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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Little Ice Age Summary at WUWT

What’s Natural?

By Jim Steele

Extreme scientists and politicians warn we will suffer catastrophic climate change if the earth’s average temperature rises 2.7°F above the Little Ice Age average. They claim we are in a climate crisis because average temperature has already warmed by 1.5°F since 1850 AD. Guided by climate fear, politicians fund whacky engineering schemes to shade the earth with mirrors or aerosols to lower temperatures. But the cooler Little Ice Age endured a much more disastrous climate.

The Little Ice Age coincides with the pre-industrial period. The Little Ice Age spanned a period from 1300 AD to 1850 AD, but the exact timing varies. It was a time of great droughts, retreating tree lines, and agricultural failures leading to massive global famines and rampant epidemics. Meanwhile advancing glaciers demolished European villages and farms and extensive sea ice blocked harbors and prevented trade.

Dr. Michael Mann who preaches dire predictions wrought by global warming described the Little Ice Age as a period of widespread “famine, disease, and increased child mortality in Europe during the 17th–19th century, probably related, at least in part, to colder temperatures and altered weather conditions.” In contrast to current models suggesting global warming will cause wild weather swings, Mann concluded “the Little Ice Age may have been more significant in terms of increased variability of the climate”. Indeed, historical documents from the Little Ice Age describe wild climate swings with extremely cold winters followed by very warm summers, and cold wet years followed by cold dry years.

A series of Little Ice Age droughts lasting several decades devastated Asia between the mid 1300s and 1400s. Resulting famines caused significant societal upheaval within India, China, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. Bad weather resulted in the Great Famine of 1315-1317 which decimated Europe causing extreme levels of crime, disease, mass death, cannibalism and infanticide. The North American tree-ring data reveal megadroughts lasting several decades during the cool 1500s. The Victorian Great Drought from 1876 to 1878 brought great suffering across much of the tropics with India devastated the most. More than 30 million people are thought to have died at this time from famine worldwide.

The Little Ice Age droughts and famines forced great societal upheaval, and the resulting climate change refugees were forced to seek better lands. But those movements also spread horrendous epidemics. Wild climate swings brought cold and dry weather to central Asia. That forced the Mongols to search for better grazing. As they invaded new territories they spread the Bubonic plague which had devastated parts of Asia earlier. In the 1300s the Mongols passed the plague to Italian merchant ships who then brought it to Europe where it quickly killed one third of Europe’s population. European explorers looking for new trade routes brought smallpox to the Americas, causing small native tribes to go extinct and decimating 25% to 50% of larger tribes. Introduced diseases rapidly reduced Mexico’s population from 30 million to 3 million.

By the 1700s a new killer began to dominate – accidental hypothermia. When indoor temperatures fall below 48°F for prolonged periods, the human body struggles to keep warm, setting off a series of reactions that causes stress and can result in heart attacks. As recently as the 1960s in Great Britain, 20,000 elderly and malnourished people who lacked central heating died from accidental hypothermia. As people with poor heating faced bouts of extreme cold in the 1700s, accidental hypothermia was rampant.

What caused the tragic climate changes of the Little Ice Age? Some scientists suggest lower solar output associated with periods of fewer sunspots. Increasing solar output then reversed the cooling and warmed the 20th century world. As solar output is now falling to the lows of the Little Ice Age, a natural experiment is now in progress testing that solar theory. However other scientists suggest it was rising CO2 that delivered the world from the Little Ice Age.

Increasing CO2 also has a beneficial fertilization effect that is greening the earth. The 20th century warming, whether natural or driven by rising CO2 concentrations, has lengthened the growing season. Famines are being eliminated. Tree-lines stopped retreating and trees are now reclaiming territory lost over the past 500 years. So why is it that now we face a climate crisis?

At the end of the 1300’s Great Famine and the Bubonic Plague epidemic, the earth sustained 350 million people. With today’s advances in technology and milder growing conditions, record high crop yields are now feeding a human population that ballooned to over 7.6 billion.

H/T to WUWT

The open question is: Will our technology save us from the next grand minimum and little ice age? Your thoughts?

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? 

Cosmic Rays Increasing for the 4th Year in a Row

Feb. 21, 2019: Cosmic rays in the stratosphere are intensifying for the 4th year in a row. This finding comes from a campaign of almost weekly high-altitude balloon launches conducted by the students of Earth to Sky Calculus. Since March 2015, there has been a ~13% increase in X-rays and gamma-rays over central California, where the students have launched hundreds of balloons.

neutronsandxrays2

The grey points in the graph are Earth to Sky balloon data. Overlaid on that time series is a record of neutron monitor data from the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland. The correlation between the two data sets is impressive, especially considering their wide geographic separation and differing methodologies. Neutron monitors have long been considered a “gold standard” for monitoring cosmic rays on Earth. This shows that our student-built balloons are gathering data of similar quality.

Why are cosmic rays increasing? The short answer is “Solar Minimum.” Right now, the 11-year solar cycle is plunging into one of the deepest minima of the Space Age. The sun’s weakening magnetic field and flagging solar wind are not protecting us as usual from deep-space radiation. Earth to Sky balloon launches in multiple countries and US states show that this is a widespread phenomenon.

solarcycle

Cosmic rays are of interest to anyone who flies on airplanes. The International Commission on Radiological Protection has classified pilots as occupational radiation workers because of cosmic ray doses they receive while flying. A recent study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health shows that flight attendants face an elevated risk of cancer compared to members of the general population. They listed cosmic rays as one of several risk factors. There are also controversial studies that suggest cosmic rays promote the formation of clouds in the atmosphere; if so, increasing cosmic rays could affect weather and climate.

Thanks to Dr. Phillips for sharing this post from Spaceweather.com  [Emphasis added]

The more cosmic rays the more clouds, which results in more cooling of the planet.

On the Cusp of the Next Grand Minimum?

Definition — cusp: a point of transition between two different states

The transition from the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age was punctuated by extreme climate events, intense storms, floods, and droughts according to Lynn Ingram and Francis Malamud-Roam writing in The West Without Water. According to the authors, the transition from the Little Ice Age to the Modern Warm Period also experienced erratic weather extremes. Wolfgang Behringer, writing in the Cultural History of Climate, found similar transitions to more extreme weather. These extreme record-setting events are a signal that the overall climate is moving to a different state, in other words on the cusp of climate change.

Some recent record events:

Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido: Record cold temperatures, minus 24.4 C, the lowest seen since it began compiling such data in 1957.

Seattle: Coldest February in 30 years, the 4th coldest in 75 years, the 3 years that were colder were 1989, 1949 and 1956. “This month has been so snowy that it is now setting records for daily and monthly totals,” says the National Weather Service.

Minnesota: Minus 38 degrees recorded in Melrose, Minnesota, The nation’s coldest wind chill factor, minus 70, was reported in Ely, Minnesota on 30 January 2019.

Moscow: the Strongest snowstorm in 140 years, 13 Feb 2019

Siberia: Many record lows, details HERE.

Australia: Hottest December since recording started, with Adelaide hit nearly 116 degrees Fahrenheit the last week in January 2019, breaking an 80-year-old record high set in January 1939.

Sierra Nevada: June Mountain picked up 72 inches of snow in 24 hours, 96 in 72 hours. The official record for 24-hour snowfall record is 67 inches, on Jan. 5, 1982.

The proponents of anthropogenic global warming are attributing these extreme weather to human emission of greenhouse gases. However, after looking back through climate history, such as the Cultural History of Climate and The West without Water, I am inclined to attribute these record-breaking events to the transition point for the Next Grand Minimum.

Your thoughts, are we on the cusp, or is it just climate change weather?

Munich Conference: Leading Danish Astrophysicist Says Solar Activity Has Significant Impact On Global Climate

By P Gosselin

Danish Professor Henrik Svensmark is a leading physicist of cosmic radiation. At the end of last year he made a presentation at the 12th International Climate Conference in Munich, where he demonstrated that the climate is indeed modulated in large part by cloud cover, which in turn is modulated by solar activity in combination with cosmic rays.
His theory is that cosmic rays, which are extremely fast-flying particles – which originate from dying supernovae – travel through the cosmos, strike the Earth’s atmosphere and have a major impact on cloud cover and thus climate on the Earth’s surface.
This, Svensmark says, has been confirmed in numerous laboratory experiments.

The full post with video and charts is available at the NoTricksZone.

Professor Henrik Svensmark is doing important research and should be given your consideration.  If you do not agree, please post your arguments in the comments with links to your supporting evidence. Thanks!

svens-2018

 

The Coming Climate Crisis

The Little Ice Age Could Offer a Glimpse of Our Tumultuous Future.

BY AMITAV GHOSH

Over the last couple of decades, as the impact of global warming has intensified, the discussion of climate change has spilled out of the scientific and technocratic circles within which it was long confined. Today, the subject has also become an important concern in the humanities and arts.

Discussions of climate tend to focus on the future. Yet even scientific projections depend crucially on the study of the past…

[…]

Perhaps the most intensively researched of these periods is the Little Ice Age, which reached its peak between the late 15th and early 18th centuries. This early modern era is of particular interest because some of the most important geopolitical processes of our own time trace back to it.

[…]

During part of the Little Ice Age, decreased solar irradiance and increased seismic activity resulted in temperatures that, as Geoffrey Parker writes in Global Crisis, a groundbreaking global history of the period, were “more than 1 [degree Celsius] cooler than those of the later twentieth century.”

The current cycle of human-induced global warming is likely to lead to a much greater climatic shift than that of the Little Ice Age.

[…]

Amitav Ghosh is the author of The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. @GhoshAmitav

Foreign Policy 

H/T to David Middleton writing at Watts Up With That for the Summary

By increased seismic activity I wonder if the author is referring to the volcanos shown in this graphic.

Volcanic activity

Little Ice Age Still Cooling Pacific?

The ‘Little Ice Age’ hundreds of years ago is STILL cooling the bottom of Pacific, researchers find

  • The Little Ice Age brought colder-than-average temps around the 17th century
  • Researchers say temperatures in deep Pacific lag behind those at the surface
  • As a result, parts of the deep Pacific is now cooling from long ago Little Ice Age

The Medieval Warm Period was a period lasting between the 9th and 12th centuries during which Earth’s climate leaned on the warmer side.

It was followed not long after by the Little Ice Age, which lasted from the 16th through 19th century, though some argue it began even earlier.

According to researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harvard University, this long-ago cooling period could still be showing its face in the temperatures of the deep ocean.

Full Article is at the Daily Mail HERE.

Is this a valid science?  What do you think the LIA can still be cooling the Pacific? Your thoughts?