Solar Cycle 24 Update for February 2015

Russ Steele:

The sun has an impact, the question is what is the real impact of sunspots. Some information for your own evaluation.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Solar cycle 24 contines to be lower than the vast majority of predictions that came out during the waning years of solar cycle 23. David Archibald gives an update on the current progress of solar cycle 24, showing that it remains quite low, and under-performs almost all of the “official”predictions based on models and other forecasting tools, some of which claimed as late as 2006 that cycle 24 would be 30-50% stronger that cycle 23. So far, solar Cycle 24 has been most like Solar Cycles 10 to 15 which started in 1855 and ended in 1923. It is noteworthy that solar cycle 10 produced the famed Carrington event, which if it occurred today, would likely wreak havoc with our sensitive electric grid and electronics.

Guest essay by David Archibald.


Figure 1: Sunspot Number

Source: SILSO data/image, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels

Solar Cycle 24 has been…

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Early Sunspots and Volcanoes

Russ Steele:

Maybe there was a Maunder Minimum and may be it was only the result of some missing data. Willis Eschenbach, does the analysis.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Well, as often happens I started out in one direction and then I got sidetractored … I wanted to respond to Michele Casati’s claim in the comments of my last post. His claim was that if we include the Maunder Minimum in the 1600’s, it’s clear that volcanoes with a VEI greater or equal to 5 are affected by sunspots. Based on my previous analysis I figured “No way!”, but I thought I should take a look … and as is often the case, I ended up studying something entirely different.

Now, the SIDC monthly sunspot record that I used in my last analysis starts in 1700. Prior to that the only sunspot numbers available are a “reconstruction” by Hoyt and Schatten called the “Group Sunspot Number”, which is the dataset used by Michele. The Hoyt/Schatten Group sunspot data is available here. Now, as…

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Great Lakes Ice Cover Far Above Normal Again

Russ Steele:

Is this another indicator that we are on the cusp of the next grand minimum?

Originally posted on Real Science:

Great Lakes ice cover has been above normal five of the last seven years, and seven of the last thirteen years. It is already far above the normal annual maximum, with another month of growth left.

ScreenHunter_6732 Feb. 03 11.3520150202180000_CVCSWCTGL_0008100042.gif (1100×850)


20150202180000_CVCHDCTGL_0008100047.gif (1100×850)

Many experts claim the exact opposite, because their career depends on lying about the climate.

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Super soaker ‘Pineapple Express’ organizing for heavy rain in California this weekend – as much as 20 inches in some areas

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

WUWT contributor Dr. Ryan Maue writes on his Twitter feed:

Can’t ask for better setup for enormous rainfall totals over NorCal & now linto Bay Area in 5+ days

Looking at the model output below, I tend to agree, if the pattern holds. It sets up Northern California for the perfect orographic lifting enhancement in the Sierra Nevada mountain range that will not only provide a bounty of liquid precipitation, but a significant boost to the well below normal California snowpack.
pineapple-expressMost or northern California will get some benefit from this “super soaker” storm:

west-coast-QPF1The Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts show some parts of Northern Calfornia getting as much as 20″, along with many mountain areas getting 5″ or more.

norcal-QPFHow much will be snow? That’s anyone’s guess at this time, it depends entirely on how much air and moisture is advected into the low pressure system to collide with colder…

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Source of powerful cosmic ray signals found beyond our Milky Way


Astronomers for the first time have managed to hunt down the source of three high-energy ray signals being emitted beyond our Milky Way. The hope is that this discovery might help us better understand the mysterious origins of deadly cosmic rays that flood the universe and bombard our solar system.

Cosmic rays are believed to be produced by some of the most violent events in the cosmos – like supernova explosions – and are a billion times more powerful than anything created in our supercolliders here on Earth. They constantly flood our solar system and appear to come from every direction in the universe.

So not surprisingly, finding their sources has been near impossible because these charged particles get bounced around in all directions in space by the magnetic fields they encounter as they fly across interstellar space. However, a team of astronomers has now found a way to help us in our hunt. It turns out cosmic rays do also produce a convenient tracer particle called gamma-rays, which don’t get deflected along their travels, and so by tracing back their journey, their origins can be be found much more easily.

In this new research, the newfound gamma-ray signals appear to be produced at prodigious rates by three different types of objects located within a single satellite galaxy of the Milky Way some 180,000 light years away from Earth known as the Large Magellanic Cloud.

In the newly-published study this week in the journal Science, researchers used the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) – a collection of four 13-meter telescopes located in the deserts of Namibia, Africa – to observe a region of our companion galaxy that is actively forming stars.

You can read the rest of the article HERE.

The article does mention periods of intense bombardment by cosmic radiation could have an impact on the climate, as the sun shields us from many cosmic radiation, but as the sun goes quiet, with fewer sunspots, more cosmic rays will reach the earth’s atmosphere, where some scientist think they cause the formation of more clouds, thus cooling the planet.  Stay tuned.  This will be an interesting story to follow.

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Another bias in temperature measurements discovered

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

SNOTEL-stations Map of SNOTEL-stations in the Western United States

From the “temperature bias only goes one way department” and the University of Montana:

Mountain system artificially inflates temperature increases at higher elevations

MISSOULA – In a recent study, University of Montana and Montana Climate Office researcher Jared Oyler found that while the western U.S. has warmed, recently observed warming in the mountains of the western U.S. likely is not as large as previously supposed.

His results, published Jan. 9 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, show that sensor changes have significantly biased temperature observations from the Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) station network.

More than 700 SNOTEL sites monitor temperature and snowpack across the mountainous western U.S. SNOTEL provides critical data for water supply forecasts. Researchers often use SNOTEL data to study mountain climate trends and impacts to mountain hydrology and ecology.

Oyler and his co-authors applied statistical techniques to account…

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Snow in Palermo, Sicily

Russ Steele:

“These are the same conditions that were experienced during the Dalton and Maunder Minimums,”

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

[on Jan 1, 2015] “In Rome, arctic-inspired winds brought temperatures as low as minus eight degrees Celsius,”

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