NASA Sun Spot Number predictions revised again

UPDATE: see my animation of NASA solar forecasts since 2004 below.

WUWT Commenter J Gary Fox writes:

The solar cycle 24 predicted sunspot maximum has been reduced again – predicted peak down to 59 Max. (1/3/11) http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

click to enlarge

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. Philosopher Y. Berra

This will be at the level of the Maunder Minimum of 1675 -1715.
Previous NASA predictions below:

  • 2010 October: Predicted peak 60-70
  • 2009 May 29: predicted peak: 80-90 range
  • 2009 Jan 5: predicted peak: 100-110 range
  • 2008 Mar 28: predicted peak: 130-140 range

From the NASA page:

Current prediction for the next sunspot cycle maximum gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 59 in June/July of 2013. We are currently two years into Cycle 24 and the predicted size continues to fall.

Here’s what the prediction looked like in March 2009:

What a difference.

Here’s an animation showing all of the prediction graphs from NASA that we have thus far:

click for a larger animation at full size

Ira Glickstein did a guest post here a few days ago that outlines a lot of the changes in the forecast over time. It is well worth the read.

Current prediction for the next sunspot cycle maximum gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 59 in June/July of 2013. We are currently two years into Cycle 24 and the predicted size continues to fall.
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187 thoughts on “NASA Sun Spot Number predictions revised again

  1. It looks like even the doubters will find out how much Solar activity impacts the climate.
    If we get a major northern hemisphere volcanic eruption, the disruption to agricultural production could be catastrophic.

  2. I am not sure that Maunder has anything to do with it, but NASA is certainly showing a minimum of correct predictions. But, hey, it’s the government at work.

    At some point they should just admit that, except in the most general sense that the sun will continue to cycle roughly each 11 years, neither they nor anyone else can predict solar activity. They are barely more than guessing.

    Like “climate science”, solar science is just getting going. Now that we have more sophisticated that we have more advanced satellite-based instruments getting data, maybe progress will be made.

  3. William and Mary were appointed joint monarchs after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Their reign occurred in the Little Ice Age. In Scotland, the weather led to the period being referred to as “King William’s ill years”.

  4. The predicted value is still too high but it is getting closer, in my honest opinion.

    I am guessing it will be closer to 50 judging from behavior so far.

  5. It may be time to stop arguing, put the computer codes on pause and sit back and watch the show. If, as historical information suggests, a lack of solar activity is going to have an adverse effect on the Earth’s weather/climate, we may soon be in a position to see it first hand!

    G.

  6. At what point does Hathaway have to stand by his predictions? Or does he just get to re-write them every three months?

    By the way I predict that the average SSN for last month will be 22!

  7. Actually its refreshing to see scientists adjust their predictions and views as new data is received. It is apparent there is much we just don’t know.

  8. WOW! Makes you kinda wonder just when the “fat lady is gonna sing” huh. I think it is time for the folks with the money and equipment to start to tell the raw data and let those that have no agenda to start looking at it and the real possible repercussions. We just might need to find more sorces of energy rather than destroy the ones we have in hopes of finding new ones in time for the cold. Heat or cold it takes energy to mitigate either heating uses energy, airconditioning uses energy. Perhaps it is time for the real scientitst to have access to the data, the raw data. These could be serious times. These are real comparisons and it will take all of our best to meet the needs of the mass of humanity and life in general if this minimum really bottoms out.

    Bill Derryberry

    PS I started to say something like “Play Ball” or “Let the game begin”, but it is really a serious possibility we are looking at. Better to just get to work and prepare for which ever way nature takes us.

  9. Just for my own knowledge, what is the commonly assumed “lag” time for the thermal inertia of the earth to portray changes in solar output? If anyone has references, that would be nice.

    Thanks,

    -Scott

  10. Nice animated graph. Amazing to see that as late as end of 2007 they were still predicting a huge peak , higher than the previous cycle. The time it has taken at each step to adjust to data that is has not been following their dictates suggests they have more faith in their predictions than the reality of their data.

    Even a layman could have come up with <60 peak by eyeballing the data 3 months back.

    At first it seems they are so caught up in their "OMG it's going to burn" hype but then, since they claim the sun only has insignificant effect on climate, you wonder why.

  11. The animation reminds me of the game of “Whack a Mole”. Maybe an idea for a new game – “Whack a Prediction” . :)

  12. A couple of points come out of this:

    1/ Is it wrong to laugh at a graph? I can almost smell the hope when there’s an uptick during 2007 and the peak doesn’t have to retreat to the right for a whole month. Then smell the despair as it comes down again and the proposed peak commences its march into the future.

    2/ Why between March 09 and April 09 does the predicted peak for 2001 suddenly change? Winston Smith at it again?

  13. I think we need to be fair to Dr Hathaway. He’s out there making predictiong, then revising them downwards as new information becomes available. He’s throwing out theories as actual data shows them to be incorrect.

    In other words, he’s acting like a scientist.

    Contrast that with “The Team”, whinc, instead of admitting when they are wrong, embarks on a Ministry of Truth – like campaign of doublethink and doublespeak, where the hotcold temperature that we are experiencing is completly consistant with the predictions made and were warned about.

    Much like the droughtflood here in Australia.

    In other words, who are you going to listen to? The guy who makes a prediction then revises it as events happen, or the guy who makes an absolute statement that never changes (only the interpretation of events change)?

    Neil

  14. The number goes down and the maximum get pushed out farther and farther. We were supposed to hit the maximum in 2010. They had to revise or… they could just “bag it.” Just tell the world NASA won’t do prophecy any more.

  15. Hands up if you feel happy that its warmed a few % of a degree (yes i know but its a climate calc) over the last 100 years.

  16. Keeping in mind the L/P (syndrome) the smoothed SSN will be around 10 at 2015.
    Any curve with a maximum above 35 (2011/2012) will be peculiar.
    And as ShrNfr says “The 10.7 is still horribly low”
    To end up at higher numbers something unusual must happen

  17. As most of us are aware, there is a pretty good correlation between sunspot numbers and global temperature. The instrumental record of both were at historic lows during that early period of instrumental data measurement when the recently invented thermometer and recently invented telescope were used to record data that we still have. This was during the Little Ice Age. This correlation has continued to the present, and most observers would state that it’s a much closer correlation than the CO2- temperature correlation. Yes, we all know that correlation does not necessarily imply causality. I once wrote a spoof in a VHF Propagation publication, a spoof of the widespread belief that sporadic E ionozation (E-skip) was caused by thunderstorms. I called the article “E Skip Causes Thunderstorms!”
    I think we should be aware of correlations, and just maybe, if climate scientists ever get back to science, they’ll discover if and to what extent there is a solar forcing using the proxy of sunspots or solar flux.

  18. Sunspots have been tracked and studied for many cycles. We still don’t have enough data or smarts to predict the next cycle. But global warming, we have a real handle on that stuff, yes indeed.

  19. Someone recently said the number of significant sunspots is much lower as the new counting system counts “micro spots” or something like that. Can anyone comment on this?

  20. I’m going to go with those who say they are still high. Looks more 50ish to me, quite possibly under 50.

    Temps this summer should be educational.

  21. Regardless of how many corrections they make to the prediction, the far more interesting aspect of the next decade will be the effect of reduced sunspots on the Earth’s climate.

    There are several theories that would predict that extended reduced sunspots will result in cooler climate. If the climate does cool as predicted by Joe Bastardi, then it will show that sunspots are more significant than CO2.

    The next decade will be very important.

    John Kehr

  22. For NASA’s information, the Maunder Minimum is conventionally dated over seventy years, from 1645 – 1715, when wolves froze to death in Rhineland forests and wine frosted over in Louis XIV’s goblet in his palace of Versailles. The subsequent Dalton Minimum persisted over forty years from c. 1790 – 1830, marking the final cold-snap of Earth’s 500-year Little Ice Age (LIA) before the precipitate rebound that began c. 1890 – 1939 (fifty years), alternating warming with cooling phases in 1940 – 1979 (forty years), 1980 – 2009 (thirty years), now 2010 – 2029 (twenty years).

    On this basis, after about 2030 the global thermostat –apparently there is such a thing– will shake itself to pieces, simultaneously attempting to switch both On and Off. As cyclic wavelengths diminish, so weather-events’ amplitudes and frequencies will increase in proportion. Though chaotic, non-linear, complex dynamic systems are inherently unpredictable in detail (Edward Lorenz, 1960 – ’64), cyclical phenomena in context of long-term secular trends are well-defined.

    Yes, global temperatures have been increasing since the LIA petered out from c. 1890; indeed, the thirty-year period 1980 – 2009 represented a cyclical warm-phase. But this involved no anthropogenic CO2 nor any other “forcing mechanism,” and populations now face an end to Earth’s “long summer,” our current 12,250-year Holocene Interglacial Epoch long overdue for a resurgence of median 102,000-year Pleistocene Ice Time.

    Green Gangsters such as Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al. join Luddite sociopaths like Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, latterly Keith Farnish, in abominating post-Enlightenment industrial/technological civilization and all its works. Over the next several generations, their brutal handiwork will likely result in mega-deaths.

  23. This is very interesting for those of us who have keenly followed the various postings, writing and papers of David Archibald. He was predicting this back in 2007 – see here:

    http://www.davidarchibald.info/papers/Failure%20To%20Warm.pdf

    and in his book and presentation to the Lavoisier Institute in Australia in early 2007 – The Past and Future of Climate.

    I find the very late ‘predictions’ by NASA particularly galling since many warmists blogging in 2007 and 2008 were extremely rude about David with quite nasty ad hominem attacks. If David Archibald can make these predictions – he admits that he is not a specialist – how come the heavy duty and well-funded climate scientists at NASA can get it so wrong? Does this have something to do with the IPCC’s conviction that the sun has little effect upon climate and they are tailoring their ‘predictions’ to suit?

    How long before climate ‘science’ releases itself from its religious fervour? I am not confident that it will be soon…

  24. No problem – just send Cillian Murphy with a REALLY big bomb and that should fix things! Oh – just realised that might give some people ideas….

  25. The following is pure supposition on my part and is supported by nothing more than a curious, 180 degree change in course I observed in Hathaway.

    I don’t think Hathaway is the total idiot his series of prognostications might imply. I distinctly remember an article he either wrote or that featured him in which he expressed alarm that the great solar conveyor belt had essentially ground to a halt. That was long before cycle #24 punked out almost entirely. A couple months later he was being quoted as saying in effect, “There is nothing at all unusual about the current dearth of sunspots. Everything is perfectly normal.”

    My reading at that time was that Hathaway had bucked to internal NASA political pressure. There was immense pressure to deny any development that might distract from the political mantra that “We’re all going to burn up and die soon if we don’t drown first, unless we drastically restrict fossil fuel use.”

  26. Neil says:
    January 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm
    I think we need to be fair to Dr Hathaway. He’s out there making predictiong, then revising them downwards as new information becomes available. He’s throwing out theories as actual data shows them to be incorrect.

    In other words, he’s acting like a scientist.

    _____________________________________________________________

    I agree. He got it wrong, held up his hands, cracked a few jokes at his own expense, and got back to work prepared to revise his opinions in the light of new information.

    Exactly what good scientists should be doing, and exactly what most climate scientists seem incapable of doing.

    Dr. Hathaway gets a pass from me.

  27. @ RobW says:
    January 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Someone recently said the number of significant sunspots is much lower as the new counting system counts “micro spots” or something like that. Can anyone comment on this?

    There’s on going discussion of this at http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi? . Many feel that the microspots should not be counted since they would not have been seen until modern technology made them visible.

  28. The hand writing is in the sky…or better put, on that star we call our sun. Changes are coming, and most likely, they not in the best interests of humanity, climate-wise. Most of present day humanity has little concept of what a Maunder type Minimum will do to our modern world. Time to wake up!

    The hard truth is that we are apparently headed for much colder weather over the next half a century! People had better start making plans for this, because our world as we know it now, is fixing to undergo some major changes, over the next 25-50 years or so.

  29. ‘There is nothing so bad that the interference of government can’t make worse.’
    Not my quote, but it seems that the predictions of government funded agencies more or less follow that rule, if you follow my thoughts.
    We will see in the next 5 – 30 years whether William Herschel was correct in relating the price of corn to the SSN, a correlation without a means of causation. (Herschel was the Astronomer Royal in late 18C.)
    It could be an interesting period, with many wishing they had paid more attention to WUWT.

  30. It’s funny how the error bars are getting relatively much more important as the graph-o-prediction progresses. Pretty soon it will be anything between 0 and 100. Spot on!

  31. The error bars are representing the expected month to month variation, not the accuracy of the prediction. Sunspots are behind the f10.7 curve and I don’t think its clear which one is supposed to influence climate – but the lag is something like 6 years, so conveniently most of the normal cycle is lost in the smoothing. Given the current understanding of solar predictions, this is about the time we should be expecting an update to the projection as the weighting shifts from projection based on model parameters to extrapolation of the emerging trend.
    Has anyone checked on the forecast update rate for the last few cycles?

  32. If my graph is right, should not get over 47, but since nasa keeps on trying, give them an ‘E’ for effort.

  33. RobW says:
    January 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm
    Someone recently said the number of significant sunspots is much lower as the new counting system counts “micro spots” or something like that. Can anyone comment on this?

    Hi Rob, If you go the site below, you will find explanations of the changed method of counting and the historical comparisons and a daily comment.

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

  34. Is it too soon to start painting our roofs black and spreading coal dust on all of our snow here in Canada?

    It can’t be too soon to start devising some schemes to heat up the earth. I am willing to drive a Ferrari as much as I can if it can be sufficiently government subsidized. I am certainly ready to do my part to avert a climate catastrophe.

  35. Last time, there was a panel of solar physicists who decided on the prediction of the cycle 24 maximum. Was it not reported that a ‘supermajority’ of the panel agreed on the height of the maximum ? Leif Svalgaard was on the panel and seemed to have been voted down by the supermajority, as the only member.
    Using the words of Dr. Tom Peterson: “Can we afford to wait another century* before they know better?”
    Hadn’t the first prediction the year of the maximum in 2011?

    *Replace century by i) solar cycle, ii) half cycle, iii) quarter cycle, iv) other time span

  36. Neil says:
    January 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm
    “I think we need to be fair to Dr Hathaway. He’s out there making predictiong, then revising them downwards as new information becomes available. He’s throwing out theories as actual data shows them to be incorrect.”

    Nice post. I can cut Hathaway some slack. At least he is reporting the data, unlike others we know. But isn’t he just extrapolating from past graphs? He doesn’t actually have something worthy of the name theory that might prove falsified, right? He isn’t actually predicting, right?

  37. ex-President Clinton likes to say that doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different outcome, is one clinical definition of insanity.

    NASAs sunspot scientists are getting uncomfortably close to resembling that definition. Time for some new theory, folks, because the old ones don’t seem to be working.

  38. I remember Dr. Hathaway’s NASA press release in July 2008, “What’s Wrong With the Sun? Nothing”:

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/11jul_solarcycleupdate/

    “The quiet of 2008 is not the second coming of the Maunder Minimum, believes Hathaway. “We have already observed a few sunspots from the next solar cycle,” he says. “This suggests the solar cycle is progressing normally.”

    If this is a grand solar minimum, he needs to retract the above statement and start warning the public to prepare for the not-insignificant possibility of an LIA. Lives depend on it; cold kills more surely than warmth… especially if fossil fuels have been deliberately priced so high that the poor can’t keep themselves warm. Such deaths have happened in the last few winters. Not to mention crop failures. Notice that food’s getting more expensive?

  39. My prediction for SC24 of sub 50SSN made in 2008 is still standing.

    Whats more I have solid science behind the prediction which can be falsified. The path of the Sun around the SSB is just as it was during the Maunder and there is new peer reviewed science (Wollf & Patrone) that has a mechanism for reduced solar output during this disturbed solar orbital path. Dr. Wollf tells me that he would expect a reduction in overall solar output when the Sun is on the currently disordered path.

  40. vukcevic says:
    January 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Few years back I had a brief correspondence with Dr. Hathaway. At that time he was confident that SC24 is going to be the strongest ever SC. Needles to say he rejected my idea out of hand, bat it proved to be far more reliable prediction method.

    I also remember Vuk that your initial formula predicted a high cycle 24 not unlike Hathaway. He is not the only one getting on the band wagon.

  41. Werner Weber says:
    January 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Last time, there was a panel of solar physicists who decided on the prediction of the cycle 24 maximum. Was it not reported that a ‘supermajority’ of the panel agreed on the height of the maximum ? Leif Svalgaard was on the panel and seemed to have been voted down by the supermajority, as the only member.

    I thought it was more than just Leif. The Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel issued two predictions, the graphical form is still online, look at the bottom of http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/SC24/index.html or go directly to http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/SC24/ssn_predict_orig.gif . The higher, faster prediction was supposed to be peaking right about now. Both now appear too high.

  42. Stuart Haggert wrote: Does this have something to do with the IPCC’s conviction that the sun has little effect upon climate and they are tailoring their ‘predictions’ to suit?

    If indeed their convicton is so strong that the sun has little relationship to Earth’s temps (what school did they go to again?), why would they fear to predict a low sunspot count? According to them, sunspot count is irrelevant to Earth’s climate.

  43. It is easier to think of the Sunspots cycle as a sine wave with a minimum of zero and a maximum of, say, 150. At zero the TSI is ~1360, at maximum is 1363. The difference, as per a verified previous post, corresponds to a Black Body temperature different of 0.15C. [Earth’s radiation temperature 288K.]

    Starting in 2005 we started a constant out-flow of Black Body radiation of ~0.15C/2.5 years. Note: Full input from the Sun would require the Sunspots to reach ~150 or F10.7 ~250. Check Loehe temperature reconstruction graphs for the Dalton Minimum to verify the ~0.15C/2.5 years.

    The Global temperature has already lost 2005 until 2010 -> 5 years*~0.15C/2.5 years=0.3C.

    Careful analysis of Loehe and other temperature reconstruction graphs, reveal a 350 to 400 years collapse of Solar output.

    Remember that all of this has happen before, so therefore, the Sun is acting perfectly normally. The real question is ‘Why can’t the Solar Physicists, who have the Sun “completely understood”, tell us why we have an extended Solar minimum???’

  44. SC24 has been flat for 12months, it is possible that we have seen the peak of activity already judging by the refusal to get into the normal ramp up, cycle max whenever that happens could be just like today. Its still early days but the revised NASA predictions lead one to think SC24 is a goner.

    There are some interesting aspects observed so far. There was a regime shift around June last year where the type of sunspot changed. Large unipolar groups have dominated, these groups by nature have far less F10.7 and EUV output although magnetically they are very strong. The current F10.7 readings are too low considering the current spot activity. We have also witnessed a overall rise in magnetic strength and sunspot darkness over the past 12 months as we head towards solar max, sunspot 1148 yesterday continues this trend which flies in the face of L&P (although Leif will tell you differently)

    The SC5/SC24 comparison graph is the one to watch with SC24 looking like it might be weaker than SC5.

  45. Either the incandescant sun is being replaced with the mother of all CFLs or the conveyer belt bearings have fried.
    With a much larger computer budget they could turn out many more wrong predictions and eliminate the jerky motion of the animation!
    (Props to Hathaway for examining the theory for problems!)

  46. geo @ January 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm:

    While Bill Clinton might like to say it, he stole it from Al Einstein.

    Anthony,

    Thanks for the quote from my favorite American philosopher. My favorite Berra quote regarding my view of the proposed “solutions” to AGW: “You’ve got to be careful, if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might end up someplace else.” That quote applies to geoengineering as well.

  47. Neil says: “I think we need to be fair to Dr Hathaway. He’s out there making predictiong, then revising them downwards as new information becomes available. He’s throwing out theories as actual data shows them to be incorrect. In other words, he’s acting like a scientist.”

    In science, it’s okay to be wrong, though slightly embarrassing. It is not okay to change the data to make it look like you’re right, castigate everyone who disagrees with you, hide your data and methodology, game the peer review process, suppress the opinions of others, and pretend to be morally superior to skeptics.

  48. “We still don’t quite understand this beast,” Dr. Hathaway said. “The theories we had for how the sunspot cycle works have major problems.”

    Wow. Just wow. I bet someone I know (admittedly just through a faceless blog) is having a glass of wine with a satisfied smile on his face.

  49. mitchel44 says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    To be fair to Dr Hathaway, he’s working on it.

    “We still don’t quite understand this beast,” Dr. Hathaway said. “The theories we had for how the sunspot cycle works have major problems.”

    This is very promising. Maybe Hathaway is a scientist.

  50. Ed Reid says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Here’s a Berra quote for the Warmista: “When you reach a crossroads, you take it.”

  51. I’m waiting to see whether or not there can be a sustained return to more zonal jets, stratospheric cooling, decreasing cloudiness and albedo, dominance of EL Nino over La Nina and a positive AO without a high level of solar activity.

    To me it is just too much of a coincidence that all those phenomena went into reverse around the same time as we began to come out of the late 20th century period of active solar cycles.

    Top down solar effects on atmospheric chemistry is currently my favoured explanation. By altering the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere the surface air pressure distribution is changed for a greatly amplified effect on the global energy budget. operating via albedo and cloudiness changes.

    I’ve been seeking a suitably snappy name for the process.

  52. I cannot help noticing the upper and lower bounds on those graphs.

    \\ “There is nothing at all unusual about the current dearth of sunspots. Everything is perfectly normal.” //

    Yea, they are treating sunspots as a NORMAL distribution. Then have non-zero probabilities of negative numbers of sunspots.

    Maybe it is a nit-pick. But they are not plotting the data with a log-normal uncertainty distribution. With the same mean and standard deviation as with the normal, a Log-Normal envelope would lower the P50, make a lower Mode than the P50, and lower the P90Low, leave the P10High about the same and raise the P01(High), and eliminate lower bounds that were negative.

  53. In the older predictions the peak of this cycle was in 2010. What if that is right, and we are headed down now?

  54. @Theo Goodwin:

    The correct quote from Yogi Berra (he said this when giving driving directions to someone) is actually:

    “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

  55. Maybe WUWT should have a contest for who can guess the correct number!

    What will be the prize for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places?

  56. And to add to Pamela Gray’s comment at 5:09:

    And clearly that person has the class to make no pointed remarks about being right, and simply let’s his work do the talking for him – the earmark of a professional and a gentleman.

  57. As already noted by prior commenter: WOW !!..
    Plus what sticks in the mind is not just that latest NASA SSN = 59 max would put us at Maunder Minimum levels; lowest in ~300 years; but also the consistant statistically significant downward change thru each of the last 4 sets of revised numbers from initial March 2008 predicted peak of 130-140. It will be VERY interesting to see the next NASA SC24 predicted max 6 months or so down the road; not to mention the actual SSN data by the end of 2011.

    Interesting times, indeed. . . Here’s hoping that in 10 years or so I don’t look back on forecasted 26 degrees BELOW zero F. 4 tomorrow night as the ”good old days”. . .

  58. Now if I could only find something to knock the hell out of the Neo-Cons precautionary principle belief system.

    I think a rewrite of history from 1920 to 1945 will do the trick. You just have to show how isolationism in the US kept us out of WW2. Shouldn’t be too hard.

  59. Pamela Gray says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Before long, it will look like a flat-chested inverted nipple!

    That can be fixed at least temporarily with the properly applied vacuum engineering method. ;-)

  60. 1700 to 1722 and 1798 to about 1820 would be the models of sunspot cycles I would pick,

    We should stay away from exaggerations for awhile.

  61. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    My prediction for SC24 of sub 50SSN made in 2008 is still standing.

    Whats more I have solid science behind the prediction which can be falsified. The path of the Sun around the SSB is just as it was during the Maunder and there is new peer reviewed science (Wollf & Patrone) that has a mechanism for reduced solar output during this disturbed solar orbital path. Dr. Wollf tells me that he would expect a reduction in overall solar output when the Sun is on the currently disordered path.

    How long does the good Dr.Wollf estimate this disordered path to last?

  62. So look for deeper penetration of cosmic rays over the next 20 years and this means more cancers, genetic defects, and the continuation of the trend to global cooling. It amazes me how climatologists dare to say anything when we can be so far off (300%) in the possible 2010 highs predicted for sunspot count (as predicted back in 2008) versus the real data. Now NASA, having been totally discredited as a predictive entity, is doing what? Revising their predictions! This borders on anti-science. Why not just admit that we dont have a clue what the short term changes to the sun will be. We have proven this to ourselved with our own raw data! Few doubt that the Sun is the greatest infuence (directly or indirectly) upon our climate. Anyone, and I mean anyone who thinks that we have any handle whatsoever on our ability to predict even moderately long term (say a few hundreds of years) changes to our climate is worth more pity than praise.

  63. I read somewhere that there is a lag of one year from a low SSN phenomenon to cooling in planet Earth. If this will hold true, then the cooling in the next few years will be severe.

  64. My guess is that the Sun is heading for Maunder type period of inactivity, but the sunspot free period will only last till about 2035.
    How long will the MSM be silent on what happening on the Sun?
    Right now they are from time to time proclaiming the solar activity soon will be back to levels prior to SC24. Nothing to see here. Nothing out of the ordinary. Move on.

  65. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm
    The current F10.7 readings are too low considering the current spot activity. We have also witnessed a overall rise in magnetic strength and sunspot darkness over the past 12 months as we head towards solar max, sunspot 1148 yesterday continues this trend which flies in the face of L&P (although Leif will tell you differently)
    The sunspot count is too low relative to F10.7

    and L&P is right on track. http://www.leif.org/research/Livingston%20and%20Penn.png

    Now, one can always manipulate the sunspot number to make it fit whatever one wants too. Perhaps GISS is not the only one playing games with the ‘data’.

  66. An interesting animation. It shows just how poor their predictive powers really are. At first I was thinking those other lines were error bars, but they appear to be natural variation lines.

    The first set of predictions show a low around 2007, with a peak of approx 160 sunspots in 2010.

    The actual low is centred on 2009, and the next peak being pushed to 2003 at 50 sunspots.

    I would call that a very different outcome to what was expected. They should be embarrassed with that outcome.

  67. Sean Houlihane says:
    January 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    …Sunspots are behind the f10.7 curve and I don’t think its clear which one is supposed to influence climate – but the lag is something like 6 years, so conveniently most of the normal cycle is lost in the smoothing…

    Nonoy Oplas says:
    January 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I read somewhere that there is a lag of one year from a low SSN phenomenon to cooling in planet Earth. If this will hold true, then the cooling in the next few years will be severe.

    These responses answer my question from earlier. But which is right? If Sean is correct, then we should see a decent drop in temps over the next few years, as solar activity was starting to get low ~2005. If Nonoy is right, then this might not be such a big deal because we’ve already had plenty of exposure to the low solar output without a big drop in temps.

    I just heard a lot from the AGW types last year about being at solar minimum and it still being hot. But if the lag time is 6 years, then that doesn’t matter too much, as 2004 had respectable solar output. Also, if the lag is 6 years, is there any connection between the large Arctic ice loss in 2007 and the solar max in 2001?

    So can anyone clear up what the lag is supposed to be?

    Thanks,

    -Scott

  68. Ed Reid says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm
    ——————————————————————————-

    Yogi had another one that hits on the CAGW crowd’s methodology, Ed: “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

  69. Les Francis says:
    January 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    How long does the good Dr.Wollf estimate this disordered path to last?

    The solar disordered path goes from 2006 to 2016. How much of that path is available to solar suppression effects through vertical and horizontal forces is debatable, but currently being looked at.

    Dr. Wollf and Patrone are not convinced that a short term reduction in solar activity can explain a grand minimum lasting for decades, but a disruption to the Hale cycle would allow this.

  70. From the NASA page:

    Current prediction for the next sunspot cycle maximum gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 59 in June/July of 2013. We are currently two years into Cycle 24 and the predicted size continues to fall.

    I don’t blame NASA for what’s been going on with SC24, nor anyones predictions that didn’t pan out.
    The Sun has been doing this of it’s own accord, dragging it’s cyclical feet.
    At present rate (which shows no sign of turning any corner – surprise), 35-40 max in 2013, provided it doesn’t nose dive and hit the dirt first.
    Ok. Who wants to bet that SC24 won’t stall out and crash in the next 2 yrs?

  71. Nanoy Oplas said:
    “I read somewhere that there is a lag of one year from a low SSN phenomenon to cooling in planet Earth. If this will hold true, then the cooling in the next few years will be severe.”
    Based on an ice core study temperature reconstruction from the Altai glacier that correlated temperatures over the past 750 years with sunspot number there is a twenty year lag. Therefore since SSN in 1990 started to decline from 160 (SC22) to 110(sc23) to 60?(sc24) we might expect to see the decline begin 2010. As of today tropospheric temps (ch 5 UAH) have declined .86 degrees since last year at this time.

    http://lch.web.psi.ch/files/Publikationen/analytic/Eichleretal_GRL2009.pdf

    This is of course separate from any GHG forcings. However from the the extreme negative NAO and La Nina it is starting to look like solar rules.

  72. I just love how many in the astrophysicist community were predicting a quiet, delayed SC24 5-6 years ago, but of course were never listened to then nor now. They are becoming correct by the day through the process of comparing observational records against their hypotheses, yet the Hansenist NASA among others can move the goalposts monthly and still be the ‘go to’ voice and remain totally unapproachable when it comes to criticism of their failed predictions.

    Long-range weather forecasters like Bastardi, Corbyn and Walker et al get it right far more often than any of the politicised weather bureaus, yet who do we always hear from??

    I’m also looking forward to how far NOAA/GISS and others will need to fudge 2011’s data to make it the ‘hottest year ever’.

    Remember, we live in an age of hearing not from who is correct, but from who is proper.

    PS. Pardon my ignorance, but what is happening re. the DeVries Cycle – the 208-210yr long-term solar cycle. We’re due for a significant change any year now aren’t we?!

  73. I’m not going to get too concerned until the next solar cycle ramp down gets well underway. Then I’ll be sweaty, because of Elbrus in Russia and the help it could get from other percolating big bad boys. Hope not, but its going to happen eventually sometime.

  74. Dr. Lurtz says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm (Edit)

    It is easier to think of the Sunspots cycle as a sine wave with a minimum of zero and a maximum of, say, 150. At zero the TSI is ~1360, at maximum is 1363. The difference, as per a verified previous post, corresponds to a Black Body temperature different of 0.15C. [Earth’s radiation temperature 288K.]

    Starting in 2005 we started a constant out-flow of Black Body radiation of ~0.15C/2.5 years. Note: Full input from the Sun would require the Sunspots to reach ~150 or F10.7 ~250. Check Loehe temperature reconstruction graphs for the Dalton Minimum to verify the ~0.15C/2.5 years.

    The Global temperature has already lost 2005 until 2010 -> 5 years*~0.15C/2.5 years=0.3C.

    Careful analysis of Loehe and other temperature reconstruction graphs, reveal a 350 to 400 years collapse of Solar output.

    Remember that all of this has happen before, so therefore, the Sun is acting perfectly normally. The real question is ‘Why can’t the Solar Physicists, who have the Sun “completely understood”, tell us why we have an extended Solar minimum???’

    —…—

    I observe rather, that it is not so much the short 11.6 (some-odd) sunspot cycle that is important, but the three-period repetitive cycle of ALL the sunspot cycles that we have observed that is important to the earth.

    Thus, every “set” of three “high-activity” cycles repeats 6 cycles (66 years) later with another set of three “high-activity” cycles. Between, three “low intensity” cycles repeat 66 years later with three more low intensity cycles.

    SC21-22-23 were very high, perhaps the highest ever recorded. Before that, 18-19-20 were low, but not as abnormally low as 24 appears to be becoming. High intensity during SC15-16-17 were symptomatic of the rise in temperature between 1890 and 1940, just like SC21-22-23 high values corresponded to the rise in temperature into 2000-2010 Modern Warming Period from the low point in 1970.

    My prediction?

    SC24-25-26 will be very low, maybe equal to the 3 sunspot cycles spanning the Mauder Minimum where almost no activity will be found. But then they will recover.

    Big questions?

    What three sunspot cycle will be the peak of the Modern Warming Period? SC21-22-23, peaking in 2000-2010, to be followed by a Modern Ice Age beginning with the Modern Minimum of SC24-25-26?

    Or will the Modern Warming Peak occur in the NEXT SC triple of SC27-28-29, with a Modern Warming Peak of high temperatures 66 years from now in 2066-2076?

    —…—

    Side Questions: What is the accepted period of the “long” Temperature Cycle (800 years, 900, 950 ???); and when did the MWP and LIA “peak” and “dip”?

    When should we have begun our periodic return to the climate count towards the actual Modern Warming Peak?

    Why three up, three down, three up, three down?
    Get an answer, then write the Nobel Committee.

  75. The sunspot cycle is known but there is a cycle of sunspot numbers, ie. a low number year will be in a cycle with the next low number year. This is probably twice the sunspot cycle length so about 20 years. There is also a cycle of solar magnetic activity, which is separate to the sunspot one, and other cycles as well all of which have an impact on climate. None of these cycles are incorporated in GCM’s.
    I am sure that some solar cycles are longer than the time that we have been accurately monitoring the sun and proxy measurements of past solar activity, using Be isotope measurements, get poorer with age like all other proxy data.

  76. Eh, if we’re still setting multiple record high temperatures worldwide despite unprecedentedly (and unpredictedly) low sunspot numbers, shouldn’t that make us more worried about global warming, rather than less? Why *isn’t* the wine frosting over in Versailles?

  77. Hi Geoff
    There is only one formula, one published in Jan 2004. Extrapolated it predicts peak value around 80 (red amplitude curve), which may be somewhat different from the annual averaged maximum. Further more it correctly identifies start of all grand minima (Oort to Dalton), as well as sudden drop in peaks of recent cycles e.g. SC20 (see fig 5),

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

    not to mention the polar field, the highest correlation in whole of the solar science.
    Solar activity is electro-magnetic physical process and I think that latest findings from NASA with every new finding, indicate that solution to the problem can be only found in the study of the electro-magnetic relationships, with some ideas outlined in the above link.

  78. “We still don’t quite understand this beast,” Dr. Hathaway said. “The theories we had for how the sunspot cycle works have major problems.”

    Not that I expect that Dr. Hathaway would read or consider it, but if by any miracle he does, it would be interesting to know how would he now compare the magnetic IHV index method with the more compressive electro-magnetic feedback

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

    Dr. Svalgaard’s comments are welcome too.

  79. What this demonstrates, is that they don’t understand the Sun and its dynamics.

    I am sure the Sunspot cycle is not random – it is just that nobody understands what the underlying mechanism for the cycle is. And until they do, I would have thought that throwing out planetry orbits and other suggestions is tantamount to gross negligence.

    .

  80. Talking of Maunder Minimum here is Joe Bastardi predicting temps for the next decade.

    “The scientific approach is you see the other argument, you put forward predictions about where things are going to go, and you test them,” he says. “That is what I have done. I have said the earth will cool .1 to .2 Celsius in the next ten years, according to objective satellite data.” Bastardi’s challenge to his critics — who are legion — is to make their own predictions. And then wait.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/257040/bastardi-s-wager-matthew-shaffer

    If this happens what will the climate scientists say? I predict we will see a paper that blames the cooling on global warming. I’m not joking either. They have already done this with the recent bitter cold and snow in the Northern Hemisphere this past winter.

  81. The NASA prediction has closed to within 20% of the correct number. As they note, this is an ongoing process. They still have solar maximum in 2013 when it will be in 2015. I predict that there will be no solar magnetic pole reversal at solar maximum. Solar activity will be back to normal, as we have known it, by mid-century. Ocean warming has now ceased in this interglacial and insolation at 60 degrees north will be low enough for long enough to initiate onset of the next glaciation. The thing to watch now is how much snow remains on the ground each August.

  82. >>vukcevic says: January 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm
    >>Here is an updated version:
    >> http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm

    Yeah, very good. But do you have a layman’s version, that tells us what the hell is going on?

    The essence of a good scientist is not coming up with a fancy theory, but explaining that theory in simple terms to politicians or the public.

    .

  83. Scott says:
    January 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    These responses answer my question from earlier. But which is right?
    Neither is right, they are both guesses based on some curve fitting. Without a causal theory which can be tested, feel free to pick which ever number fits your current theory.

    My 6 years came from the lack of a clear correlation, and the recent article on here which attempted to remove ocean circulation effects from some temperature series, leaving a residual which had some similarity to SSN. To me, 6 years implies that the individual cycles won’t be very clear in the response which seems a reasonable interpretation of the data. I also believe the effect is small, so find the hysteria on these threads quite entertaining.

  84. George Kominiak says:
    January 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    It may be time to stop arguing, put the computer codes on pause and sit back and watch the show. If, as historical information suggests, a lack of solar activity is going to have an adverse effect on the Earth’s weather/climate, we may soon be in a position to see it first hand!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Our wonderful, honest, up-front scientific community could never sit back, George; the gravy might dry up.

  85. One supposes there is no scientific method to determine if Livingston and Penn’s (LP) work applies to the Maunder period? It seems, to the lay person, that there are about 65 years of F10.7 flux measurements, 300 years of Wolf sunspots and perhaps 400 years of mostly continuous direct sunspot observations with telescopes. Which, imho, means there is only about 65 years of data reliable enough for LP and that is woefully insufficient to do anything other than suggest the same occurred during the Maunder period? And would that mean we’d have to wait until a repeat of the data LP is using to confirm LP’s theory and then “conjecture” the same event occurred during the Maunder period?

    All in all, we’re still at the stage of conjecture trying to support conjecture, or worse, regarding climate predictions using spots?

  86. vukcevic says:
    January 19, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Solar activity is electro-magnetic physical process and I think that latest findings from NASA with every new finding, indicate that solution to the problem can be only found in the study of the electro-magnetic relationships

    Hi Vuk, dont take it personally but 2011 is the year when planetary theory will take hold. But only if some of the more obtuse areas of this realm are isolated. I have not seen any reliable data that can support a magnetic influence that can control solar output. Angular momentum theory has legs and needs to be isolated, but I wish you well in your research. I think your magnetic/climate work has some merit.

  87. Quick question. Probably something I don’t understand fully.

    Why do the error bars for the peak around 2001 change once the years progress to about the middle of 2009? The upper and lower ranges seem to increase.

  88. David Archibald says:
    January 19, 2011 at 2:47 am
    ..I predict that there will be no solar magnetic pole reversal at solar maximum..
    ~
    Leif..instead of taking an opposing opine here, could you instead show us what it would take for this to occur? And then why it wont?
    Or not?
    ~
    Geoff Sharp says:
    January 19, 2011 at 4:17 am
    vukcevic says:
    January 19, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Solar activity is electro-magnetic physical process and I think that latest findings from NASA with every new finding, indicate that solution to the problem can be only found in the study of the electro-magnetic relationships

    Hi Vuk, dont take it personally but 2011 is the year when planetary theory will take hold. But only if some of the more obtuse areas of this realm are isolated. I have not seen any reliable data that can support a magnetic influence that can control solar output. Angular momentum theory has legs and needs to be isolated, but I wish you well in your research. I think your magnetic/climate work has some merit.
    ~
    I think his theory has merit too..and 2011 will also be insightfull for those watching the magnetic reconnection of the heliosphere with the interstellar region as a candidate for solar cycle variations.
    When the planets stop “following the leader” (the sun), let me know Geoff.

  89. It will be interesting to see just how much this affects the TSI – we were informed that TSI only varies by 0.1% and thus cannot be a cause for GW – clearly, if we observe global ‘cooling’ – this will certainly imply that TSI is a bigger player than currently considered by the ‘Team’.

  90. Peter Ellis said:
    “Eh, if we’re still setting multiple record high temperatures worldwide despite unprecedentedly (and unpredictably) low sunspot numbers, shouldn’t that make us more worried about global warming, rather than less?”
    ————————————————-
    The Altai ice core reconstruction would indicate that the recent El Nino records of 1998 and 2010 were simply a twenty year delay from the 1980 to 1990 solar max.
    The decline has just begun. I just agreed to pay somebody $750 to shovel my roof in Breckenridge where we have already come close to our yearly average snowfall of 300 inches. I may be on the frontline of the next ice age.

  91. David Archibald says:
    January 19, 2011 at 2:47 am
    ..I predict that there will be no solar magnetic pole reversal at solar maximum..
    What’s new?
    My formula has been around for years:

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

    NASA: The shape of our solar system moving through the interstellar medium was previously thought to be comet-shaped, with a head pointed into the stream, and a tail flowing downstream. Carla says:
    January 19, 2011 at 5:45 am
    New observations show the shape actually resembles something more like a slippery ball.
    Electro-magnetic feedback within a sphere is bound to be more effective than within the previously thought ‘comet-shaped’ heliosphere. Dimensions of the heliosphere are result of the equilibrium between intensity of solar activity and strength of galactic field.

  92. Seems as though a grand minimum is almost certain. Flux is still flat and struggling to stay in the 90s for a sustained amount of time.

    Leif, please could you update graphic K F107 at Minima 1954 and 2008 Comparison between minima (daily) , it has not been updated since the sudden up-tick to 90 in the first week of January. Pressing F5/refresh does not update the graphic.

  93. David Archibald says:
    January 19, 2011 at 2:47 am
    ..I predict that there will be no solar magnetic pole reversal at solar maximum..
    What’s new?
    My formula has been around for years:

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

    Carla says:
    January 19, 2011 at 5:45 am
    ……………….
    NASA: The shape of our solar system moving through the interstellar medium was previously thought to be comet-shaped, with a head pointed into the stream, and a tail flowing downstream.
    Electro-magnetic feedback within a sphere is bound to be more effective than within the previously thought ‘comet-shaped’ heliosphere. Dimensions of the heliosphere are result of the equilibrium between intensity of solar activity and strength of galactic field.

  94. vukcevic says:
    January 19, 2011 at 2:00 am
    the more compressive electro-magnetic feedback
    It has about [perhaps a tad less] merit as this theory:

    http://www.asnsw.com/universe/alternate/AU2/darksuckers.asp

    Carla says:
    January 19, 2011 at 5:45 am
    “..I predict that there will be no solar magnetic pole reversal at solar maximum..”
    Leif..instead of taking an opposing opine here, could you instead show us what it would take for this to occur? And then why it wont?

    First, if the poles do reverse D.A.’s prediction fails. A failed prediction means a failed theory. So, if the poles reverse, will D.A. abandon his ideas [as he must]?

    Why do the poles reverse? They do that because new cycle magnetic flux is transported to the poles and there cancel the old cycle flux that was there. This process is well on its way already. The polar fields have already decreased 25% the last year or so; at this rate, a reversal at solar max is very likely in another 3 years.

  95. Mr. Alex says:
    January 19, 2011 at 6:43 am
    update graphic K F107 at Minima 1954 and 2008 Comparison between minima (daily) , it has not been updated since the sudden up-tick to 90 in the first week of January. Pressing F5/refresh does not update the graphic.
    It moves like molasses in January:

    vukcevic says:
    January 19, 2011 at 6:45 am
    “David Archibald says: ..I predict that there will be no solar magnetic pole reversal at solar maximum..”
    What’s new? My formula has been around for years

    So, if the polar fields reverse, you are both wrong, and the ‘theory’ is falsified.

  96. If their original prediction had held true, we would be, right now, at a level of solar activity greater than the previous solar maximum.

    And still people tell me that I’m crazy to suggest that science should not be making public predictions. In this case though, as I think Leif has hinted at a few times on here, it seems that *IF ANYTHING* there is pressure from major insurance firms on these official “predictions”? Don’t let me misquote you Leif, I don’t want to do that. What’s interesting about that situation is that it is precisely the opposite situation that climate science seems to be in. Those who predict nothing interesting will happen are the ones accused of being “on the take” as it were.

  97. With forecasts above of how long and how deep this cooling cycle might be, and when the next ice age starts, I would like to send my 2 cents. Two questions:
    How does one submit a Guest Post candidate?
    I have a word document with JPEG images- and the images don’t seem to transmit. How do I overcome this problem?
    Answers to murrayv@msn.com would be welcome.

  98. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 7:02 am
    It has about [perhaps a tad less] merit as this theory:

    http://www.asnsw.com/universe/alternate/AU2/darksuckers.asp

    Is that the best you can do?
    A bit embarrassing for a scientist of your standing.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 7:39 am
    So, if the polar fields reverse, you are both wrong, and the ‘theory’ is falsified.

    Polar reversal times are a bit ambiguous (can lust up to a year, or even longer).
    My formula is very ‘clever’ about that possibility, almost
    Delphian
    You should take a good look again

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

  99. In postulating that the Earth was a planet travelling around the Sun, Aristarchus was the precursor of Copernicus. Copernicus realized this, because in the original preface to De
    Revolutionibus[6] he referred to Aristarchus, but removed the reference before the book was published in the year of his death. Between these men are seventeen centuries yet both were opposed by the scientific minds of their day.

    Inmanuel Velikovsky

    http://www.skepticssa.org.au/pdf/velikovsky.pdf

  100. David Archibald says:
    January 19, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Considering the progressive SSN hemispherical bifurcation I got a fiver on DA over the savant.

  101. Predicting the behavior of a sunspot cycle is fairly reliable once the cycle is well underway (about 3 years after the minimum in sunspot number occurs [see Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann Solar Physics; 151, 177 (1994)]). Prior to that time the predictions are less reliable

    Well their graph shows the minimun in early 2008 or late 2009, so we are only 2 year into the cycle. So, in another year they should have a good preiction? Nice.

  102. Gary Fox:

    “The solar cycle 24 predicted sunspot maximum has been reduced again – predicted peak down to 59 Max.”

    “This will be at the level of the Maunder Minimum of 1675 -1715.”

    It has been pointed out by a poster over at Judith Curry’s that the author probably means a Dalton Minimum rather than a Maunder minimum which would have less than 10 SSN rather than the 59 now forecast by NASA.

  103. Ralph says:
    January 19, 2011 at 2:57 am
    …………
    Electro-magnetic laws of physics are well known and are easily tested. Problems arise when one gets down to the fundamentals, as we often see in a frequent discourse between Dr.S. and some of the EU protagonists.

  104. The late Dr. Landscheidt also predicted a moderate SC23 and weak SC24. He used heuristic analysis to suggest a Maunder Minimum-type of activity through 2030. So far, it’s looking good for his predictions.

  105. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 10:03 am
    ………………..
    In the aurora electrojet (Hall current) the electrons rapidly move among the ions creating separate electric current of opposite polarity.
    And if in the ionosphere, why not in the solar wind too?; plasma is layered.

  106. Doug Allen says:
    January 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    As most of us are aware, there is a pretty good correlation between sunspot numbers and global temperature. . This correlation has continued to the present, and most observers would state that it’s a much closer correlation than the CO2- temperature correlation. Yes, we all know that correlation does not necessarily imply causality.

    If you are talking about the correlation between CO2 and temperature, you have only one single occurance without using proxies and since 1995 CO2 has gone opposite to temperature. If you are talking about the correlation between sunspots and temperature I dont think it can be shown that a small rise in global temperatures can cause sunspots, there are observed (eyeball) records over three periods, how many times does it take the sun to go to sleep and the earth to cool before the light bulb flashes.

  107. vukcevic says:
    January 19, 2011 at 10:37 am
    And if in the ionosphere, why not in the solar wind too?; plasma is layered.
    Analogies don’t work here. There are so many things wrong with your picture that it is hard to know where to begin, and it would be futile anyway, as you would not understand or be willing to learn. You’ll be much happier staying at the level where you are, rather than learning about how the solar system plasmas really behave. I have tried to get you out of the dark, but failed, so why not leave you where you are happy, working for the benefit of all mankind?

  108. Robw says:
    January 18, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks folks. Now my question is by how much is the present spot count elevated by the new method?

    This is the original

    This is the reference

    Today

  109. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Now, one can always manipulate the sunspot number to make it fit whatever one wants too. Perhaps GISS is not the only one playing games with the ‘data’.

    Yes by using this as a reference,

    instead of this,

  110. Robuk says:
    January 19, 2011 at 11:16 am
    Thanks folks. Now my question is by how much is the present spot count elevated by the new method?
    The present day spot count is kept [as far as possible] to what is visible in an 80mm aperture refractor at magnification 64, and is thus independent of the instruments. At any rate, the limit is set by the quality of the seeing and the experience of the observer, not by the size of the telescope, once the latter is good enough.

  111. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 11:05 am
    vukcevic says:
    January 19, 2011 at 10:37 am
    And if in the ionosphere, why not in the solar wind too?; plasma is layered.

    Analogies don’t work here. There are so many things wrong with your picture that it is hard to know where to begin,..

    ~
    C’mon now Leif, there has got to be similaritys within the system.
    If .. we think we can see jets forming at the edge of the heliosphere bubble, caused by the flopping around of solar wind and IMF as it propagates outward and piles up.. why then can’t we say the same about the inward and outward solar wind/IMF flopping around itself in the inner system? Everytime the inward IMF and outward IMF flop isn’t there an X line and reconnection onto itself? We see some pretty amazing reconnection on the dayside of earth’s magnetosphere when that flopping occurs during the course of a collision with earth’s field. What happens in space when there is no body to collide with?

    Then we have that helium passing through the system at 26 km/sec and its vector locations from the nose, But the hydrogen and heaviers in separate streams mind you, at 24 km/sec, (higher lats) talk about plasma behavior, gee whiz..

    And Leif, that link..light bulbs sucking out the dark? Hello..you do have a sense of humor..lol

    Plenty of blue striping on our clouds here in WI the last two weeks. And plenty of light fluffy snow too..not that heavier wet stuff, like when the clouds are all dark and greys. My back is surviving better than the wrist for those snow shovelling episodes.

  112. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 11:05 am
    I have tried to get you out of the dark, but failed..

    Not in such darkness as you make it out, just at the twilight of a new dawn.
    For benefit of some readers, Dr. Hathaway for his predictions was forward casting IHV index values. This worked fine until SC24. Only reason he failed is that he didn’t now why it worked (as he is on record saying), if he really understood IHV index, he may got SC24 at least low.
    Dr. Svalgaard is the world’s top expert on IHV index ( early data is Dr. S’ reconstruction).
    I am the only one who understands North Atlantic Precursor – NAP (I discovered it, or lets say, invented it)
    There is more than passing similarity between two: the IHV index and NAP (1910-2010)

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/IHV-NAP.htm

    ‘Coincidence!’ I here good doc remonstrating.

    May be, but on the other hand may be not.
    Sun, major planets, heliosphere, all the way down to the Earth and Arctic (and our precious climate) they are all links in an unbreakable chain.

  113. Carla says:
    January 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    Everytime the inward IMF and outward IMF flop isn’t there an X line and reconnection onto itself? We see some pretty amazing reconnection on the dayside of earth’s magnetosphere when that flopping occurs during the course of a collision with earth’s field. What happens in space when there is no body to collide with?
    If there is serious reconnection between the inward and outward IMF, then there would be no open flux left when the solar wind gets to the heliopause. That the sector structure is still very much evident at such great distance is proof that reconnection is insignificant. And when there is no body to collide with, nothing happens.
    None of this is relevant to Vuk’s simplistic ideas. He uses words and concepts that he has no idea what mean, e.g. the Hall current he was talking about. The Hall parameter, in a plasma is the ratio between the electron gyrofrequency, and the electron-heavy particle collision frequency. The solar wind is collisionless, so there are no collisions, hence no Hall currents, and on and on. He thinks the solar wind is a ‘proton current’. It is not, as there are equal number of protons and electrons, and on and on. As I said, the whole thing is just weird nonsense. The solar wind does not return to the Sun at high latitudes, but is lost to interstellar space, helps make up that interstellar medium [stellar winds from other stars] you like so much, and on and on. Now, you are not much better when it comes to understanding of this. This does not detract from the entertainment value you all can have from these speculations, but it ain’t science, even if considered Nobel quality by its peddlers.It is alright that you are out there on the fringe, as long as you know you are on the fringe. Sadly, it diminishes the value of this blog as a forum for serious skepticism. Now, one can argue that a robust world view can live with a few nuts, and leave it at that.

  114. vukcevic says:
    January 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    Only reason he failed is that he didn’t now why it worked (as he is on record saying), if he really understood IHV index, he may got SC24 at least low.
    No, that is not the reason. The reason is that his method relies on a peak in geomagnetic activity near or just before minimum. If there are more than one peak, one should pick the ‘right’ one [which is usually the latest one. Hathaway picked the wrong peak [in 2003] rather than the ‘better’ one in 2008. See slide 26 of http://www.leif.org/research/Predicting%20the%20Solar%20Cycle%20(SORCE%202010).pdf

    I am the only one who understands North Atlantic Precursor – NAP (I discovered it, or lets say, invented it)
    Which makes it useless and not science.

  115. James H says:
    January 19, 2011 at 10:04 am

    The late Dr. Landscheidt also predicted a moderate SC23 and weak SC24. He used heuristic analysis to suggest a Maunder Minimum-type of activity through 2030. So far, it’s looking good for his predictions.

    And I believe he also predicted there would be no more El Ninos for decades after 2008. It’s possible he could be right about a Maunder Minimum, but for the wrong reasons.

  116. A few weeks ago there was a link on Drudge to a breathless article discussing the dangers of the next solar maximum. Not once did the authors mention the sluggishness of SC24, nor did they hint that there was any information which might cause people to wonder if SC24 was at, above or below predicted levels. It was about 750 – 1,000 words of solar flares, CME’s, power grid failures and disabled satellites. They even sneaked a Katrina comparison in there. I had to laugh out loud it was so fear-mongering.

    I put it all down to typical sensationalised reporting to sell ad copy.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.bdf9ddce1297325e1b97e06696026e73.111&show_article=1

    OK, now on to the conspiracy portion of the programme…

    It’s entirely logical to presume that IF cycle 24 tops out at even lower activity numbers than predicted and ends up bringing cooling temps globally, and IF as cycle 25 ramps up it’s apparent that it’s more “normal” with rising temps, the AGW crowd will at that point in time shift into overdrive trumpeting the proof that the world is warming and that it’s your fault. They’ll gloss over the obvious information that a low solar activity event lined up with cooling, and rush to resume their efforts to part you from your money – to save the planet, donchaknow.

  117. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 18, 2011 at 7:28 pm
    Les Francis says:
    January 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    How long does the good Dr.Wollf estimate this disordered path to last?

    The solar disordered path goes from 2006 to 2016. How much of that path is available to solar suppression effects through vertical and horizontal forces is debatable, but currently being looked at.

    Dr. Wollf tells me that he would expect a reduction in overall solar output when the Sun is on the currently disordered path.

    Interesting. We’ve been having an extensive discussion of the Wolff and Patrone paper here:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/wolff-and-patrone-a-new-way-that-planets-can-affect-the-sun/

  118. “Why do the poles reverse? They do that because new cycle magnetic flux is transported to the poles and there cancel the old cycle flux that was there. ”

    This seems to me a bit like saying the poles reverse because the poles reverse. Why is new magnetic flux not the same polarity as the old flux? Where does the energy come from that flips the magnetic field? Why is the length of time between reversals variable? Why is it not more regular? What determines the magnitude and limits of these variations? Is a Hale cycle of 10 years possible? How about 100 years? If not, why not? Why is the sunspot cycle a 2:1 resonance of magnetic cycle? What is the physical process that powers this resonance? Why is it not a 1:1 resonance?

  119. Dr. Svalgaard; what is your current prediction for the peak 29 or 30 day average 10.7 cm flux during cycle 24? I use 29 days, because it’s approximately 1 Carrington rotation. I prefer 10.7 cm flux, because it’s objective, and not subject to personal judgement or improving optics, like sunspots.

    For comparison, the Solar Cycle 23 value peaked at 240 in early October, 2001. Right now, it’s crawling around 80.

  120. http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/10mar_stormwarning/

    This week researchers announced that a storm is coming–the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one,” she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.

    Like most experts in the field, Hathaway has confidence in the conveyor belt model and agrees with Dikpati that the next solar maximum should be a doozy. But he disagrees with one point. Dikpati’s forecast puts Solar Max at 2012. Hathaway believes it will arrive sooner, in 2010 or 2011.

    “History shows that big sunspot cycles ‘ramp up’ faster than small ones,” he says. “I expect to see the first sunspots of the next cycle appear in late 2006 or 2007—and Solar Max to be underway by 2010 or 2011.”

    Who’s right? Time will tell. Either way, a storm is coming.

  121. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Robuk says:
    January 19, 2011 at 11:16 am
    Thanks folks. Now my question is by how much is the present spot count elevated by the new method?
    The present day spot count is kept [as far as possible] to what is visible in an 80mm aperture refractor at magnification 64, and is thus independent of the instruments.
    At any rate, the limit is set by the quality of the seeing and the experience of the observer, not by the size of the telescope, once the latter is good enough.

    Not by the size of the scope, yes, but the quality of the lense is paramount, how good is good enough, are you suggesting 80mm lenses of the 1700`s have the same capability as lenses developed in the mid 1800`s or today.

    We are comparing the Maunda and the Daulton and the reference telescope should be the earliest scope available, which is this scope.

    http://www.vectorsite.net/tascope_02.html

  122. “And I believe he also predicted there would be no more El Ninos for decades after 2008. It’s possible he could be right about a Maunder Minimum, but for the wrong reasons.”

    Yarmy, I have definitely not studied all of his work and statements, but I don’t recall seeing a statement that there would not be ANY El Nino’s, but that they would diminish in strength especially relative to La Nina’s, which would be prevalent. He also says that the lag time between solar activity changes and temperature changes is approximately 4-8 years. Maybe 2010 was the last hurrah? Who knows, it could all be wrong. I don’t have much confidence in anyone’s forecasts/predictions. It will be an interesting show though, for the next couple of decades, to see what happens.

  123. Stephen Wilde says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm
    I’m waiting to see whether or not there can be a sustained return to more zonal jets, stratospheric cooling, decreasing cloudiness and albedo, dominance of EL Nino over La Nina and a positive AO without a high level of solar activity.

    To me it is just too much of a coincidence that all those phenomena went into reverse around the same time as we began to come out of the late 20th century period of active solar cycles.

    Top down solar effects on atmospheric chemistry is currently my favoured explanation. By altering the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere the surface air pressure distribution is changed for a greatly amplified effect on the global energy budget. operating via albedo and cloudiness changes.

    I’ve been seeking a suitably snappy name for the process.

    How about “the solar Wildebeest”?

  124. ge0050 says:
    January 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm
    Why is new magnetic flux not the same polarity as the old flux?
    sunspots are inherently bipolar [Hale’s law – observational fact], a part with one polarity, and a part with the opposite polarity [because magnetic fields are like that – no monopoles have ever been observed]. One polarity tends to be at a bit higher latitude than the other [Joy’s law – observational fact]. As the spot group disperses into the surrounding photosphere, that polarity has a better chance of getting to the pole [it is closer]. That polarity is the opposite of the polar fields during the rising part of the cycle [Babcock’s law – observational fact], hence will cancel the polar fields during the rising phase and then build a new polar field with reversed polarity during the rest of the cycle. That new polar field determine the polarity of the new spots in the next cycle.

    Where does the energy come from that flips the magnetic field?
    The field is not one ‘large’ entity, but consists of thousands of tiny ‘elements’ that are moved around by the ‘meridional circulation’ [moving towards the poles at the surface and back to the equator again at depth. The energy comes from the interior of the Sun [where there is enough of it].

    Why is the length of time between reversals variable?
    The stronger the polar fields are, the longer it takes to reverse them, bit by bit. The stronger the cycle is the more flux can be transported to the poles.

    Why is it not more regular?
    Because it is the result of basically random events. On all the magnetic flux emerging during a cycle only a very small part [one in a thousand] makes it to the poles. This happens in a few [about five] ‘surges’. But that could be three surges or seven surges or some random small number.

    What determines the magnitude and limits of these variations?
    It is a self-sustaining process: magnetic fields from spots give rise to the new polar fields that in turn help create the next cycle’s spots [all with reversed polarities]. The amount of existing flux determines how much there is to work with. Random fluctuations [only about five – in each hemisphere – flux surges occur] throttle the process.

    Is a Hale cycle of 10 years possible?
    depends on the speed of the meridional circulation and how much that might vary. The sun is big and ponderous, so I think too large variations [10 years, 100 years] are unlikely, but possible.

    How about 100 years? If not, why not?
    see above

    Why is the sunspot cycle a 2:1 resonance of magnetic cycle?
    It is not, you misunderstand the meaning of resonance. There really isn’t any magnetic cycle as a physical entity. What we have are just two adjacent single cycles that by virtue of the polar field reversal, have opposite polarities. Consider this sequence …+-+-+-+-…. We could think of that as …(+-)(+-)(+-)… or as …+(-+)(-+)(-+)…, depending on where we arbitrarily start.

    What is the physical process that powers this resonance?
    Since there isn’t any resonance, no process is involved. The polarity reversals happen as described, the energy – eventually – coming from nuclear fusion in the core.

    Why is it not a 1:1 resonance?
    There is no resonance. The polarity reversals are a consequence of Joy’s law. Explaining what cause Joy’s law is part of understanding the cycle, and we do not have a full understanding of the cycle.

    Walter Dnes says:
    January 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm
    Dr. Svalgaard; what is your current prediction for the peak 29 or 30 day average 10.7 cm flux during cycle 24? I use 29 days, because it’s approximately 1 Carrington rotation. I prefer 10.7 cm flux, because it’s objective, and not subject to personal judgement or improving optics, like sunspots.
    10.7 cm flux predicted to be 120 sfu. Sunspots are not subject to improving optics as the counting is deliberately done with small telescopes (80mm aperture, magnification 64) and are checked against counts made using the original telescope used by Rudolf Wolf in the 1850s [still exists and still in use – I’m actually going today to have a peek through it – at Belp, Switzerland]

    For comparison, the Solar Cycle 23 value peaked at 240 in early October, 2001. Right now, it’s crawling around 80.
    As a rough guide, one spot results of 1.5 flux unit added to the basal value [65 for no spots]. so it would take (80-65)*1.5=22.5 spots to produce the 80 sfu. This is about right, the average sunspot number over the last month is about 15, a tad too small. but that is probably due to the Livingston and Penn effect. There is this notion that the spot count is too high lately. This is false. Here are the numbers for the first year of each cycle for the last several cycles:
    year; ssn calc; ssn obs; obs/calc
    1955 39.7 38.0 0.957
    1966 49.1 47.0 0.957
    1977 32.1 27.5 0.857
    1987 29.3 29.2 0.997
    1997 26.9 21.5 0.799
    2010 27.7 16.5 0.596
    The second column is the sunspot number corresponding to the observed F10.7 flux. The last column is the observed sunspot number divided by the one calculated from F10.7. As you can see, that ratio is currently much lower [=too few sunspots] than earlier.

    Robuk says:
    January 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm
    We are comparing the Maunda and the Daulton and the reference telescope should be the earliest scope available, which is this scope.
    In spite of my valiant effort you are still not getting it. The earlier counts before the 19th century have been adjusted upwards to offset the different quality of the telescopes, so that the telescope is out of the equation.
    I’m willing to bet $20 that you still will not get it. You can pay the lost bet using the Paypal ‘donate’ button on my website.

  125. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm
    The polarity reversals are a consequence of Joy’s law. Explaining what cause Joy’s law is part of understanding the cycle, and we do not have a full understanding of the cycle.

    Leif, congratulations on the successes so far of the SDO mission. Are there observations coming from it which will give us better data on the meridional flows you mentioned? Or is “watching the rate of spot drift” still the best indicator?

  126. tallbloke says:
    January 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm
    Leif, congratulations on the successes so far of the SDO mission. Are there observations coming from it which will give us better data on the meridional flows you mentioned? Or is “watching the rate of spot drift” still the best indicator?
    For the surface, sunspots [i..e magnetic fields] work best. But SDO will allow us to trace how deep the flow goes. The Dikpati [and others] model requires a deep flow [bottom of convection zone]. Preliminary data suggests [and I won’t say more for now] that the return flow is very shallow, thus invalidating the flux transport dynamoes.

  127. Thanks Leif. Without asking you to say more, can you give a rough approximation of what “very shallow” means in terms of a solar radius? I ask because I’m setting up a model to test Wolff and Patrone’s proposed mechanism, and it would help enormously to have a ball park value for the return flow depth.

    Thanks

  128. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Hathaway picked the wrong peak [in 2003] rather than the ‘better’ one in 2008.
    And if you think that would work what is the mechanism?

    IHV-NAP:
    A bit of a ‘flat earth-er’ostrich attitude there again.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/IHV-NAP.htm

    It is another ‘unwanted’ correlation, best to declare it:
    Which makes it useless and not science.
    Hopefully he might go away, or even better he should give up.
    ‘Science is settled’ and it is for the ‘academia’, not the amateur outsiders.

  129. When the sun has no spots it gets cold.
    Seems to me you lot have no more idea why this happens than did the early observers.
    Because you have not got a clue you count specks as spots to try to make it look as if everything is normal and there is no actual sun climate link.

  130. Roughly a drop in prediction of 30/yr. If this trend continues the prediction at the end of this year will be 35-45. Actually by the predicted time of the maximum the prediction itself could be negative! Image that …. But seriously, there seems to be no leveling off in the decrease of the predicted maximum with time. Which could mean that next time it could indeed be well below 50.

    A Maunder minimum indeed! Stock up on woollies, on baked beans and on scotch.

  131. John from CA says:
    January 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm
    It worth noting that NASA doesn’t make solar predictions. This is Dr. Hathaway’s personal website at NASA.

    The Solar Cycle Prediction Panel makes the predictions for NOAA.
    see: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/

    ========
    Gary Fox,
    Please consider correcting the headline and post to eliminate references to NASA.

    Headline could read : Dr. Hathaway’s Sun Spot Number predictions revised again

  132. Is a Hale cycle of 10 years possible?
    depends on the speed of the meridional circulation and how much that might vary. The sun is big and ponderous, so I think too large variations [10 years, 100 years] are unlikely, but possible.

    Isn’t the variability in the Hale cycle at odds with a big ponderous sun? Doesn’t FFT analysis of this variability tends to show that it is not simply random? Might this not argue against the Hale cycle being fully self-contained?

  133. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    ..If there is serious reconnection between the inward and outward IMF, then there would be no open flux left when the solar wind gets to the heliopause. That the sector structure is still very much evident at such great distance is proof that reconnection is insignificant. And when there is no body to collide with, nothing happens..
    ~
    Dr. S., could you help us out with “Petschek-type magnetic reconnection?”
    I have to wonder if planetary theorists ever read any of the following ..kind of material.

    “Petschek-type magnetic reconnection exhausts in the solar wind well inside 1 AU: Helios”
    J. T. Gosling
    Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    S. Eriksson
    Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    R. Schwenn
    Max-Planck-Institut fur Aeronomie, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
    Petschek-type reconnection exhausts can be recognized in solar wind plasma and magnetic field data as accelerated or decelerated plasma flows confined to magnetic field reversal regions. Using that characteristic signature, we have identified 28 reconnection exhausts in the Helios 1 and 2 data, thus extending observations of exhausts associated with local, quasi-stationary reconnection in the solar wind inward to heliocentric distances of 0.31 AU. Most of the exhaust jets identified in the Helios data had the same general physical character as solar wind exhausts observed at greater heliocentric distances and latitudes by ACE, Wind, and Ulysses. The magnitude of the velocity changes from outside to inside the exhausts was generally comparable to, but somewhat less than (by a factor of 0.75 on average), the inflow Alfvén speeds. In a few of the Helios events, plasma number densities within the exhausts were intermediate to densities observed immediately outside, indicating that transitions from outside to inside the exhausts were not always slow-mode-like on both sides. We have identified pairs of closely spaced, but independent, reconnection exhausts bounding regions where the heliospheric magnetic field folded back toward the Sun. We find that plasma and magnetic field conditions in the high-speed wind from coronal holes are not generally favorable for sustained magnetic reconnection and for the formation and propagation of Petschek-type exhausts.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2006JA011863.shtml

    Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Wind: An Overview
    Gosling, J. T.
    American Geophysical Union, Spring Meeting 2007,
    abstract #SM53C-01
    We have recently demonstrated that local, quasi-stationary reconnection occurs relatively frequently in the solar wind over a large range (0.3 to 5.4 AU) of heliocentric distances. Direct evidence for such reconnection is found in the observation of Petschek-type exhausts, i.e., exhausts of jetting plasma bounded by Alfven or slow mode waves, emanating from reconnection sites. The exhausts are identified as intervals of roughly Alfvenic accelerated plasma flow confined to magnetic field reversal regions that usually take the form of bifurcated current sheets. The exhausts are observed almost exclusively in either the low-speed wind or in association with ICMEs in plasma predominantly having low proton beta. Field shears across the exhausts range from about 60 to 180 degrees, indicating the presence of significant guide fields in many of these events. The exhausts are embedded within the solar wind flow and typically are convected past a spacecraft on time scales ranging up to several tens of minutes, although considerably broader events have been observed on occasion. Multi-spacecraft observations have provided convincing evidence that the exhausts commonly result from prolonged reconnection at extended and continuous reconnection sites (X-lines). A relatively minor fraction of the exhausts occur at the heliospheric current sheet, HCS, but observations at the HCS are particularly useful for demonstrating magnetic field topology changes associated with reconnection and the effects of particle and plasma interpenetration within the exhausts. Although the exhausts are characterized by bulk plasma acceleration, we have not yet found any evidence for additional particle acceleration in these events.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUSMSM53C..01G

    Be safe in your travells Leif.. …

  134. Carla says:
    January 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I have to wonder if planetary theorists ever read any of the following ..kind of material.

    Yep we read it, and what do we get from it?

    1. There is no evidence of the solar wind returning to the Sun.

    2. Interstellar media is shielded from our solar system by the solar wind.

  135. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 19, 2011 at 7:39 am
    update graphic K F107 at Minima 1954 It moves like molasses in January:

    I think I understand why 1954 was chosen as the comparison year for the F10.7 curves, in that they are similarly ‘long’ duration events. However, if different years were chosen, could the results be made to look more alarming to political pundits and media geeks? By the selection of 1954, are you not showing the “least” alarming? Presentation of data is everything.

  136. Leif Svalgaard:

    One more thing regarding my above post.

    In a chart posted in the sidebar of this website, the Danish Meteorological Institute maintains its daily Mean Temperature above 80°N. In this chart we see a “green” curve depicting the daily mean temperatures for the period from 1958 to 2002, against which the current measured temperatures are compared.

    Couldn’t a similar ‘mean’ curve be prepared for sunspot cycles, against which the current year is compared? Perhaps a ‘sliding mean’ of +/- “x” years centred on the current date; or maybe one shown in “days (months?) from the minimum”? There must be some way to come up with something interesting, such as the Dane’s have for Arctic temperature encompassing many years.

    By the way, I am a retired video/data networks engineer, so I am out of my league here, but, all the same, I thoroughly enjoy the posts at WUWT, especially yours, Leif. Thanks!

  137. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm
    20,000 km

    Thanks Leif, most helpful.

    Geoff Sharp says:
    January 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm
    Carla says:
    January 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm
    I have to wonder if planetary theorists ever read any of the following ..kind of material.

    Yep we read it, and what do we get from it?
    1. There is no evidence of the solar wind returning to the Sun.

    The inbound events do get as far as the orbit of Mercury though. Hmmmm, thanks Carla.

  138. tallbloke says:
    January 20, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    The inbound events do get as far as the orbit of Mercury though. Hmmmm, thanks Carla.

    That’s the point Rog, deal with real data instead of searching for mystical fantasies.

  139. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm
    Carla says:
    January 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I have to wonder if planetary theorists ever read any of the following ..kind of material.
    Yep we read it, and what do we get from it?
    1. There is no evidence of the solar wind returning to the Sun.
    2. Interstellar media is shielded from our solar system by the solar wind.
    ~
    Geoff, I been thinking really hard about that trefoil pattern too..
    Just keeps coming up..that the sun is in an orbit about a helical field like the one in the image below. In which case there would be a cyclical pattern. Until .. there is a disruption in the helical field.

    Now .. how and when during an orbit around a helical field does the orbit become disordered. Cause that disordered thing really did kind of bother me. But this stuff is on my brains back burner somewhere.

    Be nice.. wish Geoff a “Happy Friday.”

  140. Just for a little fun.. neck on chopping block..

    Earth’s north magetic poles, eastward and lesser westward locations are directly related to the solar helical orbital pattern, somehow someway.
    Lighten up Leif.. its Friday.
    Imaginations are on the run..

  141. One more thing Geoff..
    They think they are seeing vorticity in the very local interstellar medium (VLISM) clouds. Frequent changes in interstellar wind direction come to mind here.. might even be consistent with above said vorticity. hmm go figure..

  142. Geoff
    Reality is :
    Magnetic flux rope is made of charged particles (field aligned electric currents) circulating within ‘magnetic cloud’. Major characteristics is that it has an enhanced magnetic field, magnitude of which is much higher than the magnetic field of the solar wind in the surrounding areas.
    Total power carried by flux rope could exceed 10^33 Joules, making it the most powerful regularly occurring solar event. This power is contained within close circuit starting and ending at solar surface; this close electro-magnetic circuit can extend way beyond the most distant planets.
    One would assume that US Naval Research Lab knows what they are talking about:
    Recent observations indicate that magnetic field lines of magnetic clouds do remain connected to the Sun and that the field lines toward the outer edge of a flux rope are more twisted [Larson et al., 1997]. This property is implied by the model structure and the magnetic field described below.

    http://wwwppd.nrl.navy.mil/prediction/storms.html

    there are many other sources of information on the subject.
    Perhaps you can challenge Dr.S. to point any inaccuracies in the above.

  143. Geoff, in this illustration from NASA you can see more clearly the SOLAR ELECTRO-MAGNETIC CLOSE CIRCUIT.

    http://ase.tufts.edu/cosmos/view_picture.asp?id=910

    When a coronal mass ejection travels into interplanetary space, it can create a huge magnetic cloud containing bidirectional, or counter-streaming, beams of electrons that flow in opposite directions within the magnetic loops that are rooted at both ends in the Sun. The magnetic cloud also drives an upstream shock ahead of it.

    http://wwwppd.nrl.navy.mil/prediction/cloud.html

  144. vukcevic says:
    January 21, 2011 at 5:20 am
    ~
    Thanks Vuks..learning something new everyday.
    You might find the next abstract somewhat interesting also. Seems our little reconnection within the heliosphere is happening quite frequent. More during minimum and a thing called “Alfvén wave trains rather than flux ropes.”

    SIGNATURES OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AT BOUNDARIES OF INTERPLANETARY SMALL-SCALE MAGNETIC FLUX ROPES
    “””The interaction between interplanetary small-scale magnetic flux ropes and the magnetic field in the ambient solar wind is an important topic in the understanding of the evolution of magnetic structures in the heliosphere. Through a survey of 125 previously reported small flux ropes from 1995 to 2005, we find that 44 of them reveal clear signatures of Alfvénic fluctuations and thus classify them as Alfvén wave trains rather than flux ropes. Signatures of magnetic reconnection, generally including a plasma jet of ~30 km s–1 within a magnetic field rotational region, are clearly present at boundaries of about 42% of the flux ropes and 14% of the wave trains. The reconnection exhausts are often observed to show a local increase in the proton temperature, density, and plasma beta. About 66% of the reconnection events at flux rope boundaries are associated with a magnetic field shear angle larger than 90° and 73% of them reveal a decrease of 20% or more in the magnetic field magnitude, suggesting a dominance of anti-parallel reconnection at flux rope boundaries. The occurrence rate of magnetic reconnection at flux rope boundaries through the years 1995-2005 is also investigated and we find that it is relatively low around the solar maximum and much higher when approaching solar minima. The average magnetic field depression and shear angle for reconnection events at flux rope boundaries also reveal a similar trend from 1995 to 2005. Our results demonstrate for the first time that boundaries of a substantial fraction of small-scale flux ropes have properties similar to those of magnetic clouds, in the sense that both of them exhibit signatures of magnetic reconnection. The observed reconnection signatures could be related either to the formation of small flux ropes or to the interaction between flux ropes and the interplanetary magnetic fields.”””

    http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/720/1/454/

    late again oh my..

  145. vukcevic says:
    January 21, 2011 at 8:10 am
    Carla, another excellent find, here is full version:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1007/1007.2247v1.pdf

    The paper is dated July 2010
    It will take time, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
    ~
    Thanks again Vuks..got enough to read for half the year, plus have to stay tuned up and get on with the basics. wheww..lots to do..I don’t know if ‘Da Man,’ is going to like all this.
    Myself thinking we will find the key to unlock all this solar cycle vari ation. Cause it really varies tooooo much and is tooooo inconsistent bout it’s spots. Hemispherically lately toooo.

  146. vukcevic says:
    January 20, 2011 at 1:00 am
    And if you think that would work what is the mechanism?
    Hathaway doesn’t know what the mechanism is, and I don’t think his method is particularly good. But he should stick to it, if that is what he advocates. The ‘traditional’ mechanism is that the polar fields leading up to the minimum controls the formation of polar field extensions as long-lived coronal holes, which then leads to recurrent high-speed streams. Those cause the peak in geomagnetic axctivity.

    Hopefully he might go away, or even better he should give up.
    You ought to know: pseudo scientists NEVER give up or go away.

    Robuk says:
    January 20, 2011 at 3:24 am
    Seems to me you lot have no more idea why this happens than did the early observers. Because you have not got a clue you count specks as spots to try to make it look as if everything is normal and there is no actual sun climate link.
    Seems to mee, I won the bet. Now it is for you to pay up.

    Bryan Clark says:
    January 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm
    I think I understand why 1954 was chosen as the comparison year for the F10.7 curves, in that they are similarly ‘long’ duration events. However, if different years were chosen, could the results be made to look more alarming to political pundits and media geeks? By the selection of 1954, are you not showing the “least” alarming? Presentation of data is everything.
    But wouls also be cheating and we don’t do that. 1954 was chosen for a scientific reason, not as propaganda for an agenda. The reason was that there was debate in the solar cycle prediction panel with some predicting a very large cycle. Since 1954 was the minimum just bwefore the biggest, baddest cycle ever observed [cycle 19] I wanted to compare with that one.

    vukcevic says:
    January 21, 2011 at 5:03 am
    One would assume that US Naval Research Lab knows what they are talking about
    They do, but you don’t, apparently. “beams of electrons that flow in opposite directions within the magnetic loops that are rooted at both ends in the Sun” means that there is no net current.

  147. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm
    I occasionally do go away, and annoy the climate people.

    However, I would appreciate a meaningful discussion of what is represented here :

    http://ase.tufts.edu/cosmos/view_picture.asp?id=910

    having in mind that: beams of electrons that flow in opposite directions within the magnetic loops that are rooted at both ends in the Sun.
    -Do you think is there anything questionable in the illustration?
    I assume it is representation of normal helical ‘case’ of field and filed aligned currents; if electrons flow in both directions, then must be in two or more (even) number of layers of equal intensity, so OK net current = 0.
    -No mention of protons/ions (mainly H & He nucleui, the ejected mass), presumably orange shaded area, detached and moving forward ? surely must also be part of the current – m. field helix ?

  148. vukcevic says:
    January 22, 2011 at 2:50 am
    However, I would appreciate a meaningful discussion of what is represented here
    I don’t think a meaningful discussion is possible. I can tell you what the physics is, but that is not open for discussion any more than Maxwell’s equations: take’em or leave’em.

    To understand what is going on, you have to understand how the Van Allen Belt operates: charged particles bounce back and forth between the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. If you are sitting somewhere in the belt near the equator, you’ll see counterstreaming charges go by you in both directions [no net current, no helical stuff, or any of other other things you fantasize about]. In the magnetic cloud you see precisely the same phenomenon; that is how we know that the loop is closed. The electrons bounce thousands of times back and forth. They are energetic electrons, not solar wind or even magnetic cloud related.

  149. vukcevic says:
    January 22, 2011 at 2:50 am
    However, I would appreciate a meaningful discussion of what is represented here
    You can learn more about this here:
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, A01104, 13 PP., 2011
    doi:10.1029/2010JA015328
    Solar energetic electron probes of magnetic cloud field line lengths
    S. W. Kahler, S. Krucker, A. Szabo

    Magnetic clouds (MCs) are large interplanetary coronal mass ejections of enhanced and low-variance fields with rotations indicative of magnetic flux ropes originally connected to the Sun. The MC flux rope models require field lines with larger pitch angles and longer lengths with increasing distance from the MC axis. While the models can provide good fits to the in situ solar wind observations, there have not been definitive observational tests of the global magnetic field geometry, particularly for the field line lengths. However, impulsive solar energetic (E > 10 keV) electron events occasionally occur within an MC, and the electron onsets can be used to infer Le, the magnetic field line lengths traveled by the electrons from the Sun to the points in the MC where the electron onsets occur. We selected 8 MCs in and near which 30 solar electron events were observed by the 3DP instrument on the Wind spacecraft. We compared the corresponding Le values with calculated model field line lengths to test two MC models. Some limitations on the technique are imposed by variations of the models and uncertainly about MC boundary locations. We found generally poor correlations between the computed electron path lengths and the model field line lengths. Only one value of Le inside an MC, that of 18 October 1995, exceeded 3.2 AU, indicating an absence of the long path lengths expected in the highly wound outer regions of MC models. We briefly consider the implications for MC models.

  150. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 22, 2011 at 8:32 am
    ~
    Now don’t get your underware in a bundle over this. Purpose is just to show how, where flux ropes and magnetic reconnection occur in interplanetary space, perhaps interstellar space and most likely at interface space. lol
    Vuks has his theory, so be it.
    My superficial curiosity on the formation of flux ropes and reconnection has been satisfied in the following:

    “””Signatures of magnetic reconnection at boundaries of interplanetary small-scale magnetic flux ropes
    Hui Tian1, Shuo Yao1, Qiugang Zong1, Jiansen He2, Yu Qi1
    pg. 18-19
    3.4. Origin of interplanetary small-scale magnetic flux ropes
    There is a debate on the origin of interplanetary small-scale magnetic flux ropes. Moldwin et al.
    (2000) and Cartwright & Moldwin (2008) suggested that these small flux ropes are produced
    through interplanetary magnetic reconnection. While others proposed that they are interplanetary
    manifestations of small-scale solar eruptions (Feng et al. 2007, 2008; Wu et al.
    2008). Wei et al. (2003) and Pick et al. (2005) mentioned that the magnetic field lines of
    relatively large flux ropes originating from the Sun could be peeled off through magnetic
    reconnection away from the Sun. Feng & Wu (2009) reported a small flux rope followed by
    a reconnection exhaust, and suggested that the small flux rope is produced through this
    peeling off process.
    Compared to Feng & Wu (2009), our statistic result provides many more cases of small
    flux ropes with signatures of magnetic reconnection at their boundaries. Our result reveals
    clearly that magnetic reconnection is common at the interfaces between small flux ropes
    and the ambient medium. However, it is still an open question whether this reconnection is
    related to the formation of small flux ropes or not. In the scenario suggested by Feng & Wu
    (2009), the flux rope can be diminished in size due to reconnection with the ambient magnetic
    field as it moves from the Sun to the Earth. However, such shrinking has not been directly
    observed in interplanetary space. On the contrary, large-scale flux ropes such as magnetic
    clouds usually show a decrease in the measured plasma velocity as they pass the spacecraft,
    indicating an expansion in size when moving away from the Sun (e.g., Lepping et al. 2006).
    A recent study of Cartwright & Moldwin (2010) completed a comprehensive survey of interplanetary
    small flux ropes observed between 0.3 and 5.5 AU using the Helios, IMP8, WIND,
    ACE, and Ulysses data, and found that on average the size of small flux ropes expands
    rapidly within 1 AU and then reaches equilibrium in the outer heliosphere. These results
    seem to indicate that the expansion process dominates over the peeling off process for flux
    ropes originating from the Sun, which is inconsistent with the scenario that small flux ropes
    are produced through the peeling off of magnetic field lines in the outer layers of magnetic
    clouds.
    In the Earth magnetospheric studies, multiple X line reconnection (Lee et al. 1985) is
    believed to be responsible for the observed flux rope chains in the plasma sheet of the magnetotail
    (e.g., Slavin et al. 2003; Zong et al. 2004; Eastwood et al. 2005; Liu et al. 2009).
    In principle flux ropes could also be produced through a similar process in interplanetary
    space. Observations reveal that small-scale flux ropes lack a signature of expansion
    and are not depressed in proton temperature, which are distinctly different from magnetic
    clouds. Moreover, some small flux ropes were observed near the sector crossing (Heliospheric
    current sheet crossing). These observational facts seem to support the idea that
    the small flux ropes are produced through magnetic reconnection across the Heliospheric
    current sheet (Moldwin et al. 2000; Cartwright & Moldwin 2008, 2010). Using the similar
    method of Cartwright & Moldwin (2010), we also investigated the time difference between
    small-scale flux ropes listed in Feng et al. (2008) and the nearest sector crossing. Among the
    81 flux ropes, we could only identify 35 events with clear sector crossing signature nearby.
    While Cartwright & Moldwin (2010) identified clear sector crossing signature in 71 cases
    out of the total 91 flux ropes. Cartwright & Moldwin (2010) presented the distribution of
    the time to the nearest sector crossing, and found a sharp peak with 17 flux ropes observed
    – 19 –
    within 6 hours of a sector crossing. Among the 35 events we investigated, we found 9 flux
    ropes observed within 6 hours of a sector crossing, but also found 18 flux ropes observed
    beyond one day of the nearest sector crossing. The fact that some flux ropes are very close
    to sector crossing and some others are far away from clear sector crossing, as demonstrated
    both in Cartwright & Moldwin (2010) and our investigation, suggests that a subset of the
    small-scale interplanetary flux ropes are likely to be produced through reconnection across
    the heliospheric current sheet. If the current sheet is locally tilted with respect to the passage
    of the spacecraft, the typical reconnection signature of one plasma jet within a current sheet
    should also be registered at boundaries of newly formed flux ropes.
    The scenario of solar origin could also be the case for some..”””
    hmmm interplanetary space is messy, too..

  151. I have done a scan of 50+ authoritative papers on the magnetic clouds and many make reference to axial , toroidal or ring currents and current sheet within structure of magnetic clouds.
    Most quoted paper is by LEPPING et al from Laboratory for Solar and Space Physics NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center
    Here is direct quote from paper:
    A summary of WIND magnetic clouds for years 1995-2003 : model-fitted parameters, associated errors and classifications
    MCs (magnetic clouds) are just under one day long, are 1/4AU in diameter, have a broad distribution of axial directions with a slight preference for alignment with the Y-axis(GSE), have axial fluxes of 10^21Mx, have axial current densities of about 2μA/km2, and carry a total axial current (IT ) of about a billion amps.

    NASA: MAGNETIC CLOUD BOUNDARY TIMES AS DETERMINED BY MFI DATA

    http://wind.nasa.gov/mfi/mag_cloud_pub1.html

    The table consists of estimated start and end times that were estimated by a magnetic field model [Lepping et al., 1990] that assumes that the field within the magnetic cloud is force free, i.e., so that the electrical current and the magnetic field are parallel and proportional in strength everywhere within its volume.

    This would directly contradict Dr. Svalgaards statement: that there is no net current.

  152. vukcevic says:
    January 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm
    This would directly contradict Dr. Svalgaards statement: that there is no net current.
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Whenever you have boundaries in a plasma there will be currents, e.g. the HCS. What I pointed out was that the counterstreaming electrons you were so fond of do not constitute a current.

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