Archive for March, 2011

Cosmic Rays, Be10 and Ice Cores

Posted: March 22, 2011 by Rog Tallbloke in solar system dynamics

Levels of GCRs have been indirectly recorded by their influence on the production of carbon-14 and beryllium-10. The Hallstatt solar cycle length of approximately 2300 years is reflected by climatic Dansgaard-Oeschger events. The 80–90 year solar Gleissberg cycles appear to vary in length depending upon the lengths of the concurrent 11 year solar cycles, and there also appear to be similar climate patterns occurring on this time scale.

Discuss. :)

Regular contributor M.A. Vukcevic has kindly given permission to reproduce some ongoing research which will be of interest to people learning about earthquakes and their precursor indicators. Vukcevic states:
“the tb’s talkshop does not take any responsibility either for statements or data presented.
Please note that there are number of the geomag parameters which I have not labelled, in case I decide they are no longer relevant, or if pattern does hold for some time I might be able to publish results.”

This is an ongoing ‘live’ project (started on 02/03/2011, prompted by the N. Zealand earthquake) to establish if there is a link between the geomagnetic activity (magnetic storms) and acceleration of the earthquake’s occurrence. It is not claimed that geomagnetic storm is a primary cause of any earthquake. However if conditions for an earthquake are ‘ripe’, then solar storm could be a trigger (not the cause) for it, and bring it forward for few hours or days.
There is strong evidence of electromagnetic processes responsible for earthquake triggering, that we study extensively. We will focus here on one correlation between power in solar wind compressional fluctuations and power in magnetospheric pulsations and ground H component fluctuations. The variation of the horizontal component H of the geomagnetic field is the crucial parameter in the Magneto-Seismic Effect MSE to be discussed in a companion paper. The connection of earthquake activity to possible solar or solar wind drivers is not well understood; many authors have attempted correlations in the past with mixed results. Geophysical Research Abstracts,Vol.8,01705, 2006;Lab for Solar and Space Physics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,Greenbelt, MD

Scientists have been tracking and studying substorms for more than a century, yet these phenomena remained mostly unknown until THEMIS went into action. Even more impressive was the substorm’s power. Angelopoulos estimates the total energy of the two-hour event at five hundred thousand billion ( 5 x 10^14 ) Joules. That’s approximately equivalent to the energy of a magnitude 5.5 earthquake

It is likely that in the electrical terms any tectonic fault is also the weakest point. Geomagnetic storm of 10-11 March coinciding with the Japan’s mega-quake lasted nearly 24 hours.


NASA release spaceweather app on iTunes

Posted: March 16, 2011 by Rog Tallbloke in solar system dynamics

I’ve bever been jealous of iPhone owners, until now.

More nice screenshots at the link above, including SDO images. Grrrr.

As each solar cycle progresses from minimum to sunspot maximum, the magnetic fields near the poles of the Sun weaken and then reverse polarity. Cycle maximum usually follows within six months to a year or so of the fields crossing the zero point, and the polar fields then gain opposite polarity strength until sunspot minimum is reached.

Solar physicist Leif Svalgaard has noted that the strength of the polar fields at solar minimum are a reasonably good indicator of the amplitude of the following cycle, and based his 2004 prediction of a max of monthly sunspot number of around 70 for solar cycle 24 on this metric. Although at the moment this estimate looks a little on the high side, it is a lot closer than the predictions made by solar physicists such as Dikpati and David Hathaway, who based their predition of a very high solar cycle amplitude on models of their conception of a ‘solar dydnamo’ – a self regulating and self regenerating effect of the Sun’s consumption of its fuel in the solar nuclear furnace. Once again, observation and heuristic phenomenological modeling has trumped the Babcock Leighton dynamo theory models.


More bad news…  Looks like a big explosion at the nuclear plant has stripped the outer cladding from one of the buildings.  Many people are trying to flee the area and the authorities have set up a 40 mile exclusion zone to prevent anyone going in.
Here’s hoping that they can prevent a breech of the containment vessel.  The Japanese have suffered more than enough from the quake and tsunami.

H/T Tenuc

This from The Register

After sustaining heavy damage to its cooling systems during Friday’s megaquake, and after problems were encountered when damage mitigators attempted to release pressure that was building up in its reactors, Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor may now be toying with emulating a 1970′s potboiler. Athough information is still spotty, the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant may be beginning to melt down.

Japan’s Kyodo News reported on Saturday afternoon, Japan time, in an article entitled “URGENT: Concerns of core partially melting at Fukushima nuke plant,” that there are indications that a reactor core at Fukushima No. 1 is, indeed, beginning to melt down.

“The core at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant’s No. 1 reactor may be partially melting, the nuclear safety agency said Saturday,” Kyodo News reports. “Radioactive substance cesium was detected around the reactor,” they quoted that agency as admitting.

The Fukushima No. 1′s reactor No. 1 is only one of five Japanese reactors reeling after the megaquake: three at Fukushima No. 1, two at Fukushima No. 2.


Kyodo News has now reported that an “explosion was heard at 3:36 p.m. [Japan time] following large tremors and white smoke” at Fukushima No. 1′s reactor No. 1.

“Four people have been injured in an explosion that occurred at the No. 1 reactor of the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant,” Kyodo News said they had been told by Tokyo Electric Power Company.

P.O. Box 607841

Orlando, Fl 32860

Research Report 1-2010 (Preliminary)

Correlation of Solar Activity Minimums

and Large Magnitude Geophysical Events

John L. Casey1

Released for world wide web (www) distribution on Monday, March 1, 2010.

[1] An independent review of historical records was performed for 350 years of global volcanic activity

(1650-2009) and seismic (earthquake) activity for the past 300 years (1700 to 2009) within the continental United States and then compared to the Sun’s record of sunspots as a measure of solar activity. All three data sets were examined to determine whether a relationship existed between them and if the results of such a study could be used to develop methodology for identifying future geophysical events. The preliminary results from the study have shown that there exists a strong correlation between the solar activity that causes climate changes and the Earth’s largest seismic and volcanic events. The impressive degree of correlation for global volcanic activity (>80.6%) and for the largest USA earthquakes (100% of the top 7 most powerful) vs. solar activity lows provides a basis for future estimates of the time periods and magnitudes for the largest volcanic and seismic events many decades in advance. Finally, the coincidence of the Centennial and Bi-Centennial cycles of the RC Theory showed unmistakable relationships to these largest geophysical events. The use of such a tool may provide a new and valuable method for protection of people and property located in and around high risk geologic zones. Further, a significantly increased risk is indicated during the next 20 years for volcanic and earthquake events of historic scale. Citation: Casey, John. L. (2010), Correlation of Solar Activity Minimums and Large Magnitude Geophysical Events, Research Report 1-2010 (Premiminary), March 1, 2010, Space and Science Research Center, (SSRC).


UPDATE 20-3-2012 New thread:

UPDATE 2-1-2012. New thread:

UPDATE 13-6-2011. New thread with links to all seismic related posts on this blog here:

New Zealand’s Herald Sun newspaper has this item:

A NEW Zealand mathematician who predicted the deadly Christchurch quake has terrified Kiwis with news another will strike the city in two weeks.

Popular long-range weather forecaster Ken Ring is warning that a second jolt will hit the already-devastated South Island city on March 20.

Mr Ring, who lives in Auckland, uses the moon, sun and tidal activity for the basis of his theories, which have been dismissed by scientists.

His warning is clear.

If I lived in Christchurch, I’d get out for a few days over that time, go camping, visit friends, just get out and keep safe…And if you don’t live there, stay away.


Building a Virtual Observatory for Heliophysics
R.D. Bentley, University College London


Heliophysics explores the Sun-Solar System Connection and is a relatively new discipline.It generalizes of the study of “space weather” to the whole Solar System and spans several existing disciplines – solar physics, heliospheric physics, and planetary magnetospheric and ionospheric physics. The desire to solve science problems that span the disciplinary boundaries is now driving the need to provide integrated access to data from all the communities that constitute heliophysics.

To facilitate this we need to find ways to select related data through searches of metadata across the different domains. We also need to ensure that any results are presented in aform that does not require detailed understanding of each of disciplines involved. The virtual observatory paradigm is designed to meet these needs.


For anyone looking for the solar cycles analysis prediction thread, it is here:
The ever shrinking solar cycle 24 prediction from the MSFC Solar Physics Branch members Wilson, Hathaway, and Reichmann has, unsurprisingly, shrunk again. Here’s the March 2011 ‘prediction’


Feb 2011 global temperature anomaly maps

Posted: March 7, 2011 by Rog Tallbloke in solar system dynamics

These nicely dug plots just in from Tim Channon. I hope this will become a regular monthly feature, as they give great information in addition to the time series plots provided elsewhere. Click on the images for the full size versions as WordPress compression makes a bit of a mess of them – Sorry Tim.

Lower Troposphere