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.
Moderator note: This post was moved from Who is SSRC? And what is Relational Cycle Theory?
Before we discuss further let me remind you that it's job of the laywer to proof his client innocent, not to identify the real offender. If he has done both, but the other suspect turns out to be innoncent too that still means that his client remains innocent.
The Popperian sciencific philosophy works that way. You can proof a theory false but you cannot proof a theory to be true. Consider the 2.5-4.5 degrees of IPCC for 2xCO2 falsified. That doesn't change whether or not Svensmark is right. For instance, we also see it happen right now that both the ENSO (El Nina Southern Oscilation) and the North Atlantic Oscillation have a distinct impact on climate.
Anyway, conversion of incoming radiation energy to temperature is basically ruled by the Stefan Boltzman law for Black bodies.
Eath however is more grey body, reflecting part of the energy depending on the reflectivity or "albedo" (A), so perhaps take note of the link to see that the basic energy to temperature conversion is governed by (step 4):
Te=fourth root of (S*(1-A)/4*sigma))
So variation in albedo (i.g. more or less clouds) is also a considerable factor for the global temperature. Now let's look at Pallé et al 2006, who wonder if Earth temperature and albedo can increase together.
So look at fig 2, the reconstruction of Earth's albedo from cloud cover compared with the Earth shine on the dark side of the moon. We see a steady decrease of albedo to from 1985 to 1998 and then a slight increase again. That last trend trend seems puzzling to them, according to the question in the title. But they did not realize that the Earth temperature also stopped rising in 1998 and if they had bothered to correlate the albedo graph with some global temperature graph they could have got the uploaded graph to see instead that the temperature correlate nicely with the albedo (r2 = 57.5%).
Now if you put the 10% albedo (around a basic 0.3) variation of that period in that Stefan Bolzman derative, you will see that this results in a basic temperature variation of ~2.7 degrees while the actual fluctuation was more like 0.6 degrees. It's likely the light absorption of the ocean, that has acted as the negative feedback here but that also resulted in the infamous ocean warming.
So we just showed that the temperature - albedo - solar energy variation nicely correlate with it's governing Stefan Boltzman law and that the ocean seem to act as a valuable feedback to moderate the variation effects. That doesn't mean that we understand why the albedo has fluctuated that much but it also shows that we do not need any greenhouse gas to explain what has happened in the last few decades.
There is evidence in the paleoclimatic record that significant climatic climate changes have occurred at the same times as solar magnetic field changes. (The solar magnetic field changes affect the amount of isotopes produced in the earth’s atmosphere. The high amount of these isotopes provides a tracer to identify the solar changes.)
The paper “The role of solar forcing upon climate change” by Van Geel, linked below provides a summary.
The last significant solar/climatic event occurred 1400 years ago. There is some evidence of a 1470 year and 2400 year strong cycle in solar magnetic field. There is also some evidence of a 180 year cycle. Some of the weak cycle solar predictions for cycle 24/25 are based on the isotopic data.
I became interested in solar physics and solar mechanisms which could modulate climate after reading Mayewski’s Ice Chronicles which summaries the evidence for abrupt climate change from an analysis of the Greenland Ice core data.
I am not aware of any single mainstream theory as to why the solar magnetic field would be cyclically varying. There are, however, some interesting speculative papers and recent solar data.
…Bond et al. (1997) found evidence for ice-rafting events during the Holocene at 1400, 2800, 4200, 5900, 8100, 9400, 10,300 and 11,100 cal. BP (my comment, BP, Before present.) and during the Last Glacial at a similar timing as the Dansgaard-Oeschger events. They identified that these climatic shifts occurred with a cyclicity of 1470 years, and conclude that solar B. van Geel et al. / Quaternary Science Reviews 18 (1999) forcing of these cyclic events…...Mayewski et al. (1997) showed that a 1450 periodicity is present in the band pass component of both the 14C residual series derived from tree rings and glaciochemical series from the GISP2 ice core, believed to reflect changes in the polar atmospheric circulation…Comment:…The latter periodicity is in agreement with the cycle of about 2600 year in North Atlantic climate shifts as deduced from analyses in Greenland ice cores (Dansgaard et al., 1984; OÕBrien et al., 1995). Furthermore, this cycle is close to the 2400-year cycle, believed to be of heliomagnetic origin, known from the 14C record in tree rings (Stuiver and Braziunas, 1989)…
When the paleoclimatic data was discovered that showed evidence of cyclic abrupt climate changes, cyclic changes in ocean currents were hypothesized to cause the changes. Recent paleo data, however, shows the climatic changes occurred simultaneously in both hemispheres which supports a planetary modulating mechanism such as solar modulation of clouds, rather than ocean current changes which primarily affect a single region.
I just read Van Geel’s paper and found it very interesting. His approach of looking for a method of amplification of solar irradiance seems to me to be right on target.
You mentioned in your post the solar magnetic field changes related to the amount of isotopes produced in the earth’s atmosphere and their connection to a 1470 and 2400 year cycle and I’m not sure I understand since the sun goes through a magnetic pole flip every 11 years or so. The 11 year flip would just be noise in any long term data.
Is someone suggesting another source of magnetic field variations? I saw in Van Geel’s paper where the 2400 year cycle was “believed” to be of heliomagnetic origin and I have not read Mayewski’s Ice Chronicles. If there were paleorecords that show long term changes in the suns magnetic field would be very interesting; especially if they were tied to climate change.
There are a number of paleoclimatic papers that note there is a correlation with C14 and other cosmogenic isotopes changes and abrupt climatic change. For example Gerald Bond’s, "Persistent Solar Influence on North Atlantic Climate During the Holocene."
Another example is this paper which discusses the cause of the 11,200 year ago abrupt climatic change (The 11,200 year ago climate change is called the Younger Dryas. Named after a tundra flower, "Younger Dryas" that suddenly appears in the Northern Hemisphere in regions that are currently covered by forests). The YD climatic event interrupted the current Holocene interglacial returning the planet back to the glacial phase. The Greenland Ice sheet data shows the YD change occurred in less than a decade.…The evidence comes from a close correlation between inferred changes in production rates of the cosmogenic nuclides carbon-14 and beryllium-10 and centennial to millennial time scale changes in proxies of drift ice measured in deep-sea sediment cores. A solar forcing mechanism therefore may underlie at least the Holocene segment of the North Atlantic’s 1500-year cycle…
“Reduced solar activity as a trigger for the start of the Younger Dryas?”
From the paper:
As to what could possibly be causing a semi periodic solar magnetic field change, a number of papers have been written concerning an observed correlation of solar inertial motion and the solar magnetic changes.“Estimates for the start of the YD all demonstrate a strong and rapid rise of C14 (Cosmogenic isotope that increases when there is decreased solar activity that hence allows increased galactic cosmic rays GCR to strike and interact with the atmosphere.) This change is the largest increase of atmospheric C14 known from the late glacial period and Holocene records.”
Prolonged minima and the 179-yr cycle of the solar inertial motion by R.Fairbridge and J. Shirley
This paper, “Can origin of the 2400-year cycle of solar activity be caused by solar inertial motion?” provides a full explanation of the solar mechanisms and a summary of previous papers concerning solar inertial motion and solar magnetic cycle changes.
...Time comparison of the epochs of high and low solar activity with climate alteration led to the conclusion that the cause of the approx. 2400-year cycle, both in the 14C concentration and in climate of the Earth, appears to be of a solar nature (Dergachev and Chistyakov, 1995)……The first basic cycle of solar inertial motion, the cycle of 178.7 years, was found by Jose (1965) in a repetition of solar motion characteristics computed between 1653 and 2060, and most important the time derivative of the Sun's angular momentum was found…
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.
In reply to Ken G.
Let’s focus on the mechanisms first.
This paper by Brian Tinsley and Fangqun Yu “Atmospheric Ionization and Clouds as Links Between Solar Activity and Climate” outlines the two mechanisms.
This is my attempt to summarize (See the above paper for details.)
The net effect of planetary clouds (all levels) is a reflection into space of 27.7 W/m2 (i.e. Clouds cool the planet by 27.7 W/m2.) [Hartmann, 1993] A mechanism that increases or decreases the total amount of planetary cloud cover will change the planet’s temperature.
GCR Modulation by Solar Heliosphere
Pieces of magnetic flux from the sun are carried out into the solar heliosphere. The solar heliosphere stretches out about (edit 115 AU). The pieces of magnetic flux deflect GCR so that deflected GCR does not strike the earth. As the solar cycle progresses there is an observed change in the amount of Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) particles that strike the earth. Tracking the change in the number of GCR is a change total planetary cloud cover. This is shown by satellite data in Palle’s paper and also in Tinsley and Yu’s paper (figure 2.1.).
Cloud Modulation by GCR
Microscope cloud nuclei are created by the electrons that are produced when the GCR strike the upper atmosphere. (GCR create muons. The muons reach lower levels in the atmosphere and create free electrons.) Svensmark has confirmed the processes in a lab test. Two additional tests are planned. One in a deep under ground mine, to test the process in the absence of natural muons and the second with CERN, where CERN will be used to create a known modulated artificial GCR source.
High speed solar winds that are created by coronal holes (for example) remove cloud forming ions by the process of electroscavenging. The high speed solar wind creates a space charge in the earth’s ionosphere. The charge differential in the ionosphere creates a potential difference between the ionosphere and the lower atmosphere which removes cloud forming ions, from the lower atmosphere. (See figure 3.1 and figure 5.3 in Tinsley and Yu’s paper.) The ionosphere space charge is latitude specific (see figure 5.3.) Palle’s satellite analysis shows a significant reduction in clouds at the latitudes, as predicted by Tinsley and Yu.
The planetary cloud cover closely tracks GCR through two solar cycles. Around 1999 there is a gradual reduction in the earth’s total cloud cover and a reduction in the earth’s albedo based on the earthshine albedo data and satellite data. This reduction in cloud cover occurs when there is an increase in solar wind bursts due to coronal holes moving to the solar equator at the end of the solar cycle.
These times agree with those inferred from solar wind and magnetic field data. Using these times and a speed profile consistent with the observed slowing down between V2 and V1 puts the heliopause location at 115 ± 5 AU, which is near the inner limit of earlier estimates of its location but well inside the 151–158 AU inferred by the Iowa group for the new 2002 event. This difference is related to the slowing down of the interplanetary shock near the heliospheric termination shock that we find in this paper. Assuming a commonly accepted ratio of 0.75 for the heliospheric termination shock distance relative to the heliopause distance places the average termination shock location in the range ∼83–90 AU or at the distance of V1 between early 2002 and late 2003.
Last edited by William; 2009-Nov-13 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Corrected distance to heliopause added heliopause link
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. …
Benestad, R.E. (2002) Solar Activity and Earth's Climate, Praxis-Springer, Berlin and Heidelberg, 287pp, ISBN: 3-540-43302-3
Damon, P.E. and P. Laut (2004), Pattern of Strange Errors Plagues Solar Activity and Terrestrial Climate Data, Eos, vol 85, num 39, p. 370
Meehl, G.A., W.M. Washington, T.M.L. wigley, J.M. Arblaster, A. Dai (2003): Solar and Greenhouse Gas Forcing and Climate Response in the Twentieth Century, J. Climate, 6: 426-444
you (or others) might also like (as a related aside) to review these two abstracts/papers:
Recent Trends in Arctic Surface, Cloud, and Radiation Properties from Space
Rapid Formation of Sulfuric Acid Particles at Near-Atmospheric Conditions
Solar cycle 24 is still having problems starting up.
Cycle 23 was predicted to end, March, 2008 which would make it 13 years long. The longest cycle in the last 250 years was 13.5 years. There were 3 papers published in the last 5 years that predict sun is moving to Dalton or Maunder like minimum (See comments for details.)
The following is a link to a site that provides daily updates on solar observations and historical data. So far there have only been two sunspots that have the cycle 24 reversed polarity. This tiny new sunspot has cycle 23 polarity.
The following is a summary of the analysis and data that was used in the papers to predict an imminent solar magnetic cycle.
1) One paper made their prediction based on the analysis current solar data, using a physical based solar model.
2) A second paper made their prediction of an imminent solar magnetic cycle minimum, based on the analysis of the paleo record of cosmogenic isotope changes which show a cyclic pattern of solar magnetic minimums.
3) A third paper analyzed the periodicity of the sun’s motion about its barycentre which also correlates with solar magnetic cycle minimums.
The solar magnetic cycle minimum appear to occur when there is a change in direction of the sun, as it moves about its barycentre. The solar change in direction is cyclic as the sun’s motion is controlled by the relative positions of the large planets and the sun’s current position and velocity.
The following is the 2004 paper that predicts the sun is heading towards a Maunder minimum based on an analysis of the paleo record of solar activity.
This is the 2003 paper that predicts a solar cycle minimum based on a physical model.
This is the 1987 Solar barycentre motion paper: Prolonged minima and the 179-yr cycle of the solar inertial motion by R.Fairbridge and J. Shirley
The solar barycentre motion theory hypothesizes that specific motions of the sun about its barycentre, interrupts the formation of the magnetic ropes at the solar tacholine (Tacholine is the interface to solar radiative zone and convection zone.) With the barycentre hypothesis a Maunder minimum is an interruption to the solar magnetic cycle as opposed to a slow down.)
Solar magnetic cycle 24 was originally predicted to start in March 2007. When cycle 24 failed to start in 2007, the predicted cycle start date has extended to March 2008.
The sun as shown below is currently spotless. There have only been two reverse polarity sunspots. The lack of reversed polarity sunspots, the large number of days without any sunspots, the extended length of solar cycle 23, and the abrupt reduction in the solar conveyor speed, may indicate that the solar magnetic cycle was been interrupted. As noted in the last comment there were three papers published in the last decade that predicted an interruption in the solar magnetic cycle.
I would be interested in any new scientific announcements concerning solar cycle 24.
One possible consequent of a solar magnetic cycle interruption would be long term cooling of the planet. (See comments for details.)
Does this data show the planet is starting to cool?
Ocean Temperature Anomalies Map
1) The paleoclimatic record shows evidence of non-random abrupt cooling events. In the past there was an abrupt rather than gradual change from the interglacial phase to glacial phase of the climate cycle. There have been roughly 22 interglacial/glacial cycles. Currently 10% of the land mass is covered with ice sheets. During the last glacial phase 30% of the land mass was covered with an ice sheet.
2) Svensmark, Bond, Shiva, and other researchers hypothesize that past abrupt climate cooling events were caused by an interruption in the solar magnetic cycle (Maunder like event). There is data that shows when the solar magnetic cycle is interrupted; the solar heliosphere which blocks galactic cosmic rays is weakened. The result of a weakened solar heliosphere is therefore an increase in Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) which other research shows causes an increase in planetary cloud cover. More planetary cloud cover will result in a colder planet.