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Historic solar cycle minimum coming

Discussion in 'Space Weather' started by GaWx, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. GaWx

    GaWx Supporter

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    I created this thread to continue the discussions we were having at Talkwx about the quiet sun (sunspotwise) that will only get quieter over the next few years. We may very well be headed for the quietest cycle minimum since the Dalton Minimum cycles of ~200 years ago. I don't expect the absolute bottom of this minimum to be at least until early 2020. It actually may not bottom til 2021 and at the extreme not til 2022. If not til 2021-2, it would likely be even that much quieter.

    As far as the expected effect on global temperatures, it would have a small direct cooling effect. The question is whether or not it would likely have a larger overall effect due to indirect means. Many say no but some say maybe due to supposed indirect effects from increased cosmic rays, which supposedly would increase cooling cloudcover due to there being more nuclei for cloud formation.

    So far, there has been no appreciable cooling as a result of the sun. Then again, there could very well be a lag The good news is that the minimum is coming soon and we can just follow along and see what actually happens.
     
  2. GaWx

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    If the sun remains blank today, it would become the 9th day in a row of no sunspots. That would make the current streak the longest to date of the current downturn.
     
  3. GaWx

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    Today has a good chance of making it 12 days in a row of spotlessness! That's quite impressive when one considers that the next cycle minimum is likely 3-4 years away!
     
  4. ForsythSnow

    ForsythSnow Staff Member Moderator

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    Quite interesting that we are this low this early, considering that we are running below predicted. [​IMG]
     
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  5. GaWx

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    Looking at the chart above, it looks to me like we're in a slightly longer than a 12 rather than the longterm avg 11 year cycle. Note how far apart are the tops of these last 2 cycles and where the steady down trends started: ~1/1/2002 & ~3/1/2014 or 12 yrs, 2 mos apart. Keeping that in mind and noting per the chart that this last min was ~1/1/2009 tells me that the upcoming min may very well not be til at least ~3/1/2021 or 4 years from now! Being that we're already at a 13+ day spotless streak (still blank per pic I just saw) and projecting ahead 4 years, all I can say is "wow" at how quiet this next min is liable to be. I mean Daltonlike quiet. What do I mean by Daltonlike? A full year or more of no spots! Furthermore, longer cycles tend to be cycles that are getting quieter. Dalton's were longer than 12 yrs. There hasn't even been a 12+ year long cycle since cycle 9 of the 1840's-50's!

    Look at how quiet was 2015 vs 2003, 2016 vs 2004, and early 2017 vs early 2005. Looking back 12 years ago today, the longest spotless streak had been only 2 days and that was the case all of the way through Sep '05! There wasn't an 8 day til Jan '06 and a 10 day til Mar '07! That's just 10 years back in a 12+ year cycle! The current downturn is 1.5+ years ahead of the previous cycle, which itself was the weakest in nearly 100 years!

    Looking back 4 years prior to the quietest Dalton min of 1.5 years of no spots centered on 1810, 4 years before that in 1806 wasn't nearly as quiet as late 2016-early 2017! The last 12 mos have averaged 35. The pre-1810 min 12 month average didn't get down to 35 until 3 hrs, 3 mos before that extreme min.

    In summary, all indicators are suggesting we're headed toward a deep cycle min that quite possibly will rival the historically deep min of the Dalton 1810 min!
     
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  6. GaWx

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    We're up to 15 straight spotless days and still counting!

    Edit: the streak stopped at a most impressive 15 days, which is very strongly suggestive of a Dalton-like cycle deep minimum upcoming in 3-4 years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  7. GaWx

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    Just to show how unpredictable the sun can be, it just had its highest daily flux in nearly 6 months! This follows by just two weeks the very
    impressive (for so early) 15 day spotless streak.
     
  8. GaWx

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    After having its highest daily flux since all the way back in July, the flux has plunged back almost all of the way back to the lows we just had in middle March! Also, it may go spotless tomorrow as one last spot group rotates off the disk after the other remaining spot dissipated. If this occurs, there will be a shot at another multi-day spotless streak though I'm not looking for another 15 day spotless streak just yet. That and much longer will come in time with higher and higher frequency.

    https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/hmi_igr/1024/latest.html
     
  9. ForsythSnow

    ForsythSnow Staff Member Moderator

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    The sun is blank again. I wonder how long it will last, and if there will be another uptick in sunspots suddenly.
     
  10. GaWx

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    This spotless streak ended at just one day by one that rotated onto the left edge.
     
  11. GaWx

    GaWx Supporter

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    "Already 58 New 2017 Papers Link Solar Activity To Climate Changes"
    - See more at:

    http://notrickszone.com/2017/04/27/...solar-activity/#sthash.YZ19lOVl.musZIh9D.dpuf

    I'm maintaining an open mind to the possibility that the sun has been a major factor in climate change. Unfortunately, politics on BOTH sides muddy up the waters. For example, the website that put out this article, "Notrickszone", has as its head (Pierre Gosselin) someone who has been clearly biased against the idea of AGW influenced GW. I wish this same article were written by a nonpartisan group. Then it would have much more weight in my eyes. Nevertheless, I still think we should follow this expected upcoming grand solar minimum very closely to see how much cooling it will eventually bring to the globe. I still can't eliminate the possibility that longer term solar cycles (not just single cycles) have been a major factor in climate cycles because of the idea that 1950-2000 possibly had the strongest solar output of any 50 year period of the last 2000+ years thus POSSIBLY meaning that a significant portion of GW over the last 35 years has been due to the warmer sun. Of course, this possibility would require that there is a lag period being that the sun has been much quieter over the last 10 years or so.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  12. pcbjr

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    Assuming that the sun and solar activity is the "culprit" or a major player (not a debate I'm inviting btw) - seems to me that the oceans have or would have been absorbing a lot of solar heat for decades and it'll take time for that heat to release and normalize - just think of September when it's way past June 20-21 and yet the Atl and Gulf are releasing the most heat and we're in the midst of the peak of 'Cane season. Don't have a clue if this is at all valid as an analogy or otherwise - just a thought that came to mind.

    Like the posts, btw, Larry! Keep 'em coming!

    Phil in hot and humid Hogtown
     
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  13. GaWx

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    Thank you! I think you are giving an excellent analogy and one that isn't too dissimilar to analogies I've mentioned elsewhere:
    1) Although ~6/21 is the summer solstice, the warmest daily normals for most in the temperate latitudes aren't at least til a month or so later.
    2) Even though the sun is highest in the sky around noon standard time, the warmest on sunny days without a frontal passage is usually not for several hours later.
     
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  14. pcbjr

    pcbjr Supporter

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    I say what I think - if that's not obvious - but it's always measured!!!!
    Thanks, Man!
    Best!
    Phil
     
  15. GaWx

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    For the first time in 3 weeks, there may be a spotless day coming up (as early as today). In addition, the backside is very quiet meaning there is a chance for another multiple day period of spotlesness. These longer spotless periods will only get more frequent and longer as we move ahead through the next several years toward an anticipated grand minimum.
     
  16. GaWx

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    There was a spotless day yesterday and there's very likely another one today. We could be in store for another long spotless streak (perhaps 7+ days based on Stereo pics).

    Meanwhile, the official rounded daily flux these last 2 days has gotten down to below 69 for the first time this cycle. That is a pretty big milestone as far as a getting quieter sun is concerned. The last day under 69 was way back on 6/19/2010, which was about 1.5 years after the prior cycle minimum. Looking at when the prior cycle first had a two day sub 69 daily flux durin its declining stage, it wasn't til 4/12-13/2007 or just over 10 years ago. Considering we appear to be in an extra long cycle of at least ~12 years, this is still another measure of how far ahead the current cycle is vs the prior cycle of a weakening sun..perhaps as much as 2 years! Based on these measures and based on the last cycle minimum being the weakest in ~100 years, all indications remain that we're headed for a heck of a cycle minimum within the next few years which could easily rival the weakest cycle minimum of the Dalton Grand Minimum of 200 year ago.
     
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  17. pcbjr

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    bring on cool and rain ... ;)
     
  18. ForsythSnow

    ForsythSnow Staff Member Moderator

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    Would be interesting to see if we can get most of a year without sunspots in a few years. Thanks for the updates!
     
  19. GaWx

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    YW. Based on the current trends in the general direction of a very weak Dalton Minimum type of cycle minimum, I think the odds of that are high for one year and quite possibly for two years! Even a 3rd year could be on the very weak side. We'll see.

    Based on current trends and comparing them to past cycles, my guess as of now is that over half of 2018 days will be spotless and both 2019 and 2020 will have no more than very few days with spots. Assuming a 12+ year cycle, 2021 could easily also have very few spots. Even a year with zero spots is not out of the question!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  20. pcbjr

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    Larry,
    I'm sure you've probably posted it or alluded to it, but I'm not finding ... and I'm awfully tight for time (so any direction pointing is most appreciated!).
    Low to no spots equals what (generally) for weather? I guess my focus would be winter and summer in particular.
    Can you direct me to some data or something you've posted?
    Thanks!
    Phil
     
  21. GaWx

    GaWx Supporter

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    Phil,
    I haven't posted any specifics about any possible correlation of low spots to weather although some others have somewhere, which I think included the chances for high latitude blocking. I did my own analysis sometime back and was unable to find much correlation of winters with either sun or QBO.

    My focus on the POSSIBLE nontrivial connection of a "grand minimum" of sunspots to cooler weather is more on a global and multidecadal scale with an unknown amount of lag likely in the mix. I'm talking about a multiple cycle grand minimum rather than just a single cycle minimum. Whether or not there will end up being nontrivial global cooling from what looks like a modern "grand minimum" is very much up in the air. We'll just have to watch and see what does or doesn't happen over the next however many years. To this point, there's still no concrete evidence that the weakest cycle max in 100 years or so, 2008-9, lead to any cooling of note. I'm still saying this 8 years later. But now we're about to have a 2nd weak minimum with this one likely quite a bit weaker (weakest in at least ~200 years) and longer.

    To summarize, my answer is that I don't know. Honestly, I don't think anyone really knows.

    Aside: we just got 3 days in a row of spotless. I'm not sure if we'll get another today due to a couple of visible specks.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  22. pcbjr

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    Thanks as always, Larry!
    Best!
    Phil
     
  23. GaWx

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    1. It looks like we're headed for a 6th straight spotless day today most likely. This would already make 36 spotless days year to date, which is higher than that for all of 2016 (32).

    2. As sunspots/flux go down, cosmic rays hitting Earth intensify. They have increased 13% since March of 2015 per this:
    http://spaceweather.com/images2017/12may17/radplot_strip.png

    There is a theory that increased cosmic ray intensity increases the number of nuclei around which low cloud droplets form, which increases low cloudcover, which decreases global temperatures. In other words, that would be, if true, an indirect cooling effect of cycle minima on top of the very small direct cooling effect. What I'm wondering is if this possible indirect cooling intensifies further during Grand Minima like the one that we appear to be within the early stages of. Nobody knows. And even if true, the length of any lag is a big unknown.

    Edit on 5/15: I see a small spot has rotated onto the visible disk from the left. That may stop the current spotless streak at 6 days.

    Edit on 5/16: Actually, the spotless streak ended at 7 days. Currently, there is one small area on the left side that is the one that rotated into the disk from the left on 5/15.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  24. GaWx

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    Today looks to already be the 41st spotless day of 2017 and 3rd day in a row. That compares to only 32 for all of 2016. Projecting ahead, I think we are easily on the way to 100+ spotless days in 2017 and over 1/2 of 2018 days to be spotless but we'll see. What looks like a non-spot plage region has recently rotated onto the far left side.

    Plage info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plage_(astronomy)

    Based on that plage region not appearing to be new, I'm leaning toward it not producing any new spots. If so, there could easily be at least several more days of spotless in the current streak based on recent stereo images from behind the sun.
     
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  25. pcbjr

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    Thanks, Larry!
    Wish this would lock in a massively cold winter, but alas ...
     
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  26. GaWx

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    Well, we've quietly gone into another lengthy spotless streak. As of today, we're at 7 days. i was waiting to see what was rotating onto the left side but it appears to be spotless (just plage). Looking at Stereo images from behind the visible side of the sun, we may very well not have anything new rotating onto the visible disk for at least 4 days. So, if nothing new pops up on the visible disk, we could easily end up with an 11 day spotless streak/55 days YTD and possibly still counting. I've already predicted we'll easily get to 100+ days for the full 2017. The last time there was a streak of 11+ days was the 15 day streak of March. Based on history, we're kind of due for another long streak. Normally, the longest of spotless steaks over a multi-month long period tends to get longer and longer as cycle minimum gets closer. I'd be surprised if we don't get one or more streaks of 16+ days by year's end. Perhaps this will end up being one of them. We'll see.

    Edit on 7/26: and just like that the streak ended st 7 days as a tiny spot popped up yesterday. However, that tiny spot lasted only hours thus leaving the visible disk spotless again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  27. GaWx

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    Down below is a brand new video release of an interview done of the astrophysicist and mathematician, Professor Valentina Zharkova, who back in 2015 (though I just learned about her today) predicted in a peer reviewed paper and presentation that the sun is shortly headed for a less lengthy version of a Maunder type of Grand Minimum of sunspots. Per the Royal Astronomical Society,

    "A new model of the Sun’s solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun’s 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645."

    Note that the above quote from the RAS doesn't actually say that we're headed for another mini ice age but that the model has the sun headed for a minimum of sunspot activity not seen since the mini ice age. Also, though she predicts in the below linked video global cooling to soon commence as a result of the sun, the peer reviewed paper, itself, does not predict we're going to go into a mini ice age as it doesn't address climate change. Also, though she refers to a 1.5 C cooling in the N hemisphere during the Maunder Minimum, she doesn't predict in the video that there'd necessarily be that much cooling with an attendant mini ice age.

    Link to paper:

    https://www.researchgate.net/public...on_of_solar_activity_on_a_millenium_timescale

    The brand new video:



    My thoughts: I've already stated several times in this thread and without ever hearing of this astrophycicist that I do think we're likely headed for a new Grand Minimum (at least as quiet as the Dalton Minimum of the early 1800s) based on how low the number of sunspots have been recently and comparing to the last 200+ years of sunspot number patterns (statistical approach). Dr. Zharkova goes even further and predicts another Maunder Minimum (though half as long). Assuming we really are headed for a shorter version of a Maunder type of Grand Minimum, nobody really knows how much global cooling, if any, would result. Perhaps all it would do is to slow GW or maybe even stop it for a few decades. The uncertainties of how quiet sunspot activity may be about to get over the next few decades as well as how much this MIGHT reduce the effects of AGW are exciting because we get to watch in real time and see what happens!
     
  28. pcbjr

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    WOW, Larry!
    Amazing and thanks!
    Phil

    Here's hoping ... :~)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
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  29. GaWx

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    I haven't posted here since early August because I generally tend to post mostly about the sun getting quieter as we approach the expected grand minimum. Well, it has been anything but quiet since mid August.with early Sept having had several days of the highest daily flux in about 2 years and an enormous solar flare!! There hasn't even been one spotless day since around 7/31! However, today may finally break that streak. Also, stereo images suggest we may be about to enter a string of spotless days. One thing's for certain in my mind: if we really are going to have a deep minimum in and around 2019-21, the sun is going to have to go back to being mainly quiet pretty soon and add a good number of spotless days the rest of 2017 to get the trend back in the right direction. Let's see what happens.

    Edit: we're currently at ~50 spotless days year to date excluding today. In June and July, before this recent much more active period, I had predicted 100+ for all of 2017. In order to get that, 50+ of the next 85 days will need to be spotless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  30. ForsythSnow

    ForsythSnow Staff Member Moderator

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    Today we have 0 sunspots, so let's see how long this lasts. We have had 57 this year, and 32 last year, and 2011 to 2015 had only 3 spotless days in that 5 year span. That seems to indicate we are falling, and that next year we should have way more spotless days.
     
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