Archive for the ‘Electro-magnetism’ Category

From the Hockey Schtick, via the GWPF, news of a new paper supporting the Svensmark hypothesis:

10/04/14 The Hockey Schtick

cloudsA paper published today in Environmental Research Letters corroborates the Svensmark cosmic ray theory of climate, whereby tiny 0.1% changes in solar activity are amplified via the effect on cosmic rays and cloud formation, which in turn may control global temperatures.

The authors find cosmic ray variations due to changes over solar cycles may have as much as 10 times larger effect than previous studies have estimated. The paper also finds that a tiny 0.2C temperature increase increases the cosmic ray induced cloud condensation nuclei by around 50%, thus acting as a natural homeostatic mechanism. 


wpid-PRP-Censured.jpgOver the last five years there’s been a revival of an old hypothesis which suggests that the motion of the planets around the Sun modulates its output, and that variation in the Sun’s output affects the Earth’s weather and in the longer term, shifts in regional and global climate. This revival has been most visible here in the blogosphere, where ideas can be kicked around with less professional reputational risk, and a faster exchange and development of concepts and narratives can take place. There has also been a steady trickle of papers published in the scientific literature relevant to the theory, and these have been championed and denigrated by bloggers on both sides of the issue.

Naturally, in the overheated atmosphere of the climate debate, the second part of the idea is especially controversial, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change telling us that human emitted ‘greenhouse gases’ are the primary driver of global warming since the middle of the last century. They also say the Sun’s variation has very little effect on climate change. An IPCC author recently took exception to our special edition on the theory and got the journal we published it in axed. The first part of the idea is controversial too, as the received wisdom from most mainstream solar physicists is that the planets are too small and too far from the Sun for their motion to affect it. They are sure that the Sun runs an internal ‘dynamo’ (Babcock & Leighton) and ‘chronometer’ (Dicke) which accounts for the observations of its cyclic variations that have been made over the centuries.


Here we have  two fine scientists who have written an excellent and easily readable paper, well supported by the evidence they cite.

2400-year cycle in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration: bispectrum of 14C data over the last 8000 years
S. S. Vasiliev and V. A. Dergachev

Received: 5 September 2000 – Revised: 6 August 2001 – Accepted: 21 August 2001



The press release from BICEP making claims regarding detection of gravitational waves which inform us about the origin of the cosmos has been doing the rounds of the world’s media organisations.  Hans Jelbring comments:

Big Bang – The greatest fairy tale ever told
Hans Jelbring – 18-3-2014

big-bang-theoryThere is freedom of choosing religion in our country so there is no problem what you or I believe. On the other hand there is a problem when scientists mix facts supported by evidence and laws of nature with fantasy, unfounded hypotheses and faith.

There is no qualitative difference being a creationist believing that earth and our galaxy was created 6000 years ago or believing that the universe was created from a small cosmic egg 14 billion years ago. From where did this egg originate and what existed before that? There must have been something more (or rather, less) than a nuclear bomb within it since at that point not even matter are believed to has existed. None of these beliefs are or can be supported by scientific methods or verified experience. Hence, it cannot be classified as science.


The news last month that the Chinese Yuutu moon rover, ‘Jade Rabbit’, apparently suffered a failure when stowing it’s extending arm for hibernation through Lunar night got me thinking about possible causes.


Photo of the Jade Rabbit rover taken by the Chang’e-3 lander after it rolled onto the lunar surface for the first time on December 15, 2013. Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences/China National Space Administration

One consideration for the cause was the ingress of lunar dust into the mechanical gear. Since there is no air to support particles off the lunar surface, it occurred to me that electrostatics might be involved. The development of electrostatic charge can occur when dissimilar material undergo mutual surface friction, and this might cause dust to adhere to the rover.


Announcement on the SORCE Status page:

TSI-stpsat3Total Irradiance Monitor Status

(updated 24 Feb. 2014)

TIM daily solar measurements have resumed in a new operations mode.

The TIM, along with all other SORCE instruments, ceased collecting solar measurements after a battery cell failure on 30 July 2013. The LASP SORCE spacecraft operations team has implemented a new means of operating the instrument to acquire continued TSI measurements in the present limited-power mode. These measurements are expected to be more intermittent and of lower quality than those during the primary mission phase due to thermal and pointing issues, and this will be reflected in the time-dependent uncertainties given in the released data files.


H/T to ‘Catweazle’ for mentioning this report: nasa-sun-earth – on solar-terrestrial relations. A web summary is available here:

sun-sdoTaster from the text:

In the galactic scheme of things, the Sun is a remarkably constant star. While some stars exhibit dramatic pulsations, wildly yo-yoing in size and brightness, and sometimes even exploding, the luminosity of our own sun varies a measly 0.1% over the course of the 11-year solar cycle.

There is, however, a dawning realization among researchers that even these apparently tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate. A new report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate,” lays out some of the surprisingly complex ways that solar activity can make itself felt on our planet.



Around ten days ago I made an enquiry to Copernicus (the innovative science unpublishers) asking when they would be billing me for the order I made at the end of 2013. It turned out they had forgotten to do so, and they provided an invoice for a fresh order on Jan 27, 10 days after they axed the journal.


From the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, news that won’t surprise talkshoppers too much. Interesting though. Large magnetic field links binary pair

Dave Finley, Public Information Officer
Socorro, NM
(575) 835-7302

Astronomers have found a giant magnetic loop stretched outward from one of the stars making up the famous double-star system Algol. The scientists used an international collection of radio telescopes to discover the feature, which may help explain details of previous observations of the stellar system.

Artist’s conception of Algol star system
with radio image superimposed on grid.
CREDIT: Peterson et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF

“This is the first time we’ve seen a feature like this in the magnetic field of any star other than the Sun,” said William Peterson, of the University of Iowa.

The pair, 93 light-years from Earth, includes a star about 3 times more massive than the Sun and a less-massive companion, orbiting it at a distance of 5.8 million miles, only about six percent of the distance between Earth and the Sun. The newly-discovered magnetic loop emerges from the poles of the less-massive star and stretches outward in the direction of the primary star. As the secondary star orbits its companion, one side — the side with the magnetic loop — constantly faces the more-massive star, just as the same side of our Moon always faces the Earth.


prof. Giovanni P. Gregori - Docente di Fisica Terrestre e ricercatore CNR all'Istituto di Acustica O.M.Corbino C.N.R. di Roma. 1963-2001  Ricercatore CNR all'IFA/CNR (Istituto di Fisica dell'Atmosfera), Roma, con l'incarico di studiare le Relazioni Sole-Terra. Le aurore polari ed il geomagnetismo (1963-1975) lo hanno portato ad un modello di magnetosfera (1970-1972) considerato uno dei suoi migliori risultati.

prof. Giovanni P. Gregori – Docente di Fisica Terrestre e ricercatore CNR all’Istituto di Acustica O.M.Corbino C.N.R. di Roma. 1963-2001 Ricercatore CNR all’IFA/CNR (Istituto di Fisica dell’Atmosfera), Roma, con l’incarico di studiare le Relazioni Sole-Terra. Le aurore polari ed il geomagnetismo (1963-1975) lo hanno portato ad un modello di magnetosfera (1970-1972) considerato uno dei suoi migliori risultati.

One of our merry band of collaborators on our Special Edition of Pattern Recognition in Physics, the journal axed by executive officer Martin Rasmussen of parent publishing house Copernicus, and castigated by science blogger Anthony Watts, is Italian physics professor Giovanni P. Gregori. here’s the letter he sent to Rasmussen:

Martin Rasmussen, Esq.,
Copernicus Publications.

Ref.: Pattern Recognition in Physics

Dear Mr. Rasmussen,

following the letter by the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, I guess I have to spend a few words on this unfortunate controversy.

I like to begin and recall a few statements by Jules-Henri Poincaré (1854-1912).

“La liberté est pour la Science ce que l’air est pour l’animal”
["Freedom is for Science much like air for an animal"
Dernières pensées, appendice III]

“La pensée ne doit jamais se soumettre, ni à un dogme, ni à un parti,
ni à une passion, ni à un intérêt, ni à une idée”
["Never submit thought to any dogma, or to any party,
or to any passion, or to any interest, or to any idea"]

“La pensée n’est qu’un éclair au milieu d’une longue nuit.
Mais c’est cet éclair qui est tout”
["Thought is like a lightning in the middle of a long night.
But this lightning is everything"]

Science is made of ideas, both correct and wrong. How can we assess what is correct if this is not compared with what is wrong? Observations, models, extrapolations, forecast, etc. are not science. They are only tentative applications of science. But science is made of ideas.