What happened to the sunspots?

Posted: July 14, 2015 by oldbrew in Solar physics

Giant sunspot group AR1944 in January 2014. [Credit: NASA/SDO]

Giant sunspot group AR1944 in January 2014. [Credit: NASA/SDO]

Communities Digital News explains:

On June 30, 2015 the globally recognized maximum for the current 11-year sunspot cycle was 81.9. On July 1, 2015 that number suddenly leaped all the way up to 116.4!

Stranger still, the current cycle (Cycle 24) fell from being the 7th weakest sunspot maximum since 1749 to being the 4th weakest sunspot maximum. Cycle 24’s sunspot number jumped by 30 percent, yet its ranking dropped by three places. How can that be?

After a 4-year study, solar astronomers modernized the entire 405-year sunspot history for the first time since its creation in 1849. Now, count tallies more closely match the actual tallies of today’s observers using modern technology.

Full report with graphs: What happened to the sunspots? | Communities Digital News.

Author Steve Davidson concludes:
Should solar history repeat itself, and indicators are that it will, there likely will be an extended period of low solar activity over the next 11-year cycle and beyond.

The good news is that with the slowdown in earth’s temperature rise and prospects for decades-long cooling to come, it’s unlikely the dreaded 2°C threshold will be exceeded any time soon, even with human greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase.

The best news of all is that it means hasty, and expensive, decisions to curb CO2 emissions don’t have to be made immediately to meet an arbitrarily scheduled deadline of December 2015 for the Paris climate summit. Radical climate change solutions appear unnecessary at this time.

  1. Please don’t tell me NOAA had any involvement at all !!

    After all their up-justments … I really couldn’t stomach another series of posts on real climate about the fabricated sun spot record and how it is constantly being down-justed.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Dr Leif Svalgaard (WUWT’s resident solar expert) was heavily involved in the change.

  3. markstoval says:

    “The good news is that with the slowdown in earth’s temperature rise and prospects for decades-long cooling to come, it’s unlikely the dreaded 2°C threshold will be exceeded any time soon, even with human greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase.”

    I would like to point out that CO2 does not warm the planet in the first place. Someday this delusion will be over. I hope to live to see the end of the worship of the magic molecule CO2, but I don’t think it possible.

  4. Paul Vaughan says:

    oldbrew (July 14, 2015 at 10:53 am) wrote:
    “Dr Leif Svalgaard (WUWT’s resident solar expert) was heavily involved in the change.”

    …and what could possibly arouse more cynicism & suspicion? Nothing.
    Devil’s in the detail.

  5. “On June 30, 2015 the globally recognized maximum for the current 11-year sunspot cycle was 81.9. On July 1, 2015 that number suddenly leaped all the way up to 116.4!”

    but “Now, count tallies more closely match the actual tallies of today’s observers using modern technology.”

    Which raises the awkward question, wasn’t the June 30, 2015 number the result of modern technology? Why does the adjustment change the latest number, instead of, say, medieval numbers?

    Laugh or cry. Laugh or cry. To be or not to be…competent…that is the question. Who is one to believe anymore?

  6. markstoval says:

    “Who is one to believe anymore?”

    Definitely not any scientist or group funded or controlled in any way by government.

  7. Paul Vaughan says:

    Since being directed to the adjusted sunspot numbers yesterday I’ve run more analyses & diagnostics and determined that they do not compromise detection of (a) World War (WW) I northern hemisphere (NH) sea surface temperature (SST) bidecadal oscillation (BDO) shut-off & (b) NH SST BDO restart-completion by WWII.

    Preliminary: NH r^2 can exceed 94%. This story is just getting started.

  8. dscott says:

    Curious, how does the revision affect the documented relationship with the AMO, PDO and AO? and relationships with rain fall, snow fall, crop yield, etc…? Does the correlation between them change to make them stronger or weaker?

    [reply] ‘stronger or weaker’ than what?

  9. dscott says:

    [reply] ‘stronger or weaker’ than what?

    Many natural events are influenced indirectly by sunspots. Is the change in sunspot counting affecting the r^2 curve fit between any of the mentioned natural events like the AMO? Does the change now result in a higher r^2 fit, i.e. more/stronger correlated.

  10. oldbrew says:

    dscott: you may have to do your own analysis on those questions, or wait for someone else to do one.

  11. dscott says:

    A partial answer to my question:

    The video asserts that the new adjusted numbers are significantly higher than what would be previously reported. Start at 8 min mark, E.g. 40 to 50 (old count method) = 75 (new composite count method)

    The chart that is shown seems to replicate the hide the decline trick used by AGWers with temperatures.

  12. Paul Vaughan says:

    dscott, as I mentioned here, there’s almost no effect.

    The concise truth about where we are today:

    That’s based on data I gathered on June 30, 2015 knowing that adjustments were due the next day. I haven’t yet bothered showing before-&-after comparisons because the changes are barely perceptible.

    The guy leading the changes is not credible. He misleads lamely submissive brain-dead masses with diagnostic-failing narratives based on false assumptions while aggressively denying black-&-white proofs based on laws. One possibility I take seriously is that he’s a key agent dutifully performing shamelessly underhanded tactics in a mission designated no-fail. The game plan for sunspot number adjustments is a long-term strategy. They’ve restrained themselves to keeping round 1 subtle while setting precedent for ongoing change with centralized narrative control. These people are dark, shady, & sketchy and they’re prepared to do whatever’s necessary.

  13. Paul Vaughan says:

    dscott, where I mention r^2 = 94% above, that’s actually global, not just NH. The accounted variance jumps close to 9% (from 85%) with recognition that ENSO & BDO share a spatial mode. The lukewarmists will never acknowledge this. They cannot. They have a no-fail mission and they’ll do whatever’s necessary. It’s comically, tragically, & ridiculously naive to expect they’re going to acknowledge the sun-climate DNA (structured volatility of equator-pole & interhemispheric heat engines) that leaked graphically in 1997. Keep in mind that a substantial portion of the residual 6% is sampling bias, including during World War II. I’ll be sharing more information near the end of northern summer.

  14. oldbrew says:


    ‘Abstract. The sunspot number (SSN) is the primary time series in solar and solarterrestrial
    physics. Currently there are two widely-used sunspot numbers, the International
    SSN and the Group SSN, which differ significantly before ∼1885. Thus the SSN is
    potentially a free-parameter in models of climate change or solar dynamo behavior. To
    reconcile the International and Group SSNs, we have organized a series of workshops.’ [etc.]


  15. dscott my reply

    This situation with the sun is three fold .

    The first part of the equation is what will be the degree of magnitude change in the various solar parameters and how long will that duration be.

    The second part of the equation is how sensitive will the climate of the earth be to changing solar parameters.

    The third part of the equation is are there thresholds that could be reached in the climate system due to changing solar parameters.

    Climatic thresholds are out there and what has to be appreciated is, if a climatic item or items change enough they could bring the climate to a threshold which will give a completely different climatic outcome from a minor further change in the item causing the climatic forcing to begin with.


    Take an item exerting a force which is able to bring the temperature of a pool of water from 40f to 33f ,nothing dramatic happens. However if the item exerting the force increases so that it can cool the pool of water a further 2f a threshold is reached you have ICE, and a completely different outcome.

    This is why when the climate changes to another regime it is in step fashion ,rather then in a slow gradual transition fashion.

    This is also why it is next to impossible to predict an eventual climatic outcome, small changes can result in a big difference when thresholds start to be neared, and are crossed.

    What are the thresholds is the question? I do not know what they are, but I know they are out there.

  16. Paul Vaughan says:

    Sun-Climate 101
    Solar Cycle Length (SCL) & Sea Ice
    (Fram Strait ice export & Western Nordic Seas winter sea ice extent)

    Miles, M.W.; Divine, D.V.; Furevik, T.; Jansen, E.; Moros, M.; & Ogilvie, A.E.J. (2014). A signal of persistent Atlantic multidecadal variability in Arctic sea ice. Geophysical Research Letters 41, 463-469.

    SCD (solar cycle deceleration) is orthogonal to the multidecadal component of SCL …so that’s just a reminder to naive mainstreamers that you have to think in complex numbers to get unstuck from the limitations imposed by your philosophical shortcomings. Land ice, sea ice, & a collection of other key variables are synchronized …but with different phase.

  17. Paul Vaughan says:

    …exploratory Tip:
    Compare the temporal distribution of western Nordic sea ice extent bidecadal residual sensitivity (remember we’re talking about threshold-hyped ice-variance) with the bidecadal components of SST (sea surface temperature) either side of the climatological thermal equator….

    Sapere aude.

  18. Paul Vaughan says:

    Sun-Climate Hate Crimes (trial forthcoming in a few decades…?)

    The geometrically-impossible spatial uniformity assumption implicitly [& hatefully] built into the mainstream sun-climate narrative is the work of The Devil.

    What I want to say (in an icy tone with placid clarity) — and I hope TB will tolerantly accommodate the potential to trigger sober reflection:

    F*** you satanic agents (in lukewarm disguise) for trying to play this juvenile spatial bluff.

    Those doing nothing to stop them from playing the adolescent spatial ruse are complicit in the crime.

  19. Paul Vaughan says:

    This depicts the negative second-order differential attractor of SCL:

  20. oldbrew says:

    The old and new sunspot numbers are both available here (old version = cycles 1-20 only).

  21. ren says:

    Ubiquity of Kelvin–Helmholtz waves at Earth’s magnetopause.
    Magnetic reconnection is believed to be the dominant process by which solar wind plasma enters the magnetosphere. However, for periods of northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) reconnection is less likely at the dayside magnetopause, and Kelvin–Helmholtz waves (KHWs) may be important agents for plasma entry and for the excitation of ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves. The relative importance of KHWs is controversial because no statistical data on their occurrence frequency exist. Here we survey 7 years of in situ data from the NASA THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macro scale Interactions during Substorms) mission and find that KHWs occur at the magnetopause ~19% of the time. The rate increases with solar wind speed, Alfven Mach number and number density, but is mostly independent of IMF magnitude. KHWs may thus be more important for plasma transport across the magnetopause than previously thought, and frequently drive magnetospheric ULF waves.