WUWT: Declining Solar Activity

Declining Solar Activity

BOB HOYE

In the 1990s, solar physicists, Penn and Livingston, called for a long decline in solar activity. This is the case and it is nice to see such work confirmed by events. Solar Cycles # 23 and 24 are the weakest since the early 1900s. The current run of consecutive Spotless Days is out to 33, or 75%, for the year.

[See Penn and Livingston paper and graphics below.]

The following table shows the record back to the minimum of Solar Cycle # 23 when the count was at 268 days, or 73%, for 2008.

So far this year, the count is out to 33 consecutive days, which is exceptional. So much so, that SILSO keeps a table of such long runs.

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Solar Cycle # 24 is expected to reach its minimum by late in this year.

For hundreds of millions of years such changes in solar activity have been associated with changes from warming to cooling. And back again. The long run to the recent peak in activity was the strongest in thousands of years. Despite this, temperatures were not as warm for as long as set during the Medieval Warm Period. The end to that long trend and turn to cooling in the early 1300s was drastic, causing widespread crop failures and famine in Northern Europe and England. A book by William Rosen, “The Third Horseman” covers it thoroughly. The die-off from 1315 to 1320 is estimated at some 10 percent of the population. Deaths of cattle, sheep and horses were severe as well. All due to the turn to cold and unusually wet weather.

The change to what some are calling the Modern Minimum is significant. In geological perspective, it is now a built-in cooling force.

Rest of the Story HERE.

H/T Watts Up With That

I wrote some blog posts on Livingston and Penn in 2011.

Livingston and Penn

Here is a paper livingston-penn-2008

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Dimmer Sun, Colder Weather?

Coldest February on record in many communities, the first time in 130 years Los Angles never broke the 70 degrees mark in February. Phoenix shatters a 122-year-cold record. Monthly snowfall records being broken across the country.

Spaceweather.com

Solar-3-1-19-SDO_512_HMIIC

The sun has just passed an entire calendar month with no sunspots. The last time this happened, in August 2008, the sun was in the nadir of a century-class Solar Minimum. The current stretch of blank suns shows that Solar Minimum has returned, and it could be as deep as the last one.

The last time a full calendar month passed without a sunspot was August 2008. At the time, the sun was in the deepest Solar Minimum of the Space Age. Now a new Solar Minimum is in progress and it is shaping up to be similarly deep. So far this year, the sun has been blank 73% of the time–the same as 2008.

Solar Minimum is a normal part of the solar cycle. Every ~11 years, sunspot counts drop toward zero. Dark cores that produce solar flares and CMEs vanish from the solar disk, leaving the sun blank for long stretches of time. These minima have been coming and going with regularity since the sunspot cycle was discovered in 1859.

My friend Anthony Watts does some analysis HERE and comes to this conclusion:

It seems the sun has dimmed more than the usual amount at the end of solar cycle 24, and it could be a factor in the severe winter we are experiencing in many parts of the northern hemisphere.

Your thoughts?  Could we be on the cusp of a major global cooling?

Solar Cycle 25 Stronger than Cycle 24?

Previously, scientists suggested that sunspot cycle 25 could be weaker than the current cycle, potentially meaning a period of global cooling could ensue. However, this has largely been ruled out, with a team of scientists in India recently predicting that the next solar cycle could be even stronger than the current one.

Abstract

The Sun’s activity cycle governs the radiation, particle and magnetic flux in the heliosphere creating hazardous space weather. Decadal-scale variations define space climate and force the Earth’s atmosphere. However, predicting the solar cycle is challenging. Current understanding indicates a short window for prediction best achieved at previous cycle minima. Utilizing magnetic field evolution models for the Sun’s surface and interior we perform the first century-scale, data-driven simulations of solar activity and present a scheme for extending the prediction window to a decade. Our ensemble forecast indicates cycle 25 would be similar or slightly stronger than the current cycle and peak around 2024. Sunspot cycle 25 may thus reverse the substantial weakening trend in solar activity which has led to speculation of an imminent Maunder-like grand minimum and cooling global climate. Our simulations demonstrate fluctuation in the tilt angle distribution of sunspots is the dominant mechanism responsible for solar cycle variability.

Paper is HERE.

It seems the science is not settled. Some scientists say we are headed for long term quiet sun and others more of the same. Only time will reveal the veracity of the various claims. Stay Tuned.

What do you think? Stronger? Weaker? Same?

Sun has Entered Grand Minimum Phase

Jeffrey Foss, PhD

Everyone has heard the bad news. Imminent Climate Apocalypse (aka “global warming” and “climate change”) threatens humanity and planet with devastation, unless we abandon the use of fossil fuels.

Far fewer people have heard the good news. The sun has just entered its Grand Minimum phase, and the Earth will gradually cool over the next few decades.

Why should we all hope Earth will cool? Because nobody with any trace of human decency would hope the Earth will actually suffer catastrophic warming.

Details in Guest Post at WUWT.

 

Solar Cycle 24 has had the lowest solar activity since the Dalton Minimum around 1810.

Our sun was also very sub-normally active in December last year. We are writing the 121st month since the beginning of cycle number 24, in December 2008, and since 2012 (when we started the blog here) we could only reformulate the opening sentence once: In September 2017 when the sun was 13% more active than the long-term (since 1755) average.

All other months were below average. With the sunspot number (SSN) of 3.1 for the monthly average for December and a total of 24 days without any spot (throughout the second half of the month the sun was spotless), we are in the middle of the cycle minimum.


Fig. 1:  Solar Cycle 24 – red – is almost over. Since October 2017 (cycle month 108) we have been at the minimum and the next cycle should start at the beginning of 2020. The blue curve is the respective monthly average over the 23 cycles completed so far. The black curve (for comparison) SC 5, which was recorded around 1815 and was as similarly weak as the current cycle.

The following chart compares all the cycles observed thus far:


Fig. 2: The sunspot activity of our sun since cycle 1 (1755). The numbers are calculated by adding the monthly differences with respect to the mean (blue in Fig.1) up to the current cycle month 121.

Clearly, SC 24 is the lowest activity since the Dalton Minimum (SC 5,6,7) around 1810 when using the entire cycle and not only the maximum activity in short peaks (see Fig. 1).

Full Post HERE.

H/T GWPF Newsletter 31/01/19

Munich Conference: Leading Danish Astrophysicist Says Solar Activity Has Significant Impact On Global Climate

By P Gosselin

Danish Professor Henrik Svensmark is a leading physicist of cosmic radiation. At the end of last year he made a presentation at the 12th International Climate Conference in Munich, where he demonstrated that the climate is indeed modulated in large part by cloud cover, which in turn is modulated by solar activity in combination with cosmic rays.
His theory is that cosmic rays, which are extremely fast-flying particles – which originate from dying supernovae – travel through the cosmos, strike the Earth’s atmosphere and have a major impact on cloud cover and thus climate on the Earth’s surface.
This, Svensmark says, has been confirmed in numerous laboratory experiments.

The full post with video and charts is available at the NoTricksZone.

Professor Henrik Svensmark is doing important research and should be given your consideration.  If you do not agree, please post your arguments in the comments with links to your supporting evidence. Thanks!

svens-2018

 

The Coming Climate Crisis

The Little Ice Age Could Offer a Glimpse of Our Tumultuous Future.

BY AMITAV GHOSH

Over the last couple of decades, as the impact of global warming has intensified, the discussion of climate change has spilled out of the scientific and technocratic circles within which it was long confined. Today, the subject has also become an important concern in the humanities and arts.

Discussions of climate tend to focus on the future. Yet even scientific projections depend crucially on the study of the past…

[…]

Perhaps the most intensively researched of these periods is the Little Ice Age, which reached its peak between the late 15th and early 18th centuries. This early modern era is of particular interest because some of the most important geopolitical processes of our own time trace back to it.

[…]

During part of the Little Ice Age, decreased solar irradiance and increased seismic activity resulted in temperatures that, as Geoffrey Parker writes in Global Crisis, a groundbreaking global history of the period, were “more than 1 [degree Celsius] cooler than those of the later twentieth century.”

The current cycle of human-induced global warming is likely to lead to a much greater climatic shift than that of the Little Ice Age.

[…]

Amitav Ghosh is the author of The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. @GhoshAmitav

Foreign Policy 

H/T to David Middleton writing at Watts Up With That for the Summary

By increased seismic activity I wonder if the author is referring to the volcanos shown in this graphic.

Volcanic activity

The Latest on the Double-Dynamo Solar Model, and Dr. Zharkova’s Predictions of a Grand Minimum

By Stephanie Osborn

The Osborn post is a lengthy explanation of Dr. Zharkova’s model, model updates and predictions, with some additional example of how the ‘barycentric wobble’ influences the earth’s temperature. For readers who found Dr. Zharkova’s GWPF Presentation confusing, this article will help with the understanding of her model’s significance, and the output is worth considering. Osborn’s bio is HERE.

Osborn’s evaluation of Zharkova’s model:

Zharkova’s model is supported not only by sunspot numbers and solar activity, but by other solar-studies fields: magnetohydrodynamics and helioseismology. In fact, the resulting data plots from these fields are so close to Zharkova’s model predictions, that the model could as well be based on either of those. So this model is not functioning in isolation from related science, but is in fact harmonizing quite well with it.

The Dalton extended minimum (1790-1830) is evidently an example of a Gleissberg minimum, while the deep and protracted Maunder minimum (1645-1715) was the previous ‘Grand’ minimum. It has been roughly 350 years since the onset of the Maunder minimum, and a bit over 200 years since the Dalton minimum began. Zharkova et al. also noted a moderate Gleissberg minimum in the earliest part of the 20th century, as well, so the periodicity for that cycle seems to be holding.

The gist of the matter is that all three main cycles are entering minimum phase, beginning with the end of this current solar cycle (Cycle 24). Cycle 25 will be even lower than 24, with 26 being very nearly flat-lined. Cycle 27 will begin to show a few signs of life, then there will be a gradual rise to full activity over several more solar cycles, even as the last three cycles have slowly decreased in levels. This means that the bottom of the extended, or ‘Grand’ minimum (to use Zharkova’s terminology), should run from ~2020 to ~2053. (NO, it will NOT last 400 years like some are reporting – that is the overall length of the Grand cycle, not the predicted length of the minimum.)

In terms of atmospheric interaction, certainly the majority of the solar radiation peaks in the visible range, and that changes little, and the atmosphere is largely transparent to it. Once it strikes a solid object, however, the photon’s energy is absorbed, and later re-radiated as infrared (IR), which the atmosphere largely blocks (at least in certain frequency windows), so it does not all radiate off into space at night. This is why things like rocks and masonry tend to feel warmer at night, and what helps drive the trade winds along shorelines – the temperature differential arising from the differing light absorption/IR re-radiation of water versus land.

But it turns out that, unlike visible light, higher-energy photons have a fairly strong correlation with the solar cycle; this includes ultraviolet (UV) and X-ray, most notably extreme UV or EUV, which borders the X-ray regime. Much of this photonic radiation is generated in the inner solar corona, because the corona’s activity strongly follows overall solar activity; much of the rest is produced during solar flares – which are PART OF solar activity. More, unlike visible light, this frequency regime is ENTIRELY absorbed in the upper atmosphere (exosphere, thermosphere, ionosphere). So during high solar activity, the EUV and X-ray radiation hitting Earth has 100% of its energy injected into the atmosphere. During low solar activity, there is considerably less energy from this high-frequency regime being injected into the atmosphere – according to NASA research I dug up in the course of researching her papers and presentation, it may completely bottom out – as in, essentially zero energy from EUV etc.

But that isn’t the only way this might affect Earth’s atmosphere. It turns out that the solar wind/corona effects shield the inner solar system from cosmic rays, which are very high energy particles coming in from cosmological sources, such as supernovae, quasars, pulsars, etc. As solar activity diminishes, the solar wind decreases in effect, and the cosmic ray flux (‘flux’ is a measure of number of units per square area, e.g. number of cosmic ray particles per square meter) increases. BUT we know that cosmic rays tend to hit atmosphere and ‘cascade’ – generate a shower of particles, rather like a branching domino effect – and this, in turn, tends to create condensation nuclei around which clouds can form. (In fact, our first cosmic ray detectors were so-called ‘cloud chambers’ where the formation of condensation clouds depicts the track of the particle.) As a result, increasing cosmic ray fluxes are apt to generate increased cloud cover; increased cloud cover will then block visible light from reaching Earth’s surface and adding energy to the overall system. And cosmic ray flux can vary by as much as 50% with solar variation.

Well, then. So. What effects are being seen as a result of these two items?

Go HERE for the answers, with links to the supporting documents.

Recommended Reading and I would like your comments and thoughts!

What Will the Sun Do Next?

Many have predicted a weak sunspot cycle in the years ahead, but new work from India suggests otherwise. The work dashes speculations of a sun-induced global cooling of Earth’s climate in the coming decade.

sun-12-9-2018-SDO-e1544393946306

It is thought that the current sunspot cycle – cycle 24 – will approximately span the years 2008 to 2019. In other words, we haven’t reached the lowest ebb of the cycle yet, and no one knows exactly when it will come, but solar physicists think we’re probably close. This cycle has been an odd one, with fewer dark sunspots visible on the sun’s surface than expected. Now, with the next cycle due to start, we’re beginning to see projections for what will happen when the sun revs up again and begins producing more sunspots. Will the next sunspot cycle be more “normal” or will we again see a decreased number of spots?

On December 6, 2018, the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI) reported that two of its scientists have made a prediction for the upcoming sunspot cycle. Solar physicist Dibyendu Nandi and his Ph.D .student Prantika Bhowmik devised a new prediction technique, which simulates conditions both in the sun’s interior, where sunspots are created, and on the solar surface, where sunspots are destroyed.

Earlier predictions (like this one) have suggested the coming sunspot cycle 25 will be weaker than the current cycle 24. But, based on their model, Nandi and Bhowmik believe cycle 25 might be similar to or even stronger than 24. They expect the next cycle to start rising about a year from now and to peak in 2024. Their work was published December 6, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications.

Why should we care?

Indeed, many people do care about solar activity, due to the sun-Earth connection. High activity on the sun can negatively affect some earthly technologies, for example, electric grids and orbiting satellites. So – as Nandi and Bhowmik point out – an accurate prediction of a coming solar cycle might help space scientists plan satellite launches and estimate satellite mission lifetimes.

Another sun-Earth issue has particularly grabbed the public’s imagination: a little-understood, possible link between activity on the sun and Earth’s climate. Keep reading, to learn more.


This is a contrary view of the coming solar cycle 25.  Your thoughts?  Stronger than SC-24, Weaker than SC-24, the same?