Scafetta and aurora

Posted: November 10, 2011 by tchannon in Astrophysics, Ocean dynamics, Solar physics, solar system dynamics

Fig 2B

Sub image from paper.

Commenter DaveR have kindly provided a link to an In Press paper by Nicola Scafetta which is likely to interest several of the blog readers.

Citation: –

Scafetta, N., A shared frequency set between the historical mid-latitude aurora records and the global surface temperature. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics (2011), doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2011.10.013

Preprint at Duke here

Personally I am sceptical about most of the previous attempts by Scafetta to show the solar system origin of the 60 year cycle. I have looked very hard and found nothing significant but it can seem to be there as a result of aliasing.

So I am not saying it isn’t only that I am unconvinced. I agree there is something like 20 and 60 year in temperature data.

In this case he seems to have changed tack a little and is pointing more at planetary position, which is a different matter where I have not looked in detail.

The question arises of whether there is a magnetic or cosmic ray relationship, much the same thing.

I do have a copy of the late Jack Eddy’s Compilation of Auroral Observation Catalogues. This was kindly proved on request by UCAR

This dataset (is not data)

It is interesting but I made little progress when I had a look at it.

Tim (not Tallbloke

  1. adolfogiurfa says:

    In conclusion,the results presented here strongly support and reinforce the argument of Scafetta(2010a,b) that the climate is forced by astronomical oscillations related to the Sun,the Moon and the planets…
    And those astronomical oscillations, intermingling curves,sine and cosine , waves, currents, power, plasma…

  2. P.G. Sharrow says:

    While the 60 year cycle seems to fit for several different results, temperature,precipitation,aurora, stock market,etc. The fit is a sloppy +/- 10%. Most likely a number of causes that create a spike in effects at around 60 years more or less. At times the causes push and speeds up the spike in effects and at other times pulls the event peak time slower. The fit is therefor sloppy, cause and effect questionable.
    If it was easy to see, someone would have already figured it out! The best hints are generally in the outliers that make the general rule wrong. pg

  3. Tenuc says:

    P.G. Sharrow says:
    November 11, 2011 at 12:55 am
    “…If it was easy to see, someone would have already figured it out! The best hints are generally in the outliers that make the general rule wrong. pg”

    Words of wisdom PG. When dealing with very complex systems, like climate, the traditional scientific method of decomposition fails spectacularly. The top-down heuristic approach of looking for approximate correlations in quasi-cyclic behaviour is a valid, and often a better, approach, However, as our climate system displays spatio-temporal chaos, we should always be aware of the possibility of bifurcations and black swan events which can destroy the pattern.

  4. Tenuc says:

    Just come across this graph on WUWT, Temp vv Sum of Solar Tides From 11 Planets

    Link to Volker Doormann’s paper here…

    Click to access ghi_solar_s.pdf

    I found the paper interesting, although needs more work on the mechanisms behind the correlation. Would also help if we actually new how tides work – main stream theory is weak in this area, as it is regarding the mechanism of gravity.

  5. tchannon says:

    I’m not convinced and wonder why the author doesn’t at least try to make the data similar, then show how it matches. Perhaps note I picked up it probably doesn’t look so good. (would take minutes if I had the data)

    Bristlecones are mentioned, any comment on Mcintyre and others opinion of those as a measure of much at all? These are definitely abnormal. What they show if anything is unknown.

    Pluto is small and very far out, can have a negligible effect so if there is something coincident with that it’s elsewhere. (mass about 0.2% of Earth and vaguely 40AU)…..83.1005C

  6. Michele says:

    Quote :

    Below is some of the email text from Dr. Scafetta which may serve to explain some of the detail.

    What the paper does is to show that the mid-latitude aurora records present the same oscillations of the climate system and of well-identified astronomical cycles. Thus, the origin of the climatic oscillations is astronomical what ever the mechanisms might be. In the paper I argue that the record of this kind of aurora can be considered a proxy for the electric properties of the atmosphere which then influence the cloud cover and the albedo and, consequently, causes similar cycles in the surface temperature.

    Note that aurora may form at middle latitude or if the magnetosphere is weak, so it is not able to efficiently deviate the solar wind, or if the solar explosions (solar flare etc) are particularly energetic, so they break in by force.During the solar cycle maxima the magnetosphere gets stronger so the aurora should be pushed toward the poles. However, during the solar maxima a lot of solar flares and highly energetic solar explosions occurs. As a consequence you see an increased number of mid-latitude auroras despite the fact that the magnetosphere is stronger and should push them toward the poles.

    On the contrary, when the magnetosphere gets weaker on a multidecadal scale, the mid-latitude aurora forms more likely, and you may see some mid-latitude auroras even during the solar minima as Figure 2 shows. In the paper I argue that what changes the climate is not the auroras per se but the strength of the magnetosphere that regulates the cosmic ray incoming flux which regulate the clouds.The strength of the magnetosphere is regulated by the sun (whose activity changes in synchrony with the planets), but perhaps the strength of the Earth’s magnetosphere is also regulated directly by the gravitational/magnetic forces of Jupiter and Saturn and the other planets whose gravitational/magnetic tides may stretch or compress the Earth’s magnetosphere in some way making it easier or more difficult for the Earth’s magnetosphere to deviate the cosmic ray.

    So, when Jupiter and Saturn get closer to the Sun, they do the following things: 1) may make the sun more active; 2) the more active sun makes the magnetosphere stronger; 3) Jupiter and Saturn contribute with their magnetic fiend to make stronger the magnetic field of the inner part of the solar system; 4) the Earth’ magnetosphere is made stronger and larger by both the increased solar activity and the gravitational and magnetic stretching of it caused by the Jupiter and Saturn. Consequently less cosmic ray arrive on the Earth and less cloud form and there is an heating of the climate.

    However, explaining in details the above mechanisms is not the topic of the paper which is limited to prove that such kind of mechanisms exist because revealed by the auroras’s behavior.

    The good news is that even if we do not know the physical nature of these mechanisms, climate may be in part forecast in the same way as the tides are currently forecast by using geometrical astronomical considerations as I show in Figure 11.

  7. Michele says:

    Click to access invankacharcova.pdf

    Page :9

    “The significant periods detected in great aurorae ocurrence correspond to the periods of the giant planets (JS-(Jupiter-Saturn); JN-(Jupiter-Neptune); SN-(Saturn-Neptune), …).”

    The jupiter,saturn,uranus,neptune dance.

  8. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    The clear cut mechanism is described by myself in an exchange with Dr. Scafetta and Dr, Loehle at:
    Although it was meant as a half-hearted comment, which is obvious from the tone of my post, but to my surprise, it was then taken seriously by both Dr. Scafetta and Dr. Loehle.
    I have looked into this, analysing number of indicators considered as acceptable and widely available data: sunspot record, Ap index, the Arctic’s magnetic field differential and McCracken data for the strength of magnetosphere at the Earth’s orbit, no evidence was found for consistent 60 year cycle.
    I did not look into auroras, but if I had data I would not taken it as reliable enough, since the other four relevant and by the science accepted data-sets have drawn a blank.
    McCracken data (he is retired NASA scientist) should be the first and a must reference to anyone investigating magnetosphere, but there is no mention of it in Scafetta’s work.
    Neither Dr. Leohle or Dr. Scafetta have prior to the above exchange on Climate etc. blog shown any interest in magnetosphere’s effects as far as I know, but Dr. Scafetta should be able to give precise details if he did, since Dr. Loehle has withdrawn from the equation in this new paper. I do invite those interested to visit the above link and familiarise themselves with the exchange, comments by someone called ‘Pekka Pirilä’ are irelevant and can be ignored.
    Science isn’t anyone’s privilege, ideas come to life, abandoned, revitalised by others, but it appears to me that Dr. Scafetta has gone into ludicrous length (see Michele post above) to present the idea as original.
    There are cycles in the magnetosphere, that is obvious from the McCracken data (which I analysed to great extent), if taken as reliable, but there is no 60 year signature.
    Changes in the cosmic ray and heliomagnetic components of space climate, 1428–2005, … K.G. McCracken

  9. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    McCracken data are plotted here

    in red colour

  10. Michele says:

    There is a match.
    Leif Vs Nicola

    Nicola say:
    “Leif does not feel the need to read them with an open mind, just as all sophists do.”


    Thanks adolfo

  11. Dave says:

    I’m likely way over my head substantively in speaking to issues here as I’m not really conversant with either astronomy or physics. So don’t hesitate to advise me of my ignorance. With that introduction, here is my rudimentary thinking about some general concepts addressed by Scaffeta and one I have not seen mentioned in his paper.

    My understanding is that gravitational force varies by the cube of distance between two masses which suggests that only two astronomical bodies are positioned to exert discernable gravitational force on earth and its atmosphere – the Sun and the moon (both in Scaffeta’s paper). Strength of electromagnetic force fields on the other fields, on the other hand, varies by the square of the distance between fields which suggests the electromagnetic fields of Jupiter and possibly other gas giants have the potential to interact with earth’s electromagnetic field and “magnet reconnections.”

    My further understanding is that some solar physicists now believe the temperature of the sun’s corona, and the pronounced differential between that temperature and temp of the sun’s surface is explainable (in whole or part) by “magnetic reconnection”. Said “magnetic reconnection” rearranges “magnetic topology” and converts some magnetic energy to kinnetic and thermal energy. Such “reconnections” enable solar wind and the energy it contains to penetrate the magnetosphere, energize aurora at the top of earth’s atmosphere, and influence cosmic ray flux.

    In the vein of USian baseball analogies, am I out in left field in my thinking here? Part way to first base? Not even in the ball park?

  12. tchannon says:

    Vuc, I was surprised Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. picked up on S. but he is a polite old timer as I discovered some time ago.

    The 60 year is a bit of a problem, as I said I still want to know where it comes from, having seen maths abuse. There are various possibilities, eg. non-linearity when we have ~22 year magnetic and ~19.6 year gravitational cycles. Seems to me we have three different forces, gravity, electrostatic, magnetic.

    Gives 10.4y and 180y… the latter is familiar? I presume the 22y is a divide by two on Jupiter, maybe from Z axis.

    If that kind of thing is going on it always gets highly incestuous with things tending to a confused muddle self interacting. This explains why it can appear in gravity calcs if sufficient care is not taken _but_ the sun could do the non-linear, if so though why is it not obvious?

    (to clarify for any not understanding, given two intermodulating items, caused by a non-linear functions, is sum and difference math , so for a and b (a x b) / (a + b) and (a x b) / (a – b), ignore any negative sign.

    Okay, fun. What if 180 and 60?

    My friend 45y appears and that is in solar and terrestrial, and 90y which figures some places.

    Go with 180 and 45 works backwards, get 60y and 36y.

    Almost anything is possible.

  13. adolfogiurfa says:

    @tchannon: Could we agree in, say, 55 years ? , a deal?: Professor
    Leonid B. Klyashtorin of the Federal Institute for Fisheries and Oceanography, many times cited by me, made the following study for UN´s FAO: Now, fishermen all over the world use it succesfully and practically in their business.
    Figure 9.1 in page 50th:

  14. tchannon says:

    Old English word, or thereabouts.

    I suppose the coda is whether there is a hard time driver, in which case little drift is allowed and no drift in the long term.

    What you cite mentions 55-65 and similar. As someone who created the tools for particularly accurate estimation and having looked at a lot of data, I subscribe to vague and will continue to do so unless a definite cause appears.

  15. Ulric Lyons says:

    I see more of a modulated 45yr signal in the PDO:

    and around 90yrs in the AO, which makes more sense astronomically.

  16. tchannon says:

    Last time I looked at PDO I reached the conclusion the data is not very good. I think it would need a lot of work untangling these composite and artificial indices, why I tend to ignore ocean.

    I know Tallbloke is far more interested as are some commenters, which is of concern if a change of blog character puts people off. Maybe I am waiting for something to turn up which can be usefully made into a post, at the same time a copycat of elsewhere seems pointless.

    BTW, sorry if the blog is a bit ratty at the moment. I’ve been going through a rough patch and also trying to bring some other things forward. Could do with help but not in public.

  17. J Martin says:

    Isn’t there a 60 year cycle in the North Queensland / Australia flood drought cycle ?

  18. tchannon says:

    Not looked specifically. I assume there would be but there is an extra reason.

    I believe there is a linkage between regions which tend to cycle in common, in this case north of the equator. Formal work has been done on the northern patterns, where I have in mind south east Asia, connected with monsoons, a highly studied topic.

    Eventually I have more to say to do with rainfall patterns.