Jump to content
northwind-adventurer

New research suggests Solar Cycle 25 could be strongest in 50 years

Recommended Posts

A new study with a novel method of solar cycle prediction has just been released last week, it can be read in full here.

I will try to summarize the findings in an understandable way, as they have used quite an interesting but complicated method.

Obviously, the thing that stands out the most is that they predict a massive cycle, similar to the solar cycles 19, 21 and 22, which were some of the strongest of the modern era of solar observations. The actual SSN they have predicted is 233, twice the size of the previous SC24 and about 50% stronger than the cycle before that one, SC23 (which peaked in around 2001).

The implications if this were to come true would be very significant - with potentially 2-3 times as many big aurora events as the previous cycle, and a much higher risk for 'super flares'.

  • large.564286407_SC25highforecast.jpg.af6c99792f42b1447ecbf2f11d57c930.jpgThe purple line represents the prediction of this new study - 233 (McIntosh et al., 2020)

Key Points of the research:

Solar Cycle 25 could be one of the strongest since records began - with an SSN of 233. 95% confidence that it will be between 153 and 305 spots.

Calculations were made by correlating the length of time between 'termination events', marking the start and end of sunspot and magnetic activity cycles. From what I understand, a termination event is when a moving, discernible latitude band on the sun that produces sunspots completes its journey from the solar polar regions to the solar equator and cancels out. This takes 19 years on average.

The length of time between each terminator event inversely correlates with the strength of the upcoming cycle. For example, the terminator length prior to SC24 starting was about 12.8 years (happened in 2011) - leading to rather weak cycle. The SC25 terminator is expected to occur this year (9 years gap) - and that correlates with a strong cycle. The average seems to be around 10.5 years.

large.1817037936_SC25highforecast2.jpg.92c663e105b0230b4fdf567b59735961.jpg

 

In any case, we will wait and see what happens, and if it turns out to come true that's good news for us aurora chasers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also saw this and was tempted to post in on social media but this article is of a speculative nature that doesn't reflect the official prediction but it was a very exciting read. A solar cycle that is 50% stronger than SC23 would be absolute bonkers. I hope they are right!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dr Keith Strong in a video released today has just done some analysis on the correlation between spotless days and the scale of the next maximum and his results would be at odds with this study.  Both NOAA and SILSO are  predicting minimum conditions - below 25 smoothed sunspots - until at least November or December 2021, which would provide a forecast of 120 +/- 30...   

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far solar cycle 25 starts with less magnetic activity than solar cycle 24 in this period.
I am also beginning to wonder if it is only the number of sunspots that determines the intensity of a solar cycle, but rather also the size of these.

So far I have found 23 studies that foresee a much lower cycle, or slightly lower than the solar cycle 24. (excluding Zakharova)
While at least seven studies predict an identical cycle or slightly higher than the solar cycle 24.

I would opt for a slightly lower cycle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another way to predict cycle magnitude will be to look at the polar field strength which is showing that SC25 is expected to be between the strength SC23 and SC24. If I were to guess, maybe 120-160 SSN at maximum according to the field strength(Source: https://solen.info/solar/polarfields/polar.html) But unfortunately, it will be a few years before we can know for sure if SC25 can pull off any of the predictions that have been floating around.spacer.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long story short: nobody knows and only time will tell!

Jokes aside, there are so many predictions ranging from a very quiet cycle up to one of the strongest cycles of all time. Aeon is right however that most studies think SC25 will be slightly less strong than SC24 and the official prediction for SC25 also points at this scenario. But hey, we can always hope!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s a deja vu with a good 11 years ago when they tried to predict SC24 and those where a bit similar with high and low cycle predictions. We’ll know eventually who had the closest prediction. I’m not worried, as long as we have some nice active periods I’m happy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Marcel de Bont said:

Long story short: nobody knows and only time will tell!

Jokes aside, there are so many predictions ranging from a very quiet cycle up to one of the strongest cycles of all time. Aeon is right however that most studies think SC25 will be slightly less strong than SC24 and the official prediction for SC25 also points at this scenario. But hey, we can always hope!

Question:  who predicted SC24 to the greatest accuracy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Op 8/7/2020 om 22:07, Jim B zei:

Question:  who predicted SC24 to the greatest accuracy?

I do not know to be honest but did some Googling and this is the earliest prediction (from 2005) which I could find that comes relatively close to the how SC24 panned out. It isn't perfect but considering this paper is from 2005 it deserves a mention; https://web.archive.org/web/20160121131245/http://192.211.16.13/z/zita/research/07dynamo/articles/Schatten2005GRL.pdf

Welcome by the way!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2020 at 6:07 AM, Jim B said:

Question:  who predicted SC24 to the greatest accuracy?

Stanford University solar physics professor Leif Svalgaard has consistently been able to predict upcoming cycles strength with the Solar Polar Fields method which dynastyll mentioned earlier. This method may not have been the absolute closest prediction for SC24, but has been consistently accurate in the last 4 cycles. At Stanford they have been monitoring the strength of the solar polar fields since 1976 and found that this can predict the coming solar cycle more accurately than other methods ahead of time. Basically, the stronger the solar polar fields are at solar minimum, the stronger the coming solar cycle will be, and vice versa. In this current solar minimum, the polar fields are a little stronger than at the previous solar minimum, but still weaker than other solar cycles. This has led Professor Svalgaard to predict that Solar Cycle 25 will be marginally stronger than the Solar Cycle 24 just passed. The solar polar fields have been taken into consideration strongly by the NOAA solar cycle 25 prediction panel (Svalgaard himself is on the panel I believe).

The values of the solar polar fields can be monitored at the Stanford Wilcox Solar Observatory webpage http://wso.stanford.edu/Polar.html

Below is a graph showing Svalgaard's prediction for SC25  - and the related article is here https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/leif-svalgaard-reveals-his-solar-cycle-25-prediction-at-last/

Edited by northwind-adventurer
Update
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/11/2020 at 1:51 PM, northwind-adventurer said:

Stanford University solar physics professor Leif Svalgaard has consistently been able to predict upcoming cycles strength with the Solar Polar Fields method which dynastyll mentioned earlier. This method may not have been the absolute closest prediction for SC24, but has been consistently accurate in the last 4 cycles. At Stanford they have been monitoring the strength of the solar polar fields since 1976 and found that this can predict the coming solar cycle more accurately than other methods ahead of time. Basically, the stronger the solar polar fields are at solar minimum, the stronger the coming solar cycle will be, and vice versa. In this current solar minimum, the polar fields are a little stronger than at the previous solar minimum, but still weaker than other solar cycles. This has led Professor Svalgaard to predict that Solar Cycle 25 will be marginally stronger than the Solar Cycle 24 just passed. The solar polar fields have been taken into consideration strongly by the NOAA solar cycle 25 prediction panel (Svalgaard himself is on the panel I believe).

The values of the solar polar fields can be monitored at the Stanford Wilcox Solar Observatory webpage http://wso.stanford.edu/Polar.html

Below is a graph showing Svalgaard's prediction for SC25  - and the related article is here https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/leif-svalgaard-reveals-his-solar-cycle-25-prediction-at-last/

Any more recent up-date on Leif Svalgaard prediction. Your very interesting post mentions his prediction made 2 years ago....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

spacer.png

You can add my solar activity prediction for the next 10 solar cycles based on solar secular cycles. It was developed in 2016 and it also predicts that SC25 maximum activity should be between SC24 and SC23. No solar grand minimum here. The F is for Joan Feynman's solar centennial cycle.

 

 

Op 8/7/2020 om 22:07, Jim B zei:

Question:  who predicted SC24 to the greatest accuracy?

SC24 prediction was a disaster. The consensus was for a significantly more active cycle, and nearly all expected it earlier. A few people got it right, although one wonders if just by chance. Clilverd et al., 2006 were one of the few that expected a very weak cycle from a cyclical model, but their model is not very good, so they predicted a too weak cycle. Leif Svalgaard and others demonstrated that the good track record of the polar magnetic fields strength method is for something and again made a good prediction. Most predictions are referenced in Pesnell, 2008.

spacer.png

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Javier It does not seem to me that your claims have been corrected recently.

My question is this: we can barely predict the next cycle, why should you be able to predict the next 10?

  • Thanks 1
  • Dislike 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Aeon said:

@Javier It does not seem to me that your claims have been corrected recently.

My question is this: we can barely predict the next cycle, why should you be able to predict the next 10?

It depends what you understand by correct. A lot of people are predicting that the Sun is entering into a grand solar minimum. If the Sun does not, then my model will be a lot more correct than theirs, won't it?

Observation of periodical phenomena allows successful prediction without any knowledge of how it works. That's what allowed Neolithic farmers to predict the seasons without knowing their cause. Solar variability displays clear periodicities recorded in cosmogenic isotopes records and sunspot observations. The low activity of cycles 24 and 25 belongs to a centennial periodicity. The same periodicity that produced low active cycles E, D, 5, 6, 14, 15 and 16. There is also a bicentennial periodicity that affected cycles 12 and 13. A pentadecadal periodicity affected cycles A, 1, 10 and 20. Analyzing past solar activity to identify the relevant periodicities and incorporate them into a model is not very difficult. If the same periodicities continue playing in the future the model should be in the ball park. Of course the model is incomplete and not very accurate so a perfect prediction should not be expected. However for short-term predictions we have more accurate methods like the polar-fields method. It is a bit like predicting next winter's weather, the important thing is to get it right if it would be a harsh or a mild winter, then we have more precise weather predictions 14 days in advance.

Why solar activity displays periodicities is not known. There are hypotheses related to the influence of the planets on the Sun, but so far they are not very convincing. But that solar activity displays periodicities is a fact and we might as well use it to peek at future solar activity.

On 7/11/2020 at 5:04 PM, Aeon said:

Irina Kitiashvili

Solar Cycle 25

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1910.00820

She's betting against the polar fields strength method. I don't think that's a safe bet. It works backwards to the first cycle.

http://hmi.stanford.edu/hminuggets/?p=2084

spacer.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't to question your model.
My criticism refers to when you said between April and March 2019 that the minimum (Nadir) had occurred in December 2018.

Maybe you're right about your explanation and solar cyclicity, maybe those who sustain a great solar recession are right, frankly, I find the planetary theory meaningless and I don't intend to discuss it.
Do we really know what a "big minimum" is?
A period of low solar activity without sunspots, or few sunspots, or a period when the sunspots were so small that they were not seen with the telescopes of that period?
Even Svaalgard says that this position should be reviewed.
Until 11 years ago they claimed that cycle 24 had to be one of the most powerful, then during the minimum 23/24 they even claimed that solar cycle 24 was already finished and that solar cycle 25 had already started.
This makes it clear how little we know about solar cycles like 24-25.
Another evidence of what little we know of the so-called "big lows" was the Maunder Minimum really the deepest during the Little Ice Age?
Some time ago I found a study that confirmed that Spoerer's Minimum was deeper.

They are not sure if the magnetic field method is definitive, however I will wait for the first peak of maximum solar activity to see who is right.
There are characteristics of this solar cycle 25 which compared to solar cycle 24 leave me perplexed.
1) Almost all sunspots were much smaller than those of solar cycle 24 in the same period of the start of the solar cycle, except one.
The same comparison also applies to solar cycle 23. (1996/1997)

2) The first sunspot of cycle 25 appeared in 2016.
That of solar cycle 24 in 2008.
I haven't found any earlier, so far.
Why this big difference? 😕

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Aeon said:

My criticism refers to when you said between April and March 2019 that the minimum (Nadir) had occurred in December 2018.

I don't remember that. I did project a solar minimum for early 2019 in a 2018 article at WUWT, and was convinced for months that it had taken place on May 2019 because of a clear minimum in 10.7 cm flux that kept increasing for half a year afterwards.
https://solen.info/solar/images/Cycles_24_25_minimum.png

Up until then 10.7 cm solar flux had been quite reliable. For example Patrick Geryl posted a paper at Researchgate on December 2018:

"The Adjusted Solar flux & the Start of Solar Cycle 25"
Abstract
Many solar cycle researchers think that cycle 25 will start late 2019 or even in 2020-2021. However, after analyzing the lowest adjusted 10.7cm solar flux values, we find that the adjusted flux for November 2018 is low enough to give the start of solar cycle 25 between October 2018 and February 2019, November 2018 being most likely.

The latest version of this paper (May 2020) includes Jan Alvestad as co-author and the abstract now says:
Abstract
After analyzing the lowest adjusted 10.7cm solar flux values, we find that the adjusted flux for October 2019 is low enough to give the start of Solar Cycle 25 between August 2019 and January 2020. Further findings point to November-December 2019 as the starting date for Solar Cycle 25, while the 2K high resolution sunspot number points to December 2019.

I was not the only one fooled by 10.7 cm flux data and having to move the solar minimum forward in time. Once the new data stopped supporting my position I changed my mind. I am not one to sustain a wrong hypothesis when the data does not support it.

Quote

Do we really know what a "big minimum" is?

As solar activity is a continuous variable we just need to agree on a definition. What I use is "solar minimum" for the period of low solar activity between two 11-year oscillations, "extended solar minimum" for a period of more than one 11-year solar oscillation with below-average solar activity, and for "grand solar minimum" I follow Ilya Usoskin definition for a period over 30 years with SN below a threshold value of 20. Under this definition the Dalton minimum was not a grand solar minimum.

I am not worried because we think that things are one way and they turn out to be other way. It is often the case that we learn more from being wrong than from being right.

I don't want to discuss planetary theories either. I am not a subscriber.

Counting sunspots is really an imperfect way of following solar activity. It is semi-quantitative. Almost everybody ignores sunspot area. There is a database of sunspot area that shows some differences with the sunspot number database. That's why I prefer 10.7 cm flux, that also cannot fall to zero.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/23/2020 at 3:40 PM, Chapette said:

Interesting. However your model (according to figure 5 in your paper) gives two peaks in activity for SC25. As you say "the double overlap can be reasonably expected to lead to a cycle 25 with spread-out activity characterised by two detached peaks." The model is probably oversimplified. Solar cycles don't produce that. The first peak was in 2019, the year the minimum took place. And your model's peak in 2023 is about half the size of the peak in 2013. It is highly unlikely that SC25 has half the activity of SC24 if we are to trust the polar fields method.

  • Dislike 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Accounting for the whole range of predictions, one thing can be fairly certain ... the sun is not about to go into a Maunder-like minimum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not even in a Wolf, Spoerer, Dalton or something similar.

It will always be something different and with different characteristics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Aeon said:

Not even in a Wolf, Spoerer, Dalton or something similar.

It will always be something different and with different characteristics.

If it does, then it is not a "grand solar minimum". According to published research, even the Maunder minimum lowered global average temperatures by only about 0.4 degrees. People who propose a "little ice age" forget that this minimum was was superimposed on a drop in global temperatures that had been pre-existing for 300 years so could not have been caused by a lowering in solar activity. Such background low temperatures do not exist currently. This minimum in average sunspot counts fell by only 0.4 over the last minimum (2.2 to 1.8). To turn that into a Dalton-like minimum it would have to not only fall to 0.0, but stay there for a full year. It can't be ruled out in the future, but there is nothing to indicate it is close to being likely.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it's true.
But before the Maunder Minimum, all too mythologized, there were other great deep lows.
I have serious doubts that today we would truly recognize the difference between a great minimum from those of the time, we simply have never seen them.
There are even differences of opinion in the scientific community on the number of sunspots of the solar cycles of the time, in addition to historical records.
What kind of telescopes did they have at the time?
Very small sunspots like those of the past months would never have seen them with the tools of the time.
In any case, we just have to wait impatiently for the first peak of the solar maximum.
Maybe as early as 2022.
Only then would we see which predictions were correct. ☺

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, braintic said:

If it does, then it is not a "grand solar minimum". According to published research, even the Maunder minimum lowered global average temperatures by only about 0.4 degrees. People who propose a "little ice age" forget that this minimum was was superimposed on a drop in global temperatures that had been pre-existing for 300 years so could not have been caused by a lowering in solar activity. Such background low temperatures do not exist currently. This minimum in average sunspot counts fell by only 0.4 over the last minimum (2.2 to 1.8). To turn that into a Dalton-like minimum it would have to not only fall to 0.0, but stay there for a full year. It can't be ruled out in the future, but there is nothing to indicate it is close to being likely.

I agree completely. Solar activity is neat to observe, but can't be an overarching explanation for something with as many influencing factors as the climate. See this page for a brief summary of proposed causes of the LIA, many of which likely coincided to produce such a drastic change in the climate in a short period of time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age#Possible_causes I think the ocean current, reforestation/CO2 drop, and volcanic explanations are the strongest-supported possible causes. It is worth also considering the causes of the heightened volcanic activity; we have seen evidence just recently that a "new moon" configuration of the Sun and Moon(thus combining tidal force in a single direction) can influence larger than average earthquakes, and possibly also volcanic activity for unstable volcanic regions(?).

In other words, among all of the clear-cut influences there are at one given time, choosing the most poorly understood of them all and dying on that hill is, to me, perplexing.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you also agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.