Another new solar sunspot record peak of 73.2 was set for Cycle 24 last month. It smashed the old 68.9 record peak set the previous month.
In a big surprise, it’s over six spots higher than the first sunspot peak set in early 2012 and will probably go up. A secondary peak that much above the first is almost unheard of.
The new sunspot peak is unusual for two conflicting reasons:
- The secondary peak is higher than the first
- Current physics suggests the solar cycle should be weakening
Conflicting signals coming from the sun muddles how it might affect earth’s future climate. A more active sun will have a warming effect. A less active sun, predicted by most solar physicists, will have a cooling effect.
The full article is HERE, however this maybe of most interest to readers of this blog:
Is the next Maunder Minimum at hand?
Three key pieces of evidence from a 2011 solar physics meeting suggest the sun is slipping into another prolonged period of solar inactivity:
- The solar jet stream for Cycle 25 is delayed
- Solar magnetic field strength is weakening
- Weakening of the poleward surge in coronal magnetism
Put all together, these three diverse results convinced most solar physicists in 2011 that Cycle 25 may be the weakest since the Maunder Minimum of the 1600s.
The current solar cycle, Cycle 24, is already the weakest in 100 years even with the resurgence of sunspot activity over the last six months.
The first official prediction for the peak of Cycle 25 is only seven spots!
The sun is sending mixed signals. Until six months ago all major measurements suggested the sun’s 11-year solar cycle was about to take a siesta for at least one cycle, maybe more.
The sun hasn’t been reading the scientific literature. Since last October it developed one of the highest secondary peaks compared to its first ever measured, if not the highest.
The secondary peak will probably go up again next month. No solar physicist saw it coming.
Are sunspots fading away, or coming back? At this point, nobody knows for sure what is going on or how it will affect climate change.
Thanks to Inform the Pundits for this article.