Space weather may predict future climates

Posted: December 4, 2018 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Cycles, Natural Variation, research, solar system dynamics, weather
Tags: , ,

While this may all seem a bit vague, it looks like a step in the right direction.

Historic space weather could help researchers better predict future events and atmospheric cycles, a new study in Space Weather reports.

This finding comes from scientists at the University of Warwick, who tracked space weather in solar cycles for the last half century, reports The Space Reporter.

That then revealed a repeatable pattern in the way space weather activity alters over each solar cycle.

Such cycles occur once every eleven years. During that time, the number of sunspots rises to what is known as the “solar maximum,” which then creates more flares. That can also lead to more extreme weather events on Earth.

By understanding those trends, scientists can better understand and plan for space weather. It will also help them better predict any extreme events such weather may cause.

That is important because, while space weather can interrupt electronics, communications, aviation, and satellite systems all over Earth, it is hard to predict. That is where the new study comes in.

“We analyzed the last five solar maxima and found that although the overall likelihood of more extreme events varied from one solar maximum to another, there is an underlying pattern to their likelihood, which does not change,” said lead author Sandra Chapman, a professor from the University of Warwick, according to

“If this pattern persists into the next solar maximum, our research, which constrains how likely large events are, will allow better preparation for potential space weather threats to Earth.”

Beyond better predictions, the study is interesting because it shows the sun’s activity is not completely random.

Continued here.
= = =
Plain Language Summary

Earth’s near‐space plasma environment is highly dynamic, with its own space weather. Space weather impacts include electrical power loss, aviation disruption, interrupted communications, and disturbance to satellite systems. The drivers of space weather, the sun and solar wind, and the response seen at Earth have now been almost continually monitored by ground‐ and space‐based observations over the last five solar cycles (more than 50 years). Each of the last five solar maxima has a different duration and peak activity level and as a consequence the climate of Earth’s space weather is also different at each solar maximum. We find that some aspects of the space weather climate are in fact reproducible; they can be inferred from that of previous solar maxima. This may help understand the behavior of future solar maxima.

Research Article: Reproducible Aspects of the Climate of Space Weather Over the Last Five Solar Cycles

  1. Jim says:

    Interesting, but I thought all weather science was closed? After all, the un says the sun is not variable, and has a constant flux towards the earth. Unlike the rest of our system, which have a variable flux. That the astronauts have to live in a lead container all day or die of radiation burns, and nothing could survive on Mars or the moon, but floating cities on Venus are in order. Hmm? But a request for more money? Deeper pockets? Yup.

  2. oldbrew says:

    2-3 low solar maxima in a row would/will be interesting. Already had one…

  3. Husq says:

    And this:

    The finding, published Feb. 23, 2017 in the journal Nature, is important because it provides the first hard proof for what scientists call the “chaotic solar system,” a theory proposed in 1989 to account for small variations in the present conditions of the solar system. The variations, playing out over many millions of years, produce big changes in our planet’s climate — changes that can be reflected in the rocks that record Earth’s history.

  4. Gamecock says:

    Weather: the state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.

    Space ‘weather’ is stupid. Find a better name.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s