Articles Tagged "Solar News"

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Sun's doldrums likely to last by Ron Cowen
Tuesday, March 8th 2011, 5:46 PM EST
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Despite a recent flare, solar physicists project low activity for up to a decade

A powerful explosion that erupted on the solar surface on February 14 was the most powerful flare in more than four years, and heralds an approaching peak in the sun’s 11-year activity cycle. But as the sun pulls out of an exceptionally quiet period of low activity, researchers predict the coming solar maximum won’t be very exciting either.

“This cycle continues to fall below expectations. And those expectations were pretty low two years ago,” says David Hathaway of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The number of sunspots — dark, highly magnetized regions on the solar surface — is one indicator of solar activity, and scientists now predict this will be the weakest sunspot cycle in 200 years. “We are off to a good start for a below-average cycle peaking in late 2013 or early 2014,” says Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Understanding how present activity affects future cycles is important to gauging both the sun’s influence on climate and its likelihood of producing powerful and destructive solar storms.

Solar physicists say they are homing in on the complex internal interactions that could explain why the sun has been hibernating for more than four years now and may not fully awaken for another decade. Hathaway and other researchers say they’re now convinced that a flow of ionized gas, or plasma, known as the meridional flow controls the strength of the solar cycle (SN: 4/10/11, p. 8).On either side of the equator, the flow moves like a conveyor belt that stretches just beneath the solar surface from the equator to the two poles and then dives into the sun’s interior, flowing from the poles back to the equator to complete the loop.
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The 56 Year Benner Cycle by Barry Ritholtz
Friday, August 20th 2010, 4:49 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Image Attachment
Image Via Google Books

The 56 year cycle mentioned yesterday (“Periods When to Make Money” (© 1883) was picked up by FT Alphaville; we hear it caused some “consternation” in certain circles where the marinating of ice cubes takes place.

I find these approaches quite fascinating, if for no other reason than I consider myself a student of market history. (Whether it is an actionable thesis is an entirely different question). For those of you who are also interested in such things, let’s explore this periodicity, better known as the Benner Cycle.
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Small fluctuations in solar activity, large influence on the climate
Thursday, August 27th 2009, 3:52 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Sun spot frequency has an unexpectedly strong influence on cloud formation and precipitation

Our sun does not radiate evenly. The best known example of radiation fluctuations is the famous 11-year cycle of sun spots. Nobody denies its influence on the natural climate variability, but climate models have, to-date, not been able to satisfactorily reconstruct its impact on climate activity.

Researchers from the USA and from Germany have now, for the first time, successfully simulated, in detail, the complex interaction between solar radiation, atmosphere, and the ocean. As the scientific journal Science reports in its latest issue, Gerald Meehl of the US-National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and his team have been able to calculate how the extremely small variations in radiation brings about a comparatively significant change in the System "Atmosphere-Ocean".

Katja Matthes of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, and co-author of the study, states: „Taking into consideration the complete radiation spectrum of the sun, the radiation intensity within one sun spot cycle varies by just 0.1 per cent. Complex interplay mechanisms in the stratosphere and the troposphere, however, create measurable changes in the water temperature of the Pacific and in precipitation".
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Solar cycle 24: solar flares & social collapse or ‘crushing cold temperatures and global famine'? - by Alfred Lambremont Webre
Monday, May 25th 2009, 4:42 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Image AttachmentThis article is one of a continuing series on the impacts of Solar Cycle 24 (2009-2020).

On May 19, 2009, record low temperatures were recorded in 28 states, more than half the states in the United States of America. Many of these record low temperatures are the lowest in 100 years, and some the lowest in 115 years., a web portal tracking global temperatures reports, “If there had been record warmth in 28 states, your would have seen ‘we're-causing-global-warming’ headlines plastered across the front page of almostevery newspaper in the country, and TV hosts would have gleefully announced the dire news. . . . But had you even heard about this?”

NOAA’s full report on these locations and record low temperatures is set out at the end of this article.

In an April 2, 2009 article, retired U.S. Navy physicist and engineer James A. Marusek writes: “The sun has gone very quiet as it transitions to Solar Cycle 24…. We are now at a crossroad. Two paths lie before us. Both are marked with a signpost that reads “Danger”! Down one path lies monstrous solar storms. Down the other path lies several decades of crushing cold temperatures and global famine.” “A quiet sun will cause temperatures globally to take a nose-dive. We will experience temperatures that we have not seen in over 200 years, during the time of the early pioneers.
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Sun's 'quiet period' explained By Howard Falcon-Lang, BBC News
Saturday, August 14th 2010, 9:53 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Image AttachmentSolar physicists may have discovered why the Sun recently experienced a prolonged period of weak activity.

The most recent so-called "solar minimum" occurred in December 2008.

Its drawn-out nature extended the total length of the last solar cycle - the repeating cycle of the Sun's activity - to 12.6 years, making it the longest in almost 200 years.

During a solar minimum the Sun is less active, producing fewer sunspots and flares.

The new research suggests that the longer-than-expected period of weak activity may have been linked to changes in the way a hot soup of charged particles called plasma circulated in the Sun.

The study, conducted by Dr Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado and her US colleagues, is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
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NASA: Solar Activity Heats Up
Friday, April 15th 2011, 5:20 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)

April 14, 2011: If you've ever stood in front of a hot stove, watching a pot of water and waiting impatiently for it to boil, you know what it feels like to be a solar physicist

Back in 2008, the solar cycle plunged into the deepest minimum in nearly a century. Sunspots all but vanished, solar flares subsided, and the sun was eerily quiet.

"Ever since, we've been waiting for solar activity to pick up," says Richard Fisher, head of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. "It's been three long years."
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Sun's Fading Spots Signal Big Drop in Solar Activity by Denise Chow,
Tuesday, June 14th 2011, 4:53 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Some unusual solar readings, including fading sunspots and weakening magnetic activity near the poles, could be indications that our sun is preparing to be less active in the coming years.

The results of three separate studies seem to show that even as the current sunspot cycle swells toward the solar maximum, the sun could be heading into a more-dormant period, with activity during the next 11-year sunspot cycle greatly reduced or even eliminated.

The results of the new studies were announced today (June 14) at the annual meeting of the solar physics division of the American Astronomical Society, which is being held this week at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

"The solar cycle may be going into a hiatus," Frank Hill, associate director of the National Solar Observatory's Solar Synoptic Network, said in a news briefing today (June 14).

The studies looked at a missing jet stream in the solar interior, fading sunspots on the sun's visible surface, and changes in the corona and near the poles. [Photos: Sunspots on Earth's Star]

"This is highly unusual and unexpected," Hill said. "But the fact that three completely different views of the sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation."

Sunspots are temporary patches on the surface of the sun that are caused by intense magnetic activity. These structures sometimes erupt into energetic solar storms that send streams of charged particles into space.

Since powerful charged particles from solar storms can occasionally wreak havoc on Earth's magnetic field by knocking out power grids or disrupting satellites in orbit, a calmer solar cycle could have its advantages.

Astronomers study mysterious sunspots because their number and frequency act as indicators of the sun's activity, which ebbs and flows in an 11-year cycle. Typically, a cycle takes roughly 5.5 years to move from a solar minimum, when there are few sunspots, to the solar maximum, during which sunspot activity is amplified.
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2009 moves up to 4th place for no-sunspot days by Steve LaNore
Monday, November 16th 2009, 4:23 PM EST
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
The year 2009 has had a very high number of days without sunspots.

In fact, it moved up two places to #4 on the list as of November 14th. Here are the top 10 years with blank days since 1900:

Sunspot-free days since 1900, by year

Year Days
1913 311
2008 266
1912 253
2009 242 (as of Nov 14th)
1954 241
1933 240
1923 200
1911 200
1996 185
2007 163
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Little Ice Age II, The Sequel?
Wednesday, June 10th 2009, 1:58 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Image AttachmentThe lingering cool temperatures being experience by much of North America has weather forecasters wondering it we are entering a new Little Ice Age—a reference to the prolonged period of cold weather that afflicted the world for centuries and didn't end until just prior to the American Civil War. From historical records, scientists have found a strong correlation between low sunspot activity and a cooling climate. At the end of May, an international panel of experts led by NOAA and sponsored by NASA released a new prediction for the next solar cycle: Solar Cycle 24 will be one of the weakest in recent memory. Are we about to start a new Little Ice Age?

According to the report, Solar Cycle 24 will peak in May 2013 with a sunspot count well below average. “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. This does not mean that we won't feel the results of renewed solar storm activity here on Earth.
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S. Duhau and C. de Jager: The Forthcoming Grand Minimum of Solar Activity; Journal of Cosmology, 2010, vol. 8, 1983 – 1999.
Sunday, June 20th 2010, 5:50 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
article image
Click source to read FULL report
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