Larry Bell a Space Scientist has some thoughts in a Forbes article. The full article is HERE.
We have discussed global warming and the recent pause in other posts. Bell asked if the planet is going to cool rather then warm as Russian Scientist Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov claims. Let’s look at this option presented by Bell.
But if you thought global warming was scary, here’s an alternative to consider. Some really smart scientists predict that Planet Earth is now entering a very deep and prolonged cooling period attributable to 100-year record low numbers of sunspots. Periods of reduced sunspot activity correlate with increased cloud-forming influences of cosmic rays. More clouds tend to make conditions cooler, while fewer often cause warming.
Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov who heads Russia’s prestigious Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg predicts that: “after the maximum of solar Cycle-24, from approximately 2014, we can expect the start of the next bicentennial cycle of deep cooling with a Little Ice Age in 2055 plus or minus 11 years” (the 19th to occur in the past 7,500 years).
Dr. Abdussamatov points out that Earth has experienced such occurrences five times over the last 1,000 years, and that: “A global freeze will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse gas emissions. The common view of Man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect.”
While solar output typically goes through 11-year cycles with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak, we are currently approaching the peak of “Cycle-24” with numbers running at less than half of those observed during other 20th century peaks.
Are scientists such as Dr. Abdussamatov right? Darned if I know! After all, I’ve never claimed to be a real climate scientist like Al Gore or the people who got paid to make those expensive computer program charts. I’m just a space guy. But just on the chance that they are, harsh winter temperatures and shorter growing seasons like those that occurred during the “Little Ice Age” between about 1300-1850 are nothing to wish for.
Shortened, less reliable growing seasons in Europe brought on the Great Famine of 1315-1317. Norse colonies which had settled in a formerly warmer Greenland starved and vanished by the early fifteenth century as crops failed and livestock froze.
During the mid-seventeenth century encroaching glaciers destroyed farms and villages in the Swiss Alps. Sea ice surrounding Iceland closed harbors to shipping. Boxed in and experiencing cereal crop farming failures, Iceland’s population fell by half.
In the late seventeenth century agriculture dropped off so dramatically that Alpine villagers lived on breads made from ground nutshells mixed with barley and oat flour. Famines claimed about ten percent of the people in France, Norway and Sweden, about one-fifth of those in Estonia, and one-third in Finland during the late 1600s.
Near the end of that Little Ice Age Washington’s troops endured brutally cold conditions at Valley Forge during the winter of 1776-77, and Napoleon’s suffered a frigid retreat from Moscow in 1812. New York Harbor froze in 1780, allowing people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island.
The question is will the impact of a Little Ice Age cooling be as severe in a more modern world? Or, could it be even worse with more mouths to feed in the world, and more people to shelter from the cold and the severe storms the cold will generate. Your thoughts?