Solar Cycle 24 is Nearing Completion.

Sometime ago, every month I blogged a brief report on the activity of the Sun.  I have the urge to do that again, so here goes.

Solar Cycle (SC) 24 has just about run its course. It is forecast to give over to SC 25 in late 2019/early 2020 and when it does, that’s call the 24SC minimum.

Sunspots are a proxy for Solar activity.  The chart below shows the average number of sunspots in each month.  The blue dashed line is a 13-month averaged sunspot count.  It is the official sunspot number.  (The formula for the count is shown at the end of this posting.)  The official number of sunspots peaked in April of 2014 thus the solar maximum happened then.

The chart below  illustrates how recent SCs compare to SC 24:


All three of the preceding SCs were much more active than SC24.

As side note,  the SCs on average last for 11 years, or saying another way, 132 months.  At one time, it was believed that if the SC was over before 11 years it was generally an active SC.  More than 11 years, less active.


The chart below shows the 24 SCs and the chart makers attempt at a SC25.  The X axis is in years from 1749 to an estimated 2040.  The Y axis is sunspots

One can see that SCs 23, 22, 21, 19, and 18 represent a very active sun.  The maker of the chart calls this the “modern warm period”.   Looking back the chart maker has noted the time of the “Dalton Minimum” and the “little ice age”.  These periods of low solar activity coincide with the periods of low global temperatures. Perhaps you can see why many scientists are forecasting that global temperatures will soon be dropping.  Also one can speculate that  the global warming  we have experienced may be a product of the past 60 years of a very active sun.    Ok, now one more reading of the chart might suggest that we are due for a period of low solar activity thus a drop in global temperatures.   The chart maker’s projection of SC 25 to  be lowest in recorded history is very likely to be wrong.  However the batting average of the predictors of future SCs is not too stellar  so who knows.

Throughout the recent past, claims were made that the global temperature was going to drop because SC 24 was relatively inactive.  I do not think that the temperature did drop.  I believe I read  one article where the claim was that SC 24 was the reason that the increased CO2 in the atmosphere did not raise the temperature as much as it should  have.  I don’t believe that one.

Was SC 24 definitely an uniquely quiet SC?  I think so.

The sunspot activity of the cycles in comparison. The numbers in the diagram are obtained by summing the monthly differences between the observed SSN and the mean (blue in Fig.1) up to the current cycle month 125. ( I am not sure whom to attribute this chart but I got it from Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt and Frank Bosse who write the diekaltesonne  blog.)

This shows that at just about 10-1/2 years,  SC 24  has had 4464 fewer sunspots than the average  SC.  It also shows that SCs 5 and 6, had the  fewest sunspot and those two SC are coincident with the Dalton Minimum.   SC 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 were way low on sunspots and they coincided with the little ice age.

It is clear that the sun was much less active as demonstrated by the sunspot record.  I expected a clear sign by the end of its cycle, which we have not yet seen,  of a cooling global temperature  trend. Some think we have that, but I do not see what I expected from the UAH satellite global temperature readings.  The temperature  has declined since the last El Nino but it has not been lowered to the temperature before that El Nino.

Next a look at Solar Cycle 25.


Sunspot Counting–Woolf Number

The smoothed count is a 13-month averaged sunspot count using this Belgium’s formula:
Rs= (0.5 Rm-6 + Rm-5 + Rm-4 + Rm-3 + Rm-2 + Rm-1 + Rm + Rm+1 + Rm+2 + Rm+3 + Rm+4 + Rm+5 + 0.5 Rm+6 ) / 12
Rs = smoothed monthly sunspot count
Rm = One month’s actual sunspot count
The “-6” through “+6” appended to each Rm is the number of months before or after the month whose smoothed count is being calculated. The beginning and ending months in the formula are only given half the value of the others.*


5 responses to “Solar Cycle 24 is Nearing Completion.

  1. Ernie Quigley

    Excellent Commentary…keep up the good work

  2. Climate Change Sanity wrote:

    cbdakota posted: “Sometime ago, every month I blogged a brief report on the activity of the Sun. I have the urge to do that again, so here goes. Solar Cycle (SC) 24 has just about run its course. It is forecast to give over to SC 25 in late 2019/early 2020 and when it “

  3. How can the very small changes in the TSI make any impression on the temperature of the Earth surface? How is this supposed to work?

    • Raymond, thanks for your looking at my posts
      You said “How can the very small changes in the TSI make any impression on the temperature of the Earth surface? How is this supposed to work?”
      I do not know. There a lot of things I don’t know but I have some thoughts about them.
      The TSI accuracy was not so good maybe 30 years ago when people went up high mountains hoping to avoid dilution of the signal by the atmosphere. So I do not know if the TSI has always been as strong a signal in the past as it is today. Was this the case during the little Ice age or the Daulton minimum?
      Today the GHG theory is predicated on an imbalance of 3 watts per square meter. I have read that the difference in TSI over the course of time is 1 watt per square meter. Assuming for the moment the preceding is true, it might not take much of say cloud cover to effect 2 watts per square meter. And there are stories about UV peaks that may cause some disruption.
      While I do not know what caused the little ice age or the Daulton minimum, they both correlate with less active solar cycles. “Correlation does not mean confirmation,” I know but this looks close to confirming.
      And why did we go about 18 years with almost no statistically significant warming?

      Then there are clouds. From my blog 2 March 2017

      CERN CLOUD Study Confirms 3X Is Too High
      A new CERN study is saying that the warmers “climate sensitivity” calculation needs to be reduced. This study, CLOUD, was undertaken to determine if cosmic Rays were actually causing an increase in clouds as claimed by Henrik Svensmark. Svensmark postulated that the extremely high energy “rays” would impact gas molecules and shatter them. The small particles that were formed from the collisions would then seed cloud formation** Svensmark noted that cosmic rays entering the Earth’s atmosphere were much greater when the Sun was less active. The increased cloud cover would increase the Earth’ albedo and reflect incoming radiation from the Sun back into space and thus cause global temperature cooling. This theory pays tribute to the idea that when there are long periods of fewer Sunspots (a proxy for low Solar magnetic activity), the global temperatures tend to drop. The Sun’s magnetic activity regulates the amount of cosmic rays that are able to enter Earth’s atmosphere. When activity is low, more cosmic rays enter and more clouds are formed.
      The initial Cloud study conclusions were that some clouds were seeded but not enough to have an impact on global temperatures. However, recent testing using aerosols that matched their concentration in the atmosphere provided different results. From a posting on the ICECAP site by Dennis Avery we get this:
      “CERN’s Jasper Kirkby says that cosmic rays increase the number of cloud seeds by one to two orders of magnitude. In addition, the ionized clouds reflect more solar heat back into space – and they’re longer-lasting. The cloud variations thus amplify the sun’s variability! The clouds, in effect are the earth’s thermostats – and the IPCC has admitted it can’t model them!
      CLOUD used a particle accelerator and a super-clean cloud chamber to carry Svensmark’s experiment to the next level. CLOUD found that the computers had underestimated the cloudiness of the Little Ice Age, because they completely failed to understand the dramatic impact of the ionized cloud seed particles created by cosmic rays! The ionization attracts other molecules in the atmosphere, so the cloud seeds grow instead of evaporating,”
      We know that water vapor is the major greenhouse gas, but think about what Japer Kirkby says. Water Vapor in the form of clouds has the opposite effect and acts as the earth’s thermostat.
      More information about the CLOUD PROGRAM findings at CERN can be found by using this link. Click on December 2016 and go to page 4. Read “Cloud experiments sharpens climate predictions
      Have these findings been refuted?

      Any way you can see I don’t know a lot of things for sure. But I have formed an opinion.
      again thanks cbdakota

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