The Latest on the Double-Dynamo Solar Model, and Dr. Zharkova’s Predictions of a Grand Minimum

By Stephanie Osborn

The Osborn post is a lengthy explanation of Dr. Zharkova’s model, model updates and predictions, with some additional example of how the ‘barycentric wobble’ influences the earth’s temperature. For readers who found Dr. Zharkova’s GWPF Presentation confusing, this article will help with the understanding of her model’s significance, and the output is worth considering. Osborn’s bio is HERE.

Osborn’s evaluation of Zharkova’s model:

Zharkova’s model is supported not only by sunspot numbers and solar activity, but by other solar-studies fields: magnetohydrodynamics and helioseismology. In fact, the resulting data plots from these fields are so close to Zharkova’s model predictions, that the model could as well be based on either of those. So this model is not functioning in isolation from related science, but is in fact harmonizing quite well with it.

The Dalton extended minimum (1790-1830) is evidently an example of a Gleissberg minimum, while the deep and protracted Maunder minimum (1645-1715) was the previous ‘Grand’ minimum. It has been roughly 350 years since the onset of the Maunder minimum, and a bit over 200 years since the Dalton minimum began. Zharkova et al. also noted a moderate Gleissberg minimum in the earliest part of the 20th century, as well, so the periodicity for that cycle seems to be holding.

The gist of the matter is that all three main cycles are entering minimum phase, beginning with the end of this current solar cycle (Cycle 24). Cycle 25 will be even lower than 24, with 26 being very nearly flat-lined. Cycle 27 will begin to show a few signs of life, then there will be a gradual rise to full activity over several more solar cycles, even as the last three cycles have slowly decreased in levels. This means that the bottom of the extended, or ‘Grand’ minimum (to use Zharkova’s terminology), should run from ~2020 to ~2053. (NO, it will NOT last 400 years like some are reporting – that is the overall length of the Grand cycle, not the predicted length of the minimum.)

In terms of atmospheric interaction, certainly the majority of the solar radiation peaks in the visible range, and that changes little, and the atmosphere is largely transparent to it. Once it strikes a solid object, however, the photon’s energy is absorbed, and later re-radiated as infrared (IR), which the atmosphere largely blocks (at least in certain frequency windows), so it does not all radiate off into space at night. This is why things like rocks and masonry tend to feel warmer at night, and what helps drive the trade winds along shorelines – the temperature differential arising from the differing light absorption/IR re-radiation of water versus land.

But it turns out that, unlike visible light, higher-energy photons have a fairly strong correlation with the solar cycle; this includes ultraviolet (UV) and X-ray, most notably extreme UV or EUV, which borders the X-ray regime. Much of this photonic radiation is generated in the inner solar corona, because the corona’s activity strongly follows overall solar activity; much of the rest is produced during solar flares – which are PART OF solar activity. More, unlike visible light, this frequency regime is ENTIRELY absorbed in the upper atmosphere (exosphere, thermosphere, ionosphere). So during high solar activity, the EUV and X-ray radiation hitting Earth has 100% of its energy injected into the atmosphere. During low solar activity, there is considerably less energy from this high-frequency regime being injected into the atmosphere – according to NASA research I dug up in the course of researching her papers and presentation, it may completely bottom out – as in, essentially zero energy from EUV etc.

But that isn’t the only way this might affect Earth’s atmosphere. It turns out that the solar wind/corona effects shield the inner solar system from cosmic rays, which are very high energy particles coming in from cosmological sources, such as supernovae, quasars, pulsars, etc. As solar activity diminishes, the solar wind decreases in effect, and the cosmic ray flux (‘flux’ is a measure of number of units per square area, e.g. number of cosmic ray particles per square meter) increases. BUT we know that cosmic rays tend to hit atmosphere and ‘cascade’ – generate a shower of particles, rather like a branching domino effect – and this, in turn, tends to create condensation nuclei around which clouds can form. (In fact, our first cosmic ray detectors were so-called ‘cloud chambers’ where the formation of condensation clouds depicts the track of the particle.) As a result, increasing cosmic ray fluxes are apt to generate increased cloud cover; increased cloud cover will then block visible light from reaching Earth’s surface and adding energy to the overall system. And cosmic ray flux can vary by as much as 50% with solar variation.

Well, then. So. What effects are being seen as a result of these two items?

Go HERE for the answers, with links to the supporting documents.

Recommended Reading and I would like your comments and thoughts!

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What Will the Sun Do Next?

Many have predicted a weak sunspot cycle in the years ahead, but new work from India suggests otherwise. The work dashes speculations of a sun-induced global cooling of Earth’s climate in the coming decade.

sun-12-9-2018-SDO-e1544393946306

It is thought that the current sunspot cycle – cycle 24 – will approximately span the years 2008 to 2019. In other words, we haven’t reached the lowest ebb of the cycle yet, and no one knows exactly when it will come, but solar physicists think we’re probably close. This cycle has been an odd one, with fewer dark sunspots visible on the sun’s surface than expected. Now, with the next cycle due to start, we’re beginning to see projections for what will happen when the sun revs up again and begins producing more sunspots. Will the next sunspot cycle be more “normal” or will we again see a decreased number of spots?

On December 6, 2018, the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI) reported that two of its scientists have made a prediction for the upcoming sunspot cycle. Solar physicist Dibyendu Nandi and his Ph.D .student Prantika Bhowmik devised a new prediction technique, which simulates conditions both in the sun’s interior, where sunspots are created, and on the solar surface, where sunspots are destroyed.

Earlier predictions (like this one) have suggested the coming sunspot cycle 25 will be weaker than the current cycle 24. But, based on their model, Nandi and Bhowmik believe cycle 25 might be similar to or even stronger than 24. They expect the next cycle to start rising about a year from now and to peak in 2024. Their work was published December 6, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications.

Why should we care?

Indeed, many people do care about solar activity, due to the sun-Earth connection. High activity on the sun can negatively affect some earthly technologies, for example, electric grids and orbiting satellites. So – as Nandi and Bhowmik point out – an accurate prediction of a coming solar cycle might help space scientists plan satellite launches and estimate satellite mission lifetimes.

Another sun-Earth issue has particularly grabbed the public’s imagination: a little-understood, possible link between activity on the sun and Earth’s climate. Keep reading, to learn more.


This is a contrary view of the coming solar cycle 25.  Your thoughts?  Stronger than SC-24, Weaker than SC-24, the same?

 

Prediction of the Strength and Timing of Sunspot Cycle 25 Reveal Decadal-scale Space Environmental Conditions

ABSTRACT

The Sun’s activity cycle governs the radiation, particle and magnetic flux in the heliosphere creating hazardous space weather. Decadal-scale variations define space climate and force the Earth’s atmosphere. However, predicting the solar cycle is challenging. Current understanding indicates a short window for prediction best achieved at previous cycle minima. Utilizing magnetic field evolution models for the Sun’s surface and interior we perform the first century-scale, data-driven simulations of solar activity and present a scheme for extending the prediction window to a decade. Our ensemble forecast indicates cycle 25 would be similar or slightly stronger than the current cycle and peak around 2024. Sunspot cycle 25 may thus reverse the substantial weakening trend in solar activity which has led to speculation of an imminent Maunder-like grand minimum and cooling global climate. Our simulations demonstrate fluctuation in the tilt angle distribution of sunspots is the dominant mechanism responsible for solar cycle variability.

Full paper HERE.

H/T Watts Up With That

More Meteorologists Say Sunspots Can Help Predict The Weather

From Bloomberg:

If you want to know where natural gas prices are heading, maybe it’s time to check out the sun.

Magnetic storms on its surface can generate dark-looking areas called sunspots, blemishes that wax and wane in roughly 11-year cycles and may hold clues for predicting weather patterns: The fewer the spots, the colder winter will be in swaths of the Northern Hemisphere.

That’s the theory, anyway, and one that’s gaining ground among commercial meteorologists on the lookout for new ways to serve their clients — traders eager to know how cold it’s going to be so they can gauge natural-gas demand.

“I was a real skeptic on the impact of solar cycles and sunspots,’’ said Todd Crawford, senior meteorological scientist at IBM’s The Weather Co. But after studying the patterns of cold winters that followed the last low point in the cycle, “I was on board.”

To understand it, think of the sun’s magnetic field as a sort of umbrella for Earth, said Scott McIntosh, director of the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. The umbrella can block some cosmic rays — charged particles from long-dead stars — from bombarding the atmosphere.

When fewer sunspots form, the field weakens and more rays get through to hit Earth. Then the chances go up that frigid air dropping out of the Arctic, as it often does during winter, will get trapped in eastern North America or Europe and bring on harsh episodes of shiver-inducing weather, said Matt Rogers, president of the Commodity Weather Group LLC.

Not everyone in the meteorological world is sold on the spots’ predictive power when it comes to terrestrial weather. They’re somewhat controversial, too, because they play a role in a theory that some climate-change deniers have latched onto about how global warming isn’t a threat; pretty soon a chilling sunspot cycle will come to the rescue, these folks contend, and cool things down on Earth.

McIntosh, an astrophysicist, said he believes the sunspots do affect Earth’s weather. Though he thinks more research is needed, he won’t argue with the meteorologists, and if it turns out he is wrong, “I’m prepared to be hung in effigy.”

The sun right now is in a blemish-free period, known as a solar minimum. The last one occurred around 2009 — when cosmic rays began hitting Earth at the highest levels in records going back to 1964 at the University of Oulu’s cosmic ray station at the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Finland.

The current low-point in the cycle is “aiming to be even quieter than the previous one,’’ said Rogers of Commodity Weather Group. A looming El Nino in the Pacific is already pointing to a stormy U.S. winter that could get a boost from the solar minimum, said IBM’s Crawford, which could mean “higher than normal snowfall through all the major eastern U.S. cities, especially at the end of winter.”

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Bottom line, more attention is being paid to sunspots and cosmic rays and their influence on the weather and long-term the climate.

 

Professor Valentina Zharkova Confirms “Super” Grand Solar Minimum [Edited}

Professor Valentina Zharkova gave a presentation of her Climate and the Solar Magnetic Field hypothesis at the Global Warming Policy Foundation in October, 2018. The information she unveiled should shake/wake you up.

Zharkova was one of the few that correctly predicted solar cycle 24 would be weaker than cycle 23 — only 2 out of 150 models predicted this.

Her models have run at a 93% accuracy and her findings suggest a Super Grand Solar Minimum is on the cards beginning 2020 and running for 350-400 years. [ Not the Grand Minimum but the full cycle ]

The last time we had a little ice age only two magnetic fields of the sun went out of phase.

This time, all four magnetic fields are going out of phase.

Here is the Professors full presentation: https://youtu.be/M_yqIj38UmY

I am interested in the reader view of Professor Valentina Zharkova presentation. Is it credible? Please comment, let us get a conversation going.

 

Screenshot 2018-11-22 07.25.51Screenshot 2018-11-22 07.27.34

A Sunspot From The Next Solar Cycle?

Over the weekend, a small sunspot materialized in the sun’s northern hemisphere, then, hours later, vanished again. Such an occurrence is hardly unusual during solar minimum when sunspots are naturally small and short-lived. However, this ephemeral spot was noteworthy because its magnetic field was reversed–marking it as a member of the next solar cycle.

newcyclespot_strip3

Shown above is a magnetic map of the sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory on Nov. 17th. Two sunspot groups visible at 21:00 UT are inset.

Note sunspot AR2727 just north of the sun’s equator. It is a member of decaying Solar Cycle 24, the cycle that peaked back in 2012-2014. Next, compare its magnetic polarity to that of the other, unnumbered sunspot high above it. They are opposite. According to Hale’s Law, this means the two sunspots belong to different solar cycles. The high latitude sunspot appears to be a harbinger of Solar Cycle 25.

Solar cycles always mix together at their boundaries. Indeed, ephemeral sunspots possibly belonging to Solar Cycle 25 have already been reported on Dec. 20, 2016, and April 8, 2018. Now we can add Nov. 17, 2018, to list. The slow transition between Solar Cycle 24 and Solar Cycle 25 appears to be underway.

What does this mean? First, it suggests that the solar cycle is still operative. This contradicts widespread internet buzz that a Grand Minimum is in the offing, with no new sunspots expected for decades as the solar cycle grinds to a halt. Second, if patterns of previous solar cycles hold, Solar Minimum is not finished. It will probably continue to deepen in the year or so ahead even as new Solar Cycle 25 sunspots occasionally pop up, promising an ultimate end to the lassitude.

H/T http://spaceweather.com/

The Millennial Turning Point – Solar Activity and the Coming Cooling

Guest opinion by Dr. Norman Page at Watts Up With That

When analyzing complex systems with multiple interacting variables it is useful to note the advice of Enrico Fermi who reportedly said “never make something more accurate than absolutely necessary”.

My recent paper presented a simple heuristic approach to climate science which plausibly proposed that a Millennial Turning Point (MTP) and peak in solar activity was reached in 1991.

Zharkova et al 2015 DOI:10.10381/srep15683 says ” Dynamo waves are found generated with close frequencies whose interaction leads to beating effects responsible for the grand cycles (350-400 years) superimposed on a standard 22 year cycle. This approach opens a new era in investigation and confident prediction of solar activity on a millenium timescale. ”

More details HERE including graphics and reference to the Maunder Minimum.

 

Parker Solar Probe Becomes Fastest-Ever Spacecraft

Parker Solar ProbAt about 10:54 p.m. EDT, Parker Solar Probe surpassed 153,454 miles per hour — as calculated by the mission team — making it the fastest-ever human-made object relative to the Sun. This breaks the record set by the German-American Helios 2 mission in April 1976.

Parker Solar Probe will repeatedly break its own records, achieving a top speed of about 430,000 miles per hour in 2024.

Source: NASA 

More details from NASA:

Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.

In order to unlock the mysteries of the corona, but also to protect a society that is increasingly dependent on technology from the threats of space weather, we will send Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun.

In 2017, the mission was renamed for Eugene Parker, the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. In the 1950s, Parker proposed a number of concepts about how stars—including our Sun—give off energy. He called this cascade of energy the solar wind, and he described an entire complex system of plasmas, magnetic fields, and energetic particles that make up this phenomenon. Parker also theorized an explanation for the superheated solar atmosphere, the corona, which is – contrary to what was expected by physics laws — hotter than the surface of the sun itself. This is the first NASA mission that has been named for a living individual.

Parker can provide significant scientific insight into the next grand minimum, thus we will follow the program and the results on this blog. The first data dump will come in early December.

Parker will plunge toward the sun 24 more times in the next 8 years, breaking many records en route, and provide the scientist an opportunity to observe the next grand minimum up close if we are on the cusp of the Next Grand Minimum. Here’s the timeline.

Parker orbit_strip

H/T to Spaceweather.com with more details.

Stay tuned this is going to be an exciting venture into grand minimum science.

A New Space Weather Metric

This is an interesting post at Spaceweather.com.

The daily Thermosphere Climate Index (TCI) is now on Spaceweather.com. TCI is a relatively new space weather metric that tells us how the top of Earth’s atmosphere (or “thermosphere”) is responding to solar activity. During Solar Maximum, the top of our atmosphere heats up and expands. Right now the opposite is happening. Solar Minimum conditions are in effect, and this is causing the upper atmosphere to cool off

tci_strip

TCI was invented by Martin Mlynczak of the Langley Research Center along with other NASA and university colleagues. For the past 17 years they have been using the SABER instrument onboard NASA’s TIMED satellite to monitor the wattage of infrared emissions from the top of the atmosphere. Recently, they realized that those measurements could be used to summarize the state of the thermosphere in a single daily index, the TCI, expressed in watts (W). Moreover, they learned to calculate TCI going back in time all the way to the 1940s, thus placing current conditions in a historical context.

So where do we stand? Right now TCI=4.6×1010 W. That means the top of Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 10 times cooler than it was during the record-setting Solar Max of 1957-58 (TCI=49.4×1010 W). The record low value for TCI, 2.1×1010 W, was set during the Solar Minimum of 2009. It’s still not that cold in the thermosphere, although we’re getting close.

You can monitor daily values of TCI right here on SpaceWeather.com. TCI not only tracks the slow progression of the 11-year solar cycle, but also it can change suddenly in response to solar flares and geomagnetic storms. As these events occur, we’ll be writing about them to raise awareness of the many ways the sun can dump energy into Earth’s atmosphere. Stay tuned!

Look at the TCI for the 1970 and you may recall the concern over global cooling, the coming of the next little ice age. The past cycle was cooler than the 1970s cycle, yet the global warming scare tactics continue.  It will be interesting to watch the TCI change over the next eleven years.  If it stays cold, this could be a pointer to the Next Grand Minimum. In the words of the folks at Spaceweather .com “Stay Tuned!”