Largest space weather storm in at least four years

More solar images at the WUWT Solar Reference Page

From the: University of Colorado at Boulder

Space weather disrupts communications, threatens other technologies

A powerful solar flare has ushered in the largest space weather storm in at least four years and has already disrupted some ground communications on Earth, said University of Colorado Boulder Professor Daniel Baker, an internationally known space weather expert.

Classified as a Class X flare, the Feb. 15 event also spewed billions of tons of charged particles toward Earth in what are called coronal mass ejections and ignited a geomagnetic storm in Earth’s magnetic field, said Baker, director of CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. Such powerful ejections can cause a variety of socioeconomic and safety issues ranging from the disruption of airline navigation systems and power grids to the safety of airline crews and astronauts.

“The sun is coming back to life,” said Baker, who chaired a 2008 National Research Council committee that produced a report titled “Severe Space Weather Events — Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts.” For the past several years the sun has been in its most quiescent state since early in the 20th century, said Baker.

From a scientific standpoint a class X event — the most powerful kind of solar flare — is exciting, said Baker, also a CU-Boulder professor in the astrophysical and planetary sciences department. “But as a society, we can’t afford to let our guard down when operating spacecraft in the near-Earth environment.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, several more coronal mass ejections may reach Earth’s atmosphere in the next day or two.

“Human dependence on technology makes society more susceptible to the effects of space weather,” Baker said. “But scientists and engineers have made great strides in recent decades regarding this phenomenon.

“We understand much more about what is happening and can build more robust systems to withstand the effects,” Baker said. “It will be interesting to see how well our technological systems will withstand the rigors of space weather as the sun gets back to higher activity levels.”

###

Baker also spearheaded a 2006 NRC report titled “Space Radiation Hazards and the Vision for Space.” The report considered the effects of space weather events on human explorers venturing beyond low-Earth orbit. The National Research Council is a federal organization created by the National Academy of Sciences.

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94 Responses to Largest space weather storm in at least four years

  1. Richard Patton says:

    “The sun is coming back to life,” said Baker

    “Lets not be hasty,” said Treebeard.

    As mentioned by others on this board, the sun during a grand minimum can still throw out class x flares.

  2. Newt Love says:

    I’m surprised that Gore, Hansen, Monbiot, et al, haven’t claimed that man-made CO2 is the cause of the solar flare and mass ejection. /sarc

  3. Baa Humbug says:

    Coming back to life? Old Sol is just raising his head to take a quick drink before slumping back to sleep.
    The X Class flare is just the coughing and spluttering whilst taking that drink.

  4. Dave Gorney says:

    Let’s not forget that Dan Baker and his organization in Boulder get it’s funding through NOAA with the rationale of trying to avoid the impending “apocalypse” of solar events. See the recent cover article of the otherwise objective Sky and Telescope magazine to see how far these organizations will go to spectacularize the importance of these solar events. Ho Hum. How bad off would we really be if we didn’t funnel any more research $$$$$$ into this area? This is the weakest solar max in memory, but yet the press is full of dire predictions of the end of days. Ok, so solar flares are annoying, but let’s get some perspective.

  5. _Jim says:

    Space weather disrupts communications, threatens other technologies

    Really!!?

    Can they provide some examples (something specific; nothing speculative)?

    Monitoring 10 MHz WWV the past few days I have seen no changes … 11/10 Meters was even briefly open to the west coast about midday …

    .

  6. dp says:

    It’s probably my fault. Trying to do what global warming cannot which is to remove the moss growing on the north side of it, I washed my Jeep this week. There’s a reason Seattle is called Emerald City, and it’s not because we’re crazy about CFL lamps. We have moss on the north side of everything here. I have an asphalt driveway and its never been so green.

    So, sorry, folks – blame me.

    Sadly, we have no aurora activity despite my best effort :(

  7. Douglas DC says:

    So far here at 45N+ nothing to override the moon-when it isn’t snowing….

  8. BFL says:

    Notice that the Planetary A is still non-existent also:

    http://www.solen.info/solar/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/07/suns-magnetic-index-reaches-unprecedent-low-only-zero-could-be-lower-in-a-month-when-sunspots-became-more-active/

    If the Ap is more predictive than sunspots as some believe, then added cold is still on schedule, not that the AGW/NASA types will notice.

  9. This geomagnetic storm was only moderate as predicted, because from the location on the Sun where it came from it was evident that the magnetic field at the front of the CME would be pointing northwards and thus only interact weakly with the Earth’s field.

  10. Ray says:

    Wasn’t there some pretty major mass ejection on the other side of the sun quite some time ago… it just did not come our way.

  11. Just The Facts says:

    Here is the impact of the X class flare on Earth’s Magnetosphere – (February, 18th 2011 Magnetosphere Activity from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.)

    You should also download and watch the much higher resolution avi version, which is very cool:

    http://www3.nict.go.jp/y/y223/simulation/realtime/movie/2011/test_6.20110218.avi

    For comparative reference here is Magnetosphere Activity on Feb 17th, 2011:

    And here’s an M6.6-class solar flare impacting the Magnetosphere on August 3rd, 2010:

    which is the CME impact referenced here:

    http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=03&month=08&year=2010

    If you want to look at the Magnetosphere Activity simulations for any other dates, all of the downloadables can be found here:

    http://www3.nict.go.jp/y/y223/simulation/realtime/movie/

    http://www3.nict.go.jp/y/y223/simulation/realtime/movie/2011/

  12. Craig says:

    In the late 1800’s an x-flare about 100x as large caused telegraph wires to FRY and caused FIRES. Back then there was no radio, just telegraph. And there was no electrical infrastructure. A flare that big now would BURN OUT EVERY POLE TRANSFORMER ON EARTH from the induction caused in the wires feeding them. Not to mention the damage to generators getting over-amped. Experts say it would take 10 YEARS to recover. Imagine what it would do to your TV, cars computer chips or your PC

  13. Marian says:

    “_Jim says:
    February 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Monitoring 10 MHz WWV the past few days I have seen no changes … 11/10 Meters was even briefly open to the west coast about midday …”

    We’ve been getting brief 10/11 meter openings to the USA Downunder in New Zealand. Heard the first 10 meters FM from the USA since the previous Solar Cycle last week. Other than that generally 11/10 Meter radio conditions so far were actually better off and on last year here. IMO. I suppose if the solar disturbances ease off and if the Solar flux and Sunspot numbers do stay up. Then maybe we might see 10/11 meter band conditions as good as previous solar cycles.

  14. John F. Hultquist says:

    Jim @ 8:41

    I think that is just a headline added by the Univ’s PR folks.
    Prof. Baker doesn’t seem to be say the events so far are extremely dangerous.

  15. John F. Hultquist says:
    February 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm
    I think that is just a headline added by the Univ’s PR folks.
    Prof. Baker doesn’t seem to be say the events so far are extremely dangerous.

    Analogous to this: http://www.leif.org/research/NASA-in-the-News.png

  16. Geoff Sharp says:

    More NASA type hype from those looking for future funding….this is not much better than the AGW rubbish we have to put up with.

  17. markinaustin says:

    is that true craig? that’s horrifying! and how unusual are flares that size?

  18. kforestcat says:

    Off topic but… The U.S. House just voted to defund the IPCC.

    Kforestcat

  19. ES says:

    Solar Cycle 24 says there was a R2 Radio Blackout, which is Moderate HF Radio: Limited blackout of HF radio communication on sunlit side, loss of radio contact for tens of minutes.
    Navigation: Degradation of low-frequency navigation signals for tens of minutes.

    http://www.solarcycle24.com/

  20. nc says:

    No light show at 53,122. Clear and a cold 23c below gore. I read David Suzuki is in Australia on some sort of a junket. Interesting to bail out of a west coast Canadian winter riding his carbon credits on a tax deductable trip down under. Looking for some warming I guess.

  21. Mark Twang says:

    Remember, folks: space weather is not space climate!

  22. CMB says:

    @Craig, markinaustin:

    Yes, it was real (although I’m not sure about the 100x). It’s generally known as the Carrington Event.

    /relurk

  23. tallbloke says:

    kforestcat says:
    February 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm (Edit)
    Off topic but… The U.S. House just voted to defund the IPCC.

    Well, not quite, but the proposal is in the air:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/u-s-republicans-propose-to-defund-ipcc/

    Thanks for the update on solar activity Anthony. Leif: Any idea whether this is temporary or a real ramp-up?

  24. vukcevic says:

    One more SSN of 100. Looks like the sun is finally racing towards max. In 2003 I calculated for the SC24 that the SSN monthly non-smoothed to get to 80.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7.htm

    It may or it may not, looks optimistic. Note this is not prediction but just a simple calculation. It should be worth seeing how it compares with the predictions of the solar experts.

  25. janama says:

    Can I please make a request?

    The Title states : Largest space weather storm in at least four years

    so four years ago we had another weather storm.

    Anthony – My media is constantly hyping ” greatest in 50 years” “highest SST temps on record” – everyone in the media is obsessed by it.

    Yet the highest SST on record in Australia actually means the highest since records began in the early 70s when satellite records of sea surface records started.

  26. Patrick Davis says:

    “kforestcat says:
    February 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm”

    Really? I wonder if we’ll see the MSM cover it in Australia. Here in Australia this event is being hyped as “signs of increasing solar activity which will impact climate” (Who’d thought that?). More scare, more garbage in the Australian MSM. Article after article, news cast and after news cast, Australia MUST put a price on carbon, while the US cuts US$3bil from the EPA budget for polices on climate. I wonder when our “leaders” will wake and smell the coffee?

  27. David Bailey says:

    How long before someone writes a paper blaming unusual ‘weather’ on the sun, on global warming!

  28. Dave Springer says:

    markinaustin says:
    February 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    “is that true craig? that’s horrifying! and how unusual are flares that size?”

    Technically inaccurate but true. The year was 1859 and it wasn’t a flare it was a coronal mass ejection (CME). CME’s are often associated with flares but aren’t the same thing. A CME is an ejection of a huge cloud of charged particles which take a day or three to reach the earth’s orbit depending on how fast they are moving. If it happens to hit the earth and it’s a big one then some very bad things can happen. In pre-industrial times about the only effect anyone would find noteworthy is the Aurora Borealis can be seen from lower latitudes than normal. In 1859 it could be seen in Florida and Mexico for instance. It melted telegraph lines and started fires in telegraph offices. Basically anything metal acts like an antenna and takes on an electric cloud as the CME streams past. It works by induction – a magnetic field moving past a conductor causing an electrical current to flow in the conductor – transformers, generators, and electric motors work by induction. In practical terms the longer the antenna the more electricity is generated. For short conductors it isn’t much but for miles of electrical wire like telegraph lines it can be quite a lot of energy. For the modern electrical grid it could be catastrophic as large transformers connected to miles of grid wires would burn up. Those large transformers take a long time to build and aren’t inventoried in any significant number. It would take years to replace them and in the meantime electrical power distrubtion would cease causing all kinds of havoc. Water would stop flowing from taps, sewers would cease to function, gas pumps couldn’t pump fuel up out of underground tanks, no refrigeration, no heating, no air conditioning, no power for hospitals, etcetera. It would take months just to get basic emergency services, food, water, and fuel distribution functioning at a minimal level.

    With a modicum of advance warning that a large CME was coming the electric grid can be shut down and the big transformers electrically isolated to reduce the damage but it still wouldn’t be pretty and could potentially trash an entire hemisphere’s electrical distribution.

    No one knows how often big ones like the 1859 happens or how big they can get. Maybe that one was a once-a-million-year thing or maybe they happen statistically once per century and another is overdue. Maybe they get hugely larger and come once every thousand years like nearby supernovas.

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

  29. Beesaman says:

    Is this a good example of the difference between space weather and space climate?

  30. Peter Taylor says:

    Dave Springer says ‘maybe a once in a million year thing’……

    Not at all. There are records in the ice-cores that show the major atmospheric changes that accompany such mega-flares (and Carrington was a flare, which he saw, followed by a CME, which of course, he did not know about other than from the magnetic disturbances on Earth). The ice-core record shows mega-flares not to be that unusual – somewhere between 1:200 and 1:500 years frequency. The solar cycle in 1859 was not that unusual (Leif – have you studied that event for any signs of why we can get such huge flares?). There are signs in the ice-record also that the glacial termination was a time of greatly disturbed solar activity.

    It is worth reflecting on how modern science and technology has built an edifice of civilisation so utterly dependent upon electricity for transport and communication that the whole thing could grind to a halt within minutes. The National Academy of Science 2008 report on the issue, plus the hearings in Congress, make stark reading – the US would be able to feed only 10% of its population in the aftermath. No pumps for water supplies, or for sewage. No food in the supermarkets after three days. No radio, TV or newspapers. Only military and police/civil emergency networks are hardened against EMP.

    Why did nobody see this coming? I guess they were all too concerned about global warming!

  31. tarpon says:

    Well you could say, one flare is better than no flare — But as far as “coming back to life” … I think we need a wee bit more data before making brash statements.

    Shouldn’t that read ‘we sure hope the sun is coming back to life, so the globular warming lies won’t look so stupid to the average snow bound guy’ — works for me.

  32. wayne Job says:

    I do remember reading that the sun has a habit of nasty large discharges when it is most quiet. It will now sonambulate if we get a really big wacking the best laid plans of mice and men will come to nought. Solar panels and wind turbines would be toast, the grid has been hardened for this and some may survive. The cable system using light should be OK as the wireless devices being unconnected should also survive. Getting the power back on may take a while. Hopefully those who designed our com satellites know what they are doing .

  33. Mike Jonas says:

    Dave Springer : “The year was 1859 and it wasn’t a flare it was a coronal mass ejection (CME).

    Isn’t a CME (actually 3 CMEs) what we are getting now???

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/16/3-cmes-headed-our-way-geomagnetic-storminess-set-for-earth/

    3 CME’s headed our way – geomagnetic storminess set for earth
    From the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, word that our recent X-class (and lesser magnitude) solar flares have released three Coronal Mass Ejections (CME’s) toward Earth…..

  34. Brad says:

    Spaceweather is very cool, but to act as if solar storms are a huge issue is like thinking Greenland melt is going to be a problem in your lifetime – overblown concerns and done for scientific monetary gain.

  35. _Jim says:

    Craig says February 18, 2011 at 9:30 pm:

    In the late 1800′s an x-flare about 100x as large caused telegraph wires to FRY and caused FIRES. Back then there was no radio, just telegraph. And there was no electrical infrastructure. A flare that big now would BURN OUT EVERY POLE TRANSFORMER ON EARTH from the induction caused in …

    Kinda no. In fact, just plain no.

    Look up the term ‘islanding’ as it applies to electric power transmission and how it relates as a protective mechanism in thwarting GIC (Ground Induced Currents).

    Better yet, browse here if you will for further elucidation:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/17/nasa-warns-solar-flares-from-huge-space-storm-will-cause-devastation/#comment-411599

    Or cut to the chase and check out how electric power generation system operators are trained to respond given advance knowledge of these events (we aren’t flying blind like in past decades on events): http://www.pjm.com/training/~/media/training/core-curriculum/ip-ops-101/ops101-weatheremer.ashx

    .

  36. _Jim says:

    Dave Springer February 19, 2011 at 2:33 am

    For the modern electrical grid it could be catastrophic as large transformers connected to miles of grid wires would burn up. …

    Dave, see the response to Craig above …

    Also, bear in mind these effects are more predominant the further northward in latitude they are …

    .

  37. _Jim says:

    ES says February 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm :

    Solar Cycle 24 says there was a R2 Radio Blackout, which …

    Is that prognostication or verification, like an account of the trouble encountered (lost comms, a circuit that continually failed with multiple re-trys; a syslog with time stamps, etc.) …

    .

  38. ozspeaksup says:

    Patrick Davis says:
    February 19, 2011 at 2:03 am

    “kforestcat says:
    February 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm”

    Really? I wonder if we’ll see the MSM cover it in Australia. Here in Australia this event is being hyped as “signs of increasing solar activity which will impact climate” (Who’d thought that?). More scare, more garbage in the Australian MSM. Article after article, news cast and after news cast, Australia MUST put a price on carbon, while the US cuts US$3bil from the EPA budget for polices on climate. I wonder when our “leaders” will wake and smell the coffee?
    ===========
    ah but they cannot..because theUNelected govt is only IN power due to the greens and green leaning independants. ergo they will keep sweet, evidence in the insistance of solar power to go ahead at many millions, for the bribe of agreeing to the TAX for floods deal.
    funny the Qld govt could say insuring their premises was not cost effective…
    yet they can berate homeowners? and the insurers can squib out anyway?
    Piers Corbyns warning of ore events late Feb, so far hes spot on.
    lets see the fear and lies campaign continue over that

  39. Don B says:

    The sun may be coming back to life, in the sense that SC24 is continuing, but the Livingston and Penn decline continues. From Leif’s site:

  40. Geoff Sharp says:

    The headline may prove to incorrect. Its not over yet but so far we had a bigger impact on Earth (going by the aurora) last year when two rather insignificant unipolar groups came together.

  41. Latitude says:

    largest space weather storm in at least four years
    =======================================
    big whoopie

    I hate statements like that………..

  42. Dave Springer says:

    @Peter

    The 1859 CME was unusual in that it followed in the path of another CME which cleared the way allowing the second CME to make the journey in just 18 hours instead of the usual 3 days. The higher velocity amplified the induction as it moved across telegraph wires.

    CMEs are often associated with solar flares but the flares are not causally connected to the CME and CMEs sometimes come out of a quiet region of the sun.

    I can’t find any ice core record of CMEs going back more than 500 years. The 1859 event was singularly powerful during that period of time so unless there is data going back much farther it’s simply not possible to establish a frequency for events of that magnitude from a sample size of one event. Graph of ice core NOx (spikes indicate CMEs) data for the past 500 years:

  43. _Jim says:

    Peter Taylor says February 19, 2011 at 3:40 am:

    Only military and police/civil emergency networks are hardened against EMP.

    Au contraire; pls see: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2333665/posts?page=159#159 for a discussion of intrinsic hardness (ESD Protection) that is a part of semiconductor fabrication today …

    See also “System-Level ESD/EMI
    Protection Guide”: http://focus.ti.com/lit/ml/sszb130a/sszb130a.pdf

    Addressing EMP Mario Rabinowitz of Electric Power Research Institute has this to say: http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0307/0307127.pdf

    .

  44. Dave Springer says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 19, 2011 at 4:07 am

    “Dave Springer : “The year was 1859 and it wasn’t a flare it was a coronal mass ejection (CME).””

    “Isn’t a CME (actually 3 CMEs) what we are getting now???”

    Yes. Solar flares in and of themselves are dangerous in that they emit proton streams travelling at the speed of light. These aren’t dangerous on the surface of the earth (atmosphere protects us from them) but can be lethal for astronauts and they have only 8 minutes from observation of the flare to arrival of the protons. So the proton stream from the big flare passed us a few days ago. CMEs travel at only a tiny fraction of the speed of light and have intense magnetic fields associated with them. The magnetic fields are not attenuated by the atmosphere and those are what cause the high currents on electric tranmission lines. A CME (or a series of them) emerged around the same time as the flare. Those lagged behind the proton stream although I thought they too had passed through last night although there might be more of them as I haven’t been following the story very close. CMEs can happen without flares and sometimes from regions devoid of sunspots altogether. No one is sure of the mechanism which spawns them only that they are spawned more frequently when other surface disturbances such as sunspots and flares are visible.

  45. CPT. Charles says:

    I guess this is sorta like a restless sleeper kicking off the covers…

  46. R.S.Brown says:

    Dave Springer says:
    February 19, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Water would stop flowing from taps, sewers would cease to function, gas pumps couldn’t pump fuel up out of underground tanks, no refrigeration, no heating, no air conditioning, no power for hospitals, etcetera.

    Dave,

    You’re only covering part of the implications a CME
    like the Carrington Event of September 1, 1857, would have on
    today’s world:

    You need to add the collapse of the world monetary system and
    all it’s little parts, together with all forms of electronic banking
    transactions shutting down. Your credit cards won’t work, so you
    have to have cash to buy anything. However, you can’t get any
    money out of your checking/banking accounts… which are all
    electronically maintained.

    There will be no automatic mailings of retirement and dividend
    checks, and probably no mail service to get them to you if they
    could be issued. There will be no direct deposits, and no
    automatic payments made for mortgages, utilities, and other
    accounts owed.

    Grocery and other food source stores will be a huge problem
    for suburban/urban dwellers. There will be a limited distribution
    of goods to start with and you will personally have a tough time
    just getting to the stores. Maybe if you can get
    to the stores, they might accept green foldy cash
    in return for food. Remember, they might accept cash, but they
    can’t deposit it at their banks.

    Unless you’ve stored a home generator in a Faraday cage, and
    stocked fuel for it ahead of time, you won’t be able to refridgerate
    any perishables. Neither will the stores. Yum.

    If you are personally, physically holding gold or silver bullion or coins,
    you might be OK. However, if you have precious metals in a holding
    account, you won’t be able to get to it.

    On the other hand, you won’t get bills in the mail
    or be able to file your taxes.

  47. Ed Mertin says:

    Solar storms are like hot ladies. Funny, the cycles in my love life coincide with the ups and downs of the Sun. If anyone wants to amp up their love life I sure could use a couple taken off my hands about now.

  48. gnomeof says:

    Our sun is beautiful!

  49. MyersKL says:

    A single Class X flare and three active sunspot groups (after a period several weeks ago of a blank sun) does not mean “the sun is coming back to life.” Such statements are typical exaggeration by scientists on the prowl for more money.

    It’s clear that many government-funded scientists, particularly those involved in climatology, spend many of their working hours trying to scare up research grants by inventing fantastical tales of approaching doom. Global warming (now ludicrously referred to as “climate change”) has become a Motherlode for greedy researchers nursing on the taxpayer teet. Scientific inquiry among climate-change researchers has been reduced to crude charlatanism spurred by the chase for money.

  50. H.R. says:

    Having read the article and comments, I’m confused. Do we “duck and cover” for this one or not?

  51. Davidg says:

    Treebeard is right! The sun can still ‘fall off the ramp’! When will these people learn to stop making unsupported predictions.

  52. tallbloke says:
    February 19, 2011 at 12:38 am
    Any idea whether this is temporary or a real ramp-up?
    The sun is a messy place. Weak cycle often have large swings in activity. Classical example: http://www.leif.org/research/SC14.png
    Updating my activity count chart: http://www.leif.org/research/Active%20Region%20Count.png shows that SC24 is right on track.

  53. Theo Goodwin says:

    In pondering how Warmista might branch out and start hyping the need for research dollars to study a “chaotic Sun,” it seems to me that their only tactic would be to claim that they can predict the next CME and give us time to prepare. This puts them in the same business as religions that predict the end of the world (or the world as we know it). One cannot predict that the world ending CME will occur in, say, 200 years because no one will do anything in the short run, except the usual crazies. One cannot predict that it will occur in 10 years because the result would be panic at the thought that hardening of the infrastructure cannot be accomplished in 10 years. Maybe the difficulty of cracking this little nut is why Warmista shy away from Sun studies. By contrast, AGW caused by human consumption of carbon fuels can be packaged as slow descent into inevitable Hell that is annoying now but will consume the grand kiddies, assuming somebody has some. Also, the AGW line means that humans are evil and at war with life on Earth. Nah, the Sun can never compete with that. The Warmista will not start hyping a “chaotic Sun.”

    How sad that civilization has been so transformed. Today, science misused for hype can cause panic of such a degree that it can disrupt civilization. Imagine what would happen if everyone in the First World started abandoning cities and looking for subsistence farms.

  54. H.R. says:
    February 19, 2011 at 7:17 am
    Having read the article and comments, I’m confused. Do we “duck and cover” for this one or not?
    Just enjoy the show. This time the averse effects were minor.

  55. Edim says:

    Somewhat OT, but what do you think about the correlation between solar cycle length and NH land air temperatures (SCL 12221 filtered, 11-year running average of T), as shown in report by Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991) for example?

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/files/documents/Solar%20Cycle%20-%20Friis-Chr_Lassen-.pdf

    I think the correlation is striking! Are there some new data and analysis?
    I mean not from the Team.

    Hmm, that divergence (decline) after the mid 70s…
    Is the consensus theory that AGW started in mid 70s?

  56. Edim says:

    Short solar cycle -> WARM
    Long solar cycle -> COLD

    It’s as simple as that. More RPM, more power.

  57. Edim says:
    February 19, 2011 at 8:36 am
    what do you think about the correlation between solar cycle length and NH land air temperatures
    When you look at it [without the dubious filtering] there is no such correlation:

    http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

  58. Edim says:

    Leif, are you member of the Team?
    Just joking.

  59. _Jim says:

    If I may enter into the record one more item I encountered in travels on the subj of EMP, this bit of testimony from STANLEY J. JAKUBIAK, DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE COMMAND CENTER’S DIVISION, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF regarding experience with COTS (Commercial, off the shelf) equipment (equipment not designed to be hardened to EMP) and its survivability to EMPl, from:

    http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/security/has280010.000/has280010_0.HTM

    Mr. Chairman, Members of the committee, I am grateful for the opportunity to address the committee on the electromagnetic pulse threat environment and to discuss the impact on commercial off-the-shelf or so-called COTS equipment used in military command and control systems.

    As you know, the detonation of a nuclear weapon between 50 and several hundred kilometers above the Earth’s surface will produce an electromagnetic pulse that can, under certain conditions, damage electronic equipment. We don’t know exactly how much damage can be done to commercial equipment. The phenomenon is well-known, but the variances in electronic equipment design, commercial design, and the systems that they are incorporated in, do not provide us with sufficient information to allow us to accurately predict how widespread the damage or disruption will be.

    Now, to counter the EMP attack, the military has in the past taken a simplistic approach. We have basically said and assumed that all commercial equipment would fail under an EMP pulse, and therefore we have designed protection into that equipment to withstand the EMP protection or the EMP environment.

    Now, the temporary upset reflected on this view graph [view graph not available] indicates that the upset was self-correcting. The equipment, in fact, had an upset, and the equipment self-corrected without any operator intervention. The upset column shows that the equipment, in fact, required an operator to do something to the equipment to bring it back into operation. And then the damage levels are shown on this chart also.

    The Office of the National Communications System (NCS) has also done some extensive testing of the commercial public switch network [telephone network] and have found that the public switch network infrastructure is inherently resistant to the effects of EMP. Their studies have shown that the probability of connection of a telephone call under an EMP environment is greater than 90 percent with normal loading, and greater than 70 percent when there is panic loading on that system.

    The NCS results have also been confirmed by AT&T Bell Laboratories, who reported that their testing of the public switch network also showed that some upset could be expected, but that damage to the system in an EMP environment was not a concern. …

    Emphasis (bolding) is mine.

    .

  60. Edim says:
    February 19, 2011 at 8:53 am
    Leif, are you member of the Team? Just joking.
    One shouldn’t combat the bad science of the Team with even worse science…

  61. ES says:

    _Jim @ February 19, 2011 at 4:50 am says:
    “ES says February 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm :
    Solar Cycle 24 says there was a R2 Radio Blackout, which …
    Is that prognostication or verification, like an account of the trouble encountered (lost comms, a circuit that continually failed with multiple re-trys; a syslog with time stamps, etc.) …”

    I am sure there was lost comms, which is not unusual with HF and an active sun. In 1988/1989 if was an almost daily occurance to have comm problems during parts of the day. HF and CB can be fickle. Often you can not get comms in a short distance but can pickup someone thousands of miles away. I had a quick look at the CB sites and they have had problems also.

    The provice of Quebec had a nine hour power blackout in 1989:

    http://www.hydroquebec.com/learning/notions-de-base/tempete-mars-1989.html

  62. Edim says:

    Leif, what is the difference between theirs and your analysis? I will look into it tonight, but on the first sight, SCL raw data is different, not only filtering.
    Also, that HADCRU temp is a bit on the warm side, 40’s were for sure not ~0,4 degrees warmer than 90s, IMO.

  63. Edim says:

    “One shouldn’t combat the bad science of the Team with even worse science…”

    Absolutely agree. Like I said I will look into it, but it seems there is some good correlation, according to fig. 2 of that F-C and L report. SC 23 was longer than SC 22, SC 24 looks like it will be very long. Cold times ahead.

  64. Edim says:
    February 19, 2011 at 9:11 am
    Leif, what is the difference between theirs and your analysis? I will look into it tonight, but on the first sight, SCL raw data is different
    Anybody can calculate the SCL and you might get slightly different results [of the order of a tenth of a year] depending on how you define minimum and maximum. These small differences don’t matter, of course. for the temperatures, nobody agrees on the precise values, but again it matters not much.

  65. Viv Evans says:

    Leif Svalgaard says on February 19, 2011 at 9:05 am:
    Edim says:
    February 19, 2011 at 8:53 am
    Leif, are you member of the Team? Just joking.

    One shouldn’t combat the bad science of the Team with even worse science…
    ****************************************

    Indeed!

    It saddens me that some people (not you, edim, you made clear you were joking!) seem to regard science mostly as a weapon to clobber The Team and/or cAGW proponents with, or vice versa.

    I hope they find their way back to the enjoyment experienced by good and excellent science.

  66. Guigue says:

    For a general description of the first solar flare ever observed, see for example:
    Other Discoveries from Carrington’s Flare

    Regarding the danger of the present activity, I’m with Leif, just enjoy the show. Somebody switched on the Sun again and the spectacle is marvelous. And just think that Cycle XXIII (the one before) was extremely active. During the week from 27 OCT to 4 NOV 2003 we have had many X, and uncountable number of M class flares. In fact the Solar Corona at Soft-X Ray had a C class level background (as usual in astronomy there is no logic in classification: from weaker to stronger A, B, C, M and X). On 4 NOV, the most intense flare of the satellite era saturated the GOES Soft X-rays telescopes and produced a strong CME (since it was a limb event, the CME went off the Earth). We survived to all of that, electric systems, banking, even GPS and communication satellites…

    Does anybody has a reference about the present consequences of an 1859 flare-like? I only saw an interview to Michio Kaku in a TV Show. I’m a little bit skeptic.

  67. R. Gates says:

    Solar Cycle 24 has a long way to go to the top. Given how weak this cycle has been, this recent flare-up is extraordinary, but there will be many more in the coming months and years during this cycle.

    BTW, it is interesting, though not connected, that the current Global Sea ice extent is the lowest it has been since the last time we had an X-class flare.

  68. Edim says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    February 19, 2011 at 9:29 am

    “…but again it matters not much.”

    Well obviously it matters very much.
    Wouldn’t you say that correlation between SCL (filtered) and NH temp as in fig. 2 in F-C & L (1991) is striking?

    Even unfiltered SCL show correlation.

  69. Yogi Bear says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    February 19, 2011 at 7:58 am

    tallbloke says:
    February 19, 2011 at 12:38 am
    Any idea whether this is temporary or a real ramp-up?
    The sun is a messy place. Weak cycle often have large swings in activity. Classical example: http://www.leif.org/research/SC14.png
    ————————————————————–

    Another classic example, SC9: http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl9.html

  70. Edim says:
    February 19, 2011 at 10:02 am
    Wouldn’t you say that correlation between SCL (filtered) and NH temp as in fig. 2 in F-C & L (1991) is striking?
    With a flawed analysis you can at times create striking things.

    Even unfiltered SCL show correlation.
    Here is an unfiltered version:

    Note that in 1750-1800 it was cold.

  71. Edim says:

    Leif,

    OK, you think their analysis is flawed, but I am not convinced.

    Your graphs have SCL from 0 to 16 (18) years. They have different scale and values are in reverse order, because the alleged correlation between SCL and temperature is negative. Hmm…

    I think there is something to it. In fact, I am very surprised, because I always thought that factors influencing climate changes are many (I still think that). Seeing one single factor (SCL) correlating so well with the temperature is remarkable.

  72. Edim says:

    “Here is an unfiltered version:

    Note that in 1750-1800 it was cold.”

    Hmm… Solar cycle 17 years long!
    I am not sure what you are trying to say, the alleged correlation is negative (long cycles, cold climate).

    Even in your unfiltered version there is negative correlation until mid 70s.
    After that, the official temperature records are overestimated (UHI and confirmation/selection bias mostly), IMO.

  73. H.R. says:

    @Leif

    Thank you. The solar gang doesn’t put out much in the way of WAGTD stuff. The article had some alarming statements, but from comments and my own experience, nothing much was happening.

  74. Edim says:
    February 19, 2011 at 10:51 am
    Seeing one single factor (SCL) correlating so well with the temperature is remarkable.
    What is remarkable is that you have been taken in by that.
    Let me try again to do a correct analysis:

    http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

    The second plot shows [pink circles] that there is no correlation [R^2=0.03]. Now, if one thinks hat the long-term trend is obscuring the correlation, then one can remove the trend [green curve in 1st plot]. The correlation is till not significant [R^2=0.20]. If you choose to believe that R^2 of 0.2 is significant [some people are desperate enough to do that], then the correlation is slightly positive, i.e. long cycles are warmer. But, I realize that you may be lost cause: once people are fixed in their [open] mind, no arguments carry any weight.

  75. Edim says:
    February 19, 2011 at 11:09 am
    I am not sure what you are trying to say, the alleged correlation is negative (long cycles, cold climate).
    I’m pointing out that the cycles in the 18th century were about the same lengths ans recent cycles, yet the temperatures were grossly different.

  76. TonyR says:

    The sun has entered a very quiet phase overall-the maxima of solar cycle 24 may be spurts of high activity-but likely not the sustained periods of high activity weve seen in the past. Stereo behind images show the other side of sun facing away from Earth very quiet with just one region just coming into view. The sun will likely go back to being quiet in a week or two. Activity also spiked a year ago when the SFI index rose to 96.

  77. Edim says:

    Leif,

    It seems to me that you are fixed in your (open) mind. You say the cycles in the 18th century were about the same length even with that 17 y SC! Anyway, I have to look into it more, before I can evaluate.

    I find the correlation in F-C & L (fig.2) remarkable, I am not taken in by that, I just find it remarkable. You use different time series for both SCL and temperature. You say their analysis is flawed, but I am not convinced. In fact, their analysis looks less flawed so far.

    My mind is very open.

  78. tallbloke says:

    Yogi Bear says:
    February 19, 2011 at 10:09 am (Edit)
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    February 19, 2011 at 7:58 am

    tallbloke says:
    February 19, 2011 at 12:38 am
    Any idea whether this is temporary or a real ramp-up?
    The sun is a messy place. Weak cycle often have large swings in activity. Classical example: http://www.leif.org/research/SC14.png
    ————————————————————–

    Another classic example, SC9: http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl9.html

    Thank you both. It’s interesting to look at the variety of shapes in previous cycles. I anticipate a forked peak in this cycle, although the peaks may be pretty flat! A lull in the middle anyway.

  79. _Jim says:

    Marian February 18, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    We’ve been getting brief 10/11 meter openings to the USA Downunder …

    Just snagged TI2AIM in San Jose, Costa Rica (from Texas) 100W, omni, on 28.415 …

    .

  80. Edim says:
    February 19, 2011 at 11:57 am
    You say the cycles in the 18th century were about the same length even with that 17 y SC! Anyway, I have to look into it more, before I can evaluate.
    What 17 yr cycle? Look at the first plot of

    http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

    You find their figure 2 remarkable. I would agree if the figure resulted from proper analysis, but since it doesn’t… But do as I did. Make your own analysis and see for yourself.

  81. John Finn says:

    Edim says:
    February 19, 2011 at 8:36 am
    Somewhat OT, but what do you think about the correlation between solar cycle length and NH land air temperatures (SCL 12221 filtered, 11-year running average of T), as shown in report by Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991) for example?
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/files/documents/Solar%20Cycle%20-%20Friis-Chr_Lassen-.pdf >/i>

    Although some of the SCL data may have been filtered the last 2-3 data points can’t have been. In fact the last point looks as though it is simply the cycle length of SC21 or SC22 (remember SC20 was over 11 years long) – as it’s less than 10 years. It sems as though F-C & L used a filter which fitted the data over the earlier 20th century period but then used a partial filter or just a single data point for the last ~40 years.

    I would suggest the correlation would break down quite noticeably if consistent data were used.

  82. _Jim says:

    Marian February 18, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    [ham radio]

    Copied JA1UTQ (Tokyo, Japan) while mobile this afternoon on 15 meters about 5:30 PM local; signal became armchair copy about 10 mins in. The JA1’s QSO was with a W6-land (California) station … total QSO time 15 min …

    .

  83. Just The Facts says:

    Here is Magnetosphere Activity for February, 19th 2011, from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.

    Here’s the link to the high res download avi file:

    http://www3.nict.go.jp/y/y223/simulation/realtime/movie/2011/test_6.20110219.avi

    What I find particularly interesting in the Feb 19th activity is that Earth’s Magnetic Field (top left box) became splayed out and seemingly very stable as the day progressed. Usually Earth’s Magnetic Field is contorted and highly variable.

  84. Just The Facts says:

    Mods

    “[this is a repost . . it is here pending final deletion]“

    What is this about?

    [Two identical posts were made a few minutes apart . . the first was approved, the second held . . OK?]

  85. Just The Facts says:
    February 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm
    Here is Magnetosphere Activity for February, 19th 2011, from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.
    What I find particularly interesting in the Feb 19th activity is that Earth’s Magnetic Field (top left box) became splayed out and seemingly very stable as the day progressed. Usually Earth’s Magnetic Field is contorted and highly variable.

    It became very stable because the solar wind became very stable on the 18th [lower right] and has continued [still stable http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_3d.html ]. This is very unusual behavior and I first thought it was instrumental malfunction of ACE, but the WIND satellite shows similar behavior http://pwg.gsfc.nasa.gov/windnrt/

  86. Leif Svalgaard says:
    Just The Facts says:
    February 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm
    Here is Magnetosphere Activity for February, 19th 2011, from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.
    What I find particularly interesting in the Feb 19th activity is that Earth’s Magnetic Field (top left box) became splayed out and seemingly very stable as the day progressed. Usually Earth’s Magnetic Field is contorted and highly variable.

    It became very stable because the solar wind became very stable on the 18th [lower right] and has continued [still stable as we speak http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_3d.html ]. This is very unusual behavior and I first thought it was instrumental malfunction of ACE, but the WIND satellite shows similar behavior http://pwg.gsfc.nasa.gov/windnrt/

  87. Leif Svalgaard says:
    February 20, 2011 at 3:34 am
    This is very unusual behavior and I first thought it was instrumental malfunction of ACE, but the WIND satellite shows similar behavior http://pwg.gsfc.nasa.gov/windnrt/
    Now, there are instrumental issues, like the extreme flatlining the later part of the 19th is due to missing data http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3 [which causes the simulation to carry on with the last value just extended in time.

  88. _Jim says:

    ES February 19, 2011 at 9:10 am

    _Jim @ February 19, 2011 at 4:50 am says:
    “ES says February 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm :
    Solar Cycle 24 says there was a R2 Radio Blackout, which …
    Is that prognostication or verification, like an account of the trouble encountered (lost comms, a circuit that continually failed with multiple re-trys; a syslog with time stamps, etc.) …”

    I am sure there was lost comms, which is not unusual with HF and an active sun. In 1988/1989 if was an almost daily occurance to have comm problems during parts of the day. HF and CB can be fickle.

    Still haven’t seen or experienced anything substantially of note although WWV at 10 MHz has had weaker periods throughout the day when it might be expected to be stronger, I worked/copied some trans-equatorial DX the last several days. Apparently nothing other than anecdotal evidence exists for the ‘deleterious effects’ this phenom is supposed to wreak … pls note that propagation has been rotten on the higher frequency HF bands for awhile now due to ‘solar inactivity'; it is a lament quite a few hams have voiced.

    .

  89. Piers Corbyn says:

    Good Report & Great pics.
    This is just one event – although quite big one – in the rising phase of Solar Cycle 24 which is low level compared with average solar cycles.
    Leaving aside the usual media hype the most significant thing about THIS X2 flare and associated events including a proton burst is the fantastic Auroras North & South hemispheres and the related PREDICTED by us – WeatherAction; storm (and storm magnification) events in USA, Australia (Tropical cyclone formation East of Queensland again), UK & Europe. See Our WeatherActionNews2011No4 for GREAT PICS, maps and news –

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews11No4.pdf

    or via twitter (Piers_Corbyn) tweet:-
    Celestial Fireworks celebrate Sun-Earth forecasting links. Warmist Meteorology challenged http://bit.ly/dTAtu8

    The clear link we draw in this PREDICTED chain of solar events driving specific predicted Earth weather events is intended as a challenge to warmist meteorology and politicians although they might not be listening!
    Anyhow it was known to the Vikings that major auroras were usually associated with major storms. I don’t know if they had a view about why but I don’t think they thought the auroras and storms were caused by them lighting fires or burning boats.

  90. Just The Facts says:

    Here is Magnetosphere Activity for February, 20th 2011, from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology:

    Here’s the link to the high res download avi file:

    http://www3.nict.go.jp/y/y223/simulation/realtime/movie/2011/test_6.20110220.avi

    It appears that for the first 8 1/2 hours the magnetic field remains splayed out and stable, before slowly returning towards a more active state.

    Leif, do you think we looking at natural phenomena or sensor failures?

  91. R.S.Brown says:

    _Jim says: February 19, 2011 at 8:59 am
    [ ]

    _Jim,

    Also part of that same record is:

    House Armed Services Committee Military Research and
    Development Subcommittee on October 7, 1999

    In the Statement of Michael Bernardin, Provost for Theoretical
    Institute of Thermonuclear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory:

    “A limitation with this type of testing is if the simulators are a finite volume and are not able to expose electric lines of greater length than about 50 meters to EMP. Systems connected to power and communication lines are frequently tested with current injection, but even these tests are limited.” (emphasis added)

    A single point air burst thermonuclear detonation which has
    an effective electromagnetic pulse (EMP) lasting no more than
    five minutes can not be equated to the electromagnetic pulse(s)
    accompanying a coronal mass ejection (CME) that can impact
    our atmosphere and, hence, our electrical grids and anything
    connected to them for hours or days .

    No one alive has any experience dealing with disruption on
    a hemispheric scale like the September 1, 1857, Carrington
    event.

  92. Just The Facts says:
    February 21, 2011 at 12:15 am
    It appears that for the first 8 1/2 hours the magnetic field remains splayed out and stable, before slowly returning towards a more active state.
    Leif, do you think we looking at natural phenomena or sensor failures?

    The first 8 hours of the 20th, the data is missing and the simulation is stuck on its prior value, so no wonder it looks stable [from ACE]:
    2011 02 19 2100 55611 75600 0 -5.6 -0.7 -4.2 7.0 -36.6
    2011 02 19 2200 55611 79200 0 -5.5 -2.2 -3.9 7.1 -33.8
    2011 02 19 2300 55611 82800 9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9
    2011 02 20 0000 55612 0 9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9
    2011 02 20 0100 55612 3600 9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9
    2011 02 20 0200 55612 7200 9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9
    2011 02 20 0300 55612 10800 9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9
    2011 02 20 0400 55612 14400 9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9
    2011 02 20 0500 55612 18000 9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9
    2011 02 20 0600 55612 21600 9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9 -999.9
    2011 02 20 0700 55612 25200 0 -0.5 -3.7 -4.6 5.9 -51.0
    2011 02 20 0800 55612 28800 0 -0.7 -0.5 -4.6 4.6 -79.7
    2011 02 20 0900 55612 32400 0 -1.0 0.1 -5.6 5.7 -80.0

  93. Just The Facts says:
    February 21, 2011 at 12:15 am
    Leif, do you think we looking at natural phenomena or sensor failures?
    Most likely communications failure, rather than sensor failure.

  94. Just The Facts says:

    Here is Magnetosphere Activity for February, 21st 2011, from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology:

    Here’s the link to the high res download avi file:

    http://www3.nict.go.jp/y/y223/simulation/realtime/movie/2011/test_6.20110221.avi

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