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Our Current Minimum is More Maunder than Dalton May 9, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in sunspots.
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Our Current Minimum is More Maunder than Dalton

From Watts Up With That, May 8, 2009

Guest Post by David Archibald

This is a plot of three year windows on the Maunder and Dalton Minimum and the current minimum:


What it is showing is how the start of the current minimum compares with the starts of the Maunder and Dalton Minima.  The solar cycle minimum at the start of the Dalton was a lot more active than the current one.  If you consider that very small spots are being counted now, the activities are very similar.  This is how they look without the Dalton:


If you consider the [current sunspot] counting problem, they are actually a pretty good match.

David Archibald



1. bob - May 12, 2009

Does shape of the preceding min offer a clue to the height of the next max?

The slowly forming bottoming shape of sunspot cycle 23 (copy from NOAA/SWPC pasted below) appears to have a somewhat hyperbolic shape (as though approaching zero asymptotically) rather than the usual, more parabolic shape that will be resumed after cycle 24 begins:

Using an enlarged version of the famous sunspot graph pasted below, I examined seven similarly shaped minimums from about 1750 to 1902, and the results are tabulated below the chart:

Following the slowly forming minimums that I identified approximately by date in Table A, the succeeding maximums were unusually low, as scaled approximately from the chart and identified in Table B:

Table A, Approx. Date of Min Table B, Approx Height of Following Max
_________________________ _________________________________

1755 < 85
1797 < 50
1810 < 50
1822 < 70
1878 < 60
1890 < 85
1902 < 60

I noticed that minimums exhibiting sharper bottoms appeared to be followed by much higher maximums and would invite comments, or a more exacting examination of this concept by anyone having better data than I was able to derive from my crude chart measurements.

Bob Paglee, P.E. (Ret.)

Recession-proof vacation ideas. Find free things to do in the U.S.

2. Bill Henthorn - January 24, 2011

In the end won’t the meridianal magnetic current or polar currents be the determining factor for how this minimum will evolve? If one or both hemispheres shut down…(currents idle) won’t that take a long time to get started given the size of the sun? Bill

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