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Sunspot update December 2018: Decline to solar minimum continues

Time for the monthly solar cycle update! NOAA today posted its monthly update of the solar cycle, covering sunspot activity for December 2018. As I do every month, I am posting it below, annotated to give it some context.

December 2018 sunspot activity

The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The red curve is their revised May 2009 prediction.

There really isn’t much to say about the sunspot activity in December. It continued to show a steady decline to solar minimum, exhibiting activity very comparable to what we saw in mid-2008 when the previous unusually long and extended solar minimum began.

One interested detail however: When NOAA issued this graph last month, it finally extended it out beyond the end of 2019 to the end of 2022. In doing so, it also extended out the 2009 prediction of the solar science community, as indicated by the red curve. I hadn’t commented on this last month, but if you look at that curve it drops to zero and then flatlines for the entire year of 2022.

If this is what the solar science community now expects for this upcoming minimum, it means that community is now expecting a record-breaking minimum, lasting far longer than any previous minimum, two to three years at least. It also means that they have not dismissed the possibility that the Sun is about to enter a Grand Minimum, where no significant sunspot activity is seen for literally decades.

Should such a grand minimum occur, it bodes ill for global warming advocates. The track record of the Earth’s climate consistently shows that when sunspot activity declines, the global climate gets colder. Why this happens is not clearly understood, though there is at least one theory backed up by good experimental data. Should this happen, we shall discover that global cooling is a far worse thing to fear than global warming.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Cotour

    Now this is interesting, space, sun spots, glaciation, sea level, pole reversals, university education, CIA, NASA.

    With documentation, this has got it all.

  • ” . . . we shall discover that global cooling is a far worse thing to fear than global warming.”

    I’d expect the Viking pioneers and settlers would have much to say on this.

  • Cotour

    This guy from the Diehold Foundation proposes that the sun every 12 thousand years or so novas and cyclically like a clock sheds material from itself and the next nova is estimated to be in 2046.

    And he proposes that the CIA and NASA know this and have worked to better understand this phenomenon and has sewn the science community and the education system with false information by controlling funding for research and publishing in order to keep this information from the public.

    Its a very comprehensive and interesting lecture with lots of research information.

    When was the last great disturbance on planet earth as demonstrated by sites like Globki Tepi and sites in India and massive sea level increases?

    About 12 thousand years or so ago.

  • Edward

    . . . we shall discover that global cooling is a far worse thing to fear than global warming.

    The last time they warned us about global cooling, they feared another glacial period, calling it the next ice age, in which the northern ice cap would be two miles thick and would likely extend as far south as Minneapolis. This was back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    We have seen geologic evidence of the results of global cooling, and we even lived through a Little Ice Age a few hundred years ago, during which England gained an advantage over everyone else, because they had invented crop rotation, rather than keeping fields fallow, allowing them to feed more soldiers, scientists, and other professions that helped Britain become a worldwide empire, while most other nations had lower crop yields due to keeping fields fallow during the shorter growing seasons and lower peak temperatures.

    So a question to ponder is: which countries would suffer most during another Little Ice Age period, and which countries have the technology to come out ahead, the next time? Another question would be: how would various countries fare if another Glacial Period is imminent? As with England, France, Germany, etc. during the Little Ice Age, would the northern countries be inclined to colonialism so that they could maintain food production in more temperate climates in order to feed those in the homeland?

  • snailmailtrucker

    And yet….The Leftist Democrat Mensa Rejects are still trying to Deflect the Sun’s rays
    to Combat Global Warming ! They are Totally Unable to admit that they have been wrong
    for the last 50 years….

  • Bat

    Sunspot activity increases the solar wind which increases the Earth’s temperature. This warms the oceans which increases the CO2 in the atmosphere. As the Earth now starts to cool so will the oceans, and we will see a decrease in CO2 in the atmosphere. Data supports this fact. Global warming increases CO2 in the atmosphere. (No evidence CO2 causes global warming)

  • Phill O

    Thanks Bob for the update!

  • m d mill

    You may be interested to see that according to the SOURCE/SIM instrument the UVA and visible and near IR wavelength solar radiation has had a uniquely strange drop during the 2018 year.
    Normally the change from solar min to solar max is on the order of 0.1% in the visible and near IR range…but there has been a 1.25% drop in 2018 alone!
    Is some thing strange is going on with this particular solar minimum? or is this simply an instrument failure?( the SORCE/SIM instrument has had a difficult history with degredation/calibration)

    See the interactive chart here and type in various wavelengths in nanometers (eg 350,400,550,700,1000) and observe for yourself!

  • m d mill

    I should have said a 1.25% drop at 400 nanometers in 2018 alone.

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