Livingston and Penn paper: “Sunspots may vanish by 2015″.

From the “I hope to God they are flat wrong department”, here is the abstract of a short paper on recent solar trends by William Livingston and Matthew Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson. It was sent to me by reader Mike Ward.

I previously highlighted a news story on this paper on May 21st, but didn’t have the actual paper until now. If anyone has an update to this paper, which uses data up to 2005, please use the comment form to advise.

Here is the complete paper, and below are some excerpts:

Abstract: We have observed spectroscopic changes in temperature sensitive molecular lines, in the magnetic splitting of an Fe I line, and in the continuum brightness of over 1000 sunspot umbrae from 1990-2005. All three measurements show consistent trends in which the darkest parts of the sunspot umbra have become warmer (45K per year) and their magnetic field strengths have decreased (77 Gauss per year), independently of the normal 11-year sunspot cycle. A linear extrapolation of these trends suggests that few sunspots will be visible after 2015.

Figure – 1. Sample sunspot spectra from the data set. The dashed line is from a sunspot observed in June 1991, and the solid line was observed in January 2002. These provide examples of the trends seen in the data, where the OH molecular lines decrease in strength over time, and the magnetic splitting of the Fe line decreases over time. A magnetic splitting pattern for the January 2002 Fe line of 2466 Gauss is shown, while the June 1991 spectrum shows splitting from a 3183 Gauss field

Figure 2. – The line depth of OH 1565.3 nm for individual spots. The upper trace is the smoothed sunspot number showing the past and current sunspot cycles; the OH line depth change seems to smoothly decrease independently of the sunspot cycle.

Figure 3. – A linear fit to observed magnetic fields extrapolated to the minimum value observed for umbral magnetic fields; below a field strength of 1500G as measured with the Fe I 1564.8nm line no photospheric darkening is observed.

Figure 4 – A linear fit to the observed umbral contrast values, extrapolated to show that by 2014 the average umbrae would have the same brightness as the quiet Sun.

They write: Sunspot umbral magnetic fields also show systematic temporal changes during the observing period as demonstrated by the sample spectra in Figure 1. The infrared Fe 1564.8 nm is a favorable field diagnostic since the line strength changes less than a factor of two between the photosphere and spot umbra and the magnetic Zeeman splitting is fully resolved for all sunspot umbrae. In a histogram plot of the distribution of the umbral magnetic fields that we observe, 1500 Gauss is the smallest value measured. Below this value photospheric magnetic fields do not produce perceptible darkening. Figure 3 presents the magnetic fields smoothed by a 12 point running mean from 1998 to 2005. The ordinate is chosen so that 1500 G is the minimum. A linear fit to the changing magnetic field produces a slope of 77 Gauss per year, and intercepts the abscissa at 2015. If the present trend continues, this date is when sunspots will disappear from the solar surface.

Let us all hope that they are wrong, for a solar epoch period like the Maunder Minimum inducing a Little Ice Age will be a worldwide catastrophe economically, socially, environmentally, and morally.

I’m still very much concerned about the apparent step change in 2005 to a lower plateau of the Geomagnetic Average Planetary (Ap) index, that I’ve plotted below. This is something that does not appear in the previous cycle:

solar-geomagnetic-Ap Index
click for a larger image

What is most interesting about the Geomagnetic Average Planetary Index graph above is what happened around October 2005. Notice the sharp drop in the magnetic index and the continuance at low levels, almost as if something “switched off”.

About these ads

155 thoughts on “Livingston and Penn paper: “Sunspots may vanish by 2015″.

  1. Has there been any interesting change in solar diameter over the past 20 years or so? Last I read the Sun was showing fairly consistent shrinkage of something like 2 seconds per century or something. I am wondering if that has changed significantly over the past decade or so.

    My thought being that we know the Sun is a variable star. And we haven’t been observing it for very long in geological time scales. What if it is in a sort of period of oscillation with some hysteresis? What if the current periods of glaciation and interglacials are due to oscillations inside the Sun? What if the shrinks and gets hotter in the interior and after some thousands of years that heat and light makes its way out and the Sun expands slightly until some point is reached where something “turns off” … say some small amount of helium is being fused but the pressure drops to a point where that stops happening and we have only hydrogen fusion again. And at some point the Sun cools and it begins to shrink again and temperatures and pressures rise but it takes longer to re-ignite or re-start whatever was going on. So you could end up with a 10 percent duty cycle of 100,000 years off and 10,000 years on. At some point the temperature and pressure would rise again due to contraction where whatever it is would turn on, and solar output would jump up, bring us out of the ice age until the Sun expanded enough to shut that down again and we go into another ice age.

    So I suppose what I am really wondering is that since we know that part of the life cycle of the Sun will be an eventual switchover to fusing mostly helium from mostly hydrogen, maybe that switchover isn’t “clean”. Maybe it starts and “blows itself out” and then starts again but maybe burns just a little longer before “blowing itself out” again and so forth with the helium cycle lasting a little longer each time and so we end up with a situation where the interglacials get a little hotter and/or a little longer each time until there just aren’t any anymore and we really begin to heat up.

    Just musing from a bored engineer with nothing better to occupy his time at the moment :)

  2. Hang on – “morally”?? How do you attach morality to a lack of sunspots?

    REPLY: From the changes that will occur in governments and populations as they jockey for survival in a colder, disrupted world.

  3. Ultimately these types of things further drive home the point that our existence here is so delicate and at the mercy of forces completely beyond our control. Basically it means we don’t amount to a hill of beans in this universe.

  4. Has anyone looked into Chinese sun spots records during the period surrounding the end of the MWP? Or at the end of the RWP?

  5. On an unrelated note . . . I hear Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras are really great places to shop for land/housing.

  6. Hi Anthony, I’ll try again repost if necessary

    I started a topic over at the climate audit bb.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=325

    We are discussing barycentric, planetary, magnetic and gravitational influences on the sun and our climate. I am going to put some links here but be warned that they may take some reading and some are pretty easy reading. Leif will love these..LOL sarc off. The Hung paper is very interesting but for some reason Saturn is not on there

    Theodor Landscheidt’s papers.

    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/papers-by-dr-theodor-landscheidt

    Mississippi River Flow

    http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/pubs/reports/paclim99.html

    Nile River Flow

    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/Conf2007/Alexander-etal-2007.pdf

    Jupiter Saturn cycles

    Ching-Cheh Hung
    Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

    http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/reports/2007/TM-2007-214817.pdf

  7. The sun’s magnetic ropes twist up and twist down. Each rotation section twisting on a different rotational speed. When things are really tightly wound, lots of entwined magnetic ropes sprout to the surface and become sunspots. It would seem to me that occasionally, all the twisting rotating speeds rotate into synchrony. When this happens, no sun spots would occur. As the speeds slowly differential once again, sunspots would begin to occur. How long this takes may be what happens during minimums, especially really long cold ones. Just thinking out loud.

  8. “Ultimately these types of things further drive home the point that our existence here is so delicate and at the mercy of forces completely beyond our control. Basically it means we don’t amount to a hill of beans in this universe.” Jeff Alberts

    Jeff, You have it exactly backwards. Yes, our existence is delicately balanced and has been for a long time. I am confident that SOMEONE is keep it balanced for our sake and it ain’t Al Gore.

  9. Jim Arndt (17:48:08):

    Very interesting -especially liked the Chavratova article on the 178 year solar-jupiter dance and the correlation of disordered solar orbits with solar minima/cooling.

  10. I close my eyes:
    I think they’ve seen enough,
    Light hurts:
    Can anyone switch off the sun?

  11. Even the rocket scientists have trouble predicting sunspot cycles. I keep a few bookmarks in a folder I call “10 inches of partly cloudy” (As a meteorologist, Anthony probably cringes at that title) with really bust forecasts of whatever. The article at http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10mar_stormwarning.htm has earned its rightful place in that folder. This version appears to have been issued for the dumbed down press…
    =======================================
    March 10, 2006: It’s official: Solar minimum has arrived. Sunspots have all but vanished. Solar flares are nonexistent. The sun is utterly quiet.

    Like the quiet before a storm.

    This week researchers announced that a storm is coming–the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one,” she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.
    =======================================
    A similar news release at http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2006/sunspot.shtml is more detailed and has more graphs, but the drift is the same.

    REPLY: Sounds like “10 years of partly spotty”. – Anthony

  12. reflections on the blank, pitiless gaze of the sun (thanks to Y.B. Yeats)

    The sun ain’t got no spots.
    That means it won’t get hot.
    If they stay away,
    they’ll be cold to pay.
    hey! The sun ain’t got no spots.

  13. Bill Livingston sent me the same file yesterday, I was a awaiting his permission before passing it on to you. I think there are snippets of a slightly more recent version that stretches the data back in time a bit. I don’t think there’s anything with newer data plotted, but the data may be logged. I did ask how they are doing with measuring sunspecks, but haven’t heard back.

    The thing I find fascinating are the linear trends and the non-coupling to the 11 year cycle. It’s unfortunate that there is so little to compare it to and less idea of what’s behind it. The trend could suddenly change and sunspots could reassert their glory or cycle 24 could finally get rolling only to fade into a Maunder-style minimum a few years later.

  14. The only problem with these extrapolations is they look an awful lot like the sort of global warming extrapolations that we’ve been treated to. We all know just how error-prone extrapolation can be.

    Look at fig. 3. The authors are extrapolating a 6 year trend (2000 to 2006) out an extra 9 years to 2015. If they extrapolated 9 years the other way (back to 1991) they’d be dead wrong.

  15. “a Little Ice Age will be a worldwide catastrophe economically, socially, environmentally, and morally…”

    Most of these I can understand. But ‘morally’?

    Perhaps you are concerned that when people wrap up warm under the sheets they might get up to naughty things…?

    REPLY: If such a minimum materializes, and we see crop failures and food shortages, watch for the moral change in the way certain governments deal with the proble,

  16. I hope we don’t get a serious sunspot minimum.

    In any event, I like the proposal I heard somewhere, might have been here, to label the next sunspot minimum the Al Gore minimum.

    Another note:

    My comments regarding the role of the sun in climate were not posted on Dot Earth. This was also my response to the charge I was one of the “scurrilous, industry-paid denialists, come here to spread confusion among the uninitiate.”

    It would appear if you believe the sun might have something to do with the climate, you’re not allowed to talk to others about it.

  17. Honestly, I was hoping a Dalton Minimum to be in the works in order to shut up the sophomoric AGW scientists. Indeed the mitigation programs these alarmist climate brats have been advocating would be far worse for humanity than what a Dalton Minimum cold possibly muster.
    However, even I would prefer not to see future generations have to go through Maunder-type Minimum, as the aftermath would be worse than what even Al Gore could bring us.

    Still, I’m not going to lose any sleep over this, as this is just another worst case scenario. I seriously doubt this will materialise.

  18. William,

    You are right, of course, about extrapolations being risky business. In fact, the same thought occurred to me regarding the “global warming” theory being so dependent on extrapolations.

    However, a few differences are worth noting:

    1. Livingston and Penn are careful to couch their summary not as a prediction but as an “if” … as with “… if the present trend continues, this date is when sunspots will disappear from the solar surface.” As I see it, they are merely presenting what they know and examining one possible outcome if the current trends continue. That seems reasonable to me. It’s interesting data and shows one possible significant outcome.

    2. Livingston and Penn base their extrapolations on actual data. The IPCC extrapolates from model results built on assumptions (not proven) using models that cannot accurately predict current climate from past data. Consequently, IPCC projections/extrapolations are worthless as they have been historically misused in the summary reports. IPCC takes things further by attempting to put a label on naked guessing that sounds like valid statistical estimations of likelihood. This is effective technique for dealing with journalists and politicians. It is also nothing but old-fashioned propaganda; it certainly isn’t science. But wrapped in mounds of data and charts, it’s evidently enough to fool those same journalists and politicians.

    But your basic point is well worth keeping in mind with any extrapolation. I appreciate the caution that Livingston and Penn have evidently placed on theirs.

    For amusement, imagine if there were a UN-sponsored organization, the IPSC (change “Climate” in IPCC to “Solar”), tasked with finding a solar cause for global cooling. This paper would be sufficient to be featured in IPSC reports as well as Science, Scientific American, Nature, etc., etc., and it would have been full of dire warnings of future glacial advances. Media would pounce on the extrapolations as valid predictions. Politicians and journalists might be advocating burning more fossil fuel in order to counteract the solar influence on global climate cooling.

    Regards,

    Bob

  19. Yesterday upon the Sun
    I spied a spot that wasn’t fun.
    It wasn’t there again today.
    I wish that spot would stop its play.

    Oh no – I’ve been infected too!

  20. IMHO, this falls into the same category as AGW-prognosticators’ theories.

    It is an attempt to predict the future, based on woefully inadequate data, extrapolating from past cycles which proved to be relatively unpredictable, using recent data to extrapolate in a largely linear fashion.

    In short: it falls into the same logical and scientific traps which besets AGW.

    There are some things we can say about this subject, with relative assurance: – the absolute number of sunspots are presently very low;
    – our limited observations suggest that, with a slight lag, periods of lower sunspot activity might coincide with less recorded high temperature extremes.
    – in the past, the present rate of sunspot activity has tended to indicate that we are towards the bottom of the present “cycle”;
    – within our very small number of observations, this current bottoming is not particularly short;
    – we have data on far too few cycles to know whether or not this is a typical cycle, nor whether the average 11 year cycle is valid;
    – there are over 90,000 eleven year periods per million years.

    I dislike “future machines” almost as much as many people dislike the uncertainty and unpredictablility of tomorrow.

    IMO, those who simply use past graphs/frequencies/data/etc. in an attempt to predict the future are not employing the scientific method (there is no hypothesis, which might be disproven or supported), but merely extrapolating.

    Extrapolation is an interesting (some would say existential) pastime, but it is not science – even when enhanced via supercomputer.

  21. There once was a spot from Hi-Lat
    that looked like a bug had gone splat.
    But then the penumbra
    did merge with the umbra
    and that made the Sun’s face go flat.

    Oh dear, this is one of the first limericks I’ve managed to write.

    After moving to Eastern Massachusetts in 1974 I thought of writing a limerick that rhymed Boston with Lost in, but it took years before I could rhyme those. (Austin)

    There once was a lady from Austin
    who moved to the fair town of Boston.
    Her maps she did spurn
    she took a wrong turn
    and joined all the folks who were lost in.

    Evan, I’m holding you responsible for this. You better save me a page in your forthcoming bestseller of dark poetry.

  22. One minor nit to pick. The modelers do have actual data behind their projections. The 0.6C temp increase over the last century.

    The big difference is that, as Anthony has demonstrated, the temperature record is so badly polluted with micro-site, UHI, land use change, equipment change and lack of maintenance, etc. issues, as to be close to useless. In my opinion.

    The data on sunspots and solar magnetism do not suffer from such problems.

  23. The paper presents a delicious opportunity to quantify this downturn data, not just graph trend lines. Let’s not forget the mathematical formulas for many types of energy producing phenomena (thank you Einstein). The sun has many features that are known and can be quantified. It is just a matter of time before these observations yield to a chalk board filled with calculations of magnetic rope twisting, the inertia produced by such twisting, and thus the calculated rotation speed of the various sections of the sun into union and disunion. All these calculations will lead to magnetic/energy changes that can be predicted decades in advance. Once the relationship between magnetic changes and earth’s atmosphere is understood (cosmic ray cloud seeding?), the world will move on to the next great mystery.

  24. While the Sun is a variable star, it is important to remember it is also a remarkably stable star.

    Temperatures declined somewhat during the Little Ice Age and the Dalton Minimum but it appears to be limited to 1 degree (1.5 degrees at the extreme) in decline.

    Changes in Earth’s orbit appear to have much more influence on the climate (in the recent history versus long-term geologic history) where we have changes in temperature of as much as 6.0C throughout the ice ages.

    The most likely culprit (not the Sun) would be less tilt of the Earth (less warming in high latitudes in the summer months leading to snowpack not completely melting leading to glacier build-up, leading to lower insolation, leading to an ice age. etc. ) A more eliptical orbit also results in the Earth being farther from the Sun in the northern hemisphere’s summer, leading to less melting of the snowpack in the summer etc. etc. leading to a greater ice age in the northern hemisphere than the south.

    Milankovitch versus solar cycles to explain the ice ages.

  25. That’s really interesting. I agree with Jeff Alberts that our existence is dwarfed by what happens around us in the universe, but I see this as a positive circumstance. Speaking of morals, for us to gain a degree of humility, for us to believe in something much bigger than ourselves to which we’re subject, whether that’s through religion or science, is a healthy thing. And check out my CARTOONS by clicking on my name link.

  26. I fail to see how a linear extrapolation is at all justified. Pick any previous downward trend, extrapolate it until it reaches zero, did that zero occur? Pick any previous upward trend, extrapolate until the whole sun is one sunspot, did that occur?

  27. Couple Questions: Was this published? And (in the same way I am with the warm-alarmists) shouldn’t we be cautious about linear extrapolation? The warm-alarmists do this with the Arctic sea-ice melt all the time and it isn’t quite correct.

    Cold-Alarmists can’t co-opt the methods of the warm-alarmists. Worst-case scenarios almost never happen in reality.

  28. Pingback: Tomorrow could be a lot sooner than you think… « Corrosive Material

  29. That October, 2007 “step” is reminiscent of the result of changing instruments/locations/conditions at weather stations. Could an instrumentation or data processing change be involved?

    The “morally” topic should be taken very seriously. During the Maunder Minimum, “witch trials” were implemented to find and punish those responsible for bad weather and crop failures. Ever hear of the crime of “weather cooking?” It was some people’s bad luck to boil their clothes (an old method of doing the wash) just before some bad weather and get accused of causing it. I think this is where the image of the “witches cauldron” comes from. Now think about the warmists who are already calling for criminal trials for “carbon polluters” in our current comfortable time. What might they foment in truly hard times?

    I believe the name of the next solar minimum is already spoken for as the Landscheidt Minimum. Some researchers have been forecasting its likely onset for some years now. I hope they’re wrong.

  30. What’s to worry about? The sun is just a very large light bulb, but not the energy saving type.

  31. Bob: you’re right, the authors do put in some “if’s”. My point is that it’s a giant if. It should be in 48pt bold. I guess I wasn’t too clear that I think the IPCC predictions are also little more than linear extrapolations (dressed up with supercomputer climate modelling), and they don’t seem to be panning out. Why should we expect the sunspot/magnetism extrapolations to do any better?

    Still, interesting stuff.

  32. the real fact of the matter is that if the charts proved correct, no sun spots at all in 2015, worldwide temperatures drop by, let’s say 5 degrees over 1999, too many people have too much invested in global warming to admit that it’s a fraud. We could be seeing consistent freezes in Orange county CA, with actual snow caps in the Hollywood Hills, and people will still be running around, calling it an aberration, insisting that the world is actually getting warmer, in spite of the evidence we saw before our eyes.

  33. I hope they’re wrong too. If the sunspots do disappear and we enter another Maunder Minimum the catastrophic results will see the planet’s population plummet as hundreds of millions will die from the next mini ice age – starvation due to food production plummeting; deaths due to the cold climate – the old will be the first to be affected, then the sick and infirmed. Yeah, I hope Livingston and Penn are wrong.

  34. 1990 – 2005 6 years of data
    2006 – (Jan.) 2015 9 years extrapolation

    Where are the updates? 2006, 2007, 2008 (1/2) data?

    1990 – (Jun.) 2008 8.5 years of data
    (July) 2008 – (Jan.) 2015 6.5 years of extrapolation

  35. I’m not sure what all the excitement is about. An extrapolation to zero is never mentioned in any of the graphs. It only mentions either “minimum observed” or “contrast to a quiet sun.” Paraphrasing Steve Martin, panic is not pretty. The paper is a study on formulae applied to collected data, with a deduction to fixed measurable points. How I read it: if x happens then this feasible y will happen. I’m not a solar scientist, but I can read. Maybe a better title would have been ‘Sun may become magnetically dormant by 2015.”

    Please don’t throw a bunch of scientific lingo at me. I wouldn’t understand it anyway. I just want to see Al Gore, shivering and penniless on a corner, “Will eat crow for heat.”

    Mike Ward
    Dallas, TX

  36. Which is worse – letting the pied piper lead us into a somewhat poorer carbon salvation in a relatively warm world, or living through a cooling cycle amidst a global die-off of Maunder minimum scope?

    Maybe we’ll see both. It certainly looks like that right now. The silence from the AGW crowd regarding the obvious lack of solar activity and ocean/atmosphere cooling does not bode well.

    Barring any major re-adjustments of the temperatures (not a certainty by any means), I am pretty sure that it will take at least another year of cooling to convince a significant portion of scientists and the press that something major is happening. Whether politicians will then follow is another thing, as they tend to take a long time to get anything done (look at the push back on biofuels).

  37. Tom in Texas.
    Math please: Figure 2 in the report covers 1990-2005, 15-16 years of data. That trend is pretty powerful as it does go through one and a half cycles.
    The two other figures, 3 and 4, do look a little odd with the data going in the opposite direction before ~2000, compared to the trendline after. I do agree, what was the data from 1990 to 2005 for “magnetic fields” and “observed umbral contrast values”? Why cut it off at 1998?
    It is always more powerful if a claim (figure 1) can be backed up with additional observations (figure 3 and 4), if they would cover the same time period, or depending on what is being measured, use the same base reference.
    One always have to be on ones toes with these reports.

  38. While I agree that extrapolation is risky, for corroboration there is the fact that the “solar conveyor belt”, which predicts activity one cycle out, has slowed to the point that NASA has reported it “off the charts”.

    There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.

  39. William:

    I’ve cited Hathaway’s, Janssens’, Weiss’, Svalgaard’s & Solanki’s comments in the prior thread. Weiss Solanki & Svalgaard are on the same page from the heliomagnetic view, Hathaway is predicting the same downtrend for 2020 in SC 25 using convective conveyor belt theory.

    IOW this isn’t just one pair of astrophysicists making WAGs. Different researchers are reaching the same conclusions from different angles, observing big changes in the sun.

  40. Looks like property prices in Florida may start to rise again. Better get some while it’s still “hot”!

  41. >Evan, I’m holding you responsible for this. You better save me a page in your forthcoming bestseller of dark poetry.

    It would have to be an anthology. (All of those are actual quotes. )

  42. A more eliptical orbit also results in the Earth being farther from the Sun in the northern hemisphere’s summer, leading to less melting of the snowpack in the summer etc. etc. leading to a greater ice age in the northern hemisphere than the south.

    I thought the idea for an ice age was that the NH precession would want to be opposite that of today–at winter during aphelion (i.e., winter in June) during max. ellipticity for an ice age because you’d want it coldest where there was maximum land mass.

    But OTOH, reduced obliquity makes for less extreme seasons and that discourages summer melt, as you say. So I may well be wrong here.

    Also, throw in some dispute over when and whether ellipticity or oblquity is the more primary driver, and whether inclination “counts”.

    It is also speculated that even if obliquity, ellipticity, precession, and inclination were all lines up cold, there would still be no ice age without positive albedo feedback loops. But when the sun goes cold, that single factor is the main driver (with some help from albedo).

  43. R dS: There would be very bad effects, but I don’t think as bad as you say. Millions, yes. Hundreds of millions? I seriously doubt it. If we were living under Middle Age conditions, sure. But technology/modernity would respond to mitigate much of the problem, and most of the world’s poor already live in the warmer climates..

  44. How odd! I have heard so many AGW stories it never crossed my mind that Hansen et al were being denied access to the media by NASA
    as reported in the LA times today.

    The deal is that he gets to speak however he wishes AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN. And, Lord knows, he does that. But “freedom of speech” (quite properly) is out the window when you are speaking for your boss. I consider it risible that Hansen has the face to go around caterwauling about the abrogation of his “freedoms”.

    For that matter, he could quite reasonably be fired for ex cathedra remarks, as well. He has freedom of speech, NOT freedom to have a job at NASA.

  45. > Sounds like “10 years of partly spotty”. – Anthony

    Widely scattered faculae in the endlessly sunlit hours

    (for the monurnal denizenry of Mercury)

  46. Evan:

    There are six plus billion people on our planet. Assuming a 10% fatality rate if we suffer another Maunder Minimum wouldn’t that equal 600 million? And I’m assuming the total fatalities which would include famine (the northern hemisphere will no longer be the breadbasket to the world), disease (collapse of modern medical technology because the northern hemisphere will be very inhospitable), conflicts resulting from scarcity of energy sources and from migration to warmer climates. I’m sure others can add more items to what I’ve included.

  47. Well, if a Maunder Minimum is on the way what can we do? Hint: Some monks prayed that a glacier not destroy their town and what do you know? It worked for a while.

  48. Bill–Yes, we are getting paid. Are you not getting your money? Hell, I’m getting 25K just for posting this comment.

    You should file a complaint with your Union rep!

  49. Did anyone read the Clilverd et al paper? (http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/SC24Clilverd.pdf) It predicts (statistically – it wouldn’t be up to the standards of Leif Svalgaard, who thinks statistical methods aren’t worht the computers they are computed on) that the next downturn will not be a Maunder type minimum, but a short term phenomenom. They predict the real Maunder type to occur in 2100. Now, who knows? I do know that the physics based models have been predicting the next cycle for the last few years. Sometimes stat models are good stand ins if the physics aren’t all there yet.

    I would actually like to see this happen. It would be a minimal event, and would get us prepared for the real maunder. We are fools to think that another ice age or little age is not coming, and we have to produce reliable energy before then. Energy is wealth, and hamstringing our economies at this point will leave us ill prepared for the future – whatever it is…

  50. Data exists up to and including a couple of the first spots of cycle 24 – that is through March 2008 and they show [and thus confirm] the same trend, which is now based on 1990 and 2008. If I could figure out how to show an image here, I would.
    Now, there are a few things to comment upon:
    The spots will still be there except they will be invisible. The reason for this is that as the magnetic field decreases, the plasma heats up [rather it is the strong field that inhibits convection and cools the spot]. As the spot heats up, the temperature difference between the spot and the surrounding photosphere becomes smaller and the contrast decreases with the result that it becomes more difficult to see the spot. So, the spot is still there, the magnetic region is still there, the interplanetary magnetic field is still there, the cosmic ray modulation is still there, TSI-variation is still there, the solar cycle dynamo is still operating, etc.
    During the Maunder minimum, we know from 10Be in ice cores that the cosmic ray ray modulation was still operating, so it may be that we had a similar situation, that the magnetic field was still there, but the spots [especially the smaller ones] were hard to observe.
    Even if the trend should ‘flatten’ a bit and 2015 becomes 2020 or more, it is quite possible that a Maunder-type minimum is in the offing. This does not , IMHO, automatically mean that we are entering another LIA, as it has not been demonstrated [at least to my satisfaction - the rest of you can believe what you wish, I'm not trying to convert anybody] that the LIA was due to the Sun.

  51. I’m thinking that in future times, some of these “experts” who issued such dire warnings of warming climate and horrendous sunspot activity should be encouraged to advance in their careers to perhaps, say, night clerk at a convenience store.

  52. Leif,

    If the sunspots during the Maunder Minimum were invisible because of a weaker magnetic field, isn’t this a milder version of them not being there at all?

    So the question I have is was cosmic ray shielding less during the Maunder Minimum or not? And if it was not, why wouldn’t it be given sunspots with weaker than normal magnetic fields?

    Hep me!

  53. “conflicts resulting from scarcity of energy sources and from migration to warmer climates.”

    Yeah, the anti-immigration crowd will unleash their vitriol on Canadians.

    At least we won’t have to endure the masses eating ergot contaminated rye like Western civilization did in past cooling periods in recorded history. That accounted for a huge amount of population decline. Cooler/wetter climate resulted in more ergot contamination which suppressed immune systems and made people rather crazy. So if they didn’t go around suddenly burning witches, they would succumb to some plague or another because they were weakened by the ergoline alkaloids. We won’t have that problem in most areas these days.

  54. Pingback: Blog de Astronomia do astroPT » Sol com problemas ?

  55. Assuming a 10% fatality rate if we suffer another Maunder Minimum wouldn’t that equal 600 million?

    Yes. But I don’t assume a 10% fatality rate or anything remotely near that.

    The countries most affected by the cold are developed. We will therefore avoid the plague and adapt our agriculture, if necessary.

    The vulnerable nations can absorb a cooling more easily. (It will go hard for Inuit and Yakut, however.)

    Million would die, but I doubt hundreds of millions would.

  56. No New News here!! Every Amateur Radio Operator can tell you that a solar cycle is about 11 years long. We are at or near bottom of this cycle. That means that some where around 2018 we will bottom out again. That simply means fewer sun spots! Have these guy’s been sleeping and missed the past 2 or 3 solar cycles??

  57. Steve: No, the ‘invisible’ spots still have their magnetic field [albeit a bit weaker]. This is different from there being no magnetic field. The cosmic ray shielding would be a little bit less, but not much. So the changes introduced by a Maunder minimum [if the Livingston-Penn mechanism holds up] will be only slight.

  58. Lief

    This does not , IMHO, automatically mean that we are entering another LIA, as it has not been demonstrated [at least to my satisfaction - the rest of you can believe what you wish, I'm not trying to convert anybody] that the LIA was due to the Sun.

    This is sensible. The Maunder was preceded by the milder Sporer which evidently bore a slight effect. The true depth of the LIA was the Maunder. If I follow your point the Be10 records show no spectacular dips in solar output & take your point that Shindell’s study over-modeled the drop in TSI. Even so, his -0.3 – -0.4 drop in GMT doesn’t sound all too unlikely, since we’ve already been purported to have seen a -0.1 degrC decrease in solar influence since 1995.

    So, that leaves us with a mystery. Either there are other solar influences that count that haven’t been factored or the full-monty LIA might’ve been caused by a confluence of multiple events. Perhaps the antecedent Sporer would have had something to do with it, with a broad cooling of the seas and a series of la Ninas & negative AMO/NAO cycles.

  59. terry,

    One difference is that we know the sun is capable of going without sunspots for an extended length of time.

  60. The world of today is vastly different from the world of the 1400s.

    You have to remember that in much of the developed world, we are currently paying farmers not to grow crops. Additionally, there are large swaths of land in places like New England that used to be farmed, but were abandoned when the mid-west was opened up. They couldn’t compete economically.

    All of that land could be brought back into production.

    I don’t remember what percentage of our food is used for raising cattle, pigs, chickens, etc. But it is fairly large. By eating more grains and less meat, we could free up large amounts of food.

    The green revolution (especially genetic engineering) is not through yet. I’m willing to bet that when food starts getting scarce, much of the resistance to the introduction of GE crops will disappear.

    Our food supplies are much more diverse than they were at the start of the LIA.

    I do not share the pessimism of many here regarding food supplies during a new LIA. While prices will rise, and variation will decrease, there will be no mass starvation.

  61. Just a few thoughts …

    Ric Werme: Your limericks are wonderful. Anyone who has ever tried to drive a car in Boston can really appreciate the latter (we use the “T” whenever we’re in town … after a few difficult attempts to go from “here” to “there” by car, frequently not possible).

    William: I believe we’re in substantial agreement regarding extrapolation. The technique can be a powerful impulse for additional research. Risky for forecasting. Very risky for politicians to act upon.

    This is one of the finest “blogs” I’ve come upon. The discussion is civil and much useful material can be learned by those with a strong interest that greatly exceeds their background in this particular area (I count myself among those).

    Regards to all!

  62. pobept (22:33:24) :

    “No New News here!! Every Amateur Radio Operator can tell you that a solar cycle is about 11 years long. We are at or near bottom of this cycle. That means that some where around 2018 we will bottom out again. That simply means fewer sun spots! Have these guy’s been sleeping and missed the past 2 or 3 solar cycles??”

    The good Hams will tell you that solar cycles are usually a year or two shorter than 11 years, or a year or two longer. Surprisingly few are 11.

    Please read the paper – its pretty easy reading. If you can read a RF schematic you can understand the paper. The point is that for more than the last cycle the magnetic field associated with sunspots is weakening. That leads to less contrast. If the sunspots disappear in 2015, there will still be the magnetic manifestation and radio effects, they’ll just be weaker than at the same point in a normal solar cycle.

    Those guys have not been sleeping – they’ve been pay a lot more attention for a lot more cycles than some posters here.

  63. Paradigm shifts are like blemishes in the beginning. They form pimples on the side of the current paradigm bubble. The one that grows due to increasing evidence/observations/experiments, while the old paradigm suffers from lack of such evidence, eventually becomes the new paradigm while the old one dries up and falls off the new bubble.

  64. I suspected Leif had a robot that searched for his name in postings. Such a rapid response! ;-)

  65. Leif,

    “Even if the trend should ‘flatten’ a bit and 2015 becomes 2020 or more, it is quite possible that a Maunder-type minimum is in the offing. This does not , IMHO, automatically mean that we are entering another LIA, as it has not been demonstrated [at least to my satisfaction - the rest of you can believe what you wish, I'm not trying to convert anybody] that the LIA was due to the Sun.”

    Fair enough, correlation does not necessarily mean a causal link. Could be spurious, could be dependent on chaotic dynamics which might or might not show a correlation next time.

    But we are pattern recognition animals. If not the sun directly ( it must always be there indirectly, as it is our energy source), what hypothesis would you posit for the LIA?

    In Tsonis et al ,http://www.uwm.edu/%7Ekravtsov/downloads/GRL-Tsonis.pdf ( it is published in http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030288.shtml) they use a neural network to see the time evolution of temperature having as input the ocean circulation .

    They do get a climate simulation and predict a cooling and then a rising of the temperatures.

    Would you consider something like that, that would include musch more couplings, cloud cover etc to come out with “beats” that would generate a LIA?

  66. leebert: or maybe the Sun has little to do with the LIA. My reason for saying so is that the solar parameters may not have been a lot smaller during Grand Minima. So, we have two possibilities:

    1: the sun has nothing to do with the climate on time scales of centuries
    2: the climate is hypersensitive to even the slightest solar changes

    The latter carries the threat of a run-away, which may be hard to recover from, so perhaps it never happened. But, personally, I could go either way. Recent reconstructions [although still controversial] of solar activity, the interplanetary magnetic field, and geomagnetic activity point to the strong possibility that solar activity during the 18th and 19th centuries was not any less that during the 20th and 21st. In my opinion [which you are welcome not to share] this pretty much rules out the sun as the primary climate driver which would be setting the background stage upon which volcanoes, aerosols, CO2, whatever, play.

  67. anna and others: suppose the were no Maunder or Spoerer Minima, would you still ascribe the LIA to the Sun? If so, I have no more to say. If not, it is a question of magnitude. If the solar variation were huge [say 20% in TSI] there would be no doubt. If the solar variation were minuscule [say 0.1%] we could ignore it. So, it only comes down to how much we trust the solar reconstructions and the size of the variations inferred. Several people in the past have put the cart before the horse and posited that the Sun must have changed in order to account for the LIA. This argument is not invalid per se if we have no other information, but today we do have a rather long list of indications that the solar changes were very slight. [And I do know all the papers that proclaim that the Sun is now the most active in centuries, millennia, 11000 years, etc. - I'm willing to discuss these, but this is a lengthy and technical subject - my website http://www.leif.org/research has some pointers and papers on that].

  68. Hello Dr. Svalgarrd,

    Thank you for participating on this forum. One thing that has always bothered me is that there seems to be a dependence on TSI trends (or lack thereof) as the proof against a strongly coupled sun-earth climate variation link.

    I look at it differently. Given my background in electronics, I tend to think of solar irradiance and earth’s atmospheric system as a transistor, specifically a field effect transistor.

    In an FET, it takes a very small signal change on the input to modulate a much larger change of the output. While TSI may not be the source signal to effect such a modulation, there are other candidates related to the solar interaction that could be. There’s been much talk of a butterfly effect (Lorenz) in the blogosphere lately, who’s to say a small change in other signal(s) from the sun don’t have a similar effect on earth’s climate system?

    My view is that we haven’t fully explored these other signal candidates, but mostly ignore them in favor of TSI as being the main driver. It is, obviously, mostly steady, but it may not be the key modulator.

    Speaking metaphorically, focusing solely on TSI as the big elephant in the room might very well ignore the small mouse that startles the elephant and drives it to thrashing about.

  69. “You have to remember that in much of the developed world, we are currently paying farmers not to grow crops. ”

    That was true while most of us were growing up but the days of huge grain surpluses are gone. There is practically no surplus in the US anymore. Land has been taken out of wheat and soy production and put into corn for ethanol. North American pet food companies buy their wheat-based ingredients from China now.

    What I think we are likely to see is a huge spike in food prices and more starvation in the third world and possibly frantic government calls for people to put off having additional children. I think the US midwest is likely to see a lot more rain and terrific storms as the greater contrast in temperatures between colder air from the North meets war Gulf air over the plains. The first indication is likely to be flooding and hail damage before we see killing frosts and temperatures too cool for optimum growth along with an increase in fungal diseases on food crops.

  70. Mr Watts: I’m not focusing on TSI except as a handy proxy for solar activity in general. What we are finding is that all other solar and interplanetary indices also indicate a Sun that is less variable than thought [and I have stressed repeatedly that this is an emerging consensus and not accepted by everybody]. To my knowledge, there is no climate models that incorporate any other solar parameters [except the sunspot number which is a good proxy for TSI] , so attention tends to be centered on TSI. The reason for not using other variables is that their possible influences have not been quantified and no physical processes are known that can be modeled. The trigger effect could well be there, but unless you tell me what triggers what, when, and why, I and nobody else for that matter cannot act upon or use the effect and we have not made any progress. What I’m ‘railing’ against is the use of ‘solar’ as a sort of dumping ground for what we don’t otherwise know.

  71. Another source of food would be backyard gardens. Very few people have them now, but if food started becoming scarce, they will come back.

  72. Leif – “suppose the were no Maunder or Spoerer Minima, would you still ascribe the LIA to the Sun?” Leif, you are a truly brilliant guy, but come on! This is a straw man. The problem that I and others have (and I am not a solar physicist – I’m an engineer with a penchant for stats) is that there was a Maunder min, and that there are correlated colder temperatures. Now, we understand that long term ice age conditions may be due to many factors, including orientation of the planet. But we have in the last thousand years historical knowledge of fairly large temperature swings. The last time this happened, there was an observable lack of sunspots. Now, the Mann team claim that such a little ice age event didn’t occur – but this contradicts historical records. So how did it happen? IT could have been volcanic, but as far as I know, there are no events that geologists have pointed to that indicate the little ice age was volcanically produced. (And please do correct me if I’m wrong!) So we have a problem. The known correlated events, swings of temperatures that are recorded historically (such as the roman warm period) and no man made CO2 causation. So some of us have drawn some conclusions. We’ll could be proven wrong within a few years, or even a few months. Or not. SInce this isn’t a peer reviewed journal, and we have little influence on the tide of public opinion, it probably won’t matter much… :-P

  73. Anthony, we may soon (hopefully before /if we get global cooling) find out from CERN if the CRF theory holds water:

    http://aps.arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0804/0804.1938v1.pdf

    Unlike skeptics usual lack of funding–it appears as though this has high visibility and funding.

    I just hope we don’t find out the gate of the MOSFET is analogous to CRF and cloud cover and by 2015 we are in a world of hurt.

  74. Brendan re: Clilverd, et. al., 2004.

    I would call this a study of solar cycles employing spectrum analysis, not statistics which Leif uses extensively. Many researchers have speculated on the repetitive nature of features in the sunspot cycles using wavelet analysis, I.R.G. Wilson used carrier amplitude modulation, etc.

    Heliophysicists like Dr. Svalgaard are more interested in characterizing the sunspot cycle in terms of an underlying solar dynamo which he was instrumental in pioneering in the 70’s and regard the cycle studies with a benign neglect.

    That the cycles recur coincident with certain planetary positions, and solar system positions, is beyond argument, the problem is no physical cause on this account has been forthcoming, so it has not fostered Heliophysic investigation.

    “To the carpenter possessing only a hammer, all the world appears as a nail”.

  75. I am convinced that the next LIA, to be known as the Landscheidt Minimum will be upon us soon: New Little Ice Age Instead of Global Warming?
    I only hope mankind will come to his senses sooner, rather than later, on this whole AGW pseudoscientific nonsense.

    There’s a man with a gun over there,
    Tellin’ me, I got to beware.
    Must be Al. AGW, believe it, OR ELSE!

  76. Hey Leif !

    Yeh, well just between you, me & the here fence posts, I ain’t quotin’ nobody.

    On the LIA side of the discussion there’s Don Easterbrook & Tim Patterson who – in their respective fields of ice core & mud core research – are seeing large correlations between temperatures, historical Be10, C14 and ocean productivity with both long-term and regular solar cycles.

    OK, correlation ‘s causation. And cooling the talk about global cooling might be a good idea. I’m not anticipating a LIA and I think talk of one is surely premature. Abatement in a warming trend? I think that’s within the range of reasonable speculation.

    But seriously, w/out big flares & regular faculae, mainstream climate researchers are saying just the drop in UV warming the upper troposphere will have some effect, the question is “how much?”

    I think people just like the idea of skating on the Thames in 2050.

  77. Gary and Bruce: Cycle studies, or as my good friend Ken Schattern calls it “cyclomania”, have not been accepted, because they have never shown to be useful in real prediction, i.e. well ahead of time. One reason is that are just too many cycles: 11, 12, 20, 22, 35, 55, 88, 100, 400, 1500, 2400 years and others. With enough cycles you can fit anything. With no physics behind them we are nowhere. Now, I don’t need physics if the cycles just worked, but, alas they don’t. I would bet my life savings that quantum mechanics can predict the wavelength of a particular atomic transition, but not many I know would do that on predicting the occurrence of a solar flare on the basis of the positions of the planets. Strangely enough, any blog discussion of solar activity eventually ends up with astrology being promoted. This is a sad truth that I do not see any chance of changing and I’m not going to try. Carl Sagan called it our “demon-haunted world”.

  78. Dr. Svalgaard, I take exception to your comment: “Strangely enough, any blog discussion of solar activity eventually ends up with astrology being promoted.”

    If you’ll do a word search on this blog, using the search box in upper right, you’ll find it to be non-existent in my posts. There have been some comments (15 total using the word) and most simply mentioning Landschiedt and the fact that he dabbled in astrology, but certainly there’s been no active promotion of the craft.

    The best comment was from Jeff Alberts who wrote: “Unfortunately Astrology isn’t about the science of anything, and has no place in scientific circles.” I agree.

    I’ve done a several dozen posts about solar activity, none of which have descended into the “demon-haunted world” as far as I can see. – Anthony

  79. Anthony: I did not intend to implicate your blog. You run a tight ship and that is good. I was relating my own experience on several other ones and message boards. The line is quite fine and one has to be vigilant. Perhaps it is my own fault that I speak up when I see the discussion drifting into that territory ["That the cycles recur coincident with certain planetary positions, and solar system positions, is beyond argument" - nothing is beyond argument], but so be it. As you may know I have been running a solar commentary at CA and a good fraction of the comments over there has been concerned with fighting off the demons.

    REPLY: Thank you, now excuse me while I look at some tea leaves ;-)

  80. I’m not focusing on TSI except as a handy proxy for solar activity in general. What we are finding is that all other solar and interplanetary indices also indicate a Sun that is less variable than thought [and I have stressed repeatedly that this is an emerging consensus and not accepted by everybody].

    Heh. Bleeding edge science, except it stands to reason the sun isn’t too variable considering the mostly moderate climes here on Earth.

    As someone else on these fora has commented, humans like correlations, we jump on them. I tend to follow studies by experts who I might think have demonstrated a way to reify the correlation into something more tangible.

    The trigger effect could well be there, but unless you tell me what triggers what, when, and why, I and nobody else for that matter cannot act upon or use the effect and we have not made any progress.

    I see how it’s arguably better to let a mystery stand than to prop up a facile effigy that makes for a rough fit. In this politicized environment it’s hard to resist saying “Ahah!” to what looks at first flush to be some very seductive information. But then we skeptics feel we are speculating no less than anyone else about climactic effects & future events.

    What is then a good litmus for statistical correlations? Even seemingly good evidence can be misleading and still be functionally speculative, no matter the correlation or past trend match.

    If the new research you cite in fact leaves everyone, as you say, with a lack of evidence to demonstrate why, then we’re mired in a quandary. It’s ironic, too, b/c we object to the AGWers abusing the distinction between correlation and causation in much the same way.

    Admittedly it’s hard for self-described agnostics to not play the devil’s advocate. Hypocrites give the best advice.

    What I’m ‘railing’ against is the use of ’solar’ as a sort of dumping ground for what we don’t otherwise know.

    Gee, sounds like Tony’s hit a solar nerve.

    :-)

  81. I have to agree with Dr. Svalgaard. We always see the astrologers say “the planets are going to be lined up, something that happens only once every 50 million years” or whatever, and that major devastation will occur on earth because of the forces exerted. Well, very few of the planets inhabit exactly the same plane in their orbits. The moon has some minor effect because it’s so close, but the person standing next to you has more gravitational effect on you than all the planets put together. I think this is because gravity, like magnetism, falls off rapidly as distance increases.

    So while people aren’t saying the word “astrology”, they’re attributing effects on the sun from planetary alignment which have no basis. I think that’s what he means.

  82. leebert: or maybe the Sun has little to do with the LIA. My reason for saying so is that the solar parameters may not have been a lot smaller during Grand Minima. So, we have two possibilities:

    1: the sun has nothing to do with the climate on time scales of centuries
    2: the climate is hypersensitive to even the slightest solar changes

    Am I allowed to say I don’t like those choices?

    Not b/c I have a predilection toward screaming “global cooling is coming,” (I prefer to whisper it), but b/c I have to wonder whether the new research you cite is so certain. Esp. the day after Bruce West proclaims otherwise. As a layman I’m completely at a loss to know who’s right, but rather I see two extremes from two presumed experts.

    Which leaves me with wanting a middle choice that’s missing in the choices above.

    The latter carries the threat of a run-away, which may be hard to recover from, so perhaps it never happened. But, personally, I could go either way. Recent reconstructions [although still controversial] of solar activity, the interplanetary magnetic field, and geomagnetic activity point to the strong possibility that solar activity during the 18th and 19th centuries was not any less that during the 20th and 21st.

    OK, let’s step back for a minute.

    John over at skepticalscience.com runs a blog much like CA. He’s a climatologist, very patient, good chap. I asked him about solar influence.

    His comment was essentially this (paraphrased from memory): If anything solar intensity has caused a -0.1 degrC masking of CO2 effects since the 1990’s.

    Now understand, I’ve run with that one. Just shooting from the hip here, OK?

    If TSI can fall so much in 15 years that we’re enjoying a -0.1 degrC offset, then I don’t see a big problem with D. Shindell’s study, even if his estimates were off on TSI reduction. Shindell modeled the LIA solely based on TSI, if I recall correctly.

    The gist of Shindell’s study was more a case that regardless of TSI, if the middle troposphere cooled that much (he was solely modeling lower troposphere-heating UV from lack of faculae) that GMT fell -0.3 to -0.4 degrC, then any confluence of effects could cascade into a generally cooler globe. The most crucial part of Shindell’s study was to show that although the cooling was modest, the effect in continental interiors was profound b/c wintertime westerlies carrying warm ocean air were slowed considerably along with northward intermeridionals from the subtropics, etc.

    Forgive me for WAGing, but here’s how I’d ballpark rank the components for modeling the deepest coolth of the LIA:

    -0.2 degrC from TSI reduction
    -0.05 degrC indirect ocean emissivity
    -0.05 degrC cosmic ray increased cloud cover
    —-
    -0.3 degrC … which is Drew Shindell’s higher ballpark,
    -0.4 degrC was his lower.

    Yes, I know, it’s all off the back of a napkin!

  83. leebert: Bruce West is talking about correlation with the climate, not about the Sun. He does not in any way counter the observations and inferences that the Sun has varied less. The ‘modern’ image of TSI [still controversial] is that TSI does not fall much under what it does at every minimum, that is: there is not long-term background change. If the magnetic regions did not not disappear during the Maunder Minimum, there would not have been a lack of faculae and therefore no cooling etc. And Shindell did not show that the climate behaved in a certain way on its own, he showed how the climate would react to a prescribed solar forcing. If that forcing didn’t happen, what was there to model? and this is the crux of the matter: if one assumes the ‘generally accepted’ rather large solar variability [the one designed to match the climate] then no wonder you recover a reasonable climate response. The issue I’m raising is: since there are indications [albeit not yet accepted or even known to all] that the forcing was less, can we at least not begin to think about how we would deal with that? be proactive? Instead, what I see is a ‘perverse’ reverse logic: since we need the Sun to vary to feel comfortable in our current paradigm [and few likes paradigms to be overthrown], then, by gully, it must vary, it has to, what else could it be? So we are neglecting the solar signs of less variation in favor of our prejudices about what must explain climate variation.

  84. This is different from there being no magnetic field. The cosmic ray shielding would be a little bit less, but not much. So the changes introduced by a Maunder minimum [if the Livingston-Penn mechanism holds up] will be only slight. Leif Svalgaard

    “Production calculations show that during the MM the mean global 10Be production was higher by 32% than at present due to lower solar activity.”

    from http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/8/2797/2008/acp-8-2797-2008.html

    Leif,

    Assuming that 10Be is produced by comic rays, wouldn’t you say that 32% is a significant modulation? What am I missing?

  85. B sub z floor was 4.6 nT, “now” 4.4 and headed lower. The ‘science’ is squishy?

  86. poetSam: the paper also says: “It has to be kept in mind that the uncertainly of the solar forcing during the Maunder Minimum is large, as well as the climate response to the forcing. We are not able to validate the simulated temperature or precipitation rates during the Maunder Minimum, we can only compare them with other estimates.”
    The point is that the model calculations were done with a large assumed TSI variation [1.5 W/m2] and that feeds into the part of the 10Be concentration that is due to climate variations rather than to solar variations. If you look at Figure 1 of the paper you will see that during the [supposedly] even deeper Spoerer minimum [1415-1535], the 10Be flux was within the error of the spread almost normal.
    These things belong to an active research area and the jury is still out. What you are missing is that the uncertainty is very large and that “The 10Be concentrations measured in ice depend on the solar modulation of the production rate, the stratosphere-troposphere exchange (STE), the tropospheric transport and the precipitation rate at the measurement site. An important question is to what extent
    the production changes of 10Be are masked by the meteorological conditions during periods of variable climate”.

    It pays to read and study the paper carefully. The 32% you quote comes from this: “These modulation [M] values differ only slightly from values reconstructed by Usoskin et al. (2005). For the PresentDay run, monthly mean M values were used so that temporal changes in the production rate were taken into account by the model. During the MM a constant value of M=200MeV was assumed, which is an average for the whole period of MM (McCracken et al., 2004). This increases the production rate of cosmogenic radionuclides by 32% during the MM compared with PD.”

    So, one has to go back to the McCracken paper to see where that value came from. It turns out that it, in turn, is based on assumptions about the calibration of the non-linear relationships governing the modulation. And so on. These things are difficult and we are still learning how to calibrate our proxies.

    Gary: “headed lower”? You clairvoyant or something? be a bit more specific, please.

  87. “It pays to read and study the paper carefully. ” Leif

    Excellent point. Shame on me.

  88. The Zero Sunspot Days for May just got added to the graph over at the Solar24 site.

    They continue to go up (i.e. fewer sunspots).

  89. I would bet my life savings that quantum mechanics can predict the wavelength of a particular atomic transition, but not many I know would do that on predicting the occurrence of a solar flare on the basis of the positions of the planets.
    Why do you feel you need to use a straw man argument, Leif?

    Strangely enough, any blog discussion of solar activity eventually ends up with astrology being promoted.
    What I find strange is that you even bring up astrology, when no one else has. Why?
    Your complete rejection of Landscheidt would seem to have an irrational basis.

  90. After reading most of these comments, I don’t see how the so called expert climate modelers can have anything but garbage in and garbage out of their programs that is driving another mania that will eventually be an epilogue to Charles Mackay’s ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds’

  91. Bruce: I fail to see how that was a straw man argument. My point was a comparison between solid physics and something ‘beyond argument’. No straws there. My rejection of Landscheidt is based on five arguments:
    1: the energy involved in planetary influences are not sufficient to have any measurable effect on the Sun. The tides raised by Jupiter are 1/25 of an inch high acting on millions of Texas-sized plasma blobs moving up and down at 5000 miles an hours covering the whole surface of the Sun.
    2: the predicted times of maxima and minima do not match the observed closely enough to be useful although they should be perfectly calculable.
    3: there are sunspot cycles on many other stars that as far as we know don’t have Jupiter-size planets. The intensity of the activity depends on the age of the star.
    4: no explanation is given how the mechanism works and why the magnetic polarities change the way they do.
    5: there are other [better] theories based on solid physics that explain the solar cycle in some detail. They are not perfect and are still being worked on, but they are physically viable and if we use the planetary influences then we also have to explain how these first cancel out the solar dynamo and then add their own effect to make it look like the cycle is controlled by the planets.

    You may argue that the planetary effects are not driving the cycle, but only add a tiny modulation to a cycle controlled by the solar dynamo, but then the predictive power of the planetary influence is not needed as the dynamo is working regardless. Many other variations are possible, but I feel that Landscheidt would take exception to having his theory removed as the primary driver.

    I do not think that my arguments above constitute an irrational basis. You are invited to show where the irrationality lies. The arguments might be in error [happens often in science - falsifiability being a prerequisite for scientific theory], but do seem to me to be the product of a rational mind. I would certainly have thought so, had they come from you or anybody else.

  92. Leif, tallbloke aa stroller here. This is a much more detailed rebuttal of Landscheidt and his ‘barycentric nonsense’ than you gave me on CA, and so I am able to respond to your 5 points in more detail:

    1) Landscheidt doesn’t base his theory on planetary tidal action. He proposes that the planets gravitationally induced movement of the sun around the basycentre of the solar system produce “not insubstantial” changes in angular velocity, and that these are translated to an up to 5% change in the velocity of the equatorial solar spin rate, and that this has been observed. Here are the maths and citations.
    “The contribution of the orbital momentum to the total angular momentum
    is not negligible. The maximum value reaches 25% of the Sun’s spin
    momentum. In addition, there is strong variation. The orbital
    angular momentum varies from 0.1 x 10^47 to 4.3 x 10^47 g cm2 s1 or
    reversely, which is more than a forty-fold increase or decrease. If
    there were transfer of angular momentum from the Sun’s orbit to the
    spin on its axis, this could make a difference of more than 5% in
    its equatorial rotational velocity (Blizard, 1982). Such
    acceleration or deceleration has been actually observed
    (Landscheidt, 1976). This seems to be indicative of a case of
    spin-orbit coupling of the spinning Sun and the Sun revolving about
    the center of mass involving transfer of angular momentum
    (Landscheidt, 1986b, 1988). Coupling could result from the Sun’s
    motion through its own ejected plasma. The low corona can act as a
    brake on the Sun’s surface (Dicke, 1964).”:

    2) Landscheidt uses a method involving the golden section as a general cosmological constant for his theory, possibly because it holds generally and is further projectable than chaotic planetary motion. This leads to imprecision, but improves general long range applicability. Nonetheless, the short range forecasting is still as good or better than anything I’ve seen from the other theories. Using his theory he successfully predicted:
    ” …the end of the Sahelian drought three years before the event, the last four extrema in global temperature anomalies, the maximum in the Palmer drought index for U.S.A. around 1999, extreme river Po discharges around the beginning of 2001, and the last three El Niños as well as the course of the last La Niña (Landscheidt, 1983-2002).

    Perhaps you can offer examples of a better track record from other theories predictive capability?

    3) Please give us the details. Fascinating!However, this doesn’t falsify Landscheit’s theory, which rests on barycentric motion which could arise from causes other than jupiter sized planets.

    4) See above for the primary mechanism. The reversing polarity may be accounted for in the approx 20year cycle of jupiter-saturn-heliocentric conjunction and opposition. It will be interesting to analyse the phase shifting effects on frequency of reverse polarity spots which buck the cycle.

    5) Lets see how much [better] these other theories fare over the forthcoming months and decades. Landscheidt predicted in 1999 that:
    “The extrapolation of the observed pattern points to sunspot maxima around 2000.6 and 2011.8. If a further connection with long-range variations in sunspot intensity proves reliable, four to five weak sunspot cycles (R < 80) are to be expected after cycle 23 with medium strength (R ~ 100).”

    So far, he seems to be doing better with this 19 year old prediction than NASA’s Prof. Hathaway is with his prediction that is being continually adjusted even after cycvle 24 has already shown it’s first spots! Didn’t half the panel you sit on predict an Rmax of over 150 for cycle 24?

    Long live falsifiable content and scientists with the confidence to nail their reputations to the predictive capability of their theories as firmly as Theodor Landscheidt did.

  93. Having read a bit more of the preceding comments, I can see that my response to your point number 4 above may sound a bit too “astrological” for some. It is worth noting that although Jupiter may only raise a 1/25″ tide on the sun, it’s gravitational effect is to move the sun up to two entire sun diameters over a period of 20 years or so, and that the combined gravitational effect of jupiter and saturn when they are close together and opposite each other either side of the sun substantially alters the path of the sun in terms of it’s motion about the centre of mass of the solar system.

    These are real motions of extremely big objects actually happening in our solar system, not some arcane glyphs on a circular diagram being pored over by a tabloid sideshow columnist. It does a disservice to scientists involved in celestial mechanics to conflate these very different activities.

    My apologies to Dr Watts if he feels this and my preceding post are irrelevant or unwarranted.

  94. Lief:

    You are one patient astrophysicist!

    leebert: Bruce West is talking about correlation with the climate, not about the Sun. He does not in any way counter the observations and inferences that the Sun has varied less. The ‘modern’ image of TSI [still controversial] is that TSI does not fall much under what it does at every minimum, that is: there is not long-term background change.

    OK. Just for my sake, b/c I’m sure there are bigger & better “skeptics” than I to tangle with (so I’m rather grateful to get to argue with you!) but here’s my disconnect:

    The sun has dimmed somewhat since about 1990.

    -0.1 degrC drop has been ascribed to this decrease in luminance.

    It is purported to mask that much extra warming.

    I’m quite OK with all those statements (I’m a fence sitter…). I’ve been informed of this by other scientists. This is completely independent of Schwabbe Cycles, the LIA, the Maunder, etc.

    If the magnetic regions did not not disappear during the Maunder Minimum, there would not have been a lack of faculae and therefore no cooling etc.

    That’s a big topic in of itself (and not to beat a dead horse).

    On the one hand we have:
    1. Low SSN observed by Galileo (correlated w/ plage/faculae numbers)
    vs.
    2. Normal magnetic proxies (Be10?)

    Are the proxy data so far superior to Galileo’s telescopy?

    It’s my understanding that the Medieval Warm Period coincided w/ high solar output and appears so, based on proxy data (Be10, C14 – Jirikowic, Damon, 9/1993). Are you saying that the Maunder proxies didn’t change much from then?

    What about Galileo?

    Could it be that magnetic indices aren’t representative of longer-term changes relevant to Earth’s climate?

    TSI has purportedly dropped by 0.33 W/m-2 (-0.1 degrC) in the past 18 years. Has that been reflected in magnetic indices?

    The issue I’m raising is: since there are indications [albeit not yet accepted or even known to all] that the forcing was less, can we at least not begin to think about how we would deal with that? be proactive?

    What I take from your statement is that we have some possibilities to chose from, the first of which you already stated before, that climate is:

    1) Hypersensitive to solar variability
    2) Partially sensitive within certain ranges
    3) Insensitive

    This may be a false dilemma. What’s “hypersensitive?” A very modest change in GMT? The system may work based upon functional limit stops, that inhere stepped equilibria from various forcing agents.

    Drew Shindell modeled according to just a few parameters, but particularly his expected climate sensitivity to solar forcing (UV heating of the troposphere). He set the sensitivity lower, so he modeled a bigger drop in TSI. A higher sensitivity would require a smaller drop in TSI. I think we actually agree here.

    Instead, what I see is a ‘perverse’ reverse logic: since we need the Sun to vary to feel comfortable in our current paradigm [and few likes paradigms to be overthrown], then, by gully, it must vary, it has to, what else could it be? So we are neglecting the solar signs of less variation in favor of our prejudices about what must explain climate variation.

    If I take your meaning then, Shindell’s model is predicated upon sensitivity in general – w/out it the model doesn’t work b/c it’s based upon an external forcing agent (the sun).

    But then we have the ongoing solar dimming of -0.1 degrC cited by other scientists. They say it’s masking GHG effects, etc. Works for me (I come into this with few prejudices on that regard — I believe CO2 causes warming but I’ve yet to see convincing evidence that it’s dangerous)

    So what further magnitude reduction in TSI are we going to see on an ongoing basis, regardless of straight SSN? Colleagues in your field are saying their magnetic indices are very low, unprecedented. This as compared to your statement that 19th & 20th Century data (proxies) have been consistently higher.

    We’ve already experienced a -0.1 degrC solar down-forcing since the early 1990’s, seemingly regardless of overall SSN (or SSNe?). Were we to compound that trend against both regular & long-term variations in solar output, the effect could cancel out or be larger. In our current situation I would expect a larger downtrend.

    Again, the system may work based upon functional limit stops, that inhere stepped equilibria from various forcing agents. Clouds may be a huge modulator that is of yet to be understood.

    In our current situation, if the extant solar un-forcing of -0.1 degrC and other natural variations (Pielke argues this is a misnomer) are enough to “mask” the CO2 signal, and they are minor masking agents, then we have a lower climate sensitivity to CO2 (as well as the sun).

    And the Maunder’s possible effect in the LIA? We can’t observe the more-natural world of the 17th C.. There may have been manifold effects. Or the solar signal might’ve been more dominant back then as a forcing agent relative to other agents. In a pristine system it could be the sun’s minor changes in TSI could flip a limit-stop switch & drop the system into a different stepped equilibrium, just as the Medieval Max has been ascribed to solar input.

    Our contemporary situation may be different due to GHG, marginalizing solar variation, where other factors are dominant & solar sensitivity is backgrounded. So we might enjoy a modest solar offset against GHG and never come near a LIA (I’m not claiming a LIA, never have) b/c we’re too far off from the nodal stepped equilibrium shift point that’d permit such a cascade.

    So which was dominant there? The Earth system or the sun? Or is this a chicken and egg problem, that the system & the sun are linked that disentangling them it moot? IOW with such a prime input like the sun, distinctions become artificial, it’s a network of various subsystems that have their own sensitivities to perturbations & do unexpected things when parameters hit limit-stops and a new function-state kicks over.

    OTOH, -0.4 degrC doesn’t sound like much to me, but we’d have to see a full -1.1 degrC temperature change to even get to the antecedent GMT of the 16th C. And even if 20th C. temperatures were 70% due to the sun, there’s 40 yr of ocean emissivity that’d have to happen first, etc.

  95. Leif Svalgaard (22:12:03) :

    “Bruce: I fail to see how that was a straw man argument. ”

    Your challenge was “suppose the were no Maunder or Spoerer Minima, would you still ascribe the LIA to the Sun?”

    My answer is “Of course not.” However, my expectation is that if there were no Maunder minimum there would have been no Little Ice Age. In your first phrase you change the theory, in your second phrase you put us on the spot to explain something that might not have happened. It’s not one of your better arguments.

    A few random comments from not reading the rest of the posts closely enough:

    Sure, the tidal (or solar acceleration) effects due to Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, etc (I think that’s the order I once computed a couple decades ago) are miniscule. However, they may be the biggest external forces upon the Sun. Do they have an effect? I have no idea. In http://personal.inet.fi/tiede/tilmari/sunspots.html Timo Niroma presents a statistical case in support of the “Jupiter Effect”, but it’s a bit distressing what he does to the data to get there. The jury isn’t out – it’s not even empaneled. If the statistics permit accurate forecasts they will encourage the theorists to theorize. Good enough for now.

    The very best thing about the recent changes in the Sun’s behavior is that we finally have a good chance to sort out the relative effects of Greenhouse gases,
    Solar TSI/UV/GCR, and maybe study some effects we’ve never seen before like sunspot fading.

    There’s so much work to do, it’s a pity that so much research money has been directed to GHG research. With CERN’s CLOUD experiment getting going and the recent cooling despite increasing GHG, I see a bright future for research. Well, assuming the politicians don’t screw it up.

  96. I fail to see how that was a straw man argument. My point was a comparison between solid physics and something ‘beyond argument’. Really, Leif, now you are simply being disingenuous. He apparently was able to predict solar flare activity based on cycles of solar activity 90% of the time. That is pretty remarkable accuracy, and useful in weather predictions, etc., but in any case you are comparing apples to rutabagas. I see you also conveniently ignored your bringing up of astrology, which has absolutely nothing to do with Landscheidt’s solar cycle theory, and you know it.
    The deliberate attempt to discredit Landscheidt based on false and baseless analogies, and ascribing something (astrology) which you know has nothing whatsoever to do with his theory on sun cycles is irrational in nature, and based on fear. Fear of what, I couldn’t say exactly.
    Your “objections” to his theory seem to be based on a relatively minor component (as well as a deliberate misunderstanding) of it; that of the sun’s irregular motion about the barycenter of the planetary system, which you call “planetary effects”.

  97. Is cause and effect backward in this conception. Can the solar dynamo regularize the orbits, explaining the correlation?
    ====================

  98. Lief:

    Do you have a public-available, up-to-date source for cosmic ray measures? I can’t find one. Current and archived temps, cloud cover, density, cloud layers, top pressure, and ozone measures are all available to us. CO2 is available (no brainer on that one). I can’t find a data table or graph on cosmic ray data that is up-to-date, as in last 20 years or so, including today.

  99. Hi Dr Svalgaard,

    I’ll have to bring this to a close… thanks for all the patience in helping my understanding of TSI.

    If you’d like to check in on the net heating effect of tropospheric brown clouds worldwide & soot deposition in the Arctic, my website might be of interest: http://www.scientificblogging.com/blog/258

    Again, Lief, thanks & best regards, — leebert

    ====
    Also … I posted this on the other thread … if you’d like to share your thoughts on this, feel free. If I’m reading this correctly W. Schmutz indicates that 50% of total climate response is in the troposphere.

    From Prof. Dr. Werner K. Schmutz, Director PMOD/WRC

    Fractions of solar irradiance variations due to solar surface magnetism (lower limit estimates):
    Solar rotation time scale: > 90%
    Activity cycle time scale: > 90%
    Secular (centuries) time scale: ?

    Status: magnetic evolution can be modeled (contribution of other sources is unknown)
    UV modeling
    fair progress – not yet solved
    UV influence on climate
    ozone reaction understood
    tropospheric climate response only about 50% of the estimated solar influence

    Also:

    Schmutz’ potential total forcing for solar.

    Note the effects of surface ozone, it’s almost equal to methane — makes me wonder about hybrid & elec. vehicles. This is however IPCC 2001, so the black carbon is too low (and perhaps aerosols are biased as having a net cooling effect and has since been revised upward as both warming & cooling).

  100. Pingback: Army: Sun, Not Man, Is Causing Climate Change ** | Jack’s Newswatch

  101. Bruce Cobb:

    I don’t think Lief is being disingenuous. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Landscheidt’s theories are premised on the idea that the planets are tugging on the sun sufficiently that there’ll be an effect. Lief’s point is that the tidal forces of the planets are so minor that you’d have a greater gravitational effect on me than Jupiter would. Inverse square & all that rot.

    I don’t know the theories, but I’ve read enough to know there are other theories that account for solar wobble & latitudinal band synchrony. It could be Landscheidt’s theory is predictive but for the wrong reasons, that it’s an artifact of the long-term cycles built into the solar system as a result of the sun’s internal dynamics.

    Think about it this way, if the sun has its own unique dynamics of wobble and gravity waves, it would, over the course of so many billions of years, have aligned the planets accordingly. Chicken and egg. Just like the solar system, the sun is not a monolithic beast, it more like a network of layers with various weird dynamics. The star Betelgeuse, a vast red giant, is a big blobby mess of huge globules all holding together (before the thing blows its top).

    So it could be that Landscheidt’s theory is predictive b/c the sun itself is the real locus of those perdiodicities and perturbations, and has functionally set up the solar system to reflect them.

    That’s just a WAG, of course, but it’d lend toward a more agnostic look at both Landscheidt and other theories.

    Think about this, just in general, applicable to science in general as well as Landscheidt. Isaac Newton developed a wonderful system of celestial mechanics that helped overturn the very predictive, but quite wrong Ptolemaic system. The Ptolemaic system was essentially a statistical one & propped up using epicycles, etc. Copernicus, Galileo & then Newton’s celestial mechanics challenged the Ptolemaic system until it was ash-canned. But think about this one: Newton, in his efforts to make his nascent system work, resorted to using epicycles, the very artifice that belied the weaknesses of the Ptolemaic system.

    Scientific ego drove Newton to try to cram in an admitted artifice that made his system more predictive. Einstein fumbled on something similar, a universal constant that, so it turns out, was predictive after all but he removed it b/c at the time it made his models disagree with conventional thinking.

  102. L.S.: For a deterministic answer use div, grad, & curl too; least squares will never do.

  103. Anthony

    I was looking up your resources and found the TSI graph of Lean 2000.

    This graph seems to be outdated and replaced by very different graphs by Wang 2005 and Leif 2007. Could you and Lief comment on why these graphs are so different and why the different results?

  104. Bruce: Theodor Landscheidt is on Wikipedia’s list of astrologers:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_astrologers

    Same Wikipedia has this comment: “astrology is the use of celestial placements in order to explain past and present events and predict the future”. Prediction of flares and their influence on the weather would seem to fit that bill. On the other hand, the Moon does cause tides and yet is not astrology. The difference is one of size. If you claim an effect that arises from forces so weak they cannot be measured, then you are back to astrology.
    “He [T.L.] apparently was able to predict solar flare activity based on cycles of solar activity 90% of the time”. apparently? He either was or he wasn’t. Or do you mean that he only ‘appeared’ to predict something and really didn’t? Maybe this can be resolved with a reference [and not to just another assertion] to the actual prediction of the appearance thereof.
    The Sun does not feel any forces [except negligible tidal forces] while in motion about the barycenter, just like an astronaut in orbit about the Earth does not feel any forces. And it is hard to get an effect out of no force.
    Your use of words is mildly offensive [disingenuous, baseless, false, fear, irrational, deliberate, etc] and is marring an otherwise hitherto refreshingly civil discourse. Maybe you’ll be so kind to join most of the other posters in trying to keep it that way…

    Pamela:

    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/

    tallbloke:
    The various motions around the barycenter do not result in net forces and the gravitational forces are precisely balanced by centrifugal forces. This is easiest seen for the case of two stars with equal masses in large circular orbits. The barycenter is exactly halfway between the stars [and thus far outside the stellar bodies]. Both stars will continue to circle forever and any ‘inhabitants’ could not measure any forces due to their motion around the barycenter. Because of this, the other arguments are moot. T.L. in 1999 predicting solar maximum in 2000.6 was just doing what every other predictor was doing and does not make T.L. stand out as any different or superior. Adding the average cycle length of 11.2 years to get the next maximum in 2011.8 does not seem to constitute strong support for his unique ideas. Since solar minimum is already very late and the next cycle is likely to be weak [long rise time], there is no way the next maximum could be as early as 2011.8, so T.L. is already wrong on that. Much more likely is a maximum in the 2013 time frame.

    leebert:
    “sun has dimmed since 1990 to now” and this has caused a drop of 0.1 C is misleading because it dimmed to 1997 then increased again at the next maximum and finally dimmed until now, the net drop is much less than 0.1 C.
    Galileo actually saw many spots. The MM started ~years later.

    kim: no.

    Gary:
    but if I use vid, darg, and lruc I come to the opposite result. You leave me in the dust, Sir, I have no idea what you are talking about, but shall not infringe on your right to such utterances.

    All:
    for explanation of the T.L. see: http://www.viewzone.com/endtime.html
    and for cyclomania: http://personal.inet.fi/tiede/tilmari/sunspot2.html
    Now, please spare us all for further humorous assaults of this nature.

    Hemst101:
    Reconstructions of TSI before 1978 rely on two primary methods:
    1) assuming that the variation of TSI seen today depends on the sunspot number to same way as in the past, so the sunspot number [SSN] becomes a primary input: as SSN goes, so goes TSI, so we rely on knowing the SSN accurately in the past
    2) assuming [bolstered by ad-hoc model calculations] that the interplanetary magnetic field [IMF] is derived from a general background solar field and that an apparent increase of the IMF from 1900 to 1960 is causing a linear increase of TSI over that interval.

    The are indications that the SSN is too small before 1947 and that the purported increase of the IMF didn’t happen, therefore the corresponding increases in TSI didn’t happen either. But all this is still an active research are and the dust has not settled yet.

    There are undoubtedly things I have not a answered, but it is time to close this, lest it ends up with being another CA-thread of 3,000 posts. [We are still going around in circles over there]

    A good subject for a new thread is “The evolution of purported TSI with time”

  105. Leif, thankyou for your detailed reply. “humorous assaults” aside, please stop avoiding the core issue Landscheits theory turns on:

    In his peer reviewed and accepted paper of 1976 he observed changes in the spin rate of the suns equatorial region. He posits the theory that this results from a spin-orbit coupling caused by a drag effect of the suns ejected plasma on the corona, as posited by Dicke 1965.

    1) There is falsifiable content in this theory.

    2) It rests primarily not on the direct gravitational effect of jupiter (which is nonetheless real enough to shift the sun by twice it’s own diameter), but the suns own motion through it’s ejected plasma as it orbits (bad word as it’s motion is not anything like circular or regular) the centre of mass of the solar system. Landscheidt mathematically quantifies the effect, but accepts further work needs to be done to tie the proposed mechanism to solar output variance. Nonetheless, he is able to provide predictions against which his theory can be tested.

    3) Until his theory is scientifically disproven, it should not be casually dismissed. I appreciate that the study of cyclicity in celestial mechanics is not your field of specialism, so I would not chide you for not undertaking this task yourself. Since this is not your field, and since you don’t have an interest in it’s study, perhaps you should recall the Wittgenstein you quoted recently. Chided by Edmund Halley for his quasi religious “barycentric nonsense” Isaac Newton responded by saying:
    “Sir, I have studied it, you have not.”

    Regarding the prediction Landscheidt made 19 years ago, in addition to the points you addressed he also said:
    ” If a further connection with long-range variations in
    sunspot intensity proves reliable, four to five weak sunspot cycles
    (R < 80) are to be expected after cycle 23 with medium strength (R ~ 100).”

    His prediction for the Rmax of cycle 23 turned out pretty well, and the jury is still out on cycle 24 and beyond. Time will tell. That you dismiss his prediction for solar maximum in 2011.8 as a facile addition of the average length of the sunspot cycle to his prediction for solar maximum in 2000.6 is the clearest indication that you have neither studied or understood his work.

    As the suns motion about the barycentre shifts from it’s harmonious phase to it’s chaotic phase, we can expect the length of the solar cycle to change from it’s 10.1 year average on the one side of it’s bipolar tendency to anything between 9.5-13.5 years during the chaotic barycentric motion phase. Given the long cycle 23, I would predict 24 will be mercifully short if relatively inactive. Since the ascending and descending phases of the solar cycle approximate the golden section, I would expect solar maximum to occur a little later than Landscheit predicted, but not by so much in consideration of the fact that the prediction was made *19 years ago* that we should use any minor discrepoancy as grounds for dismissing the general utility and value of his theory. Certainly when proponents of alternative theories change without datestamp their “prediction” of what is already happening.

    To cut to the chase, until the content of Landscheidt’s theory is falsified, and his prediction based on it proven wildly innacurate, it is unscientific to dismiss him and his work.

    Quoting wikipedia as support for doing so gave me a good laugh – thanks for that. Newton studied alchemy and astrology too. Is he on wikipedias hitlist? Does this detract from his contribution to science? Perhaps it augmented a wider understanding of the universe than that displayed by modern specialism allows.

  106. And if you still think we’re going round in circles, get used to it, because that’s just how the universe is: Cyclic, and spiral, with a bit of phase reversal and retrograde motion thrown in to keep the soup thoroughly stirred.

  107. Leif: Interesting, so, because he studied astrology, which we all know, and because YOU have decided that his sun cycle theories fit YOUR definition of astrology, then you brand his sun cycle work as astrology. That is classic. Wow. Say, Leif, here’s a thought, how about you actually READ his work yourself? I doubt that you will, but here is a paper of his anyway:
    New Little Ice Age
    Instead of Global Warming?

    I stand by my opinion of you, until you prove otherwise.

  108. LS:

    Carl Smith re: Landscheidt 7/1/2007

    “and I venture a speculation that if no cycle 24 spots appear in the very near future then perhaps Dr Landscheidt should have also mentioned the other possible date of the upcoming solar max using his methods, 2013.6 (see details of his methods in the paper), which if it turns out to be true means a very long cycle which could indicate a very low sunspot max.”

    I believe Carl’s analysis should be preferred to yours, prima facie.

    Defining science as you do renders your work on TSI a ‘conjecture’, the relations between IDV, SC, IMF, etc., are not explicit in any formal sense. A filtered curve cannot be construed as f(x) and no g(f(x)) is conceivable; no mapping from one domain to the next is on offer. Your ambitious conclusions are not supported absent this motivation.

  109. Leif, at 22:22:48 So is it all coincidence? The correlations are not present because of causation? Is that likely?
    =====================

  110. Several other studies [1-6] have shown that solar activity and Earth’s climate are largely controlled by the accelerationand deceleration of the Sun in its orbit about the center of mass of the solar system.

    Kirt Griffin recently sent this link where YOU CAN SEE the ever-changing effect of planets on the Sun and their relative positions at any point in time:

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Solar

    Earth’s climate will continue to change as long as planets continue to move
    around the Sun.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

    http://www.omatumr.com

    REFERENCES:

    1. P. D. Jose, “Sun’s motion and sunspots”, Astron. J. 70,
    193-200 (1965).

    2. R. W. Fairbridge and J. H. Shirley, “Prolonged minima and the 179-yr
    cycle of the solar inertial motion,” Solar Physics 110, 191-220 (1987).

    3. Theodor Landscheidt, “Extrema in sunspot cycle linked to Sun’s
    motion, “Solar Physics 189, 413-424 (1999).

    http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/extrema.htm

    Other papers over the past quarter century by Theodor Landscheidt on
    solar-induced climate changes are here:

    http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/publications.htm

    4. J. Shirley, “Axial rotation, orbital revolution and solar spin-orbit
    coupling”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 368, 280-282
    (2006).

    5. W. J. R. Alexander, F. Bailey, D. B. Bredenkamp, A. vander Merwe and N.
    Willemse, “Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and
    water resource development,” J. South African Institut. Civil Eng. 49,
    32-44 (2007).

    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/Conf2007/Alexander-etal-2007.pdf

    6. O. Manuel and H. Ratcliffe, “Fingerprints of a local supernova,”
    to be published in SUPERNOVA RESEARCH, Nova Science Publishers, Inc.,
    Hauppauge, NY, in press, 2008.

    http://www.omatumr.comabstracts2007/20071202_Manuel_and_Ratcliffe.pdf

  111. I’m overwhelmed by the scholarly research and deep insight being displayed. One prediction of mine has certainly come true: that eventually all public discussions of what causes solar activity ends like this one. Even on Anthony’s blog. I’ll end with a quotation by [what makes some people laugh] the dreaded Wikipedia of Carl Sagan’s book: “We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces… I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive.[...] The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.”

  112. Oliver: When I see papers cited I always check if they pass my ‘crank filter’ and my ’sloppiness filter’ and my ’solid analysis filter’. These checks are usually quick [seconds]. Let me take the case of the South-African paper by Alexander.
    Here is their Figure 10: http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA10.png

    The authors are ‘barycenter people’ and calculate TSI received from the Sun which is supposedly wobbling around the center of mass [SSCM - the cross] of the Solar System. They calculate four values [perihelium, aphelium, two equinoxes - interesting enough these Southern Hemisphere people call the March equinox the ‘Spring’ equinox]. Here I show the actual observed TSI. I have plotted their values as the red dots: http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA11.png

    Since they don’t match up and don’t make sense, I can now dismiss the paper, which I hereby do. It does not pass muster. The same argument applies to all the barycenter papers.

    The above is a quote from a similar discussion at CA. Needless to say, it didn’t rock anybody’s faith in their erroneous belief.

  113. Leif,
    I note however that you are unable or unwilling to address the core of Landscheidt’s theory (see my previous post), which has falsifiable content. and remains unaffected whether the barycentric motion of the sun about the centre of mass of the solar system is caused by planetary motion or the hand of God.

    I think your preference for accusing others of demonic possession over addressing their science puts you in the vatican of scientific orthodoxy.

    “In 1633 Galileo was tried for heresy.

    He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.

    After a period with the friendly Ascanio Piccolomini (the Archbishop of Siena), Galileo was allowed to return to his villa at Arcetri near Florence, where he spent the remainder of his life under house arrest, and where he later became blind. ”
    -wookipedia-

    REPLY: Leif, I see what you mean now. Tallbloke. I suspect Leif looks at Landscheidt like I look at at 911 truthers. He’s probably just burned out on the falsification argument as I’ve seen happen in talking about 911 “derived facts” to truthers, once falsified and “killed”, the zombie returns again and again. I’m not saying Landscheidt is anything at all like a 911 Truther, so please don’t make the inference, only that it is one of those issues that becomes a circular argument due to it’s nature.

    I’ll point out I’m neutral on Landscheidt, but I don’t want the argument to take over the thread.

    So for that reason, everyone, let’s leave Landscheidt off the table for now. Feel free to discuss anything else about solar science. – Anthony

  114. ““We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. ” Carl Sagan via Lief

    For heavens sake, quit arranging things! Life is far too complicated for even the best brains to try to arrange. Some better brains than Carl Sagan decided liberty was the best solution.

  115. Pingback: third world county » Blog Archive » Here’s Some Spit in the Global Warmists’ Eyes

  116. Pingback: News Briefs 14-07-2008 | Psychics Services|Psychics Members Site|Psychics City|Course

  117. Anthony, I would like to see an updated graph of the Observed Geomagnetic Averaged Planetary Index. I think the last one you published was in mid-June. Now that July is almost over, and the sun has been really quiet this past month, it would be interesting to see if there are any signs of change in this index. Thanks.

  118. Pingback: Spotless days: 400 and counting « Watts Up With That?

  119. ERROR BARS: I keep meaning to post about error bars. I am concerned when I see charts like the one Figure 2 as it tells you nothing about the errors present in the measurements (maybe else where in their document but not in the post)

    I could envisage a situation where the early measuring equipment was of poor quality and had large errors compared to the more recent data. If that were the case there might be no quotable trend at all.

    Since this blog generally complains about the quality and repeatability of data, I think everyone should keep in mind that knowledge of errors of observation is critical when interpreting any data.

  120. I think it is excellent that this blogs opens up the discussion about the Sun and the effect of changing behavior of the Sun on the climate and it does it in its usual high quality manner. However, this is primarily a climate blog. Historical evidence indicates that the activity of the Sun as observed through sunspots affects the climate. We have a rare historical opportunity to observe this effect in real time – as long as the Sun continues to behave like it has for the recent past – and see if the low sunspot activity translates into an observable climatic effect. The AGW proponents by predicting rising temperatures as a consequence of the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration created an ideal condition for the effect to be observed and be highly publicised if it indeed happens. However, trying to predict climatic changes is hard enough. Coupling it to trying to predict the behaviour of the Sun which is even less well understood than the climate, makes prediction more of a guess than science.
    If the Sun continues its low sunspot activity and we have solid evidence that it influences the climate, that would be a major accomplishment. It would give a major impetus to understanding of the sunspot -climate link. It would also lead to trying to get a better understanding of the behavior of the Sun, which I do not believe that we currently have.

  121. Pingback: Scientist Predicts Ice Age Within 10 Years « noworldsystem.com

  122. Pingback: Oddziaływanie plam słonecznych na Ziemię « Dziwny jest ten świat

  123. Pingback: 2014-2015 - These years are a repeating theme in solar forecasts « Watts Up With That?

  124. Well, we are much better able to cope in this day and age. So I am not as pessimistic as some.

    But, no, not good. and it would likely result in badness, moral and otherwise.

  125. Pingback: Global Cooling Due to Decreased Sunspot Activity? « tobefree

  126. Available energy is mandatory. Wealth may equate to available energy. If you want to live in a nation that is prospering make sure that its available energy supply is abundant.
    Solve Energy to mitigate all other issues

  127. I see the graphed trend. I also see an increase in wavelength.
    A thought: In the Sun’s gravity “dimple” do we see a fifty year cycle? Meaning:

    Our entire system rotates. Is it possible, dare I say, we might see a pole over pole solar rotation? Due en parte’ to gravitational “dimple ripple”.

Comments are closed.