Current Solar Cycle Will Be First To Finish Below Normal In 80 Years, Weakest In Close To 200 Years

Solar Activity in May 2019

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

In May 2019 our sun was below-normal active again. The solar sunspot number (SSN) was 10.1, which is only 52% of the mean value in the evaluated cycle month no. 126 since the start of Cycle No. 24 began in December 2008.

It should be noted that the number of cycles that lasted this long is decreasing. In the previous month we reported on cycles 21, 18, 16, 15, 8 dropping out because they were shorter in total, and now SC 17 is getting added. Next month month SC 7 is will fall as well. The mean value thus becomes less meaningful as the end of the cycle approaches. But out of habit, we want to keep it nevertheless as comparison.

The activity in the past month was shifted very asymmetrically to the solar northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere was spotless throughout the whole month. The solar north saw spots only on 15 days. The total activity graphically

Fig. 1: SC24 is depicted in red and compared to the mean of the previous 23 cycles (blue curve) and the very similar ähnliche SC5 (in black).

So we have been bobbing along with very little activity in the solar minimum for 20 months, and this will probably continue for about 1 year as we already explained 2 months ago.

Weakest in close to 200 years

The sunspots of the new cycle no. 25 (recognizable through the reversed polarity of their magnetic fields and which always occur in the minimum together with those of the old cycle) are still rare. A total of 4 were observed in the previous month. The new cycle physically arrives when the new sunspots make up the majority of the observed spots.

Now the comparison of the recorded cycles among each other:

Fig. 2: Sunspot activity of the individual cycles since the beginning of cycle 1 in the year 1755. The numbers are computed by adding up the monthly differences of the observed cycles to the mean value, up to the current cycle month no. 126.

First below normal cycle in over 80 years

The sudden drop since the end of SC23 (2008) is very clearly visible. Before that we had seen 7 cycles of above average activity, from 1933 (start SC17) to 2008 (end SC23). There is also little doubt among the solar scientists that also SC25 will finish below the zero line.

What about the duration of low-activity SC24? It would be the first low-activity cycle with an above normal lifespan since SC15, the beginning of which was in 1915. What impact could this have on the Earth’s inhabitants? In the past, there were a number of parallels between the decline in solar activity and global temperature. Just how it will develop this time, we do not know exactly.

17 responses to “Current Solar Cycle Will Be First To Finish Below Normal In 80 Years, Weakest In Close To 200 Years”

  1. ldd

    Well, on the ground in my local we’ve had the coolest spring in my memory. Local farmers are 5 weeks behind in getting their crops in.

    The last winter was particularly harsh and long. We had more colder than average days/nights for the latter part of winter.

    Our last three summers have been a wash out, from too cool spring/early summer to too hot and dry when normally we’re pretty moderate.
    My local is east of the Great Lakes just above the US border in Ontario Canada.

  2. Alex12

    It was foreseeable that this cycle would go down so low and extend its duration given the recent phases that have been decreasing for over 50 years.
    These phases last very long and stagnate for several decades, probably throughout this century.
    The next cycle 25 will last at least 13-14 years, and will be at least 30% weaker than this.
    The behavior of cycle 24 is similar to that in the years of cycle 23, but on a smaller scale, and more elongated.

  3. Current Solar Cycle Will Be First To Finish Below Normal In 80 Years, Weakest In Close To 200 Years | Un hobby...

    […] F. Bosse & F. Vahrenbolt, June 22, 2019 in […]

  4. Posa

    Not a hint of cooling caused by the solar cycle in modern (20th or 21st) temperature record. Likely sunspots have zero to negligible effect on the climate.

  5. posa

    “These two observations puts paid to the notion that solar variation, certainly at minimums, only has a very small effect on the weather/climate system, it has a major effect. ”

    Ok. Here’s the satellite record of global temperatures in the LT since 1979. Can you tell us what years we can see the “major effect” of recent (declining) solar cycles on atmospheric temperatures?

    1. Yonason

      Looks like Posa is proffering us a red herring?

      Nice work by Spencer to estimate forcing due to CO2; using correlation between TSI and temp anomaly, for which there is a lot more correlation than what I’d have expected.

      I’m not aware offhand of a simple answer to Posa’s question, but from Spencer’s work I’m guessing one exists.

      1. tom0mason

        <"I’m not aware offhand of a simple answer to Posa’s question, but from Spencer’s work I’m guessing one exists."
        He presupposes that temperatures around those times were not influenced by the solar minimums. I suppose otherwise — that is to say that IMO the observed temperatures were different from what might have been had no solar minimum existed then.
        The actual warming or cooling effect is highly dependent on the spectra of the solar radiation at the time. Neither of us know what the temperature could have been without a solar minimum so the argument is moot. However I understand that atmospheric temperatures are an aggregation of many climatic parameters effects, and a solar minimum is followed by cooler temperatures.
        The sun sets the rhythm of change, the other chaotically multicoupled parameters follow along.

    2. tom0mason

      I strongly suggest you take a few hours off from posting nosense and go and read ALL of the links here —
      You also have a hefty chunk of papers that research the solar/ocean interaction at
      Kenneth’s massive compendium of ‘The Sun-Climate Connection: Over 100 Scientific Papers From 2016 Link Solar Forcing To Climate Change’
      New Papers Show Solar Activity Impacts ENSO, Refuting Claims Sun Has Little Impact On Climate —

      You MAY then have some perspective on the matter.

    3. tom0mason

      So you KNOW what the temperature would have been without the solar variation.
      Humm, sounds to me like YOU don’t understand much.

    4. tom0mason

      @posa 26. June 2019 at 8:13 PM

      I proposed (with evidence) that ““These two observations puts paid to the notion that solar variation, certainly at minimums, only has a very small effect on the weather/climate system, it has a major effect. ” And this is quite true for the observations.

      You assume that global temperatures (homogenized average across the globe) mean something about the climate. Sorry you are wrong.
      Climate happens only in particular locations, in regions of the globe. There is NO global climate! Solar variations affect climate, global temperatures do not often track climate changes.
      E.g. A warming of the tropics and cooling of the poles would most likely result in more storminess as the temperature differential between the two is greater. The averaged Global Temperatures may NOT show any change what so ever during this time, thus in this instance global temperatures do NOT show climate effects. Even in one hemisphere this can be evident, recently the North and central USA have an obvious cooling effect with concurrent climate effects. Other NH regions have had less extreme climate effects.

      How much and when the global temperature reflect what the climate is doing in its many regions, time will tell.

  6. jose
    Recently discovered long-term oscillations of the solar background magnetic field associated with double dynamo waves generated in inner and outer layers of the Sun indicate that the solar activity is heading in the next three decades (2019–2055) to a Modern grand minimum similar to Maunder one. On the other hand, a reconstruction of solar total irradiance suggests that since the Maunder minimum there is an increase in the cycle-averaged total solar irradiance (TSI) by a value of about 1–1.5 Wm−2 closely correlated with an increase of the baseline (average) terrestrial temperature. In order to understand these two opposite trends, we calculated the double dynamo summary curve of magnetic field variations backward one hundred thousand years allowing us to confirm strong oscillations of solar activity in regular (11 year) and recently reported grand (350–400 year) solar cycles caused by actions of the double solar dynamo. In addition, oscillations of the baseline (zero-line) of magnetic field with a period of 1950 ± 95 years (a super-grand cycle) are discovered by applying a running averaging filter to suppress large-scale oscillations of 11 year cycles. Latest minimum of the baseline oscillations is found to coincide with the grand solar minimum (the Maunder minimum) occurred before the current super-grand cycle start. Since then the baseline magnitude became slowly increasing towards its maximum at 2600 to be followed by its decrease and minimum at ~3700. These oscillations of the baseline solar magnetic field are found associated with a long-term solar inertial motion about the barycenter of the solar system and closely linked to an increase of solar irradiance and terrestrial temperature in the past two centuries. This trend is anticipated to continue in the next six centuries that can lead to a further natural increase of the terrestrial temperature by more than 2.5 °C by 2600.

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