CONSENSUS STATEMENT OF THE SOLAR CYCLE 24 PREDICTION PANEL
March 20, 2007
The Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel anticipates the solar minimum marking
the onset of Cycle 24 will occur in March, 2008 (±6 months). The panel reached
this conclusion due to the absence of expected signatures of minimum-like
conditions on the Sun at the time of the panel meeting in March, 2007: there
have been no high-latitude sunspots observed with the expected Cycle 24
polarity; the configuration of the large scale white-light corona has not yet
to a simple dipole; the heliospheric current sheet has not yet flattened;
and activity measures, such as cosmic ray flux, radio flux, and sunspot
have not yet reached typical solar minimum values.
In light of the expected long interval until the onset of Cycle 24, the
Prediction Panel has been unable to resolve a sufficient number of questions to
reach a single, consensus prediction for the amplitude of the cycle. The
deliberations of the panel supported two possible peak amplitudes for the
International Sunspot Number (Ri): Ri = 140 ±20 and Ri = 90 ±10. Important
questions to be resolved in the year following solar minimum will lead to a
consensus decision by the panel.
The panel agrees solar maximum will occur near October, 2011 for the large
cycle (Ri=140) case and August, 2012 for the small cycle (Ri=90) prediction.
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