Aurora Borealis hits a 100-year low point – sun blamed

via Physorg.com with h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard and Indur Goklany

Aurora borealis in the vicinity of Anchorage, Alaska. Historic From the NOAA Photo Library Image: Wikimedia

The Northern Lights have petered out during the second half of this decade, becoming rarer than at any other time in more than a century, the Finnish Meteorological Institute said Tuesday.

The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, generally follow an 11-year “solar cycle”, in which the frequency of the phenomena rises to a maximum and then tapers off into a minimum and then repeats the cycle.

“The solar minimum was officially in 2008, but this minimum has been going on and on and on,” researcher Noora Partamies told AFP.

“Only in the past half a year have we seen more activity, but we don’t really know whether we’re coming out of this minimum,” she added.

The Northern Lights, a blaze of coloured patterns in the northern skies, are triggered by solar winds crashing into the earth and being drawn to the magnetic poles, wreaking havoc on electrons in the parts of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere and magnetosphere.

So a dimming of the Northern Lights is a signal that activity on the sun which causes solar winds, such as solar flares and sun sports, is also quieting down.

Full story at Physorg.com

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92 Responses to Aurora Borealis hits a 100-year low point – sun blamed

  1. Mike Haseler says:

    Living in Scotland, it ought to be possible occasionally to see the northern lights. Strangely the only time I’ve seen them was when I visited Scotland in the 1980s and since I moved here permanently over a decade ago I’ve never seen them (despite having a telescope and being out on those starry nights when it ought to be possible!)

  2. kwik says:

    “The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, generally follow an 11-year “solar cycle”…”

    What??? Are you telling me there is something called “natural cycles” ????

    but,but,but……. what about CO2 ???

  3. vukcevic says:

    Take as many photos and videos as you are able to, in 10 -15 years time the event will be a very rare occurrence.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

  4. Dave Springer says:

    Global Borealis Disruption evidently.

  5. Chris Knight says:

    Does “sun sports” in the last line include beach volleyball? Shame.

  6. Tregonsee says:

    I blame Bush!

  7. Ulric Lyons says:

    The uplift in solar winds in April gave some fantastic displays;
    http://www.spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01apr10.htm

  8. Joe Lalonde says:

    I find science is very funny at times.
    Our atmosphere rotates with the planet giving us this protective shield that deflects.
    Yet, rotation is not even considered. So, it must be a magnetic event say the scientists.

  9. Ric Werme says:

    > “Only in the past half a year have we seen more activity, but we don’t really know whether we’re coming out of this minimum,” she added.

    http://www.spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01sep10.htm sounds more optimistic:

    Summary: Solar activity continues to increase after a two-year solar minimum that ranks among the century’s deepest. The return of sunspots and a resurgent solar wind is good news for aurora watchers, who are seeing some of the best displays since ~2006.

  10. WillR says:

    I am hoping that the UN will intercede with whoever is causing this problem.
    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/finds+niche+little+green/3593995/story.html

    Okay, so maybe Mazlan Othman, the Malaysian astrophysicist who heads the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), didn’t claim she was about to be made Earth’s ambassador to visiting aliens. Maybe London’s Times on Sunday misinterpreted what she said she would tell delegates at next week’s meeting of the prestigious Royal Society in Buckinghamshire, England.

    Should the guilty party or parties be found we now have a way of dealing with the diplomatic issues.

  11. andrew adams says:

    What??? Are you telling me there is something called “natural cycles” ????

    Who has ever said there are no such things as “natural cycles”? Of course there are, which is why even when there is a strong long term warming trend there can be shorter periods within that where temperatures will flatten or even fall slightly. This is exactly what some us have been trying to explain to people who say things like “it hasn’t warmed since 1998″.

  12. John Whitman says:

    Thanks Indur and Leif for pointing Anthony toward this post.

    More popularization of what the interactions are between the sun system and the earth system help to promote science. That is needed in the recent trend of loss of credibility for climate science.

    John

  13. Pascvaks says:

    Leif

    Does one of your graphs at
    http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png
    show the Aurora variation, directly/indirectly? Is there a regularly updated graph that shows this variation?
    Seems such a graph would best show some actual impact/variability of whatever solar ‘x’ over time.

  14. RW says:

    Mike Haseler – you’ll never see aurorae through a telescope. All you need is the naked eye. According to spaceweather.com quite a few people have seen aurorae in Scotland this year. Perhaps you’re too close to city lights.

    vukcevic – there’s no reason at all to think that aurorae will become rare. Records from central Europe, far from the geomagnetic pole, show that they were seen a few times a year even there during the Maunder Minimum.

    Joe Lalonde – please, elaborate on by whom exactly “rotation is not even considered”.

  15. MikeEE says:

    andrew adams

    Ok, so how many of these natural cycles show up in the temperature projections? None. How can they claim that the models are accurate if they can’t model these natural cycles?

    Nuff said!

    MikeEE

  16. Dingoh says:

    I can see the funding submission now – “To study how AGW has also been the reason for the end of the Northern Lights”.

  17. Alan the Brit says:

    Chris Knight says:
    September 29, 2010 at 4:03 am
    Does “sun sports” in the last line include beach volleyball? Shame.

    It most certainly does! All that extra Co2 from vigorous exercise causes global waffling! Sorry that should be warming, I think?

    andrew adams says:
    September 29, 2010 at 5:26 am
    What??? Are you telling me there is something called “natural cycles” ????

    Who has ever said there are no such things as “natural cycles”? Of course there are, which is why even when there is a strong long term warming trend there can be shorter periods within that where temperatures will flatten or even fall slightly. This is exactly what some us have been trying to explain to people who say things like “it hasn’t warmed since 1998″.

    That’s precisely why it is called Climate Change, it’s the perfect heads I win tails you lose version of Global Warming. If the climate system warms, it’s Climate Change. If the climate system cools, it’s Climate Change! Simples! One cannot have one’s cake & eat it you know, it’s just not cricket old boy! From what I can see in the ice-core data this so called “long-term warming trend” is nothing of the kind, & in fact the Earth has been in an even longer-term cooling trend for around 10,000 years rather as it did in at least the last 4 inter-glacials! Even the mighty Phil Jones has (not so) openly confessed to the BBC’s Roger Harrabin that there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995, (let alone 1998!) That’s 15 years as opposed to 12 years. I am certainly not looking forward to the next load of global warming this winter, if it’s anything like the last two in the UK. I await the Wet Office’s seasonal forecast with baited breath!

  18. Alan the Brit says:

    Apologies that should read “bated” breath. Sticky fingers again!

  19. Pascvaks says:
    September 29, 2010 at 6:00 am
    Is there a regularly updated graph that shows this variation?
    This one shows the state of the Sun and geomagnetic activity [bottom panel]. When the color in the bottom panel changes to red, aurorae are strong. Here is another good one: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/
    And there are other [and better] ones out there. E.g. http://www.qsl.net/ei5fk/Real-Time-Aurora-Monitor.html or http://www.softservenews.com/aurora.htm

  20. Forgot link:
    This one shows the state of the Sun and geomagnetic activity [bottom panel].
    http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/

  21. ShrNfr says:

    So with the death of sunspots in 2015 we can look forward to a long time of Aurora Bore It All Of Us. (Actually, I have an inside tip from Al Gorge that it is really CO2 that is heating the colors so that they melt.)

  22. Chuck says:

    Now that we understand it, what does it mean?

    >Less Aurora lights means more darkness

    >Less global heat means more ice age features

    >Less tropical storms means less rain and more drought

    >Topography, based on climate cooling, begins to compress towards the Equator

    >The Timberline begins to shift to lower elevations at lower latitudes

    >Glacier constructs and activity follow the timberline

    >Permafrost might be ground zero

    Solar minimums provide numerous clues as to what is next.

    A frozen Niagara Falls in the making?

  23. Aldi says:

    Maybe we passed the CO2 threshold, the point of no return. :p

  24. Enneagram says:

    vukcevic says:
    September 29, 2010 at 3:26 am
    That graph is a Sun’s electrocardiogram: It’s in the ER!
    But, tell me, if devoid from any ouside interferences, the sun’s polar fields graph, would not look as an harmonic alternate current graph?

  25. Enneagram says:

    vukcevic says:
    September 29, 2010 at 3:26 am

    That graph is a Sun’s electrocardiogram: It’s in the ER!
    But, tell me, if devoid from any outside interferences, the sun’s polar fields graph, would not look as an harmonic alternate current graph?

  26. GeoFlynx says:

    A solar minimum, according to some, would herald a period of global cooling. Has this natural event been overtaken by CAGW?

    REPLY: Has the patience of AGW proponents been overtaken? Sun-Earth systems often respond on timescales longer than the human experience. Stop watching CNN and watch the skies instead, you’ll get a better appreciation for time -Anthony

  27. Douglas Dc says:

    I kept telling my wife that the chances we would see a good Aurora in NE Oregon were good. Nothing yet, but hopefully we can get a fair CME .She’s spent time in the Yukon,
    during the summer but has never seen a Aurora display. I’ve been on top of the Wallowa
    mountains back in the 70′s amid a huge display. Amazing…

  28. paulw says:

    Solar minimum? Does this mean that in the following years it is going to get very very cold?

  29. Jabba the Cat says:

    As was pointed out by a wit elsewhere, this is all down to these wind farms as the giant fans keep blowing the solar wind off course…

  30. AJB says:

    Leif Svalgaard says September 29, 2010 at 6:22 am
    http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3

    Leif, what does the B indicator signify and “NEGATIVE BAY” term at http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/dimages/magneka/20100928.html mean? Is it just highlighting the Bz swing or is there more to it?

    An interesting page at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(astronomy), particularly the Frequency of Occurrence section. Anything you’d take issue with or augment here?

  31. Pascvaks says:

    Leif
    Thanks for response and links above.
    Tried to ask a question also, but didn’t do very well I guess.
    If you have a second, which graph/link best captures and shows the variation of solar activity that we see reflected via the aurora?

    For Example: How close does anyone of the graphs on your website at do this?
    http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png
    If none, where might there be a long term graph of this variation displayed in the aurora? (If one exists.)
    Thanks again.

  32. George E. Smith says:

    Well I think the Headline is biassed and unfair. It should say something like this:-

    “”” Aurora Borealis hits a 100-year low point – sun NOT blamed. “””

    After all; is not the lack of the Aurora due to the fact that the sun is NOT doing anything ?

    Must be tough being a star; you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t !

    I don’t think I have ever seen an Aurora; either Borealis, or Australis. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever seen a picture of an Aurora; well unless that purple thing above is one. I thought they were supposed to be green, and also move around. So I’ve never seen any real movie footage or video that was claimed to be an actual Aurora; rather than some hollyweird construction.

  33. Stephen Wilde says:

    Hello Leif,

    Slightly off topic but I read that during the recent period of active sun the mesosphere was cooling.

    So at that time we had a warming troposphere and thermosphere but a cooling stratosphere and mesosphere.

    But I seem to recall that you said that all the layers of the atmosphere warm or cool in tandem depending on whether the sun is active or inactive.

    Please could you clarify ?

  34. John-X says:

    Winter of 2001/2 I saw quite distinct aurorae in Colorado – at just BELOW 40 degrees latitude.

  35. Enneagram says:

    Jabba the Cat says:
    September 29, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Don Antonio, The Quixote of WUWT will fix it!

  36. Enneagram says:

    What if Jupiter is to blame, by interfering in Apolo’s businesses?

  37. Thanes says:

    Anthony, as an “AGW proponent” ( actually, I would say I recognize humans are causing global warming by CO2 emissions, and Bush and Luntz can keep the term THEY pushed, Climate Change, I’m sticking with global warming) I want to know what evidence do you cite to substantiate your assertion regarding the Sun-Earth system? If , as frequently asserted, the proven rising global temperature is caused by the sun (Skeptical Science has that argument listed as the most frequent used by deniers), and solar activity has been freakishly low since falling from 2003 to the Minimum, not much changed since 2008, why is 2010 the hottest year recorded ever, in the hottest decade ever, with the least volume of Arctic ice ever? Are you making a prediction that can be tested, the way Dr. Hansen made a prediction in 1988, that was proven quite right? Just when can we expect to see it cooler?

  38. wws says:

    It’s Bush’s Fault!

  39. Bob Diaz says:

    I’ll bet the left will blame Bush for this too. ;-)

  40. vukcevic says:

    Enneagram says: September 29, 2010 at 7:18 am
    vukcevic That graph is a Sun’s electrocardiogram: It’s in the ER!

    Task of an able mind is to observe, to record, to understand.
    The whole of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking. A. E.
    Ennea see also this

  41. vukcevic says:

    George E. Smith says:
    September 29, 2010 at 8:25 am
    So I’ve never seen any real movie footage or video that was claimed to be an actual Aurora; rather than some hollyweird construction.
    There are some here:

  42. davidg says:

    Very funny, Kwik!:]
    Thanks for the laugh!

  43. vukcevic says:

    That was no good it did not give a link.
    Just type aurora borealis youtube in google

  44. Alberta Slim says:

    Dave Springer says:
    September 29, 2010 at 3:56 am
    Global Borealis Disruption evidently

    Yes but you forgot the CA ; CAGBD

  45. Tom Rowan says:

    Roaring Borealis…

    jus sayin…

  46. geo says:

    Clearly the long-feared “CO2 tipping point” has arrived and knocked off the northern lights as an early victim.

  47. M White says:

    Thanes says:
    September 29, 2010 at 9:12 am

    “Bush and Luntz can keep the term THEY pushed, Climate Change”

    http://www.ipccfacts.org/history.html

    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by two United Nations Organizations, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to assess “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.” Review by experts and governments is an essential part of the IPCC process. For its first task, the IPCC was asked to prepare, based on available scientific information, a report on all aspects relevant to climate change and its impacts and to formulate realistic response strategies.”

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) established in 1988 – Seems the United Nations pushed THAT term first.

  48. GeoFlynx says:

    Has the patience of AGW proponents been overtaken? Sun-Earth systems often respond on timescales longer than the human experience. Stop watching CNN and watch the skies instead, you’ll get a better appreciation for time -Anthony

    GeoFlynx – Are you implying that the solar minimum’s effect on global temperatures will not manifest itself for another 70 years. Trolls don’t live that long!

  49. Ric Werme says:

    RW says:
    September 29, 2010 at 6:09 am

    > Mike Haseler – you’ll never see aurorae through a telescope.

    I’m sure he knows that. My guess is that you don’t have a telescope.

    Mike has a telescope. Mike uses telescope to look at stars (and planets, nebulae, etc). Therefore Mike is often outside on cloudless nights. Amateur astronomers do not spend all night looking through an eyepiece, we often just look up at constellations and the Milky Way and Andromeda (if the sky is really dark) and some nebulae. Mike has seen aurora from Scotland, but hasn’t seen them after moving there. Therefore Mike has not been using his telescope to see the aurora, he just hasn’t been out on the right nights lately. If Mike wants to see aurora during SC24, he better start checking spaceweather.com, there may not be much to see in SC25!

  50. Chris Clark says:

    Isn’t Svalbard too far north to see the aurora every night? The auroral oval is 65-70 degrees geomagnetic latitude, and Svalbard is about 75. I would not expect to see much at Svalbard without some significant magnetic activity to displace the auroral zone north and south. Around North Cape you will probably get it most clear nights however quiet the sun.

  51. RW says:

    “I’m sure he knows that. My guess is that you don’t have a telescope.”

    Perhaps he does know this. His post implied that he was looking for aurorae with a telescope. Does he really need you to answer for him? If he doesn’t appreciate my friendly advice, he can surely say so.

    Your guess is wrong. What inspired it?

  52. AJB says:

    Chris Clark says September 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm
    http://kho.unis.no/

  53. Crossopter says:

    Mike Haseler,

    Here’s a link to an image of late July/early August auroral activity captured I believe from around the Clackmannanshire/Stirlingshire border area. I didn’t see much at the time either that looked definite – it was only later when I saw this image and others that reasonably suggest I did get a positive ID (well – I’m sticking to it!)

    Not the best aurora pic ever but proof of what was there:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-10891665 (image 11 of 16)

  54. Dave Springer says:

    ES says:
    September 29, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Some people make part of their living from the Northern Lights Tourism
    http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1275525/canada_towns_economy_boosted_by_northern_lights_tourism/

    Sounds like Global Tourism Disruption!

  55. James F. Evans says:

    “The Exploration of the Earth’s Magnetosphere” An educational web site by David P. Stern and Mauricio Peredo, sponsored by NASA.

    Electric Currents from Space

    http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wcurrent.html

    “When a bright aurora is seen in the auroral zone, a strong magnetic disturbance is usually also observed there…The Norwegian Kristian Birkeland, who carefully observed auroral disturbances around the turn of the century, concluded that those currents flowed parallel to the ground, along the auroral formation…Any electric current, however, must flow in a closed circuit, and since it seemed to be caused (like that of the aurora) by processes taking place in distant space, Birkeland proposed that it came down from space at one end of the arc and returned to space at the other end.”

    Electro-Magnetic Induction

    “Note: The original version of “Exploration of the Earth’s Magnetosphere” tried to simplify the presentation by leaving out any discussion of electric fields. Still, electric forces and electric fields play a great role in magnetospheric processes, and as details were added, it became increasingly hard to avoid them.”

    “Electric and Magnetic Forces together

    The electric force modifies the motion. Protons are accelerated in the +y direction, so they move a bit faster on the part of their circle closer to the top of the page (see drawing above!).”

    http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wdrift.html

    Science@NASA

    Magnetic Portals Connect Earth to the Sun

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/30oct_ftes/

    “During the time it takes you to read this article, something will happen high overhead that until recently many scientists didn’t believe in. A magnetic portal will open, linking Earth to the sun 93 million miles away. Tons of high-energy particles [electrons & ions] may flow through the opening before it closes again, around the time you reach the end of the page.”

    “Indeed, today Sibeck is telling an international assembly of space physicists at the 2008 Plasma Workshop in Huntsville, Alabama, that FTEs are not just common, but possibly twice as common as anyone had ever imagined.”

    Science@NASA

    NASA Spacecraft Make New Discoveries about Northern Lights

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2007/11dec_themis/

    NASA’s fleet of THEMIS spacecraft, launched less than 8 months ago, has made three important discoveries about spectacular eruptions of Northern Lights called “substorms” and the source of their power. The discoveries include giant magnetic ropes that connect Earth’s upper atmosphere to the Sun and explosions in the outskirts of Earth’s magnetic field.”

    “Even more impressive was the substorm’s power. Angelopoulos estimates the total energy of the two-hour event at five hundred thousand billion (5 x 1014) Joules. That’s approximately equivalent to the energy of a magnitude 5.5 earthquake.”

    Likely, the decrease in auroral storms (the northern lights) is connected to the decrease in the strength of the Sun’s magnetic field.

    Electomagnetism is involved in the processes that determine the amount and intensity of auroral storms.

  56. Cam says:

    Dingoh – and you know what….someone WILL probably lodge a proposal to see how anthropogenic CO2 has diminished the aurora…..and they WILL get funds…..and they WILL construct a model to show how CO2 can impact on the aurora.

  57. Walter Dnes says:

    Question for Leif
    ==========
    Livingston and Penn’s observations show magnetic fields associated with sunspots to be falling. Could this also apply to solar flares too? I believe that magnetic feilds are linked to flares which cause CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejections). These weaker magnetic fields would result in fewer, and less energetic charged particles being hurled by the sun at earth, and hence fewer and less energetic auroras.

    The next leap of logic may be too much, but here goes. I realize that you’re skeptical of the Maunder-LittleIceAge linkage. Posing the following to you is probably the acid test for this idea. If you can’t debunk it in a few minutes, that’s a good sign…

    How much energy do the charged particles from solar CME’s contribute to earth’s atmosphere? Maybe people have been looking in the wrong place when they theorize a drop in solar irradiance coinciding with a drop in sunspots. Maybe the cause of lower temperatures during low solar activity is not reduction of energy transfer via electromagnetic radiation from Sol, but rather a reduction of energy transfer via fewer, and less energetic, charged particles being hurled from Sol towards earth.

    I’m suggesting that lower sunspot count and lower earth temperatures are co-dependant variables, both affected by lower magnetic fields on Sol. Comments?

  58. James F. Evans says:
    September 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm
    Electomagnetism is involved in the processes that determine the amount and intensity of auroral storms.
    It is generally accepted by all scientists that aurorae are the effects of electric currents generated by neutral plasma moving across a magnetic field.

  59. Walter Dnes says:
    September 29, 2010 at 9:24 pm
    Livingston and Penn’s observations show magnetic fields associated with sunspots to be falling. Could this also apply to solar flares too? I believe that magnetic feilds are linked to flares which cause CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejections). These weaker magnetic fields would result in fewer, and less energetic charged particles being hurled by the sun at earth, and hence fewer and less energetic auroras.
    Generally true, but not in detail. E.g. flares do not cause CMEs, rather both are consequences of disruption of magnetic field structures.

    How much energy do the charged particles from solar CME’s contribute to earth’s atmosphere?
    Extremely little. A typical number for the power input is 100 Gigawatt. Compare that to the 174,000,000 Gigawatt we get from ordinary sunlight, so about one millionth. Furthermore, sunlight is continuous, but auroral storms are rare, so total energy = power * time is minuscule.

  60. E.M.Smith says:

    Thanes says: If , as frequently asserted, the proven rising global temperature is caused by the sun [Dword sentence removed -ems], and solar activity has been freakishly low since falling from 2003 to the Minimum, not much changed since 2008, why is 2010 the hottest year recorded ever, in the hottest decade ever, with the least volume of Arctic ice ever?

    OK, taking it in parts. Why has nothing happened in 7 years since 2003? Why the time lag from solar state to air temperature state. Because it has to work through a very massive system (assuming sun is causal, an assumption we’re watching for proof now as nature runs the grand experiment…) At the ICCC there was a presentation of a paper showing such a lag.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/iccc-day-two/

    From my notes there (I’m sure someone has a better transcript…)

    Gary Sharp?
    We then got a bonus of a video clip that I think was presented by Gary Sharp. It showed the heat / cold cycling of water in the pacific over decades as El Niño comes and goes. How to put a movie into words? Not well… But you see the warm and cold moving and swirling and you start to see patterns, one is that it drifts north over time.

    The Punch Lines being that that heat reaches the Arctic going past Alaska about 18 years after generation in the Pacific. So the warming in 2008 melting ice comes from a 1990 hot Pacific. None of the models allow for that time lag and “If you don’t have that in your model, your model is broken”. (as a pretty good paraphrase).

    So if we take 1998 as a more or less peak, we have about 2016 as the date when we see a LOT of cold showing up. Until then, it’s going to be working off the “heat in the pipeline”…

    2010 as the “hottest ever”: Don’t tell me you actually BELIEVE GIStemp? Sorry, but the reports of “hottest ever” are just wrong. We’ve not been deluged in new record highs and I’ve personally lived through much hotter. We’ve got cold and snow in surprising amounts all over the planet, north and south hemisphere, and the reality on the ground is calling the instrument record a lier. I’m going to believe the snows and not the pasteurized processed data food product.

    Arctic ice is middle of the pack for the decade (see charts on the right margin) and greater than the ice was 8000 years ago. We’ve had much less arctic ice in the past and there are tree stumps to prove it.

    Per predictions: Warmers like to remind us they don’t make predictions, they make projections… Me? I’m happy to predict record cold starting now and smoothly grading down to 2040, base on the work of two other folks:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/iccc-day-three/

    Victor Herrara
    “The New Solar Minimum and The Mini-Ice Age of the Twenty First Century”

    This was a wonderful presentation showing the incredibly strong correlation between solar activity and climate. Victor used wavelet analysis to show that high solar activity matches warm periods and low solar activity matches cold periods. He also identified the periodicity in this function and matched it to the Solar System Barycenter orbital changes of the sun.

    There were several charts of correlation of fit between the solar output, long term weather changes, and the Maunder, Dalton, etc. solar minimums and cold periods. And the correlation with the solar system barycenter to sun position AND with cosmic ray intensity. A wavelet squared transform was used to predict the solar output going forward and found a roughly 120 year period.

    The expectation, for a 120 year period, results in “solar secular minimums” in 2030-2040 and 2160-2170. The 2010 drop in solar output ought to continue for about 60 – 80 years. (though it was unclear to me if this meant the present ‘sleeping sun’ regime or just a return to normal cyclical values that were lower than the last 1/2 century of very high values).

    This is remarkably similar in date to the predictions by Abdussamatov. When the theoretical runs to the same conclusion as the observational / correlational work, I think they have it right…

    Also from the day two link:

    Habibullo Abdussamatov
    His presentation was titled simply “The Sun Dictates the Climate”. And that does more or less sum it up.

    A wonderful man with a quick broad smile. Yet he can scowl at the assertion that CO2 matters in a most effective way. I took an instant liking to him. There is much that American and British “climate scientists” can learn from this man. He impressed me as a very “old school” classical scientist. A “Mr. McGuire” type (for those who’ve read my stuff for a while).

    IMHO, he has the science exactly right.

    The downside? He is stating flat out that we are headed for a Little Ice Age. The solar changes dictate cooling. The ocean mass delays it for about 40 years. And we’re headed for a lot of cold. There is a 200 year periodic decent of Total Solar Irradiance, that causes a Little Ice Age, and we’re due. The mechanism he asserts is a 250 km decrease in solar radius and that changes solar interior dynamics and processes. A plot of phase and amplitude for both sun spot number and solar radius showed a near perfect match, with the onset of the solar quieting in 1999.

    Not the type to be bashful about making clear predictions (no wussy “projections” for this man!) he stated flat out the “New Little Ice Age begins in 2014.” Though with various lags from things such as ocean heat content and climate cooling rates, the depth of the NLIA is not reached until 2042 +/- 11 years for the solar minimum and then 2065 +/- 11 years for the temperature minimum.

    And yeah, I’m “predicting”.

  61. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and one of the ICCC postings had this nice chart of temperature cycles over time plotted with culture changes (wars, empires, collapses…).

    Notice that the lows are regularly lower? The high points are irregularly lower too, but it’s a ‘connect the bottoms’ line that causes worry. (The good news is it’s likely to take hundred year time scales…) Though I must note that the width of the ‘warm peaks’ is getting narrower and the drop into cold faster. One can only hope the data are too sparse to support that granularity of interpretation…

    http://chiefio.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/4-gtemps.gif

    From Randy Mann and Cliff Harris.

  62. Joe Lalonde says:

    Sorry I can’t let this crap science go.
    Did not a study come out on the weakened outer atmosphere?
    Is it the magnetic field that lights up meteors as they burn in the atmosphere?
    Is it the magnetic field that makes the shuttle glow orange on re-entery?

    Theory before this was how the sun reflects off the ice into the atmosphere.
    So, the rotating atmospheres molecules battling any matter coming to this planet has no effect?
    Just magnetics, hmmmm.

  63. RW says:

    Joe Lalonde – name the study. Just bitching about it doesn’t help.

  64. Thanes says:

    Regarding the changes in terminology, I think it is fair to point out changes were under the Bush administration with evidence below describing why. It’s on page 141 or 142 of the PDF. And also there is a letter by someone claiming to be an NOAA biologist describing what we all know was characteristic intrusion into science by the Bush admin.

    Uh yes, I believe GISTemp. And if Christy had, he wouldn’t have had to correct the HADCRUT record so ignominiously after having flubbed his math for so long.

    I’m glad the Heartland Institute had papers presented, but you’ll excuse me if I don’t waste portions of my life looking up proceedings of the ICCC. I’ll just make a guess and paraphrase- ” Here is the data Science won’t publish! Stupid peer review.”

    http://www.ewg.org/files/LuntzResearch_environment.pdf
    http://blog.oregonlive.com/myoregon/2010/02/letters_global_warming_bpa_amt.html

  65. Carla says:

    James F. Evans says:
    September 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm
    ~~~~
    Thanks, some of my favorites in that lot.
    But this one is of great interest tooo…

    “Sun Often “Tears Out A Wall” In Earth’s Solar Storm Shield”
    ..Based on these results, we expect more severe storms during the upcoming solar cycle,” said Vassilis Angelopoulos of the University of California, Los Angeles, Principal Investigator for NASA’s THEMIS mission (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms). THEMIS was used to discover the size of the leak.
    .. “Twenty times more solar particles cross the Earth’s leaky magnetic shield when the sun’s magnetic field is aligned with that of the Earth compared to when the two magnetic fields are oppositely directed,” said Marit Oieroset of the University of California, Berkeley, lead author of one of two papers on this research, published May 2008 in Geophysical Research Letters.
    ..While the THEMIS researchers discovered the size of the leak, they didn’t know its location(s). This was discovered by Wenhui Li of the University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H., and his team. They used a computer simulation to discover where two holes frequently develop in Earth’s magnetic field, one at high latitude over the Northern hemisphere, and one at high latitude over the Southern hemisphere. The holes form over the daylit side of Earth, on the side of the magnetic shield facing the sun.
    The simulation also showed how the leaks develop. As solar particles flow out from the sun, they carry solar magnetic fields past our planet. Li’s team realized that the solar magnetic field drapes against Earth’s field as it passes by. Even though the two fields point in the same direction at equatorial latitudes, they point in opposite directions at high latitudes, When compression forces the opposite fields together, they link up with each other in a process called magnetic reconnection. This process tears the two holes in Earth’s magnetic field and appends the section of the solar field between the two holes to Earth’s field, carrying the solar particles on this section into the magnetosphere, according to Li’s team. “We’ve found if the door is closed, the sun tears down a wall. The crack is huge – about four times wider than Earth and more then seven Earth diameters long,” said Li, whose paper will be published in an upcoming article of the Journal of Geophysical Research.
    Solar particles by themselves don’t cause severe space weather, but they get energized when the solar magnetic field becomes oppositely-directed to Earth’s and reconnects in a different way
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/themis/news/themis_leaky_shield.html

    This dayside reconnection and double layers is getting interesting. So many energetic particle layers surrounding the planet, spinning around. jeeps
    Is it 3-4 or 4-5 daily reconnection events ? Either way continuous particle injection sometimes more and sometimes less. Either way continuous particle injection..

  66. Carla says:

    The Heliospheric boundary eyeballs are on..
    Leif..
    If we have plasma bands on either side of Earth’s EEJ (equatorial electro-jet)..
    Then when we look at larger structures like the perpendicular Interstellar magnetic field..
    If Frisch is right we recently passed a “magnetic shell boundary” (last 50 years)..
    Wouldn’t there have been a “denser plasma band” on either side of the shell boundary?
    And if the shell boundary was 50 years and the plasma band that preceded it was..

  67. Carla says:
    September 30, 2010 at 6:12 am
    ..While the THEMIS researchers discovered the size of the leak, they didn’t know its location(s).
    These press releases gets a little silly sometimes. All of this is [very old] old hat. See e.g. Figures 11 & 12 of http://www.leif.org/research/Geomagnetic-Response-to-Solar-Wind.pdf
    And there are no Double Layers in or around that reconnection region.

  68. Carla says:
    September 30, 2010 at 6:27 am
    If we have plasma bands on either side of Earth’s EEJ (equatorial electro-jet)..
    The EEJ is formed by a very different process and the plasma band structure cannot be transferred to the Interstellar situation [not similar in any way]

    Wouldn’t there have been a “denser plasma band” on either side of the shell boundary?
    Whenever there is a boundary in space between different plasma regimes an electric current can be generated simply by gyration of charges around field lines. This leads often to a ‘plasma sheet’ of enhanced density at the boundary [not on either side].

    Such structures in interstellar space have, of course, no effect whatsoever on the inner solar system where we live.

  69. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm
    James F. Evans says:
    September 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm
    “Electomagnetism is involved in the processes that determine the amount and intensity of auroral storms.”
    ‘”It is generally accepted by all scientists that aurorae are the effects of electric currents generated by neutral plasma moving across a magnetic field.’”
    ____________________

    Leif
    ?”Solar Wind”?
    The stronger and denser the Solar Wind, the bigger the aurorae (farther South it moves, the brighter it is)?

  70. E.M.Smith says:

    And so we have Thanes practicing selective listening skills…

  71. Pascvaks says:
    September 30, 2010 at 7:38 am
    ”It is generally accepted by all scientists that aurorae are the effects of electric currents generated by neutral plasma moving across a magnetic field.”

    The stronger and denser the Solar Wind, the bigger the aurorae (farther South it moves, the brighter it is)?

    Yes: The neutral plasma is the solar wind. The magnetic field is the Earth’s. So, yes, the solar wind does it. In addition to that, the solar wind has its own magnetic field, which if oriented opposite to the Earth’s field [where they meet] serves to further improve the energy input to the Earth system.

  72. James F. Evans says:

    Thanks Carla, I appreciate your comment, and your mention of double layers.

    Your link to Earth’s leaky magnetic field mentions “magnetic reconnection”:

    “When compression forces the opposite fields together, they link up with each other in a process called magnetic reconnection.”

    Of course, as the concept’s supporters are forced to admit, “magnetic reconnection” is not understood, even after decades of study. But if the electromagnetic framework is applied to this physical process, the veil of incomprehension drops away, and the physical dynamics are then revealed and becomes readily understood. And, the component physical forces, matter, and energy can be quantified both in spatial & temporal parameters — a three dimensional map of the physical process.

    This electromagnetic framework requires observation & measurement of the magnetic field, electric field, charged particle location, direction, and velocity & location of charged particle acceleration (an increase in kinetic energy of the charged particles).

    After this electromagnetic framework is applied and all the relevant observations & measurements are collected, it becomes apparent this physical process already has been quantified, both in the plasma laboratory and in situ (space) as an Electric Double Layer.

    Per Wikipedia entry on Double Layers:

    “In general, double layers (which may be curved rather than flat) separate regions of plasma with quite different characteristics. Double layers are found in a wide variety of plasmas, from discharge tubes to space plasmas to the Birkeland currents supplying the Earth’s aurora, and are especially common in current-carrying plasmas.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)

    So-called “magnetic reconnection”, as a concept developed in the pre-space age 1940′s (1946), only considered the one physical force then observable from Earth’s surface: Magnetic fields.

    That magnetic “only” framework has been superceded by in situ observation & measurement which takes into account all the physical parameters now known to be involved as outlined above: An electromagnetic framework of observation & measurement.

  73. James F. Evans says:
    September 30, 2010 at 8:32 am
    So-called “magnetic reconnection”, as a concept developed in the pre-space age 1940′s (1946), only considered the one physical force then observable from Earth’s surface: Magnetic fields.
    This is incorrect. All modern descriptions of magnetic reconnection deal with the total set of forces, magnetic, electric, and kinetic.

    framework has been superceded by in situ observation & measurement which takes into account all the physical parameters now known to be involved as outlined above
    Hence, this is also incorrect. The latest in situ observations of all relevant parameters fully confirm our theoretical understanding of the universal process that is magnetic reconnection. Double layers have nothing to do with any of this, although they often form as by-products of the process, simply because plasma regimes with different properties result.

  74. Enneagram says:

    James F. Evans says:
    September 30, 2010 at 8:32 am
    Why not try to “connect”all those fields:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/38251461/Unified-Field

  75. James F. Evans says:

    Compare the following two descriptions:

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Whenever there is a boundary in space between different plasma regimes an electric current can be generated simply by gyration of charges around field lines.”

    Electric Double Layer per Wikipedia:

    “In general, double layers (which may be curved rather than flat) separate regions of plasma with quite different characteristics.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)

    Sure sounds like Dr. Svalgaard and Wikipedia are describing the same physical process.

  76. James F. Evans says:
    September 30, 2010 at 8:46 am
    Sure sounds like Dr. Svalgaard and Wikipedia are describing the same physical process.
    If so, what is your problem about calling it by the name everybody today uses: ‘magnetic reconnection’. :-)
    But, really, one [magnetic reconnection] is a ‘process’. The other [EDL] is a ‘state’, something that forms as the result of a process. In other words, EDLs separate regions with different charges, and something needs to work to produce the separation, namely magnetic reconnection or even just a magnetic field and a moving neutral plasma.

  77. James F. Evans says:

    Dr. Svalgaard presented Evans’ statement: “So-called “magnetic reconnection”, as a concept developed in the pre-space age 1940′s (1946), only considered the one physical force then observable from Earth’s surface: Magnetic fields.”

    And, Dr. Svalgaard responded: “This is incorrect. All modern descriptions of magnetic reconnection deal with the total set of forces, magnetic, electric, and kinetic.”

    No, the statement is correct, as it addresses the initial development of the concept (1946).

    But I do agree that, today, “modern descriptions of [so-called] magnetic reconnection deal with the total set of forces, magnetic, electric, and kinetic.”

    Or, as I already put it: “This electromagnetic framework requires observation & measurement of the magnetic field, electric field, charged particle location, direction, and velocity & location of charged particle acceleration (an increase in kinetic energy of the charged particles).”

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The latest in situ observations of all relevant parameters fully confirm our theoretical understanding of the universal process that is magnetic reconnection.”

    How can that be when even supporters of “magnetic reconnection” acknowledge the process is not fully understood, much less fully quantified by mathematical equations?

    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Double layers have nothing to do with any of this…”

    The following scientific papers stand for the proposition that so-called “magnetic reconnection” is actually the Electric Double Layer process.

    (Note both Double Layer papers describe the process as it happens in the aurora.)

    Scientific papers presented:

    Filamentary Structures in U-Shaped Double Layers, 2005
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=2005AGUFMSM41C1202D&db_key=AST&data_type=HTML&format=&high=42ca922c9c05019

    Quote from the above paper:

    “Observations from the Polar and FAST satellites have revealed a host of intriguing features of the auroral accelerations processes in the upward current region (UCR). These features include: (i) large-amplitude parallel and perpendicular fluctuating as well as quasi-static electric fields in density cavities, (ii) fairly large-amplitude unipolar parallel electric fields like in a strong double layer (DL), (iii) variety of wave modes, (iv) counter-streaming of upward going ion beams and downward accelerated electrons, (v) horizontally corrugated bottom region of the potential structures (PS), in which electron and ion accelerations occur, (vi) filamentary ion beams in the corrugated PS, and (vii) both upward and downward moving narrow regions of parallel electric fields, inferred from the frequency drifts of the auroral kilometric radiations.”

    Parallel electric fields in the upward current region of the aurora: Indirect and direct observations, published 2002 Physics of Plasma
    http://www.space.irfu.se/exjobb/2003_erik_bergman/articles/PHP03685_ergun.pdf

    Quote from the above paper:

    “In this article we present electric field, magnetic field, and charged particle observations from the upward current region of the aurora focusing on the structure of electric fields at the boundary between the auroral cavity and the ionosphere…These observations suggest that the parallel electric fields at the
    boundary between the auroral cavity and the ionosphere are self-consistently supported as oblique double layers.”

    Now, let’s compare the above Electric Double Layers papers with the following so-called “magnetic reconnection” scientific papers:

    Magnetopause reconnection impact parameters from multiple spacecraft magnetic field measurements published 30 October 2009
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL040228.pdf

    Quote from the above paper:

    “Discrepancies between the measured components of E [electric field] and the corresponding components of v  B [magnetic field] after a careful error analysis signify a nonideal electric field. We intend to show in a subsequent paper that the Cluster electric field and particle flow data for this event satisfy the criteria for a parallel electric field…

    With the instantaneous coordinate system and the parallel electric field established, one can place particle moments, such as velocities, pressures, and temperatures, as well as magnetic and electric field measurements…

    Sufficiently accurate ion and electron moments and electric field measurements within this coordinate system delineate ion and electron diffusion regions.”

    Recent in-situ observations of magnetic reconnection in near-Earth space, published 11 October 2008
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2008GL035297.pdf

    Quote from the above paper:

    Figure 1. “(bottom [schematic, page 2 of 7] ) : “Zoom-in on the region around the X-line, with the ion and electron diffusion regions indicated by the shading and the rectangular box, respectively. The quadrupolar Hall magnetic field is pointing in and out of the plane of the figure. The Hall electric field [perpendicular electric field] is shown by the red arrows, while the blue arrows mark the oppositely directed jets in the outflow regions. Note that entry and acceleration occur all the way along the current sheet. Figure courtesy of Marit Oieroset.”

    The “X” cross section discussed in these “magnetic reconnection” papers are where electric and magnetic fields cross, just as Hannes Alfven described in his empirical laboratory work on Electric Double Layers and, is central to the acceleration of the particles in both sets of papers, Electric Double Layers and “magnetic reconnection”, respectively.

    Collisionless Magnetic Field Reconnection From First Principles: What It Can and Cannot Do
    http://solarmuri.ssl.berkeley.edu/~welsch/brian/FSL/2006/mozer_reconn_v4.pdf

    Quote from the above paper:

    “The physics of reconnection [Electric Double Layer] depends on the electric field component out of the plane of Fig. 1 at the center of the figure, which is sometimes called the tangential electric field.

    If it is zero [the Electric field], the two plasmas flow around each other into or out of the plane of the figure because there is no ExB/B2 flow in the plane of the figure in this central region.

    On the other hand, if the tangential electric field is non-zero, the plasmas continue flowing towards each other into the central region of the figure and magnetic field reconnection occurs as discussed below.”

    Now, I’ve requested Dr.Svalgaard to distinguish the physical dynamics in the two sets of scientific papers numerous times by referring to the specific physical parameters described in the two sets of papers, but Dr. Svalgaard never has honored the request.

    Why?

    The reason is simple: There is nothing to distinguish between the two described processes, as they are the same process, just given different labels.

    But given the Electric Double Layer is fully quantified by mathematical equations, plugging in all the physical parameters, and has been repeatedly verified in plasma laboratories and in situ (the two scientific papers presented above), as compared against “magnetic reconnection”, which isn’t even fully understood by its supporters by their own admission, the conclusion is clear as to the physical reality.

    A rose is still a rose by any other name.

  78. James F. Evans says:
    September 30, 2010 at 11:52 am
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The latest in situ observations of all relevant parameters fully confirm our theoretical understanding of the universal process that is magnetic reconnection.”
    How can that be when even supporters of “magnetic reconnection” acknowledge the process is not fully understood, much less fully quantified by mathematical equations?

    Because there are always details that need to understood. The operative word is ‘fully’. Almost nothing is ever ‘fully’ understood.

    But given the Electric Double Layer is fully quantified by mathematical equations, plugging in all the physical parameters
    is it then not strange that people claim that something that you say is the same as reconnection is not understood. Could it be that modern scientists do not think the state of EDLs is the same as the process of reconnection?

    Your repeated attempt at hijacking a thread with your litany of the same old papers that you do not even understand is tiresome.

  79. Carla says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 30, 2010 at 6:59 am
    Such structures in interstellar space have, of course, no effect whatsoever on the inner solar system where we live.
    ~
    Yep thanks Leif.. but some of this is beginning to sound like a disclaimer lol.

    To: James Evans..
    based on the description of the the radiation belts here:
    http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/tour/vanallen.html
    There are two electron belts and one proton belt:
    The proton belt is located from about 500 kilometers above Earth’s surface and extends to 13,000 km. This Inner Belt contains protons with energies greater then 10 million volts. Scientists currently think that these protons are trapped cosmic ray particles from outside the solar system, or from the Sun itself possibly during severe solar flares.
    The low-energy electron belt actually overlaps the volums of space occupied by the proton belt. The electrons carry between 1 – 5 million volts of energy, on average.
    The high-energy electron belt is located further out than the two overlaping inner belts, and in the above figure it is colored purple. Electrons in this Outer Belt carry between 10 to 100 million volts of energy, on average.
    ~~
    Do we call this a triple electic layer or what?

  80. James F. Evans says:

    Carla: I think you are being facetious :-)

    Dr. Svalgaard again fails to honor the request to “to distinguish the physical dynamics in the two sets of scientific papers…by referring to the specific physical parameters described in the two sets of papers…”

    Dr. Svalgaard, it never gets tiresome to present facts & evidence (scientific papers on Double Layers observed & measured in the auroral dynamic — the subject of this post) and then request the interlocutor to respond to questions about those papers, and, then, upon refusal, to point out the interlocutor’s repeated past failures to respond to the same questions.

    It demonstrates the weakness of the interlocutor’s opinion.

  81. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif, James, Carla,

    A slight sidestep but climatically relevant:

    With all this talk about layers and solar effects on the atmosphere especially around the poles and given that much seems not to be understood (fully or not) what is the scope for the level of solar activity having differential effects on the layers of the atmosphere and the flow of energy up through those layers so as to reverse the sign of the stratospheric temperature response to solar activity such that the stratosphere (and apparently also the mesosphere) are observed to cool when the sun is more active yet the troposphere and thermosphere are observed to warm at such times ?

    As I understood it all the layers should warm or cool in tandem as solar activity increases or falls but that does not appear to happen.

    I am looking for some sort of explanation as to why the jet streams appear to move equatorward when the sun is less active and poleward when the sun is more active. Clearly that phenomenon if real would be linked to the strength of the polar oscillations which is presumably governed by events in the atmosphere above the poles which is the very place where your discussed processes have maximum effect.

    Only if the sign of the solar effect on the stratospheric temperatures is reversed from what is generally assumed can we explain why the jet streams would shift poleward when the sun is more active. Such a shift requires a cooling stratosphere because the jets would only move poleward in response to a decreased strength of the temperature inversion at the tropopause.

    If conventional wisdom were correct then the stratosphere would warm when the sun is more active, the strength of the inversion would increase and the jets would shift equatorward at a time of more active sun.

    That appears not to happen.

    Why ?

  82. James F. Evans says:
    September 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm
    Dr. Svalgaard again fails to honor the request to “to distinguish the physical dynamics in the two sets of scientific papers…by referring to the specific physical parameters described in the two sets of papers…”
    I think we have been over this so many times already that repetition serves little purpose. Perhaps you should email Forest Mozer and ask him whether EDL and MR are the same process?

  83. Enneagram says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 30, 2010 at 3:30 pm
    The problem is…how do relate: Gravity, magnetism, electricity?
    One hour time to solve it!….or One thousand years?
    When charges are at =45° and 135°, i.e. when they add as sin y + cos y ,
    as +0.77 and -0.77
    Its resultant is 50% gravity and 50% emission field, i.e.magnetism
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/38418051/Unified-Field

  84. Enneagram says:

    When a wave propagetes there are several critical points where it slows down its motion, in what musicians call “gaps” or “intervals”, or “warps” by others; among these two in special, one, as we said, when charges are at 90° one from the other, or a Sqr.2/2 and – sqr2/2, and when both at 0°, or at +1 and 0. In the first one of these magnetism appears and in the second one, graviti-mass appears. In the present case, at 90°(45° above the X axis) that “reconnection appears” (*) , though it is closed in itself and has a transient existence and a discrete amount (a “quanta”), but then it explodes to continue its journey to the zenit (90°) where its value reaches 1 or about 1 (gravity 0.981), there it is slowed down again by generating gravity-matter, as a centripetal force, and the difference, if any, is the emission part of that matter (atmosphere, in the case of the earth), but at the same time forming the known “double layer” of charges.
    In the article I have written (see above post) I only describe the phenomenon as a plane and in half a circle, though it can be obviously be analized as a three dimensional phenomenon.
    (*) When I figured out all this, what impressed me the most was the appearance on magnetism, where I inmediately thought (this is real): Oh…that d* Dr.S´reconnection! :-)

  85. Carla says:

    James F. Evans says:
    September 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm
    Carla: I think you are being facetious :-)
    ~~
    Comes down to time James. Yesterday was home on break, read what was up here, no time to go through everything, but tripped on this from the wiki link you had left here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    History of double layers
    ..A recent development in double layer experiments is the investigation of so-called stairstep double layers. It has been observed that a potential drop in a plasma column can be split up into different parts. Transitions from a single double layer into two-, three-, or greater-step double layers are strongly sensitive to the boundary conditions of the plasma (Hershkowitz, 1992).[citation needed] These experiments can give us information about the formation of the magnetospheric double layers and their possible role in creating the aurora..

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 30, 2010 at 3:30 pm
    ~
    My search for some of those answers lead me to some interesting articles. Here’s one, that will start drawing an interesting picture for you.
    Tropical thunderstorms affect space weather
    Two plasma bands encircle the Earth some 250 miles above the equator, seen here in a false-color composite image built up from 30 days of ultraviolet observations with NASA’s IMAGE satellite. Bright, blue-white areas are where the plasma is densest
    ..Data from NASA’s Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) satellite show that two parallel bands of ionized particles that encircle the Earth in the tropics are altered by persistent storms over the Amazon Basin in South America, the Congo Basin in Africa, and Indonesia. The net effect of these repeated storms is to create a denser region of ionospheric plasma over these areas that glows more brightly in ultraviolet light than does the rest of the two plasma bands.
    ..The densest part of the ionosphere forms two bands of plasma close to the equator at a height of almost 250 miles.
    ..The simulation showed that the tides could affect the plasma bands indirectly by modifying a layer of the atmosphere below the bands that shape them. Below the plasma bands, a layer of the ionosphere called the E-layer becomes partially electrified during the day. This region creates the plasma bands above it when high-altitude winds blow plasma in the E-layer across the Earth’s magnetic field. Since plasma is electrically charged, its motion across the Earth’s magnetic field acts like a generator, creating an electric field. This electric field shapes the plasma above into the two bands.
    Anything that would change the motion of the E-layer plasma would also change the electric fields it generates, which would then reshape the plasma bands above.
    http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2006/09/14_weather.shtml
    (following ref. compliments wiki)
    The equatorial electrojet (EEJ) is a narrow ribbon of current flowing eastward in the day time equatorial region of the Earth’s ionosphere. The abnormally large amplitude of variations in the horizontal components measured at equatorial geomagnetic observatories, as a result of EEJ, was noticed as early as 1920 from Huancayo geomagnetic observatory. Observations by radar, rockets, satellites, and geomagnetic observatories are used to study EEJ
    Causes
    The worldwide solar-driven wind results in the so-called Sq (solar quiet) current system in the E region of the Earth’s ionosphere (100–130 km altitude). Resulting from this current is an electrostatic field directed east-west (dawn-dusk) in the equatorial day side of the ionosphere. At the magnetic dip equator, where the geomagnetic field is horizontal, this electric field results in an enhanced eastward current flow within ±3 degrees of the magnetic equator, known as the equatorial electrojet (EEJ)..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equatorial_electrojet
    Youtube video of Equatorial electrojet.
    Magnetic fields due to equatorial electrojet

    Interesting and thought provoking for the layperson are the next two:
    Lighting Up The Van Allen Belts
    Stanford – December 6, 1999 –
    Lighting Up The Van Allen Belts
    ..The new finding indicates that electromagnetic waves from lightning populate large regions of the radiation belts from which they precipitate electrons, which means they could potentially influence loss rates of trapped particles on a global scale.
    http://www.spacedaily.com/news/earth-magnetic-99d.html
    Stanford – December 6, 1999 –
    ~
    We should be looking more closely at “DAYSIDE RECONNECTION.” They say that’s where all the fun is. The nightside reconnection ooooh pretty aurora, but the dayside..
    Hope some of this helps Stephen.

  86. James F. Evans says:

    Carla:

    Sorry about that. Thanks for filling me in on where you were going. I have no objections to the concept of “stair-step” Electric Double Layers (I’ll have to look into that concept in more detail).

    What is amazing is that Electric Double Layers can take so many different different forms, effected by electromagnetic instabilities, and energy levels and so forth.

    Truly, it’s the Electric Double Layer which is the universal process in plasma dominated environments and since plasma is over 99% of the visible Universe that strongly suggests electromagnetism is the framework which needs to be applied to the study, not just of interplanetary dynamics, but also interstellar, and intergalactic.

    Also, I look favorable on the idea that weather, particularly thunderstorms, being connected to larger electric circuits, which connect to the plasma belts which surround the Earth — since these are segregated into electron torus and ion torus, these plasma belts can be described as electric currents (segregated plasma flowing in one direction).

  87. Pascvaks says:

    Leif –
    Ref – your graph at
    http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Wind-Flow-Pressure.png

    Ref -Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 30, 2010 at 8:20 am
    “Yes: The neutral plasma is the solar wind. The magnetic field is the Earth’s. So, yes, the solar wind does it. In addition to that, the solar wind has its own magnetic field, which if oriented opposite to the Earth’s field [where they meet] serves to further improve the energy input to the Earth system.”
    __________
    Your graph (above, 1st ref) for solar wind pretty much reflects the aurora’s decline does it not? Is there something else that the solar wind graph does not reflect vis-a-vis aurora decline?

  88. Pascvaks says:
    October 1, 2010 at 9:33 am
    Your graph (above, 1st ref) for solar wind pretty much reflects the aurora’s decline does it not?
    It does.

  89. Pascvaks says:

    Leif

    Thanks! Guess I saw it when the seeing was good;-)

  90. Carla says:

    James F. Evans says:
    October 1, 2010 at 9:26 am
    “.. I have no objections to the concept of “stair-step” Electric Double Layers (I’ll have to look into that concept in more detail).

    What is amazing is that Electric Double Layers can take so many different different forms, effected by electromagnetic instabilities, and energy levels and so forth.

    Truly, it’s the Electric Double Layer which is the universal process in plasma dominated environments and since plasma is over 99% of the visible Universe that strongly suggests electromagnetism is the framework which needs to be applied to the study, not just of interplanetary dynamics, but also interstellar, and intergalactic..”
    ~
    Thanks for the comments, James.
    Back to the “knot in the ribbon at the edge of the solar system unties.”

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