Go to: Home page of www.BillHowell.ca
Canadian Solar Forecasting Initiative
Two Canadian physicists left their USA jobs in the early 2000's to return as Canada
research chairs in the early to mid-2000's, thereby joining the one and only
full time Canadian solar physicist at the time, Ken Tapping of the National
Hertzberg Institute for Astrophysics. With considerable
pushing from Tapping, a "Canadian solar physics community" has beensteadily
built up, with the annual "Canadian solar physics workshop" being a key event
to bring the community together.
Following ongoing funding cuts (what do you expect for one of the most politically
incorrect areas of science?), perhaps the best hope for this community is a
proposal to participate in the
French Picard solar physics initiative.
Since ~2003 I have been very interested in solar modeling and
forecasting. This initially began with the issue of non-CO2 or Greeen
House Gas (GHG) drivers for climate, but it is actually very
interesting from the point of chaos theory, the application of
Computational Intelligence tools, and the influence of astronomy on
many other processes. Moreover, advances in new techniques such as
helio-seismology has had quite an impact. Canada has only 3
scientists specialised in solar physics (perhaps more dabble in it),
and the funding is atrociously low compared to the importance of the
subject... (I'm not a solar physicist – I just compare the huge
sums in climate change funding for much less relevant pursuits in
that area, and see that things are way out of wack). It seems to me that we
still have a lot to learn from the sun, even at its simple level, but even
more importantly with respect to our very basic tools, approaches and
philosophy of tackling "modestly complex systems". The solar physicist beat me
up for saying that, but it's still my guess that evolutionary or "intentional"
systems that react to their environment are far more complex mathematically.
Of course, I have no basis or proof for that gut feel.
I'll gradually fill in material as time goes on. Some of the major
1. Solar models and forecasts, but broadening this to include solar system
orbitals, Earth axis precession, geomagnetics, galactic rays, etc etc
2. Astronomical drivers of Terrestrial processes - some of these are covered
on other web-pages as indicated.
- Pipelines, electrical distribution grids, cellphones, satellite longevity and communications
Pandemics, health, and the Sun - Based on work by Tapping, Mathias, and
Surkan, this section describes the strong "solar signal" observable in the
timing of some pandemics, as well as possible radiation effects either from
the sun or galactic in origin.
- Helio- and geo- magnetic fields - space weather forecasting etc etc I won't
get a chance to look at this any time soon. For now refer to websites that
will be put at some time in the references below...
- Ozone layer variations (comparison of astronomical influences with chloro-fluorocarbons, dusts etc)
Canadian solar physics workshop, Montreal
Solar Modeling and Forecasting Presentations that I arranged for 13Oct06
in Ottawa. Speakers:
- Paul Charbonneau, Canada Research Chair in Solar Physics,
Université de Montréal http://www.astro.umontreal.ca/~paulchar/grps/grps.html
"Physical origin of fluctuations in the amplitude of the solar activity cycle"
- David Boteler, Research Scientist of Natural Resources Canada, (NRCan), Ottawa
"Geomagnetism and Space Weather – a quick introduction"
- David Thomson, Canada Research Chair in Statistics and Signal Processing,
Queens University, Kingston, Ontario http://appsci.queensu.ca/research/profiles/thomson/
"Astronomical drivers of terrestrial phenomena"
- Jan Veizer, University of Ottawa - an impromptu 1 hour presentation
11May06 micro-Workshop on Canadian Solar Forecasting
which I set up through Ian Clarke at the University of
Ottawa, Geology Department. Speakers:
- Ken Tapping, Solar Physicist, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, National
Research Council, Penticton BC, Canada
- "Pandemics and Solar Activity" based on article by K.F.
Tapping, R.G. Mathias, D.L. Surkan
- "Modeling Solar Irradiance: Values and Uncertainties"
based on a paper presented to the Canadian Climate Change Conference the
same week, hosted by the Engineering Institute of Canada (this will be
published in a proceedings of selected papers from the conference)
Julio Valdes, Computational
Intelligence Research Scientist, National Research Council, Ottawa
"Time dependent neural network models for the detection of changes of state in Earth and
planetary processes" J. Valdes and G. Bonham-Carter,
International Joint Conference on Neural Networks 2005, Montreal
References: selected articles, mostly related to solar and climate
- Ken Tapping "Modeling solar irradiance: values and uncertainties" - presentation to
the Engineering Institute of Canada's Climate Change Technology
Conference, Ottawa, 12May06 http://www.ccc2006.ca/eng/index.html
(not published yet as of May06)
- Julio Valdes, Graham Bonham-Carter "Time dependent neural network models for
detecting changes of state in Earth and planetary processes"
Proceedings of IJCNN 2005, International Joint Conference on Neural
Networks. Montreal, paper #1439, pp????-????, 31 July – 4
- C1ay "Solar Cycle 25 could be one of the weakest in centuries" 11May2006
Directory of available files for this webpage:
Updates: split out and expanded from previous webpage 04May07, original 06Oct06