Massive Drop in Solar Activity this Solar Cycle

Posted on March 11, 2013 by

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A year ago I said that this solar cycle (Solar Cycle 24) would be the weakest in 100 years.  It seems even I under predicted out big of a drop it would be.  Now it now appears to be one of the weakest solar cycle in almost 200 years.  So far NASA has not yet revised the predicted # of sunspots.  But look at that graph right now it’s clearly FAR below expectations (red line is “current expectations” which has been revised lower several times), NASA is currently predicting a solar cycle at about 70% as active as our last solar cycle, but even that was not low enough.

pic1The most interesting thing is when you compare our recent solar cycles to ones around the 1800’s during the “Dalton Minimum” pic2

Every major period of solar minimums has coincided with a “lower then average” global temperature.  Including the Maunder Minimum and Spörer Minimum, and the Dalton Minimum.  During the Dalton Minimum there was a drop in temperature of about 1°C.  One extreme example of this was “The year Without a Summer” in 1816 (also caused in part by volcanic Mount Tambora eruption) was in the middle of the Dalton minimum, in which New York’s upper bay froze from Brooklyn to governors island, the total dead from starvation and other related issues was over 200,000 in just Europe alone.

This is very important because I believe one large missing piece of global climate predictions is the influence of the sun.  As most scientists know the direct solar visible radiation doesn’t change all that much (a little bit, but not a lot), as such that cannot cause very large climate changes.  But there are other effects that the sun’s activity causes, the important one is the solar wind.  This solar wind is highly charged and acts as a kind of shield which prevents galactic cosmic rays from getting to earth.  These galactic cosmic rays create charged particles in the air which lead to cloud formation increasing the Earth’s albedo.  When cosmic rays increase because the solar activity goes down, more clouds form and more light is reflected decreasing the temperature. pic3

Now this all might be just a temporary effect, but I wouldn’t bet on it.  Even NASA doesn’t think so, they say the next Solar Cycle 25 is “off the bottom of the charts”.  They are predicting a massive drop in solar activity based on 3 separate independent tests of different future predictors of solar activity that all show a massive drop in Solar Cycle 25 even lower then our current Solar Cycle 24.

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Posted in: International