Cosmic Ray Update: New Results from the Moon

By Dr Tony Phillips

July 16, 2019: Note to astronauts: 2019 is not a good year to fly into deep space. In fact, it’s shaping up to be one of the worst of the Space Age.

The reason is, the solar cycle. One of the deepest Solar Minima of the past century is underway now. As the sun’s magnetic field weakens, cosmic rays from deep space are flooding into the solar system, posing potential health risks to astronauts.

NASA is monitoring the situation with a radiation sensor in lunar orbit. The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) has been circling the Moon on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft since 2009. Researchers have just published a paper in the journal Space Weather describing CRaTER’s latest findings.

lro

“The overall decrease in solar activity in this period has led to an increased flux of energetic particles, to levels that are approaching those observed during the previous solar minimum in 2009/2010, which was the deepest minimum of the Space Age,” write the authors, led by Cary Zeitlin of NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center. “The data have implications for human exploration of deep space.”

This always happens during Solar Minimum. As solar activity goes down, cosmic rays go up. The last two Solar Minima have been unusually deep, leading to high cosmic ray fluxes in 2008-2010 and again in 2018-2019. These are the worst years since humans first left Earth in the 1960s.

“It’s a bit counterintuitive,” says one of the authors, Nathan Schwadron, a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire. “Solar Minimum may actually be more dangerous than Solar Maximum.”

In their paper, Zeitlin, Schwadron and co-authors describe an interesting experiment by NASA that highlights the relative peril of solar flares vs. cosmic rays. In 2011, NASA launched the Curiosity rover to Mars. Inside its spacecraft, the rover was protected by about as much shielding (20 gm/cm^2) as a human astronaut would have. A radiation sensor tucked inside kept track of Curiosity’s exposure.

The results were surprising. During the 9-month journey to Mars, radiation from solar flares (including the strongest flare of the previous solar cycle) accounted for only about 5% of Curiosity’s total dose. The remaining 95% came from cosmic rays.

Why the imbalance? “Solar flares of the size we’ve seen during the Space Age can be largely mitigated by achievable depths of spacecraft shielding(1),” explains Zeitlin. “We can’t stop the highest energy cosmic rays, however. They penetrate the walls of any spacecraft.”

Proton_F180_red-1_crop

Solar flares are still a concern. If an astronaut were caught outside on EVA during an intense, unexpected flare, acute effects could include vomiting, fatigue, and low blood counts. A quick return to Earth might be required for medical care. Cosmic rays are more insidious, acting slowly, with maladies such as cancer or heart disease showing up years after the exposure.

As 2019 unfolds, Solar Minimum appears to still be deepening. Cosmic rays haven’t quite broken the Space Age record set in 2009-2010, but they’re getting close, only percentage points from the highest values CRaTER has ever recorded.

“No one can predict what will happen next,” says Schwadron. “However, the situation speaks for itself: We are experiencing a period of unusually weak solar cycles. We have to be prepared for strong cosmic rays.”

END NOTES:

(1) According to Zeitlin, “achievable” shielding depths will be at least 20 to 30 gm/cm^2. “Vehicles carrying humans into deep space will likely have storm shelters that will provide this much shielding or more, and that would indeed be sufficient – even for an event like the great solar flare of August 1972 during the Apollo program – to keep the accumulated dose below the 30-day limit.”

REFERENCE:

“Update on Galactic Cosmic Ray Integral Flux Measurements in Lunar Orbit With CRaTER”, by C. Zeitlin, N. A. Schwadron, H. E. Spence, A. P. Jordan, M. D. Looper, J. Wilson, J. E. Mazur, L. W. Townsend. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2019SW002223

Link to the original post is HERE

 

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Another Sunspot From The Next Solar Cycle

Spaceweather.com:

Solar Cycle 25 is coming to life. For the second time this month, a sunspot from the next solar cycle has emerged in the sun’s southern hemisphere. Numbered “AR2744”, it is inset in this magnetic map of the sun’s surface from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:

Solar_cycle25_start

How do we know this sunspot belongs to Solar Cycle 25? Its magnetic polarity tells us so. Southern sunspots from old Solar Cycle 24 have a -/+ polarity. This sunspot is the opposite: +/-. According to Hale’s Law, sunspots switch polarities from one solar cycle to the next. AR2744 is therefore a member of Solar Cycle 25.

Solar cycles always mix together at their boundaries. Right now we are experiencing the tail end of decaying Solar Cycle 24. AR2744 shows that we are simultaneously experiencing the first stirrings of Solar Cycle 25. The transition between Solar Cycle 24 and Solar Cycle 25 is underway.

Shortlived “ephemeral sunspots” belonging to Solar Cycle 25 have already been reported on Dec. 20, 2016; April 8, 2018; Nov. 17, 2018; May 28, 2019 and July 1, 2019. Today’s sunspot is more important than those earlier examples because it has lasted long enough to receive a numberical designation: AR2744. Record-keepers will likely mark this as the first official sunspot of Solar Cycle 25.

This development does not mean Solar Minimum is finished. On the contrary, low solar activity will probably continue for at least another year as Solar Cycle 24 decays and Solar Cycle 25 slowly sputters to life. AR2744 is an important sign, however, that the solar cycle is progressing.

http://spaceweather.com

New Evidence Cosmic Rays Impact Climate

cosmic-ray-shower
New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an “umbrella effect.” –Kobe University, Japan, 3 July 2019

Intensified East Asian winter monsoon during the last geomagnetic reversal transition
Yusuke Ueno, Masayuki Hyodo, Tianshui Yang & Shigehiro Katoh
Scientific Reportsvolume 9, Article number: 9389 (2019) | Download Citation

Abstract

The strength of Earth’s magnetic dipole field controls galactic cosmic ray (GCR) flux, and GCR-induced cloud formation can affect climate. Here, we provide the first evidence of the GCR-induced cloud effect on the East-Asian monsoon during the last geomagnetic reversal transition. Bicentennial-resolution monsoon records from the Chinese Loess Plateau revealed that the summer monsoon (SM) was affected by millennial-scale climate events that occurred before and after the reversal, and that the winter monsoon (WM) intensified independently of SM variations; dust accumulation rates increased, coinciding with a cooling event in Osaka Bay. The WM intensification event lasted about 5000 years across an SM peak, during which the Earth’s magnetic dipole field weakened to <25% of its present strength and the GCR flux increased by more than 50%. Thus, the WM intensification likely resulted from the increased land–ocean temperature gradient originating with the strong Siberian High that resulted from the umbrella effect of increased low-cloud cover through an increase in GCR flux.

Details HERE

 

Sunspots from Solar Cycle 25?

Spaceweather.com has the details:

SUNSPOTS FROM THE NEXT SOLAR CYCLE: Solar Minimum is here, but it won’t last forever. In fact, the next solar cycle made a brief appearance this week. On July 1st, a small sunspot materialized in the sun’s southern hemisphere (S21W02), then, hours later, vanished again. The polarity of its magnetic field marks it as a likely member of Solar Cycle 25:

magnetogram_inset_strip

More HERE.

If they do not hang around and get a number do they really count as cycle 25 spots?

The Next Grand Solar Minimum is Approaching

Oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic field and solar irradiance on a millennial timescale

Another paper by V. V. Zharkova, S. J. Shepherd, S. I. Zharkov & E. Popova 

Abstract

Recently discovered long-term oscillations of the solar background magnetic field associated with double dynamo waves generated in inner and outer layers of the Sun indicate that the solar activity is heading in the next three decades (2019–2055) to a Modern grand minimum similar to Maunder one. On the other hand, a reconstruction of solar total irradiance suggests that since the Maunder minimum there is an increase in the cycle-averaged total solar irradiance (TSI) by a value of about 1–1.5 Wm−2 closely correlated with an increase of the baseline (average) terrestrial temperature. In order to understand these two opposite trends, we calculated the double dynamo summary curve of magnetic field variations backward one hundred thousand years allowing us to confirm strong oscillations of solar activity in regular (11 year) and recently reported grand (350–400 year) solar cycles caused by actions of the double solar dynamo. In addition, oscillations of the baseline (zero-line) of magnetic field with a period of 1950 ± 95 years (a super-grand cycle) are discovered by applying a running averaging filter to suppress large-scale oscillations of 11 year cycles. Latest minimum of the baseline oscillations is found to coincide with the grand solar minimum (the Maunder minimum) occurred before the current super-grand cycle start. Since then the baseline magnitude became slowly increasing towards its maximum at 2600 to be followed by its decrease and minimum at ~3700. These oscillations of the baseline solar magnetic field are found associated with a long-term solar inertial motion about the barycenter of the solar system and closely linked to an increase of solar irradiance and terrestrial temperature in the past two centuries. This trend is anticipated to continue in the next six centuries that can lead to a further natural increase of the terrestrial temperature by more than 2.5 °C by 2600.

Conclusions

Until recently, solar activity was accepted to be one of the important factors defining the temperature on Earth and other planets. In this paper we reproduced the summary curve of the solar magnetic field associated with solar activity5,6 for the one hundred thousand years backward by using the formulas describing the sum of the two principal components found from the full disk solar magnetograms. In the past 3000 years the summary curve shows the solar activity for every 11 years and occurrence of 9 grand solar cycles of 350–400 years, which are caused by the beating effects of two magnetic waves generated by solar dynamo at the inner and outer layers inside the solar interior with close but not equal frequencies6.

The resulting summary curve reveals a remarkable resemblance to the sunspot and terrestrial activity reported in the past millennia including the significant grand solar minima: Maunder Minimum (1645–1715), Wolf minimum (1200), Oort minimum (1010–1050), Homer minimum (800–900 BC) combined with the grand solar maxima: the medieval warm period (900–1200), the Roman warm period (400–10BC) etc. It also predicts the upcoming grand solar minimum, similar to Maunder Minimum, which starts in 2020 and will last until 2055.

A reconstruction of solar total irradiance suggests that there is an increase in the cycle-averaged total solar irradiance (TSI) since the Maunder minimum by a value of about 1–1.5 Wm−2 27. This increase is closely correlated with the similar increase of the average terrestrial temperature26,43. Moreover, from the summary curve for the past 100 thousand years we found the similar oscillations of the baseline of magnetic field with a period of 1950 ± 95 years (a super-grand solar cycle) by filtering out the large-scale oscillations in 11 year cycles. The last minimum of a super-grand cycle occurred at the beginning of Maunder minimum. Currently, the baseline magnetic field (and solar irradiance) are increasing to reach its maximum at 2600, after which the baseline magnetic field become decreasing for another 1000 years.

The oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic field are likely to be caused by the solar inertial motion about the barycentre of the solar system caused by large planets. This, in turn, is closely linked to an increase of solar irradiance caused by the positions of the Sun either closer to aphelion and autumn equinox or perihelion and spring equinox. Therefore, the oscillations of the baseline define the global trend of solar magnetic field and solar irradiance over a period of about 2100 years. In the current millennium since Maunder minimum we have the increase of the baseline magnetic field and solar irradiance for another 580 years. This increase leads to the terrestrial temperature increase as noted by Akasofu26 during the past two hundred years. Based on the growth rate of 0.5 C per 100 years26 for the terrestrial temperature since Maunder minimum, one can anticipate that the increase of the solar baseline magnetic field expected to occure up to 2600 because of SIM will lead, in turn, to the increase of the terrestrial baseline temperature since MM by 1.3 °C (in 2100) and, at least, by 2.5–3.0 °C (in 2600).

Naturally, on top of this increase of the baseline terrestrial temperature, there are imposed much larger temperature oscillations caused by standard solar activity cycles of 11 and 350–400 years and terrestrial causes. The terrestrial temperature is expected to grow during maxima of 11 year solar cycles and to decrease during their minima. Furthermore, the substantial temperature decreases are expected during the two grand minima47 to occur in 2020–2055 and 2370–24156, whose magnitudes cannot be yet predicted and need further investigation. These oscillations of the estimated terrestrial temperature do not include any human-induced factors, which were outside the scope of the current paper.

Continue reading HERE

Keep your warm coat handy the climate is about to get interesting.

When will people realize that. . .

 

Ed Hoskins

  1. The modern short pulse of beneficial Global warming stopped 20 years ago and recent global temperatures are now stable or declining.
  2. The last millennium 1000 – 2000 AD was the coldest of our current Holocene interglacial and the world has already been cooling quite rapidly for the last 3000 years.
  3. At 11,000 years our Holocene interglacial, responsible for all man-kind’s advances, is reaching its end.
  4. The weather gets worse in colder times.
  5. The world will very soon (in geological time), revert to a true glaciation, again resulting in mile high ice sheets over New York.

Our current beneficial, warm Holocene interglacial has been the enabler of mankind’s civilization for the last 10,000 years.

The congenial climate of the Holocene epoch spans from mankind’s earliest farming to the scientific and technological advances of the last 100 years.

screen-shot-2018-10-08-at-15.49.41

However all the Northern Hemisphere Ice Core records  from Greenland show:

  • the last millennium 1000AD – 2000AD has been the coldest millennium of the entire Holocene interglacial.
  • each of the notable high points in the Holocene temperature record, (Holocene Climate Optimum – Minoan – Roman – Medieval – Modern), have been progressively colder than the previous high point.
  • for its first 7-8000 years the early Holocene, including its high point “climate optimum”, had virtually flat temperatures, an average drop of only ~0.007 °C per millennium.
  • but the more recent Holocene, since a “tipping point” at ~1000BC, has seen a temperature diminution at more than 20 times that earlier rate at about 0.14 °C per millennium.
  • the Holocene interglacial is already 10 – 11,000 years old and judging from the length of previous interglacials the Holocene epoch should be drawing to its close: in this century, the next century or this millennium.
  • the beneficial warming at the end of the 20th century to the Modern high point has been transmuted into the “Great Man-made Global Warming Alarm”.
  • eventually, this late 20th-century temperature blip will come to be seen as just noise in the system in the longer term progress of comparatively rapid cooling over the last 3000+ years.
  • other published Greenland Ice Core records as well as GISP2, (NGRIP1, GRIP) corroborate this finding. They also exhibit the same pattern of a prolonged relatively stable early Holocene period followed by a subsequent much more rapid decline in the more recent (3000 years) past.

When considering the scale of temperature changes that alarmists anticipate because of Man-made Global Warming and their view of the disastrous effects of additional Man-made Carbon Dioxide emissions in this century, it is useful to look at climate change from a longer term, century by century and even on a millennial perspective.

The much vaunted and much feared “fatal” tipping point of +2°C would only bring Global temperatures close to the level of the very congenial climate of “the Roman warm period”.

If it were possible to reach the “horrendous” level of +4°C postulated by Warmists, that extreme level of warming would still only bring temperatures to about the level of the previous Eemian maximum, a warm and abundant epoch when hippopotami thrived in the Rhine delta.

screen-shot-2015-06-06-at-12-34-16

Read the full paper HERE

The Sun Follows The Rhythm Of The Planets

One of the big questions in solar physics is why the Sun’s activity follows a regular cycle of 11 years. Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), an independent German research institute, now present new findings, indicating that the tidal forces of Venus, Earth and Jupiter influence the solar magnetic field, thus governing the solar cycle.

In principle, it is not unusual for the magnetic activity of a star like the Sun to undergo cyclic oscillation. And yet past models have been unable to adequately explain the very regular cycle of the sun. The HZDR research team has now succeeded in demonstrating that the planetary tidal forces on the Sun act like an outer clock, and are the decisive factor behind its steady rhythm. To accomplish this result, the scientists systematically compared historical observations of solar activity from the last thousand years with planetary constellations, statistically proving that the two phenomena are linked.

“There is an astonishingly high level of concordance: what we see is complete parallelism with the planets over the course of 90 cycles,” enthused Frank Stefani, lead author of the study. “Everything points to a clocked process.”

Continue reading HERE.

 

The Little Ice Age: What Happened Around the World

Between 1300 and 1850, the Earth experienced a Little Ice Age whose cause to this day is not known.

A blog post at Interesting Engineering has more details including the consequences and some paintings from the period. The causes listed are interesting:

Causes

The causes of the LIA are still not known, while potential candidates are reduced solar output, changes in atmospheric circulation, and volcanism.

Low sunspot activity is associated with lower solar output, and two periods of unusually low sunspot activity occurred during the Little Ice Age: the Spörer Minimum (1450–1540) and the Maunder Minimum (1645–1715), which is named for astronomer E.W. Maunder who discovered the absence of sunspots during that period. Both of these coincide with the coldest years of the LIA in parts of Europe.

Another possible candidate is a reversal of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). This is a large-scale atmospheric-circulation pattern over the North Atlantic and adjacent areas. During its “positive” phase, the track of North Atlantic storms is centered over the British Isles and Northern Europe. During its “negative” phase, cold Arctic air from Russia moves over northern Europe.

A final candidate is volcanic eruptions which propel gases and ash into the stratosphere, where they reflect incoming sunlight. In 1783, Iceland’s Laki volcano erupted, and in 1815, the Tambora volcano on Sumbawa Island erupted.

I am voting for low sunspot activity.  Your thoughts?

The Sun’s Role in Climate Change

FORCE MAJEURE, THE SUN’S LARGE ROLE IN CLIMATE CHANGE (GUEST: HENRIK SVENSMARK), MAY 6, 2019

next_minimum_graphic1.jpg

A podcast interview of Henrik Svensmark by H. Sterling Burnett of the Heritage Foundation

By bombarding the Earth with cosmic rays and being a driving force behind cloud formations, the sun plays a much larger role on climate than “consensus scientists” care to admit.

The Danish National Space Institute’s Dr. Henrik Svensmark has assembled a powerful array of data and evidence in his recent study, Force Majeure the Sun’s Large Role in Climate Change. The study shows that throughout history and now, the sun plays a powerful role in climate change. Solar activity impacts cosmic rays which are tied to cloud formation. Clouds, their abundance or dearth, directly affects the earth’s climate. Climate models don’t accurately account for the role of clouds or solar activity in climate change, with the result they assume the earth is much more sensitive to greenhouse gas levels than it is. Unfortunately, the impact of clouds and the sun on climate are understudied because climate science has become so politicized.

Link to the podcast is HERE.

Link to Study is HERE:

Your thoughts?

 

Current Solar Cycle Among Weakest On Record. Potentially Cloud-Seeding Cosmic Radiation Near Highest Level Since 1950s

The Sun in April 2019

 

This is reblogged from the No Tricks Zone. The original is HERE  Comments included.