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Yesterday NOAA posted its monthly update of the ongoing sunspot cycle of the Sun. You can see this latest graph, covering the month of July, below the fold.
As we have seen now for almost four years, the Sun continues to under-perform the predictions of solar scientists when it comes to the number of sunspots it is producing. In fact, that the sunspot number did not rise in July is surprising, as July had appeared to be a very active month for sunspots, with some of the strongest solar flares and coronal mass ejections seen in years. Instead, the number declined ever so slightly.
Though we are now only about a half year away from the predicted peak for this cycle’s solar maximum, the Sun has yet to show the slightest interest in producing sunspots at the rate predicted by scientists. Instead, it continues to limp along, producing sunspots at a rate lower than seen in more than a century.
Why this is occurring remains a mystery to scientists. They really do not understand the causes of the Sun’s magnetic solar cycle which creates sunspots. Nor do they understand how this cycle affects the Earth’s climate.
All we really know is that whenever the Sun stops producing sunspots, the Earth’s climate cools. And since 1998, there is evidence that that is exactly what has happened to the climate. Instead of rising as predicted by every global warming climate model, the global temperature has stalled.
If we are headed for a Grand Minimum, in which there are no sunspots for decades, we might also be heading for a period of global cooling. And if that happens, there are quite a few global warming scientists who are going to look very foolish.