Jan/Feb) 0.08, 0.49, 0.38 Celsius above average.

    “The next chart shows that the satellite record is again approaching the flat-lying trend, which is out to some 20 years.”

    No it isn’t …
    (It shows a linear trend of ~ 0.15 in 20 years or 0.75C/cen)

    • Your link to woodfortrees is just a graph which doesn’t cite source or what it is of. North America is having one of it’s coldest winters in a long time. Hell, I’d wager the whole northern hemisphere is having a record cold winter. Of course with all the fiddling NOAA and the other alarmist are doing we probably will never know and all we can base it off is reading reports of record low temperatures, snow and ice from Saudi Arabia to Hawaii and everywhere in between. Glad England is having a mild winter, guess the shutdown of the gulf stream didn’t happen as alarmist predicted.

  12. I’m sorry, but I’m simply not buying the claim. I went and got the same SILSO data the head post is using. Here is my analysis of the numbers of consecutive spotless days since 1850:

    I’m not seeing the claimed decrease in solar activity … here’s how I calculated the above. The variable “dssnzoo” contains the daily sunspot numbers:

    for (i in 2:length(dssnzoo)){
    	if (![i])){
    		if (as.double(dssnzoo[i])==0){
    		 ylab="Spotless Days",xlab="Year")
    title(main=paste0("Consecutive Spotless Days","\n1850 to Feb 28, 2019"),cex.main=.9,line=.8)


    • That graph is actually very good evidence that the sunspot data is not good. Those 40, 60, 80, and even 90 days without a sunspot so common between 1850 and 1920 have become so rare that the 2008 very strong minimum didn’t have any. It is clear that most or all of them are fake by the way SN are counted now.

    • Spot-less days metric are over-hyped. Consecutive Spotless days even more so.

      The solar photography prior to 1930 is poor, both in spot-size resolution and cadence. Many tiny spots that come and go within 24 hrs were missed that are not today. The high cadence rate of SOHO and SDO images ensures spots that come and go even within 12 hours of appearance to fade-out are logged. Thus the “consecutive” part of spotless days is unreliable metric for long-term analysis.

      The real impact of any diminished SC magnetic activity during a Grand Minimum is thus simply lower peak activity during the 6-7 of high activity of the nominal 10-11 year cycle.

  13. “Your link to woodfortrees is just a graph which doesn’t cite source or what it is of. North America is having one of it’s coldest winters in a long time. Hell, I’d wager the whole northern hemisphere is having a record cold winter. ”

    Says so top left.
    The woodfortrees is what I said it was – UAH TLT V6 GMST’s in reference to the OP’ers comment “The next chart shows that the satellite record is again approaching the flat-lying trend, which is out to some 20 years.”
    Upon which it clearly says “UAH satellite based temperature of the global lower atmosphere version 6.
    You could always go there to verify.
    Also see Roy Spencer’s current article.
    The NH did not have a record cold winter.
    Unless you don’t believe the UAH data (it’s by far the coldest of all the global temperature series).
    UAH V6 data for the NH: Dec 0.32, Jan 0.32, Feb 0.46.

  14. Whoa. Livingston and Penn were not looking at reduced sunspot activity, they were looking at reduced magnetic fields leading to sunspots fading. It’s a process that made some sunspots invisible, but appears to have leveled out several years ago. The decline they were looking at lasted longer than an 11-year cycle, so it’s not related to the 11 year cycle.

    WUWT and Leif Svalgaard have covered the phenomenon well here, you should have checked. See

    While that’s a 2009 post, it has plots of magnetic effects up to 2016 that clearly show the umbral intensity and umbral magnetic field strength leveling off in 2010.

    You never should have referred to Livingston and Penn in your post.

  15. The piece is correct in that there is something weird happening to the sun. Sunspots are disappearing. It is an observational fact that it is now common for a faint tiny weak sunspot group to appear but have a lifetime of a few days rather than a month.

    The peculiar solar cycle 24 – where do we stand?
    Solar cycle 24 has been very weak so far. It was preceded by an extremely quiet and long solar minimum. Data from the solar interior, the solar surface and the heliosphere all show that cycle 24 began from an unusual minimum and is unlike the cycles that preceded it. We begin this review of where solar cycle 24 stands today with a look at the antecedents of this cycle, and examine why the minimum preceding the cycle is considered peculiar (§ 2). We then examine in § 3 whether we missed early signs that the cycle could be unusual. § 4 describes where cycle 24 is at today.

    minimum preceding the cycle showed other unusual characteristics. For instance, the polar fields were lower than those of previous cycles. In Fig. 1 we show the polar fields as observed by the Wilcox Solar Observatory. It is very clear that the fields were much lower than those at the minimum before cycle 22 and also smaller than the fields during the minimum before cycle 23. ….

    …. but as I say below, this is a connected problem. Rather than fight about the sun, relook lat the CO2 and hydrocarbon questions. Attack the CAGW problem where it is weakest.

    Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years by S. K. Solanki, I. G. Usoskin, B. Kromer, M. Schussler & J. Beer

    Here we report a reconstruction of the sunspot number covering the past 11,400 years, based on dendrochronologically dated radiocarbon concentrations. We combine physics-based models for each of the processes connecting the radiocarbon concentration with sunspot number. According to our reconstruction, the level of solar activity during the past 70 years is exceptional, and the previous period of equally high activity occurred more than 8,000 years ago. We find that during the past 11,400 years the Sun spent only
    of the order of 10% of the time at a similarly high level of magnetic activity and almost all of the earlier high-activity periods were shorter than the present episode. …

    It is also a fact that there is evidence of past cyclic climate change which does correlate to C14 changes which of course was not caused by atmospheric CO2 changes.

    Greenland ice sheet temperatures last 11,000 years

    The problem is there are no new observations to support one side or the other or no new ideas concerning observations or new ideas as to how to possibly solve our CAGW problem.

    I support the assertion that global warming is over. Big deal. The question why and what is going to happen next?

    If it is possible and easy to unequivocally convince everyone that humans did not cause the recent change in atmospheric CO2, the question as to how the sun causes climate change is more interesting.

    It is easier (as there is new evidence and old evidence that is overwhelming, unequivocally true, something that everyone will get if there are pictures), however, (rather than starting with the sun) to attack the CAGW problem from the standpoint of unexplained earth and atmospheric paradoxes. The answer to these questions changes something fundamental concerning the earth.

    Why did atmospheric CO2 changes in the last 30 years track planetary temperature and not anthropogenic CO2 emissions? A dozen peer reviewed papers using independent analysis techniques show this statement to be true. These papers show anthropogenic CO2 emission is only responsible for roughly 5% of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2.

    What are the sources of CO2 coming into the atmosphere? Mass balance analysis (anthropogenic CO2 emissions Vs change in atmospheric CO2 shows that must be a large source of CO2 coming into the atmosphere besides volcanic eruptions).

    Why are there massive hydrocarbon deposits on the surface of the planet? Why are there heavy metals in liquid hydrocarbons (increasing with increasing viscosity) and in the bituminous coal deposits? Why is there helium in CH4 and liquid petroleum reservoirs? (This observation forces there to uranium and thorium underneath the hydrocarbon deposits. The decay of those elements produces the helium.)

    Why are there large highly concentrated deposits of uranium on the surface of the planet? There is a deposit in Canada than requires remote operated mining equipment as the radiation level is too high for humans. There is a deposit of uranium in South Africa that was critical in the past.

    What is the source of hydrogen for the oceans covering 70% of the planet’s surface? Why is there three times more water moving into the mantel as ocean plate is pushed under the continents than is coming out from volcanic activity?

    • There is nothing weird happening to the Sun. Just a solar minimum. It happens about once every 11 years.

      And there is an endless supply of new ideas being published all the time. Just very few people reading them, and even less with an open mind.

      • We will see what happens to the sun.

        The problem is not a lack of ‘new’ ideas. If there is a fundamental incorrect assumption which makes the path in question dead, the analysis on that path becomes a pointless game.

        If we did not cause the majority of the atmospheric CO2 change, then CO2 did not cause the temperature change which explains why atmospheric CO2 levels correlate with temperature and not with anthropogenic CO2 emission.

        If there is no AGW, the analysis concerning climate sensitivity, ocean acidification, sea level change, weather extremes, and so on was a pointless game as we have absolutely no idea why or how climate will change in the future.

        The answer is in the observations. There is a physical explanation, a cause, that causes the earth’s climate to change cyclically.

        We do know that climate changes both hemispheres cyclically, sometimes abruptly, and there are C14 changes when the climate changers.

        The largest C14 in this interglacial period occurred at the same time as the so called Younger Dryas abrupt climate change (12,900 BP) at which time the planet went form interglacial warm to glacial cold in less than a decade, at time when solar summer insolation at 65N was maximum, for 1200 years. This very large very powerful climate changes occur roughly ever 8000 years.

        Davis and Taylor: “Does the current global warming signal reflect a natural cycle”

        …We found 342 natural warming events (NWEs) corresponding to this definition, distributed over the past 250,000 years …. …. The 342 NWEs contained in the Vostok ice core record are divided into low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century) and high rate warming events (HRWEs; ≥ 0.74oC /century) (Figure). … …. "Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice – shelf history" and authored by Robert Mulvaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey ( Nature , 2012, doi:10.1038/nature11391),reports two recent natural warming cycles, one around 1500 AD and another around 400 AD, measured from isotope (deuterium) concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf in northeast Antarctica. ….

        As this paper notes the highly precise periodicity of the past climate changes points to a forcing function outside of the earth (hint is the sun).

        Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock by Stefan Rahmstorf
        Many paleoclimatic data reveal a approx. 1,500 year cyclicity of unknown origin. A crucial question is how stable and regular this cycle is. An analysis of the GISP2 ice core record from Greenland reveals that abrupt climate events appear to be paced by a 1,470-year cycle with a period that is probably stable to within a few percent; with 95% confidence the period is maintained to better than 12% over at least 23 cycles. This highly precise clock points to an origin outside the Earth system (William: Solar changes cause the warming and cooling); oscillatory modes within the Earth system can be expected to be far more irregular in period.

  16. The author ends his lead-in paragraph by stating — incorrectly — that ” the current run of consecutive spotless days is out to 33…” Using the daily NOAA/SWPC sunspot reports to reach a 33 day count is a misuse of the reports because SWPC’s observation method almost always misses short duration sunspots that are successfully observed by SIDC’s global observer network. SIDC daily and monthly reports are much more reliable, complete and accurate than NOAA/SWPC’s once-daily report. During February SILSO reported sunspots on the 13th and 21st and started to report the ongoing three day stretch of sunspots during the day of March 5th.

  17. The author states — incorrectly — that the current run of consecutive spotless days is out to 33. SILSO is the internationally accepted authority for longer term sunspot data, and is always strongly preferred as the source sunspot data for longer term analysis such as the 33 day analysis by the author. According to SILSO, there were sunspots on February 13 and 21 and on March 5, 6 and 7.

  18. Thanks to continuing adjustment of historic temperatures downward by up to 1.7 C back to 1881 by the BOM in Australia, the BOM and Warmists have been able to push the propaganda that on paper this has been Australia’s warmest summer on record.
    On the ground, people have been complaining about the lack of warm weather and been happy at the few small bushfires this season. There is a battle of perception underway.

  19. Oh Wow!
    I did not think Anthony would publish my “news report” on declining solar activity.
    WUTU has some highly-qualified posters that are not convinced by the cosmic ray and cloud-cover story.
    I am.
    The Spotless Count did run to 33 days as reported by I forgot to put the source in.
    Independent of this, SILSO in keeping their table for so many years noted that beyond 30 consecutive days is, well, worthy of being included in the table.
    To repeat, it’s a news story.
    At around 2008 there were news stories about, solar physicists, Penn and Livingston calling for a significant decline in solar activity.
    I’ve been in the financial markets for decades, heading up a team that sells research to financial institutions.
    It was in 2008 when, fed up with the deliberate corruption of science, I began writing about the real side of climate.
    Our subscribers appreciate it.
    I completed my degree in geology and physics before UBC had a Department of Geophysics. That was in 1962 and it took a long time to build enough data to confirm Milankovitch. Also taught then was the theory about an open Arctic Ocean and a frozen continent.
    And as “M” was being confirmed it was exciting.
    Some months ago, I sent some stuff on interest rates to Anthony to send to Monckton. He was doing something on discount rates.
    I often write “news” reports and articles about climate.
    Because it is so fascinating., and many of our subscribers appreciate them.
    I think that the work by Svensmark and his team as well as that by Shaviv is heading towards a renaissance in climate studies.
    Explaining it is easier that instructing first-year physics labs.
    And each point I work on in science has been reviewed by a Prof. Emeritus, Physics, Princeton.
    And a Prof. Emeritus, Earth Sciences, Melbourne University.
    My own original work in political and financial history has been calling for this great experiment in authoritarian governments to soon conclude. Recently politics has gone radical suggesting “ending action”.
    They have monumentally screwed up in “managing” the economy.
    As well as in touting that they can “manage” the temp of the nearest planet.

  20. As pointed out here frequently, TSI does not have the variability to explain a solar cycle effect on climate.
    A more reliable metric to understand any claims of a Grand Minimum in solar magnetic activity may be the F10.7 record. The F10.7 flux record is a direct proxy of the UV/EUV flux from the magnetically super-heated corona. And if there is a solar cycle/Grand Minimum impact on climate, it must assuredly come from some component that does vary a lot between solar max and solar min, and that is UV/EUV.

    The big limitation is the instrumental record of F10.7 only goes back to 1947. Direct UV/EUV power spectrum measurements were not possible until the satellite era got us to the point where quality, calibrated-instruments could be placed outside Earth’s UV/EUV shielding atmosphere.

    Leif of course did a proxy reconstruction of F10.7 by to the 18th Century using the geomagnetic imprint that diurnal EUV heating leaves on the recorded geomagnetic field strength (at a given ground measurement location. He has posted on that subjected here at WUWT many times in recent years.

    Leif has also written about “the microwave flux is controlled directly by the magnetic field without a complicated intermediate physical process.” here:

    For the SC23-24 minimum in 2008-2009, we basically saw an F10.7 flat-lined below 68 (60day moving average) for ~ 9 months from mid-June 2008 to mid-March 2009.
    Currently we are at SC24-(awaiting)SC25 minimum, but nothing comparable yet as far as F10.7 minimum.

    See here for the data plot:

    So if we are entering a Grand Minimum, I would expect to see at least a comparable sub-68 F10.7 60 day average starting soon running for 6-12 months. And lasting through the end of year 2019, maybe into 2020. But if SC25 gets going in the next few months though as some solar experts expect, no Grand Minimum.

      • Your plots contradict nothing.
        If there is any climate connection to the solar cycle it exists in the UV/EUV flux modulation by cycle magnetic activity. UV/EUV may be having outsize (non-linear) effects such as ozone creation rates or something else entirely. We simply do not have global stratospheric ozone records before Nimbus 4 satellite went up in 1970.

        • You manifestly overlooked the own comment:

          “A more reliable metric to understand any claims of a Grand Minimum in solar magnetic activity may be the F10.7 record. The F10.7 flux record is a direct proxy of the UV/EUV flux from the magnetically super-heated corona.”

          This was the reason for my reply, and nothing else.

        • F10.7 is a better single measure, a direct read of the sun’s magnetic state heating its corona. No question. It’s reads a state of the Sun’s entire magnetic state, pole to pole. No messiness of Wolf counts, international counts, different optical systems, or different eyes with a simple microwave flux reading.

          Our sunspot counts only count spots on the visible face, the side facing Earth. And even then then there is difficulty with gauging size and number of individual spots near the limb rotating into or out of view from SDO’s L1 position. Stereo-A can see the “left-side” approaching Earth-view now, somewhat around to the back-side rotating toward Earth. But Stereo has lower res UV imagery than SDO and no magnetic instrument (like HMI on SDO), and it would not be compatible with historically how spots have always been counted. Plus Stereo-B’s failure means we don’t see about 1/3 of the sun surface at any given instant (the part of the sun that is just rotated out of view is currently not imaged).

          Where is Stereo Now? From GSFC.

  21. I don’t agree to what Bob Hoye wants to explain us here.

    The US country actually experiences cooling, that is undeniable. The 10 lowest yearly averages all are within the last 30 years :

    1993 9.6
    1996 9.9
    1997 10.1
    2008 10.2
    2013 10.2
    1989 10.2
    2009 10.2
    1995 10.3
    2014 10.3
    1994 10.4

    2018 10.7

    But in this yearly average ranking, we observe an increase, and 2018 appears at position 19, and not at position 2 or 3.

    And above all, I have some difficulty to see any valuable correleation between CONUS’ absolute temperatures and SSN during the last 120 years:

    Ironically, the lack of correlation becomes even more evident to me when we restrict CONUS’ absolute temperatures to the Dec/Jan/Feb periods:

  22. I am waiting for the polar field update…
    According to my findings the UNFILTERED polar field strength should have gone up in February….
    This is the reason there are no sunspots and that we will have A MUCH LARGER SUNSPOT CYCLE THEN EXPECTED.

    Last mean strength was 66, meaning cycle 25 will be already 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:

    Leif… I am waiting…

  23. Of the last 60 years, only 6 months have had a lower average sunspot number than this last February 2019, and 4 of them were in the previous minimum of 2008-2009.

  24. Considering the MSM have a lot to answer for in promoting the AGW scam it’s rather apposite the acronym for the Modern Solar Minimum.

  25. Climate charlatans’ spurious narratives aside, despite atmospheric CO2 up 30.2% to 405 ppm from 1950, given post-Chixculub Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T Boundary) eras’ mean 12 – 16 million-year duration, Earth’s astro-geophysical inflected cooling pattern should persist another 12 – 14 million years.

    Per median 12,250-year interstadials such as the Holocene Interglacial Epoch beginning 14,400 YBP, plus periodic plate-tectonic Ice Ages over 3.6 million years, Earth’s latest glacial remission ended 12,250 + 3,500 – 14,400 = AD 1350 with a 500-year Little Ice Age (LIA) through AD 1850/1890, followed by a 140-year “amplitude compression” rebound through AD 2030 (amplitude extremes are inversely proportional to a time-series’ frequency and wavelength).

    As this final 20-year chill phase shades to a 70-year Grand Solar Minimum through 2100+, similar to that of AD 1645 – 1715, reduced Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) renders generational warming physically impossible in face of cyclical 102-kiloyear Pleistocene glaciations beginning 669 years back.

    Regarding Industrial Revolution “anthropogenic CO2 emissions” from c. 1725, Australian researcher Robert Holmes definitively showed in December 2017 that all planets in Earth’s solar system exhibit global atmospheric surface temperatures (GAST) = PM/Rp, setting Atmospheric Pressure P times Mean Molar Mass M over its Gas Constant R times Atmospheric Density p. Applying this relation from Mercury through Neptune, zero error-margins attest that there is no empirical or mathematical basis for any “forced” carbon-accumulation factor (CO2) affecting temperatures on Planet Earth.

    Cyclical reality bites deep: First, Earth’s Holocene Interglacial Epoch ended the Medieval Warm in AD 1350, beginning a 500-year, carbon-neutral Little Ice Age through 1850/1890. Second, the current 140-year rebound from this LIA is ending with a fiercely chill “dead sun” absence of cyclic sunspots, due to persist 70 years to AD 2100+. Third, coinciding with an overdue Magnetic Pole Reversal stripping away Earth’s “plasma sheath” shielding cosmic rays, radical declines in total solar irradiance (TSI) presage recurrent 102-kiloyear Pleistocene ice sheets covering 70% of Earth’s habitable landmasses with ice sheets 2.5 miles thick.

    As brutal chill grips Earth’s 3.7 billion naïvely lulled inhabitants, Luddite sociopaths sabotaging global energy economies will have mega-deaths to answer for.

  26. An interesting article

    The Impact of the Revised Sunspot Record on Solar Irradiance Reconstructions
    G. Kopp, N. Krivova, C.J. Wu, J. Lean (2016)

    ” We estimate the effects of the new SILSO record on two widely used TSI reconstructions, namely the NRLTSI2 and the SATIRE models.

    We find that the SILSO record has little effect on either model after 1885 but leads to greater amplitude solar-cycle fluctuations in TSI reconstructions prior, suggesting many 18th and 19th century cycles could be similar in amplitude to those of the current Modern Maximum.

    TSI records based on the revised sunspot data do not suggest a significant change in Maunder Minimum TSI values, and comparing that era to the present we find only very small potential differences in estimated solar contributions to climate with this new sunspot record. ”

    This confirms Leif Svalgaard’s statement above concerning SILSO’s accuracy.

    A detail: TSI forcing calculated by the reconstruction models since Maunder’s end accounts for about 10 % of the 0.8 °C increase estimated for that period.

  27. Colorado is facing potentially historic avalanches, threatening to shut down major highways that pass through the Rocky Mountains and forcing some popular ski resorts to close their slopes.

  28. “During Saturday night to Sunday morning, the storm will likely be at its strongest with windswept snow from the Dakotas and northern Nebraska to much of Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and part of northern Michigan,” Sosnowski said. “Strengthening winds will greatly lower the visibility and cause extensive blowing and drifting snow, especially at the tail end of the storm and even as the sky begins to clear.”

    Wind gusts can exceed 50 mph, threatening to topple high-profile vehicles and leading to power outages and property damage. These winds will also limit the effectiveness of snow plowing, since new drifts can quickly obscure roadways.

  29. I just completed an analysis for the February 2019 at Victoria British Columbia and found that February 2019 was the second coldest on record. This was quite a remarkable change from the previous months of this winter (El Nino or otherwise). Also, the maximum amount of snow as measured on the ground, over 46 cms. has never been exceeded in any other February since records at Victoria International began going back to 1941. So it may be concluded that February 2019 was a very significant winter for us on the normally mild west coast.

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