HolyCoast: The Global Warming Minimum

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Global Warming Minimum

Jonah Goldberg notes that the sun has been very quiet lately, and interestingly enough, that quiet period seems to correspond to a cooler climate:
Assuming there are no sunspots today, a 96-year record will have been broken: 53 days without any solar blemishes, giant magnetic disruptions on the sun's surface that cause solar flares. That would be the fourth-longest stretch of stellar solar complexion since 1849. Wait, it gets even more exciting.

During what scientist call the Maunder Minimum -- a period of solar inactivity from 1645 to 1715 -- the world experienced the worst of the cold streak dubbed the Little Ice Age. At Christmastime, Londoners ice skated on the Thames, and New Yorkers (then New Amsterdamers) sometimes walked over the Hudson from Manhattan to Staten Island.

Of course, it could have been a coincidence. The Little Ice Age began before the onset of the Maunder Minimum. Many scientists think volcanic activity was a more likely, or at least a more significant, culprit. Or perhaps the big chill was, in the words of scientist Alan Cutler, writing in the Washington Post in 1997, a "one-two punch from a dimmer sun and a dustier atmosphere."

Well, we just might find out. A new study in the American Geophysical Union's journal Eos suggests that we may be heading into another quiet phase similar to the Maunder Minimum.

Meanwhile, the journal Science reports that a study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, or NCAR, has finally figured out why increased sunspots have a dramatic effect on the weather, increasing temperatures more than the increase in solar energy should explain. Apparently, sunspots heat the stratosphere, which in turn amplifies the warming of the climate.

Scientists have known for centuries that sunspots affected the climate; they just never understood how. Now, allegedly, the mystery has been solved.
As you read on you'll see that this information is not slowing down the global warming activists who insist this is just a blip in their long-term forecast of impending global warming disaster.

I've had a number of posts on the sunspot issue over the years, including "It's the Sun, Stupid". The connection between sunspots and climate has been obvious for quite awhile, but completely lost on the warmies.

I suggest we call this new minimum the "Global Warming Minimum" since we're all being assured that global warming is continuing despite the cooler climate and absense of sunspots. Should the earth head into a Maunder Minimum-type period with very cold winters and mild summers, the warmies can use their old global warming forecasts for fuel, or perhaps stuff them into their coats for those freezing June days.


Sam L. said...

Global Warming Minimum! A 16" battlehip shot across the bow! Great phrase.

Bob Hughes said...

Didn't we hear predictions that when Obama was elected, the planet would begin cooling and we all would be saved? I'm sure he will be given the credit!