Nasa warns solar flares from ‘huge space storm’ will cause devastation

A solar flare erupts from the sun in this image taken by NASA's SOHO satellite on July 1, 2002. A solar flare erupts from the sun in this image taken by NASA's SOHO satellite on July 1, 2002.

From the Telegraph

Video link here

National power grids could overheat and air travel severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working after the Sun reaches its maximum power in a few years.

Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

In a new warning, Nasa said the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning” and could cause catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken.

Scientists believe it could damage everything from emergency services’ systems, hospital equipment, banking systems and air traffic control devices, through to “everyday” items such as home computers, iPods and Sat Navs.

Due to humans’ heavy reliance on electronic devices, which are sensitive to magnetic energy, the storm could leave a multi-billion pound damage bill and “potentially devastating” problems for governments.

“We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” Dr Richard Fisher, the director of Nasa’s Heliophysics division, said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.

“It will disrupt communication devices such as satellites and car navigations, air travel, the banking system, our computers, everything that is electronic. It will cause major problems for the world.

“Large areas will be without electricity power and to repair that damage will be hard as that takes time.”

Read the rest here

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470 thoughts on “Nasa warns solar flares from ‘huge space storm’ will cause devastation

  1. I don’t get it. Catastrophic predictions used to be full of coulds and
    mights yet this guy Dr Fisher says lots of wills and woulds. Could it be he’s worried that funding agencies require more certainity before granting research funds.

  2. It must be fun working in NASA’s Global Crisis Warning department: Catastrophic climate change, Nuclear winters, annihilation by asteroid , global solar meltdowns.

    The “Cry Wolf” story comes to mind.

  3. Considering that the last time we had a “once in a generation” storm it was about a generation ago, it would seem that this generation, by definition, will get its shot.

    It is sort of like saying it has been 10 years since the last “once in a decade” thunderstorm.

    Let me guess: Their budget is at risk and they must justify how vital their research is.

  4. My God, we are going to have another Millenium Bug catastrophe – head for the hills and buy up bottled water and baked beans, everybody!

  5. From what I have heard about massive solar flares, the car navigation will be the least of your worries – your car itself will not run at all, because the various chips are completely fried.

    This isn’t of course restricted to petrol powered vehicles – modern diesel engines have numerous electronic aids to increase power/torque and economy, as well as inhibit particulate emissions, and run smoothly on low-sulphur fuels.

    Hmmm, does this mean that my local supermarket may not be restocked in a hurry?

    A solar flare would have far-reaching and significant consequences for our modern society.

  6. Oh man… where to begin? Nah, I’ll just point out that after all the warnings about this in the past, there was exactly ONE solar event that actually damaged anyone’s electronics, and that was, I think, 2004 or 2005 when a large percentage of GPS receivers were damaged. There’s a theory that the great NYC blackout was caused by something solar too.

    I can’t say I’d bet too high on this being a particularly intense solar cycle if it ever does start, either.

    How can anyone read something like this and not comprehend how intensely we are being manipulated by alarmism? Between peak oil, cAGW, solar flares, drought warnings, flood warnings, hurricane warnings, meteor warnings, it’s amazing the true believers can ever hold themselves together!

  7. This feels to me like it’s part of the big 20121221 religious scare, why should this solar cycle be any different than the other ones? Maybe we humans are the ones who are affecting the suns activity and behavior… no this is simply part of the big scare that is now so popular. Sure the power grids and power production systems need to be modernized all over the place, but this c**p will only ridicule the issue.

  8. Now this is a threat that I can sink my teeth in to, unlike computer modelling, cosmic science is the real deal.

    Solar physicists have understood this very real possibility for years, and just like the threat of near earth objects, it’s just a matter of ‘when’ not ‘what if’.

    I’d be interested to learn more as to exactly why these scientists are thinking this could happen sometime in/around 2013. Doesn’t the major CME also have to actually be coming in the direction of earth in order for it to have such a big effect ? Or are these scientists thinking something other than a major CME event ?

    I also noted from the telegraph article that Dr. Fisher states : “… power grids, would be without power and access to electronic devices for hours, possibly even days.”

    Sorry Dr. Fisher, but I think the realistic picture there would be more in the area of ‘months’ rather than hours/days… if thousands of transformers are blown out, it would be months to replace them all and get everything back up and running. I don’t know of any country that carries an extra inventory of thousands of transformers in some warehouse. Tens of thousands of dollars per transformer, and days to make one.

    And one more statement I’d like to comment on : “If you know that a hazard is coming … and you have time enough to prepare and take precautions, then you can avoid trouble.”

    Sorry Dr. Fisher, but there will be no preparations or precautions taking place between now and then because we’re too busy spending our monies studying whale poop…

  9. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself.

    Fitzy’s solar cycle 2012 prediction:

    Dateline, Earth December 11th 2012….
    Record levels of Arctic and Antarctic ice cover the poles, the Earths average temperature continues to drop by 0.2 degrees per year, Al Gore has gone missing while inspecting the Gulf Oil Mega spill in a light aircraft. He’s presumed lost in the oil sea, after mega lightening from space, strikes the brown and rainbow slicked sea, setting it alight.
    /foolishment off.

  10. The risk will increase, but I guess it did so many times in the last century. This is like a lottery — also where the storm hits I guess, where Pacific Ocean would be better than US, Europe, or Japan.

    Since we take precaution in case of power loss I guess we can handle an initial power loss, but that the problem is a longer time without power. Certain precautions may be needed from energy companies?

    However, even in case of a few weeks without power for some countries I don’t think this is more serious than the debt crisis.

  11. “with unprecedented levels of…….
    “In a new warning…….
    “Scientists believe it could damage everything……..
    “could cause catastrophic consequences for the world…..
    “and “potentially devastating”……
    “It will cause major problems for the world…….
    “We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,”……..

    “Hey Baa, what’s on the telly?”

    “Not much love, just some B grade movie about Y2K….yaaawwwnnnn”

  12. Danger! Danger, Will Robinson !

    The control systems for nuclear power plants will fail!

    There will be blackouts and wipeouts of the systems handling
    the world’s financial systems and our ATMs!

    The server farms that run the backbone of the internet will fry !

    Chaos !

    A wailing and gnashing of teeth !

    NASA needs more funds !!!

  13. Seems like some areas of science are now just a contest for the biggest scare stories.

    Scarience? hmm… doesn’t have the necessary ring to it.

  14. Here we go again,

    “He said large swathes of the world could face being without power for several months, although he admitted that was unlikely. ”

    Now that’s Olympic standard hedging your bets. This sounds like more millenium bug nonsense.

  15. *in before end of world*

    What kind of precautions could we take?
    Unless there’s a Global Broadcast of “QUICK, everyone turn your phones off!” what are we supposed to do? Everyone will probably be due for their next techno gadget hit by then anyway…

  16. Wow! Something exciting to look forward to in the reasonable future! We oldies (or olders) are a bit miffed at having to wait for the mega-sea level rises, and oven temperatures, and tidal waves, and meteorites, and super volcanoes, whose projected dates either don’t come to fruition, or are “extended” further into the future.

    I want something to happen NOW!! Especially as it’s such an unseasonable, grotty “summer” in France. Would it be presumptious of me to expect a bit of a freeze up this winter (and the following few), ‘cos thet nice Mr. Bastardi seems to think so. Give me something to look forward to, please, particularly with a “told you so” element. I’m bored with the flim-flam of false (or imaginary) alarms…

  17. yah and we might get hit by a comet, a super volcano might go off, the magnetic field may flip and the microbe that will end us all is lurking somewhere in Africa … so many ways to die.. so little time .

  18. Big and obvious attempt to scare the govt into more funding. He might as well claim that the sun’s polar regions will be ice free by 2013.

  19. Don’t let a good crisis go to waste – now’s the time to take over the communications infrastructure.

    Funny how the sun “has no effect on climate”, but yet can cause so much other havoc.

  20. The last time this was discussed here, Leif Svalgaard said:

    “The danger is real”

    Leif is not a man given to unwarranted speculation or flights of fancy.

    He also said it’s a matter of when not if we would be hit by a big one similar to the Carrington flare in the 1850’s
    He also said that such a flare might be expected to hit Earth once every 150 years or so.

    It’s also known that the sun tends to chuck out big ones when it wakes up from long minima….

    Reply: I resent that particular euphemism for “throw”. ~ ctm

  21. That’s how it works, doesn’t it?
    Bank crisis? Take it over.
    GM crisis? Take it over.
    CO2 crisis: Take over energy.
    BP crisis? Take it over.
    Health care crisis? Take it over.

  22. The risk has always been there. The pretension that it will be especially likely in 2013 is hilarious though. Someone is in desperate need for extra funding.


  23. ♫Money … ♫
    ♫We need money … ♫
    ♫We need lots and lots of money … ♫

  24. “tallbloke says:
    The last time this was discussed here, Leif Svalgaard said:
    “The danger is real”
    Leif is not a man given to unwarranted speculation or flights of fancy.
    He also said it’s a matter of when not if we would be hit by a big one similar to the Carrington flare in the 1850′s
    He also said that such a flare might be expected to hit Earth once every 150 years or so.”

    I’m beginning to wonder if there are PhD’s in alarmism. This seems to be such a standard line. Like when I saw a programme on the Yellowstone Mega volcano it went something like: How often does it go off? About every half million years (or whatever). When did it last go off? A little over half a million years ago, we’re overdue for another one now!

    Head for the hills!

  25. Keep that old clunker computer, radio and phone handy. The only cars available will be the pre-computer chip models.
    While NASA has had to cope with Solar Storm proofing thier stuff, the rest of the world has not.
    The next big one after waking up from Deep Solar Slumber does not even have to be at the 1859 level.
    The microcircuitry of today is totally vulnerable.
    The cost of the AGW head-fake is telling here… we are not prepared not will we be preparing any time soon.

  26. It’s a real shame that NASA has been reduced from an enterprise of optimism, energy, and scientific advancement, to a purveyor of catastrophic alarmism.

  27. Did you guys know that this solar mega flare (or whatever) is going to be so much worse because of all the extra CO2 that is now in the atmosphere because of evil human beans?

    I don’t know how or why but I know somebody who does…

  28. Should w0uld be cheaper, and perhaps more fun, if we all just got a case of likker and sit around the campfire and tell ghost stories. Humans love to scare themselves. Always have.

  29. All they do is recycle the same story every 11-12 years. I remember reading a similar article about cycle #22 over 20 years ago in school…

  30. “…without power ….”

    I think this what the AGW mob want. Maybe JH and AG lunched a secrete mission to trigger the event…. /stupid humor off
    Don’t forget though, this guys want to pump sulphur to the atmosphere!

    :(

  31. NPR does this on a regular basis, it’s called a “Fund Raiser”. Charitable organizations have bake sales and raffles. I guess bake sales are a little low class for NASA….

  32. I have been looking at this for a couple of years now. From study of larger solar storms in this list: http://www.solarstorms.org/SRefStorms.html
    compared to minimums with longer spotless periods: http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotlessoverview.png
    there is up to 10 times the chance of large solar storms, in maximums following quiet minimums.
    The heliocentric distribution of particularly the inner planets, is critical as to when solar storms occur, and so likey times for these events can be determined.

  33. We discussed this some months ago in another context and there is a definite precedent-the Carrington event of 1859

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

    I had a small amount of discussion with Leif about it who said it was likely to happen again and the consequences would be disastrous.

    I have some connections with some UK Government agencies and asked what they had done to prevent such an eventuality-obviously our modern lifestyle is far more prone to electrical disasters than in 1859.

    They knew nothing whatsoever of the Carrington event and were very much fixated on the consequences of climate change. It certainly would be posible to ‘shield’ important infrastructure and arguably all new installations should be so protected. This would still leave many parts of our lifestyle in serious danger though so again, arguably, this should go right to the top of the disasters agenda as another Carrington event is far more likely to occur, and be far more devaststing, than any man made -and largely imaginary-CO2 induced disaster.

    As a species it sems we have difficulty in keeping more than one or two balls in the air at one time and all our efforts are being used to juggle a giant ball labelled CAGW which has the additional problem of being practically invisible.

    Tonyb

  34. What is sometimes forgotten is the value of all of these alarming predictions. When we know what is likely to happen we can plan for it to either stop it or to straighten things out afterwards. So if for example we are warned in advance of the risk of an undersea oil blow out producing mega pollution like the world has never seen before we can…

    Oh wait a minute. Ignore all that. Let’s go on preparing for lots of other disasters. Nothing to see here, move along please.

  35. No problem. Just build a giant Faraday cage around the entire planet. Then sit out back and watch the auroral display.

  36. This is what happens when NASA gets all its funding from the National Geographic Channel…it does doesn’t it?

  37. March 13th 1989. Only 21 years ago! A good chunk of Canada’s eastern region was without power for three days. This was due to a mighty geo-mag storm seen world-wide. This was on the upswing of SSC 22. A memorable maximum that produced that great storm and several others that will live long in the memory of those fortunate enough to see them.

    From a graph supplied by Leif in an earlier posting the Solar Flare Index showed a pronounced drop throughout SSC 23. Nothing that I have seen since suggests that there has been a dramatic upturn in the frequency of solar flares, so why would Nasa insist on this scare-mongering?

    I live on a flood plain that experienced a supposedly 1 in 250 year event just six years ago. If a scientist publicised the likelihood that we are in for another “big one,” around here anytime soon, people would rightly ask, “On what do you base this statement?” Natural events like the one that Nasa is throwing out to the general public do not fit neatly into the numbers we humans try to place on them.

    If all of the indicators were actually being observed to head alarmingly upwards then we would have no problem with this at all. When we see all of the indicators well below the recent average then we should find this announcement by Nasa completely unwarranted, and unnecessary, or as the British Prime Minister recently said about a completely different topic, “Unjustified & unjustifiable!”

  38. I’m with Tonyb on this one, and first saw this with the ’89 flare event when I was managing some satellite capacity. Carrington event was a bigger storm and would cause a lot more damage and disruption. I’ve had similar discussions regarding CNI and similar repsonses. Some saw EMP weapons as a threat but overlooked natural EMP from flares. Or an assumption that fibre networks would be protected, ignoring sensitive amp, regen or muxes that could be affected, or just grid power feeding them.

    As Tonyb says, we’re more dependent on technology than in 1859 and much of it isn’t well shielded, so I think this is a real threat. No idea how probable another Carrington would be, but at least we have SOHO watching now.

  39. NASA recycling a press release they did only two years ago – same story different angle.

    Even the last press release included material from a study that a retired Naval physicist – James A. Marusek authored the year before
    read the Study in PDF format here
    Mr Marusek ‘s study detailed the technical details of an event similar to the Carrington Flare and the effects on modern society. The paper itself us very sobering.

    Who knows if an event such as this will happen in 2013? No one. NASA conjecture? The only certainty is that will happen sooner or later.

    My old ’80’s diesel Mercedes is ready and waiting in the garage.

  40. I read this prediction once in a novel, fiction…
    SOLARFLARE by Larry Burkett (1997)
    Interesting read.

  41. There is no end to the doom and gloom recently. Our masters understand well the power of fear. Be scared of this, be scared of that.

    Time to tell our masters: Be scared of us!

    This story is yet another thing for us to be scared of. Oh, booo hooo, I’m gonna hide under the bed till I die.

  42. Is there more than one NASA? I’ve just checked the official NASA site and can no mention of this impending doom, neither under information for the public, for educators, policymakers nor media. I’ve checked the archives, but can’t find anything. Are the sources for this story secure?

  43. There’s nothing wrong with a generalised warning that our modern systems are dangerously exposed to damage from solar energy pulses that are normal but way in excess of those seen since that Carrington Event.

    The trouble is that it is then irresponsible to speculatively pin down the timing of the next such event in light of our poor understanding of solar behaviour.

    Proposing that it will happen during the supposed upcoming maximum of the current rather weak solar cycle is dangerous because if it does not then happen it will be harder to get people to take the issue seriously afterwards.

    For short term personal attention those chaps are damaging science itself and it’s relationship with the general public.

  44. “The heliocentric distribution of particularly the inner planets, is critical as to when solar storms occur, and so likey times for these events can be determined.”

    O no, not that astrological claim again…!

  45. I suppose the best thing we can do, is to be on the opposite side of the planet when it happens, or deep underground protecting ourselves from the intense hot or is that cold, maybe I could emulate Al Gore and sell horsetrading permits or plans for the new and latest fast pony transport, guaranteed not to electronically decombobulate or whatever.
    And think of the possibilities, one of us could corner the horsetrading market and become the new Bunker Hunt by buying up all the nags of the world and even if they get fried on one half of the world think of the great horsemeat hamburgers we could export to the USA (its been done before) from the shady side of the planet!!

    Perhaps best of all, we could insist on the next scary predictionist put up a billion dollar bond, just in case their prediction does not eventuate, sort of a get out of jail free card fund, that should sort the serious from the hopeful.

    Hmn might invest in one of them aluminum collander things or sell tin foil umbrellas to reflect the flare, I could become rich just like Al.

    Now I wonder what costly solution science can find, hope it doesn’t involve buying carbon indulgences from the guvmint!! Then again it could be a fizzer and something else git us!!

  46. But still much less chance of that happening than during our lifetime. ;)
    Is funny how they make it sound like we will experience the most active solar cycle in our lifetime, while the opposite is really the case.

    Though all they are really saying is that we are returning to solar max and that big solar storms could also happen during times of low sunspot activity.

  47. There is always the chance that history will repeat itself. Our current deep solar minimum closely resembles the deep solar minimum of 1856 which was followed by the Carrington Event of September 1859, the largest known solar flare to strike the earth in modern history which then gave some telegraph operators the shock of their lives.

    Perhaps it is more likely that the next big super-flare broadcast by the sun will go off in some other direction and miss the Earth, but this sounds a lot like a game of Solar Russian Roulette.

    I have seen estimates, perhaps alarmist, that it might take several years to restore service and repair our modern electrical power distribution system after the widespread damage caused by the flow of huge surges of direct-current induced by the event. Perhaps our only defenses would be to disconnect as much of the system as possible in the short time before the flare reached the Earth and to be prepared with a year’s supply of candles.

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/06may_carringtonflare/

  48. To be fair NASA are in a bit of a no-win situation here. If they keep quiet and there is mayhem there may be congressional hearings about a cover-up with the possibility of people going to jail. On the other hand if you keep crying “wolf”, then sooner or later your prediction will come true. Having said all this I can’t help being reminded about the Y2K issue.

  49. Scientific Theology, scaremongering prophetic science is now the accepted norm. Words like better, ok, normal, positive, good have been banished from the scientific vocaubulary. Now only catastrophic, annihilate, doom, man-made, are allowed to describe scientific findings. While science has changed, it is more the scientists themselves that have morphed into theologians without recognizing it. Maybe better communication, the internet, science fiction, the movies have brought about a new breed of scientist where fear has become bigger than the scientist himself. It is really ironic that while conventional religion is in decline, the traditional preacher has been replaced by scientific theologians making even bigger claims and prophecies than the traditional theologian. Scientists have become the prophets they showed much disdain for in religion over the years. All sense of normality in science is dead. It must be a tremendous burden on normal scientists working in science today being completely overshadowed by this new breed of scientist theologian.

  50. What’s scary is not that there are alarmist predictions, we always have those…

    What’s scary is that it is NASA that is making them.

    We trust NASA only because of the successful Apollo missions. But those people are gone…

  51. Jean Meeus says:
    June 17, 2010 at 4:37 am

    “The heliocentric distribution of particularly the inner planets, is critical as to when solar storms occur, and so likey times for these events can be determined.”

    O no, not that astrological claim again…!

    http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/Citations.aspx?id=330

    ABSTRACT:
    A solar storm is a storm of ions and electrons from the Sun. Large solar storms are usually preceded by solar flares, phenomena that can be characterized quantitatively from Earth. Twenty-five of the thirty-eight largest known solar flares were observed to start when one or more tide-producing planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Jupiter) were either nearly above the event positions (<10° longitude) or at the opposing side of the Sun. The probability for this to happen at random is 0.039 percent.

  52. I hope this scare will make them all forget about their catastrophic global tax fraud.. Oh – maybe they’ll try and tax us on Solar flare events as well.

    DAMN!!

  53. We’re impotent, we’re incompotent, we’re doomed…

    I believe we’ve heard this over and over since the beginning of time. It is true. And with any luck, we’ll –some of us– live on to see another day. Life would be very boreing without the fickle finger of fate; it’s really just a crap shoot. There really is a boogy man.

  54. A cynic could easily note that since money for promoting CAGW is waning, NASA believes it is time to try and try out fear-of-the-sun as a new source of funding.
    Yes, the sun is going to have a CME event that will fry a lot of electronics.
    Linking it to this cycle- the most quiet and uneventful of the last 100 years or more- seems a bit desperate on the part of NASA.
    Science, or at least the promotion of science, seems indistinguishable from the marketing efforts of anything else when scientists rely on such transparent and emotional tactics.

  55. Can’t these people just get funding for space exploration without the hysteria?

  56. #
    pgosselin says:

    That’s how it works, doesn’t it?
    Bank crisis? Take it over.
    GM crisis? Take it over.
    CO2 crisis: Take over energy.
    BP crisis? Take it over.
    Health care crisis? Take it over.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    You forgot one
    Food Scare crisis? Take it over?

    Old Henry Kissinger’s formula
    Food borne illness crisis =>WTO derived Food Safety Laws =>control food => control people
    CAGW crisis => Cap & Trade Laws =>control energy => control whole continents

    Economic Crisis =>“Financial Stability Board” =>control money => control the world

    Another Kissinger quote: “Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries. “ http://www.billionquotes.com/index.php/Henry_Kissinger

  57. derise says:
    June 17, 2010 at 3:35 am

    NPR does this on a regular basis, it’s called a “Fund Raiser”. Charitable organizations have bake sales and raffles. I guess bake sales are a little low class for NASA….
    ______________________________________________________________________
    NASA can not have a bake sale because the government has made bake sales illegal.

    PA Church Ladies Raided by ‘Food Safety’ Cops

    “On the first Friday of Lent, an elderly female parishioner of St. Cecilia Catholic Church began unwrapping pies at the church. That’s when the trouble started… After it was determined that the pies were home-baked, the inspector decreed they couldn’t be sold. The problem is the pies are illegal in Pennsylvania….

    They say, “as American as apple pie.”

    Our freedom as Americans appears to have come down to homemade pie. And a glass of whatever milk we choose to wash it down. Our democracy appears to have come down to whether we remember and will defend our unlicensed, unhampered, un-infringed, un-monitored, un-surveilled, unregulated, un-criminalized, unlimited, full and free right to homemade pie and a glass of milk. Including seconds.”

    If Apple Pie is now illegal at church suppers, I guess this is no longer the USA.

  58. Does this mean that all of the solar panels will all go poof at once while all the windmills accelerate and take off? What is the world to do. But wait my science adviser has a Nobel and he says build a Faraday cage containment over all your electronic stuff.

  59. Science has missed two important facts:
    One the Sun rotates at a high rate of speed(and this is just the corona we see).
    Two our solar system also travels at a high rate of speed.

    Since no experimants have been done on this:
    Throw astroid and meteor debris at the sun. The near misses WILL pull gases and the hits would generate a spot in the corona where the gases are now parted.

  60. They must feel kind of being forgotten in these days of the OIL SPILL, they are crying for attention, eager for recognition, however they have failed in everything and their scaring scenarios seem kids´cartoons which kids don´t like either.
    Hey buddies, either you fire your WRITERS or you should revise your most dear and beloved theories:

    http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=ah63dzac

  61. KenB says:
    June 17, 2010 at 4:54 am

    I suppose the best thing we can do, is to be on the opposite side of the planet when it happens, or deep underground protecting ourselves from the intense hot or is that cold, maybe I could emulate Al Gore and sell horsetrading permits or plans for the new and latest fast pony transport, guaranteed not to electronically decombobulate or whatever.
    And think of the possibilities, one of us could corner the horsetrading market….
    ______________________________________________________________________
    I already have, 18 equines and 14 horse drawn vehicles, not including the plow, disc and manure spreader.

    Time to put a Faraday cage around all your electronics you can not live without.

  62. Wanna call everybody´s attention?, shut down your GISS, you´ll save a lot of money and everybody will thank you.

  63. This warning follows the template for Y2K. Too bad all of the billions of us that barely survived swine flu are becoming less gullible every time.

  64. Given their success (or lack there of) in predicting the sun’s behavior over this last cycle, I would not bet on this forecast being verified

  65. ♫♫♫
    What goes up must come down
    spinning wheel got to go round
    Talking about your troubles it’s a crying sin
    Ride a painted pony
    Let the spinning wheel spin

    You got no money, and you, you got no home
    Spinning wheel all alone
    Talking about your troubles and you, you never learn
    Ride a painted pony
    let the spinning wheel turn

    Did you find a directing sign
    on the straight and narrow highway?
    Would you mind a reflecting sign
    Just let it shine within your mind
    And show you the colours that are real

    Someone is waiting just for you
    spinning wheel is spinning true
    Drop all your troubles, by the river side
    Catch a painted pony
    On the spinning wheel ride

    Someone is waiting just for you
    spinning wheel is spinning true
    Drop all your troubles, by the river side
    Ride a painted pony
    Let the spinning wheel fly
    ♫♫♫♫♫

  66. Jimbo said June 17, 2010 at 5:03 am: “I can’t help being reminded about the Y2K issue.”

    I kid you not, I was calling it “Y-2-Kook” in 1998 and 1999.

    And I am in the computer industry.

    I recall being interviewed about Y2K by the editor of a prominent computer trade journal, and he was rendered speechless when I guffawed “Y-2-Kook” to one of his questions. Which reminds me of how much angst and attention gets invested in even the most semi-plausible doom mongering.

  67. 8 years of Bush. If we had Algore, this all wouild never be possible. Had algore not invented the web, there would be no web to crash.

  68. “There’s nothing we can do to make it untrue, so why cry
    There’s nothing we can say to make it go away, so why cry
    It may seem like a movie plot,
    but when it comes to making havoc, the sun’s got
    an unstoppable way that can ruin our day, so why cry”

    h/t Mary Wells

  69. Spector says:
    June 17, 2010 at 4:56 am

    ‘Our current deep solar minimum closely resembles the deep solar minimum of 1856 which was followed by the Carrington Event of September 1859, the largest known solar flare to strike the earth in modern history which then gave some telegraph operators the shock of their lives.’

    I’ve just consulted my 300-year diagram of international sunspot number to find that the 1856 minimum was neither deep nor long. Perhaps you could tell me where 1856 figures in the league table of minima both by length and depth?

  70. Can’t the UN come up with something to tax us over? I’m relatively absolutely sort of sure this is an anthropogenic solar event! Maybe they can tax sunscreen… sunglasses… bikinis!

  71. David_WS says:
    “Is there more than one NASA?”

    There used to be. When I was a child just picking up snippets from the TV news I was very confused that a place in the Bahamas seemed to be sending up space rockets AND running Egypt at the same time.

  72. Speculation is not science.

    Picking the lowest period in solar activity in over 200 years to scare us all with a technology destroying CME is like the “global warming causes ice ages” silliness.

    The likelihood of that kind of CME is always present in the big part of the solar cycle. And the likelihood of it heading directly for Earth is still quite small.

    I agree with the commenters who suggest it is just a ploy for Federal dollars. They have to make sure they are not forgotten at a time when the last space shuttle has left the pad and very little remaining on the publicity horizon. If they are not able to thrill us with taking us forward with accomplishments to come, what else is left except scare tactics?

    But my main point is speculation. Newton and Hooke would turn over in their graves at the things spouted by scientists these days.

    If NASA really wants to put effort into anything, why not more effort in identifying near-earth-objects?

  73. When I worked at NASA we stuck with real science. Now it seems that NASA has turned into Scary Movie.

    And what if the earth runs into a Milky Way stray planet? Or what if earth got hit with a super nova gamma ray blast. NASA has some more scary movie scripts so they can write those stories..

    The bad news is the ignorant people will buy it … yet hasn’t the problem been here all along. I smell propaganda coming our way.

  74. RE: Gail Combs: (June 17, 2010 at 5:46 am) “Time to put a Faraday cage around all your electronics you can not live without. “

    I believe the primary risk is the power grid with all those long wires to act as antennae to collect energy from an electro-magnetic solar super flare. Just imagine the repair job with every transformer and every power-meter fried. As Carrington Event solar flares seem to happen only about once every 500 years, we should have a one chance in 46 of that happening again during this 11-year solar cycle.

  75. krazykiwi,
    There are two sides to the cry wolf story:
    The alarmist(s) who cry Wolf so much that nobody will listen to them.
    vs.
    The nobodies who won’t listen.

    I get tired of the hysteria of the week* driven by alarmists, but IMO this one has teeth, the kind that bite (and a reasonably well documented modern era history to be researched)

    * PCBs, Global cooling, global warming, land fill space, ozone holes, cell phone induced cancers, H1N1 (but not N5N1), peak oil (at least 5 iterations of this), Y2K, 2012 and on and on and on.

  76. This probably could happen and even Arthur C. Clarke wrote abook about the possibilty of this occuring. However, there is no way to really predict this so in the meantime-eat drink and be merry.

  77. Let get this straight about these nasty solar events being discussed:

    1)They happen
    2)We don’t know when they happen, meaning its pretty much a random event with respect to our current predictive powers
    3)When they do happen, we don’t know the severity, as the severity of each event is also rather random.

    So, until you can start predicting 2) and 3), should we really be getting scared about 1)?

    I mean, you could say the same thing about earthquakes in Los Angeles. Everyone knows the effects of a big earthquake will be bad. I don’t see a stream of people leaving there with bags of dried beans draped over the hoods of their cars.

  78. You know what … it might happen ….. but so what. If it does we will deal with it … just like an asteroid impact, bird flu, and in invasion of aliens.

    This has become so tiresome.

  79. The conspiracy theorist’s wilder and more eccentric fringe have been working this one for quite some time now.

    If any readers want a good laugh, then head on over to project camelot. It will take some navigating to find (as their website navigation is utterly appalling) but there is an interview with a person who claims to have been working on an ultra top secret project for the Government in preparation for the coming solar storm caused apocalypse.

    Whilst it is possible that an extreme solar storm *could* cause major damage to electrical and magnetic systems on earth, and it is sensible that precautions should be taken to be able to mitigate against the worst effects, I do not believe that an end of the world scenario is likely.

  80. Gail Combs says:
    June 17, 2010 at 5:21 am

    #
    pgosselin says:

    That’s how it works, doesn’t it?
    Bank crisis? Take it over.
    GM crisis? Take it over.
    CO2 crisis: Take over energy.
    BP crisis? Take it over.
    Health care crisis? Take it over.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Gail,

    Can they actually take over the Sun?? Will the fund raiser allow them to build and orbit the new “Sun taking-over Satellite”??

    Maybe I’m confused and the “Sun taking-over Satellite” is actually a “Politician taking-over Satellite”.

  81. I tend worry more about things like giant nuclear reactors in the sky than how much CO2 Al Gore’s farts produce. Have a feeling this is one of those things that you can only prepare for the worst and hope for the best, becuse it’s going to do what it’s going to do and we just have to deal with it. We’ll probably all get smoked by a Gamma Ray Burst we never see coming anyway.

  82. Are navigational satellites shielded from these solar bursts? Are the aircraft that depend upon them shielded?

    Whilst most things on earth could be protected from these events and if necessary, electrical grids shut off if we have enough notice of such a massive CME, it is the hundreds of thousands of air passengers in the sky and tonnes and tonnes of airborne freight that would be my biggest worry at the time of such an outage.

    Whilst I have no doubt that there is a tiny risk of a MAJOR problem affecting businesses and society world wide, possibly with many deaths, I do not believe that it will be an end of the world kind of cataclysm.

    Does anyone who has seriously researched this have any better idea what will happen to the air traffic in the event of a massive CME heading towards earth?

  83. Really nice apocalyptic vision…one problem with it…the sun’s magnetic field, solar wind, sun spot and UV radiation output are falling off a cliff. That 2013 max was originally scheduled for 2012, except the sun refused to cooperate and went into a deep solar minimum, one, which for all we know, could last for decades.

    So…after all that scary-talk, does this scientist understand why the sun went to sleep (when everyone expected it to be active). Does he know what will make the sun wake up? And what evidence does he have that the sun is emerging from its sleep. It’s 10.7cm radio emmissions are near historic lows, and the other day, it went spotless again (with weak solar wind and weak interplanetary magnetic field to boot!)

    Check it all out at
    http://www.spaceweather.com
    …oh, and somebody pleeeZ put a sock in the mouth of this scare monger!

  84. “Large areas will be without electricity power and to repair that damage will be hard as that takes time.”

    The lead time for large transformers is several years

    And that’s now, not when everyone suddenly needs them.

  85. I saw this story 3 days ago. I yawned about it then. Not worth another yawn now.

  86. NASA is predicting solar cycle 24 to peak in May 2013, with a sunspot number of 90. Given the continued low solar activity (e.g. SSN, SFI, Ap), it is possible the sun might peak with only half the predicted sunspots, putting it earth on course to another Dalton-like minimum.

    Also, according to David Archibald, there is a correlation between the length of a solar cycle and future temperatures. Longer cycles bring lower temperatures. Solar cycle 23 lasted 12.7 years, 1.7 years beyond the average length. Something to think about.

    By the way, NASA does mention in the story below that “even a below-average cycle is capable of producing severe space weather. The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, for instance, occurred during a solar cycle of about the same size we’re predicting for 2013.”

    Here is a link to the story:

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/29may_noaaprediction/

  87. A friend was very upset when Y2K came and went without problems. She expected at least a small disaster. While most of it was hysteria, there were a few holes, and they were plugged in time. (my microwave oven did not need a software update)

    With a massive flare, the power grid would be vulnerable. Long wires, magnetic field induces large currents. All the circuit breakers trip. With the interlocked grid, it takes quite a while to reset and restart. OK, that could be ugly. Whacking my PC? NBLG. Not enough exposed wire. No induced current. As for the comment about GPS crashing 5 years ago – news to me. I’ve been GPSing my way around the USofA for many years, and never saw it. (Other than it telling me I was 200 feet below sea level when passing Rend Lake in downstate IL).

    I worry more about a big hail storm. We’ve had a few of them so far this year. Pea sized is OK, much bigger and things break. That’s a real problem.

  88. As a school teacher, this means that a solar flair like that is a snow day. I’m devastated.

  89. So let’s get them all in line

    Katla (next volcano in Iceland) – next 12 months. result, cooling of northern hemisphere
    No Arctic Ice – Next 3 -5 years. result, shipping becomes cheaper
    Sun fries our electrics – 2013…ish. result, end of civilization as we know it.

    After that it ain’t gonna matter any more.

    Bang goes my retirement ;-)

  90. Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) are no laughing matter. The last really big one that hit the earth was in 1859 and people could see the aurora borealis in Florida. Telegraph lines melted.

    Basically any long stretch of wire acts as an antenna collecting up a huge amount of electromagnetic energy. The effect of the 1859 event on today’s massive power grid would be an epic disaster of biblical proportion. Millons upon millions of transformers would fry. The electric grid would be completely shut down. It would take months just to restore the most critical power needs. Imagine the consequences of a few months of no electricity to run fuel pumps at gas stations, no electricity for refrigerators, no electricity for hospitals, no water coming out of your taps, sewers not working because lift stations are without power, no communcations, electronic banking and commerce shut down.

    If we have a working satellite close to the sun watching for these we get, at best, a half hour warning to open as many circuit breakers as possible in the power grid to limit the damage. A half-hour in the bureaucratic quagmire overseeing all the disparate elements of the national power grid is probably pretty close to useless.

    It’s not a matter of if a CME like the one in 1859 will strike again but rather a matter of when it will happen again. The best answer is anytime at all and it could be even bigger. There’s no long term prehistoric record of CMEs to establish any cyclical patterns or frequency or severity as they were rather uneventful except for pretty lights in the sky before there were millions of miles of copper wire strung about to collect up the energy.

  91. Garry says:
    June 17, 2010 at 5:55 am
    I kid you not, I was calling it “Y-2-Kook” in 1998 and 1999.

    And I am in the computer industry.

    ditto. Everytime someone said “y2k bug” I snorted, but still continued to “cash in” on upgrades. Science is begining to remind me of the TV show “1000 ways to die”. I can sit here and brainstorm 1000 ways for the Earth to end, and start a new show.

  92. Congress is proposing a sunlight tax to provide for a fund that will be used to repair the damage. Like social security, it will be put in a lockbox which consists of US gummitup bonds. These bonds will be stored in a special electronically operated safe so that the next time we have a Carrington flare, they will not be able to open the safe and use the bonds backed by “In Obama We Rust” toilet paper to rebuild the infrastructure. In the meantime, I will fire up my glow in the dark ancient tube ham radios and charge lots for anybody to talk to anything.

  93. Dave Springer is correct.

    My guess is that a big flare hitting Earth is unlikely on this solar cycle though. It’s more likely once the sun really ramps up a few cycles from now. Having said that, it could still happen anytime, and there is no proper contingency plan for it.

  94. Just imagine: Those giant solar flares igniting all those damned “fossil fuels”, fires everywhere…..really fantastic!
    BTW, have you seen the good side of the recent gulf oil spill? It is NOT a tragedy, chances are that you have found a really big oil deposit, perhaps bigger than Saudi Arabia and you could become totally energy independent !!! Bad news for Al Baby and Maurice Strong and all the Carbon gang.
    If it should not have spilled off it would have made oil prices drop inmediately.

  95. We all know that our usage of fossil fuels on Earth is causing all this Sun stuff. I think a giant tax on CO2 emissions just might help to mitigate the damage.

  96. To those who say this is a real concern…

    Of course it is. But exactly what can the average person actually do about it? Nothing! Except, perhaps, fret and worry… and watch as some more taxes are skimmed from them to go toward “infrastructure upgrades”, which somehow end up in someone’s pocket.

    The problem with these kinds of stories is that they are purely designed to decrease the average person’s confidence in technology and modern life. Who benefits from that? It’s a grossly cynical way to manipulate the populace.

    Also, regarding Y2K… I had a sweet job in 99 upgrading software for a chain of pharmacies. Apparently their original system was written in the 80s using compiled BASIC and it did fail on Jan 1, 2000. Unfortunately, they had LOST the source code! The short term fix was to set the date to 1900, the long term fix was to rewrite the thing in Windows, which required every one of their 500+ locations to buy new computers, install and license Windows, and convert their databases. One at a time. I made a LOT of money that year, laughing all the way.

  97. Mankind has all its eggs in one basket. The earth basket. : )

    Diversifying to multiple egg baskets has merits.

    Star Trek where are you?

    John

  98. But what I want to know is: can “clean energy” and “cap and trade” still save us from this catastrophe?

  99. Oh dear, oh my . . . please . . . everyone, give all your money to the scientists so they can save us from this doom just like they saved us from the Y2K bug.

  100. sorry folks but this is a real problem. we actually do live in a dangerous universe. our sun now seems to be in some sort of minimum state where we may languish for weeks, months, years, and perhaps even decades. While flares are more common during active conditions, they can occur at any time. Coronal Mass Ejections do occur and, btw, we’ve actually had some mediocre solar flares recently.

    The last really big CME was in the 19th century and that one melted telegraph lines, ruined equipment, started fires in telegraph offices and the like. Such an event occurring today would destroy satellites and potentially even melt transformers in electric grid, unless they were taken out of service during the event.

    It’s not that severe a problem unless we get hit by something much larger than we’ve experienced in the past or we lose our solar monitoring ability to determine when a CME is coming our way. It’s also less likely to happen now than at most anytime since the last big one. However, the crucial difference is just how much dependence society now has on electrical and electronics.

    As for contingency plans, I think they’re pretty much already around. Shutting down satellites and power grids in such a pending event will go a long way to minimize damage. We’ll know a day or two ahead of the arrival that a CME is headed our way and so anything normal in the way of our situation will permit action to be taken. Of course, government can restrict such actions on pretexts and make matters much worse.

  101. Tallbloke, I’m not entirely sure that there is no proper contingency — I know that the military has been taking CME type events seriously (mostly due to EMP concerns). A lot of military systems are protected to some degee or another and I suspect certain civilian sytems -like airliners-are also. What I don’t know is whether this type of concern is taken into account when upgrading civilian power systems.

  102. I’ll be okay under my tin foil hat and I’ve already started preparing the house by wrapping that in tin foil. It also has the added benefit of reflecting the sun therefore helping to cool the earth down. It’s a win win situation, apart from the fact that I’m roasting like a chicken!!!!!!

    The dog won’t stay still long enough so he’s on his own.

  103. re; Y2K scare

    I was senior R&D engineer, BIOS programmer, at Dell in the 7 years leading up to Y2K. Fixes went into every BIOS and I’ve been a programmer or hardware engineer since the 1970’s and based on my knowledge didn’t think it would be a very significant event. The effect I was most interested in was the huge upward motion of sales and services in the computer industry. In the last 2-3 years before 1999 became 2000 I reckon’ about 5+ years of normal sales were packed into that timeframe and so was expecting a similarly sized downturn in sales in the few years following Y2K while the big spike in new computers aged into obsolescence enough to be taken out of service.

  104. Looking at this list (admittedly, not a guaranteed reliable source of data… just something found through Google), the 2/11/58 and 3/13/89 and 10/29/2003 storms are of interest. Earlier storms look like they may have been large, but with little chance of doing more than interfering with the broadcast of a baseball game, or the use of telegraph lines. Mostly, they made pretty lights in the sky.

    I imagine that this will be a lot like Y2K, where the potential what if is avoided because companies were reasonably diligent about building their infrastructure. On the other hand, I’m a little shocked at how quickly hard drives fail these days… ten years ago, they built them to last. These days, to hit a competitive price point, they make them out of tissue paper, and one sneeze loses years of irreplaceable data. So who knows how well prepared things are…

    So a huge solar storm will be very interesting, to see which companies, nations and industries planned well, which cut corners, whose infrastructure is robust and whose was an accident waiting to happen.

    It would also be very interesting to see how we (as individuals, as people) cope with a disruption in the electronic cushions to which we’ve grown so accustomed. I’m not saying it’s likely to happen, just that it will be an interesting experiment with modern society and culture.

    I wonder if this solar flare will occur on 12/21/2012, or if <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448011/"Knowing will be a popular movie On Demand as the likelihood of the storm approaches.

  105. Thank you for that Info Gail! Kind of a relief, had a mental image of Hansen selling brownies in front of a Staturn V Rocket. Somewhat disturbing….

  106. Our sunspot prediction paper said:
    “Average space weather might be ‘‘milder’’ with decreased solar activity, but the extreme events that dominate technological effects are not expected to disappear. In fact, they may become more common. Two of the eight strongest storms in the last 150 years occurred during solar cycle 14 (Rmax = 64) [Cliver and Svalgaard, 2004], while three of the five largest 30 MeV solar energetic proton events since 1859 [McCracken et al., 2001] occurred during cycle 13 (Rmax = 88).”
    Large events can [and will] certainly occur. On the other hand, NASA’s alarmism is not called for.

  107. there is up to 10 times the chance of large solar storms, in maximums following quiet minimums.

    a few people have mentioned this, and it may be happen. it’s just that only a short while ago that NASA was selling the same exact story, only attributed to Cycle24, the biggest baddest solar cycle ever!

    yep, they put a man on the moon with sliderules, but can’t seem to get anything right with the help of megaflop supercomputers. no wonder we laugh at their every wild prognostication.

  108. r says:
    June 17, 2010 at 5:08 am
    What’s scary is not that there are alarmist predictions, we always have those…

    What’s scary is that it is NASA that is making them.

    We trust NASA only because of the successful Apollo missions. But those people are gone…

    It’s the “Boy That Cried Wolf” fable all over. NASA has engaged in so much climate alarmism and budget grubbing P/R that it’s hard to take any new warning, even on other topics, seriously.

    A Carrington event will happen again, but in 2013? They’ve revised their predictions for this solar cycle HOW many times? 13? More?

  109. Ok so we’re going to freeze, burn or have our electronics turned off.

    I’ll take the freezing. Ya just kinda go to sleep.

  110. He said “large swathes of the world could go without power for several months”

    Er maybe but the USA and europe certainly will go without power if they persist in building windmills and shutting down the fossil fuel based energy matrix and pricing energy out of the reach of the ordinary citizen. The effect of the wests energy policies coming into what may well be years of cold when energy demand would surge and at the same time closing down the only cost effective power supplier will do more damage and cost more lives than any solar storm we may experience.
    Your Mr Obama and our Mr Cameron the ‘change you can(not) believe in’ duo are set to destroy the west with their ill thought out half baked crackpot ideas, no amount of shiny presentation will heat a poor persons house or power industry.

  111. It looks like the typical width of a solar flare is on the order of 30 degrees and perhaps the peak force is as narrow as 20 degrees — my guess. So if the sun really does throw out a haymaker this time, it looks like the odds of it coming this way are on the order of one in 12 if they are confined to the plane of the ecliptic or about one in 60 if flares can emerge from any point on the solar surface with equal probability.

    BTW I recall reading that there may be a new technique for obtaining an advanced warning of an emerging solar flare just before it takes off.

  112. Now I understand….in order to not be affected we should not have any electric connections at all, back to the dark ages again….but, wait, and what about Al’s invention, the internet?
    Strong flares from the Sun?…who cares!….they can’t affect any grid since they are not electric at all, according to the latest post normal science universe conception.

  113. Okay, so now we know that everybody has the same forumla for getting funding. It makes me yawn. Problem is, with all this crying wolf – are we going to ignore these idiots when a real problem comes along.

  114. There are some things in the world that I’m skeptic about, one of which is alarmism involving global warming. But, I’m afraid that many of the flippant remarks noted on this post have been motivated by people’s negative opinions of some of the people and work that NASA does. On the subject of solar flares and their effect on our civilization, I’m not a skeptic. If I were at the beginning of my career in research, I would have switched to heavy electrical engineering to help prepare out electrical grids for that sometime coming event.
    I encourage you to Google “Carrington Event” to learn about the solar flare in 1859 that took out many of the telegraph systems at that time. You will then appreciate the enormous effect a similar event would have on our electrical grids, and directly on everything that moves.

    don_O

  115. David Corcoran said at 10:13 am: “NASA has engaged in so much climate alarmism and budget grubbing P/R that it’s hard to take any new warning, even on other topics, seriously.”

    Credit for the ongoing destruction of NASA’s reputation can be attributed directly to Dr. James E. Hansen and his ilk.

  116. Well just when the world was getting all set to go to electric cars; along comes magnetism; which is a part of electric motors; so as soon as you turn on the ignition key to start your electric car the magnetic fields from the high efficiency motors simply blow all the control electronics to smithereeens.

    It’s enough to cause a headache just thinking about it. Just imagine all those Swiss watches going ape; every time they fire off the Large Hadron Collider.

    The last time I had a magnetic attack was when my fountain pen got grabbed by the magnet on the back of the loudspeaker in my stereo system.

    Izzere no end to this silliness. When the magnetic fields from high Voltage power lines overhead, were all the rage for causing everything from pregnancy to ringing in the ears; somebody calculated the total amount of electromagnetic field energy from power lines that you could get into a typical human body DNA molecule; and it was something like 27 orders of magnitude too low to cause a single broken bond in the molecule.

    So what is the dominant frequency of the waves generated by these solar flares.

    Speaking of electric cars; has it occurred to anybody else that the “Tesla” all electric car is just a modern day De’Lorean; busiwork for somebody with more time and money than he knows what to do with it; so he’s bored. The De’Lorean as I recall, had a stainless steel body. That would enable it to survive Taxi cab duty out on Christmas Island or maybe in the Bahamas.

    Has anybody ever actually experienced a magnetic shut down of their automobile; unless it was being lifted by an electromagnet to drop it in the auto crushing recycle machine. Somehow the good guys always manage to crawl out of the rear window just before the car is reduced to a solid block of plastic and vinyl.

  117. This sounds serious. Having read some of the comments about damage to the infrastructure it would appear that there would be no electricity for airports such as landing lights, radar and landing systems. How could the alarmists jet to their international conferences to demand cuts in energy production? They ought to be careful what they wish for :-)

  118. Kirk Myers says:
    June 17, 2010 at 7:20 am

    ‘By the way, NASA does mention in the story below that “even a below-average cycle is capable of producing severe space weather. The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, for instance, occurred during a solar cycle of about the same size we’re predicting for 2013.” ‘

    But there have been 4 lower peaked cycles since 1859: viz 1884, 1894, 1907 and 1928.

  119. Does this mean they have given up on the AWG scare stories? Searching for the next alternative to protect/generate funding? It must be global and affect everyone…. hmmm meteors, not often enough, ah how about massive solar storms? They happen more often!

    I know we’ve have large solar storms in the past that would have wiped out satellites if we had them at the time. It is only a matter of time before one hits which brings me to a serious question about this:

    For earth based electrical equipment and a short solar storm (less than 8 hours) does it matter if you are on side of earth facing the storm or on the dark side?

  120. You know the word “unprecedented” is really getting a workout over the last few years… it’s usage is unprecedented.

    To quote Inigo Montoya, “I don’ think that word means whatchoo think it means.”

  121. But surely with somewhere between 18 hours and 2 or 3 days notice our power companies could have enough lead time to notify customers for minimal use and disconnect key long-haul intersections to the national grid. It’s the long interstate wires that are the most vulnerable to the induced current if still attached. A thirty to forty mile radius local grid should have no problem with small area exposed to the generated magnetic field, or that has always been my understanding. Isn’t that basically correct?

    Now I can see the small telegraph lines, made to carry minimal voltage and current, many hundreds of miles long picking up enough induced current to actually burn them out. Wasn’t that what actually occurred in 1859? (hopefully without delving into calculations of electric/magnetic field densities, Gauss, Coulomb and such)

    Also I can’t relate to the danger of the satellites unless someone can clarify in terms of the magnitudes of magnetic field or plasma density, etc. At the global scale is a whole other matter, yes, aurora down to the tropics and other world-scale phenomena.

    If I’m way off, please add some facts to clarify.

  122. I don’t get it. I thought the sun was heating up the earth, not CO2, but the sun has been in a “deep slumber”. What gives?

  123. We are all doomed! If isn’t solar storm than its meteor storm ! Get a tin hat !

    NASA warns new meteor storm ‘could damage Hubble and International Space Station’
    Satellites such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station are under new threat from the most powerful meteor storm in more than a decade, Nasa scientists have warned.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7835232/Nasa-warns-new-meteor-storm-could-damage-Hubble-and-International-Space-Station.html

  124. Donald M. Onysko says:
    June 17, 2010 at 11:08 am

    “There are some things in the world that I’m skeptic about, one of which is alarmism involving global warming. But, I’m afraid that many of the flippant remarks noted on this post have been motivated by people’s negative opinions of some of the people and work that NASA does. On the subject of solar flares and their effect on our civilization, I’m not a skeptic.”

    I referred to the Carrington event much earlier in the thread-an extract follows;.

    “tonyb says:
    June 17, 2010 at 3:36 am
    We discussed this some months ago in another context and there is a definite precedent-the Carrington event of 1859

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

    I had a small amount of discussion with Leif about it who said it was likely to happen again and the consequences would be disastrous.”

    Like you, I’m somewhat surprised that some people are taking this so lightly. I think its a matter of NASA continually crying ‘wolf!’ which has turned people off.

    To me the possibility of another Carrington type event is much more real, immediate, and threatening than the highly notional problem of CAGW. However here we are throwing billions at the latter and yet are doing nothing about the former.

    We are highly dependent on all the technology that would be fundamentally affected by a Carrington type event. I doubt Nasa’s predictions, but one will surely effect us in ten/twenty/fifty years. Of equal concern is the damage that a determined electrical attack by a terrorist organisation could do on our advanced civilisations that are so utterly dependent on computers. This is NOT science fiction and we would be well advised to syphon off a fraction of the CAGW money towards protecting our infrastructure against electrical catastrophe, man made or natural, that will surely otherwise devastate us at some unspecfied point within the medium future.

    tonyb

  125. This electromagnetic firestorm will hit the poles. We will see brown Poley bears over toasted like marshmallows.

  126. Carrington type event would be even more forceful now, since the geomagnetic field’s protection is 10-12 % weaker now than it was in 1859. Only Siberia is stronger, but then there isn’t much to be damaged there.

  127. Billy Liar says:
    June 17, 2010 at 11:32 am
    But there have been 4 lower peaked cycles since 1859: viz 1884, 1894, 1907 and 1928.
    And some of those had some of the strongest solar storms on record…

  128. At the time of the Y2K affair, I was the systems manager of a daily newspaper. The reality is that we had no problems because of Y2K. We had no problems because we put many man-hours into making sure we had no problems. If we had not done the work, there would have been difficulties. We tested, tested, tested, found the problems, and fixed them. Some organizations did not do the work and there were horror stories – some bad code, some legacy hardware issues. There were real flaws, especially in older equipment. For those who had later equipment and clean code, they were mostly home free
    There have been several sizable solar events in the last 150 years. Most of them were not directed at Earth. Lucky us. Although the 11/04/2003 solar event that missed us may have been the largest flare recorded, the 9/01/1859 Carrington Event is surely the most powerful known to have hit the planet. Fortunately, monster solar flares don’t slam us often. Nevertheless, they do happen and another Carrington-like event will hit us again – someday. For the 1859 Carrington, the highest technology level was the telegraph. In 2010, humanity’s existence clearly depends on useful but vulnerable technology. But a maybe civilization-damaging solar flare could happen anytime. What I would like to know is: how would our modern society weather such a storm? My thought is that a Carrington type event, similar to that of 1859, would be a disaster if we don’t prepare for it.
    Most organizations successfully prepared for Y2K and we can prepare for a new Carrington Event threat. We need information. Doing research and building information used to be what the US federal government did tolerably well instead of its current preoccupation with controlling every aspect of existence. Therefore, I give the task to the feds. Find out the threat level for a new Carrington Event. If there’s a problem, find out how we can survive a new Carrington Event. March!

  129. jack morrow says:
    June 17, 2010 at 6:42 am

    This probably could happen and even Arthur C. Clarke wrote a book about the possibility of this occurring.

    So did James Michener in “Space.” IIRC, a single scientist was concerned about the possibility of major flares occurring during relatively quiet periods (Leif – Help?) but without stronger evidence his concerns weren’t passed upward. Of course, on occurs while astronauts are on the moon and can’t make it back to command module before becoming incapacitated.

    At the ICCC I talked with Harrison Schmitt about issues crossing the Van Allen radiation belt, which I once heard as a reason why the moon landings had to be fakes. He confirmed that they crossed it quickly enough to not be a problem, and then mentioned that solar flares were a much bigger concern.

    A few inches of water apparently do a decent job of blocking things, so I think water tanks on the ISS are used as a shield for a safe area. We didn’t get into the details.

  130. RE: Social Antisocialist: (June 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm) “I don’t get it. I thought the sun was heating up the earth, not CO2, but the sun has been in a “deep slumber”. What gives?”

    This is old news. If you haven’t noticed, the sun has been unusually quiet for the past two years, often going many days on end with not a single sunspot to be seen. A minimal resumption of ‘normal’ sunspot activity began this spring. While it’s too soon to say for sure, the warming trend over the past 30 years has shown signs of topping out and the possible development of a reverse trend.

  131. And what’s going to happen to all them new babies with the micro chip in their brain courtesy of our new Global Government.

  132. if thousands of transformers are blown out, it would be months to replace them all and get everything back up and running. I don’t know of any country that carries an extra inventory of thousands of transformers in some warehouse. Tens of thousands of dollars per transformer, and days to make one.

    I believe there would be a thriving market in transformer refurbishing. I know we are “trained” these days to think “throw out the old one and buy a new one” but in this case, I believe we would see them being re-wound.

    A repeat of the event in 1859 would be “interesting” today. Think about airplanes in flight and “bullet trains” underway.

  133. >-T h e S i l e n c e O f T h e I n t e r n e t s s s-<

    It'll just go: click.

    I wonder though, with about 15 years of car having been integrated with computers, and planes and trains even longer, not to mention ships, how many train, planes, and automobiles, have been fried so far due to solar flares?

    Perhaps the sats and what not floating around up there, and out there in deeper space, was manufactured 100% analog, or perhaps nobody told the manufacturers how "obscenely fragile" computers really are.

    Christ, if you think your computer is that fragile, why on earth did you buy it in the first place?

  134. Great time for me to rant a bit: (NASA has my dander up with this article)

    Ok, tonyb, I read you, and I somewhat agree with you, but not immediately with some of your fears. I want the numbers, the physics behind both sides of this discussion. If it’s no worry to somebody I wish they would supply the numbers that make them think that way. If somebody thinks it will destroy the world as we know it, I wish they would supply the numbers as to how this is going to unfold, scientifically.

    The earth’s magnetic field is somewhere between 30 and 60 micro Tesla. It’s sixty near northern Canada and Argentina. If a Carrington magnitude hits us, what will the magnetic field max at. What was it in 1859? We have polar orbit satellites above the Aurora Borealis without harm. If the aurora extends down to the tropics is that supposed to destroy their electronics. By itself I think not.

    How about the pure strength of the solar wind? Enough to throw the satellites pointing off track temporarily? Ok, what’s the density. In 1859 the particles hit 18 hours later, that’s about six times faster that normal of 400,000 m/s. By the time it hits Earth lets say the density is 10 times (WAG) normal. That’s 6^2*10 or 360 time the normal force. Is that enough to harm? Leif says the solar wind is so incredibly diffuse it has no effect, on the climate at least. Is 360 times that for a period of an hour or two of any real danger? Don’t know.

    How about the magnetic field strength and flux? That could generate electricity in all wires but it then depends on how long, how many turns in a transformer (the volume), and the field strength. Very long wires, yes, there is a problem. Wires in your computer (18 inches) or in a satellite (2 meters), I’m not sold.

    NASA just had to put in the X-ray camera that was burnt out in one of the last flares. But it was extremely sensitive and aimed directly at it, no wonder it burned out. That has nothing to do with the satellites electronics being burnt out.

    Plasma at the satellites altitude can be there but only by the density of the molecules. I think insignificant, can’t imagine enough matter to harm, satellites are isolated. I rub cat-fur on glass and charge my body up to 50,000 volts, you can’t feel it (unless you then touch some conductor, then you can!). That’s my point.

    You see, I want to know why, how, and how large in numbers. It’s amazing on a science site as this how devoid of any real answers the comments portray, lot’s of generals on both sides but after spending hours reading you’ve actually learned little. NASA for sure is not going to just blurt this information out. That’s their protected knowledge. Here at WUWT we can only rely on the expertise of the engineers, scientists, enthusiasts to supply these numbers. If anyone can fill in, please do so.

    Is there a real problem? Some dangers I see, some I don’t think even exist. It would be nice to know pretty close which is which.

    I’ve told most of what I think and know (saving any equations for later if needed), does anyone know something else to clarify this? I hate meaningless worry.

    /rant off

  135. In a solar minimum should we expect more electrons or more protons coming from the sun?

  136. It will disrupt communication devices such as satellites and car navigations, air travel, the banking system, our computers, everything that is electronic. It will cause major problems for the world.

    Oh, the horror! It’s like the Y2K disaster all over again!

  137. Scaremongering ? Yes this is really what it is all about ! Cap and trade must be pushed through before the next US election and nothing is absurd enough to frighten the public . Any real scientist may confirm that given the magnetic field strengths around the earth the chances are very dim that a solar outburst may have severe consequences for the earth itself . Furthermore the sun is not very active right now and may even stay in a state of slumber during the whole 24th measured sunspotcycle with very small chances of casual flares , which must then be directed straight to the earth , which is a chance of 1 in 10.000 or something comparable .

    From my point of view we are dealing here with eco-terrorism funded by a state in disarray . A class of green-crypto communist fidels is trying to make a total power-grab by scaring the hell out of normal reasonable people and it may even be orchestrated at the highest possible level in our society , knowing that the time to install a rigid power-system may be running out in sight of new elections .
    This story is completely logical and in line with other stories about the present socalled unprecedented warming and the unparalelled disappearance of sea-ice !

    Please take time to check the prophesies of mr hathaway and other nasa burocrats
    over the last 10 years and you may find out that none of their prophecies ever came true , but that they were very helpful in obtaining government grants , so is it unreasonable that the government wants something in return noticing an eroding acceptance by the voters of their cap and trade scheme ?

    Who was the biggest supporter of cap and trade in the us ? Enron or BP ?
    Were they both so interested in the wellbeing of our society ?
    Does Mr Obama reflect honesty , straightforwardness , leadership , decency or humbleness in view of the BP – disaster ? So what is the result when this guy is really getting a stress – test ?

  138. A good many natural events have happened in historical times which could wreak havoc with modern civilization, even destroy civilization as we know it. Due to complex interdependencies which have developed over the past century or so, our vulnerability as a “civilization” has substantially increased.

    There is little to nothing we could do to “prepare for” a recurrence of the vast majority of these natural events, although there might be considerable peace of mind for many if we pretended that we are “working on it”.

    Better to not spend all too much of our resources in this pretense.

  139. For a Carrington type event to happen, a CME will actually have to hit the earth/its magnetosphere. Although the earth is as big as a barn (a large barn at that), it is rather a long way away, and so quite a difficult thing to hit.

    Cars’ electronic systems will probably get off quite lightly, as they are their own Faraday cages. Unless you have a Trabant that is. But if you can knock out the electronics in a Trabant, then you’re doing rather well.

    Powerlines do have circuit breakers near the transformers for that other common electro-magnetic event called “being hit by lightning”. It is possible that the current/voltage will rise too quickly for those breakers to react, but equally you’d have thought the inductance inherent in transformer design would severely crimp any rapid change in voltage.

    There is a huge amount of difference being able to melt what is effectively bell-wire and being able to melt what is effectively thick copper rod – 300KVA takes no prisoners at the best of times.

  140. crosspatch says:
    A repeat of the event in 1859 would be “interesting” today. Think about airplanes in flight and “bullet trains” underway.
    We’ll get 3-4 day ‘yellow alert’ for standby, and perhaps a day or two ‘RED ALERT’.

  141. I wonder if this announcement has anything to do with the pending legislation in Congress:

    ******************************

    “New legislation, passed June 9 by the U.S. House of Representatives and referred to the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources committee, hopes to strengthen the grid’s robustness against attacks of many kinds. The immediate aim of the Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act is to direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the main federal agency responsible for electricity matters, to establish security rules for utilities and other energy companies.

    The GRID Act amends the old power law by recognizing several threats to the grid. One of these is an attack that tampers with grid computer control systems. Some utilities report fending off thousands of such cyber-attacks per day. Another is infrequent but potent geomagnetic storms, which can happen when eruptions of material from the sun send cascades of particles into Earth’s atmosphere. These particles can cause beautiful auroral displays (“northern lights”), but can burn out the wiring in orbiting satellites and induce short-lived but large voltage surges in grid equipment on the ground. Past such storms have burned out expensive equipment and left millions in the dark. A carefully detonated nuclear bomb could emit radiation pulses that could do some of the same damage.”

    http://www.physorg.com/news195752582.html

    *********************************************
    Nah, I’m sure it’s a complete coincidence….

    Actually, I do think this is something worth worrying about, and investing resources in.

  142. Is this “EX-CATHEDRA”?
    Nasa warns solar flares from ‘huge space storm’ will cause devastation

  143. Enneagram says:
    June 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm
    In a solar minimum should we expect more electrons or more protons coming from the sun?
    More electrons [a little bit] as not all positive charges are protons [some are Helium nuclei or heavier]. But we at all times we obviously expect the same number of negative charges as positive charges. If the were an excess of one charge leaving, the Sun would build up a charge with the opposite sign that would attract the leaving charges and restore neutrality.

  144. “Be more fearful of men than of the stars and much more of those who think they are stars”

  145. I dont get it – in the Sporer and Maunder minima, there were a series of weak solar cycles. Did each one have a huge Carrington flare event at its low amplitude centre? If not, why should this minimum have them?

  146. I just happened to catch Joe Bastardi’s blog about this issue.

    http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp

    I was just googling Joe Bastardi to try to get his winter forecast and that was near the top. Of course also near the top was the slander campaign by those who hate accurate forecasts. But that is for another day.

    I love Joe’s outspokenness. He is not afraid of speaking his mind. (I think that why pro-AGW website’s slander him: when you cannot attack the message, attack the messenger.) There is a whole of good information in his blog post. Just read it please.

  147. Rhoda R says:
    June 17, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Tallbloke, I’m not entirely sure that there is no proper contingency — I know that the military has been taking CME type events seriously (mostly due to EMP concerns). A lot of military systems are protected to some degee or another and I suspect certain civilian sytems -like airliners-are also. What I don’t know is whether this type of concern is taken into account when upgrading civilian power systems.

    There is no easy way to protect the electricity infrastructure. The main concerns for any civilisation are water supply, food distribution and sanitation. The U.S. military has some pretty impressive resources, but I think even they would be hard pressed keeping supermarkets stocked country wide.

  148. Whether the potential crisis might be solar flares, enemy high level atomic bursts, earthquake, hurricane, ice storm, war, infrastructure damage by terrorists, whatever, these things do happen. It pays to make some simple emergency preparations like stored water, some kind of non-electric cooking apparatus, some simple food stocks, etc. Whatever the crisis, it is too late to do anything after it hits. No emergency, no problem! But any crisis will make you very happy for whatever preparations you make.

  149. Z says:
    June 17, 2010 at 2:24 pm
    you’d have thought the inductance inherent in transformer design would severely crimp any rapid change in voltage.

    There is a huge amount of difference being able to melt what is effectively bell-wire and being able to melt what is effectively thick copper rod – 300KVA takes no prisoners at the best of times.

  150. Wayne said to me;

    “Ok, tonyb, I read you, and I somewhat agree with you, but not immediately with some of your fears. I want the numbers, the physics behind both sides of this discussion.”

    I completely agree with most of your comments. We need to find out if there is a problem, the size of it, and what if anything we should (or could) do about it.

    There are many things that need fixing in our world and until we know the overall context we can’t know where a Carrington event rates in the great scheme of things. It certainly rates way above CAGW though :)

    Tonyb

  151. CodeTech June 17, 2010 at 1:15 am ”

    Oh man… where to begin? Nah, I’ll just point out that after all the warnings about this in the past, there was exactly ONE solar event that actually damaged anyone’s electronics, and that was, I think, 2004 or 2005 when a large percentage of GPS receivers were damaged.

    Baloney; A) that would have made the ‘trade press’ and B) we would have had ‘customer returns’ afterwards …

    .
    .

  152. tallbloke June 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm :

    There is no easy way to protect the electricity infrastructure.

    Overblown.

    I reference this post here:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2333665/posts?page=163#163

    Which references this paper:

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0307/0307127.pdf

    Which has this abstract:

    This paper primarily considers the potential effects of a single high-altitude nuclear burst on the U.S. power grid.

    A comparison is made between EMP and natural phenomena such as lightning. This paper concludes that EMP is no more harmful to the power grid than its counterparts in nature.

    An upper limit of the electric field of the very fast, high-amplitude EMP is derived from first principles.

    The resulting values are significantly lower than the commonly presented values.

    Additional calculations show that the ionization produced by a nuclear burst severely attenuates the EMP.

  153. Randy Westcott June 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm :

    At the time of the Y2K affair, I was the systems manager of a daily newspaper. The reality is that we had no problems because of Y2K.

    NONE of you ever had a mortgage schedule printed out? Gee, how did they ‘figure’ those dates beyond the year 2000 unless … the LIBRARIES the code had been linked with was already CORRECTED …

    These ‘problems’ had been solved years in advance.
    .
    .

  154. cba June 17, 2010 at 9:07 am :

    sorry folks but this is a real problem. we actually do live in a dangerous universe…

    Such an event occurring today would destroy satellites and potentially even melt transformers in electric grid, unless they were taken out of service during the event.

    I’ll bet no one has heard the term “islanding” as it refers to isolating the many interconnected areas of generation for the protection of the ‘tie-lines’ (transmission lines and transformers) making up that system.

    I reference this post:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2333665/posts?page=153#153

    That discusses:

    “They already have plans that are put in effect when geomagnetic storms begin to rage due to a very similar effect (when induced currents begin to flow in the high voltage transmission lines on so-called ‘tie lines’ between large generation and load-centers that comprise “the grid”.)”

    And these docs: The plan (Training material for system operator in event of Solar Events) pdf format

    Against: This Event

    .
    .

  155. It is clear that Obama needs to pass the Solar Activity Regulation Act immediately, or at least get the EPA to regulate it.

    There will be costs, of course, but we must do it for the children.

    I could be mistaken but I’m quite sure that this unregulated solar activity started under Bush Jr.

  156. Social Antisocialist says:
    June 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    I don’t get it. I thought the sun was heating up the earth, not CO2, but the sun has been in a “deep slumber”. What gives? ”

    According to Svensmark et al. it’s that very magnetic activity from the Sun ‘though, that protects us from cosmic rays , which are a prime suspect for causing the warming, as explained here:- , so at least it shouldn’t be more air conditioners causing the blackouts.

  157. This is NOT science fiction and we would be well advised to syphon off a fraction of the CAGW money towards protecting our infrastructure against electrical catastrophe, man made or natural, that will surely otherwise devastate us at some unspecfied point within the medium future.

    tonyb

    This is another consequence of malpractice in science. The real threats, such as solar storms or a possible polar reversal, are being ignored. Satellites can be built to shut down and fold up at the onset signs of a solar flare. But these storms can reach earth in as little as half an hour.

    The next line of defense is to have an overstock of launch vehicles to replace satellites that are vital and have lost function. This is not the case because of the military budget cuts this Administration has foolishly persued. We must heed this warning by NASA. Hostile nations are also developing the technology to knock out satellites. Why do you think then-Pres. Bush hit that defunct satellite with a missile? It was to demonstrate that we can do it; and it should be clear that this technology can be acquired by rogue nations.

    The deep military cuts will be bitterly regretted in the event of this potential repeat of 1859. But then it will be too late.

  158. PS, I may have mispoke a little, as the actual military budget was not so much reduced but the technological defense capabilities of our nation have been greatly hobbled by Pres Obama.

    In other news, Lord Monckton posted on the Thatcher thread
    :-)

  159. RE: Billy Liar: (June 17, 2010 at 6:06 am ) “I’ve just consulted my 300-year diagram of international sunspot number to find that the 1856 minimum was neither deep nor long. Perhaps you could tell me where 1856 figures in the league table of minima both by length and depth?”

    I have made an Excel plot showing 90-day moving-average smoothed data for every sunspot cycle from 1755 plotted against sunspot cycle 23 with the start of each cycle aligned with the start of sunspot cycle 23 (1996.) On my plot as of late 2009, the smoothed ends of cycle 23 (1996) and cycle 9 (1844) appear to be tracking each other fairly closely.

  160. Wade says:
    June 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I just happened to catch Joe Bastardi’s blog about this issue.

    http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp

    I love Joe’s outspokenness. He is not afraid of speaking his mind. (I think that why pro-AGW website’s slander him: when you cannot attack the message, attack the messenger.) There is a whole of good information in his blog post. Just read it please.

    He is indeed outspoken, and has this to say about Landsheidt.info

    Far more accurate in the prediction of this sunspot cycle has been this site…

    http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50

    They are far more accurate in their assessment than what is going on with NASA and NOAA, who seem to re-write and re-do data. Please get on the site and read what they have to say, and how the way NASA is measuring sunspots is not the way we measured them in previous times, just as they are adjusting temperatures from before the satellite age, and then using the satellite measurements to justify warming. You simply can’t change the way you measure things, and then say they are the same. You can’t know that people recording sunspots in the early 1800s would have the same count as you have today, when you can see so much more. In any case, it can’t get much quieter. I have been watching the site…

  161. Hi tonyb,

    At “_Jim says: June 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm” is a link to what really happened in 1989 CME. See “The Plan”. Great info. That type of info really makes this whole thing a bit clearer.

    Maybe the power companies shouldn’t use the Earth as one of the 3-phase star legs. Saves lots of expensive high-voltage cable but look the vulnerability it leaves open!

    Still can’t find how it’s suppose to burn out satellites. Also it is curious that apparently no satellites were damaged in the 1989 CME that brought the grid down, maybe the circuitry is more robust in the older satellites.

  162. The sunspots are starting….
    The sunspots are not starting…..
    The sunspots are starting………
    The sunspots are not starting…..

    This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad, does anyone believe any of their predictions any more?

  163. Here’s a thought, what would happen to earth’s temperatures if the core like got a cold so to speak. Would the greenies still denounce the sun as a major climate change and global warming player I wonder.

    If everything else was the same except the heat from the earth’s core, what would it really do to the average global temperature? What if it was the other way around, cora is the same but remove the sun? How much does various 300-800 ppm concentrations of CO2 difference make then, after all CO2 retransfer heat from the earth.

  164. June 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm
    Randy Westcott June 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm :
    At the time of the Y2K affair, I was the systems manager of a daily newspaper. The reality is that we had no problems because of Y2K.
    NONE of you ever had a mortgage schedule printed out? Gee, how did they ‘figure’ those dates beyond the year 2000 unless … the LIBRARIES the code had been linked with was already CORRECTED …
    These ‘problems’ had been solved years in advance.
    ———————————————————
    Off topic really, but please let me deal with it.

    And what do you do with a legacy machine running PDP-11 assembler and keeping time on a chip that did not have a large enough register to keep time, and date, (the clock) beyond 12/31/2000. It would count up to a certain point and then, overflow city. True story. We had it. The best people in the industry looked at the problem. The way it was setup it was impossible to fix by replacing the component or changing the code. So we lied to the computer by telling it was in 1978 (I think) so it would keep track of the Julian date properly. Then we started looking for a replacement system; but the damned PDP-11 kept running. An industry wide problem. It was an editorial system. The dates for the newspaper banner all came out of the typesetter anyway as someone’s deliberate action on that day and were not dependent on the computer. I think someone eventually found a fix for the problem – maybe with some special hardware.

    Someone in the early 80’s built TI minicomputer code that had the date 19XX hard coded. This date issue could make life interesting when the year flips to 2000. Had to be found and changed. Apparently someone could not conceive that the century would change. Things like that. There were some RPG issues. Unix code worked fine. There were a couple of Microsoft problems. No Apple problems that I recall. Applications like dBase and Lotus worked properly. But, some code built in the early 80’s was “lazy” code. The people who programmed those things might have taken the easy way to get a job done, leaving the fixing for someone else.

    This was back in the days of the typesetter. Parts of a newspaper page would come out of the typesetter to be pasted up on a full page. You mention a mortgage schedule. If it was to go in the paper then it likely comes in as customer copy, camera ready, and is pasted up on a page for the camera and a plate is made for the press. Or, someone might code a piece for the typesetter using numbers the assistant controller or a wizard (me) worked out on a spreadsheet. There was none of the WYSIWYG business. This world is foreign to most people. In ten years, much has changed.

    Let’s get back to Carrington Events.

  165. _Jim says:
    June 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    CodeTech June 17, 2010 at 1:15 am ”

    Oh man… where to begin? Nah, I’ll just point out that after all the warnings about this in the past, there was exactly ONE solar event that actually damaged anyone’s electronics, and that was, I think, 2004 or 2005 when a large percentage of GPS receivers were damaged.

    Baloney; A) that would have made the ‘trade press’ and B) we would have had ‘customer returns’ afterwards …

    December 2005. As many as 15% of receivers had reduced reception capability after the event.

    This stuff is not hard to find, you know.

  166. Sad, when all a man can do is fear, fear itself! Have any of you ever stood outside in the midst of a raging electrical storm and felt the exhilaration of experiencing the power of nature, of understanding that whatever you think, nature is more powerful and within that power and fury it is a beauty to withhold.

    If we are to fear everything that is natural and just might occur, is to lose the opportunity to live in harmony with nature, accept that there will be cruel experiences and some hardship for that is the way of nature.

    Science, understanding and theories might give man a puny thought of control, but if the lightning just happens to strike YOU the jigs up! If it misses, you get a second chance – make the most of that opportunity, as maybe your time on this planet wasn’t up!Man is cautious, adapts to the environment, and man survives, and when the time comes that man does not survive, then you and I won’t be concerned with that.

    Its wise to take some precautions when dealing with nature, you don’t usually walk about in a storm holding a lightning conductor to lessen you chances of surviving that electrical storm, but also remember, you can cower in a cave and still be drowned or buried under its collapse in a storm or lose life because some other wild animal or reptile sought shelter and needs to survive.

    Sometimes man has to accept his place, deal with the cards he has been dealt. You can take all the precautions against your fears, and something completely unexpected will bite you on the B*m!! That’s nature and life, sometimes risk management doesn’t work!!

  167. Regarding the “damaged GPSs” in 2004, 2005, SWMBO and I live on a boat and did at that time. I can vaguely remember something like a “system reset” that was announced in advance and if I remember correctly caused our 2 systems to (gasp) reset.

    There was also a software issue on one of our older Garmins maybe a year or two earlier which for some reason cured itself.

    But no crashes, sorry guys.

  168. I posted this link above.

    It answers a lot of conjecture on previous posts. It’s a PDF document written by a Military (Naval) solar physicist on the causes and effects of major C.M.E.’s

    Read it before posting

    Solar Storm Threat Analysis

  169. “In a new warning, Nasa said the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning” and could cause catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken”

    Code for we need to raise your taxes to 70% of your income asap!

  170. Maybe a bit off topic but I don’t think most people realize the amount of food they already have on hand in an emergency. When my wife cornered me into re-organizing the pantry and cabinets once I decided to record all the calories of all edible items (including vegetable oils, flours etc which are edible in an emergency). I came up with around 200,000 calories which would serve 2 people about 3 months (100 days) with no weight loss @ 2000 calories each per day. I don’t think that most people realize how much emergency food they already have on hand.
    Most electronic items would not be susceptible if turned off or not operating, and one would think that there would be several hours warning for this. Most all military hardware is well protected against spikes of this kind because of required protection from nuclear burst EMP. And commercial aircraft somewhat less so because of requirements for electrical system protection from radio frequency interference.

  171. Northern Exposure says:
    June 17, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I also noted from the telegraph article that Dr. Fisher states : “… power grids, would be without power and access to electronic devices for hours, possibly even days.”
    Sorry Dr. Fisher, but I think the realistic picture there would be more in the area of ‘months’ rather than hours/days… if thousands of transformers are blown out, it would be months to replace them all and get everything back up and running. I don’t know of any country that carries an extra inventory of thousands of transformers in some warehouse. Tens of thousands of dollars per transformer, and days to make one.

    You’re think about little transformers. Consider those on long high voltage runs,
    they get strong induced currents, and those can blow out transformers at
    generating stations, e.g.

    http://www.spacew.com/gic/index.html which says in part:

    “The cost to PSE&G for replacing this transformer was on the order of several million U.S. dollars. The cost of replacement energy during the time the transformer was taken out of service was about $400,000 a day for 6 weeks (3), or approximately ~16.8 million dollars. The net cost for PSE&G was therefore over 20 million.”

    A photo at that web page shows the destroyed windings on the transformer.

  172. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859 they say under History that “Ice cores show evidence that events of similar intensity recur at an average rate of approximately once per 500 years. Since 1859, less severe storms have occurred in 1921 and 1960, when widespread radio disruption was reported.”

    So is it 150 years, we’re overdue; or 500 years and we have nothing to worry about?

  173. Les Francis:
    Thanks for some good information Les.

    Solar Storm Threat Analysis

    Found it curious that we receive one large SPE ever 2.9 mean years (154 in 450). When I was very young I remember hearing of radio blackouts a couple of times, that must be these large SPE events. Interesting.

    That’s a good bit of what I was looking for, thanks again for finding this.

    Oh, BTW, shores up that any damage to satellites is degradation if under shielded and comes from high energy protons and other ions. That makes sense, not induce voltage and current causing it to literally “burn out”. In NASA’s word above it was ‘disrupt’ not ‘destroy’, at least that word proved correct. Here we go with another “possibly could occur with damage” Y2K or a “it will happen one day but don’t know if it’s tomorrow or 300 years from now”, we’ll get small ones every few years but wait for that big one. Brother!

    But it does sound like they need to handle that small problem with the grid and tying one leg of the high-voltage 3-phase power lines to earth. Never knew they did that on the big scale. After learning that it’s the induced current within the Earth that is the real culprit, that does seem problematic. That’s the same problem you get with lightning if you incorrectly ground your house, only BIG.

    Wish they wouldn’t just wait till it “trips”, if people had a way to be warned and knew it was on it’s way most would just turn unnecessary big power items off.

  174. _Jim says:
    June 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm
    A comparison is made between EMP and natural phenomena such as lightning. This paper concludes that EMP is no more harmful to the power grid than its counterparts in nature.

    Did you see the image I posted with the burned out transformer?
    A nuclear explosion contain less energy than a hurricane. Lightning is a spark compared to a big solar flare.

  175. LightRain says:
    June 17, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859 they say under History that “Ice cores show evidence that events of similar intensity recur at an average rate of approximately once per 500 years. Since 1859, less severe storms have occurred in 1921 and 1960, when widespread radio disruption was reported.”

    So is it 150 years, we’re overdue; or 500 years and we have nothing to worry about?

    Probably depends whether you work out the odds on a random basis or whether you agree with NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung that solar flares etc tend to occur when planets are right overhead. Perhaps Leif can explain…

  176. tallbloke says:
    June 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm
    Probably depends whether you work out the odds on a random basis or whether you agree with NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung that solar flares etc tend to occur when planets are right overhead. Perhaps Leif can explain…
    Put on your tin-foil hat when the planets are in certain positions. There is no credible evidence for any of that. There are millions of flares and microflares in a solar cycle and you can find some to coincide with anything you want. Conversely, there are plenty of combinations of alignments so you can easily find something that coincides with those. NASA and the Space Weather Agencies thankfully do not employ astrology in their forecasts of solar activity.

  177. Still can’t find how it’s suppose to burn out satellites. Also it is curious that apparently no satellites were damaged in the 1989 CME that brought the grid down, maybe the circuitry is more robust in the older satellites.

    Galaxy 15 took a solar flare related hit just this past April

    http://sxi.ngdc.noaa.gov/sxi_greatest.html

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/Astronomy/story/31455/galaxy-15-problems.asp

    There are several ways that CME can damage spacecraft. One is differential charging in the plasma environment where one part of the spacecraft is suddenly at a much higher potential than the rest of the bird and ZAP.

    Another is through enhanced radiation, especially in GEO. When a CME happens the Earth’s magnetosphere contracts, sometimes radically. During quiet times the bowshock is out at over 100,000 miles from the planet. However, during a storm the bowshock can be compressed to below GEOSync altitudes (~33,600 km). This can bring a lot of enhanced proton radiation into the spacecraft, causing single event upsets, latch ups (radiation induced shorts in a silicon substrate that destroy a chip), and overall degredation of critical systems such as solar arrays and other hardware.

    Exact numbers vary as some spacecraft (military) are protected through parts selection, design considerations, and ability to ramp down operations during a major blast. Commercial spacecraft are not as well protected but here is a number that I know. The GEO environment in 1 MEV equivalent fluence is about 10^12 (my memory may be faulty on the exponent and I don’t remember the other units.

    The total dose that a spacecraft gets in GEO during a 15 year lifetime is about 50 kilorads where a LEO spacecraft gets about 30 kilorads. This can be accumulated in a single day of a really big storm. I would expect that after reading about the Aurora being visible in Cuba that a commercial bird would probably get its lifetime total dose in an hour. Military spacecraft are qualified into the megarads (exact numbers are usually classified) but even this dose would probably be absorbed in a day or two.

    So yes Virginia, the 1859 Carrington event would strike a major blow to our space based assets.

  178. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 17, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    tallbloke says:
    June 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm
    Probably depends whether you work out the odds on a random basis or whether you agree with NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung that solar flares etc tend to occur when planets are right overhead. Perhaps Leif can explain…
    Put on your tin-foil hat when the planets are in certain positions. There is no credible evidence for any of that. There are millions of flares and microflares in a solar cycle and you can find some to coincide with anything you want. Conversely, there are plenty of combinations of alignments so you can easily find something that coincides with those. NASA and the Space Weather Agencies thankfully do not employ astrology in their forecasts of solar activity.

    NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung’s analysis is statistically significant. But without getting into that debate again, as we’ve done it to death before on other threads here, how did you arrive at your 150 year estimate you gave us last time? Obviously via a method more rigorous than Ching Cheh Hung’s analysis, or you wouldn’t be calling him out as an astrologer, would you?

  179. NASA should say that they don’t have a clue when the large solar storm which hits populated areas on the Earth will occur, only that it may should occur at any century.

    tallbloke, are you sure that Svalgaard said something like “a flare might be expected to hit Earth once every 150 years or so”? That it occurred 150 years ago doesn’t indicate a periodicity. It might happen two times within a few decades, or it might take hundreds of years of time before it happens again. I guess it may happen in a few months or in a few centuries, stochastically as one number from a tombola.

    It’s okay that an organization like NASA mention the risk, and asks us to take precautionary actions. Such warnings must not be a fund raising alarm, and they should be made by NASA. But this warning was unfortunately connected to this particular sunspot cycle. I agree with Stephen Wilde’s comment June 17 4:35 am.

    The location of the next large solar flare to hit the Earth is also a non-predictable, stochastic variable. This is both good news and bad news. It’s good because it may take several hundreds of years before a catastrophe, and bad because it might happen tomorrow. But it’s good that nature rejects all prophets. :)

    If NASA asks for funding they should actually avoid to mention any specific sunspot cycle, and just mmention that they want money to be able to make predictions. The way the’re doing this they undermine fund raising capability after 2013. ;) I think actions should be taken in businesses — whether it happens in 500 years or in 1 years — to prevent losses from destroyed computer systems and extended times of failed power supply. Predictions — maybe impossible… — are good only if they enable us to prevent losses.

    Is this similar to the meteorite problem? Not exactly. Sooner or later we start to take some actions against both threats. However, when the prevention from meteorites needs — like the development of fusion power… — tax funds, information on the problem with solar flares should be enough to encourage businesses to built in protection in their systems. Solutions for a fast recovery of energy supply — e.g. network solutions, as well as strategical cable storage — may be enabled by decisions in that business…

  180. If strong solar flares are also common during extended periods of low sunspot activity, isn’t our vulnerability also higher these periods when the heliosphere is smaller?

  181. MA says:
    June 18, 2010 at 2:23 am

    NASA should say that they don’t have a clue when the large solar storm which hits populated areas on the Earth will occur, only that it may should occur at any century.

    tallbloke, are you sure that Svalgaard said something like “a flare might be expected to hit Earth once every 150 years or so”?

    My memory is far from perfect. Here is the exchange which made me think Leif said 150 years. In fact, Maksimovich said possibly a 1 in 200 year event, which Leif seemed to go along with, pointing out it could happen any time.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 25, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Lee (21:53:00) :
    That’s the diffusion issue, if it is spread thin enough to hit us, is it still thick enough to do any harm. So far, 100 years of electronics, minimal harm. Inverse square law can do a lot of thinning at 93 million miles.

    Yes it can still do a lot of harm. On 13 March 1989, the voltage of Quebec’s power grid began to fluctuate alarmingly. Seconds later, the lights went out across the entire province. Some 6 million people were without electricity for nine hours. Within two days, NASA had lost track of some of its spacecraft and the northern lights were glowing in the sky south of London. As described in the 3 February 1996 issue of The New Scientist, these events had the same cause – a monumental Solar Storm, the fiercest for 30 years. The 1859 flare was many times stronger.

    maksimovich (22:10:29) :
    If SEP follow the Gleissberg cycle eg McCracken 2001b and they obey a power law due to the streaming limit,would not a Carrington event be a rare possibility ?(say a 1 in 200 year event)
    Which can still happen anytime. And it was 150 years ago …

  182. Well Nasa must need funds for solar study…
    If you need them, as usual, make some scary scenarios

  183. We need cool heads and electrical engineers here.

    The Carrington event took 18 hours to arrive on earth, instead of the usual 3 or 4 days ( according to wiki). This is plenty of time to give warning to turn off vulnerable electric equipment the world over.
    If some electrical engineer puts some thoughts and numbers together easy to make Faraday cages for home equipment etc could be devised. I would think aluminum foil, but do not know the power and frequencies of the pulse arriving.

    If the pulse coming is such that even inert circuits can become activated by it, like power lines, again an electrical engineer can design grounding points on the grid to deflect the power. This needs forethought, and should be incorporated in the design of power grids.

    No need for panic.

  184. tallbloke says:
    June 18, 2010 at 3:33 am
    “Which can still happen anytime. And it was 150 years ago …”
    1859 was indeed some 150 years ago…
    But that doesn’t mean that every 150 years we are hit by such a flare.

  185. There are a fair number of these events; http://www.solarstorms.org/SRefStorms.html that occur, one or two solar rotations after a critical alignment of inner planets, this could explain why apparently looking a month ahead from current conditions was outperforming Nelson`s (RCA) planetary ordered forecasts at times.
    A good number though, are on well defined planetary alignments, including the superstorm of 1859, centered at early 29th August; http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Solar/action?sys=-Sf
    Note the tight Saturn/Mars/Venus line, within hours of, at 160deg. away, Mercury/Earth/(and Ceres-not visible here) square to Uranus.
    It would not be fair to say that 23yr monthly temperature anomaly string observable in CET, is a proxy for a half cycle of Mercury transits (46yr), as the months concerned can be seen to occur at Earth/Ceres syzygies, away from Mercury.
    Ceres can also be seen to be causing strong uplifts in solar activity when in closer alignment with Mercury and Venus together, such as from 1st April 2010, and a slightly weaker one, mid November 2009, that caused the second main spate of floods last year.

  186. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 18, 2010 at 4:47 am

    tallbloke says:
    June 18, 2010 at 3:33 am
    “Which can still happen anytime. And it was 150 years ago …”
    1859 was indeed some 150 years ago…
    But that doesn’t mean that every 150 years we are hit by such a flare.

    Thanks Leif, I think we established that.

    In fact, Maksimovich said possibly a 1 in 200 year event, which Leif seemed to go along with, pointing out it could happen any time.

    The sense of meaning I took away from this, was that you were implying that if Maksamovich’s once in 200 years was ballpark, we were 3/4 of the way through that period since the Carrington event, and anyway, and Earthbound event could occur anytime.

    The Carrington event took place at the top of the upswing of a cycle which as you pointed out earlier, wasn’t a particularly high one, though I’d point out it was significantly higher than the cycles during the Dalton Minimum, and 60 years after it’s onset. The 1989 event also took place just at the top of the upswing of the cycle.

    Still, we don’t have enough events on record to draw any conclusions.

  187. Thanks to this thread, I find two studies about solar storms:
    – Ching-Cheh Hung, Apparent Relations Between Solar Activity And Solar Tides (…)
    – James A. Marusek, Solar Storm Threat Analysis.

    The lists of Great Solar Storms in both studies are very different.
    Is it possible to acquire a reliable list of the largest solars storms since 1859? With this, it must be possible to investigate if the proposition of Ching-Cheh Hung is correct.
    Perhaps a question to dr. Leif Svalgaard? Thanks!

  188. “Ceres can also be seen to be causing strong uplifts in solar activity …”.
    O, no!!! After the “influence” of the planets, now some asteroids too?
    Please stop that astrological nonsense.

  189. tallbloke says:
    June 18, 2010 at 5:42 am
    “Still, we don’t have enough events on record to draw any conclusions.”

    Isn’t 150 years about 0.000000033 percent of the Sun’s 4,570,000,000 main sequence age?

    Is that a large enough sample to speculate about “cyclical” solar events, beyond the idea that “it happens a lot.”

  190. RE: anna v says: (June 18, 2010 at 4:41 am) “If some electrical engineer puts some thoughts and numbers together easy to make Faraday cages for home equipment etc could be devised. I would think aluminum foil, but do not know the power and frequencies of the pulse arriving.”

    On Earth, I believe the primary problem is in the very low frequency band. As long as your main circuit breaker can handle the induced voltages, all you should have to do is pull the breaker to protect your home. I do not know, however, if it would make things better or worse for your power grid if everyone did this. I believe it should be the responsibility of your local power distributer to have an effective plan in place for notifying you of the appropriate action to take in the event of a Severe Geomagnetic Storm alert. I think the government should only be responsible for verifying that qualified plans are in place and providing general alert notifications.

  191. tallbloke says:
    June 18, 2010 at 5:42 am
    The sense of meaning I took away from this, was that you were implying that if Maksamovich’s once in 200 years was ballpark, we were 3/4 of the way through that period since the Carrington event, and anyway, and Earthbound event could occur anytime.
    Nobody in his right mind would say this. Events can happen at any time. It is meaningless to attach significance to “3/4 of the way”.
    Still, we don’t have enough events on record to draw any conclusions.
    We do have enough events to draw some conclusions, e.g. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008cosp…37.2956S

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007SpWea…507004M

    “It is shown that the >4 GeV fluence of large solar energetic particle events was a factor of 10 greater and the frequency of occurrence a factor of four greater prior to 1958 than during the space era. There were two events in 1946 and 1949 with >4 GeV fluences similar to that of 23 February 1956, suggesting that the >4 GeV fluence of the largest probable event for a similar period would be ~3 times greater. The historic cosmic ray and glaciological records indicate that the fluences and probability of occurrence of such large events at both high and low energies are greatest in periods of low long-term solar activity and anticorrelated with the estimated strength of the heliospheric magnetic field. […] It is proposed that the next Gleissberg minimum of solar activity will lead to a repetition of the pre-1958 era of high-frequency, high-fluence GLE and SEP events. […]”
    Although this conclusion is tentative, the chance of strong events at any time remains high.

  192. Rik Gheysens says:
    June 18, 2010 at 6:04 am
    Is it possible to acquire a reliable list of the largest solars storms since 1859? With this, it must be possible to investigate if the proposition of Ching-Cheh Hung is correct.

    http://www.leif.org/research/1859%20Storm%20-%20Extreme%20Space%20Weather.pdf

    The statistical base of Hung’s study is too weak to be useful. And there is no physical basis for any correlation of this type. One could argue that any planetary [or other astrological – Ceres, no less] influence should have even larger effects on the smaller flares of which we have thousands, but no such effect has been demonstrated.

  193. Have there been any super duper “events” that went off the…er…um… back side? If so, are we not good for another 200 years? Or do these things, at this strength, happen more frequently, but only towards the Earth within a 200 year period or there abouts?

  194. Jean Meeus says:
    June 18, 2010 at 6:04 am

    “Ceres can also be seen to be causing strong uplifts in solar activity …”.
    O, no!!! After the “influence” of the planets, now some asteroids too?
    Please stop that astrological nonsense.

    I agree, some of this speculation is nonsensical, verging on snake oil salesman. But surely with your great knowledge you must acknowledge that the 4 gas giants do have some influence on the orbit pattern of the Sun around the SSB?

  195. anna v says:
    June 18, 2010 at 4:41 am

    The Carrington event took 18 hours to arrive on earth, instead of the usual 3 or 4 days ( according to wiki). This is plenty of time to give warning to turn off vulnerable electric equipment the world over.
    If some electrical engineer puts some thoughts and numbers together easy to make Faraday cages for home equipment etc could be devised. I would think aluminum foil, but do not know the power and frequencies of the pulse arriving.

    I don’t think home electronics are at much of a risk, especially if they’re unplugged from the wall outlet.

    It not a pulse per se, it’s more like a heavy rainstorm, building and waning until the cloud passes. Read some of the accounts of the Carrington event, telegraph operators had hours to experience and try various ways to deal with it.

    The safest thing to do is to disconnect devices from long transmission lines and when congress hauls you before the inquisitors, err, energy committee, tell them you felt it prudent to shutdown the grid for a day instead having to rebuild it.

  196. @Jean Meeus says:
    June 18, 2010 at 6:04 am
    “O, no!!! After the “influence” of the planets, now some asteroids too?
    Please stop that astrological nonsense.”

    Fuss all you care to, it will not change the facts. This may all be too heretical for you, but who are you to comment so, on a subject you know nothing about. I can back my claims up with a wealth of evisence. There is no substance to your objection.

  197. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 18, 2010 at 8:18 am
    “Please stop that astrological nonsense.”
    Fuss all you care to, it will not change the facts. This may all be too heretical for you, but who are you to comment so, on a subject you know nothing about. I can back my claims up with a wealth of evisence. There is no substance to your objection.

    The problem with pseudo-‘scientists’/astrologers is not that they don’t know their subject, but that what they know just ain’t so [to quote Mark Twain].

  198. LightRain says:
    (About solar storm events)
    So is it 150 years, we’re overdue; or 500 years and we have nothing to worry about?

    ——————————————————————————————————-

    Who knows? In 2003 a monster missed Earth and also in 1909. Since the 1859 event, scientists have gotten good at measuring these matters and they have recorded many of these critters, only some of which affected us. And we have no idea about the ones not visible to us.
    http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/SSTA.pdf

    Our Sun appears unstable, active as in 1958, or dropping down to little activity as during the Maunder Minimum. Judging by what we know, we can be hit at any time. The effects range from hardly noticeable to potentially civilization-destroying, depending on several factors. You pays your money and you takes your chances. My sense is that our high tech, just-in-time civilization is vulnerable to a new Carrington Event or probably to any of the about half-dozen serious solar events since 1859.

  199. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 18, 2010 at 7:58 am
    you must acknowledge that the 4 gas giants do have some influence on the orbit pattern of the Sun around the SSB?
    But that movement has no influence on solar activity, so what is the relevance to the topic of this thread?
    If two people walk down the street on opposite sides, their center of mass is somewhere between them in the middle of the street. If one of them speeds up, it will influence the ‘orbit’ of the other one around that center of mass [as the center of mass will shift], but that will have no influence on the other person, per se. The center of mass does not exert any forces on its own.

  200. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 18, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I would agree there is much pseudo science around in attemps to explain planetary influence on solar activity. The philosophy of many astrologers is that there is even no physical mechanism at play. You will not find it too easy to apply Twains “but that what they know just ain’t so” type of dismissal to my findings though.

  201. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 18, 2010 at 11:21 am
    You will not find it too easy to apply Twains “but that what they know just ain’t so” type of dismissal to my findings though.
    And why are your ‘findings’ any better than the rest? And who claims they are better [other than yourself]?

  202. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

    @Jean Meeus says:
    June 18, 2010 at 6:04 am
    “O, no!!! After the “influence” of the planets, now some asteroids too?
    Please stop that astrological nonsense.”

    Fuss all you care to, it will not change the facts. This may all be too heretical for you, but who are you to comment so, on a subject you know nothing about.

    Oh dear. Do you have any idea who Jean Meeus is?

  203. I see that most references to the Carrington Event seem to be omitting a very important parameter — the typical voltage such an event might induce at the Earth’s surface, usually measured in volts per meter. There is a big difference between an EM field that can induce several thousand volts per meter on any conducting body and one that only may induce several tens of volts per kilometer of extended wire. However, the hazard these rare events pose to our modern power grid is real.

    It may be ironic that the people living deep in the jungles of Borneo would probably coast through such an event with no disruption of their daily routine while the modern world outside could well be descending into chaos.

  204. Queelius says:
    June 19, 2010 at 2:49 am

    All of this spit and venom, signifying nothing.

    (Note: I’m not talking about NASA.)

    It signifies a lot.

    Those of us that are scientists in the physical sciences should be grateful that Leif does not tire of stating the scientific pov when all these planetary alignment stuff comes up on these boards. I suppose if Leif were not a bit acerbic, he would have given up as most of us most of the time have, though if he does not pipe up, I feel obliged to hold the side up for science and pipe up myself.

    There are very specific and stringent, sine qua non, requirements for a “theory” to be a scientific theory :
    It should adhere to the dynamics developed by generations of scientists, ending with Einstein, and formulated into differential equations that we can use and solve, and be able to predict orbits, reactions, interactions.
    It should not violate conservation numbers, i.e. the constants of motion are constants of motion for the “theory” under examination.

    Conservation of energy, momentum, angular momentum, ( and some esoteric topological numbers too, which are outside my competence too) .
    Galilean relativity, where the velocities with respect to the velocity of light are small.
    etc.

    These planetary theories, coming from the times when astrology and astronomy were all mixed up together, fail on the conservation of energy, primarily, and conservation of momentum and angular momentum when they try to use the barycenter as a real fulcrum of the forces acting on the planetary system.
    1)There is not enough energy to be gravitationally exchanged ( gravitational energy available from the planets is very small and appears in the tides, which are tiny on the sun, and tinier on the earth).
    2) Gravity is a manifestation of mass, and the barycenter has 0 mass. It can affect nothing.
    3)If one tried to formulate the forces in the barycentric system ( it is a legitimate Galilean system, as the epicycle system, see below) very complicated formulae would be needed. Simplicity is the hallmark of real science.

    Let me give an example from the theory of epicycles. It is wrongly assumed that the epicycles are wrong. A fallacy. If one calculates the orbits of the planets in a geocentric system the epicycles appear in all their glory. Does it have a meaning to start using this system to derive the motion of the sun? It is a very legitimate Galilean system but is rejected because its mathematical formulation is far removed from the mathematical formulation of the forces acting by the heavenly bodies; very complicated mathematical formulae would be needed to express gravitational forces in this coordinate system. That is why the heliocentric system, once envisaged, became dominant. The forces have a simple natural formulation in this system.

    Let me repeat, within the formidable construct of modern mathematics/physics/astronomy that has been established, a graduate course has to be followed by a student in order to assimilate and be able to use the theory for new manifestations, planetary and barycentric influences are “pseudo science”.

    So, as this board is followed by many scientists , I am grateful that Leif has undertaken the role of watchdog-reviewer for the science appearing here in the comments.

    And I have not entered on the subject of coincidences in independent chaotic systems fooling people that correlations exist when they are either fortuitous clock synchronizations, or simply fortuitous.

  205. Carsten Arnholm, Norway says:
    June 19, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Oh dear. Do you have any idea who Jean Meeus is?

    Carsten, with respect, while Jan Meeus is an expert on astronomical motion, I doubt he has studied the subject matter Ulric is covering. Making appeals to authority is passe. Look at the data and try to find out whether there is something worth further investigation yourself.

  206. Just to remind everyone that astrology is about consciousness, not physics. It is not within the realm of scientific analysis – not because there are no correlations – Gauquelin showed several, but these are relatively crude and not useful. The practice of astrological analysis works with the symbolic language of number and harmonic and is far too complex for experimental science to grapple with. Most physical scientists have very little comprehension of astrology – as modern science separates the realm of consciousness from the physical – a separation that would not have been accepted by Galileo, Kepler or Newton, all of whom looked at the world as a whole.

    Incidentally, the six founding father of the Royal Society, led by Elias Ashmole, were all students of the inner world of consciousness – using alchemy and astrology – the former being a coded programme of enquiry disguised as chemistry so that its practitioners could avoid the potentially fatal attentions of the inquisitor.

    Modern science actually started out as a ‘magician’s trick’ – setting up an outer temple of ‘objective’ enquiry, but maintaining an inner temple of esoteric thought – which is still present and well under cover.

    A modern student of science would do well to dwell on a few facts of physics: at the quantum level of explanation, other dimensions are invoked in which time and space do not obey the same rules; ‘particles’ come in an out of (this) reality; and no instruments – by definition, can explore the sub-quantum field.

    So – we should beware and accept that there are forces at work that may operate in another dimension of this reality and that our understanding of such forces is very limited. The potential for apparently weak magnetic fields and electrical currents as feedback from planets into the sun may appear of little interest because of the very tiny energies involved – but are not the inter-planetary fields of the solar system also very small, yet they affect the flow of cosmic rays and plasma? I do not think there has been an exhaustive analysis of solar cycles in relation to planetary cycles – which are very complex – but that is still not ‘astrology’ – which is about consciousness itself.

    Astrology is however, relevant to the debate on mega-flares. Any such major event that disrupted planetary grids (and I have read the NAS report to Congress – it makes sober reading – it could take years not months to repair the grid, and they consider that millions of Americans would be at risk of starvation), would also impact upon human consciousness – like a wake-up call above all others. Ask any astrologer what they expect to see this summer…….a major wake-up call in relation to security, structure and consciousness….all well before 2013. So – this summer (through to late autumn) will be a good test of astrology. The giant planets Uranus and Jupiter align opposite Saturn, with Pluto at right-angles and Neptune about 30 degrees away from Uranus. These rare oppositions were the subject of Landscheidt’s calculations. He dealt with them purely within the Newtonian realm of celestial mechanics. He was also an astrologer, but he kept the two entirely separate.

    So – this summer will also provide a test of Landscheidt’s thesis – which suffered somewhat from not predicting the latest El Nino, but was spot on for the potential Dalton/Maunder Minimum (excuse the pun).

    Incidently, I had some correspondence with an astrophysicist who worked on the way magnetic field transfers the energy of angular momentum to early forming star discs. Leif – I wonder, the centre of mass may have no ‘power’ to influence things, but it might act as a proxy for some other forces operating…….? After all – the planets behave like objects being spun around on the end of ropes – they don’t fly off into space, yet the ropes are invisible! Science does not know how the energy is transferred along the invisible rope and even the mathematicians who delve into this last great mystery, have to invoke eleven further dimensions!

  207. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:33 am
    while Jan Meeus is an expert on astronomical motion, I doubt he has studied the subject matter Ulric is covering.
    That subject matter falls in the category of extensive knowledge of things that ain’t so.

    Making appeals to authority is passe.
    But making appeals to knowledge of physics and modern science is not passé.

  208. anna v says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:24 am

    These planetary theories, coming from the times when astrology and astronomy were all mixed up together, fail on the conservation of energy, primarily, and conservation of momentum and angular momentum when they try to use the barycenter as a real fulcrum of the forces acting on the planetary system.

    Once again you completely ignore the force which is billions of times stronger than gravity. We are not ignorant of the laws of physics, nor do we compartmentalize some of them and marginalize others. For example, the solar motion WRT the barycentre of the solar system is simply a useful proxy for the combined planetary motion we can use to get some clues as to the timings of the manifestations of some electromagnetic forces as well as gravitational ones. Ulric’s concentration on specific alignments of planets makes sense when viewed from this perspective. It is pursuing a level of detail beyond the generalized picture consideration of barycentric motion offers.

    Not yet being certain of underlying causes isn’t an impediment to discovering coincident phenomena, which can be tested for statistical significance in relation to empirical data on the assumption of common underlying causes. It is speculative at this stage, and we make no apologies for that. Nor should we need to, in discourse with open minded people.

    The approach taken by the mainstream astrophysicists is only one among several worthy of investigation. It’s good that Leif and you concentrate on the further extension of known principles and methods within your expertise. It’s bad that you denigrate and smear others who are aware that there are other approaches worth pursuing. The aim would be to re-unite the different approaches on common ground further down the line when further discoveries are made, ideas empirically tested, results are in and have been integrated into an actual ‘proper theory’.

    What you and Leif call ‘pseudo science’ is yielding interesting results and is progressing rapidly beyond the Flintstones universe you prefer to inhabit.

  209. @Carsten Arnholm, Norway says:
    June 19, 2010 at 4:04 am
    “Oh dear. Do you have any idea who Jean Meeus is?”

    Yes, and with a well predictable response from an astronomer of these times. I would expect though, a more favourable reaction from a progressive thinking astronomer, such as David Whitehouse. Is not Meeus aware that Kepler, Gallileo, Copernicus, Tycho and Newton all practised planetary weather astrology? Who is he to decide it is bunkum eh? Like I said, he has not studied the subject, so he is in no position to make fair comment.

  210. Peter Taylor says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:47 am
    I had some correspondence with an astrophysicist who worked on the way magnetic field transfers the energy of angular momentum to early forming star discs. Leif – I wonder, the centre of mass may have no ‘power’ to influence things, but it might act as a proxy for some other forces operating…….?
    The magnetic field was indeed the medium that shifted angular momentum from the Sun to the planets when they were formed. This was possible because the solar wind was much stronger back then.
    I don’t think Astrology is about consciousness, but rather the belief that the mere positions of heavenly bodies have effects beyond ordinary physical causes, e.g. causing solar cycles or your finances or your health [check your newspaper’s horoscope to see what’s in store for you today]. I would think that if this were so, the sun would cycle even if there were no conscious beings around, e.g. 100 million years ago.
    Appeal to ‘other forces’ we know nothing about etc is not science.

  211. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:02 am
    “That subject matter falls in the category of extensive knowledge of things that ain’t so.”

    Climbing on mirrors again Leif.
    I would be very happy to put a large sum of money on it being `just so`.

  212. @Geoff Sharp says:
    June 18, 2010 at 7:58 a
    “I agree, some of this speculation is nonsensical, verging on snake oil salesman.”

    It is not speculation, it is pure observation, very much unlike your own work.

  213. Peter Taylor says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Science does not know how the energy is transferred along the invisible rope and even the mathematicians who delve into this last great mystery, have to invoke eleven further dimensions!

    I had a high school teacher, and he drew a circle on the blackboard.
    He was not a very good teacher, as teachers go, but this has remained with me:
    Knowledge is the inside of the circle, and we increase it and the radius grows. The larger the radius the greater the periphery of our contact with the unknown.
    He was talking of Socrates: I know one thing, that I know nothing.

    Nevertheless, the conquest within the circle, what we now know is not thrown out as the radius of our known science increases. It may be reinterpreted, reformulated in new formalisms, but it is a conquest in the exploration that is not lost.

    The 11 dimensions of string theories do not negate the 4 dimensions of relativity, nor do the four dimensions of special relativity negate the three dimensions plus time of ordinary mechanics. Like russian dolls one fits inside the other, or the other encompasses the previous, according to the pov.
    And in all these expansions nobody will be negating the constants of motion, which is what planetary/barycentric theories do.

    Now about apparent correlations. Some of them, to a simple physicist, look forced and fortuitous. In chaotic systems, which the planetary system is, and the sun internal cycles is, there will be periodicities, and periodicities can have fortuitous coincident time series.

    Let us suppose that we do find very good correlations between, for example, sunspot activity and planetary time tables. Rather than throwing away conservation of energy and momentum, working within my circle of knowledge, I will invoke synchronicities of these large clocks, similar to the one established that makes the moon face the earth .
    See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1TMZASCR-I&feature=related
    Over the millions of years, it may be that there are modulations imprinted from one gravitational clock to the other, by the tiny energies involved accumulating over time. The same about earth and weather.

    Now consciousness is not within the realm of physics, at the moment, though I know physicists who try to formulate theories of consciousness. If they succeed the knowledge within the circle will enlarge, but not be thrown away.

  214. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:26 am
    Is not Meeus aware that Kepler, Gallileo, Copernicus, Tycho and Newton all practised planetary weather astrology? Who is he to decide it is bunkum eh?
    I think this accurately sums up what Sagan warned about in the “Demon-Hunted World”.

  215. Yesterday, I brought up the subject of heliocentric alignments involving Ceres, knowing well that it would cause some sparks! Very aptly, I also listened on BBC Radio 4, the story of Gauss and his development of Gaussian distribution, through the various different measurements that had been made of the positions of Ceres.
    This morning, we had a heliocentric conjunction of Earth and Ceres, accompanied by new new region 1083 (positioned directly towards the alignment), and a CME within hours of said alignment.
    The only possible cause of the 23yr monthly temperature anomaly strings in CET, is this alignment. I can also show heliocentric Ceres alignments with Mercury and Venus, that repeatedly give monthly temperature anomalies over hundreds of years.

  216. @anna v says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:59 am
    “In chaotic systems, which the planetary system is,”

    All my reasoning tells that the planets should tend towards a well harmonised order.
    The actual intergers concerned in orbital ratios within our solar system, are highly interesting and very `Pythagorean`, and I suggest are very likely to be found in other planet systems around other stars.

  217. Hush Ulric, don’t confront the demon hunters (sic) with empirical evidence of planetary/solar electromagnetic interactions. It’ll only make their hackles stand on end while their feet are planted firmly in the clay. The uninquisitive inquisition will sentence you to a good stoning. They’ll probably want to use apples in reverence of their great prophet Newton. ;-)

  218. anna v says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Let us suppose that we do find very good correlations between, for example, sunspot activity and planetary time tables.

    Who is this royal “we” Anna? You and Leif already decided you’d rather remain ignorant of them, as they are “just coincidence”.

    The amalgamated union of planetary-solar pseudo-science astrologers, cranks and ne’er do wells are the ones putting in the effort here, while you and Leif stand on the sidelines telling us we are wasting our time.

  219. RE: pgosselin says: (June 19, 2010 at 6:01 am) “This may interest some people here – from a Russian scientist. [Link: top russian scientist says theres no scientific basis for 2013 solar devastation prediction]”

    I suspect that an examination of the NASA statement would reveal that they are not making a prediction but making a statement about elevated probabilities of a rather improbable event. The 500-year average interval between events of this magnitude is equivalent to about a 99.8 percent chance that it will *not* happen on any given year if we do not know the state of the sun. If we know that these events only happen at solar maxima, (that occur once every 11 years) then we raise 0.998 to the 11th power to determine the probability that it will *not* happen during any given solar maximum. You may also use this method to determine the probability that it will not happen during your remaining expected lifetime.

  220. @ Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Ulric Lyons says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:26 am
    Is not Meeus aware that Kepler, Gallileo, Copernicus, Tycho and Newton all practised planetary weather astrology? Who is he to decide it is bunkum eh?

    “I think this accurately sums up what Sagan warned about in the “Demon-Hunted World”.”

    Yes, I did notice that you firmly make up your mind before you have the evidence at hand, and that is not scientific practise, it is prejudice.

  221. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:10 am

    anna v says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:24 am
    I had said”
    “These planetary theories, coming from the times when astrology and astronomy were all mixed up together, fail on the conservation of energy, primarily, and conservation of momentum and angular momentum when they try to use the barycenter as a real fulcrum of the forces acting on the planetary system.”

    Once again you completely ignore the force which is billions of times stronger than gravity.

    Force is not a conserved quantity. It is not a constant of motion.
    Energy is.
    Momentum is.
    Angular momentum is.

    The relative strength of forces is meaningless unless the energy involved is known.

    Can I pick up a ton of iron with a natural magnet of 1cm^2?
    Why not? the magnetic force constant is many zeros larger than the gravitational force constant holding that ton on the surface.

    These billions you throw around have no meaning outside solutions of equations.

  222. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:37 am

    I don’t think Astrology is about consciousness, but rather the belief that the mere positions of heavenly bodies have effects beyond ordinary physical causes, e.g. causing solar cycles or your finances or your health [check your newspaper’s horoscope to see what’s in store for you today]. I would think that if this were so, the sun would cycle even if there were no conscious beings around, e.g. 100 million years ago.
    Appeal to ‘other forces’ we know nothing about etc is not science.

    This is mostly fine as far as it goes, but your conflation of what some people here are doing with the help of the NASA/JPL ephemeris and newsaper horoscopes is a deliberately calculated slur, and it diminishes my generally good opinion of you, because I know you know better.

    We are not making appeals to ‘other forces’. We are postulating the possibility that science doesn’t yet fully appreciate the effectiveness of the ones we already know about.

  223. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 9:11 am
    The amalgamated union of planetary-solar pseudo-science astrologers, cranks and ne’er do wells are the ones putting in the effort here, while you and Leif stand on the sidelines telling us we are wasting our time.
    The ‘effort’ has a certain entertainment value, and as people often seek entertainment [which is a pleasant way to waste time] the waste of time may be justified on that ground alone. People also laugh at Bozo, the Clown.

  224. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 9:53 am
    but your conflation of what some people here are doing with the help of the NASA/JPL ephemeris and newsaper horoscopes is a deliberately calculated slur
    Go tell Ulrich that, and keep in mind that my comment was about Astrology being about consciousness.

    We are not making appeals to ‘other forces’.
    A royal ‘we’?

    We are postulating the possibility that science doesn’t yet fully appreciate the effectiveness of the ones we already know about.
    My comment was in response to
    Peter Taylor says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:47 am
    “I wonder, the centre of mass may have no ‘power’ to influence things, but it might act as a proxy for some other forces operating…….? ”
    Apparently, he is is not included in your royal ‘we’. Perhaps he is not a member of the esteemed “amalgamated union of planetary-solar pseudo-science astrologers, cranks and ne’er do wells” that you claim to belong to.

    The forces we know about all have a firm empirical foundation. We know their ranges and strengths, and how matter reacts to force [Maxwell’s and Newton’s laws – at the scale of the Sun]. Postulates without specific evidence are just that: ‘postulates’. You could also postulate that the World was created last Tuesday [there are takers for that one, BTW]

  225. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 19, 2010 at 9:33 am
    that is not scientific practise, it is prejudice.
    Scientists have a very strong prejudice when it comes to science, namely that things must make sense and be verifiable, and that one should not keep a mind so open, that the brain has fallen out.

  226. anna v says:
    June 19, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Can I pick up a ton of iron with a natural magnet of 1cm^2?

    No, but I can pick up a paper clip from some distance above with that 1cm^2 magnet, while the gravitational effort of the 8000 mile diameter Earth is trying to keep it on the ground.

  227. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:19 am

    My comment was in response to
    Peter Taylor says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:47 am
    “I wonder, the centre of mass may have no ‘power’ to influence things, but it might act as a proxy for some other forces operating…….? ”
    Apparently, he is is not included in your royal ‘we’.

    You can’t conclude that Peter Taylor meant ‘forces other than those known to current physics’ from his statement. You are projecting your prejudice. I suggest you google some of his other contributions to this blog, a more level headed and well informed man you couldn’t hope to meet.

  228. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:03 am

    The ‘effort’ has a certain entertainment value, and as people often seek entertainment [which is a pleasant way to waste time] the waste of time may be justified on that ground alone. People also laugh at Bozo, the Clown.

    Always happy to make you smile Leif. :o)

    I recognise great value in having you ‘serious if a little staid’ scientists on hand to push us to be rigorous about our work.

  229. @ Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:03 am
    “People also laugh at Bozo, the Clown.”

    By all means laugh, mock, and even engage in agressive opposition. The more you do so, the bigger laugh we get, when what is self evident has to be accepted.

  230. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:44 am
    You can’t conclude that Peter Taylor meant ‘forces other than those known to current physics’ from his statement.
    Well, perhaps Peter could tell us which other forces he meant.
    And which other forces do you think there are?
    Or which ones of the ones we know, do you think are involved?

  231. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:00 am
    I recognise great value in having you ‘serious if a little staid’ scientists on hand to push us to be rigorous about our work.
    Unfortunately, it has little effect. If anything, the royal ‘us’ are getting less rigorous with time as the “The amalgamated union of planetary-solar pseudo-science astrologers, cranks and ne’er do wells” is expanding its membership.

  232. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:25 am

    “Scientists have a very strong prejudice”

    Speak for yourself, not others. Your solar theory is highly deficient in many respects.
    If you had a very open mind, I am not too sure there would much that could fall out.

    [Please, let’s not get too insulting. ~dbs]

  233. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:16 am
    [Please, let’s not get too insulting. ~dbs]
    I think we have moved so far from the science that the insults are the only things left with redeeming value. Let’s see how low they can go…

  234. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:19 am

    The forces we know about all have a firm empirical foundation. We know their ranges and strengths, and how matter reacts to force

    This reminds me of the C18th physics experts who said they could prove that air pressure would crush the rib-cages of train passengers above 35mph. The idea that we already know enough to be able to rule out unexpectedly high resonant feedbacks from electro-magnetic activity in the interplanetary electro-magnetic soup is more laughable than Bozo’s best slapstick efforts.

  235. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:21 am
    The idea that we already know enough to be able to rule out unexpectedly high resonant feedbacks from electro-magnetic activity in the interplanetary electro-magnetic soup is more laughable than Bozo’s best slapstick efforts.
    And here is where you show yourself to be just another pseudo-scientist. We go with what we know [or reasonably surmise]. Everything else is not science.

  236. “And here is where you show yourself to be just another pseudo-scientist. We go with what we know [or reasonably surmise]. Everything else is not science.”

    We don’t know what we know well enough to make a priori judgements about excluding alternative possibilities. It’s claiming certainty where it’s not justified by the state of knowledge as it currently stands.

    It’s an attempt to exclude other interpretations and ideas, and it has no scientific value. It serves only to impede scientific progress in a vain attempt to preserve the status quo.

    You’ve told us you want to get entertainment by seeing how low you can go with insults.

    Have fun.

  237. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

    “anna v says:
    June 19, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Can I pick up a ton of iron with a natural magnet of 1cm^2?”

    No, but I can pick up a paper clip from some distance above with that 1cm^2 magnet, while the gravitational effort of the 8000 mile diameter Earth is trying to keep it on the ground.

    Do you understand that what you have done is picking a particular solution of the equations involved? As also I did with the ton of iron?

    So the relative strength of the four known forces is useful in the specific solution with given boundary conditions, but is not global to the problem.

    Constants of motion are global to the problem. One does not have to solve the equations to know whether energy conservation is violated. One just needs to do the energy balance and the answer is clear.

    If there is not enough energy in the interplanetary electric/magnetic fields, and from measurements there is not, it does no good to say the electric force constant is billions of times stronger than the gravitational force constant. The problem is not of one electron moving another electron electromagnetically or gravitationally . It is of whether there is enough energy in the planetary electromagnetic fields to manifest what you think you are manifesting, massive effects on the sun.

  238. @ Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:21 am
    “I think we have moved so far from the science that the insults are the only things left with redeeming value. Let’s see how low they can go…”

    Insults are all you have ever given with any planetary theory of solar activity and climate, you seem to not to able to control youself. I do understand that it a threat to your reality map, but that is just hard cheese.
    I suggest you refrain from your snidey comments, and then we do not have to see how low the insults can go.
    I can accept that you may have no belief in planetary influence, that is very common in the orthodox community, but do not please go pushing your attitude around in such an insulting manner, particularly when you have not actually seen the all the evidence, to repeat, this is pure prejudice and not scientific method.

  239. tallbloke says:
    You’ve told us you want to get entertainment by seeing how low you can go with insults.

    Ulric Lyons says:
    June 19, 2010 at 12:01 pm
    then we do not have to see how low the insults can go.

    As I said, the science has gone out of it, only insults left. Keep’em coming. Good value for the money.

  240. anna v says:
    June 19, 2010 at 12:01 pm
    The problem is not of one electron moving another electron electromagnetically or gravitationally . It is of whether there is enough energy in the planetary electromagnetic fields to manifest what you think you are manifesting, massive effects on the sun.

    Perhaps this is where the misunderstanding between us arises Anna. It is not necessarily the case that huge amounts of energy need to pass from the planets to the sun to trigger effects on a huge energy matrix which is close to locally flip-flopping over boundary conditions anyway.

    I’m not claiming that this is how it is, I’m just entertaining the possibility as one among many others.

  241. Taking that thought a little further, maybe its not that energy has to pass from the planets to the sun at all, but the lowered solar surface temperature at the location of sunspots (the reason they appear as dark spots in contrast to their surroundings) is due to some of the energy from those locations going into the reconnecting of field lines with the magnetospheres of the planets. Which might explain the correlations Ching Che Hung found between large magnitude solar flares and the planets being overhead of their location at the time too.

  242. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm
    It is not necessarily the case that huge amounts of energy need to pass from the planets to the sun to trigger effects on a huge energy matrix which is close to locally flip-flopping over boundary conditions anyway.
    1) because of the outwards flowing solar wind electric and magnetic energy does not [cannot] flow from the planets to the Sun.
    2) the Sun is not a huge ‘energy matrix’ that is easy to disturb.
    You should only consider possibilities that are energetically feasible. The argument that there are unknown forces or unknown sides of known forces at play, is not valid science without evidence.

  243. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 1:01 pm
    due to some of the energy from those locations going into the reconnecting of field lines with the magnetospheres of the planets.
    The sunspots are cooler because their magnetic field in the photosphere cools the plasma locally, so the cooler temperature is a consequence of the magnetic. The magnetic field in the corona and solar wind is not influence by any of this, and the reconnection with the planetary magnetospheres equally not, and there is no backward reaction. It is like firing a rifle: when the bullet hits its target, it is stopped, but that does not knock the rifleman down firing the shot.

    In this age where our civilization is so dependent on science, pseudo-science is a dangerous activity as it helps lower the public’s understanding of our environment potentially leading to disastrous political decisions [E.g. Lysenkoism or AGW].

  244. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    there is no backward reaction. It is like firing a rifle: when the bullet hits its target, it is stopped, but that does not knock the rifleman down firing the shot.

    If you’ve ever fired a rifle, you’ll know what ‘recoil’ is. The release of chemical energy causing an explosive expansion in the cordite pushing against the inertia of the bullet produces a back reaction which slams the butt of the rifle into the shoulder of the shooter. Thank you for finding an excellent analogy for the concept!

    In this age where our civilization is so dependent on science, pseudo-science is a dangerous activity as it helps lower the public’s understanding of our environment potentially leading to disastrous political decisions [E.g. Lysenkoism or AGW].

    On the contrary, Lysenkoism and AGW climatology were able to hold sway precisely because alternative views and ideas were suppressed. Long live freedom of expression and the plurality of ideas! God bless America for upholding the right to free speech! Down with despots and dictators! ;-)

  245. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm
    Thank you for finding an excellent analogy for the concept!
    You got this wrong. I was pointing out that hitting the target does not cause the recoil. It takes a true pseudo-scientist to get that wrong.

    On the contrary, Lysenkoism and AGW climatology were able to hold sway precisely because alternative views and ideas were suppressed.
    No, they were able to hold sway because people believed things that were not true. Spouting nonsense does nothing to advance liberty.

  246. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    pseudo-scientist

    tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm
    On the contrary, Lysenkoism and AGW climatology were able to hold sway precisely because alternative views and ideas were suppressed.

    No, they were able to hold sway because people believed things that were not true.
    Spouting nonsense does nothing to advance liberty.

    Certainly not the nonsense spouted by your old collegial compadre, creative climate computating climatologist Stephen Schneider at Stanford University, I’d agree with that. He’s a specialist at getting people to believe things that aren’t true.
    He is a propagandist.

  247. anna v says:
    It is of whether there is enough energy in the planetary electromagnetic fields to manifest what you think you are manifesting, massive effects on the sun.

    You should make an attempt to learn about resonance. Amount of energy squad of walking soldiers put into a suspension bridge is hardly noticeable, but if they all synchronise their step, bridge will be ripped apart. Total energy in both cases is the same, except it one case is evenly distributed, in the other concentrated in pulses. The same principle applies to any system prone to oscillation, and the sun happen to be one.
    We do not know exactly what happen during Maunder minimum, but the Earth suffered sever magnetic jolt, consequence of which are reverberating some 300 years later:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC3.htm

    An example of damped oscillation you can also see here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC3.htm

    Solar scientists, by sticking to their 1950’s Parker’s ideas, are doing great disservice to search for solutions. Recent cases of Hathaway’s, Dikpati’s and others are the witness to their failures.

  248. Reading most & finally last few comments: Reading DrMyhill.co.uk Not a reference to sun but to meylin sheath & fats composing. She said there were not enough mitochondria in the brain to use the energy it does so what else is consuming energy? Is this not like the question under discussion? She proposes the sheath itself consumes ATP and the disturbance of its fat levels, composition, thickness changes produce among other things, unconsciousness & disease.
    Which has nothing to do with the sun receiving energy as well as giving it out, but in the bucket brigade of cellular metabolism to produce ATP, the cell also can cancel the whole thing and do exactly the opposite, which makes sense to me to see the solar system working the same way.

  249. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Carsten, with respect, while Jan Meeus is an expert on astronomical motion, I doubt he has studied the subject matter Ulric is covering. Making appeals to authority is passe. Look at the data and try to find out whether there is something worth further investigation yourself.

    Given your respect, you may have considered the the fact that I was not appealing to authority. In a discussion about “influence of the planets” Ulric complains to Jean Meeus that it is “a subject you know nothing about. “.

    That is a candidate for “quote of the day”.

    All I am doing is pointing to Jean Meeus’ book on planetary motion, a book I have in my shelf and which I have enjoyed using as theoretical background from some of my planetary simulators. Actually, some of the diagrams of solar motion used by several of the ‘barycentic people’ here is based on this software, which again builds directly on the work of Jean Meeus.

  250. Leif: you’re obviously having a good time poking sticks into that big ant-hill. anna v: not so much it seems, but try to cheer up. You won’t have much effect on the astrologers, but it’s good for normal people to have reality placed in front of them. In any case, I commend you both for your perserverence. Perhaps more of us should be doing this, instead of just shaking our heads in dismay.

    /dr.bill

  251. Carsten Arnholm, Norway says:
    June 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Given your respect, you may have considered the the fact that I was not appealing to authority. In a discussion about “influence of the planets” Ulric complains to Jean Meeus that it is “a subject you know nothing about. “.

    I have spent many hours playing with Jan’s planetary motion equations and have utmost respect for his astronomical prowess.

    Ulric is specifically talking about relating the occurences of certain planetary configurations with the temperature records, and discovering reliably repeating signals. Has Jan Meeus done that?

    A simple “yes” or “no” from Jan himself would settle it without you and I needing to get into a heated debate, which I would rather avoid, because I respect your effort in creating and sharing your astronomical software too.

    Cheers

  252. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

    @Jean Meeus says:
    June 18, 2010 at 6:04 am
    “O, no!!! After the “influence” of the planets, now some asteroids too?
    Please stop that astrological nonsense.”

    Fuss all you care to, it will not change the facts. This may all be too heretical for you, but who are you to comment so, on a subject you know nothing about. I can back my claims up with a wealth of evisence. There is no substance to your objection.

    _______

    Ulric, how rude, before we go any further on your “wealth of evisence” as you stated above, please apologize to Mr. Meeus.

    ( Mr. Meeus, thank you for the mathematical advancement of astronomy you provided, many of us were stuck with computers in the late 70’s but no easy way to get the equations out of the official Nautical Almanac, thank you very much. I was a young man with a small sailboat and dreams of circumnavigation, never happened but still was lots of fun learning the navigation and you sure helped. )

  253. vukcevic says:
    June 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    anna v says:
    It is of whether there is enough energy in the planetary electromagnetic fields to manifest what you think you are manifesting, massive effects on the sun.

    You should make an attempt to learn about resonance. Amount of energy squad of walking soldiers put into a suspension bridge is hardly noticeable, but if they all synchronise their step, bridge will be ripped apart. Total energy in both cases is the same, except it one case is evenly distributed, in the other concentrated in pulses. The same principle applies to any system prone to oscillation, and the sun happen to be one.

    Please.

    Energy conservation cannot be violated, and energy budgets are easy to make.
    Gravitational resonances, because of the small size of the available energy took millions, if not billions, of years to synchronize the moon to the earth.

    The same would be true for any other known force.
    When the available energy is small, energy budgets are enough to exclude models. Within what we call science, this is irrefutable.
    Unknown forces belong to science fiction.

  254. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 19, 2010 at 8:18 am

    This morning, we had a heliocentric conjunction of Earth and Ceres, accompanied by new new region 1083 (positioned directly towards the alignment), and a CME within hours of said alignment.

    I am trying to keep my head down, but this statement is truly embarrassing. There are certainly many facets to planetary theory.

  255. anna v says:
    Energy conservation cannot be violated, and energy budgets are easy to make.

    I did not say that it has to. You are taking a leaf out of Dr. Leif’s book. Sun has a plenty of electric and magnetic energy, it only needs a small regular pulse to nudge it into oscillation, which all electro-magnetic circuits are prone to do, it is transfer of one form of energy to the other (back and fourth) that is source of oscillation.
    Here :

    http://subaru.univ-lemans.fr/enseignements/physique/02/electri/rlclibre.html

    ( set R=300. L=2, C=3)
    you can see why PF behave as they do in here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

  256. wayne says:
    June 19, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Ulric, how rude, before we go any further on your “wealth of evisence” as you stated above, please apologize to Mr. Meeus.

    I doubt if Ulric will choose to present his “wealth of evidence” to people who already rejected it without hearing or seeing it because of their prejudices or over-reaching certainty about the power of their knowledge. The scientific method consists of making an examination of the observational evidence, and drawing generalised and testable inferences from it. It does not consist of making a priori judgements about what is or is not possible, no matter how good you believe your current model of reality to be.

  257. I think I detect “Crisis Envy”…

    Also reminds of folks saying “I may be broke now, but you just watch when I become rich on the lottery!”

    The sun has gone quiet. It will be that way until about 2040 ( 2 different PhDs at the ICCC presented with the same time frame…) There is no giant flare coming and it’s not all going back ‘to normal’ in 2013. It’s “normal” right now, it’s just that normal includes Grand Minima (though I prefer the Gilbert and Sullivan-esque Major Minimum.. They Had a Major Minimum and Not a Solar Bit of EM!… :-)

    Then again, anyone with a brain watching the buckets of money flowing to the folks who Cry Wolf the loudest over AGW is going to start showing 3D movie clips of The Wolf From Hell!!! dressed in the colors of their school department…

    So I’ll believe the doom from a solar flare right after it is shown on the satellite feeds of solar images…

  258. E. M. Smith says:
    The sun has gone quiet. It will be that way until about 2040 ( 2 different PhDs at the ICCC presented with the same time frame…)

    It is hardly needed PhDs expertise to predict what the sun will be doing until 2040. Two astronomic constants and couple of COS-ine functions it is all what is required.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

    (el. published Jan 2004, devised in late 2002, while the sun was blasting away, and Hathaway and Dicpati were predicting strongest cycle ever )
    However, I would appreciate link to the ICCC papers (or the authors names).
    Thanks

  259. tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I have spent many hours playing with Jan’s planetary motion equations and have utmost respect for his astronomical prowess.

    Ulric is specifically talking about relating the occurences of certain planetary configurations with the temperature records, and discovering reliably repeating signals. Has Jan Meeus done that?

    A simple “yes” or “no” from Jan himself would settle it without you and I needing to get into a heated debate, which I would rather avoid, because I respect your effort in creating and sharing your astronomical software too.

    Cheers

    I agree we should avoid heated debates.

    I think this issue is about two very different positions in the debate. Some people prefer to investigate apparent correlations without requiring physical mechanisms to explain them. Others actually require observations to be explained within the framework of science.

    Observe that the second position does not exclude looking into correlations. My position has been that apparent correlations may be useful in formulating hypotheses, i.e. they are sources of inspiration for further scientific investigation. That was my starting point when looking into these matters. But when a scientific investigation fails to produce any mechanism or evidence, or even indicates the non-existense of a proposed mechanism, then my only possible conclusion is to say that, without further evidence, such hypotheses have no scientific basis.

    Of course, there is a small chance that the “framework of science” could be expanded to include new mechanisms that we didn’t know about before. But as long as you can’t point to what these would be, then those apparent correlations are just correlations and nothing else.

  260. E. M. Smith says:
    “……………..”
    p.s
    Just looked at your website. Congratulations to both, your son and of course to you.

  261. Carsten Arnholm, Norway says:
    June 20, 2010 at 1:04 am

    I agree we should avoid heated debates.

    I think this issue is about two very different positions in the debate. Some people prefer to investigate apparent correlations without requiring physical mechanisms to explain them. Others actually require observations to be explained within the framework of science.

    Observe that the second position does not exclude looking into correlations. My position has been that apparent correlations may be useful in formulating hypotheses, i.e. they are sources of inspiration for further scientific investigation. That was my starting point when looking into these matters. But when a scientific investigation fails to produce any mechanism or evidence, or even indicates the non-existense of a proposed mechanism, then my only possible conclusion is to say that, without further evidence, such hypotheses have no scientific basis.

    Of course, there is a small chance that the “framework of science” could be expanded to include new mechanisms that we didn’t know about before. But as long as you can’t point to what these would be, then those apparent correlations are just correlations and nothing else.

    Hi Carsten, I think that’s a pretty fair summary. I think one of the reasons these debates are difficult to reconcile is that different people are trying to get different things out of the knowledge they are formulating.

    On the one hand we have someone like Ulric, who doesn’ worry too much about mechanism if the correlations are sufficiently good to generate usefully accurate forecasts of temperature and precipitation.

    On the other we have physicists who demand rigour in proposed theories involving motion and forces, and insist on viable mechanism before accepting any idea’s usefulness.

    It seems to me that one of the difficulties someone like Ulric has in trying to get his ideas across to physicists is that when you re juggling as many variables as he is in order to arrive at a judgement about future temperature and precipitation conditions, you are using the human brain to some extent intuitively, having ‘got a feel’ for the strength of configurations by looking at lots and lots of data.

    As an experiment in ‘knowledge crossover’ I am going to attempt to help formalise Ulric’s planetary-climate ‘rules’ and see if we can tease a quantifiable and identifiable signal from them. If I can, then it may be worth putting the effort into thinking about possible mechanism a bit harder. After all Leif Svalgaard is on record as saying:

    “If the correlation is really good, one can live with an as yet undiscvered mechanism.”

    If I can’t, but Ulric’s forecasts continue to be acurate, then I may have to accept that science can’t always explain the scientist, despite Anna’s blandishments about mind-brain identity theory.

  262. Hi Vuk,

    Yes indeed. The decay curve is very reminiscent of a perturbed system tending back to stability. Given the obvious coincidences between temperature and geomagnetism, you’d think the physicists would take a bit more interest really. Maybe you need to turn it the other way up so they’ll ‘get it’.

    And the Leif quote is a gem, thanks for the use of.

    By the way, I noticed I had spelled your name incorrectly on my blog links. Apologies, now corrected.

    The Montenegro pics are stunning. I’d like to do a backpacking trip there sometime.

  263. I wonder if the new paper from Duhau and de Jager will dampen NASA’s enthusiasm.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/imminent-grand-minimum-new-paper-from-duhau-and-de-jager/

    Abstract

    We summarize recent findings about periodicities in the solar tachocline and their physical interpretation. These lead us to conclude that solar variability is presently entering into a long Grand Minimum, this being an episode of very low solar activity, not shorter than a century. A consequence is an improvement of our earlier forecast of the strength at maximum of the present Schwabe cycle (#24). The maximum will be late (2013.5), with a sunspot number as low as 55.

    It’s a funny thing, but when Leif was telling us how he’d predicted a sunspot number of 70 for solar cycle 24, he rubbished my contention that my data was telling me it would be nearer 55…

  264. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 1:50 am

    OT
    Hi Carsten
    My links are occasionally viewed by someone from ålesund, More Og Romsdal, I looked it up on the map, looks beautiful, a bit reminiscent of fiord type bay Boka Kotorska in Montenegro, not far from a place I grew up.

    Hi Vuk,

    Yes, in addition to “Land of the [mostly spotless :-)] midnight Sun”, we are also “Land of the fjords”. Your place looks beautiful and not dissimilar. But that Ålesund person isn’t me, I am near Oslo.

  265. tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 1:44 am
    After all Leif Svalgaard is on record as saying:
    “If the correlation is really good, one can live with an as yet undiscovered mechanism.”

    The point is that the correlations are not good.

    Geoff Sharp says:
    June 19, 2010 at 9:11 pm
    I am trying to keep my head down, but this statement is truly embarrassing.
    It is equally embarrassing that the other enthusiasts are not embarrassed.

    tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 4:05 am
    It’s a funny thing, but when Leif was telling us how he’d predicted a sunspot number of 70 for solar cycle 24, he rubbished my contention that my data was telling me it would be nearer 55…
    Was is rubbish is not the number, but the ‘reasons’ for getting to it. And the Duhau and de Jager paper is just cyclomania (a la Clilverd et al.). You also misrepresent NASA’s position. NASA is agreeing that the sunspot cycle will be low [as we said: “the lowest in a hundred years”; I think Hathaway is now saying 65]. What NASA is [over]hyping is the possibility of large solar events nevertheless.

    vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 1:00 am
    Two astronomic constants and couple of COS-ine functions it is all what is required.
    Now, there is another embarrassing statement as the ‘formula’ is already falsified, but that fact does not seem to matter in this house of follies.

  266. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 5:06 am

    I think Hathaway is now saying 65

    More realistic than the 165 he ‘forecast’ earlier certainly.

  267. tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 5:50 am
    Better results than your dynamania IMO.
    Yet another embarrassing statement…

    tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 5:52 am
    “I think Hathaway is now saying 65″
    More realistic than the 165 he ‘forecast’ earlier certainly.

    We don’t know that yet. One should beware of beware of people that state things with certainty…

  268. tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 5:50 am
    “Duhau and de Jager paper is just cyclomania”
    Better results than your dynamania IMO.

    If you took the trouble to actually read their paper, you would find that they interpret everything in terms of dynamo theory.

  269. Leif Svalgaard says:
    If you took the trouble to actually read their paper,…
    You would find this rather embarrassing typo:
    “Solar activity is presently going through a transition period (2000 – 2013). This will be followed by a remarkably low Schwabe cycle, which has started recently. In turn that cycle precludes a forthcoming Grand Minimum, most likely of the long type.”

  270. Leif Svalgaard says:
    Now, there is another embarrassing statement as, but that fact does not seem to matter in this house of follies.
    Well, well, perhaps you may explain meaning of the ‘formula’ is already falsified.
    House of follies, do you mean WUWT. I think that could be a slander on a good name that this blog enjoys.
    Is it not enough accusing me of falsifying my own formula (?!) .

  271. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 6:23 am

    tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 5:50 am
    Better results than your dynamania IMO.
    Yet another embarrassing statement…

    That might be stretching it…the dynamo guys by average certainly on the back foot right now.

  272. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 6:23 am

    tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 5:50 am
    Better results than your dynamania IMO.
    Yet another embarrassing statement…

    Their proxies for the torroidal and poloidal fields make some sense to me. Though I could show them some better ones.

  273. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 6:45 am

    If you took the trouble to actually read their paper,…
    You would find this rather embarrassing typo:
    “Solar activity is presently going through a transition period (2000 – 2013). This will be followed by a remarkably low Schwabe cycle, which has started recently. In turn that cycle precludes a forthcoming Grand Minimum, most likely of the long type.”

    I have read their paper….
    To which they already issued the following addendum:

    N.B. There is a regrettable printing error in Section 5
    (Summary and Conclusions). In line 2 of the 2nd paragraph please read: ‘In
    turn, that cycle *precedes* the forthcoming Grand Minimum…
    “Solar activity is presently going through a
    transition period (2000 – 2013). This will be followed by a remarkably low
    Schwabe cycle, which has started recently. In turn that cycle precedes a
    forthcoming Grand Minimum, most likely of the long type.“

  274. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 6:58 am
    Well, well, perhaps you may explain meaning of the ‘formula’ is already falsified.
    Have done this repeatedly. One more time:
    Your PF formula predicts a very large polar field in 1963 [largest since 1700]. We have many indications plus direct measurements that the polar fields at that time were very weak. An example is this magnetogram from Mount Wilson: http://www.leif.org/research/MWO-1961-21-July-Magnetogram.png

    House of follies, do you mean WUWT. I think that could be a slander on a good name that this blog enjoys.
    I mean the comments that cause regular folks to “just shake our heads in dismay” [dr.bill says: June 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm]. Your posts [and similar embarrassing ones] impair the good name this blog could otherwise enjoy.

    Geoff Sharp says:
    June 20, 2010 at 7:00 am
    That might be stretching it…the dynamo guys by average certainly on the back foot right now.
    Duhau and de Jager are ‘dynamo guys’. Dynamo theory predicts a small cycle [Svalgaard et al. 2005, Schatten 2005, Choudhuri, 2007, etc, etc], so are right on track.

    tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 5:50 am
    Their proxies for the torroidal and poloidal fields make some sense to me. Though I could show them some better ones.
    Theirs at least are based on some modicum of observations.

  275. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 20, 2010 at 7:43 am
    if this paper passed peer review is says a lot about the scientific process.
    I agree it is a poor paper [and it would not have passed me]. But there is nothing wrong with the ‘scientific process’. The ‘review process’ [in some Journals] on the other hand often fails. Another argument for making it visible. Look at some of the other papers in that volume: http://journalofcosmology.com/Contents8.html

  276. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Duhau and de Jager are ‘dynamo guys’. Dynamo theory predicts a small cycle [Svalgaard et al. 2005, Schatten 2005, Choudhuri, 2007, etc, etc], so are right on track.

    So 3 guys beat the average? As you know there are many others with high values for Sc24. Plus I wouldn’t get carried away, your own predictions may still prove to be to high.

  277. Hi All,

    Very enjoyable banter! Personally, I visit this site to get useful papers and data – and am always pleased when Leif is posting, because he produces some really useful stuff. Thanks for the paper on the 1859 event.

    Am I a pseudo-scientist???! Well, I don’t think so. Pseuds I used to meet when a student – people pretending to know stuff they didn’t really know. I don’t see myself in that light. But I know lots of people do! That is because I wrote a book on climate change whilst not being a climate scientist. But I do claim to know my stuff. I did not publish my analysis until after three years exhaustive review of the literature, perusal of station temperature data, NASA’s radiation flux data bases, ocean temperatures and heat storage measurements – and making sure my search spread over several disciplines – oceanography, solar-terrestrial physics, astrophysics, sedimentalogy and paleo-climatology, for example. I then circulated a draft report for two years and got some feedback, finally visiting the nearby Hadley Centre and talking for several hours with their oceanographers and solar specialists. I have utmost respect for science itself and for the scientists I meet. I don’t think this is what most people would call the behaviour of a pseud………

    But is it useful to science to have ‘outsiders’ do this? I get flak for having disturbed the public’s confidence and even having upset the Copenhagen negotiations (I don’t think my book had much influence – I think the Chinese disrupted it because they needed a better deal on carbon trading).

    As it happens, I did not set out to be useful to science – I set out to ‘test’ the assumptions and conclusions of the ‘consensus’ because the environmental and human cost of what they were proposing looked to me far greater than the ailment of global warming they were so alarmed about (I am an ‘expert’ consultant on the integration of renewable energy systems into landscape, community and biodiversity – being a professional ecologist, certified biologist and former member of the Institute of Biology and having advised UK government agencies and the EU on these issues).

    But my grounding in ecological systems analysis, plus some years critically reviewing oceanic models of pollutant dispersion (whilst also advising the UN on restructruing its conventions on pollution control) – all of which is published in the peer-reviewed science literature – gave me an ideal background to critically examine the mechanism of causation assumed by IPCC models.

    In my book, I offered the specialist climate community the view that they were not working sufficiently on an inter-disciplinary level (this was evident from a detailed reading of the Working Group reports of the IPCC). Paper after paper shows that, for example, solar physicists hardly talk to oceanographers, or that computer modellers of complex atmospheric dynamics do not talk to students of paleo-ecology familiar with the cycles and harmonics.

    Thus for example, on a recent visit I made to talk to the US National Center for Atmospheric Reseach in Boulder, when I asked one of their specialists on the Sun’s influence in climate why he still believed, surprisingly for me, that anthropogenic sulphur had caused the 1945-1978 trough of global temperatures (after which sulphur controls had allowed the warming to continue) – and I showed him graphs of the short-wave flux at the ocean surface demonstrating the influence of clouds and natural aerosol loading, plus three Science paper references and the final admission of the IPCC in 2007 (somewhat buried), that ‘global dimming’ due to human emissions was too localised to account for the global pattern – he said ‘I have no idea what you are talking about’. This is perhaps not uncommon among top experts. Of course, this does not make him a bad scientist, nor me a good one. It is about information overload, ‘search image’ and knowledge transfer. I was looking for holes in the argument – and they were not hard to find.

    At Hadley, I pointed the oceanographers to the large long-term build-up of subsurface heat in the North Atlantic and North Pacific (in my book I produce a map of where the oceans store the heat from the sun – it is not homogenous). I noted that in 2006 the north Pacific had suddenly lost surface heat over a large area upwind of Alaska – and that Alaska had been cooling as a result (this is what oceanographers would call the PDO). I asked how long the Atlantic heat store would last? We got out the most recent surface temperature maps, and lo……we could see the first blips of red changing to blue.

    My question to the science community is simple enough: what is the long-term dynamic in these two major heat stores? What determines the phases of accumulation and depletion?

    If we go back to the Little Ice Age, we are midway in what appears to be a cycle – that creates global peaks and troughs at 800-1000 year intervals – and more pronounced in the northern hemisphere (where the world’s food surplus is grown).

    I asked some specialists in NOAA (also at Boulder) – who have been studying heat transfer (they had concluded in the literature that 80% of all ‘global warming’ on land was due to heat transfer from the ocean). They were not convinced there was a ‘cycle’ at all – to them a cycle meant an exact repetition – like a Hertz cycle, and thought that any oceanic system could create apparent cyclic phenomenon due to some kind of stochastic resonance. That gave me much food for thought – and stretches my skills-base in math!

    As a result of my overview – I deduced that cycles were real, that the northern oceans determine the cycles on a global scale through teleconnections from basin to basin, and that some solar factor was the likely timer – I reviewed Svensmark’s theories and his critics, but pointed to breaking science around the much more variable UV flux from the sun, upper atmospheric heating and the displacement of the jet-stream (which drives the storm vortices that suck heat out of the ocean and dump it on land) – there were about a dozen scientific papers on this UV potential effect and the jetstream – compared to several thousand in the ‘mainstream’ causal picture. Several recent papers have confirmed my prediction that UV would eventually prove most relevant.

    On the basis of this work, I was able to predict that the very wet summer in England during 2007 would be repeated in 2008 and 2009, and that Britain would begin to experience very cold winters as sub-polar high-pressure systems began to dominate. My rather simple textual analysis and three years of effort performed better than Hadley’s £30m new computer and all their experts.

    In this respect – one might want to look at how ‘pseudo’ might be applied to climate science that relies upon unfounded and untested assumptions built into computer models? It reminds me a lot of the 1980’s when environmental toxicology relied upon atmospheric and oceanic models of dispersion and dose-effects (and also spawned a massive global emissions and monitoring industry).

    You see – Leif, with great respect – which I truly mean, because your contribution to solar science is outstanding, as is your commitment to scientific discourse even with annoying non-scientists, but even real top scientific experts can be led astray into the realms of pseudo-science where they pretend to know things they don’t really know.

    But that is still not as bad as the relation to things science knows it does not know – such as sub-quantum realities where no instrument can extend our awareness. Clearly as you state, Leif – this is beyond science – but it is the implied superiority that you have to watch – just because science cannot go there, it does not mean there is ‘nothing’ there – no pattern, no power, no influence on this physical reality or more importantly, on human consciousness – which is also beyond scientific measurement.

    I say this because as well as having a science education and working as a ‘scientist’, I am also a practising astrologer, as was Theodore Landscheidt. I also have a professional qualification in Social Anthropology (Oxford University) and have studied linguistics and models of causation, magic, witchcraft and divinity among African and Amazonian tribal peoples, all of whom have an entirely different cosmological understanding as well as approaches to ‘reality’ as defined by our science. For example in most shamanic cultures, the ‘dreamworld’ is primary in causation – and this world exists as another dimension that inter-penetrates this one – and one that a shaman-magician can enter. The world of human consciousness is then seen as existing on another dimensional reality.

    As with my approach to climate science – I have visited shamans and yogis, but been fortunate to also study and practice with them (of much greater interest to me than measuring stuff). Most of them work as healers.

    It is with these perspectives that I ask – ‘maybe the barycentre could be acting as a proxy for other forces operating’. Firstly, those other forces may be those we know about (or think we know about) such as magnetic field lines, electric currents and voltage shocks – all of which appear to be emanating from the Sun. Or the transfer of angular momentum to the Sun and whatever effects that mau have on spinning plasma. Or forces that we as yet have no instruments to measure but may be operating to produce some of the cyclic phenomena we witness. For example, Hannes Alfven proposed a ‘back-current’ of electrons into the sun. In my understanding of electrons (and the solar wind is an electrical current) there always has to be a circuit for the current to flow – so what happens at the helio-pause? Do those electrons never return? And if they do, then may they not follow some complex magnetic field pathways back to the source?

    I don’t know the answers, but these seem relevant questions. Maybe they are not – maybe these are old-chestnuts and I just haven’t seen the right papers.

  278. One may conclude that claiming PF was law in 1965 when there is no data to show it is the ‘rotten egg’ .
    Anxiety setting in? Accusing me of falsifying my own formula is a bit of joke, coming from a serious scientist.

    July 1961 (SIDC SSN =55-60) was 4 years away from min (rotten egg!).
    And here is what I said about it:
    There is no accurate and accepted value for polar fields in 1965, else it would be quoted in your extensive work on the matter (private guess is not good enough), it could have been either low or high.
    Consider:
    a- Polar field is the seed of the next cycle
    b- Polar field is not the seed of the next cycle

    Case a) Polar field is the seed of the next cycle
    If polar field has direct relationship with the next cycle, then my formula as described here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

    has to be subject to the same anomalies as the solar cycles (else cannot be PF/SSN amplitude correlation, and specifically no Rmax = 0.6286 DM).
    The anomaly formula has been proved as correct on every single occasion since and including the Maunder Minimum, i.e. whole of the SS’s known records.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC4.htm

    In that case anomaly would calculate PF to around 200. That is matter of simple logic.

    Case b) Polar field is not the seed of the next cycle
    Your theory is defunct, case closed.

    My case is based on 2-3 precise astronomical numbers which are beyond dispute, and two simple mathematical equations which is again beyond dispute.
    Most importantly they do work, as the same type equations work in mechanics, acoustics, electro-magnetics, electromagnetism etc.

    What does not work is some kind 1/1000 (one in thousand) random drift, unknown to any other science, and to make things even worse it fails when had the best chance ever to succeed (SC19-SC20).

    You responded: This is easily done, e.g. http://www.leif.org/EOS/1006-3061v1.pdf that shows how a weak polar field of cycle 20 results from random diffusion of the magnetic flux.
    No it is not.
    Page 9 :
    Without the cycle-dependent variations of the tilt angle the weak cycle 20 would have been unable to offset the polar field after cycle 19.
    Introduces another spurious variable ‘tilt angle’ , which is undoubtedly a fiddle to get wanted result.

  279. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 7:35 am

    tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 5:50 am
    Their proxies for the torroidal and poloidal fields make some sense to me. Though I could show them some better ones.

    Theirs at least are based on some modicum of observations.

    Observations of the sunspot numbers and the Earth’s geomagnetism until recently.

    Prior to the long minimum between the solar cycles 23 and 24 the dynamologists in chief were predicting one of the biggest cycles ever, though another dynamologist, you, disagreed, saying the polar field (or proxy for it prior to recent times) indicated that the cycle would be around 70SSN amplitude.

    Dynamology – like trying to read entrails while they are still in the carcass.

  280. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 20, 2010 at 8:04 am
    So 3 guys beat the average? As you know there are many others with high values for Sc24.
    There was only one high dynamo-prediction for SC24.

    Peter Taylor says:
    June 20, 2010 at 8:44 am
    (and the solar wind is an electrical current) there always has to be a circuit for the current to flow – so what happens at the helio-pause? Do those electrons never return? And if they do, then may they not follow some complex magnetic field pathways back to the source?
    The solar wind is not an electrical current. It is neutral, having the same number of electrons and positive charges leaving the Sun. There is a magnetic field in the solar wind. The magnetic field [basically] changes sign between the two hemispheres and along the boundary between oppositely directed fields a ‘drift current’ is produced [looks like this: http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/helio.gif ]. The current is there because of the magnetic field.

    vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 9:16 am
    July 1961 (SIDC SSN =55-60) was 4 years away from min (rotten egg!).
    Your formula calculates the largest polar field in 1963, and your calculated polar field in 1961 is larger than anything measured at any minimum thereafter.

    There is no accurate and accepted value for polar fields in 1965…
    The magnetic field has been measured continuously at MWO since the 1950s, as described here: http://www.leif.org/research/Sun%20Magnetic%20Sector%20Structure.pdf
    Changes to the instrument occurred in 1963 and in 1966, and I decided not to include that data in our prediction paper because of its [somewhat] lower accuracy earlier on [although as we mention in the above paper “these factors do not, however, seem to have any significant influence on the results”]. As far as ‘accepted’ values are concerned: There are no other values except the ones I have presented and ‘accepted’. I have at MWO personally inspected all the magnetic data [and have often suggested digitization of the magnetograms – preserved on microfilm – but interest (and money) has been low] as part of the research for the above paper. The PF throughout the 1965 minimum and years before and after were faint and indistinct, not at all like the strong fields in 1953 e.g. as shown directly on slide 4 of http://www.leif.org/research/Polar%20Fields%20and%20Cycle%2024.pdf . I [and most other solar physicists] consider myself the foremost expert on this subject and my interpretation of the data stands.
    There are several other [independent] lines of evidence that show low polar fields in 1965: [shape of corona, lack of cosmic ray anisotropy http://www.leif.org/research/Anomalous%20Cosmic-Ray%20Anisotropy,%201954.pdf caused by strong polar fields, weak Rosenberg-Coleman effect, weak IMF], but the direct measurements carry enough weight that we don’t need extra confirmation.
    In that case anomaly would calculate PF to around 200.
    Now you are just hand waving. You claim to have an accurate PF formula [“2 Cosine terms and all is clear”]. To regain a sliver of credibility, you now need to combine the anomaly formula with the PF formula into a single formula and calculate the resulting PF, and report the result here.

    “Without the cycle-dependent variations of the tilt angle the weak cycle 20 would have been unable to offset the polar field after cycle 19.”
    Introduces another spurious variable ‘tilt angle’ , which is undoubtedly a fiddle to get wanted result.

    Shows your lack of respect for serious work. The tilt angle is not some ‘spurious’ variable, but an observed quantity [discovered in 1919 – Joy’s law] which is the direct cause of the polar field reversals.
    And you accusation of ‘a fiddle to get wanted result’ is beneath decency and smacks of your anomaly fiddle.

    tallbloke says:
    June 20, 2010 at 10:01 am
    Their proxies for the torroidal and poloidal fields make some sense to me. Though I could show them some better ones.

    What are yours?

    Prior to the long minimum between the solar cycles 23 and 24 the dynamologists in chief were predicting one of the biggest cycles ever
    Nonsense, Dikpati et al. were aberrant [as we now know].

    NASA in their operational planning uses the forecast by Schatten et al., who had this to say some time ago:
    American Astronomical Society, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 35, p.817, 05/2003
    “[…] My colleagues and I have developed some understanding for how these methods work and have expanded the prediction methods using “solar dynamo precursor” methods, notably a “SODA” index (SOlar Dynamo Amplitude). These methods are now based upon an understanding of the Sun’s dynamo processes- to explain a connection between how the Sun’s fields are generated and how the Sun broadcasts its future activity levels to Earth. This has led to better monitoring of the Sun’s dynamo fields and is leading to more accurate prediction techniques. Related to the Sun’s polar and toroidal magnetic fields, we explain how these methods work, past predictions, the current cycle, and predictions of future of solar activity levels for the next few solar cycles.

    The surprising result of these long-range predictions is a rapid decline in solar activity, starting with cycle #24. […]”

    It would be progress if you stop spreading misinformation.

  281. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 19, 2010 at 9:11 pm
    Ulric Lyons says:
    June 19, 2010 at 8:18 am

    This morning, we had a heliocentric conjunction of Earth and Ceres, accompanied by new new region 1083 (positioned directly towards the alignment), and a CME within hours of said alignment.

    “I am trying to keep my head down, but this statement is truly embarrassing. There are certainly many facets to planetary theory.”

    Well I do hope you will be ok when I prove my claims, and disprove yours about Neptune/Uranus conjunctions always causing grand minma.

  282. Vuk

    Good to see your posts. I have done some more work on that subject of mutual interest-the Little Ice Age- and will be emailing you about it in the next few days for your comments.

    Good to see you posting again Peter, you have been quiet these last few months. I was intending to send the same information to you as well as Vuk.

    I am inclined to believe that we know far less about the climate than we think we do and it is useful to get some viewpoints that are not from the mainstream.

    Tonyb

  283. Leif Svalgaard
    (re: another failed attack)

    The fact is that the anomaly formula, as you may or may have not noticed, is of the same form as PF formula, with only one extra constant. The simplicity and mathematical elegance is the beauty of it.
    I shall repeat, (perhaps you may care to read it) since it appears that logic has failed you:
    Consider choices :
    a- Polar field is the seed of the next cycle
    b- Polar field is not the seed of the next cycle

    Case a) Polar field is the seed of the next cycle:
    If polar field has direct relationship with the next cycle, then the formula as described here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

    has to be subject to the same anomalies as the solar cycles (else cannot be PF/SSN amplitude correlation, and specifically no Rmax = 0.6286 DM).
    The anomaly version of the formula has been proved as correct on every single occasion since and including the Maunder Minimum, i.e. whole of the SS’s known records.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC4.htm

    In that case anomaly would calculate PF to around 200. That is matter of simple logic.

    Case b) Polar field is not the seed of the next cycle:
    Your theory is defunct, case closed !

    Either way, PF high or low in 1965, the formula is on the track.
    If PF was low, than the formula is far superior to your method (Rmax = 0.6286 DM, valid for next cycle only, and that about 4-5 year in advance) while the formula can look ahead number of cycles.
    Further more, if PF was high, no PF/SSN relationship, your theory is defunct, but formula is fine and the SSN version (same as the PF’s delayed by 3.5 years, together with the anomaly ) is again a good predictable tool for a number of cycles ahead.
    Summary:
    Case a) both methods good, but mine is superior.
    Case b) your method defunct, mine equally successful as in the Case a).

    I hope that is clear, so it is time you given your fruitless 2-3 year old ‘discrediting crusade’ that is getting nowhere.
    Just be a wise man and accept the fact.

  284. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 20, 2010 at 8:04 am
    your own predictions may still prove to be too high.
    A lot depends on ‘counting methods’. You may want to correct your statements on http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50 that “The method of counting sunspots has changed from how it was done in the past. During the last Grand Minimum Rudolf Wolf devised a counting method based on solid principles that now is under threat with our current method of counting specks.”

    This is incorrect on several counts. You can show some integrity by correcting your statement to conform to the following facts:
    1) The last Grand Minimum which I take to be 1800-1820. Wolf was born in 1816.
    2) Sold Principles: Wolf used the geomagnetic record to calibrate the sunspot count, so this is correct, but a but his method of only counting ‘good spots’ is not on solid ground as the visibility depends too much on the seeing and personal bias. He even advocated counting the biggest spots twice. The notion of counting every spot regardless of its size [i.e. including specks] was devised in 1882 by Wolf’s assistant Wolfer, and is free from bias, but necessitates the infamous constant k = 0.6, which Wolfer applied to in the wrong place of the formula R = k (10*g + s). It should have been R = 10*g + k*s. One could expand that to R = q(10*g + k*s) to compensate for telescope, person, etc., but the main problem is that k is in the wrong place.
    3) Thus the method is not under threat.

  285. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm
    The fact is that the anomaly formula, as you may or may have not noticed, is of the same form as PF formula, with only one extra constant.
    Repeating your nonsense, does not make it any better. So, tell us what the final formula would be, and plot the result.

  286. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm
    In that case anomaly would calculate PF to around 200. That is matter of simple logic.
    Explain the simple logic, and do the calculation right here and now.

    If polar field has direct relationship with the next cycle, then the formula as described here: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
    But in that case the result of the formula would not be the polar fields.

  287. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    “So, tell us what the final formula would be, and plot the result.”
    All I need to say is in the previous post

    This is what we call a ‘cop out’. Surely you can take a few minutes to explain the simple logic and show us exactly how you ‘calculate’ the PF=200 for 1963.

  288. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm
    The anomaly version of the formula has been proved as correct on every single occasion since and including the Maunder Minimum, i.e. whole of the SS’s known records.
    A typical sign of the pseudo-scientist is the repeated claim of ‘correct matches’ even in the face of direct evidence to the contrary. Here are your polar fields [pink, scaled to match sunspot number in recent cycles – the 0.63], the signed sunspot number [green, alternating in sign and shifted 4 years], and your anomaly formula [blue, with anomalies marked with a red circle]. So let’s examine your claim:
    You say that at A the red circle explain the mismatch. This will not do at B, so in this case your claim [‘every single’] is already false. In addition the sign is now wrong. For case C the cycle is very small, yest nowhere near any red circle, so again your claim is false. At D we had one of the largest cycles ever, yet you predict a teeny, tiny cycle and that as far way from a red circle as one can get. For several cycles around E, your are half a cycle off in phase. So, it is not true that the anomaly formula “is correct on every single occasion“, rather it fails more often than it is right. Perhaps you need another anomaly formula to take care of the anomalies not covered by the first, and perhaps another one after that, etc. Worth investigating, don’t you think?

  289. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm
    The total current in the circuit is on the order of 3,000,000,000 amperes.

    http://www.plasma-universe.com/index.php/Heliospheric_current_sheet

    As one of the discoverers of the HCS may I point out that the current density is extremely minute: 10^-10 A/m2

    The link you refer to is fundamentally wrong:
    “It has been noted that: ‘It is remarkable that the radial component of the spiral structure implies a current the continually flows towards the Sun.’

    This is incorrect and thus not remarkable:
    The current reverses direction every 11 years and is simply generated by the magnetic field. The current is not a Birkeland current. Here is a ‘vertical’ cut through the HCS at different phases of the solar cycle http://www.leif.org/research/HCS3.png

  290. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm
    “current density is extremely minute: 10^-10 A/m2″

    as we can read for ourselves in the link, but that is only 1 m2.

  291. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 20, 2010 at 3:58 pm
    as we can read for ourselves in the link, but that is only 1 m2.
    It is the current density that is important in interactions.
    You can read more about the [correct] calculation of the current here:

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/JA083iA02p00717.pdf

    Smith points out that:
    ‘Near the sun the current is principally azimuthal much like a ring current. However, as the interplanetary field wraps up to form the Archimedes spiral, the direction of flow in the current sheet must become progressively radial and, during during this phase of the solar cycle is away from the Sun. […] Evidently, the flow is away from the Sun during one-half solar cycle of 11 years and then inward for the next half cycle”.
    In the next cycle away and inward are reversed, so the total time in any given direction is one full cycle or 11 years.

  292. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm
    Anyone else notice that people get aggitated when the Earth does a SBC on the HCS ?
    I was in the USSR in the 1970s and the director of an insane asylum told me that his inmates went berserk at such SBCs. In fact, he was trying to push the idea that he could predict solar conditions by watching his inmates. I don’t think he had much luck with that idea, but it certainly alternative ‘science’…

  293. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 9:16 am
    One may conclude that claiming PF was low in 1965 when there is no data to show it is the ‘rotten egg’ .[…]
    There is no accurate and accepted value for polar fields in 1965

    Polar magnetic fields of the Sun: 1960–1971
    Solar Physics, Volume 25, Number 1 / July, 1972
    DOI 10.1007/BF00155740, Pages 5-13

    Robert Howard
    Hale Observatories, Carnegie Institution of Washington, California Institute of Technology, 91101 Pasadena, Calif., U.S.A.
    Received: 16 February 1972

    Abstract Observations of the magnetic fields in the polar regions of the Sun are presented for the period 1960–1971. At the start of this interval the fields at the two poles were consistently of opposite sign and averaged around 1 G. Early in 1961 the field in the south decreased suddenly [compare with http://www.leif.org/research/MWO-1961-21-July-Magnetogram.png ]and the field in the north decreased in strength slowly over the next few years. By the mid-1960’s the fields at both poles were quite weak and irregular. […]

  294. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    This is incorrect on several counts. You can show some integrity by correcting your statement to conform to the following facts:
    1) The last Grand Minimum which I take to be 1800-1820. Wolf was born in 1816.

    Wolf reconstructed the sunspot record back to 1749 using the geomagnetic record as his baseline as shown in your own papers, so his birth date has little to do with the arguement. My take on the history is during his lifetime while counting spots he used the K factor to align other observatories with his count which still had the geomagnetic check in place. During this time he did not count specks.

    His successor Wolfer went his own way and began counting specks and small spots but stabilized the K factor at .6 in an attempt to align himself with Wolf’s count. This is where the modern system drifted higher and we probably agree on this point. But what Wolfer was unaware of was during grand minima where the speck count could be much higher the .6 K factor would not be sufficient to stop the values being overstated. The ratio of specks is where the problem lies.

    The SIDC values are suffering this problem, and is only surfacing now because of the speck ratio. The Layman’s Count although not perfect attempts to redress this issue by eliminating the speck values from the SIDC count which should compare more favorably to Wolf’s reconstruction of the Dalton Minimum cycles.

    Wolf’s method has been under threat since Wolfer, but during grand minima this is even more evident.

  295. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Geoff Sharp says:
    June 20, 2010 at 8:04 am
    So 3 guys beat the average? As you know there are many others with high values for Sc24.
    —————————–
    There was only one high dynamo-prediction for SC24.

    In the strictest sense of Pesnells categorization you are correct. I will let others view the results so they can make up their own mind.

    http://www.landscheidt.info/images/sc24_predictions.pdf

  296. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm
    Wolf reconstructed the sunspot record back to 1749 using the geomagnetic record as his baseline as shown in your own papers, so his birth date has little to do with the argument.
    This is not an argument. Your page says “During the last Grand Minimum Rudolf Wolf devised a counting method…”
    This is factually incorrect, as he was hardly born then.

    This is where the modern system drifted higher and we probably agree on this point. But what Wolfer was unaware of was during grand minima where the speck count could be much higher the .6 K factor would not be sufficient to stop the values being overstated. The ratio of specks is where the problem lies.
    If by ‘modern’ you mean after 1882 we agree, otherwise not. This is not a new problem. And both Wolf and Wolfer were well aware of this. All of their papers and observations are [of course] on my Website. You might be able to follow the discussion in http://www.leif.org/EOS/Wolf-LXXXVI.pdf The operative phrase is this one: “dass diese Faktoren [the K-values] mit der Grösse der Relativzahlen also der Häufigkeit der Sonnenflecken veränderlich seien” [they came to the conclusion ‘that those factors would be changing with the value of the Relative numbers, i.e. with the frequency of the spots [read size of the cycle]’]

    The SIDC values are suffering this problem, and is only surfacing now because of the speck ratio.
    All values since 1882 are suffering from this problem.
    During SC23 the sunspot number reported by ALL observers is too low because we are losing the smaller spots and specks due to L&P.

    The Layman’s Count although not perfect attempts to redress this issue by eliminating the speck values from the SIDC count which should compare more favorably to Wolf’s reconstruction of the Dalton Minimum cycles.
    You are redressing the wrong problem. If we assume that L&P was also operating during Dalton [as it very likely was during Maunder], then the SSN for the Dalton cycles should be increased [as they should for SC23] to better reflect true solar activity [as measured by the Sun’s magnetic field, TSI, MgII, F10.7, cosmic rays, etc]

    Wolf’s method has been under threat since Wolfer
    Wolfer’s method is the better method. It is the only reasonable one that is free from human bias.

    Geoff Sharp says:
    June 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm
    “There was only one high dynamo-prediction for SC24.”
    In the strictest sense of Pesnells categorization you are correct.

    Of course I’m correct. I was there.

  297. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Surely you can take a few minutes to explain the simple logic and show us exactly how you ‘calculate’ the PF=200 for 1963.

    That is explained clearly in the article I wrote in 2003 (published in Jan 2004)
    “The graph depicts anomalies within solar periodic activity with an immediately
    recognisable minimum between 1650-1700, coinciding with the Maunder Minimum.
    Further relevant dates are at or near the equation’s zero value:
    1809 – Dalton minimum;
    1913 – another minimum but not so pronounced;
    1860 and 1969 are the years of two cycles with suppressed amplitudes, 30% – 50% lower
    than in the neighbouring peaks.”
    http://xxx.lanl.gov/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0401/0401107.pdf (page2).
    (same formula for PF and SC with amplitude and phase are in appropriate relationship)

    You fail to understand basic fact that polarity change is an electro-magnetic property, while formula features drive to the oscillating system based on the planetary orbital properties. Orbits do not have polarity assignation or meaning !

    Its time you stop wasting your and mine time.

  298. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    1860 and 1969 are the years of two cycles with suppressed amplitudes, 30% – 50% lower than in the neighbouring peaks.
    This is backwards arithmetic. You peek at the observations and see how much you are wrong, then claim that you calculate what to observe.

    Orbits do not have polarity assignation or meaning !
    But polar fields and solar cycles do. So, we can agree that orbits are irrelevant for this.

    Its time you stop wasting your and mine time.
    Easy: stop hawking your nonsense and learn from my posts. An educators time is never wasted.

    You have not explained the failings that I pointed out:

    Here are your polar fields [pink, scaled to match sunspot number in recent cycles – the 0.63], the signed sunspot number [green, alternating in sign and shifted 4 years], and your anomaly formula [blue, with anomalies marked with a red circle]. So let’s examine your claim:
    You say that at A the red circle explain the mismatch. This will not do at B, so in this case your claim [‘every single’] is already false. In addition the sign is now wrong. For case C the cycle is very small, yet nowhere near any red circle, so again your claim is false. At D we had one of the largest cycles ever, yet you predict a teeny, tiny cycle and that as far way from a red circle as one can get. For several cycles around E, your are half a cycle off in phase. So, it is not true that the anomaly formula “is correct on every single occasion“, rather it fails more often than it is right. Perhaps you need another anomaly formula to take care of the anomalies not covered by the first, and perhaps another one after that, etc. Worth investigating, don’t you think?

  299. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    Orbits do not have polarity assignation or meaning !
    So, now you don’t pretend to calculate the polar fields any longer, just the magnitude. We have down that road before. It does not change any of the failings:

    Here are your polar fields [pink, scaled to match sunspot number in recent cycles – the 0.63], the sunspot number [green, shifted 4 years], and your anomaly formula [blue, with anomalies marked with a red circle]. So let’s examine your claim:
    You say that at A the red circle explain the mismatch. This will not do at B, so in this case your claim [‘every single’] is already false. For case C the cycle is very small, yet nowhere near any red circle, so again your claim is false. At D we had one of the largest cycles ever, yet you predict a teeny, tiny cycle and that as far way from a red circle as one can get. For several cycles around E, your are half a cycle off in phase. So, it is not true that the anomaly formula “is correct on every single occasion“, rather it fails more often than it is right. Perhaps you need another anomaly formula to take care of the anomalies not covered by the first, and perhaps another one after that, etc. Worth investigating, don’t you think?

  300. vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    You fail to understand basic fact that polarity change is an electro-magnetic property, while formula features drive to the oscillating system based on the planetary orbital properties. Orbits do not have polarity assignation or meaning !
    You used to claim that the solar cycle was due to the magnetic effect of Jupiter-shine, so perhaps it is progress that you no longer entertain any electro-magnetic causes.

  301. It is all here:

    but since you are looking at it with your eyes shut, I’ll write it again:
    Maunder minimum (Long minimum)
    1752 Low cycle
    Dalton minimum (Long minimum)
    1850 Low cycle
    1913 Long minimum
    1970 Low cycle
    2020 Long minimum
    Sequence of anomalies is: Long minimum, Low cycle, Long minimum, Low cycle etc….
    Got it ?
    Polarity:
    You fail to understand basic fact that polarity change is an electro-magnetic property, while formula features drive to the oscillating system based on the planetary orbital properties of the planets’ magnetospheres. Orbits do not have polarity assignation or meaning !

    Note the ‘abs’ attribute:
    Y = A abs [Cos 2pi(t-T0)/P1 + Cos (2pi/3 + 2pi(t-T0)/P2] …….SC
    Y = abs [Cos 2pi(t-T0)/P1 + Cos 2pi( t-T0)/P2 ]…………………Anomaly
    As published

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

    You can distort facts and fiddle with minutiae as long as you whish, the formula stands.

    AND WHAT IS PHYSICS BEHIND YOUR Rmax = 0.6 DM ?
    I tell you what it is: nothing!
    Or to be more precise one in thousand (1/1000) drift, NEGLIGIBLE !
    And further more: it fails on the strongest cycle ever SC19!
    Could that be reason you are unsuccessfully trying to demolish more superior solution?
    Of course it is.
    ‘Jupiter shine’ ? that’s another rubbish you invented! Sign of desperation?

  302. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    vukcevic says:
    June 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Orbits do not have polarity assignation or meaning !

    But polar fields and solar cycles do. So, we can agree that orbits are irrelevant for this…
    You used to claim that the solar cycle was due to the magnetic effect of Jupiter-shine, so perhaps it is progress that you no longer entertain any electro-magnetic causes.

    I’m going to disagree with both of you here. Quite a lot of other solar research concludes that the two solar hemispheres are electro-magnetically distinct to a great extent, and that one tends to dominate the other electro-magnetically over quasi cyclic periods of time. In my studies on hemisperic sunspot asymmetry and my studies of the motion of the planets in the axis perpendicular to the orbital plane, I am getting interesting glimmerings of relationships between the times when one solar hemisphere is more active than the other, and the disposition of the planets above and below the solar equator, and their relative inclinations to the plane of invariance and each other at various points in their orbits.

    It’s complex, and I haven’t got as far with it as I’d like, because unlike some here I don’t get any paid time to work on solar physics (or waste it here blitzkreiging the ideas of others), so I won’t invite the usual condemnation by offering half baked graphs now. I only mention it because in studying solar system phenomena and orbits people tend to forget that we live in a 3-d solar system in a wider galactic setting which is pervaded by an electo-magnetic soup influenced not only by the emissions of the sun.

  303. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    This is not an argument. Your page says “During the last Grand Minimum Rudolf Wolf devised a counting method…”
    This is factually incorrect, as he was hardly born then.

    I see your point now after explaining it more clearly, I will amend.

    I do not share your views on the L&P theory and have shown how the Wolf and Wolfer method vary in times of grand minima. The majority of people would agree the current counting method is yielding a different result compared to how Wolf constructed his count. This is the reason for the Layman’s Count, which also takes out the majority of human bias, a threshold has been established.

  304. Leif Svalgaard says:
    (re: nonsense about polarity)

    Perhaps your climatic and environmental (or whatever it was?) studies do not let you grasp some properties of electromagnetic events.
    Let me help you with elementary basics, it is here all you need to know:

  305. Vuk, Leif, et al

    I don’t know much about the subject matter of this back-and-forth among you, but it’s an open blog, so I’ll add my 2¢ worth. Some of the terminology is unfamiliar to me. I don’t, for example, know what SBC or L&P mean, but I have spent a lifetime looking at graphs, so I will give you an external observer’s take on what may be grasped from the graph named Vuk-Failing-2.png.

    (1) I’m not sure if the blue curve is intended to have a connection with anything else that is portrayed on the graph. In my eyes, it doesn’t have any at all, so I will confine my attention to the pink and green traces.

    (2) The pink curve is a well-recognized linear combination of two sinusoidal functions that have different frequencies and equal amplitudes. If the amplitudes were different, the ‘envelope’ would split into upper and lower traces with a ‘gap’ between them. In the extreme case, such as in AM radio encoding, the ‘gap’ constitutes most of what is detected, and the ‘information’ is the small variation of the amplitude that sits on top of it. In such cases, the carrier frequency and amplitude are markedly different than those of the information content.

    (3) The pattern of the pink trace in Vuk-Failing-2.png shows up in many situations where two influences of equal strength and similar but unequal frequencies are ‘competing’ to control some outcome. What is shown is exactly the kind of thing your eardrum would perceive when trying to listen to two audio signals with equal magnitudes but slightly different frequencies, such as a pair of out-of-tune tuning forks.

    (4) I assume that there is supposed to be an obvious ‘message’ in the relationship between the pink and green curves. It is clear that in the region immediately to the left and right of the letter A, these two curves are in phase with each other, and of comparable heights in their vertical variations.

    (5) In the region between the letters B and C, the two curves are more or less in opposite phase, and don’t match very well in amplitude.

    (6) In the rest of the graph, the pink and green curves look pretty much like a random jumble with no apparent relationship to each other, and there is a considerable amount of phase-drift along the entire sequence.

    All that being said, I may be ‘missing the message’, but if that is the case, I would submit that most people, including those with lots of technical and scientific training, would likewise miss it. If there is actually something of substance that this graph purports to demonstrate, it isn’t doing a very good job of doing so.

    If there is indeed something real behind the wiggles of this graph, one would, at the very least, need to do two things: (a) find the two “almost equal, but of slightly different frequency competitors” that would of necessity have to be involved, and (b) find out why they drift out of phase with each other. In the absence of those, this is just ‘math-play’, and in its present state, not very good ‘math-play’.

    /dr.bill

  306. tallbloke says:
    ..the two solar hemispheres are electro-magnetically distinct to a great extent, and that one tends to dominate the other electro-magnetically over quasi cyclic periods of time.

    The North /South asymmetry (as far as records go) responds to the same drive as in the anomaly formula for the Low cycle – Long minimum sequence .

    the above is section of

  307. dr.bill says:
    June 21, 2010 at 3:26 am
    Vuk, Leif, et al

    Dr. Bill you are spot on for blue and pink lines, they are my formulas. The green line is an ‘artificial’ sunspot sequence and normally looks like as a bridge ‘ rectified’ green signal (he may have changed the chart)
    Dr. Svalgaard is trying to convey point, but failed to understand the substance of the equations, which I have explained in my latter post:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/17/nasa-warns-solar-flares-from-huge-space-storm-will-cause-devastation/#comment-413881

    He regularly forgets about 1800 phase change (extra ½ cycle) re: Lost cycle 4a Usoskin et al. It is a pain going over same ground again and again.

  308. Thanks Vuk. I think we can usefully resolve down to finer detail to get a better idea of which planetary magnetospheres might be involved and so get better clues as to mechanism. My insight earlier that the power doesn’t need to be primarily going from the planets to the sun for them to potentially (pun intended) have an effect on solar activity may help. Think Van der Graf generator for an (imperfect) analogy.

    We know from the work of Jean-Pierre Desmoulins and Ching Cheh Hung that Alignments of Venus Earth and Jupiter form a beat which matches the sunspot cycle. We know this beat gets out of sync with the sunspot cycle around the time of deep minima. We know that when the beat is well in synch the amplitude of the solar cycles rises. We also know Venus doesn’t have much in the way of a magnetosphere of it’s own but is has one induced for it by the Sun.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/venus-earth-jupiter-alignment-and-the-solar-cycle/

  309. @vukcevic says:
    June 21, 2010 at 3:44 am

    That is the phase relation ship between the sunspot cycle and the coronal hole cycle.

  310. Ulric Lyons says:
    June 21, 2010 at 4:45 am

    That is the phase relation ship between the sunspot cycle and the coronal hole cycle.

    Please could you tell us more about the coronal hole cycle Ulric. What is it’s periodicity? Is it stable? The page you pointed us to only goes back to 2002. Is there more publicly accessible data anywhere?

  311. @tallbloke says:
    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 am
    “Please could you tell us more about the coronal hole cycle Ulric. What is it’s periodicity? Is it stable?”

    17 year monthly anomaly strings in CET are the strongest and longest strings observable, with that, and the fact the Cicada has relied on a 17yr return of similar temperature/rainfall patterns for 12 out of 17 yrs for a very long time, I would say it is very stable, unlike the solar cycle which wanders so. Its length I currently estimate to be 953/56 yrs (6216d), with 953/86 yrs for the average sunspot cycle length.
    On the short term, the 17yr cycle will be most out of phase with the SS cycle, at 51yrs, hence my suggestion that this is the cause of Vuk`s asymmetry observations.
    And unfortunately, I do not know of any such coronal hole records previous to 2002, though using daily geomag records as a proxy would help.

  312. vukcevic says:
    June 21, 2010 at 1:33 am
    It is all here:

    Well, it isn’t. I raised specific concerns and you could be so good as to provide specific answers:

    Here are your polar fields [pink, scaled to match sunspot number in recent cycles – the 0.63], the sunspot number [green, shifted 4 years], and your anomaly formula [blue, with anomalies marked with a red circle]. So let’s examine your claim:
    You say that at A the red circle explain the mismatch. This will not do at B, so in this case your claim [‘every single’] is already false. For case C the cycle is very small, yet nowhere near any red circle, so again your claim is false. At D we had one of the largest cycles ever, yet you predict a teeny, tiny cycle and that as far way from a red circle as one can get. For several cycles around E, your are half a cycle off in phase. So, it is not true that the anomaly formula “is correct on every single occasion“, rather it fails more often than it is right. Perhaps you need another anomaly formula to take care of the anomalies not covered by the first, and perhaps another one after that, etc. Worth investigating, don’t you think?

    Geoff Sharp says:
    June 21, 2010 at 2:07 am
    I [..] have shown how the Wolf and Wolfer method vary in times of grand minima. The majority of people would agree the current counting method is yielding a different result compared to how Wolf constructed his count. This is the reason for the Layman’s Count, which also takes out the majority of human bias, a threshold has been established.
    Regardless of this, Wolfer’s method is what should be used. One could say that Wolfer’s method is under threat from people trying to re-introduce Wolf’s.

  313. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 21, 2010 at 2:07 am
    I [..] have shown how the Wolf and Wolfer method vary in times of grand minima.
    Nobody would disagree with this. As I pointed out even Wolf and Wolfer knew this. Since Wolfer’s method is to be preferred [every observer today agrees] the implication is that Wolf”s method greatly underestimates solar activity during Grand Minima, making them much less grand as also shown by the cosmic ray modulation during such minima.

  314. Leif Svalgaard says: June 21, 2010 at 7:42 am
    Worth investigating, don’t you think?

    Well you have not stop investigating relentlesly for nearly 3 years now.
    I say: Worth taking a stock, don’t you think?

    Here are two competing hypothesis giving currently the same result:
    1. Dr. Svalgaard, the world famous solar scientist
    Based on 3 cycle observations using an INVENTED non-physical constant of 0.6444 (Rmax=0.6444DM). No tangible proof of mechanism recognised by classical physics laws but based on some kind of random and NEGLIGIBLE, one in thousand (1/1000) drift which
    fails (1/1000 drift) on the strongest cycle ever SC19!, when it had the greatest chance of success.
    There is a strong possibility of failing on the SC24 with the SSN which is daily unjustifiably overstated.
    To prepare for the likely possibility of failure, another spurious ‘justification’ theory known as L&P is strongly promoted daily, but for 5 months now no results there. Smell of a rotten egg.

    2. Vukcevic –unrecognised entity in solar circles and regularly insulted by the above.
    Based on a simple mathematical equation, which can be used in 3 forms to track the solar sunspot record from 1810 (200 years against the above 50 years), the sunspot anomalies from 1600 (400 years) and polar fields as in the above for 50 years, all with only minor exceptions (despite of up to date not fully understood process of sunspot generation and the periodicity). In contrast to the non-physical constant, here 3 precise ASTRONOMIC CONSTANTS are used. As in the above case, no tangible proof of mechanism recognised by classical physics laws.

    Of course the ‘world renowned solar scientist’ should be vastly preferable choice and read, but then it is a mystery why so much time and effort is spent to discredit the’ unrecognised entity’.
    Perhaps point of contention is:
    the uncertainty of an INVENTED CONSTANT vs. the certainty of the ASTRONOMIC CONSTANTS.

  315. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 21, 2010 at 8:33 am
    Wolf”s method greatly underestimates solar activity during Grand Minima, making them much less grand as also shown by the cosmic ray modulation during such minima.
    Could be misconstrued. The meaning is that Wolf’s method makes the Grand Minima deeper than they really are, i.e. that they are not as Grand as minima that they would have been with Wolfer’s [and the modern] method. So, if SC24 counted the modern way turns out to be 72, then Wolf would have reported a lower number, e.g. 55 or 35 [hence your preference for Wolf, I suppose].

    Now, on a more important issue. What we try to express with the various solar indices is ‘solar activity’, i.e. the import of magnetic fields. People that worry about decaying satellite orbits need a ‘correct’ or meaningful measure. There is a simple test whether a measure is good: does the observed orbital decay match that modeled from the solar indices.

    Several scientists [myself included] have shown that lately, the official sunspot number is seriously too low. Excluding specks and pores [Wolf’s method] would make the sunspot number even lower and thus make the calculated orbital decays deviate even more from the observed ones. This is independent of any L&P considerations.

    Re L&P: up to now, L&P is not a ‘theory’ but a set of high-quality measurements by the best solar observer using one of the best solar telescopes. The ‘theory’ part is whether the trend will continue. But, the observed fact is that there are more specks relative to ‘spots’ than in the past and that the lower end of the ‘speck count’ is missing because as soon as the magnetic field falls below 1500 G the speck is very hard to see [effectively invisible].

    So, the observed L&P [up to now] means that the sunspot number is even lower than without L&P. This is consistent with the discrepancy with the F10.7 flux. It also means that the SSN is no longer a valid measure of solar activity and that may have happened before, e.g. during the Maunder Minimum].

  316. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm
    Ulric Lyons says:
    June 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm
    Anyone else notice that people get aggitated when the Earth does a SBC on the HCS ?
    I was in the USSR in the 1970s and the director of an insane asylum told me that his inmates went berserk at such SBCs. In fact, he was trying to push the idea that he could predict solar conditions by watching his inmates. I don’t think he had much luck with that idea, but it certainly alternative ‘science’…
    _________________________________________

    I was thinking in terms of folk on this thread a couple of days ago!

  317. Leif Svalgaard says:
    I don’t think so. The polar fields in 1954 were the strongest ever observed, so naturally SC19 would be strong as observed.

    Diversion detected!
    The random and NEGLIGIBLE, one in thousand (1/1000) drift, on which you base your theory, has failed during the strongest cycle ever SC19 (to create weak SC20), when it had the greatest chance of success.

  318. Ulric Lyons says:
    Anyone else notice that people get aggitated when the Earth does a SBC on the HCS ?
    I was in the USSR in the 1970s and the director of an insane asylum told me that his inmates went berserk at such SBCs. …

    And also that drifting north magnetic pole, dividing itself in two, perhaps provoking all those cases of bi-polarity and personality changes, a la “jekyll and mr.hyde”. Really something to worry about.☺

  319. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 21, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Several scientists [myself included] have shown that lately, the official sunspot number is seriously too low. Excluding specks and pores [Wolf’s method] would make the sunspot number even lower and thus make the calculated orbital decays deviate even more from the observed ones. This is independent of any L&P considerations.

    It’s not independent of considerations of the comparability of the current method with the historical record though. Do sunspots make satellite orbits change Leif? No. So maybe magnetic indices just don’t match perfectly with sunspot numbers. Live with it.

  320. vukcevic says:
    June 21, 2010 at 10:40 am
    The random and NEGLIGIBLE, one in thousand (1/1000) drift, on which you base your theory, has failed during the strongest cycle ever SC19 (to create weak SC20), when it had the greatest chance of success.
    Now it is SC20 and not SC19, but OK, perhaps you meant SC20. The reason SC20 is weak is rooted in what Bob Howard observed:
    “Observations of the magnetic fields in the polar regions of the Sun are presented for the period 1960–1971. At the start of this interval the fields at the two poles were consistently of opposite sign and averaged around 1 G. Early in 1961 the field in the south decreased suddenly [compare with http://www.leif.org/research/MWO-1961-21-July-Magnetogram.png ] and the field in the north decreased in strength slowly over the next few years. By the mid-1960′s the fields at both poles were quite weak and irregular.”
    During the decline of a solar cycle, flux from decaying active regions are carried towards the poles. If equal amount of flux was transported, there would be no change of the polar fields. The build-up of polar flux [seed for next cycle] is controlled by the tilt angle between line joining the two bipoles and the equator [Joy’s Law], in turn determining the probability that an imbalance of polarity reaching the poles by the random walk across the surface [remember that this value is very small, only 1/1000 of the total flux in the active regions]. During cycle 19 that tilt angle was observed to be smaller than usual [see Figure 3 of http://www.leif.org/EOS/1006-2061v1.pdf ], hence the weaker polar fields going into cycle 20, hence the weak SC20.
    You can learn more about these processes [and about what controls the tilt] here: http://www.leif.org/EOS/arnabresearch.pdf

  321. tallbloke says:
    June 21, 2010 at 11:14 am
    It’s not independent of considerations of the comparability of the current method with the historical record though.
    The current method has been used since 1882, so to a large extent ‘is’ the historical record.

    Do sunspots make satellite orbits change Leif? No. So maybe magnetic indices just don’t match perfectly with sunspot numbers. Live with it.
    Nobody cares about sunspot numbers per se. Only to the extent that they are a proxy for the magnetic flux. And, indeed, the match is no longer good. So why do we care? Because the match may also have been broken in the past [e.g. the Maunder Minimum] meaning that most correlations based on the ‘sunspot number’ become invalid as ‘sunspots make satellite orbits change Leif? No’. So neither do sunspots make climate change or anything else. The people that claim so must ‘live with that’. If they accept this and do, then all is fine.

  322. vukcevic says:
    June 21, 2010 at 9:00 am
    it is a mystery why so much time and effort is spent to discredit the’ unrecognised entity’.
    One must spend time to combat pseudo-science whenever it rears its head. It is perhaps a mystery why you keep pushing this [and other nonsense as well] after having been taught otherwise. Perhaps the learning-disability or learning-resistance I have commented on previously.

    Now, you can try to regain some credibility by addressing

    Here are your polar fields [pink, scaled to match sunspot number in
    recent cycles – the 0.63], the sunspot number [green, shifted 4
    years], and your anomaly formula [blue, with anomalies marked with a
    red circle]. So let’s examine your claim:
    You say that at A the red circle explain the mismatch. This will not
    do at B, so in this case your claim [‘every single’] is already false.
    For case C the cycle is very small, yet nowhere near any red circle,
    so again your claim is false. At D we had one of the largest cycles
    ever, yet you predict a teeny, tiny cycle and that as far way from a
    red circle as one can get. For several cycles around E, your are half
    a cycle off in phase. So, it is not true that the anomaly formula “is
    correct on every single occasion“, rather it fails more often than it
    is right. Perhaps you need another anomaly formula to take care of the
    anomalies not covered by the first, and perhaps another one after
    that, etc.

  323. Leif Svalgaard says:
    Now, you can try to regain some credibility…

    Diversion detected again !
    Tilt angle was introduced to explain defunct theory of no tangible proof of mechanism recognised by classical physics laws but based on some kind of random and NEGLIGIBLE, one in thousand (1/1000) drift which failed when it had the greatest chance of success (SC19-SC20).
    Without the cycle-dependent variations of the tilt angle the weak cycle 20 would have been unable to offset the polar field after cycle 19.
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/1006-3061v1.pdf page 9 :
    Undoubtedly a fiddle introduced to get wanted result.

    What about L&P effect being relentlessly promoted (no known physics mechanism) as a cover up if Rmax=0.6444DM fails ?

    No Sir,
    you are the world famous solar scientist, you explain how does your INVENTED non-physical constant of 0.6444 works, and according to whose private ‘solar dynamo’ Hathaway’s, Dicpati’s, Svalgaard et al (all different and mostly defunct), or maybe somebody else’s after SC24 is done.
    You have some explaining to do, I am inconsequential minnow, my ranting is irrelevant.

  324. Peter Taylor
    For example, Hannes Alfven proposed a ‘back-current’ of electrons into the sun. In my understanding of electrons (and the solar wind is an electrical current) there always has to be a circuit for the current to flow – so what happens at the helio-pause? Do those electrons never return? And if they do, then may they not follow some complex magnetic field pathways back to the source?

    Here is another view of what could be happening, but Dr. Svalgard will tell you it couldn’t.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm

  325. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 21, 2010 at 8:33 am

    So, the observed L&P [up to now] means that the sunspot number is even lower than without L&P. This is consistent with the discrepancy with the F10.7 flux. It also means that the SSN is no longer a valid measure of solar activity and that may have happened before, e.g. during the Maunder Minimum].

    Thanks for the overview, Leif. This is very interesting indeed.

    Now, you say that “the SSN is no longer a valid measure of solar activity” which one is tempted to accept considering L&P. I know you want to promote the F10.7 flux as a more relevant proxy for solar activity now that the SSN proxy is “going on vacation”.

    But the question nagging me is: “Proxy for what?”. What is “solar activity” if you are not talking about its proxies? Is there a concise definition for “solar activity”? I am guessing “no”.

  326. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    tallbloke says:
    June 21, 2010 at 11:14 am
    It’s not independent of considerations of the comparability of the current method with the historical record though.

    The current method has been used since 1882, so to a large extent ‘is’ the historical record.

    As I asked on the other thread, will it be feasible to push your geomagnetic study back beyond the Dalton Minimum? 1882 doesn’t cover that, and if Dalton is the territory we are in now, the comparability with Wolf is needed, whichever way you try to slice and dice it.

    So neither do sunspots make climate change or anything else. The people that claim so must ‘live with that’. If they accept this and do, then all is fine.

    I’ll go with a consistent metric which measures apples against apples, not apples against pips.

  327. vukcevic says:
    June 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    What you calculated there is wrong! This is what it looks like.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC11.htm

    These formulae are different from what you said earlier today:
    vukcevic says:
    June 21, 2010 at 1:33 am
    Y = A abs [Cos 2pi(t-T0)/P1 + Cos (2pi/3 + 2pi(t-T0)/P2] …….SC
    Y = abs [Cos 2pi(t-T0)/P1 + Cos 2pi( t-T0)/P2 ]…………………Anomaly

    You have had a knack for changing the formulae at random [your usual excuse being sloppiness].
    Here is a comparison between your various attempts:

    Carsten Arnholm, Norway says:
    June 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm
    But the question nagging me is: “Proxy for what?”. What is “solar activity” if you are not talking about its proxies? Is there a concise definition for “solar activity”? I am guessing “no”.
    Proxy for the solar magnetic field. It is generally accepted that without that field, there wouldn’t be any of the various phenomena that we ascribe to the Sun. The magnetic field in turn manifests itself in the heating of the corona, solar wind, magnetic storms, UV variability, TSI variations, flares, microwave emission, etc. All of these are closely related and can be used as proxies for each other [some with less fidelity than others]. The ‘odd man out’ is the sunspot. Or rather the visibility of the spot. Take two spots [or specks if you like]: one at 1550 G and one at 1450 G. They represent almost the same amount of ‘activity’ and give rise to almost the same values of F10.7, UV, TSI, etc, yet the former has a sunspot number of 11 and the latter of zero [as we cannot see it].

    vukcevic says:
    June 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    tallbloke says:
    June 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm
    As I asked on the other thread, will it be feasible to push your geomagnetic study back beyond the Dalton Minimum?
    The geomagnetic data goes back to the 1740s [with some gaps]. From 1781 the coverage is almost complete. Wolf used that data in his calibration. You can see some of that old data on slide 17 of http://www.leif.org/research/Two%20Centuries%20Space%20Weather.pdf
    There is more and it can be analyzed better, but that is still to be finalized [I’m working on it].

    1882 doesn’t cover that, and if Dalton is the territory we are in now, the comparability with Wolf is needed, whichever way you try to slice and dice it.
    The way to gain comparability with Wolf, is to raise Wolf’s count to make them comparable with the modern [and better conceived and executed] data, in order to get a consistent metric so we can compare apples with apples. I have outlined the procedure and its justification in several places, e.g. here http://www.leif.org/research/Rudolf%20Wolf%20Was%20Right.pdf
    For practical reasons it is not a good idea to lower modern values to Wolf’s level. We are better off increasing the old values to get to a consistent dataset. Now, there are several people out there that do not a consistent dataset, because the [wrong] existing data fits their own agenda better. You can tell me if you are one of those [I don’t need the usual “I’m just after the truth etc…” – the truth is as I present it, so there you have it].

  328. tallbloke says:
    June 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm
    As I asked on the other thread, will it be feasible to push your geomagnetic study back beyond the Dalton Minimum?
    Of special interest is the time going into the Dalton Minimum. We have an excellent series of data by Gilpin, see slide 13 of http://www.leif.org/research/Two%20Centuries%20Space%20Weather.pdf
    Of interest is that there is no sign on a ‘lost’ cycle between SC4 and SC5. Cosmic ray modulation at that time also show sign of SC4a:

  329. tallbloke says:
    June 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm
    the comparability with Wolf is needed, whichever way you try to slice and dice it.

    On http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50 you say:
    “The NOAA method departing from the Wolfer method by not adjusting the raw count (NOAA do not multiply by 0.6).”
    Since there is just a constant factor [0.6] no distortion arises from this. You could make your plot more informative [and scientific honest] by applying 0.6 to the NOAA data, so you will be comparing apples to apples, rather than to the oranges you trot out by not normalizing NOAA by 0.6.

    “The SIDC using the Wolfer formula but still counting specks”
    Wolfer counted specks [that is the defining difference with Wolf], so it is misleading to say ‘but still counting specks’. A correct statement [but rather empty] would be: “SIDC as Wolfer are both counting specks, as opposed to Wolf”.

    You are also saying:
    “It should be noted that NOAA runs an entirely different method of counting that in no way corresponds with the sunspot record.”
    From what I know about what they do [and I know quite a lot about this] I would say that your statement in incorrect. The ‘no way’ is over the top. NOAA’s count is quite accurate. The few cases where you find zero counts that were not zero at the other institution is simply due to the time difference [8 hours] between the NOAA and SIDC. In that time the sunspot activity can [and does] change.

  330. Hi Leif, thanks for these latest posts. It seems possible to me that the Earth climate and/or geomagnetic response to varying solar magnetism is non-linear anyway, so I’m happy for the chips to fall where they may. I just want a consistent dataset. You have worked on this more than just about anyone else and I have loads of respect for your scientific judgement about metrics, despite getting into slanging matches with you when you start with the insults.

    It’s only very recently since the start of the satellite era and the ability to take measurements of the F10.7 solar magnetic flux directly. I assume you’ve been keeping a close eye on the relationship between this and Ap and aa? How well do they track each other at very low values such as we’ve seen over the last few years?

    Now we have direct F10.7 measurements, counting “invisible spots” seems a bit daft to me. Why call a retriever a dalmation? Especially when you haven’t yet got around to “re-counting” historical sunspot numbers yet. It’s misleading. Better to simply count spots (or the lack of them) and note the changing relationship between them and magnetic fluxes at low values in my opinion.

    Incidentally, what do you make of Wilie Soon’s graph showing good correlation between sunshine hours and surface temperature in adjacent countries?

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/willie-soon-brings-sunshine-to-the-debate-on-solar-climate-link/

  331. Back on topic, there is for sure a relationship between long quiet minimums and larger solar storms occurring in the following cylce, but not only at maximum, it is possible that such an event could happen as early as this year. It is fair to say that the risk during C24 is higher than average. Those of us who study the effects of heliocentric planetary alignments with the Sun, will be indentifying multi-bodied planet alignments (particularly inner planets) as high risk times for storms (events sometimes occur 1 or 2 solar rotations after said alignments, essentially being primed by an initial alignment, and the storm occuring at a following configuration).
    Has anyone else considered that the Tunguska event could be a strong magnetic re-connection event that caused a huge atmospheric blast?

  332. RE: “Nasa warns solar flares from ‘huge space storm’ will cause devastation.”

    I think this 'eye-catching' news headline may be promoting a false impression of the message that the NASA scientists were giving. One can also say that an eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano eruption and a giant meteor impact 'will' [sometime in the future] cause cataclysmic devastation. As there is evidence that these events have happened in the past and are still possible the question is not 'if' but 'when.'

    In the case of a super solar-flares, I do not believe that science can tell us the 'when' until just a few hours before the event is about to occur. It still remains to be seen if our power-utilities have made or are making adequate preparations to prevent a possible non-restorable system meltdown that might be caused by the excess electro-magnetic induction from such an event. I only note that there appears to be no official advice issued to the general public on how we should best react in the event of such a storm.

    As I have stated before, the probability of *not* having a Carrington Event magnitude solar flare strike the Earth for any given year is on the order of 99.8 percent, based on reported geologic evidence there have been typically two such events per millennium. As these major events seem to occur at solar-max periods of the typical 11-year solar-cycle, then we would have a 97.8 probability of this *not* happening during any given solar-max. If a deep solar minimum, such as we have just had, makes such events three to five times more likely, (a speculation) then the probability of *nonoccurrence* may be reduced to something between 89 and 94 percent during the following solar-max. For many of you, this is about the same probability range that such an event will not happen during your whole remaining lifetime. Lesser events are more probable.

    In one recent item from NASA, I do see there is a note that a solar-flare could cause your toilet to stop working as a result of a long-term power outage. That might mean more work for carpenters rebuilding the traditional out-door facilities.

  333. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 21, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    “It should be noted that NOAA runs an entirely different method of counting that in no way corresponds with the sunspot record.”
    ————————————–
    From what I know about what they do [and I know quite a lot about this] I would say that your statement in incorrect. The ‘no way’ is over the top. NOAA’s count is quite accurate. The few cases where you find zero counts that were not zero at the other institution is simply due to the time difference [8 hours] between the NOAA and SIDC. In that time the sunspot activity can [and does] change.

    NOAA by not employing the Wolfer method cannot compare their count with the historical record. Their sunspot records are displayed on many sites including this one creating confusion and frustration. I think the public should be aware of the difference, I did not say they were inaccurate at measuring, only that their method is different.

    The SIDC can be questioned with the accuracy of their count at times, certain stations do seem to have a reputation of finding spots where others cannot. May 21,22 & 26 is a good example, check the Continuum images for that date range and you will notice 2 images on the 26th (early and late) that are speck free. SIDC has a value of 12, NOAA zero, to arrive at a discounted value of 12 you would expect something to be showing, if it did it must have been very quick. On the 21st & 22nd for nearly the entire range there was a single 1 pixel speck, SIDC counted 7 for both days, NOAA zero. There were no official NOAA numbered regions on the specified dates. The timing argument I think is falling short.

    This is one example of what I have been talking about, even with the .6 reduction the SIDC value is being overstated, there have been quite a few occasions where this has happened. These kind of errors are far less common if a threshold is set.

  334. tallbloke says:
    June 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm
    It seems possible to me that the Earth climate and/or geomagnetic response to varying solar magnetism is non-linear anyway
    They are both very linear [but perhaps you don’t really mean ‘non-linear’].

    slanging matches with you when you start with the insults.
    As always, I repay in the same coin.

    How well do they track each other at very low values such as we’ve seen over the last few years?
    They track equally well as always. No changes there.

    Now we have direct F10.7 measurements, counting “invisible spots” seems a bit daft to me.
    Nobody cares what the sunspot number is. What matters is what solar magnetism is doing [spots visible or not]. We can reconstruct F10.7 very accurately back to the 1840s and somewhat less accurately back to the 1740s.

    It’s misleading.
    Only if you ascribe a significance to sunspots that they don’t have. Then you just mislead yourself.

    Better to simply count spots (or the lack of them) and note the changing relationship between them and magnetic fluxes at low values in my opinion.
    Counting spots for the sake of spots is meaningless as you are convolving the count with the visibility.

    Incidentally, what do you make of Wilie Soon’s graph
    When the Sun shines it is warmer [IMHO], so I don’t make much more than that of it. Perhaps Soon has it a bit backwards: as Japan’s weather often comes from China perhaps lower temperatures in China just spells worse weather in Japan with less sunshine. I wouldn’t waste sleep over this issue [or get excited].

  335. Leif Svalgaard says:
    These formulae are different from what you said earlier today:

    You do talk nonsense. The formulae have been there for 7.5 years.

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

    with a clear note about 90 degrees phase shift prior 1813.
    You problem is that you are trying to fault it by fiddling around with numbers, phase switching and God knows what for nearly 3 years now. You do not need to recognize its physical validity, but should be a wise man and accept what is there is accurate.
    If it cuts across your Rmax hypothesis that is hard luck.
    You are doing far more damage to your reputation as a serious and honest scientist, by trying to distort the numbers etc.
    You are welcome to discuss merits of the transfer mechanism (if there are any) etc, but I am not going to engage with your on account of low and devious attempts.

  336. vukcevic says:
    June 22, 2010 at 9:17 am
    You do talk nonsense. The formulae have been there for 7.5 years.
    If so, they have been wrong for 7.5 years.

    on June 21, 2010 at 1:33 am you said:
    Y = A abs [Cos 2pi(t-T0)/P1 + Cos (2pi/3 + 2pi(t-T0)/P2] …….SC
    This is clearly not what your own graphs show:

    And even worse, the formula before 1800 is different from that after 1800.
    100*ABS(COS(2*PI()/4+2*PI()*(A555-1941)/(2*11.862))+COS(2*PI()*(A555-1941)/19.859))
    100*ABS(SIN(2*PI()*(A555-1940.5)/19.859)+SIN(2*PI()/3+2*PI()*(A555-1940.5)/(2*11.862)))
    100*ABS(COS(2*PI()/3+2*PI()*(A555-1941)/(2*11.862))+COS(2*PI()*(A555-1941)/19.859))

  337. Leif Svalgaard says:
    These formulae are different from what you said earlier today:

    P.S. Your colleague Dr. Hathaway went through process of thorough checking long before you even heart of it.
    Hathaway even reproduced graph, here is a copy:

    Hathaway’s comment:
    Estimates of the possible gravitational forcing by Jupiter have shown that the effects
    are many orders of magnitude smaller than the buoyancy forcing in the Sun’s convection zone. Electro-magnetic effects from Jupiter are virtually impossible due to the flow of the solar wind which carried that information outward, away from the Sun.
    It is obvious that the plot at about 1810 gets totally out of phase with the sunspot.

    As I said, it is time you accepted formula as it is and give up you pointless nonsense !

  338. Leif Svalgaard says: June 22, 2010 at 9:36 am
    “…………………..”

    Give up you pointless nonsense !
    Here is Dr. Hathaway’s plot of my formula

    RE: Solar cycle
    Friday, July 27, 2007 6:24 PM
    From: “Hathaway, David H. (MSFC-VP62)” David.Hathaway@nasa.gov

  339. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 22, 2010 at 7:35 am
    NOAA by not employing the Wolfer method cannot compare their count with the historical record. Their sunspot records are displayed on many sites including this one creating confusion and frustration. I think the public should be aware of the difference, I did not say they were inaccurate at measuring, only that their method is different.
    No, their method is exactly the same [count everything you can see]. The only ‘difference’ is that they do not multiply by 0.6. Everybody knows that and there is no confusion. You sow confusion by claiming they use a different method. BTW, you should multiply NOLAA by 0.6 when you compare with the counts.

    The SIDC can be questioned with the accuracy of their count at times. […] The timing argument I think is falling short.
    You simply do not know enough about the procedure. NOAA has a set of criteria to be fulfilled before a spot or speck is elevated to a ‘region’, so spot count is not the same as region count. A speck may be counted even if no NOAA number is assigned to it.

    This is one example of what I have been talking about, even with the .6 reduction the SIDC value is being overstated, there have been quite a few occasions where this has happened. These kind of errors are far less common if a threshold is set.
    These are not ‘errors’, but ‘data’. SIDC values are not overstated. They are too low. In fact, part of the discrepancy between SIDC and F10.7 [but only a smallish part of it] is due to SIDC undercounting compared to everybody else starting in 2002.
    Careful analysis of ‘competing’ sunspots counts [by amateurs – Laymen if you will] show this clearly:

    Blus is SIDC and read and pink are a composite of the following series:

    http://www.vds-sonne.de/gem/res/results.html

    SIDC: Solar Influences Data Analysis Center, Brussels
    SONNE prov.: SONNE network, provisional sunspot numbers
    SONNE def. : SONNE network, definitive sunspot numbers
    AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers – Solar Division
    AKS: Arbeitskreis Sonne des Kulturbundes e.V., Germany
    BAA: The British Astronomical Association – Solar Section, UK
    GFOES: G.F.O.E.S. Commission “Nombre de Wolf”, France
    GSRSI: GruppoSole Ricerce Solari Italia, Italy
    OAA: The Oriental Astronomical Association – Solar Division, Japan
    RWG: Rudolf Wolf Gesellschaft – Solar Obs. Group of Swiss Astron. Society
    TOS: Towarzystwo Obserwatorow Slonca – Solar Observers Society, Poland
    VVS: Vereniging voor Sterrenkunde, Werkgroep Zon, Belgium

    Getting the fact right is not hard. It just takes a willingness to do so.

  340. vukcevic says:
    June 22, 2010 at 9:43 am
    P.S. Your colleague Dr. Hathaway went through process of thorough checking long before you even heart of it.
    Hathaway even reproduced graph, here is a copy:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Hathaways-plot.gif

    Which one of your many different formulae did he use?

    Hathaway’s comment:
    Estimates of the possible gravitational forcing by Jupiter have shown that the effects
    are many orders of magnitude smaller than the buoyancy forcing in the Sun’s convection zone. Electro-magnetic effects from Jupiter are virtually impossible due to the flow of the solar wind which carried that information outward, away from the Sun.
    It is obvious that the plot at about 1810 gets totally out of phase with the sunspot.

    You should have heeded Hathaway’s sage comments.

  341. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Which one of your many different formulae did he use?
    You should have heeded Hathaway’s sage comments.

    One published 7.5 years ago, I just posted link

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

    if you care to look, but it is a bit painful to accept you can be wrong or maybe getting a ‘bit confused’.
    Yes, indeed he is correct as far as he understands the events, but even his theory had a hiccup.
    He accepted my formula as it is, checked it out, satisfied himself it is correct as it stands, and as wise man left it at that.
    Perhaps something you could learn from, too.

  342. Leif Svalgaard says:
    And as everyone can immediately, it is an extremely poor fit.
    Do you have something better to show?
    Of course you have not.
    Just remember my numbers come from astronomy, yours are conjured to fit the job for time being.
    The old Hathaway would be now much happier man, if his SC24 forecast was modified in July of 2007 to mach my formula, when he ploted it.
    What a nuisance, an astrologer and purveyor of pseudoscience to beat top NASA professional.
    Something you should bear in mind for next dozen years.
    On this note I am moving on, no time waisting with you any longer.
    Довиђења or as you might say God ved

  343. vukcevic says:
    June 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm
    On this note I am moving on, no time waisting with you any longer.
    I can understand your reluctance to tell us which formula to use considering your inconsistencies. But it is good that you move on [good riddance] so we can get back to science.

  344. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 22, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Nobody cares what the sunspot number is.

    That’s a keeper.

    So, we go with the laymans count then, since the ‘expert’ has abdicated the post.

  345. tallbloke says:
    June 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm
    “Nobody cares what the sunspot number is.”
    That’s a keeper.
    So, we go with the laymans count then, since the ‘expert’ has abdicated the post.

    Extend the layman’s count to 1600 and redo your correlations…
    What we care about is ‘solar activity’. We try to tease a meaningful number out of old data. This is hard and requires great care and extensive knowledge, and is not yet fully accomplished [but I believe it can be done]. We do not need misinformation, like [from the layman’s page] “The NOAA method departing from the Wolfer method by not adjusting the raw count (NOAA do not multiply by 0.6). The SIDC using the Wolfer formula but still counting specks that would not be seen 200 years ago or indeed by NOAA today.” and similar.

  346. @Spector says:
    June 22, 2010 at 7:10 am
    ” based on reported geologic evidence there have been typically two such events per millennium”

    How is that done?

    Events that have put 100`s of volts in telegraph/telephone lines have occurred an average of every 16yrs since 1859, with four last century;

    http://www.solarstorms.org/SRefStorms.html

  347. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 22, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Getting the fact right is not hard. It just takes a willingness to do so.

    Agree, but you did not comment on why the SIDC counted regions on the 21,22 & 26th May and NOAA did not. There is something not adding up here.

  348. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 22, 2010 at 6:07 pm
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    Agree, but you did not comment on why the SIDC counted regions on the 21,22 & 26th May and NOAA did not. There is something not adding up here.
    Now and then such differences can occur because the observations take place at different times [as I have explained repeatedly]. But on the specific dates you mention, the counts were as follows”
    NOAA SIDC YYYMMDD
    15 9 20100521
    20 13 20100522
    23 14 20100523
    17 12 20100524
    16 15 20100525
    11 10 20100526

    There is such a thing as scientific integrity, you know. And that entails getting the facts rights [which is easy].

  349. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 22, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Apologies, I meant to say 21,22 & 25th April 2010 (it was late last night).

    You will need to check GONG images for the 25th. How did the SIDC come up with a unadjusted value of around 20?

  350. Leif Svalgaard says:
    Now and then such differences can occur because the observations take place at different times [as I have explained repeatedly].
    And here are some examples of those:
    NOAA SIDC YYYMMDD
    0 0 20100306
    0 7 20100307
    0 7 20100308
    0 0 20100309
    12 0 20100310
    Note that these were all specks of small spots.
    Finally both institutions go back every 6 months or so for a final quality check and sometimes that leads to minor adjustments. This is as it should be. One should not automatically assume that ‘something doesn’t add up’ or some hanky-panky is going on. On rare occasions, major errors are detected, but those are almost all caught eventually and corrected. Science is a human endeavor and suffers from but also benefits from the human condition.

  351. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm
    Nobody cares what the sunspot number is.

    tallbloke says:
    June 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm
    That’s a keeper.
    So, we go with the laymans count then, since the ‘expert’ has abdicated the post.

    Extend the layman’s count to 1600 and redo your correlations…

    Follow your own advice and stop misleading the public.

    What we care about is ‘solar activity’.

    In that case you should create yourself a “Solar activity index” and quit butchering 400 year old historical sunspot records.

  352. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Note that these were all specks of small spots.

    Of course, that is where the problem is. You may have missed my earlier post correcting my dates (your comments are approved quicker than mine) but we have counts getting confused by 1 pixel specks that come and go for a few hours, wrong counting on the 25th during a small window, the 1 pixel speck lasting at least from 9.41 on the 221st to 9.42 on the 22nd on SOHO which should be picked up by NOAA given the 24 hour window. All this potential for error is adding to the SIDC count, this would not have happened in Wolf’s day. As you say he got it right, Wolfer’s .6K factor is to blame along with modern technology.

    It does add up, my observations are correct and the system is broken during times of high speck ratio.

  353. Leif, tallbloke:

    You guys are starting to sound like a couple of my old aunts who moved in together in their 80’s after their husbands died. They then spent a decade or so squabbling with each other all day, and carping and bitching about each other to anyone who would listen. One day I inadvertently said something mildly critical of one of them, and the other one almost took my head off. The slightly older one eventually died in her sleep, and the other followed a month later. Just wondering…..

    /dr.bill

  354. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm
    Apologies, I meant to say 21,22 & 25th April 2010 (it was late last night).
    You will need to check GONG images for the 25th. How did the SIDC come up with a unadjusted value of around 20?

    Here are the counts:
    NOAA SIDC YYYMMDD
    0 0 20100420
    0 7 20100421
    0 7 20100422
    0 0 20100423
    0 0 20100424
    0 12 20100425
    0 0 20100426
    But if you look at MWO on 24th April, you have ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/dr100424.jpg .
    A clear spot, while both NOAA and SIDC have no spots. This is a clear example of the ‘timing’ effect. Some spots are so short-lived [hours] that it can be hit or miss. This is just the way it is. But there is no ‘bias’ or ‘error’ or ‘not adding up’ going on. This is not a ‘problem’ or a defect. Here are the counts by Belgian amateurs on those days:

    http://www.vds-sonne.de/gem/res/reslist.php?rf=provrel/rp0410.lst

    | 20. | 0.0 | 0
    | 21. | 0.1 | 1
    | 22. | 0.2 | 3
    | 23. | 0.0 | 0
    | 24. | 0.0 | 0
    | 25. | 0.4 | 4
    | 26. | 0.0 | 0
    The first number is the day of April, the second the number of groups seen, the third the number of spots seen. These numbers are the averages of ~15 observers each day. So clearly several people saw spots on the 25th of April. Nothing untoward or strange going on.
    And this is the point: There can be small differences at any time, as spots are born and die while we are observing them. They are moving targets, so expect variation.

  355. tallbloke says:
    June 22, 2010 at 9:11 pm
    Follow your own advice and stop misleading the public.
    We are working hard to educate the public and devise a dataset that they can have confidence in. This can hardly be labeled ‘misleading the public’. There are people out there [are you one? I asked before – got no answer] that do not want a correct index, as it may not fit their pet ideas. These are the people misleading the public.

    In that case you should create yourself a “Solar activity index”
    We are, in fact doing just that.

    and quit butchering 400 year old historical sunspot records.
    The 400 year old record is the ‘raw’ data for the reconstruction of a ‘true and real’ solar activity record. We are aided in this by the detailed descriptions and specific records left us by Wolf and his successors, supplemented by our modern understanding of the physics and actual development of spots.

    The 400 year record is worthless unless properly calibrated, so this is a task of great urgency and importance [which is, fortunately, underway].

  356. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm
    How did the SIDC come up with a unadjusted value of around 20?
    The observations at Locarno helped:

    Three groups with 4 spots give SSN = 34.
    The question is, why did NOAA miss it? The answer is the 8 hour time difference during which the groups just died.

  357. dr.bill says:
    June 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm
    One day I inadvertently said something mildly critical of one of them, and the other one almost took my head off.
    say something critical about tallbloke. I’ll not rip your head off for that.

  358. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 22, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    There are people out there [are you one? I asked before – got no answer] …

    I’ve given the answer several times on this thread alone, but you are set in your ways, and tend to misread what others say to suit your own prejudice.

    For example:

    tallbloke says:
    June 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Leif, thanks for these latest posts. It seems possible to me that the Earth climate and/or geomagnetic response to varying solar magnetism is non-linear anyway, so I’m happy for the chips to fall where they may. I just want a consistent dataset.

  359. tallbloke says:
    June 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm
    I just want a consistent dataset.
    This is what we are working hard to give you. And you call that ‘misleading the public’.

  360. dr.bill says:
    June 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Leif, tallbloke:

    You guys are starting to sound like a couple of my old aunts

    Is that where you learned to shake your head in dismay? ;-)

  361. re tallbloke: June 23, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Nah, they weren’t serious about it. ☺ ☺

    /dr.bill

  362. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 22, 2010 at 10:10 am
    [snip]
    Hathaway’s comment:
    Estimates of the possible gravitational forcing by Jupiter have shown that the effects are many orders of magnitude smaller than the buoyancy forcing in the Sun’s convection zone. Electro-magnetic effects from Jupiter are virtually impossible due to the flow of the solar wind which carried that information outward, away from the Sun.
    ____________________________________
    Leif, have your opinions changed from the above bold viewpoint of Hathaway?

    Is it possible that the upcoming heliocentric conjunctions or Neptune, Uranus, and Jupiter, will trigger a strong flare on the 21st or 22nd of September 2010, that will cause some North American power grid outages via surges in ground currents through inductive effects of the increased solar fields induced into the geomagnetic homopolar generator effects?

    I would expect this to be the most probable time and cause of occurrence, of magnetic solar storm activity to effect the earth in this regard.

  363. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    The observations at Locarno helped:

    Three groups with 4 spots give SSN = 34.
    The question is, why did NOAA miss it? The answer is the 8 hour time difference during which the groups just died.

    Its not looking good, perhaps digging a bigger hole. 4 micro specks that need to be blown up many times to be observed on the screen that only last a few hours gets a count of 34? I noticed you mentioned “groups” the magnetogram is suggesting one group, how did they arrive at 3? The latest spot 1082 has multiple spots/specks with multiple pos/neg areas but still is considered 1 group. Watts up with that?

    Perhaps SOHO being down that day had some influence, I would have loved to measure that day.

    GONG image:

    GONG magnetogram:

    GONG magnetogram for 1082:

    What’s your opinion on the April 21,22 count, SIDC 7,7 NOAA 0,0. I can’t see a timing reason involved here?(perhaps for 1 day but not both) The single 1 pixel speck lasted over 24 hours?

    Doing this everyday you notice a trend change, earlier in the year it was NOAA counting the micro specks and SIDC ignoring them, some of it might be down to timing but the SIDC appearing to be counting smaller specks recently. The 24 hour Layman’s rule making good sense, do you know what Wolf used as a threshold…area perhaps?

  364. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:02 am

    tallbloke says:
    June 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm
    I just want a consistent dataset.
    This is what we are working hard to give you. And you call that ‘misleading the public’.

    It needs a sign on hanging it at the moment saying “under reconstruction”

  365. anna v says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:59 am

    “….Knowledge is the inside of the circle, and we increase it and the radius grows. The larger the radius the greater the periphery of our contact with the unknown.
    He was talking of Socrates: I know one thing, that I know nothing.

    Nevertheless, the conquest within the circle, what we now know is not thrown out as the radius of our known science increases. It may be reinterpreted, reformulated in new formalisms, but it is a conquest in the exploration that is not lost….”
    __________________________________________________________

    Very well put. Scientists do know their field of expertise very well, but some times this very knowledge is a hindrance to the gaining of new knowledge. In industry I have seen many cases where a layman was dismissed by the scientists because he was not trained, however the layman’s observations were factual and the key to solving the problem.

    Never ever throw out data – there may be a gem in all the dross. I gained the reputation of being a wiz at solving industrial problems, not because I am smart but because I was willing to listen to anyone no matter what their education level was.

  366. @Richard Holle says:
    June 23, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Ah Richard, glad to see you are on topic! My local friend Peter Taylor, has suggested the configuration of August 15/16th being a risk for a solar storm, partly because of Pluto being on the same line as Mercury/Venus. Personally I would be more concerned with the fact that Ceres is on this line, having noted how very sensetive the Sun is to Ceres when it is in syzygy with other inner planets on a regular basis (its bang on the Earth/Mercury line 28.08.1859).
    The larger storms tend to happen when the inner/outer planet configuration is in a `hot` position, mid August is rather cold, so I am more concerned about event possibilities later in the Autumn, re. November 1st and December 28th (study the inner planets on these dates, Mercury and Venus are opposite Ceres on the 28th Dec.)

  367. tallbloke says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:09 am
    By the way Leif, how are the ‘secular’ changes in the Earth’s magnetism adjusted for in the aa and Ap records?
    They are not. There are two schools of thought about this, like with F10.7. If you want an index that measures an effect, then aa should not be corrected for secular change and F10.7 should not be corrected for distance. If you consider the index to be a proxy for its cause, then it should be corrected. Both views are valid. For F10.7 we solve the problem by giving two values: observed and adjusted. For aa [and similar] we should do the same. But there is a problem, namely that we don’t know [or can’t agree] how to adjust. The fundamental question is: if the Earth’s magnetic decreases [as it is doing right now], does that decrease or increase geomagnetic activity?
    Now, the size of the magnetosphere depends on the strength of the Earth’s field: the weaker, the smaller is the magnetosphere. Here are two arguments with opposite conclusions:
    1) geomagnetic activity is thought to be caused by reconnection of the Earth’s field with the Sun’s field. The smaller the magnetosphere, the smaller the reconnection electric field will be, leading to smaller geomagnetic activity [aa should be adjusted up to be compatible with older values]
    2) a smaller magnetosphere is more under ‘stress’ from the solar wind and is more easily disturbed, leading to larger geomagnetic activity [also we will be closer to the currents so their disturbing magnetic effect will be larger], so aa should be adjusted down to be compatible with older values.
    We can’t decide between the two, so we don’t know which way to adjust, hence we don’t adjust. [but we should].
    There is a similar question: we know that aa is smaller at the solstices [and at certain times of the UT day] because of geometrical effects related to generation of geomagnetic activity. Should we correct for this? In section 3.2 [paragraph 17] of http://www.leif.org/research/2007JA012437.pdf we discuss this and argue for removal of this known artifact, if the purpose of the index is to be a proxy for the solar wind and not for how the Earth happens to be oriented.
    You see: your simple question opens up a large can of worms. Very important ones. The issues are not yet resolved.

    Richard Holle says:
    June 23, 2010 at 1:26 am
    Leif, have your opinions changed from the above bold viewpoint of Hathaway?
    No, Hathaway is quite correct. And nothing ‘bold’ about it. This is just factual.

    Is it possible that the upcoming heliocentric conjunctions or Neptune, Uranus, and Jupiter, will trigger a strong flare on the 21st or 22nd of September 2010
    No, and even if there were some planetary influence, the planets move so slowly that whatever forces one would invoke [apart from astrological ones] would be almost the same for many weeks around any line-up, that pinning it down to a specific day [or hour and minute] would not be possible.

    Geoff Sharp says:
    June 23, 2010 at 2:29 am
    magnetogram is suggesting one group, how did they arrive at 3?
    Wolf and Wolfer couldn’t know that and since the sunspot number is carefully kept technology-independent [using the same kind of small telescopes and NOT invoking modern technology], we must put ourselves in their shoes and judge as they would have.

    What’s your opinion on the April 21,22 count, SIDC 7,7 NOAA 0,0. I can’t see a timing reason involved here? do you know what Wolf used as a threshold…area perhaps?
    Nobody knows and that is why we have abandoned Wolf’d method and [like Wolfer] count everything we can see [with a telescope the same size as theirs]

    A big difference is that Wolf/Wolfer only observed once a day [the correct method giving an unbiased sampling] instead of adding up observations from many observatories through the day. So if at noon [say that was their preferred time] the sun had one spot, but at 2 o’clock there were 4 spots, then the sunspot number for the day should still be only 11 and not 14.

    Its not looking good, perhaps digging a bigger hole
    There is no hole to begin with. If we want to preserve the sunspot number [as I think we should] we should continue to observe it as Wolfer did. Both NOAA and SIDC try to do this. E.g. none of them use SOHO or magnetograms or huge telescopes. We [and scientists of the future] can ten try to interpret the venerable index in light of current [and future] knowledge.
    Wolfer’s .6K factor is to blame along with modern technology.
    The 0.6 is a red herring and doesn’t matter, like it doesn’t matter if you measure in km or in miles [as long as you know which]. Modern technology is not used by NOAA or SIDC. One can argue that the Layman’s count is disqualified then, if modern technology is to blame.

    tallbloke says:
    June 23, 2010 at 3:06 am
    It needs a sign on hanging it at the moment saying “under reconstruction”
    It has such a sign [e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/CAWSES%20-%20Sunspots.pdf ]. Trouble is that some people ignore signs, especially if they don’t want any reconstruction [or ‘butchering’ as you called it] disturbing their worldview or pet theories.

    Gail Combs says:
    June 23, 2010 at 3:51 am
    Never ever throw out data
    Astronomers keep their data forever. Some data to be used thousands of years from know.

  368. wayne says:
    June 19, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Ulric Lyons says:
    June 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Ulric, how rude, please apologize to Mr. Meeus.
    _______________________________________

    I was not rude in the slightest, quite the contrary, Meeus called my work nonsense, very rude in my estimation, but I am wise enough to see where these type of comments are going to be coming from, and far too focussed on my work to be really bothered. I can`t see either of you proving me wrong, so as they say, `watch this space!`.

  369. Rocket Science: June 23, 2010 at 5:23 am
    (re Pluto, Ceres, etc)

    Yesterday I found the BBQ on my deck tipped over. I chalked it up to the dog trying to get off his leash, but my neighbour had another theory. It seems that just as the BBQ tipped, he saw three squirrels in the back yard, stock still for a moment, in a perfectly straight line, with their tails pointing like arrows precisely away from the deck. As soon as the BBQ flipped, they broke formation and nothing else fell over. And there I was blaming the clumsy St. Bernard (again) when it was obviously a squirrel conjunction causing it all. Silly me.

    /dr.bill

  370. Spector notes that the probability of a Carrington event might be as high as 1:10 (90% chance of it NOT happening). And that we might be concerned the plumbing would fail and we’d need to build outside toilets!

    I have been trying to find my copy of the National Academy of Sciences report on the possibility of another Carrington even – made at the end of 2008, and there followed some Congressional briefings – I am sure Google would retrieve them for you and show just how serious this issue needs to be taken. The NAS experts opined that it could take 3-4 years to restore the grid – on a global level. And some experts think that optimistic.

    We engineer very hazardous industrial plant (nuclear and chemical) not to fail at 1:10,000 per year.

    Obviously, a solar megaflare is a natural and fairly regular if not exactly predictable event – yet we have engineered the whole of civilisation to be dependent on it not happening. Perhaps that’s why so many are in denial of its potential dramatic consequences. Water pumping systems would fail – no water in the taps. No fuel in the gas stations. No communications – radio, TV, press. No food on the supermarket shelves after three days! Roads blocked by failed computer chips in petrol injection engines? People dependent on local food and water?

    The NAS report and discussion in Congress do not make light of this situation. There has been no real public discussion – a couple of press articles. Everyone remembers the ‘Millennium Bug’ that never happened.

    So far we are still in the realm of science and engineering – as Einstein would have put it – the kind of thinking that got us into this mess.

    If we begin to consider planetary alignments and correlations (which Leif assures us are very poor) to flares or solar minima/maxima – we are still in the realm of science, not pseudoscience (as long as people really listen to each other and try to confirm or repeat the analyses) – for example, with Landscheidt’s claims of prediction for flares or of the role of the gas giants in solar minima. Here we are in the realm of statistics.

    If the correlations are strong enough, this should act as a stimulus for scientists to look for causal mechanims – and hence explore the subtle energies of electromagnetism, the heliospheric current sheet, polarities, etc., but without too much prejudice of what they think they know about the forces required. As I understand it, the forces that generate the photosphere are not fully understood, nor what accelerates the solar wind. I just learned something new from the papers Leif directed us to – in that there IS a back-current into the sun! Now, I am quite willing to accept that Leif knows better than I that this is not enough to power the photosphere – as Hannes Alfven once hypothesised (and he was a Nobel Laureate) – and that modern physicists are right to dismiss that thesis – but I also don’t have complete faith, because that would only come from my being able to actually understand the physics at their level! So I keep an open mind that Leif might be wrong.

    I have no idea what forces might be exerted upon the sun’s complex magnetosphere by incoming electromagnetic signals carried by whatever ‘fields’ – and I guess Leif is pretty sure there are no such forces – but the effort to discern them would depend on the strength of the correlations found. I don’t think this is yet pseudoscience – unless some people talk as if it is already proven one way or another.

    Then we have a realm further out from ‘modern’ science – let us call it ‘older’ science where synchonicities are studied and respected – the main one being aspects of human consciousness – astrology. This only drops into pseudoscience when astrologers naively talk of planets ‘affecting’ human behaviour. As the astrologer Denis Elwell wrote in the ‘Cosmic Loom’ – they don’t – they simply dance to the same cosmic tune.

    The reason I am concerned about this summer’s alignments is that Pluto squares Uranus, Jupiter and Saturn in Cardinal signs – that is about as dynamic a symbol for earth-shaking changes in cosnciousness as I have seen.

    In terms of my own thinking – I assume that human consciousness is not confined to the human brain – which I see more as a receiver (like a radio) – consciousness is actually galactic (astrologers map human consciousness by its galactic coordinates at the first breath in time and space). The stars, Zodiac, planets, etc are simply cyphers for the interplay of consciousness.

    I for ojne will be happy to get through this year with no such disturbance – but I am prepared – with food and water supplies, a old diesel back-up 4×4 landrover, CB radio, and instructions for my extended family such that we can get sufficiently upwind of our local nuke – which I surmise has less than a month’s diesel back-up for its cooling systems.

  371. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 23, 2010 at 2:29 am
    do you know what Wolf used as a threshold…area perhaps?
    A threshold is a bad idea and should not be used. This is why every observer has adopted Wolfer’s method. The Layman’s use of a threshold is a bad idea, too. Sunspots are just the upper end of a continuous distribution of magnetic flux. Since the magnetic flux is the important element, it does not make sense to cut off the lower end of the distribution [at an arbitrary threshold]. It would be like constructing a temperature record and omitting all the low temperatures.

    BTW, Wolf used two telescopes. Because there are often clouds and the sun may only peek through at random times during a day, Wolf did not want to be chained to his main telescope all day long. so he also carried a much smaller portable ‘pocket’ telescope at all times so he could take advantage of an occasional break in the clouds. He applied a K-factor of 1.5 for counts made with the pocket-telescope and K-factor of 1.0 for the main telescope. That main telescope still exists and is still being used [by a still-living assistant of Waldmeier] to continue the old Zurich series. See Figure 1.2 in http://www.leif.org/EOS/Friedli2005.pdf .

  372. Peter Taylor says:
    June 23, 2010 at 7:02 am
    I just learned something new from the papers Leif directed us to – in that there IS a back-current into the sun!
    I think you misinterpret that. Perhaps tell me where it says so.

  373. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 23, 2010 at 5:55 am

    tallbloke says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:09 am
    By the way Leif, how are the ‘secular’ changes in the Earth’s magnetism adjusted for in the aa and Ap records?

    They are not. … For F10.7 we solve the problem by giving two values: observed and adjusted. For aa [and similar] we should do the same. But there is a problem, namely that we don’t know [or can’t agree] how to adjust.

    Interesting. I was reading a Nature article the other day by an expert on geomagnetism and changes in LOD. He says they are related. I know they are too, because I’ve compared several series. The rate oof change of the north pole declination relates to Earth’s spin rate.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/north-pole-position-shifts/

    Going back to what Vuk was saying about your angle compensation factor for the Sun’s polar fields, is there perhaps some similar relationship between solar poles axis angle and the spin rates of the solar surface layers?

  374. tallbloke says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm
    Geomagnetism and changes in LOD. He says they are related. I know they are too, because I’ve compared several series.
    They are related, but not in the simple way you suggest [try the south pole too]. The Earth’s field comes from its molten outer core [with small and FIXED additions from ore in the crust] which BTW is as liquid and fluid as water. The dynamo in the outer core is rather irregular depending on convection currents that are sandwiched between two corrugated solid boundaries [the bottom of the mantle and the top of the inner solid core]. These corrugations make for a disturbed and uneven convection with a resulting magnetic field that is very irregular. We describe a magnetic field as a superposition of multipoles [a spherical harmonics expansion – see my explanation (for the Sun – but it is the same for the Earth) here: http://www.leif.org/research/Calculation%20of%20Spherical%20Harmonics.pdf – warning: somewhat technical]
    The bottom line is that the higher the ‘degree’ of the harmonic is [the number of bumps] the faster does the magnetic field of those decrease with distance. So with increasing distance we lose the bumps with the result that the field at the surface [far from the core] becomes almost dipolar. Convection currents mean moving material within the Earth resulting in small changes of the inertia. As the angular moment is constant, those changes show up in changes of the LOD.

    Going back to what Vuk was saying about your angle compensation factor for the Sun’s polar fields
    I don’t know what that is, enlighten me.
    is there perhaps some similar relationship between solar poles axis angle and the spin rates of the solar surface layers?
    No, not that we can measure or that has any effect [otherwise we could measure it :-) albeit indirectly]. And it is not ‘similar’. The dynamos are quite different, and the angular change in declination is related to the so-called ‘westward’ drift of the main field caused by dragging of frozen-in field lines. This has been known for centuries. At London, f.ex. the endpoint of the magnetic field vector rotates in about 600 years. For more see: http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/earthmag.html and http://repository.dl.itc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2261/12423/1/ji0465004.pdf

  375. tallbloke says: June 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm
    …………….
    In 2001, the North Magnetic Pole was determined by the Geological Survey of Canada to lie near Ellesmere Island in northern Canada at 81°18′N 110°48′W (wikipedia)

    These are magnetic pole components as calculated by NOAA for 2001
    23/06/2001— Decl— Incl— Horiz— East— North— Vert— Total
    81N 110W— 18.595— 80.864— 9508.1— 3031.9— 9011.8— 59125.2— 59884.8
    60.5N 98W— 4.191— 82.599— 7749.7— 566.4— 7729— 59660— 60161.2
    66N 106E— -2.522— 81.816— 8744.3 -384.7— 8735.9— 60801.1— 61426.7

    One would be forgiven to conclude that the magnetic pole is found where either the Total or Vertical component (as by far strongest) or both are strongest. In such a case it should be found in the Central Siberia.
    Alternatively, since there are two peaks, have hardly moved in last hundred years, but the Canadian has been loosing its strength on account of the Siberian,

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC21.htm

    so scientists in their wisdom decided that pole should be somewhere in between.
    The highest point of a mountain is not somewhere in a valley between its two peaks.
    Revision could be useful.

  376. “Trouble is that some people ignore signs, especially if they don’t want any reconstruction [or ‘butchering’ as you called it] disturbing their worldview or pet theories.”

    Who said that?

  377. @dr.bill says:
    June 23, 2010 at 6:33 am
    “silly me”

    1 out of ten, you could have said a Poli, it`s much shaggier than a St Bernard.

  378. For anyone interested in the functions that can be used to represent magnetic fields (and many other functions of Mathematical Physics), here is a good place to start: Mathematical Physics by Dr James B. Calvert, University of Denver.

    There is a section on Spherical Harmonics (14th entry on the list) which gives a concise overview of the topic, with diagrams showing the shapes involved. The diagrams are of nodal surfaces (like 3-d drumhead patterns), and one can see fairly intuitively which ones might be the main choices for use in an expansion. For the gravitational field of the Earth, for example, only two harmonics are needed in order to capture the biggest effects, including the flattening at the poles. The extension to magnetic fields follows the same kind of logic.

    /dr.bill

  379. RE: Rocket Science (June 22, 2010 at 5:42 pm) “Spector says: … ‘based on reported geologic evidence there have been typically two such events per millennium’ How is that done?”

    According to the Wikipedia article on this subject, ice-cores evidence shows that events of similar intensity recur at an average rate of approximately once per 500 years. Less severe major storms have occurred in 1921 and 1960. I have not been able to find evidence of a study confirming this 500-year value by extended statistical analysis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

    According to a NASA article, energetic particles striking the Earth’s atmosphere during these events create a spike of nitrates that shows up in the ice-core data. They report that the Carrington event appears to have the largest spike found in 500 years, nearly twice the size of the next largest event.

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/06may_carringtonflare/

  380. Ulric Lyons: June 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    @dr.bill says:
    June 23, 2010 at 6:33 am
    “silly me”

    1 out of ten, you could have said a Poli, it`s much shaggier than a St Bernard.

    Damn! I was hoping for at least a 3. You’re a hard room, Ulric. ☹

    /dr.bill

  381. @Richard Holle says:
    June 23, 2010 at 1:26 am

    It is great to see that you have had the courage to think outside of the box on mechanisms, and consider electromagnetic connections rather than barycenter/solar tidal. Hence you have some very interesting observations to do with Mars, that the other schools of thought have overlooked.

  382. Vuk etc. says:
    June 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm
    One would be forgiven to conclude that the magnetic pole is found where either the Total or Vertical component (as by far strongest) or both are strongest. […] Revision could be useful.
    What could be useful is some understanding of the true nature of the Earth’s magnetic field. The field is not really a dipole, but a complicated set of multipoles, so have many magnetic poles [like the sun which can have thousands]. The field as generated in the liquid outer core is very irregular. As the strength of the higher multipoles fall off very rapidly with distance, at a large distance [e.g. at the surface from the field] the dipole becomes dominant, but still has to be superposed on the crustal fields, resulting in the complicated asymmetric pattern that is observed.

    Ulric Lyons says:
    June 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm
    “Trouble is that some people ignore signs, especially if they don’t want any reconstruction [or ‘butchering’ as you called it] disturbing their worldview or pet theories.”
    Who said that?

    I did.

  383. Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 23, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I noticed you didn’t comment on the SIDC/NOAA difference on April 21,22. The record speaks for itself and your “as “I have explained repeatedly ” comments now looking suspect as my comments are proven by observations.

    The Layman’s Count is only designed to compare this cycle and maybe the next to SC5 & SC6 and probably wont be needed for another 200 years after that. Your own studies suggest the current counting methods are at least 22% higher than Wolfer’s count. I believe the current high ratio of specks is further increasing the sunspot count compared with how Wolf reconstructed the Dalton Minimum cycles.

    So by setting a benchmark that isolates specks and incorporating the current SIDC values (that make the grade) the Layman’s Count is the closest measure to compare with Wolf’s reconstruction of SC5&6.

  384. I just read that one of the factors that made the Carrington Event solar flare so effective was that it had a reverse south-north magnetic polarity so that it was sucked into the Earth by opposite field attraction rather than being pushed away by like field repulsion.

    I sometimes wonder if there might be far stronger solar-flare events possible; perhaps capable of reversing the magnetic field of the Earth itself. But, as far as I know, no real evidence of any solar storm of that magnitude has ever been found.

  385. Spector says:
    June 23, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I sometimes wonder if there might be far stronger solar-flare events possible; perhaps capable of reversing the magnetic field of the Earth itself. But, as far as I know, no real evidence of any solar storm of that magnitude has ever been found.

    That’s reassuring. I wonder if something bigger than the average asteroid hitting the sun would precipitate a big flare or CME? Leif?

  386. Spector says: June 23, 2010 at 9:51 pm
    I sometimes wonder if there might be far stronger solar-flare events possible; perhaps capable of reversing the magnetic field of the Earth itself.

    There is a similarity to in trend (reversed) of the GMF and the intensity of solar activity.
    In recorded history the Earth’s MF was strongest during the Maunder minimum.

    GMF’s vertical component is about 1000x stronger (tens micro Tesla) than the one induced by the solar activity (tens nano Tesla) .

  387. Spector wonders if there have been stronger intrusions capable of raising the nitrate levels? Most certainly! Paul LaViolette first drew attention to the nitrate record in his book ‘Earth under Fire’. As a specialist in ice-core analysis, he was primarily interested in cosmic dust incursions – there were major events in the later part of and at the end of the last ice-age – indeed, the evidence points to major solar events as a potential cause for the abrupt ending of the ice-age. The nitrate record is interesting – though Paul used some filtering to get the signal – one could clearly see a peak 5000 years ago, and much higher peaks about 13,000 year ago. That 5k peak was much more powerful than the Carrington event – I would say, on the nitrate evidence that events 10x to 100x greater have happened – but whether there is a ca 5000 year cycle (as ancient Mayan astronomers warned) is not clear.

    These ice-core events could indicate either a very weak geomagnetic/solar protection and hence incursion of cosmic rays/cometary material, or a galactic ‘wave’ event that compresses the magnetosphere and exposes the Earth to cosmic radiation.

    Leif: I was taking the diagrams from the paper you highlighted that showed a reversal of the field lines below the heliospheric current sheet – and assumed that would create a reverse flow of electrons. The two hemispheres of the interplanetary field have opposite polarity – does this not allow for a reverse current?

    Further question: does the solar wind carry a voltage? If so, how does the voltage vary – are there ‘shocks’, and how does it impact the geo-electrical system? I ask because there is some evidence that during solar maximum the aerosol loading is lower and thus clear skies are more transparent and let more short-wave radiation through to the oceans (70% of the surface) and hence warm up the planet (80% of land temperature variability is due to heat transfer from the oceans). I notice that during Svensmark’s experiments, he used a voltage shock to clear the aerosols in the chamber ready for the next experiment. Just a thought.

  388. Leif: here is the extract that I was basing the assumption of a current into the sun – from the paper of Smith, Tsurutani and Rosenburg – I will try and get the diagram to ciopy over as well – ah, no luck! Its a nice diagram – maybe someone else can cut and paste it in?

    Observations of the Interplanetary Sector Structure
    up to Heliographic Latitudes of 16 ø’
    Pioneer 11
    EDWARD J. SMITH AND BRUCE T. TSURUTANI
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California 91103
    RONALD L. ROSENBERG
    Institute of Geophysicsa nd Planetary Physics,U niversityo f California, Los Angeles,C alifornia 90024

    ‘The direction of magnitude of the magnetic field above and
    below the current sheet allows the flow lines of the equatorial
    current to be deduced [Alfvdn, 1977]. Since the interplanetary
    field is spiraled adjacent to the current sheet, the sheet current
    is orthogonal to the direction of the local magnetic field and
    hence has both radial and azimuthal components:

    The foregoing equations assume that the fields are antiparallel
    on the two sides of the current sheet, although observations
    typically show some deviation from 180 ø of the angle between
    the two field directions [Smith, 1972].
    Near the sun the current is principally azimuthal much like a
    ring current. However, as the interplanetary field wraps up to
    form the Archimedes spiral, the direction of flow in the current
    sheet must become progressively more radial. Beyond a few
    AU the current flow is essentially radial and, during this phase
    of the solar cycle, is away from the sun. The total current
    flowing outward from the sun, L, may be computed from the
    linear current density……….. Evidently, the flow is away from the
    sun during one-half solar cycle of 11 years and then is inward
    from the next half cycle.’

  389. The simple-minded rational for thinking that a deep solar minimum might increase the probability of a major solar flare is the assumption that sun-spots may act as relief-valves for internal solar energy and when some mechanism stops this process, that pent-up energy may all be released in a sudden violent storm — much like the boil-over explosion we sometimes experience on removing a pot of super-heated fluid from the microwave oven.

  390. Geoff Sharp says:
    June 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm
    I noticed you didn’t comment on the SIDC/NOAA difference on April 21,22. The record speaks for itself and your “as “I have explained repeatedly ” comments now looking suspect as my comments are proven by observations.

    Jeez, this is just more of the same. There was a real spot then that NOAA missed. E.g. Locarno:

    Or MDI 04/21,19:04 and 04/22,00:42
    The activity was duly reflected in F10.7:
    4/18: 75.3; 0
    4/19: 76.1; 0
    4/20: 76.4; 0
    4/21: 76.9; 7 <=== here
    4/22: 76.9; 7 <=== here
    4/23: 75.8; 0
    4/24: 75.0; 0
    The spot was also registered here:

    http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2010,04,05

    NOAA might be faulted for not reporting the spot. Wolfer would/could have seen it.

    Your own studies suggest the current counting methods are at least 22% higher than Wolfer’s count.
    Please use ‘method’ with more precision. The ‘method’ has not changed in ~130 years. The Waldmeier discontinuity of ~20% comes about because Waldmeier continued to use k = 0.6 while for him a value 20% less would be appropriate to be comparable with Wolfer. To compare apples with apples, the first step is to increase all SSNs before 1945 by 20% [this includes Wolf’s, of course].

    I believe the current high ratio of specks is further increasing the sunspot count compared with how Wolf reconstructed the Dalton Minimum cycles.
    The current SSN is too low as I have pointed out repeatedly. Since Wolf calibrated his Wolf Number by comparing with the geomagnetic daily variation,the actual counts he used are irrelevant [in addition, there were so few observations that he often interpolated [i.e. made up] across data gaps. Wolf’s numbers before 1849 simply follow the amplitude of the geomagnetic diurnal variation GDV, regardless of what solar activity actually was. Now, later research has shown that GDV is a VERY good proxy for F10.7 and hence solar activity, so Wolf’s numbers do reflect some real aspect of solar activity too.

    So by setting a benchmark that isolates specks and incorporating the current SIDC values (that make the grade) the Layman’s Count is the closest measure to compare with Wolf’s reconstruction of SC5&6.
    Actually ‘no’, as the reconstruction is just tied to GDV [and even counts of aurorae]. Slide 13 of http://www.leif.org/research/Rudolf%20Wolf%20Was%20Right.pdf shows that cycle 5&6 were comparable to SC14 [and we think to SC24 as SC24 looks to be comparable to SC14]

    On slide 5 of the same talk you can see the continuous adjustments that Wolf made to the observed sunspot counts to make them fit the GDV. So again: the early Wolf numbers are just rescaled geomagnetic data, which is not a problem for the value of solar activity because of the relationship shown on slide 11.

  391. Spector says:
    June 23, 2010 at 9:51 pm
    I sometimes wonder if there might be far stronger solar-flare events possible; perhaps capable of reversing the magnetic field of the Earth itself. But, as far as I know, no real evidence of any solar storm of that magnitude has ever been found.
    And a solar storm would not be able to reverse the Earth’s field no matter how strong.

    tallbloke says:
    I wonder if something bigger than the average asteroid hitting the sun would precipitate a big flare or CME? Leif?
    The operate word is ‘big’. A flare or CME originates because magnetic energy stored in the corona [and twisted – increased – by movements of plasma in the photosphere] is suddenly released. This release could come about by something hitting the Sun [more likely a comet than an asteroid – comets hit the sun all the time, e.g. http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/SolarCorona/large/las023_prev.jpg ], but the energy required is large [too large].
    In any event, the energy released can be no bigger than the pent up energy already there, so the impactor is not where the energy comes from.

    Vuk etc. says:
    June 24, 2010 at 1:37 am
    In recorded history the Earth’s MF was strongest during the Maunder minimum.
    Is specious because the high-quality geomagnetic data just happens to begin around 1600. The MF was strongest about 2500 years ago and has been decreasing ever since.

    Peter Taylor says:
    June 24, 2010 at 4:41 am
    Further question: does the solar wind carry a voltage?
    Short answer: No. But one should be a bit cautious with ‘voltage’, because an electric field depends on the observer’s reference. So, seen from the Earth that does not move with the solar wind there is an electric field, but seen from something moving with the wind there is no electric field. Seen from a [very fast moving] comet [or spacecraft] moving with respect to the solar wind, there will be an electric field of a different magnitude.

    EDWARD J. SMITH … “Near the sun the current is principally azimuthal much like a ring current.”
    This is the point you are missing: the current flows
    around the Sun, not into or out of the Sun.

  392. Vuk etc. says:
    June 24, 2010 at 1:37 am
    In recorded history the Earth’s MF was strongest during the Maunder minimum.
    Is specious because the high-quality geomagnetic data just happens to begin around 1600. The MF was strongest about 2500 years ago and has been decreasing ever since.

  393. Vuk etc. says:
    June 24, 2010 at 1:37 am
    In recorded history the Earth’s MF was strongest during the Maunder minimum.
    Vuk etc. says:
    June 24, 2010 at 11:18 am
    http://www.rae.org/reversal.gif

    Sigh…, here is the history of the MF for the past several thousand years:

    There are newer and [slightly] better determinations, but they all show the same thing:
    The Maunder Minimum time was just a point on the steady decline the past couple of thousand years. Here is a modern determination [Constable and Korte are the foremost experts on this topic]: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2007GC001881.pdf

    We have been over this before: it would be useful for you not to spread disinformation on this blog.

  394. @Peter Taylor says:
    June 24, 2010 at 4:41 am
    “– but whether there is a ca 5000 year cycle (as ancient Mayan astronomers warned) is not clear.”

    The 1872000 day Long Count, is based on visible bodies only. Every 43rd conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn returns the pair to the same star (Hamlets Mill) at 312000 days. This also integrates Mars synodic periods (400,033), and attemps to with Eclipse years (900.11). 312000×6 = 1872000. The 144000 (x13) division is a Jupiter count. It is also 359×45 Mercury synodic periods.
    As the Long count started on a climatic boundry, it is most likely that they were trying to plot the next Heinrich event (4627yr periodicity), knowing that the cold dry climate was the greatest threat to their survival. If they had been able to have integrated the orbital periods of Uranus and Neptune into their calculations, they might have not over shot the LIA by nearly 500yrs. My analysis is that they were practising weather/climate astrology, I would find it very hard to believe they were forecasting solar storms 1000`s of years in advance.

  395. RE: Sunspot Numbers:
    On my private sunspot analyses, I have been using 90-day or 365-day moving averages of the official counts. I regard these values to be indicative of the most probable number of sunspots that might have been seen at any given time. I have matched the sparse 17th century data to the more regular 18th century data for best match in the overlap period. Just for reference, here is a sample of my reconstructed sunspot values for the latter Maunder Minimum period using a nominal 365-day moving average of interpolated data. My estimated peak values for this period are as follows:

    Date                   SSN       Signed Sqrt SSN             cycle
    1650.517            0.49                0.0
    1652.601            6.00              2.44                          -9
    1658.264            0.90               0.0  
    1661.057            9.96              -3.16                          -8
    1666.365            0.06                0.0
    1676.552            19.89              4.45                          -7
    1682.451              2.97                0.0
    1684.574            21.87             -4.66                          -6
    1692.362              0.51                0.0
    1695.547             11.82               3.43                         -5
    1698.458               0.63               0.0
    1705.457              51.73             -7.19                         -4
    1712.104                0.25               0.0
    1717.886               61.72              7.86                         -3
    1723.510               13.62               0.0
    1727.796              115.06           -10.72                       -2
    1733.421                  6.98               0.0
    

    On my signed square-root SS numbers, all odd cycles have a positive value.

  396. @Spector says:
    June 24, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    SC1 1750 is odd, it would then follow that 1739 is even, and 1727 is odd etc.

  397. Ulric Lyons says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    June 25, 2010 at 3:57 am
    @Spector says:
    June 24, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Ooops SC1 is 1761, you were correct, excuse me.

  398. Leif – okay, so it flows back into a ring current – that doesn’t mean there is no possibility of ‘communication’ (transfer of information) – I presume the ring current goes quite close to the photosphere/corona. I am not arguing that this could provide a source for mechanisms that would trip CMEs – just aiming to get my understanding of the physical cosmos up to date! Many thanks for your patience!

  399. Ulrich:

    Would not the ancient Mayans have had other means of investigation – they had a long evolution of shamanic work with entheogens that would extend vision and allow human consciousness to enter the timeless dimension and retrieve information. These visions more likely came before any attempts to calculate time via calendars.

    Where do you get a nearly 5000 year periodicity of Heinrich events from?

  400. RE: my post of June 24, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    My statement “most probable number of sunspots” should be corrected to read “most probable sunspot number” as this table is intended to be merged with data reported by modern methods.

  401. Peter Taylor says:
    June 25, 2010 at 8:25 am
    that doesn’t mean there is no possibility of ‘communication’ (transfer of information) – I presume the ring current goes quite close to the photosphere/corona.
    Transfer of information is not the issue, transfer of energy is (and the current comes from the Sun in the first place, so is just coming back home). Starlight transfers information into your eyes, but not much energy.
    The ring current is not close, many solar radii away from the corona.
    Bottom line: The solar wind [magnetic field, currents, particles, the works] is flowing away from the Sun at supersonic speed.

  402. @Peter Taylor says:
    June 25, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Being born in the Caul [ http://www.caulbearer.org/ ], I have 20+yrs of experience of `seeing` what weather is like for the year ahead, pointing out the rainiest and windiest weeks with uncanny accuracy (witnesses available for you). My Mother used to always pick the sunniest 2 weeks for our holidays, my Father (a rocket scientist) used to call her a witch!
    My theory as to how people can do this, is that we inherit memories of weather and climate patterns, and some people can access this record as seemingly easily as we note creatures and plants etc. do in nature, and appear to `know` in advance what changes in the weather are coming.
    You could say that it is actually engaging in `the string of time` rather than entering a `timeless dimension`. For me though, I can only look ahead like this for one year, so I decided to investigate a scientific aproach that could extend the look ahead, and be somewhat more precise.
    And if you think about it, you need a calendar first, otherwise you have nothing timewise to refer any future moment to (eg. how many Moons/Years ahead etc.)

    “Where do you get a nearly 5000 year periodicity of Heinrich events from?”

    4627.33yrs, from the astronomical return of the planets responsible for causing the largest changes in solar activity. 3 of these periods map back from the LIA to the Older Dryas. Check it out as a climatic return period at a variety of points in this record: http://www.geo.arizona.edu/palynology/geos462/holobib.html
    Such a look back from the present, would give a climatic analogue at around 2610BC, at the end of `Maximum 12`.

    Ulric.

  403. isn’t this supposed “sun reaching maximum power in a few years” really just the 11 year solar cycle?

    don’t we go thru this every 22 years or so? and isn’t this the 2nd or 3rd time we’ll go thru this since we’ve had things like electricity, satellites, and cooqs with mass media outlets?

    i think it was 1859 when we had one of the worst solar storms like this in recorded history, and it managed to slow down the all mighty telegraph for a few days.

    so if we haven’t managed to make our electric devices, satellites, and essentials for modern life as we know it more fail safe than the telegraphs of 2 centuries ago, then i hope it takes all of it out, to teach us a lesson.

    other than that, I’m calling bullshit, and issuing my own warning….

    If we continue to listen to ppl like this, and the glenn becks of the world, we will always live in fear of the next big sky falling event. used to be the religious fanatics would just say “one day we will all die horrible deaths” we would be weary, then go on about our lives, and get shit accomplished. now-a-days, they’re giving us exact dates, and as human nature is, causing many of us to run around, like the proverbial headless yard bird, doing nothing but fretting about what’s not really about to happen. These situations are always overblown, over stressed, over emphasized, over inflated, and when looked at in retrospect, quite hilarious. remember Y2K? we were supposed to cease existing, all because our computers wouldn’t know what year it was… supposedly cyber space was going to revert us back to 1900, which would some how kill us all.

    There’s always some Quack saying he knows exactly when the end of days will be.
    All of which have been mysteriously wrong. with real events like katrina, the tsunami, devastating earth quakes, and Sarah Palin, all happening without prediction, warning, or adequate safety measures being put into place. Presumably because we’re wiring our ball caps with tin foil to prevent our TomToms and Garmins from failing during the most disastrous, extreme, life threatening, holocaust inducing solar storm in the history of of the past 11 years.

    Why can’t there ever be a disaster that kills the stupid, and the weak minded? Then the rest of us could get on with life, and stop living on their clock.

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