Thursday, April 5, 2012

Solar Magnetic Field Long Cycle

If this is essentially correct, then it is pretty clear that we can blame the warmer Earth that has been variously argued on the advent of the Solar Grand Maximum.  This also argues forcefully for a Solar Grand Minimum which coincides historically with the Little Ice Age.

Does this make any sense?  Perhaps, though I can find a 1050 year cycle but I am not particularly comfortable that there is a 350 year cycle.  Yet it may turn out that we have a sequence of three 350 year cycles culminating with a great cool down as was experienced in the little ice Age and the fifth century.  Again that is not particularly convincing from what data we have.

Or it is plausible that the Volcanic induced cool down of the 1640’s just coincided half a century later with the onset of the Solar Grand Minimum and simply worsened the situation.  By itself, theses solar highs and lows are good for approximately a half degree of warming.  Add in a half degree from other causes and we have the known extremes.  The present high is not nearly as warm as it can get, yet there is ample argument that the trend is slowly downward.

It may well be that there is a long cycle in the Solar Magnetic flux that lasts for around several hundred years.  Attempting to adjust the data for such a flux appears to be presently problematic to say the least, but it is at least highly suggestive and need not be dismissed out of hand.

Solar Climate Change Could Cause Rougher Space Weather

by Staff Writers

Reading UK (SPX) Mar 30, 2012

Image of a coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7, 2011, recorded in ultraviolet light by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellite. The shock front that forms ahead of these huge expulsions of material from the solar atmosphere (the event shown moved at 1,400 km/s) can generate large fluxes of highly energetic particles at Earth which can be a considerable hazard to space-based electronic systems and with repeated exposure, a health risk for crew on board high-altitude aircraft.

Recent research shows that the space age has coincided with a period of unusually high solar activity, called a grand maximum. Isotopes in ice sheets and tree rings tell us that this grand solar maximum is one of 24 during the last 9,300 years and suggest the high levels of solar magnetic field seen over the space age will reduce in future.

This decline will cause a reduction in sunspot numbers and explosive solar events, but those events that do take place could be more damaging.

Graduate student Luke Barnard of the University of Reading will present new results on 'solar climate change' in his paper at the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester.

The level of radiation in the space environment is of great interest to scientists and engineers as it poses various threats to man-made systems including damage to electronics on satellites. It can also be a health hazard to astronauts and to a lesser extent the crew of high-altitude aircraft.

The main sources of radiation are galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), which are a continuous flow of highly energetic particles from outside our solar system and solar energetic particles (SEPs), which are accelerated to high energies in short bursts by explosive events on the Sun.

The amount of radiation in the near-Earth environment from these two sources is partly controlled in a complicated way by the strength of the Sun's magnetic field.

There are theoretical predictions supported by observational evidence that a decline in the average strength of the Sun's magnetic field would lead to an increase in the amount of GCRs reaching near-Earth space.

Furthermore there are predictions that, although a decline in solar activity would mean less frequent bursts of SEPs, the bursts that do occur would be larger and more harmful.
Currently spacecraft and aircraft are only designed and operated to offer suitable protection from the levels of radiation that have been observed over the course of the space age.

A decline in solar activity would result in increased amounts of radiation in near-Earth space and therefore increased risk of harm to spacecraft and aircraft and the astronauts and aircraft crews that operate them.

By comparing this grand maximum with 24 previous examples, Mr. Barnard predicts that there is an 8% chance that solar activity will fall to the very low levels seen in the so-called 'Maunder minimum', a period during the seventeenth century when very few sunspots were seen.

In this instance, the flux of GCRs would probably increase by a factor of 2.5 from present day values and the probability of observing a large SEP event will fall from the presently seen 5 down to 2 events per century.

However, the more probable scenario is that solar activity will decline to approximately half its current value in the next 40 years, in which case the flux of GCRs will increase by a factor of 1.5 and the probability of large SEP events to increase from the current value to 8 events per century.

As a result the near-Earth space radiation environment will probably become more hazardous in the next 40 years.

In presenting his results, Mr. Barnard comments: "Radiation in space can be a serious issue for both people and the delicate electronic systems that society depends on. Our research shows that this problem is likely to get worse over the coming decades - and that engineers will need to work even harder to mitigate its impact."


opit said...

I`ve run into articles which suggest a number of cycles of varying duration. Trying to analyse or predict from such - especially when drivers are not static, identified, measured, etc. - is ludicrous at best, fraud at worst.
My Climate in Contention file has been criticized as a disorganized incoherent jumble of conflicting and amateur views. That is its point and what one would expect in lieu of politically mandated certainty.
Dr. John v. Kampen quickly encouraged my explorations when I first posited Information Warfare as the proper genesis for anthropogenic global warming Dec 4 2009 at I had made a post Dec 1 at
It wasn`t long before I had returns from CFACT, Global and others that told me suspicion of fortunetelling was widespread.
Roger Pielke Sr. seems a lost voice in the wilderness saying we don`t know what we are about.

arclein said...

The search for indications of cycles is a method. it allows a hypothesis to be formed or at least searched for.

We ask the question of whether the event is random or not. From that humble beginning much can be inferred and investigated.

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