Sun activity well below normal

Only 71% of normal.
“In February 2016 the sun was well below normal in activity, ” says “(This has been) the case for the previous several months.” 

“The observed sunspot number (SSN) was 57.2. The mean of previous cycles 1 to 23 for this month into the cycle is 80.8. This means last month of cycle no. 24 was only 71% of what is normal.”

Solar activity Feb 2016
Solar cycle 24 activity so far (red) compared to the mean of cycles 1 to 23 (blue) and the similar solar cycle number 5 (black).

“In total solar activity for cycle number 24 has been a mere 57% of the mean with respect to the number of sunspots. It is very probable that the cycle will be among the 3 weakest since observations began in 1749 and end up in the same category as those occurring during the Dalton Minimum (c1790-1830, SC 5 to 7)”

See entire comprehensive article:

Thanks to Ron de Haan for this link

21 thoughts on “Sun activity well below normal”

  1. … but we’ll be told that there is no correlation between sunspot numbers and total solar irradiance (TSI) nor to global temperatures because the ONLY driver of the latter are pesky GHG’s. Thank goodness, because if when the sun does decide to go to sleep, we’ll have the warming effect of more atmospheric CO2 to offset the impending cold.

    Or not. Who’s to say that the climate sensitivity of CO2 isn’t far less than generally assumed by the UN IPCC AR4 report? We could have the sun go quiet for another 30+ years and with the current increased atmospheric humidity, northern hemisphere winters could be absolutely brutal with massive quantities of snowfall and subsequent recovery of inland glaciers.

    In the meantime, let’s spend a few hundred billion dollars on mitigation efforts (and NOT decarbonization technologies, despite everything that the “experts” tell us we need to do to avert the worst effects of climate change). Even among thieves, they can’t get their act together to agree on what course to steer their ship of fools.

    1. But there is a correlation at the EUV end of the spectrum, hence the variations in atmospheric air flows at the bottom of a solar cycle when compared to the rise to Max and its slow decline during normal cycles.
      During vigorous cycles with a high percentage of large spots the earth receives much more energy as an example; cycles 21, 22, 23. During medium cycles and low cycles such as this one with low large spot counts and much, much higher fragment or blemish spots the earth receives much lower energy values, particularly at the short wave lengths.
      TSI is a convenient average which masks our star’s variability over a cycle and a series of cycles, it’s also a convenient fable for the solar establishment to hide the truth in plain sight.
      The not invented here syndrome is alive and well.

  2. Apples and Oranges.
    May I as a question please?
    Are these observations using technology or same lack of technology that was used to observe sunspots during 1790-1830.
    Only using lack of technology would make an accurate comparison, so if we were to take out of the measurements modern telescopes, I suspect the situation would be much worse than DALTON.
    Example – comparing apples with oranges, same weight maybe, same colour NO, same type of skin NO, same taste NO, interior same NO. seeds same NO.
    I can go on, as can most thinking people.

    1. The above chart is up to date but has a massive specs and fragments counts
      Do it the other way, we have records since the 1750s not complete, but reproducible against the C14 records and observations. Observe the Sun using the same or similar optics, convert to digital, work out the pixel ratio for each spot and then plot spots which could be seen during Dalton or Maunder.
      Now look at
      The comparison you are looking for is this one:
      Extract from
      When it comes to observing specks there are two main players; the size of the aperture lens and the atmospheric conditions.
      Below is a list of what is possible in arc seconds from the appropriate lens diameter of a refractor type telescope. This assumes perfect viewing and distortion free lenses. 1 arc second is equal to 725 kilometres on the solar surface.
      Diameter Arc sec Km
      40mm 2.93 2124
      50mm 2.32 1682
      70mm 1.66 1203
      80mm 1.45 1051
      110mm 1.05 735
      150mm .77 558

      Using the current SDO images it can be determined that the Sun is about 3800 pixels wide in the 4096 x 4096 images. The Sun is 1392000 kilometres across so each pixel measures 366 kilometres. The smallest specks recorded by Catania look to be about 700 kilometres across. If so the Wolf 80mm telescope on a perfect day with perfect optics is not capable of achieving this resolution, the 40mm aperture is nowhere near it. The current Wolfcam is also not capable of picking up the smallest specks that are counted today.

      1. Thanks very much for your comment (and others who respond with similarly details). As a layperson to some extend (MS in geography, but specialized in natural hazards not climatology)… its very helpful when someone with more expertise has a reasoned discussion, rather than the typical “cut and paste” political buzzwords you get from so may other places.

        And as a person with some expertise in analyzing data, what you are saying about comparing “apples to oranges” when measurement are made differently … makes perfect sense!

    2. Solar observation is the scientific endeavor of studying the Sun and its behavior and relation to the Earth and the remainder of the Solar System. Deliberate solar observation began thousands of years ago. That initial era of direct observation gave way to telescopes in the 1600s followed by satellites in the twentieth century.

  3. The problem with the above chart as it bares no relationship the spot counts observed during Maunder or Dalton, this is due to the aperture size of the telescopes used in this modern era, now –a-days every blemish is recorded, and Locarno manufactures fragments from time to time.
    I would suggest that the same fragment counts would have been observed during most, if not all of the grand minima, since the Jovian Gas giants reached their current orbital positions.

      1. But what does he mean by telescopes in the past, Andrew? They didn’t have proper solar scopes did they? If you go very far back, for example to ancient China, the astronomers used pieces of rock crystal as lenses to view the Sun with. Also, I don’t think that the scopes used by astronomers during the MM were as good as the ones used now. Anyway, it’s not the number of sunspots that is important, it’s the TYPE of sunspot that counts. The most important class being the Delta/Beta/Gamma sunspot group.

        Lief Svalgaard doesn’t think the Sun affects our climate in any way, apart from heating it up. He attacks anyone on the WUWT forum who dares to suggest that solar activity is responsible for cooling. There are scientists on that forum who have done good research, but Svalgaard just steam rollers all over them. I wouldn’t take him too seriously. If the guy was made of chocolate he would have eaten himself by now. 🙂

        1. I’d also like to add that the ‘new’ sunspot number has been fiddled to make it look as if climate change has got nothing to do with solar activity. Basically, the warmists have been up to their old tricks again! Talk about deniers. They’re the ones who are in denial!

      2. The NASA ones aren’t, and those are the one published in the MSM to discount the “threat” to AGW. Leif Svalgaard and his fellows would only admit to a Solar Grand Minimum if they got one of their names on it, or it bit him in the ass.
        If gravity effects and a major gravity well didn’t exist at the gravitational centre of the solar system, why dose the Sun have an orbit around it which is variable in shape, dependent on where the other significant mass objects in the solar system are; in other words where the4 Jovian gas giants are in their orbits. Leif Svalgaard discounts planetary science, perhaps he might need to recant at leisure over the next 30 years.

  4. See what evil CO2 can do – it affects what happens on the SUN; CO2 is OS POWERFUL. /sarc off

  5. Yup they are talking Nor’easter this weekend. Some hot spell and early Spring for the North East eh? The real question is yes a Dalton Minimum is alreadt upon us. Given a few years of hysterysis and super cold should be arriving in about another 18 months. I’m thinking we are headed for a Maunder event before this changes course. Enjoy.

  6. hmm?
    its not really below normal..
    it was expected to be very low this cycle
    theres the odd uptick but theyre paltry
    its actually looking pretty “normal” for a LOW maunder/dalton etc style min as is due and predicted..
    and why in part we are in the 18yr cooling

    1. Wow Larry – that is amazing, and scarey.
      I coming from a farming family immediately think about our world’s food supply,
      I was brought up on a dairy farm, we milked cows twice a day every day, 365 days a year, didn’t matter what was going on in our lives, the cows had to be milked. Weddings funerals, accidents, and sickness, the cows still had to be milked and were.
      I ran the family farm when I was 13, my brother 11, and youngest sister 9, for 3 months.
      Dad was extremely sick in bed, and Mum had to stay with him, we children harvested hay, and silage, milked the cows, grew our vegetables, drove the tractors and machinery on the farm, managed the cows grazing requirements, all of the duties Dad would have done if he could have done, most of this work was not new to us, just alot more of it. Wonderful experience in some ways, I still remember returning to school looking very slim and trim, and as fit as a buck rat, all that hard work had built muscle.
      When the time came to go back to school at end of term break, we just had to adjust our time schedules, getting up earlier, milking those cows, being driven to school by Mum, for a 9am start, and then picked up in the afternoon, at 3pm, when whole process started again, before daylight and after dark most days.

      1. What brought these memories to mind is that I have visited a physio the last few days, and a month previous for post hip replacement checkup and also dealing with a few weaknesses I had, was aware of, but what to do to make myself stronger.
        Physio gave me very specific exercises and said to me, somewhere in your past you must have been extremely strong and fit, for a 65 year lady your response to the exercises in this last month, is way above what i would have expected you have a lot of muscle memory.
        I told her the story as above, and she immediately said that’s it, your muscles haven’t forgotten.

  7. What are the chances of this solar minimum being the precursor to a major glaciation instead of mini or little ice age? Is it possible to know before it becomes obvious?

    1. I think it is. And if I’m correct about it being triggered by a magnetic reversal, one of the things to look for will be declining magnetic field strength.

      1. One mechanism of energy transfer from the sun to the earth is the direct induction of electrical currents through the coupled magnetic fields of the sun and the earth.

        A few years ago it was discovered that the coronal resistivity associated with the lateral flare currents was six orders of magnitude higher than the Spitzer resistivity which puts it in the same ball park as the resistivity of sea water. This means that these currents in the oceans which generate thermal energy are much higher during periods of high solar activity and vise versa and much more significant when originating as lateral flare current.

        Further, the skin depth of the oceans is about 250-300 metres so about 95% of this additional thermal energy is stored in the top 700 metres of the Earth’s oceans. This figure is exactly the one hypothesised by Landscheidt as being necessary to buffer mean global temperatures through the gaps between solar cycles.

        Even more interesting is the fact that the amount of energy coupled (extra heating) is proportional to the product of the earths and suns magnetic field strengths so:
        1) a fall in the magnetic field strength of the sun will result in an attenuation of the lateral flare current heating effect.
        2) During a magnetic reversal of the Earth’s field the induced currents in the oceans will approach zero so the loss will be almost complete. Wow! This might initiate a glaciation i.e. be the trigger.

        While I am unable to quantify (measure) this effect which does exist it could potentially explain just about everything.

        Anybody got a yacht and a few hundred metres of ocean depth nearby? It would be a simple matter to measure the flare induced voltage between the surface and an electrode at depth. The calculation of the heating effect is then very straightforward.

  8. re apples and oranges, while the telescope changes have an effect, the main issue is the counting method used today. Since 1945 a weighting system was added to spots where 1 spot can equal 5 if its big enough, this ampted up the count by at least 20% using the pre july1 2015 SIDC values.

    The new SILSO method discounts off around 12% so still does not quite do the job when comparing. The Layman’s Sunspot Count is probably closer when comparing today’s values with those counted before 1945

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