The great filament

From Spaceweather.com with apologies to Linus and Charles Schulz

http://spaceweather.com/images2010/23feb10/eit304_lab.jpg?PHPSESSID=itcnchmv8h3vv57o1vhoqfd7k4

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is tracking an enormous magnetic filament on the sun. It stretches more than one million kilometers from end to end, which makes it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. For the seventh day in a row, an enormous magnetic filament is hanging suspended above the surface of the sun’s southern hemisphere. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has a great view. How long can it last? Solar filaments are unpredictable. If this one collapses and hits the stellar surface, the impact could produce a powerful Hyder flare.

The most recent SOHO image is here

Hyder Flares: from Australian IPS 1. What is a Hyder flare?

Flares are intense brightenings that occur in the solar chromosphere. Flares are generally observed from Earth using narrow band filters, typically with a bandwidth of less than 0.1 nm, and often centred on the Hydrogen-Alpha wavelength of 656.3 nm. (Flares also have counterparts, that is, sudden outbursts, in the radio and X-ray spectrum).

Most flares occur around active regions associated with sunspot groups. However, occasionally a flare (sudden brightening) is observed well away from an active region or sunspot group. These flares are invariably associated with the sudden disappearance of a large (thick, long, ‘bushy’) dark solar filament, and are termed Hyder flares.

2. Why are Hyder flares so named?

Max Waldmeier wrote a paper in 1938 which described the phenomenon of suddenly disappearing filaments (disparition brusque), and mentioned that these can be associated with flare-like brightenings, but it was left to Charles Hyder to postulate the first comprehensive mechanism for the such flares.

Following on work from his doctoral thesis with the University of Colorado in Boulder (1964), Hyder published two papers in the second volume of the journal Solar Physics (1967) in which the mechanism by which Hyder flares might occur was discussed in detail. Hyder was then on the staff of the (US) Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories at the Sacramento Peak Observatory in New Mexico.

It was these papers in Solar Physics by which Hyder’s name became associated with the flares in question, even though he was by no means the first to observe them.

3. What are the characteristics of Hyder flares?

As previously mentioned, the name Hyder flare is given to a flare that occurs away from an active region or sunspot group and that is associated with the sudden disappearance of a dark filament. The appearance of these flares can range from a string of bright knots on one or both sides of the filament (or rather, the position previously occupied by the filament, sometimes called the filament channel), to a single or double ribbon flare. The ribbons are parallel to the filament channel. If only one ribbon is present, it will lie to one side of the channel, whereas if two parallel ribbons occur, one ribbon will lie on one side of the filament channel, and the other ribbon will lie on the opposite side.

One interesting characteristic of Hyder flares is that they usually develop or rise to maximum brightness much more slowly than do the more common flares associated with active regions. The larger Hyder flares may take 30 to 60 minutes to rise to a peak intensity, and then they may last for several hours. Although they may attain a large area, they usually have a relatively low intensity. Thus, classifications for a large Hyder flare may read 2F, 2N or possibly even 3F. This contrasts to an active region flare in which 3F is very rare. An active region flare that attains sufficient area to put it into the importance class 3, will invariably have either a Normal or more usually a Brilliant brightness classification.

X-ray flares and radio (microwave) bursts associated with the optical Hyder flare, are also generally long lived phenomenon and are classified as the gradual rise and fall type of event (in contrast to the impulsive and complex events associated with large active region flares).

Generally Hyder flares are not associated with energetic particle emission or geomagnetic storms (implying that they may not be associated with a coronal mass ejection). However, this is not always the case, as a large halo CME observed by the LASCO solar coronagraph on board the SOHO spacecraft was most definitely associated with a Hyder flare (2N/M1) observed on 12 September 2000. This same complex also appeared to have produced energetic protons at geosynchronous orbit with energies in excess of 100 MeV, and in substantial numbers at energies of 10 MeV. It is believed that the sudden storm commencement observed at 0450UT 15 September, and the subsequent minor geomagnetic storm was produced by this particular CME.

4. What produces Hyder flares?

Hyder’s explanation of the flare type now named after him depended on the observational evidence that (1) often the flare was a parallel ribbon flare with one ribbon each side of the filament channel, and (2) that geomagnetic storms were not associated with these flares. This led to the speculation that the filamentary material was not ejected far into the corona, but in fact fell back to the chromosphere producing the flare.

Stable or quiescent filaments are believed to lie in and along a magnetic trough. It is thought that the sudden disappearance of such a filament is due to a reconfiguration of the field. In essence, the magnetic trough becomes a magnetic ridge (the bottom of the trough elevating in a period of tens of minutes to become the peak of the ridge). In this process, the filamentary material (cooler gas) is thought to be accelerated into the corona. Hyder’s explanation is that, in the case of the Hyder flare, some or even most of the filament material, instead of suffering acceleration and ejection, falls down the sides of the magnetic ridge and interacts with the lower chromospheric material producing the flare. If the infall process is symmetrical, then the double parallel ribbon flare will result, if asymmetrical, then only one ribbon results. If the infall is sporadic, or the material insufficient, then only bright knots of flare are produced. Hyder did calculations to show that the kinetic energy of the infalling material should be sufficient to provide the required flare energy release observed.

Of late, the Hyder mechanism has come into question. Some people (notably Zirin) have questioned whether infall occurs, stating that the magnetic reconfiguration must always produce ejection. The respective roles of flares and CME’s in solar active processes has also been hotly debated, and this has implications for the exact mechanism of Hyder flares. We certainly have enough observational evidence to show that Hyder flares can be associated with both CME’s and energetic particle production. For the moment, the question of Hyder flare production mechanism appears unresolved, and will probably be sidelined until the more significant (and undoubtedly related) issue of CME – flare production mechanism is sorted out.

The bottom line is that at this stage in solar physics we do not really know what produces a flare nor what produces a CME. There are competing theories, but all tend to have deficiencies with respect to matching the observational evidence. We certainly believe that they all depend on the reconfiguration of magnetic fields as their primary energy source, but in the final analysis, we really only believe this because we can conceive of no other solar energy source of sufficient magnitude.

Hyder Flare Mechanism

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334 thoughts on “The great filament

  1. Have we ever in our current lifetime experienced a solar minimum as extended as our current one? I mean, since you and me have been alive on the planet?

  2. O/T but want to post this before going offline, as Prospect is a respected centre left magazine, and this is pretty good:
    24 Feb: Roddy Campbell: Too hot to handle
    But there are problems, even if you do this carefully. The first is urbanisation. Ideally, thermometers would be in the same place for long periods and unaffected by people. Yet they are often placed near airports, for example, where they are susceptible to an “urban heat island” (UHI) effect, as traffic increases or runways expand…..
    The good news is that now, post-climategate, the CRU and the Met Office have released data they had claimed was protected by copyright, or subject to confidentiality agreements. So the scandal has encouraged greater openness. But it has done less to solve a second problem, which arises when you try to deduce temperatures going back thousands of years. Palaeoclimatology (climate study of the history of the Earth) is harder than short term measurements, as there are no records. Temperature changes must be inferred through tree rings or ice cores. Yet some tree cores, for instance, suggest different histories from one side of the tree to the other, while their growth is changed by rainfall and CO2 as well as temperature. Another problem comes with the infamous “hockey stick” graph, devised by US climatologist Michael Mann and featured prominently in Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth. This used tree ring data from Russia and the US to show temperatures gently falling for most of the last 1,000 years, then shooting up from the middle of the 20th century, like the end of a hockey stick. Yet the graph seemed to miss two crucial periods: the “medieval warm period” from the turn of the last millennium to the 15th century, and the “little ice age” at the start of the 17th century, when the Thames regularly froze. Mann claimed these periods were local in nature; sceptics, meanwhile, suspected that the techniques used to create graphs like the hockey stick had been designed to favour the idea that warming in the second half of the 20th century was unprecedented.
    There is no conspiracy here. But the scientists involved in climate research for the past 30 years may have enjoyed their golden age too much. Research grants have flowed freely, although not, of course, as freely to scientists with contrary views. I am far from being a climate change denier. It seems perfectly likely that we are having, or will have, an effect on warming through the higher concentrations of greenhouse gases. But the evidence is not yet clear; there were, for example, periods of warming in the 19th century almost identical to the modest warming we seem to have experienced since 1975. We cannot rely on highly imperfect climate models as a basis for policy initiatives that cost billions and change how we live. An accurate and unbiased temperature record is critical.
    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2010/02/too-hot-to-handle/

  3. Fascinating, the sun is certainly “an enigma wrapped in a mystery.” We are all humbled by a study of it’s awesome displays. I wonder how many earths could ride that filament?

  4. but in the final analysis, we really only believe this because we can conceive of no other
    The difference between this team and the AGW “team” is that the former has tried to conceive of other causes, while the latter has not recognized falsification of their only idea and ignore all other suggestions regardless of source.
    I enjoyed this one and hope the great filament does something extraordinary where we can observe it. In these wavelengths a great pumpkin does come to mind. The other EIT images, not so much.
    Get the popcorn on.

  5. That looks like a giant “s”. This proves that there must be life on the sun. Well at least if we us the logic that was used by some when a rock with what looked like a giant “b” was found on mars. Similar sort of logic is also used by climate alarmists.

  6. So much for another Maunder.
    It’s been a long time coming, but now that it’s started, is this ramp up typical so far?

  7. I wish they would put an earth size circle/sphere to scale, away in a corner of each pic, so I can really judge the magnitude of the various solar disturbances that occur.

  8. McMillan: Before the Dalton and Maunder minimums, there was one more relatively weak cycle. And in the Dalton minimum there were still cycles, just weak ones.

  9. I hope it’s still there in the morning. Viewing has been terrible this winter in the southeast- focuser getting rusty…

  10. Of course the advertisement that appeared just below the article graphic “The Hyder Mechanism” was a video ad for the Blu-Ray DVD of the movie “2012”!
    Sweet zombie jesus, maybe this filament will melt the Earth’s crust as Al Gore believes with it being millions of degrees a few miles below the surface of the Earth’s crust… melting now due to modified neutrinos from the filament heating The Core (another fantastic yet unobtainium film). Ok, maybe not… back to reality from the Al Gore 2012 melting crust soothsaying we’re all doomed zone.
    This is a really cool filament, unless it bakes us that is. It is there to remind us that the sun Sol is a never changing constant that can’t influence the climate or weather outside of the known measurements – as if the sun Sol obeys our knowledge of it.
    Clearly Sol beats to a different drummer with a more complex chaotic dynamic symphony that we likely can even ever full imagine or know.
    [:)]

  11. It sounds like a Hyder flare can (although not usually) be associated with a coronal mass ejection, if I understand this article correctly. Does that mean it is something that could disrupt Earth’s magnetic field to the point where it would screw up cell phones, computers, satellite dishes, and other electronic devices?

  12. It collapsed around 17:00 UTC yesterday after what have may been interaction with the formation flying at about the 11:30 position just above the sun on this LASCO C2 image taken 17:06 UTC. You can clearly see the flare shooting under it.
    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov//data/REPROCESSING/Completed/2010/c2/20100224/20100224_1706_c2_1024.jpg
    The most prominent body in the formation is the one with a small tail under and there are 5 bodies around it of which one is under the flare.

  13. RE: Mike mcmillan..A couple of years ago hathaway et al were predicting a massive solar cycle 24, now it is expected to max in 2014, at a lower sunspot number.The interesting part is a lot of astro types predict a very weak cycle 25. Its such a facinating subject isnt it?

  14. Fate definitely has a warped sense of humor!
    Turning off Earth’s heat source after Al Gore’s long term forecast.
    Now teasing NASA and SOHO with unpredictable solar filaments.
    The lesson: “To know that you do not know is best,
    To pretend to know what you do not know is a disease.”
    – – – Lao Tzu
    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  15. OMG!!!! I just saw the movie. THANK YOU Gardy!!!! Glad we weren’t in bakeout mode when that occurred! There is no diamond I would choose over having a piece of the Sun on my finger. What a marvelous thing.

  16. Leif (I asume you wil be around shortly!)
    We have had a brief exchange in the past on the Carrington event and on the likelihood of another one happening and the devastation that would wreak on Earth. Frankly I would be far more concerned about such an event that I am about man made climate change.
    My question is; does this current flare have any of the same characteristics of the Carrington flare or are they formed in quite different ways and will have quite different effects?
    Thanks for your time
    Tonyb

  17. Jim Steele (20:40:07) :
    Anyone know if these filaments more common when the solar magnetic field is relatively strong?
    weak ? doesn’t matter? sunspot max or minimums?

    There are ~10 times as many at solar maximum.
    Mike Ramsey (20:42:58) :
    I wonder if the Solar Dynamics Observatory has been able to take a peek?
    I theory, yes, but probably not. Filaments can live for months, but that is rare, and SDO won’t be ready for another couple of months [at least].
    Jim Steele (20:46:52) :
    It reminds me of Nobel Prize winner Alfven’s secondary currents in his electric sun model.
    Except that that is not how it works.
    Mike McMillan (21:15:39) :
    So much for another Maunder.
    It’s been a long time coming, but now that it’s started, is this ramp up typical so far?

    Not unusual, and the Sun wax and wane on its climb up.
    Brian Johnson uk (21:44:52) :
    I wish they would put an earth size circle/sphere to scale, away in a corner of each pic, so I can really judge the magnitude of the various solar disturbances that occur.
    Think of this: the Sun is 109 Earths across.
    pwl (22:02:16) :
    This is a really cool filament, unless it bakes us that is.
    And filaments are really, literally cool, only tens of thousands of degrees embedded in a million-degree hot corona.
    Larry (22:13:46) :
    Does that mean it is something that could disrupt Earth’s magnetic field to the point where it would screw up cell phones, computers, satellite dishes, and other electronic devices?
    Yes, although probably not this particular one as it is at too high latitude to give us a good hit.

  18. Ed Murphy (22:57:59) :
    how this filament is persisting. What say the solar guys?
    Well it is gone now, but such filaments can persist for months. They are ‘curtains’ of cool dense material hanging in the magnetic field of the Sun. As long as the magnetic field is not disturbed by nearby sunspots, the filament can hang there for weeks or months.

  19. sundogs, filaments, and Hyder flares – been an interesting week around WUWT – thanks!
    Dr. Svalgaard,
    A million degrees – like the earth’s core?
    Sorry couldn’t resist the Al Gore ref – as always appreciate the clarifications. While I might have your attention for a sec, I was curious about the alleged (by NOAA’s climate.gov) up to 10% of GW due to solar imcrease. Could you point me to some further, trustworthy and scientifically solid, reading on the subject and/or care to share your thoughts? Also, ever heard that there has been a .1% increase in solar output – is that a real or spurious reference?

  20. Oliver K. Manuel (22:26:06) :
    Now teasing NASA and SOHO with unpredictable solar filaments.
    There are thousands of filaments in every cycle. They are clouds in the solar atmosphere and are not subject to prediction, just like individual clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere are not.
    NickB. (01:28:12) :
    A million degrees – like the earth’s core?
    Yes, actually more like 2 million [just like Gore 🙂 ], but in the solar corona. A little bit of thought can show you that the corona must be very hot. Here goes: The Sun’s gravity [in the atmosphere] is 27 times stronger than the Earth’s, so the solar atmosphere ought to be very compact and only be a thin layer as it is held down by the strong gravity. Now, hot air expands, so if the corona was VERY hot it could expand against solar gravity and form an extended atmosphere around the Sun, as it, in fact, does. QED. The upper corona is so hot that it can even escape from the clutches of solar gravity. This is the ‘solar wind’ sweeping through the solar system.
    I was curious about the alleged (by NOAA’s climate.gov) up to 10% of GW due to solar increase. Could you point me to some further, trustworthy and scientifically solid, reading on the subject and/or care to share your thoughts?
    I think the saying is that no more than 10% is due to the Sun. A good reference [I know and trust Lean] is http://www.leif.org/EOS/LeanRindCauses.pdf paragraph [17].
    Also, ever heard that there has been a .1% increase in solar output – is that a real or spurious reference?
    The solar output swings 0.1% from solar minimum to maximum and back.

  21. My first encounter with a filament was a few years after the peak of Sun Spot Cycle (SSC) 22. It was during 1993. One of the local astronomical societies that I belong to here in New Zealand ( The Foxton Beach Astronomical Society) has a late 19th Century 5 inch Cooke refarctor fitted with a Lumicon 0.7 degree bandwidth H-alpha filter. Once your eye settles to the light properly ( a black hood helped with the adjustment, but was a struggle to wear in the summer) an observer could see the background colour change from red through orange and on to yellow. By this stage you could see a lot of detail.
    My first view of a filament stopped me in my tracks. Once your eye is properly atuned to the right wavelength then the sun reveals amazing details. With the more fine tuned 0.1 degree filters surface detail is run of the mill stuff these days. Not based upon statistics but my own memory, I found that typical filaments were as common as sun spots. Someone else may have a figure on that.
    The quiescnt ones need a lot of patience if one is looking for serious activity. When a hedgerow prominence or when it rolls over onto the surface of the sun and becomes a filament, can have dramatic collapse and release events which then lead to the Hyder Flare. Amazing to watch some of this. I hope some of you get the chance to do the same.
    Cheers
    Coops
    p.s. my old solar mentor Merv Loper of the F.B.A.S., alerted me to the problem of the I.P.C.C. back in ’93. He sensed my scepticism of the growing tide of CAGW, even back then! Good onya Merv!

  22. For Peter Whale:
    It’s a confused article in so many ways. Maybe the NASA article that they “hang their hat on” isn’t great, I don’t know, but in initially grasping hold of what that specific article did or didn’t say, the “American Thinker” subtly moves the focus to the general climate science theory of how energy moves around in the atmosphere.
    If you are only concerned with what the original science educator guide said, you can ignore my post.
    If you asked your question because you want to know how valid
    the “American Thinker” points are for the general atmospheric theories, then read on..

    To make this idea seem plausible, therefore, it’s crucial to fix people’s attention on the 1% of the atmosphere that can be heated by radiant transfer instead of the 99% and more that is heated by direct contact with the earth’s surface and then by convection.

    50 years of physicists got it wrong because they missed that point?
    My comment isn’t about what anyone believes about how much the planet has heated up because of CO2 or how much it might heat up in the future. That’s all mixed in with the amazing complexity of climate.
    No, this is about how to understand the basics of how heat moves up from the surface and out of the atmosphere.
    “American Thinker” have done a a conjuring trick.
    Implying “only 1% of gases absorb longwave radiation so therefore this effect is only 1% of what happens in the atmosphere
    Is it true that physicists have ignored convection (and conduction which hardly rates) and latent heat removal (which the article ignores)? No, they have actually worked out the the energy balance through the atmosphere by considering all of these factors.
    The article is so confused that rather than picking apart all of the errors it’s easier to start by understanding the basics – take a look at the series that start with CO2- An Insignificant Trace Gas
    If time permits I might do an article about the “American Thinker” article in the next week at Science of Doom.

  23. While filaments might look good in media releases, the true story of SC24 is not in the spotlight. It might be more prudent to ask “what is this cycle doing compared to previous cycles?”
    To date the cycle appears to be a loner of sorts, a protracted minimum followed by a big upsurge in one hemisphere. Also we see 2 recurring regions in both hemispheres that have produced solid regions for 3 rotations. This did not occur even at cycle max of SC23.
    The northern hemisphere is at present totally dominate, the southern hemisphere although having the same recurring region displays a fraction of the overall activity. Very early days.

  24. The sad fact that the enormous magnetic filament on the Sun has for the citizens of planet Earth is just this and nothing less:
    1. Research agencies [NAS (National Academy of Sciences), DOE (Department of Energy), NASA, NOAA, etc] that receive our tax funds to stay abreast of knowledge and to protect us from harm have absolutely no idea what the Sun will do next.
    Why?
    2. NAS (a nongovernmental, private, self-perpetuating, “old-boys club”) reviews the budgets of these research agencies. NAS has used control of the purse to train scientists with grant funds – the same way that Pavlov trained dogs with dog biscuits.
    How?
    3. To receive grant funds, scientists must think in unison with the opinions of those who control the grant funds.
    Consequences?
    4. Although life on Earth is totally dependent on the Sun, NAS and its well-trained army of “scientists” [astronomers, astrophysicists, climatologists, cosmologists, nuclear, particle and solar physicists] have manipulated data and deceived the public about the Sun’s size (Earth actually moves through the outer layer of the Sun), its origin, composition and source of energy – misleading us to think that we need only worry about changes in TSI (total solar irradiance)!
    What a sad, sad state of affairs!
    Regretfully,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor of
    Nuclear & Space Studies
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  25. Jim Steele (20:46:52) : , Oliver K. Manuel (22:26:06) :
    The lesson: “To know that you do not know is best,
    To pretend to know what you do not know is a disease.”
    – – – Lao Tzu

    James F. Evans (22:56:37) :
    The concept of an “electromagnetic universe” (electric universe, plasma universe) it is a real breakthrough, a real KEY, which, once again, appears to let us approach to universal laws which were never hidden but rejected.

  26. vukcevic (03:05:48) :
    Agree, except often inexplicably, the sequence is repeated many years later
    With enough wiggles, you can always find some that match. Easy to explicate.

  27. Dr. Svalgaard,
    Thanks for the link – I’m looking forward to sitting down and digging through it.
    Best Regards!

  28. Fascinating. If the material “hangs” there & has apparently lost its outward momentum, why doesn’t gravity quickly pull it back down? Is the magnetic field keeping it suspended?

  29. ” scienceofdoom (03:30:08) :
    […]
    Is it true that physicists have ignored convection (and conduction which hardly rates) and latent heat removal (which the article ignores)? ”
    You know yourself that Gerlich and Tscheuschner (Physicists) have this worked out really well and you do know that Gerlich and Tscheuschner dispute the greenhouse effect. And you do know that the climatologists are *not* physicists. Eat your own words here, scienceofdoom.

  30. Leif, loved the article you linked to. Easy to read and understand. I appreciated the mention of models not adequately accounting for cloud influences. However, my question is that when empirical evidence based models and mathematical calculations of the various influences on temperature trends didn’t match up to the temperature data set and recent global climate models, I wonder if the authors spent any time talking amongst themselves as to whether or not the CRU temperature data set might have some errors in it (since their analysis of influences, both natural and anthropogenic) seems to cover only about 76% of the entire temperature rise). And I wonder if they are talking about that now. The remaining portion of the trend, and 24% is a large chunk, is either a cloud mystery (which is, in my opinion, not showing a great deal of correlation so far based on my review of the literature) or an error in the temperature data set from which the trend is calculated.

  31. If only kinetic energy is involved then, up there in the sun was Hannity throwing his football that produced such a phenomenon!
    From two thousand years ago, from the gnostics and the agnostics, two antagonist parties formed: The ones who affirmed that knowledge of the truth, of the fundamental law/laws, was accesible to man and those ones who deny that, who conditioned science, knowledge, to an official Church, to a political bureaucracy as the intermediary between man and knowledge, only accesible through them.
    This situation has continued up to the present, with an official and, of course, settled “dogma” (aka “science”) which virulently rejects knowledge as impossible, universal laws as inescrutable, and teach us reality it is rather an inextricable chaos.
    That it is and it has always been a lie. There is no and there has not ever been any opposition in nature, any dicotomy. to say it plainly: There is nothing beyond, below, above or under the electromagnetic spectrum, which, of course, it probably extends a little beyond our instruments can now detect.
    Then, life, also it is not a phenomenon to be neither separated nor remain unexplained in the one and only field that exists.
    Philosophers, like Pitagoras, studied and described reality in quite simple terms and without any ulterior sofistications invented by the official churchs, with instruments as simple as his monochord.

  32. Pamela,
    Are you counting UHI as a temperature error?
    DirkH,
    Are those the guys that tried to disprove the greenhouse effect using the second law of thermodynamics? If it is, this was allegedly “debunked” – I don’t have the details but I believe it was linked towards the bottom of the comments on Willis’ Iron Greenhouse article. I’m not sure their paper has ever been formally discussed here. I’d be curious to read more on it.

  33. In other words, did fillnet code strings and poorly applied adjustment code strings add an artificial 24% to the temperature rise? The person(s) who can investigate that would be eligible for a Nobel Prize me thinks.

  34. Oliver K. Manuel (04:46:32) :
    JonesII (05:10:49) :
    Jim Steele (20:46:52) :
    James F. Evans (22:56:37) :

    The usual suspects rear their heads. I guess as a community we can tolerate and smile at the nuts in our midst as they provide much needed entertainment.
    beng (06:18:42) :
    Fascinating. If the material “hangs” there & has apparently lost its outward momentum, why doesn’t gravity quickly pull it back down? Is the magnetic field keeping it suspended?
    The material is actually falling back on the sun all the time, but is replenished at the same time looking as if it is permanently there. The magnetic field holds the material temporarily during the passage in and out of the filament. If the magnetic structure is disturbed, the filament may erupt and a CME results.
    Pamela Gray (06:30:53) :
    an error in the temperature data set from which the trend is calculated.
    I don’t think the temperatures are all that bad [Climategate not withstanding]. If we flatten it out, the solar influence becomes even smaller.

  35. slightly off topic, but what has been concluded from the NASA FOI emails that were released recently?? As Mr Schmidt features heavily in them I thought we would have dug some dirt by now?

  36. The fact that the satellite temperature anomaly series demonstrates similar influence patterns across latitudes and forcings in terms of the temperature anomaly, I would agree that overall, the various influences analyzed are indeed robust in terms of their degree and action of influence as a function of latitude. No argument there, though I did notice the relatively large discrepancy between GISS and satellite in the NH latitudes, where most of the ground sensors are located.
    I picked up on the non-volcanic aerosols comment in that it’s parameters may not be well modeled. Particulate matter comes from several sources, anthropogenic as well as dust storms and salt spray that are tied to ENSO patterns of cold/dry and warm/wet influences. I wonder if the authors thought about differentiating natural versus anthropogenic sources? To what degree does only the anthropogenic portion influence the cooling temperature anomaly?
    I also zeroed in on the greenhouse gas piece in that no effort was made (or did I miss it) to determine natural sources of the variance in greenhouse gases from anthropogenic sources. You must admit that ENSO influences greenhouse gas production as a function of growth and decay cycles on seasonal lush plant and animal growth on land and sea or lack of growth on a decadal scale (IE the greening of the planet). To what degree does only the anthropogenic portion of the rise in greenhouse gases influence the upward temperature anomaly?

  37. John (07:35:06) Are you asking about the Dominican order space agency branch of the Holy Inquisition ?. Rest assure that anything that could alter their tipping points won´t be accepted.

  38. ” NickB. (06:59:10) :
    […]
    DirkH,
    Are those the guys that tried to disprove the greenhouse effect using the second law of thermodynamics? If it is, this was allegedly “debunked””
    The debunking was by a guy called Smith, but he made some mistakes and his debunking has been debunked so we are in a phase of experts dueling.
    see e.g.
    http://www.climatechangefraud.com/behind-the-science/6210-the-science-fiction-of-the-greenhouse-effect
    and follow this one:
    # bri 2010-02-15 23:02
    The rebuttal to smith can be found here
    adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009arXiv0904.2767K

  39. Leif Svalgaard said: The usual suspects rear their heads. I guess as a community we can tolerate and smile at the nuts in our midst as they provide much needed entertainment.
    Article’s conclusion:The bottom line is that at this stage in solar physics we do not really know what produces a flare .
    Although unjustly offensive, I will also tolerate the rude arrogance. I made no claims to understand the mechanism, but merely noted “it reminds me of Nobel Prize winner Alfven’s secondary currents in his electric sun” I also asked when filaments are more active. I truly do not understand how magnetic fields are not indicative of flows of plasma generating the magnetism. Talking about magnetism as if it occurs de novo simply seems like half an answer . I make no other claims. But Leif you indirectly claim you know how the filaments worK? It would be more productive to state your believed mechanism, rather than your condescension.

  40. Discontinuity is an onanistic view of reality, always preached out by self-indulging friars who have chosen to remain isolated in their ivory towers, who only get out just to pontificate their “settled” dogmas.

  41. Quote: Leif Svalgaard (07:04:53) cites Oliver K. Manuel (04:46:32), JonesII (05:10:49), Jim Steele (20:46:52) and James F. Evans (22:56:37) :
    “I guess as a community we can tolerate and smile at the nuts in our midst as they provide much needed entertainment.”
    – – – – – –
    Thanks, Leif, for showing us the role that you play in items #2 and #3 above [Oliver K. Manuel (04:46:32)].
    “2. NAS (a nongovernmental, private, self-perpetuating, “old-boys club”) reviews the budgets of these research agencies. NAS has used control of the purse to train scientists with grant funds – the same way that Pavlov trained dogs with dog biscuits.”
    Pavlov couldn’t train dogs to talk, but
    NAS trained solar physicists like Leif . . .
    “3. To receive grant funds, scientists must think in unison with the opinions of those who control the grant funds.
    . . . to label all others as
    Nuts, deniers, clowns, etc.
    Thanks for your help, Leif!
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor of
    Nuclear & Space Science
    Former NASA POI for Apollo

  42. As shown by Desmond Morris in his book “The human zoo”, the main characteristic of these ape-like creatures is their mutual grooming and caressing.

  43. just a thank you to all for a thorough explanation of these extraordinary events! I can feel my mind getting a good workout everytime I come to this site…..thank you, Nick

  44. an enormous magnetic filament is hanging suspended above the surface of the sun’s southern hemisphere.

    Where (o’clock) is the sun’s north pole in the image shown? Do these filament thingies form up in any plane consistently, relative to the axis? relative to…(?)

  45. I’ll take a stab at this. Given that they are attached in the Sun spot area, I would guess that they follow the same butterfly pattern of Sunspot progression from the poles towards the equatorial area as the Sun ramps up and then down. As to which direction they spew and loop forth, I haven’t the foggiest other than to guess that they might loop up and somewhat away from the direction of the Sun’s rotation? And I would guess that this depends on what speed the particular belt the filament is in is rotating at?

  46. Wait a week until we can see the far side of the Sun. There’s a lot of activity over yonder:
    http://gong.nso.edu/data/farside/
    A thought I had yesterday morning is that there may be another magnetic filament on the other side. Will make the “LOOK OVER THERE” techniques of the boys at NASA blush in their boots.

  47. Leif,
    Your comment here:
    The usual suspects rear their heads. I guess as a community we can tolerate and smile at the nuts in our midst as they provide much needed entertainment.

    is uncalled for. If there is a ‘community’ that encourages such arrogance I’ll vociferously announce my quick exit.

  48. Pamela,
    Seems to me that the oceans as a driver are missing from the climate model referred to in the LeanRind paper. There would be poor correlation as well if you removed CO2, and funny how it seems to match the ocean cycles.
    Just my two cents…

  49. For all you Sun watchers, here’s a new program that just got launched this week.
    Solar Stormwatch
    http://solarstormwatch.com/
    As everybody probably knows, from spaceweather.com …
    The event did not produce a bright solar flare, as sometimes happens when filaments erupt, but there was a coronal mass ejection (CME). SOHO coronagraphs observed at least one and possibly as many as three clouds billowing away from the sun:
    http://spaceweather.com/swpod2010/25feb10/c2_cme_anim.gif?PHPSESSID=d3voa5cvk832sqdsh12rbj9lc4
    http://spaceweather.com/swpod2010/25feb10/filament_strip_anim.gif?PHPSESSID=d3voa5cvk832sqdsh12rbj9lc4
    Oh, here’s the link I forgot to post to the ‘Lunch with Bernie’ hour every Friday at noon EST if you’d like to talk with Senator Sanders they take lots of your calls.
    http://www.thomhartmann.com/listenlive.php
    Bernie Sanders compares climate skeptics to Nazi deniers 
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33371.html

  50. El Nino is a major driver of weather pattern variation, in both long and short term ways, so I think ocean influences are adequately covered. However, point taken Ed. I would have liked to see the PDO in the mix since you can various combinations of PDO and El Nino/La Nina/Neutral conditions that have their own temperature derivatives. In addition, if atmospheric oscillations other than trade winds have decadal influences (IE AO), then we need another go at this.
    Re: your mention of CO2: The decadal greening of the planet as well as El Nino decadal patterns also have smaller seasonal trends that are loosly tied to each other so it is no surprise that CO2 tends to follow along with ocean cycles.
    What fascinates me is the notion, based on models, that more CO2 will re-radiate more long wave radiation as well as cause enhanced water vapor which will add to the greenhouse blanket and bring us nearer to the “tipping point”. This would show up in a diminution of OLR (long wave radiation) being detected at the outer edge of our atmosphere, and an increase in water vapor. That is not the case. Neither show any increasing trend when compared to CO2 increasing trends as measured at Maunu Loa. So far, it appears that whatever affect our greenhouse blanket is having, regardless of its composition, that affect seems to be flat lining in terms of OLR and water vapor.
    http://www.climate4you.com/

  51. From the post:
    “Of late, the Hyder mechanism has come into question. Some people (notably Zirin) have questioned whether infall occurs, stating that the magnetic reconfiguration must always produce ejection. The respective roles of flares and CME’s in solar active processes has also been hotly debated, and this has implications for the exact mechanism of Hyder flares.”
    “The bottom line is that at this stage in solar physics we do not really know what produces a flare nor what produces a CME.”
    Evans (22:56:37) commented: “A good example of the science isn’t ‘settled’.”
    Dr. Svalgaard (07:04:53) commented: “The usual suspects rear their heads…”
    It would seem that my comment is in line with what is stated in the post.
    The problem with Dr. Svalgaard is that he apparently feels compelled to disparage most anybody who persists in disagreeing with him.
    As if Dr. Svalgaard is an oracle; of course, he is not, he’s a scientist, one of many, and the many have diverse opinions.
    But really it’s just a naked display of hostility.
    And displays of hostility towards those who disagree are unbecoming of scientists who claim to follow the empirical scientific method.
    Disagreement is part of the empirical scientific method. Disagreement is not justification for hostility.
    Wasn’t that part of the Climategate issues — putting down those that disagreed with the “Team”?

  52. Jim Steele (08:50:14) :
    Article’s conclusion:The bottom line is that at this stage in solar physics we do not really know what produces a flare .
    The operative word is ‘really’. There are lots of ‘real’ details that we are investigating, but we do know the basic mechanism.
    I also asked when filaments are more active.
    And I told you that there are 10 times more filaments on the active sun.
    I truly do not understand how magnetic fields are not indicative of flows of plasma generating the magnetism. Talking about magnetism as if it occurs de novo simply seems like half an answer.
    A flow of plasma does create a magnetic field. A flow of an electrical conductor [a copper wire or a solar plasma] across an existing magnetic field can greatly amplify and re-orient a magnetic field and that is how sunspots are formed.
    how the filaments worK? It would be more productive to state your believed mechanism, rather than your condescension.
    As I have already explained, filaments condense out of the corona where the magnetic field horizontal and then bends down that field leaving the filament ‘hanging’ in and supported by the field. This is stable configuration if the field does not change too much. Rapid changes of the magnetic field in the surroundings of the filament can upset the balance and cause the filament to collapse or the erupt. Often a new filament forms in the same place and the process repeats.
    Earle Williams (12:26:52) :
    Your comment here:
    […] is uncalled for.

    I call them as I see them and I make no excuses for that. The ‘offenders’ [with the possible exception of Steele] are well-known peddles of pseudo-science and conspiracy theories and are in my opinion damaging the integrity of WUWT. You may disagree and call it as you see it.

    • Leif Svalgaard (14:06:03) :
      “A flow of plasma does NOT create a magnetic field.”
      Um no? Ions carry electric charges and have spin, and a flow of them should behave just like a flow of electrons in a conductor, generating a cylindrical field around the flow stream. Is there a reason why they wouldn’t behave the same?

  53. James F. Evans (13:45:37) :
    But really it’s just a naked display of hostility.
    Which it in fact is. As it should be. Your pseudo-science must be opposed, not because of disagreements, but because it is dangerous anti-science. Disagreement is the life-blood of science, but only when the issues are understood and valid arguments or data are presented, otherwise it is dangerous ‘relativism’ [any opinion is a good as any other even if based on ignorance or fulled by agendas]. So, yes, I’m hostile, and with reason.

  54. mikelorrey (14:12:35) :
    “A flow of plasma does NOT create a magnetic field.”
    Um no? Ions carry electric charges and have spin, and a flow of them should behave just like a flow of electrons in a conductor, generating a cylindrical field around the flow stream. Is there a reason why they wouldn’t behave the same?

    The plasma consists of equal number of negative and positive charges so is not an electric current, that is the reason.

    • Leif Svalgaard
      2010/02/25 at 2:17pm
      “The plasma consists of equal number of negative and positive charges so is not an electric current, that is the reason.”
      What would make an equal number of negative and positive charges flow in the same direction along a magnetic line of force? That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Positive ions should flow in one direction and negative ones should flow in the opposite, either way, they’d both generate a field that would reinforce the other due to the opposing directions.

  55. mikelorrey (14:25:54) :
    “The plasma consists of equal number of negative and positive charges so is not an electric current, that is the reason.”
    What would make an equal number of negative and positive charges flow in the same direction along a magnetic line of force?

    It depends on the ratio between the kinetic energy of the plasma and the energy in the magnetic field. In the Sun and its lower atmosphere, the kinetic energy is much larger than the magnetic energy so the movement of the plasma rather than the magnetic field determines where it goes. Suppose within the plasma you tried to push the electron out ahead of the ions [making them go in opposite directions], then an enormous electric field would build up that would oppose the separation of the two opposite charges [they attract each other], so the net result is that they move together and no current flows.

  56. DirkH:
    Commenting on the idea that I expressed: Is it true that physicists have ignored convection (and conduction which hardly rates) and latent heat removal (which the article ignores)? ”
    Said:

    You know yourself that Gerlich and Tscheuschner (Physicists) have this worked out really well and you do know that Gerlich and Tscheuschner dispute the greenhouse effect. And you do know that the climatologists are *not* physicists. Eat your own words here, scienceofdoom.

    First, in any well-established scientific field with 1,000s, 10,000s of participants you will always have a few “brave” souls who will have a theory that goes against the vast majority.
    Occasionally they overturn or significantly modify the theory. Mostly that’s not the case, even though their ideas usually get published.
    Of course any new theory or attempt to overturn an established theory needs to be examined, but it would be wrong to conclude that because someone somewhere published something in a journal that this means the old theory is dead.
    Second, many, most probably, “climate scientists” are physicists. The many developments and improvements of the theories of:
    – spectral absorption
    – blackbody radiation
    – radiative-convective atmospheric equilibrium
    – atmospheric boundary layer physics
    – development and effect of clouds
    – aerosols interaction in the atmosphere
    All came from physicists.
    Third, it’s wonderful to see skeptics. I am one myself. But being skeptical means questioning our own ideas.
    Perhaps, in the light of this new theory, you would take a look at the simplified presentation of an old established theory: CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas and add some comments?

  57. “scienceofdoom (14:43:41) :
    […]
    Second, many, most probably, “climate scientists” are physicists. ”
    Care to name some names?

  58. Svalgaard (14:14:32) : “[Yes, I was hostile] As it should be. Your pseudo-science must be opposed, not because of disagreements, but because it is dangerous anti-science.”
    Dr. Svalgaard, you’re way off base.
    I’ve provided peer-reviewed published scientific papers to support my opinions — really, all I’ve been doing is simply reporting the scientists’ assessments as stated in their own papers. Also, I’ve reported well known and accepted scientific principles, i.e., Maxwell’s equations stand for the reciprical physical relationship of electric fields and magnetic fields, as formulated & verified by empirical observation & measurement. Or, when a flow of plasma runs perpendicular through a magnetic field, an electric field and electric currents are generated.
    In many cases, the scientists have better qualifications in the subject than you do.
    In example, Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, of Los Alamos National Laboratory: Professional biography:
    http://www.ieee.org/organizations/pubs/newsletters/npss/0306/peratt.html
    There are other scientists as well, such as Per Carlqvist, Carl-Gunne Fälthammar, and Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner in physics, and a number of others.
    Your beef is with the scientists, themselves, I’m just the messenger conveying their ideas. So, if you are calling anybody anti-science and dangerous, you are calling other scientists anti-science and dangerous.
    Is Anthony L. Peratt anti-science and dangerous? Have you contacted Los Alamos National laboratory to convey your concerns about Dr. Peratt?
    Time after time, you defend the status quo model or if another scientist challenges the view-point you hold, then that scientist is full of “hype” or worse, like when NASA recently stated in an SDO press release that the long held idea of a “solar constant” was wrong, you called it “hype”. In fact, look up “solar constant” on the internet and you get a whole list of items discussing “solar constant”. Many of your prior comments on this website defend the idea of constant TSI, thus, sunspot activity does not matter.
    Dr. Svalgaard, your approach is dogmatic, with mostly the science is “settled” attitude — in fact, you take that position regarding this very post, not withstanding the statements of the scientists, themselves, studying this very issue. I’m sorry, but not exploring the possibilities because one has already settled on a dogma is anti-science and a type of willful ignorance.
    Dr. Svalgaard, you are the one guilty of the very thing you accuse me of.
    Calling me anti-science when all I’m doing is reporting the peer-reviewed published work of scientists is wrong.

  59. Does anyone know what these objects could be? They started appearing on SOHO images on 18th January. NASA has since removed & edited images that contain the objects. Some of the spherical objects are the size of earth.
    Thanks to Everyone for making this site special & for daring to place truth over consensus.
    Truth is the new black!
    X

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ19IE8iQto

    Fascinating structure to these ‘compression artifacts’

  60. Second, many, most probably, “climate scientists” are physicists. ”
    Care to name some names?
    I’ll dig some out later. First, what do you think they studied? “Climate science” is quite a new major..

  61. Lief, I am not sure how you wish to categorize me nor why my comments would be threatening enough to the “real science” that I deserved such a demeaning response. However I can see that you have lumped me in with others with whom you disagree. I have read theories that claim a more electric theoretical framework. I don’t buy the whole picture, but some of their interpretations I find interesting and fill certain voids. That Alfven could speculate on the electrical nature suggests that such thinking is not just the domain of a few fringe nuts. Alfven’s model even had the filament positioned as we have now observed so I wondered what other might know about Alfven. Has Alfven fallen from his Nobel heights, and is now deemed to also be a “nut” by modern physicists?
    In my reply to you, I repeated the fact that I asked about when filaments are observed, not to say you ignored the question, but to illustrate that I entered the thread seeking more information, not claiming to know anything more. You did indeed answer half of my questions, which I appreciated. I am still curious about correlation with the overall strength of solar magnetic field.
    My speculations seem innocent enough if for no other reason than the fact that my elementary understanding of physics treats electromagnetism as one force in which a magnetic field surrounds and arises due to an electric current or is the result of a changing electric field. And mainstream explanations that refer only to magnetism always seem like only half of an explanation. When you say “Rapid changes of the magnetic field in the surroundings of the filament can upset the balance” I simply ask what causes the magnetic fields to change? Changes in plasma flow? Why does the magnetic fields create the filaments where they do?
    I hear the ideas of electric fields dismissed, as you have done in a recent reply, based on the notion that in plasmas the negatives and positives will be attracted to each other and neutralize the field. You said “plasma consists of equal number of negative and positive charges so is not an electric current”. I am then confused because such explanations that only use magnetism, seem to remove the electric from “electromagnetic” . Such explanations also imply there can not be separation of charges in space plasmas. But that contradicts my understanding of the Van Allen belts in which it is observed that the outer belt is mostly negative electrons and the inner bet is mostly positive ions. Doesn’t that create an electric field?
    I have no problem with being wrong about any of this. Nor do I have a problem that there may be a few lunatics that ask the same questions making strange bedfellows. I am just trying on various concepts to see how they fit. But I am angered to think that I would be attacked as a “nut” for speculating about what has in part, a legitimate basis in the laws of physics and known observations. The intensity of your reaction makes me wonder if there is a culture within mainstream astro/solar physics that has decided to only speak in terms of magnetism as a gate-keeping mechanism to keep out the fringe proponents of a more electric view. Sweeping personal attacks do nothing to help my understanding nor that of others, and certainly doesn’t make this blog look any more scientific.

  62. Dogma is dangerously seductive. And anti-science.
    James Evans statement above sounds like the voice of integrity. It should be addressed by you scientific dudes, I think.
    Are you guys scared about the Sun? Or of each other?

  63. Jim Steele, this may help in your question about Sun’s magnetosphere ~ during the past 2 months, the sun has lit up twice and I don’t think it’s a glitch:
    http://soho.esac.esa.int/data/LATEST/current_eit_304.gif
    There is something very un-scientific happening to the Sun (and plasma) and the electric universe theory may lead to an explanation. But then you guys know what you are talking about and I’m just a babe-in-toyland absolutely amazed at what is happening with the Sun. If it helps, there is hole ~ a huge gaping hole at the top, or north pole of the Sun.

  64. Jim Steele (16:33:15) :
    Jim, you are right to wonder if there is some kind of bias and prejudice against a full electromagnetic view of the Universe in some quarters of the astronomical community.
    Because as Dr. Svalgaard makes quite clear there is such a bias.
    But they have a three-fold problem: One, magnetic fields are ubiquitous in the Universe at every scale; two, electromagnetism is a fundamental physical force, as expressed in Maxwell’s equations, not just magnetism; and, three, the status quo, in astronomy, denies that electromagnetism plays a fundamental role in the Universe.
    So, Dr. Svalgaard and others are in the uncomfortable position of denying that a fundamental force, electromagnetism, plays a fundamental role in the Universe, and it gets more uncomfortable because the fundamental force, Dr. Svalgaard and others subscribe to, gravity, is 39 orders of magnitude weaker than electromagnetism, and in situ observation & measurement and remote full electromagnetic wave spectrum observation & measurement (telescopes, both Earth based on space based) have detected evidence of electromagnetic processes and structures, both in the solar system (aurora) and in distant space large structures (galaxies and star formation).
    The scientific evidence is substantial, but it contradicts almost all of their models based solely on the fundamental force of gravity.
    That’s why they refuse to discuss anything beyond magnetism — even though it is only half of the fundamental force of electromagnetism.
    Yes, in Dr. Svalgaard’s view, it’s dangerous to discuss “electromagnetism”.
    Because where would their gravity “only” model be then?

  65. Leif
    “The usual suspects rear their heads. I guess as a community we can tolerate and smile at the nuts in our midst as they provide much needed entertainment”
    & this comment is justified in the name of scientific integrity?
    Isn’t this the same paradigm used to marginalise, ridicule & suppress dissent in the recent Climategate CONSPIRACY?
    conspiracy
    1. Noun – A combination of men for an evil purpose; an agreement, between two or more persons, to commit a crime in concert, as treason; a plot.
    2. Noun – A concurence or general tendency, as of circumstances, to one event, as if by agreement.
    3. Noun – An agreement, manifesting itself in words or deeds, by which two or more persons confederate to do an unlawful act, or to use unlawful to do an act which is lawful; confederacy.
    Calling people ‘nuts’ for asking questions is not acceptable & I value the comments & questions from all people.
    It was the ‘nuts’ who realised the difference between truth & consensus!
    This kind of dogmatic & rigid mindset is unscientific & it’s had it’s day.
    Please behave with courteousy & respect towards others here.

  66. Pamela Gray (22:37:41) : “There is no diamond I would choose over having a piece of the Sun on my finger. What a marvelous thing.”
    Since the solar system is thought to have condensed from supernova remnants, technically anything one puts on one’s finger is a piece of a star.
    Lovely line, BTW, and just in time for…er…next Valentine’s Day. 🙂

  67. There’s a nice little movie on spaceweather.com, see link below (Thanks, Anthony, this is a nice change of pace!):
    “Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) images bracket the eruption between 0719 UT and 1919 UT on Feb. 24th. The event did not produce a bright solar flare, as sometimes happens when filaments erupt, but there was a coronal mass ejection (CME). SOHO coronagraphs observed at least one and possibly as many as three clouds billowing away from the sun: movie. If any of this material is heading for Earth–a big unknown!–it would arrive on Feb. 27th or 28th. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras on those dates.”
    http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/25feb10/c2_cme_anim.gif?PHPSESSID=c256tv93d25dvql7stghfo1r51

  68. James F. Evans (17:22:05) :
    ..force, electromagnetism, plays a fundamental role in the Universe, and it gets more uncomfortable because the fundamental force, Dr. Svalgaard and others subscribe to, gravity, is 39 orders of magnitude weaker than electromagnetism, and in situ observation & measurement and remote full electromagnetic wave spectrum observation & measurement (telescopes, both Earth based on space based) have detected evidence of electromagnetic processes and structures, both in the solar system (aurora) and in distant space large structures (galaxies and star formation).
    The scientific evidence is substantial, but it contradicts almost all of their models based solely on the fundamental force of gravity.
    That’s why they refuse to discuss anything beyond magnetism — even though it is only half of the fundamental force of electromagnetism.
    Yes, in Dr. Svalgaard’s view, it’s dangerous to discuss “electromagnetism”.
    Because where would their gravity “only” model be then?
    Wish you boys would play nice together.

  69. Another question about filaments. Is the magnetic polarity always the same, say south at the equator and north towards the poles, or does it vary randomly or does the polarity alternate each cycle along with the alternation of sunspot polarity?

  70. And 1 more, do filaments always align as seen here, assuming also a mirror image in the northern hemisphere. Or do they ever align parallel to the equator?

  71. Gary Hladik (17:33:35) quotes Pamela Gray (22:37:41) : “There is no diamond I would choose over having a piece of the Sun on my finger. What a marvelous thing.”
    Gary adds: “Since the solar system is thought to have condensed from supernova remnants, technically anything one puts on one’s finger is a piece of a star.”
    – – – – – – – – –
    Our Sun is a remnant of the supernova that exploded 5,000,000,000 years (5 Gyr) ago and produced the solar system in this manner [European Space Agency SP-517 (editor: Huguette Lacoste, 2003) pp. 345-348 http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0410717%5D:
    http://www.omatumr.com/Origin.htm
    Every atom in you and me was supernova debris 5 Gyr ago.
    The Great Fact today is this:
    We each consist of about 100,000,000,000,000 living cells and each cell consists of about 100,000,000,000,000 atoms.
    The cells reproduce and die off over our lifetime.
    The atoms exchange with atoms in food, water, and air over the lifetime of each cell.
    So what are you and I?
    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor of
    Nuclear & Space Science
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  72. Oliver,
    I’m more of a fan of the God’s Debris theory of matter creation. If you’ve got some free time you can get in PDF format here: http://nowscape.com/godsdebris.pdf
    Of course there’s also the school of thought that all water molecules have existed since the earth was formed, hence whenever you take a drink of cool refreshing water chances are you’re drinking at least a few molecules of dinosaur pee
    Where was I? Oh yeah… sometimes it’s best not to think about things too broadly

  73. Leif,
    Hope you are online.
    My lovely wife and I were sitting under a banana tree in the local park in Taipei last night. A beautiful evening and I could even see stars through both the banana leaves and the urban haze/glow. That is rare.
    Anyway, I was thinking about distance from earth surface versus value of information on “global” temperatures of earth.
    A) I imagined a case where there are (somehow) 3 (or more) spacecraft about 1au (just picked that number to imply distant) from earth. Say these spacecraft are optimally arranged so they continuously measure all spectrum of electromagnetism from the entire earth’s surface simultaneously and continuously over more than 50 years (just to pick a number).
    B) Alternately, imagine multiple satellites in orbit (implies relative nearness) doing the same thing.
    C) Thirdly, imagine well scientifically designed integrated system of temperature instruments that really does ‘scientifically’ measure all land, sea, ice and atmospheric temps. In other words an optimized temp measurement system, the one you want if money and effort was no object. Say this system has been in place for a period of say 50 yrs or more.
    Assume that all of the data from each above is open-sourced to everyone and likewise codes for all analysis of data and openness of method.
    Question: Which one has a better capability in theory to measure the global heat content of earth and therefore a meaningful measure of whether the earth is heating or cooling?
    John

  74. Jim Steele (16:33:15) :
    However I can see that you have lumped me in with others with whom you disagree.
    Jim, I sincerely apologize for lumping you in with the others. That was an unwarranted knee-jerk reaction of mine, for which I’m sorry and for which I hereby apologize.
    Has Alfven fallen from his Nobel heights, and is now deemed to also be a “nut” by modern physicists?
    No, Hannes Alfven was a god and dear friend of mine and although many of his ideas are no longer supported, his contributions were many and varied and often important. Some of them have been hijacked by the fringe which would make him cringe.
    And mainstream explanations that refer only to magnetism always seem like only half of an explanation.
    The reason is simple: An electric field depends on the reference frame of the observer while the magnetic field does not. So, the two are not ‘equal’. In a highly conducting plasma, a magnetic field is ‘frozen’ into the plasma and moves with the matter [this was Alfven’s great discovery]. If the conductivity in certain regions of the plasma for various reason drops, the magnetic field is no longer tied to the plasma; this ‘thawing’ of the field under the correct circumstances has important consequences for the interaction of the plasma with bodies embedded in it, as electric fields can briefly occur – Alfven railed against the idea that the field was ‘always’ and permanently ‘frozen’ into the plasma and stressed that the thawing of the magnetic field was at times important – something that people did not always appreciate some 40 years ago. Today we are heeding his words and do things correctly in ways he would certainly approve of.
    I simply ask what causes the magnetic fields to change? Changes in plasma flow? Why does the magnetic fields create the filaments where they do?
    Since the magnetic field near the surface of the Sun is controlled by the plasma [the magnetic energy is much less than the kinetic energy of the roiling solar plasma] when the plasma moves the magnetic field is dragged along and the magnetic configuration [the field lines show the shape of the field] can change rapidly. And the plasma is in constant motion, mainly because there are large convective motions [like in boiling water]. Imagine a magnetic field line going from one sunspot up into the atmosphere and then curving down into an adjacent spot [this is the typical configuration]. The density in the solar atmosphere decreases rapidly with altitude [just like in the Earth’s atmosphere], so the kinetic energy of the plasma decreases with height much faster than the magnetic energy to the point where eventually the magnetic field becomes the dominant force and guides the plasma flow [you have likely seen images of material flowing along the field lines]. This means that the magnetic field is now containing the plasma and the filament can form in the upper part of the magnetic loops. It also means that on either side of the filament the magnetic field will have opposite polarity [up one leg of the loop and down the other leg], so filaments marks large-scale ‘neutral lines’ between regions of opposite polarity. It is opposite polarities that can reconnect and interact, so filaments are places where explosions can occur, hence the flares.
    Such explanations also imply there can not be separation of charges in space plasmas.
    This is indeed correct, but with one important caveat: namely that the particles be allowed to stream freely [see below].
    But that contradicts my understanding of the Van Allen belts in which it is observed that the outer belt is mostly negative electrons and the inner belt is mostly positive ions. Doesn’t that create an electric field?
    The charged particles in the belt are trapped by the strong magnetic field of the Earth and are constrained to spiral along the field lines, bouncing from pole to pole, so are not moving freely and can therefore not neutralize. So you get an electric field from the charge separation, but this field does not control the movement of the particles – the magnetic field does.
    The intensity of your reaction
    I again apologize for the reaction
    makes me wonder if there is a culture within mainstream astro/solar physics that has decided to only speak in terms of magnetism as a gate-keeping mechanism to keep out the fringe proponents of a more electric view.
    There are no conspiracies here. It is Mother Nature that uses magnetism as the gatekeeper. All serious physicists are in agreement on this [there are always a few that have fallen off the cliff]. The Electric/Plasma Universe folks seem to be driven by underlying agendas of various kinds – religious, political, new-age, etc or simply by the urge to seek explanations that are easy and visual and does not require mathematics or any deeper knowledge [which is hard work to acquire]. These will of necessity be superficial and not represent real knowledge. This dumbing-down of the populace is dangerous to a society that ultimate must rely on since for survival, as we have exhausted the easy picking of the low-hanging fruit. A god example is the very next comment(s), where real knowledge is called ‘dogma’:
    Suranda (16:37:34) :
    Dogma is dangerously seductive. And anti-science.
    James Evans statement above sounds like the voice of integrity. It should be addressed by you scientific dudes, I think.

    Jim Steele (19:25:25) :
    Another question about filaments. Is the magnetic polarity always the same, say south at the equator and north towards the poles, or does it vary randomly or does the polarity alternate each cycle along with the alternation of sunspot polarity?
    Sunspots follow a set of polarity rules as you state [changing with the cycle, etc]. Filaments [as explained above] lie between regions of opposite magnetic polarities, so follow along with the changes of the spots.
    Jim Steele (19:27:57) :
    And 1 more, do filaments always align as seen here, assuming also a mirror image in the northern hemisphere. Or do they ever align parallel to the equator?
    They can have any orientation, although at low latitudes the often go North-South. There is a special class of filaments called the ‘polar crown’ that encircle the North and South poles, along the boundaries of the polar coronal holes. Magnetic fields from decaying sunspots are swept [remember: the plasma moves the field around] by a meridional circulation [the Earth also has that] from lower latitudes towards the poles and a rather strong magnetic field then tends to build up there. This polar magnetic field eventually becomes the seed of the next sunspot cycle.
    NickB. (21:39:27) :
    whenever you take a drink of cool refreshing water chances are you’re drinking at least a few molecules of dinosaur pee
    And of Jesus pee.

  75. John Whitman (22:00:57) :
    Assume that all of the data from each above is open-sourced to everyone and likewise codes for all analysis of data and openness of method.
    Question: Which one has a better capability in theory to measure the global heat content of earth and therefore a meaningful measure of whether the earth is heating or cooling?

    I think the specific configuration of the sensors doesn’t matter much. There are many ways a good system can be configured [BTW in my previous comment I mistyped good as ‘god’ – so beware of that. In my native language ‘good’ is in fact ‘god’].
    One proposal I personally like is a system where satellites [e.g. at the L1 or L2 points] simultaneously ‘stare’ at 1) the Sun 2) the Earth and 3) some stars.

  76. Leif Svalgaard (23:44:39) :
    Leif,
    It took me a moment, I had to look up Lagrange points L1 & L2.
    So, I think you are suggesting that from the L1 & L2 at the same time,
    a) measure the energy from the sun going to L1 and on the same satellite measure the energy from the daytime earth coming to L1
    b) measure energy at L2 from the nightside of earth and on the same satellite measure the starlight
    Correct?
    Q1- why measure the starlight?
    Q2 – You don’t see any advantage to spacecraft being more distant than L1 & L2? I personally cannot but just curious.
    John

  77. John Whitman (00:17:13) :
    Correct?
    Essentially, yes.
    Q1- why measure the starlight?
    There are stars that are VERY stable and whose output is VERY constant [over human lifetimes], so yo can check the calibration and produce a record that people hundreds of years hence than verify, since they can measure the SAME star.
    Q2 – You don’t see any advantage to spacecraft being more distant than L1 & L2? I personally cannot but just curious.
    The problem is to keep the satellite where it is. We want the satellite to stay put as much as possible. That can be done with a minimum of fuel if you place it at L1 and L2.
    John

  78. For DirkH:
    I suggested that many “climate scientists” were from a physics background, because studying the atmosphere is either physics or chemistry and mostly it was physics.
    DirkH said:

    Care to name some names?

    Here’s a few, a nice mixed bag. I didn’t have to look far.
    Prof Richard Lindzen – Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
    Degree – Physics, Phd – Applied Maths
    Prof Richard .M. Goody – Mallinckrodt Professor of Planetary Physics, Emeritus (Lindzen’s supervisor)
    Ph.D. in Geophysics
    Prof. V. Ramanathan – Distinguished Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
    Degree Engineering, Phd Atmospheric Physics
    Dr. James E. Hansen, B.A. Physics and Mathematics, M.S. Astronomy, Ph.D. Physics
    Prof V. Ramaswamy, Dept of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
    Prof John Christy, B.A. Mathematics, M.S. & Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences
    Prof David A Randall, B.S. Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Ph.D. Atmospheric Science
    Prof Stefan Rahmstorf, B.S. Physics, PhD Oceanography
    -I only found 3 that I thought might be from a Physics background but weren’t: 2 chemists – now studying the atmosphere – Solomon and Dessler, and 1 meteorologist which I thought you might not accept even though our host would.
    Not sure why you think people studying climates aren’t physicists..
    Atmospheric science is mostly physics.
    Hope I helped.
    And don’t forget to check out New Theory Proves AGW Wrong

  79. Thought this might be interesting. Here is the original 1965 Charles L. Hyder scientific paper: Winking Filaments and Prominence and Coronal Magnetic fields:
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?bibcode=1966ZA…..63…78H&db_key=AST&page_ind=0&plate_select=NO&data_type=GIF&type=SCREEN_GIF&classic=YES
    And another peer-reviewed, published scientific paper:
    Title: The field and plasma configuration of a filament overlying a solar bipolar magnetic region
    Authors: Low, B. C.
    Journal: Astrophysical Journal, (1981):
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1981ApJ…246..538L
    Partial Abstract: “This paper presents an analytic model for a finite-size straight filament suspended horizontally in a steady state over a bipolar magnetic region. The equations of the magnetic equilibrium are integrated exactly. The solution obtained illustrates the roles played by the electric current, magnetic field, pressure, and plasma weight in the balance of force everywhere in space… The filament temperature can take values ranging from a small fraction to a few times the coronal temperature, depending on the internal electric current of the filament.”
    Jim Steele, I hope you find these two papers interesting and enlightening. As the reader can tell, the description of the filament in the second paper is the same as in the instant post. The author clearly identifies the filament as being an “electric current”.

  80. John Whitman (05:03:56) :
    Leif Svalgaard (01:06:31) :
    Leif,
    Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    ~
    Thanks from me too, Dr. S.
    Maybe you need some knee pads Leif, to help protect your bad self from those “knee jerk,” reactions. (joke) punch bozo
    Thanks to Evans and the “bad boys,” who lurk here too!

  81. James F. Evans (01:33:47) :
    The author clearly identifies the filament as being an “electric current”.
    This is a typical example of the twisting of science to conform to wrong physics. Such twisting occurs can occur when the physics is not understood. Nowhere does the author identify the filament as being an electric current. [one might ask for page and line number for such identification]. What does happen is that when external forces deform a magnetic field and the weight of the filament [caused by gravity] does just that, small electric currents are induced. This happens everywhere where there is a dB/dt [that is: a change of the magnetic field]. The fundamental issue is that electric fields are generated by plasma [a conductor] moving in a magnetic field. The electric currents are precisely the neutralization of this electric field preventing the electric fields building up.

  82. Carla (06:34:00) :
    Thanks to Evans and the “bad boys,” who lurk here too!
    The dumbing down that he represents is a blot on the greatest human achiement: The understanding of our Universe.

  83. Evans (01:33:47) : “The author clearly identifies the filament as being an ‘electric current’.”
    Dr. Svalgaard (07:02:09) responded: “This is a typical example of the twisting of science to conform to wrong physics. Such twisting occurs can occur when the physics is not understood. Nowhere does the author identify the filament as being an electric current. [one might ask for page and line number for such identification].”
    Happy to comply with the request:
    From the paper, abstract, first page, page 538 of journal, starting at line 6 of the Abstract going on to line 7 and 8:
    “The filament temperature can take values ranging from a small fraction to a few times the coronal temperature, depending on the internal electric current of the filament.”
    And Section V. Discussion, ninth page, page 546 of journal, line 1 and 2 of Discussion:
    “The physical state of the filament plasma and its associated internal electric current system required for force balance are determined by the specific heating and cooling processes taking place in the filament.”
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1981ApJ…246..538L
    Dr. Svalggard, what part of “…depending on the internal electric current of the filament…” do you dispute?
    And, Dr. Svalgaard, what part of “The physical state of the filament plasma and its associated internal electric current system…” do you dispute?
    And, of course, the filament’s electric current is discussed in the body of the paper with plenty of supporting mathematical equations.
    Taking a step back and reviewing Dr. Svalgaard’s response: Notice Dr. Svalgaard never responds to the specifics in the paper or discusses the specifics of the paper.
    Dr. Svalgaard, what specifics in the paper lead you to conclude I have misinterpreted the above two quotes and, indeed, the body of the paper which stands for the proposition that the filaments discussed consist of plasma flowing in an electric current?
    Dr. Svalgaard, I suggest you take a step back and clear your head, it seems your animosity is leading you astray.
    The quotes from the paper speak for themselves and Dr. Svalgaard’s response, also speaks for itself, but in a much less flattering way.

  84. HI Leif, Your apology is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Likewise your in depth answers are greatly appreciated and informative. Indeed your answers have this a more scientific blog.
    But it does generate a few questions if you have the time. The concept of “frozen plasma” makes sense to me only when I think in terms of the Van Allen belts and the earth/solar magnetic fields trapping the plasma. It is easier for me to conceive of this with more solid bodies helping to “freeze” and maintain the magnetic fields for extended periods. It becomes more difficult to understand in the roiling plasma of the sun.
    So when you say “Magnetic fields from decaying sunspots are swept [remember: the plasma moves the field around] by a meridional circulation [the Earth also has that] from lower latitudes towards the poles and a rather strong magnetic field then tends to build up there. This polar magnetic field eventually becomes the seed of the next sunspot cycle.” I have difficulty picturing that and have more questions.
    Your sunspot answer implies this “seed” magnetic field is “almost perpetually?” frozen in place and recycled. I have also read this I think from a David Hathaway explanation. The biggest question is what is the evidence to suggest a new sunspot has arisen from an old spot? I can’t imagine how that could be proven, so I suspect that notion is more of a logical extension of a model. Additionally then why do seeds change polarity? Where do they go during minimums, has the meridional circulation(solar conveyor belt?) slowed? Why doesn’t the roiling plasma disrupt the magnetic seed. I would assume there are tremendous instabilities much more than those experienced when trying to use magnetic fields to control sustainable nuclear fusion.

  85. James F. Evans (09:26:58) :
    what part of “The physical state of the filament plasma and its associated internal electric current system…” do you dispute
    A dog has a flea on it and is thus identified as a flea according to your ‘logic’. The associated electric currents are the currents generated by changes in the magnetic field brought about by gravity pulling down on the filament and deforming the magnetic field supporting it. This does not mean that the filament is generated by an electric current. It would be refreshing if you would learn a bit about these things. You are given plenty of opportunity, and I’m always willing to assist.

  86. Cosmology cowboys and girls ~ any ideas on what this is:
    http://www.mijnalbum.nl/GroteFoto-YH7MMXEV.jpg
    (downloaded from SOHO ~ they scrub them very quickly these days)
    Better yet, this image ~ the three dots in a row ~ shows up with CME’s it seems (or so it did a few weeks ago to which that Joe Gurman ~ head of NASA dude said he didn’t know what it was):
    http://stereo-ssc.nascom.nasa.gov/browse/2010/02/25/ahead/cor2/2048/20100225_100935_n7c2A.jpg
    Thank you!
    Skylurker Suranda

  87. Jim Steele (09:43:57) :
    It is easier for me to conceive of this with more solid bodies helping to “freeze” and maintain the magnetic fields for extended periods.
    ‘Freezing’ is perhaps not a good word for this, but our language lacks words for things we do not experience; we do not live in a plasma, so have no word for this. What happens is that a changing magnetic field generates an electric field. In a highly conducting plasma, the electric field is shorted out immediately and there can thus not be a sustained electric field, thus no change in the magnetic field. In our daily life we never come across such phenomena and thus have no intuitive understanding of them. A little anecdote might illustrate that we can actually in rare cases observe this directly. I was once standing next to a cyclotron that used powerfull magnets to bend the trajectories of ions. Because of the magnets, no iron tools were used near the cyclotron. There was a bucket for the use of the janitor to clean up spills. The bucket was made of copper. By accident I caused the bucket to tip over. In ordinary life, it would take it but a fraction of a second to fall, but because copper is such a good electrical conductor and because the bucket was immersed in a strong magnetic field, the field was ‘frozen’ to the bucket and the bucket couldn’t fall but had to stay in its position. Copper, however, does have a finite resistivity and the freezing was not perfect, so the bucket did fall, but it took about five seconds to do it [as eddy currents in the copper slowly dissipated]. In cosmic plasmas the conductivity is much higher and the linear dimensions much larger [it turns out that is important too], so the freezing in much more effective.
    The biggest question is what is the evidence to suggest a new sunspot has arisen from an old spot? I can’t imagine how that could be proven, so I suspect that notion is more of a logical extension of a model.
    It is, of course, not the case that a specific new spot has arisen from a specific old spot. Raindrops are recycled water from previous raindrops, but that does not mean that a specific raindrop that falls on your head now has arisen from a specific drop that fell into a river, was carried into the ocean, evaporated, went into a cloud, and reformed to fall on your head. Same thing with the magnetic fields from old sunspots. A piece of the field is frozen into a blob of plasma and dragged over the solar surface. The plasma partakes in a circulation that carries it into the Sun near the poles and in there circulates to lower latitudes. Since magnetic fields have no ends, some segment of the field lines are outside the blob and are not dragged along with the blob [or dragged with a different speed or direction] and then become stretched and would around by solar rotation. Imagine it is wound around ten times then through a given area perpendicular to the field line, where there before were only one line, there are now ten, so ten times a many field lines results from the winding. Now, the magnetic field strength is simply the number of field lines per unit area, so the field is now ten times stronger. [some people don’t like the image of ‘field lines’, although it is very appropriate in this situation; they prefer to think of just the field strength being amplified as described by a mathematical equation – either way, the result is the same].
    All this winding takes place inside the Sun where we cannot see it directly. But just as we can use waves from earthquakes [or man-made explosions] to image the interior of the Earth [and prospect for oil], we can also ‘see’ the distortions of the solar interior braought about by the wound-up field by observing sunquakes. We can, in fact, see ‘through’ the Sun and watch sunspots forming on the backside of the Sun.
    A magnetic field exerts a pressure of its own [try to press two magnets together same polarity to same polarity] and so a wound-up strong field has an appreciable pressure of its own. A parcel of plasma surrounded by other plasma must be in pressure balance with its surroundings. If some of that pressure comes from the magnetic field that doesn’t weigh anything, the parcel must contain less material and is thus lighter than the surrounding parcels [with no magnetic field]. This like releasing a piece of wood in water from a depth of, say, a yard: the wood will rise to the surface. Likewise, the magnetic field and when it does a sunspot can form from it. So, as from one raindrop to another later on, it is from one magnetic field to another later on.
    That the polarity changes is a bit harder to understand [but only a bit]. Sunspots occur in pairs [simplification, but close enough] with each spot of a different polarity. Observationally [and theoretically as well] we found that the line or axis connecting the two spots is tilted slightly so that one spot [we call that the ‘following’ spot] is at a higher latitude than the other spot. Imagine the fraying spots spreading the fields out over an area around the spots then there is a bigger chance that more of the field that is already at a higher latitude will survive the journey to the pole [it has a shorter way to go] and thus the poles will tend to accumulate preferentially the fields from the ‘following spots’. Now, drag that field inside the Sun, wind it up, and let it [like the wood] resurface years later. If you make a little drawing and keep track off the direction of the field lines, you’ll find that the direction reverses in this process [seen from the outside], so the new spots will have opposite polarities from the old spots.
    Why doesn’t the roiling plasma disrupt the magnetic seed.
    Because the magnetic field has a linear extension many times larger than that of the ‘roiling’. When you throw a pebble in the ocean you create small circular waves spreading out from where the stone hits the water. These little ripples do not disrupt the monster ocean waves that surfers ride.

  88. Leif Svalgaard (07:02:09
    The fundamental issue is that electric fields are generated by plasma [a conductor] moving in a magnetic field. The electric currents are precisely the neutralization of this electric field preventing the electric fields building up.
    That’s an interesting thought to hang on to for my next trip.
    Thanks
    Anybody check out the new 3D Mapping of the Local Interstellar Cavity that the solar system is embeddeded in? Did the southern heliosphere just pass thru some blob of G cloud or something.
    Happy Friday with Rolling Stones, “Waiting on a Friend.”
    gone

  89. Carla (11:51:08) :
    “The fundamental issue is that electric fields are generated by plasma [a conductor] moving in a magnetic field. The electric currents are precisely the neutralization of this electric field preventing the electric fields building up.”
    That’s an interesting thought to hang on to for my next trip.

    It is more than an interesting thought. It is how Mother Nature works, as every serious scientist knows, even Hannes Alfven knew that; although Birkeland did not [he did not know what a plasma was]. [Evans honors me by calling all serious scientists ‘my associates’ 🙂 ].
    Thanks

  90. Evans asked (09:26:58): “what part of ‘The physical state of the filament plasma and its associated internal electric current system…’ do you dispute?”
    Dr. Svalgaard responded (10:09:56) :”The associated electric currents are the currents generated by changes in the magnetic field brought about by gravity pulling down on the filament and deforming the magnetic field supporting it.”
    Dr. Svalgaard, if the “internal electric current” is not flowing along the length of the plasma filament from one foot to the other foot, where does the electric current flow to and from?
    Dr. Svalgaard, your statement is not what the paper says. Please provide the specifics from the paper that supports your assertion.
    Dr. Svalgaad, you didn’t answer this question: “what part of ‘…depending on the internal electric current of the filament…’ do you dispute?”
    Evans (01:33:47) asked: “Dr. Svalgaard, what specifics in the paper lead you to conclude I have misinterpreted the above two quotes and, indeed, the body of the paper which stands for the proposition that the filaments discussed consist of plasma flowing in an electric current?”
    Evans (01:33:47) previously commented: “Notice Dr. Svalgaard never responds to the specifics in the paper or discusses the specifics of the paper.”
    Dr. Svalgaard continues this pattern of refusing to refer to the specifics of the paper.
    Dr. Svalgaard if you can’t refer to specifics from the peer-reviewed paper (Did you read the paper?) I provided, after you were requested to do so (and, you claim to be the expert) and avoid explaining how an “internal electric current” of the filament is actually an “associated [external] electric current”.
    Dr. Svalgaard, your analogy is wrong.
    Dr. Svalgaard (10:09:56): “A dog has a flea on it and is thus identified as a flea according to your ‘logic’.”
    An “internal electric current” is not analogous to a “flea” on the outside of a dog. Rather, it is an internal constituent of the plasma filament.
    The plasma flows in the filament due to the “internal electric current”.
    What readers get is a non-responsive word game from Dr. Svalgaard.

  91. James F. Evans (12:42:12) :
    if the “internal electric current” is not flowing along the length of the plasma filament from one foot to the other foot, where does the electric current flow to and from?
    This is the kind of question that stems from you not understanding the paper or the physics. The filament hangs in a magnetic ‘arcade’ which exists before and after the filament. The magnetic field [as the paper says] may be thought to be produced by a line current [“in the negative x-direction”] located at some distance below the surface. This is just a convenient way of describing the magnetic potential by ‘an equivalent current’ [just like the HCS] . Now, gravity is pressing the filament down across the horizontal field lines. That generates a current in the opposite direction [as the paper clearly describes “in the positive x-direction”]. This current induces “an image current” below the corona, and the resulting configuration is derived from the sum of all the Lorentz forces resulting from these currents. So, again, the currents are not generating the filament, but gravity pressing down on the filament is generating the currents. The arcade is there with or without the filament and does not owe its existence to the filament. So, your statement ‘The plasma flows in the filament is due to the ‘internal electric current” is backwards, as usual.
    If you don’t like my analog with the flea, think of the bacteria in your stomach and its output channel forming an internal constituent of you, without which you couldn’t live.

  92. Thank you Dr Svalgaard for your patience and attention here. There seems to be a humongous amount of transmission errors of late, yes? So many orbs, spheres, planet-sized objects around the failing Sun (I think we are still in a profound minimum) and although I’m a huge ET/UFO thinking person, I don’t think these are spaceships.
    Something about the holographic nature of the universe ~ of the Sun. I think the physical aspect of our world is declining and the world upon which this one was superimposed is actually coming to the forefront.
    Surely you don’t buy the compression artifact scenario, dear Sir? Artifact, yes. Compression, maybe. But the real holographic nature of this physical reality ~ it’s something our world of science has not ventured into. Yet. It’s time.

  93. Jim Steele:
    Dr. Svalgaard is wrong.
    Filaments are an expression of electric current just as the paper stated: “…depending on the internal electric current of the filament.”
    It is important to understand that filaments and prominences are the same.
    Once one understands that filaments and prominences are the same structure it becomes clear that, indeed, filaments are plasma flows possessed of electric currents:
    From NASA:
    “Filaments are formed in magnetic loops that hold relatively cool, dense gas suspended above the surface of the Sun,” explains David Hathaway, a solar physicist at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. “When you look down on top of them they appear dark because the gas inside is cool compared to the hot photosphere below. But when we see a filament in profile against the dark sky it looks like a giant glowing loop — these are called prominences and they can be spectacular.”
    http://spaceweather.com/glossary/filaments.html
    Why?
    Because Coronal Mass Ejections (CME’s) are often observed developing from prominences (filaments):
    Per Wikipedia:
    “A typical CME has a three part structure consisting of a cavity of low electron density, a dense core (the prominence, which appears as a bright region on coronagraph images) embedded in this cavity, and a bright leading edge. It should be noted, however, that many CMEs are missing one of these elements, or even all three.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronal_mass_ejection
    Per Carlqvist and Hannes Alfven address the issue in a peer-reviewed published paper:
    Title: Energy source of the solar wind (1980)
    Journal: Astrophysics and Space Science
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/seri/Ap%2BSS/0071/0000203.000.html
    Partial Abstract: “A direct transfer of energy from photospheric activity to the solar wind by means of electric currents is discussed. Currents are assumed to flow in quiescent prominences [filaments, as discussed in the instant post] which occasionally erupt and give rise to expanding loop-like structures in the corona…[CME’s]”
    Futher:
    “1. Electric Current Models of Cosmic Plasma Phenomenon”
    “A model of magnetized plasma can be based either on a magnetic field description or on an electric field description.”
    [As expressed by Maxwell’s equations where electric fields and magnetic fields have a reciprical physical relationship. Dr. Svalgaard chooses to only use the magnetic field description and exclude the electric field description. Hannes Alfven acknowledges that both descriptions are valid.]
    “The study of these alternative approaches (Alfven, 1968, 1979a) shows that the current description is necessary for the understanding of the formation of double layers, explosive phenomenon, and transfer of energy from one region to another.”
    [Dr. Svalgaard rejects using the electric current model for understanding energy transfer from one region to another]
    [Double layers in plasma as Hannes Alfven stated are necessary to understand many plasma phenomenon:]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    Continuing with the Carlqvist & Alfven paper:
    “We base our model on the current model of solar prominences and solar flares. If photospheric motion in the presence of magnetic fields produces a voltage differences between two points of intersection of a magnetic field line with the photosphere, a current starts to flow along this line. Due to drift motions caused by crossed electric and magnetic fields, matter from the corona is sucked in by this current so that a prominence [filament] is formed.”
    So, Alfven and Carlqvist are clear, filaments are flowing plasma consisting of electric current.
    Let’s cite two scientific papers that are more recent:
    Title: Generation of large scale electric fields in coronal flare circuits
    Submission August 6, 2009
    “A large number of energetic electrons are generated during solar flares. They carry a substantial part of the flare released energy but how these electrons are created is not fully understood yet. This paper suggests that plasma motion in an active region in the photosphere is the source of large electric currents. These currents can be described by macroscopic circuits. Under special circumstances currents can establish in the corona along magnetic field lines. The energy released by these currents when moderate assumptions for the local conditions are made, is found be comparable to the flare energy.”
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.0813
    To highlight:
    “This paper suggests that plasma motion in an active region in the photosphere is the source of large electric currents.”
    And further:
    Title: Driving Currents for Flux Rope Coronal Mass Ejections
    Submitted on 23 Oct 2008
    “We present a method for measuring electrical currents enclosed by flux rope structures that are ejected within solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Such currents are responsible for providing the Lorentz self-force that propels CMEs. Our estimates for the driving current are based on measurements of the propelling force obtained using data from the LASCO coronagraphs aboard the SOHO satellite. We find that upper limits on the currents enclosed by CMEs are typically around $10^{10}$ Amperes. We estimate that the magnetic flux enclosed by the CMEs in the LASCO field of view is a few $\times 10^{21}$ Mx.”
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.4210
    To highlight:
    “We present a method for measuring electrical currents enclosed by flux rope structures that are ejected within solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs).”
    Remember, Coronal Mass Ejections, are a “stretched out” filament or prominence that eventually explodes.
    When one considers Dr. Svalgaard’s earlier comments where he expressed the sentiment that anybody who presents Alfven’s ideas is anti-science and dangerous, one understands why Dr. Svalgaard persists in denial about the role of electric currents, and that quiescent prominences or filaments are flowing plasma animated by electric currents as stated by Alfven & Carlqvist.
    It’s a shame that Dr. Svalgaard’s judgment is clouded by such animosity.

  94. James F. Evans (16:57:19) :
    ..Let’s cite two scientific papers that are more recent:
    Title: Generation of large scale electric fields in coronal flare circuits
    Submission August 6, 2009
    “A large number of energetic electrons are generated during solar flares. They carry a substantial part of the flare released energy but how these electrons are created is not fully understood yet. This paper suggests that plasma motion in an active region in the photosphere is the source of large electric currents. These currents can be described by macroscopic circuits. Under special circumstances currents can establish in the corona along magnetic field lines. The energy released by these currents when moderate assumptions for the local conditions are made, is found be comparable to the flare energy.”
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0908/0908.0813v1.pdf
    ~
    Thanks James, this article just finished printing and is now in 3rd place on my list of reads. I see it is out of the European community Germany, Postsdam. Should be a good read. Thanks.
    Leif, you in?
    Or don’t even tell us old hat now?
    WOZZ 93.5 now playing Heart “Straight On.”

  95. Carla (18:43:30) :
    Leif, you in?
    Sure, the fact that currents and magnetic fields are mentioned in the same papers is irrelevant to the issue. The way Nature works is quite simple [although the details are messy]: gravity or temperature gradients cause plasma with equal number of positive and negative charges to move around. Magnetic fields are everywhere, and when the plasma is forced by gravity or temperature across magnetic field lines, electric fields are generated. If enough free charges are present, electric currents will flow that will neutralize the electric fields [‘the battery going flat’], unless the plasma movements continue to generate the emf. All energetic effects are caused by the thus generated currents.This is well-known and accepted by everybody who knows event the least of physics.
    What Evans is advocating is quite different, namely that gigantic electric currents criss-cross the Universe [without specifying where they come from] generating magnetic effects, solar energy even, flares, you name it. This view, the Electric/Plasma Universe is simply wrong and pure nonsense. They often claim that 99.999…% [with an unspecified number of 9s] of the Universe is a plasma. Even that is wrong, the percentage is in single digits. There was even a time [for about a million years after 380,000 years ago] when the temperature of the Universe dropped below 2967K when there was no plasma at all anywhere in the Universe. Etc, etc, etc. The whole thing is pseudo- and anti-science almost as sublime as Oliver’s. and as I said, a blot on our proudest achievement. It is tiresome to have to point that out again and again, so perhaps it is time simply to let it fall under its own weight. The sad thing is that it probably won’t, as the public will rather drink the Koolaid than think for themselves.

  96. Carla (18:43:30) :
    Evans even understands so little that he cites a paper that states: “This paper suggests that plasma motion in an active region in the photosphere is the source of large electric currents”. Just as I said. What he is missing, but the paper, of course, is not, is that those motions must be across magnetic field lines for currents to be generated as I have tried to explain to him so many times. Just waving a piece of copper wire [or any other conductor, e.g. a plasma] in the air imagining for a second that the Earth didn’t have a magnetic field] does not generate electric currents.
    Suranda (14:31:24) :
    There seems to be a humongous amount of transmission errors of late, yes?
    The spacecraft is nearing the end of its life [has long ago exceeded its ‘nominal’ life span], so these failures will become more and more frequent, until one day the systems will go completely dead.
    Just The Facts (18:21:44) :
    Can you comment on the accuracy of this article;
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3869753.stm

    It and the other paper are based on finding by Lockwood et al. extending a study of me long ago [see: http://www.leif.org/research/GC31B-0351-F2007.pdf ], that the sun’s magnetic field has more than doubled in the last 100 years. Recent results, both by Lockwood and by me [and others] have shown that this conclusion is in error. The calibration of the cosmic ray data that was based on that erroneous conclusion is therefore not valid, and there is today very little support for the notion that we are [or have been] at a 1000 year or 10,000 year [or whatever large number people quotes] high in solar activity.

  97. Leif Svalgaard (21:08:10) :
    Do you see any significant correlations between solar activity and Earth’s temperature?

  98. Just The Facts (21:48:11) :
    Do you see any significant correlations between solar activity and Earth’s temperature?
    No, although there must be a small contribution [of the order of 0.1K] due to varying TSI. This contribution is so small that it is hard to measure conclusively.

  99. Just The Facts (22:24:58) :
    Do you see any basis for Svensmark’s cosmic ray hypothesis?
    The data does not support it:
    1) cosmic ray intensity has been flat since 1950s [apart from the 11-yr period that hardly shows up in temperatures]
    2) Examining the largest Forbush Decreases shows no effect
    3) the effect is supposed to work though the albedo, but the latter does not show any marked solar cycle effect.
    Again, it is possible that there is a very small effect that we have not been able to detect yet, so the mechanism may be viable although its amplitude may be small.

  100. Dr. Svalgaard doesn’t see any significant correlation between solar activity and Earth’s temperature.
    Right. After this stunning revelation, why would anybody pay attention to whatever Dr. Svalgaard has to say?

  101. Leif Svalgaard (22:48:43) :
    I struggle with the possibility that variations in the local G-type main sequence star do not have significant impacts on Earth’s climate system.
    What do you think of the possibility that variations in solar activity impact Earth’s climate system through mechanisms that we have yet to discover?

  102. Alexander Feht (23:24:38) :
    “Right. After this stunning revelation, why would anybody pay attention to whatever Dr. Svalgaard has to say?”
    I think it’s probably because Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.

  103. The dumbing down that he represents (Evans) is a blot on the greatest human achiement: The understanding of our Universe.
    Statements like these cause one to question the recent statement “I think it’s probably because Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.”
    It astounds me the effort expended to quell any opposing views. Surely not good science and more akin to the recent Climate Gate fiasco.

  104. Clive E Burkland (01:33:02) :
    The dumbing down that he represents is a blot on the greatest human achiement: The understanding of our Universe.
    Statements like these cause one to question the recent statement “I think it’s probably because Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.”
    It astounds me the effort expended to quell any opposing views. Surely not good science and more akin to the recent Climate Gate fiasco.
    ~
    Who better to help refine EU thought than Leif? There is no squelch to the opposing view. The opposing view is frequently stated here and debated.
    ~
    Suranda (04:56:17) :
    Aren’t highly energetic cosmic rays being created by that thang which isn’t supposed to be there being referred to as “local fluff”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/26/voyager-tells-us-we-live-in-a-fluffy-interstellar-cloud/
    ~
    Gotta watch out for those little cloudlettes wafting by and clipping your heliosphere bubble from time to time. *esp. if they were once attached to a G cloud or ah something. heh Maybe the local cavity isn’t so consistent and uniform throughout but has structure some behind us too! providing perhaps a look into the past as well as into the future.
    WOZZ for George Harrisons birthday played Traveling Wilburys, “End of the Line.” It’s all right…
    Good video ..good song.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwqhdRs4jyA

  105. Just The Facts (23:35:06) :
    I struggle with the possibility that variations in the local G-type main sequence star do not have significant impacts on Earth’s climate system.
    The variation is very small and has thus a very small effect. If the ‘increase’ in temperature since 1965 is mainly due to artificial adjustments rather than being real [see: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/26/a-new-paper-comparing-ncdc-rural-and-urban-us-surface-temperature-data/ ] then there is even less evidence that the high solar activity during that time had any climate effects.
    What do you think of the possibility that variations in solar activity impact Earth’s climate system through mechanisms that we have yet to discover?
    Before we introduce [or believe in] mechanisms not yet discovered we should be relatively certain there is something to be explained, and as I just pointed out, any solar effects seem very elusive. But I guess that one might maintain that impacts not yet discovered could be explained by mechanisms also not yet discovered.
    Suranda (04:56:17) :
    Aren’t highly energetic cosmic rays being created by that thang which isn’t supposed to be there being referred to as “local fluff”
    some are, but only a few, the vast majority come from far away, mainly galactic supernovae.
    Clive E Burkland (01:33:02) :
    It astounds me the effort expended to quell any opposing views.
    Anti-science is not a valid ‘opposing view’. Dissent is critical to good science, but the dissent has to be scientifically valid. If I come up with a new theory that the Moon is made of green cheese, then that is not a valid opposing view and Lunar scientists should rightfully oppose me, although chances are that they will just ignore my nonsense, and perhaps I should just ignore the EU/PU nonsense as well. I’ll try to do that [for a while].

  106. I think it’s probably because Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.
    You are entitled to think whatever you want. You thinking it, however, doesn’t make it a fact.
    One of the foremost solar scientists in the world says that there is no significant correlation between solar activity and Earth’s temperature. Therefore, it must be so.
    I am going to sleep naked in the snow from now on: what do I care about solar activity or lack of it? The foremost scientist in the world told us it doesn’t matter.

  107. Cool song Carla, but I may need to wait an hour to play that one again ~ I’m listening to Radio New Zealand right now (evacuating Banks Peninsula) ~ the Pacific (as well as Hawaii) is going to be hit with a tsunami effect of that EQ in Chile. Solar connection? Mag seems to be very calm right now.
    As for the heliosphere, from what I can see it looks like she’ll be coming around the bend and maybe not so alright! I guess I need another sip of my Kool Aid.
    You guys/gals are amazingly optimistic considering your field of expertise (the Sun)!

  108. Suranda (09:47:21) :
    Cool song Carla, but I may need to wait an hour to play that one again ~ I’m listening to Radio New Zealand right now (evacuating Banks Peninsula) ~ the Pacific (as well as Hawaii) is going to be hit with a tsunami effect of that EQ in Chile. Solar connection? Mag seems to be very calm right now.
    As for the heliosphere, from what I can see it looks like she’ll be coming around the bend and maybe not so alright! I guess I need another sip of my Kool Aid.
    You guys/gals are amazingly optimistic considering your field of expertise (the Sun)!
    As for the heliosphere, from what I can see it looks like she’ll be coming around the bend and maybe not so alright! I guess I need another sip of my Kool Aid.
    ~
    Hey no koolaid before lunch. But I can see and hear what you are saying. Tx fro the update tsunami.

  109. Carla (18:43:30) :
    Thank you very much for providing the full peer-reviewed paper:
    Title: Generation of Large Scale Electric Fields in Coronal Flare Circuits
    Authors: H. One and G. J. Mann, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam
    Published: Cen. Eur. Astrophys. Bull. (2009)
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0908/0908.0813v1.pdf
    It is informative and interesting reading.
    Anybody who wants to have a better understanding of the physical explanation of CME’s (and filaments) is well advised to read and study this paper.
    Dr. Svalgaard (20:48:31) stated: “What Evans is advocating is quite different, namely that gigantic electric currents criss-cross the Universe [without specifying where they come from] generating magnetic effects, solar energy even, flares, you name it. This view, the Electric/Plasma Universe is simply wrong and pure nonsense. They often claim that 99.999…% [with an unspecified number of 9s] of the Universe is a plasma. Even that is wrong, the percentage is in single digits.”
    Carla, notice Dr. Svalgaard skips over without comment the fact that he was previously asserting that the filaments did not have an “internal electric current” or that the filament did not express an electric current.
    But the Carlqvist & Alfven paper and the full paper you, Carla, provided make quite clear that in fact filaments are an expression of flowing plasma that constitutes electrical current.
    Carla, one has to ask, themself, why Dr. Svalgaard was so determined to obscure this fact that he was willing to mislead readers. And, if so, how much credibility should readers give Dr. Svalgaard on this subject or even on other subjects?
    Carla, I’m presenting the considered assessment of recognized scientists:
    Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner in physics
    Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Carl-Gunne Fälthammar (list of papers):
    http://www.ee.kth.se/php/modules/people/publications/437.pdf
    Per Carlqvist
    And many other reputable scientists.
    Yet, Dr. Svalgaard attempts to label me and others, here on this website, who convey the ideas of these scientists by presenting peer-reviewed scientific papers and recognized physical principles, “anti-science”, “dangerous”, and “nuts”. This reveals how manic Dr. Svalgaard is about this issue and, I’ll note, many of his associates are equally manic & hostile.
    And, it does rightly cause reasonable people to question Dr. Svalgaard’s ability to be objective and honest in his discussions when these issues are involved.
    (As this discussion has demonstarated what Dr. Svalgaard is capable of when he thinks it’s “necessary” to protect his world-view.)
    Of course, when I pointed out that I’m simply conveying the ideas of reputable scientists and that when he labels me “anti-science”, “dangerous”, and “nuts”, he is really calling his fellow scientists all these names — Dr. Svalgaard backed-off.
    In reviewing the peer-reviewed published paper by One and Mann, one can see a line of papers that support the idea that electrical currents and electric fields are important in astrophysical relationships.
    The insight that Alfven provided is that these electromagnetic phenomenon are scale independent, therefore, can be studied in the plasma laboratory and, now, in situ satellite probes, and, thus, these principles can be applied to distant astronomical structures & processes because of the scale-independence of electromagnetism, a fundamental force of Nature.
    Carla, notice how Dr. Svalgaard has conflated “Electric/Plasma Universe” together? This is part of his “slick & shtick” routine that he often employs.
    The Plasma Universe concept is seperate and distinct from ‘Electric Universe’, which is a more expansive extension of Plasma Universe concepts, but implacable critics, such as Dr. Svalgaard, often conflate the two for maximum prejudical effect.
    Dr. Svalgaard: “They often claim that 99.999…% [with an unspecified number of 9s] of the Universe is a plasma. Even that is wrong, the percentage is in single digits.”
    The percentage of plasma in the Universe is only in “single digits” if your gospel & faith is placed in the existence of so-called “dark” matter and “dark” energy, which have never been directly observed & measured and its advocates can’t even describe or explain its physical nature.
    The observable Universe is, indeed, 99.99% plasma, and even the good doctor knows not to deny that:
    The following link lays out in its footnotes (20 footnotes) citational support for the assertion that over 99% of the observable Universe is plasma:
    http://www.plasma-universe.com/99.999%25_plasma
    Of course, this is why Dr. Svalgaard is willing to “go to the wall” to assert the existence of so-called “dark” matter, because without it, his whole world-view crumbles into the ash-heap of history.
    And, indeed, I suggest this fear of his world-view crumbling to dust likely motivates Dr. Svalgaard and his associates to act in this overall ruthless fashion and engage in what I call his “slick & shtick” campaign.
    Dr. Svalgaard: “…the public will rather drink the Koolaid than think for themselves.”
    Actually, Dr. Svalgaard is the one who attempts to indoctrinate as much as he can and intimidate & mislead as much as he thinks necessary to acheive his objectives — it’s clear, for Dr. Svalgaard, the “ends justify the means”.
    However, the “ends justify the means” strategy & tactics is completely antithetical to the Empirical Scientific Method.
    Dr. Svalgaard (21:08:10): “What he [Evans] is missing, but the paper, of course, is not, is that those motions must be across magnetic field lines for currents to be generated as I have tried to explain to him so many times.”
    False.
    I recognize the necessity of magnetic fields and their indespensible role. How may times have I cited Maxwell’s equations which speak to this requirement.
    The difference between me and Dr. Svalgaard is that he holds up the magnetic field analysis as the only scientifically valid analytical tool, purposely excluding an electric field analysis, while I stand with Hannes Alfven and note that both electric field and magnetic field analysis is valid, and, also, I stand with Alfven to state the electric current analysis is necessary to properly understand formation of double layers, explosive phenomenon, and transfer of energy from one region to another.
    Alexander Feht (23:24:38) wrote: “Dr. Svalgaard doesn’t see any significant correlation between solar activity and Earth’s temperature.”
    And Feht continued: “Right. After this stunning revelation, why would anybody pay attention to whatever Dr. Svalgaard has to say?”
    To which Just The Facts (23:45:20) responded: “I think it’s probably because Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.”
    Just the Facts, how do you know that?
    I’ve looked for Dr. Svalgaard’s curriculum vitae and can’t find it — yes, a list of papers (it’s not clear how many were ever peer-reviewed or published), but certainly not a biography of educational attainments or what institutions Dr. Svalgaard worked at or researched at.
    What little I have found on the internet suggests that he taught at Stanford University over 30 years ago, but primarily has been a computer programmer (a very good computer programmer) that has worked for various companies and, now, owns his own company in parnership.
    So, Dr. Svalgaard’s time has been divided and it’s unclear how much influence, prestige, high regard, or scientific value Dr. Svalgaard’s work has been given in the field of helio-astrophysics.
    Just The Facts, I suggest you are making an assumption unwarranted by the available information.

  110. Leif Svalgaard (08:10:20) quotes Just The Facts (23:35:06)
    “I struggle with the possibility that variations in the local G-type main sequence star do not have significant impacts on Earth’s climate system.”
    Leif replies: “The variation is very small and has thus a very small effect.”
    – – – – –
    Leif, you do not understand the Sun, nor its influence on planet Earth, because you have steadfastly refused to consider these experimental data:
    a) Neutron repulsion is clearly shown in nuclear rest mass data for all nuclei with two or more neutrons.
    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2003/jfe-neutronrep.pdf
    b) The results of literally hundreds of different analysis of elements and isotopes in meteorites and planets are explained if the Sun itself exploded five Gyr ago to produce the solar system in this manner:
    http://www.omatumr.com/Origin.htm
    No results are inconsistent with the above conclusion.
    c) The top of the solar atmosphere is 91% Hydrogen (H) and 9% Helium (He) because H is the lightest element (element #1) and He is the next lightest one (element #2). Solar mass fractionation is experimentally observed across isotopes (3 to 136 atomic mass units) in the solar wind and across s-products (25 to 207 amu) in the photosphere [“Solar abundance of elements from neutron-capture cross sections”, The 36th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), Houston, Texas, March 14-18, 2005].
    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2005/LunarAbstract.pdf
    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  111. Alexander Feht (09:30:50) :
    I think it’s probably because Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.
    You are entitled to think whatever you want. You thinking it, however, doesn’t make it a fact.
    One of the foremost solar scientists in the world says that there is no significant correlation between solar activity and Earth’s temperature. Therefore, it must be so.
    I am going to sleep naked in the snow from now on: what do I care about solar activity or lack of it? The foremost scientist in the world told us it doesn’t matter.
    One of the foremost solar scientists in the world says that there is no significant correlation between solar activity and Earth’s temperature. Therefore, it must be so.
    ~
    Hey hey we know how you feel. After Al Gore koolaid withdrawls about CO2 I too thought the sun as the primary climate change factor. Not long on that path when I start seeing Dr. S. repeatedly state not a primary. huh and THEMIS confirmed what we already knew. huh again.
    Now I pay attention to the Local Interstellar environment. Could it be so simple as to say denser extraterrestrial clouds make denser terrestrial clouds, who knows?

  112. James F. Evans (10:20:32) :
    So, Dr. Svalgaard’s time has been divided and it’s unclear how much influence, prestige, high regard, or scientific value Dr. Svalgaard’s work has been given in the field of helio-astrophysics.
    Check out the list of invited speakers at the upcoming SORCE meeting [and click on some of the links there to see what SORCE is about]:
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2010ScienceMeeting/agendas.html#speakers
    When arguments fails, it is a time-honored tactics to go after the person. You are in in good company.

  113. James F. Evans (10:20:32) :
    So, Dr. Svalgaard’s time has been divided and it’s unclear how much influence, prestige, high regard, or scientific value Dr. Svalgaard’s work has been given in the field of helio-astrophysics.
    As much as I hate appealing to authority [like to Alfven, Birkeland, Peralt, etc], a good measure of someone’s standing in a scientific community is the number of keynote and invited talks he/she is giving at scientific meetings and conferences. Here is a small selection of recent ones given by me:
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2003ScienceMeeting/dec03_meeting_final_science_program.html
    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/events/2009/soho23/program.html
    http://www.lowell.edu/workshops/SolarAnalogsII/program.php
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/SC24/Oct_2006.html
    http://geomag.usgs.gov/iagaxiii/presentations.php
    Some will look upon such a list as simply a list of co-conspirators in the worldwide grand campaign and conspiracy aimed at hiding the real truth from the general public or, at least, from the true pseudo-scientists.

  114. Dr. Svalgaard:
    I’m happy to see you’re on a speakers list for a seminar, but I’m not sure that’s evidence you’re “one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.”
    As far as the rest, I don’t consider it a personal attack to note there’s a lack of information to make an assessment about somebody’s professional qualifications (why don’t you just supply the readers that information instead of complaining about it).
    And, Dr. Svalgaard, considering you were the first to offer up personal attacks on this thread by calling myself and others, “anti-science”, “dangerous”, and “nuts”, your complaint about personal attacks rings hollow.
    What it sounds like to me is a ploy to generate sympathy and provide an excuse for why your’re failing to respond to the substantive arguments I made in my last comment.
    In other words, it’s a diversion — but not effective.
    What about those substantive arguments I raised about the physics? Care to respond to those arguments, Dr. Svalgaard?
    Dr. Svalgaard, are you still calling Dr. Anthony L. Peratt of Los Alamos National Laboratory “anti-science”, “dangerous”, and “nuts”?

  115. Leif Svalgaard (08:10:20) :
    “Before we introduce [or believe in] mechanisms not yet discovered we should be relatively certain there is something to be explained, and as I just pointed out, any solar effects seem very elusive.”
    I concur, but I am thinking here about the overall picture, i.e. understanding all of the potential drivers of Earth’s climate system;
    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7y.html
    http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/whatfactors.pdf
    and trying to think through the hypothesis of primarily natural climate change.
    There seems to be reasonable evidence of a significant ocean component based on the cycles of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation;
    http://icecap.us/docs/change/ocean_cycle_forecasts.pdf
    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/PDO_AMO.htm
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~mantua/REPORTS/PDO/PDO_egec.htm
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~mantua/REPORTS/PDO/PDO_cs.htm
    And there also seems to be reasonable evidence for a significant volcanic component based historical observation:
    http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/climate_effects.html
    http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1991vci..nasa…..R
    That brings me back to solar activity. Looking further back, do you see any correlation between solar activity and the Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton minimums?
    http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap02/sunspots.html
    http://www.eso.org/sci/libraries/lisa3/beckmanj.html
    Looking forwards, if the sun’s magnetic fields continue to decrease;
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/03sep_sunspots.htm
    and then remain low for an extended period of time, might there be any significant impacts on Earth’s climate system?

  116. James F. Evans (10:20:32) :
    “To which Just The Facts (23:45:20) responded: “I think it’s probably because Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.”
    “Just the Facts, how do you know that?”
    “Just The Facts, I suggest you are making an assumption unwarranted by the available information.”
    I have been around these parts for almost a year, I have read many articles and comments by Leif, seen his work, had many exchanges with him, seen him argue many capable people on a broad array of subjects, seen him win the vast majority of them and seen him admit when he’s made a mistake. I am also familiar with the work of various other solar scientists and capable of determining that Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.

  117. Just The Facts (12:00:24) :
    There seems to be reasonable evidence of a significant ocean component based on the cycles of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation;
    Concur
    And there also seems to be reasonable evidence for a significant volcanic component based historical observation
    concur here too.
    That brings me back to solar activity. Looking further back, do you see any correlation between solar activity and the Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton minimums?
    For these three, the Medieval Warm Period was during the Oort solar minimum, the Spoerer was very likely warm, the Maunder cold [but cold long after the Maunder too], and the Dalton was cold provably because of volcanism, so the solar imprint is not so clear as people suppose.
    Looking forwards, if the sun’s magnetic fields continue to decrease and then remain low for an extended period of time, might there be any significant impacts on Earth’s climate system?
    That remains to be seen, but if we accept the PDO is going into a negative phase, any cooling might be due to that, so, again, the Sun may not have anything to do with that.
    My point is not that the Sun CANNOT have an effect. It is that a solar effect has not been clearly demonstrated.
    James F. Evans (11:56:55) :
    What about those substantive arguments I raised about the physics? Care to respond to those arguments, Dr. Svalgaard?
    As Alexander Feht just said:
    Alexander Feht (12:06:39) :
    Enough said. Pathetic.

  118. Alexander Feht (12:06:39) :
    “Enough said. Pathetic.”
    Hello Alexander
    Can you please share your thoughts with us on how you think Earth’s climate system functions?

  119. Dr. Svalgaard, I suggest we both stick with the scientific evidence and agree to disagree without personal rancor and note when the other party fails to answer an argument or when the argument is incomplete or does not account for a relevant piece of evidence or misapplies a physical relationship.
    The parameters of the Empirical Scientific Method allows for vigorous debate.

  120. Just The Facts (12:39:23) :
    James F. Evans (10:20:32) :
    “To which Just The Facts (23:45:20) responded: “I think it’s probably because Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.”
    “Just the Facts, how do you know that?”
    “Just The Facts, I suggest you are making an assumption unwarranted by the available information.”
    I have been around these parts for almost a year, I have read many articles and comments by Leif, seen his work, had many exchanges with him, seen him argue many capable people on a broad array of subjects, seen him win the vast majority of them and seen him admit when he’s made a mistake. I am also familiar with the work of various other solar scientists and capable of determining that Leif is one of the foremost solar scientists in the world.
    ~
    You might want to add longevity, new data continually, firgen walking data center. lol
    Maybe the EU should not brow beat so much. And that letting the gravity baby out with the bath water thing. (did I say that?)
    Suranda no immediate response to seismic here recently. (unless some major intersomething gravity wave, but no evidence there bud huh?)

  121. James F. Evans (11:56:55) :
    What about those substantive arguments I raised about the physics?
    I have many times offered to take you through the correct physics, step by painful step. This offer still stands [because it might also be interesting to a wider audience], so if you really want to join me in that I would welcome your interest and dedication. I suggest the following format: each step [and we alternate until done] is a text of no more than 100 words with no links except at most one to an image or formula and no parroting, but original words showing understanding and substance. Agreed?

  122. James F. Evans (10:20:32) :
    ..What little I have found on the internet suggests that he taught at Stanford University over 30 years ago, but primarily has been a computer programmer (a very good computer programmer) that has worked for various companies..
    Reminds me of Tommy, The Who and the “Pinball Wizard.” Very excellent rock opera.
    What would a modern day Tommy with computer and software ability be like. lol
    No no not Leif. lol

  123. Dr Svalgaard
    I only just today had the time to read this article and the many comments following. It is a great privilege to benefit from your stellar (pun not intended) knowledge!
    Thank you.

  124. I expect that Leif might agree with Prof. Lockwood:
    Prof Lockwood was one of the first researchers to show that the Sun’s activity has been gradually decreasing since 1985, yet overall global temperatures have continued to rise.
    “If you look carefully at the observations, it’s pretty clear that the underlying level of the Sun peaked at about 1985 and what we are seeing is a continuation of a downward trend (in solar activity) that’s been going on for a couple of decades.
    If the Sun’s dimming were to have a cooling effect, we’d have seen it by now.

    – ‘Quiet Sun’ baffling astronomers, BBC, April 2009
    Yes – we’d have seen it by now.
    If only we’d open our eyes!
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    A First! Snow falls in Baghdad
    Associated Press, Jan 2008
    Recent cold snap helping Arctic sea ice, scientists find
    CBC News, Feb, 2008
    Arctic blast brings London earliest snow for 70 years
    It is a sight not seen in the capital since 1934.
    Evening Standard, October 2008
    Climate scientists say 2008 will be coolest year of the decade
    Guardian, Dec 2008
    Flights axed as Las Vegas hit by rare snowstorm
    USA TODAY, Dec 2008
    The Alps have best snow conditions “in a generation”
    Telegraph UK, Dec 2008
    Snowstorms cause chaos across Europe’s ski resorts
    Telegraph UK, Dec 2008
    The Day The Sea Froze: Temperatures plunge to minus 12C and
    forecasters say it won’t warm up until Sunday
    Daily Mail, UK, Jan 2009
    Spokane, Washington., residents cope with record snow
    Associated Press, Jan 2009
    It’s June…so it must be snowing:
    Great British summer goes from sweltering to shivering in just a week
    Daily Mail, UK, June 2009
    Chicago has its coolest July 8 in 118 years
    Chicago Tribune, July 2009
    Children die in harsh Peru winter
    Almost 250 children under the age of five have died in a wave of intensely cold weather in Peru.
    BBC, July 2009
    Storm brought record snowfall to Fort Collins in October
    Coloradoan, October 2009
    Coldest October since 1945 in NZ
    ONE News, November 2009
    Cheyenne records snowiest October on record
    National Weather Service, November 2009
    Beijing’s Heaviest Snow in 54 Years Strands Thousands
    Bloomberg, November 2009
    Big chill brings misery to Europe
    December 23, 2009
    Freezing weather which has killed more than 90 people is continuing to cause transport problems across Europe.
    “Snowmaggedon”
    Barack Obama, Feb 2010
    If the sun’s dimming were to have a cooling effect, we’d have seen it by now!

  125. Leif Svalgaard
    “Before we introduce [or believe in] mechanisms not yet discovered we should be relatively certain there is something to be explained”
    “My point is not that the Sun CANNOT have an effect. It is that a solar effect has not been clearly demonstrated.”
    These are both very good points and highlight the possibility that solar variability may not be a significant driver of recent and forthcoming changes in earth’s climate system. It’s possible that ocean cycles, volcanic activity, land use changes and natural variability are primarily responsible for the climactic changes “measured” over the last several centuries. The challenge in testing this and other hypotheses is that the station and proxy temperature records are compromised. As such, in order to test various alternate climate change models “we” need to build a reasonably accurate temperature record. I wonder if “we” will be able to develop a reasonably accurate temperature record using the historical station data and/or proxies, or if they are both so inaccurate that “we” are stuck waiting for the satellite record to grow…

  126. Just The Facts (16:23:02) :
    Leif Svalgaard
    “Before we introduce [or believe in] mechanisms not yet discovered we should be relatively certain there is something to be explained”
    “My point is not that the Sun CANNOT have an effect. It is that a solar effect has not been clearly demonstrated.”
    These are both very good points and highlight the possibility that solar variability may not be a significant driver of recent and forthcoming changes in earth’s climate system. It’s possible that ocean cycles, volcanic activity, land use changes and natural variability are primarily responsible for the climactic changes “measured” over the last several centuries.
    ~
    You forgot to mention water and oil consumption and ramifications. That’s ok.
    Solar variability, what causes solar variablility.
    Lag times of climate change within a larger system than I think you are looking at.

  127. Alexander Feht (09:30:50) : “One of the foremost solar scientists in the world says that there is no significant correlation between solar activity and Earth’s temperature.”
    I believe the statement would be more accurate like this: “One of the foremost solar scientists in the world says that there is no significant correlation between CHANGES in solar activity and CHANGES in Earth’s temperature.”
    That is what I get from Dr Svalgaard’s statements. But then, I am just a resident of the peanut gallery.

  128. Khwarizmi (16:17:14) :
    Prof Lockwood was one of the first researchers to show that the Sun’s activity has been gradually decreasing since 1985, yet overall global temperatures have continued to rise.
    But since we don’t know how much of that temperature rise is real we really can’t conclude anything.
    James F. Evans (13:54:21) :
    note when the other party fails to answer an argument or when the argument is incomplete
    Not quite good enough, as strawmen are frequently trotted out that just detracts from the issue, especially when the argument is weak.
    I made you an offer. Do you take it?

  129. “Tom in freakin’s cold again Florida (16:42:29) :”
    “Alexander Feht (09:30:50) : “One of the foremost solar scientists in the world says that there is no significant correlation between solar activity and Earth’s temperature.””
    “I believe the statement would be more accurate like this: “One of the foremost solar scientists in the world says that there is no significant correlation between CHANGES in solar activity and CHANGES in Earth’s temperature.””
    No, it’s like I said originally. Read this article, particularly the Hathaway interview portion;
    http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1635&category=Science
    and note the context when Nasa’s top solar scientist says that,
    “But there also were people back at that time saying otherwise. A group of colleagues led by Leif Svalgaard, Ph.D., were looking at the sun’s polar fields and saying even at that point, the sun’s polar fields were significantly weaker than they had been before and those scientists back then predicted it was going to be a small cycle.”
    and take special note of how

  130. James F. Evans (13:54:21) :
    The parameters of the Empirical Scientific Method …
    BTW, there is no such thing as the Empirical Scientific Method. There is only one Scientific Method. I can recommend a very good book suitable for your level: Three Steps to the Universe, by D. Garfinkle & R. Garfinkle [brothers]. They very nicely point out that there are three different universes: the Perceived Universe, the Detected Universe, and the Theoretical Universe. It is in th interaction of these three universes that scientific understanding is created. The perceived universe is what we experience every day by sound, touch, smell, taste, see. The things that we cannot detect directly, but can observe with various devices we have constructed [radio, microscope, amp-meter] make up the detected universe. If we want to understand what hoes on, we need explanations. The explanations are composed in part of the things we perceive or detect, but only in part. the rest is a set of mental constructs, known as ‘theories’. This world of purely mental creation or abstraction [almost always expressed in mathematical terms] is the missing piece. Theories serve two functions: 1st, as overarching explanations for how things work and why things happen, and 2nd as initial points of departure for exploration and creation of new ideas and knowledge. A typical example is Maxwell’s equations. The scientific process is thus circular: through theory, detection, perception, detection, and theory. The understanding lies in the theoretical part. Without that, science is just butterfly collection.
    Anyway, the book is highly recommended: ISBN 0-226-28346-1, published 2008.

  131. Dr. Svalgaard:
    I’m not inclined to accept your invitation to be indoctrinated.
    (After all your personal attacks have failed you attempt to negotiate — you are a piece of work.)
    As I’ve already discussed twice so far on this thread:
    First discussion:
    “A model of magnetized plasma can be based either on a magnetic field description or on an electric field description.” — Carlqvist & Alfven
    [As expressed by Maxwell’s equations where electric fields and magnetic fields have a reciprical physical relationship. Dr. Svalgaard chooses to only use the magnetic field description and exclude the electric field description. Hannes Alfven acknowledges that both descriptions are valid.] — Jim Evans
    “The study of these alternative approaches (Alfven, 1968, 1979a) shows that the current description is necessary for the understanding of the formation of double layers, explosive phenomenon, and transfer of energy from one region to another.” — Carlqvist & Alfven
    [Dr. Svalgaard rejects using the electric current model for understanding energy transfer from one region to another] — Jim Evans
    [Double layers in plasma as Hannes Alfven stated are necessary to understand many plasma phenomenon:] — Jim Evans
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    Second discussion:
    “I recognize the necessity of magnetic fields and their indespensible role. How may times have I cited Maxwell’s equations which speak to this requirement.” — Jim Evans
    Of course, Dr. Svalgaard ignores the reality and attempts to construct a strawman argument instead of engaging in good faith discussion.
    “The difference between me and Dr. Svalgaard is that he holds up the magnetic field analysis as the only scientifically valid analytical tool, purposely excluding an electric field analysis, while I stand with Hannes Alfven and note that both electric field and magnetic field analysis is valid, and, also, I stand with Alfven to state the electric current analysis is necessary to properly understand formation of double layers, explosive phenomenon, and transfer of energy from one region to another.” — Jim Evans
    The scientific evidence supports Alfven, Carlqvist, Fälthammar, Peratt, and One & Mann authors of this most recent 2009 paper and the many others that support the electromagnetic approach.
    Dr. Svalgaard: When you stick with your specialty, historical analysis of sunspot activity, I have no problem even if I don’t agree with your analysis — that’s science, after all — but when you engage in over the top personal attacks and then make cynical offers to indoctrinate, after the personal attacks backfired — it’s offensive.

  132. Just The Facts (18:05:33) :
    Read this article, particularly the Hathaway interview portion
    BTW, I gave an invited talk at that meeting in Maine that Hathaway was referring to: http://www.leif.org/research/SOHO23.pdf
    It was about how well we actually know the sunspot number in the past [there has also been adjustments to that!].
    Just two days before I gave an invited talk at a workshop at Lowell Observatory in Arizona [ http://www.leif.org/research/Predicting%20the%20Solar%20Cycle.pdf ]. The organizers of SOHO-23 were nice enough to change the schedule to accommodate my travel time; it is not easy to travel from Flagstaff Arizona to Bar Harbor Maine, it takes a whole day [I wonder what people 200 years ago would have thought of that lament]

  133. ””””Leif Svalgaard (14:17:44) : . . . I have many times offered to take you through the correct physics, step by painful step. This offer still stands [because it might also be interesting to a wider audience], so if you really want to join me in that I would welcome your interest and dedication. I suggest the following format: each step [and we alternate until done] is a text of no more than 100 words with no links except at most one to an image or formula and no parroting, but original words showing understanding and substance. Agreed?”””’
    Leif,
    If James F. Evans doesn’t take you up on your offer, could you find a scientist you respect to play a “devil’s advocate” role in place of James F. Evans?
    Of course, down side of doing that is James could claim the “devil’s advocate” is not doing sincere/accurate job.
    Bottome line is that I would love you to lead me through all the physics. Many others, I am sure, would too.
    John

  134. Just The Facts (18:05:33) : “No, it’s like I said originally. Read this article, particularly the Hathaway interview portion;
    http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1635&category=Science
    and note the context when Nasa’s top solar scientist says that,
    “But there also were people back at that time saying otherwise. A group of colleagues led by Leif Svalgaard, Ph.D., were looking at the sun’s polar fields and saying even at that point, the sun’s polar fields were significantly weaker than they had been before and those scientists back then predicted it was going to be a small cycle.” and take special note of how”
    Are we talking apples and oranges?
    From the article:
    “Our Variable Sun
    WHICH IS KIND OF EERIE FOR EARTH LIFE DEPENDENT ON THAT SUN.
    Yeah, the good thing is that when you look at what we really depend upon, which is the radiant energy from the sun – even over the full extent of the sunspot cycle, that only varies by 1/10th of 1%. So, we’re lucky in that regard. It’s a small change. If it were big, I think in terms of evolution, we wouldn’t be here talking about it. But the fact is when it comes to variable stars, our sun’s variability is tiny. Any big solar variations could really wreak havoc on our climate and survivability.”
    Isn’t that the point, that the variance is only 1/10th of 1% and therefore does not correlate to Earth’s huge temperature swings let alone long ice ages that contain 10,000 year periods of warmth?

  135. James F. Evans (18:28:47) :
    I’m not inclined to accept your invitation to be indoctrinated.
    So much for “The parameters of the Empirical Scientific Method allows for vigorous debate”.
    I’m not surprised, though.

  136. Tom in Florida (19:20:06) :
    Isn’t that the point, that the variance is only 1/10th of 1% and therefore does not correlate to Earth’s huge temperature swings let alone long ice ages that contain 10,000 year periods of warmth?
    The Ice Age swings have nothing to do with variations of the Sun, but with variations in the orbit and tilt of the Earth.
    John Whitman (19:11:56) :
    could you find a scientist you respect to play a “devil’s advocate” role in place of James F. Evans?
    Hardly, because the EU/PU stuff doesn’t make sense and scientists have a hard time simulating nonsense.
    Bottom line is that I would love you to lead me through all the physics. Many others, I am sure, would too.
    This is another matter. I would gladly do this if you [and/or others] could be that antagonist [or at least seeking knowledge]. I don’t know if this will suit Anthony or if a separate thread would be needed. The present one looks as it might work OK.
    Perhaps, we should wait a bit and see how many ‘sign up’.

  137. Carla (18:33:19) :
    Just The Facts (18:05:33) :
    “I understand the point you are trying to make, but earthifles? I did a little tour and got some knee jerks goin on.”
    Hello Carla
    I can’t control who Hathaway does interviews with and who publishes their work, but knowing some of the background on the situation, the interview with Hathaway seems legitimate to me. Are you questioning the veracity of the Hathaway interview included on this page:
    http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1635&category=Science

  138. Just The Facts (18:05:33) :
    : “But there also were people back at that time saying otherwise. A group of colleagues led by Leif Svalgaard, Ph.D., were looking at the sun’s polar fields and saying even at that point, the sun’s polar fields were significantly weaker than they had been before and those scientists back then predicted it was going to be a small cycle.”
    and take special note of how

    Chistyakov, 1983 and Badalyan 2000 also predicted a low 24 cycle amplitude,albeit using different techniques and datasets and have a different POV on the effects (if persistent) so one cannot yet draw conclusions.

  139. Leif Svalgaard (20:07:41) : Perhaps, we should wait a bit and see how many ’sign up’.
    I will sign up as a “listener” endeavouring to gain knowledge from a very low level of understanding but a high level of thirst…

  140. Leif,
    I am signing up in the category “. . . or at least seeking knowledge”.
    Sorry that I could not credibly be an EU theory advocate. One reason is I do not have it scoped out and probably won’t ever (so much to do and so little time). Second reason is I only have a BS in nuclear engineering (engineering science with nuclear focus) & am a loooooongggggg time out of school.
    Although my wife says I can be extremely antagonistic in discussion, I am sure she does not mean in the good logical/scientific sense.
    John

  141. Dr. Svalgaard, we disagree, again.
    Why am I not surprised?
    Not wanting to be indoctrinated is totally different than not wanting to debate or present contrary arguments with supporting facts and evidence.
    Although, I do agree with your discussion of the Scientific Method. My point has been that empirical observation & measurement is paramount, however, as you correctly point out, theory is important as is physical explanation. And, as you state, “initial points of departure for exploration and creation of new ideas and knowledge” is also important. I’d call these, “initial points of departure,” hypothesis.
    But it’s only by testing a hypothesis through either repeated laboratory experiments or repeated in situ or remote field observations & measurements that Science validates or falsifies a hypothesis.
    Hypothesis that can’t be falsified by observation & measurement is non-scientific.
    I presented Alfven’s position that all components of electromagnetism need to be analyzed: Electric field, magnetic field, and electric currents.
    In this thread I presented Hyder’s original paper, B. C. Low’s paper discussing filaments’ “internal electric current”, Carlqvist & Alfven’s paper discussing the electric circuit model of filaments, H. One and G. J. Mann’s paper discussing the electric circuit model of CME’s (thanks Carla for the link to the full paper), and the Abstract for Subramanian & Vourlidas’ paper discussing driving currents for flux rope CME’s.
    These papers combine the factors that Dr. Svalgaard listed in his discussion of the Scientific Method, hypothesis, observation & measurement, theory, and physical explanation.
    As impressive as the physical spectacle of the huge filament is upon viewing, to Science it’s just as important to understand & explain the physical processes (know what we are viewing).
    Hopefully, the above papers have helped do that.

  142. Tom in Florida,
    The Earth’s climate depends on solar activity for the very simple reason that there is nothing but the Sun to warm the Earth.
    Long-time correlation between the Earth’s climate and the Sun activity may be very complex, because the Earth is a very complex system with a multitude of oceanic, atmospheric, and biological feed-backs and lags, but it’s there. Every winter is colder than summer, and every night is colder than midday. Any change in Earth’s insolation results in a change of Earth’s temperature. We have no explanation of how exactly it happens — there are too many variables, and not enough data — but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.
    If the minuscule amount of data gathered up to date “doesn’t support” the obvious in the eyes of people who prefer not to see the woods for the trees, it means that the data is insufficient but in no way confutes the obvious.

  143. I sign up! I’d like for James Evans to participate too, though. I’m an electric universe plasma type person.

  144. Leif Svalgaard (07:05:28) :
    Carla (06:34:00) :
    Thanks to Evans and the “bad boys,” who lurk here too!
    The dumbing down that he represents is a blot on the greatest human achiement: The understanding of our Universe.

    Too cut’n’dried for me.
    The understanding of our Universe is an ongoing endeavour, not yet an achievement.

  145. OK, we then start. First we need to establish some facts based on observations. Filaments [and prominences = filaments seen at the edge of the Sun] can last for weeks. They are cool clouds suspended in the hot corona by magnetic fields. The clouds condense out of the corona and although the matter seems to ‘hang’ there for weeks, it is really a very dynamical phenomenon: the material is continually falling down onto the surface, but being replaced by new material condensing out of the corona. This is seen clearly in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZkJcAB2aSQ
    1: they are cool because we can see them in lines of Hydrogen
    2: they are suspended temporarily by magnetic fields as can be seen from the gracefully curved field lines lit up by the material.
    3: gravity is pulling the material down [as it always does no matter where].

  146. Leif Svalgaard (20:07:41) : ” The Ice Age swings have nothing to do with variations of the Sun, but with variations in the orbit and tilt of the Earth.”
    That’s what I said.

  147. I’m happy to provide a separate thread for this purpose is Dr. Svalgaard wants to write a tutorial.
    – Anthony

  148. Tom in Florida (08:03:54) :
    That’s what I said.
    What you said fooled me 🙂
    Anthony Watts (08:06:02) :
    I’m happy to provide a separate thread for this purpose is Dr. Svalgaard wants to write a tutorial.
    A tutorial is less useful, because most people’s attention span is not large enough [we are all busy, right?]. The short ~100 word exchanges seems to be a better format. And since we start out with ‘filaments’, the current thread seems appropriate. Let’s see how the experiment turns out.

  149. Suranda (03:36:32) :
    A number of commenters have indicated a desire to have Dr. Svalgaard expand on his views seemingly in a lecture style format (I’m paraphrasing)– Dr. Svalgaard lectures and readers accept his view-point.
    But if the view-point starts with a faulty premise and builds on erroneous assumptions then all it does is lead readers astray from understanding the actual physical reality.
    Dr. Svalgaard’s starting premise (based on past discussions/debates) is primarily mechanical: “hot gas”, fluid dynamics, “wind”, and gravity are Dr. Svalgaard’s starting premise.
    Which would be appropriate in a physical environment consisting of neutral gas, liquids, and solids. But the solar environment (assuming that is what Dr. Svalgaard would concentrate on) does not consist of neutral gas, liquids, and solids, rather, it is over 99.99 % plasma.
    (And in terms of the Sun — even Dr. Svalgaard won’t deny the 99.99% figure.)
    Indeed, the physical relationship between the Sun and the Earth is dominated by plasma dynamics (excluding the constant of gravity which maintains the orbit, obviously, an important element).
    As the Sun is over 99.99% plasma, its processes are dominated by plasma dynamics.
    What dominates plasma dynamics?
    Well, as all readers, here, know, plasma consists of charged particles, free electrons & ions and the physical relationships of these charged particles are dominated by the fundamental force of electromagnetism.
    Caveat: Yes, temperature, velocity, and gravity still play a role, but within an overarching electromagnetic environment.
    Until Dr. Svalgaard comes to terms with this physical reality, and it seems he still hasn’t (many of his premises are pre-space age), his indoctrination will fail to be intellectually fruitful for understanding the physical reality of our Sun or the Sun/Earth physical relationship — which is important for understanding the Earth’s climate.
    The Sun is a plasmoid: Plasma-Magnetic-Entiy.
    Dr. Svalgaard rejects the plasmoid term, but what have observation & measurement informed Science about the Sun’s nature?
    The Sun is over 99.99% plasma, magnetic fields are ubiquitous in the Sun’s immediate environment, and Maxwell’s equations tell us that where there are magnetic fields, there will be electric fields. And sophisticated modelling and observation & measurement demonstrate electric currents play a powerful role — indeed, CME’s the most disruptive “event” to Man’s technology are giant plasma flows of electrical current.
    That’s why CME’s are so disruptive to Man’s electromagnetic technology.

  150. I vote new thread. Kinda like to clear my head.
    I’d leif learn as shake the dead. Interesting days lie ahead.
    ===============================

  151. Leif Svalgaard (07:28:12) :
    Since there were no objections or questions [feel free at all times to return to points you want clarified or objects to – I’ll number all conclusions], I’ll press on.
    4. From these observations [and from theory – Alfven’s discovery] it is clear that the plasma at least at times is trapped or tied to the field lines – as it doesn’t fall down right away.
    5. Since gravity pulls the plasma down, there is a downwards force which is balanced by the magnetic force holding the plasma up [at least temporarily]. The net result is a deformation of the magnetic field as seen in one of the Figures at the top of the page: http://www.ips.gov.au/Images/Educational/The%20Sun%20and%20Solar%20Activity/Solar%20Flares/hyderflr.gif

  152. Anthony Watts (08:06:02) :
    I’m happy to provide a separate thread for this purpose is Dr. Svalgaard wants to write a tutorial.
    – Anthony
    ~
    Thank you Anthony!
    Far out and solid.

  153. Leif Svalgaard (06:34:36) :
    tallbloke (04:52:51) :
    The understanding of our Universe is an ongoing endeavour, not yet an achievement.
    The achievement is how far we have come already.

    How would we know if we were less or more than halfway to understanding the universe?

  154. “…Without that, science is just [a] butterfly collection.”
    Very cool quote from Leif. Trouble with that is half the temperature data collection has missing wings. And in some cases, entire butterflyies are missing. But no problem. The collector copied the wing pattern from a whole Monarch and pasted it onto the missing body parts area of a Adonis Blue and presented the once more completed tray for all to admire and study.

  155. Leif Svalgaard (08:32:10) :
    6. The total mass in a [or just a few] large filament is comparable to that in the rest of the corona.
    7. The ‘coronal rain’ [seen in the video] drains the filament at a rate sufficient to deplete the whole corona within a few hours.
    8. Those two observational results imply that there is continual circulation of plasma that readily condense [because space is basically cold] into the prominences. And that the equilibrium that allows the filament to exist as a structure [even though its material is continually recycled] is a dynamic one played out as the interaction of magnetism and gravity.

  156. tallbloke (08:54:01) :
    How would we know if we were less or more than halfway to understanding the universe?
    Granted that some people do not understand even the tiniest bit of the universe, the appropriate answer is that ‘it is turtles all the way down’.

  157. Pamela Gray (08:54:24) :
    “…Without that, science is just [a] butterfly collection.”
    Very cool quote from Leif.

    I deliberately did NOT have the [a] you added. Science is a process, not just a finished collection. Perhaps I should have said:
    “…Without that, science is just butterfly collecting.” to make that clear.

  158. James F. Evans (08:25:16) :
    And in terms of the Sun — even Dr. Svalgaard won’t deny the 99.99% figure.
    In the solar photosphere the degree of ionization is only 1 part in 10,000 or so. Thus 99.99% is not ionized at all. If you adopt the convention that ANY partially ionized medium is a plasma no matter how small the degree of ionization is, then the Sun would be 100% plasma, but so would ordinary sea water [which incidentally has the same electrical conductivity as the solar photosphere].

  159. Painful explanation of the obvious is a very successful evasion tactics.
    However, the noticeable warming of Earth in the second half of 1990s followed the noticeable increase in solar activity. And the currently observed noticeable cooling of Earth follows the prolonged quiet period in solar activity.
    If Earth’s temperature is completely independent of solar activity, as Dr. Svalgaard stipulates, how does he explain this correlation? Or would he rely on patently falsified CRU data to claim that currently there is no cooling?

  160. Reviewing what Dr. Svalgaard has listed (up through 8 points) notice not once does he refer to electric fields or electric currents.
    This is fundamentally wrong and does not reflect empirical observation & measurement (as stated in the scientific papers I provided) or even theoretical premises such as Maxwell’s equations (which were formulated and verified by empirical observation & measurement) which clearly state by mathematical equations that magnetic fields and electric fields are reciprical (you can’t have one without the other).
    Dr. Svalgaard uses the term “rain”.
    This is instructive to his view-point: “rain” is a code-word for mechanical physical relationships, it’s a reference to neutral matter fluid dynamics, “rain” has no meaning in terms of electromagnetic phenomenon.
    In terms of the Sun’s dynamics, it’s an obfiscation.
    At this point, it’s important to note I invited Dr. Svalgaard to challenge and refute the conclusions of the Carlqvist & Alfven and the One & Mann peer-reviewed papers, both discuss and explain the electric circuit model of solar filaments — Dr. Svalgaard failed to either challenge or refute these two papers.
    When a scientist can’t respond to scientific papers that contradict his opinion that is evidence that his opinion can’t encompass the observations & measurements provided or the conclusions stated in the papers.
    Therefore, that should be taken into consideration when deciding how much weight to give that scientist’s opinion or as Dr. Svalgaard like to say, “assessment”.
    “A model of magnetized plasma can be based either on a magnetic field description or on an electric field description.” — Carlqvist & Alfven
    “The study of these alternative approaches (Alfven, 1968, 1979a) shows that the [electric] current description is necessary for the understanding of the formation of double layers, explosive phenomenon, and transfer of energy from one region to another.” — Carlqvist & Alfven
    Filaments and their development into CME’s is a transfer of energy from one region to another, and often is an explosive phenomenon. And, as Alfven has stated the release of energy by CME’s is accomplished by electrical double layers.
    Dr. Svalgaard will you respond to the two papers provided or will you ignore them?

  161. Leif Svalgaard (09:15:25) :
    I’m along for the ride and everything is comprehensible thus far. At some point I think this course will deserve its own thread, but it doesn’t hurt to flesh out some of the concepts and materials here before opening it up to a larger audience.

  162. Alexander Feht (09:43:19) :
    However, the noticeable warming of Earth in the second half of 1990s followed the noticeable increase in solar activity. And the currently observed noticeable cooling of Earth follows the prolonged quiet period in solar activity.
    The noticeable warming? perhaps that was ‘patently falsified CRU data’?
    Since the Sun is now becoming more active again we must then expect a noticeable warming in the coming years, right?
    James F. Evans (09:44:58) :
    Dr. Svalgaard will you respond to the two papers provided or will you ignore them?
    If you would stick to the format for the discussion, I’ll be glad to answer any questions.
    As far as the two papers are concerned, as you will see later on [and as we have already discussed ad nauseam] almost all energetic phenomena are due to electric currents due to mechanical forces that cause plasma to move across magnetic field lines. Stick around, pay attention, and observe the format.

  163. Leif Svalgaard (09:41:06) :
    Evans (08:25:16) : “And in terms of the Sun — even Dr. Svalgaard won’t deny the 99.99% figure.”
    Dr. Svalgaard (09:41:06) responded: “In the solar photosphere the degree of ionization is only 1 part in 10,000 or so.”
    Okay, I’m open-minded about the evidence. Other than just your say so, Dr. Svalgaard, do you have some independent verification of your figure?
    And, what I mean is something other than a paper authored by you.
    Dr. Svalgaard, do you have a peer-reviewed paper (or any paper) that offers authority for your assertion?
    And, perhaps, it’s relevant to this discussion to include the corona, as that is where much of the energy that comes from the Sun to the Earth is generated which in turn warms the Earth. Dr. Svalgaard, do you dispute the assertion that the corona is 99.99% ionized plasma?

  164. Possibly this will help clarify the magnetism/plasma/electric components of the Sun ~ written by a beautiful Australian woman back in 2004:
    “The principle upon which the sun operates is simple, and in its simplicity rings the truth of how it functions. The common belief that the sun is a huge sphere of gases that collapsed upon themselves and began burning a mixture of gases as a “nuclear furnace” is erroneous.
    Instead, the Designer placed a huge material cube into space and set the cube into motion. This motion is a speedy, spinning, gyrating motion that revolves upon a SINGLE POINT in the centre of the cube (slightly off centre point). This POINT should NOT be construed as meaning a single axis that runs through the cube, but instead it should be viewed as a single point in the middle of the cube.
    The motion spins the cube (sun) so rapidly that its corners appear to touch nearly all points of the perceived sphere, thus giving the illusion that the object in the sky is a sphere. By analogy, consider that a fan has blades, but when it is set into fast motion, the blades of the fan seem to disappear and an illusion is created which makes the blades look like a circle. This illusion can also be seen in airplane propellers, which also appear to be circles as the propellers spin rapidly. It should also be mentioned that at various speeds, the circles of the propellers seem to change their direction of rotation. This two-dimensional circular type of illusion is the principle behind the cubed-sun’s three-dimensional illusion that it is a sphere and that the sphere is rotating.
    However, the sun appears to be aflame, while propellers and fan blades do not. This is partly because the Designer created gravity, which attracted particles of atmosphere to the cube (sun). These particles of air were thereafter trapped by the sun’s gravity and forced to stay with the cube. The flaming sun is primarily due to the vast differences in velocities of the spinning of the objects. Thus, the sun’s atmosphere blazes while the fans’ and propellers’ do not. When the cubed sun spins ferociously fast, it creates a great deal of friction coupled with the fact that the 12 “sharp” edges and 8 “hard” corners of the cube heighten the friction.
    The apparent rotation of the sun on an axis has been called “differential rotation” because it appears to take 25 days for the sun to rotate around its equator and 35 days at its poles. This has erroneously been accepted by science as a phenomenon of a gaseous sphere. It is actually an illusion that the sun has a spheroid rotation. This is much like the example of the spinning fan blades. The spinning cube gyrates in such a way that it appears that there is a sphere and that the sphere is rotating irregularly. Thus, an illusion of a differential rotation is created by the spinning cube.”
    Possibly we’ve been taught all the wrong science about the nature of the Sun!
    I hope you’ll forgive my rant here Dr Svalgaard and Mr Evans, but maybe this is why you guys have a difference of opinion.
    Skylurker Suranda

  165. Alexander Feht (00:02:07) :
    ” Every winter is colder than summer”
    C’mon, even you must know that is a function of Earth’s tilt and has nothing to do with solar activity.
    ” and every night is colder than midday”
    Not true, besides you are talking about weather. Are you suggesting that if I sit in a chair at noon and stay there til midnight the temperature change is due to change in solar activity and not the Earth’s rotation moving me out of direct sunlight?
    “Any change in Earth’s insolation results in a change of Earth’s temperature”
    Changes in insolation are overwhelmingly due to the conditions of Earth. Changes in the orbit, obliquity, cloud cover, aerosols all result in insolation changes. If you held your uncovered arm out in the direct sunlight in June in Florida you would feel intense heat. If you move into the shade that intense heat goes away yet the Sun didn’t do a thing.
    This concept is so easy to understand even a caveman can do it.

  166. James F. Evans (10:16:38) :
    Dr. Svalgaard, do you have a peer-reviewed paper (or any paper) that offers authority for your assertion?
    You shouldn’t be appealing to authority all the time [and I’m your authority on this]. Independent thinking and understanding are much better. The extremely weak degree of ionization of the photosphere [and of the interstellar gas too, BTW] has been known for almost a century [since Saha published the Saha Equation in 1920], so this fact you will today find in textbooks rather than derived in peer-reviewed modern papers [find me a recent peer-reviewed paper purporting to convince people the Earth is round]. So people simply refer to the weak ionization as the well-known fact it is. Here is a modern paper doing just that: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2000JA000005.pdf scroll to page 23,155 [top line]. You will also in that paper see how the motions of the photospheric plasma across magnetic fields help generate the electric currents that propel the CMEs [as we shall also see later on in the thread].
    include the corona, as that is where much of the energy that comes from the Sun to the Earth is generated which in turn warms the Earth.
    The corona shines with an intensity less that 1/1000,000 of the photosphere so does not heat the Earth measurably.
    Dr. Svalgaard, do you dispute the assertion that the corona is 99.99% ionized plasma?
    Absolutely, it is 100% ionized plasma.

  167. Alexander Feht (00:02:07) :
    You are on the right track.
    NASA had something to say in this regard just recently:
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2010/05feb_sdo.htm
    “February 5, 2010: For some years now, an unorthodox idea has been gaining favor among astronomers. It contradicts old teachings and unsettles thoughtful observers, especially climatologists.”
    “The sun,” explains Lika Guhathakurta of NASA headquarters in Washington DC, “is a variable star.”
    Dr. Svalgaard’s response was to call this statement “hype” and offer a century old paper which did conclude the energy of the Sun was variable.
    To make sure I’m not taking Dr. Svalgaard’s comment out of context let me lay out that context:
    Dr. Svalgaard presented a NASA statement from this article that I had quoted:
    Evans (12:14:48) 2/20/10 quoted NASA: “February 5, 2010: For some years now, an unorthodox idea has been gaining favor among astronomers. It contradicts old teachings and unsettles thoughtful observers, especially climatologists.”
    “The sun,” explains Lika Guhathakurta of NASA headquarters in Washington DC, “is a variable star.”
    Dr. Svalgaard (12:32:50) 2/20/10 responed: “This is just the usual NASA hype and this is nothing new or unorthodox or contradictory. Abbot showed this 100 years ago:
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/Abbot-Variation-Sun.pdf
    Riccioli claimed that much in 1651 and Herschel in 1801.”
    The paper is good and I’m happy Dr. Svalgaard presented it.
    But one paper, while it can set out the physical reality, does not speak for an entire community, as Dr. Svalgaard would likely be quick to point out in reference to the papers I presented, here, in this comment thread. NASA’s statement about “solar constant” was reflecting the “consensus”.
    Any internet Google search for “solar constant” will bring up a whole list of hits for “solar constant” and discussions concluding there is a “solar constant” of energy output of the Sun.
    NASA was clear: The prevailing consensus was wrong.
    (What does that say about the possibility that other astrophysics’ “consensus” is wrong?)
    Indeed, Dr. Svalgaard’s position that solar acitivity has little or not impact on climate rests on the assumption of a “solar constant” of the Sun’s energy output.
    This is a good example of the consensus being wrong. Consensus does not trump physical reality — and physical reality can be demonstrated by one set of observations & measurements (one scientific paper).
    What is amusing about this is that Dr. Svalgaard’s long-held position that .1% change in TSI between solar minimum and maximum does not make a difference in Earth’s climate is directly contradicted by one of the NASA scientists.
    And, as the NASA scientist makes clear TSI is more than infrared:
    “Astronomers were once so convinced of the sun’s constancy, they called the irradiance of the sun “the solar constant,” and they set out to measure it as they would any constant of Nature. By definition, the solar constant is the amount of solar energy deposited at the top of Earth’s atmosphere in units of watts per meter-squared. All wavelengths of radiation are included—radio, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays and so on. The approximate value of the solar constant is 1361 W/m2.”
    “‘Solar constant’ is an oxymoron,” says Judith Lean of the Naval Research Lab. “Satellite data show that the sun’s total irradiance rises and falls with the sunspot cycle by a significant amount.”
    “At solar maximum, the sun is about 0.1% brighter than it is at solar minimum. That may not sound like much, but consider the following: A 0.1% change in 1361 W/m2 equals 1.4 Watts/m2. Averaging this number over the spherical Earth and correcting for Earth’s reflectivity yields 0.24 Watts for every square meter of our planet.”
    “Add it all up and you get a lot of energy,” says Lean. “How this might affect weather and climate is a matter of—at times passionate—debate.”
    This would seem to directly contradict Dr. Svalgaard’s position and falls in line with numerous other scientist’s observations & meaurements and conclusions.
    Sometimes, I wonder if Dr. Svalgaard plays both ends against the middle depending on what discussion he is in.
    Remember, just because Dr. Svalgaard says something doesn’t make it right.
    Hold Dr. Svalgaard to the same standards you would hold any other scientist to.

  168. Suranda (10:25:11) :
    Instead, the Designer placed a huge material cube into space and set the cube into motion.
    This sounds like a question Evans is well equipped to tackle. What does Peratt have to say on that?
    Or Oliver?

  169. Evans (09:44:58) : “Dr. Svalgaard will you respond to the two papers provided or will you ignore them?”
    Dr. Svalgaard (10:00:11) responded: “If you would stick to the format for the discussion, I’ll be glad to answer any questions.”
    I don’t think there is any “format”, that’s just a dodge to get away from answering the question.
    However, Anthony Watts has kindly offered to set up a post for Dr. Svalgaard to lay out a “tutorial”.
    And, no, we haven’t gone over the Carlqvist & Alfven paper and the One & Mann paper “ad nauseam”.
    In fact, I’ve requested you respond several times, now, but each time you have avoided doing so.

  170. Leif Svalgaard:
    Since the Sun is now becoming more active again we must then expect a noticeable warming in the coming years, right?
    Right. We should expect a modest natural warming starting in 2012 or 2013. Lag seems to be 3-4 years.
    Do you refuse to admit that there was a warming in 1990s? Or that there is a cooling now?
    Tom in Florida:
    Cavemen knew very well that their well-being depended on the Sun. That’s why they addressed their prayers to the Sun. Some modern scientists, on the other hand, are too preoccupied with their ego to be bothered by reality.

  171. About ‘plasma’. One can adopt the definition that any mixture of positive, negative, and neutral particles is a plasma. This is perfectly reasonable and is often done. With this definition, it doesn’t make sense to state that the Sun is 99.99% plasma. The Sun is 100% plasma, but so is sea water. We usually do not consider sea water to be a plasma, reserving the word for a medium with a high temperature. Because a plasma contains electrically charged particles [even if only in very small concentrations like in the solar photosphere], a plasma interacts with electromagnetism. Because 5/6 of the observable universe does not, at least 5/6 of the observable universe is not a plasma, under any definition. What does ‘observable’ mean? It means that it is ‘detectable’ using suitable devices like telescopes, magnetometers, our eyes, etc. If we use our eyes [eventually augmented by a telescope or photographic plate or a CCD] to detect a change in the position of a star as the Sun passes near it in the sky, that is an ‘observation’ and the star is a part of the observable universe as is the body [the Sun in this case] that causes the deflection.

  172. The Onel & Mann paper [being the newest] says:
    “Due to the photospheric plasma motion [with velocity u across the magnetic field B] the Lorentz force q u x B acts on the charges q of the plasma and leads to generation of an electric current”.
    This is the mechanism that I have been trying to make you understand for months now [‘ad nauseam’]. I really wish you were not so education-resistant.

  173. Dr. Svalgaard:
    No, with all due respect, you aren’t my authority.
    However, I appreciate the paper you provided to support your assertion regarding the ionization percentage of the Sun’s photosphere.
    But, upon review that paper doesn’t provide any discussion of observations & measurements which support that position. It makes an unsupported assertion, just like your unsupported assertion.
    Please provide a paper that discusses observations & measurements which relate and shed light on the ionization level of the photosphere of the Sun.
    Again, I’m open-minded about it, but I have to see observation & measurement and analysis & interpretation that comes to that conclusion.
    I will state that with the Sun’s photosphere at roughly 5,800 degrees Kelvin, which seems could support a lower level of ionization, but count me from Missouri, “the show me” state.
    Here is a link to an academic textbook:
    Introduction to Plasma Physics: With Space and Laboratory Applications, by Donald A. Gurnett, Published 2005, Cambridge University press:
    http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0521364833&id=VcueZlunrbcC&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=sun++plasma&sig=lYOjlHeChWHPVrPr2ALsv_OcSSQ#v=onepage&q=sun%20%20plasma&f=false
    “It is an interesting fact that most of the material in the visible universe, as much as 99% according to some estimates, is in the plasma state. This includes the Sun…”
    So, no, not all textbooks take it for granted that the Sun’s photosphere has a low state of ionization percentage.

  174. James F. Evans (11:17:51) :
    the Carlqvist & Alfven paper
    says [page 204]:
    “If photospheric motion in the presence of magnetic fields produces voltage differences […] a current starts to flow”.
    again, this is the mechanism that I have been trying to make you understand for months now [‘ad nauseam’].
    Perhaps we can put those two papers to rest now. Or do you have more that show the same thing that you want to have confirmed?
    The important issue that mechanical forces, gravity and temperature [kinetic energy] push plasma across magnetic field lines and thereby generate electric currents with all the phenomena that flow from that. This is the way Nature works as Carlqvist, Alfven, Onel, Mann, and thousands of other scientists know so well, and as all our emiprical evidence shows.

  175. Suranda (10:25:11) :
    Instead, the Designer placed a huge material cube into space and set the cube into motion.
    Mr Evans, but maybe this is why you guys have a difference of opinion.
    Evans, are you avoiding addressing the paper posted by Suranda?

  176. Leif Svalgaard (09:15:25) :
    OK, we can then continue.
    9. The delicate balance between gravity and the magnetic field can be upset in several ways, e.g.
    10. A new active region can emerge nearby, adding to or disturbing the existing magnetic field [like twisting the support of the hammock you a relaxing in]
    11. Alfven waves travelling up the legs of the magnetic field [caused by twisting/movements of the foot points by the photospheric plasma pushed around by convection can also upset the balance and add energy to the configuration.

  177. Dr. Svalgaard (07:28:12) wrote: “They [filaments] are cool clouds suspended in the hot corona by magnetic fields.”
    I missed this reference.
    Again, “clouds”, like “rain” is a mis-nomer. Reference to “clouds” is an obfiscation which obscures the electrical nature of a filament, and, again, “clouds” is code-speak to fluid dynamics in neutral matter.
    But a filament is not neutral matter, it is plasma, charged particles, which respond to electromagnetic forces.

  178. Plenty of sidetracking along the way.
    But, looks good so far Leif.
    ~
    Leif Svalgaard (07:28:12) :
    OK, we then start. First we need to establish some facts based on observations. Filaments [and prominences = filaments seen at the edge of the Sun] can last for weeks. They are cool clouds suspended in the hot corona by magnetic fields. The clouds condense out of the corona and although the matter seems to ‘hang’ there for weeks, it is really a very dynamical phenomenon: the material is continually falling down onto the surface, but being replaced by new material condensing out of the corona. This is seen clearly in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZkJcAB2aSQ
    1: they are cool because we can see them in lines of Hydrogen
    2: they are suspended temporarily by magnetic fields as can be seen from the gracefully curved field lines lit up by the material.
    3: gravity is pulling the material down [as it always does no matter where].
    Leif Svalgaard (08:32:10) :
    Leif Svalgaard (07:28:12) :
    Since there were no objections or questions [feel free at all times to return to points you want clarified or objects to – I’ll number all conclusions], I’ll press on.
    4. From these observations [and from theory – Alfven’s discovery] it is clear that the plasma at least at times is trapped or tied to the field lines – as it doesn’t fall down right away.
    5. Since gravity pulls the plasma down, there is a downwards force which is balanced by the magnetic force holding the plasma up [at least temporarily]. The net result is a deformation of the magnetic field as seen in one of the Figures at the top of the page: http://www.ips.gov.au/Images/Educational/The%20Sun%20and%20Solar%20Activity/Solar%20Flares/hyderflr.gif
    Leif Svalgaard (09:15:25) :
    Leif Svalgaard (08:32:10) :
    6. The total mass in a [or just a few] large filament is comparable to that in the rest of the corona.
    7. The ‘coronal rain’ [seen in the video] drains the filament at a rate sufficient to deplete the whole corona within a few hours.
    8. Those two observational results imply that there is continual circulation of plasma that readily condense [because space is basically cold] into the prominences. And that the equilibrium that allows the filament to exist as a structure [even though its material is continually recycled] is a dynamic one played out as the interaction of magnetism and gravity.
    ~
    Some nice personal touches there Leif.
    You’re ok with most of this, aren’t you Evans? (I hope so, or I will need a glass of wine and a smoke geesh)

  179. Dr Svalgaard thank you for your efforts and generosity. I hope I did not detract from the information you are sharing, I just think the picture here is much wider and massive, than anything we ever thought possible, or believable.
    Our resources as human beings, are really, well and truly limited.
    Thank you. I think you know that. And I would ask anyone here to refrain from any meanspiritedness please.
    Peace.
    Thanks.

  180. James F. Evans (12:07:27) :
    Please provide a paper that discusses observations & measurements which relate and shed light on the ionization level of the photosphere of the Sun.
    Perhaps this will help:
    http://www.cup.es/resources/0521846560/7706_Saha%20equation.pdf [Figure 3]
    Also shows that the early universe was not a plasma at all.
    The Saha equation [like Maxwell’s equations] is but a shorthand for untold observations and measurements.
    The ionization state directly determine the depth of spectral lines and can thus be directly observed.

  181. James F. Evans (13:16:21) :
    But a filament is not neutral matter, it is plasma, charged particles, which respond to electromagnetic forces.
    Plasma is neutral, just like a block of copper which consists of charged particles: positive copper nuclei and negative electrons.

  182. Leif Svalgaard (09:23:09) :
    tallbloke (08:54:01) :
    How would we know if we were less or more than halfway to understanding the universe?
    Granted that some people do not understand even the tiniest bit of the universe, the appropriate answer is that ‘it is turtles all the way down’.

    At some point, the turtles rest on assumptions about which way is down, and how far “all the way” is.

  183. The Onel & Mann paper [being the newest] says: “Due to the photospheric plasma motion [with velocity u across the magnetic field B] the Lorentz force q u x B acts on the charges q of the plasma and leads to generation of an electric current”.
    Dr. Svalgaard (11:52:37) :”This is the mechanism that I have been trying to make you understand for months now [‘ad nauseam’]. I really wish you were not so education-resistant.”
    the Carlqvist & Alfven paper
    says [page 204]: “If photospheric motion in the presence of magnetic fields produces voltage differences […] a current starts to flow”.
    Dr. Svalgaard (12:18:00) : “again, this is the mechanism that I have been trying to make you understand for months now.”
    Actually, Dr. Svalgaard, neither paper says what causes this motion. You assume it does, but that’s not what the papers say.
    Read the quotes you provided from the papers, no mention of “gravity” or “temperature”.
    Now, it’s true both are present at the surface of the Sun, the photosphere, but temperature (random atomic motion) with any corresponding increase in temperature (increase in random atomic motion) tends to dissipate magnetic fields because magnetic fields are caused by organized charged particle motion.
    Temperature is unorganized, random atomic motion. That’s why a iron magnet will lose it’s magnetic field when heated.
    These observations tends to discount Dr. Svalgaard’s hypothesis.
    Gravity is an attraction toward a central point, not a side to side motion. But gravity is a fundamental force and present in all bodies with mass.
    So, these two factors don’t spring out as reasons for the initial motion, but I do state a caveat:
    I have already raised the idea of plasma without motion as a isolated hypothetical and as a hypothetical condition in the Sun in prior posts.
    Evans (11:39:02) 2/24/10: “… because plasma does not want to stand still (the law of entropy) a kind of Biermann battery mechanism is effected, yes, a type of internal dynamo where the plasma wants to unwind, this causes the motion of plama and resulting magnetic fields and possibly the rotation of the Sun. These flows of plasma and their self-sustaining magnetic fields collide with other magnetic fields and charge-seperated electric currents result.”
    Yes, the Biermann battery mechanism, a type of internal dynamo.
    So, this is nothing new to me as you incorrectly imply with your comment.
    Seems like another one of Dr. Svalgaard’s strawman arguments, he puts up from time to time in order to make himself look good.
    So, no it is not an idea that you have been communicating for “months, now” that I have been resistant to.
    Dr. Svalgaard, I appreciate the paper you provided which states in part:
    “Ionization in the sun and universe In the photosphere of the sun, the mass density is ~3 􀀁 10–4 kg/m3 which corresponds to 2 􀀁 1023 protons/m3 (mp = 1.67 􀀁 10–27 kg). Since this is substantially larger than the 50% density (42) for T = 6400 K, the plasma must be more than 50% neutral. Indeed, one can impose the criterion nr+1 + nr = 2 􀀁 1023􀀁m–3 onto (40) to find that nr+1/nr = 4 􀀁 10–4 at 6400 K; it is mostly neutral.”
    This is a theoretical exercise and one worth exploring.
    But the paper goes on to state its own caveat:
    “In the dilute gases often found in astrophysics, the temperature required for ionization is quite low. Once an atom is ionized, it has few opportunities to become neutral again; an interaction with a free electron is required and these are rare in a dilute gas”.
    This passage would seem to contradict the first passage and open the door to a higher level of ionization at the surface of the Sun, the photosphere.
    And, another caveat: Discussions about the “beginning of the Universe” are meaningless — Man is not privileged to know how the Universe started, not withstanding a lot of guess work surrounding the so-called “big bang” hypothesis.
    But all this is a diversion because that’s not where I started — this is where I started:
    “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    And, that is where the Carlqvist & Alfven paper started and where the One & Mann paper started. And, when pressed, you acknowledge.
    So, Dr. Svalgaard, why do you obfiscate with words like “rain” and “cloud”? And, why do you carry on without mention of electromagnetic forces?
    Evans (13:16:21) : “But a filament is not neutral matter, it is plasma, charged particles, which respond to electromagnetic forces.”
    Dr. Svalgaard (14:13:13) responded: “Plasma is neutral…”
    Plasma can be quasi-neutral, with equal numbers of free electrons & ions in random distribution.
    But, when plasma flows, you get:
    “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Plasma can and often does take the form of charged-seperated, charged particles, in other words, electric current.
    Again, Dr. Svalgaard, the two papers make quite clear the filaments are plasma animated by electric currents.
    Why are you so resistant to this proposition?
    I’ve been trying to teach you this for months…but you refuse to learn…
    Why?

  184. ”””charles the moderator (13:35:37) : Just so people know, yes I have trashed some comments attacking Dr. Svalgaard.”””’
    CTM,
    Vigilance is appreciated. Thanks.
    John

  185. The sun giving birth to another planet?.
    Bode’s Law-distance each Planet is from the Sun.
    http://ksssm.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/table-jpg.jpg
    When you take into account the 9 planet’s quasi distance from the sun increases in a logarythmic fashion.
    Coincidence?-225 million years Galactic circuit-divide by 24=200 mil. years
    The Birth and the Ruin of the Planets of the Solar System
    By Ilya Stavinsky.
    http://uweb.superlink.net/~dialect/stars.html
    http://tinyurl.com/yeqxqwa

  186. ”””’Suranda (14:02:43) : . . . . I just think the picture here is much wider and massive, than anything we ever thought possible, or believable. Our resources as human beings, are really, well and truly limited.”””’
    Suranda,
    Thank you for leading into a favorite subject of mine.
    I would rather use the concept of identity instead of concept of limit in assessing homo sapiens capability to know the universe.
    It is one thing to say man’s knowing capability has a specific nature [like everything that exists has a specific nature], it has a fundamental identity. We can know only within the specific nature of our knowing facility. However, it is another thing entirely to say there is a limit to what we can know. To state we have knowledge of limits of knowledge [things we cannot know] implies one already has knowledge of what cannot be known, so inherent error in the statement itself.
    Getting down into the bowels of metaphysics and epistemology here. I love it. : )
    John

  187. tallbloke (15:52:04) :
    At some point, the turtles rest on assumptions about which way is down, and how far “all the way” is.
    No, the little old lady was quite firm on this.
    James F. Evans (16:29:09) :
    Temperature is unorganized, random atomic motion. That’s why a iron magnet will lose it’s magnetic field when heated.
    These observations tends to discount Dr. Svalgaard’s hypothesis.

    Temperature causes convection which is a very organized motion, with hot stuff rising and cold stuff sinking.
    Gravity is an attraction toward a central point, not a side to side motion.
    Gravity causes a river to flow 1000 miles towards the sea. But, apart from that, the gravity that create currents does that by pulling downwards and forcing the plasma across horizontal magnetic field lines [see you Low paper you quoted].
    Yes, the Biermann battery mechanism, a type of internal dynamo.quoting yourself?
    The Biermann battery effect does not operate in the Sun.
    seem to contradict the first passage and open the door to a higher level of ionization at the surface of the Sun, the photosphere.
    It does not. It is very specific about that. The 6400K was about the Universe.
    Man is not privileged to know how the Universe started
    He knows, nevertheless. You may not know. That is a problem with you.
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    And, that is where the Carlqvist & Alfven paper started and where the One & Mann paper started. And, when pressed, you acknowledge.

    Not when pressed. This is what I have always said: move a conductor across a magnetic field and you generate a current.
    So, Dr. Svalgaard, why do you obfiscate with words like “rain” and “cloud”? And, why do you carry on without mention of electromagnetic forces?
    We use descriptive words without being confused by them, like the solar ‘wind’, and as I said whenever a conductor is moved across a magnetic field, e.g. falling down like rain [that is pulled by gravity] an electric current may be generated [if there are charges to carry the current.
    Plasma can be quasi-neutral, with equal numbers of free electrons & ions in random distribution.
    Not ‘quasi’. As long as there are equal numbers, it is neutral. Salt dissolved in water has equal number of Na+ and Cl- ions and is very neutral.
    Again, Dr. Svalgaard, the two papers make quite clear the filaments are plasma animated by electric currents.
    Science does deal with animated matters. The two papers very clearly [as I shoqed by quoting the relevant passages, that it motions of the plasma generate the currents, and that therefore the currents are consequences rather than causes. One can, of corse, call that ‘animation’ as long as it is clear what causes what.
    Why are you so resistant to this proposition?
    I’ve been trying to teach you this for months…but you refuse to learn…

    aping does not become you, but the answers are that you have things backwards and that your propositions are nonsense, and I’m pretty resistant to nonsense.
    Carla (13:27:57) :
    But, looks good so far Leif.
    You’re ok with most of this, aren’t you Evans? (I hope so, or I will need a glass of wine and a smoke geesh)

    I don’t think he understood any of it, judging from his posts. You better reach for that glass of wine.

  188. Leif Svalgaard (18:06:53) :
    Cleaning up a sentence:
    Science does NOT deal with animated matters. The two papers show very clearly [as I showed by quoting the relevant passages], that motions of the plasma generate the currents, and that therefore the currents are consequences rather than causes. One can, of corse, call that ‘animation’ as long as it is clear what causes what.

  189. Leif Svalgaard (12:29:03) :
    Leif Svalgaard (09:15:25) :
    “OK, we can then continue.
    9. The delicate balance between gravity and the magnetic field can be upset in several ways, e.g.
    10. A new active region can emerge nearby, adding to or disturbing the existing magnetic field [like twisting the support of the hammock you a relaxing in]
    11. Alfven waves travelling up the legs of the magnetic field [caused by twisting/movements of the foot points by the photospheric plasma pushed around by convection can also upset the balance and add energy to the configuration”
    This comment gives Dr. Svalgaard’s game away (why he is so bound & determined to deny the electrical current flowing in the filament).
    The “twisting” magnetic fields are consistent with the behavior of magnetospheric Birkeland currents which Science understands & accepts are electric currents.
    The electromagnetic dynamics of the Birkeland currents cause them to rotate like giant tornadoes. There is no “feet” twisting them to cause the morphology of “twisted ropes”.
    Dr. Svalgaard’s point 9 and 10 are a predicate to justify so-called “magnetic reconnection”, a pre-space age (1946) speculation.
    You see Hannes Alfven identified these filaments as often stretching into flares or CME’s where explosive release of energy occurs. And Alfven identified the filaments as electric currents, or “the electric circuit model”, seconded by the One & Mann electric circuit model and also, modelled double layers as the cause of the explosive release of energy.
    “The study of these alternative approaches (Alfven, 1968, 1979a) shows that the current description is necessary for the understanding of the formation of double layers, explosive phenomenon, and transfer of energy from one region to another.” — Carlqvist & Alfven
    See plasma double layer:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    But to allow that the filaments are electric current (and behaving as electric currents which twist and show a morphology of twisting magnetic fields), then opens up the door to Hannes Alfven’s Electric Double Layer as the mechanism for the release of the energy and not so-called “magnetic reconnection”.
    Title: The Alfven-Carlquist double-layer theory of solar flares
    Authors: Hasan, S. S. & Ter Haar, D.
    Journal: Astrophysics and Space Science, vol. 56, no. 1, June 1978
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/seri/Ap%2BSS/0056//0000092.000.html
    Partial Abstract: “We discuss the applicability of this theory [The Alfven-Carlqvist double layer theory of solar flares] to solar flares, and show that conditions in solar flares may be such that double layers can exist…”
    “These particles will be accelerated in the double layer and may in this way account for the production of high energy particles during the impulsive phase of solar flares.”
    I’m sorry, But Dr. Svalgaard’s ‘lecture” is designed not to inform the readers of the physical relationships of filaments, but to justify and protect the failed “magnetic reconnection” model.
    That is why Dr. Svalgaard has given the the electric circuit model short shrift (acknowledging the filament’s electric current when pushed into a corner, but quickly going back to his mechanical model, so that double layers can be ruled out and so-called “magnetic reconnection’ can be justified).
    It makes one shake their head — this is not science, this is protecting a failed theory (and most likely protecting grant money).
    Again, Dr. Svalgaard’s points 9 and 10 have no basis in physical reality other than to justify a failed theory.
    Flowing electric current causes twisting magnetic fields — Science knows that from the study of magnetospheric Birkeland currents that have a twisted magnetic field and are known to be charge-seperated, charged particle flows, electrical currents.
    From NASA:
    “A “magnetic rope” is a twisted bundle of magnetic fields organized much like the twisted hemp of a mariner’s rope. Spacecraft have detected hints of these ropes before, but a single spacecraft is insufficient to map their 3D structure.”
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/11dec_themis.htm
    Solar flares also have a helical twisted morphology.
    And, it is not because they are mechanically twist at the feet but that thoughout the entire circuit of the electric current there is twisted magnetic field.
    Recently, twisted magnetic fields have been detected below the surface of the Sun.

  190. “The quasineutral plasma model proposed by Langmuir more than 75 years ago is still widely used today and is based on two approximations: charge neutrality and the Boltzmann relationship for electrons.”
    http://pre.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v71/i2/e026401
    The use of the term “quasi-neutral” to describe plasma is appropriate.

  191. ”””’tallbloke (15:52:04) : At some point, the turtles rest on assumptions about which way is down, and how far “all the way” is.”””
    ”””’Leif Svalgaard (18:06:53) : No, the little old lady was quite firm on this.”””
    Bertrand Russell had some baggage to carry around. He was perhaps the prototype of some of the current scientists who are active as economic/political/social advocates. (ie Hansen)
    Philospohically Russell was an heir of the Plato-Kant-Hegal basis. Curious credentials for pursuing objective science.
    John

  192. James F. Evans (18:39:39) :
    9. The delicate balance between gravity and the magnetic field can be upset in several ways, e.g.
    The “twisting” magnetic fields are consistent with the behavior of magnetospheric Birkeland currents which Science understands & accepts are electric currents.
    The ‘twisting’ was meant as one way of generating Alfven waves. I could have said ‘plucking’, ‘shaking’, ‘bobbing’ or any number of words indicating motion. The currents in the filaments are not Birkeland currents. And Birkeland currents are not ‘tornadoes’ [word used by someone objecting to ‘clouds’ and ‘rain’…].
    As I said, the magnetic configuration can be disturbed by many things, all involving bodily movement of the plasma in the photosphere, eventually followed by reconnection in the corona to create a new topology of the field.
    One more time: as Carlqvist, Alfven and everybody else who knows anything about this, electric currents are very much involved. Without they nothing would happen. The currents [as Alfven said] are generated by motion of the plasma across magnetic field lines and are thus consequences rather than causes of the filament. Let me quote again: “photospheric motion in the presence of magnetic fields produces voltage differences […] and a current starts to flow”. Note that the motion precedes the current. Onel & Mann: “Due to the photospheric plasma motion [with velocity u across the magnetic field B] the Lorentz force q u x B acts on the charges q of the plasma and leads to generation of an electric current”.
    What can be more clear as to what causes what?

  193. Leif Svalgaard (12:29:03) :
    OK, so now we can continue.
    12. The falling plasma [see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbPNcjj__iE&feature=related ] cross the horizontal magnetic field lines. They can do this in spite of the frozen-in condition because they are cool and the ionization is only partial.
    13. a conductor crossing a magnetic field generates an electric field. The force equation is F = q(E + v x B), from which we get the electric field E = F/q – v x B; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_force
    14. a current will now flow. Since the quantities are vectors they have a direction. With v vertically down [gravity], B horizontal [has to connect two opposite polarities in the photosphere, E will be perpendicular to both, i.e. along the filament.
    15. Magnetic field on the sun are often twisted and have a weak helical structure. This ‘helicity’ is opposite in the two hemispheres [and does not change with the changing polarities of the solar cycle] and is likely caused by the solar dynamo twisting the field [Hurricanes also twist oppositely in the two terrestrial hemispheres].
    16. So filaments often have a slight twist to them. The twist actually helps stabilize the filaments a bit.

  194. James F. Evans (19:08:53) :
    is based on two approximations: charge neutrality and the Boltzmann relationship for electrons.
    Charge neutrality means neutral. And [as the paper you cite says] the Boltzmann relationship is unnecessary and is not always justified.
    These are just words. The physics is that if you take a macroscopic volume there are no measurable difference between the number of positive and negative charges. If there were, the resulting strong electric field would short out immediately, restoring neutrality. Here is the definition of charge neutrality: “The approximate equality of positive and negative particles in high-density plasmas.This phenomenon, which is sometimes called electrical neutrality, is a result of the extremely large electric space charge fields that would arise if the densities were not equal. Although the positive and negative charge densities are seldom exactly equal, their percentage difference is so small as to be negligible. It is not difficult to maintain this condition in an active plasma since ionization or recombination always produces or destroys an ion pair together.” This will hold even more in low-density plasma as the mobility of the particles are much higher.

  195. John Whitman (19:18:00) :
    Philosophically Russell was an heir of the Plato-Kant-Hegel basis. Curious credentials for pursuing objective science.
    Russell was a mathematician. Proved that 1+1 = 2.

  196. Leif Svalgaard (19:41:37) :
    OK, so now we can continue.
    17. If the change in the magnetic topology is rapid enough, the current generated by the change can be very strong and lead to vigorous heating of the filament with resulting rapid expansion into the corona, a coronal mass ejection [CME].
    18. The CME rises, but gravity resists the expansion initially. However gravity gets weaker with height and the gravitational restriction is gradually lifted and the CME eventually reaches supersonic speeds and escapes into the solar wind.
    19. In spite of this escape, the magnetic field lines frozen into the CME are still firmly rooted in the photosphere even as far away from the Sun as the Earth, resulting in a long ‘magnetic tongue’ reaching far out in the heliosphere.

  197. @ Carla (13:27:57) Thanks for collating to this point. I’ve copied for ease of reference. Lotta noise in this signal…

  198. Leif Svalgaard (18:06:53) :
    tallbloke (15:52:04) :
    At some point, the turtles rest on assumptions about which way is down, and how far “all the way” is.
    No, the little old lady was quite firm on this.

    Thanks Leif, good to know who we are relying on for the epistemological basis of our conceptions of the universe.
    Leif Svalgaard (20:19:31) :
    John Whitman (19:18:00) :
    Philosophically Russell was an heir of the Plato-Kant-Hegel basis. Curious credentials for pursuing objective science.
    Russell was a mathematician. Proved that 1+1 = 2.

    The firmament of scientific intellect isn’t so neatly divided into labelled constellations as you like to think. The course I did on the development of European science, and the course on methods and problems in historiography revealed al sorts of interesting influences on the thinking of apparently ‘objective’ practitioners.
    Roger Carr (22:02:26) :
    Lotta noise in this signal…

    Leif is at his most informative when being challenged. My thanks to all contributors to this thread.

  199. tallbloke (00:33:10) :
    The firmament of scientific intellect isn’t so neatly divided into labelled constellations as you like to think. The course I did on the development of European science, and the course on methods and problems in historiography revealed al sorts of interesting influences on the thinking of apparently ‘objective’ practitioners.
    ~
    ..”revealed al sorts of interesting influences on the thinking of apparently ‘objective’ practitioners.”..
    Rings true for all walks of life, doesn’t it?
    ~
    Roger Carr (22:02:26) :
    Lotta noise in this signal…
    Leif is at his most informative when being challenged. My thanks to all contributors to this thread.
    ~

  200. DeNihilist (00:18:34) :
    point 18 – Supersonic as based upon the speed of sound?
    Good question. In the solar wind the density is so low that ordinary sound [a pressure wave] does not propagate. But changes in the magnetic field do propagate by the way of ‘Alfven’ waves [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfv%C3%A9n_wave ]. These waves propagate at the Alfven speed. Just as for sound, one can define a ‘Mach’ number as the speed at which something moves divided by the Alfven speed [rather than the sound speed]. The solar wind at the Earth has an Alfvenic Mach number of about 11. This means that knowledge of obstacles [e.g. the Earth’s magnetic field] cannot travel upstream as they are swept downstream 11 times faster than they propagate. Very similar to sound in that respect.

  201. tallbloke (00:33:10) :
    “Russell was a mathematician. Proved that 1+1 = 2.”
    The firmament of scientific intellect isn’t so neatly divided into labelled constellations as you like to think.

    That is often true, except for Russell. A thousand years from now, only his mathematics will remain. the rest of his activity having faded into irrelevance.

  202. tallbloke (00:33:10) :
    Roger Carr (22:02:26) :
    “Lotta noise in this signal…”
    Leif is at his most informative when being challenged.

    The noise is more like flies to be swatted than challenges to be met.

  203. ”””tallbloke (00:33:10) : The firmament of scientific intellect isn’t so neatly divided into labelled constellations as you like to think. . . . . ”””’
    tallbloke,
    Stereotyping individual scientists was not intended.
    In the readings I have done in the history of philosophy, I was impressed by the surprisingly consistent stream of fundamental ideas in all areas of philosophy [~5] propagating down from pre-Greek to modern era. I find that at the most fundamental [highest] conceptions, the number of philosophic traditions is rather small. There are just a few dominate philosophic traditions that span the length of the Western civilization. In the last 200 years one tradition has dominated virtually all the philosophy departments of the premier universities in USA and especially Europe.
    John

  204. Leif Svalgaard (06:00:28) :
    tallbloke (00:33:10) :
    “Russell was a mathematician. Proved that 1+1 = 2.”
    The firmament of scientific intellect isn’t so neatly divided into labelled constellations as you like to think.
    That is often true, except for Russell. A thousand years from now, only his mathematics will remain. the rest of his activity having faded into irrelevance.

    As any engineer with a slide rule knows, 2+2 is approximately 4.
    Who knows, in the future, Russell may well be remembered more for his anti-nuclear stance than his facile extention of Peano’s axioms.

  205. tallbloke (14:43:42) :
    As any engineer with a slide rule knows, 2+2 is approximately 4.
    It shows that you are not an engineer. A slide-rule cannot [easily] be used for addition.
    And Russell showed that 1+1 is EXACTLY 2, and that is the important bit. In a thousand years I don’t think anybody would care about anybody’s anti-nuclear stance.

  206. tallbloke (14:43:42) :
    his facile extention of Peano’s axioms.
    And if you knew even a smattering of mathematics, you wouldn’t call his work ‘facile’. You can find the proof on page 86 of Russell’s Principia Mathematica, proposition 110.643. He remarks that the result is ‘occasionally useful’.

  207. “Leif is at his most informative when being challenged.”
    Dr. Svalgaard (06:02:57) : “The noise is more like flies to be swatted than challenges to be met.”
    More like arrogance or is it “hype”?
    Like when Dr. Svalgaard characterized NASA’s press release regarding solar constant as “hype”.
    Let me suggest a scientist having confidence about his ideas is positive, but being arrogant and dismissive about rival ideas is negative and does not speak well for that scientist.
    Good scientists allow for the possibility they could be wrong.
    The fact that plasma motion is causes electric currents is unremarkable.
    The quotes I presented, here, and in previous posts stands for the proposition that plasma motion causes charge-seperated electric currents.
    “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    And, essentially, two colliding bodies of space plasma will cause electric currents.
    That is why electric currents are ubiquitous in the Universe as are magnetic fields which reflects the physical relationships expressed in Maxwell’s equations.
    The papers I’ve presented discussed the filaments and solar flares.
    Even Dr. Svalgaard in a regard action has now acknowledged that the filaments are a product of electric currents.
    In other words, but for the presence of electric currents there would not be filaments.
    Another way to state it, is to say, the electric current caused the filament.
    I presented this peer-reviewed, published scientific paper:
    Title: The field and plasma configuration of a filament overlying a solar bipolar magnetic region
    Authors: Low, B. C.
    Journal: Astrophysical Journal, (1981):
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1981ApJ…246..538L
    And highlighted these two quotes from the paper:
    “The filament temperature can take values ranging from a small fraction to a few times the coronal temperature, depending on the internal electric current of the filament.”
    “The physical state of the filament plasma and its associated internal electric current system required for force balance are determined by the specific heating and cooling processes taking place in the filament.”
    Even with one of these quotes making the direct statement that there was an “internal electric current of the filament” and the other quote stating the filament had an “internal electric current system”, Dr. Svalgaard still tried to deny that the filament consisted of an electric current.
    Dr. Svalgaard offered a lot of tortured explanations for why the filaments were not electric currents.
    (Why should a scientist need to engage in tortured explanations to refute obvious direct statements? Dr. Svalgaard sounded a lot like somebody going into what the definition of “is” is…if you know what I mean…
    Only after I presented two more peer-reviewed published papers:
    Title: Energy source of the solar wind (1980)
    Authors: Per Carlqvist & Hannes Alfven
    Journal: Astrophysics and Space Science
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/seri/Ap%2BSS/0071/0000203.000.html
    And:
    Title: Generation of Large Scale Electric Fields in Coronal Flare Circuits
    Authors: H. One and G. J. Mann, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam
    Published: Cen. Eur. Astrophys. Bull. (2009)
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0908/0908.0813v1.pdf
    Did Dr. Svalgaard relent and acknowledge that filaments are electric currents, because both papers made explicit reference to the filaments being electric currents and expained in detail why the filaments are electric currents.
    Both Alfven & Carlqvist and One & Mann are clear: Filaments are flowing plasma consisting of electric current
    That’s called a painful acknowledgement.
    Let’s go back to the issue of causation:
    The electric current causes the filament as explicitly stated in the Carlqvist & Alfven paper:
    “If photopheric motion in the presence of a magnetic field produces voltage differences between two points of intersection of a magnetic field line with the photosphere, a [electric] current starts to flow along this field line.”
    The above is just an applied (stating the specific physical conditions) version of this statement:
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Which as Dr. Svalgaard acknowledges I have presented before.
    Carlqvist & Alfven goes on:
    Due to the drift motions caused by crossed electric and magnetic fields, matter from the corona is sucked in by this [electric] current so that a prominence [filament] is formed (Alfven, 1961; Marklund, 1979).
    In other words, the electric current causes the filament.
    Why is Dr. Svalgaard so intent to dispute this causation?
    Because Dr. Svalgaard is in the so-called “magnetic reconnection” school of thought and Carlqvist & Alfven are in the double layer school of thought.
    Dr. Svalgaard ends his “tutorial” with a paper that runs up the so-called magnetic reconnection” school of thought.
    Dr. Svalgaard takes the arrogant approach that there is no double layer school of thought in astrophysics regarding the solar flare propogation and charged particle acceleration.
    One has to ask why Dr. Svalgaard doesn’t want readers of this website to know there is a double layer school of thought in astrophysics?
    Is that the approach of an objective scientist?
    It is also interesting that Carlqvist & Alfven identify something significant in the above passage:
    “Due to the drift motions caused by crossed electric and magnetic fields, matter from the corona is sucked in by this [electric] current so that a prominence [filament] is formed.”
    The “crossed electric and magnetic fields” is the so-called neutral “X” point in magnetic reconnection.
    So-called “magnetic reconnection” is the erroneous lable given to an Electric Double layer:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    And, yes, there is a double layer school of thought in astrophysics, including as the acceleration process and explosion mechanism for solar flares and CME’s.
    Google search webpage for double layer in solar flares:
    http://search.hp.my.aol.com/aol/search?s_it=topsearchbox.search&query=double+layers+in+solar+flares
    And abstracts for double layers for solar flares:
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1989PASAu…8…29K
    http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/APR06/Event/48086
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1982/GL009i006p00680.shtml
    Dr. Svalgaard knows there are two rival schools of thought on this issue, but does not see fit to inform the readers of this website of that fact.
    “The noise is more like flies to be swatted than challenges to be met.”
    Dr. Svalgaard, why do you intentionally mislead the readers of this website?

  208. Leif Svalgaard (15:43:46) :
    And if you knew even a smattering of mathematics, you wouldn’t call his work ‘facile’.
    He remarks that the result is ‘occasionally useful’.

    Keeping a sense of proportion is occasionally useful too.
    One infinity of turtles plus another infinity of turtles does not make two infinities of turtles.
    Ask the little old lady.

  209. By the way Leif, I note we have had a couple of pretty big earthquakes recently.
    The 12 biggest earthquakes of the C20th all occurred when the sunspot number was well below the average.
    Has the standard mainstream model got any good explanation for why these big earthquakes happen when the sunspot number is low?

  210. tallbloke (16:08:16) :
    Keeping a sense of proportion is occasionally useful too.
    Russell’s result is momentous.
    One infinity of turtles plus another infinity of turtles does not make two infinities of turtles.
    Ask the little old lady.

    The number of subsets of the infinity of turtles is infinitely larger than the infinity of those turtles. Ask Georg Cantor.
    tallbloke (16:11:50) :
    Has the standard mainstream model got any good explanation for why these big earthquakes happen when the sunspot number is low?
    Is an explanation needed?
    James F. Evans (15:57:56) :
    Dr. Svalgaard, why do you intentionally mislead the readers of this website?
    I think most readers of this website are capable of separating the wheat from the chaff and are thus hard to mislead.

  211. Physics Today has an interesting article about plasmas
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/Ultracold%20neutral%20plasmas.pdf
    They note: Not every ionized gas is a plasma. Qualitatively, a system of charged particles becomes a plasma when collective motions and responses to external perturbations become organized and dominate over the behavior of individual particles. For example, charges in a plasma must be able to rearrange themselves to screen electric fields from penetrating significantly into the system.
    The article is fascinating.

  212. Earthquakes and sunspot numbers????? Just spit my red wine all over the screen. Please tell me that question is just to get a sinus congested sick redhead to laugh.

  213. Pamela Gray (18:28:33) :
    Earthquakes and sunspot numbers????? Just spit my red wine all over the screen. Please tell me that question is just to get a sinus congested sick redhead to laugh.
    you know, the planets are doing it [to both sun and earth and brains]

  214. Why not more earthquakes? From what I’ve observed in my travels the planet goes from having less clouds and more drought during a strong solar cycle to much more cloudiness and precipitation during the minimums in between. That’s a big transfer of weight when going from dry conditions to saturated with moisture. Throw a few large volcanoes in and the rain and snow really falls, like here in the last couple of years.
    http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/largeeruptions.cfm
    Name – Location – Date – Volcano Explosivity Index
    CHAITEN Southern Chile 2008  May 2  VEI 4
    OKMOK Aleutian Islands 2008  Jul 12  4?
    KASATOCHI Aleutian Islands 2008  Aug 7  4
    REDOUBT Southwestern Alaska 2009  Mar 22  4
    SARYCHEV PEAK Kuril Islands 2009  Jun 11  4
    That’s a number of larger eruptions in just a couple of years.
    Old Zen saying…
    “Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water.
    After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” — Wu Li

  215. ””””Leif Svalgaard (15:33:55) : As any engineer with a slide rule knows, 2+2 is approximately 4. It shows that you are not an engineer. A slide-rule cannot [easily] be used for addition.”””’
    Leif,
    Yes you are correct about slide rule functionality with regards to addition [subtraction]. HA HA, you date yourself by your knowledge of slide rules.
    Digital electronic calculators were not yet available during my undergraduate years so my old Paint Stirrer was my weapon of mass calculation in science classes. It served me well. It was a cheaper model K&E.
    John

  216. Leif & Tallbloke,
    Please stop flogging the turtles.
    Instead, use a physics reference on your chosen topic of contention. Instead of turtles lets discuss about the possibility whether we can infinitely keep breaking up subatomic particle into smaller fragments (sub-subatomic particle) and then break those sub-subatomic particles in sub-sub-subatomic particles, etc, etc.
    Hey, it was a question I always had in the back of my mind in school and during my nuclear engineering related work.
    The turtle thing doen’t do much for me and applying your minds to this other task might be more scientifically interesting.
    OK?
    John

  217. OMG, my first look at a slide ruler in college sent me into garlic mode around my neck. I could not fathom how to get the damnable thing to work. I was literally left in tears with the frustration I felt over that thing.
    My first look at a calculator: The principal at the little high school in Wallowa had made a big deal of presenting a calculator to the school. It was as big as a student’s desk top. The school bought ONE. We never used it.

  218. John Whitman (19:12:58) :
    break those sub-subatomic particles in sub-sub-subatomic particles, etc, etc.
    Hey, it was a question I always had in the back of my mind in school and during my nuclear engineering related work.

    Once we get down to the Planck Length, presumably space itself cannot be broken up further, but we don’t really know. The turtles was related to the fundamental problem of knowledge itself. My own view is that at any given time we have a certain amount of empirical knowledge [i.e. observations] and we can have a certain understanding of that [and today we are doing pretty well in that department]. In the distant future our observations will have discovered new things that we today do not know about, and at that time we will have expanded our knowledge to explain most of those as well. So, our ‘understanding’ at any given time should be seen in relation to what we need to explain, i.e. our observations at that time. To worry about even lower turtles, until we have seen them is not very fruitful.

  219. Since there really isn’t any universal up or down, it can’t be turtles all the way down anyway. Can it?
    What we know of the physical universe is like air filling a balloon, and what we don’t know about the universe is the outside of the balloon. As we get more knowledge, the balloon expands. So we know more – but what we don’t know also expands. The bigger the balloon gets, the bigger the unknown area outside of it gets.
    Maybe not a good analogy, but no worse than the turtles.

  220. Smokey (20:18:15) :
    So we know more – but what we don’t know also expands.
    What we haven’t yet observed, we don’t need to explain, so our ‘understanding’ is not diminished by whatever unknown lies ahead.

  221. I didn’t mean to imply that our knowledge is diminished. Knowledge is good for its own sake, in addition to making life better: penicillin is better than bleeding patients. I was just trying to provide an alternate turtle analogy, since the ‘down’ part bothered me.
    I’ll butt out now.

  222. Can’t you tell which way the turtles descend by the polarity of their microwave emissions?
    ============

  223. Leif Svalgaard (19:47:52) :
    “To worry about even lower turtles, until we have seen them is not very fruitful.”
    I agree to the extent that you said previously, “Before we introduce [or believe in] mechanisms not yet discovered we should be relatively certain there is something to be explained”, but I do think that there can be fruit in contemplating the unknown. Most humans seem to have an innate desire to feel like they know, regardless of the state of their knowledge. For example, people appear to feel more comfortable knowing there is or isn’t a god, or that climate change is primarily driven by CO2 or the Sun, regardless of whether there is sufficient information available to make such a determination. As such, a gentle walk into the unknown and healthy realization that our current knowledge is barely a glimpse of all there is to know, can offer some valuable perspective.

  224. Just The Facts (21:09:39) :
    but I do think that there can be fruit in contemplating the unknown.
    As long as one knows it is just speculation or contemplation, but all too often such takes on the aura of gospel truth and that is where my problem with it begins.

  225. Leif Svalgaard (21:29:11) :
    “but all too often such takes on the aura of gospel truth”
    That’s really the root of it, when reasoned discovery is replaced by faithful pursuit. It must be true, because I believe it to be so…

  226. As Judith Lean says “A solar constant is an oxymoron”
    Science is moving quickly in this arena and its time for the old school to catch up. Measuring TSI is old hat and masks some of the big underlying variances during the solar cycle.
    EUV (extreme ultra violet in the 1-100nm wave length) in particular has varied 6% when comparing the solar min at 1996 and now. What would the total EUV variance for the whole cycle measure?
    EUV interacts substantially with our upper atmosphere.
    They are not spending millions on the EVE project aboard SDO for nothing, science is moving forward and recognizing the old methods needed to be improved upon.

  227. Leif Svalgaard (18:50:24) :
    Pamela Gray (18:28:33) :
    Earthquakes and sunspot numbers????? Just spit my red wine all over the screen. Please tell me that question is just to get a sinus congested sick redhead to laugh.
    you know, the planets are doing it [to both sun and earth and brains]

    Ah, the usual descent to ridicule in the face of the inability to admit ignorance. Your attempt to associate the modern study of solar system dynamics with parlour astrology makes more of a fool of you than me.
    Leif Svalgaard (16:58:50) :
    tallbloke (16:11:50) :
    Has the standard mainstream model got any good explanation for why these big earthquakes happen when the sunspot number is low?
    Is an explanation needed?

    The people of Haiti and Chile would like one. If the current crop of physicists weren’t so stuck up their own paradigm, they might have got better and predicting them by now and saved many thousands of lives and halped avert some of the untold misery.
    Self preening about the achievements of a science which chooses to remain ignorant of the forces which shatter lives is hubris.
    The view of scientific progress being pushed here is exactly what led to the domination of climate science by the AGW clique: Make your theory seem more certain by excluding other points of view. Ridicule opponents. Judge their ideas by the yardstick of your own ignorance pretending to be a knowledge complete enough to be entitled to falsify other ideas. It’s a method which had it’s place in the Enlightenment period when science was battling the church for dominance, but it has little relevance or applicabilty in the post climategate world we now inhabit.
    One of the AGW clique has seen this now. I wonder how long it will take you.
    Therefore scientists need to do everything possible to make sure that they effectively communicate uncertainty, risk, probability and complexity, and provide a context that includes alternative and competing scientific viewpoints.
    – Dr Judith Curry –

  228. ”””Leif Svalgaard (19:47:52) : Once we get down to the Planck Length, presumably space itself cannot be broken up further, but we don’t really know. The turtles was related to the fundamental problem of knowledge itself. . . [bunch of stuff bewteen] . . . So, our ‘understanding’ at any given time should be seen in relation to what we need to explain, i.e. our observations at that time. To worry about even lower turtles, until we have seen them is not very fruitful.””””
    Leif/Smokey/Tallbloke/Just the Facts/Kim,
    I hesitantly continue the turtling.
    I think it is good to have an almost childlike wonder at the possiblities of going beyond the current barriers to knowledge considering what we already have been given by physics. We look and wonder with no need to worry.
    Leif, in particular, physicists like you in your generation and many generations before you are potentually providing the means for future generations to look past the current barriers [?Planck’s units?] of sub-subatomic particles into a downward potential continuum [turtles down]. Hey, maybe also to look at a far reaching continuum upward [turtles up] past galaxies of galaxies made of other things that are potentially not even galaxylike . . . ? Or maybe turtle sideways in our existing level of the continuum to get this level right as much as possible before we turtle down or up?
    It is a great endevour. Leif, I do appreciate the caution you advise about having some discipline in all this. Please keep it up, we can never repay you. On the other hand, I think you have had childern (like me) and grandchildren and in spite of our best intentions at discipline . . . it doesn’t always work with the younger generation. Maybe it is good that we aren’t ever totally successful with the discipline thing.
    QUOTE OF THE TURTLES: “Take the red pill young turtle and we see how far down [or up or sideways] the turtle hole goes. Take the blue pill and forget all about being a turtle forever, go back to live your life as a mushroom before being turtled on WUWT.” My apologies to the folks who made the Matrix.
    Now, my friends, I will guietly go down to the bottle keep bar around the corner of my Taipei apartment and purchase a fresh bottle of MaCallan 18 yr Fine Oak Cask. Then at said establishment I will put a nice dent in it. Take my Blackberry and enjoy a little more of Anthony’s great site. Maybe I won’t even have turtle halucinations. : )
    John

  229. tallbloke (23:51:53) :
    Ah, the usual descent to ridicule in the face of the inability to admit ignorance.
    It is clear that we do not know how to predict specific Earthquakes. No need to admit ignorance there as it is glaring and well known.
    “Is an explanation needed?”
    The people of Haiti and Chile would like one. If the current crop of physicists weren’t so stuck up their own paradigm

    You confuse plain prediction of earthquakes with the issue: why when sunspot numbers were low many earthquakes have occurred. You have not demonstrated that there is a relation beyond coincidence and no explanation of coincidences are needed.
    Make your theory seem more certain by excluding other points of view.
    Science is not ‘points of view’. There has to be evidence, theory, and verification.
    Ridicule opponents.
    They do a good job themselves
    provide a context that includes alternative and competing scientific viewpoints.
    The operative word is ‘scientific’. It is not a competing scientific view that the Haitian earthquake was caused by the Haitian’s belief in voodoo.
    To hold up the possibility of earthquake prediction and thus saving lives and reducing misery by unsubstantiated claims is irresponsible. Akin to extracting money from grieving relatives by telling them that the dead can talk to us through a medium if only they would believe in this alternative view.

  230. Leif Svalgaard (03:07:19) :
    The operative word is ’scientific’. It is not a competing scientific view that the Haitian earthquake was caused by the Haitian’s belief in voodoo.
    ~
    So, many views and opinions.
    Leif, you said the word ‘vooodooo’ again! Doesn’t matter in what context. We now get the song “Black Magic Woman,” done by SANTANA.
    The song is hypnotic and contains the vooodooo of Carlos Santana.
    Enjoy some voodoo today.

    Voodoo may or may not be such a bad thing.

  231. Pamela Gray (18:28:33) :
    Earthquakes and sunspot numbers????? Just spit my red wine all over the screen. Please tell me that question is just to get a sinus congested sick redhead to laugh.
    ~
    We all need that laugh now and again. But since you keep letting everyone know that you are a ‘redhead,’ could you explain to me why, when I go looking for new shoes, do I always try on the 91/2 when my brain knows the shoe size is 10 W?
    Earthquakes time lapse of an internal process that expands and contracts. Sunspot cycle numbers a time lapse of an external process of expansion and contraction.

  232. You guys need to get your head out of the sun, umm, sand! To deny sunspot activity effects upon the Earth’s crust and climate…..is a bit of any oxymoron isn’t it?
    C’mon you can do it! I know you can!

  233. Suranda (06:07:45) :
    You guys need to get your head out of the sun, umm, sand! To deny sunspot activity effects upon the Earth’s crust and climate…..is a bit of any oxymoron isn’t it?
    C’mon you can do it! I know you can!
    ~
    Sorry, Suranda just can’t get my head wrapped around the idea that, everytime the sun blows a billion ton CME, that is Earth directed, it causes an immediate response earthquake response? Is that what you are saying?
    Just can’t get my head wrapped around that particular sorta thinking that’s going on Suranda. Earthquakes, volacanoes going on foreverer and a day or so. Something with time lags of ..geesh..ahh…umm. Ask again in 10years.
    Anyway, trying to keep my head wrapped around the clouds.

  234. John Whitman (23:58:22) :
    I think it is good to have an almost childlike wonder at the possiblities of going beyond the current barriers to knowledge considering what we already have been given by physics. We look and wonder with no need to worry.
    But we do look past the current turtle, to the next one or two, but then it is prudent to stop, lest we get sidetracked by ‘alternative views’

  235. Suranda (05:56:55) :
    I reckon the Russians are cognizant and appreciative of the electric universe
    Your link does not say that. I was once U.S. president Nixon’s envoy to the Soviet Union [on solar impact on the environment] and know first-hand the mentality and priorities of Russian research [I’m still in contact with several – surviving – researchers of that era]. The Russians are no more appreciative of the EU than anybody else]. Their threshold for looking in to nonsense is a bit lower than ours, but their ability to weed is not.

  236. John Whitman (19:12:58):
    John, instead of thinking in terms of particles, it might be more useful to think in terms of discreet energy packets, although, some might consider the two terms as being a distinction without a difference.
    But I’ll submit “discreet energy packets” possibly will allow the intellectual perspective to consider and develop additional hypothesis that could lead to more knowledge & understanding about the sub-atomic world, and just as important, how that sub-atomic world of physical relationships, energy relationships, scales up to largest physical, energy relationships.
    Expanding human knowledge at both ends of the continuum would be positive in terms of knowledge for its own sake and for Man’s technological ability to harness the physical relationships of the Universe for Man’s benefit.
    There is pure Science.
    And,
    There is applied Science.
    Both are positive human endeavors.

  237. Carla ~ Even if the CME isn’t earth directed, the Earth is affected because anything that happens on the Sun will directly or indirectly affect the Earth on some level. But maybe it’s just my woo-woo thinking that the Sun is the source of life/living/being here as woo-woo eeensy beensy earthlings.
    You have devoted yourself the extremely technical aspects/study/research of the Cosmos, and I’m just here to add a bit of woo-woo to bring you back to Earth.
    Skylurker Woo-Woo Suranda

  238. Thank you Dr Svalgaard ~ I stand corrected. My statement (yes, not mentioned in the link) was just a conjecture that the Russian Space Agency may now be crossing the paradigm and exploring that which they had previously rejected about the nature of the cosmos.
    The wind is picking up here in northern Florida and the magnetosphere is (again) getting its butt kicked, presumably an effect from one of those CME’s and I can’t help but think that we are in big trouble. As a human race, we are in trouble. And it CENTRES AROUND THEY SUN. The Sun is defying all aspects of behaviour as dictated by traditional science.
    We need to wake up.

  239. Suranda (10:16:03) :
    My statement (yes, not mentioned in the link) was just a conjecture
    With no evidence…
    The Russians have come a long way since the excesses of the Soviet era where they often went far beyond rational science. Back then they even goaded the CIA to investigate para-normal phenomena, lest a ‘psychic gap’ should develop, just as it was believed there was a ‘missile gap’.

  240. Thank you for that tutorial, Leif. I have gained a little knowledge, perhaps some insight — even understanding — and feel better for it; but I do not think you need fear your place on the tree of knowledge threatened by my new learning. Perhaps from my grandchildren… I will try and pass it along.

  241. ””””’Leif Svalgaard (07:36:05) : But we do look past the current turtle, to the next one or two, but then it is prudent to stop, lest we get sidetracked by ‘alternative views’. ”””””’
    Leif,
    First, I enjoyed the Physics Today article on plasma that you recommended earlier in this post. I was very pleasantly surprised how readable and understandable it was. Thank you. Now I will try the Solar Cycle article by Hathaway that you recommended.
    Second, we can agree on your comment which I quoted above.
    Terminal Turtling: So, I close this segment of turtling with what I think are appropriate stanzas from the Rudyard Kipling poem:
    “If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
    But make allowance for their doubting too,
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
    If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
    If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:”
    Thanks to all the great energetic commenters this thread indeed turned into a Great Filament.
    Take care.
    John

  242. ”””’James F. Evans (09:16:33) : John, instead of thinking in terms of particles, it might be more useful to think in terms of discreet energy packets, although, some might consider the two terms as being a distinction without a difference.”””
    James,
    Ohhh ahhhh, it feels good to be cautiously dipping my toe back into the soothing waters of physics again. Hope I can still swim it.
    John

  243. Roger Carr (15:26:56) said to Leif;
    ”””’Thank you for that tutorial, Leif. I have gained a little knowledge, perhaps some insight — even understanding — and feel better for it; but I do not think you need fear your place on the tree of knowledge threatened by my new learning. Perhaps from my grandchildren… I will try and pass it along.”””’
    Roger,
    Ditto. That is a nice sentiment.
    But I wonder what Leif’s tuition fee is?
    Perhaps it will be some of that evil [but good evil] Scandinavian “Aqua Vit” stuff. It is useful in that it can be used as Interstellar Rocket fuel as well as a beverage, so convenient for a solar physicist. N’est pas?
    NOTE 1: Aqua Vit -Its name comes from aqua vitae, the Latin for “water of life”. The only way I can drink it is frozen right from the coldest setting in the freezer. A little goes a loooonnnngggg waaayyyyy. I once had a bottle in my freezer for about 15 years.
    NOTE 2: Perhaps we can understand now how the Scandinavians keep warm on those subpolar winter periods of darkness. Well, there might be another way . . . . heh, heh : )
    John

  244. ”””’Leif Svalgaard (20:55:33) : In my freezer, its half-life would be about 3 weeks.”””’
    Leif,
    Ah, so your tuition fee is settled? When payment is due please let me know.
    But the big problem remains what kind. The last time I was in Stockholm [early January and dark for ~18 hr/day and daytime wasn’t bright at all] I went with a customer to a bar in an “old town” kind of area. It had a ~25 foot high wall that was probably 30 feet long that was only kinds of Aquavit. They had a library ladder to get access to individual bottles. I only made it ~0.05 % into the varieties.
    NOTE: I am in the Bay Area often because my offspring lives there and also I have a number of clients there.
    John

  245. Leif Svalgaard (21:29:46) :
    Thank you for your gracious invitation.
    Likewise you are welcome to visit me if you are ever in Taipei [there Jan thru Apr every year] or the very lovely Adirondack Mtns in upstate New York [there May thru Oct every year] or Sarasota FL [there Nov Dec every year].
    I could make turtle soup with Aquavit chasers. In Taiwan they eat a lot of turtle so the turtles do not get to go down very far here before they are dead meat : )
    John

  246. Carla (05:41:29) :
    Leif, you said the word ‘vooodooo’ again! Doesn’t matter in what context.

    Who else accuses people of practising “voodoo science”? Ah yes. Rajendra Pachauri.
    Richard Holle has just posted an excellent analysis of terrestrial electromagnetic effects related to planetary and lunar motion on my blog for anyone interested in promising new lines of investigation.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-moon-is-linked-to-long-term-atlantic-changes/#comment-613

  247. ”””’tallbloke (01:04:15) : Leif, you said the word ‘vooodooo’ again! Doesn’t matter in what context. Who else accuses people of practising “voodoo science”? Ah yes. Rajendra Pachauri.”””’
    Tallbloke,
    I couldn’t help myself, I must be hanging out way too much at WUWT since the very first thing that occurred to me when I saw your comment was:
    Two voodoo data points cannot be statistically significant in the whole world of voodooism?
    What would be the possible physical mechanism that would explain the two insances? Magic?
    Potential action plan, lets call up Hansen and we can use his data homogenization code to globalize the two data points.
    I know I’m bad, bad to the bone. [imagine George Thorogood and the Destroyers playing in the background, loudly]
    John

  248. tallbloke (01:04:15) :
    Who else accuses people of practising “voodoo science”? Ah yes. Rajendra Pachauri.
    No voodoo science here. The reference to voodoo was that some people in the US think that the Haiti earthquake was God’s punishment for the Haitians believing in the perfectly valid religion called voodoo.
    Richard Holle has just posted an excellent analysis of terrestrial electromagnetic
    Tidal effects are not electromagnetic

  249. The Great Filament Part 2? There appears to be a new filament appearing in upper left on the Sun:
    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/eit_304/512/
    Dr Svalgaard, Dr Evans, John Whitman and all you folks who know what you are talking about, can you please confirm?
    Interesting, (beating my own drum here) that somewhere in this thread I mentioned that there was a magnetic filament on the far side, which I think is what we are now seeing.
    Thank you everybody!
    Skylurker Suranda

  250. ””’Suranda (10:26:52) : The Great Filament Part 2? There appears to be a new filament appearing in upper left on the Sun . . . Dr Svalgaard, Dr Evans, John Whitman and all you folks who know what you are talking about, can you please confirm? . . . Interesting, (beating my own drum here) that somewhere in this thread I mentioned that there was a magnetic filament on the far side, which I think is what we are now seeing.””””””
    I am trying to keep up with the discussions of solar physics, partially succeeding. I am enjoying the effort immensely. Seems you are too. These are rare moments in life.
    John

  251. Thank you John ~ I hope I didn’t offend anyone by my comment of those-who-know-who-what-they’re-talking about ~ by that I meant everyone in this thread except me because I am a total novice (and a woo-woo to boot).
    Aren’t you folks scared though? Look at this wave rippling action which started on Saturday:
    http://solar.nro.nao.ac.jp/norh/html/10min/2010/03/07/movie.html
    And it looks as if there are more than one filaments occuring in the northern part of the Sun (but of course spaceweather’s article is for “amateurs”):
    http://www.spaceweather.com/

  252. Thank you Dr Svalgaard, but why all the intense activity (still) on the farside of the Sun? I thought for sure when the farside came around the bend that we would see what’s happening. But it seems still very active over yonder and fairly quiet on this side, with the exception of the new filaments, which are actually quite small compared the great one.
    Are there effects from a supernova or a GRB on the farside?
    Why so many artifacts?

  253. Suranda (07:31:45) :
    Are there effects from a supernova or a GRB on the farside?
    No, it happens often that the two sides have different activity, and as the Sun is rotating we soon see what is on the other side. We have spacecraft now that together can see almost all of the sun: http://stereo-ssc.nascom.nasa.gov/beacon/beacon_secchi.shtml
    Why so many artifacts?
    The Nobeyama radio maps are constructed from an array of 84 separate antennas that need to be worked together. This is a difficult job, but people have developed software that usually do a good job at this. But weather can upset the algorithm and sometimes do. More here: http://solar.nro.nao.ac.jp/norh/html/introduction.html

  254. Suranda,
    Terrestrial or extraterrestrial interference good question. Japan experience any seismic “waves,” lately. Did watch the movies from the last 3 months and seems polar signal picks up and then the waves start weak and build. Would that be consistant with interference is building and not sporadic?
    Daily movie archive.
    http://solar.nro.nao.ac.jp/norh/html/daily/

  255. Beauty Carla! But hey, there are only five filaments whereas there was last week only one, give or take a kilometre or two.
    Like ripples in a pond when a stone is tossed in….
    these filaments seem to behave as if a ‘huge magnetic stone’
    was hurled at the sun.
    Are these babes gonna snap like the great filament? It’s like somebody shot the sun in the head.
    Sun gets shot in the head during shootout:
    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/eit_171/512/
    Actual shootout:
    http://www.lmsal.com/solarsoft/stereo/secchi/latest_movies/scc_euvi_beacon_movie_pair_last50_diff_j.html
    ……just trying to bring a sense of humour to all this while you folks figure out just what is going on……..
    Patience and stay safe,
    Suranda

  256. Suranda (17:14:08) :
    Does anyone have a clue what this cube is
    Little Green Men playing tricks on us?
    No, it is an artifact of he computation. The model operates with different grid sizes close to and far from the Earth, the square [or cube] is where the grid changes. Sometimes the inner and outer solutions don’t match exactly.

  257. Suranda (17:14:08) :
    Does anyone have a clue what this cube is:
    http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov:8080/IswaSystemWebApp/iSWACygnetStreamer?timestamp=2038-01-23%2000:44:00&window=-1&cygnetId=40
    Leif Svalgaard (17:31:46) :
    Suranda (17:14:08) :
    Does anyone have a clue what this cube is
    Little Green Men playing tricks on us?
    No, it is an artifact of he computation. The model operates with different grid sizes close to and far from the Earth, the square [or cube] is where the grid changes. Sometimes the inner and outer solutions don’t match exactly.
    ~
    This should help get you started Suranda.
    “””Current Magnetopause Position Movie
    The magnetopause is computed by tracing magnetic field lines in the dayside magnetosphere in 3D data output from the SWMF/BATSRUS magnetosphere real time simulation.
    The magnetopause standoff distance as plotted for the last three days is the distance on the GSM Sun-Earth line of the last closed field line of the magnetosphere. The data are available up to 30 to 60 minutes in the future, depending on the solar wind travel time from the ACE spacecraft to the upstream simulation boundary at 33 RE.
    Under quiet condition the magnetopause is 10 RE to 12 RE away from Earth. In dense solar wind or in the presence of a strong and negative solar wind magnetic field component Bz, the magnetopause can move closer and even cross geo-synchronous orbit (distance about 6.7 RE).
    Uses
    The user immediately sees whether the magnetopause boundary comes close to geo-synchronous orbit.
    Satellite operations may have to change while the spacecraft exits the magnetosphere and remains in the magnetosheath. “””
    References
    Space Weather Modeling Framework page at CCMC
    NOAA Space Weather Proediction Center
    Credits
    ACE real time data from NOAA SWPC
    SWMF/BATSRUS real time run at CCMC
    http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov/wiki/index.php/Current_Magnetopause_Position_Movie
    I’ll take the high road, you take the low road. Meet you in the middle have a smoke and we’ll go together.

  258. This is some pretty good looking interference config. is this consistent with helmut (skirt) angle of IMF?

  259. Carla (15:33:53) :
    This is some pretty good looking interference config. is this consistent with helmut (skirt) angle of IMF?
    No Carla, they are artifacts in the data. Not real. Not solar. Not IMF. Not intergalactic interference. Not electric currents. Not anything.

  260. Dr Svalgaard, this babe, this devoted skylurker of the highest order, is starting to feel like an artifact.
    Is everything, pray tell, an artifact?
    Surely some of this data is an indication that we are in unchartered territory.

  261. Leif Svalgaard (15:57:04) :
    Carla (15:33:53) :
    This is some pretty good looking interference config. is this consistent with helmut (skirt) angle of IMF?
    No Carla, they are artifacts in the data. Not real. Not solar. Not IMF. Not intergalactic interference. Not electric currents. Not anything.
    ~
    Geesh Leif ‘get a grip,’ the helmut in the PFSS Luhman model shows a twist on that date. (IMF flopping around) ACE data shows the flopping as a gap tooooooo. Sooooo, artifacts of the flopping around of the IMF?

  262. Leif Svalgaard (18:21:30) :
    Carla (16:43:49) :
    artifacts of the flopping around of the IMF?
    no, just of the radio maps of the Sun.
    ~
    Oh, ok Leif.
    Still kinda interesting watching the Luhman PFSS Solar Mag. Field model.
    Was using the new spaceweather tool.
    http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov:8080/IswaSystemWebApp/
    From the Solar tab, locate PFSS Solar Mag Field model using the backward arrows. Click on PFSS Solar Mag Field model.
    When model displays, enlarge and use the backward, forward arrows to select date. (java drop down menu for date selections didn’t work for me) By using the arrows forward or backward you can see the motions of the ‘helmut streamer belt,’ I was referring to.
    Whatever no big deal.

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