Volcanism may have triggered Little Ice Age

In turn, low sunspot activity may have triggered that volcanism …
and here we go again.

“Little Ice Age began with a bang,” headlines this article in Science News. “Frozen moss suggests climate cooling kicked off fast, possibly with help from volcanoes.”

Baffin Island - Courtesy Wikipedia

“The Little Ice Age, a centuries-long spell of cold summers in Europe and elsewhere, began suddenly late in the 13th century,” writes journalist Devin Powell.

“A string of volcanic explosions may have set off this change in climate by belching particles that reflected sunlight and allowed Arctic sea ice to reach epic proportions.”

“This cooling wasn’t gradual; it was an abrupt shift,” says Gifford Miller, a paleoclimatologist and geologist at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Miller’s team traveled to Canada’s Baffin Island where they carbon dated moss long entombed in the ice. They found “two sudden advances of the snow line that killed off the vegetation: a sudden cold spell between 1275 to 1300, followed by intensifying cold between 1430 and 1455.”

Enter the volcanoes

“The second half of the 13th century had the most volcanism of any period of the past 1,500 years,” says Alan Robock, an atmospheric scientist at Rutgers University.

Polar ice samples have revealed a series of eruptions, says Robock: an especially big explosion somewhere in the world in 1258, and three smaller ones in 1268, 1275 and 1284.

Bingo! Look at those dates! I’ve been yelling for years that a sudden increase in volcanism could drive us into an ice age almost overnight.

Now here’s the proof.

Enter the sunspots

More ominously, and something that Miller and his colleagues may not have noticed, is that both periods of cooling occurred in sync with low sunspot activity.

Those two periods of low sunspot activity are known respectively as the Wolf Minimum and the Sporer Minimum.

Sunspot Grand Minima

When you get to this link, click on the graph again to make it even bigger: http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GrandMinima.gif

Can it be that low sunspot activity triggers volcanic activity on earth? I think it does.

With sunspot activity now at a 100-year low – and forecast to go even lower – can there be any question as to where our climate is headed?

Start stockpiling that food!

See entire article:

Thanks to Steve Foster for this link

15 thoughts on “Volcanism may have triggered Little Ice Age”

  1. I have, since the late forties, suspected that a new iceage was coming. During a longish term of military service I sidetracked, but not completely (the military at that time furnished some very good and varied libraries).

    Even when I was relearning about civil life and returned to libraries and, indeed, began adding to my own. Used books are cheap. I continue to read the old books and find more.

    I am not sure I see a little iceage coming. We are certainly entering a cool period, but (geologically and historically) I believe we are approaching a global climate change, that is to say a genuine, long term, widespread glacial period.

  2. Hi Robert i think you would be pleased to know that bigger debate about GW with in MSM seems to becoming less one side.
    I was watching Australian Sunrise talk back show this morning and there was a debate between two climate scientists.
    One claiming that GW had been debunked by resent rainfall pattens and colder winters around the world.
    The GW bloke was clearly put on the back foot by these factual statements and gave a long sepal about how global warming was a long term trend.
    He ended up finishing off the interview saying that 90% of scientists agreed that GW was happening.
    But the cool part is that there is more of these debates happening in public in Aust the more obvious it is that GW is a scam. That the Australian people want the truth about the server weather pattens effecting them. Not more lies from 90% of government control institutes.

  3. Unfortunately Miller et al are attempting to discredit the Sun for having any effect on our climate, thereby boosting the rhetoric of the IPCC.

    If you look at the volcano data carefully in their paper it is seen that they have mixed in southern hemisphere volcanic action (world data) to boost their claim. Basically if southern records don’t show up in the Greenland record how could they affect moss growth. If you look at the northern hemisphere volcanic data in isolation their spurious claims fall apart.

    Another example of solid peered reviewed rubbish unfortunately.


  4. One of the comments on Science News brought up the frozen and preserved food in the Siberian Mammoths, showing a sudden snap freezing consistent with an impact event also confirmed by the peppering of some Mammoth bones by meteorite type material. That led to a search for links to Bond events and comet impacts and a very interesting article by E.M.Smith :-
    where he does find the possibility of a link to Bond events and explains how.

  5. One fact that can’t be denied is that low sunspot activity always correlates with a colder climate as evidenced by all known past minimums. I believe that we are only beginning to understand the dynamics of the sun’s effect on climate. I also believe that as advances are made in solar physics and climate science, we will come to understand that it is far more complex than we realize, affecting ocean currents, upper atmospheric cooling, long term changes in the jet stream, AO, ENSO and cloud formation. The sun, not volcanoes is the catalyst that drives our climate machine. Does low sunspot activity affect volcano activity? That’s a question that is still unanswered, but it might. If it does, that is only part of the cooling equation. Hopefully, this grand minimum will teach us much that we are yet to understand.

    • “…Hopefully, this grand minimum will teach us much that we are yet to understand …”
      That’s my hope too. It’s time to learn new lessons.

  6. This is a tricky subject. There are two known extra-terrestrial factors known to affect volcanic activity and I suspect there is a third.
    The first is indirect. The sidereal rotation of Earth is slowing but very gradually. This is mainly caused by the moon’s tidal affects on Earth but is given a boost by the sun and its movement around the barycentre. This movement is influenced by the planets and according to Ian Wilson’s recent paper “Are Changes in the Earth’s Rotation Rate Externally Driven and Do They Affect Climate?” it seems that Earth’s sidereal rotation slows slightly more when the sun is affected in the way that brings on a grand minimum. The rotational energy lost by Earth has to go somewhere. About 3% of it apparently goes into increasing the distance between the moon and Earth and, in the past this eventually has caused its phase lock (i.e. it keeps one side facing Earth, which means its rotation takes the same time as it takes to orbit Earth). The rest of the rotational energy is converted to heat very deep below the surface. So at times when Earth’s sidereal rotation is slowing most is when there is more heat generated deep down. There is obviously a lag between this generation of extra heat and the higher incidence of volcanic (and earthquake) activity.
    The second influence occurs when the strength of the sun’s magnetic field is low and stays low for prolonged periods of time. It is to do with the higher muon activity caused by the increase in high energy cosmic rays hitting earth because of the low helio-magnetosphere. A paper entitled “Explosive volcanic eruptions triggered by cosmic rays: Volcano as a bubble chamber”, written by a number of Japanese scientists, explains how this occurs. Although not commented on in the paper the same phenomena would cause earthquake swarms in and around the eroded calderas of some “extinct” volcanoes, like what has happened in Christchurch. For a number of reasons this particularly causes a higher incidence in higher latitudes.
    The third seems more of a hunch at this stage. It is suspected that the low magnetic strength of the sun slightly increases the movement of tectonic plates, which would also increase volcanic and major earthquake activity. Since 2004, when the sunspot activity started to drop significantly there were 11 Earthquakes at or above level 8 but it took 35 years for the previous 11 of that magnitude. Of course this could all be explained by the effect of the conversion of extra rotational energy into heat energy but there are some scientists who think the sun’s magnetic strength plays a part. They may be right, they may not!

  7. So a massive energy source in our cosmological back yard is affecting our weather and geology! Who would have thought it?!

    The astrophysicist Piers Corbyn at http://www.weatheraction.com/ uses the sun’s activity for remarkably accurate long range weather forecasting. He is also now developing a method for forecasting increased earthquake and volcano activity, again based on the sun’s activity. Both methods are works in progress and are frequently modified to improve accuracy.

    Like Robert, Piers feels a little ice age is on the way, and that global warming is a scam. Too many invested interests (money, power and egos) in the global warming camp, but objective science is winning through.

    Keep warm – and well fed!

    Best wishes, Nick

  8. If your sunspot cycle data is accurate (I must say I’d like to know the original source of it as I’ve never seen data before back beyond 1700), then I’m not sure it can be the whole story, because little ice ages last far longer than the Hale cycle at minimum amplitude in the 200 odd year cycle you represent. Also, you have similar minima when the medieval climatic optimum was taking place.

    You’re going to need to invoke an amplification effect, probably involving sea ice, glacier advance and longer levels of more widespread snow cover to explain a little ice age of a few hundred years. Volcanoes may indeed be the answer, but the ‘Einstein eureka’ moment may be if you can causally link huge volcanic activity with periods of solar grand minima.

  9. I read somewhere long ago that the Sun, besides having the 11 year sunspot cycle, also has a 110 year cycle. I’ve tried looking around for that info but have been unable. Maybe someone else knows about this?

  10. Where I am, (Southwest Caribbean) We are waiting for the low clouds to disappear, and the normal blue skies to dominate.

    This is the dry season (December thru May) which means clear skies, and steady wind. The wind is normal, but where is the sun?

    It has been proven that cosmic rays cause low clouds to form, blocking some solar insolation. We are currently experiencing high cosmic ray activity. Lets add this to the list of probable causes for cold weather.

  11. If you look at satellite maps low grey cloud often shows up all the way from Antarctica to Australia and seems to increase every year. Our recent floods are only a harbinger for what is to come. The climate has shifted and it is cold and wet ahead.

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