Solar Cycle 24 double peak now clearly evident

Already in March there were signs that this Solar Cycle 24 would exibit a double peak. NASA’s latest sunspot prediction for Solar Cycle 24 as of 1st May 2013 clearly shows that the sunspot activity is into its “double peak for this Cycle. A double peak was also evident in Cycles 22 and 23 and also in Cycles 5 and 14. The levels for SC24 are still going to be the lowest for 100 years and predictions for SC 25 are that they will be even lower still. Most second peaks have been somewhat smaller than the first – though not in SC5 – and seem to add around 6 months to the cycle time.

If this is indeed a double peak then I expect that solar maximum will perhaps be a few months delayed from the NASA prediction of Fall 2013. End 2013 now seems more likely.

SC24 may 2013

The Dalton minimum spanned Solar Cycles 5 and 6 from 1790 to 1820.  The Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715 preceded the numbering of Solar Cycles (Solar Cycle 1 started in 1755). The likelihood that SC 24 and 25 may be similar to SC 5 and 6 is growing and so is the likelihood that we will see 2  – 3 decades of global cooling. It is more likely that for the next 20- 30 years this Landscheidt Minimum will resemble the Dalton Minimum period, but if SC25 is a very small cycle then we may even approach the conditions of the Little Ice Age during the Maunder Minimum. Landscheidt’s prediction was that this minimum would last from 2000 to 2060 and the global temperature stand-still for the last 15 years gives greater credence to his forecasts.

NASA: The Sunspot Cycle —

The Maunder Minimum

Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. Very few sunspots were seen on the Sun from about 1645 to 1715 (38 kb JPEG image). Although the observations were not as extensive as in later years, the Sun was in fact well observed during this time and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the “Little Ice Age” when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes. There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past. The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.

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