Digital Diatribes

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Archive for the ‘Landscheidt’ Category

Los Angeles Earthquakes and Solar Cycles

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on January 25, 2009

Before I even start this post, I want to make it clear that I am not implying anything in particular about the correlation of earthquakes and solar cycles.  Secondly, I certainly am not making an implication about a specific geographical area’s earthquakes and solar cycles.

However, I read this article about a recent study on L.A. Earthquakes with some interest, and just decided to start poking around some solar cycle information, and I found what seems to be a somewhat interesting correlation.  I thought I’d throw it out here just for kicks.

First, let’s take the pertinent part of the article, as far as the study itself goes:

But the new research by UC Irvine scientists, to be published next week, found that major quakes occurred there roughly every 137 years over the last 700 years. Until now, scientists believed big quakes occurred along the fault roughly every 200 years.

Lisa Grant Ludwig, a principal investigator on the study, first visited the Carrizo Plain about 20 years ago, digging trenches in an area west of the Panorama Hills known as the Bidart Fan.

By looking at the pattern of soils and using radiocarbon dating on charcoal deposits, she found evidence of five large earthquakes dating back to the early 1200s. She found a gap of some 400 years between the 1857 earthquake and the one before, but only about 100 years separating the three preceding quakes.

Back then, the earthquake age estimates were very rough and the samples had to be fairly large, about the size of a jelly bean. Ludwig saved field notes and hundreds of soil samples in glass vials in her garage for more than 15 years, hoping that radiocarbon dating techniques would improve.

Once the technology improved, Ludwig and her colleagues could date samples with much higher precision and analyze charcoal flakes as small as the tip of a pencil.

They went back to her archive, and the redating effort, led by scholar Sinan Akciz, found that the four big earthquakes before the 1857 temblor probably occurred around 1310, 1393, 1585 and 1640.

Because they are looking at only a handful of earthquakes, scientists can’t be sure that the pattern will hold, Ludwig said.

Ludwig’s team has dug some new trenches in the area to supplement the redating project, hoping to find new soil samples that show the increased frequency of large earthquakes.

Results won’t be finalized for a few months, Ludwig said, but preliminary analysis suggests that the time interval between earthquakes may be even shorter, something on the order of 100 years.

My first reaction to this was, “You have 5 data points, totaling 4 time differentials, and two of those differentials are 192 years and 237 years. It’s kind of difficult to get too worked up about a simple average and say that things are overdue.”

But another part of me was intrigued in that we had actual dates. My initial reaction was to go to sunspot counts. Unfortunately, only one of those dates coincides with any remotely good monthly sunspot numbers.

I decided to head to a different source. Landscheidt’s Swinging Sun paper I’ve discussed from time to time.

One chart from this paper caught my attention. I have included it here, with the dates of the earthquakes as provided in the article superimposed on it with the red lines. I eyeballed it, but it’s close enough for jazz:


Some explanation is in order regarding the chart. I have included the verbiage from the paper regarding that exhibit (Figure 5 in the paper), with a couple explanatory notes to clarify things where necessary.

The plot in Fig. 5, the author of which is Gleissberg (1958), shows the secularly smoothed invervals DM between consecutive maxima in the 11 Year Cycle which also follow the 80 Year Cycle. Minima of DM correspond to maxima of the highest smoothed monthly average of sunspot numbers RM and vice versa. Gleissberg’splot covering the years AD 300 to 1950 is based on data published by Schove (1955) . [Layman’s terms: the shorter the cycle, the higher the magnitude on a monthly average basis.]
Secularly smoothed intervals DM between consecutive maxima in the 11-yr cycle contouring the secular variations in solar activity which are synchronous with relevant distance minima RDM meeting the time integral of torque criterion Cnl. Positive and negative RDM, the polarities of which follow the phases of the 79-yr cycle, are represented by arrows pointing up or down respectively. [Layman’s terms: The relevant Distance Minima means the distance of the center of the sun from the center of mass of the solar system. The chart shows a correlation between the distance of the center of sun from the center of mass of the solar system with cycle length.

The arrows in Fig. 5 represent the positive and negative RDM the dates and polarities of which are given in Fig. 4. [not shown – the up-arrows correspond with positive polarity. Polarity here is not referring to polarity of sunspots, but of the phase in the 79-year cycle.] Few successive RDM showing the same polarity at the short interval of about 20 years like —RDM 458, —RDM 481 or +RDM 816, +RDM 839 were marked at the mean date. The correspondence with peaks and troughs in the Gleissberg data is evident.

Well, I’m just throwing this out there. The earthquakes seem to correspond in their timing at some point after a relative distance minimum corresponding to short cycles with positive phase polarity, but before the next distance minimum corresponding to longer cycles with negative phase polarity.

Since there are only 5 dates presented, this could be coincidence. In addition, while the earthquakes coincided with that criteria, it is not the same as saying that criteria always corresponded with an earthquake.

Nonetheless, I thought it an interesting chart, be it coincidence or something more real than mere coincidence.

The current criteria according to the charts is currently satisfied. We are on the downside of a series of short cycles. The current cycle is longer. If the next cycle would be long as well, then the next few years represents a window where – if past correlation is more than coincidence – could represent a potential earthquake event for Los Angeles. This is far from conclusive, but interesting nonetheless.

We are currently on the area of the polarity phase that also matches the criteria. Based on past events, we would be on the right spot of the chart until 2020-2025.

Here’s hoping that this is pure coincidence.


Posted in California, Current Events, Cycles, Earth, Earthquakes, Landscheidt, Los Angeles, News, Science, Solar cycles, Sun, Sunspots | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Landscheidt, Part 6

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on June 20, 2008

Please go here for the previous Landscheidt articles, if you’re just catching up now. This will greatly aid in the context of what I am writing about.

Moving on to the next statement in the Landscheidt paper, Swinging Sun, 79-Year Cycle, and Climatic Change, he states: According to Gleissberg (1975) the discovery of corresponding long-term recurrence tendencies in sunspot frequency would be of considerable importance, for it would make possible accurate long-range forecasts of low-frequency variations.

The 1975 paper by W. Gleissberg is the German-penned “Gibt es in der Sonnenfleckenhaufigkeit eine 179-jahrige Wieder-holungstendez?” It’s attribution is as follows: “Verdff. Astron. Inst. Univ. Frankfurt, 57: 2, 11.” Not only couldn’t I track down an English version of this paper with my meager resources, but I couldn’t find the original German version, either. Not that it would have done me much good, other than to be amused at things like “Sonnenfleckenhaufigkeit.” Those Germans have quite a way of putting things… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Astronomy, Climate Change, Cycles, Landscheidt, Science, Solar cycles, Sun | Leave a Comment »

Landscheidt 5 (Review of Eddy’s “The Case of the Missing Sunspots”)

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on June 13, 2008

The last post I made on this topic was a summary overview of the Eddy paper, “The Maunder Minimum.” For a review of all the posts on this topic, click here.

The reason I am summarizing the Eddy papers is because Landscheidt refers to them in the paper I’m reviewing. What better way to discuss and explain Landscheidt’s paper than to understand the sources he is drawing from? And so, I move to the second Eddy paper, which appeared in Scientific American in 1977, volume 236, issue 5, pages 80-92. Thanks to the local University library and its microfilm collection, I was able to track it down. My summary follows:

Comparison to the 1976 paper
This paper is in large part a repackaging of the 1976 paper in many ways. In my opinion, each has their merits, but as a general overview this one seemed to be a little better presented. I won’t re-hash the points made from the first paper that were already summarized. Basically, he starts again with a historical look at E. Walter Maunder’s and Gustav Spoerer’s look into the Maunder Minimum. He then discusses the ability of the astronomers in those days to view and record sunspots. He more or less gives the same story on the evidence already discussed: the record of naked-eye sunspots, the record of aurorae observations, the descriptions from full solar eclipses, sunspot counts recorded, and the like.

However, in this paper, Eddy does provide a few additional insights into investigation into solar activity and the Maunder Minimum, as well as connection to climate. I will only cover those points that are new in relation to his other paper.

Some Additional Points About the Known Evidence
In my last summary, I noted that the jump in the recorded sightings of auroras coming out of the Maunder Minimum indicated the absence during the Maunder, especially given the recorded presence in the 70 years prior to the Maunder Minimum. Eddy still holds this to be a solid conclusion, but he does point out that, in part, the jump has a social element to it, as well. As people became more aware of their presence, they were more widely noticed and written about. This doesn’t change the conclusion, but I wanted to point out that caveat.

Another clue that Eddy discusses that was not found in “The Maunder Minimum” is his work (with Differential Rotation of the SunDorothy Trotter and Peter Gilman) on reconstructing the sun’s rotation patterns in the 17th century. Currently, the sun rotates once every 27 days at the equator (as viewed from earth – the actual rotation is around 25 days – the difference is due to the earth’s revolution around the sun in order to see something in the same relative spot), and increases as you move closer to the poles. This “differential rotation” lends itself to the theory of a dynamo effect that gives rise to sunspot activity through the interaction of deep-seated magnetic fields in the sun and its surface. A change in the rotation of the sun would change this interaction.

By use of two old books: Rosa Ursina by Christoph Scheiner in 1630 and Selenographia by Johannes Hevelius in 1647, solar rotation could be estimated. Each book presented daily drawings of the sun nearly continuously for two years. Scheiner’s drawings were in 1625 and 1626. This book demonstrated a rotation similar to today. Hevelius’ drawings from 1642-1644 show a significant change. The equatorial rotation sped up by a full day. The poles sped up slightly, but not in proportion to the equatorial change. Eddy questions whether or not a change in the sun that provides a faster rotation is the perpetrator of the Maunder Minimum.

Eddy discussed Carbon-14 levels in the other paper, but there are a few additional observations made here. The carbon 14 found in the air that is created by galactic cosmic rays finds its way into tree rings on a 40 year lag or so. Analysis can be done on the ratio of Carbon 14 to the common isotope. But Eddy extends this analysis in this paper by looking into the analysis of the rings of the bristlecone pine, the oldest living thing on earth.

Extended Analysis of Carbon 14 Levels
The record now extends back to 5000 B.C. The modulation previously discussed due to the 10,000 year period of earth’s magnetism can be seen more clearly. The evidence allowed a calibration of the carbon 14 record to solar changes.

At least 12 incidents in one direction or another have occurred that are at least as prominent as the Maunder Minimum, in the last 5000 years. Each lasts from 50 to several hundred years. The first predecessor to the Maunder Minimum is the Spoerer Minimum, from about 1400 to 1510. The Medieval Maximum occurred between 1100 and 1300, linked with anomalously high solar activity.

What About Now?
Eddy suggests that there has been continuous increases in solar activity since the Maunder Minimum, and even anomalously so. He bases this not only on the low anomaly of C-14 in modern times, but in the other observations of aurora, sunspot counts, the well-defined corona. But he does have a large caveat with the Carbon-14 measure that I only briefly alluded to in the other summary. The “Suess Effect” which says that to the extent that fossil fuel production introduces isotopes other than Carbon 14 into the atmosphere, it dilutes the C-14 concentration. So, Eddy cautions about using the C-14 as a measure for solar activity, but based on the observations, it does appear that some portion of the current negative anomaly is due to solar activity, and we are in a period of anomalously high activity.

The Climate Connection
Possibly the most relevant point to come out of the new paper is Eddy’s ability to connect historical long-term climate conditions to the solar activity, or lack thereof. We have records of advancing glaciers and colder climate during the Maunder Minimum, but that could have been coincidental. But now with the radiocarbon dating extending back thousands of years, and multiple periods of C-14 anomalies, more investigation could be done. There are historical records where climate conditions of different periods are recorded, as well as the ability to determine and date the extent of glaciation in those different time periods. Comparing these records produced an undeniable pattern, that Eddy describes as “a key in a lock.” Every extended decrease in solar activity matches a period of glacial advance, while every extended increase in activity matches a period of glacial retreat. As records allow, the long-term temperatures match perfectly as well, as does winter severity indexes.

Eddy draws one interesting conclusion, however: the link seems to be for periods of 50 years or more of anomalous activity. This study reveals little about short-term affects on weather during an 11-year sunspot cycle. This is an important consideration when discussing the impact of the sun, as I have heard suggestions that the sun must not drive temperature, since it was at minimum in 2007 and it was hot in 2007. Eddy here is looking at the longer-term envelope of peaks and valleys in the cycles.

Closing Remarks
I wanted to end with a comment in Eddy’s paper that I believe is entirely appropriate in today’s scientific arena.

It would seem that Maunder and Spoerer were right and that most of the rest of us have been wrong. As is often the case in the onrush of modern science, we had too quickly forgotten the past, forgotten the less-than-perfect pedigree of the sunspot cycle and the fact that it too once came as a surprise. We had adopted a kind of solar uniformitarianism, contending that the modern behavior of the sun represented the normal behavior of the sun over a much longer span of time.

It would seem quite possible that, in our current onrush to show a link between Carbon Dioxide and climate change, that we are, as well, too easily forgetting the past.

Posted in Climate Change, Cycles, Global Warming, Landscheidt, Science, Solar cycles, Sun, Weather | 2 Comments »

Landscheidt, Part 4 (Summary of Eddy’s “The Maunder Minimum”)

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on June 11, 2008

Theodor Landscheidt wearing a bow tieAs I continue my discussion of Landscheidt’s paper, Swinging Sun, 79-Year Cycle, and Climate Change, please refer here for my first three parts (or click the “Landscheidt” category tab on the left of the page).

We are now actually getting to the Introduction of the paper.   But first, let me refer back to a portion of the abstract: Rare activity-deficient periods like the Maunder Minimum, which according to Eddy et al. are related to changes in the Earth’s climate…

He tosses this guy Eddy’s name out there, and then in the first sentence of the introduction does it again: Eddy (1976, 1977) has focused attention on periods of exceptionally weak solar activity like the Maunder Minimum (1645 to 1715) and the Spoerer Minimum (1460 to 1550).  These grand minima, confirmed by Carbon-14 data, seem to be related to long-term changes in world climate.  Their influence on solar-terrestrial phenomena is obvious.  In addition, they furnish new evidence of long-duration variations in solar activity.

Well, I figured a good place to go from here would be to read the papers by John A. Eddy.   So, I tracked down the 1976 issue of Science magazine in which he published “The Maunder Minimum.” (18 June 1976, Volume 192, Number 4245.  Pages 1189-1202 of the bound periodicals.)   I have also tracked down the article referenced from 1977, but I will get to that one later.

What follows is my summary of Eddy’s paper, which hopefully serves as a good backdrop for our Landscheidt discussion, and provides a better understanding of what this Maunder Minimum period is all about.


In the 1890s, Gustav Spoerer and E.W. Maunder examined evidence that helped them conclude that from 1645 – 1715, almost no sunspots occurred.  Eddy’s article explains what they looked at, and then he delves into further evidences to support their conclusion.


In an 11-year cycle that waxes/wanes, spots on the sun are counted and recorded daily.  Astronomers use annual means to smooth out short-term variations and average out variations caused by the sun’s rotation.   A typical number of sunspots in a minimum year = 6, but there may be days/weeks with zero spots.  A monthly mean of zero is uncommon, and only in 1810 has there been an annual mean, to two-digit accuracy, of zero.  On the flip side, there may be hundreds of spots present during maximum, and throughout the maximum period several will be seen daily. 

History of Records

Sunspot numbers are readily available from 1700, but not all counts are of the same quality.  Sunspots seen with the naked eye are noted as early as the 4th Century B.C.  With the invention of the telescope in 1610, they could be seen well enough to consider counting.  It wasn’t until Heinrich Schwabe alluded to the possibility of an 11-year cycle in 1843 that the presence of a solar cycle was noted.  Rudolf Wolf, director of the Observatory at Bern, studied and verified the cycle.   In 1848, Wolf organized a number of observatories to record sunspots on a regular basis.  He also went through and reconstructed old numbers from literature and observatory archives and found enough information to reconstruct daily drawings back to the year 1818.  He was further able to reconstruct “monthly averages” to 1749, and “annual averages” to 1700.   Eddy grades the reliability of these periods as: (a) 1848 – current => reliable; (b) 1818 – 1847 => good; (c) 1749 – 1817 => questionable; (d) 1700 – 1748 => poor.

It is interesting to Eddy that Wolf stopped his exercise at 1700.  He suggests the possibility that Wolf ran into strange results at that point (no recorded sunspot activity), and simply attributed it to poor or lacking information.  Wolf perhaps felt vindicated that the cycle had been proven back to that point and didn’t consider the possibility of an actual change in the activity of the sun.   But should we assume the solar cycle perpetuates unperturbed?

Prolonged Sunspot Minimum

In the period from 1887-89, Spoerer published papers suggesting an extraordinary interruption – a 70 year period of little sunspot activity.  After his death, E.W. Maunder picked up the mantle and presented his findings initially in 1894 to little fanfare.  Eddy also notes a paper by Agnes Clerke claiming a marked dearth of aurorae during that period.   But it was Maunder who pressed on and finally suggested that the reason it took so long after the telescope was invented in 1610 to recognize the 11-year solar cycle pattern was due in part during the early years to a practical cessation of solar activity.

The bullet-point conclusions that Maunder/Spoerer made were:

  1. Practically no sunspots were recorded as being witnessed from 1645 – 1715
  2. Not a single sunspot in the sun’s northern hemisphere was noted from 1672 – 1704
  3. There was never more than one sunspot group seen at a time from 1645 – 1705Example of a sunspot group (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)
  4. From 1645 – 1715, the total handful of sunspots seen were mostly single spots at low solar latitudes, lasting a single rotation or less.  The entire period’s count was less than what we see in a single active year under normal condition.

Support for these conclusions are circumstantial (reviews of scientific journal quotes, for example).  Eddy expands the evidence to further support the reality of the Maunder Minimum.


Is our “current sun” really the norm?   Is the 11-year cycle a regular and persistent phenomenon? How reliable were the instruments used during that time? Was anyone even interested in observing the sun?

Eddy thinks not.   And this also undermines the argument for planetary gravitational tides driving sunspot activity, and lends support to dynamo theory (which Landscheidt supports, but then makes the case that the dynamic activity is influenced by planetary mass in relation to the sun).

Solar Observations in the 17th Century

By 1612, telescopes distinguished umbrae (dark central regions of a sunspot) from penumbrae (grayish outer part of a sunspot).  By 1625, solar faculae (bright patches or veiny areas near sunspots) were discovered.   During the Maunder Minimum, Greenwich and Paris founded observatories.  There was more than an ability to sketch the sun through projection of the solar image on a screen and record specific details.  Basically, Eddy’s point is that there is no reason to believe that instruments of the time were incapable of seeing even small sunspots, and he utterly rejects that argument (suggested by William Herschel in 1801).

Eddy also believes there was sufficient interest in observing the sun, and that there would have been a fairly consistent viewing of the sun.  He lists many notable astronomers of the time, as well as their scientific articles on the sun and its spots.  A quote from William Derham in 1711 suggests that the sun, in fact, was very consistently scrutinized precisely because of its lack of activity.  Finding a spot was a big deal and worthy of publication.  Scientists Scheiner and Hevelius, at least for a time, were known to make daily drawings of the sun and its sunspots.


Aurora Borealis/Australis activity is correlated with sunspot activity because of the interaction of charged particles emitted from solar flares with the earth’s magnetic field.  These are easily seen, require no telescope, and are visible for hours over large geographical areas.  An indicator of a lack of sunspot activity, then, is a sparsity of aurorae.   Eddy first rules out the possibility of perpetual overcast skies for the 70 year period in quesiton.

The results are consistent with reduced sunspot activity.  Fewer aurorae were recorded during the 70-year period of the Maunder Minimum than in the 70 years immediately preceding it, and the 70 years succeeding.   In England/France/Germany/Denmark/Poland, where observations were usually made, we would normally expect anywhere from 300 to 1000 occurrences in a 70 year period in that region alone.   From 1645 – 1715, only 77 aurora occurrences were recorded in the entire world.  There is then a distinct “turning on” the aurora at the end of this period, not a gradual increase that would otherwise suggest a learning curve or recording curve.

Sunspots seen with the naked Eye

While not a reliable count, such spots suggest high activity.  Large sunspots or groups can be seen at sunrise/sunset, or through haze or smoke.   The best records are kept in the Orient, compiled by Sigeru Kanda of the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory in 1933.  There were 143 naked eye sightings dating back to 28 B.C. through 1743, though most are after the 3rd century.  There is about one sighting per decade, distributed regularly for a time.   But there are periods where no such spots are recorded: 579 – 808; 1403 – 1519 then one sighting, then no more sightings from 1520 to 1604.  Then, during the Munder Minimum.  

Carbon-14 and the History of the Sun

C-14 is an isotope that disintegrates in a known period of time.   By knowing the quantity at hand and the time period from when it originated, one can determine the initial concentration.   How does this tie into the sun?   Well, C-14 is formed in our atmosphere through interaction with cosmic rays.   More rays, more C-14.   Sunspot activity impedes these rays, so the more active the sun is, the fewer rays that reach the earth, and the less C-14 is produced.  A quiet sun – no sunspots – provides a clear path for these rays, and initiates a higher C-14 level (not to be confused with Carbon Dioxide).  Studies show that there was a prolonged increase in C-14 levels between 1650 – 1700, coincident with the Maunder Minimum.  It also shows a period from 1460-1550 with high levels.   This also corresponds with the naked eye observations and other studies,  Eddy labeled this period the Spoerer Minimum.  Likewise, we see clustering of naked eye spots at times where C-14 measures indicate greater activity.

Carbon-14, though, also varies interestingly over a 9000 year period based on a sinusoidal curve represented by earth’s magnetic field.  The long-term C-14 levels appear driven by this curve, while shorter-term fluctuations about this curve are the result of solar activity.  This long-term fluctuation from trough to peak is about 100 ppm.  The earth’s magnetism peaked around 100 AD, where we expect (and see) a minimum of C-14 due to greater shielding of the earth against cosmic rays.

We see anywhere from a 10 – 50 year lag from solar changes to an impact on C-14 readings.  A 10 ppm deviation caused by the sun – apart from other influences such as the magnetism of the earth – indicates entry into a Grand Minimum or Grand Maximum period.   In recent times, we see a large negative deviation (25 ppm – indicative of a Grand Maximum) which indicates anomalously high solar activity.  There is, however, a potential impact from fossil fuel combustion that may be introducing different carbon isotopes into the atmosphere.  This could reduce the ratio of C-14, meaning the full level of the deviation isn’t attributed to solar activity.  To the extent that it is due to the sun, it is an indicator that recent solar activity is anomalously high.  I haven’t done further study on this point.

Absence of Corona at Eclipse

The shape of the corona seen at full eclipse varies with solar activity.  With high activity, there are long, tapered streamers that extend outward.  As activity wanes, these subside.  At minimum, they are absent, except for horizontal ones at the solar equator.  When absent, all we’d see at eclipse would be the dimmer, false corona caused by scattered light from dust and space materials between the moon and sun.

Accounts of total solar eclipses during the Spoerer and Maunder Minimums are consistent with an absent structured corona.   While possible that observers were looking for and worried about other measurements, certainly not everyone would miss this show and it would be almost certain to be documented in some manner, especially considering we do see descriptions of the glow around the moon that perfectly describes the expected false corona.  Contrast this to an eclipse in 1715, where sunspots numbered 26 and rising.  A solar corona is well described.

Eddy does note, however, that it is somewhat unusual that this striking display isn’t well-documented in any previous era, including prior to the Little Ice Age.  He openly questions whether or not there was some change in the sun’s activity after emerging from the Maunder Minimum, which is still an unanswered question.

Final Thoughts

Eddy observes that a 12th/13th Century Maximum and 16th/17th Century Minimum may be extrema of a larger cycle, which could be giving rise to a 22nd/23rd Century Maximum.   I admit to being confused by the math.  It would seem that this would indicate a 20th/21st Century Maximum, which actually seems to have been the case.  He does say that solar activity has steadily increased since the end of the Maunder Minimum (which could be the driver in global warming?)  The solar constant (total radiative output of the sun) also increased at a rate of 0.5% per Century during the 1900s, which is also expected to drive warming. 

I will read Eddy’s next paper, and add anything new in my next post on this topic.

Posted in Climate Change, Cycles, Earth, Eclipse, Global Warming, Landscheidt, Science, Solar cycles, Sun, Weather | 6 Comments »

Landscheidt, Part 3

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on June 3, 2008

It’s been a while since my last excursion into the Lanscheidt paper, :Seinging Sun, 79-Year Cycle, and Climate Change.”   You can see the previous entry, Landscheidt, Part 2 here. Better yet, click here, or the link on the left under “Landscheidt” to get to the archive where you can just get all the entries.

I’m going to skip the summary of where I’m at here and just move on.  Please refer to the previous entries to get up to speed, if interested.

Phases of zero degrees or 90 degrees indicate a potential for peaks and phases of 180 degrees or 270 degrees can lead to troughs.

The phases here are the segments of the 79 year cycle that are made up of 19.86 years, on average.   In the current cycle, the 90-degree phase occurred in 1951.   Each point 0, 90, 180, and 270 are represented by the point of minumum distance (referred to in the paper as DM) between the Center of the Sun (CS) and the Center of Mass of the Solar System (CMSS).   It is at these points where there is the potential for an increase in sunspot activity (peaks) or troughs in sunspot activity (troughs).   Certain criterial need to be met to release these potentials, and that criteria is…

Such potentials are actually released if A L transgresses a definite threshold value.

What exactly is that threshold value?   Ha!   It’s a surprise!   That, and it would take a while to explain it here and it will be better served to wait for the nitty gritty details.   But the general idea here is that A L (the time integral of torque discusses previously) has a maximum value at DM.  That value provides insight into actualized potentials and corresponding solar activity.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Climate Change, Cycles, Earth, Landscheidt, Science, Solar cycles, Sun | 1 Comment »

Landscheidt Part 2

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on March 22, 2008

Please see Part 1 here if you want this to make good sense. Here’s the 10 second version:

The sun (more accurately, the Center of the Sun – heretofore known as CS) revolves around the Center of Mass of our Solar System (CMSS) as the CMSS traces an orbit around the galaxy. The sun is a ball of plasma. As the CS goes around the CMSS, which is changing relative to the sun’s position based on the dispersion of the planets in their respective orbits around the sun, it traces a path in a Helix-type pattern, at different orbital curvatures and distances from the CMSS. When things revolve around a fixed point, there is Torque and a change in angular momentum. Plasma being a charged (ionized) gas, the revolution around the CMSS creates a magnetic field with a certain potential (vector potential) that is driven by the changes in angular momentum. This then is a key driver of solar activity.


One note:  while in Part 1 I referred to the sun’s movement about the CMSS, it is a more accurate representation to refer to the CS’s movement, since CMSS is often within the boundaries (or “limb”) of the sun.   So, from this point on, I will use the more accurate CS in referencing the sun when discussing orbital movement. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Astronomy, Climate Change, Cycles, Global Warming, Landscheidt, Science, Solar cycles, Sun | 2 Comments »

My Random March Through the Insanity of Solar Cycle Research (aka – Explanation of Landsheidt’s first paper, part 1)

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on March 18, 2008

I have become recently fascinated by some papers I have run across recently that really help me understand solar cycles and the impacts on climate. However, I am a simple guy. Yes, I am a math guy and a science guy, but quite honestly, despite all my education and years in those fields, I’ve never reached the point where I prefer formulas over lay terminology. And as I read the papers themselves and synopsises thereof, I am left with a feeling that this important topic is being left behind by the normal human being in the debate. What I want to do is give a very thorough review and understanding of it that accomplishes two purposes: the thoroughness allows the reader to actually understand the scientific mumbo-jumbo. Because a non-scientist will not understand what is being said in 10 words, I will use 100 words. But in the end, hopefully, the reader will be able to intelligently give a short, layman’s explanation that hits the salient points, and is factually accurate.

I am going to try to do something here that I may regret. I have become very interested in papers written and researched by Dr. Theodor Landscheidt. But I am not a scientist, and neither are most of us. The concepts, however, are vitally important in the debate regarding global warming and whether or not it is driven by solar activity. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Astronomy, Climate Change, Cycles, Global Warming, Landscheidt, Science, Solar cycles, Sun | 1 Comment »