Missing sunspots solved by NASA?

News from NASA that they believe they have solved the mystery of the missing sunspots and why the solar minimum was so prolonged:

Researchers Crack the Mystery of the Missing Sunspots

March 2, 2011: In 2008-2009, sunspots almost completely disappeared for two years. Solar activity dropped to hundred-year lows; Earth’s upper atmosphere cooled and collapsed; the sun’s magnetic field weakened, allowing cosmic rays to penetrate the Solar System in record numbers. It was a big event, and solar physicists openly wondered, where have all the sunspots gone?

Now they know. An answer is being published in the March 3rd edition of Nature.

In this artistic cutaway view of the sun, the Great Conveyor Belt appears as a set of black loops connecting the stellar surface to the interior. Credit: Andrés Muñoz-Jaramillo of the Harvard CfA

In this artistic cutaway view of the sun, the Great Conveyor Belt appears as a set of black loops connecting the stellar surface to the interior. Credit: Andrés Muñoz-Jaramillo of the Harvard CfA

“Plasma currents deep inside the sun interfered with the formation of sunspots and prolonged solar minimum,” says lead author Dibyendu Nandi of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Kolkata. “Our conclusions are based on a new computer model of the sun’s interior.”

For years, solar physicists have recognized the importance of the sun’s “Great Conveyor Belt.” A vast system of plasma currents called ‘meridional flows’ (akin to ocean currents on Earth) travel along the sun’s surface, plunge inward around the poles, and pop up again near the sun’s equator. These looping currents play a key role in the 11-year solar cycle. When sunspots begin to decay, surface currents sweep up their magnetic remains and pull them down inside the star; 300,000 km below the surface, the sun’s magnetic dynamo amplifies the decaying magnetic fields. Re-animated sunspots become buoyant and bob up to the surface like a cork in water—voila! A new solar cycle is born.

For the first time, Nandi’s team believes they have developed a computer model that gets the physics right for all three aspects of this process–the magnetic dynamo, the conveyor belt, and the buoyant evolution of sunspot magnetic fields.

OK. Plenty of belief here, but does it have predictive power?

“According to our model, the trouble with sunspots actually began in back in the late 1990s during the upswing of Solar Cycle 23,” says co-author Andrés Muñoz-Jaramillo of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “At that time, the conveyor belt sped up.”

Sunspot cycles over the last century. The blue curve shows the cyclic variation in the number of sunspots. Red bars show the cumulative number of sunspot-less days. The minimum of sunspot cycle 23 was the longest in the space age with the largest number of spotless days. Credit: Dibyendu Nandi et al.

The fast-moving belt rapidly dragged sunspot corpses down to sun’s inner dynamo for amplification. At first glance, this might seem to boost sunspot production, but no. When the remains of old sunspots reached the dynamo, they rode the belt through the amplification zone too hastily for full re-animation. Sunspot production was stunted.

Later, in the 2000s, according to the model, the Conveyor Belt slowed down again, allowing magnetic fields to spend more time in the amplification zone, but the damage was already done. New sunspots were in short supply. Adding insult to injury, the slow moving belt did little to assist re-animated sunspots on their journey back to the surface, delaying the onset of Solar Cycle 24.

“The stage was set for the deepest solar minimum in a century,” says co-author Petrus Martens of the Montana State University Department of Physics.

OK. Plenty of belief. Does it have predictive power?

Colleagues and supporters of the team are calling the new model a significant advance.

“Understanding and predicting solar minimum is something we’ve never been able to do before—and it turns out to be very important,” says Lika Guhathakurta of NASA’s Heliophysics Division in Washington, DC.

OK. Colleagues think its wonderful. But…

Nandi notes that their new computer model explained not only the absence of sunspots but also the sun’s weakened magnetic field in 08-09. “It’s confirmation that we’re on the right track.”

I’m pleased for you. Now about the future…

Next step: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) can measure the motions of the sun’s conveyor belt—not just on the surface but deep inside, too. The technique is called helioseismology; it reveals the sun’s interior in much the same way that an ultrasound works on a pregnant woman. By plugging SDO’s high-quality data into the computer model, the researchers might be able to predict how future solar minima will unfold. SDO is just getting started, however, so forecasts will have to wait.

Indeed, much work remains to be done, but, says Guhathakurta, “finally, we may be cracking the mystery of the spotless sun.”

I worry about this sort of science (or at least, this sort of scientific publishing). They claim they can explain the past, but they have no idea if their model has any predictive power.

Before the last solar minimum there were plenty of different models that all explained the past but had zero predictive power about the solar minimum. Has this salutary experience been forgotten already at NASA? I’m sure David Hathaway could tell them all about it.

I was going to title this post “NASA suffers from premature exultation” but I thought better of it. This team could be right, but frankly there’s no way to know unless they can make a reasonable forecast.

All of which puts all of this at slightly above the level of reading tea-leaves. But its in Nature, so it’s like hitting a home run in the World Series of science. That’s the important part, clearly.

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169 Responses to Missing sunspots solved by NASA?

  1. Brad says:

    Exactly – and they do not note the type of magnetic effect that some believe (Dr. Leif Svalgaard for example) does have predictive power for future cycles – the Livingston and Penn effect.

    NASA, misses yet again. Why not spending and sending men to do little science in space and instead build some spacecraft to collect some data?

  2. NoAstronomer says:

    I have a computer model that says x^2 = 2x.

  3. P.F. says:

    Didn’t Rhodes Fairbridge have a similar idea back in the early 1970s of what was happening regarding sun spot creation and absence?

  4. ParisParamus says:

    So Climate Change is really happening and once the sunspots return, we are all going to be cooked?

  5. John E says:

    For the first time, Nandi’s team believes they have developed a computer model that gets the physics right for all three aspects of this process–the magnetic dynamo, the conveyor belt, and the buoyant evolution of sunspot magnetic fields.
    *********
    Wow, there are only three aspects to the cause of sunspots. For some reason I thought the process was more complex…silly me.

  6. Lance says:

    ….several years ago, (not going to dig for it)…”scientist have completed there runs of a new model they have developed and SC24 will be the largest ever…”

  7. Paul Coombes says:

    “The minimum of sunspot cycle 23 was the longest in the space age …” Is ‘the space age’ an officially recognised period of time, then?

  8. Perry says:

    Indeed, much work remains to be done, but, says Guhathakurta, “finally, we may be cracking the mystery of the spotless sun.”

    That sounds so much like the situation within the medical profession back in the 1920/30s before the advent of antibiotics.

    “We can diagnose your illness, the symptoms are extremely well known to us, we can give you a full prognosis of how the disease will kill you, but cure you? Nope, not a chance! All we can hope to do is ease your dying, Next patient please, nurse!”

  9. jonjermey says:

    Great, now they can fudge the unverified models of predicted solar output to offset the unverified models of predicted global warming, and we won’t have to worry about a thing!

  10. Kev-in-Uk says:

    a new computer model? Great, so that’s another bit of ‘fudgeability’ able to be introduced to explain the observations…..

  11. UK John says:

    This model theory appears interesting, but I have not the slightest idea what practical use it might be.

    The scientific method is to test your hypothesis by getting results that correctly predict things you don’t yet know, but can measure after you pronounce your theory.

    But of course you do get better results if your model predicts what you already know.

  12. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Well written and interesting. I enjoyed the “where’s Waldo” theme regarding predictive power.

    It being Nature Magazine, the ending was predictable, but nothing you could do about that … they’re pretty much guaranteed to hype nonsense these days. Tragic.

    Nice piece,

    w.

  13. Geoff says:

    Some of the words used during the NASA press conference.

    Very unusual phase of the Sun
    Very deep cycle minimum
    Extended minimum
    Slowly creeping out of extended minimum
    in 2009 cosmic ray intensity increased 20%
    atmosphere has shrunk due to lower solar activity
    Upper atmosphere has cooled from lower solar activity
    potential societal and economic impacts

  14. Taphonomic says:

    There already is a comment on the Nature website pointing out that the “…model is in conflict with the observations.”

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v471/n7336/abs/nature09786.html

  15. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    And I thought they would announce they had found the sunspots beside the hidden ocean heat content.

    Go figure.

  16. Jeremy says:

    Is this like the martian microbes? Or that release when they were sure about the arsenic based life on earth?

    Oh wait, this research is based on a model! How silly of me, it must be correct then.

  17. Dan Lee says:

    I’m not seeing any cracked mysteries here. Do they have a theory about what speeds up or slows down the conveyor belt? Are the equations that constitute that theory built into their model?

    Or did they just work out equations to model the recent behavior of the conveyor belt? If all they have is a model of past known behavior, then it’s a start but they’re going to need a theory about whatever affects the speed of that conveyor before they’ll be able to test it by making predictions.

  18. Jim Cole says:

    To borrow a line from Mike Mann, “I think we should just stop publishing or citing articles in ‘Nature’ and encourage our friends to do the same”

    That would be the “formerly highly regarded ‘Nature’ magazine”.

    Same for ‘Science’. Sad but true.

  19. Dave Dodd says:

    “Understanding and predicting solar minimum is something we’ve never been able to do before—and it turns out to be very important,”

    Um, yeah. Sounds a bit like the pride my daughter felt when she was finally potty trained! But really, weren’t we already experiencing the minimum when you “predicted” it? What am I missing here?

  20. Snowlover123 says:

    BS

    “For the first time, Nandi’s team believes they have developed a computer model that gets the physics right for all three aspects of this process”

    A computer model…….

  21. John A says:

    I really can’t tell the difference between hype and scientific reporting these days. It must be me getting old…

  22. Brian H says:

    We need a model of how many incorrect models can adequately retrocast before smashing up on the Rocks of Reality. We could test the model by predicting how many incorrect hypotheses NASA, NOAA, etc. will produce prematurely exult over, over the next 1, 5, and 10 years.

  23. jknapp says:

    It seems the prediction would depend on predicting the speed of the conveyer. If they can’t predict that then…

  24. vukcevic says:

    ‘the sun’s magnetic dynamo amplifies the decaying magnetic fields. Re-animated sunspots become buoyant and bob up to the surface like a cork in water—voila! A new solar cycle is born.’
    Lot of nonsense.
    ‘Belt slowed down again, allowing magnetic fields to spend more time in the amplification zone, ..’
    That means the the amplification process (which is rubbish idea anyway) would mean that these spots that ‘ spend more time in the amplification zone ’ should have much stronger magnetic field.
    L&P are not a happy bunch, they claim that new crop of spots has much weaker magnetic field.
    Dr. Hathaway must be pulling his beard out in a rage too.
    What about Schatten’s percolation dynamo?
    What a mess !
    What next, back to pseudoscience ? http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

  25. Theo Goodwin says:

    The belt speeds up and the belt slows down. Well, what makes it speed up or slow down? Pardon me if I am not impressed with this explanation.

    Can they predict the next speed change in the belt? All the speed changes for the next ten years? Can they retrodict speed changes, other than those they have already dissected?

  26. Ron Dean says:

    Computer models certainly have their place. They are used successfully in many engineering disciplines daily.

    For example, we can certainly create a computer model to predict the velocity of an object in free fall at approximately sea level on earth. The model would be pretty accurate – until wind resistance started kicking in. The model could be upgraded to take into account the aerodynamic drag of the free falling object, and would, again, be pretty accurate. Until other weather conditions also kick in (high humidity. shear winds, etc).

    The point is that models *are* a useful tool. But they are not a replacement for observed data. Unless or until the models have some type of predictive power, they should be viewed suspiciously. Prior to that, they are merely an interesting piece of data – but certainly not worthy of being considered a falsifiable scientific theory.

    Regardless, interesting theory. Let’s see if they publish predictive data, and how the model performs against it.

  27. Jaap de Vos says:

    It is not necessary to wait for the predictive power of NASA. In 1989 Dr. Theodor Landscheidt (see Wikipedia and Google) predicted lower sunspots from 1990 with the grand minimum around 2030. He related his prediction on a periodicity of about 172 years with the Dalton, Maunder,Spörer and Wolf minima.

  28. Bryan A says:

    Obviously the cause for the speeding up of the Conveyor belt through the amplification zone is the presence of a greater quantity of Carbon in the core trying to combine with the minute ammounts of Oxygen being produced through the fusion process. Once again, a slight increase of CO2 on the levels of PPB is to blame for what ails the sun, now all the warmists need to do is find a way to attribute it to Man’s activities

  29. Michael Penny says:

    So they use measured reading of the sun’s conveyor belt to “predict how future solar minima will unfold” a few years off, but do they have any way to predict the sun’s conveyor belt?

  30. DJ says:

    I watched TV last night. HBO. A documentary.

    Secrets of the Tribe

    I was riveted. Glued to my seat. I was watching the whole climategate/global warming/climate change battle before my eyes..but the subject wasn’t climate, it was anthropology, and I was dumbfounded at the parallels between this and the ongoing climate battle.

    Allegations of corrupt data, worthless papers published in Science, charges of researchers directly influencing behavior and data, sexual misbehavior by researchers, analogies to Nazis, and it all centers around 2 opposing camps.

    It centers around Napoleon Chagnon’s work with the Yanomomi in south america, and even includes charges of genocide against him. I know this seems a bit off-topic, but I had to throw this in somewhere!

  31. Here is what they said about two years ago:
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/17jun_jetstream/

    vukcevic says:
    March 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm
    What next, back to pseudoscience ?
    What a shame to see this on “the best science blog 2011″.

  32. Hank Hancock says:

    Solar activity dropped to hundred-year lows; Earth’s upper atmosphere cooled and collapsed;…

    Someone help me out here. A cooling upper atmosphere is supposed to be evidence of global warming but now they’re saying the sun’s hundred-year low has caused it to cool? Does this change the AGW hypothesis and its conclusions in any meaningful way or has this solar activity cooling the upper atmosphere all been accounted for already in the climate models?

  33. APACHEWHOKNOWS says:

    “Who of ye of the denier’s is a “member of the team” any of you “fellows of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics”, any of you have your PHD’s in Solar Physics. You guys just wait untill we get Al Gore up to speed on this magnetic dynamo conveyor belt of new improved plasma whose currents will bring new grants and funding for us.”

    ps
    Mr. Andres’ Monoz-Jaramillo of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, thanks for the release of the bones of my great, great, great grandfather Mangus Colorados that you had there via the U.S. Calvery Jan. 1863. Never mind it was 1990 and the Smithsonian had the Apache “skull’s” mis labled and the “skull” in question may have been the one in Fowler’s Phrenological Cabinet in New York, but then all you guys look the same to we Apache.

    What they are about is uping the PHD scale on U.S., in order to talk down to U.S. from higher above. They be gods soon.

  34. Jim Imboden says:

    Vukcevic says: “Dr. Hathaway must be pulling his beard out in a rage too”

    Hathaway has a comment on the Nature site, actually it was Hathaway that said their model is in conflict with observations. If you read his comment you will see that he doesn’t agree with their model at all.

    Jim

  35. polistra says:

    The graph above reminds me of a glottal wave. Not a simple addition of sines, but a complex resonance triggered by a periodic quick shutting and opening of a “valve”.

    Here’s a “yu” sound for comparison:
    http://ockhamsbungalow.com/blog25/you-wave.jpg

  36. DesertYote says:

    From the NASA news story:

    “… The famous Maunder Minimum of the 17th century lasted 70 years and coincided with the deepest part of Europe’s Little Ice Age. Researchers are still struggling to understand the connection.”

    So they are still trying to reinforce the notion that the LIA and MWP were regional by implication. I’m sorry, but using words that may be technically true, but are chosen to give an impression of some that is not, is still lying. NASA lies.

    The only thing researchers(propagandists) are struggling with is to explain away the LIA so as to decouple changes in the suns behavior as a significant contributor to changes in the earths weather.

  37. Mark_K says:

    NoAstronomer says:
    March 3, 2011 at 11:48 am
    I have a computer model that says x^2 = 2x.

    And Climate Modelers would extrapolate from that that x^y = yx, and when the model didn’t predict very well, instead of looking at their original assumptions, they would begin adding various forcings to their model to improve its predictive ability.

  38. Davidg says:

    Owl droppings, that’s all NASA has. And People make fun of Astrology, but Nature lets NASA do entrail readings and and get away with it!

  39. Bryan A says:

    The belt speeds up……
    The belt slows down……….
    The motion’s pulling sunspots to their grave
    La de da de dee
    La de da de da

    A new ice age was once the rage, uh huh
    Now Global warming’s took the stage, uh huh
    The Solar cycle’s the current thing, uh huh
    AGW’s our newborn king, uh huh

    The belt speeds up……
    The belt slows down……….
    The motion’s pulling sunspots to their grave
    La de da de dee
    La de da de da

    We’re forced to drive electric golf carts, uh huh
    To the grocery store and super-marts, uh huh
    And Scientists still say it’s getting warm
    Electrically we have to heat our homes

    The belt speeds up……
    The belt slows down……….
    The motion’s pulling sunspots to their grave
    La de da de dee
    La de da de da

    Politicians sit in chairs and reminisce
    Of days when voters didn’t boo or hiss
    The cars keep using gas up all the time
    Activists cry “hey buddy, CO2’s a crime”

    The belt speeds up……
    The belt slows down……….
    The motion’s pulling sunspots to their grave
    La de da de dee
    La de da de da

  40. ShrNfr says:

    @NoAstronomer: Tested on the number 2 from the ground stations undoubtedly.

    Problem with this sort of model is that it describes an inherently mathematical chaotic process that is driven by the logistic equation. Notoriously hard to predict except for short periods.

  41. wayne Job says:

    They seem to have missed the mark entirely. The cyclic changes of the sun are caused by ? This model will prove to be less than useful for predicting the future of our heat ball. The possibility of the sun having an internal clock that regulates its pulse in cycles is? Celestial mechanics is the starting point. I always thought that NASA was all about space research and exploration. Real scientists and engineers in the past sent men to the moon with the computing power of a good hand calculator. What is it with this new crop at NASA are they trying to mind meld with their super computer.

  42. johnb says:

    What stands out to me is that Nandi’s team seems to think that the sun is broken/malfunctioning.

    …the trouble with sunspots actually began…
    …but the damage was already done.
    Adding insult to injury…

    Is this something that is broken or a natural process in flux? NASA seems to take the stance that previous years sunspot levels were the ideal and that the natural system is operating at a less than optimal level. Treating it in this way sets them up to be the arbiter of the next cause celebre in identifying exactly how we should fix this problem.

  43. Jeremy says:

    Just caught this:

    Credits: This research was funded by NASA’s Living With a Star Program and the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India.

    Ah, this helps explain it, it must be part of NASA’s new cultural outreach programs.

  44. stupidboy says:

    Where have all the sunspots gone?
    NASA’s modelled them every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    With apologies to Pete Seeger

  45. Theo Goodwin says:

    Bryan A says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Very impressive!

  46. APACHEWHOKNOWS says:

    They with the use of their big old super computer could come closer to knowing the number of grains of sand on all the beaches of the planet earth than it and they could come to understanding what it is that makes the sun tick.

    Tell us Phd., Dr. of Solar Astro Physics, do Super-Nova’s have a hand in any of it or do you have data to prove they do not. Go , study if they cause the plasma currents of the sun to cycle or not.

  47. vukcevic says:

    Jim Imboden says: March 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm
    Hathaway has a comment on the Nature site, actually it was Hathaway that said their model is in conflict with observations.

    Exactly, that’s why Dr. Hathaway must be pulling his beard out in a rage too, that his beloved NASA is promoting ideas that he so strongly disagrees with.

  48. tallbloke says:

    Jim Imboden says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm (Edit)
    Vukcevic says: “Dr. Hathaway must be pulling his beard out in a rage too”

    Hathaway has a comment on the Nature site, actually it was Hathaway that said their model is in conflict with observations. If you read his comment you will see that he doesn’t agree with their model at all.

    Leif can’t be pleased about his shallow dynamo theory getting the cold shoulder either.

    Seems there might be more than one way to read the SDO data tealeaves.

    What say you Leif? Is this a final throw of the dice for the deep dynamo-hummers?

  49. Malaga View says:

    More bull than Buzz Lightyear:
    computer model… magnetic dynamo… conveyor belt… magnetic fields… plasma currents… meridional flows… inner dynamo… amplification zone… ultrasound… buoyant evolution… cosmic rays… space junk… helioseismology…

    More moves than John Travolta:
    stage was set… slow moving… violent flaring… cool and collapse… plunge inward… pop up again… pull them down… bob up… unfold.. wait.. grind on… works on a pregnant woman…

    More scary than Vincent Price:
    sunspot corpses… full re-animation… decaying… strange things happen… held at bay… cooled and collapsed… stunted… the remains… rapidly dragged… cracking… dangerous place

    To infinitity and beyond belief

  50. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: March 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm
    ……………….
    Hey Doc
    We expect an erudite and in depth analysis. Little snippets, however entertaining or sarcastic can not do the justice.

  51. etudiant says:

    While I’ve not read the full paper, which is hidden behind the Nature paywall, even the press summary shows that the headline is quite false.
    The study postulates a cyclical process that amplifies magnetic instabilities that manifest themselves as sunspots. Nothing explains the drivers for these or why the cycle speeds up or slows down.
    That leaves the source of the fluctuations open and provides no new insights into the future trends in either sun spots or broader solar activity.
    Aside from that, it seemed an interesting paper on solar flows. The idea of rivers of plasma many times wider than the earth diving deep into the sun is certainly striking.

  52. DirkH says:

    Sounds like yet more epicycles.

  53. Engineer Bob says:

    The Earth-pointing satellite provide various measurement of our weather system, not prediction.

    With this technique, it takes a lot of computation to get anywhere beyond the visible surface. The unknowns are probably high, just to make the “observation” of deep behavior. Having the accuracy (and experience) to extrapolate further should be considered highly speculative, IMHO.

    Expecting more predictive power from the first look into the Sun’s deep currents seems premature to me. Why wouldn’t it take as long to develop predictive power on the Sun as it did on Earth? We still can’t predict weather in useful detail anywhere close to a month in the future.

    I applaud this work into discovering the dynamics of the sun. I don’t expect final answers the first day. Why not cut these authors some slack?

  54. pwl says:

    The Map (model) is Not The Territory (the sun).

    “Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.” – Alfred Korzybski

    As Richard Feynman said, [paraphrasing] when you have too many explanations that are alleged to be the answer that’s a very good hint that you’ve not understood the thing you’re studying and it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

    Soothsaying digital solar entrails with software models. At least there is no doomsday in their less than stellar explanations of the past. Oh wait, 2012 is just around the corner and neutrinos still have time to start interacting more strongly with the Earth heating up The Core. [:)] Ah, love it, two movie references in that sentence [:)].

  55. TomRude says:

    Yep, Nature -the journal- is full of these…

  56. John Kehr says:

    This model cannot explain the past few hundred years. There is no mechanism for a hundred years without sunspots and it also implies that the 11 yr cycle fluctuates based on the conveyor belt speed.

    delaying the onset of Solar Cycle 24.

    Since that time variation in onset is not seen, they have no real basis. The Sun does appear to have larger cycles on top of the 22 yr cycle as the peaks in the past have steadily changed over time. Since the current greater cycle peaked in 1959-1960 and each cycle has been weaker (generally) it should be no surprise that the current one is weaker still.

    Their mechanism for altering current speeds does little to explain why, much less does it explain why the current fluctuates.

    John Kehr

  57. Theo Goodwin says:

    Engineer Bob says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    “I applaud this work into discovering the dynamics of the sun. I don’t expect final answers the first day. Why not cut these authors some slack?”

    Because of the hubris in their statements. And because those statements are made to support a political agenda. Warmista have the power to return to science at any time. The choice is theirs.

  58. mojo says:

    You mean there aren’t a couple of small black holes orbiting each other down there after all?

    Well, so much for THAT theory…

  59. tallbloke says:

    vukcevic says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm
    Leif Svalgaard says: March 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm
    ……………….
    Hey Doc
    We expect an erudite and in depth analysis. Little snippets, however entertaining or sarcastic can not do the justice.

    Heh, Leif is doing the wise thing as a professional solar physicist and saying as little as possible at the moment. Which of course leaves room for us amateurs to throw our hats into the ring. No doubt he’ll be along to stomp on them as a way of drawing attention away from the fact that the pro teams disagree and don’t have a scooby’s at the moment.

    Anyway, here’s some cannon fodder for him.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/tallbloke-and-tim-channon-a-cycles-analysis-approach-to-predicting-solar-activity/

  60. Tony Bellows says:

    The predictive power of the models is what I find so frustrating. Models that continually adjust themselves to past history, but have no predictive capabilities are little better than Freudian theories of psychoanalysis, namely:

    1. Everything is “consistent” with the theory
    2. Anything unexpected can always be explained by the theory in a consistent way after it has occurred.
    3. Some descriptions of what can be explained are like “cold readings”, they can fit virtually any outcome (floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, ice melting, land 6 feet deep in snowstorms and blizzards, etc etc.). Take this from Australia:

    In the future, Queensland will experience longer and hotter summers, less rainfall, more evaporation, increased severe storm and cyclone activity.

    and later in the same article

    an increase in cyclone intensity, with maximum wind speeds up by 5–10 per cent by 2050 and rainfall associated with these events up by 20–30 per cent 4.

    Does that mean less rainfall, or more rainfall? As far as I can see, it covers both drought conditions and flooding. That’s just like a cold reading by a magician.

    Any alternative explanation is always wrong.

    Do climate scientists believe that, like weather forecasters, that we will notice less when they get it wrong if they tell us weather events we have already seen happening? At least weather forecasts are solid enough to be wrong, although we’ve had slippery language creeping in – “occasional showers, perhaps persistent at times”, or the best one “wintry showers” – covers rain, sleet, hail, and snow all in one.

    Finding any prediction is like trying to staple jelly.

  61. Tom T says:

    “Our conclusions are based on a new computer model of the sun’s interior.”
    Figures.

  62. Craig Goodrich says:

    I’d be interested in Dr. Svalgaard’s views on this. There does seem to be a logical inconsistency in the text (as pointed out by several commenters) that on the one hand when the interior current speeded up, it passed the active area so fast that it didn’t pick up enough steam to do much, but on the other hand when the current slowed, it was … running too slow for the current to pick up enough steam? Or have I misunderstood something?

  63. ObeliskToucher says:

    “According to our model, the trouble with sunspots actually began in back in the late 1990s during the upswing of Solar Cycle 23,” says co-author Andrés Muñoz-Jaramillo of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “At that time, the conveyor belt sped up.”

    Q: Why did it speed up?
    A: …. crickets chirping ….

  64. vukcevic says:

    tallbloke says: March 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm
    …………….
    Hi Rog
    Sunspot and climate predictions, heaps of fun.
    Haven’t enjoyed myself so much since I nicked my older brother’s toy aeroplane.

  65. Adam Gallon says:

    The comment left on the Nature website.

    “2011-03-02 02:56 AM
    Report this comment #18493
    David Hathaway said:
    This theoretical model is diametrically opposed to the observations of Hathaway & Rightmire (2010) Science, 327, 1350. Our observations represent the most accurate and complete measurements of the meridional flow over solar cycle 23 and indicate that the flow was slow at the start of the cycle and fast at the end; the opposite of what this theoretical model requires. The authors’ comments on our observations can be found only in the supplemental information; hidden from view for most readers. They suggest that the variations we measure are irrelevant because they only represent the near surface layers. Yet, their entire meridional circulation system is built on the flow observed in these very same layers. If they want to match the speed of the flow at the base of the convection zone to the equatorward drift of the sunspot latitude zones by using the surface layer flow speed then they should agree that the variations in the surface flow speed represent the variations in the deeper layers as well. Unfortunately for their model, to accept this means their model is in conflict with the observations.”
    Crash & burn?

  66. WillR says:

    “Our conclusions are based on a new computer model of the sun’s interior.”

    How many others stopped reading here… and so much of what I do depends on creating accurate computer models… I am so ashamed of the industry and that charlatans that occupy it … I feel that over 40 years is as nothing… honesty? integrity? check in the dictionary of you want to learn about them — do not watch climate scientists and computer modelers…

    I am turning in my propeller beanie. It is no longer a badge of honor. I am shredding my pocket protector. I am grinding up my slide rules. I’m a-gonna drive our D8 Cat over all my scientific calculators. I am smashing the living room busts of Tesla and Newton… we are forsaken! alas, alack aday!

    We are at the cross-roads at midnight… our fate awaits!

  67. Ranger Rick says:

    Are they using the same computer they use to model the AGW theory? I sure hope so. Then we can all believe it as gospel because the computer says we should. All we need now is a consensus! Any takers?

  68. John A says:

    Good for David Hathaway. Doing what the peer reviewers failed to do…reconcile the theory with the evidence.

    When I wrote the post I failed to mention the tenses used, unconditional at the start, more and more conditional by the end. CYA in other words.

  69. Theo Goodwin says:

    Writing without hubris, the authors of the paper should have said that they have created a computer simulation for all three “aspects of this process–the magnetic dynamo, the conveyor belt, and the buoyant evolution of sunspot magnetic fields.” They should have continued that this very limited simulation helps them as they speculate about the causes of the phenomena. In addition, they should have said that their simulation is not yet compatible with the best observational work on sun spots, namely, that by Hathaway & Rightmire (2010) Science, 327, 1350.

    For the uninformed general public, they should have said that this simulation should not be understood as being a physical theory or as implying actual observations of sun spot behavior.

    But NO; they have to suggest that they have the TRUTH.

  70. Gaylon says:

    Engineer Bob says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm
    “…Why not cut these authors some slack?”

    Cuz Bob, we’ve been down this road before. You rightly suggest that, “Having the accuracy (and experience) to extrapolate further should be considered highly speculative, IMHO”, but did you read anything that sounded ‘speculative in the article? These guys are opperating according to their standard MO: ‘we have a computer model, and although we still have much work to do, we may be starting to crack the mystery of the spotless sun’ (ok, that sounds slightly speculative but rings of an obligatory closing. IMO).

    Next, as hinted by another poster above, we will probably hear that after calibrating this model with another model’s results and filtering through two other computer models after 25,000 runs over two years that the Solar influence on Earth’s climate is negligible and (sarc/on)- not to worry about the 3 feet of snow in April because that’s what “global climate disruption” is all about. We’ve been predicting this icy global warming since the ’80′s -(sarc/off).

    We’re just trying to nip this show of shoddy prose and propaganda in the bud, not the actual science. Science is good, models could be good tools if real scientists were administrating them instead of propagandists. We just wish these guys would get on the bandwagon (the real-science bandwagon).

    You hit the nail right on the head, think these guys are on that same tack? I would answer in the negative. :-)

  71. Juice says:

    I worry about this sort of science (or at least, this sort of scientific publishing). They claim they can explain the past, but they have no idea if their model has any predictive power.

    What the hell? Give it some time, jeez. They just now developed the model. It’ll take a few years to see if the model can predict the occurrence and number of sunspots and the like.

  72. Gaylon says:

    WillR says:
    March 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    “I am grinding up my slide rules.”

    WillR, NNNNNOOOOOOOOO DON’T DO IT MAN!!!

    Send them to me, can’t find the things anywhere. :0)

  73. d says:

    Its ironic this article shows up just at the time the sun spot and F10.7 numbers are shooting way up. Funny if NASA will now have to explain why the sunspots are back!!

  74. Doug Deal says:

    I also have a “computer model” that predicts past lottery numbers to 100% accuracy. I wonder if I can get Federally funded?

    In investing, there is a well known warning. “Past performance is no guarentee of future success.” Perhaps it’s time to bring that wisdom to science in the dangers of retrocasting.

  75. EthicallyCivil says:

    Advances in modelling are interesting, but until predictive power is demonstrated, one cannot call it anything other than an interesting simulation, or mathematical model somewhat like String Theory. Hopefully the model will make some falsifiable predictions that we can test against the future. Then we might have something interesting.

    I did CFD (computational fluid dynamics) early in my career, and until we could get good correlation with the wind tunnel data, designers wouldn’t touch it.

  76. Do you think I could work at NASA? I enjoy thinking stuff up and I’m excellent at gathering data, I could collect Tera-quads of data and sit about thinking up thousands of theory’s a year and file them on a to-be proven pile, that would take thousands more people hundreds of years to make any sense of them.

    I’d especially like to work in NASA’s new “Theory On Demand Department” (TODD) or the “Labyrinth Of Information Department” (LOID) or one of the similar departments of experts that have been appearing all over the planet.

    It’s all a farce!!
    If they don’t understand the basics… (I’ll let Albert Einstein Explain the rest).

    “It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.”

    “Information is not knowledge.”
    “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

    “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
    “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
    “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it!”

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result

    “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”

    “To me the worst thing seems to be a school principally to work with methods of fear, force and artificial authority. Such treatment destroys the sound sentiments, the sincerity and the self-confidence of pupils and produces a subservient subject.”

    “By academic freedom I understand the right to search for truth and to publish and teach what one holds to be true. This right implies also a duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true. It is evident that any restriction on academic freedom acts in such a way as to hamper the dissemination of knowledge among the people and thereby impedes national judgment and action.”

    “The only justifiable purpose of political institutions is to insure the unhindered development of the individual.”

    “Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fueled by perpetually rejuvenated illusions.”

    “The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.” (I believe he would have said “The hardest thing to understand in the world is the Carbon Tax” had he been alive today)

    “I never allow myself to become discouraged under any circumstances. The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are first, hard work, second, stick-to-ittiveness, third, common sense.”

    “Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore.”

    “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.”
    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    “I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.”

    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
    “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with the important matters.”

    “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

  77. J Gary Fox says:

    Place me in the “Skeptical” cohort.
    I’ve been following “The Sunspots” since the beginning of Cycle 24.
    At that time the speed up of the belt was confidently predicted to INCREASE sunspots.
    NASA reported in 2006 that:
    “According to theory and observation, the speed of the belt foretells the intensity of sunspot activity ~20 years in the future. A slow belt means lower solar activity; a fast belt means stronger activity. The reasons for this are explained in the Science@NASA story Solar Storm Warning.”
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/10may_longrange/

    So now they have the belt speed bracketed … Fast or Slow means more sunspots

    I’ll put this on my calendar to check after Cycle 25.

    Perhaps they’ll have the “just right” speed theory … or something new and proven from their “computer simulations”.

    Three statements that should make you wary:

    “The check is in the mail.”

    “Of course, I’ll respect you in the morning.”

    “Our computer simulation proves …. “

  78. Robert of Ottawa says:

    There seems to be a virus in science of computer modellers looking at data to prove their models are correct. I really do think people should put the computer models away for a while and watch, record and think about what they need to know before writing computer programs.

    But it’s so much easier to write computer programs rather than actually, like, you know, do hard stuff like collect observational data and all that figuring involved.

  79. Theo Goodwin says:

    TheTempestSpark quotes Einstein:

    “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

    When he was hired at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies in the Fifties, he was asked for his salary requirements. He went home and calculated that he and his wife would need $4000/year. They set his salary at $30,000/year.

  80. Anything is possible says:

    d says:
    March 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm
    Its ironic this article shows up just at the time the sun spot and F10.7 numbers are shooting way up. Funny if NASA will now have to explain why the sunspots are back!!

    _____________________________________________________________

    “Shooting way up” is a relative term here. 18 months to 2 years before the last Solar maximum (which wasn’t an especially strong cycle in the great scheme of things), the F10.7 number was averaging about 180. Even with it perking up in the last couple of weeks, it is still only running at about 110, way below what we have become used to.

  81. tallbloke says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm
    Seems there might be more than one way to read the SDO data tealeaves.
    Their model is not based on any SDO data.

    Is this a final throw of the dice for the deep dynamo-hummers?
    Bad science dies slowly.

    vukcevic says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm
    We expect an erudite and in depth analysis.
    You have gotten that many a time on this blog, but are, unfortunately, learning-resistant.

    tallbloke says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm
    Heh, Leif is doing the wise thing as a professional solar physicist and saying as little as possible at the moment.
    Not at all, my views are all over the place.

    Tom T says:
    March 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm
    Or have I misunderstood something?
    We don’t know what the deeper circulation is at this moment. So, can’t really model anything but our assumptions.

    John A says:
    March 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    Good for David Hathaway. Doing what the peer reviewers failed to do…reconcile the theory with the evidence.
    Indeed

    Theo Goodwin says:
    March 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm
    But NO; they have to suggest that they have the TRUTH.
    The PR-machine of NASA bears part of the blame.

    Gaylon says:
    March 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm
    “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
    Indeed

  82. ShaneCMuir says:

    Malaga View says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    More bull than Buzz Lightyear:
    computer model… magnetic dynamo… conveyor belt… magnetic fields… plasma currents… meridional flows… inner dynamo… amplification zone… ultrasound… buoyant evolution… cosmic rays… space junk… helioseismology…

    More moves than John Travolta:
    stage was set… slow moving… violent flaring… cool and collapse… plunge inward… pop up again… pull them down… bob up… unfold.. wait.. grind on… works on a pregnant woman…

    More scary than Vincent Price:
    sunspot corpses… full re-animation… decaying… strange things happen… held at bay… cooled and collapsed… stunted… the remains… rapidly dragged… cracking… dangerous place

    To infinitity and beyond belief

    Great analysis Malga!

    The writers at Nasa obviously went to the same school as our politian’s writers do.

    The content, science, or truth of the issue being discussed is relatively un-important.

    These articles and speeches have other motives.

    They all have words designed to reach us on an emotional level.

    So this Nasa article wasn’t really created for Scientists.. or Award winning Science Blogs for that matter.

    Its designed for the general population.

    Just look at the words Malga has singled out.

    These words were not chosen by accident.

    The general poulation are supposed to react to this article by:

    * Believing there is a problem.

    * Re-acting to the problem with Fear.

    * Expecting the Government to find a solution.

    Its called Hegalian Dialectic.

    It is the same method Governments have used to control their people for centuries.

  83. dscott says:

    Sounds like an old Popular Mechanics article, fluff and hype does sell magazines you know…

    Now did they attempt to run this “new” theory against the last 10 solar cycles? What were the results? How much “tuning” did they have to do? OR better yet, is the claim for not verifying the performance of the new theory model based on a lack of data?

  84. Bill Jamison says:

    Okay so this new model is great at hindcasting but we have no idea of it’s predictive power and accuracy. Sounds just like the GCMs.

  85. paulsnz says:

    Now to link the Sun to Man made CO2..

  86. davidmhoffer says:

    I’ve been building my own model and I think I’ve hit on something interesting. I kept on getting the same image from the modelling software showing no sun spots. then I had an epiphany. Swung the image in 3 dimensions by 180 degrees, and there they were. Clustered on the other side of the sun where we can’t see them.

    I know some people will be skeptical of computer model, so as proof, I ran it 28,465 times in succession and got the exact same answer every time. 9 decimal places no less. How much more proof do you need? If I run it another 1,000 times, do you think that will change anything? Of course not!

    Next I’m modeling the cause. I’ve found a strong correlation between global warming and farside sunspot migration. I didn’t have access to any actual global warming data, its too hard to gather and collate, but I found another mechanism that is more effective. I ran every IPCC climate model against my sunspot model. Of the 19 IPCC climate models, 15 turned out to be worthless, they didn’t match at all. But once I discarded those, the four that were left were a close match. By applying some very sophisticated statistical techniques, I was able to weight the output of the remaining four models such that their combined results matched the sunspot model 100%

    What further proof anyone could ask for that global warming is the clear driver of farside sunspot migration is beyond me.

    I even got an email from one idiot asking if it was possible that the relationship was reversed. What are they teaching in science class these days? CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION! Unbelievable.

  87. ferd berple says:

    “For the first time, Nandi’s team believes they have developed a computer model ”

    BULL, they thought they had it right last time. If anyone in private industry did this sort of science their company would go bankrupt and they would be out of jobs. Fortunately for these clowns their employer can’t go bankrupt … or can it?

  88. Roger Carr says:

    davidmhoffer says: (March 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm)
            What further proof anyone could ask for that global warming is the clear driver of farside sunspot migration is beyond me.

    No further proof, David. I believe you have it staked through the heart in the very best traditions of global warming science.

  89. David Corcoran says:

    A word to my fellow skeptics: Solar scientists aren’t part of “the team”. A few years ago the majority of solar scientists were against the idea that we’re entering a grand solar minimum, now that’s shifting. Theirs was a reasonable position… it was too early to tell.

    Solar scientists don’t hide or fake data. They make real falsifiable prognostications. They deserve praise for that. Cut them some slack! None of them, not even Hathaway, pretend to know everything.

    Theories prove themselves over time. The one under discussion is a new one. We’ll eventually learn whether it has any merit. There’s so much scrutiny now on the solar cycle that I can’t blame them for eschewing any predictions, but that situation needs to change. We learn fastest through repeated failures.

    This is a very exciting time for solar science. We are beginning to learn how much that big ball of flame in the sky governs our future. The universe will answer this quandry for us, we just have to watch and wait.

  90. ferd berple says:

    Trying to predict solar cycles while ignoring the planets is like trying to model an atom while ignoring the electrons. It is nonsense. There are plenty of models of solar cycles more accurate than NASA, that include the planets in their model.

    Here is model for the climate and solar cycles that explains why a very small forcing can have a large effect, and why a large forcing can have little effect. It is also completely ignored by climate and solar models.

    http://noolmusic.com/my_video/synchronized_metronomes_-_best_video.php

  91. Syl says:

    I wouldn’t be so hard on them. It’s a theory/hypothesis. A mechanism for testing the theory has been identified and is available. Just because we have to wait and see if the belt speed has the posited effect is no reason to mock these guys…assuming the write up actually matches the content of the paper.

    It may take another century, however, before we know.

  92. John Whitman says:

    DesertYote says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    From the NASA news story:

    “… The famous Maunder Minimum of the 17th century lasted 70 years and coincided with the deepest part of Europe’s Little Ice Age. Researchers are still struggling to understand the connection.”

    “The only thing researchers (propagandists) are struggling with is to explain away the LIA so as to decouple changes in the suns behavior as a significant contributor to changes in the earth’s weather.”

    ————-

    DesertYote,

    The Maunder Minimum (MM) is taken as occurring between ~1645 AD to ~1715 AD. We designate it as a solar grand minimum as compared to the Wolf, Sporer and Dalton minima which were not big enough to classify as grand minima. Rather they were moderate negative fluctuations.

    The Little Ice Age (LIA) is taken as occurring between ~1550 AD to ~1850 AD.

    If the MM is argued as the cause of the LIA, then there is a problem due to the observation that the LIA was already into its 100th year and near its minimum temperature period before the MM was starting. It is fatal for a causation argument. Any correlation that may exist is rendered meaningless.

    Now I need to look at the Dalton Minimum versus earth cooling periods to see if it has the same problem as the MM versus the LIA. I also need to look at the Wolf and Sporer Minimuns versus earth cooling periods. Has anybody already done that?

    John

  93. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm
    tallbloke says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm
    Seems there might be more than one way to read the SDO data tealeaves.

    Their model is not based on any SDO data.

    Is this a final throw of the dice for the deep dynamo-hummers?
    Bad science dies slowly.

    Leif. Can you point me to your research and theory on the shallow dynamo?

    Thanks

  94. Malaga View says:

    ferd berple says:
    There are plenty of models of solar cycles more accurate than NASA, that include the planets in their model.

    Such a wonderful video… very simple… very short… very to the point… very easy to remember… but it seems to be totally beyond the comprehension levels of NASA… so I ask myself: how can seemingly intelligent people be so dumb?… the only answer I have so far is: peer pressure… which explains everything you need to know about peer review and peer groups and peer publications

    NASA – Nebulous Astronomy with Stupidity and Arrogance

  95. Malaga View says:

    ShaneCMuir says:
    Its called Hegalian Dialectic.

    It is the same method Governments have used to control their people for centuries.

    Precisely… but with a twist of lemon…
    They also need budgetary patronage from a BIG AMORPHOUS GOVERNMENT.
    Now they have to scare both the people and the government.
    In the old days somebody knew what they were doing…
    In the new age nobody knows what they are doing.

  96. AusieDan says:

    WillR
    Please do not dispair.
    In the darkest night
    there soon comes
    A faint glimmer of light.
    A new day will dawn.

    Here comes – THE SUN

  97. AusieDan says:

    John Whitman
    Yes – these issues should be settled down.
    The problem, as I see it, is that we know very little about the climate.
    In fact we don’t even know yet what we don’t know.

    It’s like trying to understand genetics before we had any hints about DNA or even genes.
    It’s very hard, particularly as so many people have nailed their flag to the mast.

  98. amicus curiae says:

    I admit to a fast scroll of the replies…
    I dont see anyone mentioning the phrase…
    the corpse of the sunspots.
    whaaaat!
    its a magnetic phenomenon it doesnt Have a corpse!
    and the weird idea that the electrons whatever stay together as a clump to be sucked under, recharged and spat back out.
    WTF?
    I dont have diddly as science degrees, but to my mind this Nonsensical non provable supposition and description, is pure crap!

  99. tallbloke says:
    March 4, 2011 at 1:02 am
    Leif. Can you point me to your research and theory on the shallow dynamo?
    I don’t really have a dog in that race. My point is that the ‘turn-around’ time for the cycles must be short [a few years only] for the polar fields to be a predictor of the next cycle [which they seem empirically to be]. Dikpati’s deep conveyor belt model has a turn-around time of some 40 years [count the dots on the right-hand figure on slide 5 of http://www.leif.org/research/Predicting%20the%20Solar%20Cycle%20(SORCE%202010).pdf ] which is much longer than half a cycle. Now, her model is controlled by ‘advection’, i.e. the magnetic field is dragged along by the plasma and does not diffuse across the flow. If you assume a much higher diffusion efficiency [BTW, we don't KNOW what it is], the the field could reach the bottom of the convection zone [left-hand figure] in a much shorter time [say, a few years] and the correlation between polar fields and [next] cycle size would make sense, even with a deep dynamo. Alternatively a shallow dynamo [e.g. as explored by Schatten or originally proposed by Babcock and Leighton] might also explain the short turn-around. We don’t know which is correct, if any. The problem with a shallow dynamo is that the overturn time for the convection zone is only of the order of weeks or months [not many years], so what keeps the magnetic field down there long enough for the dynamo amplification to work? [we don't know]. The deep dynamo crowd gets past that problem by placing the generation region just below the convections zone in the stable radiative interior.

    Malaga View says:
    March 4, 2011 at 2:17 am
    Such a wonderful video… very simple… very short… very to the point… very easy to remember… but it seems to be totally beyond the comprehension levels of NASA
    Every complicated question has a simple answer which is wrong. The problem with the astrological cycles is that there are no mechanisms that can explain how they work. It is like the two little boys discussing where babies come from; one has heard about sex, eggs, DNA, etc, and tries to explain that, but the other boy says: “naw, it is the stork that brings them, very simple… very short… very to the point… very easy to remember…

  100. Creepy says:

    It’s so funny.
    They can’t tell you what happens at their doorstep, but pretend to know everything about the sun en detail.

    LOL

  101. Pascvaks says:

    “All of which puts all of this at slightly above the level of reading tea-leaves. But its in Nature, so it’s like hitting a home run in the World Series of science. That’s the important part, clearly.” (JohnA)

    Tea-Leaves it is. Home Run it ain’t. Important ’tis not, NATURE is a worn out public soapbox.
    The “scientists” familiar with the study know its limitations better than anyone. The “politicians” hyping the study know it only adds a very small amount of fuel the fire, but what else can they do, oil is so expensive these days, and people have burned camel, buffalo, and cow chips for millions of years.

  102. Steele says:

    “Our conclusions are based on a new computer model of the sun’s interior.”

    /Facepalm

    Computer models shouldn’t be a basis for conclusions. They should be a way to test the mechanism of a theorized system to compare with future data.

    Making a conclusion based on a computer model is just navel gazing.

  103. DesertYote says:

    John Whitman
    March 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks John, I was really not commenting on the science, but the language. This NASA press release bears the marks of being written by professional propagandists, e.g. instead of the LIA, they use the phrase “Europe’s LIA”. This is not an accident. You will find example of the careful choice of phrases to invoke a “message supporting” image or impression that is separate from what is being said in all NASA PR that has any impact on the CAGW story.

  104. Malaga View says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: March 4, 2011 at 5:49 am
    Every complicated question has a simple answer which is wrong.

    Except
    1) when the simple answer is correct…
    2) when the complicated question is the wrong question…

  105. Malaga View says:

    Leif Svalgaard: It is like the two little boys discussing where babies come from;
    NASA Science: the same way that an ultrasound works on a pregnant woman

    Hey Guys! I know spring is coming and all that… but can we try to raise the tone of the conversation a little. I know being Galactic Gatekeepers is really tough work for real men… and, if it helps, you can call me old fashioned… but in my book real men don’t talk down to little people…. and real scientists don’t act like Galactic Gatekeepers.

  106. Malaga View says:
    March 4, 2011 at 10:24 am
    1) when the simple answer is correct…
    2) when the complicated question is the wrong question…

    It would seem hard to have a correct answer to the wrong question…

  107. Malaga View says:
    March 4, 2011 at 10:38 am
    but can we try to raise the tone of the conversation a little.
    It is hard to judge the correct level, but the previous posts might give a clue as to what the going tone is:
    NASA – Nebulous Astronomy with Stupidity and Arrogance…
    how can seemingly intelligent people be so dumb?…
    In the new age nobody knows what they are doing….

  108. Malaga View says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    It would seem hard to have a correct answer to the wrong question…

    Its very easy to ask the wrong question… many people deliberately ask wrong questions… many people deliberately make things complicated… many people deliberately try to confuse and divert… but the answer will be correct if you ask the right question… and that same answer is still correct even if you deliberately ask the wrong question.

  109. Malaga View says:

    Its sad when so much Science has descended into Sophistry
    Sophistry just promotes cynicism and scepticism…

  110. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Malaga View says:
    March 4, 2011 at 11:05 am
    “Its sad when so much Science has descended into Sophistry…
    Sophistry just promotes cynicism and scepticism…”

    And versa vicea. It’s a mobius strip.
    It’s especially noticeable when “scientists” dabble in politics.
    Once they’re on the strip it just goes on and on and on.

  111. Malaga View says:
    March 4, 2011 at 10:56 am
    many people deliberately ask wrong questions…
    many people deliberately make things complicated…
    many people deliberately try to confuse and divert…
    you deliberately ask the wrong question.

    How about that tone of conversation?
    There is a proverb in Danish: “a thief thinks everybody steals”.

    Sophistry just promotes cynicism and scepticism…
    Skepticism is not so bad..

  112. steven mosher says:

    tallbloke says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Jim Imboden says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm (Edit)
    Vukcevic says: “Dr. Hathaway must be pulling his beard out in a rage too”

    Hathaway has a comment on the Nature site, actually it was Hathaway that said their model is in conflict with observations. If you read his comment you will see that he doesn’t agree with their model at all.

    Leif can’t be pleased about his shallow dynamo theory getting the cold shoulder either.

    Seems there might be more than one way to read the SDO data tealeaves.

    What say you Leif? Is this a final throw of the dice for the deep dynamo-hummers?

    ###############
    what exactly is the POINT of personalizing this by trying to figure out whether Dr. S is pleased or not? From what I know of Dr. S he seems the kind of person who is interested in understanding things. He’s published his views and you can bet that he will welcome the day when they are proved right or wrong.

    The other thing that is troubling is the tenor of many comments here. A couple months ago we had dinner with Anthony and he asked us ( smokey, CTM, willis, Fuller, and me) what we could do to make WUWT a better place. I think its fair to say that we all agreed that certain types of comments drive AWAY good discussion.

    If you mention the word “model” a chorus of the same voices will cry out “Models, we cant trust models” well, vuc has a model. rog, you have a model. understanding things and predicting things means YOU BUILD A MODEL. A description in MATH of what happened and what will happen. Those models can be statistical, phenomenalogical or physical. The math can be simple and run on a computer called a calculator or complex and run on a bigger computer.

  113. steven mosher says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    what exactly is the POINT of personalizing this by trying to figure out whether Dr. S is pleased or not?
    It is clearly easier [and somewhat demeaning of the perpetrators] to engage in personal attacks than in the science. Better filtering of such is one way you could improve WUWT.

  114. tallbloke says:

    steven mosher says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    If you mention the word “model” a chorus of the same voices will cry out “Models, we cant trust models” well, vuc has a model. rog, you have a model. understanding things and predicting things means YOU BUILD A MODEL. A description in MATH of what happened and what will happen. Those models can be statistical, phenomenalogical or physical. The math can be simple and run on a computer called a calculator or complex and run on a bigger computer.

    This is true, I have built mathematical models and models are not bad things per se.

    People are distrustful of models because a group inside mainstream climate science has gone too far in trying to convince us that their model is sufficiently representative of reality that they can dismiss other hypotheses concerning climate change and tell us our future on the strength of them.

    Some solar scientists have also been guilty of over-investing in the strength of their models and have tried to bend reality to fit their models, as Dr Hathaway has pointed out. Hence my comment. I don’t think I was making it particularly personal. Just speaking as I find from reading between the lines of the solar science paper abstracts I get by email.

    I’ve just seen this new item at the top of the site posted by Anthony:
    “Bubbleheaded Barking Mad Met Office Modelers”

    Mixed messages?

  115. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    It is clearly easier [and somewhat demeaning of the perpetrators] to engage in personal attacks than in the science.

    Well it’s marvellous news that Leif has come to this conclusion. I shall look forward to interesting and insult free scientific discussion with him from now on. I’m sure Vuk will too.

  116. Malaga View says:

    @ tallbloke
    Looks like your last comment has just been accidented… shame… this NASA press release is a bellyful of laughs… but I think they will be more concerned if you stick around… don’t give them an extra free pass… they already have ones from the government and the main stream media… they really don’t deserve any more.

  117. tallbloke says:
    March 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm
    Well it’s marvellous news that Leif has come to this conclusion. I shall look forward to interesting and insult free scientific discussion with him from now on.
    You always get that, to wit:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 4, 2011 at 5:49 am
    tallbloke says:
    March 4, 2011 at 1:02 am
    Leif. Can you point me to your research and theory on the shallow dynamo?
    I don’t really have a dog in that race. My point is that the ‘turn-around’ time for the cycles must be short [a few years only] for the polar fields to be a predictor of the next cycle [which they seem empirically to be]. Dikpati’s deep conveyor belt model has a turn-around time of some 40 years [count the dots on the right-hand figure on slide 5 of http://www.leif.org/research/Predicting%20the%20Solar%20Cycle%20(SORCE%202010).pdf ] which is much longer than half a cycle. Now, her model is controlled by ‘advection’, i.e. the magnetic field is dragged along by the plasma and does not diffuse across the flow. If you assume a much higher diffusion efficiency [BTW, we don't KNOW what it is], then the field could reach the bottom of the convection zone [left-hand figure] in a much shorter time [say, a few years] and the correlation between polar fields and [next] cycle size would make sense, even with a deep dynamo. Alternatively a shallow dynamo [e.g. as explored by Schatten or originally proposed by Babcock and Leighton] might also explain the short turn-around. We don’t know which is correct, if any. The problem with a shallow dynamo is that the overturn time for the convection zone is only of the order of weeks or months [not many years], so what keeps the magnetic field down there long enough for the dynamo amplification to work? [we don't know]. The deep dynamo crowd gets past that problem by placing the generation region just below the convection zone in the stable radiative interior.

  118. tallbloke says:
    March 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm
    “It is clearly easier [and somewhat demeaning of the perpetrators] to engage in personal attacks than in the science.”
    Well it’s marvellous news that Leif has come to this conclusion. I shall look forward to interesting and insult free scientific discussion with him from now on. I’m sure Vuk will too.

    But that also means that you have to do the harder of the two. If you do, the discussions will, indeed, be better. We shall see.

  119. Malaga View says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    There is a proverb in Danish: “a thief thinks everybody steals”.

    CLASSIC… QED.

  120. Malaga View says:
    March 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm
    “There is a proverb in Danish: “a thief thinks everybody steals””
    CLASSIC… QED.

    I thought so too.

  121. Zeke the Sneak says:

    I think I see the problem. The conveyor belt is oscillating wildly during this sunspot cycle.

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/hotshots/2010_03_15/Hathway+Rightmire_2010_Fig4.jpg

    You’re welcome, NASA. Zeke

  122. John Whitman says:

    DesertYote says:
    March 4, 2011 at 8:14 am

    John Whitman
    March 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    “Thanks John, I was really not commenting on the science, but the language. This NASA press release bears the marks of being written by professional propagandists, e.g. instead of the LIA, they use the phrase “Europe’s LIA”. This is not an accident. You will find example of the careful choice of phrases to invoke a “message supporting” image or impression that is separate from what is being said in all NASA PR that has any impact on the CAGW story.”

    - – - – - -

    DesertYote,

    Yes, I understand the thrust of your original comment was the way NASA might be viewed as minimizing the global nature of the LIA by saying Europe in reference to the LIA. It was a good point. Thanks.

    But, because the NASA quote you referenced put the MM and LIA in play then your comment gave me an opportunity interject about the lack of evidence that the MM caused the LIA. There seem to be many commenters and blog posts ( for example by Archibald) that imply there is correlation between events like the MM and LIA, so they consequently imply solar minimums like the MM might be the cause of events like the LIA.

    Thanks for your reply.

    John

  123. Lonnie E. Schubert says:

    Late in the debate here, but at least one mod will see it. I like the site, and I like the level of moderation. The notion of watching and noting what stifles, and editing it out, is a good idea, but I suspect a little goes a long way, and too much of a good thing, isn’t.

    Anyway, to models, models are great, if they are checked. As automotive engineers, and mechanical designers in general know and benefit from good models day in and day out. A good crash model goes a long way. Finite element stress modeling is invaluable, but these models are rather solidly based, and extremely well checked against equivalent real tests. Impact modeling was still hard last I knew, but they have figured it well in automotive crash simulation. One designs the structure in the test software and then runs the crash simulation. Tweak the design and crash it again. This takes many hours of one or a few engineers, but no cars have to be built and destroyed. The design eventually approaches the intended criteria, and then the real-world testing begins. They build the real car based on the model-optimized design and prove to a high confidence level that the model worked. The car crashes as expected, and the passengers are as safe as can be hoped for. Still, these models are tested and retested, and the mathematics of the mesh and the materials and other physical parameters are checked against theory, real test data, and empirical correlation over and over. Such does not happen with climate models.

    Models are good if they are verified, and independently verifiable.

  124. John Whitman says:

    tallbloke says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    steven mosher says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    tallbloke says:
    March 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    - – - – - -

    tallbloke/mosher/leif,

    Personalization is OK when used in the context of cordiality of blog colleagues or just blog acquaintances; a nice thing. When a blog relationship has a history of vehement disagreement then any injection of personalization is usually taken negatively by the parties involved. I think that vehemently disagreeing commenters poking each other in light humorous ways is OK and great entertainment. I suggest they keep it at that level.

    I think we need to remember that all commenters have personalities that are reflected in their communication styles. A highly personalized style of commenting may be viewed by some as a negative, but it may not be anything but personality. Be careful, style accompanies content. To me the styles of some of the vehement protagonists on WUWT are very endearing . . . . like very dear old friends. I would sorely miss them if they disappeared.

    Regarding models, attack the model not the modeler? OK. Models are fair game!

    John

  125. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm
    tallbloke says:
    March 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm
    “It is clearly easier [and somewhat demeaning of the perpetrators] to engage in personal attacks than in the science.”
    Well it’s marvellous news that Leif has come to this conclusion. I shall look forward to interesting and insult free scientific discussion with him from now on. I’m sure Vuk will too.
    But that also means that you have to do the harder of the two. If you do, the discussions will, indeed, be better. We shall see.

    Hi Leif, I can see what you are driving at here, but if you think you have the right to restrict the discussion of the Sun and its changing activity to one version of the Babcock-Leighton theory or another and define other hypotheses as ‘unscientific’ then we will be doing more disagreeing, hopefully politely, or at least with humorous digs rather than seriously rancorous ones.

    NASA scientists Wolff and Patrone, and Ching Cheh Hung among other predecessors such as Paul Hose, Rhodes Fairbridge and Ivanka Charvatova have put the planetary-solar hypothesis into the literature, and there is legitimate discussion to be had regarding the possible consequences of their findings.

    I believe the correct answer will be found in the fusion and integration of both the dynamo theory and the planetary-solar hypotheses. Something causes those meridional flow rates to change, and I doubt the Sun is doing it all by itself. The Wolff-Patrone mechanism posits changing amounts of energy release from overturning convective cells which relate to the motion of the Sun relative to the centre of mass of the solar system. If your hints regarding the depth of the return subsurface flows are correct, their model will need refining and testing further against observation.

    In my opinion, it’s about time the solar science community spent a comparatively small amount of money funding research into working out how the solar inertial motion is affecting those flow rates, alongside their efforts to successfully model the magnetic fields and sunspot production.

    Let’s all do the science together, while we argue over the details.

  126. tallbloke says:

    John Whitman says:
    March 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm
    tallbloke/mosher/leif,

    Personalization is OK when used in the context of cordiality of blog colleagues…. Be careful, style accompanies content. To me the styles of some of the vehement protagonists on WUWT are very endearing . . . . like very dear old friends. I would sorely miss them if they disappeared.

    Wise words John. It would be a shame to take all the passion out of debate. The blog would be a greyer place. Forcing passionately interested people out of the debate would doubtless “improve the signal to noise ratio” as defined by one side, but runs the risk of the development of a faux consensus around theory which becomes dominant not through proof and legitimacy, but through lack of challenge.

    And we’ve all seen what that leads to…

  127. vukcevic says:

    V: Btw. my polar field formula http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
    is far superior solution to your 1/1000 theory.

    L.S.: The amount of polar flux is not theory, but is an observed quantity.
    As far as I know, you have no understanding or explanation of how your formula might work.

    …..explanation of how above formula might work.

    Landscheidt , Hose, Fairbridge, Charvatova, Wolff and Patrone, Willson and others, as far as I understand, base their ideas on assumptions that planetary system supplying extra energy input in order to power solar cycles.
    This I think is wrong.
    Amount of energy in the sun’s surface is so huge, that unless one of these planets plunged into the sun directly, would hardly make any difference.
    It is likely to be the other way around, and I was suggesting it for some time now.
    It is the change in the energy outflow (not inflow) from the sun, that makes planetary connection work!
    I could forward an electric analogy, but that may not be wise, so consider this:
    an ordinary magnet sitting on your desk hardly makes any difference to surrounding area (after few short microseconds after being placed there). Bring in its proximity a conductor or ferromagnetic substance than its presence will manifest itself, not only on that object, but influence of that object on the magnet itself , trough the magnetic field lines connecting two; the magnet may even physically move.
    How does this translate to the solar system?
    Sun radiates electro-magnetic energy in huge amounts continuously. Solar wind, flares (x-rays), coronal holes, CMEs, provide energy moving ahead towards edge of the heliosphere and not much happens.
    Now bring in huge magnetosphere and what is the effect:
    L.S. : NASA says that the magnetic field is connected to the Sun [which it is]. The solar magnetic field and the Earth’s (Jupiter and Saturn too, my insertion:)magnetic field can reconnect if their geometry is right. The reconnected field lines are then stretched down the geomagnetic tail by the solar wind. This stores magnetic energy in the tail. The tail is unstable [flaps around] and tail field lines can reconnect and ‘snap’ back towards to earth restoring the magnetic field to what it was before. That rapidly changing magnetic field induces an electric field that accelerates whatever particles are present in the tail, resulting in the charges precipitating in the ionosphere [a la Birkeland's discharges] exciting the atoms of the air to glow as the bright aurorae. ; do remember the magnetic field is connected to the Sun all the time.
    So what is happening here:
    there is a ‘magnetic short circuit’ in the path, but Dr.S will maysay ‘that this can’t reflect back to the solar surface trough magnetic field lines’, of course it can: NASA says that the magnetic field is connected to the Sun [which it is]
    and remember the above example: you can move magnet on your table, by bringing peace of iron, through magnetic field lines connecting two.
    Well, in this case the sun does not move, but its surface magnetic configuration reacts to the presence of a short circuited megnetic lines by a magnetosphere via: …the magnetic field is connected to the Sun [which it is] , This reaction is manifested in change in the velocity of meridional flow. This is a surface, or at best, shallow effect.
    L.S. :Schatten’s theory is one of the explanations of the solar cycle. It is still as good as any, perhaps better. Recent work by Brandenburg et al. discuss their work “in the context of a distributed solar dynamo where active regions and sunspots might be rather shallow phenomena” arXiv:0910.1835
    Is there any theoretical work that may support above outlined hypothesis reflected in the formula?
    Not exactly, but there are two very important studies on meridional flow relationship to the polar fields formation from:
    1. Wang , Lean , and Sheeley – Hulburt Center for Space Research, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-4357/577/1/L53/fulltext

    2.. Solanki, Baumann, Schmitt, Schüssler – Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Germany
    http://www.aanda.org/index.php?option=com_article&access=standard&Itemid=129&url=/articles/aa/full/2004/42/aa1024/aa1024.right.html

    Their studies produce waveforms which highly correlate to the results demonstrated in my formula as you can see here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC17.htm
    That is how my formula on polar fields works.
    There you have it.

  128. vukcevic says:

    I posted a reply to this short exchange:
    V: Btw. my polar field formula http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
    is far superior solution to your 1/1000 theory. .

    L.S.: . The amount of polar flux is not theory, but is an observed quantity. As far as I know, you have no understanding or explanation of how your formula might work.
    but it got lost in the works.
    Detail reply how the formula might work is here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Formula%20works.htm

    [reply] Rescued, TB.

  129. tallbloke says:

    vukcevic says:
    March 5, 2011 at 1:36 am
    Landscheidt , Hose, Fairbridge, Charvatova, Wolff and Patrone, Willson and others, as far as I understand, base their ideas on assumptions that planetary system supplying extra energy input in order to power solar cycles.
    This I think is wrong.
    Amount of energy in the sun’s surface is so huge, that unless one of these planets plunged into the sun directly, would hardly make any difference.

    You have misunderstood the mechanisms proposed by these people.
    If I use 5N of force to press down the accelerator in my car, is that supplying the power required to make the car accelerate from 20mph to 40mph?

    No.

    The fuel and air mixture being compressed and ignited in the engine supplies the power to do that. The force on the accelerator modulates the amount of fuel fed to the engine.

    In a similar way, the Wolff-Patrone mechanism models the modulation of the release of energy supplied by the sun’s nuclear furnace. The Sun supples the power, the planets trigger the timing of the release of that power to the solar surface.

    A better example is the James Watt planetary governor on a steam engine. The pressure in the steam chest builds up as the fire burns and heats the water. The planetary governor spins faster as the engine picks up speed, and throws out its arms further, closing the valve which controls the amount of steam going to the cylinder barrel. The engine slows down, and the governor spins slower, allowing the arms to fall inwards again, opening the valve more. All cybernetic control loops ‘hunt’ around the value where the system is in balance. Perfect balance is never achieved because variables are always… variable.

  130. tallbloke says:
    March 5, 2011 at 12:08 am
    Hi Leif, I can see what you are driving at here, but if you think you have the right to restrict the discussion of the Sun and its changing activity to one version of the Babcock-Leighton theory or another and define other hypotheses as ‘unscientific’
    This has nothing to do with ‘right’, but with whether the science is sound.

    there is legitimate discussion to be had regarding the possible consequences of their findings.
    They have put into the literature some correlations [which are not all that great]. They have not proposed a viable mechanism.

    The Wolff-Patrone mechanism posits changing amounts of energy
    This is not a mechanism merely a supposition of correlation, because they have not explained how the coupling might happen.

    In my opinion, it’s about time the solar science community spent a comparatively small amount of money funding research into working out how the solar inertial motion is affecting those flow rates, alongside their efforts to successfully model the magnetic fields and sunspot production.
    The solar science community spends time on what they think will work, so the lack of interest is indicative of their general opinion of planetary influences.

    Let’s all do the science together
    By all means, but let’s see some science first from the people ‘in the know’ [as they describe themselves].

    vukcevic says:
    March 5, 2011 at 1:36 am
    Landscheidt , Hose, Fairbridge, Charvatova, Wolff and Patrone, Willson and others, as far as I understand, base their ideas on assumptions that planetary system supplying extra energy input in order to power solar cycles.
    This I think is wrong.

    there is a ‘magnetic short circuit’ in the path, but Dr.S will maysay ‘that this can’t reflect back to the solar surface trough magnetic field lines’, of course it can: NASA says that the magnetic field is connected to the Sun [which it is]
    Actually I showed that long ago

    its surface magnetic configuration reacts to the presence of a short circuited magnetic lines by a magnetosphere
    This is not science, magnetic lines do not short-circuit. The solar wind is 11 times supersonic and magnetic effects cannot move upstream, and even if they could, there is not enough energy to have any effect [contrary to your talk about 'huge' magnetosphere, Jupiter's magnetosphere is tiny seen from the Sun].

    tallbloke says:
    March 5, 2011 at 4:53 am
    The Wolff-Patrone mechanism models the modulation of the release of energy supplied by the sun’s nuclear furnace. The Sun supples the power, the planets trigger the timing of the release of that power to the solar surface.
    They have not described or explained what makes the modulation. They has to be a coupling. IIRC, they said that IF an mechanism could be found, THEN that could explain the correlation with their new parameter. They did not supply a mechanism.
    The problem with the ‘trigger’ hypothesis [and Vuk's too] is the sun’s magnetic cycle. What drives that? It is clear that even without planets there would still be sunspots and solar activity cycles and magnetic reversals. So, the planets do not generate solar activity. Scientists are usually averse to introduce unknown mechanisms when they are not needed in the first place. The notion of the Sun’s ‘nuclear furnace’ is a bit off the mark. The energy comes out of the Sun’s rotation which is slowed in the process. Young stars rotate faster than the Sun, as they age, stellar activity slows down the rotation.

    We have been all over all of the arguments many times before. Little ‘progress’ is possible when the mechanisms proposed are ‘not even wrong’ or unnecessary. To do the science you need to know the science and that is where people on this blog fall short. I remember Vuk claiming in the beginning that the magnetic effects would propagate at the speed of light [which they would for his iron filings example]. There were also the Angular Momentum crowd violating the laws of physics, and on and on.

    There are stars with magnetic cycles and planets much closer to the star than the Sun’s [so presumably their effects should be much stronger]. It has been proposed to look for the planetary periods in the cycles for these stars. Nothing has been found yet.

  131. Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 5, 2011 at 5:50 am
    There are stars with magnetic cycles and planets much closer to the star than the Sun’s [so presumably their effects should be much stronger]. It has been proposed to look for the planetary periods in the cycles for these stars. Nothing has been found yet.
    E.g. http://arxiv.org/abs/0906.4515v1
    “We do not detect enhancement in the activity of the star that may be related to the conjunction of the planet.”
    More data, of course, is needed [as always, when things don't fit].

  132. geo says:

    Well, good luck to them. I hope they’re on to something. Right now I’m not sure it isn’t functionally equivalent to “Sun God was sleeping”, just a different meme to frame it.

  133. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    steven mosher says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    “what exactly is the POINT of personalizing this by trying to figure out whether Dr. S is pleased or not?”
    It is clearly easier [and somewhat demeaning of the perpetrators] to engage in personal attacks than in the science. Better filtering of such is one way you could improve WUWT.
    _________
    I don’t think it’s possible to really tweek WUWT much more than it is currently managed/monitored without changing it and turning it into something very different than it is. The “Best Science Blog Award” speaks to how well it’s currently operating. But… Anthony & Co. might consider something along these lines: A Special Debate Blog Item for “Select” Commenters Only (maybe just 2 –debates get confusing if there’s more than 2 people talking about something; the rest of us could ‘read along’ but not ‘participate’ with tomatoes and rotten fruit). Well, it might be worth a shot. Anyway, $.02 from the peanut gallery.

  134. vukcevic says:

    Dr. Svalgaard
    Let’s look at this a bit less emotionally.
    Solar activity is a complex problem. Sunspot counting methods over the centuries may or may not be representative, and there are attempts to consolidate it for better or worse.
    But also we have nearly 50 years of reliable or very reliable actual instrumental measurements of the polar field. Specifically the results for period 1975 to present, since Dr. Svalgaard and colleagues initiated the WSO measurements, are beyond any doubt or question.
    Results are published and widely available.
    Some 8 years ago I devised and later published a formula in Jan 2004. Final version (with minor alteration; 1941 was substituted with 1941-3, to represent the polar field cycle’s advance in relation to the following sunspot cycle is here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
    This simple formula tracks accurately the published results of both solar observatories.
    So, we have a simple solution to a complex problem, which matches reality to the highest degree of Rsq = 0.935, for any event in the solar science.
    Those are the facts.
    What is mechanism?
    We can all speculate, but it may be a bit too greedy of me, to come up with the mechanism as well as the formula.
    F=gM1M2/d^2 has been around for centuries, and do we know what is the mechanism: graviton, gravity wave, warped space; maybe?
    If you whish to look for mechanism than you have to find one with an agreement, with the actual physical event, equal or in excess of R^2 > = 0.935.
    Is there one? Definitely not! Not even a mile close.
    So, we have here:
    a) Complex problem
    b) Simple numerical solution based on accurate astronomical constants.
    c) Highest degree of agreement with the actual measurements obtained.
    But what about mechanism?
    As Dr. Svalgaard said:
    If correlation is really good, one can live with an as yet undiscovered mechanism.
    One might say it is ‘teflon coated’ formula, as tough as a nanocrystalline diamond.
    Well, I think that’s good enough for time being.

  135. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 5, 2011 at 5:50 am
    They have put into the literature some correlations [which are not all that great]. They have not proposed a viable mechanism.

    Incorrect. They *have* proposed a viable mechanism.

    The Wolff-Patrone mechanism posits changing amounts of energy release from overturning convective cells which relate to the motion of the Sun relative to the centre of mass of the solar system.

    This is not a mechanism merely a supposition of correlation, because they have not explained how the coupling might happen.

    Incorrect again. They have not only explained how it might happen, but modeled the forces involved. And the physical mechanism published in their recent paper shows exactly what I’ve been telling you for the last three years. That the Sun is not in perfect freefall between the gravitational forces of the planets and because as you keep telling us “the Sun is a messy place” rather than a nice simple Newonian biliard ball differential forces are set up which produce energy fluctuations at its surface.

    Little ‘progress’ is possible when the mechanisms proposed are ‘not even wrong’ or unnecessary.

    Just because you don’t seem to be able to understand what they have shown doesn’t mean others can’t. I strongly advise others to spend the money and read Wolff and Patrone’s paper and judge for themselves. If they visit my site and ask nicely I can help if they can’t afford it or don’t believe important knowledge paid for by the public purse should be charged heavily for.

    Summary and discussion here:

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

  136. vukcevic says:
    March 5, 2011 at 8:17 am
    If correlation is really good, one can live with an as yet undiscovered mechanism.
    The problem is that the correlation is not good. Your formula postdicts that the polar fields in 1963-1964 would have been very large [the largest of all cycles]. Measurements of the polar fields began in 1952 at Mount Wilson, and although of lower quality than at WSO all indications are that the field in 1963-64 was not large. Severny in the Crimea simply could not measure any organized polar fields, although he could in 1976, when the fields according to your formula were lower than in the 1960s. The interplanetary field in 1963-1965 was almost as low as in 2008-2009.
    All this have been pointed out many times before and would have been enough to invalidate the formula in ordinary scientific discourse. Another problem is that your formula predicts that all solar cycles should have the same lengths, except for a time every ~100 years when your formula predicts a phase shift so that before ~1900 the formula predicts the opposite sign of the actual polar fields. We know the sign of the polar fields all the way back to the 1840s because of the observed 22-yr cycle in geomagnetic activity which critically depends on the sign of the polar fields. So, all observational data we have [albeit of varying certainty] show that your formula is at variance with observations. It is the mark of a non-scientific enthusiast to ignore observational data if they do not fit. Sometimes, scientists do that too, if they have a very good theoretical reason or mechanism for it, which you do not have.

  137. tallbloke says:

    Incidentally I have just published a new paper from one of my contributors here
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/patrick-geryl-the-sun’s-eleven-year-magnetic-reversal

    The scientists Hathaway is criticising and other people interested in differential solar rotation and its relationship to solar cycle length and amplitude might find it to be of interest.

  138. tallbloke says:
    March 5, 2011 at 9:10 am
    Incorrect. They *have* proposed a viable mechanism.
    The Wolff-Patrone mechanism posits changing amounts of energy release from overturning convective cells which relate to the motion of the Sun relative to the centre of mass of the solar system.

    That is not a mechanism. They don’t say how that could happen. To ‘posit’ means to “To assume the existence of”.

    That the Sun is not in perfect freefall between the gravitational forces of the planets and because as you keep telling us “the Sun is a messy place” differential forces are set up which produce energy fluctuations at its surface.
    What are those forces in Newtons? and what are the forces ordinarily operating through the solar convection zone?

  139. Rob Spooner says:

    I would have hoped that the experience of watching Dr. Dikpati announce five years ago that the mystery of the sunspot cycle had been solved would have saved us from this sort of announcement from NASA, but apparently not. I’m not sure whether it’s progress or not while the problem has been “cracked,” there seems to be no prediction at all for the coming cycle.

    What we should have learned is that given enough variables, plus a willingness to introduce time lags and weightings, you can always derive a formula that will correlate with any given set of data to any desired degree of accuracy. And it’s always possible to devise post facto an “explanation.” However, until the future is predicted accurately and otherwise unexpectedly, this is all just conjecture.

  140. vukcevic says:

    Dr. Svalgaard
    There are now systematic and reliable results available pre 1967, even those of the period around 1967 to 1970 are a bit ambiguous (see start of the http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm).
    So let’s stick to what is known, what is published, what is widely available and what your observatory (WSO) has measured.
    My advice is forget what Severniy told to you (an American scientist) about USSR results. If he did tell you real results, even if they were any good, he would be lucky to end-up measuring salt crystals in a Siberien mine, instead measuring the sun’s magnetic field. So let’s get back to real not the imaginary stuff . I hope comrade Severniy had a happy retirement in sunny Crimea.

  141. vukcevic says:

    correction: ‘There are now systematic’ should be: ‘There are no systematic

  142. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 5, 2011 at 9:21 am
    tallbloke says:
    March 5, 2011 at 9:10 am
    The Wolff-Patrone mechanism posits changing amounts of energy release from overturning convective cells which relate to the motion of the Sun relative to the centre of mass of the solar system.
    That is not a mechanism. They don’t say how that could happen. To ‘posit’ means to “To assume the existence of”.

    Read the paper!
    the mechanism for the energy release is fully explained.
    From the abstract:
    “We demonstrate the energy with a very simple model in which two fluid elements
    of equal mass exchange positions, calling to mind a turbulent field or natural convection. The exchange releases potential energy that, with a minor exception, is available only in the hemisphere facing the barycenter of the planetary system. We calculate its strength and spatial distribution for the strongest case (“vertical”) and for weaker horizontal cases whose motions are all perpendicular to gravity. The vertical cases can raise the kinetic energy of a few well positioned convecting elements in the Sun’s envelope by a factor ≤ 7. “

  143. vukcevic says:

    Rob Spooner says: March 5, 2011 at 9:30 am
    given enough variables, plus a willingness to introduce time lags and weightings, you can always derive a formula that will correlate with any given set of data to any desired degree of accuracy.

    Well that is what makes the formula absolutely unique (perhaps you should look at the formula again), two numbers are very precise astronomic constants (Jupiter and Saturn orbit periods, as used by JPL for the epoch), they are constants and not variables selected for curve fitting.
    Dr. Svalgaard had number of attempts (some 2 years ago) to produce a formula with alternative numbers, he ‘came a cropper’ (failed) and gave up, than he labelled it numerology, hoping that the polar field may diverge, but what happens; in the last few months they are exactly on line. He also asked for the (important) ‘correlation difference test’, as shown here: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC25.htm , and as you can see formula past with success.
    It is easy to make all sorts of pronouncements, but then they should take into account that, what is measured and what is calculated (using numbers from astronomy), here they agree so well, that there is very little space left for doubt.
    Of course everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I am talking about real measurements, being it the measured magnetic field or the (two largest) planets’ orbits.
    If you can fault calculations, or the solar observatories measurements then I am happy to listen further.

  144. tallbloke says:
    March 5, 2011 at 10:15 am
    the mechanism for the energy release is fully explained.
    No, as they do not calculate the forces in Newtons. Nor describe how to convert to potential energy to actual motion and lastly how that would influence how sunspots are formed.

  145. tallbloke says:
    March 5, 2011 at 9:15 am
    Incidentally I have just published a new paper from one of my contributors here
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/patrick-geryl-the-sun’s-eleven-year-magnetic-reversal

    Can you [or anybody else] here in a paragraph explain the central idea. It eludes me when reading his stuff.

  146. vukcevic says:
    March 5, 2011 at 10:25 am
    Well that is what makes the formula absolutely unique (perhaps you should look at the formula again), two numbers are very precise astronomic constants (Jupiter and Saturn orbit periods, as used by JPL for the epoch), they are constants and not variables selected for curve fitting.
    Of course they were selected as the planets were selected, and there is yet another arbitrary constant in your formula [2pi/3 or some such].

    Dr. Svalgaard had number of attempts (some 2 years ago) to produce a formula with alternative numbers, he ‘came a cropper’ (failed) and gave up
    Again, you are economical with the truth. It is easy to construct any number of formula that are an equally good fit. I even provided you with one.

    It is easy to make all sorts of pronouncements, but then they should take into account that, what is measured and what is calculated (using numbers from astronomy), here they agree so well, that there is very little space left for doubt.
    You ignore the data before 1976 where the formula fails. I know, you blame it on bad data, but that is the standard response to failure.

    If you can fault calculations, or the solar observatories measurements then I am happy to listen further.
    Curve fitting cannot be faulted and you do not listen to the observational evidence.

  147. vukcevic says:
    March 5, 2011 at 9:54 am
    So let’s stick to what is known, what is published, what is widely available and what your observatory (WSO) has measured.
    The earlier data is also available [you have to dig a bit deeper, but I have done the digging for you], and just ignoring what doesn’t fit is not good science.

    My advice is forget what Severniy told to you (an American scientist) about USSR results. If he did tell you real results, even if they were any good, he would be lucky to end-up measuring salt crystals in a Siberien mine, instead measuring the sun’s magnetic field. So let’s get back to real not the imaginary stuff . I hope comrade Severniy had a happy retirement in sunny Crimea.
    Severny was one of the pioneers in solar magnetic measurements. A man of integrity and knowledge. He didn’t just ‘tell’ me. I went to the Crimea to inspect their observatory and to discuss how to measure magnetic fields. In fact, he taught us how to measure the mean field of the Sun [which was what WSO was originally built for]. His data and opinion is ‘real stuff’. http://www.leif.org/EOS/1970SoPh15-3S.pdf

    You comment disqualifies you from any serious discussion.

  148. vukcevic says:
    March 5, 2011 at 9:54 am
    My advice is forget what Severniy told to you (an American scientist) about USSR results. If he did tell you real results, even if they were any good,…
    Our comparison with Mt. Wilson http://www.leif.org/EOS/1977SoPh52-3S.pdf showed good agreement between MWO and the Crimean data, so they were good. Shame on you for your denigration of Severny.

  149. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: (on number of occasions):
    …….
    1. You came up with an equation which was portion of a parabola, the most ridiculous suggestion one could say.
    2. Planets are not selected, they happen to be there, and are two with the largest magnetospheres, as the most influential in the magnetic reconnection events.
    3. It is usual to express phase difference between two periodic function in terms of pi, this is an obvious basic fact of science.
    4. link you quoted has no data shown prior to 1967. I am happy with Mount Wilson data since 1967 as they are, and they correlate well.
    5. Severniy is an honourable scientist and patriot, and could not be considered as such in the USSR, if he reviled state secrets in the aftermath of the Cuban missile crises and at the height of space race, to an American scientist. I whish him all the best if he is still around.
    You’ve been at this for some years now, and you are no closer in your futile effort to demolish the formula, clearly you have failed again.
    As I said my formula is as tough as a nanocrystalline diamond.
    Good night and prosperous future to all.

  150. tallbloke says:

    “You[r] comment disqualifies you from any serious discussion.”

    Uh-oh. That’s the attitude which got climate science such a bad name.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 5, 2011 at 10:25 am
    tallbloke says:
    March 5, 2011 at 10:15 am
    the mechanism for the energy release is fully explained.
    No, as they do not calculate the forces in Newtons. Nor describe how to convert to potential energy to actual motion and lastly how that would influence how sunspots are formed.

    You clearly don’t understand the difference between explanation and quantification.

    Anyway, it’s not like you have a successful and irrefutable conceptually complete and fully quantified solar model to offer as a superior possibility is it?

    The whole question of how the Sun works is completely open but you continue to act like you have the right to be the gatekeeper of solar science and the final arbiter of ideas about how the Sun does its stuff.

    And to tell people they’ve been “disqualified”.

    Science is about testing ideas not defining the legitimacy of the people who have them.

  151. Malaga View says:

    tallbloke says: March 6, 2011 at 2:47 am
    Science is about testing ideas not defining the legitimacy of the people who have them.

    Very true….. well said.

  152. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Pascvaks says:
    March 5, 2011 at 7:52 am
    Ref – Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    steven mosher says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    “what exactly is the POINT of personalizing this by trying to figure out whether Dr. S is pleased or not?”
    It is clearly easier [and somewhat demeaning of the perpetrators] to engage in personal attacks than in the science. Better filtering of such is one way you could improve WUWT.
    _________
    I don’t think it’s possible to really tweek WUWT much more than it is currently managed/monitored without changing it and turning it into something very different than it is. The “Best Science Blog Award” speaks to how well it’s currently operating. But… Anthony & Co. might consider something along these lines: A Special Debate Blog Item for “Select” Commenters Only (maybe just 2 –debates get confusing if there’s more than 2 people talking about something; the rest of us could ‘read along’ but not ‘participate’ with tomatoes and rotten fruit). Well, it might be worth a shot. Anyway, $.02 from the peanut gallery.

    PS: After a little more thought about my suggestion I’d like to add another $.02 -
    Once the ‘Back-and-Forth’ between the “Select” Commenters Only folks has pretty much ended it would be nice if the MOD would draw a line and open the comments up to all comers.

    [Reply - always glad to have suggestions for Anthony to mull over, and this is an interesting one, although I think the way it would be intended to work and how it would actually work in reality would be quite different.
    1. WordPress limitations - I think the choices are between public/private/passwordprotected posts and comments on/comments off. In theory you could have a private post then debate between two people then publish the post and the comments and open up to others.
    2. A live debate that only two people could engage in would be interesting (although technically ??? see 1), however if no-one else could comment I reckon chaos would ensue (frustrated commenters commenting on every other thread) and as a moderator I wouldn't want to be trying to keep order ~jove, mod]

  153. tallbloke says:

    It’s easy enough to do an inpage search for the protagonist of your choice and see what they have to say on a given subject, plus the responses of others to them. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it with proposals which will only lead to acrimony about exclusivity. On a recent thread, Willis Eschenbach said:

    I’d miss tallboy and some others if they didn’t come forth, but I suspect that the signal-to-noise ratio would improve greatly.

    Who sits in judgment concerning what represents noise and what represents signal?

    Popular vote? We tried the vote for comments idea. Didn’t last long.
    Executive decision by a dinner committee consisting of Anthony, Willis, Mosh, and Leif?

    I say allow ideas to mingle. If you want to disseminate a limited set of views, start another blog, and turn off the comments.

  154. Pascvaks says:

    Well, it only cost $.04 and that ain’t much today. Leif’s comment struck a chord and it seemed like a way to initially cut down on noise and background radiation while the BIG GUNS were fencing with each other. Also wanted to say the current method is fine for 99% of the WUWT content –You ARE The Best!!!;-)

  155. tallbloke says:
    March 6, 2011 at 2:47 am
    Science is about testing ideas not defining the legitimacy of the people who have them.
    Who throw away good data based on political considerations and denigration of an eminent scientist.

    vukcevic says:
    March 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    1. You came up with an equation which was portion of a parabola, the most ridiculous suggestion one could say.
    Any other function would do, e.g. a long-period sine. In numerology anything goes.
    4.link you quoted has no data shown prior to 1967. I am happy with Mount Wilson data since 1967 as they are, and they correlate well.
    But throws away data from Crimea even though they fit MWO well. Page 4 of http://www.leif.org/research/Polar%20Fields%20and%20Cycle%2024.pdf shows a Crimean magnetogram [from their large collection], with no trace of organized polar fields.
    you are no closer in your futile effort to demolish the formula, clearly you have failed again.
    It is, indeed, futile to argue with you as you ignore any counter-evidence. E.g. that your formula predicts the wrong sign for the polar fields before 1900.

    tallbloke says:
    March 6, 2011 at 2:47 am
    You clearly don’t understand the difference between explanation and quantification.
    It is all about quantification. If the energy [quantification] is not large enough, the explanation doesn’t matter.
    And there is no mechanism in the potential energy parameter. I hold a cup of coffee in my hand now. It is getting cold. Ah, I can go upstairs where the coffee will have more potential energy and hope it will warm up. Damn, it didn’t.

  156. tallbloke says:
    March 6, 2011 at 2:47 am
    Anyway, it’s not like you have a successful and irrefutable conceptually complete and fully quantified solar model to offer as a superior possibility is it?
    It is not hard to be superior to your non-mechanism, Leighton’s original paper http://www.leif.org/EOS/Leighton-1969.pdf will do just fine. It has not been refuted in the more than 40 years since and is still the basis for all serious mechanisms of the solar cycle. Even you need another mechanism [than the planets] to generate the spots.

  157. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: March 6, 2011 at 9:07 am
    Leighton’s original paper will do just fine.
    Original Babcock – Lighton model with differential rotation as the cause was on the right track. If differential rotation and electric currents are put together than it is easy to show that formation, growth and disintegration of sunspots is a relatively simple process, as I demonstrate here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSG1.htm
    However, role of electric currents is a taboo in the solar context.

  158. vukcevic says:
    March 6, 2011 at 10:27 am
    However, role of electric currents is a taboo in the solar context.
    Not so, your problem is that you put the cart before the horse. Electric currents in astrophysical contexts are the results of plasma moving with respect to magnetic fields, so the problem is to understand the plasma flows and the magnetic field, from those the electric currents follow. Almost all energetic phenomena [with the exception of those caused by gravity] in the universe are due to electric currents, so the role of these are not taboo. Before you pontificate, better know a little about what you pontificating on.

  159. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 6, 2011 at 8:21 am (Edit)
    tallbloke says:
    March 6, 2011 at 2:47 am
    Science is about testing ideas not defining the legitimacy of the people who have them.
    Who throw away good data based on political considerations and denigration of an eminent scientist.

    You are the worst offender for this. Tu Quoque.

    It is, indeed, futile to argue with you as you ignore any counter-evidence. E.g. that your formula predicts the wrong sign for the polar fields before 1900.

    Vuk’s formula has been working well for years. Who knows when the Sun will throw a wobbler and reverse its phasing. Learn about bipolar oscillators and do some thinking.

  160. vukcevic says:

    Kenneth H. Schatten on solar magnetic field: ” Like sign attract, and unlike fields repel, essentially the opposite behaviour of magnetic fields in a vacuum, or subadiabatic atmosphere.”
    http://www.leif.org/research/Percolation%20and%20the%20Solar%20Dynamo.pdf
    page 3/17, chapter 2. EPHEMERAL REGIONS AND PERCOLATION (doc. page 139)
    You and your esteemed colleague live in a different universe.
    I am not sure about that I’ve ” put the cart before the horse”, but I do hope that any sensible traveller in the Schatten-Svalgaard solar cart had jumped off already:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSC.jpg

  161. tallbloke says:
    March 6, 2011 at 11:23 am
    You are the worst offender for this. Tu Quoque.
    As predicted, your insult-free discussions didn’t last long.

    Who knows when the Sun will throw a wobbler and reverse its phasing.
    There is data that shows what the phase of the polar fields was in the 19th century

  162. vukcevic says:
    March 6, 2011 at 11:35 am
    You and your esteemed colleague live in a different universe.
    Before pontificating, take the trouble to learn about what you are trying to pontificate about. The behavior of magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere is determined by the movements of the plasma, not by how magnets behave in vacuum. To quote Schatten in full [rather than your cherry-picked sentence out of its context] “. Following Parker’s (1984) work, where convective elements isolate magnetic field by lowering the convective flow energy, his process suggests to us, that in a superadiabatic ionized atmosphere, magnetic fields of like sign attract, and unlike fields repel, essentially the opposite behavior of magnetic fields in a vacuum, or subadiabatic atmosphere. Thus our model invokes a stickiness to the same sign (same sign radial component) magnetic fields in the photosphere. This stickiness or percolation thrives from lowering the free energy in the presence of convective or superadiabatic energy transport. Thus, the percolation process allows the Sun to shed its luminosity more efficiently (than a totally unmagnetized, convecting atmosphere) by having flow transport energy in uni-directed (up-down) flows rather than convective bubbles that ‘‘break’’ in small distances, comparable to the atmospheric scale-height”
    In addition the percolation process is directly observed [sunspots grows by the accumulation of smaller pores of same sign].

  163. vukcevic says:

    tallbloke says:
    March 6, 2011 at 11:23 am
    Vuk’s formula has been working well for years. Who knows when the Sun will throw a wobbler and reverse its phasing. Learn about bipolar oscillators and do some thinking.

    My electro-magnetic model of the sun’s polar field is very simple:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SEMc.gif
    It does not require Schatten’s extraordinary ‘antimatter universe ’ magnetic field laws where ” Like sign attract, and unlike fields repel’

  164. vukcevic says:
    March 6, 2011 at 11:35 am
    You and your esteemed colleague live in a different universe.
    Perhaps a more accessible version of Schatten’s ideas is this one:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Modeling%20a%20Shallow%20Solar%20Dynamo.pdf
    Report back on sections you do not understand, so I can guide you to enlightenment.

  165. vukcevic says:
    March 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    My electro-magnetic model of the sun’s polar field is very simple:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SEMc.gif

    But unfortunately in discord with observations, so must be rejected.

  166. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    On your latest http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png image you have “Welcome to solar max” next to the F10.7 line. Care to say anything further on this?

  167. rbateman says:
    March 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm
    On your latest http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png image you have “Welcome to solar max” next to the F10.7 line. Care to say anything further on this?
    Well, it hardly looks like a Grand Minimum :-)
    There is a fair amount of activity, so the Sun is out of the minimum phase. If this much activity is still only in the ascending phase, then maximum will be rather higher [not what we would expect fro the polar fields during the past minimum]. The polar fields at the North pole have already reversed, and the South polar fields have decreased considerably. The reversal is ‘usually’ [but has only been observed for about eight cycles] timed near maximum. So, these things together seem to justify a ‘welcome’ [although the maximum might be a protracted affair like in cycle 14 with wild swings up and down]. Since after the reversal there ‘usually’ are several more ‘surges’ of new polarity flux arriving in the polar caps, there is the possibility that the polar fields might build to be stronger’ than at the recent minimum, leading to the prediction that solar cycle 25 might not be an extremely low cycle, but of moderate size [a tad larger than SC24], a la cycle 15 after 14. This is, of course, only [well-founded] speculation, but makes life interesting.

  168. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    It certainly does make life more interesting (being based upon observation), speculative or not.
    The egg is perched on the roof peak.

  169. Roger Carr says:

    rbateman says: The egg is perched on the roof peak.

    Perched?
    It’s been there for nearly 24 hours now. No wind (shame for the turbines.)? Not even a solar wind? Are you sure you didn’t glue it there?

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