Solar Climate Connection and Cosmic Rays (Edited 01-19)

The is a very interesting 40-minute video presentation by Nir Shaviv on the solar-climate connection and cosmic rays.

Shaviv first presents the evidence that the sun affects climate before explaining the cosmic ray ideas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9gjU1T4XL4

Hat Tip to Don B for the link to this video in a Comment at the NoTrickesZone.

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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!

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.

 

Mysterious Cosmic Rays Shooting from the Ground in Antarctica Could Break Physics

NASA went searching for micro black holes in Antarctica. Instead, it detected cosmic rays shooting from the ground and some physicists think it could be evidence of a supersymmetric particle.

Details HERE.

If Cosmic Rays from space can influence the amount of cloud cover, thus impacting the earth’s temperature, what is the impact of cosmic rays shooting from the earth? Cloud formation impact?  Stay Tuned

Scientists Detect Strange And Unexpected Phenomenon In the Sun

Devdiscourse News Desk 29 Aug 2018, 01:18 PM

New research by US scientists has detected that the Sun is emitting a higher than expected amount of high-energy light consisting of gamma rays. But the most unusual thing is that the rays with the highest energy appear when the star is at its least active point, according to the study, which is published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The work is the first investigation that has examined gamma rays over most of the solar cycle, a period of about 11 years during which the activity of the star increases and decreases.

The group of scientists, led by astrophysicist Tim Linden, analyzed data that NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray space telescope collected between August 2008 and November 2017. The observations included a period of low solar activity in 2008 and 2009, a period of greatest activity in 2013 and a reduction in activity to the minimum before the start of a new cycle in 2018.

The team tracked the number of solar gamma rays emitted every second, as well as their energies and where they came from.

The team reported that during the years analyzed, the number of gamma rays emitted was so high (more than 50,000 million electron volts, or GeV) that all predictions were exceeded. However, interestingly, rays with energies above 100 GeV appeared only during the minimum solar activity.

Even rarer is that the Sun seems to emit gamma rays from different parts of its surface at different times of the cycle. During the solar minimum, gamma rays came mainly from an area near the equator, while during solar maximum, when the level of the star’s activity was high, the rays were grouped near the poles. [Emphasis added]

All this is much rarer than predicted, said the astrophysicist John Beacom of Ohio State University in Columbus.

The scientist stressed that this unusual activity could mean that the Sun’s magnetic fields are much more powerful, much more variable and have a much stranger shape than we expected.

In addition, the expert stressed that high-energy gamma rays can offer new possibilities for the study of magnetic fields in the upper layer of the solar surface, called the photosphere.

Fields cannot be seen with a telescope, says Beacom. “But cosmic rays that travel there and the gamma rays they send are messengers of the terrible conditions that exist in the photosphere, said the scientist.

My question is what does this mean for us on the planet earth? See the highlighted text. If during the minimum the gamma rays come from near the equator, we should detect more on earth as opposed to those emitted at the poles. When a gamma ray strikes the top of the atmosphere, it initiates a cascade of particles, which in turn produces a flash of blue light. How could an increase in gamma rays impact our climate during solar minimum? Cosmic rays produce the same Compton scattering and are thought to increase cloud cover. Thoughts?

Sunspot Update for July 2018: The Sun Flatlines!

From Behind the Black, by Robert Zimmerman

Yesterday NOAA posted its monthly update of the solar cycle, covering sunspot activity for July 2018. As I do every month, I am posting it below, annotated to give it some context.

This might be the most significant month of solar activity that has been observed since Galileo. Except for two very short-lived and very weak sunspots that observers hardly noted, the Sun was blank for entire month of July. This has not happened since 2009, during the height of the last solar minimum.

What makes this so significant and unique is that it almost certainly signals the return of the next solar minimum, a return that comes more than a year early. The solar cycle the Sun is now completing has only been ten years long. It is also one of the weakest in more than a hundred years. This combination is unprecedented. In the past such a weak cycle required a long cycle, not a short one.

Read the full post with graphics HERE.

Robert discusses the Next Grand Minimums:

For almost a decade some solar scientists have predicted, based on the Sun’s recent behavior, that we are about to enter an era of little sunspot activity, with the possibility that we could be facing the first Grand Minimum since the Maunder Minimum in the 1600s. During that last grand minimum, named for the man who identified it, the Sun’s solar cycle produced almost no visible sunspots for decades. Though scientists think the eleven-year solar cycle was occurring, sunspot activity was so weak that the solar astronomers at the time, equipped with the very first telescopes, could not see it.

My emphasis added. There is more discussion in the text.

Atmospheric Radiation Update – 18% Cosmic Ray Increase!

As the sunspot cycle declines, we expect cosmic rays to increase. Is this actually happening? The answer is “yes.” Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been monitoring cosmic radiation in the atmosphere with frequent high-altitude balloon flights over California. Here are the latest results, current as of July 2018:

stratosphere_california_strip

The data show radiation levels intensifying with an approximately 18% increase in monthly averages since March 2015. This comes as sunspot counts have dipped to a ~10-year low in June and July 2018.
Cosmic rays are the subatomic debris of dying stars, accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions. They travel across the galaxy and approach Earth from all directions, peppering our planet 24/7. When cosmic rays crash into Earth’s atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles and photons that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. This secondary spray is what we measure.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

More cosmic rays should be increasing cloud cover, cooling the oceans.  See Joe Bastardi’s daily summary at https://www.weatherbell.com   According to Joe the Pacific and Atlantic are cooler than normal for this time of the year.

 

Our Planet Is Being Roasted By Cosmic Rays From This Binary Star System Only 10,000 Light-Years Away

For years, Earth has been bombarded by cosmic rays emanating from a mysterious source astronomers couldn’t identify. Now, new research conducted with the help of NASA’s NuSTAR space telescope has finally tracked down the source of these rays: Eta Carinae, a binary star system just 10,000 light-years away. In an event called the Great Eruption of 1838, the system created a stunning hourglass nebula in a tremendous burst of energy that temporarily made it the second-brightest object in the night sky.

According to Fiona Harrison, the principal investigator of NuSTAR: “We’ve known for some time that the region around Eta Carinae is the source of energetic emission in high-energy X-rays and gamma rays. But until NuSTAR was able to pinpoint the radiation, show it comes from the binary and study its properties in detail, the origin was mysterious.”

The powerful cosmic radiation is caused, in part, by two currents of stellar wind colliding as they swirl around the twin stars. These winds then create shockwaves that boost the strength of the X-rays and gamma rays also being emitted. According to Kenji Hamaguchi, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center: “We know the blast waves of exploded stars can accelerate cosmic ray particles to speeds comparable to that of light, an incredible energy boost. Similar processes must occur in other extreme environments. Our analysis indicates Eta Carinae is one of them.”

Discovering the source of these cosmic rays helps astronomers to understand a bit more about Eta Carinae, which is still something of a mystery: scientists have no idea what caused its famous “eruption” in 1838 which, by all rights, should have ended in a supernova.

Although Earth’s magnetosphere keeps us safe from (most) radiation, cosmic rays might actually be increasing around our planet. This makes space travel more deadly than it already is. And if the amount of radiation keeps increasing, we might find out the limits of our atmosphere the hard way.

Source article HERE.

Cosmic rays are increasing,

newhampshirevscalifornia_strip

According to space weather, Cosmic Rays are increasing and that may influence the amount of cloud cover.  n increase in cloud cover could cool the planet. More cosmic rays, more clouds, more cooling. Interesting that cooling maybe influenced by an external source, a binary star 10,000 light years away.

The question is how long will the increase continue? If the cosmic ray cloud connection is valid science, we could be in for some serious cold events.  The sun moderates the flow of cosmic rays, but the source is increasing, so how much can a quiet sun moderate? We live in interesting times.

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.

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.