November Solar Activity Report – sunspots and 10.7cm radio flux up, but the solar magnetic Ap index crashes

This is strange. Usually we see the geomagnetic Ap Index increase with increasing sunspots and 10.7 cm radio flux. But the Ap index (the third graph below) has crashed to the third lowest level since January 2000, matching what it was a year ago. This is the second month of decline, and the decline is steep.

Maybe Livingston and Penn are right and while sunspots may still occur, they’ll be mostly invisible to observers due to low magnetic flux. This may be what happened during the Maunder Minimum.

Here’s the L&P plots of Umbral Intensity and Magnetic Field. Once the Umbral magnetic field gets below 1500 gauss, sunspots will no longer be visible.

Graphs from Dr. Leif Svalgaard – Click the pic to view at source

Be sure to bookmark WUWT’s Solar reference page: https://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/solar/

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149 thoughts on “November Solar Activity Report – sunspots and 10.7cm radio flux up, but the solar magnetic Ap index crashes

  1. From the first comment:

    “Shocked Scientists Ask: Is The Sun Is Dying?”

    I looked through the link.

    It has all the hallmark of sensationalism written all over it.It is a mess of a post.

    I am not worried.

  2. Don’t go to the quack site listed in the top post. Small bit of real science mixed with a whole lot of crazy.

  3. Ah Yes.
    PEAK SPOTTING… and then a decline.
    Luckily the free market can come to the rescue, we can surround the Earth with giant Electromagnets, about a billion EuroDollarPounds a piece. Then, when it seems the Sun is misbehaving, we can flick a switch.
    BAM!
    Sunspots!
    True we could just falsify the DATA, what we call a ‘b-UEA-ty filter’ in the spin-dustry, but where’s the profit in that.
    So if the Nations of the Earth could send contributions to:
    Speculative Bubble Investments
    1 MudHut Row
    The Green Zone
    Nigeria
    We’d appreciate it.

    Other opportunities include Bi-Carbonate Bombing the oceans to reduce its acidity.
    Manufacturing Giant Tin Foil Hats for all endangered species.
    Rocket booster packs for underperforming wind turbines.

  4. This seems to be filling in another piece of the puzzle. If, during the Maunder Minimum the AP was very low due to the reduced solar wind, but as Leif insists, the 10.7 cm flux was normal, then this means that the Svensmark theory gets a big boost. ie:Reduced size of the heliosphere causes more GCR leading to cloudy earth syndrome.

    Of course the IPCC’s model’s will show this extra cloud as more positive feedback, so there is no fear of an ice age :)

  5. With apologies to T.S. Eliot.

    The Sun will do what the Sun will do and there is no doing anything about it.

    Kindest Regards

  6. I would think that the waning magnatizim should send shivers down your spine… this means the suns internal motor is stalling… we may be entering an extended cooling phase… despite the Al Gorians and their high priest and sacrifices to the God of AGW..

    the next two solar cycles may have just been called off… due to lack of energy…

    LIA II anyone?

  7. “While the world was hoodwinked with global warming nonsense, …..
    Seemed to be the most intelligent phrase in the story.

  8. “Here’s the L&P plots of Umbral Intensity and Magnetic Field. Once the Umbral magnetic field gets below 1500 gauss, sunspots will no longer be visible.”

    Taking that graph & extrapolating the trend line, I don’t see the trend line crossing 1500 until 2026 (I did this digitally – not an eyeball estimate ). Does that make sense? I thought L&P were getting to 1500 or below before 2020.

  9. I think that because the Sun is losing its magnetism, the tides are weaker (there is lots of iron in ocean water so under normal circumstances, a higher magnetic reading on the surface of the Sun helps the tides), therefore the sloshed warm water in the western tropics doesn’t have the strong tides it needs to go back over the cold water underneath, leaving it exposed and cooling us all off. So the Sun has been directly affecting the ocean surface, leading to the cooling trend.

  10. I might be mistaken but I’ve just linked here from a new co-mod post at Tallbloke’s, a complementing item, we are close to solar max, with evidence. Need to worry about the shape of the top of cycle.

  11. I think those that have used up their allotment of sunshine should pay a higher tax or purchase sunshine credits so they can subsidize those of us who haven’t used all our sunshine. Of course it will have to be up to some progressive panel of scientists to determine what that allotment level should be, and who will have to pay. Hey – Can I start a sunshine credit exchange on the NASDAQ or Chicago Mercantile? or has Al Gore already beaten me to it???

  12. But the Ap index (the third graph below) has crashed to the third lowest level since January 2000
    It is low, BUT
    1) it is almost always low in November-December [there is a reason for that – mainly the semiannual variation]
    2) If you get Ap from NOAA know that they truncate. For November Ap was 4.9, but NOAA truncates to 4, making it look lower than it was.

  13. The sun is dying. This is due to a lack of combustions emitted from Earth from the burning of fossil fuels and incandescatrons from conventional lightbulbs. Those strange particles that are mutating matter are curly photons. It’s over. We’re done for.

  14. “JUST COME ACROSS THIS —– Don’t know if it is related”

    It’s an interesting article but I would take it with more than a grain of salt. Here’s why:

    1) “Whatever it is, the evidence suggests it’s affecting matter and the natural established rates of radioactive decay.” That is an interesting recent discovery but it’s quite a stretch to connect it with the sun’s current dyspepsia. This effect may have always existed but was never noticed before. My opinion is it’s a non-sequitur because this discovery has no connection to the thrust of the article.

    2) “Now it’s poised to cool much faster as it approaches the Maunder Minimum.” Well, there was a Maunder Minimum in the past and yet we’re still all here. So is the sun.

    3) The article gallops off into two opposite directions simultaneously. We are going to freeze to death with the last survivors at the equator or we are all going to broil to death as the sun’s surface envelops Earth. Which is it? My conclusion is the author is hyperventilating.

    4) It’s a charming part of human nature to be excited by scary stories. We have ample evidence of that from the proponents of AGW global warming and we have been entertained by them for years. You just feel more alive if you believe there is an alligator under your bed when the lights go off. This article is in the same vein.

  15. My thoughts on this trend towards the import of such circumstance here at the possible end-Holocene. Consider that the Holocene is half a precessional cycle old right now, and that 5 of the last 6 have each lasted about half a precessional cycle. This is all discussed in https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/30/the-antithesis/

    Which occasioned reflection on the Eemian and Holsteinian interglacials.

    Sirocko, et al, 2005 (http://www.particle-analysis.info/LEAP_Nature__Sirocko+Seelos.pdf) in discussing the Late Eemian Aridity Pulse (LEAP) at the end-Eemian opine:

    “Investigating the processes that led to the end of the last interglacial period is relevant for understanding how our ongoing interglacial will end, which has been a matter of much debate…..

    “The end of the Eemian was associated with a global sea level drop, dated at 118 ^ 1 kyr BP (ref. 7). This was the last glacial inception (LGI), when continental glaciers first started to grow…..

    “The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades (see the core photograph in Fig. 4), demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416Wm22, which is the 658N July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428Wm22. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”

    Integrating Lisiecki and Raymo 2005 (http://www.mendeley.com/research/a-pliocenepleistocene-stack-of-57-globally-distributed-benthic-d18c-records/):

    “Recent research has focused on MIS 11 as a possible analog for the present interglacial [e.g., Loutre and Berger, 2003; EPICA Community Members, 2004] because both occur during times of low eccentricity. The LR04 age model establishes that MIS 11 spans two precession cycles, with d18O values below 3.6% for 20 kyr, from 398–418 ka. In comparison, stages 9 and 5 remained below 3.6% for 13 and 12 kyr, respectively, and the Holocene interglacial has
    lasted 11 kyr so far. In the LR04 age model, the average LSR of 29 sites is the same from 398–418 ka as from 250–650 ka; consequently, stage 11 is unlikely to be artificially stretched. However, the 21 June insolation minimum at 65N during MIS 11 is only 489 W/m2, much less pronounced than the present minimum of 474 W/m2. In addition, current insolation values are not predicted to return to the high values of late MIS 11 for another 65 kyr. We propose that this effectively precludes a ‘‘double precession cycle’’ interglacial [e.g., Raymo, 1997] in the Holocene without human influence.”

    one wonders if this might be the “Maunder Minimum” or the incipient L”H”AP………

  16. The opening graph which looks to display the SIDC sunspot number I think is overstated. The SIDC has now over counted NOAA for eight straight months, some part of that from the SIDC method of splitting NOAA regions.

  17. Pamela Gray says
    I think that because the Sun is losing its magnetism, the tides are weaker
    ——–
    I don’t believe a word of it, but feel free to calculate the magnetic force on the water in the ocean and tell us how it compares to the force of gravity.

  18. What happens if the Solar minimum is prolonged (The Livingston and Penn Minimum?)….the oceans cool….oceans absorb more CO2 (cold water is a better CO2 sink than warm)….what happens when Mauna Loa has to report a downward trend in CO2 ppm? Somebody please tell me these are good honest scientists and not part of “the team”.

    Atmospheric CO2 follows warming and not the other way around…how many good scientist will this vindicate?

  19. @ Dennis Nikols, It is based mostly on observations of the sun not models of the sun. There is a bunch of speculation of what it all could mean.
    The big difference is that nobody is saying that the science is settled here or calling anybody a denier.

  20. William McClenney says:
    December 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Holocene temperatures started an overall downtrend about 2000 years ago. The medieval warm period was not as warm as the Roman warm period. The Roman warm period was not as warm as the Minoan warm period. The current warm period has not yet been as warm as the medieval warm period. Each warm period is a little cooler than the previous. Each intervening cold period has been a little cooler than the previous with the LIA being a doozy, the coldest period of the Holocene since the Younger Dryas. I would say that the Holocene began ending about 2000 years ago.

    I am guessing that the very quick slip into glaciation has to do with the oceans or cloud cover. To slip into glaciation in a period of only a fraction of a century … well within the lifetime of a human being … means something had to reach a very dramatic “tipping” point from which it was impossible to recover. The coming out of these ice ages is extremely fast as well, faster than the going into them. Most of the warming out of the Younger Dryas happened in a single decade. Places that had been tundra were suddenly temperate savannah and then seedling forest in the span of one human’s lifetime.

    People have no idea of the scale of thing nature can dish out (or absorb). I’ll tell you what this looks like to me: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Five_Myr_Climate_Change.svg

    It looks to me like two frequencies beating against each other that are very close but not exactly the same. So imagine we have a 100K orbital dynamics cycle here with earth and imagine the sun also has a 100K cycle (say active for 10K years on average, quiet for roughly 90K years). But imagine the two are not exactly the same period. They are close, but not quite. Now imagine that one or the other cycle has a little drift … it is slowly changing. Ever “zero beat” a carrier with a radio? As you begin to drift onto the frequency you hear a faint high pitch and as you get closer the frequency drops and becomes stronger. That graph reminds me of that. The frequency of the oscillation is becoming lower but greater in amplitude. If this is what is happening the frequency will shift again, to an even lower frequency with an even more pronounced extreme difference until the cycles line up perfectly in either a very long, very warm period or a very long, very cold period and only very slowly flip a few times between extremely cold and extremely warm, then begin to increase a bit a the drift continues and they lose sync.

    I am not putting forth a hypothesis of what I think is happening, only giving a cartoon picture of what that signal reminds me of. It reminds me of what one might see on an oscilloscope measuring the audio as they zero beat one frequency with another. It looks to me like two signals of slightly different frequency where one is drifting toward the other and we are looking at the result.

  21. I often look at the SOHO sun pictures and note the apparent size of spots is very much smaller than sunspots on the previous peak yet they assign the same number value. Is there an archive of actual pictures, not graphics, of sunpots at different cycles?

  22. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    December 7, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Polar fields not only are not reversing but for the last 12 months have been heading in the wrong direction:

    Looks to me like it is doing the same thing now it did in 2008 according to this picture:

  23. Leif Svalgaard says:

    December 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm
    But the Ap index (the third graph below) has crashed to the third lowest level since January 2000
    It is low, BUT
    1) it is almost always low in November-December [there is a reason for that – mainly the semiannual variation]

    Is there an idiots explanation why it didn,t in 2006 ?

  24. @crosspatch says:
    December 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm
    /////////////////////////////////////////////
    Crosspatch

    You have to bear in mind that the average temperature of the ocean is about 4 deg Cs. This relatively low temperature comes back to bite relatively quickly if for example there is more cloud cover reducing the solar radiance inputted into the tropiclcal oceans.

    It is important to bear in mind that after about 4.5 billion years of solar input, this has only managed to heat the oceans to an average temperature of about 4 deg C and it is because of this that in the geological past ice ages seem to dominate past history, If the average ocean temperature was say 15 degs, I would suggest that ice ages extending over a large area of the land mass would be very rare since ocean temperatures would tend to a;ways keep warm winds circulating.

    I consider that there are strong arguments that suggest that it is not correct to consider that the Earth is 33degC warmer with its atmosphere/GHGs than would be the case if GHGs were removed. These arguments would sugggest that some weighting should be given to reflect that the average ocean temperature is only about 4 degC . In other words, these arguments suggest that we should review the average temperature of the Earth over a period of say a billion years and it is this average temperature against which comparisons should be made noyt against its present average temperature which present temperature is no more than a blip in the context of geological time..

  25. This report only goes to show that we know less than we thought about the sun. Solar cycles that we know about are perhaps of up to 200 year rotation, longer cycles that may include the behavour we are currently seeing, are not in the text books.

    We live in interesting times. Now all eyes are on the sun for the next surprise.

  26. “Shocked Scientists Ask: Is The Sun Is Dying?”

    I’ve read many articles about changes in solar activity, including emissions of a newly discovered particle that alters radioactive decay on Earth. But, seldom have I seen such overhyped, sensationalistic writing about scientific subjects–except, of course, for climate science.

  27. “I think that because the Sun is losing its magnetism, the tides are weaker (there is lots of iron in ocean water so under normal circumstances, a higher magnetic reading on the surface of the Sun helps the tides), therefore the sloshed warm water in the western tropics doesn’t have the strong tides it needs to go back over the cold water underneath, leaving it exposed and cooling us all off. So the Sun has been directly affecting the ocean surface, leading to the cooling trend.”

    Could I have a side order of data/evidence to go with that theory? Perhaps a graph showing a correlation between the average height of the tides and the smoothed AP index? Perhaps a computation showing that the field strength of the sun, modulated by and mixed with the field of the earth, is powerful enough to exert a measurable force on an iron atom immersed in seawater? Perhaps a comparison of the energy of the iron atom in the solar field to kT, plus some argument for why a force acting on iron atoms in a dilute solution would actually affect the background fluid instead of differentially (and slowly!) migrating in the direction of the force, a direction that constantly changes and averages out to zero on a daily basis?

    Not that I don’t love theories and hypotheses, but this one doesn’t seem to me offhand to be likely to be physically plausible within many orders of magnitude. I’d be happy to look at numbers or back-of-the-envelope computations that suggest otherwise, of course.

    rgb

  28. So the sun is behaving strange, maybe that is the reason fot the extreme temperatures in Europe?

    No snow in the alps untill December 5: too hot,

    Almost no snow in Scandinavia, too hot

    Autumn never hotter than in 2011 in northern Sweden and northern Norway + series of station records.

    Extreme late snow in Sweden in November, up to 25th all stations without snow, never occurred before.

    2nd warmest November in UK.

    More counties in Europe will follow publicing about the hot autumn and hot November.

    Of course this has nothing to do with greenhouse gases.

    The map with average temperatures in Sweden:

  29. Scorle says:
    December 7, 2011 at 3:31 am
    All the cold weather moved to the USA, leaving the warmer air form southern Europe to move north and keep us all warm.

  30. @WUWT
    > … sunspots and 10.7cm radio flux up,
    > but the solar magnetic Ap index crashes

    Anthony, I know you’re a journalist, and you want to attract the reader’s attention, but I think your title is a bit hyped up.

    The Ap index is not a direct measure of solar activity (like sunspots or flux). It is a geomagnetic index which reflects small fluctuations (on the order of 1nt to 500nt) in the Earth’s magnetic field (nominal 50,000nt).

    Yes, solar activity has a very big influence on the Ap, but the coupling between Sun and Earth is complicated. And there is a lot of geophysics going on here too which has an effect on the Ap.

    So it’s a bit simplistic to blame this Ap decline entirely on the Sun. I suspect there are other ‘sensitivity coefficients’ lurking in the background which may further explain it.

  31. “It is important to bear in mind that after about 4.5 billion years of solar input, this has only managed to heat the oceans to an average temperature of about 4 deg C and it is because of this that in the geological past ice ages seem to dominate past history, If the average ocean temperature was say 15 degs, I would suggest that ice ages extending over a large area of the land mass would be very rare since ocean temperatures would tend to a;ways keep warm winds circulating.”

    Yes, but… Water attains its greatest density at 4C. The ocean is clearly first order stratified by density. With large portions of the northern and southern oceans spending large amounts of the year at temperatures at or lower than 4C, there is a constant replenishment (and the complex “conveyer belt” associated with both thermal density and salinity that appears to drive both oceanic currents and heat transport). The time required for the ocean to just come into “equilibrium” in a uniform environment is order of 1000 years, and the environment itself is not stationary over that kind of time frame.

    If water attained its greatest density at 0C, the oceans would freeze from the bottom up, not the top down (coldest water, greatest pressure, on the bottom). The Earth would be a big ball of ice. Because it stratifies with the warmest water on top and the depths UNfrozen, and freezes only on the surface (where it does freeze), heat transport never shuts down, the annual temperature variations are limited to around 1 km from the surface, and 90% of the ocean remains very cold, wrapped as it were in insulation from upwelling geothermal heat below and relatively untouched by surface warming.

    I suspect that the ocean is very susceptible to negative feedback cooling. Even modest increases in Arctic and Antarctic ice strongly increase the albedo and prevent the active delivery of solar energy into the region above the thermocline. Combatting that is active transport of heat, but the Younger Dryas suggests that any century-scale interruption of the transport can kick us back to millennium-scale cooling even when all other factors favor interglacial warmth.

    This is indeed one of the 800 pound gorillas that CAGW folks don’t want to even think about. We do not know all of the factors that regulate global climate, however much they wish to pretend that we do. The Earth is almost certainly possesses multiple locally stable attractors and is capable of what amount to first order phase transitions between them, periods where things relatively suddenly swing from one phase to the other, and such fluctuations can even occur when the strict statistical mechanics favor the other attractor(s). The most important climate catastrophe we can foresee, the one we should be most worried about, is the end of the Holocene. Lacking an explanatory model capable of explaining T_avg for the last (say) 5 million years or hell, the last 15,000 years, one is stuck with numerology, which suggests that the chances that we are within 1000 years of the end of the Holocene are well over 50% at this point (order of 80-90% based on maximum ignorance). This, in turn, suggests that there is very likely a gradually emerging cold phase attractor, and the warm phase system is increasingly unstable with respect to it.

    The relatively rapid emergence of a cold phase (beginning of the next ice age) would probably kill several billion people in depressingly short order. CAGW enthusiasts are asserting that there is yet a third locally stable attractor, one with T_avg some 3-10C warmer (where the latter is really highly speculative and rather unlikely based on the 5 MY temperature record). The transition to that attractor might well kill people as well, but probably not kill billions of people quickly (barring that 10C extreme). What it might also do is stabilize temperatures and reduce our vulnerability a cold phase transition.

    rgb

  32. richard verney says:
    December 7, 2011 at 2:40 am
    It is important to bear in mind that after about 4.5 billion years of solar input, this has only managed to heat the oceans to an average temperature of about 4 deg C and it is because of this that in the geological past ice ages seem to dominate past history,

    I seem to remember reading that there was a time some hundreds of millions of years ago when the ocean was a lot warmer all the way to the bottom. According to paleo work on marine fossils. I’ll try to find a reference.

    Your point about the Earth’s average temperature is well taken.

  33. I was wondering, not to get off topic, but does anybody think this drop in the Ap Index will allow for this incredulous regime of the current + Arctic Oscillation associated with the near record low 30-70 mb stratospheric temperatures to finally start waning? I believe Scorle covered the implications of this +AO regime, Late Snows/warm Temps in Mid Latitudes except maybe siberia / recently the U.S. West Coast/Upper Plains. Chicago is going to be in the top 5 latest accumulating snows ever as well, I believe. Will the rubber band snap back?

  34. Cosmic ray count is increasing http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=1964/11/07&starttime=00:00&enddate=2011/12/07&endtime=17:15&resolution=Automatic%20choice&picture=on It has done that before at a SS maximum only to fall off again, so this may not mean anything. However it bears watching.

    As was predicted the La Nina and warm Atlantic are producing a warm east coast in the US and a warm Europe due to the circulation of air from lower latitudes. The AO was nasty to Europe last winter, but appears to be kinder this one.

  35. I confess. Love playing Balderdash. Absolutely love that game. But throw out the cards it comes with. Too easy. It’s much more fun to play Warming Theories Balderdash.

  36. I will propose a reason for the decrease in magnetic field intensity.

    Hydrogen moves toward the surface of the Sun’s core to be consumed. Since the hydrogen is completely ionized, this electrical current creates the Sun’s magnetic fields. A quiet [less energetic] Sun has less hydrogen movement; therefore, a decrease in magnetic field strength.

    In recent history, since 1650 until 2000, the Sun’s output has been increasing, this has depleted the hydrogen near the core and expanded the volume [due to heat] near the core’s surface. As the internal heat decreases the volume near the core surface will decrease; the decrease in volume will draw hydrogen back to the core’s surface [for burning] re-energizing the Sun. This process takes 20 to 50 years as per the time interval 1620 to 1670.

    OK – Jump on.

  37. This discussion has uncovered a flaw in my thinking. If Leif Svalgaard says something related to the sun, I believe it unquestioningly. That is patently unscientific and akin to hero worship.
    It seems that is the primrose path to “religious science”, I wish he would say something stupid and free me from this mind trap!
    Leif, you are brilliant but screw you and your rightness. /Sarc

  38. I would be very curious to know if Leif has moderated his opinion at all about the climate significance of the Cheshire Cat sunspots. Someone must explain to me the Maunder Minimum’s ‘large, sparse, and primarily southern hemispheric sunspots’.
    ====================

  39. “MattE says: December 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm
    Don’t go to the quack site listed in the top post. Small bit of real science mixed with a whole lot of crazy. ”

    Darn it Matt now I have to go and read it :)
    To summarize for others, the sun is doing strange things, we have no idea why, it may be important in our lifetime, it may not. We may be doomed soon or in a billion years or so. We really are just crawling and not even walking when it comes to our understanding of the sun.

  40. Before I went to work this-morning I read this article and comments, I was thinking about this all day, I have lots of questions, Why is it that at various times of low sun spot activity as in the 10.7 cm radio flux chart between 2006 and 2011 did we experience harsher winters and La Nina’s (including what is known as the BIG FREEZE)? and why is it that during the various times of recorded maximum sun spot activity above 160 sfu do we have milder winters?

    Do these prolonged cycles cause ice ages mini-ice ages and prolonged warming periods?
    If the sun can cause prolonged periods of cooling why is it not considered as being the cause of long periods of warming? to me the correlation is there if nothing else.

    It’s as if some activist climate scientists got together in the 1980s and looked at these cycles and realized that the rest of the 20th century would see heightened maximum in solar activity and predicted a period of global warming and it was immediately adapted as a “cause” for various political and environmental activism and financial interests.

    Where I live all that I have to do is look at a these charts judge for myself where in the cycle the sun was and I’d get a very good understanding of what conditions to expect.

    (Leif if your going to replay to me and tell me how wrong I am, remember I’m not an expert on climate terminology, so understanding my point will probably involve a little common sense, which seems to be in short supply these days lol :) )

  41. I see a multitude of comments, but all this is vain, without the right causes of these phenomena.
    There are anybody who can defeat own vanity and accept an offer for a resolving this phenomenon for all times.Well what don’t exist anybody in scientific world who do desires to know
    the right true about the right causes of all cycles of sunspots?
    I can help in it with my discoveries.I offer a collaboration and will be OK.INDEED
    I am waiting the answer and THANKS in advanced.
    REGARDS,
    Milovic Nikola, dipl.ing. energ.

  42. There are a large number of sunspots currently but most are quite small, and all seem to be decreasing in size and magnetic complexity, which would indicate to me that the Ap index is continuing to crash. If the trend continues, we should see a reduction in sunspots (both number and size) soon. http://www.solarham.com has some great charts, graphs, and pictures all in one handy reference, though there are plenty of other sites to get the same information as well.

  43. Nikola, that was pretty vauge.

    How do you propose to discover “the right true about the right causes of all cycles of sunspots” (I assume you mean “the root cause for all sunspots/ sunspot cycles”).?

    It’s been tried, what makes your method better?

  44. Sparks says:
    December 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Before I went to work this-morning I read this article and comments, I was thinking about this all day, I have lots of questions….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The sun is just one factor. A main factor in Ice Ages is the orientation of the earth in relation to the sun and the location of the continents and oceans. Not to mention factors like clouds, volcanoes…

    Milankovitch Cycles Explained: http://deschutes.gso.uri.edu/~rutherfo/milankovitch.html

    Milankovitch theory: history: http://corior.blogspot.com/2006/02/part-15-ice-ages-confirmed.html

    A quick background to the last ice age: http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc130k.html

    WUWT article: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/30/the-antithesis/

    Continental Drift and Climate: http://www3.geosc.psu.edu/courses/Geosc320/Campbell_Cont_Drift_Climate.pdf

  45. For what it’s worth, I don’t think the Sun is at max yet, because as Vukcevic points out the polar fields are not converging to zero. I do think we’ve just had a local maximum, perhaps instigated by the Sun-Earth-Jupiter alignment with Jupiter near perihelion, that it will go down a bit and then back up again in 2013. After that, the loooong decline…

    Rich.

  46. Three ways solar activity can affect ocean circulation.

    1. The cloud effect. The cloud effect is believed to be strongest at mid latitudes and over oceans.

    2. Ionization of molecules in fluids by cosmic rays.

    3. Changes in our magnetic field influencing polarized and ionized molecules.

  47. @ Rich Apuzzo
    Thank you for the link. I set the range between 2005/01/01 up today. In my opinion the chart suggests that we have already passed the solar maximum…

  48. Geoff Sharp says:
    December 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    The solar wind is certainly not showing signs of an up ramp just yet.

    Fascinating information. If you don’t mind my asking… How is Solar Wind measured?

  49. @Gail Combs do you know of any programs/simulations of solar activity or Milankovitch Cycles or similar?
    Preferably opengl with source. It would be interesting to code a program like that with known cyclonic parameters such as solar activity, real time sun spots, magnetic poles and barycenter etc… any of the software I’ve used has only had the basic parameters of phases and orbits etc, gets kinda boring.

    I wrote a program a fue years ago to plot and rotate some constellations to get an Idea of the actual positions of the stars in relation to each-other, and it was an eye opener to see groups of stars from different orientations and to see some stars that are in the same constellation actually being nowhere near each-other. So maybe a program like this of the sun with parameters to play around with would give a similar insight.

  50. Sparks says:
    December 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    @Gail Combs do you know of any programs/simulations of solar activity or Milankovitch Cycles or similar?…
    __________________
    Sorry no. I am “Computer challenged”

    VUKCEVIC might have something though or know where you could find it. He will probably post again here shortly.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/

  51. The time required for the ocean to just come into “equilibrium” in a uniform environment is order of 1000 years, and the environment itself is not stationary over that kind of time frame.

    Yes, I have tried to make that point. We had 500 years of cooler temperatures with the LIA. It takes a while to warm things up. It believe it is probably still recovering.

    I suspect that the ocean is very susceptible to negative feedback cooling.

    I believe the same. It is much easier to cool the ocean than it is to warm it from temperature changes at the surface.

    I seem to remember reading that there was a time some hundreds of millions of years ago when the ocean was a lot warmer all the way to the bottom.

    That is fairly easy to accomplish if you don’t have any glacial periods for a few hundred million years. We are a few million years into an ice age on earth so the oceans will be colder.

    It might also be the reason why we shifted from 40ky glacial cycles to 100ky glacial cycles. When we had the first glacial periods the oceans had a lot more heat so we could come out of the glacial into an interglacial a little easier. In fact, looking at the ice core data it seems to me that even in the more recent glacial period we do see it try to warm up roughly every 40k years but it just never makes it. This last glacial looks to me (from the data I am looking at right now) to be the longest of the glacial period in the most recent sequence of four and we only came out of it on the THIRD 40k bump, we missed two of them (earlier glacial periods missed one). I would say we might be seeing a transition from 100k year glacials to something longer.

  52. TomB says:
    December 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Fascinating information. If you don’t mind my asking… How is Solar Wind measured?

    I am not an expert on the hardware involved but I use the data from the ACE satellite which measures a whole host of metrics linked to the solar wind. The Caltech website has some background info.

    http://www.srl.caltech.edu/ACE/

  53. I came across this slide show in PDF form last night. It’s some research done by David Lund in an MIT/Woods Hole project. Notice starting on page 6 where they start to document changes during the LIA in the Dry Tortugas. Sea surface temperatures there increased (decreased trade winds?), salinity increased, calcite increased, O18 increased. The ITCZ migrated South (so the storm tracks moved South, too, meaning less precipitation) NADW might have switched “off” or greatly slowed, Note on page 14 the correlation with the various solar minima of the time.

    This supports some other papers I dug up recently that show the ITCZ generally migrating South over a multi-millennial time scale following the decline of solar insolation in the Northern Hemisphere. It reached its peak Northern location around 9000 year ago, started drifting South over time, about 5000 years ago it apparently started more rapid migration South.

    At about the same time we see rapid onset of very long drought in the Levant and Arabian Peninsula and probably elsewhere and generally monsoons have become shorter, too.

    Note also the number of 13th century ruins we find ( why did the Anasazi abruptly leave Chaco Canyon?) indicate that climate change might not have been limited to Europe in the LIA. A migration of the ITCZ would have resulted in a change in monsoonal flows in India and the Southwest US.

    There was apparently a pretty major drought in the 1400’s to 1600’s in the US Southwest: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/drought/images/grissno.jpg but that one around AD 400 looks like it was a monster drought lasting nearly 200 years. At Moon Lake, North Dakota we see just the opposite. Very dry conditions until the LIA and relatively wet conditions since so there was some major atmospheric circulation change (or the data are being misinterpreted).

  54. >>Scorle says: December 7, 2011 at 3:31 am
    >>So the sun is behaving strange, maybe that is the reason fot the
    >>extreme temperatures in Europe?

    Our warm weather in Europe has nothing to do with Global Warming, and everything to do with our northern jetstreams (and thus pressure systems) being a little out of phase in comparison with ‘normal’ years.

    Normally for this time of year, the low pressures spiral further south. Indeed, the last two years they went much too far south, and we ended up with bitter winters. This year, the low pressures are still spiralling in their autumn latitudes, over Scotland, and have not yet gone south – hence the very mild SW airstream to W Europe (but bitterly cold weather in Turkey and the East).

    But I might be bold enough to suggest that the lows will have run out of energy soon, and start to drift further south into the Mediterranean, and so the UK will get its cold weather in Jan and Feb. This trend is still weather, rather than climate, but it it does this for ten years, then it is a part of the ever-changing climate pattern, and northern Europe will feel a winter chill.

    .

  55. How do I interpret this ?
    “So, in their paper, Foster and Rahmstorf tried to separate the signal from the noise. Using statistical techniques (detailed further by Foster here), they factored out the influence of the three biggest known natural mechanisms that can influence global temperatures in the short term — the El Niño oscillation, solar variability and volcanic eruptions. When those are removed, here’s what the graph looks like:

    What’s left over is the global warming signal — the bulk of which is caused by humans emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. (There are other smaller factors at play here, too, but previous “attribution” research has found that human activity, El Nino oscillations, solar activities and volcanoes can explain more than three-fourths of temperature variation since 1899.) Moreover, there’s no indication that global warming has slowed at any point. The temperature trend in the raw data gets muted in some years by reduced solar intensity or by a La Niña event, but not every year will be a La Niña year. Greenhouse gases appear to be pushing temperatures inexorably upward…….”.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/is-global-warming-slowing-down-a-new-study-says-no/2011/12/07/gIQAJdKucO_blog.html

  56. crosspatch says:
    December 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    > It looks to me like two frequencies beating against each other that are very close but not exactly the same.

    Fascinating theory.

    At geological time scales, geological changes also come into play. In this case, much conventional wisdom states that the current sequence of ice ages was triggered by the rise of the Isthmus of Panama which altered sea currents about 3 million years ago. (An example of this is this old article: http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/home95/nov95/iceage.html )

    I wonder how much of the above curve (Five_Myr_Climate_Change.svg) might be explained by geological events?

  57. Mr. Scott,
    What was pretty vague for you?
    In my comment I didn’t emphasize I have strictly mathematical evidence and proofs for almost all sunspots’ cycles for all times (past, present and ruture).For publication isn’t time, I search powerful orgaiization or institute who can this realize expertly and financial with corresponding contract.Perhaps anybody of present commentators can help.
    You are right, it may stand “the root cause for all sunspots/sunspot cycle”
    About your question ” It’s been tried,what makes your method better? I can answer:
    All existing up to now results can’t have right determination without knowledge right cause.
    I have the proofs about the root cause of these phenomena.

  58. Someone must explain to me the Maunder Minimum’s ‘large, sparse, and primarily southern hemispheric sunspots’, and it seems, to the Chinese.
    ==================

  59. Misters,
    All you reported here are only presumptions and data received by measuting,but nothing for confirmation of appearrance in various times.All this is futile wandering without essential goal.
    Why the sciantific majority run from somebody who offers right true-probably they have a benefit make use of untruth. There are here the men which are near and by true of origin these appearrances.
    Are you interesting in what I offer?.Here place and chanse for agreements.

  60. ****
    Robert Brown says:
    December 7, 2011 at 5:19 am

    I suspect that the ocean is very susceptible to negative feedback cooling. Even modest increases in Arctic and Antarctic ice strongly increase the albedo and prevent the active delivery of solar energy into the region above the thermocline. Combatting that is active transport of heat, but the Younger Dryas suggests that any century-scale interruption of the transport can kick us back to millennium-scale cooling even when all other factors favor interglacial warmth.
    *****

    A nitpick. I generally agree fully w/your comments, but your above example is positive feedback. I agree that the overall feedback is eventually negative (or we’d stay in a permanent glacial period), but regional exceptions occur — like the ice/snow albedo (positive) feedback.

  61. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) (December 8, 2011 at 12:29 am) linked to http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=401&c=5 . From there:

    On 08 Dec 2011, Piers_Corbyn (twitter address) wrote:

    “This shows Ap also dramatically disobeyed rising solar activity in Feb when also S-type circulation replaced L type and our forecasts went wrong. However its not quite so simple.”

    L = lunar
    S = stratospheric wind

    For reference: average annual terrestrial wind cycle animation:

    -SCL’ = solar cycle acceleration = a summary of solar Hale cycle helical compression (threading tightness) on the terrestrial annual cylinder (i.e. shifting physical aliasing).

    The differences emphasized by Piers can be clearly visualized by contrasting the helical patterns of sunspot numbers & with those of geomagnetic aa index.

    Is there anyone here who has looked into this? This is important.

  62. Paul Vaughan says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:39 am
    -SCL’ = solar cycle acceleration = a summary of solar Hale cycle helical compression (threading tightness) on the terrestrial annual cylinder (i.e. shifting physical aliasing).
    The differences emphasized by Piers can be clearly visualized by contrasting the helical patterns of sunspot numbers & with those of geomagnetic aa index.
    Is there anyone here who has looked into this? This is important.

    No, Paul. This is not important. It is cyclomaniac nonsense.

  63. Paul Vaughan says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) (December 8, 2011 at 12:29 am) linked to http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=401&c=5 . From there:

    On 08 Dec 2011, Piers_Corbyn (twitter address) wrote:

    “KEY POINT: What the sun DOES is NOT the same as what HITS Earth from the sun. Reading most blogs one wonders how many commenters actually understand this.”

    I could not agree more, starting with this post which is attempting to equate Ap with sunspot and flux levels, and most of the replies seem to be buying into that idea.

    It’s a false idea because Ap measures _fluctuations_ in the Earth’s magnetic field, which represent _disturbances_ in the magnetic realm, not _levels_ of solar activity, which are fairly high right now (~150sfu), compared to earlier this year. But disturbances (i.e. solar flares) are rather low. (Note mostly green/yellow here: http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3).

    So, we’ll need some big flares to kick up the solar wind to cause these “tremors” in the Earth’s magnetic field that we associate with high A and K indices. Yes, you can think of the Ap as a kind of “Richter Scale” for measuring solar disturbances (not steady-sate solar activity levels).

    Perhaps a weather analogy will make this even more clear. Equating AP with sunspot and flux levels would be like equating wind speed with air turbulence. Sure turbulent air has to be moving somewhat, but I don’t think anyone can predict air turbulence from wind speeds alone. (If you can then the FAA would really like to hear from you.)

    I’m I making myself clear?
    :-|

  64. John Day says:
    December 8, 2011 at 10:26 am
    It’s a false idea because Ap measures _fluctuations_ in the Earth’s magnetic field, which represent _disturbances_ in the magnetic realm, not _levels_ of solar activity
    Ap measures the solar wind [more precisely the product of the solar wind magnetic field and the solar wind speed squared – which in turn is determined by the sun’s magnetic field], so Ap has very much to do with levels of solar activity. The relationship is complex, but not _false_.

    I’m I making myself clear?
    no

  65. @Leif
    > The relationship is complex, but not _false_.

    Agreed that ‘false’ was a bit strong. And, yes, I agree that solar wind is the important ‘middle man’ here.

    But isn’t it true that Ap (and Kp) are based on measuring _disturbances_ in the magnetic field over a relatively short time period (3 hours I believe)? And don’t solar flares create the largest of these kinds of disturbances?

    Whereas the steady-state solar activity (even though high) has relatively little effect on the these disturbances?

    That was the point I was trying to make.

  66. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 8, 2011 at 10:01 am

    “No, Paul. This is not important. It is cyclomaniac nonsense.”

    I have to agree with Leif, I didn’t understand any of that, so I popped over to Piers Corbyn’s site and I’m still lost. I think Piers is very skilled at what he does and he’s a very well educated man so I guess his predictions are as good as anyone’s if not better (it depends on who you ask), but sometimes I get the felling that he like’s to lead people up the garden path surrounding his methods, basically he likes to keep his science, ideas and research under lock and key, which he is 100% entitled to do.

  67. John Day says:
    December 8, 2011 at 11:26 am
    But isn’t it true that Ap (and Kp) are based on measuring _disturbances_ in the magnetic field over a relatively short time period (3 hours I believe)? And don’t solar flares create the largest of these kinds of disturbances?
    Whereas the steady-state solar activity (even though high) has relatively little effect on the these disturbances?

    Ap is a 3-hour index and does included the largest storms [which are rare], but is generally following the background solar activity as well as there are lots of smaller disturbances.

  68. @Leif
    > … but is generally following the background solar activity …

    So, disregarding ‘smaller disturbances’ for the moment, are you saying that high levels of flux, that are more or less ‘steady state’ (like at the current moment) will cause the Ap to be higher than low levels of flux (i.e. < 100) that are also 'steady state'?

    What is the mechanism here? How do high solar flux levels (per se, disregarding ‘disturbances’ in those levels) cause the Earth’s magnetic H field to change suddenly in a 3-hour period?

    Isn’t it the case that Ap and Kp depend almost entirely on ‘disturbances’ in the magnetic realm (solar wind etc), and not on the static solar flux levels per se?

    That was my point, which you do not seem to be addressing very clearly.

  69. Keep it coming! I am creating a whole new stack of Balderdash cards! And clearly, my attempt (IE iron in the oceans -I rather liked that one- and tides interacting with Solar stuff) is not worthy of the lofty explanations and terminology I have read here: “…compression (threading tightness) on the terrestrial annual cylinder (i.e. shifting physical aliasing)”. I bow to others.

    Someone with money needs to put this version of the game out there. It will sell like hotcakes.
    N/A/S GW Balderdash! Natural explanations, anthropogenic explanations, and solar explanations. I’d so buy that game.

  70. @Pamela Gray
    > I am creating a whole new stack of Balderdash cards!
    All theories, even the correct ones, can be balderdash to the scientifically ignorant.
    :-]

  71. John Day says:
    December 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    So, disregarding ‘smaller disturbances’ for the moment, are you saying that high levels of flux, that are more or less ‘steady state’ (like at the current moment) will cause the Ap to be higher than low levels of flux (i.e. < 100) that are also 'steady state'?
    Yes, essentially

    What is the mechanism here? How do high solar flux levels (per se, disregarding ‘disturbances’ in those levels) cause the Earth’s magnetic H field to change suddenly in a 3-hour period?
    High solar activity [be it sunspot number or flux or area or Calcium K line or whatever] means a stronger solar magnetic field. That field is carried out into interplanetary space where it after a journey of 4 days hits the Earth feeding energy into the magnetosphere, from where it is released in ‘spasms’ lasting a few hours which we pick up with Kp. On top of that ‘background’ you have CMEs and flares that add additional disturbances and creates ‘spikes’ in Ap, but those are riding on top of the enhanced background.

  72. John Day says:
    December 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    “So, disregarding ‘smaller disturbances’ for the moment, are you saying that high levels of flux, that are more or less ‘steady state’ (like at the current moment) will cause the Ap to be higher than low levels of flux (i.e. < 100) that are also 'steady state'?"

    See for yourself, 3rd and 4th graphs:
    http://www.lmsal.com/solarsoft/last_events_20110805_2317/index.html
    http://www.lmsal.com/solarsoft/last_events_20110605_2317/index.html
    http://www.lmsal.com/solarsoft/last_events_20110522_2327/index.html
    http://www.lmsal.com/solarsoft/last_events_20110501_2327/index.html
    http://www.lmsal.com/solarsoft/last_events_20110310_1931/index.html
    http://www.lmsal.com/solarsoft/last_events_20110315_2309/index.html

  73. @Leif Svalgaard (December 8, 2011 at 10:01 am)

    You actually expect people here to believe you don’t know about the helices?

  74. John Day says:
    December 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    Isn’t it the case that Ap and Kp depend almost entirely on ‘disturbances’ in the magnetic realm (solar wind etc), and not on the static solar flux levels per se?

    Basically yes. Looking specifically at November there are several reasons for the low Ap index:

    1. The absence of large Earth facing coronal holes. This is important as high speed streams lasting several days will contribute significantly to an increase in the monthly average Ap.

    2. Very few Earth directed CMEs caused by filament eruptions. In November Ap was above 15 only 1 day, the first day of the month, when a CME of this origin caused a geomagnetic disturbance.

    3. The absence of (Earth directed) CMEs caused by flares in active regions.

    Considering that average solar flux in November was easily the highest of cycle 24 it is remarkable that Ap was at such a low level. Normally an increase in solar flux is associated with an increase in flare activity and intensity. Instead we observed many active regions, nearly all of them with a simple magnetic layout and thus a low flare potential.

    Comparing Ap in November to Ap at solar minimum I would say it is unlikely that high solar flux per se has a strong influence on the background disturbance level.

  75. @Leif
    > … a stronger solar magnetic field [carried into space, hits the Earth and is] released
    > in ‘spasms’ lasting a few hours which we pick up with Kp.

    So it’s all about magnetic disturbances (“spasms”) which drive the Ap. My point exactly.

    I googled ‘”solar wind” spasm” and didn’t get any info at all about this mechanism. Mathematically, it’s clear that such a mechanism can’t be a monotonic function (deriving a static level from temporally sampled differences), so must be some kind of bounded function (oscillation etc). But first, I need to prove the existence theorem. What are these spasms? Can you point me to some papers?

    [Leif, I’m not trying to educate you, quite the opposite in fact, I want to download all that knowledge in your brain. But sometimes it’s hard to get a direct answer from you]

    @Ulrich Lyons
    Thanks for the link. But I didn’t see any flux or sunspot levels for comparison. It’s a busy graph, perhaps I missed it. (But check out the solen graph, below).

    @Jan Alvestad
    > .. I would say it is unlikely that high solar flux per se has a
    > strong influence on the background disturbance level.
    That comment, coming from a seasoned solar observer (http://www.solen.info/solar/), does carry a lot of weight. Thanks.

  76. John Day says:
    December 9, 2011 at 4:12 am
    So it’s all about magnetic disturbances (“spasms”) which drive the Ap. My point exactly.
    Actually not. See below.

    What are these spasms? Can you point me to some papers?
    They are called geomagnetic storms [the rare big ones] and geomagnetic substorms [the regular background]. Here is some info http://www.leif.org/research/Geomagnetic-Response-to-Solar-Wind.pdf and http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf

    it’s hard to get a direct answer from you
    When people get a direct answer, but it is not to their liking, they think it is hard to get a direct answer.

    I would say it is unlikely that high solar flux per se has a strong influence on the background disturbance level.
    The important words are ‘per se’. I would say that the solar flux per se has absolutely no influence. The flux is however a proxy for the sun’s magnetic field, which is what drives the geomagnetic disturbances via the mechanisms I outlined in the above links. The influence is indirect, but nevertheless very real.

  77. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    December 7, 2011 at 12:28 am
    Polar fields not only are not reversing but for the last 12 months have been heading in the wrong direction:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC6.htm

    ~
    And have you had a look at this?
    Where is the extended cycle?
    Pgs 40-45
    http://www.leif.org/research/SHINE-2011-The-Forgotten-Sun.pdf
    And whats up with HCS inclination..
    I’m wondering about how planetary orbits disrupt the HCS outflow.

    What do think about this Vuks..


    With what you know about the movement of Earth’s magnetic dipole location, how would this vary the amount of solar energy being input at Earth’s magnetosphere. Locations..

  78. Happy Friday..

    One more question. How does the movement of the magnetic poles relate to the westward drift of the S. Atlantic Anomaly and the location and size of the Van Allen radiation belt or Ring current where it flatens as close at 50k +- to earth at the SAA???

  79. ‘Large, sparse, and primarily southern hemispheric sunspots’ during the Maunder Minimum. Hello?
    =============

  80. One for the history books:

    Leif Svalgaard’s (December 9, 2011 at 5:10 am) claim about solar cycle helices on the terrestrial annual cylinder:
    “There are none”

    This statement is razed by observational data. Leif Svalgaard might as well claim black is white, up is down, and 1 + 1 = 3. Whether ignorance or deception, such false claims are a hazard to this community which has many members who innocently defer to Leif Svalgaard’s supposedly ‘expert’ judgement. I cannot in good conscience be an innocent bystander while Leif Svalgaard misleads the community.

  81. Paul Vaughan says:
    December 9, 2011 at 8:20 am
    Leif Svalgaard’s (December 9, 2011 at 5:10 am) claim about solar cycle helices on the terrestrial annual cylinder:
    “There are none”

    As I said this is cyclomaniac nonsense.

  82. @Leif said:
    > “I would say that the solar flux per se has absolutely no influence.”

    Leif, you’re being inconsistent here. Why did you poo-poo me when I said the same thing, which I even qualified using ‘per se’?

    … Isn’t it the case that Ap and Kp depend almost entirely on ‘disturbances’ in the magnetic realm (solar wind etc), and not on the static solar flux levels per se?
    That was my point, which you do not seem to be addressing very clearly.

    Also, if it’s ‘absolutely’ true that solar flux has no influence, then isn’t that the same as saying it’s a false idea to claim it does have influence? Again, your inconsistency is showing:

    It’s a false idea because Ap measures _fluctuations_ in the Earth’s magnetic field, which represent _disturbances_ in the magnetic realm, not _levels_ of solar activity …

    Leif, I skimmed the papers you linked me to. Thanks, but in them I found very little connecting solar activity to geomagnetic indices. In fact you seem to have downplayed such a connection:

    Today, the primary effect of solar activity is generally believed to be caused by compression of the ambient solar wind by blast waves emitted from solar flares . The ensuing high values of solar wind speed, density and especially magnetic field strength ensure major events of violent activity: geomagnetic storms which have an obvious sunspot cycle dependence. But, in addition, variations of fundamental solar wind para­meters can be very important. The 1973-75 period re­sulted in exceptionally high geomagnetic activity to the extent that it is hard to speak about a regular sunspot cycle variation of geomagnetic activity for the period 1965-1976. In a similar way solar wind speed has had a pronounced tendency to have higher values in the years preceding sunspot minimum ever since space­craft data became available in the early 1960’s (Gosling et al., 1976; Bame et aZ., 1977). On the other hand, no sunspot cycle related variation of magnetic field magnitude has been found (King, 1976).

    Furthermore, you made a claim in the introduction that would even support the notion that geomagnetism, in general, is isolated from solar activity including solar wind activity :

    The magnetized collisionless solar wind plasma con­fines the magnetic field of the earth (and other solar system bodies) to a region around the planet called a magnetosphere. Alternatively we could say that the planetary magnetic field excludes the solar wind from the planetary environment.

    So, strengthened by your last comment and prior writings, I again respectfully submit that the implicit premise of this post (that the Ap index should somehow follow static sunspot/radio flux levels) is not only misleading, but according to Leif, Ap is ‘absolutely’ not influenced by static sunspot/flux levels.

    Have I made myself clear?
    :-|

  83. John Day says:
    December 9, 2011 at 9:10 am
    Have I made myself clear?
    No, not even close.

    So, strengthened by your last comment and prior writings, I again respectfully submit that the implicit premise of this post (that the Ap index should somehow follow static sunspot/radio flux levels) is not only misleading, but according to Leif, Ap is ‘absolutely’ not influenced by static sunspot/flux levels.
    You use some weasel words here, like ‘static’, which could mean anything. The solar flux is a proxy for the solar magnetic field mainly concentrated in sunspots. Those fields disperse over the solar surface. A process that takes up to several years. The resulting ‘background’ magnetic field [found in coronal ‘holes’] is carried out into the solar wind and disturbs the geomagnetic field. This happens all the time and the effect is captured well by Ap. In fact, we can calculate quote precisely what Ap will be from the observed solar wind density, speed, and magnetic field. In addition, transient solar phenomena – flares and CMEs – issue blast waves that add to the magnetic field and compress the solar wind material, with the result that additional geomagnetic disturbances arise, but also captured by Ap. So Ap is a mixture of both. The disconnect you found between solar cycle and solar wind was a rare phenomenon that has only been observed twice, in solar cycles 14 and 20, and is likely due to the Earth only sampling a very small slice of the solar output [that which directly hits us].
    So, we do expect a close relationship between solar activity [sunspots and flux] and geomagnetic activity [Ap] on a statistical basis [e.g. monthly means]. That we don’t see it right now tells us something about the lack of coronal holes near the equator. It is from those holes that we get the high-speed solar wind streams with their embedded magnetic fields that create high Ap values. A similar situation arose at the solar maximum in 1980.
    If you look at the second figure of this post [of F10.7 solar flux] you’ll see a large spike in late 2001. That signifies the presence of a large amount of magnetic field. That field eventually arranged itself [being moved around the surface by various plasma flows] into some very large coronal holes in 2003, from which we got very strong streams with very high ‘background’ Ap values as you can see in the third figure. So, in this case, the effect was delayed a year and a half between excess magnetic field [high flux in 2001-2002] and high Ap [2003]. So, the flux itself [per se] does not do anything to the Earth, but is a proxy of other things that eventually make their influence felt.
    I’m not poo-pooing you, just pointing out that the situation is complex [but well-understood].

  84. Misters ,all you on the list here as treatisers and commentators of domain where the csience haven’t right solution, we can guess to one’s heart content but in vain.THE ROOT CAUSE OF THESE PHENOMENA ISN’T KNOWN ! I HAVE RELEVANT INDICATORS FOR IT!
    I offer a collaboration.
    Nikola

  85. @Leif
    > You use some weasel words here, like ‘static’, which could mean anything.

    No, I thought it was clear that I was using the term ‘static’ to denote that part of ‘solar activity’ that was constant or very slowly changing, vs. the ‘short-term’ disturbances (flares, CME’s etc) which obviously cause measurable tremors in the magnetic realm.

    Of course it’s understood (by me) that flares and such are associated with active regions (even if they’re not officially numbered), so I _would_ expect to see a little long-term correlation between long-term flare activity and solar cycles. IAW, flares don’t happen during solar minima. But that’s a long way from implying that Ap should be in ‘lock step’ with SSN and radio flux (like this post was doing).

    So, I think we’re in violent agreement Leif. Hopefully this discussion has made this subject a bit more clear to the rest of the group. Thanks.

  86. John Day says:
    December 9, 2011 at 10:46 am
    that part of ‘solar activity’ that was constant or very slowly changing, vs. the ‘short-term’ disturbances (flares, CME’s etc) which obviously cause measurable tremors in the magnetic realm
    The point is that the slowly changing activity is a significant part of the Ap index, e.g. at the deepest solar minimum [as far as flares were concerned] in 2008, Ap was quite high [check the Figures above for the first half of 2008] because there were strong solar wind streams then.
    I think the post is not about the ‘lock step’ but about the lack thereof.

  87. @Nikola

    No offense, but I think my Shtokavian is worse than your English:
    Relevantne domene razlozi za to što su nepoznati su garancija sa uvjetom pokazatelje koji će zasigurno biti zbunjujući i besmislene kao i uzroke prikazuje Nikole.

  88. @Leif
    > … at the deepest solar minimum [as far as flares were concerned] in 2008, Ap was quite high …
    Yes, agreed, it’s a complex subject matter.

    > I think the post is not about the ‘lock step’ but about the lack thereof.
    Therefore _implying_ that they ” should be in ‘lock step’ “

  89. John Day says:
    December 9, 2011 at 11:32 am
    “I think the post is not about the ‘lock step’ but about the lack thereof.”
    Therefore _implying_ that they ” should be in ‘lock step’ “

    That would be the expectation, yes.

  90. So I have a question. At what latitude are sunspots typically when solar maximum is reached or is there no typical range? And if there is a typical range, where are we now relative to that? It is my understanding the spots move from pole toward equator as the cycle progresses but they reach the equator long after the maximum has passed.

    Thank you.

  91. Dear John,
    I am glad you understand my language, it isn’t anything how.
    Moji dokazi niti su besmisleni niti zbunjujuci .Ja zaista imam matematicke dokaze koji direkno vode do razrjesenja tajnih vezanih za prave uzroke pojava na Suncu.
    Ja ne znam Engleski kao vi ali znam da bi neko ko bi ovo moje iznio i dokazao, dobio Nobelovu nagradu. Meni je to jasno sto nikoga ne interesuje ono sto neki anonimac kao ja -Nikola kaze.
    Sve ovo o cemu diskutuju svi koje ta materija interesuje, nece nikada dovesti do prave istine porijekla i uzroka ovih pojava na Suncu-specijalno sunspots.
    Najvjerovatnije da cu ja imati jako mnogo problema da se ovo moje uzme u razmatranje, jer je danasnja nauka ogluvila-becomes deaf od samouvjerenosti da je ono sto se dobije mjerenjima tacno.Zaboravlja se svesnost i njena moc rasudjivanja.Ali to sada nije bitno, bitno je da ja na neki nacin dobijem mogucnost da negdje iznesem svoj dokaz, pod uslovom da se sacini dogovor o autorskom djelu-uz garanciju.
    Evo nekoliko oblasti gdje nauka nije rijesila uzroke:
    -rotacije Zemlje (ja imam dokaze na oko 20 str. )
    -Kenigova teorema o ukupnoj kinetickoj energiji kretanja tijela u prostoru, nije tacna.J a sam je korigovao, a za to mi je bilo potrebno da na elipsi dam neka nova saznanja preko kojih sam potvrdio Keplerove zakone.
    -retrogradne roracije planeta
    – izracunavanje ekscentriciteta Zemlje bez ikakvih astronomskih podataka i td ,da vas ne zamaram.
    Nije mi mnogo bitno da znam Engleski, bilo bi mi mnogo bitnije da razuvjerim “nevjerne Tome” da ono oko cega gube vrijeme i sve ostalo ne vodi nicem osim zabavljanja u medjusobnim raspravama.Koga interesuje da sazna ovo gorenavedeno ,molio bih da mi pomogne da to objavim u nekom naucnom casopisu, osim ove najvaznije materije oko uzroka pojava na Suncu.
    Napomena: Sve te pojave na Suncu su posljedice promjena magnetnih pola u prostoru, a sta njegovu promjenu “okida” triggers? to je najvaznije znati.
    Oprostite sto cu vas zamoriti ako ovo budete citali i tumacili.
    HVALA-Nikola

  92. Nikola,
    Ja znam tvoj jezik malo, jer je sličan ruskom (привет!). Ja koristiti Google za prevođenje, kao i vi

    You should write a paper that explains your solar theories and make it available somewhere on the Internet, and post a link to it on forums like this one. Then we can download it and study it and try to understand it.

    Zdravo!
    :-]

  93. @John Day says:
    December 9, 2011 at 4:12 am

    I was trying to show that when the solar wind speed is declining, and also has no spikes or positive accelerations, the Kp drops rapidly, somewhat like a the analogy of a transformer with a diode in series. http://omniweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/tmp/images/ret_2280.gif
    Kp does relate to the solar cycle, but it`s not lock step : http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/SC24web/AreaAp.png
    The low in Kp is typically after minimum on the rise of the solar cycle, and the high in Kp is after maximum. Admittedly the solar wind is more turbulent around the solar cycle maximum when the heliospheric current sheet is more convoluted, but I would guess that the peak in Kp after the SC maxima may be due to stronger coronal holes streams as the sunspots decline, such as there were in 2003.

  94. I think Henrik Svensmark nailed it regarding the solar magnetic field modulation of cosmic rays \ low level climate driving clouds, with his research at CERN. The Medieval warming (felt in Europe, North America, Peru, China and Pacific Islands) tells us that our recently ended warming (about 1998) was likely a solar behavior result. An extended period of low solar magnetic output is going to have serious consequences because the solar system environment is still a cosmic ray rich place.
    If the Russian scientists are right about this being extended for many decades, as part of a 200 year solar magnetic output cycle and a “Little Ice Age” is to be in onset by 2014, it fits right in.

  95. John Day says:
    December 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm
    “I guess I don’t see that in the charts.”

    Give it time, but clearly when dealing with monthly values, the different areas under the graphs lead to large differences in some months:

  96. crosspatch says:
    December 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    Well, that butterfly diagram doesn’t seem to help. Well I suppose I can determine it another way.
    The butterfly diagram shows the large spread meaning there is no well-defined, narrow set of values at any phase of the cycle.

  97. John Day says:
    December 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm
    But agree that Ap is not in lock step with the solar cycle.

    Neither is the total sunspot umbral area in lockstep with the 10.7 cm flux:

  98. @robertb
    > …Need a better Butterfly Diagram Trap?

    But crosspatch wanted the expected value of the sunspot latitudes at the solar maxes. The diagram that Leif provided was much better for this purpose because it showed the average daily sunspot area at the bottom and the butterfly plots above them. So just align a vertical rule on one of the solar maxes, then note above each max the band of latitudes which intersect the ruler.

    So, the expected latitude depends on the size of the cycle, but seems to range ‘typically’ from 5 to 30+ degrees north and south. A very ‘bushy’ distribution (as Leif noted).

  99. crosspatch says:
    December 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm
    The sun is dying.

    Been doing that Solar aging process thing that stars do.
    Are you familiar with those classic binary star-system mass transfers?
    If a brown dwarf were to approach within a lightyear or two, it could have some rather profound effects. A question for an Astrophysicist.

  100. rbateman says:
    December 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm
    If a brown dwarf were to approach within a lightyear or two, it could have some rather profound effects. A question for an Astrophysicist.
    There are already bigger stars at 4 lightyears, so there will be no effect. Now, make it 0.01 lightyear and there will be some action.

  101. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    How’s your astrophysics with regards to binary star systems theory going?
    i.e. – if a stellar object approaching the sun at 1-2 light years away were to be affecting the solar cycle currents (plasma what have you)/ magnetic field, just how big would that something have to be and what type of stellar object might that be?
    On another subject, the southern Solar sunspots are heading in the wrong direction, and they are doing it as a system, not an isolated few, and it appears to be pronounced and over several Carrington rotations.
    We can’t go ruling out Outside the Box if we don’t look seriously.

  102. rbateman says:
    December 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm
    i.e. – if a stellar object approaching the sun at 1-2 light years away were to be affecting the solar cycle currents (plasma what have you)/ magnetic field, just how big would that something have to be and what type of stellar object might that be?
    We have already three stars at about 4 light years [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri ] with a total mass of 2.1 solar masses. No effect from these is observed. If you have a [large] brown dwarf with mass 50 times Jupiter or 0.05 solar masses its gravitational force would equal that of Alpha Centauri if placed at a distance of 0.1 light year. So would have to be MUCH closer for any effect.

    We can’t go ruling out Outside the Box if we don’t look seriously.
    You can get too far out.

  103. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm
    its gravitational force would equal that of Alpha Centauri if placed at a distance of 0.1 light year. So would have to be MUCH closer for any effect.
    I missed a sqrt somewhere, make that distance 0.6 light years, but you get the point.

  104. rbatman:
    If a brown dwarf were to approach within a lightyear or two, it could have some rather profound effects.

    And just what “profound effects” do you envision happening at 1 Ly? Have you ever stopped to calculate this acceleration effect? You do know that the point mass to point mass acceleration would never be felt by either masses don’t you. But they are not point masses, right? Yet, any tidal effects would by so tiny I personally don’t see any measurable effect at all. Leif, isn’t that right?

  105. Yet maybe you are speaking of alterations in the planets orbits solely, but still the differential effect seems would be once again, immeasurable.

  106. wayne says:
    December 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm
    Leif, isn’t that right?
    Yet maybe you are speaking of alterations in the planets orbits solely, but still the differential effect seems would be once again, immeasurable.

    Yes, too small. To have any effect [e.g. on the orbits] the distance has to be MUCH smaller than 1 ly, or for tides MUCHO MUCHO smaller still.

  107. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 13, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Don’t stop there, and don’t limit the thinking to only a Brown Dwarf.
    How much Mass do you need at 1 ly?

  108. rbateman says:
    December 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm
    Don’t stop there, and don’t limit the thinking to only a Brown Dwarf.
    How much Mass do you need at 1 ly?

    For doing what? To rival the Sun’s force on the Earth? for that: 7700 solar masses. i.e. a large black hole or a VERY dense interstellar cloud.

  109. rbateman says:
    December 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm
    Don’t stop there, and don’t limit the thinking to only a Brown Dwarf.
    How much Mass do you need at 1 ly?

    I keep forgetting that square.
    For doing what? To rival the Sun’s force on the Earth? for that: 1 ly is 31,000,000 lsecs. The distance to the Sun is 500 lsecs. The ratio is 62,000; gravity depends on the square of distance, so we need 62,000^2 times as much mass to make up for the difference in distance, or 4 billion solar masses.

  110. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm
    For doing what?

    For having a weakening effect on the Sunspots. Or dragging the Southern Solar Activity belt towards the South Solar Pole.

  111. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm
    or a VERY dense interstellar cloud.

    Or a very energetic/highly charged interstellar cloud?
    Any particular compostition of this hypothethical cloud you got in mind?
    Again, this is just to affect the Sun and it’s magnetic field or apparent activity.

  112. rbateman says:
    December 14, 2011 at 8:17 pm
    For having a weakening effect on the Sunspots. Or dragging the Southern Solar Activity belt towards the South Solar Pole.
    Or a very energetic/highly charged interstellar cloud?
    Any particular compostition of this hypothethical cloud you got in mind?
    Again, this is just to affect the Sun and it’s magnetic field or apparent activity.

    There is no evidence of any such cloud [and it would never be highly charged – as all plasmas are electrically neutral]. The Sun is perfectly capable of taking care of its own spots.

  113. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    It would be wise to remember what we supposed we knew about the Planets before Pioneer and Voyager, and interject “that we presently know of” in your post above.
    Space has proven to be full of surprises.

  114. rbateman says:
    December 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm
    It would be wise to remember what we supposed we knew about the Planets before Pioneer and Voyager, and interject “that we presently know of” in your post above.
    That new knowledge is like geography [like learning about a far land by going there]. No new physics has been learned.

  115. Emmanuel says:
    December 16, 2011 at 11:39 pm
    Ap=0 again. 2 days with k=0 and counting.
    The magnetic field in the solar wind and the solar wind speed are both very low. This causes Ap to be low.

  116. For all Misters,
    I respect your knowledge from complex domain scientific undefined,but I think it is bette off us to discuss about more simple things which the science didn’t resolve nowaday, as what are :
    -root cause of Earth’s spin (perhaps for all planets
    -Earth’s eccentricity vithout any astronomical data, etc.
    Here my formulae for Earth’s eccentricity, please help me to resolve it.

    ln{[(1+x)/(1-x)]}exp[(1-xexp2)/2x]=1, x-=eccentricity
    Thanks in advanced,
    Nikola

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