And how about the predictions of the start of cycle 24?
But now:April 2007: The next 11-year cycle of solar storms will most likely start next March and peak in late 2011 or mid-2012 – up to a year later than expected – according to a forecast issued today by NOAA’s Space Environment Center in coordination with an international panel of solar experts.
Expected to start last fall, the delayed onset of Solar Cycle 24 stymied the panel and left them evenly split on whether a weak or strong period of solar storms lies ahead, but neither group predicts a record-breaker.
Certainly interesting times ahead.SSRC is currently an international leader in the field of climate change study regarding the solar physics of the Earth-Sun relationship and the use of the recently announced Theory of Relational Cycles of Solar Activity" developed by the SSRC. This relational cycle theory or simply the "RC Theory" is a new innovative theory that yields a scientific explanation for the frequent and periodic reversals from global cooling to global warming and back to global cooling that have dominated the Earth's thermal processes for thousands of years.
An important prediction available from the RC theory states that there will be a major drop in the sun's activity measured by an historic reduction in sunspots and other indicators of the sun's behavior. Accompaning this lower state of the sun called a 'solar minimum' by the solar physics community, will be a prolonged cold era according to the SSRC. This next climate change to many years of a slowly cooling Earth environment, is predicted by the SSRC to begin within the period 2010 to 2021 with lowest temperatures during the bottom around the year 2031. The SSRC refers to this dramatic change in climate as a 'solar hibernation' because of the depths of cold that are associated with it based upon many hundreds of years of repeating cycles with similar recorded cold eras, as discovered by the SSRC.
This coming solar minimum has now been confirmed by direct observations of the sun's behavior and has been announced separately by NASA and other leading solar physicists around the world.
The following is some data that provides a historical comparison of 20th century solar activity to past solar activity.
This paper by Usoskin et al. provides an 11 kyr record of solar activity. See figure 3, which is a graph that shows inferred solar activity for the last 11 kyr.
Grand minima and maxima of solar activity: new observational constraints
As noted by Usoskin, the solar magnetic activity in the 20th century was the highest in 8,000 years in terms of maximum reached in each cycle and highest in terms of the number of high magnitude cycles. It was also noted that the solar large scale magnetic field increased by 2.3 times in the 20th century, as compared to the 19th century.
Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years
This link shows the number of magnetic storms at the end of solar cycle significantly increased in the 20th century, as compared to the 19th century. (See figure 12.)
Based a simple comparison of past solar activity, it would be expected that there would be a saw tooth return from the 20th century grand maximum solar activity to historic normal solar activity.
There are a couple of papers that predict a move to a solar minimum for solar cycle 24; One prediction based on historical solar activity and the second based on a solar model. In the past, however, it looks as if there was a reduced cycle before the solar minimum.
Japan’s Hinode solar observing spacecraft has discovered that the sun is emitting as many as 240 small x-ray flares per day. Based on mass calculations these small flares are estimated to contribute as much as 10% to 25% of the solar wind. They appear at all latitudes and have roughly 1000 times less energy than an m class normal x-ray flare.
This discovery has announced Dec. 6, 2007. Perhaps there will be a paper written to discuss the implications of this discovery.
See this link for details.
See these links to see a movie image of the flares.
Three jets in low resolution
Many jets in low resolution
These miniature solar x-ray flares had been missed before, as they are short term events. The Hinode solar observing spacecraft includes instrumentation that can record x-ray events.
Who is SSRC, cited in the second post? They sound a bit like one of those single-issue think tanks, whose leader, Mr. Casey, does not have the qualifications you might expect: http://www.spaceandscience.net/id1.html
They seem to be pushing a theory that all climate change is due to sun cycles. I'll start a separate thread on them in General Science.
Last edited by MAPNUT; 2008-Jan-07 at 03:27 PM.
Thanks for the information William. It’s going to take me some time to go through it all, but at a quick glance it looks very interesting. I’m sure I’ll have some questions. Again, thank you very much.
I'm sorry, so in a nutshell, what does this mean?
Solar Cycle 24 is going to be a Solar Minimum?
Ahh confusion, sorry, i do not understand these Astronomy jargon. =\
There are conflicting predictions as to whether solar cycle 24 will be high or low. I believe there is agreement that cycle 25 will be very low based on the current solar magnetic field model. The following is a summary of this issue.In reply to Cypher's: Solar Cycle 24 is going to be a Solar Minimum?
The NASA solar cycle prediction panel was split: Half of the panel predicted solar cycle 24 will be a high cycle and the other half predicted a low cycle. The NASA solar panel’s predictions are based on solar models that use recent (last 30 years) solar observations, not long term solar behaviour (last 15000 years), to make their predictions.
Based on the long term historical solar cycle record, there is a rump cycle before a Maunder like minimum. Based on analysis of the long term solar activity proxy data there was a prediction that cycle 23 should be a low cycle. It was not, however, there is now observational evidence of a step change in the solar cycle.
The following is more information concerning current solar observations, other researcher’s predictions, and past solar behaviour.
This press release in May 2006 was issued to note an observed step change in the solar conveyor speed. The timing of this change coincides with the prediction of the solar inertial hypothesis. (There is a 180 year cycle in the solar barycentre motion. Those researchers who support the solar inertial hypothesis believe that specific solar barycentre motional changes, triggers a change in the solar cycle.)
Based on the current theory for the solar magnetic field a slowing of the solar conveyor in 2006 should result in a very low cycle for cycle 25.…"Normally, the (my comment, solar) conveyor belt moves about 1 meter per second—walking pace," says Hathaway. "That's how it has been since the late 19th century." In recent years, however, the belt has decelerated to 0.75 m/s in the north and 0.35 m/s in the south. "We've never seen speeds so low."…
Based on an examination of proxy data that is used to determine solar activity levels, this paper predicts cycle 24 should be low. A solar cycle prediction based solely on an analysis of proxy data, is some what suspect, however, as there is no mechanism, to explain why there would be semi-periodic changes to the solar magnetic field. The solar inertial hypothesis might be the missing mechanism to explain what could be causing the solar magnetic field changes, in the proxy long term record.
….We have examined the long-term trends in the solar variability that can be deduced from some indirect data and from optical records. We analyzed the radiocarbon measurements for the last 4500 years, based on dendrochronology… last 1700 years, based on auroral records, and the Hoyt-Schatten series of group sunspot numbers. Focusing on periodicities near one and two centuries, which most likely have a solar origin, we conclude that the present epoch is at the onset of an upcoming local minimum in the long-term solar variability. There are some clues that the next minimum will be less deep than the Maunder minimum, but ultimately the relative depth between these two minima will be indicative of the amplitude change of the quasi-two-century solar cycle….
Just a general comment. There is a lot of "fringe physics" in this thread, by which I mean speculative theories that are taken seriously enough to appear in real journals, but not seriously enough to stimulate a lot of attention in mainstream climatology. In my view, that lack of attention stems from a fundamental logical disconnect in the argument: much of the physical explanations (which are always hard to come by when complex systems are involved) presented in this thread attempt to take a tiny variation in some forcing parameter, say solar activity, and cook up some way that it could have a large impact on Earth's climate. This is done to try and assert why something as insignificant as the solar magnetic cycle could have enough of an impact on Earth to explain climate periodicities. I find three red flags in the above arguments, though none make them necessarily (just probably) wrong:
1) If the Earth's climate is so sensitive to insignificant solar drivers, why is it not also oversensitive to any number of other potential drivers, like human CO2 emissions? In other words, if the driving impetus behind many of these climate-change apologetics is that "it's all the Sun, even though the Sun isn't really doing anything dramatic, so we don't need to worry about human influences", then it is rather illogical to argue on the basis of climate super-sensitivity that human intervention is not important. Super-sensitivity in general would tend to make rising CO2 levels a worse problem-- so what is so special about the solar magnetic cycle that the climate is supersensitive to that driver, but insensitive to all the other potential drivers they ignore? That is the big flaw in all this.
2) It gives me the general sensation of mistaking correlation for causation. This is nothing new-- we see it all the time, whenever analysts feel they need to boil down to pleasantries the stock market, the voting results, or any number of vastly complex systems that we would like to believe we understand but we really don't. This doesn't mean past periodicities will not repeat in the future, nor does it mean they will-- it only means the efforts to explain stochastic or quasi-periodic variations are generally pretty dubious. It is much easier to try and explain a consistent and continuous change in the presence of a consistent and continuous driver, as the argument only gets clearer and clearer with time.
3) Dubious explanations, when they emanate from questionable sources, are even less reliable. The questionable nature of the so-called "SSRC" was explored on another thread, so here I'll just note that the spaceandscience.net citation above, which claims that the SSRC has an "innovative theory" that makes an "important prediction", is from the website of the SSRC! Surprise, surprise, those are self-characterizations, they couldn't even find someone else to say that. That's like a movie review being written by the movie's own director ("the innovative directorial style had me riveted to my seat..." etc. etc.). It is also interesting to note that the website includes a photo of a shiny glass building that is claimed to be a photo of the "SSRC location", but in fact the "SSRC location" is just one suite in that building-- a building with two corporate labels that (coincidentally) cannot be read in the photograph. Hard to take any argument seriously under these kinds of conditions.
Hello Ken G. in reply to your comment.
Are you interested in solar atmosphere physics or paleoclimatology?
1) How could solar magnetic field changes affect planetary temperature?
The solar magnetic field changes are hypothesized to affect planetary temperature by modulating planetary cloud. (More clouds, cooler planet and less clouds, warmer planet.) Satellite observations by Palle and observation of changes of the earth’s albedo by observing earthshine reflected off of the moon also by Palle, supports the hypothesis.
There are two mechanisms in which solar magnetic field changes could modulate planetary cloud cover.
The effect of cloud modulation is greatest over the oceans where there is less dust to form clouds and there is a shortage of cloud forming ions. (Rain removes the ions, so they must be replenished.) As the oceans act as a heat sink and the area of ocean cloud cover is large, a long term change in low level clouds over the ocean has a significant effect on planetary temperature.
The following are the two cloud modulating mechanisms:
1) "Electroscavenging" which is the name for the mechanism where sudden solar wind bursts are hypothesized to increase currents in the ionosphere which remove cloud forming ions.
2) Modulation of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) by changes in the solar heliosphere. Svensmark has done some detailed research in this area. The high speed GCR (mostly protons) strike the earth’s upper atmosphere and create muons. The muons travel on to lower regions of the atmosphere where they create cloud forming ions. (More GCR more clouds and less GCR less clouds.)
This is Palle’s satellite paper.
“The possible connection between ionization in the atmosphere by cosmic rays and low level clouds” by Palle et al.
As evidence for a cloud—cosmic ray connection has emerged, interest has risen in the various physical mechanisms whereby ionization by cosmic rays could influence cloud formation. In parallel with the analysis of observational data by Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (1997), Marsh and Svensmark (2000) and Palle´ and Butler (2000), others, including Tinsley (1996), Yu (2002) and Bazilevskaya et al. (2000), have developed the physical understanding of how ionization by cosmic rays may influence the formation of clouds.
In addition to relatively short term modulation of Galactic Cosmic Rays due to changes in the solar heliosphere, there are astronomical reasons for long term changes in GCR magnitude.
The Israel physicist Shaviv has shown that the magnitude of GCR changes depending on the position of the solar system in the Milky Way. When the solar system passes through the galactic arms there is an increase in GCR. Shaviv has presented data that shows there is an increase in GCR (the increase in GCR causes isotope changes in asteroid fragments. Shaviv studied meteoroids. See paper below for details.) and that the periods of increased GCR, correlate with ice epochs, including the current ice epoch.
“Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?’ By Nirva Shaviv & Ján Veizer
In response to your question: What is the relative magnitude of solar and GCR cloud modulation Vs other climate forcing functions, the following paper also by Shaviv estimates the different forcing function.
“On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget” by Nirva Shaviv.
This paper by Shiva provides an explanation for the early faint sun paradox.
Towards a Solution to the Early Faint Sun Paradox: A Lower Cosmic Ray Flux from a stronger Solar Wind
Again, that is correlation in search of causation. The above challenge is still unmet-- if I can find a dozen other things that also correlate with clouding, including the stock market, why should I think it's the Sun that's doing it?Satellite observations by Palle and observation of changes of the earth’s albedo by observing earthshine reflected off of the moon also by Palle, supports the hypothesis.
"Could", so what? I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm asking why I should think that's the dominant mechanism.There are two mechanisms in which solar magnetic field changes could modulate planetary cloud cover.
Sounds like complete hooey. But easy enough to test-- we do have satellites that will know when there are solar wind bursts-- so why is the data used more often indirect things like solar activity measures? When indirect data shows better correlations than direct data, it's a red flag, to say the least.The following are the two cloud modulating mechanisms:
1) "Electroscavenging" which is the name for the mechanism where sudden solar wind bursts are hypothesized to increase currents in the ionosphere which remove cloud forming ions.
Again, we measure cosmic ray fluxes! The only way to establish this mechanism that would make any sense is the direct correlation, not the use of solar activity data.2) Modulation of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) by changes in the solar heliosphere. Svensmark has done some detailed research in this area. The high speed GCR (mostly protons) strike the earth’s upper atmosphere and create muons. The muons travel on to lower regions of the atmosphere where they create cloud forming ions.
Even the title shows the paper is not attempting to explain anything, so interpreting it that way is inappropriate. It is merely assessing plausibility, so it is just the first 1% or so of a real argument.“The possible connection between ionization in the atmosphere by cosmic rays and low level clouds” by Palle et al.
No problem there.The Israel physicist Shaviv has shown that the magnitude of GCR changes depending on the position of the solar system in the Milky Way. When the solar system passes through the galactic arms there is an increase in GCR.
Oops, back to correlation in search of causation. 99% more to go to get a real argument here as well.Shaviv has presented data that shows there is an increase in GCR (the increase in GCR causes isotope changes in asteroid fragments. Shaviv studied meteoroids. See paper below for details.) and that the periods of increased GCR, correlate with ice epochs, including the current ice epoch.
Well, one person believes it. That should count for something.In response to your question: What is the relative magnitude of solar and GCR cloud modulation Vs other climate forcing functions, the following paper also by Shaviv estimates the different forcing function.
“On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget” by Nirva Shaviv.
And there are 100 ways to extinct the dinosaurs too. So what? This is so far from a real argument that we should base our global warming strategies on, it's not even funny.Towards a Solution to the Early Faint Sun Paradox: A Lower Cosmic Ray Flux from a stronger Solar Wind
Hi Ken G. in reply to your comments.
Which points do we agree on or disagree on?
1) In addition to correlation, there must be a mechanism to cause the change. In the case, of this problem, there is paleoclimatic evidence of semi cyclical abrupt changes in planetary temperature. As noted above, concurrent with the planetary temperature changes is an observed change in the solar magnetic field cycle. (Correlation does not prove cause. And in addition the solar magnetic field changes may be the trigger but other planetary climate forcing functions could amplify the solar magnetic field changes.)
2) A hypothesized mechanism was provided as to how solar magnetic field changes could affect planetary temperature. There is some observational evidence that supports the solar magnetic field mechanism. (The predicted increase and decrease in planetary clouds was observed over oceans and at latitudes as predicted by the hypothesis.)
3) Additional observations are required to determine if the solar magnetic cycle, modulation of planetary cloud hypothesis is correct and to determine the appropriate weighting for the different climatic forcing functions. This issue has not been resolved in the scientific community.
4) If the solar magnetic modulation of cloud hypothesis is correct and there is a slow down in cycle 24 the planet should cool. If the solar magnetic modulation of cloud hypothesis is not correct, there will be no change or a minor change. (Comment: Researchers agree there should based on solar modelling theories be a slow down in cycle 25. There is not agreement as to whether there will be a slow down in solar cycle 24.)
A link was provided above to Palle’s satellite paper that found 99.9% correlation between planetary cloud cover and GCR changes 1992 to 2001, when adjusted for the effect of electroscavenging. Below is a link to Palle’s earthshine paper that provides data to support a reduction in planetary albedo (less clouds) 1994 to 2001, which Palle states is equivalent to a forcing of 7.5W/M^2.
This discovery (see link below) supports the existence of some mechanism that can simultaneously reduce planetary temperature in both hemispheres.
"...Because the Earth is oriented in space in such a way that the hemispheres are out of phase in terms of the amount of solar radiation they receive, it is surprising to find that the climate in the Southern Hemisphere cooled off repeatedly during a period when it received its largest dose of solar radiation," says Singer. "Moreover, this rapid synchronization of atmospheric temperature between the polar hemispheres appears to have occurred during both of the last major ice ages that gripped the Earth..."
Or there may be little causal connection of any kind.(Correlation does not prove cause. And in addition the solar magnetic field changes may be the trigger but other planetary climate forcing functions could amplify the solar magnetic field changes.)
No, the mechanism was how it could affect clouding. The clouding would then have to affect the temperature. Are solar magnetic fields the dominant factor that controls clouding on Earth, and is clouding the dominant effect in the temperature? No, on both counts. So the hypothesis, apparently, is that even though there are far more important factors that control clouding and temperature over "paleoclimatic" timescales, somehow the tiny influence of solar magnetic fields is the crucial variation we must focus all our attention on? A conclusion of so unlikely a nature requires very solid evidence, and must go way beyond "this is how one might possibly imagine such a connection". The physical mechanism cannot just be a cartoon-- it must be established by demonstrable causality, not pure correlation and speculation. The speculation by itself is neither right or wrong, it is just a speculation. It is the followup that is lacking.2) A hypothesized mechanism was provided as to how solar magnetic field changes could affect planetary temperature.
These predictions were not post-facto? The "theory" was not set up to explain existing data? Because you must realize that weather pattern prediction is a rather important industry, and if a crucial term (like cosmic rays) are being left out, the weatherman needs to know.There is some observational evidence that supports the solar magnetic field mechanism. (The predicted increase and decrease in planetary clouds was observed over oceans and at latitudes as predicted by the hypothesis.)
Of course it has not been resolved, the observations that could lend some solid support haven't been done! But the problem is, the burden of proof lies on the person claiming the correlation is a causation, it is never sufficient to say "we'll believe it until observations prove us wrong". Not when important policy decisions are at stake, that's just an apologetic for ignoring the evidence that other observations have already accrued. Granted, I commend these researchers for not just saying "I'm not convinced about the other arguments", they are actually trying to put new testable arguments on the table. But putting them on the table by noticing some correlations is just the very first step, and cooking up obscure and untested mechanisms to support it is the second-- what is then required is the demonstration that the mechanism is at play with direct observations of that very mechanism at work. Not indirection correlations, direct measurements of the causal agent and the proposed response. When that important final step is lacking, it's all just pure speculation based on correlation.3) Additional observations are required to determine if the solar magnetic cycle, modulation of planetary cloud hypothesis is correct and to determine the appropriate weighting for the different climatic forcing functions. This issue has not been resolved in the scientific community.
Not just that, the planet should show increased clouding due to whatever is the putative transfer agent to the Earth! This is my point, if the mechanism says "magnetic field A causes particle B to stream to Earth and generate cloud C which then causes cooling D", a scientific test cannot simply show A and D, it must also show B and C-- especially when B and C are perfectly easy to observe independently of A and D. That's what I am not seeing here-- a direct scientific test, not just a plausibility argument based on a post-facto correlation.4) If the solar magnetic modulation of cloud hypothesis is correct and there is a slow down in cycle 24 the planet should cool.
No, if the hypothesis is not correct, you can say the change will be coincidentally related, you cannot say there will be no change. One always has to assess the coincidence probabilities, especially when has a range of possible correlations to look for. That's why the direct tests are what you need.If the solar magnetic modulation of cloud hypothesis is not correct, there will be no change or a minor change.
Those predictions are not based on models, as far as I can see, they are based purely on empirical extrapolations of past results. And good researchers should always remember the ubiquitous stock-market warning: "past performance is not necessarily predictive of future results". I wouldn't bank any serious money on any of those cycle predictions, to be quite frank-- expressly because there is no known physical model for determining solar magnetic activity. Even the most basic aspects of the solar cycle are not understood concretely.(Comment: Researchers agree there should based on solar modelling theories be a slow down in cycle 25. There is not agreement as to whether there will be a slow down in solar cycle 24.)
And this so-called "adjustment" is based on what independently demonstrated physics? I smell a big rat in that word. You cannot demonstrate that electroscavenging occurs in the same observation that you correct for its effects on the thing you are actually observing, you need a direct observational test on the proposed mechanism or it is underconstrained. And anyone can do pretty much anything with underconstrained data.A link was provided above to Palle’s satellite paper that found 99.9% correlation between planetary cloud cover and GCR changes 1992 to 2001, when adjusted for the effect of electroscavenging.
Earthshine on the Moon is a very imperfect way to test the cloud cover of the Earth, because the Moon only samples a single direction, so any variation in the reflected brightness with angle is pure noise in that experiment. Also, one needs to use consistently controlled observations of that Earthshine, which might be quite hard to do at the required accuracy level (I can't comment on the error analysis, I'm just saying that needs to be looked at very carefully, and I wager has been, by the paper's detractors). The red flag I always look for in post-facto correlations is that the effect is more apparent in noisy data than it is in cleaner data.Below is a link to Palle’s earthshine paper that provides data to support a reduction in planetary albedo (less clouds) 1994 to 2001, which Palle states is equivalent to a forcing of 7.5W/M^2.
Well, I've read the Tinsley and Yu paper, and I must confess it appears to be a pretty impressive effort to meet the very challenges I set forth above. Although in their abstract they admit the effort is "speculative" involving "possible explanations", that doesn't seem more true here than in any early scientific investigation into a complex problem. At this point the primary obstacle is my own lack of knowledge about global climate issues, so there's not much more I could say except that there do appear to be interesting forcing terms related to the solar cycle. The main question that remains unaddressed by this one paper is whether or not the small cyclical variations encountered could be related to the accumulated climate change affects we've seen in the last century. The way I would phrase that question is, if we accept that solar-cycle variations in clouding and temperature are due to solar activity variations (often solar-wind modulation), do the centruy-long variations in those same proxies explain the century-long climate variations we have seen, or are we mixing apples and oranges when discussing solar-cycle variations and longterm climate change? For example, if global warming has been apparent over the last few solar cycles, why is that effect not overshadowed by a much more obvious cyclical variation required by the hypotheses of this paper? Is it plausible that the solar-wind variations seen over a single cycle, in which the morphology of the solar wind changes considerably, can be dwarfed by the solar-wind variations on the century timescale?
In reply to Ken G.
The information and analysis below seems to support the modulation of planetary cloud hypothesis by electroscavenging, hypothesis. If planetary clouds are reduced by an increase in solar wind bursts that through the process of electroscavenging, removes cloud forming ions, then a significant portion of the 20th century warming could have been caused by that mechanism.
The first paper states that the solar large scale magnetic field has more than doubled in the last 100 years. There are solar papers that link the formation of coronal holes which generate high speed solar winds, with the solar large scale magnetic field.
The second paper provides a model as to why the solar large scale magnetic field has more than doubled. I believe the e-folding time for a reduction in the large scale magnetic field is about 4 years.
The last link is to a geomagnetic research site that provides a 150 year record of the number of solar magnetic storms per year. (The solar magnetic storms cause short term alternation in the externally measure geomagnetic field. The geomagnetic field has been monitored for the last 150 years in England and Australia.) There are more than twice as many solar magnetic storms comparing the 20th century to the 19th century. As shown in figure 12, the number of solar magnetic storms is reduced in cycle 20, which is I believe when there was a period of global temperature reduction.
“Doubling Sun’s Coronal Magnetic Field in Last 100 years” by Lockwood et al.
Evolution of the Sun's large-scale magnetic field since the Maunder minimum by Solanki et al.Here we show that measurements of the near-Earth interplanetary magnetic field reveal that the total magnetic flux leaving the Sun has risen by a factor of 1.4 since 1964: surrogate measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field indicate that the increase since 1901 has been by a factor of 2.3.
Look at figure 12 in the attached which shows the number of solar magnetic storms per year, from 1865 to present and the solar cycle number. There is a roughly 20 times increase in the number of magnetic storms at the end of the solar cycles, when comparing the 20th century to the 19th century.Here we present a model describing the long-term evolution of the Sun's large-scale magnetic field, which reproduces the doubling of the interplanetary field. The model indicates that there is a direct connection between the length of the sunspot cycle and the secular variations.
I started investigating this subject with a review of papers and textbooks, that outline what is known concerning abrupt climate change and the glacial/interglacial cycle. There are both warming and abrupt cooling periods in the paleoclimatic record. Some papers hypothesized that changes in ocean currents could be causing the abrupt climatic changes.
Kaplan’s finding (see comment above) that the planetary temperature changes (cooling and warming) are synchronous in both hemispheres appears to rule out ocean current changes (Changes in ocean currents warm one region and cool another.) Also the ocean current hypothesis requires an unstable system where a small forcing function would be amplified by positive feedback. There appears to be evidence for negative feedbacks which resist climatic change. With negative feedbacks the forcing function must be much larger to cause the observed large rapid temperature changes.
Again my own expertise is insufficient to critique those articles, but I point at that the two key ones are in "Letters to Nature". I suspect such letters are not peer-reviewed, am I right?
In reply to Ken G.
Here is a copy of a peer reviewed article that reaches the same conclusion.
"Secular variation of the Sun's magnetic flux" by Solanki et al.
http://www.aanda.org/index.php?optio.../08/aa1923.pdfThe surprising outcome of this work was the discovery of a secular variation of the heliospheric magnetic field, which is superimposed upon its modulation by the 11-year solar activity cycle: on average, the open flux has doubled since roughly 1900. The time evolution of the heliospheric field could be reproduced through a simple model by Solanki et al. (2000), whose main assumption is that the open magnetic flux decays rather slowly with an e-folding time of about 4 years.
I believe, the estimated e-folding time for cooling of the ocean surface (50 meters) is also about 4 years.
It seems odd to me that they use #24. If each cycle is 11 years, then that seems to imply that the sun has only been having these cycles for like 264 years!
Wouldn't it be better to just say the 2008 cycle or something like that?
Or maybe there's something I'm missing...
As above, so below
The solar cycle number is only a label to help researchers discuss changes in the solar cycle. As the graph below indicates there have been changes in the solar cycle. (A single, sequential number as a label is probably more convenient than a year.)
Hello Ken G.
It suggested that the data and analysis noted above provides strong support for but does not prove the statement that there is semi periodic solar cycle magnetic field variation and long term GCR magnitude variation, and that those variations could likely be a first order climate modulation mechanism. Within the scientific community the appropriate magnitude of the different climate forcing functions (particularly this specific set of forcing functions) has not been settled.
It is suggested that we take a break from our discussion of solar cycle changes and climate, and resume discussion if there is significant new data/papers and also watch solar cycle 24 to see how it unfolds. A reduction or no reduction, in planetary temperature as the result of a magnetic cycle change in cycle 24 would help to validate or disprove the hypothesis.
Lastly, as a connecting aside, the following is a link to Adam’s paper on abrupt climate change and Wally Broeker’s climate is an angry beast article. There are a number of unanswered problems, concerning past climate changes. The analysis of solar magnetic field changes is interesting both from the perspective of solar physics and how solar change could possible affect climate.
…No one understands what is required to cool Greenland by 16 °C and the tropics by 4 ± 1 °C, to lower mountain snowlines by 900 m, to create an ice sheet covering much of North America, to reduce the atmosphere’s CO2 content by 30%, or to raise the dust rain in many parts of Earth by an order of magnitude. If these changes were not documented in the climate record, they would never enter the minds of the climate dynamics community. Models that purportedly simulate glacial climates do so only because key boundary conditions are prescribed (the size and elevation of the ice sheets, sea ice extent, sea surface temperatures, atmospheric CO2 content, etc.). …… In addition, some of these models have sensitivities whose magnitude many would challenge. …paleoclimatic record tells us is that Earth’s climate system is capable of jumping from one mode of operation to another. …In my estimation, we lack even a first order explanation as to how the various elements of the Earth system interact to generate these alternate modes. …
My concern with your posts was you were saying that Hathaway is predicting a weak cycle 24. I try to keep up with what’s going on and have never seen where Hathaway predicted a weak cycle 24.
Something I haven't seen mentioned in the posts so far, and something that is quite relevant, is the strength of the magnetic field at the solar poles.
At this point in the cycle (very near solar minimum), the magnetic field strength should be concentrated at the solar poles. (It can concentrate at the poles because of solar differential rotation - the poles are a "safe harbor," away from rotational effects). From the poles it descends, is carried toward the equator, with eruptions along the way appearing as sunspots.
Direct observations of the magnetic field strength at the solar poles are available beginning in 1976 - see Stanford's Wilcox Solar Observatory graph of this series
The recent polar field is significantly lower than during the previous 3 solar cycles, and the weakest ever directly observed.
So, since in the solar dynamo model, the source of sunspots at solar maximum is the magnetic field strength that accumulated in the poles at solar minimum, and the solar polar magnetic field is now the weakest ever directly observed, just where are the Cycle 24 sunspots going to come from?
see Ken Schatten's paper, "Solar Cycle #24 and the Solar Dynamo," which includes his prediction and explains his methodology
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I have been working on a solar dynamo model and like any model - the Maunder Minimum creates serious problems. For my model to work during the Maunder Minimum it would need to be asymmetric during that period of time (either favor the northern or southern hemisphere). The sun would also appear larger in diameter which I have found accounts that it did. I have been looking for information if the sunspot pattern was asymmetric and that paper points me in a direction to search.Another interesting fact is that it is possible to build butterfly diagrams for some periods of the MM, thanks to the archives of the French astronomy school. The butterfly diagram was strongly asymmetric during theMM with the majority of spots observed in the Southern solar hemisphere This fact is very important for understanding the Grand minimum scenario as discussed in Sec. 3.1.
My calculations show a minimum starting in 2020 which is close to Hathaway’s cycle 25 prediction. An interesting note my calculations missed the start of the Maunder Minimum by ~10 years; so if cycle 24 is the start of the minimum it will match the Maunder Minimum, meaning I will need to tweak my model a little.
Thanks for the link to the paper, it really helps.
Thanks to both orionjim and William for comments.
Of particular note in Schatten's paper is his Figure 7.
Where is solar minimum in this forecast? Somewhere in the "flat line" on the left (Schatten's latest estimate for Solar Minimum: July 2009)
When is Solar Max? Late 2013!
The "average" solar cycle of approximately 11 years is usually 4 years of "rise time" to solar max, followed by 7 years of "fall time" to solar minimum.
Cycle 23 officially began May 1996. Official max was June 2000, a near "perfect" 4 year rise. "Fall time" is now just over 8 years. According to Jan Janssens
in only 4 other cycles has fall time exceeded 8 years (96 months) - none in the last 100 years.
A July 2009 minimum would make Cycle 23 just over 13 years long (about 157 months).
Again from Janssens table, that would make Cycle 23 the 2nd longest in history - 2nd only to Cycle #4 (at 169 months) which preceded the Dalton Minimum.
Schatten's model admits a timing error of +/- 1 year. Therefore, if his model is correct, Solar Minimum could be as early as now-ish, or as late as mid 2010!
Schatten's model is indeed a physics-based model. The actual physics of the solar dynamo are still unknown, so all we have is models of how it is believed the physics of the real sun operates.
The original dynamo model proposed by the Babcocks was a more shallow model, similar to what Schatten and others have returned to, in an effort to resolve some of the inadequacies of the "deep" dynamo models developed subsequent to the Babcocks.
One very serious question, which all models must address, is where does the extra energy come from for particularly active cycles?
And where does it go, at particularly inactive periods, such as the one we now seem to be in?
Ken Schatten has noted the frequent appearance of low latitude coronal holes - very unusual at solar minimum - and has wondered if perhaps these features allow magnetic field strength, instead of being swept to the poles by normal meridional flow to become part of the next sunspot cycle, to instead reconnect at low latitudes, and through the coronal hole, "escape" into interplanetary space with the solar wind, leaving the sun "drained" of magnetic energy for the upcoming cycle.
I think with the tools we have today when we hit another minimum we might be able to put more of the puzzle pieces together.
A site I found that has a good collection of these tools is (what else but) http://www.solarcycle24.com .
Another site I found that has a dialog between Lief Svalgaard and David Archibald is:
Lief had the 3rd rated prediction on the list provided by Diamond (see post #35 of this thread). Lief’s method uses the polar magnetic field and he is predicting a lower number than Schatten. And David Archibald is the person in the youtube video William posted in #31 on July 23 2008.
Thanks for the links orionjim.
The following is the NASA by month high and low solar forecast. The low forecast would have the sun spotless to around February, 2009.
Hello John X. and Orionjim,
I have re-looked at Jack Zircher’s discussion of the pros/cons of the different solar dynamo mechanisms from his book “Journey from the Center of the Sun”. (I would recommend Zircher’s book.)
Do you see a possible mechanism to create a Maunder minimum phase with Gene Parker's modification to the Babcock solar dynamo?
The following is paraphrased from chapter 13, Solar and Stellar cycles.
Bacock’s model has the solar magnetic field starting with a weak polar field that lies in the convection zone and connects the sun’s poles in the solar corona. Differential motion of the convection zone wraps the north-south field lines around the solar equator, creating a band of toroidal magnetic ropes in each hemisphere. The wrapping process is hypothesized to reach some critical limit (around 3000 gauss) in a few years.
Gene Parker’s Criticism of the Bacock Mechanism, and his proposed Alternative:
As others had noted, the convection zone would tear up the weak polar to polar field. Computer modeling by Gary Glatzmeier using the Babcock mechanism did not match observation. Glatzmeier found sunspots in the simulations migrated toward the poles rather than toward the equator. In addition the helioseismic observations showed that for each solar latitude that the top and bottom of the convection zone had the same speed. (i.e. There was no radial variation in speed.)
Parker’s calculation indicated that the magnetic ropes formed would rise to the surface in much less than 11 years and would rise with a magnetic field strength much less than 3000 gauss. Also calculations showed that a magnetic field strength of 10,000 to 30,000 gauss is required to avoid being ripped to pieces as it rises through the convection zone.
Theorists’ calculations supported the assertion that a magnetic rope would remain submerged in the radiative zone/convection zone interface, if the convection zone slightly overshot the radiative zone, to create an active region. The theoretical calculations indicated a magnetic rope of up 100,000 gauss could be formed in that region.
As the radiative zone is believed to rotate as a single mass without differential rotation and the convection zone rotation varies with latitude there is a shearing motion at the interface to stretch and strength the magnetic field lines.
Parker’s modification to the Babcock model has to separate where the Alpha and Omega magnetic field line modifications take place, rather than have both field modifications hypothesized to take place in one region. The Omega affect has assumed to take place at the radiative zone to convection zone interface and the Alpha effect at the sun’s surface.
In the radiative zone there is no convection and little turbulence which allows the weak seed magnetic fields to build up, strengthened by the shearing motion of the convection zone as it moves across the radiative zone.
According to Zicker, two theorists MacGregor and Charbanneau have incorporated Parker’s ideas into a more sophisticated model, that takes into other complications. The simulations according to Zicker support the mechanism, although additional work needs to be done.
Also, today is the first of the month, and the SIDC (Solar Influences Data Center) has updated the sunspot numbers for July - as a graph here
and as a table here
The "harvest" of sunspots continues to be pitiful.
The drought goes on.
When thinking about the Solar Dynamo I found Hathaway’s NASA site listing what we don’t know about the Solar Dynamo helpful:
Also about four years ago I attended NASA’s Sun Earth Connection seminar and one of the speakers was Pete Riley. Pete’s talk was about the “Currentsheet”; the largest single thing in our solar system. I was blown away. This is a NASA site that talks about it:
And this is a paper about it:
The inward and outward flows shown in the SOHO’s Coronagraph 2 and Coronagraph 3 are part of the currentsheet. To me, this is one thing you want to watch if/when we do start into a minimum.