Cosmic Ray Flux and Neutron monitors suggest we may not have hit solar minimum yet

There’s some interesting information of the six month trend of neutrons being detected globally that I want to bring to discussion, but first I thought that a primer on cosmic rays, neutrons, and their interaction with the atmosphere might be helpful to the many layman readers here. – Anthony

This illustration shows the shower of particles produced when Earth's atmosphere is struck by ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (the most energetic particles known in the universe).

The shower of particles produced when Earth's atmosphere is struck by ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (the most energetic particles known in the universe). Source: Simon Swordy/University of Chicago, NASA

Cosmic rays are energetic particles that originate in space and our sun and collide with particles as they zip through our atmosphere.  While they come from all directions in space, and the origination of many of these cosmic rays is unknown, they has recently been shown that a larger percentage emanate from specific deep space sources.  Cosmic rays were originally discovered because of the ionization they produce in our atmosphere. They  cause ionization trails in the atmosphere much like you see in a simple science project called a cloud chamber, shown below:

Using the Wilson cloud chamber, in 1927, Dimitr Skobelzyn photographed the first ghostly tracks left by cosmic rays.

In the past, we have often referred to cosmic rays as “galactic cosmic rays” or GCR’s, because we did not know where they originated. Now scientists have determined that the sun discharges a significant amount of these high-energy particles. “Solar Cosmic Rays” (SCR’s – cosmic rays from the sun) originate in the sun’s chromosphere. Most solar cosmic ray events correlate relatively well with solar flares. However, they tend to be at much lower energies than their galactic cousins.

Because Earth’s atmosphere also reacts much like the ionization trail effect seen in the Wilson cloud chamber, scientists such as Svensmark have postulated that galactic cosmic rays can affect the earth by causing changes in weather and possibly long term climate. Moving at close to the speed of light, these nuclear fragments smash into air molecules hard enough to knock electrons loose. This well-documented process creates negatively and positively chargedions.

Like the cloud trails seen in the Wilson cloud chamber, cosmic ray ionization trails in our atmosphere can act as cloud seeds. Some studies suggest that ions play a central role in creating aerosols. Aerosols are minute but important atmospheric particles that can serve as the cores of growing cloud droplets. Aerosols can cause clouds to form in the upper atmosphere, after the particles collide with other atmospheric particles in the troposphere and conglomerate into larger particles.

Aerosols: Many atmospheric aerosols are liquid droplets containing dissolved sea salt from sea spray, sulfuric acid (H2SO4), organic molecules from trees and plants, and other compounds. Over agricultural and urban areas, dust and soot are common aerosols  Soot particles emanate from incomplete combustion of fuels such coal, wood, oil, jet fuel, and kerosene. Soot consists chiefly of amorphous carbon and tar like substances that cause it to adhere to surfaces. Both liquid and solid aerosols help clouds develop by encouraging the condensation of water vapor, which does not occur readily without an original seed particle of some sort in the air.

A cosmic ray, especially a high energy one from deep space, can cause an entire family tree of smaller particles and ionization trails. See this animation below created by the Cosmus group at the University of Chicago.

The process of a cosmic ray particle colliding with particles in our atmosphere and disintegrating into smaller pions, muons, and the like, is called a cosmic ray shower. These particles can be measured on the Earth’s surface by neutron monitors.

cosmic ray shower icon

Click on figure to view a diagram of a cosmic ray shower

Neutron Monitors. Ground-based neutron monitors detect variations in the approximately 500 Mev to 20 GeV portion of the primary cosmic ray spectrum.

(Note: 1 Mega electron Volt = 1.60217646 × 10-13 joules)

This class of cosmic ray detector is more sensitive in the approximate 500 Mev to 4 GeV portion of the cosmic ray spectrum than are cosmic ray muon detectors. The portion of the cosmic ray spectrum that reaches the Earth’s atmosphere is controlled by the geomagnetic cutoff which varies from a minimum (theoretically zero) at the magnetic poles to a vertical cosmic ray cutoff of about 15 GV (ranging from 13 to 17) in the equatorial regions. (Note: GV is a unit of magnetic rigidity. Magnetic rigidity is a particle’s momentum per unit charge. It is the relevant quantity for characterizing a cosmic ray’s ability to penetrate Earth’s magnetic field.).

The primary cosmic ray particles interact with the atmosphere and generate secondaries, some of which will reach the surface of the Earth.

When the secondary cosmic rays interact in the monitor, (actually in lead surrounding the counters) they cause nuclear disintegrations, or “stars”. These stars are composed of charged fragments and neutrons typically in the energy range of tens to hundreds of MeV (million electron-volts), even up to GeV energies. As a result of these high energy nuclear interactions, there will be more secondary fragments generated than incident particles and hence there is a multiplier effect for the counters. The neutrons are moderated and then counted using Boron tri-fluoride (BF3) proportional counters which are efficient thermal neutron detectors; hence the name neutron monitor.

The original design by Simpson is often designated as an IGY neutron monitor. From that link:

John A. Simpson, at the University of Chicago, invented and developed the neutron monitor over the years 1948-50 and found that the Earth’s magnetic field could be used as a spectrometer to allow measurements of the cosmic ray spectrum down to low primary energies. The magnetic latitude of a particular neutron monitor determines the lowest magnetic rigidity of a primary that can reach the monitor, the so-called “cut-off rigidity”. The station’s altitude determines the amount of absorbing atmosphere above the station and hence the amount of absorption of the secondary cosmic rays (the higher the station, the higher the counting rate). By using a combination of lead (to produce local interactions), paraffin or polyethylene (to moderate or slow down the neutron component) and multiple slow-neutron counters, Simpson greatly increased the counting rate in his monitor design.

The worldwide network neutron monitors that have since been established gather data that have shown there is a correlation between periodic solar activity and the earthly neutron count. For example:

Climax corrected neutron monitor values

This plot shows data from the Climax, Colorado neutron monitor operated by the University of Chicago. The cosmic rays show an inverse relationship to the sunspot cycle because Sun’s magnetic field is stronger during sunspot maximum and shields the Earth from cosmic rays.

Right now we are near the solar minimum, but neutron counts are still increasing. The current science says that if we had passed solar minimum, neutron counts should be decreasing.

Michael Roynane writes today:

The Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware manages five real-time neutron monitors, at widely dispersed locations, all of which indicate that over the last six months cosmic rays are increasing. This would not support the hypothesis that we are past solar minimum and suggests that solar minimum has not yet been reached.

Links to the Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware:

http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/

http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/main.html#stations

Newark, DE Neutron Monitor

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McMurdo Neutron Monitor

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Thule Neutron Monitor

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Fort Smith Neutron Monitor

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Inuvik Neutron Monitor

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Is this statement correct?
“Right now we are near the solar minimum, but neutron counts are still increasing. The current science says that if we had passed solar minimum, neutron counts should be increasing.”
As I read it, it implies that we are past minimum. Should the last word in the quoted text be “decreasing” instead of “increasing?”
REPLY: Fixed thanks. – Anthony

Bob Montle

“Right now we are near the solar minimum, but neutron counts are still increasing. The current science says that if we had passed solar minimum, neutron counts should be increasing.”
Some might be confused here although most will know that you meant ‘decreasing’.
REPLY: Fixed thanks. – Anthony

Jeremy

[quote] Right now we are near the solar minimum, but neutron counts are still increasing. The current science says that if we had passed solar minimum, neutron counts should be increasing. [/quote]
Don’t you intend to say “neutron counts should be decreasing”?
FIXED: Note previous comments – REFRESH THE PAGE PLEASE

The cosmic modulation has a time shift of 6-12 months with respect to solar activity. This is because it takes the solar wind that long to fill the heliosphere [ 100 AU * 4 days per AU ], so if solar ‘minimum’ were 6 months ago, we should only begin to see a decrease in CRs about now or in the next few months.
CR intensity at a given station depends on many things: atmospheric pressure, stratospheric temperature, geomagnetic field ans its variation, even snow on the roof, so different stations see slightly different CR counts as is illustrated by the differences between the various plots referred to. Here is one of my plots that show three stations [Thule, Oulu, and Moscow] that have long -term records; the last year is shown [counts normalized to Thule]: http://www.leif.org/research/Thule-Oulu-Moscow.png

Dan

The cosmic rays of interest in the Svensmark idea are the GCRs, not the SCRs. GCRs decrease during solar maximum while SCRs increase. However, GCRs are more penetrating and thus able to ionize the air just above earth’s surface. This near-surface ionization is hypothesized to increase the concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in clean maritime regions where the natural background CCN concentrations are very small. By boosting CCN concentrations, reslutant clouds consist of more and smaller droplets that give the clouds longer persistence and a higher albedo that increase the shielding of downwelling solar radiation. The result of this process is to cool the ocean surface.

Dan (09:03:05) :
The cosmic rays of interest in the Svensmark idea are the GCRs, not the SCRs. GCRs decrease during solar maximum while SCRs increase.
Almost all cosmic rays we observe are GCRs, not SCRs. The plots shown are of GCRs. SCRs are very rare: in ~60 years of monitoring only about 60 SCR-events have penetrated deep into the atmosphere.

Pamela Gray

In your above post, I think that you meant to say that if minimum had passed cosmic ray count would be decreasing. I am also wondering why it seems to me that three of the graphs look like a pause and even downward trend is evident with two graphs continuing to show an upward tread. However, an eyeball trend could be nothing more than a pause along the way up. So I am just trying to see the graphs the way they are right now and have no idea if counts will continue up, or down. There are so few measuring stations given here it is hard to come to a conclusion. I am wondering if location explains the varying data traces? If so, the end trace could also be affected?
REPLY: I fixed that within about 5 minutes of posting, several commenters also spotted it. Please refresh the page.- Anthony

Tim L

The cosmic modulation has a time shift of 6-12 months with respect to solar activity.
So we have 6-12 months after the first sign of real spots? maybe june of 2010?
uhmm

Pamela Gray

Anthony, just so you know, when I started writing my comment there were no other comments entered yet. I knew what you meant to say and I was more interested in the different trends seen in the graphs. Sorry if I sounded like an echo, but honestly, there were no other comments posted yet.

Pamela Gray

And thanks Leif for the quick review of site issues. If there is one thing we know about here, it is snow on the roof of measuring stations.

Pierre Gosselin

Wow!
Thanks for the highly interesting and informative chapter on
Cosmic Ray Flux.
With every additional passing month of solar pacifism, the closer we get to the brink of another Dalton Minimum – or worse.

Tim L (09:16:33) :
So we have 6-12 months after the first sign of real spots? maybe june of 2010?
uhmm

No, the statistical minimum will be 6-12 months before the CR downturn.
Pamela Gray (09:11:46) :
There are so few measuring stations given here it is hard to come to a conclusion. I am wondering if location explains the varying data traces? If so, the end trace could also be affected?
There is about a 100 observing stations, and they all show slightly varying data [see my post above on that]. People tend to pick a few from that bunch that seems to support their pet opinion. Overall, the picture right now is that the increase has halted and a decrease has started or is imminent [the peaks for odd-even minima tend to be very sharp].

Benjamin P.

This cosmic ray cloud seeding stuff is some new stuff to me. Does anyone have some links to some resources? I am curious about how great an effect this has on cloud formation and the types of increases it can cause on total earth cover, things like that.
I looked on the resource page but did not find exactly what I was looking for, and perhaps, exactly what I am looking for is not out there.

Frederick Michael

Interesting — yet another time lag between the sunspot minimum and global temp effects. I wonder when we’ll see clouds ameliorate the summer melting of arctic sea ice. Last year’s recovery was minimal; this year’s is an important data point. Significant recovery would be a stake through the heart of the AGW preachers.
Does it make any sense to watch the weather forecast for Barrow, AK? The next 10 days show a lot of clouds, but there’s no standard of comparison. Also, the clouds noted in the forecast might not be the ones that matter.

Robert Bateman

I have looked over as many as allow more than 6 mos worth of data (the neutron monitors). I continue to see the uptrend, with some momentary sawtooths dips on the way up.
Since there seems to be a concensus on 6-12 months lag, and given the poor showing of SC24 spots vs SC23 spots, adding in the recent downturn of solar flux, I would then give 6-12 months before GCR graphs show the downramp.
In short, due to the horrific lack of spots, I am going to rely on the flux as my guide.
A very good site is Northwest Research Assoc. Tuc. AZ
http://www.nwra-az.com/spawx/ssne-year.html
They do an effective sunspot based on the flux.
I find it very helpful and insightful work they do there.
Where else can you see the solar activity that is submerged?

Carbone

Leif Svalgaard:
“There is about a 100 observing stations, and they all show slightly varying data…”
Where can I find them?
Thanks.

Ed Zuiderwijk

Svensmark hypothesis is that increased CRF will lead to an increase in cloud formation and therefore change the Earth’s albedo. There is now evidence being collected that the albedo has increased by about 1% since its minimum value in 1998-2000. Re: the “Earthshine Project”:
http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/
A 1% increase would correspond to a decrease of about 14W/msq in the solar forcing, about 3 times the forcing attributed to greenhouse gasses (5W/msq). More than sufficient to explain the recent cooling trend. Conclusion: changes in temperature are dominated by clouds, not by greenhouse gasses.
The question remains, of course, whether the change in albedo is indeed caused by the high CRF, but here the beauty of Svensmark’s work is that it can be tested in the lab. Perhaps he is on the road to a Nobel Prize for himself, a real one, I mean, the one for physics. Good luck to him is what I say.

Robert Bateman

Leif and I disagree on the question of whether GCR’s are uptrending or turning down. We just see it differently.
I see several magnitudes of imbedded trending in GCR graphs. Zoom in to hourly over 6 mos and you get one picture. Zoom out to 1 solar cycle for daily and you get another. Zoom out to several solar cycles for monthly and you get the overall shape of the alternating sharp peaks/gentle mesas.
What is really needed is a monster graph of hourly over a full solar cycle.
That’s where the picture of where we are in terms of trendup vs downramp will be found.

Robert Bateman (09:51:32) :
adding in the recent downturn of solar flux, I would then give 6-12 months before GCR graphs show the downramp.
In short, due to the horrific lack of spots, I am going to rely on the flux as my guide.
A very good site is Northwest Research Assoc. Tuc. AZ
http://www.nwra-az.com/spawx/ssne-year.html

The solar f10.7 flux has been going up since last August. You can see that here: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png and on the plot at the NWRA you just referred to.

Pamela Gray

Leif, I can’t find where I read about why cosmic ray measures during minimum vacillate between flat and sharp. I did an internet search of my question and got nothin. I am going to show my ignorance here but it would seem related to the magnetic polarity switch in sunspots every other cycle, leading to a vacillating weakened magnetic field every other minimum? Just show me where to read.

Robert Bateman (09:58:56) :
What is really needed is a monster graph of hourly over a full solar cycle.
Hourly values are not the best for this as there is a clear daily variation on CRs that has nothing to do with the Sun, but with the fact that the Earth is rotating. Daily values filters out that ‘noise’ are what carry the information. Here are daily values for the past three ‘peaks’ from Moscow:
http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRayFlux2.png
Pamela Gray (10:11:06) :
Leif, I can’t find where I read about why cosmic ray measures during minimum vacillate between flat and sharp.
http://www.atnf.csiro.au/pasa/18_1/duldig/paper/node5.html

Robert Bateman

And the Solar Flux has a lag time too. I cannot tell you why, but it lagged by roughly the same amount in 2008 before it turned down.
I can just barely make it out in 1953-4.
If you took all the fragments of bottomed out solar flux from records and stitched them together, you might be surprised to find 2008-9 staring back at you.
In about 10 minutes, the F10.7 from Penticon will be in. Expecting on the low side of 68 rounded (68.0 – 68.4) and 67 corrected.
It’s crested, flatlined, and much easier to spot due to lack of noise than 2008.
There are some benefits to lackluster Solar activity, this would be an ingnominous one.

Michael Ronayne

Dr. Svalgaard,
I have serious reservations pertaining to the quality of data generated by the Moscow Neutron Counter. If you examine the following graph for the last 670 days there appears to be a significant number of gaps in the historic record, unless we are dealing with a computer graphics error.
Moscow Neutron Monitor (for last 670 days)
http://helios.izmiran.rssi.ru/cosray/days.htm
The Oulu and Thule data correlate well but not Moscow’s.
Moscow Neutron Monitor (since late 1950’)
http://helios.izmiran.rssi.ru/cosray/months.htm
The Moscow neutron monitor is showing a long term downward trend, which is not present in any other neutron monitor to which I have access. I frankly find this to be impossible. This could be an adjustment or calibration issue. Your own website shows a comparison between Oulu and Moscow, where the Moscow data is significantly different from the graphic on the Moscow website for their own data.
http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRayFlux3.png
Your graphic for Thule, Oulu and Moscow, depends very much on how the data is averaged for the points plotted.
http://www.leif.org/research/Thule-Oulu-Moscow.png
Here is the adjusted real-time graphic for the last six months for Oulu, which is consistent with the UDEL.
http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=2008/09/14&starttime=00:00&enddate=2009/03/15&endtime=23:59&resolution=Automatic%20choice&picture=on
The six neutron monitoring stations comprising the UDEL and Oulu are showing continuing increase in cosmic ray activity over the last six months. In the last two weeks there has been a drop in cosmic ray activity but such drops and rebounds are found throughout the six month record. I have no explanation for the behavior of the Moscow neutron monitor but would suggest that a quality control review be conducted for that station. As I suggested above, this could also be software issue, which should be included in the quality control review.
Mike

Robert Bateman (09:58:56) :
Here are daily values for the past three ‘peaks’ from Moscow:
http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRayFlux2.png

I forgot to add a note about the ‘legs’, or up- and down-ramps. They are not symmetric: the down-ramp is steeper than the up-ramp. This is, of course, because the rise of a solar cycle is steeper than the decline.

TinyCO2

The comment by Leif Svalgaard (09:28:59) “the peaks for odd-even minima tend to be very sharp” reminded me of the post – Evidence of a significant solar imprint in annual globally averaged temperature trends part 2. And from there, this-
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/essifigure4.png
The climax neutron record (cosmic ray intensity) is similar to the smoothed HadCRUTv3 (as is the sunspot record as you pointed out at the time). The sharp peaks of the climax neutron chart appear to precede the smaller peaks on the HadCRUTv3 chart and the rounded climax neutron chart peaks precede the higher HadCRUTv3 peaks.
I’m sure I’m seeing patterns where none exist but it’s fascinating anyway, thanks for the very interesting posts!

Robert Bateman (10:54:06) :
And the Solar Flux has a lag time too.
In about 10 minutes, the F10.7 from Penticon will be in. Expecting on the low side of 68 rounded (68.0 – 68.4) and 67 corrected.

Never, EVER, look at the observed flux as a measure of solar activity. ALWAYS use the corrected flux. The corrected flux shows a clear increase since August of last year.

Robert Wood

Ed Zuiderwijk @ 09:58:09
I’m aware of the Earthshine project but cannot find any other attempts to monitor albedo.
Also, when clouds form, isn’t the latent heat of vaporisation released, thus increasing heat transfer upwards as well as reducing incoming radiation?

Allan M R MacRae

References
Veizer & Shaviv 2003 at
http://www.gsajournals.org/archive/1052-5173/13/7/pdf/i1052-5173-13-7-4.pdf
shaviv 2004
http://www.fi.infn.it/conferenze/ecrs2004/Pages/Presentazioni/04%20Shaviv.pdf
google also svensmark henrik cosmic rays
Regards, Allan

Robert Wood

Looking at the Canadian DRAO data, it looks like the flux (adjusted) is still flat-lined.

Robert Wood

Great link, Leif.
I’m still having a hard time thinking of these energetic beasts “drifting” but then on stellar scales…

Robert Bateman

I have looked at the corrected flux, Leif. I graphed it Friday night. It shows to me a flatline with a downturn the last month. Neither the dip of August, the statistical within running range rise, nor the statistical within running range downturn is impressive. It’s not going anywhere. I find it easier to look at the uncorreced as it is graphed daily running and mentally adjust. Someone could write a computer program to generate daily the corrected and the 0.9x corrected, if they really feel it will help. I don’t really need it at this point, others may.
The corrected flux has been running in a statistical flatline since Mid-April 2008.
It’s not going anywhere.

Tnspotter

I am wondering how closely related are these cosmic rays with terrestrial gamma ray bursts which happen in our own atmosphere. I know they are close cousins to types of lightening call blue sprits, perhaps others.
Anyone one with some links (for us low tech folk). I like the fact that Anthony takes the time to word information for those of us without an advance degree in astromony and related fields. But do give me credit for being curious!
I am a real certified spotter and have on several occasions caught odd cloud formation which can not be explained.
Also is it possible the relation with cosmic rays or TGRB causes some storms to produce outflow gusts and boundaries seen on radar. These usually cause new storms to generate 50-100 miles away from the parent thunderstorm. Seems like a great amount of power is released in the skies overhead.

Michael Ronayne (10:55:40) :
Your graphic for Thule, Oulu and Moscow, depends very much on how the data is averaged for the points plotted.
http://www.leif.org/research/Thule-Oulu-Moscow.png

These are simple unbiased monthly averages just normalized to have the same mean over the whole interval shown for plotting purposes. I fail too see how that can introduce anything untowards.
It is common practice to blame the data if they don’t fit. Yet Moscow and Oulu have a correlation coefficient of 0.99 for daily values.

hotrod

Robert Wood (11:09:00) :
Also, when clouds form, isn’t the latent heat of vaporisation released, thus increasing heat transfer upwards as well as reducing incoming radiation?

In the case of large convective storms like supercell thunderstorms, that would be true, warmmoist air is lifted to the tropopause and frozen over a very short time period, effectively carrying all that stored low level heat to 50-65k ft altitude where it should be easily radiated to space. Simultaneously you get, a large shield of dense cloud formed which shades the ground below the storm.
When storm chasing, you can see this effect is strong enough that the shading effect of a near by thunderstorm drastically cuts ground level heating and can prevent additional nearby storm development due to the drop in solar heat gain. You can go from 80-90 deg F in bright sun to temperatures in the 70’s in a matter of minutes and with cold down drafts from the storm you significantly cool the ground level as all that now cooled water falls back to earth. A large thunderstorm is a very efficient heat pump to move low level heat to high altitudes, and shade hundreds of square miles from direct solar heat gain.
Larry

Robert Wood

If you go to the Armargh Observatory pages and search for “Earthshine” you’ll come across a very good powerpoint presentation on the Earth’s albedo and its changes.
http://star.arm.ac.uk/solarphysics.html
Warning: May make Al Gore Warmers sweat a little 🙂
Another warning: The file is 11MBytes, so you might want to download it and look at it off-line.

Robert Bateman

This low-tech fella doesn’t see anything to shout about as far as an impending ramp of SC24 goes.
Nothing has changed for almost 1 full year: We hit bottom and have statistically stayed there.
NASA’s new study grant will have something to study when awarded.
Whether that is studying a statistical solar dud or studing the ramp out of Lodi
is not apparent in my crystal ball, but if nothing changes, the former will greet the awardee.
That’s my point here. Nothing is moving.

Robert Wood (11:14:05) :
Looking at the Canadian DRAO data, it looks like the flux (adjusted) is still flat-lined.
Robert Bateman (11:31:57) :
I have looked at the corrected flux, Leif. I graphed it Friday night. It shows to me a flatline with a downturn the last month.
F10.7 flux has two components:
1) contribution from active regions CAR [just made up these acronyms]
2) ‘slowly varying component’ SVC
The SVC comes about simply because electrons as the move in the solar atmosphere are deflected by other charged particles. Each deflection is an acceleration because of the change of direction, and accelerated charged particles radiate. Since the atmosphere is always there, the SVC does not fall to zero at solar minimum, but only to about 65. This number, 65, is not expected to vary in time, and hasn’t from minimum to minimum. But as the chromosphere heats up and become denser as we go towards solar maximum, the SVC will slowly increase.
The CAR comes from sunspots and other magnetic areas and will vary in proportion to those. Now, besides sunspots there are many other much smaller regions that come and go, called Ephemeral Regions. These also vary a bit with the cycle [but less than the big regions].
The combination of SVC and the part of CAR that come from Ephemeral regions will go up slowly as be climb out of the minimum, and will form the bottom ‘envelope’ of a F10.7 graph as I have indicated by black lines on this one: http://www.leif.org/research/F107-minimum.pdf
You can see the climb-out. On top of this bottom envelope there will be the part of CAR that is directly related to the stronger active regions. The green curve at the bottom of the graph shows the sunspot number. You can see the addition to the pink F10.7 whenever the green curve makes a blip. But the important point is that the F10.7 ‘baseline’ [the SVC] is climbing. The TSI which is shown by the blue symbols also follow a similar lower envelope.

Mike McMillan

Ed Zuiderwijk (09:58:09) :
. . . There is now evidence being collected that the albedo has increased by about 1% since its minimum value in 1998-2000. Re: the “Earthshine Project”:
http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/
A 1% increase would correspond to a decrease of about 14W/msq in the solar forcing, about 3 times the forcing attributed to greenhouse gasses (5W/msq). More than sufficient to explain the recent cooling trend. Conclusion: changes in temperature are dominated by clouds, not by greenhouse gasses
.
Good link. From a paper in their bibliography, we have a graph showing an albedo decline to a sharp trough in 1998, with a rise thereafter.
http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Palle_etal_2004_Science.pdf
Figure 3 shows a coincidence with the AGW temp climb to the peak temp of 1998. Perhaps the temp trend is a result not of complete combustion to CO2, but incomplete combustion to aerosols.
So the Chinese with their new coal-fired power plant per week we are to blame after all.
The only answer is nuclear power (until we can get enough windmills built using subsidies from Chinese lending while waiting for fusion reactors to come on line).
Ed Zuiderwijk is right, though. An albedo change can far outweigh even the most enthusiastic CO2 sensitivity multiplier plugged into one of the global climate models.

Robert Bateman (09:58:56) :
What is really needed is a monster graph of hourly over a full solar cycle.
Hourly data for Thule since 2007 is here: http://www.leif.org/research/Thule-Neutron-Monitor-2007-Now.png
The pink line fit has little significance as such fits have no real predictive power, but is meant to draw your eye, of course.

tetris

Robert Wood / Ed Zuiderwijk
It is our growing understanding that clouds/water vapour in fact act as a negative forcing [contrary to IPCC dogma] that is causing heartburn amongst AGW/ACC proponents. The recent Paltridge et. al. paper came under heavy fire from the Team and Co for suggesting precisely that, and the same group are doing everything to pretend that Svensmark, Spencer and Christy and their peer reviewed work don’t exist.

John F. Hultquist

Very interesting stuff and a very nice summary with all the charts. What about the spike on the right of the McMurdo graph? Is this sort of thing common? It is the most extreme of the spikes in these graphs and all the others seem to be followed by regressing toward the mean.
And Leif, thanks for the comment on SCR vs. GCR – I was wondering what was going on there.

Robert Bateman

Yes, exactly, Leif. It rolled @ 2007.65 and is doing the same thing right now starting 2009.1x. Which way will Thule go from here? The past doesn’t predict the future, but it does give us an idea of what to expect.

John F. Hultquist (13:41:48) :
What about the spike on the right of the McMurdo graph? Is this sort of thing common?
This is raw data and still has to be quality-controlled.
If you look at this one from Thule:
http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//realtime/thule.html
you can see a red dot near the bottom of the first graph. It is an hourly value that is ‘out of order’ probably due to some noise. It also shows up in the blue curve which is a running mean as a spike.
Some of these spikes can also be real random variations of the count rate. The thing NOT to do is to go ga-ga over the spikes and ascribe things to them.

Michael Ronayne

Leif Svalgaard (11:52:54) :
Dr. Svalgaard,
Over averaging highly variable data masks the day to day changes within the dataset creating the illusion that the data is better behaved than it really is. For Thule and Oulu the downturn occurs in only the last month (February 2009) plotted. Only the Moscow neutron monitor is showing a sustained decrease in cosmic ray activity.
The plots I have generated directly from the Oulu database are in good agreement with your plots for that station. My concern is for the long-term correlation of Moscow with other neutron monitoring stations because of my perception that there is an increasing negative bias in the data over time.
As I indicated at SC24 I want to download the adjusted neutron monitor data and play with the numbers myself. I really don’t have any preconceived notions about the data but I don‘t understand the behavior of the Moscow. Admittedly I could be wrong and if I find that I am will so report that fact. The graphics from UDEL are updated daily so we will be able visually track cosmic ray activity for those five stations. For now there are six easily accessible real-time neutron monitors that are showing increasing cosmic rays activity over a six month period and one which is not. Given the variability in the data it will take several months do determine if there is a significant change in cosmic ray activity.
Mike

Ray Harper UK

Benjamin P
Cosmic ray influence May I suggest you read “The Chjlling Stars” by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder. The answers are all there.

psi

Benjamin P. (09:38:15) :
This cosmic ray cloud seeding stuff is some new stuff to me. Does anyone have some links to some resources? I am curious about how great an effect this has on cloud formation and the types of increases it can cause on total earth cover, things like that.
I looked on the resource page but did not find exactly what I was looking for, and perhaps, exactly what I am looking for is not out there.

Here you go:
http://www.amazon.com/Chilling-Stars-Theory-Climate-Change/dp/1840468157

Just Want Truth...

“Ed Zuiderwijk (09:58:09) : Conclusion: changes in temperature are dominated by clouds, not by greenhouse gasses.”
Not to be picky on you Ed, but here’s some blogger peer review (maybe BPR–Blogger Peer Review–should be added to the glossary) : clouds are H2O. H2O is a greenhouse gas.
Cooling from a greenhouse gas, hmm… interesting, huh.

David Archibald

Predictive power? I’ve got plenty. Oulu will peak at approximately 6900 in mid-2010.

John F. Hultquist

Thanks Leif, regarding real-time nature of those charts.
Of general interest, I went back and looked at the “Climax Corrected” values in the first chart – top of page (blue line) and sunspots (yellow). Herein the data points are monthly mean counts per hour per 1000 for the neutron monitor values over a 50+ year period. The five charts with the red lines (from Newark, McMurdo,…) are hour averages per 100 over six months.
I’m learning to watch for these scale changes, including the occasional inverted scales in some of these posts. It does help to pay attention to details. Thanks to all the contributors here.