Grand Minimum of Maunder Category Possible

Russ Steele

I received a nice comment from Jan-Erik Solheima letting me know that the following paper has finally been published and it is available HERE. A pdf version is also available.


Relations between the length of a sunspot cycle and the average temperature in the same and the next cycle are calculated for a number of meteorological stations in Norway and in the North Atlantic region. No significant trend is found between the length of a cycle and the average temperature in the same cycle, but a significant negative trend is found between the length of a cycle and the temperature in the next cycle. This provides a tool to predict an average temperature decrease of at least from solar cycle 23 to solar cycle 24 for the stations and areas analyzed. We find for the Norwegian local stations investigated that 25-56% of the temperature increase the last 150 years may be attributed to the Sun. For 3 North Atlantic stations we get 63-72% solar contribution. This points to the Atlantic currents as reinforcing a solar signal.


Highlights from an article at ICECAP:

* A longer solar cycle predicts lower temperatures during the next cycle.

* A 1 C or more temperature drop is predicted 2009–2020 for certain locations.

* Solar activity may have contributed 40% or more to the last century temperature increase.

* A lag of 11 years gives maximum correlation between solar cycle length and temperature.

Our analysis shows the variation in the length of solar cycles, we realize that short cycles like the one that ended in 1996, have only been observed three times in 300 years. After the shortest cycles, sudden changes too much longer cycles have always taken place, and thereafter there is a slow shortening of the next cycles, which take many cycles to reach a new minimum. This recurrent pattern tells us that we can expect several long cycles in the next decades. Analysis of the SCL back to 1600 has shown a periodic behavior with period 188 year, now entering a phase with increasing SCL the next (Richards et al., 2009).

de Jager and Duhau (2011) concludes that the solar activity is presently going through a brief transition period (2000–2014), which will be followed by a Grand Minimum of the Maunder type, most probably starting in the twenties of the present century. Another prediction, based on reduced solar irradiance due to reduced solar radius, is a series of lower solar activity cycles leading to a Maunder like minimum starting around 2040 (Abdussamatov, 2007). [ My emphasis added ]

See the entire study which goes into great detail for many Northwest Europe and arctic region temperatures. They find little correlation with the current cycle but significant correlation with the following cycle. There work suggests temperatures should accelerate down this decade – an 11 year lag with the minimum of ultra long cycle 23 (12.5 years) was in 2008 would mean significant cooling by 2018.

The real issue for me is, are our political leaders paying any attention.  If David Archibald is right, and this cooling significantly reduces agricultural out put, then millions may starve. Our current food production is being stressed due to increases in global population. While is true farmers have been tools than they did in the 1600s, there are far more mouths to feed to day, than during the Maunder. More in Archibald’s prediction in a future post.


3 thoughts on “Grand Minimum of Maunder Category Possible

  1. Doug Cotton March 16, 2012 / 5:46 pm

    It is indeed all about long term cycles – grand maxima and minima as you call it. This is discussed in my new peer-reviewed paper linked below.

    Climatologists love to talk about energy being trapped by carbon dioxide and thus not exiting at the top of the atmosphere (TOA.)

    It is nowhere near as simple as that. All the radiation gets to space sooner or later. Carbon dioxide just scatters it on its way so you don’t see radiation in those bandwidths at TOA. The energy still gets out, and you have no proof that it doesn’t, because you don’t have the necessary simultaneous measurements made all over the world.

    In the hemisphere that is cooling at night there is far more getting out, whereas in the hemisphere in the sunlight there is far more coming in. This is obvious.

    When I placed a wide necked vacuum flask filled with water in the sun yesterday (with the lid off) the temperature of the water rose from 19.5 deg.C at 5:08am to 29.1 deg.C at 1:53pm while the air around it rose from 19.0 to 31.9 deg.C.

    What did the backradiation do at night? Well from 9:15pm till 12:05am the water cooled from 24.2 deg.C to 23.4 deg.C while the air cooled from 24.2 deg.C to 22.7 deg.C.

    According to those energy diagrams the backradiation, even at night, is about half the solar radiation during the day. Well, maybe it is, but it does not have anything like half the effect on the temperature as you can confirm in your own backyard.

    This is because, when radiation from a cooler atmosphere strikes a warmer surface it undergoes “resonant scattering” (sometimes called pseudo-scattering) and this means its energy is not converted to thermal energy. This is the reason that heat does not transfer from cold to hot. If it did the universe would go crazy.

    When opposing radiation is scattered, its own energy replaces energy which the warmer body would have radiated from its own thermal energy supply.

    You can imagine it as if you are just about to pay for fuel at a gas station when a friend travelling with you offers you cash for the right amount. It’s quicker and easier for you to just pay with the cash, rather than going through the longer process of using a credit card to pay from your own account. So it is with radiation. The warmer body cools more slowly as a result because a ready source of energy from incident radiation is quicker to just “reflect” back into the atmosphere, rather than have to convert its own thermal energy to radiated energy.

    The ramifications are this:

    Not all radiation from the atmosphere is the same. That from cooler regions has less effect. Also, that with fewer frequencies under its Planck curve has less effect again.

    Each carbon dioxide molecule thus has far less effect than each water vapour molecule because the latter can radiate with more frequencies which “oppose” the frequencies being emitted by the surface, especially the oceans.

    Furthermore, it is only the radiative cooling process of the surface which is slowed down. There are other processes like evaporative cooling and diffusion followed by convection which cannot be affected by backradiation, and which will tend to compensate for any slowing of the radiation.

    This is why, at night, the water in the flask cools nearly as fast as the air around it. The net effect on the rate of cooling is totally negligible.

    The backradiation does not affect temperatures anywhere near as much as solar radiation, even though its “W/m^2” is probably about half as much.

    And there are other reasons also why it all balances out and climate follows natural cycles without any anthropogenic effect. This is explained in detail in my peer-reviewed publication now being further reviewed by dozens of scientists.


    • Russ March 21, 2012 / 7:23 am


      Thanks for sending your paper, I will be studying your results. I will be alos sending it to some friends for feedback.

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