Solar slump continues – NOAA: “No indication that we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

The title was edited to reflect a correction at WUWT

Solar experts predict the Sun’s activity in Solar Cycle 25 to be below average, similar to Solar Cycle 24

April 5, 2019 – Scientists charged with predicting the Sun’s activity for the next 11-year solar cycle say that it’s likely to be weak, much like the current one. The current solar cycle, Cycle 24, is declining and predicted to reach solar minimum – the period when the Sun is least active – late in 2019 or 2020.

Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel experts said Solar Cycle 25 may have a slow start, but is anticipated to peak with solar maximum occurring between 2023 and 2026, and a sunspot range of 95 to 130. This is well below the average number of sunspots, which typically ranges from 140 to 220 sunspots per solar cycle.

Graph via Twitter from
NOAA’s Space Weather Workshop

The panel has high confidence that the coming cycle should break the trend of weakening solar activity seen over the past four cycles.

“We expect Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Cycle 24: another fairly weak cycle, preceded by a long, deep minimum,” said panel co-chair Lisa Upton, Ph.D., solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corp. “The expectation that Cycle 25 will be comparable in size to Cycle 24   means that the steady decline in solar cycle amplitude, seen from cycles 21-24, has come to an end and that there is no indication that we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

[My highlighted text]

The solar cycle prediction gives a rough idea of the frequency of space weather storms of all types, from radio blackouts to geomagnetic storms and solar radiation storms. It is used by many industries to gauge the potential impact of space weather in the coming years. Space weather can affect power grids, critical military, airline, and shipping communications, satellites and Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, and can even threaten astronauts by exposure to harmful radiation doses.

Solar Cycle 24 reached its maximum – the period when the Sun is most active – in April 2014 with a peak average of 82 sunspots. The Sun’s Northern Hemisphere led the sunspot cycle, peaking over two years ahead of the Southern Hemisphere sunspot peak.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Your thoughts?  

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Little Ice Age Summary at WUWT

What’s Natural?

By Jim Steele

Extreme scientists and politicians warn we will suffer catastrophic climate change if the earth’s average temperature rises 2.7°F above the Little Ice Age average. They claim we are in a climate crisis because average temperature has already warmed by 1.5°F since 1850 AD. Guided by climate fear, politicians fund whacky engineering schemes to shade the earth with mirrors or aerosols to lower temperatures. But the cooler Little Ice Age endured a much more disastrous climate.

The Little Ice Age coincides with the pre-industrial period. The Little Ice Age spanned a period from 1300 AD to 1850 AD, but the exact timing varies. It was a time of great droughts, retreating tree lines, and agricultural failures leading to massive global famines and rampant epidemics. Meanwhile advancing glaciers demolished European villages and farms and extensive sea ice blocked harbors and prevented trade.

Dr. Michael Mann who preaches dire predictions wrought by global warming described the Little Ice Age as a period of widespread “famine, disease, and increased child mortality in Europe during the 17th–19th century, probably related, at least in part, to colder temperatures and altered weather conditions.” In contrast to current models suggesting global warming will cause wild weather swings, Mann concluded “the Little Ice Age may have been more significant in terms of increased variability of the climate”. Indeed, historical documents from the Little Ice Age describe wild climate swings with extremely cold winters followed by very warm summers, and cold wet years followed by cold dry years.

A series of Little Ice Age droughts lasting several decades devastated Asia between the mid 1300s and 1400s. Resulting famines caused significant societal upheaval within India, China, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. Bad weather resulted in the Great Famine of 1315-1317 which decimated Europe causing extreme levels of crime, disease, mass death, cannibalism and infanticide. The North American tree-ring data reveal megadroughts lasting several decades during the cool 1500s. The Victorian Great Drought from 1876 to 1878 brought great suffering across much of the tropics with India devastated the most. More than 30 million people are thought to have died at this time from famine worldwide.

The Little Ice Age droughts and famines forced great societal upheaval, and the resulting climate change refugees were forced to seek better lands. But those movements also spread horrendous epidemics. Wild climate swings brought cold and dry weather to central Asia. That forced the Mongols to search for better grazing. As they invaded new territories they spread the Bubonic plague which had devastated parts of Asia earlier. In the 1300s the Mongols passed the plague to Italian merchant ships who then brought it to Europe where it quickly killed one third of Europe’s population. European explorers looking for new trade routes brought smallpox to the Americas, causing small native tribes to go extinct and decimating 25% to 50% of larger tribes. Introduced diseases rapidly reduced Mexico’s population from 30 million to 3 million.

By the 1700s a new killer began to dominate – accidental hypothermia. When indoor temperatures fall below 48°F for prolonged periods, the human body struggles to keep warm, setting off a series of reactions that causes stress and can result in heart attacks. As recently as the 1960s in Great Britain, 20,000 elderly and malnourished people who lacked central heating died from accidental hypothermia. As people with poor heating faced bouts of extreme cold in the 1700s, accidental hypothermia was rampant.

What caused the tragic climate changes of the Little Ice Age? Some scientists suggest lower solar output associated with periods of fewer sunspots. Increasing solar output then reversed the cooling and warmed the 20th century world. As solar output is now falling to the lows of the Little Ice Age, a natural experiment is now in progress testing that solar theory. However other scientists suggest it was rising CO2 that delivered the world from the Little Ice Age.

Increasing CO2 also has a beneficial fertilization effect that is greening the earth. The 20th century warming, whether natural or driven by rising CO2 concentrations, has lengthened the growing season. Famines are being eliminated. Tree-lines stopped retreating and trees are now reclaiming territory lost over the past 500 years. So why is it that now we face a climate crisis?

At the end of the 1300’s Great Famine and the Bubonic Plague epidemic, the earth sustained 350 million people. With today’s advances in technology and milder growing conditions, record high crop yields are now feeding a human population that ballooned to over 7.6 billion.

H/T to WUWT

The open question is: Will our technology save us from the next grand minimum and little ice age? Your thoughts?

Indications Point To Upcoming Solar Cycle 25 Being Among The Weakest In 200 Years

H/T to P Gosselin at No Trickszone.

The Sun In February 2019.

By Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)The sun was also very sub-normally active in February. Although we are in the middle of the minimum, the sunspot number of 0.8 for the 123rd month into the cycle is very low. On 26 days of the month no spots were visible, only on 2 days was there a little, symmetrically distributed over both solar hemispheres.The only exciting question currently: When will the minimum be finished and will solar cycle 25 begin? Although 6 spots of the new cycle were already visible in February with a significantly higher resolution, estimates are difficult.March again was dominated by some spots of the “old” SC24.  The rule: “weaker cycles often last longer than stronger cycles” could hold.Fig. 1: The monthly resolved spot activity of the Sun over the solar cycle (SC) 24 at the beginning of December 2008 (red) compared to a mean cycle, calculated from the arithmetic mean of all previously systematically observed cycles 1-23 (blue) and the not dissimilar cycle 5 at the beginning of May 1798.

The long solar minimum since October 2017 (cycle month 107) can be seen very well, the mean SSN in this period was only 7.1. The comparison of the cycles among each other follows:

Fig. 2: The strength of the sunspot activity of each cycle in comparison. The numbers in the diagram are obtained by adding up the monthly deviations between the observed values and the mean value (blue in Fig.1) up to the current 123rd cycle month.

Figure 2 shows that five cycles (No. 8, 15, 16, 18, 22) did not have a month 123 at all. Instead the following cycle started. In this respect, the picture is now somewhat distorted towards the end of the cycle.

A look at the solar polar fields shows that the minimum may have passed the peak, both smoothed hemispheric values decrease.  The maximum strength of the smoothed average is currently 64, in the last minimum we saw 55, in the minimum before SC 23 the value was 104.

There is a lot that points to a SC25 that will be slightly stronger than SC24, but will remain below the zero line (standing in Fig.2 for an average cycle). Thus the sun therefore likely to remain on low flame for another 12 years. The operators of satellites and the ISS will be pleased, the upper atmosphere expands less with less solar activity and this saves orbital manoeuvres to maintain the height of the objects.

Henrik Svensmark: FORCE MAJEURE The Sun’s Role in Climate Change

I am still studying this paper but wanted to share and get your feedback

Executive Summary

Over the last twenty years there has been good progress in understanding the solar influ- ence on climate. In particular, many scientific studies have shown that changes in solar activ- ity have impacted climate over the whole Holocene period (approximately the last 10,000 years). A well-known example is the existence of high solar activity during the Medieval Warm Period, around the year 1000 AD, and the subsequent low levels of solar activity during the cold period, now called The Little Ice Age (1300–1850 AD). An important scientific task has been to quantify the solar impact on climate, and it has been found that over the eleven- year solar cycle the energy that enters the Earth’s system is of the order of 1.0–1.5 W/m2. This is nearly an order of magnitude larger than what would be expected from solar irradiance alone, and suggests that solar activity is getting amplified by some atmospheric process.

Three main theories have been put forward to explain the solar–climate link, which are:
• solarultravioletchanges
• theatmospheric-electric-fieldeffectoncloudcover
• cloudchangesproducedbysolar-modulatedgalacticcosmicrays(energeticparticles originating from inter stellar space and ending in our atmosphere).

Significant efforts has gone into understanding possible mechanisms, and at the moment cosmic ray modulation of Earth’s cloud cover seems rather promising in explaining the size of solar impact. This theory suggests that solar activity has had a significant impact on climate during the Holocene period. This understanding is in contrast to the official consensus from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where it is estimated that the change in solar radiative forcing between 1750 and 2011 was around 0.05 W/m2, a value which is en- tirely negligible relative to the effect of greenhouse gases, estimated at around 2.3 W/m2. However, the existence of an atmospheric solar-amplification mechanism would have im- plications for the estimated climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide, suggesting that it is much lower than currently thought.

In summary, the impact of solar activity on climate is much larger than the official consen- sus suggests. This is therefore an important scientific question that needs to be addressed by the scientific community.

Full paper at the GWPF website HERE.

 

Neutrons Detected on Commercial Airplane Flights

Shared Post by Dr. Tony Phillips from Spaceweather.com  Another example of how little we know about the electronic soup that surrounds our planet.

March 13, 2019: Long lines. Narrow seats. Baggage fees. You recognize this list. It’s the downside of flying on modern commercial airlines. And now we have a new item to add: cosmic ray neutrons.

Spaceweather.com and Earth to Sky Calculus have just completed a 5-continent survey of neutron radiation at aviation altitudes. From December 2018 through February 2019, Hervey Allen of the University of Oregon’s Network Startup Resource Center carried  Earth to Sky radiation sensorsincluding neutron bubble chambers–onboard commercial flights from North America to Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

map2

Hervey logged 83 hours in the air as he traveled 41,500 miles above 30,000 feet. For reference, that’s almost twice the circumference of the Earth. The entire time, he gathered data on X-rays, gamma-rays and neutrons in an energy range (10 keV to 20 MeV) similar to that of medical radiology devices and “killer electrons” from the Van Allen Radiation Belts.

The results were eye-opening. During the trip, Hervey recorded 230 uGy (microGrays) of cosmic radiation. That’s about the same as 23 panoramic dental x-rays or two and a half chest X-rays. Moreover, 41% of the dose came in the form of neutrons. This confirms that cosmic-ray neutrons are abundant at aviation altitudes and must be considered in any discussion of “Rads on a Plane.”

neutrons1

Researchers have long known that cosmic rays penetrate airplanes. Our own 3-year survey of global radiation shows that X-rays and gamma-rays at aviation altitudes are typically 50 times stronger than sea level. This new survey focuses on neutrons, a more potent type of radiation from deep space. Studies show that neutrons can be ten times more effective at causing biological damage compared to X-rays and gamma-rays in the same energy range. Neutrons are so effective, they are used for cancer therapy, killing tumors better than other forms of radiation.

Should we be worried about Hervey? Although he absorbed a lot of radiation during the survey, he did so slowly. Hervey’s whole body dose was spread out over 14 flights and 3 months–unlike, say, a dental X-ray which is localized to the jaw and delivered in a split-second. Slow delivery gives the body time to respond, repair damage, and move on without obvious health effects. On the other hand, at least one study shows that low-dose radiation received over a long period of time may slightly increase the risk of leukaemia, while flight attendants have been found to have a higher risk of cancer than the general population.

neutrons2

Our survey also revealed some geographical variations. Generally speaking, neutron radiation was stronger near the Arctic Circle and weaker near the equator. It was weakest of all, however, in flights over Chile as the aircraft skirted the South Atlantic Anomaly. We will be investigating these variations with additional flights in the near future.

Stay tuned!

Auroral Evidence of Upcoming Mini or Little Ice Age?

In a guess post at Watts Up With That on the cooling signals embedded in the Aurora Borealis, Dr Tim Ball concludes:

The current debate attracting more and more people is that we are cooling with the only question left as to the extent and intensity. Will it be [the] weather similar to the cooler period coincident with the Dalton Minimum from 1790 – 1830? Alternatively, will it be colder with similar conditions to those by the early fur traders in Hudson Bay or those that spanned the life of Sir Edmund Halley? The appearance of Aurora in northern England suggests the latter, although I can predict who will protest this suggestion.

This is an interesting analysis of historical documents.  Read the full story HERE.

In the comments Leif Svalgaard offered this:

The sun sends us several ‘messages’ about its activity. One [beautiful] one is the aurora which has been observed since antiquity. I recently gave a seminar on those messengers:

https://leif.org/research/Multi-Messenger-Solar-Physics-Through-Time.pdf

The aurorae evidence is very difficult to calibrate. I have not studied Svalgaard’s paper yet but its looks very interesting.

Looking forward to your comments on  the questions: Is the auroral evidence of the next grand minimum and a little ice age? 

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.

clip_image004

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

declining_sun_spots

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?

Cosmic Rays Increasing for the 4th Year in a Row

Feb. 21, 2019: Cosmic rays in the stratosphere are intensifying for the 4th year in a row. This finding comes from a campaign of almost weekly high-altitude balloon launches conducted by the students of Earth to Sky Calculus. Since March 2015, there has been a ~13% increase in X-rays and gamma-rays over central California, where the students have launched hundreds of balloons.

neutronsandxrays2

The grey points in the graph are Earth to Sky balloon data. Overlaid on that time series is a record of neutron monitor data from the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland. The correlation between the two data sets is impressive, especially considering their wide geographic separation and differing methodologies. Neutron monitors have long been considered a “gold standard” for monitoring cosmic rays on Earth. This shows that our student-built balloons are gathering data of similar quality.

Why are cosmic rays increasing? The short answer is “Solar Minimum.” Right now, the 11-year solar cycle is plunging into one of the deepest minima of the Space Age. The sun’s weakening magnetic field and flagging solar wind are not protecting us as usual from deep-space radiation. Earth to Sky balloon launches in multiple countries and US states show that this is a widespread phenomenon.

solarcycle

Cosmic rays are of interest to anyone who flies on airplanes. The International Commission on Radiological Protection has classified pilots as occupational radiation workers because of cosmic ray doses they receive while flying. A recent study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health shows that flight attendants face an elevated risk of cancer compared to members of the general population. They listed cosmic rays as one of several risk factors. There are also controversial studies that suggest cosmic rays promote the formation of clouds in the atmosphere; if so, increasing cosmic rays could affect weather and climate.

Thanks to Dr. Phillips for sharing this post from Spaceweather.com  [Emphasis added]

The more cosmic rays the more clouds, which results in more cooling of the planet.

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?