How ‘consensus science’ blew the Solar Cycle 24 prediction, which turned out to be the lowest in 100 years

Watts Up With That?

A few years ago, the best solar models predicted that Solar Cycle 24 would be larger than Solar Cycle 23. Here is a plot from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) during those heady days, this one being from April 20th, 2007. Note the predicted ranges in red:

ssn_predict_orig1

Now, compare that prediction in 2007, to this plot of actual values today:

Sunspot Number Progression

solar-cycle-sunspot-number1

Note that the current values plotted above still fall far short of the updated predictions that were made to account for a much lower Solar Cycle 24.

Back then NOAA said:

May 8, 2009 — Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Update The Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel has reached a consensus decision on the prediction of the next solar cycle (Cycle 24). First, the panel has agreed that solar minimum occurred in December, 2008. This still qualifies as a prediction since the smoothed sunspot number is only…

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