Keeping an Eye on the Sun

Russ Steele

The Sun appears to be going quiet once again, with only a small spot showing. See center of elipse on the graphic. A few week ago we saw a similar quiet sun and then some energetic spots re-appeared.  We are seeing the smallest sunspot cycle in 100 years and we should keep an eye on the Sun. The lack of sunspots has been correlated with cooler weather on the Earth.


7 thoughts on “Keeping an Eye on the Sun

  1. Anthony J.Mengotto June 23, 2012 / 7:48 pm

    If this is the solar max year, then we may see rapid cooling soon!!!! Many people forget the 1970’S cooling. At that time, solar cycle 20 peeked with 120 smooth sunspots.The last solar cycle, solar cycle 23 with 130 smooth sunspot numbers. Very close to cycle 20. That is why we have cooling. Cycles 21,and 22,were just not as strong as cycle 19 during the late 1950’S witch peeked at a smooth number of 199. Now, that was a strong cycle!!! Witch is why it was so warm back then.Think of it, at the end of this cycle the whole world will be right back to the 1800’S weather temp’s. But I liked global warming better!!!!!

    • Russ June 23, 2012 / 10:17 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment. I agree, the stronger cycles produces warmer temperatures, which we say in the late 70s, 80, and 90. Now it is time for some cooling.

      • Anthony J.Mengotto June 24, 2012 / 12:29 pm

        Russ,your welcome. For you, and your viewers. There is a book called A METEORLOGIAL ACCOUNT OF THE WEATHER IN PHILADELPHIA. If you, or your viewers are interested,you can get an idea of what the weather was like between 1790-1847.Yes, the dalton minimum period!!!! Just put it in your search bar,once you get the page, click on the google e books located on the bottom of the web site, you could download it for free in PDF form. This will give you,and your viewers an idea of what the weather was like when we were only 17 states in the U.S.A. Mostly phil,pa.,n.y.,n.j., v.a.,and the carolina’s on the east coast.I hope this gives everybody a better idea of what were in for!!!!!

      • Russ June 24, 2012 / 1:06 pm


        I could not find the e-version on Amazon and just downloaded the paperback and had it sent to my home address. This looks like a fab resource for the blog. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Ross Henry June 24, 2012 / 2:46 am

    I am very interested in what the effects of a solar minimum would be on Earth’s climate. Do you think the amount of C02 in the atmosphere will reduce the cooling effect?

  3. JulienTDF June 24, 2012 / 10:47 am

    Hi I’m French and im think the theory of Livingston and Penn is right, as you can see this solar cycle 24 is very strange and his maximum will be very low (ssn 50-55). with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation negative and the Atlantic Decadal Oscillation will be negative around 2015-2020, the climate cooling could be very strong, Livingston and Penn said,

    “Independent of the normal solar cycle, a decrease in the sunspot magnetic field strength has been observed using the Zeeman-split 1564.8nm Fe I spectral line at the NSO Kitt Peak McMath-Pierce telescope. Corresponding changes in sunspot brightness and the strength of molecular absorption lines were also seen. This trend was seen to continue in observations of the first sunspots of the new solar Cycle 24, and extrapolating a linear fit to this trend would lead to only half the number of spots in Cycle 24 compared to Cycle 23, and imply virtually no sunspots in Cycle 25.
    We examined synoptic observations from the NSO Kitt Peak Vacuum Telescope and initially (with 4000 spots) found a change in sunspot brightness which roughly agreed with the infrared observations. A more detailed examination (with 13,000 spots) of both spot brightness and line-of-sight magnetic flux reveals that the relationship of the sunspot magnetic fields with spot brightness and size remain constant during the solar cycle. There are only small temporal variations in the spot brightness, size, and line-of-sight flux seen in this larger sample. Because of the apparent disagreement between the two data sets, we discuss how the infrared spectral line provides a uniquely direct measurement of the magnetic fields in sunspots.”

    If they are right, the next global cooling will be very strong, this minimum could look like the Spörer Minimum because the Gleissberg Cycle is low and the Vries/Suess cycle will be low around 2032.

    Best Regards !

    • Russ June 24, 2012 / 1:10 pm


      Thanks for the post. I was recently at the NSO Kitt Peak McMath-Pierce telescope in March and have a story about my visit that will be published in Monitoring Times this fall. I will share some of my article once it is published. It is clear that Bob Livingston and Penn and on to some significant solar science. Very time to note that Atlantic Decadal Oscillation will be negative around 2015-2020.

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