September 2013 Sunspot Report
Wholly Molly! The Royal Society of Belgium promptly published September’s current official monthly sunspot number on October 1st.
It is really, REALLY low: 36.9!
NOAA, as usual, hasn’t reported yet.
We are supposed to be just after solar maximum activity. Yet it feels more like nearing the end of the cycle. Sunspot counts dropped dramatically from last month’s already pathetically low 66, which was up from the month before.
What is happening on the sun?
September’s Muddled Message
It is noteworthy that September’s southern hemisphere sunspot count (19.6) is barely above the northern count (17.3).
That would not amount to a hill of beans if not for the fact that northern hemisphere sunspot activity peaked way back in November 2011 at 96.7!
Solar physicists are still at odds over whether or not the southern hemisphere sunspot activity has peaked or not. 19.6 is a super low number.
Will southern sunspots peak or not? Or, will sunspots just peter off into never-never land?
That is the $580 trillion earth climate change question!
Sunspots and the IPCC
The IPCC came out with the meat and potatoes of its AR5 report a few days ago.
In it, once again, the impact of the sun – a variable star – on earth’s climate was minimized.
History tells us that the sun is the primary influence on earth’s climate. The end of the last major last ice age 11,000 years ago corresponded with outrageously high solar sunspot activity. The “little ice age” 400 years ago corresponds with the last period of super minimal sunspot activity known as the Maunder Minimum.
The first official prediction for the peak of the next solar cycle, Solar Cycle 25, is only 7!! That puts it in line with solar activity during the Maunder Minimum.
What is happening on the sun? What will happen?
Even the most lustrous minds in solar physics cannot answer that question.
Things could go anywhere. Brilliant solar physicist Leif Svalgaard, who predicted what we are seeing in Cycle 24 right now, doesn’t even know.
All that is known for sure is that something dramatic is happening on the sun this minute. It will affect life on earth for decades to come!