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New essay claims- “Not to Worry: Solar Magnetic Activity for Cycle 24 Is Increasing” October 31, 2008

Posted by honestclimate in sunspots.
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New essay claims- “Not to Worry: Solar Magnetic Activity for Cycle 24 Is Increasing”

From Watts Up with That?, October 31, 2008

So far, SC24 solar magnetic activity has been in a relative funk. See my post on this very issue from last month.

Leif Svalgaard points out this new paper in AGU from Keating, and kindly placed a copy on his own website for us to examine: Link to Keating-Bz.pdf

The crux of the paper is a forecast, which extends significantly into SC24, even though there is just a small number of observed data points:

Fig. 1. Actual boxcar averages for measured Bz(m) magnitude and the forecast results of applying the McNish- Lincoln technique. Actual data are represented by solid squares, while the calculated results are shown as a curve. The correlation between the two is due to the fact that the McNish-Lincoln method uses actual data when available. The calculated forecast is performed only for the time period after the end of the actual data. This plot shows that Bz(m) reached its minimum average magnitude in mid-2007 and has begun to increase in magnitude. The forecast is that it will continue to increase slowly through the first part of 2008, but will then begin to rapidly increase in magnitude beginning in the latter part of this year, reaching its first peak in late 2009.

There seem to be two schools of thought on the activity level of SC24, those who think it will be very low, and those that think it will be higher than normal.

Dr. Svalgaard goes on record here on this blog in saying:

I’ve been predicting that SC24 would be the smallest cycle in a century, so it is no surprise that it starts out weak and anemic.

While I’m certainly no solar expert, based on what I’ve seen thus far, I’m inclined to agree. I think that Keating’s prediction will not be realized.

This graph of Ap magnetic index will be updated in a few days, with the uptick this month in SC24 spots, perhaps we’ll also see a corresponding uptick in the Ap Index.

From the data provided by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) you can see just how little magnetic field activity there has been. I’ve graphed it below with the latest available data from October 6th, 2008:

click for a larger image



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