Steady decline in Sunspot activity

Sun’s bizarre activity may trigger another ice age, says Irish solar scientist

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Solar activity has been falling steadily since mid-1940s, a change that in the past triggered a 300-year-long mini ice age.

At a teleconference yesterday in Boulder, Colorado, three leading solar scientists from Nasa, the High Altitude Observatory and the National Solar Observatory described how solar activity has been falling steadily since the mid-1940s.

The sun is undergoing “bizarre behaviour” said Dr Craig DeForest of the the American Astronomical Society.

Sunspot cycle could be shutting down or entering a dormant phase

“The sun’s current maximum activity period is very late and very weak, leading to speculation that the sunspot cycle itself could be shutting down or entering a dormant phase,” said DeForest before the teleconference.

The monthly average sunspot total should range between 90 and 140, said Irish solar science specialist Dr Ian Elliott, quoting from figures released by Nasa on the 1st of this month. But in fact, the present monthly average is only 67, Dr Elliott said. A typical average at maximum during much of the early 20th century was about 200.

“The smallest solar maximum we have seen in 100 years”

“It is the smallest solar maximum we have seen in 100 years,” said Dr David Hathaway of Nasa. We are currently in solar cycle number 24 which is about half as active as cycle 23, but cycle 25 is likely to be smaller again due to changes in the magnetic flux on the sun’s surface,” said Hathaway.

Another Maunder Minimum?

Dr Giuliana de Toma of the High Altitude Observatory acknowledged the clear signs that solar activity was in decline but this did not mean the earth was heading for another “Maunder Minimum”. This was a time between 1645 and 1725 when solar activity was extremely low or nonexistent, a situation which caused a mini ice age.

The fall-off in sunspot activity still has the potential to affect our weather for the worse, Dr Elliott said. Research by Prof Mike Lockwood at the University of Reading showed how low solar activity could alter the position of the jet stream over the north Atlantic, causing severe cold during winter months. This was likely the cause of the very cold and snowy winters during 2009 and 2010, Dr Elliott said.

“It all points to perhaps another little ice age”

“It all points to perhaps another little ice age,” he said. “It seems likely we are going to enter a period of very low solar activity and could mean we are in for very cold winters.”

This should be front-page news!

Instead, the LA Times presented a spin version that didn’t bother to mention even the possibility of a mini ice age.,0,6978639.story

See entire article:

Thanks to Peter Lamb, Thomas McHart and Bill Gannon for this link.
Thanks to Thomas for the LA Times spin version.

“We whom disagree with the AGW crowd now have a slight bit of help from the fine folks from Nasa, the High Altitude Observatory and the National Solar Observatory,” says Bill.

43 thoughts on “Sun’s bizarre activity may trigger another ice age, says Irish solar scientist”

  1. Jack, thanks, that makes sense.
    Kevin, same here in KY, been here 15 Yrs. Hope it’s the new normal.

  2. Seen the above comments. I think that many have a misunderstanding regarding the exact cause of the current cooling linked to the sun. Indeed, the cooling is not at all due to the sun emitting less heat. No, The intensity of solar radiation reaching Earth has been relatively constant through the last 2000 years, with variations estimated at around 0.1–0.2%. However, changes in solar brightness are too weak to explain recent climate change.
    The true cause lies in the sun’s magnetic activity that is directly related to the 11 years cycles of sunspots as it was evidenced by Svensmark, a danish scientist who found that the clouds formation is induced by the cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere. It is easy to understand that the more there are clouds hindering the sun’s heat to reach the ground, the colder the climate will be. Svensmark proved that the cosmic rays, that are not produced by our sun but by very remote stars in and outside our galaxy, are regulated by the sun’s magnetic field. When this field is high (during the peak of the 11yrs cycle) there are few cosmic rays reaching the upper atmosphere, and vice versa.
    Now we are in a sun’s low magnetic activity, due to the weak cycles 24 and 25, so the cosmic rays are not blocked and are creating a lot of clouds. Therefore, more rain, more snow, low temperatures, etc… If the next cycles will come weaker and weaker, certainly the ice age is next.

  3. Its been the coolest summer in middle Tennessee since I moved there from up north. I have been here for twenty years. Best garden ever this year. Rain, fairly cool nights.Below average temps in June an July so far. Still getting Squash and zucchini since May. Everything is still green as spring. Joe Bastardi and Joe Delayo calls the weather right at Check it out.

  4. I would not be surprised that iceage deniers will challenge the possibility of a mini iceage in our time. In their view politically correct dogma trumps truth, morals and scientific fact.
    We are back in the age of Galileo.

  5. I think we may see another minimum in our lifetime.
    You can always put more clothes ON but from someone living in lower central Texas, when it gets hot, you can’t peel off your skin.

    I’m looking forward to it!

    I do hope though the scientists are right about it just being another minimum because I remember reading about when scientists studied dinosaur bodies and found them with freshly eaten meals still in their stomachs, so the Ice age hit them hard and fast and caught them off guard.

    Probably why the Governemt has all those underground bases as being below the permafrost would allow you to stay relatively warm while nature culled your over population problem on the surface.

    1. So nice to see another Texan here on this site. I grew up in a small town just south of Houston and will never get used to this heat and humidity. In your post it looks like you expect the weather to be somewhat cooler here in Texas during a Mini Ice Age. Is this true? And if so I hope you’re right. If I’m not mistaken it appears that some believe the Deep South wouldn’t see much of any cooling at all. Anyway, thanks for the post.

  6. robert, thanks for this sight and all you do. enjoyed evolutionary leaps. not sure what is happening, have been watching the weather for a long time, never seen jet stream and or wind blow from atlantic to northern rockies like in the last couple of days.
    thought the sun spots were relatively cool areas on the suns surface,wouldn’t more be better for cooling?

    1. Yes sunspots are cooler, but they are also areas that propel more particles outward increasing the solar wind speed.

  7. George says:
    July 15, 2013 at 4:41 am

    This book soon to be published in English may open up a scientific debate instead of fudged figures and propaganda; but on second thoughts, perhaps not.

    From WUWT…Pierre Gosselin writes:
    ‘Amazon is now showing that Fritz Vahrenholt’s and Sebastian Lüning’s controversial book Die kalte Sonne (The cold sun), released in German last year, is now coming out worldwide in English.

    The title of the English version: The Neglected Sun, and the publisher is Stacey International in London.

    Their book created quite a stir in Europe, especially in Germany. The warmist establishment pretty much had seizures over it.’

    George – where on WUWT did you see the comment from Pierre Gosselin?

    I cannot find it; a short while ago, one of Pierre Gosselin’s comments and my response was CENSORED on WUWT – deleted, GONE. It seems that WUWT does NOT allow open discussion.

    BTW, his comment and my response added some information to the post in question – we did NOT disagree with it, but simply ADDED some information.

    My respect for WUWT has taken a nose drive – if they censor comments as they CLEARLY DO, what do they do to the post?

    1. I think the original title The COLD Sun is harder hitting, much more to the point, and really grabs your attention. I’m sorry to see it’s been changed for the English language edition. The Neglected Sun sounds rather vague and ambiguous to me, at least. It almost sounds as if someone wants to blunt the impact of the original title.

        1. I’m reading this right now. It was written by John L. Casey, a former White House national space policy advisor, NASA headquarters consultant, and space shuttle engineer. Casey forecasts the beginning of a “solar hibernation,” a historic reduction in the energy output from the sun, and decades of dangerously cold weather.

          1. I first tried to buy that book at Barnes & Noble, wasn’t in stock, they said special order, and oddly enough that it is a ‘textbook’. I wonder who is using that in their school work?

            Winter is coming in about 5 months: an accurate certainty.

            Since we’re already in an ice age by definition, it would be pointless to say an ice age is coming. But a Glacial epoch(period of growing glaciation) appears to have commenced despite the predictions of the AGW crowd. Oh wait it’s not GW anymore, it’s ‘Climate Change’, “oh good that gets ’em off the hook”. It can get Warmer or it can get colder and they’ve got all the bases covered.
            I’ll say one thing: if the Volcanism keeps on the increase like it has been since the mag field weakened past a certain point, we could very well get close to or enter a full-on period of intense glaciation, or even worse, a snowball-earth. Although I think another occurrence of Snowball Earth is very remote and may not ever happen again. But I could be wrong. 😉

    2. hi Terence,
      very unusual for the mods at wuwt to censor anyone but known trolls and offplanet posts.
      it was in its own title header/ wasnt it?
      all the book info etc is still on the original post regardless.

      and Harold below,
      the english name was because there already IS a book in English , with title of Cold sun
      yes you can still use a title no copyright, BUT it confuses a lot of things to do so, hence the change.

      1. So, the book has its OWN post. Pierre’s original comment that I expended on, were in the post about post called “Why Revenue Neutral Isn’t, and Other Costs of the BC Tax” (dated July 15, 20130.

        Neither his comment nor my expansion on it were “off planet”. WUWT even has a separate devoted to Pierre’s comment (dated July 14, 2013)

        1. BTW – I seldom, if ever, comment on WUWT; so I do not see how I can be considered a “known troll”. As you can see from my comment above, I do not check out WUWT every day – I had not seen the July 14 post about the book.

          As I said, Pierre Gosselin’s comment was under the July 15th post about BC (I live in BC, so I read the post and questions).

          My opinion about WUWT that is still in the tank

      2. Your point about the duplicate title is well taken, and I didn’t know about the other book in English. Nevertheless, “neglected” still sounds rather bland to me, and a thesaurus will yield a lot of synonyms for “cold.”

  8. The article should get the facts straight. The sun did not start to decline in activity until the early 1990’s at best. The 1940’S – EARLY 1990’S was one of the most intense periods of sunspot /solar activity.What is wrong with them?

    The article is ridiculous since they don’t have their facts correct.

    Nevertheless this curent solar prolonged minimum which started in earnest in year 2005(not the early 1940’s) is going to result in a temperature decline which will start once the very weak maximum of solar cycle 24 ends and continue for at least 30 years.

  9. In spite of all this evidence, and Congress’s reluctance to enact new “climate change,” nee global warming, legislation, Obama is now vowing to soldier on, and try to use what powers he already has to solve a non-existent problem, instead of tackling the Himalaya sized mountain range of debt that faces the US, and has real consequences. This probably means he will accomplish nothing of any value at all in the remaining time he has left in office, except making the real problems facing this country worse, and probably much worse. “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with the facts!” Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

  10. Here in Connecticut, and all over the world, there are anomalous weather reports almost all associated with cooler than normal conditions. I hear echoes of, “I’ve never seen anything like this”, and indeed many weather related records are being set. It is becoming the norm, to hear about weather extremes in the news.
    Well that is what should be expected after nearly 400 years of solar induced global warming. In addition and most specifically, there was a final ramp-up in the last half of the last century that was unprecedented in all of the last 400 years. The peak of solar input for the last 400 years occurred in the late 1950’s at solar max of solar cycle 19. During the 1960’s, solar cycle 20 was weak and the media found scientists who suggested an ice age was coming. The next two solar cycles, first around 1979, and again around 1990, at the peaks of solar cycles 21 and 22, we had two cycles, both historically high. Solar cycle 23 was slightly above average, peaking around the year 2000. Since then, there has been an extended solar minimum, even now as we pass solar max of cycle 24, sunspot activity is minimal, as is UV and the solar wind.
    As I see it, solar induced global warming turned the corner in the late 50’s. In spite of that, the Earth continued to warm, but at a lesser rate. It was not until the passing of the peak of solar cycle 23 that an actual turnaround of the Earth’s annual heat budget began to go negative and actual global cooling began. Natural global systems have substantial lag times between cause and effect. This is not in compliance with instant gratification. The thermal turnaround took many years. It was slow, imperceptible for many year, but now the tides have turned and a new imbalance has arisen.
    Today we have global extremes, the likes of which, no living human has ever experienced. These are exciting times, and they will challenge humanity all over the earth. We have the warmest oceans on Earth in 400 years, and now we are experiencing what very well may be a grand minimum in solar activity. We are experiencing COOLING from a reduction in the output of the sun which is the Earth’s source of heat…
    These conditions drive the weather. Cooling is greatest over continents and this will be in contrast to the warm, moisture laden air masses moving across the warm oceans perpetually marching in waves across the now diurnally cooling continents. This should lead to fewer hurricane type storms but more amplified frontal storms. (amplified monsoons as well) This amplified contrast I believe, is what we are now seeing as weather extremes around the world.

  11. The Warming Fascists with their hockey-stick curve lied that the mini-ice age[s] during the Medieval period, did not exist. In many locations in the past 15 years; some of the worst and coldest winters on record have been recorded. This would comport with the theory that solar activity is in a decline or flux. Facts don’t fit the warming theories.

  12. This book soon to be published in English may open up a scientific debate instead of fudged figures and propaganda; but on second thoughts, perhaps not.

    From WUWT…Pierre Gosselin writes:
    ‘Amazon is now showing that Fritz Vahrenholt’s and Sebastian Lüning’s controversial book Die kalte Sonne (The cold sun), released in German last year, is now coming out worldwide in English.

    The title of the English version: The Neglected Sun, and the publisher is Stacey International in London.

    Their book created quite a stir in Europe, especially in Germany. The warmist establishment pretty much had seizures over it.’

  13. I bailed another site up over the “bizarre behavior” line
    not thing one Bizarre about it!
    its all normal solar cycle and from memory this cycle is looking a LOT like #5? and that was either Dalton min or maunder, not sure on centuries.
    earlier last week spaceweather had some EX spurt(ie drip under pressure) raving how the latests South Hem sunspots could be the start of the double peak max.
    the huge huge spot did?
    Nasa well knows the cycles was low, hell, they revised DOWN 3 times and the 3rd what we see now is Still WAY above reality.
    I have been stashing cold weather clothing supplies and planning for extreme weather home protection, n cold coming for the last 3 years.
    so should we all.

  14. There is nothing bizarre about the sun. It just does this every 2nd Century. Sometimes for an extended period, sometimes for not so long. There were grand minimums in the 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th and 19th Century so why would anyone believe that there won’t be one in the 21st Century.
    Climate scientists have been very remiss in not speaking out about the sun’s change in extreme ultra violet emissions. They are down nearly 40% on average for this stage of cycle 24 (in comparison for the similar period in cycle 23) and nearly 60% on cycle 22, which ended in 1996. As EUV output modulates the chemistry and temperature of the upper atmosphere it is pretty obvious why jet streams have changed and the weather has become more extreme.
    But this is not all. The gravitational forces that bring about the changes in the sun also have a small temperature effect on Earth’s core. Hence the 7 fold rise in great earthquakes and the apparent greater volcanic activity. I bet there is much more going on under the sea (and ice) than we currently know about.
    We are indeed entering very interesting times. Thank heavens that there have been higher CO2 emissions for the last Century or so. It will be needed to help grow crops faster during the reduced summers so that we can feed the 10 fold increase in human population since the start of the last little ice-age.

    1. It looks like climate changes will reduce crop yields. Radiation from Fukushima and similar and discoveries about the health effects of GMO are reducing the percentage of that food that is free of ill effects. The future does not look bright. The only light appears to be that fertilization caused by returning carbon sequestered for millions of years to the atmosphere has been increasing crop yields throughout the world. The fact that reducing that aerial fertilization is the target while the other issues are all but ignored reveals the insanity of our society.

  15. The headline talks of Ice Age but the body of the report says “mini ice age”.

    I think on balance expert opinion is we could hit either a Dalton or a Maunder minimum over the next few years or in fact we already entering the new minimum. I think the latter is true and it will accelerate dramitcally as we begin the downward slide from the SC24 peak in a month or two. We are also starting the downside of the PDO and AMO so expect things to get much cooler over the next couple of decades.

    For me the worrying thing is our position with respect to the next full blown glaciation. The conditions Milankovich-wise are already set and await only the trigger. Hathaway has honestly come out in favour of a low or lower SC25 – full marks to him. Other scientists are predicting average temperature at higher latitudes to fall by anything up to 4.9 degrees Centigrade. Even a fall of a few degrees could be enough to throw us irrecoverably into this glaciation. It may be too late already and the next Ice Age could start within five years – but more likely twenty years.

    The only thing that gives me any hope of avoiding this fate is the fact that the begining of glaciations coincides with magnetic reversals and excurions. Currently the geo-magnetic field is weakening and there is a big anomoly in the South Atlantic/Pacific where the field is about 30% down. But are we sufficiently close to the magnetic edge? What is the historical phase lag between these two events?

    Does anyone have any data on this? It is important!

  16. Sun’s activity is going lower with every cycle, so i think that is posible to see a Maunder Minimum.

  17. Concerning a new “minimum” astrophysicist Piers Corbyn has said we will know for sure in 11 years time at solar cycle 25. This will be a long anxious wait because the consequences for food production are stark. Humanity has coped with minimums before and we will again but the scale of the problem is vastly different this time and we simply could not be in a worse position politically with the Greens takeover of resources both privately and in Government bearing inedible fruit.

    1. I still wish I could get a reply on this question. I’ve been asking this for some time now and the question is in regards to the effects of an ice age on the Deep South. It was some time ago, but I thought I read that during an ice age the Deep South, like Houston Texas or New Orleans wouldn’t see much if any cooling. Is this right? If not, I’d like to know what we could expect down here. Thanks.

      1. We know from all the animal remains found at the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles that CA had a mild climate in the ice ages, ditto central Mexico. The US southeast would have been forested, but with much more land, since the continental shelf is shallow. Plenty more real estate to sell to displaced Yankees and Canadians!

    2. In the main article above, David Hathaway – NASA’s solar go too man – has already stated that Solar Cycle 25 will have less activity than Cycle 24. Solar Magnetic activity (or rather lack of it) has virtually guaranteed this.

      Two very low cycles in a row virtually guarantee colder weather just based on previous history.

      T.P.T.B. should really be now concentrating on ongoing food supply not mythical global warming CO2 nonsense.

  18. well as far as the IPCC is concerned there was no
    “Maunder Minimum”. This was a time between 1645 and 1725 when solar activity was extremely low or nonexistent, a situation which caused a mini ice age.

    therefore we have nothing to worry about, right?

  19. Funny funny..”did not mean the earth was heading for another “Maunder Minimum”” No it IS going to be another min. See 176 year cycle of the SBC (Solar barycenter) modulation. “could alter the position of the jet stream over the north Atlantic” well Piers Corbyn has already proved this..I think some Russians have already beaten them to that conclusion as well.

  20. The previous LIA was perhaps a little early for triggering the next 100kyr long glacial period, but obliquity is at the right point now. So, instead of a new LIA we may be entering the big one.

    1. You maybe right. I think that is the case too. It will clean the planet when all the nuke plants cook off. The planet will survive. Mankind? that is a open question


    De Jager initially concluded that a Grand (Maunder-type) Minimum period was possible but has since changed his conclusion after examining the Hallstatt cycle’s periodicity:

    De Jager concludes that cooling period is likely associated with the possible solar and geophysical forcing effects coincident with the convergence of the Gleissberg and Suess/de Vries cycles, but no Maunder-like Grand Minimum.

  22. What? What do you mean the Sun’s output can make the Earth hotter or colder? That’s just crazy. We all know that evil mankind–especially in the industrialized nations–are totally responsible for global warming…er…climate change.

    Enought with the sarcasm. Either the warmists, President Obama included, are stupid, terribly ignorant, or they are the actual evil ones. (Curbing CO2 emissions will hurt the poor the most.)

    You can’t cure stupid. There is enough information out there, like this article, to cure ignorance (but none are so blind as those who refuse to see), so that really only leaves the third option, at least for those at the U. N., certain grant-greedy scientists, and politicians and former politicians throughout the world.

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