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Old 06-12-2009, 05:41 PM   #1
caonacl
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Question Pandemics & Interplanetary Magnetic Field

The Interplanetary Magnetic Field: lowest point since 1913?

3 06 2009
David Archibald writes to tell me that the IMF has hit “rock bottom” and may go lower still. Watching the IMF is a good indicator of the activity of the Sun’s internal magnetic dynamo. Looking at this graph from Archibald, and Lief’s graph below one could conclude that the sun’s inner magnetics are quieter than any time in the last 90+ years.

First a bit of a primer to help our readers understand what the IMF is.
This is from SpaceWeather.com
During solar minimum the Sun’s magnetic field, like Earth’s, resembles that of an iron bar magnet, with great closed loops near the equator and open field lines near the poles. Scientists call such a field a “dipole.” The Sun’s dipolar field is about as strong as a refrigerator magnet, or 50 gauss. Earth’s magnetic field is 100 times weaker.
Steve Suess (NASA/MSFC) prepared this figure, which shows the Sun's spiraling magnetic field from a vantage point ~100 AU from the Sun.


During the years around solar maximum (2000 and 2001 are good examples) spots pepper the face of the Sun. Sunspots are places where intense magnetic loops — hundreds of times stronger than the ambient dipole field — poke through the photosphere. Sunspot magnetic fields overwhelm the underlying dipole; as a result, the Sun’s magnetic field near the surface of the star becomes tangled and complicated.

The Sun’s magnetic field isn’t confined to the immediate vicinity of our star. The solar wind carries it throughout the solar system. Out among the planets we call the Sun’s magnetic field the “Interplanetary Magnetic Field” or “IMF.” Because the Sun rotates (once every 27 days) the IMF has a spiral shape — named the “Parker spiral” after the scientist who first described it.

Here is another view of the Parker Spiral. Our own Leif Svalgaard had a hand in this I believe:
The heliospheric current sheet is a three-dimensional form of a Parker spiral that results from the influence of the Sun's rotating magnetic field on the plasma in the interplanetary medium.

The IMF goes through the floor
Guest Post by David Archibald

There has been one view that the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) has a floor of 4 nanoTeslas below which it cannot go. The value of the last 27 day average was 3.3, as shown in the graph below:
click for larger image

So far in 2009 there have been individual days as low as 1.8 nanoTeslas, so there may be no physical reason why a monthly average close to 2 is not possible. It seems that the Sun’s “magneticness” drives everything, and in that case the IMF data suggests that solar activity is not even feeling bottom yet.
Leif has a plot of the IMF all the way back to 1840:

Click for larger image. Source: http://www.leif.org/research/Erl75.png
From Leif’s graph, it appears that the last time the IMF got this low was in 1913 during that lull in solar activity.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/0...nt-since-1913/
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:01 PM   #2
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Maybe the IMF helps slow down the rate harmful pathogens are created, so that pandemics are more likely at the minimums.

Molecular Mechanisms of the Biological Effect of Weak Magnetic
Fields. V.
In vitro Inactivation of Rous Sarcoma Virus
Recombinant Reverse Transcriptase upon Combined Effect
of Weak Stationary and Low-Frequency Alternating Magnetic
Fields Adjusted to the Cyclotron Resonance
of Polar Amino Acid Ions

....The results obtained show that in principle it is possible to induce predefined structural–functional modifications of key molecular processes, including
those directly determining the functioning of the cell genomic systems, via the resonance effect of weak electromagnetic fields (EMF). In this connection, it
seems promising to study the possibility of structural– functional modification of different classes of protein macromolecules, in particular, the key enzyme systems of pathogenic retroviruses. RNA-dependent DNA polymerases (reverse
transcriptases, RT) are the key enzymes in the development cycle of retroviruses [4, 5] causing various human and animal oncological diseases and AIDS. For this reason, these enzymes are used in biomedical investigations as the main targets for antiviral drugs. Enzyme isolation from infected animal or human cells...
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The data on the
in vitro effect of combined resonance MF on the RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity of RSV RT assayed by the radioisotopic technique are shown in Fig. 1 [7, 8]. It is seen that this physical effect results in practically complete inhibition of reverse transcriptase. In control, the same incubation for 3 h leads to an approximately 20% decrease in enzyme activity, probably because of spontaneous proteolysis, resulting in degradation of the

β
-subunit in the active αβ dimer and formation of the low-activity α-subunit and the 32,000-Da fragment devoid of polymerase activity.

http://www.3k3n.com/Bphs0927%20(Revertase).pdf

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Old 06-13-2009, 02:32 PM   #3
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While solar activity and the IMF are not exactly the same thing, there is some evidence that there is a correlation with many of the past pandemics, especially the Black Death in 1350 AD.

Quote:
The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350.
Quote:
Another theory for the cause of the Little Ice Age centers not on the atmospheric restriction of the amount of energy flowing into the earth, but on the concept that the sun itself is variable in its energy production. It is estimated that a fluctuation of only a few tenths of 1% in energy output would be sufficient to produce significant changes in climate (Budyko 1969). An interesting coincidence held meaningful by many is the absence of sunspot activity through most of the latter and most severe period of the Little Ice Age (Eddy 1976). While accurate astronomical records are increasingly difficult to obtain as one moves back in history, there is yet a convincing amount of data which allows one to have confidence in the historical sunspot record.

http://www.grisda.org/origins/10051.htm
Past Pandemics

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


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Old 06-21-2009, 11:15 AM   #4
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RELATED:
http://thisbluemarble.com/showthread...670#post122670


The recent low period is the lowest in almost 100 years.



Does this decrease in solar output have an impact on our climate here on earth?

"The solar minimum back in the 1600s correlated with the Little Ice Age, which started in 1650 and ended in the mid-1800s. That cold period caused rivers to freeze all over Europe and in the eastern United States, and resulted in the growth of glaciers in those areas. The connection between those two events is poorly understood. But there is some evidence that a lack of sunspots can cause moderate cooling because of the way the sun interacts with Earth's outer atmosphere", said Alexei Pevtsov, staff astronomer at the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, N.M. "And hopes that a low sunspot cycle could negate some of the impacts of global warming are probably far-fetched", he added. "It won't have that much influence, but there is some effect from solar activity on the climate," Pevtsov said

Yet many other climatologists disagree. Climatologist Joe D'Aleo correlated average US temperatures to solar cycle length (high sunspot activity to low sunspot activiity). Temperatures tend to be warmer when sunspots numbers are up and cooler when sunspots are absent.



The sunspot minimum that is forecasted to continue is good for satellite communications because during low sunspot cycles, solar flares don't occur as frequently and the particles from them don't interfere with satellite and space operations. On the flipside, solar maxumums can be devestating. Space shuttle missions also need to pay close attention to these flares. If an astronaut were to be outside the shuttle on a spacewalk, he would be bombarded with high energy radiation which could be fatal. This sort of activity could disable GPS systems, disrupt broadcasts and cell phone connections. Back in 2006, the astronauts on the International Space Station had to head for heavily shielded areas of the station so that they were protected from a large solar flare erupting on the sun.

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/061213_radiation_storm.html


The solar maximum and subsequent storm back in 1859--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. (Tony Phillips)


Whether we speak of sunspots and its impact on our climate or solar flares disrupting space missions and our electronic infrastructure, sunspots have an impact on our lives more than you think.



http://www.fox8.com/wjw-scott-sabol-weather-column5,0,4773939.story?page=1
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:46 PM   #5
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OUTSIDE THE BOX.


WAY, WAY outside the box.

Just sayin'..,
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburn Boy View Post
OUTSIDE THE BOX.


WAY, WAY outside the box.

Just sayin'..,
Just because it hasn't been noticed before doesn't make it implausible. In any case, I'm only pointing out a coincidence.

Quote:
Whether we speak of sunspots and its impact on our climate or solar flares disrupting space missions and our electronic infrastructure, sunspots have an impact on our lives more than you think.
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Old 06-21-2009, 03:09 PM   #7
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Related: Scientists have proven that all microbes grow better at the International Space Station (ISS) but they don't yet know why. I propose that it may be because NASA has taken extraordinary precautions to shield the astronaughts (and their experiments), from solar radiation. It may be that you are more protected from solar radiation on the ISS than on a Florida beach


Vaccines in Space: Taking Biotech to Microgravity LabsLast week, International Space Station crews conducted a trailblazing microgravity vaccine experiment on behalf of a company to thwart drug-resistant infections. The trick: growing superdiseases in space. Soon after, the CEO of the company behind the experiment told attendees at a conference in New York City what he envisions for the future of space-age biotech.

By Joe Pappalardo
Published on: June 8, 2009
Last month the public watched as astronauts on the space shuttle Atlantis conducted risky spacewalks to fix the Hubble Space Telescope. But there was another, quieter task that the astronauts pursuedóa commercial drug experiment aimed at finding a vaccine against a deadly staph infection besetting hospitals.

Previous NASA spaceflight experiments have shown that microbes grow better in space, but the cause is still being debated. One popular theory is that nutrients can be absorbed more efficiently through cell walls and from multiple directions without the presence of gravity. Another, more obscure, theory: There is a latent genetic code in the microbes that is expressed in microgravity.

Thomas Pickens (son of the billionaire energy entrepreneur, T. Boone Pickens) doesn't care all that much why this phenomena occurs?—he just wants to cash in on it. As the president and CEO of Astrotech, Pickens established a subsidiary to develop vaccines using the fruits of space research like last month's experiment. "We found it commercially viable to send microbes to space," he says. "They just jump off the charts in terms of growth."

Pickens's new venture, AstroGenetix, is the only company that uses NASA launches to develop commercial vaccines. This relationship grew from the parent company's long involvement in designing NASA microgravity experiments. Pickens reasoned that the researchers at his company were in a prime position to take advantage of NASA's unique laboratory in space, instead of just creating hardware for the experiments. To make the arrangement official, they forged an agreement similar to ones governing the use of U.S. national labs by commercial companies.

Since the space station is under construction, these experiments have to be easy to conduct. "This is like doing biotech engineering during the construction of a skyscraper," Pickens says. To make it easy on the astronauts, researchers at AstroGenetix placed the staph cultures in a fortified can; all the astronauts had to do was crank a handle to expose the cultures to nutrients inside. When it is time to come home, the astronauts turn the handle again to kill the cultures and bring the grown staph cells back to Earth for DNA testing. The rapid growth makes it easy to isolate the genes that make the microbes more virulent. Microbes that are stripped of these genes could be used as a basis for vaccines. There are multiple layers of protection to keep the samples from contaminating the environment of the ISS, Pickens says.

Large pharmaceutical companies shy away from space because of the heavy government involvement, Pickens says. That didn't put off Astrotech, because they were already experienced at working with NASA. "Big pharma will let biotech take the risk, and then, when there is a breakthrough, come in and buy it," he says. "I expect competitors to follow."




http://www.popularmechanics.com/scie...e/4320853.html
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:42 PM   #8
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From:
http://thisbluemarble.com/showthread...136#post179136

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdGuano View Post
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/07/suns-magnetic-index-reaches-unprecedent-low-only-zero-could-be-lower-in-a-month-when-sunspots-became-more-active/

Solar geomagnetic index reaches unprecedented low – only “zero” could be lower – in a month when sunspots became more active
7 01 2010

Back on December 12th 2009 I posted an article titled:

Solar geomagnetic activity is at an all time low – what does this mean for climate?

We then had a string of sunspots in December that marked what many saw as a rejuvenation of solar cycle 24 after a long period of inactivity. See December sunspots on the rise

It even prompted people like Joe Romm to claim:

The hottest decade ends and since there’s no Maunder mininum — sorry deniers! — the hottest decade begins

But what Joe doesn’t understand is that sunspots are just one proxy, the simplest and most easily observed, for magnetic activity of the sun. It is the magnetic activity of the sun which is central to Svensmark’s theory of galactic cosmic ray modulation, which may affect cloud cover formation on earth, thus affecting global temperatures. As the theory goes, lower magnetic activity of the sun lets more GCR’s into our solar system, which produce microscopic cloud seed trails (like in a Wilson cloud chamber) in our atmosphere, resulting in more cloud cover, resulting in a cooler planet. Ric Werme has a nice pictorial here.

When I saw the SWPC Ap geomagnetic index for Dec 2009 posted yesterday, my heart sank. With the sunspot activity in December, I thought surely the Ap index would go up. Instead, it crashed.



Source data: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/RecentIndices.txt

When you look at the Ap index on a larger scale, all the way back to 1844 when measurements first started, the significance of this value of “1″ becomes evident. This graph from Dr. Leif Svalgaard shows where we are today in relation to the past 165 years.



With apologies to Dr. Svalgaard, I’ve added the “1″ line and the most current SWPC value of “1″ for Dec 2009.

As you can see, we’ve never had such a low value before, and the only place lower to go is “zero”.

But this is only part of the story. With the Ap index dwindling to a wisp of magnetism, it bolsters the argument made by Livingston and Penn that sunspots may disappear altogether by 2015. See Livingston and Penn – Sunspots may vanish by 2015


Above: Sunspot magnetic fields measured by Livingston and Penn from 1992 – Feb. 2009 using an infrared Zeeman splitting technique. [more] from the WUWT article: NASA: Are Sunspots Disappearing?

The theory goes that once the magnetic strength falls below 1500 gauss, sunspots will become invisible to us.

Note where we are on this curve that Dr. Svalgaard also keeps of LP’s measurements:



Source: http://www.leif.org/research/Livingston%20and%20Penn.png

It appears that we are on track, and that’s a chilling thought.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:01 PM   #9
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_thinking
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caonacl View Post
Maybe the IMF helps slow down the rate harmful pathogens are created, so that pandemics are more likely at the minimums.






Molecular Mechanisms of the Biological Effect of Weak Magnetic Fields. V.
In vitro Inactivation of Rous Sarcoma Virus
Recombinant Reverse Transcriptase upon Combined Effect


of Weak Stationary and Low-Frequency Alternating Magnetic


Fields Adjusted to the Cyclotron Resonance

of Polar Amino Acid Ions



....The results obtained show that in principle it is possible to induce predefined structural–functional modifications of key molecular processes, including


those directly determining the functioning of the cell genomic systems, via the resonance effect of weak electromagnetic fields (EMF). In this connection, it


seems promising to study the possibility of structural– functional modification of different classes of protein macromolecules, in particular, the key enzyme systems of pathogenic retroviruses. RNA-dependent DNA polymerases (reverse transcriptases, RT) are the key enzymes in the development cycle of retroviruses [4, 5] causing various human and animal oncological diseases and AIDS. For this reason, these enzymes are used in biomedical investigations as the main targets for antiviral drugs. Enzyme isolation from infected animal or human cells...



RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The data on the
in vitro effect of combined resonance MF on the RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity of RSV RT assayed by the radioisotopic technique are shown in Fig. 1 [7, 8]. It is seen that this physical effect results in practically complete inhibition of reverse transcriptase. In control, the same incubation for 3 h leads to an approximately 20% decrease in enzyme activity, probably because of spontaneous proteolysis, resulting in degradation of the-subunit in the active αβ dimer and formation of the low-activity α-subunit and the 32,000-Da fragment devoid of polymerase activity.




Researchers investigate magical thinking?
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:30 PM   #11
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Legitimate and competent researchers do not engage in magical thinking. But then, they generally do not mistake correlation for causation, whereas magical thinkers merely assume it to be so. Case in point: this thread all your threads.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
Legitimate and competent researchers do not engage in magical thinking. But then, they generally do not mistake correlation for causation, whereas magical thinkers merely assume it to be so. Case in point: this thread all your threads.
Maybe this thread just aint for you.
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