2012 Sun Prediction in Review

Solar Sunspot Activity as of 1/1/2012 – The Unexpected Late-Year Leap

A year ago, on January 1st of 2012, a New Year’s Day prediction about the sun was made in this article titled, “2012 Prediction: Solar Surprises!“. Its time to review that prediction.

On the day it was written there had been 5 strait months of large solar activity increases. During that time the monthly sunspot number had nearly tripled from 37 to 97. It jumped above the 90 forecast solar max of Cycle 24; then expected for early in 2013.

A lot has changed since then. The surprises in solar physics just keep coming. Their meaning regarding global climate change are now only beginning to clarify.

Solar Activity in 2012

Solar Sunspot Activity as of 12/31/2012 – It still defies prediction

In just three months at the start of 2012 the sunspot number dropped further than it had risen in the previous 5 months. It has stayed down ever since. Today, its clear that the sun is as strange or stranger than it was a year ago.

Oddly, for this year, the sunspot number will be around 59.2, only slightly more than the 55.6 it was in 2011. For both years, as officially tracked world-wide by the Royal Observatory of Belgium, it still remains below the lowest peak in 200 years!

Today’s sunspot number is a lowly 37.

Learned this Year

In 2012, NASA’s STEREO Mission captured some of the best 3-D video of solar CMEs ever:
Massive Filament Erupts on Sun
One of the Fastest CMEs on Record

Several big discoveries were made in 2012. One is the dramatic jump in solar activity late in 2011 was the last dying gasp of the sun’s northern hemisphere hitting its solar maximum earlier than expected. It became clear that the two hemispheres of the sun will have different solar maximums. The southern one might not be until 2014.

Cycle 24 is starting to look a lot like Cycle 14 which double peaked 105 years ago back in 1905-1907. Some solar physicists predict a double peak this time to.

Should Cycle 24’s peak remain below a sunspot number of 60 like it is now, it will be the first time that has happened since Cycle 6 in 1815 during the Dalton Minimum.

Solar physicists, like Leif Svalgaard, who went against prevailing thought and predicted very low sunspot activity back in 2005 were fully vindicated in 2012. Low sunspot activity this year also fits with the bombshell announcements that came out of a conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico in July 2011.

Now, solar physicists are saying it out loud … a Grand Minimum in solar activity is in the making and will affect the next and possibly more cycles.


Last year’s prediction of a paradigm shift in our understanding of the sun in 2012 didn’t quite materialize. But the reversal in solar activity this year dramatically reinforced the surprising Las Cruces discoveries announced in 2011.

Another surprising 2012 discovery found in the updated HadCRUT world air-sea temperature database is that Earth’s temperature has not risen over the last 15 years.

During both the Dalton and Maunder Minimums there were colder Earth temperatures. The question is will the coming Grand Minimum be colder, too?

Virtually all solar physicists believe the current Cycle 24 solar maximum will be exceptionally quiet and that Cycle 25 will be even less active or totally nonexistent. The last time anything like that happened was during the Dalton Minimum 200 years ago and the Maunder Minimum 400 years ago.

The IPCC does not believe it will get colder, but the fact remains that the measured Earth temperatures the IPCC uses are below their forecast projections.

What happens next could be very interesting for Earth’s immediate climate future.


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Dec 31, 2012, in astronomy, climate change, culture, Life, news, Opinion, Politics, science, sunspot activity, sunspot report, sunspots, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I thought they were revising the original HadCRUT data srt to put in some more stations that would show that the earth was still warming over the past 15 years. Did their revision go bust!

  2. You are absolutely correct…
    They did, indeed, add stations. They came in with the HadCRUT4 database update last April. They added arctic stations that “raised” overall global temperatures above what they were in HadCRUT3. They also generally “recalculated” much older temperatures that generally lowered them a little.

    Combined the two adjustments in HadCRUT4 strengthen the AGW theory. However, the raised modern temperatures was not enough to raise the overall global temperature over the last 15 years.

    In HadCRUT3 there was a slight decline of global temperatures in the last 15 years. With HadCRUT4 it switch to a slight increase. Neither are statistically significant.

    A comparison of HadCRUT3 and HadCRUT4 calculated and displayed from the raw databases can be found here:

  3. Since neither are statistically significant and temps have not changed for the past 15 years even though green house gasses have increased, does that not contradict their big fancy model’s conclusions and underlying theory? Seems so to me. Or do you think the solar variation is the confounding variable going in the opposite direction of what mankind is doing. That would be cosmic-sized irony.

    • Global temperatures remaining steady for 15 years even though CO2 has risen exponentially does not necessarily mean that the AGW theory is wrong.

      The greenhouse effect is very real. What it means, though, is that factors other than AGW are at work. That should surprise no one. There are many to chose from:
      1 – ENSO
      2 – Decadal and other cyclic climate processes
      3 – Solar variability
      4 – CO2 absorption sink changes
      5 – Changes in atmospheric aerosols
      6 – Other effects (like volcanoes)

      It does argue, though, that the IPCC’s premise that global climate change is driven exclusively by human-cause CO2 emissions is fundamentally flawed.

  4. That is an important distinction and means to me that mankind cannot overcome his greenhouse gas imprint unless all development on the planet were to stop. I cannot believe politicians doing that. I just hope Earth is not like that petri dish experiment we had to do in HS biology where your bacterial colony grows and grows and then suddenly goes extinct when the food and space run out. That was one of the most depressing experiments we ever did–still haunting.

    • Agreed… only about 15% of all CO2 emissions are regulated under Kyoto… that isn’t enough to accomplish anything.

      Fortunately, it is beginning to look like global warming has leveled off even though CO2 continues linearly upward.

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  1. Pingback: Sunspots « Greenhouse Bullcrap

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