Posts Tagged ‘solar’

Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica


It’s noted that ‘Getting clouds right…is important for calculating how much solar radiation reaches Earth.’ A difference of 10 watts per square metre could be involved in some zones, the researchers found.
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Clouds come in myriad shapes, sizes and types, which control their effects on climate, says Phys.org.

New research led by the University of Washington shows that splintering of frozen liquid droplets to form ice shards inside Southern Ocean clouds dramatically affects the clouds’ ability to reflect sunlight back to space.

The paper, published March 4 in the open-access journal AGU Advances, shows that including this ice-splintering process improves the ability of high-resolution global models to simulate clouds over the Southern Ocean—and thus the models’ ability to simulate Earth’s climate.

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Trend or blip? The former looks more likely at the moment, but the sun can cause surprises.

Spaceweather.com

April 5, 2022: New sunspot counts from NOAA confirm that Solar Cycle 25 is racing ahead of the official forecast–and the gap is growing:

See the complete labeled plot or play with an interactive version from NOAA

Sunspot counts have now exceeded predictions for 18 straight months. The monthly value at the end of March was more than twice the forecast, and the highest in nearly 7 years.

The “official forecast” comes from the Solar Cycle Prediction Panel, a group of scientists representing NOAA, NASA and International Space Environmental Services (ISES). The Panel predicted that Solar Cycle 25 would peak in July 2025 as a relatively weak cycle, similar in magnitude to its predecessor Solar Cycle 24. Instead, Solar Cycle 25 is shaping up to be stronger.

In March 2022, the sun produced 146 solar flares, including one X-flare and 13 M-flares. Auroras were sighted as far south…

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Solar cycle 25 is about to reach the interesting stage, when we find out what it’s really made of.

Spaceweather.com

March 23, 2022: Solar Cycle 25 is intensifying–and Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding.

“The Thermosphere Climate Index (TCI) is going up rapidly right now,” reports Linda Hunt of Science Systems and Applications, Inc. “It has nearly tripled in the past year.”

TCI is a number published daily by NASA, which tells us how hot Earth’s upper atmosphere is. The thermosphere, the very highest layer of gas, literally touches space and is a sort of “first responder” to solar activity. Hunt created this plot showing how TCI has unfolded during the last 7 solar cycles.  Solar Cycle 25 (shown in blue) is just getting started:

“So far Solar Cycle 25 is well ahead of the pace of Solar Cycle 24,” notes Hunt. If this trend continues, the thermosphere could soon hit a 20-year high in temperature.

Before we go any farther, a word of caution: This does not mean Earth is…

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The Mystery of Orange Auroras

Posted: March 5, 2022 by oldbrew in atmosphere, solar system dynamics
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Why now, we may ask. Either we didn’t notice them before or they weren’t there.

Spaceweather.com

March 4, 2022: A recent display of auroras over Canada has experts scratching their heads. The mystery? They were orange. Pilot Matt Melnyk was flying 36,000 feet over Canada on Feb. 23rd when he saw the strangely-colored lights from the cockpit window:

“I have been chasing and photographing auroras for more than 13 years (often from airplanes) and this is the first time I have ever seen orange,” says Melnyk.

What’s so strange about orange? Joe Minow of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center explains: “Theoretically, nitrogen and oxygen (N2, N2+, and O2+) can produce emissions at orange wavelengths, but these are typically weak compared to stronger emissions from the same molecules at the red end of the spectrum. It is hard to understand how orange could dominate in an auroral display.”

Even so, Melnyk says “these appeared to be real auroras.” The orange fringe danced in sync with regular red…

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The Termination Event has Arrived

Posted: February 26, 2022 by oldbrew in Cycles, Solar physics, solar system dynamics
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According to a new theory of solar cycles, that is.

Spaceweather.com

Feb. 25, 2022: Something big just happened on the sun. Solar physicists Scott McIntosh (NCAR) and Bob Leamon (U. Maryland-Baltimore) call it “The Termination Event.”

“Old Solar Cycle 24 has finally died–it was terminated!” says McIntosh. “Now the new solar cycle, Solar Cycle 25, can really take off.”

The “Termination Event” is a new idea in solar physics, outlined by McIntosh and Leamon in a December 2020 paper in the journal Solar Physics. Not everyone accepts it–yet. If Solar Cycle 25 unfolds as McIntosh and Leamon predict, the Termination Event will have to be taken seriously.

Above: Predictions for Solar Cycle 25. Green would be average. Blue is the “official” prediction of a weak cycle. Red is a 2020 prediction based on the Termination Event.

The basic idea is this: Solar Cycle 25 (SC25) started in Dec. 2019. However, old Solar Cycle 24 (SC24) refused to go away. It…

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Image credit: MIT


Industrialising the countryside is now deemed a plus for the environment by climate obsessives, including the government. Solar power is ineffective in UK winters, when electricity demand is often at its highest during the long hours of darkness anyway.
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Drawing on new data from the solar industry the campaign group Net Zero Watch has revealed that an astonishing 37,000 MW of land based solar PV capacity is in pre-planning.

If built, this would take 150,000 acres of farmland – or 75,000 football pitches – out of production at a time when Britain has less farmland in use than at any time since 1945, and is losing such land to industrial and other uses at the rate of about 99,000 acres a year, increasing import dependency.

Solar energy should not be permitted to add to this serious problem.

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Credit: reference.com

Plate tectonics has always been good for a science controversy or two. This one throws some solar-planetary spice into the mix, putting a focus on the Earth-Moon barycentre.
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A study led by geophysicist Anne M. Hofmeister in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis proposes that imbalanced forces and torques in the Earth-moon-sun system drive circulation of the whole mantle, says Phys.org.

The new analysis provides an alternative to the hypothesis that the movement of tectonic plates is related to convection currents in the Earth’s mantle.

Convection involves buoyant rise of heated fluids, which Hofmeister and her colleagues argue does not apply to solid rocks.

They argue that force, not heat, moves large objects.

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Solar Cycle 25 Update

Posted: January 12, 2022 by oldbrew in Cycles, data, solar system dynamics
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It’s still early in the cycle so let’s see what the next 1-2 years bring.

Spaceweather.com

Jan. 10, 2022: Solar Cycle 25 is heating up. New sunspot counts from NOAA confirm that the young solar cycle is outrunning the official forecast. You are here:

Actual sunspot counts have now exceeded predictions for 15 straight months. The monthly value at the end of December 2021 was more than twice the forecast, and the highest in more than 5 years.

The “official forecast” comes from the Solar Cycle Prediction Panel representing NOAA, NASA and International Space Environmental Services (ISES). Using a variety of leading indicators, the Panel predicted that Solar Cycle 25 would peak in July 2025 as a relatively weak cycle, similar in magnitude to its predecessor Solar Cycle 24. Instead, Solar Cycle 25 is shaping up to be stronger.

Sky watchers have already noticed the change. “We are definitely seeing the effects on the ground in the Arctic!” reports Chad Blakley of the Swedish tour guide…

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This won’t exactly be music to the ears of the climate alarmist tendency, which prefers to claim that people somehow dictate the course of climate variations.
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The Sun’s energy affects our climate but its influence is often ignored as changes in its intensity are very small. Its effect might be subtle but over decadal periods it adds up to being significant as a series of recent papers show, says Net Zero Watch.

Scientists from the University of California, Irvine, the National Taiwan Normal University, and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, find that the 11-year solar cycle has a significant correlation with sea surface temperature variations in the North-eastern Pacific.

They believe that the Sun’s influence is first seen and then amplified in the lower stratosphere, but it then alters the circulation in the troposphere which then affects the temperature of the ocean.

They note that the changes have a structure similar to that of the Pacific meridional mode – an interaction between trade winds and ocean evaporation which is an important trigger of the central Pacific (CP) type of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

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A portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation [image credit: R. Curry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution @ Wikipedia]


This article starts off confident that the researchers are right – ‘we now know’ etc. – but later retreats and says ‘the cooling appears to have’ etc. But as the Little Ice Age is an interesting topic it’s worth a look.
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New research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides a novel answer to one of the persistent questions in historical climatology, environmental history and the earth sciences: what caused the Little Ice Age?

The answer, we now know, is a paradox: warming, says Phys.org.

The Little Ice Age was one of the coldest periods of the past 10,000 years, a period of cooling that was particularly pronounced in the North Atlantic region.

This cold spell, whose precise timeline scholars debate, but which seems to have set in around 600 years ago, was responsible for crop failures, famines and pandemics throughout Europe, resulting in misery and death for millions.

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Drought in Europe


Climate attribution i.e. supposed detection of human-caused factors, is in the eye of the beholder. This article concludes: ‘At the recent GWPF annual lecture Professor Steven Koonin of New York University said climate attribution studies were the scientific equivalent of being told you had won the lottery, after you had won the lottery.’
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A new study concludes that when placed into a long-term context recent drought events in Europe are within the range of natural variability and are not unprecedented over the last millennium, says Net Zero Watch.

The 2003 European heatwave and drought has a special place in the history of the study of our changing climate.

It was the first event that scientists attributed to human-induced climate change.

A paper by Stott et al published in Nature concluded, “Human influence has at least doubled the risk of a regional heatwave like the European Summer of 2003.”

This was later strengthened and the event was said to be directly caused by humans.

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Spaceweather.com

Nov. 4, 2021: Auroras in California? Believe it. On Nov. 4th, the glow of a strong (G3) geomagnetic storm spread almost to Los Angeles. Aurora chaser Hongming Zheng took this picture just outside Lincoln CA at latitude +39N:

“This was my southernmost aurora sighting yet!” says Zheng. “A red glow and occasional pillars were visible to the naked eye. I was very pleasantly surprised with this unexpectedly strong geomagnetic storm.”

More reds appeared in Joshua Tree, California (+34N). “I could not see them with my naked eye,” says veteran observer Don Davis, “but my camera recorded these rare SoCal auroras.”

The CME that sparked the display was a special “Cannibal CME“–that is, a mashup of multiple solar storm clouds striking Earth all at once. Cannibal CMEs contain tangled magnetic fields and compressed plasmas that often do a good job sparking auroras.

At the apex of…

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Quote: “the majority of [low Earth orbiting] satellites were temporarily lost, requiring several days of around-the-clock work to reestablish [their positions].” — Beware solar flares.

Spaceweather.com

Oct. 29, 2021: Imagine waking up to this headline: “Half of Earth’s Satellites Lost!” Impossible? It actually happened on an October day in 2003.

Turn back the clock 18 years. Solar Cycle 23 was winding down, and space weather forecasters were talking about how quiet things would soon become when, suddenly, the sun unleashed two of the strongest solar flares of the Space Age. The first, an X17-category blast on Oct. 28, 2003, hurled this CME directly toward Earth:

Above: A CME heading straight for Earth on Oct. 28, 2003. The source was an X17-flare in the magnetic canopy of giant sunspot 486. Image credit: SOHO. Movie

Traveling 2125 km/s (almost 5 million mph), the cloud slammed into Earth’s magnetic field only 19 hours later, sparking an extreme (G5) geomagnetic storm. The storm had barely begun when the sun erupted again. An X10-flare on Oct. 29th created another…

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The next year or two may give us a better idea of how solar cycle 25 is going to turn out, compared to other cycles.

Spaceweather.com

Oct. 21, 2021: Paolo Bardelli will never forget Oct. 21, 2001. “The sky over my hometown in Italy suddenly filled with intense red auroras,” he recalls. “This happened exactly 20 years ago today.”

Above: Red auroras over Tradate, Italy (latitude +45N), on Oct. 21, 2001. Photo credit: Cesare Guaita

A trip down memory lane: In 2001, Solar Cycle 23 was peaking and solar activity was very high. Strong flares were a daily occurance. On Oct. 19th, giant sunspot AR9661 erupted twice in quick succession, producing almost identical X1.6-class solar flares. The double blast hurled two bright CMEs toward Earth: CME #1, CME #2.

This is what the sun looked like that day:

The first CME took only two days to reach Earth. It was fast and potent. The storm cloud’s arrival on Oct. 21, 2001, ignited a severe geomagnetic storm (Kp=8). Solar wind speeds in the CME’s wake…

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Nyngan solar plant, Australia [image credit: Wikipedia]

They’re going to have to do a lot of digging for all those solar panel ingredients. Try not to make too much mess chaps, and let’s keep quiet about all the ‘carbon’ emitted in the process. Climate fantasies rumble on.
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NEW DELHI: India and the United Kingdom will jointly launch the Green Grids Initiative-One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG) — a trans-national grid to transport solar power to different countries — during world leaders’ summit at the beginning of the 26th session of the UN climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK in the first week of November, says the Times of India.

The initiative, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi three years ago, will be endorsed in the form of a political declaration by the fourth general assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) during October 18-21.

Sources said Modi would attend the world leaders’ summit on November 1-2 at COP26 and launch it with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in presence of other heads of state/government. An official confirmation to this effect would be conveyed to the UK soon, they added.

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Credit: Institute of Physics

This looks like progress, although more research will be needed to try to better understand how the relevant effects work in practice.
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A new study published in Nature Scientific Reports by researchers at the Danish National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem suggests that the Sun’s activity in screening cosmic rays affects clouds and, ultimately, the Earth’s energy budget with concomitant climatic effects, says David Whitehouse @ NetZeroWatch.

This research, by Henrik Svensmark, Jacob Svensmark, Martin Bødker Enghoff, and Nir Shaviv supports 25 years of discoveries that point to a significant role for cosmic rays in climate change.

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Solar power: Busting the problem of cloud cover?

Posted: September 18, 2021 by oldbrew in Clouds, Energy
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MIT_solar

Image credit: MIT

Of course ‘busting the problem’ of zero nighttime output isn’t going to happen. Vague references to ‘other sources’ of power attempt to gloss over such glaring issues.
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The downside to solar power is that it’s not always sunny and so grid operators have to compensate for energy drops by bringing alternative generation sources online, says TechXplore. [Talkshop comment – every time clouds appear?].

New research in the International Journal of Powertrains, looks at how short-term forecast of sunshine using satellite images could offer one tool to help power companies maintain a steady supply.

A. Shobana Devi of the Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, in Chennai, India and colleagues explain how solar irradiance forecasting currently represents a major challenge to companies hoping to integrate solar energy resources into the existing structures of energy supply.

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rectenna

Credit: NASA

The UK is not alone in what’s billed as a new space race. China for one is in the game. If you think you’ve heard it all before, you probably have
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Vast solar power satellites in Earth’s orbit, beaming energy back to Earth. It’s a serious idea for green energy from the UK Space Agency, say insurers MS Amlin.

In one of his early dystopian short stories, the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov imagined a mile-wide space station that could “feed solar energy to the planets”.

Published in 1941, under the title Reason, it described a fantastical “energy converter” that gathered sunlight and beamed it across the entire solar system.

Some 80 years later, Asimov’s flight of fancy is starting to take real shape.

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Sun_NS

Our magnetic Sun [image credit: space.com]

The declining phase of the current solar cycle 25 is predicted to be short. Whether that would follow a low peak remains to be seen, but not much has happened so far in the cycle.
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Violent activity on our Sun leads to some of the most extreme space weather events on Earth, impacting systems such as satellites, communications systems, power distribution and aviation, says Phys.org.

The roughly 11-year cycle of solar activity has three ‘seasons’, each of which affects the space weather felt at Earth differently: (i) solar maximum, the sun is active and disordered, when space weather is stormy and events are irregular (ii) the declining phase, when the sun and solar wind becomes ordered, and space weather is more moderate and (iii) solar minimum, when activity is quiet.

In a new study led by the University of Warwick and published in The Astrophysical Journal, scientists found that the change from solar maximum to the declining phase is fast, happening within a few (27 day) solar rotations.

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Finding the Sun the main player in climate would be the default position in any normal world, but now it gets billed as the challenger.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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The sun and not human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) may be the main cause of warmer temperatures in recent decades, according to a new study with findings that sharply contradict the conclusions of the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The peer-reviewed paper, produced by a team of almost two dozen scientists from around the world, concluded that previous studies did not adequately consider the role of solar energy in explaining increased temperatures.

The new study was released just as the UN released its sixth “Assessment Report,” known as AR6, that once again argued in favor of the view that man-kind’s emissions of CO2 were to blame for global warming. The report said human responsibility was “unequivocal.”

But the new study casts serious doubt on the hypothesis.

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