Australian Space Weather Agency Revises Solar Cycle 24 Start, Adding 6 Months

Solar Cycle 24 just can’t seem to get rolling. IPS announced today (IPS is the Australian Space Weather Agency) ,  that it has changed its forecast for Solar Cycle 24, pushing it’s start into the future by six months. They write:

Due to the proximity of the IPS predicted rise of solar cycle 24
to observed solar cycle 23 solar minimum values, and the apparent lack
of new Cycle 24 sunspots, IPS has again moved the predicted solar cycle
away by 6 months.

The announcement came on the IPS web page, today, on the day that two small cycle 23 sunspots have started to appear near the solar equator. Many had expected more cycle 24 spots to be visible by now, but the sun remains quiet, and has been producing more cycle 23 spots than cycle 24 spots so far since the first cycle 24 spot was seen on January 4th, 2008


August 21st, 2008 spots – Photo: Pavol Rapavy

NASA’s David Hathaway is still expecting a start of cycle 24 this year, with an upturn soon, late in 2008 or early 2009.

Above: The solar cycle, 1995-2015. The “noisy” curve traces measured sunspot numbers; the smoothed curves are predictions. Credit: D. Hathaway/NASA/MSFC.

As many of you know, the sun has been very quiet, especially in the last month. In a July 11th 2008 NASA news release article titled What’s Wrong with the Sun? (Nothing) solar physicist David Hathaway goes on record as saying:

“It does seem like it’s taking a long time,” allows Hathaway, “but I think we’re just forgetting how long a solar minimum can last.”

The new IPS prediction puts the sunspot upturn to begin around April to July 2009. It will be interesting to see if Hathaway follows with a new prediction in the wake of the IPS announcement. There already has been one change in Hathaway’s prediction this year, so it would not be surprising to see another.

The IPS announcment is shown below.

big hat tip to John-X

IPS OBSERVED AND PREDICTED SOLAR INDICES FOR CYCLE 24

CYCLE 24 PREDICTION MOVED AWAY BY 6 MONTHS
Due to the proximity of the IPS predicted rise of solar cycle 24
to observed solar cycle 23 solar minimum values, and the apparent lack
of new Cycle 24 sunspots, IPS has again moved the predicted solar cycle
away by 6 months.

Prepared by IPS Radio and Space Services

Issued on Aug 21 2008

———————— SMOOTHED SUNSPOT NUMBER —————————
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
—————————————————————————-
2000 113.0 116.9 120.0 120.9 119.0 118.8 119.8 118.7 116.3 114.5 112.7 112.1
2001 108.7 104.0 104.8 107.5 108.6 109.8 111.7 113.6 114.1 114.0 115.5 114.6
2002 113.5 114.6 113.3 110.5 108.8 106.2 102.7 98.7 94.6 90.5 85.3 82.1
2003 81.0 78.6 74.2 70.4 67.9 65.3 62.1 60.3 59.8 58.4 57.0 55.0
2004 52.1 49.4 47.2 45.6 43.9 41.7 40.2 39.3 37.6 35.9 35.4 35.2
2005 34.6 34.0 33.6 31.7 28.9 28.8 29.1 27.5 25.9 25.6 25.0 23.0
2006 20.8 18.7 17.4 17.1 17.4 16.4 15.3 15.6 15.6 14.2 12.7 12.1
2007 12.0 11.6 10.8 9.9 8.7 7.7 7.0 6.1 5.9 6.1 5.7 5.0
2008 4.2 3.7e 3.7e 4.0e 4.2e 4.1e 3.9e 4.0e 3.9e 3.9e 4.4e 4.9e
2009 5.6e 6.4 4.4 8.3 8.9 9.6 10.7 11.9 13.4 14.7 16.3 18.1
2010 20.2 22.6 25.2 29.6 34.5 39.8 44.2 48.8 53.8 59.4 64.5 68.8
2011 72.8 79.0 85.5 91.3 94.7 98.0 101.4 105.2 109.1 112.6 116.6 120.2
2012 122.4 125.4 127.1 127.9 129.2 130.9 131.8 133.9 134.7 134.7 133.9 131.8
2013 131.3 130.0 130.0 129.6 129.6 130.0 130.0 129.2 129.2 127.9 125.0 122.0
2014 119.3 116.6 113.5 110.0 107.7 105.7 104.1 102.2 100.1 97.4 94.3 89.3
2015 84.2 79.4 76.3 73.5 70.9 68.5 66.0 63.2 60.1 57.7 56.0 55.2
2016 54.3 53.1 51.4 49.1 46.4 43.6 41.3 39.4 37.5 35.3 33.0 30.9
2017 29.2 27.9 26.6 25.3 23.9 22.8 21.8 21.1 20.6 20.0 19.3 18.2
2018 17.3 16.8 16.5 15.9 14.9 14.2 14.1 14.3 14.3 14.0 14.0 14.2
============================================================================

—————– EQUIVALENT 10.7 CM SOLAR RADIO FLUX ———————
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
—————————————————————————-
2000 162.2 166.2 169.4 170.3 168.3 168.1 169.2 168.0 165.6 163.7 161.9 161.2
2001 157.8 153.0 153.7 156.6 157.7 158.9 160.8 162.8 163.3 163.2 164.8 163.9
2002 162.7 163.9 162.5 159.6 157.9 155.2 151.6 147.6 143.4 139.3 134.1 131.0
2003 129.9 127.6 123.4 119.7 117.4 114.9 112.0 110.4 109.9 108.7 107.4 105.6
2004 103.2 100.8 98.9 97.6 96.2 94.4 93.3 92.5 91.2 89.9 89.5 89.4
2005 88.9 88.4 88.1 86.7 84.7 84.6 84.8 83.6 82.5 82.3 81.9 80.5
2006 79.0 77.6 76.8 76.7 76.8 76.2 75.5 75.7 75.7 74.8 73.9 73.6
2007 73.5 73.3 72.8 72.3 71.6 71.0 70.6 70.1 70.1 70.1 69.9 69.5
2008 69.1 68.9e 68.9e 69.0e 69.1e 69.1e 69.0e 69.0e 69.0e 69.0e 69.2e 69.5e
2009 69.9e 70.3 69.2 71.4 71.7 72.1 72.7 73.4 74.3 75.1 76.1 77.3
2010 78.6 80.2 82.0 85.2 88.8 92.9 96.5 100.3 104.6 109.6 114.2 118.2
2011 122.0 128.0 134.3 140.1 143.5 146.9 150.3 154.2 158.2 161.8 165.9 169.6
2012 171.8 174.9 176.6 177.4 178.8 180.5 181.4 183.5 184.3 184.3 183.5 181.4
2013 180.9 179.6 179.6 179.2 179.2 179.6 179.6 178.8 178.8 177.4 174.5 171.4
2014 168.6 165.9 162.7 159.1 156.8 154.7 153.1 151.1 149.0 146.3 143.1 138.1
2015 133.1 128.4 125.3 122.7 120.2 117.9 115.6 113.0 110.2 108.1 106.5 105.8
2016 105.1 104.0 102.5 100.6 98.3 96.0 94.1 92.6 91.1 89.4 87.7 86.1
2017 84.9 83.9 83.0 82.1 81.1 80.4 79.7 79.2 78.9 78.5 78.0 77.3
2018 76.8 76.4 76.2 75.9 75.2 74.8 74.8 74.9 74.9 74.7 74.7 74.8
============================================================================
This page is updated monthly using observed monthly sunspot numbers from
the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (http://sidc.oma.be). Monthly
values are smoothed using a 13 monthly running filter (first and last half weighting)
and, where needed, combined with a predicted sunspot number curve for Cycle 24.
Values which have an “e” next to them are based partly on observed and partly on
predicted values. Values earlier in time to these are based entirely on
observed valued; values later in time are entirely predicted. Observed
data are adjusted slightly at times to use the SIDC final monthly values
which are available several months later – SIDC preliminary monthly values
are used up to this time.

All Solar Radio Flux values, including the “observed” values, are
obtained from sunspot numbers using a statistical conversion. They are
best described as equivalent solar flux values.

Prepared on behalf of the International Space Environment Service by
the Australian Space Forecast Centre, IPS Radio and Space Services. This
product is issued in the first few days of each month and is available
on the IPS Mailing List Server – http://www.ips.gov.au/mailman/listinfo/
For more information please contact the centre at asfc@ips.gov.au
PLEASE NOTE: The technique used to make these predictions was changed
for the predictions issued from early November 2003. The revised technique
is more appropriate to the situation of a declining solar cycle.

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184 Responses to Australian Space Weather Agency Revises Solar Cycle 24 Start, Adding 6 Months

  1. ad says:

    Shouldn’t that be “push… BACK six months”?

  2. Pingback: STAY WARM, WORLD… Roger Carr « Stay Warm, World…

  3. Pamela Gray says:

    And check out the ozone thinning over the western half of the US!

    http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/rt/viewdata.php?product=o3_us

  4. Tom in Texas says:

    What are negative sunspots?
    The bottom curve, if fully plotted, goes below the axis.

    REPLY: There are no negative sunspots. That is just a graphing issue you see.

  5. Larry Sheldon says:

    “Shouldn’t that be “push… BACK six months”?”

    You are forgetting they are “down under”….

    REPLY: I suppose its all in how you look at the time line. I view the future as ahead of the present, hence the use of “ahead” in the title of this posting.

  6. Roger Carr says:

    Larry Sheldon (20:51:20) “You are forgetting they are “down under”
    We are now “down under”. You are looking at the map upside down…

  7. At least the ‘left’ spot has a cycle 24 polarity change. Because of its low latitude it might be a cycle 23 spot with reversed polarity [happens one out of 30 times]. The spots may be too small to be assigned an ‘active region’ number; we shall see tomorrow.

  8. Leon Brozyna says:

    This is almost in the category of anecdotal weather. From looking at the magnetogram image of the sun at the SOHO website, the newest disturbance shows up at the eastern edge of the solar disk; however, it’s not yet showing in the visible image. The longer this minimum holds, the clearer should be any signature as to possible effects on the weather.

    I’m just wondering if there’s any change in the power of any of the components of the solar spectrum between an active sun versus a quiet sun. In other words, would the values of visible light, IR, & UV remain the same in relation to each other or would there be changes (up or down) in relation to each other depending on the amount of solar activity (or inactivity)?

    Just a thought.

    REPLY:
    The SOHO MDI image hasn’t been updated in awhile, so you can’t really use that as a gauge for development of the sunspot. Thats why I chose the photo from the amatuer solar astronomer. It appeared to be more recent than the SOHO MDI.

  9. AnyMouse says:

    It’s “Push forward, pull back, every eleven years.”

  10. Michael Hauber says:

    Last solar minimum in 1996. Average GISS temperature for 1996 was 0.3.

    Bigger solar minimum this time around. And a La Nina (although a quick look at 1996 Nino 3.4 shows coolish). And a switch to cool PDO.

    Average GISS temperature for 2008 so far: 0.37.

    Although I would be happy to agree that the difference is not necessarily significant and could just as easily be weather noise as CO2 warming. And the year isn’t ended yet either, so the 2008 number will most likely change.

  11. Mike McMillan says:

    Leif -

    Dumb question – both spots are black on the right with white on the left. How do we tell polarity changes, which with latitude I gather is the difference between two cycles?

  12. Mike McMillan (22:10:06) :
    both spots are black on the right with white on the left
    This was not clear on the [outdated?] image I have, but if so, they are both reversed. That may signal cycle 24 rather that cycle 23.
    How do we tell polarity changes, which with latitude I gather is the difference between two cycles?
    SC23: Nothern Hemisphere: left black, right white
    SC23 Southern Hemisphere: left white, right white
    SC24: Northern Hemisphere: left white, right black
    SC24: Southern Hemisphere: left black, right while

  13. oops:
    SC23: Nothern Hemisphere: left black, right white
    SC23 Southern Hemisphere: left white, right black
    SC24: Northern Hemisphere: left white, right black
    SC24: Southern Hemisphere: left black, right while

  14. F Rasmin says:

    Larry Sheldon (20:51:20) . The ‘Wizard of New Zealand ‘ made lots of money selling upside down maps of the world to tourists from the northern hemisphere.

  15. jmrSudbury says:

    The IPS is predicting cycle 24 to go higher than 23. The peak for sun spots is 134 instead of 120. The 10.7cm flux prediction is similarly higher: 184 instead of 170. Interesting. — John M Reynolds

  16. Gary Gulrud says:

    Anyone have a link to the running 13-month smoothed minima for sunspots, 10.7 cm flux, and geomagnetic indicies?

    Obviously, all hope for the March 2008 minimum is past and August 2008 may well be the next spun minimum. Watch for transequatorial CMEs to tighten and the IMF to exhibit the ‘holding her dress down’ flip to the south.

  17. Ric Werme says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:34:42) :

    At least the ‘left’ spot has a cycle 24 polarity change. Because of its low latitude it might be a cycle 23 spot with reversed polarity [happens one out of 30 times].

    Oh, that’s a relief – I thought it might mean that cycle 24 was ending before it began! Or that spot was one of the spots on the negative part of the projection. :-)

    Just kidding….

    I guess there isn’t much science behind the new prediction as the IPS says that

    Due to the proximity of the IPS predicted rise of solar cycle 24
    to observed solar cycle 23 solar minimum values, and the apparent lack
    of new Cycle 24 sunspots, IPS has again moved the predicted solar cycle
    away by 6 months.

    Gee, I could’ve written that! At least they said “away” instead of “ahead” or “back”.
    (Schedulers, at least in the US, refer to pushing back a schedule to mean that there are delays and the project will be late. Same class of idiom as “near miss” meaning it missed or nearly hit.)

    Yet another organization as lost as we are and just goin’ along for the ride. Ah well, I’m sure this period will provide plenty of fodder for solar physicists for a couple decades – until the spots fade away in 2015 or so per Livingston/Penn and that distracts everyone.

  18. Jeff Alberts says:

    Usually when one is moving a deadline further into the future it’s moving back. If it’s moving closer to the present it’s moving ahead. It’s odd, but I think of this every time Anthony posts one of these. The article actually says “away” which is less ambiguous, I suppose.

  19. matt v. says:

    I see that the AUSTRALIAN SPACE WEATHER AGENCY has confirmed what I already projected in the previous track SPOTLESS DAYS -400 AND COUNTING.

  20. Bill Marsh says:

    Interesting that there now seems to be disagreement over whether these are ‘sunspots’ or ‘proto sunspots’ as SpaceWeather.com has the sunspot count at 11 and NOAA is reporting 0 as of 8/21 http://www2.nict.go.jp/y/y223/sept/swcenter/sunspot.html

  21. John-X says:

    No mention from IPS of why they chose 6 months.

    I infer that it’s a very crude estimate. I assume the thinking is – solar minimum HAS to be somewhere around now-ish; we don’t know WHY Solar Cycle 24 hasn’t behaved as predicted; our previous forecast clearly ain’t happening; let’s acknowledge that and kick this thing another 6 months down the road and see what happens.

    NOAA/NASA so far has not done that. In conjunction with a Space Weather Workshop in May, the panel stood by their (split) forecast

    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/SC24/index.html

    The small sunspot group Anthony referenced above is very interesting. I too have been frustrated by the lack of updated MDI Continuum images on the SOHO website (I emailed the SOHO webmaster to ask if anything is wrong

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/contact/webmaster.html

    The photo Anthony posted above from the observer in Slovakia shows a small sunspot group; the observer at Catania

    http://web.ct.astro.it/sun/draw.jpg

    saw it and drew it yesterday AND today. (other observers yesterday, including Mt Wilson

    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/cur_drw.html

    did not see it and did not draw it). The official NOAA reports yesterday listed sunspots as “None.”

    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/SRS.txt

    So from both Boulder and Brussels,

    http://sidc.oma.be/products/meu/index.php

    the OFFICIAL sunspot number is still ZERO, and the current spotless streak which began July 21 officially goes on, and is at 33 days and counting.

  22. Fred Chabala says:

    I would be interested in seeing an update to the Observed Geomagnetic Averaged Planetary Index (Ap) graph. I think the last one you posted was on 15-Jun-08:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/solar-ap-june08.png

    Isn’t the geomagnetic index a predictor of sunspot activity?

  23. Robert Wood says:

    This is a good picture of the magnetogram: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/cur_mag_fe1.html

    I’ve lost the 10.7MHz image link, can someone post it?

  24. John-X says:

    Fred Chabala (06:24:49) :

    “I would be interested in seeing an update to the Observed Geomagnetic Averaged Planetary Index (Ap) graph…”

    It’s the third chart on this page, updated during the first week of each month –

    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/

    The “step change” to lower values (mostly below 10) Anthony pointed out in June still has not recovered.

  25. Bobby Lane says:

    I have to say all this business is quite absurd. Only in astronomy can I imagine you would get a second and third chance to ‘predict’ something happening when it doesn’t happen the first or second time you said it would. So now, if the Sun does start around that time into Cycle 24, they can all pat themselves on the back and issue a press release that confirms they were right. Only those of us who care about this sort of thing will know that they were not.

    I agree with Rick Werme’s posting wholeheartedly. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of science behind this except the science (or art) of guestimation.

    But the main question I have is, supposing the Sun does not start up as “forecasted,” what then? Move it back yet another six months? I mean, how can one claim to be right on target (or schedule) when one has control of location of the target (or the timing of the schedule)? It’s an absurd notion!

  26. Bill Marsh says:

    John-X,

    maybe the SOHO lack of posting had to do with the CCD Bakeoff they were running? I noted that the latest SOHO magnetogram is 8/21 and the bake appears to be over now so maybe they will be able to post more up to date images.

  27. Jeff Alberts (05:54:41) :

    Usually when one is moving a deadline further into the future it’s moving back. If it’s moving closer to the present it’s moving ahead. It’s odd, but I think of this every time Anthony posts one of these. The article actually says “away” which is less ambiguous, I suppose.

    Being a non-english speaker, “moving back” used that way is very confusing if it means moving into the future. To me it sounds as if you are moving backwards into the future. I guess some are :-)

    If the estimates of solar minimum are really moved 6 months into the future, I guess it means we must interpret the “spot” as belonging to SC23 (I realise though the proper interpretation is the other way around).

    More and more interesting.

  28. Bobby Lane says:

    This reminds me of a Star Trek (TNG) episode I saw where the Romulans and the Federation each have no clue why their posts near the Neutral Zone have been utterly destroyed (scooped off the face of the universe would be more accurate). They each know the other didn’t do it. But beyond that they have no clue. Except that the Romulans try to bluff as if they do so that the Federation, if they actually do know, will tell them and then the Romulans can act like they knew all along. But of course the Romulans don’t have a clue and that comes out in the episode. And this is pretty much what it looks like.

    Like a bunch of solar scientists sitting around a campfire blinking stupidly and going round-robin asking each other with a casual shrug “Well, I dunno, Ed, when do you you think it’s going start?” “Beats me, Bill. When do you think, it’s going to start Rich?” “Hard to say. Say, Steve, when do you think it’s going to start?” Ad infintum. As I said, eye-rollingly absurd.

  29. Bill P says:

    RE: Headline. Your first commenter caught the same issue. “Push ahead” is ambiguous. How about “delays”? or “…Agency revises Dates…”

    REPLY: I made a change, it seemed clear to me but apparently more than a few get flummoxed with the wording I chose, even though it seemed clear to me.

  30. matt v. says:

    There should be no surprise that the sun is still in a minimum stage and is likely to continue well into 2009 . One of the criteria that I Iook at is the solar wind ram pressure levels and its trend .The latest 27 day average reading Is down to 1.57nPA. The 2008 average, 27 day average to date is only 1.77nPA which is lower than the yearly 27 day average for any year for at least 13 years. It was 2.41 for the last solar minimum year of 1996. On a daily average basis there have been no solar wind spikes 5 nPa or more to date in 2008. The average on a daily basis for the last 13 years is 11 spikes of 5 nPa or more and in 2005, the record temperature year, it was 20. IN 1996 AND 1997 ,around the last solar minimum period it was 3 and 6 major spikes respectively on a daily basis.

  31. Bill P says:

    Perhaps: “Cycle adjusted for Daylight Savings Time” (Sorry. It’s Friday.)

  32. Steve in SC says:

    It is almost like this cycle 24 deal is on some sort of a government contract.

    “When are you guys going to start work on this?
    We don’t know.
    Well when?
    Maybe we’ll know in about 6 more months.”

  33. paselowriterscafe says:

    Interesting data! Will have to watch what you’re doing here on this page. It fascinates me.

    New here, and just stumbling around alot… like the blind rat in the maze that can smell the cheese on the other side of the wall… still trying to figure this place out!

  34. Richard deSousa says:

    It appears to me that the solar scientists and astrophysicists are venturing into the unknown. None of them knows why the sun is so quiet and none of them have a clue on how long this hiatus will continue. And most of them are cranking up their computer to attempt to guess the future. Their hubris is breath taking and some of them should honestly tell us they just don’t know what the hell is going on with the sun.

  35. Kent says:

    I find it some what interesting that the site below is attributing current spotless days to cycle 24 when they should be labeled cycle 23.
    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotless.html#Period
    It is also interesting that http://dxlc.com/solar/ keeps on changing their (predicted) number of smoothed sunspots. It seems they are making adjustments to make it look like they know what they are doing.

  36. Diatribical Idiot says:

    I have a question. Based on a paper I was recently reading (Jose, 1965) there is a discussion on the assignment of polarity with regard to sunspot cycles. It is claimed that there are occasions where the polarity between cycles does not reverse.

    How would such a situation present itself? Would we just start seeing an increase in sunspots of the same polarity as the previous cycle and realize that a new cycle of the same polarity has started? Or is this idea an outdated one that has since been disproven?

    I’m just curious. I’m not suggesting this could be the case with Cycle 24, since we have seen spots of opposite polarity (unless, of course, those are just some of those 1 out of 30 aberrations…)

  37. Bob Tisdale says:

    Michael Hauber: A few other things to consider: The number AND MAGNITUDE of El Ninos dominated ENSO since 1996. The AMO was increasing until a few years ago, as was the similarly calculated THC/MOC signal in the North Pacific.
    http://i30.tinypic.com/11kv7r5.jpg
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/amo-versus-mid-latitude-north-pacific.html
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/common-misunderstanding-about-pdo.html

  38. John-X says:

    matt v. (07:52:23) :

    “…On a daily average basis there have been no solar wind spikes 5 nPa or more to date in 2008. ”

    Indeed, it seems only the recurrent coronal holes

    http://www.dxlc.com/solar/coronal_holes.html

    are providing any activity at all, and even then, only the occasional minor storm.

    Space weather educational material for anyone interested

    http://www.meted.ucar.edu/topics_spacewx.php

    Registration required to take the modules, but it’s all free, high-quality material, intended primarily for government scientists & forecasters, and universities, but open to any and all.

  39. Clark says:

    I have to agree with a couple of the above comments. If there is no stated scientific reason to move their prediction date, why exactly did they do so? They should have just withdrawn their previous prediction and said:

    “We don’t know why SC24 did not arrive on time. The coming cycle, whenever it appears, should provide us with valuable information on solar function.”

  40. Updating a prediction of forecast in ‘real-time’ as new data becomes available is how all forecasts are done [and should be done]. The storm track of TS Fay [for example] is updated every three or six hours. Nothing wrong with that.

    REPLY: I agree, NWS revises forecasts too, sometimes within an hour of first issuance. In the case of NASA and Hathaway, I don’t think its matter of “if” but “when”. – Anthony

  41. Dan says:

    We should give the solar guys a bit of a break here, we seem happy to taunt when someone’s estimate falls flat. I don’t get that. An analogy I read somewhere is that understanding the solar cycle is like a doctor trying to understand how the human heart works on the basis of 23 heartbeats, and only having a decent stethoscope for the last 4 or 5.

    Making predictions based on what we know so far is how science grows. Its the only way to test your knowledge. Put it out there for all to see, along with your reasoning for it, and everybody learns something whether you’re right or wrong.

    The apparent WAGs we seem to be getting from some agencies is just an indication that we still have a LOT to learn. Fascinating times.

  42. DAV says:

    Steve in SC (07:56:32) : It is almost like this cycle 24 deal is on some sort of a government contract. “When are you guys going to start work on this?

    Almost got it right but it should have been: “When are you guys going to COMPLETE work on this?” A non-working contractor rarely gets paid. Cycle 23 is having an overrun.

    Like that “push forward” vs. “push back” thing I guess.

  43. Pingback: space » Blog Archive » Australian Space Weather Agency Pushes Solar Cycle 24 Ahead 6 Months

  44. Rod Smith says:

    Anthony: This is clearly off-topic, but something you should know.

    I’m using an Apple iMac w/OS 10.5.4 and Safari 3.1.2 to view this site. I have just noticed that if I hover the cursor over the name of your site in tabs, or of JunkScience.com, or Climate Audit, (and probably others), I get a small yellow pop up label containing the words “Conservative Propaganda.”

    Surely, Al Gore, being a board member of Apple’s Board of Directors, wouldn’t stoop to this.

    REPLY: Check your email – Anthony

  45. Dave Dodd says:

    A WAG is fine as long as it is so identified. When ANY entity (government or otherwise, e.g. AGW wacko) produces a series of WAGs as only “they” have the proper KSAs (knowledge, skills, abilities), they quickly become pompous wags!

    – Retired Government Peon

  46. Ray says:

    What is this sudden increase in their model? I guess they have to cheat their model in order to show a bigger activity than cycle 23. Where did they take this? In a box of cracker Jack?

  47. Rod Smith says:

    Apologies to all.

    It is a bug in Safari. Sorry I didn’t check further before did a little research.

    One would think that my age, one wouldn’t jump to conclusions — and one would be wrong.

    This is the first mistake I’ve made in — maybe the past two hours!

  48. Dan McCune says:

    Back in January Hathaway stated that S24 had begun:

    “On January 4, 2008, a reversed-polarity sunspot appeared—and this signals the start of Solar Cycle 24,” says David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/10jan_solarcycle24.htm

    I’ve seen a revision of his earlier estimates but never a retraction. Maybe an apology is in order. Can you spell H-O-C-K-E-Y S-T-I-C-K?

  49. terry p says:

    do you and basil have something new in the works regarding solar cycles?

  50. BarryW says:

    Maybe they’re getting their estimates from the Farmer’s Almanac.

  51. Dan McCune says:

    Back in January Hathaway was quoted :

    “On January 4, 2008, a reversed-polarity sunspot appeared—and this signals the start of Solar Cycle 24,” says David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/10jan_solarcycle24.htm

    I’ve seen revisions to his estimates but never a retraction. Has S24 begun or has it not?

    At the end of the article there is the following footnote:

    Strange but True: While Solar Cycle 24 has begun, Solar Cycle 23 has not ended. Both cycles will coexist for a period of time, perhaps a year or more, as one dies down and the other comes to life. In the months ahead we may see old-cycle sunspots and new-cycle sunspots on the sun at the same time.

  52. Richard deSousa (08:08:30) :
    It appears to me that the solar scientists and astrophysicists are venturing into the unknown. None of them knows why the sun is so quiet and none of them have a clue on how long this hiatus will continue. And most of them are cranking up their computer to attempt to guess the future. Their hubris is breath taking and some of them should honestly tell us they just don’t know what the hell is going on with the sun.
    This is an over-reaction. Solar physicists may disagree, but that does not mean that they are clueless. Some have long predicted that SC24 would be small and therefore probably late, so the Sun is just behaving as it should, no surprises here. Others have attempted to model the solar dynamo and calculate how large SC24 should be [a doozy]. Another group using almost the same physics get a small cycle. The reason is that we do not yet know enough about the interior of the Sun [but that is improving] and the prediction of SC24 is a way of ruling out [or in] some of the assumptions that we therefore are forced to make. This is normal science and is as it should be.

    Diatribical Idiot (08:23:44) :
    I have a question.[...] It is claimed that there are occasions where the polarity between cycles does not reverse.
    How would such a situation present itself? Would we just start seeing an increase in sunspots of the same polarity as the previous cycle and realize that a new cycle of the same polarity has started?

    Pretty much, yes. What happens is that the magnetic debris from the previous cycle flows to the polar regions and there cancels out [and eventually reverses] the polar fields that are there. From this reversed polar field the next cycle is born. If not enough debris reaches the poles [e.g. if the previous cycle was really weak], the polar fields would not reverse as there would be a residue left still with the old polarity. That clearly has not happened with SC23, so SC24 will be a ‘normal’ cycle as far as polarities are concerned. That is, if our understanding of this process is largely correct [which we think it is, as it is based on centuries of observations].

  53. Dan McCune says:

    Back in January I saw this quote:

    Jan. 10, 2008: Hang on to your cell phone, a new solar cycle has just begun.

    “On January 4, 2008, a reversed-polarity sunspot appeared—and this signals the start of Solar Cycle 24,” says David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/10jan_solarcycle24.htm?list32237

    I’ve seen Hathaway’s revisions but not a retraction. Has S24 started or has it not?

    There is a little CYA in a footnote on this article:

    Strange but True: While Solar Cycle 24 has begun, Solar Cycle 23 has not ended. Both cycles will coexist for a period of time, perhaps a year or more, as one dies down and the other comes to life. In the months ahead we may see old-cycle sunspots and new-cycle sunspots on the sun at the same time.

  54. Gary Gulrud says:

    matt v.: Good stuff, Sir. Godspeed.

    Kent: Jan Janssens begins his assignment of spotless days to the upcoming cycle on the first such day following the current max. His technique; nothing untoward.

    Jan Alvestad is a radio guy, an active sun is a boon to his target audience and yet he maintains one of the better sites on the web for daily observation. He tends to use International (European) definitions and data.

    Again, Western science, makes no representation of their predicted start dates as other than SWAG. The maximum sunspot count is where they invest their expertise and paradigms. The final assessment of their genius re: cycle 24 is at least four years, likely 5, in the future.

  55. BarryW says:

    This is an over-reaction. Solar physicists may disagree, but that does not mean that they are clueless. ……The reason is that we do not yet know enough about the interior of the Sun [but that is improving] and the prediction of SC24 is a way of ruling out [or in] some of the assumptions that we therefore are forced to make. This is normal science and is as it should be.

    Replace “solar” with the equivalent “climate” terminology and you’ve just defined the situation in that field also.

  56. Smokey says:

    Rod Smith (10:21:19) :

    Apologies to all.

    It is a bug in Safari.

    That’s not a ‘bug.’ That is deliberate sabotage. If Apple receives enough complaints, maybe they will make an example of the perp:

    http://www.apple.com/webapps/feedback

  57. John-X says:

    Richard deSousa (08:08:30) :

    “It appears to me that the solar scientists and astrophysicists are venturing into the unknown. None of them knows why the sun is so quiet and none of them have a clue on how long this hiatus will continue.”

    Agreed that this is unknown territory, and there are far more questions than answers. Everybody is hoping that the sun will provide a definitive answer, one way or another.

    There is a new satellite solar observatory, SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory), being assembled even as we speak, that should be the best yet.

    http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/

    Scheduled launch date is December 2008. I really, really hope all goes well with this whole SDO program. If so, we could be getting super high-quality data even before the IPS 6 month wait-and-see period is over.

    “…Their hubris is breath taking and some of them should honestly tell us they just don’t know what the hell is going on with the sun.”

    I cannot agree that there has been hubris. I have seen no hubris from any of the prominent solar forecasters.

    Leif Svalgaard is probably the most outspoken, and he actively discourages hubris, from professionals and amateurs alike. He has a sound physical basis for his forecasts, and is awaiting developments just as we all are.

    Jan Janssens maintains a comprehensive page with the published solar forecasts

    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/SC24.html

    ordered according to whether the forecasting method is physical, statistical, or combined.

    The sometimes maligned David Hathaway at NASA is quite correct when he says, “…I think we’re just forgetting how long a solar minimum can last.”

    In the last solar minimum, in 1996, there was a spotless streak of 42 days, in the top ten longest streaks since 1849!

    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotless.html

    I do believe you are correct in saying no one knows why the sun is behaving as it is, why Solar Cycle 23 is already over 12 years long, why Solar Cycle 24 seems unable to produce anything but ephemeral “sunspecks.”

    Does the present and recent behavior of the sun lend additional credence to the forecasts predicting lower solar activity, including those predicting something like a Grand Solar Minimum?

    The intuitive answer would be yes, but exactly HOW do those models account for the actual solar behavior? Is it a case of being “right for the wrong reasons,” i.e., “accidentally” getting it right? How will the sound physical underpinnings of the now more intuitively correct models be factually demonstrated? (Or as teacher used to say, “please show your work.”)

    It isn’t as though no one’s trying. Ken Schatten, completely hubris-free, wonders if the unusual (for solar minimum) frequent appearance of low-latitude coronal holes allows magnetic energy to escape into space with the solar wind, and thus be unavailable to produce sunspots.

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20070032658_2007033016.pdf

    In Janssens table of predictions

    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/SC24.html

    number 8, by Maris et al, predicts low Cycle 24 activity on the basis of energy released as solar flares during the declining phase of Cycle 23 (and in fact, there were HUGE flares – God Bless Jan Janssens, he has a table for this too

    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Flares/Powerflare.html

    (Note: I have only seen the abstract of the Maris et al paper, NOT the paper itself!)

    I personally have deep concern that none of this will end well. The only “silver lining” I see is the knowledge gained, which will be gained only AFTER we go through whatever it is that is in store for us.

    Maybe you’re right about the hubris after all. It seems a lot of people went into the business of forecasting Solar Cycle 24 thinking it was going to be fun and easy and a chance to cover themselves with glory.

    As the months drag on and the questions pile up while the answers don’t… well, the Greeks knew what always happens after hubris

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

    “A forecaster’s heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger meddleth not with its joy.” – Sir William Napier Shaw

  58. BarryW (11:00:37) :

      This is an over-reaction. Solar physicists may disagree, but that   does not mean that they are clueless.[...]
    Replace “solar” with the equivalent “climate” terminology and you’ve just defined the situation in that field also.

    This holds for any science. The problem is not the science, but when science [any field] becomes hijacked for political or other reasons. but such is human nature, there will always be bad boys out there.

  59. wattsupwiththat says:

    Smokey, lets wait and see before we pass any judgments on this. I’ve seen stranger things happen that truly are bugs.

    I’m checking it out, step by step.

    - Anthony

  60. Dan McCune (10:49:01) :
    Has S24 started or has it not?
    It started two-or three years ago and will go on for a total of ~16 years before it is spent. The solar cycle manifests itself in other things than just sunspots. For example, in the winds in the solar atmosphere. Here http://www.leif.org/research/SSC_zonalv_meridB.pdf is [bottom Figure] a plot of the velocity field anomaly [i.e. with the rotation subtracted out] on the solar ‘surface’. You can see SC23 stating in 1994 as the upwards sloping red areas and still hanging in there now. The corresponding feature for SC24 started in 2006 and similarly will not peter out before ~2021 or so.

  61. Bobby Lane says:

    I hate to keep referencing a sci-fi show on a science themed blog, but Data (day-tuh) once told Captain Picard that the first rule in wisdom is to admit when you don’t know something. I realize that must be terribly hard for scientists, after all they are supposed to know if anyone does, but nonetheless the rule applies. I have seen appearances of it, scientists actually admitting they don’t understand yet what is going on, but not enough of it. When somebody in charge doesn’t know something, and it is clear they don’t but they will not admit it, then of course you are going to get accusations that said person is clueless. I think a formulation such as the one Clark used in his post would be appropriate.

    But, please, stop making media-based forecasts if you’re not going to explain the reasons for change in the media. I think that is largely what most of the people here are asking for. Even the NHC (National Hurricane Center) gives reasons for changes in forecast (e.g., with the expected track of Fay) under its Forecast Discussion link for the storm (and every storm). Changes with new data are inevitable, and people understand that. But people can also see through it when a change is made because: a) the intial prediction clearly did not happen or b) the initial prediction is clearly running out of time to occur and continuing conditions to do not make it likely to occur. This is what I meant when I talked about having control over a target.

    To use the (now revised) government contract analogy it would go something like this:

    “When you are guys going to start on the new job?”
    “In about eight months.”
    “That’s a switch. Why the change?”
    “Because we’re not done with this one yet.”
    “Yes, but what’s taking so long? You said you’d be done a month ago.”
    Silence.
    “So how do you know that you’ll be ready to start on the new one in 8 months then?”
    “Because that’s when we’ve said we’re going to start.”
    “Even though you don’t know if you’ll be done with this current job by then?”
    More silence.
    “So, basically, what you are telling me is that you’ll be done here and starting on the new job in eight months simply because you say so and for no other reason?”
    Yet more silence.

    Now, the above may be unfair but that is perception. I work in hospitality myself, so I know a fair bit about perception versus reality. Solar scientists may have some but not all of the answers in order to give an explanation that the general public can understand, but if they do they sure are not letting anyone know. And when you try to BS people because they aren’t experts in your particular field and “don’t need to know,” people usually can figure that out. And if nobody else does, that is the way I feel things are going with this particular forecast.

  62. Leon Brozyna says:

    SOHO MIDI Continuum still playing hard to get.

    Even been exploring images from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). One of its pages includes a number of solar observatories:

    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/solar_sites.html

    Been looking at fairly current images, such as from Big Bear Solar Observatory:

    http://www.bbso.njit.edu/cgi-bin/LatestImages

    This latest disturbance shows up quite nicely in most all its images, except for the one which shows “features seen in a broadband ‘white light’ image”.

    Also from SWPW, here’s a link to a page which graphically shows that latest status of all identified disturbances (regularly updated). It’s still blank and has been each time I checked today.

    So, is anyone still seeing this spot in real light or has it vanished? Perhaps it’s been such a short term “Tiny Tim” event that it will never be assigned an event number.

  63. Richard deSousa says:

    John-X: I don’t have any problems with a scientist if he admits he doesn’t know because there’s a lack of data to formulate a hypothesis or theory. But when they substitute computer prognostications as substitute for answers then I’m a little uneasy. It reminds me of Michael Crichton’s speech at Cal Tech when he was talking about global warming and consensus in science. I think I’ve posted it before but to refresh one’s memory here it is again:

    http://www.crichton-official.com/speech-alienscauseglobalwarming.html

  64. Peter says:

    Based on historical data, solar cycles are on the downslope of about a 100 year cycle with SC19 being the peak. Hence, my prediction is that we can expect to see SC24 peak at around 90. Accordingly SC25 will also be weaker than the short and very active cycles SC21, SC22 and SC23. The bottom line is a much cooler planet.

  65. Leon Brozyna says:

    Whoops — I omitted the link —

    Also from SWPW, here’s a link to a page which graphically shows that latest status of all identified disturbances (regularly updated). It’s still blank and has been each time I checked today.

    http://raben.com/maps/index.html

  66. Evan Jones says:

    Pale sun falls without contest
    Here is obedient darkness
    It will return
    I know it will return
    It will return

  67. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

  68. statePoet1775 says:

    The sun will return
    and here in Tucson
    I will burn.
    But If I remember,
    there’s hope in September.
    And if I hold over,
    I’ll smile in October.

  69. annie says:

    The sun will come out, tomorrow
    Bet your bottom dollar
    That tomorrow, there’ll be sun
    Jus’ thinkin’ about, tomorrow
    Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow
    til theres none

    When I’m stuck with the day thats gray and lonely
    I just stick out my chin and grin and say, ohhh

    The sun will come out, tomorrow
    So you gotta hang on til tomorrow
    Come what may…

    Tomorrow, tomorrow
    I love ya, tomorrow
    You’re always a day away

  70. Dan says:

    Poetry? Sheesh…

    There once was a big yellow ball,
    That kept us warm, blotches and all,
    Then one year it blanked,
    And temperatures tanked,
    Now mid-summer feels just like fall

  71. Robert Wood says:

    If I look at the limb of the Sun, it appears to be South of the equator, therefore, according the the magnetism, they are cycle 23, no?

  72. Robert Wood says:

    Warning: O/T but not irrelevant, I hope.

    The hysterics and charletains argue that the very slight, I agree, increase in irradiance of the Sun is not enough to explain the temperature “increase”.

    Well, I have never seen their math. If the radiative energy input increased by 0.1%, say, then the temperature of the Earth system must increase by an amount to re-radiate that increased 0.1%. Given Stephan-Boltzmann power 4 law, this means the Earth’s temperature has to raise extremely little to re-achieve radiative balance. It’s pretty small.

    Can we say we have seen these effects?

    There is a time component here. What is the thermal mass of the Earth? Now, over the short time periods we are looking at, we need only consider the surface of the Earth, which is mostly water. Let’s assume the thermal properties of the Earth’s surface are that of water.

    Now the time constant of the oceans must be the time to heat the bottom of the oceans, say at 3800 meters, by a similar amount as the surface. Given the expanse of the oceans, this must be a very long time. Perhaps someone has already done the calculation. To be specific, I have this question: How long dose it take for the ocean bottom to heat by one degree Centigrade, after the surface is heated by 1C, with constant energy input?

    This is not an idle question. I SCUBA dive and know the progression of the thermoclines, in Canada and in the tropics. Seasonaly, the thermoclines move about 80-100 feet, every 6 months. So the time constant of the ocean must be about, making crude assumptions, 12000/200 = 60 years.

    Hey, does this number ring a bell or two??

    My thesis is this: A very small increase in irradiance of the Sun, assuming constant Earth albedo, will take 60 years to make a change in the Earth’s surface temperature.

  73. BarryW says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:55:29) :

    The problem is not the science, but when science [any field] becomes hijacked for political or other reasons. but such is human nature, there will always be bad boys out there.

    Exactly.

  74. BarryW says:

    The problem with making predictions without showing the basis for them is that it is just expert opinion. When they have to be continually revised it puts you in the company of such notable psychics as Jean Dixon. Throw enough … and some is bound to stick. Understanding why they were wrong is as important as knowing why they were right, if not more so. As one of my physics professors used to say, it’s important to show your work, not just get the right answer. He gave an A- to a student who couldn’t remember an equation but explained in detail how to manipulate it to get the answer.

  75. Gary Gulrud says:

    “Well, I have never seen their math. If the radiative energy input increased by 0.1%, say, then the temperature of the Earth system must increase by an amount to re-radiate that increased 0.1%.”

    Don’t worry about their math, the argument is impertinent and a deliberate misdirection. ACRIM indicated the 0.1% was a Schwabe cycle (max – min), and a small sample size (2) at that.

    Courtesy of Kuhnkat at Jennifer Marohasy’s:

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/tsi_data/daily/SORCE_L3_TSI_DM_V0008_20030225_20080812.txt

    Note TSI at earth distance. The variance is 6% per year.

    Including the albedo, UV associated with solar flaring, and solarwind/geomagnetic fluctuations the energy absorbed by the earth varies >10% (my WAG).

    I don’t care what sophistry is employed, this is all the variation needed to explain climate change to a reasonable man’s satisfaction.

  76. Clark says:

    Could this be an indicator as well of a slight lower solar output which if not for global warming conditions could result in the next Ice Age cycle? If so, then global warming conditions could be our salvation?
    Then again, maybe not?

  77. Leon Brozyna (15:30:12) :
    Perhaps it’s been such a short term “Tiny Tim” event that it will never be assigned an event number.
    According to NOAA it was not assigned a number on Aug.21st nor on Aug.22.

  78. Bobby Lane says:

    Clark:

    As I have pointed out before, though you may not know or have read it, the situation is perverse. We should, as you rightly say, welcome global warming of a natural and mild kind. The highly politicized science, however, is forecasting drastic and disasterous warming of the human-caused kind while telling us virtually nothing about the effects of current conditions on that forecast and what the latest research (such as that indicated by Dr Roy Spencer’s testimony before the US Senate) have to say on it. Which leaves us ‘deniers’ in the unenviable position of lauding global cooling even in anectdotal form because it goes against the disasterous hypotheses being bread through the media, although it is significantly harmful to mankind in a variety of ways if indeed it is occurring.

    To voice my chief concern: I am afraid we will spend so much time concerned about AGW, and have so much of our political and monetary resources tied up in combatting it, that if (and I think more along the lines of when) that does not happen, the catastrophe will be enhanced by our unpreparedness in addition to the level of change from what we have been used to for the past 30 years.

    By the way, does anybody have any data on the AMO and other oceanic oscillations? We know the PDO flips every 30 years or so, rather simple. Anything like that on the Gulf Stream current, the AMO, and other similar oceanic cycles? Do we know what is the present actions of one or any of them and the likely effects? I would be intersted in seeing a posting (even a guest posting) on that if you have time, Anthony.

    I will say this too. I do think that if global cooling is underway that it is interesting that while cyclonic activity continues on pace with what has been forecast for the AHS (Atlantic Hurricane Season), but we have yet to see any significantly strong storms. Bertha and Dolly are the only two hurricanes we have seen yet. Bertha was relatively weak, the tracking points indicating TS to Cat 1 strength for the majority of her lifecycle, though she was at Cat 3 for 5 days. And Dolly never rose above a Cat 1. In terms of overall strength, they just seem to have lost some punch. I can’t quantify it, but I just have a feeling of ‘quiet’ with this hurricane season as I have with them since 2006, a fact I find doubly odd given the intensity the 2005 AHS. We still have the rest of August and September and part of October to go through to get out of the woods, so to speak, but I will simply be surprised if I see anything stronger than a Cat 3 come out. Something just seems to be missing.

  79. Bobby Lane says:

    Oops, I meant “bred through the media.” Sigh, my skill with small words I don’t use often is not great.

  80. Bob Tisdale says:

    Leif: Thanks for your contributions to these solar threads. Over the past months, I’ve learned more by reading your comments here than I had in the past 20 years trying to sort through solar-related papers. Your explanations are remarkable because they are understandable. You don’t attempt to impress or confuse by peppering them with terminology specific to your field or by introducing variables that have no bearing on the conversation. For that I am grateful. Thanks again.

  81. Peter says:

    I agree that the irradiance is not the important bit, it’s the lack of solar wind during quite solar activity that causes an increase in cloud cover, hence cooling our planet.

    Our local (Aus) weather station is currently showing a 100 year anomaly of -3.4 deg C for August up to 22nd, but I am not getting excited…….yet.

    I am fascinated with the duration of SC23 as I feel that this is quite significant and has the potential to reverse any perceived global warming despite us having done almost nothing about reducing man made emissions.

  82. Dan says:

    Bobby,

    Two points: w/respect to hurricanes, and speaking from South Florida where we keep a very careful eye on these things, the last few hurricane seasons have seen many storms attempt to form, only to get destroyed by either wind shear or by dry air and Saharan dust over the central Atlantic. 2005 had all the right combinations of conditions to make it a record season.

    The AMO entered its warm phase in the mid-90′s, and hurricane activity (formation or attempted formation) has picked up rapidly since then. The AMO lasts from 20-40 years, so we could still be on the upswing. However, comparing charts of ocean heat content of past years shows more warmth in the ocean in 2005 than in subsequent years, although we’re still above average. Maybe all those 2005 hurricanes cooled things off a bit, since big storms leave a cool wake behind them. Another negative feedback?

    (BTW, I just checked Wikipedia, but apparently the AMO is a threat to their AGW agenda so they spend half the article downplaying its significance, and their only reference is to a Michael Mann paper linking hurricanes to global warming. The NOAA site is a little better. Google will bring up a lot of info from different sources.)

    Second, your point about our reaction to possible global cooling is well taken. Emotionally, its been gratifying to watch real-world temperatures falsify so many of the IPCC’s model projections. But if the cooling continues, and crop failures and shorter growing seasons affect a world that is already seeing food riots in places where energy costs have raised prices beyond many peoples’ means, the effect of that will offset any cheerfulness we might feel now.

  83. twawki says:

    Any updates on how all this affects humanity? as in the longer this goes on how much LESS warmth are we gonna have to get used to?

    Were freezing here in the south east of Australia – temps currently regularly 5-9d c BELOW average, the only bonus is weve been getting NH quality snow

    NZ the same – though a bit too much of the snow – Mt Ruapehu should crack 5m this week.

    Hear from a number of sources theres a shocker of a winter coming up in the NH!

  84. I had a look at the Sun myself this morning, using a Celesotron C8 telescope, solar filter (of course!). Visually, in white light, the Sun is almost perfectly blank, no spots can be seen. Through the turbulence you can sometimes see hints of slightly brighter areas.

    Area near north pole had some brighter features
    http://arnholm.org/astro/sun/sc24/Sun_20080823_1155_021.jpg
    (the ring-like feature on the left is a camera artifact)

    Closer to the equator were some extremely faint spotlike features that almost drowns in the processing noise
    http://arnholm.org/astro/sun/sc24/Sun_20080823_1200_052.jpg

    So the spot seen by others earlier this week has certainly faded by now.

  85. Bobby Lane says:

    It is generally agreed that the warm/active phase of the AMO began in 1995. It had a cool/quiet phase beginning around 1970. It is also, I believe, generally agreed that the PDO began its own warm phase around 1977. It was showing intermittent signs of cooling by 1998, though nothing certain until this year, 2008.

    It’s a lot of work to trace the two back and forth, so perhaps some one else has the time and muscle to do it. But it is kind of interesting all the same. The AMO went Cool seven years before the PDO shifted to Warm. Then the AMO shifted to Warm about 13 years before the PDO went back to Cool. So there was a period of years, between 1995 and 2008, when both were on Warm. Although, the Pacific was cooling while the Atlantic was still warming up. So they were passing each other in the hallway, so to speak, moreso than looking at each other.

    The next expected shift for the Atlantic, back to Cool (when we’ll also get less cyclonic activity by the way), is in the next decade or two according to Dr William Gray. A normal AMO phase is about 25-30 years before it switches over to the opposite. Since it’s been 13 years already, let’s assume we have another 10-15 years to go. So circa 2020-2025 the AMO will go to Cool. And, around 2030-2040 the PDO will go back to Warm. That gives both right around 10-15 years, when both the PDO and AMO are on Cool.

    Eyeballing that graph, which does not extend beyond 2015, that places us somewhere along the “valley” of another solar cycle, assuming the Sun starts back up in 2009 of course. If it waits until later, say 2010, that only serves to put us more centrally in that “valley” at the time when both the AMO and PDO are on Cool.

    So, while times may be rather interesting right now, it does not seem as if we have seen much of anything yet. The last time the two, the AMO and the PDO came together in a combined Cool cycle was sometime between 1970 and 1976. Did we have even a small solar minima or were we in a solar cycle valley during those years? Anyone?

    And, even more interestingly…the last temp minima from the LIA was supposedly in 1850. If the cycles kept to the general 30 year range in each, when would the last Cool Alignment have taken place in conjunction with any solar minima or cycle valleys from 1660 (first LIA temp minima) to 1850 (last LIA temp minima). Anyone?

  86. Bobby Lane says:

    Okay, make that 25-40 year range for the cycles, and then factor in (if any avaiable) solar minima or cycle valleys (low sunspot activity).

    BTW, thanks for your contribution, Dan. I read it. I appreciate it. I was researching it myself, and I agree with you on Wikipedia. They are even still using the unfiltered version of the Hockey stick, which acknowledges the LIA and the MWP, brave little souls that these writers are.

    I’m exceedingly curious to see if we can through historical data get a fix on when the last PDO/AMO combined Cool cycle (when one was going into cool and the other shortly getting out of it but still cool) happened at the same time as either a valley in the solar cycle (little or no sunspot activity) or a solar minima. I would be very eager to see what anecdotal weather reports we could get from back then!

  87. John-X says:

    What Jan Janssens has to say about the new sunspot

    “22 August 08 – Since yesterday, there is finally a new sunspot group visible (Cesar http://cesar.kso.ac.at/sunspot_drawings/2008/kanz_drawx_fd_20080822_0612.jpg ). Based on magnetograms, it is quite simple to determine if a group has SC23 or SC24-polarity. See this excellent link to Spaceweather http://www.spaceweather.com/images2008/04jan08/newspot.jpg For those who still have doubts: this new group has indeed SC24-polarity (following/leading sunspot = white/black). See GONG http://gong.nso.edu/Daily_Images/ for magnetograms of this area. On the southern hemisphere, the polarity of a SC24-group is of course reversed (follower/leader = black/white).

    The group itself has a solar latitude of only +15° (according to Catania http://web.ct.astro.it/sun/draw.jpg ). However, examining the latitudes of the first 20 groups during the last three solar cycles, it becomes clear such a low latitude for a new cycle group is certainly possible. Moreover, this group behaves well according to “Joy’s law” (the leading main spot is closer to the solar equator than the following sunspot), indicating this is most probably not a “lost” SC23-group from the southern solar hemisphere.

    So, it really looks this group can be considered as a SC24-group, but of course it still needs a NOAA-number. Quite a lot of solar observers have not seen this group (not yesterday, not today). It’s really a small group, just like the three SC24-groups before it.”

    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Engwelcome.html

  88. Philip_B says:

    Peter, do you have a link for that -3.4C anomaly. I track the weekly anomalies for Oz at the BoM site and knew there was a ‘shock’ cooling number coming for August, but a site to track the month to date numbers would be nice.

    TIA

  89. Ric Werme says:

    Bobby Lane (00:06:47) :

    “By the way, does anybody have any data on the AMO and other oceanic oscillations? We know the PDO flips every 30 years or so, rather simple. Anything like that on the Gulf Stream current, the AMO, and other similar oceanic cycles?”

    Joe D’Aleo has a lot to say about those. A couple good links are
    http://www.intellicast.com/Community/Content.aspx?ref=rss&a=126 (PDO & ENSO)
    http://www.intellicast.com/Community/Content.aspx?ref=rss&a=127 (AMO)

    The latter includes some of his correlation studies between PDO, AMO, CO2 and global temps.

  90. Mike Bryant says:

    I have recently been pessimistic about the future of Climate Science. However there could be a silver lining to this dark cloud. The huge investment that we, the taxpayers, have made in the study of climate may be about to pay off. Just as physics was overturned by Einstein, there are numerous climate scientists speaking up and putting everything into question. The newer, better understanding is being brought about by new satellite observations and deep sea buoys.
    I can hardly wait to see the new AIRS CO2 data.

    I have recently been pessimistic about the future of Texas. However, as I have traveled this state I have noticed that Power Plants are springing up everywhere. I believe that Texas is uniquely positioned to be the power provider of this century. Anyone in the power business, come on down. We are business friendly and people friendly. No state income tax! Kansas, California and other states will be buying energy from places like Texas. Man, I feel so much better that Texas is moving ahead instead of back to the 1870s.

    Mike Bryant

    PS Don’t worry we’ll still have rodeos and BBQs here, PETA notwithstanding.

  91. Tom in Florida says:

    What if, due to the present location and conditions in this region of our galaxy, there were yet undiscovered forces that influences what happens inside the Sun? Since we have no records of what can happen in this particular location of the galaxy, we can’t possibily know if these forces have recently changed so as to increase or decrease their effect on our Sun. Sort of like the Van Allen belts influence before we knew they were there.

  92. Bob Tisdale (02:59:05) :
    Leif: Thanks for your contributions to these solar threads
    Thanks for the kind words. It actually works both ways. Trying to explain something [or argue something!] sharpens up my own thinking.

  93. Tom in Florida (07:27:58) :
    >i>What if, due to the present location and conditions in this region of our galaxy, there were yet undiscovered forces that influences what happens inside the Sun? Since we have no records of what can happen in this particular location of the galaxy, we can’t possibly know if these forces have recently changed so as to increase or decrease their effect on our Sun.
    A hallmark of science is that it be falsifiable. If “we can’t possibly know…”, then it cannot be falsified and hence it is not science.

  94. statePoet1775 says:

    Leif,

    i read somewhere that the magnetic field from the sun reduces dust in the solar system. I don’t see how that would work unless the dust is magnetic. But the solar wind could keep the solar system swept clean, I would imagine. Anyhoo, I can imagine that extra dust in the solar system could affect the earth’s climate by cloud seeding for instance.

    Any thoughts?

  95. statePoet1775 (11:17:42) :
    i read somewhere that the magnetic field from the sun reduces dust in the solar system. I don’t see how that would work unless the dust is magnetic. But the solar wind could keep the solar system swept clean, I would imagine.
    Calculations seem to show that the solar cycle influence of dust grains is not significant:
    http://www.terrapub.co.jp/journals/EPS/pdf/5006_07/50060551.pdf
    But the role of dust in the solar system is not well understood and is an active research area. Dust does not need to be magnetic. Dust becomes electrically charged in the solar wind and charged particles are influenced by a magnetic field. What effect all that has is not known, but people can always speculate [and they do].
    Measurements, collected by Markus Landgraf and colleagues show that three times more galactic dust is now entering the Solar System than during the 1990s. And one can speculate that that has something to do with the change of solar polar field reversal around 2000. As I said, lots of room for speculation [some of which may come true].

  96. statePoet1775 says:

    “Dust becomes electrically charged in the solar wind and charged particles are influenced by a magnetic field” Leif

    Yeah, me dumb. This raises another question: Isn’t the net outflow of charge from the sun neutral? So, is the solar wind neutral? Or what charge does it have? Positive or negative? Or do magnetic fields separate it into negative and positive streams? Or are my questions wrongheaded and too many?

    Thanks for your response.

  97. Tom in Florida says:

    Lief:”A hallmark of science is that it be falsifiable. If “we can’t possibly know…”, then it cannot be falsified and hence it is not science.”

    I wasn’t trying to be scientific, just wondering because there is so much that is unknown. While I would think my post was pretty farfetched, it isn’t as if the little bit we do know cannot change as we learn more. Perhaps that is why I am so skeptical about anyone who says “the science is settled” or who refuses to acknowledge that as we keep learning we need to keep adjusting our thinking.

  98. statePoet1775 (12:41:45) :
    So, is the solar wind neutral?
    yes it is. The charging of dust is done by solar ultraviolet light which knocks electrons off the particles making them positively charged. You know the effect well as the ‘photoelectric effect’ [Einstein got his Nobel Prize for explaining this effect].

  99. Tom in Florida (13:06:03) :
    Perhaps that is why I am so skeptical about anyone who says “the science is settled” or who refuses to acknowledge that as we keep learning we need to keep adjusting our thinking.
    The science is NEVER settled on anything. As long as you take that as your starting point you’ll do fine.

  100. statePoet1775 says:

    Lief,

    That’s an unexpected answer. Thanks.

  101. statePoet1775 (12:41:45) :
    So, is the solar wind neutral?
    I realize that my choice of words ‘in the solar wind’ was poor as it could be interpreted as meaning ‘by the solar wind’ [as you apparently did]. It is UV that does it, similar to how solar panels work.

  102. statePoet1775 says:

    Lief,

    And the amount of solar ultra-violet light from the sun correlates with the solar cycle? Last question for the day, I promise.

  103. statePoet1775 says:

    “I realize that my choice of words ‘in the solar wind’ was poor as it could be interpreted as meaning ‘by the solar wind’ [as you apparently did].” Leif

    Yep, I’m guilty. But eyes plus imagination led me astray.

  104. statePoet1775 says:

    “But” = “Bad” I quit for the day!

  105. Peter says:

    Phillip_B Yes the site is weatherzone.com.au I was referring to Orange. So use the search box at the top left. Bob Lane is correct our dopey politicians are still running around with the “hockey stick” graph that is now ten years out of date. Setting up government departments to fix global warming. Global cooling will be far more devastating, not to mention that big Al might have to return his prize.

  106. statePoet1775 (13:29:05) :
    And the amount of solar ultra-violet light from the sun correlates with the solar cycle? Last question for the day, I promise.
    Yeah, but not enough to make a real difference in the charge [which BTW is something like a potential of 2-5 Volts plus].

  107. leebert says:

    All,

    I am always impressed by the quality of science discussion on Tony’s forum. It’s not pure science, it’s not steeped in deep maths, but as far as open discussions go, it’s heads & shoulders above other fora of its kind.

  108. leebert says:

    Gary Gulrud:

    Including the albedo, UV associated with solar flaring, and solarwind/geomagnetic fluctuations the energy absorbed by the earth varies >10% (my WAG).

    I meant to comment on this in the previous “400 spotless days” thread.

    How does this relate to the -0.063 degrC/decade decline in TSI since circa 1992? http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/tsi_vs_temp.gif . Leif (after Lean) posits that the TSI data prior to circa 1980 are too low in that graph, but if I am to take the data of the past 20 years as well-supported, then it seems reasonable to cite the downward trend. Coupled with the oft-claimed aerosol albedo increase of -0.07 degrC/decade I derive a -0.133 degrC/decade effect.

    Since many data are showing a slight cooling of the seas and air, and the solar & aerosol albedo offsets seem reasonable, then seems to me the AGW signal is a slightly less inverse signed value.

    Note, however, the level of cooling claimed to be imparted by aerosol albedo is under assault: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1218710365643&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter
    ( clouds of dirty aerosol pollutants saturate into a net heating effect faster than previously thought. Surface aerosols heat up more on a cloudless day )

  109. Smokey says:

    I have just noticed that if I hover the cursor over the name of your site in tabs, or of JunkScience.com, or Climate Audit, (and probably others), I get a small yellow pop up label containing the words “Conservative Propaganda.”

    I gave my opinion: That’s not a ‘bug.’ That is deliberate sabotage. Anthony responded: “Smokey, lets wait and see before we pass any judgments on this. I’ve seen stranger things happen that truly are bugs.”

    OK, and I sincerely hope that it was just a bug. If so, mea culpa, and I will be really fascinated to hear the explanation of how Conservative Propaganda pops up when running the cursor over this site, Climate Audit.org, JunkScience, etc.

    At my age, I’ve seen stranger things, too. But not many like this, with an innocent explanation. [I'm a skeptic. But with a reasonable explanation, I'll change my mind and beg forgiveness.]

    REPLY: Check your email, I sent an explanation of why this happens, its a cache issue from his previous visit to a blog called “Conservative Propaganda“. There is no sabotage, only an unintended consequence of having multiple tabs open in Safari.

    My suggestion: use Firefox, and get a trouble free web experience on the Mac.

    I’m satisfied, and I’m not wasting any more time on this issue.

  110. leebert (17:15:14) :
    How does this relate to the -0.063 degrC/decade decline in TSI since circa 1992? http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/tsi_vs_temp.gif .

    First, the unit of TSI is Watt/m^2, not degrC. Second, the graph is flat from 1992 and out to the end [that seems to be ~2000], so it is not clear what you are alluding to.

    Leif (after Lean) posits that the TSI data prior to circa 1980 are too low in that graph,
    no, prior to ~1945. So, I’m still puzzled as what your point is.

    but if I am to take the data of the past 20 years as well-supported, then it seems reasonable to cite the downward trend.
    What downward trend? TSI this minimum is just what is was at the previous minima [ACRIM omitted] and at all preceding minima for the last several hundred years.

  111. Gary Gulrud says:

    leebert:
    The comparative invariablility of TSI as measured by SORCE and ACRIM at 1AU is all very interesting in the abstract, but does not inform our study of climate here on earth. The received TSI is what matters.
    Willson recalibrated the ACRIM results for sensor degradation to arrive at the 0.07 W/m^2 per decade surmise but the 0.1 W/m^2 value bandied about is the difference in TSI between a secular solar max and min. The satellite data exist only from circa 1979, basically two cycles, and are themselves still being reconciled to each other. Reconstructions of TSI from earlier eras lack rigor.
    The estimation of other solar energy inputs are likewise not mature.
    A recent paper reported at Accuweather-GW by Brett Anderson estimated a 2 degree C Arctic temperature anomaly due to solar wind inputs during the current solar minimum facilitated by the concommitant collapse of the protective geomagnetic field.
    Compare further, at swpc/ftpdir, the absence of solar flaring since 2/07 (which briefly spikes UV as much as 100%) with the 1996 minimum where flaring persisted daily. UV from an active sun heats the ionosphere doubling its size.
    The Big Bear Earthshine project measuring albedo does not seem to be updating its results:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/?s=earthshine

    A combative discussion is being carried on at jennifermarohasy by interlopers over increased albedo due to CO2 fertilization of pelagic cyanobacteria, etc.

    Re: aerosols see Werner Weber’s comment on Anthony’s “Another chance to Comment” thread below.

    IMHO, calculations are pointless where the data are so rudimentary.

  112. leebert says:

    Leif, Gary…

    Forgive the terse replies, I’m on the road… I’ve had to work on the tie end rods on our car today. RV Parks are not the best place to do that kind of work.

    Leif, the owner of the graph @ skepticalscience.com cites a -0.1 degrC trend since the early 1990′s. I don’t know if he managed to scale the TSI to match w/m-2 to Celsius. I’ve read the cite elsewhere, however, of the -0.1 degrC (roughly -0.3 w/m-2) decline.

    As for contemporary TSI accuracy, I thought the modern solar measurement era (for consistency purposes) was circa 1980 & assumed such in prior discussions. Shifting that back to 1945 doesn’t necessarily help the AGW argument, not sure what it does to the skeptic argument either.

    IAC, what I”m driving at is the average reduction in TSI since 1992. If that interpretation is valid then I’m not ready to dismiss TSI’s contemporary effect. How all the manifold effects (from magnetic interactions, space borne dust, UV interactions & aerosol albedo) compound seems very much up in the air (and to a unstudied lad like myself I surmise it’s still a young field).

    Still, with heliomagnetic models projecting a fall-off for SC#24 & Hathaway’s conveyor model predicting a fall-off for SC#25, I see a big trend evolving. Which model is most predictive seems less material to Earthly concerns than the unanticipated change in climate trend that seems strangely contemporary with the changes in the sun & increases in Earth’s albedo.

    It comes down to isolating the GHG signal. If drop in solar ouput & increase in albedo from aerosols & GCR-spawned cloud cover is offsetting the AGW signal, and temperatures are holding steady, then it seems to directly address the climate sensitivity quandary in terms of putting the “crisis” into perspective: 0.135 degrees Celsius/decade.

    This, as opposed to the wildly alarmist cant of Oliver Tickell, ominously claiming inevitable human extinction due to 4 degrC AGW:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/11/climatechange

    Bjorn Lomborg was invited to respond and he lambasted Tickell:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/15/carbonemissions.climatechange

    And Tickell’s rejoinder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/21/climatechange.scienceofclimatechange

    Note how Tickell avoids all of Lomborg’s salient points of phased climate plateaus and societal response. Seem to me the evidence against Tickell’s alarmist ilk is staring everyone right in the face. Tickell’s argument, in fact, is counterproductive b/c it invites despair and apathy, so the tactic seems asinine.

    I agree with Gary there’s much left to be learned and considered but I see the trend data and analyses we have (TSI, aerosol albedo, soot, surface ozone, etc.) as possessing sufficient weight as to help policy makers better evaluate the risk and embark on phased – not hasty – measures that’ll steer society into a risk-managed, cost-effective critical path.

  113. leebert says:

    Gary,

    Thanks for the reponse! I’ll catch up on your comment when I have time. Must break camp tomorrow & will be on the road again.

  114. leebert (20:24:30) :
    As for contemporary TSI accuracy, I thought the modern solar measurement era (for consistency purposes) was circa 1980 & assumed such in prior discussions. Shifting that back to 1945 doesn’t necessarily help the AGW argument, not sure what it does to the skeptic argument either.

    In discussing TSI, whether the trend helps this or that argument is completely and utterly irrelevant. The TSI data is primary data and stands on its own.

    what I”m driving at is the average reduction in TSI since 1992.
    To my knowledge there is no such reduction, so any speculation assuming such is premature.

    Still, with heliomagnetic models projecting a fall-off for SC#24 & Hathaway’s conveyor model predicting a fall-off for SC#25
    The two predictions are contradictory and cannot be taken together like that. If Hathaway is correct on #25, then #24 must be large.

    The rest of your post is just speculation and opinion and doesn’t do anything for me, except that I’m opposed to any alarmist reaction either way. If I have a preference it would be that warm is good and cold is bad, no matter what causes the change, if any.

  115. what I”m driving at is the average reduction in TSI since 1992.
       To my knowledge there is no such reduction,
       so any speculation assuming such is premature.

    I meant, of course, other than that resulting from the general trend of the sunspot number. If you simply mean that there is less solar activity now than in 1992, few will disagree.

  116. statePoet1775 says:

    Leif,

    I think I asked you this question before but I got no answer. I asked two other physicists; one did not answer and the other said it was a good question but impractical to implement. The question is this:

    Why not measure (by satellite) the incident energy upon the earth and subtract from it the reflected and radiated energy from the earth (also measured by satellite). The difference should give us the long term temperature trend of the earth, right?

    Al Gore’s satellite (Triana) is fitted with a radiometer but has not been launched. It seems it might do the trick if launched.

    I suppose this is an old question but I have not yet heard a satisfactory answer.

  117. statePoet1775 says:

    Also, if Al Gore’s satellite could prove there was no long term warming trend, then he could gracefully admit he was wrong and be something of a hero. All the AGWers could admit they were mislead by inadequate data, face would be saved, and we could move on to other problems. Oh well, one can dream…

  118. statePoet1775 (22:26:54) :
    Why not measure (by satellite) the incident energy upon the earth and subtract from it the reflected and radiated energy from the earth (also measured by satellite). The difference should give us the long term temperature trend of the earth, right?
    One would think so, but such a satellite should have been launched years ago to be of value in the debate.

  119. statePoet1775 says:

    “One would think so, but such a satellite should have been launched years ago to be of value in the debate.” Lief

    Thanks for the reply. What a messy debate it is. But I suppose scientists are enjoying it.

  120. niteowl says:

    Dr. Hathaway’s most recent prediction (June 2008) has done a better job of tracking with this minimum than the earlier ones, but even this one could be reaching a “tipping point” of sorts. Through June, the central prediction line had actually trended below the SIDC mean values, but July fell below it, and at this point it seems August will do the same.

    In looking at the latest plot, what struck me was the long gradual fall of Cycle 23 that abruptly turns to the steep rise leading to the Cycle 24 maximum in January 2012. It does look a bit…forced, and begs the question of what has been typical historically for the change in slope from a longer cycle’s fall to the next cycle’s rise.

    According to the Marshall website, the predicted values are for “smoothed” International Sunspot Numbers (i.e. from SIDC). If I understand the criteria for officially measuring cycle lengths correctly, then Cycle 24 would begin where these values reach a minimum, which looks like a value of 2.1 in May 2008. This would close out our beloved Cycle 23 at 144 months (making it the 5th longest ever, BTW). Cycle 24 would then have a rise length of 44 months, reaching a smoothed maximum of 135 in January 2012.

    Comparing Cycle 24 to other cycles in the plot of SSN Maximum vs Cycle Rise Time (I believe first credited to Waldmeier in the 1930’s?), and cripes! It’s almost exactly on the linear trend-line…a textbook case! So the amount of rise over the length of the rise isn’t abnormal at all. But the curve still looks a bit odd. Is it typical for a longish shallow run-out from one cycle to run into a Brokeback Mountain upswing like that? (OK, that one hurt just typing it)

    How have other cycle rise lengths compared to their prior cycle lengths? Taking the Cycle 23-24 transition value of (144, 44) to a plot of cycles 2-23 (since no official prior cycle exists for cycle 1) it looks like this:

    While definitely not out-of-bounds, Dr Hathaway’s prediction does seem to be probing the bottom-most part of the envelope here. In the past, the length of rise for a given cycle has generally been longer if the length of its prior cycle was longer. While it’s NOT a good basis for predicting absolute numbers (pre-emptive nod to Leif), that visible trend in the data point swarm is apparent. Aside from its nearest neighbor of Cycle 20-21 (139, 44), the Cycle 23-24 point is below what has been seen for other cycles following predecessors of 139 months or more (and Cycle 23 would be 5-months longer than Cycle 20). And this assumes a start month of May 2008 for cycle 24. Any delay in that start will push that point into more and more lonely territory, down and away to the right (longer prior cycle, shorter rise to maximum), unless the timing of the predicted maximum slides rightward as well.

    By choosing May 2008 for the start of Cycle 24 (again, if I am reading that right), Dr. Hathaway has bought some time for his latest prediction to come true. Activity can stay very low, even at zero, until as late as January 2009 and the smoothed minimum could still occur as predicted. Too much longer after that though, and we may see another revised prediction subtly appear.

    So the answer? Yes, there is precedent for this prediction, being the transition of Cycle 20 to 21. No, it isn’t typical, for seven out of the other eight times following a cycle of 139 months or more. Perhaps as good an illustration as any of the difference between “unprecedented” and “unusual”?

    And for what it’s worth (or not), my un-educated guess for Cycle 24? A smoothed maximum of around 80, with a rise-to-maximum of around 60 months.

  121. flanagan says:

    I’m really amazed to see that the melt in the arctic has been so pronounced last year and this year given that the solar activity is supposed to be at its lowest…

    REPLY: Earths systems are vastly more complex than immediate cause/effect on the time scale that humans like to think in. There’s lags, sinks, thermal inertia, and hysteresis in the system. You are making the assumption that arctic melt is directly and immediately tied to solar activity. NASA did a study that showed a good cause effect relationship between wind circulation patterns and arctic melt.

    See this:
    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/08/11/nasa-sees-arctic-ocean-circulation-do-an-about-face/

    Meanwhile, the antarctic is piling on record amounts of ice extent. Unfortunately, none of the MSM gives that any press time, because its not a catastrophe.

  122. niteowl says:

    Sorry to be having problems getting links to work. I had some graphs to go along with my prior post, which doesn’t make much sense without them:

    The current prediction:
    http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e7/niteowl496/Cycle_23_24_Predict_NASA_MSFC.gif

    Dr. Hathaways’s prediction on Waldmeier plot:
    http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e7/niteowl496/Waldmeier.gif

    Cycle Rise Length vs Prior Cycle Length:
    http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e7/niteowl496/Rise_vs_Prior_Length.gif

    Comparison of cycle transitions:
    http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e7/niteowl496/Cycle_Transitions.gif

  123. Gary Gulrud says:

    “Still, with heliomagnetic models projecting a fall-off for SC#24 & Hathaway’s conveyor model predicting a fall-off for SC#25
    The two predictions are contradictory and cannot be taken together like that. If Hathaway is correct on #25, then #24 must be large.”

    Although not in the loop, I would call the source of the #24 prediction, Hathaway’s geomagnetic model, and suppose the source (from context) for #25 to be Dikpati’s conveyor model (not to slight anyone not on the NASA team).

    Hathaway’s predicted outcomes cannot support both models. While they could still occur, the geomagnetic model has looked dead in the water for some time, has begun to list, and, yes, is now dropping a bit in the stern.

    The conveyor model just has a puncture below the waterline, but if the engineers get on it, perhaps it could limp in by #25.

  124. Mark Dykstra says:

    From Spaceweather.com, 25 August 2008

    “PROTO NEW-CYCLE SUNSPOT: …
    Sometimes the ongoing solar minimum seems like it will never end. This proto-sunspot, as well as a similar one in early August, offers hope to observers that the solar cycle is actually moving forward. The calm won’t last forever.”

    They seem to forget that “forever” is really really long time.

  125. Gary Gulrud (09:48:12) :
    “Still, with heliomagnetic models projecting a fall-off for SC#24 & Hathaway’s conveyor model predicting a fall-off for SC#25
    The two predictions are contradictory and cannot be taken together like that. If Hathaway is correct on #25, then #24 must be large.”

    Although not in the loop, I would call the source of the #24 prediction, Hathaway’s geomagnetic model, and suppose the source (from context) for #25 to be Dikpati’s conveyor model (not to slight anyone not on the NASA team).

    The source of the #24 prediction ["the fall-off for SC#24"] is [because of the 'heliomagnetic' qualifier] probably my own and Ken Schattens’ predicitons using the solar polar fields. Those predictions point to a small #24 [Rmax~75]. The ‘conveyor belt’ model is Dikpati’s model. Hathaway’s geomagnetic model is kind of inconsistent with Dikpati model because the Dikpati model operates with an internal memory of ~20 years or more and Hathaway’s geomagnetic peak model uses the peak just before the start of the cycle, thus a memory of 5-6 years. That both models predict a high cycle does not mean [in spite of Hathaway's claim] that ‘they support each other’. This is a point that Hathaway carefully avoids. When pressed [as I have done during the Panel meetings, his weak defense is that perhaps the peak 5-6 years before the maximum was caused by something that occurred ~15 years earlier [for a total pf ~20 years], but what that ‘something’ might be he cannot say.

  126. Gary Gulrud says:

    Leif: I concede your point re: Leebert’s syntax; Hathaway predicted a healthy uptick.

    The lucky guy’s enjoying his vacation anyway, “I’ve had to work on the tie end rods on our car today. ”

    Yeah, I keep those tools in the trunk kit.

  127. Pamela Gray says:

    Once again, in monitoring ozone in the US, I see a cheese cloth cloud cover over the exact spot that just days ago was a cheese cloth layer of thin ozone (Nevada, etc). If cosmic rays destroy ozone, and if allowed to penetrate further, seed water vapor into the formation of clouds, it would make sense to see this pattern develop. It certainly has during the time that I have been looking at the daily pattern for a month.

  128. statePoet1775 says:

    “If cosmic rays destroy ozone, and if allowed to penetrate further, seed water vapor into the formation of clouds, it would make sense to see this pattern develop.” Pamela

    So you think ozone blocks cosmic rays? More so than the rest of the atmosphere? That’s an interesting thought.

  129. Pamela Gray says:

    No, I meant that when cosmic rays continuously bombard the atmosphere without letup, destroying ozone and eventually seeding clouds the earth is allowed to cool AND get wet. The combination of cosmic rays and being covered by a thinning blanket may be what leads to cooler temps and cloudy, rainy days versus warm rainy days. Maybe that’s why we get lots of snow even though it should be dryer when it is cooler.

  130. statePoet1775 says:

    Since cosmic rays are charged, I wonder if the earth’s magnetic field significantly changes where they hit. Not enough to do any research, mind you.

  131. statePoet1775 (15:59:55) :
    Since cosmic rays are charged, I wonder if the earth’s magnetic field significantly changes where they hit.
    It does not.

  132. Pamela Gray says:

    Leif,

    Please explain the Bz north versus south and the Earth’s magnetosphere. What happens when Earth decided to go South instead of North? What happens when the Sun’s measured Bz matches Earth’s? And what is the magnetopause?

  133. Pamela Gray says:

    Apparently, when things match up, the solar wind gives Earth a direct hit. But I don’t understand why. And are we matched up right now in terms of polarity?

  134. Pamela Gray says:
  135. leebert says:

    Gary, Leif,

    Thanks for wrangling over that matter in my stead (left tie rod end fixed, now drivable until end of trip when front-end overhaul will be due…. :-( ).

    Leif, I appreciate your candor & thank you for clarifying the distinction between Hathaway’s & Dikpati’s model. My confusion stems from a NASA press release where they are evidently using Dikpati’s model, with Hathaway speaking on behalf of the cited prediction for SC#25. Little did I know what turbid waters I was wading into …. ;-)

    Perhaps the slowing of the sunspot group poleward motion is the salient point, and whether it jibes with other observations. Hathaway’s statement was that the slowing of the sunspot groups is unprecedented. Regardless of the competing models ( what? professional / theoretical rivalry? naaarrrrr… ;-) ) it strikes me as important, seeming just as salient as what has been described in reports as unprecedented low heliomagnetism. Along with the slow cycle transit & I can tell my friends at wine & cheese parties that the sun is slowing down (it beats talking about the weather).

    As for the matter of decreased TSI of the past 16 years: Is there a number to hang on it (i.e. -0.33 watts/m-2) ? Can it be translated to a forcing or is that too simplistic? Gary Galrud cites the expanded & heated ionosphere, so forgive the temptation to assume the stratosphere is also heated via UV warming of ozone molecules, which translates into the upper troposphere. Is it premature to project a lower trend in facular UV yielding a cooler stratosphere? Once again, there’s Drew Shindell’s study, so I assume the matter of UV variability & temperature is well understood.

    I ask out of all earnestness & apologize for conflating terms & whatnot, and I apologize for being too facile with basic factoids. However it still seems to me even slight TSI variability might yield some effect. And, hey. At least I didn’t say “barycentric!”

    Gary, I’ll catch up with your posts next week. Since Tony revisits the solar weather at least every other week I’ll try to catch you in one of those threads if I have any questions.

    & thanks to you both for your indulgence.

    Thursday we might cross Galveston Bay by ferry. Maybe we’ll start a travel blog. We’re homeschooling as we go & will be traveling nearly 6,500 miles this fall all over the USA … beneath a spotless sun. And … how cool is that?

  136. Brian Wilson says:

    The reason for the arctic melt off is under water volcanic activity. Volcanic activity is up and 80% of all them are underwater. In particular, they are under the peninsula where Gore’s friends seem to fa-a-take all their pirtures and stories from. Actually, In the past 2-3 years, most glaciers around the world are growing and the South pole is the coldest it’s been in years! If we just wait and things keep going this ways…as the water gets warmer and now melts and water evaporates while the surface gets colder as it’s starting to do right now……. Evaporation + extreme cold = blizzard!!!!
    For all you idiots that believed in human induced global warming….have fun this winter.

  137. Pamela Gray (19:17:39) :
    Please explain the Bz north versus south and the Earth’s magnetosphere. What happens when Earth decided to go South instead of North? What happens when the Sun’s measured Bz matches Earth’s? And what is the magnetopause?
    Lots of stuff to learn before it begins to make sense.

    First the magnetopause. The solar wind dominates far from the Earth. Near the Earth, the Earth’s magnetic field dominates. At some point, then, the two must be more or less equal. That is called the magnetopause, where ‘pause’ is used in the same sense as in tropopause, being the boundary between the stratosphere and the troposphere.

    Then the Bz. Try to take two toy magnets and put then on a table at some distance from each other, but lined up so they are parallel to each other. Then try to move them closer together, still lined up, moving one with one hand and the other with the other hand. As they come closer and closer, you’ll find that if the magnetic poles are aligned (N-S, N-S), the two magnets begin to resist being brought together and it becomes harder and harder to push them together. If, on the other hand, the magnets are oppositely aligned (N-S, S-N), they do not resists being brought together and actually begin to attract each other. If you think about, the magnetic field lines ‘emanating’ from the magnets [with a little arrow on them to show their direction - from one pole to the other], then you can see that in the first case we described, the field lines from the two magnets at a point halfway between the magnets point in the same direction, while in the other case they point in opposite directions.

    Now, this is not precisely what happens between the solar wind and the Earth. It is LOT more complicated, and there are electrical currents and moving plasma involved, but it is useful ‘shorthand’ for the fact that the magnetic fields of the solar wind and the Earth interact differently depending on their orientation. And when a component of the solar wind magnetic field, called Bz, along the Earth’s magnetic dipole axis is oppositely aligned with the field line going northwards from the Earth’s southern magnetic pole [which is actually the magnetic north pole] to the Earth’s northern magnetic pole [which is actually a magnetic south pole], then they can interact maximally [it is called magnetic 'reconnection' - the two fields merge and particles can easily travel from one to the other] and we get ‘geomagnetic activity’, aurorae, ‘magnetic storms’, power line transformers burning out, etc, etc.

    If the Earth dipole changes direction [which it might do perhaps a thousand years from now - it is a slow process taking decades of centuries to change] it will be positive Bz that creates activity, not negative Bz as now, but that is so far in the future that we do not need to worry about that yet.

    Finally, Bz locally as ‘hitting’ the Earth changes sign over a time scale of a few hours. Over the last 24 hours, Bz has changed sign more than a dozen times. This does not give the interaction enough time to do its thing. Only when Bz goes negative for many hours do we get a strong interaction: a magnetic storm [also helped by the field strength being extra high and the solar wind extra fast - and so bringing a lot a field up to the Earth in a short time].

    Here is a good site for the basics:
    http://www.phy6.org/Education/Intro.html

  138. Pamela Gray says:

    Thank you. Now my next question. How do these magnetic issues interact with cosmic rays? Is there a magnetic situation that lends itself to full-on cosmic ray bombardment? I know that when the Sun is sunspot active, we get protection from all the “stuff” coming out of flares and holes. But what if we get a Sun that has only streaming holes and no magnetic protection?

  139. leebert (19:30:56) :
    Perhaps the slowing of the sunspot group poleward motion is the salient point, and whether it jibes with other observations. Hathaway’s statement was that the slowing of the sunspot groups is unprecedented.
    What sets the pace in Dikpati’s model is the conveyor belt at depth, not at the surface, so the observation that the belt has slowed in recent years at the surface would not mean much. The model operates over a time frame of 20-40 years [they are bit coy as what the precise number is], so a few years of slowing ‘at the thin end’ would not seem to have much impact on the total ‘turn-around’ time]. The surface variation may not be representative for the whole belt. Personally, I have a problem with the conveyor belt motion. It is this: In their model Dikpati et al. got a very good agreement simulating the past 8 cycles or so, with the assumption that the conveyor belt moved at constant speed from one cycle to the next. When they tried different speeds from 2003 onwards they found that the predicted number was different. that was why they said that cycle 24 would be from ’30% to 50%’ stronger. Now, in the past, some variation of the speed would have been expected [especially since we see one now], so the ‘predictions’ should have shown a similar variation over the past 8 cycles, partly destroying – or at least seriously lowering – the correlation between observed and simulated cycles.

    As for the matter of decreased TSI of the past 16 years
    I ask again, what decrease? It has decreased as much in those 16 years as it increased in the 16 years before that. TSI is now about what it was in 2008 – 2*16 = 1976.

  140. Pamela Gray (20:44:47) :
    what if we get a Sun that has only streaming holes and no magnetic protection?
    Since the coronal holes are created where we have widespread areas of unipolar magnetic fields on the Sun, the holes and the magnetic fields go together, so we don’t have one without the other.

  141. Pamela Gray says:

    Something is going on with the Oulu Cosmic Ray Station website. I haven’t been able to get on all day. Other stations are showing something going on:

    http://ulysses.sr.unh.edu/NeutronMonitor/Misc/neutron2.html

    What might be happening? That is quite a spike (actually two) on the lower graph!

  142. statePoet1775 says:

    “What might be happening? ” Pamela

    Well, if no one out there cares then maybe the following:

    1. a supernova within 100 light years (earth will be sterilized)
    2. a gamma ray burster within 8000 light years and pointed at us (we would be doomed ).
    3. a wandering black hole that is nibbling on the Ort cloud.
    4. some other interesting and deadly phenomena.

  143. Pamela Gray (21:09:38) :
    What might be happening? That is quite a spike (actually two) on the lower graph!
    Moscow does not show anything abnormal:
    http://helios.izmiran.troitsk.ru/cosray/main.htm

  144. Paul says:

    It appears I am a day late to post a message.

    I have been very impressed by the quality of discussion here.

    On looking at many Web Sites and not taking notes several points of interest have arisen.

    • Many cycles appear to be involved in Ace Age timing. The most obvious is 11,500 years between Ice Ages. Other cycles also appear and seem to be coinciding with our current time. (It has been 11,500 years since the last Ice Age and the next is due now?)
    • The Sun’s lack of “Solar Activity” and potential decrease in Radiation arriving at our Planet.
    • An increase in Underwater Voltaic Activity particularly at the “Poles” causing a local increase in temp while over-all the Oceans temp is falling.
    • A gradual decrease in the Earths Magnetic Field (Increasing) with the potential to reverse soon.
    • Changes in Solar Winds and Increases in Solar “Cloud” resulting in less radiation reaching Earth.
    • I have heard no comment about the overall content of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere. More Water equals more Cloud. More Cloud equals more reflection of Solar Radiation (Albino Effect).
    • The Arctic Ice appears to have stabilized and will increase this winter. The Antarctic Ice is just getting bigger.

    Maybe the Scientists are being conservative about a “Mini Ice Age” . This looks like the Real Thing.

    Just a Comment to promote discussion.

  145. Pam, Oulu is back, no alien attack this time.

  146. statePoet1775 says:

    “Moscow does not show anything abnormal:” Lief

    Wait,

    1. Neutrons are not deflected by magnetic fields. Unless these are generated by cosmic rays that are deflected by magnetic fields then I don’t think this is what Pam is interested in.
    2. Neutrons decay in about 15 minutes. So is this just measuring neutrons from the Sun?

  147. statePoet1775 (14:04:51) :
    2. Neutrons decay in about 15 minutes. So is this just measuring neutrons from the Sun?
    Hey, Oulu is back to normal. The quiet Sun does not send out neutrons. Maybe it is not too fruitful to suspect highly improbable or impossible thing to happen every time there is the slightest little blip.

  148. statePoet1775 says:

    “The quiet Sun does not send out neutrons. ” Leif

    Therefore, the neutrons must be produced by impacts of cosmic rays on the atmosphere? Thus serving as a proxy for cosmic rays?

  149. Pete Fickenscher says:

    The official sunspot numbers for August still show 0, right?

    If so, this August will be the first time since 1913 that an entire month will have seen no sunspots. In 1913, there were two consecutive months (May and June) with zero sunspots. The actual streak of zeros lasted 92 days in 1913. So while the current quiet period is far from a “record breaker”( see 1810!), it’s still much quieter than it has been in 95 years.

  150. Pamela Gray says:

    Leif: re cosmic ray disturbances and distribution. It is my understanding that monitor stations are situated all around the globe. Spikes in ray particles picked up by one station may not be picked up by another on the other side of the globe. That would also mean that particle bombardment and its destructive effect on ozone would not be globally well mixed. Would that be the case?

  151. leebert says:

    Hi Leif,

    > Personally, I have a problem with the conveyor belt motion.

    Understood. I guess the point I’m probing is whether the sunspot group motion is significantly slow enough than previous observations to be in the least salient to commentary on solar trends.

    And… is it scientific enough to claim the trend is unprecedented even if we’re lacking a good model or explanation for the observed behavior?

    I recall Jan Janssen’s lament on the need for improved solar models. His trend analyses have such appeal, but now I’m beginning to get a glimpse of how the sun’s mysteries have yet to avail themselves to a full understanding.

    I suppose given time, research and technology the sun will yield up its secrets, but alas, the beast is so opaque.

    leebert:
    >> As for the matter of decreased TSI of the past 16 years

    Leif:
    > I ask again, what decrease? It has decreased as much in those
    > 16 years as it increased in the 16 years before that. TSI is now
    > about what it was in 2008 – 2*16 = 1976.

    Interesting point. That’s pretty fundamental, a zero trend.

    It’s the reason I asked — I don’t have a handy reference, or for that matter, much time. Well, that’s been clarified enough for now.

    Gotta go, time to ready our bivouac for an early AM departure.

  152. Pamela & statePoet:
    The cosmic ray stations pretty much measure the same flux after it has been ‘sorted’ in energy by the geomagnetic field. Almost all stations are measuring ‘secondary’ neutrons that result from the ‘real’ cosmic rays [mostly protons] crashing into the atmosphere. I’m a bit baffled by this ‘obsession’ with cosmic rays. They come from all directions, are pretty well mixed in the heliosphere, and sample ['come from'] a volume a million times larger than that part of the solar system that is inside the Earth’s orbit. What’s the deal?

  153. leebert (19:07:57) :
    And… is it scientific enough to claim the trend is unprecedented even if we’re lacking a good model or explanation for the observed behavior?
    Well, it may be the largest Hathaway has seen, but ‘unprecedented’? No, of course not.

  154. Pamela Gray says:

    Leif, when I look at data available on the web for the same time series, the variation percent isn’t always the same, so I don’t understand your comment that stations are measuring the same amount, indicating ray particles are well mixed. And some produce counts, not percent, so it is hard to eyeball one station with the next. I have learned that cosmic rays are known to destroy ozone. If that happens, and ozone is not distributed evenly, wouldn’t it be the case that we would get ozone holes or relatively thin spots, in addition to the Antarctic Hole?

    Second, if ozone thins here and there, wouldn’t that allow for rapid cooling as heat escapes through the hole, afterall, it is said that our ozone is our blanket.

    Finally, if rays, and ozone, are not much to talk about, how come so many cloud experiments are being done?

  155. Pamela Gray (19:44:22) :
    when I look at data available on the web for the same time series, the variation percent isn’t always the same, so I don’t understand your comment that stations are measuring the same amount, indicating ray particles are well mixed. And some produce counts, not percent, so it is hard to eyeball one station with the next.
    The Earth’s magnetic field ‘sort’ cosmic rays according to energy, with higher energy rays being allowed ‘in’ at lower latitudes. That is why the count/percentages are different. This is all well-understood.
    Finally, if rays, and ozone, are not much to talk about, how come so many cloud experiments are being done?
    I guess some people are just so desperate that they keep looking, hoping that something will come their way.

  156. statePoet1775 says:

    “I’m a bit baffled by this ‘obsession’ with cosmic rays. … What’s the deal?” Leif

    Besides picking your great brain, I was curious about how measuring neutrons (neutral) had to do with measuring cosmic rays (charged).

  157. statePoet1775 says:

    “I guess some people are just so desperate that they keep looking, hoping that something will come their way.” Leif

    The climate does seem to be exquisitely balanced with all kinds of phenomena affecting it. Didn’t Einstein say something about “subtle is the Lord”? Plus chaos theory, the butterfly effect, etc.

  158. Pamela Gray says:

    Leif, I detect that your curious nature has been jaded by something. Don’t you “wonder” anymore? As I recall, when the atom was discovered it took A LOT longer to get to the stage of being “well understood”. Why? Because people wondered back then. They discovered one thing only to immediately ask, “What else does it do?” The search continued: “Hey guys, look at this, atoms have quarks!” “What do quarks do?” “What can we ‘make’ all these atom parts do that they wouldn’t ordinarily do?” Do you feel that kind of “wonder” anymore?

  159. Pamela Gray (07:24:05) :
    Do you feel that kind of “wonder” anymore?
    To me, the greatest wonder of all is that we actually understand and have learned so much about the Universe, the Sun, the Earth, life, and the whole shebang. There are much more to come so the wonders will not cease.
    On the other hand, that wonder is tempered by the growth of Pseudo Science [probably aided by the Internet]. I once heard a heckler at a conference where the speaker was droning on about keeping an ‘open mind’ shout out: “but not so open that your brains fall out”.

  160. statePoet1775 says:

    “On the other hand, that wonder is tempered by the growth of Pseudo Science [probably aided by the Internet].” Lief

    And government grants, I’d wager. If the government was not consuming 50% of GDP then we could return to the day of “gentlemen scientists” unmotivated by trying to please some politician.

  161. Gary Gulrud says:

    “On the other hand, that wonder is tempered by the growth of Pseudo Science [probably aided by the Internet]. ”

    In the interest of the ‘oi polloi (Caleb how do you do Greek script?), many posters and commenters here–I suspect a clear plurality–have itemized and documented other ills pertaining to the practice of science and that of its imposters.

    I decry another of a pattern: patents acquired by PIs for genetic sequences.

    There was a time when the flush of altruism applied to science, but there is too much money in it now for the top performers as there is for the MJs and Tigers of sports, or Fortune 100 CEOs. The best are far more handsomely rewarded that it would appear beneficial to investors.

    Science may blame the media for the bad press it receives, even the ostensibly ‘bad’ publicity frauds covet, but the low esteem with which popular culture now holds the idealized Science follows naturally and reasonably from vulgar self-interest, and not least, that of its ‘top performers’.

  162. statePoet1775 says:

    “I decry another of a pattern: patents acquired by PIs for genetic sequences.”

    Talk about provoking a jealous Creator!

  163. statePoet1775 says:

    Actually, He is jealous FOR us and not OF us.

  164. statePoet1775 says:

    I’m sure Leif would agree that scientists should take a vow of poverty and celibacy (more redheads for the rest of us).

  165. Pamela Gray says:

    Leif, what do you make of the thinning ozone over the northwest part of the US?

    http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/rt/viewdata.php?product=o3_us

  166. statePoet1775 (16:45:17) :
    I’m sure Leif would agree that scientists should take a vow of poverty and celibacy (more redheads for the rest of us).
    Like something ‘FatBigot’ could have said…

    Pamela Gray (17:18:51) :
    Leif, what do you make of the thinning ozone over the northwest part of the US?
    Nothing alarming at this point. I’ll sleep well tonight [in Northern California], missing out on statePoet’s redheads, though…

  167. statePoet1775 says:

    “Like something ‘FatBigot’ could have said…” Leif
    Thanks. Nothing but disasters with redheads, though.

    “… from the ‘real’ cosmic rays [mostly protons] crashing …” Lief

    Does this mean the earth is getting positively charged?

  168. Pamela Gray says:

    Good heavens. Enough with the redheads. And I’m not losing sleep over ozone. I’m just very interested in the interaction of ozone, UV, magnetic properties of the Sun and Earth, and cosmic rays on the insulation factor of ozone and on surface temperature, water vapor and cloud formation. If you have something to say intelligently on the subject of a serious inquiry great. Otherwise I am tiring of the stereotype.

  169. statePoet1775 says:

    “Otherwise I am tiring of the stereotype.” Pam

    I had just dropped that topic with my question about is the earth getting charged. Here is an off topic poem, I can’t wait for another article on polar bears:

    concerning excessive concern for polar bears

    If you ever met a polar bear
    and he hadn’t had his lunch
    the last sound to be heard from you
    would be a hearty “crunch”.

  170. Pamela Gray (07:33:45) :
    very interested in the interaction of ozone, UV, magnetic properties of the Sun and Earth, and cosmic rays on the insulation factor of ozone and on surface temperature, water vapor and cloud formation.

    The UV is not influenced by the Earth’s magnetic field or with its interaction with the Sun’s magnetic field.

    On the Sun, the magnetic field is part of the chain that enhances UV emission [and decreases the cosmic ray flux]. As the Sun is very quiet now, the UV and cosmic ray fluxes are close to [or at] their ‘base values’ which they seem to return to at every sunspot minimum, in particular the Grand minima, such as the Maunder and Dalton minima, so things are not unusual right now.

  171. Pamela Gray says:

    It is true that when the Sun is active, cosmic rays are high. But when measured here on Earth they are low because they are being deflected. They are now being allowed to rain through our ozone. Happens every minimum. Do you have feedback on why ozone seems to be pretty thin in some areas and thick in others? I have been following that thin area all summer over the northwest portion of the US and it is getting bigger. It also seems to wax and wan through the day, growing bigger as the day progresses and then seems to thicken up a bit through the night. But overall, it has been getting thinner and the area of thinning has grown. I understand that I am just eyeballing the color change but it has been more than obvious. Do you see any trends in ozone from when the Sun was at maximums in the last 30 years till now? Does that data exist?

  172. Pamela Gray says:

    addendum

    I understand about the Antarctic ozone hole that comes and goes. I am not referring to that area.

  173. Pamela Gray (19:45:15) :
    Do you have feedback on why ozone seems to be pretty thin in some areas and thick in others
    Most of the ozone is produced by UV in the tropical stratosphere and then redistributed to other areas by something called the Brewster-Dobson Circulation: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewer-Dobson_circulation
    This could play a role. I’m sure there is data out there, but don’t know of the top of my head where would be best to go. Try google, its good for this.

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  178. H.Oldeboom says:

    My conclusion (as a mechanical engineer) is now that solar science is NOT settled and therefore consequences for global climate too. As long as this is the case we have to inform Mr. Gore and tell him his expectations about future developments of global climate are highly uncertain.

  179. Nik says:

    David Hathaway said cycle 24 was starting in 2006.
    http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn9778-first-sunspot-of-next-solar-cycle-glimpsed.html

    errrr…. maybe 2007…..2008…..2009?

  180. Pingback: dec 21 2012

  181. John A. Jauregui says:

    I just returned from visiting Yellowstone and was struck by the devastation of the 1988 fires, which were preceeded by acute drought and record setting dry lightening. I began to wonder what solar activity occured leading up the 1988 fire storms. Solar cycle 22 started just a couple of years before that summer of drought and dry lightening. Check this out. Relative to other cycles, that solar cycle had 1) a very fast rise time – 2.8 years, 2) a very short cycle length – 9.7 years, 3) a high minimum sun spot number – 12.3, and 4) a high maximum sun spot number – 158.5

    more:

    “Cycle 22 certainly provided us with many highlights. Early in the cycle the smoothed sunspot number (determined by the number of sunspots visible on the sun and used as the traditional measure of the cycle) climbed rapidly; in fact more rapidly than for any previously recorded cycle. This caused many to predict that it would eclipse Cycle 19 (peak sunspot number of 201) as the highest cycle on record. This was not to be as the sunspot number ceased climbing in early 1989 and reached a maximum in July of that year. Whilst not of record amplitude, Cycle 22 still rated as 4th of the recorded cycles and continued the run of recent large solar cycles (Cycles 18, 19 and 21 were all exceptional!). A very notable feature of Cycle 22 was that it had the shortest rise from minimum to maximum of any recorded cycle.”
    Material Prepared by Richard Thompson. © Copyright IPS – Radio and Space Services.

  182. putri-bali says:

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