Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are forecasting the Sun is about to wake up, expected to hurl pulses of energy into space. Earth’s implications could be dire as stormy “space weather” could be disastrous for the digital economy.
NCAR’s new paper published in Solar Physics and titled “Overlapping Magnetic Activity Cycles and the Sunspot Number: Forecasting Sunspot Cycle 25 Amplitude,” predicts Sunspot Cycle 25 could peak with a maximum sunspot number between 210 and 260. This contradicts the official forecast by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who both expect Sunspot Cycle 25 to be as weak as Sunspot Cycle 24 peaked around 116.
If the NCAR forecast is correct, it will support the research team’s theory that the Sun has “overlapping 22-year magnetic cycles that interact to produce the well-known, approximately 11-year sunspot cycle as a byproduct. 22-year cycles repeat like clockwork and could be a key to finally making accurate predictions of the timing and nature of sunspot cycles, as well as many of the effects they produce,” according to NCAR & UCAR News, citing the study’s authors.
Using 140 years of solar observations, researchers were able to identify “terminator” events that signal the end of a sunspot cycle. They believe Sunspot Cycle 24 ended in the first half of 2020, with Sunspot Cycle 25 beginning imminently.Read More
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