NASA: Cosmic rays up 19% since last peak – new record high could lead to cooling

In an announcement sure to cause controversy over Svensmark’s theory of cosmic ray to cloud modulation, which is said to be affecting earth’s climate. Svensmark says this is now leading to a global cooling phase. Just a couple of weeks after Svensmark’s bold announcement, NASA has announced that we have hit a new record high in Galactic Cosmic Rays, GCR’s. Apparently, Nature is conducting a grand experiment. – Anthony

Click for larger image - Source: NASA (ACE) spacecraft

Click for larger image - Source: NASA (ACE) spacecraft

From NASA News: Cosmic Rays Hit Space Age High

Planning a trip to Mars? Take plenty of shielding. According to sensors on NASA’s ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) spacecraft, galactic cosmic rays have just hit a Space Age high.

“In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we’ve seen in the past 50 years,” says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. “The increase is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions.”

The cause of the surge is solar minimum, a deep lull in solar activity that began around 2007 and continues today. Researchers have long known that cosmic rays go up when solar activity goes down. Right now solar activity is as weak as it has been in modern times, setting the stage for what Mewaldt calls “a perfect storm of cosmic rays.”

“We’re experiencing the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century,” says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center, “so it is no surprise that cosmic rays are at record levels for the Space Age.”

An artist's concept of the heliosphere

An artist's concept of the heliosphere, a magnetic bubble that partially protects the solar system from cosmic rays. Credit: Richard Mewaldt/Caltech

Galactic cosmic rays come from outside the solar system. They are subatomic particles–mainly protons but also some heavy nuclei–accelerated to almost light speed by distant supernova explosions. Cosmic rays cause “air showers” of secondary particles when they hit Earth’s atmosphere; they pose a health hazard to astronauts; and a single cosmic ray can disable a satellite if it hits an unlucky integrated circuit.

The sun’s magnetic field is our first line of defense against these highly-charged, energetic particles. The entire solar system from Mercury to Pluto and beyond is surrounded by a bubble of solar magnetism called “the heliosphere.” It springs from the sun’s inner magnetic dynamo and is inflated to gargantuan proportions by the solar wind. When a cosmic ray tries to enter the solar system, it must fight through the heliosphere’s outer layers; and if it makes it inside, there is a thicket of magnetic fields waiting to scatter and deflect the intruder.

“At times of low solar activity, this natural shielding is weakened, and more cosmic rays are able to reach the inner solar system,” explains Pesnell.

Mewaldt lists three aspects of the current solar minimum that are combining to create the perfect storm:

  1. The sun’s magnetic field is weak. “There has been a sharp decline in the sun’s interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) down to only 4 nanoTesla (nT) from typical values of 6 to 8 nT,” he says. “This record-low IMF undoubtedly contributes to the record-high cosmic ray fluxes.”
  2. Graphical 3D representation of the heliospheric current sheet The heliospheric current sheet is shaped like a ballerina’s skirt. Credit: J. R. Jokipii, University of Arizona
    › Larger image

  3. The solar wind is flagging. “Measurements by the Ulysses spacecraft show that solar wind pressure is at a 50-year low,” he continues, “so the magnetic bubble that protects the solar system is not being inflated as much as usual.” A smaller bubble gives cosmic rays a shorter-shot into the solar system. Once a cosmic ray enters the solar system, it must “swim upstream” against the solar wind. Solar wind speeds have dropped to very low levels in 2008 and 2009, making it easier than usual for a cosmic ray to proceed.
  4. The current sheet is flattening. Imagine the sun wearing a ballerina’s skirt as wide as the entire solar system with an electrical current flowing along the wavy folds. That is the “heliospheric current sheet,” a vast transition zone where the polarity of the sun’s magnetic field changes from plus (north) to minus (south). The current sheet is important because cosmic rays tend to be guided by its folds. Lately, the current sheet has been flattening itself out, allowing cosmic rays more direct access to the inner solar system.

“If the flattening continues as it has in previous solar minima, we could see cosmic ray fluxes jump all the way to 30% above previous Space Age highs,” predicts Mewaldt.

Earth is in no great peril from the extra cosmic rays. The planet’s atmosphere and magnetic field combine to form a formidable shield against space radiation, protecting humans on the surface. Indeed, we’ve weathered storms much worse than this. Hundreds of years ago, cosmic ray fluxes were at least 200% higher than they are now. Researchers know this because when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, they produce an isotope of beryllium, 10Be, which is preserved in polar ice. By examining ice cores, it is possible to estimate cosmic ray fluxes more than a thousand years into the past. Even with the recent surge, cosmic rays today are much weaker than they have been at times in the past millennium.

“The space era has so far experienced a time of relatively low cosmic ray activity,” says Mewaldt. “We may now be returning to levels typical of past centuries.”

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143 thoughts on “NASA: Cosmic rays up 19% since last peak – new record high could lead to cooling

  1. It is not only the peak level that is important but also the duration of the peak . . . . and we’re seeing a lot of duration!!

  2. Unfortunately it would be much more useful to this argument (either way you see it) if that graph on GCE’s extended back into the 1990s. As it stands now, hard to say what it correlates to.

  3. Antarctic sea ice extent also just hit a record high. Correlation is not necessarily causation, but it’s there, none the less.

  4. Just help me out here!
    What did David Archibald say about cosmic ray levels?

    Nature is conducting a grand experiment and we have the front seat row watching it.

    Great times.

  5. “Unfortunately it would be much more useful to this argument (either way you see it) if that graph on GCE’s extended back into the 1990s. As it stands now, hard to say what it correlates to.”

    Check out:

    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/

    They’ve got data back to 1964!

  6. High since when? LOL we often forget how old the earth really is.

    It’s the first time we have had instruments that can read the cosmic rays, this whole sun cycle falls into that magnificent category, scientists everywhere should be celebrating what we can see, and learn. It is fascinating what science nature has chose to display for our watchful eyes.

    It’s a great time …

  7. So, this ultra-deep solar minimum and its incredible effect on temperatures… The confusing thing is that the global average temperature from 2004-2008 is slightly higher than the global average temperature of 1999-2003, which was over the solar maximum. Puzzling, eh?

  8. For those who have missed this video, which has been posted several times here at WattsUpWithThat, here is a 50 minute documentary in 5 parts at YouTube giving more detail of Henrik Svensmark’s theory.

    Henrik Svensmark is in much of the documentary.

  9. The article states that “hundreds” of years ago, cosmic ray flux was twice what it is today. Does anyone know offhand the actual dates and whether this coincided with the Little Ice Age? I would guess so, just because of the very deep solar minimum we know occurred at the time which should have caused a steep increase in cosmic rays. The quotation is vague on this point, however.

  10. Does anyone know what the lag time between Nuetron count & effect on temps should be according to Svensmark?
    Anyone have a link to data / graphs to show?

    Anyone have a link to data / graph of Be10 data – plotted with re-constructured temperature data?

  11. Hundreds of years ago, cosmic ray fluxes were at least 200% higher than they are now

    And just what were global temperatures like those “hundreds of years ago”?

  12. “…. it is 90% certain that this Unprecendented Crisis of Increasing Cosmic Radiation is due to Human Industrial Activity and Human reliance on Fossil Fuels….”

    “…. Cosmic Rays fried all my Chickens eggs….”

    “…. Dangerous Cosmic Rays are a threat to Polar Habitats and could well cause the extinction of the Polar Bear…”

    “…. Giving access to cheap energy to humans has caused a machine-gun like increase in shooting Cosmic Rays striking the Earth…”

    “…. Increasing Cosmic Rays due to Human Activity will cause the Oceans to Acidify and fish populations to die out…”

    “…. Increasing Cosmic Rays will cause increased desertification that will accelerate mass starvation….”

    “…. Increasing Cosmic Rays will cause increased flooding that will accelerate mass starvation….”

    “…. In the future, only a small number of human “breeding pairs” will survive in Caves, out of reach of dangerous levels of Cosmic Radiation…”

    “…. Permanently increased Cosmic Ray Levels will cause migrating birds to lose their sense of direction. The birds will dies out, and the insects that they eat will increase into plagues that devastate Human crop production…”

    “…. Increased use by Humans of easily accessible fossil fuel resources will cause a Cosmic Ray Tipping point to be reached that causes Cosmic Rays to increase exponentially until all life is wiped from the surface of the Earth. This is known as the – Microwave Effect – …”

    “…. Al Gores new Scientific Documentary – An Inconvenient Ray – has been mandated from classrooms across the nation…”

    “…. The fringe of mediocre scientific dinosaurs and Internet Bloggers still clings to the belief that variation in Cosmic Rays is driven by natural forces such as the Sun…”

    “…. It is well known that Fossil Fuel Industry Groups are funding Cosmic Ray Mis-Information Campaigns in an effort to divert attention away from their criminal use and purveyance of fossil fuels…”

    “…. Only a Global Governance Solution can solve a global crisis of such unprecendented proportions as the Human Induced Microwave Effect (HIME)…”

    “…. It has been deemed that a global tax on human energy use will be used to fund the creation of a transnational United Nations Organisation to ensure that the World Economy is shifted to safe forms of Energy and that the Catastrophy of the Human Induced Microwave Effect is averted…”

    /parody off

  13. tarpon (16:24:14) :

    It’s a great time …

    Agreed Tarpon. But there are those that wish ill for mankind; for those others but not themselves.

  14. RW (16:42:29) :
    So, this ultra-deep solar minimum

    It isn’t an ‘ultra-deep’ minimum, it’s a normal depth minimum of longer duration than normal.

  15. hi, as far as i can tell various papers suggest that high be levels and low temps , high cosmic rays and solar minimums are suggested from at least the dome fuji ice core sample: Ice core record of 10be over the past millenium from Dome fuji, Antartica: A new proxyrecord of past solar actvity and a powerful tool for sstratigraphic dating

  16. Well it might also be interesting to follow what happens with ozone holes to see if higher levels of cosmic rays striking the earth lead to more ozone manufacture.

    Ozone holes have fluctuated for eons and the sun’s effective color temperature has varied as a result of the short wave solar spectrum changes resulting from ozoner holes (ground level insolation).

    Well we shall see. I think we have a race between Gaia, and Obama to see who can destroy the most first.

  17. I think we are seeing the start of the truly troubling effects. Look at the current hemispheric pattern in the NH. Way out of whack. Winter will start soon.

  18. RW:
    “The confusing thing is that the global average temperature from 2004-2008 is slightly higher than the global average temperature of 1999-2003,”

    Which data set are you using?

  19. As much as I dislike the AGW scare, if cooling comes it will be bad. I don’t fear warming, but I do fear cooling.

    If carbon dioxide really did have a measureable effect on climate to warm, I’d be advocating increased carbon emissions. But I don’t think it does.

    Cooling is nothing to cheer about.

  20. I’m guessing that we’ll see a lag between the minimum we are seeing now and colder temperatures. This is due to the heat stored in the oceans. Temps have come down but are still above average. That won’t continue. The cooling will continue for some years after the Sun wakes back up.

    Just my thoughts on this …

  21. MattN–

    I believe Leif wrote that the Oulu count appeared to have peaked in May, which was accurate at the time.

    On the other hand, he also said on one thread, approximately, that the peak GCR at each solar minimum was about the same, because the solar (sunspot?) level couldn’t go below zero. ..must have been a typo. This is in stark contrast to the NASA announcement musing that the GCR count could go 30% above previous peaks.

    From Oulo

    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=1964/01/01&starttime=01:00&enddate=2009/09/29&endtime=21:00&resolution=0&picture=on

  22. RW (16:42:29) :

    So, this ultra-deep solar minimum and its incredible effect on temperatures… The confusing thing is that the global average temperature from 2004-2008 is slightly higher than the global average temperature of 1999-2003, which was over the solar maximum. Puzzling, eh?

    Certainly worthy of note. Some theorize the effects of minimum (or maximum) have more to do with (transmitted energy) area under the curve over a decade or more (slowly increasing or diminishing ocean heat content) before the effect becomes evident. Perhaps we’ll get an opportunity to find out.

  23. The direction of the solar system’s bow shock is presumably in the vicinity of the direction of Galactic rotation — not aligned with the plane of the solar system as the “Richard Mewaldt/Caltech” artwork misleadingly implies. The angular inclination of the solar plane (the ecliptic) to the Galactic plane is ~60 degrees.

    This inspires an interesting question: Does the cosmic ray influx have an apex in in the Northern Hemisphere? Or are the rays so stirred up by the heliospheric currents that they have no directional bias by the time they reach earth?

  24. I ran a trend line through the sunspot record last year and it yeilded the same basic conclusion that is referenced in the Svensmark film clip. Namely that solar activity had doubled over the last hundred years. Here is a link to my graph.

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2008/07/20th-century-sunspot-trend.html

    I have to believe the scientific community when they say that there is not enough change in TSI to explain global warming. But the long term correlations between sunspot activity and global temperature is simply too good to be an accident. The Svensmark theory explains why it is not an accident. I’m extremely confident that when they run the experiments at CERN next year that Svensmark will be proven correct. The big question is which do we get first, crushing climate legislation or the CERN results. I feel certain that after the CERN results the game will be over.

  25. Cloudy
    The sky is gray and white and cloudy,
    Sometimes I think it’s hanging down on me.
    And it’s a hitchhike a hundred miles.
    I’m a rag-a-muffin child.
    Pointed finger-painted smile.
    I left my shadow waiting down the road for me a while.

    Cloudy
    My thoughts are scattered and they’re cloudy,
    They have no borders, no boundaries.
    They echo and they swell
    From Tolstoi to Tinker Bell.
    Down from Berkeley to Carmel.
    Got some pictures in my pocket and a lot of time to kill.

    Hey sunshine
    I haven’t seen you in a long time.
    Why don’t you show your face and bend my mind?
    These clouds stick to the sky
    Like floating questions, why?
    And they linger there to die.
    They don’t know where they are going, and, my friend, neither do I.

    Cloudy,
    Cloudy.
    Paul Simon from http://www.risa.co.uk/sla/song.php?songid=15430

  26. Uh huh, like Svensmark said, ” Enjoy your Global Warming while it lasts”.
    Limited time offer, expires when the lag catches up with us, which it surely will.
    If you thought there was a bit of consternation last winter, wait ’till they get a load of the Northern winter. There wasn’t a record-low melt season in the Arctic this year just because and no other reason.

    NASA is right to put up the orange flags. Someone has to step up to the plate. Darn warmistas won’t do it. Media is out to lunch on this.
    3 full years of very low solar activity.

  27. Gene Nemetz (16:49:34) had just the first of the parts of Svensmark’s video on cosmic rays & cloud formation embedded on his comment. Some months back I posted all five videos in one place on my blog….

    http://algorelied.com/?p=2423

    Fascinating stuff, and here’s a great quote by Svensmark from the video:

    “Instead of thinking of clouds as a result of the climate, it’s actually showing that the climate is a result of the clouds, because the clouds take their orders from the stars.”

  28. Leif

    I’m confused. On September 17th in comments on this thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/17/ncar-number-of-sunspots-provides-an-incomplete-measure-of-changes-in-the-suns-impact-on-earth/#comments

    you wrote:
    “Except that the cosmic ray intensity has not shown any long-term variation since modern measurements started in the early 1950s.”
    and:
    “The various records from dozens of cosmic ray observatories, e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/thule-cosmic-rays.png

    http://www.puk.ac.za/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/nmd_e.html

    etc, etc. Note that there are small differences between various CR stations.”

    Your statement above seems incongruent with the statement by Richard Mewaldt of Caltech that “In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we’ve seen in the past 50 years”

    What is the basis for this difference in opinions? Is it a question of what a “long-term variation” is? Is there a significant difference between the data sources, e.g. space versus ground based GCR measurements systems? Interpretation? Otherwise?

  29. RW (16:42:29) : “So, this ultra-deep solar minimum and its incredible effect on temperatures… The confusing thing is that the global average temperature from 2004-2008 is slightly higher than the global average temperature of 1999-2003, which was over the solar maximum.
    Puzzling, eh?”

    No….the confusing thing is that you are making much ado about nothing…in two arenas and in one sentence: i) The unanswered questions of solar variability on Earth’s climate, and ii) temperature swings.

    Notwithstanding as to how much or how little solar variability forces Earth’s climate [I will leave that debate to the Titans], your global temperature juxtapositions are just not that significant.

    Here’s a better perspective:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__VkzVMn3cHA/SQkAxK2k6CI/AAAAAAAAADs/F4NlhqTzFgM/s1600-h/U+11+Year+Temp+Data.bmp

    Boring! (Yeah I see the GISS outlier trying to uptrend….but give me a break its the GISS).

    Much ado about nothing.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  30. RW (16:42:29) :

    So, this ultra-deep solar minimum and its incredible effect on temperatures… The confusing thing is that the global average temperature from 2004-2008 is slightly higher than the global average temperature of 1999-2003, which was over the solar maximum. Puzzling, eh?

    The current solar minima didn’t start until 2006.
    Cherry pick your intervals more wisely, please.

  31. John A (18:26:22) : “If carbon dioxide really did have a measureable effect on climate to warm, I’d be advocating increased carbon emissions. But I don’t think it does.”

    Spot on. Fear the cold, not the warm.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  32. Alma Ata station corrected for pressure 6 houly records no such peak:

    5 more monitors show no overshoot:
    Tsumeb, Namibia, monthly averages [12KB]
    Potchefstroom, South Africa, monthly averages [11KB]
    Hermanus, South Africa, monthly averages [13KB]
    NM64, SANAE, Antarctica, monthly averages [14KB]
    4NMD, SANAE, Antarctica, monthly averages [14KB]

  33. A bit off topic here; but has anyone been banned from climate progress as I have apparently been? My post never goes through.

    The way they do things there is practically communistic. And Time magazine gives them kudos….go figure.

    This is what we will have to put up with even if the climate change bill fails. they will continue to press this issue until the people throw up their arms and say enough already/

    How do we stop this? Science doesn’t seem to have the answer. Do we have to take up arms??? What do you all think?

  34. bill (20:02:53) :
    Hmm! the heading plot shows only data back to 1999 with a blue line maximum of unknown year.
    The plots I retreived contain a number of solarcycles
    The current level is similar to peaks in 1965 or 1987 so not necessarily comparing like with like!

  35. “…On the other hand, he also said on one thread, approximately, that the peak GCR at each solar minimum was about the same, because the solar (sunspot?) level couldn’t go below zero”

    Leif may have forgotten that sunspots are only an indicator of certain aspects of solar activity, just because they can’t go below zero doesn’t mean other phenomena also connected to solar activity have reached their limit.

    This is the first time we’ve had the instramentation to analyze so throughly such a deep and extended minimum, there is much to learn.

  36. RW (16:42:29) :

    So, this ultra-deep solar minimum and its incredible effect on temperatures… The confusing thing is that the global average temperature from 2004-2008 is slightly higher than the global average temperature of 1999-2003, which was over the solar maximum. Puzzling, eh?

    Avg. Annual Rate of Sea Level Rise (CU Topex/Jason)

    Jan 1999 to Dec 2003: 2.6mm/yr
    Jan 2004 to May 2009 : 1.5mm/yr

    The 60-unit (~5-yr) moving average of the CU Sea Level curve is essentially flat since 2006… CU Sea Level

    The oceans are cooling along with the increase in GCR’s and low cloud cover… Land temp’s followed.

    GCR’s started to climb in 2001… Ocean temperatures started to fall in 2003, followed by SH land temp’s in 2005 and NH land temp’s in 2007… UAH LT

  37. SteveSadlov wrote :

    “… Look at the current hemispheric pattern in the NH. Way out of whack. Winter will start soon.”

    With the usual weather-is-not-climate caveat, let me say that the onset of cooler weather this year in Pacific Northwest is about 2 weeks earlier than normal. Predictions for this weekend are for 1″-4″ of snow above 4,000 feet and 4″-6″ above 5,000 feet.

  38. In order to get the oceans to show a cooling, you have to take away a hell of a lot of heat away from the system.

  39. I have never posted here though I have been an avid fan of WUWT for about two years now. When I saw this on the AP this morning I thought about Svensmark’s GCR theory; which I had read about here. I am not a real math person or versed well in climatology, however, I am well versed in History as for that is my chosen profession. I happen to be one who believes that all things historical are cyclical. Human understanding may very well be within the liner realm of possibilities but this planet has in the past oscillated through periods of glaciations’ and extreme aridity.

    Perhaps one of the Scientists can explain to me if maybe, and even if just maybe, the earth can distinguish between cosmic cycles as it does the with other cyclical commonalities such as the coming of fall, spring, winter, and summer? You see to my feeble mind I can’t help but think that the warming event seen in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s could have actually been part of the cycle of revving up the CO2 in the atmosphere in order to have adequate amounts of this compound readily available for continued photosynthesis during a natural cycle of cooling.

    If indeed our current “Gore” minimum reaches the same level of cooling as the much talked about mini-ice age, then much of the CO2 causing ingredients will simply cease to exist. As the global warming fascists like to point out, if high temperatures could cause global positioning by the developed nations for natural resources such as water, arable land, and known factors of production then global cooling might just have a ten fold effect on the global community. If and when people, as well as all mammals, begin to freeze, which is a proven fact that more humans die every year from exposure to extreme cold than do those exposed to extreme heat, we will not have to worry about who was right and wrong on this subject; which we all know is “settle science”. We will be fighting to save or own society and ourselves.

  40. Has anyone seen Lief Svalgaard’s response to Svensmark’s theory? I would like to know what it is. In the past I have posted to Lief that I thought the solar activity to temperature correlation was just too good. But if I remember right, his response was along the lines of correlation is not causation. In any case, I would like to see Lief give his full response to the Svensmark theory.

  41. Why can’t sunspot counts be negative?

    Let’s say, every day there isn’t a sunspot count, we add a negative 1 to the last count? Would match the inverted CRF better…

    Zero seems to be such a poor indicator of amplitude…at least for solar activity or lack thereof. I mean, there is Zero, and then there is really Zero!

  42. Which is worse…a modest global cooling or the legislation proposed by the warmest? Neither is a good thing, but the legislation is far more detrimental than a global cooling of a degree or two. If the cool-down stops the legislation, we win. Unfortunately, we may get both. The cool-down may be too late to stop the legislative insanity. Eventually, the global warming laws will be overturned, but the framework of global governance will be strengthened by the legislation, and we will all suffer for it.

  43. So where are the the people who laughed at my tinfoil hat ? Hah ! Not laughing now, are they ?

    I’m switching over to heavy duty freezer wrap.

    While I’m busy folding foil, I recommend Don B (17:41:33) ‘s arxiv pdf link above. It’s a great explanation of the GCR/cloud connection.

  44. philincalifornia (20:15:33) :

    Well, I went over to ClimateAudit to see if they were trying to deal with the Piltdown Man the Second situation, but I guess they’re still tied up trying to rebut Lindzens negative feedback papers, or whatever.

    Climate Progress?

  45. What we now need for the GCR argument of climate mediation is a concurrent plot of the albedo. I wonder what Palle et al are doing.

    Many inputs go into whether ionizing radiation will seed clouds. One of them for example is the humidity available to be seeded. In the summer in Greece humidity is usually very low. I watch the blue sky for the jets that pass very high up on the way to the north and west and see no tracks. As the season progresses and humidity rises tracks appear crisscrossing and remaining there for a long time. This means that the PDO ENSO and the rest of the alphabet soup will play a large role on how any extra seeding manifests.

    The whole question of galactic cosmics and weather is another dynamical chaotic effect which has be studied carefully IMO, with modelling a la Tsonis et al.

  46. Until temperatures drop and continue until the sunspots max out, even I won’t believe that cosmic ray increases will lead to global cooling. And since cycle 24 is showing signs of life…there is no clear cut immediate effect. Perhaps a lagging effect? May be? But not enough to overpower natural noise or the still plausible effects of global warming from whatever the cause.

  47. John Silver said at (16:04:56) :

    “Antarctic sea ice extent also just hit a record high. Correlation is not necessarily causation, but it’s there, none the less.”

    Where do you get that statistic from? Looking at cryosphere charts for area it’s nowhere near. SoI’m puzzled?

    Regards
    Andy

  48. Geoff Sharp said at(20:27:24) :

    “This is indeed a great natural experiment that will probably be the end of the AGW crowd. It will also be the dawning of a new age of solar science.”

    Unless it’s a load of poppycock of course! Good in theory or the lab, has no effect on larger scales….

    I know which I’d bet on :D

    Regards
    Andy

  49. Graeme Rodaughan (16:59:28) :

    “…. it is 90% certain that this Unprecendented Crisis of Increasing Cosmic Radiation is due to Human Industrial Activity and Human reliance on Fossil Fuels….”

    “…. Dangerous Cosmic Rays are a threat to Polar Habitats and could well cause the extinction of the Polar Bear…”

    Ha ha ha ha..my first thought upon reading this article was, “I wonder how long it will be before our Congressional geniuses decide we need to outlaw cosmic rays because they might contribute to “climate change”.

  50. As usual, this is another unfounded PR stunt from NASA. And particularly damning and cherry picked. The Figure does not show what the current minimum is compared with [the red dashed line] as the curve has been carefully cut of. Here is the uncut curve:

    http://www.srl.caltech.edu/ACE/ACENews/ACENews122.html

    As you can see, the current minimum is compared with the previous minimum in 1996-1997. It is no wonder that it is higher, as every second minimum is higher than the others [the peaked-flat pattern]. To put things in perspective, here is the cosmic ray ray record since 1957 from Thule near the magnetic pole where cosmic rays are deflected the least by the Earth’s magnetic field:

    It should be clear that the current minimum is not unusual and that cosmic rays return to the same level at every minimum of the same kind [odd-even and even-odd minima have slightly different levels]. We have this discussion regularly every few months. So, nothing special to write home about. Just the usual drum-beating by NASA about how unusual everything is, and about how we have never seen anything like it, and about how baffled they are, and that we are all going to die :-) . Bluntly spoken: the is BS.

  51. For people who wonder about the ULU monitor plots and the plot above:

    ULU says clearly it is a neutron count, and does not show the energy of the neutrons.

    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/

    Neutrons are notoriously neutral, i.e. not ions, and are measured as a proxy of cascade collisions for the cosmic radiation, that has ions too. It is not unreasonable because being neutral more reach the ground.

    The plot above says Fe around 270-450 MeV/nucleon.
    Now iron has atomic number 26, i.e if stripped it has 26 times the ionization possibility of a proton, and 30 neutrons. This is a high energy cosmic ray, on average carrying 15 GeV producing cascades that will eventually produce neutrons that will be eventually counted as proxies of GCR on the ground at ULU etc.

    Now this plot shows that the high energy, cascade producing, cosmics are on the increase.

    If the neutron monitors do not see this they should be filed under “proxies to be checked”. As we well know, there are many assumptions entering when proxies are used.

    Off hand I would say the cascade modeling is at fault, or that neutral fluxes do not correspond to charged fluxes, or …

    BTW , my first abortive experiment was in building spark chamber detectors to measure cosmic ray cascades eventually, back in 1965. The group went then into bubble chamber physics at CERN and my thesis subject changed to K- proton scattering :).

  52. MartinGAtkins (21:28:04) :
    philincalifornia (20:15:33) :
    Climate Progress?
    ——————————–

    No but:

    http://www.realclimate.org/

    Aaaargh, the even more insignificant one. Sorry for being preoccupied with other comments on other threads.

  53. “Just the usual drum-beating by NASA about how unusual everything is, and about how we have never seen anything like it, and about how baffled they are, and that we are all going to die :-) . Bluntly spoken: the is BS.”

    Understood. And I defer to your expertise.

    But why…..what is the reason…or reasons…that NASA would pull this kind of PR stunt.

    It is just disconcerting that that entity that the West looks to for Science…would resort to this.

    Why would they do this???

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  54. Here is the uncut curve:

    http://www.srl.caltech.edu/ACE/ACENews/ACENews122.html

    From the second Figure and the text you see that the ’tilt’ of the Heliospheric Current Sheet is an important factor in the modulation of cosmic rays. As we said so many years ago:

    Title: Structure of the extended solar magnetic field and the sunspot cycle variation in cosmic ray intensity
    Authors: Svalgaard, L.; Wilcox, J. M.
    (Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.),
    Nature, vol. 262, Aug. 26, 1976, p. 766-768.
    Abstract: It is proposed that a relation exists between the extent of interplanetary-magnetic-field sectors and observed variations in cosmic-ray intensity at earth. Changes that take place in the sector magnetic fields and solar polar fields during a sunspot cycle are described. It is argued that a geometrical effect arising from changes in sector-field and polar-field extent during sunspot cycles may be the principal cause of the 11-yr modulation of cosmic-ray intensity observed at earth. The fraction of the heliosphere occupied by sector fields is estimated as a function of time through an average sunspot cycle, the solid angle of the heliosphere occupied by the extended solar polar fields is plotted through the same cycle, and monthly averages of observed absolute intensities of primary cosmic rays with a rigidity greater than 0.5 GV are compared with the plot of polar-field extent. It is found that the average sunspot-cycle variation of the solid angle of the extended polar fields is rather similar to the observed variation in the flux of the cosmic rays considered.

    As the tilt can’t be smaller than zero, that sets the maximum cosmic ray intensity, which will be reached every time the HCS is flat enough [and right now it is very flat]. All this is old hat and no big mystery.

  55. Leif Svalgaard (23:11:10) :

    As the tilt can’t be smaller than zero, that sets the maximum cosmic ray intensity, which will be reached every time the HCS is flat enough [and right now it is very flat]. All this is old hat and no big mystery.

    HCS? definition thereof?

    Granted that the tilt can’t be smaller than zero, but what about the intensity of the magnetic fields? Does the acceptance angle/vs energy incoming not change with the intensity of the magnetic field even in this case ?

  56. savethesharks (23:02:42) :
    Why would they do this???
    Lemme see: if this minimum is unique, never seen before, etc, perhaps it is easier to pry some funds loose, as compared with the situation where we have already seen it all many times before….
    Now, we should rather ask for funding based on a different premise, namely that we now have much better instruments and computers etc and so can really learn something new that has value for society.

  57. BTW, the Nature paper cited above contains the drawing that was the basis for the now justly famous image of the HCS:

    which we got Werner Heil at Ames Research Center to make for us.
    Note a subtle difference with the ballerina skirt version of HCS from the press release. Can anybody here figure out what the essential difference is?

  58. Leif Svalgaard (22:43:57) :

    As you can see, the current minimum is compared with the previous minimum in 1996-1997. It is no wonder that it is higher, as every second minimum is higher than the others [the peaked-flat pattern]. To put things in perspective, here is the cosmic ray ray record since 1957 from Thule near the magnetic pole where cosmic rays are deflected the least by the Earth’s magnetic field:

    http://www.leif.org/research/Bartol-Thule-Cosmic-Rays.png

    Yes the 1996 minimum is not enough to compare against, but the current level according to your supplied reference is starting to outstrip the min of 1965 which is a substantial event in itself. The Earth was going through a cooling phase and SC20 was very close to being the start of a grand minimum (it would have been if the underlying factor was stronger).

    Also of interest is SC21 which looks to go out of phase with the other cycles, perhaps an argument for a non constant background GCR level.?

  59. anna v (23:34:16) :
    HCS? definition thereof?
    The magnetic field in the Heliosphere has basically one polarity one side of the Heliospheric Current Sheet and the opposite polarity on the other side. The the HCS is a surface separating opposite magnetic polarity. It looks like this http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/helio.gif

    but what about the intensity of the magnetic fields? Does the acceptance angle/vs energy incoming not change with the intensity of the magnetic field even in this case ?
    The biggest effect is the angle, not the field, which in any case only changes little from minimum to minimum. The effect of the tilt is that if the HCS has warps in it, then solar wind plasma of different speeds will be emitted in the same direction as the Sun rotates. This causes the speed to vary along a radius vector in the equatorial plane. The fast wind will plough into the slow wind and create a strongly compression of the plasma, and it are those compressions that scatter the cosmic rays.

  60. Leif Svalgaard (23:46:16) :

    The two images are completely different. One is like a 2 headed sprinkler the other a 1 headed. Also the height of the HCS grows with distance on your version.

  61. anna v (23:34:16) :
    Does the acceptance angle/vs energy incoming not change with the intensity of the magnetic field even in this case ?
    The main effect comes from the variation of density compressions, as I explained. Here is a nice movie of the change in solar wind speed in a meridional plane as the Sun rotates:

    and here of the density:

    You can see the ‘shields’ being built before your eyes.

  62. Geoff Sharp (00:16:10) :
    but the current level according to your supplied reference is starting to outstrip the min of 1965 which is a substantial event in itself.
    The difference is very small, and as the HCS now is rather flat [and with increasing SC24 activity will begin to warp again], there will not be much more stripping to do.

    Also of interest is SC21 which looks to go out of phase with the other cycles, perhaps an argument for a non constant background GCR level.?
    SC21 is not all that different. One should be careful not to overinterpret the data [to fit one's ideas, perhaps]. Some of the finer details are different from cosmic ray station to cosmic ray station. Here is Moscow: http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRayFlux-Moscow.png
    The year 1980 was a bit unusual as the solar wind speed was abnormally low. That tends to skew the modulation a bit.

    As the background comes from a very large volume of the Galaxy it is hard to have any short-term variation of the background.

  63. Geoff Sharp (00:22:02) :
    The two images are completely different. One is like a 2 headed sprinkler the other a 1 headed. Also the height of the HCS grows with distance on your version.
    Yes, mine has two spirals and Jokipii’s only one. So in mine the polarity will change four times during a solar rotation and the Jokipii’s only two times. During the years leading up to solar minimum we usually observe four such ‘sector boundaries’ and not two. And the ‘height’ should grow with distance, because the solar wind expands radially, so the angle is constant. You can see the same growth here: http://www.leif.org/research/HCS-Movie-hi.gif
    [in other words: the Figure in the press release is no good].

  64. Leif Svalgaard (22:43:57) :

    [...]
    So, nothing special to write home about. Just the usual drum-beating by NASA about how unusual everything is, and about how we have never seen anything like it, and about how baffled they are, and that we are all going to die :-) . Bluntly spoken: the is BS.

    NASA is saying how unusual everything is? The last sentence in the article seems to say the opposite: “We may now be returning to levels typical of past centuries.”

    NASA is saying we have never seen anything like it? The article says, “Hundreds of years ago, cosmic ray fluxes were at least 200% higher than they are now.”

    NASA is baffled? “Lately, the current [HCS] sheet has been flattening itself out, allowing cosmic rays more direct access to the inner solar system.” Isn’t that what you are saying?

    We are all going to die? NASA says the opposite in the article: “Earth is in no great peril from the extra cosmic rays.”

    Finally, I think NASA’s claim that cosmic rays are 19% higher than anything we’ve seen in the past 50 years is confirmed by the Thule cosmic ray graph you provided a link to.

    In short, I don’t see the alarmism and BS in the article that you do. Some of their previous articles are a different story, but in this case I don’t see it.

  65. >>>Leif also said on one thread, approximately, that the peak
    >>>GCR at each solar minimum was about the same, because
    >>>the solar (sunspot?) level couldn’t go below zero

    Yes, but we have ‘negative’ Sunspots now ;-)

    .

    The other important factor is, is there a cloud-cover dataset somewhere, so we can compare cosmic ray flux with resulting cloud cover. This, after all, is the nub of Svenmark’s theory.

    .

  66. >>Leif
    >>It is no wonder that it is higher, as every second minimum
    >>is higher than the others

    Understood, this peak is higher than the last.

    But that is not what the graphic at the top says. It says “19% higher than the previous space age record high”. That is, since the 1960s.

    So is this a lie? Judging by your Thule monitor graph it is NOT 19% higher, so is this a lie, or are they talking about something else?

    .

  67. >>Note a subtle difference with the ballerina skirt version
    >>>of HCS from the press release.

    The ballerina has lost one arm of her skirt. DOes that make a difference?

    .

  68. Geoff Sharp (00:16:10) :


    Leif Svalgaard (22:43:57) :

    As you can see, the current minimum is compared with the previous minimum in 1996-1997. It is no wonder that it is higher, as every second minimum is higher than the others [the peaked-flat pattern]. To put things in perspective, here is the cosmic ray ray record since 1957 from Thule near the magnetic pole where cosmic rays are deflected the least by the Earth’s magnetic field:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Bartol-Thule-Cosmic-Rays.png

    Yes the 1996 minimum is not enough to compare against, but the current level according to your supplied reference is starting to outstrip the min of 1965 which is a substantial event in itself. The Earth was going through a cooling phase….

    Yes but the cooling began ~20 years earlier. There was little or no cooling after 1965. This is the problem I have with solar/climate links. The order of events appears to be irrelevant. It’s OK to associate a cooling event with a high GCR count 20 years later, but when someone asks why the earth isn’t much cooler now then they’re not understanding the lag due to thermal inertia.

    I suspect this lag is going to become quite flexible and quite a bit longer in the coming years.

  69. Leif Svalgaard (00:23:55) :

    anna v (23:34:16) :
    Does the acceptance angle/vs energy incoming not change with the intensity of the magnetic field even in this case ?
    The main effect comes from the variation of density compressions, as I explained.

    Thanks for the movies, they are lovely, but of course I cannot gauge whether there will be differences in these compressions that will affect appreciably the number of GCR coming through from minimum to minimum.

    The article seems to be saying that there are. On the other hand the importance of the observation, whether new or old, is that there is a variation in the GCR that according to the proposed theory should increase cloud cover. So one maybe should ask Palle what they are currently finding, though I do not believe on linear effects in climate. It is a pushme pullyou all the way through, and that is why I keep harping that all these observations should be entered in a truly chaotic simulation, a la Tsonis et al .

  70. Mike Abbott (00:48:55) :
    Finally, I think NASA’s claim that cosmic rays are 19% higher than anything we’ve seen in the past 50 years is confirmed by the Thule cosmic ray graph you provided a link to.

    ralph (02:22:26) :
    Judging by your Thule monitor graph it is NOT 19% higher

    “In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we’ve seen in the past 50 years,” says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech.
    Is not correct. The 19% is compared to 1996-1997. The Press Release uses words like ‘record high’. What would have been the impact if it had said in the title: “everything is normal”. The tone of the PR [and the various comments it has elicited here] is clearly somewhat sensational and that is not warranted.

  71. Mike Abbott (00:48:55) :
    Finally, I think NASA’s claim that cosmic rays are 19% higher than anything we’ve seen in the past 50 years is confirmed by the Thule cosmic ray graph you provided a link to.
    Here are some more stations:

    http://www.puk.ac.za/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/nmd_e.html

    The basic fact is that the intensity now is just where it always has been for odd-even solar minima. That should have been the take-home message of the press release, or even in the title.
    Now, if you agree with me that that is the case, then there is little reason to make the press release a big deal, or even issuing it in the first place.

  72. RW (16:42:29) :
    So, this ultra-deep solar minimum and its incredible effect on temperatures… The confusing thing is that the global average temperature from 2004-2008 is slightly higher than the global average temperature of 1999-2003, which was over the solar maximum. Puzzling, eh?

    And both periods are less than 1932-1939. Is this also confusing?

  73. anna v (04:10:38) :
    I cannot gauge whether there will be differences in these compressions that will affect appreciably the number of GCR coming through from minimum to minimum.
    Observations indicated that there are no differences.

  74. Tim Clark (05:05:50) :
    “Puzzling, eh?”
    And both periods are less than 1932-1939. Is this also confusing?

    The puzzle and confusion disappears if you accept [the heresy around here] that the cosmic rays have nothing to do with the climate.

  75. Leif 22:34:57

    Back to this ‘peaked-flat’ pattern in alternating solar cycles. If there are three solar cycles in each phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, then there are two of each type of cosmic ray pattern in each phase and one of the other. If the peaked-flat’ pattern has any effect on clouds, then the cycling of the PDO can be explained by the accumulation of two of each type in one phase of the PDO and two of the other type in the next phase.
    =========================================

  76. Leif,
    If the GCR cloud seeding theory has any validity, its effect on earths temperature is going to be through the integral of GCR’s over time. The unprecedented (at least in the space age time) of this cycle is not GCRmax but the length of time we are in the minimum. If GCR’s seed clouds and clouds change albedo that is a very potent mechanism for inducing climate change. According to IPCC the radiation budget is currently out of balance by 0.9w/m2 and this is going to roast us. A 1% change in albedo is worth about 3x that.

  77. david_a (05:23:44) :
    If the GCR cloud seeding theory has any validity, its effect on earths temperature is going to be through the integral of GCR’s over time.
    Why is that? The change of albedo would be immediate [a cloud doesn't last very long - hours or days]

  78. Leif Svalgaard (05:12:34) :
    Tim Clark (05:05:50) :
    “Puzzling, eh?”
    And both periods are less than 1932-1939. Is this also confusing?
    The puzzle and confusion disappears if you accept [the heresy around here] that the cosmic rays have nothing to do with the climate.

    I don’t accept “nothing” as an appropriate descriptor, but agree there is little evidence of significant influence. And I’m not the one confused. I’m unconcerned about 1 (or so) degrees/century.

  79. Tim Clark (05:36:30) :
    I don’t accept “nothing” as an appropriate descriptor, but agree there is little evidence of significant influence.
    A null hypothesis is the statistical hypothesis that is tested for possible rejection under the assumption that it is true (usually that observations are the result of chance). There is little evidence that the null hypothesis of no effect can be rejected.

  80. Leif Svalgaard (05:34:26) :
    Why is that? The change of albedo would be immediate [a cloud doesn't last very long - hours or days]

    May be because of “low-pass filter” provided by oceans? As most of the earths climate systems energy is in the oceans, we must have some lag in temperatures.

    We can see immediate results in albedo tracking satellites, of course.

  81. Mike Abbott (00:48:55) :

    I think some of Leif’s comments referred to NASA’s history of issuing sensational and often impressively wrong press releases, such as the following string related to solar activity:

    Nov 12, 2003: “The Sun Goes Haywire – Solar maximum is years past, yet the sun has been remarkably active lately. Is the sunspot cycle broken?”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/12nov_haywire.htm

    Oct 18, 2004: “Something strange happened on the sun last week: all the sunspots vanished. This is a sign, say scientists, that solar minimum is coming sooner than expected.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2004/18oct_solarminimum.htm

    May 5, 2005: “Solar Myth – With solar minimum near, the sun continues to be surprisingly active.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/05may_solarmyth.htm

    Sept 15, 2005: “Solar Minimum Explodes – Solar minimum is looking strangely like Solar Max.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/15sep_solarminexplodes.htm

    Aug 15th, 2006: “Backward Sunspot – A strange little sunspot may herald the coming of one of the stormiest solar cycles in decades.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/15aug_backwards.htm

    Dec 21, 2006 “Scientists Predict Big Solar Cycle – Evidence is mounting: the next solar cycle is going to be a big one.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/21dec_cycle24.htm

    Dec 14, 2007 “Is a New Solar Cycle Beginning? – The solar physics community is abuzz this week.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/14dec_excitement.htm

    Jan 10, 2008: “Solar Cycle 24 – Hang on to your cell phone, a new solar cycle has just begun.”

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

    March 28, 2008: “Old Solar Cycle Returns – Barely three months after forecasters announced the beginning of new Solar Cycle 24, old Solar Cycle 23 has returned.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/28mar_oldcycle.htm

    July 11, 2008: “What’s Wrong with the Sun? (Nothing) – Stop the presses! The sun is behaving normally.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/11jul_solarcycleupdate.htm

    Sept. 30, 2008: “Spotless Sun: Blankest Year of the Space Age
    – Sunspot counts are at a 50-year low – We’re experiencing a deep minimum of the solar cycle.”

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

    Nov. 7, 2008: “The Sun Shows Signs of Life – I think solar minimum is behind us”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/07nov_signsoflife.htm

    April 1, 2009: “Deep Solar Minimum – We’re experiencing a very deep solar minimum – This is the quietest sun we’ve seen in almost a century”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/01apr_deepsolarminimum.htm

    May 29, 2009: “If our prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 24 will have a peak sunspot number of 90, the lowest of any cycle since 1928 when Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78,”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/29may_noaaprediction.htm

    June 17, 2009: “Mystery of the Missing Sunspots, Solved? The sun is in the pits of a century-class solar minimum, and sunspots have been puzzlingly scarce for more than two years.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/17jun_jetstream.htm

    September 3, 2009: “Are Sunspots Disappearing? – Weeks and sometimes whole months go by without even a single tiny sunspot.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/03sep_sunspots.htm

  82. George E. Smith (17:36:17) :
    “Well it might also be interesting to follow what happens with ozone holes to see if higher levels of cosmic rays striking the earth lead to more ozone manufacture.”

    Reply: That was my understanding too George, but I came across this recently at Physics World:-

    “Do cosmic rays destroy the ozone layer?
    Mar 26, 2009
    New data gathered from satellites and ground-based stations support the idea that much of the destruction of Antarctic ozone involves the action of cosmic rays, says a physicist in Canada. This goes against the widely-accepted notion that the ozone layer — which shields Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation — is depleted via the action of direct sunlight.”

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/38398

    Seems the science isn’t settled yet in this area?

  83. So, if the increased galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) are causing increased droplet or ice crystal formation in clouds, and are masking the effect of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, what happens when the current solar minimum passes and GCRs decrease, as they have every 11 years or so for the last several hundred years?

    Are we being shielded from our own actions, and are we setting ourselves up for truly runaway warming when the next solar maximum occurs?

    Solar cycles are variable.

    Do we really want to risk the future of the human race on solar cycles?

    Or do we want a stable climate, with low greenhouse gas concentrations, safe from any possible effects of solar cycles and galactic cosmic rays?

  84. Leif Svalgaard (22:43:57) :

    For your reference, in terms of baffling, while the recent NASA press release on solar activity states that, “In the 17th century, the sun plunged into a 70-year period of spotlessness known as the Maunder Minimum that still baffles scientists.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/03sep_sunspots.htm

    I believe that credit for origination of the baffling goes to the BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8008473.stm

  85. Leif.

    Could you answer Anna’s point – anna v (22:46:31) – that the NASA plot is of Fe (Iron) nuclei, whereas your plots are of the resultant nutron showers.

    Could the Fe plot not be fully represented in the nutron monitors?

    .

  86. The sunspots count cannot be negative. However, the change of the total energy is easily cancealed by the change of negative energy of the Earth’s gravity field, so the change of the total solar irradiance could acquire negative magnitudes or magnitudes below zero.

  87. Nasif,

    I was attempting humour regarding negative sunspot counts. Seems to me that having a floor of zero makes the sunspot count a poor proxy for irradiance, for the lower end of range. In particular, during the maunder minimum. Would be better to stick with 10be or such.

    Ed

  88. Allan Kiik (06:13:40) :
    Leif Svalgaard (05:34:26) :
    Why is that? The change of albedo would be immediate [a cloud doesn't last very long - hours or days]
    May be because of “low-pass filter” provided by oceans? As most of the earths climate systems energy is in the oceans, we must have some lag

    So on one thread Mr. smith says the effect of a cloud is instanteaneous on temperature under it and here we are say that this will be slowed by the ocean heat sink!

    In my view:
    Over the land temperature differences caused by increased cloud cover will show immediately. Global averages will be much less as the ocean will slow changes. Changes should not be great because clouds act as GHG as well as increase albedo. So a bit of cancelling must happen.

  89. ralph (07:23:45) :
    Could the Fe plot not be fully represented in the neutron monitors?
    86% of the GCRs are protons (Hydrogen), 11% are Helium, and 0.1% (that is 1 in a 1000) is Fe http://nuastro-zeuthen.desy.de/e111/e617/infoboxContent625/Bernhard_CCR_composition.pdf . The energy range of those as quoted in the NASA graph [ACE measurements] is 0.250-0.450 GeV, i.e. on the low side. As you can see here http://www.puk.ac.za/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/nmd_e.html
    The solar modulation increases with decreasing energy of the GCR, and is small for the higher energes, that according to Svensmark should be responsible for the clouds.

  90. ralph (07:23:45) :
    Could the Fe plot not be fully represented in the neutron monitors?

    86% of the GCRs are protons (Hydrogen), 11% are Helium, and 0.1% (that is 1 in a 1000) is Fe http://nuastro-zeuthen.desy.de/e111/e617/infoboxContent625/Bernhard_CCR_composition.pdf . The energy range of those as quoted in the NASA graph [ACE measurements] is 0.250-0.450 GeV, i.e. on the low side. As you can see here http://www.puk.ac.za/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/nmd_e.html
    The solar modulation increases with decreasing energy of the GCR, and is small for the higher energes, that according to Svensmark should be responsible for the clouds.

  91. Nasif Nahle (08:22:21) :
    However, the change of the total energy is easily cancealed by the change of negative energy of the Earth’s gravity field, so the change of the total solar irradiance could acquire negative magnitudes or magnitudes below zero.
    As I said before, this is utter nonsense.

  92. ET (08:35:36) :

    Nasif,

    I was attempting humour regarding negative sunspot counts. Seems to me that having a floor of zero makes the sunspot count a poor proxy for irradiance, for the lower end of range. In particular, during the maunder minimum. Would be better to stick with 10be or such.

    Ed,

    :) Sorry. Absolutely agree. I’m still working on another proxy better than sunspots, i.e. the hematite stained grains. These have been regulated by 10Be, 16C and other heavy ions data.

    Nasif

  93. Tilo Reber (20:52:10) :

    Has anyone seen Lief Svalgaard’s response to Svensmark’s theory? I would like to know what it is. In the past I have posted to Lief that I thought the solar activity to temperature correlation was just too good. But if I remember right, his response was along the lines of correlation is not causation. In any case, I would like to see Lief give his full response to the Svensmark theory.

    Leif thinks it’s BS (Bad Science).

  94. Tilo Reber (20:52:10) :
    I would like to see Leif give his full response to the Svensmark theory
    The simplest and most direct response is that the observed cosmic ray variation does not follow that of the observed [with all its flaws - e.g. UHI effect, etc] temperature, nor of the albedo. Since there is no good correlation, one need not even invoke the ‘correlation is not causation’ maxim. But the shoe is on the other foot: I don’t have to prove him wrong, he has to prove himself right, and he hasn’t. He and many of his disciples may think he has, but it is not convincing to me. Simple as that. If you are convinced, you can stay and be happy in that belief, I’m not.

  95. I have found exactly the opposite with respect to Shaviv and Svensmark’s allegations:

    I sketched the graph and added it to my original article in 2007, which had been published in 2005 under the category of educational paper. I could have not doubts about Svensmark hypothesis on the promotion of cloudiness by GCR particles; however, I don’t see much clear evidence on the other side of his hypothesis regarding the negative effect of cosmic rays on the tropospheric temperature.

    I would have to inverse the GCR graph for having the cooling effect implied in Svensmark’s hypothesis.

  96. “Puzzling, eh?”

    Hardly, warmeners. One cc of ocean stores the same quantity of kinetic energy(heat) as a liter of air at one Atm. Water’s heat capacity is roughly 3 times that of dry earth.

    One cc of ocean evaporating removes 70 calories from the ocean, to be released in the atmosphere a few thousand feet above with precipitation.

    85% of solar energy incident to the earth’s surface falls between the Tropics, i.e., most of the visible and UV spectrum. This energy is absorbed by the top 100 feet of the oceans and stored.

    The emissivity of water, in turn is only 2/3 that of earth.

    Therefore, one may regard the SO as the Earth’s heat sink and the NH as its radiator fins.

    Look for record extent and density of noctilucent clouds this NH winter.

  97. It’s Adolpho. Boy, that guy just does not know how to conceal his identity

    Don´t get mad that HCS it´s just La Nina´s mini skirt

  98. That’s interesting Nasif. I have a modified version of an excel model (I think it originated with Bob Tisdale), with a solar proxy, every ocean cycle I could get my hands on (weighted and averaged together), and no matter what I do, I’m always left with a ±0.1C 22yr ripple error when comparing with Hadcrut. If I add the CRF without inversion, it cancels the ripple error. It would add error if inverted.

    Really wish we had cosmic ray flux from 1900-1960 so we could understand the impact of cosmic ray flux when the sun was ramping up, when it really mattered (unlike the last 40-50yrs when the sun didn’t change much). Without, we’ll just have to all guess…until the next 2 solar cycles are done.

  99. ET (12:44:07) :
    Really wish we had cosmic ray flux from 1900-1960 so we could understand the impact of cosmic ray flux when the sun was ramping up, when it really mattered
    We have the cosmic ray flux 1930-1951 from ion-chamber measurements and from 1952 from neutron monitor data. The problem is that we are not sure about the calibration of the early data. Based on a single balloon flight in the 1930s, some researchers [McCracken et al.] believe that during the early data, the flux was 12% larger than after 1951. I.e. that the flux at solar maximum back then would be higher than it is now at solar minimum. This is not very likely [and the change would have to have taken place with a year or two around 1950], so until we get issue resolved we don’t really know.

  100. gary gulrud (10:41:34) :

    One cc of ocean evaporating removes 70 calories from the ocean

    Isn’t the latent heat of evaporation of water 540(varies slightly with temp) cal/gm, so that would be 540 calories for 1 cc. OK slightly less because of the salt content but not much.

  101. david_a (05:23:44) : If the GCR cloud seeding theory has any validity, its effect on earths temperature is going to be through the integral of GCR’s over time.
    Leif Svalgaard (05:34:26) : Why is that? The change of albedo would be immediate [a cloud doesn't last very long - hours or days]

    Dear Dr. Svalgaard,

    I think I understand both your point of view and the idea that it takes a long time to change the earth’s temperature. Yes, indeed, with more low clouds we should notice a quick drop in temperature in the places where the sun previously was shining. On the other hand, the contribution from this reduced heat supply to our earth’s energy budget _has_ to go through the first law of thermodynamics,

    m•cp•dT/dt = Qin – Qout

    http://web.mit.edu/16.unified/www/FALL/thermodynamics/notes/node129.html

    Due to the immense thermal mass of our earth (m•cp), in particular the oceans, we must wait a long time to see the overall global temperature drop significantly – this is not an immediate effect – we have to wait years.

    Do you agree?

    Best Regards,

    Invariant

  102. Invariant (14:06:06) :
    I think I understand both your point of view and the idea that it takes a long time to change the earth’s temperature.

    People who peddle the Sun-Climate relation usually claim an immediate effect, e.g.

    If it takes a long time to change the temperature then that would also smooth out any short-term variations, so remove most of the ‘clear correlations’ people claim, e.g. http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Images/primer/cosmoclimatology1.gif

  103. Leif Svalgaard (05:34:26) :
    Why is that? The change of albedo would be immediate [a cloud doesn't last very long - hours or days]

    Simply because the energy content of the oceans and the atmosphere is very large, and all the other processes at work have an enormous variance which can and will dwarf what can happen from a small change in albedo due to increasing cloudiness. However over time the energy balance induced by higher albedo can have a very large effect. It’s no different than any other forcing. There should be nothing instantaneous about it unless you have some precise way of measuring all the forcings simultaneously along with the global heat content.
    Its really no different from the calculation of increasing heat content over time due to the presumed forcing of C02. This one would just work in the other direction.

  104. Leif Svalgaard (13:34:06) :

    Leif Svalgaard (13:26:59) :
    OT, but nice:
    Here is a new video about HMI.

    When Woody Allen comes on the scene? :)

    In the second part of the video, the magnetic field of the Sun is shown like a wireframe hank. What does it mean with regard to the Sun’s composition and the distribution of He, H I and H II?

    Please, don’t misinterpret my open question; I am highly interested on this issue.

  105. Leif

    Obviously approaching this from a layman’s perspective, but I get the sense that there is a relationship between solar activity and Earth’s cloud cover, which goes beyond the obvious infrared driven heat/evaporation, and represents a significant piece in Earth’s climatic puzzle. Putting aside infrared and Svensmark’s hypothesis for a moment, what other impacts might the sun have on Earth’s cloud cover?

    For example, this paper discusses “Daily changes in global cloud cover and Earth transits of the
    heliospheric current sheet”:

    https://www.utdallas.edu/nsm/physics/pdf/tin_dcgcc.pdf

    and this one discusses, “INFLUENCE OF SOLAR WIND ON THE GLOBAL ELECTRIC CIRCUIT, AND INFERRED EFFECTS ON CLOUD MICROPHYSICS, TEMPERATURE, AND DYNAMICS IN THE TROPOSPHERE”

    https://ah.utdallas.edu/physics/pdf/Tin_rev.pdf

    Are you familiar with Brian Tinsley?

    http://www.utdallas.edu/nsm/physics/faculty/tinsley.html

    I feel like you and Brian might be able to sort all this out over a couple beers…

    Also, the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) seems to be collecting a bunch of data on Earth’s cloud cover:

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/index.html

    I wonder if marrying up your solar data with their cloud data might expose some interesting correlations.

  106. Leif Svalgaard (14:28:46): People who peddle the Sun-Climate relation usually claim an immediate effect, e.g.

    To be honest I am more interested in the laws of thermodynamics than what most people claim. :-) My favourite is the fourth law, the Norwegian Onsager’s theorem for dissipative thermodynamics, that was rewarded a Nobel Prize in 1968. Going back to the paper by Markov in 1906

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

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_large_numbers,

    I think we can argue along the lines of the law of large numbers that a spatial average reduction of low clouds can lead to a reduced time average of low clouds too. I am not stating that this is the case – merely that it is a possibility.

  107. david_a (14:33:02) :
    However over time the energy balance induced by higher albedo can have a very large effect.
    If for a million years the cosmic ray intensity, the albedo, the sunspots, whatever are absolutely constant, the oceans [and the soil] would obtain a certain equilibrium temperature. Now increase the energy input [from whichever of the sources from my list] as a step function and keep it there for the next million years. another equilibrium temperature would be established. This higher temperature would be very small if the energy change is very small [actually 1/4 of the relative energy change] and there would be no ‘very large effect’. The fact that there is an energy difference between the two 1-million year intervals, does not mean that during the 2nd million year slot, the temperature continues to go up, up, up, up…
    As this get warmer, they also radiate more, so cool a bit again.

    Nasif Nahle (14:35:55) :
    What does it mean with regard to the Sun’s composition and the distribution of He, H I and H II?
    The sound speed [which HMI will measure] inside the Sun depends on the composition. From our current measurements the calculated sound speed [based on our assumed and measured compositions] matches the observed one incredibly closely. We expect that still to be the case with HMI, and will be able to verify that. There have been recent adjustments to some of the heavier element abundances, but nothing to He and H.

    OT, Bill Livingston made 12 measurements of the magnetic field of the recent 1027 SC24 spots over 4 days. The mean field strength was 1917 Gauss, just where it should be [!}: http://www.leif.org/research/Livingston%20and%20Penn.png

  108. Just The Facts (14:56:20) :
    https://ah.utdallas.edu/physics/pdf/Tin_rev.pdf
    This one gives a warning !!!

    Are you familiar with Brian Tinsley?
    Yes, Brian is a good friend of mine. The first paper you referenced is based on early work by Wilcox, myself, and others.
    He is still working on an effect that I have abandoned long ago.

    I wonder if marrying up your solar data with their cloud data might expose some interesting correlations.
    Once we have enough data…

    Invariant (15:01:49) :
    I think we can argue along the lines of the law of large numbers that a spatial average reduction of low clouds can lead to a reduced time average of low clouds too.
    likely, yes

  109. It will also be interesting to see if there is an increase in failures of computers and computer controlled machinery (such as the recent Airbus crashes).

    Most (all?) of the computer memory we use was developed and tested in a lower cosmic ray environment. In the 1980s the size of a memory cell became small enough that using memory with no “error correction” (called ECC) built in started showing failures from a cosmic ray impact “flipping a bit” to the other state. ECC memory is supposed to “correct one, detect two” in most cases. But what happens when your QA was done with one rate of “issue” and now you have 20% more (or 50% more than during the time of testing a few years ago…)

    I’m not very worried about it, but it does bear watching. I’ve seen non-ECC memory suffer from such failures and seen it cured with ECC memory AND I’ve seen the memory logs from some machines showing a “double bit” error detect in ECC memory. There will be a larger number of undetected triple bit memory errors with higher cosmic ray counts. Will it matter? We’ll see …

    (FWIW, the Airbus is largely “fly by wire” with the pilot making suggestions and the computers figuring out what to do. Boeing is more traditional with more mechanical / hydraulic backups and the pilot is the final decision maker – and can decide badly some times. It is an argument of human error vs computer failure as to which is better. Jury still out and no clear statistical advantage to either approach, yet… One hopes they put extra shielding around avionics computers; but I’m not sure how you shield against high energy cosmic rays without lead. And I would not hesitate to take an Airbus flight. I’d think about it, and order a double Scotch, and get on board 8-)

  110. Some folks doing research on canceling gravity and possibly making it go negative (worm hole territory).

    http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1488

    It is based on Einstein’s “Mach’s Principle”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach's_principle

    BTW one of the experimenters chimes in at the first link. So far nothing conclusive. Results so far have been written off as experimental error. I suggested a better way of measuring for more definitive results later down in the thread.

    This is in response to Nasif’s thought about negative gravitational fields. I’m not sure they have been observed in nature but a working experiment (or even null results) would tell us something.

  111. In order to get the oceans to show a cooling, you have to take away a hell of a lot of heat away from the system.

    The Earth’s oceans cool constantly, while simultaneously warming from direct sunlight. The heat flow from the oceans is orders of magnitude larger than the heat gain from the claimed atmospheric warming.

    On a daily basis, the oceans release about twice as much heat as the heat received by the Earth’s land area from sunshine.

    Even a small increase in cloud cover will result in appreciable ocean cooling.

  112. Leif,

    “We have the cosmic ray flux 1930-1951 from ion-chamber measurements and from 1952 from neutron monitor data”.

    Can we see it? Please?

    Ed

  113. “E.M.Smith (16:50:10) :

    (FWIW, the Airbus is largely “fly by wire” with the pilot making suggestions and the computers figuring out what to do. Boeing is more traditional with more mechanical / hydraulic backups and the pilot is the final decision maker – and can decide badly some times. ”

    Its actually a little stranger than that, based on past crashes both Boeing and Airbus have been involved in.
    Boeing has made a statement along the lines of “We will never reduce a pilots control authority or ability to fly his plane”.
    Airbus (which has seen some terrible accidents based on human error) has come down on the side of “We will never allow a pilot to cause the plane to enter a configuration or attitude where it can no longer fly”

    (quoting both statements from memory)

    Both companies have reached their position after strings of serious accidents so I can see both points based on their histories

    (PS sorry for the OT post, its been an interesting discussion and it gave me a kick to contribute even if it wasn’t helpful)

  114. Ed (22:05:40) :
    “We have the cosmic ray flux 1930-1951 from ion-chamber measurements and from 1952 from neutron monitor data”.
    Can we see it? Please?

    Sure, slide 15 of

    http://www.leif.org/research/The%20Open%20Flux%20Has%20Been%20Constant%20Since%201840s%20(SHINE2007).pdf

    and slide 32 of

    http://www.leif.org/research/Seminar-SPRG-2008.pdf

    The big black dots indicate balloon measurements used for calibration. The ‘jump’ at the red line is caused by that single balloon measurement in the early 1940s.

  115. Tim Clark (05:05:50) :

    RW (16:42:29) :
    So, this ultra-deep solar minimum and its incredible effect on temperatures… The confusing thing is that the global average temperature from 2004-2008 is slightly higher than the global average temperature of 1999-2003, which was over the solar maximum. Puzzling, eh?

    And both periods are less than 1932-1939. Is this also confusing?

    Let me guess – you’re an american – right?

    It’s only americans who think that the 2% of the earth covered by the US actually represents the entire world.

  116. >>I would have to inverse the GCR graph for having the
    >>cooling effect implied in Svensmark’s hypothesis.
    >> http://www.biocab.org/Anomaly_ICR_and_Change_T.jpg

    But if the cloud nucleation was in the lower levels of the atmosphere, would not the troposphere warm with increased cosmic ray activity, as your graph demonstrates?

    More low-level cloud = more reflected TSI to warm the troposphere.

    .

  117. >>I have found exactly the opposite with respect to
    >>Shaviv and Svensmark’s allegations:

    >> http://www.biocab.org/Anomaly_ICR_and_Change_T.jpg

    >>I would have to inverse the GCR graph for having the cooling
    >>effect implied in Svensmark’s hypothesis.

    But if the cloud nucleation was in the lower levels of the atmosphere, then the troposphere may well warm with increasing cosmic ray flux, as your graph appears to demonstrate.

    More cloud = more reflected TSI to warm the troposphere.

  118. Philincalifornia

    Checked your ref to desdemonadespair. Spooky stuff coming from a renowned expert. Noted there were no comments so maybe he wasn’t so well renowned. Also noted the other news items. No wonder she despairs if she only picks up the bad news, all of which is caused by AGW no doubt. It’s well known here in Australia that the economicic downturn is a manifestation of GW and our Kevin Canute (Prime minister) will cure it with an ETS. Maybe you yanks should all vote at the mid terms to put a few more non-believing Republicans in. America holds the key to stopping this charade. If it’s out China won’t join and the rest of the world will just have put up with what ever nature brings. I am a farmer and I KNOW that crops don’t grow when it’s cold and cattle don’t get fat. Cool climate = lots of hunger. Thats in the record too.

  119. ralph (02:37:48) :

    I have found exactly the opposite with respect to
    >>Shaviv and Svensmark’s allegations:

    >> http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.biocab.org%2FAnomaly_ICR_and_Change_T.jpg

    >>I would have to inverse the GCR graph for having the cooling
    >>effect implied in Svensmark’s hypothesis.

    But if the cloud nucleation was in the lower levels of the atmosphere, then the troposphere may well warm with increasing cosmic ray flux, as your graph appears to demonstrate.

    More cloud = more reflected TSI to warm the troposphere.

    I had not considered that possibility, which is important for a reevaluation. I would like to know if there is a consistent source of information for cloudiness during the same period.

  120. Historically we have done a lot with our first-order mathematical approximations and statistics. But now, rather than talking about simple correlations, what about multi-dimensional phase space diagrams? Where does chaos theory enter climate modeling? What causes a system to go to a different attractor? What are the butterflies (tipping points) in this? I guess we need more centuries of data collection before we begin to understand our planet’s chaotic model for its climate.

  121. noaaprogrammer (16:03:30) “Historically we have done a lot with our first-order mathematical approximations and statistics. But now, rather than talking about simple correlations, what about multi-dimensional phase space diagrams? Where does chaos theory enter climate modeling? What causes a system to go to a different attractor? What are the butterflies (tipping points) in this?”

    You raise interesting points. Linear correlation is not enough. I am finding co-plots (conditioning plots) & cross-wavelet methods to be useful in working out change-points.

    noaaprogrammer (16:03:30) “I guess we need more centuries of data collection before we begin to understand our planet’s chaotic model for its climate.”

    This might be the conventional view, but it is also the lazy one. I don’t imagine the people who make the first major breakthroughs will be from the conventional, administratively-oriented “build in menacing nuisances, obstacles, strawmen, & delays to defend tradition” crowd. I expect a paradigm shift and I think Barkin is pointing us in the right direction.


    Tallbloke, if you are around you may be interested to know that I have now found a conditioning variable (based on empirical observation) that can mathematically account for the phase-change in the relationship you previously noted.

  122. OT, but, where is poster kim these days? (Haven’t seen her here or on the CA mirror)

    Missing her take and witticisms …
    .
    .
    .


  123. E.M.Smith (16:50:10) :

    It will also be interesting to see if there is an increase in failures of computers and computer controlled machinery (such as the recent Airbus crashes).

    (FWIW, the Airbus is largely “fly by wire” with the pilot making suggestions and the computers figuring out what to do.

    I’ll become worried when the radios start ‘dancing’ across the band (controlled by microprocessors) and the GPS likewise shows highly erratic operations or our cell phones begin to mis-dial like crazy; point being, most of the flight processing data is HIGHLY integrated and one ‘fouled’ sample is probably tossed as an ‘outlier’ and significantly smaller values are again subject to an averaging/integration process that renders reasonable control values (and therefore a robust control process) to the flight surfaces.

    I’ve written control/interface software to ‘outside’ sensors that could at times have highly questionable logic states if sampled only once in time and not *qualified* via over/under counts or numerical integration techniques. The result was always robust and deterministic in the face of real-world impulse noise generated by all manner of appliances powering up-and-down creating noise spikes off the AC-line.
    .
    .

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