A very good question
OK, so I’ve recently bemoaned my fortune in actually seeing an SC24 spot “live”. But there’s a much more serious question which Anthony Watts has brought up:
Galileo, Wolf, and other solar observers of the past would likely never have seen it. So with these Tiny Tims coming and going so quickly, that begs the question; was the Maunder Minimum, Dalton Minimum and other minimums not simply a period of Tiny Tim sunspots that nobody could detect with the observing equipment of the time?
THAT is a very good question.
Above is the record of the Solar Cycle right back to the Maunder Minimum. As you can see Galileo reported sunspots just before the Maunder Minimum, which was fortunate because with the instrumentation available at the time, he would not have seen the “Tiny Tims” similar to the current SC24 ones.
I hope this isn’t what we’re seeing. If the Earth’s climate is dominated by variations in Solar luminosity and magnetic field strength as is believed by some, then that would mean cooling.
And that would be a global disaster as deserts expand, storms increase, glaciers expand and wipe out towns and villages in places like Switzerland and Nepal, a shorter growing season with more variability in precipitation, an increase in the number of droughts and failed harvests leading to mass starvation in certain regions.
I hope its just a hiccup in global warming, because there’s very little to be scared of in a warming climate.
Before the current scare began, climatologists talked of warm periods as “Optimums” or “Optima”, a time of plenty and societal growth and prosperity. With the advent of political supplication to climate models and the pronouncements of some climate modellers, we have been taught to fear warming and try to reverse it as wholly undesirable even at the expense of every modern device that keeps us from being victims of climate change, howsoever caused.
I really hope for global warming. At the moment, I’m pessimistic about whether it will continue.