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Sunspot update: The Sun keeps its boom going

Time for my monthly analysis of NOAA’s monthly tracking of the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. As always, I have posted NOAA’s updated graph below, adding some details to provide the larger context.

In June the Sun continued the high activity from May, with the sunspot count significantly higher than predicted, 164.2 compared to the prediction of 104.9.

June 2024 sunspot activity
The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community for the previous solar maximum. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007 for the previous maximum, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The blue curve is their revised May 2009 prediction. The red curve is the new prediction, first posted by NOAA in April 2020.

The long term look

The graph to the right, comparing last month’s graph over a longer span of time, illustrates how much time has passed since the Sun was this active. The entire previous solar maximum in 2014 never produced a month with this many sunspots, and now we have had two such months in a row.

As for what will happen next, let me simply plagerize what I wrote last month, because everything I said then still applies:

Your guess is just about as good as any solar scientist on Earth. One group of solar scientists — a panel put together by NOAA — predicted this solar maximum would be weak (as indicated by the red curve). Another group of dissenters predicted in 2020 the solar maximum would be strong, then backed off that prediction in 2023, lowering it but keeping it higher than the prediction of the NOAA group.

The pattern until May had suggested the Sun would experience a double-peaked maximum somewhere in between these two predictions. May’s activity however now suggests sunspot activity will instead continue to ramp up and give us a strong solar maximum, possibly as strong or even stronger than the original prediction of those dissenters.

These are all guesses. We really don’t know what will happen.

I can make one prediction however that is almost certain to happen. There is ample evidence that high sunspot activity acts to warm the Earth’s climate, while low activity cools it. The exact reasons are not yet understood, but the correlation exists and goes back several thousand years.

Thus, it is likely this new activity will result in a slight warming of the Earth’s climate.

That is not my prediction however. Instead, I predict with utter confidence that the entire global warming community will instantly use this small rise in temperature and immediately claim, without any certain evidence, that it must be caused by human activity, and will demand again and again that all gas-power cars be banned, that our gas stove be confiscated, that our ability to travel be limited, and that the very idea of human liberty be banned in order to save us from the sky falling.

These activists won’t have any solid data to prove these claims, but they will make them nonetheless. And our bankrupt mainstream media — made up of “journalists” who mostly just rewrite press releases and do little real research of their own — will amplify those claims with great enthusiasm.

I am so certain of this prediction because of what happened during the last very weak solar maximum. During that time the Earth’s climate stopped warming, undergoing a two-decade long pause in any global temperature rise from 2004 through 2022. Yet, no one in this global-warming crowd reconsidered their claims during this time. Instead, for most of that time they simply denied the pause was even occurring, and when they finally admitted it had occurred, they made up absurd excuses for it, such as that somehow the extra heat had been magically grabbed by the oceans and was hidden in their depths.

The climate science community no longer does real science. They don’t look at the data and posit theories. They posit theories — almost always for political reasons having nothing to do with research — and demand those theories be right, no matter what.

I stand by my prediction, with complete confidence. Climate activists are going to claim that any increase in temperature that they record (from data that they themselves have been massaging to produce the results they want) will prove that humans are the cause, and that we had better ban gas-powered cars and ban the use of fertilizers in farming in order to save the world, even if we all die from starvation.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.


The print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • gbaikie

    I think the red line, predicted value, is the smoothed monthly values, which is averaged over 12 months of monthly sunspot numbers:
    So it’s roughly back 1/2 year and the number is now 129.4 and at Dec 2023.
    Though cycle 25 rose quicker than it was guessed it would.
    Or Jan 2024 is calculated once the month of July is finished has it’s totaled number of the month.
    It’s bit more complicate, the Jan 2024 monthly number is halved and when get July it’s number will be halved and months between are not halved. And this averaged and that determines value for Jan 2024 called, “smoothed monthly values”
    So I think redline trying to guess that, rather than each month number, which can up a lot and go down a lot.

  • gbaikie

    Made mistake, I said: “the Jan 2024 monthly number is halved”.
    Wrong, it’s June 2023 number is halved.
    And last smoothed monthly [129.4 and at Dec 2023}, had May 2023 monthly number halved.
    Or next month, May 2023, won’t included in averaging. Or full value of June and July of 2023 was included, and next month, June will be a halved.
    Or those two high spot number months last summer, have been and will continue to be adding to averaged value of blue line.

    Or there a lot monthly spot numbers below the blue, and next couple month “need” to be high {like it has been in last couple months- or blue doesn’t continue to go up.
    Which could make that redline as fairly good guess- other than, cycle 25 jumped up faster than their guess.
    Or fat lady hasn’t sang, yet.
    But we could get some +200 months in next several months and then, maybe she has sung.

  • BLSinSC

    Of COURSE the climate crazies will POUNCE on this and CLAIM that the SUN has NO BEARING on Our Earth’s warming or cooling! They even try to convince people that the HISTORICALLY BIBLICAL amounts of SNOW – DURING THE WINTER – is caused by “globull worming”!! If you don’t believe the SUN affects our temps then go outside – stand in some shade – then step INTO the direct SUNLIGHT! If you’re anyone other than a brainless idiot you will NOTICE a DIFFERENCE! Oddly enough, this works during the WINTER as well!

  • pzatchok

    I wonder if this sunspot activity will effect the ionosphere and shortwave radio propagation.

    Its been a little hard to find some distant transmitters over the last dozen years.

  • Bill Buhler

    @pzachoke As an amateur radio operator I can confirm this solar cycle has helped ionospheric skip based communications a lot. But, there are a few changes to the overall environment that have made it harder to tell.

    First, all of the low voltage digital electronics create noise, not a lot individually, but combined the noise in cities and suburbs is often -85dBm, while a lot of smaller stations are come in below that level of noise, so they can’t be heard.

    Second, many of the commercial and national SW broadcasters have closed shop because it’s easier and cheaper to stream over the Internet.

    Such is progress, and, while I wish all of the electronic devices had better shielding and filtering to reduce the noise, I prefer to live in this age of high efficiency led lights and easy computing, so we will just have to learn to adjust.

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