Steinhilber & Beer: Prediction of solar activity for the next 500 years

Posted: April 18, 2013 by tallbloke in Cycles, Solar physics, solar system dynamics, Tides
Reblogged From The Hockeyschtick, with thanks to the KaltSonne blog and a H/T to Michele Casati:
A new paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Research shows solar activity peaked at the end of the 20th century, but predicts a strong decrease in solar activity until around 2100 AD to low levels similar to the Dalton Minimum.
Figure 4 from Steinhilber and Beer shows solar activity peaked at the end of the 20th century, but is predicted to decline to levels similar to the Dalton Minimum during the 21st century. The two different shades of gray correspond to two different models. The Dalton Minimum “D” and Maunder Minimum “M” are notated

Prediction of solar activity for the next 500 years
Friedhelm Steinhilber, Jürg Beer
Abstract: Recently a new low-noise record of solar activity has been reconstructed for the past 9.400 years by combining two 10 Be records from Greenland and Antarctica with 14 C from tree rings [F. Steinhilber et al., 2012]. This record confirms earlier results, namely that the Sun has varied with distinct periodicities in the past. We present a prediction of mean solar magnetic activity averaged over 22 years for the next 500 years mainly based on the spectral information derived from the record of the past solar activity. Assuming that the Sun will continue varying with the same periodicities for the next centuries we extract the spectral information from the past and apply it in two different methods to predict the future of solar magnetic activity. First, the two methods are tested by predicting past changes. Our methods are able to predict periods of high and low solar activity for a few centuries in the past. However, they are less successful in predicting the correct amplitude. Then, the methods were used to predict the period 2000-2500. Both methods predict a period of low activity around 2100 AD. Between 2100 AD and 2350 AD the results are inconsistent regarding the duration of the low activity state in 2100 AD and the level of activity until 2250 AD. Around 2250 AD both methods predict a period of moderate activity. After 2350 AD both methods point to a period of high activity. The period of high activity will end around 2400 AD and will be followed by a period of moderate activity.

Here we follow the approaches by [Abreu et al., 2010; Bonev et al., 2004]
and make use of the spectral information contained in the past solar activity to predict the future 500 years. The
low-noise record [ F. Steinhilber et al., 2012]  based on several radionuclide datasets (10Be from Greenland and Antarctica, and 14 C from tree rings) is used as record of solar activity. This record has less noise than the individual records used in previous predictions and therefore can be considered as an improvement of these former studies.
Finally we would like to note that the term “solar activity” is not well defined. While in the past
it was often considered as a synonym for sunspots we use it in this work as a measure of the
 general solar magnetic activity which includes both the closed magnetic field associated with
sunspots and the open magnetic field responsible for the modulation of the galactic cosmic rays
and therewith the production rate of cosmogenic radionuclides.
However, as shown by the graph below, the current solar cycle [SC 24, red] is already closely tracking the first solar cycle [SC 5, pink] of the Dalton Minimum, and both are quite weak in comparison to the average of solar cycles 1 through 23 [blue].
The accumulated sunspot anomaly has significantly declined during the current solar cycle:
Comments
  1. orkneylad says:

    Confirming many of our worst fears.

  2. Bart Leplae says:

    I linked the stagnation of the Solar Cycle with the acceleration/deceleration of the Sun (which closely resembles for SC5 and SC24) in : “Why does the current Sunspot Cycle stagnate?” http://gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Essays/View/4598

  3. tallbloke says:

    Bart, that was remiss of me. I should have given you a mention too.

  4. Stephen Richards says:

    No-one predicted the latest low SN (even at the point that the cysle began) and no-one can predict the future SN (sunspot numbers) and it is delusionary to think otherwise.

  5. Interesting paper.

    However, I believe that the methodology is not robust in general because may not work well with records that for numerous reasons are uncertain. The uncertainties are usually greatly amplified by FFT methods and similar.

    My own model of solar activity (which actually extends to 3000 AD) base on planetary harmonic appears more robust and far more precise in reconstructing the past.

    Scafetta N., 2012. Multi-scale harmonic model for solar and climate cyclical variation throughout the Holocene based on Jupiter-Saturn tidal frequencies plus the 11-year solar dynamo cycle. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80, 296-311.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682612000648

    commented here

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/nicola-scafetta-major-new-paper-on-solar-planetary-theory/

  6. tallbloke says:

    Stephen: On the contrary, I successfully predicted a cycle max of ~35-50SSN in 2008 on Steve McKintyre’s blog. On any reasonable estimate of SSN which is in line with traditional methods of counting, that has been proven correct. Some agencies counted tiny pores for political reasons.

    Here on the talkshop we have developed a few different methods of predicting the future evolution of solar activity levels, and none of them have been falsified yet.
    Here’s one of them:

  7. Brian H says:

    tallbloke;
    What? You’ve been making falsifiable predictions? How dare you? >;p

  8. pochas says:

    One can also project the future based on the centers of the past warm periods: Minoan(3300 BP), Roman(2100 BP), Medieval(900 BP), and noting the interval (1200 years). Adding the interval to the Medieval warm period gives -300 BP or 2300 AD. This late ’90’s “modern maximum” was just a temperature spike. We have cooling to go through before we again get to a warm era. I hope the food and energy producers are busy with preparations.

  9. Ulric Lyons says:

    The Eddy “Maximum 12″ was 2720-2610 BC, the best analogue at +4627yrs is ~1907-2017; the modern maximum. Eddy maximum 11 starts at 2370 BC, which translates to 2257 AD, implying a good warm period from then and through 2300 AD, but turning colder ~2350 AD.

    http://www.geo.arizona.edu/palynology/geos462/holobib.html

    This century there should be a 179yr repeat of the warming from 1910 onwards (2089 on), though what is happening around 2079/81 is rather different to to the analogue around 1900/02 and could well be less cold. The 2060’s, and 2015-2025 look the coldest stretches to me this century.

  10. Ned Nikolov says:

    Yep, the last decade will remain the warmest one in the 21st Century as we slide into a prolong cooling period from now on … The little minds of today’s science think that warming was bad. That’s because they have not seen the dark side of a global cooling with its mass crop failures, famine, starvation and wars.

  11. Stephen Richards says:

    tallbloke says:

    April 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Stephen: On the contrary, I successfully predicted a cycle max of ~35-50SSN in 2008 on Steve McKintyre’s blog. On any reasonable estimate of SSN which is in line with traditional methods of counting, that has been proven correct. Some agencies counted tiny pores for political reasons.

    Early days yet Roger. 35 to 50 missed by 34% and 52% respecpectively. Attendons!

  12. tallbloke says:

    Stephen R: You didn’t read what I wrote. or if you did, you ignored it, or didn’t understand it.

    Here’s a comparison of different sunspot counts for solar cycle 24

    My correct forecast was on the basis of the traditional method of sunspot counting used until the pore counting started to get the numbers up.

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