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A Galactic glitch

Filed under: — rasmus @ 10 March 2008

Knud Jahnke and Rasmus Benestad

After having watched a new documentary called the ‘Cloud Mystery’ – and especially the bit about the galaxy (approximately 2 – 4 minutes into the linked video clip) – we realised that a very interesting point has been missed in earlier discussions about ‘climate, galactic cosmic rays and the evolution of the Milky Way galaxy.

It is claimed in ‘The Cloud Mystery’, the book ‘The Chilling Stars’, and related articles that our solar system takes about 250 million years to circle the Milky Way galaxy and that our solar system crosses one of the spiral arms about every ~150 million years (Shaviv 2003).

But is this true? Most likely not. As we will discuss below, this claim is seriously at odds with astrophysical data.

Here is a little background on the Milky Way: The arms of spiral galaxies are not constant entities in time. They are results of gravitational instabilities in the disk or are induced by external companions. These instabilities are moving mass ‘overdensities’ containing old stars and gas, but also newly formed stars recently created from local collapse of the overdense gas.

Arms move around a spiral galaxy with a pattern speed that is defined by the mass distribution. This pattern speed differs from the motion of individual stars, just like the speed of an ocean wave differs from the movement of water particles. Estimating the pattern speed is difficult, as it is not coupled to the motion of individual stars but can only be inferred indirectly. For this reason it has not yet been reliably measured for our Milky Way – unlike for some other spiral galaxies, for which our clear and unobstructed view from the outside allows an estimate.

So how did Shaviv come up with this number?

Measuring the rotational velocity of stars in the Milky Way disk or other spiral galaxies is straightforward. The rotation is not rigid, but depends on the encircled mass inside the orbit of a star, including the Dark Matter, a yet unknown but solidly established source of gravitational attraction. It is easy and a standard technique to measure rotation curves of galaxies as a function of radius, and this is also possible for the Milky Way.

The two different rotating velocities of arms and stars have a different radial dependence – to first order the arms get preserved as entities while the stars further out have much smaller angular velocities than stars further inside – so the relative velocity of a star with respect to the nearest spiral arm will depend on its distance from the centre of the galaxy. At a certain radius, the radius of co-rotation, the two velocities are identical and a star at this radius has zero relative velocity with respect to the spiral arm pattern. It stays “forever” in the same spiral arm – or outside of it.

What are the best estimates for the relative velocity of the Sun with respect to the spiral arm pattern of the Milky Way? As mentioned, the pattern speed of the spiral arm in the Milky Way has not been firmly established.

When investigating other spiral galaxies, however, it was found that almost independently of the wide range of possible assumptions on which the pattern speed estimate was based, the radius of co-rotation follows a simple law: rcorot=r0 * (3.0 +/- 0.5), where r0 is the scale length of the exponential disk of the galaxy (the surface brightness of spiral galaxies drops very close to exponentially from the center to the outside, setting a characteristic size scale). This was measured by Kranz et al. 2003.

Since the Milky Way is a completely normal spiral galaxy, we can apply this result to it. The scale length of the Milky Way disk has recent estimates ranging from 2.6 kilo-parsec (kpc, 1pc=3.3 light years) from the SDSS survey (Juric et al. 2008), through 2.8 kpc (Ohja 2001) to 3.5 kpc (Larsen & Humphreys 2003).

We also know the Sun’s distance to the galactic center well, 7.9 +/- 0.4 kpc (Eisenhauer et al. 2003), which means that the range of values for rcorot=9.1 +/- 1.9kpc. In other words, from this calculation the co-rotation radius of the Milky Way is between 7 and 11 kpc, and at 8 kpc our Sun is close to or at the radius of co-rotation. It almost certainly is not 6 kpc further inside, as Shaviv (2003) claims.

Shaviv (2003) lists in his Table 3 a number of values for the pattern speed of the spiral arms, taking from publications ranging from 1969 to 2001, two years before his article. In these papers the derived relative motion of the Sun relative to the arms ranges from Omegarel=+13.5 km/s/kpc to -4km/s/kpc, and includes estimates that are close to zero (-4km/s/kpc < than Omegarel < +7), i.e. a location near the radius of co-rotation in the majority of the publications, and most of the more recent ones. However, he selectively disregards most of these results.

If we add the above evidence that the radius of co-rotation lies at 9kpc distance and not further out, and convert this to relative velocities, e.g. by using the Milky Way rotation curve by Merrifield 1992, we obtain Omegarel =+3.2 km/s/kpc with an error range from -2.5 to +7.1km/s/kpc, and including zero. Shaviv’s derived “period for spiral arm crossing” of p=134 +/- 25Myr for four spiral arms is well outside the range derived from these values.

So it seems that Shaviv’s “periodicity” estimate for crossing of spiral arms by the sun does not hold up under scrutiny when using current astronomical results as the work by Kranz et al. This comes in addition to the previously shown fact that the correlation of cosmic ray flux with paleoclimatic data proposed by Shaviv and Veizer (2003) only arises “by making several arbitrary adjustments to the cosmic ray data” (Rahmstorf et al. 2004).

Note also that the question of current climate change is quite another matter from that over time scales of many millions of years – despite Shaviv’s remarkable press-release claims that “The operative significance of our research is that a significant reduction of the release of greenhouse gases will not significantly lower the global temperature”. As we repeatedly pointed out over the years: that global warming over the past decades is not linked to cosmic rays is clear from the fact that the cosmic ray measurements over the past 50 years do not show any trend (Schiermeier 2007).

Remarkably, the poor scientific basis of the galactic cosmic ray hypothesis seems to be inversely related to the amount of media backing it is getting. At least 3 documentaries (‘The Climate Conflict’, the ‘Global Warming Swindle’, and now ‘The Cloud Mystery‘) have been shown on television – all with a strong thrust of wanting to cast doubt on the human causes of global warming.

References:

Eisenhauer et al. 2003, ApJ, 597, 121; http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003ApJ…597L.121E

Kranz et al. 2003, ApJ, 586, 143; http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/367551

Juric et al. 2008, ApJ, 673, 864; http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008ApJ…673..864J

Larsen & Humphreys 2003, AJ, 125,1958; http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003AJ….125.1958L

Merrifield 1992, AJ, 103, 1552; http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1992AJ….103.1552M

Ohja 2001, MNRAS, 322, 426; http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2001MNRAS.322..426O

Rahmstorf, S., et al., 2004: Cosmic rays, carbon dioxide and climate. Eos, 85(4), 38, 41.

Schiermeier, Q., No solar hiding place for greenhouse skeptics. Nature, 2007. 448: p. 8-9.

Shaviv, N., 2003, NewA, 8, 39; http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003NewA….8…39S

Shaviv, N. and J. Veizer, Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate? GSA Today, 2003. 13(7): p. 4-10.

378 Responses to “A Galactic glitch”

  1. 101
    Les Porter says:

    #84
    Kevin,

    This is not so off topic as it might seem. It is about science as done by kids.

    I too did the experiments, but I did them much more than 45 years ago, and I did not go to the Nationals, but I did make the multi-state finals, one step from the Nationals and won more awards (and scholarships)than anyone but the fellow who was chosen to go to the nationals. He did not win the nationals.

    This was way before Neil and Buzz walked the moon. My project, unpublished, but “peer” reviewed, was “The Meteoric Theory of Moon Crater Origination”, and I not only used a bb gun, pump like yours, but both .22 cal and my father’s 8mm (slow load) and .30 cal high powered (hi-velocity) hunting rifles and lino-type metal (used to make portable “type”for newspapers back then) substrates to show velocity related melting and the heat of impact of KE=1/2 MV2. And yes, I measured the circularity of craters, and noted the elliptical ejecta, and circular holes. I used Plaster of Paris to freeze the results for the bb gun and it made a dramatic piece of Science Fair visual touchable measurable object!

    One of the judges was intimately involved in “shatter-cone analysis” and this was before Gene Shoemaker’s insights via Barringer.

    I declined an invitation to Green Bank W.V. to work near Frank Drake as a bright high school kid. A decision I regret now, and over the intervening years. (It was a girl friend.)

    Oh. There are elliptical craters, and it has been reasonably well worked out how they form.

    http:www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ap/is/2000/00000145/00000001/art06323

    This is an abstract — and I never ever deal with elsevier, ingentaconnect either. Most of these are thiefs because the research often has a public money support mechanism, and should be open. (Of course, I financed my own SciFair project, and it was a toss-up to explore determining specific impulse for new concoctions of homemade rocket’s fuel,or the cratering.)

    I made and burned a lot of rocket fuel but stopped short of spending (funding) a static test frame and enough components for fuel to test the amateur rocket fuel I was mixing.

    I funded and I did the cratering project. Most geologists that I knew of the time thought the craters on the moon were volcanic. I did not, because of the home made telescope I had funded, ground and built the year before.

    On the telescope, I found a comet with it, but my science teacher did not know how one reported astronomical discoveries. I was too late to get my name on it by quite a time anyway.

    I hope you continue your science bent!

    Sorry to go so off-topic. I just hope you, Kevin, pursue that stubborn skeptical nature that led you to test the circular crater hypothesis.

  2. 102
    Les Porter says:

    Sorry Kevin

    here is a better one for access on line
    http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2007/pdf/1952.pdf

  3. 103
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Gusbob (re #96): Good Lord, where do you get this stuff? OK. I’ve done the math as far as telling you that each kg carries with it >49 MJoules of energy. When there is a collision with an energy of this magnitude, there is a shockwave that moves through both projectile and target. For energy density above a given amount, you will have vaporization, and outside of that radius for a larger volume, you will have melt. Most of the melt and a lot of solid material will be ejected from the crater. The projectile (meteorite) will pretty much without exception be within the vaporization zone–unless you can figure out some magic to keep the shockwave from moving through the projectile as well. The energy advances along the shock wavefront, which in more-or-less isotropic materials is spherical. Note that as Kevin said, a bullet can also give rise to a shockwave expanding from the point of impact, despite the much lower kinetic energy.

    And no, I did not say impact was the only way to melt something–all it takes is high energy density. However, terrestrially, impact is about the only way to impart such high energy densities.

  4. 104
    gusbob says:

    Ralph Says: Put another way, there are many observable consequences of charges or electromagnetic fields of the strength required to explain the rotation curve of the Galaxy. People have looked for these consequences and they have not just failed to find them — they have definitively shown their absence.
    Ralph if you ever have raised a teenager and asked them to find something, you have witnessed the results of a “reluctant search”, where there hearts were not really into searching, and after a quick look they vigorously claims ‘I can’t find it”. So I will suggest that many of those claims that the evidence is lacking comes from “reluctant searches” that by human nature will miss even what is right in front of them.

    Let me provide some examples from people who are searching. The electric star hypotheses suggest that stars will vary in brightness and color depending upon the current density that passes through them. We also know via the work of astronomers like Priscilla Frisch, Daniel Welty, Jeffrey Linsky too mention a few that stars move through the interstellar medium and this ISM is highly variable in density and charge and location. We are in the Local Bubble that has unusually low density but within that we are believed to have entered the Local Fluff which is not now considered to consist of several clouds of ISM of varying characteristics. Often the ISM displays filamentous characterisitcs as in Birkeland currents or Themis “magnetic ropes”. (Hank just google Jeffrey Linsky if you want my sources). Transits through these clouds occur on millennial scales and suggest why some putative solar cycles are not always scalable beyond millennial time scales.

    Amateur astronomers sometimes claim to have found emission nebula that have later disappeared within monthly or annual scales. Maybe they were poor observers, but knowing some, I suspect that this stringy ISM can provide different currents that fluctuate. And objects on the margin of undulating filaments of ISM will show variable behavior. And the “quick disappearance” reflects when the nebula was first observed, not when it first started to glow. Plasma glow is shown to be discontinuous and a function of current density. It is dark under low current density conditions and glows at higher densities.
    See the graph:

    http://www.glow-discharge.com/Images/GD_Regime.jpg

    The ES theory readily explains the numerous “mysterious stars” like FG Sagittae which has been observed to rapidly change spectral class.
    If the electric star hypothesis has merit then we should also see that brightest stars exhibiting greater signs of electrical stress. So the theory suggests the spectral class O and B stars being the hottest and brightest will show evidence of strong electric fields. Analysis of spectral absorption lines provides us with some analytical tools to infer what forces are at work on a given star as these line are shifted.

    For example we can assume line shifts are due to the speed of stellar rotation if we observed both red shift (suggesting the departing limb of rotation) and blue shift (suggesting the approaching limb of rotation).

    Stars being affected by strong magnetic fields exhibit a Zeeman effect where “splitting of a spectral line into several symmetrical components in the presence of a static magnetic field”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeeman_effect

    The Stark effect is indicative of strong electric fields. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stark_effect

    And we can discern a Stark effect from other effects because the effect is asymmetrical and also dependent on upon the atomic mass of the gasses. Hydrogen shows greater “smearing of lines” than sodium, Whereas the other effects will are not so sensitive to those differences.

    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1939MNRAS..99..150F/0000152.000.html

    Still the electric star theory would also require that there be an adequate electrons to supply the power input to maintain a star’s power output, which for our sun is about 4x(10)26 Can the ISM supply that to the sun? or other stars? I will borrow from Donald Scott’s calculations and post the math as soon as time allows.

  5. 105
    aaron says:

    Wouldn’t it have made sense to contact Dr. Shaviv before writing this to get your information right? He’s very amenable.

  6. 106
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Gusbob, First, the idea of neutrino oscillations predates the solar neutrino measurements. It is not an ad hoc explanation, but a fundamental questions–was neutrino flavor conserved under the weak nuclear (or electroweak) force? Pontecorvo noticed that there was no good theoretical reason for such conservation, and if at least one flavor had mass, oscillations would occur. The thing is, it is a challenge to observe such oscillations. Here is a pretty good writeup:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino_oscillation

    Go read it. PLEASE!!!

    Look, Gusbob, you can’t just assume you’ve got this stuff figured out with only a week or two of casual effort. People make careers of this stuff–20-30 years of hard, determined study. Expertise is much more important to success in science than is intelligence. Most of the smartest guys in my grad school class never finished their PhDs.
    Likewise with climate studies. The climate scientists who donate their time to this blog are performing an invaluable service. It is where I–with 20 years as a PhD physicist (as of next month anyway)–come to learn about climate science.

  7. 107
    Ray Ladbury says:

    pebbles in a stream vs. cratering–slightly different physics, but essentially the circularity of both waves and craters is because you have a point source. Note, however, that if you skim the stone just right so it skims along the water, you get a bow wave like you do with a boat. This will not happen with the shock wave, as the wave will always travel faster than the projectile.

  8. 108
    William Astley says:

    In reply to “81 Knud Jahnke’s comment: “They explicitly state that current studies predict a much smaller difference in the arm pattern speed and the sun’s motion than Shaviv claims to have found.”

    Knud, perhaps you read a different paper, than the paper below. The authors of this paper stated that their galactic model, which is consistent with current astronomical data, which supports four spiral arms in the Milky Way galaxy, and which supports Shivav’s meteorite analysis which shows that there were four periods of high CRF which happen to also correspond to ice-house periods on the earth.

    The authors note that although their galactic model agrees with the Shivav’s findings, it does requires a spiral arm motion which is within the error band of the standard astronomical model, but at the low end. The authors provide an astronomical and model explanation for that result. (Read paper if you are interested.)

    Re: “Ice Age Epochs and the Sun’s Path Through the Galaxy” by D. R. Gies and J. W. Helsel

    http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0503306

    In the abstract of the above paper the authors state:

    “We find that for a difference between the mean solar and pattern speed of ⊙ − p = 11.9 ± 0.7 km s−1 kpc−1 the Sun has traversed four spiral arms at times that appear to correspond well with long duration cold periods on Earth. This supports the idea that extended exposure to the higher cosmic ray flux associated with spiral arms can lead to increased cloud cover and long ice age epochs on Earth.”

    Shivav’s Meteorite Analaysis

    In response to the question as to whether the CRF correlation is due to a single parent meteorite body breaking up or are truly individual unrelated meteorites: Shaviv notes his methodology was to select similar aged meteorites, with different Iron composition for the analysis, to ensure the meteorites where not from the same body.

    From Shivav’s response to Rahmstorf’s comment:

    Detailed Response to “Cosmic Rays, Carbon Dioxide and Climate” by Rahmstorf et al.

    http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/~shaviv/ClimateDebate/RahmstorfDebate.pdf

    “It is certainly true that the complete meteoritic data includes clusters of meteorites of the same type, and that such clusters are most likely the result of a single parent body breaking up into many small pieces, but this is totally irrelevant. As detailed in Shaviv [2002] and Shaviv [2003], in order to neutralize this effect, a modified meteoritic data set is generated (using 80 K-dated Iron Meteorites) where clusters of meteorites of the same Iron group classification are replaced with one having an average age. Thus, the clustering can either be because of a variable CRF, or, simply because parent bodies tend to break up more often periodically. However, it is not likely that single bodies generated each of the clusters, since each cluster is now comprised of meteorites that are all of different Iron group classification.”

  9. 109
    gusbob says:

    Ralph says “Your understanding of the shuttle experiment is incorrect. The tether was a dynamo experiment, not a “space elevator” experiment. The excess current was caused not by too much magnetic field, but too little resistance in the tether. It was an engineering problem. This is not a post-hoc guess at what “must” have happened — the tether was studied carefully and shown to have a different resistance than assumed when it was launched. The magnetic field strength of the Earth is very well known. There are many, many satellites in orbit which measure it all the time. Freshmen in college measure it in physics lab — astronauts can certainly measure it in orbit.”

    First Ralph it wasn’t a misunderstanding regards the nature of the experiment as much as you would like to believe. My use of the words space tether and space elevator were merely references that have been used in the press to the whole experiment. And as much as I would like to believe your explanation it does raise other problems. First, with so much invested in terms of money and political capital, how hard would it have been to test the resistance before launch? I can’t help but assume that your engineers knew the basics of I=V/R.

    But if they weren’t smart enough to test the resistance, well what is one to think? If they were smart enough, then they must undervalued one of the other variables.

    And I want to thank you for all your kind guidance, so I can improve myself, even if it feels more like Hannibal Lecter kindly inviting me to lunch.

  10. 110
    Eli Rabett says:

    Circular craters require significant melting at the point of impact, heating rather than ablation (bond breaking).

  11. 111
    Paul Middents says:

    I think it may be time for a review of “The Crackpot Index”

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

    We may not have any 50 pointers yet in this thread but there are a few approaching 40 points.

  12. 112
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Martin, thanks for your reply in 91. I think the answer to your question is that the Cooperstock-Tieu model relies on high-order nonlinearities in the Einstein equations, which only become important over large distances, i.e., many times the size of the solar system.

  13. 113
    gusbob says:

    Nick Gotts Says:

    I’d be grateful if you would tell me whether you thought either:

    c) Something else? (Please specify)

    Whatever your answer, do you still hold to the same opinion?”

    Nick I was glad my mountaintop musings on craters elicited such a response. I never doubted that some craters even a few circular ones were caused by meteorites. What I doubted was that the overwhelming number of craters would be circular. I assumed that most entry angles would be below 45 degrees and make elliptical craters. After discussion here I looked at some of the literature for the first time and found various lab estimates for entry angles of less than 20 down to less than 5 degrees in order to create ellipticals. And if that holds true than the observed 5 percent occurrence of ellipticals would certainly minimize any arc induced craters.

    For you to ask the question did I not think that scientists had ever thought about crater causes before, is a a little weird. It implies that what ever the current dogma that has been created, is only questioned by fools. Which when I challenge some dogma here, a few people prefer to argue less about evidence, and instead link my ideas to fools I don’t know.

    So Nick perhaps you could return the favor and tell me what you think of the neutrino questions I posed that the “good scientists” have all thought about and RL is reluctant to comment on with anything more than do the math. Such comments seem to ignore the programmers saw of junk in and junk out.

    I’ll accept that neutrinos oscillate, but how does that prove that were all originally electron neutrinos from the sun?

  14. 114
    Chuck Booth says:

    Re # 35 Gary: “I am hard pressed to figure out why if astrophysicists should not be commenting on climate, why climatologists (physicist for Rasmus) should be commenting on astrophysics?”

    Seems to me that astrophysicists can comment on any topic they choose, if they can find an outlet in which to publish their views. If they know what they are talking about, they will likely be taken seriously; if they don’t, they won’t. Likewise for climatologists commenting on astrophysics.

  15. 115
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Mike #95: I think that is a very relevant observation. Recall reading somewhere (yes I know, lousy reference :-) ) that impact craters are “frozen” circular waves caused by the impact explosion “fluidizing” the solid Earth surface for a short moment. This also explains the central peak seen in many craters.

  16. 116
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Ray #88:

    “A meteorite comes in at about 7 km per second”, mixing up km and miles Ray? :-)

    It’s at least the escape velocity, 11 km/s, and for an object from the Asteroid Belt coming in from behind, more like 18 km/s.

  17. 117

    RE #71, yes, I do believe the scientists here are honest, so I believe what they say, and I do believe they are much more qualified to do climate science than I am. Lucky we have such educated and dedicated people to do all this important work, since I have other things to do. And I’m also very thankful for Hank Roberts and Barton Paul Levenson and many others here who know so much more than I know that take the time to answer doubts and confusions.

    I do, however, understand we live in a stochastic world, and that there is a slight chance they may be wrong, or some other as yet unknown force may be contributing to climate change. OTOH, I understand science has very high standards — much too high for me. I started reducing my GHGs back in 1990, five years before the 1st scientific studies reached 95% confidence (or less than .05 that the null hypothesis could be correct).

    So if a doctor were to tell a person there is only a 94% chance he/she had cancer & therefore treatment wouldn’t given & to come back in a few years to see if it got up to the 95%+ level, I imagine the person might want a second opinion.

    While scientists can’t risk their reputations, what business do we have in risking the well-being of the world’s population?

  18. 118
    P. Lewis says:

    Chuck Booth says

    Seems to me that astrophysicists can comment on any topic they choose, if they can find an outlet in which to publish their views.

    Indeed, the would-be notable sceptic Piers Corbyn is one such animal of that species that immediately comes to mind.

  19. 119
    Nick Gotts says:

    Re #113 [gusbob] “For you to ask the question did I not think that scientists had ever thought about crater causes before, is a a little weird. It implies that what ever the current dogma that has been created, is only questioned by fools. Which when I challenge some dogma here, a few people prefer to argue less about evidence, and instead link my ideas to fools I don’t know.”

    I note that you don’t actually answer my question – all I’m asking for is that you tell me what you thought, and think, but apparently that’s too much to ask. If I come across some counter-intuitive conclusion in an area where an expert scientific community has been working for some time, the first thing that occurs to me is “Well, haven’t they thought about that?” If I’m sufficiently interested, I go and find out whether they have and if so, what they say about it. Don’t you?

    “So Nick perhaps you could return the favor and tell me what you think of the neutrino questions I posed that the “good scientists” have all thought about and RL is reluctant to comment on with anything more than do the math.”

    I know little more about neutrino oscillation than I included in my last post, so my opinion on your questions is worth little. I suggest you consult the Wikipedia article Ray pointed to, which at a quick glance seems to deal with them adequately. For what it’s worth, I found it difficult to understand the points you were trying to make. You presented the deficit of electron neutrinos as if it were a strong or even conclusive argument against the SSM. Clearly, it isn’t, as the combination of the SSM and the theory of neutrino oscillation (the possibility of which was raised before the deficit was found), accounts for the data we have. Of course, this doesn’t amount to a proof of the SSM – it could indeed be that the sun just happens to be producing the right total number of neutrinos in some other way, or that some other source is involved, but the fact that the total number detected is just what the SSM predicts would then be a most remarkable piece of (bad) luck – suggesting that nature itself is conspiring to deceive us. Perhaps that’s what you believe?

  20. 120
    P. Lewis says:

    gusbob said

    I’ll accept that neutrinos oscillate, but how does that prove that were all originally electron neutrinos from the sun?

    This is all ancient(ish) history.

    Because a reasonably successful model of the sun’s inner workings predicted the number of electron neutrinos that should be observable on Earth, that’s why. And when the experiment(s) were set up to find the said number, they weren’t there, that’s why; only a third of them turned up. Tinkering with the model of the sun’s workings couldn’t fix the “missing” neutrino problem. So they postulated in the mid ’80s that they had some mass and could oscillate between three different flavours. And when they designed the experiments to look for other flavours of neutrino, lo and behold there they were (results reported about 6 to 8 years ago IIRC). And in the expected numbers. Look up Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

  21. 121

    Jake — I don’t believe the early native Americans had “no math.” I don’t think any culture has ever been found which doesn’t include a way to count, and even in a culture which just has counting words for “one,” “two,” and “many,” you’ll find that people from that culture are quite clear on the difference between two-and-two-and-two and two-and-two-and-one.

  22. 122

    Lynn — scientist or not, I appreciate your contributions, which are always clear and thoughtful. And there are plenty of areas where you have experience and I don’t. :)

  23. 123
    Nick Gotts says:

    Re #94 [Jake] “North American Indians had no written language”
    The Maya did, and the remains of their settlements reach well into North America.

    “Nor would they have understood what is meant by the Darwinian conception of “the struggle for existence.” This is just Darwin’s excuse of the industrial pathologies that were developing in the England of that time.”

    Arriving at this conception was certainly influenced by the miseries of the industrial revolution, as Darwin was strongly influenced by Malthus, but to say it is “just an excuse” for anything is quite wrong: it actually follows from the observations that most species, most of the time, produce more young than can survive; and that these offspring vary. Those best adapted to current conditions will be more likely to survive and breed in their turn. Alfred Russel Wallace arrived at the theory of natural selection independently of Darwin; he was a social-ist [hyphenation to avoid the scam filter] and certainly not inclined to excuse those miseries.

    “Hunting and gathering were not experienced as a “struggle” by North American Indians, it was an enjoyable and indeed a religious experience.”

    How do you know this? Also, many North American Indians were farmers.

  24. 124

    gusbob #104

    Ralph if you ever have raised a teenager and asked them to find something, you have witnessed the results of a “reluctant search”, where there hearts were not really into searching, and after a quick look they vigorously claims ‘I can’t find it”. So I will suggest that many of those claims that the evidence is lacking comes from “reluctant searches” that by human nature will miss even what is right in front of them.

    So the global community of thousands of astrophysicists are lazy and incompetent to a man, even in the face of a near-certain invitation to a nice gala dinner in Stockholm?

    Meet some real scientists someday. Obviously you have no idea of what makes them tick. And sadly, you’re not alone.

  25. 125
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Gusbob, Neutrinos have to come from somewhere. Most electron neutrinos originate in nuclear interactions–decays, fusion, etc. This because the electron is stable. Muon neutrinos originate when muons produced by galactic cosmic rays decay in the atmosphere–producing an electron, an electron antineutrino and a muon neutrino (preserving lepton flavor). The contribution of GCR to electron netrino counts is negligible since GCR fluxes are feeble (note: this is also a big problem for Shaviv et al.). Tau leptons are quite rare, as the production cross section is low.
    The flux of electron neutrinos to Earth is directional–from the Sun. So where do these electrons come from if not from nuclear interactions within the Sun (which you admit are the Sun’s source of power in any case)?
    Look, Gusbob, we know these things. We know them with as much certainty as we know the color of a flower we see outside of our office–maybe more. The process of doing science (especially physics) is rigorous, and quite frankly, your insinuation that scientists just sit around and make things up is offensive. The fact of the matter is that your impressions of how science works and how it gets done in practice are flat wrong. This is not surprising, since you were never trained as a scientist. However, your confidence in your opinions even when confronted with your own ignorance is puzzling.

  26. 126
    Nick Gotts says:

    Re #94 [Jake] (continued) “North American Indians had no written language and no math does that mean they were unintelligent?”

    The Maya also had an extremely sophisticated calendar, involving a considerable amount of mathematics. As for the many non-literate groups of North american Indians, of course lack of literacy and advanced mathematics does not imply lack of intelligence – has anyone here said or suggested it does?

    “Probably the early Germanic tribes as described by Tacitus were the apex of European civilization.”

    Tacitus’s account of the Germans of his day should not be accepted uncritically: he was concerned to contrast the “decadence” of the Romans of his day both with their ancestors, and with contemporary “barbarians”. Most groups of these Germans, by his account and others, spent a great deal of their time fighting (each other and anyone else around). But perhaps that’s your idea of the apex of civilisation?

  27. 127
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Gusbob finally poses the critical question:
    “Still the electric star theory would also require that there be an adequate electrons to supply the power input to maintain a star’s power output, which for our sun is about 4x(10)26 Can the ISM supply that to the sun? or other stars?”
    Answer: NO.

    The density of the ISM is less than an atom per cm^3. Hard to see where those electrons come from. Indeed, there are two main sources of significant current in our solar system–the Sun and Jupiter.
    Gusbob, come on. We have hundreds of satellites in orbit around Earth. We have satellites in orbit around, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. We’ve had fly-bys of all satellites and most moons in the solar system. We’ve had satellites at Earth’s L1 and L2 Lagrange points. We’ve even put satellites around the poles of the Sun. What did they find in terms of incoming current to the Sun? Bupkis. Your theory is dead, Gusbob. Time to get on with life. Or are you going to posit some wormhole injecting current into the center of the Sun.
    Actually, the most absurd thing about your obsession is that all these gymnastics are not needed. The standard theory of stellar nucleosynthesis accounts for the observations perfectly well. You have simply fallen in love with a theory and will do anything to hold on to it. That is death in science. Theories are beautiful, but you can only love them to the point that they are useful. The electric Universe theory is about as useful as tits on a boar.

  28. 128
    Kevin says:

    I was about to argue with the notion raised by Eli and others that the circular cratering required melt, but then it occurred to me that Les P.’s plaster of paris and my wet clay might both simulate melting, being already partially liquid. It was interesting seeing how much farther you took the same basic kid’s science project, Les. I suspect if I had followed your procedure I would have gotten farther in the competition than I did.

    Also, regarding Les P.’s encouragement to me: “I hope you continue your science bent!”

    Thanks! The science project described was in the late ’80’s, so we now have some data about how strongly my science bent continued. The answer is that I got a Ph.D., albeit in (he reluctantly confesses) Psychology.

  29. 129

    Re #112 Jim Galasyn:

    I am not an expert on GR, so take this with a grain of salt. I am well aware that GR is intrinsically non-linear, but the deviation from the Newtonian approximation is of order (v/c)^2, and not related to spatial scale. Even for the galaxy, this factor is around 10^-6.

    My intuition on this is well summarized in

    http://cosmicvariance.com/2005/10/17/escape-from-the-clutches-of-the-dark-sector/

    and links therein.

  30. 130
    Arnold User says:

    [[Gusbob says: I even wondered how they knew that the one electron neutrino they detected about every 3 days is a solar neutrino? Why not from neutrinos proposed in the cosmic radiation background. Why not…]]

    Different neutrino detectors used different techniques. But one of them is detecting the ring shaped flash of Cerenkov radiation which is a result of the detection principle. Using this it is possible to calculate the original path of the neutrino, this way neutrinos from a direction other than the Sun can be discarded. They actually thought this experiment through before starting it.

  31. 131
    gusbob says:

    RAy says: Look, Gusbob, you can’t just assume you’ve got this stuff figured out with only a week or two of casual effort. People make careers of this stuff–20-30 years of hard, determined study. Expertise is much more important to success in science than is intelligence. Most of the smartest guys in my grad school class never finished their PhDs.
    Likewise with climate studies. The climate scientists who donate their time to this blog are performing an invaluable service. It is where I–with 20 years as a PhD physicist (as of next month anyway)–come to learn about climate science.

    RL, why do you continue to answer a legitimate question with something like “hey us believer know better because we thought about it more” And continual detracting and speculative remarks about what I have looked at. It starting to look like instead of talking about the holes in the theories you prefer personal attacks.

    In any other field of science if you submitted a paper’s claiming the current method of proof that the solar neutrinos are accounted for, it would be soundly rejected unfalsifiable circular reasoning.

    And it is exactly the 20 years of investment in a theory that makes you hostile to different ideas

  32. 132
    aaron says:

    Lynn, #117:

    “While scientists can’t risk their reputations, what business do we have in risking the well-being of the world’s population?”

    Exactly

  33. 133
    Knud Jahnke says:

    William @108:

    William, I am reading exactly that paper and the abstract says correctly “We find that for a difference between the mean solar
    and pattern speed of ⊙ − p = 11.9 ± 0.7 km s−1 kpc−1 the Sun has traversed four spiral arms at times that appear to correspond well with long duration cold periods on Earth.”

    Yes, true. This means if the pattern speed difference were 11.9km/s/kpc. But this is generally not what is found by the literature cited by the authors. On page 4 you find that they say: “Several recent studies (Amaral & Lepine 1997; Bissantz et al. 2003; Martos et al. 2004) advocate a spiral pattern speed of p = 20 ± 5 km s−1 kpc−1, and we show in Figure 2 the Sun’s trajectory projected onto the plane for this value (
    ⊙ − p = 6.3 km s−1 kpc−1). Diamonds along the Sun’s track indicate its placement at intervals of 100 Myr. We see that for this assumed pattern speed the Sun has passed through only two arms over the last 500 Myr.”

    What they do to compute a relative velocity of 11.9km/s/kpc is to use the ice-age data as presented by Shaviv and as criticised by Stefan. They state that in the discussion. So the argument is not that 11.9km/s/kpc are measured and lead to an Ice age-like period, but that an ice-age like period leads to an 11.9km/s/kpc velocity.

    So this is no independent astronomical evidence for any GCR priodicity.

    Knud

  34. 134
    Ike Solem says:

    Interesting stuff. If we look at the neutron flux data from Climax, Colorado, 1955-present, we see little change:

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/COSMIC_RAYS/image/cr_ssn.gif

    As it shows, you get more neutron counts when the solar sunspot number is at a minimum, which varies on an ~11 year cycle, dropping from a maximum of 100-200 to just a few. As the data shows, maximum neutron flux rates haven’t changed since 1955.

    Cosmic rays produce showers of particles when they hit the atmosphere, including neutrons. More cosmic rays equals more neutrons, and other species such as radioactive carbon-14.

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/COSMIC_RAYS/image/shower.gif

    This topic has an interesting history, since the C-14 record shows variable production rates (as determined by comparing tree ring chronologies to C-14 dates).

    So, what are the sources of variability in the C-14 record? There are magnetic possibilities (sun and earth) and carbon-cycle fluctuations. There is an interesting history. From 1980:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/207/4426/11
    (Changes in Atmospheric Carbon-14 Attributed to a Variable Sun”, Stuvier & Quay.)

    Fluctuations in the carbon cycle can also have a large effect on the observed level of C-14 in biological samples:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v280/n5725/abs/280826a0.html (Suess effect, 1979)

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/292/5526/2453
    (Variations of Atmospheric 14C Concentration During the Last Glacial Period, Beck et al, 2001).

    However, while all this is important for getting good 14C dates, the connections to clouds and climate are extremely tenuous. Supposedly, a increase in neutron flux will create a increase in cloudiness, thereby affecting climate. The reasons the link is unsound were already discussed here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/taking-cosmic-rays-for-a-spin/

    There do appear to be “chilling aerosols” that are produced by human activity and volcanos and which do indeed cool the climate directly by reflecting sunlight, and indirectly by affecting precipitation and cloud formation. Thus, future volcanic activity is an unavoidable uncertainty in year-to-decade scale climate predictions. However, the claim that GCR-induced aerosols control climate via controlling cloudiness borders on ridiculous.

    It only gets more complicated, as the exact relationship between aerosols and clouds (indirect effect) and radiative forcing is a bit murky. Low clouds will tend to increase surface temperatures, especially at night, not cool by reflection. Then you have your vegetation interactions (see Chapter 7 of the IPCC 4th AR for the grisly details).

    The point is that the Galactic Cosmic Ray Climate Control notion is something like a Rube Goldberg machine – it relies on a long chain of tenuous connections, the failure of any one connection leading to a complete collapse. Scientifically, it falls into the “AIDS is not caused by a virus” and “cold fusion” category.

    Also, it may be true, as Shaviv claimed, that halting the use of fossil fuels won’t cool the climate, as there’s some level of inertia in the climate system, mediated by the ocean, so that we’ll continue warming until the new semi-equilibrium is reached, which will apparently be something like it was ~3 million years ago. Neither the oceans nor the biosphere appear capable of rapidly absorbing the extra atmospheric carbon. It now only seems to be a question of how fast that will happen, which now depends mainly on future human choices. Slower is better.

  35. 135
    William Astley says:

    For some reason the link in my comment #38 did not work. Here is the same link.

    This is a link to University of Oulu’s Cosmic Ray data site. This site provides long term trend data of neutron counts which are proportional to GCR. This is a request from data from Jan. 1, 2001 to March 10, 2008. As noted neutron counts have increased roughly 12% in the last two years, which is due to the reduction in the solar heliosphere.

    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/Request.dll?Y1=2001&M1=Jan&D1=01&h1=00&m1=00&Y2=2008&M2=Mar&D2=10&h2=00&m2=00&YR=00&MR=00&DR=00&hR=00&mR=00&PD=1

    If this link does not work, go directly to the University of Oulu site set start at “Jan 1, 2001 and end to Jan. 2008.

    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/

    As noted in my comment, according to the solar modulation of cloud hypothesis, a reduction in solar wind bursts which has recently occurred will result in less electroscavenging. As electroscavenging removes cloud forming ions, this change should result in more planetary clouds. In addition as solar cycle 24 has failed to start there is a weaker solar heliosphere. Due to the weaker solar heliosphere there are now 12% more GCR striking the earth which should also create more cloud forming ions.

    Based on the hypothesis, the more clouds over the oceans, should cool the planet. (See my comment #38 which has a link to a paper that explains the hypothesis.)

    This is a link to noaa ocean surface data.

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/climo.html

    The oceans have cooled. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

  36. 136
    gusbob says:

    Nick Gott wrote “For what it’s worth, I found it difficult to understand the points you were trying to make. You presented the deficit of electron neutrinos as if it were a strong or even conclusive argument against the SSM. Clearly, it isn’t, as the combination of the SSM and the theory of neutrino oscillation (the possibility of which was raised before the deficit was found), accounts for the data we have. Of course, this doesn’t amount to a proof of the SSM – it could indeed be that the sun just happens to be producing the right total number of neutrinos in some other way, or that some other source is involved, but the fact that the total number detected is just what the SSM predicts would then be a most remarkable piece of (bad) luck – suggesting that nature itself is conspiring to deceive us. Perhaps that’s what you believe?”

    I am amazed that my criticism is that difficult for anyone to fathom. But I am not so vested as you all are. First I was not the one to coin the term “the solar neutrino problem” and suggest it contradicted the SSM! I have no problem with the speculation that these 3 flavors originated form electron neutrinos. But I have grave issues with the pretense that all is accounted for and no further testing needs to be done to confirm what is still speculation.

    When any of us encounter holes in the SSM we must decide how to evaluate them. The missing gravity is a huge hole. Most people opted to fill that hole via dark matter. If true it fills the hole perfectly. It is nonetheless still speculation. And trying to confirm the reality of that speculation takes years of research, examination and re-examination with the always lurking likelihood that maybe only a dead end will be found.(Which unfortunately brings a sense of failure, even though that failure adds greatly to our understanding.)

    I opted for the electric theory because it too could fill many of the holes in the SSM. And like dark matter it too is based upon much speculation. And likewise it will take many years of research, examination and re-examination with the always lurking likelihood that maybe only a dead end will be found. I think there is too much missing matter, while SSM adherents scoff at Electric universe ideas saying there are too few ions to generate the proper current. Both sides in this debate can organize our observations and fit them into a coherent plausible logic that fits our conceptual bias. We just need our speculations to be proven. If I can find enough galactic current then electric ideas gain support. If you can clearly identify dark matter then the SSM remains as is. I find it very amusing that SSM adherents have no trouble accepting as of yet imaginary dark matter, but are hostile to the point of personal attack on those who speculate as of yet imaginary powerful galactic currents.

    If one of my students turned in a research paper with that neutrino data that concluded that the missing postulated electron neutrinos were now accounted for, I would not accept it and ask them to re-write their discussion and summary. And I would make them rewrite not based on my biased opinion, but because it violated the spirit of scientific inquiry and the spirit of sharing of information. How so?

    I would tell my students that a good discussion section doesn’t simply say “yeah I was right” even though they most definitely highlight the confirmation of their hypothesis and its value to other research endeavors. They must also outline their assumptions leading to their conclusion and identify and confounding variables and further research needed to support or discredit their assumptions. Doing so indicates an objective mind willing to look at all possibilities. Doing so helps inspire further research.. And besides claiming everything is accounted is simply not yet true.

    Here is my model of the essence of the discussion/conclusion section if I had made the SNO discovery.

    “The new detection methods employed, using heavy water have demonstrated a methodology that enables us to sample a more complete population of the 3 known flavors of neutrinos. The detection of a total population of neutrinos that is in line with the SSM’s prediction for electron neutrinos generated by solar fusion is of special interest. Although only one third of the predicted electron neutrinos were detected, the possibility of neutrino oscillation leads us to speculate that the electron neutrinos were not missing at all, but oscillated into the other flavors. This points to important new lines of testable research needed to confirm our speculations and further our understanding of neutrino behavior.

    Is neutrino oscillation asymmetrical? If electron neutrinos have the required higher probabilities of oscillating into muon and tau , this would support our theory that our observed muon and tau electrons originated from a larger population of electron neutrons. Conversely if there is no asymmetrical oscillation, or there is a higher probability of oscillating into electron neutrinos then we still have a missing electron neutrino problem.”

  37. 137
    Knud Jahnke says:

    William @108:

    William, I am referring to that very exact paper you mention. The abstract, as you quote, says:

    “We find that for a difference between the mean solar and pattern speed of Á Ý p = 11.9 ± 0.7 km sÝ1 kpcÝ1 the Sun has traversed four spiral arms at times that appear to correspond well with long duration cold periods on Earth. This supports the idea that extended exposure to the higher cosmic ray flux associated with spiral arms can lead to increased cloud cover and long ice age epochs on Earth.”

    Yes, they say if the relative velocity were so much, it would mean a crossing period of 140Myr, if we had a 4 armed system. But they construct this from the Shaviv ice age data that was sufficiently criticised by Stefan, not from astronomical data.

    On page 4 of their article they write: “Several recent studies (Amaral & Lepine 1997; Bissantz et al. 2003; Martos et al. 2004) advocate a spiral pattern speed of p = 20 ± 5 km sÝ1 kpcÝ1, and we show in Figure 2 the Sun¢s trajectory projected onto the plane for this value (Á Ý p = 6.3 km sÝ1 kpcÝ1). Diamonds along the Sun¢s track indicate its placement at intervals of 100 Myr. We see that for this assumed pattern speed the Sun has passed through only two arms over the last 500 Myr.”

    This means that already this data points to a very different period. (And if you add more studies as cited by Shaviv 2003 you can find arm pattern speeds of equal or faster than the sun’s motion.)

    So I conclude that in principle their values are not consistent with any 140Myr periodicity.

    But if we look at all the evidence, it is not a debate about computing “the” pattern speed, but it is clear that the pattern speed, the actual spiral arm pattern and the persistence time of the Milky Way arms are just not known to date to a precision that allows to make the statement that there is a certain periodicity in spiral arm crossings. Very simple as that. Some studies will be consistent, many are clearly inconsistent with a “140Myr period” and the arguments that Shaviv uses to hammer home his message are quite handwaving. The data simply do not support to conclude a relative velocity of the sun to a spiral arm pattern of 11.1+/-1 km/s/kpc at this value and with this uncertainty. 11+/-10 km/s/kpc would probably be a more reliable value with respectively lower predictive power.

    Knud

  38. 138
    Nick Gotts says:

    Re #135 [gusbob]

    1) My name is Gotts, not Gott.
    2) What has dark matter to do with the SSM (Standard Solar model)?
    3) Although I’d welcome responses from more knowledgeable posters (particularly Ray Ladbury), it seems to me that your claim that neutrino oscillation must be asymmetrical to explain 1/3 of the detected neutrinos being electron neutrinos if they all began as such in the sun, is invalid. Experimental results indicate that neutrino oscillation takes place over distances that are quite short relative to the Earth-Sun distance, so whatever the initial proportions, the proportion of electron neutrinos detected on Earth would depend, to a close approximation, only on the probabilities, over a given distance, of an electron neutrino oscillating into a non-electron neutrino being twice the probability of a non-electron neutrino oscillating into an electron neutrino (because a ratio of 1/3 electron neutrinos and 2/3 other neutrinos would then be stable once reached).
    4) I note that you still haven’t answered my questions. Unless and until you do, I shall not respond further to your posts on this issue, as others are better qualified to do so, if they have the patience.

  39. 139
    Darrel says:

    gusbob said:
    “And it is exactly the 20 years of investment in a theory that makes you hostile to different ideas”. Well said, but it could also be interpreted it in another direction. I have often wondered why some scientists seem to be defending a certain theory to stubbornly, even in the face of so much evidence to the contrary. And I think it is because they made a name with proposing or staunchly defending that theory, and feel that they would lose face admitting its shortcomings. They invested so much in a specific idea that they grew hostile to opposing viewpoints and theories, and even to opposing evidence and observations. Presenting yourself as the underdog fighting the establishment, being celebrated by your supporters as a new Galileo, probably also adds to the psychological rewards.
    Btw, with “certain theory” I mean e.g. the cosmic ray-climate link (but you would probably give a different example). Thanks for an insightful statement.

  40. 140

    gusbob, dark matter and the missing gravity has NOTHING to do with the SSM — SSM = Standard Solar Model.

  41. 141
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Gusbob, sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have 20 years invested in any astrophysical theory. My day job is radiation effects in semiconductors. I speculate that you don’t know what you are talking about precisely because none of what you say makes any sense. You clearly have not thought things through. You clearly haven’t bothered to look at the research that has been done–on solar physics or neutrinos or cratering or dark matter or anything else I’ve seen. You have a lot of misconceptions about what science is or how it is done or why it works. That is obvious to anyone who has ever seriously studied science. You are trying to come of as knowledgeable and failing miserably.

  42. 142
    Eric (skeptic) says:

    Re: #24, sorry for the delay. High clouds are warming (they are cold as viewed IR satellites) so if high GCR’s (due to low solar activity) create more clouds, that would produce more warming in periods of low solar activity. But the historical record shows the opposite.

  43. 143
    Jim Cripwell says:

    I know I have no credibility of RC, but I would like to congratulate Gusbob on his elegant and scientific contribution to the discussion on neutrinos; particularly the latest, #134. I wonder if he is familiar with the work of Dr. Oliver Manuel with respect to solar neutrinos.

  44. 144
    Ike Solem says:

    RE William, #134 – “The oceans have cooled.”

    The oceans haven’t cooled.

    Here, for example, is the 1993-2003 record of ocean heat content:

    http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/features/images/20050501-b.jpg

    How do you estimate the heat content of the oceans?

    “We looked at about a million temperature profiles from floats, buoys and other sources and combined those with altimetry data to put together a good estimate of ocean heat content,” says Willis. The satellite data from TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason and other ocean altimeters provided a global picture of rising sea level. The temperature profiles allowed the researchers to calculate just how much of the change was the result of thermal expansion. The analysis showed a fairly steady, measurable warming over the past decade. “The average ocean temperature is warmer,” says Willis, “Some places are getting cooler and others warmer as the heat moves around, but the total amount of heat is growing.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/295/5558/1275 – Gille, “Warming of the Southern Ocean Since the 1950s”, 2002

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/287/5461/2225 – Levitus et al, “Warming of the World Ocean”, 2000

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/104/26/10768 – AchutaRao et. al “Simulated and observed variability in ocean temperature and heat content,” 2007.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/309/5732/284 – Barnett et. al “Penetration of Human-Induced Warming into the World’s Oceans,” 2005.

    Hope that clears that up.

  45. 145
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Kevin demurs: “The answer is that I got a Ph.D., albeit in (he reluctantly confesses) Psychology.”

    Hey, I almost switched majors from physics to psych as an undergrad. I often say that abnormal psych was the best physics class I ever took–as it taught me how to deal with physicists.

  46. 146
    gusbob says:

    Nick Gotts Says: 1) My name is Gotts, not Gott.”
    My apologies as no disrespect was intended.
    Nick Gotts Says: 2) What has dark matter to do with the SSM (Standard Solar model)?”
    Your absolutely right SSM has nothing to do with dark matter. I had intended to make two posts but conflated them into one. I had been posting on electric currents and their role in solar fusion as well as galactic rotations .I ignorantly conflated SSM with general cosmological models when I decided to make one post dealing with how we deal with theoretical holes. A regrettable embarrassment.
    My intent was to help pave a way for more civil discussion of theoretical shortcomings on all sides. But Ray Ladbury responded in typical fashion with more holier than thou personal attacks. Amusing and expected and contributing great insight into how some scientists build consensus.

    3) Nick Gotts Says: the proportion of electron neutrinos detected on Earth would depend, to a close approximation, only on the probabilities, over a given distance, of an electron neutrino oscillating into a non-electron neutrino being twice the probability of a non-electron neutrino oscillating into an electron neutrino (because a ratio of 1/3 electron neutrinos and 2/3 other neutrinos would then be stable once reached).”
    That’s exactly what I meant by asymmetrical oscillation. What did you think I was implying?

    Nick Gotts Says : I note that you still haven’t answered my questions. I am not sure what you are referring to. I thought I had responded to all your questions.

  47. 147
    gusbob says:

    Ray Ladbury Says: Gusbob, sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have 20 years invested in any astrophysical theory.”

    Oh I am not disappointed at all. I could tell you were a newbie in the field.

  48. 148
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Gusbob, Think about it. You start with almost all electron neutrinos. There are 3 different flavors of neutrinos, so at any given time after some distance of propagation, a third will be electron neutrinos, a their muon neutrinos and a third tau neutrinos–hence 1/3 will register, since the energies of the mu and tau neutrinos are not sufficient to create a mu or a tau lepton.

    I am not trying to manufacture consensus. I’m trying to motivate you to actually learn some science so you can discuss things intelligently. Right now, you are getting the stick. Go off and learn some actual science and I promise I’ll give you a “good boy”, ‘kay?

  49. 149
    Nick Gotts says:

    Re #146 [gusbob] Well, I said I wouldn’t reply unless you answered my questions, which you haven’t, but since you claim to have done so, I’ll waste just a little more time, and since I’m dealing with your last point, and again requesting an answer to them, I’ll deal with the other points:

    1) Apology accepted.

    2) If, as you admit, you’re ignorant enough to conflate the SSM with cosmological models, might that not suggest it would be advisable for you to go away and learn a bit more before tangling with knowledgeable physicists (of whom I am not one) on such topics?

    3) To clarify: there are three known types of neutrino (electron, muon, tau). Completely symmetrical oscillation between these types would surely mean that, over a given distance, the probability of type A turning into type B is the same, whether A is an electron, muon or tau neutrino, and B is an electron, muon or tau neutrino (but A and B are not both the same type of neutrino). So I took you to be denying that such completely symmetrical oscillation could lead to an initial stream of electron neutrinos becoming a stream in which only 1/3 were electron neutrinos, on its way from where it is produced in the Sun, to the detector on Earth. But if this is in fact how oscillation works, then the proportions of the three types would approach 1/3 each over a sufficiently long distance. But note, this would mean that (as I said in my last post) the chance of an electron neutrino becoming a non-electron neutrino over a given distance would indeed be twice that of either a muon or tau neutrino becoming an electron neutrino over that distance – because the electron neutrino can become either of the other types, but the muon neutrino must become an electron neutrino (and not a tau neutrino), and the tau neutrino must become an electron neutrino (and not a muon neutrino). So, contrary to your claim, the most symmetrical oscillation schema possible with three neutrino types would lead to a pure beam of electron neutrinos becoming a stream in which each of the three types is equally represented, if you wait long enough (and oscillation takes place with sufficient frequency that the travel time from Sun to Earth is indeed long enough). However, there are also other oscillation schema that would lead to a pure electron neutrino beam becoming one with 1/3 electron neutrinos. In fact, now I think about it, so long as the probability of an electron neutrino becoming a muon neutrino over a given distance is the same as that of a muon neutrino becoming an electron neutrino over that distance, AND the probability of an electron neutrino becoming a tau neutrino over a given distance is the same as the probability of a tau neutrino becoming an electron neutrino over that distance, AND the probability of an muon neutrino becoming a tau neutrino over a given distance is the same as the probability of a tau neutrino becoming a muon neutrino over that distance, the proportion of each in the beam will approach 1/3; an electron neutrino need not be equally likely to become a tau neutrino as it is to become a muon neutrino, and so forth. There may well be yet other oscillation schema that would give you 1/3 electron neutrinos, I don’t know. And please note that I do not know what those knowledgeable in the area say about these probabilities; I am simply pointing out that the most symmetrical oscillation schema possible would give exactly the reported result.

    4) My questions (slightly edited in an attempt to improve clarity) were whether you thought (before your first post here on this issue) either:

    a) That the entire planetary astronomy community had never noticed that the preponderance of circular craters posed a problem for the meteoritic theory of crater origins?

    or

    b) That they knew it was a problem, but pretended not to?

    or

    c) Something else? (Please specify)

    Furthermore, whatever your answer, do you still hold to the same opinion?

  50. 150
    aaron says:

    Ike, I thoughly enjoyed the irony of your comment 134.

    As for your comment on ocean cooling. Most of your references don’t cover relevant time frame (post 2001). The ones that do support either flat or cooling ocean temps. Large cooling was found to be an artifact, but oceans were not found to be warming, and are still likely cooling though not as much as previously thought.