The last few solar cycles have been non-impressive from a shortwave perspective. HF enthusiasts have (mostly) remained resilient in the face of continuously eroding band conditions. Now comes more bad news.
Researchers at Cornell University are suggesting that the next two solar cycles will be even weaker than they are now. If they’re correct, it could be more than 30 years before we might expect the bands to have a chance at returning to the way we were.
“Using the epochs where the orbital angular momentum of the Sun is steeply decreased during the period 1600-2099, we infer that Solar Cycle 25 will be weaker than Cycle 24. Cycles 25 and 26 will have almost same strength, and their epochs are at the minimum between the current and upcoming Gleissberg cycles”.
And if you can stand one more kick in the nuts:
“Our analysis also suggests a much lower value (30-40) for the maximum amplitude of the upcoming Cycle 25”.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough years left to patiently wait for the HF bands to show significant improvement. This extended period will doubtless yield all manner of new weak signal digital modes as hams struggle to maintain global communications via HF.
But if you’re not a big fan of change, you’re probably not going to survive in this brave new radio world.