Posts Tagged ‘Little Ice Age’

Ice Age must be imminent: UK government predicts no cooling for “several centuries”

November 1, 2013

We are in a global cooling cycle and this may be a:

  1. a regular c. 30 year warming/cooling cycle influenced heavily by the multi-decadal ocean cycles, or
  2. another Little Ice Age – dominated by the solar sunspot cycles –  with the current Landscheidt Minimum comparable to the Dalton or the Maunder Minimum, or
  3. the ending of this interglacial  with a gradual return to glacial condition.

If anything can ensure that we are in for another Ice Age it must be this rather inane statement by the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) when answering a question in the House of Lords:

All of the climate models and policy-relevant pathways of future greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions considered in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent Fifth Assessment Report show a long-term global increase in temperature during the 21st century is expected. In all cases, the warming from increasing greenhouse gases significantly exceeds any cooling from atmospheric aerosols. Other effects such as solar changes and volcanic activity are likely to have only a minor impact over this timescale.

With regard to future glaciation the timescales are very long. Changes in the Earth’s orbit are considered to have driven the glacial cycles that have occurred every 100,000 years approximately, during the past one million years. The British Antarctic Survey has advised that the Earth is about halfway through the current interglacial period and the onset of the next glaciation is not expected for around 10,000 years at least. Although a future extensive glaciation would have huge geopolitical consequences, the transition into such a state would be slow, allowing for adaptation over many generations.

The slow changes in the Earth’s orbit are not, however, expected to cause any net global cooling over the next several centuries, which will be dominated by a warming global climate due to greenhouse gas emissions.

Baroness Verma’s faith in the IPCC and her religious adherence to global warming orthodoxy is touching. But the only thing we can be absolutely certain about is that the UK Government and Baroness Verma have surely got it wrong. In fact, the propensity of Baroness Verma to get (all) things wrong would suggest that glaciation has already started.

Probability of Maunder-like minimum increases

October 28, 2013

I have been of the opinion for some time now that the current Landscheidt Minimum that we are in has a reasonable probability of reaching Dalton Minimum conditions and even developing into a Maunder-like minimum. The Landscheidt Minimum has yet to be officially named. It seems increasingly probable that we are in for some 20 – 30 years of  global cooling. This has not been the view of the global warming enthusiasts who don’t  much believe in the Sun. But now some heavy-weight opinions are also giving more credence to the possibility of a Maunder-like Minimum. We have currently reached solar maximum in Solar Cycle 24 and SC24 and the coming SC25 are comparable to SC’s 4,5 and 6 which corresponded with the Dalton Minimum. Note that the numbering system for Solar Cycles only starts after the Maunder Minimum.

Paul Hudson has been talking to Professor Mike Lockwood:

It’s known by climatologists as the ‘Little Ice Age’, a period in the 1600s when harsh winters across the UK and Europe were often severe. The severe cold went hand in hand with an exceptionally inactive sun, and was called the Maunder solar minimum. 

Now a leading scientist from Reading University has told me that the current rate of decline in solar activity is such that there’s a real risk of seeing a return of such conditions. I’ve been to see Professor Mike Lockwood to take a look at the work he has been conducting into the possible link between solar activity and climate patterns. 

According to Professor Lockwood the late 20th century was a period when the sun was unusually active and a so called ‘grand maximum’ occurred around 1985. Since then the sun has been getting quieter. By looking back at certain isotopes in ice cores, he has been able to determine how active the sun has been over thousands of years. 

Following analysis of the data, Professor Lockwood believes solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years. He found 24 different occasions in the last 10,000 years when the sun was in exactly the same state as it is now – and the present decline is faster than any of those 24. Based on his findings he’s raised the risk of a new Maunder minimum from less than 10% just a few years ago to 25-30%. And a repeat of the Dalton solar minimum which occurred in the early 1800s, which also had its fair share of cold winters and poor summers, is, according to him, ‘more likely than not’ to happen. He believes that we are already beginning to see a change in our climate – witness the colder winters and poor summers of recent years – and that over the next few decades there could be a slide to a new Maunder minimum. 

It’s worth stressing that not every winter would be severe; nor would every summer be poor. But harsh winters and unsettled summers would become more frequent. 

Professor Lockwood doesn’t hold back in his description of the potential impacts such a scenario would have in the UK. He says such a change to our climate could have profound implications for energy policy and our transport infrastructure. Although the biggest impact of such solar driven change would be regional, like here in the UK and across Europe, there would be global implications too. ……… 

Recent solar activity (Wikipedia) showing the Maunder and Dalton minima

2013 was a “good” year for the cryosphere – but could it be the beginning of the end of this interglacial?

October 8, 2013

According to the NSIDC – which is an important part of orthodox officialdom – 2013 was a better year for the cryosphere since:

“This summer, Arctic sea ice loss was held in check by relatively cool and stormy conditions. As a result, 2013 saw substantially more ice at summer’s end, compared to last year’s record low extent. The Greenland Ice Sheet also showed less extensive surface melt than in 2012. Meanwhile, in the Antarctic, sea ice reached the highest extent recorded in the satellite record”.

What makes for “good” or “bad” depends upon what the fears are. If global warming is the fear then – as the NSIDC states – it was a good year. But if a cooling cycle or even a coming ice age is the fear then the increasing ice extent, the short summer, the extended winter last year and the increased snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere are all just early warning signs of what is to come.

We don’t know if we are in:

  1. a run-away global warming period (as the global warming orthodoxy will have us believe), or
  2. a series of global warming and cooling cycles, each about 20 – 30 years long and responding to the decadal ocean cycles, or
  3. the beginning of the end of this interglacial (which is overdue).

The global warming pause of the last 17 – 18 years suggests that “run-away” global warming is unlikely. The slight decrease in global temperatures over the last 7 – 8 years is not conclusive but is also evidence that the effect of increasing carbon dioxide on global temperature is far from certain. Even if it exists it is very small  and is clearly not yet properly understood. Catastrophe scenarios may attract funding but reduce the credibility of the doom-sayers.

If we are just in a regular cooling cycle then the increasing ice level is nothing to be afraid of. Even if 2 or 3 decades of cooling give us another Little Ice Age, it will be followed by a warming cycle. It will not necessarily mean the start of the end of the current interglacial. But it will mean 20 – 30 years of cooling and the increased use of fossil fuels will be required. Fracking and methane hydrate recovery from the deep sea will be needed along with the continued – and increased – mining of coal. Wind and solar energy can play their little part in the niches that they are suitable for. Nuclear energy will have to make a come-back.

But if the Earth is now responding – by mechanisms unknown – to the Milankovitch cycles – and has started its many thousands year journey into glacial conditions, then we would be well served by developing the strategies and technologies for prospering in such times. We will gradually lose habitat in the North to growing ice sheets but we will gain new habitat as the sea level sinks. But these changes will take place over many generations (50 – 100) and we will have time to adapt. One lost generation – as the last 20 years of global warming hysteria will be – will be of little consequence. Humans have lived and prospered through glacial conditions before and will again. One big difference will be the availability of affordable and abundant energy which gives us the ability – not to stop the advance of the ice sheets – but to be able to continue to access resources and minerals under the ice sheets. We may even have colonies living on top of the shallower ice sheets. But there will also be new opportunities. The increase of habitat as the sea levels drop (by upto 150m) will be in exceptionally fertile areas for food production. Mineral and energy resources currently under the sea will become even more accessible. As with the last glacial period it will probably be a period in which human ingenuity is challenged and innovation will flourish.

The coming of a new glacial period will be no catastrophic change. We will have plenty of time to adapt. And in the 1,000 or 2,000 years it will take to establish glacial conditions, humans will probably have found new frontiers and established new colonies in space. And in 50 or 100 generation humans will continue to evolve. The humans coming out of the next glacial will not be quite like us.

Little Ice Age could well have resulted from reduced solar activity

October 4, 2013

This paper is particularly interesting because the senior author, Thomas Stocker, is the Vice-Chair of the IPCC and presented the summary of AR5 at the Press Conference last week!!

It is very strange then that the IPCC is so nonchalant about solar effects. In any event whatever the various climate models say, the Landscheidt Minimum is here and global cooling will continue for the next two decades or so. As The Register puts it.
” There’s been criticism for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over its latest AR5 report from many quarters for many reasons. But today there’s new research focusing on one particular aspect of that criticism.The particular part of the IPCC’s science in question is its accounting for the effects of changes in the Sun on the climate of planet Earth. Many climatologists have long sought to suggest that the effects of solar variability are minor, certainly when compared to those of human-driven CO2 emissions. Others, however, while admitting that the Sun changes only a very little over human timescales, think that it might be an important factor. This matters because solar physicists think that the Sun is about to enter a “grand minimum”, a prolonged period of low activity. 
The current 11-year peak in solar action is the weakest seen for a long time, and it may presage a lengthy quiet period. Previously, historical records suggest that such periods have been accompanied by chilly conditions on Earth – perhaps to the point where a coming minimum might counteract or even render irrelevant humanity’s carbon emissions. The “Little Ice Age” seen from the 15th to the 19th centuries is often mentioned in this context.
Lehner, Flavio, Andreas Born, Christoph C. Raible, Thomas F. Stocker, 2013: Amplified Inception of European Little Ice Age by Sea Ice–Ocean–Atmosphere Feedbacks.  J. Climate26, 7586–7602.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00690.1
The University of Berne press release writes:
The study that was realized at the OCCR shows that volcanic eruptions and reduced solar radiation caused global cooling between the thirteenth and the fifteenth centuries. The resulting accelerated formation of sea ice in the Northern Seas triggered a positive feedback process that shaped the Little Ice Age. The winter weather in Europe is largely governed by the so-called North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). ……. Until now, the NAO was believed to be jointly responsible for the cooling in the early fifteenth century along with volcanic eruptions and weakened solar radiation. The subsequent Little Ice Age continued into the nineteenth century. Now, however, Bernese climate researchers Flavio Lehner, Andreas Born, Christoph Raible and Thomas Stocker reveal that the Little Ice Age was also able to take its course without the influence of the NAO, driven purely by the consequences of strong and frequent volcanic eruptions at the time, a reduced solar radiation, or both together.
Using simulations on the CSCS supercomputer “Monte Rosa”, the climate researchers searched for a feedback process that was capable of triggering the Little Ice Age.
….. For the scientists, the fact that all the slightly altered, realistic simulations and the synthetic ice simulation yielded consistent results is solid proof that the Little Ice Age was primarily governed by external triggers. Volcanic activity and less solar radiation initially caused an increase in sea-ice formation independently of atmospheric circulation. Due to the cooling, the mean sea level pressure gradually increased over the Barents Sea, which enabled the cold air to reach Europe. “However, this pressure response is clearly a delayed reaction of the atmosphere to the preceding processes in the ocean,” says Raible.
Abstract: The inception of the Little Ice Age (~1400–1700 AD) is believed to have been driven by an interplay of external forcing and climate system internal variability. While the hemispheric signal seems to have been dominated by solar irradiance and volcanic eruptions, the understanding of mechanisms shaping the climate on a continental scale is less robust. In an ensemble of transient model simulations and a new type of sensitivity experiments with artificial sea ice growth, the authors identify a sea ice–ocean–atmosphere feedback mechanism that amplifies the Little Ice Age cooling in the North Atlantic–European region and produces the temperature pattern suggested by paleoclimatic reconstructions. Initiated by increasing negative forcing, the Arctic sea ice substantially expands at the beginning of the Little Ice Age. The excess of sea ice is exported to the subpolar North Atlantic, where it melts, thereby weakening convection of the ocean. Consequently, northward ocean heat transport is reduced, reinforcing the expansion of the sea ice and the cooling of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Nordic Seas, sea surface height anomalies cause the oceanic recirculation to strengthen at the expense of the warm Barents Sea inflow, thereby further reinforcing sea ice growth. The absent ocean–atmosphere heat flux in the Barents Sea results in an amplified cooling over Northern Europe. The positive nature of this feedback mechanism enables sea ice to remain in an expanded state for decades up to a century, favoring sustained cold periods over Europe such as the Little Ice Age. Support for the feedback mechanism comes from recent proxy reconstructions around the Nordic Seas

In the Mediterranean temperatures indicate long-term trends which are decreasing

September 30, 2013

Well Now!

Michael Mann’s splicing of temperature records onto tree ring proxies and his trick of hiding the decline to create his hockey stick begins to look decidedly fishy. And the IPCC is beginning to smell.

And this coming at the same time as the release of the IPCC’s AR5 Summary emphasises how far removed the IPCC is from science.

Ingo Heinrich, Ramzi Touchan, Isabel Dorado Liñán, Heinz Vos, Gerhard HelleWinter-to-spring temperature dynamics in Turkey derived from tree rings since AD 1125Climate Dynamics, 2013; 41 (7-8): 1685, DOI:10.1007/s00382-013-1702-3

AbstractIn the eastern Mediterranean in general and in Turkey in particular, temperature reconstructions based on tree rings have not been achieved so far. Furthermore, centennial-long chronologies of stable isotopes are generally also missing. Recent studies have identified the tree species Juniperus excelsa as one of the most promising tree species in Turkey for developing long climate sensitive stable carbon isotope chronologies because this species is long-living and thus has the ability to capture low-frequency climate signals. We were able to develop a statistically robust, precisely dated and annually resolved chronology back to AD 1125. We proved that variability of δ13C in tree rings of J. excelsa is mainly dependent on winter-to-spring temperatures (January–May). Low-frequency trends, which were associated with the medieval warm period and the little ice age, were identified in the winter-to-spring temperature reconstruction, however, the twentieth century warming trend found elsewhere could not be identified in our proxy record, nor was it found in the corresponding meteorological data used for our study. Comparisons with other northern-hemispherical proxy data showed that similar low-frequency signals are present until the beginning of the twentieth century when the other proxies derived from further north indicate a significant warming while the winter-to-spring temperature proxy from SW-Turkey does not. Correlation analyses including our temperature reconstruction and seven well-known climate indices suggest that various atmospheric oscillation patterns are capable of influencing the temperature variations in SW-Turkey.

Alpha Galileo reports: 

For the first time a long temperature reconstruction on the basis of stable carbon isotopes in tree rings has been achieved for the eastern Mediterranean. An exactly dated time series of almost 900 year length was established, exhibiting the medieval warm period, the little ice age between the 16th and 19th century as well as the transition into the modern warm phase. Moreover, Ingo Heinrich from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and colleagues revealed that the modern warming trend cannot be found in the new chronology. “A comparison with seasonal meteorological data also demonstrates that at several places in the Mediterranean the winter and spring temperatures indicate long-term trends which are decreasing or at least not increasing”, says Ingo Heinrich. “Our results stress the need for further research of the regional climate variations.”

It seems that especially temperature reconstructions derived from extreme sites such as high mountain zones and high latitudes do not always correctly reflect the climate of the different geographical regions. The past temperature variations in the lowlands of central Europe and in the Mediterranean are not well understood yet. The analysis of carbon isotope ratios (13C/12C) in tree rings aims to close this research gap. By focusing on the months January to May the researchers detected the period in which the trees shift from dormancy in late winter to re-activation of growth in early spring. The carbon isotope ratios measured in individual tree rings largely depends on the environmental conditions; thus, the varying tree-ring isotope values are good indicators for changes in the environment. The carbon isotope ratios in the trees from Turkey indicate a temperature sensitivity of the trees during late winter to early spring. In cold winters the cambium and the leaves are damaged more than usual and the following recovery in spring takes longer. Low spring temperatures further delay the photosynthesis or slow down the rate of photosynthesis, with negative effects on the cambial activity.

 

Late spring, early autumn this year?

August 26, 2013

This morning it feels like Autumn is here. Frost has not quite reached us but it is not very far away. The mist is rising thickly as the sun rises. And the deer are in the garden cleaning up all the fallen apples:

From my window 26th August 2013

From my kitchen window 26th August 2013

This year spring came about 3 weeks late.

SMHI defines spring in Sweden as the first day – after 15th February – of 7 continuous days with temperatures between 0 and 10 °C. The “normal” onset of Spring is as below:

  • Malmö: 22nd February
  • Stockholm: 16th March
  • Östersund: 11th April
  • Kiruna: 1st May

Admittedly I am at a latitude of 58.7057° N.  Spring should have come around 12th March and we are going to be around 3 weeks late (at least).

In calendar terms, spring should last from March till May  and summer from June till August. But the onset of Autumn is defined by SMHI – in meteorological terms – as the first day of the first occurrence of 5 consecutive days with an average temperature of less than 10°C.  Normally this should be around 25th September. But it looks like that it might also be around 3 weeks early.

So while it has not been a bad summer it seems summer may be about 5-6 weeks shorter than “normal” this year.

Many consecutive years of long winters and short summers will probably be the precursors of the coming of the next ice age. And these days I find it more relevant to look for signs that the next ice age (either a little ice age or even the end of the inter-glacial) is coming. It is no longer relevant or worthwhile to be looking for signs of man-made global warming!

Clean air legislation reinstated the global warming suppressed by industrial pollution

August 20, 2013

A fascinating post at WUWT:

The story so far;

  1. The earth was warming naturally after the Little Ice Age (1350 – 1850).
  2. Along came the industrial revolution. Dust and aerosol pollution covered large parts of the earth and blocked out the Sun. This caused a gradually increasing suppression of the global warming that was occurring as the industrialisation of the world proceeded. This suppression reached a maximum during the 1970’s.
  3. Then came clean air legislation around the world, cleaned up the atmosphere and the Earth basked in the sunlight again.

Global warming was rediscovered.

And now as the LIA temperature recovery is coming to a natural end, global temperatures will decrease again.

Well it is a settled science after all.

Shocker: Global warming may simply be an artifact of clean air laws

global-dimming-brightening

Figure 1 from Wild et al 2012 showing radiation balance differences due to aerosols (via WUWT)

 

Beware Global Cooling

July 1, 2013
File:Hendrick Avercamp - Frozen River with Skaters - Google Art Project.jpg

Hendrick Avercamp – Frozen River with Skaters

Andrew McKillop has a new article posted at The Market Oracle.

Global cooling began at the end of the so-called Medieval Warm Period, by or before the year 1300, and was preceded by at least 200 years, and as long as 350 years, of warming on the same variable and unpredictable basis. Measurement problems include the type of proxies used – ice cores, tree rings, corals and shells, others – but at least as important, the ideological bias of climate science leads to extreme variations in reconstructed climate data for the same region, same period. One flagrant example is IPCC treatment of Medieval Warming Period data – as published by the IPCC in different editions of its reports and studies. Before year 2000, IPCC studies include papers showing Warm Period temperatures in certain high latitude locations at certain dates around 950-1200 as several full degrees celsius above present day temperatures.

That is, despite 213 years of anthropogenic global warming if with the IPCC we use a start date of 1800 for human “carbon pollution of the atmosphere”, we have in no way matched this natural warming. Which needed zero assistance from human-source CO2.

This is the global cooling fear

Flooding in the low countries in Europe was a common feature which accompanied the global cooling which succeeded the Medieval Warm Period. The cooling period he writes, lasted 450 years.

(more…)

UK Met Office to hold summit to redefine all weather events as climate (change)!

June 14, 2013

From the ever reliable Guardian (Leo Hickman) comes this story. All weather events will now be taken as evidence of global climate change!

Met Office brainstorms UK bad weather

Washout summers. Flash floods. Freezing winters. Snow in May. Droughts. There is a growing sense that something is happening to our weather. But is it simply down to natural variability, or is climate change to blame?

To try to answer the question the Met Office is hosting an unprecedented meeting of climate scientists and meteorologists next week to debate the possible causes of the UK’s “disappointing” weather over recent years, the Guardian has learned.

Tuesday’s meeting at the forecaster’s HQ in Exeter is being convened in response to this year’s cool spring, which, according to official records, was the coldest in 50 years.

The one-day gathering will be led by Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre and professor of meteorology at the University of Reading, and will include up to 20 experts from the UK’s leading climate research institutions.

The “roundtable workshop” will attempt to outline the “dynamical drivers of the cold spring of 2013”, but attendees are expected also to debate the “disappointing summers of the last seven years”. 

Official records show that above-average temperatures in summer last occurred in 2006, a season that had above-average sunshine hours, and below-average rainfall. The only summer since then to give us average conditions nationally was in 2010.

The meeting will also discuss the washout summer of 2012 and the freezing winter of 2010-11.

The Met Office said it had never held a formal meeting in this way to discuss possible causes behind the UK’s unusual weather of recent years. … 

But rather than admit that climate models have become a fiasco, it would seem that the “establishment” is now “circling the wagons” and rationalising to be able to connect all weather events to “man-made climate change” – defined as being anything over and above “natural variability”. Why would the “natural variability” of just the last 150 years be the benchmark. Why would the Little Ice Age or the Roman Warm Period or the Medieval Warm Period not be part of the “natural variability” to be used as the reference? If the flood levels in Germany this spring reached the same level in Passau 500 years ago, why wouldn’t the weather/climate of 500 years ago also be part of “natural variability”?

If the UK spring this year was the coldest since the 1890’s then it surely proves that weather events today are much the same as 130 years ago.  Even the great 2011 Tohoku quake and  tsunami were events that were a repeat of something that happens every 1000 years or so. It  was not “unnatural” just because it had not happened for 1000 years. Anytime a weather event today is merely a repeat of an event which has taken place in the past, then the preponderance of probability is that it is a part of natural variability.

Everything not within a discernible “natural” pattern is not due to anthropogenic effects. It may well be in the realm of what we don’t know that we don’t know.

The Guardian goes on:

…. One attendee at the meeting, Doug Parker, professor of meteorology at the University of Leeds, said: “We are universally finding that the links between the weather and climate communities are increasing and overlapping. Most climate issues reduce down to questions about what weather events are like, and the representation of short-term weather events is a key challenge in climate modelling. People are increasingly conscious that there is a change [to our weather]. There have been informal discussions in our communities about this for a while now. The key question is whether this is down to natural variability alone, or whether climate change is now projecting on to, and adding to, natural variability. I am going to the meeting with my eyes and ears open.”

But – it seems to me – with a closed mind!

A Met Office spokesman said: “We have seen a run of unusual seasons in the UK and northern Europe, such as the cold winter of 2010, last year’s wet weather and the cold spring this year. This may be nothing more than a run of natural variability, but there may be other factors impacting our weather there is emerging research which suggests there is a link between declining Arctic sea ice and European climate – but exactly how this process might work and how important it may be among a host of other factors remains unclear.”

When the ice age starts…….

May 12, 2013

Probably the first indications that an ice age has begun will be with a series of long winters – not necessarily the coldest – together with late springs and cool summers. The key factor will be that snow from one winter remains and does not melt before the next winter brings more snow. It will therefore be successions of long winters and cool summers which will allow for the sufficient accumulation of snow and the growth of the area under snow cover. Cold winters and heavy snowfall can surely help but it it is the accumulation of snow from one year to the next which will determine. Old snow will become ice. For negative feedbacks to be triggered the surface area covered by snow and ice must be sufficient that – say – the albedo of the northern hemisphere is altered such that the amount of solar radiation being reflected is itself increased and the surface area under snow/ice cover increases.

Not that I am suggesting that this years long winter is the start of an ice age. Weather is not climate. But ice advancing into the gardens of lakeside homes from Lake Mille Lacs is just another reminder of the power in water (whether in the waters of the tsunami in Japan or as in this ice moving onto land from a lake).

This is reproduced from Watts Up With That

While ice fishing is still going on in some parts of Minnesota, other parts are having what looks like glacier advance in the back yards that is damaging some homes.

As for climate change worries, you can always figure out ways to keep cool, but getting out of the way of an advancing glacier is no easy task as this video shows. Watch this video of what happens in an “ice out” from the nearby lake Mille Lacs, you can actually watch the ice advance. In a matter of minutes the wind pushes the ice about 15 feet from the shore to the doors and windows of lakeside homes.

While this isn’t the same mechanism as ice-age type glaciation, it is fascinating to watch.


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