All The News That Fits

Happy (Cold) New Year; Where’s Global Warming When You Need It?

Posted by Nancy on January 2, 2009

Obama and the Democrats are hustling to enact programs to outlaw carbon dioxide and “save” the planet, mankind, and those cuddly polar bears from annihilation ASAP after he takes office.  Meanwhile, the sun has quietly gone out.

Okay, I’m being dramatic here.  The sun hasn’t really gone out – it has just gone quiet. 


The sun just finished the second least active solar year since 1900.  It is also experiencing the longest sunspot cycle since 1848 (still counting), and if it continues a few more months will reach the level of the Dalton Minimum.  That began in the 1790’s and affected the weather for several decades.  The even longer Maunder Minimum occurred 213 years prior to that.  My wobbly math skills tell me this current minimum is coming right on schedule.

What does all this gibberish mean, you ask?  Okay, a few basic facts.

  • Sunspot cycles average about 11 years.
  • Shorter sunspot cycles mean warmer than average temperatures.  The last three cycles were 9.7, 9.8. and 10.7 years.  That adds up to approximately 30 years of “global warming.”
  • Longer sunspot cycles mean cooler than average temperatures.  The current cycle is now at 12 years and 3 months and still counting.
  • There is a theorized lag of from five to eight years between sunpot activity and changes in the earth’s temperature.
  • The Dalton Minimum brought ferocious winters and cooler summers for several decades.
  • The Maunder Minimum was part of The Little Ice Age.
  • The earth’s average temperature dropped .7° C  in 2007, the fastest change ever recorded by instruments, and brought us back to where we were in 1930.  (Bye-bye, global warming.)
  • In addition to the lack of sunspot activity, the oscillation patterns of the oceans have switched from warm to cold.  These are little understood phenomona, but what is understood involves colder water circulating to warmer climes, increased cloud cover, and cooling weather patterns.  No one yet understands how or why they change, but both the Atlantic and Pacific Decadal Oscillations have flipped to cold.

What does this mean to us?  It looks to me like the earth is going to continue to chill and we can expect years of cooler than normal temperatures.  I could be wrong, though – I’m no scientist.  Just a curious laymanwoman.

If we are facing a solar minimum with accompanying decades of colder weather, it could be much more harmful than in years past.  It would also be much worse than anything global warming could do.

There are many more people now and we have become dependent on a few temperate agricultural areas, especially in the US and Canada. Global warming would increase agricultural output, but global cooling will decrease it.  The Australian 

In an interesting development, John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, is filing a lawsuit against Al Gore over what he calls the fraud of global warming.  Frustrated with the inability of thousands of anti-global warming scientists to get the media to listen to them, he is hoping the suit will become a means of forcing public debate on the topic.

The winter of 2008-2009 has gotten off to another cold start worldwide (there has already been snow is New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Saudi Arabia, Tibet has had its worst snow storm EVER, and the polar ice has grown 30%, just to mention a few anecdotal events). 

Let’s hope this year’s growing season is a good one.  And let’s hope enough politicians read the data, use common sense, and refuse to destroy our economy by pretending they can affect the weather.  What a blatant power grab the whole mess is.


9 Responses to “Happy (Cold) New Year; Where’s Global Warming When You Need It?”

  1. nomly said

    its great, thanks

  2. Fran Manns, Ph.D., P.Geo. (Ontario) said

    Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves in cold water and bubbles out of warm water. The equilibrium in seawater is very high, making seawater a great ‘sink’; CO2 is 34 times more soluble in water than air is soluble in water.
    Correlation is not causation to be sure. The causation has been studied, however, and while the radiation from the sun varies only in the fourth decimal place, the magnetism is awesome. As I understand it, the hypothesis of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows:
    Quiet sun → reduced magnetic and thermal flux = reduced solar wind → geomagnetic shield drops → galactic cosmic ray flux → more low-level clouds and more snow → more albedo effect (more heat reflected) → colder climate
    Active sun → enhanced magnetic and thermal flux = solar wind → geomagnetic shield response → less low-level clouds → less albedo (less heat reflected) → warmer climate
    That is how the bulk of climate change might work, coupled with (modulated by) sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, the planets cool.
    Using a box of air in a Copenhagen lab, physicists traced the growth of clusters of molecules of the kind that build cloud condensation nuclei. These are specks of sulphuric acid on which cloud droplets form. High-energy particles driven through the laboratory ceiling by exploded stars far away in the Galaxy – the cosmic rays – liberate electrons in the air, which help the molecular clusters to form much faster than climate scientists have modeled in the atmosphere. That may explain the link between cosmic rays, cloudiness and climate change.
    The ultimate cause of the solar magnetic cycle may be cyclicity in the Sun-Jupiter centre of gravity. We await more on that. In addition, although the post 60s warming period is over, it has allowed the principal green house gas, water vapour, to kick in with humidity, clouds, rain and snow depending on where you live to provide the negative feedback that scientists use to explain the existence of complex life on Earth for 550 million years. The planet heats and cools naturally and our gasses are the thermostat. Check the web site of the Danish National Space Center.
    Keeping in mind that windmills are hazardous to birds, be wary of the unintended consequences of believing and contributing to the all-knowing environmental lobby groups.

  3. ben said

    Do you have a source for “The earth’s average temperature dropped .7° C in 2007….” ? Would love to send that to some people.

  4. Nancy said

    Click on the link to “The Australian” in the box above the video and you will find this quote:

    “All four agencies that track Earth’s temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over. “

  5. Jack Rivkin said

    would like to see the source for the 30% expansion in polar ice. Following is the info from the NIDC site: “On February 28, Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent for the year, at 15.14 million square kilometers (5.85 million square miles). The maximum extent was 720,000 square kilometers (278,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average of 15.86 million square kilometers (6.12 million square miles), making it the fifth-lowest maximum extent in the satellite record. The six lowest maximum extents since 1979 have all occurred in the last six years (2004 to 2009).” Maybe this is about to turn around. Will be interesting to watch. I’m not so sure global warming is the issue. Stressing the Carbon cycle may be an issue. .

  6. Nancy said

    Jack, the 30% expansion figure was from the time this was posted – January 2. I can’t be responsible for happenings after-the-fact.

  7. Jack Rivkin said

    Check out the following site, . The ice cover expands 30% or more every year from low to high. It’s just that more recently it has been lower lows in the summer and lower highs in the winter. If we do enter a cooling phase that may reverse although it is a self feeding cycle. Ice reflects more sunlight than water, so less ice leads to more absorption which in turn can mean less ice, which in turn means more absorption, which in turn……

  8. Jack Rivkin said

    By The Way: 278,000 square miles (the amount of ice loss vs the average) is a little more than the state of Texas and about 1.6 times the size of California.

  9. Jack Rivkin said

    I don’t want to belabor this but below is a quote from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. 2008 was a cooler year, not 2007, which has been primarily attributed to La Niña. It still made it substantially warmer than in the ’30’s. The same site says 2007 was one of the warmest years on record. Not sure where The Australian is getting its data: “Calendar year 2008 was the coolest year since 2000, according to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies analysis [see ref. 1] of surface air temperature measurements. In our analysis, 2008 is the ninth warmest year in the period of instrumental measurements, which extends back to 1880 (left panel of Fig. 1). The ten warmest years all occur within the 12-year period 1997-2008. The two-standard-deviation (95% confidence) uncertainty in comparing recent years is estimated as 0.05°C [ref. 2], so we can only conclude with confidence that 2008 was somewhere within the range from 7th to 10th warmest year in the record.” Of course, if sunspots have a lagging effect this could all change. I guess we will have to wait another 7 or 8 years before we conclude we have a problem. In the meantime, no matter what, the world will be moving away from carbon-based fuels. My guess is the US will be left in the dust when it comes to the technology that will be developed out of this effort as we continue to put up roadblocks to innovation.

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