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.

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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.