Prediction panel Feb 2013 Solar cycle 24 forecast update

Posted: February 2, 2013 by tchannon in Astrophysics, Cycles, Forecasting, Natural Variation, Solar physics, Uncertainty


Solar Cycle Prediction

(Updated 2013/02/01)


“The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 69 in the Fall of 2013. The smoothed sunspot number has already reached 67 (in February 2012)due to the strong peak in late 2011 so the official maximum will be at least this high and this late. We are currently over four years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.” —

Posted by Tim Channon

  1. Geoff Sharp says:

    You would think Hathaway/NASA? would be up with the sunspot counting methods. I do not believe you can compare SC14 with SC24 as the counting methods vary by at least 20% due to the Waldmeier factor introduced in 1945.

    Take 20% (min) off SC24 and this cycle is still well below SC14. The unsmoothed numbers tell the complete story. Those predicting SC24 to be like SC14 need to take 20% off their predictions. I am almost certain that Svalgaard was not aware of the Waldmeier factor when he made his prediction in 2004?

  2. tallbloke says:

    A far cry from their prediction four years ago for ‘one of the highest cycles ever’ at around 160ssn.


    I am sorry ..
    but ..
    It’s not perfect scientific work
    This method of predicting many problems.
    It’s a lotto.

  4. oldbrew says:

    ‘the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14′

    Cycle 25 could be even smaller – a lot smaller.


    Dr Mathew Owens say :

    “It shows sunspots are a symptom not a cause for the solar cycle.”

  6. Doug Proctor says:

    Between 1896 and 1906 global temperatures dropped about 0.4C, then rose. The sunspot numbers seem to show that temperature drops with sunspot numbers. So Cycle 24 should have started temperature dropping several years ago, which it hasn’t, unless the “adjustments” are off.. If Cycle 6 is the pattern, I wonder if we are already at the low.

    Me, I’m plumping for a 0.2 – 0.4C drop in the next 10 years, betting on continued low sunspot numbers.

    I dunno: what do you guys think the low sunspot number should indicate for temperatures based on to-date work?

  7. vukcevic says:

    From WUWT:
    vukcevic says: Despite assurances by Dr. Svalgaard this cycle (SC24) looks more like one of two centuries ago (peak around 1817), than one ‘a century ago’ with peak at 1918.
    Svalgaard: Perhaps you should try to throttle back verbiage about things you don’t have a grip on.
    vukcevic : SC 5, 14 and 24 compared SIDC data with no correction
    Svalgaard: SC5 data was botched by Wolfer’s dubious ‘adjustment’ of the SSN in 1902. SIDC still reports those [wrong] numbers. There is general agreement in the SSN ‘community’ that correction of the SIDC numbers must be made, so if you plot without correction you are behind the curve.
    vukcevic: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
    Svalgaard: So is, apparently, garbage.

    With a bit of alchemy good doc of Stanford transmutes the Wolfer’s garbage into a ‘golden gate’ data bridge of the solar science.
    Good for a laugh.

  8. Craig M says:

    Doug I noted a drop in CET for winter+summer since sc24 with autumn+spring showing little change as of early 2012 when I last updated the file. Overall there was a drop matching the increase in SC24 but it was just raw hadset seasonal figures with no filters etc added. Data period far too short to draw conclusions but I wonder if any areas/regions would show hints?

  9. Eric Barnes says:

    vukcevic says:
    February 2, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Good to see that Svalgaard is still as objective as he’s ever been. :)

  10. Geoff Sharp says:

    Wolfer’s real data for SC5 (sunspot records) over rode a portion of Wolf’s data which was a combination of sunspot and perhaps dodgy geomagnetic data. Svalgaard is suggesting Wolfer created the Dalton Minimum. All of Wolf’s reconstruction before 1840 needs to be looked at with the possibility of lowering the SIDC SSN before that time. You wont see Svalgaard suggesting this in his so called workshops.

  11. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Geoff, sorry your comments are dropping into the spam bin at the mo – wordpress glitch again.

  12. Gerry says:

    The NASA MSFC monthly averaged Zurich sunspot number plot indicates that many of the months in the first half of SC5 were missing 1-10 days of observation and many months in the last half of SC5 were missing more than 20 days of observation:

    I personally find Solen’s comparison of smoothed low-amplitude cycles 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 24 to be very informative:

    Like it or not, the prominent smoothed Feb, 2012 peak of SC24 now appears very likely to end up being the official maximum for this cycle, assuming that the L&P Effect will cause a comparative reduction in the amplitude of subsequent peaks. Note also that northern hemisphere max definitively occurred in late 2011 and a southern hemisphere smoothed peak occurred in early 2012:

    -Gerry Pease

  13. Zeke says:

    “There is general agreement in the SSN ‘community’ that correction of the SIDC numbers must be made, so if you plot without correction you are behind the curve.” vuk quotes Dr S

    Here we remove the distinction between science, and the institutions and practitioners of science.

    With this in place, we can determine that since most scientists prefer blue coffee cups, that is the scientific color for coffee cups. Now we can determine scientific reliability simply by looking the institutions who publish the hypothesis.

  14. J Martin says:

    Geoff Sharp said “Svalgaard is suggesting Wolfer created the Dalton Minimum.”

    Well I guess the Thames didn’t freeze then. All those history books must be wrong then.

  15. Geoff Sharp says:

    Svalgaard has a real problem here. Before 1840 the official SIDC record is a reconstruction of sunspot records and geomagnetic records. Wolf’s values for SC5 were higher than the current official SIDC value as he used the geomagnetic record. The geomagnetic record has more inconsistencies than the sunspot record in my opinion and may not be a valid proxy for sunspots. Later in 1902 Wolf’s assistant Wolfer who is now in charge finds actual sunspot records that Wolf did not have access to and “corrects” the SC5 record.

    This begs the question, if Wolf’s method was wrong for SC5 then there is doubt over all the records before 1840, they could all be too high. This goes against Svalgaards agenda which is to iron the sunspot record flat. I asked him if the pre 1840 values would be looked at during the sunspot workshops (agenda driven) and the answer was a flat no.

  16. tchannon says:

    Sorry Geoff, you were stuck in spam.

    Bit of a mess by the sounds of it, pretty normal with any long record. F10.7 is fiddled with too.