Guest post by David Archibald
Three wise Norwegians – Jan-Erik Solheim, Kjell Stordahl and Ole Humlum – have just published a paper entitled “The long sunspot cycle 23 predicts a significant temperature decrease in cycle 24”. It is available online here: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.1954v1.pdf
The authors have found that Northern Hemisphere temperature changes by 0.21°C per year of solar cycle length. The biggest response found in the temperature series they examined was Svalbard at 1.09°C per year of solar cycle length. The authors also credit me with the discovery of a new branch of science. On page 6 they state.” Archibald (2008) was the first to realize that the length of the previous sunspot cycle (PSCL) has a predictive power for the temperature in the next sunspot cycle, if the raw (unsmoothed) value for the SCL is used.” I have decided to name this new branch of science “solarclimatology”. It is similar to Svensmark’s cosmoclimatology but much more readily quantifiable.
What we use solarclimatology for is to predict future climate. Professor Solheim and his co-authors have done that for Solar Cycle 24 which takes us out to 2026. Using Altrock’s green corona emissions diagram, we can go beyond that to about 2040: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/08/solar-cycle-24-length-and-its-consequences/
The green corona emissions point to Solar Cycle 24 being 17 years long, and thus 4.5 years longer than Solar Cycle 23. Using the relationship found by Solheim and his co-authors, that means that the 0.63°C decline for the Northern Hemisphere over Solar Cycle 24 will be followed by a further 0.95°C over Solar Cycle 25. That is graphically indicated thusly, using Figure 19 from the Solheim et al paper:
The last time we witnessed temperatures anything like that was in the decade 1690 – 1700. Crop failures caused by cold killed off 10% of the populations of France, Norway and Sweden, 20% of the population of Estonia and one third of the population of Finland.
As noted above, Svalbard’s relationship is 1.09°C per year of solar cycle length. That means that it is headed for a total temperature fall of 8.2°C. The agricultural output of Svalbard and the rest of the island of Spitsbergen won’t be affected though, because there isn’t any. The biggest effect will on some of the World’s most productive agricultural lands. The solar cycle length – temperature relationship for some localities in the northeast US is 0.7°C degrees per year, which is a good proxy for the latitude of the US – Canadian border and thus the North American grain belt. Newman in 1980 found that the Corn Belt shifted 144 km per 1.0°C change in temperature. With the temperature falling 5.2°C, the Corn Belt will shift 750 km south to the Sun Belt, as shown following:
The outlook for Canadian agriculture is somewhat more dire. I expect Canadian agriculture will be reduced to trapping beavers, as in the 17th Century.
The current cold conditions in Europe resulted in more than 300 souls departing this mortal coil, and has discomforted some millions. Solheim and his co-authors note “As seen in figures 6 and 7, the Norwegian and Europe60 average temperatures have already started to decline towards the predicted SC24 values”.
Newman, J. E. (1980). Climate change impacts on the growing season of the North American Corn Belt. Biometeorology, 7 (2), 128-142. Supplement to International Journal of Biometeorology, 24 (December, 1980).