Mini-Ice Age Coming?

The Hockey Schtick has the relevant information

What may be the science story of the century is breaking this evening, as heavyweight US solar physicists announce that the Sun appears to be headed into a lengthy spell of low activity, which could mean that the Earth – far from facing a global warming problem – is actually headed into a mini Ice Age.

The announcement made on 14 June (18:00 UK time) comes from scientists at the US National Solar Observatory (NSO) and US Air Force Research Laboratory. Three different analyses of the Sun’s recent behaviour all indicate that a period of unusually low solar activity may be about to begin.

The Sun normally follows an 11-year cycle of activity. The current cycle, Cycle 24, is now supposed to be ramping up towards maximum strength. Increased numbers of sunspots and other indications ought to be happening: but in fact results so far are most disappointing. Scientists at the NSO now suspect, based on data showing decades-long trends leading to this point, that Cycle 25 may not happen at all.

Go read the rest. And then there is this yawner from ABC News (via Tom Nelson)

Scientists are predicting that the sun is heading into an unusual and extended super quiet mode. Around 2020, sunspots may disappear for years, maybe decades.

But scientists say it is nothing to worry about. The effects from a calmer sun are mostly good. There’d be fewer disruptions of satellites and power systems. And it might mean a little less increase in global warming.

It’s happened before, but not for a couple centuries.

Scientists at a solar physics conference in New Mexico unveiled their prediction based on sunspot activity, magnetic field strength and a disappearing solar jet stream.

Nothing to see, move along…..wait, what? Let’s break that down, shall we?

  • A calmer sun is what we had during the Little Ice Age. OK, great, few disruptions. Except for the pesky snow and ice continuously downing lines, and cloudy skies causing transmission problems. As for less global warming, sure, while it snows in July.
  • Yeah, it happened before. Funny how the phrase “Little Ice Age” is not mentioned, nor that it lasted for around 500 years.
  • Everything in that last paragraph leads to less solar wind, which leads to more cosmic rays impacting the Earth, which means more cloud formation, which leads to cooler temperatures.

Welcome to f*cking science, believers. Though, we do have to wait to see if it actually happens, of course.

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9 Responses to “Mini-Ice Age Coming?”

  1. david7134 says:

    This would seem to make sense from some of the temp data that I have seen. There seems to be a trend in temperature so that there is a spike in temperature followed by a prolonged cooling, like an ice age. I can’t remember the reference, but the trend did stick in my mind.

    Of course, all this is secondary to human activity, even the increased solar activity.

  2. Adobe Walls says:

    Does this mean we have to repeat the 70s? I’m not sure I could bear it.

  3. Dear lord, just the thought of bell bottoms, disco, and polyester leisure suits is enough to chill my blood.

  4. Adobe Walls says:

    The bell bottoms at least were comfortable, I was 15 in 1970 and never had a polyester suit of any kind. Lived in the DC area, disco made going to clubs and bars almost unbearable.

  5. captainfish says:

    You Coolists, such alarmists viewpoints. Don’t you know that a consensus of scientists believe that the sun doesn’t even affect the warming of the earth??!?!

    How dare you defy the will of the majority!!

    The sun has no power over us. The sun is a puny and insignificant effect when compared to that of man.

  6. David Appell says:

    This exact question was studied a few years ago by Feulner and Rahmstorf, and it was found that GHG warming easily swamps any cooling from a Maunder Minimum-like sun. Cooling by 2100 would only be, at most, 0.3 C below IPCC projections. We will not be entering another little ice age.

    See:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/what-would-happen-if-the-sun-fell-to-maunder-minimum-levels.html

  7. Word says:

    Maunders are only one factor in calculating the effects of the entire ecosystem.

    1.There were about 11 different ice ages.
    2.The ice ages were during the earth’s 4.6 billion years of history.
    3.The last ice age was called “The Great Ice Age” and was 11,000 years ago.
    4.During the “Great Ice Age” over a third of the earth was covered in ice.
    5. During the ice age the air had less carbon dioxide in it.

    One needs to remember we are in the geological blink of an eye. We are emerging from an earth event that has happened only 11 times in 4.5 billion years.

    A GINORMOUS< MASSIVE< BEYOND IMAGINATION glacial age in which 1/3 of the earth was covered in as much as 5000-6000 feet of snow.

    Think about that for just one moment then continue. We are 11,000 years removed from that time in which the earth is now going thru its recovery phase.

    That phase is to do the opposite of what just happened to it………COOLING.

    So we are warming. CO2 during this event was extremely LOW because…….

    When it snows in such massive extents this snow binds and traps co2 and removes it from the atmosphere thus ridding the earth of greenhouse gases that might prohibit the sun from once again warming the planet.

    Maunders are events that ebb and flow. Calculating the effects of a Maunder is impossible because the facts put into the model are not facts at all but calculated guesses.

    The reality is that the earth is doing just exactly what it will always do and if man is speeding up the process it is only be a slim margin to the extent that even now the UN's IPCC says we must focus on pollution and not co2.

    Smart move considering CO2 is actually the one thing that might prevent another catastrophic MINI ICE AGE.

    And that is my word of the day.

  8. captainfish says:

    This exact question was studied a few years ago by Feulner and Rahmstorf, and it was found that GHG warming easily swamps any cooling from a Maunder Minimum-like sun. Cooling by 2100 would only be, at most, 0.3 C below IPCC projections. We will not be entering another little ice age.

    Cause we all know how trustworthy, reliable, honest and forthright the IPCC is.

  9. Trish says:

    Hahahah “The bell bottoms at least were comfortable, I was 15 in 1970 and never had a polyester suit of any kind. Lived in the DC area, disco made going to clubs and bars almost unbearable.”

    I was the same age, and wore the low rider bell bottoms, even though we MADE ours by sewing v shaped patches in the legs of our jeans, and cutting waist bands off and sewing belt loops back on. Was all fun, until disco. We were in our 20 in 1975 when all that happened, and in PA couldn’t go to bars yet. By the end of the 70’s we had kids, kept us out of the bars for a decade basically- so missed the golden age of disco!
    As for the cooling, I think Word has said what we all know is true- there is a whole bunch of reasons why we are insignificant, and the main one is that the earth has been undergoing changes for eons and nothing we do or don’t do will stop her, prevent her from changing again if that’s the plan!

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