Posts Tagged ‘Sunspot’

Double peak in Solar Cycle 24? as in SC14 and in SC5?

March 4, 2013

The NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle Prediction Panel is puzzled. They don’t know if we are reaching solar maximum or whether another little peak could be on its way which would shift solar maximum for SC24 to 2014 from 2013.

And should we compare SC24 with SC14 or should it be SC5?

But SC24 will still show the lowest sunspot activity for 100 years. I note that not only SC14 but even SC5 had a double peak – so my expectation remains that this Landscheidt Minimum may be comparable to the Dalton Minimum – though not perhaps to the Maunder Minimum.

credit Dr. Tony Phillips

credit Dr. Tony Phillips

This Sciencecast video is a good summary of what we don’t know:

Landscheidt’s prediction is that this Minimum will last till 2060 so we can expect low sunspot activity for the next 4 sunspot cycles (till SC28).

Landscheidt’s predicted solar minima

The Sc24 –  SC5 comparison looks like a repeating pattern but it would be wrong to assume that the Sun cares about this and it will surely continue to keep us perplexed as it does its own thing.

SC24 compared to SC5

The Big Picture is persuasive – even if we don’t really know what the sun is upto and even less about how the Earth dances to the Sun’s music.

Recent solar activity (Wikipedia) showing the Maunder and Dalton minima


Solar cycles and the Landscheidt minimum

Theodor landscheidt: Sun-Earth-Man and the Kepler ratios


An active Sunday for the Sun

February 14, 2011

An unusually active Sunday for the Sun yesterday mainly from the very large sunspot 1158 with magnetic flux values not seen since 2006.


Solar Flares: Mutiple Solar flares took place around Sprawling Sunspot 1158 on Sunday, including an M6.6 Flare which was the 2nd largest of Cycle 24 thus far.  ….. . There will continue to be a chance for M-Class flares and NOAA also lists a 5% chance for an X-Class event.

Solar Flux 107: For the first time in Cycle 24, the official daily solar flux number measured in Penticton, BC closed above 100. The solar flux of 107 is the highest since September 2005. The last time the solar flux finished above 100 was in December 2006.

Solar Update: Huge sunspot 1158 which is located in the southern hemisphere will continue to be a threat for strong solar flares. Elsewhere, Sunspot 1157 which is in the northern hemisphere showed growth late on Sunday and Sunspot 1160 which rotated into view on the eastern limb has sprouted a few new spots as well. The M6.6 Solar Flare did cause a Radio Blackout on HF which was short lived.

Sunspots (Early Monday): image

NOAA forecast:

Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be low to moderate with a chance for a major x-ray event for days one thru three (14-16 February). Region 1158 continued growth and recent major flare make this region the most likely source for a major event. There is a slight chance for C-class activity from Region 1157 and Region 1159.

Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be predominately quiet on day one (14 February). Quiet to unsettled with a chance for active conditions are expected on days two and three (15-16 February), due to a recurrent coronal hole high speed stream becoming geoeffective.

Beware the Icarus syndrome

September 16, 2010

Like Icarus the global warming believers pay little attention to the sun and its moods. But like the wings of Icarus the demonisation of carbon dioxide is likely to be demolished by the sun. We are now in Solar Cycle  24 and magnetic flux and sunspots continue to be lower than the already low forecasts for this cycle. The Landscheidt minimum approaches and the sun is entirely oblivious of fanciful theories about coming ice ages or the melting of the polar ice caps. The sun will not be denied. The earth will merely adapt to whatever the sun deigns to produce and it might be best if we focused on adapting to whatever the sun does and waste less time on trying to control the climate.

Say Goodbye to Sunspots?

Science reports a new paper submitted to the International Astronomical Union Symposium No. 273, an online colloquium showing that the dearth of sunspots is at an unprecedented low level.

The sun goes through an 11-year cycle, in which the number of sunspots spikes during a period called the solar maximum and drops—sometimes to zero—during a time of inactivity called the solar minimum.The last solar minimum should have ended last year, but something peculiar has been happening. Although solar minimums normally last about 16 months, the current one has stretched over 26 months—the longest in a century. One reason, according to the paper is that the magnetic field strength of sunspots appears to be waning.

After studying sunspots for the past 2 decades the authors have concluded that the magnetic field that triggers their formation has been steadily declining. If the current trend continues, by 2016 the sun’s face may become spotless and remain that way for decades—a phenomenon that in the 17th century coincided with a prolonged period of cooling on Earth. Sunspots disappeared almost entirely between 1645 and 1715 during a period called the Maunder Minimum, which coincided with decades of lower-than-normal temperatures in Europe nicknamed the Little Ice Age. But Livingston cautions that the zero-sunspot prediction could be premature. “It may not happen,” he says. “Only the passage of time will tell whether the solar cycle will pick up.” Still, he adds, there’s no doubt that sunspots “are not very healthy right now.” Instead of the robust spots surrounded by halolike zones called penumbrae, as seen during the last solar maximum (photo), most of the current crop looks “rather peaked,” with few or no penumbrae.

Over a year ago Henrik Svensmark, Professor, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen warned “In fact global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning. No climate model has predicted a cooling of the Earth – quite the contrary. And this means that the projections of future climate are unreliable.”

It’s important to realise that the Little Ice Age was a global event. It ended in the late 19th Century and was followed by increasing solar activity. Over the past 50 years solar activity has been at its highest since the medieval warmth of 1000 years ago. But now it appears that the Sun has changed again, and is returning towards what solar scientists call a “grand minimum” such as we saw in the Little Ice Age.

The match between solar activity and climate through the ages is sometimes explained away as coincidence. Yet it turns out that, almost no matter when you look and not just in the last 1000 years, there is a link. Solar activity has repeatedly fluctuated between high and low during the past 10,000 years. In fact the Sun spent about 17 per cent of those 10,000 years in a sleeping mode, with a cooling Earth the result.


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