Sun Diverging From Normal?

I am not sure that we know what normal is on the sun, but it is not behaving as we have seen in the near term, last 200 years.

Typically, around the end of each 11-year sunspot cycle, the sun’s magnetic fields switch direction. The northern and southern hemispheres switch polarity, usually simultaneously.

But this time, something different is happening. The north pole already reversed its polarity several months ago — it is now the same polarity as the south pole.

I am not sure what the long term impact would be?  It would lead to much quieter sun with fewer spots. Researchers speculate this could be the start of a prolonged period of weak solar activity.

The last time we had an extended quiet period was during the Maunder Minimum between 1650 and 1715, when almost no sunspots were observed. During the same period, temperatures dropped sharply on Earth. Some scientist say this sparking the “Little Ice Age”, with the largest impact in the Northern Hemisphere, but felt less in the Southern Hemisphere.

It will be an interesting few months, as we observe the magnetic field on the sun. Stay Tuned.

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Dalton Rather Than Maunder Minimum?

In a recent publication in Space Science Reviews (2013), renowned solar scientists Ken McCracken, Juerg Beer, Friedhelm Steinhilber and Jose Abreu studied the solar minimums over the last 9300 years. Based on measurements of beryllium and carbon isotopes as indicators for the intensity of cosmic rays, which are modulated by solar activity, the scientists arrived at the result that the minimum of 2007 to 2009 had similar characteristics as the minimums occurring during the time of the Dalton Minimums of 1780 to 1820. They discovered a 208-year periodicity (Suess-de Vries) of a grand solar minimum in the past. Therefore they anticipate in the near future the events of a Dalton Minimum, but not a Maunder Minimum.

Abstract

The paleo-cosmic ray records are used to study the properties of the heliosphere and solar processes over the past 9300 years. They show that both varied greatly over that time, ranging from ∼26 “Grand Minima” of duration 50–100 yr when the Sun was inactive, to periods similar to the past 50 years of strong solar activity. This shows that the detailed information regarding the heliosphere gained during the “space era” represents an extreme case, and is not representative of the majority of the past 9300 yr. The data confirm that the 11 and 22-year cycles of solar activity continued through the Spoerer and Maunder Grand Minima. Throughout the 9300 yr interval, “Grand Minima” usually occurred in groups of 2 to 4, similar to the group of four that occurred in the interval 1000–1800 AD. The groups are separated by ∼1000 yr intervals without Grand Minima. Frequency spectra of the full 9300 yr record show that the heliospheric and solar phenomena exhibit >10 well-defined and persistent periodicities. We speculate that the solar dynamo exhibits a 2300 yr periodicity, wherein it alternates between two different states of activity. In the first (∼800 yr duration) solar activity weakens greatly every 100–200 yr resulting in a sequence of Grand Minima, while in the other, the solar dynamo suffers smaller changes; the centenary scale solar and heliospheric changes are smaller, being similar to those that occurred in the interval 1890–1910. The paleo-cosmic ray evidence suggests that the Sun has now entered this more uniform period of activity, following the sequence of Grand Minima (Wolf, Spoerer, Maunder, and Dalton) that occurred between 1000 and 1800 AD.

There is a longer discussion of the issue at The No Tricks Zone, where the above introduction of this paper’s abstract was taken.

One thing for sure, we are on the cusp of a grand minimum. The open question is at what level, Dalton or Maunder.  The work of Livingston and Penn would indicate it will be a Maunder. If a reader knows of  an update by Livingston and Penn lets me know.

Are Late Freezes in Southern Hemisphere Indicators of Things to Come

Argentina : Frost affects stonefruit in Mendoza

Mendoza has 55,000 hectares planted with fruit, 22% of the province’s productive area. Of these, 39,400 hectares are stonefruit crops, which were severely damaged by the frosts in last September.

The October 2013 study indicates that, in the case of peaches (fresh and ) and fresh plum, 85% of the crops were lost, 35% of the plum, for processing, 75% of the cherry crops and 90% of the apricot crops were also lost.

Australian: Freeze destroys wine grapes

Some growers have reported losses of 50 to 100 per cent of their wine grape crops in low-lying areas in Murrumbateman, on the southern tablelands of New South Wales, near Canberra. Others say their vines survived unscathed.

Winemaker, Tim Kirk, from Clonakilla vineyard says overall he’s lost 60 to 70 per cent of his fruit.

Chile: Worst cold in 80 years hammers fruit and grapes

The worst frost since 1929 has damaged 50 million boxes of Chilean fruit exports — causing the country to declare a state of emergency in its agricultural sector.

The wine industry was hit hard by the frost as well.

Estimates put the total damage to Chilean crops at $1 billion. The damaged crops include almonds, kiwis, grapes, peaches, nectarines and plums. The U.S. imports about 42 percent of the country’s grapes.

 What do you think.  Antarctica ice is at record levels. Are these indicators of things to come?