It’s snowing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age – London Mayor Boris Johnson

GISP2 TemperatureSince10700 BP with CO2 from EPICA DomeC

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From The Telegraph – By London Mayor Boris Johnson

“The Sun is god!” cried JMW Turner as he died, and plenty of other people have thought there was much in his analysis. The Aztecs agreed, and so did the pharaohs of Egypt. We are an arrogant lot these days, and we tend to underestimate the importance of our governor and creator.

As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands — when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.

I remember snow that used to come and settle for just long enough for a single decent snowball fight before turning to slush; I don’t remember winters like this. Two days ago I was cycling through Trafalgar Square and saw icicles on the traffic lights; and though I am sure plenty of readers will say I am just unobservant, I don’t think I have seen that before. I am all for theories about climate change, and would not for a moment dispute the wisdom or good intentions of the vast majority of scientists.

But I am also an empiricist; and I observe that something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it “warming” is obviously to strain the language. I see from the BBC website that there are scientists who say that “global warming” is indeed the cause of the cold and snowy winters we seem to be having. A team of Americans and Chinese experts have postulated that the melting of the Arctic ice means that the whole North Atlantic is being chilled as the floes start to break off — like a Martini refrigerated by ice cubes.

I do not have the expertise to comment on the Martini theory; I merely observe that there are at least some other reputable scientists who say that it is complete tosh, or at least that there is no evidence to support it. We are expecting the snow and cold to go on for several days, and though London transport has coped very well so far, with few delays or cancellations, I can’t help brooding on my own amateur meteorological observations. I wish I knew more about what is going on, and why. It is time to consult once again the learned astrophysicist, Piers Corbyn.

When the solar acne diminishes, it seems that the Earth gets colder. No one contests that when the planet palpably cooled from 1645 to 1715 — the Maunder minimum, which saw the freezing of the Thames — there was a diminution of solar activity. The same point is made about the so-called Dalton minimum, from 1790 to 1830. And it is the view of Piers Corbyn that we are now seeing exactly the same phenomenon today.

I am speaking only as a layman who observes that there is plenty of snow in our winters these days, and who wonders whether it might be time for government to start taking seriously the possibility — however remote — that Corbyn is right. If he is, that will have big implications for agriculture, tourism, transport, aviation policy and the economy as a whole. Of course it still seems a bit nuts to talk of the encroachment of a mini ice age.

But it doesn’t seem as nuts as it did five years ago. I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind.

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Not saying anything about the accuracy of the content of the article, but it is certainly interesting that it was written by London Mayor and eventual Prime Minister hopeful Boris Johnson. The Guardian certainly isn’t amused.


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Mark Nutley

The Guardian is never amused. Like all those on the left.

Fred Jensen

The Guardian may not be amused, but most of the comments there are quite amusing!

michael hart

He’s an odd character, our Boris. I find it impossible to dislike him, even though I feel I ought to.
There is also something of a ‘George Dubya’ about him: An ability to consistently beat low expectations.


Classic! I just saw that on Drudge and was going to Facebook it and of course WUWT beat me to it. I think I will start saying The Beast from the East” is Global Warming’s middle name.

Johnson, (no relation I hasten to add), is one of the few politicians we have who actually seems to have a mind of his own and does at least appear to think for himself

It’s good to see Boris thinking about this and open to views that aren’t so warming. It’s hard for any politician to take sides in an issue that is so contentious, but more seem to be tiptoeing around the edge to see if it’s safe to wade deeper in and away from the Greenie so-called consensus. Good on him, I hope he makes PM.

William McClenney

Yes, a great many climate myopics could stand to visit their climoptometrist to extend their “vision”. What seemingly few people seem to recognize is the occurrence of another “mini ice age” might not actually be long-sighted enough. The Holocene is now half-aprecessional cycle old and change. Five of the last 6 interglacials have each lasted about half a precession cycle.
The possibility therefore exists that we could be at a climate junction often described these days as a tipping-point. Tipping the Holocene into extending itself with GHGs is perceived as a horror by many. Naturally tipping the Holocene into the next ice age, however, might bring great benefit to society by selecting-out those with climate myopia as well as other intellectual ailments.

Rhys Jaggar

The Guardian is one of the last bastions of ‘the science is settled’.
As science is NEVER settled, since it can never be proven, only disproven, one might ask if they understand the fundamental basis of science, which most certainly doesn’t comprise of ‘ask a few Professors what they think and spend 20 years promulgating their opinions as FACTS, without considering the cost implications of their expostulations, the link between scientist prosperity and scientist theory and the correlation between the simplicity of their theories and the complexity of the systems they study”.
Let us be absolutely clear: those scientists on record as saying that solar and oceanic factors are overwhelmed by carbon dioxide must lose positions, funding and respect if they try to gain future funding misappropriating the long-held convictions of skeptics whose integrity they have impugned for many years.
They made their bed, now they must lie in it.
Their bed is the seventy two virgin version of climate science, with carbon dioxide the key driver of it.
Oceanic modulations is not their creed and nor are SSWs caused by CMEs, X-flares etc etc. Solar output is not important according to them after all.
If they try to say that they are, fire them!!!!

Werner Brozek

According to GISS, December 2012 was the coldest in the northern hemisphere since December 2000.

Pamela Gray

The minutia of CO2 and solar variation is apparently endlessly fascinating to many people who consider the elephant in the chair beside them boring stuff indeed.

Crispin in Waterloo

It took the hide-bound Royal Navy40 years to adopt the (obviously useful) Beaufort Scale for determining the rigging of ships sails in gales of different strengths. But adopt it they eventually did. I truly hope Piers receives his due recognition before his tomb freezes over with a mile of ice.
Well said Boris, thanks for paying attention! And thanks for being better-read than average. We live in a changing world.


You’re lucky he just wrote in English – as a Torygraph columnist he generally regales us in Latin at some point. Perhaps “Sub sole nihil novi est” (there’s nothing new under the sun) might have been apt, or “et sceleratis sol oritur” (the sun even shines on the wicked) :-’)

According to Dr David Parker of the CRU….”snowfall will be a rare and exciting event”….the UK has weeks of rejoicing ahead ! ! !


Maybe OT, but I wish we could get the tab, or whatever it is called, back, to send things on by e-mail, and that used to appear at the bottom of every post so that we could forward it.
As a technodinosaur I now find it difficult to make others aware of information like that contained above. (I see that spellchecker does not like “technodinosaur”.)

Liberal skeptic

I’ve never seen that gisp2 graph before, how reputable is it and why does no one talk about the very obvious cooling trend for the last few thousand years? There can be no argument about the statistical significance of that time period ….

j fisk

A last someone is looking at what is really happening in the real world


Boris knows from Piers that Climate Alchemy has made a Big Mistake. It originated from Schwarzchild’s 1906 paper used to justify the Aarhenius ‘GHG blanket’. Houghton used this flawed thinking to claim you can have opposing streams of IR energy and that the heat from each is additive.
This breaches Maxwell’s Equations, specifically Poynting’s Theorem which states that the vectors can only add vectorially so the power of opposing wave fronts is subtractive not additive. Hansen et al picked up Houghton’s work in 1981. The result of this is vastly exaggerated warming via the water cycle, the imaginary positive feedback.
So, we are now seeing the result of the natural experiment that proves Houghton and Hansen got it wrong. There is virtually no CO2-AGW, some warming from water vapour side bands only.


At least the Mayor admits that he is a fairly ignorant layperson who does not read or understand the science. This post shows two graphs. Were they posted from the Mayor’s speech? The source of the graphs is something called “ If I go to that web site will I find a peer-reviewed source, or are the graphs just something made up by the people who run the web site?
REPLY: Crimony Bill, you are an academic for a major university, with far better access to journals and data than we have. Do the work research yourself instead of whining about it – Anthony

“It really feels like the start of a mini ice age.”
I have no first hand knowledge of what the start of a mini ice age feels like. Brian Fagan has some interesting comments in his books, I would give more weight to his selection than to one of the new offerings.
Many of Fagan’s finds pertain to rain and crop failures, e.g. from “The Little Ice Age:”

The Reverend Daniel Schaller, pastor of Stendal in the Prussian Alps, wrote: “There is no real constant sunshine, neither a steady winter nor summer; the earth’s crops and produce do not ripen, are no longer as healthy as they were in bygone years. The fruitfulness of all creatures and of the world as a whole is receding; field and grounds have tired from bearing fruits and even become impoverished, thereby giving rise to the increases of prices and famine, as id heard in towns and villages from the whining and lamenting among the farmers.”

It would take some effort to translate that into 21st century issues in a world where I can eat fresh asparagus every day of the year. Grey and raw seems to come through in many of the quotes Fagan found.


“The Guardian certainly isn’t amused.
Q: How many leftists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: That’s not funny!


I’ve got to say, as a life-long socialist, Boris Johnson is about the only hope the torys have of ever getting my vote. Buffoon? Maybe (on the face of it). Right wing? Naturally – what else would he be with his background!
But he’s also far more intelligent than most others in British politics – he can at least string a coherent argument together to support his opinions without resorting to insults. He also appears to possess a social conscience, which is something that the best of the Right always had before that dreadful woman appeared with her mantra of everyone for themselves / Screw Thy Neighbour.
I suspect lot of others in the UK feel the same way so, if he starts muttering doubts, expect the muttering to get louder.


Whatever the merits of Boris Johnson’s reflections, it is true what you say about the Guardian not being amused.
The Guardian is a left wing newspaper (nothing wrong with that) which prides itself on its website with a comment section called ‘Comment is Free’. Whilst comment may be free, free speech certainly isn’t as far the Guardian is concerned. In common with all left wing ideologues it cannot entertain differences of opinion. If you look at their comment section on ‘Comment is Free’ you will see that every commentator agrees with them. Wow – what perfection!
There are of course some mysterious entries which simply say

“This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards”.

Which is to say, you agreed with Boris Johnson and not us – Not allowed!
Of course, it is always easy to give the impression of ‘consensus’ when all opposing views are deleted.


BillD says:
January 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm
At least the Mayor admits that he is a fairly ignorant layperson who does not read or understand the science. This post shows two graphs. Were they posted from the Mayor’s speech? The source of the graphs is something called “ If I go to that web site will I find a peer-reviewed source, or are the graphs just something made up by the people who run the web site?

You want peer review, I’ll give you peer review. 😉

Rasool and Schneider 1971
……………An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5°K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

Forgive me if I don’t go down on bended knees over peer review.

Rhoda R

Jimbo, you are entirely correct in pointing out that peer-review has not only been discredited but never was intended to hallmark a position.


It’s not just the UK shivering, but Europe.
“Snow covers Europe”


Read our Boris’s effluvia this morning on the train.
As every Monday.
Classically educated, I doubt he can spell dysprosium [an answer in today’s Telegraph X-word]; but Boris is certainly no fool.
The tide seems to be turning.
Whether the fat-faced one [and the Cameroons] relinquish a seat – and the premiership – before the election may determine the 2015 General Election.


According to NASA, the whole last decade is now warmer by at least .02C than what they reported last month.


Boris obviously didn’t believe the Beeb!
12 Jan: BBC Weather: John Hammond: Sudden stratospheric warming responsible for UK’s icy blast
For a few weeks now, forecasters have been monitoring an abrupt jump in temperatures way up in the stratosphere – not a cooling, but actually a sudden warming.
Such sudden stratospheric warmings (SSW) have led to notable cold spells in recent years…

Jim G

Pamela Gray says:
Excellent point. I don’t believe they woud call it “Greenland” were it discovered today. Not so many sheep being raised there as a thousand or so years ago. Orbital eccentricity, obliquity, and precession all have something to say though none is extreme at present. But then again plenty of other potential causal variables in the mix, including solar variations. I’m betting upon a colder near term future, unfortunately for us in the northern climes. Warmer would, indeed, be better.
As the growing belt moves south, the Russians (& Chinese?)will be rattling their swords. The US should be able to trade food for oil, if we are allowed by our omnicient leaders to use it. Most Canadian crops grow within 300 miles of the US border. Depending upon the resultant effect upon precipitation patterns, other southern locations may become the bigger food producers, of course given geopolitical stability which is not apparent today in some of these places. It is all predestined to occur. It’s all really only a matter of when.


For those in Europe who want to see climate change in action………………just look out your window. PS, remember when the lack of snow was blamed on global warming? Now this repeated event is also blamed on global warming. There is nothing co2 can’t do.

You look out the window and you see climate change in action,” Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research says in a clip from PBS NewsHour. “This is the way it gets manifested.”

Flights scrapped as snow blankets Europe


Climate science simplistically says the Earth is uniformly illuminated by the Solar radiation over the section of the globe in daytime – which is a disk area having the Earth’s radius.
Climate science then says the Earth radiates to space over the whole area of its sphere which is four times the area of a disk.
If energy in equals energy out the only logical interpretation of these propositions is that the power of the Solar insolation is four times the power of the Earth’s radiation to space – their own equations show this.
Climate science then pulls a stunt and calculates the “effective” temperature of the Earth
Solar radiation(1 – albedo) = sigma T^4 x 4 – this is the equation taught at many Universities –
and comes up with the result of 255 K using this equation.
Then Kiehl & Trenberth make the following illogical statement in their energy budget paper:
“Here we assume a “solar constant” of 1367 W /m2 (Hartmann 1994), and because the incoming solar radiation is one-quarter of this, that is, 342 W /m2, a planetary albedo of 31% is implied.”
If the incoming solar radiation is one quarter of the “solar constant” how can anyone possibly re-create the original proposition about radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere ?
If energy in = energy out and both of these radiative fluxes have an associated temperature and these temperatures have to be related by the fourth root of the proportion of area of sphere to area of disk which is 1.41 – the fourth root of 4.
255 K x 1.41 is almost 360 K.
Plug 360 K into the Stefan-Boltzmann equation and the associated radiative flux is about 952 W/sq metre.
1367 W/sq metre x (1 – albedo) results in about 943 W/sq metre using 0.31 as albedo or 957 W/sq metre using 0.3 as albedo.
Averaging the solar insolation simply fails this simple mathematical analysis and is therefore meaningless for any purpose other than calculating the 255 K result. It has no further meaning.
If it did applying the reverse analysis must lead to the original proposition – mathematics is reliable like that – any correct procedure is reversible.
If “because the incoming solar radiation is one-quarter of this, that is, 342 W /m2” had any REAL meaning in the physics of climate science then DIVIDING the temperature associated with this radiative flux – 278 K – by 1.41 ( the fourth root of 4) ( ~197 K) should yield 255 K – obviously it doesn’t.
What I assert truly represent REAL solar insolation – approximately 952 W /sq m and 360 K passes the reverse analysis – 360 divided by 1.41 is indeed 255 K.
If even a simple “back of the envelope” analysis cannot reproduce their original assertion through a simple reverse analysis ( I can using the correct figures) using their own figures then how can the immensely complicated computer models produce anything but random gibberish ?
I know the 342 is an “average” uniform insolation but if it has any REAL mathematical meaning it must comply with reverse analysis.
As it doesn’t one must logically conclude the “average” method produces ONLY ONE meaningful result – the effective 255 K Earth radiating temperature.
It cannot be used to assert anything else !
After all 255 K is the temperature associated with THE EARTH’S RADIATION and NOT the SOLAR INSOLATION adjusted for albedo.
Quartering the solar constant is simply incorrect ! All the science from this point on is bogus.

Jim G

MikeB says:
“Of course, it is always easy to give the impression of ‘consensus’ when all opposing views are deleted.”
Propaganda and censorship are mainstays of the left. Their philosophy will not withstand the light of truth. The old USSR and the eastern block European countries with their failed socioeconomic histories are prime examples. A lie told over and over in the educational system and in the media becomes the truth for the vast majority of the people. It is only when the promises of free stuff at the expense of the productive few in the system run out that folks are ready to make real change.


Boris better get used to this weather. There is more coming for the next several decades like UK had in the period 1962-1987 and 1880- 1910 as the planet enters again a cooler phase for the next 20-30 years possibly . Some of us have been predicting this weather for Europe since 2009. When the sun cycle and the ocean SST cycle are both in sync and if both are declining and the Enso signal is in Neutral , the Arctic Oscillation is often negative , thus allowing colder Arctic upper atmosphere air to come south. AO is predicted to remain negative at least to early February so the near term cold may continue.


Joe, Maggie did NOT say screw thy neighbour. Yes, she did say, “there is no such thing as society” but nobody ever puts that quote into context. Here is the full quote, “If children have a problem, it is society that is at fault. There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people, and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.”
In short, another version of the golden rule.


MikeB says:
January 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm
…………………Guardian is concerned. In common with all left wing ideologues it cannot entertain differences of opinion. If you look at their comment section on ‘Comment is Free’ you will see that every commentator agrees with them.

They disable sceptical accounts. You can open an account and as soon as your start regular posting your account is disabled. It has happened to me over 8 times, in the end I just gave up and decided that if they want to be an echo chamber then let them. They allow some sceptical comments through to hide from accusations. Don’t worry, their circulation is going down the toilet.


<i.Curt says:
January 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm
“The Guardian certainly isn’t amused.
Q: How many leftists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: That’s not funny!
Took me a couple of beats to get it, but that was funny!


Curt says:
January 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm
“The Guardian certainly isn’t amused.
Q: How many leftists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: That’s not funny!

Took me a couple of beats to get it, but that was funny!

Steve from Rockwood

from the Guardian…”He wafts away the scientists who say snowy winters are consistent with global warming (an uncontroversial idea based on the premise that a warming world leads to more moisture in the atmosphere)”.
Funny, I thought that a warming world leads to warmer temperatures, making rain more likely than snow, despite any increased moisture content. My understanding from the UK is that it isn’t just more snow, it’s more cold. Am I wrong?


It may not be an ice age that is coming but the predictions for the next 5 years show a variety of forecasts. Here is a
summary of various forecasts of global temperature anomaly [hadcrut3] at the end of 2017 [after next 5 years]
The data has been calculated or eyeballed from data or graphs available on the internet
1.2 C for B
0.6 C for C
IPCC 0 .750 C [A2, A1B, B1]
MET OFFICE 0.430 C [0.28 C to 0.59 C] WAS 0.76 C previously
G.ORSSENGO 0.226 C STATISTICAL MODEL BASEDON GMTA HADCRUT 3 [0.1C to 0.55C lower and upper limit]
0.0 C BASED ON 1880-1915 PAST TREND
0.4 C BASED ON 1945-1977 PAST TREND
It would appear that the trend of the latest forecasts is a significant lowering of the IPCC/ HANSON alarmists predictions.

>…I wish we could get the tab, or whatever it is called,
> back, to send things on by e-mail, and that used to
> appear at the bottom of every post …
I think it’s called a “link”, not “tab”. And it’s still there: just right-click on the date-time string under the name and then select “Copy Shortcut”. The hyperlink to that post can then be pasted into your reply or other documents.
For example, here’s the link that I copied from your post:

Gerry, England

Anything that upsets the loss-making Guardian is always good for a laugh. The comments are quite hilarious in their utter ignorance. Still, you don’t read the Guardian to learn anything, just to get a job at the BBC and Met Office. It is embarrassing to see what are supposed to be top scientists knowing so little – or are they just playing along to keep the cash rolling in as they are all funded from the Global Warming scam.

It happened before and it will happen again.
It doesn’t appear to be anything to do with the AGW.
Here is my take on the current cold spell in the Northern Hemisphere:

Bob Diaz

RE: It’s snowing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age – London Mayor Boris Johnson
Wait, remember this, “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past …”

Rob Potter

The reason Boris Johnson is interesting is also the reason why he will never be the Prime Minister in the UK – he does not toe the party line. He was a ‘rebel’ when he was an MP and was pretty much forced to run for Mayor of London as a way to remove him from the back benches where he was too likely to say something not approved by the party leaders.
As to intelligence, he is probably no worse or better than most MPs – successful politicians only dumb in respect to saying nothing which has not been approved by their party.


justthefactswuwt says:
January 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm
BillD says: January 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm
Data is from here:
“Present” appears to be 1950, so latest data point should be around 1856.
Greenland has warmed since then by about 2 degrees, though 1 degree or so due to AMO effect which should be subtracted, as we are now on the top of the AMO cycle and ice core resolution does not resolve such short term peaks. UHI correction also not considered.

MIke (UK)

I love Boris, top chap! As he says he is an empiricist, see whats happening around you rather than look at computer models that tell you what should be happening.

Latimer Alder

The grauinad doesn’t just remove comments it disagrees with, it removes whole commentators too – with no reason given.
I know – I am proud to be one of the Disappeared!

For our American friends and other non-Londoners, here is an introduction to our glorious Lord Mayor and the unlikely future PM, Boris Johnson

(going back few years now)