How plasma connects the Sun to the climate

 Guest essay by Robert Johnson

earth-sun-connected

How plasma connects the Sun to the climate

The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) are a plasma phenomenon caused by charged particles from the solar wind entering the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Magnetic storms in the ionosphere, which have occasionally damaged satellites in orbit, are also evidence that the Earth’s upper atmosphere is electromagnetically connected to the Sun via the plasma in interplanetary space.

It’s recently been recognised that the atmosphere below the ionosphere is also a weak plasma due to the ionisation caused primarily by cosmic rays. So it’s plasma all the way down! The weather regions are directly connected to the Sun; even the air we breathe is all part of the same system.

This talk at the recent SIS meeting introduces plasma to the general reader and investigates how it enables variations in the Sun’s output to directly influence the weather systems here on Earth.

Here are the links to the text + slides on google drive; there are two size options with differing picture quality available to view and/or download. Apart from that, they’re identical.

“The variability of the Sun and the effects on Earth”. Text and slides (20Mb)

“The variability of the Sun and the effects on Earth”. Text and slides (5 Mb)

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257 thoughts on “How plasma connects the Sun to the climate

  1. I posted this video before, but it is so very apropos for this thread, so here it is again for your convenience.
    Plasma Physics’ Answers to the New Cosmological Questions, by Dr. Donald E. Scott
    presented at NASA Goddard

    I found this to be an informative, fascinating, and enjoyable talk covering the history of plasma cosmology, some fundamentals of plasma physics — including some common misconceptions and errors made by experts in the field — and some potential applications to new cosmological questions.
    I strongly encourage you to check it out!
    (1 hour long.)

    • I watched you original posting, it was well done.
      I might’ve even learned something, even if by accident 🙂

    • Well the very ionosphere itself; all those “Heavyside layers”, is a plasma. The transmission, refraction and eventually reflection of EM radiation at radio frequencies, is of course due to the ionized (plasma) of that region.
      Certain frequencies tend to barrel right on through the ionosphere, but maybe deflected (refracted, by the variation in refractive index versus radio frequencies. Eventually, you get an effective refractive index for a particular radio frequency , and following Snell’s Law, you end up getting what amounts to total internal reflection beyond a certain angle from the zenith which creates a “radio horizon” around your antenna. A satellite broadcasting at such a frequency will be communicating with earth inside that radio horizon (around your position), and beyond that it will be lost. This is a peculiar case, because the refractive index will be approximately 1.00 both below the ionosphere, and extra terrestrially, so you can get TIR both from above and below.
      I used to know this stuff like the back of my hand, having a Major in Radio Physics, and of course radio hams, breathe this stuff day and night.
      But back to the sun.
      Need I remind the WUWT audience, that our friend “Willie ” Wei Hock Soon of the Harvard Smithsonian Institute for Space Studies (I think) wrote with a co-author, a marvelous book; “The Maunder Minimum, and the Variable Sun-Earth Connection.”
      So Willie was way ahead of the curve in this area.
      Way to go Dr. Soon.
      g

  2. Couldn’t get either of the two links to work properly, could view up to 3 pages? Then naadaa
    “””Here are the links to the text + slides on google drive; there are two size options with differing picture quality available to view and/or download. Apart from that, they’re identical.
    “The variability of the Sun and the effects on Earth”. Text and slides (20Mb)
    “The variability of the Sun and the effects on Earth”. Text and slides (5 Mb) “””

    • This might help. The link downloads a “Google Drive” file. (this viewed with Mac OS X) shows onscreen, but will not save normally. There is a “down arrow” download symbol at the top of the page along with a “Printer” icon. Click on the down arrow and it will download a .pdf file of the complete presentation.

  3. It’s awesome to see this subject area hit the “mainstream” 🙂
    Our Changing Climate and the Variable Sun | Space News

    Ben Davidson on Climate and the Variable Sun | Space News

      • Nope, this is the standard crap attacks you get from the “establishment” types who seem to think that you can’t have intellect with out a license, aka piece of paper on hanging on your wall. Appeal to authority, how dare anyone not in our club have a position on this subject! Omagerd!
        Seriously, that expose’ is ridiculous and juvenile.
        A little look at the history of many scientific breakthroughs will illustrate a rather strong correlation of success when “outsiders” venture forth into closed scientific circles.
        ——————————————–
        Professional interest is best served by making what is easy to do seem hard; by subordinating laity to priesthood. … too vital a jobs project, contract-giver and protector of the social order to allow itself to be “re-formed.” It has political allies to guard its marches. -JTG
        ——————————————–

      • Whenever someone makes an attack video on youtube, they have a small fraction of the followers and views as the one they’re attacking. I wonder why?

      • “No qualifications in climate or solar physics, so it is difficult to see how he would have any special insight”.
        That is a very revealing statement.
        He is insulted that someone who is not officially “qualified”, could have insight!
        Because why? Because people are idiots until indoctrinated?
        This view seems to hold that ideas are not the product of fertile imaginations and creative sorts of intellect, but rather are a result of book learning and having travelled the some particular scholastic road?
        This is one of the reasons why science so often advances by paradigm shift, rather than incremental addition of knowledge.
        New ideas are rejected out of hand as having no merit, until they become so obvious that no one can credibly doubt them anymore.

      • New ideas are rejected out of hand as having no merit, until they become so obvious that no one can credibly doubt them anymore.
        ———————————–
        Ah so, the old NIH (not invented here) problem ……….. to protect one’s turf. from the newbies.

      • Are you saying we can’t reason without him ?
        We got this astrophysics stuff covered, it’s just common sense 🙂

    • I agree. This is pretty weak stuff. ” it’s plasma all the way down” seems to carry the same weight as the turtle theory.

      • I lean toward thinking that plasma and electric currents in space have often been underestimated in astronomy as to their importance, but that this is being corrected.
        Oh the other hand, I tend not to think that Saturn was our Sun until recently, which the EU folks maintain.

      • Yes. The Proto Saturn idea from the EU folks, is a bit too far out there for me as well, but their ideas on electric charge in space are much more compelling. The predictions made about comets have been the most astute and Stephen Smith’s rebuttal of the standard cosmological model (Big Bang, Black Holes, etc) is exceptional.

      • Christoph, if you actually followed the link you would see that it points to a report of the National Research Council of the National Academies.

      • I did follow the link, Leif, and saw what it was. My point isn’t that you wrote it; my point is your assertion it is the “correct view of plasma in the Cosmos”.
        It may be a good stab at it, but that’s quite a claim.

        • It is the best founded and comprehensive look we have today, backed up by extensive measurements in space and in the laboratory, so is a ‘correct’ as we can have it at this time. The EU and PU stuff are just nonsense, in the ‘not even wrong’ class. It is amazing how many people fall for this. No wonder that our politicians can exploit the scientific illiteracy among you guys for their own nefarious purposes.

      • I think it is simpler than that: a large number of sunspots can have larger fluctuations, while when the sun is free of spots, there is less to vary.

        • ‘Correct’ means that it corresponds to the solid knowledge we have, on contrast to ‘incorrect’ which means that it is at variance with what has been established as solid knowledge.

          • lsvalgaard commented

            ‘Correct’ means that it corresponds to the solid knowledge we have, on contrast to ‘incorrect’ which means that it is at variance with what has been established as solid knowledge.

            So, I have a question, in most fields there are 2nd,3rd,…. order effects that have not been identified by science, the solid knowledge of science.
            How does a scientist such as yourself investigate effects that science has not defined, maybe it’s rare, the Maunder Minimum, it’s hard to scrutinize something that happened a few hundred years ago, there little actual data, so there’s a lot of room to identify new science, if you could only get more/better data, isn’t this where the “crazy” ideas come in? Isn’t this the same space as where paradigm shifts come from?
            Now I accept you feel this isn’t it, but isn’t that how it goes as well?

          • there little actual data, so there’s a lot of room to identify new science, if you could only get more/better data, isn’t this where the “crazy” ideas come in?
            Crazy ideas without supporting data or at least plausible theory are just that: ‘crazy’ and do not cause paradigm shifts.

    • said the church to galileo- you priest worshipers are all alike. closed minds and open hands for the crumbs from the establishment. tesla said it best: mathematics will prove anything. all this bs to prove the current “cosmos” theories to keep the priests enthroned. all the nonsense about how magnetism and electricity are separate? now that AGW is flushed, many more “glittering nonsense” might be next to topple some cherished crapola from the entrenched credentialists- and by the way, the degrees an credentials of the electric universe crowd (not necessarily the Velikovsky studiers) are just as good as those in the dogma crowd. it takes courage to go up against the establishment- more evidence keeps coming up making current dogma harder and harder to explain- so wave your hands and invent dark energy and unexplainium.

      • Yes, I have seen a few references here and there to such things as the ice ages being ended by stars passing by.
        It is astonishing to me that anyone could think that a passing neighbor star could warm the earth by any significant amount, and yet not disrupt the planetary orbits.
        Assuming a star with the brightness of our sun came to within the orbit of Pluto, how much energy would that radiate to the earth fro way out there?
        And it seems unlikely in the extreme that any but a very dim red or brown dwarf could possibly exist in the solar neighborhood and have gone unnoticed. And even one of those would be visible to infrared scans by WISE and others.
        Poppycock for sure. Whatever may lurk unknown, nearby invisible stars aint on the list.

      • Actually, the Proto-Saturn hypothesis is simply one explanation for observed evidence of recent (in cosmological terms) violent planetary phenomena which appears to have been electrical. They do not claim it proven, merely state that it is theoretically possible.
        I personally don’t see much in the idea, but they don’t need to be correct on everything to have other ideas taken more seriously.

    • lsvalgaard.
      “As we have discussed so many times in the past, this whole subject is simply glittering nonsense.”
      I was thinking the same thing.

  4. Finally an article that addresses my observations of the “noise” I hear while enjoying my hobby. Talk to your friends that are Ham Radio Operators about the effects of sunspots, solar flares and other changes in solar magnetic fields. The Sun is a big radio transmitter. Why does the AGW Theory only consider the energy in the hump of the black body curve? WHY? The Chart showing the Sun’s Electromagnetic Spectrum is logarithmic, that means there are many more “frequencies” in the shorter wavelengths. A portion of the Suns electromagnetic radiation is radio waves. These waves hit the earth and has to do something to the atmosphere, ground and ocean waters. There are also periodic magnetic waves , particle ejections and Plasma ejections. Yes, some particles, plasma/radio waves do not penetrate the atmosphere but that means it was absorbed by the atmosphere. Same for the ground and ocean.
    Basically the earth has been placed in a “Microwave” Oven (like the microwave oven in your kitchen) for a period of days. And the AGW Theory claims that this has no effect on “global warming.” Then, you need to consider and determine what happens when the number of these events on the Sun decreases. They will also have an effect on “Global Warming” or can I say “Global Cooling?” How can the AGW Theory ignore these effects? Are they too poor to own a Microwave oven? What happens to The Heat of Conversion for Oxygen, Nitrogen, water and other components of the atmosphere when converted to/from plasma, and what are it effects on the atmosphere? And these conversions to/from plasma occur all of the time. Why else would the Amateur, Broadcast, government radio signals be affected?
    All of Space contains plasma and 90% of space is plasma. Plasma is the extension cord connecting the Earth to the Sun and the magnetism of the Earth channels and directs this in a way that MUST be considered to get a true understanding of the Sun’s effects upon the Earth.

      • Max,
        The Eclectic Universe does resemble a pseudo-scientific cult. I thought that was the case when I visited the thunderbolts forum a few years ago, where I “learned” (in a faith-based kind of way) that every phenomena under the sun (and within it) could be ascribed to a z-pinch.
        I have more sympathy for Barry Eccentrics wobbly world.

      • I don’t disagree with the description — at a minimum the Thunderbolts folks have a SERIOUS case of confirmation bias.
        But the way to deal with it is to point of the errors of their ideas. That’s really all I was getting at.

    • One thing we are really good at is detecting electricity, even miniscule voltages and currents. If there were electric currents flowing to earth through plasma “extension cords”, we would probably know about it.

      • We did not seem very up to the minute regarding upward directed lightning phenomena, which are poorly understood and only recently even proven to exist.
        And gamma rays and antimatter are detectable too, but we just found out that these are emitted by thunderstorms. I do not recall anyone giving an advanced prediction of those.
        Where is the big voltmeter monitoring current flows in space located, just out of curiosity?
        We may be good at measuring stuff, but we have a poor record for finding things we are not looking for.
        I would bet that if anyone could go to sleep for a hundred years, they would awake to find many new and amazing things have been discovered.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomagnetically_induced_current

      • The work by Sam Carey, James Maxlow and others provides compelling evidence that the Earth has expanded, with matter from space (be it solar or interstellar – electrons, protons, neutrons, x-ray/gamma/other radiation) being the most likely candidate for such expansion. This concept is another case of the ‘settled science’ paradigm in play.

        • Sure, about 50 tons of stuff falls on the Earth every day, so obviously the Earth grows larger by that amount every day. But apart from that, the Earth is not expanding [increasing in mass].

  5. About the sun: “We are connected”
    Duh.
    This is so boring. The Sun causes warming. No, it has cycles. No, it’s the plasma. But the data is that, based on the input from the sun we should be cooling. And we ain’t.

  6. lsvalgaard,
    I really want to understand here. So please, if you could park the insults for a moment I’d appreciate it.
    1) As I understand it, plasma is not ‘gas’, it is ionized matter. Gas is a lower phase state. So why is high-temperature matter referred to as “ionized gas”? It’s ‘plasma’, period.
    2) Moving charged particles constitute an electric current. Why is the ‘solar wind’ — which consists of moving charged particles — not called what it is: an electric current?
    3) I briefly looked at Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos — (I’ll give it more time later). What is striking to me is that it seems like the Cult of the Magnetic Field, to borrow from you. When I learned about Maxwell’s Equations, electricity and magnetism were unified. Why then in the publication you provided do magnetic fields dominate as if they are the be-all end-all? Are not magnetic fields caused by time-varying electric fields? Last time I checked there are electric monopoles; there are no magnetic monopoles. Electric charge is the cause; magnetic fields are the effect. Why has this been inverted?
    4) What’s with the claim that magnetic fields are “frozen” in plasmas? Does not the Crookes characteristic curve, and experimental observation, contradict this claim?
    5) What are the fundamental claims of the ‘Plasma Universe cult’ that are in error?
    Thanks
    Max

    • 1) if you ionize a gas you get a plasma, which is then ionized gas. Still with the characteristics of a gas as opposed to liquid and solid.
      2) the solar wind is electrically neutral [as are cosmic plasmas generally]. You consists of a neutral mixture of charged particles, electrons and nuclei. But you walking down the street does not constitute an electric current.
      3) electric fields are caused by changing magnetic fields. The big difference is that the electric field depends on the frame of reference, while the magnetic field does not.
      4) as Alfven showed in a high-conductivity plasma and on length scales long enough, the magnetic field and the plasma are tied together.
      5) too many to mention, just about everything. Perhaps the claim that the Sun is powered from the outside instead of by nuclear fusion in the core takes the prize.

    • I was reading up on Wilson’s and Penzias’ note as they were discovering the background radiation of creation. They thought ( were told ) the the observations were from pigeon sh1t inside the antenna horn.
      Yeah some know-it-all got the 2 soon-to-be Nobel Laureates to scrub [….] rather than look at the signal as data.
      Typical. Know-it-alls AlWAYS let you down.
      Roger Bacon, the inventor of the modern scientific method proposed 4 main obstacles to obtaining the truth in his OPUS MAJUS (1267 Anno Domini)
      1) the example of weak and unreliable authority;
      2) continuance of custom,
      3) regard to the opinion of the unlearned, and
      4) concealing one’s own ignorance, together with the exhibition of apparent wisdom

    • Max, you do not need to have a time varying electric field, in order to have magnetism. A static electric field can give a magnetic field.
      What you DO require is to have an electric current flowing; and you can have a stable electric current flowing with a perfectly stable electric field.
      BUT !! if you DO have a varying electric current, which means you have a varying magnetic field, then you also MUST have accelerating electric charges.
      And accelerating electric charge, which is simply a varying electric current is all your need to get electro-magnetic radiation, which will propagate energy.
      Maxwell’s equations describe the whole thing. I have no idea what exactly quantum mechanics adds to that, as I am not a quantum mechanic.
      But I’m not much of a fan of the idea of there being gulf streams of plasma roaming the universe. Sure located near stars and such, but I would take Leif’s word on the scope of these notions. Where the sun ends, and everything else starts, is beyond my ken, so I just let those who play with this all day long, tell us what they think.
      As for this specific paper. Well I’ll have to read it to find what’s in it.
      g

      • George, yes, I should have asked, “Are not time-varying magnetic fields caused by time-varying electric fields?” I was trying to get at the dynamic case given that’s what’s ‘out there’ … but with my wording, you are correct. Good catch 🙂
        One example of what quantum mechanics adds to Maxwell’s Equations is a better handling of double-slit experimental observations that Maxwell’s Equations couldn’t explain.
        As for the ‘gulf streams of plasma roaming the universe”, remember that plasmas self-organize into cellular regions, and that there can be relative motion among such regions.

  7. It took 1 hour and 16 minutes for the stench of rotting fish to permeate the room.
    mmmmm saw it coming…. didn’t you all? I will watch and observe the miasma bring death and despair.
    Oh… before I forget, It is the sun stupid.
    Just love all those postings on the sun. It is by far my favorite subject. Too busy tonight to watch the presentation.

  8. Woo Woo Woo Dr. S.
    TeV solar cosmic ray shadow..
    Will have to read the following from start to finish instead of just page 9 forward. lol all those pos and negs switching around oh my.
    Solar Sector Structure
    Hugh Hudson · Leif Svalgaard · Iain
    Hannah
    page 9
    “””…4.1.2 Remote-sensing observations
    The idea of using the cosmic-ray shadows of large structures (Clark 1957) has
    developed into a method for probing the coronal magnetic field (Amenomori
    et al. 1993; Amenomori et al. 2013). This observation uses TeV-energy primary
    cosmic rays detected via their extensive air showers, and the first results
    immediately showed a significant modification of the solar cosmic-ray shadow
    depending on the presence of towards and away sectors. Since this 1993 paper,
    the data have accumulated and improved to the point where more sophisticated
    analyses for coronal magnetic-field structure have become possible. Figure
    6, from Amenomori et al. (2013), shows the development of the cosmic-ray
    shadow detection over a solar-cycle time span….”””
    “””…The observations shown in Figure 6 permitted
    the authors to distinguish a standard PFSS model from a more elaborate
    current-sheet model Zhao and Hoeksema (1995). More elaborate data
    analyses may allow us to follow the structure of the heliospheric field in the
    relatively unknown domain at the distance of the standard source surface,
    2.5 R, and of course it would be most interesting to be able to characterize
    the development of the warp structure of the heliospheric current sheet in this
    region…””””
    Maybe they might find the inner region, reconnection region for Ol Sol? Ya know Ol Sol is connected to the Milky Way, well at least so far as we know thus…

  9. Anyone interested in this might be interested in the Electric Universe theory presented at Thunderbolts.info and elsewhere.

    • Thunderbolts.info is an interesting read inasmuch as it poops on the “establishment”, which is cool because the establishment never knows as much as it thinks it does. But there really should be a for entertainment purposes only disclaimer.

      • RH,
        The way I personally think about the modeling of phenomena in any given field — that is, the science of a field — such as cosmology, is to keep in mind a ranked set of explanations. For example, take the sun. The current standard model of the sun — and remember, it’s only a model — may totally dominate, and may fit far better than any lower ranked model, such as the EU’s electric sun model. But the poorer fitting models do provide valuable functions: they present challenges, however feeble; they help expose weaknesses in the leading model; they help to remind us that the leading model is just that — a model … and Lord knows people can easily slip into thinking the leading model equals reality; they are outlets for creative thinking about problem solving, even if incorrect; they may be interesting and entertaining in their own right; …
        I think something is lost when people rally around the dominant model to the total exclusion of lower ranked models, especially when it is accompanied by arrogance and disdain. I think a serious student of any subject, such as the sun, would delight in and be open to all models of the subject, just as an historian would appreciate all models from days-gone-by because of they were all stepping stones to the present, and they all represent the human mind groping and grasping and reaching for the truth, however clumsily.
        So for example, while I am not an advocate of the electric sun model, I certainly hold it in high regard for its sheer creativity. And thinking about it has forced me to learn a lot more about plasma physics, solar dynamics, and so forth, that I might not have picked up otherwise.
        But that’s just me.

      • “for entertainment purposes only disclaimer”
        I honestly think that such a disclaimer is apt when these subjects come up science media:
        -Black holes
        -Neutron stars
        -Supermassive black holes
        -Multiple dimensions
        -Dark matter
        -Dark energy
        -Cosmic inflation
        -The Big Bang
        -The Big Crunch
        -Strange matter
        -Magnetic reconnection
        -The hydrogen fusion model of stars
        -Gravitational waves
        -The Higg’s “God” particle
        https://youtu.be/WoNaVb7b-tg?t=561

        • You are just describing most of the scientific progress of recent decades. Your willful ignorance is akin to that of the cardinal who refused to look through Galileo’s telescope…

  10. [trimmed!] Does that mean “Dark Energy” is actually plasma?
    [Good rejoinder, but trim the language please. .mod]

  11. Robert Johnson has overlooked Joule heating and ozone destruction from the solar wind in the polar regions.
    Piers’ work has fundamental problems. In his EU presentation video at 24 minutes in, the claimed solar-lunar ~58yr beat period can only result from the beat of 11.07yr and 9.3yr, and 58yr is near 5 solar cycles. So on two counts it has nothing to with the 22yr solar magnetic cycle. And look-backs based upon however many solar cycles is not going to forecast the solar activity that decides how warm or cold it will be from one week to the next.

  12. This is a wonderful article, and thanks for the links… finally a reprise from the topic of arctic,… I looked this up on wikipedia too, but I’m not sure if wikipedia is to be trusted… After all I’ve edited wikipedia quite a few times myself.

  13. Oh where or where have all of the sunspots gone Leif? Why is the solar northern large scale magnetic field intensity flat lining? The current change in the sun is what causes a Heinrich event. The sun will be spotless by the end of this year. The solar cycle has been interrupted.
    Sometimes the only way science can advance is when there is in your face evidence that falsifies the standard models. We truly live in interesting times.
    The sun and stars are significantly different than the standard model. There are a couple of hundred astronomical anomalies and paradoxes that support that assertion.
    What could cause millions of ‘nanoflares’ on the surface of the sun that are 10 million degrees Kevin?
    Try not to guess, hint the standard stellar model is not correct. Our sun is a second generation star that formed about the old core of a supernova. What is formed when a star collapses? Hint, black holes do not exist. What forms when a massive object collapses is an active object. The correct answer is a miniature version of the mysterious object that is called a Quasar. The researchers that are proposing that the active object is a Magnetospheric Enternally Collapsing Object (MECO) are on the correct track.
    The physical reason why there are millions per second 10 million degree Kelvin nanoflares on the surface of the sun is the active object in the core of the sun quickly carries energy from the core of the sun to surface of the sun.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150429094830.htm

    Strong evidence for coronal heating theory (William, what the heck creates the 10 million degree Kevin nanoflares?)
    The sun’s surface is blisteringly hot at 5,778 Kelvin (5,505 Celsius) — but its atmosphere is another 300 times hotter. This has led to an enduring mystery for those who study the sun: What heats the atmosphere to such extreme temperatures? Normally when you move away from a hot source the environment gets cooler, but some mechanism is clearly at work in the solar atmosphere, the corona, to bring the temperatures up so high.
    Jim Klimchuk, a solar scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, explained that the new evidence supports a theory that the sun’s corona is heated by tiny explosions called nanoflares. These are impulsive heating bursts that individually reach incredibly hot temperatures of some 10 million Kelvins or 18 million degrees Fahrenheit – even greater than the average temperature of the corona – and provide heat to the atmosphere. The research evidence presented by the panel spotted this super hot solar material, called plasma, representative of a nanoflare.
    “The explosions are called nanoflares because they have one-billionth the energy of a regular flare,” said Klimchuk. “Despite being tiny by solar standards, each packs the wallop of a 10 megaton hydrogen bomb. Millions of them are going off every second across the sun, and collectively they heat the corona.”

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0602453v1.pdf
    The Magnetospheric Eternally Collapsing Object (MECO) Model of Galactic Black Hole Candidates and Active Galactic Nuclei
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-4357/596/2/L203/pdf/17685.web.pdf
    ON INTRINSIC MAGNETIC MOMENTS IN BLACK HOLE CANDIDATES
    http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/350/4/1391.full.pdf
    On the Origin of the Universal Radio-X-Ray Luminosity Correlation In Black Hole Candidates

    • William Astley April 30, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      The sun and stars are significantly different than the standard model. There are a couple of hundred astronomical anomalies and paradoxes that support that assertion.

      I do so enjoy science by assertion, the idea that simply by making a claim without a scrap of supporting evidence one can convince a generally skeptical audience.
      w.

      • Willis,
        There are hundreds of astronomical observations that support the assertion that the sun is significantly different than the standard model. This is not however the correct forum for an in depth discussion of astronomical paradoxes and anomalies. The piles and piles of paradoxes and anomalies (in peer reviewed papers) affect fundamental cosmological issues, concerning whether the universe is eternal or started from a big bang 13.7 billion years ago. The selection of the big bang theory over the eternal theory was made roughly 40 years ago.
        It is quite astonishing how many props have been created to keep the big bang theory on life support. ‘Inflation’ for example which is a millions of times faster than light expansion of the entire universe is required to explain anomaly after anomaly. Inflation expands the entire universe with no change in velocity (the velocity less expansion is required as deceleration would generate emf which is not observed). Inflation starts and stops with a magic wand. There is no mechanism. The cosmic background 3.7k radiation, is uniform on small scales to one part in 100,000 which would require a very, very, uniform distribution of matter 13.7 billion years ago. As we know there are galaxies a back of the envelope calculation indicates the CMB should vary no less than 1 part in 5000 to 7000. The mechanism less inflation is required to make that paradox go away. On very large scales there are massive cold and hot spots in the CMB. The massive cold and hot spots further more are aligned with the axis of our galaxy which does not make sense.
        Of course no one has travelled into the sun or into a star. Our direct instrumentation observation of the sun is limited to around 50 years. It is not surprising therefore that the standard solar model and stellar model is not correct.
        If I understand the mechanisms and what is currently happening to the sun we are going to have a chance to observe the cause of the cyclic Heinrich events which is a once in 8000 to 10,000 year event.
        I might attempt a Coles notes presentation that is appropriate for this forum of how the sun Is different than the standard model if and when there is unequivocal observational evidence of an interruption to the solar cycle.
        Now on the other hand, the observations and logic that support the deep core CH4 origin over the late veneer hypothesis as the source for the earth’s atmosphere and oceans is readily accessible to a general audience. I am preparing a couple of presentations of the observations and logic (from Thomas Gold’s book and new recent papers and discoveries) that supports the CH4 deep core model and will follow with a proof of Salby’s hypothesis that no less than 66% of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to natural CO2 sources rather than anthropogenic CO2 emission.

        • Of course no one has travelled into the sun or into a star. Our direct instrumentation observation of the sun is limited to around 50 years. It is not surprising therefore that the standard solar model and stellar model is not correct.
          Several things wrong. With spectrograph we have observed for 150 years, with magnetographs for 100 years, with telescopes 400 years, with the naked eye for millions. And we can see inside the sun, e.g. with helioseismology [the same method successfully used to find oil in the earth’s crust], or with direct observation of the neutrino flux. These methods show us that the standard model works exceedingly well.

        • William Astley commented

          ‘Inflation’ for example which is a millions of times faster than light expansion of the entire universe is required to explain anomaly after anomaly. Inflation expands the entire universe with no change in velocity (the velocity less expansion is required as deceleration would generate emf which is not observed). Inflation starts and stops with a magic wand. There is no mechanism.

          Actually I’ve thought of a “simple” mechanism, to create a singularity (if they actually exist), would require space to collapse, x,y, z becomes points with no length.
          Imagine the reverse of this, at the big bang, space x,y,z since it is also a singularity, would be collapsed, and as the BB progressed would unfold, instant space.

      • Willis Eschenbach
        April 30, 2015 at 8:53 pm
        I do so enjoy science by assertion, the idea that simply by making a claim without a scrap of supporting evidence one can convince a generally skeptical audience.

        Are you concerned with the science getting ahead of the evidence, or, simply concerned with being left behind?
        These articles are consistent with Hawking’s Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes.
        Remember that Hawking first proposed black holes in 1975, and refined his theories once they were actually discovered.

    • William Astley,
      Thanks for including the links to the scientific papers. I am not sure I agree with you, but I think I will read those links. It will take some time, but it may be worth it to look at a different model. I can recall when we first started using those things called “hyperlinks” and some of us wondered if they would ever be of any real use. 🙂

    • Oh where or where have all of the sunspots gone Leif? Why is the solar northern large scale magnetic field intensity flat lining? The current change in the sun is what causes a Heinrich event. The sun will be spotless by the end of this year. The solar cycle has been interrupted.
      It is quite normal that small cycles show large variations of the sunspot count; just two weeks ago, the sunspot number was over a hundred. The northern polar fields are no longer flat, the north has joined the south in increasing http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/north.gif . The Sun is behaving quite normally and the solar cycle still has another five years to go. You claim every year that the sun will be spotless a year hence, and you have been wrong every time.

  14. I did not learn just one new thing today, I learned two new things.
    1) The sun is externally powered.
    2) The troposphere is composed of plasma.
    I never would have suspected.

    • “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
      “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
      Alice in Wonderland.

  15. I am somewhat interested in the plasma / electric universe theories. But as I read this article (short) and the comments. To me no one mentioned the interaction between those plasma flows, the magnetic field and the VanAllen belts which (taking altogether) to me seem to have a fairly large impact on life as we know it. So call me stupid but that impact to me includes climate.
    The more I learn it seems the less I know.

  16. Reading some of these exchanges, I am reminded of a Dave Barry column I read a very long time ago. I barely remember the exact wording, but it was about the guys who looks for subatomic particles in the rails of debris from collisions of other particles.
    I laughed for years over the line:
    “Oh, there is one! I saw one! At least, I think it was one.”

  17. As each year literally passes by the scientific evidence for solar/climate connections keeps increasing overall. Of course there will always be hold outs , but that is normal.
    I would say there are so many solar/climate connections out there that the probability that one or two at the very least will be realized is very high, and this is all it will take just one or two of the solar climate connections to be real and there is a solar/climate connection in play.
    In addition the various theories put forth from this evidence are quite good and logical .
    Then in addition to all of this, is the global temperature data corresponds quite strongly to solar variability as is evidenced by the temperature drops associated with the Maunder and Dalton Solar Minimums and the temperature rise of the Solar Maximum ,corresponding to the Medieval Warm Period and Modern Warm period of temperature last century, as well as the temperature rise following the Maunder Minimum and Dalton Solar Minimum.
    In addition many of the solar climate connections are not only superimposed upon noise in the climate system but the solar variability within itself often times acts in opposition to it’s effects on the climate system.
    An example would be during a prolonged solar minimum period ozone decreases in the lower stratosphere but increases in the upper stratosphere.
    Another example would be some particular waves of UV light (240nm) have a much greater impact on ozone formation then others and it has been found that UV light and visible light are in anti-phase with one another which obscures TSI variability, or makes it seem less then what it really is.
    Another example is it has been suggested that an intensification of both Arctic Anticyclones and Mid Latitude Cyclones will be associated with an increase with GCR flux at solar minimums of the 11 year cycle when the polar vortex is in an epoch of strength, but the opposite will occur when the polar vortex is in an epoch of weakness.
    That is with the 11 year solar cycle which is not going to have the same effects that a prolonged solar minimum period will have on the climate.
    It is not straight forward and that is the point I am trying to make and there are also just to many possibilities out there , some are gong to come to fruition.

    • all it will take just one or two of the solar climate connections to be real and there is a solar/climate connection in play
      It is simpler than that, all it will take is just zero solar climate connections to be real and there is no solar/climate connection in play…

    • If ever there was an example of post-modern research thinking, Salvatore has provided it. Come equipped with confirmation bias then set out to find stuff that might match your bias. Warmists do it all the time. The fact that they get paid for it out of my tax dollars and solar-climate enthusiasts do not does not make one or the other side any more legit. Confirmation bias does not depend on a paycheck.

  18. This study along with so many others shows how the tide is going against those who do not subscribe to solar /climate connections.
    I also predict they will grudgingly change their views if at all, and will hold out in the face of the data to the very end. It is very similar to those who keep promoting AGW theory in the face of data that shows this theory is utter nonsense.
    The study presented today is excellent and I will be obtaining many more additional solar/climate insights from this study.

  19. The high magnetic activity of the sun does not cause temperature fluctuations in the stratosphere over the polar circle. Of course, there is also no pressure peaks.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_ANOM_ALL_SH_2015.gif
    https://i1.wp.com/www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.aao.cdas.gif
    https://i2.wp.com/www.bartol.udel.edu/~pyle/thespnplot2.gif
    The polar vortex is strong, because the ice grows quickly.

  20. “Monitoring cosmic rays is one way to gain a better understanding of the very complex relationship between Earth and the rest of the universe. In a time when people tamper with practices that alter our atmosphere, we have to be aware of the risks. The atmosphere is naturally balanced to protect life on earth from such dangers as cosmic rays. Ozone, the stratosphere, and ionosphere are all fragile components of the atmosphere which man in many ways has invaded.”

  21. “North-south running pipelines at high latitudes are prone to corrosion from large electrical currents running deep through the Earth. The electrical currents are enhanced by magnetic field changes from the solar wind. The changes in the magnetic field are detected by cosmic ray monitors. These currents are a major cause of corrosion in the Trans Alaska pipeline which runs south from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.”
    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/listen/main.html#atmos

  22. “Another event recorded by neutron monitors is caused by solar flares. Solar flares erupt from the surface of the sun during high solar activity. Occasionally solar particles accelerate to such high energy (greater than 400 million electron volts) that they are seen by the neutron monitor. Thus, while galactic cosmic rays are less common during high solar activity, solar cosmic rays are more common. The flare particles are recorded as a sharp increase followed by a slower decrease to previous values, usually within 24 hours. Figure 7 illustrates how neutron monitors at Inuvik and Goose Bay responded to a flare on May 24, 1990.”

  23. The Earth’s magnetic field acts as a protective barrier against cosmic rays. Because they are mostly charged particles, their direction of travel is strongly influenced by magnetic fields. The higher the energy acquired by cosmic ray particles, the less affected they are by magnetic fields.
    Cosmic rays do not get far into the atmosphere before they collide with nitrogen or oxygen molecules in the air. The collision destroys the cosmic ray particle and the air molecule, and then several new particles emerge. Cosmic rays from space are termed “primary,” and any particles created in the atmosphere from collisions are termed “secondary.” A bit of energy is transferred to each new secondary particle. Secondary cosmic rays spread out and continue to hit other particles and air molecules, creating a cascade of particles showering towards the ground. Figure 2 shows how the particles shower to the ground.
    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/listen/fig2.jpg

  24. “It’s recently been recognised that the atmosphere below the ionosphere is also a weak plasma due to the ionisation caused primarily by cosmic rays. So it’s plasma all the way down!”
    Very interesting. That would mean that there are two types of plasma that are operational in Earth’s atmosphere:
    http://wp.me/p4JijN-by

  25. It’s the sun stupid. No wait, it’s what is affecting the sun stupid. No wait, it’s what is affecting what is affecting the sun stupid. No wait…

  26. This study is insightful, and is talking about mattes which need to be brought out when it comes to solar/climate possible connections. This current prolonged solar minimum period I hope will shed more light on this study.
    The study presented here is saying as far as I can determine that galactic cosmic rays modulate the global electrical circuit, in that when the global electric circuit increases ,due to galactic cosmic rays increasing more clouds will result along with pressure variations at the surface of the atmosphere correlating to the global electrical circuit.
    They are saying pressure variation at the surface will increase when the global electrical circuit is stronger via cosmic ray increases and vice versa WHEN the solar cycle is in an 11 year so called rhythmic cyclic mode.
    What one has to keep in mind is when a study is referring to the 11 year rhythmic solar cycle variability mode versus the climate(as this one apparently is ) or when studies are referring to prolonged periods of solar variability versus the climate which does not result in necessarily the same climatic outcomes.
    An example of this is below which suggest the following ; which is at times of prolonged solar minimum conditions the evidence is the strength of the polar vortex will diminish in intensity due to ozone concentration changes in distributions between the equator and poles in a horizontal and vertical sense, giving rise to a more meridional atmospheric circulation pattern. In addition a meridional atmospheric circulation pattern will give rise to stronger surface pressure systems all things being equal.
    On the other hand another study tries to convey that over an 11 year solar cycle(11 year solar cycle) an intensification of surface pressure systems are shown to be in evidenced with an increase in GCR at times of the solar minimum when the sun is in an 11 year rhythmic cycle and the polar vortex is in an epoch of strength. To make it more confusing this same study says when the polar vortex is in an epoch of weakness the effects of the 11 year sunspot cycle versus GCR are opposite. The epoch cycle for the polar vortex relative strength being 60 years.
    So various studies are talking about different items(surface pressure versus polar vortex strength) while at the same time some are equating the changes to an 11 year solar cycle versus prolonged solar events. It can be extremely confusing if these matters are not clarified.
    I will try to send this study

  27. Robert Johnson,
    Here is a summary of what is wrong with your presentation: http://www.sciencecartoonsplus.com/pages/gallery.php
    Slide 44
    step 1: UV warms the ozone layer in the stratosphere
    step 2: alters the temperature gradient in the troposphere
    You need to be more explicit in step 2.
    slide 54
    step 1: charged particles in an electric field create an electrical current
    step 2: that drives barometric pressure changes
    You need to be more explicit in step 2.
    slide 58:
    step 1: Clear air is a weak plasma
    step 2: winds driven partly by electromagnetic forces
    You need to be more explicit in step 2.
    If you want to convince me that you are not a crank, back up your assertions and speculations with calculations to show that they are plausible. While you are at it, you can provide calculations to show that ion production by cosmic rays is sufficient to supply the downward current of 1.6 pA/m^2 (your number) and that such ion production is significant with respect to other sources, such as radon.
    But you won’t, since you are just a crank. (I will apologize if you actually provide reasonable calculations.)

    • “step 2: alters the temperature gradient in the troposphere”
      A warm stratosphere does push the tropopause down and a colder stratosphere allows it to rise but UV only has an effect in so far as it affects the ozone creation / destruction balance. There are other chemical reactions that are more significant.
      “step 2: that drives barometric pressure changes”
      The change in tropopause height affects convection which drives barometric pressure changes but that is nothing to do with electrical currents.
      “step 2: winds driven partly by electromagnetic forces”
      Winds are driven by density variations
      Thus I think this thread is flawed.

  28. Mike this is very complicated and I agree with your points but I think they have one of the general areas of where the solar/climate connection needs to be focused on.
    Nevertheless, that is why in my previous post I tried to show the confusion which you brought out even more so in your post.
    I think the generality of this study is good but not the specifics in some instances. .

  29. “The solar cycle could be entering a phase with a
    stronger-than-usual “La Niña” character. Following a
    century-level solar minimum during 2008–2009, Solar
    Cycle 24 has risen up—but only enough to become the
    weakest cycle in more than 50 years. Total solar irradiance,
    which always experiences an uptick around
    Solar Max, has increased only half as much as in the three
    previous cycles, while UV/EUV irradiances (key drivers
    of space weather) are up only 50%–70%. These low
    numbers are not indicators of “quiet,” however. As the
    solar cycle turned sideways shows, solar variability
    always has the potential to have a major impact on Earth
    and humanity.”
    http://oi59.tinypic.com/28mdt.jpg

  30. I think it is much simpler than all that plasma / electric field stuff since all one needs to do is alter ozone amounts above the tropopause differently above equator and poles in response to solar variability.
    I started along that track in 2010 and a recent version can be found here:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/is-the-sun-driving-ozone-and-changing-the-climate/
    Simply proposing solar effects on the ozone creation / destruction balance neatly sidesteps Leif’s objections. A chemical reaction process is all one needs.
    The proposed effect on global albedo and heating of the oceans overlaps with part of the chain of causation set out in my New Climate Model.

    • I’m not objecting to try to find sun weather/climate connections, having done that myself in the past [even being credited with reviving the ‘field’ back in the 1970s]. I’m objecting to the trash being trotted out in this tread. The amount of nonsense being lapped up by the unwashed masses is amazing.

      • The only point I have brought out today is there are many (possible) solar/climate connections and because there are so many there is a possibility that some are going to prove to be correct.
        I think the area this study centered on is one of the areas where the connection might come about although there are so many different areas.
        I say there has to be something to this, if not why then all of the countless studies which if anything are increasing in this area. No one is going to waste their time studying an area that does not offer possibilities.
        Another point is the more I study this area the more unknowns I see that are out there. This area has many more discoveries and to make any clear conclusions at this stage is very premature to say the least.
        Every study has to be analyzed and talk about.
        I think the prolonged solar minimum if it turns out to be significant is going to go a long way in clearing matters.
        I think there are solar climate connections others do not.

      • I tend to agree.
        It was your, often ascerbic, comments that led me to look for something more plausible than the sort of explanation proposed in this post.
        Since ozone reacts with incoming solar energy to create the temperature inversion that creates the tropopause it is but a short step to seek a link between changes in wavelengths and particles from the sun and chemical changes involving ozone.
        Having noted the cyclical changes between zonality (less clouds) and meridionality(more clouds) it was necessary to propose a solar induced change in the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles.
        No need for ‘plasma’ in space or an electric universe,
        There may be a correlation with cosmic rays and magnetic field strengths but those are not causative factors since they do not directly affect the ozone creation / destruction balance.
        I much prefer my solution to any other currently out there, and there are lots.
        I like to keep things simple but no more simple than necessary 🙂

      • “by the unwashed masses” …. Well how very elitist. Yes, how dare anyone disagree huh? Do you refer to yourself as we yet?

    • Stephen, I agree with your solar/climate connections although I think there may be many others which you as of today do not recognize. I emphasize may. That is why a study of this sort is good even though it should have been more clear.
      They always write these things as if we the readers know more then we do, including myself.
      I want studies which are every clear and take a step by step approach.
      As we know many of the studies posted are mumble jumble with data that is so confusing it is impossible to follow.

      • Salvatore,
        Anything that affects the ozone creation / destruction balance above the tropopause is accommodated by my hypothesis.
        If it doesn’t affect the ozone creation / destruction process then it cannot affect the global temperature unless it is variations in atmospheric mass, the strength oif the gravitational field or TOA insolation.

    • Hmmm, McCracken and Beer, huh?
      And who could doubt anything suggested by that high-minded duo!

  31. Bob has obviously sparked a good discussion. He has also revealed closed minds and arrogant behaviour amongst a few contributors. I don’t see anyone explaining the ‘fusion’-heated Sun having ANY cycles. Whether its 11 or 22 year, 60 or 221 there are undoubtably repeat cycles in our climate, which probably follow solar influence. We may be in for a big dip if the 221 cycle carries on http://www.sis-group.org.uk/files/images/events/Slide68.JPG.
    An electric sun will follow its power source variations. Clearly the passage of our solar system within the Milky Way galactic spiral is the best place to start looking.
    Q: I wonder how much of a magnetic field the Earth would have if/ when the Sun switches off?

  32. Intrinsic natural variation factors must be ruled out before extrinsic factors can be ruled in. Don’t be givin’ “other” solar or anthropogenic explanations until you have proven that intrinsic natural factors can NOT be the cause, else I smack you upside the head. Gawd I love the null hypothesis. Must I haul solar and CO2 enthusiasts kicking and screaming to the woodshed for a proper smack upside the head?

  33. I wrote as follows:

    Willis Eschenbach April 30, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    William Astley April 30, 2015 at 8:21 pm
    The sun and stars are significantly different than the standard model. There are a couple of hundred astronomical anomalies and paradoxes that support that assertion.

    I do so enjoy science by assertion, the idea that simply by making a claim without a scrap of supporting evidence one can convince a generally skeptical audience.
    w.

    William Astley replied

    Willis,
    There are hundreds of astronomical observations that support the assertion that the sun is significantly different than the standard model. This is not however the correct forum for an in depth discussion of astronomical paradoxes and anomalies.

    Thanks, William, but I did not ask for “an in-depth discussion of astronomical paradoxes and anomalies”. I asked for at least a few citations so that I could understand what the !@#$%^ you are mumbling about. Waving your hands at unspecified “paradoxes” and unidentified “anomalies” is worse than meaningless, because it may convince the credulati.
    In response you have merely repeated your claim, once again without a scrap of supporting evidence.
    Pass.
    w.

  34. Thank you to all who have taken the time to read my presentation and comment thoughtfully on it. I’d like to correct a couple of apparent misunderstandings.
    Firstly, this presentation has NOTHING to do with the Electric Universe theory of an electrically-powered Sun; I do not subscribe to that theory as I have made clear elsewhere. Nor does this presentation have any relation to any other aspects of the various EU-related theories, except in the sense that both recognise the undisputed fact that space is full of plasma.
    Secondly, this presentation is based on peer-reviewed publications regarding the variability of the Sun, the Solar Wind – Magnetosphere Coupling (SWMC) mechanism and the Global Electric Circuit (GEC), all of which have been discussed and investigated for decades. References are given at the end of the talk and include, inter alia, Vahrenholt & Luning’s ‘The Neglected Sun’, papers by Akasofu, a leading researcher into the SWMC, and Chalmers’ (1950) book ‘Atmospheric Electricity’, included specifically to demonstrate just how long-established this subject is. I would also like to mention the paper by Laken et al (2010), which is one of those which recognises that the lower atmosphere is a weakly conducting plasma, as quoted in my text. There are also references to three papers by Svalgaard who is apparently amongst those who have commented here.
    The point is, if one chooses to disagree with the central theme of my talk that the Sun may be linked to the GEC in the climate regions via electromagnetic effects in plasma then one has also to disagree with many of the findings of these and many other researchers.
    I accept that the role of plasma in cosmology remains the subject of intense debate and so there is, naturally, room for argument about the subject under discussion here. IMO, this debate is rooted in the disagreement between Eugene Parker on the one hand (aside: who I see is a member of the Committee on Solar and Space Physics who produced the report ‘Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos’ which lsvalgaard has recommended above as being the definitive version of plasma behaviour) and Hannes Alfven on the other about the primacy of magnetic fields versus electric currents in plasma in space. Parker of course prefers the former, as he has made very clear in his 2007 book ‘Conversations on Electric and Magnetic Fields in the Cosmos’ in which he appears to suggest that main advantage is that the equations then become solvable. Alfven was more pragmatic and more of an experimentalist; he recognised that plasma does not always behave as the equations predict.
    This debate is by no means settled. For example, Parks (2004) ‘Why space physics needs to go beyond the MHD box’, Space science reviews, 113(1-2), 97-121, provides a powerful argument for the alternative, that the role of electric currents is of critical importance despite the fact that we cannot solve the resulting equations; we can only model the behaviour using iterative computer simulations.
    Unless basic questions like this are resolved, it is unlikely that we will be able to fully understand the Sun, the SWMC mechanism and the GEC. Until then, I cannot see how we can sensibly exclude the possibility that the Sun is directly linked to the climate regions and I welcome the continuing debate around the issues.

    • about the primacy of magnetic fields versus electric currents in plasma in space.
      I think you misunderstand the issue. It is generally accepted [also by Parker] that almost all of the interesting phenomenon [flares, aurorae, magnetic storms] are due to electric currents. There is no debate about that. It is also generally accepted [also by Alfven] that those currents are generated by movement relative to magnetic fields. Alfven had stressed repeatedly that electric fields depend on the reference frame, i.e. that there is no electric field in a frame moving with the plasma. So it is not about ‘primacy’, it is simply about ‘what causes what’. Because cosmic plasmas are highly conductive, any electric currents will ‘short out’ immediately if not regenerated all the time by the plasma moving across a magnetic field.
      As an aside, I note that it is not the case that the air is a plasma, even if there are a small amount of charges floating around, so it is not ‘plasma all the way down’.

      • Thank you for such an illuminating comment. I enjoy it when you switch from dark mode cryptic Leif to glow mode expansive Leif who sheds immense amounts of light on the subject at hand. I sit on the sidelines and watch both sides of the debate accuse each other of speudoscience and get the feeling they are talking past each other. Following you over the years has required me to ‘hit the books’ to try to understand what you (both sides) are talking about.
        One thing that puzzles me as a non physicist, and leads to confusion, is why physicists use terms from Newtonian physics to describe Maxwellian behaviors in plasmas when they are obviously responding to forces outside the domain of gravitation. ‘Outside’ is probably not the best term. Perhaps ‘overpowered by’ Electromagetic forces, also not instead of. An example would be ‘convection’ in the Earth’s ring current. Or the convection zone of the sun having a Reynolds number that is incompatable with normal convection as we see it on Earth.
        I am resigned to the notion that the Universe is composed of layer upon layer of ever changing and interactive vector fields that are beyond my ability to calculate a solution to.
        “And yet it moves.”-attributed to Galileo.

          • “Newtonian physics is perfectly adequate for the task at hand which is why we use it.”
            Does it not appear to fail with regard to dark matter and dark energy ?

          • probably not. Newtonian physics is not just Newton’s physics of the 17th century, but the more general laws, e.g. that Force = Mass * Acceleration. Maxwell’s laws fall under that umbrella too. For the Sun, stuff like dark energy does not seem to be relevant. Dark matter may be in the sun, but has not been demonstrated to be present, and would fall under Newtonian physics anyway, as DM is detected by its gravitational effect.

          • Leif,
            Yes , I’m inclined to agree that so called dark matter and dark energy do fall within Newtonian physics since it is gravitational effects that imply their existence.
            Which leads me to a query which you may be able to answer.
            I note that from space Earth appears to have a temperature of 255K but in fact the surface temperature is at 288K and the interior is hotter still.
            The temperatures above 255K are apparently hidden from view to an external observer and the reason for that appears to be that convection ties energy up in potential form that does not register as heat and so it does not radiate to space.
            Now, current cosmological theories involve a steady state or alternatively, a big bang resulting in constant (exponential) expansion and neither of those theories involve convection.
            Supppose the universe is in fact stable but is constantly convecting away from and towards a centre of gravity.
            Would not the potential energy involvred in that convection be invisible to our sensors simply because it is not heat and does not radiate?
            Could that account for dark matter and dark energy whilst still being consistent with Newtonian physics ?
            Off topic but interesting.

          • The universe is not in a steady state at all. This is now overwhelmingly established. Very likely, the potential energy of the universe is equal [but with opposite sign] to the kinetic energy of the expansion, so the total energy content is probable exactly zero.

          • Leif said:
            “Very likely, the potential energy of the universe is equal [but with opposite sign] to the kinetic energy of the expansion, so the total energy content is probable exactly zero”
            The total energy content can be exactly zero either:
            i) If expansion results in cooling (KE replaced by PE with expansion) or
            ii) If there is no expansion but the universe is constantly convecting away from (in one location where KE becomes PE and towards (in another location where PE becomes KE) a centre of gravity
            The first does not account for dark matter and dark energy whereas the second option would do so on the basis that the potential energy involved in the convecting process is not heat, does not radiate and so is invisible to our sensors.
            The need to propose the existence of dark energy and dark matter in the standard expansionary model would appear to suggest that ii) is the more correct model would it not ?

          • No, the evidence for the expansion of space is overwhelming, and there is no ‘center of gravity’ [already Newton knew that] or center of the universe. Now, one must be precise. It is space that expands, not the galaxies moving [in space, away from us]. In fact, the galaxies are sitting still [except for small random, local movements about each other]. But we are getting way O/T and you are getting way out of your depth, so perhaps it is time to get back to ‘plasma all the way down’.

          • I don’t know what a ‘convective universe’ is. Convection is usually defined as some movement of matter, but the galaxies are not moving at all…

          • Dark Matter and Dark Energy are observational facts. That we don’t know what they are, does not mean they are not there. We are, perhaps, in the same situation as Newton was: he had no idea what gravity ‘was’ [nor did anybody else before 1915], but had to accept gravity as an observational fact without further explanation.

          • I thought dark matter and dark energy were implied from otherwise inexplicable movements. Neither has been directly observed.
            The presence of non heat, non radiative potential energy could also account for those otherwise inexplicable movements.
            Gravity alone doesn’t account for convective processes within an atmosphere so it may not explain convective processes within a universe.
            One needs to add processes that do work against gravity in order to create potential energy.
            We do not know that such forces acting against gravity are absent from the universe as a whole. It is merely assumed that such forces do not exist. Then we have to infer dark matter and dark energy to balance the equations.

          • I thought dark matter and dark energy were implied from otherwise inexplicable movements. Neither has been directly observed.
            As I said, you are out of your depth. Both DE and DM are observed, even if not explained.
            How do we know about ‘inexplicable movements’? We do that by seeing such ‘movements’.

          • Leif said:
            “I don’t know what a ‘convective universe’ is. Convection is usually defined as some movement of matter, but the galaxies are not moving at all…”
            Suppose we have a steady state universe in much the same way as we have a steady state atmosphere around a planet.
            Half would be convecting away from a centre of gravity and half would be convecting towards a centre of gravity.
            In the half convecting away from the centre of gravity Einsteinian physics would infer that the perception would be of an expansion of space.
            In the half convecting towards the centre of gravity the perception would be of a contraction of space.
            It is the need to infer dark energy and dark matter in our apparently expanding universe that suggests that the expansion which we perceive is not the whole story.

          • Leif said:
            “Very likely, the potential energy of the universe is equal [but with opposite sign] to the kinetic energy of the expansion”
            Without some force opposing the expansion KE does not become PE.
            Isn’t there some experiment that shows that gases expanding into a vacuum AT THE SAME HEIGHT do not fall in temperature ?
            If you have some force resisting the expansion thereby creating PE from KE then that same force can elsewhere create KE from PE.
            Cosmology suggests that expansion proceeds to some maximum point whereupon contraction begins and PE converts back to KE in a reversal of the big bang.
            However, such a scenario does not require dark matter or dark energy to account for otherwise inexplicable movements.
            What could account for such movements is a steady state universe in which half is expanding and half is contracting at any given moment.

          • You are way O/T and your musings don’t make sense and do you no good as far as scientific credibility is concerned. They are in the ‘not even wrong’ category, so lets not waste any more time on them.

          • Ok, but I was hoping you could tell me why a convecting universe could not account for observations.
            I am willing to learn as you well know from our exchanges about solar effects on Earth’s climate.
            In the end I accepted all that you said and focused on solar induced chemical reactions involving ozone.

          • All fluids convect.
            The uneven matter distributed throughout the universe shows fluid characteristics.
            The universe itself need not convect but the matter within it must and that convection will inevitably form itself into very large scale structures such as the Hadley and Ferrel cells in an atmosphere.
            In view of the distortion of light by matter over great distances we would not see accurately beyond the boundaries of our individual cell just by using emitted radiation as a guide because the potential energy engaged in convection does not radiate.
            Movements of matter not readily explained by Newtonian physics without inferring dark matter or dark energy would be one indication that convective structures could exist.

          • The universe itself need not convect but the matter within it must and that convection will inevitably form itself into very large scale structures such as the Hadley and Ferrel cells in an atmosphere.
            For something to ‘convect’ it must move. The galaxies in the universe do not move, thus no convection.

          • I’m not convinced that the galaxies do not move relative to something. Space appears to be expanding pretty evenly between them but we rely on observations of radiation to come to that conclusion.
            Observations of radiation tell us nothing about potential energy.
            Observing Earth from space shows a temperature of 255K yet there are higher temperatures within the Earth system.
            From our position in space we cannot discern processes involving potential energy between galaxies or between groups of galaxies or for the universe as a whole. Suggesting that all the clumps of matter in the universe are fixed in position relative to one another does not sound plausible to me.
            What we can see is movements that do not fit current theories unless we infer dark matter and dark energy. That is a mere cop out.
            Potential energy creation and destruction as mass moves around within the universe is a potential solution.

          • That you are not convinced is rooted in your ignorance. One more time: the matter in the universe has no large-scale movements. The galaxies are sitting still in space. I have given you references to study. How far have you come with that?

          • To be more specific: the Cosmic Microwave Background [CMB] photons scattering on the hot ionized gas in distant galaxy clusters would exhibit a spectral distortion known as Kinetic Sunyaev Zel’dovitch effect [kSZ] that would be of appreciable [and observable] magnitude if these clusters were in motion with respect to the CMB we observe. The observed lack of significant kSZ effect tells us that the clusters do not move.
            Remember that modern cosmology is a High-Precision Observational Science.

          • http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/06/cosmic-flows-mapping-the-movements-of-the-galaxies.html
            “Just as the movement of tectonic plates reveals the properties of Earth’s interior, the movements of the galaxies reveal information about the main constituents of the Universe: dark energy and dark matter. Dark matter is unseen matter whose presence can be deduced only by its effect on the motions of galaxies and stars because it does not give off or reflect light”
            My contention is that convective processes between clumps of matter would produce just such otherwise unexplained motions because potential energy does not give off or reflect light.

          • A little knowledge is a dangerous matter. Within galaxy clusters galaxies move around, just like planets in the solar system [because of their gravitational interactions]. for example, the Milky way galaxy moves at a million miles an our within our Local Group. But this is something completely local to each cluster and has nothing to do with the expansion of the Universe. I say again: there are no movements on the large-scale, the clusters with their galaxies are sitting still in space. How far have you come in studying the material I linked to?
            Let me repeat:
            the Cosmic Microwave Background [CMB] photons scattering on the hot ionized gas in distant galaxy clusters would exhibit a spectral distortion known as Kinetic Sunyaev Zel’dovitch effect [kSZ] that would be of appreciable [and observable] magnitude if these clusters were in motion with respect to the CMB we observe. The observed lack of significant kSZ effect tells us that the clusters do not move.
            This is an observational fact. Not a discussion item.

          • Your linking to the paper about flows is typical of your argumentation. You claim that e.g. dark matter does not exist, then link to a paper showing its existence [hoping nobody would notice?]. From your link:
            “The video captures with precision not only the distribution of visible matter concentrated in galaxies, but also the invisible components, the voids and the dark matter. Dark matter constitutes 80 percent of the total matter of our universe and is the main cause of the motions of galaxies with respect to each other. This precision 3-D cartography of all matter (luminous and dark) is a substantial advance.
            The correspondence between wells of dark matter and the positions of galaxies (luminous matter) is clearly established, providing a confirmation of the standard cosmological model. Through zooms and displacements of the viewing position, this video follows structures in three dimensions and helps the viewer grasp relations between features on different scales, while retaining a sense of orientation.”
            Very bad form. You can’t have it both ways.

          • The issue is whether the unexplained motions are a consequence of dark matter exerting an additional gravitational pull or whether those motions are an indication of convective processes involving potential energy.
            The question is open and not closed as you maintain.

          • The motions are not unexplained. Your link beautifully shows confirmation of the standard model. Or do you repudiate your link now? There are internal flows in galaxy clusters, directly measured and showing the effect of dark matter. Apart from those local movements, the matter is sitting still in space and not moving. This is not an open question, but rather an observational fact.

          • The gravitational lensing shows the amount and location of dark matter [and all matter]. Again, this is observations and not discussion.

          • Is gravitational lensing by (inferred) invisible matter distinguishable from the effects of convection creating potential energy from KE and kInetic energy from PE ?
            Would you invoke dark matter to explain the effect of convection within the Earth system just because the radiation to space provides no clues ?
            Do we need to invoke dark matter if convective effects within a galaxy or a galaxy cluster or between galaxies and galaxy clusters cause unexpected movements ?
            All movement against gravity creates PE from KE and all movement with gravity creates KE from PE. There is a complex dance of gravitational effects between all the clumps of matter in the universe.
            Do we really need to infer dark matter and dark energy from unexplained movements at all ?
            Since this is way off topic it may be best to just let the questions hang.

          • You are way off track. The movements are not unexplained. And you are still non-responsive and unwilling to study the matter. As you hint, no amount of attempted education of you will have any effect, so perhaps it is best [as you suggest] that you simply stop the nonsense.

          • Well I’ve read your last link which is very informative.
            There are lots of comments about the nature of dark matter and dark energy being a mystery and confirmation that its presence is inferred rather than directly observed.
            I noted this:
            “Back-reaction, the gravitational effect of density fluctuations on the
            expansion history could provide an elegant explanation to the apparent acceleration of the Universe if including them modifies significantly the FLRW model. Unfortunately, these effects are difficult to calculate and no conclusion on the importance of back-reaction can be drawn as of today.”
            That sounds somewhat like my point about convective effects because convection has a descent phase (back-reaction) as well as an ascent phase and so if the expanding universe contained within it density fluctuations affecting the expansion history then that would be akin to the descent phase of convective overturning partly offsetting the ascent phase in an irregular and patchy fashion despite continuing overall expansion.
            So my point is that if we regard the expansion history as having density fluctuations then that could produce similar observations to those which the inference of dark energy and dark matter seeks to explain.
            Probably best to leave it there.

          • You may note that to ‘infer’ is to conclude from evidence. The word ‘infer’ occurs only twice in the article versus the 184 instances of ‘observation’. First is when it describes the prediction of the existence of the planet Neptune from the observed motion of Uranus, second when describing the use of the Virial Theorem in the 1930s. You neglect to note the conclusion just below that usage: “It is interesting to note that this article was cited very rarely until the 80s when the community realized that dark matter had a very strong observational basis.” Dark Matter is not inferred, but observed. You also neglect the independent observation of the acoustic peaks in the spectrum of the CMB http://www.leif.org/EOS/CosmicSoundWaves.pdf which were predicted and now observed with ever increasing precision.

          • Non luminous matter carrying varying amounts of potential energy can also be termed dark energy/matter and would also account for observations including the acoustic data.
            I rather like the back-reaction proposal arising from density fluctuations which is rather akin to convection within the background expansion.

          • The matter has to carry mass, and does not convect as it does not move [except locally], so has nothing to do with the expansion.
            If you make assertions, you must back them up with explanation [theory, math, hand waving, what have you]. And you don’t. Just like in your climate work.
            The ‘density fluctuations’ in question are fluctuations that happened in the first few nanoseconds of the existence of the Universe and not the variation of density from place to place that we see now.
            And what you ‘like’ doesn’t count. Cosmology is an observational, not emotional, science.

          • From your own link:
            “Back-reaction, the gravitational effect of density fluctuations on the
            expansion history could provide an elegant explanation to the apparent acceleration of the Universe if including them modifies significantly the FLRW model. Unfortunately, these effects are difficult to calculate and no conclusion on the importance of back-reaction can be drawn as of today.”
            and:
            “The motions are better explained if
            one ASSUMES that a large fraction of the mass distribution is dark”
            Thus not directly observed because of course it does not emit radiation, nor does energy in potential form.

          • What the link says is that nobody knows how to calculate any such back-reaction and that in any case there is no evidence for it.
            Observations show that the assumption is a valid one because it is fully confirmed by the observations. As the link explains “The […] key assumption of the model is shown to be verified with increasing accuracy”
            And the assumption is not about the existence of that matter, but about it being dark [which anyway is just a convenient label]. The matter could be white snowballs [which we cannot see because they are too small] and that would fit as well as far as the gravitational lensing is concerned.. Except that the acoustic peaks show that the matter is not baryonic. BTW, How is your reading of that paper coming? Again the matter may be rose colored or green non-baryonic grains as long as it is in a form that we cannot see because they are too small.
            To be precise, the label ‘dark matter’ means non-baryonic matter with negligible thermal velocity. Read the CosmicSoundWave article before you dig your hole any deeper.

          • lsvalgaard

            And what you ‘like’ doesn’t count. Cosmology is an observational, not emotional, science.

            I would say, rather, that “No field in any field of science is more emotional than cosmology.”

          • And you would be dead wrong. Cosmology is totally driven by high-precision observational data. No room for emotions, except, of course, by people not knowing much about modern cosmology.

          • You are on-responsive to my questions about how your self-study of the links I gave you are coming along. This attiude should be unworthy of serious discussion. To help you even more, here is another good link: http://www.leif.org/EOS/Cosmological-Principle.pdf Report back with questions or points you need clarified. The take-away lesson is “The observation of the tiny fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background temperature and polarization allowed cosmology to enter in an era of precision measurements, all of them showing an excellent matching with theoretical predictions: baryonic acoustic oscillations in the CMB angular power spectrum, perfect agreement between cosmological parameters measured with the CMB and other probes (such as with Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis for the baryonic matter content). Supporting arguments for an inflationary early Universe were also brought by the CMB observations: the matching between peaks and troughs in the E and T power spectra favors adiabatic primordial fluctuation, the spectral index for primordial fluctuations agrees well with inflation predictions and the CMB
            fluctuations are in excellent agreement with the predicted Gaussian statistics.”
            Cosmology is a high-precision observational science.
            You comments betrays deep ignorance and an unwillingness to learn. In my opinion there is nothing as despicable as willful ignorance [a la the cardinal refusing to look through Galileo’s telescope].

      • This is as far as the Sun is concerned. When we go to white dwarfs and neutron stars, quantum mechanical forces become an issue, but even then, those are part of the standard stellar models anyway.

      • Not wanting to stray off topic, I won’t respond here to lsvalgaard’s suggestion that I misunderstand the issue of magnetic fields versus electric fields, except to say that by ‘primacy’ I meant ‘what causes what’.
        Staying strictly with the main thesis of my talk, I’m pleased to note that there are substantial areas of agreement. lsvalgaard seems to have no objections either to the details I provided about the variability of the Sun’s output in terms of the solar wind and its effects on the cosmic ray flux on Earth, nor to the role of plasma linking the Sun’s activity to the Earth’s ionosphere some 85km above the surface via the Solar Wind-Magnetosphere Coupling mechanism. Thus it’s only the question of the last 85 km that seems to be the source of the present disagreement.
        In particular, my admittedly sound bite comment that ‘It’s plasma all the way down’ seems to have caused offence. In my own defence, I quote again from Laken et al (2010): The GCR [Galactic Cosmic Ray] flux maintains the atmosphere as a weakly conducting plasma, ..” [ibid. p10945]. I also stated in my presentation that the behaviour of the weak plasma in this region would be modified, compared to the plasmas in the ionosphere and above, by the greater density of the atmosphere.
        But even in this last 85 km there may be more agreement between lsvalgaard and my position than one might at first suspect. Let me recap the key points of Part 3 of my presentation (references for the statements are given in the text and slides):
        • The surface of the Earth carries a net negative charge of ~500,000 C
        • The potential difference between the ionosphere and the surface is ~250,000 V on average but varies between 150,000 – 600,000 V
        • The atmosphere acts as a leaky dielectric in a capacitor formed by the ionosphere and the surface
        • Therefore there is a Global Electric Circuit linking the ionosphere to the surface by a fair weather current density and a return current via thundercloud regions
        • Clouds are formed from charged droplets and maintain opposite net charges in different regions of the cloud
        • Cloud cover is affected by the incoming flux of galactic cosmic rays
        • Low-level clouds affect the conductivity of the atmosphere
        • Changes in conductivity affect the fair weather current density
        • The Burns effect demonstrates a correlation between the fair weather current density and the barometric pressure.
        If we leave aside for the moment the question of whether the lower atmosphere can truly be called a weak plasma or not, I assume that lsvalgaard would have no objection in principle to any of the key points listed above. I note that Parker accepts the possibility of electrical effects in this region:
        “Only by reducing the degree of ionization of a gas to negligible values, e.g., the lower terrestrial atmosphere where we reside, is there a possibility for interesting large-scale electric field effects.” [Parker 2007 p12]
        If we can agree on the presence of these electrical effects then our disagreements would seem to be reduced to two points.
        Firstly, the nomenclature: is the lower atmosphere a ‘weak plasma’ as Laken et al stated, or is this pushing the definition of a plasma too far, as Parker seems to imply? But this is a rather unimportant detail compared to the second point: what are the implications of the changes in the Sun-induced electromagnetic state of the ionosphere for the Global Electric Circuit? In particular, can an externally-driven change in the current density in the circuit occur and thereby affect the weather systems?
        I maintain that we do not yet know enough about the various systems involved to be able to categorically rule out the possibility that the Sun affects the climate via these electrical phenomena. My own opinion is that it does. And that, apparently, is where we differ. In the final analysis, we are back to the question of what is cause and what is effect.

        • It is a stretch to call the lower atmosphere a plasma. It is not, in the sense the word is normally used. You could call sea water as plasma as well, as its conductivity is about the same as that of the solar photosphere [which is a plasma]. We do not consider the oceans to be plasma as the conductivity is not the only factor in determining that. The length scale is more important. The voltage difference between the surface and the ionosphere [which is a plasma] is maintained by thunderstorms, not by the solar wind, and the leakage current is extremely weak compared to the currents in the ionosphere. So, your article gives the wrong perspective on things and drew the Electric/Plasma cult adherents out of the woodwork to the detriment of the credibility of WUWT.

        • That not EVERY item is commented on does not mean that they are agreed to. There are many things wrong with your presentation. Let me mention just a few:
          a) The voltage between the surface and the ionosphere is maintained by thunderstorms so it is no wonder that correlations can be found between the voltage and near-surface weather.
          b) it has not been established that the cosmic ray flux influences cloud formation
          c) you quote [page 15] me as saying “magnetic activity has more than doubled between 1901 and 1995”. This is not correct. What we say is that
          “From an analysis of geomagnetic and solar wind data, Lockwood et al. [1999] (hereinafter referred to as LSW99) reported that the solar coronal magnetic field had increased by more than a factor of two during the last century. If true, this would be an important discovery. Recently, Svalgaard and Cliver [2005] (hereinafter referred to as SC05) reported an analysis based on our newly developed interdiurnal variability (IDV) index of geomagnetic activity which indicated that cycle averages of the solar field varied no more than 25% over the same time interval and are now decreasing”. So quite a different slant.
          and so on and on

  35. In reply to Willis Eschenbach May 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm
    William,
    It is a fact that there is cyclic abrupt climate change in the paleo record and it is fact that the cyclic abrupt climate change correlates with both cyclic solar cycle changes and geomagnetic field changes.
    Cyclic abrupt changes to the geomagnetic field require a cause, a forcing function. The forcing function is what happens when the solar cycle restarts.(Do you remember the fact that there are burn marks on the surface of the earth that correlate with the Younger Dryas abrupt cooling period that lasted 1200 years?) The sun and stars are significantly different than the standard solar model. There are hundreds of astronomical observations and paradoxes in peer reviewed papers that support that assertion.
    The solar changes are relatively short duration, extraordinary low activity for 100 to 120 years, followed by a restart of the solar cycle that abruptly affects the geomagnetic field (causes geomagnetic excursions).
    There is a time delay of many hundreds of years for the externally forced solar change on the surface of the planet to integrate with the liquid core magnetic field which explains why the Younger Dryas abrupt cooling event lasted for 1200 years. The orbital position at the time of restart determines whether the external solar change will ultimately result in an increase or decrease in the geomagnetic field intensity.
    The geomagnetic field intensity drops by a factor of 2 to 3 during the glacial phase and increases by a factor of 2 to 3 during the interglacial phase. The modulation of the mechanism by orbital position explains why interglacial periods are all less than 12,000 years (average 10,000 years). There has of course been 22 glacial/interglacial cycles in the last 1.2 million years. The glacial/interglacial cycle happens again and again with a periodicity as it forced.
    I will attempt a Coles notes presentation that is appropriate for this forum of how the sun Is different than the standard model when the cult of CAGW starts to fall apart when faced with unequivocal observational evidence that there has been an interruption to the solar cycle and when there is unequivocal observational evidence of global cooling.
    A sign that the cooling has started is the fact there is now record Antarctic sea for every month of the year and multiyear Arctic sea ice has recovered. An observation that there is an external forcing of the geomagnetic field is the fact that the geomagnetic field intensity is now dropping at 5%/decade, starting in the mid 1990s which is ten times faster than it was previously dropping 5%/century and ten times faster than physically possible for a core based change.
    Hopefully Cryosphere today will resolve their technical problem(s) and start updating Antarctic and Arctic sea ice anomalies. Last update April 11.
    The observations and logic that support the deep core CH4 origin over the late veneer hypothesis as the source for the earth’s atmosphere and oceans is readily accessible to a general audience. I am preparing a couple of presentations of the observations and logic (from Thomas Gold’s book and new recent papers and discoveries) that supports the CH4 deep core model and will follow with a proof of Salby’s hypothesis that no less than 66% of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to natural CO2 sources rather than anthropogenic CO2 emission.
    http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.energy.30.050504.144308

    ABRUPT CHANGE IN EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM
    “The earliest Holocene abrupt climate changes occurred at 12,800, 8200, 5200, and 4200 B.P. . . .”
    The 8200 B.P. event, “lasted four hundred years (6400-6000 B.C.) and, like the Younger Dryas, generated abrupt aridification and cooling in the North Atlantic and North America, Africa, and Asia (Alley et al. 1997; Barber et al. 1999; Hu et al. 1999; Street-Perrot and Perrot 1990).
    ….Abrupt shifts between warm and cold states punctuate the interval between 20 to 75 ka) in the Greenland isotope record, with shifts of 5–15C occurring in decades or less (Figure 1). These alternations were identified in some of the earliest ice core isotopic studies [e.g., (22)] and were replicated and more precisely dated by subsequent work (23). Further analysis of diverse records has distinguished two types of millennial events (13). Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events are alternations between warm (interstadial) and cold (stadial) states that recur approximately every 1500 years, although this rhythm is variable. Heinrich events are intervals of extreme cold contemporaneous with intervals of ice-rafted detritus in the northern North Atlantic (24–26); these recur irregularly on the order of ca. 10,000 years apart and are typically followed by the warmest D/O interstadials.
    Both Heinrich and D/O events exhibit clear global impacts. These patterns have been summarized in several studies [e.g., (26, 34)]. Although the pattern of influence appears to differ between these types of anomaly, a clear interpretation of these differences, particularly in terms of distinguishing physical mechanisms, has not been developed. As Hemming (26) notes, different global patterns of impact may simply reflect proxy-specific or site-specific limitations such as sensitivity and response time. In general, however, a cold North Atlantic corresponds with a colder, drier Europe, weaker Asian summer monsoon, saltier northwestern tropical Pacific, drier northern South America, colder/wetter western North America, cooler eastern subtropical Pacific, and warmer South Atlantic and Antarctic. Table 1 summarizes the main impacts of a cold North Atlantic (stadial) on key regions and systems. …..
    Cold-climate abrupt change occurs with a characteristic timescale of appro.1500 years, a feature that must be explained by any proposed mechanism. North Atlantic and the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) records exhibit a period of approx.1470 years (64, 65). However, the adjacent ice core isotope record from the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) site exhibits periods closer to 1670 and 1130–1330 years, which is in agreement with the independently dated record from Hulu Cave (49, 66). Time series studies generally converge on a picture of a noisy climate system paced by a regular, perhaps external, forcing, with the sensitivity of the system to the forcing varying depending on background conditions or stochastic variability [e.g., (67– 69)]. Solar forcing, although subtle, (William: Solar forcing is not subtle, we just have not observed an interruption to the solar cycle so we can directly observe what causes cyclic abrupt climate change.) is the leading candidate for external forcing and has been found to be consistent with either a 1450–1470–year period (70, 71) or the 1667- and 1130-year periods (66).

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/003358947790031X

    The Gothenburg Magnetic Excursion
    The Gothenburg Magnetic Excursion in a broad sense ranges from 13,750 to 12,350 years BP (correlates in time with the Younger Dryas abrupt climate change event) and ends with the Gothenburg Magnetic Flip at 12,400−12,350 years BP (= the Fjärås Stadial in southern Scandinavia) with an equatorial VGP position in the central Pacific. The Gothenburg Magnetic Flip is recorded in five closely dated and mutually correlated cores in Sweden. In all five cores, the inclination is completely reversed in the layer representing the Fjärås Stadial dated at 12,400−12,350 years BP. The cores were taken 160 km apart and represent both marine and lacustrine environments. The Gothenburg Magnetic Flip represents the shortest excursion and the most rapid polar change known at present. It is also hitherto the far best-dated paleomagnetic event. The Gothenburg Magnetic Excursion and Flip are proposed as a standard magnetostatigraphic unit.

    http://sciences.blogs.liberation.fr/home/files/Courtillot07EPSL.pdf
    Are there connections between the Earth’s magnetic field and climate? Vincent Courtillot, Yves Gallet, Jean-Louis Le Mouël, Frédéric Fluteau, Agnès Genevey
    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/BardPapers/responseCourtillotEPSL07.pdf
    Response to Comment on “Are there connections between Earth’s magnetic field and climate?, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 253, 328–339, 2007” by Bard, E., and Delaygue, M., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., in press, 2007

    Also, we wish to recall that evidence of a correlation between archeomagnetic jerks and cooling events (in a region extending from the eastern North Atlantic to the Middle East) now covers a period of 5 millenia and involves 10 events (see f.i. Figure 1 of Gallet and Genevey, 2007). The climatic record uses a combination of results from Bond et al (2001), history of Swiss glaciers (Holzhauser et al, 2005) and historical accounts reviewed by Le Roy Ladurie (2004). Recent high-resolution paleomagnetic records (e.g. Snowball and Sandgren, 2004; St-Onge et al., 2003) and global geomagnetic field modeling (Korte and Constable, 2006) support the idea that part of the centennial-scale fluctuations in 14C production may have been influenced by previously unmodeled rapid dipole field variations. In any case, the relationship between climate, the Sun and the geomagnetic field could be more complex than previously imagined. And the previous points allow the possibility for some connection between the geomagnetic field and climate over these time scales.

    • The sun and stars are significantly different than the standard solar model. There are hundreds of astronomical observations and paradoxes in peer reviewed papers that support that assertion.
      No, there are not. If there are hundreds, show us ten of those.

      • Here is a detailed description of the solar/stellar standard models:
        http://eagle.phys.utk.edu/guidry/astro615/lectures/lecture_ch8.pdf
        From the text:
        The Standard Solar Model may be tested by comparing its predictions with observations.
        • These tests range from general ones, such as accounting for the existence, age, and energy output of
        the Sun, to specific ones such as the accounting for the results of solar seismology.
        • Generally, the Standard Solar Model has passed these tests very well.
        End of story.

    • William, you had said:

      The sun and stars are significantly different than the standard solar model. There are hundreds of astronomical observations and paradoxes in peer reviewed papers that support that assertion.

      I’ve asked twice for citations to some of these “observations and paradoxes”. The first time you blew me offf. The second time you’ve given citations about the climate, citations which have nothing to do with the sun being “significantly different than the standard solar model”.
      Perhaps my requests weren’t clear, although that seems unlikely. Like Leif above, I’m just asking for a half-dozen or so citations to studies showing that the sun is “significantly different than the standard model”.
      w.

  36. Already for the ancient civilization of the sun was king of the climate. From the Sun depended their lot.

  37. If you are truly interested, I could explain why the sun and stars are significantly different than the standard model. There are hundreds of astronomical observations in peer reviewed papers that support the assertion the sun and stars are significantly different than the standard model.
    The problem of course is I cannot just provide a link to the papers in question. I must provide a long comment, not a link to a hundred papers. You and the others in this forum need some background to understand the papers in question and need an explanation as to why the hundreds of astronomical peer reviewed papers are directly related to the mechanism by which the sun causes cyclic abrupt climate change.
    The following is a Coles notes summary of this subject, I will deal with this subject formally later, if I can generate true wide spread interest in the subject. If and when the planet starts to significantly cool and atmospheric CO2 starts to drop, likely there will be more interest in an explanation as to why this change is happening and what to expect next.
    My first formal presentation in this forum will be an explanation of the late Noble Prize winning astrophysicist Thomas Gold’s deep core CH4 model which explains what was the source of the earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and most hydrocarbon deposits on the planet. Shortly following the deep CH4 presentation I will follow with a detailed analysis that supports Salby’s assertion that no less than 66% of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to natural sources rather than anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
    You do not understand how to solve holistic problems, you are not interested or knowledgeable in cross discipline research at a specialist level. You have not done cross discipline research at a specialist level. I have. I am interested in anomalies and paradoxes. I read the most recent papers, I understand the key issues at a specialist level. I look for connections/paradoxes/anomalies and investigate connections/paradoxes/anomalies to solve the puzzle.
    You do not likely even read the above comments with links to peer reviewed papers that supports the assertion that there is a massive cyclic forcing function that abruptly changes the geomagnetic field and that the abrupt changes to the geomagnetic field correlates to both solar cycle changes and abrupt climate change. You have completely ruled out the possibility that the sun could be different than the standard model and hence you assume the sun could not cause abrupt changes to the geomagnetic field.
    The sun could of course physically cause abrupt changes to the geomagnetic field if the sun is significantly different than the standard model. The cyclic abrupt change to the geomagnetic field is one of the many observations that support the assertion that the sun is significantly different that the standard model.
    The abrupt change to the geomagnetic field must have a physical cause. The observed past and current change of the geomagnetic field is too rapid for the cause to be a change in movement of liquid in the core of the planet and regardless there is no mechanism that can cyclically cause there to be a large movement of liquid in the core of the planet. The change must be caused by a massive electrical charge imbalance (imbalance on the surface of the planet and imbalance of the average net charge about the planet to the average net charge in the core of the planet. The movement of charge from the surface of the planet to the core of the planet explains why there is also cyclic bi hemispheric changes in volcanic activity that correlates with cyclic abrupt changes to the geomagnetic field and to abrupt climate change) on the surface of the planet. You are completely unaware of the hundreds of astronomical observations that support the assertion that there is a massive charge imbalance in astronomical objects, galaxies, and galaxy clusters.
    The abrupt change to the geomagnetic field in turn causes abrupt long term climatic changes. This is the mechanism that is responsible for the initiation and termination of the glacial/interglacial cycle. This is the mechanism that is responsible for cyclic abrupt climate change. This is the mechanism that caused the burn marks on the surface of the planet immediately prior to the Younger Dryas abrupt climate change. This is the mechanism that terminates and initiates interglacial periods.
    You likely do not event read comments on paradoxes and anomalies outside of your specialization, as you assume there can be no connection and because specialists specialize. You assume it impossible for the standard solar model to be incorrect.
    The sun formed on the old core of a super novae. Large stars are rare. The majority of stars in galaxies are small. I have repeatedly stated that what forms when very, very large objects collapse is not a hairless theoretical black hole, is not a neutron star. What forms when massive objects collapses is the key to solving this problem. The phenomena is the same for super, super massive objects and the collapse of stars.
    Massive electrical charge imbalance in a region of space changes the emission spectrum of ions, causes red shift. The standard astronomical interpretation of observations is that all observed red shift of galaxies and quasars is due to velocity of the source away from the earth.
    In the last couple of decades there has been in your face evidence of observational paradoxes (concerning all theoretical aspects of cosmology, galaxy/quasar evolution with time and redshift, galaxy properties, galaxy types, clustering of quasars, very large structural organization of galaxies, super hot intergalactic gas that does not cool and should cool, and so on.) associated with both galaxies and quasars all of which are related to a mechanism that is caused by massive charge imbalance of astronomical objects and hence the galaxies themselves. The subject is complex as it necessary to explain the basics of astronomical theory, galaxy evolution, galaxy morphology (types of galaxies observed and evolution or lack of evolution of galaxy types with redshift, and so on), however, here are a couple of issues to provide support for the assertions and explain the nature of the problem.
    One of paradoxes of astronomy is the largest super massive black holes 10^9 solar masses are only found at high redshift. The mass of the high redshift super massive black hole is determined by the redshift of the quasar and the measured luminosity at the earth. Due to the assumed super distance of the super high redshift quasars, the super distant quasars are assumed to be emitting more energy than a hundred of the most luminous galaxies in the local universe. This type of super high luminous quasar completely disappears (is not observed) for local quasars, in fact there is an unexplained gradual reduction in quasar luminosity with redshift. There is no mechanism to explain why quasar luminosity should downsize with redshift. This paradox goes away if highly redshift quasars are not super distance object as there highly redshift spectrum is caused by a massive electrical charge imbalance.
    The quasar spectrum of super high redshift quasars contains elements that are only found in old galaxies. There is no evolution of what is called metallicity (metallicity is the name astronomers have given for the amount of heavy elements in the spectrum of stars, galaxies, and quasars). As metallicity (the amount of heavy elements such as iron and oxygen) is known to increase with galaxy age and the most distant galaxy that contain quasars should be theoretically young, they should if there are truly distant have less heavy elements in the gas of the galaxy that contains the quasar and hence in the quasar spectrum. The super high redshift have more not less heavy elements in their spectrum. The complete lack of evolution of metallicity of quasar spectrum with redshift is a paradox. This paradox goes away if highly redshift quasars are not super distance and highly redshift spectrum is caused by a massive electrical charge imbalance.
    The super massive black holes that power the quasars become less massive with redshift is reduced as the quasar is closer to us. This is opposite of what should occur. With time more matter should fall into the super massive black holes so they should get larger with reduced redshift not smaller.
    As a portion of the quasars that are close to us also existed when the universe was formed 13.7 billion years ago this means the most massive super black holes have disappeared. The explanation cannot be that there are hidden super massive black hole that are not emitting as there is a tight relationship of the size of a galaxy’s bulge to the size of the galaxy’s super massive black hole, astronomers can hence determine the super massive black hole mass even if the super massive object in center of the galaxy in question is not emitting as a bright quasar. Also due to mergers there should be gas falling in too super, super, massive black holes in the local universe creating a super luminous quasars, the same as is observed for super high redshift quasars. There are not.
    The disappearance of super, super, massive black holes with redshift is a paradox. This is not the only paradox of quasars and of galaxies with redshift. The downsizing of quasar super massive black hole mass goes away if there are no distant quasars, if the extreme redshift quasar spectrum is caused by massive electrical imbalance not velocity (i.e. there are no super distant quasars).
    The in your face quasar anomaly that supports the assertion that there are no highly distance quasars is the fact that quasars do not exhibit time dilation. The more distant an object is from the earth the faster it is moving away from us due the expansion of the universe.
    Due to Einstein’s special relativity law, time goes slower (physical processes on high velocity objects happen at a slower rate) for objects that are moving away from us faster. This slowing down in ‘time’ (physical processes) is called ‘time’ dilation.
    Quasars’ spectrum does not exhibit time dilation with redshift. That is an observational fact and a paradox. The paradox that quasars do not exhibit time dilation with redshift goes away if there are no distant quasars, if the extreme redshift quasars are caused by a massive electrical imbalance not velocity.
    http://phys.org/news190027752.html

    Discovery that quasars don’t show time dilation mystifies astronomers
    The phenomenon of time dilation is a strange yet experimentally confirmed effect of relativity theory. One of its implications is that events occurring in distant parts of the universe should appear to occur more slowly than events located closer to us. For example, when observing supernovae, scientists have found that distant explosions seem to fade more slowly than the quickly-fading nearby supernovae.

    On time dilation in quasar light curves
    This is link to the published 2001 paper.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-4357/553/2/L97/fulltext/015104.text.html
    This is a link to the preprint of the published 2010 paper.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.1824
    This the link to the published 2010 paper.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16581.x/abstract

    On time dilation in quasar light curves
    In this paper we set out to measure time dilation in quasar light curves. In order to detect the effects of time dilation, sets of light curves from two monitoring programmes are used to construct Fourier power spectra covering time-scales from 50d to 28yr. Data from high- and low-redshift samples are compared to look for the changes expected from time dilation. The main result of the paper is that quasar light curves do not show the effects of time dilation. Several explanations are discussed, including the possibility that time dilation effects are exactly offset by an increase in time-scale of variation associated with black hole growth, or that the variations are caused by microlensing in which case time dilation would not be expected.
    1 INTRODUCTION
    Time dilation (the stretching of time by a factor of (1 + z)) is a fundamental property of an expanding universe. Given the success of the the currently accepted cosmological model, which certainly implies expansion, it is perhaps surprising that more attention has not been paid to making direct measures of time dilation. This must surely be due in part to the fact that measures of time dilation can tell little or nothing about cosmological parameters within the framework of a Big Bang universe, but only whether or not the Universe is expanding. Also, it turns out to be surprisingly hard to formulate a conclusive test for time dilation. What is needed is an event or fluctuation of known rest frame duration which can be observed at sufficiently high redshift with an accuracy which enables the predicted stretching by a factor of (1 + z) to be observed.
    5 INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
    The results of Section 4 provide strong evidence that the effects of time dilation are not seen in quasar light curves. This clearly runs against expectations based on a conventional cosmological viewpoint, and so in this section we examine ways in which the results may be understood.

    • As usual, you respond with a barrage of irrelevant stuff.
      You have completely ruled out the possibility that the sun could be different than the standard model
      Observations show that the standard solar model fits the sun very well. But show us the ONE of your many peer-reviewed papers that in your exalted opinion disproves the standard model. If you can expend 2169 words on irrelevant matters, showing us your best argument should be within your reach.

      • 7 May 2014
        Although they were launched only five months ago, ESA’s trio of Swarm satellites are already delivering results with a precision that took earlier missions 10 years to achieve.
        Engineers have spent the last five months commissioning the identical satellites and carefully guiding them into their orbits to provide the crucial measurements that will unravel the mysteries of Earth’s magnetic field.
        Swarm has a challenging task ahead.
        Together, the satellites will measure and untangle the different magnetic readings that stem from Earth’s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere.
        In addition, information will also be provided to calculate the electric field near each satellite – an important counterpart to the magnetic field for studying the upper atmosphere.
        Two satellites are now orbiting almost side by side and have started their operational life at 462 km altitude. The third is higher, at 510 km.

      • The standard model is so good, that even small deviations [there are no large ones] from it can show us possible new properties of the Sun, rather than just being flaws in the model. It may be possible to detect the effect of dark matter within the Sun, something which is not in the current model. Assumptions about the chemical composition may be checked by discovering differences between observed and computed model results, the latter resulting from our assumptions not being quite correct. In this way, we can use the tiny discrepancies between the standard model and observations as a tool to determine details of the composition.

      • That is what you always say, and the standard model seems to be way off. if not the solar cycle activity would be nailed which is not the case.
        Why don’t you use the standard model to predict solar activity over the next 5 to 10 years?

        • The standard model has predicted quite well that SC24 would be a small cycle. When the polar fields stabilize in a few years time, we can predict SC25.
          But the solar cycle does not depend on the standard model alone. What is more important is the nearly random movements of decaying sunspots towards the poles. That we can observe by just looking and when the process has gone one for enough time, we can use the observed result for prediction.

        • the standard model seems to be way off
          Since you don’t even know what the standard model is, you can hardly make any such statement and hope that anybody will take you seriously.

    • The abrupt change to the geomagnetic field must have a physical cause. The observed past and current change of the geomagnetic field is too rapid for the cause to be a change in movement of liquid in the core of the planet and regardless there is no mechanism that can cyclically cause there to be a large movement of liquid in the core of the planet.

      All that you would need is for the currents to change direction, electron flow would have no issue changing direction abruptly.

    • My first formal presentation in this forum will be an explanation of the late Noble Prize winning astrophysicist Thomas Gold
      As pointed out to you before Thomas Gold was not a Nobel(sic) laureate.

  38. Measurements made over the past six months confirm the general trend of the field’s weakening, with the most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere.
    But in other areas, such as the southern Indian Ocean, the magnetic field has strengthened since January.
    The latest measurements also confirm the movement of magnetic North towards Siberia.
    These changes are based on the magnetic signals stemming from Earth’s core. Over the coming months, scientists will analyse the data to unravel the magnetic contributions from other sources, namely the mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere.
    This will provide new insight into many natural processes, from those occurring deep inside our planet to space weather triggered by solar activity. In turn, this information will yield a better understanding of why the magnetic field is weakening.
    http://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/images/2013/11/earth_s_magnetic_field/13418021-1-eng-GB/Earth_s_magnetic_field_node_full_image_2.jpg
    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Swarm/Swarm_reveals_Earth_s_changing_magnetism

    • “The latest measurements also confirm the movement of magnetic North towards Siberia.”
      Say it aint so ren, them Ruskies is stealin’ the North Pole from the Canucks?

  39. robert johnson May 1, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    … this presentation is based on peer-reviewed publications regarding the variability of the Sun, the Solar Wind – Magnetosphere Coupling (SWMC) mechanism and the Global Electric Circuit (GEC), all of which have been discussed and investigated for decades. References are given at the end of the talk and include, inter alia, Vahrenholt & Luning’s ‘The Neglected Sun’, papers by Akasofu, a leading researcher into the SWMC, and Chalmers’ (1950) book ‘Atmospheric Electricity’, included specifically to demonstrate just how long-established this subject is. I would also like to mention the paper by Laken et al (2010), which is one of those which recognises that the lower atmosphere is a weakly conducting plasma, as quoted in my text. There are also references to three papers by Svalgaard who is apparently amongst those who have commented here.
    The point is, if one chooses to disagree with the central theme of my talk that the Sun may be linked to the GEC in the climate regions via electromagnetic effects in plasma then one has also to disagree with many of the findings of these and many other researchers.

    Thanks for your work in the presentation of these ideas, Robert. The issue is not whether the sun is linked to a variety of effects in the ionosphere. That linkage, as you point out, has been known for a while. (It’s not clear, however, what you are calling the “climate regions”, but that’s a minor point.)
    The unsolved question is whether these variations of these solar-based or affected phenomena (aurorae, changes in the ionospheric currents, changes in radio wave propagation, and others) affect the global climate. That is the missing link in the claim that the sun is linked to to the climate.


    Unless basic questions like this are resolved, it is unlikely that we will be able to fully understand the Sun, the SWMC mechanism and the GEC. Until then, I cannot see how we can sensibly exclude the possibility that the Sun is directly linked to the climate regions and I welcome the continuing debate around the issues.

    Is it possible that the sun is linked to the climate? Sure, particularly since the question is so ill-posed. Obviously without the sun we’d have no climate like we have today. So assuredly the sun is linked to the climate.
    The real question is not whether the sun affects the climate, it is whether small FLUCTUATIONS in the sun affect the climate. Yes, the 1360 W/m2 of incoming solar radiation affects the climate. The question is, does the ~ 1 W/m2 variation in incoming solar radiation over a full ~11-year sunspot cycle affect the climate?
    Now, the majority of the sun’s measurable variables such as magnetic fields, solar wind, solar flares, and luminosity vary in some kind of synchrony with the sunspot cycle. This is fortunate, because as a result, we can test for a variety of possible solar-climate connections at once. We can do this by looking to see if there are sunspot-cycle related changes in climate variables such as temperature, rainfall, river flow, and the like.
    Now, I’ve looked for such connections in a bunch of places, and I’ve detailed my findings in the posts listed below. I have not been able to find the sunspot cycle/climate connection anywhere. Doesn’t mean that it’s not there, it just means I’ve been unable to find it.
    So you are correct, we cannot “sensibly exclude the possibility that the Sun is directly linked” to the ionosphere. However, without evidence, we also cannot sensibly conclude that such a linkage has a detectable effect on global climate.
    My best to you, and thanks again for your guest post,
    w.
    POSTS ON SUNSPOTS AND PERIODICITY
    Cycles Without The Mania
    Are there cycles in the sun and its associated electromagnetic phenomena? Assuredly. What are the lengths of the cycles? Well, there’s the question. In the process of writing my recent post about cyclomania, I came across a very interesting paper entitled “Correlation Between the Sunspot Number, the Total Solar Irradiance,…
    Solar Periodicity
    I was pointed to a 2010 post by Dr. Roy Spencer over at his always interesting blog. In it, he says that he can show a relationship between total solar irradiance (TSI) and the HadCRUT3 global surface temperature anomalies. TSI is the strength of the sun’s energy at a specified distance…
    Sunspots and Sea Surface Temperature
    I thought I was done with sunspots … but as the well-known climate scientist Michael Corleone once remarked, “Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in”. In this case Marcel Crok, the well-known Dutch climate writer, asked me if I’d seen the paper from Nir…
    Congenital Cyclomania Redux
    Well, I wasn’t going to mention this paper, but it seems to be getting some play in the blogosphere. Our friend Nicola Scafetta is back again, this time with a paper called “Solar and planetary oscillation control on climate change: hind-cast, forecast and a comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs”. He’s…
    Sunspots and Sea Level
    I came across a curious graph and claim today in a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Here’s the graph relating sunspots and the change in sea level: And here is the claim about the graph: Sea level change and solar activity A stronger effect related to solar cycles is seen in Fig.…
    Sunny Spots Along the Parana River
    In a comment on a recent post, I was pointed to a study making the following surprising claim: Here, we analyze the stream flow of one of the largest rivers in the world, the Parana ́ in southeastern South America. For the last century, we find a strong correlation with…
    The Tip of the Gleissberg
    A look at Gleissberg’s famous solar cycle reveals that it is constructed from some dubious signal analysis methods. This purported 80-year “Gleissberg cycle” in the sunspot numbers has excited much interest since Gleissberg’s original work. However, the claimed length of the cycle has varied widely.
    The Effect of Gleissberg’s “Secular Smoothing”
    ABSTRACT: Slow Fourier Transform (SFT) periodograms reveal the strength of the cycles in the full sunspot dataset (n=314), in the sunspot cycle maxima data alone (n=28), and the sunspot cycle maxima after they have been “secularly smoothed” using the method of Gleissberg (n = 24). In all three datasets, there…
    It’s The Evidence, Stupid!
    I hear a lot of folks give the following explanation for the vagaries of the climate, viz: It’s the sun, stupid. And in fact, when I first started looking at the climate I thought the very same thing. How could it not be the sun, I reasoned, since obviously that’s…
    Maunder and Dalton Sunspot Minima
    In a recent interchange over at Joanne Nova’s always interesting blog, I’d said that the slow changes in the sun have little effect on temperature. Someone asked me, well, what about the cold temperatures during the Maunder and Dalton sunspot minima? And I thought … hey, what about them? I…
    Usoskin Et Al. Discover A New Class of Sunspots
    There’s a new post up by Usoskin et al. entitled “Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity”. To their credit, they’ve archived their data, it’s available here. Figure 1 shows their reconstructed decadal averages of sunspot numbers for the last three thousand years, from their paper: Figure 1. The results…

    • Willis, You write:
      “Thanks for your work in the presentation of these ideas, Robert. The issue is not whether the sun is linked to a variety of effects in the ionosphere. That linkage, as you point out, has been known for a while. (It’s not clear, however, what you are calling the “climate regions”, but that’s a minor point.)
      The unsolved question is whether these variations of these solar-based or affected phenomena (aurorae, changes in the ionospheric currents, changes in radio wave propagation, and others) affect the global climate. That is the missing link in the claim that the sun is linked to to the climate.”
      Robert is correct to use the term climate regions, though you feel it is a minor point. Far too many people use the term ‘global climate’. To paraphrase from The Princess Bride: You keep using that term. I do not think it means what you think it means.
      I have made this point before, I guess it is a pet peeve of mine. Go ahead and compile global temperature averages. You are realy quite good at data analysis. It is a good yet frustrating exercise. It is exceedingly difficult to do reliably. But temperature as you well know does not equal climate. It is only one metric of 15 or 20 that together constitute a description of what is a very localized phenomenon that varies over the face of the Earth.
      There is no such thing as ‘a’ global climate. It is an abstract that has no more real meaning in the real world than an ‘average human’. It doesn’t exist. Real climates exist. They are diverse but there are 4 major types: Warm Dry, Warm Wet, Cold Dry, and Cold Wet. I am sure you are familiar with the Köppen-Trewartha Climate classification system. It predates the current ‘Carbon Lysenkoism’. Climate zones transition as you travel poleward from the equator and vertically up topography.
      Climates change. How or why? I have my ideas but they are speculative and so far unproven. And yet the climate does change. That is not disputed. When ever I drive though the Humbolt Desert of Nevada between Reno and Winnemucca, I am confronted with the evidence. The many lakeshore terraces of the paleo-Lake Lahontan tower over the dreaded ’40 mile’ alkali desert of the present that caused so much hardship and death among the emigrants of the 1800’s. The sage brush landscape is dotted with stromatolites, calcareous mounds built up of fossilized layers of lime-secreting cyanobacteria and trapped sediment, still being formed in lagoons in Australia. This is a region of geothermal springs and wells. Extremophile territory.
      There is a rest area with info signage describing thriving lakeshore communities 7,000 years ago. By a non-existant lake that at the time was hundreds of feet deep. You are familiar with Burning Man and the Black Rock Desert. Same lake bed. 10,000 years ago the Great Salt Lake Bonneville was some 22,000 square miles. Now it fluctuates around 2,000 sq. miles. That my friends is Climate Change with a vengeance. In my opinion Climate Change is more linked to precipitation changes than Temperature changes. Precip is linked to changes in cloud cover, i.e. circulation changes, cloud changes cause temperature changes, and we are off on a nanucket sleigh ride of cause and effect. There is an electrical component of clouds that could easily be influenced by the plasma interactions Robert is talking about.
      Several years ago I read a study from Colorado Springs of marked changes to observed Solar Spectral Irradiance during the depths of the last solar minimum around ’08, particularly, steep reductions in the U. V. range. At the same time TSI was relatively normal and unchanged. This resulted in observed changes (reduction) in height of the top of atmosphere and temperature of the thermosphere, verified by a reduction in frictional drag on satelites in orbit. So changes in UV resulted in changes in the plasmasphere of the earth.
      I take that to mean that it is not the total of calories but the kind of calories that matter. They can make you baloon up or slim down depending on how you achieve intake. Intake of cellulose, while technically sugar, has no nutritional value for us. Switch to sucrose and it is a whole new ballgame.
      I share your question: How does a system that has a fairly stable energy intake budget exhibit such obvious variability in climate over time? I speculate that it has to do with spectral resonances moving in and out of constructive and destructive interference and resonance. When a wave is in resonance with constructive interference the energy is superposed and amplified. When in destructive interference the wave is cancelled (+a)+(-a)=0. Interference paterns form nodes and antinodes with unexpected paterns. The waves are destroyed but the energy is not. The resulting effect is variable and localized. If changes in SSI produce changes in the ‘optical’ depth of the atmosphere it should produce changes in standing wave ratios. They are not necessarily visible to our eye.
      Start observing clouds with an eye toward noting interference patterns. Not all, but many cloud forms have repetitive patterns, most obviously wave form clouds. I have noticed formation and disipation during dawn and dusk skies. Those emergent phenomena again. Confirmation bias? Perhaps, but clouds are real and elude our understanding. And climate is a localized phenomenon.
      We live with a variable star on a variable planet. “We’re going to hell in a bucket, but at least I’m enjoying the ride.” I enjoy your work.

    • Willis, You state:
      “The unsolved question is whether these variations of these solar-based or affected phenomena (aurorae, changes in the ionospheric currents, changes in radio wave propagation, and others) affect the global climate. That is the missing link in the claim that the sun is linked to to the climate.”
      Links to two articles devoted to just that topic. Changes in EUV that affect the thermal structure and chemistry of the atmosphere. From 2010 and 2013. Enjoy.
      A link to the article from Colorado U and NCAR about atmospheric changes during the last minimum.
      http://artsandsciences.colorado.edu/magazine/2010/08/shrinking-atmosphere-linked-to-low-solar-radiation/
      “The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado at Boulder, indicates that the sun’s magnetic cycle, which produces differing numbers of sunspots over an approximately 11-year cycle, may vary more than previously thought.
      Large changes in the sun’s energy output may drive unexpectedly dramatic fluctuations in Earth’s outer atmosphere, new research indicates. A study published today links a recent, temporary shrinking of a high atmospheric layer with a sharp drop in the sun’s ultraviolet radiation levels. …
      The sun’s energy output declined to unusually low levels from 2007 to 2009, a particularly prolonged solar minimum during which there were virtually no sunspots or solar storms. During that same period of low solar activity, Earth’s thermosphere shrank more than at any time in the 43-year era of space exploration.
      The thermosphere, which ranges in altitude from about 55 to more than 300 miles (90 to 500 kilometers), is a rarified layer of gas at the edge of space where the sun’s radiation first makes contact with Earth’s atmosphere. It typically cools and becomes less dense during low solar activity. But the magnitude of the density change during the recent solar minimum appeared to be about 30 percent greater than would have been expected by low solar activity.”
      Another article from NASA: Solar Variability and Terrestrial Climate.
      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/08jan_sunclimate/
      ” One of the participants, Greg Kopp of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, pointed out that while the variations in luminosity over the 11-year solar cycle amount to only a tenth of a percent of the sun’s total output, such a small fraction is still important. “Even typical short term variations of 0.1% in incident irradiance exceed all other energy sources (such as natural radioactivity in Earth’s core) combined,” he says.
      Of particular importance is the sun’s extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation, which peaks during the years around solar maximum. Within the relatively narrow band of EUV wavelengths, the sun’s output varies not by a minuscule 0.1%, but by whopping factors of 10 or more. This can strongly affect the chemistry and thermal structure of the upper atmosphere.”

      • Richard, the two studies you cited have some problems.
        The first study just says that the density of the thermosphere varies with the solar cycles … but I already said that I agreed that the sun made changes in the upper atmosphere. What I didn’t see was the connection of that to climate. The first study says nothing about that.
        The second article has the same problem. It says that the changes in EUV wavelengths affect the upper atmosphere … but again, we’re interested in the climate, not the upper atmosphere.
        Finally, your second article was merely a list of possibilities, not a statement about reality. It said:

        Many of the mechanisms proposed at the workshop had a Rube Goldberg-like quality. They relied on multi-step interactions between multiple layers of atmosphere and ocean, some relying on chemistry to get their work done, others leaning on thermodynamics or fluid physics. But just because something is complicated doesn’t mean it’s not real.

        In other words … they’re guessing, and not even guessing that realistically. If that’s your evidence for a sun-climate connection, you need new evidence.
        Look, I’m not saying that small variations in the sun DON’T affect the climate.
        I’m saying that I’ve never been able to find any convincing evidence that small solar variations DO affect the climate, and your studies don’t change that situation.
        w.
        PS—I think there is an error in the NASA statement, where it says:

        Within the relatively narrow band of EUV wavelengths, the sun’s output varies not by a minuscule 0.1%, but by whopping factors of 10 or more.

        I don’t think that is true. The EUV does vary more than the total luminance. But I’ve never seen a claim that it varies by a factor of ten from minimum to maximum. What I have read is that the EUV varies 10 times more than the luminance … but that just means that instead of a variation of 0.1%, it’s a variation of 1%. Not impressive.
        And more to the point, it’s a variation in a part of the signal where there is very little strength. It’s like saying “Part of my money increased by a factor of 10 or more” … that sounds impressive, but it doesn’t mean much when you realize that the part of my money that increased by a factor of 10 was a penny.

      • Willis, to tie this to Robert’s article, UV causes ionization creating plasma. Plasma has charge separation and reacts to B fields. Solar wind is plasma. It interacts with the Earths B field and plasmasphere. Solar wind contributes protons to the Earth plasma sheath and becomes part of the Earth ring current through ‘convection’. The Earth atmosphere contributes Oxygen ions to the ring current. The protons gyrate within the Earth B field, reflecting back and forth between North and South mirror points while drifting from East to West. Electrons drift from West to East. This generates complex B field vector influences that are detectable in the Telluric currents and B fields on the ground and as aurorae. It stands to reason that it also influences atmospheric circulation when the atmosphere has a component of ions and charge. During solar storms this effect is increased. Lorentz forces should be having an influence on jet stream behavior and weather patterns. There are observable electrical components of weather. Franklin remarked after his nerves quieted down that the sky is electric.
        I am not a physicist or a statistician. I am an observational biologist/ecologist by training and merely am engaging in logical speculation. I would stress that there is a lot of variability and interaction in the Earth’s ecosystem, never equilibrium. I personally don’t know how to Prove a Sun Earth connection. I am not personally able to do the required vector calculus to demonstrate the effects. It is obvious that the sun drives climate. The thigh bone is connected to the knee bone, the knee bone is connected to the shin bone.
        You say “Look, I’m not saying that small variations in the sun DON’T affect the climate. I’m saying that I’ve never been able to find any convincing evidence that small solar variations DO affect the climate”.
        I would amend that to read “convincing ‘Statistical’ evidence”. I would suggest that you are inverting the null hypothesis some what. If the sun drives climate, (obviously evident with seasonal variation reflected in climate zones and weather patterns) It is incumbent to prove that the sun does NOT cause climate change. But how does one prove a negative?
        It would seem to me that if such a small change in UV affects such noticable change in the depth of atmosphere it should also cause important changes in radiation loss from the top of atmoshere due to the change in radiative surface area as a function of diameter. After all, the equilibrium point is not at the surface but rather at some variable point in the upper atmosphere.
        As always, I enjoy the brain gym that Anthony hosts here.

        • It stands to reason that it also influences atmospheric circulation when the atmosphere has a component of ions and charge.
          But you have to apply some reason. The lower atmosphere is a billion times thicker than the ionosphere and is much less ionized so whatever influence there might be is correspondingly smaller, thus negligible.

      • Richard G. May 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm

        Willis, to tie this to Robert’s article, UV causes ionization creating plasma. Plasma has charge separation and reacts to B fields. Solar wind is plasma. It interacts with the Earths B field and plasmasphere. Solar wind contributes protons to the Earth plasma sheath and becomes part of the Earth ring current through ‘convection’. The Earth atmosphere contributes Oxygen ions to the ring current. The protons gyrate within the Earth B field, reflecting back and forth between North and South mirror points while drifting from East to West. Electrons drift from West to East. This generates complex B field vector influences that are detectable in the Telluric currents and B fields on the ground and as aurorae. It stands to reason that it also influences atmospheric circulation when the atmosphere has a component of ions and charge. During solar storms this effect is increased. Lorentz forces should be having an influence on jet stream behavior and weather patterns. There are observable electrical components of weather. Franklin remarked after his nerves quieted down that the sky is electric.

        Thanks, Richard. Franklin never flew a kite, so I doubt your quote. As to the rest, however, I’ve already postulated that the sun affects the ionosphere and the highest reaches of the atmosphere. The question is not that, so no use harping on that. The question is, does that affect the weather way down below at the surface?

        You say

        “Look, I’m not saying that small variations in the sun DON’T affect the climate. I’m saying that I’ve never been able to find any convincing evidence that small solar variations DO affect the climate”.

        I would amend that to read “convincing ‘Statistical’ evidence”. I would suggest that you are inverting the null hypothesis some what. If the sun drives climate, (obviously evident with seasonal variation reflected in climate zones and weather patterns) It is incumbent to prove that the sun does NOT cause climate change. But how does one prove a negative?

        Huh? Your claim is that you get to assume WITHOUT EVIDENCE that small fluctuations in the sun cause detectable variations in the climate … and I’m supposed to prove that they don’t? No way. You don’t get to assume that, that’s what you’re trying to prove.
        The fact that a change of say 100 W/m2 of solar input over an hour causes a detectable temperature change does NOT “obviously” mean that we can detect the change from the 0.3 W/m2 change over a decade. That’s simply not true.

        It would seem to me that if such a small change in UV affects such noticable change in the depth of atmosphere it should also cause important changes in radiation loss from the top of atmoshere due to the change in radiative surface area as a function of diameter. After all, the equilibrium point is not at the surface but rather at some variable point in the upper atmosphere.

        Again I say, enough with the theory. If you think that changes in UV cause changes in TOA radiation loss, get the CERES data and show us where and how much. You’re just making up possibilities, which is fun, but at some point you need to deal with evidence.
        w.

  40. The conclusion is those of us who believe in solar/climate relationships will continue to believe in them and those that do not, will not believe in the solar /climate relationship. No one is going to convince the other side. Which is fine with me.

    • Salvatore Del Prete May 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      The conclusion is those of us who believe in solar/climate relationships will continue to believe in them and those that do not, will not believe in the solar /climate relationship.

      Thanks, Salvatore, but that’s only true for those who think that belief is a basis for science.
      Those of us who prefer evidence to belief merely follow the evidence. So far, I haven’t found any evidence that supports the solar/climate connection. Bear in mind that I’m a man who started out believing. I believed in the solar/climate relationship, I was just looking for what I thought would be ample evidence to support my belief.
      Unfortunately, I found no such evidence. See my links above. As a result, I say that while there may be a solar/climate relationship, to date the evidence for such a relationship is spotty, apocryphal, and certainly neither abundant nor convincing.
      Now, given that folks have searched diligently for such evidence for over a century, and that the search has ramped up in the last several decades, and that many datasets can now be searched easily, the mere fact that the question remains unresolved speaks volumes about the quality of the arguments supporting the purported solar/climate connection.
      But yes, Salvatore, believers gonna believe, and I do note that you number yourself among them …
      w.

      • I am now beyond trying to argue the pros and cons about solar/climate connections with individuals on various sites, it is essentially a waste of time and effort. I rather devote my time in studying the various possible solar/climate connections that are out there and learn as much as I can about them and evaluate the effects based on available data and then say what I think and if some agree fine if some do not fine.
        That is where I am at.

  41. I think people who don’t ‘believe’ in a solar/climate relationship should spend some time actually learning something about our star before they open their big mouths……These people are as bad as the AGW brigade.

    • I think people who ‘believe’ in a solar/climate relationship should spend some time actually learning something about our star before they open their big mouths……

  42. Actually, I am learning something about our star. Seems I’m learning a lot more that you.

  43. I learned to tell the difference between a person who is truly learned, and a person who just thinks they are.

    • Jay, before you dig yourself in too deep, you should know your situation is covered by one of my many rules of thumb. This one is
      Be very careful when disputing a point with a man who has a scientific effect named after him
      Leif Svalgaar (lsvalgaard) is a real-life solar physicist with a scientific effect named after him. Doesn’t make him right, of course … but it does make me want to be very sure of my facts when I disagree with him.
      Best to you all,
      w.

  44. In reply to lsvalgaard May 2, 2015 at 1:36 pm
    You do not understand what validates or invalidates the standard solar model.
    I most certainly not will not attempt to change an old man. I have worked almost two decades as a senior specialist. I am called in to assist specialists in solving problems. I am professional problem solver.
    It appears your scientific viewpoints will remain the same for your remaining time on this planet. It appears based on your comments in this forum that you have zero curiosity and you appear to have never tried to construct a new standard solar model. You have zero knowledge of the astronomical paradoxes that I summarized above that support the assertion that astronomical objects are not electrically neutral.
    Please do provide a link to a paper that provides observational evidence that the sun is electrical neutral. If you have no evidence, then stop asserting that claim or acknowledge it is an assumption with no proof.
    I provided a set of peer reviewed observations that support the assertion the geomagnetic field is currently declining faster than possible (5% decline per decade starting in the mid 1990s, as opposed to 5% per century in the recent past. since about 1850) for a change in liquid flow in the core of earth. As all changes must have a physical cause, the very, very rapid current change in earth’s geomagnetic field must be due to changes in electrical charge on the vicinity of the earth and on the surface of the earth. The electrical impedance is different for the oceans and the ocean crust and the charge distribution is effected by the earth’s orbital position and change in orbital position with the seasons. Is this too complicated for you? Do you need set of pictures to help you understand how a charged sun would affect the planets?
    I provided a set of papers, all of which were written by specialists that supports the assertion that abrupt geomagnetic field changes correlate with abrupt solar changes and correlate with abrupt climate changes.
    Abrupt solar changes can most certainly cause abrupt geomagnetic field changes, if the sun is significantly different than the current solar model.
    Do you agree or disagree with that assertion? I am of course trying to trick you to get you to think out of your box which it appears you cannot do as you have zero experience modern techniques that are used by technical people to solve complex technical problems. In private industry one gets paid for actually solving problems, not writing papers and/or attempting to support incorrect models.
    In addition, I provide a set of observation from peer reviewed papers that support the assertion that there are massive electrical charge imbalances in the region of astronomical objects which is no surprise. You are stuck in a deep trench of specialization and will never have a chance to even imagine what the correct solution is.
    What could cause millions of ‘nanoflares’ on the surface of the sun that are 10 million degrees Kevin?
    Try not to guess, hint the standard stellar model is not correct. Our sun is a second generation star that formed about the old core of a supernova. What is formed when a star collapses? Hint, black holes do not exist. What forms when a massive object collapses is an active object. The correct answer is a miniature version of the mysterious object that is called a Quasar. The researchers that are proposing that the active object is a Magnetospheric Enternally Collapsing Object (MECO) are on the correct track.
    The physical reason why there are millions per second 10 million degree Kelvin nanoflares on the surface of the sun is the active object in the core of the sun quickly carries energy from the core of the sun to surface of the sun.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150429094830.htm

    Strong evidence for coronal heating theory (William, what the heck creates the 10 million degree Kevin nanoflares?)
    The sun’s surface is blisteringly hot at 5,778 Kelvin (5,505 Celsius) — but its atmosphere is another 300 times hotter. This has led to an enduring mystery for those who study the sun: What heats the atmosphere to such extreme temperatures? Normally when you move away from a hot source the environment gets cooler, but some mechanism is clearly at work in the solar atmosphere, the corona, to bring the temperatures up so high.
    Jim Klimchuk, a solar scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, explained that the new evidence supports a theory that the sun’s corona is heated by tiny explosions called nanoflares. These are impulsive heating bursts that individually reach incredibly hot temperatures of some 10 million Kelvins or 18 million degrees Fahrenheit – even greater than the average temperature of the corona – and provide heat to the atmosphere. The research evidence presented by the panel spotted this super hot solar material, called plasma, representative of a nanoflare.
    “The explosions are called nanoflares because they have one-billionth the energy of a regular flare,” said Klimchuk. “Despite being tiny by solar standards, each packs the wallop of a 10 megaton hydrogen bomb. Millions of them are going off every second across the sun, and collectively they heat the corona.”

    • Well, you still did not produce a single paper backing up your assertion that there are hundreds of them, and peer-reviewed to boot!
      So, still no evidence.
      you appear to have never tried to construct a new standard solar model
      The old one works extremely well: if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it…

      • Standard models are always wrong, some may be more right than others, being dogmatic about your pet model only shows a scientist with a closed mind. That this solar cycle was first predicted to be larger than the last and now you have just quoted that it was projected to be small shows the conundrum that exists in standard solar science.
        Thus in the recent past it was found the model of the universe was missing most of its mass, the cure was not a rethink but the invention of some imaginary friends such as dark matter and dark energy. These imaginary friends are also used in the wonderful models of quantum mechanics or they fail also.
        Open your mind Leif, things are not always as they seem.

        • One should not open one’s mind so much that the brain falls out.
          The wrong prediction of the solar cycle was not because the standard model was wrong, as it was not used for that. The problem was an additional assumption [due to lack of data about the meridional circulation] which turned out to be wrong, see http://www.leif.org/research/Predicting%20the%20Solar%20Cycle.pdf
          Nothing to do with the standard model.
          As Al Gore is rumored to have said “if you don’t know anything, everything is possible”, but in science, knowledge and observations restrict what you can assert.

  45. Knowledgeable scientists (and even the IPCC itself) have acknowledged that the climate system is without doubt an highly complex, chaotic and unpredictable system. The system is affected by numerous uncontrollable factors including the sun and cosmic rays, and other factors like the ocean currents, clouds, jet stream, and volcanic activity, to name but a few.
    Scientific knowledge, however, has a long way to go before the secrets of climate change are unravelled. The IPCC, however, paints a different picture – that carbon dioxide emitted by human activity is causing catastrophic warming and is the key driver of climate change. If human CO2 emissions are reduced, then rising temperature will be prevented from rising by more than 2 degrees celsius.
    The reality is that there really is absolutely no evidence suggesting carbon dioxide has ever played a role in changing the climate over the last 4.5 billion years? So why would it play a role now?
    This belief that the IPCC has miraculously cracked the secrets of the climate system is simply insane.
    We have the United Nations’ Secretary-General now claiming climate scientists and its IPCC know the answer and the solution to climate change. We have governments around the world led by President Obama believing the same. Even the Pope is now in on the act. The media was sucked in on the act a long time ago, and the academies of science fell in line with the political agenda as far back as when Maggie Thatcher delivered “thirty pieces of silver” to The Royal Society to delve into the issue.
    Has the world gone mad?

  46. robert johnson May 4, 2015 at 5:31 am

    … But this is a rather unimportant detail compared to the second point: what are the implications of the changes in the Sun-induced electromagnetic state of the ionosphere for the Global Electric Circuit? In particular, can an externally-driven change in the current density in the circuit occur and thereby affect the weather systems?
    I maintain that we do not yet know enough about the various systems involved to be able to categorically rule out the possibility that the Sun affects the climate via these electrical phenomena. My own opinion is that it does. And that, apparently, is where we differ. In the final analysis, we are back to the question of what is cause and what is effect.

    Thanks, Robert. You are correct, it is a possibility that the sun’s effect on the current density has an effect on the weather.
    And you are correct, we cannot categorically rule it out.
    So what?
    There are lots and lots (and lots and lots) of lovely theories out there, many of which have the same failing as yours. The failing is a total lack of evidence that there is something to investigate.
    As a scientist, your job is to figure out what observational changes should be found if your theory is true, and then show us that those observational changes actually occurred in the direction and amount predicted by your hypothesis.
    Now me, I used to believe what you believe, that the small ~11-year variations of the sun have a detectable effect on the weather. But when I looked into it, I couldn’t find any evidence that such an effect exists. I listed above a dozen studies that I’ve done, on temperatures and sea levels and river flows and lake levels and a whole host of things, without finding any evidence that the sun has such an effect.
    My advice at this point? You’ve got your theory worked out … now you need to find the evidence to back it up. You need to say to yourself “IF my hypothesis is true we should see the following effect”, and then go out and find the evidence to back it up.
    Where would I look? Very hard question, because of the nature of the system. Thunderstorms, mainly land-based tropical thunderstorms, basically act as a variable resistors regulating the upward current from the ground to the upper atmosphere. However, we immediately run aground on the problem of causation. We can show that an increase in land-based tropical thunderstorms is definitely accompanied by an increase in the upwards current … but which is cause and which is effect?
    That is to say, do increases in surface/atmosphere voltage (or equivalently, potential gradient) lead to easier thunderstorm formation and increased current … or does increased thunderstorm formation lead to increased potential gradient and increased current?
    Or does causation run both ways, at different times?
    Let me suggest that there is no easy answer to that question … and add that the question has been very inadequately researched, despite all the research that has been done.
    Here’s my first thought about how I might approach it. We have a few years of pretty good lightning observations from space. We know that in general:
    Lightning ≈ number of thunderstorms ≈ upwards current.
    So IF your hypothesis is correct, we should see more lightning in times of high solar addition of charged particles to the ionosphere. We probably have pretty decent numbers on the charged particles as well. So I’d look for correlation between those two datasets, because that’s what your theory predicts.
    Then and only then, once you’ve shown that there is an actual phenomenon that requires an explanation, should you return to your theoretical claims. They’re interesting, and as you point out they’re possible … but without observations you’ve done about all you can do.
    There’s a good description of all of this in Tinsley’s paper, The global atmospheric electric circuit and its effects on cloud microphysics.
    Regards, and thanks for continuing the conversation,
    w.

  47. Thanks again to everyone who has made a thoughtful contribution to this debate on this forum, and especially to lsvalgaard for his comments. I found his recent responses to my last post particularly interesting [cf posts May 4, 5:31 (mine), 5:56 & 6:54 (responses)]. However, leaving aside differences of opinion, I would like to take this opportunity to correct one factual error.
    lsvalgaard complains that I misquoted him by stating “magnetic activity has more than doubled between 1901 and 1995″ on p15 of my presentation. lsvalgaard follows his complaint up with a long quote of his own apparently representing what he and his co-author actually said. He implies that this ‘misquote’ is a typical example [“and so on an on”]; see also his post of May 1st 08:55 regarding my presentation: “No, it is not excellent. It is full of misquotes and misunderstandings.”
    But does this complaint stand up to scrutiny?
    On p15, I did indeed make the statement (but not a direct quote) regarding a more than doubling of magnetic activity and cited Svalgaard & Cliver (2010).
    Unfortunately, lsvalgaard’s own quote which purports to be what he and Cliver actually said is not from this work at all; it is the opening paragraph of another, earlier, paper: Svalgaard & Cliver (2006) ‘Reply to the comment by M. Lockwood et al. on The IDV index: Its derivation and use in inferring long-term variations of the interplanetary magnetic field’.
    My statement was derived from the following works (please excuse the long quotes but they are relevant):
    In Svalgaard et al (2011): ‘Long-term reconstruction of Solar and Solar Wind Parameters’ International Teams in Space Science Proposal 2011. Co-Organizers: Leif Svalgaard (USA), Mike Lockwood (UK), Jürg Beer (Switzerland) the authors write:
    “Abstract: Following Lockwood’s seminal paper on centennial-scale changes in the Sun’s open flux, it became clear that there were long term changes in the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) as a consequence of magneto-hydrodynamic processes on the Sun. After a decade of vigorous research, reasonable agreement has been achieved between IMF strength (and open flux) estimates based on geomagnetic data and the inversion of the paleo-cosmic radiation data for the last ~100 years. Fundamental questions have been raised on topics such as the existence of a floor in the IMF strength (B), the character of the solar wind during grand minima, the possible disappearance of the solar wind within historical times, and the evolution of future solar change.

    1. Scientific rationale, goals, timeliness
    In his famous paper on the Maunder Minimum, Eddy (1976) conclusively demonstrated that the Sun is a variable star on long time scales. Lockwood et al. (1999) provided further insight to the nature of such long-term change by using geomagnetic activity indices to show that the Sun’s open magnetic flux underwent significant – factor of two – changes during the course of the last century. The Lockwood et al. study reinvigorated the field of long-term solar variability and brought space data into play on the topic. Initially, the Lockwood et al. report was met with skepticism … After a decade of vigorous research … , however, an emerging consensus reconstruction of solar wind magnetic field strength (B) has been forged for the last century (Svalgaard and Cliver, 2010; Lockwood and Owens, 2011). … The consensus reconstruction of Lockwood and Owens (2011) in Figure 1 shows reasonable agreement among the various reconstructions of solar wind B for the last ~100 years.” [ibid. pp1-2]
    Here is Fig 1 from the 2011 proposal:
    [IMG]http://i59.tinypic.com/116ne6b.jpg[/IMG]
    Note in particular the cycle minimum in the blue graph of ∼4.5 nT in about 1995 compared to the cycle minimum of ∼2 nT just after 1900. The yellow graph has higher values but a broadly similar ratio between these years.
    I should add that Lockwood & Owens (2011) suggested the REEA07 data for 1901 was anomalous; they also conclude that these early values are somewhat controversial: “Disagreements between reconstructions of B do occur early in the sequences where the geomagnetic data were sparse and less reliable.” [ibid. (2011) pp 6 &11] but neither of these points are made clear in the 2011 proposal.
    Admittedly, the Svalgaard & Cliver (2010) graph in Fig 1 of the proposal is not as variable as the others shown there; OTOH, both the Rouillard et al (2007) and the ‘LEA99 applied to B’ graphs show an even greater variation than the suggested ‘factor of two’ in the minima since 1900. As presented in the 2011 proposal, the Svalgaard & Cliver (2010) curve does form part of the consensus, and the text refers to Lockwood et al’s 1999 ‘factor of two’ change in the Sun’s open magnetic flux shortly before suggesting that the consensus has been reached ‘after a decade of rigorous research’. The impression given is that the consensus broadly accepts this ‘factor of two’ change.
    So where does that leave us? I agree that it would have been better to have cited Lockwood & Owens (2011) and all the other contributors to the graphs in Fig 1 rather than pick out just Svalgaard & Cliver (2010) and I apologise if this has caused any embarrassment to those latter authors. On the other hand, I believe I had reasonable grounds for citing them in my presentation as their paper forms part of the consensus represented in Fig 1, Svalgaard was the lead co-organizer of the 2011 proposal, and Svalgaard & Cliver (2010) was apparently the first paper to discuss this consensus (see the quote above). I also believe I was reasonably accurate in reflecting the consensus view shown in Fig 1 by referring to the ‘more than doubling’ of the activity between ∼1901 & ∼1995, as shown in two out of the three curves reproduced in Fig 1 of the 2011 proposal, although next time I will remove the words ‘more than’ so as to be more in line with the 2011 proposal text and less reliant on the possibly controversial 1901 values shown in the graphs.
    But I most certainly did not ‘misquote’ Svalgaard & Cliver (2006) as lsvalgaard claims. I didn’t refer to it all. That earlier pre-consensus paper had, as lsvalgaard says, ‘quite a different slant’.
    Regarding the other items in lsvalgaard’s posts, as he also said, “That not EVERY item is commented on does not mean that they are agreed to.” On that, we are in agreement!

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