Solar Minimum in 2019-2020

According to the NASA Video below the next solar minimum is on the way and should arrive by 2019

As the next solar minimum is exposed by time, I will be focusing more on this event and its potential impact on the climate and our daily lives.

One of the events associated with a quiet sun in the increased number of high-energy cosmic rays that can reach the earth and it’s atmosphere. These cosmic rays are mention in the video. Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus project have been tracking the increase in cosmic rays since 2015 When the number of sunspots started to decline.

Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly “down to Earth” form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes.

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See Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere at Spaceweather.com for more details.

 

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New Atmospheric Radiation Results

For the past two+ years, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been monitoring cosmic rays in the atmosphere above California using high-altitude space weather balloons. After more than 100 flights, they find that dose rates have increased over the Golden State by 13% since March 2015.

Now we know the same thing is happening over New England–only more so.

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More on the Earth to Sky Calculus HERE.

Some scientist believe that there is a connection between the number of cosmic rays and cloud cover. The more cloud cover, the cooler the planet. It could be more cosmic rays, the cooler the planet. More on clouds and cosmic rays HERE.

CLOUD also finds that ions from galactic cosmic rays strongly enhance the production rate of pure biogenic particles – by a factor 10-100 compared with particles without ions. This suggests that cosmic rays may have played a more important role in aerosol and cloud formation in pre-industrial times than in today’s polluted atmosphere.

What do you think?  Will a quiet sun allow more cosmic rays reach the earth, creating more clouds cooling the planet? Your thoughts?   Why the difference between New England and California?  Could it be latitude?  Or measurement error?  Your thoughts?

Indirect Effects of the Sun on Earth’s Climate

Mike Jonas writing as Guest Blogger at Watt Up With That has written an very interesting essay on the potential impact of the sun on our climate and climate history. Recommend reading for Next Grand Minimum readers, as there is a mention of the Maunder Minimum.

I would also direct your attention to the comments, which contain some interesting discussion.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/10/indirect-effects-of-the-sun-of-earths-climate/

Solar Update June 2017–the sun is slumping and headed even lower

Guest essay by David Archibald at Watts Up With That

Solar cycle 24 has seen very low solar activity thus far, likely the lowest in 100 years.

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Figure 1: F10.7 Flux 2014 – 2017

The F10.7 flux shows that over the last three and a half years the Sun has gone from solar maximum through a bounded decline to the current stage of the trail to the minimum. Solar minimum is likely to be still three years away.

The Full Post is HERE.  Stay tuned.  It was a record snow year in California and cosmic ray counts continue to increase. It is going to be an interesting climate year.

 

Dr.Stephanie Osborn, Interstellar Woman of Mystery, on Solar Climate Influence.

Dr Osborn has an interesting career in addition to being a Science Fiction writer.

A veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station and counts the training of astronauts on her resum�. Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, Martian aeolian geophysics, radiation physics, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons effects.

She posted the following on Jerry Pournelle’s Chaos Manor blog:

1) Yes indeed, I have been following sunspot numbers for many years now. And while sunspot numbers have been decreasing steadily for several cycles to date, the current dearth is very unusual — especially for this point in the cycle — and, to quote my favorite Vulcan, “Fascinating.” I am definitely continuing to keep an eye on the activity, or rather lack thereof.

2) There is a new model out (the “double-dynamo” model of the solar interior), only about 2 years old, which does a reasonable (though not perfect; it’s still not complex enough, IMHO) job of predicting extended solar minima, as well as the somewhat unusual “two-hump” shapes of recent solar cycles (when sunspot numbers vs. time are plotted). This model is predicting an extended minimum beginning in about 10-15 years, and this roughly matches my own considerations based on observation. (I think I referenced the model’s prediction in my original email, which you excerpted, though I may not have been clear enough; sometimes I forget not everyone is in the astronomical field, hence not familiar with the things I am. My bad.) If it is, indeed, not complex enough (as I strongly believe), then it may be that said extended minimum may begin sooner or later than predicted. The current rather precipitous decrease in sunspot numbers so soon after a solar max — which was itself somewhat paltry — may indicate an early start…or not. We will have to wait and see.

3) The “Little Ice Age” was actually a significantly extended cool period lasting several centuries, and no less than FOUR extended minima occurred during its “tenure.” These include, in order, the Wolf, the Spörer, the Maunder, and the Dalton minima. These extended minima were not all of the same “depth,” in that the minimum numbers of sunspots were not the same across all of them — the Maunder was far deeper than the rest — but as I mentioned previously, there are indications that we are hitting numbers in the range of the Dalton already. [Note that, during the Maunder Minimum, sunspots became so rare, that a grand total of only ~50 were observed over 28 years — this corresponds roughly to two and a half solar cycles. In a “normal” cycle, we would expect to see around 50,000 sunspots in that same timeframe, some three orders of magnitude more.]

4) The fact that, as sunspot numbers go down, the overall energies output by the Sun also go down is an indication that, in this instance, correlation may well equal causation, at least to some degree. Add in a few large volcanic eruptions to complicate matters — and there usually ARE some large volcanic eruptions in such timeframes, as a matter of course — and it may well prove interesting times ahead, as well as in the past.

5) The fact that cosmic ray fluxes are increasing is further indication that solar activity is decreasing, as the solar wind normally tends to provide a shield of some (relative) substance against cosmic rays, which originate outside our solar system, mostly from galactic sources (supernovae, active galactic nuclei, etc.). But as solar activity declines, the solar wind also declines, and so too would the cosmic ray flux increase, as the plasma which shields us from its entrance into the inner solar system decreases. (We still have the magnetosphere shielding us.)

I’m simplifying, of course; things are always more complex than meets the eye. But given the steady decrease in numbers for a good 3 or more cycles now (with considerable fluctuation for several cycles before that), I will be surprised if, at some time in the next few cycles, we do not enter an extended minimum, even if only of moderate depth. And it really isn’t a matter of “if,” but of when. Many variable star astronomers (and that’s what I studied in school — spotted variables, no less) consider that the Sun is at the very least borderline variable; some consider it outrightly so. I tend to fall in the latter camp; it all depends on the percentage of variability, and we are only now obtaining the kind of data we need to determine that. But it doesn’t actually take much.

Of course, only time will be the true validation if we are going to have another Grand Minimum.  Readers thoughts?

COSMIC RAYS ON THE RISE AS SOLAR MINIMUM APPROACHES

Meteorologist Paul Dorian, Vencore, Inc. vencoreweather.com

Reports:

A recent study published in the Aug. 19th issue of Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics supports the idea of an important connection between cosmic rays and clouds. According to spaceweather.com, a team of scientists from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has linked sudden decreases in cosmic rays to changes in Earth’s cloud cover. These rapid decreases in the observed galactic cosmic ray intensity are known as “Forbush Decreases” and tend to take place following coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in periods of high solar activity. When the sun is active (i.e., solar storms, CMEs), the magnetic field of the plasma solar wind sweeps some of the galactic cosmic rays away from Earth. In periods of low solar activity, more cosmic rays bombard the earth. The term “Forbush Decrease” was named after the American physicist Scott E. Forbush, who studied cosmic rays in the 1930s and 1940s.

The research team led by Jacob Svensmark of DTU identified the strongest 26 “Forbush Decreases” between 1987 and 2007, and looked at ground-based and satellite records of cloud cover to see what happened. In a recent press release, their conclusions were summarized as follows: “[Strong “Forbush Decreases”] cause a reduction in cloud fraction of about 2 percent corresponding to roughly a billion tonnes of liquid water disappearing from the atmosphere.”

Full Report is Here.

CA_Cosmic Rays

I have been following the Spaceweather reports of Cosmic Ray Increases over California since the project started several years ago. They program has been expanded to three sites around the globe. It will be interesting to follow the results.