Sunspot Numbers On The Upswing

The long overdue upswing in the 11-year sunspot cycle has started, though many believe the solar maximum this cycle (Cycle 24) will be half that of Cycle 23.

Some of the AGW faithful are claiming this upswing disproves the link between sunspots and climate cycles, but if the lengthy solar minimum (when sunspots are at their minimum number) had the effect many solar astronomers and atmospheric physicists believe it did, then the future solar maximum (when sunspots are at their maximum number) should have less affect on Earth's climate (and that of Mars, the Jovian moons, and so on) than the previous solar maximum.

But I have a different reason than many others out there to be glad the number of sunspots on the sun's surface are increasing, that being radio propagation.

When the sun is quiet, as happens at the bottom of the aforementioned 11-year sunspot cycle, shortwave radio propagation on a number of radio bands won't be nearly as good as it is at the top of a cycle. Being an amateur radio operator since the 1970's, I have always looked forward to the peak of the sunspot cycles knowing the lower frequency amateur radio bands would experience good long range propagation, meaning more of the bands could be used to communicate across the globe.

Who cares if it affects the global climate? I want to see the 12 and 10-meter amateur radio bands open up so I can work some of those rare overseas stations reachable only during the peaks of the sunspot cycles.

Bring it on!