Solar Cycle 24 lack of sunspots caused by “sluggish solar jet stream” – returning soon?

I got a tip by email from JohnA who runs solarscience.auditblogs.com about this NASA press release. John’s skeptical about it. He makes some good points in this post here.

What I most agree with JohnA’s post is about sunspots. While we’ve seen some small rumblings that the solar dynamo might be on the upswing, such as watching Leif’s plot of the 10.7 CM solar radio flux, there just doesn’t appear to be much change in character of the sunspots during the last year. And the magnetic field strength just doesn’t seem to be ramping up much.

He writes:

“Let’s check out the window”

The spotless disk of the Sun

The spotless disk of the Sun

On Solarcycle24.com they’ve got yet another sun speck recorded yesterday, that by today had disappeared. Exactly the same behaviour we’ve been having for 12 months with no end in sight.

I agree with JohnA, it’s still a bit slow out there. Leif is at the conference in Boulder where NASA made this announcement below, so perhaps he’ll fill us in on the details.

Here is the NASA story:

Mystery of the Missing Sunspots, Solved?

June 17, 2009: The sun is in the pits of a century-class solar minimum, and sunspots have been puzzlingly scarce for more than two years. Now, for the first time, solar physicists might understand why.

At an American Astronomical Society press conference today in Boulder, Colorado, researchers announced that a jet stream deep inside the sun is migrating slower than usual through the star’s interior, giving rise to the current lack of sunspots.

Rachel Howe and Frank Hill of the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson, Arizona, used a technique called helioseismology to detect and track the jet stream down to depths of 7,000 km below the surface of the sun. The sun generates new jet streams near its poles every 11 years, they explained to a room full of reporters and fellow scientists. The streams migrate slowly from the poles to the equator and when a jet stream reaches the critical latitude of 22 degrees, new-cycle sunspots begin to appear.

see caption

Above: A helioseismic map of the solar interior. Tilted red-yellow bands trace solar jet streams. Black contours denote sunspot activity. When the jet streams reach a critical latitude around 22 degrees, sunspot activity intensifies. [larger image] [more graphics]

Howe and Hill found that the stream associated with the next solar cycle has moved sluggishly, taking three years to cover a 10 degree range in latitude compared to only two years for the previous solar cycle.

The jet stream is now, finally, reaching the critical latitude, heralding a return of solar activity in the months and years ahead.

“It is exciting to see”, says Hill, “that just as this sluggish stream reaches the usual active latitude of 22 degrees, a year late, we finally begin to see new groups of sunspots emerging.”

he current solar minimum has been so long and deep, it prompted some scientists to speculate that the sun might enter a long period with no sunspot activity at all, akin to the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century. This new result dispells those concerns. The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating, and the sunspot cycle is not “broken.”

Because it flows beneath the surface of the sun, the jet stream is not directly visible. Hill and Howe tracked its hidden motions via helioseismology. Shifting masses inside the sun send pressure waves rippling through the stellar interior. So-called “p modes” (p for pressure) bounce around the interior and cause the sun to ring like an enormous bell. By studying the vibrations of the sun’s surface, it is possible to figure out what is happening inside. Similar techniques are used by geologists to map the interior of our planet.

In this case, researchers combined data from GONG and SOHO. GONG, short for “Global Oscillation Network Group,” is an NSO-led network of telescopes that measures solar vibrations from various locations around Earth. SOHO, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, makes similar measurements from Earth orbit.

“This is an important discovery,” says Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “It shows how flows inside the sun are tied to the creation of sunspots and how jet streams can affect the timing of the solar cycle.”

see captionThere is, however, much more to learn.

“We still don’t understand exactly how jet streams trigger sunspot production,” says Pesnell. “Nor do we fully understand how the jet streams themselves are generated.”

To solve these mysteries, and others, NASA plans to launch the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) later this year. SDO is equipped with sophisticated helioseismology sensors that will allow it to probe the solar interior better than ever before.

Right: An artist’s concept of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. [more]

“The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) on SDO will improve our understanding of these jet streams and other internal flows by providing full disk images at ever-increasing depths in the sun,” says Pesnell.

Continued tracking and study of solar jet streams could help researchers do something unprecedented–accurately predict the unfolding of future solar cycles. Stay tuned for that!

About these ads
This entry was posted in Science, Solar. Bookmark the permalink.

312 Responses to Solar Cycle 24 lack of sunspots caused by “sluggish solar jet stream” – returning soon?

  1. mr.artday says:

    The most terrifying words in all languages: “We don’t understand”.

  2. hunter says:

    How many of these saccharine news releases about the latest guess-posing-as-for-sure knowledge about why the Sun is doing what it does will NASA give us?
    I can think of probably at least two more in jsut this cycle, not including that notably embarassing one that was re-posted here at WUWT not too long ago.
    There is a condescension in the tone of this press release that is annoying.

  3. TerryBixler says:

    I buy Livingston and Penn and their assessment. I seems the pores appear then disappear. The only ramp up so far is the frequency of the pores. Seems like a new guess supported by new observations without a sound view of the history. Time will tell.

  4. This press release is just NASA PR-machine hype. We have not ‘solved’ the problem. Even if we assume that the ‘jetstream’ has anything to do with the generation of spots [and I personally think it is the other way around] we have just moved the problem [rather than solving it] because now the question is “why was it slower?” Furthermore the ‘critical 22 degrees’ is not based on anything other than having happened once before.

    What we have is a well-orchestrated CYA attempt: our [i.e. NASA-supported] models [predicting a super-cycle] were thwarted by this strange delay of the oscillation, but are basically correct [I think not].

  5. peat says:

    It will be interesting to see how this new NASA prediction looks in a couple years. OT: I have been following the spotless-days count at spaceweather.com. It has been disconcerting to see their count simply drop in number on occasion without comment. They apparently are retroactively acknowledging sunspots that they didn’t observe on the days when they supposedly occurred. Is their ability to accurately observe sunspots intermittent? I am doubtful that sunspots not recognized in real time by spaceweather.com would have been counted in 1913.

  6. rbateman says:

    That’s the caveat in the report.
    “We still don’t understand exactly how jet streams trigger sunspot production,” says Pesnell. “Nor do we fully understand how the jet streams themselves are generated.”

    What might not happen is the magic threshold of 22 degrees sets off the normally expected sunspot activity given the shallow angle of entry.
    Might not be steep enough & bounce off or refract even shallower.
    Who knows what with the crazy way things have progressed.
    We certainly are getting more Tiny Tims, but enjoying it less.

    Wisely, they left the back door unlocked.
    Just in case.

    Here’s a thought: Sunspot Cruises. You jump in a special Jumbo jet and fly off to where the Sun is shining to get a rare glimpse of a spot.
    Nah.

  7. CodeTech says:

    By that logic, they should give me the Lottery Jackpot, because my numbers were “basically correct” as well.

    I’m amazed this even got released, it doesn’t really say anything.

  8. Ian Cooper says:

    It’s great to see that some folks don’t need much to get excited about things. I’ve tried looking for some of those “spots” this year using a 10cm (4 inch) f/9 Newtonian, similar to my first ‘scope that I bought 35 years ago. Space Weather would announce a new spot so, first chance that I could get it was out with the ‘scope, but alas no success!

    My first sunspot drawings that I did back in the middle of ’75, when there were large groups on the sun even that close to minimum, show tiny specks in amongst those groups. Admittedly if there are no large spots to draw your attention to them then one could easily miss these micro-spots. However even with the heads-up announcements I’ll be blowed if I can find them.

    To me these people have missed the boat somewhat. It doesn’t matter that the sluggish jet stream has finally arrived at the 22nd parallel. What really seems to matter is that the jet stream IS sluggish, just like so many other solar indicators at present.

    Talk about clutching at straws! If the sun is not a major player in all of this, why are the mainstream solar physicists so desperate for the sun to crank up to the levels of the most recent cycles? You would actually think that more people would be happier at the prospect of a quieter sun. Less problems for those operating in the space environment for a starter.

    On a personal note my biggest regret about this coming quiet period, and I’m not just talking about the current minimum, will be the lack of aurorae at my latitude. The young, up and coming astronomers around here have grown up with my pictures of great aurorae taken from my mid-latitude home in New Zealand during the peaks of the last few cycles. Unfortunately they will have to move to the Aurora Capital of New Zealand, Invercargill (7 degrees south of here) to get any sort of view in the future. I am just not game enough to guess how long they may have to wait though.

  9. John A says:

    Wow. Even Leif thinks its a dubious correlation at best.

    I have two points to make about predictions about the current Solar Cycle:

    1. Predictions about the next solar cycle have been persistently wrong.
    2. Solar physicists are ignoring the wrong predictions without explanation rather than dealing with their failures.

    It ain’t science, folks. Its guessing. One day someone will get lucky and lead an entire science astray.

    A more general observation is that predicting the future is exactly what it used to be – very, very difficult to pull off unless you can induce amnesia in your audience or appeal to their venality or both.

    I suppose that could be the theme of the blog. It didn’t start off that way, but I’m depressed that solar physicists don’t appear to be addressing the failures of their models.

  10. Leon Brozyna says:

    Good to see this running here; just read it on Icecap and I must say that my first impulse is that I’m a bit skeptical. I’m getting the impresssion of relief being expressed – now that the jet streams have finally hit 22° latitude, sunspot activity will return to normal. I suspect we’re going to find that this may be a bit more complicated.

    For starters, why the change in the jet stream? Will such a slower change in its movement still impact sun spot formation with weaker field strengths? In a couple years we may have a clearer picture. Then again, there could be even more puzzles.

    Interesting times indeed.

  11. Roger Carr says:

    Leif = His own man.

    A rare breed today. Conservation required… perhaps demanded.

  12. Michael Ronayne says:

    Today a new Cheshire Spot has posthumously elevated to the status of Sunspot #1021 (with one spot) joining #1020 (with two spots) which should also have never have been assigned a number. To validate the existence of little #1021 the Mt. Wilson staff had to raise early and record #1021 at sunrise 6:45PDT (13:45UT -7) shortly before our Cheshire faded from view forever.

    2009/06/16 14:24 SOHO No spots.
    2009/06/16 20:48 SOHO One faint spot.
    2009/06/16 22:24 SOHO One small spot.
    2009/06/17 00:00 SOHO One growing spot.
    2009/06/17 06:24 SOHO One fading spot.
    2009/06/17 13:45 MTWL One spot on Mt. Wilson tracing.
    2009/06/17 14:24 SOHO One faint smug or pore.
    2009/06/17 16:00 SOHO No spots.

    SWPC did not make the birth/death announce until 22:00UT but #1021 continues to rack up a score of 11:

    SDF Number 168 Issued at 2200Z on 17 Jun 2009
    Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 16/2100Z to 17/2100Z: Solar activity was very low for the past 24 hours. New Region 1021 (S16W71) was numbered today.

    Today we learned that the game is crocket and everything including sun pores are going to be counted. If the Sun resumes normal activity this period will be forgotten and we will be dismissed as cranks or worse. If normal activity doesn’t return by the end of this year, our masters in Washington will have gained another sever months to loot the national treasury and reduce the United States of America to a third world country which is their ultimate objective. For now all we can do is record these events and plan for the future.

    Michael Ronayne
    Nutley, NJ

  13. KBK says:

    Note the green bands surrounding the equator-trending ‘jet streams’. The green areas appear significantly narrower this cycle than last cycle. WUWT? Looks like the new streams can’t appear until the green returns to +-50 degrees, and it’s very blue now at that latitude on the plot.

    Also, early in the previous cycle 23, we see pole-trending sunspots!

    A very interesting plot, I hope they keep it updated. Is it available in real time?

  14. rbateman says:

    Ian Cooper (21:33:13) :

    The spots this year are generally tougher than last.
    This one was gone before the Sun cleared the horizon for me.
    The odds are stacked against us.
    I wouldn’t give up, though, because if things get worse, it could be many years before you get another chance.

  15. K says:

    An impressive technique provided it measures what they say it measures. We are dealing with a flow several thousand miles under the surface of the sun.

    It seems possible that jet stream doesn’t exist at all. Still, something is being measured.

    My concern is the one cycle of data. Deciding that +- 22 degrees represents a more-or-less constant transition point seems ???? in the extreme.

    Anyone know if they have several cycles of data?

  16. MC says:

    I’m so so comforted by NASA’s new discovery of the Sun’s jet stream. Seems to me the whole revelation of the jet stream is somewhat meaningless. Why?

    Because there have been studies and analysis of the solar system which point to its effect on the sun. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn there is another sun jet stream under this one. Again I say what does it matter. What really matters is what the sun does as these forces react with it to produce changes here on Earth.

    I can make this analogy. NASA in all its scientific ability has dicovered that the “wheel turns around and around”. Yet they wander about not learning why the “wheel turns”. If they looked past their noses they could see some force(s) which pushes or pulls the wagon which then “turns the wheel”.

    I can’t believe that NASA is still staring at the sun and trying to figure out what makes the sun turn without looking outward to understand the other forces that are at work which effect solar activity. Could they look outward to study the gravitational affects on the sun by the planets that then may help them understand this new sun jet stream?

    I don’t buy the idea that because NASA has achieved so much in space exploration that somehow they are the know all of other stellar subject matter. I think these guys need to pull their heads out of the spokes of the wheel and look for whose feet are on the pedals.

  17. AEGeneral says:

    The current solar minimum has been so long and deep, it prompted some scientists to speculate that the sun might enter a long period with no sunspot activity at all, akin to the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century. This new result dispells those concerns. The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating, and the sunspot cycle is not “broken.”

    Okay, I need to voice a complaint here.

    This paragraph should be deleted in its entirety. It’s nothing more than countering speculation with differing speculation masked as conclusive evidence. Even the title has a question mark in it (Solved?), and yet we read, “This new result dispells those concerns.” Then we read on to see phrases such as “We still don’t understand,” and “Nor do we fully understand….”

    I’m almost inclined to send a complaint e-mail about this. Sorry, but from my point of view, this entire paragraph is not only unprofessional, it’s blatantly unethical.

    If anyone else sees it differently, I’m willing to hear them out. I’m human & overreact on occasion. But this really bothered me.

  18. rbateman says:

    If the SWPC numbers don’t do it for you:
    Use the SONNE numbers. They are much more realistic about the numbering of Tiny Tims.
    http://www.vds-sonne.de/gem/res/results.html

    June Provisional:
    day | GP# | ssn#
    01. | 0.8 | 16
    02. | 0.8 | 17
    03. | 0.8 | 15
    04. | 0.8 | 13
    05. | 0.3 | 5
    06. | 0.0 | 0
    07. | 0.0 | 0
    08. | 0.7 | 8
    09. | 0.7 | 8
    10. | 0.0 | 0
    11. | 0.0 | 0
    12. | 0.0 | 0

  19. Les Francis says:

    NASA trying to justify someones salary?

    Another Scientific W.A.G.?

    Why didn’t the team wait for more solid evidence of correlating sunspots to support their theory before releasing this?

  20. Kath says:

    I don’t see any signs of a start of new jetstreams at +-50 degrees. Assuming that the previous cycle is repeatable of course. If it’s repeatable, we should also be seeing numerous cycle 23 spots at the moment.

    I guess they are feeling around in the dark hoping for some pattern or trend that shows that everything is normal and the Sun will eventually be active as usual. Reassurance for the masses. I, however, am quite content to be living through a period of unusual solar activity. Very interesting times indeed. Having said that, I will be buying a set of winter tires this autumn!

    Perhaps NASA should hire soothsayers to read entrails….

  21. Gino says:

    When did it happen that ‘scientists’ stopped being people who asked questions and they became people who thought they had to create answers? Discovery has given way to determinacy.

  22. astronmr20 says:

    Interesting piece, but explains exactly jack squat.

  23. deadwood says:

    Discovery has given way to determinacy.

    Yes, that is about it.

    We have an administration that vows to listen to scientists, but the scientists have been replaced by soothsayers.

  24. Anaconda says:

    So many predictions down the memory hole.

    They don’t have a clue.

  25. Geoff Sharp says:

    I did a report on this very topic back in Feb….not much has changed but notice Dr. Howe is now using a similar graphic to one I sent her.

    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/2009/02/25/latest-solar-differential-rotation-information/

    But interesting that Howe et al are leaning towards solar activity arising from activity at the Tachocline.

  26. Ron de Haan says:

    Anthony,
    This statement is political, not scientific.

    This statement is made to take the wind out of the sails of those politicians who argue against the Waxman Bill using the Solar Minimum to motivate their view.

    The “Reds” are at it again.

  27. Ron de Haan says:

    Geoff Sharp (23:53:33) :

    I did a report on this very topic back in Feb….not much has changed but notice Dr. Howe is now using a similar graphic to one I sent her.

    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/2009/02/25/latest-solar-differential-rotation-information/

    But interesting that Howe et al are leaning towards solar activity arising from activity at the Tachocline.

    Geoff, Anthony,

    This posting should be added to the article.

  28. tallbloke says:

    Yesterday upon the sun
    I saw a pore but now it’s done.
    I kept a note of this tiny mote
    And a veritable spot it’s become.

  29. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    Why 22 degrees? and not, for instance 42? Or is it a typo?

  30. Tucker says:

    John A: Solar physicists are ignoring the wrong predictions without explanation rather than dealing with their failures.

    It ain’t science, folks. Its guessing. One day someone will get lucky and lead an entire science astray.

    One of the more germane statements I have seen in quite some time. The more media lemmings that jump off the cliff, the more that are created.

  31. rbateman says:

    Ron de Haan (00:49:28) :
    That vanishing act yesterday was not worth more than a 3.
    Spot count for month shoud be 2.8, not the 4.5 listed here:
    http://www.solen.info/solar/
    Half truth: Fractional sunspot activity with a paint job.
    Activity has picked up, but it’s not back to normal by any means.

  32. Arthur Phillip Dent says:

    “Why 22 degrees? and not, for instance 42? Or is it a typo?”

    Please, don’t panic

  33. C Colenaty says:

    I wish that someone who is knowledgeable of sunsposts would post a comment that compared sunspot frequency and sunspot size between the initial periods of cycles 23 and 24. That would provide a benchmark for assessing just how unusual (if that turns out to be the case) the present sequence of tiny tims is. I’ve read a lot of complaints here about the tiny times, but haven’t seen much data.

  34. jeroen says:

    Looking in the furture of a solarcycle is the same as gambling. The sun is very old and whe have seen just a little part of it. Whe don’t know anything other than there is a small cycle of 11 years. There could be another cycle or cycle’s

  35. rbateman says:

    Unlike temp sensors gone bonkers in Honolulu, you cannot fake a spotted sun firsthand on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Congressmen should be treated to a daily showing by some members of AAVSO.
    There’s nothing like a level playing field of reality to make the game more interesting.

  36. maz2 says:

    *”OUTSIDE THE NORM’

    “This is a situation outside the norm.

    We have all these programs in place, but this is outside what we would normally expect our agricultural insurance to protect, so we need the extra help,” he said, citing water hauling trucks, drought loans, acreage payments, and counselling as some of the aid measures he hopes governments will provide.”

    “”We are in a one-in-25-year drought situation.

    That’s how low the moisture is,” said Paul King, manager of agriculture and environmental services for the county. “Compounding the lack of moisture with a significantly cooler spring, the two frosts back-to-back at the start of seeding in June really set us back.””
    …-

    “Coldest Weather in 100 Years to Strike by 2012

    Today, for the first time in over two years, the Director of the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) in Orlando, Florida, has issued a new prediction of the next climate change intended to emphasize the imminent ill-effects of this new climate period in an important warning to the American people and their leadership in Washington.

    According to Center Director John Casey, “The climate change predictions which I started to pass out to our government and media in early 2007 based upon the ‘RC Theory’ have now come to pass, exactly as forecast. Global warming has ended, conclusively, as predicted. The Earth’s average temperature has begun its steep decline within the time frame I said it would. And last but not least, the Sun has entered a state of ‘hibernation’ when I said it would. This new solar period is one of the most amazing events in the history of science. During solar hibernations, the Sun makes significant reductions in output which always, always, brings long cold climates to the Earth. Unbelievably, this historic phenomena is still largely and intentionally unreported by the media and our leaders and therefore unknown by the American people. The new cold climate will usher in global travail that will be amplified specifically because of the catastrophic climate change policies of the administration of President Barack Obama that will leave most citizens unprepared.”

    As to when the ill-effects of the new cold climate will be felt, Director Casey added, “The most frequent question I am asked is how soon will it get cold and just how cold? The purpose of this press release is to give the people an answer to that fundamental question in a more refined schedule to plan their adaptation to the next climate change. It is now possible to make an estimate of the timing of the descent into the next cold climate depths based upon the past behavior of the these solar cycles that have ruled the Earth for at least the last 1,200 years. The forecast of these major cold eras and solar hibernations associated with these cycles shows them to be accurate to over 90% using the RC Theory. The good news is that the SSRC will do what ever it can to get this information out even though our own government will not.”

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12084#When:00:15:00Z

    * Dry weather dire for canola farmers
    By CLARA HO, SUN MEDIA
    The Edmonton Sun

    *http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2009/06/18/9835786-sun.html

  37. Purakanui says:

    Ian Cooper
    Or even Rakiura (Stewart Island), the Land of Shining Skies. Much nicer than Invercargill.

  38. Arthur Phillip Dent says:

    On May 29 Nasa released an updated forecast for cycle 24 with far more conservative estimates than they were originally forecasting. To what extent this new press release is political rather than scientific will be very easily measured by the extent to which Nasa now modify or supercede their May 29 prediction.

    I think we can expect to be kept in the dark, in all respects.

  39. Tom Thatcher says:

    Lots of stuff gets announced at scientific meetings and conventions, but never ends up being published in peer-reviewed journals, for various reasons. Any conference-related press releases should be taken with a large dose of salt until the data is actually in print.

  40. John W. says:

    Leif,

    I realize you doubt the hypothesis that solar activity is the principal driver of climate variation. Properly evaluating it will require a very long time series of data. As we go forward in time, we’ll be able to collect a lot of data on magnetic fields, solar wind, and broad spectrum irradiance (Gamma, UV, IR). However, that will have a limited time span. Going back and attempting to evaluate the hypothesis will require using sunspot as a proxy to infer values for fluctuations in solar energy (across the full spectrum), magnetic field, solar wind, etc. Thus the concern over whether the official sunspot count is consistent with past counting technique.

    So, a few questions if and when you get the time.

    1. Is there any objective standard, such as seconds of subtended solid angle and duration, that is used to determine what constitutes a spot (based on observation in the visible spectrum)?

    2. If not, why not?

    3. Could the historical record be examined to develop a lower boundary for observability?

    4. Would that allow us to review current sunspot counts and address the concern that some parties may be “cooking the books?”

  41. Sean Houlihane says:

    C Colenaty (03:27:19) : I wish that someone who is knowledgeable of sunsposts would post a comment that compared sunspot frequency and sunspot size between the initial periods of cycles 23 and 24.
    Whats wrong with all of the other cycle transitions. You should know that the transition is not well defined, each new cycle starts pretty much independent of the precious finishing. http://www.solen.info/solar/ has plots of each previous cycle, http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Engwelcome.html has some analysis of the evolution of SC23 compared with previous cycles. Google will find you much more, without relaying on the selected information provided here.

  42. Jim Hughes says:

    C Colenaty ( 03:27:19)

    I wish that someone who is knowledgeable of sunsposts would post a comment that compared sunspot frequency and sunspot size between the initial periods of cycles 23 and 24. That would provide a benchmark for assessing just how unusual (if that turns out to be the case) the present sequence of tiny tims is. I’ve read a lot of complaints here about the tiny times, but haven’t seen much data.


    I’m perplexed about the complaining going on with these smaller groups all the time. And it makes no sense to me and it reminds me of what happens when someone puts out a seasonal forecast and then only hypes what he or she has forecasted.

    The community has been counting these small groups, of about 10 millionths, for as long as all of us have been around and this is nothing new. And while their region percentage is higher now, do to the lower activity level, it is not more numerous sunspot number wise. And this is technically what this all about.

    And if you go back and look at other years, not even at solar maximum, like 1999, you will see countless daily groups of 10 millionths being added to the daily tally. (150 + in the year probably. )

    So the prior averages would not be quite at the same level if we were to dismiss them altogether….basically a push then differential wise.

    And the Cycles from the 1600′s or 1800s’ would be slighly different than also. Or stronger I should say because you would then have to add these groups that most say were being unaccounted….again a differential push.

    So none of this tinkering will help those who want to “solely” equate sunspot numbers with global temperatures. And I’m a strong advocate of the solar – climate relationship.

  43. Claude Harvey says:

    This latest NASA release reminds me of a breathlessly delivered fashion report on the emperor who had no clothes.

  44. Jon H. says:

    When I was in school… “The sunspots visible even with solar telescopes are the size of the whole USA or larger”

    Not too long ago… “In order to be counted as a sunspot it has to be the size of Texas or larger.”

    Now…. “In order to be counted the smudge or pour needs to be the size of a large building.”

    Sooo.. To me, we are still in a minimum period. As little as we know, we sure seem to think we know a lot.

  45. tallbloke says:

    Ron de Haan (00:55:52) :

    Geoff Sharp (23:53:33) :

    I did a report on this very topic back in Feb….not much has changed but notice Dr. Howe is now using a similar graphic to one I sent her.

    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/2009/02/25/latest-solar-differential-rotation-information/

    But interesting that Howe et al are leaning towards solar activity arising from activity at the Tachocline.

    Geoff, Anthony,

    This posting should be added to the article.

    Seconded, well said Ron.

  46. rbateman says:

    C Colenaty (03:27:19) :

    The sun is not that simple. The problem of overcounting comes to the forefront when all that you have are tiny tims. Where do you stop? Increased ability to detect ever-smaller spots all the way down to pores makes for mayhem when the rules are stretched by imagination.
    Examine this list: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/DSD.txt
    Compare the SESC sunspot number to the 10E-6 area (size)
    On June 1st, 2009, you have a sunspot number of 23, and a size of 80.
    On June 5th, 2009, you have a sunspot number of 13, but a size of 10.
    Do the math.
    By dead reckoning, if counting were relational, the sunspot number for June 5th would be
    23/80 * 10 = 2.8 if we go by June 1st count. But it’s 13.
    It gets worse:
    On June 3rd, 2009, the spot number was 17, but the area is 10.
    On June 4th, 2009, the spot number is again 17, but the area is 20.
    Counting is messed up. Not even in the ballpark.
    That’s just for starters.
    Throw in spots that vanish in an hour and spots that nobody ever saw and you have the makings of a 3-ring circus.
    Loose rules, sloppy counting and unanswered monkeybusiness.

  47. Robert Wood says:

    That sun speck Spaceweather labelled 1021 didn’t even last 24 houts; one had to look hard to see it.

  48. Mark Wagner says:

    taking three years to cover a 10 degree range in latitude compared to only two years for the previous solar cycle.

    let’s do some cipherin’ (…3 guzinta 2…carry the one…) that’s approx 33.33% longer than “normal” for this (admittedly) short analysis period.

    Continuing that on would make cycle 24 about 14 years long?

  49. wws says:

    for AEGeneral – congratulations! You’ve begun to realize that, as far as NASA or anyone in officialdom is concerned, Ethics went out the window a long, long time ago.

    We now live in the world of policy-based ‘evidence’.

  50. Glenn says:

    After reading the press release I leave with the impression that they’re trying to justify their new satellite and the paychecks required by the scientists whom will be interpreting it.

    The nice thing about this ‘prediction’ is that we can observe it and determine if it’s correct sooner rather than later.

  51. Mom2girls says:

    The entire release has the ring of desperation. Reeks of it. The kings soothsayers are desperately trying to explain why their spells are broken. To no avail. Now it sounds like they’re just making stuff up. My 3yr old buys these sorts of explanations. Sometimes. Mom? Not so much.

    I almost feel sorry for them. Almost. Those of us with careers involving scientific research have all suffered through presentations where the speaker was grossly unprepared. This sort of explanation would have just chummed the waters. I can only imagine what my dissertation director would have done had I stood before my committee and uttered such. LOL. Chummed the waters indeedy… It would have been a dreadfully long and miserable afternoon. For me anyways.

    The paragraph AEgeneral and others objects to should never have found its way into *any* scientific paper. Much less one subsidized by my tax dollars. I’ve cleaned *less* smelly dirty diapers. This morning in fact.

  52. “Spheromak”

    The flux tubes that run below the sun’s surface currently have low current running through them. This has relaxed the electric field of the flux tube and thus the magnetic field, around those tubes. The tube is one long tube, similar to a rubber band that is doubled or tripled up.

    Think of it as a ‘spheromak’, a device that is used to fuel tokamaks and is also a stable toroidal plasma configuration that has its own toroidal and poloidal fields. If we allow the spheromak to double or triple up like the rubber band, this is one way to look at what is going on with the lack of sun spots and how those spots even come to be.

    During times of higher sunspot activity, these flux tubes have much more plasms current running through them and experience ‘helicity’ which in turn provides resistance to the plasma current running through those tubes. That excess is drained off in the form of CMEs which rebalance the current and resistance (helicity), by releasing those areas of high plasma density in a rather explosive manner called a Coronal Mass Ejection.

    This helicity allows plasma to drag magnetic field lines away from the flux tubes which causes a magnetic bubble in a sense. These bubbles are the sunspots. Once the plasma pressure exceeds the resistive helicity of the flux tube system, less resistance is seen at the base of the bubbled up field, the path from the bases has less resistance between then versus through the length of the tube. The base then shorts out, blasting plasma and field lines away from the sun. The “sigmoid” that develops tells you that the helicity is really high and get ready for a blamo event.

    Rarely occasionally, during heighten solar activity, we see donut shaped toroids or smoke-ring looking configurations during CMEs (not these newly declared “crescents” or “croissants”, but complete ring shaped donuts). This is the blasted off field lines re-connecting onto a circular toroidal current (or spheromak).

    So, if the magnetic field strengths are low, there will be very few sunspots (or specks) because there is low current running through these flux tubes and the plasma current is not dense enough to extrude field lines.

    All of this is very easily demonstrable by twisting a computer mouse cord and wacthing what the twisting does to the shape. It causes a loop to form that looks like subtended field lines that are ready to blow. It forms an omega shape where the base of the two sides are closer together (less resistive path) than the path through the loop to the other side of the base.

    I am not a scientist but plasma configurations really interest me. I ask you intelligent people to look into what a “spheromak” is.

    Go to the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment: http://plasma.swarthmore.edu/SSX/index.html
    What does a spheromak look like? http://plasma.swarthmore.edu/SSX/formation/spheromakexplain.jpeg

  53. Michael Ronayne says:

    The now dead Cheshire Sunspot #1021 continues to rack-up a score of 11 as of this post. We have seen the goalpost moved multiple times, the goalpost has been lowered, the game clock stopped and now any ball can be used in the game. What’s next, performance enhancing drugs for solar astronomers and astrophysicists? On second through, given some of the pronouncements coming out of NASA and SWPC lately this may already be a problem.

    I have been thinking about what a Livingston & Penn event will look like statistically where the referee is crooked and every Cheshire Spot and sun-pore is going to be counted as a real sunspot. We will see the monthly average sunspot number raise to about 10 and then plateau there unless multiple events start occurring at the same time. Look at the red “Sunspot number” line on this image to see what I am talking about and note #1021 to the extreme right which is now running up the score.

    http://www.solen.info/solar/images/solar.gif

    In another bit of bad news, it appears that the SOHO MDI Magnetogram imaging system is again MIA; that will be a loss if this continues.

    Mike

  54. gary gulrud says:

    Geoff Sharpe turn us on to these folks a\

    \]

    Instructive write up. Geoff Sharpe started writing on Howe’s results a couple of months ago, but the ‘jet stream’ simile makes it clearer to this layman. This is the result of baroclinic forces arising from shear at the tachocline.

    I predict we have a winner(along with Livingston and Penn) in the Heliophysics sweeps for 24. The polar fields, Shatten, et al., will now decline in interest as an effect.

  55. Sean says:

    Why not wait until F10.7 is back up to a monthly average of 75, and see that the spots look like then. Will we see bigger spots, or just tiny spots which last all month – or till the relation between Rz and F10.7 be significantly altered? At the moment, the sunspot count is not usefully different to zero and it’s hard to tell if the detail of the count has any interest – particularly when there are other measurements which give easier indications of the location of the mimimum…

  56. gary gulrud says:

    Sorry for the mess, baby was assisting.

  57. “The current solar minimum has been so long and deep, it prompted some scientists to speculate that the sun might enter a long period with no sunspot activity at all, akin to the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century. This new result dispells those concerns. The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating, and the sunspot cycle is not “broken.”

    What postulate that the solar dynamo didn’t work during the Maunder Minimum? Maybe the sunspot forming magnetic fields were to weak to reseach the surface in the same way as they are now. Now nearly all we get are solar plages.

  58. kim says:

    Mom2girls 6:21:12

    A great comment. Now, wouldn’t it be cool if that baby could tell what was running through Mom’s mind as she changed the diaper? It won’t be long and she will be able to think like you.
    ===================================

  59. Bob Kutz says:

    It is my opinion that these ‘scientists’ have reverted to the psychology of a doomed cultist tirbe; if they just offer enough sincere group thought and interpretation of God’s will through the reading of the latest tea leaves, they can affect change in something they don’t truely understand, just by collectively wishing it so.

    It appears as though they are engaging this mentality on several fronts; AGW propter hoc CO2, Solar Cycle anomalies, ice shelf collapse, etc. The depth of the sickness is manifest in their willingness to corrupt the data to conform to their beliefs, and even misinterpret the data as necassary; i.e. lowering the standards for a sunspot in order to produce more sunspots. (This will surely be pleasing to the Gods.)

    Usually in these scenarious, at some point, someone with intelligent understanding arrives to find the entire cult has a) starved to death, b) all died of some mysterious disease for which modern science has provided a simple cure or c) are all completely naked for reasons incomprehensible to the newly arrived and uninitiated conferee.

    Either way, it will surely provide future psychologists will copious amounts of material for case study. Imagine the paper; ‘The AGW cult; group hypnosis in the scientific community.’ I would be willing to lay down a little cash that that article (or close approximation) will appear in Psychology Today, American Journal of Psych, or the British Journal of Psych. within the next 15 years.

  60. Jim Hughes says:

    Mike,

    Region 1021 was visible toward the end of the day and on the 16th, and the MDI image around 22z showed it, but SWPC did not count it in their daily tally. Should we complain about that? Or that the limb proximity of Region 1021 is bad now so the sunspot might not be gone, just unable to be seen. When does it end ?

  61. Teakboat says:

    That is a particularly strange report. It reminds me of being in elementary school and being told that plants grow by photosynthesis. As if that label really explains anything. Explain this process to us. Is there really causation established? And even so, do we know if this happened during the Dalton? Is there really any reason to celebrate yet?

    It is suddenly very disconcerting that NASA is so obviously actively hoping for a fast ramp-up for cycle 24. Why do they really care?

  62. Hank says:

    “solar jetstream” ugh. Am I wrong to think that whoever coined that term suffers from a lack of imagination? As far as I’m concerned the great “greenhouse” metaphor creates as much misapprehension as comprehension. Are we headed in a similar direction with talk of solar jetstreams?

  63. Jack Green says:

    Whatever is the cause of this minimum I don’t think anyone is going to be able to explain it and I doubt even more that a prediction can be made of when it will end. We don’t have enough data nor a computer simulation accurate enough to produce a match of history let alone good enough to project forward. You first have to match historical behavior before you can predict the future. We can’t forecast the weather or the economy now what makes you think we can forecast the sun’s weather? NASA is looking like a bunch of fools with this one and they know it. Some politician said we need to quiet the pitchforks with some data. Now back to standing on your heads. (little humor)

  64. JeffK says:

    Just to throw my $.02 worth into the mix, from reading the release & looking at the helioseismic map, they are focusing in the wrong area of the map. All of the talk is toward the ‘jet stream’ close to the equator of the sun. However, looking at the helioseismic map with the sunspot plots overlayed, the sunspots seem to be more closely related to the ‘polar jet stream’ (PJS) than to the ‘equatorial jet stream’ (EJS).

    If you look at the very right edge of the plot, at the high latitudes (above 60 deg), the previous PJS is migrating toward the poles, off the chart, and the sunspots from the previous cycle are winding down. There is a roughly 2 year ‘quiet’ period till a new PJS begins to form at around the 50 deg area and the sunspots begin to grow in intensity as the PJS intensifies as well until, at the end of this latest cycle, the PJS migrates up to the polar regions and dissaprears. As the PJS is too close to the poles, the sunspots fade away. There has been no new PJS formation anywhere around the upper mid-latitudes and the sunspots have been very quiet.

    Also, if you notice at the left side of the map, the latitude ‘width’ of the equtorial region is quite wide (nearly 120 deg in latitude) whereas now, that width of the region is only 80 deg wide…that is a 40 deg shrinkage. The areas from approx 40 deg lat up towards the poles is *very* quiet.

    My prediction is that until a new area of mid-latitude (>40 deg) enhancement begins to form & move toward the polar region, the sunspot activity will continue to remain suppressed.

    I would like to see a longer plot of helioseismic maps from past cycles to see if there is a corrolation to my observations.

    Regards,
    Jeff

  65. JeffK says:

    “If you look at the very right edge of the plot, at the high latitudes…”

    Duh…correction; that should read…

    “If you look at the very *left* edge of the plot, at the high latitudes…”

    Sorry ’bout dat!

    Jeff

  66. mddwave says:

    What a coincidence? 22 degrees is the same angle as the angle for halos around the sun.

  67. Dan says:

    It seems like very small sunspots such as the one numbered 1021 yesterday may not have even been noticed with equipment available during previous minimums such as the maunder, dalton, etc. Can anyone fill me in on how we know we are comparing apples to apples?

    If there is some truth to this “sluggish solar jet stream” theory, could it mean that when the jet stream is sluggish, the cycles only produce these small spots that may have passed without notice in the early 1700′s and early 1800′s. The minimum would have been perceived as very long, because there was no discernible maximum (at the time).

    I would be interested if anyone could point me to any background on this.

  68. Katlab says:

    If I may respond to NASA’s statement.
    “I still don’t fully understand how CO2 triggers global warming. No do I fully understand how Hansen’s temperature streams are generated.”

    Speaking as a former statistician, I cannot conceive that even the best intentioned person, could maintain an accurate database of numbers when 75% of their data stream has been eliminated since 1990. The utter refusal to use alternative data sources such as UAH simply boggles the mind.

    When I worked for the government, I felt it was my duty to provide as accurate a number as I could to keep the politicians honest. They couldn’t say employment and wages were going up, if they were going down. Integrity of the data is all that stands truth and propaganda.

    Mr. Hansen if your cause is true the numbers will show it. People who do right welcome the light shining on their work. The fact you keep your work hidden, speaks of cowardice and knavery. If these charges offend, show forth your work and prove me wrong.

  69. fredlightfoot says:

    Trying to predict the suns internal movements is equivalent to gazing at the hairs on your arm and telling the second on the left past that ‘spot’ to stand up strait.

  70. Douglas DC says:

    NASA always was a political organization “No bucks no Buck Rodgers”-a line for the movie “The Right Stuff.”-about a time when we weren’t afraid of our own shadow or carbon footprint.This is all about funding,and the ability to keep NASA in business.
    However looking for the cycle 24 ramp-up is becoming like looking for the Christmas
    Pony in the pile of Horse Manure…
    BTW-Lief-what is this “Jet Stream” thing? and what if anything does it do with the
    well known ‘Solar Conveyor’?…

  71. Tim Clark says:

    Kath (22:38:16) :
    I don’t see any signs of a start of new jetstreams at +-50 degrees. Assuming that the previous cycle is repeatable of course. If it’s repeatable, we should also be seeing numerous cycle 23 spots at the moment.

    Whats interesting to me are the colors. More yellow in the “jet stream” as it approaches the equator. Is that more “ringing” or less. And in the last cycle the navy blue grouping just inside the “stream” increases in area as the V narrows. Is the interior being condensed until it blows out as a sun spot?

  72. Anaconda says:

    @ George Varros (06:34:31):

    You are on the right track, the Sun is electrical in nature, being constituted of 99.9% plasma, charged particles. As I suspect you know, plasma is ‘quasi neutral’ , that is, while being overall neutral (an equal number of electrons and ions), it seperates into differentiated regions of charge, seperated by double layers.

    Your construction reflects the scientific observations & measurments made of the Sun.

    I have several points: You mention “current” several times, but don’t say, “electrical current”, is that intentional?

    You state: “This helicity allows plasma to drag magnetic field lines away from the flux tubes which causes a magnetic bubble in a sense.”

    Do you mean the electric current of the plasma changes and the magnetic fields follow the new paths of electric current?

    You state: “The base then shorts out, blasting plasma and field lines away from the sun.”

    Do you mean the double layer short circuits causing the double layer to explode, driving plasma away from the Sun which in turn froms a new set of magnetic fields which reflects new patterns of electron movement or flow?

    You mention a “sigmoid”, do you subscribe to the idea that a sigmoid is electrical in nature?

    You mention, “[magnetic] field lines”, do you consider “field lines” as a conceptual aid that maps a “field” of undifferentiated continuum of magnetic strength?

    The Sun when more active than now has a plasma torus, a “donut” of plasma as your schematic indicates, this has been observed & measured, there is no scientific dispute about the existence of this structure.

    Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) become magnetic field aligned electric currents of plasma (Birkeland currents) that flow to the
    Earth causing large electrical disturbances in the Earth’s atmosphere, the aurora (indeed, this is an addition to the Earth’s total energy budget that needs to be taken into account).

    The sooner scientists start dealing with the electrical structure of the Sun, the closer they might be to predicting it (“might” is the operative word).

    But you don’t have a chance to predict something until you have a grasp of its physical structure and processes.

  73. This issue is for Geoff Sharp. Why?, see:
    The results indicate that `solar dynamo’ that was long sought in the solar interior, operates more likely from the outside, by means of the varying planetary configurations. As has been shown in Charva tova (1995a, b, c, 1997a), the solar motion could aid predictions also for terrestrial phe-
    nomena including climate.

    http://www.giurfa.com/charvatova.pdf

  74. Gino says:

    “Please, don’t panic”

    What was the question again?

  75. gary gulrud says:

    “they are focusing in the wrong area of the map.”

    Doubt it. The tachocline is the interface between the uniformly rotating football-shaped core(football standing on end) and the lagging outer envelope.

    The baroclinic forces originate, therefore, at higher latitude than on earth, at about 60 degrees. The ‘jet stream’ lies at the interface between polar and tropical regimes here and if the analogy is consistent that interface moves south over the course of time with the new Schwabe cycle.

    IMO, this is a different paradigm than meridional circulation where polar effects are a source.

  76. Mark Lundborg says:

    Why are there “concerns” about another Maunder minimum-like period if the sun doesn’t effect climate? If you acknowledge the “concern”, doesn’t that mean you are acknowledging that the sun is the primary driver of heat on earth, and CO2 and other factors are minor?

    What an admission!

  77. Michael Ronayne says:

    Jim,

    Sunspot #1020 was counted for a two day and one day interval, or three days in total with a number of 12, without a single Earth based image that I could find. If there is such as image of #1020 please post the link. Mt. Wilson saw absolutely nothing! In the SOHO MDI Continuum images #1020 may have existed for 5 hours on and off and that is being generous; it did not survive for 72 hours as the official record would indicate. Sunspot #1020 will be the classic example of a Cheshire because it faded in and out of visibility several time. If you have not yet played with the SOHO Movie Theater go to this link and use it:

    http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/soho_movie_theater

    As I indicated in the table posted above, #1021 reached maximum size at 2009/06/17 00:00UT. The SOHO Movie Theater shows its behavior quite nicely. Sunspot numbers can be adjusted after the fact because before there was electronic communications it would take a letter weeks or months to get around the world. With the exception of #1020, which was assigned a number instantly, because I suspect it had two spots at birth, it is typical to wait for ground based verification. The official start of #1021 may well be 2009/06/16 20:48UT or 22:24UT once a consensus is reached.

    Mt. Wilson Observatory is located at (34°13′33″N 118°03′25″W). According to the Navel Observatory on June 17, 2009 sunrise at Mt. Wilson would have been at 12:40UT or 05:40PDT. The tracing was made at 13:45UT or 6:45PDT, which is 65 minutes after sunrise. I am sure that Mt. Wilson is staffed whenever the sun is above the horizon. If seeing conditions were not good Mt. Wilson may not have reported #1021. 34 minutes after Mt. Wilson made its tracing #1021 is reduced to pore in the SOHO image but still it is being counted as of this post.

    My point is that without SOHO, which became operational in May 1996, #1020 would never have been reported and it is extremely unlikely that #1021 would have been observed either. When you hear reports that the sun is returning to normal then what is normal?

    Should we ignore #1020 and #1021, absolutely not because they look exactly like what Livingston and Penn are predicting, just don’t compare them to the historic record as that comparison may be meaningless. As Dr. Svalgaard has suggested we may need to rethink how we define Sunspots or if Sunspots are even a good proxy for solar activity.

    Mike

  78. rbateman says:

    Jim Hughes (07:06:15) :

    You haven’t gone out and tried to chase these things down, or you wouldn’t be so quick to take aim at the consternation over phantomistic panorama.

    Let me be the one to paint the real picture for you:
    Last year I could project most of what was counted.
    Oh yes, the overdid it a bit, and a lot of us grumbled even then.
    This year, I’m having a very hard time projecting 1/3 of what is counted.
    And that’s not including what never survives the night to be projected for my day.

    SWPC/NOAA and SIDC are not the only ones in the world capable of maintaining a spot count, and as far as I am concerned, they’ve allowed themselves to be painted into the phantom spot corner.

    It stinks. That’s the big deal.
    Why?
    Because the Sun cannot be altered in the Sky, and those of us who have gotten our duffs outside to see for ourselves know exactly Watts Up With That.

  79. rbateman says:

    Dan (07:29:04) :

    Find yourself an amatuer astronomer. You know, those goofy guys out with thier telescopes and fancy filters, etc. We number in the low millions these days. Shouldn’t be too hard.

  80. Mark Lundborg (09:39:20) :

    Why are there “concerns” about another Maunder minimum-like period if the sun doesn’t effect climate? If you acknowledge the “concern”, doesn’t that mean you are acknowledging that the sun is the primary driver of heat on earth, and CO2 and other factors are minor?
    These CONCERNS are but the outer symptom of their conscious inner “jet stream” of guilt currents.

  81. rbateman (09:41:53)
    Because the Sun cannot be altered in the Sky, and those of us who have gotten our duffs outside to see for ourselves know exactly Watts Up With That.

    Good idea: Tell those guys just to read WUWT to find the right explanation, so they won’t lose their jobs by making quite a tangle of lies hard to disentangle.

  82. Bill P says:

    Well, well. So, Pamela was right. It is the jet stream. ; – )

  83. Mark Adams says:

    Here’s my take on the Sun. The spots we had 3 weeks ago were the PEAK of Cycle 24 not the start. Cycle 24 is early, but it has a great negative offset related maybe to that big solar step function Anthony has made reference to around the first of 2003.

    Also, there may be an interaction between the Sun and its near planets that we have never seen before because its magnetic field has never been this low before. It might explain the ice ages.

  84. geo says:

    What I *like* about this press release is that it is NOT the typical “tablets handed down from on high” appeal to authority that sunspot experts (kaff!) have been handing down for the last two years.

    Instead, it propounds a mechanism and theory that is testable in the near future. That, my friends, is one hell of an improvement.

    And if it turns out right, these guys deserve some serious kudos for perhaps giving us a much more accurate way to predict future sunspot activity.

    And if it turns out wrong, they still get props from me for putting their stuff out there in advance and letting the chips fall where they may.

  85. Nasif Nahle says:

    How much loss of internal pressure represents one of these subsurface jet streams? I’m just a little worried about it… I couldn’t forget the Sun is a G2V.

  86. Nasif Nahle says:

    I meant “loss of thermal pressure”.

  87. Anaconda (08:51:20) :
    @ George Varros (06:34:31):

    You are on the right track, the Sun is electrical in nature, being constituted of 99.9% plasma, charged particles. As I suspect you know, plasma is ‘quasi neutral’ , that is, while being overall neutral (an equal number of electrons and ions), it seperates into differentiated regions of charge, seperated by double layers.

    Your construction reflects the scientific observations & measurements made of the Sun.

    I have several points: You mention “current” several times, but don’t say, “electrical current”, is that intentional?

    Yes, intentional. It is plasma current and possibly self limiting in that increased plasma current results in higher helicity of the flux tube which results in the plasma pressure having to go somewhere and it does by dragging field lines away from the main flux tube. The plasma pressure ‘inflates’ the magnetic loops and ultimately bubbles them up into an ‘omega’ shape.


    You state: “This helicity allows plasma to drag magnetic field lines away from the flux tubes which causes a magnetic bubble in a sense.”

    yes. the twisting up of the flux tube is an increase in helicity which acts or causes a resistance or causes the moving plasma current to sort of get backed up. It then needs somewhere to go.

    Do you mean the electric current of the plasma changes and the magnetic fields follow the new paths of electric current?

    No.

    You state: “The base then shorts out, blasting plasma and field lines away from the sun.”

    Yes. When the ‘short’ occurs between the two sides or base of the ‘omega’ shape of the looped up field lines, the entire area of field lines become disconnected and are in a magnetic configuration that is opposite of the configuration they were in before the disconnection. It is like two magnets that all of the sudden oppose each other.

    Do you mean the double layer short circuits causing the double layer to explode, driving plasma away from the Sun which in turn froms a new set of magnetic fields which reflects new patterns of electron movement or flow?

    No. Not sure we have a double layer as described by Alfven.

    You mention a “sigmoid”, do you subscribe to the idea that a sigmoid is electrical in nature?

    Well, it is that the more torsion or twisting that occurs on the flux tube, these two regions at the base are dragged from their original positions, to their position as a sigmoid. The sigmoid means CME is eminent. If you watch the evolution of one of the spots that starts sigmoid-ing, and twist up a mouse cord or piece of rope, you will see how the twisting tries to cause both parts of the base to migrate;

    You mention, “[magnetic] field lines”, do you consider “field lines” as a conceptual aid that maps a “field” of undifferentiated continuum of magnetic strength?

    Let me make a movie or set of slides of this as it is very easy to demonstrate and easy to understand. Should I ?

    But you don’t have a chance to predict something until you have a grasp of its physical structure and processes.

    But, knowing a few things about flux tubes and plasma pressure sort of makes sunspots a little more understandable and thus also understandable as to why there are so few right now. The magnetic field is down, the plasma output is low, things are flowing smoothly and there are low differentials. A few years back, I did some garage experiments with helium and flyback transformers and was able to inflate field lines away from a persistent electrical arc and sustain them occasionally by allowing just the right amount of gas to flow, to allow a portion of the electrical arc to bubble out. It was like a high speed version of a chunk of field line that is about to CME. I guess a flare that seems to trigger a CME is the actual ‘shorting of the circuit’ event.

    With an active sun, there is an active magnetic field, loads of plasma output and all kinds of signs of twisted up loopy field lines, inflated with plasma pressure. I have no idea why all this goes from an active to inactive state.

    My apologies for not using correct terminology! I’m not a scientist but merely an amateur astronomer with interests that go beyond my schooling.

    In 1997, I submitted a paper to the AGU on ‘Blue Jets’ which appear to be the results of ejected spheromaks. The paper was rejected because at the time, only Sentman and Wescott of UAF in Alaska may have been the only ones to have observed blue jets and get footage of them.

    What spawned the paper was that I happened to get lucky and see several blue jets and one was easily recognizable as a blue ‘smoke ring’. Sentman and Wescott footage of a mesoscale event over the Texarkana area also show this although not completely clearly due to the LLV cameras they used back in the day. The reviewer’s comments were based all on sprites, a different beast indeed so they were clueless. CMEs that end up being toroid shaped and the toroidal nature of the leading edge of blue jets are… x-zacktly the same.

    GV

  88. David Gladstone says:

    This release is laughable, the condescension tangible and the speculation visible and refutable. I disagree with geo, there’s nothing to like here at all, it’s just more BS.

  89. Nasif Nahle says:

    rbateman (12:41:22):

    Aren’t those sunspots from , 1997? What is the similitude between July 7th, 1997 solar activity and the current solar activity?

  90. M. Simon says:

    In the old days science was about the certainty of results.

    Now all we have is the certainty of prediction. And if you didn’t like my old predictions I have others.

    The new science: we can predict anything and given enough time we will.

    [snip]

  91. [snip you have been banned - see message in the Honolulu weather station thread]

  92. P. Hager says:

    Leif,
    Rather than counting sunspots, would it make more sense to report and track the area of the sun covered by sun spots. If I am not mistaken, the reports include this information.
    I haven’t plotted this yet, but I’m curious if that might present a better insight into solar activity.

  93. Jim Hughes says:

    Michael Ronayne (06:38:30)

    Sunspot #1020 was counted for a two day and one day interval, or three days in total with a number of 12, without a single Earth based image that I could find. If there is such as image of #1020 please post the link. Mt. Wilson saw absolutely nothing! In the SOHO MDI Continuum images #1020 may have existed for 5 hours on and off and that is being generous; it did not survive for 72 hours as the official record would indicate. Sunspot #1020 will be the classic example of a Cheshire because it faded in and out of visibility several time. If you have not yet played with the SOHO Movie Theater go to this link and use it:

    http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/soho_movie_theater

    As I indicated in the table posted above, #1021 reached maximum size at 2009/06/17 00:00UT. The SOHO Movie Theater shows its behavior quite nicely. Sunspot numbers can be adjusted after the fact because before there was electronic communications it would take a letter weeks or months to get around the world. With the exception of #1020, which was assigned a number instantly, because I suspect it had two spots at birth, it is typical to wait for ground based verification. The official start of #1021 may well be 2009/06/16 20:48UT or 22:24UT once a consensus is reached.

    Mt. Wilson Observatory is located at (34°13′33″N 118°03′25″W). According to the Navel Observatory on June 17, 2009 sunrise at Mt. Wilson would have been at 12:40UT or 05:40PDT. The tracing was made at 13:45UT or 6:45PDT, which is 65 minutes after sunrise. I am sure that Mt. Wilson is staffed whenever the sun is above the horizon. If seeing conditions were not good Mt. Wilson may not have reported #1021. 34 minutes after Mt. Wilson made its tracing #1021 is reduced to pore in the SOHO image but still it is being counted as of this post.

    My point is that without SOHO, which became operational in May 1996, #1020 would never have been reported and it is extremely unlikely that #1021 would have been observed either. When you hear reports that the sun is returning to normal then what is normal?

    Should we ignore #1020 and #1021, absolutely not because they look exactly like what Livingston and Penn are predicting, just don’t compare them to the historic record as that comparison may be meaningless. As Dr. Svalgaard has suggested we may need to rethink how we define Sunspots or if Sunspots are even a good proxy for solar activity.

    Mike

    Mike,

    I have no qualms with your comments about Region 1020, and your SOHO comments are noted, but this really isn’t about any particular region anyway. Since my comments were related to the continual complaining about these small regions being numbered. Almost day in and day out. And similar regions have been counted prior to this time frame like I mentioned before.

    So the real difference isn’t “their” presence. But the lack of any larger groups is. Which we all know about. As far as a new way of measuring or counting. I guess you could do this but I’m still not sure why one needs to change things other than to sleep better.

    I mean you have the areal coverage to go by and everyone knows that it is way behind average wise. And then we have the solar wind and geomagnetic activity acting somewhat out of character also. So we all know that the sun is not behaving the same as it has during the previous several cycles.

  94. Bill P says:

    Howe and Hill found that the stream associated with the next solar cycle has moved sluggishly, taking three years to cover a 10 degree range in latitude compared to only two years for the previous solar cycle.

    The jet stream is now, finally, reaching the critical latitude, heralding a return of solar activity in the months and years ahead.

    “It is exciting to see”, says Hill, “that just as this sluggish stream reaches the usual active latitude of 22 degrees, a year late, we finally begin to see new groups of sunspots emerging.”

    (Anyone more physics-oriented): Is it correct to assume that this slow “migration” of the solar jet stream toward the equator (the red-and-orange bands in the graph) is related to the magnetism of the material in the stream… whereas the east-to-west movement is due to solar rotational speed?

  95. vukcevic says:

    For ‘misguided’ minority who happen to believe that magnetic field in plasma could only exist as a result of an electric current flow this image
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/ElctCurrent-Plasma.jpg
    is nothing new, for the many may just be an ‘irrelevant’ coincidence.
    This is what actually happens in Joint European Torus science research centre
    http://www.jet.efda.org/pages/focus/heating/images/7c.jpg
    the largest man-made magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment currently in operation. Its main purpose is to open the way to future nuclear fusion experimental reactors (sun’s helium is a product of hydrogen fusion).
    Why not learn about what may be going within sun’s interior from the experiments conducted in science labs, rather then forever indulge in a guessing game?

  96. pkatt says:

    Are they reintroducing the butterfly chart?

  97. rbateman says:

    Nasif Nahle (13:05:10) :

    rbateman (12:41:22):

    Aren’t those sunspots from , 1997? What is the similitude between July 7th, 1997 solar activity and the current solar activity?

    That’s May, 1977, 12 months after minimum.
    So, we’ve got what, 6 months to go depending on where the current minimum should be?
    Testing 1 2 3

  98. Jim Hughes says:

    rbateman (09:41:53) :

    Jim Hughes (07:06:15) :

    You haven’t gone out and tried to chase these things down, or you wouldn’t be so quick to take aim at the consternation over phantomistic panorama.

    And you know this how ? And it doesn’t matter anyway

    Let me be the one to paint the real picture for you:
    Last year I could project most of what was counted.
    Oh yes, the overdid it a bit, and a lot of us grumbled even then.

    This year, I’m having a very hard time projecting 1/3 of what is counted.
    And that’s not including what never survives the night to be projected for my day.

    I am sorry your having a rough time getting it right but like I told Mike. We all know that this cycle is behaving differently.

    —-

    SWPC/NOAA and SIDC are not the only ones in the world capable of maintaining a spot count, and as far as I am concerned, they’ve allowed themselves to be painted into the phantom spot corner.

    No they’re not the only one but I always go by the International number when it comes to official sunspot count anyway when I look back over things even though I talk about the SWPC alot.

    —-

    It stinks. That’s the big deal.
    Why?
    Because the Sun cannot be altered in the Sky, and those of us who have gotten our duffs outside to see for ourselves know exactly Watts Up With That.

    Clever ending I’ll give you that.

  99. Adolfo Giurfa (08:57:52) :
    The results indicate that `solar dynamo’ that was long sought in the solar interior, operates more likely from the outside, by means of the varying planetary configurations. As has been shown in Charva tova (1995a, b, c, 1997a), the solar motion could aid predictions also for terrestrial phenomena including climate.
    http://www.giurfa.com/charvatova.pdf

    You are referring to the idea of spin-orbit coupling. This was discussed in great detail in the comments here
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/21/the-sun-double-blankety-blank-quiet/

    The conclusion was that the spin-orbit coupling idea is not supported by science and is to be considered falsified. See also the gree update box at
    http://arnholm.org/astro/sun/sc24/sim1/

    We should look elsewhere to explain solar activity.

  100. ralph ellis says:

    >>>The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating,
    >>>and the sunspot cycle is not “broken.”

    Not necessarily. If a jetstream is moving its latitude at a slower speed than usual, then this may well equate to decreased energy within the system that is driving this motion.

    Thus the jetstream may well get to the magic 22 degrees latitude, and still prove to be a damp squib in terms of Sunspot numbers. Unless we have more data on more cycles, we simply cannot tell, but my best guess is that sluggish jetstream motion will equate to sluggish Sunspot activity.

    Ralph

  101. Frank Hill says:

    Hi Everybody–

    I’m Frank Hill, the guy who gave the press release presentation in Boulder, and the Program Scientist for the Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) helioseismology program. GONG is a set of six instruments located in California, Hawaii, Australia, India, Spain and Chile. GONG is a facility of the National Solar Observatory (NSO) component in Tucson, Arizona. We are not funded by NASA, but by the National Science Foundation (NSF), under a cooperative agreement with the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). Our web site is http://gong.nso.edu. We did use some NASA data in our work, and that’s why they got involved with the press release.

    I’ve been reading with great interest the comments on this blog, and I have to say I am very impressed by the enthusiasm and healthy skepticism generated by the press release. One of the key qualities of the scientific process is to question everything, probe for deficiencies and discuss alternative interpretations. Another key aspect is the ability to reject incorrect conclusions especially when you yourself make them.

    I’d like to provide some more background, and respond to a few issues that have come up in the discussion so far. First of all, if you have not yet found it, here’s the URL for the press conference web site: http://spd.boulder.swri.edu/solar_mystery/. This page has the full set of unaltered graphics, including a movie of the inside of the sun over the last 14 years. In particular it has versions of the flow map that has a color bar indicating the speed of the flow, which was cropped off by the news media. The speed in the diagram ranges from +5 meters per sec (m/s) to -5 m/s. These speeds are residuals that remain after the surface differential rotation pattern is removed. The equivalent speed of the surface rotation ranges from about 2100 m/s at the equator to 1500 m/s at the poles. So, you can see that we are talking about a small flow compared to the rotation. The picture shows zero residual speeds as green, faster than average (positive) speeds as red/yellow, and slower than average (negative) speeds as blue.

    The flow, which is actually known as the torsional oscillation (TO) in solar physics, was discovered on the surface of the sun in the early 1980s by Howard & LaBonte. We thus have only three solar cycles of observations that have measured the TO on the solar surface. Until we had the continual unbroken helioseismology observations that began in 1995 with GONG and SOHO, we did not know that the flow penetrated into the solar interior. We can see the pattern clearly down to about half-way through the convection zone (about 105,000 km below the surface), and we believe that it probably extends down to the tachocline at the base of the convection zone about 210,000 km deep. The results in the press release are at the relatively shallow depth of 7,000 km.

    We used the term “jet stream” instead of “torsional oscillation” in the press release because most people are familiar with “jet stream” from daily weather reports, and because there are many similarities between the jet stream and the TO. There are, of course, also many differences.

    The TO takes approximately 17 years to fully migrate from the sun’s poles to its equator. Thus, there are always two TO patterns present on the sun for a given solar cycle which lasts from 8 to 14 years. The helioseismic observations cover the whole of the sunspot cycle 23 (left side of the picture) and the start of cycle 24 (right side). However, the TO for cycle 23 started back in cycle 22, and the TO for cycle 24 has first visible in 2003. Thus the TO exists even when there are no sunspots on the sun, which to me suggests that it is a more fundamental feature of the process than the sunspots.. It is virtually certain that both the TO and the sunspots are consequences of an underlying and poorly understood dynamo mechanism that generates the solar magnetic field. Our results show an apparent association between the evolution of the flow and the timing of the appearance of sunspots for a cycle: the apparent delay of the new cycle is very similar to the extra length of time taken for the TO to travel to the latitude where the spots appeared in the last cycle. Now this is simply an association, and correlation alone certainly does not prove causality. But all science starts with this sort of observation.

    In order to fully understand a recurring phenomenon, we typically need to observe many hundreds of periods. We only have 23 relatively well-observed solar cycles, and only three TO cycles so far. The image shows the entire set of helioseismic data of this phenomenon. It will take thousands of years, many human lifetimes to completely understand and sample all of the behaviors the sun throws at us, and we must do the best we can with our limited knowledge. The understanding gets continually refined as time goes on, more data is obtained, and better theories are developed.

    The TO is not the same flow as the “solar conveyor belt”. That flow is a north-south flow, known as the meridional flow in solar physics. All flows: the torsional oscillation, the meridional flow, the changes in polar speed (see below), the tachocline, and the differential rotation must be taken into account in a full dynamo theory.

    Turning to JeffK’s comments: the “polar jet stream” he refers to is the large yellow area in the center of the images at the top and bottom. However, this yellow (positive) speed alternates with blue (negative speed) unlike the “equatorial jet stream” which is a strip of positive speed in a sea of green (zero) speed. We thus interpret the “polar jet stream” as an alternating speed up and slow down of the poles of the sun, and this is actually the source of the torsional oscillation nomenclature. It is certainly clear that the polar speed up has not yet happened for cycle 24, and also clear that it started in cycle 23 just as the sunspots showed up. Since all three things (sunspot appearance, start of polar speedup and the TO reaching around 20 degrees) essentially happened at about the same time last cycle, and the TO has reached the same latitude as when everything took off last time, we conclude that it is likely that cycle 24 will take off soon as well. We will see.

    Most solar physicists are not “desperate” for the sun to crank up its activity; instead we are fascinated by its behavior. With the hysteria over climate change and the hope of some people that we are entering a Maunder minimum so we can dispense with that global warming nonsense and keep on driving our gas guzzlers, solar physicists occasionally feel the need to point out the solar dynamo is apparently chugging along as usual with only small deviations from its normal behavior.

    For those who think this is a “condescending” article and who scoff because there are no sunspots today, the message was meant to be that the typical rapid onset of activity is likely to happen soon, say in the next few months. Not tomorrow. Sorry if it was confusing.

    Keep up the thinking, and discussing, folks!

  102. rbateman says:

    Jim Hughes (14:18:41) :

    I am sorry your having a rough time getting it right but like I told Mike. We all know that this cycle is behaving differently.

    — Never had a problem projecting spots since 1965, the year I got my first scope. Problems aiming a 60mm with a .925 eyepeice…yes. Spot visibility..no.
    2008 – no problem projecting 90% of what Mt. Wilson drew. They have a 12″ APO, I have a 70mm Achromat, 4.5″ reflector and a 16″ reflector.
    (DO NOT point a wide open 16″ Newt at the Sun !!)
    Don’t be sorry for me, be sorry for the Sun.

    What’s your scope collection look like?

  103. M. Simon says:

    For ‘misguided’ minority who happen to believe that magnetic field in plasma could only exist as a result of an electric current flow

    Wouldn’t that be Maxwell, J. C.?

  104. Nasif Nahle says:

    rbateman (14:13:50) :

    Nasif Nahle (13:05:10) :

    rbateman (12:41:22):

    That’s May, 1977, 12 months after minimum.
    So, we’ve got what, 6 months to go depending on where the current minimum should be?
    Testing 1 2 3

    Got it! Six months ahead for testing if jet-streams really are causing the spotless Sun, as NASA scientists have assumed. We’ll see by the next December…

  105. Jeremy says:

    The whole tone of this thing reads like a condescending Papal edict from those “who know what’s best for us”.

    Are we actually that much further ahead than 5,000 years ago when a group of elders proudly showed the tribal leaders their new monument and emphasized how the wise priests now understood the Sun: they could even predict its behaviour by looking through those columns at Stonehenge – what proof of power and wisdom!

    What piffle from NASA.

  106. kim says:

    Frank Hill 15:40:00

    Excellent, and thanks. Now couldn’t a dynamo that complex be subject to perturbation by tidal forces from barycentric action?
    ============================================

  107. Nasif Nahle says:

    vukcevic (14:11:51) :

    …the largest man-made magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment currently in operation. Its main purpose is to open the way to future nuclear fusion experimental reactors (sun’s helium is a product of hydrogen fusion)…

    And in massive stars (8-28 M), Helium becomes a nuclear fuel during presupernova or supergiant evolution. Helium lasts “burning” for about 500 thousand years. After Helium, the stages of burning” continue in sequence: Carbon, Neon and Silicon.

  108. Anaconda says:

    @ George Varros (12:51:56) :

    Think electrical.

    Where did your ideas originate from: ” A few years back, I did some garage experiments with helium and flyback transformers and was able to inflate field lines away from a persistent electrical arc and sustain them occasionally by allowing just the right amount of gas to flow, to allow a portion of the electrical arc to bubble out.”

    “[T}ransformers” are electrical. An “electrical arc” is obviously electrical. Here on Earth no one disputes a magnetic field is only derived by an electric current. The transformer likely modulated the electric arc (electric current) causing the magnetic field to change in shape in response to the change in current density of the electric arc. The helium possibly ionized in the presence of the electric arc forming a plasma that in turn modulated the magnetic field and the electric arc. A “plasma current” is a current of charged particles (electrons and ions). Electrons which have ordered movement are defined as an electric current, which will generate a magnetic field.

    I want to commend your experimental work.

    And I commend your effort at trying to publish your ideas in a peer-reviewed journal, that takes a lot of work and perseverance.

    Do you know about plasmoids?

    What is the relationship, if any, between a spheromak and a plasmoid?
    I think if you compare a plasmoid and a spheromak, you’ll find they are similar. In fact, plasmoids also can take a toroidal shape.

    Keep going with your ideas and the experimental work.

  109. Nasif Nahle says:

    By the way, Silicon lasts “on fire” only one day. That’s the future of our yellow dwarf star. Sometimes I’ve thought if the Sun is not going in the opposite way, that is, if instead going on towards being a white dwarf, it is actually running towards being a giant. Nah!

  110. kim says:

    Is it possible that the effect, assumed from the cycles, of barycentric action is not the tidal forces that Leif assures us are insignificant in the sun, but is instead felt directly on earth and determines the apparent cyclicity in the climate, by local, and not solar effects?
    ======================================

  111. kim says:

    The earth is freely falling with respect to the gravitational forces acting upon it from the big planets, but not with respect to the gravitational forces acting from them upon the sun. Is it enough to perturb the system? What system?
    ========================================

  112. kim says:

    Frank Hill 15:40:00

    That was excellent, and thanks. It looks as if the dynamo is increasingly complicated, the more we know about it. So much for platitudes. Can it possibly be such a fundamentally delicately balanced interweaving of forces, this dynamo, could it have a point where perturbation by the miniscule tidal forces from the big planets might effect the overall manifestation of the dynamo?
    ==============================================

  113. kim says:

    Heh, I must have a guilty conscience. I wrote the repetitive 17:53:04 because I thought my 16:49:35 had been deleted for mention of the ‘b’ word.
    ========================================

  114. Geoff Sharp says:

    Carsten Arnholm, Norway (15:12:34) :

    You are referring to the idea of spin-orbit coupling. This was discussed in great detail in the comments here
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/21/the-sun-double-blankety-blank-quiet/

    The conclusion was that the spin-orbit coupling idea is not supported by science and is to be considered falsified. See also the gree update box at
    http://arnholm.org/astro/sun/sc24/sim1/

    We should look elsewhere to explain solar activity.

    This is not science….you have been challenged by myself and Ian Wilson to present your findings properly including the data and to also have it peer reviewed. You have declined. So nothing is falsified and you are being misleading to all in here and others that read your website.

  115. MattN says:

    This was “news” way back in 2006: http://www.physorg.com/news66581392.html

    Except they predicted cycle 24 was going to be HUGE, with #25 being smaller as a result of the slowing conveyor.

  116. Anaconda says:

    @ vukcevic (14:11:51) :

    Your characterization of the Sun being electrical in nature is correct based on the evidence I have seen.

    I agree with you that irradiance is not the full measure of the Earth’s energy budget received from the Sun, but also must include the additional electromagnetic energy the Earth receives from the Sun as well.

    Your diagrams add to my base of knowledge and understanding. I found your paper on the Sun’s cycle of electromagnetic energy (solar maximum and solar minimum). Your description and explanation is interesting. It is one of the better explanations on why the Sun’s electromagnetic eneryg level cycles.

    You are ironic — it is not the ‘misguided’, of course, who understand that the Sun is electrical in nature, rather, it is those that have enough common sense to believe their own eyes (noting the difference between the solar maximum and solar minimum) and who recognize and respect the established laws of physics.

  117. John A says:

    Dear Frank Hill

    Thank you very much for spending the time to make your lengthy response to our probing questions.

    I’ve been reading with great interest the comments on this blog, and I have to say I am very impressed by the enthusiasm and healthy skepticism generated by the press release. One of the key qualities of the scientific process is to question everything, probe for deficiencies and discuss alternative interpretations. Another key aspect is the ability to reject incorrect conclusions especially when you yourself make them.

    I completely agree with this statement. Which brings me to my point which I made here on my blog. The lack of sunspots when the TO has already reached the “critical” latitude of 22 degrees means that the hypothesis has already been falsified, or at least, been shown to be oversimplistic, as you yourself make the point:

    However, the TO for cycle 23 started back in cycle 22, and the TO for cycle 24 has first visible in 2003. Thus the TO exists even when there are no sunspots on the sun, which to me suggests that it is a more fundamental feature of the process than the sunspots.

    Which leads me to the next point:

    <eMIt is certainly clear that the polar speed up has not yet happened for cycle 24, and also clear that it started in cycle 23 just as the sunspots showed up. Since all three things (sunspot appearance, start of polar speedup and the TO reaching around 20 degrees) essentially happened at about the same time last cycle, and the TO has reached the same latitude as when everything took off last time, we conclude that it is likely that cycle 24 will take off soon as well. We will see.

    So which causes the other? Or was it coincidence? Under what set of circumstances is your theory falsified?

    Most solar physicists are not “desperate” for the sun to crank up its activity; instead we are fascinated by its behavior. With the hysteria over climate change and the hope of some people that we are entering a Maunder minimum so we can dispense with that global warming nonsense and keep on driving our gas guzzlers, solar physicists occasionally feel the need to point out the solar dynamo is apparently chugging along as usual with only small deviations from its normal behavior.

    I don’t hope to keep driving a gas guzzler. I don’t even own a car. What I want to avoid is impoverishing the lives of my children because of the hysteria over a minor constituent of the atmosphere. I want better, clearer and more useful science to help us all make better choices.

    I do hope for a coherent theory of climate that actually includes the key actor in the drama – the longterm behavior of the Sun. Somehow, somewhere we should be able to point to specific interactions between the Sun’s variation and the Earth’s atmosphere/ocean system and be able to show clear mechanisms. I suppose that the reason why we at WUWT and elsewhere have been so fascinated (and enthusiastic!) about solar science is that we would like solar science to be a whole lot better at characterizing the behavior of the Sun, because at the moment, its a free-for–all of competing hypotheses.

    And so far, all of the ones that have predicted the upswing of solar cycle 24 have been flat out wrong. I would urge solar scientists to step forward and say so. Keeping solar science honest means a clear-out of bad ideas and an acknowledgement of ignorance of how the Sun behaves and how scientific predictions should be communicated.

    Finally, as a personal note, I make no personal attacks of solar scientists or question their motivations. Climate science is above “neck deep” in accusations and counter-accusations and little useful energy is left to advance the science itself. So I criticize predictions of solar behavior because the predictions are wrong, not because I think solar scientists are stupid or corrupt (they’re not).

    So I welcome your intervention into comments on this blog and look forward to more engagement by the solar science community in this exciting field.

    JohnA

  118. MC says:

    Frank Hill

    Thanks for your time here.

    I think it would be helpful for you and others at GONG to engage in an effort to connect a few dots. By that I mean its way past time for some of you to grab hold of the policy making community and point out the obvious correlations associated with a weak or long solar cycle.

    Its obvious the sun is a variable star. You go to great lengths to point this out. You just don’t come out and say it. This sir is a great injustice and will result in immense social disruption. Please use your status and your knowledge to convey to others what possibilities lie ahead if the suns jet stream is late in getting started.

  119. philincalifornia says:

    Frank Hill (15:40:00) :

    With the hysteria over climate change and the hope of some people that we are entering a Maunder minimum so we can dispense with that global warming nonsense and keep on driving our gas guzzlers, solar physicists occasionally feel the need to point out the solar dynamo is apparently chugging along as usual with only small deviations from its normal behavior.
    ———————————-

    Great post Frank. It’s a testament to Anthony’s high standards that you would come on this blog and post that.

    Given that, I do feel a bit guilty in advance by perhaps correcting you on one of your conclusions (above). I think it’s fair to speak on behalf of a number of posters on here. The apparent “hope of some people that we are entering a Maunder minimum” is probably overreaching. I think many posters on here express some satisfaction at the recent cooling, not because they feel a need to drive “gas guzzlers” but rather that it will, hopefully, bring a timely end to the corruption and distortion of the real scientific process by some prominent so-called “scientists” (and their political nitwit friends).

    Humanity has many, many real problems to deal with, including those related to the environment, the complex, real solutions to which would be supported by the vast majority, if not all of the posters on this site.

  120. kuhnkat says:

    Jim Hughes

    “Or that the limb proximity of Region 1021 is bad now so the sunspot might not be gone, just unable to be seen. When does it end ?”

    The sunspot is unable to be seen?? And how are we supposed to compare UNSEEN sunspots to the historical record??? We need a CONSTANT RECORD THAT IS COMPARABLE TO THE HISTORIC RECORD if it is to have consistent usefulness!!!!

    There MAY have been unseen sunspots in the past. Now that we are able to “see” and measure these “unseen” sunspots there should be a parallel record of them. The historic record should NOT be contaminated with apples and rocks.

  121. Frank Hill writes
    Most solar physicists are not “desperate” for the sun to crank up its activity; instead we are fascinated by its behavior. With the hysteria over climate change and the hope of some people that we are entering a Maunder minimum so we can dispense with that global warming nonsense and keep on driving our gas guzzlers, solar physicists occasionally feel the need to point out the solar dynamo is apparently chugging along as usual with only small deviations from its normal behavior.This assertion would be more impressive you had refrained from saying “gas guzzlers”.

    It would also be more impressive were it not glaringly obvious that the sun is grossly deviating from the behavior that has been observed over the past few hundred years.

    It would also be more impressive if your organization, and presumably you yourself as spokesman for that organization had not issued a long serious of false prediction that the sun would shortly resume normal activity.

  122. Mark T says:

    vukcevic (14:11:51) :

    For ‘misguided’ minority who happen to believe that magnetic field in plasma could only exist as a result of an electric current flow this image
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/ElctCurrent-Plasma.jpg

    Clearly I am confused. Are you being facetious?

    Mark

  123. kuhnkat says:

    vukcevic,

    “For ‘misguided’ minority who happen to believe that magnetic field in plasma could only exist as a result of an electric current flow this image…”

    The reference you provide is to an artificial, externally forced, field. How does this compare to Nebulae or Jets seen by astronomers where there is no external containment equipment????

    Admittedly, in the sun, there could be externally contained plasma bodies. My WAG is not. Additionally, are there not current(s) flowing in ALL plasmas whether they are self maintaining or not?? Isn’t this part of the DRIFT that has made it so difficult to build a stable, producing, reactor??

  124. rbateman says:

    kuhnkat (20:00:33) :
    The historic record should NOT be contaminated with apples and rocks.

    Yes, I agree 100%. I, the layman, should not have to go mucking about, digging and scratching at old records & new records, being a pest for links to
    data I cannot find by googling, resorting to consortiums of amatuer astronomers and reading reams of papers just to try & piece back together the puzzle of increased resolution counting and kludged measuring.

    The people who are the keeper of the official records should have seen this coming decades ago and cleared the roadblock for rush hour.
    Don’t have the time?
    Fine.
    Give me the grant $$$. I’ll take that job.

  125. rephelan says:

    Frank Hill (15:40:00) :

    Thanks for your post. Please, please, please post again. A lot of us just want to learn. Sometimes we may not like the message…. but anyone who thinks an exchange between Lief Svalgaard and David Archibald on this site is boring belongs on Joe Romm’s site.

  126. Nasif Nahle says:

    kuhnkat (20:00:33) :

    Jim Hughes

    “Or that the limb proximity of Region 1021 is bad now so the sunspot might not be gone, just unable to be seen. When does it end ?”

    The sunspot is unable to be seen?? And how are we supposed to compare UNSEEN sunspots to the historical record??? We need a CONSTANT RECORD THAT IS COMPARABLE TO THE HISTORIC RECORD if it is to have consistent usefulness!!!!

    There MAY have been unseen sunspots in the past. Now that we are able to “see” and measure these “unseen” sunspots there should be a parallel record of them. The historic record should NOT be contaminated with apples and rocks.

    Not if the excess of brightness of faculae and spicula overweighs the lowered degree of sunspots’ luminosity. In this case, the sunspot would be “invisible” to the human eye, which would be a very important problem for computing sunspots in historic times.

  127. Geoff Sharp says:

    It might be time to come up with our method of counting sunspots so we can have a contiguous record. It wouldnt be too hard, we just need to agree on what not to count (by pixel size and duration) and then go back over the SC24 record at solarcycle24 and re calibrate.

    Its time for the Layman to take control.

  128. ralph ellis says:

    >>>What I want to avoid is impoverishing the lives of my children
    >>>because of the hysteria over a minor constituent of the atmosphere.

    And cost us money it will. Here is the UK government imploring councils yesterday to spend lots of our hard-earned cash because the UK is going to be 6 degrees warmer by 2080, and our farmers will be growing bananas (apparently).

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8107014.stm

    Since we have witnessed a decade-long global cooling since 1998, I’m not sure how the UK Environment Secretary (and his advisors) suddenly decide that it is going to get 6 degrees warmer.

    Yes, these observations and the associated science are very important to our economic future, which is why we don’t need scientists like Mr Hill jumping on the “my theory explains everything, give me more funding” bandwagon. Comments like “This new result dispells those concerns. The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating” (based upon limited data) are hype, not science.

    Ralph

  129. Tenuc says:

    I think the problem that science has got at the moment is we do not yet have a good enough understanding of the mechanisms which drive our sun or planetary climates.

    My view is that our understanding could be improved if the whole sun/planetary system could be studied as a whole, rather than expertise being focused so much on specific elements. Often the ‘big picture’ view can give us better insight as to what is happening than the detail.

    Regarding current climate predictions I think the oscillating 200 year climate cycle could be right – time to buy the thermals I think…

    1410-1500 cold (Sporer minimum)
    1510-1600 warm
    1610-1700 cold (Maunder minimum)
    1710-1800 warm
    1810-1900 cold (Dalton minimum)
    1910-2000 warm
    2010-2100 (cold???)

  130. anna v says:

    Frank Hill (15:40:00) :

    Thank you for your input. It is appreciated.

    As you say, three cycles in what is a turbulent if not chaotic phenomenon are not enough, and you seem to be doing the best you can with the available data.

    The desire of the scientists convinced that CO2 is a minor player in whatever warming there is ( see the thermostat thread here) to find a PR mechanism equally imagination grabbing as floodings and dying polar bears leads some to the behavior of the sun.

    You use the term “climate change”, which for the cognoscenti means that you believe in CO2 global warming. Have you spent the time to read up on the physics behind the claim? I, as a physicist, have, and am convinced that there is very little in the tale except outputs of badly conceived and materialized computer programs.

    I think as you are careful that the sun is not high jacked for the PR of global cooling you should be equally careful that it is not used for PR of global warming either.

    Climate change is a tautology a scientist should not be adopting. A scientist should know that by nature’s construction the climate always changes.

  131. By the way, Silicon lasts “on fire” only one day. That’s the future of our yellow dwarf star. Sometimes I’ve thought if the Sun is not going in the opposite way, that is, if instead going on towards being a white dwarf, it is actually running towards being a giant. Nah!

  132. Frank Hill,

    Thanx for your participation and explanation. I do think the reference to the maunder minimum was a bit of a strawman for you to reference. I’ve seen a lot more speculation about the possibility of a Dalton minimum, which is what is suggested by a spin orbit coupling with Jupiter.

    It is time for solar physicists to ask for some help evaluating the gravitational impact of the solar mass heterogeneity and spin and the planets from a general relativity perspective. The simple newtonian and first principle reasoning with which spin orbit coupling has been dismissed won’t hold up. They don’t apply to extended spinning bodies. The solar quadrapole moment on the order of 10^^-6 may be significant to the phenomena of interest here, especially if dynamics end of concentrating the effects in the outer 2% of the solar mass, or even more in the fraction of that mass represented by the jet streams. You will find dozens of GR papers on spin orbit coupling, the quadrapole moment of extended bodies, frame dragging of spinning bodies, and mass “currents” that can generate gravitational waves. The tidal forces of of Venus and Jupiter are more than twice that of mercury (and earth), and we know how measurable the GR effects are on the orbit of mercury. Spin orbit coupling, mass quadrapole moments and frame dragging are MAINSTREAM in GR.

    The GR effects are not easy to analyze, and most of the published literature is related to black hole and neutron star type phenomena, but also to effects on gyroscopes in earth and solar orbits that are in “free fall” just like our Sun in its orbit. A 4m/s change in a 2000m/s flow impacting the outer 2% of solar mass, is already a phenomena on the order of 4 x 10^^-5. If it turns out shallow effects concentrated in less mass (or enhanced by magnetic fields) are significant to the part of the solar dynamo relevant to variation in solar activity, then GR effects of the solar spin, and mass heterogeneity and planetary tidal effects can’t be ruled out yet.

    The analysis of even the simplified coupling of the Jovian monopole “mass current” to the solar quadrapole moment, spin and internal mass currents hasn’t been done, and won’t be easy. Perhaps the appropriate GR experts can come up with a parameterized approximation of the forces involved that you can use in your solar dynamo models.

  133. MattB says:

    Geoff Sharp (23:45:07) :

    It might be time to come up with our method of counting sunspots so we can have a contiguous record. It wouldnt be too hard, we just need to agree on what not to count (by pixel size and duration) and then go back over the SC24 record at solarcycle24 and re calibrate.

    Its time for the Layman to take control.

    At least the record at this point should be easier to go through than if we wait a few years

  134. Jim Hughes says:

    kuhnkat (20:00:33) :

    The sunspot is unable to be seen?? And how are we supposed to compare UNSEEN sunspots to the historical record??? We need a CONSTANT RECORD THAT IS COMPARABLE TO THE HISTORIC RECORD if it is to have consistent usefulness!!!!

    There MAY have been unseen sunspots in the past. Now that we are able to “see” and measure these “unseen” sunspots there should be a parallel record of them. The historic record should NOT be contaminated with apples and rocks.

    Kuhnkat,

    It was nothing more than a light touch of sarcasm. And if you read my prior response you would know that I’m not the one trying to change anything. Because I’m content with everything. From the obvious quieter sun to even the way it is being measured.


  135. Anaconda (17:10:38) :
    @ George Varros (12:51:56) :

    Think electrical.

    Where did your ideas originate from: ” A few years back, I did some garage experiments with helium and flyback transformers and was able to inflate field lines away from a persistent electrical arc and sustain them occasionally by allowing just the right amount of gas to flow, to allow a portion of the electrical arc to bubble out.”

    My interests in plasmas such as a toroidal shaped plasma were spawned when I was lucky to visually see loads of sprites and jets in Aug 1997, when a bow echo unleashed a spectacular outbreak of the events. The Gods were at war. It was incredible. It was the jets that really captured my imagination as the most intense ones visually appear to be blueish donuts or bagels or smoke rings. The blue starters were a nice twisted double helix shape. From there, I simply did research into what a toriodal shaped plasma could be and I quickly found that the concept of a spheromak seems be what I observed. And, these blue jet like events — trumpet shaped and with a smoke ring looking front or leading edge, are blasted off the sun and they appear to be ‘identical’ in looks to blue jets. They were fleeting but to the discriminating eye, easily visible.

    I was schooled in electronics and have been reading several pubs for 30 years and combining all kinds of bits together, came to the conclusion that lightning associated with hail has the possibility to set up a situation that is similar to a magnetized coaxial plasma gun. At the time, I needed to solve the riddle of the e-field strength versus dielectric breakdown strength which were about an order of magnitude off so rejection of the paper was prudent, I did not have the background to be able to do the research; cosmic rays are most likely the answer, by laying down the original stepped leader so that the mega-discharge can occur. I was able to record one sprite on ASA 400 emulsion based film using a Pentax Spotmatic camera. I didn’t get any jets but tried.


    “[T}ransformers” are electrical. An “electrical arc” is obviously electrical. Here on Earth no one disputes a magnetic field is only derived by an electric current. The transformer likely modulated the electric arc (electric current) causing the magnetic field to change in shape in response to the change in current density of the electric arc. The helium possibly ionized in the presence of the electric arc forming a plasma that in turn modulated the magnetic field and the electric arc. A “plasma current” is a current of charged particles (electrons and ions). Electrons which have ordered movement are defined as an electric current, which will generate a magnetic field.

    You are probably spot on. The results were a spark that now looked like a mountain peak versus a direct line from the transformer lead to the ground lead. From a top view. this mountain peak appeard to be thin but had a 45 degree twist to it. The more helium injected into the region the higher the peak went and the more the twist. But there was a point where I could not increase the height and twist and that was probably caused by the voltage and current limitations of the flyback. I could never get the plasma to loop up like the loops on the sun and therefore could not get the “omega” shaped effect I was trying to achieve but felt I was really close. And my conclusion was that what I was messing with was actually how the sun sort of unleashed these toroids that look like the blue jets.


    I want to commend your experimental work.
    And I commend your effort at trying to publish your ideas in a peer-reviewed journal, that takes a lot of work and perseverance.

    Well thanks! However, be a skeptic, I am not a papered physicist or tokamak operator. I had a gentleman at NASA, a Mr. Otha Vaughan, urge me to submit based on the ideas I’d come up with. He was part of the Mesoscale Lightning Experiment. He was very inspirational, someone I will never forget.


    Do you know about plasmoids?

    I guess I understand the concept to some degree maybe. During the Aug 1997 sprite/jet event, I saw and photo’d a few events that seemed to be stationary balls of light that gleamed for a second or so. I guess they were somewhat irridescent in appearance. They looked like the star Sirius for an instant and would then wink out. These may have been what is described as a plasmoid that crushes down to a point before disappearing. Maybe conceptually similar to ball lightning but really short lived. I was not able to correlate them to lightning events, my mind’s eye was overloaded. They show up on a few of the photos shot during the event.

    What is the relationship, if any, between a spheromak and a plasmoid?

    I guess if a spheromak or toriodal shaped plasma has just the right field strengths, it could crush down into a little plasmiod; If they could get all the parameters correct in the lab, they maybe could create a small short lived star like object (without fusion). The donut shaped blue jets and some CMEs tend to expand versus crush down. I guess their properties are such that the plasma pressure exceeds the toroidal and poloidal field strengths and they are moving through a medium more dense than a vacuum.


    I think if you compare a plasmoid and a spheromak, you’ll find they are similar. In fact, plasmoids also can take a toroidal shape.

    Well, their aspect ratios are different. I think the plasmoid has greater field strength to plasma pressure. I am good at speculating and getting it wrong so beware. But, getting it wrong is one of the best ways I’ve found to ultimately get it right.

  136. anna v says:

    africangenesis (03:15:45) :

    It would be courteous to support with at least a link the claim:
    Spin orbit coupling, mass quadrapole moments and frame dragging are MAINSTREAM in GR.

  137. vukcevic says:

    Frank Hill (15:40:00)
    One of the key qualities of the scientific process is to question everything, probe for deficiencies and discuss alternative interpretations. Another key aspect is the ability to reject incorrect conclusions especially when you yourself make them.

    Thank you for your post.
    Absolutely agree with both expressed sentiments.
    I would add that ‘keeping alive’ incorrect conclusions may be a useful signpost for a path leading nowhere, to many others not to waste their time and energy, retracing the road to oblivion.

    M. Simon (16:08:51) :
    For ‘misguided’ minority ….Wouldn’t that be Maxwell, J. C.?

    Not at all, no conflict there, as far as I understood ‘dreaded’ Maxwell equations (occasionally, some decades later, still subject of my bad dreams).

    Nasif Nahle (17:07:58) :
    Helium lasts “burning” for about 500 thousand years. After Helium, the stages of burning” continue in sequence: Carbon, Neon and Silicon.

    I was referring to the experiments at JET the Culham Science Centre, Oxfordshire, UK.
    http://www.jet.efda.org/

    Anaconda (18:39:22) :
    Your characterization of the Sun being electrical in nature is correct based on the evidence I have seen.

    That not necessarily mean that I am correct. For time being let us just call it ‘inspired guess work’.

    Mark T (20:06:58) :
    Clearly I am confused. Are you being facetious?

    You mean ‘ironic’; a failure in any field of life (including science) is always easier to accept if you do not take yourself too seriously.

    kuhnkat (20:08:13) :
    The reference you provide is to an artificial, externally forced, field. How does this compare to Nebulae or Jets seen by astronomers where there is no external containment equipment????

    To be honest, no idea. I suppose possibly gravity as well as ‘current induced’ magnetic forces may provide containment. In plasma turbulent transport of energy is not necessarily diffusive. See this reference:
    http://solarmuri.ssl.berkeley.edu/~hhudson/cartoons/thetoons/Tan-Huang_cartoon.jpg
    A cartoon drawing attention to the perceived similarities between a Tokamak and a solar flare.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006A%26A…453..321T

    Finally: There is no particular dispute that electric currents do exist in the solar plasma. The crucial question is: are they a cause or the consequence of the major solar events.
    Quote from Dr. L. Svalgaard: The point is that there are lots of currents, but they are all effects of plasma movements distorting the magnetic field and causing a breakdown or change of the configuration. The currents are not the cause of the changes, but are a consequence.
    I am of the opinion, even if electric currents are a consequence, they do create or distort existing plasma carried magnetic fields, and therefore must contribute to the overall solar behaviour.
    See work by P. M. Bellan from Caltech, presented at: Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, October 29-30, 2007 .
    http://authors.library.caltech.edu/1892/1/BELpop03.pdf

  138. anna v,

    “It would be courteous to support with at least a link the claim:
    Spin orbit coupling, mass quadrapole moments and frame dragging are MAINSTREAM in GR.”

    Your point is well taken.

    This link gives and example of the types of returns you get from searching for “extended body” in the GR section of the arxiv archive:

    http://arxiv.org/find/gr-qc/1/abs:+AND+extended+body/0/1/0/all/0/1?skip=50&query_id=626243dd0a09bfeb

    Some papers I found tidbits enough in to bookmark were:

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/gr-qc/papers/0612/0612036.pdf
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/gr-qc/pdf/0405/0405058v2.pdf
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/gr-qc/pdf/0511/0511061v3.pdf

    Some other papers:

    http://sophie.pireaux.neuf.fr/public_html/page_web_perso_boulot/proc/dynamical_estimate.pdf
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/gr-qc/pdf/9909/9909054v2.pdf
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v392/n6672/full/392155a0.html
    http://edoc.mpg.de/335128

    I recall finding this google search productive:

    “quadrupole moment” symmetry gravitation

    In the interest of full disclosure, I was looking for pubs on this a week ago, and then dropped it, then recently quickly bookmarked what I had open, because I needed to reboot. This process may have been a little indescriminate. Apologies.

  139. Geoff Sharp (18:03:57) :

    Carsten Arnholm, Norway (15:12:34) :

    You are referring to the idea of spin-orbit coupling. This was discussed in great detail in the comments here
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/21/the-sun-double-blankety-blank-quiet/

    The conclusion was that the spin-orbit coupling idea is not supported by science and is to be considered falsified. See also the gree update box at
    http://arnholm.org/astro/sun/sc24/sim1/

    We should look elsewhere to explain solar activity.

    This is not science….you have been challenged by myself and Ian Wilson to present your findings properly including the data and to also have it peer reviewed. You have declined. So nothing is falsified and you are being misleading to all in here and others that read your website.

    Allow me to respectfully disagree 100% with your statement, which have been countered many times now (ref. the solarcycle24.com discussion forum for all the details).

    When you are the proponent of the theory you have to provide the evidence to support that theory. Please do.

  140. Sorry, I messed up the quotes. My reply begins with “Allow me to respectfully ….”


  141. anna v (04:26:33) :

    africangenesis (03:15:45) :

    It would be courteous to support with at least a link the claim:
    Spin orbit coupling, mass quadrapole moments and frame dragging are MAINSTREAM in GR.

    Tajmar and De Matos are doing some experiments that may be along this line. Quite interesting too. This Google search might help. ??

    tajmar de matos Spin orbit coupling, mass quadrupole moments and frame dragging

  142. Rick K says:

    We need to get a large electronic billboard right off the Beltway in DC or right next to the Capitol with a “The Sun Now” image. A short note at the bottom screaming “No Sunspots Today!” would be a nice touch. Maybe that would get Congress’ attention…

  143. Frank Hll says:

    Hi everybody –

    Frank Hill again here. Thanks for all of the comments once again, it’s great that we can have a good discussion. Here’s my opinion on a few points that were raised.

    Kim – the idea that the perturbations of the gravitational field caused by the planets affect the solar dynamo has been studied on and off since the mid 1970s. It is attractive primarily due to the fact that the orbital period of Jupiter is close to the average period of the solar cycle, and that certain resonances in the solar system have about the same period as other more subtle cycles in solar activity. Now, the combined gravitational acceleration of all of the planets on the sun is much smaller than the forces that exist due to magnetic fields and mass motions that occur in the sun. So, at best, the influence of the planets on the sun is tiny as you point out. Generally, dynamo theory involves numerically solving a set of equations that are highly complex. Due to limitations of computer power, decisions must be made as to what effects to include in the calculations. This is done by calculating the relative strength of the complete set of possible effects, including perturbations in the gravitational field. At this time, the gravitational effects are below the threshold for inclusion. As time goes by and computer power grows, I expect that the gravitational effects will be included and then we will be able to answer the question.

    MattN – as I pointed out, the TO is NOT the “great conveyor belt”.

    JohnA – as I pointed out, the prediction is NOT that the sunspots should be here today, but that they should be starting to appear soon, say in the next few months. So the prediction has not yet been falsified. I would wait for about 3-6 months to say for sure. I am quite willing to say that my prediction is wrong if it is shown to be so. You also must be willing to say that you can be wrong. In addition, at this point there is NO CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT SUNSPOT ACTIVITY PLAYS A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN DETERMINING CLIMATE ON EARTH. Sorry to shout but there is a hundred years of literature on the subject, which basically shows short-term correlations that disappear after a few solar cycles, along with a lack of plausible physical mechanisms that could link sunspots to climate. The irradiance variations of 0.1% are too small to cause thermal changes that can affect our climate.

    MC – I guess I do not get your point. The sun is clearly a variable star. However, that does not mean that the sunspot cycle affects our climate. See above.

    Philincalifornia – The scientific process is one of continual self-correction, which means that certainty can take a long time to emerge. It is important to get things right, and I think that many people expect science to instantly come up with a consistent “correct” answer. It does not happen that way.

    James A. Donald – THE SUN IS NOT DEVIATING FROM NORMAL BEHAVIOR. If we have learned anything from the past two hundred years of observing the sunspot cycle, it is that the cycle is highly variable. In fact, cycle 23 looks a lot like cycle 4 back in the 18th century. The fact that the TO for cycle 24 has been present since 2003 is a clear indication that it is coming. And, I do not work for NASA. Sorry if this does not fit into your world view.

    Anna v – I have read some of the literature on CO2-caused global warming, but I am certainly not an expert. I personally am not sure what the overall cause is, but I am impressed by the observation of Casper Amman that the warming seems to be coming from the bottom and not from the top of the atmosphere. That seems to indicate that either the sea surface is somehow warming, or that human activity is playing a role. Also, the tight correlation between the rise in global temperatures and the advent of the industrial age is striking (but correlation does not prove causation). What area of physics do you work in?

    Africangenesis – see my response to Kim above.

    Vukcevic – In my opinion, null (wrong) results are the most useful in science since they allow us to abandon fruitless paths and more efficiently pursue other alternatives.

    Thanks all!

  144. anna v says:

    africangenesis (04:56:34) :

    Thanks for the links.

    From http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/gr-qc/pdf/0006/0006075v2.pdf,

    which I saw as relevant in one of your lists,:

    “Gravitational Effects of Rotating Bodies,
    Abstract:
    We study two type effects of gravitational field on mechanical gyroscopes
    (i.e. rotating extended bodies). The first depends on special relativity
    and equivalence principle. The second is related to the coupling (i.e.
    a new force) between the spins of mechanical gyroscopes, which would violate
    the equivalent principle. In order to give a theoretical prediction
    to the second we suggest a spin-spin coupling model for two mechanical
    gyroscopes. An upper limit on the coupling strength is then determined
    by using the observed perihelion precession of the planet’s orbits in solar
    system. We also give predictions violating the equivalence principle for
    free-fall gyroscopes .”

    note: limits are given .
    To get a spin orbit effect you need much more than limits.

    That gravitational theorists are intrigued by pushing observable limits is good, to say that these studies would be useful in demonstrating a spin orbit effect that affects climate is another story.

    It is like me saying, ( I am a particle physicist btw, retired) that it is all due to black mass and energy which is due to the other 7 dimensions of string theory with their unseen forces and particles. Actually any correlations of climate with planetary motions is another proof of black matter and energy.

    Pure @#$%? speculation? No?

    George Varros (05:29:10) : , thanks for the input. I was not aware of the experiment:

    http://www.esa.int/esaMI/GSP/SEM0L6OVGJE_0.html

    still it is still a very tentative possibility, that has not been confirmed by other experiments and which seemingly is retracted in : http://arxiv.org/abs/0806.2271

    .To reach into climate predictions and on top the effect of planetary motions on such mechanisms if they exist in the sun is a leap of more than faith at the moment, in my opinion.

    Nevertheless, if despite what “classical solar theory” tells us we do enter a Dalton minimum with plummeting temperatures that cannot be explained away by a PDO etc classic atmospheric physics, a mechanism must exist for amplifying the tiny energy changes from the sun. It will have to be found in one of the more or less bizarre conjectures of the present or maybe by a more bizarre future one :).

  145. Geoff Sharp says:

    Carsten Arnholm, Norway (05:25:04) :

    Sorry, I messed up the quotes. My reply begins with “Allow me to respectfully ….”

    Its time to put up or shut up.

  146. gary gulrud says:

    Nasif:
    “Not if the excess of brightness of faculae and spicula overweighs the lowered degree of sunspots’ luminosity.”

    Mr. Bateman has indicated faculae are an order of magnitude lower than the 1910 era. IMHO, more important than discussions of spots, not to imply spotmania.

  147. rbateman says:

    kuhnkat (20:00:33) :
    Geoff Sharp (23:45:07) :
    MattB (03:30:35) :

    Yes, before things get too far out of hand.
    The image below is my best attempt so far to quantify the issue:
    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/f_ssn2008-9a.JPG
    The subspots are portrayed separately.
    Contrast that with the latest Solar Terrestrial Activity Reports.

    I don’t want the record full of rocks, grit & other foreign material.
    It’s really painful to watch resolution increase as quantification falls into the stone age by those claiming advancement. Where’s the pride in the work? Nobody I ever worked for would accept anything less than perfection, so why should I?
    There are other ways to express the problem, I’m working on it.

  148. bill says:

    Frank Hll (06:52:18) : (brave man, coming back! But thanks for doing so!)

    A question you may be able to answer (I have searched the net – honest)

    The TSI measuring devices never seem to state the range over which they absorb radiation – e.g. is it DC to light; just optical (there is no mention of the absorbing material, just a “specular black cavity surface” and “light trap”).
    There is a whole website devoted to ACRIM but having searched I did not find an answer.
    http://acrim.jpl.nasa.gov/acrim/acrim_history.html

    Or are the frequencies it does not measure totally insignificant.
    Thanks

  149. anna v says:

    Frank Hll (06:52:18) :

    Anna v – I have read some of the literature on CO2-caused global warming, but I am certainly not an expert. I personally am not sure what the overall cause is, but I am impressed by the observation of Casper Amman that the warming seems to be coming from the bottom and not from the top of the atmosphere. That seems to indicate that either the sea surface is somehow warming, or that human activity is playing a role. Also, the tight correlation between the rise in global temperatures and the advent of the industrial age is striking (but correlation does not prove causation). What area of physics do you work in?.

    Climatology is way out of my field, (experimental particle physics, retired), and until about a year and half ago, I tended to believe what the “experts” were telling me, according to them the respect I would expect from them if I were telling them about the quark model.

    I became gradually disillusioned, starting with their announcements of 6 meter floodings ( I have a holiday cottage by the sea) and the sudden disappearance of the warm middle ages ( I am a great fan of the monk Cadfael of Ellis Peter’s novels, who was brewing wine around 1000 ad in Wales).

    So I started reading the last IPCC report, the physics justification of the claims. I have to tell you that while perusing part of that I had to walk around pulling my hair at the gross misuse of scientific methodology and language, talking to myself.

    In a nutshell, there are no errors calculated for all those catastrophic plots. What seem to a normal scientist error bands, are variations of input parameters not according to errors but to the feelings of the modelers to test the stability of the solutions paying lip service to chaos. If one varies one crucial parameter by its error, albedo, the projections would move all over the temperature phasespace, from cooling to heating, but of course this is not shown.

    I started looking in the so called General Circulation Models:

    They are a disaster, well documented in this blog if you have the patience to go through.

    1) They grid the planet in huge volumes that ignore clouds and albedo except as averages.
    2) They use badly documented data, as this blog has amply shown
    3) They use first order linear approximations for the fluid solutions at the grid boundaries , and all those mean values they use are also linear first order approximations in effect.
    4) Then with a huge number of parameters they fit the temperature record. The cloud records and other records are a disaster that they try to hide by the sphaghetti graphs, a lot of models on the same plot making a cloud of nonsense around an average. Von Neuman is supposed to have said: with five parameters I can fit an elephant.

    5) The predictions have been falsified by many data
    a) the temperatures are in stasis since 1998. If we just started recording we would be talking of cooling
    b) the tropical troposphere signature is not there , it is not warming at twice the rate of the surface as the IPCC models need
    c) ditto for relative humidity that is crucial in the H2O feedback mechanism their models need , it is falling instead of rising
    d) the oceans are also cooling, certainly since 2003

    The higher previous temperatures could be the warm Pacific Decadal Oscillation that has now turned into a cool PDO possibly for the next thirty years. Certainly the ocean would heat from below, no?
    Anyway Casper Amman is not of good standing in the skeptics blogs being involved in the tree ring mess trying to disappear the medieval warm period by tricks. Go to the CA blog for that ( link top right)

    For example of the influence of currents etc on temperature:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/17/bob-tisdale-on-ncdcs-usgrp-report/#comment-146264

    Please do not adopt, without digging further, claims made by people who have a great investment in global warming, from grants and funding (billions go to climate research because the sky is falling) to prestige, without spending some critical thought on their sayings.

  150. Ron de Haan says:

    There are people who take the NASA findings seriously and grab the opportunity to slab AGW deniers:
    http://climateprogress.org/2009/06/18/national-solar-observatory-nasa-say-no-maunder-minimum-sorry-deniers-solar-cycle-24-poised-to-rev-up/

  151. vukcevic says:

    kuhnkat (20:08:13) :
    [i] The reference you provide is to an artificial, externally forced, field. How does this compare to Nebulae or Jets seen by astronomers where there is no external containment equipment????[/i]

    For possibility of plasma confinement see:
    Self Generated “Bootstrap” Current Contains Magnetic Fusion Plasma
    http://www.aps.org/meetings/unit/dpp/vpr2004/upload/politzer.pdf

  152. Frank Hll says:

    Hi Bill –
    The ACRIM instruments measures TSI, total solar irradiance. This is the total energy measured in watts per square meter. It is the power per unit area of the sun integrated over all spectral wavelengths. Another quantity is SSI, spectral solar irradiance, measured in watts per square meter per nanometer (a unit of wavelength of light). This is the power per unit area over a limited range of wavelengths, the range has to be specified for the measurement to be useful. TSI does not specify the wavelength range, because it covers all wavelengths from radio to x-rays. The TSI fluctuates much less than the SSI in some wavelengths, for example, the ultraviolet SSI fluctuates by 20% over the sunspot cycle while the TSI only changes by 0.1%.

  153. Frank Hll says:

    Hi anna v –
    Thanks for the info. I’ll take a look into the refereed papers. I do not place much faith in the accuracy of blogs.

    Frank

  154. kim says:

    Frank Hill 09:40:19

    Heh, in this case, the blogs are getting the story a lot more accurately than the general climate models, which have failed dramatically. Check out lucia’s Blackboard for the disconfirmation at the 95% confidence level. Honestly, sir, it appears that the true effect of CO2 is so little that it cannot keep the earth warming. The globe is cooling whether it is the sun causing it or not. I second anna v’s comment. It is excellent.
    ==================================================

  155. Frank Hll says:

    Hi Kim –
    Thanks for the info. I’ll take a look into the refereed papers. I do not place much faith in the accuracy of blogs.

  156. To Anna V,

    The retracted paper was titled “Gravitomagnetic Fields in Rotating Superconductors due to Fractal Space-Time” (2004). The main experiment is seemingly live and well. fractal space time!?

    To you and Frank Hill both; I’m glad that you two are around and express yourselves as you do. We can all learn from your methods and manners. GV

  157. Ron de Haan says:

    Frank Hill,
    Thank you for your posting and good luck with your research.

    In the mean time I will continue to watch the grain prices and attend WUWT to keep informed what’s up with our climate.

    Truly the best science blog of the world.

  158. anna v says:

    Now generally about refereed papers and blogs one would expect the former to lead in accuracy. The truth is that blogs have found refereed papers to be dubious, to say the least. Exampe recently:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/18/note-to-ncdc-climate-report-authors-try-using-the-telephone-next-time/

    All AGW is in refereed papers, but refereed by whom? It is more and more coming out that there is a clique that referees itself and corners the markets, in my not so humble opinion. From the moment that global warming became a political issue and a billions of euros/dollars issue, it stopped being science.

    Thank God for blogs.

  159. bill says:

    Frank Hll (09:35:37) :
    The ACRIM instruments measures TSI, total solar irradiance. …TSI does not specify the wavelength range, because it covers all wavelengths from radio to x-rays. …

    Thank you for that.
    There are so many people here trying to prove a solar influence on Global warming/global cooling.
    There main arguement is that there must be something coming from the sun that is not accounted for by TSI.
    This leaves them with gravity and magnetism (I wonder how many perpetual motion machines are based on magnetism!!!!)

  160. Geoff Sharp (08:05:25) :

    Carsten Arnholm, Norway (05:25:04) :

    Sorry, I messed up the quotes. My reply begins with “Allow me to respectfully ….”

    Its time to put up or shut up.


    No need for rude replies, Geoff. Try scientific debate instead. Simply work out the documentation to support your views, and let the world see it. What you have presented so far does not hold water (see links in my earlier reply).

  161. rob says:

    Just need an answer, If it ain`t the sun wot caused the past coolings and warmings what was it.

  162. Frank Hll says:

    rob (13:21:44) :
    Just need an answer, If it ain`t the sun wot caused the past coolings and warmings what was it.

    Milankovitch cycles. These are changes in the earth’s temperature caused by changes in the orbital eccentricity, precession, and tilt of the earth’s rotation axis. Here’s the wikipedia link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

  163. David says:

    Why identify the “22 degrees” as a critical point, rather than some other feature of the graph at this point? It looks to me like the onset of sunspots coincides with the point at which there become two distinct “jet streams”. That might even make sense if the magnetic fields don’t start to twist and pop out until there are two “jet streams” driving them. No evidence in the graph that a second “jet stream” has started.

  164. Ron de Haan says:

    UN IPCC Scientist does not agree with Romm’a NASA assessment, stating that all NASA predictions untill today have been wrong.
    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/1497/UN-IPCC-Scientist-Rejects-Romms-Claims-as-nonsense-on-all-countsNASAs-predictions-of-next-solar-cycle-have-all-been-wrong

  165. Anaconda says:

    @ Frank Hll (06:52:18) :

    Hill wrote: “The irradiance variations of 0.1% are too small to cause thermal changes that can affect our climate.”

    The irradiance does not account for the total energy budget received from the Sun by the Earth. This is a fallacy that gets repeated by many heliographers.

    No, I respectfully disagree with your assessment.

    Hill wrote: “Sorry to shout but there is a hundred years of literature on the subject, which basically shows short-term correlations that disappear after a few solar cycles, along with a lack of plausible physical mechanisms that could link sunspots to climate.”

    With the increase in sunspots there is an increase in solar energy output. The difference between solar maximum and solar minimum energy output is evident.

    The mechanisms for transport of this increased energy output is by way of Birkeland currents directly from the Sun to the Earth as a result of Coronal Mass Ejections which impinge on the Earth’s magnetosphere and often do penetrate the magnetosphere as NASA has reported.

    Also, electromagnetic energy that is deflected over the magnetosphere gets stored in the magneto tail and is refularly released in the form of electromagnetic “magnetic tornadoes” with 100,000 amps of electrical energy to the atmosphere around the poles.

    Also, when the Sun is at solar minimum the solar wind tends to “slow down” and have less “pressure”, electrical energy, this tends to effect the hight and thickness of the ionosphere by lowering it in hight from the surface by a significant degree. In essence, this brings the “icy cold of space” closer to the surface and allows more radiation of energy away from the Earth.

    Until heliographers compute the total difference in energy output (all energy types combined in a total figure) between solar maximum and solar minimum there doesn’t seem much possibility in producing accurate climate models.

    Also getting a handle on total energy of all types recieved by the Earth from the Sun over the course of a solar cycle is vital.

    Confining yourself and other scientists to irradiance is not presenting the total picture of the Sun’s energy output.

    That is a necessary prerequisite to accurate climate modelling and understanding and knowledge of the Sun.

  166. Robert L says:

    Frank Hll (13:56:37) :

    rob (13:21:44) :
    Just need an answer, If it ain`t the sun wot caused the past coolings and warmings what was it.

    Milankovitch cycles. These are changes in the earth’s temperature caused by changes in the orbital eccentricity, precession, and tilt of the earth’s rotation axis. Here’s the wikipedia link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

    I thought Milankovic cycles handles longer durations fairly well, in the order of 10,000 years. Do they really explain 200 year cycles? The wikipedia article is pretty vague there.

    Are there some good reference to show how Milankovic cycles would explain the Maunder, Sporer, Dalton minimums, and the Medieval, Roman etc. optimums?

    thanks,
    Robert

  167. Steven Hill says:

    Gee Wizz, I use to think highly of NASA, NASA was something to be proud of. NASA was an ICON of USA. Now it’s a just sad reminder of just how sick politics can create lies and deception. Now even NASA is crooked and pathetic. I will steer my 8 and 5 year olds away from wanting to work there.

  168. Steven Hill says:

    WOW is this correct you think? I saw this above.

    1410-1500 cold (Sporer minimum)
    1510-1600 warm
    1610-1700 cold (Maunder minimum)
    1710-1800 warm
    1810-1900 cold (Dalton minimum)
    1910-2000 warm
    2010-2100 (cold???)

    If so, it’s not going to be a pretty site for the world. Many of AGW people (and the rest of us) are all going die in the coming years.

    I can see it now, CO2 warm up caused us to reach the tipping point and froze us all to death by stravation

  169. Geoff Sharp says:

    rbateman (08:41:21) :

    kuhnkat (20:00:33) :
    Geoff Sharp (23:45:07) :
    MattB (03:30:35) :

    Yes, before things get too far out of hand.
    The image below is my best attempt so far to quantify the issue:
    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/f_ssn2008-9a.JPG

    I’ll start a thread on solarcycle24.com…lets see if we can come up with a standard.

  170. Steven Hill says:

    It’s really kind of sad…oh look at that tiny spot over there, see it? Oh woohoo, the sun is back to normal and the earth can start heating up again soon. We can tax everyone so the Government can play rollerball with all of the people.

  171. a jones says:

    Of course the Birkeland of the current is also he of the Birkeland Eyde process for fixing nitrogen although I had not made the connection until now.

    Amazing what you learn on this blog.

    Now when I was a young student back in the 60′s the Milankovic cycle was largely discredited because it does not fit the onset of ice ages very well.

    The albedo effect was well understood so the idea that cloud formation with increasing ocean surface temperature acted as thermostat to prevent overheating, as discussed in another post, was generally accepted.

    As was the idea that ice ages were fairly stable because the increased albedo of the ice rereflected muh sunlight but that the equatorial extent of the ice was limited by the shape of the land mass and the warmth of the tropical seas.

    Why the climate flipped between glacial and interglacial states was not understood but it was known that ‘Global’ temperature in either state fluctuated over relatively short periods of centuries. Both the LIA and the MWP warm period, then called the Medieval Climatic Optimum were well known as was the Cold Dark Ages and the Roman Warm Period. After all how do you think Hannibal got his elephants over the Alps unless the passes were open in the winter? As we know they were from written accounts of the time which is how Transalpine Gaul came to be a Roman province.

    This smaller and more frequent variation led people to suppose that it was variation in solar activity that drove climatic changes and the connection with sunspots was well known if not codified.

    And there the matter rested. It was of limited academic interest but little more.

    Until of course the current AGW confloption.

    Now consider the alternative arguments.

    A] says that variations in the Sun drive observed climate changes by a mechanism [a] only imperfectly understood.

    B] says that by calculation the variation in insolation cannot be sufficient to cause these observed changes and THEREFORE some other mechanism [b] is responsible. It also asserts that [b] is due to GHGs.

    But B by its own calculation says [b] is insufficient to cause the observed changes so it is argued a further mechanism [c] amplifies the changes: and [c] is said to be the increase in water vapour in the atmosphere due to the warming of the oceans.

    Note [1] the first fallacy. If [c] exists it is independent of [b] because it does not matter how or why the oceans warm only that they do. So [c], if it exists, could be driven by either [b] or [a] or posssibly both or indeed some other mechanism we know nothing of, let us all it [d]. And we might, for example, postulate that [d] is due to the efforts of the stokers in the Infernal Regions who often work overtime but sometimes skive off. It does not matter what [d] might be.

    Now note [2] that the effects [b] and [c], if it exists, are predicted by making calculations on as yet unproven assumptions as to the nature of the exact processes which produce these mechanisms. It might be that the figures produced for the effects of the atmosphere and so called atmospheric forcings are broadly correct or it might be they are gravely in error. We have no way to know.

    Furthermore note [3] that that it the calculations as per [2] that are used to suggest that [a] cannot be a suffiient mechanism of itself.

    What a mess.

    In science we always prefer the simpler explanation which fits the observations to the more complex one.

    Yet here we have two competing hypotheses neither of which according to calculations based on unproven assumptions as per 2 can account for the observed changes in climate.

    So we are asked to accept that B which by its own calculations necessarily depends on some other mechanism [c], which may or may not exist, is a simpler and better hypothesis than A on the basis of the selfsame calulations whih do not include the unknown effects of A on climate such as variations in spectrum, solar wind etc.

    Moreover we are asked to accept that whilst B necessarily by its own calulation depends on [c], which may or may not exist, to amplify [b], somehow [c] could not amplify [a].

    It is indeed a mad, mad world my masters.

    Kindest Regards

  172. Anaconda says:

    Frank Hll (09:35:37) wrote: “The ACRIM instruments measures TSI, total solar irradiance. This is the total energy measured in watts per square meter. It is the power per unit area of the sun integrated over all spectral wavelengths.”

    bill (12:16:51) wrote : “There are so many people here trying to prove a solar influence on Global warming/global cooling. There main arguement is that there must be something coming from the sun that is not accounted for by TSI.”

    TSI measures the electromagnetic spectrum of electromagnetic radiation(photons). This covers radio, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and Gamma rays.

    It does not measure energy output of the Sun conveyed by electromagnetically charged particles (energized electrons and ions), this energy is related, but distinct from photon energy. The electrical attractive force is 10^36 more powerful than the attractive force of gravity.

    The energy of electromagnetically charged particles emitted by the Sun is the principle reason for the difference in the Sun’s energy output at solar maximum and solar minumum. Whatever the cause for solar maximums and minimums, this variance in output of charged particles and consequent electrical energy is the reason for the evident visual difference between a solar maximum and solar minimum.

    There is also the question whether the Sun’s electromagnetic output (charged particles) is more energetic per electron and ion at solar maximum than at solar minimum?

    This whole source of energy is omitted by “black squares” that measure irradiance of the Sun.

    It is a significant and measurable amount of energy that the Earth receives from the Sun.

    It is real and it is not counted.

  173. Ron de Haan says:

    Steven Hill (17:13:11) :

    It’s really kind of sad…oh look at that tiny spot over there, see it? Oh woohoo, the sun is back to normal and the earth can start heating up again soon. We can tax everyone so the Government can play rollerball with all of the people.

    Yes Steven, that was my first thought when I read the article.

    They (the warmists) don’t want the solar influence on either side of the equation.
    The solar minimum triggering a cooling as recently portrailed in the media, could be questioning the concept of CO2 driven warming, right?
    So let’s bring out an ‘Eureka’ publication on the sun before the votes are taken.
    We have to be absolutely sure CO2 is the culprit, CO2 and CO2 only, what else can we tax, right?

    Well, the cat is in the bag when it’s in the bag.
    But for now, the cat is still on the loose.
    No sunspots today.

  174. Nasif Nahle says:

    Yes, Gary… Let’s spot on ISG instead sunspots. I’ve made an extrapolation to the past; I went back to 11550 years ago and the Holocene Optimum appeared automatically; so it was for the MGW and the LIA. Unfortunately, my paper, already corrected, has not been sent back from reviewers. As soon it is approved, it will be published at biocab’s pages and Anthony and all of you will be the first in knowing it, That if you’re interested in my humble work. :)

    I guess they at NASA are guessing… Some kind of desperate thinking. Anyway, two local newspapers feed the fire with the purpose of Mexican Fed. Government of starting, voluntarily, “the fight against GW and CC” (Sic). Obviously, radical environmentalists got excited by the news; however, there is not GW neither CC in any place of the mexican territory. That “analysis” on the adverse effects of CC in Guadalajara, Mexico, was a fake… It was pure speculation.

  175. Anaconda (17:26:45) :
    TSI measures the electromagnetic spectrum of electromagnetic radiation(photons). This covers radio, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and Gamma rays.

    It does not measure energy output of the Sun conveyed by electromagnetically charged particles (energized electrons and ions), this energy is related, but distinct from photon energy.

    1st: there is no such thing as “electromagnetically charged particles’. There are electrically charged particles [equal amount of both charges because the electric force is so much stronger than the gravitational that if there were the slightest difference, say more protons than electrons, the extra positive charge would simply pull the missing electrons up from the Sun.

    2nd: There is a flow of electromagnetic energy [other than radiant energy] from the Sun. It is called the Poynting Vector flux and amounts to 0.000,006 W/m2 about 200,000,000 times smaller than the irradiance.

  176. Anaconda (17:26:45) :
    TSI measures the electromagnetic spectrum of electromagnetic radiation(photons). This covers radio, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and Gamma rays.
    It does not measure energy output of the Sun conveyed by electromagnetically charged particles (energized electrons and ions), this energy is related, but distinct from photon energy.

    1st: there is no such thing as “electromagnetically charged particles’. There are electrically charged particles [equal amount of both charges because the electric force is so much stronger than the gravitational that if there were the slightest difference, say more protons than electrons, the extra positive charge would simply pull the missing electrons up from the Sun.

    2nd: There is a flow of electromagnetic energy [other than radiant energy] from the Sun. It is called the Poynting Vector flux and amounts to 0.000,006 W/m2, about 200,000,000 times smaller than the irradiance.

  177. John W. (04:15:47) :
    I realize you doubt the hypothesis that solar activity is the principal driver of climate variation.
    Not quite my viewpoint, which is: “it has not been demonstrated to my satisfaction that the Sun is the [or even just a significant] principal driver of climate”. This is not the same as doubting such a connection, because such doubt would have to be based on evidence of the contrary [and as the old saying goes: 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence']. What I doubt is that the various pieces of ‘evidence’ that have been brought forward are compelling.

    1. Is there any objective standard, such as seconds of subtended solid angle and duration, that is used to determine what constitutes a spot (based on observation in the visible spectrum)?
    To a large degree, yes.

    2. If not, why not?
    moot

    3. Could the historical record be examined to develop a lower boundary for observability?
    The historical record is being re-examined and is found wanting. c.f. my poster at the SPD meeting just finished: http://www.leif.org/research/SPD-2009.pdf and other work that can be found on my website: http://www.leif.org/research/

    4. Would that allow us to review current sunspot counts and address the concern that some parties may be “cooking the books?”
    Yes, although I don’t think there is any cooking, except by the Sun in the sense that sunspots may not be very good proxies for solar activity at all times.

  178. Howe and Hill wrote:
    “The current solar minimum has been so long and deep, it prompted some scientists to speculate that the sun might enter a long period with no sunspot activity at all, akin to the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century. This new result dispells those concerns. The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating, and the sunspot cycle is not “broken.”

    Two questions for Howe and Hill:
    Why should another Maunder Minimum be the cause of any “concerns?”
    and
    Who said anything was “broken?”

    To paraphrase Herman Melvillle:
    Solar science, like every other human science, is but a passing fable.

  179. P. Hager (13:41:23) :
    Rather than counting sunspots, would it make more sense to report and track the area of the sun covered by sun spots.
    It would make more sense to report and track the total magnetic flux on the Sun, e.g. as done here: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/150_data.html#plots

    vukcevic (14:11:51) :
    For ‘misguided’ minority who happen to believe that magnetic field in plasma could only exist as a result of an electric current flow
    The misguided are the ones that do not realize [and they might be excused because it is hard to visualize] that in a plasma the magnetic field generates a current that in turn sustains and maintain the magnetic field. There is a symmetry between the two: one creates the other that maintains the former.
    Another process takes place in an old-fashioned bicycle lamp dynamo: it consists of a conductor [a copper coil] and a magnet. If the two are at rest with respect to each other, the lamp does not give any light, but if the magnet is made to move [by friction with the wheel], a current is induced in the coil causing the lamp to emit light. So kinetic energy is converted into a current that is dissipated in a resistor and converted into radiant energy with the magnetic field as a mediator. A similar process takes place in many cosmical plasmas.

  180. rbateman says:

    Why should another Maunder Minimum be the cause of any “concerns?”
    and
    Who said anything was “broken?”

    1.) You don’t know exactly what you are getting or how long it will last
    (the correlations (nix causations) are not strolls in the Garden. Minimum as far as we know come in unique flavors. No two alike.
    But if you don’t place much weight in what writers in past time wrote, don’t sweat it.
    2.) Murphy.

  181. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (23:23:19) :
    Another process takes place in an old-fashioned bicycle lamp dynamo: it consists of a conductor [a copper coil] and a magnet. If the two are at rest with respect to each other, the lamp does not give any light, but if the magnet is made to move [by friction with the wheel], a current is induced in the coil causing the lamp to emit light.

    Fascinating ! Mystery resolved. Thanks, appreciate your valuable time.

  182. kim says:

    Frank Hill, I have decided not to let the slur about gas guzzlers pass without comment. This is a war for the integrity of science, and it is a bitter one. Furthermore, if we are cooling long term as I suspect, we far more likely face a climate catastrophe from global cooling than from global warming. Mitigating a warming that isn’t happening instead of adapting to a cooling that is happening will be lethal for very many of the world’s poor, presently living on the margin. It is incumbent upon you to pay attention.
    ===========================================

  183. bill says:

    kim (04:02:06) :
    Frank Hill, I have decided not to let the slur about gas guzzlers pass

    Interesting! Just how is driving a gas guzzler going to help the world’s poor. Are you suggesting that we all drive them to increase CO2 and warm the planet? Hmmm! but then that would mean you believing in AGW!

    A european 7 seater car (Zafira) will give you neary 40mpg average.
    Isn’t this achievable in the US? If not why not?

  184. By Jupiter says:

    Round up of wheat yields so far for 2009. A combination of set-aside, credit-crunch reductions in fertiliser and pesticides, bio-fuel production and non-cost-effective harvesting, and climatic changes, cold and drought mainly. The warning is writ large and may extend not to the hungry billion in deprived situations but the developed world also. In 1816 during the Dalton Minimum late summer frosts devastated the agricultural output of North America. We were then still reliant on horse power and a largely rural populace maximising a poor harvest for food, perhaps we should reintroduce gleaning?

    1) Romania = output wheat down -30%

    2) Ukraine = output wheat down -27%

    3) Hungary = output wheat down -28.5%

    4) Czech = output wheat down -20%

    5) Bulgaria = output wheat down -30%

    6) Poland = output wheat down -10%

    7) Spain = output wheat down -42%

    8) Australia = output down -10-35%

    9) Argentina = output down -34%

    10) China = output down -20% or more

    11) US = output down -20% or more

    12) Canada = output down -12%

    13) Russia = output wheat down -21.5%

  185. Anaconda says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard:

    Svalgaard wrote: “[I]n a plasma the magnetic field generates a current that in turn sustains and maintain the magnetic field. There is a symmetry between the two: one creates the other that maintains the former.”

    No.

    Maxwell’s equations are quite clear on the matter: Electric current generates a magnetic field. The electron movement is generated by the electromotive attraction between free electrons and positive ions. It is true that once electron flow (ordered electron movement) occurs and thus generates a magnetic field, that magnetic field can in turn effect and even cause electron movement (electric current).

    But the first causation is electron movement as a result of the electromotive attraction force.

    Your above statement is classic circular reasoning.

    “[O]ne creates the other that maintains the former.”

    Dr. Svalgaard, you have it backwards.

    Another way to put it: Magnetic fields are creatures of electric currents.

    In isolation, an electric current is necessary to cause a magnetic field. A magnetic field can not stand in isolation without an electric current (ordered electron movement) to sustain it.

  186. Paul R says:

    kim (04:02:06) :
    Frank Hill, I have decided not to let the slur about gas guzzlers pass

    Interesting! Just how is driving a gas guzzler going to help the world’s poor. Are you suggesting that we all drive them to increase CO2 and warm the planet? Hmmm! but then that would mean you believing in AGW!

    That’s the best straw man since Dorothy’s adventure in Technicolor, congratulations Bill.

  187. Ron de Haan says:

    bill (05:00:00) :

    kim (04:02:06) :
    Frank Hill, I have decided not to let the slur about gas guzzlers pass

    Interesting! Just how is driving a gas guzzler going to help the world’s poor. Are you suggesting that we all drive them to increase CO2 and warm the planet? Hmmm! but then that would mean you believing in AGW!

    A european 7 seater car (Zafira) will give you neary 40mpg average.
    Isn’t this achievable in the US? If not why not?

    Bill,
    If you put 7 average Americans in an Opel Zafira, the car body will hit the street. I am affraid it can only can be done when the side windows are opened so they can stick their arms out.

    You can’t compare a mini-mini-van with a mini-van or a van.

    Americans buy their cars for loading space, towing capacity and comfort.
    That is what determines the size and weight of the body and the power of the engine.

    If you drive a Zafira, you can go shopping, but some family members have to stay at home.
    You can tow a trailer, but not heavier than 1.200 kg.
    You can drive 3000 miles, but not without regular stops to stretch your legs.
    You can forgett about unpaved roads and heavy snow.

    I wonder why anybody would like to drive such a car.

    Chrysler was producing 40 mpg+ diesel cars already, which offer AWD, powerfull engines and towing capacity and more room than a Zafira.

    I you still want to drive the big 8 cylinder gasoline engines, simply convert them to Liquid Petrol Gas. You save a bundle in fuel costs, you can fill them up using a big tank at your home and the exhaust emissions are clean (water and CO2).

    If you want to drive clean diesel, with higher milage and more power, add a small LPG tank and a single injector that injects LPG into the fuel pump.
    The LPG is mixed with the diesel. Due to this mix you will have a clean burning process without particles.

    These are simple, effective, reliable and tested technologies to lower your fuel costs and promote clean driving.

    Unfortunately the technology to combine LPG and Diesel (dual fuel) is forbidden in Europe, but the technology is available and allowed in the USA.

  188. Patrick says:

    I have a question which might have been asked before:

    Last year had the highest number of spotless days for a hundred years. But we seem to be counting micro spots that seem to just cover a few pixels on the full sized images of the sun. It seem logical to assume that these micro spots have only been detectable after we had space resident telescopes and as the poster above has found with his land based telescope, are impossible to see on earth.

    So therefor, aren’t the sunspot and so spotfull days counts drastically over reported compared to historical data, and so now, when looking for trends, we should be only taking into accounts spots now that are big enough to have been seen a hundred years ago, and if this had been done, then there would have been many more spotless days, maybe even a whole spotless year.

    Patrick

    Patrick

  189. Anaconda (05:45:28) :
    “[O]ne creates the other that maintains the former.”
    Dr. Svalgaard, you have it backwards.

    Gene Parker describes it best in his delightful recent book:
    “Conversations on Electric and Magnetic Fields in the Cosmos
    Eugene N. Parker”

    “Today’s standard textbooks treat the theoretical structure of electric and magnetic fields, but their emphasis is on electromagnetic radiation and static-electric and magnetic fields. In this book, Eugene Parker provides advanced graduate students and researchers with a much-needed complement to existing texts, one that discusses the dynamic electromagnetism of the cosmos–that is, the vast magnetic fields that are carried bodily in the swirling ionized gases of stars and galaxies and throughout intergalactic space.

    Parker is arguably the world’s leading authority on solar wind and the effects of magnetic fields in the heliosphere, and his originality of thought and distinctive approach to physics are very much in evidence here. Seeking to enrich discussions in standard texts and correct misconceptions about the dynamics of these large-scale fields, Parker engages readers in a series of “conversations” that are at times anecdotal and even entertaining without ever sacrificing theoretical rigor. The dynamics he describes represents the Maxwell stresses of the magnetic field working against the pressure and inertia of the bulk motion of ionized gases, characterized in terms of the magnetic field and gas velocity. Parker shows how this dynamic interaction cannot be fully expressed in terms of the electric current and electric field.

    Conversations on Electric and Magnetic Fields in the Cosmos goes back to basics to explain why classical hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics are inescapable, even in the deepest reaches of space.”

    You can read several of the important pages free here:

    http://books.google.com/books/p/princeton?id=7gJ_i3CTcpQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ViewAPI&hl=en

    I extract the introduction here for your convenience:

    1.1 General Remarks
    The theoretical structure of electric and magnetic fields is presented in the standard textbooks, and one may ask why further conversation on the subject is useful or interesting. What is new that has not already been said many times before? The reply is that the emphasis in the usual formulation of electromagnetism is directed toward static electric and magnetic fields and then to electromagnetic radiation, whereas we are interested here in the electromagnetism of the cosmos – the large-scale magnetic fields that are transported bodily in the swirling ionized gases (plasmas) of planetary magnetospheres, stars, and galaxies, and, indeed, throughout intergalactic space. The plasma and the magnetic fields appear to be everywhere throughout the universe. The essential feature is that no significant electric field can arise in the frame of reference of the moving plasma. Hence, the large-scale dynamics of the magnetic field is tied to the hydrodynamics (HD) of the swirling plasma in the manner described by theoretical magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). So we shall have a fresh look at the theoretical foundations of both HD and MHD. The conventional derivations of the basic equations of HD and MHD are correct, of course, but the derivations ignore some fundamental questions, allowing a variety of misconceptions to flourish in the scientific community. We work out a minimal physical derivation, laying bare the simplicity of the necessary and sufficient conditions for the validity of HD and MHD to describe the large-scale bulk motion of plasma and fields. The magnetic field is transported bodily with the bulk motion of the plasma, and the dynamics is basically the mechanical interaction between the stresses in the magnetic field B and the pressure p and bulk momentum density NMv of the plasma velocity v. The associated electric current j and the electric field E in the laboratory frame of reference play no direct role in the dynamics. They are created and driven by the varying B and v. If needed for some purpose, they are readily computed once the dynamics has provided B and v.
    It is here that a fundamental misunderstanding has become widely accepted, mistaking the electric current j and the electric field E (the E,j paradigm) to be the fundamental physical entities. Steady conditions often can be treated using the E.j paradigm, but the dynamics of time-dependent systems becomes difficult, if not impossible, because of the inability to express Newton’s equation in terms of E and j in a tractable form. That is to say, E and j are proxies for B and v, but too remote from B and v to handle the momentum equation. So it is not possible to construct a workable set of dynamic field equations in terms of j and E from the equations of Newton and Maxwell. The generalized Ohm’s law in often employed, but Ohm’s law does not control the large-scale dynamics. The tail does not wag the dog. This inadequacy has led to fantasy to complement the limited equations available in the E,j paradigm, attributing the leading dynamical role to an electric field E with unphysical properties. Magnetospheric physics has suffered severely from this misdirection, and we will come back to the specific aspects of the misunderstanding at appropriate places in the conversations.
    The essential point is that we live in a magnetohydromagnetic universe in which the magnetic field B is responsible for the remarkable behavior of the gas velocity v, and vice versa. Then we must recognize that the large-scale magnetic stresses in the interlaced field line topologies created by the plasma motions have the peculiar property of causing the field gradients to increase without bound. The resulting thin layers of intense field shear and high current density “eat up” the magnetic fields at prodigious rates. The effect is commonly called rapid reconnection of the magnetic field because the field lines are cut and rejoined across the intense shear layer, and it is a universal consequence of the large-scale field line topology. Rapid reconnection is evidently responsible for such phenomena as the solar flare, the million degree temperature of the solar x-ray corona, and the terrestrial aurora. […]
    In the absence of magnetic charges, magnetic fields appear only in association with electric currents and in association with time varying electric fields. In the laboratory we create static magnetic fields by driving an electric current though a coil of wire. The electromotive force driving the current is the source of energy that creates the magnetic field, so the emf and the current are clearly the cause of the magnetic field. On the other hand, in the cosmos the deformation of the magnetic field embedded in the swirling plasma causes the flow of electric current in the plasma in the manner described by equation 1.6, because the energy that drives the current comes from the magnetic field. That is to say, the current is driven to the required value by the change of B. So in the cosmos the large-scale currents are obliged to conform to Ampere’s law. In view of the small but non-vanishing friction between the relative motions of the electrons and ions, there is a continuing trickle of energy from the magnetic field to the current to maintain the flow of current required by ampere, from which it follows that the field is the continuing cause of the current and not vice versa.
    The curious popular notion that the electric current causes the magnetic fields in the cosmos has led to the even more curious notion that the electric current is the more fundamental dynamical variable, but the current is dynamically passive, consisting of no more that the tiny inertia of the electron conduction velocity, while, as we shall see, the stresses in the electric field are small to second order in v/c and quite negligible. The dynamics of the plasma is driven by the magnetic stress and the inertia and pressure of the plasma and not by electric currents.
    ———–

    I can recommend the book for everybody confused by the discussion of the primacy of the magnetic field and the secondary role of electric currents in our cosmos. Of course, if you are an avid ‘Electric Universe’ cult-follower, the reading will be a depressing experience, so perhaps you should not even try.

  190. Anaconda says:

    Johnson Space Center –

    crackle…static…”Houston, we have a problem…”

    There are numerous records that reflect temperature being effected by sun spots (associated with solar maximum) and prolonged absence of sunspots corollates to prolonged cold spells in the climate record. Yet, we have scientists that insist their mathematical equations say that solar variations aren’t responsible.

    crackle…static…”Houston, the craft’s mathematical flight instruments indicate our orbit is steady, but looking out the window, shows we are falling out of orbit… What should we do, Houston?”

    crackle…static…”This is Houston…all ground computers indicate there is no malfunction in your flight instruments…shut your window screens and keep your eyes on the flight instruments…”

    crackle…static…”Houston… Are you sure about that?”

    crackle…static…”This is Houston… Yes, we are very sure about that.”

    crackle…static…”Roger that…Houston.”

    Ground tracking to Command Center: “Space craft has fallen below radar.”

    Command Center to ground tracking…”Keep looking, all ground computers indicate craft still in orbit…”

    Such is the high priesthood of mathematics: Trust the mathematical equations and not the empirical experience.

  191. Anaconda (09:50:03) :
    Such is the high priesthood of mathematics: Trust the mathematical equations and not the empirical experience.

    You clearly mean the mathematical Maxwell equations?

  192. John says:

    Perhaps it is as simple as the other way around. Meaning, that the lack of sunspots is the reason why the jetstream is slower!

  193. Pamela Gray says:

    Anaconda, are you referring to the loss of orbit in your analogy being the observed change in Earth’s temperature? If you are, you have not assigned cause, just that the temperature variation is not what the models say it should be. This I have no quarrel with. Temperatures are not acting according to the CO2 models. But if you insist on a solar driven model (indeed if one can be constructed without exaggerating solar measures), then observed temperatures are also not acting according to such a model. So it would seem that solar and anthropogenic drivers are sitting in the same boat. The instruments say one thing, but the observation says another. Why the insistence on undefined solar drivers of variation when a much more plausible mechanism that shows very high correlation is at hand?

    It seems that when talking to folks who insist on solar mechanisms, all that needs to be done is to change terminology from a debate script meant for AGW believers. That said, I have much more faith in greenhouse gas drivers than I do solar drivers when examining potential drivers of weather pattern variations.

    But as I said above, there are much more plausible mechanisms that show very high correlation to both short (from days to months to a few years ) and long (from years to decades to a century) local, regional, and global weather pattern variation. I leave out ice ages as these are thought to be due to our Earth’s gyroscope-like axial tilt changes.

    It is rather clear if one were to work backward from geological sources of local weather pattern variation, regional weather pattern variation, oceanic weather pattern variation, to equatorial weather pattern variation. These links are known and can be modeled, all with endogenous natural variables, and without the help of some unknown yet thought to be significant solar variable or increasing human emissions.

    It would clear the discussion up tremendously if we were to examine plausible causes of equatorial atmospheric weather pattern variation drivers.

  194. wattsupwiththat says:

    Personally I think Anaconda’s message is poorly worded. I think he means computer programming of equations and not the actual mathematics. Mathematics tend to be well researched, challenged and defended, whereas programming (like the GISTEMP FORTRAN code) tends to be subjective and sloppy. For example another NASA programming folly caused the loss of the Mars orbiter in 1999

    http://www.cnn.com/TECH/space/9909/30/mars.metric.02/

  195. DavidW says:

    This has probably already been brought up, but a little observation.
    1) Aside from the markings of the sunspots, is it just me, or is the northern hemisphere, per se (positive latitude) an almost-perfect mirror image of the southern hemisphere (negative latitude)?
    2) If a sunspot cycle is based on the blue vertical longitude line (approximately mid-January, 1997) and intersects a critical point of 22 degrees and also shows the torsional oscillation at beginning or “elbow” points 52 degrees and -52 degrees, then the second “beginning” blue line (mid-June, 2006), should also reflect a beginning or an “elbow” of the next torsional oscillation flow, or am I missing something here?

    Based on my extremely limited scientific knowledge (I’m an IT guy), I see sunspot activity where two flows parallel.

    To add on 2), I would think that if 22 was the magic number then the blue line would be at the very end (far right) of the image, rather than the mid-June 2006 position, unless they meant for that to be the bulk of the sunspots (confused). Either way, even if it is at the very right, where I would assume it would be, based on my limited knowledge, we should still be seeing the torsional oscillation start at 52 and -52 degrees.

    Just a thought. Maybe I’ve got this whole thing backwards – but ever since I saw this graph, it just bothered me.

  196. Anaconda says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard:

    You know what the difference is?

    Maxwell’s equations were developed as a result of repeated experimentation in the laboratory. Yes, empirical observation & measurement where mathematical equations were strictly the servants of observation & measurement, not the master.

    The problem starts when mathematical theories (read equations) control the assumptions of what is expected to be detected. When that starts to happen data gets ignored in order to fit the facts into the theory.

    And, when you dig into it, the supposed rigorous and consistent application of terms is not as rigorous and consistent as advertised.

    Just one example: What is the mathematical definition of a point?

    There is more than one, or a mathematician might even tell you there is no definition at all — it’s an undefined term.

    Go figure?

  197. Anaconda (11:27:20) :
    You know what the difference is?
    Did you read and study and understand Parker’s penetrating analysis of the magnetic field/electric current issue?
    Don’t hide behind your ignorance of what a mathematical point is. There are real physical issues at stake.

  198. maksimovich says:

    wattsupwiththat (10:45:52)

    “For example another NASA programming folly caused the loss of the Mars orbiter in 1999″

    That is an application of an incorrect metric( or more correctly,imperial instead of metrics).

    This is no small problem,and there are numerous examples of incorrect methodology, say the application of the SB equation with TSI and Spectral SI, which then equates to the reception on a flat horizontal surface,This is reasonable for a gross macroscopic description,but inappropriate for photochemical descriptions at the molecular level.

    eg

    “The challenges of measuring solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation have received considerable attention since recognition of stratospheric ozone depletion, with a resulting increase in availability and quality of UV data. Spectral measurements allow the data to be applied to any biological or chemical photoreaction with a known action spectrum. However, the standard UV measurement is of irradiance incident on a flat horizontal surface. This single geometry is not applicable to all the targets that may be affected by the radiation. One important example is the atmospheric chemistry of the boundary layer, which is strongly dependent on the UV radiation but where the spherical target molecules are subject to radiation from all directions.”

    http://www.ist-world.org/ProjectDetails.aspx?ProjectId=81e2d1da8a3b48fa9c2e17d9757f2d20

    Spectral spheradiance (actinc flux ) is the “gold standard”

    http://goldbook.iupac.org/A00086.html

    REPLY: It was still programming. They had no mechanism or error trap to catch such a problem. – Anthony

  199. Data says:

    @Anaconda (05:45:28) wrote:

    “In isolation, an electric current is necessary to cause a magnetic field. A magnetic field can not stand in isolation without an electric current (ordered electron movement) to sustain it.”

    I don’t recall ever hearing before that a moving charge is necessary to the existence of a magnetic field. If it were, how could electromagnetic waves propagate through free space?

    (By the way, an electric current does not require electrons: any net movement of one or more charges is a current. Hole flow in semiconductors is an interesting practical example.)

    From Wikipedia* — noting especially the first sentence:

    “According to Maxwell’s equations, a time-varying electric field generates a magnetic field and vice versa. Therefore, as an oscillating electric field generates an oscillating magnetic field, the magnetic field in turn generates an oscillating electric field, and so on. These oscillating fields together form an electromagnetic wave.”

    This agrees with what I remember from school. Perhaps you can quote something which contradicts this?

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_wave

  200. Anaconda says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard:

    Certainly, I haven’t had time to read all of Parker’s hypothesis. It is not concise, but I have read the excerpt you provided and additional material from the link. Thank you for providing the link.

    Svalgaard wrote: “Don’t hide behind your ignorance of what a mathematical point is.”

    I’m not hiding behind anything. But since you call me ignorant. What is your mathematical definition of a point?

    And, yes, it is important, because I I agree with your statement: “There are real physical issues at stake.”

    Which brings us back to your eariler comment where you provide Eugene Parker’s hypothesis. Eugene Parker discovered the solar wind and deserves much credit for that discovery. Although, I note subsequent in situ empirical observation & measurement of the solar wind has outdated aspects of Parker’s hypothesis of the mechanics of the solar wind:

    “However, the acceleration of the fast wind is still not understood and cannot be fully explained by Parker’s theory.” And, “In the late 1990s the Ultraviolet Coronal Spectrometer (UVCS) instrument on board the SOHO spacecraft observed the acceleration region of the fast solar wind emanating from the poles of the sun, and found that the wind accelerates much faster than can be accounted for by thermodynamic expansion alone. Parker’s model predicted that the wind should make the transition to supersonic flow at an altitude of about 4 solar radii from the photosphere; but the transition (or “sonic point”) now appears to be much lower, perhaps only 1 solar radius above the photosphere, suggesting that some additional mechanism accelerates the solar wind away from the sun.”

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

    My point is this: In Science, “theory” must give way to empirical observation & measurement. No “theory” is written in stone, all are subject to revision upon further observation & measurement that contradicts the theory.

    Theories aren’t “proven”, rather they are falsified.

    You attempt to cast aspersions on my opinion: “[I]f you are an avid ‘Electric Universe’ cult-follower, the reading will be a depressing experience, so perhaps you should not even try.”

    But all my references (in a prior post) were to in situ observations & measurements made by NASA regarding the electromagnetic dynamics of the solar system where they confirmed the existence of electric currents within the interplanatary medium.

    Surely, you aren’t calling NASA a bunch of cult-followers?

    And NASA’s findings in confirm the requirements of Maxwell’s equations. The laws of physics as established, here, on Earth apply equally to the interplanatary medium of the solar system.

    So, apparently, Parker’s hypothesis, and that’s all it is, has not been confirmed, but rather, contradicted in the solar system by empirical observation & measurement.

    And as I stated before, no theory has precedent over contradicting empirical observation & measurement, no matter how honored the author of that theory may be.

    Science has conducted no in situ observations outside the solar system. So there is no basis to either confirm or contradict Parker’s hypothesis in regards to the interstellar medium or beyond.

    But the empirical scientific method does follow this axiom: Explain the unknown by comparing it to the known. So far, what is known of the solar system validates Maxwell’s equations. Which, if physical relationships of matter and energy are constant in the Universe, bodes well for the validity of Maxwell’s equations beyond the solar system, and does not bode well for Eugene Parker’s hypothesis.

    Here is the Germane point to the post: When you attempt to put a square peg (the facts) into a round hole (the theory), you get two results: Data gets ignored and the understanding of physical relationships of matter and energy is faulty.

    It’s apparent, Science doesn’t understand the dynamics of the Sun, and with all due respect, the climate record and the sun spot record (that we know of) does not support your theory of irradiance being the only meaningful measure of the Sun’s energy output. That strongly suggest heliographer’s ideas on what is the measure of the Sun’s energy output are wrong.

    So, yes, let’s talk about the physics and more important let’s not allow attachment to dogma to stop us from considering all the scientific evidence at our disposal.

    The stakes are too high!

  201. Anaconda (14:46:03) :
    I’m not hiding behind anything. But since you call me ignorant. What is your mathematical definition of a point?
    I’m willing to learn from the master, so tell us.

    But all my references (in a prior post) were to in situ observations & measurements made by NASA regarding the electromagnetic dynamics of the solar system where they confirmed the existence of electric currents within the interplanatary medium.

    Of course there are electric currents in the interstellar medium, even one co-discovered by me: http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/helio.gif
    but the important issue for you to understand is that “The dynamics of the plasma is driven by the magnetic stress and the inertia and pressure of the plasma and not by electric currents”. As Parker shows this follows from Maxwell’s equations. The reference I gave has nothing to do with the solar wind and how it is formed, but solely with dispelling the false notion that electric currents are causes of plasma flows.

    It is important that you clearly understand this crucial point, otherwise you’ll never make any progress to understanding the physics of the cosmos.

  202. Pamela Gray says:

    Anaconda, are you coming from the perspective that it “must” be the Sun? If you are, you are the one maybe that needs to let go of a dogma to look at other plausible mechanisms that explains weather pattern variation. I am not being negative here, just pointing out maybe a hidden belief that seems to be driving your posts that might blind you to other considerations that are capable of producing variation.

    My belief, that it is an endogenous set of variation drivers, comes simply from the fact that so far, of what is known (as opposed to your feeling that it must be something unknown), endogenous drivers are easily demonstrated and match observations. Better than CO2 and better than ol’ Sol. So I continue to study endogenous drivers until such a time that something else explains variation better. I have not read a reasonable, plausible, soundly based, “something else” to date.

  203. Anaconda (14:46:03) :
    It’s apparent, Science doesn’t understand the dynamics of the Sun, and with all due respect, the climate record and the sun spot record
    That the climate is not understood does not mean that physics is not understood. I do not think you can find a single scientist in the world today that will claim that there is a lot more energy coming from the Sun than we measure with calorimeters in space. The Earth itself absorbs energy the same way as our instruments, so you are postulating that the Earth picks up energy that our instruments cannot. And NASA certainly is not saying this. Find us a single reference to a paper that supports your misguided idea that the 1361 W/m2 we measure is a lot less than the ‘total energy’ [and electromagnetic at that] we receive from the Sun. Then we can discuss the evidence.

    (that we know of) does not support your theory of irradiance being the only meaningful measure of the Sun’s energy output. That strongly suggest heliographer’s ideas on what is the measure of the Sun’s energy output are wrong.

    So, yes, let’s talk about the physics and more important let’s not allow attachment to dogma to stop us from considering all the scientific evidence at our disposal.

    The stakes are too high!

  204. Anaconda (14:46:03) :
    It’s apparent, Science doesn’t understand the dynamics of the Sun, and with all due respect, the climate record and the sun spot record
    That the climate is not understood does not mean that physics is not understood. I do not think you can find a single scientist in the world today that will claim that there is a lot more energy coming from the Sun than we measure with calorimeters in space. The Earth itself absorbs energy the same way as our instruments, so you are postulating that the Earth picks up energy that our instruments cannot. And NASA certainly is not saying this. Find us a single reference to a paper that supports your misguided idea that the 1361 W/m2 we measure is a lot less than the ‘total energy’ [and electromagnetic at that] we receive from the Sun. Then we can discuss the evidence.

    The stakes are too high!
    Indeed they are, and that is why pseudo-scientific notions that you have somehow gathered on the Internet [the various cults I was referring to] should be countered with sound science so the public can make informed decisions.

  205. Leif Svalgaard (19:04:42) :
    “The stakes are too high!
    Indeed they are, and that is why pseudo-scientific notions that you have somehow gathered on the Internet [the various cults I was referring to] should be countered with sound science so the public can make informed decisions.”

    Of course.

    But things get muddled for some when science itself is called into question for not being fastidious or exact enough. Or for not thinking out of the box. Or when it’s too hard to fathom.

    And science seems to be at its worst when it prognosticates. When it makes bold predictions, it leaves the future open to the dogmatic and the cultists.

  206. Joel Seligmann (20:39:11) :
    But things get muddled for some when science itself is called into question for not being fastidious or exact enough. Or for not thinking out of the box. Or when it’s too hard to fathom.

    Science is a human endeavor and often funded by the public so is dependent on understanding and public support. Some things are just hard, but I dare say that science has made great strides. Science is in the box of reason and laws of Nature and shouldn’t stray too far.

  207. anna v says:

    Anaconda (05:45:28) :

    In isolation, an electric current is necessary to cause a magnetic field. A magnetic field can not stand in isolation without an electric current (ordered electron movement) to sustain it.

    The other large misunderstanding that drives blog conversations, the confusion of cause and effect, appears largely in all your passionate and sometimes not so polite expostulations about electric currents. This is the inability to recognize the terms , necessary, sufficient, and necessary and sufficient, very important in building and using mathematical theories.

    What is sufficient may not be necessary and what is necessary may not be sufficient, if you get my drift. This is very important in dealing with solutions of theoretical equations, Maxwell’s not excepted.

    Please read the reply of Data (14:40:25) : to you. It says in simple terms the same thing. Your quoted statement is wrong as discussed there.

    Maybe you are very young?

  208. maksimovich says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:47:02) :

    “Science is a human endeavor and often funded by the public so is dependent on understanding and public support. Some things are just hard, but I dare say that science has made great strides. Science is in the box of reason and laws of Nature and shouldn’t stray too far.”

    Ed Jaynes in Probability as logic summed it up well in his introduction.

    It seems that mankind has always been occupied with the problem of how to deal with ignorance.Primitive man, aware of his helplessness against the forces of Nature but totally ignorant of their causes, would try to compensate for his ignorance by inventing hypotheses about them. For educated people today, the idea of directing intelligences willfully and consciously controlling every detail of events seems vastly more complicated than the idea of a machine running; but to primitive
    man (and even to the uneducated today) the opposite is true. For one who has no comprehension of physical law, but is aware of his own consciousness and volition, the natural question to ask is not: \What is causing it?”, but rather: \Who is causing it?”…….

    …..This oldest of all devices for dealing with one’s ignorance, is the fi rst form of what we have called the \Mind Projection Fallacy”. One asserts that the creations of his own imagination are real properties of Nature, and thus in eff ect projects his own thoughts out onto Nature. It is still rampant today, not only in fundamentalist religion, but in every field where probability theory is used.”

  209. anna v says:

    correct repetition:
    Anaconda (05:45:28) :

    In isolation, an electric current is necessary to cause a magnetic field. A magnetic field can not stand in isolation without an electric current (ordered electron movement) to sustain it.

    The other large misunderstanding that drives blog conversations, the first being confusion of cause and effect, appears largely in all your passionate and sometimes not so polite expostulations about electric currents. This is the inability to recognize the terms , necessary, sufficient, and necessary and sufficient, very important in building and using mathematical theories.

    What is sufficient may not be necessary and what is necessary may not be sufficient, if you get my drift. This is very important in dealing with solutions of theoretical equations, Maxwell’s not excepted.

    Please read the reply of Data (14:40:25) : to you. It says in simple terms the same thing. Your quoted statement is wrong as discussed there.

    Maybe you are very young?

  210. Leif Svalgaard (21:47:02) :
    “Science is in the box of reason and laws of Nature and shouldn’t stray too far.”

    Agreed.

    Unfortunately, not satisfied with well-reasoned explanations about what is, some people want more from science than it can safely provide: a glimpse into what isn’t: the future. That’s when science can go astray and lead to a lack of trust.

    “Always in motion is the future.”

  211. Frank Hill says:

    DavidW (11:11:39) :

    “This has probably already been brought up, but a little observation.
    1) Aside from the markings of the sunspots, is it just me, or is the northern hemisphere, per se (positive latitude) an almost-perfect mirror image of the southern hemisphere (negative latitude)?”

    Hi DavidW — You have sharp eyes. The picture is indeed perfectly symmetric across the equator. That is a consequence of the way we analyzed the data. Our method can only produce an average of the north and south hemipsheres. In reality the flow is not symmetric across the equator. Here is a link to a picture of the flow at the surface that has not been averaged:
    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/torsional.html
    As you can see, there are very interesting differences between the surface flow in the two hemispheres. We do have a helioseismic method of separating the two hemispheres, and will be looking at the results soon.

    “2) If a sunspot cycle is based on the blue vertical longitude line (approximately mid-January, 1997) and intersects a critical point of 22 degrees and also shows the torsional oscillation at beginning or “elbow” points 52 degrees and -52 degrees, then the second “beginning” blue line (mid-June, 2006), should also reflect a beginning or an “elbow” of the next torsional oscillation flow, or am I missing something here?”

    No, you are not missing anything. The polar spin-up has not yet started. If we are correct, it too should start soon.

    “To add on 2), I would think that if 22 was the magic number then the blue line would be at the very end (far right) of the image, rather than the mid-June 2006 position, unless they meant for that to be the bulk of the sunspots (confused). Either way, even if it is at the very right, where I would assume it would be, based on my limited knowledge, we should still be seeing the torsional oscillation start at 52 and -52 degrees.”

    The blue line at mid-2206 corresponds to the left edge of the image, not the blue line at 1997.2.

  212. Paul Vaughan says:

    Adolfo Giurfa (08:57:52) “[...] http://www.giurfa.com/charvatova.pdf [...]”
    Carsten Arnholm, Norway (15:12:34) “You are referring to the idea of spin-orbit coupling.”

    Carsten, this is an unfair comment; Dr. Charvatova does not push “spin-orbit coupling”.

    - – -
    Frank Hill (22:51:44) “The picture is indeed perfectly symmetric across the equator. That is a consequence of the way we analyzed the data. Our method can only produce an average of the north and south hemipsheres. In reality the flow is not symmetric across the equator.”

    Thank you for explaining the artificial appearance of the plot (which may have been taken out of a context which clearly conveys information essential to interpretation).

  213. anna v says:

    OK, a tiny tim and a coupled tinier one on the 7clock line in SOHO 6:24, and Gong magnetogams at 10:04, cycle 24. ( the SOHO magnetogram is late in updating). The stronger one is on white and the weak one on black ?

    Much better lower than 22degrees.

  214. gary gulrud says:

    ” [TSI] is the power per unit area of the sun integrated over all spectral wavelengths… The TSI fluctuates much less than the SSI in some wavelengths.”

    As faculae and flaring have been extraordinarily low over the past 26 odd months, the ‘normality’ of measured TSI during this period indicates to a number of us that the quantity is manifestly not well-measured.

  215. gary gulrud (09:33:50) :
    As faculae and flaring have been extraordinarily low over the past 26 odd months, the ‘normality’ of measured TSI during this period indicates to a number of us that the quantity is manifestly not well-measured.
    You know not whereof you speak. The low solar activity has been well reflected in the TSI. Flares emit so little energy compared to the ‘normal’ photosphere that even the very largest [and very rare] barely rises over the background level.

  216. Pamela Gray says:

    Gary, how much lower? Significantly lower? What is your standard deviation? And has it been this low in recent cycles, or to your knowledge is this off the charts? And finally, on what basis is this current measure correlated with low Earth temps? One correlation is likely just chance. You have to show multiple and consistent tight correlations over time. Even then, you need a plausible mechanism. Else you speak from personally held dogma, not science.

  217. Pamela Gray says:

    Leif, you beat me to it. I was hoping Gary would discover his error.

  218. DavidW says:

    Frank Hill (22:51:44) :

    Hi DavidW — You have sharp eyes. The picture is indeed perfectly symmetric across the equator. That is a consequence of the way we analyzed the data. Our method can only produce an average of the north and south hemipsheres. In reality the flow is not symmetric across the equator. Here is a link to a picture of the flow at the surface that has not been averaged:
    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/torsional.html
    As you can see, there are very interesting differences between the surface flow in the two hemispheres. We do have a helioseismic method of separating the two hemispheres, and will be looking at the results soon.

    Is there a graph that has the last two years data or is that the most recent? It would be interesting to see the most current observation (as I appreciate the graph going back at least as far as it does for trending)

  219. Pamela Gray (10:00:49) :
    Leif, you beat me to it. I was hoping Gary would discover his error
    No chance!

  220. DavidW (10:06:31) :
    Is there a graph that has the last two years data or is that the most recent?

    As always, you can find such stuff on my website :-)
    http://www.leif.org/research/UlrichSolarCycleMinima.ppt

  221. Leif Svalgaard (10:24:00) :
    DavidW (10:06:31) :
    Is there a graph that has the last two years data or is that the most recent?

    some comments on the graph:
    1) The early data [pre-1985] are very noisy especially at high latitudes. That they look different is not solar effects
    2) There is a [real] asymmetry between the hemispheres in that the rotate at slightly different rates [a few meters per second]. In extracting the TO, a common rotation rate was assumed, which makes the South appear faster [more red] and the North appear slower [more blue]. There likely is no such real difference in the TO. Perhaps Frank can comment on that?
    3) At times you may see an annual variation. This is instrumental and not solar.


  222. Paul Vaughan (03:54:32) :

    Adolfo Giurfa (08:57:52) “[...] http://www.giurfa.com/charvatova.pdf [...]”
    Carsten Arnholm, Norway (15:12:34) “You are referring to the idea of spin-orbit coupling.”

    Carsten, this is an unfair comment; Dr. Charvatova does not push “spin-orbit coupling”.

    Your claim of ‘unfair comment’ is unfounded, and appears therefore in itself unfair. I was commenting on Adolfo Giurfa (08:57:52) quoting the paper, saying The results indicate that `solar dynamo’ that was long sought in the solar interior, operates more likely from the outside, by means of the varying planetary configurations.

    The paper talks about orbital motions, angular momentum and “solar inertial motion” (the motion of the Sun around the centre of mass of the solar system). These are key elements of the spin-orbit coupling idea, which proposed that exchange of orbital angular momentum between the planets and Solar spin somehow caused inertial effects (again supposedly modulating solar activity via some undescribed mechanism). Clearly, the paper suggests the same mechanism known as the spin-orbit coupling idea, and that mechanism has been shown not to take place, it is falsified. Orbital angular momentum is completely balanced between the sun and the planets, so the suggested “outside mechanism” for causing solar activity cannot be based on that parameter.

    Charvátova does not propose any other mechanism in that paper, but still suggests that solar motion offers predictive power for solar activity. If you believe the paper talks about some other mechanism than the spin-orbit coupling idea, please explain which other “outside mechanism” that would be.

  223. Anaconda says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard (15:08:07) :

    I [Anaconda] asked Dr. Svalgaard: “What is your mathematical definition of a point?”

    And, instead of a direct andswer, Dr. Svalgaard responded: “I’m willing to learn from the master, so tell us.”

    Well, I already offered there was more than one definition, or that a mathematician might say that a point is undefined, and Svalgaard called me ignorant for my troubles.

    My question is straightforward, it shouldn’t be hard to answer if it’s as easy as Dr. Svalgaard implies, yet rather than simply answering the question, Svalgaard responded with a distracting and avoiding dig.

    Could that be because my initial offering that that there are inconsistent definitions of terms has merit?

    So I’d still like to know Dr. Svalgaard’s mathematical definition of a point.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Of course there are electric currents in the interstellar medium…”

    Okay, good. certainly there are electric currents within the solar system.

    And based on the schematic of the Parker spiral Dr. Svalgaard provides the solar wind is a diffused electric current of charged particles (electrons and ions) and when the Sun is at solar maximum Coronal Mass Ejections of charged particles are transferred directly to the Earth via Birkeland currents. The solar wind (and Birkeand currents) is not simply kinetic energy that gets converted to electrical energy when it reaches Earth: Rather, it is emitted from the Sun as electrical energy and is received by the Earth as electrical energy, some directly from the Sun to the Earth (Birkeland currents as a result of Coronal Mass Ejections, themselves composed of charged particles, and some as the more diffused and indirect process of solar wind electrical energy being captured and collected in the Earth’s magneto tail and then being regularly released as Birkeland currents (NASA calls them “magnetic tornadoes”) into the Earth’s atmosphere. Both the larger direct Birkeland currents and the smaller indirect Birkeland currents cause auroral electrical ‘substorms’.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “[T]he important issue for you to understand is that ‘The dynamics of the plasma is driven by the magnetic stress and the inertia and pressure of the plasma and not by electric currents’. As Parker shows this follows from Maxwell’s equations. The reference I gave has nothing to do with the solar wind and how it is formed, but solely with dispelling the false notion that electric currents are causes of plasma flows.”

    First in the excerpt and the link Dr. Parker acknowledges the requirement of Maxwell’s equations that electric currents cause magnetic fields:

    “…magnetic fields appear only in association with electric currents…”

    And, “In the laboratory we create static magnetic fields by driving an electric current through a coil of wire. The emf [electromotive force, 10^36 more powerful than gravity] and the current are clearly the CAUSE [original emphasis] of the magnetic field.” (p. 25, Conversations)

    So, Dr. Parker acknowleges that, here, on Earth in the laboratory electric currents are the cause and magnetic fields are the effect, not the other way around.

    But Dr. Parker does immediately state ib the next sentence: “On the other hand, in the cosmos the deformation of the magnetic field embedded in the swirling plasma causes the flow of electric current in the plasma…” (p.25)

    The reason for this difference is the assumed difference of the terrestial environment and space as Dr. Parker expressed: “The air that we breathe is an example and only upon reaching the ionosphere does MHD [magnetohydrodynamics] become effective.” (p.3 Conversations)

    There are several problems with this assertion:

    Dr. Parker cites no experiments for his proposition, but relies on a priori mathematical extrapolation for his hypothesis. In other words, instead of in situ observation & measurements or in situ experiments, Dr. Parker relies on mathematical ‘thought experiments’ as justification for his hypothesis.

    Dr. Parker states: “The essential feature is that no significant electric field can arise in the frame reference of moving plasma.” (p. 1) Therefore, if there is no electric field, there are, in Dr. Parker’s opinion, no electric currents in space to speak of. Dr. Parkers justification for this is the study of MHD. Essentially, Dr. Parker, proposes a varient of “frozen in” magnetic fields in space plasma.

    The problem, here, is that the scientist who developed MHD, Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner for his work on MHD, who first announciated the concept of “frozen in” magnetic fields in his original MHD work, later found out by continued experimental work that the concept of “frozen in” magnetic fields was incorrect. Alfven felt so strongly that the record needed to be corrected that he took the biggest moment of his life, his own Nobel Prize acceptance speech, to declare that his ideas on “frozen in” magnetic fields were wrong.

    Dr. Parker includes in his hypothesis planetary magnetospheres and stars.

    NASA’s in situ observations & measurements both of the Sun and the Earth’s magnetosphere contradict Dr. Parker’s hypothesis.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The reference I gave has nothing to do with the solar wind and how it is formed, but solely with dispelling the false notion that electric currents are causes of plasma flows.”

    I respectfully disagree because this goes to the heart of the question of the energy dynamics of the Sun’s output and whether additional energy comes from the Sun beyond solar irradiance in the form of electrical energy which at present isn’t considered in climate models, therfore, the climate models can hardly be expected to be accurate.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “I do not think you can find a single scientist in the world today that will claim that there is a lot more energy coming from the Sun than we measure with calorimeters in space. The Earth itself absorbs energy the same way as our instruments, so you are postulating that the Earth picks up energy that our instruments cannot.”

    Perhaps, scientists aren’t looking for this energy because they share the same assumptions that you hold, namely that it doesn’t exist — you can hardly expect someone to look for something they assume doesn’t exist.

    As stated by Dr. Svalgaard, scientists use calorimeters positioned in space to measure irradiance, a diffused energy, and assume that whatever “hits” the calorimeter is representitive of what “hits” the Earth. This is an extrapolation, but is it warranted?

    Irradiance, tends to be diffuse, but electrical energy tends to be collimated, in other words, directional and focussed, an example is the electric current in a wire, you can be right next to the wire, but not receive any of the energy, but get right in the course of the wire and you will get shocked and even heat up (think electric chair).

    Birkeland currents, both the larger CME variety and the smaller “magnetic tornado” variety from the magneto tail are collimated flows of energy. The majority of their energy is not radiated, but transported in colimated directional currents. Unless a “space calorimeter” is right within the Birkeland current’s beam or path of electrical energy, the calorimeter will not observe & measure this electrical energy coming from the Sun to the Earth.

    How much electrical energy is in these collimated Birkeland current “magnetic tornadoes”?

    Answer: A lot!

    NASA reports: “The team’s study reveals that magnetic blast waves can be used to pinpoint and predict the location where space storms dissipate their massive amounts of energy. These storms can dump the equivalent of 50 gigawatts of power, or the output of 10 of the world’s largest power stations, into Earth’s atmosphere.

    The energy that drives space storms originates on the sun. The stream of electrically charged particles in the solar wind carries this energy toward Earth. The solar wind interacts with Earth’s magnetic field. Scientists call the process that begins with Earth’s magnetic field capturing energy and ends with its release into the atmosphere a geomagnetic substorm.

    “Substorm onset occurs when Earth’s magnetic field suddenly and dramatically releases energy previously captured by the solar wind,” said David Sibeck, project scientist for the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS) mission at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Md.” (see link below)

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/themis/news/magnetic_tremors.html

    So, Dr. Svalgaar, you and apparently most others aren’t counting this energy because of primarily two reasons: One, the TSI calorimeters in space don’t detect this electrical energy because it is not diffuse like irradiance, but is collimated, and, two, the scientist’s assumptions such as yourself don’t provide you a basis to look for or consider this energy source to the Earth from the Sun.

    Might it be time to consider changing your assumptions?

  224. Frank Hll says:

    DavidW (10:06:31) :

    “Is there a graph that has the last two years data or is that the most recent? It would be interesting to see the most current observation (as I appreciate the graph going back at least as far as it does for trending)”

    Hi David — As far as I know, the UCLA/Mt. Wilson site has the most up-to-date data of that type.
    ————————————————-
    Leif Svalgaard (10:24:00) :
    “some comments on the graph:
    1) The early data [pre-1985] are very noisy especially at high latitudes. That they look different is not solar effects
    2) There is a [real] asymmetry between the hemispheres in that the rotate at slightly different rates [a few meters per second]. In extracting the TO, a common rotation rate was assumed, which makes the South appear faster [more red] and the North appear slower [more blue]. There likely is no such real difference in the TO. Perhaps Frank can comment on that?
    3) At times you may see an annual variation. This is instrumental and not solar.”

    Hi Leif — it was good to see you last week in Boulder at the SPD! I agree with your comments 1 and 3. As for comment 2, with helioseismology we will be able to take out the asymmetric rotation rate, and we will see what the level of asymmetry for the TO remains. The sunspot activity is certainly asymmetric, so I actually expect to see some differences in the TO as well. But we need to analyze the data.

  225. kim says:

    A point is a much lower class of being than a polygon, and much more dangerous and painful, too.

  226. bill says:

    Anaconda (14:11:19) :
    How much electrical energy is in these collimated Birkeland current “magnetic tornadoes”?
    Answer: A lot!
    NASA reports: “…These storms can dump the equivalent of 50 gigawatts of power, …
    …So, Dr. Svalgaar, you and apparently most others aren’t counting this energy because of primarily two reasons: One, the TSI calorimeters in space don’t detect this electrical energy because it is not diffuse like irradiance, but is collimated, and, two, the scientist’s assumptions such as yourself don’t provide you a basis to look for or consider this energy source to the Earth from the Sun.
    Might it be time to consider changing your assumptions

    Consider this:
    Humans generate much more power than this for only electrical energy:

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/table63.xls
    Total electrical energy generation all sources = 1.8014e13 kWh/year
    assume 40% efficient total thermal generation is 4.5e13 kWh/year
    = 4.5e16 Wh/year
    ==5.1e12 W generation
    =5,100 GW i.e 100 times more than the power in Birkeland current “magnetic tornadoes”

    So Anaconda “Might it be time to consider changing your assumptions” or are you now willing to say that global power generation will affect climate.

    In fact even the generation of power station heat is insignificant compared to the total insolation
    250 watts/sq metre over earths surface
    5.1e8 sq km=5.1e14 sq m
    total insolation=1.28e17 watts =128,000,000 GW

    i.e. 2.5 million times greater than power generation

  227. a jones says:

    Yes Bill you are quite correct: the total energy is insignificant.

    What is more interesting is what effect the ionisation of the atmosphere at the poles has on the weather.

    For instance I live at 54 deg N and we seldom see A Borealis directly, perhaps once in a generation. The last time was fifteen years ago and it was clearly visible for a single night. And very spectacular it was too: like the glow of a distant city over the horizon only white rather than yellow, although, as I am, you had to be in a rural area away from streetlights to see it.

    What we do see quite often are what are called locally skyrockets, a long ragged coloured trail in the night sky which appears over a few minutes and persists for perhaps half an hour.

    Now if ionised particles from the North pole can not only reach this far south but do so in sufficient quantity, if you will, for the effect to be seen by the naked eye what do they do to the weather?

    After all cosmic rays can induce condensation but so can ionised particles.

    Kindest Regards

  228. Anaconda says:

    @ bill:

    Not likely, as we can’t even compute all the energy coming from the Sun to the Earth.

    And some people want to blame a trace gas that is .04% of the atmosphere.

    I don’t think so.

  229. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Carsten Arnholm, Norway (13:36:17)

    I see little value in choosing to view every mention of center of mass through a “spin-orbit coupling lens”. The value of Dr. Charvatova’s contribution does not hinge solely on insights derived from viewing through this single lens.

    Clarification:
    I’m not saying I agree with the more speculative comments Dr. Charvatova makes.

    However:
    In fairness to Dr. Charvatova:
    1) “Spin-orbit coupling” is NOT mentioned in the paper Adolfo cited.
    2) Much of the content of Dr. Charvatova’s papers is non-speculative.
    3) The central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research is reasonable. (Anyone planning to attack it should – in fairness – first make sure they are clear on what it is.)

  230. Paul Vaughan (19:34:04) :
    3) The central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research is reasonable. (Anyone planning to attack it should – in fairness – first make sure they are clear on what it is.)

    It is not reasonable as the Sun is in free fall and does not feel what she calls ‘the solar motion’, no matter if the orbit is ‘stable’ or ‘disordered’. Her basic premise is thus wrong.

  231. Anaconda (14:11:19) :
    this goes to the heart of the question of the energy dynamics of the Sun’s output and whether additional energy comes from the Sun beyond solar irradiance in the form of electrical energy which at present isn’t considered in climate models, therfore, the climate models can hardly be expected to be accurate.

    I’m continually amazed at your [and other's] ability to fool yourself, but can see clearly the motivation for this, namely your anti-AGW stance. I will stand with every other scientist in awe at your willful ignorance. You quote that the electric energy hitting the Earth by the way of Birkeland currents is 50 GW. The electromagnetic energy from radiation [what the calorimeter measures as TSI] is 347,208,000 GW. Make your own comparison.

  232. Paul Vaughan says:

    Leif Svalgaard (10:33:32) “[...] In extracting the TO, a common rotation rate was assumed [...] Perhaps Frank can comment on that?”
    Frank Hll (14:39:47) “[...] with helioseismology we will be able to take out the asymmetric rotation rate, and we will see what the level of asymmetry for the TO remains [...] we need to analyze the data.”

    Let me see if I understand where this is going:
    Are you saying that the forthcoming analysis will completely abandon reliance on the following equation?
    Omega = A + B sin^2(B) + C sin^4(B)

    If so, I strongly commend this development.

    I will also take this opportunity to comment that (in general) it would be (additionally) of interest to see plots of unadjusted data – i.e. without subtraction of latitude-specific ‘central’ values. (Spatially there are the same compromises & hazards as there are temporally in applying seasonal adjustments.)

    Questions for anyone who might be able to answer:
    1) Wherever I read the term “spherical harmonics” in the solar literature, can I always trust that what is being addressed is not actually “cylindrical harmonics”? [This question is, in part, motivated by awareness of: (a) 0-meridian sampling (which is used in some measures) & (b) the standard (plotting) projections.]
    2) Are quaternions (widely? generally? increasingly?) used in analyzing TO (& solar phenomena more generally)?

  233. Anaconda (14:11:19) :
    The problem, here, is that the scientist who developed MHD, Hannes Alfven, [...] declared that his ideas on “frozen in” magnetic fields were wrong.

    Hannes was a good friend of mine and we often discussed this issue. His lament was not that his ideas on frozen-in magnetic fields were wrong, but that many scientists overused the concept in situations were the MHD approximation breaks down, namely when the particle density and the magnetic field vary fast enough so that charged particles can become strongly accelerated. These conditions occurs but rarely in the cosmos, e.g. in reconnection events, but when they occur the bursty acceleration of electrons and ions by the double layer provides a mechanism for the conversion of the electromagnetic energy associated with the currents into kinetic energy of the plasma. But I guess that the physics is not important to you as long as physics [wrong or right] supports your desire that climate models be shown to be wrong. By invoking wrong physics, the AGW crowd instead of taking what you say seriously, they will laugh at you, and you will [sadly] be hurting your cause.

  234. Paul Vaughan says:

    Paul Vaughan (19:34:04) “The central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research is reasonable. (Anyone planning to attack it should – in fairness – first make sure they are clear on what it is.)”

    Leif Svalgaard (19:49:59) “It is not reasonable as the Sun is in free fall and does not feel what she calls ‘the solar motion’, no matter if the orbit is ’stable’ or ‘disordered’. Her basic premise is thus wrong.”

    -
    Regarding the central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research [considered collectively] – as I said Leif: “Anyone planning to attack it should – in fairness – first make sure they are clear on what it is.”

  235. Paul Vaughan (20:20:41) :
    Let me see if I understand where this is going:
    Are you saying that the forthcoming analysis will completely abandon reliance on the following equation?
    Omega = A + B sin^2(B) + C sin^4(B)

    Of course not, as the formula is a very convenient way of expressing the rotation law, as long as its limitations are always kept in mind, as in this paper:
    On the supposed anticorrelation of solar polar and equatorial rotation rates, Duvall, T. L., Jr.; Svalgaard, L.
    Solar Physics, vol. 56, Feb. 1978, p. 463-466.
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00152485

    Abstract
    The anticorrelation between two of the three parameters [B and C] used to calculate the angular velocity of the sun’s differential rotation is here said to be due to numerical coupling. A computer simulation technique shows that the relationship between the two parameters is caused by the effect of noise on the least-squares analysis used to obtain the three parameters used to determine the angular velocity in terms of the heliographic latitude. The computer simulation technique is described. The supposed anticorrelation had been used to infer that variations of the sun’s polar and equatorial rotation rates are anticorrelated.

    I will also take this opportunity to comment that (in general) it would be (additionally) of interest to see plots of unadjusted data
    That would not be useful nor desirable in most cases [there are usually good and valid reasons for why data are shown the way they are]. Specifically in case of the TO, the ‘unadjusted’ values would vary from 0 m/s at the poles to 2000 m/s at the equator and you would not be able to see the 5 m/s TO.

    1) Wherever I read the term “spherical harmonics” in the solar literature, can I always trust that what is being addressed is not actually “cylindrical harmonics”?
    Spherical harmonics are what they say they are. You might find it of interest to see how we actually calculate those critters for the Wilcox Solar Observatory magnetic data: http://www.leif.org/research/Calculation%20of%20Spherical%20Harmonics.pdf
    For other data [e.g. the Doppler signal] the details differ, but the procedure is the same.

    2) Are quaternions (widely? generally? increasingly?) used in analyzing TO (& solar phenomena more generally)?
    No, not that I know of. Frank may be able to ‘no’ for his analysis.

    Paul Vaughan (20:54:01) :
    Regarding the central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research [considered collectively] – as I said Leif: “Anyone planning to attack it should – in fairness – first make sure they are clear on what it is.”
    I have served as reviewer of some of her papers and know very well what it is. Perhaps you can clarify for us what you think it is?

  236. Leif Svalgaard (20:10:32) :
    Anaconda (14:11:19) :
    You quote that the electric energy hitting the Earth by the way of Birkeland currents is 50 GW. The electromagnetic energy from radiation [what the calorimeter measures as TSI] is 347,208,000 GW. Make your own comparison.

    I have to correct my number [and yours]. Yours should be doubled [to include both hemispheres] and mine should be halved to 173,604,000 GW, or only ~2,000,000 times more. When one deals with such large numbers, clerical errors creep in evolution has not provided us with a basic ability of the brain to catch obvious errors, nor to distinguish between millions, billions, and trillions.
    The important point is that the energy measured by TSI totally swamps all other forms of energy coming from the Sun.

  237. Frank Hll says:

    Paul Vaughan (20:20:41) :

    “Leif Svalgaard (10:33:32) “[...] In extracting the TO, a common rotation rate was assumed [...] Perhaps Frank can comment on that?”
    Frank Hll (14:39:47) “[...] with helioseismology we will be able to take out the asymmetric rotation rate, and we will see what the level of asymmetry for the TO remains [...] we need to analyze the data.”

    Let me see if I understand where this is going:
    Are you saying that the forthcoming analysis will completely abandon reliance on the following equation?
    Omega = A + B sin^2(B) + C sin^4(B)

    If so, I strongly commend this development.”

    For the ring-diagram analysis that we will use to study the full asymmetric flows, we track a large number of relatively small areas at the surface rotation rate appropriate for the central latitude of each patch. For this tracking rotation rate we do indeed use the equation Omega = A + B sin^2(B) + C sin^4(B). However, the flows we get for each patch then have a number of sources, including any deviations from the surface rotation rate that may arise from asymmetric north-south rotation. We can determine that asymmetric contribution by averaging over all longitudes at a given latitude, which will allow us to remove those effects from the TO measurement as well as study the north-south rotation asymmetry in its own right.
    —————————–
    “I will also take this opportunity to comment that (in general) it would be (additionally) of interest to see plots of unadjusted data – i.e. without subtraction of latitude-specific ‘central’ values. (Spatially there are the same compromises & hazards as there are temporally in applying seasonal adjustments.)”

    As Leif points out these plots show only the surface rotation which is about 400 times larger than the TO flow in magnitude. What will also be interesting is the rotation residuals mentioned above.
    ———————————————–
    “Questions for anyone who might be able to answer:
    1) Wherever I read the term “spherical harmonics” in the solar literature, can I always trust that what is being addressed is not actually “cylindrical harmonics”? [This question is, in part, motivated by awareness of: (a) 0-meridian sampling (which is used in some measures) & (b) the standard (plotting) projections.]”

    It is easy to confuse “harmonics” with “projections”. Harmonics are the solution of the Helmholtz wave equation in various coordinate systems, while projections are usually methods to transfer data from one geometrical surface onto another (but see below). In the solar literature, spherical harmonics are mostly used to describe the global solar oscillations. We do not use cylindrical harmonics in helioseismology, but we do use Bessel functions for some purposes. Bessel functions can be interpreted as harmonics of a circular planar surface, like a drum head. On the other hand, we do speak of “projecting” data onto a set of mathematical functions (like spherical harmonics or sinusioids in Fourier analysis). So it’s easy to get confused.
    —————————————-
    “2) Are quaternions (widely? generally? increasingly?) used in analyzing TO (& solar phenomena more generally)?”
    No. The simple complex numbers are so far enough for describing solar phenomena.

  238. Paul Vaughan says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:19:15) “That would not be useful nor desirable in most cases [...] in case of the TO, the ‘unadjusted’ values would vary from 0 m/s at the poles to 2000 m/s at the equator and you would not be able to see the 5 m/s TO.”

    Clarification: I would be more interested in rates of change (calculated via differencing) – not just in time, but also in space (for example, with respect to latitude). I would further be interested in the spectra of adjustable-bandwidth integrations of rates of change – i.e. let the data speak on all scales rather than risking obfuscation (& complicating interpretation) of analyses by removing ‘dominant’ patterns first. [Note: In an earlier WUWT thread you led me to believe that the spatial sampling frequency should be (perhaps a lot more than) adequate to pursue what I am suggesting here.]

    -
    Thanks for the link to these notes:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Calculation%20of%20Spherical%20Harmonics.pdf

    -
    Regarding Dr. Charvatova’s central premise:
    Leif Svalgaard (21:19:15) “I have served as reviewer of some of her papers and know very well what it is. Perhaps you can clarify for us what you think it is?”

    Perhaps the central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research (in general) is not made explicit in the specific papers you reviewed.

  239. Paul Vaughan (22:49:13) :
    Regarding Dr. Charvatova’s central premise:
    Leif Svalgaard (21:19:15) “I have served as reviewer of some of her papers and know very well what it is. Perhaps you can clarify for us what you think it is?”

    Perhaps the central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research (in general) is not made explicit in the specific papers you reviewed.

    I know all of her papers well [part of the review process]. Perhaps you tell me what you think her central premise is. After all, it has to be clear to you after your admonishment…

  240. Paul Vaughan (22:49:13) :
    let the data speak on all scales rather than risking obfuscation (& complicating interpretation) of analyses by removing ‘dominant’ patterns first.

    Rest assured that all good scientists do their utmost to present their data the best way possible without obfuscation and the like, certainly Frank Hill should be counted in that category.

  241. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Frank Hll (22:29:05)

    Hi Frank,
    I don’t see much risk of confusing harmonics with projections – but your comments on harmonics in helioseismology are certainly appreciated — thank you.

    My instinct? Reliance on the rotation law to remove spatial trends boxes an analyst into a real mess when it comes time to interpret the residuals of which you speak.

    There are feasible ways to ease the interpretational challenges which stem from the decomposition you describe [as outlined briefly above - see Paul Vaughan (22:49:13)], while at the same time affording opportunity to investigate the sensitivity of parameter estimates to spatiotemporal scale (in addition to location).

    This is a fascinating branch of research. I see the potential for quantum leaps in understanding once analysts finish figuring out how best to sink their teeth into these data. It appears you have the good fortune of participating in a golden era in solar science.

    Best Regards,
    Paul.

  242. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Leif Svalgaard (23:24:21) “Rest assured that all good scientists do their utmost to present their data the best way possible without obfuscation and the like [...]“

    Clarification: I am talking about inadvertent obfuscation stemming from unnecessary decompositions.

    On a lighter note: I am glad to see the adjective “good” in your sentence.

  243. irishspecialistnurseries says:

    By Jupiter (05:19:29) :

    … In 1816 during the Dalton Minimum late summer frosts devastated the agricultural output of North America.

    Perhaps ‘By Jupiter’ needs to be reminded that the late summer frosts of 1816 had absolutely nothing to do with the Dalson Minimum and absolutely everything to do with the eruption of Mt. Tambora the previous year.
    As Leif wearily keeps mentioning there is no convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that low sunspot numbers cause a reduction in global temperatures….none. An ongoing ‘experiment’ is currently taking place with a relatively prolonged solar minimum. There is also a -ive PDO. Having read this blog for sometime I would ask “where is the cooling?” Kim says the globe is cooling, but all the evidence suggests that there is no cooling. Surely temperatures should be well below the mean temperatures if the theories were correct, the fact that they are not, and indeed still above average would suggest that we can fully dismiss the link between sunspots and global temperature

  244. Data says:

    Dear Anaconda,

    Here is what you wrote:

    * * *

    @ Anaconda (14:11:19) :

    First in the excerpt and the link Dr. Parker acknowledges the requirement of Maxwell’s equations that electric currents cause magnetic fields:

    “…magnetic fields appear only in association with electric currents…”

    And, “In the laboratory we create static magnetic fields by driving an electric current through a coil of wire. The emf [electromotive force, 10^36 more powerful than gravity] and the current are clearly the CAUSE [original emphasis] of the magnetic field.” (p. 25, Conversations)

    So, Dr. Parker acknowleges that, here, on Earth in the laboratory electric currents are the cause and magnetic fields are the effect, not the other way around.

    * * *

    But the very next sentence in that source reads:

    “On the other hand, in the cosmos the deformation of the magnetic field embedded in the swirling plasma causes the flow of electric current in the plasma in the manner described by equation 1.6, because the energy that drives the current comes from the magnetic field.”

    Did you simply stop reading just before this sentence? Perhaps I am missing something gargantuan here?

    Dr Parker continues:

    “That is to say, the current is driven to the required value by the change of B. So in the cosmos the large-scale currents are obliged to conform to Ampere’s law. In view of the small but non-vanishing friction between the relative motions of the electrons and ions, there is a continuing trickle of energy from the magnetic field to the current to maintain the flow of current required by ampere, from which it follows that the field is the continuing cause of the current and not vice versa.”

    It seems unbelievable, but it appears that you took your quotes from exactly the paragraph where Dr Parker addresses and refutes what you are saying (convincingly, too). You misrepresented his point by suggesting a false context for his words, did you not?

    Perhaps you didn’t think anybody would read the source for themselves? That is not quite cricket, my dear chap. I am sure that you are extremely clever, but that doesn’t mean that everybody else is extremely stupid.

    Anyway, you never replied to my comment. Even if you meant this as a reply to it, obviously I can’t accept it as valid. You are of course welcome to try again.

  245. Paul Vaughan (00:45:34) :
    Clarification: I am talking about inadvertent obfuscation stemming from unnecessary decompositions.
    Now, who would do such a thing? Give a link to an example.

    Perhaps the central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research (in general) is not made explicit in the specific papers you reviewed.

    I know all of her papers well [part of the review process]. Perhaps you tell me what you think her central premise is.

    Is the above yet another example of you not wanting to tell me…

  246. Pamela Gray says:

    Just to clarify a couple of points that some try to make regarding global temperature issues.

    1. Because temp’s do not immediately track a proposed variable, does not mean that a coupling does not exist with that variable. This could be applied to all hypotheses held here: CO2, Solar, and endogenous oscillations. It likely takes a while to cool or heat up global temp’s if any one of these proposed couplings are in fact a coupling. The fact that some say “where is the cooling” or say that “there is not enough cooling” cannot stand alone as a falsifying thought experiment.

    2. Falsifying one of these hypotheses does not prove another, nor does it even make it somehow look better. I very much dislike this rather disingenuous method of stating your own case. The Solar and CO2 sides do this frequently.

  247. Anaconda says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard (20:10:32) :

    Svalgaard wrote: “[I] can see clearly the motivation for this, namely your anti-AGW stance.”

    My motivations?

    I don’t subscribe to AGW because the best available science currently available doesn’t support it.

    Your motivations?

    Your insistence that irradiance is the only measure of energy from the Sun by the Earth (and to justify your professional opinion and others in the field — to protect the “community”).

    But really, scientists must be able to account for all the scientific evidence.

    I note you don’t dipute that the Earth does receives electrical energy from the Sun (kind of hard to refute the NASA findings), and don’t refute the fact that “space calorimeters” don’t count that energy, but simply state that the electrical energy produced by the Sun and received by the Earth doesn’t amount to much.

    The problem is that the NASA findings refute your opinion.

    In the NASA report I linked, NASA found 50 GW of electrical energy from the Sun enters the Earth’s atmosphere in one substorm at one pole which you recognized is to be doubled to account for both North and South poles.

    But you did something you did before: Fail to acknowledge substorms are an ongoing “event”.

    Consider this NASA news release from 10/30/08: “It’s called a flux transfer event or ‘FTE,’” says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. “Ten years ago I was pretty sure they didn’t exist, but now the evidence is incontrovertible.”

    It’s new scietntific understanding…so, I can understand your professional opinion was formed without reference to it — but now you must incorporate that scientific understanding into your opinions, but it’s not clear you are doing that.

    Your reference to the 50 GW of electrical energy recieved from Sun by the Earth treats it as a one time event, it is not as you well know.

    NASA’s “Sibeck is telling an international assembly of space physicists at the 2008 Plasma Workshop in Huntsville, Alabama, that FTEs are not just common, but possibly twice as common as anyone had ever imagined.”

    “We used to think the connection was permanent and that solar wind could trickle into the near-Earth environment anytime the wind was active,” says Sibeck. “We were wrong. The connections are not steady at all. They are often brief, bursty and very dynamic.”

    “Approximately every eight minutes…”, a Birkeland current enters the Earth’s atmosphere from the Sun.

    Some back of the envelope computations shows rougly 7.5 times an hour a Birkeland current enters the atmosphere times 24 hours a day times 365 days a year. Add that all up and the 50GW ends up being about 7,347,000GW per year.

    So, consider the Earth’s climate as a balance beam: Any additional amount of energy will throw it off balance. My very rough calculations show 7,347,000GW of electrical energy on the warming side of the balance that irraiance doesn’t count.

    It may or may not be a lot of energy, but to blithely say it’s not important and can be ignored when attempting to model climate is irresponsible.

    You simply can’t provide an accurate model of climate when ignoring that amount of energy, particularly when we’re talking about only a couple degrees Celsius anyhow.

  248. Anaconda says:

    Addition:

    The NASA news release quoted from is this:

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30oct_ftes.htm

  249. Anaconda says:

    A word about TSI computations for laymen.

    Everbody knows irradiance will progessively “glance” off an object the higher the inclination or angle is increased, which as you move towards the Earth’s poles increases. There is some question whether this is factored into the TSI figure.

    Dr. Svalgaard states that it is factored into the TSI figure.

    But I’d like to know if the Earth’s atmosphere is computed into this calculation as well. The amount of “glance” increases progressively, but while the Earth’s atmosphere at the 90 degree angle may not make a lot of difference (most irradiance makes it to the surface), toward the poles, not only in the “glance” higher (irradiance bounces back into space), but the irradiance will have a tendency not to reach the surface, but “glance” off the upper levels of the atmosphere.

    Maybe this is figured into TSI, but then again, maybe science doesn’t completely understand the dynamics involved.

    If so TSI is being overestimated.

  250. Anaconda (10:26:48) :
    Your reference to the 50 GW of electrical energy recieved from Sun by the Earth treats it as a one time event, it is not as you well know.
    A ‘Watt’ is one joule per second, so is ongoing, not a one time event.

    Add that all up and the 50GW ends up being about 7,347,000 GW per year.
    Since a Watt is one joule per second, 50 GW for a year is 50E9*365*24*3600 = 1.6E18 Joule in one year (also written as 1,600,000,000,000,000,000 Joule – when you eat a hamburger your energy intake 4,000,000 J, so a continuous input of 50 GW for a year corresponds to eating 400 billion hamburgers in that year – exceeding even McDonald’s wildest claims).

    The radiative heat (TSI) is 1361 W/m2. The Earth receives that amount times the surface of a disk (with the radius of the Earth) of 1.28E14 square meters, so in a year the Earth receives 1361*1.28E14*365*24*3600 = 5.5E24 J or 3,500,000 times as much as supplied by the 50 GW [which by the way is not even continuous as you point out], so the energy supplied by the solar wind is indeed minuscule compared with TSI. At solar maximum, TSI is 1.5 W/m2 higher than at solar minimum, or 0.11%. Or 6E21 J over the solar maximum year or 6E21/1.6E18 = 3800 times larger than the 50 GW would give even if continuous.

    I hope that in spite of you not being able to follow the physics of electric and magnetic fields, that the simple calculations above might convince you that all experimental evidence [partly supplied by you due to your diligent research] shows that the electromagnetic energy [heat and light] we receive from the Sun [and measured as TSI] is vastly bigger [many thousand times bigger] than that supplied by the solar wind [using your figure of 50 GW].

    It is for this simple reason that the solar wind energy is not being used in climate studies [and shouldn't be - as it is quite negligible].

  251. Anaconda (10:51:17) :
    but the irradiance will have a tendency not to reach the surface, but “glance” off the upper levels of the atmosphere.
    Maybe this is figured into TSI, but then again, maybe science doesn’t completely understand the dynamics involved.
    If so TSI is being overestimated.

    To calculate how much of TSI actually gets to the Earth, one first divides by four to compensate for the effect you have rediscovered and then compensates for the amount of light reflected back to space [e.g. by clouds] by reducing the incoming flux by another 30% [the 'albedo']. The net effect is to reduce the incoming 1361 W/m2 to 1361/4*0.70 = 238 W/m2 or about 6 times less. In the calculations of the relative amount from TSI and solar wind, a similar factor should be applied to your 50 GW as the substorms are intermittent rather than continuous, so these two factors conveniently cancel out.

  252. Anaconda says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard (11:22:50) :

    Thank you for the explanation.

    Leif Svalgaard (11:15:22) :

    Svalgaard wrote: “I hope that in spite of you not being able to follow the physics of electric and magnetic fields…”

    I understand the physics of electric and magnetic fields…that’s what makes you and other “modern” astronomers uncomfortable.

    I don’t hesitate to call you out on your misleading statements.

    By the way, you still haven’t given me your mathematical definition of a point (after asking two times).

    Cat got your tongue? Or do you know as well as I do, there is more than one definition, which leads to the ability to engage in circular reasoning and “papering over” knowledge gaps while not admitting it.

  253. NVQ says:

    Leif Svalgaard
    Anaconda
    Some interesting observations by a scientist who should know, Dr. A. Peratt of Los Alamos National Laboratory:
    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/TheUniverse.html

  254. Anaconda says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard (20:48:31) :

    Svalgaard wrote: “Hannes was a good friend of mine and we often discussed this issue. His lament was not that his ideas on frozen-in magnetic fields were wrong…”

    Hannes Alfven in my estimation can’t be exceeded in his intellectual integrity and courage. Sadly, that can’t be said for all scientists.

    Hannes alfven was explicit about the fallacy of “frozen in” magnetic field lines which took tremendous courage because he developed the idea in the first place.

    After his 1970 Nobel Prize acceptance speech which he devoted to explaining how the idea of “frozen in” magnetic field lines was wrong, he wrote many papers and books on space plasma.

    Svalgaard wrote: “These conditions occurs but rarely in the cosmos…”

    Hannes Alfven did not share your view as he wrote an entire book about space plasma.

    Hannes Alfvén, Cosmic Plasma, (1981). Astrophysics and Space Science Library, Vol. 82 (1981) Springer Verlag. Dr. Svalgaard, you should familiarize yourself with Alfven’s book.

    “Space is fill with a network of currents whch transfer energy and momentum over large or very large distances.” — Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner for physics

    “in order to understand the phenomena in a certain plasma region, it is necessary to map not only the magnetic but also the electric field and the electric currents.” — Hannes Alfven

    Also, Hannes Alfven knew that observation & measurement took precedent over abstract mathematical theorizing:

    “We have to lean again that science without contact with experiments is an enterprise which is likely to go completely astray into imaginary conjecture.” — Hannes Alfven

    Alfven stressed the danger of theories that “are developed with the most sophisticated mathematical methods as it is only the plasma itself which does not understand how beautiful the theories are, and absolutely refuses to obey them!”

    Regrettably, that is what happened to Eugene Parker: His mathematical theorizing has no relationship to actual physical reality.

    Dr. Svalgaard, by misrepresenting Hannes Alfven you are hurting your cause whatever it is.

  255. Anaconda says:

    NVQ (12:58:49) :

    Thanks for the link. Should be interesting reading.

    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/TheUniverse.html

    I note the website is sponsored by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), The United States Department of Energy, The National Science Foundation, Plasma International, DuPont, and The Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

  256. NVQ says:

    Leif Svalgaard
    Anaconda

    Dr. Anthony Peratt of Los Alamos National Laboratory:
    “Except in very limited circumstances, all cosmical plasmas carry electric currents that constitute the sources of the magnetic field.”
    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/mag_fields.html

  257. irishspecialistnurseries says:

    Pamela Gray (09:05:33) :
    1. Because temp’s do not immediately track a proposed variable….

    This solar minimum has been ongoing for over a year, the -ive PDo even longer. These are not ‘immediate’, if there was going to be cooling then, if the principle effect of the cosmic rayt/.cloud theory is, ehr, more cloud, then this would have an almost instant impact if it was in any way a relevant driver or global temperatures. There is always the possibility that thee is cooling but is being masked by, say, CO2?

  258. Anaconda (12:03:09) :
    By the way, you still haven’t given me your mathematical definition of a point (after asking two times).
    If you really want to know it is a Hausdorff space of dimension zero.

    Dr. Svalgaard, by misrepresenting Hannes Alfven
    The point you do not want to understand is that there is a symbiosis between the magnetic field and the currents it carries. As I have said several times, the magnetic field generates a current that modifies the magnetic field. As the link you provided states: “Magnetism is the fundamental force that determines the character, or motion or shape of ionized matter (plasma).” [not electric currents or fields] This is precisely what Parker teaches us. A trivial example of a current generated by the field is simply the gyration of a charged particle [e.g. a cosmic ray particle] around a magnetic field line [e.g. of the Earth]. The gyrating particle is a current loop, and only the weakest of intellects would claim that the particle is creating the Earth’s magnetic field by its gyration. As long as you do not understand that duality and that there are no electric fields in the rest frame of the plasma you cannot make headway.

    I understand the physics of electric and magnetic fields…
    Your ignorance shows itself in the confusion about GigaWatts and energy, like in “Add that all up and the 50GW ends up being about 7,347,000GW per year”.
    But more importantly, did you understand the calculation of solar input that I provided? After all, all the your confusion and vitriol are in service of your contention that enormous amounts of energy are missing as input to the climate system. So, perhaps you can leave mathematical points well alone for a while and get back on topic.

  259. bill says:

    Anaconda (10:26:48) :
    Your insistence that irradiance is the only measure of energy from the Sun by the Earth (and to justify your professional opinion and others in the field — to protect the “community”).

    My take on Leif’s statements is that TSI Is the only significant energy input to the eearth from the sun. I.e. there may be other unmeasured but these are insignificant.

    see the spectrum that is defined by the solar temperature:
    http://org.ntnu.no/solarcells/pages/Chap.2.php
    see this page on black body radiation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_body
    This accounts for most of the solar energy hitting the earth. there will be solar wind, CME, magnetic fluctuations and the like but these are not significant (unless a CME hits the earth)

    In the NASA report I linked, NASA found 50 GW of electrical energy from the Sun enters the Earth’s atmosphere in one substorm at one pole which you recognized is to be doubled to account for both North and South poles.

    Your reference to the 50 GW of electrical energy recieved from Sun by the Earth treats it as a one time event, it is not as you well know.
    …“Approximately every eight minutes…”, a Birkeland current enters the Earth’s atmosphere from the Sun.
    Some back of the envelope computations shows rougly 7.5 times an hour a Birkeland current enters the atmosphere times 24 hours a day times 365 days a year. Add that all up and the 50GW ends up being about 7,347,000GW per year.
    …You simply can’t provide an accurate model of climate when ignoring that amount of energy, particularly when we’re talking about only a couple degrees Celsius anyhow

    Unfortunately you are now showing your ignorance here Anaconda! (GW is an instantaneous power you need to enter [time] into the equation!!!!!!!)
    The power out put of your Birkeland current is 50GW. How long does this last for – you need this to work out the energy input to the earth (in GWh).
    I.e. 50GW* event time(hrs) * repetition rate(/hour) will give this energy in GWh
    The figures I gave in bill (18:06:54) for total power generated by thermal powerstations is 4.5e13 kWh/year = 4.5e10GWh/year

    Assuming that birkeland currents were continuous event (like the power stations) then the total energy would be 50*365.25*24 *2 GWH/year for both poles = 9,642,600GWh/year (a bit more than your figure)
    this is 4700 time less than the power station energy.
    that is – it is totally insignificant

  260. Pamela Gray says:

    There would be a lag if the premise of any of these potential weather pattern variation drivers influences the oceans’ ability to distribute hot or cold potential drivers like CO2′s equatorial greenhouse affect, Solar influences on equatorial heat (either through plasma bursts, TSI or cosmic ray cloud production), or trade wind and oceanic oscillations. Any amateur theorist worth salt would have to contend with equatorial oceanic and atmospheric beginnings of this redistribution. So the theories being proposed are best done at that early stage of weather pattern variation. I don’t see these potential drivers being able to overcome the variability we see at the end portions of redistribution. The further we get from the initial hot or cold drivers, the more we see weather noise. Noise that just buries these rather small potential trend drivers that are easily obscured in local weather noise collected from our global sensors.

  261. Anaconda (13:37:26) :
    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/TheUniverse.html
    I note the website is sponsored by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), The United States Department of Energy, The National Science Foundation, Plasma International, DuPont, and The Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

    The website [and the 'Plasma universe' and 'Electric Universe' sites] is the worst kind of pseudo-science. The organizations mentioned are not sponsors or associates of the website. They may have sponsored [i.e. paid the salary of] the author/promoter of the site in the past, but in that sense they have sponsored me as well: here is a list of my sponsors and associates: Office of Naval Research, NASA, NSF, International Astronomical Union, American Geophysical Union, IAGA, Stanford University, etc, etc.

    The website is basically fraudulent in its claims and reflects the pseudo-science of its promoter. The site does not pass an elementary smell test once you begin to look at it in details, for instance this on Hubble: “Hubble was a stern warner of using the Doppler effect for galaxies and argued against the recessional velocity interpretation of redshift, convincing Robert Millikan, 1923 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics and director of physics at the California Insitute of Technology, that the redshift interpretation as an expanison of the universe was probably wrong, the year before both of their deaths in 1953.” So modern cosmology also goes down the drain. Since I knew Alfven personally and have discussed his ideas with him, I cannot let you besmirch him with this pseudo-science.

    In this pseudo-world Birkeland currents flow from the Sun along the curved magnetic field lines and thus comes in at an angle of 45 degrees when hitting the Earth, and thereafter encircle the Sun many times as the magnetic field becomes more and more azimuthal because of solar rotation. Yet our spacecraft show the solar wind to come from the Sun, not flowing along the magnetic field. The Heliospheric Current Sheet driven by the different magnetic field polarities in the two hemispheres flow transverse to the field, not along it, etc. There comes a point of diminishing return when debunking pseudo-science and it seems that we are already past that point. I think the readership has endured your nonsense long enough.

  262. Jim Hughes says:

    Pamela Gray (16:41:09)

    There would be a lag if the premise of any of these potential weather pattern variation drivers influences the oceans’ ability to distribute hot or cold potential drivers like CO2’s equatorial greenhouse affect, Solar influences on equatorial heat (either through plasma bursts, TSI or cosmic ray cloud production), or trade wind and oceanic oscillations. Any amateur theorist worth salt would have to contend with equatorial oceanic and atmospheric beginnings of this redistribution. So the theories being proposed are best done at that early stage of weather pattern variation. I don’t see these potential drivers being able to overcome the variability we see at the end portions of redistribution. The further we get from the initial hot or cold drivers, the more we see weather noise. Noise that just buries these rather small potential trend drivers that are easily obscured in local weather noise collected from our global sensors.

    I think you started out great and I was with you until you dismissed the possibility of anything overcoming the redistribution process. Just remember the conductor steers the train so it’s not that hard to fathom. And I’ve yet to see an ENSO event form that didn’t follow the conductor. (Solar forcing)
    And the ENSO can have an effect upon the PDO. And then there are other variables also that it can influence. So the domino effect is out there with certain oceanic and atmospheric teleconnections and this is where people need to look.

  263. Anaconda says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard:

    You can slander me all you want (that’s why I use a psuedonym).

    But Dr. Anthony Peratt works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and is highly respected in his field of plasma physics, including space plasma and has been an adviser to the U.S. government on plasma energy.

    You may not like it, but the website is directly sponsored by Los Alamos National laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy — to say differently is to be gulity of smear tactics or worse.

    Dr. Anthony Peratt was a student and then professional associate of Hannes Alfven and has acted in a leadership role at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    You seriously need to look in the mirror when you call others pseudo-scientists — your probity and candor have been shown to be less than stellar.

    You’ve called me a “nasty” person. Look in the mirror.

    You act on this website to spread misinformation and act as a lookout for you professional group and your own personal theory of TSI. Some are flattered that you roam the website and answer questions — it is much more self-interested than that. And your tactics demonstrate the quality of your opinions.

    I had to put the NASA links, here, many times before you would admit that there are electric currents in space.

    I had to put the NASA links, here, many times before you would acknowledge the electrical energy that Birkeland currents transport into the atmosphere.

    You still deny the obvious that the energy output of the Sun at solar maximum and solar minimum is significantly different, even though the image evidence is indisputable.

    You attempt to promote a hypothesis for which no experimental or in situ scientific evidence exists: Namely, that magnetic fields cause don’t require electric currents. There are no experiments or in situ observations that support that proposition, NONE, But I repeatedly provide links to NASA reports of in situ observations & measurements that support my positions and plasma experiments support my postions.

    You criticize and arrogantly dismiss facts and evidence that contradict your opinion and agenda, yet offer speculation that supports your pet ideas that support your opinion and agenda. The double standards you employ are obvious.

    You misrepresent Hannes Alfven’s views. If you were his friend, who needs enemies, such is your disregard for facts and evidence and Hannes Alfven’s legacy. No one who knew him would characterize his convictions like you did, here.

    You slander Dr. Anthony Peratt even though his professional standing is much high than yours.

    Dr. Anthony L. Peratt’s educational & professional vitae:

    Anthony L. Peratt (S’60–M’63–SM’85–F’99) Ph.D: EE, 1971, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. MSEE, USC, 1967; UCLA, 1963-1964, BSEE, California State Polytechnic University. Staff Member, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1972-1979); Guest Physicist, Max Planck Institut für Plasmaphysik, Garching, Germany (1975–1977); Guest Scientist, Alfvén Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden (1985); Los Alamos National Laboratory (1981–), Applied Theoretical Physics Division, Physics Division, Associate Laboratory Directorate for Experimental Programs; Scientific Advisor to the United States Department of Energy (1995–1999) where he served a term as Acting Director, National Security, in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Directorate.
    Dr. Peratt’s research interests have included numerical and experimental contributions to high-energy density plasmas and intense particle beams; explosively-driven pulsed power generators; lasers; intense-power-microwave sources; particles; high energy density phenomena, Z-pinches, and inertially driven fusion target designs.

    He has served as session organizer for space plasmas, IEEE International Conf. on Plasma Science 1987–1989; Guest Editor Transactions on Plasma Science, special issues on Space Plasmas 1986, 89, 90, 92, 2000, 2003; Organizer, IEEE International Workshops on Space Plasmas, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003; Associate Editor Transactions on Plasma Science 1989—; Elected member of IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Science Society (NPSS) Executive Committee (ExCom), 1987–1989; 1995– 1997; GENERAL CHAIRMAN, IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1994. IEEE NPSS ExCom Vice Chairman 1997; Elected to the IEEE NPSS Administrative Committee, 1997, named an IEEE Fellow, 1999.

    He holds memberships in the American Physical Society, American Astronomical Society, Eta Kappa Nu and has earned the United States Department of Energy Distinguished Performance Award, 1987, 1999; IEEE Distinguished Lecturer Award, 1993; Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, University of Oslo Physics Department, and Norsk Hydro Kristian Birkeland Lecturer, 1995. Dr. Peratt is Author, Physics of the Plasma Universe, Springer-Verlag (1992); Editor, Plasma Astrophysics and Cosmology, Kluwer Academic Publishers (1995); Editor, Advanced Topics in Space and Astrophysical Plasmas, Kluwer Academic Publishers (1997).

    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/people/perattbio04.html

    I know you have no shame because your job on this website is to spread misinformation and protect your personal theory of Sun’s energy output. Anybody who stands in your way is to be marginalized.

    But scientific facts are stubborn things.

    REPLY: “Anaconda”, I suggest that you dial back your rhetoric and accusations a bit if you wish to continue posting. I have a low tolerance level for cowards whom use made up silly names, all the while attacking a person who puts his name behind what he says. You may have some valid points, but your approach is not at all impressive. If you think your opinion is worth something, use your name and stand behind it. – Anthony Watts

  264. James F. Evans says:

    @ Anthony Watts

    I think you allow double standards for your favorites — that does not impress me.

  265. Bob Kutz says:

    1) Wow . . . what a conversation.
    2) James F. Evans; are you identifying yourself as Anaconda then, or not.
    3) It is highly counter productive to get into ad hominem attacks and resume exhibitions.

    Let’s just have the science, let those who are qualified review that science, and make appropriat commentary. Those of us who are in the process of trying to learn and understand it benefit a great deal from that, not from the other stuff.

    Anthony; Thanks again for a great website.

  266. wattsupwiththat says:

    James F. Evans, welcome to the light.

  267. James F. Evans says:

    Bob,

    Part of the problem is that there are so many agenda’s running around we don’t know who is qualified to review the science or not.

    Also, standing aside, and letting somebody “qualified” make the decisions is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    WE have to make the decisions and not necessarily rely on an “elite” who knows better than us.

    That’s the death knell for democracy.

    Self-education has never been easier than right now.

    It is the quality of the reasoning and logic that measure the opinion, not how many letters you have after your name.

  268. Leif Svalgaard (15:37:58) :
    Anaconda (12:03:09) :
    “But more importantly, did you understand the calculation of solar input that I provided?”

    Aside from your attacks, the above question still stands. And that is after all what matters.

  269. anna v says:

    For the record, I am a physicist ( high energy particle physics, retired) and I have been following Leif’s explanations on this board and have learned much, since I am not a solar scientist.I have found no behavior as described here:

    “because your job on this website is to spread misinformation and protect your personal theory of Sun’s energy output. Anybody who stands in your way is to be marginalized.”

    This has to be retracted. It may be that there are theories one favors, and a scientist becomes attached to his own version, that does not mean that if data refute the theories a good scientist will not accept the refutation; Leif is a good scientist.

    On the other hand, wrong claims of solutions of Maxwell’s equations (electric currents are necessary) do not make for favorable opinions on the people promoting them, as also the inability to deal with large numbers.

  270. anna v says:

    James F. Evans (09:07:57) :

    Bob,

    Part of the problem is that there are so many agenda’s running around we don’t know who is qualified to review the science or not.

    Also, standing aside, and letting somebody “qualified” make the decisions is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    WE have to make the decisions and not necessarily rely on an “elite” who knows better than us.

    Now it depends on who “WE” is

    That’s the death knell for democracy.

    Science and the scientific method have no democracy. Only meritocracy. The absolute ruler is the theory that fits the data and has predictive power. That is not democracy. One does not vote about gravity. It is this voting about climate, “consensus” that has created this mess.

    Self-education has never been easier than right now.
    Maybe, if the self educated spends the hours upon hours to build the background to have an informed opinion. The hundreds of hours us scientists have spent in learning the basics of the previous generation’s physics is a necessary condition for learning, except maybe for people like Feynman.

    It is the quality of the reasoning and logic that measure the opinion, not how many letters you have after your name.

    I know people with a lot of letters after their name that are soap bubbles, this does not mean that everybody that has a lot of letters after their name is fluff.

    It is the solid background in the science under discussion that is important and the objective look at the data. Logic and reasoning is not enough, we would still be counting angels on the end of a pin, logically. They are necessary, but not sufficient ( in the mathematical sense).

  271. simon whishaw says:

    Tenacity in a debate will in the end never be a match for superior intellect.

  272. James F. Evans says:

    anna v (09:17:37) :

    Anna wrote: “I have found no behavior as described here:

    [James F. Evans:] “because your job on this website is to spread misinformation and protect your personal theory of Sun’s energy output. Anybody who stands in your way is to be marginalized.”

    This has to be retracted. It may be that there are theories one favors, and a scientist becomes attached to his own version, that does not mean that if data refute the theories a good scientist will not accept the refutation; Leif is a good scientist.

    I’m happy to retract where I’m wrong or misstate somethng.

    Leif Svalgaard (01:23:28) : (Sunspots Today: A Cheshire Cat – New Essay from Livingston and Penn): “rephelan (00:54:19) :
    bright spots? Has that actually happened before? Have bright sunspots actually been observed?
    In a sense, yes. They are called faculae. There are many examples of bright areas on the Sun with moderate magnetic fields, but no visible sunspots. Some even recently.
    Very speculatively: it is possible that during the Maunder Minimum, there was actually significant solar activity [we know, f.ex. that the cosmic ray modulation was strong back then], but that magnetic field was just at or below the 1500 Gauss that makes the spots invisible. Perhaps TSI was even higher then without the black spots to drag down the values. This idea will be strongly opposed by those that for other [non-solar, e.g. anti-AGW] reasons cannot accept such heresy.”

    The operative phrase: “Very speculatively: it is possible that during the Maunder Minimum, there was actually significant solar activity…”

    So, as you can see Dr. Svalgaard will offer, in his own words, “Very speculatively” personal opinions.

    Which would be fine, everybody is entitled to their opinions, but I do have a problem when he dismisses other’s opinions in harsh terms, which are based on facts and scientific evidence, but feels no compunction about offering his own very speculative ideas (to justify his opinion).

    Dr. Svalgaard has been very slow to acknowledge the refutations I’ve offered based on NASA findings (better late than never, I admit).

    And I also have been following Dr. Svalgaard’s comments (not just the ones directed at me), and in my opinion, yes, Dr. Svalgaard has engaged in spreading misinformation to protect his personal theory of the Sun’s energy output and attempted to marginalized anybody who disagreed with him.

    (Many people can’t take the heat and silently accept his harsh rebukes.)

    anna v wrote: “Science and the scientific method have no democracy. Only meritocracy. The absolute ruler is the theory that fits the data and has predictive power. That is not democracy.”

    Agreed.

    And you are right to point that out and to that extend I do retract the offending statement.

    This does require empiricism be adhered to and compulsion rather than deduction be the standard for reaching scientific conclusions. Problematically, it is not always possible to use compulsion as the standard of reaching conclusions in field sciences. And the recourse to deduction leads to scientific conclusion by consensus. Once “consensus” is reached it can be very hard to change because “group” justification kicks in. And, thereafter, scientific facts and evidence that contradict the “group’s consensus” have a tendency to be ignored or marginalized.

    (if the contradicting evidence isn’t actively suppressed.)

    It is my opinion that is what has happened in the AGW debate.

    What to do?

    Outside individuals with cross-disciplinary skills that can be objective about the “group’s consensus” need to closely review all the scientific evidence and be prepared to challenge the “group consensus” if the evidence doesn’t add up.

    In democracy that’s called “checks and balances”.

    This website is a noble effort in that direction.

    anna v wrote: “On the other hand, wrong claims of solutions of Maxwell’s equations (electric currents are necessary) do not make for favorable opinions on the people promoting them, as also the inability to deal with large numbers.”

    anna can you point to one experiment or in situ observation & measurement that verifies your statement? Even Dr. Parker acknowledged that, here, on Earth electric current is required to generate a magnetic field. Or can you point to one in situ observation & measurement in the space environment that conclusvely demonstates the hypothesis he and Dr. Parker espouse?

    What has happened is that an unsupported assumption based on a priori mathemtatical theorizing has been accepted as fact when no empirical evidence supports that assumption.

    Hannes Alfven warned against that kind of proceeding.

    Resort to “large numbers” seems to be an acknowledgement that empirical science backs me up. It’s that kind of a priori mathematical extrapolation to justify “new physics” that has gotten astronomy into problems.

  273. James F. Evans (12:12:19) :
    So, as you can see Dr. Svalgaard will offer, in his own words, “Very speculatively” personal opinions.
    Which is perfectly OK as long as they are labeled as speculation. But you are avoiding the issue: “do you understand the calculation of the solar output that I provided you with?”, namely that the solar wind energy input is millions of times smaller than the TSI. This is the crucial point. It may be hopeless to make you understand the physics, but perhaps the numbers may do the trick.

  274. anna v says:

    James F. Evans (12:12:19) :

    anna v wrote: “On the other hand, wrong claims of solutions of Maxwell’s equations (electric currents are necessary) do not make for favorable opinions on the people promoting them, as also the inability to deal with large numbers.”

    anna can you point to one experiment or in situ observation & measurement that verifies your statement?

    Somebody else has already pointed out that the electromagnetic field, light etc, does not need any electric currents. The magnetic field creates the electric field which creates the magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation. Classical solution of Maxwell’s equations.

    Resort to “large numbers” seems to be an acknowledgement that empirical science backs me up. It’s that kind of a priori mathematical extrapolation to justify “new physics” that has gotten astronomy into problems.

    We are not talking of video games. The solar system is full of measured large numbers, and measured small numbers, and the measured energy carried by the magnetic and electric fields of the plasma is very much smaller than the radiant electromagnetic energy flowing out of the sun towards earth, as people have repeatedly pointed out here.

  275. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Leif Svalgaard (06:21:59) [June 22]

    Rephrasing:
    Prescribed spatial stationarity may be theoretically convenient, but on the empirical side it would probably be a lot more fruitful to look at observed gradients. Maybe someone differenced the series (in latitude & in time), saw a bunch of spikes, and misinterpreted the spikes as ‘noise’. The thing to do with the differenced-series is integrate over variable-bandwidth (in latitude & time). [For example, use time-integrated cross-correlation and cross-wavelet methods.] This will bring out important (temporal & spatial) frequency content, even for nonstationary series. Removing prescribed patterns corrupts the frequency content of a series (which is not so much of a problem for purely stationary series). [Tip: If you use the Morlet wavelet, be sure to vary the wavenumber when you are analyzing the cross-wavelet phase-differences - and if your patience goes far enough, don't ignore harmonics.]

    My experience has been that theoreticians are loathed to drop mathematically-convenient assumptions, even after it is well-understood by analysts that the assumptions are problematic empirically. I genuinely believe you will see better if you discard the assumption-loaded lens (i.e. the differential rotation law curve). This is not a partisan comment. I am deeply curious about these data and very much looking forward to seeing results of new analyses.

  276. James F. Evans says:

    Now to Dr. Svalaard’s question:

    (But first a couple of self-corrections. I have reviewed Dr. Svalgaard’s website and note the many papers, it would seem Dr. Svalgaard and Dr. Peratt are both attained in their respective fields of discipline, so for me to say Dr. Peratt’s standing was “higher” is not correct.

    I stated that Hannes Alfven “devoted” his Nobel Prize speech [it's actually called a "lecture"] to stating he was wrong. “Devoted” was the wrong word to use. Alfven noted the problem of “frozen in” magnetic fields and that empirical laboratory work didn’t support it, but it was part of a balanced presenation that covered more than just that topic.)

    Leif Svalgaard (11:22:50) :

    “[James F. Evans] (10:51:17) :
    but the irradiance will have a tendency not to reach the surface, but “glance” off the upper levels of the atmosphere.
    Maybe this is figured into TSI, but then again, maybe science doesn’t completely understand the dynamics involved.
    If so TSI is being overestimated.

    To calculate how much of TSI actually gets to the Earth, one first divides by four to compensate for the effect you have rediscovered and then compensates for the amount of light reflected back to space [e.g. by clouds] by reducing the incoming flux by another 30% [the 'albedo']. The net effect is to reduce the incoming 1361 W/m2 to 1361/4*0.70 = 238 W/m2 or about 6 times less. In the calculations of the relative amount from TSI and solar wind, a similar factor should be applied to your 50 GW as the substorms are intermittent rather than continuous, so these two factors conveniently cancel out.”

    At this time I have no solid basis to object to his calculations as to TSI reaching the atmosphere and surface and being converted to random thermal energy (heating of the Earth’s atmosphere).

    An open question that should be considered is what amount of electrical energy reaches the Earth’s atmosphere during solar maximum when the amount of electrical energy is increased?

    As, a side note I did review Dr. Svalgaard’s solar theory as presented below:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2470

    “The Total solar Irradiance (TSI) has several sources. The first and most important is simply the temperature in the photosphere. The hotter the sun, the higher the TSI.” (Question: what would be those other “sources”?)

    Dr. Svalgaard goes on to state (if I understand him correctly) that there is no evidence that the Sun is “hotter” now than in the early part of last century and that the Sun was no “hotter” or “cooler” over the course of solar cycles 21, 22, and 23, which would fall in line with computations of TSI variance at .1%

    The, above, in a “nutshell” is how Dr. Svalgaard arrives at his position that the variance of solar maximum and solar minimum do not contribute to global climate change (again, if I understand him correctly).

    But to speak of the Sun being “hotter” or “cooler” is problematic. The Sun’s energy does not transfer as heat, but as various forms of electromagnetic energies (the electromagnetic wave spectrum, light, infrared and the other bands, and energetic electrical particals, electrons and ions in the form of electrical currents). When referring to the Sun, conventionally we think of “heat”, but on close inspection the various structures and phenomenon take on an electrical profile. It would strongly appear that the Sun is more electrically active during solar maximum than during minimum based on morphology.

    The difference in solar morphology between solar maximum and solar minimum has not been adequately explained by those that maintain this “does not matter”. It is proposed that electrical activity increases and decreases in accordance with solar maximum and minimum.

    Electrical activity may increase without detection as being “hotter” because increased electrical activity only shows up as “heat” if resistence increases. It is not clear that resistence increases in the near-space environment around the Sun as electrical activity increases. Scientific evidence exists that as electrical activity increases, an increased number of electrons and ions flow to the Earth through the solar wind by increased “pressure” [current density] and Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). What is unknown to this writer is whether the charged particles exhibit increased voltage energy or whether it is constant over the solar cycles.

    This hypothesis is why it is important to figure total energy in all forms generated by the Sun and to determine the variance.

    In other words, the Sun does not have to get “hotter” to make the Earth’s cliamte warmer, but rather, the Sun has to get electrically more active to warm the Earth.

    If the Sun’s resistence does not increase as a result of increased electrical activity, (could the Sun’s electrical resistence actually decrease as acitivty increases [similar to Dr. Svalgaard's more active, but "cooler" discussion], thus accounting for increased numbers of electrons and ions participating, but not adding to TSI) then possibly the level and intensity of photons does not increase accounting for the apparent steady TSI calculations over the solar cycles.

    Until morphology is ruled out as a reason for the apparent variance of climate in accord with solar cycles, all electrical aspects need to be positively ruled out, instead of passively omitted from discussion.

  277. Paul Vaughan (13:44:15) :
    My experience has been that theoreticians are loathed to drop mathematically-convenient assumptions,
    Might be, except that Frank Hill and Rachel Howe and company are observers, not theoreticians.

    You seem to have forgotten, so let me remind you:
    Paul Vaughan (00:45:34) :
    Perhaps the central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research (in general) is not made explicit in the specific papers you reviewed.
    “I know all of her papers well [part of the review process]. Perhaps you tell me what you think her central premise is.”

  278. James F. Evans (14:02:58) :
    In other words, the Sun does not have to get “hotter” to make the Earth’s cliamte warmer, but rather, the Sun has to get electrically more active to warm the Earth.
    It does and we have together calculated that it contributes several million times less that the ordinary heat and light.

    for increased numbers of electrons and ions participating, but not adding to TSI) then possibly the level and intensity of photons does not increase accounting for the apparent steady TSI calculations over the solar cycles.
    There is a solar cycle variation of the mass flux, but in energetic terms its influence is negligible.

    Until morphology is ruled out as a reason for the apparent variance of climate in accord with solar cycles, all electrical aspects need to be positively ruled out, instead of passively omitted from discussion.
    The shape and morphology of the corona is well understood and there is nothing special that need to be explained. The shape at minimum is well explained here http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields,%20the%20Solar%20Corona,%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf
    At maximum the neutral line [explained in paper above] reaches to much higher latitudes because the polar fields are cancelled away and no longer ‘depress’ the coronal fields to low latitudes. Since the neutral line is marked by coronal streamers [and yes, there are currents flowing in them, created and channeled by the magnetic field] the streamers will extend to all latitudes and we get the typical ‘maximum type corona’. A movie of the meanderings of the neutral line can be seen here: http://www.leif.org/research/WSO-SS.gif
    In short, the morphology is totally explained and understood in terms of the movements of the magnetic fields in the photosphere as the frozen-in field is forced to move with the plasma. As Alfven pointed out, at times, when conditions for the freezing in fail, the field will collapse, strong shot-lived currents will be generated, particles accelerated by the current and streaming down to hit the lower atmosphere and heat it to millions of degrees [sometimes 10s or even 100s of millions] and we see a big solar flare. At other times the collapse is less severe and the upper part of the streamer is flung away as a coronal mass ejection. The total energy involved in all this, although looking impressive is very minute compared to the energy pouring out as heat and light, and is barely observable and only for the very biggest events.
    All in all, it is true that currents and explosions and electric energy are present. Nobody disputes that. The crucial point is however that all that is totally dwarfed by the ordinary heat and light, and therefore does not need to be included in the energy budget of the Earth’s atmosphere. People who want to attribute climate change to the Sun therefore look elsewhere, such as UV and chemistry, cosmic ray modulation, and whatnot, and usually IMHO come up empty handed, which does not prevent them from feeling happy about what they think they find and to congratulate each other with thinking outside the box [albeit inside another box].

  279. Pamela Gray says:

    It might be time to encourage folks here to read a book or two about the Sun. There are some really good ones. Some with mostly pictures and some with mostly calculations. I like both. However, I am looking forward to the next set of books after this cycle is over. I will probably be retired by then and can read it at my leisure. Leif, I would hope that you would be the author of one of those books. So far, the odds on favorite is in your camp as far as I am concerned, due to your understandings and predictions being closer than anyone elses to the actual progression of this cycle.

  280. Pamela Gray says:

    Leif, what do you think of the book “Storms in Space”, by John Freeman and reviewed by Joe Allen on Amazon.com? I have been thinking of getting it to add to my Sun collection.

  281. Pamela Gray (08:43:34) :
    Leif, what do you think of the book “Storms in Space”, by John Freeman and reviewed by Joe Allen on Amazon.com? I have been thinking of getting it to add to my Sun collection.
    I have it. It is good. I can also recommend 2nd edition of K.R. Lang “The Sun from Space”. Somewhat pricey, but up-to-date and very good.

  282. Pamela Gray (08:11:12) :
    Leif, I would hope that you would be the author of one of those books.
    I have been asked by a publisher to write such a book and it is a long-standing project of mine. The problem is that the day only has 36 hours and 48 of those are already allocated to the exciting research that cries out to be done.

  283. gary gulrud says:

    Pamela Gray:

    “Gary, how much lower? Significantly lower? What is your standard deviation? ”

    My apologies for an untimely reply, my current lot.

    Robert Bateman who has the data and computations, has the faculae “an order of magnitude lower” than cycle 14 minimum. The current compact Ionosphere(search WUWT for link) is circumstantial confirmation of very low UV.

    On TSI measurement, Kirchoff’s law requires a body in thermal equilibrium for ‘emissivity’ to equal ‘absorptivity’. A plane-solid cavity is so held and via an aperture a calorimeter measures the radiation at the given temperature thus relating the material comprising the plane-solid to a black body.

    I trust, despite its fuzzy description, the SORCE TIM “sensor” is an attempt to adapt this design, employing a reference and working ‘sensor’ at identical temperatures and measuring the solar radiant energy through an aperture.

    I also trust that their reports of a ‘high degree of accuracy’ between measurements is valid.

    This said, whatever the material whose thermal energy is being measured, it is by definition, not in thermal equilibrium and faulty terminology, e.g., “absorptance”, engenders no confidence in their protocol sans it’s engineering details.

    We heard that TSI varies over the secular cycle less than 0.01% and this time around, 23 Rmax to 24 Rmin, is not an exception. GIGO, QED.

  284. gary gulrud says:

    “I am impressed by the observation of Casper Amman that the warming seems to be coming from the bottom and not from the top of the atmosphere.”

    Better check that, collegiality is overrated.

  285. gary gulrud (09:35:07) :
    The current compact Ionosphere(search WUWT for link) is circumstantial confirmation of very low UV.
    UV creates and maintains the ionosphere. The magnetic effects of the diurnal currents are direct evidence that UV at every solar minimum since at least the 1840s reaches the same level, so this minimum is not exceptionally lower in UV.

    GIGO, QED
    You have previously on many occasions demonstrated your ignorance on how radiation is measured, so these acronyms seem to be a reflection on you rather than on the careful measurements of the experimenters.

  286. James F. Evans says:

    anna v (13:17:40) :

    James F. Evans (12:12:19) :

    anna v wrote: “On the other hand, wrong claims of solutions of Maxwell’s equations (electric currents are necessary) do not make for favorable opinions on the people promoting them, as also the inability to deal with large numbers.”

    anna can you point to one experiment or in situ observation & measurement that verifies your statement?

    Somebody else has already pointed out that the electromagnetic field, light etc, does not need any electric currents. The magnetic field creates the electric field which creates the magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation. Classical solution of Maxwell’s equations.”

    anna v, you misstate the physical reality: It is true the electromagnetic radiation (the electromagnetic wave spectrum, i.e., visible light, X-rays, infrared, and so on doesn’t need electric current, but then again it doesn’t produce magnetic fields either; on the other hand, electric currents cause magnetic fields, apparently you ignore Dr. Parker’s quotes I provided where he acknowledges this as fact.

    anna v you state: “The magnetic field creates the electric field which creates the magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation. Classical solution of Maxwell’s equations.”

    False.

    You can have an electric field without electric current, but not a magnetic field without an electric current.

    The electromotive force (attraction between electrons and ions) causes electric current, which then generates a magnetic field, thus generated, a magnetic field as a derivative action can cause secondary electric current.

    But most important, the first cause is electromotive force, not magnetic fields. Magnetic fields are a “effect” of electric current. Only as a secondary derivative do magnetic fields cause electric currents.

    A note about your answer: I asked you a direct question, “can you point to one experiment or in situ observation & measurement that verifies your statement?”

    Your answer was non-responsive.

    Your choices where: “No, I can’t.”; “Yes, and here they are…(a list of experiments or in situ observations & measurements.), “I don’t know of any, off-hand.”, or, “Yes, but I can’t provide them right now.”

    Instead, you provided an abstract explanation (probably because you didn’t want to acknowledge that there are no experiments of such kind and to acknowledge that would cause cognitive dissonance and make my point).

    Regrettably, your abstract answer was demonstratably wrong and a misstatment of Maxwell’s equations.

    (But to express comedy [an effort at coming together to reach better understanding], let me note your below phrase:

    anna wrote; “direction of energy propagation”.

    The direction of energy propagation is the direction of electric current.)

    Some could say, “That Evans, he’s being incredibly pedantic.”

    It is extremely important because the correct starting principle determines if the following reasoning and logic, either of the linguistic or mathematical variety, correctly express the reality of the physical relationships, because no matter how elegant the mathematical equations, if it starts from an faulty premise, it will be wrong.

    It’s that simple. And that important.

    Now why was the form of my question to anna important?

    Because one of the basic axioms of the empirical Scientific Method is for the unknown to be explained from the known, and as a corollary, physical relationships of Nature remain constant.

    There are no experiments or in situ observations & measurements that demonstrate that magnetic fields in isolation are independent from a propagaing electric current. Therefore, until such time when empirical observation & measurement demonstrate such a physics (a magnetic field is the cause and electric current is the effect) is possible, it is wrong to make the assumption, no matter how elegant the ‘thought experiment’ and the supporting mathematical equations.

    In short, Science is limited to observation & measurement and mathematical relationships must closely and strictly be based on actual verafiable and repeatable quantified observation & measurement.

    To do other is to engage in speculation.

    So, since the propostion that electric currents cause magnetic fields is based on actual verafiable and repeatable quantified observation & measurement, and there is no experiment or in situ observation to demonstrate otherwise, on Earth, as well as in space, It must be taken as a starting point that all magnetic fields in space are the result of electric currents.

    To assume otherwise is non-scientific and ignores the strict requirments of the empirical Scientific Method.

    Human preferences to reach conclusions that follow accepted dogmas are why non-empirical methods are doomed to failure and wrong results.

    This “preference” factor has lead to the non-scientific conclusion that magnetic fields cause electric currents in space plasma. This is because it has long been held that gravity dominated astrophysical relationships. And for some reason there was a desire to exclude the electromotive force as a principle dynamic.

    This has led to a series of non-scientific assumptions and conclusions in astronomy.

  287. James F. Evans (11:23:02) :
    It must be taken as a starting point that all magnetic fields in space are the result of electric currents.

    Imagine that space was a vacuum. We would still at Earth feel the Sun’s magnetic field. Right? I have on my desk a strong magnet. At some distance from it an iron key can still feel the magnetic field, right? If I move the magnet across the street, there is still a magnetic field in my office [albeit much weaker], right. Are there any currents in my office or at the Earth in the first example? The only answer that experiments give is “no”. So we have in one region of space magnetic fields without any currents in that region, right?
    You see, the question is not whether the magnetic field is caused by currents somewhere, it is whether there are currents everywhere the field is and those currents are causing the field locally. The answer to that is experimentally “no”. Quite the opposite: if I move a conductor [e.g. the iron key] in the magnetic field, that induces a current in the key. If the magnetic field came form an electromagnet, switching off the magnet would kill the current induced in the key.

    But all this is just a straw man. The question was whether the energy in the magnetic field and the currents causing it wherever they flow is large or small compared to the radiant energy we get from the Sun, and that has been answered: the radiant energy is millions of times larger and allows us to ignore the electric and magnetic energy.

  288. James F. Evans says:

    A corollary to the “preference” factor is that Man’s imagination is nearly limitless to derive “ways and processes” that fulfill the preferences and this includes mathematical reasoning.

    In fact, it can be argued that mathematical reasoning is now the preferred way to reach desired results because it provides a cloak of perceived quantified rigorousness that justifies “belief” beyond established empirical knowledge, thus allowing for a kind of self-deception and a projection of certainty in ones opinions that can be communicated to others in a way to better persuade others of the validity of the opinion.

    Man has an innate tendency to want to “believe” beyond what can be
    established by the empirical process.

    Thus we return to Hannes Alfven 1970 Nobel prize winner in physics:

    “We have to learn again that science without contact with experiments is an enterprise which is likely to go completely astray into imaginary conjecture.” — Hannes Alfven

    Alfven stressed the danger of theories that “are developed with the most sophisticated mathematical methods as it is only the plasma itself which does not understand how beautiful the theories are, and absolutely refuses to obey them!”

    Hannes Alfven’s conclusions bare repeating:

    “Space is fill with a network of currents whch transfer energy and momentum over large or very large distances.” — Hannes Alfven

    “in order to understand the phenomena in a certain plasma region, it is necessary to map not only the magnetic but also the electric field and the electric currents.” — Hannes Alfven

    I acknowledge at present time and current technology it is very difficult to map electric fields and electric currents in space and even harder to mathematically quantify them as electric currents are inherently non-linear, but if Man truly wants to match understanding with reality, “doing the difficult” is the prerequisite: It always has been and it always will be…

  289. Pamela Gray says:

    I would extend that we can ignore the Solar electric and magnetic energy at the Earth’s poles and at the equatorial/tropical belt (as well as all points inbetween), as the variant radiant energy at these areas is mitigated not by the Sun but by the tilt of our very own Terra Firma along with all the other endogenous weather pattern variation drivers, and simply overwhelms any increase or decrease in the heat budget coming from these relatively tiny potential Solar heat sources. You would never be able to find the signals and wouldn’t need to.

  290. anna v says:

    James F. Evans (11:23:02) :

    So you have abandoned Maxwell’s equations?

    You are way out of your depth here, pontificating, and absolutely wrong.
    The direction of energy propagation is the direction of electric current.

    !!!

    The direction of energy propagation in electromagnetic waves is the direction of the Poynting vector and it is found by ExB, i.e. the cross product of the electric field and the magnetic field that make up the plane wave , the electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to the direction of motion. These vary, and the variation of one creates the the other. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poynting_vector#Independent_E_and_B_fields

    This is so elementary as a solution of Maxwell’s equations that really no other proof is needed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_radiation
    Herz certainly designed experiments to check Maxwell’s plane waves and found him correct: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Hertz#Electromagnetic_research

    I think it is futile to discuss with you further. You probably do not even know what a cross product of two vectors is.

  291. James F. Evans says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:44:38) :

    A bar magnet generates a magnetic field because of “electron movement”, either the electrons orbit their repective nucleus in a synchronized fashion or they are synchronized in their “spin” or possibly even valence electrons “flow” around the ferreous lattice. In any event, a bar magnet still has a magnetic field because of vector electron movement.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “So we have in one region of space magnetic fields without any currents in that region, right?”

    As my explanation, above, illustrates, there is still electron movement that propagates the magnetic field.

    The magnetic field extends beyond the the generating electric current (including the bar magnet example). In fact, with dipole processes the magnetic field can extend radially quite some distance from the generating electric current.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Are there any currents in my office or at the Earth in the first example?”

    The currents are within the bar magnet (as explained above) or within the Earth (the Van Allen radiation belts are a torus of chaged particles that flow around the Earth, so while it is, in deed, assumed that the electric current that causes the Earth’s magnetic field is based strictly within the interior of the Earth, the Van Allen torus of flowing charged particles may contribute (as an electric current) to either the Earth’s magnetic field and/or to the Earth’s magnetosphere.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “the question is not whether the magnetic field is caused by currents somewhere, it is whether there are currents everywhere the field is and those currents are causing the field locally.”

    I don’t accept the proposition of the first phrase of the sentence:

    “the question is not whether the magnetic field is caused by currents somewhere,”

    That is exactly the question at issue (and can not be rhetorically avoided).

    The second phrase of the sentence:

    “it is whether there are currents everywhere the field is and those currents are causing the field locally.”

    This phrase essentially asserts the derivative secondary current idea. I do acknowledge that magnetic currents can, as a seondary derivative, cause electric currents, but the error is to place the derivative secondary current idea as a “first cause” or predominate in the chain of logic, instead of in the subordinate position.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The answer to that is experimentally “no”. Quite the opposite: if I move a conductor [e.g. the iron key] in the magnetic field, that induces a current in the key. If the magnetic field came form an electromagnet, switching off the magnet would kill the current induced in the key.”

    This is an elaboration on the secondary derivative current idea with the fallacy of presenting it as a first cause instead of a derivative cause.

    The first cause in the example your present is the electron movement in the bar magnet (whatever way that electron movement works in actuality) that generates the magnetic field that radiates around the bar magnet (the classic magnetic field lines around a bar magnet and interestingly enough, similar to the field lines exhibited by the Earth), the secondary derivative cause is the mechanical (your moving the key constitutes a mechanical action) action.

    “If the magnetic field came form an electromagnet, switching off the magnet would kill the current induced in the key.”

    Yes, that is true, but let’s look at what actually happens:

    An electromagnet is a magnet where an electric current causes the magnetic field in the magnet, thus it is called an electromagnet.

    So, this illustrates the classic pattern: An electric current causes a magnetic field in the magnet which in turn causes an electric current in the key (incidently, the key would then in turn have it’s own magnetic field).

    This is a good example that illustrates the factal nature of electromagnetism.

    Of course, when the electric current is shut off from the electromagnet, it ceases to have a magnetic field.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “But all this is just a straw man.”

    Yes, it is incidental to the solar question in one sense, but in another sense, it goes to the heart of the matter.

    Incidental, in that your proposition and my objection are about whether ” the radiant energy is millions of times larger and allows us to ignore the electric and magnetic energy.”

    But it goes to the heart of the matter because electrical energy on the Sun is the cause of radiant energy from the Sun. It is the electrical interaction that leads to radiant energy release as opposed to “heat” per se.

    The resistence on the Sun causes electrical energy to be converted to radiant energy (electrons and ions meeting resistence give up energy), this energy is given up in the form of radiant energy.

    With all due respect this question hasn’t been zeroed-out yet, by any means, and the fact that you would, “ignore the electric and magnetic energy,” so early in the scientific investigation means that your basic assumptions have not changed and because of your basic assumptions you are blind to the possibility of electrical energy having an effect.

    Your basic assumptions have not changed in a long time.

    Science is learning at an accelerating rate just in the last couple of years about Sun — Earth dyanamics and physical elationships including electomagnetic relationships.

    My hypothesis is that Science still does not account for the full measure of electrical energy that comes from the Sun to the Earth.

    How can you measure something accurately if only recently you have acknowledged it exists at all.

    Science does not know all the channels and ways that electromagnetic energy comes from the Sun to the Earth, in fact, we are just beginning to find out.

    Your figures are at best provisional, and likely under reporting.

    To come to a preemptory conclusion would only repeat the misstakes of the past.

    Let’s do it differently this time.

    (I do want to take time to say I appreciate your time and energy to addressing my concerns. That is curteous and generous and I want to recognize that gesture. While we obviously don’t agree on some basic questions, your willingness to explain and discuss in an extended format does exhibit your generous and polite nature.

    I respect your offering a hand in understanding, please don’t consider my failure to agree with you as a failure to recognize the generousity of your time.)

  292. James F. Evans says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard:

    I apologize, particularly after trying to end on a conciliatory note, but I forgot to address one issue:

    I note you failed to list one experiment or in situ observation (formalized reporting of an in situ oboservation ) that supports the proposition that magnetic fields cause electric currents.

    To my way of thinking this speaks volumes, while I didn’t ask you that question, surely, if there was an experiment or in situ observation that supports that proposition you would link it or at least mention it.

    That there apparently isn’t one, just reaffirms my conviction that empiricism is the way forward in scientific investigation.

    It is better to state: “Science doesn’t know” or the current empirical knowledge is “this”, than to engage in mathematical theorizing that just as likely as not will end up being wrong because it was a priori instead of post observation & measurment analysis and quantification of physical relationships established by prediction and testing and replication.

    When scientists want you to “imagine” that is not a good sign, as it probably means there is no empirical observations to back up the claim.

    Yes, the colloquial use is okay, but seeing what has happened to science when imagination has overpowered empirical rigor, it is useful to add a note of caution when one see the word.

  293. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Svalgaard

    Investigating relationships possibly involving SIM is worthwhile, in part since future SIM can be accurately predicted.

  294. James F. Evans says:

    anna v (13:27:05) :

    anna v asked: “So you have abandoned Maxwell’s equations?”

    No.

    You address, “The direction of energy propagation in electromagnetic waves…”

    For the second time, that is not what I’m refering to.

    I’m referring to electric current (the flow of electrons and ions via the electromotive force), not electromagnetic waves,i.e., visible light, X-rays, and so on.

    Dr. Eugene Parker: “In the laboratory we create static magnetic fields by driving an electric current through a coil of wire. The emf [electromotive force] and the current are clearly the cause of the magnetic field.” (p. 25, Conversations)

    So, anna v, your issue isn’t with me, it’s with Dr. Eugene Parker.

    Dr. Parker’s distinction is that in space things are different due to MHD.

    The problem is that Dr. Parker derives his proposition not through experiment or in situ observation, but by mathematical thought experiment (a priori mathematical equations) and the original developer of MHD (and “frozen in” magnetic field lines), Hannes Alfven, later unequivocally rejected this approach as contradicting empirical results he achieved in the laboratory.

    anna v, you are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.

  295. James F. Evans says:

    Lief Svalaard wrote: “In short, the morphology is totally explained and understood in terms of the movements of the magnetic fields in the photosphere as the frozen-in field is forced to move with the plasma.”

    No.

    The movement of the plasma generates the magnetic fields.

    As Alfven clearly explained “frozen in” magnetic field lines are an artefact of mathematical theorizing that has no basis in reality.

  296. Paul Vaughan (14:29:45) :
    Investigating relationships possibly involving SIM is worthwhile, in part since future SIM can be accurately predicted.
    So what is her central thesis?
    The orbits of the three bodies of Alpha Centauri are also predictable, but are unlikely to have any influence. Predictability in itself does nor seem to be a reason to investigate anything. Or are we back to you still not want to tell us [me]?

  297. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Leif Svalgaard (21:20:59)

    You misunderstand.

  298. Paul Vaughan (01:29:12) :
    Re: Leif Svalgaard (21:20:59)
    You misunderstand.
    Well, then explain so I can understand

  299. James F. Evans (16:47:46) :
    I’m referring to electric current (the flow of electrons and ions via the electromotive force), not electromagnetic waves,i.e., visible light, X-rays, and so on.

    Dr. Eugene Parker: “In the laboratory we create static magnetic fields by driving an electric current through a coil of wire. The emf [electromotive force] and the current are clearly the cause of the magnetic field.” (p. 25, Conversations)

    Please, your understanding of physics is so rudimentary that it is better for you to begin to learn something, instead of parroting things you do not understand. The very next paragraph of Parker’s is what you need to understand. But perhaps a simpler case: that of a dynamo: http://www.explainthatstuff.com/generators.html
    where the mechanical energy that rotates a magnetic generates a current.

  300. James F. Evans (16:47:46) :
    the original developer of MHD (and “frozen in” magnetic field lines), Hannes Alfven, later unequivocally rejected this approach as contradicting empirical results he achieved in the laboratory.

    Here is a laboratory experiment showing the existence of frozen-in field and magnetic reconnection:
    http://www.cfn.ist.utl.pt/EPS2001/fin/pdf/OR.07.pdf and I quote: “Fig. 2, in which the density evolution is represented as a function of magnetic flux Ψ and time. The density contours follow the evolution of Ψ, demonstrating that the plasma is frozen-in to the magnetic field.”
    One of the issues with real plasmas is a phenomenon called ‘anomalous resistivity’ that allows reconnection to occur at a much faster rate than in an MHD formulation. In the ideal MHD case [which is not realized in Nature] reconnection cannot occur.

    What Alfven was rejecting were some misuses of the concept, not the concept itself.

    But again, all of this is just fluff serving to obscure the wrong idea of there somehow being much more energy flowing to us that we can observe [but that somehow, nevertheless, influences the climate].

  301. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Leif Svalgaard (05:22:20)

    Research takes priority over fruitless online exchanges. (Fruitful online exchanges, by sharp contrast, spark creativity.)

    I hope your research is going well. (Society is depending on you – I wish you efficiency.)

  302. Paul Vaughan (17:21:14) :
    Research takes priority over fruitless online exchanges. (Fruitful online exchanges, by sharp contrast, spark creativity.)
    So you are back to your old modus operandi. Try a fruitful exchange, for a change, and enlighten me what ‘central thesis’ I had missed or misunderstood. Remember, I feel some responsibility for her work, having served as a reviewer of several papers [and rejected some - perhaps underservedly because I missed to pay attention to 'her central thesis' that you obviously have picked up, but refuse in good ol'e style to tell me]]

  303. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Leif Svalgaard (17:28:17)

    Reiterating: You misunderstand.

    Perhaps there will be future opportunities to discuss this fruitfully – for example if new & important information comes to our attention.

    Back to research …

  304. Paul Vaughan (17:51:46) :
    Re: Leif Svalgaard (17:28:17)
    Reiterating: You misunderstand.
    The proper way to deal with my misunderstanding is the tell me precisely what I misunderstood and how it should have been understood.

  305. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Leif Svalgaard (18:20:38)

    It is also sensible (& efficient) to let a matter go to avert dissonance.

  306. Paul Vaughan (00:29:06) :
    It is also sensible (& efficient) to let a matter go to avert dissonance.
    No, this matter strikes at my integrity. It started with:
    Regarding the central premise driving Dr. Charvatova’s research [considered collectively] – as I said Leif: “Anyone planning to attack it should – in fairness – first make sure they are clear on what it is.”
    Now, either you tell me what it is, or you sensibly (and efficiently) retract the above statement.

  307. gary gulrud says:

    Leif, you beat me to it. I was hoping Gary would discover his error.

    No chance!”

    Actually I’ve designed and implemented the electronics, DSP firmware, drivers and process control software on a number of temperature apps over the years-beginning with a 500 degree C ceramic circuitboard firing furnace- variously running CPM, thru PSOS/Unix to Windows.

    If I don’t know what I’m talking about a programmer(see Brinch Hansen, Scherrer or Straka), sometime “scientist” certainly does not. Scientists write the grants but engineers(often the same individual in other disciplines) do the work and the abstract need bear no certain relation to the reality.

    Spare us the vaudeville act, please.

  308. gary gulrud (06:18:41) :
    Scientists write the grants but engineers(often the same individual in other disciplines) do the work and the abstract need bear no certain relation to the reality.
    I take it that you are asserting that the engineers that build the SORCE TIM instrument didn’t know what they were doing either.

  309. Leif Svalgaard (07:25:19) :
    gary gulrud (06:18:41) :
    Scientists write the grants but engineers(often the same individual in other disciplines) do the work and the abstract need bear no certain relation to the reality.
    An important element of the TIM design is that the instrument cavity is kept at a constant temperature [31C] and has very high thermal conductivity.The Electrical Substitution Radiometers are thermally conductive cavities with high absorptivity across the entire solar spectrum, which ensures collection of nearly all the entering sunlight, converting it into thermal energy in the cavity. The very high conductivity quickly [reacting to changes in 2 seconds] transports the thermal energy to the sensors that maintain constant temperature and thus thermal equilibrium at all times. The cavities are small [size of your thumb weighing less than 16 gram] and the thermal fluctuations from the set point temperature are very small [of the order of a millionth of a degree]. If you study the engineering specs carefully, you cannot deny that there are all reasons to expect an accurate measurement. And that is what I was referring to.

  310. Bill P says:

    James F. Evans (09:07:57) :

    Bob,

    Part of the problem is that there are so many agenda’s running around we don’t know who is qualified to review the science or not.

    James: Welcome to the club.

    You might start by acknowledging that there are a lot of physics neophytes out here (like me, for instance) who are just trying to learn something.

    Why not make a distinction between what you know (and giving attribution), what is theoretical, and your pet theories (whicy you may identify as “my pet theories.”)

    Hope this helps.

Comments are closed.