The Sun In A Funk- Sun Spots Not Rising (Updated 03-02)

Russ Steele

Anthony Watts has the story at WUWT in his post: The sun is still in a funk: sunspot numbers are dropping when they should be rising

I suggest interested readers check out the whole post at WUWT.  It has some interesting graphics that indicate the sun is not on a normal course. It is beginning to look more like the start of the Next Grand Minimum. Solar Cycle-24 is beginning to look like SC-5 or SC-6.

Here is an over lay of solar cycle 5 which was the beginning of the Dalton Minimum with the solar cycle 24:

This graphic is from “Beyond Landscheidt”   Since our ability to see spots today is greater than it was a century ago, a group has develop a Layman’s Count that only counts spots large enough to have been seen before. This is a little like hurricane and tornado counts which are higher today because we have better technology to see them.  The Layman’s Count has this cycle looking like cycle 5 in the early 1800s. Interestingly that cycle had an early spike like this one and then relaxed into a long, low plateau max and then long minimum.

We maybe on the cusp of the next grand minimum. The question is it a Dalton like minimum or a Maunder like.  As noted in the comments, Livingston and Penn have detected a decline the magnetic fields that was not evident during the Dalton.


3 thoughts on “The Sun In A Funk- Sun Spots Not Rising (Updated 03-02)

  1. Sean March 2, 2012 / 7:33 pm


    I don’t know if you ever go over to solar cycle 24 web page but I periodically check to see what Leif Svalgaard has to say about the how this and the next solar cycle is progressing. I was really surprised to see this quote, “The L&P effect is not present at every solar minimum and likely also not at the Dalton Minimum, but IMHO was present [the cause, actually] of the Maunder Minimum.” In the past, I’ve heard him say we are probably headed to a Dalton type minimum with only a low possibility of a Maunder type minimum. This is the first statement I’ve heard from him that says we may be in for quite a prolonged minimum. Here is the link to the page:

  2. Russ March 2, 2012 / 11:05 pm

    Thanks for the link. Leif is a very cautious scientist. I will see what he has to say. I have added an overlay. I am going to Tucson and Kitt Peak to see how Livingston and Penn are doing their observations. I am looking for an opportunity to interview one of the L &P team following my visit.

  3. DavidG March 14, 2012 / 10:27 am

    Good post, Russ. Most interesting.

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