Dr.Tony Phillips, Spaceweather.com
Sunspots are becoming scarce. Very scarce. So far in 2018 the sun has been blank almost 60% of the time, with whole weeks going by without sunspots. Today’s sun, shown here in an image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, is typical of the featureless solar disk:
The fact that sunspots are vanishing comes as no surprise. Forecasters have been saying for years that this would happen as the current solar cycle (“solar cycle 24”) comes to an end. The surprise is how fast.
“Solar cycle 24 is declining more quickly than forecast,” announced NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center on April 26th. This plot shows observed sunspot numbers in blue vs. the official forecast in red:
“Official” forecasts of the solar cycle come from NOAA’s Solar Cycle Prediction Panel–a group of experts from NOAA, NASA, the US Air Force, universities and other research organizations. They have been convening at intervals since 1989 to predict the timing and intensity of Solar Max. The problem is, no one really knows how to predict the solar cycle. The most recent iteration of the panel in 2006-2008 compared 54 different methods ranging from empirical extrapolations of historical data to cutting-edge supercomputer models of the sun’s magnetic dynamo. None fully described what is happening now. [Ephsas Added]
Full Story is HERE.
We live in interesting times when the sun is not acting as expected. That makes every day the sun shines an interesting event. Stay tuned, this is going to be a fun time for solar and cosmic ray observers.
The most important change, however, may be the increase in cosmic rays. Flagging solar wind pressure during solar minimum allows cosmic rays from deep space to penetrate the inner solar system. Right now, space weather balloons and NASA spacecraft are measuring an uptick in radiation due to this effect. Cosmic rays may alter the chemistry of Earth’s upper atmosphere, trigger lightning, and seed clouds.
26 Apr 2018 – “Worldwide Wine Output Collapses To 60-Year Low, Sparks Fears Of Major Shortage,” says zerohedge.com headline.
The Director-General of the International Organization of Vine and Wine, Jean-Marie Aurand, warned that global wine production collapsed in 2017, with a contraction of 8.6 percent compared with 2016. In fact, global wine output dropped to its lowest levels since 1957, primarily due to poor weather in the Eurozone which slashed production across the entire bloc.
In France, vinters reported “widespread damage in Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne, with some losing their entire 2017 crop.
Here’s the full article:
H/T to Ice Age Now Read the full report HERE.