NASA solicits new studies on the current solar minimum

This is interesting. It seems that NASA has taken an interest in the current solar minimum and is getting ready to launch one or more studies about it. They are soliciting proposals. Leif, here is your chance. – Anthony

http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/hansentrip2.jpg

From this NASA document (PDF here)

ROSES-09 Amendment 1: New proposal opportunity in Appendix B.9:

Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 23

This amendment establishes a new program element in Appendix B.9

entitled gCauses and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle

23.h This new program element solicits proposals to study the causes

and consequences of the minimum of Solar Cycle 23. Proposals are

encouraged that take advantage of this opportunity with studies of

domains ranging from the center of the Sun through terrestrial and

planetary space environments to the boundary of the heliosphere. High

priority will be given to studies addressing the interaction between

various regimes.

Notices of Intent to propose are due April 17, 2009, and proposals

are due June 5, 2009.

On or about March 6, 2009, this Amendment to the NASA Research

Announcement gResearch Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences

(ROSES) 2009 (NNH09ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research

opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ (select

gSolicitationsh then gOpen Solicitationsh then gNNH09ZDA001Nh).

Further information about the Causes and Consequences of the Minimum

of Solar Cycle 23 program element is available from Dr. Mary Mellott,

Heliophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA

Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546; Telephone: (202) 358-0893;

E-mail: mary.m.mellott@nasa.gov.

Michael Ronanye writes:

This is a three year project with funding of 1.5 million dollars per year and total funding of 4.5 million dollars over the life of the project. This is a very good insurance and CYA policy on NASA’s part. They may get some interesting research out of the project and if conditions on the Sun take an unexpected turn, they can always say: “Yes Senator, NASA was right of top of the situation and we funded this new project on 3/5/2009”!

From the document:

.9 CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE MINIMUM OF SOLAR CYCLE 23

http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/view….B.9%20CCMSC.pdf

B.9 CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE MINIMUM OF SOLAR CYCLE 23

1. Scope of Program

In 2009, we are in the midst of the minimum of solar activity that marks the end of Solar Cycle 23. As this cycle comes to an end we are recognizing, in retrospect, that the Sun has been extraordinarily quiet during this particular Solar Cycle minimum. This is evidenced in records of both solar activity and the response to it of the terrestrial space environment. For example:

Causes – Solar output

  • Lowest sustained solar radio flux since the F 10.7 proxy was created in 1947;
  • Solar wind global pressure the lowest observed since the beginning of the Space age;
  • Unusually high tilt angle of the solar dipole throughout the current solar minimum;
  • Solar wind magnetic field 36% weaker than during the minimum of Solar Cycle 22;
  • Effectively no sunspots;
  • The absence of a classical quiescent equatorial streamer belt; and
  • Cosmic rays at near record-high levels.

Consequences

  • With the exception of 1934, 2008 had more instances of 3-hr periods with Kp=0 than any other year since the creation of the index in 1932;
  • Cold contracted ionosphere and upper atmosphere; and
  • Remarkably persistent recurrent geomagnetic activity.

Thus, we have an unprecedented opportunity to characterize the quiet/background state of the heliosphere when the solar source function is as close to the ground state as it has been in the modern era.

NASA’s Heliophysics Division wishes to facilitate study of this special period. This ROSES element thus solicits proposals to study the Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 23 (CCMSC). Proposals are encouraged that take advantage of this opportunity with studies of domains ranging from the center of the Sun through terrestrial and planetary space environments to the boundary of the heliosphere. High priority will be given to studies addressing the interaction between various regimes.

Taking maximum advantage of this opportunity will require interaction between specialists in different regimes. Selected Principal Investigators will have responsibilities for both their own specific research and for participation in a yearly workshop where all the CCMSC investigators will be brought together to explore the implications of their own work for other regions. Proposals should address both of these responsibilities.

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Pat

“Michael Ronanye writes:
This is a three year project with funding of 1.5 million dollars per year and total funding of 4.5 million dollars over the life of the project. This is a very good insurance and CYA policy on NASA’s part. They may get some interesting research out of the project and if conditions on the Sun take an unexpected turn, they can always say: “Yes Senator, NASA was right of top of the situation and we funded this new project on 3/5/2009”!”
CYA policy? Cover Your A$$? I thought the science was settled, the Sun does not affect of influence climate, only the Co2 released when we drive our SUV and other fossil fuled lifestyle choices.

Policyguy

What a fabulous opportunity!
NASA should be commended. If projections for a continued quiet sun are correct, there will be an extended opportunity. Leif, list some topics…

Tom

It’s a good thing their acting so quickly, this minimum’s not getting any younger.

I am relatively new to all of this (several months now). However, it seems absolutely extraordinary that NASA is just now recognizing publicly that the sun seems to be defying predictions.
I wonder what Hansen’s take on this is.

Leon Brozyna

Oh bless their poor little hearts.
They do mean well.
I see the pdf links still show the document giving the study as solar cycle 24 minimum. You would think that by now they’d have corrected their correction.

Graeme Rodaughan

An excellent opportunity for a career change for a certain Mr J Hansen.

OK, I tried following those links and ended up with this:
Science+Mission+Directorate
NASA Research Announcement
Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 24
Solicitation: NNH09ZDA001N-CCMSC
Dates
Release
Feb 13, 2009
CCMSC09 NOIs Due
Apr 17, 2009
CCMSC09 Proposals Due
Jun 05, 2009
Announcement Documents
Summary of Solicitation (.PDF)
Table 2. Solicited Research Program as amended (in order of proposal due dates)(.HTML)
Table 3. Solicited Research Programs as amended (in order of Appendices A,B,C,D and E)(.HTML)
B.1 Heliophysics Overview (.PDF)
B.9 Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 24 as clarified (.PDF)
Program Element Information
Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) – 2009
List of Program Elements
Notices
The description of the specific proposal opportunity on this page is contained in the document ‘B.9 Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 24.’ This document is kept up to date and incorporates amendments in a clearly identifiable manner.
ROSES-2009 is an omnibus NASA Research Announcement. It contains over 50 different proposal opportunities. In the “Announcement Documents” section above, the document ‘Summary of Solicitation’ describes the common requirements for all ROSES-2009 proposal opportunities; all proposers must satisfy the proposal requirements in the ‘Summary of Solicitation’. The documents ‘Table 2’ and ‘Table 3’ contain the list of all proposal opportunities and their due dates. The document ‘B.1 Heliophysics Overview’ describes research activities within the NASA science division that is managing the specific proposal opportunity on this page. The document ‘B.9 Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 24’ describes the specific proposal opportunity on this page. All of these documents are kept up to date and incorporate amendments in a clearly identifiable manner.
I don’t think Dr. Svaalgard may want to involve himself just yet. It’s still the same weird stuff covered in your earlier post abiut the end of Cycle 24. Someone at NASA is joking maybe?

Policyguy

Leif,
Partially OT… Did we see solar flux dip below 69 this weeK?

savethesharks

Meanwhile….during all of this confusion….one of the NASA leaders….even though other emergencies such as the sun, warrant dire concern…he takes the time to become a civil activist and do his Youtube AGW/snowbound protest thing.
Why is NASA having to do a last-ditch desperate RFP?? Its because of the abject failure of its leaders!! Case in Point: James Hansen

Jim G

Nasa is a pretty big organization.
At least the solar sciences division seems interested in advancing our knowledge of the sun-earth environment.
Even Hathaway has acknowleged that the current solar minimum is going to ferret out and dispense with various solar cylce theories.
(Hopefully he is including his own).

MDDwave

What does in the “Causes – Solar output. . . Cosmic rays at near record-high levels” mean? I must have missed the discussions on near record-high level cosmic rays.

Glenn

Scientific theories are well tested explanations of natural phenomena.
When it comes to solar cycles, there ain’t one.

Claude Harvey

Proposals: “Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle
23 (or Cycle 24; we’re not sure)”
I can save the boys and girls at NASA $4.5 million by skipping the proposal stage and hoofing it right to my final, absolutely free conclusions:
1) Causes – A dearth of sunspots.
2) Consequences –
A) A booming market for snow shovels and “woollies”.
B) Class action “windmill ice projectiles destroyed my home” lawsuits.
C) Class action “clouds starved my solar farm” lawsuits.
D) Announcement by NASA that their global warming computers predicted a “mini-ice age” would immediately precede the “smoking ruin” phase of AGW.
E) Nobel Committee demands return of their Prize.
F) NOAA announces the freezing point of water has risen to 50 degrees F.
G) N.Y. Times reports that noodling the aardvarks has buggered the jim-jams.

David Archibald

Of course I will be applying for a grant. I might as well get paid for something I have been doing for free. My biggest qualification is that I have no formal training in the field. That reminds me of a letter to the editor of the local newspaper complaining that I am not a climate scientist. In my reply, I said “From my telephone conversation with Mr Crisp, I understand that he is a doctor. I am not a doctor, and have no medical training whatsoever, but I am the inventor of a patent on a cancer drug that has successfully completed in vitro trials at Queensland University, with a recommendation from the professors involved to proceed to human trials. We are not limited by our qualifications, but only by our imaginations. Unfortunately I have been distracted from cancer research somewhat by the immediate threat to Western Civilisation from the global warming zealots.” I am still time short, but when NASA makes a cry for help, how could we fail to respond? It would be heartless to stand idly by while they have made plain their need for fresh thinking from outside the same old stale solar physics community. The only people standing tall now are the wavelet people like Clilverd (who I will engage as a subcontractor) who predicted a small Solar Cycle 24 well in advance. My contribution was to say that if 24 is going to be small, then 23 is going to be long, and the first sign of a small 24 will be a long 23. It has come to pass, almost 13 years now.
I am less tentative on the F 10.7 flux. If it hits 68, then the minimum definitely is not in yet.

CodeTech

This is the closest I’ve seen to NASA suggesting maybe they don’t have a handle on everything. That in itself is interesting… I’d like to see NOAA, who understands everything, do the same.
Well, personally I’ve heard many people say there is nothing unusual about this minimum, but obviously there is. Maybe knowing the causes is still a long way off, but I am concerned about the consequences. Do solar funks lead to climate cooling? I honestly hope not!

E.M.Smith

Well I’m glade they finally decided the sun matters… and that the lack of spots was a bit unusual… BTW, this shows Okhotsky Sea icing up:
http://sharaku.eorc.jaxa.jp/cgi-bin/adeos2/seaice/seaice.cgi?lang=e&mode=large&sen=P1AME&area=okh&pro=IC0
Weren’t we supposed to be having record melt and sunbathing polar bears?

rephelan (20:20:33) :
They dont make it easy do they….I got totally lost myself.

tallbloke

Graeme Rodaughan (20:20:29) :
An excellent opportunity for a career change for a certain Mr J Hansen.

After all, he is qualified in astrophysics not climatology.

Trevor

Does this mean that NASA is acknowledging the correlation of low solar activity with high cosmic ray levels?

ROM

Reverence for NASA by it’s tax payer owners does not seem to be very strong characteristic of this forum!

Robert Bateman

David: The flux ‘broke over’ on approx. Feb 15th. Heading down at 1 flux unit per month. If it doesn’t stop doing that, it’s light’s out for minimum.
The sun, like a good Leapord, can’t change it’s spots.
That’s my contribution: Terrestrial Perihelion does not coincide with max flux.

Robert Bateman

Do solar funks lead to climate cooling? I honestly hope not!
According to solar measurements and proxies matching up with literature from selected times, yes, they certainly do.
They are not all created equal, though. Some are quite momentary and do other equally rough things to climate. Like generate dust bowls.
We are in this thing deep enough right now to feel the power, no matter what else happens.
NASA’s problem, along with a select few other agencies, has found itself in bed with the wrong idealogy. They don’t need another 3 years to study this, just follow what Eddy investigated and read the literary works. It’s there.
Consequences.

Alan the Brit

As I have said before, many years ago (30+) the BBC (when it was a great publicly funded & INDEPENDENT broadcaster) prodiced a “Horizon” programme (When it too was a great prgoramme) about sunspots. They highlighted how patterns could be drawn from sunspot activity & correlated with historical events, the rise & fall of Hilter, the rise & fall of Beatlemania, even the rise & fall of dress lengths, etc!!!!! This is to name a few recent events, & yes it all may be completely coincidental as always. I wonder though if in many years from now, a pattern will be observed in the rise of greenism, its radical fanaticism peaking in 1998, to a steady yet whimpering decline in the early part of this century, as cooler times prevail? I still have that sneaky suspicion that mankind is not completely aloof to such influences, were they to exist. Please, don’t think I’m a voodoo addict or anything like that, far from it, but I wouldn’t place any bets just yet! As I understand the humble bee relies upon the sun for navigation, how do we really know we are not influenced by it in some weird way? Oh well time will tell.

Bob Shapiro

It will be interesting yo see the names of those actually granted money for this research.
My guess is that there will be several proposals from AGW believers and skeptics alike; so how will NASA choose?

TonyS

I always smile when I think about NASA’s “What’s Wrong with the Sun? (Nothing)” headline from July 11, 2008.
Of course nothing is “wrong” with the sun, it’s just that we don’t understand its current behavior. The last time the sun behaved comparable to today was when we humans started counting sunspots… Not much data to compare – exciting times! (Of course it could become very cold…)

Pat

Just watched the world temperatures forecast on SBS (Australia) tonight, and still the NH looks so very very cold. Chicago -14c, not f, c!!!! That’s cold! Catastrophic global warming must be on holiday (On the Sun).

Mark

“Proposals are encouraged that take advantage of this opportunity with studies of domains ranging from the center of the Sun through terrestrial and planetary space environments to the boundary of the heliosphere. High priority will be given to studies addressing the interaction between
various regimes.”
Perhaps Svensmark could tap into this funding to support his research into impacts on earth’s climate. BTW, has anyone seen any data on changes to lower atmosphere cloud cover levels in the last 2 years?

Rhys Jaggar

Well, they can at least fund one Professor and a few postdocs for 3 years on that.
Not exactly ‘balancing up the research streams’, but it’s a move in the right direction.
Perhaps there could be a further research funding stream covering: ‘The effects and outcomes of high profile, media-driven worst-case scenario prognostications by economists and soul-selling climatologists’ OR ‘If I were Tom Cruise, I could screw a thousand women and make one hundred million dollars before I was 40. Now isn’t that a good reason for me to take on a $200,000 mortgage on a salary of $12000pa?!’
A good debate to be requested from Nancy Pelosi and Mick Martin in those sanctums of open-minded enquiry, debate and decision-making, The Houses of Congress and Commons……
IMHO.

Babkock-Leighton solar dynamo hypothesis goes something like this:
Late in the sunspot cycle, the leading spots diffuse across the equator and cancel with the opposite polarity leading spots in the other hemisphere Due to the Coriolis force during the flux tube emergence, the sunspot pairs are tilted to the E-W direction The flux of the trailing spots and of the remaining sunspot pairs is carried toward the poles where it accumulates to form the poloidal field of the next solar cycle.
This hypothesis is basis of the NASA’s current understanding. I suggest a detailed re-examination of this hypothesis is required, before any progress can be made in the understanding not only of this one, but other major (Maunder, Dalton, and possibly new one due around 2025) minima.

Ole Dyring

MDDwave wrote:
“What does in the “Causes – Solar output. . . Cosmic rays at near record-high levels” mean? I must have missed the discussions on near record-high level cosmic rays.”
It means that the Solar winds are now pushing less of the Cosmic rays back into outer space, causing more Cosmic rays to hit Earth’s atmosphere, causing more clouds to build up (according to Svensmark’s theory) and possibly causing the Global temperature to drop.

Pat (19:29:06) :

CYA policy? Cover Your A$$? I thought the science was settled, the Sun does not affect of influence climate, only the Co2 released when we drive our SUV and other fossil fuled [sic] lifestyle choices.

Oh calm down. I saw nothing in the release about studying climate, only the Sun and first order related effects (e.g. cold contracted ionosphere). This isn’t a request from NASA’s GISS, it’s from NASA’s Heliophysics Division.
I won’t hazard a guess as how they would consider a proposal take advantage of this unique opportunity to look for climate effects related to this remarkable minimum.

David Corcoran

MDDwave (22:06:33) :
What does in the “Causes – Solar output. . . Cosmic rays at near record-high levels” mean? I must have missed the discussions on near record-high level cosmic rays.

The solar wind is reduced during solar minima:

Flagging solar wind has repercussions across the entire solar system—beginning with the heliosphere.
The heliosphere is a bubble of magnetism springing from the sun and inflated to colossal proportions by the solar wind. Every planet from Mercury to Pluto and beyond is inside it. The heliosphere is our solar system’s first line of defense against galactic cosmic rays. High-energy particles from black holes and supernovas try to enter the solar system, but most are deflected by the heliosphere’s magnetic fields.
“The solar wind isn’t inflating the heliosphere as much as it used to,” says McComas. “That means less shielding against cosmic rays.”
In addition to weakened solar wind, “Ulysses also finds that the sun’s underlying magnetic field has weakened by more than 30% since the mid-1990s,” says Posner. “This reduces natural shielding even more.”

Solar Wind Loses Power, Hits 50-year Low

Greylar

You mean that this solar minimum isn’t normal? Everything I have read from NASA to this point has essentially said… “nothing to see here… move along”
LOL I am just a layman, not in any way associated with the study of space or the sun, and even I could see a year ago that there was something unusual about this cycle.
G

schnurrp

Beautiful graphic! May not mean anything but certainly communicates. We’ll see.

realitycheck

Re: Graeme Rodaughan (20:20:29) :
“An excellent opportunity for a career change for a certain Mr J Hansen.”
The only career change I think would be appropriate would for NASA to hand him his pink slip.
On this article…. Its great that NASA (after presumably MONTHS of endless and tireless research and analysis /sarc off) have established the Sun may be behaving a little unusually perhaps significantly so (time and analysis will tell) and are going to devote some research time to look at it closer. I genuinely look forward to their findings.
However, in typical NASA fashion, they are a tad late to the bleedin party! – In other breaking news, NASA to study daylight and why it goes away at night…

MattB

Of hose bulit points NASA put out the one that scares me the mos is this one
Unusually high tilt angle of the solar dipole throughout the current solar minimum
Note no formal training in this, but that just seems to me to be a little bit of an issue.
For MDDwave, I am not sure about cosmic ray’s from our sun as it were, but I would suspect that the lower solar wind has appropriatly affected the earths magnetic field, which theoretically let more in to the atmosphere (by other theory’s this then provides nucleation points for clouds)

Llanfar

[cite][b]David Archibald (23:06:15)[/b]
I am less tentative on the F 10.7 flux. If it hits 68, then the minimum definitely is not in yet.[/cite]
Are the numbers in the sidebar (from http://n0nbh.com ) adjusted for distance?

Douglas DC

I asked my non-scientist wife:”Which of the two halves of the Sun(pictured above)
are the scariest to you?” “The one on the right.-it says there is something very,very,
quiet-er, DISquieting going on.”
I’m building a Green house BTW…

Morgan

David Archibald said “I am less tentative on the F 10.7 flux. If it hits 68, then the minimum definitely is not in yet.”
I have a slightly off-topic question about the flux for David, Lief, or anyone else who has an answer – is the strength of flux measured at Earth impacted by the amount of “space dust” (particles of whatever) between the Sun and the Earth? If so, is that taken into account in the adjustment that’s applied for Earth/Sun distance?

Patrick Powell

Pat (03:00:24) :
Just watched the world temperatures forecast on SBS (Australia) tonight, and still the NH looks so very very cold. Chicago -14c, not f, c!!!! That’s cold!

Pat,
-14° C is around +7° F
-14° F is about -26° C
Either way is cold, but F!!! not C is colder. Just teasin’ you metric users…. ha!

MattB

last F10.7 I saw adjusted for 1AU was 66.0. I also have noticed the Ap index tending to be under 2 for a while, a few days ago it made it down to 0.385.

Jim Stegman

Kudos to NASA, I think this will be money well spent.

Vinny

NASA;
After careful analysis we have determined that the current lack of sunspots is a direct result of a global warming byproduct here on Earth. This lack of activity has been predicted by both Hanson and Gore hence it will now be called from this time forward. The Hanson-Gore Effect.

mark wagner


Lowest sustained solar radio flux since the F 10.7 proxy was created in 1947;
Solar wind global pressure the lowest observed since the beginning of the Space age;
Unusually high tilt angle of the solar dipole throughout the current solar minimum;
Solar wind magnetic field 36% weaker than during the minimum of Solar Cycle 22;
Effectively no sunspots;
The absence of a classical quiescent equatorial streamer belt; and
Cosmic rays at near record-high levels.

Of course, none of this could have any impact on global temperatures. None.

mark wagner

sry. I ‘d when I shoulda ‘d.

LAShaffer

Why stop at the boundary of the heliosphere? We have been mapping “temperature” variations in galactic neutral hydrogen outside of the heliosphere since the 70’s. Surely changes in the number, temperature, and electrical charge of particles streaming into the heliosphere through the solar apex have some impact on the interior? Or is that too simple? They couldn’t possibly believe that the heliosphere is a closed system, right? Or are those dumb questions?

Tim L

No, no, no, This is not in error!!!!!!! cycle 24 may be done, or not,
this is the point to the research . It is WAY over our heads people.
Dr. Hathoway is tossing in the towel!!!! you see any new predictions?
and you won’t.
links.. and read this!!!!!
ttp://spaceweb.oulu.fi/~kalevi/publications/non-refereed2/ESA_SP477_lostcycle.pdf
Standard numbering New numbering
–min —max ——— min—- max
4 1784.3 1788.4 —-3 1784.3 1788.4
–1793.1.———- 4 1795
5 1798.7 1802.——5 1799.8 1802.5
6 1810.8 1817.1—– 6 1810.8 1817.1
7 1823 1829.6——-7 1823 1829.6
Leif?
You said ” short cycles = less TSI” and I said ” long cycles were cooler”
WELL this explains my confusion, you see the short cycles work, instead of a long cycle. this changes everything…. get it?
Anna V? you see this too?
This is my second post from 11/3 Tim L (19:53:21) :
anyone want to ponder this?????????

Ray

Instead of sending a telescope to try to find earth-like planets, maybe they should send 3 telescopes to study the sunspot/solar activity/cycles of 1) a young star, 2) a sun-like star and 3) an old star.
That could be a good proposal that could span 50 years of research and financing.

Robert Bateman

The Hansen-Gore Effect is as advertised: A Snowjob.
They must have hired a 1,000 writers to come up with everything under the Sun is caused by C02. All you got to do to get a piece of the pie is to imagine something that is caused by C02 increase. $$$ is waiting for you.
I have one: C02 increase is causing mass hysteria, countered only by the increased cold.

LAShaffer

Accept the truth, deniers! CO2 is a magical gas species which exhibits properties “in the wild” that no one has been able to coax it into exhibiting in a laboratory. The science is settled! Science = magic.
Seriously, though, I just realized that I made a technical mistake in my first post. “through the solar apex” should have more correctly been stated “from the point on the heliopause where STEREO mapped double asymmetrical Hydrogen ENA peaks shortly after being commissioned”. Which just happens to be in the same direction as solar apex. My mistake.