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Earth Space Science

Double-Dynamo Model Predicts 60% Fall In Solar Output In The 2030s 249

sycodon points out reports of a new model of solar dynamics from University of Northumbria professor Valentina Zharkova, predictions from which "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." Zharkova's model, based on observation of solar magnetism, "draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone." Zharkova’s and her colleages at three other universities believe that this two-layer model "could explain aspects of the solar cycle with much greater accuracy than before — possibly leading to enhanced predictions of future solar behaviour. “We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs; originating in two different layers in the Sun’s interior. They both have a frequency of approximately 11 years, although this frequency is slightly different [for both] and they are offset in time.”
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Double-Dynamo Model Predicts 60% Fall In Solar Output In The 2030s

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 11, 2015 @04:42PM (#50090169)

    If this is true, clearly we need to be putting MORE CO2 into the atmosphere, not less. That's just science.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The grand solar cycle (the irregular one hundreds of years long, not the 11-year ripple on top of it) is one of the many cycles that go into determining climate. It operates independently of any carbon warming effect that may be happening. If this cycle is going into a low, it would mean another Little Ice Age if nothing else were going on. It points to the need for better climate models before hysterically making major public policy decisions.

      • The grand solar cycle

        When you Google a term, and the first two hits are YouTube videos, you know you are in for something hilarious.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You have been downgraded to troll for stating the obvious. I've long believed that a new ice age was coming and that global warming was our best bet in avoiding it, but whenever I mention that I'm also marked as a troll by idiots who think that not sharing their point of view is the same as trolling.Or maybe they don't really believe that, but they still abuse moderation to make less apparent any view that disagrees with them, particularly when they are ill equipped to logically debate you.
      • But man we gotta and I mean we gotta save the planet. If you don't think we have to do it , and if we don't everything is going to fall apart you have to be some kind of crazy.

      • But you are equipped to put forward your prescient feeling of a mini ice age coming really really soon as something all of us should plan for ?
      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        A new ice age is, indeed, coming. But it comes AFTER the big melt. Quite awhile after, though the timing depends on volcanos.

        This, of course, assumes no anthropogenic modifications of the climate.

        That said, there *are* multiple solar cycles. But before I took this seriously I'd need to look at, among other things, his funding sources. Review in a professional journal is a reasonable substitute for that, provided you check the journal's sources of funding. (Drug companies have been known to hire everyon

    • by tmosley ( 996283 )
      No, you'd be better off using a real GHG, like methane or CFCs. CO2 is utter shit when it comes to warming, being slightly worse than the average of the atmosphere.
      • It is really cheap though - it's just a byproduct of highly profitable activities. It also sticks around a long time, methane has a rather short environmental half life.

    • Or we should all buy solar panels now while they are still useful.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      If there is a 60% fall in solar output; then, no amount of additional greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are going to be able to stop earth from turning into a barren frozen wasteland.

      The drop in solar output will reduce temperature sufficiently for the Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen in the air to liquify, and earth's surface would become a barren wasteland, kind of like what Neptune looks like today.

  • by rumpledoll ( 716472 ) <rumpledoll&covad,net> on Saturday July 11, 2015 @04:45PM (#50090183)
    Not solar output falling 60%, which would lead to completely frozen Earth, but solar activity, i.e. the 11 year sunspot cycle. Predicting levels near or at those found during the Maunder minimum. This does imply some reduced level of solar output.
    • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @04:52PM (#50090227) Homepage

      Not solar output falling 60%, which would lead to completely frozen Earth, but solar activity, i.e. the 11 year sunspot cycle. Predicting levels near or at those found during the Maunder minimum. This does imply some reduced level of solar output.

      About plus or minus 0.1% change in total solar irradiance between solar maximum and solar minimum:

      http://science.nasa.gov/scienc... [nasa.gov]

      • Not solar output falling 60%, which would lead to completely frozen Earth, but solar activity, i.e. the 11 year sunspot cycle. Predicting levels near or at those found during the Maunder minimum. This does imply some reduced level of solar output.

        About plus or minus 0.1% change in total solar irradiance between solar maximum and solar minimum:

        http://science.nasa.gov/scienc... [nasa.gov]

        It's not just the solar cycle but two cycles matching each other, the solar cycle and the flipping of the It's magnetic poles. Not about to claim what the Suns output would/will be.

        • Like that time the 11-, 17- and 7-year cicadas coincided and drove everyone in the US absolutely nucking futz with the noise. And larval shells. And carcasses.

    • by MightyDrunken ( 1171335 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @05:05PM (#50090271)
      It is a shame it isn't 60% of solar output, I was looking forward to "room temperature" superconductors.
    • by catchblue22 ( 1004569 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @07:31PM (#50090785) Homepage

      Not solar output falling 60%, which would lead to completely frozen Earth, but solar activity, i.e. the 11 year sunspot cycle. Predicting levels near or at those found during the Maunder minimum. This does imply some reduced level of solar output.

      Thought I'd smelled a rat. The headline is deceptive (likely deliberately). The vast majority of readers wouldn't know the difference between activity and irradiance.

      • by nyet ( 19118 )

        Thought I'd smelled a rat. The headline is deceptive (likely deliberately).

        With timothy, Hanlon's razor applies.

      • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @08:29PM (#50091041)
        Can you imagine solar irradiance falling by 60% over 30 years?

        Radiance is proportional to the fourth power of temperature. That's a huge dependence, so timothy and sycodon have got that going for them. Even so, we know the temperature of the photosphere is 5777 K. Since 5777 * (1 - sqrt(sqrt(1-0.6))) / (2030 - 2015) = 80, that implies an 80 degree drop every year across the entire sun, which would have been noticed a long time ago.

        These two are skeptical that Earth's atmosphere might be several degrees warmer decades from now, and they're ready to back that up with a claim that the sun's entire atmosphere is cooling down 80 degrees every year.

        And they cite a paper that didn't imply that at all. What are these guys smoking?
  • Every cycle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @04:46PM (#50090189) Homepage

    Well, except that every solar cycle since I can remember, I've heard somebody predicting that the next solar cycle is about the start a new Maunder minimum, and it will mean mini ice age. Every one.
    This one is a prediction based on fitting a model only to the last three cycles. i'm not impressed.
    For reference, here's the MSFC page on solar cycle modelling: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.... [nasa.gov]

    • Well, except that every solar cycle since I can remember, I've heard somebody predicting that the next solar cycle is about the start a new Maunder minimum, and it will mean mini ice age. Every one. This one is a prediction based on fitting a model only to the last three cycles. i'm not impressed. For reference, here's the MSFC page on solar cycle modelling: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.... [nasa.gov]

      Maybe instead of studying the sun, we should study people who study the sun and see what the relative period is of these people claiming mini ice ages and see if there is any convergence with the periods within which other scientists claim global warming.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        see if there is any convergence with the periods within which other scientists claim global warming.

        Please also cross-reference with how the demographics of the predominant scientists in those fields are varying over time, their television-watching habits, their political party affiliations, and their level of exposure over time to certain alarmist propaganda from anti-industrial/"green" special interest groups.

    • ... or maybe you feel like you have heard such predictions all your life, but unless you provide links to said past predictions (each one eleven years apart), then it is only that, a lingering feeling.
  • by amorsen ( 7485 ) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Saturday July 11, 2015 @04:48PM (#50090201)

    Until we have an actual theory about what is going on, this is just adding epicycles. And bad ones at that, since we do not have sufficient observations to even create decent epicycles

    • Until we have an actual theory about what is going on, this is just adding epicycles. And bad ones at that, since we do not have sufficient observations to even create decent epicycles

      Are you talking about the sun or global warming here ?

      I can never tell which one has more backfitting going on.

      • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday July 11, 2015 @06:41PM (#50090625) Homepage

        Well we don't know what our climate is going to do, ultimately. We do know, however, that we're dumping CO2 into our atmosphere, enough to screw up our environment in various ways, including creating a greenhouse effect in our atmosphere and add to the acidification of our oceans. That's in addition to a crap ton of other stupid things we're doing, e.g. overfishing, dumping toxins into our water supply, deforestation.

        So do we know if we're going to get a mini ice age soon due to natural causes? No, we really don't know. Do we know that we're damaging our own ecosystem, metaphorically poisoning our own well? Yes, we know that with a large degree of certainty.

  • by stevegee58 ( 1179505 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @04:52PM (#50090223) Journal
    An 11 year period would have a frequency of 1/11 or 0.091 cycles per year
  • don't believe. investigate.
  • This is why I'm building an underground compound powered by a nuclear reactor with a vast internal green house.

    Freeze or fry... I'm over it.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @05:30PM (#50090369) Journal

    Is Northumbria somewhere in Middle Earth?

    A quick search on Wikipedia shows that it's actually in Newcastle upon Tyne, which is just a short drive North from Dog Snogging. The chancellor of the University of Northumbria (and I'm not making this up), is Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, which is a name I wish I had.

    Seriously, it all sounds like something out of a Christopher Moore novel.

  • This subject showed up in a lot of submissions, but do wonder about the timing; not the immediate future but good enough to cause concern, not far enough in the future to forget about. These cycles coming together for the first time since the 1600's.

  • Activity != output, dumbass.

  • The original paper mentions nothing of a mini-ice age or anything of the sort you fucking science reporters.

  • I am sure the title was carefully worded to receive as much attention from the press as possible. When Fox-watching Joe Sixpack hears it he will think the sun's total output will drop that much. This will get the climate change deniers on Fox and in congress something great to misinterpret (even though they're not scientists, to use some of their words) and even though it is stupid and wrong, the debate over the "controversy" will run for years while they do nothing to attempt to prevent coming disasters.

    • With a deceptive title like that, this should not have made the slashdot front page. What the *(^#*( are the moderators doing?!

      • by nyet ( 19118 )

        The moderators have no control over the main issue, which is that the /. editors can barely even manage to fix typos in their summaries, let alone gigantic factual errors.

    • even though [climate change deniers on Fox and in congress are] not scientists, to use some of their words

      "I'm not a scientist" is the new defensive crouch of deniers. [washingtonpost.com]

      Stephen Colbert [huffingtonpost.com] had a great piece about it awhile ago. The linked video is almost 5 minutes long, but worth the time to watch.

  • I'll be 72 in 2030 with no kids to worry about. Should I care if Earth turns into an ice cube that my cremation will do little to help?
  • damn mayans, they were right... just a little off.

    on the plus side, that should offset the effects of global warming for a little while

  • The research concluding it led to the LIA is wrong. This paper clearly dismisses solar activity as playing a role in the LIA. http://www.rtcc.org/2013/12/23... [rtcc.org]

  • Bollocks headline. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It isn't a 60% drop in solar output, which would kill all life on Earth, but a 60% drop in SUNSPOTS. Why the fuck someone made that headline up without using "head up arse" as an excuse is beyond anyone's ken.

  • we're talking about a bit of a major event here, and predicted to happen in fifteen years? I'll be in my fifties, ya cunt! That's barely half a lifetime!

Refreshed by a brief blackout, I got to my feet and went next door. -- Martin Amis, _Money_

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