Archive for the ‘Solar physics’ Category

wpid-PRP-Censured.jpgA new paper is in the works from a group of mainstream solar physics theorists who work with dynamo models. It explores the possibility that the Sun’s dynamo is modulated by planetary motion – something we’ve been working on here at the talkshop for the last six years. It finds that the gravitational interaction of the motions of Venus, Earth and Jupiter (VEJ) could be involved with both the 11.07 and 22.14 Schwabe and Hale solar cycles.

I’m not going to post the paper yet, as it is still undergoing peer review at a major journal, but I thought it would be fun to provide a teaser. Here’s part of the bibliography. If you look at the top and bottom references, they are to papers by Nicola Scafetta and  Ian Wilson which were published in our special edition of Pattern Recognition in Physics at the end of 2013.

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sun-planetFrom Science Nordic:

The Sun regularly, spews out solar flares–violent explosions that hurl enormous amounts of plasma into space, disrupting satellites and causing power failures here on Earth.

But these outbreaks are still small compared with the gigantic eruptions on other stars. These so-called ‘superflares’ can be up to 10,000 times bigger than the largest solar flares from our own sun.

Now new research suggests that our sun might be capable of forming similarly large superflares every 1000 years, and this could have devastating consequences, says lead-author Christoffer Karoff, from the Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University, Denmark.

“We know that these electrical particles from the Sun destroy the ozone layer. It’s suggested that the major flares that we know of led to a reduction in the ozone layer of five per cent. But no one really knows what will happen at this [superflare] level,” says Karoff.

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Ian Wilson has just blogged this post, which should be a bit of a showstopper in the climate debate, but I expect it’ll be studiously ignored by mainstream climate scientists and lukewarm climate-sceptic blogs. By doing that, they’ll make themselves and their pet CO2 paradigm increasingly irrelevant to scientific progress. Key thing to note is that our work here at the talkshop and in PRP means we can now predict these quasi-cyclic natural variations. Over to Ian.

Abreu et al. [2012] wrote:

“The parameter that best represents the role of the solar magnetic field in deflecting cosmic
rays [and hence, the overall level of solar activity] is the solar modulation potential , which can be derived from either the 10Be or the 14C production rates.”

and

“….spectral analysis [of the solar modulation potential over the last ~ 9400 years] identifies a number of distinct periodicities (Stuiver & Braziunas 1993), such as 88 yr (Gleissberg), 104 yr, 150 yr, 208 yr (de Vries), 506 yr, 1000 yr (Eddy), and 2200 yr (Hallstatt) [cycles]…”

The top figure in the following diagram shows the Fourier transform of the variation in the solar modulation potential time series over the last 9400 years [Abreu et al. 2012]. This figure shows that potential has distinct spectral peaks at 88 years (Gleissberg Cycle), 104 years, 133 years, 150 years, 210 years (de Vries Cycle), 232 years, 356 years and 504 years.

Below this is a second figure showing amplitude spectrum of variations in the North American temperature time series over the last ~ 7000 years. The temperature time series is obtained from tree ring data obtained from Bristle Cones on the Southern Colorado Plateau [for the details of the source of this data see: Could This Be The Climate Smoking Gun?  and Salzer and Kipfmeuller (2005). The lower figure shows clear spectral peaks at approximately 88, 106, 130, 148, 209, 232, 353 and 500 years.

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Our magnetic Sun [image credit: space.com]

Our magnetic Sun [image credit: space.com]


If you’re wondering why this is news, read on – it has taken at least some scientists by surprise, reports phys.org.
No magnetism without electricity
😉

Strong magnetic fields discovered in majority of stars—Finding to impact understanding of stellar evolution

An international group of astronomers led by the University of Sydney has discovered strong magnetic fields are common in stars, not rare as previously thought, which will dramatically impact our understanding of how stars evolve.

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H/T to Andrew for alerting me to this new paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews.

From the paper:

14C-greenland-sea-ice

Fig. 5. Reconstructed sea-ice concentrations from core GA306-GC4 compared to the 14C production rate corrected for the fossil fuel (Suess) effect for the period from 1850 to 1950 AD (Muscheler et al., 2007). (a) The direct comparison of sea-ice concentration (blue) and 14C production rate (red), as well as with DTSI (orange; difference of total solar irradiance from 1365.57 W/m2 ) (Steinhilber et al., 2012)

To investigate the feedback processes linking solar activity and sea-ice cover, we used the coupled climate model COSMOS, which indicates that a decrease in solar radiation results in increased sea-ice cover (Fig. 7a) and decreased sea-surface temperature (Fig. 7b). A strong negative correlation between sea-ice variability and solar forcing is observed along the eastern and southwestern coast of Greenland and in the Arctic Ocean, indicating that in this model solar variability is critical for simulating changes in local sea-ice production. A small change in incoming shortwave radiation, and associated ice-albedo effects, resulted in a large response of local ice formation, according to ‘bottom-up’ (solar heating of the sea surface) mechanisms (Gray et al., 2010; Hunke et al., 2010).

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paris_banner_web

The alternative climate conference to COP21 in Paris this year is the Paris Climate Challenge, organised by Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition and Philip Foster, author of several books on climate.

The Schedule has been finalised:

Challenging the groupthink of COP21

Stuart Agnew, Bob Carter, Piers Corbyn, Ed Flaherty, Philip Foster, Roger Helmer, Tom Harris, Donna Laframboise, Viscount Monckton, Patrick Moore, Nils-Axel Mörner, Ian Plimer, [Murry Salby], Roger Tattersall & more …  tba

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking. – Gen. George Patton

Schedule @ 11 rue La Rochefoucauld 75009 Paris

TUESDAY 1st Dec

10am Coffee/refreshments

10.30am start

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New paper in A&A of interest to some Talkshop readers. The authors use drawings by Schwabe, from there estimate details about solar marks. Recently solar cycle 24 has been likened to solar cycle 7, adding interest

Sunspot areas and tilt angles for solar cycles 7–10
V. Senthamizh Pavai, R. Arlt, M. Dasi-Espuig, N.A. Krivova, and S. K. Solanki
A&A 584, A73 (2015)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201527080
Open access on registration

 

Image

Fig.2. Example of the drawing style in the initial period of 1825-1830.
This full-disk drawing of 1827 June 13 shows large spots which com-
bine several umbrae and at least part of the penumbral area, as is re-
vealed by the detailed drawings.

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Solar hard UV is weakening.

Posted: November 21, 2015 by tchannon in Measurement, Solar physics

The EUV spectrum of the Sun: Irradiances during 1998–2014
G. Del Zanna 1 and V. Andretta 2
A&A 584, A29 (2015)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201526804
(c) ESO 2015
Open access on registration
Image

Examples from paper Fig 6

From abstract

… show that the irradiances in the hot (2–3 MK) lines are significantly
lower for the cycle 24 maximum compared to the previous one.

From Introduction

1. Introduction
The present paper is part of an on-going effort to provide the
best possible solar spectral irradiance in the extreme ultraviolet
(EUV). The solar EUV variability causes dramatic changes in
the temperature and density of the thermosphere
, and it could
also have some indirect effects on the climate. Indeed, some of
the current global circulation models also require EUV irradi-
ances to properly take the solar forcing into account.

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Gyroscope_precessionHat tip to Talkshop contributor ‘OldmanK’ for alerting us to an interesting website written by physicist Carl Johnson some years ago. Among the many interesting articles, there are a few on gyroscopes and the angular momentum of precession which directly relate to our study of solar system organisation, and which provide clues as to how the energy transfer which organises the stability of the orbits occurs. I have a hunch that this can potentially lead to several advances for us, in understanding the relations not only of orbital periods and their effects on neighbouring orbits, but also of orbit to spin-rate energy transfers. This will help unlock the mysterious numerical ‘coincidences’ Stuart and I have discovered between planetary rotation rates and their neighbours orbital rates. It may also further our understanding of correlations I discovered between Z-axis motion of the Sun relative to the centre of mass of the solar system and sunspot production, and changes in Earth’s length of day.

It will also help us understand why the important Z-axis discovery recently made by Paul Vaughan is Geo-effective, as evidenced by the appearance of the relevant periods in paleo-proxy records. As Paul points out, the implication is that two key cyclic periods, the Gleissberg and De Vries cycles, may be more to do with Earth’s orientation variations caused by Gas giant motion than solar activity variation, though it’s possible both are involved in the climate changes indicated by the proxies. This would be because the gas giant planets affect the Sun as well as the Earth directly.

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Rather than squandering billions of public money on climate chimaeras, our governments need to be taking solar scientists more seriously when they warn that electronic infrastructure will be heavily damaged the next time the Sun lets go of a big flare in our direction. Making our logistics, transport and power systems more resilient to a really big solar storm should be a priority, given the consequences.

solarflarepicSolar storms and the particles they release result in spectacular phenomena such as auroras, but they can also pose a serious risk to our society. In extreme cases they have caused major power outages, and they could also lead to breakdowns of satellites and communication systems. According to a study published today in Nature Communications, solar storms could be much more powerful than previously assumed. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now confirmed that Earth was hit by two extreme solar storms more than 1,000 years ago.

“If such enormous solar storms would hit Earth today, they could have devastating effects on our power supply, satellites and communication systems,” says Raimund Muscheler at the Department of Geology, Lund University.

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[credit: NASA]

[credit: NASA]


The Sun still has some tricks up its sleeve for humans to ponder, as phys.org reports: ‘The waves…extended over at least half a million kilometers and propagated at a speed of approximately 300 kilometers per second’.

Two teams of researchers led by Nariaki Nitta from the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in the USA and by Radoslav Bucík from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany have independently discovered a new solar phenomenon: large-scale waves in the star’s atmosphere accompanied by energetic particle emissions rich in helium-3. Helium-3 is a light variety of the inert gas helium.

The huge waves may contribute significantly to accelerate the particles into space, the MPS scientists now report in the Astrophysical Journal. Decisive for this discovery were the two spacecraft STEREO A and ACE making it possible to simultaneously observe the sun from two different directions. In the near future, no such opportunity will arise again.

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Two papers are on the way about a model linking solar field activity and large terrestrial eqarthquakes. h/t to Michele

Studies Suggest Sun Triggers Massive Earthquakes
The sun is triggering the deadliest earthquakes on the planet, including the recent M8.3 earthquake in Chile on September 16, 2015 and deadly tsunami that followed, according to two papers to be published October 5th in New Concepts in Global Tectonics. The papers investigate fluctuations in the magnetic field activity of the sun and found a statistically significant relationship between M8+ earthquakes and the extremes and reversals in magnetism of solar polar magnetic fields.

The team first announced the results in August 2014, and recently used the methods proposed in that study to provide evidence that a recent major earthquake fit the patterns observed in the foundational study. In early 2014, Dr. Christopher Holloman’s team of researchers at The Ohio State University Statistical Consulting Service was able to construct a model that exhibited very strong agreement between solar magnetism patterns and the occurrence of large earthquakes. Dr. Holloman warned that formal testing of the model can only be performed by examining its performance over the next few years, but that the agreement was sufficient to suggest that a relationship likely exists between solar polar fields, or magnetic fields associated with the north and south poles of the sun, and large earthquakes. Now we have a subsequent event that appears to comport with the initial study.

http://spaceweathernews.com/studies-suggest-sun-triggers-massive-earthquakes/

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Solar brightness variability, illuminating paper

Posted: September 19, 2015 by tchannon in Solar physics

Tim suspects this paper is important even though it is based largely on modelling. It says the intensity of spectral lines etc. are very important in variability, ultra-violet particularly, moreover there is counter sunspot cycle. This fits with where I think we are going on understanding solar terrestrial linkage.

Image

 

The role of the Fraunhofer lines in solar brightness variability
A. I. Shapiro S. K. Solanki, N. A. Krivova, R. V. Tagirov, and W. K. Schmutz

Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2015, open access with free registration.

ABSTRACT
Context. The solar brightness varies on timescales from minutes to decades. A clear identification of the physical processes behind such variations is needed for developing and improving physics-based models of solar brightness variability and reconstructing solar brightness in the past. This is, in turn, important for better understanding the solar-terrestrial and solar-stellar connections.

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This grand paper examines many lines of evidence, many well known authors, enjoy the feast

Image

The Maunder minimum (1645–1715) was indeed a grand minimum:
A reassessment of multiple datasets
Ilya G. Usoskin, Rainer Arlt , Eleanna Asvestari, Ed Hawkins, Maarit Käpylä, Gennady A. Kovaltsov, Natalie Krivova, Michael Lockwood, Kalevi Mursula, Jezebel O’Reilly, Matthew Owens, Chris J. Scott, Dmitry D. Sokoloff, Sami K. Solanki, Willie Soon and José M. Vaquero

Astronomy & Astrophysics, accepted July 2015, 19 pages, access on registration
http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201526652

ABSTRACT
Aims. Although the time of the Maunder minimum (1645–1715) is widely known as a period of extremely low solar activity, it is still being debated whether solar activity during that period might have been moderate or even higher than the current solar cycle #24. We have revisited all existing evidence and datasets, both direct and indirect, to assess the level of solar activity during the Maunder minimum.

Conclusions. We conclude that solar activity was indeed at an exceptionally low level during the Maunder minimum. Although the exact level is still unclear, it was definitely lower than during the Dalton minimum of around 1800 and significantly below that of the current solar cycle #24. Claims of a moderate-to-high level of solar activity during the Maunder minimum are rejected with a high confidence level.

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The long descent toward cycle 25

Posted: September 4, 2015 by tchannon in Cycles, Forecasting, Solar physics

Our sometimes contributor Michele has posted an article on his Italian language blog.

Image

 

Watching solar: The long descent of solar cycle SC24 has started!
(hopefully Google Translate will kick in automatically (see top of page), or use Bing translation)

Do I (Tim) agree with Michele, yes, will be about now.

We have the most uncertain solar situation in living memory.

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A simulation of a cross-section of a thread of solar material, called a filament, hovering in the sun's atmosphere [image credit: NAOJ/Patrick Antolin]

A simulation of a cross-section of a thread of solar material, called a filament, hovering in the sun’s atmosphere
[image credit: NAOJ/Patrick Antolin]


Researchers find this works in ‘the same way that a perfectly-timed repeated push on a swing can make it go higher’, as Phys.org reports:

Modern telescopes and satellites have helped us measure the blazing hot temperatures of the sun from afar. Mostly the temperatures follow a clear pattern: The sun produces energy by fusing hydrogen in its core, so the layers surrounding the core generally get cooler as you move outwards—with one exception.

Two NASA missions have just made a significant step towards understanding why the corona—the outermost, wispy layer of the sun’s atmosphere —is hundreds of times hotter than the lower photosphere, which is the sun’s visible surface [aka the coronal heating problem]

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A bit less of this to look forward to? [image credit: traveldailynews.com]

A bit less of this to look forward to? [image credit: traveldailynews.com]


Some solar theories will be put to the test in the next few decades by the Sun’s ongoing behaviour patterns.

Is Earth slowly heading for a new ice age? Looking at the decreasing number of sunspots, it may seem that we are entering a nearly spotless solar cycle which could result in lower temperatures for decades. “The solar cycle is starting to decline. Now we have less active regions visible on the sun’s disk,” Yaireska M. Collado-Vega, a space weather forecaster at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told Phys.org.

But does it really mean a colder climate for our planet in the near future? In 1645, the so-called Maunder Minimum period started, when there were almost no sunspots. It lasted for 70 years and coincided with the well-known “Little Ice Age”, when Europe and North America experienced lower-than-average temperatures. However, the theory that decreased solar activity caused the climate change is still controversial as no convincing evidence has been shown to prove this correlation.

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The 'before' version of sunspot numbers [Credit: Wikipedia]

The ‘before’ version of sunspot numbers [Credit: Wikipedia]

This result has been at least half-expected ever since the ‘revision’ of sunspot numbers was announced. The phrase ‘desired outcome’ springs to mind.

The Sunspot Number is a crucial tool used to study the solar dynamo, space weather and climate change, reports Phys.org. It has now been recalibrated and shows a consistent history of solar activity over the past few centuries. The new record has no significant long-term upward trend in solar activity since 1700, as was previously indicated. This suggests that rising global temperatures since the industrial revolution cannot be attributed to increased solar activity.

The analysis, its results and its implications for climate research were made public today at a press briefing at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) XXIX General Assembly, currently taking place in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

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What happened to the sunspots?

Posted: July 14, 2015 by oldbrew in Solar physics
Tags:

Giant sunspot group AR1944 in January 2014. [Credit: NASA/SDO]

Giant sunspot group AR1944 in January 2014. [Credit: NASA/SDO]


Communities Digital News explains:

On June 30, 2015 the globally recognized maximum for the current 11-year sunspot cycle was 81.9. On July 1, 2015 that number suddenly leaped all the way up to 116.4!

Stranger still, the current cycle (Cycle 24) fell from being the 7th weakest sunspot maximum since 1749 to being the 4th weakest sunspot maximum. Cycle 24’s sunspot number jumped by 30 percent, yet its ranking dropped by three places. How can that be?

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[Image credit: NASA]

[Image credit: NASA]


Another solar theory rolls off the production line – as ever, time will tell if it lives up to its own billing.

A new model of the Sun’s 11-year heartbeat suggests that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s, dropping to conditions last seen during the Maunder minimum, reports Ice Age Now.

Beginning in about 1645, the Maunder minimum corresponded with the severest portion of the last
“Little Ice Age.”

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