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Sunspot update November 2018: Minimum continues

NOAA’s monthly update of the solar cycle, covering sunspot activity for November 2018, was released yesterday. As I have done every month since this website began in July 2011, I am posting it below, annotated to give it some context.

November 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.

As I have been expecting now for the last three months, NOAA has finally revised this graph to extend it past the end of 2018. The graph below is the graph from October, which follows the layout and design used since 2007. You can see the differences by comparing the two graphs. In extending the new graph to the end of 2022, they fortunately did not change the design significantly. However, because the new graph has a slightly different scale, I have stretched the green and red curves to make them fit properly. While I suspect the poor quality of the 2007 and 2009 predictions is one reason they do not include them on their graph, I think it essential to add them to better understand the limitations of the science.

October 2018 sunspot activity

Solar sunspot activity continues at the same low levels of the past two months, closely matching the level of sunspot activity in 2008 when the last solar minimum began. The extended red curve indicates when they now think the low point of this solar minimum will take place, in late 2021.While this fits with past behavior, whereby the ramp down to solar mimimum is long and gradual, the Sun simply has not been behaving like it has in the past. I would not be surprised if the low point comes sooner, and lasts longer than normal.

Earlier today I posted a link to a prediction of significantly more activity in the next solar cycle. This conflicts with other predictions calling for an even weaker cycle upcoming, some of which say a grand minimum is possible. That the new graph only provides room for sunspot numbers up to 120, compared to the older graph’s 175, suggests that the majority of the community does not agree with today’s prediction, and expects the next cycle to be weak in activity once again.

Nonetheless, like 2007 the solar science community is split, and uncertain about what will happen. This is to be expected, as none of them really understand the magnetic processes in the Sun that cause sunspots and the variations in activity.

Should a grand minimum occur, with no visible sunspots for decades, it will give scientists a wonderful opportunity to gain some deeper understanding of the solar cycle, as we have not experienced a grand minimum since the 1600s, a time before modern astronomy really existed. And if we do experience a strong solar cycle instead, they will then have a new and different clue for figuring out what is going on.


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  • Stephen Taylor

    Is anyone aware if someone has scientifically determined the visual resolution capabilities of solar observations in the 1600s compared to current capabilities; and as a result, how many more sunspots may be observed today that were not observable in 1600?

  • Stephen Taylor: Solar scientists have done this work, and think that they will be able to see some sunspots in the next grand minimum that would have been invisible to observers in the 1600s. At the same time, this will not change the fact that the grand minimum in the 1600s, dubbed the Maunder Minimum after the man who discovered it, was still a period with little or no sunspot activity. During that time period the Sun behaved differently than it has since.

  • Cotour

    Not to worry, this will all be handled by the coming “Global warming governance”.

    (The beauty of this woman is her innocence and delusion and her need to truthfully communicate her dreams of social justice and Socialist rules of operation. She is so pure that she tells you just how terrifying her beliefs are)

    New York City’s incoming socialist congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says there will only be benefits, and no costs, to passing a raft of new climate change laws. In particular, she said, a new system of global warming governance will usher in “economic, social, and racial justice.”

    Congress woman elect Cortez, who is now just a Socialist as per this article, dreams of world wide “Global warming governance”.

    Tell me Democrats who voted for this person, what does that mean to you?

    To me a statement like that very specifically means that “social justice” will be meted out by government authority based on renewable energy and its interpretation of what “social justice” demands and that authority will be controlled by those in governance who are empowered.

    Everything that is un and anti American.

    God help us all.

  • Stephen Taylor

    Thanks Robert –

    I was just concerned that with the current technical ability to view sunspots that would have been ‘invisible’ during the Maunder Minimum ‘Warmist’ will say “what is happening now is not the same as back then”, thus discounting the importance of sunspot activity to climate.

  • Randy Norrick

    To a person like Cortez, no amount of scientific information will ever be enough. Her agenda demands that Global Warming
    exists. She and those like here will simply refuse to accept any information that does not fit their narrative. Anyone with a different viewpoint will be ignored or shouted down and she has the media on her side.

  • Cotour


    Its “Climate change”, no longer “global warming”. Climate change is something that no one can argue with (When does the Climate not change? In their minds and strategy ANY perceived disruption of the “Norm” is a result of human action as if there is some stasis level that exists) and it is assumed by these actors that it is understood that human beings through their carelessness and evil nature, especially Americans, more specifically Conservative Americans are disrupting and disturbing the natural climate as it “should” be.

    Remember, “People are going to die!”. And there in ANYTHING, even ultimately in time the justified surrendering of America its laws and Constitution to a set of U.N. type global laws, can be justified . ANYTHING.


    This is the brave new world being crafted by some who are on the political rise. Be afraid.

  • Phill O

    Cotour, you are correct in what the left scientists have changed in wording. Most on the left still hold to the global warming. Even that dingbat republican from Florida used the term global warming. He was trying to reach the brainwashed electorate.

    Trump has at least made an attempt to properly portray the fallacy of the warming.

    Stephen Taylor, I too have wondered about the left miss-using the data that way.

  • Jimbo

    I think the graph scale is only indicative of the fact that there are no points above 120 in the new graph as the previous maximum was removed so there is no need for the larger scale.

    I wouldn’t read anything else into it.

  • Phill O

    jimbo You may not but I certainly do.

  • Michael G.Gallagher

    In the end, just refuse to obey. The Left can’t lock up or fine everybody. Stop the hand wringing.

  • Cotour


    Tell that to the Jews of 1936 Germany, “Just refuse to obey”.

    When these newly empowered political actors such as this Ocassio / Cortez says “The new 100% renewable energy and a global climate governance system will solve all inequality and racial discrimination on planet earth”, they mean it, they are 100% serious. As insane as is sounds and in fact is.

    “People will die”, is the justification to relieve you me and all others on the planet of any and all individual rights.

    So combine these “heroic” leftists becoming empowered in ever higher numbers in our government and the thinking that their model of operation for EVERYONE is essential and MUST be installed and enforced and what do you think that you have?

    This is not to be ignored or not paid attention to, they are serious as a German or Maoist heart attack.

    Socialism is just Communism without the guns, meaning that they have all the guns and the public has none. And they are working on that little detail also.

  • Phill O

    Here is a response I got when forwarding data:

    You are probably aware of this but just in case.
    The SIDC (Solar Influences Data Center) the official sunspot counter is not playing cricket.
    In 2013 they changed the equation they use from Wolf (been used for a few hundred years) to another.
    My suspicions were up then.
    They have not adjusted the previous counts.
    So they are not comparing apples to apples.
    It is as if they switched from Deg F to C with no correction.
    If similar methods are used then solar cycle SC24 (just ended) is even weaker than SC 5.
    They are scamming us again.
    And no one is talking about the catastrophic drop in the Sun’s magnetic field since 2009.
    I honestly believe we are starting to see dramatic cooling for the next 30 or 40 years.

  • Cotour

    The insane insanity of the Left.

    “Stop climate change!”, “End violence!”, “No more murder!”, “End poverty!”, “Everyone is equal”, “Men and woman are the same”, “Save the woman and children!”, choose your meaningless political bumper sticker.

  • wayne

    It’s ironic the left is always pulling the “people will die” card. Cuz’ if they don’t stop their non-stop evil machinations, it’s going to be them that will be doing the dying. (It would be wrong of course, but I’ll look away and let it happen.)

    “People will die”
    June 2017

  • wayne

    Owen Benjamin –
    “Witnessing The Challenger Explosion Changed Everything”
    -adult content-
    -December 9, 2018 live show excerpt-

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