The Sun puts on some fireworks for the 4th of July

Leif Svalgaard has been saying for sometime now that Solar Cycle 24 seems to be getting underway. Seeing sunspot group 1024 today, I’m tending to agree.

SOHO_MDI_070409

Click for larger image

The magnetic polarity (seen on the SOHO magnetogram)  of the spot group combined with the middle latitude indicates it is a cycle 24 spot.

From Spaceweather.com

The most active sunspot of the year so far is emerging in the sun’s southern hemisphere: movie. Sunspot 1024 has at least a dozen individual dark cores and it is crackling with B-class solar flares. This morning, amateur astronomer David Tyler caught one of the flares in action from his backyard solar observatory in England:

The magnetic polarity of sunspot 1024 identifies it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Its rapid emergence on July 3rd and 4th continues the recent (few-month) trend of intensifying new-cycle activity. This sunspot is the best offering yet from the young solar cycle.

I agree. This one looks like a “normal” sunspot. The question now is: how long will it last? Many promising cycle 24 sunspots have fizzed just as quickly as they arrived. Cycle 24 has not yet shown any indications of spot stamina.

In other news, the SOHO satellite has developed a problem with its pointing motor for the high gain antenna.

This is a serious concern, and data outages are already happening due to limited pointing ability.  There is a backup spacecraft for SOHO in the pipeline, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, set for a November 2009 launch date. It has recently been shipped to Cape Canaveral. Lets hope the didn’t use the US postal service or DHL.

In other solar satellite news…

Goodbye Ulysses (July 3, 2009)


Hi-res TIF image (4.6M)

Upon receipt of the last command from Earth, the transmitter on Ulysses switched off on June 30, 2009, bringing one of the most successful and longest missions in spaceflight and solar study history to an end. After 18.6 years in space and defying several earlier expectations of its demise, the joint ESA/NASA solar orbiter Ulysses achieved ‘end of mission’. The craft is nearly out of hydrazine fuel for its stabilizing thrusters, and there’s not enough money to continue the mission for another year. A final communication pass with a ground station enabled the final command to be issued to switch the satellite’s radio communications into ‘monitor only’ mode. No further contact with Ulysses is planned.

Ulysses is the first spacecraft to survey the environment in space over the poles of the Sun in the four dimensions of space and time. Among many other ground-breaking results, the hugely successful mission showed that the Sun’s magnetic field is carried into the solar system in a more complicated manner than previously believed. Particles expelled by the Sun from low latitudes can climb up to high latitudes and vice versa, even unexpectedly finding their way down to planets. Regions of the Sun not previously considered as possible sources of hazardous particles for astronauts and satellites must now be carefully monitored. “Ulysses has taught us far more than we ever expected about the Sun and the way it interacts with the space surrounding it,” said Richard Marsden, ESA’s Ulysses Project Scientist and Mission Manager.

So farewell, and congratulations on a job exceedingly well done.

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189 Responses to The Sun puts on some fireworks for the 4th of July

  1. david atlan says:

    Potentially good news, hope the spot stays a few days.

    Is there somewhere a graph comparing the number of sun spots of the last few cycles? Something like an overlay of the individual cycles?

    Wishing you good luck on you cap and trade, we unfortunately already have one in Europe

  2. Syl says:

    Old Sol is just saying Happy Birthday, America!

    right back at ya, Sol! Hope you enjoy our fireworks too!

  3. Leon Brozyna says:

    Let’s just hope the Watts Effect doesn’t kick in and kill this spot. It looked like it was about to fizzle out when it suddenly exploded to life.

    Speaking of the Watts Effect, a variant of it has kicked in at DMI. As soon as that widget went up, so did those flat Arctic temps.

  4. DAV says:

    “Th Sun”? Y’all misspelled “Teh” :)

    Too bad about SOHO. There are ways around the problem but it probably means going off-sun with attitude slews. The lower opportunity for recorder dumps could mean lost data.

  5. Richard deSousa says:

    The solar flux hasn’t ramped up yet so the current activity may fizzle.

  6. imapopulist says:

    This bums me out, (technically speaking).

    I was truly hoping for a sufficiently extreme solar cycle to force the climate community to acknowledge the need to conduct further research into the relationship between the Sun and climate change.

    With respect to the “colder temperatures would be worse than warmer temperatures” argument, while I agree it is correct, I think both sides are selling short the adaptive capabilities of the human species (all species for that matter). To date, we have done a pretty good job of living in almost any environmental condition and migrating when desirable.

  7. A.Syme says:

    This looks like the largest group of sun spots we have seen in a long time!

  8. rbateman says:

    We need a good continuum imaging platform out there @ twice the resolution of SOHO. I hope SDO can fit that bill. Looking over what it does, I didn’t find any reference to visible light spectrum. Maybe they didn’t list it.

  9. rbateman says:

    Richard deSousa (09:18:53)

    The spots formed very fast. It’s a bit improved over yesterday, with one medium spot, one smaller spot, and 4 Tiny Tims.

  10. Leon Brozyna says:

    According to SWPC, 1024 is now the largest event to date.

    Sunspot Area 10E-6 Hemis. = 100 (so far – it could get larger today). The last ‘biggie’ happened June 1 when the area maxed out at 80.

  11. Ian L. McQueen says:

    imapopulist writes:
    “With respect to the “colder temperatures would be worse than warmer temperatures” argument, while I agree it is correct, I think both sides are selling short the adaptive capabilities of the human species (all species for that matter). To date, we have done a pretty good job of living in almost any environmental condition and migrating when desirable.”

    The problem is that, while can adapt, can our food supply? Considerable amounts of grain are grown in northern latitudes that are just marginally warm enough. A little cooling could do severe damage to Canadian (and maybe northern US) wheatlands. It is my understanding that global food supply and global population are close to balance and that global grain stocks are getting perilously low.

    IanM

  12. Frank Hll says:

    “Leif Svalgaard has been saying for sometime now that Solar Cycle 24 seems to be getting underway.”

    What Leif had to say about the solar jet stream article stating that cycle 24 was probably about to start:
    Leif Svalgaard 6/17/ 09 (21:18:13) :
    “This press release is just NASA PR-machine hype”

    Which is it?

  13. Squidly says:

    Ian L. McQueen (09:51:18) :

    The problem is that, while can adapt, can our food supply? Considerable amounts of grain are grown in northern latitudes that are just marginally warm enough. A little cooling could do severe damage to Canadian (and maybe northern US) wheatlands. It is my understanding that global food supply and global population are close to balance and that global grain stocks are getting perilously low.

    IanM

    You hit on what I believe is the root of the issue. Crops to not grow well in cold, as is evident by several famine events of history, all during cold periods (ie: LIA). Problem two stems from our bizarre behavior of growing fuel instead of food. I believe it is the BIO fuel issue that is going to severely compound the first issue, should we be thrust into a little cooler world. Environmentalism seems to be ensuring that we cut our own throats.

  14. rbateman says:

    At the bottom of the page:
    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/DeepSolarMin5.htm
    you’ll find a visibility index of SOHO 512×512 res image cutouts.
    It’s what I project in my 70mm F/10 to a 4″ circle (Wolf Class Scope).

    What SWPC is using to calculate Hemis. area might be problematic:
    Study of differences between sunspot area data determined
    from ground-based and space-borne observations
    L. Gy}ori a,*, T. Baranyi b, M. Turmon c, J.M. Pap d
    After reading this and spending some time doing it myself, I agree with the paper.

  15. imapopulist says:

    “The problem is that, while (we) can adapt, can our food supply? ”

    Yes. We do not farm nearly as intensively in North American as is done in Europe . The current inventory imbalance has more to do with last year’s $145 a barrel oil and massive shifts to ethanol.

    We (for the time being) still live in a free market. If the climate cools and harvests fall, food prices will rise resulting in more land being put into production, more intensive farming practices in place and shifts to more temperate locations.

    With continuous advances in technology, while we don’t know specifically how we will adapt, we do know that we can and will adapt.

    This is one of the biggest fallacies of the AGW doomsday scenario. It assumes that mankind is some kind of static beast who cannot adapt. That a planet which has changed and evolved forever must now somehow be frozen on time.

  16. Kirls says:

    imapopulist (09:29:18) :

    “I was truly hoping for a sufficiently extreme solar cycle to force the climate community to acknowledge the need to conduct further research into the relationship between the Sun and climate change. ”

    I find myself too wishing for this. I think it may be the only way for enough people to realize the truth about AGW to wake up and kill the entire concept.

  17. AnonyMoose says:

    Syl: Shush… we hide our fireworks from the Sun.

  18. Sandy says:

    “This is one of the biggest fallacies of the AGW doomsday scenario. It assumes that mankind is some kind of static beast who cannot adapt. ”
    Hmm I wonder if the problem here is that the alarmists are aware that they are too stupid to evolve so they have to keep the climate just like it was…

  19. Adam from Kansas says:

    You can see it in the sun thumbnail on the side bar, that’s about the most visible group of cycle 24 yet as I would recall.

    At least if cycle 24 is a normal cycle and climate is sun-dependent we won’t have to worry about our walnut trees or early/late flowering plants being hit hard by freezes that come too early/too late in the season, same with the wheat and corn crop here and it may mean a nicer crop of tomatos and cucumbers from our pair of upside-down vegetable plants.

    What would you pick if you had to choose between a continued warm natural warm period or massive famine and plant/animal death even in wealthy countries because of a little (or bigger) ice age?

  20. So now we know – the Sun likes a good party! (Do you think old Sol prefers hot funk or chillout music?)

  21. Kum Dollison says:

    We’ve cut way back on planted acres, and will have one of the largest crops in history this year. Yields will, probably, set a record (in spite of a slow, rainy start.)

    Corn is down to about $0.06/lb. Stocks are high in the U.S., and the only thing affecting exports is the worldwide recession, and transportation costs. Also, China is back on track with a big crop (they’re the world’s 2nd largest corn producer. Wheat is plentiful, and Australia is back on track after the disastrous drought two years, ago.

    We’re fine for food; worry about oil.

  22. Kum Dollison says:

    Richard Lindzen brought up an interesting point. It seems that in the past when the sun was much less powerful temps on Earth were about the same as now. Why?

    REPLY: Read up on the faint sun paradox – A

  23. Frank Hll (09:56:36) :
    “Leif Svalgaard has been saying for sometime now that Solar Cycle 24 seems to be getting underway.”

    What Leif had to say about the solar jet stream article stating that cycle 24 was probably about to start:
    Leif Svalgaard 6/17/ 09 (21:18:13) :
    “This press release is just NASA PR-machine hype”

    Which is it?

    Solar cycle 24 started last year. The issue is whether it has stared ramping up to a huge cycle or slowly climb to a small cycle. The latter seems the more probable to me, that is it.

    david atlan (09:01:33) :
    Is there somewhere a graph comparing the number of sun spots of the last few cycles? Something like an overlay of the individual cycles?
    page 4 of:
    http://leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf

  24. Jeremy says:

    These new spots, while the most active of 24 thus far, still don’t show the normal umbra/penumbra structure. What does this mean? hell if I know.

    http://www.solarcycle24.com/pictures/timmermans.jpg

  25. ohioholic says:

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30oct_ftes.htm

    I am sure Leif will be by, if he hasn’t already. Is NASA going to monitor these as the spots come about to see what happens to them when sunspot activity picks up?

  26. Cris says:

    Both of those SOHO articles appear to be from 2003.

  27. vukcevic says:

    It took 5 days to get going.
    evolution magnetogram:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/2009-07-04.gif

  28. Hank says:

    ima, Ian, squidly,
    As a farmer, my comment is, ” what is optimal in terms of climate boils down to what is optimal for the grain producing regions of the globe.”

    The EPA has informally extended its comment period, saying:
    ” Late comments may still be submitted on the proposed rule; however, the Clean Air Act does not require that the Environmental Protection Agency consider comments submitted past the end of the official comment period June 23, 2009, when developing the final rule. Nonetheless, we will continue to consider comments received after the close of the comment period, to the extent practicable.”
    http://epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment.html

    I think this EPA thing hinges on uncertainty, if not now then in some future court case. The Scalia side of the Supreme Court in Mass. v EPA seemed to be casting about for reasons to deny the EPA authority but according to what I read there were no affidavits or amicus curiae briefs or comments in the record they were presented that expressed much in the way of skepticism …. and of course skepticism and uncertainty go hand in hand. Hence I say, it hinges on uncertainty (provided, of course, you feel skeptical about the issue).

  29. Frank Hll (09:56:36) :
    Leif Svalgaard 6/17/ 09 (21:18:13) :
    “This press release is just NASA PR-machine hype”

    The ‘hype’ bit was the title of the release:
    “Mystery of the Missing Sunspots, Solved?”

    We have just seen too many ‘breakthrough’ announcements. The mystery has not seen solved, just moved. The mystery is why the Oscillation is progressing slower towards the equator. It is not clear [nor has it been showed - unless I missed something] that and why 22 degree latitude is the ‘magic’ number that controls the solar cycle. Perhaps Frank could educate us on that?

  30. groweg says:

    iamapopulist and Kirls:

    You are wishing for a sufficiently extreme solar cycle to force more research on solar effects on climate. Keep in mind that we don’t have to have a complete washout of solar cycle 24 a la a Maunder Minimum event to demonstrate convincing current solar effects on climate.

    The length of solar cycles, and the last one appears to have been decidedly longer than average, has a negative relationship with temperature for several years after the end of the cycle (longer cycles = lower temperatures). See:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/254/5032/698
    If you believe that solar effects are predominant, and CO2 levels have a negligible effect, then a cooler climate seems to be “baked into the cake” for the next several years at least.

    Sadly, the AGW crowd seems impervious to reason. If they could respond to it they would have already responded to the over-abundance of evidence that the AGW due to CO2 hypothesis is foolish.

  31. Frank Hll says:

    Hi Leif —

    Frank Hll (09:56:36) :
    Leif Svalgaard 6/17/ 09 (21:18:13) :
    “This press release is just NASA PR-machine hype”

    The ‘hype’ bit was the title of the release:
    “Mystery of the Missing Sunspots, Solved?”

    We have just seen too many ‘breakthrough’ announcements. The mystery has not seen solved, just moved. The mystery is why the Oscillation is progressing slower towards the equator. It is not clear [nor has it been showed - unless I missed something] that and why 22 degree latitude is the ‘magic’ number that controls the solar cycle. Perhaps Frank could educate us on that?

    Notice the question mark in the title of the press release.

    Like all other existing predictions of the solar cycle properties to date, it is simply an empirical observation, albeit a brand new one. Dynamo theory is clearly still not capable of completely explaining the activity cycle. Thankfully the sun and the climate are smarter than everyone on earth and nature ignores us as we attempt to understand.

  32. I thought I was going to hear it had been sunspotting. This last week, the Sun (but only when out and felt direct) felt distinctly warmer to me. Even at 6 pm. Very different from last year. People may say the increased solar output is not enough to cause the increased warming sensation, but I’m wondering if there’s a subtle factor X multiplying things somehow. And that’s in addition to the Svensmark effect. There are subtle factors at work in the Universe beyond what orthodox Science recognizes. Like, people often know when one is looking at them, even when their backs are turned. Like, there are true stories of rainmakers. So why not a Sun sense?

    But that’s just a hypothesis and not a proven fact.

  33. rbateman says:

    Update on SSN11024 visibility:
    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/DeepSolarMin5.htm
    Seeing is believing. This is the best spot of SC24, hands down.
    SOHO MDI Cont. Image 2009/07/04_16:00
    Total spot area is 356 x 10E-6
    Umbral ( which must be calculated for each individual spot) is approx.
    60 x 10E-6.
    Does anyone concur?

    REPLY: Can you describe the equipment setup for the projection images? Maybe even an apparatus photo? – Anthony

  34. rbateman says:

    REPLY: Can you describe the equipment setup for the projection images? Maybe even an apparatus photo? – Anthony

    For my own spot checking, it is a simple 0rion 70mm F/10 w/ 26mm Super Plossl, and I project a spot 4″ onto a piece of paper. It’s a look-out-the-window verify type of thing. No camera stuff. My ST7XME would be fried long before I got an image.
    The images I calculate/present on belong to SOHO. I do it in such a way so than anyone can duplicate what I am doing. If you can’t see the spots on the 512×512 Luminence cutouts, it’s because I can’t see them either.

    You need only SOHO images downloaded, a suitable image processing (like AstroArt 3 or 4, AIP4Win v 2.x, Photoshop, IRIS (kludgy) or similar that can operate and measure at the pixel level.

    Geoff Sharp also uses an image processing program.

  35. Adam from Kansas says:

    About factor X people may say SST’s (particulary ENSO) is the factor X, or an alarmist will say CO2.

    We’re supposedly supposed to have an El Nino, but apparently the signs are perhaps still mixed. Here the SOI stalled out at -10 at the lowest since the last La Nina and in the past week has bolted back up to 0 which seems to not be very El-Nino like.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

  36. ecliptic says:

    I for one will make the most of this glorious cycle 24 yet to be. With the onslaught of 50,000 years of global cooling close at hand … we should all soak in the life-giving rays while we can. Humanity will not only survive this next ice cycle – we shall thrive!

    Remember: any argument about so-called “carrying capacity” of humans on earth must include two elements:

    • suppressed technology
    • animal equality

  37. imapopulist says:

    Remember: any argument about so-called “carrying capacity” of humans on earth must include two elements:

    • suppressed technology
    • animal equality

    Yes, It is a part of their “grand design”. they are determined to destroy our civilization.

  38. nofreewind says:

    Here is to America for celebrating our July 4th Independence from British tryanny! But I think that we are fighting Part II right now, because UK seems far ahead of us and leading the way in the green movement.

  39. Ian L. McQueen says:

    Continuing the discussion of growing grain in Canada, etc…..

    In my last posting I wrote (or intended to): “The problem is that, while we can adapt, can our food supply? ”

    I read years ago (1960s, IIRC) that the US midwest was considered semi-desert by the travellers west on the Oregon trail. The land was unsuited for growing crops, and nobody stopped. Then, as I read at the time, “the climate changed” some time in the mid 1800s (or later? I am recalling from 40+ years ago), bringing enough rainfall to permit growing crops. What I have learned in recent times is that the mid-1800s were a time of gradual warming. I would presume that this warming is what brought the moisture to the midwest. Now, by extension, I presume that a cooling climate might bring about a reversal, so that rainfall might be reduced, returning the great plains / prairies back to the dry semi-desert conditions of the early 1800s.
    What I would like is confirmation of my impressions (or refutation, which would be better for all of us!!) from someone more expert than I on the climate of the North American breadbasket.

    imapopulist wrote: “We do not farm nearly as intensively in North American as is done in Europe.” It seems to me that if the amount of rainfall decreased, it wouldn’t matter if the land were farmed intensively or not. Crops just would not grow without water.

    I am not arguing with imapopulist. I would just like to formulate in my mind what the objective prospects for food growing in that area are. (BTW, doesn’t “intensive farming” imply high mechanization and, thus, high fuel inputs?)

    I hope that I am not too late posting on this thread to pick the brains of everybody.

    IanM

  40. Gerry says:

    My guess is that sunspot 1024 will quickly fizzle out, as had the previous spots identified as Cycle 24 spots. Though all indications are that Cycle 24 is underway, the spots do not (yet) hang around long enough to contribute to the monthly count. Could it be that the sunspot amplitude of Cycle 24 has been grossly overestimated?

  41. Robert Wood says:

    On the 0428 view, I count 10 discrete spots.

    BTW This isn’t a mid-latitude occurance as, I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that the South Solar Pole is 8 degreees visible to us, so this group is 8 degrees further South than appears.

  42. Tenuc says:

    Good news that the sun seems to be firing up again,

    It will be interesting to see what happens to TSI over the next few months as solar activity increases.

    Does anyone know if an answer has been found to what causes the ~ -0.35 % difference between the ACRIM3 and VIRGO results and the even lower SORCE/TIM results?

  43. mr.artday says:

    I think the problem with a Sunsense is that throughout the day and throughout the year, the sun’s output at ground level is varying due to earth’s rotation and the coming and going of clouds. To have a sense that an energy source’s output has varied would require the energy source to remain constant almost all the time in order to build up a sense of what the right output is. As to AGW people being unaware of adaptation. They are almost all city sissies from birth. They are used to an environment that adapts to them. Such things as heaters and A/C, and artificial light.

  44. James F. Evans says:

    The question everybody wants answered, but nobody can answer with certainty: Does this sunspot “fizz out” or “ramp up”?

    Only time will tell and that in a nutshell is the extent of our understanding of ‘causation’.

  45. rbateman says:

    From this page:
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_REGIONS/USAF_MWL/SunspotAreaMetadata.txt

    My numbers need to be dived by 2 for total Solar Area (not just the visible area) so they should read like this:

    SOHO MDI Cont. Image 2009/07/04_16:00
    Total spot area is 178 x 10E-6 (not corrected for foreshortening..I’ll pick that up later on)
    Umbral ( which must be calculated for each individual spot) is approx.
    30 x 10E-6.

    My apologies.

  46. rbateman says:

    James F. Evans (17:58:16) :

    I’ll take a whack at that one.
    It will have the highest probability of doing exactly what it has been doing the last 2.5 years, namely being lethargical in rate of change.
    All those who watched the steady parade of big cycle projections knows that they were routinely undercut at angle of 60 degrees, more or less.
    Roughly, the sun wants to ramp at several times the rate at which it ran it’s final deramp.
    Hairpin curves at high speed in a Formula 1 car, ok.
    A G2V star…not so fast.

  47. Frank Hll (12:30:09) :
    Thankfully the sun and the climate are smarter than everyone on earth and nature ignores us as we attempt to understand.
    Apart from the astrologers in the know, I don’t think you’ll find many that disagree with you.
    But, where does the 22 degrees come from? and if you look back at minima in 1976 [albeit very noisy] and 1987, do you [or rather MWO see the same 22 degree determinator?

  48. Tenuc (15:58:40) :
    Does anyone know if an answer has been found to what causes the ~ -0.35 % difference between the ACRIM3 and VIRGO results and the even lower SORCE/TIM results?

    The ACRIM3 is still a mystery, but the SORCE/TIM is likely correct [IMHO]. That PMOD has been trending lower that TIM is probably due to calibratition/degradation problems. A few months ago I made a plot of the difference between PMOD and SORCE/TIM here and pointed out to Claus Froehlich that the difference was growing by 0.0177 W/m2 per year. He replied:
    “Yes, you may have noticed that the VIRGO data are now Version 6.002 and I changed an internal correction – I did this already in SF. A few years ago I found a linear trend between the corrected PMO6V and DIARAD time series and allocated it to DIARAD. At SF I realized that this was probably wrong and remembered also that the re-analysis I started 2 years ago and never completed showed that the corrections of PMO6V-B the less exposed backup was with the early increase as determined for PMO6V-A too much changing – so I attributed the trend to PMO6V and obviously got a smaller change relative to TIM”.

    But even with his corrected data series, there is still a changing difference [albeit a lot smaller]: http://www.leif.org/research/Diff-PMOD-SORCE.png
    I pointed this out to him and also that although a detailed comparison of SORCE and PMOD composite, shows good agreement until 2008.6, the PMOD becomes much more erratic after that data, not keeping with the dead quiet the Sun has been the past nine months:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Comparison%20SORCE%20PMOD%20since%202008.png
    His reply ]14 April, 2009] was: “From that time on we have a problem with DIARAD I have not yet solved, but need to look into in much more detail – for the moment I used a simple correction, which may not be correct.”

    So it seems safe to say that for the moment the PMOD composite should be viewed with some suspicion.

  49. ohioholic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (20:15:51) :

    Hi Leif, we have talked in the past. I was wondering if you knew anything about the FTEs I posted a link to earlier. I figured that if I could ask anyone, you would be most likely to know more than Google. Does their behavior change during the sunspot maximums?

  50. John F. Hultquist says:

    Ian L. McQueen (15:44:26) : “ . . .the US midwest. . .”

    Your semi-desert comment makes me wonder what the very large number of Bison were eating? Or maybe the US midwest of the comment is not the same midwest of my mind.

  51. ohioholic (20:25:25) :
    if you knew anything about the FTEs I posted a link to earlier. [...] Does their behavior change during the sunspot maximums?

    FTEs are another NASA overhyped release. We have known about them for more than 30 years. They happen every time when and place where the interplanetary magnetic field [IMF] is pointing southward as it hits the Earth’s magnetic field. This happens all the time and everywhere every few minutes. If enough of them happen in rapid succession we get a geomagnetic storm. Since the IMF is flapping around a lot it can point south at any time and usually flaps north-south many times each day. This does not depend on the solar cycle, although the magnitude of the flux does, being on average twice as large at solar maximum.
    The red curve here http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_24h.html shows this ‘north-south’ part of the field. If negative, the field is South and we have good FTEs.

  52. anna v says:

    It is interesting that this group of spots is not embedded in a plage area.

    This should mean that there is a cooling rather than a heating coming out, since the spots are of lower temperature and there is no compensating high temperature ( plage) visible in these frames.

  53. Jesse says:

    I don’t get it. The first big sunspot flare up of Solar Cycle 24 and some people here are commenting like a strong cycle is inevitable now, and lamenting the lack of cooling we will see from a stronger cycle 24, and actually going as far as to discuss the ramifications on crops and whatnot. Remember, folks, it’s only one flare up.

    Perspective.

  54. rephelan says:

    OK, Dr. Lief is gonna pull on his fish net stockings and leathers before administering the whipping I deserve for mentioning that DMI chart shows a sudden spike in Arctic temperature just as the sun decides to give us the best spot and flare show for all of cycle 24 to date.

  55. groweg (12:11:17) :
    The length of solar cycles, and the last one appears to have been decidedly longer than average, has a negative relationship with temperature for several years after the end of the cycle (longer cycles = lower temperatures).
    The evidence suggests otherwise. In http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf I show first [the blue curve] the length of each solar cycle [two points are shown: from min to min, and from max to max]. The pink curves show the temperature anomalies [again two points as above]. The next figure shows the lack of correlation [pink circles]. Since there is a significant trend, one can try to de-trend the temperature curve [green curve in 1st figure] and do the correlation again [green dots, 2nd figure]. There is still no significant correlation, and the little there is is positive: longer cycle => warmer.

  56. anna v says:

    Jesse (21:56:25) :

    Perspective

    That should hold both ways. In being mesmerized by the behavior of the sun ( I suppose it is atavistic, sun Gods are in all our prehistory) we should not lose sight of the fact that the current problem is not whether warming or cooling is in the cards ( or stars if you prefer).

    The problem is that some misguided politicians have swallowed whole the half baked proposition that CO2 is doing the warming ( and now the cooling too, if we consider the morphing to the “climate change” mantra) and are basing policy decisions on this. Maybe they have found a convenient flag to hide their taxing plans behind but the effect is the same. Our efforts should be to show that the emperor has no clothes to hide behind, and not to rally around irrelevant talking points, like the sun’s effect on cooling or warming.

  57. Geoff Sharp says:

    1024 has certainly evolved into decent group….at last count (07/05/09 1:23 SOHO time) it covers 249 pixels using the Layman’s Count. The closest previous group was 1007 in Nov last year with a comparable count of 110.

    Does this group put doubt on L&P’s findings or is it just a flash in the pan?

    Here is a blow up showing the detail.

    http://i41.tinypic.com/2nis75d.jpg

  58. rbateman says:

    anna v (21:45:56) :

    You are quite right, anna. There is very little in the way of bright region surrounding these spots. Only a smidgeon on the two minor ones.
    The bright areas can occur with or without sunspots. Normally only visible on the Continuum images when on the limb, you need a Ca II K-line narrowband image that shows these bright areas. I’ve done some hunting around for current images (like SOHO stays up to date) but so far not found any source. Leif would know.

  59. dennis ward says:

    As we have had global dimming since around 1945, according to the Stockholm graph
    here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/27/new-paper-global-dimming-and-brightening-a-review/#more-8950

    How can the sun possibly have had any bearing on rising global temperatures over the last 65 years?

  60. rbateman says:

    dennis ward (23:17:51) :

    It woks both ways. The atmosphere isn’t a diode, as AGW would lead one to believe.
    When the dirurnal is large, more is getting in and out.
    When the diurnal is small, less is getting in and out.
    Now, add to that changes in everything else.
    TSI, spectral shift, Ocean temps, ionosphere depth, humidity, aerosols, dust, volcanic gases, burning, etc.
    What else could it be?
    Everything, that’s what else if could be.

  61. chillybean says:

    ‘How can the sun possibly have had any bearing on rising global temperatures over the last 65 years?’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/3222476/Suns-protective-bubble-is-shrinking.html

    The dimming sun has indeed had a significant effect on the earth over the last decade. As to whether the temperatures were ever rising faster (or at all) over the last 65 years, maybe the surfacestations project can answer that one for you. As for the last 10 years of cooling…

    One thing is for sure, even with CO2 out of the picture, the science is certainly not settled but is just getting more interesting.

  62. SandyInDerby says:

    dennis ward (23:17:51) :

    –rbateman (23:51:03) :
    –Everything, that’s what else if could be.

    Horatio:
    O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

    Hamlet:
    And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

    Lord Kelvin (died 17th of December 1907 but General Relativity developed by Einstein in the years 1907–1915.) was equally wrong, so I guess no one is above thinking it is all done and dusted, although after this example perhaps everyone should think twice before making a similar statement. He (Kelvin) said:-

    “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now, All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”

    Sound familiar?

  63. NastyWolf says:

    dennis ward (23:17:51) : “As we have had global dimming since around 1945, according to the Stockholm graph”

    How do you make it global? It says AT Stockholm, so obviously it is local data, not global.

    Does cloudines affect this data as variation is so large?

  64. the_Butcher says:

    Isn’t this like the 4rth article about sc24 ramping up? (since last year)

    And this spot appeared a couple of weeks ago and now re-appeared again (after 7-8 of zero sunspots)…

  65. peter vd berg says:

    the official weather department in the Netherlands talks of a steady increase of sunlight reaching the soil during the last 80 years. They say they assume its due to diminished cloud cover.
    (dutch)
    http://www.knmi.nl/kenniscentrum/de_toestand_van_het_klimaat_in_Nederland_2008/hoofdstuk_4/index.html

  66. Tucker says:

    the_Butcher (02:20:47) :

    Isn’t this like the 4rth article about sc24 ramping up? (since last year)

    Precisely. A broken clock syndrome. I’d prefer to wait until we actually see more evidence of a ramping before pronouncing such a ramping. One group does not a ramp make. I will say that I see SC24 on a slow rise, but this article is slightly on the hyberbole side of the line. Just my take.

  67. Jim Hughes says:

    rbateman (12:59:00)

    Seeing is believing. This is the best spot of SC24, hands down.
    SOHO MDI Cont. Image 2009/07/04_16:00
    Total spot area is 356 x 10E-6
    Umbral ( which must be calculated for each individual spot) is approx.
    60 x 10E-6.
    Does anyone concur?

    I agree and this is the best activity level on a few fronts.

  68. norah4you says:

    The interesting thing is that it’s only from 2006 we do have real scientific analysed the sunspots….. look at http://www.rymdportalen.com/?page=nyheter&id=74 Translated to English: “Next year the European Space Agency, ESA, and its American counterpart, NASA, studying the sun together via their own satellite. This will provide stereo images of the bucket’s example soleruptioner.
    With the project, Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), it should now become possible to study particles from Solstorm shares when they are on the way to Earth. In the current situation, it is only possible to study the particles when they pass Earth.
    “We hope to learn more about how soleruptioner arises,” said Volker Bothmer at Happy’s University.
    Solstorm shares can cause major disruptions in electricity, communication and navigation on Earth. Solutbrotten October 28, 2003 created great confusion in the earth.
    One copper also through the new system to develop an early warning system can alert the astronauts carrying out space walks outside the space station or outside their spacecraft.”

    Need one say more?

  69. Retired Engineer says:

    Ian L. McQueen (15:44:26) : Midwest farming

    One big answer is irrigation. I fly over the corn/wheat belt frequently, and see huge numbers of circular irrigation plots. That will decline when the underlying aquifer dries out. As for all those bison, they covered a rather large area. Their numbers were limited only by what grew around them. And the guns of Buffalo Bill & Friends.

    As for “warming”, when this sunspot popped out, our high temps dropped over 10 degrees (from last week to this week), so I think it is a sign of the apocalypse. (0.06 on the 1-10 scale of sarcasm)

  70. Hank says:

    Ian L. McQueen (15:44:26) :

    In answer to your musings on the midwestern desert. I would start off saying a greater or just as great a threat in the nations cornbelt would be to have a frost such as happened on June 4/5, 1859. Here is a quote:
    History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 Volume 3 1860 – 1862, by James Ford Rhodes, – 1900 page 56
    ” In a large part of the country, however, the rising hopes, springing from the better outlook of affairs, were blasted by the June frost of 1859. In the early morning of June 5, the mercury went down to 32°: the frost killed the wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit of a considerable portion of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. John Brown wrote from Akron, Ohio, that the frost had been very destructive in western New York and Ohio. ‘Farmers here,’ he said, ‘ are mowing the finest looking wheat I ever saw, for fodder only.”
    http://books.google.com/books?id=DH98lunbPioC

    I had heard similar stories about the prairie being passed over by early settlers (I live in Northern IL so this kind of stuff is interesting to me.) If you read this account though: http://books.google.com/books?id=ELoEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA67 ; it could be that prairie soil was just to tough to break open with the standard horse drawn plow that an eastern farmer might possess.

    Where I live another question/issue discussed is: why prairie, why not woods? For most the answer is that once fires start on the prairie they go on and on and destroy all saplings and seedlings. I am coming to think that it could be a combination of things. Prairie fires and devastating summer freezes of the little ice age. In old county histories I have read accounts of freezes that left the trees of a region all dead. I think one thing that is true is that prairie soils are good soils. This is because all the biological material is right at the surface whereas in a woodland soil the leaves are way up in the air and off the surface. Due to this prairie soils eroded away to a much lesser degree than woodland soils.

  71. Tom in Florida says:

    Lucy Skywalker (12:57:31) : “I thought I was going to hear it had been sunspotting. This last week, the Sun (but only when out and felt direct) felt distinctly warmer to me. Even at 6 pm. Very different from last year”

    Hi Lucy, I always enjoy reading your comments but this is clearly smacks of algorean science.

  72. Ray says:

    That’s a nice one that looks even better today. However, all the other indexes and the Planetary Index are not different and don’t show signs of solar activity pickup. It’ll be interesting to see how things go in the months to come. I just hope the sun will not sombre in a renewed low after giving out such activity.

  73. vukcevic says:

    vukcevic (06:33:53) :
    Since it appears that you have been giving more than passing attention to my formula
    Leif Svalgaard (08:38:57) :
    Pseudo-science should be beaten down whenever it rears its ugly head.

    It is art (the science has to wait ! ), and beauty (or for that matter ugliness) is a in the eye of beholder, that is to say a property and an attribute of mind.
    “When I say it is beautiful, I mean there is a property which justifies my exhilaration and it is such that if you could grasp what I grasp, you too would have the same exhilaration. But maybe you are not able to grasp it.”
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarField1Cr.gif

  74. vukcevic (09:27:34) :
    It is art (the science has to wait ! ),
    Then post it to an art-blog.

    REPLY: I was going to say something else type blog, but Leif’s comeback works well enough. – Anthony

  75. Tenuc says:

    vukcevic “When I say it is beautiful, I mean there is a property which justifies my exhilaration and it is such that if you could grasp what I grasp, you too would have the same exhilaration. But maybe you are not able to grasp it.”

    I’ve saved a copy of your graph, and will see what happens as the solar cycle develops. The correlation to-date looks very good, if not a little worrying.

  76. vukcevic says:

    Don’t you see certain beauty in the Hathaway’s magnetic butterfly diagram?

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/magbfly.jpg

    Science and art have gone arm in arm trough the centauries.
    Remember renaissance.

  77. anna v says:

    vukcevic (09:27:34) :

    I think it is Von Newman, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neuman , who is credited with the saying: give me four parameters and I can fit any functional form, with a fifth I can fit an elephant.

    I counted five parameters in your formula.

    It is the same problem in simplified form, with the General Circulation Models that are so bad in predictions though they back fit. The modelers are also enamored with the beauty of their models, but it has not much to do with the future, in my opinion.

  78. Tenuc (10:04:12) :
    The correlation to-date looks very good, if not a little worrying.
    But science it ain’t. It completely fails in the past, as it predicts a solar cycle with constant length: 10.81 years for all cycles, except a cycle every 120 or so years [~1782, 1903, 2023], where the predicted length is between 0.5 and 5 years. It is also not based on sound physics and is pure numerology.

  79. anna v (11:01:21) :
    It is the same problem in simplified form, with the General Circulation Models that are so bad in predictions though they back fit.
    And Vuk’s formula doesn’t even ‘back fit’.

  80. vukcevic says:

    anna v (11:01:21) :
    I think it is Von Newman, ….give me four parameters and I can fit any functional form, with a fifth I can fit an elephant.

    Maybe poor man saw only a two dimensional line drawing of an elephant.

    anna v (11:01:21) :
    …….. The modelers are also enamored with the beauty of their models, but it has not much to do with the future, in my opinion.

    To quote one of my compatriots (whose name, as it happens, is the unit of measure for the intensity of magnetic polar field that I have plotted)
    “The present belongs to them; the future I am creating for.”
    (loose translation)

  81. vukcevic says:

    Drs Leif Svalgaard & Frank Hll
    perhaps you could comment on the observed phenomena: one half of the present SS group racing forward (just in a space of one day) as shown here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/2009-07-04.gif
    which I think it cannot be attributed to differential rotation over such small difference in latitude.

  82. Paul Stanko says:

    Hi all,

    Today’s estimated ISN is 17. The last time it was this high was March 2008. Maybe it is finally starting to pick up. I personally am really favoring Leif’s forecast of a low but still definitely visible cycle. As for the next one, we’ll just have to see. I’d also be interested in hearing the basis of Dr. Archibald’s prediction that things would ramp up in June, which seems to have more or less verified.

    Regards to all,
    Paul

  83. vukcevic (12:02:00) :
    one half of the present SS group racing forward (just in a space of one day) [...] which I think it cannot be attributed to differential rotation over such small difference in latitude.
    It is quite usual that sunspot groups show considerable ‘eigen’-movements, like pulling apart, rotating, etc. In fact, such movements [caused by the roiling solar plasma with its frozen-in magnetic field being dragged along by the plasma] tend to increase the energy stored in the magnetic field, thus increasing the chance and severity of flaring. Nothing unusual here.

  84. Tenuc says:

    As ever, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. I have a copy of the graph for future comparison against reality.

    As past history shows, causality can be a curious thing.

  85. Paul Stanko (12:05:44) :
    the basis of Dr. Archibald’s prediction that things would ramp up in June, which seems to have more or less verified.
    If memory serves that would be June 2010, but in any case it would be of interest to see what the basis is.

  86. Leif Svalgaard (12:11:33) :
    It is quite usual that sunspot groups show considerable ‘eigen’-movements, like pulling apart, rotating, etc.
    I can comment a bit further on this. The ‘canonical’ picture of a sunspot group attributes it to a strong ‘flux rope’ or bundle of flux strands that have reaches to surface at on point of their extent. The plasma ‘beta’ that determines whether the field moves the plasma or the plasma moves the field changes from greater than one [plasma moves field] to less than one [field moves plasma] in the lower corona to greater than one again [plasma moves field] in the solar wind, so just above the surface the flux rope can be considered ‘cut’. As a magnetic flux rope is under strong tension [along the rope], one could imagine that the tension in the subsurface rope would pull apart the two bipoles of a sunspot group. This is kind of the ‘traditional’ view [that may not be correct]. Helioseismolgy seems to indicate that the flux ropes are actually cut somewhere below the photosphere [and thus not extending to any great depth, sunspots thus being shallow phenomena, lacking deep 'roots'], scuttling this simple-minded ‘explanation’. But perhaps Frank could educate us more about this.

  87. Tenuc (12:12:33) :
    As past history shows, causality can be a curious thing.
    What purports to predict the future must also explain the past.

  88. vukcevic says:

    Tenuc (10:04:12) :
    The correlation to-date looks very good, if not a little worrying.

    Leif Svalgaard (11:33:39) :
    But science it ain’t. It completely fails in the past, as it predicts a solar cycle with constant length: 10.81 years for all cycles, except a cycle every 120 or so years [~1782, 1903, 2023], where the predicted length is between 0.5 and 5 years. It is also not based on sound physics and is pure numerology.

    Dr. Svalgaard
    You are attributing to my formula power of recreating the past that we do not know. It cannot be said with any degree of certainty what was the intensity of PF even as recently as 1964, since there were no means of measurement (excluding some Russian dubious estimates in 1965).
    To go back as far as 1782 is stretching scientific credulity.
    Polar field formula

    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarField1Cr.gif

    is a version of SS formula advanced by some 3 years (intentionally factor is left as t-1940-3).
    What we know is a SS record with a reasonable accuracy. Formula can retrace that relatively successfully.
    If you wish TO RETRACE SUNSPOT RECORD WHICH WE DO KNOW, AND NOT POLAR FIELDS WHICH WE DO NOT KNOW
    than you or anyone else should use

    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/Solar_cycles.gif

    which I have brought to your attention before.
    You can read estimated peak value of the past solar maxima from the middle graph or calculate it from its equation. Use anomaly graph at bottom to reduce value by 25-30% whenever it indicates low cycle.
    Alternatively, you can use the two equations at the top graph (Y1 equation gives you a point in time of a maximum, which you then use to calculate the amplitude of that max by using Y2 equation ), again in conjunction with the anomaly graph, reduceing value by 25-30% whenever it indicates low cycle.
    If you whish to imbue the polar field formula with powers of retracing the past PF (not recomended, since they are not known, it would be just a speculation) than you should also use it IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE ANOMALY GRAPH.
    I would be grateful if you perhaps take a note of the above and not misrepresent my case.
    Thank you.

  89. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (12:11:33) :
    I can comment a bit further on this. … The plasma ‘beta’ that determines whether the field moves the plasma or the plasma moves the field changes from greater than one [plasma moves field] to less than one [field moves plasma]………

    It is a surprisingly large velocity of plasma across the solar surface: I estimate the distance of ‘stretching’ to be about 8% of the solar radius or 55,700km during 24 h ( 2,320 km/h =1.9 Mach), nearly twice the speed of sound, which one might classify as an explosion rather than a movement or flow of plasma.
    I wonder if Dr. Frank Hll, being an expert on the plasma flow would comment.

  90. James F. Evans says:

    That there was solar charged particle interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere which resulted in geomagnetic storms has been known for 30 years, but the exact dynamics and morphology have only recently been determined by NASA in situ satellite probes (THEMIS).

    And this Sun/Earth electromagnetic relationship turned out to be much more dynamic than NASA or most anybody else thought possible.

    “We knew it all along”, is the refrain of somebody who wants to downplay the relationship and continue thinking the same old thoughts.

    No, this dynamic is remarkable and significant.

    And opposed to some that want to downplay this physical relationship because it contradicts their professional opinion, there is a need to fully understand the phenomenon.

    We are not there yet.

  91. rbateman says:

    Jim Hughes (05:16:44) :

    And the penumbra on the big spot was clearly visible in a 4″ projection..
    No squinting required.

  92. Jimmy Haigh says:

    anna v (11:01:21) :
    …….. The modelers are also enamored with the beauty of their models, but it has not much to do with the future, in my opinion.

    I’ve always wondered why the modellers don’t build a model to predict the future winners of the Aintree Grand National or the Kentucky Derby, for example. They can use all the historical data to build their model and then model the future! There have to be less variables involved than trying to predict the future climate! They’d make a fortune on the horses!!

    Hmm. Maybe they are making more money modelling the climate…

  93. hotrod says:

    Ian L. McQueen (15:44:26) :

    Continuing the discussion of growing grain in Canada, etc…..

    In my last posting I wrote (or intended to): “The problem is that, while we can adapt, can our food supply? ”

    I read years ago (1960s, IIRC) that the US midwest was considered semi-desert by the travellers west on the Oregon trail. The land was unsuited for growing crops, and nobody stopped.

    That was true but you need to view it in context of the time and the base of experience of the folks on the trail west. It was totally unsuitable for the type of farming and crops that they were accustomed to based on their experience in the Mississippi valley and central eastern plains states.

    The Average annual precipitation in the High plains (Colorado, Wyoming etc.) classifies them as semi-arid regions (they are borderline deserts in periods of drought)

    For example the Annual average precipitation in Colorado is about 15.31 inches of water. Yet this June we had the second wettest month in recorded history at 4.86 inches of precipitation in just one month, compared to the all time record (since 1872) of 4.96 inches. The dryest June on record was 1888 when only a trace was recorded for the month of June.

    We have very high variability in precipitation.

    Annual Precipitation (INCHES) Colorado
    RECORD
    MAXIMUM 23.31 1967
    MINIMUM 7.48 2002

    Our snow season this year ended with 38.1 inches of snow compared to an average of 67.1, our June average temperature was 3.2 deg F below average in 2009.

    The Pioneers went from moist low altitude plains states with broad leaf forests and long grass prairies to the high plains which are near desert conditions in a matter of a few hundred miles and a month or so on the trail. Once the climbed out of the Missouri and Mississippi river drainage and started to enter the short grass prairies the climate dried out very rapidly. Since they began their travel in the spring the effect was aggravated by the changing weather as they moved into the heat of the summer, and left the cool wet spring weather behind as well.

    High planes states: (short grass prairie )
    Montana 11.37
    North Dakota 15.36
    South Dakota 17.47
    Wyoming 13.31
    Colorado 15.31
    New Mexico 8.91

    Eastern Plains (long grass prairie broad leaf forests)
    Kansas 28.61
    Missouri 33.91
    Minnesota 26.36
    Nebraska 30.34

    Now compare annual rainfall numbers for the states many of the pioneers were coming from :

    Illinois 33.34
    Indiana 39.12
    Iowa 34.71
    Ohio 37.77
    Pennsylvania 40.26
    Kentucky 43.56

    There was a period of unusually wet weather during the time around the gold rush and after in the late 19th century that led to the theory that “The rain follows the plow”. Settlers thought that by turning the earth as they settled the prairie, that they had “modified the climate” through human intervention, increasing rain fall. Unknown to them they were simply experiencing a wet cycle of natural variability.

    They were proven wrong during the dust bowl when Mother Nature showed they were assigning anthropomorphic causes to natural variation. As a result their attempts to turn and plant every piece of available ground thinking they could manipulate climate and get unlimited farm production, was actually the worst possible thing they could do.

    When natural climate variation shifted to the dry cycle their “sod busting” unleashed the dust bowl and decades of desertification due to the blowing dust and stripped top soil.

    Perhaps there is a lesson there for the current AGW supporters ?

    Naw they could not be wrong again!

    Larry

  94. vukcevic (14:05:45) :
    You are attributing to my formula power of recreating the past that we do not know.
    No, you are claiming that you can predict the future from planetary movements, therefore you can also tell the past. The solar cycles have different lengths, but your formula for polar field reversals show them all to have the same length [apart from the few times where the formula fails], so you are in effect claiming that polar field reversals are not synchronized with the solar cycles. Well, a test of this awaits us, as your formula predicts a reversal in 2011 [being already a year off and assuming that it stays a year off]. Now, why is all this important? Because, in our time, pseudo-science is on the upswing and must be countered. Granted that there are too many charlatans for this countering to have much effect, it must still be attempted.

  95. vukcevic (14:36:11) :
    ( 2,320 km/h =1.9 Mach), nearly twice the speed of sound, which one might classify as an explosion rather than a movement or flow of plasma.
    Speed of sound where? Solar movements are typically of the order of 1 km/sec.

  96. James F. Evans (15:08:50) :
    We are not there yet.
    You are not there yet. The THEMIS results just confirm what we thought all along, which is, of course, important. NASA press releases always label everything a ‘breakthrough’ and everything as ‘never seen before’. From their press release:
    “These observations confirm for the first time that magnetic reconnection triggers the onset of substorms. The discovery supports the reconnection model of substorms [which is 30 years old], which asserts a substorm starting to occur follows a particular pattern.”

  97. Ray says:

    Can someone wipe clean my screen, it must be dirty… what else?

  98. Ray says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:10:45) :

    Speed of sound… does that apply in space?

  99. anna v says:

    Anecdotal:

    Though our June was average to warm, we are having a rare July in Greece. It is more like September with temperatures five to ten degrees less than what happens at this time, humidity and rains inland. I regret not keeping a diary. There was a July like this in the middle of the 1990’s but I cannot remember the date really to be able to say it was during the previous SSP minimum. I call our summer air conditioned if the temperatures do not go much over 30C and nights are cool enough to cool the houses.

    Of course I am talking of the seaside where I have my holiday cottage ; the urban temperatures are three to four degrees higher, as per usual summer and winter.
    Since meteorologists are predicting this I suspect fronts have been moving higher or lower than average, as the case may be.

  100. ohioholic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:51:58) :

    What is the importance, theoretical or not, of these connections? I know, easy question.

  101. ohioholic (22:21:12) :
    What is the importance, theoretical or not, of these connections? I know, easy question.
    That the reconnection model is correct has great importance as we may be able to model the details and predict the outcome if we can figure out what conditions trigger the process. Reconnection is a ‘universal’ process, so progress on one front can be used everywhere. On the other hand, everything that relies on ‘explosive’ release of energy may be harder to predict.

  102. vukcevic says:

    Jimmy Haigh (20:34:12) :
    …I’ve always wondered why the modellers don’t build a model to predict the future winners of the Aintree Grand National or the Kentucky Derby, for example….They’d make a fortune on the horses!!

    That would be the day. Have you seen any of the recent Dr. Hathaway’s predictions. His method is unique:
    “We don’t know why this works, the underlying physics is a mystery to us, but it does work”.
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/21dec_cycle24.htm
    With science like that, more likely to loose his shirt than make a fortune.

    From my point of view, the prediction method I strongly favour is one described here:

    Geophysical research letters, vol. 32, l01104, doi:10.1029/2004gl021664, 2005
    Sunspot cycle 24: Smallest cycle in 100 years?
    by
    Leif Svalgaard,1 Edward W. Cliver,2 and Yohsuke Kamide1

    I am biased in favour of it (purely selfish attitude, rather than the detailed understanding of the method), since it is based on the intensity of polar fields, which of course gives an additional edge to the polar field formula
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarField1Cr.gif
    No surprise in desperate but futile attempts to discredit it.

  103. Roger Carr says:

    hotrod (21:01:10) concluded: “Naw they could not be wrong again!”

    Thank you for some nice history and pertinent conclusions relevant to our times, Larry.

    You generated images of Steinbeck in my mind alongside Piltdown Man. Now there’s a good fair spread…

    You are also more generous in your historical perspective than I believe the future will be of we off a generation of carbon infamy.

  104. Ray (22:15:28) :
    Leif Svalgaard (21:10:45) :
    Speed of sound… does that apply in space?
    On the Sun, certainly

  105. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (05:38:11) :
    Ray (22:15:28) :
    Leif Svalgaard (21:10:45) :
    Speed of sound… does that apply in space?
    On the Sun, certainly

    I mentioned speed of sound only as a reference point, since most of us know its value here on Earth, with atmosphere at pressure of 1At, 20C and humidity of 50%. Since it varies with medium than in predominantly Hydrogen atmosphere, and not forgetting Helium (as any Donald Duck impersonator would know) and god knows what pressure and temperature I should have left it to 2000+km/h. Apologies to purist, but I am certain everyone understood what was meant.

  106. VG says:

    Polarity mixing? = Cycle 23?
    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/mdi_mag/1024/latest.jpg
    a bit far fetched maybe….

  107. vukcevic says:

    VG (08:06:01) :
    Polarity mixing? = Cycle 23?
    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/mdi_mag/1024/latest.jpg
    a bit far fetched maybe….

    Anything is possible. “Sun is a messy place”
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/2009-07-04.gif

  108. vukcevic (07:45:34) :
    I mentioned speed of sound only as a reference point, since most of us know its value here on Earth
    No, it was meant to make something implausible. The speed of sound in the photosphere is much higher [twenty times] than in air on the Earth, typically 10 km/s.

  109. VG (08:06:01) :
    Polarity mixing? = Cycle 23?
    Such weak ‘mixing’ is not unusual.

  110. vukcevic (08:34:30) :
    “Polarity mixing? = Cycle 23?”
    Anything is possible. “Sun is a messy place”

    No, that messy. You seem to subscribe to Al Gore’s view ‘If one doesn’t know anything, anything is possible’.

  111. a jones says:

    I make 10 km/s divided by about 330 m/s around thirty times.

    Sorry I am such a pedant.

    Kindest Regards

  112. LAShaffer says:

    Hank (08:05:10) :

    In answer to your musings on the midwestern desert. I would start off saying a greater or just as great a threat in the nations cornbelt would be to have a frost such as happened on June 4/5, 1859.

    Now there’s an interesting solar connection! It was almost exactly three months after that freeze that the great solar storm of 1859 occurred. Of the two, either losing large chunks of cropland, or a repeat of that solar event, I would have to guess that the latter would be capable of causing far more damage to our current civilization.

  113. a jones (09:42:47) :
    I make 10 km/s divided by about 330 m/s around thirty times.
    Sorry I am such a pedant.

    Welcome to the club. The speed of sound varies a lot with height in the solar atmosphere [because density and temperature] vary a lot]. At a certain height the ratio is precisely twenty. The 10 km/s was just to give an order of magnitude. For the non-pedants, the important point was that the movement observed is much slower than the speed of sound, contrary to the [orange and apple] Mach 1.9 quoted.

  114. vukcevic says:

    vukcevic (07:45:34) :
    I mentioned speed of sound only as a reference point, since most of us know its value here on Earth
    Leif Svalgaard (09:22:31) :
    No, it was meant to make something implausible.

    Not if you think of it as analogous to a current transformer. http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/ElctCurrent-Plasma.jpg
    If current Io is increased, more plasma would be sucked into loop. In turn the loop’s current I will also increase, Lorentz forces will force loop expansion outwards. Consequence of this is that the resting feet of the loop will spread apart. Front foot will move at an apparent speed higher than rotation, while the back foot relative to rotation may lag behind.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/2009-07-04.gif

  115. vukcevic says:

    vukcevic (10:23:23) :
    The last sentence should be:
    Front foot will move at an apparent speed higher than rotation, while the back foot relative to rotation may lag behind, expanding the footprint area at the same time.

  116. vukcevic (10:23:23) :
    “No, it was meant to make something implausible.”
    Not if you think of it as analogous to a current transformer.

    But it is not. Good advice for you to follow: “when in a hole, stop digging”. The plasma beta is larger than one, so the plasma movements control the magnetic field.

  117. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:09:06) :
    But it is not. Good advice for you to follow: “when in a hole, stop digging”. The plasma beta is larger than one, so the plasma movements control the magnetic field.

    I am sorry to say, your explanation of magnetic ropes and beta factor I did not find convincing (what happens when beta =1, presumably on the Sun everything stops for a tea break). I was hopeful that Dr. Hill might have a good explanation. As an engineer I prefer problem solutions that work, to some mathematical exoteric theorising, that no one can test.

    Currents on the Sun cannot be directly measured or even identified. Currents and their strength can only be observed by observing and measuring the resulting magnetic fields. All indications from the optical and magnetic observations are absolutely in line what could be expected if currents are present. If an electric current analogy can explain a particular phenomena in simplest of terms, according to the basic laws of electro-magnetism, and there is no forthcoming satisfactory alternative explanation (even from top man of solar science), then choice is self-evident. However I am prepared to consider an alternative providing is as convincing.

  118. LarryD says:

    FYI, Ian, read up on “Vertical Farming” or “Indoor Farming”.

    Some think it could lead to urban renewal, but I see urban problems as stemming from corrupt and incompetent government (urban and up), so I’m very skeptical of that.

    But if water becomes short, then setting up massive greenhouses to recover water lost to evaporation (plus benefits of warming the crop and soil, etc) may make sense.

    Wheat is a grass, so the mid-continent climate is suitable, but corn (maze) takes a lot of water (it originated in the tropics, after all).

  119. vukcevic (12:26:17) :
    All indications from the optical and magnetic observations are absolutely in line what could be expected if currents are present.

    No, they are not in the sense you advocate. That may be your interpretation, but the plasma is electrically neutral and there is no emf driving any currents, except when the magnetic field changes rapidly. This whole subject we have gone over so many times, but perhaps one last time: the plasma is electrically neutral, the magnetic field is frozen into the plasma and moves with it, there is no electric field in the rest frame of the plasma, brief electric currents are caused by changing magnetic fields driven by movements of the plasma. Your various analogies are not a picture of how this this works, but are in a sense backwards.

  120. vukcevic says:

    Dr. Svalgaard
    Question was:
    What happens when beta =1 ?
    I see no answer !

    Recommended :
    Dr. Paul M. Bellan, Professor of Applied Physics
    scientist from CALTECH, California Institute of Technology
    From: American Institute of Physics publication:
    WHY CURRENT-CARRYING MAGNETIC FLUX TUBES GOBBLE UP PLASMA AND BECOME THIN AS A RESULT
    http://authors.library.caltech.edu/1892/1/BELpop03.pdf
    Note comments with his illustration:
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/belen.gif

  121. vukcevic (13:53:06) :
    What happens when beta =1 ?
    I see no answer !

    You probably would not either understand or accept the answer anyway, but I can try: beta > 1 in the photosphere and below, and < 1 in the chromosphere and above [until we are are out in the solar wind where beta again is > 1]. Thus there are two thin ‘layers’ where beta = 1. Both of these are important because they mark the boundaries of the part of the corona that can be shaped by magnetic fields. Nothing ‘happens’ at these boundaries.

    WHY CURRENT-CARRYING MAGNETIC FLUX TUBES GOBBLE UP PLASMA AND BECOME THIN AS A RESULT

    That you cite this paper is a typical example of the confusion you are operating under. A central aspect if the paper is twisting of the magnetic field [requires frozen-in field] and generation of the current by a dynamo [i.e. from movements of the magnetic field]. The twisting and the currents are consequences of the magnetic field and movements of the plasma, as I have been trying to tell you for many months.

  122. vukcevic says:

    I am not concerned with the ‘chicken and egg’ puzzle here. Main thing is that THERE ARE ELECTRIC CURRENTS.
    My model of a ‘current transformer’ gives a simple explanation which is in agreement with the basic laws of physics.

  123. vukcevic (15:22:21) :
    I am not concerned with the ‘chicken and egg’ puzzle here. Main thing is that THERE ARE ELECTRIC CURRENTS.
    My model of a ‘current transformer’ gives a simple explanation which is in agreement with the basic laws of physics.

    I have been telling you for months that there are currents generated by movements of the plasma and the magnetic field, e.g. the HCS. The chicken-and-egg business is only a puzzle if you do not understand how nature works in this case, and your ‘model’ is simply incorrect. With an incorrect model one can explain anything. You keep invoking the ‘basic laws of physics’, but this is only relevant for the application of them. So the transformer is a valid application, but since the Sun doesn’t work like that, this is hardly relevant.

  124. vukcevic says:

    “So the transformer is a valid application, but since the Sun doesn’t work like that, this is hardly relevant.”

    Since in many cases solar science is not definitive, than perhaps valid applications are more appropriate and relevant.
    Ballan states:
    “The current I (in my illustration Io) is assumed to be generated by some subsurface dynamo and so its time-dependence is a prescribed quantity. This time dependence is assumed to be such that I increases smoothly from zero to some finite value….”
    “We further conclude that, given sufficient time and assuming there are no losses, current-carrying flux tubes will always tend to become axially uniform.”

    Elsewhere (Solarcycle24.com) you offered your interpretation Fred Ward’s theory (hardly a theory, barely hypothesis): “is thought to be due to the effect of the latitudinal variation of the Coriolis parameter and an assumed vortical circulation around the spots. The more rapid longitudinal motion of extended spot groups is suggested to be the result of the preferential occurrence and development of such groups in regions of above-average horizontal wind and wind shear.”

    “is thought to be due” author is speculating. Coriolis force is function of angular velocity (13 degrees/day, which is low for the effect to take a place within day or two); “effect of the latitudinal variation” is minimal and often there is no perceptible difference in latitude.

    Abandoning your previous speculation:
    “As a magnetic flux rope is under strong tension [along the rope], one could imagine that the tension in the subsurface rope would pull apart the two bipoles of a sunspot group. This is kind of the ‘traditional’ view [that may not be correct]. Helioseismolgy seems to indicate that the flux ropes are actually cut somewhere below the photosphere [and thus not extending to any great depth, sunspots thus being shallow phenomena, lacking deep 'roots'], scuttling this simple-minded ‘explanation’. But perhaps Frank could educate us more about this.”

    My explanation is simple, supported by theoretical work and equivalent to well known electro-magnetic effects. You have failed to prove otherwise with an assemblage of speculations. As far as I am concerned ‘case closed’ for time being.

  125. Tenuc says:

    From my rusty memory of my physics course, I remember the following:

    Magnetic fields cannot break, merge or recombine and if this could happen it would violate Maxwell’s equations. (This would have a major impact on our understanding of plasma physics and EM theory in general)

    I also though that ‘freezing’ a magnet field in plasma was only possible if the plasma was ideal?

    All dynamic magnetic fields are caused by electrical currents or time varying E-fields.

    I’m trying to find some good experimental proof regarding the new paradigm, but I’m not yet convinced the evidence is there.

  126. rbateman says:

    Tenuc (02:48:21) :
    How much time was spent trying to figure out the equations for the magnetic fields to hold the plasma for the fusion reaction?
    The solution is only 30 years away.

  127. vukcevic (00:51:52) :
    My explanation is simple
    The problem with amateurism is that the amateur succumbs to ‘simple’ but wrong ideas [transformer sunspots, electric universe, planetary influences, anthropogenic climate change, vitamin C and cancer, the examples are legion] . The pseudo-scientific attitude that results is a danger to society at a time where we need the public’s appreciation of correct science [even with more uncertainty than for people 'in the know'] the most.

  128. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (08:03:29) :
    vukcevic (00:51:52) :… is a danger to society at a time where we need the public’s appreciation of correct science …………

    To accept your ideas without a question, for a budding young science student, is highly recommended. If I do that I may learn a bit more about current thinking, but I would gain very little and science even less.
    However, there is that small probability that you and some of your colleagues are wrong, and possibly even smaller one, that I am correct, in which unlikely case I do get something out of it.
    Although it is to a great satisfaction if one can ‘outdo’ top man of authority, I can assure I am no more danger to the science, than our lazy cat is to the rat population of SW London. Despite that, you posts are red with respect, and so is the advice, but that in no way mean that it will be taken.

  129. vukcevic (08:22:33) :
    If I do that I may learn a bit more about current thinking, but I would gain very little
    You would gain a lot by embracing sound science.

  130. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (08:35:11) :
    You would gain a lot by embracing sound science.

    I attempted to work out field for the current SS (Geoff’s Layman’s Sunspot Count on SC24), I do not know if that makes any sense or is it total waste of time. Perhaps you can take a look.

  131. vukcevic (09:19:53) :
    I attempted to work out field for the current SS
    What field? Magnetic field? or magnetic flux? be specific.

  132. Leif Svalgaard (09:23:42) : Your comment is awaiting moderation
    vukcevic (09:19:53) :
    “I attempted to work out field for the current SS”
    What field? Magnetic field? or magnetic flux? be specific.

    Just saw it.
    400 microTesla is 4 Gauss….
    But WSO measures the magnetic flux over the 3′ aperture of the instrument, not the field as L&P does.

  133. @ Leif Svalgaard:

    I have to commend you for your willingness to answer comments and go “toe to toe” with various people, including myself.

    So, while I don’t agree with your basic premise: The Sun’s irradiance is all that matters, and irradiance has varied very little, 0.1% over several solar cycles, and, therefore, the Sun’s fluctuations have little or nothing to do with climate change.

    I can only salute your willingness to engage interlocutors.

    As I wrote above (15:08:50): “And this Sun/Earth electromagnetic relationship turned out to be much more dynamic than NASA or most anybody else thought possible.”

    NASA is confirming electric current into the Earth’s atmosphere 24/7. Don’t believe me? Review the following NASA press release:

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/06mar_polar.htm

    “Our own planet has auroras 24 hours a day,” says Jim Spann of the Marshall Space Flight Center, “and we can see them even in broad daylight.” The trick, he explains, is picking the right wavelength. “If we look at Earth from space using an ultraviolet (UV) filter, we see there are auroras underway at all times. It is a beautiful sight.”

    Is NASA engaged in pseudo-science?

    Leif Svalgaard (08:38:57) : “Pseudo-science should be beaten down whenever it rears its ugly head.”

    Or does NASA just engage in overhyped puffery?

    Leif Svalgaard (21:00:24) : “FTEs are another NASA overhyped release.”

    The NASA press release goes on: “we were amazed to see Northern and Southern Lights active non-stop,” says Spann, one of the scientists who led development of the satellite’s UV instrumentation.”

    And:

    “A good substorm can unleash a hundred thousand billion (10^14) Joules of energy, as much as a magnitude 5 earthquake. Although auroras, generally speaking, are understood (they are caused by solar activity), the sudden power of substorms is one of the biggest mysteries of space science.”

    Dr. Svalgaard and others maintain this electrical energy is “small potatoes” and can be safely ignored.

    It seems to me, if you add up enough “magnitude 5 earthquakes” of equivalent energy, no matter how much it is dwarfed by the supposed amount of irradiant energy the Earth receives from the Sun, in a closely balanced system, it will have an impact.

    “…the sudden power of substorms is one of the biggest mysteries of space science.”

    Yes, just a lot of NASA hype.

    Now, if one considers the Earth as a closely balanced “mechanism” where additional amounts of energy of whatever source is likely to have an impact on climate and other processes, just as additional weight will impact a finely balanced teeter-totter, any additional energy will impact the Earth’s climate.

    But Dr. Svalgaard and others prefer to ignore this energy and hold onto opinions that ignore scientific evidence.

    They are willfully blind prisoners of their own assumptions — assumptions they have clinged to since the 1970’s.

    Want to see a movie of these 24/7 ultraviolet auroras:

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/images/polar/20070621_3_geo_2meg.gif

    If electric current from the Sun to the Earth is continuous or 24/7, shouldn’t science get an accurate measurement of this electrical energy as opposed to flippantly responding that it can be safely ignored?

    Willful ignorance or investigation: What is the proper attitude of scientists?

    Electric current is coming from the Sun to the Earth 24/7, and when it “ramps up” it causes visible light auoras (and substorms), yet ultraviolet auroras continue unabated 24/7, reflecting an underlying continuous electric current flow from the Sun to the Earth.

    So-called “solar wind” is better explained as solar electric current. Charged particles, electrons and ions, flow away from the Sun. Charged particles in motion is considered electric current by definition.

    Shouldn’t Science label processes in a way that most aptly explains them, as opposed to labels that lead to false impressions?

    Does science understand the Sun/Earth electromagnetic physical relationship?

    We aren’t there yet.

  134. Leif Svalgaard (09:30:46) :
    400 microTesla is 4 Gauss, not 4000 Gauss as you had it….
    But WSO measures the magnetic flux over the 3′ aperture of the instrument, not the field as L&P does.

    The WSO values probably have to be multiplied by 1.85 to compensate for magnetograph saturation of the flux , see: http://www.leif.org/research/The%20Strength%20of%20the%20Sun's%20Polar%20Fields.pdf (section 4)

  135. Leif Svalgaard (10:45:40) :
    see here (section 4)

  136. Leif Svalgaard (11:19:00) : Your comment is awaiting moderation
    Leif Svalgaard (10:45:40) : trying again:
    see here (section 4)

  137. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (10:45:40) :
    see here (section 4)

    Thanks for the link: I have flittingly red most of the article, but I will do it again.
    What I was trying to do is to estimate relative the intensity of magnetic field (or whatever possible) for the current SS
    http://wso.stanford.edu/daily/current/scan.9727.gif
    or magnified:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSMF.gif
    by using one from April 28, 2007 (magnified)
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSMF.gif
    as a reference, which I think features in the L-P chart
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/livingston-penn-chesire_fig4.png
    with the strength about 3000 Gauss.
    The idea was to have an idea of rough estimated of strength (if scale is 20, 50, 100, 200 ?, 400 ?), by comparing to a known.
    Obviously not very accurate, but better something then nothing.
    Possible ?

  138. vukcevic says:

    vukcevic (12:07:53)
    Sorry:that should be
    by using one from April 28, 2007 (magnified)
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSMF1.gif

  139. James F. Evans (10:42:04) :
    NASA is confirming electric current into the Earth’s atmosphere 24/7.
    This has been known for decades

    “we were amazed to see Northern and Southern Lights active non-stop,”
    Again, this has been know for decades. The scientists are amazed that they can now actually see the aurora non-stop, but it has been known for a century that they were continuous. All it takes for that is to observe in the polar winter where it is dark 24/7.

    “A good substorm can unleash a hundred thousand billion (10^14) Joules of energy, as much as a magnitude 5 earthquake.
    Dr. Svalgaard and others maintain this electrical energy is “small potatoes” and can be safely ignored.

    A good substorm lasts an hour or two, during that hour the Earth intercepts 1360 W/m2 * pi * 6371000^2 * 3600 sec = 1.7×10^17 Watt of sunlight or a thousand times as much [adjusting for the albedo, etc] does not change the order of magnitude. since substorms do not happen all the time, the proportion is more like 10,000 [solar max]-100,000 [solar min] to one, so is indeed small potatoes.

    It seems to me, if you add up enough “magnitude 5 earthquakes” of equivalent energy, it will have an impact.
    Of course, it will, but a very, very small impact.

    “…the sudden power of substorms is one of the biggest mysteries of space science.”
    Yes, just a lot of NASA hype.

    Yes, indeed. The microphysics [magnetic reconnection] is a universal process and is taking place. The exact mechanism by which the resistivity that allows the process is still not well understood, but it is hardly a mystery.

    any additional energy will impact the Earth’s climate.
    Of course, it will, so only so slightly. And the climate system is not tottering on a tipping point. It is surprisingly robust, having weathered [nice pun here] all kinds of catastrophies [ice ages, super volcanoes, asteroid impacts, orbit changes, etc] in the past.

    If electric current from the Sun to the Earth is continuous or 24/7, shouldn’t science get an accurate measurement of this electrical energy as opposed to flippantly responding that it can be safely ignored?
    The solar wind in electrically neutral and there is no current coming from the Sun. The interaction between the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic field does create electric currents. These have been measured accurately for decades and are [as the calculation above shows] small potatoes.

    Charged particles in motion is considered electric current by definition.
    No, only if there is an excess of one charge over the other.

    Does science understand the Sun/Earth electromagnetic physical relationship?
    To a very large extend, YES.

    We aren’t there yet.
    You are not there. We are, although ‘there’ keeps being pushed further and further out, of course, as we learn more and more, enabling us to ask ever more pointed questions. In a sense, we’ll never be ‘there’, but we are close enough to have a basic understanding of the solar wind and its impact.

    I gave a talk 35 years ago at a NASA conference. I’m scanning the text in now and will put it on my website. Please look for it and compare what we knew already then with the recent NASA press releases.

  140. vukcevic (12:07:53) :
    The idea was to have an idea of rough estimated of strength (if scale is 20, 50, 100, 200 ?, 400 ?), by comparing to a known.
    Obviously not very accurate, but better something then nothing.
    Possible ?

    No, not possible, as WSO and MWO and KNO all measure the magnetic flux over their respective apertures, not the magnetic field. To convert flux to field, you need to know the ‘filling factor’, that is, how much of the photosphere is actually filled with the magnetic field. The filling factor is unknown but is believed to be of the order of 0.01, i.e. 99% of the photosphere is not magnetic at all [or rather, not pervaded by large-scale magnetic fields].

  141. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (12:31:06) :
    No, not possible, as WSO and MWO and KNO all measure the magnetic flux over their respective apertures, not the magnetic field.

    Thanks for that. It will save me waisting time on yet one more pointless exercise.

  142. Dr. Svalgaard:

    You are in the contradicting yourself. NASA has confirmed by THEMIS in situ satellite probes that indeed electric current is coming from the Sun to the Earth.

    NASA has explicitly stated such.

    Do you disagree with NASA?

    We’ve been over this before, but I’ll link all the NASA statements that confirm electric currents in the space between the Sun and the Earth if necessary, and I’ll track down your statements acknowledging electric currents in the near-space around the Earth.

    Apparently, Dr. Svalgaard, you feel free to set up your own definitions:

    My comment: “Charged particles in motion [are] considered electric current by definition.”

    Dr. Svalgaard responds: “No, only if there is an excess of one charge over the other.”

    False, not when there is a quasi-neutrality.

    I’m surprised that you would contradict NASA in situ observations & measurements and even contradict yourself.

    Such is the determination to justify one’s own opinions that even NASA findings are to be kicked aside if they contradict one’s own scientific opinion.

    Sometimes, it’s better to simply acknowledge the scientific evidence than have somebody else lay out all the evidence so that indepedent judgments can be made about the quality of the opinions offered.

    Svalgaard versus NASA?

    Sorry, I’ll take NASA.

    NASA has the in situ satellite probes to make observations & measurements, Svalgaard does not.

  143. James F. Evans (13:32:18) :
    NASA has confirmed by THEMIS in situ satellite probes that indeed electric current is coming from the Sun to the Earth.
    NASA has explicitly stated such.
    Do you disagree with NASA?

    show us just this one.

  144. Ric Werme says:

    James F. Evans (13:32:18) :

    > My comment: “Charged particles in motion [are] considered electric current by definition.”

    I haven’t been following the discussion here too closely, but an electrical
    engineer view (and electronics toy view) concurs with Leif’s “No, only if
    there is an excess of one charge over the other.”

    Take a salt (NaCl will do fine) solution and stir. By your definition
    there is a current, the EE will puzzle for a moment, realize that
    there are no amps to measure and say there is no current even though equal
    numbers of Na+ and Cl- ions are swirling around (and H+ and OH- too).

    Take a stream of Na+ ions and send them from Io to Saturn (millions of
    amps – now _that’s_ a current) or take a stream of protons and entrain
    them in the Earth’s magnetic field – that’s a current too.

    Water flowing down a river, well, that’s a current, but it’s not an
    electric current and no amps involved.

  145. Leif Svalgaard (13:44:33) :
    James F. Evans (13:32:18) :
    “NASA has confirmed by THEMIS in situ satellite probes that indeed electric current is coming from the Sun to the Earth.
    NASA has explicitly stated such.
    Do you disagree with NASA?

    NASA has just been confirming and fine-polishing the understanding we had 35 years ago. In this paper http://www.leif.org/research/Geomagnetic-Response-to-Solar-Wind.pdf from 1973 I outlined what we knew back then, and what NASA [and other research] have just been confirming, in spite of their hype about breakthroughs. Our basic understanding has held firm over the last 35 years. We have since only filled in some of the blanks and crossed a few t’s and dotted a few more i’s.

  146. vukcevic says:

    Ric Werme (17:44:31) :
    James F. Evans (13:32:18) :
    “Charged particles in motion [are] considered electric current by definition.”
    Here is a view of an electronic engineer:
    If the interplanetary space, permeated by a magnetic field and the presence of particles of both polarities originating from the same source (i.e. moving in same direction) is considered then:
    Charged particles will spiral along imaginary field lines in a helical motion, result is double helix with left and right (clockwise and anticlockwise) orientation as a consequence of the particles polarity.
    Hence, there are two ‘electric currents’ in opposite direction, total sum being zero.
    However, things are not as simple as that.
    If at the end of a spiral there is an asymmetric load, i.e. reacting to one charge but not the other (interaction of protons and athoms nuclei, but no equal interaction with the electron stream), then this will load one helix not the other, resulting in an imbalance. Therefore, may not be a resultant current along the path but there is an effect of an electric current flow as far as the end load is concerned; here is an ambiguity since electric currents have to close the circuit.
    There is a further complication as discovered by Ulysses probe.
    Interactions between fast and slow solar wind cause certain degree of ‘bunching’ of either positive or negative particles along the path. This causes potential difference along the path of solar wind, which gets reversed further along, and so on. Clusters of the excessive polarity at a particular area affect speed of propagation of both types of particles, resulting in an electric current flow, between two clusters, but that may be reversed during next stage.
    Two currents trough a particular section S are I1= n1Sv1Q1 , I2= n2Sv2Q2,
    Where n1 = n2 = n number of particles, Q1= -Q2 = Q charge, v1 and v2 are velocities, then resultant current is : I=I1+I2 = nS Q(v1-v2).
    Put a load at a cluster (e.g. Earth atmosphere), result is localised electric current.
    Dr.S will no doubt dispute all of the above.

  147. vukcevic says:

    Ric Werme (17:44:31) :
    …….
    Take a salt (NaCl will do fine) solution and stir. By your definition
    there is a current, the EE will puzzle for a moment, realize that
    there are no amps to measure and say there is no current even though equal
    numbers of Na+ and Cl- ions are swirling around (and H+ and OH- too).

    It all depends on a load in the path of particles movement (as mentioned in my previous post). If probes (i.e. electrodes) introduced into the solution are copper and zinc, connected by a conductor, then current will flow. To exist electric currents require electric potential difference and closing of the circuit.

  148. vukcevic (01:51:49) :
    Dr.S will no doubt dispute all of the above.
    Indeed, as there are no asymmetric loads.

  149. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (04:03:25) :
    Indeed, as there are no asymmetric loads.

    Of course there are unsymmetrical loads: ENA is one of many examples one can think of :
    http://ibex.swri.edu/researchers/observations.shtml
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008AGUFMSH14A..05W
    http://ibex.swri.edu/multimedia/img/ena_research.jpg
    I did mention one example- interaction of protons and atoms nuclei, but no equal interaction with the electron stream, which takes out kinetic energy out of protons, i.e. loads proton stream, but not the electron, on the other hand electrons elsewhere recombine with positive ions, but protons do not.
    Typical of Dr. Svalgaard, good old doc again indulges in his favourite sport of trying to shoot down anything in his sights he may dislike, be it correct or wrong. In my post, I presented comprehensive overview of ways electric currents are invoked in the interplanetary space. Come on, give us proper scientific explanation of your objections, as you often do when you are on solid ground, but here, it appears you are not so certain of strength of your argument.

  150. Tenuc says:

    Perhaps the load is provide by a difference in charge between the incoming charged particles carried by the ‘magnetic pipe’ and the earths ionosphere. Thus the pipe only connects when this imbalance exists and disconnects when the ionosphere is at the same higher potential?

    The ionosphere then discharges the extra energy by formation of storms, as per NASA observations, and the ‘pipe’ then connects again and starts the cycle off again?

    It is a well known paradox seen during laboratory experiments with neutral black body plasmas that a probe placed in certain positions inside the plasma apparently breaks the laws of thermodynamics and shows a voltage potential.

    It would seem we still have much to learn.

  151. vukcevic (05:55:39) :
    Tenuc (06:06:45) :
    You are both oh so confused that it almost hurts to read your posts. This in spite of so many explanations. My 35-year old paper http://www.leif.org/research/Geomagnetic-Response-to-Solar-Wind.pdf describes so well how and where electric currents are created in space. In the rest frame of the plasma there is no electric field and thus no current. When seen from an object not moving with the plasma [i.e. have a relative velocity V], there is an electric field E = -VxB, and thus currents can and do flow if there are particles to carry it. Examples are all the currents flowing in and around the magnetospheres of planets, comets, and even spacecraft. You are also confused about the difference between solar wind particles and [the rarer] solar energetic particles, the latter having following the magnetic field lines, the former not. The important fact to realize is that all these currents are created ‘on the spot’ in a conductor moving with respect to a magnetic field.

  152. vukcevic (05:55:39) :
    ENA is one of many examples one can think of
    Here is what happens: a neutral atom, e.g. of helium, has two electrons. It is collides with a solar wind proton, that proton can steal an electron from the helium atom, and now the helium atom becomes an ion and is immediately picked up by the solar wind and carrying out of the solar system. The charge situation has not changed: a positive charge [the original solar wind proton] was moving away from the Sun ['its' electron also being there somewhere because the plasma is neutral, but is unaffected by the collision because the plasma is so dilute]. After the collision, the positive charge, now on the helium ion, is still moving away from the Sun, as is the now neutral hydrogen atom and its ‘former’ electron. No large-scale currents arise from this.

    It is disconcerting that these things have to be explained again and again. Speaks volumes about the low state of science literacy among the general public, including electrical engineers, especially when the ignorance is used in support of pseudo-scientific notions.

    Perhaps a word about the interplanetary magnetic field. There are very many irregularities and polarity reversals [atop the general large-scale sector structure]. some created by reconnection, some surviving all the way from the Sun. Every one of these generate small electric current sheets near and surrounding them by solar wind particle gyration, the same way as the heliospheric current sheet is generated, see this cartoon: http://www.leif.org/research/Current-Sheet-Cartoon.png The upper row shows four magnetic ‘field lines’ directed away from the viewer [the Xes]. The lower row shows four lines towards the viewer [the dots]. There is thus a field reversal between the upper and lower row. Charged particles gyrate around the field lines as shown by the circles with little arrows on them. At the neutral line dividing the upper and lower rows all these little arrows point the same way, thus constitutes a [force-free and not carrying any energy, because the current and the magnetic fields are at right angles] current. This current of drifting charges is a result of the field reversal and helps preserve the field reversal.

  153. Jim Hughes says:

    Leif Svaalgard (12:13:36)

    If memory serves that would be June 2010, but in any case it would be of interest to see what the basis is.

    —–
    If he mentioned the planets you would roll your eyes so what would be the point?….Not that I know he uses it.

    And I guess you forgot about my own forecast which you thought was a bust a week ago. And I hope we will not quibble over 3-4 days since many variables have exceeded the values not seen since the heightened level in March 2008.

    And to the forum hosts. Leif has not been the only one talking about Cycle 24 being underway like your discussion tends to imply. And he was never on board with this time frame being a notable one. At least not to my knowledge.

    And I’ll beat the dead horse. Knowledge is great but being able to use it is a whole different ballgame. And the name of this game is forecasting. And ones perception of knowledge is built upon the current scientific belief system. Which history has shown can be flawed.

  154. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (08:03:29) :
    vukcevic (00:51:52) :… is a danger to society at a time where we need the public’s appreciation of correct science …………

    When a young person is indoctrinated with certain ideas, no amount of subsequent brain washing has any effect !
    Thanks for trying.

  155. vukcevic (09:46:26) :
    When a young person is indoctrinated with certain ideas, no amount of subsequent brain washing has any effect !
    You mean that no amount of subsequent washing will make you understand the correct science?

  156. Jim Hughes (09:41:54) :
    If he mentioned the planets you would roll your eyes so what would be the point?….Not that I know he uses it.
    And I guess you forgot about my own forecast which you thought was a bust a week ago.

    Also based on the planets, it seems. Perhaps I should check my newspaper’s astrology columns more often to get the latest.

    And ones perception of knowledge is built upon the current scientific belief system. Which history has shown can be flawed.

    It is due to the ‘current scientific belief system’ that you can even communicate those words. Our modern society operates critically on its science being correct. There is a great danger that we will lose that advantage if pseudo-science takes over.

  157. Jim Hughes (09:41:54) :
    And I guess you forgot about my own forecast.
    To be credible, you must explain what the forecast was based upon, and why June and not February or September, for instance. In general, anybody could forecast an upturn after about a year of quiet, e.g. from this: http://www.leif.org/research/F107%20at%20Minima%201954%20and%202008.png
    A forecast within foundation is worthless.

  158. @ Leif Svalgaard:

    Thank you for providing your 1973 paper at your website. I have reviewed the initial part of the paper (it’s relatively long at 71 pages) and intend to review it in total.

    Yes, I agree with you that the understanding stated in your 1973 paper is a good match with what has been further confirmed by the recent NASA THEMIS satellite probes.

    Why I don’t consider THEMIS simply a matter of dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s”, is the THEMIS ability to measure the specifics of the dynamics as related to the morphology of the Birkeland currents from the magnetotail in detailed measurements of the electrical energy involved, the time and regularity, and the detailed vortex structure. It would seem that what you presented in 1973 was forgotten by many in the interim possibly because Astronomy seemingly has an aversion to electromagnetism, or at least doesn’t want to hear about it from people outside the “community”.

    If there was one weakness of the 1973 paper or more accurately, the scientific understanding at the time (so far, I found the 1973 paper to be an excellent paper, both in terms of clarity of description and extent of knowledge), is the lack of understanding of discontinuities in the plasma, the physical relationships and dynamics of where one plasma with different physical properties (whether thermal, velocity, density, or magnetic field strength, etc.) comes into contact with another region of plasma. There are gaps in knowledge and detailed measurements in this regard. THEMIS is helping to fill in those gaps, although more detailed measurements could and should be carried out.

    It is now known that “mechanical” terms such as “shock fronts” or “bow fronts” are insufficient to describe these interfaces in plasma. Formation of electrical double layers as a result of plasmas of different physical properties (discontinuities) coming into contact is an integral part of any plasma discussion. (See link below for discussion of double layers.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_%28plasma%29

    I’m struck by the many references to “electric currents” and “electric fields” in the intial part of the 1973 paper, clearly this is all considered electromagnetism, yet in earlier discussions with you, here, it seemed like pulling hens teeth to get you to acknowledge this electrical dynamic, yet, if I understand the initial part of the 1973 paper, you have known of this electrical dynamic all along.

    Why was it like “pulling hens teeth” to get you to acknowledge all the electrical dynamics?

    Could it be that I was using these physical relationships and dynamics to arrive at a conclusion you disagree with?

    Also, your 1973 paper references “magnetic reconnection” and “frozen in” magnetic field lines and I think this is a hinderence to correct understanding (I am referring your linked experiment to others who maybe able to cast light on its significance). Obviously, you disagree.

    As regarding the true nature of the so-called “solar wind”, an unfortunate reference to fluid dynamics which misrepresents the actual physical characteristics in my opinion, I still maintain a better explanatory term would be solar electric current.

    How so?

    The “solar wind” is a diffused or tenuous radial electric current from the Sun out to the solar heliopause or heliosheath. One knows it is a radial electric current and not just “mechanical” wind because of the presence of a weak magnetic field and it’s acceleration (something is applying constant force) even past the Earth (thermal convection, fluid dynamics doesn’t explain the acceleration; electrical dynamics does).

    Beyond the definition of electric current as being ordered electron movement (salt in solution is random electron and ion movement), is the idea of quasi-neutrality (a foundational idea behind double layers), and ability to do “work”.

    The “solar wind” is tenuous, but upon coming into contact with a “load”, the Earth and its magnetosphere, the electrical current is concentrated or focussed in the Earth’s magnetotail in structures labelled as “plasmoids” which because of electromagnetism’s inherent non-linear instability periodically “collaspse” or in Alven’s framework, “explode”, releasing this electrical current in concentrated vortex structures (Birkeland currents) toward Earth and also into interplanetary space. This “release” of electrons and ions is not random and chaotic, but is a specific organized pattern and structure as NASA’s THEMIS has confirmed.

    I would note that the NASA release that I earlier linked made specific mention to ultraviolet radiation aurora that can’t be detected even at night by the naked eye and this goes on 24/7, so no it wasn’t “something that could be seen all the time during the dark of winter at the poles”.

    I want to note something from the 1973 paper: “The collapses [plasmoid releasing electrical energy from the magnetotail] also inject plasma into the radiation belts [Van Allen belts] and build up a ring current [electric current].”

    We haven’t discussed this process at all, but increasingly there is scientific evidence that this “plasma” injected into the Van Allen belts and on into the ionosphere, then proceeds into the atmosphere via electrical thunderstorms and possibly even hurricanes. Admittedly, the scientific evidence is more tenuous for this proposition, therefore, I hesitated to mention it, but if so, that is another avenue for increased solar flux (due to solar maximum) to cause climate change.

    Dr. Svalgaard, there are multiple pathways for increased solar electrical energy to enter the Earth’s atmosphere and thus add to the Earth’s total energy budget from the Sun.

    I agree that while there is a “balance”, the Earth’s balance “mechanism” is remarkably “robust” (self correctling), still the small temperature increases and decreases noted as a result of solar maximum and minimum (and there has been, your disagreement noted, and not withstanding) would seem to suggest that while “robust” the balance is still effected by additions or decreases to the Earth’s total energy budget

    To state that this energy can be “safely ignored” is to ignore energy additions you acknowledge exist, yet maintain are too small to worry about, is to put the “cart before the horse”.

    To put the “horse before the cart” Science must carefully consider all avenues of investigation.

    To rule something out at the beginning or even in the middle of investigation is not responsible scientific behavior.

  159. Jim Hughes says:

    Leif Svalgaard (10:30:28)

    A forecast without foundation are worthless.

    —–
    As are foundations which are unable to accurately forecast things out in advance. Which for the most part has been true for your field.

    And like I’ve previously said before. I’ve never revealed my ENSO forecasting methods but I know many respect them because of my prior track record. And they are members of the science community.

    But all new followers were skeptical at one time or another but most have come around. Because they understand that results are really what matter. And this is because they have to pay the piper every season in regards to whether or not their own forecast ends up being right.

    While many in your own field get a free ride about being the experts until “well” down the road. And I witnessed this first hand with the subpar Cycle 23 forecasts. And many indivduals I talked to years back sounded much like you do around here sometimes Leif.

    So this is why I am not impressed by research papers which bear no fruit. Or at least not yet. And I’d be more than happy to go head to head with you for a charitable wager any time that you are willing to step up to the plate with a long range call /spikes. And I know plenty of news contacts that would be trustworthy to hold onto our cash while we wait for the results.

    But I’m sure you’ll come up with some kind of excuse. Bad science, this proves nothing……. But the unwillingess to part with money always proves something…..It means your really not sure. So like they say on the street. If your going to talk the talk then walk the walk.

  160. James F. Evans (12:39:01) :
    @ Leif Svalgaard:
    It would seem that what you presented in 1973 was forgotten by many in the interim possibly
    No, this has not been forgotten, it is part of mainstream science.

    It is now known that “mechanical” terms such as “shock fronts” or “bow fronts” are insufficient to describe these interfaces in plasma. Formation of electrical double layers
    There are no double layers at the nose of the magnetosphere

    I’m struck by the many references to “electric currents” and “electric fields” in the intial part of the 1973 paper, clearly this is all considered electromagnetism, yet in earlier discussions with you, here, it seemed like pulling hens teeth to get you to acknowledge this electrical dynamic
    Because you and Vuk and many others have it backwards as I have described in great detail. The magnetic field and the moving plasma create the current, not the other way around.

    Also, your 1973 paper references “magnetic reconnection” [...] is a hinderence to correct understanding [...] Obviously, you disagree.
    The THEMIS group disagrees: http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2008/07/24_reconn.shtml
    “The observations confirm for the first time that magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail triggers the onset of substorms”
    Just as I said in my 1973 paper, and which every researcher in this field has subscribed to ever since.

    The “solar wind” is tenuous, but upon coming into contact with a “load”, the Earth and its magnetosphere, the electrical current is concentrated or focussed in the Earth’s magnetotail
    No, the currents are generated when the solar wind makes contact.

    I would note that the NASA release that I earlier linked made specific mention to ultraviolet radiation aurora that can’t be detected even at night by the naked eye and this goes on 24/7, so no it wasn’t “something that could be seen all the time during the dark of winter at the poles”.
    This is what allows the aurorae to be seen even during daylight. But most of the aurora is just visible light which you can see on every dark night. I have myself been an observer in Greenland…

    To state that this energy can be “safely ignored” is to ignore energy additions you acknowledge exist, yet maintain are too small to worry about, is to put the “cart before the horse”.
    Calculations and direct measurements show us how large this energy is and it is 10,000-100,000 times smaller than ordinary sunlight so play no significant role in the energy budget. See, e.g. here: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/index.html for direct measurements of the power input measured by satellites.

  161. Jim Hughes (15:57:27) :
    And I witnessed this first hand with the subpar Cycle 23 forecasts.
    Which we forecast back in 2004 to be subpar.

    you are willing to step up to the plate with a long range call /spikes.
    I confidently predict that solar activity in any months of 2012 will be larger than in June 2009. I’ll wager you $1000 on that.

    But the unwillingess to part with money always proves something…..It means your really not sure.
    Beware of people that are sure.
    And, again, name one or more of the people that were impressed by your forecasts of solar activity. If I were to hire a nanny, I’d ask for named references.

  162. James F. Evans (12:39:01) :
    Also, your 1973 paper references “magnetic reconnection” [...] is a hinderence to correct understanding [...] Obviously, you disagree.
    The THEMIS group disagrees: http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2008/07/24_reconn.shtml
    “The observations confirm for the first time that magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail triggers the onset of substorms”
    Just as I said in my 1973 paper, and which every researcher in this field has subscribed to ever since. It is good that we finally can get solid confirmation to bolster our basic understanding arrived at so long ago. In the 1960s and early 1970s is was hotly debated if the magnetosphere was ‘closed’ or ‘open’. The latter implying reconnection between the solar wind and the geomagnetic field. My very first paper in 1968 [and with more details in the 1973 and other papers] was a significant proof of the open magnetosphere, namely that the polarity and every small wiggle of the IMF could be directly observed on the ground [the Svalgaard-Mansorov effect].
    But, since you said that the THEMIS release ‘explicitly’ says that currents are coming from the sun, perhaps you could provide a link and the exact text of the paragraph where it explicitly says so, so that I can correct your misunderstanding.
    And it is good that you study that old paper. It describes an understanding that is still good. It was written not for solar/magnetospheric scientists but for climatologists / meteorologist attending a NASA conference in 1973: Svalgaard, L., Geomagnetic Responses to the Solar Wind and to Solar Activity,
    in Possible Relationships between Solar Activity and Meteorological Phenomena, Proceedings of a symposium held 7-8 November, 1973 at Goddard Space Flight Center,
    Greenbelt, MD. Edited by William R. Bandeen and Stephen P. Maran. NASA SP-366. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, p.119, 1975. (Invited talk).

    Permit me to quote my concluding remarks:
    “No mechanisms have been found yet by which the magnetosphere and the upper atmosphere can couple to the lower atmosphere, so as to establish a sound physical foundation for correlations between solar and geomagnetic activity on one side and weather and climate on the other side. The missing knowledge of a plausible mechanism does not exclude the reality of the correlations but is does suggest that this particular line of research will progress only slowly despite the potential great values of added insight into the processes controlling the environment of mankind”.

    The predicted slow pace of progress has indeed come to pass. We are not much further in that regard than we were 35 years ago.

  163. Leif Svalgaard (18:04:13) :
    the Svalgaard-Mansorov effect
    apologies to Sergei for misspelling his name: Svalgaard-Mansurov effect. Try to google this for more on how this effects proves reconnection.

  164. Jim Hughes says:

    Leif Svalgaard ( 17:30:28)

    I confidently predict that solar activity in any months of 2012 will be larger than in June 2009. I’ll wager you $1000 on that.

    ———-
    And this winter will be cooler than this summer. Nice call. And I said head to head. If you feel that it is impossible to do then you should have no problem going head to head with an extended call based upon all the knowledge that you have from what I have read on this board.

    And you would have a 50% chance of winning since I am charlatan right ? Then throw in the use of planets and your chances of winning go up considerably. So this should be easy pickings for you.

    Now I have no beef with you personally Leif. But I do find your demeanor with many around here to be much similar to what I encountered with numerous others that I have talked to over the years. Whether it be about weather, climate, or even solar. And the tone is always the same.

    You have all the answers and you talk down to others. But yet your peers have to think differently because they are still trying to unravel the mystery behind the solar cycle. And we wouldn’t have the P&L call of a dead sun down the road, or even for a heightened level like others feel, if everyone thought your theory and forecast were a cinch. (Not that I disagree with it. But for different reasons.)

    And as far as a 2004 call for Cycle 23…..I hope your not really serious about this but something tells me that you might be.

  165. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard (18:04:13) :

    “No mechanisms have been found yet by which the magnetosphere and the upper atmosphere can couple to the lower atmosphere, so as to establish a sound physical foundation for correlations between solar and geomagnetic activity on one side and weather and climate on the other side. The missing knowledge of a plausible mechanism does not exclude the reality of the correlations but is does suggest that this particular line of research will progress only slowly despite the potential great values of added insight into the processes controlling the environment of mankind”.

    The same logic was apparent before continental drift theory was proved by plate tectonics….and the same logic also applies to planetary theory and its great correlations.

  166. Pamela Gray says:

    Jim, that wager would be worth considering but only if you describe your methods, codes, indices, calculations, and data sources like any other researcher worth a wager would do. Otherwise, it would be a sucker bet. That kind of bet says way more about the wager’er than it does his audience’s unwillingness to bite the bait.

  167. Jim Hughes (19:41:31) :
    And as far as a 2004 call for Cycle 23…..I hope your not really serious about this but something tells me that you might be.
    I mistook that for SC24 [thought you meant that]. For cycle 23, Ken Schatten, using the polar fields predicted 125 back in 1997. and I’m serious about SC24.

    Geoff Sharp (19:54:15) :
    The same logic was apparent before continental drift theory was proved by plate tectonics….and the same logic also applies to planetary theory and its great correlations.
    Your theory is not in the same league as plate tectonics, and your correlations are lousy and unconvincing [I don't see scientists flock to it as they did for PT], while the evidence for plate tectonics is overwhelming.

  168. Jim Hughes (19:41:31) :
    But I do find your demeanor with many around here to be much similar to what I encountered with numerous others that I have talked to over the years. Whether it be about weather, climate, or even solar. And the tone is always the same.
    Perhaps that should be telling you something…

  169. rbateman says:

    A funny thing, but the Stereo Ahead to Behind show nothing going on the Sun but SSN 1024 and it’s active region. No wonder it keeps growing. It’s got the whole grid patched into it, so it would seem.
    Another day, another chapter in SC24.

  170. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (17:23:38) :
    “Because you and Vuk(civic) and many others have it backwards..”

    -On subatomic and sub molecular level, it is particles spin or bond currents that generate magnetic field.
    – Steady (DC) current will generate magnetic field in a medium including vacuum.
    – Fixed (steady) magnetic field to generate electric current requires a conductor intercepting variable flux, a moving charged particle, or the field itself has to be variable (time or space).
    No magnetic field can generate electric current in a vacuum.
    – If charged particle carries so called ‘frozen magnetic field’ there is nothing frozen there, the field it generates in its vicinity is due to the spin of its electric charge.

    Whichever way you look at it, magnetic field is always linked to some kind of movement of electrical charges, commonly known as electrical currents.
    I would be interested to know if anyone can name a source of a magnetic field, which in final analysis is not linked to an electric charge. For permanent magnets look up Ampère’s model and bond currents.

    Leif Svalgaard (17:23:38) :
    “The magnetic field and the moving plasma create the current, not the other way around.”

    What generates ‘magnetic field’ (preferably trace it to its ultimate source) in the above sentence ?

    On the separate matter of the climatic influences, I would go with Dr. Svalgaard’s views until such time as it is conclusively shown otherwise, beyond what we already know (W/m2).

  171. Sandy says:

    “I would be interested to know if anyone can name a source of a magnetic field, which in final analysis is not linked to an electric charge.”

    A neutron star has extreme magnetic fields and no apparent charge??

  172. vukcevic says:

    Sandy (02:40:11) :
    A neutron star has extreme magnetic fields and no apparent charge??

    Due to the effect of entrainment of superconducting protons by rotating superfluid neutrons, a nonuniform magnetic field, the average value of which is constant, is formed in the vortex zone of the neutron star, directed parallel to the star’s axis of rotation.
    Note:superconducting protons

  173. Jim Hughes says:

    Pamela Gray (20:16:06)

    Jim, that wager would be worth considering but only if you describe your methods, codes, indices, calculations, and data sources like any other researcher worth a wager would do. Otherwise, it would be a sucker bet. That kind of bet says way more about the wager’er than it does his audience’s unwillingness to bite the bait.

    Pamela,

    Why is it worth considering when I shell out my reasoning but not when I don’t when I am already telling him what I rely upon. Or consider an important factor ? (Which he said before that he does not believe in.)

    So this type of goating can be seen as someone who wants something for free. Which I go through quite frequently on the weather side. Even most recently with an offer from a long range outlet. So the sucker would be me if I took your bait. But I’m not some naive kid who just got out of college.

    And I’m not going to go down the road of all my prior interactions with some in the scientific community, for my reasoning of not wanting to divulge certain methods, whether they be for long term weather forecasting, or the sun’s behavior.

    And I’ve already mentioned around here or even elsewhere that I do not claim to know why these planetary relationships have such an influence on the sun, as in A -Z cause an effect. But I obviously have good company and Leif is one of them.

  174. Jim Hughes says:

    Leif Svalgaard ( 19:41:31)

    Perhaps that should be telling you something…

    ——-
    It does. It shows their own insecurities. This is your playground as well as some other forums and you do not like it when an outsider comes around and challenges your expertise. At least in regards to forecasting. So you beat around the bush when it comes to answering forecast questions. Like what your Cycle 23 forecast was.

    And this is why I can not understand how you mock others for not answering your questions when you have dodged this question three or four times over the past 1-2 months. With silly comments about post maximum research which showed what it “should” have been.

    And for the sake of it, let’s consider that you did put one out, but it was wrong. Well this is also a red herring because you obviously wouldn’t have put out a Cycle 23 forecast if you did not have solid evidence to back you up. But your prior research had to have flaws if you redeveloped it again, (Or changed completely), for Cycle 24. So all of us could have easily been having all of these recent conversations thirteen years ago while entering Cycle 23. And you would have thought that you had all the answers back then also.

    See a pattern? Which is par for the course for your community. You’ve been portrayed as experts by those who have no idea about the subject matter. But your community as a whole are not experts when it comes to “actually forecasting things”. And this is a myth for the most part and we both know it.

    So let’s stop acting like the planetary use is a psuedoscience. Because some of you keep coming up with these supposedly solid statistical correlations time and time again, with scientific foundation, but they end up failing….pseudoscience…..pot meet kettle.

  175. vukcevic (01:57:34) :
    field itself has to be variable (time or space).
    Which it is. And the heliosphere is not a vacuum, and the spin of the particles has nothing to do with the magnetic field on the Sun or in space. Vuk, this whole discussion has become surreal, and points either to completely failure of our educational system or to the blindness caused by a pet idea, or both.

    Gene Parker, the ‘father’ of the solar wind, put the matter best:
    “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, hroughout 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 plasmas and their magnetic fields. The essential condition for HD is that there be enough particles to give a statistically precise definition of the local plasma density; the essential condition for MHD is that there be enough free electrons and ions that the plasma cannot support any significant electric field in its own moving frame of reference. Both of these requirements are satisfied almost everywhere throughout the cosmos, with the result that HD and MHD accurately describe the large-scale bulk dynamics of the plasmas 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. [...]
    The essential point is that we live in a magnetohydrodynamic 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. ”

    Eugene N. Parker:
    Conversations on Electric and Magnetic Fields in the Cosmos, Princeton University Press 2007
    http://books.google.com/books/princeton?hl=en&q=&vid=ISBN9780691128412&btnG.x=12&btnG.y=11&btnG=Search+This+Book
    then click on ‘Preview this bok’ for more.
    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.

    Buy or read the book http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8454.html on-line.

  176. Jim Hughes (04:55:08) :
    Like what your Cycle 23 forecast was.
    I did not make a cycle 23 forecast [was busy with other things]. Ken Schatten did.

    And I’m not going to go down the road of all my prior interactions with some in the scientific community
    Not all, just ONE, a single ONE.

    It shows their own insecurities.
    So, the whole world is insecure. Better come to and pay mister-know-it-all, eh?

  177. vukcevic says:

    Dr. Svalgard
    Thanks for exhaustive review, I have red stuff from Parker available on http://books.google.com/books/, not that I could follow large part of it. His logic is impeccable, but then in chapter 3.1 he leads reader flawlessly astray.
    I do understand beta 1 but I am still curious about =1, since I cannot imagine static plasma, unless is at 0K which plasma is not.
    Just to make a short observation: electric charges (on subatomic scale) are fundamental properties of the matter (not easily destroyed or created, if at all), while magnetic fields are transitory effects (inc. permanent magnets which can be affected by electrical or mechanical stress). Electromagnetic waves (of all kinds) are result of oscillations of electrical charges from an LC circuit, down to the charged particles effects at quantum level. Electric charge readily creates magnetic field, why the other way around is not so.
    It goes against the grain to give a primacy to an effect over a property of the matter at its most fundamental level, or perhaps we totally misunderstand each other, right from the start.
    I shall not raise subject again voluntarily.

  178. vukcevic says:

    that should be:
    I do understand beta more or less then 1
    The appropriate signs disappeared.

  179. vukcevic (08:37:37) :
    perhaps we totally misunderstand each other, right from the start. I shall not raise subject again voluntarily.
    Perhaps not. The issue was [and still is] whether large-scale electric currents can occur in the heliosphere except the ones generated by the magnetic field and the moving plasma.
    but then in chapter 3.1 he leads reader flawlessly astray
    Explain why and where you were derailed. Parker’s description is correct and is the way Nature works. If you still have difficulties understanding this [although his exposition is crystal clear and only requires elementary math and physics - well within reach of the average electrical engineer] I’ll be glad to help you over the hump.
    He very clearly states in 3.1 [as he has shown] that ‘it follows that the [magnetic] field is the continuing cause of the [electric] current and not vice versa’.
    This is the fundamental message you have to absorb. [And it is not hard].

  180. vukcevic (08:37:37) :
    perhaps we totally misunderstand each other, right from the start. I shall not raise subject again voluntarily.
    Another good source to help you dispel your misconceptions is Vasyliunas’ paper: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2001GL013014.pdf

  181. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (09:47:31) :

    Another good source to help you dispel your misconceptions is Vasyliunas’ paper: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2001GL013014.pdf

    Red Vasyliunas’ letter. I think the main problem there is the assumption of motion controlled by inertia of plasma’s mass as an initial condition. I think the starting point should be thermal chaotic gas motion, brought into order through Lorentz forces generated by initial chaotic movement of both types of charged particles. My maths is not up to the level required to set out an alternative set of equations, which could lead to a different conclusion.

  182. vukcevic (11:54:23) :
    the assumption of motion controlled by inertia of plasma’s mass as an initial condition
    There is no such assumption, only an assumption of a spatially homogeneous initial plasma. There is no other alternative solution. Both Parker and Vasyliunas are quite correct. What they describe is the way cosmic plasmas behave. Not only is the theory impeccable, but detailed observations (e.g. THEMIS) show agreement. Since Parker’s treatment is more accessible it might be best to stick to that. The way to do this is for you to buy the book. Read it carefully, then for each section [e.g. 3.1] acknowledge that you have read it and understood it and agree with it. And if not, why not, then we tackle that specific problem until you have understood it and we can move on to the next.

  183. @ Leif Svalgaard (17:23:38) :

    Admittedly, these points are ancillary to the larger discussion, but it goes to the underlying basis for the conclusions given about Sun/Earth energy budget determinations, principally the significance of solar maximum and solar minimum variations.

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The magnetic field and the moving plasma create the current, not the other way around.”

    You’re getting warmer, but you aren’t there, yet.

    The moving plasma creates the electric current because “moving plasma” as seperated charges, constitutes electrons having ordered movement (the charged particles are flowing linerally away from the Sun). In addition, charged particles when in motion have electric potential. Flows of charged particles are electric currents.

    Also, Science knows the charged particles (electrons and ions) in the “solar wind” accelerate away from the Sun, and even continue accelerating past the Earth. Electric fields accelerate charged particles across interplanetary space.

    There can be an electric field without a magnetic field, but there can’t be magnetic field without an electric field.

    There simply is no way to avoid it: The “solar wind” is a diffused radial electric current.

    I know NASA subscribes to “magnetic reconnection” (you can’t get ‘em all right).

    But here is a quote from the original developer of MHD Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner in physics, from his book Cosmic Plasma:

    “Again, it should be mentioned that there is no possibility of accounting for the energy of the particles as a result of ‘magnetic merging’ or of ‘magnetic field-line reconnection’, or any other mechanism which implies changing magnetic fields in the region of acceleration. In the region of the double layer, the magnetic field during the explosive transient phase is almost constant and cannot supply the required energy (of course, the secondary effects of the explosion also cause changes in the magnetic field).” Page 33, Chapter 2

    So-called “magnetic reconnection” is really ‘electrical current re-configuration’. There are no ‘open magnetic field lines’, all magnetic fields exist in a circuit.

    Hannes Alfven considered “magnetic reconnection” as pseudo-science.

    In 1970, Hannes Alfvén, the ‘father of plasma physics,’ warned that cosmology was headed into crisis. He was referring to the treatment of plasma—which makes up about 99.9% of the visible universe—as a magnetizable gas. Alfvén was responsible for the theory, known as ‘magnetohydrodynamics’ or MHD. But he publicly repudiated its use for space plasma in his 1970 Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

    “The cosmical plasma physics of today is far less advanced than the thermonuclear research physics. It is to some extent the playground of theoreticians who have never seen a plasma in a laboratory. Many of them still believe in formulae which we know from laboratory experiments to be wrong. The astrophysical correspondence to the thermonuclear crisis has not yet come.” —H. Alfvén, Plasma physics, space research and the origin of the solar system, Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1970

    Too many astrophysicists are pure mathematicans and fail to appreciate that plasma and electromagnetism does not behave as the mathematical equations would have it in Nature because it is non-linear.

    Nature does not conform to Man’s beliefs, in other words, even if every person subscribes to a belief — it can be wrong.

    Dr. Svalgaard presented my [Anaconda's] statement: “It would seem that what you presented [descriptions of electric currents and electric fields] in 1973 was forgotten by many in the interim possibly.”

    Dr. Svalgaard responds: “No, this has not been forgotten, it is part of mainstream science.”

    In general (yes, lip service is given), but when getting down to the details of physical relationships of many astrophysical objects and processes, astronomers and astrophysicists alike are most reluctant to acknowledge electromagnetic dynamics.

    The crisis is here, today, in astronomy.

  184. James F. Evans (15:27:07) :
    In addition, charged particles when in motion have electric potential. Flows of charged particles are electric currents.
    I think you too could benefit from reading Parker and Vasyliunas. The bottom line is that the is no currents in the rest frame of the plasma. And no electrical forces on the plasma.

    astronomers and astrophysicists alike are most reluctant to acknowledge electromagnetic dynamics.
    Because they know better.

    The crisis is here, today, in astronomy.
    I think there crisis is in you. It is getting a little tiresome to keep saying it, but you claimed that NASA ‘explicitly’ said that the currents were coming from the Sun. Where is that explicit quote?
    Alfven was cautioning against misuse of the concept the created, not against proper use. What the recent NASA releases you referred to were about was confirmation of the picture we basically had correctly since the 1970s, as my 1973 paper so clearly illustrates.

    Nature does not conform to Man’s beliefs
    and most certainly not to yours. What we believe today has been wrung out of a reluctant Mother Nature. Hundreds of scientists have been involved in this great undertaking.

  185. James F. Evans (15:27:07) :
    In addition, charged particles when in motion have electric potential. Flows of charged particles are electric currents.

    Here is an exposition you’ll like [it is on your level of ignorance]:
    http://www.electric-sun.info/main.html#other

    Be specific, run with the above. and find NASA releases that confirm each point made. Who would you rather believe: NASA or this guy?

  186. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (15:01:13) :
    There is no such assumption, only an assumption of a spatially homogeneous initial plasma.

    Electric Field and Plasma Flow: What Drives What? byVytenis M. Vasylifinas

    “As long as the inertia of the plasma is dominated by the rest mass of the plasma particles and not by the relativistic energy-equivalent mass of the magnetic field, flows produce electric fields, but electric fields do not produce flows, …..”

  187. vukcevic (03:18:55) :
    “As long as the inertia of the plasma is dominated by the rest mass of the plasma particles and not by the relativistic energy-equivalent mass of the magnetic field, flows produce electric fields, but electric fields do not produce flows, …..”
    He is saying that his results holds as long as the Alfven speed is small compared to the speed of light. In the solar wind, the Alfven speed is of the order of 30 km/s, or 10,000 times smaller than the speed of light.

  188. “The assumption of vanishing parallel electric fields was
    challenged by Alfvén4 who proposed that such fields exist
    above the ionosphere and cause downward acceleration of
    auroral primary electrons, but his suggestion was generally
    disregarded. The first indication in support of Alfvén’s idea
    was McIlwains6 observation of auroral primary electrons.
    Since then, an extensive body of evidence from space measurements
    has been accumulated, and the existence and importance
    of magnetic-field aligned electric fields in space
    plasmas is now generally accepted.”

    To highlight:

    “Since then, an extensive body of evidence from space measurements
    has been accumulated, and the existence and importance of magnetic-field aligned electric fields in space plasmas is now generally accepted.” — Carl-Gunne Fälthammar, Division of Plasma Physics, Alfvén Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, S-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

    From the PDF file paper linked below:

    http://www.hep.princeton.edu/~mcdonald/examples/EM/falthammar_ajp_74_454_06.pdf

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