Shhh! Top Government Scientists At Work

IPS – Solar Conditions – Monthly Sunspot Numbers

March 10, 2006:

Like the quiet before a storm.

This week researchers announced that a storm is coming–the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one,” she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.

When the belt is turning “fast,” it means that lots of magnetic fields are being swept up, and that a future sunspot cycle is going to be intense. This is a basis for forecasting: “The belt was turning fast in 1986-1996,” says Hathaway. “Old magnetic fields swept up then should re-appear as big sunspots in 2010-2011.”

Like most experts in the field, Hathaway has confidence in the conveyor belt model and agrees with Dikpati that the next solar maximum should be a doozy. But he disagrees with one point. Dikpati’s forecast puts Solar Max at 2012. Hathaway believes it will arrive sooner, in 2010 or 2011.

Solar Storm Warning – NASA Science

About stevengoddard

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10 Responses to Shhh! Top Government Scientists At Work

  1. Online Slang Dictionary

    Doozy: something especially bad.

    Bad for climate scientists ….

  2. Andy DC says:

    These “scientists” are not competent enough to forecast the rise of the sun tomorrow morning.

  3. chris y says:

    Here is a record of Hathaway’s cycle 24 predictions as advertised on NASA’s website-

    Pred. date…….date of min…….max……date of max.
    01/2004- min 1/07, 160 pk
    01/2005- min 1/07, 145 pk 2010
    01/2006- min 1/07, 145 pk, 2010
    01/2007- min 6/07, 145 pk, 2010
    03/2008- min 6/08, 130 pk, 2011.5
    01/2009- min 1/09, 105 pk, 2012
    04/2009- min 4/09, 104 pk, 2013
    05/2009- min 5/09, 90 pk, 2013.5
    11/2009- min 5/09, <50 pk, 20??
    04/2010- min 12/08, 70 pk, 2013.5
    06/2010- min 12/08, 65 pk, 2013.5
    10/2010- min 12/08, 64 pk, 2013.5
    12/2010- min 12/08, 64 pk, 2013.5
    04/2011- min 12/08, 62 pk, 2013.5
    12/2011- min 12/08, 99 pk, 2013.2
    03/2012- min 12/08, 59 pk, 2013.2
    05/2012- min 12/08, 60 pk, 2013.2
    06/2012- min 05/08, 60 pk, 2013.4
    08/2012- min 05/08, 60 pk, 2013.4
    09/2012- min 05/08, 76 pk, 2013.9

    This is referred to as expert forecasting.

    • Blade says:

      Wow it’s great that you got those. It’s like a time series in of itself. Looks quite plot-able.

      Steve, what about overlaying Hathaway’s onto the same graph with the actual counts!

      • Eric Barnes says:

        One of the funniest things about those numbers is the “entusiasm” on the 12/2011 prediction where peak ssn jumps to 99 and then quickly drops back to 59 on 3/12. The multi-year predictions are *complete* junk. The solar cycle had been somewhat consistent recently, and this aberration really let’s you know just how well the sun is understood.
        One other thing that is particularly funny is how Leif Svaalgard assumes that solar output has little variance through the eons, and with little to no evidence, but rails about anyone who suggests the sun might be responsible for changes in climate.
        Objective these people are not.

  4. Yes, solar physicists don’t have a clue either. Actually I don’t have a problem with scientists in lots of different fields not having a clue about stuff. Science is hard, after all. I suppose the part that is hard to stomach is when they express high confidence in matters they barely understand.

  5. anthonyvioli says:

    Thats a new one. I dont think anyone in the field is expecting a big increase in Solar activity that I have noted.

    Still, looking at the figures Chris posted above its fairly clear that they may not have any idea at all either.

  6. Andy OZ says:

    Sunspot Storm Shelters!
    Save yourself and your children from the approaching deadly sunspot storm!
    Only $29,995 for a four person sunspot proof shelter. (NCAR approved)
    Call now on 555 SARC.

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