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Some Documented Solar Influences on Weather by Joe D'Aleo
Wednesday, July 15th 2009, 1:04 PM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
In a number of posts this last year, we have addressed the unusually long and quiet solar cycles. A few weeks back, we noted the sunspot minimum seemed at hand as the month of June started with a series of cycle 24 sunspots and it appeared we would exceed the monthly sunspot number of 3.3 necessary to make the sunspot minimum (the lowest value in 13 month average) November 2008.

Well June despite numerous other small microdots characteristic of this cycle ended up with a monthly average of 2.6 which allowed December to drop from the 1.8 to 1.7 making December the earliest candidate for solar minimum. July would have to average below 3.5 in order for the minimum to move to January. It is unlikely to move to February as the month August would have to average below 0.5, the number in the month it will replace.

December had a 13 month average sunspot number of 1.7. Only three minima since 1750 had official minima below 1.7 (1913 1.5, 1810 0, 1823 0.1). Of course modern measurement technologies are better than older technologies so there is some uncertainty as to whether microdots back then would have been seen.

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In a post Mt, Redoubt, a Quiet Sun and Your Morning Coffee, we showed how the solar cycle seems to have an influence on world production and spot market prices of coffee likely by influencing weather in the tropical growing areas.



Lower solar activity has a significant correlation with drought in Argentina. The last two years have seen a devastating drought in that country with major impact on winter wheat, corn and beans. This year’s drought is expected to produce lowest winter wheat yields in two decades.

You can see the drought reflected in the satellite derived vegetation index (NDVI) (Source USDA Spot NDVI) which is a measure of the health of vegetation. The recent NDVI for South America is shown below. Note how the drought has extended into southern Brazil at times (Rio Grande do Sul) although recent rains have helped recharge soil moisture there. You can compare the NDVI with the correlation of precipitation rate with solar flux (Source NOAA CDC).

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