Solar Max has not been so Max

Looming weak solar max may herald frosty times

Solar Cycle 24 is unusual on several accounts. It came late about a year, with extremely low activity recorded throughout 2009, which made astronomers shift a predicted 2012 peak to 2013. Also a few years ago the northern hemisphere of the sun became significantly more active than the southern, with the latter trying to catch up.

Further muddying the water is the fact that the previous four cycles had double peaks rather than single ones. The sun was quite active in 2011, but then went into a lull, with fewer-than-expected sunspots and solar flares in 2012 and 2013.

The current cycle is likely to have an in-between peak too, some NASA scientists say, with a second spike expected in late 2013 to early 2014. The increased activity would be due to the lagging southern hemisphere as the main driver.

Murdoc is hesitant to put much stock in Little Ice Age predictions. But this is worth keeping an eye on.

Comments

  1. As ‘they’ say, “Past performance is no guarantee of future earnings.”

    Even aside from excess carbon in the air, we’d have to wait a long while for the next proper Ice Age, approx 100,000 years.

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