Planetary A-Index) are higher than any time since late '07.
this is the weakest solar cycle in 100 years, which means no living solar scientist has seen a cycle this weak, and our records of what the sun was doing back then are more sparse than what's available now. Since no living scientist has seen a cycle this weak, expect all predictions to be even less accurate than usual.
That said, an interesting prediction follows. The next cycle, 25, has been the subject of predictions of very low activity since before this one started. I've read predictions of an SSN of 67 for cycle 25 (compared to 82 for this peak). At the recently completed meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society, Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University presented results for a new model of the Sun’s interior dynamo at the meeting that points to lower numbers than that.
Our Sun has an approximately 11-year activity cycle. During peak periods, it exhibits lots of solar flares and sunspots. Magnetic bubbles of charged particles (coronal mass ejections) may burst from the surface during this period, streaming material into space. These ejections can affect satellites and powerlines on Earth. During lull periods, such activity may almost stop altogether. But the 11-year cycle isn’t quite able to predict all of the Sun’s behaviour — which can seem erratic at times. Zharkova and her colleagues (Professor Simon Shepherd of Bradford University, Dr Helen Popova of Lomonosov Moscow State University, and Dr Sergei Zarkhov of Hull University) have found a way to account for the discrepancies: a ‘double dynamo’ system.I'm wary of predictions for another Maunder minimum, on general principles. It was severe and we simply don't have detailed data records of what the preceding cycles were like. Nothing like the solar instrumentation we had 50 years ago, let alone now. That tells me the prediction can't be based on very solid data from repeatable instruments. Still, even a prolonged minimum that isn't that severe seems like it could be really bad. It seems any deep sunspot minima correlates with colder temperatures. Despite what the alarmists say about Global Warmening (or whatever they call it this week), mankind has done better in warm periods than in the cold periods in our history (huge pdf alert - but fascinating reading).
The Sun, like all stars, is a large nuclear fusion reactor that generates powerful magnetic fields, similar to a dynamo. The model developed by Zharkova’s team suggests there are two dynamos at work in the Sun; one close to the surface and one deep within the convection zone. They found this dual dynamo system could explain aspects of the solar cycle with much greater accuracy than before — possibly leading to enhanced predictions of future solar behaviour. “We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs; originating in two different layers in the Sun’s interior. They both have a frequency of approximately 11 years, although this frequency is slightly different [for both] and they are offset in time,” says Zharkova. The two magnetic waves either reinforce one another to produce high activity or cancel out to create lull periods.
... Their predictions using the model suggest an interesting longer-term trend beyond the 11-year cycle. It shows that solar activity will fall by 60 percent during the 2030s, to conditions last seen during the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715. “Over the cycle, the waves fluctuate between the Sun’s northern and southern hemispheres. Combining both waves together and comparing to real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97 percent,” says Zharkova.
The model predicts that the magnetic wave pairs will become increasingly offset during Cycle 25, which peaks in 2022. Then during Cycle 26, which covers the decade from 2030-2040, the two waves will become exactly out of synch, cancelling one another out. This will cause a significant reduction in solar activity. “In cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other, peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a ‘Maunder minimum’,” says Zharkova.
A potential cold period coming is doubly important with the release of some data this week which shows that when the data adjustments made to the US climate database are removed, it can be seen the US has already been in a mild, century-long cooling trend. The "global warming" disappears.
George Soros' well-funded groups.
My interest in solar activity grew out of the shortwave radio listening hobby I started when I was about 13 years old. That was in the cycle right after the strongest one on record, the peak from the late 50s. Solar activity acts to increase the density of the ionosphere, which raises the frequency at which radio waves are bent back to Earth. Following the highest frequency that will propagate between two points, the Maximum Usable Frequency or MUF, is generally the way to hear (or talk with) the farthest points with the lowest loss of signal. If you're a radio listener or ham it gives you the best shot at those far points. It's only in the last 20 years or so has it seemed that the solar cycle might affect things like our food supply, and life in general.