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Koma

Global Warming and Solar Activity

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I just found this website. Pretty cool stuff. I guess it twill take me a while to understand all of the information.
I have a question. Is it possible that solar storms, solar flares, solar activity can be contributing to earths climate change and global warming?

Koma

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Welcome. That is still pretty much up to debate how large the Sun's impact is. I can't really give you an answer on this in great detail as I know too little about this but our Sun has always been a factor on our climate since the beginning of time. We did had the Maunder minimum which was a period with low solar activity and colder than average temperatures on Earth. The Sun does influence our planet of course but mankind's influence on our planet is a much larger factor when it comes to global warming.

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On 9/1/2019 at 6:43 PM, Koma said:

Is it possible that solar storms, solar flares, solar activity can be contributing to earths climate change and global warming?

Has this thing you call "global warming" gotten 'worse' or has it abated in your lifetime? And haven't we had "solar flares", "solar storms" and other "solar activity" throughout your lifetime?  But according to the geomagnetic activity indices (indicative of "solar storms", including the consequences of "solar flares") discussed in this thread, the solar storm activity has DRAMATICALLY lowered over the past 10-15 years.  Also, "solar activity" in general (according to the sunspot number proxy) has DRAMATICALLY lowered (relatively speaking) over the past solar cycle.   So if "global warming" has gotten 'worse' over your lifetime, yet "solar activity and "solar storms" have abated, then as a minimum, that would indicate an anti-correlation between the two, correct?

 

Edited by theartist
grammar

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There is an aspect of this debate that seems rarely considered, yet seems to be there in the data if it is searched doggedly enough. It is well established that the Thermosphere Climate Index has been declining steadily, basically since the 1960’s, as indeed has the International Sunspot Number.

There are records of the temperature and pressure structure of the atmosphere going back many decades.  

  https://howtheatmosphereworks.wordpress.com/historical-charts/  may be of interest.

The area for discussion rests around the relevance of ‘Deep Atmosphere’ behaviour to surface temperature. Basically as the atmosphere as a whole cools and contracts, the temperature and pressure patterns pull back towards the equator. This allows cyclonic weather structures to pick up tropical warm air and throw it unusually far north, (the alternating sea / land structure is more pronounced in the northern hemisphere exacerbating this effect in the north) giving the impression of warming. Such heat will dissipate naturally via entropic action giving an overall cooling to the planet.

Thoughts?

Edited by The Atmosphere Guy

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A really broad yet bite sized view: Do Variations in the Solar Cycle Affect Our Climate System?  Note: take the link with a grain of salt: "extensive series of climate model experiments " not all observations.

 

Koma: Yes, and there is some debate around to what degree (pun intended!)

NASA's take on a flurry of events a few years back.

And some NOAA findings, Ultraviolet or UV wavelengths (120 – 400 nm), the solar irradiance variability is larger over the course of the solar cycle, with changes up to 15%, but many of these shorter wavelengths are blocked entirely by the atmosphere so those never hit the ground...

 

The rest is outside of the sun... but hey, earth's climate is a complex ball of fluid energy too :)

theartist: Perhaps water vapor and clouds moderate temperature swings more than they're currently given credit, and the oceans are slower to give back their heat than expected? (and I have enjoyed your recent visualizations, thanks!)

 

The atmosphere guy: Most air coming down from the top of the hadley cells is cold and dry regardless of solar max vs min, yes?  So it isn't so much moving air north that cools, it's air moving heat up that does?

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As TAG says, "It is well established that the Thermosphere Climate Index has been declining steadily, basically since the 1960’s, as indeed has the International Sunspot Number." 

So solar activity has been declining for more than 50 years, and, as a minimum, it has gone back to a state it was at 120 years ago, between 1875-1925.  It might, as the 'Kitiashvili forecast' suggests, proceed further to a state of inactivity observed during the Dalton Minimum. (Per the 'Fact check' below, the Kitiashvili forecast calls for solar activity below the 'Dalton Minimum', and SC24 is currently already at 'Dalton Minimum' levels of sunspot activity).

So we have had 50 years of 'decreasing sun activity', and yet, we continue to see 'climate change' articles like this:  New Marine Heatwave Emerges off West Coast, Resembles "the Blob"

That is not an anticorrelation?

On 9/7/2019 at 1:49 PM, RationalArgument said:

the oceans are slower to give back their heat than expected?

How long is this delay, in light of the continuing ramp-up and worsening, per the 'climate change' articles like the one I posted?

On 9/7/2019 at 3:47 PM, theartist said:

to a state of inactivity observed during the Dalton Minimum. 

"Like the Maunder Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Dalton Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures....The Dalton Minimum was a period of low sunspot count, representing low solar activity, named after the English meteorologist John Dalton, lasting from about 1790 to 1830[1] or 1796 to 1820,[2] corresponding to the period solar cycle 4 to solar cycle 7" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalton_Minimum)

'Fact check', here are the sunspot numbers for SC4-SC7 (including SC24 for comparison):

 1320699767_ScreenShot2019-09-07at4_00_48PM.png.aae5e5ce431af65fb7171057b2bee4d4.png

  The 'Kitiashvili forecast' is calling for a Peak Range in sunspot number of ~43-65, putting it below the Dalton Minimum.

 

Now here is an 'interesting' statement from reference 5 (Stothers, R.B., 1989: Volcanic eruptions and solar activity. J. Geophys. Res., 94, 17371-17381, doi:10.1029/JB094iB12p17371) to that Dalton Minimum article at Wikipedia:

"Solar flares are believed to cause changes in atmospheric circulation patterns that abruptly alter the earth's spin. The resulting jolt probably triggers small earthquakes which may temporarily relieve some of the stress in volcanic magma chambers, thereby weakening, postponing, or even aborting imminent large eruptions."

😳  You have got to be kidding me?!?

Edited by theartist

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7 hours ago, theartist said:

that abruptly alter the earth's spin

Here we go:  Gribbin, J., and S. Plagemann, 1973: Discontinuous change in Earth's spin rate following Great Solar Storm of August 1972. Nature, 243, 26-27, doi:10.1038/243026a0. "In August 1972, however, an even greater disturbance occurred on the Sun.  ...we have indeed found a discontinuous change in the length of day, and a change in the rate of change of the length of day (a glitch) immediately after that event. Changes in the length of day, and thus in the spin rate of the Earth, are revealed by regular measurements of Universal Time (UT) carried out at many observatories around the world. For our purpose, we are interested in UT2, the version of Universal Time with the effects of the Chandler Wobble and seasonal variations removed. The difference between Atomic Time (AT) and UT2 shows, on average, a monotonic increase as the Earth's spin slows down and the length of day increases."

 

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There is an opportunity here for some ‘constructive prediction’.

Making forecasts is always fraught with danger, the opportunity for professional catastrophe is ever present; however we can look at the information we have and see if we can create something informative.

We saw a solar ‘Kp’ impact coincidental with hurricane ‘Dorian’. Will it happen again - will it have an impact - or not?

Coronal hole CH935 gave us the observed ‘Kp’ impact; happening like a lighthouse beam, it has sprayed the earth repeatedly, it is due again around 28th October (although with a new number). Will it be larger or smaller? R-M equinox effect may be relevant.

October will still be in the hurricane season, close to autumn equinox; will there be significant surface disturbances active at that time? Will there be an identifiable impact reaction - or not? Will the returning coronal hole be too small to have an effect? Perhaps relevant to note that the Antarctic SSW seems also to have been coincident with the impact.

We are starting to see media forecasts of ‘Worst winter for 30 years’.

Based on “Spörer’s Law Years” and “R-M” effect we could see a serious drop in solar impact effects around the winter solstice with the associated contraction in the atmospheric structure, pulling activity back towards the equator with large scale polar excursions to the south.

The potential for some serious discussion is evident – anyone willing to roll the dice and make a bet?

Just for reference, Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina have been mentioned,

Hurricane Katrina Originated Aug 23 2005, Rapidly intensifying Aug 26 – There was a large ‘Kp’ spike Aug24 in an otherwise quiet period. (refer Carrington Rotation CR2033)

Hurricane Andrew Originated August 16 1992 Rapidly intensified Aug 23. There was a significant ‘Kp’ Spike Aug 23 (Refer Carrington Rotation CR1859).

Edited by The Atmosphere Guy
Additional data

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On 9/8/2019 at 1:48 PM, The Atmosphere Guy said:

Coronal hole CH935...is due again around 28th October

I think you meant September rather than October.  I suspect it to again be earth facing on 2019.09.23-2019.09.27, with an associated Geomagnetic disturbance date interval of 2019.09.27-2019.10.02.  Listed below is pertinent info on its previous four earth-facing visits (data source):

STAR
Coronal hole tag
Location Earth facing position date interval Geomagnetic disturbance
date interval
Kp dominant / Kp max / ap max Max solar wind speed (km/s) Comment
             
CH935 trans equatorial 2019.08.27-2019.08.31 2019.08.30-2019.09.05 4/6/67 872 ref. CH932
             
CH932 trans equatorial 2019.08.01-2019.08.02 2019.08.05-2019.08.08 3/5/56 708 ref. CH928
CH928 northern 2019.07.05-2019.07.07 2019.07.09-2019.07.11 3/5/39 623 ref. CH923
CH923 northern 2019.06.09 2019.06.12-2019.06.14 2/4/27 459  

The following two images show what that area looked like, from STEREO-A, one week (approximate) before its last earth-facing position, and today:

1685935168_ScreenShot2019-09-16at7_11_10AM.thumb.png.93e66fd8b2c501b5873fedd01e1fd880.png228213788_ScreenShot2019-09-16at7_11_36AM.thumb.png.0a84be369580b7a06037b3d62f48a976.png

 

The following threads also had discussion on the persistent magnetic structure and associated coronal hole(s) being discussed above:

Edited by theartist

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