Skip to comments.A new Ice Age approaches? Sunspot cycle may be shutting, heading toward pattern of inactivity.
Posted on 06/15/2011 7:07:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Old and busted: global warming. New hotness: coldness. Reports from three different studies released yesterday point to the possibility of an extended period of solar inactivity not seen for three hundred years, and one that could bring a new mini-Ice Age:
According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century.
The signs include a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles, said experts from the National Solar Observatory and Air Force Research Laboratory.
‘This is highly unusual and unexpected,’ said Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network.
‘But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.’
NASA reminds us what happened during the last such extended period of hibernation, called the Maunder Minimum, occurred:
Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. Very few sunspots were seen on the Sun from about 1645 to 1715. Although the observations were not as extensive as in later years, the Sun was in fact well observed during this time and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the “Little Ice Age” when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes. There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past.
The NSO and the US Air Force Research Laboratory announced the results yesterday, as the British newspaper The Register reported last night, and the NSO specifically mentioned another Maunder Minimum as a possible outcome:
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. …
This could have major implications for the Earth’s climate. According to a statement issued by the NSO, announcing the research:
“An immediate question is whether this slowdown presages a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period with virtually no sunspots [which occurred] during 1645-1715.”
Obviously, the solution to this (from an AGW perspective) would be to immediately ramp up carbon emissions. Why, we should start subsidizing fossil-fuel use and pay drivers a per-mile tax credit! Build refineries, and fly lots of charter jet flights with only a handful of passengers! Oh, wait — AGW activists like Al Gore already do that last one, don’t they?
Don’t buy your mukluks for Florida just yet. This is still a theory, not yet an immutable fact. The NSO and USAFRL still needs to conduct research to see whether a new Maunder Minimum will come, or if this sunspot cycle has just hiccuped. (NASA notes in a sentence that The Register didn’t include that “The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.”) That will take at least a couple of years to see what direction solar activity takes and what its impact on global temperatures might be, so no one should rush into policy “solutions” for climate in either direction. Of course, this is also good advice for AGW hysterics who have been predicting the end of the world in the other direction for 20 years, and whose predictions have so far all failed to materialize.
Of course, if those AGW advocates suddenly convert to Maunder Minimists, why do I have the sneaking suspicion that the same solutions — central control of energy production and usage, elimination of fossil fuels — will be pushed?
Studies show and experts say.....
Guess I need to put up more firewood this year. My wood stove will be working over time. Unless global warming takes over. I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see either but we’ll all be paying for all the guessing going on.
Women and minorities hit hardest. Full details at 10:00.
No, it’s because now we’re not using our cars enough.
It was just a question of time before all those human-created gasses reached the Sun and caused it to go into a sunspot cycle.
Time to brush off all those old Global Cooling disaster predictions from the 1970’s.
Either way, by gum, there is still money to be made in the mumbo-jumbo that is climate “science.”
Heh! When that Time cover came out I was a lieutenant at Minot AFB North Dakota and I can tell you that my tour there was at times like living through an ice age.
I noticed the other headline about Why we cant’ beat the Soviets. Another prediction proved wrong 13 years later. They were partly right; Carter was president at the time and there is no way we would have beaten the Soviets with him in office.
time to ditch the current climate panic and go back to the 1970’s climate panic I guess
Looks like the Obama Economy is affecting the entire Solar System!
“I quit reading that crap. How am I supposed to know who’s opinion to trust? We were going into an Ice age 40 years ago and still no sign of it. Could be election propaganda form the demoRats.”
The sun is not interested in what people on earth want it to do.
In my younger days, my ham radio activity was centered around contacting foreign countries.
As a “DXer” we lived or died by the sunspot cycles, and keep in mind they were about 11 years apart, and somewhat predictable.
We are to assume that the sun will do as we expect, but only God knows or controls it.
Does this mean I’ll be able to grow lilacs and daffodils here in Florida?
That's what I miss living down here. Tulips and Iris as well.
Well, I guess this ought to make the Echolink folks really happy.
watts up with that? ^ | June 14, 2011 | Anthony Watts
We expected to see the start of the zonal flow for Cycle 25 by now, Hill explained, but we see no sign of it. This indicates that the start of Cycle 25 may be delayed to 2021 or 2022, or may not happen at all.
In the second paper, Matt Penn and William Livingston see a long-term weakening trend in the strength of sunspots, and predict that by Cycle 25 magnetic fields erupting on the Sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Spots are formed when intense magnetic flux tubes erupt from the interior and keep cooled gas from circulating back to the interior. For typical sunspots this magnetism has a strength of 2,500 to 3,500 gauss