Articles Tagged "Solar News"

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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.
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Solar Dynamics Observatory gives us a deeper look at the Sun by Matt Ford
Friday, April 30th 2010, 6:39 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Image AttachmentFirst light: A full-disk multiwavelength extreme ultraviolet image of the sun taken by SDO on March 30, 2010. False colors trace different gas temperatures.
Image source and click to read more from NASA/Goddard/SDO AIA Team - NASA's New Eye on the Sun Delivers Stunning First Images

Tomorrow's weather can be determined (over)simply by looking at what the weather's like wherever the wind is blowing from. Figuring out what the weather will be in space follows the same basic principle: look at what the Sun is doing now, and you'll get a sense of what will happen to the Earth in the near future.

Predicting what the Sun is doing or is going to do, however, is a much more complicated problem than standard terrestrial weather prediction. I have heard it said that the space weather prediction capabilities of today are about 30 to 40 years behind the capabilities of the weather forecast on the local news. To help us understand space weather and climate, NASA recently launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

The Sun is an incredibly complex physical environment, one where gravity, pressure, fusion reactions, plasma physics, and multiple complicated magnetic fields come together to form a highly dynamic system. A system that, in a fraction of a second, can burp off an arc of material greater than the entire mass of Earth. To study it, the SDO has been placed in a geosyncronous orbit above a dedicated ground receiving station in New Mexico. Its trio of instruments are capable of taking images of the Sun with a resolution 10 times that of an HDTV, streaming over 1GB of data down to Earth every minute.
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Sunspots and global cooling: Clear connection? by Steve LaNore, Dallas Weather Examiner
Tuesday, July 7th 2009, 4:08 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
During the past four years, the sun has been in a prolonged quiet phase which has led some to claim this signals a period of global cooling. The number of “blank” sunspot days, a measure of overall solar energy output, has been more than 30% above the long-term average.

The year 2008 saw the sun with its lowest number of sunspots for any year in a century. This only fueled the speculation of an impending global cooling scenario.

In fact, slight cooling has been observed since the year 2001, but the link to lower solar activity is inconclusive at best. Shifting ocean patterns are the more likely, or at least primary, cause.
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Long debate ended over cause, demise of ice ages – solar and earth wobble – CO2 not involved
Saturday, August 8th 2009, 4:03 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of researchers says it has largely put to rest a long debate on the underlying mechanism that has caused periodic ice ages on Earth for the past 2.5 million years – they are ultimately linked to slight shifts in solar radiation caused by predictable changes in Earth’s rotation and axis.

In a publication to be released Friday in the journal Science, researchers from Oregon State University and other institutions conclude that the known wobbles in Earth’s rotation caused global ice levels to reach their peak about 26,000 years ago, stabilize for 7,000 years and then begin melting 19,000 years ago, eventually bringing to an end the last ice age.

The melting was first caused by more solar radiation, not changes in carbon dioxide levels or ocean temperatures, as some scientists have suggested in recent years.
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Early Earth's Magnetic Field Was a Weakling by Andrea Thompson,
Saturday, March 6th 2010, 11:54 AM EST
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
The protective magnetic field shrouding the early Earth was likely only half as strong as it is today, a new study suggests.

The research also found that the Earth's magnetic field is 200 million years older than previously thought, which has implications for the amount of water that was originally present on the early Earth, and perhaps even on the development of life. Such a weak field in the Earth's early days may have also made for some spectacular auroras, or Northern Lights, at latitudes as low as what is now New York City, researchers said.

Earth's magnetic field is generated by the turbulent, convective motions of the planet's molten core. The field extends around the Earth for quite some distance into space until it meets the sun's incoming solar wind (the stream of charged solar particles constantly flowing away from the sun). The boundary where the two meet is called the magnetopause.

It is the magnetic field that protects the Earth's surface, and all of its inhabitants, from this energetic solar radiation, which would harm living organisms and strip away much of Earth's atmosphere (Mars has no significant magnetic field, which is thought to be the reason it has such a miniscule atmosphere).

But little is known about the magnetic field as it existed just after the Earth formed, around 4.5 billion years ago. To learn more about this early magnetic field, John Tarduno of the University of Rochester and his colleagues from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, turned to the crystals in ancient rocks that preserve magnetic signatures.

Click source to read FULL report by Andrea Thompson
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IPCC "Consensus" on Solar Influence was Only One Solar Physicist who Agreed with Her Own Paper
Sunday, June 27th 2010, 5:34 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Image, a Czech climate skeptic blog, has posted today an interesting article "Judithgate: The IPCC was only one Solar Physicist" (google rough translation). Her name is Judith Lean (photo left). On the basis of this "consensus of one" solar physicist, the IPCC proclaimed solar influences upon the climate to be minimal. Objection to this was raised by the Norwegian government as shown in the AR4 second draft comments below (and essentially dismissed by the IPCC): "I would encourage the IPCC to [re-]consider having only one solar physicist on the lead author team of such an important chapter. In particular since the conclusion of this section about solar forcing hangs on one single paper in which J. Lean is a coauthor. I find that this paper, which certainly can be correct, is given too much weight"...: continues [google translation + editing]: "As I wrote elsewhere (article on pmode ACRIM), Judith Lean, along with Claus Frohlich, are responsible for the scandalous rewriting of graphs of solar activity. Satellites showed that the TSI (measured in watts) between 1986 and 96 increased by about one third. Judith Lean and Claus Frohlich (authors of the single study noted above) "manipulated" the data. People who were in charge of the satellites and created the original graphs (the world's best astrophysics: Doug Hoyt, Richard C. Willson), protested in vain against such manipulation. Wilson: "Fröhlich has made changes that are wrong ... He did not have sufficient knowledge of (satellite) Nimbus7 ... pmode composites are useful for those who argue that global warming may be primarily due to anthropogenic causes." [cautionary note English->Czech->English translation of Wilson]

Click source to read FULL report
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New Solar Cycle Prediction
Monday, June 1st 2009, 2:48 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
May 29, 2009: An international panel of experts led by NOAA and sponsored by NASA has released a new prediction for the next solar cycle. Solar Cycle 24 will peak, they say, in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots.

"If our prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 24 will have a peak sunspot number of 90, the lowest of any cycle since 1928 when Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78," says panel chairman Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

It is tempting to describe such a cycle as "weak" or "mild," but that could give the wrong impression.
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Above: This plot of sunspot numbers shows the measured peak of the last solar cycle in blue and the predicted peak of the next solar cycle in red. Credit: NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center.[more]
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Solar cycle may drive Venice's floods
Sunday, August 1st 2010, 6:04 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
IF YOU want to see Venice while keeping your feet dry, don't go when the sun has lots of spots. Peaks in solar activity cause the city to flood more often, apparently by changing the paths of storms over Europe.

Several times a year, but most commonly between October and December, Venice is hit by an exceptional tide called the acqua alta. David Barriopedro at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and colleagues were intrigued by studies showing the tides followed an 11-year cycle, just like the sun, showing peaks when the sunspots were most abundant. They looked at hourly observations of sea level between 1948 and 2008, which confirmed that the number of extreme tides followed peaks in the solar cycle (Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, DOI: 10.1029/2009JD013114).

Records of air pressure over Europe over the same period revealed "acqua alta years" saw a lot of low-pressure systems over the north Adriatic Sea, while in quiet years these systems were further south.

This make sense, because flooding events in Venice are known to be triggered by low-pressure systems from the Atlantic. These systems allow sea levels to rise, while stormy winds blow from south to north, piling up seawater around Venice. In quiet solar years, the storms are shifted to the south, but it remains unclear exactly how solar activity has these affects on the weather.

Click source for more & links
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CNN climate disinformant gets religion on global warming by Steven Andrew
Saturday, August 14th 2010, 3:10 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Via Climate Progress, CNN's long time climate change skeptic and purveyor of every wingnut talking point on global warming in the book, Chad Myers, finally admits the truth:

Is it caused by man? Yes. Is it 100% caused by man? No. There are other things involved. We are now in the sun spot cycle. We are now in a very hot sun cycle. there are many other things going on. But, yes, a significant portion of this is caused by greenhouse gases keeping heat on the shore, on the land, in the atmosphere that could have escaped without those greenhouse gases, so, yes, it’s warmer. . ..

No doubt we're now supposed to applaud Myers for ending his long reign of misinformation and energy industry apologetic -- assuming that is what this signals -- and just forgive him. Which might have been possible, if not for the stuff I've emphasized above which is all too representative of Myers. That bold statement is not only wrong, it is 100% wrong and he knows it. Below are the sunspot and solar irradiance cycles plotted on the same graph by year courtesy of NASA.

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Scientists find errors in hypothesis linking solar flares to global temperature
Thursday, April 8th 2010, 6:24 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
article image
In contrast to a previous analysis, a new study has shown that the distributions of (a) the global temperature anomaly by month since 1880 and (b) the solar flare index by day over a few solar cycles are fundamentally different. One feature the detrended data do have in common is self-similarity: the probability density functions are the same on different time scales, which means that neither can be described as Lévy walks. Image credit: Rypdal and Rypdal.

( -- The field of climate science is nothing if not complex, where a host of variables interact with each other in intricate ways to produce various changes. Just like any other area of science, climate science is far from being fully understood. As an example, a new study has discredited a previous hypothesis suggesting the existence of a link between solar flares and changes in the earth’s global temperature. The new study points out a few errors in the previous analysis, and concludes that the solar and climate records have very different properties that do not support the hypothesis of a sun-climate complexity linking.
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