May the fourth…

We have just passed Star Wars Day when we can all be frightfully original and say, “May the fourth be with you.”

But, on May the fourth, the force was not with us, and the sun was spotless and quiet yet again.

A spotless sun: B/W image at: http://sidc.oma.be/DATA/uset/png/2018/05/UPH20180504135301.png (B/W image)

Dr Tony Phillips of NASA reports: Quote:

Sunspots are becoming scarce. Very scarce. So far in 2018 the sun has been blank almost 60% of the time, with whole weeks going by without sunspots. Today?s sun, shown here in an image from NASA?s Solar Dynamics Observatory, is typical of the featureless solar disk:? [Image above is from May 1 when the report was written – the link under the image is to the spotless sun on May 4]

The fact that sunspots are vanishing comes as no surprise. Forecasters have been saying for years that this would happen as the current solar cycle (?solar cycle 24?) comes to an end. The surprise is how fast.

?Solar cycle 24 is declining more quickly than forecast,??announced?NOAA?s Space Weather Prediction Center on April 26th. This plot shows observed sunspot numbers in blue vs. the official forecast in red:

progression_strip

?The smoothed, predicted sunspot number for April-May 2018 is about 15,? says NOAA. ?However, the actual monthly values have been [significantly] lower.?

?Official? forecasts of the solar cycle come from NOAA?s Solar Cycle Prediction Panel?a group of experts from NOAA, NASA, the US Air Force, universities and other research organizations. They have been convening at intervals since 1989 to predict the timing and intensity of Solar Max. The problem is, no one really knows how to predict the solar cycle. The most recent iteration of the panel in 2006-2008 compared?54 different methods?ranging from empirical extrapolations of historical data to cutting-edge supercomputer models of the sun?s magnetic dynamo. None fully described what is happening now. End of quote.

Oh, my! The experts and their models got it wrong? Shock, horror! The link above is to an image titled, “Ask 12 scientists: Get 54 answers.” Remember that NOAA and NASA are huge promoters of CO2-caused global warming/climate change/whatever it is called today so it is not really following the script if the sun starts taking control.?? Quote:

It?s important to note that solar minimum is a normal part of the sunspot cycle. Sunspots have been disappearing (or nearly so) every ~11 years since 1843 when German astronomer Samuel Heinrich Schwabe discovered the periodic nature of solar activity. Sometimes they go away for decades, as happened during the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century.? We?ve seen it all before. Or have we?.?

sunspotcycle2_strip

Researchers are keeping a wary eye on the sun now because of what happened the last time sunspots disappeared. The solar minimum of 2008-2009 was unusually deep. The sun set Space Age records for low sunspot number, weak solar wind, and depressed solar irradiance. When the sun finally woke up a few years later, it seemed to have ?solar minimum hangover.? The bounce-back Solar Max of 2012-2015 was the weakest solar maximum of the Space Age, prompting some to wonder if solar activity is entering a? phase of sustained quiet. The faster-than-expected decline of the sunspot cycle now may support that idea. End of quote.

What does this mean for the ordinary punter?

It means unseasonal headlines like “Snowing like winter” in France; and in the USA, “Blue Mountain Resort to Break Record for the Latest Ski Season“; ditto Whiteface, ?This is our latest opening on record?; and unseasonal cold snaps in the UK and so forth.

How long will it take for the CO2 bubble to burst and for the media and politicians to begin to realise that maybe, just maybe, the western world’s obsession with cheap efficient energy is not a problem at all? Rather, that it is a solution to poverty and third world deprivation?

The crux of the issue is that, so far, the politicians and greens control freaks have not devised a means to tax us for the sun’s output.? Jacinda will, no doubt, announce a working group to look into this issue.

 

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