Scafetta and a Possible Tidal Mechanism for Planetary Influence over Solar Output.

Dr. Nicola Scafetta has sent me his latest paper which could provide a viable mechanism for planetary influence over solar output. This paper directly challenges those within the Babcock camp that dismiss planetary theory on the grounds of no “physical mechanism”. Nicola now joins Wolff & Patrone in providing very real potential mechanisms.

The new paper is titled “Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of planetary tidal forcing? A proposal for a physical mechanism based on the mass-luminosity relation.”

Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 81–82, 27–40.

Nicola also has a new website HERE which includes a summary of his latest papers along with a full copy of this paper found HERE.
Nicola goes into some length and detail in calculating each tidal contribution from the planets and points out in several places that the base tidal forces are not strong enough to have any discernible effect on solar output, unless there is a compounding or amplification component. NIcola describes the fusion process taking place in the core where gravity plays a crucial role, hydrogen fuses into helium in the fusion process and according to E=MC2 there is mass loss which generates the light and heat throughout the solar system. To perpetuate the process solar gravity must replace the lost mass which has the potential to be influenced by outside gravitation forces from the planets. The amplification process is derived from the “solar luminous anomaly” which is titled the “Love number” and the “Q” value.
However, a planetary tidal massaging of the solar core should continuously release additional heat to it and also favor plasma fuel mixing. Consequently, the Sun’s nuclear fusion rate should be slightly increased by tidal work and should oscillate with the tidal oscillations. In Section 3.3 we have proposed a methodology to evaluate a nuclear amplification function (Eq. (32)) to convert the gravitational potential power released in the core by tidal work into solar luminosity. The strategy is based on the fact that nuclear fusion inside a solar core is kept active by gravitational forces that continuously compress the core and very slowly release additional gravitational energy to it, as the hydrogen fuses
into helium. Without gravitational work, no fusion activity would occur either because the two phenomena are strongly coupled ( Carroll and Ostlie, 2007 ). Thus, a simple conversion factor should exist between released tidal gravitational power and its induced solar luminosity anomaly. We can estimate it using a simple adaptation of the well-known mass-luminosity relation for main-sequence stars similar to the Sun: see Eq. (27). The average
estimated amplification factor is A = 4:25 x 106, but it may vary within one order of magnitude. In fact, there is uncertainty about the Love number that in the case of the Sun may be larger than the used factor 3/2 (see Eq. (14)), and the effective tidal dissipation factor Q likely varies with the tidal frequency and amplitude, and may be different from the used binary-star average value Q = 106 (see Eq. (18)).


Nicola also discusses the the 11.08-year solar jerk-shock vector cycle and the relevant solar velocity changes that are induced by planetary tidal functions. There is also discussion of the transport function that radiates from the core that is thought to be of one hundred thousand years ( Kelvin–Helmholtz time scale) and is quoted by some as a show stopper for planetary induced changes emanating from the core. Nicola quotes several authors including Wolff & Patrone that show short time frame G-Wave type oscillations that can travel to the Tachocline. NIcola also leaves room for other mechanisms including the solar dynamo that work together to form an all encompassing solar engine. I am a fan of multiple drivers which of course leaves room for solar dynamo breakdown during times of grand minima.
Below are some notes from Nicola.
Numerous empirical evidences suggest that planetary tides may influence solar activity. In particular, it has been shown that: (1) the well-known 11-year Schwabe sunspot number cycle is constrained between the spring tidal period of Jupiter and Saturn, 9.93 year, and the tidal orbital period of Jupiter, 11.86 year, and a model based on these cycles can reconstruct solar dynamics at multiple time scales (Scafetta, in press); (2) a measure of the alignment of Venus, Earth and Jupiter reveals quasi 11.07-year cycles that are well correlated to the 11-year Schwabe solar cycles; and (3) there exists a 11.08 year cyclical recurrence in the solar jerk-shock vector, which is induced mostly by Mercury and Venus. However, Newtonian classical physics has failed to explain the phenomenon. Only by means of a significant nuclear fusion amplification of the tidal gravitational potential energy dissipated in the Sun, may planetary tides produce irradiance output oscillations with a sufficient magnitude to influence solar dynamo processes. Here we explain how a first order magnification factor can be roughly calculated using an adaptation of the well-known mass-luminosity relation for main-sequence stars similar to the Sun. This strategy yields a conversion factor between the solar luminosity and the potential gravitational power associated to the mass lost by nuclear fusion: the average estimated amplification factor is A=4.25×10^6. We use this magnification factor to evaluate the theoretical luminosity oscillations that planetary tides may potentially stimulate inside the solar core by making its nuclear fusion rate oscillate. By converting the power related to this energy into solar irradiance units at 1 AU we find that the tidal oscillations may be able to theoretically induce an oscillating luminosity increase from 0.05–0.65 W/m2 to 0.25–1.63 W/m2, which is a range compatible with the ACRIM satellite observed total solar irradiance fluctuations. In conclusion, the Sun, by means of its nuclear active core, may be working as a great amplifier of the small planetary tidal energy dissipated in it. The amplified signal should be sufficiently energetic to synchronize solar dynamics with the planetary frequencies and activate internal resonance mechanisms, which then generate and interfere with the solar dynamo cycle to shape solar dynamics, as further explained in Scafetta (in press). A section is devoted to explain how the traditional objections to the planetary theory of solar variation can be rebutted.
Closely related papers:
Scafetta N., 2012. Multi-scale harmonic model for solar and climate cyclical variation throughout the Holocene based on Jupiter–Saturn tidal frequencies plus the 11-year solar dynamo cycle. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80, 296–311.
Scafetta N., 2012. Testing an astronomically based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the IPCC (2007) general circulation climate models. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80, 124–137.
Scafetta N., 2012. A shared frequency set between the historical mid-latitude aurora records and the global surface temperature.
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 74, 145-163.
Scafetta N., 2010. Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications Original Research Article
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72, 951-970.
Scafetta N., 2009. Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global mean air surface temperature change Original Research Article
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 1916-1923.
Best regards
Nicola Scafetta
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New Study Confirms Global Cooling During Solar Grand Minimum 2800 Years Ago – The “Homeric Minimum” also Coincides with Major AMP Events..

Scientists at the removal of a short sediment core: the first time researchers have low solar activity and climate impacts shown on the same sediment core.

The Blogosphere is alive today with reports on a new paper from scientists at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences who analysed lake sediment in Lake Meerfelder Maar, and found direct evidence of a sudden cooling caused by a ‘solar minimum’. Analyzing sediments in Lake Meerfelder Maar, Germany, from 3,300 to 2,000 years before present, the scientists discovered a sharp increase in windiness and cosmogenic 10Be deposition some 2,759  years ago. From this, they inferred that atmospheric circulation had reacted abruptly and in phase with the solar minimum. A shift in atmospheric circulation in response to changes in solar activity is broadly consistent with atmospheric circulation patterns in long-term climate model simulations, and in reanalysis data that assimilate observations from recent solar minima into a climate model. We conclude that changes in atmospheric circulation amplified the solar signal and caused abrupt climate change about 2,800 years ago, coincident with a grand solar minimum.

Of note is that this research has identified both solar output and climate data from a single core for the first time. With both datasets coming from a single source the reliability of the data is obviously enhanced. The team believe one strong mechanism causing the solar/climate link is UV light which fluctuates at much higher levels over the solar cycle compared with TSI output (heat) that is often promoted by IPCC friendly scientists that only varies 0.1% (there is some doubt over this figure).

Nature Geoscience (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1460

The Homeric Minimum is a solar grand minimum that occurred around 2800 years ago according to both solar proxy records (14C & 10Be) over the Holocene. The Homeric Minimum is comparable with the Sporer Minimum that centered around the middle of the Little Ice Age (LIA) at about 1450AD. Both minima were deep and prolonged.

Homeric Minimum compares with the Sporer Minimum.

Another area of interest that has surfaced from this study which confirms the Homeric Minimum, is the further evidence of the very strong correlations of Major Angular Momentum Perturbation (AMP) events and deep solar grand minima.

AMP events occur in groups that centre roughly every 172 years and are shown clearly on Carl’s Graph. AMP events are never quite alike and can vary in strength by large amounts. Every so often the Sun experiences large disruption from groups of strong AMP events as witnessed through the LIA and is also evident during the Homeric Minimum. The strength of each AMP event is controlled by the planet positions that vary every 172 years, ie Jupiter and Saturn are in different positions each time Uranus and Neptune come together.

Planet positions during the Homeric and Sporer Grand Minima.

The above planetary position is not common and has only occurred twice in the central position of AMP groups over the last 5000 years. The central position is important as it can prescribe strong AMP events either side of the central event. The planet angles can be measured to quantify this event which shows Neptune leading Uranus by about 15 deg with Jupiter in between and Saturn about 30-35 deg away from an opposite position to Jupiter. The planet positions vary by about 5 deg when comparing the Homeric/Sporer minima which is sufficient to alter the grand minima that surround each epoch. At the base of this post is the actual perturbations on the solar angular momentum graphs that shows very similar perturbation shapes during the Homeric and Sporer Minima. Carl’s Graph showing the SPorer Minimum HERE.

Holocene 14C solar proxy record showing central AMP planet angles.

  • Homeric Minimum denoted by red oval. Central AMP event shown via blue arrow, Sporer Minimum in red box.