They dismiss their findings by saying the ice age will merely be “regional” (as if full-fledged ice ages aren’t also “regional.”)
A rapid decline in the Sun’s activity is making it increasingly likely that the world is headed into a “grand solar minimum,” says a spokesman for the British Met Office.
The last grand solar minimum – the Maunder Minimum – is thought to have contributed to what is known as the “Little Ice Age” during the 17th and 18th Centuries.
The Maunder Minimum was a time of almost no sunspots from 1645-1715. It was a time of cooler winters in eastern North America and Europe when the Thames froze so solidly that horse-driven carriages were able to cross the river on the ice.
There is about a one-in-five chance of the Sun entering the same kind of cooling phase within the next 40 years, a new study shows.
“During the Maunder Minimum period there were runs of cold winters including 1684 which was the coldest winter recorded,” says Met Office long-range expert professor Adam Scaife. In fact, “there are signs that solar activity has been dropping over the past decade.”
“Solar activity levels, or solar flux, are currently estimated to be at their lowest for the last 100 years,” agreed James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather.
Not enough to save the world from global warming
However, scientists warn that this will not be enough to save the world from global warming.
“Even if you do go into Maunder minimum conditions it’s not going to combat global warming, the sun’s not going to save us,” said Sarah Ineson, Met Office scientist and lead author of the study.
A grand solar minimum is more likely to affect certain regional areas, but not on a worldwide scale, said Ineson. “It could have impacts at a regional level that should be factored in to decisions about adapting to climate change.” (italics added)
Northern Europe and the eastern United States would experience much stronger cooling than other areas because less ultraviolet solar energy at the top of the stratosphere would cause a chain reaction which would affect the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the study found. The NAO plays a key role in influencing winter weather on both sides of the Atlantic.
A changing NAO would also take storms in a more southerly direction, bringing more rainfall to southern Europe and slightly lessening the drying trend the region is (supposedly) set to experience because of climate change.
Eastern North America and Europe are merely “regional?”
I think saying that a Little Ice Age would merely be “regional” is a mealy-mouthed way of trying to hide reality.
Full-fledged ice ages are also “regional.”
Consider. During the last ice age, even though much of Canada was buried beneath one to two miles of ice, temperatures in much of the rest of the world barely changed. The tropics and subtropics were only four degrees colder, while the equatorial rainforest belt remained much the same as today.
By the time it stopped, the ice had claimed almost three times as much land as today: more than 17 million square miles. (Not by Fire but by Ice, p. 150.)
How much land would need to be covered by ice, I wonder, before these so-called scientists could bring themselves to admit that an ice age affects the entire world?
It may be “regional,” but when most of the wheat-growing regions of the world are covered by ice, it will be catastrophic.
See entire articles:
Thanks to Jack Hydrazine, Ian, JH Walker and Angela Rambolosik for these links
Note: The paper, “Regional Climate Impacts of a Possible Future Grand Solar Minimum,” comes from a UK and US team based at Cambridge, Oxford and Reading universities, as well as the Met Office and the University of Colorado in Boulder, and was published in the journal Nature Communications.