There’s a story about solar cycle 25, and a potential “mini ice age” in the UK Daily Mail by David Rose that is making headlines today, even hitting the Drudge Report. The headline is:
Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years
The graph (from the Daily Mail article) below looks familiar.
From the story:
According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.
Readers may recall that WUWT had this story on January 25th via David Archibald: First Estimate of Solar Cycle 25 Amplitude – may be the smallest in over 300 years The graph he provided matches almost exactly.
He wrote then:
Using the Livingston and Penn Solar Cycle 25 amplitude estimate, this is what the solar cycle record is projected to look like:
And, yes, that means the end of the Modern Warm Period.
The Daily Mail article also says:
Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
That’s essentially true, as we can see in this woodfortrees.org graph of HadCUT3 data.
Of course, the linear trend line may be sensitive to the endpoints, and it has an ever so slight rise to it, but there’s no denying that that have not been peaks larger than 1997/98 which was an super El Niño event. The 2010 El El Niño didn’t come close.
When 2012 data is added, I suspect that trend line will be downward much like the trend for the last ten years:
The Daily Mail article continues:
However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.
Yet, in its paper, the Met Office claimed that the consequences now would be negligible – because the impact of the sun on climate is far less than man-made carbon dioxide. Although the sun’s output is likely to decrease until 2100, ‘This would only cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08C.’ Peter Stott, one of the authors, said: ‘Our findings suggest a reduction of solar activity to levels not seen in hundreds of years would be insufficient to offset the dominant influence of greenhouse gases.’
These findings are fiercely disputed by other solar experts.
‘World temperatures may end up a lot cooler than now for 50 years or more,’ said Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at Denmark’s National Space Institute. ‘It will take a long battle to convince some climate scientists that the sun is important. It may well be that the sun is going to demonstrate this on its own, without the need for their help.’
He pointed out that, in claiming the effect of the solar minimum would be small, the Met Office was relying on the same computer models that are being undermined by the current pause in global-warming.
The solar Ap geomagnetic index is the lowest in the record, and suggests the sun is lagging:
Nature (the reality, not the journal) will be the final arbiter of truth in this. We live in interesting times.