Weak Solar Activity And La Nina Forebode Cooling Temperatures For The Months Ahead

By P Gosselin on 13. December 2017

The Sun in November 2017

By Frank Bosse and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated and edited by P Gosselin)

In November the sun was unusually quiet with respect to activity. The observed sunspot number (SSN) was merely 5.7, which is only 14% of what is typically normal for month number 108 into the cycle. The current cycle number 24 began in December 2008. The sun was completely spotless 19 of 30 days in November.

At the end of the month some activity appeared, but only at a very low level. The following chart depicts the current cycle’s activity:

solar_acrivity
Figure 1: The monthly SSN values for the current solar cycle 24 (red) 108 months into the cycle, the curve for the mean of the previous 23 cycles (blue), and the similar solar cycle number 5 (black). Enlarged

The next chart shows a comparison of all observed solar cycles thus far:

Solar_activity2
Figure 2: The monthly accumulated anomalies of the cycles up to 108 months into the cycle. Cycle number 24 has taken third place for the most inactive. Enlarged

Icecap Note: The ability with today’s advanced technology to see the smallest spots or pores probably inflates the number of spots and diminishes the number of spotless days.

The situation thus remains unchanged: such a weak solar cycle has not been witnessed in 200 years. It is anticipated with quite high certainty that also the upcoming solar cycle number 25 will be about as weak, because the sun’s polar fields are about as strong as they were during the minimum between cycle number 23 and cycle number 24.

The very weak solar north pole so far has recovered significantly over the past few months since June. What this means now and for the future can be seen graphically at the chart posted here. You can find the latest information at http://www.solen.info/solar.

LaNina is here

An update to our last post here is surely of interest. We were sure of a La Nina by the end of December, and in the meantime, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology officially announced a La Nina in its most recent bulletin. The current model forecast shows continued falling sea surface temperatures along the equatorial eastern Pacific until about February, 2018:

LaNinia
Figure 3: The model for El Nino/La Nina in the Pacific, Source: NOAA. All forecasts point to a moderately strong La Nina event until spring. A powerful La Nina such as the one observed in 2011/12 is currently not projected by the models (which incidentally did not even forecast a La Nina just a few months ago). Enlarged

The impacts on global temperatures lag behind by about 3 to 4 months, and so we should expect a La Nina dip by spring.

Advertisements

Grand Minimum Super Earthquakes

UpheavalUpheaval!: Why Catastrophic Earthquakes Will Soon Strike the United States

by Mr. John L. Casey, Dr. Dong Choi, Dr.Fumio Tsunoda and Dr. Ole HumlumPublished January 2017.

It is hard to write a book about the future, as it can be hard to address all the influencing factors. In this case, John Casey and his fellow authors are basing the future on the past. They examine the history of earth quakes during solar minimums. Previous solar minimums have been a challenge for humans, with a colder climate, shorter growing seasons, super storms, and an increase in the number of the main earth quakes which produce more solar minimum unanticipated misery according to the authors.

The authors provide a compelling amount of data relating the past, describing the present, and forecasting the future. The charts are clear and readable, even on the Kindle once selected for review. There is enough color to increase understanding of the information, without confusing the reader.

I found the book interesting and had a hard time putting it down in the evening and turning in for the night. I have been following the progress of grand minimums for years on this blog and puzzled over the increase of volcanic activity during grand minimums but never considered an increase in powerful earth quakes. The authors make a strong case for grand minimums being a causal factor in triggering these strong earth quakes. Recommend readers review the evidence and draw their conclusions.

What the actual process that causes the grand minimum earth quakes is not clear, does a cooler planet shrink, causing plates to shift and slip? Does the decrease in magnetosphere create some torque on the rotation of the molten core, in turn creating stress on the crustal shell? Are historical cycles good indicators of future events. What would the Reverend Bayes say after a statistical analysis?

According to the authors, we should be preparing for some strong earth quakes in California, Oregon, Washington and Mississippi River Valley as we pass over the cusp to the next grand minimum. This book may be enough evidence to convince you the preppers have some credibility. Those citizens that prepare will have a greater chance of survival, those that do not will perish in the chaos. Where do you stand?

H/T to Anthony  Mengotto for alerting me to this book.

Solar Minimum in 2019-2020

According to the NASA Video below the next solar minimum is on the way and should arrive by 2019

As the next solar minimum is exposed by time, I will be focusing more on this event and its potential impact on the climate and our daily lives.

One of the events associated with a quiet sun in the increased number of high-energy cosmic rays that can reach the earth and it’s atmosphere. These cosmic rays are mention in the video. Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus project have been tracking the increase in cosmic rays since 2015 When the number of sunspots started to decline.

Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly “down to Earth” form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes.

newhampshirevscalifornia_strip

See Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere at Spaceweather.com for more details.

 

Solar Update June 2017–the sun is slumping and headed even lower

Guest essay by David Archibald at Watts Up With That

Solar cycle 24 has seen very low solar activity thus far, likely the lowest in 100 years.

clip_image002_thumb2

Figure 1: F10.7 Flux 2014 – 2017

The F10.7 flux shows that over the last three and a half years the Sun has gone from solar maximum through a bounded decline to the current stage of the trail to the minimum. Solar minimum is likely to be still three years away.

The Full Post is HERE.  Stay tuned.  It was a record snow year in California and cosmic ray counts continue to increase. It is going to be an interesting climate year.

 

COSMIC RAYS ON THE RISE AS SOLAR MINIMUM APPROACHES

Meteorologist Paul Dorian, Vencore, Inc. vencoreweather.com

Reports:

A recent study published in the Aug. 19th issue of Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics supports the idea of an important connection between cosmic rays and clouds. According to spaceweather.com, a team of scientists from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has linked sudden decreases in cosmic rays to changes in Earth’s cloud cover. These rapid decreases in the observed galactic cosmic ray intensity are known as “Forbush Decreases” and tend to take place following coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in periods of high solar activity. When the sun is active (i.e., solar storms, CMEs), the magnetic field of the plasma solar wind sweeps some of the galactic cosmic rays away from Earth. In periods of low solar activity, more cosmic rays bombard the earth. The term “Forbush Decrease” was named after the American physicist Scott E. Forbush, who studied cosmic rays in the 1930s and 1940s.

The research team led by Jacob Svensmark of DTU identified the strongest 26 “Forbush Decreases” between 1987 and 2007, and looked at ground-based and satellite records of cloud cover to see what happened. In a recent press release, their conclusions were summarized as follows: “[Strong “Forbush Decreases”] cause a reduction in cloud fraction of about 2 percent corresponding to roughly a billion tonnes of liquid water disappearing from the atmosphere.”

Full Report is Here.

CA_Cosmic Rays

I have been following the Spaceweather reports of Cosmic Ray Increases over California since the project started several years ago. They program has been expanded to three sites around the globe. It will be interesting to follow the results.

 

Cosmic Rays Increasing According to Spaceweather.com

Meteorologist Paul Dorian writes about a Spaceweather.com Study, which was reported on here in January 2016.

Current cosmic ray activity

We happen to be in a weak solar cycle (24) which is actually on pace to be the weakest cycle in more than one hundred years. Therefore, it would not be surprising to have relatively high cosmic ray penetration into the Earth’s atmosphere; especially, since we are now heading towards the next solar minimum phase when solar activity is generally even quieter. During solar maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay.

In fact, for the past year, neutron monitors around the Arctic Circle have sensed an increasing intensity of cosmic rays. Polar latitudes are a good place to make such measurements, because Earth’s magnetic field funnels and concentrates cosmic radiation there. As it turns out, Earth’s poles aren’t the only place cosmic rays are intensifying. “Spaceweather.com” has led an effort in the launching of helium balloons to the stratosphere to measure radiation, and they find the same trend increasing intensity of cosmic rays over California. Their latest data show an increase of almost 13% since 2015. [For more on this study click here]:

cosmicrayincrease
Cosmic rays have been steadily increasing in recent months during historically weak solar cycle 24; plot courtesy spaceweather.com and California data courtesy study sponsored by spaceweather.com

In the plot, neutron monitor measurements from the University of Oulu Cosmic Ray Station are traced in red; gamma-ray/X-ray measurements over California are denoted in gray. The agreement between the two curves is remarkable. It means that the intensification of cosmic rays is making itself felt not only over the poles, but also over lower latitudes where Earth’s magnetic field provides a greater degree of protection against deep space radiation. There’s a new section on spaceweather.com where you can monitor cosmic rays in the atmosphere.

As reported elsewhere on this blog, here,  more cosmic ray has been shown to produce more clouds, and more clouds reduce the plant’s temperature.  We can expect some cooler climate as Solar Cycle 24 sunspots and CMEs decline.

 

Summer of 1816 in New Hampshire: A Tale of Two Freezes

Ric Werme writing at Watt Up With That has an interesting weather story that takes place during the Dalton Minimum. The article is quite long and he provides this Executive Summary:

  • The proximate cause of the cold weather in 1816 is the explosion of Mt Tambora in April 1815. This may have been the largest volcanic explosion in recorded human history and lofted a lot of sulfuric acid aerosols into the stratosphere. However, 1816 is just one of several cold years blamed on volcanoes, solar activity, and other causes.
  • There were warm days, even a few hot days. There were even some warm months mixed in with the cold ones, so the result was that the annual average temperature wasn’t very far from average. In this and other cases, small deviations can add up to a major impact on the length of the growing season, number of growing degree days, etc.
  • I think the weather pattern was most affected by high latitude cooling and the polar jet stream (the storm track) shifting southward. South of the storm track there was less cooling, but they were still affected by weather systems from the north. There are signs that the jet stream had a “meridional” flow which allows polar air to surge south and tropical air to surge north.The effect of volcanic aerosols is poorly documented, likely because its poorly understood. Pretty much all of the sources talk about the amount of aerosol and the effect on global temperatures. However, I think the effects vary with latitude and that had a major effect on temperatures at different latitudes and the intensity of various weather events.
  • What set 1816 apart from other years were two freeze events. If frosts in June and August hadn’t happened, the harvest would have been very different, and few people would write about the weather of 1816. There was plenty of other cold weather in 1816, so this essay is way too long and needs this executive summary
  • A claim that snow or frosts occurred in every month of the year does not hold for parts of New Hampshire in July. There may have been such events in western Connecticut or Massachusetts, or even Virginia, but some descriptions may be exaggerated. It doesn’t affect the outcome of the year, as most everything that made it through July was killed in August.
  • 1816 set into motion changes in New Hampshire that probably would have happened later, but traces of them still exist today.

The full article is HERE.

I found the comments on the article equally interesting.  My grandmother Thomas was an avid gardener and had a kitchen garden all of her adult life. She kept a record of the last spring frost and the first fall frost in Nevada County CA and adjusted her planting and harvesting based on the record of the past.   An 1812 summer with late and early frosts would have thrown her for a loop.

 

Anasazi America – Done in by Climate Change – Are We Next?

Chaco Culture

Photo by Ellen Steele

In the mid-1970s I was stationed at an Air Force radar site in Holbrook, Arizona. With a family of three young girls, Ellen and I explored the National Parks, Monuments and Reservations in the region. One of the issues that always pricked my intellectual curiosity was why did the Pueblo People leave their cliff houses and where did they go?  We often heard of the Chaco Canyon People, but did not have time to visit the canyon before we left the area.

When we lived in Omaha, Nebraska in the late 1970s we visited the Mesa Verdi ruins, often camping in the National Park gave us lots of time to explore the cliff houses and visitor center, seeking answers to our questions.  After I retired from the Air Force, on our way home to California, we stopped once more to camp at Mesa Verdi, this time with a fourth daughter, almost three years old. Climbing pole ladders to the higher reaches of the cliff houses with a three year old under one arm was a challenge.

Our oldest daughter, a sophomore in high school, was so impressed with the Pueblo Culture she decided to study Anthropology when she graduated from high school. Years later she graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Anthropology, after spending a year in England studying Archaeology.

We often discussed the plight of the Pueblo People of the Southwest and concluded that the climate may have played a role in the migration of the Anasazi from Chaco Canyon, and eventually from the cliff house communities through out southwest.

After I retired, Ellen and I put a visit to Chaco Culture National Historical Park on our bucket list.  In the spring of 2013 we made the long trek to the Canyon, only to be disappointed by the lack of artifacts and information at the visitors center. We were told the artifacts were in the Maxwell Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We did, however, take the opportunity to explore the great houses and the ruins at the Park.  Again, we came away with more questions then answers.

Continue reading

Growing Grapes During the Next Grand Minimum

Russ Steele

Reading the article below about a cold snap in New Zealand and the devastating impact on the local vineyards started me thinking about the challenge of wine grape growing during the next grand minimum.

Some Central Otago vineyards lost as much as 50% of their crop after devastating frosts hit the region over the weekend.

Temperatures plummeted to as low as -5.5 degrees Celsius in some areas, rendering frost-fighting techniques next to useless.

ooo

Gibbston Valley and Central Otago viticulturist and consultant Timbo Morrison-Deaker described the damage as “particularly ugly” and the worst he could recall. “Gibbston as a sub-region looks 40% gone and Lowburn is about 25% gone. Those are significant figures.”

The severe weekend frosts follow a disastrous Northern Hemisphere season, reportedly the worst in 50 years, and had already led to predictions of a worldwide shortage of grapes, said Mr Morrison-Deaker.

More details HERE on the damaging frost.

In an old blog I wrote about about the impact a PDO switch from a warm phase to cool phase could have on wine grapes growing in the Sierra foothills. During my research I discovered this study.

Influence of climate variability on wine regions in the western USA and on wine quality in the Napa Valley by Gregory V. Jones* and  Gregory B. Goodrich

ABSTRACT: Trends in climate variables important to winegrape production in the western United States include fewer frost days, longer growing seasons and higher spring and growing season temperatures. These trends have been related to a steady increase in wine quality and a decrease in year to year variability. While the trends in climate have been linked to increasing sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the eastern Pacific, it is unknown whether this is caused by climate change or may be part of natural oscillations in the Pacific. In this study, fifteen climate variables important to winegrape production were analyzed for ten wine regions over the western USA. The variables were stratified by phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) both separately and then in combination (modulation effect) to determine if there are any significant differences between teleconnections. Wine Spectator vintage ratings for Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the Napa Valley were also stratified in the same method and multivariate statistics were used to determine which variables are most important to wine quality. ENSO phase by itself was not found to be important to either climate variability in wine regions in the western USA or wine quality in Napa Valley, but the cold phase of the PDO was found to be associated with increased spring frosts and a shorter growing season that results in lower ratings relative to warm PDO. The combination of neutral ENSO conditions during the cold phase of the PDO was nearly always associated with low quality wine in the Napa Valley, which is a function of cold springs with increased frost risk, cool growing seasons, and ripening period rainfall (cold PDO) and above average bloom and summer rainfall (neutral ENSO). While climate trends to generally warmer growing seasons with less frost risk have occurred, this research highlights the impact of climate variability on wine quality where, should the PDO return to a multi-decadal cold phase, wine growers in the Napa Valley and across the western USA will likely experience greater variability in wine quality.

We are now in a cold phase our local vineyards have experiences some significant damage from late spring frosts and cool summers, according a discussion I had with a local Sierra Foothills wine maker recently.

I have highlighted some areas in the study that pertain to this discussion. If a cold phase PDO will have an impact on wine grapes, then a temperature decline associated with a grand minimum could have a more significant impact over a potentially longer period than a PDO switch.

Wine grapes, depending on the variety, require a range of degree days for the berries to mature with enough sugar to make great wine.  The scientist at UC Davis have developed a systems for determining the number of degree days needed by grapes in California by region.  According to Wikipedia:

The system is based on the hypothesis that grapevines do not grow if the temperature is below 50 °F (10 °C). Days in the growing region (assumed under the system to be April 1 through October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere; October 1 through April 30 in the Southern Hemisphere) are assigned degree days according to the amount that the day’s average temperature exceeds this threshold; one degree day per degree Fahrenheit over 50 °F. In places where SI units are preferred, degrees Celsius over 10 °C may be used, but should be multiplied by 1.8 to convert to Fahrenheit degree days for the following list. All days in the locale are then added up, with the sum used to determine the region’s classification as follows:
▪    2,500 degree days or less: Region I
▪    2,501–3,000 degree days: Region II
▪    3,001–3,500 degree days: Region III
▪    3,501–4,000 degree days: Region IV
▪    Greater than 4,000 degree days: Region V
The system is used officially in California, and other United States growing regions.

Most of the grapes in California are grown in Region II and Region III to take advantage of local conditions. Now suppose that the climate cools by 2º to 4º C reducing the number of days when the temperature is above 10º C, thus reducing the number of degree days.

The earth has cooled over the past 16 year and we may be on the cusp of the Next Grand Minimum. During the last Grand Minimum, it was no longer possible to grow wine grapes in England, were grapes are growing today in Southern England.

The Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice Age extended from 1400 to 1850, but it is essentially still too cold to grow wine grapes successfully in most of England.  However, in 1068 AD, 938 years before today, Britain’s tax officials reported in the Domesday Book that nearly 50 British vineyards were growing wine grapes. Romans were also reported to have grown wine grapes in Britain when they occupied the island.  German wine grapes are not grown as high on the hillsides today as during the Medieval Warm Period.

Wine grapes are one of humanity’s most accurate and sensitive indications of temperature in the pre-thermometer era. Please pay attention to how the wine grapes are growing and surviving in your neighborhood. If you have some details please share them in the comments.

Early Winter on Three Continents, China, UK and USA

Russ Steele

Sitting in my Northern California Sierra Foothills den we are waiting for some early snow from Brutus, as the Weather Channel has decided to call the cold storm sweeping out of the Gulf of Alaska into the  Northwestern US, including Northern California. We are not expecting record snows, but time will tell.

Ice Age Now has details on the Eastern US Storm, that followed quickly on hurricane Sandy.

Central Park reported 4.4 inches of snowfall yesterday, shattering the 1878 record of 0.1 inches. Not only setting a record for a Nov. 7, it was the earliest 4-inch snowfall total in the park’s history, NBCNewYork.com reported. By Thursday morning the total had reached 4.7 inches.

Snow storms are unusual at this time of year in the New York City area. In fact, it’s the first time in recorded history that snowfall has ever been recorded at Islip, N.Y., Kennedy and LaGuardia airports.

Bridgeport, Conn., saw 3.5 inches, almost doubling the former record of 2.0 inches set in 1953.

Newark, N.J. reported 2.0 inches; far surpassing the previous record of a trace amount in 1981.

Parts of southern New Jersey saw more than 9 inches, while 6.1 inches was recorded at Newark Airport, which canceled most flights in advance of the storm.

Nassau County’s Malverne recorded 6.5 inches, while Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay had 3 inches. Flushing in Queens saw 7 inches, the Bronx’s Riverdale had 4.4 inches, and 6.4 inches was recorded in Great Kills on Staten Island.

The Weather Channel forecast three inches of snow in Philadelphia, and six to 12 inches in southeastern New York and New England.

The NoTricksZone has more details on China and the UK:

Heavy snows . . . hit China, hitting Peking with full force, according to German online Bild daily, which writes:

Snow Alarm in China! The capital Peking has been paralyzed by a winterstorm. […] The situation is worse in the countryside regions of North China. In the Yanqing region 47 cm of snow fell in just a few hours, entire villages have been cut off, thousands are without power and heat. […] A group of Japanese tourists got caught in drifting snow while on the Great Wall; three women froze to death.”

Winter also paid an early visit last weekend in England, reports the Daily Mail, with snow falling in the South and West Country, including in Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Devon. The Mail writes that “the snowfall was England’s fifth in nine days  amid an early winter”. and that “temperatures plunged to -5.6C last night at Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, with -4.3C Redesdale Camp, Northumberland, and -0.9C at Brize. The Weather Service says temperatures are up to 5°C below normal.

Remember this is just weather, but if early winter comes year after year, then we may start considering the possibility that we are on the cusp of the next grand minimum.