NASA struggling to play catchup with stunning facts of a very quiet sun, which is of course bad news for the IPCC

NASA’s Spaceweather.com has a small article on March 22 200 [thanks to Bob Foster for the heads-up]

DEEP SOLAR MINIMUM: Where have all the sunspots gone? As of yesterday, March 21st, the sun has been blank on 85% of the days of 2009. If this rate of spotlessness continues through the end of the year, 2009 will match 1913 as the blankest year of the past century. A flurry of new-cycle sunspots in Oct. 2008 prompted some observers to declare that solar minimum was ending, but since then the calm has returned. We are still in the pits of a deep solar minimum.

Also, Spotless Sun: Blankest Year of the Space Age 09.30.2008

Solar Cycle Prediction By Dr David Hathaway (Updated 2009/03/04) Still talks about the minimum being in August 2008 ?? Although the text file seems to indicate November 2008.

Well informed statistical view of Timo Niroma

Dr Janssens solar expert from Belgium

My solar pages, first comment on divergent predictions for cycle 23/24 was December 2006

27 thoughts on “NASA struggling to play catchup with stunning facts of a very quiet sun, which is of course bad news for the IPCC”

  1. hoski makes a good point, Warwick. If solar activity does continue at these very low levels while global temperatures stick around at current levels (or even rise) the IPCC position will be strengthened significantly. Those who are relying on a solar driven temperature decline to disprove the AGW case have backed themselves into a corner.

  2. Regarding the comment

    ” If this rate of spotlessness continues through the end of the year, 2009 will match 1913 as the blankest year of the past century. “

    1913 was just about the time the strong period of early 20th century warming began.

  3. It is sleep time downunder so I will have a chip-in. It is not about cooling right now. It is about a cooler cycle 24 peak when that arrives say near 2012.
    If you follow the link to Timo Niroma’s page, scroll down a bit and in BIG print you see;
    ALERT: A PROBABLE NEW DALTON-LIKE MINIMUM
    Timo explains why the slow and long ending of cycle 23 tells him we may be entering a period similar to the early 19 century, “Dalton Minimum”
    Time will tell, no worries.
    Late last year David Archibald explained the possibility of cooling times in decades ahead.

  4. It is sleep time downunder so I will have a chip-in. It is not about cooling right now. It is about a cooler cycle 24 peak when that arrives say near 2012.

    Why? Let’s say (hypothetically, of course) that we never get a solar cycle 24 peak or that the peak occurs in 2014 or later. Surely any cooling will be underway before then. Remember this cycle (23) began in 1996 and was not a particularly strong cycle yet the highest temperatures on record (satellite and surface) have all occurred since the start of SC23. You mention the Dalton minimum, but the DM cooling began at least a decade before the weak DM solar cycles. Temperature records don’t show any evidence of strong cooling during the DM. In fact there was some warming in the early DM years. A number of records suggest the mid-19th century was actually cooler than the DM period.

    Can previous post be deleted – thanks.

  5. On Thursday 3/5/2009 NASA announced a new research project to study the fact “that the Sun has been extraordinarily quiet during this particular Solar Cycle minimum”. Read the PDF document referenced below and note the use of the word “COLD”. I am very surprised that the Obama Administration allowed this one to see the light of day. On the other hand, they may not understand its full implications but they will very soon.

    Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 24
    nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument/cmdocumentid=178281/B.9%20CCMSC.pdf

    ROSES 2009: Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 24
    www.grants.gov/search/search.do?mode=VIEW&flag2006=false&oppId=45910

    I don’t know how much longer this is going to continue but for now the media continues to ignore this new NASA project and the current condition of the Sun. If the Sun fails to resume normal behavior by the end of this year things could become very bad because our technology lacks the redundancy to take such a hit. We are still just inside the outer limit of what constitutes a normal solar cycle but not for too much longer.

    What has many of us concerned about is this rejected paper by Drs. Livingston & Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson AZ.

    Livingston and Penn paper: Sunspots may vanish by 2015
    wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/02/livingston-and-penn-paper-sunspots-may-vanish-by-2015/
    wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/livingston-penn_sunspots2.pdf

  6. John Finn

    Except that temperatures are not rising and have been flat or falling for most of the 21st Century.
    Hadley Global Temps

    Sea level rise has slowed or stopped since about 2006.

  7. If the sun activity continues low, quiet sun means colder weather, colder weather means shortened growing seasons, shortened growing seasons means less food. Our current factory farming techniques have everything skewed to yield per acre, dry and warm, not resistance to cold and wet.

    Not a pretty picture developing, and surly something that will make jousting with AGW alarmists look downright stupid to most folks. Maybe ya think this is why NASA has become so concerned they suddenll need to get in front of this quiet sun problem?

    Hey, I still remember the dumb ideas, like coating the poles with carbon black from old ground up tires dispersed with the then new 747s to stop the coming ice age — That Hansen was predicting in 1975.

  8. F 10.7 flux is flatlining and the Oulu neutron count remains in uptrend. It feels so good.

    Every day’s delay in the month of minimum means that the average temperature over Solar Cycle 24 will be 0.002 degrees cooler.

  9. Except that temperatures are not rising and have been flat or falling for most of the 21st Century.

    Maybe but that doesn’t mean they’re about to go into reverse – or that they’ve even stopped increasing. Temperatures in the the last couple of years have been dominated by ENSO which has helped fuel the ‘cooling’ nonsense. But there has been a stroonfg recovery since Jan 2008. Despite the slightly cooler 2008, the UAH satellite record shows that the warmest 5-year period was 2004-2008; the second warmest was 1999-2003; the third warmest was 1994-1998 … and so on. Don’t forget also that 2009 has begun well above average.

    Sea level rise has slowed or stopped since about 2006.

    Again ENSO could be a factor here but it’s far too short a period to form any conclusions. If Sea Level is the same in 2016 then it might be worth looking at.

  10. Every day’s delay in the month of minimum means that the average temperature over Solar Cycle 24 will be 0.002 degrees cooler.

    David

    How come Jan and Feb 2009 were about ~0.3 deg warmer than Jan and Feb 2008 respectively?

    Also

    How come most of the Dalton Minimum ‘cooling’ had already occurred before the weak DM cycles started?

  11. But there has been a strong recovery since Jan 2008.

    Still below the max and on a downward slope since about 2005 or so. No argument that the temperatures have gone up, but using the “top 5 or ten warmest years” argument is distorting things if you’re looking at the top of a sine wave. Of course they’ll be the warmest. It’s going down but the question is how much and how long.

    I think this is more related to PDO than just ENSO.

  12. I think this is more related to PDO than just ENSO.

    Ok – but what do we really know about the PDO? Is this ‘shift’ any different to what happened in 1998-2001. Oceans have a pretty big influence, I’ll grant you that, and a long term cool PDO phase would hold back the warming, but I don’t believe anyone can say if this will happen or not.

  13. You look at my graphs of solar cycle length versus temperature and there is not much scatter. We are now 3.4 years longer that Solar Cycle 22. There is no way that a significant cooling is not coming.

  14. I still don’t get it. If the sun cools down, it in no way invalidates AGW theory. AGW is based on CO2 as a forcing. If the sun were to make an appearance as a new forcing, it does not invalidate CO2 as a forcing.

  15. You look at my graphs of solar cycle length versus temperature and there is not much scatter. We are now 3.4 years longer that Solar Cycle 22. There is no way that a significant cooling is not coming.

    When?

    And one of the problems with the graphs is the assumption that temperature is dependent only on the solar cycle it is plotted against. You ignore the possible cumulative effects of a cluster of strong/weak cycles.

  16. Re John Finn, cooling began straight after the peak in the aa Index and proton flare activity in 2003. Now confirmed by Craig Loehle’s paper. Which gives me an idea. Let’s extrapolate that cooling trend for 25 years and see what happens.

    When you say “you ignore”, you are projecting something I have not said. We rational scientists are doing original work. You warmers just sit around whining.

    As I said at my book launch last Wednesday, if the warmers had not tried to foist their voodoo science on the rest of us, we would be sleepwalking into the rather disruptive cooling that is underway now. But I got involved and was able to predict a Dalton Minimum rerun (best outcome we could hope for now). We are just about due for a Bond event, and those things come around like clockwork.

  17. What are the chances that this staff will NOT discover ever increasing catastrophic effects of AGW and risk their rice bowl of $240,000 a year per head.

  18. Re John Finn, cooling began straight after the peak in the aa Index and proton flare activity in 2003. Now confirmed by Craig Loehle’s paper. Which gives me an idea. Let’s extrapolate that cooling trend for 25 years and see what happens.

    But, David, you have predicted a 2 deg decline in temperatures over the next “few years”. I’m sure it’s possible to find a cooling trend since 2003 (La Nina??) – just as it’s possible to find a very strong warming trend since Jan 2008, but neither of them mean very much and extrapolation over 25 years will likely lead to a highly dubious result.

    When you say “you ignore”, you are projecting something I have not said.

    It is implied in your ‘paper’.

    We rational scientists are doing original work. You warmers just sit around whining.

    I could point you to countless posts on Realclimate and Tamino’s blog which suggest I am anything but a “warmer”. Steve McIntyre (on CA) actually referred to an exchange between myself and Michael Mann to emphasise a point about tree ring proxies.

    As I said at my book launch last Wednesday….

    Hmmm – that might explain a lot.

  19. Hal-not very good. Rice is mighty tasty!

    bugs, AGW is more based on the model response to CO2 forcing, which is pretty iffy by comparison. If the sun gets quiet and temperatures go down, way down, the idea that CO2 forcing dominated 20th century warming boosted by positive feedbacks will be in serious trouble.

  20. “1913 was just about the time the strong period of early 20th century warming
    began”

    John you are incapable of demonstrating any evidence for hope that this is a 100
    year cycle. Wishful fantasy.

  21. “I could point you to countless posts on Realclimate and Tamino’s blog which
    suggest I am anything but a “warmer”. ”

    I could point to countless posts that only warmeners are allowed to post
    at these sites.

  22. They have not the integrity to tell you if they did.

    John Finn. I do not know what you are arguing for. The “science” is settled, remember.?
    Humanity is ugly and needs thinning out. that way the rich white elite of european descent can enjoy the remaining resources.
    ((but neither of them mean very much and extrapolation over 25 years will likely lead to a highly dubious result)) Ah. but if the Mannian models are accurate over 90 years and worth basing massive social & industrial change on then surely 25 will be exact??

    With record cold snaps and snow in the NH how can the temp be rising??

    regards

  23. With record cold snaps and snow in the NH how can the temp be rising??

    There will always be cold snaps and there will always be snow. The NH throughout the past winter has still been warmer than 30-year average winters. See( UAH, RSS…etc). What’s more the recent La Nina phase is fading and the slight drop in temperatures that it produced will almost certainly be over by the end of the year and possibly much sooner.

  24. Low sunspot activity would certainly be a worrying time for the many newly created government Global Warming (climate change) departments. Temperature anomalies have begun to flatten out over the last ten years. An increase in cloud cover over the last two years is also evident.

    It may prove the deniers wrong, if we continue an upward trend in temperature anomalies, in conjunction with low solar activity. Not much to lose here, except maybe a bit of ego.

    On the other hand there is much to lose for the global warming parties, if the earth enters a cooling phase in conjunction with low or nil solar activity. Dare we mention the peace prize.

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