Fastest decline in solar activity in 9,300 years

Could signal a descent into Maunder Minimum-like conditions.


“The recent prolonged solar minimum and subsequent weak solar cycle 24 have led to suggestions that the grand solar maximum may be at an end,” says this study on

The study,  published in 2015, looked at past variations of solar activity. In 2010, the study found, scientists estimated a mere 8% chance of a return to Maunder Minimum-like conditions within the next 40 years.

However, “the decline in solar activity has continued, to the time of writing, and is faster than any other such decline in 9,300 years.” (Italics added)

“If this recent rate of decline is added to the analysis, the 8% probability estimate is now raised to between 15 and 20%,” the paper continues.  (I think the chances are far higher than that.)

“Numerous studies have identified links between past climate and solar variability42,43,” the paper points out. “During the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), very few sunspots were seen despite regular observations44.”

“The Maunder Minimum coincided with more severe winters in the UK and continental Europe,” the researchers agree. “On longer timescales, a grand minimum of solar activity, the Homeric Minimum (2,750–2,550 years before present), affected climate conditions through western Europe.”

The authors foresee a gradual descent to Maunder Minimum-like conditions, which will be last from a few decades to more than 100 years.

Unfortunately, they then pay obeisance  to the Great God Global Warming, saying that once the grand solar minimum ends, global warming will continue.

Of course they couched their warning in more scientific terms: “Such a prolonged solar minimum would do little to substantially offset or delay the warming due to projected increases in long-lived greenhouse gases,” is how they put it.

Uh huh.

I wonder how many of the survivors will be worried about global warming after billions of people have died of starvation or been killed in wars to obtain food and arable land.

See entire paper, entitled “Regional climate impacts of a possible future grand solar minimum”

Thanks to Sonya Porter for this link

53 thoughts on “Fastest decline in solar activity in 9,300 years”

  1. I wonder how many of the survivors will be worried about global warming after billions of people have died of starvation or been killed in wars to obtain food and arable land.

    Not many and it is highly likely that many of the survivors will have little or no knowledge of the past and those that do will be seen as either extraordinary intellectuals or perhaps as witches and warlocks by a society barely able to keep body and soul together and are looking for a convenient scape goat to burn if something goes wrong. People do and believe strange things during hard times.

    • Only have to look to the past to see how quickly knowledge is lost when civilizations collapse.

  2. Anyone living today isn’t gonna experience any severe ice age,or the opposite of the spectrum,global warming…The doommongering should stop,people these days are too busy with their lives,facebook,twitter and what have you,so even if we would drop into an ice age or extreme warming in our lifetime,i doubt even with foresight,something would change in most people’s behavior,we are too stuck in our daily routines,it’s easy to dismiss cold,when it’s hot outside,or vice versa,i’m all for a warming world though,so talk of an ice age is a nightmare i don’t want to experience

    • You are amazing. You actually DO live within your microcosm of social media, I guess, but believe it or not, 70% of the population of this world doesn’t. If you think you can sit in your house and do your facebook page, etc., or that the majority of real world people will, as the world descends into a the next dark ages because of unstable and intermittent energy, you will “almost” wake up to the cold reality of life. On the bright side, though, if what you say is true, that you social community inhabitants will stay blithely ignorant, then what the elite are after in the first place WILL come to pass, and the “useless eaters” will perish in the cold that comes at the end of an inter-glacial.

    • “so talk of an ice age is a nightmare i don’t want to experience”

      As the sargent said to the soldier who cried ‘I don’t want to die!’, ‘You may bloody well have to, mate!’

    • you don’t understand. The cold is already destroying crops and that really surprises me, I thought it would take much longer. Once it gets a real grip crop failure will be widespread and unstoppable. It was feature of the last event that dying of starvation was not just for the poor people. You cant eat gold and if there is no food you die.

      There are many many perfectly respectable scientist who have been warning us for some years. Here is one. There are many more, just search the net.

    • There’s strong evidence that at least one recent Ice Age during humanity’s tenure on Earth ended within a decade. No reason they couldn’t start in a few years. In fact there are very strong signs of just that happening.

    • It’s strange. The same people who shout ‘The world is warming!’ are the very same people who laughed when I suggested they prepare for their catastrophic weather by storing food.

      You know with the whole “Because you are an -ic and an-ist you don’t deserve to speak in public” mindset will probably evolve into ‘Because you drive an SUV/have an amerikkkuh flag/are a denier/etc you don’t deserve to eat your food” when they start getting hungry.

      I’d recommend removing your Conservative/Republican paraphernalia from your lawns before someone thinks you’re less deserving of the fruits of your hard labor. Don’t be a target.

    • I have only one comment , adapt 2030 grand solar minimum , talks of radio wave and comsic radiation and cloud formations , solar energy per square mile or meters , go look and see the science of it , and understand u will see it , lol

    • Well, if the Sun decides to produce a massive solar flare and a CME, you can say goodbye to your precious facebook, and twitter, etc. Then you can sit and wait until the cold sets in, Steva. As Ben Davidson would say, ‘eyes open, no fear’. Grow up, and be prepared.

    • I hope you are right Steva, but the fact is that many scientist have been predicting this decent for years, The solar scientist Professor Valentina Zharkova and her team put their prediction at 98% and say it will be here in 2030, 13 years away. On this site we are already seeing evidence of both the cold and crop destruction that came with the last minimum. What convinced me was first in mid 2015 we had record low temperatures in NZ AU and South America. Totally unpredicted and with no explanation within AGW. While researching this I came across many scientist warning of the coming cold and what was particularly striking was that they came from different backgrounds and disciplines. When you have conjunction of view deriving from various backgrounds, e.g. Climate, Solar, Geologist, Mathamatic’s, Space, etc, etc it is very compelling.
      Also the simple fact was that the world was at that time drowning in AGW propaganda, and for any scientist to say it was wrong was quite remarkable.
      I is unknown how many people died in the last event for records are sketchy, but from the few that exist in Sweden and Spain the estimate is one third of all human beings and untold numbers of mammals.
      Prepare Steva. Beans and Rice last for years.

      • “is unknown how many people died in the last event for records are sketchy, but from the few that exist in Sweden and Spain the estimate is one third of all human beings and untold numbers of mammals.”
        Got a source? I found “The Great Famine”, but it credits volcanoes and is sketchy about how many people died

    • Actually we do not have to wait for the ice sheets to come down across Canada the devastation of cooling will be felt long before that.
      Let The US, Canada and Russia loose the winter wheat crop and watch the worlds reaction. The last tie Russia alone lost a significant portion of their wheat crop they simply stopped exporting it. The price soared to over $10.00 Bu. That was devastating to third world countries and on a larger scale when even more Countries are affected things could become very bad very quickly.
      “Remember my friend people do not starve to death quietly or peacefully” (unknown)

  3. Could be a Maunder’s minimum. But approximately 9,700 years ago… it started a real ice age in the planet…

    • The definition of an Ice age is for two large Ice caps to be at, or close to both poles of the planet. That has been the case since the Drake Passage opened between Antarctica and South America some 2.5 million years.
      Since that time the Earth has experienced cyclic worldwide glaciation periods on average 120K years, a 10K to 20K Interglacial and then an abrupt return to a glaciation period.
      In fact, the trend climate for the Earth and for the next 10s of millions of years is in a glaciation state until tectonic drift moves Antarctica towards the current position of Australia.
      The event you are referring to is the Year 8200 event
      It’s is the disturbance of the Atlantic portion thermohaline circulation due to the last melt water event from the North American continent.

    • About 10K years ago we got out of the “ice age” with a period of rapid warming, but technically it is only an inter-glacial in a 4 million year ice age, where the earth warms up a bit temporarily, before plunging back into the snowy abyss.

  4. Well, we could just wave it off as models. However, the fact that Nature is publishing a solar model affecting climate in a fashion contrary to AGW, and that the paper is seriously suggesting a 15 to 20 percent chance of a Maunder class period in the next 30-40 years is notable.

  5. I wonder exactly how cold the ice age was. For those who are interested you can look at Antarctica and Greenland. However, suppose all Greenland and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, sea levels may rise a few feet but all of East Antarctic Ice Sheet would remain intact. And just as cold.
    Imagine when all of present day Canada was covered in a mile of ice. I am keen to establish if it was indistinguishable from Antarctica and had just as bad blizzards and wind storms. Or was the snow falling gently as we see on Christmas cards?
    My concerns are valid because only a scientific base with sufficient budget can happily live in Antarctica. Greenland and Iceland are largely fish economies. Norway and Lapland are good for tourism. Russia has natural resource but not always cheap to extract. Alaska may become uninhabitable if it got too much like Greenland.
    I am keen to visualise a cold economy and no I have not factored in skiing and trips to see the Northern Lights. Or what can be brewed and distilled. I might have to move south. Spanish whisky? Now there’s a thought.

    • How cold? Even a slight decrease during the Maunder Minimum caused multiple civilizations all over the world to fail. Many monarchies fell during that time. And that wasn’t even a real ice age, that was just a cold snap compared to an Ice Age.

      My friend, during an Ice Age Panama turns into Quebec.

    • Evidence from the Vostok ice cores indicates temperatures about 8 to 9 C below present levels. In Fahrenheit that’s 14 to 16 degrees cooler. That has immense implications because precipitation is a consequence of evaporation. During the late Pleistocene dust and temperature are correlated negatively – colder temps -> more dust. But, precipitation and temperature correlate positively. That is, when it is coldest it is also driest. It has been a common place for decades that the increased dust during the Pleistocene was due to loess – rock flour made as ice sheets ground the rock beneath to dust. That seems reasonable, but when you consider the distance of Antarctica from any other major ice sheets (the only “nearby” one is the southern Andes Ice Sheet), dust from the great, great northern ice sheets simply shouldn’t carry that far. The alternative is that the entire planet was drier and that the dust at Vostok came from the nearer land masses and that those landmasses were much drier that we like to think. This more reasonable than some would like; one of the hallmark changes of the Pleistocene was deforestation of large parts of Africa. That lead to ancestral humans using their hind legs for something other than climbing trees.

  6. Re: “the decline in solar activity has continued, to the time of writing, and is faster than any other such decline in 9,300 years.”

    This is the same Nature that has repeatedly defended Mann’s hockey-stick graph, so I personally don’t trust their analysis of this truly monumental observation. Not for one second.
    Case in point: This is “Figure 5” from the article. Look at the incredible amount of warming they are predicting during the Grand Solar Minimum ! Give me a break, please. The other “Figures”/graphs are equally suspicious. Peace from Canada !

  7. Rapid Climate Change

    By the 20th century, scientists had rejected old tales of world catastrophe, and were convinced that global climate could change only gradually over many tens of thousands of years. But in the 1950s, a few scientists found evidence that some changes in the past had taken only a few thousand years. During the 1960s and 1970s other data, supported by new theories and new attitudes about human influences, reduced the time a change might require to hundreds of years. Many doubted that such a rapid shift could have befallen the planet as a whole. The 1980s and 1990s brought proof (chiefly from studies of ancient ice) that the global climate could indeed shift, radically and catastrophically, within a century — perhaps even within a decade.

    • These abrupt changes in climate can happen much, much quicker than hundreds of years.
      The change over from a Solar Warm Period to a Solar Grand Minimum, from benign warm to cold, wet and horrible take 10 years for each GSM event before the climate effects are locked into the fossil record.
      The return from cold, wet and horrible, to benign warm takes a significant number of solar cycles. In the last Solar War period since Dalton finished that progress to more “normal started after 1914 and peaked In the late 1950s, dropped during SC20 peaks again during SC22.
      It is reported that the start a major Glaciation event for example one of the Younger Dryas event can take as little as 20 years before snow and ice are widespread and remain in places 365 days of the year.
      LIA Glaciation events may already be starting to occur, some US ski sites may retain snow all this year.

  8. Of course global warming will resume otherwise we would be in a permanent ice age. They are just stating the obvious.

  9. They are showing a decline in sunspots in spite of using enhanced tools to spot the sunspots. If they had used the same tools and techniques to measure sunspots as were used during the Maunder minimum, how active would the solar cycles have been recorded in the last century? Would the 1920s and 1930s have been the peak?

    The writers of the article lost me when they called running a mathematical model an “experiment”. Don’t they know the scientific method? Apparently not! Running a mathematical model is merely developing a theory. An experiment is actually going out and measuring to see how closely theory agrees with reality.

  10. The pressures of crisis engender change. Many advances are lying dormant. I suspect we have vastly superior electrical generators and I know one Au academic is working on hydrogen augmented coal-fired power stations which produce higher burn temps and a more complete burn.
    We already have hydrogen/oxygen augmented internal combustion engines that return an extra 20% mileage.
    I have a cheap battery operated device for inactivating blood-borne pathogens. Drs Kaali & Lyman patented the idea in 1993 when the US medical powers displayed zero interest in their discovery. Currently, the US FDA is chaired by drug company directors so they are hardly likely to approve a device that would reduce sales of their antibiotics and vaccines.
    Many new inventions necessarily compete with lucrative established patterns of economic operation.
    In my youth the rich-kids at my school had Texas Instruments pocket calculators though I’m still fond of my old slide rule. Since that time we have seen IT developments that were sci-fi back then so it is likely that we’ll see parallel advances in other fields during the next half century, however, I suspect that it will take a period of crisis to bring out the best in us.

    • I wonder where we are going to get all the hydrogen for the promise of a hydrogen powered future ?

      If it is from electrolysis of water then we’d better burn it to remake the H2O bonds otherwise we are depleting the water supply. If hydrogen is fuel for fusion then the end product is helium – plenty of party balloons though.

      It could come from hydrocarbons I suppose but this is using more energy to extract than will be generated.

      I no longer see hydrogen as a viable fuel for the future without a technical miracle.

      • Hydrogen is usually stripped from methane, and unlike water there is net positive energy available from the process. Though just burning the methane would be a better deal in most cases.

  11. One key is going to be how fast the overall sea surface temperatures change. Ocean tid bits has +.328 c Still high.
    Still albedo changes due to cloud/snow coverage is another key and then the unknown. major volcanic activity factor.
    I have said solar up to 2005 should have had a warming effect on the climate. It was not until 2005 that this reversed and I have also said in order for solar to have a cooling impact upon the climate certain  low average value solar parameters have to be met FOLLOWNG 10+ years of sub solar activity.
    We have had sub solar activity post 2005.
    Since 2005 the only time my low average value solar criteria for cooling was meant was from 2008-2010 but 10+ years of sub solar activity was not present at that time.
    Now in year 2017 FINALLY it looks like my  low average value solar criteria is going to be met following 10+ years of sub solar activity and this is why I am confident that some sort of global cooling will occur ,bringing global temperatures to or below the 30 year means within the next year. Let us say no later then the summer of 2018 unless a very strong EL NINO were to happen which is not likely at all.

  12. the better off might manage to get through it ok. the already poor especially in cities arent going to fare well.
    3rd world/developing being PC;-/ already battling to survive will bear the brunt of it.

  13. Abstract

    “Any reduction in global mean near-surface temperature due to a future decline in solar activity is likely to be a small fraction of projected anthropogenic warming. However, ”

    When an abstract starts with hubris like this I stop reading immediatly. If it is published in Nature, I don’t read it at all.

  14. Well, if you believe in Landscheidts theories, there should be cooling up to 2070 and then rapid warming thereafter.

    You can disregard carbon dioxide nonsense and still find other theories which predict late 21st century warming…..

  15. With temperatures around the world already declining we could be in a minimum sooner rather than later.
    But Steven, above, is right, minimums or mini ice ages have led to the collapse of empires, governments have fallen and mobs of starving people will take what they want.

  16. That is my thought too. This could be the start of the next major iceage and governments are busy hyping manmade global warming and not preparing for the coming iceage, which could collapse civilization as we know it.

    • Governments are preparing for all of this by trying to stop us wasting precious hydrocarbons through frivolous uses such as driving motor vehicles.

      They really have our best interests at heart but at least 50% aren’t listening – oh yeah and pigs fly too.

    • Not could – will.
      I hope and pray that the human race has 1000 years to prepare the coming return to full on Glaciation which will last 120K years.
      The last full on glaciation period reduced human kind to 12,000 individuals, mostly related to Eve, a female fossil recovered from the African rift valley area.
      May there be plenty of Eve’s around in 140 K years from now.

      It’s my view that we have been here before, let hope the Warmist haven’t; killed the goose that lays the golden eggs otherwise, the Human race will fight to the end in a forlorn hope and fail at the bitter end, and then make room for the next uplift specie 400K year down the tracks.

  17. I keep seeing people refer to what’s happening now with the sun and weather as a “mini ice age”. Yet not one offers how they know this is a mini rather than a full-blown, real-deal, 100,000 year freeze-up. Is this “mini” part just wishful thinking? We really can’t know until the sun starts getting more active again. If that happens within our lifetimes, then it was “mini”. If not…

    • The next major glaciation will require at least three things to start:
      1 Significant progression in the Earth’s orbit and tilt – 1500 year time span,
      2. A series of linked GSM similar to the MIA from Oort to Maunder, at the same time.
      3. A major geological event which shuts down the Atlantic warm overturning current. The inundation of the African Rift Valley though rifting and the Red Sea and Ethiopia is a prime contender to be the cause.

  18. So Al Gore will be brought to a Sturdy tree branch with rope? He’ll be fine unless caught because he’s rich and has bunker I I BET years of freeze dried food. Oh you id10T’s you won’t have to worry about dieting anymore. Your last FB update of you Disney vacation will be around February 2021 when the Electric grid gets nailed by a massive CME and humans left will need 200 years to rebuild. Unless the Faraday protected Military equipment ( not most ) launch Nukes and finish this life cycle. I’m pissed I didn’t move further South as my career won’t let me but soon, I hope before it hits I can head south but land and prepare to defend against invaders. Strong will survive!

  19. With the position of Saturn and Jupiter in 2024 will possibly drag us up to 10% further from the sun during the winter. Double whammy Very cold

  20. I think there are too many “The end is nigh” sandwich board sign wearers already on the alarmist’s side – we really don’t need to follow them down that road to absurdity (insanity ?) do we ?

    I’ve listened to doom and gloom predictions from the environmental movement for over 50 years and really the climate seems just fine to me, industrialized countries have cleaner air and water than 100 years ago, people live longer, more fulfilling lives and Paul Ehrlich has NEVER been correct !

    I truly believe we should protect what remaining wilderness we have remaining – totally protect it.

    If we were truly humane we could spread this largess more equitably – advanced societies aren’t breeding themselves to extinction by overpopulation – that is the province of the poor !

    Equally false predictions include the global cooling scare of the 70’s (? ?? ), the peak oil scare of the same decade, the Ozone Hole catastrophe, unprecedented global warming and the novel idea that science is ever settled !

    We will just have to wait and see – my money is on the Sun being the prime driver with water vapour (clouds and absorption) influencing the amount of energy making it to the Earth’s surfaces and being the only terrestrial factor that
    really matters.

  21. Doesn´t really matter, the media will say ‘Its colder because its hotter’, or ‘its Trump´s fault’ or ‘its because people don´t pay enough taxes’, or whatever bullshit they come up with.
    And you know what? the population will just believe it. Because sadly most of the people in the West now need someone to tell them what to think, what to buy, and what to feel.

  22. Haven’t noticed this link put up. Here’s the part of the conclusion of the report the article picked out.

    The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data. Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever –despite current claims of record setting warming.

    Finally, since GAST data set validity is a necessary condition for EPA’s GHG/CO2 Endangerment Finding, it too is invalidated by these research findings.

    When blatantly obvious fraud and manipulation such as tghis is being consistently being highlighted how long before a serious overview can be forced upon the legal systems of our supposedly legality led democracies?

    The report.

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