Articles Tagged "Solar News"

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MUST SEE: Cosmic Rays And Climate - J Kirby, Cern, June 2009
Tuesday, December 8th 2009, 3:13 PM EST
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
A reader sent a link (CERN won't talk to me since I mentioned 'climategate') to the video below in which Jasper Kirkby details the correlations between Cosmic Rays and climate, talks about the results from the first CLOUD experiment and about the new CLOUD experiment and what it will deliver this year and in the future.

While he does not claim Cosmic Rays are intrinsic in cloud formation I think you'll agree he strongly infers it, as does the evidence, we shall see when the results are published in the next year or two.

Previous CLOUD post: A Cosmic Ray of Sunshine

The following video is an hour long but well worth watching

CLICK to see Seeking Alpha
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Flowrate of World’s 4th Largest River Linked to Solar Cycle
Wednesday, April 21st 2010, 11:09 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Scientists proclaim climate change is natural
Thursday, May 28th 2009, 3:21 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Press Release: Citizens Electoral Council

As the Rudd government geared up its push for a CO2 cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme (ETS), which would annihilate what’s left of Australia’s collapsing physical economy, a public symposium last Sunday heard evidence from several leading Australian scientists that climate change is a natural phenomenon.

The symposium, ignored by the lying mainstream media, was held at Monash University and convened by Emeritus Professor Lance Endersbee. Several scientists identified hard evidence that severe cooling is the biggest climate challenge that we face—and its cause is entirely natural.

Professor Lance Endersbee, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monash University, clearly pointed out that for thousands of years human civilisation has endured natural climate variation much greater than any climate change in the last century. When warm climate prevailed civilisation flourished such as in Ancient Greece, whereas cold climate led to crop failure and mass migration of people escaping the bitter cold, for example during the Dark Ages.
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Solar Scientists Agree That the Sun's Recent Behavior Is Odd, but the Explanation Remains Elusive by John Matson
Friday, May 28th 2010, 4:42 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
The most recent solar minimum was both long and pronounced. But why?

MIAMI—In very rough terms, the sun's activity ebbs and flows in an 11-year cycle, with flares, coronal mass ejections and other energetic phenomena peaking at what is called solar maximum and bottoming out at solar minimum. Sunspots, markers of magnetic activity on the sun's surface, provide a visual proxy to mark the cycle's evolution, appearing in droves at maximum and all but disappearing at minimum. But the behavior of our host star is not as predictable as all that—the most recent solar minimum was surprisingly deep and long, finally bottoming out around late 2008 or so.

Solar physicists here at the semiannual meeting of the American Astronomical Society this week offered a number of mechanisms to shed light on what has been happening on the sun of late, but conceded that the final answer—or more likely answers—remains opaque. Beyond scientific understanding, motivations for better solar weather forecasts include hopes to use them to safeguard against electrical grid disruptions, damage to Earth-orbiting satellites and threats to the health of space travelers posed by solar radiation flare-ups.

One researcher has looked for clues to solar weather in the meridional flow, which moves from the solar equator toward the poles, and which seems to change speed during the shifting solar cycle. Another looked at the solar "jet stream," a slow current that originates at solar mid-latitudes and pushes in a bifurcated stream toward both the equator and the poles. Another scientist examined the inner workings of the sun through the oscillation of sound waves propagating through the solar interior; yet another looked at magnetic maps to chart the shifting flux across the sun.

"I think we're almost in violent agreement that this is an interesting minimum," said David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. By several measures—geomagnetic activity, weakness of polar magnetic fields, flagging solar deflection of galactic cosmic rays—the minimum was the deepest on record, Hathaway said, although some of those records contain just a few cycles. Hathaway focused on shifting speeds of the meridional flow, finding that the flow was anomalously fast at the most recent minimum. But, speaking of heliophysics forecasting techniques in general, he cautioned against leaping to any conclusions based on small-number statistics. "We need to be careful about extending what we've seen in one or two cycles to all of them," he said.

Click source to read FULL report from John Matson.
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Sun and Volcanic Eruptions Pace North Atlantic Climate Swings, ScienceDaily
Monday, September 13th 2010, 3:42 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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The upper panel shows the variations in North Atlantic Ocean basin wide sea surface temperatures in a simulation that includes historical variations in total solar irradiance and volcanic aerosols (blue), and in a simulation that in addition to the natural external 'forcings' also include anthropogenic 'forcings' for the last 150 years (red). Up to year 1900, the blue curve is consistent with available temperature observations, whereas only the red curve matches the observed temperature evolution in the 20th century. The lower panel shows variations in the large-scale ocean circulation in the Atlantic (black) and dates of major volcanic eruptions. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Bergen)

ScienceDaily (Sep. 13, 2010) — A study presented in Nature Geoscience suggests that changes in solar intensity and volcanic eruptions act as a metronome for temperature variations in the North Atlantic climate.

A research team from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen, Norway, has studied the climate in the North Atlantic region over the past 600 years using the Bergen Climate Model and the observed temperature evolution. They point to changes in the solar intensity and explosive volcanic eruptions as important causes for climate variations in the North Atlantic during this period.

Click source to read FULL report from ScienceDaily
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How Does the Sun Affect the Earth? by Robert Lamb
Saturday, May 15th 2010, 2:30 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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The Earth's magnetic field continually battles the solar wind. (NASA/Steele Hill)

The 1974 horror film "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" kicks off with brilliant footage of solar flares and descends into violence and mayhem. While there's no evidence to suggest an actual link between increased solar activity and human violence, it can result in a great deal of earthbound devastation -- from city-destroying hurricanes to massive energy failures.

Two types of solar phenomena can affect the Earth in such a drastic manner: solar flares and coronal mass ejections. Scientists think that both types of events are caused by changes in the sun's magnetic field.

ANALYSIS: A solar storm could be responsible for some serious cable television interference after knocking out one of our vulnerable communications satellites in April.

In the case of solar flares, the magnetic field triggers a powerful explosion in the sun's atmosphere. This explosion accelerates subatomic particles near the speed of light, producing a broad range of electromagnetic radiation.

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on the other hand, involve the ejection of actual material from the sun's corona. Billions of tons of electrified gas fly away from the sun at incredibly high speeds.

"Those are the two kinds of space weather that have a direct effect on Earth," explains NASA solar astrophysicist C. Alex Young.

Click source to read FULL report from Robert Lamb
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Scientists shed light on solar activity and Arctic temperatures
Saturday, July 31st 2010, 11:17 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
German and Russian scientists studying tree growth on Russia's Kola Peninsula have found that while parts of the Arctic have undoubtedly cooled in the last 100 years or so, they have also warmed considerably in the last two decades. Presented in the journal Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, their findings shed light on a reconstruction of summer temperatures between 1600 and 2000, generated on the base of tree rings from regions beyond the Arctic Circle. In a nutshell, solar activity plays a role in the temperatures that emerge during the Arctic's summer months.

Their results show that temperatures on the Kola Peninsula during July and August fluctuated over the last 400 years. Specifically, the temperatures varied between 10.4°C (1709) and 14.7°C (1957), with a mean of 12.2°C.

'The data indicate that solar activity may have been one of the major driving factors of summer temperatures, but this has been overlaid by other factors since 1990,' said the researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the University of Hohenheim, both in Germany, and the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Geography in Moscow.
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1.Sun's prolonged minimum linked to stretched conveyor belt
Wednesday, August 4th 2010, 2:14 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
The Sun goes through cycles lasting approximately 11 years that include phases with increased magnetic activity, more sunspots, and more solar flares, and phases with less activity. The level of activity on the Sun can affect navigation and communications systems on Earth. Puzzlingly, solar cycle 23, which ended recently, lasted longer than previous cycles, with a prolonged phase of low activity that scientists had difficulty explaining.

A new analysis suggests that one reason for the long cycle could be changes in the Sun's conveyor belt. Just as Earth's global ocean circulation transports water and heat around the planet, the Sun has a conveyor belt in which plasma flows along the surface toward the poles, sinks, and returns toward the equator, transporting magnetic flux along the way. Recent measurements show that in solar cycle 23, the poleward flow extended all the way to the poles, while in previous solar cycles the flow turned back toward the equator at about 60 degrees latitude. Furthermore, from mass conservation, the return flow was slower in cycle 23 than in previous cycles.

Dikpati et al. use simulations to model how the solar plasma conveyor belt affects the solar cycle. The authors find that the longer conveyor belt and the slower return flow could have caused the longer duration of cycle 23. The results should help scientists better understand the factors controlling the timing of the solar cycles and could lead to better predictions.

Title: Impact of changes in the Sun's conveyor-belt on recent solar cycles
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Solving the mystery of the long solar minimum by Jim Allen
Tuesday, August 17th 2010, 4:07 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
A team of researchers led by Mausumi Dikpati from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Roger Ulrich from the University of California, Los Angeles have suggested a cause for the unusually long lull in solar activity in the last decade.

Our Sun is constantly changing, differing in the number of sunspots and solar flares over an 11 year cycle. The changes in the level of the activity of the Sun can have wide ranging effects here on Earth, such as communication satellite blackouts and power grid failures.

Image AttachmentThe conveyor belt plasma flow in the Sun. Image: NASA.

The last solar cycle (cycle 23) ending in 2008 was very different to its predecessors, with a minimum in solar activity which was both less active and longer in duration than previous cycles. Ulrich and his colleagues suggest, in a paper featuring in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on 30 July, that the extended minimum in solar activity may be caused by a change in the flow of the Sun’s plasma. The surface of the Sun is constantly changing as layers of hot plasma move along the surface towards the poles and then back down towards the equator, in what scientists call the “conveyor belt”. Ulrich found that the currents carrying this plasma were flowing much closer to the poles than has been observed in previous solar cycles. The increase in the size of the current, and the slower return of the matter to the equator could cause the observed longer period of minimum activity.

To explain this Dikpati and her colleagues modelled how the conveyor belt may affect the length of the solar cycle. Modelling magnetic fields in the Sun’s interior, the authors have found that the extended plasma flow towards the poles could cause the lengthening of the solar cycle. Dikpati says “the key for explaining the long duration of [the previous cycle] with our dynamo model is the observation of an unusually long conveyor belt”. The team were able to use their model to predict that the last solar cycle would be longer than expected back in 2004.

With changes in the Sun's activity affecting navigation and communication technology on Earth, it is important that we are able to make predictions about the solar cycles. According to Ulrich “This study highlights the importance of monitoring and improving measurement of the Sun’s circulation,” adding “in order to improve predictions of the solar cycle, we need a strong effort to understand large-scale patterns of solar plasma motion.”
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New Website Streams Live Video of Northern Lights by Hugh Collins
Thursday, September 23rd 2010, 5:46 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
A new website launched this week allows the wonders of the northern lights to be viewed from the comfort -- and relative warmth -- of your own home.

The AuroraMAX website operated by the Canadian Space Agency is streaming a live feed of the colorful auroras from northern Canada each night from now until May.

Auroras are ribbons of colorful light that can be seen sweeping across the northern skies on winter nights. They are created by charged particles from the sun colliding with gasses in the Earth's atmosphere.

"Armchair skywatchers everywhere can now discover the wonder of the northern lights live on their home computer screen," CSA President Steve MacLean said in a statement. "We hope that watching the dance of the northern lights will make you curious about the science of the sky and the relationship we have with our own star, the sun."

Click source to read FULL report from Hugh Collins
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