Category Archives: Ozone

Will there be a solar minimum soon?

Chart from video of interview of Dr Zharkova Phd ** Click on charts to enlarge

The chart above shows the forecast for Solar Cycles 25, 26 and beyond by Valentina Zharkova.Phd. She believes that she and her team have determined how to forecast solar cycle activity. Solar Cycle 25 is underway and she predicts it will be less active than Solar Cycle 24 and Solar Cycle 26 will be much less active.

Madame Zharkova is much bolder than many other experts with respect to when or if there will be a solar minimum. Before we discuss Madame Zharkova, let’s look into some of the issues that surround the question of an upcoming Solar Minimum.

** The video begins at (2 minutes and 14 seconds.)

To begin with, look at the December 2022 Global temperature.  It dropped to an anomaly of 0.05C from November 2022’s 0.17C anomaly.  This measurement continues the decline of global temperatures since the last El Nino where the anomaly peaked at about 0.4 C. (Red line)

The chart above is from a Dr Roy Spencer posting.

This has resulted in a number of people saying we are on our way to another “little ice age”.   Let’s look at several predictions of serious global cooling

ENSO is the system name acronym for and the Southern Oscillation. It a major factor affecting global temperature.

The El Nino (ocean warming) and the La Nina (ocean cooling) are considered natural phenomena, meaning that they are not man-made actions.  A simplistic description of this phenomena is that over a period of time sun and or submerged volcanos, warm a body of western Pacific Ocean, lying along the equator and its temperature rises. This causes atmospheric changes and the hot water flows eastward to the coast of South America. This is called El Nino.  After several years the conditions change and the body of water flows westward and cool, deep ocean water along South America coast rises This is the La Nina.. This ebb and flow has a major effect on global weather.

The above chart illustrates the Nino and Nina occurrences from 1990 to the present.  Comparing the temperature chart and the Ninos charts show that when an El Nino occurs the global temperature rises. Conversely global temperature drops when a La Nina occurs. The charts seems to show that El Ninos are stronger that La Ninas.  (It would be interesting if someone had measured the chart area for the two.)

Now eyeballing the charts, it looks like the strong El Ninos, a natural occurrence, are the major mover of the global temperatures. 

Examining the global temperature chart, the period following the 1997 -1998 El Nino, stretching out to about 2015 shows that global temperature is flat, in other words, no significant change in global temperature was recorded. Something like 15/16 years.  This happened even though atmospheric C02 was increasing. Does this relegate CO2 to be only a minor forcing? Does this indicate that the sun (or volcanos) are causing global temperatures to rise?

Viewing Solar Cycles.

Solar Cycle 24 was much less active than its predecessors. The new Cycle 25 activity is almost identical to Solar Cycle 24 as can be seen in the following chart

The chart above is courtsey of Solan.Info.

Cycle 25 at 30 months after cycle start is the green line and that is where Cycle 24, the black line, was at thirty months. The other Cycles, from other years, that had unusually low activity are shown on this chart. Cycle 24 the black line was less activity than the others.

For contrast, the following chart shows the “Modern Maximum”, group of Cycles, meaning very active. The chart is a little dated as the last rising blue line is Solar Cycle 24.

The solar cycles 24 and 25 are substantially less active than their predecessors.  There is really no strong signal yet that the temperature is dropping due to low activity Solar Cycles. Perhaps there is a time delay built into the system.

Cloud Formation due to weak Solar Cycles

This allows us to examine three theories.  First comes the Svensmark theory: From the posting “comes this description of the theory:

“In 1995, Henrik Svensmark discovered a startling connection between the cosmic ray flux from space and cloud cover. He found that when the sun is more active–more sunspots, a stronger magnetic field, larger auroras, stronger solar winds, etc.–fewer cosmic rays strike the earth and cloud cover is reduced, resulting in warmer temperatures.”  When the sun is inactive, more of them penetrate the atmosphere. Upon reaching the lower atmosphere where more sulphur dioxide, water vapor, and ozone is present, the cosmic rays ionize the air, releasing electrons that aid in the formation of more CCN and form more dense clouds. This increase in low-cloud amount reflects more solar energy to space, cooling the planet.”

CERN set up chambers to test this theory. While there was some verification, they said that cosmic rays did form clouds, but the formation was much too small to have any effect.  It appears that there are many that still think Svensmark is correct.  We will have to wait to see future developments.

There are some new theories positing that Ultra Violet (UV) is a player.   

First some UV information from Wiki: “The Sun emits ultraviolet radiation at all wavelengths, including the extreme ultraviolet where it crosses into X-rays at 10 nm. Sunlight in space at the top of Earth’s atmosphere is composed of about 50% infrared light, 40% visible light, and 10% ultraviolet light, for a total intensity of about 1400 W/m2 in vacuum.[22]

The atmosphere blocks about 77% of the Sun’s UV, when the Sun is highest in the sky (at zenith), with absorption increasing at shorter UV wavelengths. At ground level with the sun at zenith, sunlight is 44% visible light, 3% ultraviolet, and the remainder infrared.[23][24] Of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface, more than 95% is the longer wavelengths of UVA, with the small remainder UVB. Almost no UVC reaches the Earth’s surface.[25] 

The shorter bands of UVC, as well as even more-energetic UV radiation produced by the Sun, are absorbed by oxygen and generate the ozone in the ozone layer when single oxygen atoms produced by UV photolysis of dioxygen react with more dioxygen. The ozone layer is especially important in blocking most UVB and the remaining part of UVC not already blocked by ordinary oxygen in air.”

Here is one of the UV theories It is called the Winter GateKeeper Hypothesis. I would like to say that I know enough to describe this hypothesis, but I can not. Dr Judith Curry has posted it on her site, which I think is a favorable appraisal of this hypothesis. She has also noted another researcher which seems to have a favorable opinion. So I will give you a summary:

“The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis integrates different components of the transport system in the stratosphere, troposphere, and ocean. A schematic of the energy processes involved is presented in Fig. 8.1, with energy transport represented by white arrows. Solar modulation starting in the stratosphere affects all transport, and Vinós (2022) showed a solar effect on ENSO and the polar vortex. The mechanism by which solar activity modulates ENSO activity is still unknown, but this author proposes a solar modulation of the Brewer-Dobson tropical upwelling, known as the “tropical route” of the “top-down mechanism” (Maycock & Misios 2016; Vinós 2022).”

“Fig. 8.1. Northern Hemisphere winter meridional transport outline. The energy gain/loss ratio at the top of the atmosphere determines the maximal energy source in the tropical band and the maximal energy sink in the Arctic in winter. Incoming solar energy is distributed in the stratosphere and troposphere/surface where it is subjected to different transport modulations. Energy (white arrows) ascends from the surface to the stratosphere at the tropical pipe (left dashed line) and is transported towards the polar vortex (right dashed line) by the Brewer–Dobson circulation. Stratospheric transport is determined by UV heating at the tropical ozone layer, which establishes a temperature gradient affecting zonal wind strength through thermal wind balance, and by the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). This double control determines the behavior of planetary waves (black arrows) and determines if the polar vortex undergoes a biennial coupling with the QBO (BO). In the tropical ocean mixed-layer, ENSO is the main energy distribution modulator. While the Hadley cell participates in energy transport and responds to its intensity by expanding or contracting, most energy transport in the tropics is done by the ocean. Changes in transport intensity result in the main modes of variability, the AMO, and PDO. Outside the tropics, most of the energy is transferred to the troposphere, where synoptic transport by eddies along storm tracks is responsible for the bulk of the transport to high latitudes. The strength of the polar vortex determines the high latitudes winter climate regime. A weak vortex promotes a warm Arctic/ cold continents winter regime, where more energy enters the Arctic exchanged by cold air masses moving out. Jet streams (PJS, polar; TJS, tropical; PNJ, polar night) constitute the boundaries and limit transport. Red oval, the part of the Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis studied in Veretenenko 2022. Figure from Vinós 2022”

Finally, a few notes about the Zharkova theory.

From the posting in Principia Scientific titled “The Woman Who Could Cancel Net Zero”comes another theory.   The woman in this case is  Professor Valentina Zharkova of the University of Northumbria. The professor’s fields are applied mathematics, plasma physics, pattern recognition, solar-terrestrial physics and solar activity. She forecasts that “in the next 30yrs, global warming problem will be last thing in our mind. Then the solar cycles return to being active.

With her team, she has studied the Sun’s many magnetic fields.   She says that sunspots are not a strong enough signal to base any predictions on.  So the team separated the magnetic fields in separate components with a principal component analysis using Eigen vectors and Eigen values. She used the output to create a method to predict solar cycle activity. She maintains that she demonstrated that the teams work can closely match the past solar cycles and they can use it to project the future solar cycle activity.

It would be enormous step in understanding the Sun if Dr Zharkova’s system proves out. It might well be a big hit on the man-made global warming theory, too.


The Myth of Man-made Ozone Depletion

Guest Post by Richard F. Cronin

August 3, 2017

After 31 years working for E.I. DuPont de Nemours here is my understanding about “ozone depletion” — the warm-up act for anthropogenic CO2-induced “global warming”.  Even the proponents of human-induced “ozone depletion” are starting to realize that the thinning of the ozone layer is a natural phenomenon that just waxes and wanes.

Ozone (O3) is produced in the stratosphere by the intense solar radiation causing photo-dissociation of the di-atomic oxygen molecule (O2). The oxygen singlet (- O) is a powerful oxidizing agent and readily reacts with another O2 molecule to yield ozone.   Ozone is not produced during the dark polar winters and its lowest point is in the early spring. The ozone layer is renewed by the sunlit polar summers.

Molina and Rowland published in 1974 and their core premise is that heavier-than-air chloro-fluoro carbons (CFCs) convect upwards using a “one dimensional diffusion model”, where they photo-dissociate due to ultraviolet radiation in the band of 2000 Angstroms to yield ozone -destroying chlorine and bromine. Molina and Rowland also stated that CFCs do not dissolve in water, so they are not scrubbed out by rain at lower elevations. However, it is known that organo-halogens adsorb on dust particles and aerosols which are scrubbed out by rain in the troposphere.  Finally, volcanoes emit CFCs as well as copious amounts of hydrofluoric acid (HF), hydrochloric acid (HCl) and hydrodrobromic acid (HBr) which carry up to the stratosphere. (Ian Plimer, et al).  See “Heaven and Earth” by Ian Plimer, University of Adelaide.  There is always some equilibrium presence of these molecules, in trace quantities.

Click here for Atmospheric aerosols in the Earth System

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