NASA’s SDO Sees New Kind of Magnetic Explosion on Sun

from NASA

Dec. 17, 2019

annotation_2019-12-17_084959NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has observed a magnetic explosion the likes of which have never been seen before. In the scorching upper reaches of the Sun’s atmosphere, a prominence — a large loop of material launched by an eruption on the solar surface — started falling back to the surface of the Sun. But before it could make it, the prominence ran into a snarl of magnetic field lines, sparking a magnetic explosion.

Scientists have previously seen the explosive snap and realignment of tangled magnetic field lines on the Sun — a process known as magnetic reconnection — but never one that had been triggered by a nearby eruption. The observation, which confirms a decade-old theory, may help scientists understand a key mystery about the Sun’s atmosphere, better predict space weather, and may also lead to breakthroughs in the controlled fusion and lab plasma experiments.

“This was the first observation of an external driver of magnetic reconnection,” said Abhishek Srivastava, solar scientist at Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), in Varanasi, India. “This could be very useful for understanding other systems.  For example, Earth’s and planetary magnetospheres, other magnetized plasma sources, including experiments at laboratory scales where plasma is highly diffusive and very hard to control.”

Previously a type of magnetic reconnection known as spontaneous reconnection has been seen, both on the Sun and around Earth. But this new explosion-driven type — called forced reconnection — had never been seen directly, thought it was first theorized 15 years ago. The new observations have just been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

The previously-observed spontaneous reconnection requires a region with just the right conditions — such as having a thin sheet of ionized gas, or plasma, that only weakly conducts electric current — in order to occur. The new type, forced reconnection, can happen in a wider range of places, such as in plasma that has even lower resistance to conducting an electric current. However, it can only occur if there is some type of eruption to trigger it. The eruption squeezes the plasma and magnetic fields, causing them to reconnect.

While the Sun’s jumble of magnetic field lines are invisible, they nonetheless affect the material around them — a soup of ultra-hot charged particles known as plasma. The scientists were able to study this plasma using observations from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, looking specifically at a wavelength of light showing particles heated 1-2 million kelvins (1.8-3.6 million F).

The observations allowed them to directly see the forced reconnection event for the first time in the solar corona — the Sun’s uppermost atmospheric layer. In a series of images taken over an hour, a prominence in the corona could be seen falling back into the photosphere. En route, the prominence ran into a snarl of magnetic field lines, causing them to reconnect in a distinct X shape.

Forced magnetic reconnection, caused by a prominence from the Sun, was seen for the first time in images from NASA’s SDO.

Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Download this video in HD formats from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Spontaneous reconnection offers one explanation for how hot the solar atmosphere is — mysteriously, the corona is millions of degrees hotter than lower atmospheric layers, a conundrum that has led solar scientists for decades to search for what mechanism is driving that heat. The scientists looked at multiple ultraviolet wavelengths to calculate the temperature of the plasma during and following the reconnection event. The data showed that the prominence, which was fairly cool relative to the blistering corona, gained heat after the event. This suggests forced reconnection might be one way the corona is heated locally. Spontaneous reconnection also can heat plasma, but forced reconnection seems to be a much more effective heater — raising the temperature of the plasma quicker, higher, and in a more controlled manner.

While a prominence was the driver behind this reconnection event, other solar eruptions like flares and coronal mass ejections, could also cause forced reconnection. Since these eruptions drive space weather — the bursts of solar radiation that can damage satellites around Earth — understanding forced reconnection can help modelers better predict when disruptive high-energy charged particles might come speeding at Earth.

Understanding how magnetic reconnection can be forced in a controlled way may also help plasma physicists reproduce reconnection in the lab. This is ultimately useful in the field of laboratory plasma to control and stabilize them.

The scientists are continuing to look for more forced reconnection events. With more observations they can begin to understand the mechanics behind the reconnection and often it might happen.

“Our thought is that forced reconnection is everywhere,” Srivastava said. “But we have to continue to observe it, to quantify it, if we want prove that.”

Related Links

Banner image: Forced magnetic reconnection, caused by a prominence from the Sun, was seen for the first time in images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO. This image shows the Sun on May 3, 2012, with the inset showing a close-up of the reconnection event imaged by SDO’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly instrument, where the signature X-shape is visible. Credit: NASA/SDO/Abhishek Srivastava/IIT(BHU)​

By Mara Johnson-Groh
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Last Updated: Dec. 17, 2019

Editor: Rob Garner

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December 19, 2019 2:53 am

This event happened in May, 2012.

I’m skeptical because the article calls it (in a bombastic style) an “explosion” …

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has observed a magnetic explosion the likes of which have never been seen before. In the scorching upper reaches of the Sun’s atmosphere, a prominence — a large loop of material launched by an eruption on the solar surface — started falling back to the surface of the Sun. But before it could make it, the prominence ran into a snarl of magnetic field lines, sparking a magnetic explosion.

… but the actual paper just calls it a “reconnection at a considerably high rate”.

Natural diffusion was not predominant; however, a prominence driven inflow occurred first, forming a thin current sheet, thereafter enabling a forced magnetic reconnection at a considerably high rate.

Sounds like it might be a case of excessive journalistic exuberance.

Reply to  Johanus
December 19, 2019 4:11 am

This is one of those times where the video is way better than the writing. In particular, the video has a diagram that makes it much easier to understand the concept of reconnection.

Reply to  commieBob
December 19, 2019 8:05 am

@commitBob => “… video is way better …”

Actually, the video is just as overhyped as the writing.

For example, the cartoon graphic depicts an explosion having a brilliant flash, whereas the actually imagery just shows a muddy green X-shaped region, which looks unremarkable compared to the voice over narrative.

They go on to suggest that it might explain the “million-of-degrees” temperature of the corona. But that is very misleading because it is extremely tenuous. The mass of the entire corona is less than the mass of Mount Everest. A micro-droplet in a bucket of body. (Recall that the black-body temperature of the Sun is 5700K. Not even close to “millions of degrees”.

I hear similar nonsense about the Earth’s thermosphere where temperatures actually do rise to 2000C, but has no effect at all on climate temperatures. In fact it cannot even be felt by the ISS astronauts, whose orbit is (bombastically) “smack-dab” in the middle of the thermosphere (where air molecules can travel for hundreds or even thousands of meters before colliding with other air molecules). Temperature is a useless statistic in those regions.

Reply to  Johanus
December 19, 2019 8:36 am

Actually I was referring to the black and white animation that showed the lines of force recombining.

Reply to  commieBob
December 19, 2019 9:36 am

[sorry about the typo]
“black and white animation”

Do you mean the animation which begins at 00:17 seconds, with a great flash at 00:21 seconds?

That flash is pure hype. Magnetic lines reconnect on Earth all the time. Sometimes quickly. We do not call an aurora an ‘explosion’, even though it is caused by terrestrial magnetism capturing solar wind particles by means of a solar-terrestrial magnetic reconnection.

Yes, the video explained that the reconnection caused a change in direction of heat flow, but that is not the same as an explosion, which generates a great blast of heat intrinsically.

Perhaps I am too picky about the definition of ‘explosion’. But I feel the article was unnecessarily hyping this research, perhaps to generate more key clicks from readerss ($$$).

Reply to  commieBob
December 19, 2019 4:12 pm

Johanus December 19, 2019 at 9:36 am

Yep. I confess I didn’t even notice the flash.

Richard G.
Reply to  commieBob
December 20, 2019 8:06 pm

A couple of points.
1. Magnetic field lines do not exist. Magnetic fields exist. The lines are reification, an attempt at trying to visualize something that is abstract. Think of a topographic map. Just as You will never see any contour lines on the ground as you hike through the wilderness, You will never see any magnetic field lines around a magnet.
2. Magnetic fields are associated with Electric currents. Here we get to the meat of the issue. **Alarm Bells** Warning**. The authors have tip toed up to the issue. They have uttered the dreaded and forbidden words ‘electric current’:
…”The previously-observed spontaneous reconnection requires a region with just the right conditions —such as having a thin sheet of ionized gas, or plasma, that only weakly conducts electric current — in order to occur. The new type, forced reconnection, can happen in a wider range of places, such as in plasma that has even lower resistance to conducting an electric current.”…
Magnetic reconnection is nothing more and nothing less than inductive voltage discharge resulting from the interruption of an electric current causing the associated magnetic field flux to discharge back into the double layer electric circuit explosively. This effect is seen in high tension electric transmission lines and switches. See Hannes Alfven’s work.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  commieBob
January 1, 2020 4:25 am

Richard G., that “electric current” thing – of course an electric current is flowing

– the moment the plasma soup

undergoes, experiences directed flow of electrons embedded in that whatever mass environment.

Reply to  Johanus
December 19, 2019 5:44 am

which confirms a decade-old theory,

Someone at NASA needs to learn enough about science to know the difference between theory and hypothesis… then go and explain it the climate guys at GISS.

Reply to  Greg
December 19, 2019 10:26 pm

The leade is incorrect. This is not “a new kind of magnetic explosion on the Sun”. It’s just the first time anyone noticed or differentiated it. It’s been happening for billions of years.

Reply to  Johanus
December 19, 2019 6:34 am

This is an instance in which I’ll let the PR department have a pass.

Set off a stick of dynamite, fire a gun, whatever – you are simply causing combustion at an extremely high rate. (One of the fascinating things about the development of artillery is the extensive work done to tune that rate – a slower rate for long guns, which are more accurate, or a fast rate for short guns/mortars, which are more portable. A mortar shell does not have the same propellant mix as a shell for the 155mm M109.)

Reply to  Writing Observer
December 19, 2019 8:53 am

I have an off topic question. In a fairly short period of time, big guns went from looking like massive coke bottles to the much slimmer barrels of WW1. I’ve always assumed that was because of advances in metallurgy but I’ve never seen it spelled out explicitly.

Reply to  commieBob
December 19, 2019 9:30 am

The difference was the ammunition used. Prior to WWI, it was powder loaded into the gun barrel. Then someone came up with a propellant that could be included in the ammo itself. May have been based on exploding cannonballs, which were hollow and filled with explosive powder, but I’m not sure about that.

Reply to  Sara
December 19, 2019 10:23 am

The big naval guns still have separate bags of powder. Part of that is to help control the velocity of the shell.

Bob Rogers
Reply to  commieBob
December 19, 2019 9:58 am

Part of the difference is the propellant. Black powder burns a lot faster so artillery needed to be thicker to contain the explosion (relatively speaking).

Jim G
Reply to  commieBob
December 19, 2019 9:37 pm

I think it is a metallurgy issue.

In the old days, barrels were cast into sand molds. It would be typical to get some voids or inclusions in the casting. These would weaken the barrels. So, just make them thicker.
Once forging of steel came in to use for larger barrels, they could make them longer and thinner. Coupled with rifling, they came up with some pretty impressive designs. Such as the guns of the WWII Battleships. 16 inch diameter shells, about the weight of a VW, that could fly 26 miles.

G Karst
Reply to  Johanus
December 19, 2019 8:29 am

An explosion is a rapid pressure excursion. Seems like proper usage to me! GK

Patrick MJD
December 19, 2019 3:02 am

OT. Trump is impeached?!

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 19, 2019 3:32 am

Meaningless. A political act that will go nowhere. Now requires 67 of 100 senators to remove. Won’t happen. Not even aclose call.
Democrats can’t stop whining and emotionally reacting to their TDS affliction.
US democrats are like the 4 yr old in grocery store having meltdown because Mum won’t buy them the candy bar they demand. The only responsible adult thing to do is not indulge them.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 19, 2019 3:43 am

I don’t fully understand the US political system, Trump doesn’t seem too bothered it seems from what I have seen reported. It’s no surprise to me that the Australian, heavily left leaning, media are jumping for joy at the news item that was posted on YouTube from 9 News here in Australia. They do conclude there is a bit of a process to follow with the last comment being Trump will still be returned to PotUS in Nov 2020.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 19, 2019 4:47 am

We’re really OT here, but WTH – it’s hard to understand either the prominence or the impeachment. If I watch the video again a few times I might understand the prominence. The impeachment? Not so easy. But I do get the impression that the longer it goes on the more likely Donald Trump is to win the 2020 election. US Democrats just don’t seem to understand that voters want politicians to do things for the benefit of the people not themselves.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
December 19, 2019 6:36 am

Solar prominences follow the laws of physics. Democrats, well…

Richard G.
Reply to  Mike Jonas
December 20, 2019 8:16 pm

Post impeachment question:
Q: Siri, who is the President of the United States of America?
A: The President of the United States of America is Donald Trump.

Laugh or cry.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 19, 2019 3:17 pm

When the House of Representatives pass Articles of Impeachment that is similar to a grand jury indictment charging someone with a crime. It only takes a simply majority vote to do so. The Senate will hold the trial on those charges as outlined in the Articles of Impeachment. The President can only be removed if 67 (2/3) of the Senators vote that way. That will never happen as there are only 45 Democrat Senators although the 2 independents always caucus with the Democrats. That brings the non Republicans seats to 47. It would take an additional 20 of the 53 Republican Senators to agree with the Articles of Impeachment and vote to remove the President. As I said that isn’t going to happen. So while the President was impeached he will remain in office and most likely be re-elected to a second term. The Democrat leaders know this but wanted to put on a good TV show for their followers.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 19, 2019 4:55 am

House dems complaining the past few days to Pelosi that “It was supposed to help us,” and the cheering from the dems last night when the gavel fell, tell you all you need to know about how “solemn” the event was and what their motive was all along.

And without the media behind and in front, it would never have happened.

“Thank an educator.”

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 19, 2019 8:16 am

The Dem reaction to Trump (press/Hollywood/many celebs/twitter & facebook owners) has been increasingly psychotic. Also note in the press that many almost identical anti-Trump attack phrases are used across the lib press sites, indicating that there are deep state players in control except apparently at Fox who are the ones pointing out the hilarity of the echo chambers. The up side is that the depth of left hatred and extreme socialist fervor wouldn’t have been so obvious before Trump. One would hope that this might have the effect of peeling off the more sane and rational members of the public from their hypnosis. Or perhaps, for better or worse, Trump is just a major shuffle of code in the computer simulation.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  BFL
December 19, 2019 9:07 am

“The up side is that the depth of left hatred and extreme socialist fervor wouldn’t have been so obvious before Trump. One would hope that this might have the effect of peeling off the more sane and rational members of the public from their hypnosis.”

I think that is going to be the result. The radical Democrats are now showing their true, ugly face to the public. Sane Americans are going to reject this abuse of power by the House Democrats.

As for Trump being removed from Office by the U.S. Senate, that’s not going to happen. The Republicans hold the majority in the U.S. Senate and the House Democrat’s impeachment case is without merit and doesn’t even charge Trump with a specific crime. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a speech this morning completely destroying the argument of the Democrats.

Now Nancy Pelosi is holding up sending the articles of impeachment over to the Senate until the Senate Republicans cowtow to her rules for handling the impeachment. McConnell had a good laugh over that one.

For those unfamiliar with American politics, the House of Representatives when they impeach a president it means they are indicting the president, not that he is being removed from Office, and then this indictment is sent to the U.S. Senate where the Senate, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court residing, becomes the jury and decides whether the evidence presented by the House is sufficient to remove the president. Pelosi has sent no evidence to the U.S. Senate so thee is no evidence of a crime for which to remove the president. Therefore, the impeachment is dead on arrival.

Watch the poll numbers. Trump is getting stronger because of this and the Democrats and their ugly face are getting weaker.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 19, 2019 10:26 am

As McConnel stated, impeachment is a political, not legal process.

They don’t have to charge him with an actual crime. Misconduct in office is sufficient.
Of course the misconduct the Democrats have highlighted is mostly to totally made up.

J Mac
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 19, 2019 12:10 pm

The ‘articles of impeachment’ and the vote tallies taken in the House of Representatives on the 2 ‘articles of impeachment’ are all a part of the public record. You can watch it on youtube, CNN, etc. or call them up from the public congressional records.

The House has no further duty nor can it further obstruct whatever actions the
Mitch McConnell and the Senate chooses to take, based on the public records.

paul courtney
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 19, 2019 1:00 pm

MarkW: “totally made up”.
Well, yes and no. Totally made up re: Trump, yes. But Dems are no longer creative enough to totally make it up, they seem to keep drumming up scandals by saying Trump is doing exactly what Dems just did. Next, Dems are gonna accuse Trump of using the fbi to abuse the FISA court. And they won’t blush, ’cause they are confident the press will never call them on such blatant nonsense.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 19, 2019 1:55 pm

MarkW: THIS impeachment is political, not legal. The Constitution is very explicit:

“The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

There must be an underlying crime. Without one, there is nothing to get a conviction on. In this case, EVERY President has been accused by the opposing Party of abusing his power and contempt of Congress. But those charges are subjective and not codified into criminal law, unless it is part of an actual criminal act (e.g., President X abused his power by withholding money for roads unless states contributed money to his campaign, committing the crime of extortion. Note that the President can withhold money from states for any number of reasons that are not illegal, including just being petulant. Many would call it abuse of power, but it would not be impeachable).

The Democrats charged him of both ‘offenses’ without any evidence of a criminal act. This impeachment has as much weight as being indicted for not believing in manmade climate change. It may be true, but so what? It’s not illegal. You can’t be tried for breaking a law that does not exist.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 19, 2019 5:55 am

OT. Trump is impeached?!

No, the process of impeachment has begun. Not the same thing.

Having nothing more than hearsay about hearsay “evidence” may be a bit of an impediment to a successful impeachment. Joel’s comment about a toddler tantrum just about sums up this whole mess.

So Dems intend to fight the next election saying “we failed in fake attempt to remove the orange one, failed build any policy, but “climate” . Vote for us.

Reply to  Greg
December 19, 2019 7:20 am

Actually, he has been impeached. The term means that the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress has passed a resolution of impeachment.
“The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

It is the political version of civil or criminal charges being filed. The charges must be tried in the U.S. Senate, where “conviction” and removal from office requires a 2/3 vote.
“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

So, yes, Trump has been impeached, though the Resolution of Impeachment has not been sent to the Senate yet to start the “trial” on the charges. There is no way he will be “convicted” and removed from office. This is a political stunt by the Democrats who have been seething since he was elected.

Chris R.
Reply to  BobM
December 19, 2019 4:07 pm

I’ve read those articles of impeachment, and the one about “obstruction of Congress” is laughable. The basic complaint there is that Trump told people not to respond to Congressional subpoenas.

Well, in the case of senior advisors at least, he has that right. In fact, in 2014, Obama did the exact same thing with respect to David Simas. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) defended

“The Executive Branch’s longstanding position, reaffirmed by numerous Administrations of both political parties, is that the President’s immediate advisers are absolutely immune from the congressional testimonial process,” the OLC wrote. “This immunity is rooted in the constitutional separation of powers, and in the immunity of the President himself from congressional compulsion to testify.”

I am trying, and failing, to recall any outrage in Congress about such acts by Obama. I certainly don’t recall his impeachment, although I’m growing old and my memory may be at fault …..

Reply to  BobM
December 19, 2019 11:23 pm

I have to disagree. Almost all of the Constitutional lawyers I’ve hear are saying that the President if impeached when the articles of impeachment are sent to the Senate for trial. That has not happened yet.

So the House has voted its intention to impeach, but has not yet impeached.


Jim G
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 19, 2019 9:30 pm

The claim is a bit confusing because when the term impeached is used, people usually think of removed from office. Was Bill Clinton impeached?

By definition, to impeach means to bring a charge of misconduct.
The US. House of Representatives have referred charges of impeachment to the US Senate.

Only the Senate has the power to try impeachments and it shall not extend beyond removal from office or disqualification from holding public office. But that doesn’t mean they cannot be indicted on criminal charges later.

Patrick MJD
December 19, 2019 3:44 am

I am waiting for someone to blame CO2 on this “new” discovery.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 19, 2019 8:08 am

CO2 caused it.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 19, 2019 4:26 am

Is this another reason to go on long distance flights only after wrapping yourself in ovenfoil?
CO2 must be to blame surely?

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 19, 2019 4:48 am

Understanding how magnetic reconnection can be forced in a controlled way may also help plasma physicists reproduce reconnection in the lab. This is ultimately useful in the field of laboratory plasma to control and stabilize them.

are we not talking about enormous forces in play on the Sun?
Is it physically possible to replicate that on Earth for the containment of plasma?

Robert G.
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 19, 2019 11:19 am

Google Safire Project….Its already being done.
Bob G.

Greg Woods
December 19, 2019 5:10 am

TOT: Terribly Off Topic

Can the Internet Survive Climate Change?

The internet is inextricably tied to the coming horrors of the climate crisis. It is both a major force behind that crisis and one of its likely casualties.

Reply to  Greg Woods
December 19, 2019 5:38 am

That is one of the totalitarian impulses being shown by the climate clowns. They need to blame the internet since it is a source of competing information distribution. In a coup d’etat, the first target to get control of is the broadcast media so the coup plotters can control the information flow to the population and prevent competing messages from getting out. In this case there are many in the totalitarian climate scam that blame the internet for “muddying the message”. As Andrew Klavan quipped on one of his short videos, the left’s main argument to counter any opposition is “SHUT UP”, and they will do so with extreme prejudice if they have the levers of power to do so.

December 19, 2019 7:00 am

Meanwhile, Oz burns.

I’m a skeptic, but I’m having a hard time reconciling deep solar minimum with extreme heat down under and a near cessation of winter in the US. What’s going on?

Reply to  Brandon
December 19, 2019 7:14 am

High UV Index is frying Oz with dry heat, a solar minimum condition due to less tropical evaporation and water vapor.

Similar conditions baked the US last summer, and will again next summer here.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bob Weber
December 19, 2019 8:19 am

Speak for yourself, Bob. I saw nothing of the weather you describe here at 39N-90W near St Louis, MO. We had the shortest and wettest growing season since the 70’s here in Forgottonia, and most of Fly-over land in the US.
Before someone reminds me how small a part of the globe this is, I’d like to remind all that this area feeds a large part of it.
As long as the oceans (99.9% of the planetary heat) still contain the heat from the previous series of extremely high peaks in solar activity, El Ninos will provide the only indicators of rising global temperatures. When the ocean cycles go negative again the global temperature will drop due to cooling Arctic SSTs and less evaporation.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 19, 2019 8:58 am

Pop: Lots of US drought interspersed among the wet weather records:

comment image

comment image

Thank the near-Nino from 2018-2019 for all your rain.

Reply to  Bob Weber
December 19, 2019 10:37 pm

Bob – Here near Reno we are transferring water from Swan and Silver Lakes (dry lakes until a few years ago) to the high valleys because we haven’t recovered from the heavy snows two years ago, followed by a wet winter last year, and a predicted wet winter this year. Despite some fiery summers, we couldn’t make a dent in those lakes, nor Washoe Lake to the south. While California burns, their Sierras have been having good snowfalls. Granted, the southern counties are still paying drought rates (despite excess fresh water being dumped in the ocean). Oroville is kept artificially low (94% of historical levels) because local residents don’t yet trust the dam repairs, and the others have been dropped in anticipation of heavy snow runoff.

We constantly hear we are in a perpetual drought. Still, homes are being destroyed by rising waters, big warehouses have been under threat for three years by rising lakes. We just don’t know what to do with all the flood waters. Why do I suspect poor planning?

Reply to  Bob Weber
December 20, 2019 4:50 pm

The ocean doesn’t give the land the same precipitation to all locations at the same time, as the major locations of tropical evaporation change with time & intensity, and subsequent atmospheric river flows. There’s no happy medium no matter how you slice it. More long-term underground floodwater storage would be helpful to buffer the downtimes by collecting runoff, with a wide multi-state distribution and storage system.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Bob Weber
December 20, 2019 3:01 am

Bob from the article;

“Australia had its hottest day on record Dec. 17, with a nationally averaged temperature of 105.6 degrees (40.9), according to the country’s Bureau of Meteorology. This beats the old record of 104.5 degrees (40.3 Celsius) on Jan. 7, 2013.”

It’s a national average where the BoM uses data from only 112 devices to create that average. It’s totally bogus.

William Astley
Reply to  Brandon
December 19, 2019 7:28 am

This better to look at as it worldwide. No sign of warming. Odd.

comment image

Did you know there is cyclic warming and cooling in the paleo record that correlates with solar changes?

Reply to  William Astley
December 20, 2019 8:09 am

William, that graphic is grossly-biased to make warm areas more visually prominent than cooler areas. This one is much better because areas near avg are blank:

Reply to  Brandon
December 19, 2019 7:41 am

What are you talking about? Winter hasn’t even started in the US and it’s already winter-like with many cold and snow records already broken. Alaska may be warmer, but that’s what happens when the jet stream becomes meridional during times of lower solar activity.

And Oz was hotter in the early 20th century.

Reply to  icisil
December 19, 2019 11:03 am

Thank you, everyone for your replies. I’m a frequent reader of this site because of its bent toward science and empiricism and away from emotion and belief in hyperbole.

Sometimes these things pop up in the news, that don’t synch with the narrative here. I’m happy to be able to ask about them. In this case, the narrative I refer to is the deepening solar minimum. I see the point about offset in timing between minima and cooling.

Here in my neck of the woods in the south central, we are trending 10 degrees F above normal in the foreseeable forecast. Not unheard of at all, but not consistent with any trend toward overall cooling. Our summer came late, but it was pretty brutal when it got here.

Richard G.
Reply to  Brandon
December 21, 2019 10:51 am

The solar cycle/climate connection is very counter intuitive. It is a multivariable nonlinear chaotic system with hysteresis or lag between input and output. Solar output is variable in both TSI (total solar irradiance), and confusingly enough, TSI (total spectral irradiance) as well as total energetic particle flux and magnetic field strength which in turn effects cosmic ray flux. All these variables send effects cascading through our climate system.

A couple of good sources for information:

Richard G.
Reply to  Brandon
December 21, 2019 11:09 am

I omitted the fact that Earth’s distance from the sun is variable resulting in changes to the intensity of the solar radiation at Earth.

“The Earth is closest to the Sun – at its Perihelion – about 2 weeks after the December Solstice and farthest from the Sun – at its Aphelion – about 2 weeks after the June Solstice.”

The distances are, Perihelion-147.1 km, Aphelion-152.1 km.
I suspect this is where your counter intuitive confusion arises.

Reply to  Brandon
December 24, 2019 11:18 pm

“Climate studies have shown clear and causal links between bush fires — as well as wildfires in the United States — and long-term global warming.”

This, from you link, is a completely false claim.

US Forest Fires Continue At Record Low →
Journalists Competing For Fakest Arctic News
Posted on June 20, 2019 by tonyheller
As for the US and a cessation of winter, you’ve got to be kidding! Where in the world are you getting such erroneous information?

David Blenkinsop
December 19, 2019 4:31 pm

I’m perplexed by this whole idea of field lines breaking, then reconnecting. In usual classical field terms, a broken magnetic field line would describe a magnetic divergence, and this in turn would imply an actual magnetic monopole right there at the end of that line.

Since true monopoles have never been discovered, to my knowledge, I wonder what this actually means?

Reply to  David Blenkinsop
December 19, 2019 7:49 pm

It means we’re doomed.

David Blenkinsop
December 19, 2019 9:12 pm

Most likely it means that these researchers are choosing a dramatic term to describe a sudden diversion of the magnetic field to a new state or shape. The lines break! Then they reconnect! Then you go out in your back yard, dig a hole, and the lines of latitude going across the hole break! Then they reconnect! Then your own personal world comes to an end as you go mad, mad, I say, trying to understand about the dramatic significance of broken lines!

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