The Little Ice Age: What Happened Around the World

Between 1300 and 1850, the Earth experienced a Little Ice Age whose cause to this day is not known.

A blog post at Interesting Engineering has more details including the consequences and some paintings from the period. The causes listed are interesting:

Causes

The causes of the LIA are still not known, while potential candidates are reduced solar output, changes in atmospheric circulation, and volcanism.

Low sunspot activity is associated with lower solar output, and two periods of unusually low sunspot activity occurred during the Little Ice Age: the Spörer Minimum (1450–1540) and the Maunder Minimum (1645–1715), which is named for astronomer E.W. Maunder who discovered the absence of sunspots during that period. Both of these coincide with the coldest years of the LIA in parts of Europe.

Another possible candidate is a reversal of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). This is a large-scale atmospheric-circulation pattern over the North Atlantic and adjacent areas. During its “positive” phase, the track of North Atlantic storms is centered over the British Isles and Northern Europe. During its “negative” phase, cold Arctic air from Russia moves over northern Europe.

A final candidate is volcanic eruptions which propel gases and ash into the stratosphere, where they reflect incoming sunlight. In 1783, Iceland’s Laki volcano erupted, and in 1815, the Tambora volcano on Sumbawa Island erupted.

I am voting for low sunspot activity.  Your thoughts?

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Henrik Svensmark: FORCE MAJEURE The Sun’s Role in Climate Change

I am still studying this paper but wanted to share and get your feedback

Executive Summary

Over the last twenty years there has been good progress in understanding the solar influ- ence on climate. In particular, many scientific studies have shown that changes in solar activ- ity have impacted climate over the whole Holocene period (approximately the last 10,000 years). A well-known example is the existence of high solar activity during the Medieval Warm Period, around the year 1000 AD, and the subsequent low levels of solar activity during the cold period, now called The Little Ice Age (1300–1850 AD). An important scientific task has been to quantify the solar impact on climate, and it has been found that over the eleven- year solar cycle the energy that enters the Earth’s system is of the order of 1.0–1.5 W/m2. This is nearly an order of magnitude larger than what would be expected from solar irradiance alone, and suggests that solar activity is getting amplified by some atmospheric process.

Three main theories have been put forward to explain the solar–climate link, which are:
• solarultravioletchanges
• theatmospheric-electric-fieldeffectoncloudcover
• cloudchangesproducedbysolar-modulatedgalacticcosmicrays(energeticparticles originating from inter stellar space and ending in our atmosphere).

Significant efforts has gone into understanding possible mechanisms, and at the moment cosmic ray modulation of Earth’s cloud cover seems rather promising in explaining the size of solar impact. This theory suggests that solar activity has had a significant impact on climate during the Holocene period. This understanding is in contrast to the official consensus from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where it is estimated that the change in solar radiative forcing between 1750 and 2011 was around 0.05 W/m2, a value which is en- tirely negligible relative to the effect of greenhouse gases, estimated at around 2.3 W/m2. However, the existence of an atmospheric solar-amplification mechanism would have im- plications for the estimated climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide, suggesting that it is much lower than currently thought.

In summary, the impact of solar activity on climate is much larger than the official consen- sus suggests. This is therefore an important scientific question that needs to be addressed by the scientific community.

Full paper at the GWPF website HERE.

 

Auroral Evidence of Upcoming Mini or Little Ice Age?

In a guess post at Watts Up With That on the cooling signals embedded in the Aurora Borealis, Dr Tim Ball concludes:

The current debate attracting more and more people is that we are cooling with the only question left as to the extent and intensity. Will it be [the] weather similar to the cooler period coincident with the Dalton Minimum from 1790 – 1830? Alternatively, will it be colder with similar conditions to those by the early fur traders in Hudson Bay or those that spanned the life of Sir Edmund Halley? The appearance of Aurora in northern England suggests the latter, although I can predict who will protest this suggestion.

This is an interesting analysis of historical documents.  Read the full story HERE.

In the comments Leif Svalgaard offered this:

The sun sends us several ‘messages’ about its activity. One [beautiful] one is the aurora which has been observed since antiquity. I recently gave a seminar on those messengers:

https://leif.org/research/Multi-Messenger-Solar-Physics-Through-Time.pdf

The aurorae evidence is very difficult to calibrate. I have not studied Svalgaard’s paper yet but its looks very interesting.

Looking forward to your comments on  the questions: Is the auroral evidence of the next grand minimum and a little ice age? 

Solar Cycle 25 Stronger than Cycle 24?

Previously, scientists suggested that sunspot cycle 25 could be weaker than the current cycle, potentially meaning a period of global cooling could ensue. However, this has largely been ruled out, with a team of scientists in India recently predicting that the next solar cycle could be even stronger than the current one.

Abstract

The Sun’s activity cycle governs the radiation, particle and magnetic flux in the heliosphere creating hazardous space weather. Decadal-scale variations define space climate and force the Earth’s atmosphere. However, predicting the solar cycle is challenging. Current understanding indicates a short window for prediction best achieved at previous cycle minima. Utilizing magnetic field evolution models for the Sun’s surface and interior we perform the first century-scale, data-driven simulations of solar activity and present a scheme for extending the prediction window to a decade. Our ensemble forecast indicates cycle 25 would be similar or slightly stronger than the current cycle and peak around 2024. Sunspot cycle 25 may thus reverse the substantial weakening trend in solar activity which has led to speculation of an imminent Maunder-like grand minimum and cooling global climate. Our simulations demonstrate fluctuation in the tilt angle distribution of sunspots is the dominant mechanism responsible for solar cycle variability.

Paper is HERE.

It seems the science is not settled. Some scientists say we are headed for long term quiet sun and others more of the same. Only time will reveal the veracity of the various claims. Stay Tuned.

What do you think? Stronger? Weaker? Same?

The Latest on the Double-Dynamo Solar Model, and Dr. Zharkova’s Predictions of a Grand Minimum

By Stephanie Osborn

The Osborn post is a lengthy explanation of Dr. Zharkova’s model, model updates and predictions, with some additional example of how the ‘barycentric wobble’ influences the earth’s temperature. For readers who found Dr. Zharkova’s GWPF Presentation confusing, this article will help with the understanding of her model’s significance, and the output is worth considering. Osborn’s bio is HERE.

Osborn’s evaluation of Zharkova’s model:

Zharkova’s model is supported not only by sunspot numbers and solar activity, but by other solar-studies fields: magnetohydrodynamics and helioseismology. In fact, the resulting data plots from these fields are so close to Zharkova’s model predictions, that the model could as well be based on either of those. So this model is not functioning in isolation from related science, but is in fact harmonizing quite well with it.

The Dalton extended minimum (1790-1830) is evidently an example of a Gleissberg minimum, while the deep and protracted Maunder minimum (1645-1715) was the previous ‘Grand’ minimum. It has been roughly 350 years since the onset of the Maunder minimum, and a bit over 200 years since the Dalton minimum began. Zharkova et al. also noted a moderate Gleissberg minimum in the earliest part of the 20th century, as well, so the periodicity for that cycle seems to be holding.

The gist of the matter is that all three main cycles are entering minimum phase, beginning with the end of this current solar cycle (Cycle 24). Cycle 25 will be even lower than 24, with 26 being very nearly flat-lined. Cycle 27 will begin to show a few signs of life, then there will be a gradual rise to full activity over several more solar cycles, even as the last three cycles have slowly decreased in levels. This means that the bottom of the extended, or ‘Grand’ minimum (to use Zharkova’s terminology), should run from ~2020 to ~2053. (NO, it will NOT last 400 years like some are reporting – that is the overall length of the Grand cycle, not the predicted length of the minimum.)

In terms of atmospheric interaction, certainly the majority of the solar radiation peaks in the visible range, and that changes little, and the atmosphere is largely transparent to it. Once it strikes a solid object, however, the photon’s energy is absorbed, and later re-radiated as infrared (IR), which the atmosphere largely blocks (at least in certain frequency windows), so it does not all radiate off into space at night. This is why things like rocks and masonry tend to feel warmer at night, and what helps drive the trade winds along shorelines – the temperature differential arising from the differing light absorption/IR re-radiation of water versus land.

But it turns out that, unlike visible light, higher-energy photons have a fairly strong correlation with the solar cycle; this includes ultraviolet (UV) and X-ray, most notably extreme UV or EUV, which borders the X-ray regime. Much of this photonic radiation is generated in the inner solar corona, because the corona’s activity strongly follows overall solar activity; much of the rest is produced during solar flares – which are PART OF solar activity. More, unlike visible light, this frequency regime is ENTIRELY absorbed in the upper atmosphere (exosphere, thermosphere, ionosphere). So during high solar activity, the EUV and X-ray radiation hitting Earth has 100% of its energy injected into the atmosphere. During low solar activity, there is considerably less energy from this high-frequency regime being injected into the atmosphere – according to NASA research I dug up in the course of researching her papers and presentation, it may completely bottom out – as in, essentially zero energy from EUV etc.

But that isn’t the only way this might affect Earth’s atmosphere. It turns out that the solar wind/corona effects shield the inner solar system from cosmic rays, which are very high energy particles coming in from cosmological sources, such as supernovae, quasars, pulsars, etc. As solar activity diminishes, the solar wind decreases in effect, and the cosmic ray flux (‘flux’ is a measure of number of units per square area, e.g. number of cosmic ray particles per square meter) increases. BUT we know that cosmic rays tend to hit atmosphere and ‘cascade’ – generate a shower of particles, rather like a branching domino effect – and this, in turn, tends to create condensation nuclei around which clouds can form. (In fact, our first cosmic ray detectors were so-called ‘cloud chambers’ where the formation of condensation clouds depicts the track of the particle.) As a result, increasing cosmic ray fluxes are apt to generate increased cloud cover; increased cloud cover will then block visible light from reaching Earth’s surface and adding energy to the overall system. And cosmic ray flux can vary by as much as 50% with solar variation.

Well, then. So. What effects are being seen as a result of these two items?

Go HERE for the answers, with links to the supporting documents.

Recommended Reading and I would like your comments and thoughts!

What Will the Sun Do Next?

Many have predicted a weak sunspot cycle in the years ahead, but new work from India suggests otherwise. The work dashes speculations of a sun-induced global cooling of Earth’s climate in the coming decade.

sun-12-9-2018-SDO-e1544393946306

It is thought that the current sunspot cycle – cycle 24 – will approximately span the years 2008 to 2019. In other words, we haven’t reached the lowest ebb of the cycle yet, and no one knows exactly when it will come, but solar physicists think we’re probably close. This cycle has been an odd one, with fewer dark sunspots visible on the sun’s surface than expected. Now, with the next cycle due to start, we’re beginning to see projections for what will happen when the sun revs up again and begins producing more sunspots. Will the next sunspot cycle be more “normal” or will we again see a decreased number of spots?

On December 6, 2018, the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI) reported that two of its scientists have made a prediction for the upcoming sunspot cycle. Solar physicist Dibyendu Nandi and his Ph.D .student Prantika Bhowmik devised a new prediction technique, which simulates conditions both in the sun’s interior, where sunspots are created, and on the solar surface, where sunspots are destroyed.

Earlier predictions (like this one) have suggested the coming sunspot cycle 25 will be weaker than the current cycle 24. But, based on their model, Nandi and Bhowmik believe cycle 25 might be similar to or even stronger than 24. They expect the next cycle to start rising about a year from now and to peak in 2024. Their work was published December 6, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications.

Why should we care?

Indeed, many people do care about solar activity, due to the sun-Earth connection. High activity on the sun can negatively affect some earthly technologies, for example, electric grids and orbiting satellites. So – as Nandi and Bhowmik point out – an accurate prediction of a coming solar cycle might help space scientists plan satellite launches and estimate satellite mission lifetimes.

Another sun-Earth issue has particularly grabbed the public’s imagination: a little-understood, possible link between activity on the sun and Earth’s climate. Keep reading, to learn more.


This is a contrary view of the coming solar cycle 25.  Your thoughts?  Stronger than SC-24, Weaker than SC-24, the same?

 

Prediction of the Strength and Timing of Sunspot Cycle 25 Reveal Decadal-scale Space Environmental Conditions

ABSTRACT

The Sun’s activity cycle governs the radiation, particle and magnetic flux in the heliosphere creating hazardous space weather. Decadal-scale variations define space climate and force the Earth’s atmosphere. However, predicting the solar cycle is challenging. Current understanding indicates a short window for prediction best achieved at previous cycle minima. Utilizing magnetic field evolution models for the Sun’s surface and interior we perform the first century-scale, data-driven simulations of solar activity and present a scheme for extending the prediction window to a decade. Our ensemble forecast indicates cycle 25 would be similar or slightly stronger than the current cycle and peak around 2024. Sunspot cycle 25 may thus reverse the substantial weakening trend in solar activity which has led to speculation of an imminent Maunder-like grand minimum and cooling global climate. Our simulations demonstrate fluctuation in the tilt angle distribution of sunspots is the dominant mechanism responsible for solar cycle variability.

Full paper HERE.

H/T Watts Up With That

Professor Valentina Zharkova Confirms “Super” Grand Solar Minimum [Edited}

Professor Valentina Zharkova gave a presentation of her Climate and the Solar Magnetic Field hypothesis at the Global Warming Policy Foundation in October, 2018. The information she unveiled should shake/wake you up.

Zharkova was one of the few that correctly predicted solar cycle 24 would be weaker than cycle 23 — only 2 out of 150 models predicted this.

Her models have run at a 93% accuracy and her findings suggest a Super Grand Solar Minimum is on the cards beginning 2020 and running for 350-400 years. [ Not the Grand Minimum but the full cycle ]

The last time we had a little ice age only two magnetic fields of the sun went out of phase.

This time, all four magnetic fields are going out of phase.

Here is the Professors full presentation: https://youtu.be/M_yqIj38UmY

I am interested in the reader view of Professor Valentina Zharkova presentation. Is it credible? Please comment, let us get a conversation going.

 

Screenshot 2018-11-22 07.25.51Screenshot 2018-11-22 07.27.34

The Millennial Turning Point – Solar Activity and the Coming Cooling

Guest opinion by Dr. Norman Page at Watts Up With That

When analyzing complex systems with multiple interacting variables it is useful to note the advice of Enrico Fermi who reportedly said “never make something more accurate than absolutely necessary”.

My recent paper presented a simple heuristic approach to climate science which plausibly proposed that a Millennial Turning Point (MTP) and peak in solar activity was reached in 1991.

Zharkova et al 2015 DOI:10.10381/srep15683 says ” Dynamo waves are found generated with close frequencies whose interaction leads to beating effects responsible for the grand cycles (350-400 years) superimposed on a standard 22 year cycle. This approach opens a new era in investigation and confident prediction of solar activity on a millenium timescale. ”

More details HERE including graphics and reference to the Maunder Minimum.

 

Climate and the Solar Magnetic Field

Presentation by Professor Valentina Zharkova

When: Wednesday 31st October, from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Where: 55 Tufton Street, Westminster, SW1P 3QL

Principal component analysis (PCA) of the solar background magnetic field observed from the Earth, revealed four pairs of dynamo waves, the pair with the highest eigen values are called principal components (PCs).

PCs are shown to be produced by magnetic dipoles in inner and outer layers of the Sun, while the second pair of waves is assumed produced by quadruple magnetic sources and so on. The PC waves produced by a magnetic dipole and their summary curve were described analytically and shown to be closely related to the average sunspot number index used for description of solar activity. Based on this correlation, the summary curve was used for the prediction of long-term solar activity on a millennial timescale. This prediction revealed the presence of a grand cycle of 350-400 years, with a remarkable resemblance to the sunspot and terrestrial activity features reported in the past millennia: Maunder (grand) Minimum (1645-1715), Wolf (grand) minimum (1200), Oort (grand) minimum (1010-1050), Homer (grand) minimum (800-900 BC); the medieval (900-1200) warm period, Roman (400-10BC) and other warm periods.

This approach also predicts the modern grand minimum upcoming in 2020-2055. By utilising the two principal components of solar magnetic field oscillations and their summary curve, we extrapolate the solar activity backwards one hundred millennia and derive weaker oscillations with a period of 2000-2100years (a super-grand cycle) reflecting variations of magnetic field magnitude. The last super-grand minimum occurred during Maunder Minimum with magnetic field growing for 500 years (until ~2150) and decreasing for another 500 years. The most likely nature of this interaction will be discussed and used to explain long-term variations of solar magnetic field and irradiance observed from the Earth. [Emphasis Added]
Invitation Link is HERE. Link Fixed.

If there is a reader that attends this presentation please write up a summary and post in the comments.  Thanks.

Update 10-20-18:  HERE is  a link to a YouTube Interview of  Professor Valentina Zharkova