In my previous post, “Global Scatterplots“, I discussed how a gridcell-by-gridcell scatterplot of the entire globe could be used to gain insights into the relationship between two variables. The variables I discussed in that post were the cloud radiative effect (CRE) as a function of the temperature. At the end of that post, I threatened as follows:
I will return to what I’ve learned from other gridcell scatterplots in the next post.
So as foretold in the ancient palimpsest texts … he’s baack!
For this expedition into global scatterplots, Figure 1 shows the surface temperature as a function of the amount of solar power that’s actually entering the climate system. This available solar power is the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) solar, minus the “albedo reflections”, which are the amount of sunlight reflected back to space by the clouds and the surface.
Debate over what influence (if any) solar variability has had on surface air temperature trends since the 19th century has been controversial. In this paper, we consider two factors which may have contributed to this controversy:
Several different solar variability datasets exist. While each of these datasets is constructed on plausible grounds, they often imply contradictory estimates for the trends in solar activity since the 19th century.
Although attempts have been made to account for non-climatic biases in previous estimates of surface air temperature trends, recent research by two of the authors has shown that current estimates are likely still affected by non-climatic biases, particularly urbanization bias.
With these points in mind, we first review the debate over solar variability. We summarise the points of general agreement between most groups and the aspects which still remain controversial. We discuss possible future research which may help resolve the controversy of these aspects. Then, in order to account for the problem of urbanization bias, we compile a new estimate of Northern Hemisphere surface air temperature trends since 1881, using records from predominantly rural stations in the monthly Global Historical Climatology Network dataset. Like previous weather station-based estimates, our new estimate suggests that surface air temperatures warmed during the 1880s–1940s and 1980s–2000s. However, this new estimate suggests these two warming periods were separated by a pronounced cooling period during the 1950s–1970s and that the relative warmth of the mid-20th century warm period was comparable to the recent warm period.
We then compare our weather station-based temperature trend estimate to several other independent estimates. This new record is found to be consistent with estimates of Northern Hemisphere Sea Surface Temperature (SST) trends, as well as temperature proxy-based estimates derived from glacier length records and from tree ring widths. However, the multi-model means of the recent Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate model hindcasts were unable to adequately reproduce the new estimate — although the modelling of certain volcanic eruptions did seem to be reasonably well reproduced.
Finally, we compare our new composite to one of the solar variability datasets not considered by the CMIP5 climate models, i.e., Scafetta and Willson, 2014’s update to the Hoyt and Schatten, 1993 dataset. A strong correlation is found between these two datasets, implying that solar variability has been the dominant influence on Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since at least 1881. We discuss the significance of this apparent correlation, and its implications for previous studies which have instead suggested that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide has been the dominant influence.
A diverse expert panel of global scientists finds blaming climate change mostly on greenhouse gas emissions was premature. Their findings contradict the UN IPCC’s conclusion, which the study shows, is grounded in narrow and incomplete data about the Sun’s total solar irradiance (TSI).
A new scientific review article has just been published on the role of the Sun in climate change over the last 150 years.
It finds that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may have been premature in their conclusion that recent climate change is mostly caused by human greenhouse gas emissions.
The paper by 23 experts in the fields of solar physics and of climate science from 14 different countries is published in the peer-reviewed journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics (RAA).
The paper, which is the most comprehensive to date, carries out an analysis of the 16 most prominent published solar output datasets, including those used by the IPCC.
The researchers compared them to 26 different estimates of Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since the 19th century (sorted into five categories), including the datasets used by the IPCC.
They focused on the Northern Hemisphere since the available data for the early 20th century and earlier is much more limited for the Southern Hemisphere, but their results can be generalized for global temperatures.
Dr. Ronan Connolly, lead author of the study, at the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES):
“The IPCC is mandated to find a consensus on the causes of climate change. I understand the political usefulness of having a consensus view in that it makes things easier for politicians. However, science doesn’t work by consensus. In fact, science thrives best when scientists are allowed to disagree with each other and to investigate the various reasons for disagreement. I fear that by effectively only considering the datasets and studies that support their chosen narrative, the IPCC have seriously hampered scientific progress into genuinely understanding the causes of recent and future climate change. I am particularly disturbed by their inability to satisfactorily explain the rural temperature trends.”
The sun and not human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) may be the main cause of warmer temperatures in recent decades, according to a new study with findings that sharply contradict the conclusions of the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The peer-reviewed paper, produced by a team of almost two dozen scientists from around the world, concluded that previous studies did not adequately consider the role of solar energy in explaining increased temperatures.
The new study was released just as the UN released its sixth “Assessment Report,” known as AR6, that once again argued in favor of the view that man-kind’s emissions of CO2 were to blame for global warming. The report said human responsibility was “unequivocal.”
But the new study casts serious doubt on the hypothesis.
Calling the blaming of CO2 by the IPCC “premature,” the climate scientists and solar physicists argued in the new paper that the UN IPCC’s conclusions blaming human emissions were based on “narrow and incomplete data about the Sun’s total irradiance.”
Indeed, the global climate body appears to display deliberate and systemic bias in what views, studies, and data are included in its influential reports, multiple authors told The Epoch Times in a series of phone and video interviews.
“Depending on which published data and studies you use, you can show that all of the warming is caused by the sun, but the IPCC uses a different data set to come up with the opposite conclusion,” lead study author Ronan Connolly, Ph.D. told The Epoch Times in a video interview.
“In their insistence on forcing a so-called scientific consensus, the IPCC seems to have decided to consider only those data sets and studies that support their chosen narrative,” he added.
The implications, from a policy perspective, are enormous, especially in this field where trillions of dollars are at stake and a dramatic re-organization of the global economy is being proposed.
A diverse expert panel of global scientists finds blaming climate change mostly on greenhouse gas emissions was premature. Their findings contradict the UN IPCC’s conclusion, which the study shows, is grounded in narrow and incomplete data about the Sun’s total solar irradiance.
The paper by 23 experts in the fields of solarphysics and of climate science from 14 different countries is published in the peer-reviewed journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics (RAA). The paper, which is the most comprehensive to date, carries out an analysis of the 16 most prominent published solar output datasets, including those used by the IPCC.
Scientists come to opposite conclusions recent climate change causes
The researchers compared them to 26 different estimates of Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since the 19th century (sorted into five categories), including the datasets used by the IPCC. They focused on the Northern Hemisphere since the available data for the early 20th century and earlier is much more limited for the Southern Hemisphere, but their results can be generalized for global temperatures.
So far, much of Europe has seen a cold and wet 2021. It may be related to solar cycles.
An essay at Die kalte Sonne by Dr. Ludger Laurenz looks at the relationship between solar activity and weather trends, and believes this summer’s temperature will be 1.5°C lower.
There are many scientific opinions about solar activity’s impact on weather and climate, which differ and contradict each other. For example, a new publication by Leamon et al. provides an important building block for uncovering solar influence. Background here.
Solar influence in historical climate data substantiated
In the Leamon et al publication, the authors looked at the 22-year Hale solar cycles and saw it is possible to detect and substantiate solar influence in historical climate data (from tropical ocean surface temperature to temperature, sunshine, and precipitation data) and to make quantitative statements about the influence of solar activity on weather data.
Norway winter temperature and sun: “high statistical significance”
“Using the alternating years between Hale cycles, a correlation between the 22-year Hale cycle of the Sun and the trend of winter temperature in the polar night of Norway can be demonstrated with high statistical significance,” Dr Laurenz adds.
“Parallel to the temperature trend, the solar influence of the Hale cycles is also evident in the index values of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oscillations,” says Laurenz in addition. “Evidence of the influence of solar activity in the polar night of Scandinavia demonstrates that differences in solar activity are transmitted to the near-surface temperature via amplification mechanisms such as change in circulation patterns in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oscillations.”
The sun’s role in weather patterns is a great significance, and so CO2 is not the main driver at all.
GALACTIC Cosmic Rays are a mixture of high-energy photons and sub-atomic particles accelerated toward Earth by supernova explosions and other violent events in the cosmos, while SOLAR Cosmic Rays are effectively the same, only their source is the Sun.
Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been launching cosmic ray balloons almost weekly since March 2015–before the pandemic threw a spanner in. The team’s published results reveal that atmospheric radiation reached record highs just as solar activity hit a new space age low — the correlation is clear for all to see, with additional proxy data revealing it has been the case for time-immemorial.
During solar minimums –the low point of the 11 year solar cycle– the Sun’s magnetic field weakens and the outward pressure of the solar wind decreases. This allows more cosmic rays (CRs) to penetrate the inner solar system, including our planet’s atmosphere:
“The scientific community has been unclear on the role that solar variability plays in influencing weather and climate events here on Earth. This study shows there’s reason to believe it absolutely does and why the connection may have been missed in the past.”
If you ask most climate scientists, they will tell you that the Sun’s small variability is unimportant when it comes to influencing climate. They may have to change their minds if a new line of research holds up. It seems that solar variability can drive climate variability on Earth on decadal timescales (the decadal climatic variability that Michael Mann recently ‘proved’ doesn’t exist). That’s the conclusion of a new study showing a correlation between the end of solar cycles and a switch from El Nino to La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean. It’s a result that could significantly improve the predictability of the largest El Nino and La Nina events, which have several global climate effects.
by C. Rotter, April 5, 2021 in NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH/UNIVERSITY CORPORATION FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH
A new study shows a correlation between the end of solar cycles and a switch from El Nino to La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean, suggesting that solar variability can drive seasonal weather variability on Earth.
If the connection outlined in the journal Earth and Space Science holds up, it could significantly improve the predictability of the largest El Nino and La Nina events, which have a number of seasonal climate effects over land. For example, the southern United States tends to be warmer and drier during a La Nina, while the northern U.S. tends to be colder and wetter.
“Energy from the Sun is the major driver of our entire Earth system and makes life on Earth possible,” said Scott McIntosh, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and co-author of the paper. “Even so, the scientific community has been unclear on the role that solar variability plays in influencing weather and climate events here on Earth. This study shows there’s reason to believe it absolutely does and why the connection may have been missed in the past.”
The study was led by Robert Leamon at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and it is also co-authored by Daniel Marsh at NCAR. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, which is NCAR’s sponsor, and the NASA Living With a Star program.
I’ve compiled a list of six examples how the sun impacts climate across the globe.
1. Climate periods based on a double Hale (44-45 years) cycle of solar activity.
In 1977 Australian geologist Rhodes W. Fairbridge found a 45-year periodicity of beach ridge located at the Hudson Bay. It has been formed with storms in Hudson Bay caused by a wavier jet stream.
I have found a 44-year periodicity of heavy snowfall in Japan caused by the wavier jet stream as follows. The time series coincide quite well with that of Fairbridge (1977).
1833 Tempo famine, Dalton minimum (1795-1830)
1877 Seinan war (44 years later)
1918 Rice riot, Gleissberg minimum (1898-1923) (41 years later)
1963 38 heavy snowfall (45 years later)
2006 Heisei 18 year heavy snowfall, Gleissberg or Dalton minimum (43 years)
The climate history of 20th century can be divided with the following 5 periods based on the double Hale cycle above using aa-index of geomagnetism associated with solar activity. The Pacific Climate Shift occurred at 1977 with solar activity increase & a positive PDO index.
1900-1918: Little Ice Age (LIA)
1919-1962: 1st Modern Warm Period (1st MWP)
1963-1976: Temporal Cold Period (TCP, New Ice Age Coming, see below)
1977-2005: 2nd Modern Warm Period (2nd MWP)
2006 – present: New Cold Period (NCP)
In direct contradiction to the official forecast, a team of scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is predicting that the Sunspot Cycle that started this fall could be one of the strongest since record-keeping began.
In a new article published in Solar Physics, the research team predicts that Sunspot Cycle 25 will peak with a maximum sunspot number somewhere between approximately 210 and 260, which would put the new cycle in the company of the top few ever observed.
The cycle that just ended, Sunspot Cycle 24, peaked with a sunspot number of 116, and the consensus forecast from a panel of experts convened by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting that Sunspot Cycle 25 will be similarly weak. The panel predicts a peak sunspot number of 115.
European winter temperature variability is “dominated” by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which is, in turn, modulated by solar activity.
Even proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) agree natural processes (AMO, NAO, ENSO, solar forcing, volcanism) drive temperature variability. But they insist the rising temperature trend is human-caused.
So if we don’t have a regional upward trend, is the non-warming natural or anthropogenic?
Lüdecke et al., 2020 find temperatures across Europe have been oscillating, not rising in linear fashion, for the last century. The timings of the temperature undulations correspond quite closely to natural ocean cycles (the NAO and AMO). The authors detail a non-linear and indirect solar activity impact on these ocean cycles, and ultimately to the European climate.
There is ever-mounting evidence warning the next epoch will be one of sharp terrestrial cooling due to a relative flat-lining of solar output.
The exact time-frame and depth of this next chill of solar minimum is still anyone’s guess, and the parameters involved (i.e., galactic cosmic rays, geomagnetic activity, solar wind flux etc.) remain poorly understood. However, there are some great minds on the job, and below I’ve collated 11 best-guesses based on published scientific papers from respected researchers in the field. The list begins with eminent Russian astrophysicist K. Abdussamatov–though it is in no particular order.
They also heat the planet, blanket wildlife habitats and cause other ecological damage
The problem of solar panel waste is now becoming evident. As environmental journalist Emily Folk admits in Renewable Energy Magazine, “when talking about renewable energy, the topic of waste does not often appear.” She attributes this to the supposed “pressures of climate change” and alleged “urgency to find alternative energy sources,” saying people may thus be hesitant to discuss “possible negative impacts of renewable energy.”
Ms. Folk admits that sustainability requires proper e-waste management. Yet she laments, “Solar presents a particular problem. There is growing evidence that broken panels release toxic pollutants … [and] increasing concern regarding what happens with these materials when they are no longer viable, especially since they are difficult to recycle.”
This is the likely reason that (except in Washington state), there are no U.S. mandates for solar recycling. A recent article in Grist reports that most used solar panels are shipped to developing countries that have little electricity and weak environmental protections, to be reused or landfilled.
The near-total absence of end-of-life procedures for solar panels is likely a byproduct of the belief (and repeated, unsupported assertion) that renewable energy is “clean” and “green.” Indeed, Mississippi Sierra Club state director Louie Miller recently claimed that unlike fossil fuels and nuclear energy, “Sunshine is a free fuel.” Well, sunshine is certainly free and clean. However, there is a monumental caveat.
Harnessing sunshine (and wind) to serve humanity is not free – or clean, green, renewable or sustainable.
During a media event on Tuesday, experts from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discussed their analysis and predictions about the new solar cycle – and how the coming upswing in space weather will impact our lives and technology on Earth, as well as astronauts in space.
The Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, an international group of experts co-sponsored by NASA and NOAA, announced that solar minimum occurred in December 2019, marking the start of a new solar cycle.
Because our Sun is so variable, it can take months after the fact to declare this event.
A new editorial paper has landed from professor Valentina Zharkova, entitled: “Modern Grand Solar Minimum will Lead to Terrestrial Cooling“. Published on August 4, 2020, Zharkova’s latest analysis suggests that June 8, 2020 was the date on which we entered the Modern (Eddy) Grand Solar Minimum.
The opening paragraph reads:
“In this editorial I will demonstrate with newly discovered solar activity proxy-magnetic field that the Sun has entered into the modern Grand Solar Minimum (2020–2053) that will lead to a significant reduction of solar magnetic field and activity like during Maunder minimum leading to noticeable reduction of terrestrial temperature.”
Another passage states:
“Currently, the Sun has completed solar cycle 24 – the weakest cycle of the past 100+ years – and in 2020, has started cycle 25. During the periods of low solar activity, such as the modern grand solar minimum, the Sun will often be devoid of sunspots. This is what is observed now at the start of this minimum, because in 2020 the Sun has seen, in total, 115 spotless days (or 78%), meaning 2020 is on track to surpass the space-age record of 281 spotless days (or 77%) observed in 2019. However, the cycle 25 start is still slow in firing active regions and flares, so with every extra day/week/month that passes, the null in solar activity is extended marking a start of grand solar minimum.”
What are the consequences for Earth of this decrease of solar activity?
“From 1645 to 1710, the temperatures across much of the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth plunged when the Sun entered a quiet phase now called the Maunder Minimum. This likely occurred because the total solar irradiance was reduced by 0.22%,” shown below (top graph); “that led to a decrease of the average terrestrial temperature measured mainly in the Northern hemisphere in Europe by 1.0–1.5°C,” also below (bottom graph):
Solar Cycle 25 may be spluttering into life, but all is once-again quiet on the earth-facing solar disc: there are no sunspots — in fact, there haven’t been any for the past 6 days (as of Aug 27, 2020).
Solar activity is the driving force of Earth’s climate. This definition of obvious is only disputed by the misinformed, and by those with a financial or political motive.
High solar activity — as we’ve enjoyed for the past 100-or-so years — has delivered our planet a stable, predictable climate under-which we modern humans have had the opportunity to thrive and successfully advance our technological society.
However, and as with all good things, these predictable days are ending: the Sun’s output is waning to levels not seen for the past 200 years, to a reduction in activity not experienced since the Dalton Minimum(1790-1830). And as with every great and advancing civilization of the past, a time comes when the consequences of a solar shutdown need to be contended. We need to prepare for the wild swings-between-extremes brought about by an increasingly weak & wavy (meridional) jet stream, we need to be aware of a powerful volcanic uptick witnessed during times of low solar activity, as well as cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and, perhaps most crucially, an overall cooling of the planet.
Crops are always the first to go. And our modern delicately-balanced, chemical-dependent, monocropping-ways simply aren’t prepared for a violent shift in the climate — as Robert Felix has long been warning, “I fear that we will be fighting in the streets for food long before we’re covered by ice.”
Cet article fait suite à la première partie (1/2) publiée par SCE le 14 août 2020.
5. La longueur des cycles solaires
Le passage d’un cycle solaire au cycle suivant est défini en principe par le changement de signe du champ magnétique autour des taches solaires. Le moment de ce passage est difficile à déterminer dans le cas des cycles longs, parce qu’on peut avoir pendant plusieurs années cohabitation, dans le même hémisphère solaire, de taches solaires d’orientations magnétiques différentes. Ainsi, à l’heure d’écriture de cet article (juillet 2020), la fin du cycle solaire 24 se rapproche, mais les premières taches avec l’orientation magnétique du cycle 25 ont fait leur apparition dès 2019; si le cycle 24 n’était pas terminé avant la fin de cette année, la transition du cycle 24 au cycle 25 serait étalée sur 3 années.
De manière à tirer profit de la richesse des données disponibles sur le site (ici) la longueur des cycles solaires est déterminée comme suit: pour les cycles allant de 1700 à 1755, seules les moyennes annuelles du nombre de taches solaires sont disponibles et le début de cycle correspond à l’année suivant le minimum de cette moyenne. Pour les cycles allant de 1755 à nos jours, la longueur est déterminée en utilisant les moyennes mensuelles: le début de cycle correspond au mois à partir duquel s’amorce la montée du nombre de taches. Cette méthode diffère de celle utilisée par Friis-Christensen et Lassen  et Butler et Johnston  qui ont travaillé par interpolation au départ des valeurs mensuelles lissées sur 13 mois.
Comme nous allons le voir, la longueur des cycles solaires varie de 9 ans minimum (cycles 2, 3 et 8) à 14 ans (cycle 4 marquant le début du Minimum de Dalton et la Révolution française). La Figure 5 fournit les longueurs des 29 cycles solaires observés depuis le début du 18ème siècle, chaque valeur étant positionnée au milieu du cycle correspondant. La figure suggère que la dispersion des cycles solaires va diminuant du 18ème au 20èmesiècle: de manière à préciser cette impression, on calcule dans le tableau suivant, pour chacun des siècles considérés, les longueurs moyennes des cycles solaires (en années) et leurs déviations standard.
Le résultat le plus frappant de ce tableau est que les cycles solaires du 20ème siècle sont en moyenne un an plus courts que ceux du 19ème siècle, la tendance s’inversant avec les 2 premiers cycles du 21ème siècle. En appliquant la corrélation de Butler et Johnston, ceci rendrait le 20ème siècle plus chaud de 0,5°C en moyenne que le 19ème siècle.
During the last Grand Solar Minimum (17th century), global surface temperatures dipped to the coldest of the last 10,000 years – about 1.4°C colder than today. Dr. Zharkova, an astrophysicist, has determined another imminent drop in solar activity will lead to a 1°C cooling in the coming decades.
From 1645 to 1710, the Sun went into a quiet phase referred to as the Maunder Minimum. During this period, the “surface temperature of the Earth was reduced all over the Globe” (Zharkova, 2020). Cold summers and winters ensued, with glaciers extending onto farmland, sea ice expanding beyond the Arctic, and “frost fairs” on frozen rivers in Europe.
The coldest temperatures and most expansive ice extent (glaciers, permafrost, sea ice) of the last 10,000 years occurred during both this period and the surrounding centuries – often referred to as the Little Ice Age (LIA) (Glazer et al., 2020, Geirsdottir et al., 2019).
In a new paper, Dr. Valentina Zharkova asserts that during solar cycles 25-27, the Sun may return to a modern Maunder-like Grand Solar Minimum. This solar quiet phase is expected to substantially reduce the Earth’s solar magnetic field, which will, in turn, lead to an increase in cosmic rays extending into Earth’s atmosphere and thus an increase in high clouds reflecting the Sun’s radiation back to space.
The consequence? A reduction in global temperatures to just 0.4°C above what they were in 1710.
The role of atmospheric CO2 as a temperature-driving mechanism is not mentioned in the paper.
Scientists at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), together with colleagues from the Karl-Franzens University of Graz & the Kanzelhöhe Observatory (Austria), Jet Propulsion Laboratory of California Institute of Technology (USA), Helioresearch (USA) and Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia) developed a method to study fast Coronal Mass Ejections, powerful ejections of magnetized matter from the outer atmosphere of the Sun. The results can help to better understand and predict the most extreme space weather events and their potential to cause strong geomagnetic storms that directly affect the operation of engineering systems in space and on Earth. The results of the study are published in the Astrophysical Journal.
Coronal Mass Ejections are among the most energetic eruptive phenomena in our solar system and the main source of major space weather events. Huge clouds of plasma and magnetic flux are ejected from the atmosphere of the Sun into the surrounding space with speeds ranging from 100 to 3500 km/s. These gigantic solar plasma clouds and the accompanying powerful shock waves can reach our planet in less than a day, causing severe geomagnetic storms posing hazards to astronauts and technology in space and on Earth.
One of the strongest Space Weather events occurred in 1859 when the induced geomagnetic storm collapsed the whole telegraph system in North America and Europe, the main means of communication for business and personal contacts in those days.
Studying the JET STREAM has long been an indicator of the weather to come. And to study the jet stream attention must turn to the SUN.
When solar activity is HIGH the jet stream is tight, stable, and follows somewhat of a straight path. But when solar activity is LOW that meandering band of air flowing some 6 miles above our heads becomes weak and wavy, it effectively buckles, which has the effect of diverting frigid Polar air to atypically low latitudes and replaces it with warmer tropical air masses.
The jet stream reverts from a Zonal Flow to a Meridional Flow — and, depending on which side of the jet stream you’re on, you’re either in for a spell of unseasonably cold or hot weather, and/or a period of unusually dry or wet conditions.
Changes in space climate driven by long-term changes in solar activity have a significant impact on Earth’s atmosphere and climate. Understanding the complex system requires cooperation between space physics and climate science.
On the right, a picture of the Sun taken at the wavelength of visible light, i.e. like a regular camera at very short shutter speed, visible sunspot groups. The time series in the image illustrate a few long series of data used in space air research.
On green: approximately 40 years of direct satellite measurements, a combination of energetic electrons coming into the Earth’s atmosphere.
In red: from geomagnetic measurements reconstructed estimate of the speed of the solar wind in the last hundred years.
With purple: the longest unified time series for geomagnetic activity (the so-called AA index), starting from 1868 and continuing to the present day.
In blue: 400 year series of sunspots. This set of data is the longest indicator of solar activity based on direct measurements.
The global mean temperature in April 2020 was again significantly lower than in February and March, at 0.38°C above the average from 1981 to 2010. The average temperature increase on the globe from 1981 to February 2020 was 0.14°C per decade. The further development promises to be interesting, especially since a number of research institutes expect a higher probability of a cooling La Nina in the Pacific towards the end of the year. March’s solar activity was very low with a sunspot number of 1.5. Activity in April rose slightly to 5.4. The first sunspots of the new cycle are showing.
What causes the sun to have an 11-year cycle?
Since the Dessau pharmacist Heinrich Samuel Schwabe discovered in 1843 that the sunspots of the sun increase and decrease in an 11-year cycle, science has been puzzling over the reason why this cycle lasts 11 years and why the solar magnetic field also changes its polarity in this rhythm: the north pole becomes the south pole and vice versa.
In July last year, scientists at the Helmholtz Centre in Dresden Rossendorf made a little-noticed but exciting discovery. Every 11.07 years, the planets Venus, Earth and Jupiter are aligned quite precisely. At this point in time, their gravitational force acts jointly in one direction on the Sun.
The lack of any sunspots suggests the current solar minimum is one of the ‘deepest’ in 100 years.
The sun has been reported to have a ‘very deep’ solar minimum with 100 days of 2020 not seeing any sunspots on its surface.
Astronomer Dr Tony Phillips says the current lack of sunspot counts suggests the current solar minimum is one of the ‘deepest’ of the past century.
A sunspot is an area of magnetic activity on the surface of the sun – also known as storms – and appear in areas of darkness. They play a huge part in the sun’s activity, including birthing solar flares and coronal mass ejections.
A solar minimum occurs when zero sunspots are spotted, but, before you start panicking and thinking this is a bad thing, solar minimums are all part of the sun’s cycle and occur every 11 years or so.
NASA first recorded no activity on the sun last summer and it is thought to have continued to be without sunspots ever since. Solar minimums usually consist of 12 months of little sunspot activity.
The heliospheric current sheet has flattened meaning that Solar Cycle 24 is over and we are now in Solar Cycle 25.
Figure 1: Heliospheric current sheet tilt angle 1976 -2020
The solar cycle isn’t over until the heliospheric current sheet has flattened. The data is provided by the Wilcox Solar Observatory at Stanford University. There were no observations from about 19 December to 5 February; so the values in between have been interpolated from the rotations before and after.
La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse