Current Solar Cycle 3rd Weakest Since Observations Began In 1755

  • Date: 22/01/17
  • Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt, No Tricks Zone

We are now 97 months into Solar Cycle 24 since it started in 2008. It is very clear just how much weaker than normal it has become. And it is in fact the third weakest cycle since observations began in 1755.

In December solar activity was rather quiet, with the sunspot number at only 19.5.  The sun was spotless over 6 days, and already this month there have been 10 spotless days so far.

In December solar activity was only 35% of what the mean is for this month into a cycle.

Figure 1: Sunspot activity for solar cycle (SC) 24 (red) compared to the mean cycle (blue) and the comparatively very similarly behaving SC 5 (black) from the year 1798 to 1810.

We are now 97 months into SC 24 since it started in 2008. It is very clear just how much weaker than normal it has become. And it is in fact the third weakest cycle since observations began in 1755.

Figure 2: Comparison of all the solar cycles. The chart shows the accumulated sunspot number anomaly from the mean value.

No year of the current cycle reached the mean value:

Figure 3: The relative sunspot activity for each year of SC 24.

So far SC 24 has reached only 56% of the average activity of all cycles occurring since 1755.

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see also: As Earth Warms Up, The Sun Is Remarkably Quiet

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