Archive for the ‘Solar physics’ Category

Matt Ridley article for the Times, reposted from the GWPF, because as many people as possible need to read it and think. Then act by using your vote sensibly.

Date: 28/07/14 Matt Ridley, The Times

wind-costsIf wood-burning power stations are less eco-friendly than coal, we are getting the search for clean energy all wrong
On Saturday my train was diverted by engineering works near Doncaster. We trundled past some shiny new freight wagons decorated with a slogan: “Drax — powering tomorrow: carrying sustainable biomass for cost-effective renewable power”. Serendipitously, I was at that moment reading a report by the chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the burning of wood in Yorkshire power stations such as Drax. And I was feeling vindicated.

A year ago I wrote in these pages that it made no sense for the consumer to subsidise the burning of American wood in place of coal, since wood produces more carbon dioxide for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. The forests being harvested would take four to ten decades to regrow, and this is the precise period over which we are supposed to expect dangerous global warming to emerge. It makes no sense to steal beetles’ lunch, transport it halfway round the world, burning diesel as you do so, and charge hard-pressed consumers double the price for the power it generates.


I’m of the opinion that before getting into the complexity of numerical modelling, it’s wise to put considerable effort into trying to understand the physical processes at work in the climate system, and the origins of the energy flows that drive them. David Evans’ recent series of posts over at Jo Nova’s site have generated a lot of interesting discussion (despite being roundly ignored by Anthony Watts at WUWT), and I think we can shed some light on the ‘mysterious 11yr lag’ between solar input and climate response.


An interesting series of posts has appeared at Jo Nova’s site. Jo’s husband, David Evans has done some competent analysis work to unravel the observed ~11 yr ‘delay’ in terrestrial climatic response to solar input. Of interest is the obervation that the solar polar magnetic fields are in the process of weakeneing and changing sign near solar maximum. It is suspected that this is connected with the delay. Head on over to read the posts and comment there as well as here.

Figure 6: The amplitudes of the empirical transfer function when the data is restricted in the ways marked (that is, using a subset of the data used to find Figure 5). The black line and the gray zone are as in Figure 5.

BIG NEWS Part I: Historic development — New Solar climate model coming
BIG NEWS Part II: For the first time – a mysterious notch filter found in the climate
BIG NEWS Part III: The notch means a delay
BIG NEWS part IV: A huge leap understanding the mysterious 11 year solar delay

I have made a comment, reproduced below the break.


A strange effect is months of delay of cosmic rays from solar sunspot cycle, not constant. This also has implications for 14C.Image

A plot of the two datasets taken from a live spreadsheet implementing data delay, set here for zero. Unfortunately the data tends to cause filter ringing and is impulsive anyway so this is not up to my usual standards of fidelity. A line plot doesn’t help but is clearer. Correlation peaks at r2 = 0.8, neutron data is inverted, data is normalised and made more comparable.

I’ve been meaning to post this for some time but the saga unfolding at Jo Nova with “a theory” where currently I have no idea whether it is reasonable might link.


Solar periodic instability

Posted: May 19, 2014 by tchannon in Analysis, Solar physics

The Talkshop likes to occassionally discuss the mystery of solar periodic timing, is it regular, chaotic, or some as yet undiscovered formula?


Figure 1

A simple decomposition of the annual sunspot number, three terms, was done for the period 1855 to 2005 inclusive, a period that seems reasonably consistent in characteristic. r2 = 0.81 for that timespan. See Figure 1.

This is a non-discrete Fourier decomposition therefore it can be re based to any time and a new time series created, figure 1 shows this done from 1700.5, the start of the SIDC annual data. In effect a hind-cast but also a slight forecast since it seems the sun is once again erratic.


From Global Energy World. I want a small test unit for charging my phone while out backpacking!

Semprius, an innovator in high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar modules , has manufactured the first four-junction, four-terminal stacked solar cell using its proprietary micro transfer printing process. In this effort, Semprius worked in collaboration with Professor John Rogers and his team at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and researchers at Solar Junction , a leading III-V high-efficiency solar cell manufacturer and important Semprius partner. The results of this project will be published this week in the journal Nature Materials .



Where next for sunspots? These magnetic phenomena may be dancing to a tune, but we’re still not sure what it is.

Originally posted on Inform The Pundits!:

NASA: April 16th, 2012 prominence

Another new solar sunspot record peak of 73.2 was set for Cycle 24 last month. It smashed the old 68.9 record peak set the previous month.

In a big surprise, it’s over six spots higher than the first sunspot peak set in early 2012 and will probably go up. A secondary peak that much above the first is almost unheard of.

The new sunspot peak is unusual for two conflicting reasons:

  1. The secondary peak is higher than the first
  2. Current physics suggests the solar cycle should be weakening

Conflicting signals coming from the sun muddles how it might affect earth’s future climate. A more active sun will have a warming effect. A less active sun, predicted by most solar physicists, will have a cooling effect.

The sun hasn’t decided what it wants to do yet.

The Royal Observatory of Belgium’s Solar Information Data Center (SIDC)…

View original 548 more words

H/T to Gerry Pease for alerting me to this paper from last year by Steinhilber and Beer which lays out a solar prediction from their analysis of their reconstruction of solar activity from proxy data.

Prediction of solar activity for the next 500 years
Friedhelm Steinhilber1 and Jürg Beer1
Received 18 May 2012; revised 18 February 2013; accepted 2 March 2013.

Recently, a new low-noise record of solar activity has been reconstructed for the past 9400 years by combining two 10Be records from Greenland and Antarctica with 14C fromtree rings [Steinhilber et al., 2012]. This record confirms earlier results, namely, that the Sun has varied with distinct periodicities in the past. We present a prediction of mean solar magnetic activity averaged over 22 years for the next 500 years mainly based on the spectral information derived from the solar activity record of the past. Assuming that the Sun will continue to vary with the same periodicities for the next centuries, we extract the spectral information from the past and apply it to two different methods to predict the future of solar magnetic activity.


This is a major new paper published in the March issue of prestigious journal ‘Solar Physics’ by solar-planetary theorists Ken McCracken, Jurg Beer and Friedhelm Steinhilber, which makes a newer and more extensive analysis of planetary motion in relation to the Carbon 14 and Beryllium 10 Glactic cosmic ray proxies than the 2400 yr Hallstat cycle study we looked at yesterday. The paper has been in the works a long time (submitted in July 2012), achieving final acceptance in late February this year. I can’t make the whole paper available due to copyright restrictions, but the abstract gives a clue as to the content. I’ve added one of the figures up to help convey some of the more important results. I’ve also appended the bibliography, as this isn’t part of the paper’s main text, it’s great to see Geoff Sharp and Ian Wilson getting citations. We can discuss other parts of their paper in comments. Boy is Martin Rasmussen going to look stupid in the future, by axing PRP for publishing our solar-planetary special edition.



H/T to Dr Michele Casati for alerting us to a new paper in Nature Geoscience which finds that low solar activity is the likely cause of blocking highs bringing polar air into northern Europe during the little ice age.  According to the Sciencedaily post about the paper, it also notes that solar activity is predicted to be low for the coming decades. Looking at the references isn’t obvious where this prediction comes from. I’ll look at the full paper later today and update the post.


Solar forcing of North Atlantic surface temperature and salinity over the past millennium
Paola Moffa-SánchezAndreas BornIan R. HallDavid J. R. Thornalley & Stephen Barker

There were several centennial-scale fluctuations in the climate and oceanography of the North Atlantic region over the past 1,000 years, including a period of relative cooling from about AD 1450 to 1850 known as the Little Ice Age1. These variations may be linked to changes in solar irradiance, amplified through feedbacks including the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation2. Changes in the return limb of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation are reflected in water properties at the base of the mixed layer south of Iceland.


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.


The Royal Society, in collaboration with the NAS has published a long document about the evidence and causes of climate change. Section’s 4 & 5 deal with the Sun. Count the misleading statements and omissions:

4. What role has the Sun played in climate change in recent decades?

The Sun provides the primary source of energy driving Earth’s climate system, but its variations have played very little role in the climate changes observed in recent decades. Direct satellite measurements since the late 1970s show no net increase in the Sun’s output, while at the same time global surface temperatures have increased (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Measurements of the Sun’s energy incident on Earth show no net increase in solar forcing during the past 30 years, and therefore this cannot be responsible for warming during that period. The data show only small periodic amplitude variations associated with the Sun’s 11-year cycle. Figure by Keith Shine. Source: TSI data from Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, Switzerland, adjusted down by 4.46 W m-2 to agree with the 2008 solar minimum data from Kopp and Lean, 2011; temperature data from the HadCRUT4 dataset, UK Met Office, Hadley Centre (larger version)


Reblogged from Jaime Jessop’s nascent climatecontrarian site:

Climate Wars – CO2 vs. Solar in the Battle to Lay Claim to Jet Stream Anomalies
By Jaime Jessop – 23-2-2014
Mat Collins of Exeter University admitted to the world a week ago that the direct cause of the UK’s wet and windy winter was/is the North Atlantic Jet Stream. It has been directly responsible for the ‘conveyor belt’ of powerful storms which have hit the UK, one after another, in seemingly endless succession, since December 2013 all the way into February of this year. The rain precipitated by those storms has resulted in widespread river flooding.

In addition, a particularly deep depression which coincided with a very high tide on the 5th/6th December also resulted in fairly severe coastal flooding along eastern coastal areas. Nothing as bad as the devastating tidal surge of 1953 but that was more down to massively improved flood defences in the last 50 years. The Dec 2013 tidal surge was probably only a shade less menacing in terms of actual sea level rise than was the 1953 event. Severe gales and storm force winds have also driven huge waves over sea defences in Wales and the West Country, resulting in yet more localised flooding.

All this chaos due to the Jet Stream, due to the run of extreme weather caused by that Jet Stream. But, given the exhaustive news coverage and the opportunity for a propaganda coup, it was inevitable that the proponents of CO2 induced global warming would figure out some way to link in the storms with ‘climate change’ and, right on cue, up stepped Julia Slingo to claim that ‘all the evidence’ pointed to a link between the UK floods and ‘climate change’.


This solar reconstruction uses a combination of 14C and “archeomagnetic field models” (Licht) to show strong solar activity modality.


Fig 3 from paper

Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity
I. G. Usoskin, G. Hulot, Y. Gallet, R. Roth, A. Licht, F. Joos, G. A. Kovaltsov, E. Thébault and A. Khokhlov
A&A 562 L10 (2014)


Nicola Scafetta and Richard Willson have a new paper in press which contains the most thorough analysis yet of the intercomparison of the empirical ACRIM and modeled PMOD TSI series. It’s a comprehensive yet readable paper of high interest to all diligent climate researchers interested in determining the relative strengths of various climate drivers. It is also an important historical document for philosophers of science investigating the shift from observation based empirical solar science to model based  dogma underpinning preconceptions of the power of trace gases to control Earth’s surface temperature. The IPCC and Team Wassup’s Leif Svalgaard are not going to like it, and will therefore try to ignore it, thus further underminng their credibility.


ACRIM total solar irradiance satellite composite validation versus TSI proxy models
Nicola Scafetta & Richard C. Willson

From the paper:

PMOD TSI composite (Fröhlich and Lean 1998; Fröhlich 2004, 2006, 2012) is essentially a theoretical model originally designed to agree with Lean’s TSI proxy model (Fröhlich and Lean 1998). It relies on postulated but experimentally unverified drifts in the ERB record during the ACRIM Gap,and other alterations of the published ERB and ACRIM results, that are not recognized by their original experimental teams and have not been verified by the PMOD by original computations using ERB or ACRIM1 data.


Not content with with swatting large number of endangered birds and bats with wind turbines, the ‘sustainable’ green, environmentally conscious energy business has added a novel new method of killing avian species, as reported by the Australian news website:


There have been reports that birds have been scorched and killed at The Ivanpah Solar Electric Power Plant. Image credit:

A new giant solar farm in the American Mojave Desert has reportedly been scorching birds as they fly through the extremely hot ‘thermal flux’.


Gerry Pease sends the following:

I believe this may turn out to be an important analysis, with significant consequences for Earth’s environment just five years from now.


An analysis of heliospheric magnetic field flux based on sunspot number from 1749 to today and prediction for the coming solar minimum


Pierre Gosselin over at the excellent Germany based ‘No Tricks Zone’ has a hot story on the sudden shutdown of journal ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’ by Martin Rasmussen of Copernicus (The innovative science un-publishers). He’s found a screen capture of the PRP website frontpage before the spurious excuses for the closure were added to create a figleaf for this profoundly anti-scientific and illiberal action:

The Real Motivation Behind PRP Journal Shutdown Exposed: It Challenged IPCC Science!
wpid-PRP-Censured.jpgBy P Gosselin on 14. Februar 2014

The original motivation behind Copernicus Publishing director Martin Rasmussen’s decision to shut down the new journal Pattern Recognition Physics had nothing to do with the alleged “nepotistic” behavior among editors and peer-reviewers, but appears to have had all to do with politically incorrect questioning of IPCC orthodoxy. You can see how Rasmussen’s accusations appeared on PRP on the morning of January 17, 2014 at



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.