10.7 solar radio flux, then and now

Leif Svalgaard writes in with a collection of points on the 10.7 cm solar radio flux. Being busy tonight, I’m happy to oblige posting them. – Anthony

Leif writes:

People often call out that F10.7 flux has now reached a new low, and that a Grand minimum is imminent.

Perhaps this graph would calm nerves a bit:

The blue curve is the current F10.7 flux [adjusted to 1 AU, of course] and the red curve is F10.7 back at the 1954 minimum. The D spike (in 1954) was due to an old cycle [18] region.

There is always the problem of how to align two such curves.. These two were aligned by eye to convey the general nature of the flux over a minimum. The peaks labeled B and C and the low part A were arbitrarily aligned, because peaks often influence the flux for several weeks so would form natural points of correspondence. The detailed similarity is, of course, of no significance. Note, however that because of the 27-day recurrence one some peaks are aligned others will be too. again, this has no further [deeper] significance. The next solar cycle is predicted to be quite low and the cycle following the 1954 minimum was one of the largest recorded. We will, of course, with excitement watch how the blue curve will fare over the next year or so, to see how the ‘ramp up’ will compare to the steep ramp up in 1955-1956.

Of course, as there was more activity before and after the minimum and even during [as cycles overlap]. For the very year of the minimum apart from the spike at D there is very little difference. The important issue [for me] is the absolute level, because that is a measure of the density and temperature of the lower corona, generated by the ‘network’ or background magnetic field, which seems very constant from minimum to minimum, and certainly does not portend an imminent Grand Minimum, which is not to say that such could not come, just that a low F10.7 is not an indicator for it.

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206 thoughts on “10.7 solar radio flux, then and now

  1. Thank you Leif.
    I could ride that 2008 roller-coaster with a full stomach and get away with it. Either that, or it’s the part where the ride ends… 8^)

  2. As you pointed out the alignment was arbitrary. Had you aligned the peak of cycle 18 with the peak of cycle 23, the dramatic difference would have been apparent. For a point that absolute value of 10.7 is not significant, a time variance chart is inappropriate.

  3. what about a low over an extended period 10.7 ?
    the devil is in the details – and yes, the next 18 months will be of great interest.
    other natural events may have masked the historical record for grand minimums, but perhaps someone could refresh my memory as to the periodicity of
    such events ?
    my bet is that it’s going to get cold for the next 20 – 30 years, just a question of how cold …

  4. “certainly does not portend an imminent Grand Minimum, which is not to say that such could not come, just that a low F10.7 is not an indicator for it.”
    That’s the thing I most admire about you Lief… that as a scientist you will defend things you know for certain and look skeptically at anything else that is uncertain. Would that more scientists embraced your careful methodology.

  5. It would seem we haven’t gotten to the “up tick” yet. The proof is in the pudding, which would be an “up tick”…and if there isn’t an “up tick”?
    Back to the drawing board…

  6. well, by eye ball it looks like 6 more months to see if we ramp up or piddle out.
    I say we continue on low for at least 3 more months.
    tx leif

  7. “Being busy tonight, I’m happy to oblige posting them (him?).”
    And if you weren’t busy?
    Leif: “does not portend an imminent Grand Minimum”
    That’s a relief.

  8. We may not have to wait that long (year or so). There is that arch that extended from low point A to low point D. From D to present is what may be the first half of another arch, which peaked at 2009.4. The most likely outcomes to me are a long gentle slope of a weak cycle.
    A roll on down to another “D” point minimum completing the 2nd arch or…
    following on up the steep slope of 1954-55 negating the arch.
    Those would be the extreme conditions.
    A true spectator sport.
    Thanks, Leif.

  9. Many thanks Leif. It appears that the 1954 data are at higher levels and fall to a minimm for a shorter time than the 2006 data. Is that right? Is that significant?
    Keep up the good work!
    Hugh

  10. To me the blue curve still looks a heck of a lot flatter than the red one with nothing indicating a sharp rise ahead any time soon. The red curve looks like bowl, the blue one like a cookie sheet.

  11. The absolute minimum may not be an indicator but the average level over time could be.
    On that basis the blue line is a lot lower than the red line during the period displayed.

  12. Leif Svalgaard, with respect the old data have a bell shape curve, the current
    measurement is more or less flat. Please explain?
    Mick.
    PS: thanks for your education/contribution! :))

  13. Leif, I check your website every morning. I noticed recently that you lowered the line (which I presume is hand drawn) that denotes (as I think you mean) the likely low extent of the 10.7. Not quite trending up as fast as previously thought?

  14. Stephen Wilde (02:01:22) :
    On that basis the blue line is a lot lower than the red line during the period displayed.
    Mick (02:06:06) :
    the old data have a bell shape curve, the current measurement is more or less flat. Please explain?
    The red curve is higher at both ends than the blue, because cycles 18 and 19 were larger than cycle 23 and [likely] 24. The point of interest is that over the year of the minimum, the levels of the red and the blue are very much the same, even though the following cycles [19 and 24] look to be very different, so the minimum level of F10.7 is not a good predictor of the next cycle.

  15. I was feeling happy because the southern hemisphere of the sun is finally showing some life so Im hopeful we wont have to freeze our behinds off. I am a bit worried about present levels of volcanic activity though.
    Im not sure I see the usefulness of the chart though. I have seen someone on solarcycle.24 do the same thing with the sunspot records over the marauder min as well. Only time is going to give us the ultimate answer.

  16. It’s just a bit of wiggle matching to help pass the time while we wait innit Leif? 😉

  17. If you compressed the timescale on the current data would you get a curve that more closely matched the data around and including the 1954 minimum?

  18. Leif,
    That graph is the biggest pile of crap ever in the history of bad curve matching.
    The two curves do not match at all in the early part of the curve and yet come together because both are bottoming out? Nonsense. That isn’t a theory worth the electrons that were sacrificed to transmit that graph from Anthony’s server to my PC
    The only scientifically legitimate response to the strange non-appearance of solar cycle 24 is to say “we have no idea what is causing the hiatus nor do we know when the hiatus will end, but we do know that the hiatus is longer than any comparable minimum since radio measurements were first undertaken in the 1950s”.
    The radio measurements show no recovery from the lows first recorded nearly two years ago. The Sun shows such evanescent sun “specks” that I question whether 18th and 19th century astronomers would have recorded many of them. Every solar model that predicted the beginning of the next solar cycle has been shown to be wrong by the behaviour of the Sun.
    I’m sorry if Anthony is surprised by my outburst, but I call it like I see it.

  19. Anne ( 23:37:08)
    As you pointed out the alignment was arbitrary. Had you aligned the peak of cycle 18 with the peak of cycle 23, the dramatic difference would have been apparent. For a point that absolute value of 10.7 is not significant, a time variance chart is inappropriate.
    ———-
    This would be a given considering Cycle 18 was stronger than Cycle 23 so the initial part of the descending phase would have looked different when looking at peak to peak. And the comparison in his graph must go back to 1951 so you do get an idea of the higher flux values prior to the minimum in 1954. So I do not think that Leif is misrepresenting what is going on. Not that you were implying this.

  20. Thanks Leif, I love reading your contributions. I am eagerly awaiting the ramp up toward Cycle 24 peak. It seems clear to me that we’ve crept past the minimum, but its going to be a while before we’ll be able to accurately compare the uptick rate to other cycles.
    That will be the next bit of slow-motion fun about this cycle transition. I never even knew I was interested in this stuff before, now I’m talking about it at the dinner table while my kids exchange worried glances. Oh look, the paint is a bit less glossy this month! Has it finally turned the corner? 🙂 Fascinating stuff.

  21. John A
    No need to be reticent about this, tell us what you think 🙂
    My query is whether there is a clear and unambiguous match betwen lack of solar activity (no sunspots or lack of electro magnetic activity or any other criteria you want to use) and the climate here on earth-most notably in this context- some sort of prolonged cooling period.
    tonyb

  22. Leif.
    1.I did an ‘envelope back’ calculation of the flux 10.7cm from a black body at 1 au
    distance,radius 6.96e8 m , temperature 5780K.
    I obtained 9.3e-22W/m2*Hz instead of 65e-22.
    Is the corona much hotter than 5780K?
    Is the corona radius much larger than 6.96e8 m?
    Is my physics/mathematics poor?
    2.Can you ,please,make some light in this paradox : how can the radiation 10.7 jump THREE times during the solar maximum,when the rest of the light emission is ~constant.

  23. It is very interesting to keep following the sun to see if activity is picking up. If I had more time I would like to see more work on Svensmark’s theory and how it is doing as the sun idles. I just looked at the Oulu neutron monitor and it is historically high. Just a little downturn in the last month that correlates with a couple small sunspots.
    How is the cloud cover doing? Has there been a increase over the last cycle? The area of most interest is the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone after Willis Eschenbach presented “The Thermostat Hypothesis” here.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/14/the-thermostat-hypothesis/
    Is there anyway a amateur can find a measure of cloud cover?

  24. Thanks for the post Leif. To my untrained mind and eye it would appear the sun is still calm as we head towards the next NH winter. Even if a “ramp up” occurs I feel it will not have enough effect to counteract what currently looks like a cold winter again this year.

  25. “certainly does not portend an imminent Grand Minimum, which is not to say that such could not come, just that a low F10.7 is not an indicator for it.”
    I gather the purpose of the alignments on the graph was to specifically examine the question of an imminent Grand Minimum, and as such it accomplishes this purpose quite well. I echo earlier comments that it is refreshing to have a scientist who is objective and searching for the truth, regardless of where that truth leads.
    It is so unfortunate that the term “objective scientist” has become an oxymoron.
    Perhaps someday our society will return to core values and principals where the end does not justify the means and where logic and reason prevail over emotion and politics.
    When and if this occurs, many of us will more readily accept the findings of the climate science establishment with which we are so skeptical of in today’s environment.
    It will not occur however as long as the scientific community is guided by the concepts of political science as opposed to basic science.
    It also will not occur while this community is led by advocates and demagogues who have set out such strong and unyielding positions that no amount of data or evidence to the contrary would ever be allowed to change the positions that they have staked their careers and self worth on preserving.
    Thank you Dr. Svalgaard for you values, principals and objectivity. I hope it catches on.

  26. Leif,
    Fascinating stuff. Thanks for putting it out there. On a different topic, I went your website. That is a great looking family!!

  27. I think the point Dr. Svalgaard is trying to make isn’t that the chart alignment leads to some predictive insight. We all want to draw that type of conclusion from any chart, even when it isn’t intended. I understood his point as being that the current 10.7 flux is at a long term low that the sun returns to repeatedly, which tells us something fascinating about the internal workings of the sun’s engine.
    Because of that, I understand Leif’s position as saying that the level of the flux is not surprising since we are in the depth of a minimum. The length of this stage will be what determines how unusual a minimum this is, and there is no data we have currently that can really give us any solid clues as to how that timing will play out. We just have to wait and see.

  28. We have very limited knowledge of this. Frankly if the sun decides to do things like dim even a small percentage of its historic output, we will be looking at any possible data, while we are shivering and starving. I think Dr. Svalgaard is one of the honest brokers in this debate, He is seeking to find ways to correlate data sets, and is doing so openly. We are rapidly entering into unknown territory irt solar behavior. There is no proven answer yet, but we need honest brokers willing to examine what is happening in new ways.

  29. No one knows. We’re in uncharted waters. It’s very clear something is up with our sun. We all know that reduced sun activity results in a cooler planet earth; we just don’t know the details and the timing with other natural “forcings”.
    The big question is when will the media pick up on this? Someone needs to sound the alarm because we are changing our entire economic system because of a Chicken Little Al Gore. I’m going to home depot to buy a lifetime supply of light bulbs today.
    Thanks Anthony: at least we’re getting some traction on the EPA smoking guy memo about suppressing the dissenting Scientists views. I thought there was consensus? Maybe that’s the big story here that this is evidence that there isn’t consensus? A quick check of cnn.com and no mention. Oh well we’re screwed.

  30. Tony B:

    My query is whether there is a clear and unambiguous match betwen lack of solar activity (no sunspots or lack of electro magnetic activity or any other criteria you want to use) and the climate here on earth-most notably in this context- some sort of prolonged cooling period.

    That’s the $64 trillion question that no-one can answer with any certainty. That the coolest part of the Little Ice Age coincided with the Maunder Minimum could have been a coincidence. There are solar magnetic theories linking Earth’s climate with the behaviour of the Sun and even a long range weather forecasting service (http://www.weatheraction.com) based upon such a linkage.
    Nobody really understand how or why Earth’s climate varies or even how to properly measure the climate of the Earth. Theories as to why the Earth warms and cools are as old as recorded human history.
    And note: I attacked one graph of Dr Svalgaard, not the person. The graph is unhelpful and possibly misleading. I have seen so many wiggle-matches of proxies to temperature records on Climate Audit that I’m afraid I’ve become very cynical about them. Any two graphs of long term persistence or autocorrelation in the time series, when scaled correctly, can produce similar results to Dr Svalgaard’s chart – and are just as misleading.
    As a final statement – I fear global cooling and not warming. Cold periods were very bad times for humans across the planet and I have no reason to believe that they will be bad again in the future.

  31. Can someone point me to the definition of “F10.7” [I’m guessing this is 10.7 cm photon wavelength. ] and why we care about it? (i.e. what physical processes create it and why is it used as a standard measurement, etc.)
    I’m a physicist, so I’m looking for more technical details and less fluffy stuff. 🙂

  32. Along with the neutron counts and enhanced cloud cover question:
    I read from several sites/blogs about aircraft contrails being a significant part of total cloud cover that can cause an increase in atmospheric heating due to back-reflected IR from the surface. The ‘theory’ is that a weaker global economy will reduce the amount of aircraft miles leading to reduced contrails leading to an enhanced cooling effect…
    Anybody know whether there is any truth to this statement? Are several physical events (as discussed above) leading to larger than ‘expected’ cooling over the next years?
    Jim

  33. Hans,
    As a lifelong amateur astronomer, science buff and communication engineer I really appreciate your scientific insights and posts in this intriguing forum. Thanks again and please keep posting.
    -phil wilson

  34. Sorry for the mixup on Dr Leif Svalgaard’s name in my quick post. Too bad I can’t edit.

  35. Question, do we want a solar minimum and associated cooling to shut up the warmers? or do we not want it because the cooling will cause problems like failed crops? Either way it does not make any difference what we hope for because its out of our hands.
    On this months national geographic the story of Angkor and how it failed during the little ice age due to late monsoons. More evidence if you need it that climate does a good job of changing with or without cars and power stations.
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/featurehub

  36. I don’t think we could measure 10.7 prior to the last Grand Minimum, so I’m not sure how we would know what the graph portends. (10.7 may be an effect rather than a cause?) And I am not sure how well our measurements in 1954 would match what we can see today. Instrumentation was not nearly as sophisticated 55 years ago.
    The sun will do what the sun will do,
    and we will watch with amusement.

  37. edt (06:17:25):
    Can someone point me to the definition of “F10.7″ [I’m guessing this is 10.7 cm photon wavelength. ] and why we care about it? (i.e. what physical processes create it and why is it used as a standard measurement, etc.)
    I’m a physicist, so I’m looking for more technical details and less fluffy stuff. 🙂

    F10.7 is the solar flux of radio emission at a wavelength of 10.7 cm (2.8 GHz frequency). It influences the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of the Earth and is indicator of solar activity, especially in the fluctuations of the solar ultraviolet radiation.

  38. Dear Jim (06:36:56),
    I don’t know how much impact contrails really have, but there were some studies done of the air quality after so many flights were cancelled after 9/11. You might be able to find something from there that will give an answer.
    I can’t see contrails having that much impact – they make up a really really small part of the surface area.
    On a more general note to those who have voiced some criticism of Leif, I think he was making a very simple point – that 10.7 as a single value doesn’t mean very much. Many people are trying to read too much into one figure and I know we all want THE ANSWER, but I don’t there is one, certainly not yet (and Leif as a real scientist isn’t going to give you one that is not meticulously researched).
    My counsel? Be patient and keep up our ability to adapt to whatever we get (i.e. don’t hamstring ourselves by focussing on a single factor such as CO2).

  39. What are you people talking about, Leif has explained many times that the sun only has the effect of a light bulb on earth temperatures. Earth doesn’t get hotter or colder because the sun is active or inactive. The variation of TSI proves it, so forget your intuition. It is getting cooler because of the negative phase of PDO and possibly AMO, and the only thing that drives the oceans is the steadiness of the sun. Just because a million earths could fit inside the sun doesn’t mean it has any significant affect on us here. We are just spectators for a world far, far away. We can predict what we know for sure. Just ask David Hathaway and team at NASA.

  40. I read and analyze the whole sun cycle a lot and would rather see our sun wake up soon, the alternative, is not going to be very pleasant for us or our children…
    Leif, please keep sending us this info. I do read and check all counter information too, as I would rather see both sides of the ‘discussion’ to see how each scientist see what is coming or believe they see without the verbal or personal bashing that is not necessary.

  41. Jim
    I did some research work on contrails a while ago and came up wth several interesting items. This is a current version of evolving work
    http://www-pm.larc.nasa.gov/sass/pub/journals/Duda.Controller.09.pdf
    Looking at the source (nasa) I carried on looking and found the actual extra moisture being created by the burning of fuel was a tiny fraction of 1% (from memory around .001 of mositure already present)
    As you say, various people claim all sorts of feedbacks but the real world impact seems insignificant. Might make a good article if anyone here has up to date knowledge of this.
    Tonyb

  42. Shaun (02:48:36) :
    Leif, I check your website every morning. I noticed recently that you lowered the line (which I presume is hand drawn) that denotes (as I think you mean) the likely low extent of the 10.7. Not quite trending up as fast as previously thought?
    On http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png
    the dashed line is a 3rd-degree polynomial fit to all the data, the full line is a 3rd-degree polynomial fit to the lowest two points in each solar rotation [so not quite by hand]. The trend has to follow what the Sun is telling us. The line in itself has no real physical meaning and is just shorthand for ‘if you only look at the lowest two values in each rotation and draw smooth a line between them this is what it looks like’.
    The ‘true’ smoothed ramp-up is given by the dashed line. That the lowest points also ramp up a bit is interesting because it shows that the density and the temperature of the ‘background’ [i.e. not directly activity related] are also rising.
    alexandriu doru (04:50:36) :
    1.I did an ‘envelope back’ calculation of the flux 10.7cm from a black body at 1 au distance,radius 6.96e8 m , temperature 5780K.
    The corona is at a million degrees, but the F10.7 radio flux is not black body radiation but rather what is called ‘bremsstrahlung’. It comes about because electrons as they flit around at high speed in the million degree corona are deflected by electric forces by other electrons and ions. Each deflection is a change of direction, thus an acceleration, and accelerated electric charges radiate.
    David Holliday (04:10:37) :
    If you compressed the timescale on the current data would you get a curve that more closely matched the data around and including the 1954 minimum?
    No, as compressing the timescale [a dubious procedure in itself] does not increase the amplitude.
    vukcevic (04:46:06) :
    When I mach my polar fields equation
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarField1.gif
    to the actual measurements for a period extending to 30 years, you kindly describe it as ‘GARBAGE’.
    May I return compliment in regards to the chart above.

    The actual measurements [polar fields and F10.7] are not garbage, only your curve and your interpretation.
    edt (06:17:25) :
    Can someone point me to the definition of “F10.7″ [I’m guessing this is 10.7 cm photon wavelength. ] and why we care about it? (i.e. what physical processes create it and why is it used as a standard measurement, etc.)
    See above, and is it used simply because it has been measured for a long time [since 1947], and has been found to correlate well with many ionospheric parameters, e.g. satellite drag and radio communication quality. One could use other frequencies in the microwave region as well, as here: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/solar_indices.html
    John A (06:12:36) :
    The graph is unhelpful and possibly misleading.
    The graph simply shows that F10.7 during the current minimum is not all that different from every other minimum, in particular the 1954 minimum that preceded the very large solar cycle 19, hence that F10.7 at minimum is not a predictor for the next cycle. That the curves line up occasionally is purely coincidental and that nothing to do with the point of the plot, namely that the values over the year around the minimum [from 2008.4 to 2009.4] are so very close.
    I have seen so many wiggle-matches of proxies to temperature records
    You seem to labor under the misconception that one of the curves shows temperature. They both show a solar property: the microwave flux at a wavelength of 10.7 cm [2800 MHz], and are not scaled to each other. The flux has an eleven-year variation with a ‘bottom’ every ~11 years [the bottoms for 1954 and 2008 were shown – with data from before and after], and also a 27-day variation unrelated to the 11-year variation.
    Geoff Sharp (06:34:14) :
    This is just plain wrong
    Perhaps elaborate on why you think so.

  43. John A
    I plotted sun spot activity once and came up with this
    http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/sunspots_mencken.xls
    It seemed to me the correlation ranged from very good, through reasonable, to barely any, so was not perfect by any means. (But much better than co2!)
    Someone then told me it was the magnetic flux that was of real significance which I don’t have the means to plot.
    I certainly believe the variability of the sun has an effect, but whether that means we are able to relate climate changes to sunspot/magnetic flux etc I simply don’t know.
    As regards virtually any aspect of climate, I long ago came to the realisation that we know far less than we think we do, but few scientists are prepared to admit when they are wrong
    Tonyb

  44. Given that the two are a tiny bit different in strength, it would appear to me that the difference would be negligible in terms of this measure doing something entirely different in ’55-56 compared to ’08-09. I think the graph simply says that we have been here before.
    Some think that we will soon freeze to death. I was born in ’56. Didn’t freeze. Some say that if this cookie sheet turns into a long roll of cookie sheets, we will freeze to death. That could happen. If you watch a clock for 24 hrs, you will eventually see a correlation to when you first started watching it. A classic example of correlation is not causation. Yes, we had a cold spell during the Maunder Minimum. But not during the whole thing. While watching grass grow on the Sun, the Earth probably cycled into and out of some cold phase of some ocean somewhere. And they may have even cycled together. It could happen. When I watch a clock for 24 hrs, several things happen to me that happen again in the next 24 hrs, and around the same time. In face, the correlations would amaze you. But the clock on the wall didn’t cause those things to happen.
    So I think of Leif’s graph simply as a way of demonstrating that nothing too unusual is happening here.

  45. I’m not a defender of Dr. Svalgaard by any means, but I think his point is simply that the red and the blue lines bottom out at the same level on the graph, which means the solar minimum is the same intensity or lack there of, it says nothing about duration…

  46. In defence of Leif (not that he needs any help from me to defend him, of course) I think the only point he was trying to make was that F10.7 is not a good indicator of what might happen next… and that’s all folks!

  47. I am surprised that Dr. Svalgaard has resorted to ‘wriggle matching’. SC20 an SC23 for 8 years out of 11 are closely matched (some time exactly month after month), even correlation is nearly 90%, as this chart shows (axis has scale in months)
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/SC20-23.gif
    ‘Wriggle matching is not science’ I was told on numerous occasions!

  48. The 1954 to cycle 24 overlay is a bit too arbitrary for my liking. I think it would be better to see a two cycle (23-24) F10.7 plot then compare it to another, similar, cycle. There are obvious indications that cycle 24 is beginning to ramp up. the question is how much and when it will peak. As a frustrated radio amateur I have a great deal of interest in the upcoming cycle.

  49. Retired Engineer (07:06:22) :
    And I am not sure how well our measurements in 1954 would match what we can see today. Instrumentation was not nearly as sophisticated 55 years ago.
    For this purpose they were. Considerable effort has gone into calibrating the early data onto an absolute scale [that is directly in Watt], see: http://www.leif.org/research/Tanaka-Calibration-F107.pdf Different observatories operating for a long time have their own relative scale which is much more accurate than the early absolute values, but by careful cross-comparisons between observatories one can construct a consistent series. An earlier post a few weeks ago http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/14/the-solar-radio-microwave-flux/ has more on this, and also shows another version of the 1954:2008 comparison [with no wiggle matching]

  50. Jim, Tony b,
    Try “Global contrail radiative forcing and the impact of diurnal variations of air
    traffic” by N. Stuber and P. Forster (ACPD 6, 9123–9149, 2006).
    They conclude that the contribution of contrails is between 10% and 30% of the claimed CO2 effect of air transport; reading their report my conclusion is that is is closer to 10%, as the upper boundary seems to be have been derived from other studies. They find a much smaller effect than earlier studies, because they recognised that the IR reflection of contrails would only have a net effect during nighttime (and clear sky) while 2/3rds of air traffic is during daylight.
    There is a suspicion that contrails may trigger the forming of cirrus clouds, but this seems to be very uncertain.
    Evert

  51. Dennis Sharp at (8:03:11)
    Ask you boys at NASA about the Maunder Minimum and the little Ice age. Explain what caused it if it wasn’t the Sun it was moon beam reduction.

  52. Lief,
    Your humility and that you protesteth much that 10.7 is not a good predictor, makes one wonder why you presented this comparison graph. Looking at the graph, one is seduced into believing that cycle 24 is on the threshold of bursting forth. In earlier posts (I apologize for not chasing down the links so I can stand correction) I recall you stating that it had already begun and that rising “activity” of a non-sunspot variety was already heralding the new cycle. Could it be that this illustration is a forecast that you can disown – “after all, I did say that 10.7 was not a predictor.”
    After reading vukcevic’s comment:
    vukcevic (04:46:06) :
    Dr. Svalgaard
    When I mach my polar fields equation
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarField1.gif
    to the actual measurements for a period extending to 30 years, you kindly describe it as ‘GARBAGE’.
    May I return compliment in regards to the chart above.
    and looking at his graph, I’m not sure of your humility. Actually, vukcevic’s equation certainly looks good so far, as good as anything else put forward on the subject.
    I look forward to the collapse of scientific egos that is certain to come over the next years and decades and a return to the good old days of scientific humility (usually courtesy goes along with it) that has been ravaged by the political-scientific industrial complex that has engulfed us over the last decade. My forecast is that we are entering an era where we can learn a lot about the sun-earth couplings. I’m sure we will resist it much and hang on tighter to our egos until we are forced to let go.

  53. “wiggle matching” to while away the wait. I like.
    As put Milton, “those also serve, who merely watch and wait”.

  54. Regarding the aircraft contrails, I remember that during the month or so with no airplane flights after 9/11/01, the temperatures were cooler than expected by some small amount. The thing I thought at the time was, hey, maybe the contrails are enough to make a difference, even though they seem not so big, because there are so many of them. (Of course, I only think that the temps were lower because somebody–on the news?–said so. And it was more of a “how about that?” moment than an “odd, wonder why that is?” thing.)
    I think that Dr. Svalgaard’s point might be summarized as “when you’ve been ’29-y.o.’ for a while, you recognize that not every change is UNPRECEDENTED!!! and maybe we shouldn’t be getting our panties in such a twist about every thing we see.” Thus leaving watch-and-wait as the preferred strategy for many of these things, allowing them to resolve and come into better focus before getting excited.
    Since I’ve been stuck on 29 for a little while now, I agree with him! 😉

  55. Very interesting, Leif. As always, a work of quality and honest, besides.
    Sorry for my insistence, but from this analysis by Leif Svalgaard I am compelled to insist on not putting too much confidence on an imminent ice age. It seems the Earth is going through a warmhouse, not an icehouse. From Leif’s collage we can infer that the F10.7 cycle will be retrieving power by the middle of 2010. Even when uncertainties are present, the probability on the current low solar activity could not be part of a grand minimum is high. Consequently, we could expect the enhancement of the solar power in the next months and increasing of the fluctuations of the surface temperatures with it.

  56. Has anyone wondered about why it is that solar cycles vary in length? And whether it’s a portent of what will happen in succeeding cycles?

  57. Gary P: You can get detailed analysis of cloud cover from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) – google for website – it is broken down into ocean basins, land vs ocean, and different landmasses, but it takes them a while to update.
    I’ve done an analysis for patterns – summarised in my book ‘Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory’ and with more detailed graphs in supplementary material on my website: http://www.ethos-uk.com – but I did not have the resources for a proper statistical analysis. You can see a pattern in some data that relates to the solar max and minimum over the 11 year cycle – but the patterns are disrupted by El Nino and major volcanic events – and then there is a major ‘shift’ or phase-change around 2001 when a decadal trend (from the beginning of ISCCP data in 1983) of 5% thinning cloud (especially low level) halted with a step up (about 3%) and it has remained at that level, with some percentage shifts of low and high level cloud contributions.
    These cloud patterns can explain THE WHOLE of the ‘global warming’ signal in terms of the 1980-2000 temperature changes – in that Short Wave not Long Wave radiation is driving the warming – and it is stored in the ocean surface waters then transferred landward by cyclonic weather systems. Likewise the percentage shift in 2001 can explain the recent cooling – but with a time-lag due to the heat stored in the northern Pacific and Atlantic gyres (very little extra heat was stored in the southern oceans). The Pacific shifted into a cool-phase late in 2006 (the PDO) when the heat store was exhausted. That heat had been transferred to Alaska and the Arctic basin by currents and cloud. Now it is gone, Alaska is cold again. The same will happen to the North Atlantic – which showed signs of a phase-shift over the last two years.
    My sense is that Svensmark’s effect operates but it is not dominant – the main pattern is set by ocean oscillations.
    And Jim: I agree with TonyB and others – the contrails can have only localised effects. It is now known, for example, that the ‘global dimming’ that was thought due to anthropogenic sulphur emissions reflecting sunlight, was a natural phenomenon related to natural aerosols and ocean cycles – which shifted in 1979 – again mainly in the Pacific – the man-made pollution was too localised to significantly affect global temperatures (70% of the planet surface is ocean).

  58. You are missing the point some of you and one very particular outburst which is not acceptable whether you tell it like it is or not.
    Lief said :
    The point of interest is that over the year of the minimum, the levels of the red and the blue are very much the same, even though the following cycles [19 and 24] look to be very different, so the minimum level of F10.7 is not a good predictor of the next cycle.
    READ it very carefully, please

  59. Thanks all for the ideas and links about contrails. It sounds as if they have some positive feedback characteristics, but maybe by only a small amount overall.
    Jim

  60. vukcevic (08:54:00) :
    ‘Wriggle matching is not science’ I was told on numerous occasions!
    And told here and now one more time. The wiggle matching in my case is immaterial to the point, namely that the ‘bottoms’ are very similar. Slide the two graphs a bit so that the 27-day peaks don’t line up and the conclusion that the two bottom are similar is not changed. The wiggle matching was to illustrate another point, namely that there is 27-day recurrence in both graphs, so that if one set of peaks line up many other [but not all] will do too with absolutely no significance beyond that. E.g. one should not construe the match to mean that a peak in 2008 is in any way related to [or caused by] a peak in 1954.
    SteveSadlov (08:49:54) :
    The blue curve appears to have a higher SNR versus the red one.
    Every wiggle in both curves is ‘signal’. The noise is of the order of the thickness of the lines. What you mean is that the variance of the red curve is higher than that of the blue curve. This follows from cycle 18 being more active than cycle 23. The plot was designed to show that the average level during this minimum is not significantly different from the average level during the 1954 minimum.
    Kath (08:55:55) :
    The 1954 to cycle 24 overlay is a bit too arbitrary for my liking. I think it would be better to see a two cycle (23-24) F10.7 plot then compare it to another, similar, cycle.
    there isn’t any. Data only started in 1947. The point was only to show that the level in 1954 is not too different from what we see now and that since cycle 19 was very high and cycle 24 doesn’t look too hot, the minimum level of F10.7 is evidently not a good predictor of the next cycle.
    Gary Pearse (09:05:44) :
    you stating that it had already begun and that rising “activity” of a non-sunspot variety was already heralding the new cycle. Could it be that this illustration is a forecast that you can disown – “after all, I did say that 10.7 was not a predictor.”
    It is plain that F10.7 is rising and that cycle 24 has begun. That is not what my graph was about. The point was that since the level of F10.7 at minimum in 1954 was not much different from 2008, that the level is not a good predictor. That the new cycle is here is not a prediction but just a fact.
    and looking at his graph, I’m not sure of your humility. Actually, vukcevic’s equation certainly looks good so far, as good as anything else put forward on the subject.
    I’m not humble at all [au contraire], just trying to be scientifically correct. What Vuk omits is that his equation ‘predicts’ that in 1965 the polar fields would have been even bigger than anything measured since, and all the [indirect] data we have suggests otherwise.
    Nasif Nahle (09:22:35) :
    We could expect the enhancement of the solar power in the next months and increasing of the fluctuations of the surface temperatures with it.
    I’ll agree with the first half, but remark that the increase will likely be a lot smaller than it was in 1956. I’ll say that there is no good evidence that supports the second half.

  61. Hank (09:27:17) :
    Has anyone wondered about why it is that solar cycles vary in length? And whether it’s a portent of what will happen in succeeding cycles?
    Many have wondered a lot about that. The current ideas go something like this: Solar activity is created by dynamo amplification of flux left over from the previous cycle(s). The dynamo works by circulating plasma around in inside the Sun. The speed of the circulation is inversely related to how much amplification you get [the longer it takes, the more time for amplification], but the magnetic field itself works back on the circulation [stronger field tending to brake the flow], so you have a very complicated non-linear feedback situation. A somewhat technical [but readable] review can be found here: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0906/0906.4748v1.pdf
    Statistically, looking at past cycles, large cycles tend to [but not always] be short and small cycles long, so one might guess [‘predict’] that the coming few cycles will be longer than average.

  62. I agree that the F10.7 isn’t telling us a whole lot here, because it can’t tell us what it is going to do next.
    The parts that match up between 1954 and 2008 belie the means by which both got there.
    They arrived differently.
    Try the active regions of the Sun for a much better comparison, and one which will tell you if the current status is unusual or not. That record goes back to the late 1870’s.

  63. edcon (10:20:36) :
    Did the atmospheric atomic bomb testing affect the measurement of the 10.7 solar radio flux?
    No
    rbateman (10:24:23) :
    Try the active regions of the Sun for a much better comparison, and one which will tell you if the current status is unusual or not. That record goes back to the late 1870’s.
    The current minimum is very much like 1901-1902, with the cycle just before [#13] very much like cycle 24, and the coming cycle [#24] predicted to be much like cycle 14. We shall see. One thing that was unusual about #14 was the very large swings with a period of about a year: http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl14.html
    It is not known if SC24 will show similar swings. It will be interesting to watch the reactions when we get the first large upswing [people shouting: see, a large cycle!] and the first large dip [people shouting: see, I told you we are in a Grand Minimum]. This can go back and fourth some ~five times, if SC14 is any guide 🙂

  64. I’m not sure why people are talking about “wiggle matching”. The only thing Leif discredited as having predictive power is the absolute level of the F10.7 cm. This is, effectively, the two plots with all high-frequency wiggle removed.
    If I understand him correctly, he is simply saying that the minimum F10.7cm value now matches that of 1954 and that 1954 had a large cycle succeeding this. In other words, pull the lowest point (or points for those of you who like smoothing) from each plot and compare them. Nothing more.

  65. I’m happy with Leif’s main point which is that the minimum level of the 10.7 flux is not an indicator of anything and the point is well made by his chart.
    As far as I can see Leif was not intending to say anything about the possible effect of a weak cycle as against a strong cycle or the length of a cycle or the length of successive cycles so criticism based on that aspect is misguided.
    I see Peter Taylor’s comments as especially pertinent for those who are inclined to accept a solar influence but I would say that ocean SST changes drive cloudiness changes with the Svensmark idea being either a small influence or a mirage.
    The solar variations require multiple cycles to show an effect such as the slow progression from Roman Warm Period to Dark Ages to Mediaeval Warm Period to Little Ice Age to the recent Grand Maximum.
    Within those long slow solar cycles over centuries there are much greater oceanic cycles which can offset or supplement the solar variations weakly or strongly at different times.
    Two key parameters need further research to supplement the background solar trend :
    i) The net warming or cooling effect of ALL the ocean cycles combined at any given time which dictates the flow of stored solar energy from ocean to air.
    ii) The net latitudinal position of ALL the air circulation systems combined at any given time which dictates the rate of energy flow from air to space.
    Combine those parameters with variations in solar input and all observed global changes in temperature trend and all observed changes in regional climate or weather can be explained without reference to changes in GHGs.
    GHGs follow the system. They cannot lead it otherwise the natural swings in global humidity would have prevented the development of oceans of water in the first place.

  66. Dennis Sharp (08:03:11) :
    What are you people talking about, Leif has explained many times that the sun only has the effect of a light bulb on earth temperatures. Earth doesn’t get hotter or colder because the sun is active or inactive. The variation of TSI proves it, so forget your intuition. It is getting cooler because of the negative phase of PDO and possibly AMO, and the only thing that drives the oceans is the steadiness of the sun. Just because a million earths could fit inside the sun doesn’t mean it has any significant affect on us here. We are just spectators for a world far, far away. We can predict what we know for sure. Just ask David Hathaway and team at NASA.
    The Earth is not an isolated system, either a thermos…

  67. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) (00:17:50) :
    well, by eye ball it looks like 6 more months to see if we ramp up or piddle out.
    I say we continue on low for at least 3 more months.
    tx leif
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My GUESS is that we will continue on low for at least 6 more months.
    -Gerry

  68. It is not known if SC24 will show similar swings. It will be interesting to watch the reactions when we get the first large upswing [people shouting: see, a large cycle!] and the first large dip [people shouting: see, I told you we are in a Grand Minimum]. This can go back and fourth some ~five times, if SC14 is any guide 🙂
    We may be able to put that one together.
    The active regions in 1901 were like a desert, but it came out in 1902 swinging wildly.
    On the other hand, the active regions in 1913 were more regular (but twice that of 2008) and come out very strong in 1914.
    Use my graphs, and superimpose the two (I don’t have the capability to do that) active regions and sunspots, and see what kind of story they tell.

  69. Interesting. Have you projected backwards to see if there is
    a perceptible sub or super-cycle?

  70. The fact that we do not know entirely the mechanism by which the TSI is linked to the Earth’s climate does not mean that the link does not exist; much less that the Earth’s system is independent of the rest of the systems in the Universe.
    The influence of the solar radiation on the Earth’s climate system is quite obvious as to have any doubts to this respect.
    However, I will agree with the notion of really powerful internal and inherent mechanisms to Earth which drive, modify, enhance, etc. the climate signals on Earth.
    What it is absolutely incorrect is attributing the climate change to a gas (i.e. carbon dioxide) that has nothing to do with climate by many thermophysical reasons. The main target now is Leif’s observation on the needlessness of making predictions on solar activity from F10.7 records.

  71. Leif Svalgaard (10:47:52) :
    It is not known if SC24 will show similar swings. It will be interesting to watch the reactions when we get the first large upswing [people shouting: see, a large cycle!] and the first large dip [people shouting: see, I told you we are in a Grand Minimum]. This can go back and fourth some ~five times, if SC14 is any guide 🙂
    If you expect first large upswing you could just as well compare to SC20, since SC23 matches closely SC20.
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/SC20-23a.gif
    (month by month compression)
    Gary Pearse (09:05:44) :
    ..and looking at his graph, …. Actually, vukcevic’s equation certainly looks good so far, as good as anything else put forward on the subject.
    Thanks for vote of confidence. Since my equation http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarField1.gif
    is a product of an amateur it is easily dismissed, but it does confirm what the Livingston-Penn measurements are suggesting.
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/LP-project1.gif

  72. So, Mr. Sharp has indicated that global cooling and warming differences are not due to solar activity. Can someone please explain to me what causes the heating and cooling cycles of the earth, if it’s not the sun? Any don’t go the CO2 route, a 300ppm increase is like spitting into the rain of a hurricane and stating that it caused additional flooding.

  73. vukcevic (12:06:27) :
    since SC23 matches closely SC20.
    Which is irrelevant for SC24 possibly looking like SC14.
    confirm what the Livingston-Penn measurements are suggesting.
    It confirms nothing at all. The green line is just an unjustified extrapolation of the polar fields [and not even of your formula]. And you have misunderstood L&P. They are not suggesting that the magnetic field will drop that much, just that the smaller sunspot contrast will make the spots harder to see, such that the relation between magnetic field and sunspots becomes altered.
    a product of an amateur it is easily dismissed
    As it should be as it is a very ‘amateurish’ graph, not conforming to the usual standards of scientific research, e.g. the deliberate omission of data that doesn’t fit [1954 and 1965 minima].

  74. Hi Leif, do you have a graph that superimposes your f10.7 prediction from say a year or more ago with what has actually happened? I believe you predicted a fairly low cycle, and it would be interesting to see if you hit the timing and amplitude relatively close. Also considering Grand Minimum – is not the idea a lack of sunspots, since we don’t have much other info from the last one? So no sunspots implies grand minimum, regardless of f10.7. Apparently there has been a divergence in the corelation of sunspots and f10.7 and perhaps L&P idea is the underlying mechanism of grand minimum.

  75. Leif Svalgaard (10:47:52) :
    One thing that was unusual about #14 was the very large swings with a period of about a year: http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl14.html
    It is not known if SC24 will show similar swings. It will be interesting to watch the reactions when we get the first large upswing [people shouting: see, a large cycle!] and the first large dip [people shouting: see, I told you we are in a Grand Minimum]. This can go back and fourth some ~five times, if SC14 is any guide 🙂

    How about “see, ~9 month subcycles!” 🙂

  76. Leif Salgaard, thanks for this brief contribution on the steadiness of F10.7 at minima, helping us to relax re an “imminent” Grand Minimum, but I don’t like having to wait without “knowing”. And thanks for your willingness to thrash it out on the basic science.
    I enjoy checking your “Recent Solar Activity” chart, updated daily. I am relieved at the increasing strengths (curves) of TSI, F10.7 and SSN. I wish MF would increase as well!
    Thanks, Anthony, for our continuing education.

  77. VG (12:32:20) :
    Wonder what Le docteur Svaalgard will think of this.
    Le Bon docteur Svalgaard rejects anything what does not come from his library, but he may not be always right. One of important works there regularly recommended for my ‘education’ is: Percolation and the solar dynamo by Kenneth H. Schatten.
    I raised some of the points with a professor of solar science, at one of the worlds leading universities; his response was:
    Schatten’s work on percolation theory and the dynamo is not in my view worth following up, since it has many faults and is not accepted by most dynamo theorists.

  78. VG (12:32:20) :
    http://www.pensee-unique.fr/courtillot3.pdf
    Wonder what Le docteur Svaalgard will think of this

    So they got it published after all. I was a referee on their first submission of this [to another Journal] and rejected the paper on several grounds, the main being that a lot of stations in a narrow geographical region does not make the statistics better than just a few selected ones, because close-by stations will have similar climate.
    do you have a graph that superimposes your f10.7 prediction from say a year or more ago with what has actually happened?
    It is too early to do that, come 2014 or so, it might make more sense.
    So no sunspots implies grand minimum, regardless of f10.7. Apparently there has been a divergence in the corelation of sunspots and f10.7 and perhaps L&P idea is the underlying mechanism of grand minimum.
    The sunspots are not the important thing, but the magnetic field [visible or not] is. I would reserve Grand Minimum for times where the magnetic field was at a Grand Minimum. We don’t actually know if this ever happened. We know from cosmic ray modulation that the modulation was still present during Grand Minima, so it is, indeed, possible that the L&P effect is the cause of ‘apparent’ Grand Minima. This is, of course, only speculation. We might learn more shortly if L&P holds during SC24.
    Carsten Arnholm, Norway (12:42:01) :
    How about “see, ~9 month subcycles!” 🙂
    Yes, we’ll see those too, and “see, the 2nd harmonic of my 18-month subcycles”, and the 1.5 harmonic of my 400 day subcycles”, or worse.
    pyromancer76 (13:14:06) :
    I wish MF would increase as well!
    It has begun to show life, but will take a few more months of new cycle regions to build up enough background flux. The MF minimum is a bit delayed compared to the ‘other’ minima. If you can read Postscript files http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/mf.1975-2010.ps is a plot of all our mean field measurements.

  79. vukcevic (13:15:34) :
    I raised some of the points with a professor of solar science, at one of the worlds leading universities
    Unattributed quotations carry little weight. So: Who and Where?

  80. vukcevic (13:15:34) :
    I raised some of the points with a professor of solar science, at one of the worlds leading universities; his response was:
    Schatten’s work on percolation theory and the dynamo is not in my view worth following up, since it has many faults and is not accepted by most dynamo theorists.

    what was his opinion on your polar field formula and its acceptance?

  81. Leif Svalgaard (13:49:10) :
    Unattributed quotations carry little weight. So: Who and Where?
    Private enquiry, private answer! If you have any doubts regarding the work mentioned, you can do a survey among your colleagues.
    what was his opinion on your polar field formula and its acceptance?
    Just as disparaging as the comment on the ‘bible’ of the solar dynamo, I was encouraged to read my prayers from. On the other hand, my work is a hobby; if you do not take yourself too seriously than a failure is easy to bear; and I can move effortlessly to something else just as vague e.g. global warming or such like.

  82. i thought historically speaking solar flux lagged sunspot numbers by 6 to 12 months. If that rule remains true then we have not seen the bottom of the flux minimum yet.

  83. vukcevic (14:20:35) :
    Private enquiry, private answer!
    Not good enough, if so private you should have kept it to yourself, then.
    If you have any doubts regarding the work mentioned, you can do a survey among your colleagues.
    Of course Ken’s work is novel and contentious and I never said that was the ‘final’ answer or that I even subscribe to everything he says. His paper is a bit more accessible than the dynamo theoretical papers on the the background material that you need to know about the solar dynamo. And, BTW, is it good form to throw mud on Schatten because you want to peddle your own ideas?
    if you do not take yourself too seriously than a failure is easy to bear
    Then bear it, by all means, and continue on to global warming and do some amateur work there.
    twawki (14:23:25) :
    i thought historically speaking solar flux lagged sunspot numbers by 6 to 12 months. If that rule remains true then we have not seen the bottom of the flux minimum yet.
    It is not true. Check figure 10 of http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/14/the-solar-radio-microwave-flux/ that shows that F10.7 flux and sunspot number follow each other with no delays either way.
    Once the flux is on a rise [as the SSN], the new cycle is on its way. The official ‘minimum’ is a bit slippery as it is only really meaningful if both cycles have the same height. If not, the ‘minimum’ will be skewed towards the lower of the two cycles.

  84. Leif,
    does the sun output much radiation in the 2.4 Ghz range, and if so would the plot of this frequency look similar to the 10.7 cm flux?

  85. vukcevic (14:36:57) :
    New work on C14 dating
    Posits that neutrinos produce 14C, but no mechanism is given and would be hard to give, considering how weakly interacting particles neutrinos are. I would not attach much significance to this, nor to the Jenkins-F effect.

  86. Leif Svalgaard (14:40:50) :
    And, BTW, is it good form to throw mud on Schatten because you want to peddle your own ideas?
    [snippity snip]
    Reply: Let’s reel it in both of you. ~ charles the moderator

  87. Konrad (14:49:52) :
    does the sun output much radiation in the 2.4 Ghz range, and if so would the plot of this frequency look similar to the 10.7 cm flux?
    Since F10.7 cm is 2.8 GHz, the Sun would output a tad less at 2.4 GHz, but not much and its variation would be very close to that of F10.7. You can see the flux at several frequencies [in MHz] here: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/solar_indices.html

  88. Hi Leif,
    Can you explain the significance of this 27 day rotational “signal”, please?
    You’ve mentioned it several times now on a variety of posts. I thought the sun was homogenous, yet the existance of a signal indicated that there is a “something” that comes into view each rotation.
    Thanks you!

  89. My query is whether there is a clear and unambiguous match betwen lack of solar activity (no sunspots or lack of electro magnetic activity or any other criteria you want to use) and the climate here on earth-most notably in this context- some sort of prolonged cooling period.
    tonyb
    Well, I never saw one of these in my back yard here in Colorado until yesterday. (PG 13: children should cover their eyes).
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/images/contrib/robertson_phallus_hadriani.jpg
    And it’s not the only bizarre mushroom I’ve seen. By some weathercaster’s estimate, Colorado is 1/10″ away from a June all-time record for rain. (Can never find these links when I need them.)

  90. Neil O’Rourke (16:06:04) :
    Can you explain the significance of this 27 day rotational “signal”, please?
    The basic reason is that the magnetic field regions have a lifetime greater than ~20 days so will return every 27 days until they finally disperse so much that the blend into the background or are being swamped by new activity. Now, there is tendency for the same place to be the seat of activity for many months or even years [some say decades]. It is not fully understood why that is, but there are several ideas, we just don’t know which [if any] are correct. The ideas range from an permanent, internal relic field that have existed since the birth of the Sun to standing waves in the dynamo action. We don’t know.

  91. Did anyone ever meet the late meteorologist Harry Geise?
    According to some local historians I met today, Harry used sunspots in his forecast mechanism. He is legendary for his ability to forecast, long and short range.

  92. rbateman (16:43:05) :
    Did anyone ever meet the late meteorologist Harry Geise?
    According to some local historians I met today, Harry used sunspots in his forecast mechanism. He is legendary for his ability to forecast, long and short range.

    I’m sure he used his knowledge of local weather to great effect. If sunspots were his only guide he might not have been so legendary…
    And how you then separate the two?

  93. Leif Svalgaard (15:18:45) :
    That link to the solar indices site is quite interesting and one I hadn’t stumbled upon before. In browsing through their archive one thing that stuck my eye was the rather broad variability in the ratio of sunspot number to sunspot area, which raised a question in my mind about whether the solar cycles would look appreciably different if plotted by sunspot area rather than SSN. Do you know if such a plot exists and has much analysis been done on how varying size of sunspots affects the solar picture in general?

  94. Neil, it takes 27 days for the Sun to rotate on its axis. Please, everyone, buy a good book on the Sun. You will learn so very much.

  95. My pimples tend to occur in the same spot. There is a reason for this. But what I want to know is why the %^$#@ hell did I escape blemishes as a teen only to get them as an old decrepit woman?

  96. Leif writes: “…We will, of course, with excitement watch how the blue curve will fare over the next year or so, to see how the ‘ramp up’ will compare to the steep ramp up in 1955-1956….”
    I’m sitting on the edge of my chair, Leif!

  97. Leif Svalgaard (08:19:25) :
    Geoff Sharp (06:34:14) :
    This is just plain wrong
    Perhaps elaborate on why you think so.

    The method used to align the two curves is far from scientific. The curves could be positioned further to the right or left and give a very different result.
    The baseline of both curves vary greatly and will continue to do so as SC24 continues to be weak (grand minimum weak). This example of wiggle matching will look very different in the coming years and really doesnt show much. How would a comparison of spotless days taken over the same periods compare?

  98. Dave Wendt (17:07:58) :
    whether the solar cycles would look appreciably different if plotted by sunspot area rather than SSN. Do you know if such a plot exists and has much analysis been done on how varying size of sunspots affects the solar picture in general?
    This has been looked at many times and by many people. The short answer is “No”. A more correct answer is that both the area series and the sunspot number series have calibration problems and most of the varying difference between the two is due to such problems.
    Here is an example of such a problem:
    http://www.leif.org/research/De%20maculis%20in%20Sole%20observatis.pdf
    This whole area [no pun] awaits some close analysis [and I working on it].

  99. Geoff Sharp (17:39:18) :
    This example of wiggle matching will look very different in the coming years and really doesnt show much.
    I think you have misunderstood the whole thing. It was not about ‘the coming years’ or ‘the base line’. It was only about how the minimum year 1954 compared with the minimum year 2008. So, one lines up the two years [superposes them] so it is clear to everybody that they are not significantly different. Since the minima do not line up on whole years, a certain amount of sliding for the best match is necessary. A more scientific method calculates a sliding, say, 81 day difference between the two curves and lines them up on the point with least difference. It gives the same result. Within that window I’m fully allowed to line up the 27-day peaks to show that there are such recurrences in both series, it being understood that the line-up has no other significance.

  100. Leif, you are such a joy. It is fun to watch your freeze frame observations of natural phenomena with inquisitive followup investigation. I once questioned your lack of joy of discovery. No more. You remind me of a boy trying to figure out why a magnifying glass sets ants on fire.

  101. Dave Wendt (17:07:58) :
    Do you know if such a plot exists and has much analysis been done on how varying size of sunspots affects the solar picture in general?
    rbateman and myself are working on a similar project that aims to standardize and record the size and darkness of sunspots. Here is what we have for SC24 so far.
    http://i43.tinypic.com/2vcu74o.jpg

  102. Leif,
    Thanks for the info and the link. I am wondering if microwave frequencies around 2.4 Ghz would have a warming effect on water vapour in the atmosphere over and above it’s contribution to TSI (black body absorbtion). I would expect the effect if it existed to be very minor, however 2.4 Ghz wireless is said to have limited range due to water vapour in the air. Microwave ovens also use this frequency to exite water molecules in food. I suppose the next question would be what the difference between 2.4 Ghz flux at surface and at the top of the atmosphere.

  103. vukcevic (14:36:57) :
    New work on C14 dating, off topic but it may be of interest to some.
    Implications for 14C Dating of the Jenkins-Fischbach Effect and Possible Fluctuation of the Solar Fusion Rate
    by Alvin J. Sanders from University of Tennessee
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0808/0808.3986.pdf

    Now this kind of wiggle watching has much more significance, another paper that shows the Sun has a regular slowdown around every 200 years (Seuss wiggles). This paper and others are further backed up by observing planetary positions at the time of the wiggle which just happen to always line up. And yet those who follow the Babcock theories continue to deny the wiggles even exist, as they go against the random logic built into the theory.
    We are entering another one of the observed solar slowdowns that happen on a regular basis.

  104. I’ll try that last sentence again…
    What would be the difference between 2.4 Ghz flux at the top of the atmosphere and at the planet’s surface?

  105. Geoff Sharp (19:01:34) :
    And we know why the count gets so scattered in the minimum years. The Tiny Tims that Wolfer started to count skewed the Rz when compared to the Sunspot Area. It’s getting much worse now with advanced equipment. Unless something is done to define the Rz by Sunspot Area, it will continue to grow ever more disparate.

  106. Leif Svalgaard (17:07:48) :
    Yes, Harry Geise was a “look out the window” sort of guy. He used everything, as far we know. His accuracy is what got me interested in looking at temperature records when I was 15. In those days, I could find records going back to the 1850’s. Had I known they would disappear or be expunged in favor of the last 50 years…

  107. Konrad (19:16:52) :
    however 2.4 Ghz wireless is said to have limited range due to water vapour in the air. […] difference between 2.4 Ghz flux at surface and at the top of the atmosphere.
    The 2.4 GHz flux just has to make it through to the surface and as you can see here falls within the ‘radio wave’ window http://fuse.pha.jhu.edu/~wpb/spectroscopy/atm_trans.html
    so there is not much difference. There are very small differences in transmission also for F10.7 at 2.8 GHz, causing the flux values to vary slightly during the day depending on the slant angle. I tend to use only values taken at noon where the optical path is shortest.

  108. Leif,
    Thanks again for the links. It seems most of the microwave spectrum can reach the troposphere and below without much loss.

  109. Leif Svalgaard (10:03:44) :
    Following Gary Pearse (09:05:44) :
    “…you stating that it had already begun and that rising “activity” of a non-sunspot variety was already heralding the new cycle. Could it be that this illustration is a forecast that you can disown – “after all, I did say that 10.7 was not a predictor.”
    Leif’s reply:
    “It is plain that F10.7 is rising and that cycle 24 has begun. That is not what my graph was about.”
    If it is not about that, this is a curious reply. Same post in my remark about lack of humility – Your unabashed response:
    “I’m not humble at all [au contraire], just trying to be scientifically correct.”
    My use of the term humility is not of the common garden variety. I was referring to scientific humility in the sense that one has a small handful of neurons with which he/she tries to understand a universe from the submicroscopic to the supratelescopic (there was a time when this explanation wasn’t necessary). The kind that Einstein had. His quotation that said it only takes one experiment to disprove one’s theory (and essentially much of one’s life’s work it has been totally concentrated on the head of a pin) should imbue a little humility, don’t you think? One needs more than a degree or two and a white lab coat to conquer the universe and humble pie has been a popular dessert over the centuries for scientists.
    I got a little over the top with this perhaps. My smaller point was that we appear to be entering a period when there is much we might learn about our complex relationship with the sun, but only if we can let go of cherished biases should they become cumbersome.

  110. I wonder why this deserved to be an article…especially from Svalgaard who miserably failed predicting the rise of SC4 Sunspots.
    The good thing from this article is that we can always remind that poor old guy.

  111. Leif Svalgaard (17:42:42)
    This has been looked at many times and by many people. The short answer is “No”. A more correct answer is that both the area series and the sunspot number series have calibration problems and most of the varying difference between the two is due to such problems.
    Here is an example of such a problem:
    http://www.leif.org/research/De%20maculis%20in%20Sole%20observatis.pdf
    This whole area [no pun] awaits some close analysis [and I working on it].
    Thanks for the response, but I must admit that I’m still a bit confused. The paper you referenced seems to indicate a fairly direct , if nonlinear, relationship between sunspot number and sunspot area but the NOAA data that generated my question shows the daily area measurements to vary over a range of from a little over 1 to over 25 units per spot which would seem to be hard to reduce to a simple power law equation. Is this an apples and oranges situation where the measurement methodologies are that different or am I missing something else?

  112. Gary Pearse (21:06:14) :
    I got a little over the top with this perhaps. My smaller point was that we appear to be entering a period when there is much we might learn about our complex relationship with the sun
    That we can agree on.
    but only if we can let go of cherished biases should they become cumbersome.
    I don’t know what biases those may be specifically. All scientific progress comes from overthrowing cherished views, but ‘bias’ may not be the right word. ‘Paradigm’ is better, in that it describes a well-established framework within all scientists work. Very rarely, the old paradigm collects so many inconsistencies that it is replaced by a new paradigm.
    the_Butcher (21:23:15) :
    from Svalgaard who miserably failed predicting the rise of SC4 Sunspots.
    Perhaps you are off by about 20 cycles…

  113. Dave Wendt (21:25:45) :
    NOAA data that generated my question shows the daily area measurements to vary over a range of from a little over 1 to over 25 units per spot which would seem to be hard to reduce to a simple power law equation.
    It has to do with the way the sunspot number is defined. A single spot, no matter how small or how large in area, gets a count of 11 [one group plus one spot]. This makes the daily values for a period where activity is very low correlate very poorly between area and SSN. For monthly or yearly means, the correlation becomes very good, although still not quite linear.

  114. Gary Pearse (21:06:14) :
    My use of the term humility is not of the common garden variety. I was referring to scientific humility in the sense that one has a small handful of neurons with which he/she tries to understand a universe from the submicroscopic to the supratelescopic (there was a time when this explanation wasn’t necessary). The kind that Einstein had. His quotation that said it only takes one experiment to disprove one’s theory (and essentially much of one’s life’s work it has been totally concentrated on the head of a pin) should imbue a little humility, don’t you think?
    No, on the contrary, I find it astounding that we with such ‘a small handful of neurons’ [actually quite a lot] can understand as much as we do. This should be a source of intense pride and appreciation for the human mind. False modesty is not a virtue. That ones’ life’s work can be overturned by a single experiment [and even that is questionable – in practice it takes many] does not bother scientists. The joy of science is not the result, but the journey. If someone from the Future would ask me if I would like to know the answer to todays burning scientific questions, I would refuse. Feynman talked about the joy of finding things out, not about the joy of being lectured about the truth. You can even find this very attitude on blogs such as this one, where many enjoy ‘hunting’ the internet themselves rather than being spoon fed the current dogma. There is, of course, a danger in too much ‘amateurism’ [also evident on blogs – even this one]. Science is learned the hard way by having a thesis advisor ruthlessly keeping your nose clean and ensuring that you learn the ‘scientific method’. Most of the time, the hardest person to convince about something is oneself [after you have learned how easy it is to fool yourself]. The next hardest is your mentor, then the fellow down the corridor, then the audience when you are presenting a talk or a poster, then the reviewers when you submit a paper on what you think you have discovered, then the scientists in your field that may not find the fruit of your labor worth their effort of reading, let alone building on it, and so it goes. The road to having added a small brick to the tower of knowledge is long and hard, and disappointment is daily fare. So when you finally get there, be proud, while you can, as someone out there may be just about to prove your theory wrong or incomplete. You see, the difference between a scientist and an amateur is that for the amateur the work is a love affair [and love makes blind], but for the scientist the work is a gauntlet from which he emerges bruised and battered, if at all [as most ideas don’t pan out].

  115. Leif:
    To the best of your knowledge, what would be the hemispherical area of a single spot (the group + 1 spot =11)that met the criteria of linear? You can express that in umbral, penumbral or total area. Wolf’s time would be the best.
    I have a software update to one of my astronomical programs, so I can count the pixels rapidly.

  116. Leif Svalgaard (14:40:50) :
    ………….And, BTW, is it good form to throw mud on Schatten because you want to peddle your own ideas?
    Peddle = To travel about selling wares.
    In my the defence I could paraphrase: of course my work is novel and contentious and I never said that was the ‘final’ answer or that I even subscribe to everything I occasionally say, it is an evolving process.
    On the other hand I am certain that the acceptance of Dr. Schatten’s theory by his peers, is the true merit of his work.
    …….the difference between a scientist and an amateur is that for the amateur the work is a love affair [and love makes blind]…..
    Agree there, scientists are cold and calculating, the amateurs are optimists. Scientists meticulously and systematically collect and harness data, a bit like honeybees, but still with a sting which delivers venom; used primarily in the defence of their ideas.
    On the other hand, amateurs are often bit like butterflies, totally harmless, but still making their essential and important contribution to the pollination of the human knowledge.
    Both are the good God’s creatures, plenty of room for both out there in the nature and hopefully on this Anthony’s terrific blog.

  117. I for one hope that the sun is indeed returning to life. It will take a normal solar cycle, a non La Nina ocean and a lack of very large volcanic eruptions to break the back of AGW. When they have nothing to blame and temps still don’t match their models perhaps we can put this all behind us.
    Now I have a goofy question. While the sun is inactive and our magnetosphere is at a low, would a cme directed at earth be felt more strongly then when our magnetosphere was “pumped up” by normal sun activity?
    I did get what you were trying to do, to show us the current low in 10.7 has not gone into the realm of a grand minimum with the record on hand. atm though comparative activity charts of this type seem to be in the eye of the beholder:) I didn’t mean to sound harsh with my first comment. I may have just said it too bluntly, sorry.

  118. Pamela Gray (18:53:56) compares: “… a boy trying to figure out why a magnifying glass sets ants on fire.”
    Next step, Pamela: I have been wondering, as an old man, how the boy I was ever did such a thing. (Perhaps the grandfather in Leif may have a thought on this, too?)

  119. rbateman and myself are working on a similar project that aims to standardize and record the size and darkness of sunspots. Here is what we have for SC24 so far.
    http://i43.tinypic.com/2vcu74o.jpg
    great idea – the more information we have. especially as sunspot recording is currently being altered the better we will be able to compare new and old data
    thankyou

  120. twawki (14:23:25) :
    i thought historically speaking solar flux lagged sunspot numbers by 6 to 12 months. If that rule remains true then we have not seen the bottom of the flux minimum yet.
    Leif
    It is not true. Check figure 10 of http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/14/the-solar-radio-microwave-flux/ that shows that F10.7 flux and sunspot number follow each other with no delays either way.
    Once the flux is on a rise [as the SSN], the new cycle is on its way. The official ‘minimum’ is a bit slippery as it is only really meaningful if both cycles have the same height. If not, the ‘minimum’ will be skewed towards the lower of the two cycles.
    twawki
    Study of Time Lags and Hysteresis between Solar Indices and Cosmic Rays: Implications for Drifts and Modulation Theories by Munendra Singha, Badruddina, A.G. Ananthb said quote;
    “Forbush [1] first demonstrated that cosmic ray variations lagged behind sunspot activity by 6 to 12 months. The observed lag was later attributed [2] as due to dynamics of the build up and subsequent delayed relaxation of the modulating region. In many subsequent studies (e.g. [3-5]) the observed time lag was used to infer about the size of the modulating region (the heliosphere). However, Hatton [6] questioned the use of time lag as a parameter to estimate the modulation boundary.
    Hysteresis effect between long-term variation in cosmic ray intensity and solar activity has been studied since long (e.g. [7]). However, some of the recent studies of time lag and hysteresis effect (e.g. [8-16]) have led to renewed interest in the interpretation, implication and consequences of observed differences between
    time lags in odd and even cycles as well as differences in the shape, size etc. of hysteresis loops during odd and even cycles.”
    Other papers also pick up on the lag as being between 4.5 months and 1.5 years and alternates between odd and even cycles.

  121. Gary Pearse (09:05:44) :
    Actually, vukcevic’s equation certainly looks good so far, as good as anything else put forward on the subject.
    Leif Svalgaard (10:03:44) :
    I’m not humble at all [au contraire], just trying to be scientifically correct. What Vuk(civic) omits is that his equation ‘predicts’ that in 1965 the polar fields would have been even bigger than anything measured since, and all the [indirect] data we have suggests otherwise.
    Dr. Svalgaard the above is not entirely accurate statement at all, one might say ‘au contraire’.
    Here is graph (if you whish you can reproduce it).
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PFextended.gif
    The statement ‘that in 1965 the polar fields would have been even bigger than anything measured since’ is grossly exaggerating the values calculated: 301 in 1964 and 290 in 1975 , which makes it 3%, hardly ‘even bigger than anything measured since’. Perhaps Dr. Svalgaards’s method can give prediction better than 3%.
    Fact is there are no accurate measurements before 1967 (except some obscure Russian measurements -Severniy papers) in 1965 where signal is barely distinguished from the noise, as the Mount Wilson SO measurements confirm, as seen in the chart for period 1967-1977.
    It is unfair of Dr. Svalgaard to ‘rubbish’ in such a manner a competing work even if it comes from an amateur as myself. Let’s data speak for themselves.

  122. Leif Svalgaard (22:11:17) :
    Leif and Vukcevic several:
    Leif, I accept “paradigm” rather than “bias”. And, though you are a gruff man I think I even found a bit of that humility I was looking for in your long reply. On the subject of amateurs, I have to strenuously take issue with your condescension. Did you know that William Herschel was a musician ….
    http://www.brianjford.com/99-12-telegraph.htm
    “SCIENTIFIC breakthroughs tend to be made by amateurs and outsiders, not by professionals who are generally paid to make them, a biologist said yesterday…………………….
    Almost all of the key stages that carry science forward actually come from the hearts and minds of gifted and freewheeling individuals,” Mr Ford said last night before a lecture to the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research. “Virtually every area where I have been looking it has been the independent, iconoclast who has made the major contribution.”
    Mr Ford cited examples such as the church organist William Herschel who discovered Uranus, and Charles Darwin who did not complete his first degree. More modern examples included Kary Mullis, the rollerboarding father of the Polymerase Chain Reaction, which underpins today’s genetic research; and Watson and Crick, who discovered the structure of DNA but had been warned away from the project by their employers.”
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=000E76B2-89B0-1D49-90FB809EC5880000
    “If you’ve never heard of Stephen James O’Meara or Don Parker, then you’ve missed some of the most fascinating adventures in 20th-century astronomy. O’Meara was the first person to measure the length of a day on Uranus and to see radial “spokes” in Saturn’s rings. (Most astronomers dismissed that discovery as illusionary, until Voyager got close enough to photograph them.) What’s more….”
    The first article shouldn’t have included Einstein as a patent clerk – he was well trained as a physicist and your essay shouldn’t have alluded to me, however elliptically, as an amateur as I do have two degrees in science and one in engineering and have been practicing since 1960.

  123. twawki (03:30:28) :
    i thought historically speaking solar flux lagged sunspot numbers by 6 to 12 months. If that rule remains true then we have not seen the bottom of the flux minimum yet.
    Leif: It is not true. Check figure 10 of http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/14/the-solar-radio-microwave-flux/ that shows that F10.7 flux and sunspot number follow each other with no delays either way.
    twawki
    Study of Time Lags and Hysteresis between Solar Indices and Cosmic Rays

    You are confusing the F10.7 radio flux from the Sun with cosmic ray flux from the Galaxy.
    ————-
    rbateman (23:38:56) :
    To the best of your knowledge, what would be the hemispherical area of a single spot (the group + 1 spot =11)that met the criteria of linear?
    I’m not sure I understand what you mean or if the question makes sense [because of the strange definition of SSN]. For monthly values the relation is R = Q A^0.775 where R is the sunspot number, A the area and Q a calibration constant that was 0.353 for Waldmeier, but only 0.295 for Wolfer and Brunner. It is not known [yet] what the value would be for Wolf as the counting method was changed by Wolfer. My preliminary analysis would indicate a value about 0.27 for Wolf, but probably not even constant for the data that Wolf collected from others before 1849.
    vukcevic (05:36:07) :
    Fact is there are no accurate measurements before 1967 (except some obscure Russian measurements -Severniy papers) in 1965 where signal is barely distinguished from the noise, as the Mount Wilson SO measurements confirm, as seen in the chart for period 1967-1977.
    It is unfair of Dr. Svalgaard to ‘rubbish’ in such a manner a competing work even if it comes from an amateur as myself. Let’s data speak for themselves.

    You misrepresent Severny’s measurements. Saying that the ‘signal is barely distinguishable from noise’ is not correct. I have visited with and discussed the matter with Severny in 1976. It was, indeed, his precise measurements of the mean field of the Sun that inspired us at Stanford to build our own observatory. The correct statement is that since he could measure the mean field [which near solar minimum is smaller than the polar fields] he should have been able to see a strong polar field in 1965, and since he could not see the polar fields in 1965, they must have been at or below the noise level of his instrument, i.e. very weak. Such is the voice of the data. There are also other, indirect, indications of weak polar fields in 1965: the smallness of the interplanetary magnetic field and the lack of a very flat corona as in 1954 where the polar fields were very strong [as measured by the Babcocks].
    It is this willingness to accept the data that is the distinction between the scientist and the amateur.
    It is very presumptuous to label your musings as a ‘competing work’. Prediction is the measuring stick: the polar fields go through zero at solar maximum, so your curve predicts a solar maximum in 2012. We shall see then.

  124. Gary Pearse (07:33:48) :
    On the subject of amateurs, I have to strenuously take issue with your condescension.
    At one time almost everyone was an amateur. My condescension is directed towards work that is amateurish [whether or not one is an amateur or a professional] and lack the rigor that characterizes professional work.
    I’m a ‘gruff’ man when I see inaccuracies, errors, sloppiness, and narcissistic love for pet ideas. Show me good work and I’ll purr.

  125. Leif Svalgaard (07:39:31) :
    The correct statement is that since he could measure the mean field [which near solar minimum is smaller than the polar fields] he should have been able to see a strong polar field in 1965..
    As far as low readings are concerned MWO first recorded measurement was 182 in August 1966 (2 years after max) and PF was already in steep decline towards first zero crossing in 1968. So it is logical to expect that PF would be significantly higher at max then at 2 year before its first zero hit.
    ….lack of a very flat corona as in 1954 where the polar fields were very strong [as measured by the Babcocks].
    It should be also remembered that Babcock-Leighton theory (an anchor of current solar science thinking, to which I believe you subscribe) suggests that PF are remnants of previous cycle, and since SC19 was strongest ever recorded, so it is logical again to expect stronger rather than weaker polar fields.
    Prediction is the measuring stick: the polar fields go through zero at solar maximum, so your curve predicts a solar maximum in 2012. We shall see then.
    Formula is a year out in 2001 (zero crossing was in 2000), so I could be a year or more out again, which would make it 2013, since you said that this min was August 2008, that would make it 4.5-5 years min to max, which is normal. As a top man in the field you would obviously appreciate the fact the lower starting point (this time thatb is about 120-130, rather then 200+) there would be more uncertainty about the next zero crossings.
    It is very presumptuous to label your musings as a ‘competing work’.
    Not at all. Current science states polar fields can not be predicted, my formula suggests: polar fields can be predicted within a reasonable tolerance. In that respect, it is a ‘competing work’.
    I’m a ‘gruff’ man when I see inaccuracies, errors, sloppiness, and narcissistic love for pet ideas. Show me good work and I’ll purr.
    I am sure you are not suggesting that if someone, driven by intuition rather than scientific excellence, discovers a significant phenomena it should not be presumptuous, should shut up about it, and go back to his ‘street sweeping’ day job.

  126. Yes, Al Gore should go back to his street sweeping job. His lack of scientific rigor in the face of his contrived science “knowledge” has caused our current stampede to silly policies. There have been many, many examples of amateur attempts at science. Some to our detriment and even great harm. Nuff said.

  127. vukcevic (09:48:53) :
    “The correct statement is that since he could measure the mean field [which near solar minimum is smaller than the polar fields] he should have been able to see a strong polar field in 1965.”
    As far as low readings are concerned MWO first recorded measurement was 182 in August 1966 (2 years after max)

    Single measurements like that from MWO were very noisy and one can conclude very little from that. The issue was the Crimean observations that point to a low field, rather than trying to do a dubious extrapolation.
    ….lack of a very flat corona as in 1954 where the polar fields were very strong [as measured by the Babcocks].
    It should be also remembered that Babcock-Leighton theory (an anchor of current solar science thinking, to which I believe you subscribe) suggests that PF are remnants of previous cycle, and since SC19 was strongest ever recorded, so it is logical again to expect stronger rather than weaker polar fields.

    You employ logic when it fits and otherwise not. Since cycle 20 was a weak cycle, the polar fields in 1976 should have been weak. They were strong. And again your logic stipulates that the polar fields right now should be stronger than in 1976 because SC23 was stronger than SC20. The point you are omitting [because you have been told so several times before] is that the polar fields only has the flux of a few active regions and small numbers are subject to relatively larger fluctuations, so your logic breaks down simply on that.
    Formula is a year out in 2001 (zero crossing was in 2000)
    Smoothed maximum was 2000.287, and your formula was already one year wrong [too late], so assuming that the formula is equally wrong in placing the maximum in 2012 would mean that your prediction is actually 2011. We shall see.
    In that respect, it is a ‘competing work’.
    I was not referring to ‘competing’ but rather to ‘work’.
    I am sure you are not suggesting that if someone, driven by intuition rather than scientific excellence, discovers a significant phenomena it should not be presumptuous, should shut up about it, and go back to his ‘street sweeping’ day job.
    But since there is no ‘significant phenomenon’ as we have repeatedly discussed, going back to the day job may not be a bad idea. Intuition is sometimes a poor substitute for knowledge. Any number of curve fittings can reproduce the polar field curve that only has a few degrees of freedom [I have shown you several already]. Here is an exercise for you. Find a list of solar maxima [there are several out there] going back as far as you think they are reasonably good, perhaps to cycle 1, then calculate the nearest zero crossing of your polar field curve and compare [make a plot] with the observed maxima and post the result.

  128. Pamela re amateurs: Don’t sweep up all amateurs in one bin. You will have thrown the likes of William Herschel (a church organist) and many other scientific celebrities that dwarf most of todays white labcoat, horn rim glasses and over-booklernin crowd. See
    Gary Pearse (07:33:48) :

  129. Pamela,
    Oh and I left out the fact that the AGW crowd apparently has 2500 of the top PhDs in the world in their camp.

  130. Pamela Gray (10:19:08)
    …..There have been many, many examples of amateur attempts at science. Some to our detriment and even great harm………
    Until couple of decades ago it was easy to keep amateur ‘a lower form of being’ out of the high science presses. Thanks to Tim Berners-Lee who preferred using a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television to build his first computer, rather than pursuance of particle physics, we have WWW, the most democratic invention since the Gutenberg’s press. Now hallow halls science are accessible to ‘great unwashed’, how demeaning for the selected few.

  131. vukcevic (11:07:22) :
    we have WWW, the most democratic invention since the Gutenberg’s press. Now hallow halls science are accessible to ‘great unwashed’, how demeaning for the selected few.
    But also the greatest disseminator of junk known to mankind. Now, more than ever, it is important that people learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  132. Leif Svalgaard (10:29:49) :
    …………..
    Where there is no reliable data, logic is a reasonable substitute.
    Solar cycles are not necessarily governed only by polar fields and vice-versa, there are regular anomalies that come into play, as it can be seen here:
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/Anomalies.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/SSNanomaly1.gif
    Your attempts to discredit formula on basis of ‘degrees of freedom’ has failed as the nonsense with parabolic function shows
    http://www.leif.org/research/Vuk-polar-fields-1.png
    or an attempt to mutilate my formula
    http://www.leif.org/research/Vuk-polar-fields-2.png
    and present it as a credible alternative.
    ….it is important that people learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    Occasionally chaff sticks, as a great irritant to worm and comforting woolly socks, take it off and to a great surprise it contains a healthy grain.

  133. Leif
    Thank you for your answer. I took a look at the link you provided. When you start thinking about it …. I want to say that it’s amazing they are as regular as they are. Whadda ya suppose they would be like in a binary star system? Maybe well get a chance to see in our lifetimes.
    It also put me in mind of a physics demonstration I saw once. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrw-i5Ku0mI&
    Hank

  134. vukcevic (11:56:21) :
    Where there is no reliable data, logic is a reasonable substitute.
    Not faulty logic, that does not take into account the way things actually work. And there is reliable data. A null-experiment is a very valid and reliable data provider. Severny did not believe that the polar fields reversed and set out to prove Babcock wrong. With his instrument he should have found a polar field of the magnitude that Babcock found in the 1950s, and he didn’t. He effectively could place an upper limit on the polar fields that showed that they must be much smaller than what Babcock found. This is reliable data. It was only after he [and we] measured the [by then larger] polar fields again in the 1970s that he was won over to the view that Babcock was probably correct.
    Occasionally chaff sticks
    As I said, your love affair with your chaff excuses everything. How is the comparison coming along? That should be straightforward.
    Remember, the onus is always on the proposer, not on the critic.

  135. My formulae are available to anyone to prove or disprove, to praise or to rubbish, to their hearts content. In my day job I have paid tax to support a many scientist’s work, mine effort comes as a totally tax free contribution. If someone out there wishes to spend my or someone else’s hard earned money, or their valuable free time, to discredit it they are welcome to do it. Thanks to the internet and enthusiasts (such as people who run this blog), I can have my voice heard, which otherwise would not be the case.
    …..
    As I said, your love affair with your chaff excuses everything.
    I am not unique in that respect, quite a bit of chaff here:
    “I have on my desk a strong magnet. At some distance from it an iron key can still feel the magnetic field, right? If I move the magnet across the street, there is still a magnetic field in my office [albeit much weaker], right. Are there any currents in my office or at the Earth in the first example? The only answer that experiments give is “no”. So we have in one region of space magnetic fields without any currents in that region, right?”
    No. Absolutely wrong!!!
    Ampère model: where all magnetization is due to the effect of microscopic, or atomic, circular “bound currents”, also called “Ampèrian currents” throughout the material. For a uniformly magnetized cylindrical bar magnet, the net effect of the microscopic bound currents is to make the magnet behave as if there is a macroscopic sheet of electric current flowing around the surface, with local flow direction normal to the cylinder axis. (Since scraping off the outer layer of a magnet will not destroy its magnetic field, it can be seen that this is just a model, and the tiny currents are actually distributed throughout the material). The right-hand rule tells which direction the current flows. The Ampere model gives the exact magnetic field both inside and outside the magnet. It is usually difficult to calculate the Amperian currents on the surface of a magnet, whereas it is often easier to find the effective poles for the same magnet.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnet

  136. vukcevic (13:09:41) :
    My formulae are available to anyone to prove or disprove, to praise or to rubbish, to their hearts content
    I have rubbished it to my hearts content, so what is your problem? I’m not allowed to do that?
    For the straw man about the magnets:
    “Are there any currents in my office or at the Earth in the first example? The only answer that experiments give is “no”. So we have in one region of space magnetic fields without any currents in that region, right?”
    That there are currents inside the magnetic does not mean that there are currents in my office caused by the magnet across the street.
    Get your physics right.
    How is the comparison coming?

  137. Leif Svalgaard (13:55:49) :
    That there are currents inside the magnetic does not mean that there are currents in my office caused by the magnet across the street.
    Or that there are currents in my office causing the magnetic field in the magnet across the street.
    Now, if you move the magnet, that movement can induce [create] a current in a conductor in my office, and so is it that the currents we observe in space can be created by moving a magnetic field and a conductor relatively to each other. An example is a neutral plasma cloud impinging on the Earth’s magnetic field, the result being a current flowing along the interface between the cloud and the field. It is not this current that creates the Earth’s magnetic field. Etc.
    How is the comparison coming?

  138. Leif Svalgaard (13:55:49)
    My formulae are available to anyone to prove or disprove, to praise or to rubbish, to their hearts content …to discredit it, they are welcome to do it.
    I have rubbished it to my hearts content, so what is your problem? I’m not allowed to do that?
    I have no problems, unless the formula bothers you to much, perhaps you should read the above sentence again.
    That there are currents inside the magnetic does not mean that there are currents in my office caused by the magnet across the street. Get your physics right.
    You may got it slightly wrong there: Since there are some free ions in the air, and “there is still a magnetic field in your office [albeit much weaker]” then certainly there will be some current, unless of course you live in a vacuum, then your surroundings would be current free, but your body would not.
    That is right physics.
    How is the comparison coming?
    Done it long ago, and you’ve seen it more than once, as you can see it here:
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/Solar_cycles.gif
    and going back to SC1 and before:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined1650.gif
    Take a rest, good night.

  139. vukcevic (14:40:17) :
    Since there are some free ions in the air, and “there is still a magnetic field in your office [albeit much weaker]” then certainly there will be some current […] That is right physics.
    No, because you claim that those current are the cause of the magnetic field in my office.
    “How is the comparison coming?”
    Done it long ago

    The graphs do not show the polar field formula in action, as requested. Please do it again, using the polar field formula, and make a reasonable [i.e. less amateurish] plot, where you show as a function of cycle number the difference between the zero crossings of your polar field formula and the observed solar max times.

  140. Had you considered that the 10.7m flux might be a symptom rather than a causality ? In any case I think that you are a bit previous, with your assumption that the flux is on the rise and will not dip again soon. Isn’t it the case that the slope of the 2008-2009 graph is much more shallow than the 1953-1954 slope ( about half ). and it is evident from your own graph that the fluctuations are much more shallow than in 1954.
    Nevertheless there seems to be some sort of recurrant pattern, which may not be that significant, compared with the graph of the Ap index (article a few days ago on WUWT) http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/23/archibald-the-ap-index-says-there-will-be-no-sunspots/
    The truth is we just do not know, we are guessing is the reality of the situation, but empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that it is getting colder despite an apparent temporary upsurge in the Solar Dynamo etc.

  141. Jim-Bob (15:36:26) :
    Had you considered that the 10.7m flux might be a symptom rather than a causality ?
    The F10.7 flux does not cause anything, but is just a indicator [proxy] for the physical conditions [density and temperature – both essentially controlled by the magnetic field there] in the lower solar corona
    Isn’t it the case that the slope of the 2008-2009 graph is much more shallow than the 1953-1954 slope ( about half ). and it is evident from your own graph that the fluctuations are much more shallow than in 1954.
    The slope is different because cycle 18 [1953-1954] was more active than cycle 23. Once you hit the bottom part both curves are pretty flat for about a year. As I have said a zillion times now, the point of interest is that as far as we can tell the level of F10.7 [that is the value it has] is the same for 1954 and for 2008, and because of that sameness does not seem to be a good predictor of the next cycle. Cycle 19 [max in 1957-1958] was one of the largest cycles recorded while SC24 is expected to be quite low.
    The recurrent patterns of F10.7 and ap are likely to be related as they both originate from activity on the Sun.
    Whether the temperature fall is due to the Sun or something else is at this point pure speculation.

  142. OK, I think however that the long term trend of the Ap index is quite worrying though, and actually seems to be related to a different Solar Cycle than the one resposible for the F10.7
    Of course the Earth is at the farthest point to The Sun, at about 1.017 AU at the moment (Apogee), and Full Apsis is predicted to be reached on July 4th at 02:00 GMT. The average Apogee is only 1.0167.
    It is also evident that a few months after Apsis Earth will be approaching Periapsis with Mars, and the orbital planes are becoming coincident. The gravitational pull could well exert some considerable force, extending and exaggerating the 2010 Solar Apogee.
    Combined with other factors related to other Planetary bodies and the low Solar output, this should lead to ever colder climates in coming years.
    Still as you say this is speculation, but based on some sound reasoning.
    Our guess is better than Hansen or Gore’s though, wouldn’t you say ?

  143. Jim-Bob (16:37:33) :
    OK, I think however that the long term trend of the Ap index is quite worrying though, and actually seems to be related to a different Solar Cycle than the one resposible for the F10.7
    The long-term trend of Ap is shown here: http://www.leif.org/research/Ap%201844-2009.pdf and is not anything special, except for us now approaching values of a century ago.
    Still as you say this is speculation, but based on some sound reasoning.
    I don’t think the reasoning about planets is sound unless you have first demonstrated that it has anything to do with the climate.
    Our guess is better than Hansen or Gore’s though, wouldn’t you say ?
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, but we could and should have the science correct first, before guessing.

  144. Speaking of Sunspots, did anyone check out the 2.6 Ri for June 2009?
    SIDC appears to have rolled up it’s sleeves and cleaned house.

  145. Leif Svalgaard (17:27:48) :
    I don’t think the reasoning about planets is sound unless you have first demonstrated that it has anything to do with the climate.
    Oh come on Leif, of course the planets influence the Earth’s orbit (Newton).
    We all agree The Sun influences the climate, and of course the distance to The Sun must have an effect on that. Don’t get so lost in the minutii of the measurements so that you lose sight of the basics.
    Remember that the science is extremely complex, and we may never get it fully “right”. The sad fact is that we may never be able to accurately predict the sudden climate shifts, and magnetic pole reversals & etc.
    In the UK the Defence Department has slashed the Metrological Office Budget, perhaps in recognition of this fact. Money and effort is now being spent on mitigation plans for all possible scenarios, funds permitting.
    Despite what Politicians are saying, Military leaders can and must prepare for all eventualities. So then where the Military goes, the Politician will soon follow.
    It is mine own belief that far too much time is spent in examining the minute detail and miniscule measurements, and trying to compare with past events, and making some prediction as a result. Actually much of your analysis is Hokum. It is literally “A message that seems to convey no meaning”.
    I mean this as a constructive criticism. Spend less time on the minutii, and then you might be able to “see the wood through the trees”. We need to be doing more preparation for adaption to whichever change of climate is imposed upon us by the vagaries of the Universe, rather than spending so much effort on the analysis.
    While we all here discuss this meaningless detail, politicians are hell bent on imposing fraudulent taxes, based on bogus science. The fraud is very real, because most politicians know the real truth about CO2 & etc., and are capable of ignoring the facts for political expediency. Therefor it is useless to try to convince the man who already knows, or the man who does not want to “officially” know. More effort needs to be spent in directly confronting the [snip], and this won’t be done by telling them what they already know.
    …… my 2c worth.

  146. Jim-Bob (18:34:05) :
    We all agree The Sun influences the climate, and of course the distance to The Sun must have an effect on that. Don’t get so lost in the minutii of the measurements so that you lose sight of the basics.
    Since the distance to the Sun does not vary from year to year [except of a time scale of tens of thousands of years – which we are not considering here] the influence on the climate is nil, that is the basics. Your 2 ct worth is just that, 2c.
    rbateman (18:07:25) :
    Speaking of Sunspots, did anyone check out the 2.6 Ri for June 2009? SIDC appears to have rolled up it’s sleeves and cleaned house.
    Yes, I saw it, and has adjusted by daily plot accordingly. What is going on here is that SIDC is beginning to see the L&P effect, while NOAA is really biased towards counting ‘regions’ rather than spots. This will get messy…

  147. Leif Svalgaard (18:50:32)
    Yes, I saw it, and has adjusted by daily plot accordingly. What is going on here is that SIDC is beginning to see the L&P effect, while NOAA is really biased towards counting ‘regions’ rather than spots. This will get messy…
    It looks like the solar community is no different then the climate community….politics.

  148. Jim Hughes (19:50:36) :
    It looks like the solar community is no different then the climate community….politics.
    It kind of makes the June spike shrivel a bit compared to the March 2008 spike, so I can understand your apprehension. BTW, I think the SIDC number are too low, not just recently, but progressively over the last decade. This may be L&P hitting them.

  149. Leif, I suppose you have watched many of these solar cycle starts.
    What would you say are the chances that this flurry of activity is another false start to 24? It looks like there have been at least 2 others in early 2008 and late 2008. The F10.7 seems to have been slowly rising for the the last 6 months or so. Can that rise reverse, or is there an unstoppable momentum that will force it upward for at least the next several years?

  150. Leif Svalgaard (18:50:32) :
    Since the distance to the Sun does not vary from year to year [except of a time scale of tens of thousands of years – which we are not considering here] the influence on the climate is nil, that is the basics. Your 2 ct worth is just that, 2c.
    ………………………………
    I am sorry, but it must be said that you really are an arrogant person.
    The distance to The Sun varies EVERY year.
    The Sun is the PRINCIPAL driver of the Earth’s Climate.
    That is the basics !
    Then again, you go on to discuss some more minutii.
    This really illustrates what you are all about. Frankly I do not care for your sort of pointless “research”. The reality is that you are sadly incapable of original thought, and simply go about repeating the results of other peoples measurements, without really understanding what you are doing. You are a “Rent-Seeker” IMHO. If this is a hard truth for you, then it is time to re-examine your entire wasted life.
    No doubt YOU must have the last word, but this sort of incessant meaningless drivel, that pours from your keyboard only serves to obfuscate the real issue, that SIGNIFICANT Facts have been [snip] mis-represented.
    [finis]

  151. Leif Svalgaard ( 20:05:34)
    It kind of makes the June spike shrivel a bit compared to the March 2008 spike, so I can understand your apprehension. BTW, I think the SIDC number are too low, not just recently, but progressively over the last decade. This may be L&P hitting them.
    Okay you got me there. But I think the monthly RI/SWO ratio is the third lowest going all the way back to at least January 1991. So the 44% (?) is somewhat out of the norm. No big deal though and I can live with this and the June 1st x-ray background flux spike. 🙂

  152. Jim-Bob, you seem to confuse original thought with open-ended speculation. And to suggest that Dr. Svaalgard’s research is pointless shows you know little about today’s realities. Research in this field has dramatic consequences for ‘real’ businesses. Do you suppose that insurance rates on satellites went up or down when Dr. Hattaway predicted a giant cycle 24? What do you think happened when Dr. Svaalgard predicted a lower than normal cycle? People with a vested interest pay very close attention – it is not minutia. (and certainly not minutii!) It might cost many millions of dollars of unnecessary hardening of a sattellite designed to last 10 years if one wrongly followed the big 24 theory. The government doesn’t fund this research because it is unimportant – it is. And it is interesting besides.

  153. Lee (20:06:21) :
    What would you say are the chances that this flurry of activity is another false start to 24? It looks like there have been at least 2 others in early 2008 and late 2008.
    The early 2008 was SC23 still squeezing one in. Late 2008 was the beginning and now the cycle is on its way.
    The F10.7 seems to have been slowly rising for the the last 6 months or so. Can that rise reverse, or is there an unstoppable momentum that will force it upward for at least the next several years?
    Slow, steady rises don’t reverse, a sharp spike might. I think there is little chance that we’ll slide back into a further drawn out minimum. Even the cosmic ray flux seems to have topped [as it should 6-12 month after minimum], so in my book, the new cycle has started in earnest. We may perhaps still get some wild swings, as we often see in weak cycles, e.g. here: http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl14.html
    Jim-Bob (20:07:13) :
    [finis]
    One can only hope that this is indeed the last we hear from you.

  154. No Jim-Bob, Lief is not arrogant. If you attempt to e-mail a lot of top scientists you will not even get a reply unless you have letters after your name and a university e-mail account.
    The patience Lief shows as he handles the genuinely curious and tolerates those who bang on about their hobby horses is a genuine example of good Science, sorely needed to counter the grant-hunting charlatans that are feeding the scam.
    Lief seems to me like an old boxer dog tolerating lively puppies frisking around, and when one gets too impertinent he pins the puppy to the floor. (Hope that describes the image clearly.)
    No arrogant expert would bother reading the comments of anyone unpublished in their field, let alone replying.

  155. Jim-Bob (20:07:13) writes in part to Leif Svalgaard: “I am sorry, but it must be said that you really are an arrogant person.”
    I must take issue with you there, Jim-Bob. Leif has demonstrated many times on WUWT? that arrogance is not a term applicable to him. If this definition fits your meaning — arrogant – having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance out of overbearing pride — then I believe you must re-think your claim. If it does not fit, then you need to re-post it in a modified form.
    In my opinion, and I suggest also in the majority opinion, Leif is a check-point many here make very good use of, and the majority are grateful to have available.

  156. While I will also disagree with Leif at times, I think that personal attacks of this sort, jim-bob, merely demean you.
    Craig

  157. rbateman (18:07:25) :
    “Yes, I saw it, and has adjusted by daily plot accordingly. ”
    Jim Hughes (19:50:36) :
    It looks like the solar community is no different then the climate community….politics.
    One ‘improvement’ might be to put both SIDC and NOAA sunspot numbers on the graph. This is done now. Then we can watch how the discrepancy evolves.

  158. Leif Svalgaard (18:50:32) :
    Definitions, it’s all about definitions. And yes, it will get ever more messier unless some standards to address the technology revolution in detection comes about.
    It would be ideal for someone to be able to run out a Greenwich-style output daily.
    A software package that would act on all the images that everyone can use.
    An open-source package.
    Those kind of things tend to survive.

  159. Sandy (20:47:58) suggests: “Leif seems to me like an old boxer dog tolerating lively puppies frisking around, and when one gets too impertinent he pins the puppy to the floor. (Hope that describes the image clearly.)”
    Describes it brilliantly, Sandy!

  160. rbateman (22:08:59) :
    Leif Svalgaard (18:50:32) :
    Definitions, it’s all about definitions. And yes, it will get ever more messier unless some standards to address the technology revolution in detection comes about.
    It would be ideal for someone to be able to run out a Greenwich-style output daily.
    A software package that would act on all the images that everyone can use.
    An open-source package.
    Those kind of things tend to survive.

    Imagine if we did have this software….throw in all of the images from SOHO since it started, set some parameters which will record the size and density of the spots by pixel(and weed out the specks) by day and produce a graph which could compare the real activity. Then we could see the real difference between the last 18 months of SC24 and previous cycles.
    I dont think this would be hard to do.

  161. Leif Svalgaard (14:58:40) :
    vukcevic (14:40:17) :
    Since there are some free ions in the air, and “there is still a magnetic field in your office [albeit much weaker]” then certainly there will be some current […] That is right physics.
    No, because you claim that those current are the cause of the magnetic field in my office.
    What you just said is absolute nonsense or is it some kind of an odd sense of humour.
    The right physics is: circular “bound currents”, also called “Ampèrian currents” are the cause and the source of magnetic field of a permanent magnet, the field present in your office or wherever you put your magnet.
    If a charged particle (proton, electron or a ion) encounters this field, it will according to well known laws of physics start spinning along imaginary ‘magnetic field line’ generated by your magnet. Move of a charged particle constitutes an electric current, which in turn will generate its own magnetic field.
    Let me summarise for you: Magnetic field in your office than would be a phasor made up of a sum from:
    1. the vector representing constant filed from the permanent magnet and
    2. the phasor representing magnetic field produced by a spinning charge.
    Perhaps you should revisit the classic electro-magnetic theory.

  162. The readers here might be interested in the following publication.
    Prediction of Grand Minima, Ludwik Liszka and Rickard Lundin,
    IRF Scientific Report 299, May 2009.
    In pdf format (1.6 MB): http://tinyurl.com/mhpand
    Using neural network and wavelet methods, they find that
    “The result shows a clear similarity between the periods before the Maunder and Dalton Minima and the period after the year 2000.”

  163. vukcevic (03:58:04) :
    “If a charged particle (proton, electron or a ion) encounters this field, it will according to well known laws of physics start spinning along imaginary ‘magnetic field line’ generated by your magnet. Move of a charged particle constitutes an electric current”
    You are inching closer to understanding how magnetic fields generate electric currents.
    Now, if you could just get off this straw man and get back to the comparison between predicted and observed solar maxima, we might make some progress.

  164. Mats Holmstrom (05:51:25) :
    Using neural network and wavelet methods, they find that
    “The result shows a clear similarity between the periods before the Maunder and Dalton Minima and the period after the year 2000.”

    A recurrent problem with such analyses is the use of the Group Sunspot Number, that severely underestimates solar activity in the the 18th and 19th centuries, see e.g. their Figure 2. Solar activity for the coming cycle(s) seems to be headed for a lull as predicted, so our statistics for studying such minima should improve.

  165. jim-bob 20:07:13
    You don’t get it; Leif is the Uber-Skeptic. He has to be shown.
    ======================================

  166. Leif Svalgaard (07:26:17) :
    vukcevic (03:58:04) :
    “If a charged particle (proton, electron or a ion) encounters this field, it will according to well known laws of physics start spinning along imaginary ‘magnetic field line’ generated by your magnet. Move of a charged particle constitutes an electric current”
    You are inching closer to understanding how magnetic fields generate electric currents.
    I would not be so positive.
    Now, only you have to stick couple of electrodes next to your permanent magnet and you have a forever free supply of electricity, providing you keep your office window open to let few ions in.

  167. Don’t send Sun worshipers away yet. I have a cave in need of sacrificial food, especially now that Jupiter is aligned with Mars and the Moon is in the 7th house. It is quite clear that the Sun is in Cancer so I need blood sacrifice (but money will do nicely). I can make it quite cold for unbelievers so donate today.

  168. vukcevic (09:05:46) :
    “You are inching closer to understanding how magnetic fields generate electric currents.”
    I would not be so positive.

    Yeah, perhaps I mistakenly gave credit where no credit is due.
    Now, if you could just get off this straw man and get back to the comparison between predicted and observed solar maxima, we might make some progress.

  169. Leif Svalgaard (09:34:38) :
    “Yeah, perhaps I mistakenly gave credit where no credit is due.
    Now, if you could just get off this straw man and get back to the comparison between predicted and observed solar maxima, we might make some progress.”
    Solar cycle prediction is an old hat. I am working on a global temperature driver. I will email you draft when ready.
    However, since you insist “the comparison between predicted and observed solar maxima” is all here:
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/Solar_cycles.gif
    You can either read “predicted and observed solar maxima” of the middle graph or calculate from its equation. Use anomaly graph at bottom to reduce value by 25-30% whenever it indicates low cycle. Alternatively you can use the two equations at the top graph (Y1 gives you a point in time which you then use to calculate the amplitude using Y2), again in conjunction with the anomaly graph.
    Good luck.

  170. vukcevic (10:48:37) :
    However, since you insist “the comparison between predicted and observed solar maxima” is all here:
    I do insist, and the result was not there. Please make the plot as requested or shall we consider your refusal as admission of defeat?

  171. Leif,
    I have several questions. Thanks for giving attention to my preceding questions. I really appreciate your answers!
    “One ‘improvement’ might be to put both SIDC and NOAA sunspot numbers on the graph. This is done now.”
    – Are the data of your graph the daily sunspot numbers of both data centers (or the monthly smoothed sunspot numbers, or …)?
    “What is going on here is that SIDC is beginning to see the L&P effect, while NOAA is really biased towards counting ‘regions’ rather than spots. This will get messy.”
    – Do you mean that the NOAA counts are focused on groups, even if the one or two spots of these groups are possibly hardly visible whereas SIDC is focused on spots? Then, if the spots are hardly visible, SIDC notices nothing at all? (In June, SIDC didn’t notice the spots of NOAA numbers 1020 and 1021.)
    Apart from that, I ascertain that during the past 12 months, the number of spotless days remains high (data SIDC). From July 2008 to June 2009, I count 291 spotless days, i.e. 79.7 %. I conclude that during several months, solar activity will remain low.

  172. Rik Gheysens (11:42:14) :
    – Are the data of your graph the daily sunspot numbers of both data centers (or the monthly smoothed sunspot numbers, or …)?
    There is a point for every day [same as for all the other curves]
    – Do you mean that the NOAA counts are focused on groups, even if the one or two spots of these groups are possibly hardly visible whereas SIDC is focused on spots? Then, if the spots are hardly visible, SIDC notices nothing at all? (In June, SIDC didn’t notice the spots of NOAA numbers 1020 and 1021.)
    Something like that, yes. But the process is not transparent enough to know for sure what they do.
    Apart from that, I ascertain that during the past 12 months, the number of spotless days remains high (data SIDC). From July 2008 to June 2009, I count 291 spotless days, i.e. 79.7 %. I conclude that during several months, solar activity will remain low.
    Try to plot the number of spotless days per month and see what it tells you. Solar activity will remain ‘low’ for years to come. Just how ‘low’ is the question.

  173. Rik Gheysens (11:42:14) :
    Apart from that, I ascertain that during the past 12 months, the number of spotless days remains high (data SIDC). From July 2008 to June 2009, I count 291 spotless days, i.e. 79.7 %. I conclude that during several months, solar activity will remain low.
    Me: “Try to plot the number of spotless days per month and see what it tells you. Solar activity will remain ‘low’ for years to come. Just how ‘low’ is the question.”
    It is done for you here:
    http://www.solarcycle24.com/

  174. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (11:42:58) :
    Geoff Sharp (22:59:28) :
    I dont think this would be hard to do.
    —————————–
    Then do it, no need to wait.

    I was hoping someone with programming skills, like you, might put their hand up.

  175. Geoff Sharp (17:11:14) :
    Not to worry too much, Geoff.
    For SOHO 1024×1024 MDI Continuum Images:
    Open in AIP4Win
    Get Red Channel
    Check Statistics of whole image
    Subtract Std. Dev. from Median
    Crop image
    Clip Min to Median-StdDev + 1=0
    Use Histogram
    Check Min & Max
    Bar will have pixel count
    Divide into Hemispherical for image computed by —
    (X @ Y=512 on right limb – X @ Y=512 on left limb)/2 * (same) * pi
    Matches San Fernando Observatory Hemispherical within 10%
    Using Leif’s suggestion (Hem. Area * 0.27 ^ 0.775)
    03/26/2008 comes out to 498 10E-6 Hemi. / 45 ssn
    06/23/2009 comes out to 19 10E-6 Hemi /8 ssn (SIDC=7)
    It’s a pain, have to be very careful all the way, but it seems to work.
    The Green channel by the same method makes a Hemi. 2 x larger.

  176. rbateman (23:07:18) :
    Seems like a lot of hard work. If we had a stack of SOHO images, all we need is a program that stores the date, then counts how many pixels have a red value higher than 240 (isolates space background) and also have a green value of >70. This gives us the sunspot area by date which can then be graphed. Further work could be done to analyze the darkness of the spot by factoring in the green and blue values.

  177. Sunspot Automatic
    Measurement (SAM) (Gy}ori, 1998), is the name of the program Debrecen uses.
    I’m sure we couldn’t get it, and it probably runs on a specific brand of Unix or Linux, as most specialized scientific processing does.
    I’ll check IRAF for any packages, but don’t hold your breath.

  178. grrrrr. Go figure. Two organizations doing the same work (sunspot count) cant even mutually decide what qualifys as a sunspot? Break out the telescope, if you can see it, its a spot.. if you cant, then its not:P No cheating with magnetograms.

  179. Part A is getting a preliminary area count that isn’t a nearest 10 kludge.
    Part B is when someone like Lief convinces organizations to adopt a standardized way to come up with SSN via area measurement.

  180. Hopefully there’s no doubt about the current group on the sun which has been rapidly emerging during the past several hours. Maybe Region 1024 can even produce a few C-Class flares for the first time in a while.

  181. I would comment on Lief’s behavior, but it wouldn’t change anything. I would just ignore everything other than actual scientific discussion. As humans, we should be able to rise above it…
    Why does the sun have a roughly eleven year cycle (suspiciously like our largest planet’s orbital period)? Why does it flip polarity every 22yrs (suspiciously like the conjunction period of our two largest planets)? I think there is a lot we don’t understand about our planetary system, and the magnetic relationships between the sun and all of our planets…the tidal forces, etc..certainly worth investigating and working on, whether professionally or as an amateur.
    100 years from now, people will be looking back and laughing at our ignorance in our understanding of the Sun, Lief, the solar system…the blue planet for that matter.
    Humbling I would think…the little that we know…keep the ideas rolling!
    Ed

  182. Ed (23:54:36) :
    “Why does the sun have a roughly eleven year cycle (suspiciously like our largest planet’s orbital period)? Why does it flip polarity every 22yrs (suspiciously like the conjunction period of our two largest planets)?”
    Experts do not agree, but you may find some answers here:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/ links solar current, and solar subcycle

  183. Ed (23:54:36) :
    100 years from now, people will be looking back and laughing at our ignorance in our understanding of the Sun
    100 years ago, it was widely believed that the planets were controlling solar activity.

  184. vukcevic (00:29:28) :
    Experts do not agree, but you may find some answers here:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/ links solar current, and solar subcycle

    How is your comparison between observed and calculated times of solar maxima coming? You formula predicts a constant cycle length of 10.81 [except every century or so, when your polar fields do not reverse].

  185. There are 3 odd cycles SC 6, 13, (SC23 is going to be one), longer than 12 years. If you remove SC6&13, then average length is 10.833, against 10.81 in my formula, which is closer than many other estimates. If I got it all correct, you would still dispute it, but even if you did not, lets face it, it would not be a candidate for the Astronomy’s award of the year. Thanks for the encouragement.
    I am idling away my time on ‘climate change’ project at the moment, and since there is no mention of TSI, Sun, solar or SC, and making good progress, I may need some help there, if you are so inclined.
    As far as reversals are concerned, I know about that anomaly in the formula, but now you brought it up, it did occur to me that the Livingstone-Penn effect might be a precursor to such an event (if you follow logic of it), which for some reason, may happen from time to time. If so than it reversal would be missed at SC24-25 transition around 2025, and remember you first heard it here.
    What do you think the exit from the L-P effect may be?

  186. vukcevic (00:24:06) :
    There are 3 odd cycles SC 6, 13, (SC23 is going to be one), longer than 12 years. If you remove SC6&13, then average length is 10.833, against 10.81 in my formula, which is closer than many other estimates.
    Omitting what doesn’t fit will always improve things. But you miss the point, namely that your formula predicts a constant length and the real lengths vary considerably.

  187. Leif Svalgaard (04:31:03) :
    Omitting what doesn’t fit will always improve things. But you miss the point, namely that your formula predicts a constant length and the real lengths vary considerably.
    Of course, I know they do. I did say I am not competing for the for the Astronomy’s award of the year. I would prefer, if instead of stating obvious you might speculate about the L-P effect.
    Since it appears that you have been giving more than passing attention to my formula (I am flattered ! ), you may have noticed that actually it does cross zero, but for such short time that actual SC25 would be insignificant (appearance of a long minimum), the Sun going early into SC26 which of course has same polarity as SC24.
    Alternatively, if next set of PF is 50% lower (as the current is) than SC25 might be about 30-35, so not many SS would occur, and they may be hardly visible (LP). In such circumstances, whatever induces Hale cycle changeover may be so week and unable to completely flip the dynamo (complete process usually takes a year +), so hey presto we may not have polarity change.

  188. vukcevic (06:33:53) :
    I did say I am not competing for the for the Astronomy’s award of the year.
    But you did claim that your formula had predictive power, which it obviously with a fixed period does not.
    Since it appears that you have been giving more than passing attention to my formula
    Pseudo-science should be beaten down whenever it rears its ugly head.
    so not many SS would occur, and they may be hardly visible (LP).
    The L-P effect [if it occurs] does not mean that the magnetic field is gone, so will have very little effect on the dynamo.

  189. vukcevic (06:33:53) :
    Since it appears that you have been giving more than passing attention to my formula
    Pseudo-science should be beaten down whenever it rears its ugly head.

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