Cosmic Rays are Nearing a Space Age Maximum

Posted: October 6, 2019 by oldbrew in cosmic rays, solar system dynamics

What, if anything, might this mean for the coming Northern Hemisphere winter?

Oct. 3, 2019: Solar Minimum is underway, and it’s a deep one. Sunspot counts suggest it is one of the deepest minima of the past century. The sun’s magnetic field has become weak, allowing extra cosmic rays into the solar system. Neutron monitors at the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland, show that cosmic rays are percentage points away from a Space Age record:


Researchers at the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory have been monitoring cosmic rays since 1964. When cosmic rays hit Earth’s atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that rain down on Earth’s surface. Among these particles are neutrons. Detectors in Oulu count neutrons as a proxy for cosmic rays.

As the top panel shows, cosmic rays naturally wax and wane with the 11-year solar cycle. During Solar Maximum cosmic rays are weak; during Solar Minimum they are strong. The Space Age record for cosmic rays was set…

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  1. JB says:

    Years 1991-2 were barycenter minimum + SSN maximum, and an unprecedented divorce frenzy where I lived, including myself. The previous neutron peak of 2009 was when I got completely fed up with my boss and retired early. Martin Armstrong chronicles the social/economic upheavals corresponding to solar events.His prognostication based on previous cycles indicates some unhappy times for humanity during coming solar minimum.

  2. stpaulchuck says:

    a sharp influx of cosmic rays also stimulates cloud formation which in turn increases the reflection of solar input back into space. If the solar pause is as great as indicated by the sunspot counts and the cosmic ray input is large this could be a VERY cold decade or three coming.

    Mann and company will have to go to full ‘prevaricate mode’ to keep the temperature data increasing while people freeze to death. It’s the CO2 ya know, the King of the Satanic Gases, that causes them to continually fudge the final numbers. Somebody posted that it’s really about rent seeking by various groups that causes them to lie but I couldn’t credit these academics with larceny. They are scientists who are sworn to present facts and not flummery. Or so I was led to believe… by scientists.

  3. oldbrew says:

    A problem for cosmic ray cloud theory is that there’s no obvious climate variation linked to ~11-year solar cycles in general. Whether deep solar minima like the Maunder Minimum had/have a significant cloud effect may be another matter.

  4. pochas94 says:

    Just thinking. Notice that half of the cycles have a peaked following neutron count, and half have a flat top, probably because the sun flips its polarity every cycle and the earth does not. Also, it is said that there is no 10 year correlation with climate, but there is a 20 year correlation. That suggests that the sun’s polarity orientation may have at least some effect on climate.

  5. oldbrew says:

    pochas – the complete cycle is ~22 years when polarity (N/S) returns to the same value again.

  6. oldbrew says:

    A theoretical approach…

  7. J Storrs Hall says:

    There’s a possible much larger scale link between GCRs and climate:

  8. oldbrew says:

    From the outermost reaches of the solar system – a puzzle…

    ‘The scientists noted that the change in galactic cosmic rays wasn’t exactly identical at both spacecraft. At Voyager 2 inside the heliosheath, the number of cosmic rays decreased in all directions around the spacecraft. But at Voyager 1, outside the solar system, only the galactic cosmic rays that were traveling perpendicular to the magnetic field in the region decreased. This asymmetry suggests that something happens as the wave transmits across the solar system’s boundary.

    “Trying to understand why the change in the cosmic rays is different inside and outside of the heliosheath remains an open question,” Rankin said.’

    Re: perpendicular

  9. […] this is going on, cosmic rays are near a record high since measurements began. Researchers are using natural cosmic rays this […]