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.



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?

8 thoughts on “Dimmer Sun, Colder Weather?

  1. Belle March 2, 2019 / 10:46 am

    Yet in the UK we had the warmest February on record.

    • Gabriel March 7, 2019 / 10:25 am

      And the U.S. had a 1.8°F average temperature bellow the mean temperature of the whole 20th century in February which was the coldest on the record for many parts of the country (according to NOAA). In addition you might consider this figure is related to the polemic ‘adjusted data’ and not to the raw data which would lead to a much higher difference. It seems both situations (UK and U.S.) might be coupled by the polar vortex conditions. BTW right now PV is at its strongest levels on the record in the NH.

  2. The Atmosphere Guy March 4, 2019 / 2:07 am

    There is little doubt that the sun has undergone a step downwards in activity levels – this is evident in several of the data sources. Perhaps the best source to see it is in the ‘Ap’ Progression records where we can identify a step-change and steady decline between October 2005 and November 2009.
    We are increasingly gaining an understanding of the correlation between Sunspot activity and Coronal Hole activity, which latter tends to increase as spots decline. This is illustrated by the ‘Lighthouse Beam’ coronal hole that has been spraying earth each month since around August last. Added to the general CH activity, this has maintained ‘Ap’ levels – and with it TCI levels – higher than the deep lows of 2009/10.
    An interesting conjecture is the possibility that, as spots start to return, CH activity declines, yet spot related terrestrial impacts are too small to have a significant effect on terrestrial atmosphere for the first few years of the cycle. Combine this with Russell McPherron effects and we see the 2009/12 winter conditions returning.
    If we then assume that reduced overall solar activity will exacerbate the situation and we have some interesting possibilities for the next few winters!
    is offered for reference.

    • The Atmosphere Guy March 5, 2019 / 9:31 am

      Just as a short add-on to the above, it is considered that the reason for the reduced level of impact at the beginning of the solar cycle is shown in the solar ‘Butterfly Diagram’. At the start of each cycle, spots are concentrated at higher solar latitudes, meaning that any ejecta from those spots will be directed off the ecliptic plane and less likely to impact Earth. The ‘Ap’ environment is therefore minimised.

  3. arcanitecartel March 7, 2019 / 12:13 pm

    Could you be a bit more biased please? Your cherry picking isn’t quite enough for me.

    • Russ Steele March 7, 2019 / 5:44 pm

      Could you please be a bit more specific please? Let identify where your problems are! Thanks!

      • arcanitecartel March 8, 2019 / 9:30 am

        Yes. There are many cities in the world. Are we to believe that Los Angeles and Pheonix are to characterize the entire planet?

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