The Sun’s Weather Cycle May Start in ‘Tsunamis,’ End with ‘Terminators’

By Passant Rabie ar Science & Astronomy 

A tsunami of plasma rushes through the sun before a new sunspot cycle begins

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An image of the sun in ultraviolet light showing a string of active regions near the Sun’s equator over about 36 hours. (Image: © NASA)

Astronomers may have finally figured out what causes the sun’s 11-year cycle of activity, and it involves a “tsunami” of magnetic fields. 

The sun, like other stars, goes through a cycle marked by a change in magnetic activity, levels of radiation, and the number and size of sunspots. While our sun’s 11-year cycle was discovered more than a century ago, predicting exactly when one cycle ends and a new one begins has been an ongoing challenge. 

A pair of related studies have mapped out the sun’s activity over the course of 140 years, looking for clues about the solar cycle that are visible on the surface. By looking at the way bright flashes of ultraviolet light migrate across the sun’s surface, the researchers discovered that the sun’s mysterious 11-year cycle may be marked by a “terminator” event that ends one cycle and a “tsunami” of magnetic fields that initiates a new one. Those bright flickers of ultraviolet light and the sun’s magnetic fields appear to drive the cycle itself, and monitoring those flashes could help scientists predict when a new cycle will begin.

Continue reading HERE to see the interactive graphics.

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Galactic Cosmic-Rays Research Rains On Man-Made Climate Change Parade

A pair of new international studies which punched holes in the absoluteness of man-made climate change have gotten little-to-no attention in the corporate media.

Researchers from Kobe University in Japan found that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an “umbrella effect.”

A second study, a paper published by researchers from the University of Turku in Finland, concluded that even though observed changes in the climate are real, the effects of human activity on these changes are insignificant. Such findings create cognitive dissonance for celebrity and media actors committed to the narrative that human behavior is killing the planet.

“We have to recognize that the anthropogenic climate change does not exist in practice,” the study concluded.

Professor Masayuki Hyodo, who led the research team at Kobe University, said: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has discussed the impact of cloud cover on climate in their evaluations, but this phenomenon has never been considered in climate predictions due to the insufficient physical understanding of it.”

Professor Hyodo continued: “This study provides an opportunity to rethink the impact of clouds on climate. When galactic cosmic rays increase, so do low clouds, and when cosmic rays decrease clouds do as well, so climate warming may be caused by an opposite-umbrella effect. The umbrella effect caused by galactic cosmic rays is important when thinking about current global warming as well as the warm period of the medieval era.”

Continue reading HERE.

During a Grand Minimum, there are fewer sunspots and more cosmic rays increasing cloud cover, reducing temperatures by 1-2 degrees C. This temperature reduction shortens the growing season by 10 days for every 1/2 a degree according to some estimates.  On the other hand, fewer cosmic rays would increase warmth and extend growing seasons allowing agricuture at higher latitude, expanding the global food supply.  This is why we monitor sunspots and cosmic rays at the Next Grand Minimum.

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.

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“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

 

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.

Weakening Trend in Solar Cycle Since SC21

SIDC+DailySunspotNumberSince1977

 

Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Perspecta, Inc.

Overview

The sun continues to be very quiet and it has been without sunspots this year 62% of the time as we approach what is likely to be one of the deepest solar minimums in a long, long time. In fact, all indications are that the upcoming solar minimum may be even quieter than the last one which was the deepest in nearly a century. In addition, there are now forecasts that the next solar cycle, #25, will be the weakest in more than 200 years. The current solar cycle, #24, has been the weakest with the fewest sunspots since solar cycle 14 peaked in February 1906. Solar cycle 24 continues a recent trend of weakening solar cycles which began with solar cycle 21 that peaked around 1980 and if the latest forecasts are correct, that trend will continue for at least another decade or so.

Continue reading HERE.

 

Grand Solar Minimum at work – Colorado snowpack more than eight times normal in places

And still rising !!!

After a historically snowy spring, Colorado’s snowpack currently stands at 473% of normal (almost 5 times normal), with highs peaking at 846% (more than 8 times normal!) in the San Juan Mountains, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Continues reading HERE
Gee and we thought the Sierra at 200% was special.  The melt, which is a month late should fill Boulder Dam.

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.