radioweather writes "Solar physicists have been waiting for the appearance of a reversed-polarity sunspot to signal the start of the next solar cycle. As of Friday, that wait is over. A magnetically reversed, high-latitude sunspot emerged on the surface of the sun. Just a few months ago, an 'All Quiet Alert' had been issued for the sun. This reversed-polarity sunspot marks the beginning of the sun's return back to Solar Maximum. Solar Cycle 24 has been the subject of much speculation due to competing forecasts on whether it will be a highly active or a quiet low cycle. If it is a low cycle, it may very well be a test of validity for some CO2 based global warming theories. Only time will tell."