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  1. #1 New Solar Cycle Predictions 
    New Solar Cycle Predictions

    This plot of sunspot numbers shows the measured peak of the last solar cycle (Solar Cycle 23) in blue and the predicted peak of the next solar cycle (24) in red. Credit: NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center.

    by Tony Phillips
    Boulder CO (SPX) May 28, 2009

    An international panel of experts has released a new prediction for the next solar cycle, stating that Solar Cycle 24 will peak in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots. Led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and sponsored by NASA, the panel includes a dozen members from nine different government and academic institutions.

    Their forecast sets the stage for at least another year of mostly quiet conditions before solar activity resumes in earnest.

    "If our prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 24 will have a peak sunspot number of 90, the lowest of any cycle since 1928 when Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78," says panel chairman Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, Boulder, Colo.

    It is tempting to describe such a cycle as "weak" or "mild," but that could give the wrong impression. "Even a below-average cycle is capable of producing severe space weather," says Biesecker. "The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, for instance, occurred during a solar cycle of about the same size we're predicting for 2013."

    The 1859 storm - named the "Carrington Event" after astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating solar flare - electrified transmission cables, set fires in telegraph offices, and produced Northern Lights so bright that people could read newspapers by their red and green glow.

    A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause $1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery. For comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused $80 to 125 billion in damage.

    The latest forecast revises a prediction issued in 2007, when a sharply divided panel believed solar minimum would come in March 2008 and would be followed by either a strong solar maximum in 2011 or a weak solar maximum in 2012. Competing models of the solar cycle produced different forecasts, and researchers were eager for the sun to reveal which was correct.

    "It turns out that none of the models were really correct," says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. NASA's lead representative on the panel. "The sun is behaving in an unexpected and very interesting way."
    Having some familiarity with atmospheric modeling issues, I'd say that's pretty likely.

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  2. #2  
    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    Spandex melts on a solar cycle.

    What's funny to me is, the weatherman usually isn't even good at telling me what's going on tomorrow. They have models and computer this and that, but a weather string is more accurate.

    No reason I see why solar weather is or would be any more predictable.
    Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
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  3. #3  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
    Spandex melts on a solar cycle.

    What's funny to me is, the weatherman usually isn't even good at telling me what's going on tomorrow. They have models and computer this and that, but a weather string is more accurate.

    No reason I see why solar weather is or would be any more predictable.
    We have weather stations on the sun. DUH!
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  4. #4  
    An Adversary of Linda #'s
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Having some familiarity with atmospheric modeling issues, I'd say that's pretty likely.

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    These people who try to model a complicated activity like a solar body have an major ego problem just like algore.The unknowns of the solar reactions and the internal conditions of the star will never be known to any great detail .Parameters like the internal temperature of each layer of gas as it spirals down to the core and the interlayer gradients are needed for an accurate dynamic model of the solar reaction .

    The intensity of the massive magnetic fields fluctuate creating vortices's and with channels of extreme heat going down to the solar core. This causes a great down flow of Hydrogen into the core cause the reaction to flare up to the solar surface .

    Now how do they ever hope to produce an accurate model without enormous amounts of very precise accurate data .About the best they can do is a sort of a generalzed model through observation of repetitious events over time much like they have now .The proof of a models Fidelity is in the simulation,observation and comparisons to that real thing and the prediction of an future event that actually happens .Lots of Luck doing that !
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    We have weather stations on the sun. DUH!
    In orbit on the cool side of Mercury !
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  6. #6  
    Modeling is a tricky business at best. The public is unaware that MET modeling (locally) is done by using a wide variety of models and sort of mixing them up according to local, historical experience and SWAG.

    The models and the sats will give you an idea of big systems but they aren't as accurate for ultra local conditions or very short (or very long) time-frame forecasts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Modeling is a tricky business at best. The public is unaware that MET modeling (locally) is done by using a wide variety of models and sort of mixing them up according to local, historical experience and SWAG.

    The models and the sats will give you an idea of big systems but they aren't as accurate for ultra local conditions or very short (or very long) time-frame forecasts.
    The basic purpose of a model is to take the place of and predict what the object modeled will do or how it will react to any given set of stimuli .The Fidelity of the model is in the accuracy of its behavior to the original object and how well it predicts that behavior.Large System modeling requires a series of accurate sub models designed to represent and add to the whole .Each sub model must correspond to some subset of the total system and react in concert with the total system when stimulated !Surface modeling is at best an approximated guess of total systems performance to all stimulus .
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  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by megimoo View Post
    The basic purpose of a model is to take the place of and predict what the object modeled will do or how it will react to any given set of stimuli .The Fidelity of the model is in the accuracy of its behavior to the original object and how well it predicts that behavior.Large System modeling requires a series of accurate sub models designed to represent and add to the whole .Each sub model must correspond to some subset of the total system and react in concert with the total system when stimulated !Surface modeling is at best an approximated guess of total systems performance to all stimulus .
    Pretty much.
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  9. #9  
    An Adversary of Linda #'s
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Pretty much.
    It's what I did for a living and still do on occasion !
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