NASA will try to explain the missing sunspots

This should be interesting. At least they aren’t putting Dikpati on the panel. The scene from the movie “The Wizard of Oz” where after the residents of Emerald City see strange writings in the sky and shout “the Wizard will explain it!” come to mind.

http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/latest/latest_256_4500.jpg

The sun, right now Image SDO

MEDIA ADVISORY: M11-043

NASA RESCHEDULES TELECONFERENCE TO EXPLAIN MISSING SUNSPOTS

WASHINGTON — NASA has rescheduled a media teleconference for 2 p.m.

EST on Wednesday, March 2, to discuss the first computer model that

explains the recent period of decreased solar activity during the

sun’s 11-year cycle. The recent solar minimum, a period characterized

by a lower frequency of sunspots and solar storms, ended in 2008 and

was the deepest observed in almost 100 years.The teleconference panelists are:

— Richard Fisher, director, Heliophysics Division, Science Mission

Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington

— Dibyendu Nandi, assistant professor, Indian Institute of Science

Education and Research, Kolkata, India

— Andres Munoz-Jaramillo, visiting research fellow,

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass.

— Delores Knipp, visiting scientist, University of Colorado at

Boulder

Supporting information for the briefing will be posted at:

http://www.nasa.gov/sunearth

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on the Web at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

===============================================

h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard

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carbon-based life form

Am I mizzing something?

RACookPE1978

Considering that their original SC24 predictions were for a peak at 2011-2012 at just over 170 count ….. What was the problem with the “original” NASA program and what has changed in the solar physics to (a) either change the physics (not likely!) or (b) change their understanding of the solar physics to indicate a better prediction program now?
TO date, what is indicated is a simple continuous “re-re-replotting” of a curve that just fits the latest data. Which is not a prediction at all.

Dave Springer

The solar system is passing through a cloud of Galaccutane.

Terry

The only words left to tell the world are:
“The Earth is getting colder quickly because the sun is in Grand Minimum. We can prepare, unlike Dalton/Maunder times when there was no NASA computer models to warn us.”

hunter

It would have been more accurate to call this NASA effort a “discussion”. “Explanation” implies you understand what is happening pretty well.
The basic mechanisms are not well understood and we have nearly zero predictive capacity about what is driving the sun beyond the basic ~11 year cycles fusion and magnetism.

Let me guess – they won’t say a thing about the Livingston/Penn Cheshire sunspot effect, right? (Likely the model doesn’t model that, but models the sunspot cycle in a fashion more like Leif’s ideas.) (But they still oughta mention that the spots they model may fade from view!)
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/18/suns-magnetics-remain-in-a-funk-sunspots-may-be-on-their-way-out/

Sunspots have not gone missing, they are not there because the sun is taking its well deserved break.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

Latitude

great, another multi-million (billion) dollar computer that can only follow and predict trends……………….

alan

Surely human CO2 emissions must have some negative feed-back effect on the sun’s behavior! LOL

North of 43 and south of 44

carbon-based life form says:
March 2, 2011 at 5:08 am
Am I mizzing something?
_________________________________________________
Yes, Anthony forgot to tell us about the latest issue in climate science.
Alphabet disruption.
There appear to be several well documented (model predicted even) cases of letters in words undergoing spontaneous mutation.

Dave

In this corner ten computer models.
In this corner ten monkeys.
Which would produce more accurate predictions of solar activity?

ShrNfr

We have a troll about that is down dinging everyone and everything. Even a pure science announcement like this.

MJB

Clearly the low activity is due to CO2. In the before time when earths outgoing radiation wasn’t blocked by CO2 more of it made it back to the sun which excited and perturbed the surface. Now, with humans belching out so much CO2 the sun is a nice calm place. NASA plans a mission there for 2024. /sarc

Jeff L

Ironic this press conference comes when the sun has been at it’s most active in this cycle (over the last month or so).

geoff

I listed to one of these conferences back in 2009. My guess is the scientists will acknowledge the lack of sunspots, but they will say this does not have much impact on the climate and the Sun will, any day now, roar back to life. They will say that 2010 was one of the warmest years ever recorded and thus, the lack of sunspots has virtually no impact. The large solar eruption last week is another sign the Sun will soon be back to normal.
What is key, here, is that the press ask tough questions, and not let the scientists ‘blow them off’. I was actually proud of the press’s questions in 2009, hope they are as well prepared today.

They might say something along these lines:
http://www.physics.iisc.ernet.in/~bidya_karak/karak_goa.pdf

R2

Presumably NASA will be giving due credit to previous published research e.g.
http://journalofcosmology.com/ClimateChange111.html

Kevin Schurig

I have their answer. They are human. They built the models based on what they knew and the models are behaving exactly like the scientists programmed them to, however the Sun isn’t a controlled lab so the models are showing the overall lack of knowledge we humans have in how the Sun works. No surprise, no big deal. One learns and moves on, just don’t try and blame mankind for the Sun’s natural behavior as they have with the Earth’s climate. That’s the easy way out.

Pamela Gray

I’ve discovered that it is okay to say things about how things might work (IE It’s the Sun wut done it) using the seat of your pants as your first try. But never forcing your butt to then read a book on the subject just makes you look like a butt-head.

Walt Stone

I always got the impression from previous NASA discussions on the topic of solar activity that, no matter what state of quiet the sun was in, “the activity could ramp up at any time, any time now!” (my paraphrasing), such as in the sun’s activity was low but within norms. As time went on, the normal range as seen by NASA seemed to be lower and lower as we’ve seen with the belated lower sunspot predictions. Again, all via my perceptions, filtered by reading columns here at WUWT first.
If the NASA folks are now on board with a “The Sun has surprised us with the lower activity we just didn’t see coming” I’d be surprised. I think it’ll _still_ end up being something along the lines of “Yes, the solar activity is low, but it’s still within normal range because [some new model that explains how low activity can be explained as some normal activity with a fudge factor]
In other words, I think the NASA view will still cling to the “normal” range for the explanation of the current solar changes. The Livingston/Penn observations might still pose some problems in the way of explaining things to the public.
I believe NASA doesn’t want to use the phrase “we haven’t seen the sun do this before”
Too open ended.

EternalOptimist

mjb says –
Now, with humans belching out so much CO2 the sun is a nice calm place. NASA plans a mission there for 2024.
——————————-
They better make sure they go at night
/joke
EO

Gary Pearse

While they are in an explaining mood, can they explain what happened to the AMSU daily global temperatures. Just when the curve drops down into scary cold temps (new records?) the satellite gives up. I’m fighting myself to resist concluding that someone pulled the plug on it. It would be nice to get an update on repairs. I’m champing at the bit for the Feb monthly figure. Anyone?

savethesharks

Why isn’t Leif on this panel?
Oh….now I see….its government. Its the “new” and “less improved” NASA.
So they choose a guy from India that nobody has ever heard of but they won’t use one of the most qualified solar physicists in the world which is right on our own doorstep.
Leif is simply too qualified and too politically incorrect for the “new” NASA.
Got it.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

Scott Covert

Note:
The “S” in NASA does not stand for “Science”.
Quote of the week candidate?

Don K

Yesterday’s sunspot info from http://www.spaceweather.com
Sunspot number: 72
Updated 01 Mar 2011
Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (2%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
Updated 01 Mar 2011

amicus curiae

Solar tour, Special rates for IPCC gore pachy holdren etc etc, lets have whip round to raise funds to send them there:-) get bransons new toy to take em.

Jenn Oates

I think that one thing’s abundantly clear–the posters here should be the ones asking the NASA folks the questions, because the average reporter (probably even the above average reporter) just doesn’t have the science to ask all the right questions. Hopefully they’ll have done their homework, however, and we’ll get some candid observations in the discussion.

RockyRoad

Pamela Gray says:
March 2, 2011 at 6:19 am

… But never forcing your butt to then read a book on the subject just makes you look like a butt-head.

Priceless, Pamela… Priceless.
Terry says:
March 2, 2011 at 5:22 am

The only words left to tell the world are:
“The Earth is getting colder quickly because the sun is in Grand Minimum. We can prepare, unlike Dalton/Maunder times when there was no NASA computer models to warn us.”

I’m just trying to figure out how I can prepare my next summer’s garden knowing they’re in for a cold, difficult “summer”. Last summer was bad enough.

Tom T

Computer models can explain anything after the fact. It would be nice to see one figure things out before hand. Watson for example knows a lot about things that have happened, but just try and think up something on your own Watson and lets see how smart you are.

RockyRoad

I suggest that NASA stands for Never Analytical, Scientific, or Accurate

Milwaukee Bob

Leif Svalgaard says:
March 2, 2011 at 6:07 am
Wow! I’m surprised Leif! Comedy from you? I’ll bet your sitting there with a big smile on your face. And I do not mean that sarcastically. I can see the NASA spokesperson now after a looooong intro- “…. so our super computer clearly shows the it is the stochastic fluctuations in poloidal field source – – – or it was the meriodional circulation of rotten dilithium crystals preventing neutrino formation – – – in either case the computer says they are still there – we just can’t see them or – or detect them.”
“So there is nothing to worry about…..”
“CO2 will keep us warm…..”
“Thank you very much.”
“We will not be taking questions.”
“In God we trust.”

RACookPE1978

savethesharks says:
March 2, 2011 at 6:38 am (Edit)
Why isn’t Leif on this panel?
Oh….now I see….its government. Its the “new” and “less improved” NASA.
So they choose a guy from India that nobody has ever heard of but they won’t use one of the most qualified solar physicists in the world which is right on our own doorstep.

nothing wrong with a guy from India, or somebody from anywhere else for that matter – if he/she/they/it are honest and unbiased. But with NASA’s mission now politicized about “outreach to Muslims” as the primary task (or was that “climate change” as the primary task just at NASA-GISS?) Or was that Education as the primary task? Or was “climate change” merely the requirement for most of NASA’s funding under Obama’s recent “Stimulust Package” to NASA and his recent budgets?
Do I have any reason (not to be) suspicious of “NASA” as an honest source of unbiased government-sponsored information about any aspect of climate or solar information affecting climate, when 1.3 trillion in new taxes are at stake?

Pete H

Tsk! They are not missing! They are simply on the “Dark Side”! sark off!
Pink Floyd will soon be writing another hit album about it!

Alan the Brit

MJB says:
March 2, 2011 at 5:54 am
It’s not just the CO2! I have been watching a fascinating science prog by the BBC over the last few years. The bloke in it a Dr of something or other (must be a scientist then), but he has this time machine thingy called a TARDIS. It stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space. I suspect it’s all that time travelling in & out of space that’s causing it all, mark my words! Well it’s as good as anything NASA will come up with ! What’s the betting they’ll do what they did last time when asked “what effect does this have on climate”, after they got all that data in from the Sun orbiting satellite, they just stared blankly & said “we’re not climate scientists!” :-))

Zeke

NASA has rescheduled a media teleconference for 2 p.m.
EST on Wednesday, March 2, to discuss the first computer model that
explains the recent period of decreased solar activity during the
sun’s 11-year cycle.

Does this mean the Predictive Flux-transport Dynamo Model is not going to be used, or will the Predictive Flux-transport Dynamo Model receive some improved conveyor belt adjustments to fit the observations and explain what they really mean?

I am against the participation of Dr Leif explaining the disappearance of sunspots at NASA teleconference.
Imagine, Leif with a pencil in hand correcting all errors.
Thus there is no time for great comments in WUWT.

jlurtz

Fellow Bloggers:
Solar Science is settled! {Well except for those pesky fluctuations}.
Why do they need a new model? Doesn’t the old one work? It appears to fail validation with real data. I know: “Let’s hide the decline” by altering past data.
Solar Science is a broken as Climate Science. These are the same people that gave us the Solar Constant on a “Variable Star”.
If you are interested, check out my new Solar Model on
http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/208
Thanks

RACookPE1978

Leif Svalgaard says:
March 2, 2011 at 6:07 am (Edit)
They might say something along these lines:
http://www.physics.iisc.ernet.in/~bidya_karak/karak_goa.pdf

Without a text (or voice description of the powerpoint slide show) their report is more difficult to understand – particularly with respect to any caveats or limits on their model – but the three slides showing the simulated sunspot cycles compared to actual cycles are impressive. In particular, I can’t tell whether they are recommending that a high circulation, low circulation, or a combination of the high and low circulation models reproduce past solar cycles the best.
Those slides begin here “Modeling last 23 cycles using variable meridional circulation
From High diffusivity Model (Chatterjee, Nandy & Choudhuri 2004)
Karak 2010”

jlurtz

Fellow Bloggers:
Check out my new Solar Theory at
http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/208
Thanks

Milwaukee Bob

Tom T said at 7:37 am
Computer models can explain anything after the fact. … Watson for example knows a lot… Right Tom, except the “explain” part. Watson and every other mass of circuitry understand absolutely nothing. BIG difference between “knowing” something and “understanding” – and you (it) have to understand to explain. “Give” an instruction manual (program) to anyone/anything and you can exact a response – but that response is no more or lass than what the writer/programmer knows, not what the “programmed” person/computer understands. Little wonder that it (Watson) won – the not at all amazing thing was – it was capable of pushing the button faster. For all the hype, the programming was very error prone – – – or was it?
Was some of that “stupidity” programmed-in to make it appear more – “human”?

Clive

Dave Springer says: The solar system is passing through a cloud of Galaccutane.
I though you said The solar system is passing through a cloud of Guacamole. ☺ Makes as much sense to me. ☺

Taphonomic

They could say something Pythonesque, along these lines:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAYDiPizDIs
(of course they would substitute “sunspots” for “brontosaurus”)

Tregonsee

It will be interesting what we hear for MSFC, where many of the predictions originate. I believe it was there, post Challenger, were they decided that NASA stood for Never A Straight Answer.

bubbagyro

I always am grateful for the advancing front of science, in that it prepares us for likely eventualities, where the caveman only had the volcanoes to sacrifice victims and so to protect the future.
The study of sunspots, and their historical relationship to long cold periods now has the world totally prepared for the likely event of a long cold period. The investment in all of those climate satellites and solar instrumentation has really paid off!
This knowledge, like Joseph’s prophecy of 7 years’ famine in the Bible, has enabled us to save our corn and wheat and not squander these, to drill for oil and gas and replenish our stores, to build new nuclear reactors, and to store food in the granaries for the future bleak period.
Thank you science! We are now prepared!
[sarc/off]

Stephen Fox

Why does the release say ‘the recent solar minimum …. ended in 2008’? Surely it started then. I thought it was cycle 23 that ended in 2008.
Damn this is confusing.

The sun is missing its spots?
Has someone found a use for all that surplus swine flu vaccine?

AnonyMoose

What they won’t say: “We changed stuff that we though we had gotten right earlier, until the new answer was close to what actually happened last year. Come back in 22 years to see how well this worked.”

I think the missing sunspots are just out partying with the missing solar neutrinos…
Oh, wait. They explained the neutrinos: they just turn into another kind of neutrino that evaporates before they can be detected. Whew. Glad we modeled that problem away.
I suppose they could admit that we have a long way to go before we really understand solar physics.

No expensive supercomputers required to work it out. A pocket calculator with a piece of graph paper can do the job, well nearly enough.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7.htm

Steven Hoffer

Scott Covert says:
March 2, 2011 at 6:38 am
Note:
The “S” in NASA does not stand for “Science”.
Quote of the week candidate?
I second this.