Quote of the week #35 Nat Geo bangs the drum for the next solar cycle

I’m having a free day today in Brisbane, after an intensive week of travel and presentations. I feel zorched, but I still hope to catch up on correspondences and posts. If you have not booked into the tour yet, there are two weeks left in the tour. Details here.

qotw_cropped

The other candidate for QOTW via NSIDC’s Dr. Mark Serreze merited its own story here.

National Geographic used to be one of my favorite magazines and television programs. I don’t subscribe anymore and I can hardly bear to watch the TV programs because they have so much alarmism in them. I had an ad popup on my MSN messenger which spieled gloom and doom for us puny humans, so I decided to check it out. While it is certainly true that we could see another “Carrington Event” and given our dependence on i-everythings and satellites in orbit these days, such a disruption could be more globally problematic than in the past.

But the NatGeo quote describing the video made me chuckle, not for the visions of dead iPhones, but for doing the very thing we skeptics get accused of, confusing weather and climate.

Here’s the quote from National Geographic Videos:

Just as the sun allows our atmosphere to remain stable, so too can it destroy civilization.

Ummm, confusing weather with climate there guys? From day to night, the atmosphere is anything but stable. In fact it is quite dynamic. Just ask anyone in Kansas about right now.

Plus, cycle 24 so far doesn’t look like a barn burner. That’s not to say we can’t get a big flare/CME, but the likelihood is lower with a quieter sun.

Watch the video by clicking below:

click for video

One of the slides from David Archibald’s presentation during our joint tour suggests a weakening solar cycle 24 and 25. Globally, that could be far more troublesome than some dead iPhones and power outages.

We can do without iPhones, but hungry masses due to declining growing zones tend to get a bit more testy than texters gone wild.

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kim

If we are wrongfooted into mitigating a warming that isn’t happening instead of adapting to a cooling that is happening, there’ll be Hell to pay, and it will feature stampedes of apocolyptic horses; hunger, plagues, and war.
==========================

Amir

Hi Anthony,
I have been following the solar cycle updates on this blog for a while. It seems like the sun had been quiet for a while now.
Still the global temps as reported by Dr. Roy for the last few months are still close to the highest on our [limited] records.
What is going on? When should we expect the global temparatures to be affected? Looking backwards, how long was the lag between the Dalton minimum kicking-in till the tempratures actually dropped?

REPLY:
See the next post is a few hours – lag time – A

Enneagram

A new explanation is needed, and the most logical one is here:
http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=74fgmwne

INGSOC

“I feel zorched,…”
lol But it beats feeling rorted!
Hope you are managing to have some fun down there, what with all the travel etc. Lots of nice Sheilas down there I reckon!

Hu Duck Xing

Dr. Raymond Stantz:
What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor. Real wrath of God type stuff! Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler:
Forty years of darkness, earthquakes, and volcanos!
Winston Zeddemore:
The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman:
Human sacrifices, dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

Gary Hladik

Wait a sec…the sky is falling again?

Just as the sun allows our atmosphere to remain stable, so too can it destroy civilization.

Ummm, confusing weather with climate there guys? From day to night, the atmosphere is anything but stable. In fact it is quite dynamic. Just ask anyone in Kansas about right now.

Humm. I am thinking it would be good to honour a difference between the terms ‘stable’ and terms for equilibrium and static (not dynamic). One of the marvellous things Ian Stewart taught me about chaos theory is that dynamical systems can be stable but in dis-equilibrium. If we honour this distinction, and recognise something like this in the dynamics of climate systems, then we dont have to make the distinction between weather and climate – which is entirely indistinct anyway.

INGSOC

“One of the slides from David Archibald’s presentation during our joint tour suggests a weakening solar cycle 24 and 25.”
Dr Leif seems more inclined towards a kind of cycle 14 scenario. After reading more than a few of his papers, I am inclined to agree. Not that I know anything more than the next armchair solar physicist wannabee… However, should Archibald prove correct we will “have some ‘splainin to do”.
Cheers!

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Who will be the first to complain about comparing current solar cycles to past ones?
😉

Bruce King

I feel the same way about NatGeo. Used to like articles and documentaries, but not now. Guess they have gone too far to change now.

Bruce of Newcastle

Layman routinely graphs SC 14 and SC 5 vs this one. He calls it more like SC 5, and I have to agree based on the data so far.
http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50

JDN

Hu Duck Xing says:
June 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm
Is your Ghostbusters reference due the fact that the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man was your best friend as a child and is now the destroyer of the world? That’s quite a stream of consciousness you have going there. :b

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Joe Bastardi on the hysteria about “huge space storm” from the sun. He talks too about the forecast for Solar Cycle 24 being revised:
http://www.accuweather.com/video/96827541001/run-hide-the-sun-is-coming-to-get-you-%28if-you-trust-nasa%29.asp?channel=vbbastaj
Warning: for those sensitive about Theodor Landscheidt you may not want to watch the video. 😉

u.k.(us)

Here’s the quote from National Geographic Videos:
“Just as the sun allows our atmosphere to remain stable, so too can it destroy civilization.”
=============
Is this a threat ?

Grant Hillemeyer

It would be very prudent to design expensive and vital electrical equipment to resist damage from such an event. Our existing power delivery infrastruction should be shielded as soon as practical. If a large number of these transformers were destroyed simultaneously it would be months, and could be years until they could be replaced. I don’t think we should scream and runs for the hills, but it is an issue that should be addressed. Of course, our illustrious congress will do nothing because you can’t buy votes spending money that way.

D. King

Bruce King says:
June 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm
I feel the same way about NatGeo. Used to like articles and documentaries, but not now.
Me as well, can’t stand it anymore.

stumpy

I dont have a mobile or any I-things, I grow alot of my own food, I have a woodburner for heat and cooking and trees for fuel, I have a gas cooker and a store of gas, I have a stove kettle and a charcoal BBQ, theres plently of game around, I have a backup rainwater water tank. I think I could manage ok for a few weeks at least- its good to know I am not dependant on others, call me paranoid, but in an earthquake and tsunami prone country living next to a dormant volcanoe, I think its not that bad an idea (civil defence even encourages it).
To many people today are reliant on technology for day to day living and hence we are suceptible. Dont become to reliant on others!

899

Hu Duck Xing says:
June 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm
Dr. Raymond Stantz:
What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor. Real wrath of God type stuff! Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler:
Forty years of darkness, earthquakes, and volcanos!
Winston Zeddemore:
The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman:
Human sacrifices, dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

So, you were ‘channeling’ Al Gore, then?

John Westman

I note some comments about a blogger canelling his subscription to National Geographic. In Australia we have a magazine, Australian Geographic, which I once subscribed to. To a small degree it was similar to NG, but was heavily into advertising. It did stories, in many instances about the nuts and bolts of Australian life. It also did stories with international significance.
Recently it had an article about a Greenland glacier and you can guess the rest. The story was lifted from a Greenpeace article, but it was evident that AG had made some attempt for impartiality, by minor adjustments in the text. However, the “doozie” was that they had to include, in the top right hand corner of the page a picture of a polar bear (mind you the picture of the polar bear had nothing to do with the article) with the caption “Casualty of Change”.
I sent them a letter telling them that I was not going to renew my subscription. It is a pity, as by and large, the magazine was quite good.

DirkH

“u.k.(us) says:
June 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm
Here’s the quote from National Geographic Videos:
“Just as the sun allows our atmosphere to remain stable, so too can it destroy civilization.”
=============
Is this a threat ?”
The fun thing is, you know, the sun allows our atmosphere to be stable, the sun can also destroy civilization, but what it can’t do is: cause climate change. No. That’s something only humans can do.

starzmom

Atmosphere is anything but stable here in Kansas tonight. Take it from me–I live here.

Robert of Ottawa

So, let’s see. All those Roman I-PADS, version II.0, were the cause of the destruction of the Roman Empire, via an evil Carrington blast?

Matt

I have a question for Leif Svalgaard if he checks this thread.
What is the probability of any single large CME/flare event being pointed close enough to the Earth to actually cause a disruption to our electrical systems/devices? A ball park figure would be sufficient.

Caleb

If the telegraph stations burst into flame back in 1850, how about today’s windmills? Can you imagine a range of hills at night, with long rows of flaming windmills?
It will not, however, cause my wood stove to burst into flame. My 1980 Econoline Van (with no computerized parts) will not be seriously effected, as long as it continues to sit in the back yard and annoy the neighbors. Also I have an old tube radio, which ought work fine after the super-solar-storm, especially if it isn’t plugged in and turned on, during the storm. My goats will likely continue to give milk, and my garden will continue to grow.
In other words, a super-solar-storm will turn me from an anachronism, into a person-ahead-of-the-curve, in the twinkling of an eye.

FijiDave

I just went to check on the effect of the Dalton Minimum and saw this graph on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png
and now I’m totally confused, as I thought the literature says that the MWP was 2 degs warmer than now. This graph shows quite the opposite.
However, since I came across a Wikipedia entry which was total fiction about my father running drugs across the NZ alps in small aircraft, I have totally lost faith in it.
Has this bloke Connolley been at this too?

Retired Engineer

With AGW, we are supposed to cut our carbon dioxide output and pay much higher taxes. What should we do to prevent a massive CME? (apart from paying much higher taxes?) Tin foil hats? For my cell phone?
I rate the FSM a much greater threat.

Enneagram says:
June 20, 2010 at 4:14 pm
A new explanation is needed, and the most logical one is here:
http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=74fgmwne

No new explanation is needed [and for what?], and the one you refer to is pure nonsense. Its central thesis is that the Sun is powered from the outside rather than from the inside [and that sunspots are dark because we look through the hot exterior to a cold interior – William Hershel thought that too: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1981JRASC..75…46K and even some people today go along with that http://www.luisprada.com/Protected/The_Sun_Is_Cold_II.htm ]. There are too many things wrong with that to even begin to enumerate, so I’ll only name one: the measured neutrino flux.
Matt says:
June 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm
I have a question for Leif Svalgaard if he checks this thread.
What is the probability of any single large CME/flare event being pointed close enough to the Earth to actually cause a disruption to our electrical systems/devices? A ball park figure would be sufficient.

Depends on the size of the event. For another Carrington event the probability is one.

ShrNfr

Well, I have my old solid state ham radio gear that runs these funny things that glow in the dark. The gas generator doesn’t have a lot of solid state stuff in it, so I guess I can get some power for a while –… …– — —

Matt says:
June 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm
What is the probability of any single large CME/flare event being pointed close enough to the Earth to […]
I may have missed the point of your question. CMEs are rather wide-angle, up to 60 degrees = one steradian [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steradian ]. Since there are 4pi steradians on a sphere, the probability that a random event will hit the Earth is 1/4pi = 8%. But CMEs are not random [occur mostly at lower latitudes] so the chance is perhaps double that. If we discount the ones we can’t see on the backside, we can double [roughly] again to about 32% or one-third. If it hits, the probability that it will cause wide-spread disruption is one.

FijiDave

ShrNfr
I couldn’t read your “fist”.
73’s
–.. .-.. ….- -.. -.

Caleb says:
June 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm
Also I have an old tube radio, which ought work fine after the super-solar-storm
But you may not anybody to listen to as the stations [with up-to-date equipment] will be disrupted and you [and they] may not have electricity…

Matt

Leif,
Thanks, your second response answered my question.

Yeah, we’ve had stable temps 10+f below average here in the PNW. Just lovely weather for mowing 2.5 acres. grumble grumble.

alcuin

I can understand how a large power grid could would be affected by a geomagnetic storm, but not how a micro-sized device like an i-Phone would be, other than that the towers that relay its signals might be damaged by being connected to the power grid. Am I missing something or is the emphasis in these articles being misdirected?

Dave vs Hal

Anthony,
what great weather to be having a free day in Brisbane. Brisbane’s “winter” weather is the envy of southern Australians and now we have the UHI to take the edge off those previous frosty mornings. I don’t know if your hosts told you, but Brisbane is no stranger to Americans, in the 1940s it was a garrison town hosting thousands of U.S. servicemen fighting in the South Pacific. After fleeing the Phillipines, General McCarthur set up his HQ about a block from from where you gave your talk. Sorry I missed your talk, I was impressed by all the reports, even the AGW people had many respectful comments.

fynney

That’s an amazing graph, thanks for providing it.

rbateman

Is there any truth to the Carrington event being not subject to any particular level of solar activity?

Randall Hilton

Before you flail Nat Geo too harshly about alarmism just keep in mind that they are not science. They are entertainment media. They have to get buns in seats, just like any other media. Conflict sells. Status quo does not. As the old adage goes, we don’t read a newspaper to see which banks were not robbed.
Going back into my Faraday cage now.

James Allison

DirkH says:
June 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm
“The fun thing is, you know, the sun allows our atmosphere to be stable, the sun can also destroy civilization, but what it can’t do is: cause climate change. No. That’s something only humans can do.”
We’ve been around awhile then.

Frank

Bring it on!
In Portland, Oregon, we’ve had 4 sunny days since April 1. We’ve had record rainfall. We’ve had record high lows. I might as well live in Alaska or Scotland.
Bring on the next solar cycle! PLEASE!

R. de Haan

Journal of Cosmology, 2010, Vol 8, 1983-1999.
JournalofCosmology.com, June, 2010
The Forthcoming Grand Minimum of Solar Activity
S. Duhau, Ph.D.1, and C. de Jager, Ph.D.2
http://journalofcosmology.com/ClimateChange111.html

Zeke

Jeff Alberts says:
June 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm
Yeah, we’ve had stable temps 10+f below average here in the PNW. Just lovely weather for mowing 2.5 acres. grumble grumble.

Yes, and growing tomatoes? Why bother grumble grumble

rbateman says:
June 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm
Is there any truth to the Carrington event being not subject to any particular level of solar activity?
One might make the argument that low activity may be important for the undisturbed growth of a region that can give us a Carrington event [or Halloween event in 2003]. Some of the largest events have occurred at low solar activity.

savethesharks

Hey Anthony…
Since you are in Brisbane…don’t know if you have seen this but check out this footage of a severe thunderstorm and a blinding, wet downburst there in Nov 2008.
Winds of about 111 MPH. Truly spectacular footage. I have this one bookmarked and I watch it every now and then.
Misnamed a “cyclone” but other than that….this is one of my favorite videos of big Momma Nature in action.

Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

dave Harrison

I see that the World Cup is described as the coldest ever with practice pitches frozen too hard for training. Of course this is ‘weather’ and no indication of long-term climate, but can you imagine the headlines had it been the warmest World Cup ever?

R. de Haan says:
June 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm
The Forthcoming Grand Minimum of Solar Activity

Very poor paper. Cyclomania.

Hu Duck Xing

JDN.
My life and my music are completely “stream of consciousness!” Can’t help myself!

u.k.(us)

DirkH says:
June 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm
“u.k.(us) says:
June 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm
Here’s the quote from National Geographic Videos:
“Just as the sun allows our atmosphere to remain stable, so too can it destroy civilization.”
=============
Is this a threat ?”
The fun thing is, you know, the sun allows our atmosphere to be stable, the sun can also destroy civilization, but what it can’t do is: cause climate change. No. That’s something only humans can do.
———————–
Yep, if you can’t afford to pay for your “sins”, the tax will be collected by other means.

Rob R

sea ice news-
New Paper “in-press”, abstract available in:
“Quaternary Science Reviews”
Arctic sea-ice cover from the early Holocene: the role of atmospheric circulation patterns by Sarah Dycka, , , L. Bruno Tremblaya and Anne de Vernal
Someone tell Steve Goddard. There is barely a mention of CO2.

Mike Davis

Leif:
Thank you for confirming what I thought was said before about CMEs.