Guest post by David Archibald
The most skillful climatologist the World has seen was Hubert Lamb (1913 – 1997). He can be credited with making the first prediction of the current solar minimum. This was in 1970 in a report (Weiss and Lamb) for the German Navy.
He did it by making a reconstructed record of the average frequency of southwesterly surface winds in England since 1340. Quoting Lamb “We sense a cycle or periodicity of close to 200 years in length.” and “There may be a valuable indication of the origin of this apparent 200 year recurrence tendency, in that the sharp declines of the southwesterly wind indicated in the late 1300s, 1560s, 1740s-1770s and now, in each case fell at about the end of a sequence of sunspot cycles which built up to periods of exceptionally great solar disturbance (around 1360-80, the 1570s, the 1770s, the 1950s and more recently). The frequency maxima of the southwesterly wind, and evidence of warm climate periods in Europe sustained over several decades, all bear a similar relationship to these variations of the Sun’s activity.”
Following is Figure 11.6 from Lamb’s 1988 book “Weather, Climate and Human Affairs”:
The frequency of the southwest wind at London is shown by the solar line. A tentative forecast (broken line) is made simply by moving the whole curve 200 years to the right, i.e. the forecast implied by accepting the apparent 200 year recurring oscillation shown by the series.
Successful predictions have many fathers. Lamb’s successful prediction forty years ago was the first prediction of the current minimum and reminds us that climate cycles can be relied upon to continue to the end of time.
Weiss, I. and Lamb, H.H. (1970) ‘Die Zunahme der Wellenhohen in jungster Ziet in den Operationsgebieten der Bundesmarine, ihre vermutliche Ursachen and ihre voraussichtliche weitere Entwicklung, Fachlich Mitteilungen, Nr. 160, Porz-Wahn, Geophysikalisher Bertungsdiesnt der Bundeswehr.