Earth’s Magnetic Field Has Massive Breach – scientists baffled

I know. This sounds like a plot of a 1950’s scifi movie. But it is real. From my view, our localized corner of the solar system is now different than it used to be and changes in the magnetic interactions are evident everywhere. First we have the interplanetary magnetic field that took an abrupt dive in October 2005 and has not recovered since and remains at very low level:

ap_dec08-520
click for a larger image

Then we have the recent discovery that the ionosphere has dropped in altitude to unexpected and unexplained low levels.

We have a solar cycle 24 (driven by the solar magnetic dynamo) which can’t seem to get out of the starting gate, being a year late with forecasts for activity from it being revised again and again.

And finally we have this, this discovery that Earth’s magnetic field can be ripped open and our atmosphere laid bare to the solar wind, much like Mars.

Magnetism is underrated in the grand scheme of things, in my opinion. We’d do well to pay more attention to magnetic trends in our corner of the universe and what effects it has on Earthly climate. – Anthony


From NASA News (h/t to Geoff Sharp)

Dec. 16, 2008: NASA’s five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth’s magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist. Solar wind can flow in through the opening to “load up” the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic storms. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise. Researchers are even more amazed at the strange and unexpected way it forms, overturning long-held ideas of space physics.

“At first I didn’t believe it,” says THEMIS project scientist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. “This finding fundamentally alters our understanding of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction.”

The magnetosphere is a bubble of magnetism that surrounds Earth and protects us from solar wind. Exploring the bubble is a key goal of the THEMIS mission, launched in February 2007. The big discovery came on June 3, 2007, when the five probes serendipitously flew through the breach just as it was opening. Onboard sensors recorded a torrent of solar wind particles streaming into the magnetosphere, signaling an event of unexpected size and importance.

Right: One of the THEMIS probes exploring the space around Earth, an artist’s concept. [more]

“The opening was huge—four times wider than Earth itself,” says Wenhui Li, a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire who has been analyzing the data. Li’s colleague Jimmy Raeder, also of New Hampshire, says “1027 particles per second were flowing into the magnetosphere—that’s a 1 followed by 27 zeros. This kind of influx is an order of magnitude greater than what we thought was possible.”

The event began with little warning when a gentle gust of solar wind delivered a bundle of magnetic fields from the Sun to Earth. Like an octopus wrapping its tentacles around a big clam, solar magnetic fields draped themselves around the magnetosphere and cracked it open. The cracking was accomplished by means of a process called “magnetic reconnection.” High above Earth’s poles, solar and terrestrial magnetic fields linked up (reconnected) to form conduits for solar wind. Conduits over the Arctic and Antarctic quickly expanded; within minutes they overlapped over Earth’s equator to create the biggest magnetic breach ever recorded by Earth-orbiting spacecraft.

Above: A computer model of solar wind flowing around Earth’s magnetic field on June 3, 2007. Background colors represent solar wind density; red is high density, blue is low. Solid black lines trace the outer boundaries of Earth’s magnetic field. Note the layer of relatively dense material beneath the tips of the white arrows; that is solar wind entering Earth’s magnetic field through the breach. Credit: Jimmy Raeder/UNH. [larger image]

The size of the breach took researchers by surprise. “We’ve seen things like this before,” says Raeder, “but never on such a large scale. The entire day-side of the magnetosphere was open to the solar wind.”

The circumstances were even more surprising. Space physicists have long believed that holes in Earth’s magnetosphere open only in response to solar magnetic fields that point south. The great breach of June 2007, however, opened in response to a solar magnetic field that pointed north.

“To the lay person, this may sound like a quibble, but to a space physicist, it is almost seismic,” says Sibeck. “When I tell my colleagues, most react with skepticism, as if I’m trying to convince them that the sun rises in the west.”

Here is why they can’t believe their ears: The solar wind presses against Earth’s magnetosphere almost directly above the equator where our planet’s magnetic field points north. Suppose a bundle of solar magnetism comes along, and it points north, too. The two fields should reinforce one another, strengthening Earth’s magnetic defenses and slamming the door shut on the solar wind. In the language of space physics, a north-pointing solar magnetic field is called a “northern IMF” and it is synonymous with shields up!

“So, you can imagine our surprise when a northern IMF came along and shields went down instead,” says Sibeck. “This completely overturns our understanding of things.”

Northern IMF events don’t actually trigger geomagnetic storms, notes Raeder, but they do set the stage for storms by loading the magnetosphere with plasma. A loaded magnetosphere is primed for auroras, power outages, and other disturbances that can result when, say, a CME (coronal mass ejection) hits.

The years ahead could be especially lively. Raeder explains: “We’re entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles (like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north. Such a CME should open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma just before the storm gets underway. It’s the perfect sequence for a really big event.”

Sibeck agrees. “This could result in stronger geomagnetic storms than we have seen in many years.”

For more information about the THEMIS mission, visit http://nasa.gov/themis


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271 thoughts on “Earth’s Magnetic Field Has Massive Breach – scientists baffled

  1. Typical thought from man…

    “This finding fundamentally alters our understanding”

    God created it!

  2. In archeological time frames, the earth’s magnetic field has frequently ‘flipped’ so that North magnetic becomes South magnetic. Any theories how this might happen and what the causes might be, like unprecendented cosmic ray bombardment? Maybe it will break down (ionize) and disperse all the CO2 out of the atmosphere and all plants will die. What ho – a new panic attack!

  3. What we know you could write a book, what we don’t know would fill a library. Who was it that said man’s assumptions, that’s assumptions, get it, were right in the first place. Just because you assume, does not make it so.

    And what if cycle 24 is a bummer and does a slumber walk-by instead of roaring.

  4. Now where know where all that nasty man-made heat is hiding, it’s in the magnetic hole.

    Anyone for the new AGW – Antimagnetic Global Warming?

  5. Wow …

    My Neighbor just got back from Cancun .. .came back babbling something about the Miyan Calender ending in 2012, and something about the Earths magnetic pole flipping …….

    Hmmmmmm …. could this be the precursor???????????

  6. Anthony says, “Magnetism is underrated in the grand scheme of things, in my opinion.”

    Yes it is. It is just as important as electricity, in fact they are two sides of the same coin.

    So for those interested in the strongest magnets commercially available: click

    Click on “Magnets” on the left side of the page.

  7. Ok Anthony, once again you’re bringing this up. What is it exactly you suspect is or will be the effect of these phenomenon? Off the record of course.

  8. “This kind of influx is an order of magnitude greater than what we thought was possible.”

    Yes, once again demonstrating that science still has a lot to learn. Perhaps some people, including but not limited to the AGW crowd, will learn some humility. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Not even if I had 10 to the 27th power dollars.

  9. I don’t think this was predicted by any of the existing GCM’s therefore it cannot exist.

    More importantly, what are the implications of this new finding?

  10. “This completely overturns our understanding of things.”

    Sibeck agrees. “This could result in stronger geomagnetic storms than we have seen in many years.”

    Maybe one day we’ll wake up to the fact that it’s not such a small world after all, and that it’s not going to be us who does us in.

  11. Wow. And to think that erroneous predictions about the Arctic Ice melting get front-page headlines (back in June, anyway), but this gets nothing. Literally nothing. I would not have heard of this had Anthony not put this up here, but it is happening now, and is probably far more consequential than the Arctic Ice melting, even though it did not actually melt.

  12. Forget AGW, we have AGM (Another Grand Minimum).
    We are working on Year 13 here, and now it starts to get serious.
    Even if this is SC24, it’s about as lifeless as they come.
    Ask the guy on the street about the Deep Solar Minimum, and you get a blank stare. When summer comes rolling around and it ain’t, they’ll know something has gone wrong.
    Who’s going to break it to them?

  13. It’s those unknown unknowns that will get you every time!

    I’m wondering if this type of radiation would be trapped in the Van Allen belts.

  14. Well, well….another feather in the cap of the Electric/Plasma Universe model appears to be shaping up. I bet Planetary Cosmologists that heard about this are going nuts to try and explain it. At least, that is what it appears like to a layman like me. Once more, and with feeling, to all the AGW dolts ‘Its the Sun, stupid!’.

    Seriously though, this does make for an interesting scenario. I truly do wonder how the Electric/Plasma Universe advocates will use this extremely valuable nugget of information.

  15. “we are living history”

    The current global climate/sun relationship and the global financial breakdown are two very interesting and intriguing phenomena that I find both fascinating and frightening. Both of which I’d rather read about in history books than live through. Interesting times indeed.

    I think God is giving the finger to the warmers who are using the financial breakdown as an opportunity to implement their agenda. May they notice the insult before it is too late.

  16. Well, first of all we have to consider that if we found this the first time we sent a probe that was actually looking at it, it is probably something that has been happening over and over again throughout time. It probably isn’t a rare thing, we have simply only now noticed it. I would say the probability is good that it is interesting but most likely not harmful in any way.

    You have to remember that during field reversals, the Earth can be without any significant magnetic field for quite a long time. Being without a magnetic field for relatively short periods isn’t so bad. We would experience increased erosion of the atmosphere into space and probably serious ozone damage from any major CMEs that might happen during that time if directed right at Earth.

    This is probably something that happens quite often. Probably a rather routine event that we just happened to see for the first time.

  17. “This finding fundamentally alters our understanding of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction.”

    So the scientific consensus changed? My, my….

  18. So what is the cause this time? We have had CFCs and CO2, maybe it is television now. I am sure it can be modelled.

  19. How long will it be before this new discovery is attributed to naughty people driving cars and burning coal?

    Remember, we cause not just global warming but climate change, and not just climate change but climate chaos (the new phrase rapidly being adopted by doomsayers everywhere). What greater evidence can there be of the wickedness we do than a reversal of previously established orthodoxy casting a whole branch of science into chaos?

    Mark my words, within a month or two we will find “hole in the earth’s magnetic field” being added to the list of things for which we will have to bear responsibility. It will just be thrown into the mix not analysed, in the same way that hurricanes and melting ice in summer are used wholly inaccurately and out of context to support the AGW bandwagon.

  20. In response to Syl, hopefully God’s plan is that the financial meltdown will prevent any of our government’s rash and disastrous plans to combat AGW going through…

  21. twawki wrote…”we are living history”

    “since we have so few records what is happening this may or may not be typical”

    Absolutely…huzzah….

    Having taken a course in solar physics with Sydney Chapman, Larmore, Bartels and others, I think I can speak with a little credibility. It is time to shut up and take notes.
    We have a solar magnetic environment that has decreased in intensity by over 10%. We have no significant sun-spots. We have a breach in our magnetosphere. We have a cold line, tonight, that is a copy of what David Archibald has described as our coming crop lines (http://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/templine_nat_320x240.jpg )
    We keep talking about Dalton Cycles, Maunder Cycles. Let’s shut up and watch, because we are seeing all the technical details of one of those two cycles, or something in between. Because of our incredible space “sensors.” We are watching the solar-terrestrial system oscillate, as it has for eons.
    I remember watching the “echo” balloon cross the sky, and someone bounced a signal off of it…wow. Now we have sensors in space…everywhere. We’re so lucky. We have sensors out there like those on a heart attack patient in a hospital…
    We are also watching the end (I hope) of a religion that was focused on scientific clap-trap (which most are). I speak of that religion so aptly identified by Freeman Dyson, “Environmentalism.” That religion was poised to strip mankind of more wealth, rather than concentrate on preserving the health of our environment.
    We are going to have to hunker down, now, and see how we can sustain life in this great change. We have NO idea what changes have occurred in the jet stream by the addition of the strange attractor called “3 Gorges Dam.” We are about to find out. So, again, let’s shut up and take notes.
    Wouldn’t it be exceptional if people would now devote their energies to seeing how this “incoming” relates to the ice cores, the tree cores, the ocean bottom cores, &c., so we can say, “ah, now we know what a Maunder Cycle looks like,” or ah, “now we know what a Dalton cycle looks like.”
    Meanwhile, folks…”put another log on the fahre…”
    And, having two cycles in hand, we can kick in Fourier (which I once used in the aerospace industry to analyze PIGA behavior…go look it up) analysis to get an overall spectral picture of solar cycles over millenia. If we’d just shut up and take notes, we can accurately extrapolate the future for 1000 years at a pop.
    I’m in the twilight of my life…I am hoping to be here a few more years to see this incredible event unfold. Most of you folks are young and ready to assemble the data. So, assemble. You’re so lucky.
    And puleeeeeeze…don’t let anyone make some kind of religion out of this… including the 2012 thing…”no one knows”….

  22. “MarkB (20:28:04)”

    I think you actually hit on the crux if the issue. Boiled down to its essence, it says “we still don’t know how things really work”. So keep that in mind when the “experts” tell us that something we are doing is causing some new phenomenon. Say, something like an ozone hole that was there the first time they looked for it.

  23. FatBigot — “Mark my words, within a month or two we will find “hole in the earth’s magnetic field” being added to the list of things for which we will have to bear responsibility.”

    I doubt this. AGW believers are, as are most environmental types of that ilk, luddites first and foremost. There is more genuine info re the sun here than on any of the Warmer sites. Here you will find stuff that is normally the forte of spaceref and such. Boundries of knowledge as it were. No stone left unturned. Skeptics are interested in *everything.* Warmers aren’t interested in much beyond politics. Science to them is merely the club they can wield. Like anti-evolution types, they already know the answers thus aren’t inclined to look for more. Nor do they respect or understand those who do; I submit as examples the venal gibberish posted about Crichton after his death, the treatment of McIntyre, and the dismissal of our host as a mere weatherman of no particular importance.

    What you will find instead is dire warnings re species extinction and other statistical data twisting that fits in the tune they already know: see page 137 in the Warmer Hymnal. All together now…

  24. I’m sure that this effect is “unprecendented’, and since we haven’t seen it before it can’t be natural, and must be caused by man.

    Just look at the Ozone hole. When that was dicovered – it was obvious that it must be man made as no one had ever seen it before…

    If the magnetic poles flipped – wouldn’t that create a huge and unprecendented (in human history) catastrophy? Compasses would point in the wrong direction, it would be chaos and the end of civilisation.

    I think that we all need saving from this “Magneto HOLE!” and magentic reversals and the only answer is increased taxation and the creation of an inspired, and highly effective UN Panel of committed scientists to study the problem.

    There brief would be “To study the effect of man made use of electromagnetic devices impacting the Earth’s magnetic field to create catastrophic magnetic “holes” and pole reversals”.

    After much study and reports, the IPER (International Panel for Electromagnetic Reversal) could recommend to governments that they institute a “CAP and TRADE” on Electromagnetic Permits. This would create a system whereby permits to use electromagnetic devices could be issued by governments and traded world wide.

    Free permits could be issued to developing countries who have wisely not adopted electromagnetic technology. they could sell there permits on the world market provided they don’t adopt “Electromagnetic” technology

    Developed countries who have the most electromagnetic devices would have to shoulder the greatest burden and pay for their permits.

    As the cost of permits was wisely increased by the Governments, individuals and companies would be encouraged to move to “Electro Safe” mechanical devices.

    Why use a car, when you could ride a bike, why use a tractor when you could use a horse and plough….

    In this way the risk of man made electromagnetic pollution causing dangerous magneto holes and catastrophic pole reversals could be eliminated for all time.

    Yae for the UN and governments everywhere – they should all get a Noble prize for saving us from wicked electromagnetic devices.

    (Just like their saving us from CO2).

    (Note: Parody).

  25. Was this June 2007 event an isolated occurrence? Or has it been repeated? Can it be tied to past events?

    Too little info from NASA in their press release and this story to get much out of this idea, but it does sound quire fascinating.

    Thanks again Anthony for a good story.

  26. Don’t knock the guys who have found this. They appear to be open about their lack of knowledge and have just admitted straight out that they did not have a clue that a breach in the global magnetic field on this scale was possible and even existed.
    Contrast this openness with the deliberate withholding of data and data processing algorithms and the apparent deliberate manipulation of data to achieve their desired outcomes by the AGW consensus mob who appear to be psychologically incapable of tolerating any criticism of their attitudes or their beliefs.
    The openness of the magnetic field / solar wind scientists to the fact that a lot of their previous theories have been “overturned” is in stark contrast to the limpet like clinging of the AGW scientists to their beliefs and their climate warming ca-usual theories even though those theories are being shot to pieces almost on a daily basis.
    The manner in which the magnetic field / solar wind scientists have acted to a complete overturning of a lot of their well established theories has merely reinforced the utter shallowness, coarseness and contempt for the basic tenets of science by the AGW ideologists.

  27. Cool! That is really cool. I know just before the start of World War II. There was an event seen all over Northern Europe. People described it “like the fires of hell were reflected up into the sky.” People though towns were on fire. It wasn’t it was just an event that has never fully been explained. They said, it was different than an aurora. Maybe it was one of those magnetic breaches with a solar wind pouring in.

    It would be interesting to go back and rethink old stories. I remember archeologists always wondered what happened to this one civilization in India. The ruins were still there partially submerged. Folklore had said, that one day, the ocean came up and swallowed it. They didn’t believe them until the tsunami hit again, and they understood.

    So far that “fire in the sky” story is the only one that really stands out as a possible. Oh another might be the story of Joshua, when the sun stood still. Do you think changing the magnetic fields could briefly disrupt the rotation of the earth?


    REPLY:
    Disrupt rotation? Not a chance, do the math, – Anthony

  28. Jimmy Raeder, also of New Hampshire, says “1027 particles per second were flowing into the magnetosphere—that’s a 1 followed by 27 zeros. This kind of influx is an order of magnitude greater than what we thought was possible.”


    I’m surprised at the hyperbole in his comment – though finding out a “factor of ten” in in your work is an impressive fete.

    By way of comparison, there are 6.02 x 10^23 “particles” (atoms) per mole of that substance. (The mole is defined as the amount of substance of a system which contains as many “elemental entities” (e.g., atoms, molecules, ions, electrons) as there are atoms in 12 g of carbon-12.)

    So his 10^27 value is only a couple tens of kilograms of charged particles – and, coming directly from the sun, those particles are (almost all) hydrogen and helium ions. So, these inbound are making up for the gasses being released from the upper atmosphere (in part), and have a very, very short travel distance through the air. (An alpha particle (a charged He atom) only penetrates a few mm through the air at sea level.)

  29. Anthony, “We’d do well to pay more attention to magnetic trends in our corner of the universe and what effects it has on Earthly climate. -”

    You should check out the research and forecasts of Piers Corbyn, UK long range weather forcaster. He claims to have developed a “solar magnetic” technique to make long range forecasts. Not always right but they did forecast unusually early snow in the UK in November. He has some interesting ideas about how the solar activity and magnetic fields can influence weather events. http://www.weatheraction.com/

  30. Aren’t we due for some kind of polarity reversal in the geomagnetic field sometime soon? I’m not worried as there’s no apparent correlation in the geological record of any mass extinctions, although I’m sure any such polarity reversal will be all the western nations fault for using too much electricity or some such nonsense.

  31. Frankly from now on I am going to rely on Nostradamus……….there must be a relevant quatrain somewhere……….

  32. First we have the interplanetary magnetic field that took an abrupt dive in October 2005 and has not recovered since and remains at very low level
    I have been after Anthony before, but let me be that again. Nothing special happened in October or September 2005. Here is a graph of both the solar wind speed [red] and the interplanetary field [blue] for the last six years:

    http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf

    There has been the expected and normal decline of the IMF over those years coming down from solar maximum. At my count 18 decreases of the IMF, none of them special.

    NASA comes out with these outrageous press releases to justify the money spent. Each new satellite has to find something new and breakthroughs must be made at all costs. What happens is quite simple: when the IMF points north it is pointing in the same direction as the Earth’s field at the front of the magnetosphere. When particles encounter a ‘kink’ or change of direction of the field they are deflected, but when the fields point in the same direction, the particles can proceed further before ‘realizing’ that something is wrong, hence the intrusion of solar wind plasma. This was known more than thirty years ago, see e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf page 9 [or 7 as numbered in the document]. No fundamental view of the interaction has been altered. There are, perhaps, a couple of slow and baffled learners…

    Now, it is correct that magnetism is of fundamental importance in the physics of bodies in space.

    REPLY: Leif and I never have argued that a decline is NOT expected and normal. What I’m concerned about is the abruptness of the step transition in Ap in October 2005. This reminds me very much of the signature of a collapsed EMF as would see from an electromagnet if I was monitoring a Hall Effect sensor withing the field and the circuit went from full current to 1/5th current. It almost appears synthetic or as an instrument error rather than a natural event, and that is most curious when it clearly is a natural event. – Anthony

  33. Frankly, it dismays me how many people feel compelled to make what they feel is a humorous or sarcastic comment on a thread like this. My first thought on reading the article was ‘isn’t that just a couple of kg’, so instantly I became suspicious of the quality of the existing knowledge in this area.

    Yes, it’s interesting data, but please – if you have nothing to say, keep it to yourself.

  34. “Aren’t we due for some kind of polarity reversal in the geomagnetic field sometime soon?”

    Actually quite overdue. It seems the “average” period is about 250K years and it has been about 750K years since the last one. The Earth’s magnetic field has dropped something like 10% over the last 150 years or so. But while the “average” period is 250K years, it is for all practical purposes random because there have been periods of tens of millions of years without a reversal. Also because the magnetic field is currently declining doesn’t mean it will reverse. Apparently the field is quite variable so a change in strength doesn’t mean much. It would be a good guess that the field strength varies all the time even when polarity is stable.

  35. Heh, I was doing a little research on magnetic reversals and happened onto the Wikipedia page on the Cretaceous period and happened to notice a graphic on the right side.

    It notes that during the Cretaceous, atmospheric CO2 levels appear to have averaged about 1700ppm, or about 6 times the pre-industrial level of CO2 in the immediate pre-industrial period. It also notes that global temperatures appear to have averaged about 4C higher than today.

    Now we have people telling us that if we double current CO2 to nearly 800ppm, we will end up with a rise of at least 3C in temperatures and possibly “greenhouse runaway” with temperatures continuing an unstoppable rise until we are all dead.

    And here we have evidence that CO2 was not only doubled but doubled again and it resulted in only 4C of temperature rise.

  36. @Mister Jones
    That’s assuming the polarity reversals are real, and their ‘traces’ are not caused by some other (not yet understood!) phenomena…

  37. FatBigot (20:41:51) : “Remember, we cause not just global warming but climate change, and not just climate change but climate chaos (the new phrase rapidly being adopted by doomsayers everywhere).”

    First there was Global Warming! But… it’s not getting warmer now. So next – it’s Climate Change! But… the climate changes all the time. So next – it’s Climate Chaos! But… GCMs don’t handle “chaos” very convincingly. So next – it will be Climate _____ (fill in the blank.) Which word will they start to use next, I wonder?


  38. Katlab (22:35:05) :

    Cool! That is really cool. I know just before the start of World War II. There was an event seen all over Northern Europe. People described it “like the fires of hell were reflected up into the sky.” People though towns were on fire. It wasn’t it was just an event that has never fully been explained. They said, it was different than an aurora. Maybe it was one of those magnetic breaches with a solar wind pouring in.

    The fact that some people are unable to explain some things does not necessarly mean anything special is going on. Red skies are not uncommon in northern Europe in the winter time. Here is an example from my home a few of years ago.

    You can see similer skies in the famous painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch, painted not far from here. People have speculated about volcanic eruptions etc. to explain it, but in reality it happens every year.

  39. It’s the sun, stupid?

    Funny that. I thought it was the earth’s magnetic field that had the big hole in it. But let’s not let the facts get in the way shall we?

    Why numpties have to bring AGW into this I don’t know.

  40. High above Earth’s poles, solar and terrestrial magnetic fields linked up (reconnected) to form conduits for solar wind. Conduits over the Arctic and Antarctic quickly expanded; within minutes they overlapped over Earth’s equator to create the biggest magnetic breach ever recorded by Earth-orbiting spacecraft.

    I read a lot of very funny comments here, I really liked them :-) but I am looking for a pint of(popular-)science as well. Does it mean, from what I quoted, that auroras might have been seen on the equator?

  41. Experimental scientists are delighted when they find something unexpected. But modellers are dismayed because it undermines their credibility.

  42. Dennis Ward

    “Why numpties have to bring AGW into this I don’t know.”

    The data posted here could indicate the beginnings of a new Ice Age. Or not.

    Look up the history of what happened during the Maunder Minimum (1645-1710). If we are entering into a new Ice Age, then we can expect drastically shortened growing seasons and widespread famine. For 100 years.

    Unfortunately, the cult of AGW threatens to bankrupt the industrialized nations and would make them (us) even more unprepared.

  43. Commenting on NASA news release, one prominent scientist noted “You will soon note that the polarity of the breach is positive in the USA since we drive on the right side of the road, while the polarity is negative over the UK. The newest positive breach has formed over China, and a very large negative one is forming over India. This is just more clear evidence that our magnetic vehicles are causing harm to the earth’s magnetic field on a scale that is off the charts”.

    He further explained, “Naturally, these magnetic disturbances extend millions of miles out into space and have linked up with the sun’s magnetic field, causing an unprecedented collapse of the ionosphere and a decrease in solar activity” Asked about the impact on climate change, the scientist responded, “The changes are happening so fast it is outstripping our ability to model it – this should scare you. One thing for certain is that it has to be stopped, because the positive feedbacks are going to amplify the effects, and we are now seeing evidence that this is already happening on a global scale. I fear we are nearing a tipping point on this issue. Unfortunately, there are not a large number of scientists working on the problem at this time, though I feel sentiment is changing in Washington, now that we have demonstrated the gravity of the situation”. On a positive note, the scientist concluded that there was already enough global warming “in the pipeline” to combat ANY extended solar minima, and suggested that one solution should the phenomenon “mask” any of the warming currently modeled, would be to simply reverse the direction of our roads and highways. “this would also aid our sagging infrastructure and create new jobs” he said.

  44. I’ve been a registered skeptic since the days of the great Antarctic Ozone Hole (or maybe even earlier). Why did we assume then that this was something odd, unusual, man-made and disastrous? Why do we assume now that this is something odd and disastrous?
    Guys, we don’t know. And don’t know means don’t know. We set up space probes to investigate magnetic fields, solar winds and other natural phenomena and then when we find something that we thought (hoped?) didn’t exist we start doing a Chicken Licken.
    If you had used words like ‘ozone hole’ or ‘space probe’ or ‘solar wind’ or ‘computer model’ to my dear old granpaw (who passed on in 1963), you might as well have been speaking Tagalog to him — and the same would have gone for 99.9% of the human race, probably including 99.8% of scientists.
    1. Get a grip. It’s probably happened a million times before.
    2. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.
    3. In 100 years we’ll all be dead anyway.
    4. One more reason for us not to swallow the AGW scam quite so enthusiastically!

  45. Earth’s magnetic field reversal – it seems (correct me if I’m wrong), the general thinking is that when the earth’s magnetic field does it’s polar switch, the whole global field has to collapse for some period of time then revive itself which, at that point, it will be reversed. I guess I’m missing something but I don’t understand why it *must* collapse before it re-orients.

    The magnetic north pole has been known to drift around all the time in a small area and I presume the south pole drifts in the same but antipodal way (it stays on the opposite side of the globe). Since, if I recall correctly, the earth’s magnetic field is caused by the rotation of the inner iron core, why can’t the poles just drift over time, gradually shifting their positions to their opposite locations but during that time, keep their relative strength?

    Just a thought to ponder…

    Reguards,
    Jeff K

  46. Hello Guys,
    Just been listening to a discussion on the radio about historical interest in mars.
    Appearantly, in the late 19th century, after the discovery of canals on mars the belief was the martians were short of water. A great fear developed that they’ed come looking for ours!!

    DC

  47. crosspatch (00:52:29) :

    “And here we have evidence that CO2 was not only doubled but doubled again and it resulted in only 4C of temperature rise.”

    Increased atmospheric CO2 is a result of temperature rise. Temperature rise is not a result of increased atmospheric CO2.

  48. One fundamental fact – all magnetic fields are produced by electric currents.

    No ifs and buts.

    If a magnetic field appears to get weak, then the current producing it has weakened.

    And cosmic radiation, while sounding somewhat esoteric, is nothing by charged particles in motion. Some of us would call those things electric currents.

  49. Mister Jones (23:13:24) :

    Aren’t we due for some kind of polarity reversal in the geomagnetic field sometime soon?

    Yes, in a geologist’s timeframe. Geologists don’t use calendars. Cape Cod is an ephemeral landform created yesterday. Blink and you won’t see London.

    And the reversals are far more random than some doomsayers would have you believe. Visit http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/magnetic/timeline.html and make your pown prediction about when the next reversal will happen. It concludes:

    All these questions remain unanswered, though experts like Dennis Kent, the Rutgers University geologist who supplied NOVA with updated figures for the time line, are hard at work trying to answer them. In the meantime, not to worry. Reversals happen on average only about once every 250,000 years, and they take hundreds if not thousands of years to complete.

    Even the weakening currently under way may be a false alarm. The field often gets very weak, then bounces back, never having flipped. As Ron Merrill, a magnetic-field specialist at the University of Washington remarked when asked whether we’re in for a reversal: “Ask me in 10,000 years, I’ll give you a better answer.” So hang on to your compass. For the foreseeable future, it should work as advertised.

  50. This is off-topic, but is important to your wallet.

    Climate summit ends in acrimony

    A key climate change summit has ended in acrimony after the developed world failed to agree to a new tax on industry to help poorer countries survive the droughts and floods attributed to climate change.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3775063/Climate-summit-ends-in-acrimony.html

    A few excerpts:

    “The UN talks in Poznan, Poland, that cost £23 million and produced 13,000 tonnes of carbon, were supposed to make progress on cutting world emissions and helping the poor adapt to extreme weather conditions.”

    “More than 11,000 delegates took part including “climate change superstars” like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Gore and Bianca Jagger.” (Note: They all have impeccable scientific credentials.)

    “The conference, that included a gala dinner serving traditional Polish cuisine, cost more than £23 million.”

    “But Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary, insisted rich and poor were able to work together, especially after US President-elect Barack Obama signalled his willingness to be part of a global deal.”

  51. to Mike Pickett, thank you for your great comments. :-)

    It doesn’t get said often enough.

    I remember something Penn and Teller said—-even they could see that, “it should be ok to say ‘we don’t know'”.

    It should be OK to say “we don’t know”.

    I wonder what bright spark came up with the idea that they should handle the politics pre-emptively by claiming virtual scientific certainty.

  52. Quote from Gisstemp

    “Latest News

    2008-12-16: Please see our preliminary discussion of this year’s data.

    Starting this month, the data will be held, investigated, and potential problems reported to and resolved with the data provider before making them public. However, as we noted in the “Data Quality Control” section of our 1999 paper: We would welcome feedback from users on any specific data in this record.

    A few station data from Canada were reported as potentially incorrect and subsequently removed by NOAA.”

    Looks like they will checking the data before they release it from now on.

    Pete W

  53. Sam the Skeptic,
    All good points. I would also point out that terrible ice ages have happened many times in the past, but that this does not make them any better.

  54. Isn’t this the time in the Star Trek series when Mr. Spock puts everything right by ‘cross-circuiting to ‘B’?

    We’ll simply have to use thrusters to rotate our shields …..

    I think Leif is correct, this appears to be an attempt to justify the expense of the satellite that just went up. If you frame discoveries (which may or may not be ‘unprecedented’) in this way it looks far better than saying, “Hey, we just spent $300 million to find out that things pretty much are as we expected.”

    This way you get a leg up on funding for the next gen satellite you want….

  55. What was the consensus on how the magnetosphere functioned? I wonder how many peer reviewed papers were published on this issue!

  56. crosspatch (00:52:29) :

    It notes that during the Cretaceous, atmospheric CO2 levels appear to have averaged about 1700ppm, or about 6 times the pre-industrial level of CO2 in the immediate pre-industrial period. It also notes that global temperatures appear to have averaged about 4C higher than today.

    If we can go by the ice core records we have had Co2 above 2000ppm during an ice age….go figure.

    http://biocab.org/Carbon_Dioxide_Geological_Timescale.html

  57. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (01:17:46) :

    You sure it is not sunset? Or is it the long sunset of the north?

    Down in Greece we often get these red sunsets on rainy cloudy days, which usually happen in winter. Once, when the clouds happened to be low and mist like the whole air was red for a few minutes. Magical.

  58. “Magnetism is underrated in the grand scheme of things, in my opinion”

    I couldn’t agree any more. I just love when NASA is baffled. There is still much to learn.

    Aren’t the earths magnetic poles overdue for a polar shift?

  59. Could breach in the Earth’s magnetic field signal a new Maunder minimum?
    NASA’s latest discovery of a breach in the Earth’s magnetic field is an indication that interactions between heliospheric current and planetary magnetospheres are of far greater degree than previously assumed. One important aspect of this particular situation is to find if there are similar breaches of Jupiter and Saturn’s magnetospheres. Already a huge and unusual Saturn aurora was observed. It is possible that similar effect (possibly in the invisible part of the spectrum) could be active in the Jupiter’s magnetosphere.
    Why this could be important? For some time now, I have been suggesting that solar activity is modulated by a feedback from interactions between heliospheric current and planetary magnetospheres. http://www.vukcevic.co.uk solar current link
    Equations show that combination of planetary orbital properties will produce a regular Dalton type minimum. Severity of such minimum will depend not only on the planetary magnetosphere effect, but also on temporary strength of local interstellar (galactic) magnetic field. Strong field will reduce volume of the heliosphere affecting interaction between heliospheric current and planetary magnetospheres. During Maunder minimum (back extrapolation shows that a Dalton type minimum was due) planetary effect was active as normal as C14 the records show.
    (see diagram

    in red: equation as presented in

    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk

    link solar current (page3) and

    http://xxx.lanl.gov/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0401/0401107.pdf

    note that pre 1813 Sin instead Cos function is used).
    There is no obvious reason from within the solar system, why the sunspot activity should shut down while a normal magnetic activity synchronous with sunspot cycle should continue. Therefore, I assume that the cause came from the outside of heliosphere, a significant change in strength of interstellar magnetic field coinciding with temporary minimum, result a Dalton was forced into the Maunder minimum.
    When the galactic events subsided normal activity was resumed. It could be assumed that by1810 galactic field was weaker and consequently less effective.
    Important factor in all this is that solar activity is heading for another Dalton type minimum around 2030-40. If strength of galactic magnetic field persists for next 10 to 20 years forthcoming Dalton could turn into a new 21st century’s Maunder.
    Despite current scepticism regarding heliospheric current hypothesis, solar scientists should turn part of their attention towards observing events in the planetary magnetospheres, specifically Jupiter and Saturn’s, which may point towards significant future events.

  60. The recent rapidly occurring cold snap in Northern American has killed 22 people in just the US. I don’t know the numbers for Canada. The numbers are predicted to double (and are likely underestimated) by the time this arctic blast goes away.

  61. Jeff K wrote:

    Since, if I recall correctly, the earth’s magnetic field is caused by the rotation of the inner iron core, why can’t the poles just drift over time, gradually shifting their positions to their opposite locations but during that time, keep their relative strength?

    You might find this interesting reading:
    In the News: Magnetic Flip

    “We also know from studies of the magnetisation of minerals in ancient clay pots that the Earth’s magnetic field was approximately twice as strong in Roman times as it is now.”

  62. Chris H (01:00:03) :
    “That’s assuming the polarity reversals are real, and their ‘traces’ are not caused by some other (not yet understood!) phenomena…”

    They are very real and thanks to them we could prove Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift. Sea floor spreading could be demonstrated by the polarity reversals in the ocean floor volcanics as they are symmetrically positioned with respect to the Mid Atlantic Ridge which separates diverging tectonic plates.

  63. Sunspotless today. so how many more days before we pass 1912 and come in second? It has to be less than five, doesn’t it?

  64. Why is this information only surfacing now if it happened in 07? Have I missed something or is it due to downloading all the raw satellite data & processing it that takes the time, or did it get buried under the paperwork? Just curious that’s all. Nothing doing on BBC Science & Environmant web, but then again this hallowed taxpayer funded august body is nolonger obliged to register a different opinion on many scientific matters as long as the consensus is there & the science is settled.

    alexjc38:-) I’d opt for Climate “Instability”! It has all the right tone & sound to it, suggesting chaos, change, the climate was stable before, & that unpredictablity is the future! Perfect, one size fits all.

    OT Mr Watts:-) I have often wondered about your two initials, AW, your middle name wouldn’t happen to begin with G per chance would it? We could sow a little “chaos” ourselves if so! “AGW suggests Global Warming may be natural after all”!

    REPLY:
    Sorry no G’s – Anthony

  65. Jeff K: Geologists have been measuring the past polarity and location of the magnetic poles for quite some time. Hot rock records the magnetic field at the time it cools. If the poles changed positions slowly, it would be in the record. If the field is generated by the motion of large amounts of material, sudden motions of that material would significantly affect the planet’s rotation — the poles of rotation would jerk around, and such motions are not in the geological record. And, fortunately, reversals don’t seem related to mass extinctions.

  66. Hello everybody, i’m an italian boy that reading everyday this fantastic blog of big Anthony… sorry for my english…

    Even if i’am off topic, I would remind you that came out of the update that GISS for November is 0.58, as in October … I want to hear a comment by Anthony and all of you, because to me it seems a bit exaggerated … Indeed Hadley for November was at +0.38 and +0.46 in reanalisi if not mistaken … Thanks to all

  67. With all due respect to those concerned, with all the talk of justifying the expense of the THEMIS satellites, am I wrong in assuming you would rather they had not launched them? I find physics fascinating, and applaud whenever something such as this is made public. Money well spent IMHO, even if it merely confirmed accepted theory. If only we could launch some sort of box into space that could effectively predict climate!

    Thanks for all the great reading folks!

  68. Katherine, just wanted to add to your post that it was very warm on the planet during roman times. Correlation isn’t causation, I know, but I’m just sayin’ , …

  69. Chris Schoneveld, would like to add to your post that Wegener was vilified for his theories on continental drift. I don’t think he was alive when he was proven correct. So much for open minded academia, …..

  70. There have been many magnetic reversals during the millions of years human beings have been on the Earth with no apparent ill effects on them or other species.

    Does it / will it effect the climate? Probably.

    Relax and watch.

    Figure it out.

    Don’t panic.

  71. David Ball (08:18:04) :
    So much for open minded academia, …..
    ‘Academia’ or ‘learning centers’ in general are not supposed to be open minded. In fact, scientists are extremely conservative and do not run with just any scheme, unless it is supported by compelling evidence. But once such evidence is found or produced, science can turn on a dime and acceptance of a new idea can be very rapid. The ‘continental drift’ speculation became ‘plate tectonics’ fact virtually overnight in the 1960s. Evolution is another example, and General Relativity, and Big Bang Universe, etc.

  72. REPLY: Disrupt rotation? Not a chance, do the math, – Anthony
    Not so fast now. Earth’s rotation is changing all the time, last flip coincidentally happened in 2004. The cause must be something big, why not magnetism. Now the rotation is decreasing, before 2004 (and most of the time since 1970) it was increasing.
    Maybe this is what’s fliping the PDO. Now when the rotation is decreasing the Americas is fighting the pacific ocean, shrinking it so to speak. The ocean water will continue it’s speed of 40000 km/day, 463 m/s, but when the length
    of day has shortened 1 ms the landmasses are moving 0.46 meter less than the ocean each day. This seems tiny but multiplied with the pacific shore line and a couple of thousand meters depth there’s a lot of cold water from the deep piling up.
    In the opposite case, from 1970 to 2004 the americas were running away from the pacific, allowing less cold water to surface in east and water was piling up in the western pacific.

  73. My first thought when I saw this post was ‘how come i haven’t seen it on TV before?’
    My heart beats really fast as if i was reading the announcement for the doomsday.
    Please, all of you scientists and experts out there..when you write about big topics like this one, please explain in layman words what the implication would be to the world? Is it going to cause ‘mass geological/biological extinction’?
    Anyway, this new finding might explain the weird changes in the weather patten nowadays. In my part of the world, we have storm right in the afternoon …weird…but i dont want to sound superstitious…neither do i want to make a religion out of this…

    * I am really scared though…thinking of a possible massive global destruction …who’s not afraid to die? I am afraid …but if it were to happen ..i hope it will be quick.

  74. lgl says:

    Not so fast now. Earth’s rotation is changing all the time, last flip coincidentally happened in 2004. The cause must be something big, why not magnetism. Now the rotation is decreasing, before 2004 (and most of the time since 1970) it was increasing.

    Are you sure of that? Are you saying the rotational period was increasing and is now decreasing, or that its speed of rotation was increasing and now is decreasing?

  75. “With all due respect to those concerned, with all the talk of justifying the expense of the THEMIS satellites, am I wrong in assuming you would rather they had not launched them?”

    I didn’t take the initial notice of that to say that they shouldn’t have been launched. It appeared to me as it was simply a statement to people to be a little wary of press releases when various groups of people are vying for public funding and might feel a need to justify that funding. Sometimes people can get a little “enthusiastic” when reporting findings in order to justify follow-on funding.

    The press release was, the way I read it, intended to convey the notion that this program that cost a lot of money made a huge discovery that completely changed people’s understanding of how the interplanetary magnetic field works. I think it was also intentionally a little ominous in tone in order to justify follow-on funding.

    Statements like “within minutes they overlapped over Earth’s equator to create the biggest magnetic breach” and “The entire day-side of the magnetosphere was open to the solar wind.” and “So, you can imagine our surprise when a northern IMF came along and shields went down instead” can be a bit scary to an average person who doesn’t understand what is being talked about. It seems to portray Earth as somehow being defenseless against something that might be dangerous. It is a fairly typical recipe. You talk about things that seem somehow ominous to the average person and then at the end you finish with:

    The years ahead could be especially lively. Raeder explains: “We’re entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles (like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north. Such a CME should open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma just before the storm gets underway. It’s the perfect sequence for a really big event.”

    Which is designed to secure support for ongoing funding. So you describe something that to the average voter might seem scary but then you tell them you are going to study it over the next 24 years and hope to be able to have something to tell them when that “really big event” comes along. It is a very subtle form of lobbying of the taxpayers and plays on fear of the unknown. You pump up the fear of the unknown with stuff like “Like an octopus wrapping its tentacles around a big clam” (we all know what eventually happens to that clam, don’t we).

    Articles like this are probably experienced quite differently by people with some knowledge that Earth’s magnetic field is quite variable than it would be by, say, a sixth grader who will be funding that research bill 24 years into the future and would rather not be eaten by that octopus.

  76. lgl “Earth’s rotation is changing all the time”
    Here is an interesting link that finds at least LOD is a proxy for temperature but I can’t say it is part of the cause. They did the study to use because of the fisheries and catch rates seem to follow LOD. I have never compared LOD to the geomagnic but hey it might be interesting.

    http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y2787E/y2787e03.htm#TopOfPage

  77. Something I have wondered about that is a little scarier to me over the eons …

    What I have wondered is if during a glaciation, particularly when continental land masses are near the pole and situated asymmetrically around it … if the huge accumulation of ice could cause the planet’s wobble to become exaggerated. If you consider spinning ball with most of the weight around the equator, it is pretty stable. Now if you start moving that weight to the poles but not exactly centered on the axis, it should begin to de-stabilize and wobble. If enough of that weight is transferred and the wobble becomes large enough, it should be possible for the whole system to “flip” and the polar regions suddenly find themselves at the equator, and then it stabilizes again.

    I wonder if anything like that has ever happened in the past.

  78. Jim Arndt (09:28:44) :
    Here is an interesting link that finds at least LOD is a proxy for temperature
    The link examines the atmospheric circulation [winds] and LOD, and their is a clear connection because winds are one of the cause for changes in the LOD. No mystery.

  79. Looking through my telescope a couple weeks ago I thought I came across Al Gores broken hockey stick streaking across the sky. And now the Ionosphere is shrinking. I’m guessing there is a correlation, and a correlation as everybody knows is rock solid proof of a connection. Thus, Al Gores broken hockey stick is destroying the world!

  80. crosspatch (09:17:30) :
    “The years ahead could be especially lively. Raeder explains: “We’re entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles (like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north. Such a CME should open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma just before the storm gets underway. It’s the perfect sequence for a really big event.””
    It has been known for decades [since the 1960s] that there is a 22-year cycle in geomagnetic storms [and we know why] such that they are stronger from the maximum of even cycles to the maximum of odd cycles and weaker from the maximum of odd cycles to the maximum of even cycles. So the years ahead [until 2013] will see weaker storms [or rather the storms will have less effect], so the announcement is even wrong on this.

  81. Hi,

    I was just looking to see if there has been any comments about GISS’s disappearing of their graph showing the monthly temperature. It is usually out by the 10th of the month, but it appears that, after the little September substituted for October in November, they decided to can keeping up the graphs. It was not going the way Dr Hansen wanted anyhow, so I guess it should be ignored/hidden/disappeared/buried.

  82. It would be great news if somebody would construct a model and tell us when the climate oscillations will shift back to ‘warm’.
    Or tell us that it is going to be cold for the next 15 years so change your crops & planting habits so you don’t perish.
    Unfortunately, I have to agree with the assumption that someone wants to use fear to ensure their steady supply of ‘research money’.

  83. And I guess I’m still supposed to believe that humans went through all that and went to the moon and back with no problems, physically or technically, on the first try, right?

  84. Pamela Gray (06:35:33) :
    The recent rapidly occurring cold snap in Northern American has killed 22 people in just the US. I don’t know the numbers for Canada. The numbers are predicted to double (and are likely underestimated) by the time this arctic blast goes away.

    Does that include the 3 young women killed at Squaw Valley yesterday? (CO poisoning while setting in running car in / under snow). RIP.

  85. The Earth’s magnetic field has been weakening for some time now (I don’t know if it is a significant weakening.)

    It is also becoming less organized as there are little north magnetic polarity zones popping up in the southern hemisphere and other non-conformities.

    The field reversal could happen any day now or it could take another 100,000 years. One problem would be that it doesn’t just switch polarity suddenly, it likely weakens to very little strength over up to 1,000 years before the south-north strength returns.

    It probably wouldn’t be a good time for us humans living in an electronic age, but the lack of mass extinctions at other reversals shows it is not completely disastrous.

  86. Graeme Rodaughan (21:27:35) :

    I’m sure that this effect is “unprecendented’, and since we haven’t seen it before it can’t be natural, and must be caused by man.

    Just look at the Ozone hole. When that was dicovered – it was obvious that it must be man made as no one had ever seen it before…

    Actually when it was discovered in the mid 1950s it was no big deal. They monitored it and after a few years an obvious cycle emerged which was related to the seasons. It wasn’t until the envirowhacko movement 20 or so years later that someone decided it was getting worse (it wasn’t) and that humans were to blame (we aren’t).

  87. Syl (20:17:43) :
    The current global climate/sun relationship and the global financial breakdown are two very interesting and intriguing phenomena that I find both fascinating and frightening.

    That these two arrived together may not be accidental.

    For an interesting time, take the list of financial /banking panics and plot them against the sunspot cycle. Not exact, but creepy. That we now have a very very low sunspot rate AND the deepest financial panic in quite a while is, er, disturbing.

    I would like to think that people are not tied to such a cycle, that we are above it all. I would like to think that it must be accidental. I take solace in the couple of panics that are not in sync. Then I wonder: if when the squirrels and critters are prepping for a long winter, maybe we sense the same thing and start pulling back the cash to stuff in the mattress …

    The magnetite that lets critters sense magnetic fields has been found in our brains too. I use any reference to “magnets did {foo}” as a flag for looney toons tin hat arguments coming, so it pains me to suggest this, but maybe, just maybe, we are tied to the magnetosphere in ways we do not ken …

    This relationship has been noted several times throughout economic history. Most notably by William Stanley Jevons. Despite being poo-poo’d and ridiculed, it just won’t go away. (I was one of the poo-poo’ers at one point. Now I’m not so sure…)

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

    Sidebar: For an amusing time, read this history of the panic of 33 A.D. Yes, the more things change the more they stay the same…. It reads like a spoof of today, like “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, but it is real history. And the ‘fix’ was the same too. The government bought / guaranteed mortgages at a discount and flooded the system with liquidity. (I don’t know what sunspots did in 33 A.D. …)

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Influence_of_Wealth_in_Imperial_Rome/The_Business_Panic_of_33_A.D.

  88. Record breaking cold in Norcal last night.

    Some examples:

    Eureka hit 24 which broke the old record of 29.

    Santa Rosa was one degree away from the old record at 24 vs 23 for the record.

  89. Hi,

    Can you please provide some more information regarding you opening,

    “Changes in the magnetic interactions are evident everywhere. First we have the interplanetary magnetic field that took an abrupt dive in October 2005 and has not recovered since.”

    Have magetic changes been observed on other planets as well?

  90. Katlab (22:35:05) :
    It would be interesting to go back and rethink old stories. I remember archeologists always wondered what happened to this one civilization in India. The ruins were still there partially submerged. Folklore had said, that one day, the ocean came up and swallowed it. They didn’t believe them until the tsunami hit again, and they understood.

    I seriously doubt that archaeologists didn’t believe Tsunamis could occur or that earthquakes could dump coastal areas into the sea. What they may not have believed is the folklore that a giant turtle emerged from the sea and ate the city, then returned to the sea (not saying that’s the specific myth behind this, just pointing out silly ancient mythologies to explain mundane events)

  91. lgl said: “Not so fast now. Earth’s rotation is changing all the time, last flip coincidentally happened in 2004.”

    Rotational flip?? Are you on drugs??

  92. I could see why temperature could affect LOD… The same way temperature is measured from ocean surface height by satellites, (cooler being lower, warmer being higher due to the density difference), cooler oceans would tend to put more mass toward the center of the earth, thereby reducing its moment of inertia, and speeding rotation up. Makes sense. Subtract the effect of tidal friction (which slows the rotation of the earth on a continuous basis) and you might get an ocean temperature proxy.

  93. Brian Johnson (23:20:51) :

    Frankly from now on I am going to rely on Nostradamus……….there must be a relevant quatrain somewhere……….

    If not, you could make one up like a lot of “prophecy scholars” do.

  94. Alan Wilkinson (02:26:25) :

    Experimental scientists are delighted when they find something unexpected. But modellers are dismayed because it undermines their credibility.

    And the rest of us just say, “Yeah, sure, whatever”

  95. Record cold for S Oregon as well –

    Klamath falls broke the old record by 4 degrees.

    Burns by 11 degrees.

    Bend and Redmond tied its record.

    In Norcal:

    Mt Shasta did by 3 degrees.

    Montague broke its old record by 13 degrees.

    Susanville by 10 degrees.

    Alturas by 10 degrees.

    Yreka by 13 degrees.

    This is significant cold.

  96. alexjc38 (01:14:48) :
    So next – it will be Climate _____ (fill in the blank.) Which word will they start to use next, I wonder?

    Catastrophe …

  97. “Aren’t we due for some kind of polarity reversal in the geomagnetic field sometime soon?”

    “Actually quite overdue. It seems the “average” period is about 250K years and it has been about 750K years since the last one.”

    They are very hard to generalize. The Cretaceous period (fairly recent) had a 23 million year period without a flip.

    As far as how long a flip takes, i don’t know, but there is a nice basalt flow here in Oregon, a few million years old, with no paleomagnetic signal.

  98. I see now that I read the article, ocean temperature effect on moment of inertia is a factor they have not considered… Maybe it’s the order of magnitude difference they were looking for (the study considered atmospheric conditions)…

  99. Richard, Jim,

    I guess speed of rotation, as seen in length of day.

    http://virakkraft.com/PDO-mag-dec.ppt

    And Leif, you’re right, it’s when the day gets 1 ms longer.
    Also interesting, there is no good explanation for the temp dip around 1900 (as pointed out by Bob Tisdale) but at that time there was a peak in length of day, 4 ms (around 3 ms in 1970), which favours a La-Nina condition.

  100. Leif Svalgaard (08:45:09) :
    “In fact, scientists are extremely conservative and do not run with just any scheme, unless it is supported by compelling evidence.”

    …or grant money and TV time…

  101. I mentioned this decreased magnetic field in a thread here last week. Nice to see more information on the subject. The question remains does this have an impact on “weather” or “climate”? Saw a program on National Geographic channel Naked Science that discussed reversals in the magnetic field.

    They also mentioned the South Atlantic Anomaly [SAA] which is located off the Brazilian coast and was found in the 1950’s. Around the 1980’s an areas of magnetic reversal was discovered in this area. This area has allows cosmic rays lower into our atmosphere. Radiation in this area is high and impacts planes with passengers as well as satellites [Hubble has to be shut down to pass through area]. Here are several links on this anomaly.

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

    http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index835.htm

    http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/rosat/gallery/display/saa.html

    http://www.redicecreations.com/news/2005/10oct/poleshift1.html

    http://www.redicecreations.com/news/2005/10oct/poleshift2.htm

    http://www.redicecreations.com/news/2005/10oct/poleshift3.html

    Still have more questions, but still more information to find.

    debby

  102. Sam the Skeptic (03:04:42) :
    I’ve been a registered skeptic since the days of the great Antarctic Ozone Hole (or maybe even earlier). Why did we assume then that this was something odd, unusual, man-made and disastrous?

    Because: a) the patent ran out on R12 but not on R134a. and b) someone had a model of Cl- in the upper atmosphere & needed funding…

  103. Chris H (01:00:03) :”That’s assuming the polarity reversals are real, and their ‘traces’ are not caused by some other (not yet understood!) phenomena…”

    I wouldn’t go there Chris. Polarity reversals are real. There is really no arguing that. They are documented in oceanic crust. As new crust is formed, magnetite crystals align with the earths magnetic field before the magma solidifies into solid rock. Once solidified, the magnetite crystals are locked into place, thus preserving a record of the earths magnetic field at the time of the rock’s formation. New crust is constantly being formed at spreading centers so we have a continuous record of the Earths magnetic field back to the Jurassic. There is very little oceanic crust older than that as it gets subducted back into the mantle with time (thus spreading & subduction balance each other out & the Earth remains the same size). Furthermore, reversals can be shown to be the same age world wide when radiometric age-dating of the rocks is done. The magnetic “stripes” in the crust can be mapped thruout the oceans. This has been a key technique in reconstructing the plate tectonics of the Earth.

    All that being said, we know reversals are real, but I haven’t a good explanation as to the how & why they occur. Theories , yes. Solid answers. no.

  104. Dear Crosspatch… You wrote: ” I think it was also intentionally a little ominous in tone in order to justify follow-on funding.”

    It’s not an unusual practice from NASA. I remember the commotion they caused with the Antarctic Martian meteorite where supposedly carried bacteria from Mars. Everything was a scheme for obtaining funds for the following Mars space program.

    On the other hand, although NASA considers the massive breach in the Earth’s magnetic field has not effect on life and climate on our planet, we must to assess any changes we could see on those systems, from now on. So far we know that the solar irradiance is palliated by the Earth’s magnetic field; if a breach is wider and deeper than any other we have observed before, it is plausible, and obvious, that more incident radiation on Earth’s surface will cause variations on biosystems and climate.

  105. Re: Graeme Rodaughan ‘s post about an IPER I found it very amusing and then I realised that it is all too feasible……
    I am afraid that AGW has gone beyond parody. It is impossible to parody something that parodies itself with every announcement!
    As they say in the GB tabloid press… “You couldn’t make it up”

  106. What does that solar wind feel like? Sounds warm.

    I just went outside, and all I felt was the danged Arctic wind! In Southern CA, no less. 10 inches of snow this week, the most I have seen in this location. Maybe that breach and a little solar wind leaking thru will melt this nasty, cold, white stuff. Soon, I hope.

  107. “We know the magnetic (‘Hale’) cycle of the sun of about 22yrs shows up in world and many regional temperatures and river flood data and that the moon interrupts the rush of charged particles coming from the sun – the solar wind – and also affects the weather” he said.

    “The beats between the solar magnetic cycle and the cycle of eclipses – or more precisely the Retreat of the lunar nodes – and then doubled because of North-South polar effects give the observed saw tooth envelope” he said.

    For solar cycle frequency Z (=approx 1/11.05 per yr); and Retreat of the lunar nodes R (=1/18.61 per yr) we have beats, including the doubling effect as

    B = 2 (R – Z/2) = 2R – Z

    which gives a period 1/B of about 59 (+/-1) years depending on the precise value of Z

    “There are also other natural changes and cycles going on but this result means the world will continue its current general cooling to around 2030 and it’s nothing to do with CO2″ said Piers to the dinner guests in what must be one of the shortest scientific papers* in one of the most salubrious locations around.

    *The paper will also be published in a scientific journal.
    from http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=2248

  108. After or before earthquakes “ligths” are seen in the sky. I saw two of these after the August 15 2007 7,9 Richter earthquake in Pisco, Peru; though I was in Lima, some 200 km. north. These “lights” were seen as flashes of light in the sky. Though these are by some attributed to electricity generated by the friction of tectonic plates these could be originated by other phenomena.

  109. lgl (09:05:09) :
    Not so fast now. Earth’s rotation is changing all the time, last flip coincidentally happened in 2004. The cause must be something big, why not magnetism. Now the rotation is decreasing, before 2004 (and most of the time since 1970) it was increasing.

    Damn. In all the discussion of solar orbit / spin coupling it never occurred to me to think about the same spin coupling effect on the planet itself… though the water ought to accelerate with everything else in free fall… but maybe there is some deep tidal effect that could slosh the water. Any change in the tide charts with the rotation rate (not really a flip…) change?

    Looks like an interesting line of speculation that could lead to some interesting grant money ;-}

  110. “Magnetism is underrated in the grand scheme of things”.

    Hear, hear!

    One caveat to Louis H.’s note re: disappearance/diminishment of a magnetic field implying same of its originating electric current. A magnetic field in motion induces an electric current (provided charged matter).

    Moreover, a magnetic field in the presence of a changing gravitational field will likewise produce an electric current.

    Electric charge, magnetic field, angular momentum are among the very few properties of a body of matter remaining following gravitational collapse.

  111. Thanks Jim,

    “Another challenging puzzle is the observable 6-year lag between the detrended run of dT and -LOD”, and Rate of change of declination leads all of it. Makes it hard to believe the cause is atmospheric circulation.
    Jupiter and Saturn and a few others line up in the same quadrant every 60 years, (1941 and 2000 for instance) just to have mentioned it :-)

  112. Gosh this sounds bad, its not like anything the scientists thought could happen!

    But how long have they had the satellites and equipment to measure breaches in the earth’s magnetic field?

    Could it have been happening regularly but we just didn’t know?

    The Themis satellites apparently arrived at the breach serenipitiously and sailed through – wait for the conspiracy theories about how their on board instruments caused the breach It was our fault after all!


  113. anna v (06:04:12) :
    Carsten Arnholm, Norway (01:17:46) :

    You sure it is not sunset? Or is it the long sunset of the north?

    It is from Feb. 1, 2005 (afternoon, precise time uncertain) towards the south-east, well before sunset. The sun is obviously low at 60N at that time of year.

    My point is that such red skies are well known in the winter, they are not that unusual, although you hear it claimed from time to time (there was once an article in Sky & Telescope claiming that a volcanic eruption in Indonesia was the origin of the red backdrop of Munch’s painting for example).

  114. Leif, the time lag between said discovery and overnight change in thinking is increased by the institutions themselves. This is not good. It is my opinion and my opinion alone that forward progress is hampered by the infrastructure of our universities. Any undergrad who has questioned his professors’ teachings knows this. Questioning is not welcome. Have you never been frustrated by a professor who wouldn’t even look at your ideas? Forgive me if I gave you the impression that I do not know how these institutions work. This is my opinion, you are also entitled to your own. :^) I might like to add that I have learned a great deal from you, sir, and I thank you.

  115. fascinating stuff. there was a fairly popular book back in the 70’s that tells all about the supposed polar shifts throughout the earth’s history. i wish i could remember the title and author of the book. if i missed it somewhere in here sorry. at any rate, supposedly with each occurance there has been mass destruction with just a handful folks left to re-build etc.

  116. Pamela Gray (06:35:33) :

    Death from cold is incidental to the deaths caused by global warming. (:-)
    Lest we forget:
    “In the history of global warming scare stories, the 2003 European heat wave was a landmark event—it was the first time that a rash of human deaths were specifically linked to global warming. Many of you probably recall that a widespread exceptionally hot and dry spell hit Western Europe in August, 2003. Depending on how you count the bodies, up to 35,000 people suffered premature death during this heat wave with the lions-share occurring in France, which happened to be heat wave ground zero. Subsequent research demonstrated that this kind of extreme heat event must surely have been caused by increased greenhouse gas levels (Schår et al., 2004), despite the fact that, when examined from a global perspective, this heat wave was very Euro-centric (Chase et al., 2006), and the last time we checked a map, western Europe doesn’t cover much of the globe (which of course is the reason for centuries of European colonialism).”

    Carbon monoxide blamed in deaths of 3
    “Three young women were found dead Tuesday in a car parked near Squaw Valley USA ski resort, and law enforcement officials suspect that they were victims of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The engine of their older, American-made sedan was still running when a resort security guard came upon the scene about 1:05 p.m., Placer County Sheriff’s Lt. Allan Carter said during a telephone interview. “We surmise that the engine was running all night,” Carter said. “It appears that they were sleeping.” The car was entirely covered by a foot of new-fallen snow, Carter said. Investigators have found no evidence of alcohol or other drug use, and there are no indications of foul play.”

    The populace suffers from scientific ignorance, economic ignorance and political ignorance. Where does that leave us? Right where we are.

  117. Jessie (09:13:20) :

    My first thought when I saw this post was ‘how come i haven’t seen it on TV before?’
    My heart beats really fast as if i was reading the announcement for the doomsday.

    You have it backwards – scientists revel in phenomena they can’t explain. Their greatest reward comes from understanding and explaining it.

    In climatology and solar physics pretty much everything that we see has happened before – its just that we didn’t have the tools to see it before. Not much to worry about until astronomers say a comet will hit us next month, and then there’s nothing you can do, so no need to worry.

    Don’t worry about not seeing raw science on TV. Given what they do with well done science, it’s stunning what they can do with something they don’t understand.

  118. Well one of the calculations we had to make when I was in school was to calculate the change in LOD if the entire Royal Navy lined up around the equator and set off to the east at flank speed. The required data was of course given.

    So maybe that is the fisheries link; depending on what direction the fish schools swim.

  119. Crosspatch @ 9:17

    Excellent points. Particularly your last paragraph. I am sorry to admit I missed the subtlety of witch you refer. ;)

  120. “it should be possible for the whole system to “flip” and the polar regions suddenly find themselves at the equator, and then it stabilizes again.

    I wonder if anything like that has ever happened in the past.”

    No, it hasn’t.

    You’ve got an angular momentum issue in the first place of simply massive proportions. Second, the Earth already bulges around the equator. Third, the Earth isn’t a top spinning on a table with an external gravitational field, the Earth is in free fall around the Sun — if you did that experiment in orbit it would just spin about whatever axis you started the rotation around (modulo precession due to the orbit of the vehicle/station you were in).

  121. Dammit Scotty! I need those shields up NOW!!

    Cap’n, I’m giving it all I’ve got. The magnetic field lines are going screwy on me, and it may take me a minute to get it fixed…

    Scotty, we don’t have a minute, I need those shields NOW!!!!

  122. We have a lot to learn. As much as we love to pat ourselves on the back, this is more evidence that our species is still in its infancy. To say we have absolutely no effect on climate at a global scale is absurd. There is no ONE explanation fits all in this scenario.

    What I am gathering is that our impact on warming seems to be far less than predicted? And you expect your average person to be 10 steps ahead of the masses? when this evolutionary awakening, like all science thrives on trial and error. If it isn’t our warming it will be our toxic irresponsibility, our inability to piece the big picture together that does us in. We can’t leave our own smoke stacks and nervous systems out of the equation… we need to take a closer look at what is really going on here.

    Our ignorance exceeds our understanding… that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The more we learn, the more we realize how little we really know and how mysterious our little rabbit hole in the universe is.. that will never change. Science will never know it all.

  123. “The data posted here could indicate the beginnings of a new Ice Age. Or not.”

    I’ve heard of qualifying your statements but this is silly.

    The twin lights shining trhough my bedroom window could be a UFO. Or not.

    *dancing and singing on the edge of destruction*

  124. In regards to the possibility of the axis of rotation of the Earth moving in relation to its plane of orbit, or precession (Axis flip, in some popular talk):

    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/time/precession.html

    It is believed to be well understood and predictable, in a cycle of about 26000 years.
    It will change the climate as it precesses.
    It would take Earth’s being struck by a planetoid sized object to dramatically change the axis of rotation. It is believed by many that a prior collision created the moon. The energy released by the collision would have melted the crust. The moon acts to stabilize the axis of rotation today. It is very unlikely that whatever is happening to the magnetosphere will have any impact on the axis of rotation of Earth. But we are living in interesting times for sure.

  125. vukcevic asks:

    P.S to Could breach in the Earth’s magnetic field signal a new Maunder minimum?

    Could it signal that I am going to be a millionaire?

    Don’t ask inane questions. Propose a mechanism! Any such mechanism, in my view, has to involve removing more energy from the sea than is being input and has been stored there during some period in the past.

  126. “Second, the Earth already bulges around the equator.”

    I believe that bulge is water. When you begin to lower the sea level and deposit the water at the poles, it would be like an ice skater bringing in their arms. Since Earth is mostly liquid (with a thin crust on top), it can not flip but it should always spin on the axis of the center of mass.

    The problem comes in when you have a land mass that “anchors” the ice off center of the rotational axis. That should cause some migration of the true polar axis.

    While it can’t “flip” it can migrate and there is some reason to suspect that this has happened in the not too distant past. The climate of Eastern Siberia was different in the last interglacial than it is now and it supported life forms that could not exist there today. If the mammoth were still here, it would find a very difficult time finding enough to eat. And we find specimens of that species now in deep permafrost among grass where now there is none. It was not likely deep permafrost when the animal lived there.

    There are some indications that the North polar rotational axis moved from somewhere between Greenland and North America to its present position at some point in the past. If you move the pole more toward North America, Siberia becomes more temperate. The climate there then makes sense. Also, the buildup of ice is slow and so the crust can subside and there would be some rebound of the crust in the equatorial region as the sea levels slowly drop. But when it melts, it melts quite quickly and the crust can’t adjust as quickly (it is still adjusting today from the last ice age). That is when I would expect to see a change in polar axis … if there is significantly uneven melt.

    In the last ice age the Earth built up the ice caps slowly over a period of 100,000 years but lost nearly all of that ice in only a couple of hundred years.
    These changes in mass distribution can possibly result in changes in the location of the Earth’s rotational axis.

    Here is a Time Magazine article from 1955 on the subject.

    The thing is that if the poles were open ocean, we probably wouldn’t have ice caps. The South polar ice would probably break up and drift away or maybe never form at all if ocean currents kept it warm. The North pole only freezes because it is bounded by large continental land masses that keep the ice trapped. 2007 showed what happens when wind currents push polar ice out in a direction where there is no land to catch it.

    So how much of magnetic migration is really migration of the rotational axis? I don’t believe all of it is, but I believe a good amount of it is.

    While the article was written before plate tectonics was accepted, the notion that the rotational axis will respond to mass redistribution is sound. And quite a lot of mass gets redistributed during ice ages and particularly during melts.

  127. lgl (11:27:18) :

    Richard, Jim,

    I guess speed of rotation, as seen in length of day.

    http://virakkraft.com/PDO-mag-dec.ppt

    And Leif, you’re right, it’s when the day gets 1 ms longer.
    Also interesting, there is no good explanation for the temp dip around 1900 (as pointed out by Bob Tisdale) but at that time there was a peak in length of day, 4 ms (around 3 ms in 1970), which favours a La-Nina condition.

    Dr. Svalgaard will disapprove, which is fine by me, but the good explanation for the temp dip in 1900 is the solar minimum at the time, visible here: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/GEOMAG/image/aassn07.jpg

    For those who both understand and accept the work of Henrik Svensmark, the 1900 cold snap is not difficult to explain.

  128. I posted this today on my blog just to poke some Ecofascist in the eye….

    “Although the eastern edge of our continent has been a passive margin for the past 200 million years or so, it won’t be that way forever. Sooner or later all Oceanic crust cools to a point where it is too dense to float on the mantle anymore. (There is very little oceanic crust on earth older than about 200 million years, whereas continental crust is so buoyant it can last for billions of years before being eroded or partially subducted.) When oceanic crust begins to sink, the sinking becomes part the engine for a new convergent plate boundary. The oceanic crust off the coast of the Carolinas is more than 200 million years old and will likely start to sink into the mantle in the not-too-distant geologic future, perhaps in the next 10-20 million years.Once this process starts and the crust under the Atlantic Ocean begins to subduct beneath the Carolinas, our Coast will change from a passive to an active margin. Earthquakes, volcanoes, and a brand new mountain range will leave their mark on the land once more.”

    Written by Kevin G. Stewart and Mary-Russell Roberson

    Ok, so they didn’t mention water rising, but that’s part of what will happen. It may be that they failed to mention it because it’s not so much a matter of our sea level rising as it is our coastal land mass sinking. [end]
    ———————————————

    Al Gore may get his wish after all, but it won’t be from his stupid Global Warming horse pooh! Since I live in the Blue Ridge mountains, I may someday have beachfront property. Cool huh?

    Keep up the good work here. It’s important that the other side is told. I will NOT allow the Ecofascists to tell me how to live!!!

  129. In 1997, Gregg Braden wrote Awakening to Zero Point, sucessfully explaining the various conditions which indicate a shift in our experience here on Earth. The decreasing magnetics was one of his observances.
    He revealed that in the midst of uncertainty, this is a period of growth for human consciousness, which if understood and implimented well, could redeem our history and enlighten our future. Use it or lose it.
    ~^~

  130. I wonder who the guy that dies will be. In every episode, there is some dude nobody knows and who likely has never been on TV before, who dies at the hands of some strange phenomenon. We used to lay bets at the beginning of each episode as to who would die and by what mechanism. Loved that show to death.

  131. So this solar minimum thing, we have the same heating factor, but we got a whopping hole in the magnetosphere and a thinned ionosphere.
    Sounds like at night, somebody left the barn door open and the place is freezing. Or like stripping the insulation out of the walls on your house, it just never heats up like it used to.
    It sure is getting cold. No arguments there.

  132. As far as the earth being a battery, the earth can also be looked at as an atom. The moon is the earth’s electron, just like an electron in the orbit of an atom.

    How small are we in the grand scheme of life? I believe that we make up something larger that we cannot see.

    For any of you wizards out there, what happens to an electron after the atom is split?

  133. All things equal, on a par.

    let me be where the wild things are–

    Here is where I long to be:

    loose in quantum anarchy!

    Chaos theory is my pride!

    Stochatic series be my bride:

    Let there thrive the fudged evasions

    of partial differential equations

    Let

    and be the Wandering Cause on side

  134. Let there thrive the fudged evasions

    of partial differential equations.

    Set Fortuna’s wheel ride

    and let the Wandering Cause on our side

    Invoking the spirit of stochastic chaos apparently did me wrong.

  135. One mo’ time:
    _______________________

    Let there thrive the fudged evasions

    of partial differential equations.

    Set Fortuna’s wheel aride

    and let the Wandering Cause on our side!

  136. RICH:

    It depends on the energy carried by the electron. It could collide with a cloud of positive particles surrounding to another electron and be deflected softly, if its load of energy is low, or strongly deflected if its load of energy is high.

  137. Jim Arndt (09:57:10) :
    Usoskin, Solanki and Kovaltsov
    Have you read their papers and any thoughts. They don’t quite see it as you do.

    We should certainly permit them to see things differently. The main sticking point is whether solar activity currently [or perhaps a cycle or two back] is/was at an all-time high [at least in the last 11,000 years]. I don’t think so.

    Richard Sharpe (17:04:59) :
    vukcevic asks: P.S to Could breach in the Earth’s magnetic field signal a new Maunder minimum?
    The ‘breach’ happens when the interplanetary magnetic points north. It does that every few hours. Perhaps, that info could also calm some of the alarmists and frightened people that have posted their fearful toughts here.

  138. crosspatch: no, the landmass bulges as well — and most of the earth’s mass is viscous, plastic mantle (although mars is also an oblate spheroid and its tectonically dead).

    you also cannot move the north pole rotational pole axis unless you impart a massive amount of force onto the Earth that has an angular momentum component. the impactor that caused the ejecta which later cooled and formed the moon almost certainly caused such a shift. the 23.5 degree tilt of the earth (plus minus a little precessional wobble that cancels out over time) is also evidence of the earth getting slammed by impactors that carried a considerable amount of force. all of those events were also sufficient to completely sterilize the planet of any life which was getting started (that’ll give everyone else on this thread who is terrified of magnetic field breaches something else to have sleepless nights over).

    the north rotational pole was not near greenland anytime recently (although i don’t know my geology well enough to know if greenland was near the north pole — which is a different topic entirely and has to do with plate tectonics, not the spin axis of the Earth changing).

    you just can’t get the spin axis of the Earth changing by changing the gross morphology of the earth without a (massive) outside force acting on it. all the ice shifting here or there doesn’t matter. if you have a sphere rotating about an axis in zero-g and it morphs into a dumbell (along any arbitrary axis) it will still maintain the same axis of rotation.

    we also know that the Earth was at one time much hotter and the poles were completely melted, and we don’t need to involve crazy rotational precession ideas to explain that.

  139. Jim Arndt (09:28:44) :

    Here is an interesting link that finds at least LOD is a proxy for temperature but I can’t say it is part of the cause. They did the study to use because of the fisheries and catch rates seem to follow LOD. I have never compared LOD to the geomagnic but hey it might be interesting.

    http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y2787E/y2787e03.htm#TopOfPage

    .

    Interesting. They are missing though factors with the atmospheric explanation.
    This suggests that the recent extra slowing shows that the icecaps are growing:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/The_Ice_Caps_are_Growing.pdf

  140. crosspatch; I understand precession and changes in the obliquity of the ecliptic, but not what you mean when you refer to a shift in rotational axis. The Time article to which you refer from 1955 was prior (I think) to understanding plate tectonics. Antarctica got its coal when it was much further north of the south pole, and then it moved to the pole. Not, as the article says, that the pole moved to antarctica. Also, the magnetic north has moved about 685 miles in the last 150 years, precession describes a circle of 13-15K miles (off the top of my head) in 26K years, 4.5 vs. ~.5 miles per year.

  141. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/international/3302619/Al-Gore-alleges-climate-change-misinformation.html

    Gore said the world is approaching a tipping point that will see an acceleration in efforts to fight climate change

    A huge public misinformation campaign funded by some of the world’s largest carbon polluters is aimed at disputing the scientific consensus on global warming, former US Vice President Al Gore has claimed.

    “There has been an organized campaign, financed to the tune of about $10m a year from some of the largest carbon polluters, to create the impression that there is disagreement in the scientific community,” Gore said at a forum in Singapore.

    “In actuality, there is very little disagreement.”

    Gore compared the campaign to that of the millions of dollars spent by US tobacco companies years ago on creating the appearance of uncertainty and debate within the scientific community on the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes.

    “This is one of the strongest of scientific consensus views in the history of science,” Gore said. “We live in a world where what used to be called propaganda now has a major role to play in shaping public opinion.”

    After the release of a February report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of the world’s top climate scientists, that warned that the cause of global warming is “very likely” man-made, “the deniers offered a bounty of $10,000 for each article disputing the consensus that people could crank out and get published somewhere,” Gore said.

    “They’re trying to manipulate opinion and they are taking us for fools,” he said.

    He said Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, was one of the major fuel companies involved in attempting to mislead the public about global warming.

    Last year, British and American science advocacy groups accused ExxonMobil of funding groups that undermine the scientific consensus on climate change. The company said the scientists’ reports were just attempts to smear ExxonMobil’s name and confuse the debate.

    Gore said as awareness of the urgent need to address climate change grows, the world is fast approaching a tipping point that, when crossed, will see an acceleration in efforts to fight the problem, and urged businesses to recognise that reducing carbon emissions is in their long-term interest.

    China could cut its carbon emissions without jeopardising economic growth if it used new technologies that do not emit greenhouse gases, he said.

    Gore cited the mobile phone industry as an example of a business that does not need to burn fossil fuels such as oil and coal.

    “There are ways to leap-frog the old, dirty technologies,” he said.

    China, like other developing nations, fears that plans to cut carbon emissions would cripple its economic development.

    But Gore said the Chinese government needed to be more aggressive in fighting global warming because the country’s chronic water shortage was tied to climate change.

    “China has a great deal at risk,” he said. “The water crisis is very closely related to the climate crisis.” Millions of people in China, which is on course to overtake the United States as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, have no access to clean drinking water.

    Chinese scientists said last month that rising temperatures are draining wetlands at the head of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, China’s two longest rivers, choking their flow and reducing water supplies to hundreds of millions of people.

    While top Chinese leaders have “expressed themselves forcefully” on global warming, the comments do not “necessarily lead to immediate changes in the region,” Gore said.

  142. Harold Ambler (17:34:04) :
    For those who both understand and accept the work of Henrik Svensmark, the 1900 cold snap is not difficult to explain.

    http://www.physorg.com/news148751093.html

    Joanna Haigh from Imperial College London has also studied possible links between solar variability and modern-day climate change.

    “This is a careful piece of work by Jon Egill Kristjansson that appears to find no evidence for the reputed link between cosmic rays and clouds,” she commented to BBC.

    “It’s supporting other recent work that also found no relationship,” Haigh added.

    Paper: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/8/7373/2008/acp-8-7373-2008.html

  143. If we had been monitoring Earth’s Magnetosphere with the THEMIS Probe for the past Two Millennia alone, we might have witnessed such activity present itself MANY times over again. The period during which we have kept records, and the even shorter amount of time during which we have been monitoring such aspects of Earth, are so relatively minute in comparison to all of our Planet’s History, that accurate Patterns can hardly be recognized nor Cycles determined from such.

  144. crosspatch (09:38:55) :
    Something I have wondered about that is a little scarier to me over the eons …
    What I have wondered is if during a glaciation, particularly when continental land masses are near the pole and situated asymmetrically around it … if the huge accumulation of ice could cause the planet’s wobble to become exaggerated.

    That has been considered (by Milankovitch IIRC or maybe someone else) and the effect calculated. It has a small, near trivial effect and can not cause the physical poles to swap.

    The moon is a stabilizer of our poles. If there were no moon, we could have pole tumbles, but with the moon it is much harder. I doubt that any physical pole shift is possible. Magnetic pole shifts are a different matter and happen due to the chaotic nature of the fluid flow and magnetic dynamo inside our planet.

    When a magnetic pole shift happens, we do not get zero magnetism then new poles, we get chaotic magnetism with multiple N and S “poles” for a while until a more uniform field is re-established. There is a patch of N type field showing up in the S hemisphere off S. America IIRC. The “Bermuda Triangle” has also shown odd magnetic polarization anomalies and may explain the reports of odd compass behaviour.

    The biggest issue for the polar ice wobble theory is that during an ice age the ice is deposited more or less symmetrically about the poles. Ice can form over water and fill in between asymmetrical land masses. The movement of mass from the equator to the pole does have an impact on day length, though it is small.

  145. I have noted that Leif doesn’t think much of the possible relationship between solar activity and climate. Can I deduce from that that he thinks that the apparent correlation between the Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice Age is just coincidental. And if that is so what caused the Little Ice Age?

  146. It is quite interesting to note that the Earth`s magnetic field has got the massive breach and causing effects on the earth itself. There is no doubt that
    the earth`s massive breach is widening through centuaries. But all these changes causing concern to the Interior of the Earth and the activities within the Basaltic mass. These changes will directly affect the Earthquake activity and more perticularly the Tectonic Forces underlying. Because, if there is any change in the Interior to which the Tectonic activities are related, will affect the movement of the Shields( Continents), and thus the whole tectonic Theory
    would be changed. Because, the original base of the Tectonic Theory is the Earth`s Magnetic field, So if this field is widening due to massive breach, then
    what would be to the continents ? is the biggest question. What would be the movement of the Continents and their cycle? Thanks.

  147. Robert Bateman (09:57:58) :
    Or tell us that it is going to be cold for the next 15 years so change your crops & planting habits so you don’t perish.

    The mag field effects will have no significant effect other than maybe some nice lights in the sky, but if you are really worried anyway:

    The Old Farmers Almanac does a very good job of getting long range weather forecasts right for farmers. If you are really worried about planting habits, I’d suggest getting a subscription. They employ good weathermen. (of all genders…)

    IMHO it will be cold, probably for the next 20 to 30 years, based on the PDO flip (which I think is due to a solar change, but the cause is not so important to planting decisions).

    I am also fairly sure that no one needs to perish from a cold phase. Even if it were a dire crop failure episode, the ones who ought to perish are cows, pigs, and chickens. Modern western societies eat a lot of meat. Meat takes about 10 pounds of grain to make a pound of meat (for cows) to 3 pounds / pound (chickens and pigs). That pound of meat is ‘wet’, meaning 95% water, while the grain is ‘dry’ meaning 10% water. We can simply not eat animals and instead eat their food and take a 60% to 90% cut in crop production. If we will do that or not is a different question…

    The folks with an issue will be sub-saharan Africa and poor Asia…

    Sidebar: If you are really worried about food supplies, go get a few 1/2 gallon canning jars at your local hardware store or Wal Mart. Fill them with lentils, white rice, and noodles, and have a couple of sugar and salt in proportion. Dry instant potatoes, ketchup, and powdered milk also keep well. Store a gallon jug of vegetable oil in your fridge. Having lentil sprouts, boiled rice, and noodles is not exciting, but it will keep you alive. Include a bottle of vitamin pills.

    The jars store well in a box with crumpled newspaper around them. Mine have survived a Richter 7.2 quake. It keeps for about 10 years with some decrease in quality. You need about 1 lb dry per person per day. A quart jar of seeds in the freezer will keep for decades. Leafy greens provide the vitamins you need when the pills run out. Kale grows under all conditions including light snow…

    Yes, this is paranoid. No, I don’t care. I grew up in a Mormon town and appreciate what they taught me. Someday a Richter 8 will hit, or the big rock from space will fall or Yellowstone will blow up or whatever will happen… For most folks, water is the problem anyway. I can go months without calories given my pudge level, but what I really need is a water supply… nobody ever asks about water…

  148. Me (10:05:08) :
    And I guess I’m still supposed to believe that humans went through all that and went to the moon and back with no problems, physically or technically, on the first try, right?

    Well, no. There were problems, lots of them. They were ‘worked through’. We almost lost Apollo 13 and they only made it back by luck, skill, and guts, after a hardware failure.

    Armstrong was seconds away from an abort / fuel gone, when he landed. Very near catastrophe after flying over an unexpected boulder field burning fuel they could not spare. He made a judgment call and won. Could have been ‘one more rock’ in the way and an abort call with different history.

    The time these flights happened was during a low solar flare interval. If a major flare had happened when they were on the moon or in transit, we would have a nice memorial for them somewhere. Roll dice, live or die.

    And it wasn’t done in one try. There were many small steps, including the whole Gemini series. Do not forget those who died on the pad when we learned that 100% oxygen was a Bad Idea… The path to the moon was paved in the blood and sweat of many brave folks. Do not belittle them with doubt.

    Anyone with a laser & telescope can shoot a beam at the reflector they left behind and confirm that people were there…

  149. Steve Keohane wrote:

    Also, the magnetic north has moved about 685 miles in the last 150 years, precession describes a circle of 13-15K miles (off the top of my head) in 26K years, 4.5 vs. ~.5 miles per year.

    I believe precession refers to the shift in the perceived North Star due to the wobbling of the Earth’s axis, not the physical location of the magnetic north pole. The magnetic north pole has been drifting north at an average speed of 10 to 40 km per year.
    Earth’s Inconstant Magnetic Field

  150. Not to give our infantile species false credit… but has anyone ever heard of the STS-75 tether incident?

    The primary objective of STS-75 is to carry the Tethered Satellite System Reflight (TSS-1R) into orbit and to deploy it spaceward on a conducting tether. The mission will also fly the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-3) designed to investigate materials science and condensed matter physics.
    The TSS-1R mission is a reflight of TSS-1 which was flown onboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-46 in July/August of 1992. During that flight, the tether was deployed a distance of 860 feet. STS-75 mission scientist hope to deploy the tether to a distance of over 12 miles (20.7km).
    The Tether Satellite System will circle the Earth at an altitude of 296 kilometers which will place the tether system within the rarefied electrically charged layer of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere. The conducting tether will generate high voltage and electrical currents as it moves through the ionosphere across the magnetic field lines of the earth. Scientists will be able to learn more about the electrodynamics of a conducting tether system to deepen our understanding of physical processes in the near-Earth space environment. These studies will help provide explanations for events such as the formation and behavior of comet tails and bursts of radio “noise” detected from other planets.

    Here is a spectacular nasa video of the STS-75 collecting electricity from the ionosphere

    http://tinyurl.com/4qynav

    I wonder whats going on up there?

  151. Gore said. “We live in a world where what used to be called propaganda now has a major role to play in shaping public opinion.”

    Well shut my mouth! Gore has said something that I agree with and that is clearly the truth… And he is the propagandist…

  152. This is strange. I recall myself reading about how a south-north breach could leave satellites open to coronal mass ejections. In effect the satellites can be killed, electrically (and I think it affects the atmosphere, making it bulge and so causing drag on their orbits too – effectively reducing their lifespan or even causing re-entry – but I may recall wrongly). But a north-north event, as is said above, was not considered a problem for the reasons said.

    Credit crunch. Predictions of a depression and deflationary spiral. Warnings that avian flu may mutate into a flu pandemic. New variant cjd case affecting someone with a different gene to all previous cases. And now this. *Sigh* I hope my Jehova’s Witness neighbour doesn’t hear about this, or I’ll get another lecture on how the world is about to end.

  153. last seen magnetic north was marching at a pretty steady pace twards russia. However I havent seen a map of the progress past 2000. Magnetic flip doesnt mean the world has to end or even be thrown into chaos. It hasnt before.. why should it start now.

    Secondly, the Mayan calendar doesnt stop, it starts over:) Why? Only the Mayan’s know for sure. PS.. the consensus isnt really settled on when that happens either.

    Third, I wonder if the folks who study the lava flow for magnetic north took into consideration the position of the continental plate when the lava was flowing?

    and finally for the person who posted: ” I am really scared though…thinking of a possible massive global destruction …who’s not afraid to die? I am afraid …but if it were to happen ..i hope it will be quick. ”

    Growing up in the cold war, you sort of get hardened to massive global destruction scenerios. Short of the sun exploding there will be life on Earth. You cannot worry about all the ways we could die, just live the best you can and if it happens it happens. But… keep in mind, just because we’ve not seen something in the “recorded history” of the space age, doesnt mean that much. We know the sun has interactions with our earth, to consider a quiet sun to be the same as an active sun seems to be the downfall of the current science. We tend to examine things with our sences. Is it warmer, is it brighter, is it louder… the human race has lost its primal sences somewhere in that big part of the brain we dont use:) Don’t worry, be happy! Its either that or go insane.

  154. That press release sounds like something from a newspaper’s story archives from the early 20th century.

    FWIW, if the sun continue its quiet ways and shows no spots today, it will have tied with 1912 for total number of spotless days. And any spotless days after today will place this year in second place behind 1913.

  155. Leif,

    Thanks for the reference of Kristjansson’s paper.

    In their concluding remark Kristjansson et al. say the following:

    “For the ongoing global warming, however, the role of galactic cosmic
    rays would be expected to be negligible, considering the
    fact that the cosmic ray flux has not changed over the last
    few decades – apart from the 11-year cycle (Lockwood and
    Fr¨ohlich, 2007).”

    First of all one has to realize that their work was limited to the Southern Hemisphere. So if indeed the cosmic ray flux varied little over the last few decades on the one hand and no warming in the Southern Hemisphere over the same period has been observed on the other (depending on whether we consider the lower-, mid- or upper-troposphere), wouldn’t their results (somewhat) support or at least not falsify Svensmark’s hypothesis?

    Since the bulk of the recent global warming is concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere shouldn’t we rather look for causes beyond man made CO2 or cosmic ray induced mechanisms?

  156. Graeme Rodaughan (21:27:35) :
    -…..(Note: Parody).

    Don’t delude yourself, this isn’t ‘parody’ but sarcasm, and not good quality sarcasm at that. To get a feel for sarcasm read the top 20 comments on this post, some gems there.

  157. Gore has become very good at using lies to intimidate people.
    He is truly pathological, in the mid-1930’s German sense of the word.
    He has his ‘truth’. He has industry and insiders sending him large sums of money.
    He has defined the conversation in the public square.
    He has his elusive and pernicious conspiratorial ‘enemy’, that he and his pals darkly hint at ‘dealing with’.
    Too bad that the climate simply declines to cooperate with him.

  158. crosspatch (17:15:21) :
    […In the last ice age the Earth built up the ice caps slowly over a period of 100,000 years but lost nearly all of that ice in only a couple of hundred years.]

    This simply isn’t true. It took 10,000 to 12,000 years for the Laurentide ice sheet in North America, for example, to melt away from the Wisconsin LGM 18-20kya until it’s final collapse ~8.2 kya. Too much ice, not enough heat.

  159. ******
    Gorebull said:
    Millions of people in China, which is on course to overtake the United States as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases,
    *****

    Gorebull needs to update his info — China has already surpassed the US as the biggest CO2 producer.

  160. If slightly warmer water introduces slightly more water vapor into the atmosphere, how does that result in increased droughts?

  161. JAK (23:11:24) :
    If we had been monitoring Earth’s Magnetosphere with the THEMIS Probe for the past Two Millennia alone, we might have witnessed such activity present itself MANY times over again.
    The interplanetary magnetic field goes northward every few hours. In the past two millennia this breach has happened millions of times. In this graph http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_7d.html the red curve in the upper panel is the north-south part of the IMF. Every time the line goes above the dashed white line the IMF points north.

  162. The cooling event at the turn of the 20th century does correspond, predictably, with sunspot number and aa index.

    The fact that a few scientists have looked for “bursts” of cloud-making, and not found them, during Forbush events lasting just a couple of days does not disprove Svensmark’s work.

    It may well be that it is prolonged drops in the solar wind, and increases in cosmic rays, over the course of weeks, months, years, and decades that produce the conditions required for widespread, prolonged cloud nucleation. Indeed, I suspect that this is the case.

    Again, the Little Ice Age is not a problem without a solution, when one takes this point of view. Neither is much in the way of climate during the entire Holocene (and way, way, way before).

    Two-part prediction: (1) Svensmark wins a Nobel Prize late in life. (2) The scientists disputing his findings fall into obscurity.

  163. Maybe we will finally presence somethig interesting on this boring planet where humans like to regard themselves as distinct from animals, especially those humans who are predators …

  164. Harold Ambler

    The cooling event at the turn of the 20th century does correspond, predictably, with sunspot number and aa index.

    I’m not so sure. I looked at the link in your earlier post and the 3 ‘low’ (aa & sunspot) cycles immediately precede the big early 20th century warming period. In fact, it appears as though the warming starts during the 3rd cycle.

  165. Dear Leif Svaalgard,

    Into the composition of the energy incoming to Earth through that geomagnetic breach, could some kind of radiation affect to living beings? I know some emissions alter DNA chains. My question addresses the obvious omission in the article on the possibility of damage not only to satellites and communications but to climate and life. They focus their attention on harm to astronauts, satellites, etc. but they don’t devote a single word to “other” effects, but just like that: “some other effects”. Thanks in advance for your answer.

  166. Oh good grief. Fox has a story on this today and are making it sound as if this is something new. What I have a problem with is this paragraph:

    The bottom line: When the next peak of solar activity comes, in about 4 years, electrical systems on Earth and satellites in space may be more vulnerable.

    More vulnerable … than what? The implication is that we are going to be more vulnerable than we have been in the past. The truth is we are going to be more vulnerable than we THOUGHT we were, but no more or less vulnerable than we always have been.

    This is the kind of “journalism” that causes things like global warming hysteria. Some truth with a dash of panic tossed in causes people to worry about things that are no different now than they always have been. So I can imagine what mitigation measures are going to need to be taken to “fix” this and how much of my hard earned they are going to extract for it.

    Rule of thumb … if you see something the very first time you look for it or as soon as you are capable of seeing it, chances are very good that what you are seeing isn’t unique or uncommon. Chances are it has been there all along.

  167. Shifts in our protective magnetic field have most certainly occurred before, as the article stated. What’s interesting to note is that the last MAJOR polar shift occurred about 10,000 years ago ~ coincidentally, about the same time Homo Sapien Sapien emerged. Mutations in genetic data caused by solar radiation are known to occur when the Earth’s defenses are weakened during these shifts.

    *crosses fingers*

    C’mon, new mutant powers! I’ve already made my costume, and I’ve even got a few names picked out…..

  168. “This simply isn’t true. It took 10,000 to 12,000 years for the Laurentide ice sheet in North America, for example, to melt away from the Wisconsin LGM 18-20kya until it’s final collapse ~8.2 kya.”

    Well, it depends greatly on location. And that is kind of the point. Buildup is slower and more even than the melting is. And we have only been in this interglacial for 10K to 12K years. Looking at data from GRIP (Greenland ice core), temperatures took a very abrupt step upward about 14K years ago. Then it appears that things cooled into the period known as the Younger Dryas, and finally took another abrupt spike up to present temperatures 11K to 12K ya. I still wonder if those abrupt changes weren’t changes in rotation axis responding to abrupt mass redistribution due to uneven melting.

    It looks to me like the vast majority of melt on the NA continental land mass was pretty much complete fairly quickly after the onset of Holocene conditions. Warming doesn’t mean melting until the average annual temperature rises enough. Isotope proxies in ice cores can, for example, show 10K years of gradual warming (as GRIP does) but that won’t correspond to any reduction in ice until temperatures get above freezing. In fact, there is evidence that temperatures were warming as ice was making its final greatest advance. Warming temperatures could have increased snowfall resulting in increased glacial advance until temperatures finally spiked upwards above annual temperature of 0C. The warming shown on GRIP between 10K and 20K ya seem to correspond not to melting, but the period of maximum glacial advance.

  169. Nasif Nahle (09:06:56) :
    Into the composition of the energy incoming to Earth through that geomagnetic breach,

    Isn’t anybody reading the postings? That ‘geomagnetic breach’ happens every few hours. Every time the read curve on this plot http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_7d.html goes above the white dashed line, there is a ‘breach’. This thing is overhyped in the extreme: this is not news, this happens all the time, this has no big effect [on the contrary, geomagnetic activity dies away during a 'breach'].

  170. Katherine (00:32:09) If one were to slice through the earth at 67 deg. latt., the circle described at that latt.(assuming a perfect sphere) would be the amount of wobble that the axis precesses through, and I was giving an off-hand measurement of that circumference relative to the magnetic pole’s movement. Perhaps poorly worded.

  171. crosspatch (09:11:31) :
    what you are seeing isn’t unique or uncommon. Chances are it has been there all along.
    This happens every few hours. Every time the read curve on this plot http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_7d.html goes above the white dashed line, there is a ‘breach’. This thing is overhyped in the extreme: this is not news, this happens all the time, this has no big effect [on the contrary, geomagnetic activity dies away during a 'breach']. And the ‘effect’ has been known for more than thirty years, see e.g. page 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf
    I have now pointed that out some five times, doesn’t anybody read the postings?

  172. samfavata (09:44:54) :
    “Shifts in our protective magnetic field have most certainly occurred before, as the article stated. What’s interesting to note is that the last MAJOR polar shift occurred about 10,000 years ago ~ coincidentally, about the same time Homo Sapien Sapien emerged. Mutations in genetic data caused by solar radiation are [...]“

    Many postings in this and most other threads [and blogs] make one doubt the ‘Sapiens’ part of our species name.

  173. Leif Svalgaard (11:14:36) :

    Dr Michio Kaku was on Fox this morning and stated that the solar max would be in 2012 and that would be larger than anticipated because there had been a measurement that was 20 times larger than originally thought. link

    Could you identify what data he’s talking about? I thought the prediction has been for a large peak for a long time now.

  174. BarryW (12:14:23) :
    Dr Michio Kaku was on Fox this morning and stated that the solar max would be in 2012 and that would be larger than anticipated because there had been a measurement that was 20 times larger than originally thought

    This was total nonsense. He also talks about the ‘shock wave’ that will result from the ‘flipping’ of the Sun’s magnetic field. There is no such shock wave associated with the flipping. And the field doesn’t ‘flip’. The polar fields [one thousandth of the total] slowly erode and then slowly builds up again over the next few years. He said: “we made a mistake in thinking the next cycle would be small”. I don’t know what mistake he is babbling about. NASA’s mistake was in thinking the next cycle would be very large. This is total alarmism and nonsense.

  175. Leif,

    Thank you for all of your efforts to educate us.

    As to
    “Many postings in this and most other threads [and blogs] make one doubt the ‘Sapiens’ part of our species name.”

    Some people post comments before reading the entire comment string. As a string gets longer it is harder to read all the comments. Just sayin’…

  176. Somewhere there is probably an American to blame for this, another who publically takes responsibility, further still a whole cadre lawyers who want to bring a class action lawsuit against the rest.

  177. In 1645 Diane Purkiss in her book on the English Civil War, page 443, writes that :
    “above Newmarket [Suffolk], there were strange apparitions in the sky…. that may have been the Northern Lights” and that “they were to haunt the American Civil War battlefields in the cold hard winter of 1863, as far south as Fredericksburg in Virginia”

  178. After seeing the plots of geomagnetic field posted by Leif, I think there are many things I have to correct, especially in my next Radio broadcast, next Saturday; however, what the purpose of NASA scientists was on overstating their observations? I don’t think they were only justifying a bulk of funds. Perhaps they are trying to blow out any evidence on favor of Shaviv’s theory?

    On the other hand, I think many from the press releases from NASA have been alarmist in the last eight years.

  179. Crosspatch:

    Rule of thumb … if you see something the very first time you look for it or as soon as you are capable of seeing it, chances are very good that what you are seeing isn’t unique or uncommon. Chances are it has been there all along.

    — Like, for example, oh, say, the OZONE LAYER? I still know people who have trouble sleeping at night because they worry about R12 (Freon). Sigh. So, can anyone demonstrate a mechanism wherein the O3 layer is continuous, with no holes or gaps or seasonal variations? Is it really possible to respect someone who thinks that switching to R134a in our vehicles’ A/C has “saved the planet”???

  180. I e-mail Fox and hope they will correct that junk. He acted like the sun was going to explode or something. He should stick to parallel universes.

  181. E. M. Smith

    Who the heck are you? Been reading your postings which seem pretty well grounded in a plethora of subjects! Interesting reading, keep it up!

    NASA did some good things early on. Then they got cocky. Rather than down and dirty engineering and science, learning from errors and knowing when they “lucked out” they began to think of themselves as invincible. It’s a pity really where they have fallen to. I don’t doubt there are some good people still there, but they are overshadowed by the blowhards.

    You, Leif, (yea, I still like ya!) Pamela, Anthony and others keep my faith in humankind going even though the flame flickers from time to time.

    Mike

  182. Felix’ notion is that the low B and H fields during a pole flip admit huge flux of cosmic particles, leading to heightened high latitude precip, etc. Maybe it really is “Ice Age Now!”

  183. SteveSadlov (14:33:11) :
    Felix’ notion is that the low B and H fields during a pole flip admit huge flux of cosmic particles, leading to heightened high latitude precip, etc. Maybe it really is “Ice Age Now!”
    Cosmic rays are at a minimum when the poles reverse polarity.

  184. Tea is better than coffee, and chocolate best of all. Theobromine, the food of the Gods.
    =============================

  185. Leif Svalgaard (12:57:08)

    Thanks, I thought it was a load of something, but I wanted to double check with someone in the know. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and you would expect better but maybe he’s breathed in too much chalk dust.

  186. E.M.Smith (00:08:26) :
    You are overreading things if you think that I am worried. Crop failures from climate change hit Europe in the early 14th century. Such things have happened before, as well as Grand Minima.
    I am bothered that Science isn’t doing anything to try to understand or try to predict what will happen to crops worldwide if we enter another Grand Minima.
    Science does great things monitoring and predicting volcanic eruptions and tsunami warnings.
    I have a Farmers Almanac, I follow along, and it’s getting less reliable.
    So, try to have a heart and think about your fellow man for a change.
    Is that clear enough?

  187. Dear Robert Batman… We biologists are trying, but I think we’ll die in the trying. There is not cooperation from other disciplines and we don’t know whether the information is true or it’s not. For example this “massive breach in the geomagnetic field” and that one about our ionosphere shrinking as it “has never been observed before…” If the last discovery was true, then we could associate the phenomena with the breakdown of bee’s pollination and other sprouting biological problems which depend on the UV radiation intensity. That’s why we highly appreciate the intercession of Dr. Leif Svalgaard and other scientists who write here on. Best, Nasif Nahle

  188. http://www.physorg.com/news147456732.html

    (PhysOrg.com) — The sun’s magnetic field may have a significant impact on weather and climatic parameters in Australia and other countries in the northern and southern hemispheres.
    [AD]

    According to a study in Geographical Research published by Wiley-Blackwell, the droughts in eastern Australia are related to the solar magnetic phases and not the greenhouse effect.

  189. DR quotes some stuff:

    According to a study in Geographical Research published by Wiley-Blackwell, the droughts in eastern Australia are related to the solar magnetic phases and not the greenhouse effect.

    However, we are told that the science is settled and the sun does not affect the climate!

  190. When the Pioneer and Vogager Spacecraft went out and sent back images and new data indicating the Solar System was actually far different than we had imagined, scientists quickly set about devising new models of what they observed.
    Why is this Earth/Sun Climate science so much more difficult?
    There is no agreement to be found anywhere.
    The Chaos Theory on steroids.

  191. Chris Schoneveld (23:35:57) :
    And if that is so what caused the Little Ice Age?
    You display a lack of imagination. Here is some speculation that may be a contender:

    New World Post-Pandemic Reforestation Helped Start Little Ice Age, December 18th, 2008 in Space & Earth science / Earth Sciences

    The power of viruses is well documented in human history. Swarms of little viral Davids have repeatedly laid low the great Goliaths of human civilization, most famously in the devastating pandemics that swept the New World during European conquest and settlement.

    In recent years, there has been growing evidence for the hypothesis that the effect of the pandemics in the Americas wasn’t confined to killing indigenous peoples. Global climate appears to have been altered as well.
    Stanford University researchers have conducted a comprehensive analysis of data detailing the amount of charcoal contained in soils and lake sediments at the sites of both pre-Columbian population centers in the Americas and in sparsely populated surrounding regions. They concluded that reforestation of agricultural lands-abandoned as the population collapsed-pulled so much carbon out of the atmosphere that it helped trigger a period of global cooling, at its most intense from approximately 1500 to 1750, known as the Little Ice Age.
    “We estimate that the amount of carbon sequestered in the growing forests was about 10 to 50 percent of the total carbon that would have needed to come out of the atmosphere and oceans at that time to account for the observed changes in carbon dioxide concentrations,” said Richard Nevle, visiting scholar in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford. Nevle and Dennis Bird, professor in geological and environmental sciences, presented their study at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Dec. 17, 2008.
    Nevle and Bird synthesized published data from charcoal records from 15 sediment cores extracted from lakes, soil samples from 17 population centers and 18 sites from the surrounding areas in Central and South America. They examined samples dating back 5,000 years.
    What they found was a record of slowly increasing charcoal deposits, indicating increasing burning of forestland to convert it to cropland, as agricultural practices spread among the human population-until around 500 years ago: At that point, there was a precipitous drop in the amount of charcoal in the samples, coinciding with the precipitous drop in the human population in the Americas.
    To verify their results, they checked their fire histories based on the charcoal data against records of carbon dioxide concentrations and carbon isotope ratios that were available.
    “We looked at ice cores and tropical sponge records, which give us reliable proxies for the carbon isotope composition of atmospheric carbon dioxide. And it jumped out at us right away,” Nevle said. “We saw a conspicuous increase in the isotope ratio of heavy carbon to light carbon. That gave us a sense that maybe we were looking at the right thing, because that is exactly what you would expect from reforestation.”
    During photosynthesis, plants prefer carbon dioxide containing the lighter isotope of carbon. Thus a massive reforestation event would not only decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but would also leave carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that was enriched in the heavy carbon isotope.
    Other theories have been proposed to account for the cooling at the time of the Little Ice Age, as well as the anomalies in the concentration and carbon isotope ratios of atmospheric carbon dioxide associated with that period.
    Variations in the amount of sunlight striking the Earth, caused by a drop in sunspot activity, could also be a factor in cooling down the globe, as could a flurry of volcanic activity in the late 16th century.
    But the timing of these events doesn’t fit with the observed onset of the carbon dioxide drop. These events don’t begin until at least a century after carbon dioxide in the atmosphere began to decline and the ratio of heavy to light carbon isotopes in atmospheric carbon dioxide begins to increase.
    Nevle and Bird don’t attribute all of the cooling during the Little Ice Age to reforestation in the Americas.
    “There are other causes at play,” Nevle said. “But reforestation is certainly a first-order contributor.”

  192. Richard Sharpe (21:06:41) :
    DR quotes some stuff:
    According to a study in Geographical Research published by Wiley-Blackwell, the droughts in eastern Australia are related to the solar magnetic phases and not the greenhouse effect.
    However, we are told that the science is settled and the sun does not affect the climate!

    You can find review at:

    http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2008/1217/1

    Blame the Sun for a Cloudy Day? By Phil Berardelli. ScienceNOW Daily News,17 December 2008
    It quotes:
    So what’s behind the connection? Baker thinks it has to do with the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation hitting Earth. When the reversing of polarity approaches, he explains, the sun’s magnetic field weakens, allowing more UV energy to reach our planet. More UV radiation kills off some of the oceans’ plankton…..

    Compare above with:
    Increased solar activity results in an increase of harmful radiation, reducing bio-mass of
    oceans’ surface plankton through process of sterilisation by irradiation. Result of this is reduced
    uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere and rising in the ‘green-house’ effect, finally increasing the
    global temperature. Reverse process takes place during reductions in the solar activity.
    Published in 2004

    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/26/83/91/PDF/solar_synchronisation.pdf

  193. Nevertheless, the fly in the soup is at the final paragraph of the article:

    “On the other hand, Lockwood says, the paper contains no statistical tests, and connections such as the one it suggests “can arise readily by chance, even for extended intervals.”

    What could we expect from a predisposed magazine that refuses to publish articles deflating AGW?

  194. I hope your kidding Leif because reforestation come on. What was the population then? It was the climate change that triggered the population decline and not the opposite. Along with the plague. While that is a possibility so is a meteor strike. I’m on the side of “what cause it” I don’t think I have ever said one way or the other what caused it. Maybe it was a meteor strike. Maybe 400 years of continuous volcanism.

  195. Also Reforestation is a positive albedo effect. Dark trees cause more warming. It also could be a super nova event and the CRF went way up.

  196. Dear Jim Arndt… Agree. Many trees and herbs counts on a primitive thermoregulation capability based on chaperon proteins and volatile substances which act similarly to antifreezes. Those plants absorb more heat than plants which depend more on their thermal capability of absorbing heat from the environment. Spearmint, for example, has always a higher body temperature than dayflowers and melons. I think, and it is my speculation only, that pines are more efficient on capturing the infrared radiation incoming from the Sun than other tropical plants.

  197. Leif Svalgaard (22:25:47) :

    Chris Schoneveld (23:35:57) :
    And if that is so what caused the Little Ice Age?
    You display a lack of imagination. Here is some speculation that may be a contender:

    Imaginative, but not in contention.

    If the relatively minor changes in co2 concentration Prior to 1850, carbon dioxide concentration is in the range typical of a warm, interglacial period. Carbon dioxide concentration is perhaps a little higher during the MWP and a little lower during the LIA. produced by a latin American population in 1750 of 2 million (Wikipedia) pulled so much carbon out of the atmosphere that it helped trigger a period of global cooling then the amount of forest being destroyed yearly in the Amazon basin by modern methods (mechanized slash and burn) would correspond to an increase of 10 -15 degrees F globally. This feedback is hogwash.

    Incidently Leif, thanks for the tips on the italic and bold, I’ll continue to overuse it for a while.

  198. Folks, the ball is rolling in a direction that cannot be stopped. Lets have fun, live in the moment, and stop the stupidity. Every so often, a event hits this earth that seems to totaly knock us on our ass ( if there will be a ass left to knock). So what are we to do? NOTHING-there is never anything to fear. Follow your heart and be who you choose to be.

  199. Jim Arndt (08:10:38) :
    I hope your kidding Leif because reforestation come on.
    No, this is an actual study [peer-reviewed and all]. I cited it just to show that there are people with more imagination [wrong or right not important] than the crowd that can only see ‘solar’ [before 1980] or AGW [after 1980]. My post was a comment on the invalid ‘what else?’ argument.

  200. INCREDIBLE!!

    Are there any online accessible records of the magnometer/electron flux graphs (in visual form)? http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/rt_plots/Electron.gif

    You can listen and even watch the weirdness on real time radio stations of the ionosphere/magnetosphere here:

    (I recommend this one: http://67.207.143.181/vlf3.m3u )

    There are more stations here:

    http://abelian.org/vlf/

    I record (using streamripper + winamp) the station and then watch the radio wave form as a voice print spectrograph in adobe audition… for great detail I recommend using adobe audition, and using voice print as your viewing method) It is a spectacular visual dance of the ionosphere!

    Voice⋅print
       
    –noun
    a graphic representation of a person’s voice (or any sound for that matter), showing the component frequencies as analyzed by a sound spectrograph.”

    There is a weak voice print visualization that comes with winamp, under plugins/nullsoft tiny fullscreen) that could get the layman started.

    In some stations you will see (and hear repetitious alien like sounds) Those sounds are numbers that you can actually see as a voice print. The numbers probably correspond to the date and time of the recording.

    If we could go through records of these, we could see if any such occurrence has happened our species very first recordings of the ionosphere.

  201. Just a funny thought… what are the chances our calendar, in relation to the Mayan calendar may be 3 years off.

    This 2012 theory also lines up well with Terence Mckennas “Time Wave Zero” theory… absolutely fascinating… watch a video about it here:

  202. Leif,

    Point well taken now that I see what you meant. Your not one for hair brained ideas. I was thinking that it might be part of some oscillation left over from the ice age. There is a cyclical nature to climate and after the ice age there was the holocene then the Roman period and then the medevil and the climate slows until we go back into the ice age.

  203. I would think that reforestation occured in S. America the same way it did in Europe: There wasn’t too many people around to burn the woods, on account that their crops failed.
    Yeah, ok, eat drink & be merry for tomorrow the plague & the famine hits.

  204. Dear Robert Bateman and All… I would add that there is not archaeological registers of those “massive” burnings which could cause an ice age. What Leif Svalgaard says is correct, they have a very large imagination.

  205. Nasif Nahle (13:13:17) :

    Tim Clark… “Watt” tips? on italic and bold? :|

    I can explain. See the “You can use these tags” line in the “Leave a comment” area?

    <i>The i tag italicizes text</i>
    <b>The b tag bolds text</b>
    <em>This is what em does.</em>
    <strike>This is what strike does.</strike>

    I’m not certain about the last two, so I used them.

    If you want to use a “less than sign”, use “&lt;”.
    If you want to use an ampersand, use “&”.

  206. Oops,

    If you want to use an ampersand, use “&amp;”.

    <code> is a marginally broken thing that lets you use
    a monspace font so things line up. Unfortunately, it stills
    collapses multiple spaces into one, so you should replace at
    least every other space with &nbsp;

    I don’t know what
    %lt;del datetime=”2008-12-31 23:59:59″> does.

    I use <blockquote> frequently. Don’t forget to end with
    </blockquote>

    I’ve never used <cite>

    or <

    or %lt;cite=”foo”>

  207. Hmm, getting sloppy.
    I don’t know what
    %lt;del datetime=”2008-12-31 23:59:59″> does.

    I forgot the </del> before.

    I use <blockquote> frequently. Don’t forget to end with
    </blockquote>

    I forgot the </blockquote>! Sigh.

    I’ve never used <cite>, it might be nothing more than italics.

    or <blockquote cite=”foo”>(I had an extra <)

    or <cite=”foo”>(I used % instead of &.) The “q”
    might stand for quote, it seems to put stuff in quotes.

    I wonder what <abbr title=”foo”> does.

    WordPress’s formatting options need some attention….

  208. Does the “hole” signal a significant shift in core/mantle dynamics? Predictor of global epidemic of earthquakes?

  209. well it’s an ice age here in Seattle right now. With RECORD snow fall and winds. I think the winds are 35-40 MPH right now.

    We’re screwed. Mother Nature is going to b*tch slap us to the ice age.

    hmm. Guess its a good thing I have a parka.
    But will there be wolves roaming down town? <>

  210. Are these changes man-made? have we been excavating specific raw materials that are affecting the core iron rotation?

  211. Hadn’t it been for the fact, yes fact, that this been spoken by older scientists to be a possibility when ever the poles +/- change it’s place, then I too would have been buffeled and worried. But as was said the other day by a scientist here, the breach isn’t as dangerous as it sounds.

    The last time this happened was 700.000 BP (Before Present). In one blogg here in Sweden an article from ‘Ny Teknik’ was quoted in full. Article: http://hem.passagen.se/icca/NyTarkiv98/1498-polbyte.htm

    As said there the change started 150 years ago and computer models show that a change is to take place after a while every times this happens.

    So, not manmade. Happened many times before always before a polarchange. Please observe that change from +/- to the other DOESN’T mean that the Earth change upside down. ONLY that + pol change to – pol and vice versa.

  212. Michael J. Bentley (14:16:06) :
    E. M. Smith
    Who the heck are you? Been reading your postings which seem pretty well grounded in a plethora of subjects! Interesting reading, keep it up!

    Why, thank you! But how does anyone say ‘who they are’?…

    The short form is: I’m just ‘some guy’ nobody much ever heard of.

    The long form adds: Some Guy you never heard of who has a brain that won’t leave him alone. Things get stuck in it and demand to be kept orderly and consistent. When the puzzle pieces don’t fit right I can’t leave it alone until they get positioned right. I’m pretty sure I’m just a bit shy of obsessive compulsive. Some of the memory advantages, but retaining pretty good social skills. Like most of the geeks in Silicon Valley…

    I’ve also been around for more than 1/2 century now (God that looks scary) and in that time you accumulate some experiences. I went out of my way to collect interesting and diverse ones (“This life is NOT a dress rehearsal, TAKE BIG BITES!”) And was raised in a farm town by parents who made sure I was well connected with reality.

    Yeah, plethora kind of sums it up… At about 6 or 8 years of age one of my teachers said “no one can know everything” and I took it as a challenge ;-) About 20 years later I had to admit they were right, but by then I’d learned you can know a lot about almosteverything and that was good enough. I like to read encyclopedias for fun. Go figure.

    Put these together and you get some areas that are known in detail, lots that are known somewhat, and most all of it kept neatly in order. I also stay studiously away from the areas where I’m a complete idiot ;-) (Don’t ever expect to hear anything from me about Opera, Ballet, almost all art and artists, African food, clothes fashions, and many others…)

    Formal education includes a U.C. degree and a Community College teaching credential along with the education theory units needed for a lifetime credential when California was handing them out. (Oh, and a Doctor of Divinity that cost me $20 ;-). I can also put CDP after my name, but nobody every heard of it.

    I’m interested in just about everything. Cooking, survival skills, farming, medicine, history, languages, electronics & computing, photography, recreational chemistry, geology, weather and how nuclear physics works. I can reload my own ammo, grow food and prep it for the table, make explosives from scratch, just like I can make bread from scratch or make a radio from scratch (either tube or transistor), and have been known to knit and sew… including sewing up some animals that needed it.

    I’ve been slightly blown up once, destroyed a couple of motorcycles, jumped out of an airplane a few times, piloted a glider & landed it 8-), been scuba diving, overhauled a few cars and rebuilt one motorcycle (and a tractor with my Dad) and lived on a 27 foot sail boat for a year+ that I single handed. I’ve helped build a family restaurant and made my own corporation. I’m also a decent shot with guns & bow, and like Karate. I make my own beer and sometimes I’ve written stories and poems that folks tell me are pretty good. I really like stock trading, probably because the demands are so high.

    Can you tell that I was a Heinlein fan? With redheads in the family?

    Oh, and right now I’m unemployed. Anyone need a slightly compulsive polymath to do, well anything interesting?

    So who am I? I wish I knew. Maybe that’s what this life is all about…

  213. E.M.Smith (10:52:05) :
    The magnetite that lets critters sense magnetic fields has been found in our brains too. I use any reference to “magnets did {foo}” as a flag for looney toons tin hat arguments coming, so it pains me to suggest this, but maybe, just maybe, we are tied to the magnetosphere in ways we do not ken …

    During solar minima (especially deep once) heliosphere gets compressed, this would reflect on the effectiveness of the magnetosphere …. Or maybe not…?!

  214. We need a new Copernicus

    It’s totally disingenuous to think of the solar system as the Sun plus a bunch of independent planets and miscellaneous stuff

    Truth is — in reality — we are inside the Suns atmosphere and the Sun’s magnetic field — as Sagan said — “We are all made of Star Stuff”

    “Our Earth’s Magnetic Field” — is really just the local to the earth region of the “Sun’s much much bigger Magnetic Field” that extends out for hundreds of AU in all directions and is very complex and very dynamic (see Ulysses) — indeed it is incomplete to not include the solar wind, CME’s, etc that change the coupling from one dominated by fields to one dominated by particles

    The reason that none of this is commonly discussed is that:
    1) its fiendishly complex — and not amenable to modeling
    2) its hard for our psychological position to admit once again that in the next level of abstraction in the Copernican hierarchy — we are not quite as important as we’d like to think

    This stuff should be a wake-up call to the true scientists amongst the AGW crowd — but don’t hold your breath waiting for a mea culpa from Hansen, etc.

    Westy

  215. As for the Stanford “Tree Diggers” — I’ve got one word (well in the parlance of VP-elect Biden) — Younger Dryas
    “an event of 1300 70 years duration that terminated abruptly, as evidenced by an 7 C rise in temperature and a twofold increase in accumulation rate, at 11.64 kyr BP…. The transitions…were all remarkably fast, each occurring over a period of a decade or so [Alley et al., 1993]” – see for instance — http://www.agu.org/revgeophys/mayews01/node6.html

    We went from Glacial state to non glacial (Holocene period) and then almost dived back into glaciation (temperature wise) in a blink of and eye (on the geologic timescale) and no human activity could possibly be involved

    No burning of fossil fuels or rain forest, no spraying deodorant, no tilling of prairie, no draining of swamps

    So what triggered the rapid change in global temperature to make a single damped oscillation? — that by the way seems to have triggered the development of civilization!

    Westy

  216. Robert Bateman (18:46:34) :

    E.M.Smith (00:08:26) :
    You are overreading things if you think that I am worried. Crop failures from climate change hit Europe in the early 14th century.

    Which were immediately followed by the Black Death and the disappearance of half the population of europe….

  217. Leif, my question: “And if that is so what caused the Little Ice Age?” was not meant as an argument for a solar cause but a genuine question and wascertainly not meant to be a “what else?” argument, as you seems to take it.
    The imagination of your reforestation proponent is ludicrous and says something about the peer review process.

  218. Tallbloke (01:32:59) :
    Yes, the Black Death and the demise of 1/2 the population of Europe actually happened. So do Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, Earthquakes and Volcanoes. The glass of reason I gave you was full, not made up.

    It’s not a question of worry, it’s a question of do we care enough to try and warn, like we do with other natural disasters.

    Well, do we?

  219. Once i’ve read that stars could get briefly very intense perhaps our sun is responsible for the heating since we are travelleing almost trough the galactic plane making the magnetic fields concentrate on certain regions only in alignment to the galactic equator.

    Also does anyone know about the current manhatten project which is currently being done by chemtrails.

    I think there is definitely a reversal on the coming the magnetic fields must be gradually weakening and shifting.

    The jet stream is also moving worldwide to the poles, this can’t be some kind of coincidence something terribly wrong must be going on and most of all it is being actively suppressed by all governments.

    They want to depopulate the entire world by 80 % but they can’t just build concentration camps all over the place this pole shift will make their dream come true of killing almost everyone.

    Unless world war 3 kicks in that could also mean the collapse of human kind.
    By the way ww2 started with a depression first….
    And looking at the recent economic events well ….. you know …….
    deflation then inflation then hyperinflation then a white flash followed by a red cloud of 1000 C at 300 miles an hour….

    PS: does anyone have good links about nibiru you toube is biased with disinformation videos anyway.

  220. The cloud bands of Venus were brought up by my Astronomy Professor as the most puzzling of all the planetary atmospheres. They start at the ternimator all pointing to the equator, then rapidly shift to straight across.
    The theory being that at night, the jet streams are transporting the equatorial heat to the poles, but during the heating of the day, the energy absorbed sends them straight across. I may have that in reverse.
    Was reminded by the statement above to jet streams heading to the poles.

  221. I don’t believe that the core “generates” the earth’s magnetic field. Think they have it all wrong. I believe that the massive ion currents that result from the jetstreams that sit atop the troposphere are largely responsible for “generating” the magnetic field (along with some extra help from a rotating ionosphere) and that this induces a field in the iron core which acts as a “stabiliser” (effectively a reactive “low pass” filter, like a kind of magnetic “inertia”) for the field. This would account for the high variability and rapid fluctuations of earth’s magnetic field as well as its tendency to be oriented to the earth’s axis whilst allowing for the magnetic poles to “wander” around 100’s of km every year. Recent discoveries of much more rapid field fluctuations than previously known lend strength to this theory, because a core of iron, whether solid or liquid iron, doing a dance like that would be shaking the earth quite violently, but I haven’t noticed such activity of late. Has anybody else???

  222. Mike said: “So I should start wearing a tinfoil hat again?”

    There is no tin foil anymore guys and girls, it’s called Aluminum foil. Unless Mike is over 60 I forgive him. Otherwise – buy a periodic table for Krize sakes.

    Cran

  223. I remember one night long ago, I was about 18 or 19 years old at the time.
    ( either 1948 or 49)sitting on a headland overlooking the ocean near Sydney (Australia) 34 degrees latitude, and watching the Aurora Australis lights play the sky.
    This phenomenon has never been seen since. Were there any unusual atmospheric occurences around that time to anyone’s knowledge ?

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