New Solar Cycle Not Packing Much Punch

I found a reference to this article while looking at Leif Svalgaard’s website, and since I missed it the first time around, and because the message is still valid, I thought I’d reprint it here. Also, the artwork they provided a hi-res link to makes a great desktop wallpaper. – Anthony

New Solar Cycle Not Packing Much Punch

Story from REDORBIT NEWS:

Published: 2008/05/19 06:00:00 CDT

Many solar scientists expected the new sunspot cycle to be a whopper, a prolonged solar tantrum that could fry satellites and raise hell with earthly communications, the power grid and modern electronics.

But there’s scant proof Sunspot Cycle 24 is even here, let alone the debut of big trouble.

So far there have been just a couple minor zits on the face of the sun to suggest the old cycle is over and the new one is coming.

The roughly 11-year cycle of sunspot activity should have bottomed out last year, the end of Cycle 23 and the beginning of Cycle 24. That would have put the peak in new sunspot activity around 2012.

But a dud sunspot cycle would not necessarily make it a boring period, especially for two solar scientists with the Tucson-based National Solar Observatory.

Two years ago, William Livingston and Matt Penn wrote a paper for the journal Science predicting that this could not only be a dud sunspot cycle, but the start of another extended down period in solar activity. It was based on their analysis of weakening sunspot intensity and said sunspots might vanish by 2015.

And here’s the punch line: That last long-term down period, 1645-1715, coincided with the Little Ice Age, a period of bitter cold winters.

That kind of talk could ruffle some feathers in this time of climate change and global warming, starring man-made carbon dioxide as the devil.

The paper, rejected in peer review, was never published by Science. Livingston said he’s OK with the rejection.

“I accept what the reviewers said,” Livingston said. “‘If you are going to make such statement, you had better have strong evidence.’ ”

Livingston said their projections were based on observations of a trend in decreasingly powerful sunspots but reviewers felt it was merely a statistical argument.

He is aware that some opponents of the prevailing position that climate change and global warming are the result of manmade activity — greenhouse gas, specifically carbon dioxide, buildup — are very much interested in the idea that changes might be related to solar activity.

“But it has not been proven yet,” cautioned Livingston, an astronomer emeritus who still works out of an office at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory headquarters building on the University of Arizona campus.

“We may have to wait. We may be wrong. (But) the sun is going to entertain us one way or another,” he said.

It’s not just a scientific curiosity. There’s a lot at stake in predicting whether sunspot cycles are going to be tame or wild, said Matt Penn of the National Solar Observatory.

The powerful blasts of radiation that come from solar activity can fry electronic equipment on Earth; particularly vulnerable are satellites.

The high-energy radiation produced by solar flares travels at near the speed of light, getting to Earth in just minutes.

But the magnetic effects of a solar flare can take between two and three days to reach Earth, said Penn, a solar scientist.

In the 1800s, magnetic blasts from intense solar activity induced currents in telegraph lines in the U.S. and Italy, starting fires and damaging equipment. Later, it was learned that solar activity affected radio transmission.

It can also affect the electrical-power grid. A solar tantrum in 1989 blew transformers and caused a blackout in Canada. And a number of satellites are thought to have failed from exposure to high-energy blasts from solar activity.

Satellite operators can turn them away or shut down vulnerable equipment aboard, and astronauts can use shielding to avoid those blasts.

If Cycle 24 is the big cycle predicted, Penn said, “it’s likely we’ll have geomagnetic storms with a lot of sunspots, a lot of flares on the sun.”

Penn said even so-called “quiet sun” periods are far from boring because the sun’s “surface consists of Texas-sized hot gas bubbles, which rise upward at a speed of about a mile per second. The gas cools and falls downward in narrower channels at about the same speed. That’s what we call the ‘quiet sun.'”

“As we get more into the space environment with satellites, GPS and communication satellites, it means money. People who are about to launch new communication satellites really want to know how much shielding to put on their satellites.

“But shielding amounts to weight, which is money. If they want them to last through (an intense cycle), they’re going to want to protect them more, and that will cost them more.”

Penn is the telescope scientist on the McMath-Pierce solar telescope, the strange angular white thing amid all the white and silver-domed things atop Kitt Peak. Specifically, Penn works with an instrument that “sees” in the infrared range to provide information about magnetic activity.

Sometimes, sunspot activity is more than theory or data to him.

Several years ago, he was making an early-morning run from Tucson up to Kitt Peak to do some solar observing. He noticed his gas gauge was dangerously low and decided to stop for gas at the convenience store in Three Points.

It was about 5 a.m., and no one was there to take cash, so he tried to use his credit card to gas up. But the pay-at-the-pump system was down.

Crossing his fingers and driving up the mountain, Penn said he hoped he’d have enough gas after work to make it back to the station on the way home.

When he got to work, he learned that “a communications satellite had been damaged by (a solar flare). Lots of communications were dropped that morning, and my credit-card pay-at-the-pump attempt was one of them.”

Though Aimee Norton appreciates the practical benefits of being able to predict the sun’s activity, solving some of the star’s mysteries that relate to the big picture are more compelling. Norton is a program scientist on the solar observatory’s SOLIS (Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun) facility at Kitt Peak.

“Part of what we’re trying to understand is how the magnetic field regulates or moderates the energy that is transported in the atmosphere,” Norton said. “Because one of the mysteries of the sun is, it’s hotter in the upper atmosphere than (at the surface). So there is energy being transported. Some people think the magnetic field is somehow magically getting that energy out there.”

Norton said she’s hoping for a powerful cycle, noting, “It would give us more things to do research with — either that or no cycle at all, which would be similar to the Maunder Minimum.”

She said she figures there’s little chance of a completely dead cycle but added, “Wouldn’t that be fascinating if the solar system managed to offset our contribution?”

Because you can’t go

–Visit Solar Cycle 24: www.solarcycle24.com/  

–Mr. Sunspot’s Answer Book: http://eo.nso.edu/MrSunspot/answerbook/polarity.html  

–NASA’s Solar Physics: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/whysolar.shtml  

–Solar storms: www.solarstorms.org  

–National Solar Observatory’s Solis solar telescope (Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun): http://solis.nso.edu  

–For more information on sunspots: http://spaceweather.com or http://science.nasa.gov  

–For a list of sometimes spectacular sunspot-induced problems: http://sw.astron.kharkov.ua/swimpacts.html

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150 thoughts on “New Solar Cycle Not Packing Much Punch

  1. The alarmist plan has now gone bad, it was clearly devised based on what scientist had to say about the predicted SSC24, and the ignorance of the public, Now the quite sun has caused the ‘calamity of the alarmist’, when the expected whopper sunspot cycle is a no show — In fact worse, the sun went quite. Curses, plan foiled.

    Regardless what Al Gore and the alarmists do, the sun will do what the sun does, and the Earth and the solar system will follow, It is so ordered …

    And how could this have ever worked, look no farther than government schools.

    And now we are faced with a real dilemma, the very real possibility of global cooling, which our factory farming techniques may not be able to cope with. Challenging times ahead. All we can do is sit and wait, since we are all in a hysteria about the imaginary.

  2. Off topic but on the weather channel the color for snow on there maps is very dim . It’s almost a light green.

  3. I have been a reader for a few months now and I am very pleased at the ability for me and others to research this whole issue of AGW or NOT. Thanks to all of you especially those like Lief and others who are professionals devoted to good science. It is my opinion that the cooling side of the arguement is drowned out by the majority in media and government and the likes of Al Gore and Hansen.

    What I believe we should consider is providing a public forum in the form of a “Conference”. I am from Louisiana and our current Governor Bobby Jindal has been a highlight recently in politics. I have e-mailed Governor Jindal with the proposition that a conference be scheduled in our State with the intent to provide a national platform to the media and the rest of the world about the issues we know are not being disseminated to the public and government.

    His word on sponsoring such a conference has not been answered as yet. I know just as you do and that I believe Governor Jindal will also, that the issue of AGW vs cooling is and will have a profound effect on not just our country but other industrialized countries as well. Many many isues relative to food supply, tax policy, freedom itself can be influenced by a dissenting voice.

    One way to influence this effort is to email your support for such an event. This response will be used to send to Governor Jindal for the purpose of demonstrating broad support for the Conference.

    This Conference can be scheduled to last at least a week long. Those who represent significant scientific influence within their respective fields will form the basis for discussion and will keynote their ideas and data. Break out sessions will be used to provide additional detail and/or discuss to formulate future policy. In the end the Conference (no name yet) will serve to counter much of what we know to be misleading and false information and propoganda by the AGW’s.

    My e-mail address is safesounds@yahoo.com If you believe this conference is a good idea please e-mail me. You don’t have to elaborate if you care not. I just want a good head count. Additionally e-mail your friends for thier input and have them e-mail as well. If its demonstrated there is enough support we’ll take the next step.

    I’ll try to post here later to let everyone know how its going. I am open to suggestions and help from anyone so if you have some things to say please do so. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Michael Clark

  4. Livingston said their projections were based on observations of a trend in decreasingly powerful sunspots but reviewers felt it was merely a statistical argument.

    But isn’t that what the “hockey stick” is? A statistical argument? And a poorly made one at that. More evidence that some journals and reviewers have an agenda.

  5. Michael, I think your premise of AGW vs Cooling is invalid. It should be AGW versus NGW (Natural Global Warming), since we all know that global climate will warm and cool at a whim.

  6. tarpon, now wait a minute. How in the heck could this be caused by government schools? Are you on a curriculum committee? Have you reviewed the contents of the approved science curriculum over the last decades when temps were going up? And do you know how often the new approved science texts are purchased? Have you personally sat in on a science lesson taught in a “government” school? Where are you getting your theory from? What research have you done on this issue?

    The only thing I am aware of (and I have taught science at the middle school level), if anything, it that it has been the religious right sitting on school boards who have managed to get in some very shaky “science” into those government buildings marked with school bells.

    To be factual, lots of things warm our surrounding temperatures. Concrete, soot, agriculture practices, forestry practices, poor shade tree planning, and even CO2. These things have an affect on local temperatures, local weather, and local mini-climates, which are then translated to local thermometers. I am less sure about translating into large regional climates.

    But you seem absolutely sure about the government school issue. Is the science more sure about that than it is about climate variability?

    Please enlighten me with a learned response.

  7. jeff,

    Thanks for the reply. Let me clarify what I wanted to say. I believe there is a group of people lay and professional alike who believe Global temp and climate are influenced more by natural causes or forces and less by what we do as humans.

    When I said cooling I’m merely reflecting what I believe are natural forces (a lot from the sun’s influence) which are helping to lower temps as they are registered globally.

    I’m trying convey a lot with few words and I don’t always do that so well.

    Thanks Mike Clark

  8. Government schools are horrendous, Pamela. For so many young people to blindly accept catastrophic anthropogenic global warming as fact, they would have to be indoctrinated to the gills. Sorry. Government indoctrination in schools will be the death of a free society.

  9. Livingston said. “‘If you are going to make such statement, you had better have strong evidence.’ “

    Interesting that this applies to solar theories but not to CO2; the so-called scientific journals are clearly playing favourites.

  10. Pamela Gray (12:46:27) :
    You are correct in indentifying climate as local. The Western Garden Book identifies 24 climate zones from Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico west. There are micro-climates within some of those zones. The publishers of the book have an economic interest in propagating valid information about the successful growing of living plants and have derived the information from local and state farm agencies instead of Federal agencies.

    The features of a climate zone are given as: latitude, elevation, ocean influence, continental air influence, mountains and hills and local terrain.

    Global climate change? That is “consensus” science at its finest.

  11. Pingback: The Global Warming » Blog Archive » New Solar Cycle Not Packing Much Punch

  12. For the people that have not followed my ongoing reports about the Livingston & Penn paper, Bill Livingston keeps me up-to-date and so far the spots since the Figure in the paper have followed the projected line nicely.

  13. Fascinating article.

    If the ideas of Livingston & Penn are proven corrrect by the activity (or rather, the lack of activity) on the sun, this will be good news for satellite operators. Not such good news for mankind, having to confront some mighty colder winters. Yet, with any luck, the colder winters will send Gore, et al, packing as their house of cards crumbles in the blustery winds.

  14. Jeff Alberts (12:44:55)
    According to an AGW scientist, the cessation of global warming, in 1998, is due the masking of AGW by NGC (Natural Global Cooling). The inverse must also be true, that up until 1998, AGW was masking NGC.

  15. NASA last month reported that the “The average pressure of the solar wind has dropped more than 20% since the mid-1990’s”.

    For some time now I have been saying that major solar wind ram pressures spikes may be affecting the climate of our planet[ possibly through joule heating or some other yet to be discovered mechanism] Attached is a table showing the number of major solar wind ram pressure spikes from 1989 to September 2008. As you will note from the graph, the number of major solar wind ram pressure spikes [10 nPa and greater [using 1 hour intervals] has also been declining [ linear plot]

    YEAR NUMBER
    OF SOLAR
    WIND RAM
    PRESSURE
    SPIKES
    10nPa & >
    1989 32 SOL.MAX
    1990 19
    1991 26
    1992 23
    1993 14
    1994 13
    1995 18
    1996 5 SOL.MIN
    1997 18
    1998 22
    1999 17
    2000 32 SOL.MAX
    2001 28
    2002 17
    2003 14
    2004 13
    2005 33
    2006 8
    2007 10
    2008 todate 5 SOL.MIN

    Based on Leif Svalgaard’s previous comments I have started to look at major pressure spikes [5 nPa and up using 1 hour average] between 2005 and September 2008, a total of 95 spikes on a day by day basis.He suggested going back 20 years but I have only had time to date look at the last four years. Daily and 27 day averages were too large a time frame and masked the large spikes which last mostly hours and not days or months. I discovered that there was a temperature change correlation [a small temperature spike, a continued temperature increase, or a lull or flat slope on a cooling curve] for 61 or 64% % of the spikes] on the same day or a day after. During 2008 the percentage was 77%. About 68% of these 61 temperature changes had a clear detectable small temperature spikes on the global temperature curve .It is difficult to clearly identify these small atmospheric temperature changes in the midst of larger atmospheric temperature changes due to upper level turbulence , higher level lows and hurricanes and storms that modify the upper climate. I also found that the solar wind spike pattern each year affected the temperatures at different locations differently when compared to the global figures of the Amsu A data set. For example the 2008 figures had an 89 % fit for the Toronto International Airport compared to the 77% global fit. As can be expected each major solar wind ram pressure spike is different in magnitude, duration, and direction . Hence a minimum correlation is difficult to quantify.

    It would appear to me that high temperature anomaly years like 2005 have higher solar wind ram pressure spikes and low temperature anomaly years like 1996, 2006-2008 have less. The temperature anomalies of years like 1989 and 2000 which also had a higher number of major solar wind ram pressure spikes like 2005; seem to have been cooled down by the extended La Nina effect of the previous year and the year in question.

    El Nino, La Nina effects and major volcanic eruptions [Pinatubo 1991-1994] seem to alter or modify the above.

    We are all well aware that the atmospheric temperatures at the higher altitudes [lower Stratosphere] have been declining for some time. [Since at least the 1960’s]. Now the lower Troposphere temperatures are also declining [SEE. http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadat/images.html.%5D

    I t would appear to me that as long as the solar wind continues to be quiet or decline, so will our global temperatures stay cool or decline The sun continues to be the prime mover of global climate for heating and cooling in my opinion.

    SOURCES FOR DATA
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/amsutemps.html [I am using the 1km elevation data]

    http://omniweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/form/dx1.html [I am using 1 hour interval plots]

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff I use this to confirm the magnitude of geomagnetic impact of the larger solar wind ram pressure spikes]

  16. Carston,
    “There appears to be a new cycle 23-24 sunspot prediction out (October 2008)”

    Good ole Dave Hathaway just never gives up.

  17. Regulus Bartleby (13:09:38) :
    In defense of Pamela, schools are local and not global, and not all schools are centers of indoctrination, fortunately. The MSPs (Main Stream Propagandists) spread the news about school failures in Urban areas and say nothing about the success of home schooling and charter schools where parents take the responsibility for their children’s well-being, which includes their education.

    Indoctrination will, perhaps, lead to the demise of Federal Government Controlled schools, which are not authorized as a legitimate Federal concern by the provisions of Articles I, II or III of the Constitution, but are the legitimate province of the states per the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

  18. Stephen Wilde (14:18:32) :
    This is a good time at which to draw attention to my update about TSI and other solar changes since the points I make are relevant to this thread.

    The graph of TSI you show is the old obsolete Lean reconstruction which she has long since abandoned. Judith Lean has not been ‘pressured’ to revise her graph. Most researchers [including Judith and me BTW – whom nobody can pressure] now agree that the total variation has not been anywhere near the 4 W/m2 you mention, but only of the order of 1 W/m2. So, any inferences drawn from the old Lean graph are simply not valid. If you want to combat AGW, doing it with invalid data just strengthens the AGW case. I believe we have been down that road before…


  19. Mike Bryant (13:54:20) :

    Carston,
    “There appears to be a new cycle 23-24 sunspot prediction out (October 2008)”

    Good ole Dave Hathaway just never gives up.

    Observe that the figure predicts only to 2015 :-)

  20. Pamela Gray (12:46:27)

    I don’t know how pervasive the indocrination may be but my grandson in the 6th grade sat through a 2 to 3 hour discussion of AGW by a representative from the state EPA. I assume someone from the school probably provided the invitation.

  21. Mike Bryant (13:54:20) :

    Carston,
    “There appears to be a new cycle 23-24 sunspot prediction out (October 2008)”

    ” Good ole Dave Hathaway just never gives up.”

    In recent interviews, Hathaway has been quite realistic about what’s been going on with the sun.

    If he were going to make significant changes in his forecast, I would expect him to also make (and publish) significant changes in his forecast reasoning, and there just isn’t the information available to do that.

    If we don’t have a major pick up in activity within about the next 8 or 9 months, his graph is going to go vertical and his forecast will have to be revised or withdrawn (or punted, as the IPS forecast has been).

  22. My favorite quote from the original article is that the Livingston & Penn article was rejected by Nature because “reviewers felt it was merely a statistical argument”.

    Isn’t that all AGW is ??? After all, it’s just a hypothesis based on a statistical correlation over the last 100 years. I haven’t seen any publication that has definitive physics to prove the hypothesis – all rely on various feedbacks which cant be validated any more than Livingston & Penn’s hypothesis.

    The hypocrisy of this rejection makes me sick. This is a corruption of science that any scientist should be furious about. Why? Wait until your science gets cross threaded with what ever the political correct position of the day is. How will you feel when a career of scientific research goes out the window because it conflicts with some non-scientists political agenda ?? Don’t think it could happen? I bet there are a lot of climate scientists who would have said the same thing 15 years ago. The mixing of politics & science is one of the most revolting developments of our modern era. It probably speaks to a deeper problem that society in general doesn’t have the schooling or ability to think scientifically.

    The good thing about Livingston & Penn’s hypothesis is we may be able to see it tested, and either validated or refuted on the basis of data over the next few years. The data will speak for itself, regardless if Nature chooses to publish it or not.

  23. Factoid: Barry Saltzman is not in Wikipedia!
    Who is he, you ask?
    http://www.yale.edu/opa/arc-ybc/v29.n18/story18.html
    He was Michael Mann’s supervisor for his 1998 Yale Ph.D.
    He deserves much more credit for being a founding father of AGW theory.

    The reason I bring this up is that I like the way he starts the prologue to his book
    Dynamical Paleoclimatology

    We dance round in a ring and suppose,
    but the secret sits in the middle and knows”

    Robert Frost 1945

    rings…cycles
    (This is in Google Books)

  24. In the past 12 years, I have been involved, sometimes as a parent, more often as an educator, in 12 school districts located throughout Oregon. I hold credentials in Oregon that stipulate I am highly qualified to teach all subjects at grade level through the 9th grade in self-contained classrooms for students on IEP’s. Most of my time has been spent teaching middle school kids with behavior issues in self-contained classrooms. These kids were (and are) by and large bright and able to digest scientific subjects. I use a standard science curriculum designed for easily frustrated students that follows the mandated science scope and sequence. Not once was global warming mentioned in the text. I have also used standard science textbooks at the middle school level and again, not once was global warming mentioned.

    I also am familiar with research that shows that when compared with matched subjects across programs for typical learners, private schools and home schooling is no better or worse than public schools. Except in one area. Public school students on IEP’s score higher on standard state benchmark tests than students on IEP’s who are schooled in these other environments.

    So again, show me your data. Don’t just say what your philosophy is. I want hard data that says that man-made global warming mentality is the fault of public schools. Otherwise I might be lead to believe that people who say such things are easy targets for other poorly thought out statements, such as what we see and hear in the media these days.

  25. Three of those years were spent developing a self-contained program that received middle school students (and two 5th graders) from 5 surrounding districts (from as far away as the coast and all the way to a suburb of Portland) that were unable to provide the specialized programming for these difficult to teach and reach students. Just a clarification as to why I have been involved in so many districts in 12 years.

  26. matt v. (13:49:34) :

    NASA last month reported that the “The average pressure of the solar wind has dropped more than 20% since the mid-1990’s”.

    For some time now I have been saying that major solar wind ram pressures spikes may be affecting the climate of our planet[ possibly through joule heating or some other yet to be discovered mechanism]

    Henrik Svensmark has a theory that cloud formation is caused by comic rays, and during periods of low solar wind clouds will cause the earth to cool. During times of high solar wind, lack of clouds will cause the earth to heat up.

    <a href=”http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/the-discover-interview-henrik-svensmark”Discover Magazine

  27. And what if the AGW came on top of Solar Forcing? It would mean that this minima (and I do believe it’s the real deal) is the biggest break handed to mankind since the retreat of the Ice Age.
    Why it would have to be total AGW or zero AGW with so little data is beyond reason. We do not know this for a fact either way, but one day we surely shall.
    Right now the noise of the background is stronger than dirt and we count sunzits in a pool of clearasil.

  28. I can also hazard a reasonable guess as to why AGW is being taught: It’s profitable to program the children towards alteranate energy and its less than cheap energy throughput in light of finite and dwindling oil, and to do that ahead of time.
    Human society can adapt to slow changes, but they fail miserably when cut off cold turkey.

  29. Talking about disappointing … What about the (lack of) hurricanes?

    I hear no one discussing how few the number of hurricanes, and of lower force, there were this year, dispite global warming,

  30. To no one in particular
    lean2000_irradiance.txt
    The title gives us a clue Lean and 2000 relating to irradiance. The graph itself does not particularly identify authorship, date time, version, nor linkage to source or updates. It seems so easy to cite a source and then a whole elaborate thought process built on that particular ‘fact’ is built. The fact changes yet without the linkage to the source it makes it very difficult without ‘knowing’ that the facts have changed. Further even why the facts have changed. To me a minor outside viewer I cannot imagine how rational scientific progress is made. Temperature, sunspots, TSI, solar wind, ocean temperatures, ice extent or area all seem to be incredibly dynamic. The opinions of same are beyond dynamic. I understand how to button down data on a local scale, I have no idea how to gain control of data beyond that. I do not see even the local scale being handled with the Kindergarten requirements of name and date. Or the journalistic approach Who, What, Where, Why and When.
    I typically throw in a version number on to of those simple requirements. It seems to be a free for all.

  31. A warm planet is a happy planet :-)

    Come on. Someone organise the bumper stickers, please. I can’t do all the work :^)

  32. Interesting that Livingston an astronomer gets it right 2 years before the event.

    Plus… small growth in TSI is one thing, but how do cycle lengths compound or takeaway temp effects, compare lots of short active cycles compared with not so active longer cycles that dwell longer in the cool zone?

  33. Paul Benkovitz (17:51:59) :
    Henrik Svensmark has a theory that cloud formation is caused by comic rays, and during periods of low solar wind clouds will cause the earth to cool. During times of high solar wind, lack of clouds will cause the earth to heat up.

    Irrespective of the solar wind, the cosmic ray flux now is not higher than it always is at every [second] solar minimum [there is a reason it is a bit higher in 2008, 1986, and 1965, than in 1996, 1976, and 1954]. Here is a plot of the GCR flux for two stations [Moscow and Oulu] http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRaysNow.pdf
    Note that at any rate the GCR variations are only a few per cent.

  34. hyonmin (18:17:50) :
    lean2000_irradiance.txt
    The title gives us a clue Lean and 2000 relating to irradiance. The graph itself does not particularly identify authorship, date time, version, nor linkage to source or updates.

    Lean, J. 2000.
    Evolution of the Sun’s Spectral Irradiance Since the Maunder Minimum.
    Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 27, No. 16, pp. 2425-2428,
    Aug. 15, 2000.

    The reconstruction has two components:
    1) a part proportional to the Group Sunspot Number GSN
    2) a long-term background which is assumed to follow the 15-year running mean of GSN.
    The 1st part suffers from the very real possibility that the GSN was assessed too low in the past. This, of course, also feeds into the 2nd part, but. more importantly, the 2nd part was calibrated according to the range of variations of ‘sun-like’ stars. Later research has shown that these stars were not sun-like. but represent starts more evolved than the Sun. Recent research suggests that there is no or but little variation of the background.

  35. As a fully qualified science teacher with a masters degree in biophysics, I can attest to the widespread global warming indoctrination in government funded schools. Al Gore’s film is shown in most science classes at least once a year in the region that I monitor. Other special materials are used liberally to propagate the unscientific and unsubstantiated climate models made famous by Mr. Gore and his hydraulic lift.

    It is possible that what miss greys claims above is true of her experience, as she understands it, but it is not representative of the larger scheme of things in government schooling.

  36. Leif
    Thank you for the explanation. I was aware of your efforts to ‘standardize’ the sunspot numbers but it is easy to fall into the trap when looking at a nice pretty graph. I would have not guessed at the calibration issue. As always it takes much effort to make any progress.

  37. Pamela Gray

    I don’t know how it is in Oregon; but; here in Idaho it appears that AGW is being taught as fact in the schools. My son, who is a junior this year, came home after his ISAT (Idaho standardized tests) and said that he probably did not do well on the science portion because he refused to give the desired answers about AGW because it is only a poorly supported theory with many obvious flaws. It appears my wife and I at least taught him to be a critical thinker. I didn’t actually see the test; so, I’ll have to take his word for it.

  38. ‘but how do cycle lengths compound or takeaway temp effects, compare lots of short active cycles compared with not so active longer cycles that dwell longer in the cool zone?’

    Just have a look at the data we do have: The longer cycles have a marked tendency (note I say tendency) to put a huge wallop on the intensity of the next cycle. And once that happens, by no rhyme or reason I can see in the data, this can go on for a long as it darned well pleases and then we are back to the familar bunches of shortened cycles.

  39. I found an online course for the AGW, and I spruced it up for my own purposes, just to get a feel for what was going on.
    Of course, now that the Sun has begun acting up the last 2 years, now I can observe the effects firsthand in my own neck of the woods, and prise experiences and observations out of people without their knowing what I am fishing for. People have noticed strange things, especially those who grow crops or raise animals.
    The AGW is just as prone to misprediction as is the graphs we see being re-worked everytime the data goes haywire and refuses to agree with predictions.
    Oh well, who said Nature was designed to agree with us?

  40. As long as the liberal media push the AGW propaganda on the public, many people will go along with it. Every time a chunk of ice breaks loose somewhere in the world, it is shown as absolute proof that the Arctic or Antarctic is melting. Most people don’t have any contrary sources for news, so they tend to believe the morons on CNN/NBC/CBS/ABC/etc. If you want to have a laugh, look up the science requirement for a journalism degree. There is none, generally. All it takes to be a reporter nowadays is an agenda.

  41. Leif Svalgaard (14:34:29) :

    Stephen Wilde (14:18:32) :
    This is a good time at which to draw attention to my update about TSI and other solar changes since the points I make are relevant to this thread.

    The graph of TSI you show is the old obsolete Lean reconstruction which she has long since abandoned. Judith Lean has not been ‘pressured’ to revise her graph. Most researchers [including Judith and me BTW – whom nobody can pressure] now agree that the total variation has not been anywhere near the 4 W/m2 you mention, but only of the order of 1 W/m2. So, any inferences drawn from the old Lean graph are simply not valid. If you want to combat AGW, doing it with invalid data just strengthens the AGW case. I believe we have been down that road before…

    So we have, but whether the TSI variation is 4 W/m2 or 1 W/m2 the shape of the graph remains the same as per the selection of overlayed graphs you have also supplied.

    Thus it is merely a matter of sensitivity as my article points out.

    There are a lot of square metres comprising the surface of the Earth and a great deal more comprising the outer boundary of the atmosphere which is where the TSI measurement is taken. That translates into a substantial potential variation in total heat budget especially as now when the TSI level has dropped in a few years from 1367.5 W/m2 to 1365 W/m2 as at present. In the face of a change of that amount in a few years I have doubts about a suggestion that it has been stable to within 1 Wm2 for 400 years.

    Solar cycle length is also relevant because more time at 1365 and less time at 1367.5 has an effect on total energy delivered in the cycle.

    There are also aspects of solar influence other than raw TSI which might have climate effects out of proportion to variations in TSI and I have already put forward oceanic cycles as substantial influences suplementing or offsetting solar variations over time.

    Note also that recent cooling is approximately coincident with a less active sun and earlier warming was approximately coincident with a more active sun.

    I do not accept that solar variation can be ignored as a climate driver in the way it has been.

  42. Leif,

    I have a question on TSI adjustments. As I understand it, TSI measurments are calibrated to 1AU due to the elliptical orbit of earth. But since the Sun wobbles around, it will affect the true distance to the earth also, and this effect appears to be of the same order of magnitude as the variation due to the elliptical earth orbit. Is this effect handled in the TSI calibrations to 1AU ? I have been unable to figure that out from the SORCE reference you provided some time ago.

  43. Solar cycle length is also relevant because more time at 1365 and less time at 1367.5 has an effect on total energy delivered in the cycle.

    Whoops, that didn’t come out right.

    I meant that cycle length would have an effect on total energy delivered during a cycle if the time spent at a low level of TSI outweighs the time spent at a higher level after taking into account the additional time over which the cycle’s energy was delivered

  44. Leif just wants the mechanism specified. We may be getting close with the solar wind, the clouds, and the cosmic rays.
    =============================================

  45. Pamela Gray — I can only attest to these facts, that the recent high school graduates I have met are versed in the ways of ‘paper or plastic’, not real science and know very little physics, chemistry and mathematics.

    Well, OK, maybe I would say reading omprehension may also be a little light, since few understand or have a working knowledge of even basic history.But texting, not spelling, seems fine, if you can understand the gibberish. Time wasting at the compute seems to take up a huge percentage of learning these days.

    I only examine the end product, and I find it severely lacking.

  46. Stephen Wilde (01:40:51) :
    So we have, but whether the TSI variation is 4 W/m2 or 1 W/m2 the shape of the graph remains the same as per the selection of overlayed graphs you have also supplied.
    Thus it is merely a matter of sensitivity as my article points out.

    No, take for instance the values for 1810:
    Lean2000: 1363.8
    Wang2005: 1365.1
    Leif2007: 1365.6
    Compared to for 1996, where all values are 1365.6.
    You cannot shift the graphs up or down to make them match. the shapes are clearly not the same. another shape-parameter is the slope of the graphs, that chanhes from steep [Lean] to flat [Leif]. So, if you want to maintain the shapes are the same, then you must specify and quantify [as I have just done] what you mean.

    TSI level has dropped in a few years from 1367.5 W/m2 to 1365 W/m2 as at present. In the face of a change of that amount in a few years I have doubts about a suggestion that it has been stable to within 1 Wm2 for 400 years.
    As the graphs show [all of them] the changes in the last 40 years have been from 1366.6 to 1365.6. On this graph http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Solar-cycle-data.png the changes are the same except for a slight shift of the level [as there is a 5 W/m2 uncertainty of the absolute calibration – SORCE is 4.5 W/m2 lower yet]. In making this comparison we use the yearly mean values as the daily values varies randomly a lot more up and down, e.g. as seen on this graph http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png

    I do not accept that solar variation can be ignored as a climate driver in the way it has been.
    Be that as it may, but you should not mislead your readers by showing graphs that are not correct, nor by stating changes that are more than two times too large.

  47. Steven (01:49:07) You might find it instructive to peruse Pete’s graph in comment #454 of the Svalgaard #2 thread at climateaudit.org and associated commentary. He integrates much as you suggest.
    =============================================

  48. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (01:47:58) :
    I have a question on TSI adjustments. As I understand it, TSI measurements are calibrated to 1AU due to the elliptical orbit of earth. But since the Sun wobbles around, it will affect the true distance to the earth also, and this effect appears to be of the same order of magnitude as the variation due to the elliptical earth orbit. Is this effect handled in the TSI calibrations to 1AU ? I have been unable to figure that out from the SORCE reference you provided some time ago.

    No, it is not the Sun that wobbles, it is that fictive point, the barycenter, that moves around. The TSI that is measured with great precision shows that the Earth’s distance to the Sun is just what it should be from the eccentricity of the orbit. The SORCE data also gives the actual measured TSI without adjustment so you can check for yourself. I have have it easier by plotting it up for you in http://www.leif.org/researh/DavidA10.png and http://www.leif.org/researh/DavidA11.png [using not SORCE but PMOD for the years that were used in the first graph, as the barycenter moves from year to year as well]. The red dots in the second graph shows what TSI should have been according to the wobble people. I take this as a simple observational refutation that you can understand even if you refuse [or are unable] to understand the theory.

    You may understand the situation from this example [or you may not – I have found that 90% of the ‘barycenter’ crowd is not swayed]: imagine a double star with two identical stars in circular orbits. The distance between them is constant at all times although they both ‘wobble’ around their barycenter that sits halfway between them.

    Yet another way of seeing that the distance shouldn’t vary. Imagine that the Solar System consisted of just the Sun, Jupiter, and the Earth. Since Jupiter is so much larger than the Earth, the barycenter is basically just given by Jupiter and the Sun. Assume you choose to consider a coordinate system where the Sun wobbles around that barycenter, then the Earth will also wobble the same way around the barycenter and the distance between the Sun and Earth [both wobbling in unison] would remain what it is.

  49. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (01:47:58) :
    But since the Sun wobbles around, it will affect the true distance to the earth also
    Johannes Kepler used Tycho Brahe’s observations of Mars to actually construct its orbit around the Sun in space and to show that the orbit was a clear ellipse with the Sun at one focus. Had the Sun wobbled around as you suggest, Kepler would never have found his nice ellipse and Newton would probably never have found his laws of gravity and where would we be now, then?

  50. Leif,

    I know that I seem to irritate you but I don’t think accusing me of misleading readers is justified.

    Looking at yout Leif 2007 graph still shows a similar overall (I do not dispute that there are some differences) shape to that of Lean over the period 1600 to date. Even on your chart the recent intensity of activity compared to earlier centuries is well marked.

    The averaged change over the pst 40 years (or even 400) years may or may not have been only 1 W/m2 but I am concerned that the level of sensitivity to such changes as did occur could well be sufficient taking into account other aspects of solar influence and oceanic amplification and suppression.

    Whilst respecting your vast experience and specialist knowledge and appreciating your willingness to share it I do think you are overly reluctant to accept any particular deficiency in current knowledge in the light of real world events. There is no certainty that ANY of the estimates of past TSI or any other solar parameter are accurate which is why I prefer to keep an eye on current changes as they occur now that we have much better tools for the job.

    Discussing possible mechanisms and puzzles raised by the observations should not be discouraged just because there is currently no demonstrable mechanism for what we observe.

    We are all looking for the most likely mechanism but it is for the professionals to do the testing and if they are all as negative as you sometimes seem to be then something could be missed.

  51. Stephen Wilde (04:18:19) :
    I know that I seem to irritate you but I don’t think accusing me of misleading readers is justified.
    No, you do not irritate me at all.

    Looking at yout Leif 2007 graph still shows a similar overall (I do not dispute that there are some differences) shape to that of Lean over the period 1600 to date.
    See here what similar shapes mean http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/WebLessons/SamsSimilarShapes/default.htm and tell us if the curves comply with that definition.

    The averaged change over the pst 40 years (or even 400) years may or may not have been only 1 W/m2 but I am concerned that the level of sensitivity to such changes as did occur could well be sufficient taking into account other aspects of solar influence and oceanic amplification and suppression.
    Irrespective of your concern, the change over the past 40 years is 1 W/m2 and not the 2.5 W/m2 that you quote in your article. Here is a suggestion: replace the figure with TSI with Leif2007 and replace the 1367.5->1365.0 with 1366.5->1365.5 and you can keep the rest.

    I prefer to keep an eye on current changes as they occur now that we have much better tools for the job.
    The current change is 1 W/m2 not 2.5 W/m2

    they are all as negative as you sometimes seem to be then something could be missed.
    Insisting on using correct data is not being negative towards the ‘truth’ and what is missed is the misleading aspects.

  52. I’m a little presumptious, here, Stephen, but I think you fool yourself if you don’t think Leif is looking just as hard for the mechanism as anyone; his insistence on rigour is part of the analytic technique. It seems to have sharpened the search by all concerned.
    =======================================

  53. Pamela Gray,

    Your program may have been more structured based on the types of students you taught, or because of your own beliefs. My parents have taught in high schools in both the US and abroad for over thirty-five years, and they can attest to the fact that many teachers insert their own beliefs into the science curriculum, even when it is not mandated. Biology teachers in their current school in Texas have showed Al Gore’s movie during class, and the general curriculum does not state any uncertainty in relation to “climate change” and “minimizing our impact on climate.” In my own state of Michigan, climate change is part of the mandated curriculum: https://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?id=9101
    The indoctrination goes beyond the text book. Elementary school children are frequently given special projects that are meant to educate (scare) them about human impact on the environment. In fact, few schools would be ashamed of this, as they view it as their civic duty to manufacture mini-enviromentalists.

  54. kim,

    I’m sure you are right and not presumptious at all. I just felt that for some reason Leif was being more harsh than called for so I reacted proportionately.

    Thanks for the Svalgaard 2 reference to post 454. To my mind it shows a significant variation in total solar energy received from cycle to cycle depending on length. Have I interpreted it correctly ?

    That would serve to significantly reduce the need for climate hypersensitivity and my idea about the variability of oceanic involvement might close the gap.

  55. If a group of charts for estimated TSI all show a low section for the Little Ice Age, a rise then a fall to another lesser minimum and then a rise to a lengthy maximum then as far as I am concerned that is enough similarity to link them to each other and to temperature changes over the same period if they roughly match those movements.

    Whether the correlation is meaningful or not is a different issue.

  56. I thought the SIDC and other observers just reported a relatively strong increase in solar winds? We have a lot of boreal phenomena just right now.

    Does any1 know whether strong flares and coronal holes are the precursors of a new cycle?

  57. I did not refer to a change of 2.5 W/m2 in my article, only in a post here because of a recent report that such a change had been observed. If that report was misleading then so be it.

  58. This was the quote I relied on, not sure of the source but it was requoted from the solar cycle 24 boards :

    Total Solar Irradiance (TSI)/IRMB Composite has come down from the 2001/2002 peak of about 1367.5 Watts per m2 to near 1365 Watts or to the lowest value since the satellite measurements began in 1979. The trend at the moment looks still downwards.

  59. Stephen Wilde (05:03:55) :
    If a group of charts for estimated TSI all show a low section for the Little Ice Age, a rise then a fall to another lesser minimum and then a rise to a lengthy maximum then as far as I am concerned that is enough similarity to link them to each other and to temperature changes over the same period if they roughly match those movements.
    No, this is disingenuous. If one shows a rise of 50% and another one [the latest and greatest] a rise of 0.5%, then showing the first one and claiming that the are show the same, is not right. Size does matter. If I remember correctly, you do refer to a 4 W/m2 change or ‘band’ somewhere, and that is not right either. As I said, replace your figure with Leif2007 and your 4 W/m2 by 1 w/m2 and I would have no objections. Would you do this?
    from the solar cycle 24 boards :

    Total Solar Irradiance (TSI)/IRMB Composite has come down from the 2001/2002 peak of about 1367.5 Watts per m2 to near 1365 Watts or to the lowest value since the satellite measurements began in 1979. The trend at the moment looks still downwards.
    The source is DeWitte’s presentation at SORCE 2008. He was referring to a 121-day running mean. The shorter you make the averaging interval the larger is the variation from isolated spikes. When comparing TSI trends one should use the same averaging interval. Usually a year is employed to filter out those short-period spikes.

    It is not difficult to be precise and accurate.

  60. Leif, while the TSI is fairly steady, I wonder about another factor regarding the earth’s orbit, and considering the time of year of the solar maximum spikes (not averaged). If I have the physics right, radient energy diminishes by the square of the distance. The difference in the ellipse of the earth’s orbit would mean about a 6.9% delta in energy available from apogee to perigee. What if the solar maximum coincides with perigee for a few orbits or the converse happens, minimum at apogee. Are we not then considering quite a few percentage points difference in absorbed energy? Even if the maximum is over eighteen months and caught two perigees and one apogee vs. two apogees and one perigee, couldn’t this make a big difference?

  61. My article and my posts here clearly point out that what is important is the degree of climate sensitivity. That is what we should concentrate on. All that is missing is a suitable mechanism. Length of solar cycle spreading out the available energy over time plus oceanic enhancement and suppression of solar variations look like suitable candidates when taken together.

    I acknowledged the doubt about the size of the historical variation and pointed out that the initial 4 W/m2 estimate is no longer accepted (that was a main reason for issuing my update) but notwithstanding the small amount of variation which you do accept the fact is that even if it was as small as 1 W/m2 there is enough temperature correlation to suggest a link however small the change in TSI actually was.

    Pointing out that the temperature correlation is not always and everywhere consistent is accounted for by the lags inherent in the substantial oceanic influence.

    What I find hard to understand is your complete dismissal of the obvious link in the climatic record between solar activity, however measured, and changes in global temperature trend.

    You start from the belief that the solar changes are too small to matter and all your interpretations of the available evidence are predicated on that to the extent that you are ignoring the obvious and engaging in gymnastics over side issues to maintain consistency.

    Your use of words such as ‘misleading’ and ‘disingenuous’ is becoming tiresome. I have been careful to avoid such pejorative wording in my posts.

  62. Leif Svalgaard (06:36:07) :

    Stephen Wilde (04:55:37) :
    Thanks for the Svalgaard 2 reference to post 454. To my mind it shows a significant variation in total solar energy received from cycle to cycle depending on length. Have I interpreted it correctly ?
    When I integrate TSI over cycles I get this: http://www.leif.org/research/SumTSI.png
    How does that fit your ideas

    I’d need to know why it differs from pete’s chart so much and then assess whether either of you have got it right.
    Just because the material you produce fails to account for any link between solar changes and temperature trends does not mean we can just ignore the historical record and the ‘coincidence’ of a rise temperature from 1975 to 2000 when solar activity was high and a fall in temperature now that it is lower.

  63. Steve Keohane (06:35:41) :
    What if the solar maximum coincides with perigee for a few orbits or the converse happens, minimum at apogee. Are we not then considering quite a few percentage points difference in absorbed energy? Even if the maximum is over eighteen months and caught two perigees and one apogee vs. two apogees and one perigee, couldn’t this make a big difference?
    No, the solar cycle variation of TSI is about 1 W/m2, but the perigee to apogee variation is 90 W/m2 or almost a 100 times larger, so the small solar cycle variation on top of the very large orbital variation is insignificant. If you look at http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA11.png you’ll see the almost perfect sine-wave showing the orbital variation. Now, look really carefully at the curve and you might see some tiny wiggles here and there. Those are caused by solar activity and the solar cycle. This is actually an important graph to keep in mind when people rave about solar activity and its influence on climate.


  64. Leif Svalgaard (03:52:39) :

    Johannes Kepler used Tycho Brahe’s observations of Mars to actually construct its orbit around the Sun in space and to show that the orbit was a clear ellipse with the Sun at one focus. Had the Sun wobbled around as you suggest, Kepler would never have found his nice ellipse and Newton would probably never have found his laws of gravity and where would we be now, then?

    I have a hard time convincing myself that you are right, but I am trying. As far as I can tell, the logical conclusion from this is that it is theoretically impossible to detect extrasolar planets by observing their host star wobbling?

    Can you tell me where this logic fails?

    In my understanding, every object gravitationally bound in the solar system orbits the center of mass (barycenter), no exception. Kepler’s law still applies (even to the Sun). The difference between this and the assumption that everything relates to the Sun is small wrt. practical measurements. I don’t know to which precision Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler computed their information, but I would not be surprised if the uncertainty in measurements could allow for both.

    I may add some furter thoughts on your longer reply above, later. Please understand that what I am looking for is real sources of possible error.

  65. The perigee/apogee variation would be stable over time and so of no effect but small changes in total solar output would have an effect and would be cumulative over time so again we are back to climate sensitivity but on a timescale that is not affected by the perigee/apogee variation.

    Since the oceanic cycles take several decades (PDO 30 years in each phase) it can be that the climate response to a tiny but cumulative change in incoming solar energy is spread across 6 solar cycles.

    The total range of available temperatures from the cold of space to the surface of the sun is extremely large. A temperature change of just a few degrees Centigrate is extremely tiny in the broad scheme of things and only significant to us and other living creatures.

    How do we know that a global temperature change of a few degrees is indeed disproportionate to the tiny changes in solar output that we have observed ?

    There is a basic calculation that shows energy coming in, energy going out and accounting for any delay in the system estimating what should remain but there are many factors that are inadequately quantified and processes that are poorly understood.

    The sense of disproportionality or of climate hypersensitivity could just be an illusion.

    And again, a pejorative comment from Leif about those who ‘rave’ about solar activity.

  66. Stephen Wilde (06:45:49) :
    Your use of words such as ‘misleading’ and ‘disingenuous’ is becoming tiresome. I have been careful to avoid such pejorative wording in my posts.
    I only use such words when you persist in claiming that the shapes of the curves are the same when they are not. And I will maintain it is misleading to start the article with a figure that is no longer considered valid, even if you later on express doubt about it. The visual impact of the Figure is still there, as intended.
    So, I ask again: “would you replace the figure with Leif2007?”

    What I find hard to understand is your complete dismissal of the obvious link in the climatic record between solar activity, however measured, and changes in global temperature trend.
    Maybe the reason is that the link is not obvious. If it were, it would be obvious to me too, and it isn’t. I could mention some other people that also do not think the link is obvious, Lockwood, Froehlich, Lean, Rind come to mind. All respected scientists with a long record of good work. Even Jack Eddy has abandoned his support of the LIA and Maunder Minimum link. So, obvious it ain’t. There is no doubt that solar activity [as well as CO2] has a climate effect at or below the limit of detectability, but that is a far cry from calling it significant.

  67. Leif, Thank you. (there is a magic key that I hit sometimes that posts too early)
    With 90watts of variance by orbit, temperature plots of the NH and SH between equinoxes should show the effects of that much energy by the SH getting its summer closest to the sun and winter farthest vs. NH having less seasonal shift between those seasons (summer farthest/winter closest). I can’t find such plots at NASA or UAH. Can anyone show this?

  68. Leif (06:36:07) Why do you and Pete get different results when you integrate?
    =============================================

  69. Leif
    Thanks for the pretty graph. I cannot quite make out what is happening on the far right, but I guess time will tell. How is the TSI calculated for the period of ~1640 to ~1720.

  70. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (07:20:28) :
    I have a hard time convincing myself that you are right, but I am trying. As far as I can tell, the logical conclusion from this is that it is theoretically impossible to detect extrasolar planets by observing their host star wobbling?
    Of course not. Take the case of the double star again. We can observe both stars move against the background of distant stars because we have a reference point outside the system [the distant stars]. Viewed from one of the stars the barycenter will move, always following the other star around [being just in front of it, halfway out]. If you shrunk the other star to planet size, things will stay the same, except the barycenter would move closer to the first star; it will still move around just in front of the planet. Since both bodies are in free fall, they feel no forces resulting from their motion, no matter where the barycenter is.

    Now, let’s return to the solar system. You said:
    “But since the Sun wobbles around, it will affect the true distance to the earth also, and this effect appears to be of the same order of magnitude as the variation due to the elliptical earth orbit.”
    This is key to your misunderstanding of this. Both the Sun and the Earth wobble in the same way and therefore their mutual distance is unaffected by their wobbling. Note that this is an observed fact, irrespective of anybody’s perception of what it should be. Similarly, every particle of the sun wobbles in concert with all the other ones, so no great plasma flows or disruptions occur.

    And it should be clear that if the wobble were of the same magnitude as the orbital eccentricity it would greatly have interfered with Kepler’s work.

    I think I have explained this [in several different ways] a dozen times at least, and yet, I still have to see anybody say: “aha, I see!”. It seems that the barycenter rot is just too deep to eradicate.

    All the constituent bodies of the Solar System create a complex gravitational field around the Sun, or expressed in terms of General Relativity, create a complex system of curvature of space. They all move on geodesics guided by the curvature, feeling no forces [as a man in a falling elevator or an astronaut in orbit does not]. At any given time you can calculate where the barycenter is [as the sum of the distances weighted by the masses, divided by the sum of the masses]. The barycenter will move around as the bodies do, and a distant body approaching the Solar System would calculate the combined gravitational force of the System to be the same as that of a point mass placed at the barycenter. So, the barycenter is a very useful computational device.

  71. kim (07:46:32) :
    Why do you and Pete get different results when you integrate?
    I have forgotten what Pete did. He did several different things. It is easy for anybody to integrate yourself using
    http://www.leif.org/research/Corrected%20%SSN%and%TSI.xls
    Select a solar cycle;s worth from the TSI column and look at the bottom of the Excel worksheet. It will show you the sum, then select the next cycle, etc.
    I just did it this morning, took 10 minutes.

  72. Steve Keohane (07:43:38) :
    temperature plots of the NH and SH between equinoxes should show the effects of that much energy by the SH getting its summer closest to the sun and winter farthest vs. NH having less seasonal shift between those seasons (summer farthest/winter closest). I can’t find such plots at NASA or UAH. Can anyone show this?
    This effect is easily seen if you do it right. However, all the climate people work with anomalies only where there subtract the average monthly values from the data. This, of courses, removes any seasonal differences.

  73. hyonmin (08:22:20) :
    Thanks for the pretty graph. I cannot quite make out what is happening on the far right, but I guess time will tell. How is the TSI calculated for the period of ~1640 to ~1720.
    We know from the past three solar cycles how many W/m2 one sunspot gives. You can make a rough calculation like this: variation of TSI over a [large] cycle 1.0 W/m2, size of a [large] sunspot cycle 150 ‘spots’, thus 0.007 W/m2/spot. Or you can do it by fancy cross-correlation with all the trimmings. You get the same result. Now, people that do TSI-reconstruction basically end up with a rather simple formula: TSI = TSI(no field) + TSI(background) + TSI(‘spots’). The latter is really the sum of ‘facular brightening’ and ‘sunspot darkening’ and you can model that in gory details, but the end result is very close to something that simply scales with the sunspot number, so TSI = TSI(no field) + TSI(background) + 0.01 SSN. Now, a decade ago it was thought that the ‘background’ was significant. For example Lean [2000] estimated it from a 15-year running mean of the SSN. Current thinking is that the ‘background’ is close to zero, so: TSI = TSI(no field) + 0.01 SSN. The TSI(no field) is the TSI you would have if there were no magnetic fields on the Sun. As far as we know that is constant and I set it to 1365.6 to match TSI at solar minimum when there are no spots. So, TSI = 1365.6 + 0.007 SSN. Now, SSN for 1630-1740 are very uncertain, so TSI is also.

  74. Plans for indoctrination of children in public schools are in place and well described on the websites of Obama and his chief educational adviser, William Ayers. Check them out and Google Wiliam Ayers for links to his “research”.

  75. Leif
    Thank you for the education. I further understand your position. Yet it seems that there is a strong connection, but very elusive when it seems to be happening before ones eyes but such weak measured differences. Not simple by any measure.

  76. Leif,

    If I had known about Leif 2007 at the time I would have used it.

    It shows much the same pattern of changes as Lean 2000 but restricts the variation to 1 W/m2 instead of 4.

    That is irrelevant to my point except in that it requires a greater degree of climate sensitivity. The essential point of my article and the update remain true subject to climate sensitivity to solar changes.

    Since it is obvious to me (if not certain others) that there is a degree of temperature correlation it follows that sufficient sensitivity is likely to exist and my article remains valid.

    My update article deals with the issues you have raised perfectly openly and adequately.

  77. Leif Svalgaard (08:29:03) :

    Observe that in this context I am concerned with the distance to the Sun as a function of time only, relating to understanding of TSI calibration.


    Now, let’s return to the solar system. You said:
    “But since the Sun wobbles around, it will affect the true distance to the earth also, and this effect appears to be of the same order of magnitude as the variation due to the elliptical earth orbit.”
    This is key to your misunderstanding of this. Both the Sun and the Earth wobble in the same way and therefore their mutual distance is unaffected by their wobbling.

    Ok, I hear you say this. I also hear the argument that the TSI measurment varies in a way that is said to be consistent with this explanation. That is obviously a strong argument. But I do have difficulty accepting “Both the Sun and the Earth wobble in the same way”, because it implies a shift in the resulting solar system centre of mass that somehow must be compensated for. As seen from far above, the barycenter will stay fixed against the background stars.

    Note that this is an observed fact, irrespective of anybody’s perception of what it should be. Similarly, every particle of the sun wobbles in concert with all the other ones, so no great plasma flows or disruptions occur.

    As noted above, I am not talking about plasma flows or other disruptions here.

    And it should be clear that if the wobble were of the same magnitude as the orbital eccentricity it would greatly have interfered with Kepler’s work.

    I computed this graph earlier. You will probably call it incorrect, but it was my basis for saying the order of magnitudes were the same.

  78. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (10:11:33(:
    I can’t figure out what our point is. The ‘barycenter’ crowd claims that great forces result with plasma flows causing solar activity. So, it seems that you are not on that wagon.
    The Earth’s contribution to the barycenter motion is minuscule hence the same wobble.
    The distance to the Sun can be measured in many ways: the diameter of the Sun, radar ranging to the planets [check on Earth’s orbit], interplanetary probes, and TSI. No matter which measure, the result is always the same, namely that controlled by eccentricity only [ignoring the very small secular changes]. So, even, if you refuse to accept the theory, the observations are clear. You calculate the red curve by adding the Sun’s orbit around the barycenter. Can you add the Earth’s orbit around the barycenter too?

  79. Leif,

    As regards those named scientists including yourself who do not recognise a solar/temperature correlation I suspect that is because they have so far been unable to reproduce it from any known combination of factors.

    Nevertheless it stares out from the charts and the historical records, even Leif 2007.

    I recommend that they all start investigating the issue again but this time using my idea of a netted out effect from all the oceanic oscillations at any given time in combination with solar cycles.

    That has never been tried because only recently have we discovered the existence of such oscillations in oceans other than the Pacific. At this point we cannot even measure or quantify the effects adequately so any investigation can be in general terms only.

    That is a useful area ripe for investigation and should not be dismissed in a cavalier fashion.

  80. Stephen Wilde (10:09:05) :
    It shows much the same pattern of changes as Lean 2000
    It seems that I can’t get you off the idea that the patterns are the same. Even though TSI for 1614, 1788, and 1958 are the same in Leif2007, but shows a significant increasing trend in Lean2000. If that is what you call the ‘same’, well, then you better tell your readers about your definition of ‘same’.

    Let me run this thought by you:
    TSI has several components. The one that varies with the solar cycle is actually the sum of two components: facular brightening and sunspot darkening. The facular brightening is caused by the broad magnetic fields surrounding the compact, and dark, spots. The brightening is about twice the darkening by spots, say +2 W/m2 with a darkening of -1 W/m2 for a total of +1 W/m2. Assume that Livingston and Penn are correct that the sunspot contrast is decreasing, possibly to the point of making the spots invisible, then the -1 W/m2 darkening would disappear. We know from cosmic rays that the magnetic field of the solar activity did not go away during the Maunder Minimum, so the facular brightening would still be there, maybe a bit weaker [the magnetic field field would be about half according to L&P], say half of the +2 w/m2, that is +1 W/m2 so TSI even during the Maunder Minimum would still show the familiar 1 W/m2 solar cycle variation, but now throughout the 400 year span. What would that do to your argument?

  81. Stephen Wilde (10:31:04) :
    At this point we cannot even measure or quantify the effects adequately so any investigation can be in general terms only.
    If it cannot be quantified it cannot be studied seriously.

    That is a useful area ripe for investigation and should not be dismissed in a cavalier fashion.
    And nobody is being cavalier about anything. Hard-nosed, perhaps, because the public deserves a critical analysis. There are enough vague and unsubstantiated and ‘maybe’ claims out there, and no need to add another. I have spent a good part of my life studying claims of sun-weather-climate relations and even made some myself [back in the 1970s – I think Brian Tinsley is still keeping one of my claims alive].

    Judging from the comments on this blog I’m even a minority. Most commenters here are Sun-Climate adherents, a good fraction even barycenter adherents, thus linking climate to planetary movements eminently predictable millions of year forward and backward in time [certainly beats the AGW crowd’s crummy models – just crank up your orrery :-) ]
    I try [mostly in vain] to inject a bit of sanity and reason [as I see it – of course].

  82. Leif Svalgaard (18:44:56) :

    “Irrespective of the solar wind, the cosmic ray flux now is not higher than it always is at every [second] solar minimum…”

    It seems to be a bit higher at the moment than I’ve seen it so far this minimum…

    the Moscow neutron monitor showing peaks of +2% from about 28 Sept through 1 Oct

    http://helios.izmiran.rssi.ru/COSRAY/MAIN.htm

    and Oulu with an intraday spike up to +4% today.

    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi

    Since I’ve been looking at it (albeit infrequently) this minimum, these are the highest numbers I’ve seen.


  83. Leif Svalgaard (10:29:25) :

    The distance to the Sun can be measured in many ways: the diameter of the Sun, radar ranging to the planets [check on Earth’s orbit], interplanetary probes, and TSI. No matter which measure, the result is always the same, namely that controlled by eccentricity only [ignoring the very small secular changes]. So, even, if you refuse to accept the theory, the observations are clear. You calculate the red curve by adding the Sun’s orbit around the barycenter. Can you add the Earth’s orbit around the barycenter too?

    I accept that alternative measurements of the Sun-Earth distance should settle the issue. I don’t know of any good way to directly measure the distance to the Sun that would be accurate to significantly less than a solar diameter, but maybe such a method exists? Radar ranging to the other planets seems unconvincing.

    About your question: The Earths orbit around the barycenter is included, because that is what the Earth is orbiting, just like the other objects of our N-body solar system.

    Here is how I did the calculation. All the planetary positions (Mercury to Pluto) were computed according to the theories of Jean Meeus http://www.willbell.com/MATH/mc1.htm
    Using the obtained positions of the planets and the known masses of the Sun and planets, the position of the Sun is easily computed. It creates the rather involved orbit we have seen.

    Assuming my interpretation and calculation of the Sun-Earth distance would be correct, the TSI adjustments performed would have to follow the red curve in the graph I posted earlier, not just the blue one (from the elliptic orbit) as it is apparently done today.

    Ok, we can end it here. I accept your statement that measurements show that TSI varies with extreme accuracy according to the elliptic orbit of Earth. But theoretically it does not make sense to me…

  84. John-X (14:29:08) :
    “Irrespective of the solar wind, the cosmic ray flux now is not higher than it always is at every [second] solar minimum…”

    The individual numbers from day to day have little meaning as the cosmic rays traverse a very turbulent interplanetary medium. It only makes sense to compare averages over many days. Here are Moscow and Oulu for the last five minima:
    http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRaysNow.pdf
    These data have been corrected for atmospheric pressure. The more air there is over the station, the fewer cosmic rays do you observe, but have not been corrected for the changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, so there can be small differences between stations. Within these small fluctuations there are no differences. It just like with climate: just because it was very warm today, does not mean that there is sudden run-away GW.
    One little note of warning about Oulu: the percentages shown are always set such that zero percent is at the left edge of the graph, so if you look at a different time interval, the percentages change.

  85. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (15:32:52) :
    TSI adjustments performed would have to follow the red curve in the graph I posted earlier, not just the blue one (from the elliptic orbit) as it is apparently done today.
    There is a subtlety here. It is not about how to adjust. The observed values of TSI follow the blue curve, so we have no choice.

    We can measure interplanetary distances very accurately, the
    precise value of the AU is currently accepted as 149,597,870,691 ± 30 meter.

    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi
    allows you to calculate the ephemeris for solar system bodies.
    For the Sun, I select Jan 4 and Jul 4 as perihelion and aphelion dates [close enough for this], then for years 1996 and 2002 [when your graph shows maximal barycenter ‘effect’] we get the two distances:
    1996: 0.9832231… 1.01671101… many more decimals given
    2002: 0.9832958… 1.01667561…
    These are the same to about 0.00005 AU or ~7500 km about 1% of a solar radius.
    I don’t know what more to say.

  86. I have yet to see any peer reviewed research to substantiate that the current policies that are being pushed by political advocates of AGW (such as cap and trade) was and is caused by a public education, or that a public education is “horrific”. And please, don’t tell me about interviews with some teens, or a question on a test. Besides, I can come right back at ya with this: There are states that allow test questions related to creationism but that doesn’t make it true or cause the children who read such test items to then go on and become raging creationists who would force creationism on the rest of us.

    When I took the Oregon test that gives you that “highly qualified” status for self-contained k-9th, the science portion did not include any questions on CO2 related global warming. There was only one question related to the environment and that was in the essay section. Mine was about hill-side erosion due to logging on steep, wet terrain. Someone else may have gotten a different question. This statement means that there are as many anecdotal stories about the lack of evidence for CO2 indoctrination as there are stories for it.

    Maybe we need a specific question to help us narrow down the correlation and possible cause and effect here: What percentage, on a year to year basis, of instructional science time is devoted to talking about, reading about, or doing things directly related to the supposed CO2 cause of global warming, and how has that percentage changed since CO2 global warming first entered into any discussion? If we can time-line the answer, we might be able to determine whether or not this theory, that public schools have been the direct cause of AGW, is scientifically valid or is just an argument over philosophical beliefs with little basis in fact.

  87. Hi Leif

    I thinks this is aha about the barycenter.

    Like the dance of the timewarp in Rocky Horror.

    It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right.

    The cast (Solar System) can’t see the dance because they are part it.

    The audience (from another star) can see it because they are not performing the dance.

  88. Slightly OT:

    Pamela Gray,
    As it happens, Just today I happened upon a printed copy of the below linked web page for distribution in a science class at the #3 or #4 high school in California (by testing). I don’t know if this material is part of the officially tested curriculum, but it certainly is being taught. I’m sure it’s only a coincidence that this school is 1/2 a mile from JPL. :)

    Anyone want to refute or clarify the points made (with references)? I might be able to get the rebuttal distributed as well?

    The source (right from the Goracle himself, of course):
    http://www.climatecrisis.net/thescience/

    Here’s the copy if you don’t want to follow the link:

    WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?

    Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising.

    The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence.1 The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable.

    We’re already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing.

    The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.2

    Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.3

    The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.4

    At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.5

    If the warming continues, we can expect catastrophic consequences.

    Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years — to 300,000 people a year.6

    Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.7

    Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.

    Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.

    The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.8

    More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.9

    There is no doubt we can solve this problem. In fact, we have a moral obligation to do so. Small changes to your daily routine can add up to big differences in helping to stop global warming. The time to come together to solve this problem is now – TAKE ACTION

    1 According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this era of global warming “is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin” and “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence of the global climate.”
    2 Emanuel, K. 2005. Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature 436: 686-688.
    3 World Health Organization
    4 Krabill, W., E. Hanna, P. Huybrechts, W. Abdalati, J. Cappelen, B. Csatho, E. Frefick, S. Manizade, C. Martin, J, Sonntag, R. Swift, R. Thomas and J. Yungel. 2004. Greenland Ice Sheet: Increased coastal thinning. Geophysical Research Letters 31.
    5 Nature.
    6 World Health Organization
    7 Washington Post, “Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change,” Juliet Eilperin, January 29, 2006, Page A1.
    8 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. 2004. Impacts of a Warming Arctic. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Also quoted in Time Magazine, Vicious Cycles, Missy Adams, March 26, 2006.
    9 Time Magazine, Feeling the Heat, David Bjerklie, March 26, 2006.

  89. Fabulous stuff Leif, Stephen and Carsten….

    Some interesting outcomes…Leif and others with their research showing TSI a small factor in any global temperature forcing (but the jury out on the cosmic ray/cloud theory). Wobbles agreed on but no evidence on the impact on Sol.

    I have been researching the accuracy of the sunspot records pre 1920 and came across a paper by Usoskin & Mursula 2003 where they discuss a possible missing sunspot cycle around 1790. They talk about the possibility of solar phase catastrophes before the Dalton minimum and during the Maunder minimum that shuts down sunspot activity. I wonder if we will see that occurrence in the next cycle as we seem to be in the same relative position….if so expect a very low SC25.

    If we do it will prove without doubt that Neptune/Uranus truly do rule the grand minima

  90. nobwainer (03:40:53) :
    Wobbles agreed on
    No, see my answers to Carsten:
    Leif Svalgaard (18:21:43) :

    For the Sun, I select Jan 4 and Jul 4 as perihelion and aphelion dates [close enough for this], then for years 1996 and 2002 [when your graph shows maximal barycenter ‘effect’] we get the two distances:
    1996: 0.9832231… 1.01671101… many more decimals given
    2002: 0.9832958… 1.01667561…
    These are the same to about 0.00005 AU or ~7500 km about 1% of a solar radius.

    So, no wobble.

  91. Leif….yeah but you said commenting on Carsten “Now, let’s return to the solar system. You said:(being Carsten)
    “But since the Sun wobbles around, it will affect the true distance to the earth also, and this effect appears to be of the same order of magnitude as the variation due to the elliptical earth orbit.”

    Leif says
    “This is key to your misunderstanding of this. Both the Sun and the Earth wobble in the same way and therefore their mutual distance is unaffected by their wobbling. Note that this is an observed fact,”

    So we all doing the wobbling thing….what matters is the next couple of years, all will be revealed i suspect

  92. Pingback: Norway » Norway Changes OOXML Vote, Receives New Microsoft Search Base

  93. Leif Svalgaard (04:58:17) :

    And i am sure that Carsten will back me up that the maximum barycenter adjustment is WAY more than 1% of the Suns radius.

  94. nobwainer (07:18:31) :
    so no comment on the phase catastrophes?
    No, because there is general agreement that no cycle was lost. The ‘lost’ cycle rears it head now and then. It was first proposed by Faye in the 1880s, but with increasingly improved 10Be records we can clearly see that there was no extra cycle that was lost.

    nobwainer (07:26:49) :
    And i am sure that Carsten will back me up that the maximum barycenter adjustment is WAY more than 1% of the Suns radius.
    Yes, and that proves that the adjustment should not be applied. The numbers i quoted are the result of the calculator at JPL [you can go there too, i gave the link] that NASA uses to calculate planetary orbits and interplanetary distances. The fact that spacecraft sent to Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and actually arriving there shows to my satisfaction that the JPL calculations are correct. And, as you point out, they show no evidence of the ‘wobble’ or barycentric adjustment that Carsten calculated. Now, I also realize that that is not going to change anybody’s mind [I have NEVER seen that happen with the barycenter crowd – they usually go and find some other website that supports their view instead – It will be interesting to watch what you do].

  95. Pamela,

    I don’t think that we can hold the schools responsible for the AGW theory. I guess we could if we could trace it back to James Hansen’s high school. :) However, I think that you are narrowing the schools’ field of influence by a significant degree in trying to excuse them from any fault of indoctrination. This goes beyond specified science curricula or standardized tests. Teachers are in a unique position to advocate their opinions to a captive audience. Children are taught not to question teachers (necessary in order to maintain discipline). But, this requires that the teachers have the discipline to present a balanced viewpoint, in which they have sufficient expertise, and not to color the information with their own opinions. I have personal experience to prove to me that teachers advocate their own beliefs, I don’t need peer-review to prove it. (Incidentally, since such a large majority of researchers are also teachers, I wonder how motivated they are to analyze the subject?) But this isn’t only about the teachers. Look at the posters plastering the walls of the school. Look at the special projects that elementary school students bring home on how to reduce their “carbon footprints.” Read the articles about endangered species like polar bears and frogs that litter children’s magazines (and which teachers use as supplemental material). It’s these little tidbits of seemingly harmless propaganda that lead children to believe that AGW is an unquestionable fact of life. I agree, we can’t totally blame the public school system. Since the days of Socrates, we have lamented that schools don’t teach critical, creative thinking. So, by now, we’ll have to blame society as a whole. But, we can’t excuse the schools if they do nothing that goes against the tide of ignorance. My father is a high school science teacher. He does not hold AGW beliefs. He attempts to teach SCIENCE. When his students argue with him about AGW, where are they getting their misinformation? Their English teachers, their Art teachers, their social studies teachers, etc. So, my point is, this isn’t just about the curriculum, this is about the culture of the school system, and the power wielded by teachers who have more influence than knowledge. You are in the position of an educator, so I understand your defensive stance. But, don’t turn a blind eye to the faults of the institution. We can preserve what is good about public education, without perpetuating what is wrong. Schools fear the teaching of Intelligent Design beside Evolution because they know that they do not know how to teach the skills that will allow children to differentiate between the two theories. It is much simpler to teach only one viewpoint. The same is true for global warming. The safe path is to teach global warming as fact. There is much less risk to the teacher/school of being wrong, because even if they are wrong, they have Nobel laureates, former VPs, and NASA scientists to blame.

  96. Here’s an interesting and related article in the Financial Times titled:

    The Silent Sun’s Uncertain Course
    By Clive Cookson
    Published: October 1 2008 19:26 | Last updated: October 1 2008 19:26
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6f1ddaf0-8fd9-11dd-9890-0000779fd18c,dwp_uuid=02e16f4a-46f9-11da-b8e5-00000e2511c8.html

    It’s a fair and balaced overview of the impacts of a quieter Sol until the final two paragraphs which digress into the typical AGW mantra:

    –> Although some people who are sceptical about the human influence on global warming like to emphasise the link between solar variability and climate, Prof Mayewski turns their argument on its head: “The fact that we are not in conditions like the little ice age today shows that the atmosphere is being perturbed by human activities,” he says.

    If the Sun stays quiet for the next few years, it may temper the effects of man-made global warming for a while but most experts believe that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will eventually push temperatures higher again. <–

  97. Leif Svalgaard (04:58:17) :

    For the Sun, I select Jan 4 and Jul 4 as perihelion and aphelion dates [close enough for this], then for years 1996 and 2002 [when your graph shows maximal barycenter ‘effect’] we get the two distances:
    1996: 0.9832231… 1.01671101… many more decimals given
    2002: 0.9832958… 1.01667561…
    These are the same to about 0.00005 AU or ~7500 km about 1% of a solar radius.

    So, no wobble.

    The way I see it, the discussion is not only about the numbers, but also their correct interpretation. What you showed here, is that there exists a computer model that produces these results. Unless I am totally mistaken, It was designed based on the assumption that everything orbits the stationary Sun. It is obviously a good approximation given the purposes it was designed for. It may be right or it may be (slightly) wrong. It is not a convincing argument.

    What is more convincing is your argument that TSI is measured to be varying according to the elliptic orbit with very high precision. So unless there is a hidden procedural bias or other mistake, this fact must be considered seriously. Even so, I find it perplexing.

    nobwainer (07:26:49) :
    The Sun moves up to max ~2.2 solar radii from the barycenter. The orbital speeds are rather slow.

  98. Leif Svalgaard (07:53:33) :

    nobwainer (07:18:31) :
    so no comment on the phase catastrophes?
    “No, because there is general agreement that no cycle was lost. The ‘lost’ cycle rears it head now and then. It was first proposed by Faye in the 1880s, but with increasingly improved 10Be records we can clearly see that there was no extra cycle that was lost.”

    I am also skeptical of the lost cycle, but thought you may have been interested in the “phase catastrophes” that Usoskin & Mursula suggest at http://cc.oulu.fi/~usoskin/personal/SolPhys_Review_proof.pdf

    SC4 at 14 yrs duration is unusual and it will be interesting to see if SC23 follows a similar trend and will we see any “phase catastrophes”?

    In a paper by Makarov & Tlatov http://www.ias.ac.in/jarch/jaa/21/193-196.pdf
    they discuss a similar event though the Maunder min using 10Be records showing cycle lengths of 20 years…if this is all correct something is upsetting the regular pattern during at least these 2 grand minima that may happen again in the very near future.

    I have been looking for “improved 10Be records” to check the Wolf numbers in the 1800’s, could you provide a link?

  99. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (15:11:34) :
    What you showed here, is that there exists a computer model that produces these results.[…] It is not a convincing argument.

    This is not just ANY model. This is probably the best, modern astronomy can do [more accurate than the Astronomical Almanac, and more accurate than Meeus’ tables which are based on a truncated set of coefficients]. It is used to guide spaceships to the planets.

    It can also compute the distance to various barycenters. I recommend you go and check it out.

  100. Leif Svalgaard (07:53:33) :

    “Now, I also realize that that is not going to change anybody’s mind [I have NEVER seen that happen with the barycenter crowd – they usually go and find some other website that supports their view instead – It will be interesting to watch what you do”

    I find it interesting you put me in the “barycenter crowd” as i certainly wouldn’t say that. Some of “their” data proves useful in tracking the movement of planets and their gravity effects etc, i am more interested in how the planets MIGHT have an effect on the Sun and keep an open mind (not like some). I have no barrow to push and I’m keenly focused on discovering the facts. So as this blog is also dedicated to the same mantra i will be around for awhile.

  101. I took a walk through the two buildings I am currently assigned to in order to see if there are any signs of this extensive indoctrination that was mentioned above. Not one classroom had anything at all related to environmental issues posted anywhere. As I walked through the buildings here in NE Oregon, I was reminded of a middle school in the Willamette Valley (Sweet Home Jr High) that excuses its students for a week of hunting. When they get back they get to draw artwork of the animal they shot dead and the gun they used. The walls and halls are covered with pictures of dead animals and guns. Now mind you, this is a public school. Yet here in a very conservative corner of Oregon, not one picture of animals or guns hung on the wall. But in the Willamette Valley, a supposed bastion of liberal thought, I know exactly what is hanging on the walls, or about to. And it ain’t poor polar bears swimming in a melted ocean. Now if one of the students happened to bag a polar bear, THAT would be hanging on the wall. So again, unless you spend CONSIDERABLE time in public schools, my hunch is that most people talk from philosophy, not from critical, objective, and color-blind observation. Might some of us be talking with rose-colored glasses on? I am not defending my institution. I am simply telling you what I have observed on a day to day basis over the 12 years that I have spent in public schools, in both conservative and liberal towns and cities. One last comment. I have no end-of-the-argument belief about CO2 and global warming. I have no end-of-the-argument belief about solar effects. I am curious and interested in the data and will let it lead me wherever it will. When I get to where it leads me, I will likely continue to mull over what I see and say, “hmmmmm”.

  102. nobwainer (16:44:32) :
    I find it interesting you put me in the “barycenter crowd” as i certainly wouldn’t say that.
    Then I apologize for putting you with the wrong crowd. Perhaps the ‘tidal effect’ crowd would have been better, or perhaps no crowd at at all. My confusion probably comes from the considerable overlap that there seems to be between the two crowds.

    Anyway, I’m working up the 10Be series that McCracken and Beer has derived for 1428-present. Before I open it up for public consumption later today, I want to correct [there is that word again] a few mistakes in their series, like forgetting that there is a 2-year settling time from when 10Be is created and when it is embedded in the ice. You can have a preview at http://www.leif.org/research/TSI%20From%20McCracken%20HMF.pdf
    Note the large contaminating effect volcanic eruptions have on the 10Be record.
    Stay tuned.

  103. Leif Svalgaard (08:29:03) :

    Carsten Arnholm, Norway (07:20:28) :
    I have a hard time convincing myself that you are right, but I am trying. As far as I can tell, the logical conclusion from this is that it is theoretically impossible to detect extrasolar planets by observing their host star wobbling?
    Of course not. Take the case of the double star again. We can observe both stars move against the background of distant stars because we have a reference point outside the system [the distant stars]. Viewed from one of the stars the barycenter will move, always following the other star around [being just in front of it, halfway out]. If you shrunk the other star to planet size, things will stay the same, except the barycenter would move closer to the first star; it will still move around just in front of the planet. Since both bodies are in free fall, they feel no forces resulting from their motion, no matter where the barycenter is.

    In a two body system with circular orbits, I believe you are correct and the two bodies would feel no forces because they aren’t perturbed with respect to each other. The solar system is essentially a five body system. The effects of all bodies besides the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune can be ignored since they are much smaller than these five bodies (for all intents and purposes anyway).

    Let’s go back to Newton. For every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. The solar system revolves around a barycenter that moves. That’s because at any instant in time all these particles are pulling on each other simultaneously. When masses are concentrated on one side of the Sun, the barycenter moves farther from the Sun and the Sun is pulled towards the concentrated masses by forces caused by the graviational attraction of the masses. Since the Sun acts like a solid, liquid, and gas, it’s hard to envision this force not perturbing the particles within the Sun differently.

    On the JPL part of the thread…
    Orbital mechanics equations take into consideration the barycenter of the systems that spacecraft fly to. Since the mass of the spacecraft is negligible compared to the body it flies to (usually) the spacecraft mass can be ignored. The masses of larger bodies can’t be. So of course, distances between bodies can be measured precisely because it’s factored in.

  104. One other quick point…

    On the Shuttle and ISS when they do experiments, it’s in a micro-gravity environment – not a gravity-free environment. Protein Crystal Growth experiments are affected by the micro-gravity environment…

  105. Dan McCune (11:43:33) :

    Here’s an interesting and related article in the Financial Times titled:

    The Silent Sun’s Uncertain Course

    From title onward, this is typical mainstream media sensationalistic skewing of facts and theory — the sole purpose of which is “excite” current and potential readership.

  106. Alphajuno (19:24:43) :
    When masses are concentrated on one side of the Sun, the barycenter moves farther from the Sun and the Sun is pulled towards the concentrated masses by forces caused by the graviational attraction of the masses. Since the Sun acts like a solid, liquid, and gas, it’s hard to envision this force not perturbing the particles within the Sun differently.

    You are quite correct, there is a difference, it is called a ‘tide’. As we have already calculated, the tide from Jupiter is 0.47 mm high, that from Venus [the second largest is 0.45 mm high, from the others still smaller. In the most favorable case [when all the tides are aligned] they add up to 1 mm [=1/25 of an inch].

    On the JPL part of the thread…
    What you say there is just nonsense. The distances can be [and are] measured with great precision using radio signals and are just what is calculated by JPL. These distances are REAL distances not computational fiction.

    from http://www.microgravity.com/introduction.html :
    “Microgravity, also called weightlessness or zero gravity, is the absence of gravity. It is best illustrated by astronauts floating in their spacecraft.”
    Wikipedia has a somewhat more correct definition: “A micro-g environment (also µg, often referred to by the term microgravity) is one where the acceleration induced by gravity has little or no measurable effect”.
    But all this is irrelevant to the problem of calculating the real, correct, physical distance to the Sun [which was Carsten’s original question].

  107. garron (21:51:34) :
    “The Silent Sun’s Uncertain Course”

    From title onward, this is typical mainstream media sensationalistic skewing of facts and theory — the sole purpose of which is “excite” current and potential readership.

    I agree.

  108. Thanks Leif…pretty much exactly what i am looking for. the 2nd last graph allows me to match up the 10Be records with sunspot records. before 1840 is where there seems to be a problem, if i look at the Mckracken peaks in the first graph (allowing for volcanic disturbance) they do not line up with the sunspot records(altho its not easy to plot) but there seems to be a mismatch, more peaks from 1800-1850 than the sunspot records show if i am not mistaken. If i had clear 10Be records back that far i could verify.

  109. Pamela,

    You are lucky.

    ‘Today fifth graders at Lone Pine Elementary in Bloomfield Hills flip
    through the pages of a workbook to describe a class called “Mother
    Earth.”
    Student 1: “I learned about Pangea – how, a long time the world was
    connected.” Student 2: “We learned some words like environment
    we learned how Indians, they didn’t waste anything, and we learned
    about global warming.”‘ (from Michigan public radio)

  110. Carsten Arnholm, Norway: Ok, we can end it here. I accept your statement that measurements show that TSI varies with extreme accuracy according to the elliptic orbit of Earth. But theoretically it does not make sense to me…

    Here, Leif, let me give an attempt to explain the barycentric fallacy.

    First let me point out that the gravitational many-body problem (N-body problem with N>2) does not have a closed-form solution. As a result, simulations of celestial dynamics are forced to approximate. One approximation is to consider bodies to be point masses, where the point is located at the center of mass of the object. Then the motion of any body is computed in discrete time steps by taking into account its instantaneous gravitational attraction to all the other bodies and computing a velocity vector. Since this computation occurs between every pair of bodies, it is easy to see that the computational complexity goes up as O(N^2). To reduce the computational complexity, it is often useful to take certain objects that are spatially clustered, such as our solar system, and do what amounts to a point mass approximation on them by computing their barycenter and then using this new point mass to compute the collective acceleration of the cluster on an object outside the cluster. This approximation reduces the effective value of N, resulting in a faster computation. However, and this is where I think the misconceptions arise, the barycenter cannot be used for calculating the dynamics of the bodies that comprise its cluster. The reason is that the barycenter includes the body for which you are trying to compute its velocity vector. For example, if we are trying to compute the net acceleration for the sun within the solar system, it makes no sense to use the solar system’s barycenter because that would include (in fact be overwhelmed by) a component of the sun attracting itself, even though we are modeling the sun as a point mass!

    Consider the two-body case (which does have an exact solution), where we have masses m1 and m2 separated by a distance r. The gravitational attraction between them is G m1 m2/r^2, where G is the universal gravitational constant. The barycenter is located at a distance r/(1+m1/m2) on the line between body 1 and body 2. If we considered a point mass with weight (m1+m2) at the barycenter to compute the force on body 1, we would get a force of G m1 (m1+m2) / (r/(1+m1/m2))^2, which clearly gives the wrong answer.

    The point is that the barycenter is a useful abstraction for items that do not comprise its cluster, but it has no physical meaning for the other items in the cluster.

  111. Leif Svalgaard (17:28:41) :

    nobwainer (16:44:32) :

    ” ‘I find it interesting you put me in the “barycenter crowd” as i certainly wouldn’t say that.’
    Then I apologize for putting you with the wrong crowd. Perhaps the ‘tidal effect’ crowd would have been better…”

    Anyone please, in a nutshell…

    what is the creed of the “barycenter crowd” and what’s wrong with it?

    I’m just trying to find my “crowd.”

    Thanks

  112. John-X (09:03:07) :
    what is the creed of the “barycenter crowd” and what’s wrong with it?
    That the Sun is whirling in a very tight orbit around a point [on the average] located about a solar radius from the surface. This whirling creates forces that upsets the interior or the rotation of the Sun and thereby creates or modulates solar activity.
    What is wrong, we have discussed ad nauseam. Basically that the Sun does not feel any such forces except exceedingly tiny tidal forces [which to some seems to be effective anyway]. Is this your crowd?

  113. Leif Svalgaard (09:19:26) :

    “…What is wrong, we have discussed ad nauseam…”

    Sorry, I’m usually long gone before the point of nausea.

    If it is your argument that such barycentric motions do not occur, you are definitely in the scientific minority, and should better spend your time elsewhere, for example by cleaning up Wikipedia (watch the animation):

    and by correcting what NASA teaches elementary school children

    http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/en/kids/barycntr.shtml

    otherwise I shall conclude that you DO accept that the sun orbits not its own center of mass, but a solar system barycenter which varies pretty much as Newton expected it would in 1687, and that the nauseating discussion is only about what if any effect such motion has.

  114. Here’s the barycenter and its ‘importance’ as taught in a Geology 100 course

    http://www.umt.edu/geosciences/faculty/hendrix/g100/L2.html

    ” Solar System Barycenter: Imaginary point about which planets and sun rotate. Barycenter is near (and sometimes within) sun, but is not center of sun.

    Jupiter and Saturn aligned on same side of sun = sun furthest from barycenter

    Jupiter and Saturn aligned on opposite sides of sun = sun minimum distance from barycenter (barycenter actually within sun)

    Why is this important?

    1) Rotation of sun about barycenter is related to formation of sunspots and solar flare activity.

    · Sun at Max and Min distance from barycenter (Saturn and Jupiter aligned), solar flare and sunspot activity

    very high (about once per 11 years).

    · Sun between max and min distance to barycenter (Saturn and Jupiter not aligned), solar flare and sunspot activity low.

    2) Sunspot and solar flare activity influences strength of solar wind (which bombards Earth)

    3) Fluctuations in strength of solar wind affect Earth climate (e.g. length of growing season). ”

    This may be a rather extreme example, but as I suggested, WUWT is no “hotbed” of Barycentrism.

  115. John-X (10:01:26) :
    and that the nauseating discussion is only about what if any effect such motion has.
    Yes, this is basically the issue, whether different parts of the Sun feel different forces resulting from such motion [which they do not], although Carsten’s question that prompted this was about the distance to the Sun. As I understood his argument, he figured that that distance should vary as the Sun went around the barycenter. It does not vary as the Earth also goes around the barycenter [as even Jupiter does], so the distance to the Sun [which determines the variation of TSI] is just what it would be [to high approximation] if none of the other planets existed. I’m at a loss as to understand why this is not clear. It would certainly have been obvious to Newton in 1666 :-)
    In any event, the TSI we actually observe varies just as it should, so even if you can’t see why, you will have to accept that it does.

  116. Leif Svalgaard (10:37:41)

    “…In any event, the TSI we actually observe varies just as it should, so even if you can’t see why, you will have to accept that it does.”

    Thanks but not thanks for the condescension and conceit.

    Frankly I think TSI has become a security blanket for you.

    Did I mention TSI? (No, I did not).

    You reached for it the moment you felt mildly challenged, just as one reaches for a warm blankie.

    And don’t bother telling me what I “have to accept.” I get enough of that from congress.

  117. John-X (10:56:32) :
    Thanks but not thanks for the condescension and conceit.
    No need to become hot and bothered and nasty. The “you” was a general you. Not specifically the ‘you’ that is “John-X”. But rather the ‘you’ that covers those that believe that the distance to the Sun should be calculated by assuming the Sun goes around the barycenter, but that the Earth does not. E.g. Carsten, and Alexander et al. http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA10.png

    Re condescension: perhaps your reference to schoolchildren belongs in that same category…

    You Geology 100 notes have no general acceptance and don’t really belong in a serious discussion, except as, perhaps, as an attempt of condescension.

    So, cut the vitriol and, perhaps, apologize.

  118. Leif Svalgaard (23:12:21) :

    nobwainer (23:01:29) :
    If i had clear 10Be records back that far i could verify.
    “I’m working on it…”

    It seems you are “working on” anything that contradicts your pet hypothesis.

  119. I think I just felt the barycenter effect… either that or I just burped… excuse me… carry on.

  120. I’d like a little critique. I’ve done some reading on the PDO and its affect on the climate. So I graphed the PDO vs. temperature. Corelates pretty well, most of the time. Then I thought I would add in sunspot activity. When PDO drops, and sunspot activity drop, temperature drops, same with increases. When the go opposite directions, the temperature trend ends up somewhere inbetween. I don’t claim to be a scientist, I’m just looking at the data. I tossed in CO2 to the graph just to see if there was any apparent affect.

    The PDO is in “cool mode” which can last up to 30 years and the sun is quiet and looks to stay quiet. Is it possible these 2 factors point to a cooling trend? Would someone with more experience/training take a look?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/fourier/high-pass:2/low-pass:25/inverse-fourier/from:1900/plot/jisao-pdo/fourier/high-pass:2/low-pass:25/inverse-fourier/scale:0.2/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1900/mean:12/scale:0.005/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/offset:-325/scale:0.01

  121. Glenn (11:33:17) :
    If i had clear 10Be records back that far i could verify.
    “I’m working on it…”

    It seems you are “working on” anything that contradicts your pet hypothesis.

    Yes, that’s how Science works. What’s in it for you making such a comment? And, more importantly, how do you think the general readership would benefit benefits from your uttering?

  122. Leif Svalgaard (12:08:16) :

    Glenn (11:33:17) :
    If i had clear 10Be records back that far i could verify.
    “I’m working on it…”

    It seems you are “working on” anything that contradicts your pet hypothesis.

    “Yes, that’s how Science works.”

    Really? Science works by, well, *working*. This means successful predictions allowing real time usefulness. How you get there is irrelevant, but in the meantime it’s speculation. I suggest you try to support your pet hypothesis on it’s own ground instead of trying to change historical records/data/conflicting evidence/other hypotheses so that yours will look better.

  123. Leif Svalgaard (11:25:27) :

    John-X (10:56:32) :
    Thanks but not thanks for the condescension and conceit.
    No need to become hot and bothered and nasty. The “you” was a general you. Not specifically the ‘you’ that is “John-X”. But rather the ‘you’ that covers those that believe that the distance to the Sun should be calculated by assuming the Sun goes around the barycenter, but that the Earth does not. E.g. Carsten, and Alexander et al.

    Please, Leif. This is a misrepresentation of what I have said. I have said that every object in the solar system, no exception, orbits the barycenter. This is precisely the reason why it is beyond my understanding how the distance from the Sun to the Earth can be accurately represented by the Earth’s elliptic orbit around the Barycenter.

  124. In my research i have found a couple of things that don’t seem to add up in the barycenter debate.

    1. The sunspot cycles do not match up with Barycenter hi and low points.(altho Leif is helping me with 10Be records to confirm the 19th century sunspot records are correct…which i am grateful and see it as helping my pet theory!)

    2. If they did line up, why do we get sunspots when the barycenter returns to the center of the sun everytime Saturn apposes Jupiter (this is when the least impact of momentum is occurring) According to the principle we get sunspot peaks when Jupiter/Saturn come together and then again when they appose.

    Here is a barycenter chart (built using JPL) where i have plotted the sunspot peaks(approx dates) onto the peaks and troughs in momentum….they are just not lining up.

    You will notice momentum disturbance at 2009, 1970, 1830, 1650 etc, these all occur from Neptune/Uranus conjunction…to me this area is worth investigating as it coincides with “phase catastrophes” that might explain previous and future Grand minmia…and slow downs as in 1970.

  125. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (16:02:55) :
    Please, Leif. This is a misrepresentation of what I have said.
    Sorry to have lumped you in with Alexander et al.; there are so many variations on this theme that it is hard to keep track of who believes what.
    Try this: Because the barycenter is mainly determined by Jupiter [apart from the sun, of course] it moves but slowly [12 years to go round – or if you like, the Sun moves but slowly]. Launch a spacecraft from the [almost stationary] barycenter such that the spacecraft’s circular orbit takes it around the Sun. Because of its proximity to the Sun, the spacecraft will move very fast, completing its orbit [and returning to the barycenter] every few hours. Its distance from the Sun’s center is constant, yet “every object in the solar system, no exception, orbits the barycenter”. What does the spacecraft do? does it go around the barycenter in a circular orbit every few hours? yet passes through the very barycenter every few hours.

    And
    Glenn (16:01:53) :
    does not deserve further comment at this point.

  126. Just a thought. If many solar system events happen in cyclical ways, including individual planetary events, eventually they will coincide (or at least some to many of them will coincide). That does not mean that all of those things affect one thing (such as temperature). It simply means that, for example, at the moment temps went down, these other things occurred at the same time. It is a correlation but clearly would not be a cause and effect. It would also be true that as these cycles slowly go in and then out of phase, the correlation could extend for quite some time, leading some to say, “this has got to be a cause and effect event”. But it could still just be coincidental. I think that is why Leif always looks for a plausible mechanism to sort out these coincidental observations from likely cause and effect observations.

  127. Glenn (16:01:53) : Really? Science works by, well, *working*. This means successful predictions allowing real time usefulness. How you get there is irrelevant, but in the meantime it’s speculation. I suggest you try to support your pet hypothesis on it’s own ground instead of trying to change historical records/data/conflicting evidence/other hypotheses so that yours will look better.

    This is just an inane, mean-spirited piece of false reasoning. Glenn, reading your posts, I often wonder who/what you are. Clearly, you are no scientist. Clearly, you lack civility and decorum.

    I should not have to politely rebut your illogical diatribe — cleanly penned by one ignorant of, and challenged by, reasoned discussion.

  128. nobwainer (16:45:15) :
    1. The sunspot cycles do not match up with Barycenter hi and low points.(altho Leif is helping me with 10Be records to confirm the 19th century sunspot records are correct…which i am grateful and see it as helping my pet theory!)

    You can find the 10Be data for every year since 1428 at
    http://www.leif.org/research/GCR-10Be-1428-2008.xls

    McCracken has calibrated the raw 10Be counts to Neutron Monitor GCR count equivalents [in per cent of the maximum count at current minima]. His data originally had a time shift of two years that he had not taken into account. This comes about because it takes that long for 10Be to fall out of the stratosphere and settling on the surface, while the Neutron Monitors give the GCR flux without delay. The shift was done in 1970-71. It is also very likely [see some of my papers on that on my website, e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/Comment%20on%20McCracken.pdf ] that the calibration has a shift ~1948, causing by trying to use very old balloon data from the 1930s as calibration points. I have left this error in the data. You can correct it by subtracting 10% from the CR% before 1948 or so.
    I also give my list of sunspot numbers and TSI back to 1610. These are my own assessments and must be used at your own risk.

  129. Niels (8-10-2008) gave a link to Lubos Motl’s blog on the barycenter topic and that makes this whole issue clear to me. He links to a 1965 paper by Paul Jose. So this 178 year pattern of the big planets happens to be 8 times the average 22 year solar cycle. Is that a coincidence or a cause? I see lots of diagrams of barycenter paths, but no statistics showing that there is a real correlation. Coincidence is enough to get an unkillable belief going. Add in a Mayan calendar and some Maunder Minimums for good measure. But it’s still numerology, not science. Nine wave stuff, a common belief, but not something a scientist would believe.

  130. Pet Rock (22:38:38) :
    Coincidence is enough to get an unkillable belief going. Add in a Mayan calendar and some Maunder Minimums for good measure…
    The distance to the Sun is precisely 1 billion times the original height of the great Khufu pyramid, proving beyond a doubt that it was built by extraterrestrial aliens, because there is no way the ancient Egyptians could have known that. Another unkillable belief…

  131. Pet Rock…perhaps you should dig a little deeper, there is plenty of correlation going on. The last four minimia have a 178 yr gap and had Neptune and Uranus coming together….we are in the same spot again, if the sun goes to Dalton like minimium again in the next few years we will be able to observe it for real this time around with lots of gadgets and maybe learn something. Science really still doesn’t have a decent theory to explain so we are not in a position to gloat.

    I have a small WIP report showing the correlations here http://users.beagle.com.au/geoffsharp/gasgiants.pdf

    Having said that we know correlation is not cause and thanks Leif for the 10Be data. The Data seems to suggest the 10Be spikes(reverse) are perhaps different to the sunspot spikes in the early 19th century, but maybe not different enough. I am thinking its probably not the most accurate proxy around. I looked over the geomagnetic aa data for the same period the other night and it seemed to line up with the sunspot records very closely…we might not be able to test the ultimate accuracy of Wolf in that period?

    Here’s a pic of Leif’s data: http://users.beagle.com.au/geoffsharp/leif10bessn.jpg

  132. Leif Svalgaard (16:50:29) :

    Try this: Because the barycenter is mainly determined by Jupiter [apart from the sun, of course] it moves but slowly [12 years to go round – or if you like, the Sun moves but slowly]. Launch a spacecraft from the [almost stationary] barycenter such that the spacecraft’s circular orbit takes it around the Sun. Because of its proximity to the Sun, the spacecraft will move very fast, completing its orbit [and returning to the barycenter] every few hours. Its distance from the Sun’s center is constant, yet “every object in the solar system, no exception, orbits the barycenter”. What does the spacecraft do? does it go around the barycenter in a circular orbit every few hours? yet passes through the very barycenter every few hours.

    Well, sorry my wording was imprecise, I give you that. With “every object in the solar system” I meant primary objects gravitationally bound to the solar system, not satellites gravitationally bound to one of the planets for example. The Moon (Luna) does not orbit the solar system barycenter (the Moon-Earth barycenter does). Your spacecraft is similarly a satellite if the Sun.

    If you gradually increase the mass of your spacecraft, it will increasingly influence the barycenter position …. your example holds only for neglible mass objects.

  133. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (12:09:20) :
    With “every object in the solar system” I meant primary objects gravitationally bound to the solar system. Your spacecraft is similarly a satellite of the Sun.
    It is a ‘primary’ object. It does not influence the barycenter [red herring of yours, I think :-) ]. How would it know that it was NOT a primary object. Even if you increase its mass to planet size it would not move the barycenter measurably because its distance from the Sun is so small. So my question remains.
    Increase the mass of the spacecraft. At what point does it become a ‘primary’ object? and how does it know to behave differently at that point? All bodies in orbit around the Sun are primary objects.

  134. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (12:09:20) :
    The Moon (Luna) does not orbit the solar system barycenter (the Moon-Earth barycenter does).
    Similarly, the Earth does not orbit the solar system barycenter (the Earth-Sun barycenter does). By that argument.

  135. Here’s an interesting report from the “Biology Cabinet” that shows some nice diagrams of the orbital path of the solar system. The diagram shows a Barycenter (shudder) type movement around the center of the galaxy.

    It also suggests the the angle of attack is 90deg….NASA recently suggest about 60deg and i have seen others at 45deg…..so much to learn.

    http://biocab.org/Coplanarity_Solar_System_and_Galaxy.html

  136. nobwainer suggested I did deeper to find the correlations between conjunctions and sun activity. My digging suggests to me it does not exist. Show me your most convincing evidence. Maybe it’s Gleissberg related, but I don’t even believe in that one. If the only evidence for it is the VERY sloppy coincidence with four minimums, I will say that if the coincidence is still there after 100 or more minimums, I’ll take it more seriously. Suppose the minimums do come in cycles of about 178 years, they would appear to be in phase with conjunctions for a while and then drift out of phase — unless they actually are related. But just being in phase for four cycles does not prove they are related. (And who is willing to say that mimimums come in fixed length cycles?)

    One day I notice that the turn signals of my car are in exact sync with the turn signals of the car ahead of me — so must there be a link between them? The closer the cycle lengths are, the longer it will be before they drift out of phase. When they are out of phase, you will still say there is a link, but it’s at 60 degrees before conjunction or something. That is the problem with the barycenter theory. Why should the effect not be at some interior level of the sun which then takes a long time to reach the surface?

    In the good old days when people were adding cycles upon cycles to explain the apparent motion of the planets, they wasted their time; they should have studied math instead. The ellipse made it all so much simpler.

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