November 2015 Solar Report: Sunspot Activity Remains The Weakest Since Dalton Minimum Of Early 1800s

The Sun in November 2015

By Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)

In November our sun was once again below normal in activity. The 84th month since the current solar cycle started in December 2008 saw a solar sunspot number (SSN) of 63.2, which was 72% of what is the mean for month 84 into a cycle since observations began in 1755.

Figure 1: Our current solar cycle (SC) 24 (red) compared to the mean cycle (blue) of the previous 23 cycles. The current cycle over the past year or so as been very similar to solar cycle number 5 (black) which occurred from 1798 to 1810.

What follows is a comparison of all cycles:

Figure 2: The accumulated monthly deviations anomaly from the mean value (blue curve in Figure 1) for each cycle.

The current solar cycle 24 is weak compared to the previous cycles beginning with solar cycle 18 (1945). The books are practically closed for the current cycle as it is not expected to become more active and activity is expected to trail off. We are experiencing the weakest solar cycle since the Dalton Minimum 1790-1830, which involved solar cycles 5, 6 and 7.

What’s ahead?

For estimating the solar sunspot activity of the next upcoming cycle, observing the polar fields during times of activity minima provides strong indications. We reported on this here. So what can we expect some three years before the awaited minimum?

Figure 3: The polar fields of the sun since 1976. (Source:

Early indications of a modestly active solar cycle 25

Especially the south polar field (show in red in Figure 3) is beginning to show signs of strengthening a little, yet is still behind the values of the very active cycles that occurred during the second half of the 20th century. This could be an indication that solar cycle number 25 may not be much weaker than the current cycle, but also not stronger. We will know more in about 3 years.


24 responses to “November 2015 Solar Report: Sunspot Activity Remains The Weakest Since Dalton Minimum Of Early 1800s”

  1. Ed Caryl

    The cycle length has increased by about 30%. Cycle length has been touted as an indicator of cold periods.

    1. David Appell

      Who has touted cycle length as an indicator of cold periods?

      How does that change the basic energy equation?

      dT/T = dS/4S

      which means

      dT/dS = T/4S = 0.05 K/(W/m2)

  2. sod

    [November 2015 was -snip – OT]

  3. Graeme No.3

    The period 1810-1830+ was noted for a big reduction in the extent of Arctic ice, as shown by Sir Joseph Banks letter to the Admiralty and the resulting attempts by the Royal Navy to find the North West passage until 1845.

    President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817, Minutes of Council, Volume 8. pp.149-153, Royal Society

    1. David Appell

      The world had a good measure of Arctic sea ice extent from 1810-1830?

      I highly doubt it.

  4. tom0mason

    With the solar activity at a measurable low NASA is a good point to start looking at the direct effects solar activity has on our atmosphere. Though it is interesting that NASA still found it ‘surprising’ that the atmosphere shrinks when the solar activity is low.
    They have witnessed and recorded solar events that have affected the earth’s atmosphere before, so why the surprise?

    Surely this is the smoking gun of the sun’s direct effect on this planets atmosphere and thus the weather/climate variation. Time for some real effort into researching exactly why!

    1. David Appell

      By the way, the LASP data shows current solar irradiance above the low of the last solar cycle, by about 0.9 W/m2.

      1. DirkH

        You should be ashamed of yourself. Do you get payed for your misdirections?

      2. David Appell

        Solar irradiance data is a “misdirection?”

        Hardly. It’s a measure of how much energy is being delivered to the Earth. Relevant for climate, don’t you think?

        1. DirkH

          “Hardly. It’s a measure of how much energy is being delivered to the Earth. Relevant for climate, don’t you think?”

          Don’t you think Albedo is a far more variable factor due to cloudiness. You and the rest of the warmunists are trying to mislead the public. You are corrupt.

  5. Doug Proctor

    Global temperatures over the next 18 months will not be a good indicator of what is coming in 3 years, as the post-El Nino, La Nina always brings a significant drop. Although the El Nino spike lets the warmists say we’re at an all time high in line with CAGW, the drop will be “natural” variation.

    Great gig, that.

    But my point – any temp drop due to lower solar activity won’t be seen until about year 3. Pity.

  6. David Appell

    Why use an imperfect proxy (sunspot number) when daily total solar irradiance data is available?

    Daily data:

    Daily data but not as up-to-date:

    1. DirkH

      You once worked as a science journalist, and now you’re busy telling people that solar irradiance counts, yet they should ignore the vanishing solar-magnetic field, for which sunspots are a proxy?

      This proves that government science and its propagandists is largely a rotten corrupt enterprise.

      1. David Appell

        Of course solar irradiance counts — it supplies the Earth with energy.

        Weird. In what way DOESN’T solar insolation matter?

        The solar magnetic field doesn’t “vanish” just because there are no sunspots.

        And, anyway, there are sunspots — the official count last month was 63.2.

  7. Wayne Job

    I am looking forward to the coming solar cycles, just to see the egg on the faces of the global warming gurus as we slide into a cold period.

    1. David Appell

      Greenhouse gas warming will easily swamp the slight cooling that might come from a dimmer sun:

      1. David Appell

        See also:

        “On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth,” G. Fuelner and S. Rahmstorf, Geo Res Lett vol. 37, L05707 2010.

        “Increased greenhouse gases enhance regional climate response to a
        Maunder Minimum,” Song et al, Geo Res Lett vol. 37, L01703 (2010)

        Even if the Sun *does* lead to significant cooling, it wouldn’t disprove anthropogenic warming, because natural variations still exist in an AGW world.

        1. frank

          An actual paper from 2014 ( ) says: 30…50% of the warming after 1891 is explained by solar. Anway, we should be careful: nobody knows for sure the impact on climate when we’ll get a Mounder-like Min. over more then 3 SC. Also after reading Feulner/Rahmstorf (2010)….

          1. David Appell

            That paper has gotten no play.

          2. David Appell

            This is a good illustration to shows that just because a paper is peer reviewed, it is not necessarily right.

            Look at the journal’s impact factor: only 1.05. A little more than one person has actually read it and cited it.


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