Sunspot count now lower than during the Dalton Minimum


According to NASA, the sunspot cycle we are now passing through – Sunspot Cycle 24 – is the smallest such cycle since Cycle 14, which ended back in 1906.

That is incorrect, says reader J. H. Walker.

“The problem with NASA’s sunspot count is that these are inflated by every blemish and spot fragment due to the optics they use,” says Walker.

sc5_sc24_Laymans Count Comparison

If you use the Landscheidt sunspot-counting method, which counts only those spots that can be seen by 40MM optics, you realize that the current count is less than Solar Cycle 5. That solar cycle began in May 1798 and ended in December 1810.

It also corresponded with the Dalton Minimum.

The Dalton Minimum, a period of low solar activity named after English meteorologist John Dalton, lasted from about 1790 to 1830, says Wikipedia.

Like the Maunder Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Dalton Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. The Oberlach Station in Germany, for example, experienced a 2.0°c decline over 20 years.

The “year without a summer” also occurred during the Dalton Minimum.

“The NASA counting method bears no relationship to the methods used in previous Solar Minimums, says Walker. “Hence the comparison with 1906 SC14 rather than SC5 1798.”

20 thoughts on “Sunspot count now lower than during the Dalton Minimum”

  1. Thanks, J. H. Walker for your analysis. When NASA starts comparing apples with apples, we should all become impressed. We should start feeling the effects soon, if not already.

  2. I’m pretty sure with NASA’s high tech, they’re counting many more sunspots than Dalton would have been able to. And It is a good thing to use the same tech and criteria Dalton had used as a comparison.

    Looks like it’s going to get coooooold for a few decades.

  3. I have to agree with colder than the last 8 yrs where Iive ;-(
    and so far what rains fallen isnt much for the time length and has ceased 3 weeks back,
    crops north of me have been declared failed and stock let in to browse
    so cold the grass isnt growing much and now its not raining it wont do much more.

  4. Better technology fudges the numbers upward. …the same techniques used to count when records began should be used now….that way there is no misinterpretation of data…definitely agree with Mr.Walker

  5. For anyone who wants to see how wrong NASA can be with their predictions we have this from December 2006:

    Dec. 21, 2006: Evidence is mounting: the next solar cycle is going to be a big one.
    Solar cycle 24, due to peak in 2010 or 2011 “looks like its going to be one of the most intense cycles since record-keeping began almost 400 years ago,” says solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center. He and colleague Robert Wilson presented this conclusion last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

    • thanks for your truth, you are going easy on nasa of course, they were birthed in a super massive lie, and are funded just to support more lies.

  6. I am wondering how vegetation will react to less solar radiation, will plants show signs of change before the rest of nature does. I ask because I have had a variegated Ivy plant that sat in a window receiving a good amount of indirect sunlight. For the past 3 Summers the plant side that faced the window had hints of red in the leaves, otherwise the plant was healthy. In other words in the hottest part of Summer it looked like Fall was approaching. The plant had been in the same spot for 10 yrs, without showing Fall-like leaves. In addition, this year my Nectarine tree blossomed for 4 days, usually it is 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. Simultaneously, I noted that my neighbor’s Rhododendron blooming for the same length of time -3 days rather than the normal couple of weeks.

    • I’ve noticed similar things in the garden over the past few years. More foliage, and less flowers and produce, especially evident with warmth loving crops like squash and tomato . OTOH cold loving crops, like peas lettuce and chard do much better.

      Trees so far seem to be enjoying the increased CO2 by putting on more growth despite leafing out a month later this year. Most fruit trees are not producing though. My black elderberries fruited so late that the birds that usually eat all the berries in a day or two, just as they start to ripen, moved on before they ripened, so there is still some fruit a month later.

      • The past 2 years have been alarming as far as what my garden does. Normally I plant in containers but I usually get a fair crop of things like tomatoes, zuchinnis, summer squash, cucumbers, peas, lettuce, eggplant and peppers. This year the only thing that produced was a few small cherry tomatoes, a bit of lettuce, and a few peppers (mostly the hot ones). 1 eggplant that dried up. NO zuchinni or squash or cucumbers what so ever!

        Which reminds me that the history in this area was highly impacted by the “starving years”… what the Native Americans called the period of 4-5 years that preceded the arrival of the Europeans in Jamestown (just across the river from me) …

    • These comments are so interesting. I’m generally very skeptical of AGW, but have always wondered about the Catalpa trees in my area. When I was in high school in the 70s, they used to bloom the 3rd week in June, usually right on my birthday. Now, the same tree at my childhood home generally blooms the 1st week in June. A recent exception was the summer after the super cold winter of 2013-14, when it bloomed again on my birthday. But this summer it again bloomed quite early.

  7. With all the disinformation that keeps flying around it’s getting really hard to know what is real anymore.
    The AGW eggheads use data from government sources (NASA, NOAA, National Weather Service, etc) that we all suspect has been fudged and altered to fit their agenda.
    The opposing side uses data to support their view of colder weather coming and they use data from the SAME government agencies to back up their viewpoint.
    Since the government’s only job has been lying and cheating we should find data from agencies outside of the corrupt system to use to back up our position.
    It might be possible that all data that is released is nothing but a bunch of BS to keep the sheeple fighting amongst themselves while the 1% again run away with all the money.
    Unless we start looking at things differently then us as a species are doomed to continue down this dysfunctional path and history will again repeat itself.

    We should not teach kids how to read, but instead teach kids to question what they are reading.
    – George Carlin

  8. At the site the second graph is also worthy of honourable mention.

    This shows just how active solar cycle 19 from 1954 to 1964 was.

    “Of the 20 solar cycles since 1755, the maximums in sunspot numbers for cycles 18, 19, and 20 rank as 3, 1, and 10, respectively. Cycle 18, with a maximum smoothed monthly sunspot number of 151.8, was the cycle of ‘giant’ spots. Cycle 19, with the highest recorded maximum, 201.3, included many large spots but failed to produce spots with areas equal to those of cycle 18.”

    And climate scientists wonder why global warming occurred during the latter decades of the 20 th century.

    If these active cycles delivered more energy to the Earth much would have been “soaked up” by the oceans delaying atmospheric warming noticeably.

    It takes a long time to heat up something as large as Earth and especially the oceans givens water’s heat capacity.

    I would expect warming some decades after the end of such active solar cycles with a cessation later when the external forcing plateaued and cooling if subsequent cycles were significantly less active.

    This coincides with what an increasing number of solar physicists are predicting.

    It also seems to coincide with history – global warming alarmism began in the mid to late ’80s – 10 years after the sequence of 3 of the most active solar cycles ever recorded – and as we know global warming itself “paused” around the end of the 20th century and has not been statistically relevant since !

    Perhaps this is why the alarmists are becoming more desperate to foist their dictatorial climate rules on us – a return to cooler climate for the near future will be the end of global warming alarm !

    We will see.

  9. 1798 – 1830 No Cars, No Electricity, No Telephones, No Internet, at the flick of a switch.
    I’m inclined to think that the telescopes used at the time were rather simple compared to today’s technology.
    Most people were living on farms and growing their own food, often keeping sheep for wool, a cow or goat for milk, and meat, which they then processed into cloth, meat to make clothes, or eat. Any disaster to crops, or animals and you starved. Take a look at the Irish Famines, and hundreds of thousands who died during that time.

  10. Ahh Yes. The year without a Summer is somewhere in and along this trajectory. A little more volcanism and presto! Ice Road Truckers, The Great Lakes Edition. LOL. Has anyone else noticed that the “Chemtrail” activity is dying down? I haven’t seen many recently. A leading indicator perhaps?

  11. Yes, it does appear that solar activity is lower than at this point in the Dalton. Temps are still a bit higher though due to the residual ocean heat of the late 20th century. That is heat is fading, despite support from increased volcanic activity.

    If solar activity stays on this track (i cannot predict it) then likely we get (at least) a Maunder type minimum with temps between historic Dalton and Maunder temps.

  12. So if the Sunspot count is actually lower, then the information I have been reading on the website about Sunspots all these years is incorrect ? I always wondered why that website lists the years 2012 and 2013 as having zero “Spotless Days” when there were actually many Sun Spots those years ?………….I’m confused.

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