The Latest on the Double-Dynamo Solar Model, and Dr. Zharkova’s Predictions of a Grand Minimum

By Stephanie Osborn

The Osborn post is a lengthy explanation of Dr. Zharkova’s model, model updates and predictions, with some additional example of how the ‘barycentric wobble’ influences the earth’s temperature. For readers who found Dr. Zharkova’s GWPF Presentation confusing, this article will help with the understanding of her model’s significance, and the output is worth considering. Osborn’s bio is HERE.

Osborn’s evaluation of Zharkova’s model:

Zharkova’s model is supported not only by sunspot numbers and solar activity, but by other solar-studies fields: magnetohydrodynamics and helioseismology. In fact, the resulting data plots from these fields are so close to Zharkova’s model predictions, that the model could as well be based on either of those. So this model is not functioning in isolation from related science, but is in fact harmonizing quite well with it.

The Dalton extended minimum (1790-1830) is evidently an example of a Gleissberg minimum, while the deep and protracted Maunder minimum (1645-1715) was the previous ‘Grand’ minimum. It has been roughly 350 years since the onset of the Maunder minimum, and a bit over 200 years since the Dalton minimum began. Zharkova et al. also noted a moderate Gleissberg minimum in the earliest part of the 20th century, as well, so the periodicity for that cycle seems to be holding.

The gist of the matter is that all three main cycles are entering minimum phase, beginning with the end of this current solar cycle (Cycle 24). Cycle 25 will be even lower than 24, with 26 being very nearly flat-lined. Cycle 27 will begin to show a few signs of life, then there will be a gradual rise to full activity over several more solar cycles, even as the last three cycles have slowly decreased in levels. This means that the bottom of the extended, or ‘Grand’ minimum (to use Zharkova’s terminology), should run from ~2020 to ~2053. (NO, it will NOT last 400 years like some are reporting – that is the overall length of the Grand cycle, not the predicted length of the minimum.)

In terms of atmospheric interaction, certainly the majority of the solar radiation peaks in the visible range, and that changes little, and the atmosphere is largely transparent to it. Once it strikes a solid object, however, the photon’s energy is absorbed, and later re-radiated as infrared (IR), which the atmosphere largely blocks (at least in certain frequency windows), so it does not all radiate off into space at night. This is why things like rocks and masonry tend to feel warmer at night, and what helps drive the trade winds along shorelines – the temperature differential arising from the differing light absorption/IR re-radiation of water versus land.

But it turns out that, unlike visible light, higher-energy photons have a fairly strong correlation with the solar cycle; this includes ultraviolet (UV) and X-ray, most notably extreme UV or EUV, which borders the X-ray regime. Much of this photonic radiation is generated in the inner solar corona, because the corona’s activity strongly follows overall solar activity; much of the rest is produced during solar flares – which are PART OF solar activity. More, unlike visible light, this frequency regime is ENTIRELY absorbed in the upper atmosphere (exosphere, thermosphere, ionosphere). So during high solar activity, the EUV and X-ray radiation hitting Earth has 100% of its energy injected into the atmosphere. During low solar activity, there is considerably less energy from this high-frequency regime being injected into the atmosphere – according to NASA research I dug up in the course of researching her papers and presentation, it may completely bottom out – as in, essentially zero energy from EUV etc.

But that isn’t the only way this might affect Earth’s atmosphere. It turns out that the solar wind/corona effects shield the inner solar system from cosmic rays, which are very high energy particles coming in from cosmological sources, such as supernovae, quasars, pulsars, etc. As solar activity diminishes, the solar wind decreases in effect, and the cosmic ray flux (‘flux’ is a measure of number of units per square area, e.g. number of cosmic ray particles per square meter) increases. BUT we know that cosmic rays tend to hit atmosphere and ‘cascade’ – generate a shower of particles, rather like a branching domino effect – and this, in turn, tends to create condensation nuclei around which clouds can form. (In fact, our first cosmic ray detectors were so-called ‘cloud chambers’ where the formation of condensation clouds depicts the track of the particle.) As a result, increasing cosmic ray fluxes are apt to generate increased cloud cover; increased cloud cover will then block visible light from reaching Earth’s surface and adding energy to the overall system. And cosmic ray flux can vary by as much as 50% with solar variation.

Well, then. So. What effects are being seen as a result of these two items?

Go HERE for the answers, with links to the supporting documents.

Recommended Reading and I would like your comments and thoughts!


14 thoughts on “The Latest on the Double-Dynamo Solar Model, and Dr. Zharkova’s Predictions of a Grand Minimum

  1. Russ December 12, 2018 / 9:22 pm

    Solar activity predicted to fall 60% in 2030s, to ‘mini ice age’ levels: Sun driven by double dynamo

    I found this article from 2015, I am surprised to just learn about Prof Valentina Zharkova model. Here is a link to a presentation she made to the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), July 9, 2015.

    A new model of the Sun’s solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun’s 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645.

    • David Appell December 23, 2018 / 6:41 pm

      Russ: The Sun didn’t cause the little ice age — Earth’s climate simply isn’t the sensitive to changes in solar output.

      • Russ Steele December 28, 2018 / 12:13 pm

        Solar Forcing

        I disagree. Thus far in 2018, 92 scientific papers have been located that link solar forcing to climate changes. This is an incomplete compilation and it is likely to swell to over 100 papers upon further review.

        92 Sun-Climate Link Scientific Papers

        Such a large volume of research devoted to finding connections between the Sun’s variability and its effect on the Earth’s climate system would seem to contradict the conclusion that there is widespread consensus that the Sun’s climate impact is negligible.

      • The Atmosphere Guy December 28, 2018 / 2:21 pm

        David, can I offer you the link below, which is a intended as a ‘Layman’s’ assessment of recent research into solar/climate relationships. Obviously, data in this area is severely limited historically but the idea that the sun ‘simply isn’t involved’ is patently untrue. Unfortunately adherents to the alternative view tend to be very reluctant to assess and accept any data which indicates anything otherwise.
        For your assessment :-
        Have a scratch around some of the other info on the same site and comment as you feel appropriate.

  2. oldbrew December 13, 2018 / 4:06 am

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    How ‘grand’ the predicted solar minimum could be is a popular subject for speculation. More analysis here.

  3. The Atmosphere Guy January 13, 2019 / 2:36 pm

    The current set of ‘Thermosphere’ and ‘Ap Progression’ graphs – available here :

    and here :

    are on a much shorter and easier to handle timescale than previously and enable a very easy cross reference to be made if they are displayed on a comparable scale and layout.
    We can see that the peaks are quite faithfully repeated and the overall tendency of the thermosphere follows closely to the smoothed monthly Ap value.
    Cross referencing then, the Ap chart with recent known and recorded weather patterns, as we have previously done, the interrelationship between solar, thermosphere and surface activity becomes quite clearly apparent.
    Extending this to the future is a level of prognostication the individual observer must decide upon but examining Ap history here:

    throws up interesting possibilities !

  4. Russ January 21, 2019 / 5:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing. If Joe Bastardi at WeatherBell is right Scotland is about to get some heavy snow and the rest of Europe lots of cold for the next 30 days. Let’s see if he is right.

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