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Sunspot update: Sun continues its higher than predicted activity

With the beginning of a new month comes my monthly sunspot update, based on NOAA’s most recent monthly graph of sunspot activity. That graph is below, annotated to show the previous solar cycle predictions and thus provide context. It has now been extended from last month to include the Sun’s sunspot activity in October.

Sunspot activity in October continued to be higher than predicted, though the month saw a slight drop from September. Even so, the number of sunspots seen on the Sun’s facing hemisphere in October were the most since August of 2016, when the Sun was ramping down to solar minimum.

October 2021 sunspot activity

EISN graph for October 2021
Click for original daily graph.

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 graph to the right shows the day-by-day sunspot activity for October. The high on October 27th corresponds to the major X1-class solar flare from that date. As you can see, there was only one day during the month in which the Earth-facing hemisphere of the Sun was blank. If this higher than predicted activity continues, it is very possible that we shall not see another such blank day for a decade.

Since the end of solar minimum near the end of 2019, sunspot activity has consistently exceeded the April 2020 prediction of the NOAA scientist panel, as indicated by the red curve in the graph. Instead, the increased activity has been more in line with the prediction of several dissenting solar scientists who forecast a very strong maximum.

This activity suggests that either the solar maximum will arrive much sooner than expected, or will be much more active than predicted. Right now we do not know which it will be, and no scientist can really predict. While we know that the sunspot cycle is caused by fluctuations and activity in the Sun’s magnetic field produced by its dynamo, the fundamental reason why it goes through these cycles is not understood.

I myself am willing to make one prediction, which has as much value as the electrons I use to write it. Based on circumstantial evidence of the past several thousand years, higher sunspot activity on the Sun has routinely corresponded with warmer global temperatures on the Earth. Similarly, less solar activity has matched well with lower global temperatures. We had a perfect example of the latter in the past two decades. The Sun had two very deep and extended minimums and one very weak maximum. On Earth the predicted rise in global temperatures ceased, and we had a two decade period with no temperature rise.

If the higher solar activity continues, and we see a strong maximum, I predict that we shall also see a rise in global temperatures in the next decade. Global warming activists will loudly claim that this rise was caused by human activity, and that everyone (but them) must stop using cars and airplanes and fossil fuels to save the planet, even though they will not really know if the two are connected.

It is important to note that I am not doing a similar thing, claiming that the rise in temperatures is definitely linked to higher solar activity. Just as global warming activists have no idea why the temperature rises, neither do I. All I am noting is that changes in solar activity has matched changes in the global temperature, and if we really want to find out what causes those temperature changes, we need to consider all possibilities.

Right now, too many climate scientists dismiss the possible contribution of the Sun. And for them to do good and trustworthy science, they need to stop doing that.

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.


  • Phill O

    The rise in global temperatures also coincides with the revenue rise governments see. Just a coincidence?

  • talgus

    considering all possibilities does not fit with the politics of the decade or the ambitions of those that wield political power.

  • Max

    Chicken Little has been around for a long time, politicians have been debating how they can make a buck out of doom and gloom predictions to make themselves and their party richer. The creation of gadgets that actually worsen the problem, which only encourages them to try something else that’s even worse. Like Solyndra, it’s only taxpayer money and their friends can use some of that.

    Solar output varies very little, at the most 1%.
    The magnetic field that occurs with the sunspots varies by an enormous difference.
    This affects cosmic radiation and other things as well as an increase in UV radiation creating Ozone and nitrous oxide as well as creating algae blooms that release more oxygen and hydrogen sulfide. The influx of coronal mass ejection’s provides lots of new mass. Mostly in the form of water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen.

    The interesting thing is Earth’s average temperature is 50°F but The average extremes swings plus or minus 50° during winter and summer. (This is how the Fahrenheit scale was originally worked out)
    Even though our average is near 50°F, the moons average it’s 50° below zero… 100° colder than the earth. The only reason this could happen is that “earth generates most of it’s own heat” just like all the planets do, except mercury and mars.

    If it violates the second law of thermodynamics… Then it’s probably not real science. Yes, I’m talking about the greenhouse effect that has never been shown to be real, despite 40 years of earth observing satellites carefully measuring but not detecting any such phenomenon.
    At 400 ppm CO2, there is one CO2 molecule for every 2500 air molecules. For one CO2 molecule to heat up 2500 oxygen and nitrogen air molecules around it, it would have to be 2500° to warm them all 1° for one second.

    Methane is 1.8 ppm, that is like $1.80 out of $1 million dollars. It oxidizes on contact with oxygen… That’s why there’s so little of it after 4 billion years of rotting life on this planet.
    They’re actually thinking about removing cows from our diet, claiming they make methane, when they do not. Only aerobic bacteria can do this. If they do kill the cows, the hay and grass the cows would have eaten (which humans do not eat) will rot on the ground during the winter and turn into methane anyway, just like tree leaves do. Stopping people from eating meat does nothing, absolutely nothing but control our food source for evil purposes.

    Speaking of atmosphere, the chemtrail’s are back with a vengeance. They’ve been Flying over all day, turning a mostly sunny day into a hazy one.

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