It is the start of the month, and thus time to post NOAA’s monthly update of its graph tracking the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. That graph is below, with some additional details added by me to provide a larger context.
After the first real decline in sunspot activity in June, the Sun recovered that decline almost completely in July. Though the ramp up to solar maximum has stalled somewhat in the last two months, the trend continues to point to a very active maximum, much higher than predicted as well as much stronger than the last very weak maximum in 2020.
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.
No days were blank during July, so this year’s total of blank days remains a measly one. We are definitely moving into the maximum, when Sun’s visible hemisphere will always have sunspots, continuously for the next few years.
If (a very big if) the present trend continues, the upcoming maximum will likely be quite strong, and occur much sooner than predicted. The trend also suggests the Sun might very well return this cycle to the active maximums seen routinely in the twentieth century.
As I have noted repeatedly for the past twelve years, an active Sun correlates with higher global temperatures on the Earth, while an inactive Sun correlates with cooling temperatures. Despite being generally dismissed by global warming activists — who are convinced humans are the only possible reason the climate can change these days — good climate scientists know that the Sun is a major factor in any long or even short term climate variations. An active Sun over the next decade will almost certainly contribute to any warming we might see in the global climate. In fact, it could very well be the main cause of that warming.
None of this however is known with any certainty. In fact, when it comes to the very complex climate of the Earth, nothing is known with any certainty. Remember that the next time some politician — who is without question and with total certainty completely ignorant of the science (no matter the party) — claims “the science is settled!”
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
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Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.