New ideas on Total Solar Irradiance and flares

From: SOHO sheds new light on solar flares

ESA Science & Technology

After detailed analysis of data from the SOHO and GOES spacecraft, a team of European scientists has been able to shed new light on the role of solar flares in the total output of radiation from our nearest star. Their surprising conclusion is that X-rays account for only about 1 per cent of the total energy emitted by these explosive events.

This SOHO/EIT image records two huge solar flares that were detected in October 2003. (Click here for the movie and further details.)
Credit: ESA/NASA

Flares are sudden energy releases in the Sun’s atmosphere that occur when the solar magnetic field is locally unstable. When the magnetic field lines break and reconnect, large amounts of energy are released, accelerating the surrounding particles to almost the speed of light. The temperature of the flares can soar to millions of degrees. At such sizzling temperatures, much of their radiation is emitted as X-rays.

Not surprisingly, most flares are imaged and studied at X-ray or extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, since they are more difficult to observe and analyse in visible light. Although more than 20 000 flares occurred in the last solar cycle (1996-2007), only four exceptionally large ones were identified as contributors to the total solar irradiance (TSI), i.e. the light received at all wavelengths on Earth.

In an effort to calculate how much energy is actually contributed to the TSI by flares, researchers from the Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace (LPC2E) in Orléans (France), collaborating with Swiss and Belgium teams, have been analysing 11 years of observations from space.

The team analysed the record of X-ray data acquired by the US GOES spacecraft during the entire solar cycle to detect the flares and record the times of their peak activity. The scientists eventually selected about 2000 flares which occurred near the centre of the solar disc. They then turned to the PMO and DIARAD radiometers of the VIRGO experiment on board the ESA/NASA SOHO spacecraft for information about the overall solar radiation heading toward Earth.

The next task was to identify any small peaks in TSI caused by the flares. This task was complicated by the random ‘noise’ generated by the Sun’s turbulent atmosphere. In order to recognise the contribution due to flares alone, the team used a statistical method to superimpose X-ray and TSI data taken at short time intervals around the period when a flare occurred. In this way, they were able to remove the random ‘noise’ from the data.

The problem was to recognise the overall output from flares, radiated simultaneously at all wavelengths and in the visible domain, despite the natural fluctuations of the solar irradiance,” said Matthieu Kretzschmar, researcher at the LPC2E and first author of the study in Nature Physics. “It is like looking for 1-metre-high waves, caused by flares, within a rough sea where there are 70-metre-high waves caused by natural fluctuations.”

To solve this problem, we amplified the ‘one-meter-high waves’ using the ‘superposed-epoch analysis’ method. The idea was to temporally superpose the total irradiance light curves for several flares. Natural random fluctuations in the solar irradiance cancel each other out, but the fluctuations caused by the flares are added and amplified.”

A significant peak was apparent in the total solar irradiance using the method of Kretzschmar et al. (Click on the image for a larger figure and further details.)
Credit: Image from Kretzschmar et al.,(2010).

The analysis led to a surprising result: there was a significant peak in the TSI when a flare occurred. Not only was the total radiative output of the Sun sensitive to both large and small flares, but the total energy radiated by flares was found to be over 100 times greater than the energy that they radiate in X-rays. It turns out that X-rays contribute only a tiny part of the overall output of radiation during solar flares.

These results, obtained within the framework of the European Community’s SOTERIA project, will help to improve current theoretical models of flares and understanding of the variability in the solar irradiance that reaches our planet. They could also help to shed light on the behaviour of more distant stars, some of which may also host planetary systems.

Many stars are much more active than our Sun and emit extremely powerful flares,” said Bernhard Fleck, ESA’s SOHO Project Scientist. “This new estimate of the energy distribution of solar flares suggests that such flares may be extremely bright in visible light as well as X-rays, possibly with dramatic consequences for any nearby planets.”

Related publication:

M. Kretzschmar, T. Dudok de Wit, W. Schmudtz, S. Mekaoui, J.F. Hochedez, S. Dewitte, “The effect of flares on total solar irradiance”, Nature Physics, vol. 6, pp. 690–692, 2010. DOI: 10.1038/nphys1741

Contacts:

Matthieu Kretzschmar
LPC2E: Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace
CNRS / Université d’Orléans, France
Email: matthieu.kretzschmarcnrs-orleans.fr
Phone:+33 2 38 25 50 39

Bernhard Fleck
ESA SOHO Project Scientist
Science Operations Department
Science and Robotic Exploration Directorate, ESA
Email: bfleckesa.nascom.nasa.gov
Phone: +1 301 286 4098

For further information please contact: SciTech.editorial@esa.int

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95 Responses to New ideas on Total Solar Irradiance and flares

  1. Stephan says:

    OT but there seems to a bigger and bigger discrepancy between DMI and CT, Nordsex etc…

    ?
    Its getting outright ridiculous……. storytime?

  2. Stephan says:

    Re flares what has Leif got to say..this seems to completely contradict his previous?

  3. David A. Evans says:

    Seems to be transient. Is it relevant to the bigger picture?

    DaveE.

  4. Malaga View says:

    Interesting read… but is it me… solar flares pushing out a lot of energy… who would have tought that… having seen some amazing pictures of solar flares I was surprised by the looking for 1-metre-high waves, caused by flares, within a rough sea where there are 70-metre-high waves comment… I assumed it would have been the other way around… but is it really a surprise that X-rays represents only a small part of the total energy spectrum released by flares… mmmmm…. guess I must be having a bad day… although I did manage to translate their possibly with dramatic consequences for any nearby planets comment as SEND MORE MONEY OTHERWISE THE PLANET GETS IT!

  5. Alan the Brit says:

    “This new estimate of the energy distribution of solar flares suggests that such flares may be extremely bright in visible light as well as X-rays, possibly with dramatic consequences for any nearby planets.”

    Really???? Sounds utter tosh to me. I have read the UNIPCC reports! We all know that the Sun has no significant effect upon the Earth’s climate. It’s a well known settled scientific fact. Of course, changes in solar output & variations in orbital mechanics, regular alignments of the planets with their associated gravitational effects, were most probably responsible for past climate changes, but these, what are at times unimaginable humungous natural forces, pale into insignificance when you take manmade CO2 (15ppm out of 390ppm) production into account! Respect the Facts as they say at the Royal Society!

    In all seriousness though, this was a very intersting post I thought!

  6. Mick says:

    The study suggesting a big difference of the spectral energy distribution.
    So way they present a time domain energy distribution instead of a spectral composition??
    Dr Leif S. can you chip in?

    ps: bloody cold in South Australia! Brrrr….

  7. David A. Evans says:

    AtB. Your dig at the RS was well taken. When they changed their motto from nullius in verba to Respect the facts, they abandoned science. In fact, they had long since abandoned science, they just made it official.

    DaveE.

  8. steveta_uk says:

    It’s such a relief to read about scientists doing science using data and putting in hard work. Using data to improve models, and not models to disprove data. Marvellous.

  9. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Interesting. On a related subject, does anyone have a reference to the velocity of neutrons, from thermalised to fast, from Sun to Earth?

  10. Mick says:
    October 15, 2010 at 1:49 am
    The study suggesting a big difference of the spectral energy distribution.
    So way they present a time domain energy distribution instead of a spectral composition??

    What is important is the very small amount of energy involved, some 20 parts per million, which is 0.03 Watt/m2 compared to the full TSI of 1361 W/m2. So, flares play no significant role in the energy budget of the Sun or in the energy the Earth receives from the Sun.

  11. R.S.Brown says:

    Recalling a post titled “Solar flares are teleconnected to earthly
    radioactive decay
    on WUWT in August:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/23/teleconnected-solar-flares-to-earthly-radioactive-decay/

    And a lame follow up NIST/Perdue experiment announced in,
    More follow up on the solar-neutrinos-radioactive decay
    story – experimental falsification
    found at:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/27/more-follow-up-on-the-solar-neutrinos-radioactive-decay-story-experimental-falsification/

    The original study involved longitudinal decay rate data of specific
    isotopes collected by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), and
    at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and a short term
    study done at Perdue just before and during a flare on Dec 13, 2006.

    The BNL/PTB data revealed slight but significant monthly and
    seasonal variations in the isotope decay rates of silicon-32 and
    radium-226.

    The Perdue study indicated a transitory change in the decay rate of
    manganese-54 beginning just before the December 13, 2006 flare.

    The data analysis and observations were not
    falsified by the later NIST/Perdue study of gold-198.

    The European teams’ announcement here of an unsuspected
    addition to the TSI by way of medium and smallish flares
    found in 11 years of observational data is a huge step
    forward in solar studies.

    Recent solar activity predictions by old hands based on “old” data
    and inflexible paradigms haven’t matched reality.

    My point is the sun seems to do things not previously
    suspected, modeled, or accounted for in various TSI
    measurements when it pops off a flare.

    One assumes these things have been happening all
    along, and aren’t peculiar to solar cycle 24. They just never
    got noticed before this.

    Now, all we need is a certifiable link between changes in TSI
    and various forcings that produce some sort of atmospheric
    response here on Earth.

  12. Neo says:

    How does this 1% X-rays affect current theory on pulsars ?

  13. DJ Meredith says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    “What is important is the very small amount of energy involved, some 20 parts per million, which is 0.03 Watt/m2 compared to the full TSI of 1361 W/m2. So, flares play no significant role in the energy budget of the Sun or in the energy the Earth receives from the Sun.”

    .002% of the full TSI is not significant, but an increase of .035% to .039% in CO2 is.

  14. John Day says:

    I don’t think these findings are that surprising. Flares are explosions. Explosions in general, especially nuclear explosions, emit wide-band energy. (Think: “DC to Daylight, and Beyond”). So, asserting that visible light is emitted in these solar explosions is not surprising.

    Finding that light is another matter, and that’s the contribution of this research.

    It’s difficult to detect because most of the Sun’s irradiance is in the visible light spectrum and below, falls off rather rapidly above ultraviolet:

    A similar misconception occurs with sunspots, which are really magnetic storms surpessing the visible light flux from below. They look black to us because the surrounding photosphere is brighter. But if you isolated the sunspots in a dark environment, you would discover that they are actually much brighter than a welder’s arc light on Earth.

  15. DJ Meredith says:
    October 15, 2010 at 4:23 am
    .002% of the full TSI is not significant, but an increase of .035% to .039% in CO2 is.
    And what has that to do with flares?

  16. Yarmy says:

    @DJ Meredith
    The flux at the Earth varies from 1435 W/sq m to 1345 W/sq m during the course of a single year (specifically the former in Jan and the latter in July).

  17. Jeff L says:

    My question would be “Do these small bursts in TSI integrate into any substantial number which effects the Earth’s radiation budget?” We always hear that TSI variations between solar max & solar min are very small – too small to be a significant influence on climate. So the root of my question is really if the variation in TSI might be bigger than has historically been thought due to these TSI bursts, which I assume are more numerous at peaks of solar cycles than in minimums.

    Anyone with expertise care to comment?

  18. John Day says:

    > The flux at the Earth varies from 1435 W/sq m to 1345 W/sq m during
    > the course of a single year (specifically the former in Jan and the latter in July).

    … and the received solar flux at any point on Earth varies from 0 W/m2 to 1366 W/m2 during the course of a single day (assuming no moonshine).

    So, 100% trumps 0.002%.
    :-]

  19. DJ Meredith says:

    ….Was just bringing up the issue of flares being viewed as insignificant v. TSI, which made me wonder why then would we be spending good, hard earned research time and money to study something as insignificant as solar flares??

    Seems to be a lot of unwarranted interest in the effects on our ionosphere and things like communications, power grids, sensitive electronics being affected by something that’s only .002% of the TSI and the “energy budget”.

  20. Pamela Gray says:

    This reminds me of trying to find a regular tone-evoked response deep in the auditory brainstem (basically looking for a synaptic signal predicted to follow a tone pip) out of a background of far greater random ambient synaptic brainwaves that are picked up at the surface. In both cases, simple electrodes (low impedance cups attached at the end of wires sitting on the scalp) pick up both signals. The random cortical noise, being much greater in amplitude, buries the smaller brainstem evoked synaptic signal. To find the regular signal out of the random noise, an algorithm is applied that mathematically calculates random noise to near zero. Anything that is regular or repetitive (IE non-random) rises out of the zeroed ambient noise.

    It is clear from this example, that the regular spikes of an evoked brainstem response do not contribute to the overall random amplitude of cortical noise. And so it would be with flares in the background of the much larger solar output. That’s why they must pinpoint the flares first, then look for a smaller evoked signal in a background of higher amplitude random output. There are lots of areas in my analogy that must be taken with a large piece of rock salt, but the similarities might help the reader understand that the emissions from solar flares cannot have an affect (in this case a driver of change) on our weather pattern variations commonly talked about as warming or cooling.

  21. Jeff L says:
    October 15, 2010 at 6:04 am
    My question would be “Do these small bursts in TSI integrate into any substantial number which effects the Earth’s radiation budget?”
    No, because they only last a few minutes each.

  22. Enneagram says:

    Let’s dig it deeper:

    1.-You all will agree we are not fools.
    2.-Then, if we are not fools, we can, rationally, to disentangle the tangle we are in from about 300 hundred years.
    Now, let’s see:
    -In the beginning there were only two things: The Force and the Void.
    -As too many millions of years have passed while both were watching one to the other at the two sides of a dimensionless point,
    The Force at Cos y= -1 and the Void at Sin y= 0,
    Then the Force told the Void: Hey pal, we are getting really bored staying like this, two fools watching one another for the whole Eternity, let’s get move ahead a little, just to see what the heck happens!
    -Thus, both started moving ahead, one, The Force, in the 10 O’clock direction and The Void in the 2 O’clock direction, both describing beautiful arcs to reach a place 45 degrees above its initial position.
    -Then The Void told The Force: Hey, buddy, you look different now!, kind of something electric I can find now in your eyes, complexion and there is an electric halo surrounding you!; and The Force told the Void: Hey, buddy, you look different too!, it seems that there is something Magnetic about you now, hey!, you look really attractive!
    -Suddenly a big and brilliant spark jumped up above connecting them in a kind of inseparable cosmic marriage.
    -Then, both holding their hands together said to one another: Let’s keep on going to see what new marvels we find ahead!
    -Both said: Let’s go then to reach that source of that new light which was born out of the two of us, to that light above, at the Zenith!
    -So they started walking in the direction of the 12 O’Clock.
    -There were just one foot of reaching that supreme point, when suddenly they heard a roaring Thunder from above and both trembling saw a giant and shining Shaking-Spear appearing, coming fiercely down from the Zenith: The Sound roared : You came together up to this forbidden point, where you have just created a Son out from both of you: I am Gravity, the blossom of your coming together, however I am destined to point always from the Zenith down and, with me, you have just gave birth Ground, Matter, over which you’ll walk over forever!. Look at me, behold how both of you surround all along me, the longinus spear, the caduceus!
    -We are all but One and so we will stay forever: The force at one side, the Cos y= -1, The Void to the other, the Sin y=0, the Couple of opposites, the two loving partners, Electricity and Magnetism always in love of each other, at Cos y=- 0.7011 and Sin y=+0.7011, always at 90 degrees from each other, forever 45 degrees above their original position. I, Gravity, that living Spear whose purpose is for ever to stick you to the ground being almost the addition of both of you, the addition of 1 and 0, however though I have some affections and passions too, I only reach, on earth the 0.981 level, the difference being the inclination I have for you and because of you, dear parents.
    For more on this, read:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/38598073/Unified-Field

  23. DJ Meredith says:
    October 15, 2010 at 6:50 am
    Seems to be a lot of unwarranted interest in the effects on our ionosphere and things like communications, power grids, sensitive electronics being affected by something that’s only .002% of the TSI and the “energy budget”.
    And it is only 0.002% for the few minutes the flare lasts. Flares do have great effect on the ionosphere, but the density of the ionosphere is less than a billionth of the lower atmosphere so even a small amount of energy can have effect. And as you say ‘sensitive’ things are affected. But when it comes to climate, the thermal inertia of the system [think 'oceans'] is so great that flares are insignificant.

  24. Alan the Brit says:

    David A. Evans says:
    October 15, 2010 at 2:03 am
    AtB. Your dig at the RS was well taken. When they changed their motto from nullius in verba to Respect the facts, they abandoned science. In fact, they had long since abandoned science, they just made it official.

    DaveE.

    After my two pints down at my local with my choral colleague who works for the Wet Office failed to pursuade me of his puter science back in early March I think it was! He sheepishly said he would send me a link to the Wet Office’s website for me to read (prompted by his misses who clearly & rightly some would say stand by her man) whilst our for a walk at the weekend, he never did. Perhaps he forgot it! As to the RS, as many have pointed out before me as soon as someone says that one should Respect the Facts, it’s time to start looking for the Fictions. It’s a bit like the way a bead of cold sweat trickles down my spine when I hear a senior police officer say about a new controversial law, “innocent people have nothing to fear!” That’s when I get scared!

  25. Enneagram says:
    October 15, 2010 at 8:01 am
    1.-You all will agree we are not fools.
    Your argument limbs a bit already here.
    But, may the Force be with you. You need it real bad.

  26. mojo says:

    Gee, let’s see: we’ve got one magnetosphere sitting inside another, much larger magnetosphere and being bombarded bu charged particles at a good fraction of light-speed.

    Think there might be a coupling there?

  27. johnnythelowery says:

    (Layman) Wow. Back to where we started on the TSI. What an incredible enigma this (now deadpan) sun is.
    Leif: Is there any instrument sets we havn’t heard from, or data collected from some of the new craft recently coming online, that has not been analyzed fully? Or is this the end of the line for any evidence to come forward that could show a more variable TSI than what we’ve (you’ve) found in the past?
    So, if it’s not the Sun’s TSI causing the run up in the warming of the earth upto 1996
    (all agreed) and it ain’t CO2(!), even though Piers Corbyn is making cash out of his Sun based Climate/Weather model….. Then it must be related to the T-ES-I incoming total extra-solar Irradiation(T-ES-I) …..modulated by the Sun? So, it’s about what the Sun’s TSI does to the Total, Incoming, Extra-Solar radiation?

  28. Muddy Wadders says:

    @mojo: “Think there might be a coupling there?”
    Got your particles working,
    but it just won’t work on photons.

  29. mojo says:
    October 15, 2010 at 8:22 am
    Gee, let’s see: we’ve got one magnetosphere sitting inside another, much larger magnetosphere and being bombarded bu charged particles at a good fraction of light-speed.
    These magnetospheres actually protect us a bit from what is coming at us. And ‘bombarded’ is hardly the correct description of the trickle of particles trying to make their way though the various shields [including our thick atmosphere] that keep them out.

  30. Ron Griffis says:

    Yes, 0.03 Watt/m2 compared to the full TSI of ~1361 W/m2 appears to be a trivial amount of energy. However, based on a very rough calculation, that comes to about 3.8 terawatts, or about one third the total annual power consumption of human civilization, hitting the Earth per second. Though still trivial compared to the total energy delivered, it is nevertheless a lot of energy. Yes, both the daily and annual fluctuations are much larger, but those are short cycles compared to decade or multi-decade cycles.

    While I do not suggest that the atmosphere would be directly warmed to a significant degree by this additional energy, I do think it is worthwhile to consider what cumulative effect might result from a portion of this energy (about 2.5 TW/sec?) absorbed by the world’s oceans. Also, this is just taking solar flares into account, it does not include the larger total change in TSI throughout the solar cycle. Isn’t it possible that this could indirectly affect the climate?

  31. DirkH says:

    Very nice analysis method.

  32. Ron Griffis says:

    Clarification: In my previous post, I am not considering the effect of a single solar flare, rather the cumulative affect all solar flares as the number and intensity fluctuates over time. Naturally, a single solar flare on its own is of little consequence.

  33. johnnythelowery says:
    October 15, 2010 at 8:36 am
    that has not been analyzed fully? Or is this the end of the line for any evidence to come forward that could show a more variable TSI than what we’ve (you’ve) found in the past?
    Do data ts ever analyzed ‘fully’. With new knowledge and insight, even old data can yield surprises upon re-analysis.

    though Piers Corbyn is making cash out of his Sun based Climate/Weather model
    “There is a sucker born every minute”…

    TSI does to the Total, Incoming, Extra-Solar radiation?
    TSI is the total. That is perhaps the problem, as the distribution within that total could be important. But I don’t think any ‘extra’ variation is needed as a complex system [as climate] has natural random fluctuations built in. It has proven very difficult to establish any external causes [no shortage of conflicting claims, of course].

  34. Ron Griffis says:
    October 15, 2010 at 9:07 am
    I do think it is worthwhile to consider what cumulative effect might result from a portion of this energy (about 2.5 TW/sec?) absorbed by the world’s oceans.
    In a solar cycle there are a few thousand flares each lasting about 10 minutes. Over the 11 year cycle there are about 600,000 10-minute intervals, i.e. a hundred times as many, so the cumulative effect is very small.

    Also, this is just taking solar flares into account, it does not include the larger total change in TSI throughout the solar cycle. Isn’t it possible that this could indirectly affect the climate?
    Indeed, the total cycle-related change is much larger than that from flares, and, yes, we would expect [and do find] about a 0.1 degree effect from the total change in TSI.

  35. Guillermo Gefaell says:

    Leif,
    Do you knoe Komitov’s work on Sun and Climete?

    http://www.astro.bas.bg/AIJ/issues/n9/BKomitov.pdf

    http://www.astro.bas.bg/~komitov/07_BKomitov.pdf

    http://www.astro.bas.bg/AIJ/issues/n13/07_BKomitov1.pdf

    He says it s not TSI by itself what is important to alter climate, but the Sun’s modulation of cosmic rays plus the addition fluxes of high energy solar particles, with energies higher than 100 MeV.

    What’s your opinion?

  36. David Ball says:

    I still dispute the idea that TSI is the only effect that the sun has on the earth and the earth’s climate.

  37. Guillermo Gefaell says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:14 am
    I know Boris Komitov well.
    He says it s not TSI by itself what is important to alter climate, but the Sun’s modulation of cosmic rays plus the addition fluxes of high energy solar particles, with energies higher than 100 MeV. What’s your opinion?
    There is even less energy in those particles, so for that to work they must act through an intermediate, e.g. cloud formation and albedo changes. Observations have tended not to support that view [although you can find claims both ways]

  38. David Ball says:

    Despite what Leif’s opinion of Corben is, Corben seems to have the predictive capability which is a big part of the scientific method. You know, the ability to use the available data to make predictions.

  39. David Ball says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:17 am
    I still dispute the idea that TSI is the only effect that the sun has on the earth and the earth’s climate.
    Disputing is not enough. You have to positively come up with something else that is energetically viable and physically plausible [perhaps even supported by some data].

  40. David Ball says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:17 am
    I still dispute the idea that TSI is the only effect that the sun has on the earth and the earth’s climate.
    BTW, your statement is disingenuous as there are lots of effects that the Sun has on the earth [e.g. aurorae, HF radio communication], and these are not caused by TSI. This has nothing to with climate and should not be thrown into mix.

  41. Guillermo Gefaell says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:20 am
    I know Boris Komitov well.
    There is even less energy in those particles, so for that to work they must act through an intermediate, e.g. cloud formation and albedo changes. Observations have tended not to support that view [although you can find claims both ways]

    …………………………………………………………………………………………

    Well, cloud cover variation due to cosmic rays and high energy particles from the Sun seem to be intriguing enough as for the CERN spending several million euros (70?) and 10 years investigating, as you know.

    http://cloud.web.cern.ch/cloud/

  42. kuhnkat says:

    Amazing how they are always SURPRISED by their findings when they are so positive that they have the right model for how the sun works!!

  43. David Ball says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:23 am
    Despite what Leif’s opinion of Corben is, Corben seems to have the predictive capability which is a big part of the scientific method. You know, the ability to use the available data to make predictions.
    Another important part is independent verification and replication and he fails big in that department. You have to show that Corbyn follows the scientific method: you know, forming a hypothesis, publishing it for review making it part of the scientific ‘corpus’, prediction, verification, replication, solid science.

  44. David Ball says:

    Perhaps an Iron/Nickel core spinning in a magnetic field surrounded by a much larger magnetic field (sun’s)? Have we been able to quantize the energies created by this interaction? I think not, as we really do not know much about the earth’s core, other than what is surmised through conjecture. This is just one possible effect of the sun on the earth. I am NOT an academic, but I am very interested in the subject. You should not discourage this in people.

  45. Guillermo Gefaell says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:33 am
    seem to be intriguing enough as for the CERN spending several million euros (70?) and 10 years investigating, as you know.
    But nothing has come of it, except for the finding [!] that they need to keep their apparatus clean.

  46. David Ball says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:48 am
    This is just one possible effect of the sun on the earth.
    As far as we know the Sun has no effect on the generation of the Earth’s magnetic field.
    I am NOT an academic, but I am very interested in the subject. You should not discourage this in people.
    As anybody who has followed WUWT knows I strongly encourage interest in this subject by providing whatever I can of background material, analysis, and [yes, when needed] constructive criticism.

  47. Guillermo Gefaell says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:33 am
    CERN spending several million euros (70?)
    CERN has not spent any money, just lent some no-longer used facility to non-CERN researchers funded by their own institutions.

  48. David A. Evans says:

    Alan the Brit says:
    October 15, 2010 at 8:11 am

    “innocent people have nothing to fear!” That’s when I get scared!

    Me too. Already on the records despite never having been charged, let alone convicted of a criminal offence.

    DaveE.

  49. David A. Evans says:

    David Ball says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I think the last thing Leif wants to do is discourage interest an seeking after knowledge. I think he just doesn’t want you going off half assed on a fools errand.
    On the other hand, some great discoveries have been made that way, cites bacteria causing stomach ulcers.

    DaveE.

  50. Phil. says:

    Alan the Brit says:
    October 15, 2010 at 1:18 am
    but these, what are at times unimaginable humungous natural forces, pale into insignificance when you take manmade CO2 (15ppm out of 390ppm) production into account!

    Certainly, when you get the numbers right: ~100ppm not 15ppm.

  51. Enneagram says:

    Gravity on earth should be equal to 10 Nm, however it is just 9.81Nm. The difference 0.019 it is the combined rest of forces of the one and only field acting on it ( each part, of course, at its due angle. In each and every case it must be measured and considered.

  52. Enneagram says:

    typo: 0.19

  53. DJ Meredith says:

    Guillermo provided a link which contains

    http://cloud.web.cern.ch/cloud/documents_cloud/cloud_concept.pdf

    Maybe little things in the TSI have far greater impact on climate than their respective ppm would suggest?

    Curious, does anyone have follow-up research links? Ice crystal/cloud formation at high altitudes is of particular interest.

  54. jorgekafkazar says:

    David Ball says: “I still dispute the idea that TSI is the only effect that the sun has on the earth and the earth’s climate.”

    Dispute away. Solar-caused fluctuations in the ionosphere are orders of magnitude greater than fluctuations in TSI. The ionosphere is very tenuous, though, so it’s difficult, based on what we know, to see how it would affect the radiation budget and climate. Still, if you want to look anyplace, look there. Bring money. Be skeptical, even of your own findings. Keep your apparatus clean. And be prepared to come up dry.

  55. Enneagram says:

    DJ Meredith says:
    October 15, 2010 at 11:49 am
    Maybe little things in the TSI have far greater impact on climate than their respective ppm would suggest?

    A 19% of the force of gravity it is more than a little. There are not separated compartments in the universal field of forces. See my last post above.
    It is the same mistake when a patient of a doctor has an ulcer on its skin and he/she is delivered to a dermatologist, who tries to cure it with creams and unguents, as there would not exist the rest of a big, big, system called the human body.
    We are at “interesting times” where some calluses in our brains should be and will be removed once a for all: We have superseded the French Revolution and its nearsighted “positivism”. It’s over!

  56. johnnythelowery says:

    BORIS posted here @ WUWT ealier this year. In may of this year infact, here it is:

    ‘…………15 04 2010 Boris Komitov (00:30:41) :
    I have found 25 years ago that studiying the “sunspots -temperature” dependence for a large number of metheorological stations (without smoothing) that the better relationships are of type:
    T =a/Ri+b; T- temperature , Ri – the international sunspot number.
    whree coefficients of correlation are between 0.35 and 0.55
    The “a” values are negative in all cases, i.e the “sunspot-temperaature” relationship stay important near to sunspot minima epochs.
    There are not exactly Ri= 0 mean annual values during the investigated period (1899-1979) and this is why the above mentioned relationship is possible.
    However, if a shifting (cross-correlation) on 5 or 6 years is provided the relationship is transformed in the common linear with the approximately same coefficients of correlations………………’

    ————————————————————————————————————
    The thing about Pier’s making money, but being unpublished, and the fact he has not hypothesized the mechanism the Sun/Earth connection works by is…interesting.
    I’m not sure how bothered he is. If his model works, and he’s making money ( and I wonder if a statistical analysis of his forecasts has been done and shows his model is correct), why should he be bothered. It’s up to the physicists. Bit like the Wright Brothers not being too bothered about the actual mechanism of gravity while flying around in their tarped bedstead. The thing to do is to use what we do know while we figure out the finite details. Take the Iguazu River. I know there are many rivers, perhaps the Amazon even, whose water flow rate doesn’t follow Sun spot activity, but the Iguazu River does. It is said that the statisitical significance of the number of rivers following this trend means the Iguazu, isolated as it is, nulls the hypothesis that there is a link. The problem with that line of thinking, is that, the Iguazu River levels follow Sun Spot cycles which is a curious thing. To me this TSI issue IS everything. A 0.1% variance is a String in the violins of Patchy Morals and the Nupty of Nashville, Et Al. Maybe the Sun is emitting dark energy.

  57. johnnythelowery says:

    Minimums are irrelevant, are they not, if the TSI invariance doesn’t amount to a hill of beans?

  58. Peter Taylor says:

    Leif;

    What do you think of Camp & Tung’s ‘Surface warming by the solar cycle as revealed by the composite mean difference projection’? – Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L22710,doi:10.1029/2005GL024481

    There are a good many scientific papers in reputable journals showing correlations with sea surface temperature and solar cycles – and Camp and Tun quantified the difference from solar max to solar min…..at 0.2 C.

    This is thought too big a difference to be accounted by the small change of insolation at the sea surface due to the 0.1% fluctuation of visible wavelength radiation.

    So – either they have an artefact , or there is another mechanism causing the changes – such as modulation of cloud or aerosols. Some new papers are pointing toward UV light – which varies by as much as 8% from solar peak to trough and is absorbed in the stratosphere, but the chemical reactions there induce heat and heat transfer effects extend down into the troposphere – most particularly marked on the winds of the polar vortex (Drew Shindell worked on this at NASA between 2001-2003 with several publications).

    Now Mike Lockwood at Rutherford Labs here in England has looked at the relation of solar cycles, the jetstream and the blocking effect of Arctic high pressure systems on the transfer of heat from the Atlantic into Europe – he restricts his analysis and comments to ‘regional’ effects from the solar cycle…..but any oceanographic climatologist will tell you this has at the very least northern hemispheric implications (the same phenomenon will affect the Pacific North West of the USA), and teleconnections may also spread to the southern hemisphere.

    Lockwood M.,Bell C., Woollings T., Harrison R.G., Gray L.G. and Haigh J.D. (2010a) Top-down solar modulation of climate: evidence for centennial-scale change
    Environ. Res. Lett. 5 (July-September 2010) 034008
    doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/034008
    Lockwood M., Harrison R.G., Woollings T. and Solanki S.K. (2010b) Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity? Environ. Res. Lett. 5 (April-June 2010) 024001 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/2/024001

    I don’t knwo if you have seen the chapters on this issue in my book, but I reviewed much of the discussion through to 2008 – since then, several papers have been published that lead me to think the UV-Jetstream link is a good candidate mechanism, both for short term cycles and also the long term Little Ice Age/Maunder Minimum type episodes when the jetstream shifts for longer periods. The recent prolonged cycle has coincided with a southerly shift and cold winters in the USA, Europe and Northern China/Mongolia. If we were to enter a new Maunder or even Dalton type minimum, then such a mechanism would presumably be prolonged, the oceans would cool, and then rewarm when the solar cycles turned up.

    see also:

    Scafetta N. & West B.J. (2007) Phenomenological reconstructions of the solar signature in the Northern Hemisphere surface temperature records since 1600
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 112, D24S03, doi:10.1029/2007JD008437, 2007

    Scafetta N. (2010) Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications
    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics (2010), doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2010.04.015

    and the following paper which shows that an abrupt drop in sea surface temperature during 1970 was not as was first thought due to anthropogenic sulphur, but to natural oceanic events – you can’t drop ocean temperatures that quickly without there being a concommitant shift in cloud cover – and hence it is studies of cloud patterns, storm tracks, heat storage in and extraction from ocean surface waters, heat transfer to land
    and the links to the jetstream and Solar/UV that I think will lead us further.

    I think people are also not looking at voltage shocks. I know little – but those flares look to carry quite a wack! What happens when that hits the Earth’s magnetic and electrical sphere? When Svensmark was doing his cloud-chamber experiments, he used voltage to clear the aerosols ready for the next experiment. Are these voltage hits communicated to atmospheric voltages and what effect do they have on aerosols (natural ones) that reflect light. The ‘brightening’ after the still unexplained ‘global dimming’ (thought by IPCC due to anthropogenic sulphur, but this is now known to be wrong) noted from 1980 across the globe (even in unpolluted areas) also occured for cloud-free data and hence points to an increasingly transparent atmosphere (as well as overall cloud reduction from 1980-2000).

    See Thompson et al for studies on this issue:

    Thompson D.W.J., Wallace J.M., Kennedy J.J. & Jones P.D. (2010) An abrupt drop in Northern Hemisphere sea surface temperature around 1970 NatureVol:467 Pages:444–447(23 September 2010)DOI:doi:10.1038/nature09394

    I know you are very skeptical of solar-terrestrial links to climate but I would be interested to receive feedback via email on those chapters in the book (and happy to send you a copy if you haven’t seen it) – the literature is all referenced there and I wonder if you have looked at that literature (on sea-surface temperatures correlated with cycles) in any detail?

  59. JG says:

    Leif;

    Are you aware of any studies regarding the influence of ionizing radiation on the atmospheric chemsitry?

    Although the impact of tsi changes during flares is insignifacant, large events can have a bigger impact on the chemistry which would change the absorption spectra of the atmosphere in the affected regions. I’ve read the Bastille Day event destroyed a little less than a percent of ozone, however, the NOx compounds and other compounds formed/destroyed were not included in the study. (Jackman)

    It would only take a very small change in atmospheric chemistry to affect the greenhouse effect. No?

    Hypothesis:
    Atmospheric chemistry changes due to solar ionizing radiation thus altering the abosorption spectra of the atmosphere.

    If, this is true, we may very well see a change in temperature should the sun remain quiet for an extended period.

  60. David Ball says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:57 am
    As far as we know the Sun has no effect on the generation of the Earth’s magnetic field. Response: I did not say anything about field generation.

  61. David Ball says:

    David A. Evans says:
    October 15, 2010 at 11:24 am
    I have been reading and commenting on WUWT? for a long time now. I have found Dr. Svalgaard to be kind and generous with those who kiss his (snip). Otherwise, he has been childish, ignorant, bullying, condescending (shall I go on) to those who do not agree with every statement. Calling Vukevic “Einstein” on a previous thread was the last straw for me. That is not encouragement. Unacceptable behavior.

  62. Feet2theFire says:

    @ DJ Meredith October 15, 2010 at 4:23 am:

    Leif Svalgaard says:

    “What is important is the very small amount of energy involved, some 20 parts per million, which is 0.03 Watt/m2 compared to the full TSI of 1361 W/m2. So, flares play no significant role in the energy budget of the Sun or in the energy the Earth receives from the Sun.”

    .002% of the full TSI is not significant, but an increase of .035% to .039% in CO2 is.

    Exactly. I am with you on this, DJM. 20-40 ppm increase in CO2 = planet killer, but 20 ppm energy is ho hum, don’t bother us with that.

    An extra point to me is that they are all – including Leif – so certain TSI has so little to do with it, yet they are still just doing what seem like fundamental research. Is it me or shouldn’t something like this – looking at ALL frequencies – have been done like 20 years ago? What other fundamental stuff are they going to learn next year or in five years? The lack of fundamental knowledge is mind boggling. (And again, that is with all due respect to all of them, including Leif.) The science is still getting its feet on the ground, IMHO, and them making any kind of projections out to 2100 seems the height of numb nuts.

    I am GLAD they are doing this study. More fundamental data = good.

  63. Ulric Lyons says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Another important part is independent verification and replication and he fails big in that department. You have to show that Corbyn…….
    ___________________________________________________

    NetWeather do the independent verification for Weather Action, pdf links on this page;

    http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/pv.asp?p=wact5&fsize=0

  64. Murray Duffin says:

    Maybe I’m thick, but regardless of the impact of these flares, we still have the issue that a 0.1% change in TSI has no impact. What is the temperature of interstellar space? Apparently 0.1 degrees with each sunspot cycle. So why does Leif insist that the sun doesn’t drive climate change? Help me here.

  65. Less than half what I typed went through the first time, so I will try again.
    Maybe I’m thick, but regardless of the impact of these flares, we still have the issue that a 0.1% change in TSI has no impact. What is the temperature of interstellar space? Apparently 0.1 degrees with each sunspot cycle. So why does Leif insist that the sun doesn’t drive climate change? Help me here.

  66. Enneagram says:

    Let’s stop playing the “blind chicken” game. There are some obvious links left aside.
    M.Vukcevic is taking the pulse of the earth by observing the correlation of temperature and the GMF (and its relation to the electric field of the solar system -A.K.A: solar “wind”)

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm

    However, being the field one and only, gravity acceleration changes should be observed too.

  67. Same problem. What gives? One more try with different wording.
    The climate change we are concerned with is plus or minus 0.5 degrees, or plus or minus less than 0.25% of the warming we get from the sun (>200 degrees K) relative to interstellar space at 0.1 degree just due to solar sunspot cycles. With other changes larger than TSI and earthly mechanisms to magnify them, why isn’t the sun the climate change driver?

  68. Sorry Anthony. Something is redacting my attempts to post. I give up.

    REPLY: You are writing too technically. Try not using brackets and GT/LT symbols. Those will get eaten -A

  69. John Day says:

    > Dr. Svalgaard … has been childish, ignorant, bullying, condescending …

    Who among you have never been guilty of the these pecadillos? Raise your hands.

    Leif has made many, many _thousands_ of postings on blogs all over the world, sharing his considerable knowledge with all who will listen. Yes, he occasionally slips and steps on some toes. I think most of us feel we have learned quite a lot from his postings and responses to questions.

    Fortunately, he has a thick skin (and so does Vuk). So, in spite of our best efforts, we have not succeeded in driving Leif away with our silly questions, theories and complaints. He keeps coming back for more punishment, from us.

    Leif, keep up your good works! Lev laenge og blomstre!

  70. jorgekafkazar says:

    Murray Duffin says: “…What is the temperature of interstellar space?”

    A better question would be “What is the black body temperature of the sky, day and night, and how does it vary?”

  71. suricat says:

    Lief.

    I’ve digested most of the posts here and I can well understand your interest in this thread.

    There’s a lot of ‘hand-waving’ here, but the UV connection seems valid at first glance (but don’t take this as ‘read’, as I’m only an engineer and no ‘scientist’!).

    For a few years now I’ve toyed with the possibility that the ‘ozone hole’ could increase the insolation capability of UV to warm deep ocean and ice temperature (this is ‘probable’ in theory), but most data on this is to do with EUV that precursors skin cancer and is (to my understanding) not relevant to a climate observation (though could, perhaps, be used as a ‘proxy’).

    I’ve had thoughts, (again) for a few years now, that an extreme burst of UV would overwhelm the atmospheric ‘blocking’ effect of ozone and permit an elevated level of UV to enter Earth’s ocean and ice systems, but I’ve no way to show this (perhaps stratospheric ice content during an ‘event’ may provide some provenance?). The electrolytic process of converting atmospheric O2 into ozone requires the time factor of the energy level of the ‘attractor’ that causes the process of change (e.g.. Ozone is produced at a rate that ‘lags’ the insolation factor that generates it).

    The ‘warming’ from this is likely to be at least a ‘third hand’ order.

    Hope this helps and hope I’ve not ‘waived’ too many hands.

    Best regards, Ray Dart.

  72. Richard Sharpe says:

    Murray Duffin says on October 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Sorry Anthony. Something is redacting my attempts to post. I give up.

    If you want to insert < and > in a posting, you need to write &lt; and &gt;.

    That is, to insert < enter the four characters: & l t ; (without the spaces between them) and to insert > enter the four characters: & g t ; (again, without the spaces between them).

  73. David Ball says:
    October 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm
    I did not say anything about field generation.

    You certainly fooled me with:
    “David Ball says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:48 am
    Perhaps an Iron/Nickel core spinning in a magnetic field surrounded by a much larger magnetic field (sun’s)? Have we been able to quantize the energies created by this interaction? I think not, as we really do not know much about the earth’s core, other than what is surmised through conjecture. This is just one possible effect of the sun on the earth.”

    What is the This then? Why mention the ‘core’ twice? The geomagnetic field [that comes from the core] meets the Sun’s magnetic field 40,000 miles away from the Earth, and that interaction is very well determined and understood [and has been for decades], see f.ex. http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-final.pdf

    David Ball says:
    October 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm
    Calling Vukevic “Einstein” on a previous thread was the last straw for me.
    Apparently, Vuk does have such a high opinion of himself to qualify:
    “Vuk etc. says:
    October 14, 2010 at 1:04 pm
    One recent Nobel price winner had PhD theses of 2 pages, I think I will manage that plus page of numbers for the NAP.”
    And, don’t forget, he works for the ‘benefit of all mankind’.

    JG says:
    October 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm
    Are you aware of any studies regarding the influence of ionizing radiation on the atmospheric chemsitry?
    Lots of studies. UV and Xrays are generally absorbed high in the atmosphere and do change chemistry [O3, NOx, etc], but those changes are minor as far as the resulting total absorption [what reaches the ground].

    suricat says:
    October 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm
    Hope this helps and hope I’ve not ‘waived’ too many hands.
    There are many waves involved: Alfven waves, Rossby waves, Kelvin gravity waves, etc. The most important waves seem to be ‘hand waves’ judging by how often they are used. :-)

    Peter Taylor says:
    October 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    What do you think of Camp & Tung’s ‘Surface warming by the solar cycle as revealed by the composite mean difference projection’?
    There is such an effect. I disagree with the magnitude, it looks closer to 0.1C than to 0.2C. We would expect such changes. If they are correct, then if we have a permanent minimum [e.g. a Maunder], then that would account for 0.1-0.2C, which I can also live with. There is no doubt that solar activity influences the climate, but there is also no doubt [at least in my mind] that such influence is minor and inconsequential.
    I have not read your book [yet].

  74. maelstrom says:

    Nature magazine pdocast of June 10, 2010, has a discussion of how increased visible light warms the earth during solar minima. It seemed relevant, delete this if not or if already covered.

    “see”:

    [audio src="http://media.nature.com/download/nature/nature/podcast/v467/n7316/nature-2010-10-07.mp3" /]

    at about 40 seconds in. For more pablum see also:

    [audio src="http://media.nature.com/download/nature/nature/podcast/v465/n7298/nature-2010-06-03.mp3" /]

    at about 6 minutes in

  75. maelstrom says:

    PS increased radioactive decay during a solar event could be a relativistic effect. just sayin.

  76. John Whitman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Peter Taylor says:
    October 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    What do you think of Camp & Tung’s ‘Surface warming by the solar cycle as revealed by the composite mean difference projection’?

    There is such an effect. I disagree with the magnitude, it looks closer to 0.1C than to 0.2C. We would expect such changes. If they are correct, then if we have a permanent minimum [e.g. a Maunder], then that would account for 0.1-0.2C, which I can also live with. There is no doubt that solar activity influences the climate, but there is also no doubt [at least in my mind] that such influence is minor and inconsequential.
    I have not read your book [yet].

    —————

    Leif and Peter Taylor,

    Peter, I appreciated you many references on the topic. Thank you. Also, I noted Leif’s h/t to your book. : )

    Leif, appreciate your statement that the solar cycle creates delta TSI and delta energy spectrum of the TSI. And your observation that these have some effect on the Earth System but magnitudes of the deltas causes skepticism of them having significant capability of causing the Earth System changes we have observed in the industrial age (or before). I do not mean to put words in your mouth . . . . sorry if I got that in incorrectly.

    LEIF – A REQUEST FOR COMMENT: If the ratio of delta Earth System Energy to delta Sun System Total Energy Received At Earth is my definition of sensitivity on the macro-scale, then the sensitivity of the earth appears to be near 1 except where time lag of earth response is involved. In the case of time lags the sensitivity can vary significantly about 1. What is your comment?

    John

  77. John Whitman says:
    October 16, 2010 at 8:14 am
    LEIF – A REQUEST FOR COMMENT: If the ratio of delta Earth System Energy to delta Sun System Total Energy Received At Earth is my definition of sensitivity on the macro-scale, then the sensitivity of the earth appears to be near 1 except where time lag of earth response is involved. In the case of time lags the sensitivity can vary significantly about 1. What is your comment?
    Wouldn’t the sensitivity be measured at the time of the lag? It is unlikely that the lag [if any] would be absolutely constant, so one would expect the sensitivity with lags to always be less that that at no lag. But, I may not understand your question.

  78. Carla says:

    Ron Griffis says:
    October 15, 2010 at 9:15 am
    “Clarification: In my previous post, I am not considering the effect of a single solar flare, rather the cumulative affect all solar flares as the number and intensity fluctuates over time. Naturally, a single solar flare on its own is of little consequence.”

    Cumulative affect heats and expands the heliosphere’s bubble, during the course of the solar cycle.

    1. Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 15, 2010 at 9:25 am
    johnnythelowery says:
    October 15, 2010 at 8:36 am
    that has not been analyzed fully? Or is this the end of the line for any evidence to come forward that could show a more variable TSI than what we’ve (you’ve) found in the past?
    Do data ts ever analyzed ‘fully’. With new knowledge and insight, even old data can yield surprises upon re-analysis.

    That was my question..
    I like this Johnny..
    johnnythelowery says:
    October 15, 2010 at 8:36 am
    (Layman) Wow. Back to where we started on the TSI. What an incredible enigma this (now deadpan) sun is.
    ..….. Then it must be related to the T-ES-I incoming total extra-solar Irradiation(T-ES-I) …..modulated by the Sun? So, it’s about what the Sun’s TSI does to the Total, Incoming, Extra-Solar radiation?

    T-ES-I ok.

    Vuks who’s on equinox, looks like some magnetospheres absorbing, blocking and redirecting some of the inflow streams, two negs on the inward IMF. silly, I know. Ol Sol’s southern hemi doesn’t seem to mind abit.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 15, 2010 at 8:57 am
    mojo says:
    October 15, 2010 at 8:22 am
    Gee, let’s see: we’ve got one magnetosphere sitting inside another, much larger magnetosphere and being bombarded bu charged particles at a good fraction of light-speed.
    These magnetospheres actually protect us a bit from what is coming at us. And ‘bombarded’ is hardly the correct description of the trickle of particles trying to make their way though the various shields [including our thick atmosphere] that keep them out.

    Mojo,
    Heliosphere inside Galactosphere, magnetospheres inside heliosphere, which is inside a galactosphere.
    Leif, at this time, inside this 24th, trickle is about all we do see these days.

  79. John Whitman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 16, 2010 at 8:27 am

    John Whitman says:
    October 16, 2010 at 8:14 am

    LEIF – A REQUEST FOR COMMENT: If the ratio of delta Earth System Energy to delta Sun System Total Energy Received At Earth is my definition of sensitivity on the macro-scale, then the sensitivity of the earth appears to be near 1 except where time lag of earth response is involved. In the case of time lags the sensitivity can vary significantly about 1. What is your comment?

    Wouldn’t the sensitivity be measured at the time of the lag? It is unlikely that the lag [if any] would be absolutely constant, so one would expect the sensitivity with lags to always be less that that at no lag. But, I may not understand your question.

    —————-

    Leif,

    Thanks for your quick response.

    I can see that my original wording of what I meant is not clear. I was think on the fly . . . muddled thinking. I will rework it.

    But the idea I was working on is the implications of my definition or macro –sensitivity of the Earth to the Sun. My macro-sensitivity definition being the ratio of delta Earth System Energy to delta Sun System Total Energy Received At Earth .

    I was thinking by my definition, the sensitivity cannot effectively be a constant, except occasionally for short durations.

    I am trying out a straw-man definition of macro-sensitivity. My thought is that once I can establish a reasonable marco-sensitivity view, only then it makes sense to start with subsystem sensitivities.

    If by my definition, a sensitivity of ~1 means a quasi-equilibrium / steady state situation that is more a theoretical concept than an expected result of the Sun effect on Earth System.

    PS – starting to get cold enough here in northern NY to start thinking about visiting the Bay Area again. : )

    John

  80. Guillermo Gefaell says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 15, 2010 at 10:53 am

    But nothing has come of it, except for the finding [!] that they need to keep their apparatus clean.

    I’m afraid your news on the CLOUD experiment are not updated. Unambiguous observation of ion-induced nucleation was made in the CLOUD chamber.
    You should have a look at this:

    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1257940/files/SPSC-SR-061.pdf

    ………………………………………………………………………………
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

    CERN has not spent any money, just lent some no-longer used facility to non-CERN researchers funded by their own institutions.

    CERN supports CLOUD with important technical resources, and provided a particle beam from the CERN Proton Synchrotron. This research has received funding
    from the EC’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no. 215072 (Marie Curie Initial Training Network “CLOUD-ITN”), from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, from the Swiss National Science Foundation, and from the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence program.

  81. Guillermo Gefaell says:

    I think this presentation on Cosmic Rays and Climate by Jasper Kirby (june 2009) is interesting:

    http://indico.cern.ch/getFile.py/access?resId=0&materialId=slides&confId=52576

  82. Guillermo Gefaell says:

    Let me highlight the conclusions of Kirby’s presentation:

    • Climate has continually varied in the past, and the causes are not well understood – especially on the 100 year timescale relevant for today’s climate change
    • Strong evidence for solar-climate variability, but no established mechanism. A cosmic ray influence on clouds is a leading candidate
    • CLOUD at CERN aims to study and quantify the cosmic raycloud mechanism in a controlled laboratory experiment
    • The question of whether – and to what extent – the climate is influenced by solar/cosmic ray variability remains central to our understanding of anthropogenic climate change

  83. Guillermo Gefaell says:
    October 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    Unambiguous observation of ion-induced nucleation was made in the CLOUD chamber.
    As one would expect. The issue is if it is enough, and there is the rub. They are still fiddling with removing contamination and improve sensitivity. There is no end in sight. A final report was promised in August, but has not been issued.

    This research has received funding from the EC’s Seventh Framework Programme etc…
    As I said, not from CERN but from the outside researchers funding sources.

  84. Guillermo Gefaell says:
    October 16, 2010 at 3:59 pm
    Let me highlight the conclusions of Kirby’s presentation
    Sure, this is all standard boilerplate. A far cry from CLOUD having shown that the mechanism actually works, which was my point.

  85. johnnythelowery says:

    I love TSI threads here at WUWT. TSI is the most intriguing thing given my bias in believing the Sun is reason for climate change. As the thread is waning a bit, and some of the big hitters havn’t shown up, i’m going to inject a conjecture from Stephen Wilde (don’t know who he is) on his oceanic hot water bottle idea. I copied a portion of his posting(stole) from following a link posted here to weatheraction and going from there. But now can’t refind it. So….no link and no date….sorry.
    ————————————————————————————–
    STEPHEN WILDE
    ‘…………….The significance of the TSI point is that it reintroduces solar influence as a factor and probably the main factor in the late 20th Century warming. AGW proponents have usually accepted the warming of the early 20th Century as solar induced so why not the warming of the late 20th Century? If anything the late 20th Century phase of enhanced solar activity was greater than that seen during the earlier 20th Century phase.

    My Hot Water Bottle Effect shows how any apparently minor changes in solar activity can be supplemented or offset to match the observed changes in global temperature trend during the latter half of the 20th Century. Warming proponents often say there is no mechanism whereby small changes in solar activity can be scaled up to the apparently large changes in atmospheric temperature. I believe that my Hot Water Bottle Effect provides just such a mechanism.

    The oceanic mechanism emphasising or offsetting solar variation firmly places the burden of proof back on to those who say that such warming as was observed was human induced to establish exactly how big or small any anthropogenic component was in relation to the undoubted (and previously ignored) combined solar and oceanic influence. Frankly, we do not have the techniques to do more than guess and who would believe them now anyway? The damage they may have done to the scientific establishment is incalculable…………………..’

    —————————————————————————————

  86. johnnythelowery says:

    Okay. Found Stephen Wilde’s ‘Hot Water Bottle Effect’ link. Here’s the link:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=1487

  87. johnnythelowery says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    October 15, 2010 at 9:25 am
    johnnythelowery says:
    October 15, 2010 at 8:36 am

    TSI is the total. That is perhaps the problem, as the distribution within that total could be important. But I don’t think any ‘extra’ variation is needed as a complex system [as climate] has natural random fluctuations built in. It has proven very difficult to establish any external causes [no shortage of conflicting claims, of course].
    ————————————————————————————-
    Leif: …Random? I thought the minimums, defined by lack of sunspots, pre-saged drops in climate and there is increasing evidence of a correlation of planetary modulation of the sunspots. Was not this current (___________ Minimum) drop in activity predicted back in 1996 by yourself no-less (I won’t dredge up that New Scientist article as we’ve discussed prior). Does not the depth of the sunspot absence
    dictate how deep the ice-age is going to be?

    TSI variation affect is like the effect of a push on a marble sitting on the edge of one side of irusabio dish(spelling?). One tiny push and the marble shoots off, takes a massive journey across the dish, scales the other side, and comes back again almost to the same height (- friction and drag). The ocean heat sink is the dish.

  88. johnnythelowery says:
    October 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm
    I thought the minimums, defined by lack of sunspots, pre-saged drops in climate and there is increasing evidence of a correlation of planetary modulation of the sunspots.
    There is no established connections between these things IMHO.

    Was not this current drop in activity predicted back in 1996 by yourself no-less (I won’t dredge up that New Scientist article as we’ve discussed prior). Does not the depth of the sunspot absence dictate how deep the ice-age is going to be?
    The low activity was indeed predicted by myself and others, but that does not mean that temperatures will be any lower. They have been rather on the high side lately, in spite of low solar activity.

    TSI variation affect is like the effect of a push on a marble sitting on the edge of one side of irusabio dish
    I don’t think so as the climate system seems pretty robust, doing its own thing regardless.

  89. johnnythelowery says:

    Thanks v. much. I’m completely lost in all this.

  90. Dave Springer says:

    johnnythelowery says:
    October 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Okay. Found Stephen Wilde’s ‘Hot Water Bottle Effect’ link. Here’s the link:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=1487

    It’s worse than he thinks. The ocean is currently a cold water bottle (average temperate = 4C) where the only significant variance is in the thin surface layer where light can penetrate.

    We are at the mercy of factors that cause the warm surface and cold deeps to mix. If mixing slows the atmosphere warms and if mixing speeds up the atmosphere cools. The average ocean temperature of 4C I believe is an accurate measure of global average temperature in the last million years or so. The greatest potential is for cooling not warming since the atmosphere is so much warmer than the global ocean.

    In previous threads I’ve written that the most important single effect the atmosphere has on the earth’s climate is it producing 14.7psi surface pressure which raises the boiling point of water high enough so we can have a surface layer of liquid water in the first place.

  91. johnnythelowery says:

    Thank you Mr. Springer. Are you saying the Seas exist in it’s current form, ie, liquid H2O water, because of the PSI of 14.7 PSI? How is this PSI affecting water again…? And what does this phenom do to the Sea’s heat sink capability?

    I thought about this overnight what Leif wrote, and thought, maybe, the equilibrium can be unsettled by lensing effects or concentrated energy input in a small area, tripping the equilibrium. So, although TSI remains the same mostly, bit like a magnifying glass effect, where there is the same light but if it’s concentrated, in the case of the earth, high cirrus clouds….or layers of vapour ‘lensing’ incoming TSI into a concentrated format. That could inturn spoil the equilibrium. Maybe a hemispherical imbalance. A kind of TSI variation amplifier.

    Evidence of a ‘lensing’ of energy: None that I can think of…but here’s a wild one: I read an article where a guy’s house, somewhere in eastern europe, keeps getting hit by meteoroites. So much so that he has sold them and paid off his house and hopes they keep coming. Has to be false me thinks, and a local university is checking it out. But the idea, althought one would think is a joke, raises a question: WHat the effect is not dictated by whats above, but, by whats below: the strata under his house or in his area ‘lensing’ energy in the earth with ambient energy above ground. I know, ridiculous……but…

  92. Guillermo Gefaell says:

    Strong signature of the active Sun in 100 years of terrestrial insolation data
    Werner Weber, Institut fur Physik, TU Dortmund, Otto-Hahn-Straße 4, 44221 Dortmund, Germany

    Abstract: Terrestrial solar irradiance data of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1905 to 1954 and of Mauna Loa Observatory from 1958 to 2008 are analyzed. The analysis shows that, with changing solar activity, the atmosphere modifies the solar irradiance on the percentage level, in all likelihood via cosmic ray intensity variations produced by the active sun. The analysis strongly suggests that cosmic rays cause a large part of the atmospheric aerosols. These aerosols show specific absorption and scattering properties due to an inner structure of hydrated ionic centers, most probably of O− and O+ produced by the cosmic rays.

    Introduction: In recent years, it has become clear from satellite data [1] that the total solar irradiance (TSI) varies only in the range of 0.1 % with solar activity. At the top of the atmosphere (TOA), the average TSI is ≈ 1360 Watt per m2 of normal incidence, and the solar variations are of order 1–2 Watt/m2 or 0.25–0.5 W per m2 of earth’s surface. For comparison, the anthropogenic warming due to CO2 increase is assessed to ≈ 2 W/m2 . Thus, the IPCC estimates the solar contribution to climate change to at most 1/3 of the total [2].
    On the other hand, there are observations of pre-industrial climate change. For example the ‘little ice age’ of the 17th century correlates well with times of specific solar inactivity known as the Maunder minimum [3] from 1640 to 1710 where none of the usual 11 year sunspot cycles have been observed. Other climate variations also appear to parallel the solar activity changes. A survey of such features and others is given by Kirkby [4].
    The active sun reduces the cosmic ray intensities by 20 % and more at the height of a sunspot cycle [5]. Most affected are cosmic rays of 1–10 GeV energy which is the dominant part of the spectrum. These cosmic rays deposit most of their energy at altitudes between 8 and 15 km (upper troposphere, lower stratosphere). Balloon measurements have shown that approximately 30 to 50 ions are produced per cm3 and sec, depending on latitude and solar activity [6]. These numbers are consistent with results from cosmic ray simulation programs [7]. Further, from mass spectroscopy it is known that at these altitudes ≈ 6000 ‘small ions’ per cm3 exist, with masses of up to 400 unit masses [6]. In contrast, in the continental boundary layer, there exist ≈ 2000 ‘small ions’, mainly produced by natural radioactivity. Svensmark [8], in his much debated papers, has postulated that the ‘small ions’ strongly influence water droplet nucleation, and thus significantly modulate the cloud formation and thereby influence the albedo. By analyzing satellite data of cloud coverage during solar cycle 22, as measured by the ISCCP satellite program [9], he has suggested that lower troposphere clouds (3–5 km altitudes) are most affected by the variation of cosmic ray intensities, and thus by solar activity (see also [4]). Further arguments for the link between cosmic ray flux and climate variability have been given by Shaviv and Veizer in a study on paleo-temperatures [10].

    Conclusion: In summary, the terrestrial insolation data of SAO and of Mauna Loa observatory appear to vary strongly with solar activity. Evidence was presented that this modulation is caused by the cosmic rays, which pro- duce ‘small ions’, most probably consisting of O+ and O− ion centers surrounded by two shells of water
    molecules. After coalescence, the very stable hydrated centers persist in the atmosphere as neutral nanometer size droplets and should constitute a large part of the atmospheric aerosols. Due to their strong light absorption, and due to their inner structure, these droplets show their own diurnal dynamics and appear to last for years, if not decades, especially over the oceans. They also exhibit strong Rayleigh scattering, which in solar active times results in a significant blue shift of the insolation, much bigger than that of the active sun itself.
    Thus it appears that the SAO and Mauna Loa data represent a key for a more detailed understanding of atmospheric processes. The contribution of the active sun, indirectly via cosmic rays, to global warming appears to be much stronger than the presently accepted upper limit of 1/3. However, to really confirm this view, it is necessary to study the properties of atmospheric small ions and droplets in great detail, along paths which e. g. have been laid by C.T.R. Wilson. F.E. Fowle of the SAO group had been aware of Wilson’s work and had suggested explanations of SAO results along those paths. However, modern research has not taken up these ideas, and the SAO data have fallen into oblivion. In this paper it was shown that this is not justified. Instead, the SAO data, the works of Langley, Abbot, Fowle, Aldrich and others represent a great American scientific heritage.

  93. My comment is regarding the two sentences, “Flares are sudden energy releases in the Sun’s atmosphere that occur when the solar magnetic field is locally unstable. …. At such sizzling temperatures, much of their radiation is emitted as X-rays”.
    The following paper describes that solar flare consisting of charged particles, gamma rays, X-rays, and EUV arise from radioisotopes produced by Uranium fission. Gamma-, X-, and beta radiations cause UV dominant optical emission from within excited atoms of radioisotopes suggesting the possibility for solar gamma-, X-, and ß radiations causing EUV by the atomic phenomenon described in the paper. Radioisotopes produced in the Sun emit a new class of “Room Temperature Atomic Spectra of Solids” (solid radioisotopes or XRF sources). Previously, various researchers reported that the solar EUV lines are from stable isotopes at high temperature, but the current study suggests that solar EUV lines are actually due to radioisotopes produced by Uranium fission taking place in Sun. Since Uranium fission fragments (radioisotopes) left over on the Sun constitute Dark Matter, the dark matter can be detected through gamma rays, X-rays or beta particles. The excited atoms in fission fragments temporarily remain in atomic state and can cause atomic spectra even at room temperature. Radioisotope or X-ray source emit two more successive radiations following gamma, X-ray or beta: (1) Bharat radiation (predicted) with energy higher than that of UV at eV level, and (2) UV dominant optical emission. The paper also explains how a previously unknown atomic phenomenon causes Bharat radiation, which in turn causes UV dominant optical emission from within an excited atom of these sources. Dark Radiation emitted by dark matter in the Sun has been attributed to Bharat radiation. In the case of nuclear fission, radioisotopes may get highly ionized and will be left with singly filled orbit like Tritium. Such highly ionized radioisotopes emit only the Bharat radiation but not UV dominant optical emission. X-rays observed from Sun can be from radioisotopes that emit predominantly characteristic X-rays. In nut shell, solar flare not only consists of neutrons, protons, gamma, X-ray, beta, EUV, UV, visible, and infra red radiations but also Bharat radiation,.

    M.A. Padmanabha Rao,
    UV dominant optical emission newly detected from radioisotopes and XRF sources,
    Brazilian Journal of Physics, Vol.40, no.1, March 2010.

    http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0103-97332010000100007&script=sci_arttext

  94. johnnythelowery says:

    THE SEARCH FOR TSI AMPLIFIER MECHANISM
    CANDIDATE No. 1 of _______ : (Copied from Tallbloke)

    ‘………………………. Ian Wilson: Forthcoming paper 2011
    tallbloke | October 20, 2010 at 8:44 am | Categories: solar system dynamics | URL: http://wp.me/pi4G5-ia

    Ninderthana says:
    October 14, 2010 at 7:05 am (Edit)
    What Dr. Scarfetta is missing is the causal link between the planetary orbital periods, solar activity and the Earth’s Climate. This does not dismiss the possibility that such a link could exist, it just says that the mechanism is (currently) unknown.

    The answer to his dilemma is the Moon. The Lunar tides of the Moon do have a discernible influence upon long term climate here on Earth.

    The Moon has been moving away from the Earth ever since its formation billions of years ago. As it has moved away its orbital period has continuosly changed. This means that the properties of the Lunar Orbit have been shaped and moulded by combined tidal and gravitational effects of Venus and Jupiter, particularly at times when the orbital periods of these planets have been a sub-multiple of the orbital period of the Moon.

    I will be showing in a paper to be published in 2011 that long term changes in the Lunar orbit are synchronized with long term changes in Barycentric motion of the Sun.
    I cannot discuss these links in this forum as yet until I can get my paper published.

    It might be eventually shown that the level of solar activity on the Sun is determined
    by the barycentric motion it undergoes due to the gravitational influences of the Jovian planets. It might also be reasonable to argue that changes in the level of solar activity have an effect on the Earth’s climate. All I am saying is that what ever effects changes in solar activity have upon the Earth’s climate are being greatly reinforced by synchronized changes in the long-term variations in strength of lunar tides
    experienced here on Earth.

    I believe that the Lunar tidal effects will be identified as the (dominant) mysterious “amplification mechanism” that strengthens the apparent link between solar activity and the Earth’s climate………………………………………………………………’
    —————————————————————————————

  95. johnnythelowery says:

    Som[e] uncertainties about the sun from a soon to be published book called ‘Sun’ by Simon & Schuster as reported by the Telegraph 10-2010
    ‘…….Yet despite all this, questions remain. How does the sun generate its magnetic field? Why, since it is not on fire, do flames burst from it? What creates the corona, and how is it heated to such enormous temperatures? What switches the solar magnetic poles? Where is the solar wind produced, and how far does it blow? Why do sunspots exist? Solar physicists are forecasting a new golden age for learning about the sun – so watch this space. ………..’

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