Scientists Have Found The ‘Missing Link’ From Sunspot Activity To Cosmic Rays-Clouds To Climate Change

By Kenneth Richard on 21. May 2018

Hailed as ‘the last piece of the puzzle’ in codifying our understanding of the mechanism(s) that cause climate changes, scientists are increasingly turning to Sun-modulated cosmic ray flux and cloud cover variations as the explanation for decadal- and centennial-scale global warming and cooling. In other words, climate changes are increasingly being attributed to natural variability, not anthropogenic activity.

A link to the full blog post is HERE. It is too long to re-post. Recommended reading, with references to past Grand Minimums.

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Are we headed for a deep solar minimum?

Pull Quote: “What’s in store for Cycle #25? One thing’s for certain: if the current trend continues, with spotless days more the rule than the exception, we could be in for a deep profound solar minimum through the 2018 to 2020 season, the likes of which would be unprecedented in modern astronomy.”

Watts Up With That?

Have you been keeping an eye on Sol lately? One of the top astronomy stories for 2018 may be what’s not happening, and how inactive our host star has become.

The strange tale of Solar Cycle #24 is ending with an expected whimper: as of May 8th, the Earthward face of the Sun had been spotless for 73 out of 128 days thus far for 2018, or more than 57% of the time. This wasn’t entirely unexpected, as the solar minimum between solar cycle #23 and #24 saw 260 spotless days in 2009 – the most recorded in a single year since 1913.

Cycle #24 got off to a late and sputtering start, and though it produced some whopper sunspots reminiscent of the Sol we knew and loved on 20th century cycles past, it was a chronic under-performer overall. Mid-2018 may see the end of cycle #24 and the…

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The effect of volcanoes on climate and climate on volcanoes

I have always been interested in the impact volcanic activity has on climate change, especially the Little Ice Age. This post by Javier answers a lot of my questions. Bottomline in this quote:

“The solar-LIA remains the only hypothesis supported by evidence, even if we do not understand well the climatic response to reduced solar activity.”

Watts Up With That?

by Javier

The effect of volcanoes on climate

The relationship between volcanoes and climate is a very complex one. From reading the media one gets the impression that they are some sort of climatic wild card. They are used to explain the cooling after the Pinatubo eruption, or the Little Ice Age cooling as a detriment to the solar hypothesis. But they are also used to explain the warming leading to mass extinctions in the distant past.

To be able to fulfill such a dual role, scientists take advantage of the different gas emissions from volcanoes. About 50-90 % of the gas emitted by volcanoes is water vapor. The rest is highly variable from one volcano to another, but CO2 can be 1-40 %, SO2 1-25 %, H2S 1-10 %, and HCl 1-10 %, plus a lot of other minor gases. H2S gets quickly…

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Sunspots Vanishing Faster Than Expected

Dr.Tony Phillips, Spaceweather.com

Sunspots are becoming scarce. Very scarce. So far in 2018 the sun has been blank almost 60% of the time, with whole weeks going by without sunspots. Today’s sun, shown here in an image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, is typical of the featureless solar disk:

blank_strip

The fact that sunspots are vanishing comes as no surprise. Forecasters have been saying for years that this would happen as the current solar cycle (“solar cycle 24”) comes to an end. The surprise is how fast.

“Solar cycle 24 is declining more quickly than forecast,” announced NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center on April 26th. This plot shows observed sunspot numbers in blue vs. the official forecast in red:

progression_strip

“Official” forecasts of the solar cycle come from NOAA’s Solar Cycle Prediction Panel–a group of experts from NOAA, NASA, the US Air Force, universities and other research organizations. They have been convening at intervals since 1989 to predict the timing and intensity of Solar Max. The problem is, no one really knows how to predict the solar cycle. The most recent iteration of the panel in 2006-2008 compared 54 different methods ranging from empirical extrapolations of historical data to cutting-edge supercomputer models of the sun’s magnetic dynamo. None fully described what is happening now. [Ephsas Added]

Full Story is HERE.

We live in interesting times when the sun is not acting as expected. That makes every day the sun shines an interesting event. Stay tuned, this is going to be a fun time for solar and cosmic ray observers.

The most important change, however, may be the increase in cosmic rays. Flagging solar wind pressure during solar minimum allows cosmic rays from deep space to penetrate the inner solar system. Right now, space weather balloons and NASA spacecraft are measuring an uptick in radiation due to this effect. Cosmic rays may alter the chemistry of Earth’s upper atmosphere, trigger lightning, and seed clouds.