Cosmically, Heliospherically, and Terrestrially, FYI

Popular Science, March 1931 - click

Last night I decided to have a look at the Space Weather Prediction Center solar charts to see how the geoplanetary magnetic index (Ap) was doing, and decided since I was too tired, I’d put it off until this morning. In my morning sweep of comment moderation, I saw a graph link from WUWT regular “Vukcevic” which was interesting, especially since we’ve had a recent report on the CERN CLOUD experiment designed to prove/disprove the solar-magneto-modulates-cosmic rays-modulates-terrestrial clouds-changes albedo-makes earth warmer/cooler theory, so what follows is sort of cosmic-heliosphere-terrestrial collection of stuff.

First, the Ap index – surprisingly, after a shot upwards this spring, it is still bouncing along the bottom:

Not encouraging.

And the other solar indices are anemic as well. We should be well into the next cycle, but it seems like the solar magneto is still parked in the garage making this sound, picked up by solar listening posts around the world.

Note the difference between the red line (forecast) and the black line (observations).

The slope of the 10.7cm flux also doesn’t look encouraging.

Here’s the neutron flux plot I spoke of at the beginning, plotting Thule Greenland against the sunspot number:

The more neutrons, the more cosmic rays. Here’s how it works, from the University of Delaware page Listening for Cosmic Rays:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cosmic rays do not get far into the atmosphere before they collide with nitrogen or oxygen molecules in the air. The collision destroys the cosmic ray particle and the air molecule, and then several new particles emerge. Cosmic rays from space are termed “primary,” and any particles created in the atmosphere from collisions are termed “secondary.” A bit of energy is transferred to each new secondary particle. Secondary cosmic rays spread out and continue to hit other particles and air molecules, creating a cascade of particles showering towards the ground. Figure 2 shows how the particles shower to the ground. The number of secondary cosmic rays in the atmosphere increases to a maximum, and then diminishes as the energy fades closer to the ground. Because of atmospheric absorption, low energy particles are plentiful and high energy particles are rare. Scientists studying the neutron monitor data are more interested in the energy of primary cosmic rays, before they are affected by the atmosphere. A typical energy level for a galactic cosmic ray detected by the neutron monitor is 17 billion electron volts. Solar cosmic rays are more concentrated towards lower energies. The ones reaching ground level started out with an average energy of about 3 billion electron volts before meeting the atmosphere.

Primary cosmic rays enter the atmosphere and strike air molecules. This collision produces an array of new secondary cosmic ray particles. Each new secondary cosmic ray carries with it a part of the energy and then collides with other air molecules. The cosmic ray shower fades as the energy becomes widely dispersed.

The neutron monitor is in three units. Within each unit are six counters covered by lead casing and polyethylene slabs.

When a cosmic ray hits the atmosphere it produces secondary particles, for example neutrons. The neutrons pass through the atmosphere, through the building, and penetrate the polyethylene and lead casing. The high energy of the cosmic ray particle is reduced by the polyethylene and lead to about l/40 of an electron volt – about the same energy as a regular air molecule. At this energy level, a boron atom in the counter absorbs the neutron, and splits into a fast helium and a fast lithium ion. These energetic ions strip electrons from neutral atoms in the tube, producing a charge in the tube of gas. The charge is detected by the amplifier as one count. Not all neutron monitors are constructed with the lead casing, as the polyethylene is enough to slow the neutron down. The lead increases the neutron count by producing more neutrons as it is bombarded by cosmic rays. Neutron monitors constructed with lead casing count about one neutron for each primary cosmic ray entering the atmosphere through an area equal to the area of the monitor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s the last six months from Thule’s neutron monitor, from UD:

That downward spike in August looks to be a Forbush decrease event, likely related to this story we carried on WUWT: Earth Braces for Solar Storm Tonite

As expected, as we get a modest ramp up in solar activity this past year, the trend of neutrons is slightly downward as the solar magnetic field gets a bit stronger, deflecting a few more cosmic rays.

Here’s some early suggestions of correlation from Bago and Butler. The graph composite below is Joe D’Aleo’s from ICECAP:

Chistensen in 2007 suggested a relationship between cosmic rays and radiosonde (upper air) temperatures:

A recent paper published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics suggests that the relationship has been established.

Figure 1 below shows a correlation, read it with the top and bottom graph combined vertically.

Fig. 1. (A) Short term GCR change (significance indicated by markers) and (B) anomalous cloud cover changes (significance indicated by solid contours) occurring over the composite period. GCR data sourced from multiple neutron monitors, variations normalised against changes experienced over a Schwabe cycle. Cloud changes are a tropospheric (30–1000 mb) average from the ISCCP D1 IR cloud values. 

As the authors write in the abstract:

These results provide perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far of a GCR-climate relationship.

Dr. Roy Spencer has mentioned that it doesn’t take much in the way of cloud cover changes to add up to the “global warming signal” that has been observed. He writes in The Great Global Warming Blunder:

The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.

Well, it seems that Laken, Kniveton, and Frogley have found just such a small effect. Here’s the abstract and select passages from the paper, along with a link to the full paper:

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10941-10948, 2010

doi:10.5194/acp-10-10941-2010

Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes

B. A. Laken , D. R. Kniveton, and M. R. Frogley

Abstract. The effect of the Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) flux on Earth’s climate is highly uncertain. Using a novel sampling approach based around observing periods of significant cloud changes, a statistically robust relationship is identified between short-term GCR flux changes and the most rapid mid-latitude (60°–30° N/S) cloud decreases operating over daily timescales; this signal is verified in surface level air temperature (SLAT) reanalysis data. A General Circulation Model (GCM) experiment is used to test the causal relationship of the observed cloud changes to the detected SLAT anomalies. Results indicate that the anomalous cloud changes were responsible for producing the observed SLAT changes, implying that if there is a causal relationship between significant decreases in the rate of GCR flux (~0.79 GU, where GU denotes a change of 1% of the 11-year solar cycle amplitude in four days) and decreases in cloud cover (~1.9 CU, where CU denotes a change of 1% cloud cover in four days), an increase in SLAT (~0.05 KU, where KU denotes a temperature change of 1 K in four days) can be expected. The influence of GCRs is clearly distinguishable from changes in solar irradiance and the interplanetary magnetic field. However, the results of the GCM experiment are found to be somewhat limited by the ability of the model to successfully reproduce observed cloud cover. These results provide perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far of a GCR-climate relationship. From this analysis we conclude that a GCR-climate relationship is governed by both short-term GCR changes and internal atmospheric precursor conditions.

I found this portion interesting related to the figure above:

The composite sample shows a positive correlation between statistically significant cloud changes and variations in the short-term GCR flux (Fig. 1): increases in the GCR flux
occur around day −5 of the composite, and correspond to significant localised mid-latitude increases in cloud change. After this time, the GCR flux undergoes a statistically significant decrease (1.2 GU) centred on the key date of the composite; these changes correspond to widespread statistically significant decreases in cloud change (3.5 CU, 1.9 CU globallyaveraged) over mid-latitude regions.

and this…

The strong and statistically robust connection identified here between the most rapid cloud decreases over mid-latitude regions and short-term changes in the GCR flux is clearly distinguishable from the effects of solar irradiance and IMF variations. The observed anomalous changes show a strong latitudinal symmetry around the equator; alone, this pattern
gives a good indication of an external forcing agent, as
there is no known mode of internal climate variability at the
timescale of analysis, which could account for this distinctive
response. It is also important to note that these anomalous
changes are detected over regions where the quality of
satellite-based cloud retrievals is relatively robust; results of
past studies concerned with high-latitude anomalous cloud
changes have been subject to scrutiny due to a low confidence
in polar cloud retrievals (Laken and Kniveton, 2010;
Todd and Kniveton, 2001) but the same limitations do not
apply here.

Although mid-latitude cloud detections are more robust
than those over high latitudes, Sun and Bradley (2002) identified
a distinctive pattern of high significance between GCRs
and the ISCCP dataset over the Atlantic Ocean that corresponded
to the METEOSAT footprint. This bias does not
appear to influence the results presented in this work: Fig. 6 shows the rates of anomalous IR-detected cloud change occurring over Atlantic, Pacific and land regions of the midlatitudes during the composite period, and a comparable pattern of cloud change is observed over all regions, indicating no significant bias is present.

Conclusions
This work has demonstrated the presence of a small but statistically significant influence of GCRs on Earth’s atmosphere over mid-latitude regions. This effect is present in
both ISCCP satellite data and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data for at least the last 20 years suggesting that small fluctuations in solar activity may be linked to changes in the Earth’s atmosphere via a relationship between the GCR flux and cloud cover; such a connection may amplify small changes in solar activity. In addition, a GCR – cloud relationship may also act in conjunction with other likely solar – terrestrial relationships concerning variations in solar UV (Haigh, 1996) and total solar irradiance (Meehl et al., 2009). The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records (e.g.,Bond et al., 2001; Neff et al., 2001; Mauas et al., 2008).

Further detailed investigation is required to better understand GCR – atmosphere relationships. Specifically, the use of both ground-based and satellite-based cloud/atmospheric monitoring over high-resolution timescales for extended periods of time is required. In addition, information regarding potentially important microphysical properties such as aerosols, cloud droplet size, and atmospheric electricity must also be considered. Through such monitoring efforts, in addition to both computational modelling (such as that of Zhou and Tinsley, 2010) and experimental efforts (such as that of Duplissy et al., 2010) we may hope to better understand the effects described here.

It seems they have found the signal. This is a compelling finding because it now opens a pathway and roadmap on where and how to look. Expect more to come.

The full paper is here: Final Revised Paper (PDF, 2.2 MB)

We all await the result of the CLOUD experiment from Jasper Kirkby. Hopefully it will define this cosmic ray issue with more clarity.

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82 Responses to Cosmically, Heliospherically, and Terrestrially, FYI

  1. TinyCO2 says:

    If the sunspots can shut down for long periods eg Maunder Minimum, can they shut down for even longer, say hundreds or thousands of years?

  2. Jimash says:

    “The editorial’s contribution to this debate was to disparage the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and proffer the long discarded sceptical claim that there was “a link between cyclical sunspot activity and the climate here on earth”.”

    So how long will they continue to be “Solar Deniers ” ?

  3. still parked in the garage making this sound, picked up by solar listening posts around the world.

    Very Funny. I thought it was going to be a real sound recording.

    :-)

  4. Alvin says:

    Is there a regional or local relationship for CO2 to cloud cover?

  5. Tilo Reber says:

    Can we get Leif to tell us that everything is going just as expected now? I’m still trying to figure out what Leif’s position is on cosmic rays. I think he is taking the side of “no significant effect on climate”. I’m taking the other side.

  6. Oldjim says:

    The image I look at regularly is this one http://www.leif.org/research/F107%20at%20Minima%201954%20and%202008.png and the lack of any real movement in the 10.7 flux is, to say the least, somewhat unusual – essentially flat for at least 5 years

  7. docattheautopsy says:

    But I read on Real Climate that there’s been no changes in the sun! Everything is static! The only thing that isn’t static is Carbon Dioxide, so it’s gotta be that that’s DESTROYING THE PLANET!

    Man, Cancun is hot. Get me another Mojito! I wish there was some more cloud cover…

  8. John F. Hultquist says:

    We all await . . .
    CLOUD and much more.

    The chart of Sunspot Number Progression is interesting. I believe this is a case of “when the facts change, it is time to change your analysis”, or something like that. The red line (predicted values), I think, is changed quarterly in the hope that the smoothed monthly values (blue line) will one day prove their model is correct.

    I would have more respect for the folks at NOAA/SWPC if they would just lower their red shape to meet the current blue line and admit they still have a way to go.

    Would this not bring them into fairly close agreement with what Dr. Leif has been saying for some time now?

    http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf

    (See Leif’s chart, 3 up from the end.)

  9. R. Gates says:

    Excellent post. I’ve had no doubt about the Solor/GCR/Cloud relationship for many years, though of course it takes the hard evidence to prove a statisically significant relationship, and I also find this excerpt from the conclusion of the recent study interesting:

    “The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming…”

    I think what is implied here is clear, and pretty much summarizes my position on this and my lingering doubts. How strong is the effect of anthropogenic warming when compared to the solar/GCR/cloud effect…i.e., which signal is now dominant in the climate and which one is more akin to noise in the dominant signal? Solar/GCR effects vs. 40% increase in CO2?

  10. John F. Hultquist says:

    Jimash, I think you came to a fork in the road and took it.

  11. John F. Hultquist says:

    The sound linked to reminds me of a ’57 Ford I had, but not exactly. This one might not be a V-8.

  12. Mike Davis says:

    GCRs can be linked to past climate changes that are really similar to present climate changes which probably puts the 40% increase in CO2 at less than 1% responsible for climate changes!

  13. MattN says:

    Looking at the sunspot number graph, looks like we’re heading toward a cycle with a max of 50-60.

  14. FrankK says:

    I wish those writing scientific papers would stop using the word “novel” (see PDF first para) I hate, no loath that word. I avoid it when writing mine. It gives the impression – well this is not really scientifically valid but was worth trying as a bit of fun etc etc. Why not just say a “new sampling approach” and be proud of the it. There – I’ve been wanting to say that publically for some years and here is the opportunity. Thanks Anthony.

    As far as the rest of the paper is concerned- bravo!!

  15. Chris Reeve says:

    Within the electric universe view — for those that are following along — cosmic rays are the solar winds of nearby foreign stars. They have tremendous energies because they have been emitted by stars much larger than our own, which accordingly possess stronger electric fields. When our own Sun’s solar wind becomes weak, the solar winds of the stars that surround us penetrate into our own heliosphere that much more.

    The intense energies associated with the galactic cosmic rays has led conventional theorists to propose that they must be the result of supernova explosions. But, this inference is in fact proposed as a direct consequence of the gravity-based cosmology. Within an electric cosmology, where a star’s plasma sheath (the heliosphere, for instance) can possess some non-zero electric field radiating outwards from the star, charged particles could be accelerated over very great distances.

    So, notice that, within the electric plasma-based cosmology, we have two somewhat related mysteries to conventional theorists: We have the mystery of the galactic cosmic rays — which are enigmatic because of the exceptional energy levels we see them possessing; And we have the mystery of the solar wind’s acceleration — which, for our own heliosphere, fails to appreciably decelerate even as it passes the Earth’s orbit. What is causing this acceleration?

    It seems like a fair inference to propose that the solar wind is accelerated by an electric field centered at the Sun. It is, after all, a very common way of accelerating charged particles within the laboratory.

    It’s really the cognitive dissonance which is inspired by the gravity-centric cosmology which induces theorists to ignore the laboratory answer as their preferred cosmic inference.

    The inferential step was supposed to be that point in a paper where theorists imagined the possibility that their assumptions might be wrong. But, the cosmological framework is increasingly viewed by theorists as a box within which they are confined.

  16. Tilo Reber says:

    By the way Anthony, thanks for keeping up with this subject. It’s of great interest to me.

  17. adrian smits says:

    I seem to have a hard time understanding that this will not ultimately blow the entire AGW theory out of the water. Or am I missing something? With GRC and cloud cover matching each other so closely hasn’t the smoking gun of climate change been found? Okay that might be a bit optimistic but it is definitely a big peace of the puzzle!

  18. Werner Brozek says:

    “John F. Hultquist says:
    December 18, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I believe this is a case of “when the facts change, it is time to change your analysis”, or something like that.”

    Were you thinking of the quote by Lord Keynes: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

  19. Jeff (of Colorado) says:

    If a near-by star went nova, then when it’s cosmic rays hit our atmosphere, that would cause an increase in heat reflecting clouds. The closer and bigger the nova the (perhaps) bigger the effect. Could this be the cause of the “snowball earths” in the past? Would geologic nitrogen/oxygen isotope studies reveal some ratio to be a proxy for cosmic ray increases? This would be a challenge as catastrophic events like novas are not cyclic. We can, however, date novas based on astronomy. This could identify ‘one time events’ that make finding the cyclic patterns difficult.

  20. Werner Brozek says:

    “R. Gates says:
    December 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

    How strong is the effect of anthropogenic warming when compared to the solar/GCR/cloud effect…i.e., which signal is now dominant in the climate and which one is more akin to noise in the dominant signal? Solar/GCR effects vs. 40% increase in CO2?”

    A quote at the following: http://www.john-daly.com/solar/solar.htm
    “It is shown in Figure 6. Clouds have a hundred times stronger effect on weather and climate than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Under point 4, even if the atmosphere’s CO2 content doubled, its effect would be canceled out if the cloud cover expanded by 1%,”

    As for which is now dominant, over the last 10 years according to Hadcrut3, temperatures have been falling. However CO2 has been going up. But for now, I will NOT say the cloud factor is larger.

    See page 21 at the following: http://sciencespeak.com/MissingSignature.pdf
    I believe the ocean oscillations with a rough sine wave every 60 years is the dominant thing affecting climate. Then La Ninas, El Ninos, sunspots, and possibly CO2, etc play a relatively minor role tweaking this sine wave up or down at various times.

  21. Ben Hillicoss says:

    to the cloud…..

  22. kim says:

    Well, from the sound of it, the solarnoid’s workin’ alright.
    =====================

  23. vukcevic says:

    If there is a valid cloud correlation to the CR, than it is not likely to be the way Svensmark suggests, since neutron count is far to low, however it may be just high enough to perceptibly change ionisation of stratosphere (where the air density is many thousand times lower than in the troposphere). Highly ionised stratospheric polar vortex under certain conditions splits-up (nothing to do with solar activity or CRs), affecting shape and form of the Rossby (planetary) waves, which in turn affect cloud distribution, but even then if the CR’s effect exists it would be minimal.

  24. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    To those who haven’t seen it yet, Dr. Kirkby’s lecture on the topic of cosmic rays, sunspots & climate to CERN is well worth watching! One of my favorites:

    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073/

    Personally, I think old Mr. Sun is broke….we may be seeing the beginning of a very long-term change in solar behavior here. The CAGW crowd won’t even discuss this, since their ultimate driver remains forcing humanity to abandon fossil fuels altogether.

    However, if the sun doesn’t cooperate, we may end up pumping raw methane into the atmosphere to maintain planetary temperature! NOT a pleasant prospect!!

    Leif, where the heck are you??

  25. Eric (skeptic) says:

    R. Gates, I do not believe it is useful to think of CO2 and increased GCR as opposite forcings. For one thing, CO2 is well mixed and spread out and GCR is very lumpy. The fact that it is modulated by a “well mixed” solar magnetic field does not change that fact. The result is that GCR greatly affects local areas both in cloud changes and stratospheric temperature. The unevenness of effects is a big factor in the weather effects that we now see, e.g. increased blocking. The cloud effects that are talked about above are also localized and worldwide average measurements can be misleading.

    The better way to think of it is that the CO2 is warming in general (although focused more on dry and cold locations) and is supposed to be amplified by water vapor increases. But all water vapor amounts locally depend entirely on weather. The CGR changes affect weather (e.g blocking patterns are more likely to dry the atmosphere vice no blocking) My somewhat speculative conclusion is that the GCR increases may in fact decrease or negate the amplification of CO2 warming rather than being merely a “cooling by low clouds” effect.

  26. phlogiston says:

    Here is an interesting item on the SWARM project to analyse ocean currents by magnetic sensors on satellites:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11980315

  27. vukcevic says:

    Werner Brozek says:
    December 18, 2010 at 1:39 pm
    ………..
    I think there is good reason for the oceans’ oscillations (SO, PDO and AMO), periods vary according to the contributory forces.

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

  28. Jimash says:

    John F. Hultquist says:
    December 18, 2010 at 10:29 am
    Jimash, I think you came to a fork in the road and took it.

    Absotively.
    You can observe a lot just by watching.
    The future is not what it used to be.

  29. AJB says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says December 18, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Best heard using Media Player 11 with the “Battery”, “Green is not my Enemy” visualisation :-)

  30. MattA says:

    These observed effects are interesting but a mechanism needs to be identified to tie them to global climate as I suspect they would tend only to affect humid regions.

    In order for clouds to form the pressence of hygroscopic particles are only one factor. The dewpoint would be affected by humidity & temperature and some other minot facors.

    In dry regions where many hygroscopic particles are already pressent as dust but water vapour is scarce the GCR would probably have very limited effect. In humid equatorial regions these effects would be notable.

    I would imagine the mechanism referred to above would be via an atmopheric circulation model and would be interested in reading on any such.

  31. jorgekafkazar says:

    CRS, Dr.P.H. says: “…if the sun doesn’t cooperate, we may end up pumping raw methane into the atmosphere to maintain planetary temperature! NOT a pleasant prospect!!”

    Possibly not effective, either.

  32. Ulric Lyons says:

    Low level clouds increase when it gets colder. Medium level clouds move in the opposite direction to low level clouds. GCR`s anti-correlate from 2004.

  33. mike g says:

    Can you filter out the electric universe view crap? Or, do we have to be that open-minded?

  34. AusieDan says:

    I am really interested in theory which to me is much more enticing than practical matters.
    And it seems that this present finding is just one more step in the road to understanding what makes the climate tick.
    One step only, but perhaps a major one.

    However, being also a practical person as well as a dreamer, there is a more pressing practcal issue that we need to address.
    It keeps on being mentioned, but discussion soon drifts away.

    The practical issue is – are we just seeing a rather abrupt ending to the warming part of the cycle and entering the cooling phase with a rather big bang in NH and rain, rain, rain here in Australia?

    OR are we perhaps seeing the end of the series of cycles that have occurred during the last several hundred years – the start, in other words of a new little ice age or even worse?

    We need to address this in the next year or two.
    If the former, we can just tough it out until our descendents again welcome in warmer weather.
    If the latter, we need to start planning substantial coping mechanisms.
    Destroying the very effecient built facilities which produce electricity at lowest cost, and produce extra welcome CO2, may not be the smartist thing to do.

    Time to get practical – time to get serious.

  35. G. E. Pease says:

    Ulric Lyons says:
    December 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm
    “Low level clouds increase when it gets colder. Medium level clouds move in the opposite direction to low level clouds. GCR`s anti-correlate from 2004.
    http://www.sciencestew.com/articles/climate/CloudCover.jpg
    ___________________________________________________
    Yet, Svensmark and Friis-Christensen have shown evidence of very good post-2004 anticorrelation of GCR’s to tropospheric temperature. The intermediate cooling mechanism of low clouds appears to be somewhat more complicated. Read

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/SvensmarkPaper.pdf

  36. tallbloke says:

    Ulric Lyons says:
    December 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm
    Low level clouds increase when it gets colder. Medium level clouds move in the opposite direction to low level clouds. GCR`s anti-correlate from 2004.

    http://www.sciencestew.com/articles/climate/CloudCover.jpg

    What is the source for the cloud dataset please Ulric?
    Palle et all see an increase in overall albedo from 1998 to a steady elevated level from 2003. If low cloud continued to diminish, high cloud must have increased. But high cloud traps heat allegedly, yet the OLR increased and stayed high from 2004.

    WUWT?

  37. rbateman says:

    Sunspot umbral area is likewise as uninspiring as the 10.7 Flux:

    Whatever the Sun may do next, so far it has failed to get out of 1st gear.
    Stuck in Spotless Lodi again.

  38. Dave Springer says:

    Chris Reeve says:
    December 18, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Sorry buddy but there was a press release by NASA recently that Voyager one had reached the point where the solar wind comes to a complete halt. You can can that electric universe theory unless facts don’t have any place in electric universes.

  39. morgo says:

    in australia we had long range weather forcaster INDIGO JONES AND LATER LENNOX WALKER please log into google and you will find out how they become the best long range forcasters in australia history he started in 1923 and he used a number of events including SUN SPOT cycle he new all about the sun and weather in 1923 the global warmers should read his story

  40. It looks like NOAA has not updated their sunspot count graph with the latest NASA forecast (the red “predicted values” line). Does anyone know if the current numbers are tracking that forecast?

    NASA, 6 October 2010: “Current prediction for the next sunspot cycle maximum gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 64 in June of 2013.”

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

  41. Dave Springer says:

    Jeff (of Colorado) says:
    December 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    “If a near-by star went nova, then when it’s cosmic rays hit our atmosphere, that would cause an increase in heat reflecting clouds. The closer and bigger the nova the (perhaps) bigger the effect. Could this be the cause of the “snowball earths” in the past? Would geologic nitrogen/oxygen isotope studies reveal some ratio to be a proxy for cosmic ray increases? This would be a challenge as catastrophic events like novas are not cyclic. We can, however, date novas based on astronomy. This could identify ‘one time events’ that make finding the cyclic patterns difficult.”

    I thought of that other day. There hasn’t been a supernova visible to the naked eye since 1604 and that one was right on the heels of one in 1573. The sun was in a deep solar minimum already then close back-to-back supernovas popped off. Talk about a perfect storm. The Little Ice Age is the possible result.

    The GCRs from the supernovas wouldn’t arrive until years after the visible light was seen. The energy in the GCR is proportionate to its speed. The high energy ones of interest are travelling 99.0 – 99.9% speed of light which from a distance of say 10,000 light years (about the average distance away of the two mentioned above) means the highest energy GCRs begin arriving 10 years after the visible light is seen and keep on coming for the next 100 years with declining energies – the higher the energy the faster the particle is moving so they sort themselves out by energy level during the journey.

    Then you have to go back to 1006 and 1052 for the next ones that were widely visible. The 15th century pair lines up with the Little Ice Age well enough and it was also a deep solar minima at the same time so it was something of a perfect storm.

  42. STEPHEN PARKERuk says:

    Mike gee says……
    Yes mike, we do have to be open minded.

  43. rbateman says:

    Does anyone know if the current numbers are tracking that forecast?
    The current numbers (if you can call them that) are not tracking anything but themselves.
    Flying 50 feet off the ground is what it all amounts to…. so far.
    Confounding, isn’t it?

  44. pkatt says:

    Im gonna play what if…

    What if the solar cycle actually started on schedule.. and what if this is as close to peak as its going to get.. what then?

  45. Duster says:

    Dave Springer says:
    December 18, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Jeff (of Colorado) says:
    December 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    ….

    There is also a terrific C-14 anomaly with the Younger Dryas cold snap, which is occasionally described as “an abrupt return to glacial conditions.” Since C-14 is the result of cosmic ray bombardment of the atmosphere, the most reasonable culprit is a nova or supernova that was near enough seriously affect C-14 formation. The coincidence of excess C-14 and a climatic chilling is at least interesting.

  46. Brian H says:

    But, but … all the C14 in the atmosphere comes from Anthro-bustion! CRU et al. say so, so it’s gotta be so! Conclusion: GCRs don’t exist.

    There! All fixed!

  47. rbateman says:

    pkatt says:
    December 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm
    Im gonna play what if…

    What if the solar cycle actually started on schedule.. and what if this is as close to peak as its going to get.. what then?

    Then 2 years from now it’s alas poor Yorick24, I knew him well.
    What do you see that tells you this is all she wrote?

  48. M White says:

    Interesting story on Spaceweather about pollution in the stratosphere.

    http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=19&month=12&year=2010

    ALL-CLEAR IN THE STRATOSPHERE

    “Earth’s stratosphere is as clear as it’s been in more than 50 years. University of Colorado climate scientist Richard Keen knows this because he’s been watching lunar eclipses.”

    Isn’t atmospheric pollution one of the excuses used to explain global cooling?

  49. Simon says:

    Would have been nice to see the Short term GCR change vs anomalous cloud cover changes graphs extended beyond a paltry 10 days to see if the relationship keeps up…

  50. STEPHEN PARKERuk says:
    December 18, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Mike gee says……
    Yes mike, we do have to be open minded.

    Also be attentive to evidence, and ask evidence based questions. Otherwise any old rubbish can drop in and forget to leave :)

  51. MattB says:

    Hmm, we seem to be experiencing an Anti-Watts-Effect event. This time when Anthony started talking about the sun, the sun went blank of sunspots ( http://www.spaceweather.com )
    Sunspot number: 0
    What is the sunspot number?
    Updated 18 Dec 2010

    Spotless Days
    Current Stretch: 1 day
    2010 total: 46 days (13%)
    2009 total: 260 days (71%)
    Since 2004: 813 days
    Typical Solar Min: 486 days
    Updated 18 Dec 2010

  52. Ulric Lyons says:

    @G. E. Pease says:
    December 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm
    “Yet, Svensmark and Friis-Christensen have shown evidence of very good post-2004 anticorrelation of GCR’s to tropospheric temperature.”

    I would prefer to look at raw data. The anti-correlation of GCR’s to cloud cover still exists from 2004.

    “The intermediate cooling mechanism of low clouds appears to be somewhat more complicated.”

    But do they keep more heat in at night than reducing daytime temp`s ?

  53. Great article btw Anthony. It always boggles my mind how you manage to run a business, run and moderate this blog (with such expertise and courtesy) and write articles that are not just good but excellent.

    What was that? “Nobody can touch the Rev”? Well I think you deserve a Nobel for Churchillian stamina and brilliant words.

  54. Verity Jones says:

    The rebranding Global Warming Climate Change Climate Disruption was of course in preparation for the increase in these blocking events. One could suggest that the warmists saw the changes coming and were preparing for it. Going back 10 years the mantra was that the change to dominance of a positive AO (and NAO) was at least influenced by anthropogenic causes: http://www.pnas.org/content/98/23/12876.full.pdf

    Once again they ignore natural cycles. http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/nao-is-the-winter-of-our-discontent/

  55. Jeff (of Colorado) says:
    December 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    If a near-by star went nova, then when it’s cosmic rays hit our atmosphere, that would cause an increase in heat reflecting clouds. The closer and bigger the nova the (perhaps) bigger the effect. Could this be the cause of the “snowball earths” in the past? Would geologic nitrogen/oxygen isotope studies reveal some ratio to be a proxy for cosmic ray increases?

    Jeff, see the papers by Jan Veizer linking GCRs to ice ages, an overview is given here.

    [PDF]
    Chapter 11 – The Resilient Earth
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CDEQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theresilientearth.com%2Ffiles%2Fpdfs%2Fthe_resilient_earth-chapter_11.pdf&rct=j&q=JAN%20VEIZER%20GCR%20ICE%20AGE&ei=BgwOTZn_GMSwhQeVkrG3Dg&usg=AFQjCNG87YmPUATMvLImxBGr2rWi9tskyQ

  56. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    December 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm
    Leif, where the heck are you??
    Having a life….

    Solar activity is BTW where it is predicted [by me] to be. Cycle 24 looks like it will be the weakest cycle in a 100 years. The SWPC plot in this posting is based on a too high solar maximum [90], whereas something around 70 looks more likely http://www.leif.org/research/Active%20Region%20Count.png. Now, weak cycles often show large fluctuations [e.g. cycle 14: http://www.leif.org/research/SC14.png ], and SC24 seems to have those too, as expected.

    In general, the Sun is where it was 107 years ago, so if solar activity is a major driver, the climate should also be what it was back then. By invoking suitable, variable lags, one can get around this [and any other objections], but the correlations show no lag between cloud cover and GCRs [perhaps there are compensating lags :-) ].

    Cosmic rays: the variation of cosmic rays due to the changing magnetic field of the Earth is much larger than that due to the changing field of the Sun, so we should see much larger effects of the former [and we don't - e.g. the Earth's field has weakened 10
    % the past 150 years, so we should now see more GCRs with colder climate compared to 150 years ago, and we don't]. At any rate, the variation of GCRs due to the Sun is tiny [a few percent - the small wiggles on http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRays-GeoDipole.jpg ], so would have a tiny effect.

    Geomagnetic activity: is always lower [typically some 20%] at the solstices, so no surprise there.

  57. Carla says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 6:21 am
    ..Geomagnetic activity: is always lower [typically some 20%] at the solstices, so no surprise there.
    ~
    It is?

    Sure hoping you have read this in its entirety.
    Frisch team has been working hard this year. Another goody besides the one below is, “The S Shell and Interstellar Magnetic Field and Gas near the Heliosphere,” and yet another this year, “Comparisons of the Interstellar Magnetic Field directions obtained from the IBEX Ribbon and Interstellar Polarizations.”

    The article on polarizations, depicts the IBEX ribbon in galactic coordinates, I no longer feel upside down. lol The descriptions of our location within the S1 shell and the boundary to the S2 shell are quite interesting. .

    “””Time-variability in the Interstellar Boundary Conditions
    of the Heliosphere over the past 60,000 years:
    Impact of the Solar Journey on the Galactic Cosmic Ray Flux
    at Earth
    Priscilla C. Frisch • Hans-Reinhard Mueller
    Received: date / Accepted: date

    Abstract During the solar journey through galactic space, variations in the physical
    properties of the surrounding interstellar material (ISM) modify the heliosphere and
    modulate the flux of galactic cosmic rays (GCR) at the surface of the Earth, with
    consequences for the cosmogenic radionuclides at Earth. The diverse ram pressures
    and ionization levels of ISM possible in the low density solar environment generate
    dramatically different possible heliosphere configurations, with a wide range of particle
    fluxes of interstellar neutrals and their secondary products, as well as GCR arriving at
    Earth. However, simple models of the distribution and densities of ISM in the downwind
    direction give cloud transition timescales that can be directly compared with
    cosmogenic radionuclide geologic records. Both the interstellar data and cosmogenic
    radionuclide data are consistent with cloud transitions within the past 10,000 years
    and 20,000–30,000 years ago, although the many assumptions about the ISM that are
    made in arriving at these numbers indicate that the uncertainties are quite large.

    1 Introduction
    .. The sensitivity of the heliosphere configuration to the total interstellar pressure, including
    the dynamic ram pressure and magnetic pressure (Holzer 1989) indicate that the global
    heliosphere is a weather vane for the circumheliospheric ISM (CISM). Sufficient data
    on interstellar absorption lines are now available that the general characteristics of
    the circumheliosphere ISM can be reconstructed for the past _ 100, 000 years (Section
    2), providing a basis for evaluating the ISM-modified heliosphere (Section 3), and
    comparing these historical variations with the geologic radio-isotope record (Section
    4). Any scenario connecting features in the geomagnetic record with interstellar cloud
    encounters will necessarily include assumptions about the ISM, as well as an incomplete
    understanding of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) modulation for variable heliosphere
    configurations. Our conclusions below linking cloud transitions to discontinuities in the
    geologic radioisotope record are subject to these uncertainties..

    2 Contemporary and Paleointerstellar CISM
    2.1 Dynamics, Structure, and Interstellar Magnetic Field in contemporary ISM
    .. The CLIC is a decelerating flow of ISM. ISM kinematics towards nearby stars
    show the galactic environment of the Sun changes rapidly. From upwind to downwind,
    interstellar velocities in the solar inertial system (”heliocentric”, HC) are –28.4 km s−1
    towards 36 Oph, 26.3 km s−1 in the inner heliosphere, and 23.4 km s−1 towards χ1
    Ori. If all other cloud parameters are the same, there is a 50% difference in the ram
    pressures of these clouds, which alone leads to a significant distortion of the heliosphere.
    Using VHC for nearby clouds in Table 1, variations in the interstellar ram pressure on
    the heliosphere may be a factor of 4.2 over the past..”””

    CLIC – Cluster of Local Interstellar Clouds

  58. Rabe says:

    Dave Springer:

    ..there was a press release by NASA recently that Voyager one had reached the point where the solar wind comes to a complete halt. You can can that electric universe theory unless facts don’t have any place in electric universes.

    The electro-magnetic potential difference between our galaxy and the solar system can be very faint (about 40 orders of magnitude smaller) compared to the gravitational force needed by a postulated 80/20 ratio of dark/visible matter. How would you tell what type of force attracts sol ? So what NASA measured are the local conditions near the solar system which are pretty consistent. What facts do you mean? Can you provide a link?

  59. Carla says:
    December 19, 2010 at 9:22 am
    “..Geomagnetic activity: is always lower [typically some 20%] at the solstices”
    ~It is?

    Yes it is. This has been known for at least 150 years. E.. http://www.leif.org/research/Semiannual%20Variation%201954%20and%201996.pdf

    Sure hoping you have read this in its entirety.
    I have, but it is not relevant to the topic, as variations in the interstellar environment have time scales of thousands of years.

  60. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 6:21 am

    I have SC24 the weakest since 1876, and 2008-1876=132 years.
    The current cycle is still a half-dozen steps beyond the starting line, tying it’s shoelaces, the other runners having disappeared around the first bend of the track.

  61. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 9:44 am
    as variations in the interstellar environment have time scales of thousands of years.

    As measured by what instrument? Voyager did not take thousands of years to cross any of the boundaries it has met.
    Have a look at what Hubble has unearthed when it comes to gas and dust boundaries around birthing and exploding stars.
    If we are going to invoke Galactic Astrophysics into this discussion, then we need to hear from Astrophysicists specializing in this Galaxy.

  62. rbateman says:
    December 19, 2010 at 10:01 am
    I have SC24 the weakest since 1876
    1876 was a solar minimum year…
    See figure 10 of http://www.leif.org/research/2009JA015069.pdf
    Cycle 12 was a small cycle too [as was SC20], but the Heliospheric magnetic field in 1876 was still not as low as in 2009. Cycle 13-14 transition matches 23-24 very well including the low HMF. But in any case, activity is and will stay low, so solar conditions are back to 107 years ago. I don’t think terrestrial climate is [for whatever reason].

  63. Robin Pittwood says:

    Thank you Anthony, This article is absolutely amazing. How you manage to find the time to do all this I’ll never know. I can barely find the time to read what you write. You are one very bright and hard working fellow. Enjoy the Christmas holiday with your family, and I wish you good health, prosperity, and lot’s of fun for the new year. Robin.

  64. rbateman says:
    December 19, 2010 at 10:09 am
    As measured by what instrument? Voyager did not take thousands of years to cross any of the boundaries it has met.
    Those boundaries were within or at the edge of the heliosphere, and thus local. The solar system moves at a very slow pace through vast interstellar clouds. The GCRs give us information of this environment and we have still to see any evidence of short-term variations of GCRs [apart from the tiny solar-caused one]. The paper Carla referred to states “Sun would cross these clouds with a mean crossing time of ∼ 47, 000 years”.

  65. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 10:24 am
    But in any case, activity is and will stay low, so solar conditions are back to 107 years ago. I don’t think terrestrial climate is [for whatever reason].

    I’ll give a go at the reason: Terrestrial Climate Reporting is in the doldrums, and it ain’t what it used to be.
    For example – the Antarctic blast that got loose all the way up to the Equator last June/July was blacked out in the press. And then there is the surface station massacre of the 90’s and 2000’s followed by Hansen’s Hamburger Hill adjustments.
    The local climate you and I live in is back to the late 70’s, and it’s making good progress further backwards.
    Unless and until this low to very low solar activity gets jump started, it’s an avalanche.

  66. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Yes, and that is the only probe-based empirical data we have.
    The rest is AstroImaging based. The Astrophysicits work wonders with what they have, but they are not magicians.
    As far as images go, all indications are that dusty edge-on spirals have rather sharp boundaries.
    Remember also NASA’s finding on the ACR’s getting sucked up the solar envelope tailpipe.

  67. psi says:

    Tilo Reber says:
    December 18, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Can we get Leif to tell us that everything is going just as expected now? I’m still trying to figure out what Leif’s position is on cosmic rays. I think he is taking the side of “no significant effect on climate”. I’m taking the other side.

    If memory serves, Lief had very disparaging words to say about Svensmark in an exchange a couple of years back. I don’t remember the exact adjective he used, but it was one those one-word arguments which made it clear that no one should pay any attention to the man behind the curtain pulling the levers of public opinion. Perhaps subsequent events will induce him to reconsider.

  68. G. E. Pease says:

    Dave Springer says:
    December 18, 2010 at 9:34 pm
    Jeff (of Colorado) says:
    December 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    “If a near-by star went nova, then when it’s cosmic rays hit our atmosphere, that would cause an increase in heat reflecting clouds. The closer and bigger the nova the (perhaps) bigger the effect. Could this be the cause of the “snowball earths” in the past? Would geologic nitrogen/oxygen isotope studies reveal some ratio to be a proxy for cosmic ray increases? This would be a challenge as catastrophic events like novas are not cyclic. We can, however, date novas based on astronomy. This could identify ‘one time events’ that make finding the cyclic patterns difficult.”

    I thought of that other day. There hasn’t been a supernova visible to the naked eye since 1604 and that one was right on the heels of one in 1573. The sun was in a deep solar minimum already then close back-to-back supernovas popped off. Talk about a perfect storm. The Little Ice Age is the possible result.

    The GCRs from the supernovas wouldn’t arrive until years after the visible light was seen. The energy in the GCR is proportionate to its speed. The high energy ones of interest are travelling 99.0 – 99.9% speed of light which from a distance of say 10,000 light years (about the average distance away of the two mentioned above) means the highest energy GCRs begin arriving 10 years after the visible light is seen and keep on coming for the next 100 years with declining energies – the higher the energy the faster the particle is moving so they sort themselves out by energy level during the journey.

    Then you have to go back to 1006 and 1052 for the next ones that were widely visible. The 15th century pair lines up with the Little Ice Age well enough and it was also a deep solar minima at the same time so it was something of a perfect storm.
    ____________________________________________________________
    It is intriguing to think that the supernovae of 1573 and 1604 may have played a significant role in creating the LIA. BTW, there actually has been a recent supernova visible to the naked eye – SN 1987A, magnitude 4.5. It is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, 168,000 light years away: http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/lists/Supernovae.html

    Wikipedia claims it had a peak magnitude of +3:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1987A

    In any event, if the most energetic cosmic rays from 1987A travel to us at 99.9% of the speed of light, it will take 168 years from 1987, or 145 years from now, for the cosmic rays to reach us.
    -GEP

  69. Carla says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 9:44 am
    Carla says:
    December 19, 2010 at 9:22 am
    “..Geomagnetic activity: is always lower [typically some 20%] at the solstices”
    ~It is?
    Yes it is. This has been known for at least 150 years. E.. http://www.leif.org/research/Semiannual%20Variation%201954%20and%201996.pdf
    ~
    It seems that you have had your hand in this as well.. I can see how the solar role in this plays out but feel that there is something missing in the analysis of the semiannual variation, like an interstellar inflow bisecting Earth in its orbit semiannually at equinox? How can the interstellar inflow not be a contributor to this enhanced geomagnetic effect? (you do know that there are traces of neon and argon also?) Seems to be what is missing here. But liked the read ..thanks.

    One those articles I was reading mentions finding some substantial C out nearby in the very local interstellar neighborhood. Now wouldn’t that be a hoot..C from interstellar origins. lol

  70. Carla says:

    rbateman says:
    December 19, 2010 at 10:01 am
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 6:21 am

    I have SC24 the weakest since 1876, and 2008-1876=132 years.
    The current cycle is still a half-dozen steps beyond the starting line, tying it’s shoelaces, the other runners having disappeared around the first bend of the track.
    ~
    Was over checking Dr. S.’s, Mean Field Composites page 2 here:

    http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf

    Compare 2008 with 2010 forget 2009 its smooth enough. Look at it coming down compared to trying to get up. Looks like extra humps in the gears. Quite the bumpy start?

    rbateman says:
    December 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 10:24 am
    But in any case, activity is and will stay low, so solar conditions are back to 107 years ago. I don’t think terrestrial climate is [for whatever reason].

    I’ll give a go at the reason: Terrestrial Climate Reporting is in the doldrums, and it ain’t what it used to be.
    For example – the Antarctic blast that got loose all the way up to the Equator last June/July was blacked out in the press. And then there is the surface station massacre of the 90′s and 2000′s followed by Hansen’s Hamburger Hill adjustments.
    The local climate you and I live in is back to the late 70′s, and it’s making good progress further backwards.
    Unless and until this low to very low solar activity gets jump started, it’s an avalanche.
    ~
    Wow Rob, I expected a lag time and fluxuations in the atmosphere, jetstream etc. there was a lot of heat, to push around. And thought that mankinds contribution would prolong the inevitable return to cooler temps. But what was this, ” Antarctic blast that got loose all the way up to the Equator last June/July was blacked out in the press.”???

  71. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 6:21 am
    CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    December 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm
    Leif, where the heck are you??
    Having a life…
    —–
    HAW! I knew I could depend upon you!
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and the family, Leif! Thanks as always for your insightful comments!

  72. rbateman says:
    December 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm
    As far as images go, all indications are that dusty edge-on spirals have rather sharp boundaries.
    We are not near any known boundary and won’t be for thousands of years.
    You can always postulate unknown boundaries of unknown thickness to be crossed at unknown times, but then I would not place place much credence in your position.

    psi says:
    December 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm
    no one should pay any attention to the man behind the curtain pulling the levers of public opinion.
    Indeed, that fits perfectly well the carefully dripple of ‘news’ from ‘CERN’ [which BTW is not running this experiment - just lending unused capacity to the lever-pullers].

    G. E. Pease says:
    December 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm
    In any event, if the most energetic cosmic rays from 1987A travel to us at 99.9% of the speed of light, it will take 168 years from 1987, or 145 years from now, for the cosmic rays to reach us.
    You forgot three zeroes somewhere…

    Carla says:
    December 19, 2010 at 4:50 pm
    an interstellar inflow bisecting Earth in its orbit semiannually at equinox? How can the interstellar inflow not be a contributor to this enhanced geomagnetic effect?
    because the effect changes equally much during the Universal Time day, de[ending on the instantaneous angle between the direction to the Sun and the geomagnetic dipole axis. This angle changes through the year [due to orbiting the Sun] and during the day [due to Earth's rotation]. Also, there is simply no interstellar inflow [except of neutral stuff - e.g. dust - that does not interact magnetically].

  73. G. E. Pease says:
    December 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm
    You forgot three zeroes somewhere…

    We have already observed 8 neutrinos. The rest of the cosmic rays will take millions of years to work their way through the tangled magnetic fields.

  74. MattB says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    G. E. Pease says:
    December 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm
    In any event, if the most energetic cosmic rays from 1987A travel to us at 99.9% of the speed of light, it will take 168 years from 1987, or 145 years from now, for the cosmic rays to reach us.
    You forgot three zeroes somewhere…

    No, the math is correct. If the cosmic rays are moving at 99.9% the speed of the visible light which has already reached earth from 168,000 LY away, then the cosmic rays will only be 0.001% behind the visible light, or 168 years from 1987.

  75. MattB says:

    err 0.1%, multiplier was .001

  76. G. E. Pease says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm
    G. E. Pease says:
    December 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm
    You forgot three zeroes somewhere…

    We have already observed 8 neutrinos. The rest of the cosmic rays will take millions of years to work their way through the tangled magnetic fields.
    ___________________________________________________
    Fair enough, Leif. I am willing to qualify my previous statement. Hypothetically speaking, only if some of the more energetic cosmic rays (very high energy protons, for example) could hypothetically travel in approximately a straight line (~168,000 light-years in length) from SN 1987A to Earth at (hypothetically) 99.9% of the speed of light, would they arrive here in ~145 years.

  77. G. E. Pease says:
    December 19, 2010 at 9:39 pm
    Fair enough, Leif. I am willing to qualify my previous statement. Hypothetically speaking, only if some of the more energetic cosmic rays (very high energy protons, for example) could hypothetically travel in approximately a straight line
    Since they are charged they get deflected by magnetic fields and do not travel in straight lines, until they are VERY energetic [99.999..999% of light speed]. Anyway, this is all clear. We have yet to able to see cosmic rays from ANY source [apart from the neutrinos], as they all get tangled up in the magnetic field.

  78. KenB says:

    As almost a bystander observer, I have been intrigued at the “social” disconnect between “Climate Science” and Solar Scientists with heated arguments and dismissal of the influence of the sun in the formation of weather, putting that at its simplest. I read that at various times the earths magnetic pole flips for some unknown reason and this might provide a clue to extreme changes over short period. I also picked up a small book that sets out Mayan prophecies, that in part indicate that in 2012, certain planetary alignments will open the earth to cosmic influences not seen for 26,000 years, so I guess that it is appropriate that we do have some in depth discussions between scientists interested in all aspects of the worlds climatic systems.
    I see that Judith Curry was interested in bringing the competing scientific theories together for better understanding between the scientists, but was having a hard time getting sense, or any common ground due to the high level of scientific disconnect. The minute the iron sun was mentioned among other things, everything polarized.

    Perhaps on this site, with its more tolerant acceptance of ideas and testing of concepts, we might get a deal further in understanding differing views. Otherwise I’ll probably have to wait around till 2012 to see what happens in the Cosmos……

    Good topic, I will enjoy the learning..

  79. George E. Smith says:

    So I found this paper interesting if only for the discovery of a new Element; Air.

    I don’t know what Atomic Number or weight it has, but it seems to be able to absorb Protons, and emit Neutrons.

    In the normal scheme of things this would transmute the element into a different element with about the same atomic weight and one higher atomic number.

    Would anybody care to hazard a guess as to just what nucleon(s) is(are) included in “air” and what the resulting output nucleons are; those could be interesting information like it is rumored that GCRs can turn 14N into 14C for example; which is something that is not a part of fossil fuels.

    Nah it couldn’t be possible; could it; that these GCRs can actually change the fossil fuel signature of the atmospheric CO2.

  80. Carla says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm
    rbateman says:
    December 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm
    As far as images go, all indications are that dusty edge-on spirals have rather sharp boundaries.
    We are not near any known boundary and won’t be for thousands of years.
    You can always postulate unknown boundaries of unknown thickness to be crossed at unknown times, but then I would not place place much credence in your position.

    ~
    Rob..I don’t think Dr. S. wants to takl about “boundaries.” Seems his perception is that clouds or expansion shell boundaries or both are very distant. Not so. An interstellar cloud ‘can be large’ or small. Within large interstellar clouds exist layers that we can call “cloudletts,” and we can call them Tiny Scale Atomic Structures (TSAS) Sometimes in uneven clusters or clustering around something?
    “””Not all nearby clouds are warm and diffuse. Tiny scale atomic structures (TSAS)
    are observed throughout the ISM, with typical sizes 30 AU,..”””

    So really there are layers within the larger scale structures. A layer as long as 1, 2, or 3 or more solar cycles.. Now about that S1, S2 shell boundary the Frisch team thinks we are now entering the flow of in addition to some cloud layering here. Had that third flow in my hand and lost it. Darn.. some of these reads are getting easier all the time and still very hard at other times.. swt

  81. Carla says:
    December 21, 2010 at 5:53 am
    Now about that S1, S2 shell boundary the Frisch team thinks we are now entering
    Those shells are large. Otherwise we could not observe them. And ‘now’ is thousands of years, not next Tuesday.

  82. @ Leif Svalgaard says: December 19, 2010 at 6:21 am CRS, Dr.P.H. says: December 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm Leif, where the heck are you?? Having a life… —– HAW! I knew I could depend upon you! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and the family, Leif! Thanks as always for your insightful comments!

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