Newsbytes: Sun's Bizarre Activity May Trigger Another Little Ice Age (Or Not)

From the GWPF and Dr. Benny Peiser

“Weakest Solar Cycle In Almost 200 Years”

The sun is acting bizarrely and scientists have no idea why. Solar activity is in gradual decline, a change from the norm which in the past triggered a 300-year-long mini ice age. We are supposed to be at a peak of activity, at solar maximum. The current situation, however, is outside the norm and the number of sunspots seems in steady decline. The sun was undergoing “bizarre behaviour” said Dr Craig DeForest of the society. “It is the smallest solar maximum we have seen in 100 years,” said Dr David Hathaway of Nasa. –Dick Ahlstrom, The Irish Times, 12 July 2013

Illustration mapping the steady decline in sunspot activity over the last two solar cycles with predicted figures for the current cycle 24

The fall-off in sunspot activity still has the potential to affect our weather for the worse, Dr Elliott said. “It all points to perhaps another little ice age,” he said. “It seems likely we are going to enter a period of very low solar activity and could mean we are in for very cold winters.” And while the researchers in the US said the data showed a decline in activity, they had no way to predict what that might mean for the future. –Dick Ahlstrom, The Irish Times, 12 July 2013

“We’re in a new age of solar physics,” says David Hathaway of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, who analysed the same data and came to the same conclusion. “We don’t know why the Gleissberg cycle takes place but understanding it is now a focus.” As for when the next Maunder minimum may happen, DeToma will not even hazard a guess. “We still do not know how or why the Maunder minimum started, so we cannot predict the next one.” –Stuart Clark, New Scientist, 12 July 2013

Those hoping that the sun could save us from climate change look set for disappointment. The recent lapse in solar activity is not the beginning of a decades-long absence of sunspots – a dip that might have cooled the climate. Instead, it represents a shorter, less pronounced downturn that happens every century or so. –Stuart Clark, New Scientist, 12 July 2013

A number of authors think it is probable that the sun is headed for a grand minimum similar to the Maunder-Minimums of 1649-1715. That may already manifest itself in 2020. There have been studies that attempt to project the impacts on global temperatures. Included here is a study by Meehl et al. 2013. The authors look at an approximately 0.25% reduction in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) between 2020 and 2070: They fed this into a climate model. Result: global temperatures could drop around 0.2-0.3 degrees Celsius with local peak values of up to 0.8°C, especially in the middle and upper latitudes of the northern hemispheres. –Frank Bosse, NoTricksZone, 14 July 2013

When the history of the global warming scare comes to be written, a chapter should be devoted to the way the message had to be altered to keep the show on the road. Global warming became climate change so as to be able to take the blame for cold spells and wet seasons as well as hot days. Then, to keep its options open, the movement began to talk about “extreme weather”. Those who made their living from alarm, and by then there were lots, switched tactics and began to jump on any unusual weather event, whether it was a storm, a drought, a blizzard or a flood, and blame it on man-made carbon dioxide emissions.  –Matt Ridley, The Australian, 10 July 2013


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It’s looking like Landsheidt’s odd ideas, fine tuned by Carl Smith, may have some validity after all.
Now is the time to try to figure out a mechanism for the effect.


Most likely a Dalton minimum is likely to occur. This guy is on the case


Looks like some people hadn’t noticed the Gore Minimum yet.

salvatore del prete says:
July 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM
I think the start of the temperature decline will commence within six months of the end of solar cycle 24 maximum and should last for at least 30+ years.
My question is how does the decline take shape, is it slow and gradual or in jagged movements as thresholds are met. I think some jagged movements then a leveling off then another jerk etc etc. Will thresholds be met?
I think the maximum of solar cycle 24 ends within 6 months, and once the sun winds down from this maximum it is going to be extremely quiet.
Solar flux sub 72, although sub 90 is probably low enough.
Solar Wind sub 350 km/sec.
AP INDEX 5.0 or lower 98+ % of the time.
Solar Irradiance off .2% or greater.
UV light off upwards of 50% in the extreme short wavelengths.
This condition was largely acheived in years 2008-2010 but the number of sub- solar years of activity proceeding these readings back then was only 3 or 4 years, this time it will be over 8+ years of sub- solar activity, and no weak solar maximum will be forthcoming.
Lag times come into play mostly due to the oceans.
It is clear that the greenhouse effect ,how effective it is ,is a result of energy coming into and leaving the earth climatic system. The warmer the oceans the more effective the greenhouse effect and vice versa.
With oceans cooling in response to a decrease in solar visible light the amounts of co2/water vapor will be on the decrease thus making the greenhouse effect less effective going forward. At the same time the albedo of earth will be on the increase due to more low clouds,ice and snow cover.
Very weak solar magnetic fields, and a declining weak unstable geomagnetic field, and all the secondary feedbacks associated with this condition.
weaker solar irradiance
weaker solar wind
increase in cosmic rays
increase in volcanic activity
decrease in ocean heat content
a more meridional atmospheric circulation
more La Ninas ,less El Ninos
cold Pdo /Amo
I say the start of a significant cooling period is on our doorstep, it is months away. Once solar cycle 24 maximum ends it starts.
This has happened 18 times in the past 7500 years(little ice ages and or cooling periods ) ,number 19 is going to take place now.
Two of the most recent ones are the Maunder Minimum(1645-1700) and the Dalton Minimum(1790-1830).
I say this one 2014- 2050??

Julian in Wales

I do not understand why cycle 25 is projected to be so low. Such a weak cycle seems to be out of line with anything from the historical record, so how has this projection been arrived at?

Chad Wozniak

One wonders how der Fuehrer can keep the AGW faith and still believe in “carbon pollution” in the face of all this evidence that climate is going and will keep going the other way despite continuing increases in CO2.
But the answer is simple. It is central to der Fuehrer’s objectives of destroying the economy, putting an end to constitutional rights, and making sure that Soweto residents never get to drive SUVs.

PeterB in Indianapolis

Just curious… has anyone done any research to try to ascertain what the sun was (or wasn’t) doing during the last full-blown ice-age? I know that was over 11,000 years ago, so obtaining any sort of meaningful data would be quite difficult and would probably have to be done by some sort of isotope proxies or something like that.
It seems like some scientists theorize that when the sun “takes a short nap” we get something like the LIA, but does it require the sun to go into hibernation for a few thousand years to get a full-blown ice age, or is solar activity “normal” during one of those?


The global warming crowd had lists of things to do to combat warming. Lists of things to do to reduce your “harmful” carbon footprint in order to fight the dreaded warming.
Ok, so, if it’s now “global cooling”, what can we do? Do we now do the OPPOSITE proposed by these lists in order to combat global cooling? Do I turn my heat up? Do I buy big-block V-8 engines? Do I eat lots of red meat? Do we build coal-fired electric generating plants?
I mean, like, what DO we do? If it was assumed man could stop global warming by doing “A”, then man must be able to stop global cooling by doing “-A”? Isn’t this logical?


Wait for the German translation into English and get the book.


Two great Solar pages for data,
ONE is listed all the time on the right of the wuwt site…
Second has some very interesting info on past cycles and upcoming #25


Dr. Peter Harris may have the answer for you:


Ah! What passes for journalism these days.
[For the Record, 10:43 a.m. PDT, July 12: An earlier version of this online post said the American Astrological Society had asked solar scientists to discuss the solar maximum. It was the American Astronomical Society.],0,6978639.story


Matthew Ridley, quoted above from the “The Australian”, has put his finger on the reason that the climate alarmists will not go away. The truth is that global warming is now a cult.


More serial stupidity from mainstream science.
Now the sun is acting “bizarre” , that gives them an excuse for the models being wrong. Having spent the last 30 years laughing loudly at anyone ridiculous enough to suggest the warming trend from 1974- 1997 might be linked to solar variations, they now have to pretend this kind of behaviour which was recorded already as little as 100 years ago is somehow “bizarre”.
Of course how could they possibly have anticipated the sun going “bizarre”?
All this is to subtly sidesteps the fact that having said for 30 years it was nothing to do with the sun, suddenly they wish to invoke it to explain the “slow down”.
Barefaced hypocrisy for the most part.


Well that the Naked Socialist defends the dogma contains no new information. (Hmm, shouldn’t that be bad for sales? Maybe they have other sources of funding, maybe a foundation like the WaPo. Didn’t check who owns them. Don’t want to.)
I’d like to suggest another possibility, just for giggles: A real glaciation. (We have never left the Ice Age as there is ice at the poles. But we left the last glaciation.) At a certain point, something must trigger the flip into the glaciated stage. Imagine it happens in the next few years. How fast would it be? Allegedly it’s happening within a few years. And it’s overdue – we have no clue why the current warm time persists for so long.


Cycle 24 is closer to the 1900 cycle which makes the drop more clear and consistent with earlier minimums. It is overstated in that second graph. Cycles 23 an 22 follow the Hathaway amplitudes, but 24 looks like 90 rather than reality of 65-70.

jai mitchell

your byline graphic shows a measured amplitude of 60 (so far) but your second graphic only goes up to about 10. seems like you need a new second long-period graphic to be more correct.
The interesting thing to me here is that since 2003, solar activity has been just about identical as the period between 1893 and 1905.
and yet global land surface temperatures during this period look like this:
as though there is simply no explaination for it. . ..

Kelvin vaughan

I see that the experts know what will happen in the future even though they haven’t got a clue what is happening.
They are full of bullshit!


Could someone tell Dreamworks that they named their films wrong? They should have been called “Glaciation”, “Glaciation 2” etc…

Chris R.

I’m sure Dr. Svalgaard will be here shortly to provide his viewpoint.
His belief, as I understand it: . Only TSI (total Solar Irradiance)
matters, and since he has stated that TSI accounts for only about 0.1
degrees C., he is at least in a position to put up a good fight for
his viewpoint.


Given the various and rather long periods of glaciation over the last 2.5 million years, the actual normal state of the earth is to have two, 5-million square mile, 2-mile think ice sheets – one plunked over Canada, and the other plunked in Siberia and northern Europe. Maybe the trigger is that the Sun goes quiet just at the right time when the earth’s eccentricity is just right. I hear tell that rampant glaciation can come within one generation – 20 years. We shall see. Popcorn? Anyone?


If you go way back to the Oort minimum, and look at all the subsequent minima, it looks like we have an alternation between deep and shallow grand minima, with very near 13 solar cycles from a deep to a shallow, and then 20 solar cycles to the next deep. On that basis this one will be a deep, like the Maunder. However the Maunder occured very near the bottom of the 1100 year cycle, while this one will be much closer to the top. It should get cold, but not as cold as the Maunder and probably not as long lasting. However the next 80 or so years are likely to average cooler than the last 30+ years, and then we can probably expect a new warm period warmer than the last 30+ years. Murray


Julian in Wales says:
July 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm
I do not understand why cycle 25 is projected to be so low. Such a weak cycle seems to be out of line with anything from the historical record, so how has this projection been arrived at?

Among other things the length of the previous cycle can be used to make a pretty good prediction for the strength of the next one. If you look at the graph you will see that the cycles always slow before a big dip. The shape of cycle 24 predicted a very low strength for cycle 25.


The post-affluent era will be more obvious at about the same time cooling is. Until then vote buying and demonization still rule.


“It is the smallest solar maximum we have seen in 100 years,”
oh good grief….no wonder you think it’s “unusual” when that’s all you have
those peaks and troughs look fairly evenly spaced to me..and the overall trend is down

Add to that negative PDO and AMO which are likely to persist during the coming decades. It’s going to be cold.
I see no strong El Niños in the coming years. Maybe a weak El Niño starting at the end if this year.
No it is not variations in TSI which drives solar influence on the climate. In my view this is caused by variations in the magnetic field, the solar winds and possible by variations in the UV-TSI value.
The coming decade is going to be interesting.

jai mitchell

sorry, meant to post this like as a comparison with the last time the sun was operating at such a low level of incident radiation.

‘ Sun’s Bizarre Activity May Trigger Another Little Ice Age (Or Not)’ that will be a not then!
Sun’s quiet spell not the start of a mini ice age
‘Those hoping that the sun could save us from climate change look set for disappointment. The recent lapse in solar activity is not the beginning of a decades-long absence of sunspots – a dip that might have cooled the climate. Instead, it represents a shorter, less pronounced downturn that happens every century or so.
Sunspots – dark patches that appear on the sun’s surface due to intense magnetic fields – are the seat of solar activity and can affect Earth’s climate in a number of ways , although the size of the effect is debated. They virtually disappeared between 1645 and 1715, a period now known as the Maunder minimum. Simultaneously, Northern Europe experienced the worst winters of the Little Ice Age, a period of exceptionally cold weather that began in the 16th century, leading some to suggest that a similar, prolonged sunspot minimum could offset global warming.’


I was into Landscheit over a decade ago. His correlations were excellent and he predicted this low solar cycle before his death in 2004 (I think it was). The solar physics community seem not to like him too much because his solar physics wasn’t very good. Of course neither is their solar physics any good so this doubles the dislike he seems to get from those who get it wrong!
To me Landscheidt is the Wegner (of continental drift fame) of real climate change and one day, probably after the solar system barycentric/solar physics theory is sorted out, his contribution to a proper understanding of solar activity and climate modulation will be recognised.
Unfortunately by this time we could well be dead and buried under mile high glaciers courtesy of the global warmists.
Stay cool!


There sure are a lot of predictions here. I don’t know a thing about this subject, but I do know how to read graphs and how to look at trends. So, I’m voting for a grand minimum that is at least as extreme as the Maunder Minimum and may well be the precursor of the next 100,000 years of ice. Brrrr! Glad I’ll be gone before it all gets underway with a vengeance.


What is a reasonable period of time to grasp the nature of sun cycles? The thing is 4.6 billion years old. We aimed a telescope at it in the 1600’s.
We don’t know what we don’t know about the sun but it it certainly much more than we know.


One more piece of an insanely complex puzzle. Thousands of variables, all acting on one another, in ways we have barely begun to understand.
Meanwhile, our politicians move to disassemble the fossil fuel grid based on the assumption that it will get warmer.
But what happens if it gets cooler instead?


blackadderthe4th says:July 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm
Sun’s quiet spell not the start of a mini ice age.
(Plus quotes from New Scientist.)
Rule No1:
Never believe anything in New Scientist. They are the science propaganda wing of Greenpeace.
Rule No2:
The truth is the opposite of what the BBC says. They are the media propaganda wing of Greenpeace.
If you abide by those two rules, the reality of all politics and science becomes obvious.


Riki says:
July 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm
One more piece of an insanely complex puzzle. Thousands of variables, all acting on one another, in ways we have barely begun to understand.
Meanwhile, our politicians move to disassemble the fossil fuel grid based on the assumption that it will get warmer.
But what happens if it gets cooler instead?
Ummm, higher taxes ? 🙂


From the lead post:
I choose option/article number six by Matt Ridley.


Salvatore Del Prete,
I have been pretty much in agreement with you for many years but I have another crackpot theory behind the cooling mechanism which I drag out from time to time. I am not well enough these days to attempt the necessary quantification but it came about when I discovered that the coronal resistivity, normally a constant called the Spitzer resistivity, is in fact six orders of magnitude higher when associated with lateral flare currents which obviously we get more of during solar maxima and grand maxima periods. That means it is about the same as the resistivity of sea water!
Going back to school and realising that solar flare currents are relatively small structures not so far off the size of oceans we realise that by the maximum power transfer theorem that these currents can be coupled directly through the geo/helio magnetic field coupling transformer and directly heat the oceans via electrolysis. The skin depth is about 300 metres. So a more active sun has this secondary mechanism to heat up the planet.
Further when the suns magnetic field weakens the coupling which is proportional to both geo/helio field stregths the coupled currents weaken and we might get a Maunder or a Dalton. When the geomagnetic field goes on holiday during an excursion or reversal the product of the field strengths and therefore coupling of these ocean currents equals zero and we get an ice age trigger.


BTW if anybody would like to do the obvious experiment and measure these currents which by Ohms law are proportional to the voltage between a sea surface electrode and one in the depths do not assume this induced current will be low frequency. I would look out to about 1 MHz because the lateral flare currents are based on much smaller structures.

Leif Svalgaard has no clue when it comes to solar /climate relationships, in addition he keeps trying to compare solar cycle 24 with solar cycle 14 and they are not even close.
Solar cycle 24 is as weak if not weaker then solar cycle 5 associated wit the Dalton Minimum .
I expect the maximum of solar cycle 24 to be coming to a close within the next 6 months and then we go down ,down, down.
I expect 20 + years of solar flux readings failing to break 100 and may be below 72 for a good part of the time, once the very weak solar maximum of solar cycle 24 passes by. The climate will follow , not just due to a decrease in solar irradiance(.2%+) but all the secondary effects associated wit a weak sun, from an increase in geological activity, to a more meridional atmospheric circulation, to an increase in cosmic rays,a cold PDO more El Ninos.
Reduced energy in the earth climatic system will also lessen the greenhouse gas effect due to less co2 and water vapor being present in the atmosphere due to colder oceanic water temperatures.
At the same time the albedo of the earth will be on the increase due to more clouds, ice and snow coverage. This connected to cosmic rays increasing, linked to a weak solar wind(350 km/sec or less) and a more meridional atmospheric circulation , which is linked to changes in ozone concentrations, which is linked to changes in UV light , which is shown to be off upwards of 50% in extreme solar minimum periods in the extreme short UV light wavelengths .
Volcanic activity will put more SO2 into the atm. which will also contribute to global cooling.
Also the weakening ,unstable earth magnetic field will only compound the quiet magnetic solar effects.
This current cycle is at least as quiet as solar cycle 5 more then 200 years ago.


l don’t know if this is linked to low sun activity.
But what’s been of real interest in terms of weather is the large increase in ‘cut off ‘ lows we have been getting. lt looks like we could have up to 4 forming over the next 7 days.
lf this is a start of a growing trend then the risk of cooling has just gone up. As this is likely to lead to increase in cloud cover and push this cloud cover further to the south then otherwise would of been the case.

Roy Jones

The current “consensus” is that the earth is warming because of a “greenhouse gas”, the evil CO2, so we must reduce CO2 emissions; so to save the earth we have to have ever higher taxes on fuel and energy.
When the changes in the sun’s output make the earth cooler the greenhouse gas theory/dogma means that we can counter the cooling by increasing CO2 emissions; so to save the earth we need to abolish taxes on fuel and energy.
I’m tempted to join the consensus, or have I missed something.

Tom in Florida

According to some, this is the answer.
(sorry couldn’t resist, enjoy)

Tom Jones

Good grief, guys, it’s only curve-fitting with no model for the underlying physics. Believe anything you want, but pretending to know is nonsense.

How does the climate change, probably not slow and gradual but in jerks as thresholds are met or at least approached. If the duration and degree of magnitude of the prolonged solar minimum is great enough then all the items I have mentioned along with solar conditions themselves will be able to phase enough(cold mode in this case) to perhaps bring the climate to some sort of thresholds.
We know this has happened many times in the past and the route cause of climatic change is solar/ and geomagnetic field changes. Weak fields equating to a cold climate, while strong fields equate to a warm climate.
THE YOUNGA DRYAS – shows a large spike in both C14 and Beryllium , which are associated in large part to an increase in cosmic rays and thus weak solar/geomagnetic fields.
The only explanation is changes in the sun and secondary effects associated with changes in the sun and to a lesser extent the geomagnetic field of the earth.
Again thresholds are probably brought about both up and down as phasing goes on, sometimes big changes sometimes small changes or some times climate change within the same climatic regime if no real thresholds are crossed.
This period of time (started in year 2005 with the prolonged solar minimum) features a chance to bring the climate to threshold levels and will at the very least show a cooling. I say global temp. by decade end will be off -.7c as a whole with the greatest declines in the Northern Hemisphere High Latitudes, smallest declines in the Southern Hemisphere..

OCEAN HEAT CONTNET – slow to decrease and is one of the reasons why the climate responds to changes in solar conditions with a lag time. The strength of visible light directly related to ocean heat content, which has leveled off and will start a slow gradual decline for a least 30+ years .


I forgot to tick the boxes – useful in the unlikely event that anyone should reply…..

Barbara Skolaut

“The sun is acting bizarrely and scientists have no idea why.”
The sun is being the SUN and will do what it goddam wants to, the warministas’ pathetic “models” and the “scientists’ ” lack of knowledge be damned.
I do wish they’d GROW UP.

Rhoda R

Tom Jones: Curve fitting maybe, but these people are making predictions – speculation and short term predictions based on theories that they feel better explain what drives climate than does the ‘CO2 is evil’ theory. Good for them.

Eco geek and Per Strandberg and most of the people on this board have a better understanding of the climate then the clowns of the IPCC., clueless people with clueless models.
AGW Theory will be OBSOLETE before this decade ends.

About 10 years ago I derived single equation (based on the astronomic orbital parameters of two gas giants Jupiter & Saturn) which appear to correctly identify two apparently independent properties of the sunspot activity
– distribution and sequence of long minima and low cycles
– North/South hemisphere asymmetry
surprisingly including the distinct appearance of the Maunder Minimum.
I am not in prediction business, but I do give certain credence to short term extrapolations.
Extrapolation of the above equation identifies next solar minimum activity period coinciding with next SC minimum around 2020, but in no way it is indicated as the Maunder type minimum, more like the Dalton.
Further extrapolation suggests a possible MM as 2185-2235.
See also


This bloke seems to know what he is talking about. Updated daily. This was uploaded yesterday: