New paper finds solar activity has a strong influence on Arctic winter severity

Russ Steele

I found this paper’s abstract most interesting and decided to do a little research on the Barycenter and were we are today in the cycle and where it was during the Maunder Minimum.

From the Hockey Schtick:

A paper published today in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics finds the ice winter severity index over the past 600 years in the Baltic region of the Arctic is “strongly modulated” by solar activity over periods as short as one decade. The authors also found that the 180 year cycle of the Barycenter modulates solar activity and the ice winter severity index. The full abstract can be found HERE.

I found this on the Terra Cycles web site:  Solar Barycenter Update June 17, 2010

As of June 17, 2010, the solar barycenter remains near the solar surface.  The solar barycenter is the center of gravity for all the planets and the Sun.  The barycenter interacts directly with the Sun’s core.  The core of the Sun is dense and thus moves somewhat independent of the upper layers.  Usually, the solar barycenter causes the core to jiggle within the Sun, which causes familiar solar activity seen in the 1900s.

At this time, the solar barycenter is transiting the Sun’s surface in a tighter formation than it has in over 6000 years; even more so than prior to the Maunder Minimum in the 1600s.  This is a significant solar event. [My emphasis]

This is a survivable event, to be sure.  It happens regularly in cosmic time.  However, a barycenter transit over the Sun’s surface for such a long time will significantly cool the Sun.  In the next 150 years, future solar barycenter transits will slow down the recovery of the present quiet period.  As a result, we are likely to experience about 150 years of solar minimum punctuated by a few false starts.  This will translate to about 150 years of cool weather on Earth before solar activity returns to the level seen in the 1900s.

There was a paper published by the Astronomical Journal in April, 1965 ( vol. 70, page 193) by Paul D. Jose which described just such an effect. He noted that the Sun and planets orbit about a point called the barycenter of the solar system which is located between 0.01 and 2.2 times the radius of the Sun from the Sun’s center. The path of the Sun is actually a loop-de-loop about this point which doesn’t close upon itself like an ordinary planetary orbit. Jose discovered that although this motion is complicated, the Sun returns to roughly its starting position with respect to this point every 179 years, which he noted is 9 times the synodic period of Jupiter and Saturn. This means that every 179 years as seen from the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn return to the same spot in the sky. He looked at the sunspot record from 1610 to 1954 and found evidence of this same period in the maxima and minima of the 11 year sunspot cycle. In other words, superimposed upon the 11-year cycle, there was a 179 year modulation of the amplitudes of each cycle. This modulation matched the phase of the rate of change in time of the Sun’s angular momentum (dL/dt) with respect to the barycenter. He concluded that “Certain forces exerted upon the Sun by the planets are the cause of the sunspot cycle”

I found this on the Tallbloke’s web site in a discussion of Barycenter impacts that shows the current Barycenter rotation is very similar to that of the Maunder Minimum.


2012 – 179 = 1815 about 25 years into the  Dalton Minimum

2012 – 358 = 1654 about 10 years into the Maunder Minimum

There are interesting times ahead. Stay Tuned.

2 thoughts on “New paper finds solar activity has a strong influence on Arctic winter severity

  1. Geoff Sharp September 13, 2012 / 1:14 am

    I found this on the Terra Cycles web site:

    Hi Russ, the image displaying the barycenter path is actually from my website and paper. Also you will find more recent planetary theory information especially relevant to my discovery of the angular momentum perturbations and grand minima.

    • Russ September 13, 2012 / 8:00 am


      Thanks for the update and the link. It is always good to get to the source.

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