Not by Fire but by Ice

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Sunspot numbers to be far lower than predicted?

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19 May 09 - Last week I published NOAA's new prediction that Cycle 24 will be the weakest in nearly a century and that the average monthly sunspot number at maximum will be around 90. (See http://www.iceagenow.com/New_Cycle_24_Prediction.htm)

Reader Ron de Haan takes issue with those numbers. Some scientists predict that the number will be 60, not 90, says de Haan. Others believe it will be even lower.

Unfortunately, I fear that de Haan may be correct.

“The SC24 prediction is not a real prediction,” says de Haan, “but an obligatory assessment by solar scientists to provide an risk assessment for the insurance companies that are specialized in satellites.”

“The higher the sun spot numbers, the higher the risk and the time in space (more
drag),” de Haan continues. “The sunspot number was settled based on a consensus rather than a scientific assessment.”

“Leif Svalgaard, one of the solar scientists present when the decisions were taken believes the number of spots will be lower. Other scientists state that this solar minimum will continue beyond (sunspot number) 1015. Beyond (sunspot number) 1015 they expect there will be no sunspots at all.”

Solar maximum is now expected to occur in May, 2013. However, Svalgaard points out that “this is a consensus opinion, not a unanimous decision. A supermajority of the panel did agree to this prediction.”
(See http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/README3)

“The “90” was not agreed upon,” says Svalgaard. “The only choices the panel members had in the last vote were ‘high’ or ‘low.’ I pointed out that the value was important too and that just because 90 was the average number of the ‘low’ group two years does not mean that it a good number now. This was ignored.”

           One reader, Paddy, had this to say: “Leif: You should consider bringing
           an ouija board and/or dart board and darts to the next meeting of the
           solar cycle prediction panel. They would add some precision to the panel’s
           predictive powers. We tried that early on. The result was a number too
           low for many to swallow, so we on to more traditional ways of getting it
           wrong.”

Thanks to Ron de Haan for this info. He included these postings to back up his concerns:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/08/noaa-swpc-solar-cycle-24-prediction-update-released- may-8-2009/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/08/more-maunder-than-dalton/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/10/solar-scientist-ken-tapping-no-sign-of-the-new-cycle -yet/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/07/noaa-space-weather-prediction-center-new-conference/ #more-7654

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/15/audio-on-noaaswpc-press-teleconference/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/12/spencer-on-an-alternate-view-of-co2-increases/

  

 

 

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