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Sunspot update: Solar activity continues to exceed sunspot predictions

It is the beginning of September and time to post another update on the Sun’s ongoing solar cycle. Below is NOAA’s monthly graph tracking the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere, with the activity in August now added. I have also added some additional details to the graph to give the numbers a larger context.

Though sunspot activity dropped in August it remained significantly above the predictions of the panel of government solar scientists put together by NOAA. The predicted sunspot number for August, as indicated by the red curve, was supposed to be about 48. The actual number was 75.


August 2022 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.

There were once again no blank days in August, so that the total of blank days in 2022 remains a just one.

The trend however in the past few months suggests the possibility that the ramp up to higher activity might have stalled. For most of ’21 and ’22, the number of sunspots had increased monthly at a steady and fast rate. Since May that rate of increase has stabilized.

This speculation however means little. The stall in the last four months could simply be a random fluctuation, to be followed in the next few months with a new ramp up of activity. Or not. When it comes to the Sun and our general lack of understanding as to why it has this eleven year solar cycle, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Nonetheless, the generally high numbers, well above the consensus prediction of the solar science community, still suggests the coming maximum will be very strong. If so, it will be very interesting to see how the Earth’s climate shifts under these conditions. Past strong maximums routinely aligned with warmer temperatures on Earth.

Conscious Choice cover

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.  
Conscious Choice 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.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

4 comments

  • Max

    “Past strong maximums routinely aligned with warmer temperatures on Earth”

    Particularly when the 11 year flipping magnetic field of the sun, aligns it’s negative field to attract to earth‘s Northern positive magnetic pole, complementary polarity alters the earths magnetic field significantly.
    The results as an augmented Heating and drought… Not necessarily as where people locally and around the world are receiving far too much rain in unusual amounts. On the other hand, 20 to 25 storms were predicted for hurricane season… Still not one named storm yet! First time that’s happened in 80 years?

    Currently, there is a large Solar coronal hole pointed right at us. This is not unusual, just an opportunity if the sun decides to be active.

  • GaryMike

    My older brother has been a licensed ham radio operator since he way 14.

    We speak by phone several times a week. We both watch the space weather web sites and he tells me of his abilities to monitor radio broadcasts by frequency, thus current atmospheric conditions.

    Things have been all over the place for several months.

    He misses being able to hear certain stations that are part of his daily listening habits.

    I could pass a ham exam tomorrow, but my time- committed interests lay elsewhere.

    It’s good that aged brothers can relate in interesting ways.

  • David

    Max:

    Regarding the current season, not sure what you’re talking about. The Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico region has seen a total since of five systems. Three tropical systems have occurred prior to the last two days which have seen Hurricane Danielle and T.S. Earl form (Earl as of tonight’s 11PM EDT update is the new kid on the block).

    The eastern Pacific is up to ten (counting the current Javier).

    August in the A/C/G was the first August since 1997 to not see to see any named systems form. Very unusual indeed.

    Regarding the seasonal forecasts put out by the National Hurricane Center and others, you are correct to observe storm formation lags somewhat behind what one would think. Obviously, we’ll see what the next two months bring as we approach the peak and immediate weeks following.

  • David

    Correction – in the first sentence of the last paragraph, National Hurricane Center should have read Climate Prediction Center. Sorry for the brain fart.

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