Study: solar activity lull increases chances of cold UK winters

From the Institute of Physics

More than 1 in 10 chance of colder UK winters

The UK mostly covered in snow, December 2nd, 2010 - click to enlarge

As the Sun enters a period of low solar activity over the next 50 years, new research has calculated the probability of unusually cold winter temperatures occurring in the UK.

Last year, the same group of researchers, from the University of Reading, linked colder winters in Europe to low solar activity and predicted that the Sun is moving into a particularly low period of activity, meaning the UK will experience more cold winters in the future – potentially similar to those experienced in the Maunder minimum at the end of the 17th century.

The new research, published today, Tuesday 5 July 2011, in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, supports recent suggestions that sunspot activity is waning, and goes further, using the behaviour of the Sun over the last 9300 years to predict the probabilities of future solar changes.

Over the next 50 years, the researchers show that the probability of the Sun returning to Maunder minimum conditions is about 10 per cent, raising the chances that the average winter temperature will fall below 2.5 oC to around 1 in 7, assuming all other factors, including man-made effects and El Niño, remain constant.

Put in context, the average UK winter temperature for the last 20 years has been 5.04 oC, however the last three winters have averaged 3.50 °C, 2.53 °C and 3.13 °C, with 2009/10 being the 14th coldest in the last 160 years.

The increased probability of colder winters could hold great value for national infrastructure planning by government organisations who have struggled to adapt to the extreme weather conditions experienced in the UK over the past two years.

It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change, which is concerned with average temperatures for all parts of the world and all times of year. The reported changes only apply in winter and are regional – for example, when the winter is colder in Europe it tends to be warmer in Greenland so that there is almost no effect on the global mean.

These studies obtained the average temperatures between December and February for the past 352 years from the Central England Temperature (CET) data series – the world’s longest instrumental temperature record, maintained by the UK Met Office, extending back to 1659.

This data set was combined with records of the Sun’s activity obtained through the analysis of ‘cosmogenic isotopes’, which are specific types of carbon and beryllium that are known to be influenced by the Sun.

The magnetic field of the Sun protects the Earth from galactic cosmic rays, which, as they hit the Earth’s atmosphere, generate the cosmogenic isotopes which are then deposited in tree trunks and ice sheets. These cosmogenic isotopes can be collected and dated providing a unique insight into the Sun’s variability on timescales ranging from years to millennia.

Data from the cosmogenic isotopes suggests that we are currently coming to the end of a grand solar maximum – a period of intense activity in the Sun – and will therefore experience lower solar activity conditions in future,.

Many researchers have argued that temperature changes attributed to the Sun are, in reality, just caused by the internal variability of the climate system; however, the authors have used this 352-year temperature record to show that there is some, albeit small, predictive skill to be gained from solar activity despite it being just one of a number of factors that influence UK weather.

One mechanism that suggests a link between the Sun and recent cold winters is ‘blocking’. Low solar activity causes extensive anticyclones that persist for several weeks in the Atlantic Ocean, causing the warm westerly winds to be replaced by cold, continental north-easterly winds. Depending on the position of the anticyclone, this can also lead to clear skies at night causing the land to cool even further.

Lead author Professor Mike Lockwood said, “Our results show that over the next fifty years there is a 10 per cent chance that temperatures will return to Maunder minimum levels. Describing the Maunder minimum as a ‘little ice age’ is somewhat misleading however.

“Cold winters were indeed more common during the Maunder minimum but there were also some very warm ones between them, summers were not colder, and the drop in average temperatures was not nearly as great, nor as global, as during a real ice age.”

###

From Tuesday 5 July (when the link goes active) this journal paper can be found at http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/3/034004

h/t to reader “a jones”

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106 Responses to Study: solar activity lull increases chances of cold UK winters

  1. Brian H says:

    7:1, huh? I’ll take those odds. If a bought-and-paid-for warmist scientist admits of any natural variability involvement, it’s sure to dominate.

  2. tango says:

    here in australia we are having a very cold winter as at the 5/07/2011 we are having a blizard in our snowy mountain area 36cm in of snow in 24 hour very cold in eastern australian heavy snow is forcast for 3 more days this is a major dump all skiers are very happy

  3. Cold winters coupled with “London could be flooded within 100 years as melting Arctic ice causes sea levels to rise by up to 900cm (3ft), a new study shows.” means it is time to buy shares in ice-skate suppliers.

    Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/868174-melting-arctic-ice-to-flood-london-in-100-years-if-global-warming-continues#ixzz1RDGMCJwi

  4. Brian Johnson uk says:

    Nice to think that the decommissioning of really essential Nuclear and Coal Powered stations and the massive increase in on and offshore wind power [both virtually useless as either frozen and/or static during winter months and summer highs] we Brits will have to be wearing our thermals continuously from about November to April whilst paying through the nose for our subsidised “Renewable” power. Add the cost of gas powered back up generators when the wind is too strong or non existent and one wonders if Cameron and his cronies have any idea what they are doing to our country.
    This Government is pathetic and should be encouraging Thorium Power generation and cancelling ALL wind power monetary Black Holes.

  5. ‘It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change, which is concerned with average temperatures for all parts of the world and all times of year. The reported changes only apply in winter and are regional – for example, when the winter is colder in Europe it tends to be warmer in Greenland so that there is almost no effect on the global mean.’

    Some dodgy logic here- durely low solar activity would have a global effect
    S. Young

  6. wayne says:

    IOW, our climate has not really changed a bit… a warmer season here, a cooler season there, influenced by the sun over decades.

    This GLOBAL climate change is a crock!

  7. Lew Skannen says:

    Nothing that a new tax can’t remedy.

  8. TBear (Warm Cave in Cold-as-Snow-Sydney) says:

    Seriously, is it not the case that given all the complexities on planet earth there is just no chance that the warminsts have anything more to offer than a reasonably based speculation about what might or might not happen?

    Why is so much attemtion being paid to this esoteric science?

    The Bear pulls on an extra jumper. It is focking freezing, here in Sydney.

  9. Gareth Phillips says:

    Actually I think that should be “ the people of the UK are experiencing colder winters” as opposed to “can expect to” It been ruddy freezing here for the last couple of years.

  10. R.S.Brown says:

    Simple Solar links:

    For graphs of the current spot count oberservations, Planetary A and
    solar flux indices:

    http://www.solen.info/solar/

    For last month’s (June ’11) official international spot count:

    http://sidc.oma.be/products/ri_hemispheric/

    …and the Daily Solar Data reports from NOAA:

    http://www.swpc/noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/DSD.txt

  11. gyptis444 says:

    How does (lower) solar activity selectively lower temperatures at one geographic location while simultaneously increasing temperatures at another location in the same hemisphere? Is that really what happened at the time of the Maunder Minimum?

  12. David Archibald says:

    But my the warmers are mischievous imps! With another cold winter coming up, they are giving themselves an out by saying it is a one in seven probability. With three cold winters in a row already, what is they chance of having four cold winters in a row when the chance of having one is one in seven?

  13. AusieDan says:

    Do I understand this correctly?
    Solar activity affects the UK but not the rest of the globe?
    Is that really likely?
    Really and truely?

  14. Richard111 says:

    Cherry picking as an art form?

  15. RobertvdL says:

    Great Britain does not produce cold in winter nor heat in summer. To have cold winters the cold has to come from the north. To have hot summers the heat has to come from the south. If cold escapes from the north warm air must flow in from the south.
    So I predict less sea ice on the North Pole if Britain gets colder in winter.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    “the average UK winter temperature for the last 20 years has been 5.04 oC, however the last three winters have averaged 3.50 °C, 2.53 °C and 3.13 °C, with 2009/10 being the 14th coldest in the last 160 years.”

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
    “for example, when the winter is colder in Europe it tends to be warmer in Greenland so that there is almost no effect on the global mean.”

    “One mechanism that suggests a link between the Sun and recent cold winters is ‘blocking’. Low solar activity causes extensive anticyclones that persist for several weeks in the Atlantic Ocean, causing the warm westerly winds to be replaced by cold, continental north-easterly winds. Depending on the position of the anticyclone, this can also lead to clear skies at night causing the land to cool even further.”

    The same thing is going on on the South Pole. Less sea ice formation and more cold air in South America Australia and New Zealand
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/gfs/current/nhdt.html

  16. jason says:

    Time to burn more carbon….

  17. rbateman says:

    There is one critical component not mentioned in the abstract above: If the Sun has any effect on climate (highly suspected), there is no way for Earth to feed back to the Sun to counteract. The effects that Svensmark is studying, should they turn out to be measurable and cumulative, would affect Earth semi-globally. Semi-globally because the GCR’s strike Earth predominately from the mid latitudes to maximum at the Poles of Earth.
    Point: There is nothing the climate of Earth can do to alter what radiates into Earth, save albedo, and if those levels are altered by the Sun and Galaxy, the Earth must change. Ergo, under those circumstances, Man has but one choice: Adapt.
    Time alone will tell what the Max and Min parameters of such a system are.
    Alarmists need not apply to the following:
    As for Ice Age conditions, one or more of a series of Maunder Minimums would be the 1st clues of the downturn into the next one. Subsequent recoveries out of Little Ice Ages would fall short repeatedly, which would be the final clues. Millenia are required. A quick glance at the slight downturn from the Holocene Max hints that the 1st clues have already taken place. Are we already sliding, though slowly and steadily? One of the Interglacials (out of the last 8) sported a double hump, and an extra 10,000 years to turn over onto itself. Are we lucky, or are we whistling in the wind?

  18. majde says:

    There is a Palestinian named researcher
    Samer tarawa
    Link between the Eastern Mediterranean cooling and high solar activity
    Unlike Europe
    Very cool this study
    Increase of solar activity means cooling the Eastern Mediterranean such as Palestine and Jordan ..
    Low solar activity means cooling Europe
    http://www.palweather.ps/?page=details&newsID=654&cat=3

  19. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Surprise, surprise
    University of Reading people are regular visitors to my websites during since 1998

    IP Address……….134.225.100.180 [Label IP Address]
    Country……….United Kingdom
    Region ………. Reading
    City………. Reading
    ISP………. The University Of Reading, Uk

    Hi Reading Uni .
    Anyone likes to identify him/her -self in person ?

  20. PhilC says:

    Can we look forward to 1940s style winters?

  21. Stephen Brown says:

    But Huhne will continue on his mad-cap course of covering this once scepter’d isle with his favourite bird mincers, not one of which will generate any electricity when the stillness of a snowy night descends on us here in the UK.

  22. berniel says:

    It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change, which is concerned with average temperatures for all parts of the world and all times of year. The reported changes only apply in winter and are regional – for example, when the winter is colder in Europe it tends to be warmer in Greenland so that there is almost no effect on the global mean.

    Just as Michael Jankowski says of the Kaufmann article:

    Any journal publication (and even many press releases and news articles) that doesn’t fit into the usual scaremongering seems to have a disclaimer that notes man-made global warming (or climate change) is real and happening. It is like it’s a requirement for publication. “Ok, you are allowed to present your findings, but we need you to add a statement in your conclusions to reinforce the IPCC position…”

    It reminds me of the disclaimers scientists had to make to appease the theologians in the 18th and 19th centuries.

  23. C Porter says:

    Unfortunately, this research was headed by Professor Mike Lockwood, who is firmly in the warmist camp and therefore is unable or unwilling to apply an objective judgement as to the true mechanisms surrounding the sun’s increasingly quiescent state.

    He goes half way in recognising the cosmic ray variability as a function of the sun’s activity in so far as this is a necessary part of his analysis via cosmogenic isotopes, but fails to mention the increasingly probable Svenmark cosmic ray interaction with clouds theory even as a possible mechanism. Instead he trumpets the official paradigm, which he has endorsed with his own research, that the sun’s activity was beginning to wane at the same time as temperatures were increasing between 1980 and 2000. He makes no account of the fact that we were in a strongly positive PDO, or that the temperature record was heavily contaminated by UHI, or of any inertia in the system. His only contribution to a mechanism this time is that the reduced activity of the sun can cause anticyclonic blocking, which can give us very cold winters. He fails to mention that the same process, when it results in blocked heat waves, such as the Russian heat wave last year is inevitably claimed to be caused by AGW by the likes of Hansen and others.

    When these “scientists” can admit that they have little idea what the mechanisms are and begin to apply the same standard of criticism to their own pet theories rather than slavishly reinforcing the official party line, then I will be happy to recognise them as scientists.

  24. RobertvdL says:

    And USA winters

    Global warming can have a profound and negative impact on our outdoor recreation opportunities and businesses,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D, Calif.). “We are already seeing decreases in the amount of snowpack in certain western areas of the United States. These decreases in snowpack and in the length of the snow season can directly impact activities like skiing and snowmobiling, which are key aspects of outdoor winter recreation.”

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/barbara-boxer-warned-of-short-ski-seasons/

  25. Alan the Brit says:

    Nice to see Prof Mike “yo-yo” Lockwood taking an active role in studying the Sun & it’s potential effects upon the Earth! How quaint that he now suggests that the Earth’s climate could cool (only in Britain – so far), yet he told reporters a little while ago that we shouldn’t expect to see any cooling due to reduced Solar activity, as we would have done so by now. Now, let me boringly reitierate the UNIPCC/SPM,THE world’s leading climate authority, in my own words, “We don’t really know what effect element ‘A’ (Sun), has on element ‘B’ (Earth’s Climate), but we know for absolute certainanty that element ‘C’ (manmade CO2) over powers it! Makes perfect senes to me, NOT! Remind me not to take any long-term financial investment advice from them, or Lehman Brothers for that matter! Oh I forgot, they went bust within two years of producing a couple of investment reports about Climate Change in 2100!!!!! Dear Mr Disney, I would very much like to make a fantasy film all about………………………………………………………..!

  26. Chris gray says:

    “It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change, which is concerned with average temperatures for all parts of the world and all times of year. The reported changes only apply in winter and are regional – for example, when the winter is colder in Europe it tends to be warmer in Greenland so that there is almost no effect on the global mean.”

    The usual caveat, So solar influences are only pertinant to the UK. I dont think so!

  27. rc says:

    I think we can see here, and in other recent studies how climate scientists are going to back down.

    “It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change”

    Counter “consensus” ideas followed by the disclaimer. In other (Orwellian?) words it’s getting colder but it’s still getting warmer.

  28. Annie says:

    Gosh Anthony! So much good reading, and not the time to keep up with it properly atm. I hope to come back to it all next week.

  29. JohnH says:

    It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change, which is concerned with average temperatures for all parts of the world and all times of year. The reported changes only apply in winter and are regional – for example, when the winter is colder in Europe it tends to be warmer in Greenland so that there is almost no effect on the global mean.

    Translation, AGW is rubbish but if we say that we get no funding so we are towing the party line.

    Funny how the global temps were really lower last winter during and after Britains big freeze.

  30. cedarhill says:

    Interesting that galactic cosmic particles are used to measure periods of quiet magnetic blocking by the Sun. However slowly, the physics may leak out in our lifetime and especially within the lifetime of Svenmark.

  31. jones says:

    We best get those windmills up……

    Pronto……….

    Especially for the coldest days in the middle of the winters to come…….

  32. “It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change, which is concerned with average temperatures for all parts of the world and all times of year.”

    The above quote sounds like the statement of a heretic before the Grand Inquisitor…….’We want to do science but must not offend the Authorities!’ Just a few more observations and they may be able to extend their research to summers as well and eventually clear up the whole mess.

    ntesdorf

  33. Christopher Hanley says:

    “….Cold winters were indeed more common during the Maunder minimum but there were also some very warm ones between them, summers were not colder, and the drop in average temperatures was not nearly as great, nor as global, as during a real ice age….”
    And very comforting indeed it must be to UK residents to be reassured there is no likelihood that the winter temperature in the next ~50 years will drop say 10°C, particularly since the country faces a “colossal energy gap”:
    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article-1361316/250bn-wind-power-industry-greatest-scam-age.html

  34. Patrick Davis says:

    So the Sun, and not only human emissions of CO2, is a factor in climate change on this 3rd rock from the Sun? Well it’s worse than they thought (For their funding)!

  35. Pete in Cumbria UK says:

    For proof of how cold it was here last winter – ask almost any gardener.
    Some brave souls round here like to grow ‘Monkey Puzzles’ (Arucaria) ) (sp) Almost all trees local to here have (what looks like) been badly burned and young trees with shallow root systems entirely killed. My local garden centre lost his entire stock – about one dozen 2 meter tall specimens he was selling for £150 ea (they were still in pots)
    Also, most Eucalyptus (species Gunnii- I think) have been killed, I had a mature tree (over 25 years old) and this last winter killed it. Young trees are throwing up new shoots but older ones can’t do that.
    It was cold.

  36. ursus augustus says:

    they really are a bit of a giggle aren’t they, these warmist carpetbaggers. They cannot be seen to abandon the cause and risk open public ridicule to which there would be no comeback so they ‘fineagle the truth’ as the Irish put it (NEWS FLASH – MILDER THAN USUAL RIDICULE HEAPED UPON WARMIST BACKTRACKERS. )

    I mean a Solar minimum only affecting the UK. What Western Europe misses out too? Isle of Wight – Hot – Cold? The Channel Islands ??

    Thishas all the hallmarks of making the French and German retreats from Moscow seem like a slight detour.

  37. Steeptown says:

    But UKCIP, with its super computer models, is predicting warmer, wetter winters for the UK

  38. RockyRoad says:

    Steeptown says:
    July 5, 2011 at 3:58 am

    But UKCIP, with its super computer models, is predicting warmer, wetter winters for the UK

    It’s true–emphasize the “warmer” algorithm and the “wetter” algorithm and completely misinterpret the solar algorithm (or leave it out altogether) and that’s what the high-tech box will spit out–exactly what the “researchers” were looking for–just the opposite of reality.

  39. John G says:

    No doubt about it, they’re compelled to genuflect in the general direction of global warming.

  40. Beesaman says:

    Don’t expect Richard Black of the BBC to report any of this, he only seems to do warmist stuff. I’d love to know what his connections to the AGW gang are, he seems to post up anything related to them pretty damned fast!
    Not a peep out of him about the recent climate conference either.

  41. John Law says:

    The new tax to solve this problem with the Sun (probably man made) can be called Maunder Money, or has that already be used by the Queen.

  42. Lord Beaverbrook says:

    ‘It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change, which is concerned with average temperatures for all parts of the world and all times of year. The reported changes only apply in winter and are regional – for example, when the winter is colder in Europe it tends to be warmer in Greenland so that there is almost no effect on the global mean.’

    So as far as regions are concerned cooling in one region is offset by warming in another and has no overall effect on global temperatures, but as far as warming is concerned there are no cooler regions to offset the warming! So the prediction of land based ice loss giving increased sea level rise has of course taken into account the increase in land based ice in other regions, not.

  43. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    Notice how they bend over backwards to emphasize that colder winters in the UK have no effect on global temperature because Greenland would be warmer and it all averages out.

    There is absolutely no evidence that Greenland was warmer when the winters in the UK were colder during the Maunder minimum.

    That assertion is therefore complete nonsense, bordering on dissembling. Clearly designed to avoid the otherwise obvious conclusion that actually the Sun has a rather more important effect than anything men could do.

  44. Viv Evans says:

    So if, according to Prof Lockwood, we might perhaps prudently prepare for ‘more of the same’ in the coming winter – note the hint to local councils in the UK, who need to plan how much grit they might need come the snow – what can he or his colleagues tell us about the present ‘summer’? Because it ain’t warm in the UK, never mind hot …

  45. Jordan says:

    But..but…snow is going to be a distant memory!

    Nice to know that GB has its own special little micro-climate. I suppose that leaves no place for CET in the “instrumental record” as any past increase in CET cannot imply global warming.

  46. Joe Lalonde says:

    Anthony,

    Interesting how the sun’s heat has not changed. Just the solar activity.

    Yet we still fail to study changes of pressure on this planet which generates many an anomaly.
    From ocean salt changes to the shifting ocean heat and the failing of oceans to pick up more solar radiation, which is being deflected.
    A stretched atmosphere is the boom and bust cycle of Ice Ages.

  47. Luther Wu says:

    No,No,No- it’s not the sun, it’s China causing the cooling…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/04/us-climate-sulphur-idUSTRE7634IQ20110704

    not everyone gets the memo(s)

  48. Richy Roo says:

    some torturous logic here from the warmist priest.
    The authors are making a typical warmist argument from ignorance.
    The CET dataset covers the Maunder, which was the most recent example of a low sunspot driven cool period.
    There is no dataset which covers the same period for Greenland.
    However there is more recent data which shows an inverse corellation between Greenland and England winter intensity.
    To claim that this correlation will also exist in the low solar activity conditions is an argument from ignorance, which is typical of warmies who treat their hysterical post normal faith as though it were the nuill hypothetical position.
    Its similar to their previous claims of ‘unprecented’ warming in an absence of data which could provide any information either way.
    Their further claim that these cold conditions weren’t global is simmilarly unsound, as we simply dont have data to make a claim either way. Common sense would suggest that cosmogenic cloud forcing is likely to affect the whole globe, of course warmists arent famous for common sense.

  49. Ruairi says:

    The climatic effects of the Dalton Minimum( 1795-1830) are well recorded and I recall a report stating that 7 out of 10 winters in large areas of the Northern Hemisphere, at the very least, had severe winters.The last Frost Fairs on the Thames happened during the Dalton Minimum

  50. fenbeagle says:

    Colder winters?!!! The world is warming up, the sea levels are rising!

    The wizard of Oz
    http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/ivery-towers/

  51. thingadonta says:

    Just as Gillard is proposing a carbon tax in Australia the Gore effect is striking, severe cold weather predicted for next 5 days in Easter Australia, check it out! Possbly the strongest cold front Ive ever seen. http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/charts/4day_col.shtml

  52. polistra says:

    Best thing about this study is that it uses the CET record. Both sides have been focusing almost entirely on the various “adjusted” and “homogenized” records supposedly creating a global average. You can’t do science or even ordinary life properly unless you start with REAL and CONSISTENT measurements, adjusted only by the immediate process of calibrating the REAL instrument.

  53. Pull My Finger says:

    The sun never sets on the British Empire…. right? :)

    “The usual caveat, So solar influences are only pertinant to the UK. I dont think so!”

  54. Alex says:

    I smell desperation in the AGW church.

  55. Europeanonion says:

    Last night on Radio Four Quentin Cooper questioned the efficacy of climate models but still managed to come up with a formula that suggested greater purturbation in a negative sense. It wouold appear that the models underestimated the likelyhood of some catastrophic climate change. Perhaps it was too much to hope that some hopefulness would emanate from such a finding. Perhaps this prmpted by Bristol University looking for some notoriety rather than some propensity of our planet. It may just be that we have hoovered the atmosphere of it pollutants so maticulously that we have run out of dust to deflect that which warms us. The experience of China is that its pollutants are coercing a cooler environment. This factor, it is said, will return to the general pattern that the warmists predict if the polluting sources are ever removed! Carry on polluting, is that the answer? We have known for some time how climate models have beem engineered to reflect the will of their controllers. I recall Gordon Browns Treasury Model, the wheels fell off!

  56. I think the story could benefit from a little more context.
    For the last few years, we’ve been told here in the UK that the winter weather is exceptionally cold, and that this is not likely to continue. For those of us with longer memories there has been nothing remarkable about the last three winters, it was the mild ones preceding that were unusual.
    Look at the figures. The last twenty years, we’re told, the average winter temperature was 5.04C. That must mean that, excluding the three recent cold winters, there were seventeen years, 1991-2007, with an average of around 5.39C.
    Now look at this link, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/6672631/British-winter-to-be-milder-says-Met.html, where the Met Office, bless ‘em, were predicting a mild winter for 2009/10. They say that the average winter temperature in the UK since 1971 was 3.7C – and that includes all of the warm winters of the nineties and the noughties. What was it like in the seventies and eighties ? Go figure.
    Each year the press compare our ‘exceptionally cold weather’ with the average of the last twenty years. The truth is that those years 1991-2007 were the exception. The recent years have been normal UK winter weather, taking the longer view.
    Given all this, putting the odds of average winter temperatures here falling to 2.5C in the coming solar hiatus at one in seven seems a tad optimistic. It seems these guys are relying on the CO2 to keep us warm. I think I’d rather trust in a good overcoat.

  57. starzmom says:

    How does Barbara Boxer feel about the current ski season? Last I heard the slopes were still open in some parts of California, and if they weren’t, it wasn’t for lack of snow. Maybe all the ski instructors had to leave to go teach surfing somewhere.

  58. Susie says:

    One of the best indicators that snow and cold is on the way for the UK is a Greenland/Scandinavian blocking high. High pressure in winter has EXACTLY the same effect when it’s over Greenland as it would if it were over the UK — i.e. cold clear nights — high pressure systems bring a clockwise airflow in the northern hemisphere straight from the North Pole. So why Lockwood imagines Greenland would be warmer is hard to understand.

  59. Steeptown says:

    Weren’t we told that the chance of a severe winter in the UK was 1 in 20 (or something like that; the memory ain’t what it used to be). We’ve had three severe winters in a row, ie a 1 in 8000 event. So the probability of getting more severe winters is so low as to be complete fantasy. Or am I mssing something???? Can anybody remember the details?

  60. pat says:

    4 July: BBC: Paul Hudson blog: Unsettled June weather to extend into July
    It’s still early days, but with the half way stage of summer approaching, so far only Piers Corbyn at Weather Action can claim any success with this summer’s forecast.
    He argued consistently that Summer 2011 would be unsettled because of, in part, continued weak solar activity, which would at times push the Jet stream further south than normal.
    Longer term, heading towards mid-July, there are signs that although westerly winds will dominate, pressure may build in southern areas, leading to traditional set up across the UK…
    This is exactly the type of weather pattern that is most common across the British Isles at this time of year.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2011/07/unsettled-june-weather-to-exte.shtml

    some might like to check the comments as well.

  61. Gary Pearse says:

    The British Empire upon which the sun never used to set still has its centre-of-the-world mind I guess. The mighty sun has a serious affect on UK winters only. And by the way, while they were having barbeque winters in Greenland, we were freezing our asses off to the west i n Canada and US during those years, and in the SH, crocodiles, fish, domestic stock and children were freezing in S. America.

    http://bing.search.sympatico.ca/?q=Coldest%20winter%20in%20South%20America&mkt=en-ca&setLang=en-CA

    “At least 175 people have died in the coldest winter in South America in recent years, officials in six affected countries said, dpa reported.The cold was worst in southern Peru ..,,Argentina – Sixteen people froze to death ..,.In Bolivia, 18 people died, in Paraguay five and two each in Chile and Uruguay. Nine people died of the cold in southern Brazil. Thousands of cattle also froze to death on their pastures in Paraguay and Brazil. …,”

  62. Mycroft says:

    God help us,if the winters in the UK are to get colder,then there will be a large loss of life amongst the older population.Energy bills have just gone up ..again. With no long term planning for energy beyond wind power, this country is in decline on the industrial,social and economically front.Mass civil disobedience seems the only way ,as politicians will not listen any more

    With jobs going to economic migrants, industry going abroad because of spiralling energy costs the failing social frabric of this once great country has already started.What sort of country will be left for the next generation coming up?
    I have already told my children to get out as quickly as posssible, to find a new country to live in where a consensus will NOT erode a country and the ability to live a decent life.

  63. henrythethird says:

    “…It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change, which is concerned with average temperatures for all parts of the world and all times of year. The reported changes only apply in winter and are regional – for example, when the winter is colder in Europe it tends to be warmer in Greenland so that there is almost no effect on the global mean…”

    So let’s see – when its summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere (and vice-versa). Yep, sounds global to me.

    They’re trying hard to keep the “global” variations out of the story, and simply call the projected cold a “weather variability” event.

  64. John Finn says:

    gyptis444 says:
    July 5, 2011 at 1:33 am

    How does (lower) solar activity selectively lower temperatures at one geographic location while simultaneously increasing temperatures at another location in the same hemisphere? Is that really what happened at the time of the Maunder Minimum?

    The theory is (and, to be fair.has been for some time) that changes in solar activity result in shifts in weather patterns. Lockwood’s only repeating what other scientists hypothesised several years earlier.

    Is this what happened during the maunder minimum?

    It’s almost certainly a contributry factor to the NW Europe climate during the maunder period. . Remember that summer temperatures didn’t vary that much from normal throughout the Maunder and Dalton periods. Why not? If the sun (TSI) had a direct influence then we’d expect to see summer temperatures drop at least as much as those in winter.

    Basically, there doesn’t appear to have been a significant drop in incoming solar energy during the Maunder – nor is there likely to be in the next 20-30 years (there hasn’t been in the last 5 years of low activity) so , while some regions can expect some seasonal climate shifts, the global temperatures as measured by the surface and satellite (UAH/RSS) records are unlikely to fall very far – and may even continue to rise.

  65. Stephen Wilde says:

    To have the effect observed those variations in solar activity levels have to shift the surface air pressure distribution so as to favour a change in prevailing wind direction over Western Europe.

    Given the chaotic variability of short term weather I cannot see how the system could isoilate such an effect in a single region over any length of time. There have to be global implications.

    Furthermore changing the surface air pressure distribution requires a change in the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere and I cannot see how the sun could localise it’s effect to a single hemisphere let alone a single region within one hemisphere.

    Thus once one accepts such a link to solar activity in any region in either hemisphere one must proceed to apply logic and follow where it leads.

    Which is here:

    http://www.irishweatheronline.com/features-2/wilde-weather/the-sun-could-control-earths-temperature/290.html

  66. Jean Meeus says:

    Murray Grainger says:
    July 5, 2011 at 12:19 am
    Cold winters coupled with “London could be flooded within 100 years as melting Arctic ice causes sea levels to rise by up to 900cm (3ft), a new study shows.” means it is time to buy shares in ice-skate suppliers.
    ———————————————–
    Three feet = 90 centimeters, not 900 centimeters.

  67. Mike Jackson says:

    Richard Briscoe
    For what it’s worth the CET winter average for 1971-2011 (D/J/F) was 4.52. High 6.50 in 1989: Low 1.57 in 1979. The 1991-2011 average was 4.65. The warmest winter in the whole 350 year record was 1869 when the figure was 6.77.
    This is not the whole of the UK of course.
    The winter just past goes down as “unexceptionable” mainly on the strength of a mild February. December was the coldest since 1981, a month I remember well since I had to drive 100 miles on New Year’s Eve to sort a burst pipe in an empty house!

  68. Anything is possible says:

    Susie says:
    July 5, 2011 at 6:11 am
    “One of the best indicators that snow and cold is on the way for the UK is a Greenland/Scandinavian blocking high. High pressure in winter has EXACTLY the same effect when it’s over Greenland as it would if it were over the UK — i.e. cold clear nights — high pressure systems bring a clockwise airflow in the northern hemisphere straight from the North Pole. So why Lockwood imagines Greenland would be warmer is hard to understand.”
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Actually, there is an element of truth to this North Atlantic “see-saw” effect. Cold winter weather in NW Europe (not just the UK) associated with being on the eastern side of a blocking anti-cyclone (north winds) means that, depending its exact size and position, Iceland, Greenland and even Eastern Canada can find themselves to the west of a blocking anti-cyclone and under the influence of warmer southerly winds.

    This synoptic chart from February 1947 illustrates the effect rather nicely – note the extremely mild temperatures over Eastern Canada :

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gesc_b/Pages/NorthAtlanticPages/NH8feb.htm

  69. N Britnell says:

    Watch the pea Susie “Professor” Lockwood throws in the word WARMER (to throw a bone to the warmisters) but the Greenland Highlands often don’t get much warmer than -30 degrees in the winter (and almost hit -60 degrees celsius this winter close to the old record set in the 50s I think) so WARMER is irrelevant to the phase change of water (I think that is what he is hinting at, Greenland is meeeellllllting don’t forget). Greenland is the AGW canary in the coal mine (oops don’t mention carbon that horrible stuff that keeps you warm in so many convenient ways) and must be seen to be in danger even if you are freezing your cahones off over in the UK. As is typical for a La Nina, the average temperature over Labrador and the area South of Greenland was warmer this winter as the rest of North America froze. If “Prof Lockwood is talking of this type of WARMER then he is still being disingenuous linking in his own words 2 separate processes (neither of which he can fully quantify the mechanisms for). Sounds like climate research to me.

  70. TomRude says:

    Covering themselves as the wind turns…

  71. Alan the Brit says:

    MWP & LIA has been identified in South America, Africa, & I also believe New Zealand! Check out An Englishman’s Castle blog for references, I can’t seem to get hold of them at the moment.

    In the meantime, from the Wet Office we get great AGW predictions of “some areas will experience warmer weather, others will experience colder weather. Some areas will experience more drought, other areas will experience less drought”. I could go on but I get depresses too easily on their webpages!

  72. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    English winters (CET) are, as the most local climatologists know, controlled by the North Atlantic Oscillation – NAO (pressure differential between the Azores and Iceland) as it is graphically demonstrated here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/WPd.htm
    Does the solar output control the NAO?
    To my knowledge not shown previously by any kind of data, the polar circle insolation in the winter is very low, but pressure is almost a negative mirror image of the one in the Azores some 30 degrees further south.
    So what does control the NAO?
    I would suggest another local non-solar function as I’ve shown here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NAO-.htm
    My study also shows that CET winters may get colder in coming decades, but not because of the sunspots, but of the NAO getting dipper into negative territory. This also applies to the USA Atlantic coast, but not to Greenland and the north East Canada, it is just a function of the negative NAO.
    What about the English summers?
    Ah, that is another story, suffice to say the CET summers have been rather flat (or to be more precise had a slight cooling trend) for the last 3 centuries, despite the solar activity roaring away at the same time .
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CETsw.htm
    Sunspot activity was on the low side 1910-20, but those were some of the warmest CET winters. Alternatively around 1950 solar activity was the strongest ever, but winters were much cooler. A bit of a paradox here.
    I suggest to the Reading Uni scientists to have another look into what is already well known.

  73. Roger Longstaff says:

    “With jobs going to economic migrants, industry going abroad because of spiralling energy costs the failing social frabric of this once great country has already started.What sort of country will be left for the next generation coming up? I have already told my children to get out as quickly as posssible, to find a new country to live in where a consensus will NOT erode a country and the ability to live a decent life.”

    All that is necessary for evil to prosper is that good men do nothing.

  74. Ulric Lyons says:

    @John Finn says:
    July 5, 2011 at 7:35 am
    “If the sun (TSI) had a direct influence then we’d expect to see summer temperatures drop at least as much as those in winter.”

    Average monthly winter temperatures in the UK range around three times as much as in summer.

  75. Sun Spot says:

    The inconvenient fact is that warming is good and the coming cold is very bad. Humanity has adapted progressively to the constant warming since the end of the LIA (1850), I don’t think adapting to cold compounded by CAGW stupidity will be as humane as it could be without the CAGW anti-science.

  76. Robert Stevenson says:

    As a recent convert to global warming I see that all is not lost. The £100 billion that Britain is to spend building thousands of wind turbines will also require 17 new gas fired power stations simply to provide back up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual. Unfortunately this will require an additional £10 billion spending money. However the 17 dedicated power stations will be kept on “spinning reserve”, 24 hours a day just to make up for the fundamental problem of wind turbines. Luckily gas fired power stations running on “spinning reserve” chuck out more CO2 than when they are running at full efficiency, thereby in a small way off setting the lack of solar activity and the trend to colder winters (coal fired power stations would be even more effective). If we do not proceed along this dubious renewables route the EU of course will fine us for not meeting our renewables targets so at least we will save a few quid there. I suspect this return on investment was worked out by the Liberal Democrats – probably Chris Huhne.

  77. Wil says:

    Hey, Anthony, get a load of this!

    Coal-burning China’s rapid growth may have HALTED global warming
    By Daily Mail Reporter
    Last updated at 8:11 AM on 5th July 2011

    China’s rapid industrial expansion may have halted global warming for much of the last decade, climate scientists claimed.

    They said sulphur pollution from China’s coal-fired power stations helped to keep world temperatures stable despite soaring greenhouse gas emissions.

    Burning coal releases carbon dioxide which traps heat from the Sun, raising temperatures. But it also emits particles of sulphur that help block the Sun’s rays and cool the Earth.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/05/study-solar-activity-lull-increases-chances-of-cold-uk-winters/

  78. Richard Briscoe says:

    Mike Jackson
    Thanks for the extra info. The figures you quote are a bit higher since, as you say, they’re for England, not the whole UK.
    Agreed last December was the coldest for 30 years, but I think my point still holds. This is only true because in those 30 years we had about 20 years of mild winters. You point out that 1989 was also very mild. Before the warming of the 1980′s, a December like 1981 or 2010 would not have been thought at all exceptional. Cold, maybe, but not remarkably so. I think people are still locked into a mindset of thinking mild winters are normal. They didn’t used to be, they were for a while, now they’re not.

  79. David Falkner says:

    At the very end of the introduction we have this:

    A viable mechanism associates variations in solar UV emissions [33]
    with changes to stratospheric temperatures and winds [34].
    These could influence the underlying troposphere through
    disturbances to the stratospheric polar vortex [35] which may
    propagate downwards to affect the tropospheric jets, or through
    the effects of stratospheric temperature changes modifying the
    refraction of tropospheric storm-track eddies [36].

    So, variations in TSI are not the only important contributor? Hmmm. Where have I heard that argument before? So, I wonder if these UV variations are listed in the body of work done by the IPCC anywhere?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  80. stephen richards says:

    This is the same Lockwood that didn’t see the sun declining half way through the minimum, the same Lockwood who said there was nothing unusual about the C23/24 interval, the same Lockwood who said the sun has minimal effect on the Earth, the same Lockwood ………..

    Scam, scam scam. His model could not foresee any of the above and yet it can now see the future precisely and it tells him that the Maunder was local and any future episode will also be regional, focused in the London area :)), and so no-one else need worry because the rest of the world doesn’t receive any influence from the sun; only that which shine out of Cameron rear end;

    Pathetic!! all of them. I have asked my french clleagues to role out the guillotine. We have one left but that could wipe out the Brussels wasp nest and London’s in less than a week, if we use the wheel barrow technique. :)))

  81. stephen richards says:

    Richard Briscoe says:

    July 5, 2011 at 9:56 am

    You point out that 1989 was also very mild. Before the warming of the 1980′s, a December like 1981 or 2010 would not have been thought at all exceptional.

    slight problem here? your december was the coldest for 100 years. That would have been exceptional just after the end of the LIA. It was exceptional temperature-wise, maybe, because ’63 was much colder as was 47 but not in December. In ’46/7 Dec was mild as was the first 3 weeks of Jan’47. Yes 2010 was exceptional and not foreseen by the pathetic Brit Met off;

  82. Ric Werme says:

    David Archibald says:
    July 5, 2011 at 1:33 am

    But my the warmers are mischievous imps! With another cold winter coming up, they are giving themselves an out by saying it is a one in seven probability. With three cold winters in a row already, what is they chance of having four cold winters in a row when the chance of having one is one in seven?

    Assuming each winter’s weather is independent of the others, then you just multiply the probabilities. 1/(7^4) = 0.0004164. I.e. a 0.04% chance, or 1 in 2400. (7^4 = 2401)

  83. The paper says: ‘the current grand solar maximum is coming to an end’
    While I agree that solar activity is getting lower, the ‘current grand maximum’ is a myth:
    http://www.leif.org/research/History%20and%20Calibration%20of%20Sunspot%20Numbers.pdf

  84. Mark Wilson says:

    so we are towing the party line.
    -
    That would be “toeing the party line.” As in having a group of people line up, by putting a line on the ground and have everyone stand with their toes just touching the line.

  85. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    While at the matters solar, latest numbers from the WSO show the Sun’s polar magnetic field is stuck, with no progress in the last 6 months.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC6.htm

  86. Monbiot's mum says:

    Just a comment on Greenland being warmer in the low solar scenario, I was under the impression that during the little ice age, sea ice around Greenland expanded and the settlements there were abandoned. There are also credible reports of polar bears off the coast of Scotland on ice flows – none of that is indicative of a warm Greenland or Arctic!

    Continued negative NAO blocking modifies the prevailing winds across the N Atlantic, and I would hypothesise that this must have an impact on the speed/strength of the North Atlantic Current. For ice flows to occur of the Scottish coast, then there must have also been a flow of water from the North, especially to allow polar bears to travel south; that strongly indicates a decrease in the flow of the N Atlantic Current – which would have had a global impact on temperatures.

  87. Louis says:

    “More than 1 in 10 chance of colder UK winters”

    This is the part that confuses me. A “1 in 10 chance” of colder winters means a 9 in 10 chance that the winters will not be colder. So are they arguing that lower solar activity will likely result in warmer winters in the UK? Where did the “1 in 10″ come from?

  88. Tenuc says:

    I wondered how long we would be getting back to the 70′s climate science meme – “The Ice Age is Coming”. Looks like Lockwood could be claiming the back-to-the-future prize for the best cargo cult scientist. And of course, this event will be confined to just England and the rest of the world will not change. /sarc off

  89. M White says:

    There is no mention of the oceanic cycles. We’ve now entered the cool phase of the PDO and in all likelyhood soon be entering the cool phase of the AMO.

    As I understand it the suns influence on our climatic patterns are far from understood and as with the AGW require full scientific rigure. ie prediction and observational verification.

    From what I’ve read the weather events that we see today are similar to those that occured 60 years ago when the PDO shifted from its warm phase to its cool phase as be happening over the past few years. “Horn of Africa hit by worst drought in 60 years”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14020452

    “Britain’s Shame: MPs Tell Poor Countries – No More Power For You”

    http://thegwpf.org/best-of-blogs/3355-britains-shame-mps-tell-poor-countries–no-more-power-for-you.html

  90. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    July 5, 2011 at 11:22 am
    While at the matters solar, latest numbers from the WSO show the Sun’s polar magnetic field is stuck, with no progress in the last 6 months.
    It has decreased 20% [when considering the correct 20nHz filtering]

  91. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Is Dr. Lockwood @Co. writing an important study which should be base for a serious scientific evaluation or a fairy tale?
    The answer is clearly shown here Maunder CET
    I also recommend:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/05/study-solar-activity-lull-increases-chances-of-cold-uk-winters/#comment-694652

  92. Jim G says:

    starzmom says:

    July 5, 2011 at 6:01 am

    “How does Barbara Boxer feel about the current ski season? Last I heard the slopes were still open in some parts of California, and if they weren’t, it wasn’t for lack of snow. Maybe all the ski instructors had to leave to go teach surfing somewhere.”

    Heard a radio interview with a Colorado skier skiing on 4th of July yesterday. This may be one of few industries that will prosper in the coming colder winters, if the snow holds up. Crops are historically the main problem in a solar minimum and the resultant famines, disease and even war.

  93. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I’ll agree that there is no current Grand Solar Maximum, not with the Sun sinking daily into it’s funk.
    But, we do need referece points, and labels help communications, so I’m for keeping the Modern Maximum as it stood (it’s over).
    Today’s STEREO BEHIND image reminds me of rift zones, as if coronal hole valleys are being actively torn new ones.

  94. John Finn says:

    Ulric Lyons says:
    July 5, 2011 at 9:20 am


    @John Finn says:
    July 5, 2011 at 7:35 am
    “If the sun (TSI) had a direct influence then we’d expect to see summer temperatures drop at least as much as those in winter.”

    Average monthly winter temperatures in the UK range around three times as much as in summer.

    What measure are you using to support this assertion. Over the last 30 years winter has varied slightly more than summer but not appreciably so. I haven’t looked over the longer term but as we’ve already noted, during solar minima winter temperatures fell significantly while summer temperatures remained relatively constant so, quite naturally, winter temperatures will cover a greater range – but that’s due to the very effect we’re describing

  95. View from the Solent says:

    RobertvdL says:
    July 5, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Great Britain does not produce cold in winter nor heat in summer. To have cold winters the cold has to come from the north. To have hot summers the heat has to come from the south. If cold escapes from the north warm air must flow in from the south.
    So I predict less sea ice on the North Pole if Britain gets colder in winter.
    —————————————————————————————————————————
    So, during glaciations (ice ages) when much of Britain was under a mile of ice, the N polar regions enjoyed tropical-plus temperatures. Really?

  96. jtom says:

    pat says:
    July 5, 2011 at 6:21 am

    “Piers Corbyn at Weather Action can claim any success with this summer’s forecast.
    He argued consistently that Summer 2011 would be unsettled because of, in part, continued weak solar activity, which would at times push the Jet stream further south than normal.”
    ………………………………..
    If whatever anomaly linking the dearth of sunspots to colder temps only produces subtle changes like this, then it is possible for the ‘global average temperature” to be unaffected. But what is the practical effect? If the poles are a few degrees ‘less cold’ (better phrase than ‘warmer’), it has no impact on Man, and little impact at the poles. That the mid-latitudes are significantly colder, though, has a huge impact on Man. Which just underscores the obvious, yet deliberately ignored, fact that global averages are a poor way to measure any impact of climate. It’s about like using tree rings to guesstimate past global climes. A bear doing what he does in the woods would have more impact on a tree than a heat wave in the South Pacific. The only climate that impacts a localized area is the localized climate.

    Regardless, for what it’s worth, I think we are warming the earth by a fraction of a degree which is lost in the noise of climate variability, and the positive reinforcements programmed into the climate models have been proven wrong. I also think that Man is going to suffer through a couple of decades of a colder climate in the areas of the world which most affect him.

    Unfortunately, if I am right, we will have decades of most of us shouting how cold we are, while those sold on AGW will be yelling how warm it is at the poles. Since the average Joe believes what he is experiencing, the-world-is-colder group will win the PR battle, but the global warmists will have enough’proof’ to see them through the cold spell.

  97. rbateman says:

    If the Poles warm (less cold), and the Temperate Zones cool (less warm), that is a distinct global cooling event. The Poles are only equally projected on certain maps, but in reality they occupy far less real space. In plain simple English: Not the Zero-Sum game.

  98. Bryan Short says:

    Just saw this now.. so disregard my “tip”. Basically they’re arguing that the low solar activity causes a negative Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillation pattern to develop. They also mention Greenland being warmer during the Maunder minimum, which is unlikely. But they are largely correct in warning that low solar activity doesn’t necessarily mean cold winters every year. The number one climate shift during low solar activity is towards unpredictability. The blocky jet stream causes periods of intense colds, but can also bring intense heat waves and droughts. What was so great about the Medieval Warm Period for Europe was not warm winters, but consistent climate. Winters tended to be milder and wetter (and stormier) while summers were predictably warm and dry. With recharged soil moisture in fall, winter, and spring, cereal crops and warm weather crops like grapes thrived in England. Obviously the increase in La Niña conditions and a more zonal, stronger jet stream that pulled northward didn’t benefit everyone. The desert SW and Mexico suffered droughts that helped bring down civilizations.

  99. Uber says:

    Today an article in ‘The Australian’ (aka, ‘Our policy is to give climate change believers the benefit of the doubt becuase we’re too impotent to do any real analysis’), by the usual suspects is claiming that the current climate stasis is China’s fault, as all that coal burning pollution is blocking out the sun all over the world. This is in response to the recent report by Mann, which The Australian (aka, ‘Who needs debate when we’ve got Tim Flannery’), never bothered to report on in the first place. So they have published a ludicrous knee-jerk reply to an argument that their readers would not even have seen. Thus is the standard of public debate and information dispersal in Australia’s major journals.

  100. rbateman says:

    So how could a solar minimum force conditions colder overall for tempeate to polar zones?
    Just look at how Antarctica works, being mostly isolated from the rest of the planet. All that we need is to move the Jet Streams.
    Isolating Polar to Temperate zones from the Subtropics to Equator would leave an interesting situation.The Polar regions would be less cold (still too darn-blasted cold for us) and incur more precipitation, which the Temperate regions would be open to only Polar Incursions, but be isolated from warmer air toward the Equator. You might grow an Ice Age under such circumstances.
    Might, but that’s not in evidence…that we know of…. yet.
    A lingering problem would then be: How did the Earth get to two Snowball epochs? Moving the Jet Streams doesn’t get the job done.

  101. Stephen Wilde says:

    rbateman asked:

    “So how could a solar minimum force conditions colder overall for temperate to polar zones?”

    Initially more meridional jets allow more air in and out of the poles. That starts by making the poles relatively warmer and mid latitudes relatively colder. However if it goes on long enough the colder mid latitudes reduce the warmth available for the poles so the poles start to get colder again too and eventually under a long term change to solar input such as the Milankovitch cycles an ice age will develop.

    The reduced solar activity also causes more cloudiness by provoking more meridional jets so global albedo rises and less solar shortwave enters the oceans. Over long periods of time that too reduces the energy available to warm the poles and the mid latitudes.

    So even without a large change in raw TSI a less active sun and/or a less effective solar insolation for astronomical reasons will eventually cool the entire system.

    In the meantime the oceans have their own long term internal cycles responding to earlier solar variability. Sometimes they offset and sometimes supplement the effects of solar input changes. The ocean cycle phasing in relation to solar cycle phases will influence the timing of the switch from glaciation to interglacial and back again.

    With current global landmass distribution I suspect that interglacials only occur for short periods when the solar and oceanic cycles are largely offsetting each others effects so as to reduce the size of climate swings from the extremes that prevail during glacial epochs.

    It is large climate swings with deep cold winters and summers too short to melt so much ice that lead to ice buildups on the northern continents and to achive such large swings the solar and oceanic cycles need to be supplementing rather than offsetting one another.

  102. Ian W says:

    “…It is stressed, however, that these results do not have any implications for global climate change, which is concerned with average temperatures for all parts of the world and all times of year. The reported changes only apply in winter and are regional – for example, when the winter is colder in Europe it tends to be warmer in Greenland so that there is almost no effect on the global mean…”

    So the Vikings left Greenland as they couldn’t stand the heat? The glacier that pushed its way over their farmland was due to heat leading to more snow as well no doubt. /sarc

    History shows that the cold was experienced over the entire northern hemisphere and there is evidence for cold in the southern hemisphere. But the hockey team have been desperately stating otherwise.

  103. Mike Jonas says:

    R.S.Brown – your first “Simple Solar link” may (inadvertently) be a bit of a cherry-pick as it shows only a decline. Over a longer period, cycle #24 looks like this
    http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/SunspotGraph.JPG
    Eyeballing the graph, I would say that we need to allow the sun at least till October to produce another surge in spots, before we worry overmuch about it failing. (But I am no expert, I have just graphed the numbers. Leif S may choose to give some insights???).
    PS. Is there somewhere that produces a good daily sunspot count graph so I can stop doing it?

  104. Mike Jonas says:
    July 7, 2011 at 12:46 am
    PS. Is there somewhere that produces a good daily sunspot count graph so I can stop doing it?
    Here http://sidc.oma.be/html/wolfjmms.html and here http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png

  105. Pooh, Dixie says:

    TBear (Warm Cave in Cold-as-Snow-Sydney) asked:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/05/study-solar-activity-lull-increases-chances-of-cold-uk-winters/#comment-694435

    “Why is so much attention being paid to this esoteric science?”

    Mr. James Mill takes the principle that all men desire Power.
    John Stuart Mill, assumes that all men desire Wealth mainly or solely.
    Webster, in 17 U.S. 327 (1819), said: “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.”
    Alfred’s Boethius: “Many men desire power, wishing to have good report, though they are unworthy of it; yea, even the most infamous desire this.”
    Lord Acton (1887) says: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Pooh says he is a bear of little brain. What does he know?

  106. Jim Heath says:

    There must be a proper debate about this. I have seldom observed so much division over a subject. The usual solution to debate publically, in a public forum, with experts on both sides giving thier opinion. Is it just me that believes the ABC so infiltrated by the left of politics that debate is refused? I for one do not like my mind being made up for me, as this is what is apparent when the prime minister says “the science is in” Entertaing films full of errors, do not settle science for me. The bias in the media is appalling, LET THE EXPERTS SPEAK FOR BOTH SIDES I WANT TO MAKE UP MY OWN MIND THANKYOU.

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