Articles Tagged "David Whitehouse"

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David Whitehouse: Next Solar Cycle May Not Happen
Tuesday, June 14th 2011, 5:33 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
A missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles say that our Sun is heading for a rest period even as it is acting up for the first time in years, according to scientists at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

As the current sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, begins to ramp up toward maximum, independent studies of the solar interior, visible surface, and the corona indicate that the next 11-year solar sunspot cycle, Cycle 25, will be greatly reduced or may not happen at all.

The results were announced 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:

“This is highly unusual and unexpected,” Dr. Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network, said of the results. “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.”

Spot numbers and other solar activity rise and fall about every 11 years, which is half of the Sun’s 22-year magnetic interval since the Sun’s magnetic poles reverse with each cycle. An immediate question is whether this slowdown presages a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period with virtually no sunspots during 1645-1715.

Hill is the lead author on one of three papers on these results being presented this week. Using data from the Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) of six observing stations around the world, the team translates surface pulsations caused by sound reverberating through the Sun into models of the internal structure. One of their discoveries is an east-west zonal wind flow inside the Sun, called the torsional oscillation, which starts at mid-latitudes and migrates towards the equator. The latitude of this wind stream matches the new spot formation in each cycle, and successfully predicted the late onset of the current Cycle 24.
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David Whitehouse: Solar Statistics
Monday, June 6th 2011, 2:25 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
There are various ways to analyse time series data such as the annual average global temperature. A common way is to decompose it into its cyclic components using Fourier analysis. This is very useful for long datasets, but not so good for the post-1860 so-called instrumental period of earth temperature readings – there hasn’t been enough time to determine its components. Fourier analysis has its limitations for certain kinds of time series that are technically described as non-linear and non-stationary.

About a decade ago a new approach was being developed to analyse time series that, in a way, is a more general technique than Fourier analysis. It’s called Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD). It can isolate any cyclic components of a time series. In technical terms it decomposes a time series into a finite sum of so-called ‘basis functions’ whose amplitude and frequency are functions of time.

It has been used to analyse rainfall, heart rhythms, radar echoes and water waves, to give a few examples.

A new paper (Barnhart, B.L., Eichinger, W.E., Empirical Mode Decomposition applied to solar irradiance, global temperature, sunspot number, and.... Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics (2011), doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2011.04.012) uses EMD to look at the earth’s global temperature, the number of sunspots, the total radiation coming from the sun and the carbon dioxide concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere. It produces some surprising results.
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David Whitehouse: Is It The Sun Wot Done It?
Thursday, April 21st 2011, 4:58 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
If you are not confused about the Sun’s (the star that is not the newspaper as alluded to by the headline) role in influencing the Earth’s climate then perhaps you haven’t been paying attention recently.

It is a common story in climate change science. Some researchers will offer definitive statements that the Sun couldn’t possibly be responsible to any significant degree in the recent warm period the Earth has experienced. Look behind such comments however and you will find that the science, as science often is, is more equivocal, as a few recent papers indicate. There is much food for thought.

The common view is that the Sun did have a majority influence up until about 1950 – 60, but since then, because of forcing from greenhouse gasses, its role has been miniscule.

Miniscule globally that is. Regionally it might be a very different matter. Solar scientists have been going on about this for years. The speculation is that the Sun’s influence could be significant regionally such as across, say, Europe in winter, but not significant globally. However, one does wonder how many local regions are needed to be present before such a solar effect might become more global?
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The climate is changing. But it always has by David Whitehouse
Tuesday, October 19th 2010, 6:26 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
The global climate is changing. It always has. Fifteen thousand years ago the place where I am writing this (Hampshire, England) was Arctic tundra on which almost nothing could live. The glaciers reached not far north of here, and places that were to become Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow were under a kilometer of ice. When the ice receded Britain was completely covered in trees. That the trees are fewer was due to early man. That the ice is no longer here was due to natural climatic cycles.

Few doubt that the world has warmed in the past thirty years. We have reasonably good global temperature records for the past 150 years and, in general, they show a gradual warming, possibly from the cold spell in the 17th century some call the ‘Little Ice Age.’

Temperatures at a plateau

From 1850 to about 1910, the temperature did not change very much at a time when the world was somewhat colder than it is today. Between 1910 and 1940 there was a sustained warming, 0.4 deg C in 30 years. Then there was a period of 40 years when again the temperature did not change much. Just before1980 it started rising again, 0.4 deg C in 25 years, but this rise ceased in 2000. We live in the warmest decade for at least 150 years, probably longer, but in the last decade the global average annual temperature has remained at a plateau.
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Solar Influences by Dr. David Whitehouse
Tuesday, July 6th 2010, 1:22 PM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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In the early 1990’s a paper by Christensen was published that showed a striking correlation between the length of the sun’s sunspot cycle and the global average annual temperature, Fig 1. The shorter the cycle (short cycles are more intense) the higher was the earth’s annual temperature. It seemed to indicate that the sun was the dominant influence on the earth’s temperature variations.

It is certainly striking that since the later part of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century there has been a general increase in the Earth’s global average temperature at the same time that the strength of the solar cycle was increasing in intensity as measured by the number of sunspots. In the last half of the 20th century four out of the five most intense solar cycles occurred (the second largest cycle was around 1780) including the strongest ever which was in the 1950’s.

Christensen linked these two together in what appeared to be a pleasing way. However, a few years after the work was published others found flaws in the way the final four (out of 24) data points were plotted. In Christensen’s paper the length of the solar cycle decreased between 1950 – 1990 with the last data point showing that the cycle length shortened at the same time that the recent global warming period started (post 1980). When this was corrected the concordance between the solar cycle length and the earth’s rising temperature broke down as it became apparent that the length of the solar cycle showed no trend as the earth’s temperature rose post-1980.

Click source to read FULL report from Dr. David Whitehouse
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