The new NASA solar goalpost: Cycle 24, maybe not so big

ssn_predict.gif (2208 bytes)

Source: NASA, Dr. David Hathaway

A few days ago I wrote in State of the Sun for year end 2008: all’s quiet on the solar front – too quiet that “No new cycle 24 predictions have been issued by any solar group (that I am aware of ) in the last couple of months.” Coincidentally and shortly after that, NASA’s David Hathaway updated his solar prediction page here. He’s made a significant backtrack over previous predictions, and now for the first time he is claiming cycle 24 will be less than cycle 23, not greater.

Kudos to our WUWT resident solar physicist Leif Svalgaard for his foresight. He has been saying for many months that cycle 24 would be significantly reduced, and not greater than 23.

Here is Hathaway’s most familiar graphic, which has an active sun in the background. Perhaps it is time to update that background to something more reflective of the times…..oh wait, read on.

Click for a larger image

Here in this graphic, from Klimadebat.dk we can see how much has changed since Hathaway’s last prediction update in October 2008:

Click for a larger image

Note that Hathaway did indeed change background graphics from October to January. Its just not quite the smooth and nearly featureless ball we see today.

Courtesy of Mike Smith, here is the March 2006 prediction graphic:

nasa-ssn-hathaway-2006

Click for larger image

Hathaway’s predicted Cycle 24 maximun in March  2006:  145

Hathaway’s predicted Cycle 24 maximun in October 2008:  137

Hathaway’s predicted Cycle 24 maximun in January 2009:  104

I’d say that represents a sea change in thinking, but the question now is:  How low will he go?

I was looking for a substantial quote from Hathaway in his prediction page, but it appears he is being quite conservative in his language, focusing mostly on methodology, not the prediction itself. I don’t blame him, he’s in a tough spot right now.

Meanwhile we’ve had an entertaining episode with the most recent Cycle 24 transient sunspot/sunspeck that appeared briefly yesterday then disappeared almost as fast as it appeared. See the area on the lower right of the sun:

20090107_1248_mdiigr_512

In response to my query asking if he concurred with my assessment of it being an SC24 speck,  (he did) Leif wrote to me:  “Seems that it has received even a region number 11010. Somewhat ridiculous.”

Then about 12 hours later: “And SWPC has withdrawn the number. No numbered region after all.”

It will be interesting to see which organization counts this event, or not, in the month end tally.  Up until this point, we had 25 consecutive spotless days. Now we have more, or not.

h/t to Frank Lansner for the Klimatdebat.dk graphic link and a bunch of other commenters who made note of the Hathaway page

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287 thoughts on “The new NASA solar goalpost: Cycle 24, maybe not so big

  1. Is it just me, or does the uptrend seem to be quite steep?
    Reality may be on the low end of even the new lower estimate.
    REPLY: I thought the same thing, that the uptrend may not be possible to achieve. So far he’s overshot everything about SC24, so it would not be surprising to see the trend prediction off the mark also. – Anthony

  2. What is Bill Livingston’s measure of the magnetism of those last spots showing?
    ====================

  3. NOAA is currently listing 01/07/09 as a big fat “0” in the SS field. http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/quar_DSD.txt
    Also of interest is the flat-line of the 10.7cm radio flux:
    69,70,70,69,69,69,69. A line that flat on a cardiac monitor would be a
    call for resuscitation. All the “Flares” fields remain zeros, too. Is the
    patient sleeping, or comatose?
    SIDC Belgium continued the ALL QUIET alert begun on Jan. 02. six days
    and counting on that, also.
    Question–Does anyone know how long and when the longest ALL QUIET
    on record was?
    Thnx

  4. I e-mailed spaceweather.com webmaster yesterday. I told them I could not see the sunspot. I also told them they were propogating misleading information and creating animosity among those they serve and who rely on accurate science information.
    The significance here is that the more of this kind of misleading data they post then the more difficult and time consuming it will be to correct public policy which is going to be needed to react to the sun’s activity and hence save lives.
    The worst scenario arising from thier antics is that advances in genetic bioresearch in crop production will be delayed which could in the end help crop production in changing growing conditions.

  5. Tim L (08:30:23) :
    “He is not correct in the first place, why would he be right in the last place?”
    What about: a perpetual trial and error?

  6. TerryBixler,
    Sorry, Didn’t mean to step on your toes. You got that one in on me
    while I was composing.

  7. The way I read Dr. Hathaway’s forecasts before he seemed to me to be basing his prediction of cycle 24 on solar magnetic properties of cycle 23. The gist of it was something like “historically, when the properties of a cycle have been X, then the strength of the following cycle has been Y”. You will also note that he has also been predicting an extremely weak cycle 25 based on cycle 23 indicators that seem to forecast activity two cycles hence (e.g. the magnetic “conveyor belt”). What has changed is the length of cycle 23. Dr. Hathaway had no way of predicting the length of cycle 23 and so now that the minimum has continued longer than previously predicted, he has a new indicator that apparently takes priority over the other criteria.
    I believe from my reading that a cycle after a long cycle is generally weak and a cycle after a short cycle is generally strong. So now that cycle 23 has lasted this long, my guess is that he now has a hard indicator to go with to reliably predict a weaker cycle 24. He couldn’t do that before based on “hunch” or “suspicion” or what he “believed” would happen, he had to wait until he had some solid basis for changing the prediction which he apparently now has. That says two things. First, he doesn’t seem to be playing hunches and is waiting for solid data. Second, he and his colleagues do not appear to have a way of telling what is actually going on (as if anyone does) and must use what amounts to statistical past behavior in order to predict future behavior. Sort of like a technical chart watcher might do with the stock market.
    In summary, it appears that his earlier forecasts were based on the information he had at the time. The current forecast is changed due to new information that takes time make itself apparent. It would seem that what has been learned is that cycle length might be an overriding indicator of the magnetic properties he was using previously.
    Also note that as far as I know he still hasn’t changed his forecast that cycle 25 will be extremely weak based on certain properties of cycle 23.

  8. I think the steep curve implies that the Sun somehow has an event memory and will attempt to play “catch up” so as to bring things back to “normal”. Such an assumption shows bias in the person making it overruling any understanding of the underlying physical dynamics involved.

  9. The potential July/August minimum is dying on the vine. Meteorologists move over, there’s a new standard in futility for prognostication! Bet you thought this day would never come.
    No not the Lions.

  10. I’m just an outsider looking in, but it seems to me that we may be living in interesting times. A question though: What is the error margin of the peak of cycle 24 as predicted by Hathaway? Is it -squinting at graph- 2013 (+/-1.5years)?

  11. kim (08:15:02) :
    What is Bill Livingston’s measure of the magnetism of those last spots showing?
    Just talking with him. No recent measurements because of no spots. He missed this one too.

  12. Sunspotter (08:45:33) :
    Question–Does anyone know how long and when the longest ALL QUIET on record was?
    Some 400 days back in ~1810
    and possibly years in the 1650-1700s

  13. Repeatedly “adjusting” a “forecast” is not forecasting at all as the predictive value is nil. Looked at with a generous eye, the only glimmer of science left is Hathaway somewhat modifying his “hypothesis” in light of recalcitrant data.
    This constant tweaking certainly suggests that the underlying model is fatally flawed. Just as is the case with, inter alia” the IPCC’s ” most recent forecasts for global temperatures, polar sea ice and sea level rise.

  14. I just wanted to observe that if Livingston and Penn are correct that 2015 will be the point at which visible spots cease to be (for a time) then any conventional curve cannot reach a very high amplitude before sinking to that zero point.
    In fact, the only curve that would make sense to get the number to zero by that point would have an amplitude of far fewer than max SSN 50 for Solar Cycle 24.

  15. I saw that recent anemic sunspeck twice. The first time it was so small I suspected it was an SP (stuck pixel); then it disappeared, reappeared briefly before finally disappearing again. Never did see SWPC assign it a number but then I wasn’t watching their site like a hawk.
    2009 should be a most interesting time for Dr. Hathaway. If the anemic nature of SC24 persists through the year, I wonder what a revised prediction will then look like.
    And then there’s this interesting article from the UK press about the danger to astronauts because of a weakened solar wind which would see greater levels of cosmic rays. Nothing said about possible impacts on the planet itself:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1108983/Astronauts-threatened-cosmic-rays-sun-active.html

  16. About the steepness…it looks like he’s actually starting to come down to earth. Here’s an update from a post I did last August, showing a comparison of SC “transitions” for the longer falling cycles (more than 139 months), and the rise/magnitude of the cycle that followed.
    From Hathaway’s prediction of June 2008, he only had SC21 with as steep a rise after such a long cycle (SC20).
    http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e7/niteowl496/Cycle_Transitions_200806.png
    Same thing for his prediction last October.
    http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e7/niteowl496/Cycle_Transitions_200810.png
    Now, he’s got SC14-15, and SC09-10 in the same neighborhood.
    http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e7/niteowl496/Cycle_Transitions_200901.png
    I think he’s still a bit high, though. I’m guessing a max of around 80 in the SC24 pool.
    PS. Help with a blink comparator, anyone?

  17. TerryBixler (08:39:05) :
    ” Specs not counted here
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/DSD.txt
    Sunspotter (08:45:33) :
    ” NOAA is currently listing 01/07/09 as a big fat “0″ in the SS field. http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/quar_DSD.txt
    Shades of the Great Summer Sunspeck Debacle !
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/08/31/sun-has-first-spotless-calendar-month-since-1913/
    WAS there a NOAA number or was there NOT ?
    Those who get the daily “Ursigram” saw that the “ISN” (International Sunspot Number) was ZERO, yesterday and today.
    Will it STILL be zero at the end of the month, AND for the “Definitive” count released by SIDC some months from now ?
    Stay tuned to WUWT !

  18. Given the error of margin..sun spot count could stay close to 0 out to 2010, and still be with in this prediction.

  19. In defense of Hathaway?
    I will give this to him:
    He is willing to revise his models when they are faulty, and he has claimed that this is an exciting time (my paraphrase) for solar science, since it will validate some models or statistical approaches to solar cycle prediction and negate others.
    Unlike the AGW camp who start calling cooling as the new sign of warming!

  20. I noticed sunspot 1010 mentioned on spaceweather.com but couldn’t see it; only a slight speck even in the magnetogram

  21. With the December number, we are now in the realm of “once in a lifetime” averages for all recent averages up to five year averages. It’s really quite fascinating.
    I did a recent post taking a look at how current averages compare to historical and then looked at consecutive cycle lenghts to see how we are stacking up historically.
    If interested, you can find it here:
    http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/december-2008-update-on-sunspot-stats/

  22. crosspatch (08:55:51) :
    Dr. Hathaway’s forecasts before he seemed to me to be basing his prediction of cycle 24 on solar magnetic properties of cycle 23. The gist of it was something like “historically, when the properties of a cycle have been X, then the strength of the following cycle has been Y”.
    It is precisely known how Hathaway makes his predictions. And it has nothing to do with the length of the cycle. Cycle 20 was also long, yet cycle 21 was the second highest cycle observed. David’s method is simple: it has been noted that geomagnetic activity often has a peak some years before solar minimum and the assumption [it is just that, as there is no physical basis for it] is that the size of that peak is related to the next cycle [the ‘evidence’ for this is that it seemed so in the past, but, remember that correlation is not causation, and the method failed for cycle 23]. So it comes down to identifying which peak to choose as ‘the peak’. There was a very large peak in 2003, then a smaller one in 2005, and an even smaller one in 2008. So we have three choices and three predictions: 2003 -> 145, 2005 -> 95, 2008 -> 75 [these numbers are just approximate, one should read them off David’s graphs to get more ‘precise’ ones]. All that has happened is that Hathaway has changed his view on which peak to pick. First he picked 2003, now he goes for 2005; should he go for 2008 [which he might claim he should have done to save his method when the Sun actually peaks at Rmax = 75] he will predict an even lower cycle. As a final touch he averages the number with a prediction by Thompson based on the number of disturbed days at minimum. This bumps up the final prediction a bit to 104 or so. No mystery here. Everybody can join in. Hathaway is very transparent on how this is done.

  23. Repeatedly “adjusting” a “forecast” is not forecasting at all as the predictive value is nil. Looked at with a generous eye, the only glimmer of science left is Hathaway somewhat modifying his “hypothesis” in light of recalcitrant data.
    i don’t believe he’s adjusting a forecast – rather making a new one. might be a nitpicky distinction, but Hathaway doesn’t appear to be saying that his oct 2008 forecast was for 104, rather his jan 2009 forecast is for 137.
    @Chris Schoneveld, why do you have more faith De Jager’s over Hathaways? Sorry for any elementary questions, but i’m just starting to wrap my head around solar activities.

  24. Dr. Hathaway will be more respected if he simply says he doesn’t know what the future portends… there’s nothing wrong with admitting that… to throw up numbers and constantly changing his predictions is not science.

  25. That latest potential sunspot (1010) was only seen by spacecraft (SOHO) so it does not count.
    As for Hathaway, he is going to end up being a household joke if he keeps dealing off the bottom of the graphic. His latest concoction is being eroded already, as it is saying “Ramp here, Ramp now!”.
    Fiddlesticks.

  26. “he still hasn’t changed his forecast that cycle 25 will be extremely weak based on certain properties of cycle 23.”
    I think Hathaway’s original 24 and 25 predictions were based on different models and 25 was not based on 23, per se, but current values of Dikpati’s conveyor.

  27. See:
    Astronauts threatened by cosmic rays as sun becomes less active
    By Daily Mail Reporter
    Last updated at 10:19 AM on 08th January 2009

    Astronauts returning to the moon could be threatened by cosmic rays as a result of the sun becoming less active, scientists have said.
    The sun’s ability to shield the solar system from harmful radiation could falter in the early 2020s, research from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology claimed.

  28. Hathaway wouldn’t be in “tough spot” now had he not oversold his predictions and hyped them with GW craps some years ago.
    Wounded by his own sword. Serves him well.

  29. tetris (09:20:44) :
    ” Repeatedly “adjusting” a “forecast” is not forecasting at all as the predictive value is nil. Looked at with a generous eye, the only glimmer of science left is Hathaway somewhat modifying his “hypothesis” in light of recalcitrant data…”
    See Jan Janssens’ discussion of the perils of forecasting Solar Maximum using Solar Minimum parameters.
    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/SCMinpredMax.pdf
    (“Though these relationships seem to exist, the uncertainty in them is very high, making the uncertainty in the predicted amplitude really big and hardly of any practical use.”)
    Hathaway’s original forecast was based on the idea that, “According to theory and observation, the speed of the [Sun’s Great Conveyor] belt foretells the intensity of sunspot activity ~20 years in the future…”
    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/SC24.html
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10may_longrange.htm
    Has he now abandoned this idea ? We don’t know.
    However, if he is, as tetris suggests, merely adjusting his forecast to better match uncooperative data, then he is in effect simply pulling in Solar Minimum data to predict Solar Maximum, and introducing the errors and uncertainties Janssens identifies (though at this late date, it may seem as though Hathaway has little left to lose either way).
    I for one would like to know what the now re-re-re-revised numbers are based on.
    I would also like to hear from Dikpati, de Toma and Gilman, whose new model…
    “Breakthrough Research to Improve Forecasts of Sunspot Cycle”
    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2004/sunspot.shtml
    “Scientists Issue Unprecedented Forecast of Next Sunspot Cycle”
    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2006/sunspot.shtml
    …was going to banish uncertainty forever from the prediction of solar cycles.
    Press releases and hype, confident predictions, fun and excitement…
    until the real data comes in.
    How about a Press Release now, Ms. Dikpati ?

  30. Pearland Aggie (09:21:56) :
    Claim: Low solar activity and Little Ice Age was correlation was merely ‘coincidence’
    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=2489

    The link goes on to say: “come on Nigel the above Solar Irradiance Graph looks like its saying it’s more then a coincidence.
    But the ‘above graph’ is an obsolete reconstruction of solar irradiance that is not consider valid today. For a more probable reconstruction that reflects what we have learned the past decade see the red curve on: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-LEIF.png

  31. Are these predictions anything more than guessing by someone with a big job title and a big diploma? Is there an objective way to know when the curve is going to start a new uptrend, and at what rate?

  32. Leif Svalgaard (09:58:44) :
    “…David [Hathaway]’s method is simple: it has been noted that geomagnetic activity often has a peak some years before solar minimum and the assumption [it is just that, as there is no physical basis for it] is that the size of that peak is related to the next cycle [the ‘evidence’ for this is that it seemed so in the past…”
    Here’s that paper:
    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/HathawayWilson2006.pdf
    “Geomagnetic activity near the time of sunspot cycle minimum has been shown to be a good indicator for the level of maximum activity during the following cycle.”
    Jan Janssens was able to quickly show that even if that method were correct, Hathaway’s prediction was too high by 7%.
    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/CommentsHathawayaa.pdf
    “More importantly, it is shown that the applied smoothing leaves out
    valuable information in the aa-i data, and contributes to an excessive amplitude prediction for SC24.”

  33. Hathaway has been willing to scale back his forecasts, unlike some climate people who simply shift the past data upwards to match their earlier predictions.

  34. i messed the numbers up in my previous post – should read “i don’t believe he’s adjusting a forecast – rather making a new one. might be a nitpicky distinction, but Hathaway doesn’t appear to be saying that his oct 2008 forecast was for 104, rather his jan 2009 forecast is for 104.”

  35. ak (10:02:04) :
    i don’t believe he’s adjusting a forecast – rather making a new one. might be a nitpicky distinction, but Hathaway doesn’t appear to be saying that his oct 2008 forecast was for 104, rather his jan 2009 forecast is for 137.
    Of the “forecasts” are for SC 24 then yes he is adjusting his forecast. If he’s making predictions for specific months then these are each separate forecasts. But it sounds like the former, not the latter.

  36. Robert,
    You would have had to look yesterday. It was in the lower right quadrant, almost at the edge. It dissipated overnight.

  37. Hathaway gave a presentation at Napa 2008 on predicting Cycle 24; http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/RHESSI/napa2008/talks/MonI_Hathaway.pdf. The main prediction methods he relied on were; 1) geomagnetic precursors, which indicate an amplitude of 135 +/- 30, 2) polar field strength which indicates an amplitude of 75 +/- 30, 3) Flux Transport Dynamo models dominated by the meridional flow which indicate an amplitude of 165 +/- 15, and 4) Flux Transport Dynamo models dominated by diffusion which indicate an amplitude of 75 +/- 30.

  38. Leif Svalgaard (09:19:30) :
    Sunspotter (08:45:33) :
    Question–Does anyone know how long and when the longest ALL QUIET on record was?
    Some 400 days back in ~1810
    and possibly years in the 1650-1700s

    But I guess these numbers are based on more primative tech compared to today… On that basis, can we really claim these records are comparable to today? IMHO, I doubt it.

  39. Leif Svalgaard: “All that has happened is that Hathaway has changed his view on which peak to pick.”
    Ah, thank you. That makes sense. I had been unaware that he had selected a different point from which he based the forecast on and assumed he had gone with a different set of criteria that could only have appeared after some time had passed.

  40. ak
    I used to be involved in forecasting professionally. Since this was in unforgiving wold of business, the correctness of our forecasts [or lack thereof] had far reaching financial and socio-economic consequences and we were under very considerable pressure to get it right.
    The very fact that Hathaway has the need for a “new” or “adjusted” forecast on a regular basis tells us that something in the underlying premises / working hypotheses / theories / model is fatally flawed.

  41. This is my graph for Hadley CET from 1660 overlaid with sunspot activity in green (the lower to the bottom the less activity)
    Looking at the current lack of spots where does that place us on that graph in terms of comparitive years-i.e how cold do we think it may get compared to the past? ( I understand there is a 70% correlation between sun spot activity and temperatures and that it is electro magentism that is most important) Or is it too early in the cycle to tell yet?
    tonyB

  42. Just a bit O/T
    Looks like this weblog deal is having quite an impact on WUWT hits. The reach is up and it looks like rank is highest it’s ever been. Once the competition is done, it’ll be interesting to see how many new visitors remain to relish the open civility of the site.
    Just look at these numbers from Alexa !!

  43. kath (09:08:22) :
    > I’m just an outsider looking in, but it seems to me that we may be living in interesting times.
    It’s worse than that – we live in fascinating times.

  44. RE: Leif Svalgaard (09:58:44) :
    There has to be more to it than that, because if I remember the latest blink animation correctly, Hathaway has made 4 predictions. Thus, there has to have been more than just choosing between SC23 peaks, because that would only give you two predictions.
    Am I missing something?

  45. It’s hard to tell from just the graphic, but it looks to me like the peak has been delayed by about 6 months in the new prediction.

  46. Hathaway’s latest forecast seems to fit the less active Sun that half the panel forecast back in April 2007:
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/SC24/PressRelease.html
    “Expected to start last fall, the delayed onset of Solar Cycle 24 stymied the panel and left them evenly split on whether a weak or strong period of solar storms lies ahead, but neither group predicts a record-breaker.”
    “In the cycle forecast issued today, half of the panel predicts a moderately strong cycle of 140 sunspots, plus or minus 20, expected to peak in October of 2011. The other half predicts a moderately weak cycle of 90 sunspots, plus or minus 10, peaking in August of 2012.”

  47. Thanks for that interesting link, Leon B.
    And don’t forget to cast your daily ballot, folks. It’s as easy as… click
    [There may be a delay in loading the voting page. Patience is a virtue!]

  48. “The significance here is that the more of this kind of misleading data they post then the more difficult and time consuming it will be to correct public policy which is going to be needed to react to the sun’s activity and hence save lives. ”
    Since when does science influence public policy anymore? The Obama administration is allready gearing up to have the EPA designate CO2 as a pollutant. New flash to Obama and the Democrats- the hot air you breathe out contains CO2.
    There’s been no warming in the last 10 years and no one in government seems to quesstioning AGW (considering all the previous computer models were predicting continuous warming). Rather they’re still marching headlong into legislation based on a theory that simply became “law” in the public sphere by default (because the proponents dominated the discussion through fear and intimidation against anyone who disagreed with them).
    Though I will say, THANK GOODNESSS we’re into some cooling trends here. It may provide be enough time for real science to make it’s way into the public mindset (at least wrest the concept of “science” back from the activists) and undo the damage that’s been that’s been done by the AGW juggernaut over the last decade. Maybe while the public is freezing their rears off, they’ll start looking for rationale to question the AGW immenent-apocalypse propaganda that’s been shoved down their throats.

  49. See linked article where Hathaway is quoted as follows:
    David Hathaway of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, says the evidence for past lulls is strong, but he is sceptical about the team’s attempt to predict the arrival of the next one. “This is a little like trying to predict when someone’s winning streak will end,” he says. “We know that it will happen, but reliable predictions are virtually impossible.”
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126903.700-danger-ahead-as-the-sun-goes-quiet.html
    ????

  50. I read many people are questioning or even attacking hathaway’s methods of prediction etc…
    He has said before that solar science is making new discoveries constantly and you can’t blame him for not having a 100% accurate prediction because although the solar scientists won’t say it directly, they basically hint that they haven’t got the foggiest idea as to what will happen with the next cycle.
    Some critics make it look so simple i urge them to bring forward an accurate prediction of SC 24 if they feel the need to complain about the poor predictions of hathaway et al.
    At least he is revising his predictions.
    Have you ever noticed a 15 day weather forecast? usually the last 6 days change from their initial prediction as the days go by,, so revising of predictions is really nothing unusual or silly.
    Just a thought.

  51. James Hastings-Trew (11:19:08) : Was 2008 one of the hottest 10 years of the last decade?

    LOL!
    Good one!
    Did Tamino really state that?

  52. “The very fact that Hathaway has the need for a “new” or “adjusted” forecast on a regular basis tells us that something in the underlying premises / working hypotheses / theories / model is fatally flawed.”
    Possibly but to be fair it is also telling us that we have not been studying the sun for very long (in a relative sense) and so the probability that anyone is going to provide an accurate model of what it is doing inside over time periods as short as a century or two (over a lifespan of billions of years) are pretty remote. Our understanding evolves over time. This is one cycle out of some tens of millions of such cycles over time. We have recorded 23 of them so far. We have been using “modern” instruments only over the past several cycles.
    To expect anyone to have any better understanding is probably expecting too much. Someone might get this cycle or that cycle more accurately but I am willing to bet the sun has a few curve balls in there. And people who peg this one correctly might not get the next one right.

  53. Dr. Svalgaard…
    The value of Rmax=75 would appear to agree with two of the four choices in Hathaway’s recent presentation (“Solar Activity Cycles Past and Future”). Are you optimistic that Cycle 24 data will confirm any one of those four?
    That was a very informative post on TSI and solar activity. If sunspots were over counted for 3-4 recent cycles, would you also apply that to the recent minimum? I wonder if the December sunspot would have been observable, for example, during the Maunder minimum (I bet the Jan 6 “spot” would not have). In other words, our current minimum would have even less spots.
    It appears that radio flux can vary by a factor of 3 from solar min to max. I don’t think that wavelength is included in TSI. Are there other forms of radiation that do vary that can contribute to heating (or cooling)? Your post seems to have covered most possibilities. What do you think of Dr. de Jager’s 2006 paper that discusses a 100-fold variation in amplitude in the UV spectrum? I assume that the visible output varies very little – plants are green for good reason.
    Regards,
    Bob

  54. Two formulas devised to track periodicity and the amplitude envelope for the sunspot cycles:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif
    suggests range 79-85 for late 2013. As an overall amplitude assessment, the periodicity graph (blue line) gives a reasonable approximation since 1920
    and the amplitude envelope (red line) from 1890 (except for SC 20 in both cases).
    See also:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined1650.gif
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GrandMinima.gif
    more details:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/ links for solar current and subcycle

  55. Clark (11:41:55) :
    There has to be more to it than that, because if I remember the latest blink animation correctly, Hathaway has made 4 predictions.
    You missed my last sentence:
    “As a final touch he averages the number with a prediction by Thompson based on the number of disturbed days at minimum.”
    And THAT number does change with time.

  56. Wyatt A (12:14:22) :
    James Hastings-Trew (11:19:08) : Was 2008 one of the hottest 10 years of the last decade?
    LOL!
    Good one!
    Did Tamino really state that?
    Dunno but with his propensity for getting it wrong, probably said it would fall just outside the top 10 ;-P
    DaveE

  57. Hathaway seems to be doing his best with the data available and the current undertanding of underlying phenomena. That includes revising his models and making new predictions as new data becomes available. In fact, he deserves credit for doing exactly that – and it’s the opposite of the AGW crowd’s behavior.
    He may be wrong, even wildly wrong, without being dishonest. I haven’t seen anything in his behavior that would justify lumping him in with the AGW hoaxters.
    (BTW, I’m willing to accept that there are scientists out there who do legitimately believe that the data can be interpreted as showing AGW. No one should lose the presumption of legitimacy until they a. resort ad hominum arguments, b. manipulate and distort data to obtain a predetermined outcome, and c. refuse to modify their theory in light of new information or understanding.)

  58. Does anyone know of a website that reports sunspot numbers AND distinguishes between the spots of successive cycles? When was the last cycle 23 spot?

  59. Alex, the problem is that making a prediction is a claim of expertise. If Hathaway said “I just don’t know” then I, for one, would not blame him. But putting out predictions that are constantly changing and usually wrong is worse than having no prediction at all.
    This should be a salutary lessson to those who have high confidence in global climate prediction for 50-100 years hence, enough confidence to enact trillions of dollars in economic penalties on people right now.

  60. Leif, could you tell me where this is wrong? I know you think Landscheidt is off on one. Its from Percy Seymour an astronomer in Britain. He has a theory of how planets alter the sun here http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/solar/percyseymour1.html see from fig 4 to fig 7 you don’t need to read the whole thing. Please stick to the explanation given and not veer from the point as you usually do its real short.
    Anyone else interested in this aspect this is a clear piece. Ed.

  61. Perhaps this is due to low solar activity, or maybe windmills aren’t that good of an idea:
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/ufos/article2108149.ece
    Seems that a windmill was struck by a UFO, knocking one blade off and mangling another one. With no trace of the missing blade.
    So, does the lack of sunspots confuse their navigation systems, or are aliens just lousy drivers? (it couldn’t be due to any bias at the reporting source…)

  62. crosspatch (09:26:56) :
    The ramp up to maximum is generally faster than the tail off to minimum.

    Or more precisely the ramp up an tail down split pretty much into the golden section
    1:1.618 as noted by Theodor Landscheidt.

  63. The Australian Ionospheric Prediction Service is still forecasting max SSN 134.7:
    http://www.ips.gov.au/Solar/1/6
    (The prediction is based on the average of the last 8 solar cycles
    (Cycles 15 to 23). IPS will adjust this average cycle as the new cycle unfolds. To do this IPS has developed software for manipulating this predicted cycle. The difficulty is ensuring that adjustments are not made for short term variation, only for longer term cycle variation.)
    But the end of the blue line and the beginning of the red line somehow do not want to join up:
    http://www.ips.gov.au/Solar/1/3
    Bit like waiting in the church when the bride has changed her mind.
    Who know what goes through the mind of a prospective bride let alone the forces of the universe.

  64. Paul Shanahan (11:04:25) :
    The interesting question is: what does the current sunspot look like if adjusted for historical detection sensitivity. Cut out the spots that would not have been seen in the past and you’ll have even fewer in the current cycle.

  65. I don’t have any problem with Hathaway’s predictions, as Leif said he is making them in a transparent fashion and changing them as the data warrants.
    I think we get so used to the way many people put way too much confidence in model predictions that we may tend to jump on someone who hasn’t actually done anything of the sort.
    For people who think that this is a denialist sight you may want to see Leif’s post above headed 11:07:03. I have no idea what the future holds for solar activity or how big an effect it may have, but they aren’t just grabbing any contrary opinion for its own sake.

  66. Retired Engineer (13:21:47) :
    “Perhaps this is due to low solar activity, or maybe windmills aren’t that good of an idea:
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/ufos/article2108149.ece
    Seems that a windmill was struck by a UFO, knocking one blade off and mangling another one. With no trace of the missing blade.
    So, does the lack of sunspots confuse their navigation systems, or are aliens just lousy drivers? (it couldn’t be due to any bias at the reporting source…)”
    —————————
    Actually it reveals the true reason that governments the world over have been pushing AGW and Windmills ….. defense against Alien invasion. Very clever of them.

  67. I use two formulas devised to track periodicity and the amplitude envelope for the sunspot cycles:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif
    they suggest range 79-85 for late 2013. As an overall amplitude assessment, the periodicity graph (blue line) gives a reasonable approximation since 1920
    and the amplitude envelope (red line) from 1890 (except for SC 20 in both cases).
    See also:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined1650.gif
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GrandMinima.gif
    more details:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/ links for solar current and subcycle

  68. Richard deSousa (10:07:25) :
    Dr. Hathaway will be more respected if he simply says he doesn’t know what the future portends… there’s nothing wrong with admitting that… to throw up numbers and constantly changing his predictions is not science.

    Um, I think it is science. Make a hypothesis, test it, find it wrong, make a new hypothesis. That his prediction did not work is as valuable to a real scientist as when it does work…
    Put me in the group that lauds him for putting it out there for folks to see and for being willing to change his mind when the data change. Very refreshing compared to the “cooling is the new warming” behaviour of others…

  69. Edward Morgan (13:18:44) :
    could you tell me where this is wrong?
    The fatal flaw is this: “Our claim is that braiding considerably reduces the effects of buoyancy”. Let me explain where the buoyancy comes from. A plasma parcel in the interior of the Sun is in hydrostatic equilibrium if the downward weight of the material in the parcel matches the upward pressure of the underlying parcels. Now put a strong magnetic field inside the parcel. A magnetic field also exerts a pressure and adds to the pressure inside the parcel, which means that the parcel can be in pressure balance with less material, hence less weight, hence it will rise [like a balloon filled with gas of a lesser density that air]. “Braiding” [although not precisely specified in the article] will increase the magnetic field inside the parcel. The field strength is the number of field lines per unit area. Any twisting, braiding, knotting, etc of the field will increase the number of field lines threading an area, hence increase the field strength, hence increase the magnetic pressure, hence decrease the amount of material needed for pressure balance, hence decrease the density, hence increase the buoyancy [“the balloon rises”].

  70. Leif Svalgaard (10:15:42) :
    But the ‘above graph’ is an obsolete reconstruction of solar irradiance that is not consider valid today. For a more probable reconstruction that reflects what we have learned the past decade see the red curve on: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-LEIF.png

    Interesting graph. What made for the difference? Method change, better data, improved approach? Does TSI include UV and other non-visible?

  71. Edward Morgan (13:18:44) :
    http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/solar/percyseymour1.html

    Very interesting hypothesis, however, I think that the solar activity most likely would be a continuous process of random or uniform polarisation if it was not for the external factors. Gravitation forces alone could not regulate the Hale’s polarisation cycle. Thus, another factor (with a magnetic polarity property) must be in the play, which has to be related to the planetary orbital periods. That could only be the existence of the planetary magnetospheres, which not only control (or override) solar polarity but trough negative feedback suppress the solar activity, result: solar minima during period of the strongest feedback. The crucial question is how is this feedback achieved; I believe it could be through the heliospheric current’s negative feedback due to disturbances (or interactions) within asymmetric central plane of the helioshheric current sheet, by the magnetospheres orbital paths.
    For more see: http://www.vukcevic.co.uk solar current link

  72. Leif,
    We have had this conversation before, but The PMOD Composite data (currently from the Virgo satellite) to the end of November has shown a decline in Solar Irradiance which is (slightly) inconsistent with your reconstruction in the sense that the minimum TSI has fallen below previous minimums (not much but shows it can happen anyway).
    http://www.acrim.com/RESULTS/Earth%20Observatory/earth_obs_fig27.pdf
    I know the SORCE satellite is not showing a reduction in TSI which is consistent with the decline from Virgo.

  73. Leif Svalgaard (11:07:03) :
    http://www.cdejager.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/jagerversteegh-20063.pdf

    Thanks for the reference. Interesting paper (and does a nice job of casting reasonable doubts on ‘the planets did it’).
    I did note that the author did not say ‘total nonsense’ but rather took a more reasonable approach of saying it can’t explain the dynamo changes but maybe they can cook up some other mechanism. A prudent position. (i.e. they have a correlation that doesn’t fit with the known mechanisms. Back to the drawing boards planetary guys… )
    The conclusion is therefore that accelerations caused by the planets simply completely disappear in the accelerations actually observed inside the solar body. They are too small by a very large factor to be able to cause the observed accelerations. Therefore they cannot significantly influence the solar dynamo unless a completely different hypothesis is forwarded that would, first, invalidate the present dynamo theory, and, secondly, at the same time explain solar activity, its polarity reversals and sunspots by planetary gravitational attractions. A strong point of criticism to the planetary hypothesis is that no physical mechanism has yet been forwarded for explaining polarity reversal by planetary motions.
    Doesn’t close it down completely, but does raise the bar rather a long ways.

  74. “” James Hastings-Trew (11:19:08) :
    Question:
    Now that 2008 is over and done with we have all the temperature data. Was Tamino right? Was 2008 one of the hottest 10 years of the last decade? “”
    I think that Tamino probably slipped a typo in there; he probably meant to say that 2008 was one of the coolest years of the last decade; so was 2007, so that indicates a trend for sure.
    I can’t tell about 2003 though it could be one of the hottest or one of the coolest; but the most I can venture here is that it certainly was one of the years of the last decade !
    Speaking of cool, I always understood sunspot to be solar refrigerators, in that they were hundreds of degrees cooler than the surrounding surface. Now from what I learned about Optical Pyrometry, cool spots always look black against a warmer background; so is NASA saying the whole damn sun turned into a sunspot, and that little bright white patch on the lower right, is the only normal region in the picture; or is that some new kind of “anti-sunspot”?
    Just asking !

  75. Leif Svalgaard (10:15:42) :
    But the ‘above graph’ is an obsolete reconstruction of solar irradiance that is not consider valid today. For a more probable reconstruction that reflects what we have learned the past decade see the red curve on: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-LEIF.png
    In your graph it shows that the TSI seems to have a lower level that it can drop to, 1365,6w/m2, and change very little if we have had a grand minimum or a strong cycle.
    If you look on the graph in a PDF that Hathaway has made, see page 5/47 in link below, he shows that TSI has droped to a record low of 1365.1W/m2 and it looks like it is still dropping.
    Also, we are not in a grand minimum as far as we know now but if the sun would stay all quiet for decades, it looks to me that sun certainly can drop a bit lower than 1365W/m2 in the light of the last years TSI meassurments during a long minimum.
    How does this new data fit into your reconstruction? Are you showing the same thing but with different smoothing or is your graph out of date?
    Are you using different datasets for TSI so that is what causing the difference?
    When was your TSI reconstruction made?
    Link to Hathaway PDF( large ~11Mb)
    http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/RHESSI/napa2008/talks/MonI_Hathaway.pdf

  76. Retired Engineer (13:21:47) :
    Seems that a windmill was struck by a UFO, knocking one blade off and mangling another one. With no trace of the missing blade.
    So, does the lack of sunspots confuse their navigation systems, or are aliens just lousy drivers? (it couldn’t be due to any bias at the reporting source…)

    I was reading about this today. Seems they have found the blade now and there is an investigation going on as to what happened. Dr Peter Schubel, from the University of Nottingham suggests it’s a mechanical failure of sorts. Fraser McLachlan, chief executive of GCube, which insures more than 25,000 wind turbines worldwide, said such incidents occurred about five or six times a year. Safety first!!

  77. Leif, How does the parcel become less under pressure? Wouldn’t other material be added to it under pressure and compacted where is the escape route for this material?
    If I crushed an egg in a container with increased air pressure the only time the egg or anything else would escape (with a good seal) is when I released the pressure. So there is a need for another lifting force. The planets.
    Ed

  78. E.M.Smith (14:15:18) :
    Interesting graph. What made for the difference? Method change, better data, improved approach? Does TSI include UV and other non-visible?
    The ‘T’ is TSI means the Total irradiance [i.e. ALL wavelengths].
    The difference is that [as you can see from the progression with time 2000->2005->2007] the idea of a ‘background’ TSI that rises [and on top of which the solar cycle runs] with time has fallen out of favor because the various reasons for the background have been shown not to hold up. E.g. the Lean2000 rise was deduced from a comparison with ‘sun-like’ stars. More detailed measurements then showed that the stars used were not all that sun-like after all. The Wang2005 tried to match the ‘doubling of the sun’s magnetic field the last 100 years’ which we now know didn’t happen, and so on. The current thinking is that there may not be any background at all.
    I did note that the author did not say ‘total nonsense’ but rather took a more reasonable approach
    First, of course, in a scientific paper one does not express one’s opinion that strongly, but is IMHO warranted when claiming an effect resulting from accelerations three orders of magnitude too small. Second, the nonsense part was specifically directed at the Landscheidt ‘paper’, that rambles uncritically all over the place. Just a small example: the 166-year period vs. the 179-year period usually claimed.
    The planetary hypothesis was generally accepted 100-150 years ago as the most likely, but once Hale discovered the magnetic cycle, the planetary hypothesis was dropped as it cannot explain the polarity reversals. The ‘modern’ variant is that the cycle IS due to an internal solar dynamo but is modulated by the planets. As [if] we getter better in explaining the solar cycle using sound physics, the planetary hypothesis can still live: one simply reduces the size of the modulation accordingly. In this way it can never be falsified.
    Bill Illis (14:37:38) :
    I know the SORCE satellite is not showing a reduction in TSI which is consistent with the decline from Virgo.
    I think [hope] you mean that the it is consistent with a degradation of Virgo, causing it to report erroneously lower values.
    Here is an up-to-date [almost] comparison, showing the degradation of PMOD [Virgo]: http://www.leif.org/research/Diff-PMOD-SORCE.png

  79. Jerker Andersson (14:50:01) :
    If you look on the graph in a PDF that Hathaway has made, see page 5/47 in link below, he shows that TSI has droped to a record low of 1365.1W/m2 and it looks like it is still dropping.
    As discussed in the post just above the TSI series referred to by Hathaway is derived from the PMOD [Virgo] data that seems to be slowly degrading.
    The whole issue with TSI is whether the is a ‘background’ value that goes up and down and on top of which the solar cycle rides. See page 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/GC31B-0351-F2007.pdf . In short, my reconstruction does not include this dubious ‘background’.
    George E. Smith (14:45:20) :
    whole damn sun turned into a sunspot, and that little bright white patch on the lower right, is the only normal region in the picture; or is that some new kind of “anti-sunspot”?
    All spots [especially when seen near the limb] are surrounded by brighter material that actually comes before the spot is born and lasts long after the spot is dead. It is those brighter areas that make the Sun shine 0.1% brighter at sunspot maximum in spite of the darker spots.

  80. I expect the next announcement from NASA to say that SC24 has been canceled and we will be moving directly to SC25.

  81. Leif said
    “The planetary hypothesis was generally accepted 100-150 years ago as the most likely, but once Hale discovered the magnetic cycle, the planetary hypothesis was dropped as it cannot explain the polarity reversals.”
    The same pull from the planet’s Jupiter Saturn on the opposite side of the sun explains polarity reversals. If I unblock the sink with a suck from underneath, the water spins if I sucked water up the other way with a straw from the top of the sink trying to empty it the water would spin in the other direction. The planets are the sink and the straw when on different sides of the sun (obviously with variations) and creating the two polarities.
    Ed

  82. Leif Svalgaard (15:11:59) :
    The ‘T’ is TSI means the Total irradiance [i.e. ALL wavelengths].
    From http://science.jrank.org/pages/6875/Total-Solar-Irradiance.html
    Total solar irradiance is defined as the amount of radiant energy emitted by the Sun over all wavelengths that fall each second on 11 sq ft (1 sq m) outside the earth’s atmosphere.
    By way of further definition, irradiance is defined as the amount of electromagnetic energy incident on a surface per unit time per unit area. Solar refers to electromagnetic radiation in the spectral range of approximately 1-9 ft (0.30-3 m), where the shortest wavelengths are in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum, the intermediate wavelengths in the visible region, and the longer wavelengths are in the near infrared. Total means that the solar flux has been integrated over all wavelengths to include the contributions from ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation.

    OK, the further definition contradicts the initial paragraph. The second paragraph includes “light” but not other electromagnetic energy (ex. radio).
    If irradiance implied “light”, the second definition fits TSI. But if TSI means the Total irradiance [i.e. ALL wavelengths], shouldn’t their page be fixed?
    Regards,
    Bob

  83. I wanted to see a blink comparison and made one of the above three images:
    http://i42.tinypic.com/mueet2.jpg
    The one Michael Ronayne (12:59:57) links to is too slow, the axes don’t match, etc. I inserted 50% transparencies into mine so they fade into one another, and matched the axes. I will download the complete set of images and make one with all, probably by late tonight (1/8) or early am.

  84. MartinGAtkins (15:27:25) :
    I expect the next announcement from NASA to say that SC24 has been canceled and we will be moving directly to SC25.
    Already been suggested by someone at SolarCycle24 who suggested that 24 was a ‘stutter’ cycle when what appeared to be an SC23 spot appeared.
    DaveE.

  85. E.M.Smith (13:57:44) :
    Um, I think it is science. Make a hypothesis, test it, find it wrong, make a new hypothesis. That his prediction did not work is as valuable to a real scientist as when it does work…
    Put me in the group that lauds him for putting it out there for folks to see and for being willing to change his mind when the data change. Very refreshing compared to the “cooling is the new warming” behaviour of others…
    As someone who makes a living making forecasts from noisy, underconstrained, non-unique datasets (geology & geophysics , looking for new oil & gas deposits), I second E.M.Smith ! Until you have tried it, do not underestimate how humbling it can be. You can think you the best hypothesis with a lock tite model to explain the observed data to date & mother nature will come along & completely kick your a** !! I respect anyone who is willing to put it out there & adjust as needed. I have no respect for those who will not adjust their ideas as new data comes in,but stick to their hypothesis & ignore the data …. I think we all know the types I am refereing to.

  86. OT: Remember that Flying Pig monent a few days ago when Harold Ambler got a piece critical of AL Gore published on the Huffington Post? Well we can all rest easy now. The world has returned to normal:
    Arianna Huffington:
    “…I would not have posted it. Although HuffPost welcomes a vigorous debate on many subjects, I am a firm believer that there are not two sides to every issue, and that on some issues the jury is no longer out. The climate crisis is one of these issues….”
    Aren’t we lucky to be living in a world where celebrity journalist can settle scientific questions!
    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2009/1/7/134728/5150

  87. Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
    http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf
    Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)
    When new errors and outright falsehoods were observed in the initial drafts of AR4, SEPP set up a ‘Team B’ to produce an independent evaluation of the available scientific evidence.
    We donated our time and best efforts to produce this report out of concern that the IPCC was provoking an irrational fear of anthropogenic global warming based on incomplete and faulty science.
    Global warming hype has led to demands for unrealistic efficiency standards for cars, the construction of uneconomic wind and solar energy stations, the establishment of large production facilities for uneconomic biofuels such as ethanol from corn, requirements that electric companies purchase expensive power from so-called ‘renewable’energy sources, and plans to sequester,
    at considerable expense, carbon dioxide emitted from power plants. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with initiatives to increase energy efficiency or diversify energy sources, they cannot be justified as a realistic means to control climate. In addition, policies have been developed that try to hide the huge cost of greenhouse gas controls, such as cap and trade, a Clean Development Mechanism, carbon offsets, and similar schemes that enrich a few at the expense of the rest of us.
    Seeing science clearly misused to shape public policies that have the potential to inflict severe economic harm, particularly on low-income groups, we choose to speak up for science at a time when too few people outside the scientific community know what is happening, and too few scientists who know the truth have the will or the platforms to speak out against the IPCC.
    The correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide levels is weak and inconclusive.
    Computer models don’t provide evidence of anthropogenic global warming.
    This mismatch of observed and calculated fingerprints clearly falsifies the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). We must conclude therefore that anthropogenic GH gases can contribute only in a minor way to the current warming, which is mainly of natural origin. The IPCC seems to be aware of this contrary evidence but has tried to ignore it or wish it away.
    To sum up: This NIPCC report falsifies the principal IPCC conclusion that the reported warming (since 1979) is very likely caused by the human emission of greenhouse gases. In other words, increasing carbon dioxide is not responsible for current warming. Policies adopted and called for in the name of ‘fighting global warming’ are unnecessary.

  88. I think [hope] you mean that the it is consistent with a degradation of Virgo, causing it to report erroneously lower values.
    Here is an up-to-date [almost] comparison, showing the degradation of PMOD [Virgo]: http://www.leif.org/research/Diff-PMOD-SORCE.png

    Proof enough for me.
    To reinforce Leif’s comments (and he is still 10 for 10 on this website), here is TSI from SORCE over the last solar cycle – maybe varying by 0.9 Watts/m2 over the solar cyle (as would be expected with Leif’s theories).
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/cgi-bin/ion-p?ION__E1=PLOT%3Aplot_tsi_data.ion&ION__E2=PRINT%3Aprint_tsi_data.ion&ION__E3=BOTH%3Aplot_and_print_tsi_data.ion&START_DATE=0&STOP_DATE=2300&TIME_SPAN=24&PLOT=Plot+Data

  89. One of the biggest problems today is identifying which data sources can be trusted. That is a very sad comment about today’s scientific research, but that is the environment in which we are forced to live with.
    Leif’s data is something that I trust…

  90. Leif, Yes to TSI but what about the solar flares e.t.c
    “The IPCC’s judgement that the solar factor is negligible is based on satellite observations available since 1978 which show that the Sun’s total irradiance, though not being constant, changes only by about 0.1 percent during the course of the 11-year sunspot cycle. This argument, however, does not take into account that the Sun’s eruptional activity (energetic flares, coronal mass ejections, eruptive prominences), heavily affecting the solar wind, as well as softer solar wind contributions by coronal holes have a much stronger effect than total irradiance.” Theodore Landscheidt, New Little Ice Age
    Instead of Global Warming?
    Ed.

  91. “E.M.Smith (13:57:44) :
    Richard deSousa (10:07:25) :
    Dr. Hathaway will be more respected if he simply says he doesn’t know what the future portends… there’s nothing wrong with admitting that… to throw up numbers and constantly changing his predictions is not science.
    Um, I think it is science. Make a hypothesis, test it, find it wrong, make a new hypothesis. That his prediction did not work is as valuable to a real scientist as when it does work…
    Put me in the group that lauds him for putting it out there for folks to see and for being willing to change his mind when the data change. Very refreshing compared to the “cooling is the new warming” behaviour of others…”

    Fair Go, all he’s doing is guessing, and then guessing again, just like me with Lotto.
    If each time he were to provide a clear formula or other objective theoretical construct forecasting the new guess (er prediction), that was then subject to factual testing, then we could say he is doing science. A guess is not an hypothesis.
    So far as his refreshing willingness to change his mind when the data changes, unlike the warmaholics, he simply has less freedom of movement than they. When there have been numerous days with no sunspots, and this has been widely observed, he can hardly insist those days were plagued by sunspots.
    If he was being honest as a scientist, he would be saying “The theory upon which I had been working is plainly wrong. I have no sensible basis for making forecasts and will cease to do so until there is enough data to allow me to formulate and test another theory.”
    Dr Hathaway belongs to an organisation that is rapidly coming to rival the UN for intellectual dishonesty and for destroying real science in favor of politics.

  92. blockquote cite=”L Nettles (15:11:57) :
    Forget Global Warming we have something new to worry about
    Report: Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,478024,00.html
    __
    This story in one form or another is recycled every 11± years. Typical of the alarmist MSM. I have a nutty friend who hasn’t missed the last 4 opportunities to present me a copy, expecting me, as an electroniker, to do something about it. Big, big nuke into the sun, I suggest, and he goes away in a huff.

  93. From http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/01/from-hansens-shop.htmlFrom
    Hansen’s shop
    How did this get past the clergy?:
    “By examining the spatial pattern of both types of climate variation, the scientists found that the anthropogenic global warming signal was relatively spatially uniform over the tropical oceans and thus would not have a large effect on the atmospheric circulation, whereas the PDO shift in the 1990s consisted of warming in the tropical west Pacific and cooling in the subtropical and east tropical Pacific, which would enhance the existing sea surface temperature difference and thus intensify the circulation. Thus, it can be concluded that the observed 15-year trend in radiative imbalance of the tropics is probably a signature of natural rather than anthropogenic climate variations.
    Anthony Del Genio
    NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies” “Separating the Man-Made from the Natural”

  94. OT, but in terms of the Huffington Post business, I have an e-mail record of my dealings with Arianna Huffington. She knew who I was, and she knew what was in the piece. I had, by that time, sent several other links and articles identifying myself as a lifelong liberal Democrat and a climate skeptic. More than one pitch had skewered Gore. She had already told me she was forwarding my skeptic blog to her Green editor six weeks earlier.
    We probably cannot imagine how much flak she received for publishing my article.

  95. Everyone heed Smokey’s advice!
    WUWT and CA together currently add up to 49% of the vote.
    Can we get a majority?

  96. Bill Illis (17:02:14) :
    To reinforce Leif’s comments (and he is still 10 for 10 on this website), here is TSI from SORCE over the last solar cycle – maybe varying by 0.9 Watts/m2 over the solar cyle (as would be expected with Leif’s theories)
    That only shows one quite weak cycle (and shows more than 1 W/m2 movement). How would it look if the reading was taken (if poss) from the top of cycle 19. We will also see in the next couple of years if we can indeed go below the “Svalgaard floor”.

  97. Bill Marsh (13:47:32) :
    “Retired Engineer (13:21:47) :
    “Perhaps this is due to low solar activity, or maybe windmills aren’t that good of an idea:
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/ufos/article2108149.ece
    Seems that a windmill was struck by a UFO, knocking one blade off and mangling another one. With no trace of the missing blade.
    So, does the lack of sunspots confuse their navigation systems, or are aliens just lousy drivers? (it couldn’t be due to any bias at the reporting source…)”
    —————————
    Actually it reveals the true reason that governments the world over have been pushing AGW and Windmills ….. defense against Alien invasion. Very clever of them”.
    I think the wind mill was hit by lightning.
    This is the main cause of wind mill failures (including fires).
    The second problem is wind sheer.
    As the lower blade moves through air with a relative lowere speed, the top blade moves through air with a higher speed.
    This causes great stress on the blades that could result in a fatal failure of the blade.
    The bigger the blade length, the bigger the torque, the bigger the risk of failure.
    Have a look at youtube if you like to see some “exploding” wind mills.
    It’s an expensive hobby.

  98. Assuming there wouldn’t be a flame war, wouldn’t it be nice to get Theodore Landscheidt & Dr. Hathaway to contribute to the blog?
    DaveE.

  99. To: Steve Keohane,
    Steve,
    The purpose of the GIF animations of Dr. Hathaway’s Sunspot predictions was to provide a historical archive of predictions coming out of the NASA astrophysics department for the last several years. As such, I went to great care to not alter the contents in anyway. The images were recovered from several NASA websites, the Wayback Machine and several third party websites, including that of the Cowardly-Blogger-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The NASA content was uploaded to Wikimedia so that it would be in the public domain and available to people such as yourself with the editing skills to display them to best advantage. I personally like a faster playback speed but every time I post a fast animation I receive complaints that it is too fast.
    View my function as that of a computer forensics specialist collecting evidence from the crime scene. Your specialty is putting a face back on the skeleton so that others can appreciate the enormity of what is being done to Science. In the coming years the evidence which is now being collected will be of paramount importance, when it is asked: how did we get to this sorry state?
    Given your obvious skills with a graphics editor and animator, you may be interested in the eight recovered images I have from August 2000 to December 2003 which use the same active Sun background image. These images have a form factor of 799×551; the later images have a form factor of 1024×768. If you are interested, I will forward the files to Anthony for relay to you or I could create another upload to Wikimedia if that would be more convenient.
    You may be interested in the SWPC Sunspot Prediction animation which are missing the last few months of history. I understand that SWPC will be revising their Sunspot Prediction next month so I need get this file updated ASAP.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SSN_Predict_SWPC.gif
    Please make sure that backup copies are widely distributed across the Internet and use the recovered content as you see fit. May I inquire as to what software you are using? Your animations are outstanding.
    Mike

  100. Edward Morgan (15:41:44) :
    The same pull from the planet’s Jupiter Saturn on the opposite side of the sun explains polarity reversals.
    It has been known for thousands of years that there are two tides per day, and Newton explained why. The tides are the same no matter what sides the planets are on.
    Bob Tatz (15:45:59) :
    Solar refers to electromagnetic radiation in the spectral range of approximately 1-9 ft (0.30-3 m)
    Perhaps this should be fixed first… One foot light waves…
    But if TSI means the Total irradiance [i.e. ALL wavelengths], shouldn’t their page be fixed?
    The radio waves carry so little energy that they don’t matter as heat. The total energy of all the radio waves picked up by all radio telescopes in all the world in all the years we have have such telescopes is less than the kinetic energy of a single snowflake falling to the ground.
    Edward Morgan (17:23:11) :
    This argument, however, does not take into account that the Sun’s eruptional activity (energetic flares, coronal mass ejections, eruptive prominences), heavily affecting the solar wind, as well as softer solar wind contributions by coronal holes have a much stronger effect than total irradiance.” Theodore Landscheidt,
    This is an example of the nonsense I was talking about. These things do not have a ‘much stronger effect’. The solar wind is contains 3 protons per cubic centimeter, the air you breathe contains 30,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules per cc, just to give you a feeling for the magnitudes involved.
    George M (17:33:58) :
    Report: Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,478024,00.html”

    Boing, ..ing, ..ing, ..ing….

  101. “crosspatch (09:26:56) :
    The ramp up to maximum is generally faster than the tail off to minimum.”
    Except for SC5, which is as symmetrical as you will find, and looks like a levee with identical plains on both sides.
    If that is the case, expect SC24 to ramp somewhere around March-April 2010.

  102. Wally (18:08:31) :
    “Try http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2009/01/anthony-del-genio-of-nasa-giss.html for the Del Genio article”
    Thanks for the reference. It appears NASA is starting to get it’s hands around the concept of modelling CHAOS.
    I think climate modelling is still in it’s infancy. It’s similar to weather modelling of 50 years past. It took a long, long time for weather models to get enough detail to overcome the problems of CHAOS. The more information you have the better the model will be. Of course, unless you have perfect info you can never model CHAOS for very long.
    That is the problem with climate models. They are just beginning to learn some of the factors that need to be considered. It’s too bad they got off track on the AGW thing. They might be a decade ahead of where they are now if they had continued to study the important factors rather than asserting they were unnecessary.
    IMHO, climate modellers should be able to forecast a decade or two in the future with reasonable accuracy once they have a better understanding of climate (and this may take decades itself). I think that is probably equivalent to a couple of days in weather forecasting. Unfortunately, even short term weather forecasts are wrong now and then so we won’t even have any real guarantees no mattter what.
    That darn butterfly can always mess things up.

  103. My prediction is for Hathaway to continue this silly game of goalpost moving, thereby eventually causing great embarassment to NASA. Like they need another black eye.

  104. DaveE (18:35:14) :
    Assuming there wouldn’t be a flame war, wouldn’t it be nice to get Theodore Landscheidt & Dr. Hathaway to contribute to the blog?
    Would fit in with the astrology angle. Landscheidt died in 2004.

  105. And now the real meat: What is the effective TSI flux between minimum and maximum and how much would is deviate from the previous cycles? What’s the impact on earth, immediately and lag?

  106. Harold Ambler (17:58:56) :
    OT, but in terms of the Huffington Post business, I have an e-mail record of my dealings with Arianna Huffington. She knew who I was, and she knew what was in the piece. I had, by that time, sent several other links and articles identifying myself as a lifelong liberal Democrat and a climate skeptic. More than one pitch had skewered Gore. She had already told me she was forwarding my skeptic blog to her Green editor six weeks earlier.

    Thank you for your Courage! Your knowledge. Your effort.

  107. As time passes it becomes increasingly clear based on the de Vries cycle that Cycle 23 approximates to cycle 4 and 24 will be like cycle 5. On this basis it is reasonable to predict the 23 – 24 minimum for early 2010 and the 24 peak at a SSN of 50 – 60 in 2016. The 24- 25 minimum will be about 2022 and the 25 peak in 2028 with a SSN of 80 – 90.This overall would be a Dalton minimum with much colder temps. ( An even more serious Maunder minimum is also a possibility)
    We should be putting as much CO2 – plant food – into the air as we can to help keep up food production in this time of crop failures and shorter growing seasons.

  108. ‘Norman Page (20:09:49) :
    As time passes it becomes increasingly clear based on the de Vries cycle that Cycle 23 approximates to cycle 4 and 24 will be like cycle 5. ‘
    The Sun is most assuredly not doing anything right now that would suggest or indicate otherwise. Hathaways floor joists are being gnawed by solar rats.

  109. “Thus, it can be concluded that the observed 15-year trend in radiative imbalance of the tropics is probably a signature of natural rather than
    anthropogenic climate variations.” from GISS?

  110. “Policies adopted and called for in the name of ‘fighting global warming’ are unnecessary.”/NIPCC
    And they would almost undoubtably produce a “disease” worse than that imagined by the AGW Religion to attatch to Global Warming – excluding those policies advancing the use of Nuclear Energy and energy efficiency, of course.
    Hear me, my People, from where the Sun now sits*,We must beat the AGW Horse until it is dead, and perhaps even then some!
    h/t Chief Young Joseph, Nez Perce/Nimi-i-pu.

  111. As long was we are on the subject of Dr. Hathaway I wanted to comment on the gaps which appear in the good Doctor’s Sunspot predictions. For period from October 25, 2005 to January 7, 2007 Dr. Hathaway had the following messages on his Sunspot Prediction page:
    “Lost our Funding – No more Updates 10/25/05”
    “(Lost our funding, no more updates until further notice)”
    Starting on January 11, 2007 Dr. Hathaway began making prediction again, apparently without funding, as the following messages would suggest:
    “(Updating inspite of our loss of funding! Updated 2007/01/11)”
    “(Updating inspite of our loss of funding! Updated 2007/02/06)”
    “(Updating inspite of our loss of funding! Updated 2007/03/06)”
    Starting about May 3, 2007 Dr. Hathaway resumed normal Sunspot prediction updates without commentary as the following message indicated.
    “(Updated 2007/05/03)”
    The detailed archived page images can be found at these links in the Wayback Machine.
    http://web.archive.org/web/%2a/http%3a//science.nasa.gov/ssl/PAD/SOLAR/sunspots.htm
    http://web.archive.org/web/%2a/http%3a//solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml
    The current page link is here:
    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml
    The original page link is here, which is no longer functional:
    http://science.nasa.gov/ssl/PAD/SOLAR/sunspots.htm
    I check news source and found that during the time period when Dr. Hathaway was posting his protest messages and not making Sunspot predictions, there were budget cuts at NASA to fund the manned mission to the moon in 2018.
    Scientists, researchers feel pain of NASA budget cuts
    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2006-04-03-nasa-budget-programs_x.htm
    Mike

  112. Maybe we should start a new loto… my bet is that cycle 24 won’t get much higher than 40-50. Then it will collapse in 2015 and enter into a minimum that will last a long time.

  113. The tone Dr. Hathaway’s solar cycle predictions is evolving. Last year, it was a “public service announcement” with the bells/whistles of the arrival of solar cycle 24.
    Now, being what it should have been all along, it is only a prediction.
    Unfortunately, his model is “fairly reliable once the cycle is well underway (about 3 years after the minimum in sunspot number occurs.)” From that statement, it isn’t much good predicting when it starts.

  114. Hathaway ain’t no Hansen.
    Hathaway is open with the way he makes predictions. I think he makes it possible for all of us lay-folk to learn from his work. Hansen, well, you know…
    Having said that, Hathaway’s discusses how one piece of his prediction for SC24 comes from the observation that a 1st order trend line for SC4 through SC23 shows an up trend – way too basic for me. Also, I do not understand why Hathaway would critisize the current dynamo models since they don’t run cycle to cycle, but rather have reset points between cycles. I’ll put my money on one of the dynamo models (even though the two models discussed disagree by a mile) before I’ll go by the wave matching attempts we have from Hathaway.

  115. So many rich posts, so little time.
    One more time, guys: http://www.angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif
    I’d rather have ten Hathaways bravely and transparently making predictions that fail repeatedly than one Hansen with his secret devil-box models, mask and juju stick.
    Re: Sunspot 1010: I had a dog that could leave bigger spots than that.
    Solar Cycle 24 has been cancelled:
    http://solarcycle24com.proboards106.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=94
    jk. And, Leif, thanks for being here.

  116. Also curious to know if Livingston and Penn’s trend has continued from their 2006 paper with the latest observations (if the spots/specks are sizeable enough to provide useful data.)

  117. Another protospot in latest SOHO Continuum Image 2009/01/09/00:23
    this time in the northern hemisphere.
    20 miles to the Sunspot by Willy Makeit and Betty Wont.

  118. DaveE (18:35:14) :
    “Assuming there wouldn’t be a flame war, wouldn’t it be nice to get Theodore Landscheidt & Dr. Hathaway to contribute to the blog?
    DaveE”.
    DaveE,
    Theodore Landscheidt passed away in 2004.

  119. So, if the cycle has been cancelled, should I expect to pick up the newspaper one day and read about SC24 in the obituaries?
    I will hereby submit that the probable cause of termination was drowning.
    It sank out of sight in the primordial plasmodic solar ooze.
    (Maybe if we get it really ticked off it will jump up and try to bite us, yes?).

  120. Leif Svalgaard (15:11:59) :
    E.M.Smith (14:15:18) :
    Interesting graph. What made for the difference? Method change, better data, improved approach? Does TSI include UV and other non-visible?
    The ‘T’ is TSI means the Total irradiance [i.e. ALL wavelengths].

    Unfortunately, one of the things I’ve learned here is the need to ask if “all” is really “all” and if ‘sound data’ are really sound and if “total” is really “total”…
    Thanks for the assurances that total really is (nice to know someone can be trusted to use words accurately…)
    The planetary hypothesis was generally accepted 100-150 years ago as the most likely, but once Hale discovered the magnetic cycle, the planetary hypothesis was dropped as it cannot explain the polarity reversals.
    Great! I’m only 100 years behind you! Darned near nothing in geologic time 😉
    Thanks for the details.

  121. Michael Ronayne (19:07:36) Thanks for your positive feedback on my graphic. Here is a 07-2004 to 01-2009 blink comparison from the images on your link. I use Photoshop Elements 2, for pixel work, it was cheap and is simple to use. I started graphics back in ’82, as part of teaching myself programming for data collection so I could display my results. The animation is via MS’s Gif Animator, it’s free. After running a sign shop for eight years, I prefer vector graphics, but had deal with and print a lot of pixel files.
    http://i40.tinypic.com/2lj5emh.jpg
    Anthony, feel free to pass my email on to Michael, and I can append the earlier dates.

  122. Michael Ronayne (19:07:36) I did nothing to the images other than adjusting the x-axis so the scale is the same on all pictures. I did create an intermediate image, showing the previous image with a 50% transparency of the next image on it, and filled in the background with black (I missed one it looks like, I’ll fix it on the next go round).

  123. This may be related
    Nasa have found to their amazement that the level of the ionosphere has dropped to previously unsuspected levels and that this drop is due to the lack of activity in the sun
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/outer_atmosphere.html
    Solar activity such as magnetic storms heats the ionosphere and this is not happening now
    Bet that that isn’t any GCM
    Spare some sympathy for Dr Hathaway. He’s only making predictions using models

  124. http://lasp.colorado.edu/science/solar_influence/index.htm
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/ftpsolarirradiance.html
    These both have some nice sources of TSI info. Unfortunately, it looks like the “total’ in TSI isn’t really total. I’ve not yet been able to nail it down (and it may be that there are variations over time) but it looks like there is a cut off in the UV range somewhere around 400 to 200 nm with 300 nm being seen a couple of times. There also is a cutoff at 25xx nm or so but I don’t know if there is any long wave stuff that matters out there.
    OK, so we either can’t (because the >200 nm is absorbed in the air) or don’t (for historical reasons?) include things shorter than ‘long’ UV in TSI.
    Given that UV can change a lot more than “TSI” and isn’t included in “TSI” doesn’t that give the lie to arguments of the form “There isn’t enough change in TSI to do [foo] ” ? Ought that not be rephrased as:
    “There isn’t enough dTSI to do [foo] but their might be enough dUV”?
    Especially with UV driving O3 that then modulates IR windows? I can easily see a hypothetical where UV could suffer some kind of collapse way out of line with TSI during severe minimum events and we wouldn’t know to expect it since we’ve never had one instrumented.
    Lief, is there any theoretical argument that can put this paranoid UV daemon back into a bottle? Similar to the paper you cited on planets vs other solar momenta but showing UV is somehow clearly proportional to TSI and TSI is a decent proxy for it? I’m on the verge of scaring my self 😉
    ( I really wish that ‘total’ meant total and that ‘data’ didn’t mean ‘pasturized processed data food’ and that … )

  125. E.M.Smith (15:03:43) :
    vukcevic (13:09:57) :
    http://xxx.lanl.gov/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0401/0401107.pdf
    since Jan 2004.)
    Another nice graph. Thanks! Still left with the mystery of why the correlation is so high but no mechanism is clear. Oh well, that’s where the fun starts…

    I think concentrating on the gravity alone is a waste of time. Gravitation forces alone could not regulate the Hale’s polarisation cycle. Thus, another factor (with a magnetic polarity property) must be in the play, which has to be related to the planetary orbital periods. That could only be the existence of the planetary magnetospheres, which not only control (or override) solar polarity but trough negative feedback suppress the solar activity, result: solar minima during period of the strongest feedback. The crucial question is how is this feedback achieved; I believe it could be through the heliospheric current’s negative feedback due to disturbances (or interactions) within asymmetric central plane of the helioshheric current sheet, by the magnetospheres orbital paths.
    For magnetosphere factor see:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/ links for solar current and subcycle
    See also:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined1650.gif
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GrandMinima.gif
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif
    All this could be a coincidence (as some claim) but I believe that:
    ‘the nature is adverse to a coincidence, it is ruled by a cause and the consequence’

  126. Late to get to this one folks. Friday morning senior moment!
    At the risk of being seen as a little boy allowed to stay up late & listen in to a grown-ups conversation, as I have probably said before, I would love to listen to Lief Svalgaard & David Archibald discussing the current solar situation (crisis/catastrophe/disaster/nothing unusual – delete as appropriate for media release).
    As an engineer, I use, & sadly to some extent, rely upon computer technology for my work. However, I used to do stuff by hand using my own skill, knowledge, & judgement, so using a computer I hopefully would know by “feel” if what I got out was right or wrong. However, with Climate & Solar activity, which we have not attempted to study in such detail before 35 years ago, I suspect there were no people expert enough to do such computations by hand. Is it just possible we have reached the limit of our knowledge & technology, & our reliance upon & belief in computers to “predict” events past certain timescales, is slowly coming to light as folly? Perhaps too many Star Trek fans are in the mix! I am well aware that “what the mind of man can conceive, man can achieve”, but we’re not there in that place yet. Surely we must step back & think about what is actually happening, study the past, observe the present, then conclude with modest certainty.
    Perhaps we know a lot less than we think we do about our solar system, its Sun, the planets around it, & more importantly, our own planet & how it is affected by the things around it, & certainly how the Sun affects us? I would be interested to see another chart in a years time with perhaps a third or fourth curve predicting a range of timescales for ramping up of Cycle 24, which would suggest that the models can’t cut the mustard, & it becomes a second guessing game. Herschell must be spinning in his grave by now, poor old fella! If keelyside et al’s model were to be put together with Mr Hathaway’s, perhaps Solar Cycle 24’s peak would be around 2015-18 to coincide with the renewed “predicted” Global Warming.
    I genuinely have a lot of sympathy for Mr Hathaway, it is very difficult to be brave & come to the fore, make predictions with confidence based upon reasonably sound science about natural events, then see them not happen. One could start to feel rather uncomfortable & lose confidence in one’s own abilities.
    PS It’s still cold here!

  127. Heres an interesting forecast from Landscheidt in 2001:
    “Forecast experiments are the best way to check whether science is sound. Such forecasts are available for the next crucial phases in the course of the PDO around 2007 (Coolest period in a cool regime) and 2016 (Regime shift from cold to warm). Wait and see will be the procedure in the second part of the experiment.”
    So far so correct. It’s difficult to argue against someone who predicts a cool dip in a warming trend 6 years in advance, after also having correctly predicted el niños several years in advance. It seems to me, when you correctly predict things that the “experts” cannot then you should be taken seriously even if your ideas are not mainstream. Whatever the cause of el niños and the pdo, they can easily be presumed to be the dominating factor in medium-term weather predictions, and perhaps long-term too. In saying so, Landscheidt is not the first scientist, nor the only, and he won’t be the last. Coming up with a cause necessarily involves speculation but regardless of the cause, if his predictions are correct then it could be the key to more accurate short-term climate prediction. Science is full of people who were right for the wrong reason ie people who derived a correct empirical relationship but couldn’t fully explain the Physics. Faraday’s ideas needed Maxwell’s equations and Stefans empirical relationship needed Boltzmann’s maths. Calling someones theory nonsense might actually be correct but missing the main point – that whatever the cause (and there must be a non-Tsi, non-CO2 cause for ENSO and the pdo) the effect just might be predictable.
    Like Anthony, I’m not convinced by Leif’s often-given opinion that an inactive Tsi closes down any debate about external impacts on our weather. My own particular line of thought is that since clearly the rotation fluctuations of the planet and ENSO are connected in some way, as confirmed by NASA, external factors bear some closer investigation, even if only to give better medium-term prediction capabilities.
    Indeed an extreme oddity in this debate is how climate scientists will continually claim that exceedingly tiny changes in the content of the atmosphere from manmade GHG’s can have huge effects, yet they simultaneously fail to consider the logical counter-argument that therefore tiny changes elsewhere (say Tsi, solar wind, cosmic rays, weakening magnetic fields, Jovian influences, planetary wobbles, etc.) might, by exactly the same argument, also have a disproportionate effect. Leif falls right into this category too. If any tiny change is deemed a priori unimportant then you have to also rule out CO2 as an influence on climate since that is also a tiny change in a trace gas. Conversely if one tiny change is deemed important then we should consider all such tiny changes. Not doing so seems to be more political or dogmatic than scientific.

  128. Ron de Haan (17:46:05) :
    From http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/01/from-hansens-shop.htmlFrom
    Hansen’s shop
    How did this get past the clergy?:

    Hansen was probably too busy defending vandals in UK courts. While he was out, he left his PC on without the password-protected screensaver. Someone snuck into his office and sent this, along with an email to George Bush saying:
    “Georgie, I really, really, really, really, really, REALLY like you. Would you like to go out sometime?
    Yours, Jimmie.”
    It happens.

  129. John M (18:00:37) :
    Everyone heed Smokey’s advice!
    WUWT and CA together currently add up to 49% of the vote.
    Can we get a majority?

    I’ve been voting exclusively for CA, since WUWT is getting a lot of support and is several furlongs ahead of the pack.
    Reply: This is no time to be complacent, and hubris is always dangerous. Remember that last year thousands of votes were generated at the last minute, forcing a tie. Please continue the daily voting, and we can relax on Tuesday. Thanks. ~ dbstealey, mod.

  130. E.M.Smith (23:13:45) :
    Unfortunately, it looks like the “total’ in TSI isn’t really total.
    LASP also measures the Solar Spectral Irradiance, i.e. how much we get at different wavelengths and SSI indeed have some gaps in it. Don’t confuse those with TSI.
    From http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/data/tsi_data.htm:
    “The Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) measures the total solar irradiance (TSI), a measure of the absolute intensity of solar radiation, integrated over the entire solar irradiance spectrum”
    How more precise can one be?
    The instruments are ‘Active Cavity Radiometers’, which means that you let sunlight [all wavelengths because we are out in space] in to a ‘cavity’ where it heats a sensor, then you heat another sensor electrically until the two sensors show the same radiation flux. You measure how much current is needed to establish equality, and that current [calibrated of course] is a measure of TSI.
    is there any theoretical argument that can put this paranoid UV daemon back into a bottle?
    different UV bands vary in different ways over the solar cycle [some bands even vary in antiphase, i.e increase when solar activity goes down], but integrated UV does follows TSI.
    You can play with integrating UV here: http://lasp.colorado.edu/cgi-bin/ion-p?page=input_data_timeseries.ion
    Good limits to try are 242 to 310 [check ‘integrate’ box]
    Here is what you might see: http://www.leif.org/research/Erl70.png
    Note how the near UV 242-310 nm band actually goes UP about 0.5 W/m2 from solar max to solar min.

  131. Greg Smith (23:03:14) :
    This may be related
    Nasa have found to their amazement that the level of the ionosphere has dropped to previously unsuspected levels and that this drop is due to the lack of activity in the sun
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/outer_atmosphere.html
    Solar activity such as magnetic storms heats the ionosphere and this is not happening now

    Would a thinner atmosphere more easily propagate heat?

  132. vukcevic (00:59:32) :
    I think concentrating on the gravity alone is a waste of time. Gravitation forces alone could not regulate the Hale’s polarisation cycle. Thus, another factor (with a magnetic polarity property) must be in the play, which has to be related to the planetary orbital periods.
    1) it doesn’t has to be
    2) the planets don’t change their magnetic polarities in step with the Sun so magnetic forces are just as ineffective as gravity
    3) the solar wind in supersonic and magnetic influences cannot travel upstream. [I think I have pointed that out to you 315 times or so]

  133. Edward Morgan
    Leif you missed this one,
    How does the parcel become less under pressure? Wouldn’t other material be added to it under pressure and compacted where is the escape route for this material?
    If I crushed an egg in a container with increased air pressure the only time the egg or anything else would escape (with a good seal) is when I released the pressure. So there is a need for another lifting force (planets) or a slackening of the braids.
    By the way I have a picture of the last cycle of solar flares and spots and the difference between minimum and maximum is clear to the eye. Its massive. For these differences to make little or no difference is something you should know better than.
    With Jupiter and Saturn their pull in one direction would be the opposite when on the other side of the sun like our tides. The change in flow are opposite/different polarities and many cycles including the German GDP and Lynx catches and the Earth’s magnetic field peak (maximum and minimum) when the centre of mass of the solar system and Jupiter are in line.
    Also, interestingly the last phase where the centre of mass of the solar system hovers near the Sun’s surface for an extended period of time significant of a period of instability in solar activity and its terrestrial response began in 2002 just when all the indexes in the science section of this site started to dip. Until then the secular variation of the geomagnetic field was up. These instability periods switch the trend and since then we’ve been down. This is a fact and a correlate. If Leif you disagree people should check this out for themselves because I feel a lot of people are believing you without checking this out properly. Its easy to trust a Dr. people need to think for themselves.
    Ed.
    Ed

  134. Reply: This is no time to be complacent, and hubris is always dangerous. Remember that last year thousands of votes were generated at the last minute, forcing a tie. Please continue the daily voting, and we can relax on Tuesday. Thanks. ~ dbstealey, mod.

    Didn’t say I was not voting daily, or that others should vote for CA…

  135. JamesG (02:24:03) :
    If any tiny change is deemed a priori unimportant then you have to also rule out CO2 as an influence on climate since that is also a tiny change in a trace gas.
    Yes, and so one can do, and the problem goes away. You hangup is to connect the solar and CO2 problems. One camp claims that tiny changes in a trace gas regulates the climate, an other camp claims that tiny changes in solar activity regulates the climate. And the two camps are fighting over whose changes are the tiniest. I say that they are both wrong.

  136. Hathaway has done far more than simply make predictions. He has stuck his foot in it telling the world plus dog that this is normal, when in fact we do not have the data to tell the difference between a 1910-13 event and a Dalton or a Maunder while it is yet unfolding.

  137. Edward Morgan (07:31:55) :
    Leif you missed this one,
    How does the parcel become less under pressure?

    Adding a magnetic field [amplified by braiding] increases the pressure in the parcel. Because pressure is quickly equalized from surrounding parcels, the parcel with the magnetic field loses material, hence becomes lighter, hence rises. More braiding, more rising.
    With Jupiter and Saturn their pull in one direction would be the opposite when on the other side of the sun like our tides.
    No, it doesn’t matter which side they are on, the resulting tides would be the same, just like our tides. Our tides at a place, P, go up when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth of the place P, because the Moon pulls the Earth away from P.

  138. We have a sunspot! With a conundrum.
    SIDC cancels ALL QUIET.” A small active region developed during
    the first hours of Jan. 09th at about 45 degrees east and 20 degrees
    north. It showed weak (below B level) but repeated flaring activity
    and it is associated with sunspots according to Uccle white light observations.
    “http://sidc.oma.be/index.php
    Latest SOHO images confirm this region. It is readily observable
    in all EIT frames, and MDI Magnetogram. MDI Continuum requires
    full screen, but it’s there.
    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/realtime-update.html
    The bug-a-boo is, SWPC has “0” in the SWO Sunspot num. field in the daily
    Geomagnietic and Solar Indices table for Jan. 9
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/solar_indices.html
    Is someone asleep at the switch, here?

  139. GES to Leif,
    Thanks for the elucidation Leif. My post was of course tongue in cheek; but anything that can trigger an informative response, is worthwhile.
    Now let me pick your brains some more. Do those white halos persist throughout the whole lifetime of the spot ? and is their increased emittance considered the primary source of the 0.1% or so enhancement of the solar constant, or is there some more global (sun) effect.
    I suppose it is also possible that those halos could have a broader angular distribution pattern for their emission. I presume that for the most part, the solar surface is largely a Lambertian emitter (locally) but then since it is not an optical surface, it might be more isotropic.
    It is not so difficult to believe that local disturbances such as sunspots can produce unusual radiation output; but somewhat harder to contemplate what might cause an increase in solar emittance over the whole body.
    Which doen’t mean I have any of such explanations; just that they seem tenable.
    George

  140. “He has stuck his foot in it”
    He has company. One sign of the approaching ‘Dark Age’ is lack of respect ‘science’ garners these days.
    The reasons for this are legion, but money grubbing tops the list. When journalists, politicians and scientists are all agreeing and supping together trouble is bound to follow.

  141. And it’s fading fast. Was much clearer earlier this morning on Cerro Tololo’s GONG image, but very mushy now.
    Poor old Sun is really struggling.

  142. Leif Svalgaard (07:20:30) :
    vukcevic (00:59:32) :
    I think concentrating on the gravity alone is a waste of time. Gravitation forces alone could not regulate the Hale’s polarisation cycle. Thus, another factor (with a magnetic polarity property) must be in the play, which has to be related to the planetary orbital periods.
    1) it doesn’t has to be
    2) the planets don’t change their magnetic polarities in step with the Sun so magnetic forces are just as ineffective as gravity
    3) the solar wind in supersonic and magnetic influences cannot travel upstream. [I think I have pointed that out to you 315 times or so]

    1) it doesn’t has to be
    Considering the equations and the associated graphs
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif (take a look at the updated version)
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GrandMinima.gif
    it would be a minor miracle if this is just a coincidence.
    2) the planets don’t change their magnetic polarities in step with the Sun so magnetic forces are just as ineffective as gravity.
    Correct, but I have not come across a good explanation why Hale cycle for global field should change at max and for the sunspots at min.
    One of possible reasons for a flip caused by planets could be: magnetic forces as any other forces should add in a vector type manner. Since J & S move above and below the solar equatorial plane, then their combined fields would at the centre of the solar system have two components (if resolved along solar axes). H component will be always in the solar equatorial plane pointing to the centre with a nearly constant intensity. V component will be aligned with the solar axis of rotation, pointing alternatively either S or N, in the process its intensity falling to zero.
    3) the solar wind in supersonic and magnetic influences cannot travel upstream. [I think I have pointed that out to you 315 times or so]
    I take your point about solar wind (perhaps sq. root of 324), but there are other possibilities: one follows directly from the above analysis; another lets say a ‘disturbance’ within the asymmetric heliospheric magnetic field, due to the magnetospheres orbital passage.

  143. I have it projected and the secondary very faint spot (leading). A hint of a tertiary more towards the equator. If you aren’t looking right at the spot’s area on projection, you’ll miss it. Took several minutes of sliding paper back & forth to find the area.

  144. JamesG (02:24:03) :
    Indeed an extreme oddity in this debate is how climate scientists will continually claim that exceedingly tiny changes in the content of the atmosphere from manmade GHG’s can have huge effects, yet they simultaneously fail to consider the logical counter-argument that therefore tiny changes elsewhere (say Tsi, solar wind, cosmic rays, weakening magnetic fields, Jovian influences, planetary wobbles, etc.) might, by exactly the same argument, also have a disproportionate effect. Leif falls right into this category too. If any tiny change is deemed a priori unimportant then you have to also rule out CO2 as an influence on climate since that is also a tiny change in a trace gas. Conversely if one tiny change is deemed important then we should consider all such tiny changes. Not doing so seems to be more political or dogmatic than scientific. .
    I agree that CO2 is tiny, and total solar irradiance, averaged over a year, is also small. BUT the sun radiance has enormous variation within the 24 hours ( from 1200 watts/m**2 at noon where i am ( Greece) to 0 at night. It also changes on average 7 percent between winter and summer, but geographically it also changes for something like 800 to 0 at the poles. So if we go away from the thought process that believes that yearly averages and a black body sphere can describe the mathematics of climate, we get out of the box and can think how these enormous heat inputs and changes hitting the oceans and land and atmosphere at yearly and monthly rhythms surely create all these PDOs and ENSOs and …. what nots that are really what are affecting our climate.

  145. George E. Smith (09:59:33) :
    Now let me pick your brains some more. Do those white halos persist throughout the whole lifetime of the spot ? and is their increased emittance considered the primary source of the 0.1% or so enhancement of the solar constant, or is there some more global (sun) effect.
    Yes, they even precede the spot and last longer than the spot and are indeed the reason for the TSI enhancement: they are brighter than the spot is dark, so the net effect is extra emission.
    I suppose it is also possible that those halos could have a broader angular distribution pattern for their emission.
    No, not in the sense I think you are contemplating. The brighter areas are found around the spots. Now, this is not quite true. There are also such bright spots around each pole. These occur at and around solar minimum and are due to the polar magnetic fields, but make a very, very small contribution to TSI.
    gary gulrud (10:00:49) :
    One sign of the approaching ‘Dark Age’ is lack of respect ’science’ garners these days
    Combined with the fact that most science has become incomprehensible to even educated people, which means that simple pseudo-science in 19th century style often takes the place of modern view points.
    vukcevic (10:23:38) :
    it would be a minor miracle if this is just a coincidence.
    No, because the wiggle matching is poor. They don’t line up and the amplitudes don’t match. Make a scatter plot of values for each year and show us.
    Correct, but I have not come across a good explanation why Hale cycle for global field should change at max and for the sunspots at min.
    This was explained by Babcock in 1961. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babcock_Model
    ‘disturbance’ within the asymmetric heliospheric magnetic field, due to the magnetospheres orbital passage.
    The magnetosphere’s have no influence [except locally near themselves] on the heliospheric magnetic field [which is not asymmetric – please, no silly NASA press releases about that]

  146. “Combined with the fact that most science has become incomprehensible to even educated people”
    A group sometimes including scientists if rarely journalists or politicians.

  147. Leif said
    “Adding a magnetic field [amplified by braiding] increases the pressure in the parcel. Because pressure is quickly equalized from surrounding parcels, the parcel with the magnetic field loses material, hence becomes lighter, hence rises. More braiding, more rising.”
    Where does the parcel lose it to? Surely if it was still under pressure there would need to be a less pressurised area for this sort of shift/escape.
    Leif said,
    “No, it doesn’t matter which side they are on, the resulting tides would be the same, just like our tides. Our tides at a place, P, go up when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth of the place P, because the Moon pulls the Earth away from P.”
    The tides wouldn’t be the same because the centre of gravity of the solar system is varying its not a closed system ours vary too due to different alignments (is this really news to you) My point is that the fact that the alignments are opposite is important because of the opposite nature of poles hence the polarity reversal.
    Ed.

  148. Edward Morgan (17:23:11) :
    This argument, however, does not take into account that the Sun’s eruptional activity (energetic flares, coronal mass ejections, eruptive prominences), heavily affecting the solar wind, as well as softer solar wind contributions by coronal holes have a much stronger effect than total irradiance.” Theodore Landscheidt,
    Leif said
    This is an example of the nonsense I was talking about. These things do not have a ‘much stronger effect’. The solar wind is contains 3 protons per cubic centimeter, the air you breathe contains 30,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules per cc, just to give you a feeling for the magnitudes involved.
    However
    “Large Flares release energy equivalent to the explosion of 200 million hydrogen bombs in A FEW MINUTES time sufficient to meet man’s energy demands for 100 million years.” Theodor Landscheidt “Sun-Earth-Man”
    A stark contrast here Leif. Like fact from fiction. Ed

  149. I think Hathaway is right now about the position of 24’s leading ramp. 23 is months dead and buried. As a couple of others have noted above, the scale of the ramp up is bats.

  150. Leif Svalgaard (12:02:01) :
    vukcevic (10:23:38) :
    it would be a minor miracle if this is just a coincidence.
    No, because the wiggle matching is poor. They don’t line up and the amplitudes don’t match. Make a scatter plot of values for each year and show us.

    I have taken your point about solar wind. Perhaps you should take my point that there are two equations (with two graphs) there.
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif
    The blue graph (with its equation) is meant to identify zero crossings only, which correspond to the minima. It is not there to show any correlation with the amplitude or shape of the individual cycles (I could just put a square waveform with the same zero crossings). Fact that for 7out of the last 8 matches the amplitude is just an extra result. It is in no way meant to mach shape of cycle (power3 up, exponential down), it is just a simple sine wave. Even so correlation for the last 8 cycles is 0.74, if smoothed annual values are used than is well in excess of 0.80. I’ll make point again: its purpose is just to identify zero crossings, wich I am interested in. The amplitude and shape of the cycle is a different mater. I promise to make a scatter plot for the zero crossings vs solar minima over next few days.
    The amplitude envelope may be simulated by using sub harmonics and combinations of the two frequencies used for periodicity. It is a simulation only, and out of 18 cycles reasonably indicates value of 15 maxima. I will also do a scatter graph for amplitude envelope values vs. smoothed annual peaks.
    I find it surprising, I hope that it does not irritate you, to find that for SC 24 peak (now we have to think of a slow rise and 2014) both equations give prediction of 77-80 which is so close to your estimates.
    This was explained by Babcock in 1961. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babcock_Model
    To anyone with a bit more than basic knowledge of electromagnetic fields suggested explanation is less than satisfactory (borders on irrelevant).
    ‘disturbance’ within the asymmetric heliospheric magnetic field, due to the magnetospheres orbital passage.
    The magnetosphere’s have no influence [except locally near themselves] on the heliospheric magnetic field [which is not asymmetric – please, no silly NASA press releases about that]

    Parabolic shape of the heliosphere assumes it is asymmetric, we may discus that one on another occasion.

  151. Leif,
    Regarding your “background” signal, I’ve been reading that the sun’s UV impact on earth climate has increased steadily over the past several centuries, specifically its gone up over 3% since the Maunder Minimum.
    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=3546394
    Given UV generates ozone and is blocked by it, it stands to reason that your “background” signal is clearly a combination of the long term buildup of ozone since the Maunder era vs recovery of UV radiance also since that era. one is a negative forcing, the other is a positive forcing. They likely have not had an equal amount of forcing.

  152. Dave L said,
    “I just read Landscheidt’s paper published in 2003.
    http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/new-e.htm
    Very scary. No wonder Putin is using energy (natural gas) as a “weapon.”
    Thanks L. Gardy LaRoche (08:28:09) :”
    I’d just like to thank Gardy for those links too. I’ve been having a peruse and I’ve gotta say he’s right about the two minimums coming up one after the other. He’s done his homework and we better get organised. Cheers, Ed.

  153. Edward Morgan (18:40:00) :
    Dave L said,
    “I just read Landscheidt’s paper published in 2003.
    http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/new-e.htm
    Very scary. No wonder Putin is using energy (natural gas) as a “weapon.”
    Thanks L. Gardy LaRoche (08:28:09) :”
    I’d just like to thank Gardy for those links too. I’ve been having a peruse and I’ve gotta say he’s right about the two minimums coming up one after the other. He’s done his homework and we better get organised. Cheers, Ed.

    I’ve got to say: Thanks for the links. I’d read a couple of these before, but not all of them. Still working my way through it.
    At the same time, I have to say: Leif has been spot on in everything he has pointed me to as well.
    So this leaves me with cognitive dissonance… Landscheidt clearly has it exactly right in his predictions. A very strong case. Yet the theory and known science from Leif shows nothing to support it. Clearly there is a giant gap to fill… Vukcevik has some interesting ideas and some good correlations as well (and I’m still working through his papers / links).
    So I’m left with a quest and a curiosity… Why? Not so bad, I guess.
    Though while I’m questing, I’m going to be betting on Landscheidt continuing to have valid predictions even if we can’t show why.
    (Why? Don’t ask why, down that path lies insanity and ruin… E.M.Smith)
    Exploring why:
    So we have tidal, spin-orbit coupling, angular momentum (maybe the same as spin coupling), random cyclical oscillation, magnetic, and ??? as proposed mechanisms. Any others? And I suppose these come in two flavors: causal and modulating of known solar processes.
    Sidebar: I’m able to accept planetary influences since they are physical, though the ‘astrology’ connection sets off my BSometer. And I can accept that there may be real things that depend on magnetics, even though “it’s all done by magnets” is one of my BSometer triggers… but I really really really have a very hard time accepting that it could be caused by both astrology and magnets. Parts of me start to shake, my blood pressure rises and I want to shout something just at the thought of it… 😎 I’m going to have to work very hard to suppress that response in order to give the thesis a fair examination.
    TWC reporting lots of cold and snow… “Temperatures dropping like a rock at Jackson Hole” but also a heat wave in Australia. My thesis is that we get a ‘battle ground’ at inflection points. We have residual excess ocean heat as the excess cold shows up atmospherically in some locations resulting in a big heat engine shoving air and water around until the temperatures are better equilibrated. I’d expect extreme weather events for a couple of years as we drop into overall very cold climate in The Al Gore Cold Period.
    IFF this is right, we’ll be seeing many more stories about extreme weather and many more AGWers pointing at them and clucking tongues…

  154. Here is a n interesting article with um some “surprising” comments from Hathaway.
    For how long will the current grand maximum of solar activity persist?
    Understanding the Sun’s magnetic activity is important because of its impact on the Earth’s environment. The sunspot record since 1610 shows irregular 11-year cycles of activity; they are modulated on longer timescales and were interrupted by the Maunder minimum in the 17th century. Future behavior cannot easily be predicted – even in the short-term. Recent activity has been abnormally high for at least 8 cycles: is this grand maximum likely to terminate soon or even to be followed by another (Maunder-like) grand minimum? To answer these questions we use, as a measure of the Sun’s open magnetic field, a composite record of the solar modulation function Φ, reconstructed principally from the proxy record of cosmogenic 10Be abundances in the GRIP icecore from Greenland. This Φ record extends back for almost 10,000 years, showing many grand maxima and grand minima (defined as intervals when Φ is within the top or bottom 20% of a Gaussian distribution). We carry out a statistical analysis of this record and calculate the life expectancy of the current grand maximum. We find that it is only expected to last for a further 15–36 years, with the more reliable methods yielding shorter expectancies, and we therefore predict a decline in solar activity within the next two or three cycles. We are not able, however, to predict the level of the ensuing minimum.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL035442.shtml
    David Hathaway of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, says the evidence for past lulls is strong, but he is sceptical about the team’s attempt to predict the arrival of the next one. “This is a little like trying to predict when someone’s winning streak will end,” he says. “We know that it will happen, but reliable predictions are virtually impossible.”
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126903.700-danger-ahead-as-the-sun-goes-quiet.html

  155. I uploaded eight (8) pre 2004 Hathaway Sunspot predictions as an animated GIF file. The dates covered are from August 2000 to December 2003. There were no significant changes in predictions during this interval.
    The documentation is here:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SSN_Predict_NASA_Pre2004.gif
    The animated image is here:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/64/SSN_Predict_NASA_Pre2004.gif
    This set of images is not as interesting as the latter set but it establishes a useful baseline. The interesting set of predictions can be found here:
    The documentation is here:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:SSN_Predict_NASA.gif
    The animated image is here:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/SSN_Predict_NASA.gif
    Mike

  156. “I’m able to accept planetary influences since they are physical, though the ‘astrology’ connection sets off my BSometer. ”
    The issue I see with the astrological component is the spiritual aspect of it. Astrology means two different things. One is actual science and one is religion. People often hear the word and go bonkers because they only associate it with religion. The astrologers of old were actually the leading scientists of their day. To the extent that they felt signs in the sky portended certain things, they were often drawing correlations to things that had an underlying scientific explanation even if they didn’t understand the science. Astrology evolved as a religion when these ancient observers deviated from correlation of events to a belief that planetary alignments and stars and birthdates and so on all controlled our personal lives. I have no idea if Landscheidt believed that, and if he did I don’t agree with it.
    But Astrology, in its initial form, is actually an observation of planetary cycles and positions and correlations of events and so on. Landscheidt relies heavily on this traditional astrological angle, but as any reader of his papers can see, he puts science and mathematics behind the correlations. One does not read his papers and get the feeling that his approach is borne purely out of religiosity. I suggest that people read his papers on their merits.
    I’m not here to defend astrology as a religion (I am a Christian), and I can accept that others dispute his premise on the merits. But let’s face it… reading his stuff leaves you with the feeling that he’s on to something.

  157. IMHO all this discussion of planetary influences belongs to a metaphysics board.
    Do not get me wrong, I am not averse to metaphysics as an “out of the box” thinking tool. It is just that it is futile to try and find a physical connection in our 4D (time and space and general relativity) world with planetary influences ( excepting the tides).
    Metaphysics at some point may become physics, in contrast to religious beliefs.
    Take black matter, that astrophysicists, or at least some of them, have embraced warmly. Do you think there is none in our solar system because we have not observed it? It might be that all these correlations, if statistically significant, are due to the workings of black matter in our solar system, and thus “prove” its existence. When dark matter is said to be 9/10ths of the total universe it would be foolish to think it is not in our area and affecting the 4D interactions. String theory, the favorite futuristic theory of theoreticians, allows for many forces a la electromagnetism and interactions that are unknown now, for example gravity to electromagnetism directly. Electromagnetism during the Maunder minimum was as magical hocus pocus as what I just stated.
    The above is an example of speculation in metaphysics, physics out of the box. We should, though, have a very clear understanding what our current physics and astronomy and etc knowledge is before embarking on such trips.

  158. So according to Landscheidt, 2025 to 2030 should be extremely dry and extremely cold. Both extreme North American drought and extreme cold along the lines of the Little Ice Age.
    If so, we are talking major global food shortages within 20 years time. His predictions seem uncanny but there is still that scent of crackpot that lingers in a subtle way in the background. I am, however, loathe to dismiss it because many amazing discoveries have come from people who seemed quite odd. I suppose there is a fine line sometimes between genius and eccentricity. (There’s a pun to be found in there somewhere, I am sure of it.)

  159. For those interesting in Landscheidt’s work I manage a blog that references most his papers http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/
    Landscheidt and others made some important discoveries in the field of Planetary Influence on the Sun. Carl Smith and I have extracted some further information which, on my side, starts to move away from Landscheidt’s prediction of a Grand Minimum in 2030. I think we are there now.

  160. Edward Morgan (12:32:21) :
    Where does the parcel lose it to? Surely if it was still under pressure there would need to be a less pressurised area for this sort of shift/escape.
    If you increase the pressure in a parcel, the material will be lost to the surrounding parcels, of course. Like if you prick a balloon and the Helium in it escapes to the surroundings.
    Leif said,
    The tides wouldn’t be the same because the centre of gravity of the solar system is varying its not a closed system ours vary too due to different alignments (is this really news to you) My point is that the fact that the alignments are opposite is important because of the opposite nature of poles hence the polarity reversal.
    The tides will be the same [already Newton knew why]. But perhaps you don’t really mean the tides. Your statement that “opposite alignments are important because of the opposite nature of poles” is nonsense.
    Edward Morgan (12:52:14) :
    “Large Flares release energy equivalent to the explosion of 200 million hydrogen bombs in A FEW MINUTES time sufficient to meet man’s energy demands for 100 million years.” Theodor Landscheidt “Sun-Earth-Man”
    A stark contrast here Leif. Like fact from fiction.

    Even the largest [and very rare] flares output only 1/10,000 of what the Sun puts out as TSI during the time of the flare, and large flares only occur less than 1/1000 of the time, so the total flare output is less than 1/10,000,000 of the regular solar output as TSI. Indeed a stark contrast.
    E.M.Smith (20:20:58) :
    Landscheidt clearly has it exactly right in his predictions. A very strong case.
    ‘Exactly right’ is perhaps too strong. It doesn’t take much to predict that we are in for some low cycles [As I have mentioned already, my seven-year old grandson made that prediction when he saw http://sidc.oma.be/html/wolfaml.html ]. The PDO also goes in ~60-year ‘cycles’, so we are due for a cooling, again, no particular skill or theory needed.
    The Diatribe Guy (21:06:51) :
    Landscheidt relies heavily on this traditional astrological angle, but as any reader of his papers can see, he puts science and mathematics behind the correlations.
    I have read most of his papers [many are just repetitions of earlier stuff] and have still to see the science and mathematics ‘behind’ the correlations. Perhaps someone could point me to an example [maybe even the best example].

  161. “IMHO all this discussion of planetary influences belongs to a metaphysics board.”
    Well, to some extend I would want to agree with that. But there is something to be said for a big ball of gas that spins as an object on its axis and also revolves around a center of mass and what happens when that center of mass moves to a point inside the surface of the spinning object. We don’t understand much about what happens inside the sun. What he seems to have found is a mechanism by which the movement of the solar system center of mass moving inside the mass of the sun itself changes what goes on inside. It seems palusible in a way that I don’t quite understand but a “gut” feeling says that it would cause some sort of twisting of things inside the sun that might make a difference. He doesn’t seem to be talking so much about hokey astrological stuff so much as he seems to have noticed a resonance in the movement of objects that could very well have some impact on how things work inside the sun.
    At least that is my take on it. And he is apparently accurate enough to actually be taken seriously. He might be way off in his conclusions as to why, but he seems to have noticed something real.

  162. crosspatch
    “We don’t understand much about what happens inside the sun. What he seems to have found is a mechanism by which the movement of the solar system center of mass moving inside the mass of the sun itself changes what goes on inside.”
    No, it does not. The only effect of planets on the sun are the tides, and those are miniscule.
    Do you know that the barycenter of the earth-moon system is inside the earth moving around? ( I think something like 1700 km down) If it had the properties you seem to attribute to it, i.e. some gravitational forces centered on it, the mantle would be massaged continuouisly like the dough in a bread maker. Nothing happens. The only gravitational effect, correlated but not caused by the movement of this barycenter are the tides.
    It is very tiring that people cannot understand this, and I commiserate with Leif who keeps having to come back on such stuff.

  163. anna v (03:48:28)
    The continued confusion is because it is not intuitively obvious. I understand it, but still can’t feel it. How is fall free when the vector is constantly changing? I know, I know. Maybe there is a haiku.
    The barycentric sensation
    Pulls constantly
    And freely.
    =================================

  164. What I don’t understand is why that real, but small, ‘tidal effect’ can’t be manifesting itself electromagnetically, in the spots, in the manner of a Van de Graaf generator. It doesn’t take much perturbation to change those effects.
    ===================================

  165. kim,
    A haiku has the form 5-7-5. Five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, five in the third. They don’t have to rhyme. For example:

    Al’s globaloney
    Has now been discredited,
    heh. Watts up with that?

  166. Michael Ronayne (21:01:04) Do you have those images, <2004 in a bigger size? The later photos are 768 pixels tall, the early ones are 571tall.

  167. kim (04:23:22) :
    What I don’t understand is why that real, but small, ‘tidal effect’ can’t be manifesting itself electromagnetically, in the spots, in the manner of a Van de Graaf generator. It doesn’t take much perturbation to change those effects.
    Speculation is free. What is needed is somebody to take the model of the sun up to now and introduce a possible effect of the tides on the magnetic field and show how this can affect the climate on earth. Look at the enormity of the task:
    1) learn the current sun model
    2) modify it by something plausible to include measurable tidal effects on the plasma
    3) show that tides change the magnetic fields of the sun
    4) show that magnetic fields affect the weather on earth
    5) show that a change in the sun’s magnetic field changes the earth’s magnetic fields enough to change weather and then climate.
    Unless 4 and 5 are proved, nobody is going to go through the 1,2,3 tasks, There is trouble enough to show that galactic cosmic rays are changing the weather and then the climate to reach the fine point of planetary motions doing something like that, through many convolutions ( in the mathematical sense).

  168. ” The only effect of planets on the sun are the tides”
    You’d better think about this some more, dearie. Tsagas(2006) is a start.

  169. gary gulrud (06:24:42) :
    ” The only effect of planets on the sun are the tides”
    You’d better think about this some more, dearie. Tsagas(2006) is a start.

    from:
    http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/0264-9381/23/13/002
    “Magnetic tension and gravitational collapse
    Christos G Tsagas 2006 Class. Quantum Grav. 23 4323-4331 doi: 10.1088/0264-9381/23/13/002 Help
    PDF (115 KB) | References | Articles citing this article
    Christos G Tsagas
    Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics, Department of Physics Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
    and
    DAMTP, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA, UK
    and
    Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
    E-mail: tsagas@astro.auth.gr
    Abstract. The gravitational collapse of a magnetized medium is investigated by studying qualitatively the convergence of a timelike family of non-geodesic worldlines in the presence of a magnetic field. Focusing on the field’s tension, we illustrate how the winding of the magnetic forcelines due to the fluid’s rotation assists the collapse, while shear-like distortions in the distribution of the field’s gradients resist contraction. We also show that the relativistic coupling between magnetism and geometry, together with the tension properties of the field, lead to a magneto-curvature stress that opposes the collapse. This tension stress grows stronger with increasing curvature distortion, which means that it could potentially dominate over the gravitational pull of the matter. If this happens, a converging family of non-geodesic worldlines can be prevented from focusing without violating the standard energy conditions.”
    So? Is the sun collapsing? Do you know of anybody who is up to using the “relativistic coupling between magnetism and geometry, together with the tension properties of the field, lead to a magneto-curvature stress”? If so you could have the beginning of 2) in my list above.

  170. kim (04:23:22) :
    What I don’t understand is why that real, but small, ‘tidal effect’ can’t be manifesting itself electromagnetically, in the spots, in the manner of a Van de Graaf generator. It doesn’t take much perturbation to change those effects.
    They can and they do. It is just that these effects are so minuscule as the forces and accelerations are many orders of magnitude smaller than those found all the time in the roiling solar convection zone.

  171. gary gulrud (06:24:42) :
    ” The only effect of planets on the sun are the tides”
    You’d better think about this some more, dearie. Tsagas(2006) is a start.

    It would be kind of you to adopt a less patronizing tone. The effects Tsagas speculates on are only important when space-time curvature is very high, conditions not found anywhere in the solar system.

  172. This was my haiku from Freshman English class in high school:
    Typewriter Key Stroke
    Prints a single letter
    Yet leaves its sure mark
    Dates me doesn’t it.

  173. I’m not here to defend astrology as a religion

    Astrology was/is not a religion, it’s just a misinterpretation of reality, and ascribing forces that simply don’t exist. The observation of planetary movements is Astronomy, not Astrology. You can’t divorce the woo aspect of Astrology and still have Astrology.

  174. anna v (03:48:28) At first thinking the barycenter in a big ball of gas, the sun, might be different than in a rocky mass like earth. On second take, the so-called ball of gas is probably more dense than the rocky mass due to gravity, regardless of how plastic it appears. Then you mention that the lunar/earth barycenter is some 1700km below the surface of the earth. Is there a difference when that center is in the crust vs. mid-depth in the ocean. If there were a significant effect, I would assume when the barycenter is focused in water it would be observable in tidal outcome, would probably be cyclical, and already measured in tidal observations.

  175. Jeff Alberts (10:58:51) :
    Astrology was/is not a religion, it’s just a misinterpretation of reality, and ascribing forces that simply don’t exist.
    such as the ‘forces’ arising from free fall around a barycenter.

  176. I agree with Leif that it is not tides. If anything it has to do with angular momentum. But I will stop there because there is very little on this subject except speculation. Leif do you have any links on CME rate and intensity? Please let me know.

  177. Leif said,
    “The tides will be the same [already Newton knew why]. But perhaps you don’t really mean the tides. Your statement that “opposite alignments are important because of the opposite nature of poles” is nonsense.”
    In principle something that’s changing cannot be the same. I’m being exacting. The only time they would be the same is when the centre of gravity is in the centre of the sun exactly, then the forces on both sides of the sun would be equal creating equal tides of course if the sun was perfectly uniform in its matter. When Jupiter and Saturn are on the other side of the sun in conjunction producing a centre of mass of the solar system not in the centre of the sun then the eddy currents they produce will be LARGELY opposite to where THEY were because the centre of gravity would be largely opposite to where it was. This is what causes the change in polarity. The CURRENTS on the sun would be largely reversed. Reversing currents reverses polarity.
    Leif said
    “Even the largest [and very rare] flares output only 1/10,000 of what the Sun puts out as TSI during the time of the flare, and large flares only occur less than 1/1000 of the time, so the total flare output is less than 1/10,000,000 of the regular solar output as TSI. Indeed a stark contrast.”
    No flares like our current minimum versus large numbers of high amplitude flares, TOTAL Sun output including TSI starkly different.
    Leif said,
    “If you increase the pressure in a parcel, the material will be lost to the surrounding parcels, of course. Like if you prick a balloon and the Helium in it escapes to the surroundings.”
    I half agree with you on this one but for me what moves the sun around stirring things, changing pressures maybe stretching braids, lifting canals, will be the centre of gravity of the solar system hence the planets and like our CHANGING tides the sun will have changing tides too.
    Cheers, Ed.

  178. anna v said, (hi anna)
    “No, it does not. The only effect of planets on the sun are the tides, and those are miniscule.”
    What if this effect is amplified by resonance with canals of liquid in between braids in accordance with George Biddell Airy’s theory of a theoretical canal around the sun through the changing centre of mass of the solar system. The main planets involved here (being the most masseous) are Jupiter and Saturn.
    Ed

  179. “It would be kind of you to adopt a less patronizing tone.”
    Irony escapes me along with Newtonian physics.

  180. gary gulrud (11:52:24) :
    “It would be kind of you to adopt a less patronizing tone.”
    Irony escapes me along with Newtonian physics.

    No irony. Simply a sincerely meant suggestion, from the heart.

  181. This talk about barycenter reminded me of the work of Dr. Rollin Gillespie,
    and this link at Viewzone. I will make no arguments pro or con, just adding
    a little to the debate. Has anyone in the scientific community heard of
    Dr. Gillespie, or reviwed his work?
    http://www.viewzone.com/paper03.html

  182. Edward Morgan (11:33:44) :
    In principle something that’s changing cannot be the same. I’m being exacting.
    A pair of twins growing up will have the same height although it changes all the time. I have two clocks on my wall, their hands move around and around changing position, but they show the same time, etc.
    The only time they would be the same is when the centre of gravity is in the centre of the sun exactly, then the forces on both sides of the sun would be equal creating equal tides of course if the sun was perfectly uniform in its matter.
    A planet is attracting the mass of the Sun, not the center of mass of the solar system.
    This is what causes the change in polarity.
    Not even wrong.
    No flares like our current minimum versus large numbers of high amplitude flares, TOTAL Sun output including TSI starkly different.
    With no flares the TOTAL is 1357.7 W/m2. Add the biggest flare ever and the TOTAL is an incredible 1357.9 W/m2 for a few minutes:
    http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/~hhudson/drafts/wroclaw/hudson.pdf
    starkly different? Not.
    the sun will have changing tides too.
    It has, the tide from Jupiter grows from 0 to 0.48 millimeter, from Saturn to 0.02 millimeter. Your thumb is approximately 25 millimeter wide.

  183. “If so you could have the beginning of 2) in my list above.”
    Sorry, your post was not up before my ‘entreaty’. The barycentre is another strawman.

  184. On February 1, 2008 I forecasted a maximum SSN of only 105 to occur in October 2012. BTW check out my websites below:
    Lakeland, FL Daily Climatological Weather Data Archive: http://www.kn4lf.com/kn4lf22.htm
    Harmful Man Induced Climate Change (Global Warming) Refuted: http://www.kn4lf.com/globalwarminglie.htm
    KN4LF Daily Solar Space Weather & Geomagnetic Data Archive: http://www.kn4lf.com/kn4lf5.htm
    KN4LF Daily LF/MF/HF/6M Frequency Radiowave Propagation Forecast & Archive: http://www.kn4lf.com/kn4lf6.htm
    KN4LF 160 Meter Radio Propagation Theory Notes: http://www.kn4lf.com/kn4lf8.htm

  185. Leif,
    I’m sorry to say your not understanding what I am saying. So I give this up. Its pretty hard in this format. But heck we gave it a go.
    My photograph of the solar cycles tells me a very different story. Why, I have my suspicions. The similarity between the planets noise (as recorded by radio antennae) and the solar cycle shows that we are talking about waves which rise and fall in both cases. In fact everything and everyone has its highs and lows not continual rises, from blood sugar to weather to empires to fame. I’m part of a system and I can see the similarity. Planets can effect the centre of mass of the solar system but not flows on the sun’s moltenish surface is ridiculous. To think they are not connected would be bizarre. We too formed part of these harmonies separation cannot exist in open systems. Everything is open.
    Its a shame that obviously great scientists who are open minded enough to study astrology (the founder of our science of today) and test it are sidelined and ridiculed when they embody scientific endeavour and it would be quite an insult to talk of them in the ways this blog has. Alkindi invented alcohol not for the football but for antiseptic and alkaline for your batteries and then he looked up and lost it completely. Yeah right.
    Astrology is a holistic science and only mad or confused people would claim we are unconnected. If you read Landscheidt he is all examples and testing and logic so is Percy Seymour we never got to the bottom of their theories. I do know you could make believe if people don’t know what’s really happening. I’m not one of them. We will cool for at least 20-30 years and its connected to a planetary cycle.
    Hasta La Vista, Ed.

  186. Landscheidt and the Barycentre “hypothesis” bring problematic and circular arguments that tend to distract from well formulated theory.If there was to be some coincidental interplay with the solar cycle-planetary motion etc say from Jupiter,it would be from the Jovian magnetosphere-heliosphere interaction.
    Now moving on to some more simplistic “open problems ”
    1) Solar activity and the “solar constant “is not a constant why?
    2) The solar cycle is not just a “toroidal-poloidal “magnetic field interplay, what is it?
    During recent cycles, when the sunspot cycle maximizes, solar irradiance maximizes, the solar wind increases and the Aa index increases with the solar wind. On the other hand the galactic cosmic ray flux is at a minimum and production of cosmogenic isotopes is reduced. Delta C-14 variations, in addition to the 11 yr cycle , have other significant periods, for example, the Gleissberg cycle ( 88 yr) and the Suess cycle ( 208 yr).
    3) Is it not possible that solar irradiance also maximizes when these other longer cycles maximize, is solar irradiance proportional to solar activity for all of these cycles?
    Would it not be surprising and even unnatural if the Sun was a perfectly governed “heat engine” with respect to changes in its radius and consequent conversion of potential energy to more or less irradiant energy ?
    4) To what extent is the biospheric response to the solar cycle? We see similarities in the solar cycle and biological signatures. Is this chance or a behavioral response?
    5) Is there a climatic response to the solar cycle?

  187. Im in agreement with Alan the Brit, we have become technology dependent. Take away our lights for even a short time and watch the riots begin. We are still afraid of the dark. Each new generation throws away the information from the elder generations because they were inept dont ya know?.. We probably have solar records dating back from the times of the Mayans who could build a beautifully designed calendar but they are considered primative? We have electronics. What could be better than that? …. I wonder what one nice EM pulse would do to this planet. Now thats a thought.
    I will believe the sun is finally on the upswing when I start seeing spots on both northern and southern hemispheres… it makes me giggle.. every spot (offically there is now a spot) we get the announcement .. OK here it goes… this time for sure. I personally want it to start up and be as normal as whatever normal is. I want the weather to be as normal as whatever normal is. Im getting tired of world ending events. If one was actually happening at this point how the heck would you even know?
    But i still want it to snow 8 inches in Washington DC by the 15th:P heheh.

  188. maksimovich (13:18:58) :
    3) Is it not possible that solar irradiance also maximizes when these other longer cycles maximize, is solar irradiance proportional to solar activity for all of these cycles?
    Current thinking is that solar irradiance is indeed proportional to solar activity, and that therefore at all minima, TSI is the same. On very long time scales that is clearly not the case and the issue is what the time scale is for these longer term variations to become observable. That we don’t know at present. In the absence of other evidence [and especially of theory] the simplest assumption is that the time scale is long [essentially the evolution of the Sun off the main sequence], otherwise we need a mechanism for the change.

  189. Anna V

    some gravitational forces centered on it, the mantle would be massaged continuouisly like the dough in a bread maker. Nothing happens.

    I basically agree fully with that.
    What was giving me the notion that there might be something plausible to what was written was the notion that in the sun you have conductive material (plasma) in a magnetic field and if movements of material is changed slightly there might be some change in how things interact with that magnetic field which I am assuming is not interacted with by gravity the same as the particles of plasma might be. And since it is also my understanding that solar activity is mainly magnetic anomalies, that it would not surprise me if things behaved differently when the center moves.
    But again, I tried to temper that with my skepticism of his explanation. While I don’t completely buy his explanation of why things are happening the way they are, it does seem more plausible that he *has* stumbled onto something that is happening though maybe not for the reasons he proposed.
    His skill in the forecasting and backcasting seems to be better than random chance results.

  190. Leif Svalgaard (14:48:08) :
    . On very long time scales that is clearly not the case and the issue is what the time scale is for these longer term variations to become observable. That we don’t know at present.
    Agreed,and this is of course an interesting problem,insofar as what are “suitable proxies” for reconstruction of
    a) Say temperature,
    b) Solar variance,
    and natural variance.
    When we move to time scales of say 10^4 or 5 paradoxes become the norm and nor the exception.

  191. crosspatch (15:10:33) :
    magnetic field which I am assuming is not interacted with by gravity the same as the particles of plasma might be.
    In a conducting plasma of great extent [such as tides], the magnetic field is ‘frozen’ into the material and moves with it. http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/plasma/lectures/node63.html#s5.3
    BTW, the other sections [previous/next] of this link are very good and illuminate many of the questions that have been discussed in this blog.

  192. crosspatch (15:10:33) :
    His skill in the forecasting and backcasting seems to be better than random chance results.
    A system may exhibit “historical behavior” this is not necessarily recurrent or persistent. Historical behavior does happen for random walks in random environments This is well studied eg Yasha Sinai limit behavior of one-dimenional random walks in random environments 1982 ,David Ruelle Historical behavior in dynamical systems 2001

  193. A system may exhibit “historical behavior” this is not necessarily recurrent or persistent. Historical behavior does happen for random walks in random environments

    Well, I suppose we will all know for certain within 20 years 🙂
    And again, there is something crackpot-ish that I can’t ignore and am quite prepared to say he is a rather interesting kook, but if he turns out to be correct ….
    And thank you for the plasma link, Leif Svalgaard!

  194. Leif Svalgaard (11:04:16) :
    such as the ‘forces’ arising from free fall around a barycenter.

    Hehe, yeah.

  195. Edward Morgan (11:33:44) :
    In principle something that’s changing cannot be the same. I’m being exacting. The only time they would be the same is when the centre of gravity is in the centre of the sun exactly, then the forces on both sides of the sun would be equal creating equal tides of course if the sun was perfectly uniform in its matter. When Jupiter and Saturn are on the other side of the sun in conjunction producing a centre of mass of the solar system not in the centre of the sun then the eddy currents they produce will be LARGELY opposite to where THEY were because the centre of gravity would be largely opposite to where it was. This is what causes the change in polarity.
    One of the problems with this theory is that the cycles of Jupiter and Saturn DO NOT stay in step with the sunspot cycles. But the planetary positions you suggest are responsible for the major bulk of angular momentum in our solar system with J+S together the strongest and J+S opposing the weakest. I see it as a separate engine acting in the background that controls solar cycle modulation strength and with N+U around can create grand minimum type events.
    See Carl’s graph http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/files/2008/12/sunssbam1620to2180gs1.jpg
    There is another set of planetary positions that do keep in step with the sunspot cycles and there is argument that there is a minimal tidal effect in play. J+E+V most aligned days (non aligned days creating neap tide effect). Perhaps this is a more likely explanation for the timing and polarity change of a solar cycle.
    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/files/2008/11/sun_fig5.gif

  196. The spots visible the last 2 days exhibit an uncharacteristic neutral gray tone.
    They are not as dark as I expect them to be. Has this condition been noted by observers in the past during minima?
    Would the magnetic plage strength index http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/150_data.html#plots
    from Mt. Wilson being so low be the cause of this effect that I am seeing?

  197. And in keeping with current conversation:
    I. R. G. Wilson, B. D. Carter, and I. A. Waite have written a paper titled
    Does a Spin–Orbit Coupling Between the Sun and the Jovian Planets Govern the Solar Cycle?
    Abstract:We present evidence to show that changes in the Sun’s equatorial
    rotation rate are synchronized with changes in its orbital motion about the
    barycentre of the Solar System.We propose that this synchronization is
    indicative of a spin–orbit coupling mechanism operating between the
    Jovian planets and the Sun. However, we are unable to suggest a plausible
    underlying physical cause for the coupling. Some researchers have proposed
    that it is the period of the meridional flow in the convective zone of the Sun
    that controls both the duration and strength of the Solar cycle.We postulate
    that the overall period of the meridional flow is set by the level of disruption
    to the flow that is caused by changes in Sun’s equatorial rotation speed.
    Based on our claim that changes in the Sun’s equatorial rotation rate
    are synchronized with changes in the Sun’s orbital motion about the
    barycentre, we propose that the mean period for the Sun’s meridional flow
    is set by a Synodic resonance between the flow period (?22.3 yr), the overall
    178.7-yr repetition period for the solar orbital motion, and the
    19.86-yr synodic period of Jupiter and Saturn.
    This paper is now available free, see discussion here: http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/

  198. Robert Bateman (20:13:39) :
    The spots visible the last 2 days exhibit an uncharacteristic neutral gray tone. They are not as dark as I expect them to be. Has this condition been noted by observers in the past during minima?
    What Livinsgston and Penn are seeing is that the spots are getting warmer, hence less dark with less contrasts.

  199. Edward Morgan (11:41:23) :
    anna v said,
    “No, it does not. The only effect of planets on the sun are the tides, and those are miniscule.”
    What if this effect is amplified by resonance with canals of liquid in between braids in accordance with George Biddell Airy’s theory of a theoretical canal around the sun through the changing centre of mass of the solar system. The main planets involved here (being the most masseous) are Jupiter and Saturn.
    Ed

    Look, the reason I made my list of five steps above is that I thought: what would I have to do to prove that the planetary motions are affecting the climate on earth ( were I forty years younger and starting now). What you say might be one possible thought to explore. After all the tides on earth are 40cm high but the tides on some shores can vary by 10 meters due to the morphology of the ocean bottom. BUT before one can start considering such models as important for earth climate one has to prove that the magnetic sphere of the sun affects the climate on earth, which still is not nailed down and is a hypothesis with the galactic cosmic rays. Maybe in a hundred years we will have a proof. Any planetary influence would be a fine structure on this effect, so the road is long and cannot be handwaved with barycenters.

  200. p.s I thought canals was a “structure” in the plasma of the sun when I replied above.
    I will repeat again: barycenters are irrelevant, are theoretically useful points and that is all. They do not carry the forces, it is the planets that carry the forces and can have any, even if miniscule, influence. The barycenter is like the callender on the wall, it does not create the days, just records them.
    Here is an example: two equal weight and height people are walking in parallel along a road, left and right. Their barycenter walks the middle of the road. A car goes through their barycenter, does anything happen to the men, anything at all? If a car went through one of them, i.e. what carried force interacted with the matter of one of them, then the results would be tragic.

  201. Re Solar winds and earths rotational period.
    I’m astonished to read that during periods of intense solar winds the earths rotation period normally 84600 seconds can be slowed as much as 7 to 16 miliseconds in one day. The energy transfers involved must be enormous.
    Back in the 1960’s Dr A Danjon announced he had detected a change in LOD (Length of Day)associated with great solar flares , in 1972 Gribbin & Plagemann confirmed the effect with a great flare in 1972 when the earth slowed 16 miliseconds in one day instead of the usual 3 miliseconds per day.
    The effect has not been thoroughly studied but consider the energy required to brake the planet by 16 miliseconds is huge. A calculation was done that the earth brake energy that day was of the order of 10^15 Kilowatthours.
    would that amount of energy imparted into the planet cause signifigant heating ?.
    equally when the planets rotation speeds up would there be a cooling effect ?
    This phenomonon does not seem to have been studied at any great length, but it might be usefull to include in the climate change process.

  202. “Scientists, researchers feel pain of NASA budget cuts”
    The coming pain will be felt by by better performers than our Heliophysicists.

  203. “were I forty years younger and starting now”
    The Lorentz Force holds more promise than carrying water against the Barycentre. If current models cannot tell us even Rmax let alone mark its arrival what is the point of apology, eulogy is in order.

  204. Lindsay H (01:25:08) :
    Re Solar winds and earths rotational period.
    I’m astonished to read that during periods of intense solar winds the earths rotation period normally 84600 seconds can be slowed as much as 7 to 16 miliseconds in one day. The energy transfers involved must be enormous.

    I agree with the energy transfer (it could be calculated knowing the Earth’s mass and the angular velocity). This could only happen via magnetosphere’s interaction with solar wind. The energy released turns into heat, question is how much of it is radiated into the atmosphere. Solar wind’s loop
    http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/istp/lepping-5.gif
    being highly conductive will conduct any electromagnetic disturbances in its structure back, at speed of light ( although solar wind is moving forward supersonically, for the electromagnetic forces propagation along it is almost static), to the source, hence heliospheric current feedback.
    Evidence of this feedback is clearly perceptible in the structure of solar cycles.
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/SC17-SC23.gif
    For more details see also:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk follow link for Solar Subcycle.
    For heliospheric current feedback see:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk follow link for Solar current.

  205. vukcevic (06:00:07) :
    Solar wind’s loop being highly conductive will conduct any electromagnetic disturbances in its structure back, at speed of light
    We have gone over this so many times. Your basic problem is the word ‘electromagnetic’, that confuses you [or is intended to confuse others]. If you change electric or magnetic fields at one end of a highly conducting loop or rod, the change will propagate as an Alfven wave [30 km/s in the solar wind] and not as an electromagnetic wave with the speed of light.

  206. vukcevic (06:00:07) :
    For heliospheric current feedback see:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk follow link for Solar current.

    I was one of the discoverers of the heliospheric current sheet [HCS]. For HCS, see: http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields,%20the%20Solar%20Corona,%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf
    Your description of the current at your link is muddled. E.g. you show a Figure of a spiral passing by Saturn and Jupiter before plunging into the Sun. It is labeled ‘Heliospheric current spiral’. There is no such current spiral. The magnetic field would have this spiral shape, the current is perpendicular to the magnetic field.

  207. Anna V
    Are you saying that if I broke down the force holding this solar system together that the planets would stay where they are, like your two parallel men when the car passes in between?
    Maybe you would enjoy reading some Theodor Landscheidt and Percy Seymour as these things are explained very well and as you will see there is more to this than you think. Cheers, Ed.
    Geoff,
    “DO NOT stay in step with the sunspot cycles”
    Well Jupiter’s orbit and the schwabe cycle are pretty close and of course there is an interaction between different beats. Cheers, Ed.

  208. Anna with the car theory the force of gravity overcomes the very small forces between the car and the man so much so you don’t see any difference although there is a tiny one. Basically you forgot that gravity is there at the same time and far stronger. Ed.

  209. Livingston & Penn’s paper didn’t mention anything about the plage areas changing, just the sunspot contrast and magnetic field strength in them.
    Projection results for today: The main spot is all that is left and it’s no more than a shadow.
    11:50 am PDT. Bad Gauss day to be a sunspot.
    What are we at baseline for 01/09? 2000 Gauss?
    I’ll venture to say that if the coming SC24 sunspots don’t start darkening, it’s obvious where this leads.

  210. Robert Bateman (11:54:31) :
    Livingston & Penn’s paper didn’t mention anything about the plage areas changing, just the sunspot contrast and magnetic field strength in them.
    Eamil exchange with Bill L:
    —-
    William Livingston
    to leif@leif.org
    date Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 7:56 AM
    Leif, I did get an obs of these N spots yesterday. Seeing is poor but the field was defined. Today the group seems weaker. No penumbra that I can see.
    William Livingston to leif
    show details 9:03 AM (3 hours ago)
    no reductions [of measurements] yet. Doesn’t seem like much.
    —–
    In a few days we’ll know what the field was.

  211. Leif Svalgaard (09:54:19) :
    vukcevic (06:00:07)

    re: comment.
    Firstly, I hope someone somewhere appropriately rewords your achievement (contribution) in discovering HCS, since I believe that it is of the fundamental importance in regulating solar activity, even if you may not agree with the last point.
    Let’s consider things going backwards (in my case usually wrong way around).
    As far as spiral is concerned the graph is a free copy of the Parkers spiral from NASA’s website:
    http://beauty.nascom.nasa.gov/~ptg/mars/movies/planets/sat_31.jpg
    I agree, I should have modified the paragraph reffering to that point.
    Looking at
    http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/istp/lepping-6.gif
    If Bo is magnetic field than the inner spirals are charged particles paths i.e. electric current. If the graph shows a continuous loop, it follows that there is a close circuit current and an opportunity for a feedback. Once the loop hits a magnetosphere there would be a disturbance within its electric and magnetic fields (I should avoid using electromagnetic for short). Propagation speed of these disturbances, I assume, should be independent of the actual particle velocity within the loop or speed of the loop itself. Ok it may not be speed of light, but eventually will reach the source (just over a day if it is at 30km/sec, sounds a bit slow for a field propagation).
    A muddled description in my writings is due to a muddled reasoning (a kind of thought dyslexia, perhaps I should keep out of complex maters, but it is a challenge) and combined with a bit of ignorance [or is intended to confuse others] , it is certainly not malicious, although may appear to be so to a sceptic. Dr. H. once failing to read my article said: It is somewhat disturbing the Mr. Vukcevic stops his plot at about 1810. The attached plot shows what happens with this formula for earlier dates – it gets totally out of phase with the sunspot cycle! Yes, it does 90 degrees (sin instead of cos).
    Maybe being a sceptic goes with the profession.

  212. vukcevic (13:27:16) :
    As far as spiral is concerned the graph is a free copy of the Parkers spiral from NASA’s website:
    The spiral shows the magnetic field lines, not the electric current.
    If the graph shows a continuous loop, it follows that there is a close circuit current and an opportunity for a feedback.
    The curved lines are magnetic field lines. Although most of the solar wind magnetic field is ‘open’ [extends to ‘infinity’], the magnetic field on CMEs [clouds] is closed [has both feet on the Sun] and spiral inside the loop as the picture shows. Energetic particles will gyrate around the spiraling field lines and can reach us at much higher speeds than the Alfven speed as also cosmic rays can, but these particles do not constitute a current [and certainly not the HCS] as they are accompanied by electrons and the whole ensemble is neutral [the protons can even capture some of the electrons and get a stream of neutral Hydrogen atoms as recently observed http://www.universetoday.com/2008/12/15/the-neutral-hydrogen-gun-a-new-solar-flare-phenomenon/ ]
    If you want magnetospheres to feed something back to the Sun you need them to produce lots of very energetic particles and inject then into the closed magnetic fields of CMEs when they go by. Our spacecraft would have observed these if they exist and we don’t see them.
    There are cases where bodies in the magnetic field of another body react back. There are aurorae on Jupiter that are caused by Io interacting with Jupiter’s magnetic field. But in the case of the Heliomagnetic field, the Sun it the body that injects 99.99…9 % of the particles into the closed fields in the Heliosphere, not the planets, so any planetary effect would completely drown. In fact, we observe electrons going both ways in the closed loops: coming up one leg, going all the way out to the top of the loop, then continuing back to the sun down the other leg, turning around and repeating this many times. The same thing happens in the Earth’s Van Allen Belts. But all these particles do not constitute electrical currents and have nothing to do with the HCS.
    The important point is that whatever particles the magnetospheres produce or accelerate, the Sun makes many, many more, drowning out any planetary contributions.

  213. The population of energetic particles in the heliosphere is modulated by the solar activity. At the solar minimum, the main sources of the energetic particles observed at 1 AU are:
    1. The interstellar medium in the form of galactic cosmic rays observed at energies above 200 MeV for protons and above 3 MeV for electrons
    2. The termination shock in the form of anomalous cosmic rays
    3. The corotating interaction regions which accelerate electrons up to around 300 keV and ions up to a few MeV/nucleon; and
    4. the Jovian magnetosphere that generates electrons observed at 1AU during quiet times in the range from a few hundreds keV to a few MeV.

  214. Leif Svalgaard (19:55:40) :
    to
    vukcevic (13:27:16) :
    the magnetic field on CMEs [clouds] is closed [has both feet on the Sun] and spiral inside the loop as the picture shows. Energetic particles will gyrate around the spiraling field lines and can reach us at much higher speeds than the Alfven speed as also cosmic rays can……….
    There are cases where bodies in the magnetic field of another body react back. There are aurorae on Jupiter that are caused by Io interacting with Jupiter’s magnetic field. But in the case of the Heliomagnetic field, the Sun it the body that injects 99.99…9 % of the particles into the closed fields in the Heliosphere, not the planets, so any planetary effect would completely drown. In fact, we observe electrons going both ways in the closed loops: coming up one leg, going all the way out to the top of the loop, then continuing back to the sun down the other leg, turning around and repeating this many times. The same thing happens in the Earth’s Van Allen Belts. But all these particles do not constitute electrical currents and have nothing to do with the HCS.

    Dr Svalgaard
    Thanks for the comments and the links. I am obviously guilty (among many other things) of using wrong terminology. The above explanation is precisely what I wonted confirmed, i.e. that loop has “has both feet on the Sun”, and the particles circulate within. I do understand that the magnetosphere do not inject anything into the loop.
    However, properties (be it electrical, magnetic, rate of spin, momentum, energy or whatever else) of the loop’s particles will surely change in some way when the loop hits magnetosphere. Current consensus may be that if there are such changes, they may not matter, those particles may not constitute electric current and they cannot initiate feedback, etc. However, the loop is a close circuit and there must be a change within its properties.
    In interest of peace and good will, I shall not mention f (feedback) word. Thanks again.

  215. vukcevic (02:08:34) :
    that loop has “has both feet on the Sun”
    The loops are not part of the ‘regular’ solar wind. They are drawn out by CMEs. If there were no CMEs [like the situation near solar minima where the CME rate is very low] there would be no such loops. So the loops are a consequence of solar activity and not the cause of it.

  216. Leif Svalgaard (04:09:21) :
    to
    vukcevic (02:08:34) :
    that loop has “has both feet on the Sun”
    The loops are not part of the ‘regular’ solar wind. They are drawn out by CMEs. If there were no CMEs [like the situation near solar minima where the CME rate is very low] there would be no such loops. So the loops are a consequence of solar activity and not the cause of it.

    Thanks for the note. I absolutely agree, intention was to imply that magnetic loops provide a bidirectional link (Ok, only in case of CME, avoiding the f word) between a magnetosphere and the Sun’s active regions.
    However at this point I am interested in a point you made in the previous post:
    Although most of the solar wind magnetic field is ‘open’ [extends to ‘infinity’], the magnetic field on CMEs [clouds] is closed [has both feet on the Sun]
    I have some reservation (goes against my logic) towards existence of an open magnetic field. I assume that all lines of the Earth’s magnetic field close within its magnetosphere. Similarly, I would expect that solar wind and interplanetary magnetic fields would close somewhere within outer regions of the heliosphere, before the heliopause.
    Could you recommend one of your many papers with a detailed description of properties and events within HCS.
    Thanks.

  217. vukcevic (05:11:03) :
    that magnetic loops provide a bidirectional link
    The existence of bidirectionality is not interesting. We earthlings are planning to send a spacecraft into to Sun; there is a link from a planet to the Sun. The important thing is how much goes in to Sun compared to what goes out. If the former is minuscule enough it can [and must] be ignored in discussions of what makes the Sun tick.
    I have some reservation (goes against my logic) towards existence of an open magnetic field.
    In science we often employ concepts that are illogical or known to be plainly wrong as long as they are useful. The ‘solar system’ picture of an atom is a good example, or considering gravity to be a force. Same with ‘open’ field lines [which do not exist].
    I assume that all lines of the Earth’s magnetic field close within its magnetosphere. Similarly, I would expect that solar wind and interplanetary magnetic fields would close somewhere within outer regions of the heliosphere, before the heliopause.
    Your assumption is contradicted by direct observations. For the Earth, there are several pieces of evidence that the Earth’s magnetic field leaks out of the magnetopshere:
    1) the Svalgaard-Mansurov effect that shows that solar and terrestrial field lines are directly connected all the time
    2) the importance of ‘southward’ pointing interplanetary magnetic field in generation of magnetic storms and strong aurorae
    3) the ‘polar rain’ where particles from the Sun has direct access along connected field lines to one or the other polar cap depending on the direction of the IMF
    4) direct spacecraft measurements [in the news lately – magnetic portals, etc].
    That solar and Jovian field lines are connected [reaching out of the Jovian magnetosphere] is even an integral part of your own theory [appropriately modified to be physically plausible – i.e. abandoning the speed-of-light electromagnetic feedback].
    Similarly, the solar wind magnetic field is connected with the galactic field, e.g. http://www.ias.ac.in/jarch/jaa/21/431-437.pdf
    Could you recommend one of your many papers with a detailed description of properties and events within HCS.
    Thanks.

  218. vukcevic (05:11:03) :
    Could you recommend one of your many papers with a detailed description of properties and events within HCS.

    Google “heliospheric current sheet” will point you to many papers [not all good].
    A nice illustration of what the current sheet looks like in a meridional cut is Figure 1 of:
    http://icrc2005.tifr.res.in/htm/PAPERS/SH34/jap-miyake-S-abs1-sh34-oral.pdf
    Especially the solar maximum look [figure 1c] is often a surprise to people.

  219. Can’t see hide nor hair of 1010 today.
    Tried the SOLIS data information, but couldn’t find anywhere they keep the data on the Gauss reading for sunspots.
    Maybe that is Livingston’s personal work?

  220. I wrote a new Google search parameter which allowed me to identify additional Sunspot predictions by Dr. David Hathaway, from public websites, without finding too many false positives and/or duplicates. A total of eight (8) additional images were recovered and there are several more candidates to which I don’t have access. New predictions were not issued every month and there was one period during NASA budget cuts then predictions stopped altogether. Here are the latest animated GIF archives and the new months which have been recovered.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SSN_Predict_NASA_Pre2004.gif
    2001-04
    2001-08
    2002-04
    2002-10
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SSN_Predict_NASA.gif
    2004-03
    2005-06
    2007-09
    2007-11
    The newly recovered images for 2007 were a plus because that is the year when it became obvious that the old predictions were not working. If anyone is using my GIF files as a source for edited animations please take note. Remember, other than adding the images to an animated GIF, I have not edited the images in any way. Anyone using the predictions should reference the Wikimedia pages.
    For some reason the Wayback Machine has not been doing a very good job of late, recording changes to Internet websites, which is why I have to go dumpster-diving via Google. There is a timed embargo on archived content but in the last few years the archiving process has not been as complete as it was in the past.
    I will keep looking; nothing is ever completely deleted on the Internet.
    Mike

  221. Re: Tom’s post on low Tropical Cyclone Energy (TCE), I was struck dumb after reading this news report a couple of weeks ago: “Forecaster tips big cyclone season for [Queensland, Australia]”:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/07/2460962.htm
    It contains this quote from long-range weather forecaster Hayden Walker:
    “I base my forecasts on sunspot activity and there’s certainly been an intense
    number of sunspot activities and this time through it’s more prolific than normal,”
    he said.
    Huh? Did I blink and miss these “prolific” sunspots?
    His website can be found here: http://www.worldweather.com.au
    I’m no expert, but it smells of pseudoscientific techobabble.

  222. As a Meteorological Forecaster (37 years in the business), one thing I have learned, is that statistics are nice, but may not account for all the potential dynamics a system can throw our way. How well we do as forecasters is a matter of time and spatial scales we are attempting to forecast, and our understanding of the forecastability of the system. The devil is in the details. Ever see a rain accumulation pattern forecasted in detail by a parameterized statistical model? Statistics are fine, but only go so far in generating estimates of what is really going to happen. In the case of our blank Sun, we may be learning something new that past statistical models do not yet understand. This is a good thing. Forecasting is frequently a humbling art. We should have patience, watch and learn…and have a little mercy on the guy trying to make sense of it.

  223. Kortom, dat hele 2012 is allemaal geklets in de ruimte en hebben en maken we ons zelf gek met al die mooie verhalen over maya’s, poorten en wat nog meer zo zij. Het enigste wat ons mensen dus nog kan redden is een gewapende revolutie tegen alle hebzuchtige graaiers en uitzuigers. Laat liefde heersen via de revolutie. ♥

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