Space Weather: No Spots, but NOT a Dull Sun



In total, 2016 has had 31 ‘spotless days’–a whole month’s worth. We haven’t had this many blank suns in a single year since 2010 (51 days). This is a sign that the sunspot cycle is crashing toward a new Solar Minimum.

There are many misconceptions about Solar Minimum. One holds that auroras vanish when sunspots disappear. Christmas Day 2016 was proof that the opposite is true. Without a hint of a sunspot on the solar disk, intense auroras raged around the Arctic Circle on Dec. 25th. What caused the luminous outburst? An enormous hole in the sun’s atmosphere directed a stream of solar wind toward Earth, sparking a week-long display that is still underway. Such atmospheric holes are common during Solar Minimum, which is a fine time to see Arctic auroras.

Many people think space weather becomes dull or stops altogether during Solar Minimum. In fact, space weather changes in interesting ways. For instance, as the extreme ultraviolet output of the sun decreases, the upper atmosphere of Earth cools and collapses. This allows space junk to accumulate around our planet. Also, the heliosphere shrinks, bringing interstellar space closer to Earth; galactic cosmic rays penetrate our atmosphere with relative ease. Yes, Solar Minimum is coming … but it won’t be dull.

More HERE.  Emphasis add.  Some scientists think increases in cosmic ray can result in more clouds, which cool the earth. This could be the mechanism that results in global cooling, producing a grand minimum of climate change.


Proof that a new ice age has already started is stronger than ever, and we couldn’t be less prepared

Editor’s Note: The Russian study was originally published July 2015 and was reported on earlier on this blog.  Lawrence provides some additional supporting evidence.

Lawrence Solomon  writing in the Financial Post:

“The New Little Ice Age Has Started.” This is the unambiguous title of a new study from one of the world’s most prestigious scientific institutions, the Russian Academy of Science’s Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg. “The average temperature around the globe will fall by about 1.5 C when we enter the deep cooling phase of the Little Ice Age, expected in the year 2060,” the study states. “The cooling phase will last for about 45-65 years, for four to six 11-year cycles of the Sun, after which on the Earth, at the beginning of the 22nd century, will begin the new, next quasi-bicentennial cycle of warming.”


Abdussamatov was once a lonely voice in the view that Earth could be embarking on a prolonged cooling spell due to solar, not manmade, factors. No longer. Because sunspots are eerily disappearing from the face of our sun — just as they disappeared during the Little Ice Age in the late 1600s — speculation of another cooling period has been widespread by bodies such as the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the Riken research foundation. Last year, a team of European researchers unveiled a scientific model at the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales predicting a “mini ice age” from 2030 to 2040 as a result of decreased solar activity.

Full Article is HERE.

David Archibald: Solar Cycle 25 Amplitude Prediction


A monthly smoothed maximum sunspot number of 62 is derived for Solar Cycle 25. This would probably be around 2025. This is almost down to Dalton Minimum levels.

[. . .]

My prediction for the peak sunspot number of Cycle 25 is a monthly count of 62.

Full report with graphics and explanation is at WUWT

David mentions the Dalton Minimum. Cycle six was a companion cycle during the Dalton Minimum. If David’s prediction is accurate, Cycle 25 will be much like Solar Cycle 6, which could bring on more Dalton like climate variation.

The climate was cooler during the Dalton Minimum.  Cycle 24 so far has produced the 18-year global warming pause. The IPCC credits the “hiatus” partly to decreased solar activity. Cycle 25 will most likely continue this cooling evident in Cycle 24.

Dalton Minimum resulted in an average temperature drop of about 1 Degree C. This resulted in shorter growing seasons, with later spring frosts and early rain and snow in the fall. Some of which was caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1816, one of the two largest eruptions in the past 2000 years.  This mix of low sunspots and volcanic activity makes a climate prediction for more difficult. However there some speculation that reduced solar activity on the sun results in more volcanic activity on this planet. Increase vulcanization produces cooler climates.  Stay tuned, this is going be an interesting time to be climate observers.