By Cap Allon
Solar Cycle 25 is now officially underway. NASA and NOAA made the announcement during a media teleconference on Tuesday, Sept 15.
According to an international panel of experts, the sunspot number hit rock-bottom back in Dec 2019, bringing an end to old Solar Cycle 24 — a cycle which had the 4th-smallest intensity since record keeping began in 1755. It was also the weakest cycle in 100 years, reads NASA’s and NOAA’s analysis.
Since December last year sunspot counts have been slowly increasing and, according to both agencies, this has heralded in the new Solar Cycle 25.
“How quickly solar activity rises is an indicator on how strong the next solar cycle will be,” says Doug Biesecker of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, co-chair of the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel. “Although we’ve seen a steady increase in sunspot activity this year, it is slow.”
Indeed, spotless days have already reached 180 in 2020 (as of Sept 16), or 70%. In addition, the sun has been blank for the past 26 consecutive days: a feat within touching distance of the top 30 spotless stretches since 1849:
If Solar Cycle 25 has indeed begun, as NASA and NOAA state, then it is painfully slow to get going — this could-well be a harbinger of a historically weak cycle to come, as previously explained by NOAA’s Biesecker above.
The panel accepts that the new Solar Cycle 25 will be a weak one, peaking in 2025 at levels similar to the old Solar Cycle 24. If their prediction is correct, SC25 (like SC24 before it) will be one of the weakest since record-keeping began in 1755, writes Dr Tony Phillips.
In my humble opinion, the panel doesn’t have the first clue how SC25 will develop, and are simply mirroring SC24. NASA has come out with a number of wildly different predictions of late, one of which – featured at the bottom of the page – posits that SC25’s peak will be almost half of that of SC24’s. And then lest we forget some of its historic forecasts, including one for Solar Cycle 24 from 2006. Back then, the panel –which included many of the same names from NASA and NOAA as today– was leaning toward a “strong cycle 24” comparable to cycle 23. How wrong they were. Embarrassingly so. But they got their excuses in early, writing back in 2006: “By giving a long-term outlook, we’re advancing a new field — space climate— that’s still in its infancy. Issuing a cycle prediction of the onset this far in advance lies on the very edge of what we know about the Sun.”
I prefer to listen to the winners, though — and out a wide range of solar forecasts only a handful nailed SC24 in both duration and strength.
One such “winner” was professor Valentina Zharkova who’s predictions of a long and deep period of solar decline have –thus far– played out perfectly. Zharkova isn’t afraid to go further either, adding that the impact of such an event on Earth’s climate would be immense: Zharkova recently stated that this period of prolonged solar decline (aka a Grand Solar Minimum) began on June 8, 2020:
Dr Theodor Landscheidt is another who’s early findings have turned out to be largely correct. His work probably has the highest claim of priority, too:
Back to yesterday’s teleconference, NOAA’s Biesecker also included warnings about future solar storms: “While we are not predicting a particularly active Solar Cycle 25, violent eruptions from the sun can occur at any time. Indeed, continues Dr Tony Phillips, even Solar Minimum can produce a superstorm, so Solar Cycle 25 should not be taken lightly despite the panel’s low expectations. Radio blackouts, power outages, and severe geomagnetic storms are possible in the years ahead.
Concerns are rising regarding the ramp-up of SC25, and some are placing these next few years as time of great threat: an intensifying sun combined with a ever-waning magnetosphere (due to both a GSM & pole shift) are throwing solar physicists something of a curve ball. The magnetic field is Earth’s protection from space weather, and if the sun decides to fire a big coronal mass ejection (CME) in our direction we will be hit while our shields are down which would spell disaster for our modern, tech-dependent civilization — for more, click the link below:
Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Prepare for the COLD— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.