The image of the Sun today is spotless.
This is the first spotless day of the 24-25 solar minimum. Not a great deal can be read from that. According to Wilson, for cycles 9-14, sunspot minimum followed the first spotless day by about 72 months, having a range of 62-82 months; for cycles 15-21, sunspot minimum followed the first spotless day by about 35 months, having a range of 27-40 months. So we could still be six years from minimum making Solar Cycle 24 about 13 years long. Longer is weaker in the following cycle, and colder.
When the Sun goes blank we still have what the professionals use – the F10.7 flux:
Figure 1: F10.7 Flux 2014 – 2016
Figure 1 shows that the F10.7 flux has been in a couple of parallel downtrends since early 2015. The Interplanetary Magnetic Field is still going the other way though:
Figure 2: Interplanetary Magnetic Field 1966 – 2016
Cloud droplet nucleation initiated by galactic cosmic rays has been getting a favourable press again, so let’s see how that’s going:
Figure 3: Oulu Neutron Count 1964 – 2016
Figure 3 shows a strong rise in the neutron flux that has its source in the constant flux of galactic cosmic rays entering the solar system. The count is now higher than that during the downramp of Solar Cycle 20 of the 1970s cooling period – very promising.
SOURCE: David Archibald
What’s Up With That
David Archibald is the author of Twilight of Abundance (Regnery)