Reply to post: Re: It's the beginning of the next Maunder Minimum.

The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots

Joe Gurman

Re: It's the beginning of the next Maunder Minimum.

No, Jake's point is entirely invalid. The change in sunspot number is a lot more dramatic than the solar cycle variability in total solar irradiance (TSI), that is, what the earth sees. That's more like ~ + or - 0.2%. Climate modelers and observers are still puzzling over whether that, or any other solar cycle effects (for example, the cyclic modulation of cosmic rays by the changing heliospheric magnetic field in turn modulating cloud nucleation in the upper atmosphere) have any measurable effect on climate.

A Maunder minimum it ain't, though some research appears to show we're having fewer groups of sunspots with fewer large spots and thus less magnetic flux, though that, too, is disputed. Since the measurements only started about an activity cycle (~ 11 years) ago, we're stick with the small number problem: for true statistics, you need quite a few solar cycles, and we don't have measurements of many things other the so-called sunspot number over that kind of time period. (We do have measurements of radioisotopes in core samples, but it's not clear if solar modulation is the only effect seen in that record).

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