Observing the Birkeland currents borne of the solar wind

 

When the supersonic solar wind hits the Earth’s magnetic field, a powerful electrical connection occurs with Earth’s field, generating millions of amperes of current that drive the dazzling auroras. These so-called Birkeland currents connect the ionosphere to the magnetosphere and channel solar wind energy to Earth’s uppermost atmosphere. Solar storms release torrential blasts of solar wind that cause much stronger currents and can overload power grids and disrupt communications and navigation.

birkel;and_currents_sun

Plots of AMPERE magnetic perturbations and radial current density from the northern hemisphere for 24 February 2014 with start times from 1530 UT through 1700 UT.

Now for the first time, scientists are making continuous, global measurements of the Birkeland currents, opening a new window on our understanding of our home planet’s response to solar storms. Using the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment, based on the 66 Iridium satellites orbiting the Earth, authors of a Geophysical Research Letters study have discovered that Earth’s response to onsets in forcing from the solar wind occurs in two distinct stages.

Currents first appear near noon in the polar regions and remain steady for about half an hour. Then the second stage begins, when strong currents appear near midnight and eventually join the initial currents near noon. Most of the solar wind energy is deposited in the polar atmosphere by processes initiated in the second stage. The authors note that scientists are working to understand how the delay between the first and second stages could give near-term warning of impending space weather disruptions.

More at GRL http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/PressRelease/pressReleaseId-112702.html

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162 thoughts on “Observing the Birkeland currents borne of the solar wind

  1. You have missed out the obligatory:
    “Of course, it is inconceivable that these phenomena could have any impact on global climate, so we will not conceive it.
    There is no evidence that these phenomena are dangerously impacted by global warming. Yet. If you would like there to be some, please increase grant cheques and keep them coming regularly…”

    • “The science is settled.”
      /Sarc.
      Auto.
      PS – do I need to replicate this post all the way down this thread?
      Whatever.
      I’m not going to do that – boring, counter-productive, needless and so forth.
      But do, please, bear the quote in mind, to see why Bird-blenders were – maybe still are by some deluded politicos, and greedy desperate (I thought of an obscene adjective, but self-snipped!) grant-chuggers – thought to be a good idea, and why Official Natural Plant Food has been demonised. A.

  2. It would be interesting to assess the effects on the human body of these events, in particular at high latitude and high altitude.

  3. “The authors note that scientists are working to understand how the delay between the first and second stages could give near-term warning of impending space weather disruptions.” Why do I get the feeling this is going to be reason #55 for the “pause” 🙂

  4. “Most of the solar wind energy is deposited in the polar atmosphere by processes initiated in the second stage.”
    There are twin instruments attempting for the first time to fly within the two main radiation belts around the earth. I think the jury is out wrt what the currents and +ive and -ive ions do in the earth’s near space environment. The sun is a copious source of both, actually. The Van Allen Belts may be huge players in the circuit.
    Besides that, there are “anti-planetward” charged particles leaving the earth’s poles, which some have said exit toward the sun. Juno should have some insight into this after observing Jupiter’s extraordinarily powerful auroras.
    Data data data, you cannot make bricks without mud.

  5. “…the supersonic solar wind…”
    Wow, the solar wind is faster then sound? Who knew? Seriously though, why call it “supersonic “? Does that sound impressively fast or something?
    Otherwise, this is very interesting real research. 8D

    • Faster than the Alfven speed which is the speed with which a magnetic perturbation can travel in the solar wind plasma. Near the Earth, that speed is about 50 km/sec and the solar wind moves at 400 km/sec, so is 8 times ‘supersonic’.

      • 400 km/sec is much, much more than 8 times supersonic, like about 1,170 times supersonic.

      • Greg, Eric wasn’t skeptical of the speed of the solar wind, so I’m not sure why your comment is relevant. He was questioning why to add supersonic to the label. By the same reasoning light would be supersonic. At what point past the 50km/sec (thanks for that Leif) do you stop referring to it as supersonic? Why not hypersonic? Does it add anything to the description? Perhaps so to those working in the field, but for me it would indicate that it is not very fast if compared to “sonic” limits. 400KM/sec is pretty darn fast. Just sayin’.

      • D Nash, “supersonic” refers to action on the sound-carrying medium. Returning to Earth for the moment where air is the medium for sound propagation, it’s not useful to say that light is supersonic because it doesn’t impact the air. “Supersonic” means there’s a shockwave at the leading edge, like a meteor has.

      • The velocity of sound and the Mach number which is the ratio of velocity in a fluid to the velocity of sound in that fluid varies with fluid properties (particularly composition and absolute temperature). For air the velocity of sound is around 420 m/sec. In methane (or natural gas) the velocity of sound is around 450 m/sec.

      • I would think that the “solar wind” being basically a plasma, is just a low density gas, with many of the atoms stripped of electrons, so it ought to have all of the behaviors of any fluid, including a limiting “sound wave” velocity, just like waves in water do. In this case the waves can be affected by magnetic fields, just because the “gas” is ionized.
        So yes, I would say that 8X is supersonic. Wonder what the heck it sounds like.
        So tell me Dr. Svalgaard in this solar wind, do the plasma atoms/ions collide randomly with each other and ergo exhibit “heat” (noun) or do their mutual repulsions, stop them colliding. Well I suppose, if you bounce off a magnetic shield, instead of a brick wall, you are still going to interchange particle energies. So I guess the solar wind plasma must have a temperature. ?? Izzat so ?

      • And I see that some of the responders, don’t understand that the speed of sound in a medium, depends on the properties of THAT medium, so the sea level STP speed of sound in air IS NOT the definition of sonic / supersonic boundary. And I think it is more like 345 m/s in air at STP. 1132 ft/sec seems to stick in my mind.
        and Dr Svalgaard just explained the solar wind sound speed is 50 km/s, not 345 m/s.
        In water mach 1 is about 4,000 ft/s
        So I guess we can say, that the solar wind is a component of “heat” (noun) that the earth gets from the sun. But that is convection, and not radiation.

      • What I was referring to when using the speed of light as an example was the fact that “at high field or low density, the velocity of the Alfvén wave approaches the speed of light”. So the speed has a large range and the question was at which point is it no longer referred to as supersonic and to Eric’s question does it add anything to the description. By convention 5x or greater is referred to as hypersonic, not supersonic. Why not hypersonic solar winds? The answer is that it is convention, but I don’t think it conveys the true velocity very well – especially to the layman that thinks of the Mach 3 jet as the measure of supersonic. Compared to how fast the solar winds can truly travel, 400km/sec isn’t very fast. In this case does supersonic indicate slow portion of the solar winds?

      • @ Greg, Greg, Greg… we meet again….. tsk, tsk…. “All it takes is {being an EXPERT in the field, as in a doctor of solar physics… give poor Sincere a break!… and Dr. Svalgaard some respect}… .”
        I think someone forgot your birthday again… so!
        Here’s a little cheer! Just — for — you!
        “Sunny Side of the Street” — Frank Sinatra

        Oh, don’t tell me to go back to nursery school to see if I can graduate this time, lololo — I was just there this morning! Had fun on the slide and the teeter-totter and…. hey, “Come Swing with Me” (Frank S.).
        #(:))
        Warm regards,
        The Sunshine Lady

    • @Eric Sincere
      My impression also. Yes, “supersonic” does sound impressive, as do “powerful”, “dazzling” and “torrential”. What “stupendous” numbers do those adjectives represent?
      Did others missed the “8D” ?

      • do the plasma atoms/ions collide randomly with each other and ergo exhibit “heat” (noun) or do their mutual repulsions, stop them colliding.
        The solar wind is collision-less. That is: it is so tenuous that the particles do not collide. However, the particles are charged and so ‘feel’ that there are other ones nearby and hence behave as a ‘fluid’. And have a temperature too, about 50,000 degrees

      • Nash: At the density and field typical for the solar wind, the Alfven speed is slow, about 8-10 times slower than the solar wind itself. and 400 km/sec is a pretty good clip. The solar wind speed varies between 250 km/sec to [very rare] in excess of 2000 km/sec. What this means is simply that any magnetic change is carried away from the Sun much faster than the change can move ‘upstream’.

  6. Currents first appear near noon? Near noon **where** exactly on the earth’s surface? And by supersonic is meant above the speed of sound in what atmosphere?

    • Above the speed of sound in the interstellar medium, since you ask. But it’s always moving supersonic in the heliosphere.

    • More likely they mean above the speed of sound in vacuum, exactly at noon of the North Pole time.

      • Even in intergalactic space there is a “speed of sound” as energy of various sorts propagates through the very thin medium out there. Some of the spectacular Hubble images of star forming regions like the “Pillars of Creation” show beautifully defined shock waves passing through media that are thinner than the “vacuum” between here and the sun. The word “vacuum” is used rather loosely and quite a few important bits of theory in cosmology assume a genuine vacuum (no mass at any volume) rather like we use an “ideal gas” in other chemical and physical theory.

      • Newly Retired Engineer,
        The volume around and between the earth and the sun isn’t a vacuum. The article is about gas and particles striking the atmosphere of the earth.
        There can be particles in the interplanetary space that have thermal velocities, and there can be particles that have been electrically accelerated to higher speeds. Markov shock happens.
        http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=f75C_GN9KZwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=markov+radiative+shock+hydrodynamics&ots=-RdZp11okY&sig=tXSGFxxLXBLv_9SDN4jFhsKYg1k#v=onepage&q=markov%20radiative%20shock%20hydrodynamics&f=false
        …for radiation hydrodynamics, and sparse gases.

      • Wait, isn’t it always noon and midnight AT the north pole?
        I interpreted it to mean in the polar region, the side directly toward the sun (noon) and directly away from the sun (midnight). Of course the propagation time between those two points is seconds at the speeds they were reporting.

    • “exactly at noon of the North Pole time.”
      These times make no sense at all to Me. When is midnight up there during the long day?
      When is noon during the long night?

      • Noon is not a “time”, it’s the direction of the sun relative to Earth’s surface. So at the north pole on June 21 the sun is about 23 degrees above the horizon. Face the sun and you have noon (at any “time” of day because the sun is at about 23 deg above the horizon “all day”) from that direction. Turn your back to the sun and you have the midnight direction. Everywhere else on the Earth’s surface noon is the direction toward the sun from the center of the lighted hemisphere, midnight the other way.
        I’m accustomed to weather forecasts like, “cloudy today, sunny tonight”.

      • Thanks Will Nelson but how can that fit with this ? “Currents first appear near noon in the polar regions and remain steady for about half an hour. Then the second stage begins, when strong currents appear near midnight and eventually join the initial currents near noon.” That would end up being a full year less half an hour.

      • The penny may have dropped.
        If noon is the direction of the sun and midnight is the direction away at any time. it looks like a bright ionisation starts in the warmer gas then spreads out invisibly until the cooler gas glows bright. Then it evens out all around the circle.

      • Well…. yes and no….
        The mag field goes a bit chaotic with a hoard of N and S poles popping out all over the place, then the thing re-orders and they collect into one N and one S (at whatever physical pole…). So we don’t really go to “no” mag field and “no” poles, rather to multipolar and mixed strengths.
        So your compass will point at N, just the nearest N, and that may be in almost any direction and change over the months / years 😉
        The idea that we smoothly drop to near zero mag field and no N or S pole is broken. It is more like you see on the Sun, with knots and wads of mag field of both N and S popping out in various places, then sinking back.

      • DirkH, E.M.Smith,
        I think you’re both right – E.N. technically, but Dirk practically.
        If your compass – that you rely on to point to (magnetic) North – points
        “at N, just the nearest N, and that may be in almost any direction and change over the months / years ;-)”
        – it has little or no practical use, certainly without a detailed [updated daily, or hourly, perhaps] local map of the ‘nearest North’, and stronger, but a bit more distant, Norths may reign over weaker ones.
        With the N Pole – like politicians’ goalposts – galloping all over the outfield, try steering a decent course in even a half-gale, with a cross current.
        Try that even now . . . . .

    • There doesn’t appear to be any indication that the magnetic field surrounding the earth would ever disappear. There is certainly no evidence in the fossil or sedimentary record of mass extinction during the last pole reversals on the planet. As a matter of routine, the Earth’s magnetic field has both weakened and strengthened of the course of history and continues to do so today.

    • The planetary magnetic field isn’t that “neat.” It doesn’t really turn on and off as far we can tell, it just drops very low (I think I remember reading that the last reversal saw field strength drop to around 5 % of normal. You can find plots of field polarity, density and dip that will illustrate ho irregular the present field is quite nicely. What is likely to happen is that rather than “drop to zero,” the field would break up into several weaker local domains for a time before re-cohering into a full planetary field once more. Then instead a nice classic “force field” around the planet, you have a collander with minor “poles” all over the planet until things settle into a new mode. There’s no regular periodicity to reversals and contrary to the wilder speculations, there is no correlation between reversals and extinctions. The Cretaceous extinction happens within a reversal period but not at the beginning or end. It is also of interest that the “preferred” orientation is the one we have now. That is likely because planetary rotation moving large liquid masses in the core tends to spin them in one direction rather than another.

      • All those multiple poles disappear with increasing distance from the surface and the solar wind will see only the lowest order pole, i.e. the dipole [with much reduced strength].

      • If or when the earth experiences a situation of “multiple poles” and/or a N/S “pole reversals”, just what effect, if any, would the aforesaid have on the “geographic” direction of the migration of those animals that current theory has attributed to said animal’s biological “GPS” (global positioning system)?
        I mean like, …. like the Honey Bees, …..will said migrating animals be victims of a kinda, sorta “colony collapse disorder” whereby they can’t find their way toward where they should be going?

  7. Finally, the world derives a non-military benefit from Iridium. While I was at Mot we blew 10 billion on it, thinking cellular would never become sufficiently popular. Only $4 billion was equity. Should have used more of other peoples money.
    The saddest part is that these satellites can sense this stuff because they are in low earth orbit. Which also means they experience ephemeral atmospheric drag, slow down, and then reenter and burn up so have to be replaced every few years.
    WUWT special insight. originally the system design required 77 satellites rather than 66. It would have been named (periodic table insider joke) Dysprosium. A much more apt name than Irridium.
    Most Mot execs were Irridiots for thinking Irridium could ever be commercially viable.
    Why tell this tale? Because there are many apt exact analogs to global warming and climate change. Vested interests, geopolitical momentum, money to be made on the side (think satellite and launch vehicle manufacturers rather than wind turbine manufacturers…)

    • I just read that Al Gore was the first person to make an Iridium call. Of course I’m sure that had nothing to do later events such as Chapter 11….

      • The same Al G who invented the Internet, tanks, telephones, the pendulum, fireworks, the Archimedean [Algorean??] screw (no obscenities about the great Algorithm and, um, 5cr3w1n6, please), wheels, windmills [now ‘Bird Blenders’], art [ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29415716 – o/t but interesting to me at least!] and fire?
        Ohhhh . . . yeah – /Sarc
        Auto

    • Wow, Rud, did you take a class about PowerPC from me? I was in the SPS team that was the first non-executives/investors to hear the demo Iridium pitch outside of your building (at least we were told that was the case). We pretty much howled with laughter at their suggestion that hoards of managers would gladly pay $14/minute for access to the network, and didn’t stop laughing when they said they felt they could get it down to a more reasonable $7/minute as the economies of scale kicked in (turns out, reducing the price just took economies of bankruptcy- what, 4 times?) in spite of the fact that tests had shown it would work terribly in any concrete jungle (I guess all the execs would be spending most of their time in Antarctica… the world might be better off if that was true!). I was told that I was the first person they (the presenters, which included a few high level execs) ever heard the Dysprosium comment from, as they had made the decision to scale back to 66 satellites not long before our meeting. The engineering discussions in the class I taught later about the 603 and 604 were amazingly valuable for me later on, though, as I wasn’t very well acquainted with the challenges of space weather on CPU caches at that time. Seriously great engineering. Horrible management. Describes an awful lot about Mot (RIP), for the most part. Describes an awful lot of large companies, as well, though.

    • Attaching a sign to the Sunspot Number is invalid, and should in any case not go from minimum to minimum but follow the polar fields and go from maximum to maximum. You ‘analysis’ is no good.

      • lsvalgaard October 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm
        and should in any case not go from minimum to minimum but follow the polar fields and go from maximum to maximum. You ‘analysis’ is no good.
        It appears you didn’t bother to read the paper:
        Quote from the paper:
        “The Earth’s rotation acceleration is concurrent with decay of the even and continues during rise of the odd cycles. The rotation deceleration is concurrent with decay of the odd and continues during rise of the even cycles in other words change in the rate of the Earth’s rotation follows the magnetic (Hale) cycle.
        thus it is from maximum of even cycle to maximum of odd cycle and ‘vice versa’.

    • Dr. S.
      I assume you are referring to Fig.2.
      Quote from the paper:
      Even and odd cycles’ numbers are positive scalars, but here for the purpose of clarity are plotted on the y-axis in the opposite directions.
      All sunspot numbers are shown as either positive scalars or zero, thus your assertion is inaccurate.
      All data used are easily accessible and give an opportunity to anyone to reproduce my results with very little effort, expanding the knowledge horizons by doing so.

      • You state about the solar toroidal field: “Analysis shows that the LOD variability follows
        change in the solar magnetic field orientation”. The toroidal field [sunspots] are mostly closed and do not get out into the solar wind and to the Earth. What we see at Earth is the poloidal field which does not follow the Hale cycle. Don’t presume that I’m wrong on the fundamentals. I have pointed this out to you many times before, but you are resistant to learning.

      • That is an incorrect extrapolation of what is said there. The toroidal field is mentioned in context of the sunspot generation, and nowhere I said or implied that itself drives changes in rate of rotation. ‘Discussion’ section makes that more than clear, to anyone bothered to read.
        Try as hard as you may to negate the existence of the concurrent changes in the rate of the Earth’s rotation with the solar magnetic cycle, it is a fact, and it is here to stay.
        Sir, I wish you a good day.

  8. The experiment was done at the beginning of solar cycle 24 in 2010 when solar-wind was lower, wouldn’t the pick up in solar activity skew the results of the R1 and R2 currents?

  9. So why can they accept that there are Birkeland currents flying around near the earth, but they can’t accept that the same currents fly around the whole universe, driving the formation of every structure.

    • Because the Birkeland currents are generated locally by the interaction between the neutral [but conducting] solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic field. “The same currents” do not “fly around the whole universe”. There are many examples of Birkeland currents wherever a neutral conductor [as the solar wind] meets a magnetic field, e.g. at Jupiter and Saturn and in localized [and disjointed] pockets all over the universe.

  10. Amazing stuff.
    I have often wondered how much the induced currents through the earth effect the climate.
    Every current induces a magnetic field and every field will induce a current through a conducting medium.
    Standard notation is heat equals square of the current multiplied by the resistance, at these amperages that is major heat by our industrial standards.
    So are these extraterrestrial effects keeping the planets core hot?

  11. The nice graphic’s description states “24 February 2014” however the graphic itself is labels as 24 February 2010.

    • ……. silence…… so…. where’s the correction? Or, in the alternative, the explanation…….. on the bottom of Page 51??
      Nice spot, Mr. Lento.
      It takes an engineer….
      … and THAT’s why we made to the Moon (and back)!
      #(:))

  12. Leif,
    Vuk appears to be trying to demonstrate a correlation between
    (i) sunspot cycle polarity, and
    (ii) multi-decadal variations in length of day (LOD)
    Confusingly, however, Vuk refers to the variations in Earth’s rotation speed as “geomagnetic LOD.” Perhaps that is why you replied, confusingly:
    “The toroidal field [sunspots] are mostly closed and do not get out into the solar wind and to the Earth. What we see at Earth is the poloidal field which does not follow the Hale cycle.”
    But what we do measure on Earth are changes in rotation speed. That’s the part I’m interested in, because those changes in length of day appear to be the best tool we have for predicting circulation patterns (meridional or zonal) and temperature trends (warming or cooling) in advance:
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2787e/y2787e03.htm
    Poloidal or toroidal field is irrelevant: does the relationship in Vuk’s figure 3 hold, or not?

    • Vuk’s ‘mechanism’ and rationale for what he is doing is based on the toroidal field, which is not what we observe at Earth, so it is very likely that any apparent relationship is purely spurious. And you have the physics backwards: the LOD is a function of the circulation, not the other way around.

      • No he does not ! The toroidal field is mentioned in context of the sunspot generation, and nowhere I said or implied that itself drives changes in rate of rotation.

      • Changes in LOD are the result of celestial mechanics (aside from earth and the moon, principally the interplay of Jupiter, Venus and the Sun), which correlates well with the timing of major shifts in the PDO on sub-decadal timescales. It is also likely the ultimate driver of El Nino events, which appear to result from periods of rapid more minor fluctuation that perhaps cause transient circulation stalling.
        To see that requires crudely removing the lunar and terrestrial cycle from the LOD time series by simple differentiation and reintegration rather than smoothing in order to preserve the fidelity of the remaining signal. I will correct the rather too jokey spreadsheet I recently sent you in haste and try to make it clearer.

    • Leif is spot on. Think of the action of an ice skater as they slow or speed up their spin. What happens when the arms spread out? What happens when the arms tighten up?

  13. lsvalgaard says:
    October 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm
    “Vuk’s ‘mechanism’ and rationale for what he is doing is based on the toroidal field, which is not what we observe at Earth, so it is very likely that any apparent relationship is purely spurious. And you have the physics backwards: the LOD is a function of the circulation, not the other way around.”
    You must mean we do not “observe happening at Earth” or “experience here at Earth” as we can “observe” much at Earth which is not happening here and we do not experience it here. The language useage lost me there for a minute but I believe I now get your point.

    • I mean that we send up spacecraft that close to the Earth measure the magnetic field in the solar wind. That magnetic field is NOT the ‘toroidal’ field that exists on the Sun, but is dominated by the poloidal field [with an admixture of field from CMEs]. The magnetic field from sunspots is mostly closed [i.e returns to the surface and does not get out in the solar wind],

      • Leif:
        Vuk appears to have demonstrated a graphical link between the Hale Cycle and the rotation of the Earth, which looks plausible enough on initial inspection. This link may coincidental rather than causal, but how are we to know? Thus your immediate dismissal of any causal correlation does not strike me as being in the spirit of the scientific method. One would have thought a more reasoned scientific response might start with:
        “Yes, thank you. On the surface there does indeed appear to be a causal correlation between Hale Cycles and the rotation of the Earth, however on closer inspection we find that the rotation of the Earth is actually influenced by …………… (further explanation) ………. etc: etc: etc:
        Surely, science is about exploring the possibilities, rather than dismissing them.
        And in the spirit of exploration, perhaps you could you give us a brief overview of the variations in Dark Matter density within the plane of the Solar System, during the full Hale cycle – and the effect that this Dark Matter density fluctuation has on the rotation (‘LOD’) of the Earth.
        Many thanks
        Ralph

    • Vuk has proposed only one mechanism (discussion section) and it as::
      At the current state of knowledge, the most realistic alternative is the indirect solar effect,
      a possible mechanism could be postulated as:
      Solar activity – ocean & atmospheric temperatures – oceanic and atmospheric circulation – angular momentum exchange – Earth’s rate of rotation (LOD).
      Crux of the matter to be denied as vigorously as possible is:
      Solar activity affects the climate parameters!

      • For such a chain to be plausible, the correlation should depend on the first link as that is what drives the rest, and solar activity has an 11-yr period, not a 22-yr period.

      • Leif,
        Vuk may be guilty of misnaming some of the entities involved here. But it seems to me that he is trying to match the solar magnetic field effects of the 22 year Hale reversal patterns to geomagnetic phenomena.
        You said: “What we see at Earth is the poloidal field which does not follow the Hale cycle.”
        But your colleague Ed Cliver has written this paper entitled “The 22-year cycle of geomagnetic and solar wind activity”.
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/96JA02037/abstract
        I think this may be related to what Vuk is describing.

      • The Cliver paper is almost 20 years old, and we have learned much in the meantime. There is a 22-year cycle in geomagnetic activity, but it is very weak and not related to the Hale cycle at all. Vuk’s ‘paper’ is muddled in the extreme and trying to do wiggle matching with detrended and filtered and otherwise manipulated data without a shred of plausible cause does not qualify as science. His idea of ‘geodynamics’ related to solar activity is just nonsense. Creating a 22-year cycle by inverting every other solar cycle is a classical sleight of hand with no physical basis, etc. His over-confidence in his own ability is a typical example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
        All of this we have discussed many times before, but Vuk never misses a change to hijack a thread with his OT unfounded speculations.

      • Not exactly doc. Solar activity ara magnetic quasi oscillatory events with the 22 year period, with polarity changing every 11 years. Fact that people count spots without noting what they represent may or may not be of importance. Each solar hemisphere has its distinct 22 year sunspot magnetic cycle. Global land and ocean temperature periodograms have strong presence of 22 year cycle.
        I am pleased to see that you finally came to the crux of the mater.
        My next article will demonstrate causal or coincidental link between the AMO, the major natural variability index and the 22 year solar magnetic cycle.

      • Each solar hemisphere has its distinct 22 year sunspot magnetic cycle
        Which when added together [which is what affects the Earth] disappears and leaves only the 11-yr cycle.
        It is good to see that you have given up on the ‘geodynamic’ idea and will try to show directly the purported influence of solar activity, i.e. the first link in your chain. That is where the problem is.
        You use of phrases like ‘not exactly…’ is another instance of the D-K effect.

      • Leif said:
        “Attaching a sign to the Sunspot Number is invalid…You[r] ‘analysis’ is no good.”
        A bit harsh, IMO, especially in light of research of others who have also interpreted sunspot counts as a kind of bipolar signal…
        http://cc.oulu.fi/~usoskin/personal/ASR_22.pdf

        Magnetic activity in the Sun is mostly determined by the dynamo mechanism (Babcock, 1961). However, a weak relic magnetic field may exist in the Sun’s interior since its formation (Cowling, 1945). Sonett (1983a, 1983b) tried to find a signature of such a relic field in sunspot activity. Assigning a negative sign to odd solar cycles, he fitted the Wolf sunspot series with a model consisting of two harmonics with periods of 22 and 90 years, and found a small negative offset in the running mean of the model during the last 150 years. Such an offset gives evidence for a relic solar field. However, as discussed above, his results for the earlier period from the 18”’ century to mid-19fh century were not conclusive since the offset changed sign in late 1700’s. Because of this reason, Sonett’s results, and the implied evidence for a relic magnetic field remained rather unconvincing. More recently, Bravo & Stewart (1995) studied the difference in the Sun’s polar coronal field during subsequent minima, finding evidence for an inclined dipole relic field. However, the available data covered only two solar cycle minima which is insufficient to allow a statistically significant conclusion (Boruta, 1996).

        … and so Usokin et al. have found plausible (if not convincing) evidence for a ‘relic’ 22-year cycle, distinct from the Hale signal.
        However, I am guessing that proving this relic signal has any geophysical impact is another matter and likely a very difficult task.
        (That won’t stop Vuk)

      • The relic solar field crops up now and then, but there is no good evidence for it, and in any case it is not good science to assign a sign to the sunspot number as that introduces a spurious 22-year cycle. Make a long list of random numbers between 0 and 1 [say one per year], assign a positive sign to the first 11 numbers, then multiply the next 11 random numbers by -1, the next 11 by +1, the next 11 by -1, and so on, and you will find a strong 22-yr cycle. This Figure illustrates the trick:
        http://www.leif.org/research/Spurious-Vuk6.png
        The center plot shows [top] random data [blue dots] and the same data with every other subset of 11 points sign-reversed [and connected with red curve]. The two flanking Figures show the FFT spectra for the original random data [left, blue] and the sign-reversed series [right, red]. Note the strong 22-yr peak.

      • Open flux on each side of the HCS does, one side is of same polarity as the Earths field the other opposite, they swap polarity every 22 years. This is case at the earths orbit and throughout the heliosphere. Your attempts to blind with science and divert attention from solar-climate relatioship may work for some but eventuly is doomed to failure. If I was so wrong on each point you attempted to discredit, you would just ignore it. Ad hominem (D&K) it is an attempt to humiliate opponent, it may work elsewhere but not here.
        How far did you get with the flattening sunspot record, THE project to eliminate solar influence on climate?

      • Open flux on each side of the HCS does, one side is of same polarity as the Earths field the other opposite, they swap polarity every 22 years.
        Apart from it being every 11 years, the polarity does not change when the Hale cycle does [at minimum], but rather at maximum when the polar fields reverse [not the toroidal fields you refer to].
        If I was so wrong on each point you attempted to discredit, you would just ignore it.
        Pseudo-science has to be opposed whenever it rears its ugly head.
        Ad hominem (D&K) it is an attempt to humiliate opponent, it may work elsewhere but not here.
        And its practitioners should be exposed. In my professional opinion, your hijacking missives degrade and weaken WUWT.
        How far did you get with the flattening sunspot record, THE project to eliminate solar influence on climate?
        It is in good hands. A major review paper was just published: http://www.leif.org/research/Revisiting-the-Sunspot-Number.pdf see in particular Figures 28 and 63; “by the mid 18th century, solar activity had already returned to levels equivalent to those observed in recent solar cycles in the 20th century”, but the solar influence on climate is not eliminated: there should be a [hard to observe over the noise] solar cycle effect of the order of 0.1 degrees.

  14. Sorry to be a pedant but I think ‘borne’ (as in pp of bear) should be ‘born’ (as in to give birth to).
    MikeA

  15. The Laschamp Event and Earth’s Wandering Magnetic Field
    Retired NASA astronaut Phil Chapman writes:

    It is true that the last major pole reversal was 780 kya, but lesser geomagnetic excursions are more frequent. The last one, known as the Laschamp event, was only 41 kya. It involved a full reversal, but the whole thing lasted only 440 years. During the change, the field dropped to 5% of its former value, and the cosmic ray flux more than doubled.

  16. Off topic, but I believe is related, is this little gem from the UK Wet Office:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29525154, announced on the BBC News last night.
    Is this a sign of changes of attitude within? Is NASA et al showing similar signs of change in the Virginian Colonies? (We should never have let you go 😉 ). They have always denied any significant effects of Solar activity upon climate, but now they seem to want to specialise in the Sun & its activity. I shall keep a watchful eye on the Wet office over the coming weeks & months! I always though that if change did take place, it would be very slow & backside covering in its manifestation.

    • Ben Santer has given the cue: it is “external” effects which are suppressing the “true” signal of AGW. He listed the sun, volcanic activity, and ? as “external” effects. By Santer’s view, these external effects are not RealClimate and so have no bearing on the issue. And so the pea tumbles along under the moving shell. BBC is toeing the new line and you will find them there with Santer and his cohorts in the last ditch.

      • Be careful invoking the name which should not be mentioned. Dr. [he-who-must-not-be-named] might come looking for you in a dork alley or at a convention.

      • I believe it more likely a last ditch strategy. We are dealing with die-hards.
        Santer’s claim of “at least” 17 years to detect the true signal (AGW) puts them in a position to maintain their stance indefinitely. As Richard Courtney observed, it is a political statement, that is, a manifesto. It is not science (unlessit is more junk sscience)

      • Got several shots of the partial phase of the eclipse but fear they are more artistic in nature than astronomically revealing due to too much aperture at the camera. But good practice for the coming solar eclipse.

    • Congratulations, it was cloudy in South Florida.
      Upcoming:
      New Moon; October 23 ’14 at 21:57 UT (17:57 EDT).
      A Partial Solar Eclipse will occur before sunset at 18:46 EDT, October 23 ’14. The ecipse starts from 22:28 UT (17:28 EDT), the eclipse maximum will be at 22:44 UT (17:44 EDT) sunset will be at 18:46 EDT.
      See Partial Solar Eclipse of October 23, 2014 at NASA – GSFC, Fred Espenak.
      From South Florida this will be a very slight partial eclipse; magnitude: 0.123 (fraction of the Sun’s diameter occulted by the Moon).
      Warning:
      Never observe the Sun directly, or with optical instruments, without using the essential special filters, because it would result in permanent damage to your sight.
      Do not use a solar filter mounted in the eyepiece of a telescope; This type of filter is dangerous! (it might break with the heat of the Sun)
      Use only the solar filters of a larger diameter, to mount in the objective.
      To observe the Sun directly, without the help of optical instruments, use an arc-welding filter, #12 to #14. The #12, lighter, is used to watch it after sunrise or before sunset, the #14 for closer to midday, the #13 in intermediate situations.

  17. Thanks to all for giving your attention to the article I wrote. This is posted from 40,000 feet so I will be off line for some time. Vuk.

  18. Observation and measurement beats all, electrical phenomena pervade the universe as the ESA Rosetta team are currently finding out. Not one comet has turned out to be a soft dirty snowball; 67P is just another bone dry misshapen rock with a surface etched in a way that suggests electrical arc machining. The Oort cloud is looking like a theory whose time is up.

    • Nobody claims that comets are ‘soft’. In fact, in outer space, water ice is a solid rock. The mean density of comets is about 0.5 gram/cc [half of that of ice], and the surface is shaped by impacts leaving craters and boulders. No electric machining, as there are no electric currents zipping through space, zapping everything in sight.

  19. Does this have any implications for Svensmark’s theory of how the solar wind affects cosmic rays, thereby altering the earth’s climate?

  20. Leif: And you have the physics backwards: the LOD is a function of the circulation, not the other way around.
    ======
    Do you remember when you tried to explain that a figure skater can conserve angular momentum by increase her rotational speed 7 years before retracting her arms?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/25/solar-terrestrial-power-update/#comment-845232
    “My bad”, you said.
    Well, here you are doing it backwards again. Changes in LOD precede changes in the ACI (circulation index) and dT.
    ========================
    When detrended, the graphs of -LOD and dT are very similar in shape, and it is clear that -LOD runs several years ahead of dT, especially in its maxima.
    […]
    Based on this multidecadal periodicity of LOD, and the fact that LOD runs ahead of dT by 6 years
    […]
    It is conceivable that the multi-decadal fluctuations of the earth’s rotation velocity results from the redistribution of the angular moment between the atmosphere and solid earth due to the alternation of multi-decadal epochs of “zonal” and meridional atmospheric circulation.
    It was shown (Lamb 1972; Lambeck and Cazenave 1976), however, that the observable changes in speed and direction of the air mass transfer may explain seasonal and annual, but not multi-decadal LOD variations. Only 10% of the long-term LOD variation can be explained by the observable changes in atmospheric circulation.
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2787e/y2787e03.htm
    ========================

  21. Vuk uses detrended LOD
    The FAO don’t seem to recognize that as a problem: “When detrended, the graphs of -LOD and dT are very similar in shape” – FAO (op.cit.)
    “so who cares in this context what causes it”
    Not me at this point. I just want to know if the relationship holds.
    = = = =
    Despite various publications of results where hand-washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. Some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and Semmelweis could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings. Semmelweis’s practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory and Joseph Lister, acting on the French microbiologist’s research, practiced and operated, using hygienic methods, with great success. In 1865, Semmelweis was committed to an asylum, where he died at age 47 after being beaten by the guards, only 14 days after he was committed.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Semmelweis
    = = = =

    • Vuk claims:
      October 7, 2014 at 11:41 pm
      a possible mechanism could be postulated as:
      Solar activity – ocean & atmospheric temperatures – oceanic and atmospheric circulation – angular momentum exchange – Earth’s rate of rotation (LOD).

      You cite a claim that “Only 10% of the long-term LOD variation can be explained by the observable changes in atmospheric circulation”.
      What more is there to say?
      Are you suggesting that Vuk should be committed as was Semmelweis?

      • >>Are you suggesting that Vuk should be committed
        >>as was Semmelweis?
        A comment beneath contempt, Leif. Are you also suggesting that Vuk should be beaten to death, as was Semmelweis, simply for trying to correlate terrestrial and solar events?
        .
        And you still have not given us an overview of how solar Dark Matter interacts with the Earth, and possibly modulates its LOD. And before you pour yet more derision upon this thread, from on high, I was trying to get you to utter the three magic words of true science – the three words that underpin all of scientific endeavor and separate gnosis (science) from faith. Those three magic words are: “I don’t know”.
        Take a look at the following articles about Dark Matter. I think we can safely conclude that: “we don’t know”.
        Plenty of Dark Matter near Solar System 09-08-2012
        http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/article00518.html
        Survey finds no hint of dark matter near Solar System 19-04-2012
        http://www.nature.com/news/survey-finds-no-hint-of-dark-matter-near-solar-system-1.10494
        I think science in general needs to get its own house in order, before pouring derision upon Vuk.
        Ralph
        .
        P.S.
        Dear Vuk,
        Does terrestrial LOD really have a 22-year cycle, as you claimed? A paper in Nature claimed it was a 5.9-year cycle, which does not correlate well with 22 years.
        http://phys.org/news/2013-07-pair-year-oscillations-length-day.html
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v499/n7457/full/nature12282.html
        What is the evidence for your 22-year LOD cycle? Web searches did not return anything significant.
        Ralph
        .

      • If you claim that Dark Matter modulates LOD, it is up to you to explain how and why. I make no such claim. Vul earns derision regardless of whether ‘science has its house in order’.

      • >>If you claim that Dark Matter modulates LOD, it is
        >>up to you to explain how and why.
        So perhaps could you explain exactly how Dark Matter interacts with Baryonic Matter, within the Solar System. Or are there some aspects of Solar astronomy, that we (and you) do not understand? Is such a thing possible?
        And regards LOD, do you regard the apparent similar cyclical pattern between LOD and Sunspots as coincidental or spurious? Or do you disagree that there is an approximate 22-year LOD cycle at all? To be honest, I have not found a great deal of evidence in favour of it. ….. Vuk – any evidence or comments?
        In short, I’m looking for reasoned explanation, not barely disguised derision.
        Ralph

      • Dark Matter interacts though gravity, but that probably does not have anything to do with the LOD or anything else. Newton’s laws work very well in the solar system without any DM so I see no reason to worry about DM [your worry is thus just a straw man].
        About the 22-yr period in sunspots: it is spurious as I showed above, caused by assigning a sign to the sunspot number, so whether or not there is a 22-yr period in LOD [I don’t think one has been established] is irrelevant to the question whether a non-existing strong 22-yr cycle in solar activity is the cause. Vuk earns derision by having a grossly inflated view of his ability and knowledge and by his hijacking and carpet bombing of solar threads with his unfounded off-topic speculations and for his inability to learn.

      • >>DM so I see no reason to worry about DM
        >>[your worry is thus just a straw man].
        A deliberate straw man, because I wanted to hear the words: “we don’t know”. But the encouragement was all in vain. Hey-ho.
        Ralph

      • ralfellis October 9, 2014 at 9:51 am
        A deliberate straw man, because I wanted to hear the words: “we don’t know”
        As I said, Newton’s laws work very well in the Solar System without assuming any DM present, so DM cannot have any measurable influence, so we do know that. This is not a question of ‘we don’t know’. We do, regardless of what you want to hear.

  22. Your criticism of Vuk’s hypothetical mechanism is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the relationship holds.
    Semmelweis didn’t have a mechanism, but he was right nevertheless: the relationship between a hand washing procedure and reduced mortality held. That was my very obvious point. Semmelweis was right, and he didn’t deserve any of the ridicule that was poured on him by the “experts.” His life-saving procedure wasn’t adopted until many years later when Lister found the way to fame & glory through mechanism (something Darwin didn’t need).
    Btw, that mechanism-free pattern-matching FAO model correctly predicted that the “global warming” period would end in the first few years of the century.

    • First of all, Vuk claims he has a mechanism; second, in what sense can a spurious relationship be said to be holding? A tribe in darkest Africa has noted that beating of drums during a solar eclipse restores the Sun.

      • A tribe of scientists claims that Dark Matter is spinning up the galaxies, they have a mechanism, gravity, but no one can find any Dark Matter. But their numbers support the theory.

      • but no one can find any Dark Matter
        Oh, yes. We find it a-plenty in the Universe. We can map its distribution, determine its mass, and directly see its effect by gravitational lensing and by the size of the spatial properties of the cosmic microwave background.

      • Dark matter seems to have been invented, to explain effects that should have been explainable with gravity alone (and ergo, mass). So, supposably, dark matter exhibits “mass”, or at least the gravitational effects of mass. Apparently it exhibits NO OTHER physical properties.
        So in my book, the observation of gravitational anomalies of any kind (weird rotation rates etc), is not proof of dark matter, since it was invented precisely to explain such gravitational anomalies.
        Seems to me, that physically real entities, have to have at least two different physical properties to “exist”. You need to discover the second physical property of dark matter, in order to be able to prove it exists.
        So far, I don’t believe in dark matter; nor do I, even come close to believing in “dark energy”.
        So I’m in the “I dunno” camp. I’m thinking gravity maybe not as Einsteinian as everyone thinks it is. But then, what the hell do I know. I already said I don’t know.
        They’ll figure it out one of these days. I’m not much into strings or multiverses either.
        To me uni means one, and there is only one universe. We can’t ever see anything else but that one, so it is all there is.

  23. lsvalgaard says: October 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm
    “Oh, yes. We find it a-plenty in the Universe. We can map its distribution, determine its mass, and directly see its effect by gravitational lensing and by the size of the spatial properties of the cosmic microwave background.”
    You need to understand the difference between effects and the actual substance. Those effects that you mention are attributed to a substance which is postulated but has yet to be found.

    • No, I don’t. We were sure of the existence of the Moon from the effects the Moon has [seeing it by reflected sunlight, tides] long before anybody held the actual substance [Moon rock] in his hand.

      • In particle physics, time and again predictions regarding unimaginable effects have been proven to be true. Not so much in astronomy. As a matter of fact, almost every time we actually visit another astronomical body, we find out our theories were wrong and need correction. Same for when new more sensitive equipment is put on line. Recent discovery, galaxies favor a planer distribution, not a spherical one, as has been thought all along. Another : “Resonantly Produced 7 keV Sterile Neutrino Dark Matter Models and the Properties of Milky Way Satellites”
        Kevork N. Abazajian
        Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 161303 (2014)
        Published April 24, 2014. And it goes on and on.
        My point, as always, is not that DM does not exist, but that it should always be prefaced as a “theory” not given as a fact.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory
        “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation”
        That a theory needs correction, does not mean it was wrong. Visiting the Moon did not invalidate Newton’s theory of gravity.

  24. Citation for the preferential alignment of galaxies is from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey article in the Nov. issue of Astronomy Magazine from the July 31, issue of “Nature”.

    • You are confusing theory and observation. Observations are constantly improving and changing what the observed object looks like. ‘Theory’ is how the observations fit into the body of knowledge we have compiled so far. The shape of galaxies has no bearing on whether DM exists.

  25. lsvalgaard says: October 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm
    As I said, my point, as always, is not that DM does not exist, but that it should always be prefaced as a “theory” not given as a fact. Too much is stated as fact today in all facets of science when it is actually a theory.

    • Jim G commented: “Too much is stated as fact today in all facets of science when it is actually a theory.”
      Media is predisposed to push AGW agenda in this manner. I try not to be a ‘conspiracy theorist’ but it’s obvious AGW is about politics and not temperature.

  26. lsvalgaard says: October 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm
    “The theory is a shorthand for the facts we have discovered and helps us organize and express our knowledge succinctly.”
    As long as it does not exagerate the certainty of the situation being discussed. “So far the best theory on the …………….is that………….”, would work well and should be the preferred approach with students and others of lesser knowledge, in particular, who many times are easily influenced by strong statements of fact when it is actually theory which is being discussed.

    • Science is always about theory. Theory is the important bit. We can teach Newton’s theory on gravitation in an hour, which summarizes billions and billions of facts [observations of the effect of gravity]. Facts are not important and are generally not individually taught, theory is [as it should be].
      Every statement is science is implicitly prefixed by “so far the best…” which is redundant and cumbersome.

  27. Even Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity is still referred to as a theory as should the Theory of Dark Matter be addressed.

    • “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation”
      A theory is a shorthand for a large number of facts, so the theory of dark matter is a shorthand for all the facts we have discovered about dark matter.
      You are trying to cast doubt on the General Theory of Relativity by saying it is just a theory, the same way you are trying to cast doubt on dark matter. Both theories have been amply confirmed. So saying they are scientific theories acknowledges that they express a large body of facts.

      • “You are trying to cast doubt on the General Theory of Relativity by saying it is just a theory, the same way you are trying to cast doubt on dark matter.”
        That is your theory of my motives. You can never really know another’s motives. There should always be some element of doubt about any scientific theory, that is why it is called a theory, not a fact.

      • You miss the point, namely that the theory is a summary of the facts. The observations that make us accept Dark Matter are facts. It is a fact that the rotation curve of Galaxies are flat. It is a fact that the mass of DM bends light from more distant light sources, allowing us to map the location of DM. It is a fact that the size of the ‘second bump’ of the spatial spectrum of the cosmic microwave radiation tells us the ratio of DM to Normal Matter. It is a fact that galaxy clusters exists because they contain much more mass than we can see, etc. All these facts show us the existence of something which we call Dark Matter. That name is simply a shorthand for the observed facts.

      • Those are all , indeed, “facts” (I would prefer the term observations) that are attributed to the theory that dark matter is their cause, unless and until a better or improved theory comes along..

      • Jim G October 10, 2014 at 8:25 am
        Those are all , indeed, “facts” (I would prefer the term observations) that are attributed to the theory that dark matter is their cause, unless and until a better or improved theory comes along..
        You have this backwards. We do not have a ‘theory’ of Dark Matter and we are not trying to attribute the facts to such a theory. We have a large number of observational facts which we collectively describe with the shorthand ‘Dark Matter’. An apt name as DM has mass [is thus matter] and is unseen [being dark].

      • I’m in agreement, with the notion that a “theory” is a convenient way to represent the results of a bunch of experiments that have actually been performed, instead of writing each of those experimental results down in some “compendium of all knowledge”.
        And we presume, that our theory, will tell us with some degree of uncertainty, just what will be the outcome of some experiment, that we have never performed. If that turns out to our inquisitive minds to be “odd”, in some way, well we just might go out and do that experiment, just to see.
        And that might cause us to tweak the knobs on our theory, if the result doesn’t quite match. So I think the theory of dark matter, to explain gravitational mass like anomalies, is fine. I’m just going to wait till they find its second property, or else figure out what is wrong with Newton/Einstein gravitation. Then I’ll drink a toast, to whomever figures it out.
        Won’t be me Leif; but it could be you.

      • Well if dark matter exists, and is dark (we can’t see it) as Dr.S says; and if it is not “weird matter”, then one would query, why it does not agree with Max Planck, and exhibit Black body, or “thermal” EM radiation, by which we could see it.
        Our current theory would seem to say, it must be at zero K or pretty darn close, or it would emit electro-magnetic radiation, and absorb it. So it would then have to be pretty weird matter in anybody’s book, to comprise most of the mass in the universe, and apparently not interact with both of the known infinite range forces, instead of only one of them; gravity, which still sucks. That’s why I’m happy to say, I don’t know.

      • “You have this backwards. We do not have a ‘theory’ of Dark Matter and we are not trying to attribute the facts to such a theory. We have a large number of observational facts which we collectively describe with the shorthand ‘Dark Matter’. An apt name as DM has mass [is thus matter] and is unseen [being dark].”
        You can believe as you desire, I will continue to think “backwards” that it is theoretical whether DM is the cause of these observations. And remember that even the “observations” may change with the advance of technology, as they seem to do quite regularly.

  28. Leif Svalgaard October 9, 2014 at 5:27 am
    About the 22-yr period in sunspots: it is spurious as I showed above, caused by assigning a sign to the sunspot number, so whether or not there is a 22-yr period in LOD [I don’t think one has been established] is irrelevant to the question whether a non-existing strong 22-yr cycle in solar activity is the cause.
    _____________________________
    Sorry, I don’t buy that Leif. Are you really saying that there is no average 11-year cycle in Sunspot activity? I think you will find that there is. And I think you will find that if we multiply 11 by 2, we get – errr – 22.
    And are you saying that something else in the Solar System cannot react with a resonant harmonic of this 11-year cycle Sunspot? Something like a double-cycle of 22 years? I think you will find that there are many harmonics in nature.
    Take Ganymede, Europa and Io, for instance, which are locked into a 1:2:4 orbital resonance. So cannot the Sun have a 2:1 resonance with the Earth’s LOD or geomagnetic LOD? Again, I find your easy dismissal of such possibilities disturbing.
    Ralph

  29. Hi all
    In my yesterdays comment (at 9.44 am) there was an error, it should be :
    they swap polarity every 11 (not 22) years.
    Khwarizimi, RalfEllis,Johanus and possibly others appear to have made a fair effort to find out what is all this about and I am thankful for it.
    K, R & J and anyone else interested, I have not set out to find out correlation between the LOD and the SSN, just stumbled upon it about a year or so ago, while looking into LOD vs NAO (atmospheric NH pressure index). I looked at various papers on LOD and could not find reference to the SSN correlation, hence it could be that it is something new.
    I would suggest if anyone so incline d to repeat the calculation.
    In discussion section I considered number of mechanism alternatives, suggesting one with a realistic prospect. What is happening, why, what is cause, what is consequence, what the effect might be on global temperatures, etc ? , the honest answer has to be ‘I do not now’, but at least it was worth looking into it and putting my finding on the record .
    I am not surprised that Dr. Svalgaard tries to discredit it, it is his right to do so, but I whish he has done that by questioning accuracy of the calculations. From the start Dr. S has implied that somehow Sunspot calculations are misused.
    Plainly that is totally false, only calculations are performed on the two sets of the LOD data (easily reproduced, a basic requirement of any proper scientific procedure).
    No calculations are performed on any sunspot data, they are just used for a visual comparison, no negative SSN are used or presented in the paper.
    The sunspot butterfly diagram is only correct way of presenting evolution of the solar magnetic field, to which the LOD changes correlate. It shows clear and unmistakable (overall and in each hemisphere) 22 year magnetic cycle. In addition we have solar polar fields (generated by bits and pieces of the decayed sunspots) with the 22 year cycle. In 1930’s Hale has once for ever defined the sunspot magnetic cycle (polar fields were not observed until 1960s),
    Now Dr. S would have us believe that the 22 year magnetic sunspot cycle doesn’t exist, well he admits it exists in each hemisphere but they cancel each other out.
    Let’s take a look at it. In order for cancellation to take place each hemisphere should have exact number of spots and of the same strength and that they neutralise, which sometimes do, but more often don’t. But let’s assume that is always the case, the same number and same strength and total neutralisation, two 22 year Sine waves of exact amplitude and opposite phase, cancel out to zero not to 11 year cycle as Dr. S. would have it. Mismatched amplitude or counter-phase produces 22 year and NOT 11 year Sine wave.
    The 22 year sunspot cycle is essential property of the solar magnetic evolution, it generates 22 year polar field cycle, and according to solar scientists, this 22 year polar field (meridional circulation) and dynamo magnetic amplification can not and do not morph it an 11 year dimensional cycle.
    To prove his point Dr. S comes with a random numbers to support non-existence of the 22 year sunspot magnetic cycle, surely a pinnacle of A to Z of (Aristotle to Zurich patent clerk) of logic and science
    So if sun doesn’t have an effect on the terrestrial climate, it is the CO2 of course.
    Did you know that there is as much as one, yes one CO2 molecule for every 2500 measly other atmospheric molecules, it is not just any molecule, it is the mighty Mo (atmospheric punching Tyson), sunspots are flat as pancake, same now as 100 years ago, and that same as 100 years before than.
    But CO2’s Mighty Mo, it is always rising and exponentially to the boot, just like GT, it must be on double steroids, that is why CO2 is always written in ‘capitals’ and sun in ‘lower case’. Good enough proof ?.
    But I digress, proof Vuk is crazy, has D&K; have you heard of ebola, I tell ya’ Vuk’s D&K is far more dangerous, that man should be locked-up…
    Good day to all.
    I just noticed one or two more comments since yesterday, typing on a tiny tablet keyboard and trying to post on an erratic connection is a pain, so to Dr. S’s delight I will be off for some time.
    Good ridenens I here him say.

    • Thanks Vuk.
      But don’t take it personally – its all part of the cut and thrust of science. Instead, perhaps you could explain more about the reversal of the polar field cycle — an 11-year reversal forming a 22-year cycle.
      As a layman, I see this cycle as a raging bar magnet (the Sun), that flips over every 11 years. I hope that is a realistic (sort of) interpretation. See this simplistic NASA explanation:
      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast15feb_1
      However, in contrast to the Sun the Earth has a constant magnetic field, with north in the north and south in the south (well, constant over many millennia). If the Earth’s neighbor flips its (much larger) magnetic field every 11 years, then surely the asymmetry between the Earth’s constant north pole and the Sun’s flipping-north pole forms a 22-year cycle, not an 11-year cycle. The Earth’s magnetic north pole, for instance, should experience a different influence when the Sun’s north pole is in the north, compared with when the Sun’s north pole is in the south. And that influence will change over 22 years, not 11.
      It has been proven that there is indeed a magnetic coupling between Sun and Earth, through Flux Transfer Events. But surely this magnetic coupling should change in some manner, when the Sun’s polarity reverses. And so the full range of these Sun-Earth coupling influences, would be over 22 years, and not 11 years. Have observations of FTEs seen any such changes or modulation?
      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/30oct_ftes
      Ralph

      • Dear Mr. Ellis,
        I, too, am a layperson, in this field… yet, for SOME reason, “As a layman, I see…” from the above that Dr. Svalgaard makes a lot of sense, using logic and solid scientific principles, while Mr. Vukcevic (Ms.?) comes off as FULL OF GAS…. like the Sun (there, Vukcevic, that should mollify you — you and the Sun are probably related, by Jove!).
        And I love Vukcevic because HE MAKES ME SMILE– “doc,” indeed, lol :).
        Vukcevic, stolidly determined last man standing for the Loyal Opposition — three cheers for Vuk!
        Please, do not stop posting!
        Janice
        #(:))

  30. Actually… I think Leif Svalgaard is more likely related to the Sun…. for he is apollyon of false science. Go, Dr. S{un}!
    #(:))
    No, dear Mr. Ellis, the Birkeland effect did not affect me… I’m this way 24/7/364.25, lololol.

  31. Here, dear Janice, is a song from me to you, now put away that box of Kleenex and smile!

    (Anne Murray with a Birkeland Effect hair do, woo-hooo!)
    Okay!
    I’m done.

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