New Sunspot Number Prediction from NASA

Latest prediction from NASA’s David Hathaway – August 2015

Note that Cycle 24’s peak (today) is lower than Cycle 23’s peak.


In fact,  its current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 in February of 1906, according to NASA.


Now note the drastic decline in activity since Cycle 22’s peak.


Thanks to Steven Rowlandson for these links

12 thoughts on “New Sunspot Number Prediction from NASA

  1. An odd article. A prediction for the peak of SS 24 a year after the peak??. Where is the prediction for SS 25. I’ve heard that will be about only 2/3 the strength of the current cycle. And what about length of the cycles. That would be useful for SS 24 since the lengths of solar cycles is a better indicator of the suns impact on the earth’s temperature. I think we are in for some interesting times.

    • The prediction for Sc25 is calculated around three months after the cycle starts. The problem with NASA’s sun spot count is that these are inflated by every blemish and spot fragment due to the optics they use.
      The NASA counts bare no relationship to those in previous Solar Minimums, hence the comparision with 1906 SC14 rather than SC5 1798.
      see here:
      If you then use the LSC counting method to return to a similar counting of spots that can be seen by 40MM optics the current count is less than SC5.

  2. I guess they can improve prediction accuracy by predicting things after they happen! IIRC at this point in cycle 23 NASA made predictions of cycle 24 that turned out to be way too high. Now they are getting cautious.

  3. Is it coincidence that the global warming observed from 1979 to about 1997/98 followed the largest solar maximum for more than a century – cycle 19 peaking in 1954 ?

    Each following cycle was slightly less active but cycles 23 and 24 are much less active.

    It takes a long time to heat something as large as the Earth.

    Similarly it takes a while to cool.

    The global warming period has been replaced by the “pause” – satellites confirm this – and some say the pause is in reality a decline !

    If the next cycles are significantly less active obvious cooling should occur.

    Interesting times.

  4. There does appear to be a contradiction between the two graphs. One has 245 sunspots and the other has 170 at the peak of SSC 23. Is it human error or an attempt at controlling the data to control public perception?

    • No contradiction, each graphing point is a montly average of every spot, fragment and blemish seen by the high res optics used by NASA, the ammount of activity on the surface of the Sun is waning and has been for the last three cycles including this one, the next will be even lower, SC26 may have the same output as Sc24.
      The problem for the climate is that it is driven by EUV which come from the area around the spots, vary the spots and you vary the UV output, hence the reason our star is a UV variable star. During low UV periods we have Cool mini ice periods, or worse beomes the trigger for a glaciation period.

    • They are trying to control the data. They’ve revised the sunspot number to make it look as if the Maunder Minimum was not quite as cold as we thought. One of the self appointed experts who pushed for this is a ‘solar physicist’ who doesn’t believe the Sun affects our climate, beyond the obvious warming effects of sunshine. He’s very prominent on the WattsUpWithThat site.

  5. Hathaway back in 2005 predated the EXACT opposite from what Happened.
    He said #24 was going to be humdinger. More spots than 23.
    Well as 23 ended and solar flux didn’t stop going down during solar min., but kept going down down down into the sub basement, he still didn’t figure that he might be 180 out.
    When solar min kept going and 24 would not start and not start and not start, did he start revising his predictions.
    Not once but three time. Each time lowed and lower and lower.
    Its like predating sunshine and when it starts to drizzle you say a little less sunshine.
    Only working for the government can you make a ton of money
    and always be wrong.
    If there was no government the Davids of the world would be standing on a street corner holding a sign asking for money.

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