NEWS: NASA to hold press conference on the state of the sun

This is unusual. A live media teleconference on the sun. Even more unusual is this statement:

The sun today, still featureless
The sun today, still featureless

The sun’s current state could result in changing conditions in the solar system.

As you may recall, I posted an entry about the Ulysses mission back on June 16th and the findings of a lowered magnetic field in the sun, from the JPL press release then:

Ulysses ends its career after revealing that the magnetic field emanating from the sun’s poles is much weaker than previously observed.  This could mean the upcoming solar maximum period will be less intense than in recent history.

 

We live in interesting times.


Dwayne Brown                                   

Headquarters, Washington                                        

202-358-1726

dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

 

DC Agle

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

818-393-9011

agle@jpl.nasa.gov 

Sept. 18, 2008

MEDIA ADVISORY : M08-176

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/sep/HQ_M08176_Ulysses_teleconference.html

NASA To Discuss Conditions On And Surrounding The Sun

WASHINGTON — NASA will hold a media teleconference Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 12:30 p.m. EDT, to discuss data from the joint NASA and European Space Agency Ulysses mission that reveals the sun’s solar wind is at a 50-year low. The sun’s current state could result in changing conditions in the solar system.

 

Ulysses was the first mission to survey the space environment above and below the poles of the sun. The reams of data Ulysses returned have changed forever the way scientists view our star and its effects. The venerable spacecraft has lasted more than 17 years – almost four times its expected mission lifetime.

The panelists are:

— Ed Smith, NASA Ulysses project scientist and magnetic field instrument investigator, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

— Dave McComas, Ulysses solar wind instrument principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio

— Karine Issautier, Ulysses radio wave lead investigator, Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France

— Nancy Crooker, Research Professor, Boston University, Boston, Mass.

Reporters should call 866-617-1526 and use the pass code “sun” to participate in the teleconference. International media should call 1-210-795-0624.

To access visuals that will the accompany presentations, go to:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/ulysses-20080923.html

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

 

– end –

h/t to John Sumpton

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crosspatch
September 19, 2008 8:28 am

Mr. Watts, you tease us. There is nothing to see at the link for the graphics.
What I have often wondered, though, is how the Sun moving through areas with different amounts of “dark matter” might affect the fusion reactions that generate the Sun’s energy. I believe it has been discovered recently that atomic decay seems to vary with our distance from the Sun for reasons not exactly understood. Could it be there is more “dark matter” closer to the Sun? Could that affect fusion reactions as well?
Are ice ages brought on by the solar system moving through areas with more or less dark matter and the interglacials caused when we “pop out” of those bands?
REPLY: I’m not the tease, NASA is. Note they say to check back on Sept 23rd to see the graphics…they don’t want the media conjecturing the graphics, obviously.

Steve Berry
September 19, 2008 8:46 am

Okay, but can someone offer a hint of what is going to be said? Four days is too long to wait! Leif, any clues?

Austin
September 19, 2008 8:47 am

Where is the proof for Dark Matter?
If you allow the speed of light to vary over time, the need for Dark Matter goes away. A varying C also fixes the early hot sun paradox.

Editor
September 19, 2008 9:05 am

Perhaps they’ll be announcing a solar credit system so operators of solar power stations impacted by the risk of declining solar output will have their investments protected. The Sun is too big to let fail! Personally, I think that instead of a yet another gov’t bailout, solar operators should be required to burn the midnight oil (so to speak) and augment their solar harvest with moonlight or even light from bright stars.

Barbee Butts
September 19, 2008 9:05 am

This is precisely why laypeople like myself cannot comprehend the lackadaisical attitude of SDIC concerning the accurate counting of sunspots and solar activity.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe and document an uncommon solar cycle?
If I were a solar ‘scientist’, I’d be absolutely giddy w/ excitement! Triple checking the observations, meticulously recording the data and making absolutely SURE what I was documenting (for posterity) was top quality. [I’d show up early and stay late every day-it’s that exciting!]
What do we get? The SDIC can’t be bothered to report data correctly, apparently don’t care, and pooh-pooh Anthony for expecting otherwise!! (I view the earlier brouhaha as a dreadful shame and wasted opportunity. ) Who can trust anything from SDIC? If they can’t get 1 spot counted correctly-how can they be trusted to count 100 correctly?
Of course, I am assuming that it’s easier to count to “1” than it is to count to “100”.
Thank you Anthony for your tireless and wonderful work. You, sir, are appreciated. I have two sites I check twice a day. “Drudge” and “Watts…”. If it’s not on one of these two-it’s not newsworthy.

Gary
September 19, 2008 9:07 am

Crosspatch, the glacial/interglacial cycles are controlled by the earth’s orbital parameters. See this reference

Richard111
September 19, 2008 9:16 am

“The sun’s current state could result in changing conditions in the solar system.”
Okay. No mention of Earth’s climate. Of course we know the sun has no effect. We have been told so.

Patrick
September 19, 2008 9:40 am

Since we had the no sunspots for August, followed by the decision that we did have one, does anyone know if there have been any sunspots recorded in September?

Brian H
September 19, 2008 9:44 am

Is there a site to check for updated info on the ice-caps on Mars…or possible effects on other planets related to the reduced solar activity?

Brian D
September 19, 2008 9:51 am

Very interesting times, indeed. To have the ability to closely watch the Sun from space during a very active time, and, potentially, during a very inactive time. Some theories will be canned for good, while others will stand. More will come. Science in progress.

Dan Lee
September 19, 2008 9:51 am

I’ve been wondering how NASA was going to save face, is this is it? Did all the childish hockey-stick and data-hiding nonsense finally push someone up top over the edge? I’m visualizing someone slamming a fist down on a desktop and saying, “All right, enough! Do we do science here or don’t we?”
Anthony, you once said that forces were moving behind the scenes on these issues, I’m hoping we’re about to see some results.
Or maybe it will be something totally different, who knows (trying to keep my hopes in check.)
Anyway, thanks for an extremely useful and educational and fun-to-read blog, I check it every day and occasionally toss an opinion in, but I don’t think I’ve ever said thanks for all the work you’re doing keeping us up-to-date.

SteveSadlov
September 19, 2008 9:55 am

We may need to leave Earth. We may need to do so without having a good solution for interstellar travel. We may need to contemplate intergenerational migrations lasting for thousands if not millions of years.
Or, it could be something less. It may be that there is something to the 2012 hoopla. Not the end of all things, but perhaps, the end of a particularly successful 2500 year segment of human existence. The Golden Age may be over.

jonk
September 19, 2008 10:05 am

Ric – you slay me. Thanks for the humor.

Gibsho
September 19, 2008 10:08 am

AGW’er s have no corner on alramism I see.

Dan Lee
September 19, 2008 10:11 am

Another thought, connecting some dots, here’s NASA (Hansen) contributing to a legal decision in Britain that okay’s defacing energy plants, while in the US the Democrats and Republicans have greenlighted offshore drilling and other energy projects, in joint recognition of our need for more and cheaper energy.
How’s that for bad timing on NASA’s part? Kind of leaves them out in the cold, I would think. Yeah, Hansen did it on his own time but its hard to ignore the fact that its NASA’s name that gives him all that credibility in the eyes of the public.
OTOH a news conference like this must have been in the works for quite some time, so it was probably just a coincidence…

September 19, 2008 10:12 am

I sent this along to Drudge.
If this isn’t newsworthy – watt is ?

Editor
September 19, 2008 10:14 am

SteveSadlov (09:55:36) :

We may need to leave Earth. We may need to do so without having a good solution for interstellar travel.

At the press conerence, if you see FEMA on the stage holding a mandatory evacuation order, I think it will be time to panic. 🙂

terry46
September 19, 2008 10:19 am

In responce to Brian H question you can go to check daily sun spot activity by going to ask .com then type in sun cycle 24.There is a site that updates every 2 minutes.

Alex
September 19, 2008 10:19 am

Dan Lee
This isn’t anything new, doomsday predictions have been around since time began for humans. 2012 is not about the end of the world, actually the end of the Mayan Calendar, whereby the earth will apparently be aligned with the centre of the universe for the first time in 26000 years…something like that….apparently an interesting energy phenomenon will occur which will bring about spiritual/energy change on earth.
haha at least NASA is finally being forced to accept that the sun does rule. After all it is the solar system , not the anthropogenic system…

September 19, 2008 10:22 am

My source at NASA tells me NASA also intends to announce the cancellation of the follow-up mission at this time. 🙁

Trevor Pugh
September 19, 2008 10:26 am

Gary:
Have a more readable reference at Scientific American:
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=how-did-humans-first-alte
We have been touching on this issue of ‘are we naturally heading toward an ice age that is being warded off by global warming’ for quite a while in these blogs. I have posted a link to a Scientific American article published in 2005 titled HOW DID HUMANS FIRST ALTER GLOBAL CLIMATE? This article offers an alternate explanation to Fred Hoyle’s meteor on demand theory, although I wouldn’t count that out as a possibility; for the last 400K years or so.
I keep coming back to this article because it provides an effective
explanation for both warming and cooling. Here are two links to the author William Ruddiman and the article I refer to.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ruddiman
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=how-did-humans-first-alte
I don’t think I can reproduce the article here as Scientific American still wants payment for it but it is more than worth the read. I offer this excerpt from his conclusions which I believe is ok to reproduce (up to you Anthony).
Implications for the Future
The conclusion that humans prevented a cooling and arguably stopped the initial stage of a glacial cycle bears directly on a long-running dispute over what global climate has in store for us in the near future. Part of the reason that policymakers had trouble embracing the initial predictions of global warming in the 1980s was that a number of scientists had spent the previous decade telling everyone almost exactly the opposite—that an ice age was on its way. Based on the new confirmation that orbital variations control the growth and decay of ice sheets, some scientists studying these longer-scale changes had reasonably concluded that the next ice age might be only a few hundred or at most a few thousand years away.
In subsequent years, however, investigators found that greenhouse gas concentrations were rising rapidly and that the earth’s climate was warming, at least in part because of the gas increases. This evidence convinced most scientists that the relatively near-term future (the next century or two) would be dominated by global warming rather than by global cooling. This revised prediction, based on an improved understanding of the climate system, led some policymakers to discount all forecasts—whether of global warming or an impending ice age—as untrustworthy.
My findings add a new wrinkle to each scenario. If anything, such forecasts of an “impending” ice age were actually understated: new ice sheets should have begun to grow several millennia ago. The ice failed to grow because human-induced global warming actually began far earlier than previously thought—well before the industrial era.
In these kinds of hotly contested topics that touch on public policy, scientific results are often used for opposing ends. Global-warming skeptics could cite my work as evidence that human-generated greenhouse gases played a beneficial role for several thousand years by keeping the earth’s climate more hospitable than it would otherwise have been. Others might counter that if so few humans with relatively primitive technologies were able to alter the course of climate so significantly, then we have reason to be concerned about the current rise of greenhouse gases to unparalleled concentrations at unprecedented rates.
The rapid warming of the past century is probably destined to persist for at least 200 years, until the economically accessible fossil fuels become scarce. Once that happens, the earth’s climate should begin to cool gradually as the deep ocean slowly absorbs the pulse of excess CO2 from human activities. Whether global climate will cool enough to produce the long-overdue glaciations or remain warm enough to avoid that fate is impossible to predict.

EDT
September 19, 2008 10:27 am

I know this is the wrong forum for this but I can’t let this go…
Austin:
I think your comment is based on the old speculation behind DM, namely orbital speeds of galaxy clusters. However, there are numerous observations of galactic interactions that can only be explained by particles that interact via gravitation but not through EM or strong forces. The weak force may still be a possibility, though. Google the Bullet Cluster to see what I’m talking about.
Varying c over time would cause the total energy of the universe to vary over time. There is no known mechanism for that. Additionally, we have great access to data from billions of years ago, in the form of ridiculously old starlight that is finally arriving at Earth. If c did vary over time, there would be a discrepancy between expected observations of distant, old stars and nearby ones.

Jim B
September 19, 2008 10:29 am

Well I’m just glad the Sun is doing it’s small part to help fight global warming.
🙂

Pierre Gosselin
September 19, 2008 10:29 am

Berry
“Okay, but can someone offer a hint of what is going to be said?”
Allow me to speculate:
NASA will have to admit that the sun indeed plays a huge role w.r.t. climate and say the sun appears to have entered an unexpected and worrisome dormant period, and that we should expect much cooler temperatures at least through the next cycle or two (11-22 years).
But then they’ll quickly add that the AGW theory is alive and still very serious, and say something like:
“Once the suns returns to normal activity (in 12, 20 or 30 years), expect manmade global warming to resume with renewed vengeance. The need to drastically cut CO2 now is still imperative and that the future of humanity is at risk.”
Of course everyone will just laugh, and realise what a charade AGW really was, thus end up making Sarah Palin the only sensible candidate left.

Steven Hill
September 19, 2008 10:33 am

Everyone has it all wrong…..
CO2 is still a problem, the sun just now changed…..
rolling eyes…
Steve

Mike Kelley
September 19, 2008 10:36 am

I wouldn’t include say the Democrats are “greenlighting” any energy production at all. The recent so-called energy bill that the press is yapping about only allows production beyond 50 miles out and gives the states no incentive to go along. It is just a way for Nancy Pelosi and friends to appear to be helping us while still giving their envirocrit keepers what they want. They may get away with this sham due to a compliant/complicit news media.

Brian H
September 19, 2008 10:38 am

terry 46 (10:19:14) Thanks… actually I was looking for updated effects on other planets….i.e. has the ice cap on Mars started growing again? any effects on Saturn or Jupiter consistent with a quieter sun?

Patrick
September 19, 2008 10:43 am

thanks terry46, the question was actually me. I found the site, I guess they only update the sunspot number at the end of the month so their stats just run through August. I put a link below if anyone wants to look at a historical list of sunspots by month going back to 1991. We had one in July, zero (or one) in August, and possibly zero again in Sept., so this is easily a 27 year low in sunspot activity.
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/RecentIndices.txt

TinyCO2
September 19, 2008 10:43 am

This is very hush hush, so don’t tell anyone.
The teleconference is to announce that the planet is about to be attacked by an enormous mutant star goat. In order to protect mankind, NASA has built three space arks. The idea is that into the first ship, the ‘A’ ship, will go all the brilliant leaders, the scientists, the great artists, you know, all the achievers; and into the third, or ‘C’ ship, will go all the people who do the actual work, who make things and do things, and then into the `B’ ship will go everyone else, the middlemen. Hairdressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, public relations executives, management consultants and most important of all, the climatologists.
The captain of the ‘B’ ship will be James… and we’re not talking T Kirk. He will lead the glorious departure from our doomed planet to crash… err… land on our new home Golgafrincham. That way, when the rest of us arrive, we’ll be sure to get a good haircut and know the greenhouse gasses are under control.
Douglas Adams saw the future.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/golgafrincham.shtml

John-X
September 19, 2008 11:00 am

Remember, three of the four participants Tuesday will be Ulysses project scientists, and they will be primarily discussing the results from the Ulysses mission.
http://ulysses.jpl.nasa.gov/
These four may not be willing to go into any discussions about sun-climate relationships, Solar Cycle 24 forecasts, solar Grand Minima, a New Little Ice Age, etc.
Ulysses was a really big deal in solar science. “Ulysses has set the bar on solar science data collection quite high.” It was a 17-year mission that has now ended with the loss of operational capability of the spacecraft.
I’m sure they’ll have some more announcements that will be news to many.
The phrase, “solar wind is at a 50-year low” was news to me. I can’t recall ever hearing that from official US government sources.
I think those of us looking for clues to climate will just have to tune in to the audio of the news conference
http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio
and go to the graphics page
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/ulysses-20080923.html
(nothing there yet – gotta wait til closer to show time)
take notes on the presentation then infer for ourselves what it means, and listen to the various experts weigh in during the days and weeks to follow.

joshua corning
September 19, 2008 11:03 am

This reminds me of that study that looks at carbon concentration in the atmosphere and how a study was soon to come out.
What ever happened to that study?

Fernando Mafili
September 19, 2008 11:07 am

Ric Werme and Dee Norris: Thanks by smiles
Leif, and now? Please

Kent Gatewood
September 19, 2008 11:15 am

If we have to change planets, the literature seems mixed as to whether we should take robots.

DaveB
September 19, 2008 11:29 am

NASA will inform us that the lack of sunspot activity has been conclusively linked to climate change on earth due to man’s burning of fossil fuels. NASA is asking the Congress today to approve the emergency appropriation of $250 billion to launch a fleet of satellites to orbit between the earth and the sun. The satellites will solve the problem by opening large umbrella like devices to look like sunspots here on earth. With the sun out of the equation we can blame the next 20+ years of global cooling on man’s burning of fossil fuels….

Glenn
September 19, 2008 11:33 am

Comparing the two graphs below, baselining from 1991 and removing the 1998 and 2006 El Nino spikes, global temps show a good correspondence with the referenced solar activity, with a noticable short lag. From this I would recommend stocking up on firewood and blankets for the next several years.
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/uah_august2008.png
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/solar-geomagnetic-ap.png

Roy Tucker
September 19, 2008 11:49 am

I encourage people to read “The Chilling Stars” by Nigel Calder and Henrik Svensmark. This was a fascinating insight into the science surrounding the solar activity/climate relationship. http://www.amazon.com/Chilling-Stars-Theory-Climate-Change/dp/1840468157

Mark
September 19, 2008 12:04 pm

So were we measuring solar wind over 50 years ago or is it the lowest in 50 years?
And somebody posted the following link:
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/RecentIndices.txt
It looks to me like Radio Flux and Geomagnetic data have also decreased in recent years.

September 19, 2008 12:07 pm

Fernando Mafili (11:07:39) :
Leif, and now? Please
All they will be saying is that the Sun is back to where it was 100 years ago. I recall having droned on about this on this and other blogs. The 50 years they are talking about is the period covered by spacecraft measurements, but we have other ways of measuring the solar wind properties, e.g as I explained at a seminar at UC Berkeley just last Tuesday: http://www.leif.org/research/Seminar-SPRG-2008.pdf
All solar cycle indicators we have show that the current cycle 23 was just like cycle 13, ten cycles ago. Nothing special, not a ‘new phase’, not the end of the world. Maybe just a belated acknowledgment that perhaps the sun is not at an ‘all-time high’ after all.
If the Sun is the major driver of our climate, the climate should also be back to what it was a hundred years ago. I don’t think it is.
[and don’t tell me about long delays and at the same tell me that the last few months cooling is due to the Sun]. Talk to me about the oceans instead, and their internal oscillations.

Scott
September 19, 2008 12:09 pm

The NASA PR mentions that the solar wind is at 50-year low. Fifty years ago was 1958. Was the solar wind lower than it is now before 1958? What was used to measure solar wind in the 1950s and before?
Could it be that the solar wind is at a 100 year low, or maybe a 200 year low?
Scott

Mike McMillan
September 19, 2008 12:16 pm

If the solar wind is at a 50-year low, that means more cosmic rays striking the atmosphere and alchemically generating carbon. New carbon, in our atmosphere, that will oxidize into even more CO2.
Be afraid.
On a lighter note, I haven’t waded thru the Hays1976 pdf (thanks Gary (09:07:45)) yet, but orbital variations affecting ice ages is a good theory, and verified by computer models. And, I might add, the modeled orbital variations don’t need any “adjustment” factors.
Given all that, we should be able to predict precisely when the next ice age will hit.

Ed Scott
September 19, 2008 12:22 pm

Ric Werme
Perhaps an agreement with T. Boone, to construct a giant turbine farm adjacent, to the solar fields, to power giant search-lights, to shine on the solar panels, will provide a solution to the problem of lower energy output from the sun and also alleviate the darkness problem with solar power generators. This of course will necessitate massive subsidies, but not a bail-out, right?
Quite obviously, grants from the DOE will be necessary for feasibility studies, to be conducted, to ascertain the most expensive and least effective solution to the problem.

Fred
September 19, 2008 12:27 pm

My prediction is that NASA will relate the Ulysses findings to the impact on upcoming space travel. I would not expect any admission of cooling trends being caused by the Sun’s decreased activity, just that recent decreased solar activity is “masking” AGW (per the current media template).

AEGeneral
September 19, 2008 12:28 pm

the sun’s solar wind is at a 50-year low
If I can get no interest / no payments until 2012, I might buy a few bags.
The sun’s current state could result in changing conditions in the solar system.
But a certain website said that when ice caps were shown to be melting on Mars, we were all overreacting….

Fred . . .
September 19, 2008 12:30 pm

Last week NASA had to bite the bullet and admit they have been wrong for 30 years about the Antarctic Ice Sheet shrinking – they admitted that it has been growing steadily at .06%. per year. So much for those rapidly rising ocean levels Mr. Gore is so fond of.
Some consensus.
Maybe they are going to announce a bright blast of sunshine has shown them the error of their ways and they will be issuing hair shirts to Hansen et al.
Preemptive strikes against their own incompetence.

Glenn
September 19, 2008 12:30 pm

Off topic, but interesting:
“In the full-scale plan, 16 trillion lenses would be required to make up the million square miles of area of the sunshield. It is estimated that the shield would require one orbital launch every 20 minutes for about five years to be completed. The programme also investigated the use of a “coil gun” electromagnetic launcher to propel the lenses into space.
Unfortunately, Iris suffered a delayed second stage ignition at around 3,500 feet, and the mission was unsuccessful.”
http://spacefellowship.com/News/?p=6605
The rocket doesn’t look inexpensive, there has to be some whackos with lots of money. Reminds me of the idea, playing on TV, of thousands of robot ships spraying ocean water to make clouds that would reflect sunlight and cool the horribly warm planet.

Don B
September 19, 2008 12:39 pm

Roy Tucker– I was self-encouraged, and am on page 125 of The Chilling Stars. I like it as much as I thought I would, and others may also find it fascinating to read the details of the impediments to new ideas suffered by those who fight the popular AGW theory.
Back to the teleconference-the facts cannot be hidden forever.

Dan Lee
September 19, 2008 12:39 pm

Mike Kelly,
Privately I agree with you, but publicly (on this forum) I prefer to avoid the politics. No point getting derailed from discussing this very interesting bit of news.

Jeff C.
September 19, 2008 12:40 pm

Congrats Anthony! Instalanche on the way.

Kim Mackey
September 19, 2008 12:43 pm

I think the longer this goes on, the more vindication there will be for Dr. Svalgaard’s work on polar magnetic fields and his prediction with regard to solar cycle 24. Obviously we will have at least a decade before full confirmation, but pretty soon I think Dikpati and all the other theorists predicting a large cycle 24 are going to be searching for new ideas.
Kim

Doug Janeway
September 19, 2008 12:58 pm

Wasn’t cycle 24 supposed to start last March according to Hathaway? Then when it didn’t happen, they posted that article, “What’s wrong with the sun . . .Nothing?” Now their redacting.
Were they not aware of the decrease in solar wind speed then and that conevyor speed was 75% of normal. What about declining sunspot strength and the extended lack thereof? And, yet, “nothing is wrong with our sun.” Sounds to me like their just whistling past the graveyard.

Ed Scott
September 19, 2008 1:02 pm

“…data from the joint NASA and European Space Agency Ulysses mission that reveals the sun’s solar wind is at a 50-year low.”
Will they discuss how this will effect the output of T. Boone’s wind turbines? Will the solar wind be disruptive of solar panel arrays?
“The sun’s current state could result in changing conditions in the solar system.”
The word “could” is often use as a disclaimer. Scientists have to be very cautious about possibly confirming that the Sun has an effect on the Solar System, which, of course, includes planet Earth. Admission of such a fact would place certain scientists in a defensive position.
Attempts at humor aside, this conference may provide the “solar stake” to drive into the heart of the AGW “vampire.”

Eduardo
September 19, 2008 1:04 pm

Crosspatch,
…is how the Sun moving through areas with different amounts of “dark matter” might affect the fusion reactions that generate the Sun’s energy. I believe it has been discovered recently that atomic decay seems to vary with our distance from the Sun for reasons not exactly understood.
Dark matter and other (conveniently) invisible things are good for filling holes in the hydrogen fusion reactor the sun is supposed to be. You should speak with Oliver Manuel and a host of other astronomers and astrophysicist about an “iron core sun”.
Personally, I don’t know what to think, but what they said seems very plausible.

Editor
September 19, 2008 1:24 pm

Roy Tucker (11:49:16) :

I encourage people to read “The Chilling Stars” by Nigel Calder and Henrik Svensmark. This was a fascinating insight into the science surrounding the solar activity/climate relationship. http://www.amazon.com/Chilling-Stars-Theory-Climate-Change/dp/1840468157

The second edition, retitled as “The Chilling Stars, 2nd Edition: A Cosmic View of Climate Change” out, see http://www.amazon.com/Chilling-Stars-2nd-Cosmic-Climate/dp/1840468661 Has anyone read it? How much does it differ from the first edition? How much does it raise Leif’s blood pressure? 🙂
BTW, Leif, thanks for keeping our feet on the ground here, but do you have to use the superglue?
Anthony:
Blog Stats: 3,999,830 hits. 170 shy of the 4,000,000th.

stephen richards
September 19, 2008 1:27 pm

Hathaway is not on the panel !!!!!
Trevor Pugh you should read around the blogs a bit more. You will come to realise that SciAme is no longer a respected sci mag. It has become a good read but only as a comic. When I was studying for my degrees some 25 years ago it was almost mandatory reading, but not any more I’m afraid. You can quote all you like from them but it will gather no respect in the blogesphere.

darwin
September 19, 2008 1:30 pm

Since the “climate crisis” hasn’t really lived up to expectation … perhaps NASA’s prepping us for the dreaded “Solar crisis”. No doubt it will involve an instant, massive influx of money from hysterical taxpayers.

Yorick
September 19, 2008 1:31 pm

It doesn’t have to be “dark matter”. It could just be clouds of hydrogen or something like that that ol’ Sol sweeps up as we orbit the Milky Way. This is an old theory. Not sure how you would prove or disprove it.
“Crosspatch, the glacial/interglacial cycles are controlled by the earth’s orbital parameters.”
Fine and dandy, for the last 5 million years, but what about before that, when the planet was far hotter? Why didn’t orbital parameters matter then? Don’t bother with a lecture on Milankovich forces, although I am not sure I spelled it right, I am aware of them and do not dispute them. I just think that they are not all powerful, obviously.

Jared
September 19, 2008 1:33 pm

NASA will not attempt to make any solar-climate connection in this press conference, I can just about guarantee that. It will probably just be about the sun and the solar system, with little reference to possible effects on earth’s climate.

jnicklin
September 19, 2008 1:42 pm

Dee,
My source at NASA tells me NASA also intends to announce the cancellation of the follow-up mission at this time. 🙁
Cancelled no doubt because the first mission didn’t provide enough evidence supporting AGW. We just can’t have these kinds of question-raising studies if they are going to call AGW into question. ;^)

September 19, 2008 2:02 pm

Mark (12:04:51) :
So were we measuring solar wind over 50 years ago or is it the lowest in 50 years?
Both, but right now the solar wind is just were it was 100 years ago, so the Sun is not doing something strange.

September 19, 2008 2:07 pm

Scott (12:09:31) :
What was used to measure solar wind in the 1950s and before?
The solar wind creates magnetic disturbances in the Earth’s field. Knowing what kind of solar wind creates what disturbance [as we can see since 1961 – when the first measurements of the solar wind were made], we can conclude that a similar disturbance 100 years ago was created by a similar solar wind.
Could it be that the solar wind is at a 100 year low, or maybe a 200 year low?
Definitely at a 100-year low. We don’t know about the 200 years, but other evidence suggests that it was no different than 100 years ago and now.
Scott

Mick
September 19, 2008 2:08 pm

Me think, NASA discovered carbon in the sun,
and calculated it’s “carbon-footprint”
…. so politicians can calculate how to tax the sun. LOL

Glenn
September 19, 2008 2:12 pm

“He showed that over the last 20 years, solar activity has been slowly declining, which should have led to a drop in global temperatures if the theory was correct.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7327393.stm
What subjectively bad logic. And in general, wrong. CO2 hasn’t increased temps in the last 20 years,
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/uah_august2008.png
temps have levelled off. It likely takes a while for the planet to cool. And we may be seeing the start of the cooling show up in global temps in the last couple years.

Robinson
September 19, 2008 2:20 pm

I hate to be a party pooper, but NASA has a history of telegraphing “important announcements”, that get the media and blogo-sphere buzzing, before disappointing their expectant public with a relatively benign piece of research.
As we know from reading this blog, the current lack of sunspots does not signal any kind of catastrophe (yet), much as some people here might like it to. I’m reminded of the 3 year ocean circulation research that gave certain people the impression that the North Atlantic Drift was “shutting down”. Unfortunately for the researchers, it turned out to be a natural cycle (like so much in Science these days!). It wouldn’t surprise me if NASA were going to spin some fact or other in a catastrophic light, and then propose funding some more research/little space vehicles, to find out what’s really going on.

September 19, 2008 2:21 pm

Ric Werme (13:24:14) :
How much does it raise Leif’s blood pressure? 🙂
Not anymore than the IPCC AR4 🙂
BTW, Leif, thanks for keeping our feet on the ground here, but do you have to use the superglue?
Apparently, since according to Glenn “you’ve demonstrated an abysmal record for practicing poor logic […]” to cover my inadequacies. So, superglue helps.
Anthony:
Blog Stats: 3,999,830 hits. 170 shy of the 4,000,000th.

I’m doing my bit to keep the pot boiling 🙂

hyonmin
September 19, 2008 2:25 pm

NASA Conference to announce Hansen resigning from Lehman Bros. advisory position. Graphics shows inverted hockey stick which was erroneously used in carbon trading scheme for Gore. I am sorry I could not resist.

K
September 19, 2008 2:35 pm

NASA is publishing a paper, they are having a press conference. They will propose something new, science must move on.
They will not say they were mistaken about anything. Or ever have been. Or ever could be.
A key chart will show that the sun contains by far the bulk of matter in the solar system but solar research gets only a tiny fraction of scientific research funding.
It will be 99% certain that funding for studying the sun must be increased by billions of dollars. And they will just happen to have a plan for the new observation programs.
The plan will probably emphasize priority for a shuttle replacement or rejuvenation of the decaying shuttle program. Exactly how that will improve observations of the sun will not be obvious. Indeed, that part it may be classified.

philw1776
September 19, 2008 2:35 pm

Leif – I really enjoy and learn from your posting here. You’re a patient man.

September 19, 2008 2:45 pm

philw1776 (14:35:24) :
Leif – I really enjoy and learn from your posting here. You’re a patient man.
Thank you for your kind words. A good counterweight to the abuse that comes my way at times.

mark wagner
September 19, 2008 2:46 pm

but right now the solar wind is just were it was 100 years ago, so the Sun is not doing something strange
100 years ago earth was cooler. so low solar wind ~1900 = cooler. low solar wind ~2008 = cooler; is this not what we’ve seen over the last decade? Temps peaking and dropping in conjunction with the peak and fall of solar activity?
I agree, it’s not “doing something strange,” it’s doing what does. Irrespective of whatever causal mechanisms we have or have not discovered, the sun varies and takes our climate with it on the ride.

John-X
September 19, 2008 2:58 pm

Remember – this teleconference is about the Ulysses mission
http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/06/14/ulysses-exits-with-insight-into-our-next-solar-cycle/
This will give a few of the project scientists a chance to discuss some of what has been learned already from the Ulysses data, and some ideas for research using the data in the future.
There are bound to be questions from the press about Solar Cycle 24 and about climate, but I doubt these folks will get into much speculation.
The data from Ulysses may present a significant challenge to some solar forecast models, but that is a subject for another conference entirely.

September 19, 2008 3:00 pm

mark wagner (14:46:42) :
100 years ago earth was cooler. so low solar wind ~1900 = cooler. low solar wind ~2008 = cooler; is this not what we’ve seen over the last decade? Temps peaking and dropping in conjunction with the peak and fall of solar activity?
Except it still has a long way to go [like a degree or so] to get down to where it was. I don’t think it will, because the oceans still hold a lot of heat. and as you know, I don’t think that tiny solar variation packs much heat. [no pun on packing heat].

September 19, 2008 3:08 pm

John-X (14:58:45) :
The data from Ulysses may present a significant challenge to some solar forecast models, but that is a subject for another conference entirely.
In our solar cycle prediction paper http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%2024%20Smallest%20100%20years.pdf we end with this further prediction:
“The solar polar fields are important in supplying most of the heliospheric magnetic flux during solar minimum conditions. With weaker polar fields, the interplanetary magnetic fields that the Ulysses space probe will measure during its next polar passes in 2007–2008 are therefore expected to be significantly lower than during the 1994–1995 polar passes.”
This has now come to pass [no pun intended].

Robert Wood
September 19, 2008 3:16 pm

Darwin, NASA are too late already. Wall Street and Fannie Mae beat them to it.

Robert Wood
September 19, 2008 3:21 pm

I’m looking forward to the AIRS press conference, when they’ve finally finished “checking” their data.

John-X
September 19, 2008 3:22 pm

Leif Svalgaard (15:08:30) :
““The solar polar fields are important in supplying most of the heliospheric magnetic flux during solar minimum conditions. With weaker polar fields, the interplanetary magnetic fields that the Ulysses space probe will measure during its next polar passes in 2007–2008 are therefore expected to be significantly lower than during the 1994–1995 polar passes.”
This has now come to pass [no pun intended].”
Agreed.
The most compelling feature, in my opinion, of the Dikpati de Toma, Gilman “flux-transport dynamo” model, is its remarkable replication of the peak sunspot numbers from cycles 16 through 23.
Now the bar may be set higher.
Can their model produce the weak IMF and weak solar wind Ulysses observed?

Fernando Mafili ( in Brazil)
September 19, 2008 3:30 pm

Leif: I am grateful for the explanations and patience.
About oceans … I am awaiting a marine scientist responsible … the same way that Dr Leif is a competent solar scientist.

Dave Andrews
September 19, 2008 3:33 pm

Anthony,
OT, but have you seen the reply from Pfeffer et al to Real Climates critique of their paper on sea level rise? They are not happy, but Gavin’s response is “fair enough” and then to complain about them rocking the climate change boat.
As you say we are living in interesting times

September 19, 2008 3:40 pm

John-X (15:22:21) :
The most compelling feature, in my opinion, of the Dikpati de Toma, Gilman “flux-transport dynamo” model, is its remarkable replication of the peak sunspot numbers from cycles 16 through 23.
I was a referee on their paper. You may enjoy my report: http://www.leif.org/research/Dikpati%20Referee%20Report.pdf
Since they only predict the height of the cycle [not its shape] they are only predicting 8 numbers. That is a very low number of degrees of freedom. The shape of the cycle on their graph is just the average observed shape, but gives the visual [and misleading] impression that they are doing a fantastic job.
Here is a similar prediction which is almost as good:
http://www.leif.org/research/Grow-N-Crash%20Prediction%20Model.pdf
Ain’t nothin’ compelling here [nor in theirs].
Can their model produce the weak IMF and weak solar wind Ulysses observed?
No, as it is not built to do that.

September 19, 2008 3:41 pm

OOOOPS! We meant cooler, didn’t we mention cooler?? I’m sure we did, “It’s going to get cooler.
Love NASA

Jeff Wiita
September 19, 2008 3:47 pm

Hi Leif,
Could you please answer this question for me?
UV doubles from solar maximum to solar minimum. UV reacts with oxygen and forms ozone. When electromagnetic radiation peaks at solar maximum, ozone levels rise about 3% in the stratosphere.
In the late 70’s, NASA placed a satellite over Antarctica and found a hole in the ozone layer. The hole increased during the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere. We blamed and banded CFC’s.
With the sudden decrease in solar activity over the last 400 days and with the winter season coming to an end in the Southern Hemisphere, does NASA satellites show an increase in the hole in the ozone layer? And, if so, does that help acquit CFC’s, or are they still guilty of destroying the Ozone layer?
Thanks for your time,
Jeff Wiita

September 19, 2008 3:50 pm

As Dr. Svalgaard celebrates his no-doubt correct prediction regarding a quiet Solar Cycle 24, perhaps he’ll enjoy an afternoon of sledding on Stanford or Berkeley campus 🙂

September 19, 2008 3:53 pm

The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It seems that Leif and NASA are operating on the absence of evidence as if it were the equivalent of evidence of absence. Clearly a logical error, but one that most scientist commit from time to time.
“We have no studies to indicate that . . . .” “I know of no evidence that . . . .” and so on. Using an absence of evidence to imply the evidence of absence. Science has a way to go to grow out of moronic ignorance.

Richard deSousa
September 19, 2008 4:03 pm

Leif said:
“If the Sun is the major driver of our climate, the climate should also be back to what it was a hundred years ago. I don’t think it is.
[and don’t tell me about long delays and at the same tell me that the last few months cooling is due to the Sun]. Talk to me about the oceans instead, and their internal oscillations.”
Are you saying the oceans are like a giant solar cell? An oversimplification I know.

Editor
September 19, 2008 4:08 pm

hyonmin (14:25:11) :

NASA Conference to announce Hansen resigning from Lehman Bros. advisory position.

And joining Greenpeace. 🙂
Hmm, I wonder if he’s a member already.

vincent
September 19, 2008 4:10 pm

looks like David Archibald was spot on after all….

Jon Jewett
September 19, 2008 4:20 pm

If the end is at hand, I would suggest buying this CD for your final moments. It is a Mass written for the year 1000 AD. It is sung by a group of four sopranos and listening to them is to hear the angles sing!
Since the world didn’t come to an end in the year 1000 or even the year Y2K, I suggest we recycle the music for the next apocalypse.
1000: A Mass for the End of Time / Anonymous 4
http://www.amazon.com/1000-Mass-End-Time-4/dp/B00004UFGW/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1221865859&sr=1-7
Steamboat Jack

Bill Marsh
September 19, 2008 4:21 pm

Leif,
Isn’t the solar flux at or close to the theoretical minimum for the last few months tho? If so has it reached the edge of the heliosphere where the influence on GCR would start to be felt?

Jon Jewett
September 19, 2008 4:22 pm

Angels not angles!
hey, I’m an engineer. What do you expect!
Steamboat Jack

September 19, 2008 4:36 pm

Hi folks!
Good discussion – but here is the point I think we all are going for:
To stop the crazed rush to “fix the climate”. Why? Well, because there is nothing proven yet – (please don’t kill me) It could be that even though we think, postulate, and yes, believe that CO2 is not a climate driver, there could be information we (and certainly the AGW crowd) don’t have.
Lief is unconvinced the sun drives the climate
Pielke and son are concerned that land use is a big driver
Anthony is looking at (among other things) the ability to collect data from land based stations. (And holding his cards close to his vest other than questioning AGW.)
Those are the majors here and there are many others who cause me to pause and think about my conclusions. I think a skeptic is best defined as someone who looks at the data, makes a somewhat informed decision and then is willing to modify that decision as the data directs.
Ice age from a cooling sun? Maybe
Ditto from sea current directions? Possible
Mankind causing heating due to land use? Plausable
Warming from CO2? Seems backwards but stranger things have happened.
Remember the person who has a mind like a steel trap – rusted shut!
What interesting times we live in.
Thanks all
Mike

September 19, 2008 4:38 pm

Old Man Winter (15:50:43) :
As Dr. Svalgaard celebrates his no-doubt correct prediction regarding a quiet Solar Cycle 24, perhaps he’ll enjoy an afternoon of sledding on Stanford or Berkeley campus 🙂
Except that I’m not predicting anything about temperatures. As far as sledding is concerned, Stanford is flat as a pancake, but Berkeley would be a real treat.
Jeff Wiita (15:47:18) :
With the sudden decrease in solar activity over the last 400 days and with the winter season coming to an end in the Southern Hemisphere, does NASA satellites show an increase in the hole in the ozone layer? And, if so, does that help acquit CFC’s, or are they still guilty of destroying the Ozone layer?
You can see for yourself here:
http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html
The current ozone hole is as big as ever [maybe even the biggest ever] but has not grown very much, as you can see yourself by checking the page, so perhaps the CFC ban is helping a bit.
vincent (16:10:35) :
looks like David Archibald was spot on after all….
He’ll undoubtedly claim so, except that his prediction of a low cycle 24 is not unique [many others predict that, including me] and his prediction of 3 degree drop in temperature is off the wall [based on extrapolation of trends for some stations in New Hampshire].
Richard deSousa (16:03:00) :
Are you saying the oceans are like a giant solar cell? An oversimplification I know.
but not a bad one. perhaps one should liken the oceans to a large battery charged by solar power.

September 19, 2008 4:48 pm

Alice Finkel (15:53:28) :
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It seems that Leif and NASA are operating on the absence of evidence as if it were the equivalent of evidence of absence. Clearly a logical error, but one that most scientist commit from time to time.
It pains me a bit to be thrown in with NASA, but which “absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence” are you referring to related to me? Also, I think that you misunderstand the ‘moronic’ scientific jargon. When a scientist says “we have no evidence” she means that she has looked and there was nothing. It is like looking in a closet and seeing no gorilla in there, she would then say “we have no evidence for a gorilla in the closet”.

MarkW
September 19, 2008 4:54 pm

The earth’s magnetic field has decreased by about 10% in the last 100 years and the rate seems to be accelerating slightly.
If cosmic rays do affect climate, will this decline have any impact on future climate?

kim
September 19, 2008 4:57 pm

And if there are three solar cycles in each phase of the PDO there only needs to be an alternating difference in solar cycles to explain a PDO with an alternating cooling and warming phase. And the battery charger that does alternate solar cycles? Why, it’s an alternation of the shape of the peak of cosmic rays from one solar cycle to the next. An elegant formulation which only suffers from the lack of a precise mechanism, as Leif has pointed out to me repeatedly.
==============================================

September 19, 2008 5:00 pm

Bill Marsh (16:21:59) :
Isn’t the solar flux at or close to the theoretical minimum for the last few months tho? If so has it reached the edge of the heliosphere where the influence on GCR would start to be felt?
It is not quite clear what you mean. In usual parlance, the ‘solar flux’ is the F10.7 radio flux and that is at the bottom right now.
But since it is electromagnetic radiation moving at the speed of light [it light] it reaches the edge in 75 hours and do nothing to the matter there so has no influence on GCRs.
If on the other hand you were thinking about the solar wind, its ‘theoretical’ minimum speed in 258 km/second and the wind right now is moving at close to 400 km/second, so it is not a rock-bottom. And it is not the wind speed that is important for the GCRs, but the fact that the sun is rotating and emitting solar wind at different speeds in the same direction causing fast wind to bump into slow wind and creating a region of compressed magnetic fields. It is those compressed fields that deflect away the cosmic rays. In a very real and correct sense, the cosmic ray modulation is caused by solar rotation. If the Sun were not rotating, the cosmic rays would show a much smaller solar cycle modulation, caused by coronal mass ejections.

September 19, 2008 5:05 pm

Michael J. Bentley (16:36:52) :
I think a skeptic is best defined as someone who looks at the data, makes a somewhat informed decision and then is willing to modify that decision as the data directs.
No, that’s called a scientist. A skeptic In ordinary usage [from good ole Wikipedia] practices “skepticism (Greek: ‘σκέπτομαι’ skeptomai, to look about, to consider) refers to (a) an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object; (b) the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain”.
Quite different from what you describe. Your position is not that of a skeptic, but simply that of a reasonable person.

MarkW
September 19, 2008 5:07 pm

Leif,
How could the earth still have a degree to cool down. The total warming was never more than 0.7C to begin. Almost all of which has been lost in the last 10 years.

September 19, 2008 5:26 pm

MarkW (16:54:53) :
The earth’s magnetic field has decreased by about 10% in the last 100 years and the rate seems to be accelerating slightly.
If cosmic rays do affect climate, will this decline have any impact on future climate?

A weaker magnetic field of the Earth means a higher cosmic ray flux at the surface. 2000 years ago, the Earth’s field was twice as strong. When reconstructing solar activity from cosmic rays that decrease since then is taken into account and compensated for, so ‘solar activity’ is not the only thing that determines the cosmic ray flux in the Earth’s atmosphere. If you assume that cosmic rays work to cool the Earth [through clouds or whatever], then an increased GCR flux might cool the Earth by cutting down on cloud formation. This is, however, just wild speculation.

Ken Mitchell
September 19, 2008 5:26 pm

For sunspot numbers, start with http://www.spaceweather.com, and follow the links from there.

September 19, 2008 5:28 pm

kim (16:57:45) :
An elegant formulation which only suffers from the lack of a precise mechanism, as Leif has pointed out to me repeatedly.
So I don’t need to do it again. I would even leave out the word ‘precise’ or replace it with ‘any’.

Jeff Alberts
September 19, 2008 5:34 pm

The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It seems that Leif and NASA are operating on the absence of evidence as if it were the equivalent of evidence of absence. Clearly a logical error, but one that most scientist commit from time to time.

Such a thing, however, is not a license for making stuff up…

Jeff Alberts
September 19, 2008 5:34 pm

Oops, forgot to close my blockquote. The last sentence was mine.

Alan
September 19, 2008 5:38 pm

I suggest we all rug up it will get cold in the years to come.

September 19, 2008 5:40 pm

Such a thing, however, is not a license for making stuff up…
Jeff Alberts (17:34:37) :
Oops, forgot to close my blockquote. The last sentence was mine: Such a thing, however, is not a license for making stuff up…
Who is making things up?

September 19, 2008 5:46 pm

Leif Svalgaard (17:26:33) :
then an increased GCR flux might cool the Earth by cutting down on cloud formation
Before Mark accuses me [again] of double standards :-), I should fix my typo: then an increased GCR flux might cool the Earth by
increasing cloud formation

crosspatch
September 19, 2008 6:00 pm

“Crosspatch, the glacial/interglacial cycles are controlled by the earth’s orbital parameters. See this reference”
Really? What I find odd about that is how during a glaciation it gets progressively colder until temperature seems to “snap” back to very warm in a very short period of time, along the lines of less than a decade. I don’t think the orbit of Earth changes that drastically in that short of a period. It also seems to go into the ice age in a period of only a few years, like less than 5 years. Again, to perturb the orbit to such an extent that an ice age would start or end that suddenly seems a bit beyond the way I understand the earth’s orbit changes. I believe the change in orbit is more gradual than that. I admit that I haven’t read the reference yet.

September 19, 2008 6:00 pm

[…] September 19, 2008 · Filed under Uncategorized From WattsUpWithThat?: […]

September 19, 2008 6:15 pm

Lief,
Oh, Crap – I thought I was someone special….
Mike

MattN
September 19, 2008 6:16 pm

“looks like David Archibald was spot on after all….”
No, Landesciedt was. Years ago….

Rob Wykoff
September 19, 2008 6:50 pm

As far as sunspots in September, I believe there was a very tiny, very short lived cycle 23 sunspot (numbered 1001) a week or two ago.

Robert Bateman
September 19, 2008 6:57 pm

http://www.dxlc.com/solar/old_reports/
This site has the solar record going back to 2004 in a graphical form containing solar flux, Planetary -A index and daily sunpot. I can find a grpahic for solar wind, but only the current daily updated. I cannot find anywhere a record for the solar wind.
http://www.dxlc.com/solar/history/
This link has selected graphs going back to 1954.
Again, no link will take you to the historic of the Solar Wind.
So, if NASA is saying that the solar wind in the lowest in 50 years (since 1958) I cannot find the data on which they base this.
I assume they mean a weekly or monthly average.
If someone know WHERE you get the hist. data on solar wind, I’d like to know BEFORE they go a give this big report.
Not that I don’t trust them, I just like to see the proof in the pudding.

Robert Bateman
September 19, 2008 7:01 pm

I stich those graphs together to see the solar flux in a funk greater than anything in the record back to 1954. The current trough goes back to 05/19/08 and looks like a low-lying lunar crater.
I’d like to paste it here for all to see, but that’s obviosly not possible.

September 19, 2008 7:11 pm

Dr. Svalgaard’s comment that Stanford is “flat as a pancake” comes as quite a surprise! When I lived there as a young boy we used to fly kites on the beautiful Kite Hill, since turned into faculty housing. Cow Hill, atop which sits the “The Dish,” Stanford’s well-known radio telescope, was last used for sledding on snow in 1974. It is a mighty hill, with nearly 500 feet of vertical drop. I admit that only two or three hundred of that could be used on a single sledding run 🙂
If I happen to be visiting family during the next Bay Area snowstorm I will be sure to look for the good doctor and offer to lend him my sled 🙂

September 19, 2008 7:12 pm

They are probably looking on this as a Godsend and will use it to cover their pathetic butts with the global cooling trend (albeit very small and short so far).
They will say something to the effect: “This natural solar event will TEMPORALLY allow the earth to cool down, but in a few years global warming will return with a vengeance.”
Just a guess.
Jack Koenig, Editor
The Mysterious Climate Project
http://www.climateclinic.com

September 19, 2008 7:15 pm

[…] September 23 NASA will hold a press conference on the spotless sun, and the possibility of “changing conditions in the solar system.” It’s a safe bet […]

Tom in Florida
September 19, 2008 7:24 pm

I came across this info about perihelion and aphelion at
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/EarthSeasons.php
I wasn’t aware that the dates changed back and forth slightly each year. In light of this, wouldn’t it make more sense when comparing dates between years to use “x number of days before (or after) aphelion (or perihelion)” rather than a matching calendar day of the month? One would compare the solar flux or amount of arctic sea ice each year, let’s say, aphelion plus 40 days rather than a calendar date which really isn’t exactly the same date.
I also noticed that 2005 and 2007 had a few more days between perihelion and aphelion than did 2006 and 2008. I wonder if those kind of differences would have any effect on sea ice melting. I will leave it to the more technically adept to compare the data and report it here if it is of interest.

Pamela Gray
September 19, 2008 7:29 pm

I ALWAYS said the quiet Sun was the most fascinating thing to watch. Apparently so.

stas peterson
September 19, 2008 7:29 pm

I am afraid you are absolutely correct with respect to that once great periodical, Scientific American..
It has beem taken over by the psuedo-scientific leftwing journalistic quacks masquerading as scientists including the Farce Emminence from Columbia who serves as their conection to “real science”.
I look forward to its its rescue from the idiots, just a soon as the media intself as we know it finally purges the idiots in a reaction toot plunging circulation and ad revenues.
The quacks do no teven acknowledge their stupidity. They publsihed an artical that projected paving the states s of Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico with solar cells and never even raised an issue of local climactic Environmental Impact. Solar is “good” somehow, so nothing bad could posssibly arise from barbequing evey living thing in three states.

Patrick Henry
September 19, 2008 7:30 pm

During the winter of 1998-1999, I remember 12″ deep snow at the top of Page Mill Road, 10 miles due west of Stanford.

kim
September 19, 2008 7:30 pm

I don’t know, Leif, you throw clouds and cosmic rays in the mix and any number of mechanisms may pop out. Precisely how many, I don’t know, but I’d guess at least one.
===============================================

September 19, 2008 7:34 pm

Old Man Winter (19:11:41) :
Dr. Svalgaard’s comment that Stanford is “flat as a pancake” comes as quite a surprise!
You did say ‘campus’. I worked there 1972-1978 and 2008.

September 19, 2008 7:36 pm

Robert Bateman (18:57:55) :
Again, no link will take you to the historic of the Solar Wind.
Try playing with http://omniweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/

September 19, 2008 7:39 pm

The http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/spotless-days-400-and-counting/ post commented on upcoming milestones of number of spotless days. It said, “total spotless days of the previous ten solar minima: 309, 273, 272, 227, 446, 269, 568, 534, ~1019 and ~931. The current count of 362 spotless days is not even close to the longest.” We are nearing the next one. Depending on how many sunspots we get in the next while, the next milestones are near:
446: Sept 29, 2008
534: Dec 26, 2008
568: Jan 29, 2009
If we only get a few sunspots here and there, then these dates will only be pushed back a week or two. I wonder if the longer this period is, the weaker solar cycle 24 will be.
John M Reynolds

September 19, 2008 7:42 pm

“Not that I don’t trust them, I just like to see the proof in the pudding.”
Don’t bother looking Robert. There is no proof in the pudding. That is because the proof of the pudding is in the eating. 🙂
John M Reynolds

steven mosher
September 19, 2008 8:22 pm

Dr. S,
As always I enjoy your sense of humor and your semi infinite patience.

September 19, 2008 8:27 pm

steven mosher (20:22:18) :
As always I enjoy your sense of humor and your semi infinite patience.
Mosh, haven’t seen you around here, watt brings you to these shores?

DaveM
September 19, 2008 8:52 pm

“we have no evidence for a gorilla in the closet”.
I’m glad you cleared this up Dr. Svalgaard. Somethings been making an awful racket in there for a few days now… (Turned out to be the cat)

September 19, 2008 8:57 pm

DaveM (20:52:19) :
<i.Somethings been making an awful racket in there for a few days now… (Turned out to be the cat)
The trick of success is to go look.

Kent
September 19, 2008 8:59 pm

While all this stuff about the sun is really interesting I tend to agree with the idea that it is the water of this planet that is the main driver of climatic change.
The polar waters loose a great deal of energy every year.It is the water of our polar seas that is the main source of cooling for our oceans.
When 10 million square Km. of sea ice melts it cools off more sea water which sinks below the reach of summers sunlight. When all that water freezes it causes even more cold water to sink. How much? How cold? don’t know. When it comes to ice covered water there is a great deal less of this cooling going on under the protective layer of multi-year ice.
To me, the greater the loss of sea ice area the greater the loss of thermal energy the next winter. Melting first year sea ice is colder than melting multi-year ice. Multi-year sea ice melts about one meter per season while reforming the same amount. First year ice forms and melts about twice this amount. Colder and more of it. Where does all this cold water go? Hydrolic pressure pushing this way and that.
As an aside, surface waters at the equator are still colder close to Equador and the drift is Westward.

September 19, 2008 9:13 pm

[…] Werme on Watts Up With That? comments: “Perhaps they’ll be announcing a solar credit system so operators of solar power […]

Jeff Alberts
September 19, 2008 9:23 pm

Who is making things up?

Those who claim that because there’s no evidence of their pet theory that it could still be happening. You know, like Astrology, Psychic powers, etc.

Kim Mackey
September 19, 2008 10:40 pm

If we do have a Maunder-type minimum, will we get a major reduction in temperature?
I was surprised to come across this paper published in 2001 with an explanation that seems to fit the facts. Clearly, according to this, if we do experience a Grand minimum, we will indeed see drops in temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere due to a flipping of the NAO.
Kim
==============================
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17460
…If energy from the Sun decreased only slightly, why did temperatures drop so severely in the Northern Hemisphere? Climate scientist Drew Shindell and colleagues at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies tackled that question by combining temperature records gleaned from tree rings, ice cores, corals, and the few measurements recorded in the historical record, with an advanced computer model of the Earth’s climate. The group first calculated the amount of energy coming from the Sun during the Maunder Minimum and entered the information into a general circulation model…
…The model showed that the drop in temperature was related to ozone in the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere that is between 10 and 50 kilometers from the Earth’s surface. Ozone is created when high-energy ultraviolet light from the Sun interacts with oxygen. During the Maunder Minimum, the Sun emitted less strong ultraviolet light, and so less ozone formed. The decrease in ozone affected planetary waves, the giant wiggles in the jet stream that we are used to seeing on television weather reports.
The change to the planetary waves kicked the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)—the balance between a permanent low-pressure system near Greenland and a permanent high-pressure system to its south—into a negative phase. When the NAO is negative, both pressure systems are relatively weak. Under these conditions, winter storms crossing the Atlantic generally head eastward toward Europe, which experiences a more severe winter…

Bobby Lane
September 19, 2008 10:46 pm

Sorry I am late everybody. Seems like a rather lively and interesting debate. Having read down it doesn’t seem as if there is much for me to comment on – either because my own questions andthose of others on here seem to have been answered sufficiently or because the topic being discussed or expounded upon is not interesting to me. But I will add this to our discussion.
I have always lived by the mantra that being an ‘expert’ on anything does not ensure that you are always right, it just makes it less likely for you to be wrong. But even so there is still a wide field and as many roads (if not more) lead to failure as to success for even the best minds. Just ask Leif, as one representative of a small patch of what we call science. Also, let us not forget the scientific method has very strict criteria for admitting something into the realm of truth for very good reasons.
When one fights very hard against an opponent, it is easy sometimes and particularly in debates to absorb the tendencies of one’s opponent, especially when that opponent is particularly powerful and influential. Having observed the opposition myself, let me caution us here against three things:
1. The use of ‘common sense’ arguments with that include scientific language to make them sound like the genuine article.
2. Impatience at the ignorance of science.
3. Being unaware that science is perpetually incomplete and has no set pace of achievements.
Explanation: For the first, if we value science, we must uphold the scientific method as the law of the land. The opposition does not do this with anything approaching consistency, despite the many scientists in its ranks. No matter how much sense an argument may make to you, or what you feel you have heard or read from trusted sources, if it has not been through the gauntlet that the scientific method demands then it should be treated with great caution and regarded with a high degree of skepticism. This must even apply to things we hold dear as well, even if we feel the opposition is trying to cover them up to gain some advantage.
Second, because of our desire to know things, it can often be frustrating when we are not certain or just plain do not know. If anything does, science is supposed to give us a form of certainty about our world even while our own science denies the ability to be absolutely sure about anything. It is a scientists job to say honestly when we just do not know. Just because our opposition is in a rush to say that we do know, that the science is settled when it is to their liking. let us not follow them in trying to make the science settled to our own liking. The science is simply not settled one way or the other yet, and it must be allowed to be so for as long as it needs.
Third, we are prone to a pace of what we like to call ‘progress.’ We assume that because we have come thus far technologically that we should be on schedule for learning and solving the mysteries that confront us. We ought to know this by now becomes we do know this now. Even with things we are well familiar with, such as gravity for example, we still have many, many unanswered questions. There is no guarantee we will have them answered, and if we do they will very likely lead to more questions (perhaps the only thing science can guarantee with absolute certainty). There is much that we know but also much more that we think we know that we do not. Recognizing this and making the distinction is one of the paths to wisdom and truth (I mean in the real and practical sense, not in the Zen-like you-should-use-Yellowbook sense).
For most here I do not doubt the motivations are honest and sincere in the attempt to understand and to help in our small part here to circumvent the obvious global-scale political aspirations of our opponents. So it is more with a sense of self-awareness than with anything else that I ask us to act, a self-awareness that realizes our own weaknesses and tendencies first, even while we act with boldness and courage once we ascertain the truth.
Lastly, we will see the measure of these scientists in what they speak about. If they go to things related to their field, yet not directly in its purvue (as no doubt many in the media would like them to) then we shall know their quality (low). If they shy away from this, and avoid the three pitfalls I have outlined above in their explanations to the press and those of us listening in online, then we shall have good reason to think better of them. So listen carefully and judge carefully. No doubt there will be much to discuss.

Pamela Gray
September 19, 2008 10:57 pm

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Anyone in the medical community knows this and that the first encountered pathology may not be all that is happening. However, back in the old, old days, people thought, for example, that the middle ear was the hearing organism. Turns out its the inner ear. That error came about because of the two mistakes mentioned above: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and the first encountered pathology may not be the end game.
While I have every respect (and a great deal of envy) for Leif and others who are up to their arm pits in scientific research, I wonder of the scientific community in the modern age, has come to the conclusion that they have at least been introduced to all there is to know?
Maybe they need to look at things like a mother does when she sends her child back into the bedroom to look for the missing sock with the oft repeated phrase: “look again”. And what a perfect opportunity to do just that with the terribly and magnificently quiet Sun!

Mike McMillan
September 19, 2008 11:37 pm

Stas, Steven, and Trevor –
Scientific American has long been long on leftish politics and causes, and very anti-nuke, be it power plants or bombs. Circa 1985 when the ABM debate was going on, they published an article by Herbert Lin asserting that an ABM system was unworkable (and a waste of taxpayer dollars, of course), because computers would never be fast enough to crunch all the numbers required to knock down the incoming missiles.
Never, unless maybe you networked a couple Playstations. SciAm is a pretty magazine and an interesting read, but not worth trusting because of its various agendas and faddish flings.
It might better be titled “Popular Science,” but that name is taken by a more trustworthy mag.

steven mosher
September 20, 2008 12:02 am

Dr. S, I’ve been putting in some pretty long hours for the past 6 weeks. Big crunch time, It’s eased up a bit, so I have a some time for something other than working and sleeping. Always a joy to read your contributions.

anna v
September 20, 2008 12:19 am

The following is a simple way to understand why and how it is possible that the sun has small impact in the changes of climate/weather
There is the thermodynamic model of the sun and a planet as a stove and a kettle. Sun on, kettle boils( day side) sun off kettle freezes (night side). This fits the moon very well.
The earth is different and, evidently, must follow a different thermodynamic model. A simple example is the air conditioner. The power source is steady, can even play within 5% , the temperature and humidity is controlled by the thermostat, and NOT by the power source.
The power source ( sun) is necessary but is not sufficient to describe the earth’s response. A many parameter system is necessary (ocean currents, air currents, precipitation, evaporation, cloud formation,…) , similar to a thermostat, since for millions of years there has been no tipping point into a boiling earth or a snowball earth.
People who think “it is the sun stupid” should ponder a bit on the last example.

Manfred
September 20, 2008 12:48 am

we may not reach 1900 temperatures yet as oceans were cooler then coming out of the little ice age.
some overview about solar/cosmic ray influence.
http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/002838.html
still, the mechanisms have not been fully understood or experimentally validated and quantified.
I think it is a shame, that it takes over a decade to start the cloud experiment, when science is so controversial about it’s outcome.
Measuring and quantifiying this mechanism would be an important input for better climate models.

September 20, 2008 1:32 am

Jeff Alberts (21:23:50) :
“Who is making things up?
Those who claim that because there’s no evidence of their pet theory that it could still be happening. You know, like Astrology, Psychic powers, etc.”
Beware single-issue experts with pet theories:
http://thefatbigot.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-expert-is-expert.html

just Cait
September 20, 2008 1:50 am

sorry OT but FRED… you wrote;
“Last week NASA had to bite the bullet and admit they have been wrong for 30 years about the Antarctic Ice Sheet shrinking – they admitted that it has been growing steadily at .06%. per year.”
I’ve been googling but no luck. Can you please provide a link to that?
Thanks

Alan the Brit
September 20, 2008 1:54 am

Wow! This is just great. This is absolutely fascinating & even incredible! Years of “models” telling exactly when the Sun will start Cycle 24, a dead cert, how furious it will be, another dead cert, shifting the start dates by “tuning & refining” the model because it didn’t start when they thought. Is this really the start of things? I ‘ve noted that the Met Office (UK) have declared that this winter maybe/possibly/could be/might be/ may just/be a little tad colder this time! I am no synic of course, being a half-century old engineer but it appears to me that rear-ends are being covered here, so that all the old rhetoric will be dressed up as being “merely indications based solely on the available science at the time,” etc., despite many scientists, economists, & policymakers saying “hold on just one minute lets not be too hasty here!” I’ve been reading this website & ICECAP & CA for several years & all that’s been said appears to be bearing fruit. We’ve had warnings from “those in the know” about global cooling for a set period, eg, to 2015, 2018, 2020, making 20 years of cooling, all after it started to occur, now we’re getting the works. Somehow I still think CO2 will get blamed even for this one! Perhaps it’s escaping thro’ the atmosphere (only the anthropogenic stuff naturally) being dragged towards the Sun by gravitational pull & shutting down the Sun’s magnetic field, has to be true, just has to be, the debate is over! We’re running out of time! Where is a good old Serbian astrophysisist when you need one? We’re all doomed, Captain Mainwearing!
Does anyone out there in the blogosphere know where I can buy a really top notch Crystal Ball, my old one appears to be firing on only two cylinders?
Apologies for this grumpy old rant but it’s just my age. I am fed up with eco-hysteria & Man being tried, found guilty in his “absence” from the trial by his worst enemy, himself!

September 20, 2008 2:20 am

Bobby Lane (22:46:22) :
I have always lived by the mantra that being an ‘expert’ on anything does not ensure that you are always right, it just makes it less likely for you to be wrong.
Pamela Gray (22:57:55) :
wonder of the scientific community in the modern age, has come to the conclusion that they have at least been introduced to all there is to know?
For both of you:
When an ‘expert’ scientist claims that something can’t happen, he is almost certainly wrong. When he says that something is possible, he is often right.

September 20, 2008 2:25 am

anna v, as an engineer that analogy annoys. Power fluctuations to the unit will most certainly affect its output and the thermostat is merely switching the actual power source. Maybe you could find a better one – although I can see the point you are trying to make.

September 20, 2008 2:34 am

Leif Svalgaard (17:00:03) :
Bill Marsh (16:21:59) :
If so has it reached the edge of the heliosphere where the influence on GCR would start to be felt?
In my answer “It is not quite clear what you mean. In usual parlance, the ’solar flux’ is the F10.7 radio flux and that is at the bottom right now. But since it is electromagnetic radiation moving at the speed of light [it light] it reaches the edge in 75 hours and…”
For the sake of accuracy, there is a typo here. ’75 hours’ should be ’15 hours’. Not that it matters much.

September 20, 2008 3:48 am

[…] Verder speculeren kan in de comments. (voor inspiratie klik hierrr) […]

anna v
September 20, 2008 4:13 am

bushy (02:25:01) :
“anna v, as an engineer that analogy annoys. Power fluctuations to the unit will most certainly affect its output and the thermostat is merely switching the actual power source. Maybe you could find a better one – although I can see the point you are trying to make.”
I live in a country where we are supposed to be getting 220 from the mains. I have often measured it to be from 200 to 240. Sure it will perturb the system, but the refrigerator kept on freezing the stuff.
It is a better analogy if you think for example of albedo, i.e. light reflected back to space. It is similar as changing the power from the source, because the power never reaches the ground. A “thermostat” as a concept, not a one to one correspondence, something that keeps temperatures stable, releasing energy if needed or storing it if in excess. A multiparameter system.

September 20, 2008 4:14 am

I agree with Roy,
I urge everyone to read ‘The Chilling Stars – A Cosmic View of Climate Change’, by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder (Icon Books Ltd, 2008). It is a very accessible, very absorbing, and incredibly important read given the current state of things.
I do very much believe that, whatever NASA say at the much awaited conference, hummanity as a whole has been so self-absorbed and so self-important that we have been ‘barking up the wrong tree’ with regards to climate change. We should have paid more attention to the myriad of ancient civilisations who were obsessed with solar activity.
Oli
http://www.ocook.net

September 20, 2008 4:16 am

Actually, the press conference will be based on this already published paper. [NASA usually only holds a press conference AFTER the paper is published]:
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 35, L18103, doi:10.1029/2008GL034896, 2008
Weaker solar wind from the polar coronal holes and the whole Sun
D. J. McComas, R. W. Ebert, H. A. Elliott, B. E. Goldstein, J. T. Gosling, N. A. Schwadron, R. M. Skoug
Abstract
Observations of solar wind from both large polar coronal holes (PCHs) during Ulysses’ third orbit showed that the fast solar wind was slightly slower, significantly less dense, cooler, and had less mass and momentum flux than during the previous solar minimum (first) orbit. In addition, while much more variable, measurements in the slower, in-ecliptic wind match quantitatively with Ulysses and show essentially identical trends. Thus, these combined observations indicate significant, long-term variations [their 50 years] in solar wind output from the entire Sun. The significant, long-term trend to lower dynamic pressures means that the heliosphere has been shrinking and the heliopause must be moving inward toward the Voyager spacecraft. In addition, our observations suggest a significant and global reduction in the mass and energy fed in below the sonic point in the corona. The lower supply of mass and energy may result naturally from a reduction of open magnetic flux during this period.
Received 11 June 2008; accepted 14 August 2008; published 18 September 2008.

September 20, 2008 4:31 am

[…] NEWS: NASA to hold press conference on the state of the sun « Watts Up With That? […]

kim
September 20, 2008 4:38 am

Leif (04:16:02) So is there a purpose in having a big teleconference? What might be the questions that they’d get from a curious world about the meaning of this manifestation of solar change? Is this merely routine after a paper, or is something else afoot?
=========================================

September 20, 2008 4:56 am

kim (04:38:17) :
So is there a purpose in having a big teleconference? What might be the questions that they’d get from a curious world about the meaning of this manifestation of solar change? Is this merely routine after a paper, or is something else afoot?
The purpose is to draw attention to the paper [and to tell the tax-payers that their money is well spent :-)]. This is pretty much routine. Same thing happened, for example, after the Dikpati et al. sunspot prediction paper.

September 20, 2008 5:05 am

Leif Svalgaard (16:38:20) replying to Jeff Wiita (15:47:18): The current ozone hole is as big as ever [maybe even the biggest ever] but has not grown very much, as you can see yourself by checking the page, so perhaps the CFC ban is helping a bit.
I find your question, Jeff, and your response, Leif, disturbing.
Adding both to bits and pieces I have come across recently I detect an unsettling parallel between the ozone hole and man-made global warming which causes me pause.
Was the ozone hole gallop just a warm-up for the CO2 stampede? Is terrifying the children the new business model of preference for the carpetbaggers of the world?

Robert Bateman
September 20, 2008 5:14 am

I can think of a few simple questions:
1.) Might this be an indication as to temporary fuel pressure loss in the Sun (aging process)?
Are you certain that the loss of open magnetic flux is the end of the chain, and that it does not indicate an even deeper loss.

Trevor Pugh
September 20, 2008 6:38 am

Stephen Richards:
Try reading the article itself and you would find that it actually supports some of what is being said here, despite the summary I posted.
I’ll admit that SciAm is no longer the concise reference that it used to be but hey, at my age a good comic passes the time easily. Also, I am sure that you would not be so dogmatic as to stick to one source of information.

Editor
September 20, 2008 7:06 am

Leif Svalgaard (04:16:02) :

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 35, L18103, doi:10.1029/2008GL034896, 2008
Weaker solar wind from the polar coronal holes and the whole Sun
Observations of solar wind from both large polar coronal holes (PCHs) during Ulysses’ third orbit showed that the fast solar wind was slightly slower, significantly less dense, cooler, and had less mass and momentum flux than during the previous solar minimum (first) orbit.

Cooler? Hey, has anyone suggested that a hotter denser solar wind dries out, err, warms up the Earth better than a less energetic wind? 🙂
Just kidding – most of the solar wind gets bent around the Earth and what does make it in is too thin to matter much. Aurorae perhaps excepted, but big ones are fed by large spikes in the incoming energy.

Kim Mackey (22:40:42) :
If we do have a Maunder-type minimum, will we get a major reduction in temperature?
I was surprised to come across this paper published in 2001 with an explanation that seems to fit the facts. Clearly, according to this, if we do experience a Grand minimum, we will indeed see drops in temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere due to a flipping of the NAO.

Interesting, but needs work. The NAO is not a multi-decadal oscillation, though it does have multi-decadal trends. There’s a useful graph of 140 years of NAO levels at http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/NAO_200307/NAO_4.html
The article you linked to says “During the Maunder Minimum, the Sun emitted less strong ultraviolet light, and so less ozone formed. The decrease in ozone affected planetary waves, the giant wiggles in the jet stream that we are used to seeing on television weather reports.” It doesn’t say how stratospheric ozone affects the jet stream in the troposphere. Leif (and any other good scientist) won’t be satisfied until there’s a mechanism backed up by observations.

Leif Svalgaard (02:20:42) :
When an ‘expert’ scientist claims that something can’t happen, he is almost certainly wrong. When he says that something is possible, he is often right.

That, of course, is a paraphrase of an Arthur C Clarke quote from back in the days when hard SF was a lot more optimistic than it is now.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke's_three_laws has it as:
1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

CC
September 20, 2008 7:08 am

I apolgise beforehand for being completely ignorant about sunspots and such but isn’t anyone concerned with the suns weaker polarity and the firing of the Large Hadron Collider project just started in Europe?
REPLY: No concern at all. The LHC and sunspots are unrelated.

Editor
September 20, 2008 7:22 am

Tom in Florida (19:24:26) :

I came across this info about perihelion and aphelion at
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/EarthSeasons.php
I wasn’t aware that the dates changed back and forth slightly each year. In light of this, wouldn’t it make more sense when comparing dates between years to use “x number of days before (or after) aphelion (or perihelion)” rather than a matching calendar day of the month? One would compare the solar flux or amount of arctic sea ice each year, let’s say, aphelion plus 40 days rather than a calendar date which really isn’t exactly the same date.

I “discovered” that when I was writing a program to compute sunrise and sunset on a Radio Shack TRS-80. Jean Meeus’ (he posts here occasionally) book with handy Fourier transformed math wasn’t out yet, and I more interested in doing the physics anyway. The shift is due to the effect of the Moon. Near perihelion and aphelion, the radial velocity of the barycenter (the center of gravity of the Earth-Moon system, a mathematical convenience that only works when large and small distances are involved) is near zero. If the Moon lags or leads the Earth, that means the Earth’s motion around the barycenter is means that the perihelion of the Earth won’t be quite the same as that of the barycenter. The effect is small and brief, but could lead to huge amounts of speculation here. Please don’t! 🙂
BTW, some of what I learned from that period lives on at http://wermenh.com/eqoftm.html and explains why the earliest sunset is weeks before the latest sunset. (While the effect is greatest for the December solstice, it happens in June too. Southern hemisphere folks would see latest sunset and earliest sunrise or something like that. It’s hard to think while standing on my head.)

kim
September 20, 2008 7:27 am

Leif (04:56:43) Nonetheless, the news of some manifestation of the sun being at its lowest for 50 years, combined with the generalized cooling, is going to make this press conference and its reporting not routine. What might be a good question for someone like, say, Andy Revkin, to ask there?
============================================

September 20, 2008 7:42 am

[…] NEWS: NASA to hold press conference on the state of the sun […]

September 20, 2008 7:52 am

Hi, Leif!
I quite enjoy your presence here – I feel that you help cool off the CO2-induced rhetorical heat around here. 🙂

For the sake of accuracy, there is a typo here. ‘75 hours’ should be ‘15 hours’. Not that it matters much.

Actually, I was pondering how big the sun must be if it took light 75 hours to get to the surface… I’m so glad that you corrected this, because I was pretty boggled. It takes, what, 8? minutes for the sun’s light to get to earth, the whole 75 hours thing was… well… boggling! 15 hours is boggling enough.
But a quick question: I’m assuming that the photons are not traveling in a straight line from the sun’s core (whatever that is!) to the surface – but rather that they are batted about by the magnetic field etc. Is that the case?
(I hope I got the blockquote tags correct!)

Yorick
September 20, 2008 7:57 am

“Except it still has a long way to go [like a degree or so] to get down to where it was.” – Leif
And he has a hockey stick to prove it.
Ross McKitrick has produced a peer reviewed study, that to my knowledge has not been refuted that puts the number at half that. The rest seems to have a very high correlation with human economic activity. Where I live there is significant warming on one side of the lake, Vermont, where population has grown significantly, and far less warming on the other side of the lake, The Adirondack Park, where economic activity has all but frozen since the 19th century, and populatio has dropped significantly since the ’60s.

Jeff Alberts
September 20, 2008 8:33 am

When an ‘expert’ scientist claims that something can’t happen, he is almost certainly wrong. When he says that something is possible, he is often right.

So when we’re told unequivocally that current warming is unprecedented it’s most likely wrong? Or when we’re told that humans are definitely causing this unprecedented warming it’s most likely wrong?
As for the ozone hole. As far as we know it’s always been there and always will be. It hasn’t changed appreciably since it was discovered in the mid ’50s.

Pofarmer
September 20, 2008 9:09 am

Was the ozone hole gallop just a warm-up for the CO2 stampede? Is terrifying the children the new business model of preference for the carpetbaggers of the world?
That’s been my theory for a while now. The whole Ozone hole thing showed how the public could be manipulated, then it just had to be ramped up.

Editor
September 20, 2008 9:26 am

wattsupwiththat (08:04:20) :

Rush Limbaugh dubbed Dr. Roy Spencer as the EIB “official climatologist”, and in that spirit I’m going to dub Dr. Leif Svalgaard as the WUWT “official solar phyicist”.

Great! Now he can’t claim he needs a break from here. What’s a phyicist, anyway?
REPLY: Heh, typed too early in the morning, fixed – Anthony

Patti
September 20, 2008 9:39 am

I am completely exposing my ignorance here, and I really don’t mean to cast myself into the lunatic fringe category, but is there anything to the upcoming magnetic/polar reversals on the sun and here on earth? There were some references to “dark matter” and it’s affect on the sun in the first few comments, does that in any way relate to the “dark rift” of our galaxy that our solar system will be crossing into on or about the infamous 2012 date? I can only find a bunch of new-age psycho-babble when I search for info.

September 20, 2008 9:43 am

Julie L (07:52:12) :
Actually, I was pondering how big the sun must be if it took light 75 hours to get to the surface…
Well, the question was about the edge of the heliosphere [that volume around the Sun where the Sun’s magnetic field and the solar wind is stronger than those of the interstellar matter]. But let’s follow the journey of radiation generated in the core of the Sun. Because the density in the core is high [~10 times that of lead] and because the opacity is very high a photon does not travel very far before being absorbed by an atom. The so excited atom shortly thereafter re-emits the photon, but in a random direction [very close to half of time actually back into the Sun]. Then the photon is absorbed by another atom and re-emitted, etc. After gazillions of such absorptions/re-emissions the radiation finally arrives a distance of about 70% of the radius of the Sun. this takes a long time, numbers varies from 10,000 to a million years. My favorite number is around 200,000 years. At that point, radiation ceases to be the most efficient way of transporting energy [and Mother Nature usually picks the easy way] and the transport happens now by convection [hot gas rising and cool gas sinking]. This is a very efficient process and the energy goes the remaining 30% of the way to the surface in about 10 days. At the surface, gravity [and the Sun’s gravity there is 27 times as large as the Earth’s] prevents any further rise of the gas and the radiation can now freely stream out into nearly empty space. Its journey to the Earth at the speed of light in a straight line takes 500 seconds = 8.33 minutes. Since the Heliopause [the edge of the Heliosphere] is about 100 times further away the radiation takes 8.33 x 100 = 833 minutes = 833/60 = 13.9 hours to travel that far. Since the edge flaps around and the distance is not precise we round that to 15 hours.
So, you see, the flow of energy takes a tortuous path.

September 20, 2008 9:47 am

wattsupwiththat (08:04:20) :
I’m going to dub Dr. Leif Svalgaard as the WUWT “official solar physicist”.
In spite of my distrust of anything ‘official’ I’ll serve the best I can. Graucho Marx once said that he would not like to belong to a club that would accept him as a member 🙂

September 20, 2008 10:11 am

Jeff Alberts (08:33:50) :
So when we’re told unequivocally that current warming is unprecedented it’s most likely wrong?
It is certainly wrong. There has been greater and quicker warmings [and coolings] before in the 4.5 billion years of the Earth’s existence. So when he says ‘it is impossible’ for this to have happened before that would fit in with ‘the impossibility being almost certainly wrong’.
Or when we’re told that humans are definitely causing this unprecedented warming it’s most likely wrong?
Now, here we may be talking about the possibility of something happening and that would fit with ‘if he says something is possible he is likely to be right’. So, not the same as the previous case. 🙂
But ‘likely’ does not mean the same as ‘definitely’ so he could still be wrong.
As for the ozone hole. As far as we know it’s always been there and always will be. It hasn’t changed appreciably since it was discovered in the mid ’50s.
go look at http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/statistics/meteorology_annual.png to update your knowledge.

September 20, 2008 10:18 am

Patti (09:39:05) :
is there anything to the upcoming magnetic/polar reversals on the sun and here on earth?
A typical ‘trick’ of crackpot theory is to latch onto something that is for real. The Sun’s magnetic field reverses every 11 or so years, next time in 2013. The Earth’s magnetic field reverses much very irregularly every million years or so. It has been declining rapidly of late and may reverse in about 500 years.
All the rest is pure ‘babble’ as you said.

Brendan
September 20, 2008 10:38 am

Anna V:
Many of the people who say that the sun has an influence aren’t saying its only the sun. But we understand that the sun does have an influence. The correlation between global temperatures over the last 600+ years and sunspot activity is too large to deny. Now, does the thermal input change dramtically? No. But other things seem to – this includes changes in the sun’s magnetic fields, leading to the cosmic ray/cloud formation theory. I haven’t looked into Pamela’s UV theory to say that its realistic or not, but it is interesting. THe cosmic ray theory though could very well explain the little ice age and colder temperatures last century.
Additionally, many of us here argue that the asorption bands that CO2 is supposed to have an influence on are heavilly saturated, and that due to reradiation effects, CO2 influence is near its asymptote on afffecting temperatures. My old PhD advisor was telling me last year he had spent a significant amount of time examining the issue, and had come to the conclusion that many of the CO2 claims are insuportable. He is a carefull, brutally intelligent guy who makes me look like a mouthbreather – but he had come to the same conclusion I had.
So, sure, the atmosphere acts like a regulator system. But I’d like you to remember – to keep your house temperature at a constant, the air conditioner has to work at longer or shorter times, depending on the outside temperature. Earth’s air conditioner has operated for billions of years without the runaway affect you have insinuated – including operating at significantly higher CO2 levels than we see now. This impies a system that with significant feedback affects that are not easily overcome.
Over ten years ago, I argued with my AGW friends that I would wait ten years to see if there was some significant impact. After all, if things were as bad as they were saying in the 90’s (and with the mouth spittle reactions in ’98) surely by 2008 things would be really bad. That hasn’t happened. Given that things haven’t quite gone the way the AGW crowd said they would ten years ago, I’m willing to state we need to wait another ten years before we wreck our economy on unsupportable energy policies (not that its not close to a wreck now).
Am I an anti-progress freak? No – but I believe energy has given humanity more freedom to reach its potential than anything else we have developed. I am all for more nuclear (and no, we don’t have to store the waste for 10K years – there are alternatives -even alternatives to using uranium as the fuel source). If wind is effective, lets use it. If solar works (cost effectively) we can use it too. Kyoto specifically stated that nuclear could not be used as an alternative to meet its requirements. Doesn’t that say something about the intentions of its writers? Certainly what I’ve seen at CA says something about them too….
By the way, until we do have a good mobile fuel alternative – drill here. Drill now.

Rob
September 20, 2008 10:40 am

mark wagner said
100 years ago earth was cooler. so low solar wind ~1900 = cooler. low solar wind ~2008 = cooler; is this not what we’ve seen over the last decade? Temps peaking and dropping in conjunction with the peak and fall of solar activity?
Leif said
Except it still has a long way to go [like a degree or so] to get down to where it was. I don’t think it will, because the oceans still hold a lot of heat. and as you know, I don’t think that tiny solar variation packs much heat. [no pun on packing heat].
Perhaps it is not 1 degree but only half a degree (UHI effect) and the oceans will release the heat over time, especially if the sun remains dormant as in the maunder minimum. I am sure there must be proxies that show the strength of the solar wind 200 or more years ago.

Patrick Henry
September 20, 2008 10:55 am

NASA press release from 1996, showing strong evidence of life on Mars.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/marslife.html
the findings are thought to be strong evidence pointing to primitive bacterial life on Mars.
—-
Don Savage
Headquarters, Washington, DC March 14, 1997
(Phone: 202/358-1547)
Linda Copley
Johnson Space Center, Houston TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)
NOTE TO EDITORS: N97-18
PRESS BRIEFING TO PRESENT NEW DATA AND STATUS OF
‘PAST LIFE ON MARS’ DEBATE SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 19
Seven months after NASA’s initial announcement
suggesting that a Martian meteorite shows life may have
existed on ancient Mars, a panel of science experts will
present new data and deliver a progress report on the
continuing “Past Life on Mars” discussion at a press briefing
scheduled for 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, March 19, in the media
briefing room at the Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston, TX.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/text/nasa_pr_970314.txt

September 20, 2008 11:16 am

Brendan (10:38:44) :
The correlation between global temperatures over the last 600+ years and sunspot activity is too large to deny.
I’ll deny it. First, the 600+ year might be 400+, and for the period where we have relatively good data [since 1850] the correlation is not there. Solar cycles 11 and 10 were as active as 22 and 23, but temps are significantly higher now. You have two ways out of this:
1: you say that the temps are no good
2: you say that my sunspot number series is no good
Which one would you prefer?
The admission by NASA that the Sun is returning to a low state also in a small way argues against that correlation.

September 20, 2008 11:18 am

Rob (10:40:53) :
I am sure there must be proxies that show the strength of the solar wind 200 or more years ago.
Yes, and I have referred to several in this thread and others already. One more time:
http://www.leif.org/research/Heliospheric%20B%20from%2010Be.pdf
or if you want to pay $9:
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 109, A12102,
doi:10.1029/2004JA010633, 2004
The heliospheric magnetic field from 850 to 2000 AD inferred from 10Be records
R. A. Caballero-Lopez, H. Moraal, K. G. McCracken and F. B. McDonald

Tom in Florida
September 20, 2008 11:39 am

Ric Werme: “BTW, some of what I learned from that period lives on at http://wermenh.com/eqoftm.html and explains why the earliest sunset is weeks before the latest sunset. (While the effect is greatest for the December solstice, it happens in June too.”
Thank you Ric, you have inadvertently answered a question I have wondered about since I moved to Florida. The time of sunrise is later each day for a week or two after the winter solstice, I never knew why. This is another reason why this blog is so successful and one I visit a couple of times a day.
To Anthony and the regular posters: you are all outstanding!!!!!!!!

KlausB
September 20, 2008 11:42 am

Leif,
Anthony,
re: wattsupwiththat (08:04:20) :
…Dr. Leif Svalgaard as the WUWT “official solar physicist”….
I do totally agree with that. There needs to be someone, who put’s
us – scientifically – down to earth – in some cases.
Pro Leif:
Yesterday, I had some good old friends (since the mid-seventies) from
Flensburg and Apenrade (danish Åbenrå) and from Netherlands were here.
They had two bottles of Ålborg’s Jubileaums Aquavit with them.
Oh my dear, awaking was tough. Ahm still amazed that my head fits through the doors. So my expirience is: Two bottles of Aquavit and two boxes of
Flensburg Pilsener (16 x 0.5 Liters each, “BeugelBuddelBeer”) are beyond anything good. But is was nevertheless a long and funny night.
One of the friends is still with the German Sea Rescue Service Society,
http://www.dgzrs.de
or
de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dgzrs
english: http://www.dgzrs.de/index.php?id=265
(“We go out when everybody else tries to get in”).
One is still with the Netherlands Sea Rescue Service, another is
already retired.
Have much fun and keep posting
KlausB

September 20, 2008 11:50 am

KlausB (11:42:00) :
They had two bottles of Ålborg’s Jubileaums Aquavit with them. Oh my dear, awaking was tough. Ahm still amazed that my head fits through the doors.
In Denmark we drink that stuff for breakfast, some people drink something worse called Gammel Dansk 🙂
Does warm you up on a cold winter’s morning.

Niels A Nielsen
September 20, 2008 12:48 pm

Leif: “In Denmark we drink that stuff for breakfast, some people drink something worse called Gammel Dansk 🙂
Does warm you up on a cold winter’s morning.”
Do we drink Jubilæumsakvavit for breakfast? I didn’t know that. Not in our family. Perhaps in Leif’s 😉
Schnapps (eg Jubilæumsakvavit) is usually enjoyed at lunch or dinner time. It is particularly popular around Easter and Christmas when we also eat pickled heering (sometimes the heering is fried also) and drink lots of beer with it.
Gammel Dansk is a different story. The awful bitter is loosing popularity but yes it is(was) often enjoyed at breakfast time with “rundstykker” (a kind of breakfast rolls)

September 20, 2008 1:01 pm

So, according to NASA, the last time the sun was this quiet was 1934.
Wasn’t that the year that New York City set a record for cold temperature of -15degF ?
What an odd coincidence were those both to be true!

September 20, 2008 1:01 pm

Niels A Nielsen (12:48:35) :
Do we drink Jubilæumsakvavit for breakfast? I didn’t know that. Not in our family. Perhaps in Leif’s 😉
Times are changing. Gammel Dansk only came out in the 1960s. 🙂
The Danes have become a bit more sophisticated, it seems. Truth be told, I haven’t lived in Denmark the last 40 odd years.

September 20, 2008 1:22 pm

Walt (13:01:09) :
So, according to NASA, the last time the sun was this quiet was 1934.
No, 1954 June.

Steve
September 20, 2008 2:05 pm

I’m not sure what they’ll have to say about the solar system, but I’m a bit worried that they will try and pre-empt the “deniers” of climate change by providing an explanation for recent cooling. In simplified terms, it could go like this:
1. Higher CO2 levels lead to higher temperatures.
2. Over the past century, while the sun was behaving “normally”, the increase in man-made CO2 was therefore responsible for rising temperatures.
3. However, the sun is now entering a temporary period of abnormally weak output which will lead to cooler temperatures.
4. This doesn’t mean that man-made global warming is a hoax, but rather that a new, extraordinary, one-time event is occurring that will temporarily offset the effects of rising CO2 on temperatures.
5. We still need to reduce CO2 emissions while the world cools down because when the sun eventually returns to “normal” output in X years, we will witness a dramatic spike in temperatures, reverting to the previous trend, if CO2 levels have been allowed to continue rising.
Not sure how we would respond to such a line of reasoning.

Bobby Lane
September 20, 2008 2:14 pm

Leif,
I am fairly certain that you have some idea of common misconceptions voiced about the Sun from your work on this blog at least, if not your general interaction with the non-cyberspace public. So, based on your knowledge of said misconceptions, can you state what the Sun and our Earth would possibly be like if these misconceptions were correct? That might bring some clarity to the issue. It would at least be interesting.

September 20, 2008 2:33 pm

Steve (14:05:01) :
3. However, the sun is now entering a temporary period of abnormally weak output which will lead to cooler temperatures.
This is not a ‘temporary period’ [well, actually, all periods are temporary, except ‘eternity’, but you know what i mean], the Sun is returning to a state of quiet that it is in about half of the time, so not abnormal.
4. This doesn’t mean that man-made global warming is a hoax, but rather that a new, extraordinary, one-time event is occurring that will temporarily offset the effects of rising CO2 on temperatures.
Not extraordinary
Not sure how we would respond to such a line of reasoning.
Neither do I. Human stupidity and gullibility know no bounds it seems.
Bobby Lane (14:14:29) :
So, based on your knowledge of said misconceptions, can you state what the Sun and our Earth would possibly be like if these misconceptions were correct?
Since many of the misconceptions are mutually contradictory, it does not seem possible to do what you suggests. Could you list some of them that you deem ‘worthy’ [if a misconception can be worthy] to discuss.

Bobby Lane
September 20, 2008 3:00 pm

Leif,
Well, the point of illustrating misconceptions, I thought, was to illustrate how they are indeed mutually contradictory. So don’t try to craft a logical ‘new’ picture. Just tell us what it might both be and not be like. Give us an ‘A’ side and a ‘B’ side of what you feel are the more popular and enduring misconceptions. If you wish any emphasis from me then I would suggest limiting it to those that have the most direct impact on the current “does the Sun affect Earth’s global temperatures” debate. That might not help much, but that is all I can think of at present.

September 20, 2008 3:15 pm

Bobby Lane (15:00:50) :
Well, the point of illustrating misconceptions, I thought, was to illustrate how they are indeed mutually contradictory.
But if they are misconceptions, then they are by definition wrong and it does not much sense to discuss if they were correct. Maybe your point is that they are only misconceptions to some people, for others they are gospel truths. Now, if you can’t think of any, they clearly don’t bother you. Let me know if you come across one.
If we take your question “does the Sun affect Earth’s global temperatures”, then where is the misconception? Is it that the Sun does affect the climate or is it that the “ Sun does not affect Earth’s global temperatures”?

Robert Bateman
September 20, 2008 3:42 pm

If the Sun isn’t quite heating the Earth 100%, over time the loss will add up, say 3 cycles of sunspots. The converse is true for the re-heating. It too takes time. One bum cycle wont’ drop the Earths temp that far, but it should drop it a tad.
So, the heating or lessened heating of any given cycle has to be a relative thing, relative to where the averge Earth temp was.
If anyone wants to say the Sun has no effect whatsoever on the Earth, fine, just go take the temp on the backside of Mercury or the Moon.

September 20, 2008 3:58 pm

Robert Bateman (15:42:04) :
If anyone wants to say the Sun has no effect whatsoever on the Earth, fine, just go take the temp on the backside of Mercury or the Moon.
I thought we were done with that silly statement, but apparently not. What is important is if the tiny variations of the sun induces measurable [or even significant] variations of climate. About adding up: there was a drop in temps in the 1960s, now, either you go the AGW route and say that that drop was due to aerosols, or you say it was caused by solar cycle 20 being a low cycle. If the first YAHF [a new acronym I have invented: You Are Home-Free], if the second there is no delay in the cooling so why would there be a delay in the warming? If you selectively invoke delays here and there, you can match anything.

Bobby Lane
September 20, 2008 4:13 pm

Leif Svalgaard (15:15:26) : “But if they are misconceptions, then they are by definition wrong and it does not much sense to discuss if they were correct. Maybe your point is that they are only misconceptions to some people, for others they are gospel truths. Now, if you can’t think of any, they clearly don’t bother you.”
That response elicits both a laugh and a smile from me, all in good humor. Spoken like a true scientist! Stick to the facts indeed. But my point was to contrast imagination with reality. The misconceptions do bother me, just not like they bother you; but they do illustrate wrong-headed thinking that is based on ‘common sense’ or popular science rather than real science. I wanted to explore the ideas and the logical fallacies caused when imposing such misconceptions upon a world of similar ‘realness’ to our own. It’s basically like a computer simualation using different variables to see what different outcomes would be like; whether they can exist together or in reality at all is not the concern here. Does that make sense?
I don’t want to give concrete specifics because you seem to get stuck on them and miss answering my question, and it is not the purpose of imagination to deal with what can or cannot not exist in our reality. That is all I think I am asking. *grin* Are you up for it?

Glenn
September 20, 2008 4:20 pm

It is silly to assume that variation in solar activity plays no measurable or significant part in climate change. Evidence and support literally abounds in the literature. Even IPCC considers some measure of increased solar activity as cause of the increase of the first half of last century’s temperatures.
“Similarly, the Modern Maximum is partly responsible for global warming, especially the temperature increases between 1900 and 1950. Residual warming due to the sustained high level of activity since 1950 is believed responsible for 16 to 36% of recent warming (Stott et al. 2003).”
http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Sunspot_Numbers_png
As to attempts to downplay increased solar activity:
“Solar activity before 1882 is lower than generally assumed and consequently solar activity in the last few decades is higher than it has been for several centuries.”
http://www.springerlink.com/content/j88xl5q6u7931728/

September 20, 2008 4:36 pm

Glenn (16:20:22) :
“Solar activity before 1882 is lower than generally assumed and consequently solar activity in the last few decades is higher than it has been for several centuries.”
Did you take the trouble to read my paper on the calibration of the sunspot number in 1946? If not, end of story. If you did, which specific statements do you find wrong. This is not rocket science, just plain ole data analysis.

September 20, 2008 4:41 pm

Bobby Lane (16:13:01) :
The misconceptions do bother me, just not like they bother you; but they do illustrate wrong-headed thinking that is based on ‘common sense’ or popular science rather than real science.
OK, so if I can choose the misconceptions, let me begin with this one: Solar activity is at an all-time high and that’s why the temps have been going up the last few hundred years, following the rise in solar activity. Before I start, can I ask if that is a ‘good’ misconception that you would like explored?

Glenn
September 20, 2008 4:47 pm

At the risk of being accused again of cherry picking, here is additional and recent support for solar activity substantially and measurably increasing:
“The model predicts an increase in the total solar irradiance since the Maunder Minimum of about 1.3 Wm−2.”
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V3S-4N68NMP-B&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=3e00cf58cdb95513f4b47bc168cb3eb8

September 20, 2008 4:55 pm

Leif,
Since the sun basically consists of H and He what mechanism is responsible for the sun’s magnetic fields?

Bobby Lane
September 20, 2008 5:05 pm

Leif,
Now you’ve gotten it! Yes, that and others of similar nature would be just what I am asking of you. Say on.

Editor
September 20, 2008 5:07 pm

Leif Svalgaard (13:22:12) :

Walt (13:01:09) :
So, according to NASA, the last time the sun was this quiet was 1934.
No, 1954 June.

Cool. After the hurricane of 1938, hurricane Carol in 1954 is the storm most commented on in New England, at least RI, CT, MA, and NH. Edna 10 days after Carol had a bigger impact in ME. We don’t even need a Sun/Climate link to be concerned.
Joe D’Aleo and I both mentioned to the NH Climate Change Task Force Thursday night that they should worry more about a repeat of the ’38 storm.
See http://wermenh.com/climate/gccptf.html (Needs some cleanup)
We could find ourselves 3 days from a repeat and the sudden realization that, like New Orleans and Galveston, we’re not really ready. The combination of cool PDO and warm AMO is bad news for the east coast, but the task force is CO2-centric….

September 20, 2008 5:14 pm

Glenn (16:47:56) :
At the risk of being accused again of cherry picking, here is additional and recent support for solar activity substantially and measurably increasing:
There is no ‘additional’ support, the full abstract [and here I might call it cherry-picking or not reading it carefully enough] reads:
“We present a reconstruction of total solar irradiance since 1610 to the present based on variations of the surface distribution of the solar magnetic field. The latter is calculated from the historical record of the Group sunspot number using a simple but consistent physical model. Our model successfully reproduces three independent data sets: total solar irradiance measurements available since 1978, total photospheric magnetic flux from 1974 and the open magnetic flux since 1868 (as empirically reconstructed from the geomagnetic aa-index). The model predicts an increase in the total solar irradiance since the Maunder Minimum of about 1.3 Wm−2.”
Two things wrong with this [that the model reproduces stuff after 1975 is no big deal, all models do that, even mine – as that is just the calibration period]:
1) it uses the Group Sunspot Number which does not reflect the real activity. I once said that you would only use or believe ‘official ‘ numbers. The Group sunspot number is not the officially recognized sunspot number, but, of course comes in handy for your purpose[cherry-picking again?]
2) it calibrates the parameters of the model to reproduce the ‘doubling’ of the interplanetary [and by inference, the solar] magnetic field advocated by Lockwood et al. Even Lockwood has now recognized that the aa-index is also incorrectly calibrated and the latest results from his group match closely what we found: no doubling.
Did you read the paper?
And what are your line-by-line objections?

September 20, 2008 5:16 pm

Ric Werme (17:07:17) :
After the hurricane of 1938, hurricane Carol in 1954 is the storm most
1938 was at solar maximum, 1954 at a very deep solar minimum.
What’s the connection?

Glenn
September 20, 2008 5:16 pm

Leif,
Cherry picking your own literature and assuming that is the end of the story isn’t the way to convince any but the faithful. As I have told you many times, there is a correlation seen by many between the sun and climate. The suns effect on climate is controversial in the sense of small changes in solar intensities not having a mechanism to influence the climate in the atmosphere, but not in the sense that there are challenges to basic accepted data such as cycle intensities or to the correlation itself.
If you’ve managed to convince others of your opinion on past sunspot counts changing basic understandings of such things as the Modern Maximum, then I might take notice. Till then it appears that you are on your own. And references can and have been found that are in contradiction to your claims.
“The sun’s role in the earth’s recent warming remains controversial
even though there is a good deal of evidence to support the thesis that solar
variations are a very significant factor in driving climate change both currently and in the past.”
http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0706/0706.3621.pdf

Robert Wood
September 20, 2008 5:19 pm

Leif, I understand your reasoning about the Sun being not very different from before; but temperatures have varied before and it was not due to Mann-made global warming then, so what was it due to and why assume mann to be the cause now?
This is the problem I am faced with. And everyone goes around denying everyone else’s pet cause. But the force of the argument in the first paragraph is undeniable.
So, does Mann made global warming only exists in computer models, UHI and data adjustments? I am at a loss for other root causes than the Sun. Obviously, we are looking at 60 year time lags and various ocean thermal cycles; all interacting.
BTW I personally, a) don’t consider 1 degree centigrade serious and b) believe that a Warm Planet is a Happy Planet and c) more CO2 is good for life.

September 20, 2008 5:24 pm

edcon (16:55:53) :
Since the sun basically consists of H and He what mechanism is responsible for the sun’s magnetic fields?
Nothing to do with iron [above the Curie temperature for FE anyway]. When the Sun was formed 5 billion years ago it ‘inherited’ a weak magnetic field from the Galaxy [If you ask where that came from, be prepared for a much longer answer OT]. The Sun’s matter is an electrically conducting plasma that moves around. When you move a conductor in a magnetic field that induces a current, which itself has a magnetic field, which when moved induces a current, etc. This is called a dynamo, and you car has one. The dynamo-generated magnetic fields fall apart at the surface [no more movements of the plasma that makes up the Sun]. We see that as flares and other activity. Not all of it dies, a small fraction [1 in a thousand] survives to start the dynamo cycle all over again. By measuring how much survives we can predict the next sunspot cycle.

Glenn
September 20, 2008 5:29 pm

Ric,
Now that you mention the Galveston Hurricane, the period 1900 -1915 encompasses two small solar cycles and a significant drop in global temperature, and the two Galveston Hurricanes occured during two solar minima. 1900 was said to be a Cat 4, and the 1915 was said to bring sea surges of +20 feet to Galveston.

September 20, 2008 5:35 pm

Glenn (17:16:09) :
Cherry picking your own literature and assuming that is the end of the story isn’t the way to convince any but the faithful.
So you have not read the paper [it is short] and this shows me that you are not serious about this. You do not respond to the points I raise, just repeat the mantra that “there is a correlation seen by many between the sun and climate”. You say “Till then it appears that you are on your own”, but ignore the fact that the Lockwood group has already acknowledged the wrong calibration of the aa-index which was the basis for Solanki’s model. So, I’m not completely on my own. And the way forward is to look at what evidence there is for a similar error in the sunspot number. and that you refuses to do. No wonder you don’t move forward on this, but that is maybe something you don’t want to do anyway as you are most comfortable with established wisdom [e.g. as expounded by the IPCC that you quoted]. This is, of course, you choice, but that does not equate into the use of words like ‘silly’.

Glenn
September 20, 2008 5:36 pm

“I once said that you would only use or believe ‘official ‘ numbers.”
Huh? So what if you said that. Probably you mean I said that, but I didn’t. You may have misunderstood, but regardless there really is no point in arguing what you claim is wrong with literature. My quotes stand on their own, unless you wish to claim quotemining.
“There is no ‘additional’ support”
Uh, yes, I have provided additional support. More just today, in fact.

September 20, 2008 5:39 pm

the first graph in this report says it all….we are in a unique position that only comes along every 178.8 yrs…what a time to be alive.
http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/archives/17#comment-531
REPLY: barycentrism is not well received here. – Anthony

September 20, 2008 5:40 pm

Robert Wood (17:19:06) :
Leif, I understand your reasoning about the Sun being not very different from before; but temperatures have varied before and it was not due to Mann-made global warming then, so what was it due to and why assume mann to be the cause now?
But I do not assume that. There are plenty of reasons for oscillations within such a complex system as the climate. Even the weather does that, involving planetary waves in the atmosphere of a duration of about a week.
Obviously, we are looking at 60 year time lags and various ocean thermal cycles; all interacting. except that people that show you their correlations don’t operate with a 60 year lag. The current minimum is low, thus the sun is cooling is the battle cry.
BTW I personally, a) don’t consider 1 degree centigrade serious and b) believe that a Warm Planet is a Happy Planet and c) more CO2 is good for life.
And I totally agree with that.

Bill Illis
September 20, 2008 5:47 pm

Leif, you’re are basically saying the Sun’s energy reaching the Earth varies by only 0.1% or so, the same amount it varies during a solar cycle. To extend the argument, the Maunder Minimum was similar to just a long bottom of the cycle, only 0.1% below the high irradiance levels. You’ve have convinced me of this (with your persistence perhaps) and I defer to you as the official solar physicist.
So, what do you think caused the Little Ice Age then? Temps are generally assumed to be 1.0C to 1.5C below today (which is really not much of a temperature drop compared to what people assume for the Little Ice Age). What caused this temp. drop then?

Robert Wood
September 20, 2008 5:55 pm

But I do not assume that
Sorry, Leif, poor writing, I didn’t mean to suggest you did.

Robert Wood
September 20, 2008 6:01 pm

The only almost instantaneous interaction I can think of would be via GCRs and cloud formation, preventing direct insolation. This would rapidly cool the air temperatures, and we’d all feel it, especially in the continental interiors; but the oceans would still change only slowly.
Anecdotally, here in Ottawa, Canada, we’ve had a cold summer, with almost continuous, 100% cloud cover. Any where I can check on the local GCR flux?

September 20, 2008 6:05 pm

Glenn (17:36:52) :
“I once said that you would only use or believe ‘official ‘ numbers.”
Won’t you allow the occasional [single] typo?
but I didn’t
In the ‘New paper…” on 9/19 at 15:35:11 you said:
“I’d rather take official information at face value”.
So, you are not interested in a serious debate on this, that starts with you reading the paper and finding faults with the paper I referred you to?

September 20, 2008 6:06 pm

nobwainer (17:39:06) :
REPLY: barycentrism is not well received here. – Anthony
I was kind of waiting for this 🙂 it ALWAYS happens.

Steve Keohane
September 20, 2008 6:15 pm

Leif,
Regarding the magnetic properties of the sun that edcon asked about, don’t extremely compressed gasses aquire metallic properties. I have a memory/delusion that I read that somewhere.

September 20, 2008 6:27 pm

Bill Illis (17:47:47) :
Leif, you’re are basically saying the Sun’s energy reaching the Earth varies by only 0.1% or so, the same amount it varies during a solar cycle. To extend the argument, the Maunder Minimum was similar to just a long bottom of the cycle, only 0.1% below the high irradiance levels.
Yes, in fact.
So, what do you think caused the Little Ice Age then? Temps are generally assumed to be 1.0C to 1.5C below today (which is really not much of a temperature drop compared to what people assume for the Little Ice Age). What caused this temp. drop then?
There are long ‘swells’ in the temperature record. Craig Loehle’s plot that we have referred to before [or maybe in another Thread; here it is again: http://www.worldclimatereport.com/wp-images/loehle_fig3.JPG ] shows this so clearly. There are smaller wiggles [which in turn have smaller wiggles on them, and do on], but the main feature to appreciate is the long swell that begins 2000 years ago, goes up to a maximum 1000 years ago, then falls down to a broad minimum around 1600 [BTW well before the Maunder minimum started in 1645], followed by a recovery that continues to this day [and possibly beyond, extrapolating the curve if you will]. I see this as a natural oscillation of a complex system. It is curious that people that deny that such oscillations occurs and claim the swell is due to the Sun have no qualms of accepting that the Sun oscillated like this. BTW, the Sun is a much simpler system than the Earth and its climate. This has to do with its high temperature. Build a snowman [low temperature complex structure], heat him up until he vaporizes into steam [high temperature simple structureless system] to see what I mean.
As always there are the usual detractors that say that the temp data is no good and that asks one to compare with the backside of the Moon or Mercury [take the Sun away and see what you get]. BTW, for those people, consider this: the difference between the Earth and the nightside of the Moon and Mercury is NOT due to the Sun, but due to the atmosphere. Take the atmosphere away and that is what you get. Venus has the SAME temperature on the dayside and the nightside [in spite of its very slow rotaion], because the atmosphere is so think [100 times the Earth’s] and consists almost completely of that notorious greenhouse gas CO2 driving the temperature up to 460C.

September 20, 2008 6:32 pm

Steve Keohane (18:15:16) :
Regarding the magnetic properties of the sun that edcon asked about, don’t extremely compressed gasses aquire metallic properties. I have a memory/delusion that I read that somewhere.
Yes, if they are cold. The Sun is HOT HOT HOT. Its interior is an even more ‘perfect gas’ than our air. And [cold] metals as such are rarely magnetic, and hot metals are never. Heat a ordinary magnet to 768°C for iron and its magnetism is gone; the atoms simply wiggle too much to stay aligned.

Glenn
September 20, 2008 6:35 pm

Leif, that you may honestly have a different idea of what a serious debate is than I do doesn’t mean that I am not interested nor are seriously debating the issues. As far as your literature is concerned, I take that at face value as well. It is just that contradicting opinions abound, and that is not less than a serious examination of opinions. If you wish to compare contrary views with your own to convince readers your view is right, you don’t need me to do it. I would recommend that with your argument that you provide actual URLs of journal articles and quotes from them to compare, though.
But I can just imagine getting into a “serious” discussion over scientific methodology, research data, math, inferences…you’ve already accused me of not knowing what science is, and I would bet that you would soon use the old “you have to be an expert and a math whiz” to understand and make decisions on who is right and who is wrong”. Actually you already have, or have darn close to it.
By the way, my last reference was recent, not much over a year old, the one that claimed that solar irradiance has increased by 1.2 w/m2. You make it sound like everyone has got past that with some new revelation in a year and it’s some kind of accepted wisdom. I just will not accept your word for that, and have not seen the evidence, nor have you provided such.
I will caution you to be somewhat more selective with the papers you claim I have not read, however.

September 20, 2008 6:57 pm

Robert Wood (18:01:54) :
Any where I can check on the local GCR flux?
As you can see from this presentation there is a station in Ottawa as well as other Canadian stations:
http://cosray.phys.uoa.gr/SEE2007/workshop/Presentations/Eroshenko.pdf
I don’t know a URL that gets you to that station, but it shouldn’t matter as the variation is a worldwide phenomenon. any station will give you an idea. E.g. Oulu: http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/

Bobby Lane
September 20, 2008 7:20 pm

Glenn,
I have been reading your spirited debate with Leif, and in all your replies you have yet to address what one of his objections and two of his questions, the former being of primary concern. Leif said earlier, about the Lockwood model you cited:
“it calibrates the parameters of the model to reproduce the ‘doubling’ of the interplanetary [and by inference, the solar] magnetic field advocated by Lockwood et al. Even Lockwood has now recognized that the aa-index is also incorrectly calibrated and the latest results from his group match closely what we found: no doubling.
Did you read the paper?
And what are your line-by-line objections?”
You haven’t answered these. Instead you just insist that you are right and he is wrong. But you don’t say why. You just keep claiming that correlation equals causation, and that is not scientific. And to my own knowledge Leif has never pulled the “I’m the expert and the math whiz and you’re not” card. Such an attack is argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to authority) and Leif does not use such attacks as they are useless. That is what is meant by serious debate. You take a position, your opponent voices his legitimate objections, and then you attempt to answer his objections. You haven’t taken that last step yet, and appear not to want to. If you feel you are misunderstood in that regard, there is an easy way to clear that up.

September 20, 2008 7:24 pm

Glenn (18:35:21) :
that you may honestly have a different idea of what a serious debate is than I do doesn’t mean that I am not interested nor are seriously debating the issues. As far as your literature is concerned, I take that at face value as well
That is not sufficient, because then you just get into a void counting game: so many pro and so many con.
What I urge you to do [but you have not] is simply to look at the paper.
But I can just imagine getting into a “serious” discussion over scientific methodology, research data, math, inferences…you’ve already accused me of not knowing what science is, and I would bet that you would soon use the old “you have to be an expert and a math whiz” to understand and make decisions on who is right and who is wrong”.
Maybe you imagine that and would treat someone to that kind of arguments, but that is not my way. I have infinite patience and will explain every step of the way, should it be necessary. But, it should not be, because this is simply stuff. My 10-year grandson could follow the argument [as he has because he was interested in what I was doing].
By the way, my last reference was recent, not much over a year old, the one that claimed that solar irradiance has increased by 1.2 w/m2. You make it sound like everyone has got past that with some new revelation in a year and it’s some kind of accepted wisdom. I just will not accept your word for that, and have not seen the evidence, nor have you provided such.
Lockwood’s Group’s realization of this is, in fact, less than a year old, and the papers [including one of ours] are under review and will appear in due time.
These things are often discussed at meetings and at seminars ahead of publication. I just this week gave a seminar at the Space Physics Research Group at UV Berkeley. You can find the talk here:
http://www.leif.org/research/Seminar-SPRG-2008.pdf skip down to page 27 to avoid all the details that you probably don’t want to see [I would skip down] and take it from there. There was general agreement at the seminar that we all need to rethink the long-term variations. I have already referred you to the argument leading to the revision of the sunspot number. A readable version of that was given by Ed cliver at a meeting last year at Perugia, Italy http://www.leif.org/research/SSN%20Validation-Reconstruction%20(Cliver).pdf
It was also well received. Of course, there are still holdouts [Usokin. Mursula, Solanki]. The story with the Offical Sunspt number can be summarized as follows:
When Rudolf Wolf published his first list of sunspot numbers [derived using his famous formula R = 10*G + S] in 1857, it extended back to 1749. Most of the data from the period 1749-1796 came from a single source: J.C. Staudacher. In 1861, Wolf realized that the Staudacher numbers were too low [read my papers on how he did that] and summarily doubled all the numbers and published the new series in 1861. About 1875, Wolf again realized that all the sunspot numbers before 1849 [that is all numbers not based on his own observations] were still too low [and again read my paper on the why and the how] so he increased all the pre-1849 numbers by an additional 25%. Wolf knew that the visibility of the smallest spots was iffy and depended too much on the ’seeing’ and on the observer, so did not counted those small spots [leaving aside for now what constitutes a ‘small’ spot]. When Alfred Wolfer took over in 1893, he started to count ALL spots down to even the smallest he could observe. This, of course, bumped up the sunspot number which Wolfer tried to counteract by multiplying his count by a factor 0.6, but still it seems [and again read the paper why and how] that he introduced an upward jump of about 20%. In 1945 when Max Waldmeier took over, his inexperience resulted in a further upwards jump of 20%. When Brussels took over further inhomogeneities were introduced. At all times, people did their best, trying to produce a sunspot number that they thought was a good measure of solar activity. The net result of all these upwards adjustments is that the sunspot numbers have gone up and up and up, giving the false impression that solar activity is [or has recently been] at an all-time high.
In the Spring 2008 AGU meeting I gave this presentation http://www.leif.org/research/AGU%20Spring%202008%20SP23A-07.pdf which was also well received. What I mean by that is that there is a lot of informal discussion apart from just the talks, and it is here that you learn if your research is being accepted [at least provisionally].

September 20, 2008 7:33 pm

A good discussion of the issues of the Solanki/Lockwood models can be found here:
http://www.leif.org/research/Comment%20on%20McCracken.pdf
submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research.
So the papers that you want to see on this are on their way. Do you object to hearing it in advance from the ‘horse’s mouth’?

September 20, 2008 7:40 pm


Leif Svalgaard (13:22:12) :
Walt (13:01:09) :
So, according to NASA, the last time the sun was this quiet was 1934.
No, 1954 June.

Ah. Excuse the outburst from someone just auditing the class…
At the bottom of this page
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/11jul_solarcycleupdate.htm
there is this graphic
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/images/solarcycleupdate/new1933vs2008.gif
which led me to jump to my comment of a notable cold record set during a solar minimum. I didn’t notice the 1954 spotless day minimum listing of 446 that I see on the page dialog.
It does make me curious now if there were any interesting temperature records set during the 1954 solar minimum, cold or hot.

September 20, 2008 8:04 pm

Bobby Lane (19:20:19) :
I have been reading your spirited debate with Leif,
In the interest of full disclosure, I have pointed out that instead of just citing abstract after abstract that Glen would benefit from actually reading some of those papers, including mine. This is a learning process we all have to go through. When I’m debating something with a scientific colleague, I reads his papers and learns what his view and arguments are, and he usually [not always] does the same. This learning process is an important part of the discussion, because one cannot be up-to-date on everything.

September 20, 2008 8:09 pm

Walt (19:40:35) :
It does make me curious now if there were any interesting temperature records set during the 1954 solar minimum, cold or hot.
I don’t think ‘records’ are what you are after, as they have too much scatter. The 1950s [with the biggest solar cycle ever] were cold [after the climatic optimum in the 1940s] presaging the drop in solar activity during solar cycle 20 [1965-1976] 🙂

Glenn
September 20, 2008 8:11 pm

“Instead you just insist that you are right and he is wrong. But you don’t say why. You just keep claiming that correlation equals causation, and that is not scientific.”
I’ve not made a single claim about being right or another being wrong, nor have I ever nor do I “keep” claiming that correlation equals causation. I doubt we could ever be on an even keel together, Bobby.

Editor
September 20, 2008 8:12 pm

Leif Svalgaard (17:16:02) :
Ric Werme (17:07:17) :
> After the hurricane of 1938, hurricane Carol in 1954 is the storm most
1938 was at solar maximum, 1954 at a very deep solar minimum.
What’s the connection?
None, perhaps I should’ve written “Carol is the 2nd most referenced hurricane” and left ’38 out of it.

Glenn (17:29:34) :
Now that you mention the Galveston Hurricane, the period 1900 -1915 encompasses two small solar cycles and a significant drop in global temperature, and the two Galveston Hurricanes occured during two solar minima. 1900 was said to be a Cat 4, and the 1915 was said to bring sea surges of +20 feet to Galveston.

1900 was at the end of a warm AMO phase, 1915 was a warm AMO phase for just a summer interrupting a cool phase for the rest of the 1902 to 1925 period.
All four storms occurred during a warm AMO phase, that’s the strongest link to intense Atlantic hurricanes.
http://www.intellicast.com/Community/Content.aspx?ref=rss&a=127
Hmm, have we looked at a new Geophysical Review Letters report “United States and Caribbean tropical cyclone activity related to the solar cycle”? See http://climaterealist.blogspot.com/2008/09/new-paper-us-hurricane-counts-are.html
I’m not sure what’s novel about it, it seems like another UV heats the upper troposphere suggestion.
I posted something at climaterealist., so I probably got there from here, but I don’t remember how. I gotta get me a life….
I think the answer is that the AMO is still the best link.

September 20, 2008 8:17 pm

As usual, i show my inadequacies by screwing up the URL. So I have learned my lesson. It can also be accessed by the following name [that WordPress will not stumble over]
“A readable version of that was given by Ed cliver at a meeting last year at Perugia, Italy” : http://www.leif.org/research/SSN%20Validation-Reconstruction%20-Cliver.pdf

Mike Bryant
September 20, 2008 8:31 pm

Walt,
At the bottom of the page on your first citation was this question:
“What does a spotless day look like? ”
That’s pretty funny. I think we all know what it looks like. There is a new picture of one right on this page nearly every day!

September 20, 2008 8:54 pm

Glen,
As an example of how to conduct a critique of a scientific paper I offer my own referee report on Dikpati et al.’s sunspot prediction paper. Please read it carefully:
http://www.leif.org/research/Dikpati%20Referee%20Report.pdf

Glenn
September 20, 2008 9:39 pm

What’s this about Lockwood?
“There is considerable evidence for solar influence on the Earth’s pre-industrial climate and the Sun may well have been a factor in post-industrial climate change in the first half of the last century. Here we show that over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures.”
http://publishing.royalsociety.org/media/proceedings_a/rspa20071880.pdf
Leif, the main issue between us has been whether there is a correlation between SI and temp. From this recent paper from Lockwood above you can see they do not dispute a correlation, except for the last 20 years.
This is just one more example that supports my understanding. Of the last 20 years,
“they argue that this historical link between the Sun and climate came to an end about 20 years ago. Here we rebut their argument comprehensively.”
http://www.spacecenter.dk/publications/scientific-report-series/Scient_No._3.pdf
Were TSI flattened out over the last couple hundred years, another mechanism besides solar energy would be needed to explain the temperature differences that have occured. “Natual variability”, “AMO” or “PDO” won’t do unless a specific causitive mechanism(s) comes with the explanation.

September 20, 2008 10:09 pm

[…] via Watts up with that […]

September 20, 2008 10:16 pm

Glenn (21:39:47) :
What’s this about Lockwood?
I’m not referring to the Lockwood and Froehlich paper. Your confusion comes in because you do not take the trouble to read the papers I referred to. If you had, you would have seen that an important ingredient in Solanki’s and Lean’s and Wang’s reconstruction of TSI is an presumed doubling [nay, more than a doubling] of the Sun’s magnetic field. This causes ‘background’ level of TSI on which the sunspot cycle variation rides to increase over time [even more than the cycle itself from min to max]. The Solanki model you referred to was based on the same effect. The doubling of the sun’s magnetic field was first proposed by myself in 1977-78 based on a rise of the geomagnetic aa-index. Lockwood et al. extended that analysis through 1995 in a very famous paper in Nature and that result has been embedded in many models and reconstructions. In about 2002 I realized that I had been wrong. We discovered that the aa-index which was the basis for all this was incorrectly calibrated [a finding that is now finally accepted] before 1957. For high activity the error is not large, but for the small activity at the beginning of the 20th century is was large, 40%. In addition, Lockwood et al. had used the recurrence tendency of aa to infer the solar wind speed. This seemed to work well 1963-1995 [with some exceptions in the late 1960s], but since it was just a [albeit strong] correlation and not based on physics, the relation failed miserably after 1995, especially in 2003. This often happens if you equate correlation with causality and use the correlation on new data not used to establish the correlation. Bottom line, the doubling didn’t happen, but all the models etc still continue to use the old obsolete inference of the sun’s magnetic field, even James Hansen in his latest 2007 paper where he uses Lean’s 2000 TSI reconstruction [also used by shindell and Co.] not knowing [or worse: ignoring] the fact that the doubling did not happen [not even Lean believes in her old reconstruction].
Again, digging up papers older than 2008 [and even some very new ones] is apt to find papers based on old data that neither Lockwood nor Lean believe in anymore. It takes several years before such misconceptions are flushed out of the system. I have given you material enabling you to be ahead of the curve on this, but you have steadfastly refused to look at them. This is no way to conduct a serious discussion.

September 20, 2008 10:25 pm

Glenn (21:39:47) :
You had asked for URLs to peer-reviewed published papers on this, here is one:
paper
Please, at least take a look at it. Your refusal to do so is so foreign to my experience as a scientist dealing with other scientists that I have a hard time coping with it. Maybe it has been useful for me to come down from the ivory tower and meet real people.

September 20, 2008 10:42 pm

Of interest to the topic of this thread, allow me to quote the last paragraph of the paper I just referred to:
“Our debate with Lockwood and colleagues on the long-term evolution of the coronal magnetic field and the solar wind may be resolved within the next few years if our prediction [Svalgaard et al., 2005] of a solar maximum with peak sunspot number comparable to that of cycle 14 bears out. If so, direct measurements of solar wind properties during conditions similar to those during the previous minimum of the Gleissberg cycle would take the estimates of IMF B out of the realm of extrapolation. It is noteworthy that the IDV index (and thus B, regardless of regression method) for 2006 (based on the first 7 months only, but expected to fall further as we approach solar minimum) is already the lowest in the last 94 years.”
I think that the NASA people will be reporting a similar conclusion nicely confirming our prediction.

Robert Bateman
September 20, 2008 10:45 pm

‘if the second there is no delay in the cooling so why would there be a delay in the warming? If you selectively invoke delays here and there, you can match anything.’
It has to work both ways if there is to be warming & cooling delays. Yes, that is what I was trying to get at. The oceans are a great sink. Takes what, 1,000 yrs for it to circulate all the way down to the deep parts. Did previous warming upset a subclimate and force a radical change in circulation to upwell some of the deep water? And what about cooling?

Brian H
September 21, 2008 12:07 am

Proving a negative is always hard. “Prove that you are not the disguised Queen of the Space Unicorns,” is one famous example. The real lesson of the “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” adage is that the absence is relevant when a good-faith, persistent, competent search for such evidence has been done. And then there is still always the possibility that evidence of presence (non-absence) may be lurking somewhere you didn’t think to look. So absence is always a matter of (guesstimated) probability. That’s presuming that the “absence” in question is not a completely inane formulation, and you’ll have to rely on your own judgment to define “inane” in each case.
As for “experts” having a lower chance of being wrong, that depends. Bertrand Russell once put it something like this: “If the experts are agreed, it is not intellectually safe to be certain of the opposite position. If they are disagreed, it is not intellectually safe to be certain of any opinion.” Implicit is that since experts disagree rather frequently, some must necessarily be wrong. Even if they’re all agreed; something may yet prove them ALL wrong, though the odds are lower than for one side in a 50:50 split.

September 21, 2008 12:22 am

[…] other post talks about recent NASA observations that the magnetic field of the Sun is at a 50 year low. This […]

Robert Bateman
September 21, 2008 3:58 am

If we didn’t have changes in our climate over the centuries, we wouldn’t be looking for the reasons why. It’s human nature to want to know why, not just scientific curiosity.
It especially important to humans to know why when all they have between continued existence or extinction is a few degrees C and a few PPT of that..
Trust me when I say that if science can’t do any better than “oh, this is normal” when things start happening that nobody in living memory has seen, everybody & his brother is going to be filling in the gaps
This is the 21st century, the days of the masses following every word of somebody’s edict are over.
All I can say for NASA is they need another Carl Sagan to deliver.

Ninderthana
September 21, 2008 4:54 am

Anthony,
You (and Leif) claim that you are trying to promote scientific discussion
here and yet you immediately close down any plausible scientifc arguements that you don’t like.
I recently published a paper in a respected peer review journal (PASA Publication of the Astronomical Society of Australia) from the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization – Australia) which raised the posibility that there may be a spin obrbit-coupling mechanism between an (as yet unknown) phenomenon asociated with the the barycentric motion of the Sun and the equitorial rotation rate of the Sun. In this paper we openly admit that mechanism for this spin-orbit coupling is as yet unknown. However, we present observational evidence that is difficult to dismiss out of hand.
I realize that Barycentrism has a large non-scientific following and that any mention of it brings out a flood of psuedo-scientists who have no trouble throwing scientific principles to the wind. But I feel that you and Leif are too hasty in dismissing this idea out of hand.
I am the first to admit that until we find a plausible (scientifcally-valid) physical mechanism for producing the spin-orbit coupling, we need to remain
very wary. However, I have data covering the years 1874 to 2005, that allows me to predict that equitorial rotation rate of the Sun between 2010 – 2025 will be (significantly) higher than the rotation rate between 1986 and 2002. This prediction is based upon the assumption that the spin-orbit coupling pattern that has existed from 1874 to 2005 will continue for another 15 years.
I would ask you have an open enough mind to at least acknowledge that if my prediction turns out be correct [we have only 2 years to wait) that you might consider the possiblity that such a spin-otrbit coupling may exist.
Reply – I don’t speak for Anthony, but I am a fan of Barycenterism to an extent. Leif holds an opposite view and presents strong arguments against it. Both of us are skeptic of AGW. Discuss away but be prepared for the counter arguments – Dee Norris
REPLY: Dee moderates in EST for me. We’ve had lots of discussion here on Barycentrism in the past, so your claim that I’ve “shut it down” is not quite accurate. I learned much about it since then and well, I’m skeptical of it. So yes, my statement of “it will not be well received here” is accurate. I’d also say the same thing if somebody launched a discussion on Kirlian photography. – Anthony

September 21, 2008 5:03 am

Robert Bateman: Sorry about the length of this and its off-topic tone. You wrote, “The oceans are a great sink. Takes what, 1,000 yrs for it to circulate all the way down to the deep parts. Did previous warming upset a subclimate and force a radical change in circulation to upwell some of the deep water? And what about cooling?”
To confuse matters more, there are shorter cycles for Thermohaline Circulation/Meridional Overturning Circulation. Shallow routes may take a few years; deeper routes, 2 to 3 decades. I’ve tried–trust me, I’ve tried–to get these oceanic oscillations to correlate with solar cycles. I’ve even attempted to combine TSI and volcanic aerosols to create an “apparent solar” data set. I’ve then made assumptions that major perturbations in SST caused by extremely large volcanic eruptions [Mayon of the Philippines (1766), Tambora in Indonesia (1815) and Nicaragua’s Coseguina (1835), which dwarfed Mount Pinatubo] were repeated at two different frequencies (26 and 32 years, timing of which is justified in the post) and at decreasing amplitudes, and when the two repeated signals came into synch, there would have been a greater decrease in SST. It “worked” with one very detailed South Pacific SST reconstruction from 1727 to 1997. I posted on it a couple of months ago here. The first two posts are lead-ins to the third.
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/combined-solar-and-volcanic-aerosol.html
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/07/combined-solar-and-volcanic-aerosol.html
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/07/combined-solar-and-volcanic-aerosol_05.html
It’s pure conjecture and uses data sets that make it work. Does it prove anything? No. But it does illustrate that someone with a scientific background and with better tools than I have should look into it.
I’m now working on a post about hemispheric tropical SST for the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. I just finished most of the graphs of the Atlantic and one thing is very clear. THC/MOC upwelling points off Africa’s southwest and northwest coasts dictate the long-term variability of the Southern and Northern tropical Atlantic SST, respectively.
Which brings me to: THC/MOC in all major oceans have a major effect on global SST. Many times these signals are in synch, other times they’re out of phase. Climatologists create the AMO and PDO by subtracting global SST from the SST of the respective oceans. BUT, since the THC/MOC signals significantly contribute to the global SST, the effects are being masked by the global reference. No one has, as far as I can tell, attempted to remove all THC/MOC components from the global SST data set. With all of the THC/MOC signals removed, how much of an increase in 20th century SST would be left?

September 21, 2008 6:20 am

[…] is going to have a press conference on the Sun. Seems that solar winds are at a 50 year low in addition to the fact that there have been few solar […]

September 21, 2008 6:34 am

Robert Bateman (03:58:50): “This is the 21st century, the days of the masses following every word of somebody’s edict are over.
Wish, my friend. Wish so much…

September 21, 2008 6:36 am

Ninderthana (04:54:41) :
However, I have data covering the years 1874 to 2005, that allows me to predict that equitorial rotation rate of the Sun between 2010 – 2025 will be (significantly) higher than the rotation rate between 1986 and 2002. This prediction is based upon the assumption that the spin-orbit coupling pattern that has existed from 1874 to 2005 will continue for another 15 years.
Perhaps you could show us what the solar rotation rate was in the past. A plot of the rotation rate since 1874.

leebert
September 21, 2008 6:57 am

Hi Lief,
I’ve read the upper oceans have something like a 10- to 20-year lag effect in response to thermally conductive heat exchange with the air, the deeper oceans of course show longer cycles. Seems to me there’d be some relationship…
I doubt science has any reliable way to model whether short- vs. long-term ocean heat exchange cycles coincide with solar activity of the past and present.
I still think someone could have some fun looking into the possibility of thermomagnetism in the seas — the effect of magnetic fields increasing heat conductivity of fluids with dissolved magnetic metals.

kim
September 21, 2008 7:52 am

Well, hello leebert; you should return to DotEarth, the warmistas are getting sullen.
==========================================

September 21, 2008 7:54 am

leebert (06:57:01) :
I still think someone could have some fun looking into the possibility of thermomagnetism in the seas — the effect of magnetic fields increasing heat conductivity of fluids with dissolved magnetic metals.
There is no shortage of ideas. Another one is that we know [because we have directly measured it with satellites] that during geomagnetic activity currents are induced in the ionosphere. This same process also induces almost equally strong currents in the ground and the sea. A current produces heat [your electric range], so these currents heat the sea, etc, etc. If you work through the numbers, you find however that the temperature increase is way too small to be measurable. At this point you begin to invoke storage: “yeah, but a 0.00001 degree increase over long enough time must have some effect, etc”.

September 21, 2008 9:09 am

Leif Svalgaard (06:36:27) :
Ninderthana (04:54:41) :
Perhaps you could show us what the solar rotation rate was in the past. A plot of the rotation rate since 1874.
While we wait, we can discuss solar rotation in general. The Sun is a ball of gas and the ‘rotation’ we see at the surface [the Sun’s ‘atmosphere’ in a sense] is the sum of the ‘real’ rotation and a system of ‘winds’ or flows [called zonal flows [East-West] to distinguish them from the meridional flow (North-South)].
On the Earth you have a similar situation. An alien in space measuring the rotation rate of the Earth by studying how fast the clouds go around will discover the trade winds, the jet streams, etc. All these ‘flows’ are distinct from the Earth’s rotation rate. If you study Venus’ clouds you find that they ‘rotate’ 50 times faster than the surface below. So there is a strong shear, both on Earth and Venus [and it turns out on Jupiter and Saturn as well] between the surface and the flows in the atmosphere. On Earth, this shear [or difference] can drive sailing ships across the oceans.
There are also similar shears on the Sun. The very surface layers ‘rotate’ slower than the matter interior to the outer 4% of the Sun [in radius]. This slowing down is attributed to magnetic ‘stresses’ caused by solar activity [see references in our paper http://www.leif.org/research/ast10867.pdf ] . There are also spatial structures [‘torsional oscillations’ – bad name, but that is what they are called] seen in the flows. The various flows are small compared to the rotation itself, a few meters per second compared to the rotational 2000 m/sec.
We use helioseismology to study the rotation and the flows inside the Sun. A very good introduction can be found here http://www.yale.edu/yibs/Solar%20Variability%20Program/climate_forum_basu.ppt that comes from a recent meeting: http://www.yale.edu/yibs/Solar%20Variability%20Program/Solar%20Variability%20Program.pdf with lots of interesting papers.
The basic picture is that the rotation of the Sun does not vary, but there are lots of flows and ‘winds’ and shear and structures that do vary and that variation is due to, in part, solar activity. Solar activity is thought [by most solar physicists] to be generated deep within the sun, below where all those flows are.
The prevailing view is that those minute changes [~0.5% on top of the basic rotation rate] is caused by the activity, slowing down the flows. The helioseismology data only goes back a solar cycle and the errors in trying to determine the flows before the modern age are huge and any changes are uncertain and not generally accepted. The torsional oscillation has been observed for some thirty years, here is a link to what it looks like http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/torsional.html
To summarize, solar activity seems to control flows in the outer layers of the Sun [very small compared to solar rotation itself]. With declining solar activity {we would thus expect these flows to ease a bit and the ‘equatorial rotation rate’ of the Sun to increase slightly in the coming years}, a prediction not unique to the spin-orbit coupling picture. I would expect the spin-orbit coupling to be with the spin of the Sun [i.e. the base rotation] rather than with the structurely complicated very small flows in the outer layers of the Sun [meters per second vs. kilometers per second for the spin]. There is a spin-orbit coupling between the Moon and the Earth, not with Moon and the trade winds.
Note:
{Material} edited per request of Leif Svalgaard – Anne

matt v.
September 21, 2008 9:16 am

http://omniweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi/nx1.cgi
http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadat/images.html
The sun has been changing with reduced solar wind ram pressures for some time now .This is more evident since 1990. Using OMNIWEB 27 day averages, the 1990 average was 2.8 nPa.The 2007 average was 1.92. To- date the average in 2008 is 1.74. During 2008 the average has dropped from 1.73 to 1.41, an 18% drop. The temperatures are also falling especially at the higher altitudes. Is there a connection?

September 21, 2008 10:17 am

Leif Svalgaard (17:24:16) :
“edcon (16:55:53) :
Since the sun basically consists of H and He what mechanism is responsible for the sun’s magnetic fields?
Nothing to do with iron [above the Curie temperature for FE anyway]. When the Sun was formed 5 billion years ago it ‘inherited’ a weak magnetic field from the Galaxy [If you ask where that came from, be prepared for a much longer answer OT]. The Sun’s matter is an electrically conducting plasma that moves around.”
Having worked in the power production field for a long time I understand how power is generated; however, I haven’t seen a large plasma generator though MHD was at one time considered a good prospect. It seems rather arcane as to how the galaxy could have induced a weak magnetic field in the sun 5 billion years ago but I need to investigate that further. The galaxy itself may be one giant dynamo of sort. I don’t think we understand exactly all the effects that we may encounter as our solar system moves through the galactic field and our galaxy moves through the local cluster & etc. May be we don’t have the “branes” yet!
I appreciate your comments and the time you spend responding to comments.

September 21, 2008 10:24 am

matt v. (09:16:29) :
The sun has been changing with reduced solar wind ram pressures for some time now.
The solar wind density that goes into the ram pressure calculation that you can find at the OMNI site is possibly too high during 1971-1999. Different spacecraft give different values for the density and Joe King who maintains the OMNI set is aware of the potential problem with the density [see http://omniweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/html/omni2_doc.html#norm ], but does not know how to correct in a non-objectionable way, so has opted for waiting with a final calibration until some more spacecraft data is available.
It is interesting that we have those problems all over the place: sunspots, solar wind data, temperature data, aa-index, TSI reconstructions, cosmic ray flux, etc. What it shows is that we are only at the beginning of the process of accounting for changes in our environment.

September 21, 2008 10:35 am

edcon (10:17:54) :
It seems rather arcane as to how the galaxy could have induced a weak magnetic field in the sun 5 billion years ago
It is like this: there is a weak magnetic field throughout the Galaxy [we know this in several ways, one is through Faraday rotation of polarized light from galactic sources]. The interstellar cloud from which the Sun formed was thus threaded already with a magnetic field. As the cloud contracted, the magnetic field following the matter was thus born into the Sun. Actually, the magnetic field of the ancient Sun was MUCH [perhaps 10,000 times] stronger than today and ‘solar activity’ was immense. The solar wind was furious too. The magnetic field of the solar wind worked as a brake on solar rotation [still does – but is very weak now] and slowed the Sun from a rotation period of typically one day to now 27 days.

September 21, 2008 10:58 am

[…] count, it took off like a rocket. Initially I had attributed the increase to having the NASA “press conference on the state of the sun” story posted on Glenn Reynolds “Instapundit” which is known to make huge traffic […]

Glenn
September 21, 2008 2:24 pm

Another paper, from Lockwood 1999 concerning solar increase:
From this correlation, we show that the 131% rise in the mean coronal source field over the interval 1901-1995 corresponds to a rise in the average total solar irradiance of D I = 1.65 ± 0.23 Wm-2.
http://www.ukssdc.ac.uk/wdcc1/papers/grl.html
Again, 1.5 w/m2 is what is claimed of CO2 forcing in the last century. Seems that figure is more than insignificant or immeasurable.

September 21, 2008 3:31 pm

Glenn (14:24:42) :
Another paper, from Lockwood 1999 concerning solar increase
You just don’t get it, or you make no effort to even try. The Lockwood TSI work was based on his 1999 open flux paper, which everybody today agrees is flawed. Even Lockwood’s group [Alexis Roulliard et al.] agrees that the doubling of the flux did not happen. The Lockwood 1999 paper is totally debunked by now. See: Reply to the comment by M. Lockwood et al…that has references to other papers showing that the aa-index is flawed. Since you don’t read anything I’ll post here our conclusion with the references:
“In fact, it has given us the opportunity to raise a serious question about their methodology, specifically, their use of the Sargent recurrence index to reconstruct solar wind speed (combined with an error in the calibration of the aa index prior to 1957 [Arge, C. N., E. Hildner, V. J. Pizzo, and J. W. Harvey (2002), Two solar cycles of non-increasing magnetic flux, J. Geophys. Res., 07(A10), 1319, doi:10.1029/2001JA000503; Svalgaard, L., E. W. Cliver, and P. Le Sager (2004), IHV: A new long-term geomagnetic index, Adv. Space Res., 34(2), 436; Jarvis, M. (2005), Observed tidal variation in the lower thermosphere through the 20th century and the possible implication of ozone depletion, J. Geophys. Res., 110, A04303, doi:10.1029/2004JA010921; M. Lockwood et al., The long-term drift in geomagnetic activity: calibration of the aa index using data from a variety of magnetometer stations, submitted to Annales Geophysicae, 2006; L. Svalgaard and E. W. Cliver, Longterm variation of geomagnetic activity (the IHV-index) and its use in deriving solar wind speed since 1882, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 112, A10111, doi:10.1029/2007JA012437, 2007], Mursula, K., and D. Martini (2006), Centennial increase in geomagnetic activity: Latitudinal differences and global estimates, J. Geophys. Res., 111, A08209, doi:10.1029/2005JA011549; Mursula, K., D. Martini, and A. Karinen (2004), Did open solar magnetic field increase during the last 100 years: A reanalysis of geomagnetic activity, Sol. Phys., 224, 85;), which, in our opinion, is the likely cause of the major increase in the inferred coronal field that LSW99 report, but which we cannot confirm.”
Here is a recent (2008) paper by Claus Froehlich on TSI and the open flux. Note his acknowledgment of discussions with Lockwood and me. Claus is still struggling with trying to understand why his PMOD data shows a decline this minimum which is spurious [compared to SORCE]: http://www.leif.org/research/Forum-Frohlich_cf.ppt or the pdf version: http://www.leif.org/research/Froehlich-Sofia-2008.pdf
Note in particular slide 14 that shows the good agreement between Lockwood [Rouillard] [red curve] and us [green curve]. Compare where the green curve was in 1900 and where it is now.
So, once more, the 1999 Lockwood papers have been superseded and all papers based on it are suspect [e.g. Solanki etc].
Come on, you should be able to see this and move on, participate in science in the making, rather than hunting obsolete papers on the Internet.
Reply: Links fixed per request ~ charles the moderator

September 21, 2008 3:36 pm

Its a very interesting for me, as a journalist and scientist. J have a some newspaper articels by the problems of our Space and other variouse the problems of NASA . If you want, you can see their full texts in my blog “nikotew.wordpress.com” – in “Recent posts” (Air, Space and Ciberspace…)

September 21, 2008 3:39 pm

About the my little mistake:
The name of the my blog is “nikotev.wordpress.com”. Thank you!

Glenn
September 21, 2008 3:49 pm

I do get what you are saying, Leif. Yet you can’t seem to even get your URLs to post properly. And you reference your own claims to this “debunking”? I did the same with another researcher yesterday who claimed in a response to a paper critical of his work that he had debunked the claims. Frankly, I don’t know if this is “science in the making” or whether the prevailing understanding from years of observation and research will prevail, despite your claims. You seem to think you have some new information that would cause most of the world’s literature in this respect on it’s ear, and all in the last few months. Give it a break, and slack off some. Try to convince if you will, but don’t expect to win my approval or understanding when you continually insult me. And I suggest that when you claim things like “here is the paper by such and such” that you produce the URL to the paper, not to your website.

September 21, 2008 4:05 pm

Glenn (15:49:15) :
Yet you can’t seem to even get your URLs to post properly.
And this comment is not called for. Now, who is insulting whom here?
And I suggest that when you claim things like “here is the paper by such and such” that you produce the URL to the paper, not to your website.
I often get the paper from the authors and collect them on my website so that you do not have to pay $9-$35 to read them.
Did you read the Froehlich paper I referred to to? And why not?
You seem to think you have some new information that would cause most of the world’s literature in this respect on it’s ear, and all in the last few months
Indeed yes, except not in the last few months. This is the result of years of work. You are correct that acceptance of my work is recent, but that is just because it takes time for even a breakthrough to percolate through the literature. But we are getting there.

Glenn
September 21, 2008 4:14 pm

“everybody today agrees is flawed. Even Lockwood’s group [Alexis Roulliard et al.] agrees that the doubling of the flux did not happen.”
Then simply provide working URLs to papers from these people, including Lockwood, with a relevant quote or two.
As far as my “hunting obsolete papers”, I’ve already provided URLs and quote to Lockwood’s 2008 papers. You may have found some exotic lifeform stirring up the Sun, but the correlation between solar activity and temperature is well recognized and strong, and I have not seen a *single thing* from you that “refutes” that.

Glenn
September 21, 2008 4:24 pm

“But we are getting there.”
Some change from “everybody today agrees is flawed”, don’t you think?
By the way, doesn’t Lockwood have something in press concerning the IHV-index?

Jeff Alberts
September 21, 2008 4:41 pm

From Leif’s refereed paper on Dikpati:

2) Cycle 23 was not particularly peculiar. Cycle 20 was even more so. The polar fields
regularly do not reverse at the same time. Sometimes there are multiple reversals (cycle
20 again comes to mind). Claiming special attention should be given to the model’s
treatment of the (not so peculiar) cycle 23 weakens the paper.

Soo, Cycle 20 was “even more so” not particularly peculiar? The sentence structure doesn’t convey what you intended, I think that Cycle 20 was more peculiar than 23, but the exact opposite.

September 21, 2008 4:58 pm

Glenn (16:14:23) :
Then simply provide working URLs to papers from these people, including Lockwood, with a relevant quote or two.
I gave you a lot of references to ‘everybody’. Most of these don’t have URLs but you have to go and find them in the Journals. A good place to find the papers is http://adswww.harvard.edu/
Anyway, here is one URL that I have handy:
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006JA012130.shtml
Centennial changes in the solar wind speed and in the open solar flux, Rouillard, A. P.; Lockwood, M.; Finch, I.
Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 112, Issue A5, CiteID A05103, 05/2007, DOI: 10.1029/2006JA012130
Abstract
We use combinations of geomagnetic indices, based on both variation range and hourly means, to derive the solar wind flow speed, the interplanetary magnetic field strength at 1 AU and the total open solar flux between 1895 and the present. We analyze the effects of the regression procedure and geomagnetic indices used by adopting four analysis methods. These give a mean interplanetary magnetic field strength increase of 45.1 +/- 4.5% between 1903 and 1956, associated with a 14.4 +/- 0.7% rise in the solar wind speed. We use averaging timescales of 1 and 2 days to allow for the difference between the magnetic fluxes threading the coronal source surface and the heliocentric sphere at 1 AU. The largest uncertainties originate from the choice of regression procedure: the average of all eight estimates of the rise in open solar flux is 73.0 +/- 5.0%, but the best procedure, giving the narrowest and most symmetric distribution of fit residuals, yields 87.3 +/- 3.9%.
You will note two important details. First the remaining ‘rise’ is now from 1903 to 1956, not the ‘last 100 years anymore’ and as NASA will reveal on Tuesday, the solar wind has come down again. Our work shows the same thing: a low state in the beginning of the 20th century, a rise with the sunspot numbers up to the middle of the century, then a decline [with a few ups and downs on its way] towards now where we are just back to where we started. Second, the value of 1901 in the paper is way wrong [like only half of what it should be – due to a clerical error – Alexis Rouillard, personal communication to me and Froehlich; you will note that that data point is missing on slide 14 in Froehlich’s paper] and drives the early century values down below the correct value enhancing any rise. Further you will notice that Lockwood has abandoned his old method and adopted a variation on our method instead.
The point I’m trying to get across is that NASA is so proud that Ulysses has shown a long-term change in the solar wind derived from more than four cycles worth of data. Our work extends that to 15 cycles. This is indeed something that is causing a serious rethinking of the long-term solar wind behavior.
As far as my “hunting obsolete papers”, I’ve already provided URLs and quote to Lockwood’s 2008 papers.
If you would care to read that paper you would note that the open flux he shows is still the old 1999 flux. Note the flux calculated in the above paper.

Robert Wood
September 21, 2008 4:59 pm

Glenn,
Drop the cheap shots. Leif knows his stuff about the Sun. If he points out a factual error in your chain of belief, then adjust. He himself doesn’t understand what causes “warming or cooling”, or whether there is indeed any over the past few decades, just like the rest of us. I favour the Sun hypothesis, but don’t have a proven mechanism .
On another tack, to clarify the quiestion of argument:
The planet can “warm” due to two possible mechanisms:
1. The Sun’s energy input (insolation) increases.
2. More of the Sun’s ebnergy is trapped at the surface (insulation).
Either way, wouldn’t the tropopause increase in height? Would the height increase be different if it were due to insolatioan rather than insulation?

Editor
September 21, 2008 5:06 pm

edcon (10:17:54) :
“May be we don’t have the “branes” yet!”
I’m sorry, but that is an awful pun, the moderators should be embarrassed if they don’t realize that. You should be rather pleased with yourself.

Glenn
September 21, 2008 5:13 pm

Here’s a 2004 paper, during a time of your years of work on the subject:
Solar Physics (2004) 224: 85–94
DID OPEN SOLAR MAGNETIC FIELD INCREASE DURING THE LAST100 YEARS? A REANALYSIS OF GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY
K. MURSULA, D. MARTINI and A. KARINEN
“This exceptionally weak increase of local geomagneticactivity at CLH/FRD made Svalgaard, Cliver, and Le Sager (2004) to erroneouslydoubt the increase of global geomagnetic activity during the last 100 years. Although we find that there is no doubt that global geomagnetic activity has increased during the last 100 years, the exact amount of this increase is not completely unambiguous. The corresponding relative increase in the aa index is 65%..”
You can claim that “doubling of the flux” was wrong, but this doesn’t disprove that solar activity has increased in the last 100 years. This is what you need to show has not happened, since that is our disagreement.
If you wish to link your claim of the flux not doubling to solar activity not increasing in the last hundred years, then you have to do that, not just say that Lockwood was wrong.
A paper isn’t always completely wrong about everything in it when one thing in it might be wrong.

September 21, 2008 5:16 pm

there is only theory when it comes to sunspot activiity….nothing is proved. to me its not rocket science, plain and simple every time neptune, uranus and jupitor line up and saturn is apposing we have a cooling and less sunspot activity. check it out for yourself using this tool.
http://math-ed.com/Resources/GIS/Geometry_In_Space/java1/Temp/TLVisPOrbit.html

Robert Wood
September 21, 2008 5:31 pm

Well, well, well. it has become very cloudy over the past two years here in Ottawa, Canada, leading to the cold summer of 2007, big long winter of 2007-2008 and poor summer of 2008. This period is characterized, locally, by large amounts of cloud cover and low temperatures (my subjective perception).
I don’t know how to post a gif here, so go to http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/ and set start date to jan 1 2006 and end dat september 1 2008, with a 1 month resolution.
Perhaps Svenmark’s theory has legs.

Editor
September 21, 2008 5:42 pm

Ninderthana (04:54:41) :

I realize that Barycentrism has a large non-scientific following and that any mention of it brings out a flood of psuedo-scientists who have no trouble throwing scientific principles to the wind. But I feel that you and Leif are too hasty in dismissing this idea out of hand.

My problem with barycenters is 1) they are a mathematical convenience developed for particular situations, and 2) anything that can’t be modeled as a point is likely not appropriate to model with barycenters. Given the extensive discussion about barycenters and tides recently, I’m not ready for more discussion.
When you first brought up the spin coupling idea I thought of Larry Niven’s “Neutron Star,” where a spaceship (long, skinny type) makes a close flyby to a neutron star. During the approach, the spaceship got into a tidal lock with the star and was released during the retreat. Niven heard after publication that the ship would have started a spin at the fly by that would not have stopped on the way out.
It seems to me that if you made some simple structures and modeled them as an N-body problem you ought to be able to get some decent results. Yeah, it’s rocket science, but it’s not climate science. Oh wait – it is climate science. 🙂

I would ask you have an open enough mind to at least acknowledge that if my prediction turns out be correct [we have only 2 years to wait) that you might consider the [possibility] that such a spin-[orbit] coupling may exist.

I can wait – it beats waiting for geology to happen! Confirmation of predictions, even derived from statistical data can be good science. It’s about the same to me as the prediction that sunspots may fade from view around 2015, except that the related events can be unambiguously observed. (Reduced magnetic field -> more convection -> warmer plasma -> reduced contrast.)