Solar Cycle 25 Blog

Posted by Co2sceptic on Apr 13th 2012

Frank Hill: Future sunspot drop, but no new ice age.

Frank Hill is an astronomer at the U.S. National Solar Observatory. Last summer (June, 2011) Hill and colleagues announced their conclusions that sunspot activity might be headed for a dramatic drop in activity, beginning around the year 2019. The sun normally follows a cycle of activity lasting about 11 years. The current cycle, Cycle 24, is now heading towards its peak. Frank Hill and colleagues are looking toward the next cycle — Cycle 25. Based on data showing decades-long trends, they are suggesting its peak might be delayed or that it might not have a typical peak in activity at all. Hill spoke more about the recent sunspot study with EarthSky’s Jorge Salazar.

Frank Hill told EarthSky that — while his team did suggest a drop in solar activity beginning around 2019 — they did not suggest Earth would cool as a result.

Are you familiar with media reports that have gotten this story wrong?

Yes, actually. It seems to me that a lot of reports have come out and said that we have predicted a new ice age. That is making the leap from low sunspot activity to cooling. We did not predict a little ice age.

Posted by Co2sceptic on Mar 23rd 2012

ScienceCasts: The Surprising Power of a Solar Storm

Uploaded by ScienceAtNASA on Mar 22, 2012

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A flurry of solar activity in early March dumped enough heat in Earth's upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years. The heat has since dissipated, but there's more to come as the solar cycle intensifies.


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Posted by Co2sceptic on Mar 17th 2012

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Figure 1: Heliospheric Current Sheet Tilt Angle 1976 – 2012

The heliospheric current sheet tilt angle is currently at 67°. Solar maximum occurs when it reaches 74° – so a little bit further to go.

Posted by Co2sceptic on Mar 17th 2012

Before proceeding, credit where credit is due. The concept of a relationship between the sun and ENSO events isn’t new. It’s been discussed at least twice on this blog (here and here) and in detail by Theodor Landscheidt (here).The connection between ENSO events and warming isn’t new either. Three years ago Bob Tisdale (here) showed how ENSO events caused periodic upward shifts in the SST record that explained all of the recent global warming. Also not new, thanks to our host, is the theory that the oceans periodically release stored heat to the air (here). So a h/t to these gentlemen and to any others I may have omitted.

What follows is my attempt to condense these hypotheses into a narrative that uses observational data to illustrate how the solar cycle, ENSO events and the release of stored ocean heat, and not man-made greenhouse gases, combined to cause the recent global warming, which began, incidentally, in 1976.

ENSO Events and Solar Cycles

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Figure 1 plots the Niño3.4 Index since 1960 (the Bivariate ENSO, Multivariate ENSO and Oceanic Niño Indices give essentially the same results). I’ve used the commonly-accepted +/-0.5C threshold to define individual Niño and Niña events and the zero crossover to define Niños and Niñas that transition directly into each other, and the duration of each event is shown by the red and blue vertical stripes.

Figure 1: ENSO Events Defined by Niño3.4 Index (Niños red, Niñas blue)