Solar activity affecting the earth, the link

Posted: May 12, 2013 by tchannon in Astrophysics, atmosphere, climate, Clouds, cosmic rays, Solar physics, weather

What follows is incomplete, I’ve decided to throw this out early, let the team help fill in more detail.


Original drawing from 1999 paper

“The role of solar forcing upon climate change”
B. van Geel!,*, O.M. Raspopov”, H. Renssen#, J. van der Plicht$,
V.A. Dergachev%, H.A.J. Meijer$ [1][2 details]


Graphic courtesy of Nigel Calder, this is an altered version emphasizing the solar modulation, as added to the first graphic.

Pierre Auger Observatory have an FAQ on cosmic rays simple but hopefully not too simple.

Note the original discovery involving balloon ascent. Also perhaps how ionisation occurs and that the atmosphere can do electricity.


This is due to the fact that the solar activity cycle is actually one of 22 year periodicity, rather than 11 years. Every 11 years the overall solar magnetic field reverses polarity, and this affects strongly the propagation of charged particles through the Heliosphere.,
section “Solar modulation of galactic cosmic rays”


“The Earth’s magnetosphere is a highly dynamic structure that responds quite dramatically to changes in the dynamic pressure of the solar wind and the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Its ultimate source of energy is the interaction with the solar wind. Some of the energy extracted from this interaction goes directly into driving various magnetospheric processes, while some is stored in the magnetotail, to be released later in substorms. The principal means by which energy is transferred from the solar wind to the magnetosphere is a process known as “reconnection,” which occurs when the IMF is oriented antiparallel to the orientation of the Earth’s field lines. This orientation allows interplanetary and geomagnetic field lines to merge, resulting in the transfer of energy, mass, and momentum from the solar wind to the magnetosphere. The viscous interaction of the solar wind and the magnetosphere also plays a role in solar wind/magnetosphere coupling, but is of secondary importance compared with reconnection.”, links from there might add meaning.

The magnetic field reverses polarity every 11 years but varies anyway.


Map of the magnetic field as far as cosmic ray monitors are concerned.

I’m interested in two facets of cosmic ray data, the 22 year modulation and any polar north/south effect, with the tilt of temperatures north/south a second useful marker.

As I feel able I’ve started to work on looking at various data but this is in progress. A quick look at paired data is on disk so here it is.

An initial result, two stations near opposite poles, run by the same organisation. Slopes like that tend to imply station relative drift yet this is for a common organisation and they do correct for various equipment drifts.


This kind of work means working with difficult data. How far this can be trusted is open, the result is strange with an implication of a 100 year wave.

I have brought in data from the Moscow site as well, trying to get a cross check on whether polar difference is consistent but it is too early to say much. This project is going to be slow, as and when I do more.

Perhaps more telling is there is more of a global commonality in cosmic ray flux.

The 22 year earth cycle phased to the solar 22 year cycle.

Recently I wrote on a earth global dataset which was not originally intended as more than a casual look at a new dataset version. These things gain a life of their own.

Shortly after I developed the solar connection a little more

Clouds are of immense importance, great variety and height. At any one time the majority of the world has cloud of some kind. Data is poor, largely from daytime for obvious reasons, with satellite somewhat hampered at night and a short record.




And these are only a tiny part of the whole.

Data records for cloud cover long term are probably poor to non-existent yet this is a weather parameter often collected if more by observation than instrumention.

The signal I am chasing is 22 year in cloud variation. A match for cosmic rays perhaps but that is restrictive to a relatively short record and small spatial coverage.

On neutron flux, there are derived records which are not useful, have had feature removed, eg. DST flux. (about magnetic storms and the equatorial ring current)

Which brings me to the electrical properties of the atmosphere from ground to very high indeed. What has not been examined yet?

I’ve left out material. Have to do for now.

1. Contributor gai at joannanova dropped the paper information in a comment

2. The role of solar forcing upon climate change.
B. van Geel *, O.M. Raspopov , H. Renssen , J. van der Plicht ,
V.A. Dergachev , H.A.J. Meijer

The Netherlands Centre for Geo-ecological Research, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 318, 1098 SM Amsterdam, Netherlands

Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowave Propagation of the Russian Academy of Sciences, PB 188, St.Petersburg 191023, Russia

The Netherlands Centre for Geo-ecological Research, Free University, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands

Centre for Isotope Research, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, Netherlands

A.F. Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Polytechnicheskaya 26, St.Petersburg 194021, Russia

Evidence for millennial-scale climate changes during the last 60,000 years has been found in Greenland ice cores and North Atlantic ocean cores. Until now, the cause of these climate changes remained a matter of debate. We argue that variations in solar activity may have played a significant role in forcing these climate changes. We review the coincidence of variations in cosmogenic isotopes (C14 and Be10) with climate changes during the Holocene and the upper part of the last Glacial, and present two possible mechanisms (involving the role of solar UV variations and solar wind/cosmic rays) that may explain how small variations in solar activity are amplified to cause significant climate changes. Accepting the idea of solar forcing of Holocene and Glacial climatic shifts has major implications for our view of present and future climate. It implies that the climate system is far more sensitive to small variations in solar activity than generally believed.

[3] Cloud images courtesy of Wikimedia contributors, click images or via

Post by Tim Channon

  1. tchannon says:

    That article was done fast so it is likely to contain mistakes, not really had time to think.

    If it gives the general idea that will do.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Some general support for the concepts here.

    ‘The mechanisms of sun-spot, solar magnetic field and cosmic ray interactions are complex and will be intensely studied, but the associations illustrated here demand consideration when we seek to model our future climate.’

  3. Brian H says:

    Chock-a-block with interesting ideas. Nice effort, Tim.

  4. tchannon says:

    I nearly took the article through to sunshine with cloud effects and some about light, looping things in a circle. Thunked, too long and perhaps sidetracking.

    There is a vast amount of detail in cloud / sunshine.

    Then there is the ground heat issue, not as I think is assumed. Moreover it is this which is involved in re-radiation, delays involved, is phased.

    Now try and figure sunshine data which seems the inverse of air temperature.
    if this is true in a temperate cloudy region it suggests clear sky cools but that is contradictory to cosmic rays cause clouds given other data. Sunshine though is day, so what is happening at night?

    Bit by bit.

  5. […] Solar activity affecting the earth, the link | Tallbloke's Talkshop […]

  6. suricat says:

    tchannon says: May 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    “That article was done fast so it is likely to contain mistakes, not really had time to think.”

    IMHO that’s a good way to provoke a response TC. ;)

    This is a good project to follow, but beware of the differences between ‘EM radiation’ and ”HE’ (high energy) particulate radiation’!

    EM radiation encompasses electromagnetic disturbances from wave lengths at such low frequencies as long wave radio emissions, to the highest frequencies of gamma wave emissions.

    ‘Solar wind’ (particle emissions from Sol) and ‘cosmic rays’ (particle emissions from ‘other stars’) are NOT compatible for a direct co-relationship with Sol’s EM radiation. Be careful.

    Furthermore, Sol’s EM radiation seems to be ‘measured’ for it’s level of output in ‘vis’ (the visible spectrum), but as TB’s link to satellite data shows;

    the ‘Planck weighting’ of emissions from ‘sun spots’ shows a more intense energy release than the surrounding photosphere (please read my comment there)!

    I also want to add my thanks to TB for his ‘kind words’ elsewhere. :)

    Best regards, Ray.

  7. tchannon says:

    Unfortunately that was content I passed up, black rectangles. i gathered a vague idea from elsewhere.

    Yes you are right this is a minefield, perhaps not so easy to figure out which is what or even as stated.

  8. vukcevic says:

    This pre-view shows
    a substantial and sustained force is required to move LOD

  9. oldbrew says:

    NASA says (last updated 1/5/2013):

    ‘Although sunspots themselves produce only minor effects on solar emissions, the magnetic activity that accompanies the sunspots can produce dramatic changes in the ultraviolet and soft x-ray emission levels. These changes over the solar cycle have important consequences for the Earth’s upper atmosphere.’

    Sunspot predictions are all downhill after 2013-14.

  10. tchannon says:

    Quite so vuk.

  11. Paul Vaughan says:

    We need to get a firm lock on the periods I mentioned here:

    Anyone have any new leads?

    A quick graphical tour of what currently has my attention appears as a “Question” & “Answer” here:

    With those graphs I’m able to answer a compelling question that arose and seized my attention during my first month of climate explorations.

  12. R J Salvador says:

    I have correlated the NOAA North and South Sunspot Area data to the Global temperature Anomaly. Paul Vaughan graciously pointed out the data to me when I was having difficulty with a Sunspot number correlation because of Aliasing in a cosine term. The correlation with an r^2 of 0.81 uses just two sine waves, one for each hemisphere. The frequency of the sunspot area in the North Hemisphere of the sun is 68.4 years and for the South it is 247.1 years. This difference in phasing has been a major cause of the temperature increase for the past thirty years. We just went through a combined peak according to the correlation and it is all down hill from here. Maybe some of you can relate the frequencies of these areas to something else, assuming they have any validity. I would post the graphs etc. if I knew how to do it on this web site. Thanks again Paul for the directional nudge.

  13. Paul Vaughan says:

    RJ, it’s good to see you joining a discussion here at The Talkshop where there are several commentators with an increasingly keen interest in both solar heliographic & solar heliomagnetic asymmetry, including host Tallbloke (aka Rog or TB), electrical engineer Vukcevic, co-host Tim Channon (who develops precise tools for fitting stationary cycles), astrophysicist Ian Wilson (aka Ninderthana), and others.

    On your recent WUWT thread …
    … I found it curious that no one seemed to realize (or be willing to acknowledge?) the terribly simple implication of the temporal autocorrelation. The cosine term aliases a mixture of amplitude & shifting frequency. It’s a no-brainer if anyone stops to think about it: sunspot number is simply not independent of time (!) …and yet many commentators seemed to be basing their arguments on an implicit (and patently false) assumption if independence — curious indeed.

    Your discovery reminds us of the potential for developing new, Central-Limit-leveraging, efficiently-incisive methods for exploring nonstationary cycles. Specifically, it should be possible to develop a new class of empirical wavelets capable of accessing mathematical properties of ENSO that are strictly inaccessible (in the mathematical sense) via usual conventional mainstream methods. This may or may not require a great deal of careful, tedious thought — with revelation, there’s often no way to know whether it will be a matter of stubbornly applying lots of hard work in limited free time – or more a matter of graceful patience waiting for the moment of crystal spark.

    On sharing your work here:

    Maybe consider using a free image-hosting service like “Imageshack”. (It only takes a few seconds to set up an account and a few more to upload a graph.)

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of your work. Please do share. My instinct is that you are one who is capable of triggering revelations in others. No one should underestimate the value of that.

  14. R J Salvador says:

    Paul, I never heard of helio-asymmetry until today so perhaps that could be what the two wave correlation is picking up. Go to the image shack page below and you will see four graphs. Three I made. I need to write a narrative when time permits. I made an analysis of phase waves separately and when combined (and I maybe dreaming here but you decide) extended the correlation back 1000 years and the combined phase lines up with warm and cold periods. I believe It’s the interaction of the sunspot particles with these phase waves that causes temperature change. The correlating equation predicts of course that no sunspots always results in falling temperature but even an active sun in a combined down phase could result in cooling. We have just come through a combined up phase with an active sun so sure enough the planet heats up. But the for the next 60 years both phase waves are trending down and if the sun is relatively quiet it is going to cool down.

  15. tchannon says:

    Something like that does largely fit various datasets.

    200 or so years is part of de vries and you will find it in some radionuclide data but this tends to vague, lots of problems including datasets are always dubious.

    60 years or so, wish I knew why and whilst some people declare it is in extraterrestrial data I am not convinced but I tend to back off from saying much.

    A cold shower at WUWT, what a surprise on that kind of subject.

    For many hereabouts there is no problem in discussing this stuff, etc. but try to make no claim is-so. What I think we are looking for is patterns which we hope will ring a bell with something as in “pling! I know what that is”

    How much have you read of the 1,000+ articles at the Talkshop? (rhetorical q)

    An example of one thing leading to another *is* the earlier articles I linked in the article above. (I am the author)

    Roughly speaking…

    about 7 years x3

    about 22 years x3 ==> solar magnetic cycle

    about 66 years x3

    about 210 years

    Quite possibly others reading had not realised this.

    In addition I am showing a curious phase match between the shorter, I don’t bother in that work with the longer.

    Note also this is a data driven result, least squares best fit.

    How curious and the obvious: why so? And why 3. It is not a figure I expect.

    Constancy is these kinds of wobbles doesn’t happen. Everything is vague.

  16. R J Salvador says:

    Thank you, I appreciate your comments. I will go and read some more of the back articles.

  17. suricat says:

    tchannon says: May 15, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    “How curious and the obvious: why so? And why 3. It is not a figure I expect.”

    ‘Sunspot North and South Area Phase’. AS/AN = 247.1/68.4 = 3.61257. A bit off, but close?

    Best regards, Ray.

  18. Paul Vaughan says:

    Tim, do you have a link to the data you’ve explored here?

  19. Paul Vaughan says:

    _1_ _2_ _3_ Hiroko Miyahara (video)

  20. tchannon says:

    Probably this. No link but will be in the main paleo database.

    Click to expand header from data file.

    Holocene Total Solar Irradiance Reconstruction 
                   World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, Boulder
                         NOAA Paleoclimatology Program
    NAME OF DATA SET: Holocene Total Solar Irradiance Reconstruction 
    LAST UPDATE: 11/2009 (Original Receipt by WDC Paleo)
    CONTRIBUTORS: Steinhilber, F., J. Beer, and C. Fröhlich.  
    Steinhilber, F., et al. 2009.
    Holocene Total Solar Irradiance Reconstruction. 
    IGBP PAGES/World Data Center for Paleoclimatology 
    Data Contribution Series # 2009-133.
    NOAA/NCDC Paleoclimatology Program, Boulder CO, USA.
    Steinhilber, F., J. Beer, and C. Fröhlich. 2009.
    Total solar irradiance during the Holocene.  
    Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L19704, doi:10.1029/2009GL040142. 
    For the first time a record of total solar irradiance
    covering 9300 years is presented, which covers almost 
    the entire Holocene. This reconstruction is based on a 
    recently observationally derived relationship between 
    total solar irradiance and the open solar magnetic field. 
    Here we show that the open solar magnetic field can be 
    obtained from the cosmogenic radionuclide 10Be measured 
    in ice cores.  Thus, 10Be allows to reconstruct total 
    solar irradiance much further back than the existing 
    record of the sunspot number which is usually used to 
    reconstruct total solar irradiance. The resulting 
    increase in solar-cycle averaged TSI from the Maunder 
    Minimum to the present amounts to (0.9 ± 0.4) Wm-2. 
    In combination with climate models, our reconstruction 
    offers the possibility to test the claimed links between 
    climate and TSI forcing. 
    Fröhlich, C. 2009. 
    Observational evidence of a long-term trend in 
    total solar irradiance.  Astron. Astrophys., 501, 27–30, 
    Steinhilber, F., J. A. Abreu, and J. Beer. 2008.  
    Solar modulation during the Holocene.  
    Astrophys. Space Sci. Trans., 4, 1-6
    McCracken, K.G., F.B. McDonald, J. Beer, G. Raisbeck, 
    and F. Yiou. 2004. 
    A phenomenological study of the long term cosmic ray 
    modulation, 850-1958AD.
    J. Geophys. Res., 109, A12103, doi:10.1029/2004JA010685
    Usoskin, I.G., K. Alanko-Huotari, G.A. Kovaltsov, 
    and K. Mursula. 2005. 
    Heliospheric modulation of cosmic rays: 
    Monthly reconstruction for 1951-2004. 
    J.Geophys.Res., 110, A12108, doi:10.1029/2005JA011250
    Vonmoos, M., J. Beer, and R. Muscheler. 2006.  
    Large variations in  Holocene solar activity: Constraints 
    from 10Be in the Greenland Ice Core Project ice core.  
    J. Geophys. Res., 111, A10105,  doi:10.1029/2005JA011500
    PERIOD OF RECORD: -7300 to 2009 AD
    NCCR climate - Swiss climate research, ETH Zurich poly-project 
    Variability of the Sun and Global Climate
    Total solar irradiance during the Holocene (past 9300 years).
    It is based on a composite described in Steinhilber et al. 
    (2008) using cosmogenic radionuclide 10Be data as measured 
    in the ice cores GRIP (Vonmoos et al., 2006) and South Pole 
    (McCracken et al., 2004), and neutron monitor count rates 
    (Usoskin et al., 2005). The data are 40-year running means 
    and are resampled to a 5-yr time resolution. The time-scale 
    of the GRIP data is ss09.
    Total solar irradiance reconstruction
    Column 1: Years Before Present (1950 AD).  
    Column 2: dTSI, watts per square meter, difference of 
              total solar irradiance from the value of the 
              PMOD composite during the solar cycle minimum 
              of the year 1986 AD (1365.57W/m2) as given in 
              Frohlich (2009).
    Column 3: dTSI_sigma, watts per square meter, 1-sigma uncertainty.
  21. Paul Vaughan says:

    Thanks for joining us.
    Looking forward to further exchanges on future solar-terrestrial threads here — much to say as time permits….

  22. Paul Vaughan says:

    Tim, I seem to remember one of your plots that was analogous to this one from Ray Tomes — do you have a link?

  23. tchannon says:

    Nifty finding.
    I hadn’t seen you asking but you’d already found it.

  24. Paul Vaughan says:

    Theoretical framework derivation hinges on a precise estimate of the ~500 year period. Tim finds 500 years. Ray Tomes didn’t label his plot, but I calculate 500 years from one of his spikes. KNMI’s wavelet algorithm gives 496.1 years. Steinhilber+ report 506 years. Theory that nails the whole beat family framework suggests Steinhilber+ knew what they were looking for.

    I’ve begun customized multi-extent complex wavelet exploration and found several systematic patterns which I’ve never seen reported.

    Alert: This ties precisely into the timing framework I’m deriving from sunspot area records. (informal notes)

    Normally I at least concisely report everything I find as I find it, but this time I’m totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what there is to communicate, so a new approach appears necessary.