Forbush events

September 12, 2011

(This article was first published on Steven Mosher's Blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

As noted here there is a new paper linking Forbush events with changes in DTR. Simply, during a Forbush event  cosmic rays are modulated ( the flux reaching the earth decreases. The theory goes something like this. If GCRs play a role in cloud formation, then when they decrease you should be able to detect an decrease in cloudiness or conversely an increase in solar radiation reaching the surface.

Here’s another link providing some back ground

And here is a link to a paper on the subject

That paper took a rather indirect approach to the problem looking at  changes to DTR and making two inferences. The first inference of course is that the change in DTR is related to Forbush events. The second inference is that the change in DTR was related to changes in cloud cover.

I’m going to take a more direct approach. The hypothesis is that decreased GCR (coincident with a Forbush event) should lead to a decrease in clouds and hence an increase in solar radiation reaching the surface.

The dataset  I have is collected  is from  the best climate stations in the US:  CRN

The data is solar radiation reaching the surface.  I’ve just started the test code, downloading all the datasets and getting the data into nice formats for plotting an analysis. I’ll give you a taste of it here:  On feb 19th, 2011 there was a Forbush event. Below, see the hourly solar radiation for 1 of 206 stations in the CRN database.

 And below find a sample of 9 stations ( ignore the date– my bad it says jan but its feb ) and an example of 25 charts

So,  while I wait on some bug fixes to be upstreamed for the metadata project, I may play around with the solar data.










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