Articles Tagged "Solar News"

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Food and Ethanol Shortages Imminent as Earth Enters New Cold Climate Era by John Casey
Tuesday, May 11th 2010, 1:48 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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The Space and Science Research Center (SSRC), the leading independent research organization in the United States on the subject of the next climate change, issues today the following warning of imminent crop damage expected to produce food and ethanol shortages for the US and Canada:

Over the next 30 months, global temperatures are expected to make another dramatic drop even greater than that seen during the 2007-2008 period. As the Earth’s current El Nino dissipates, the planet will return to the long term temperature decline brought on by the Sun’s historic reduction in output, the on-going “solar hibernation.” In follow-up to the specific global temperature forecast posted in SSRC Press Release 4-2009, the SSRC advises that in order to return to the long term decline slope from the current El Nino induced high temperatures, a significant global cold weather re-direction must occur. According to SSRC Director John Casey, “The Earth typically makes adjustments in major temperature spikes within two to three years. In this case as we cool down from El Nino, we are dealing with the combined effects of this planetary thermodynamic normalization and the influence of the more powerful underlying global temperature downturn brought on by the solar hibernation. Both forces will present the first opportunity since the period of Sun-caused global warming period ended to witness obvious harmful agricultural impacts of the new cold climate. Analysis shows that food and crop derived fuel will for the first time, become threatened in the next two and a half years. Though the SSRC does not get involved with short term weather prediction, it would not be unusual to see these ill-effects this year much less within the next 30 months.”

Click source to read FULL report from John Casey
Source Link: spaceandscience.net
Sun blamed for Europe’s colder winters
Wednesday, April 14th 2010, 7:06 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
When the Sun’s magnetic output is low, winters in Europe tend to be cooler than average – whereas higher output corresponds to warmer winters. That is the conclusion of a new study by physicists in the UK and Germany that looked at the relationship between winter temperatures in England and the strength of the Sun's magnetic emissions over the last 350 years. The group predicts that, global warming notwithstanding, Europe is likely to continue to experience cold winters for many years to come.

The possibility of a link between European winter temperatures and solar activity can be seen in historical records from the second half of the seventeenth century. For about 50 years the Sun remained free of sunspots (in contrast to its normal 11-year cycle of sunspot highs and lows) and at this time Europe experienced a number of harsh winters. Motivated by the fact that the relatively cold winters of the past few years have come at a time when solar activity fell to the lowest values for 100 years, Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading and colleagues set out to establish whether or not there is a strong connection.

Lockwood and colleagues used data from the Central England Temperature record. This provides monthly temperature data from several monitoring stations in central England all the way back to 1659 – the world's longest instrumental temperature record. The researchers first removed the estimated contribution from the warming recorded in the northern hemisphere as a whole over the past century – which is widely believed to have been caused by increasing levels of manmade carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Hemispheric temperature records data back to 1850; to extend the analysis back to 1659 they used data from a number of different proxy sources, such as tree rings, isotope concentrations in stalagmites, sediment depths, lake heights and documentary evidence.

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Source Link: physicsworld.com
NOAA: Mild Solar Storm Season Predicted
Thursday, May 28th 2009, 3:38 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Although its peak is still four years away, a new active period of Earth-threatening solar storms will be the weakest since 1928, predicts an international panel of experts led by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center and funded by NASA. Despite the prediction, Earth is still vulnerable to a severe solar storm.

Solar storms are eruptions of energy and matter that escape from the sun and may head toward Earth, where even a weak storm can damage satellites and power grids, disrupting communications, the electric power supply and GPS. A single strong blast of “solar wind” can threaten national security, transportation, financial services and other essential functions. The panel predicts the upcoming Solar Cycle 24 will peak in May 2013 with 90 sunspots per day on average. If the prediction proves true, Solar Cycle 24 will be the weakest cycle since number 16, which peaked at 78 daily sunspots in 1928, and ninth weakest since the 1750s, when numbered cycles began.
Source Link: noaa
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Predicting space weather in real time by Don Reisinger
Thursday, August 19th 2010, 12:40 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Getting more accurate forecasts about space weather may not help you decide whether to water your garden, but it could soon clue you in better to when events in the solar system may be putting a damper on your electronic activities.

Johns Hopkins University, Boeing, and Iridium Communications announced on Wednesday that they have launched a new space-based service that they say will help scientists monitor magnetic storms around Earth.

Dubbed the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE), the system utilizes commercial satellites orbiting Earth to take magnetic-field measurements in real time. The result is output that gets scientists one step closer to accurate, year-round tracking of space weather and the effects it can have on the planet, including disruptions to telecommunications service and the electrical power grid.

"Solar storms can disrupt satellite service and damage telecommunications networks, cause power grid blackouts and even endanger high-altitude aircraft," Brian J. Anderson, principal investigator at Johns Hopkins, said in a statement. "The next wave of solar storms will occur over the next three to five years and recent solar activity is just the beginning of a long, stormy space weather season."
Source Link: news.cnet.com
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Solar activity may be on the rise again, the Sun is waking up by Anna Sanclement
Wednesday, August 4th 2010, 6:22 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Solar activity may be on the rise again, the Sun is waking up

It seems as if the Sun may be going through a new cycle as a powerful plasma eruption took place on Sunday morning.

"It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time." Said astronomer Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. This coronal mass ejection (CME) is directed straight at Earth and could be reaching us as early as August 4th, said Golub.

The CME was caught by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which is a spacecraft that was launched in February. SDO produces better than HD quality images and provides views at a variety of wavelengths.

It is believed that the CME will produce big and colorful aurorae here on Earth when it reaches us, which will make for some outstanding views for those living in areas near the north pole. Even those living in higher latitudes such as the northern part of the country may see the aurorae. If the geomagnetic storm produced when the CME reaches our atmosphere is strong enough anyone living in the north may see the beautiful neon colors in the sky.

The last solar maximum occurred in 2001 and the subsequent solar minimum was particularly weak and long. This latest CME is one of the signs that the Sun is changing cycles once more as it wakes up to another maximum.
Source Link: examiner.com
Evidence From NZ Suggests Start of New Solar Cycle by Surjit Singh
Monday, August 16th 2010, 1:53 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Scientists from Boston University’s Center for Space Physics (CSP) have claimed to possess evidence that suggests the initiation of a new cycle of solar-terrestrial activity. The evidence has been fetched in New Zealand.

The research team revealed to have observed a recent aurora displays at high latitudes, that can be seen with a naked eye—along with glows of significantly less luminous intensity in the atmosphere at lower latitudes.

During Sun’s 11 year activity cycle it dissipates some electrically charged particles that introduce changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. These changes results in luminous emissions in the earth’s atmosphere.

However, such emissions vanquish during so-called solar minimum years, but become highly prominent during solar maximum years.

“The emissions we study come from regions ranging from 200-400 km (125-250 miles) above the surface. These gases are caused to glow by energy input from above, energy that flows downward along the Earth’s magnetic field lines”, said New Zealander Dr. Steve Smith, Senior Research Scientist.

According to the Boston University team these signs signify the onset on the cycle. The observation was made by the team using an all-sky camera located at the Mt. John Observatory near Lake Tekapo.
Source Link: topnews.net.nz
Sun's Fluctuations Caused Partial Collapse of Earth's Atmosphere
Friday, August 27th 2010, 5:23 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
As the sun's energy rises and falls, so goes the Earth's atmosphere, a new study suggests.

These fluctuations in the sun's energy explain a recent partial collapse of the Earth's upper atmosphere, which had previously puzzled scientists.

A sharp drop in the sun's ultraviolet radiation levels triggered the collapse, according to the new study, detailed in the Aug. 25 edition of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The researchers also found that the sun's magnetic cycle, which produces differing numbers of sunspots over an approximately 11-year cycle, may vary more than previously thought.

"Our work demonstrates that the solar cycle not only varies on the typical 11-year time scale, but also can vary from one solar minimum to another," said study team member Stanley Solomon of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. "All solar minima are not equal."

The findings may have implications for orbiting satellites, as well as for the International Space Station.
Source Link: space.com
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How Sunlight Controls Climate by David Biello
Tuesday, September 1st 2009, 10:19 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
New computer models begin to suggest how changes in the sun's strength might change weather patterns

Small changes in the sun's brightness can have big impacts on our planet's weather and climate. And now scientists have detailed how that process might work, according to a new study published August 28 in Science.

For decades some scientists have noted that certain climate phenomena—warmer seas, increased tropical rainfall, fewer clouds in the subtropics, stronger trade winds—seem to be connected to the sun's roughly 11-year cycle, which causes ebbs and flows in sunspots that result in variations in solar output.

That variation is roughly equal to 0.2 watt per meter squared—far too little to explain, for instance, actual warming sea-surface temperatures. A variety of theories have been proposed to explain the discrepancy: ozone chemistry changes in the stratosphere, increased sunlight in cloudless areas, even cosmic rays. But none of these theories, on its own, explains the phenomenon.
Source Link: scientificamerican.com
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Shedding Light On Science Of Warming World, Space Daily
Wednesday, February 24th 2010, 5:04 AM EST
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Source Link: spacedaily.com
Astronomers ask public to help spot solar storms, by Hannah Devlin, The Times
Tuesday, February 23rd 2010, 5:25 AM EST
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Astronomers ask public to help spot solar storms

Last weekend I visited the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, to see their new solar exhibition. It's timed to coincide with the launch of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (which went into orbit last week) and the start of an active period of solar activity after an unusally long period of calm.

As part of the exhibition the observatory today launched Solar Stormwatch, a web project where anyone can help spot and track solar storms in real time data. After about five minutes of training at the exhibition I was qualified as a 'stormwatcher' and am looking forward to getting my first assignments.

The project uses real data from NASA’s STEREO mission, a pair of satellites in orbit around the Sun which give scientists a constant eye on the dynamic solar surface. Each imager has two cameras helping STEREO stare across the 150 million kilometres from the Earth to the Sun.

Stormwatch volunteers will be looking for evidence of huge explosions from the surface of the sun, called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), in which billions of tons of material are hurled out into space. The storms can be harmful to astronauts in orbit and have the potential to knock out communication satellites, disrupt mobile phone networks and damage power lines. Solar Stormwatch will help to forecast the arrival time at Earth and help minimise disruption.

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Source Link: timesonline.typepad.com
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