Cosmic Ray Flux and Neutron monitors suggest we may not have hit solar minimum yet

There’s some interesting information of the six month trend of neutrons being detected globally that I want to bring to discussion, but first I thought that a primer on cosmic rays, neutrons, and their interaction with the atmosphere might be helpful to the many layman readers here. – Anthony

This illustration shows the shower of particles produced when Earth's atmosphere is struck by ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (the most energetic particles known in the universe).

The shower of particles produced when Earth's atmosphere is struck by ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (the most energetic particles known in the universe). Source: Simon Swordy/University of Chicago, NASA

Cosmic rays are energetic particles that originate in space and our sun and collide with particles as they zip through our atmosphere.  While they come from all directions in space, and the origination of many of these cosmic rays is unknown, they has recently been shown that a larger percentage emanate from specific deep space sources.  Cosmic rays were originally discovered because of the ionization they produce in our atmosphere. They  cause ionization trails in the atmosphere much like you see in a simple science project called a cloud chamber, shown below:

Using the Wilson cloud chamber, in 1927, Dimitr Skobelzyn photographed the first ghostly tracks left by cosmic rays.

In the past, we have often referred to cosmic rays as “galactic cosmic rays” or GCR’s, because we did not know where they originated. Now scientists have determined that the sun discharges a significant amount of these high-energy particles. “Solar Cosmic Rays” (SCR’s – cosmic rays from the sun) originate in the sun’s chromosphere. Most solar cosmic ray events correlate relatively well with solar flares. However, they tend to be at much lower energies than their galactic cousins.

Because Earth’s atmosphere also reacts much like the ionization trail effect seen in the Wilson cloud chamber, scientists such as Svensmark have postulated that galactic cosmic rays can affect the earth by causing changes in weather and possibly long term climate. Moving at close to the speed of light, these nuclear fragments smash into air molecules hard enough to knock electrons loose. This well-documented process creates negatively and positively chargedions.

Like the cloud trails seen in the Wilson cloud chamber, cosmic ray ionization trails in our atmosphere can act as cloud seeds. Some studies suggest that ions play a central role in creating aerosols. Aerosols are minute but important atmospheric particles that can serve as the cores of growing cloud droplets. Aerosols can cause clouds to form in the upper atmosphere, after the particles collide with other atmospheric particles in the troposphere and conglomerate into larger particles.

Aerosols: Many atmospheric aerosols are liquid droplets containing dissolved sea salt from sea spray, sulfuric acid (H2SO4), organic molecules from trees and plants, and other compounds. Over agricultural and urban areas, dust and soot are common aerosols  Soot particles emanate from incomplete combustion of fuels such coal, wood, oil, jet fuel, and kerosene. Soot consists chiefly of amorphous carbon and tar like substances that cause it to adhere to surfaces. Both liquid and solid aerosols help clouds develop by encouraging the condensation of water vapor, which does not occur readily without an original seed particle of some sort in the air.

A cosmic ray, especially a high energy one from deep space, can cause an entire family tree of smaller particles and ionization trails. See this animation below created by the Cosmus group at the University of Chicago.

The process of a cosmic ray particle colliding with particles in our atmosphere and disintegrating into smaller pions, muons, and the like, is called a cosmic ray shower. These particles can be measured on the Earth’s surface by neutron monitors.

cosmic ray shower icon
Click on figure to view a diagram of a cosmic ray shower

Neutron Monitors. Ground-based neutron monitors detect variations in the approximately 500 Mev to 20 GeV portion of the primary cosmic ray spectrum.
(Note: 1 Mega electron Volt = 1.60217646 × 10-13 joules)

This class of cosmic ray detector is more sensitive in the approximate 500 Mev to 4 GeV portion of the cosmic ray spectrum than are cosmic ray muon detectors. The portion of the cosmic ray spectrum that reaches the Earth’s atmosphere is controlled by the geomagnetic cutoff which varies from a minimum (theoretically zero) at the magnetic poles to a vertical cosmic ray cutoff of about 15 GV (ranging from 13 to 17) in the equatorial regions. (Note: GV is a unit of magnetic rigidity. Magnetic rigidity is a particle’s momentum per unit charge. It is the relevant quantity for characterizing a cosmic ray’s ability to penetrate Earth’s magnetic field.).

The primary cosmic ray particles interact with the atmosphere and generate secondaries, some of which will reach the surface of the Earth.

When the secondary cosmic rays interact in the monitor, (actually in lead surrounding the counters) they cause nuclear disintegrations, or “stars”. These stars are composed of charged fragments and neutrons typically in the energy range of tens to hundreds of MeV (million electron-volts), even up to GeV energies. As a result of these high energy nuclear interactions, there will be more secondary fragments generated than incident particles and hence there is a multiplier effect for the counters. The neutrons are moderated and then counted using Boron tri-fluoride (BF3) proportional counters which are efficient thermal neutron detectors; hence the name neutron monitor.

The original design by Simpson is often designated as an IGY neutron monitor. From that link:

John A. Simpson, at the University of Chicago, invented and developed the neutron monitor over the years 1948-50 and found that the Earth’s magnetic field could be used as a spectrometer to allow measurements of the cosmic ray spectrum down to low primary energies. The magnetic latitude of a particular neutron monitor determines the lowest magnetic rigidity of a primary that can reach the monitor, the so-called “cut-off rigidity”. The station’s altitude determines the amount of absorbing atmosphere above the station and hence the amount of absorption of the secondary cosmic rays (the higher the station, the higher the counting rate). By using a combination of lead (to produce local interactions), paraffin or polyethylene (to moderate or slow down the neutron component) and multiple slow-neutron counters, Simpson greatly increased the counting rate in his monitor design.

The worldwide network neutron monitors that have since been established gather data that have shown there is a correlation between periodic solar activity and the earthly neutron count. For example:

Climax corrected neutron monitor values

This plot shows data from the Climax, Colorado neutron monitor operated by the University of Chicago. The cosmic rays show an inverse relationship to the sunspot cycle because Sun’s magnetic field is stronger during sunspot maximum and shields the Earth from cosmic rays.

Right now we are near the solar minimum, but neutron counts are still increasing. The current science says that if we had passed solar minimum, neutron counts should be decreasing.

Michael Roynane writes today:

The Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware manages five real-time neutron monitors, at widely dispersed locations, all of which indicate that over the last six months cosmic rays are increasing. This would not support the hypothesis that we are past solar minimum and suggests that solar minimum has not yet been reached.

Links to the Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware:
http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/

http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/main.html#stations

Newark, DE Neutron Monitor
[image]

McMurdo Neutron Monitor
[image]

Thule Neutron Monitor
[image]

Fort Smith Neutron Monitor
[image]

Inuvik Neutron Monitor
[image]

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194 thoughts on “Cosmic Ray Flux and Neutron monitors suggest we may not have hit solar minimum yet

  1. Is this statement correct?

    “Right now we are near the solar minimum, but neutron counts are still increasing. The current science says that if we had passed solar minimum, neutron counts should be increasing.”

    As I read it, it implies that we are past minimum. Should the last word in the quoted text be “decreasing” instead of “increasing?”

    REPLY: Fixed thanks. – Anthony

  2. “Right now we are near the solar minimum, but neutron counts are still increasing. The current science says that if we had passed solar minimum, neutron counts should be increasing.”

    Some might be confused here although most will know that you meant ‘decreasing’.

    REPLY: Fixed thanks. – Anthony

  3. [quote] Right now we are near the solar minimum, but neutron counts are still increasing. The current science says that if we had passed solar minimum, neutron counts should be increasing. [/quote]

    Don’t you intend to say “neutron counts should be decreasing”?

    FIXED: Note previous comments – REFRESH THE PAGE PLEASE

  4. The cosmic modulation has a time shift of 6-12 months with respect to solar activity. This is because it takes the solar wind that long to fill the heliosphere [ 100 AU * 4 days per AU ], so if solar ‘minimum’ were 6 months ago, we should only begin to see a decrease in CRs about now or in the next few months.

    CR intensity at a given station depends on many things: atmospheric pressure, stratospheric temperature, geomagnetic field ans its variation, even snow on the roof, so different stations see slightly different CR counts as is illustrated by the differences between the various plots referred to. Here is one of my plots that show three stations [Thule, Oulu, and Moscow] that have long -term records; the last year is shown [counts normalized to Thule]: http://www.leif.org/research/Thule-Oulu-Moscow.png

  5. The cosmic rays of interest in the Svensmark idea are the GCRs, not the SCRs. GCRs decrease during solar maximum while SCRs increase. However, GCRs are more penetrating and thus able to ionize the air just above earth’s surface. This near-surface ionization is hypothesized to increase the concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in clean maritime regions where the natural background CCN concentrations are very small. By boosting CCN concentrations, reslutant clouds consist of more and smaller droplets that give the clouds longer persistence and a higher albedo that increase the shielding of downwelling solar radiation. The result of this process is to cool the ocean surface.

  6. Dan (09:03:05) :
    The cosmic rays of interest in the Svensmark idea are the GCRs, not the SCRs. GCRs decrease during solar maximum while SCRs increase.
    Almost all cosmic rays we observe are GCRs, not SCRs. The plots shown are of GCRs. SCRs are very rare: in ~60 years of monitoring only about 60 SCR-events have penetrated deep into the atmosphere.

  7. In your above post, I think that you meant to say that if minimum had passed cosmic ray count would be decreasing. I am also wondering why it seems to me that three of the graphs look like a pause and even downward trend is evident with two graphs continuing to show an upward tread. However, an eyeball trend could be nothing more than a pause along the way up. So I am just trying to see the graphs the way they are right now and have no idea if counts will continue up, or down. There are so few measuring stations given here it is hard to come to a conclusion. I am wondering if location explains the varying data traces? If so, the end trace could also be affected?

    REPLY: I fixed that within about 5 minutes of posting, several commenters also spotted it. Please refresh the page.- Anthony

  8. The cosmic modulation has a time shift of 6-12 months with respect to solar activity.

    So we have 6-12 months after the first sign of real spots? maybe june of 2010?
    uhmm

  9. Anthony, just so you know, when I started writing my comment there were no other comments entered yet. I knew what you meant to say and I was more interested in the different trends seen in the graphs. Sorry if I sounded like an echo, but honestly, there were no other comments posted yet.

  10. And thanks Leif for the quick review of site issues. If there is one thing we know about here, it is snow on the roof of measuring stations.

  11. Wow!
    Thanks for the highly interesting and informative chapter on
    Cosmic Ray Flux.
    With every additional passing month of solar pacifism, the closer we get to the brink of another Dalton Minimum – or worse.

  12. Tim L (09:16:33) :
    So we have 6-12 months after the first sign of real spots? maybe june of 2010?
    uhmm

    No, the statistical minimum will be 6-12 months before the CR downturn.

    Pamela Gray (09:11:46) :
    There are so few measuring stations given here it is hard to come to a conclusion. I am wondering if location explains the varying data traces? If so, the end trace could also be affected?
    There is about a 100 observing stations, and they all show slightly varying data [see my post above on that]. People tend to pick a few from that bunch that seems to support their pet opinion. Overall, the picture right now is that the increase has halted and a decrease has started or is imminent [the peaks for odd-even minima tend to be very sharp].

  13. This cosmic ray cloud seeding stuff is some new stuff to me. Does anyone have some links to some resources? I am curious about how great an effect this has on cloud formation and the types of increases it can cause on total earth cover, things like that.

    I looked on the resource page but did not find exactly what I was looking for, and perhaps, exactly what I am looking for is not out there.

  14. Interesting — yet another time lag between the sunspot minimum and global temp effects. I wonder when we’ll see clouds ameliorate the summer melting of arctic sea ice. Last year’s recovery was minimal; this year’s is an important data point. Significant recovery would be a stake through the heart of the AGW preachers.

    Does it make any sense to watch the weather forecast for Barrow, AK? The next 10 days show a lot of clouds, but there’s no standard of comparison. Also, the clouds noted in the forecast might not be the ones that matter.

  15. I have looked over as many as allow more than 6 mos worth of data (the neutron monitors). I continue to see the uptrend, with some momentary sawtooths dips on the way up.
    Since there seems to be a concensus on 6-12 months lag, and given the poor showing of SC24 spots vs SC23 spots, adding in the recent downturn of solar flux, I would then give 6-12 months before GCR graphs show the downramp.
    In short, due to the horrific lack of spots, I am going to rely on the flux as my guide.
    A very good site is Northwest Research Assoc. Tuc. AZ

    http://www.nwra-az.com/spawx/ssne-year.html

    They do an effective sunspot based on the flux.
    I find it very helpful and insightful work they do there.
    Where else can you see the solar activity that is submerged?

  16. Leif Svalgaard:

    “There is about a 100 observing stations, and they all show slightly varying data…”

    Where can I find them?

    Thanks.

  17. Svensmark hypothesis is that increased CRF will lead to an increase in cloud formation and therefore change the Earth’s albedo. There is now evidence being collected that the albedo has increased by about 1% since its minimum value in 1998-2000. Re: the “Earthshine Project”:

    http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/

    A 1% increase would correspond to a decrease of about 14W/msq in the solar forcing, about 3 times the forcing attributed to greenhouse gasses (5W/msq). More than sufficient to explain the recent cooling trend. Conclusion: changes in temperature are dominated by clouds, not by greenhouse gasses.

    The question remains, of course, whether the change in albedo is indeed caused by the high CRF, but here the beauty of Svensmark’s work is that it can be tested in the lab. Perhaps he is on the road to a Nobel Prize for himself, a real one, I mean, the one for physics. Good luck to him is what I say.

  18. Leif and I disagree on the question of whether GCR’s are uptrending or turning down. We just see it differently.
    I see several magnitudes of imbedded trending in GCR graphs. Zoom in to hourly over 6 mos and you get one picture. Zoom out to 1 solar cycle for daily and you get another. Zoom out to several solar cycles for monthly and you get the overall shape of the alternating sharp peaks/gentle mesas.
    What is really needed is a monster graph of hourly over a full solar cycle.
    That’s where the picture of where we are in terms of trendup vs downramp will be found.

  19. Robert Bateman (09:51:32) :
    adding in the recent downturn of solar flux, I would then give 6-12 months before GCR graphs show the downramp.
    In short, due to the horrific lack of spots, I am going to rely on the flux as my guide.
    A very good site is Northwest Research Assoc. Tuc. AZ

    http://www.nwra-az.com/spawx/ssne-year.html

    The solar f10.7 flux has been going up since last August. You can see that here: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png and on the plot at the NWRA you just referred to.

  20. Leif, I can’t find where I read about why cosmic ray measures during minimum vacillate between flat and sharp. I did an internet search of my question and got nothin. I am going to show my ignorance here but it would seem related to the magnetic polarity switch in sunspots every other cycle, leading to a vacillating weakened magnetic field every other minimum? Just show me where to read.

  21. Robert Bateman (09:58:56) :
    What is really needed is a monster graph of hourly over a full solar cycle.
    Hourly values are not the best for this as there is a clear daily variation on CRs that has nothing to do with the Sun, but with the fact that the Earth is rotating. Daily values filters out that ‘noise’ are what carry the information. Here are daily values for the past three ‘peaks’ from Moscow:

    Pamela Gray (10:11:06) :
    Leif, I can’t find where I read about why cosmic ray measures during minimum vacillate between flat and sharp.

    http://www.atnf.csiro.au/pasa/18_1/duldig/paper/node5.html

  22. And the Solar Flux has a lag time too. I cannot tell you why, but it lagged by roughly the same amount in 2008 before it turned down.
    I can just barely make it out in 1953-4.
    If you took all the fragments of bottomed out solar flux from records and stitched them together, you might be surprised to find 2008-9 staring back at you.
    In about 10 minutes, the F10.7 from Penticon will be in. Expecting on the low side of 68 rounded (68.0 – 68.4) and 67 corrected.
    It’s crested, flatlined, and much easier to spot due to lack of noise than 2008.
    There are some benefits to lackluster Solar activity, this would be an ingnominous one.

  23. Dr. Svalgaard,

    I have serious reservations pertaining to the quality of data generated by the Moscow Neutron Counter. If you examine the following graph for the last 670 days there appears to be a significant number of gaps in the historic record, unless we are dealing with a computer graphics error.

    Moscow Neutron Monitor (for last 670 days)

    http://helios.izmiran.rssi.ru/cosray/days.htm

    The Oulu and Thule data correlate well but not Moscow’s.

    Moscow Neutron Monitor (since late 1950’)

    http://helios.izmiran.rssi.ru/cosray/months.htm

    The Moscow neutron monitor is showing a long term downward trend, which is not present in any other neutron monitor to which I have access. I frankly find this to be impossible. This could be an adjustment or calibration issue. Your own website shows a comparison between Oulu and Moscow, where the Moscow data is significantly different from the graphic on the Moscow website for their own data.

    Your graphic for Thule, Oulu and Moscow, depends very much on how the data is averaged for the points plotted.

    Here is the adjusted real-time graphic for the last six months for Oulu, which is consistent with the UDEL.

    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=2008/09/14&starttime=00:00&enddate=2009/03/15&endtime=23:59&resolution=Automatic%20choice&picture=on

    The six neutron monitoring stations comprising the UDEL and Oulu are showing continuing increase in cosmic ray activity over the last six months. In the last two weeks there has been a drop in cosmic ray activity but such drops and rebounds are found throughout the six month record. I have no explanation for the behavior of the Moscow neutron monitor but would suggest that a quality control review be conducted for that station. As I suggested above, this could also be software issue, which should be included in the quality control review.

    Mike

  24. The comment by Leif Svalgaard (09:28:59) “the peaks for odd-even minima tend to be very sharp” reminded me of the post – Evidence of a significant solar imprint in annual globally averaged temperature trends part 2. And from there, this-

    The climax neutron record (cosmic ray intensity) is similar to the smoothed HadCRUTv3 (as is the sunspot record as you pointed out at the time). The sharp peaks of the climax neutron chart appear to precede the smaller peaks on the HadCRUTv3 chart and the rounded climax neutron chart peaks precede the higher HadCRUTv3 peaks.

    I’m sure I’m seeing patterns where none exist but it’s fascinating anyway, thanks for the very interesting posts!

  25. Robert Bateman (10:54:06) :
    And the Solar Flux has a lag time too.
    In about 10 minutes, the F10.7 from Penticon will be in. Expecting on the low side of 68 rounded (68.0 – 68.4) and 67 corrected.

    Never, EVER, look at the observed flux as a measure of solar activity. ALWAYS use the corrected flux. The corrected flux shows a clear increase since August of last year.

  26. Ed Zuiderwijk @ 09:58:09

    I’m aware of the Earthshine project but cannot find any other attempts to monitor albedo.

    Also, when clouds form, isn’t the latent heat of vaporisation released, thus increasing heat transfer upwards as well as reducing incoming radiation?

  27. Great link, Leif.

    I’m still having a hard time thinking of these energetic beasts “drifting” but then on stellar scales…

  28. I have looked at the corrected flux, Leif. I graphed it Friday night. It shows to me a flatline with a downturn the last month. Neither the dip of August, the statistical within running range rise, nor the statistical within running range downturn is impressive. It’s not going anywhere. I find it easier to look at the uncorreced as it is graphed daily running and mentally adjust. Someone could write a computer program to generate daily the corrected and the 0.9x corrected, if they really feel it will help. I don’t really need it at this point, others may.
    The corrected flux has been running in a statistical flatline since Mid-April 2008.
    It’s not going anywhere.

  29. I am wondering how closely related are these cosmic rays with terrestrial gamma ray bursts which happen in our own atmosphere. I know they are close cousins to types of lightening call blue sprits, perhaps others.
    Anyone one with some links (for us low tech folk). I like the fact that Anthony takes the time to word information for those of us without an advance degree in astromony and related fields. But do give me credit for being curious!
    I am a real certified spotter and have on several occasions caught odd cloud formation which can not be explained.
    Also is it possible the relation with cosmic rays or TGRB causes some storms to produce outflow gusts and boundaries seen on radar. These usually cause new storms to generate 50-100 miles away from the parent thunderstorm. Seems like a great amount of power is released in the skies overhead.

  30. Michael Ronayne (10:55:40) :
    Your graphic for Thule, Oulu and Moscow, depends very much on how the data is averaged for the points plotted.

    http://www.leif.org/research/Thule-Oulu-Moscow.png

    These are simple unbiased monthly averages just normalized to have the same mean over the whole interval shown for plotting purposes. I fail too see how that can introduce anything untowards.

    It is common practice to blame the data if they don’t fit. Yet Moscow and Oulu have a correlation coefficient of 0.99 for daily values.

  31. Robert Wood (11:09:00) :
    Also, when clouds form, isn’t the latent heat of vaporisation released, thus increasing heat transfer upwards as well as reducing incoming radiation?

    In the case of large convective storms like supercell thunderstorms, that would be true, warmmoist air is lifted to the tropopause and frozen over a very short time period, effectively carrying all that stored low level heat to 50-65k ft altitude where it should be easily radiated to space. Simultaneously you get, a large shield of dense cloud formed which shades the ground below the storm.

    When storm chasing, you can see this effect is strong enough that the shading effect of a near by thunderstorm drastically cuts ground level heating and can prevent additional nearby storm development due to the drop in solar heat gain. You can go from 80-90 deg F in bright sun to temperatures in the 70’s in a matter of minutes and with cold down drafts from the storm you significantly cool the ground level as all that now cooled water falls back to earth. A large thunderstorm is a very efficient heat pump to move low level heat to high altitudes, and shade hundreds of square miles from direct solar heat gain.

    Larry

  32. If you go to the Armargh Observatory pages and search for “Earthshine” you’ll come across a very good powerpoint presentation on the Earth’s albedo and its changes.

    http://star.arm.ac.uk/solarphysics.html

    Warning: May make Al Gore Warmers sweat a little :-)

    Another warning: The file is 11MBytes, so you might want to download it and look at it off-line.

  33. This low-tech fella doesn’t see anything to shout about as far as an impending ramp of SC24 goes.
    Nothing has changed for almost 1 full year: We hit bottom and have statistically stayed there.
    NASA’s new study grant will have something to study when awarded.
    Whether that is studying a statistical solar dud or studing the ramp out of Lodi
    is not apparent in my crystal ball, but if nothing changes, the former will greet the awardee.
    That’s my point here. Nothing is moving.

  34. Robert Wood (11:14:05) :
    Looking at the Canadian DRAO data, it looks like the flux (adjusted) is still flat-lined.

    Robert Bateman (11:31:57) :
    I have looked at the corrected flux, Leif. I graphed it Friday night. It shows to me a flatline with a downturn the last month.

    F10.7 flux has two components:
    1) contribution from active regions CAR [just made up these acronyms]
    2) ‘slowly varying component’ SVC

    The SVC comes about simply because electrons as the move in the solar atmosphere are deflected by other charged particles. Each deflection is an acceleration because of the change of direction, and accelerated charged particles radiate. Since the atmosphere is always there, the SVC does not fall to zero at solar minimum, but only to about 65. This number, 65, is not expected to vary in time, and hasn’t from minimum to minimum. But as the chromosphere heats up and become denser as we go towards solar maximum, the SVC will slowly increase.
    The CAR comes from sunspots and other magnetic areas and will vary in proportion to those. Now, besides sunspots there are many other much smaller regions that come and go, called Ephemeral Regions. These also vary a bit with the cycle [but less than the big regions].
    The combination of SVC and the part of CAR that come from Ephemeral regions will go up slowly as be climb out of the minimum, and will form the bottom ‘envelope’ of a F10.7 graph as I have indicated by black lines on this one: http://www.leif.org/research/F107-minimum.pdf
    You can see the climb-out. On top of this bottom envelope there will be the part of CAR that is directly related to the stronger active regions. The green curve at the bottom of the graph shows the sunspot number. You can see the addition to the pink F10.7 whenever the green curve makes a blip. But the important point is that the F10.7 ‘baseline’ [the SVC] is climbing. The TSI which is shown by the blue symbols also follow a similar lower envelope.

  35. Ed Zuiderwijk (09:58:09) :
    . . . There is now evidence being collected that the albedo has increased by about 1% since its minimum value in 1998-2000. Re: the “Earthshine Project”:

    http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/

    A 1% increase would correspond to a decrease of about 14W/msq in the solar forcing, about 3 times the forcing attributed to greenhouse gasses (5W/msq). More than sufficient to explain the recent cooling trend. Conclusion: changes in temperature are dominated by clouds, not by greenhouse gasses.

    Good link. From a paper in their bibliography, we have a graph showing an albedo decline to a sharp trough in 1998, with a rise thereafter.

    http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Palle_etal_2004_Science.pdf

    Figure 3 shows a coincidence with the AGW temp climb to the peak temp of 1998. Perhaps the temp trend is a result not of complete combustion to CO2, but incomplete combustion to aerosols.

    So the Chinese with their new coal-fired power plant per week we are to blame after all.

    The only answer is nuclear power (until we can get enough windmills built using subsidies from Chinese lending while waiting for fusion reactors to come on line).

    Ed Zuiderwijk is right, though. An albedo change can far outweigh even the most enthusiastic CO2 sensitivity multiplier plugged into one of the global climate models.

  36. Robert Wood / Ed Zuiderwijk

    It is our growing understanding that clouds/water vapour in fact act as a negative forcing [contrary to IPCC dogma] that is causing heartburn amongst AGW/ACC proponents. The recent Paltridge et. al. paper came under heavy fire from the Team and Co for suggesting precisely that, and the same group are doing everything to pretend that Svensmark, Spencer and Christy and their peer reviewed work don’t exist.

  37. Very interesting stuff and a very nice summary with all the charts. What about the spike on the right of the McMurdo graph? Is this sort of thing common? It is the most extreme of the spikes in these graphs and all the others seem to be followed by regressing toward the mean.

    And Leif, thanks for the comment on SCR vs. GCR – I was wondering what was going on there.

  38. Yes, exactly, Leif. It rolled @ 2007.65 and is doing the same thing right now starting 2009.1x. Which way will Thule go from here? The past doesn’t predict the future, but it does give us an idea of what to expect.

  39. John F. Hultquist (13:41:48) :
    What about the spike on the right of the McMurdo graph? Is this sort of thing common?
    This is raw data and still has to be quality-controlled.
    If you look at this one from Thule:

    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//realtime/thule.html

    you can see a red dot near the bottom of the first graph. It is an hourly value that is ‘out of order’ probably due to some noise. It also shows up in the blue curve which is a running mean as a spike.
    Some of these spikes can also be real random variations of the count rate. The thing NOT to do is to go ga-ga over the spikes and ascribe things to them.

  40. Leif Svalgaard (11:52:54) :

    Dr. Svalgaard,

    Over averaging highly variable data masks the day to day changes within the dataset creating the illusion that the data is better behaved than it really is. For Thule and Oulu the downturn occurs in only the last month (February 2009) plotted. Only the Moscow neutron monitor is showing a sustained decrease in cosmic ray activity.

    The plots I have generated directly from the Oulu database are in good agreement with your plots for that station. My concern is for the long-term correlation of Moscow with other neutron monitoring stations because of my perception that there is an increasing negative bias in the data over time.

    As I indicated at SC24 I want to download the adjusted neutron monitor data and play with the numbers myself. I really don’t have any preconceived notions about the data but I don‘t understand the behavior of the Moscow. Admittedly I could be wrong and if I find that I am will so report that fact. The graphics from UDEL are updated daily so we will be able visually track cosmic ray activity for those five stations. For now there are six easily accessible real-time neutron monitors that are showing increasing cosmic rays activity over a six month period and one which is not. Given the variability in the data it will take several months do determine if there is a significant change in cosmic ray activity.

    Mike

  41. Benjamin P

    Cosmic ray influence May I suggest you read “The Chjlling Stars” by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder. The answers are all there.

  42. Benjamin P. (09:38:15) :

    This cosmic ray cloud seeding stuff is some new stuff to me. Does anyone have some links to some resources? I am curious about how great an effect this has on cloud formation and the types of increases it can cause on total earth cover, things like that.

    I looked on the resource page but did not find exactly what I was looking for, and perhaps, exactly what I am looking for is not out there.

    Here you go:

  43. “Ed Zuiderwijk (09:58:09) : Conclusion: changes in temperature are dominated by clouds, not by greenhouse gasses.”

    Not to be picky on you Ed, but here’s some blogger peer review (maybe BPR–Blogger Peer Review–should be added to the glossary) : clouds are H2O. H2O is a greenhouse gas.

    Cooling from a greenhouse gas, hmm… interesting, huh.

  44. Predictive power? I’ve got plenty. Oulu will peak at approximately 6900 in mid-2010.

  45. Thanks Leif, regarding real-time nature of those charts.

    Of general interest, I went back and looked at the “Climax Corrected” values in the first chart – top of page (blue line) and sunspots (yellow). Herein the data points are monthly mean counts per hour per 1000 for the neutron monitor values over a 50+ year period. The five charts with the red lines (from Newark, McMurdo,…) are hour averages per 100 over six months.
    I’m learning to watch for these scale changes, including the occasional inverted scales in some of these posts. It does help to pay attention to details. Thanks to all the contributors here.

  46. I find these type of posts related to solar & related events to be so interesting, informative, and focused, especially in the comments that follow. Dr. Svalgaard does a terrific job in making points in easily to apprehend non-technical language.

    So, how much longer will it be before enough data is in and the minimum is officially declared? I understand that it’s usually about 6 mos after the minimum is reached before a pronouncement is made.

  47. Leif said:

    you can see a red dot near the bottom of the first graph. It is an hourly value that is ‘out of order’ probably due to some noise.

    But it may also be a real value. You cannot say it isn’t. After all, the real world can be just as noisy as the data is :-)

    Especially when things like cosmic rays and atomic processes are inherently random and statistical in nature.

  48. Yes Leif, I have seen your graph and understand your argument. But I don’t buy that slight up-curve in 10.7 as meaningful. We will need to wait another 6 months at least.

    And especially as we have no visual Sun spots, but there are two magneto-specks from SC23.

    Time will tell, as they say.

  49. “Aerosols: Many atmospheric aerosols are liquid droplets containing dissolved sea salt from sea spray, sulfuric acid (H2SO4), organic molecules from trees and plants, and other compounds.”

    Most ridicules, dissolved sea salt? In what?!

    It doesn’t go up with the evaporation of sea water and nor does the CO2.

    CO2 being heaver then air and as a matter of fact, comes down from the atmosphere when water vapor and other gases meet up with the galactic dust in the ionosphere. Electro chemical posses there creates a nuclei of particulate(salt, minerals, carbon 14, etc.) and CO2, chlorine that’s expelled as a by product and rains down on us literally, rain/fog /mist…. THIS Rain/fog/mist cannot form without that nuclei. They have some strange ideas about how the salt blowing up from storms on the oceans blows up into the atmosphere and to the edge of space to make it rain in land .

    When Evaporation or boiling takes place there is no salt in condensation of water, 0.

    Water vapor(#1 greenhouse gas, over 95%) is the main ingredient rising and hitting the ionosphere , only a small amount being expelled from fires/volcanoes/rotting logs/bogs/us.
    Ask yourself , how does CO2 a greenhouse gas 0.03 percent of the air , that is a heaver gas then air get up there? Forget about the idea of HC/CFC’s get up there and destroying ozone. We are told that our aerosol chlorine is killing ozone, but chlorine is being produced with other chemicals that can be found in rain and thousands of years ice core sample.

    Think about it, it goes from snow(or rain) on a mountain or higher altitude and then to a stream, then a river and finally empties it’s deposits of water soluble CO2 and salt into the oceans or basins. That’s why our oceans are salty and CO2 dissolved in it. Salt is not from the ground like many mineral deposits. Even meteorites have salt in them and so does the dust from the galaxy meeting up with our ionosphere.
    Bring in minerals(salts) and what not into our ionosphere. Look at the suns high activity in the summer months. The dust is pushed away by the suns heat or waves and more ozone is created, less high cloud. Winter months, more dust is able to get through(cold) and more gases that destroy the ozone are produced from the incoming dust, high clouds and more rain and cold.
    Depending on the area of our earth to the solar system in relation to our spinning galaxy that we are part of . The debris from our forward solar systems will guide our way, and maybe poison our way. All influence including debris/meteors are coming in, and through chemical electrolysis they have seeded the building blocks for life.

    Really, it’s the suns waves controlling it . It’s just that the suns inactivity can’t ward off the creation(or replacement) of nitrous oxide, carbon Dioxide, o3, salt ( in rain/fog/snow), carbon 14, molecules from the electro chemical processes and effect and halt the making of ozone, even in the summer.
    It’s not the other way around, suns heat/waves makes more ozone and the lack of sun hampers the making of ozone and thus CO2 levels go up. Also explaining the lag between the temperature rise and fall with CO2 ppm still climbing. Off gassing of CO2 with temperature rise will only raise the surface % of CO2, not the atmospheric. Of course more water vapor will be released up into the atmosphere at this time.

    Simply put, low sun activity, can’t push away the GD, we get cooler, and more acids/chlorine/CO2 are formed in the atmosphere and depleted(less) ozone is observed.

  50. Moscow is showing a sustained decrease??
    I was just there, ran it for mid 1996 to present @ daily, and Jan 2008 to present @ hourly, and I didn’t get any decrease.
    Perhaps you meant another monitor?
    I’m miffed.

  51. “Ray Harper UK (14:24:04) : Cosmic ray influence May I suggest you read “The Chilling Stars” by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder. The answers are all there.”

    I think we have to be like Willie Soon and say it’s not ALL about the sun and that we can’t reject the hypothesis that the sun effects earth’s climate system in some serious way.

    Here’s a nice video synopsis on cosmic particles :

  52. correction :

    Just Want Truth… (15:50:40) :

    “I think we have to be like Willie Soon and say it’s not ALL about the sun and that we can’t reject the hypothesis that the sun effects earth’s climate system in some serious way.”

    would be better to read

    “I think we have to be like Willie Soon and say–both– it’s not ALL about the sun and that we can’t reject the hypothesis that the sun effects earth’s climate system in some serious way.”

  53. Leif

    I seem to remember that you have stated that the decay of a solar cycle is fairly predictable, But the start of the next cycle cannot be reliably predicted. Is it accurate to say that because we are in uncharted territory in terms of the suns behavior that we cannot predict anything about SC24 from a plateau of CR rates ?.
    And when we see CR rates start to decline it implies that SC24 has begun to ramp 6-12 months prior ?.

    It seems like predicting the sun and the stock market have a lot in common. By the time you know for sure … its to late. BTW, I have enjoyed your contribution to this blog and you make us all smarter by just reading you!.

    Thanks

  54. Leif Svalgaard (08:57:25) :

    The cosmic modulation has a time shift of 6-12 months with respect to solar activity. This is because it takes the solar wind that long to fill the heliosphere [ 100 AU * 4 days per AU ], so if solar ‘minimum’ were 6 months ago, we should only begin to see a decrease in CRs about now or in the next few months.

    So you are saying that when we finally do see a decrease in galactic cosmic rays we can say that the solar sunspot number minimum occurred within the last year. Saying it another way, the SSN minimum predicts the next GCR maximum; not the other way around.

    –Mike Ramsey

  55. Question… I read somewhere that some of the present increase in the 10.7 flux may be related to the distance from the sun? In other words, all else being equal, we would expect to see an increase from July to Jan, and a corresponding decrease from Feb. to Jun.? I guess, if the sun remains quiet, we might find the answer in the next 6 months?

  56. “Predictive power? I’ve got plenty. Oulu will peak at approximately 6900 in mid-2010.”

    OK, lucia, let’s have a contest. Vote for Leif or Archibald (or Bateman, if he has a prediction). I’m betting on Archibald, because I want to see Leif wrong, once.

  57. So we are told not to look at only one station when evaluating the neutron count, and Moscow seems to be the one to avoid?

    Great work by Michael and the Roberts.

    Do we have a record from reliable stations that show the overall neutron trend since the 1970’s. Oulu certainly shows the neutron count at present going through the so called solar floor.

  58. There has to be a particular wavelength signature of GCM-formed water vapor. Its very rapid phase change in a small area.

  59. I’m late to the discussion, so perhaps I’v missed something. Been watching Moscow-Izmiran since 87. Regarding the morphology of the alternate SC profiles over entire record, I expected the shape SC 23 minimum to appear similar to SC19 and SC 21. SC 23 profile definately indicates a change of behavior of some solar process. Can someone offer an explanation?
    Anthony and Freinds: Congrats on a great Blog, and the lucid discussion.

  60. Anthony, I believe you have a picture of an ionization chamber where cosmic rays cause an electrical discharge though a gas between highly charged plates. You can see how the cosmic ray shower interacts with the metal plates. A cloud chamber does not have plates.

    The reason aerosols are needed is rarely mentioned. The reason water needs aerosols to cause condensation is because of the energy absorbed in the surface tension of a droplet. A very tiny droplet has a lot of surface area per unit volume and the surface energy from the surface tension can be higher than the condensation energy for a very small volume. In such a situation, the water will only condense on a pre-existing surface such as an existing droplet or some aerosol.

    The idea for seeding clouds to make rain depends on special conditions where seeding causes droplets to form, the heat of condensation causes the seeded parcel of air to remain warmer as it rises to a higher level and though an inversion layer. Hopefully an instability is created where more moist air follows the seeded parcel and a large cloud develops. This is not likely to work during a dry dusty drought where there is already lots of condensation aerosols.

  61. To which “dry dusty drought where there is already lots of condensation aerosols” are you referring??

    Like the warm-AMO induced drought in Georgia, USA…which is now starting to reverse??

    What is causing the reversal??

    NWS…..The ground across much of north and central Georgia remains
    moist from three to four inches of rain that fell on March
    1st. Additional rainfall of two to three inches could result
    in at least minor flooding of some creeks and streams into
    early next week. Several rivers and streams in central Georgia
    just fell below flood stage in the last couple of days. Some
    periods of urban flooding will also be possible through early
    Monday where heavier showers occur.

    Drowning here in VA….

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  62. Something has caused this stunning reversal from the dominant SE USA anticyclone over the past few years….and even in the dry January we had….to this…

    Cloud formation increases throughout solar minima…especially the ones that are significant….like 23.

    CHRIS
    Norfolk, VA

  63. SC24 will roll along the floor much the same way it did in 2008.

    The solar thermostat has been set to Low, and next winter will be even colder.
    Even if we ramped next month, the die for next winter is cast.
    This is just a layman communicating what he sees.
    The scientists who can do the math stuff are qualified to make predictions on Solar Cycle depth, breadth and start.
    I don’t see anything ramp inspiring, but I do see the results of extended Solar
    Paralysis in the natural world around me.
    SC24 max < 50.
    When is ramp? When the flux wave amplitude is sufficient to start hitting 80 uncorrected repeatedly. Rough guess is 3-4 months to get a running start at it. Sloughing off after perihelion will not get the job done.

  64. Robert Wood (11:09:00) : Ed Zuiderwijk @ 09:58:09
    I’m aware of the Earthshine project but cannot find any other attempts to monitor albedo.

    The latest Earthshine paper on this is
    Citation: Pallé, E., P. R. Goode, and P. Montañés-Rodríguez (2009), Interannual variations in Earth’s reflectance 1999–2007, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D00D03, doi:10.1029/2008JD010734.

    http://solar.njit.edu/preprints/palle1376.pdf

    The first diagram in Figure 2 on p.22 is very interesting.

    The paper mentions two other sources of albedo measurements : NASA’s CERES and the ISCCP FD product.
    I think you should be able to find both of these quite easily on the internet.

  65. Thanks. My personal confidence in the GSR cloud theory has been enhanced. So within the Planets>Sun>Earth model where Tidal forces (Solar System Barycenter) of the Gas Giants influence the Solar Cycle, then you add the better TSI data, add the moderation of the Oceans discussed here (PDO/AMO), and finally put a little faster acting positive feedback of GSR cloud formation. I would say even if you can get past the physics of AGW Theory … that factor in the equation would be stroked out to zero and called insignificant.

    It will take more time to digest all the other great comments.

  66. Leif,

    Unless I have totally misunderstood you in the recent past:

    You maintain that should a Dalton (or even Maunder) type event occur with
    Solar Cycles 24, 25, (and possibly 26) the effect on average global temperatures would be minimal, perhaps undetectable.

    Am I correct with the basics of the above statement?

    If so, then I am somewhat confused by this….

    This is hardly the sunspot crash that observations from 1645 to 1715 suggest. Back then, the appearance of even a single sunspot was major astronomical news, sparking hurriedly penned communications from one observatory to another. Nevertheless, it’s a sign of things to come. “Sunspot numbers will be extremely small, and when the sun crashes, it crashes hard,” says Svaalgard. “The upcoming sunspot crash could cause the Earth to cool”

    New Scientist magazine, 16 September 2006

    Granted the statement does not quantify the amount of potential cooling, yet it seems you felt it worthy or significant enough to mention.

    Please accept my word that I ask only as a matter of clarification and for no other purpose.

    Sincere Regards,
    Lee Kington

  67. Pierre Gosselin (09:28:16) :

    Wow!
    Thanks for the highly interesting and informative chapter on
    Cosmic Ray Flux.
    With every additional passing month of solar pacifism, the closer we get to the brink of another Dalton Minimum – or worse.

    And with the blatant bandwagon jumping of our collective politicians – we are completely unprepared for a cooling climate.

  68. Robert Bateman (19:37:11) :
    When is ramp? When the flux wave amplitude is sufficient to start hitting 80 uncorrected repeatedly.
    It is meaningless to use the uncorrected flux.

  69. To experience how potent seeding is, Pendleton periodically gets sprinkled with cloudless rain. Just West of us there is a strip of highway that has “Blowing Dust” warning signs (the big ones that stretch across the freeway). On a windy day that fine dust can end up quite high in the air in upwells that send it heavenward. The next day, we get cloudless rain.

  70. Robert Wood (15:30:08) :
    “you can see a red dot near the bottom of the first graph. It is an hourly value that is ‘out of order’ probably due to some noise.”
    But it may also be a real value. You cannot say it isn’t. After all, the real world can be just as noisy as the data is :-)
    Especially when things like cosmic rays and atomic processes are inherently random and statistical in nature.

    It is highly unlikely that it is real, precisely because of the random nature. In counting statistics the standard deviation is the square root of the count. The square root of 9580 is 98, and since the red dot is down at 9220, it is 3.67 sigma away from the average, which is extremely unlikely, see e.g. http://www.blackcatsystems.com/GM/experiments/ex4.html

    I did say ‘probably noise’. I should have said ‘highly probable’ :-)

  71. Rob S (17:00:44) :
    Is it accurate to say that because we are in uncharted territory in terms of the suns behavior that we cannot predict anything about SC24 from a plateau of CR rates ?.
    We are not in uncharted territory, and the CR are a poor predictor because they trail solar activity.

    And when we see CR rates start to decline it implies that SC24 has begun to ramp 6-12 months prior ?.
    Yes

    BTW, I have enjoyed your contribution to this blog and you make us all smarter by just reading you!.
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Mike Ramsey (17:07:49) :
    So you are saying that when we finally do see a decrease in galactic cosmic rays we can say that the solar sunspot number minimum occurred within the last year.
    Yes 6-12 months before. Probably 12 or even more, because people will only admit to the decrease long after it has started :-)

    Stephen (17:15:17) :
    I read somewhere that some of the present increase in the 10.7 flux may be related to the distance from the sun?

    The flux depends on the inverse square of the distance. It is silly to use the observed flux [largest in January, smallest in July] as a measure of solar activity, one must correct for the changing distance. It is NOT silly to use the observed flux as a measure of the excitation of the ionosphere and its impact on radio communication and satellite drag.

    Geoff Sharp (17:37:45) :
    Do we have a record from reliable stations that show the overall neutron trend since the 1970’s. Oulu certainly shows the neutron count at present going through the so called solar floor.
    Almost all stations are reliable, because the observers strive for that. Thule is run by the Bartol people at UDEL and is very good. Here is Thule since 1957:

    and here is Thule counts for the three odd-even minima:

    compare with Moscow counts:

    The counts have not been adjusted in the ‘vertical’ direction. The curves have been shifted to have the up-ramp match.

  72. Dr. Svalgaard,

    My apologies, you were correct about the Oulu and Moscow datasets correlating. Here is the as yet un-normalized data for the Oulu & Moscow Neutron Monitors, with a one (1) day sampling interval and corrected for barometric pressure.

    The Moscow NM graphic which was the source of my confusion is here:

    While this graphic is clearly the Moscow NM dataset which, is apparently being updated every 24 hours, a negative bias was introduced from an unknown source. Even the on demand graphic interface is a bit questionable, For the Moscow dataset, download the actual data and doing your own plots is the best option.

    From the following graphic with data from 2005 to present, I am not able to see any recent decrease in Oulu or Moscow cosmic ray activity. I did try several different best fits but they all suggested that cosmic ray activity is still increasing.

    I am going to down load the five UDEL stations and include them in my analysis. I will then try to duplicate your graphics. I found that the fractional year date format used by Oulu was very convenient and converted the Moscow dates to this format. I am also going to try different sampling intervals to determine if there is any impact on the results. I am doing everything in Excel and will share the files with anyone who is interested,

    I should note that there are 43 missing days in the Oulu dataset and 500 missing days in the Moscow dataset at a sample interval of 1 day. What sampling interval are you using?

    Mike

  73. The uncorrected is what gets published in the Solar Terrestrial Activity Report, along with the uncorrected (by SIDC) sunspot and Planetary A index.
    I could do a whole lot of work and still get the same answer by painstakingly re-graphing. The entire point I make is relative amplitude. Waves that range between 2 to 4 flux units high need to increase to 8-12 flux units high and sustain momentum.
    We don’t currently have enough airspeed to lower the flaps for takeoff.
    I looked back at all the available sunspot data that I could find and came up with that number. Then I went browsing around predictive models and found it again. It means something to somebody.
    We ain’t got no amplitude, we ain’t got no melody.
    Relative, that is.
    Somebody get inspired, plug those waves into a music making thing, and lets hear the tunes.

  74. Lee Kington (20:19:56) :
    You maintain that should a Dalton (or even Maunder) type event occur with Solar Cycles 24, 25, (and possibly 26) the effect on average global temperatures would be minimal, perhaps undetectable.
    The temperature will drop ~0.1 of a degree. If there are significant feedback as some people claim perhaps twice that, although I’m doubtful of that. I would say 0.1.

    “Sunspot numbers will be extremely small, and when the sun crashes, it crashes hard,” says Svaalgard. “The upcoming sunspot crash could cause the Earth to cool”
    Granted the statement does not quantify the amount of potential cooling, yet it seems you felt it worthy or significant enough to mention.

    It is so nice that ‘could’ is a weasel word, but even 0.1 degree seems to be what people consider significant nowadays. From
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/hadcrut-in-how-far-off-the-projections-based-on-anomalies/ Comment#10595:

    “If I calculate correctly, the HadCRUt trends are:
    Jan 2000-Jan 2009 = 0.0135
    Jan 2001-Jan 2009 = -0.1125″

    So there much-trumpeted recent cooling is of that magnitude.

  75. Michael Ronayne (21:55:40) :
    What sampling interval are you using?
    I download the highest I can get. Usually one hour. But because of the diurnal variation on CR intensity it makes more sense to compute daily values, so I do that. There is also a 27-day variation, so for some analysis it is better to work with 27-day averages, or monthly [which gives very nearly the same results].

    Robert Bateman (22:00:24) :
    The uncorrected is what gets published in the Solar Terrestrial Activity Report, along with the uncorrected (by SIDC) sunspot and Planetary A index.
    The sunspot number is not corrected for distance [it should, but we don't know how to]. A index and F10.7 should be corrected if solar activity is sought, but the radio amateurs [the DX people that use Solar Activity Report] don’t care about true solar activity, they want the uncorrected value as that is what affects radio communication.
    I keep an updated graph of corrected TSI and F10.7 at http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png so no painful re-graphing needed for real-time monitoring.
    The official F10.7 values [both observed and adjusted] can be found here: ftp://ftp.geolab.nrcan.gc.ca/data/solar_flux/daily_flux_values/current.txt

  76. If Leif Svalgaard says it is true then it must be true!

    I sometimes wonder why we even bother to collect scientific data from the Sun, since there is no room for ambiquity in the way in which this data is interpreted. As far as Leif Svalgaard is concerned it is all back and white.

    If the interpratation doesn’t agree with Leif Svalgaard’s (all knowing) interpretation then it is simply dismissed as hot air.

    From a person who is definietly not a member of the Leif Svalgaard avid fan club!

  77. Some observations on the solar-cloud theories, solar minimums and global temperatures:

    Firstly, we ought to be more interested in what is happening in the Arctic and in particular the North Atlantic, than some global mean – this region is acutely sensitive to what the sun is up to and to cloud patterns. The area between Iceland and Norway is crucial – what happens here feeds back to the whole Northern Hemisphere.

    There are two candidate processes at work and they would interact. At solar minimum, there is an effect on the polar vortex and the jetstream which directs storm tracts and hence cloud banks. There is a tendency to form high pressure systems in the Arctic and these interplay with the high pressure systems further south around the Azores. When the Arctic highs predominate, the jetstream moves south, westerly winds into northern Europe are blocked, and the continent cools as it is no longer warmed by the Atlantic. Cloud banks also move south.

    Thus, although during a solar minimum, cosmic-ray induced global cloudiness may increase (by 3%) above the solarmaximum, the spatial pattern is probably more important. In the Arctic, the air is cold with not so much water vapour – between 1980-2000, cloud cover over the Beaufort Sea and polar ice sheet increased by 14% (State of the Arctic Report) most likely as consequence of the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation carrying moisture in over Alaska and the Bering Sea – this cloud radiates heat downward and melts ice, which also gets warm water underneath from the warming North Atlantic current coming from Norway – hence the strong melt-down until 2007 and the slight reversal now that the PDO has shifted phase and Arctic highs are re-establishing themselves – bringing freezing conditions to North America and recently to Western Europe.

    When cloud shifts south from seas north of 60N, their insulating effect is lost and warm water is exposed to the night sky and this dominates over extra sunlight and the water cools – further south, less cloud would lead to warming due to more sunlight at the surface.

    (If I knew how to interpose a diagram here, I could show the two main ocean gyres where ‘global warming’s accumulated heat from 1980-2002 was stored at depth in the north Pacific and north Atlantic gyres – the Pacific gyre has now lost that heat and the Atlantic will follow in a few years – Anthony, can you mail me on that?)

    In a prolonged solar minimum, this transient effect becomes continuous. So I think Leif will be proven wrong (probably the only time!) – a Dalton type minimum might lower global T by 0.1C (more in the northern, and likely a warming in the southern for reasons I don’t yet understand), but a Maunder Minimum would bring 0.5-1C global and 2-3C in some regions of the northern hemisphere.

    The main issue at stake here with ‘global cooling’ is that the world’s food surplus, upon which 67 countries rely, is dependent upon northern grain harvests – these get afflicted by cool wet summers and cold winters, leading to short growing seasons and fungal rot.

    Eastern countries less in the IPCC loop, seem to appreciate the power of solar cycles and the prospect of such cooling. The sovereign funds of China, Russia and some Middle Eastern states have been buying up millions of acres of productive land in Madagascar, Paraguay and Cambodia – where subsistence peasants have little political clout.

  78. I could have sworn the theory was that the solar magnetic field protected us from GCR’s, not the solar wind. Changes in the magnetic field will propogate outwards at the speed of light.

  79. Dr. Svalgaard,

    The following chart is for the Moscow Neutron Monitor from January 1, 2006 through March 15, 2009 with a sampling interval of one day. The minor tic-marks on the X-Axis are in 1/12 of years, not months. As you suggested, the plot was split into two sections before and after November 1, 2008. A liner trend line was plotted for the data from November 1, 2008 to March 15, 2009.

    While the fitted liner trend line has a negative slope, the data is so variable that I would want a large sample size before rushing to any conclusions. Adjusting the starting and ending dates would significantly alter the results. From my prospective the data still looks like we are at a plateau. Let’s continue to track the Moscow NM using this metric.

    I will continue to use a one day sampling interval when plotting data. Would other dates be of interest?

    Mike

  80. So, the variations in energy from the sun do not have a significant direct impact on global temperature according to Leif.

    Leif does however accept the possibility of amplifying factors but the solar changes seem to be so small that even an amplification of several multiples would itself be very small.

    As far as I can tell Leif is also doubtful about AGW.

    Does Leif have any personal opinions or professional views on what it is that primarily causes global temperatures to vary as observed ?

    It’s all very well having such a high ‘standard’ that every possibility is excluded but that does not assist in making progress or identifying the areas of science where effort and expense would best be directed.

  81. Dr. Svalgaard,

    Using the criteria which were applied to the Moscow Neutron Monitor, I evaluated the behavior of the Oulu Neutron Monitor before and after November 1, 2008. A liner trend line was plotted for the time period from November 1, 2008 to March 15, 2009.

    The Oulu NM continues to show a strong increase in cosmic ray activity through March 15, 2009. But again, the sample size is too small to rush to any conclusions at this time. It will be interesting to apply the same test to the UDEL NM stations.

    Question: Would it be reasonable to assume that all Neutron Monitoring stations would exhibit the same Solar Minimum signal at the same time?

    Mike

  82. MarkW (04:11:15) :
    Changes in the magnetic field will propagate outwards at the speed of light.

    No, because the heliosphere is filled with a highly electrically conducting plasma. A change of the magnetic field will induce a current in the plasma that has a magnetic field opposing the change [ http://www.magnet.fsu.edu/education/community/slideshows/eddycurrents/index.html ]. These changes can travel outwards as an Alfven wave [speed about 40 km/s], but actually get here eleven times faster because the supersonic [Mach 11] solar wind drags the frozen-in magnetic field with it at 440 km/s on average. The result is that it takes 149,600,000/440 seconds = 3.93 days for a magnetic field change to travel to the Earth and 90*3.93 days =0.97 years to traverse the 90 AU to the heliosphere termination shock.

    Stephen Wilde (05:38:10) :
    It’s all very well having such a high ’standard’ that every possibility is excluded but that does not assist in making progress or identifying the areas of science where effort and expense would best be directed.
    Not every possibility is excluded. In solving a complex problem you have in front of you a ‘decision tree’ with many branches. Progress is made by lopping off branches. If in that process you find that you have lopped off all the branches, it simply means that you don’t have enough information, data, or theory at this point to solve the problem.

  83. Michael Ronayne (05:57:39) :
    Question: Would it be reasonable to assume that all Neutron Monitoring stations would exhibit the same Solar Minimum signal at the same time?

    No, because different stations sample CRs of different energy [sorted by the Earth's magnetic field that varies with location]. The solar modulation of CRs also depends on the energy of the CRs, with lower energies modulated the most. In addition, there are local atmospheric conditions [e.g. temperature in the stratosphere] that are different from station to station, as well as atmospheric pressure [which also depends] on altitude. The pressure changes are routinely corrected for in a crude way by subtracting a count of 46 for each millimeter of Hg increase in pressure [for Thule]. This relation is not quite linear, but let’s ignore that complication for now.
    So, if you look in great detail every station will be slightly different in counts and in trend and solar ‘minimum’ [or CR maximum actually] will occur at slightly different times.

  84. Ninderthana, learn from Leif, understand his principles of solar observation and physics and present a different view. In my reading, Leif is not on WUWT to shut people up, but to offer his expertise and to hold alternative views to the highest scientific standards. He is going to be wrong at some time. Won’t that be fun. Less batching and more debating is WUWTs style. As for me, of course “it” is the sun — that gives us most warmth. But how that warmth is distributed in earth’s dynamic, chaotic oceanic-atmospheric-terrestrial “system” is the question, along with geothermal and GCR input. And what is still unknown? I think we are on a wild ride that is at least an E-ticket, if you know what I mean.

  85. Lance (15:45:09) : “Aerosols: Many atmospheric aerosols are liquid droplets containing dissolved sea salt from sea spray, sulfuric acid (H2SO4), organic molecules from trees and plants, and other compounds.”

    Most ridicules, dissolved sea salt? In what?!

    It sounds ridiculous, but is actually true. Have you ever gone to the shore and notice by the smell that you are getting close? That’s dissolved sea salt as an aerosol. Also, there are certain cave features (e.g., popcorn) that can only be accounted for by deposition of salts from the air.

    –Mark

  86. Michael Ronayne (05:57:39) :
    assume that all Neutron Monitoring stations would exhibit the same Solar Minimum signal at the same time?
    Daily values for Thule thru February look like this:

    March and April might be enough to settle the matter.

    The solar wind now is not much different from what it was back in 1965: http://www.leif.org/research/Solar%20Wind%201963-now.png so we would expect CRs to behave like they did at that minimum [also coming in to a low cycle, BTW]. Moscow and Thule plots confirm that CR now is very near to the peaks in 1965 and 1987, so we would expect that we have reached that peak now as well:
    http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRayFlux2.png for Moscow
    http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRayFlux5.png for Thule

    Whether or not the peak value will be the same is, of course, the interesting question. Different stations have slightly different long term trends as I have discussed, so one has to look at MANY stations to get a good picture. The overall picture is that there is no long-term trend in the peak values. This is expected as there is no long-term trend in solar wind parameters either.

    The Sun could show us otherwise and we would learn something, but if the past is a guide to the future, the Sun is just on track and there does not seem to be a surprise looming. Wishing that there would be a surprise is not science, but what a treat if we get one.

  87. Anthony – as a medical science writer and editor of instructional materials, I found your post to be outstanding (can’t underline, but would!). It educated those of us who are REALLY laypeople. Why? Your writing was CLEAR and progressively built a case so that we could understand your post. As such, you informed, defined terms well, and provided clear data to illustrate your points. Bottom line: you established the necessary knowledge base to solidly make your point that the solar minimum for cycle 23 has not been yet reached.

    Given the posts in your blog and Joe D’Aleo’s columns about the extended duration of cycle 23, looks like we could be in for some – ah – “interesting” times. Obviously, time will tell.

    Look forward to more of WUWT’s continuing education 100 and 200 courses in the future!

    Many thanks!
    Bob W.

  88. Robert Bateman (08:40:59) :
    What do you know of the foF2 measurement?

    It is a measure of the maximum radio frequency that can be reflected by the F2-region of the ionosphere at vertical incidence.
    The frequency depends on the EUV flux and is thus a kind of proxy for that flux, i.e. varies with the solar cycle.
    Many people have studied the long-term trend of foF2 and they find inconsistent results: at some stations it increases, at others [most, actually] it decreases [but very little], at some there is no change. It has been suggested that trace gases of anthropogenic origin plays a role; even earthquakes have been proposed. Here is more: http://www2.udec.cl/~eovalle/Articulo4.pdf
    But be advised that there is no consensus on this problem.

  89. Peter Taylor (03:22:17) :
    The main issue at stake here with ‘global cooling’ is that the world’s food surplus, upon which 67 countries rely, is dependent upon northern grain harvests – these get afflicted by cool wet summers and cold winters, leading to short growing seasons and fungal rot.
    The sovereign funds of China, Russia and some Middle Eastern states have been buying up millions of acres of productive land in Madagascar, Paraguay and Cambodia – where subsistence peasants have little political clout.

    Well stated!

  90. Is Svensmark the source for the theories about cosmic rays / cloud formation? Or only one of the more recent sources?

    The Wilson Cloud Chamber (1927) shown above, was surely used to extrapolate theories about atmospheric cloud formation (?)

    Albedo, to the best of my knowledge, is also not new or unique to his work?

    What aspect of his work specifically merits the subtitle “A New Theory of Climate Change” ?

  91. jae (17:33:17) :
    because I want to see Leif wrong, once.
    Being wrong is how one learns. I have learned a lot. My most blatant mistake can be seen on page 2 of http://www.leif.org/research/GC31B-0351-F2007.pdf where I suggested that the Sun’s open magnetic field had doubled over the past century [or most of it, anyway]. Other people fell into the same trap as I [e.g. Lockwood et al.]. Science is, however, self-correcting and in due time mistakes get corrected as the link describes.
    With reference to my reply to S. Wilde, the ‘doubling’ was a branch that was pruned away.

  92. Regarding comments made RE our website (http://www.nwra-az.com/):

    1. The effective-SSN is not based on solar flux except indirectly, This is derived from analysis of ionospheric density observations only. It reflects both the impact of the solar EUV radiation and geomagnetic activity on ionospheric density, as well as things such as tides in the neutral winds at ionospheric altitudes.

    2. While plots on our site show F10 increasing since August, that could be just the earth-to-sun distance effect. We plot the raw F10, not the F10 corrected to 1AU, the latter being more germane to this discussion.

  93. Jim (09:38:25) :
    1. The effective-SSN is not based on solar flux except indirectly, This is derived from analysis of ionospheric density observations only.
    So the effective SSN must also be corrected to 1 AU. Is that done? Or is it not needed, because the quantity of interest is precisely the eSSN that would directly influence the Earth?

  94. Benjamin P. – As stated previously “The Chilling Stars” is an excellent book to educate you on Svensmark’s work. However, in the interim you want want to look at this introductory paper:

    http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geu45CGXtJAYIA2AhXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTBybnZlZnRlBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkAw–/SIG=14iqdtm42/EXP=1232890562/**http%3a//www.spacecenter.dk/research/sun-climate/Scientific%2520work%2520and%2520publications/svensmark_2007cosmoClimatology.pdf

    With all this talk of continuing low solar activity and record high GCR levels, I’m still waiting to see some more recent data on global cloudiness levels. The proof will be in the pudding – it’s time to fish or cut bait!

  95. Leif: If the cosmic rays have positive charge. I wonder ….. where are the electrons?
    sorry

  96. Fernando (14:04:34) :
    If the cosmic rays have positive charge. I wonder ….. where are the electrons?
    They are running around in the cosmos too, but since an electron is 1836 times lighter than a proton, it carries a lot less energy and can’t penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere as easily as the nuclei.
    The Ulysses COSPIN/KET experiment was measuring cosmic ray electrons.

  97. I saw the same question with the Solar Wind. Yes, the Solar wind is neutral, electrical, although the charges are dissociated. However, the mass of the electron is just so much smaller than the proton, that we only need consider protons (and neutrons).

  98. Leif Svalgaard @ 10:42:43

    I would suggest we keep the SSN just as it always has been, so we can maintain the utility of the historical record. I know we can now see more Sun spots than previously, but there are projects out there to calibrate the old instruments to today’s modern ones.

    How are they going?

  99. Robert Wood (15:57:41) :
    that we only need consider protons (and neutrons).
    Neutron only lives 15 minutes and are not really part of the solar wind. There are no free neutron in the Sun or the solar wind, except for a VERY small number transiently generated in various explosions.

    Robert Wood (16:00:11) :
    I would suggest we keep the SSN just as it always has been, so we can maintain the utility of the historical record.
    We’ll keep the concept of the SSN, but the old values can be adjusted to be correct, at least.

    How are they going?
    We do not fiddle with the old ones, but try to adjust the values of the SSN to the same scale as modern ones. Only if we do that [and that is ongoing - at least I'm working on it in my copious spare time] does the historical series have meaning.

  100. I would suggest 2 samples to reconcile old vs modern SSN’s:
    1.) upgrade the old records.
    2.) downgrade the new records.
    Compare them. What is lost?
    Is the uncertainty growing in old sample?
    I’d like to see what it looks like. There are 3 distinct types of recording that I am aware of. SIDC has already upgraded some of the earlier methods.
    My concern is that the results of several upgradings might be to erase the unique identity of older cycles, and thereby make part of the record opaque to changing patterns.
    When Eddy looked at the originals of the old cycles (pre SC series) he found them done in meticulous detail. How will that information be preserved?

  101. Jim: Nice to see you here. I find that the information your foF2 is giving is that activity that we find normally with direct SSN, plus in this unusual time that activity which is off the radar (submerged as some call it).
    Corrected to 1 AU or not, it’s something nobody else I know of keeps an eye on. From my ploddings about your site, I get that the daily value of foF2 is an average from as many stations as report for the day.
    Someday I’d like to do a stitched graph for a year or so.

  102. Robert Bateman (18:16:54) :
    My concern is that the results of several upgradings might be to erase the unique identity of older cycles, and thereby make part of the record opaque to changing patterns.
    Some of the unique identity of older cycles is just wrong and should not be preserved; that is the whole point.

    When Eddy looked at the originals of the old cycles (pre SC series) he found them done in meticulous detail. How will that information be preserved?
    Since the old files and series are still available, nothing is lost.

    You can see the difference here:

    http://www.leif.org/research/CAWSES%20-%20Sunspots.pdf

    and here:

    http://www.leif.org/research/Napa%20Solar%20Cycle%2024.pdf

    The ‘correction’ is a simple mapping from old to new [which can go in both directions for that matter].

  103. Ninderthana (02:57:19) made the somewhat bitter comment that: “If Leif Svalgaard says it is true then it must be true!”

    To which I respond: Leif projects as a most reasonable gentleman on WUWT? who has that precious attribute of suffering fools gladly whilst at the same time maintaining his integrity by displaying a firm basic honesty. I have never seen him demand agreement with his own views; only offer science in opinion and demonstration to be valued as the reader sees fit.

    I admire this man for those reasons, and gain much because of them.

  104. Roger Carr wrote:

    “I have never seen him demand agreement with his own views; only offer science in opinion and demonstration to be valued as the reader sees fit.”

    Yeah but that is a little bit of ***-kissing that i probably doubt even Leif himself would approve.

    No need to defend the defender. Stop the person-worship here.

    No need to defend the truth. Dr. S’s approach weeds out the weaker theories. We get it.

    Back to science: Would love to hear more of the commentary from Jim. Agreed with Bateman….nice to see you here. Regarding comments made RE our website (http://www.nwra-az.com/):

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  105. savethesharks (19:08:50) accuses me of “Yeah but that is a little bit of ***-kissing that i probably doubt even Leif himself would approve.”

    Sometimes, savetheharks, the obvious needs to be stated. This is a case where I believe it was needed, and even though it has brought your puerile response I stand by what I said.

  106. Nice word $60,000 word “puerile”. Gave me a good laugh.

    The worst thing about these blogs is that people can hide behind their computer screens and hurl personal insults using such incendiary words.

    Well….back to TOPIC:

    Would really like to hear what JIM from his site http://www.nwra-az.com/): has to say about if whether or not we have hit the solar minimum yet and more commentary on the site. Very interesting. Would be stoked to hear more of what you had to say!!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  107. Roger Carr (19:27:27) :
    savethesharks (19:08:50) accuses me of “Yeah but that is a little bit of ***-kissing that i probably doubt even Leif himself would approve.”

    Sometimes, savetheharks, the obvious needs to be stated. This is a case where I believe it was needed, and even though it has brought your puerile response I stand by what I said.

    Easy, folks, easy… It is said [from both sides] so let it be.

  108. Muzzle on. :)

    Well….back to TOPIC:

    Would really like to hear what JIM from his site http://www.nwra-az.com/): has to say about if whether or not we have hit the solar minimum yet and more commentary on the site. Very interesting. Would be stoked to hear more of what you had to say!!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  109. savethesharks (19:36:56) wrote: “…people can hide behind their computer screens and hurl personal insults using such incendiary words.”

    Not hiding, Chris. Real name. All relevant details easy to find on a Google search.

  110. AGAIN….back to the thread topic at hand:

    Would really like to hear what JIM from his site http://www.nwra-az.com/): has to say about if whether or not we have hit the solar minimum yet and more commentary on the site.

    Very interesting. Would be stoked to hear more of what you had to say!!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  111. Rob S (17:00:44) : It seems like predicting the sun and the stock market have a lot in common. By the time you know for sure … its to late.

    It doesn’t have to be too late 8-)

    They have far more in common than you might imagine… Not the least of which is that the stock market has a fairly decent correlation with the solar activity level! Just look at the present sleeping sun and moribund market for the latest example…

    FWIW, I think that many of the tools / indicators developed for tracking stocks could probably be of some benefit in climate analysis. For example, in stock markets you draw trend lines above or below the price graph connecting either the peaks on the top side of a trend or the bottoms of the valleys on the downsides. You look for a “failure to advance”. A “higher high” that isn’t higher or a “lower low” that isn’t lower. That typically is a reversal point (i.e. a top or a bottom). Right now the AGW folks have a “failure to advance” on their hands since the 1998 high has not been surpassed (in stock terms, the “prior high has not been penetrated”. The trend is broken. You can think of this as the average slope going to zero and looking at a 10 year moving average line you would see zero slope now.

    As expected they are cooking up all kinds of excuses – just as owners of a stock cook up all kinds of excuses for why they ought to keep on holding that stock (while the traders are selling out – called “distribution phase” by traders).

    Traders use various averages (just as climate folks do); but the traders recognize that “Averages hide more than they reveal. -e.m.smith” and use them to remove information that is confounding the trade decision; where the AGW folks think averages add information somehow.

    Traders are very interested in indicators that get past the timing lag you mentioned. That is why Simple Moving Averages are good at postdiction, but usually too late for prediction. There are lots of attempts to cure this. The Exponential Moving Average is the most common (latest data gets added weight). Taking two moving averages and comparing them gives a fairly reliable signal much sooner (The MACD – Moving Average Convergence Divergence) and there are a variety of magic hand waving indicators that look for changes in the lows of the day vs the highs of the day (trying to find a failure of the highs to make new highs even if the average did; or looking for the lows to make new lows (or not make them) even as the highs march on.) Ultimate Oscillator, Williams %R, Slow Stochastic, there’s a long list. Most of them useful to some degree.

    I would expect something similar to work with climate (and so do other folks who intuitively “get it” by asking if there have been new high records made – the first sign of cooling ought to be failure to advance of the highs, even if the lows are still ‘catching up’ as the energy absorbed to date soaks in…)

    One of my biggest annoyances with the whole approach to climate modeling is that it is based from the outset on broken data that have had too much information removed by averaging. The high / low of the day are averaged. (Now you lose all that valuable divergence data inside the day and the failure to advance of the highs vs lows and more …) then these are averaged into a monthly average. (Now you lose all moving average data and rate of change data for the month). Then these are averaged over many geographies (and you lose what in stock terms would be the “sector” information – in climate terms the U.K. might well be a “leading sector” due to the influence of the North Atlantic peculiarities; and that is lost..) By the time you are done it will take a decade to see a new trend. THEN they go and average it to a single global annual anomaly! There’s no information left in it at all by then.

    So I look at what is done to the data and just cringe. If it was stock data and you tried to predict the market with the average of all daily high and low price for stocks averaged over all stocks and averaged over the month and over all markets and sectors you could never make a trade. There is nothing left to inform you of anything. You would just be dancing in the error bands of your math. And that is precisely what GIStemp does.

    Frankly, while the utility of climate to making trades got me interested to begin with; it is the incredibly crude way the data are handled that caused my jaw to drop and compelled me to look inside the GIStemp code. (Which just make me shudder even more!)

    The best indicators use all the available data. Open, High, Low, Close for the day (for temps I’d use High, Low, Time Of Observation) and combine them in ways that let you extract something useful. (For example, when the highs fail to advance, but the lows are just catching up to them, then the lows start to drop away while the highs continue to not advance and the averages have still not moved much there are indicators that make a big noise about this.) They are calling a top, a “failure to advance” in almost real time. You can’t do that with monthly averages of daily averages of highs and lows…

    If anyone wants to look at some examples of such indicators I show how to use them here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/indicators/

    If you see one you like, a google of it with the words “stock indicator” will likely lead you to a page that describes how they are constructed (or I can find it for you if you get stuck). So “google MACD stock indicator” ought to get you more than you want ;-)

    The bottom line is that stocks, solar activity, and weather are all trying to predict semi-stochastic systems with metastable points (stochastic resonance effects) and high noise to signal ratio. But one heck of a lot more time, money, and brainpower has been spent trying to predict markets. Personally, I think markets are harder conceptually (since there is little like physics under them – it is more psychology and a bit of economics) but better predicted(!). Dozens of traders do it regularly. (Not your average guy, the professional traders. I’ve done OK at it and I’ve taught a couple of friends, so it’s a transferable skill.)

    On this page:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/daily-financial-stock-market/

    There is a daily chart. The indicators on it say to me that tomorrow ought to be a down day. I would further predict that the week will end to the up side (based on a longer time cycle chart, a 1 year daily chart). We’ll see if some news item blows up that prediction, but I’ve made it (actually as of last night…). We are headed up, but will take a downdraft pause, then resume the up trend. (Prices are fractal. Even longer term, we are in a bear market headed down long term. While it’s just a bit too soon to call the bear dead – I have a specific tool for that – we have had a “failure to advance” to the downside in many sectors.) The ‘hard part’ is picking a time frame in that price fractal to trade and sticking with it.

    You see a very similar sliding time scale in the AGW biz. Is the “climate” colder now that this year is colder? That it hasn’t gotten colder on average in a decade? That the PDO has had a 30 year cycle? It’s always getting warmer and colder, but on what time scale? The 1500 year climate cycle? Rarely is it mentioned… No, they just move out the start date prediction for sunspots and say the “failure to advance” was just cold weather this year. Same psychology, different fields. In stock trading it’s a rookie mistake. The market wisdom is “Never turn a trade into an investment!” I.e. keep you time scale on trades set at short -days or less – and don’t drift.

    So both stocks and weather have a series of nested cycles too! 10 year biz cycle, more or less synchronized with sunspots; 1 year weather cycle; quarterly reporting cycle; weekly cycle (traders close out on Friday tending to reverse the weekly trend Friday afternoon). You can drive yourself nuts with cyclomania in both fields…

    I’d better stop now or I’ll blow a gasket over this… But there are many similarities and I’m certain that the AGW folks are making rookie mistakes for the same reason novice stock traders make the same mistakes from similar types of data series.

    FWIW, you can make money if your prediction are right more than wrong to only a modest percentage. You just need to tilt the win / loss ratio to a small positive value. I’m happy with about 3 right for 2 wrong, but I’m frequently more right than that. It’s the execution that’s the hard part… I’ve predicted many more correctly than I was willing or able to put money down. And most of my big losses were in things I predicted would go down; but talked myself into holding “because I knew better”… Hubris – that’s another mistake the AGW folks are making… and I know it well…

  112. Lief: the ssn graph in

    http://www.leif.org/research/Napa%20Solar%20Cycle%2024.pdf

    there is some trouble there.
    We know from literary records that the 1790’s were brutally cold. Much writing and no secret. SC4 probably had a 2nd peak halfway down, in the position you have as a flat line (black). This cycle is already bumped up to what you indicate on the STAR graphs, same as SIDC Belgium. It may already be in error. That is sad because it shortens and diminishes the very records that we need all we can get of.

    The resistance you are getting is the tendency of old works once remodeled is to be forgotten and discarded. They may exist in archives somewhere, but if they are seen as outmoded the level of care will fall off.
    Caltech was horrified to find that the POSS plates were not well handled or stored. A lot of effort was compromised. The newer CCD based data had reduced importance and care of the polymer plates. I’ve seen the results of this in the digitizations. Had their importance not fallen off, data would not have been destroyed.
    It may be that some of the discrepancy in the SSN data for the early days is just such happenstance. Lost due to copying of data to journals leading to great uncertainties when original works thought safe in other places likewise disappeared. The left hand did not know what would become of the right hand, and vice versa. Both suffered.
    Yes, I see the resistance, I see also what you are trying to accomplish, and I see the pitfalls.
    I know you are going to do this, so please, do keep in mind the human element that has led to grief in lost, misplaced or damaged records.

  113. Roger Carr (18:53:12) :
    Ninderthana (02:57:19) made the somewhat bitter comment that: “If Leif Svalgaard says it is true then it must be true!”

    To which I respond: Leif projects as a most reasonable gentleman on WUWT? who has that precious attribute of suffering fools gladly whilst at the same time maintaining his integrity by displaying a firm basic honesty.

    While I agree with and second most all of what you said, I would suggest that some times his suffering is not so glad while at others it has a bit more glee than one might expect 8-)

    (Sorry, I just can’t resist a good set-up! )

  114. “It sounds ridiculous, but is actually true. Have you ever gone to the shore and notice by the smell that you are getting close? That’s dissolved sea salt as an aerosol. Also, there are certain cave features (e.g., popcorn) that can only be accounted for by deposition of salts from the air.”

    –Mark

    You’re joking, salt does not evaporate into the air. And “WTH” Aerosol are you talking about? Ridicules yes, because if what you say is true all rain should smell like sea salt, no that’s just nitrates and sulfur coming off the sea bed.

    Water vapor is pure, unless it hits a nuclei, then it’s a rain drop that’s formed, then passing through the ground to hallows and caves.

    http://www.nps.gov/archive/wica/Speleothems.htm

    Speleothems
    The different types of features that decorate the cave are collectively called cave formations or speleothems.
    Most of the speleothems in the cave form by similar processes. The water passes downward through the soil above the limestone, absorbs carbon dioxide, and becomes acidic. As a weak acid, the water is able to dissolve a small amount of the limestone rock as it passes through cracks and pores on its journey down into the cave. As this water drips into the air-filled cave, dissolved carbon dioxide is given off. Because the water has lost carbon dioxide, it cannot hold as much dissolved calcium. The excess calcium is them precipitated on the cave walls and ceilings to make up many of the different kinds of formations.

    Popcorn commonly forms in one of two ways in the cave:

    “where water seeps uniformly out of the limestone wall and precipitates calcite; or, when water drips from the walls or ceilings of the cave and the water splashes on the floor or on ledges along the walls. This splashing action causes loss of carbon dioxide and the subsequent precipitation of calcite.”

    A gas concentration forming the calcite.

    I think what gas you may be talking about is “frostwork”

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

    “The origin of frostwork is somewhat controversial. Formation of cave frostwork has been attributed to moist, circulating air which, containing dissolved calcium carbonate, drifted against rock surfaces and coated them with the delicate crystals. Frostwork has also been attributed to water seepage from cave passageways in which there are relatively high evaporation rates.”
    This is just heavy gas like CO2 concentrated in limestone making calcium carbonate be bubbling up into the cave from moister/ heat and forming carbonate crystals.

    But like I said, rain drops/snow have the salt/CO2 in it already, so the reasonable assumption is that the great majority makes it to the caves, streams, rivers, oceans. Not going back up into the atmosphere to cause AGW.
    Co2(

    1.5189)
    is close in specific gravity propane(
    1.5219)
    That’s why it hangs low to the ground .

    Sulfur dioxide : or SO2
    2.26
    , belongs to the family of sulfur oxide gases (SOx). These gases dissolve easily in water. Sulfur is prevalent in all raw materials, including crude oil, coal, and ore that contains common metals like aluminum, copper, zinc, lead, and iron. 

    All gases are measured with air being 1.0 specific gravity , so I hope you get the picture, heavy gas doesn’t go up into the air. It seeks out the lowest equilibrium, then coasts and is absorbed…

  115. Rodger Carr,

    Haven’t you ever wondered why Leif Svalgaard spend so much time on excellent blogs like this trying to put out spot fires to make sure that great unwashed are not led astray.

    No one questions Leif’s scientific credentials which are suburb. However, I and many others who read this Blog question the certitude with which he dismisses arguements or interpretations that disagree with his own.
    Science is not about “one truth” which is explained by one person who acts as the filter of “all truth”.

    Leif (and anyone else who works in the field of climate science or solar physics) knows that there are often many different interpretations
    of the obseravtions and data. Curently, they are not being heard here because
    of Leif’s efforts at subtly shutting down scientific debate. I am suspect that Leif is not consciously aware of his effect on the debate but some one has to say this while acknowledging the excellent contributions that Leif makes to the overall discussion.

    While I would be the first to admit that Leif does a wonderful Job at explaining the Science for the non-specialists, I am not a great admirer
    of the way in which he effectively shuts down any speculative discussions that do not agree with his narrow interpretaion of the facts.

    By claiming to be an innocent by-stander who is just trying to help explain the Science involved, Leif subtly diverts attention away from the fact that he acts as a gate-keeper to what can and cannot be said on this blog.

    I am sure that Leif is a fine man who has the best of intentions but someone has to point out that it is possibe to have different views
    and interpretations from him and base these on relatively sound scientific principles.

    I hope that Leif does not offense at my comments because
    this blog would substantially poorer if it were not for his contributions.

    Reply: If anything, Leif may wonder why you think his credentials are suburban ~ charles the moderator

  116. Robert Bateman (22:07:46) :
    We know from literary records that the 1790’s were brutally cold. Much writing and no secret.
    That it was cold has no bearing on the Sunspot Number.

    SC4 probably had a 2nd peak halfway down, in the position you have as a flat line (black).
    There is no good evidence for that. On the contrary, the newly digitized Staudacher drawings [ http://www.leif.org/research/Staudacher-1.pdf http://www.leif.org/research/Staudacher-2.pdf ] show clearly that there is no ‘lost cycle’. Gilpin’s measurements of the diurnal variation of the Declination in London http://www.leif.org/research/Gilpin.png likewise show that there is increase in the SSN in the 1790s.

    The problem I have with your statement is the word ‘probably’. Available data show otherwise as I have just shown, so why ‘probably’?:

    The resistance you are getting is the tendency of old works once remodeled is to be forgotten and discarded.
    Read the introduction in http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-final.pdf The final sentence says: “We argue that all efforts must be expended to preserve and digitize these national and scientific treasure troves”.

    It is by harnessing the forgotten treasures that we improve the historical record. The resistance I’m getting is that many people do not want the record improved, if the old record matches their pet theories better.

  117. Ninderthana (01:36:14) wrote: “Rodger Carr, Haven’t you ever wondered why Leif Svalgaard spend so much time on excellent blogs like this trying to put out spot fires…”

    As I have never viewed Leif’s comments that way, Ninderthana, I cannot agree with the general negative thrust of your posting; but I fully endorse your positive comments.

    Where Leif (in your words) “shuts down” a discussion this is because there is sound science and agreement on the subject/question raised and therefore there is no valid reason to spend time chewing on it. We can all waste time through basic ignorance (of which I am the sad holder of records), and I am always grateful when Anthony, Leif, or others with knowledge, shunt me back onto the mainline with basic facts.

    When it comes to speculation and new insights I have always found such people open and eager to explore.

  118. March 16 already, and not a sunspot in sight.
    We’re headed for yet another almost spotless month.
    Sigh…

  119. Leif Svalgaard (02:47:08) :

    That it was cold has no bearing on the Sunspot Number.

    And you are entitled to your beliief. Not everyone shares it, and the relation of climate to SSN is not a settled issue by any means. I’ll give you an example at the end.

    Where we differ, Leif, is in the view of importance of the original vs the iterpretation. The record is the data, and the record was made by very earnest observers. Interpretation of an observers work and the esteem to which they honestly performed thier observations is intertwined.
    Eddy himself bore witness to the dedication he found.
    This I find remarkable since it was his original mission to disprove.
    The early observers had no varying opinions of the day to bias thier observations. It was them and nobody else.

    Sir William Herschell observed and noted the lack of sunpots and the price of wheat at the time. Opinion starts after the fact and varies.

    When I observed and reported back to you the poor contrast of several recent sunspots, it was because I had to really work at spotting them, not because I had a preconceived notion that they were of poor contrast.
    I highly encourage anyone with opportunity and a good small modern refractor to do the same. Observe while you have the chance. Down the road, when the
    sunspots go back to thier original state, you will have the record or you will have the opinion of the record, but you will not be able to observe the past.

  120. E.M.Smith (21:32:03) :
    I think that many of the tools / indicators developed for tracking stocks could probably be of some benefit in climate analysis.

    Absolutely. The averages conceal the important details.

    e.g.
    1. Most of the warming experienced since 1978 is confined to high latitudes in both hemispheres and it is related to an increase in winter minima.
    2. Antarctica is cooling in summer and warming in winter.
    3. The increase in the temperature of the atmosphere is absolutely confined to the levels below 700hPa where the air is in contact with a warming ocean. Most of the latent heat of condensation is released lower than the 700hPa level. Above 700hPa there is no upward trend at all.
    4. There has been no increase in surface temperatures in the mid latitudes of the northern hemisphere where the complaints of global warming predominantly comes from.

    I grow plants. Growth is maximal at about 25°C. A day that varies between 20 and 30°C is more favourable to a plant than one which varies between 0°C and 50°C.

    Why should we worry about an increase in winter temperatures in climates that are icy during winter. Are we afraid of having a longer growing season?

  121. Robert Bateman (03:52:32) :
    Where we differ, Leif, is in the view of importance of the original vs the iterpretation. The record is the data, and the record was made by very earnest observers.

    I don’t think we communicate. The original data is king. The only issue is its calibration [not interpretation]. Suppose you unearth a carefully kept notebook with daily temperatures taken at a monastery in the 1500s using a thermometer of their own design and invention. Clearly such a record is a treasure. Only problem is that we do not know its scale. When an entry in the notebook reads ’25’, what is that on a scale we know, in Fahrenheit, or Celsius, or Reamur, or Kelvin? If we could somehow establish a link between their scale and ours, the notebook data would be a scientific treasure; if not the data is next to worthless.

    This is what the issue is. Not if they were earnest, careful, honest, meticulous, trusty, etc. So, how do we go about establishing the scale? Imagine, now, that in the notebook it also stated each year when the ice broke on the nearby river and when the cherry trees blossomed. By watching the river and the cherry trees today we can get a fix on the unknown scale of the readings in the notebook.

    The diurnal variation of the geomagnetic field is our river ice and cherry trees. This was well-known to Rudolf Wolf and he used that fact to great effect which made it possible for him to calibrate his Wolf Number across different observers and times. As Wolf unearthed geomagnetic data from the past he was able to recalibrate his original list and to improve its accuracy. See the table on page 10 of http://www.leif.org/research/Napa%20Solar%20Cycle%2024.pdf that shows an early version of his table and the corrections he made in recalibration.

    My work is simply an application of the same principle. It is like noting that in the beginning of the notebook the river ice broke at a reading of 10, but all the sudden halfway through it breaks at 14 for the rest of the notebook. Clearly, a discontinuous change of the measurement technique must have happened. By adding 4 to the earlier readings we bring the earlier data on the same scale as the later and the data becomes valuable. Without the correction, the data is useless, or worse since based on the uncorrected data we are lead to falsely conclude that a change of the climate has taken place.

    By correcting the data and using them today, 500 years later, in a meaningful way is to show the highest respect for the early observers, and as I said in the conclusion in http://www.leif.org/research/ISSC06-xx-Svalgaard.pdf

    “By constructing indices that are directly related to separate physical conditions in Geospace we bring investigations of the long-term behavior of these conditions onto a firm physical basis and remove much of the speculative character of our inferences about Space Climate. At the same time we are able to bring the historical record to bear on the issues of Space Climate in ways our predecessors could not dream of, but would certainly much appreciate and delight in.”

  122. Robert Bateman (03:52:32) :
    “That it was cold has no bearing on the Sunspot Number.”
    And you are entitled to your belief. Not everyone shares it, and the relation of climate to SSN is not a settled issue by any means.

    Again we are not communicating. What I meant, of course, [but expressed badly] was that one should not use one’s belief to judge the quality of the sunspot number record.

    That said, if it were firmly established that there is a tight correlation between temperature and SSN, so that without fail one is a measure of the other, then one could use one as a proxy for the other if direct measurements are lacking. This is, however, not the case here.

  123. Robert Bateman (22:07:46) :
    We know from literary records that the 1790’s were brutally cold. Much writing and no secret.

    The cosmic ray proxy record, e.g. 14C, shows that solar activity then was very high, perhaps even higher than today: http://www.leif.org/research/14C.png
    This is compatible with the large diurnal variation of the Declination at that time, showing a clear correlation between high solar activity and brutal cold, so if that was your intent by your statement, I apologize for misinterpreting it.
    Of course, correlation [and for a couple of decades only] is not causation, so perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into the brutal cold at that time.

  124. Peter Taylor (03:22:17) : Sorry for catching up with this discussion so late. There are some gems here, including sterling service from Leif as usual.

    Peter says:

    “we ought to be more interested in what is happening in the Arctic and in particular the North Atlantic, than some global mean – this region is acutely sensitive to what the sun is up to and to cloud patterns. The area between Iceland and Norway is crucial – what happens here feeds back to the whole Northern Hemisphere.”

    Never a truer word spoken. You may find some points of interest and agreement with your basic thesis at http://climatechange1.wordpress.com

    Free University of Berlin started looking at the relationship between solar influences and temperature above 200hPa into the stratosphere a long time ago. and in particular the temperature in the stratosphere over the Arctic. Karen Labitzke and Harry Van Loon did a lot of good work on tracing the solar influence. Unfortunately, in comparing solar minima with solar maxima we are often comparing two La Ninas. Hence little difference. But weak solar cycles bring a strong La Nina dominance.

    Although global temperatures may decline by only one tenth of one degree over the next ten years the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere should see all of the gain of the last 30 years erased. That’s about 5°C in terms of winter sea surface temperature. Look forward to more winters like the last two.

    The stratosphere at 10hPa above the poles is cooling reflecting a stronger polar vortex in both hemispheres. That in turn seems to be related to weakening solar activity, both in terms of ionizing short wave radiation and the solar wind. The result is a denser atmosphere above the poles. That should in turn relate to relatively weaker muon counts at high latitudes by comparison with lower latitude stations. That sentence is in there for the sake of relevance. Perhaps the people counting cosmic rays could check the changing ratios.

    Winter warming in the Arctic stratosphere is strongly correlated with warming in tropical waters. A cool Arctic is associated with diminished energy input into the tropics. That in turn relates to a cooler upper troposphere (less ozone) and more high altitude cloud.

  125. erlhapp (05:07:05) :
    The stratosphere at 10hPa above the poles is cooling reflecting a stronger polar vortex in both hemispheres. That in turn seems to be related to weakening solar activity, both in terms of ionizing short wave radiation and the solar wind. The result is a denser atmosphere above the poles.
    What is a ‘denser’ atmosphere? And where is it ‘denser’? At the surface? You should use terms that are in the usual nomenclature.

  126. erlhapp (05:07:05) :
    Winter warming in the Arctic stratosphere is strongly correlated with warming in tropical waters. A cool Arctic is associated with diminished energy input into the tropics.

    I think you state this backwards. How about: “warming or cooling of the tropics results in warming or cooling of the Arctic and [you say] the Stratosphere”?

  127. Leif – Does Mike Lockwood agree with your interpretation of the date – i.e. that his Nature paper with Wild and Stamper on the ‘doubling of the sun’s coronal magnetic field during the past 100 years, (nature, june 3, 1999)? And then there is Solanki, Usoskin. Kromer, Schuessler and Beer in 2004 in Nature 28 October 2004 ‘unusual activity of the sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years’.

    I know that IPCC prefer Muscheler’s interpretation – ‘how unusual is today’s solar activity’ (Nature 436, 2005) but Usoskin counters that Muscheler’s methodology is unverifiable.

    It is hard for non-specialists to get a handle on who might be right, unless the original authors of the ‘unusual sun’ capitulate in the peer reviewed lit.

    Thus far, I am of an open mind. Oceanographers have shown that the 11yr cycle affects sea surface temperatures and apparently by more than the 0.1% TSI variation would credit – so there does appear to be an amplifier.

    But if the sun’s magnetic status (coronal field) was not much lower in the Maunder Minimum, how do you account for the c-14 and be-10 data? Internal distribution? Can you point me to any papers on that?

    Much appreciate, as always, your perspective on things and thanks Anthony for maintaining the quality of this thread.

  128. Peter Taylor (05:51:40) :
    Does Mike Lockwood agree with your interpretation of the date – i.e. that his Nature paper with Wild and Stamper on the ‘doubling of the sun’s coronal magnetic field during the past 100 years, (nature, june 3, 1999)? [...]
    It is hard for non-specialists to get a handle on who might be right, unless the original authors of the ‘unusual sun’ capitulate in the peer reviewed lit.

    It is very rare to see ‘capitulation’ in the literature. The closest one usually gets is a new paper with new and better data, which then carries an implicit capitulation. In Rouillard, A. P., M. Lockwood, and I. Finch, Centennial changes in the solar wind speed and in the
    open solar flux, J. Geophys. Res., 112(5), A05103,
    doi:10.1029/2006JA012130, 2007, they acknowledge that the aa-index must be corrected and derive a new list of HMF field strengths which Alex Rouillard has been so kind to send me [their Figure in the paper is so small as to be unreadable]. I have plotted their values and mine for comparison in Figure 10 of http://www.leif.org/research/AGU%20Fall%202008%20SH24A-01.pdf which we presented at the last AGU meeting. The point for 1901 is simply in error [Rouillard, personal communication].

    The [now superseded] 1999 data was the basis for Solanki’s reconstruction of the open flux [and ultimately for Usoskin's claim, rooted in a fit to the open flux]. We take care of that in:

    http://www.leif.org/research/Consensus-I.pdf

    But if the sun’s magnetic status (coronal field) was not much lower in the Maunder Minimum, how do you account for the c-14 and be-10 data? Internal distribution? Can you point me to any papers on that?

    In http://www.leif.org/research/TSI%20From%20McCracken%20HMF.pdf I point you to papers on 10Be by McCracken and Beer, also on page 2 you can find a plot of HMF B calculated by them [their plot in their paper is too small to be readable]. You can see that B during 1630-1690 was almost as large as during 1900-1950. In our opinion [as spelled out in the link], they have a calibration problem around 1950, but since Lockwood et al. now agree with us [or at least their latest data does] that B during 1900-1950 is not much different from B 1950-now, B during 1630-1690 was also not much different according to McCracken.

    The fallout from all this still has to settle, but there is a growing consensus that the famous ‘doubling’ which I may be originally the first [ page 2 of http://www.leif.org/research/GC31B-0351-F2007.pdf ] to claim [incorrect, as we now know] never happened.

    In fact, the IMF B right now is just where it was 108 years ago.

  129. Leif Svalgaard (05:42:14) :
    “I think you state this backwards. How about: “warming or cooling of the tropics results in warming or cooling of the Arctic and [you say] the Stratosphere”?

    I am not implying that warming in the Arctic causes warming in the tropics. I am simply noting the association. Nor would I asset that warming in the tropics is related in a causal way with short term warming in the Arctic stratosphere.

    I assert that the collapse of the Arctic vortex is related to a relatively low density in the stratosphere/mesosphere above the pole. Hence, the enhanced muon count that is associated with sudden stratospheric warmings. In my view it is the collapse of the vortex that enables the warming. The lack of re-establishment of the vortex after the warming of mid January 2009 is a matter of considerable interest. Good parallels occurred in January-April 1987, 1994 and 1996, all La Nina years. After the La Nina of 1987 came the substantial El Nino of 1998. September 1986 marked the end of solar cycle 21.

    What I in fact am saying is that we should look to the influence of the sun on the stratosphere and mesosphere as the all important link in the chain of causation behind sudden stratospheric warmings in the Arctic and the associated warming of the ocean in the tropics.

    The radical element in the argument is the association of warming in these two very different two locations, one in the full field of the sun and the other wrapped up in Arctic night, and the lack of any reference to planetary waves.

    The speculate on the solar mechanism that could be common to both phenomena at http://climatechange1.wordpress.com

  130. Leif,
    “In fact, the IMF B right now is just where it was 108 years ago.”

    Good to know that.

    And was the atmosphere at that time just as compact as it is, or has been until recently? And is there any sign in terms of increasing satellite drag that there is a change underway. And will that change manifest first in any particular place, like for instance over the equator?

  131. Leif
    What is a ‘denser’ atmosphere? And where is it ‘denser’? At the surface? You should use terms that are in the usual nomenclature.

    A denser atmosphere would contain more particles per cubic metre. It should relate to higher surface pressure. I speak of the total column and in particular that part of it above 100hPa.

  132. erlhapp (07:09:13) :
    A denser atmosphere would contain more particles per cubic metre. It should relate to higher surface pressure. I speak of the total column and in particular that part of it above 100hPa.

    Since the total number of molecules in the atmosphere is constant, the atmosphere cannot be denser overall. It can be denser somewhere and thinner somewhere else, so the surface pressure should be larger somewhere [region A] and smaller somewhere else [region B], meaning that the difference [delta A,B] between average pressures between regions A and B should be a measure of importance to you. This difference is known for many decades.

  133. erlhapp (06:59:07) :
    And was the atmosphere at that time just as compact as it is, or has been until recently?
    New word: ‘compact’. Assuming it means ‘dense’, as per my earlier posting, the atmosphere as such [with your definition of 'dense'] cannot be more ‘compact’ as a whole. So where is it more compact? Where are regions A and B?

  134. Leif – regarding your comment from yesterday. It would make no sense to “adjust” the effective SSN (SSNe) we calculate for the earth-sun distance. That parameter is a measure of the state of the global ionosphere, to be used to drive specific ionospheric models that require an SSN input. SSNe is only indirectly a measure of solar output, and it’s purpose has little to do with tracking the solar output. My research interests are the ionosphere and the rest of the near-earth space environment. I obviously care about the solar output, since it is a major driver to the system I do care about, but only as a driver and not a research topic in and of itself. As such, I care more about the flux at the earth than the flux at 1AU. For folks wanting to track the sun’s state, the 10.7cm flux adjusted to 1AU is probably as good as any.

    Sorry about the response delay, but I visit this list irregularly.

  135. Jim (08:25:03) :
    As such, I care more about the flux at the earth than the flux at 1AU. For folks wanting to track the sun’s state, the 10.7cm flux adjusted to 1AU is probably as good as any.

    Yes, of course, that is so. For the sun one must use the corrected F10.7 flux. It is just amazing how hard it is to get that across.

  136. That said, if it were firmly established that there is a tight correlation between temperature and SSN, so that without fail one is a measure of the other, then one could use one as a proxy for the other if direct measurements are lacking. This is, however, not the case here.
    Diode

  137. Of course, correlation [and for a couple of decades only] is not causation, so perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into the brutal cold at that time.

    If we only look at one specfic time where it has happened, yes. If there are other times in history where it has been repeated, then there are things to be dug into further. I believe the literary works indicate postive for there being other such instances. If the C14 leads to an opposite indication by proxy of sunspot activity, there has to be a reason why. Who knows, the C14 may only be half of the story of the proxy.

  138. Robert Bateman (09:09:20) :
    If the C14 leads to an opposite indication by proxy of sunspot activity, there has to be a reason why. Who knows, the C14 may only be half of the story of the proxy.
    The 14C, magnetic needle, and sunspot data all show the same thing: a large cycle 4.

  139. Leif Svalgaard (07:31:27) :

    New word: ‘compact’. Assuming it means ‘dense’, as per my earlier posting, the atmosphere as such [with your definition of 'dense'] cannot be more ‘compact’ as a whole. So where is it more compact? Where are regions A and B?

    Looks to me as if you are in stone wall mode.

    Perhaps we can agree that if the ionosphere is inflated by short wave radiation of the variety to which it is opaque the atmosphere generally becomes less compact.

    As the atmosphere generally becomes less compact does the relationship between the surface pressure at the equator and the night pole change? Do we see a reduction in atmospheric density (and surface pressure) over the night pole and an increase in density (and surface pressure) over the equator?

  140. erlhapp (13:22:16) :
    Perhaps we can agree that if the ionosphere is inflated by short wave radiation of the variety to which it is opaque the atmosphere generally becomes less compact.

    If the ionosphere is heated on the dayside, it expands on the dayside. The ‘atmosphere’ is too general a word in this connection, because a thermal expansion of the dayside ionosphere does not change the number of molecules on the dayside [there is a quirk here - thermal winds - which we'll ignore for now] does not change, hence the surface pressure on the dayside does not change, and no change, of course, of either on the nightside.

    As the atmosphere generally becomes less compact does the relationship between the surface pressure at the equator and the night pole change?
    The ionosphere [not the 'atmosphere'] is heated most at the subsolar point [within 23 degrees of the equator and will expand most there, but as we just saw, the surface pressure does not change anywhere when the ionosphere expands vertically.

    With me so far?

  141. erlhapp (16:47:21) :
    Hope so! Is there more?
    It basically ends there. The movement of the ionosphere up or down does not change the pressure at the surface. Now, for the thermal winds, they make the ionosphere move laterally so move air from one area to another. That changes the surface pressure, but because the ionosphere is from 1 million to 1 trillion times less dense that the troposphere, the change in pressure is infinitesimal and cannot be measured or have any effect.

  142. The list of observers for SC4 (1785 to 1798)
    STAUDACHER, J.C., NUREMBERG
    KONIG, K.J., MANNHEIM
    BEIGEL, G.W.S., DRESDEN
    LIPPOLD, G.H.E., WIEN
    PIGOTT, E., BOOTHAM
    MESSIER, PARIS
    STRNADT, PRAGUE
    SCHROTER, J.H., LILIENTHAL
    BUGGE, T., COPENHAGEN
    METZBURG, G.I., WIEN
    TOALDO, J., PATVINA
    FLAUGERGUES, H., VIVIERS
    BODE, J.E., BERLIN
    TREISNECKER, F.V.P., WIEN
    ZOLLINGER, INNSBRUCK
    FEER, ZURICH
    SANDT, RIGA
    BEITLER, MITAU
    CASSINI, J.D., THURY
    HUBER, J.J., BASEL
    ENDE, F.A., CELLE
    HERSCHEL, W., LONDON
    FLAUGERGUES, H. (C.DE.T.)
    GEMEINER, A.T., REGENSBURG
    MESSIER, PARIS
    REINCKE, HAMBURG
    HAMILTON, J., ARMAGH OBS., IRELAND
    LALANDE, J., PARIS
    DANGOS, MALTA
    FRITSCH, J.H., GERMANY
    KOHLER, J.G., GERMANY

    Quite the list of dedicated observers. Pioneers.

  143. Leif
    It occurred to me that I could check the data myself via http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    I note:
    1. Rise in 30hPa temperature at 80-90°S since 1948 is associated with falling surface pressure in that region.
    2. Falling sea level pressure at 80-90°S is associated with rising sea level pressure in the latitude band 10N to 10S.
    3. On a year to year basis a collapse of pressure over Antarctica is associated with rising pressure over the Equator.
    4. Change prior to 1978 was more dramatic than after 1978.
    5. In the most recent episode S.L.Pressure over Antarctica began falling and S.L.Pressure began rising at the Equator in 2007. That trend continues.

    My interpretation: falling pressure over Antarctica represents a weakening vortex. Since the vortex introduces nitrogen oxides from the mesosphere that erode ozone this should be associated with rising ozone content in the lower stratosphere/upper troposphere rendering the upper troposphere more sensitive to changes in UVB. This has implications for ice cloud density and the strength of the downdraft in the mid latitude high pressure cells.

    Given this state of affairs a small increase in irradiance in the UVB wavelengths is likely to produce a healthy response in terms of reduced ice cloud density and slackening of the trade winds .

    As I noted above a similar set of circumstances occurred in early 1987 following solar minimum in September 1986.

    Now, what could cause sea level pressure over Antarctica to fall while it builds over the equator?

  144. Robert Bateman (18:20:55) :
    The list of observers for SC4 (1785 to 1798)
    STAUDACHER, J.C., NUREMBERG
    [...]
    KOHLER, J.G., GERMANY
    Quite the list of dedicated observers. Pioneers.

    Yes, and so sad that we don’t know how to calibrate them to the common standard of Wolf 1849-1882, using only solar data. Take 1791:
    Staudacher observed 31 groups on 15 days.
    Bode 5 groups on 1 day
    Feer 6 groups on 1 day
    Sandt 3 groups on 1 day
    Cassini 5 groups on 1 day
    What was the sunspot number for 1791 on the Wolf scale?
    In his published list from 1861, Wolf had his Wolf Number W as 46.1 for 1791. In his 1874 list it was adjusted to 53.4, and in 1882 he changed it to 66.6 where it stands today [SIDC]. My value for 1791 is 78.2. What is yours based on the data from the pioneers?
    If we take the total number of days with observations [19] and the total number of groups [50], we have 50/19 groups on an average day = 2.63. An average group has 12.08 ‘spots’ [Wolf number divided by number of groups as determined by Ken Schatten], so the sunspot number should be 12.08 * 2.63 = 31.8. So what should it be? Maintaining the unique character of the original data…
    Because we have the amplitude of the Declination from several observatories in 1791 and we know what sunspot number we would have today for such an amplitude we can fix the sunspot number in 1791 as ~80. In a sense we don’t need any of the sunspot observations at all, the Declination is all we need [or the 10Be or 14C concentration if we have a good calibration]. In practice we check the Declination against the sunspot number for several years and can then fix the scale for that period and the observers we had then. There is a bit of give-n-take here because the relations are not perfect and there is at times a personal judgment as to the accuracy of either the magnetic needle or the sunspot count for particular years. In the end it comes down to trusting the person putting together the series to do the best science that can be done with the data at hand, and to trust his familiarity with the problem and the data. We all trust Rudolf Wolf if we fervently believe his numbers are sacrosanct, don’t we?

  145. The following three charts are for the McMurdo, Newark DL and Thule Neutron Monitors, maintained by the University of Delaware, from January 1, 2006 through February 28, 2009 with a sampling interval of one day. The minor tic-marks on the X-Axis are in 1/12 of years, not months. A liner trend line was plotted for the data from November 1, 2008 to February 28, 2009 which covers a period of four months. The UDEL database reports neutron counts hourly. The hourly counts were averaged to obtain daily values. In a limited number of cases, when data was not available for a given day the values on either side were averaged to approximate the missing information. While the UDEL NM have real-time feeds, the database is only updated monthly.

    I am now working on the Fort Smith, Peawanuck, Nain and Inuvik Neutron Monitor database from the UDEL. All of these stations came on-line after 2000. The five graphs which have already been post must be update to include the source of the data and related documentation.

    The McMurdo, Newark DL and Thule data suggests that cosmic ray activity is continuing to increase during the four months for which a linier trend line was calculated. McMurdo and Newark DL show a strong positive trend, while Thule was the weakest but still positive through February 28, 2009. At the start of this article, the real-time graphs from the UDEL for McMurdo, Newark DL and Thule were provided covering the previous six months from the current date.

    Mike

  146. Leif Svalgaard (20:07:48)

    Reduce all later data to groups and plot it all out.
    What does the whole shooting match look like?
    I prefer to honor them all, inlcuding Wolf, by whatever it takes to do that.
    You can take the highest daily group no recorded from all the persons observing. Cloudy weather in Europe is no mystery. Then plot what you have for the early day, omitting plotting anything for which there is NO observations made.
    What’s it look like? Ask yourself why. In a Grand Minimum where Be10 indicates high GSR, what phenomenon should you expect?
    Really, Leif, take a moment and think where we would be if these folks didn’t spend so darned much time being meticulous observers and recorders for what conditions and equipment allowed. They worked at it. Amazingly enough, they managed to get us a record even when threre was precious little to see, and kept at it.

    ‘In practice we check the Declination against the sunspot number for several years and can then fix the scale for that period and the observers we had then.’
    That REALLY bothers me.

  147. Leif: thanks for that exposition – I thought I was up-to-date, so I have some revision to do on the ‘doubling’.

    So when we come to the be-10 data – as posted now by Anthony, is your argument that the variation we see is not related to changes in the magnetic field? Presumably that leaves only internal processes of redistribution of the cosmogenic nuclides (like ocean cycles)? But the c-14 and be-10 data correlate pretty well and the processes would be very different.

    I will take this on board, but as you say, the dust has yet to settle!

    Many thanks for your continued focus!

  148. Peter Taylor (03:20:18) :
    is your argument that the variation we see is not related to changes in the magnetic field?

    The variation is strongly related to the magnetic field, but is from time to time contaminated by volcanic eruptions that provided aerosols that in turn increases the deposition rate of 10Be. A good example is the peak in the 1880s-90s [or the trough in the HMF computed from the 10Be]. It is instructive to look at page 2 of http://www.leif.org/research/TSI%20From%20McCracken%20HMF.pdf . The lower panel shows in detail the derived HMF. There are three items of interest:
    1) a clear solar cycle variation, showing that the HMF is important
    2) a jump ~1948, that is not reflected in the HMF
    3) a pronounced minimum [peak in 10Be] around 1883-1896 that looks like a ‘bite’ was taken out. This ‘bite’ does not have a corresponding bite in the HMF and is IMO related to the explosion in 1883 of Krakatoa.

  149. Leif, now that’s an article I can read while lying down. Literally. Or if I turn my notebook on its side ;^))

  150. Pamela Gray (06:09:02) :
    Leif, now that’s an article I can read while lying down. Literally. Or if I turn my notebook on its side ;^))

    In Adobe’s PDF reader you can click on ‘Tools’, then ‘Optimize toolbar’, then look for ‘Rotate right’.

  151. So, are you REALLY bothered by the Wolf Number?

    I am really bothered by attempts to devalue the historical record simply because they are not convenient to modern methods, and done so in multiple layers, and without any fair comparison of doing the same to the modern records.
    I’ll read what Wolf did later, but I didn’t see any revaluation of the historical record in that excerpt.
    You say you have high resistance. True. You are not being impartial or fair in equal treatment. That is my honest assessment of why you are getting flak.

  152. Robert Bateman (09:04:59) :
    I am really bothered by attempts to devalue the historical record
    We are trying to get the max out of the historical record, no devalue it. It is priceless.

    I’ll read what Wolf did later, but I didn’t see any revaluation of the historical record in that excerpt.
    on bottom of page 1: “Table II contains for the same years my recomputed, and until now – at least as far as monthly values are concerned – not wholly published Sunspot Relative-Numbers”.

    on page 10 of http://www.leif.org/research/Napa%20Solar%20Cycle%2024.pdf
    you can see Wolf’s 1861 table and SIDC values which is based on Wolf’s ‘recomputed’ numbers.

  153. Robert Bateman (09:04:59) :
    You are not being impartial or fair in equal treatment.
    Equal treatment with unequal telescopes? Impartial, absolutely as I let the data speak.

    You do not seem interested in reading the material I have linked to. I grant, that it at times is heavy going. A referee of one of my papers once called it a ‘technical assault’, so here is instead a simple graph that shows the evolution of the Wolf number, from his first list in 1861, through the recalibrations of 1874 and 1882:

    What my correction is about, is really that I consider Wolf’s latest numbers good, but have discovered that his successors, Wolfer and Waldmeier introduced artificial jumps in the calibration, with the result that modern numbers are now too high by some 20%. It is easier to get people to adjust the old numbers rather than the new [several operational products rely on the modern numbers and nobody wants to update their computer programs or algorithms...].

    You have to climb down from the ‘no respect for old data’, ‘these observers did a wonderful job’, ‘equal treatment’, etc molehill and realize that the greatest honor we can bestow on the early observers is to use their priceless data in the best way possible. You will have noticed [in case you have cared to read some of them] that many of my papers end with just such acknowledgment of the value of old data and past observers.

    The flak I’m getting [apart from you - and your kind is a new one for me] is that correcting the data will upset many ‘established’ correlations, and THAT is not welcome news.

  154. “The flak I’m getting [apart from you - and your kind is a new one for me] is that correcting the data will upset many ‘established’ correlations, and THAT is not welcome news.”

    That would be sufficient in light of current fluid criteria but your statement is self-serving, cff., Usoskin, Hoyt, etc. In fact, with Lockwood and Froelich on board you are simply not alone

  155. Leif,

    I wondered if you would comment on some recent news events that bear on the satellite industry. I’m talking about recent “space junk” stories.

    One event was the smash-up of the Iridium and Russian polar-orbiting satellites last Feb. 12.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16584-satellite-collision-creates-copious-space-junk.html

    The near-miss at the International Space Station, during which crew were forced to take refuge while the 5-inch object passed within about 3 miles, has added to the alarm at the possibility of a “cascade” of collisions.

    I know this is off the CO2 / solar cycle topic, but… thought I’d ask.

    Is there significant debris threat to satellites in stationary earth orbit?

    Also, have you endorsed (or proposed) any clean-up plan that seems better than others? Or is this simply not worth the trouble?

  156. gary gulrud (13:12:35) :
    That would be sufficient in light of current fluid criteria but your statement is self-serving, cff., Usoskin, Hoyt, etc. In fact, with Lockwood and Froelich on board you are simply not alone

    You are opaque as usual. I have no idea what you a talking about, hopefully it makes sense to you, it does not to me.

    bill p (13:23:04) :
    Is there significant debris threat to satellites in stationary earth orbit?
    It has been known for 50 years that there would be space junk and that it would get worse and worse until such point is reached that we begin to wring our hands about it. This is the human condition with everything.

    NASA has a good FAQ about space debris. Geostationary orbit [GSO] has less debris, but there is a significant difference with LEO [low earth orbit]. At LEO, the Earth is self-cleaning [to a point] as the orbits of the junk eventually decay and the debris burns up in the atmosphere.

    Also, have you endorsed (or proposed) any clean-up plan that seems better than others? Or is this simply not worth the trouble?
    No, I have not. The obvious remedy is to put less junk in space. At GSO, old decommissioned satellites are often move to a higher orbit to get out of the way, because a GSO is a precious resource.

  157. Leif Svalgaard (18:18:24) :
    bill p (13:23:04) :
    any clean-up plan that seems better than others? Or is this simply not worth the trouble?

    It has been argued [long ago] that there probably was so much else out there of natural origin [meteorites] to drown out the junk, so it wouldn’t help much to try to do something about the junk.

  158. “I have no idea what you a talking about, hopefully it makes sense to you, it does not to me.”

    That the sun is constant unchanging is conventional wisdom from time immemorial. Your work implying a need for revision of SS numbers relies on the forgoing, null hypothesis. You have neglected to mention that your proof, itself, has been critiqued by some of your peers as badly done.

  159. This seems very strange to me. Look at the last 10 readings (months) on the radio flux chart. To me it looks very unnatural being as consistent as they are. Maybe someone has already addressed this but I haven’t found it. Can anyone enlighten me?

    Thanks,
    G

  160. gary gulrud (07:09:26) :
    That the sun is constant unchanging is conventional wisdom from time immemorial. Your work implying a need for revision of SS numbers relies on the forgoing, null hypothesis.
    Of course, it does not. Your statement is ludicrous, much as I don’t like to use such a word, but it fits.

    You have neglected to mention that your proof, itself, has been critiqued by some of your peers as badly done.
    “Badly done” hardly. The folks you are referring to have their own ax to grind, and I have repeatedly pointed out that my work flies in the face of the [new] conventional wisdom, that solar activity is at an all-time high. And I take exception to use of the word ‘neglected’ as that implies non-existent intent.

  161. Greylar (07:45:46) :
    To me it looks very unnatural being as consistent as they are.
    They are ‘correct’ [showing the flux at Earth, modulated by the changing distance to the Sun]. It is just that the Sun is very quiet.
    ]

  162. Thanks Leif,
    By unnatural I didn’t mean fake. What I meant was it just looked like all the variability went out of it. Is there any example of this happening before? ( a 10 month streak with little or no variation?)

    The end of 2007 and beginning of 2008 were at roughly the same levels as we are now but had significantly more variability. Just eyeballing it, it looks like something changed in May.

    G

  163. Leif,

    Thanks for opinions / explanations on space debris questions. It seems the “handwringers” will have their work cut out for them as it appears (to me, at least) that momentum is building to “do something” about it.

    A fair number of articles recently (one in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago) have proposed active remedies that will no doubt require some serious money (as opposed to launching fewer craft). Some of these seem pretty far-fetched. Your NASA site postulates “tens of millions” of bits of detritus in LEO. Going in active pursuit of these objects with some kind of scoop would on the surface seem rather futile.

    I think you’re right to see parallels to other kinds of alarmism. The scenarios of the global warmers get more dire by the day, along with their “over the top” solutions and out of this world price tags. So maybe this is also a matter of drumming up the appropriate level of worry.

  164. Greylar (08:19:05) :
    Is there any example of this happening before? ( a 10 month streak with little or no variation?)

    Comparison F10.7 at minima now [blue] and in 1954 [red, and shifted by eye to match the low point]:

  165. “The flak I’m getting [apart from you - and your kind is a new one for me] is that correcting the data will upset many ‘established’ correlations, and THAT is not welcome news.”

    I want to see what the SC’s would look like if we continued counting the groups straight up to the present. No modifications. They apply your corrections.
    From Galieo’s time to now.
    Observatorie de la Paris reports that since the 1920’s, minispots have increased faster than the groups. If I could get that info for group counts from where it was changed to spots, I would make the graph myself.

  166. “Badly done” hardly.”

    Actually, the verification can be made here, at WUWT, last July or thereabouts. Surprised your recall fails you.

  167. gary gulrud (07:17:31) :
    “Badly done” hardly.”
    Actually, the verification can be made here, at WUWT, last July or thereabouts. Surprised your recall fails you.

    Believing [as those folks do] that the secular change of the conductivity of the ionosphere is not new solar-terrestrial relationship rather than simply due to the Earth’s changing magnetic field [weaker field -> greater conductivity] can hardly be described as ‘verification’. But it seems to me that you are not interested in the science, but, alas, would not fail a habitual ad-hom.

  168. Robert Bateman (23:23:56) :
    If I could get that info for group counts from where it was changed to spots, I would make the graph myself.

    A simple [but accurate] way to get a group count is to use the size of the yearly files at:

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/greenwch.shtml

    g1874.txt 33kb text file
    g1876.txt 20kb text file
    etc

    Each group is recorded as an 80-byte record, so to get the group count for 1874, divide 33*1024 by 81, result 33*1024/81 = 417. Since it is normal practice to count the groups on every day they appear, you have to divide by the number of days [365] in a year to get a yearly average 417/365 =1.143. For 2008:
    g2008.txt 9kb text file, so average group count = 9*1024/81/365 = 0.31. Since a group has on average ~10 spots, Schatten argues that one should multiply by 12.08 to get the raw ‘equivalent’ Wolf number, in casu: 0.31*12.08 = 3.8. SIDC applies a correction fator of 0.6 to bring it onto Wolfer’s scale, so 3.8 * 0.6 = 2.3 [close enough, perhaps, to the official R-value of 2.8 for 2008].

    The file size for 1978 may be wrong [I think some groups were counted twice].

  169. Leif Svalgaard (07:53:06) :
    gary gulrud (07:17:31) :
    Believing [as those folks do] that the secular change of the conductivity of the ionosphere is a new solar-terrestrial relationship rather than simply due to the Earth’s changing …

    correction

  170. Robert Bateman (23:23:56) :
    “If I could get that info for group counts from where it was changed to spots, I would make the graph myself.”
    A simple [but accurate] way to get a group count is to use the size of the yearly files at:

    a fun exercise is to take to group counts so derived [except for 1978] and divide them by the official sunspot number for each year. Make a plot of that. Derive from the plot when Wolf died and when Waldmeier took over. Possibly even when SIDC started.

  171. Leif – well, when C-14 is high, so is Be-10, thought the latter shows more variability – comparing the two would need to know what smoothing was used – but it does look as if the Maunder Minimum had a higher level of cosmic rays coming in as we would expect. That leaves the open question relating to the sun’s variability with regard to sunlight – and I would expect the MM only to be 0.1% lower, as during a normal solar minimum, bit obviously for a much longer period. It is this long period of lower activity that might count, as oceanographers can identify the 11/22 year cycle in surface temperature records – varying by 0.2C.

    Presumably the UV flux would vary by a larger amount, and this is likely also of climate significance – links to the jetstream are postulated.

    Much appreciate the links.

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