Climate has real world consequences, and those operating in fields that will be affected by changing climate bring a different perspective to the problem of predicting what will happen. Bill Fordham, advising the grain industry in the Midwest, kindly sent me a copy of the advice he provides to his clients. Following are two of his charts:
In Bill’s words,” Here is a chart of the 11-Year Sunspot Cycle you have probably never seen before! It is an 11-Year Average of the Monthly Sunspot Data. Why do I think it is important to look at an 11-Year Average? Because I am interested in how the ongoing 11-Year Average acts as we go forth in time with the droughts in the 1930′s and 1906.
I am also greatly interested in how the ongoing 11-Year Average acts as we go forth in time with the “Little Ice Age” that bottomed in 1816, the “Year Without A Summer”! The 1816 Eleven-Year Average Bottom was 327 months from the 1788 Eleven-Year Average Peak. If Sunspot history repeats similar to the 1788-1816 cycle, 327 months from the April 1990 Eleven-Year Average Peak will be in July 2017. For what it’s worth, the rate of decline since the 60 level was broken in April 1990 projects an 1816 level of 14.2 in just 44 more months from now, or by October 2016. If the current rate-of-decline in the 11-Year Average stays on track for another 44 months, we may need a few more blankets!”
This graph of Bill’s plots Solar Cycles 22 to 24 over Solar Cycles 3 to 6. What is interesting about this graph is that it suggests that the Sun has a limited playbook. Solar Cycles 22 and 23 are very similar in size and shape to Solar Cycles 3 and 4. But we are now coming up to big departure from how Solar Cycle 5 played out.