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Scientists Issue Unprecedented Forecast of Next Sunspot Cycle
www.nsf.gov ^ | March 6, 2006

Posted on 03/06/2006 3:34:07 PM PST by Esther Ruth

Scientists Issue Unprecedented Forecast of Next Sunspot Cycle

March 6, 2006

The next sunspot cycle will be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the last one, and begin as much as a year late, according to a breakthrough forecast using a computer model of solar dynamics developed by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. The research results, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA, were published on-line on March 3 in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Scientists now predict that the next cycle, known as Cycle 24, will produce sunspots across an area slightly larger than 2.5 percent of the visible surface of the Sun. The cycle is projected to reach its peak about 2012, one year later than indicated by alternative forecasting methods that rely on statistics.

By analyzing recent solar cycles, the scientists also hope to forecast sunspot activity two solar cycles, or 22 years, into the future. The team is planning in the next year to issue a forecast of Cycle 25, which will peak in the early 2020s.

The researchers expect that predicting the Sun's cycles years in advance will lead to more accurate plans for solar storms, which can slow satellite orbits, disrupt communications, and bring down power systems.

The team has verified the information by using the relatively new technique of helioseismology, based in part on observations from NASA instruments. This technique tracks sound waves reverberating inside the Sun to reveal details about the interior, much as a doctor might use ultrasound to see inside a patient.

"Forecasting the solar cycle will help society anticipate solar storms," says Paul Bellaire, program director in NSF's division of atmospheric sciences, which funded the research. "Important discoveries are being made using helioseismology. Through this technique, we can image even the far side of the Sun."

The scientists gained additional confidence in the forecast by showing that the newly developed model could simulate the strength of the past eight solar cycles with more than 98 percent accuracy.

"The model has demonstrated the necessary skill to be used as a forecasting tool," says NCAR scientist Mausumi Dikpati, the leader of the forecast team at NCAR's High Altitude Observatory. The team also includes NCAR scientists Peter Gilman and Guiliana de Toma.

"This is a significant breakthrough with important applications, especially for satellite-dependent societies," says Gilman.

The Sun goes through approximately 11-year cycles, from peak storm activity to quiet, and back again. Solar scientists have tracked these cycles without being able to predict their relative intensity or timing, says Dikpati.

Solar storms are linked to twisted magnetic fields that suddenly snap and release tremendous amounts of energy. They tend to occur near dark regions of concentrated magnetic fields, known as sunspots.

The NCAR computer model, known as the Predictive Flux-transport Dynamo Model, draws on research indicating that the evolution of sunspots is caused by a current of plasma, or electrified gas, that circulates between the Sun's equator and its poles over a period of 17 to 22 years.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2012; forecast; porecast; scientists; sol; solar; sunspot
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1 posted on 03/06/2006 3:34:11 PM PST by Esther Ruth
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To: Esther Ruth

Bush's fault


2 posted on 03/06/2006 3:34:38 PM PST by mathprof
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To: Esther Ruth
"....known as the Predictive Flux-transport Dynamo Model"
3 posted on 03/06/2006 3:36:41 PM PST by stacytec (Nihilism, its whats for dinner)
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To: Esther Ruth

Year 2012 again.


4 posted on 03/06/2006 3:38:28 PM PST by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways Guero ╗ with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona....)
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To: Esther Ruth

If only Bush would sign the Kyoto treaty. Those sun spots would not have a chance.


5 posted on 03/06/2006 3:42:05 PM PST by lormand (...the wrong person came out of the water that fateful night in Chappaquiddick)
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To: ▀udda▀udd

Not to worry -- the sun has no effect on the weather.

/s


6 posted on 03/06/2006 3:44:17 PM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: Esther Ruth
One of the largest flares ever recorded happened in November of 2003 (X28 on a scale that only goes from X1 to X9), and would have wrecked havoc all over the earth, if it wasn't for the dumb luck of the earth being exactly 90 degrees perpendicular to the blast when it happened. (270 degrees out of rotational phase)

6 November 2003
It has been announced that the massive solar X-ray flare which occurred on 4 November was, at best estimate, an X28. There is still a small chance this will be revised by a small amount, but it is now official: We have a new number 1 X-ray flare for the record books, the most powerful in recorded observational history.

7 posted on 03/06/2006 3:50:21 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: Esther Ruth

Computer models for complex systems = GIGO.


8 posted on 03/06/2006 3:54:45 PM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: Esther Ruth

Amazing, global warming is now traveling 93 million miles through space, and affecting the Sun. Stunning, the power of global warming.


9 posted on 03/06/2006 4:17:53 PM PST by HisKingdomWillAbolishSinDeath (My Homeland Security: Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper)
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To: ▀udda▀udd

Those darned Mayans were republicans!!! We're all doomed!!!


10 posted on 03/06/2006 4:19:23 PM PST by brooklin
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To: xcamel
One of the largest flares ever recorded happened in November of 2003 (X28 on a scale that only goes from X1 to X9), and would have wrecked havoc all over the earth, if it wasn't for the dumb luck of the earth being exactly 90 degrees perpendicular to the blast when it happened. (270 degrees out of rotational phase)

Now there's a good case for wearing a tin foil sombrero...and poncho.

Did they say anything about what sort of damage would have been expected from a direct hit?

11 posted on 03/06/2006 4:36:21 PM PST by Max in Utah (muhammed-- Satan's stepson)
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To: Esther Ruth
and the solar cycle has no relation to global warming

 

add to that the fact that they've found global warming on Mars and you get my drift 

12 posted on 03/06/2006 4:38:51 PM PST by Phsstpok (There are lies, damned lies, statistics and presentation graphics, in descending order of truth)
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To: Max in Utah
I believe they discussed it for about an hour, and walked away, sweating, and just shaking their heads.

They were sure they didn't really want to know. Seriously.

13 posted on 03/06/2006 4:40:52 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: Esther Ruth
HAMS won't be happy to learn of this.
14 posted on 03/06/2006 4:41:05 PM PST by fso301
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To: Esther Ruth
The cycle is projected to reach its peak about 2012, one year later than indicated by alternative forecasting methods that rely on statistics.

Coast to Coast will have a field day with this one.

15 posted on 03/06/2006 4:43:21 PM PST by mware (A teacher of geography.)
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To: brooklin
they were probably stuffed-suit rinos...
16 posted on 03/06/2006 4:44:16 PM PST by Battle Hymn of the Republic
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To: Phsstpok
Actually, this is great news and something scientifically testable. If there is a strong linkage between Sun spots and Earth temperatures, then this next cycle will prove it. Of course, this would also demonstrate that any observed "global warming" is primarily a result of our Sun's variability.

As an astronomer, discovering that our Sun is a variable star would not be that surprising.

17 posted on 03/06/2006 4:45:09 PM PST by Hunble
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To: fso301

>HAMS won't be happy to learn of this<

Sorry, but you're 180º out of phase. We'll love it -- maybe with F2 propagation all the way to 2 meters!


18 posted on 03/06/2006 5:29:56 PM PST by Hawthorn
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To: ▀udda▀udd
Year 2012 again.

It does seem to keep showing up, doesn't it?

19 posted on 03/06/2006 5:32:15 PM PST by null and void (I nominate Sept 11th: "National Moderate Muslim Day of Tacit Approval". - Mr. Rational, paraphrased)
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To: null and void; ▀udda▀udd; mware

What else is significant about 2012, don't listen to Coast to Coast?


20 posted on 03/06/2006 5:41:38 PM PST by Esther Ruth (I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee - Genesis 12:3)
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To: Esther Ruth

The NASCAR computer model, known as the Predictive Flux-transport Dynamo Model(with restrictor plates).


21 posted on 03/06/2006 5:44:50 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Esther Ruth
Nothing series. The world is supposed to end that year.

(Personally I think Hillary!™ will be running)...

22 posted on 03/06/2006 5:44:57 PM PST by null and void (I nominate Sept 11th: "National Moderate Muslim Day of Tacit Approval". - Mr. Rational, paraphrased)
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To: Esther Ruth

2012 marks the end of the Gatun, in the Mayan calender.


23 posted on 03/06/2006 5:46:06 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68

The precession of the equinoxes was known by the Romans, but they had it about 12,000 years in length. Now it is known to something like 24,000 years in length. The Mayans apparently knew it more accurately than the
Romans did.


24 posted on 03/06/2006 5:49:20 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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The Romans called it the Great Year.


25 posted on 03/06/2006 5:49:50 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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To: tet68
"2012 marks the end of the Gatun, in the Mayan calender."

December 23, 2012, if I remember correctly.

26 posted on 03/06/2006 5:53:45 PM PST by Tench_Coxe
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To: Tench_Coxe

Well, Googling it seems to show December 21.


27 posted on 03/06/2006 5:58:18 PM PST by Tench_Coxe
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To: Tench_Coxe
A day here, a day there, and pretty soon you need to adjust the whole friggin' calender...
28 posted on 03/06/2006 6:20:13 PM PST by null and void (I nominate Sept 11th: "National Moderate Muslim Day of Tacit Approval". - Mr. Rational, paraphrased)
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To: ▀udda▀udd
Year 2012 again.

Yeah, they probably used the Aztec calendar to determine the year. We're doomed.

29 posted on 03/06/2006 6:46:02 PM PST by Rocky (Air America: Robbing the poor to feed the Left)
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To: Esther Ruth

Coast to Coast AM is a goldmine.

Tons of ore. Ounces of gold...


30 posted on 03/06/2006 7:20:10 PM PST by null and void (I nominate Sept 11th: "National Moderate Muslim Day of Tacit Approval". - Mr. Rational, paraphrased)
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To: 1066AD; 1ofmanyfree; AlexW; ASOC; bigbob; Brian Allen; BushCountry; Calamari; CenTex; ...
Ham Radio Ping List

Please Freepmail me if you want to be added to or deleted from the list.

31 posted on 03/06/2006 7:28:13 PM PST by Denver Ditdat (Melting solder since 1975)
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To: Hawthorn
I thought sunspots really interferred with the amature bands.
32 posted on 03/06/2006 8:32:20 PM PST by fso301
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To: ▀udda▀udd

Humm, I had not thought of it till you mentioned it.........


33 posted on 03/06/2006 9:58:00 PM PST by united1000
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To: xcamel
One of the largest flares ever recorded happened in November of 2003 (X28 on a scale that only goes from X1 to X9), and would have wrecked havoc all over the earth, if it wasn't for the dumb luck of the earth being exactly 90 degrees perpendicular to the blast when it happened. (270 degrees out of rotational phase)
 
If I remember my dates correct I also saw the Aurora here is Indiana that November. I had not seen it like that since I was a kid.

34 posted on 03/06/2006 10:03:14 PM PST by united1000
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To: Hunble

This Island Earth, subject to storms that come and go.


35 posted on 03/06/2006 10:04:07 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: fso301; Hawthorn
I thought sunspots really interferred with the amature bands.

Hawthorn is correct. Hams look forward to the high point in the sun spot cycle. Sun spots are a metric used by hams to estimate the level of ionization in the atmosphere. This ionization is what allows certain radio signals to bend back to earth and be heard at a distant location far over the horizon. However, solar flare activity can cause radio interference when its emissions are directed toward the earth.

36 posted on 03/06/2006 11:01:44 PM PST by Database
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To: fso301
"HAMS won't be happy to learn of this."

Quite the contrary.
During the cycle around 1958, I had fantastic contacts around the world. I lived for those 11 year peaks, as I was an avid DXer, (one who likes to contact foreign stations).
There would be times when I could contact stations on every continent at the same time, and with signals that were as strong as a local station.
37 posted on 03/06/2006 11:10:46 PM PST by AlexW (Reporting from Bratislava, Slovakia)
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To: AlexW

Maybe if this cycle gets strong enough you can talk with someone from 1958 (like the movie we just rented on DVD!) Forgot the name, but it has Caveizel (played Christ in the Passion) as a cop that ends up talking to his Dad from 20 years ago on the Ham radio during a solar max and trying to catch a serial killer. Fun movie!


38 posted on 03/06/2006 11:25:09 PM PST by geopyg (Ever Vigilant, Never Fearful)
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To: geopyg
"Maybe if this cycle gets strong enough you can talk with someone from 1958 "

I would like to find that movie.
I remember from years ago, their was a SciFi theory that
radio waves would not totally dissipate, but go on forever, and we would one day develop sensitive devices that could pick up old signals. Wouldn't that be a hoot... :))
39 posted on 03/06/2006 11:34:45 PM PST by AlexW (Reporting from Bratislava, Slovakia)
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To: geopyg; AlexW

The movie is Frequency. I believe the Dad was played by Dennis Quaid.


40 posted on 03/06/2006 11:36:37 PM PST by Database
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To: Esther Ruth
The team has verified the information by using the relatively new technique of helioseismology, based in part on observations from NASA instruments. This technique tracks sound waves reverberating inside the Sun to reveal details about the interior, much as a doctor might use ultrasound to see inside a patient.

Question I have is, how many sunspot cycles have been observed with this new fangled stuff. If they haven't seen even one yet, I'd wait and see.

41 posted on 03/06/2006 11:38:12 PM PST by The Red Zone
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To: Database

Thanks!


42 posted on 03/06/2006 11:41:09 PM PST by geopyg (Ever Vigilant, Never Fearful)
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To: geopyg

Time to buy more gold! Had an old-timer friend that swore on the Solar-Gold cycle!?

I see someone is even selling software to do it:


"The program then analyzes the parameters you set up, and identifies the geocosmic correlates that most stand out, given those parameters. One can then go to the Galactic Trader functions to see when those signatures come up again."


43 posted on 03/06/2006 11:47:38 PM PST by geopyg (Ever Vigilant, Never Fearful)
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To: united1000

That was the one.
see: http://lrllamas.com/weather/Aurora/index.html
(some pictures I took that night)


44 posted on 03/07/2006 3:23:44 AM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: The Red Zone
Oh yikes, idunno, there are a lot of great links that you could spend millions of hours on at that web site linked at top of this article. Look at this one that is from the bottom of article. Lots there.
http://www.hao.ucar.edu/
45 posted on 03/07/2006 4:42:36 AM PST by Esther Ruth (I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee - Genesis 12:3)
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To: Esther Ruth
The cancer of Darwinism has metastasized to all of Science. Two days ago I was castigated for saying -- in mockery of the fantasical mindset Darwinism requires -- that the grains of sand along a beach will surely evolve into great castles. Today, here's a report that says that firey grains of plasma are also part and parcel of teh Holy Church of Darwinism, and adhere to the Dogma of Evolution. Vis:
The NCAR computer model, known as the Predictive Flux-transport Dynamo Model, draws on research indicating that the evolution of sunspots is caused by a current of plasma, or electrified gas, that circulates between the Sun's equator and its poles over a period of 17 to 22 years.
Were it not except to bow like true believers before the the altar of Darwinism, the term "evolution" might have been "development". All praise Holy Darwin and his Works! JMHO.
46 posted on 03/07/2006 5:18:53 AM PST by bvw
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To: Database
Did he play... Kenneth ?
47 posted on 03/07/2006 5:31:54 AM PST by johnny7 (ôIuventus stultorum magisterö)
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To: united1000

check that, the web page was a mess.
look here: http://lrllamas.com/Aurora/northernlights/


48 posted on 03/07/2006 10:23:49 AM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: xcamel
check that, the web page was a mess.
look here:
http://lrllamas.com/Aurora/northernlights/
 
Awesome photos, way COOL!  Great shots!  I had to drive out of town a bit to get away from the lights, and still didn't get to decent dark sky; but the aurora was so brilliant I saw it just fine anyway. It had been quite a few years between views of seeing the aurora in this area like that. Although when I was a kid I was in Ohio, the lat was about the same. I bet you get to see them in your blue state more often though. lol

49 posted on 03/07/2006 3:20:52 PM PST by united1000
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To: xcamel
[Very nice pictures of the Aurora deleted.]

As Bruce Cockburn put it:

Sunday night and it's half-past nine(x3)
I'm leaving one more town behind

The mirrors are showing the day's last glow(x3)
As we're spit out into the jigsaw flow

Ahead where there should be the thickness of night (x3)
Stars are pinned on a shimmering curtain of light

The sky full of rippling cliffs and chasms(x3)
That shine like signs on the road to heaven

I've been cut by the beauty of jagged mountains(x3)
and cut by the Love that flows like a fountain--from God

so I carry these scars so precious and rare(x3)
and tonight I feel like I'm made of air

Cheers!

50 posted on 03/07/2006 5:43:23 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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