A look at: Solar Wind Flow Pressure – Another Indication of Solar Downtrend?

I initially wrote this article using data only from David Archibald, but within a couple of minutes I was given some broader data from Leif Svalgaard, so I have rewritten this to include both resources in the interest of  seeing the broader perspective. – Anthony

Last September WUWT covered NASA’s press conference on the state of the sun. One of the announcements was this:

Sept. 23, 2008: In a briefing today at NASA headquarters, solar physicists announced that the solar wind is losing power.

“The average pressure of the solar wind has dropped more than 20% since the mid-1990s,” says Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “This is the weakest it’s been since we began monitoring solar wind almost 50 years ago.”

From Wiki:

The solar wind is a stream of charged particles—a plasma—ejected from the upper atmosphere of the sun. It consists mostly of electrons and protons with energies of about 1 keV. The stream of particles varies in temperature and speed with the passage of time. These particles are able to escape the sun’s gravity, in part because of the high temperature of the corona, but also because of high kinetic energy that particles gain through a process that is not well-understood.

The solar wind creates the Heliosphere, a vast bubble in the interstellar medium surrounding the solar system. Other phenomena include geomagnetic storms that can knock out power grids on Earth, the aurorae such as the Northern Lights, and the plasma tails of comets that always point away from the sun.

The solar wind is a stream of charged particles—a plasma—ejected from the upper atmosphere of the sun. It consists mostly of electrons and protons with energies of about 1 keV. The stream of particles varies in temperature and speed with the passage of time. These particles are able to escape the sun’s gravity, in part because of the high temperature of the corona, but also because of high kinetic energy that particles gain through a process that is not well-understood.

The solar wind creates the Heliosphere, a vast bubble in the interstellar medium surrounding the solar system. Other phenomena include geomagnetic storms that can knock out power grids on Earth, the aurorae such as the Northern Lights, and the plasma tails of comets that always point away from the sun.

Solar Wind Flow Pressure is something that is tracked daily by the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) For example they display a nifty solar wind dashboard gauge on Space Weather Now that shows “dynamic pressure”:

sw_dials

Click dial for an explanation of the readings

Dynamic Pressure Dial:

Ranges from 0.1 to 100 nPa. The scale is log10 over the full range. If the density or speed data are missing, the arrow will not appear. The arrow will move to the location on the scale corresponding to the actual value of the latest 15 minute average of the Dynamic Pressure P of the solar wind. Dynamic Pressure is a function of speed and density.

David Archibald writes:

Robert Bateman’s graphic of the solar wind sent me in search of a longer time series.  I found a longer one, and one that is a more accurate indication of the force that is pushing the galactic cosmic rays out from the inner planets of the solar system.  It is the three month smoothed, 27 day average of the solar wind flow pressure.  The data is from the Omniweb site.

Archibald_solar_wind_pressure2

The narrow downtrend channel that started in 2005 is quite evident.  Before that it was trendless, and didn’t change with solar cycle amplitude.  The volatility within the downtrend is much less than it was prior to 2005.  Also evident is a big oscillation in 2004, which may be an artefact of a switch that changed the mode.

From this chart, solar activity is still falling until the downtrend channel is broken.  As the solar wind takes a year to reach the heliopause, the Oulu neutron count will continue to rise for the next year.  But just as the Earth’s atmosphere has shrunk, the heliopause will also be shrinking.

However this Archibald graph only shows a narrow slice of the entire data picture, Leif Svalgaard has an OMNI2 dataset that tracks back to 1963:

While we can indeed see the current downtrend since 1997, we have had periods before where the solar wind has been almost as low .  Though NASA said last year “This is the weakest it’s been since we began monitoring solar wind almost 50 years ago.”.

There is an overall down trend since 1992, with a short plateau at the last solar max around year 2000-2004, followed by another downtrend starting about 2005.

In terms on the sun’s history (if it were compared to a day) we have about a microsecond worth of data out of that day on display above. So what conclusion, if any, can we draw from it? The only one I can see is it showing reduced solar activity, but nothing profound (in terms of the solar wind data we have) except that. We see a low period of similar amplitude around 1970, but it is noisier. The trend we’ve seen since 2005 is less noisy, which is inline with the quiet sun we have observed recently.

Let’s hope sol gets the magneto revved up again.

UPDATE: I had written to David Archibald, saying  that “the broader data set to 1963 didn’t agree with your conclusions”, and he wrote back within about 15 minutes and provided a new graph:

Anthony, Agreed, and thankyou.

I went back to find the larger data set, as follows:

click for larger image

click for larger image

It is evident that the longer picture is more complicated.  The correlation with solar minima and maxima is quite poor.  Activity did not recover into Solar Cycle 23.

Yours sincerely,

David Archibald

So now we have all the makings of a good debate.

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Steptoe Fan

So what ? , we’re past the science, now , don’t try to tell us that ANYTHING is going to change the coming AGW doom we have modeled !

Please note: Solar Wind = Cosmic Ray Shielding.
Thus Low Solar Wind = High Cosmic Ray intensity.
High Cosmic Rays = More Cirrus Clouds. (Svendsmark)
More Cirrus Clouds = More Cloud Systems.
More Cloud Systems = More Albedo or reflection of incoming visible AS IT COMES IN.
Net result: Gorebull Cooling.
Prediction: Hammer Hard Winter – North America, Russian & Europe, this
year.
(Ouch, I live in Minnesocold)

Mick

What’s wrong with this logic?
If the Solar wind is declining the Earth atmosphere should expand.
Before the declining trend the atmosphere was compressed.
Compressed gas heat up….

And extrapolating the “downtrend channel”, indicates zero pressure in
Dec. 2012?
Time to make a tin-foil hat to keep out the CR.

Pamela Gray

Since this graph barely covers one longish cycle, I am going to assume that nothing unusual is happening and that the solar wind has done this before in cyclic patterns. Besides, the question is, does the solar wind die down or does the Sun’s magnetic field, in concert with our own, prevent us from feeling the full affects of the solar (universal?) wind?

Dennis Wingo

The number of things pointing to a longer period of diminished solar activity keeps mounting.
What is the data from Voyager 1 and 2 on this? They are both out near the heliopause and so should be getting some confirmation data on any dimunition on the extent.

Power Grab

@Mick,
It’s not a gas-thing, it’s an electromagnetic-thing.
Hey, Rbateman or Anaconda–a little help from you, please.

Carlos

Shiny side out!

Right, Carlos. As explained in #4.

Ron de Haan
Luke

Nothing to see; move along. There is no 800 pound gorilla behind the curtain. Don’t bother to look, the science is settled.

The narrow downtrend channel that started in 2005 is quite evident. Before that it was trendless, and didn’t change with solar cycle amplitude.
Count on Archibald to make unfounded claims based on cherry picked data. Here is the real record of spacecraft measured flow pressure from 1963 until today: http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Wind-Flow-Pressure.png
Several things to notice:
1) The flow pressure [FP] has been as low before
2) FP is not trend-less and has varied a lot.
3) FP is usually lowest at solar maximum and highest at solar minimum [there is even a reason for this]
4) FP is somewhat strange this minimum, in that it is not high. It is not clear what the cause is of this, but instrumental effects are always lurking, although my simple explanation is that the polar fields are so weak that they have not been able to compress the solar wind down into a narrow equatorial belt, which with its higher density would give a higher FP.
5) The lines on Archibald’s Figure are not founded in any physical process and certainly cannot be extrapolated or even carry any physical meaning
6) It is a pity that the best science blog carries this worthless piece. The host or moderators should vet stuff from Archibald before stepping in it.
REPLY: Leif, thanks for your input, I agree and in the interest of the broader view, I’ve included your data also in a quick update of the original post. I’m curious as to your thoughts about the downtrend in 2005. It seems to start about the time of that drop in the Ap Index that I keep referring to:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/solar_ap_index_10062008.png
I know you don’t think much of that event, but there does seem to be a coincidence that both the Ap Index and the Solar Wind Pressure both started dropping then. I welcome your critical thoughts.

Ron de Haan

Solar Cycle 25 to end “Man Made Climate Change” myth – with comments by Piers Corbyn
There have been various emergency economic proposals put forward recently, in that, in order to save Mankind from an overheating Earth, we need to stop runaway greenhouse gases that are apparently warming the planet, namely CO2. The life saving idea is that we should modify our industrial output, by using less of this very poisonous and toxic substance, and then use an even more dramatic accounting method to share the pollution equally with those nations who “have” and those who “have not”. The economic cost or loss involved has little or nothing to do with the outcome, as doing “something” to save Mankind from the destruction of our planet far outweighs doing “nothing”.
It all sounds fantastic, but in fact it’s just another ideological panacea to keep up the momentum that man is changing the Earth’s climate to such an extent that unless the Human race do something now, we are all going to die. It’s become another version of the Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. The Emperor, or to use this analogy, the principal so called climate scientists, are on display to most of the main stream media, the media in turn misinform the public at large that the Emperor is looking great in his new clothes in spite of being totally naked. Naked being the description used for a complete lack of scientific evidence to support this label of scientific office.
Science has a history of fighting for the truth, just like good and evil, regretfully this is just another drawn out battle between the respective parties, who are involved to justify their aims and objectives. But now the story has taken an unexpected “twist”, in that, you would have seen far less of an argument for the “Climate Realists” if it was not for the Sun being unexpectedly quiet during the past year and a half, and the implications of this are profound for each and every one of us, at last there is a voice in the crowd saying, why is the Emperor naked!
The “Climate Realist” have a well deserved lucky break, be it, we are moving out of one scenario and into another, or put another way, we could be jumping from the fictitious frying pan straight into a fridge!
The IPCC/UN models have failed so many times you would have thought good old “common sense” would have prevailed by now, in that, the “Man Made “ theory does not work. The fact of the matter is, the media are supporting a spurious theory and in turn misleading the public at large, they even go to great lengths’ to report the models are doing what they all expected them to do, I have even known them to say “cooling is a sure sign of warming”!
The Earth’s history is very revealing on solar activity and our climate, less activity on the Sun results in “Global Cooling” and more activity results in “Global Warming”. Somehow this simple rule of “thumb” has not made an appearance to those people directly involved with “Man Made Climate Change” (MMCC).
And here is the reason why.
In times of low solar activity the Earth has more “dust” in its atmosphere, the MMCC analysis show this as a spurious “coincidence”. The principal climate scientists go on to say that volcanic “dust” was the reason behind times of “Global Cooling” and not the coincidental low solar activity.
This is what they say about the Dalton Minimum period from 1790 to 1839, during this time there was extra volcanic activity, and the dust from the eruptions reduced the effect of the Sun on the Earth.
At no stage was it put forward that the period of low solar activity was the “cause” of the Earth being more susceptible to tectonic plate movements. It’s another example of the IPCC/UN showing the “Effect being the “Cause”.
If you now accept that our climate is determined by the activity on the Sun, you must also accept that people can forecast the future from observed solar data rather then from the spurious analysis of “Man Made Climate Change”.
I recently put this question of low solar activity and tectonic plate movement to Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction, who specialize in Solar wind forecasts, and use their models for climate predictions on the Earth weather system’s, these show a very high accuracy in long range weather forecasts, and here is what he said….
“Think of a freight train moving, or being “active”, the journey is fairly constant with not too many collisions between the separate carriages, but when the train is stationary or “non active” each carriage will collide as the train starts to move.
I can forgive anyone for not understanding this analogy for the first time, as it’s the reverse of what you think. In that, a non active Sun affects the Earth more often, but why?
The answer to that is…
An “Active” Sun is a healthy Sun, in that, the frequency of “spots” indicates the patient has come through the illness and what you see on the surface of the Sun is just like what you would see after someone has had measles, the condition of the patient with spots is after the virus!
So, a “quiet” Sun is when you would expect to find far more magnetic disturbances on the Sun, and more tectonic plate movement on the Earth.
So, what does this all mean for the title of this news blog? It simply means that as we approach Solar Cycle 25 (appx 2019) the Earth will continue to gradually cool from the 1998 peak, due to the lack of solar activity. As far as the “Myth” of “Man Made Climate Change”, the public at large will wake up to the realization of a “cooler” climate in a modern world, in so doing, they will probably disregard any information presented to them by the media that supported the “Man Made” myth.
The media have a responsibility to report to the public a balanced objectiveness, they also should voice skeptical points of view. We have come through a period in history that has shown this not to be the case; it’s thanks to the World Wide Web that there is now a voice in the crowd.
http://solarcycle25.com/index.php?id=10

layne Blanchard

Ron De Haan,
Are you suggesting the tectonic plate activity suggests gravitational forces are possibly the reason for the Sun’s activity?

rbateman

This sits rather in line with L&P. 1991/2 is when that fall began. So too, did the pressure.
http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/ret_14639.gif
Got another graphic to put up, please be patient.

Ron de Haan (21:03:01) :
So, a “quiet” Sun is when you would expect to find far more magnetic disturbances on the Sun, and more tectonic plate movement on the Earth.
We have direct measurement of solar magnetic field and disturbances for a century and indirect [but very good] indications of these thing another century back and the above premise is simply not what is observed, so the implication wouldn’t follow. [although curiously in symbolic logic any implication from a false premise is true: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_table#Logical_implication ]

Mick

re:Power Grab
I meant the gases in the atmosphere of Earth!
Sorry, my lack of good English… 🙁

Bruckner8

Obama has to push his GW policies through NOW, so that when the cooling is OFFICIALLY recognized, it will be attributed to his policies.

rbateman

What did happen prior to 1990:
http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/ret_14618.gif
As the solar cycles de-ramped, the plasma pressure arched up…mildly.
What didn’t happen during SC22 & 23 deramps…the plasma pressure didn’t arch up, instead it fell.
The trendless line Dr. Archibald referes to is the Maximum portion of SC23.
All that did was boost the amplitude of pressure changes and keep it from falling.
Is there any more data prior to 1963 that we can proxy?
At this point, thank you David for finding that source of data.
Please, folks, remember, I’m not the scientist here. I do my best to describe what I see, but I can’t do the detailed analysis that others can.
Paint me curious.

Leif Svalgaard (20:55:58) :
REPLY: […] I’m curious as to your thoughts about the downtrend in 2005.
I know you don’t think much of that event, but there does seem to be a coincidence that both the Ap Index and the Solar Wind Pressure both started dropping then. I welcome your critical thoughts.

This is not a coincidence. We have known for a long time how the solar wind parameters translate into geomagnetic activity [e.g. see my old paper from 1977: http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf or the more modern version: http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-final.pdf ]. To make a long story short, Ap ~ (flow pressure=n*V^2)^(1/3) *( B*V), where n is the density, V is the speed, and B is the magnetic field. So a decrease in flow pressure means a decrease of Ap. This is not the whole story as Ap is also smaller at the solstices by about 25% so October is on its way down towards the December solstice, and lastly and most importantly: there was a huge sporadic solar [and therefore geomagnetic] storm in September that pulled the September value way up. The human mind is for evolutionary reasons very good at false negatives [better be wrong about that tiger lurking there], so we often ascribe meaning to something that is not significant.

Leon Brozyna

Leif Svalgaard (20:55:58) :
Thank you Dr. Svalgaard for your input. Seems this is another indication that something new in our ‘modern’ experience is happening with solar activity. Further evidence that at least this new cycle will prove most interesting and perhaps instructive.
To the point, what is the shape of the heliosphere. When I read, “The solar wind creates the Heliosphere, a vast bubble in the interstellar medium …,” the image I at first get is that of a vast spherical shaped thing. But I sense that this is not the case, that the magnetic field helps shape the direction of the solar wind and also the shape of the heliosphere. Any thoughts (speculative though they may be) on the shape of the heliosphere?

philincalifornia

Ron de Haan (21:03:01) : The media have a responsibility to report to the public a balanced objectiveness ….
——————
On that note, I read two articles on AOL today (slightly OT, sorry). One was about changing migratory patterns of large-hoofed animals in Africa, and the other about the hearing on the Hudson River plane landing (including a discussion on the increase in Canada Goose populations). Despite ample opportunity to blame or even mention AGW or climate change (as would have been the case a year ago), there was not even a word on the subject. I had to read very closely to believe my own eyes.
Perhaps “death from natural causes” will be the fitting autopsy report on AGW??
……. but with at least a little help from Anthony and friends in hastening an end to the lingering malady.

Dennis Wingo (20:33:36) :
What is the data from Voyager 1 and 2 on this? They are both out near the heliopause and so should be getting some confirmation data on any dimunition on the extent.
In 2005, Voyager 1&2 detected an anomaly interpreted like an increase in the intensity of the interstellar cosmic radiation entering our solar system; please, put attention on citations:
http://www.biocab.org/Cosmic_Rays_and_Global_Warming.html#anchor_45

Leif Svalgaard (20:55:58) :
Actually, if can draw lines on something and the activity keeps bouncing off those lines, then they do have meaning. One just has to be curious enough to find out why.

rbateman (22:06:53) :
Is there any more data prior to 1963 that we can proxy?
on pages 9-10 of
http://www.leif.org/research/The%20Solar%20Wind%20During%20Grand%20Minima.pdf
we show there our proxy-based values of the density since 1890. It based on a very strong relation between the ratio of magnetic pressure to flow pressure that seems to have a solar cycle dependence. so we can say something, and on page 10 we show the average behavior of the density and the solar wind speed through a solar cycle based on cycles 13-23. If you in your mind’s eye multiply the cyan and the red curve [squared] you get the flow pressure. It is easy to see the maximum FP at solar minimum.
[the data was up though 2004]. The low values at the current minimum is interesting and unusual, so cannot be used as an ‘indicator’ of expected solar behavior.

E.M.Smith

From Wiki:
The solar wind is a stream of charged particles—a plasma—ejected from the upper atmosphere of the sun. It consists mostly of electrons and

The paragraph that starts with this sentence is repeated twice…

Regarding the UPDATE, Archibald again does cherry picking: omitting the low values [as low as today] before 1971, even though all the values are part of the same data set: http://omniweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/form/dx1.html

Darren Ferdinando

Leif – while I really appreciate reading your science input in many of the solar discussions that are held on this blog, I do find the personal attacks on Dave Archibald rather unprofessional and unneeded. Might I be so bold as to suggest that at least in public you debate the science only and not slur the man.

It’s the “noise” in the solar pressure I find fascinating to speculate on, the possibility of a rapid change, I mean. Is it possible for a burst of solar activity to ablate the upper atmosphere by “wrapping” up a pocket of atmosphere in a magnetic eddy and then that eddy being blown into space?
I had heard that some version of this was posited for Martian atmospheric (partial) depletion, but Mars has a very weak magnetic field so that theory may be more possible with Mars. Earth’s magnetic field would change things based on relative field strengths, and somebody would have to do the Math if the theory passed the conceptual phase.

Benjamin P.

@Ron de Haan (21:03:01) :
“So, a “quiet” Sun is when you would expect to find far more magnetic disturbances on the Sun, and more tectonic plate movement on the Earth.”
Seriously?
Plate tectonics is driven by density. Temperature and compositional density are the only things that matter to PT.

John F. Hultquist

Folks, we’ve got some data and we’ve got some ideas, but so far nothing is making a lot of sense to me. Up to this point we are not far from this: Reindeer fart less when the FP is low. FP is now low. Less methane. Less warming. Earth cools.
Sorry about that but there is no eureka moment here.

Glenn

Leif Svalgaard (20:55:58) :
The narrow downtrend channel that started in 2005 is quite evident. Before that it was trendless, and didn’t change with solar cycle amplitude.
“Count on Archibald to make unfounded claims based on cherry picked data. Here is the real record of spacecraft measured flow pressure from 1963 until today:” http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Wind-Flow-Pressure.png
What unfounded claims? Your own graph confirms no trend associated with solar cycle. Spectators can compare
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/Media/graphics/SolarCycle.gif
And you own graph also confirms flow pressure being in the longest lasting low event(<2) over the last ~3 years in 40 years, with a definite downtrend over the last 15.

E.M.Smith

We see a low period of similar amplitude around 1970, but it is noisier. The trend we’ve seen since 2005 is less noisy, which is inline with the quiet sun we have observed recently.
Sometime in the mid 1970s it snowed near Sacramento (Twice IIRC). Very out of character for the area. I don’t remember any snow since (though I moved out a decade or so later, snow in Sacramento area tends to make news.) From the Channel 10 (local TV) page:
” The last time there was an official accumulation of snow came on February 5, 1976, when two inches of snow fell over the capital city.”
Probably the same event.
I got to ride a bike through the snow then, so it made an impression… fairly slick and very cold toes (open toes – i.e. nothing covering them. Nobody was expecting snow, since it doesn’t snow there 😉
So if there is a 6 year lag… that would be snow in 2015 ?
Mark your calendar and let me know if I called it! (If it doesn’t snow then it was just a rampant speculation… If it does snow then I’m clearly understanding everything 😉

tallbloke

Archibald’s ‘narrow channel’ doesn’t surprise me too much, given the consistently low sunspot count since 2005.

Fluffy Clouds (Tim L)

Leif, it all looks biblical to me.
Tom in Texas (20:23:55) :
“2012 is zero”
oh well !!!

Darren Ferdinando (22:45:25) :
Might I be so bold as to suggest that at least in public you debate the science only and not slur the man.
I hope I was debating the science and not the man. The claims were unfounded and the graphs picked to back up the claims, first by only showing the last cycle, later by omitting the first cycle of the data with equally low values. I will object to anybody making such claims, not in particular David Archibald.
Glenn (22:58:13) :
What unfounded claims? Your own graph confirms no trend associated with solar cycle.
The solar cycle variation is clear and expected and observed since at least 1890. The latest cycle is unusual in that respect and deserves [and is getting] further study. In an earlier post, I speculated on what the cause might be.

The interesting point that arises from Leif’s graph is that when DP is at its lowest (1970 & now) the Sun is taking taking its greatly altered path around the SSB. Between those years the path is normal and the last time we had an altered path was the Dalton.
Anthony, in 2005 the Sun enters that altered path.
http://users.beagle.com.au/geoffsharp/carsten.jpg

pkatt

re Voyager:
San Francisco, CA. – NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft has followed its twin Voyager 1 into the solar system’s final frontier, a vast region at the edge of our solar system where the solar wind runs up against the thin gas between the stars.
However, Voyager 2 took a different path, entering this region, called the heliosheath, on August 30, 2007. Because Voyager 2 crossed the heliosheath boundary, called the solar wind termination shock, about 10 billion miles away from Voyager 1 and almost a billion miles closer to the sun, it confirmed that our solar system is ” squashed” or ” dented”- that the bubble carved into interstellar space by the solar wind is not perfectly round. Where Voyager 2 made its crossing, the bubble is pushed in closer to the sun by the local interstellar magnetic field.
http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/
and an interesting paper at http://sd-www.jhuapl.edu/VOYAGER/manuscripts/outer_heliosphere_rlm.pdf

Leon Brozyna (22:15:59) :
To the point, what is the shape of the heliosphere. When I read, “The solar wind creates the Heliosphere, a vast bubble in the interstellar medium …,”
To first approximation it is a bubble with a stubby tail trailing the sun’ movement through the interstellar medium. Since the shape is determined by pressure balance between the solar wind and the interstellar medium any inhomogeneities in either will create ‘bumps’ on the boundary. Here http://swoops.lanl.gov/data.html you can see what the Ulysses spacecraft measured as it was going from pole to pole. The ‘momentum flux’ is the flow pressure. It is not quite a circle [or sphere], but also not far from it, perhaps with a waistline. It is interesting to note that the density is VERY asymmetrical as is the speed, but the momentum flux = (density * speed) * speed is much more spherical. The magnetic field is not important in shaping the heliosphere because the plasma flow energy dominates.

rbateman

Leif Svalgaard (22:34:23) :
Pg 10 was an average of solar cycles.
Does anything interesting show up before 1963, as in another instance of what is going on now? By that, I mean if you took the density and multiplied it by the cycle average.

tallbloke

Leif Svalgaard (20:55:58) :
my simple explanation is that the polar fields are so weak that they have not been able to compress the solar wind down into a narrow equatorial belt, which with its higher density would give a higher FP.

Hi Leif,
not sure if all the graphs presented are 27 day average (one solar rotation), but could your hypothesis be tested by measuring how quickly the earth pass north and south of the heliospheric current sheet? i.e. measure the angle and deduce the amplitude of the ‘folding’ in the HCS to get a handle on the effect of the polar field on the lateral spread of the solar wind.

pkatt

another interesting link. It appears that Voyager has been taking solar wind speed, density, temp and pressure readings since its launch. They plotted it out…
http://web.mit.edu/afs/athena/org/s/space/www/voyager/voyager_data/voyager_data.html

Just Want Results...

Lubos Motl on CERN : CLOUD (cosmic rays and clouds)
http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/06/cern-cloud-on-cloud-number-nine.html

rbateman (23:43:11) :
Pg 10 was an average of solar cycles.
Does anything interesting show up before 1963, as in another instance of what is going on now? By that, I mean if you took the density and multiplied it by the cycle average.

No, the situation now has not been seen since 1890. Here is the average solar variation of density n, magnetic field B, and speed V:
http://www.leif.org/research/Space-Climate-n-B-V-Flow.png
The right-hand panel shows the flow pressure calculated as n*V^2
In both panels, the red curves are for direct observations since 1965 [1963-1964 has very little data], while the blue curves are calculated over 11 cycles since 1890 from the geomagnetic proxies. They usually agree rather well and makes the current low values at minimum special, since in all the other ones there is a flow pressure maximum on the approach to minimum.
tallbloke (23:52:31) :
your hypothesis be tested by measuring how quickly the earth pass north and south of the heliospheric current sheet?
The HCS is VERY thin and sweeps past the Earth in minutes every week or so, but presumably you mean the size of the ‘warps’ in the HCS. Here is a measure of that since 1976: http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/Tilts.gif
The size is in degrees, meaning the latitude a spacecraft would have to have to be totally ‘above’ or ‘below’ the HCS. You can see that that latitude is larger for the current cycle, thus meaning a ‘thicker’ region wherein the HCS sweeps.

It is very likely that my introductory statement has an error in fact. It seems that the solar wind plasma flow (and I can rely upon Dr Svalgaard to correct me if I am wrong) doesn’t have much to do with the GCR flux, which is best anti-correlated with the IMF.
However, Dr Svalgaard states that it is strange that the solar wind flow pressure is declining into solar minimum instead of rising, so the decline I have plotted up is doubly significant.

Ron de Haan

layne Blanchard (21:43:27) :
Ron De Haan,
Are you suggesting the tectonic plate activity suggests gravitational forces are possibly the reason for the Sun’s activity?
and
Leif Svalgaard (21:58:44) :
Ron de Haan (21:03:01) :
So, a “quiet” Sun is when you would expect to find far more magnetic disturbances on the Sun, and more tectonic plate movement on the Earth.
We have direct measurement of solar magnetic field and disturbances for a century and indirect [but very good] indications of these thing another century back and the above premise is simply not what is observed, so the implication wouldn’t follow. [although curiously in symbolic logic any implication from a false premise is true: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_table#Logical_implication ]
and
Benjamin P. (22:51:09) :
@Ron de Haan (21:03:01) :
“So, a “quiet” Sun is when you would expect to find far more magnetic disturbances on the Sun, and more tectonic plate movement on the Earth.”
Seriously?
Plate tectonics is driven by density. Temperature and compositional density are the only things that matter to PT.
I did not write the article but thanks for the comments.
I have copied the article directly from the link and published the link with it.
I think the remarks come from Piers Corbijn.

Chris Wood

The question that puzzles me is why does the press eagerly print every absurd claim that the believers offer, while at the same time mostly ignoring rational and undeniable evidence that is presented by us [snip (skeptics)]. Can the press no longer be bothered to check, or is it that the doomsday scenario is more attractive and sells newspapers or adverts. We know that, at climate conferences, an increasing number of scientists are declaring that AGW is a fraud but I have yet to actually read this in any newspaper or hear it on television. What is needed is an onslaught, a campaign, to get the message to the public. When anybody tells we the world is warming, I always ask them how much Co2 is in the atmosphere. You would be amazed at the ignorance.

Alex

Very interesting graphs there… Has the Ap Index plot been updated for May 2009? Are the values still around 2-4?
Solar wind has been quite weak this year too.
The weather here is miserable; snow in the Free State, Berg, and Lesotho; heavy rain in the north and very cold everywhere except the southern Cape; the media has tried to blame it on “global warming” but the public ain’t buying it.
I’m sorry if this has been asked before, but is there any chance of a correlation between solar activity and volcanic activity?

Could we have these solar flux graph overlaid with the AP index and the Sunspot count, so we can compare the various datasets?

If we were to propose an 8-year lag between solar flux and resulting global temperatures, would Svalgaard’s solar flux graph not equate very well with the global temperature graph??