Study: Reduced Energy from the Sun Might Occur by Mid-century – cooling the climate

From UCD/Scripps:

Reduced Energy from the Sun Might Occur by Mid-century; Now Scientists Know by How Much

UC San Diego scientists review satellite observations of nearby Sun-like stars to estimate the strength of the next “grand minimum” period of diminished UV radiation

Magnetic loops gyrate above the sun, March 23-24, 2017. Photo: NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory

The Sun might emit less radiation by mid-century, giving planet Earth a chance to warm a bit more slowly but not halt the trend of human-induced climate change.

The cool-down would be the result of what scientists call a grand minimum, a periodic event during which the Sun’s magnetism diminishes, sunspots form infrequently, and less ultraviolet radiation makes it to the surface of the planet. Scientists believe that the event is triggered at irregular intervals by random fluctuations related to the Sun’s magnetic field.

Scientists have used reconstructions based on geological and historical data to attribute a cold period in Europe in the mid-17th Century to such an event, named the “Maunder Minimum.” Temperatures were low enough to freeze the Thames River on a regular basis and freeze the Baltic Sea to such an extent that a Swedish army was able to invade Denmark in 1658 on foot by marching across the sea ice.

A team of scientists led by research physicist Dan Lubin at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego have created for the first time an estimate of how much dimmer the Sun should be when the next minimum takes place.

There is a well-known 11-year cycle in which the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation peaks and declines as a result of sunspot activity. During a grand minimum, Lubin estimates that ultraviolet radiation diminishes an additional seven percent beyond the lowest point of that cycle. His team’s study, “Ultraviolet Flux Decrease Under a Grand Minimum from IUE Short-wavelength Observation of Solar Analogs,” appears in the publication Astrophysical Journal Letters and was funded by the state of California.

“Now we have a benchmark from which we can perform better climate model simulations,” Lubin said. “We can therefore have a better idea of how changes in solar UV radiation affect climate change.”

Lubin and colleagues David Tytler and Carl Melis of UC San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences arrived at their estimate of a grand minimum’s intensity by reviewing nearly 20 years of data gathered by the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite mission. They compared radiation from stars that are analogous to the Sun and identified those that were experiencing minima.

The reduced energy from the Sun sets into motion a sequence of events on Earth beginning with a thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer. That thinning in turn changes the temperature structure of the stratosphere, which then changes the dynamics of the lower atmosphere, especially wind and weather patterns. The cooling is not uniform. While areas of Europe chilled during the Maunder Minimum, other areas such as Alaska and southern Greenland warmed correspondingly.

Lubin and other scientists predict a significant probability of a near-future grand minimum because the downward sunspot pattern in recent solar cycles resembles the run-ups to past grand minimum events.

Despite how much the Maunder Minimum might have affected Earth the last time, Lubin said that an upcoming event would not stop the current trend of planetary warming but might slow it somewhat. The cooling effect of a grand minimum is only a fraction of the warming effect caused by the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. After hundreds of thousands of years of CO2 levels never exceeding 300 parts per million in air, the concentration of the greenhouse gas is now over 400 parts per million, continuing a rise that began with the Industrial Revolution. Other researchers have used computer models to estimate what an event similar to a Maunder Minimum, if it were to occur in coming decades, might mean for our current climate, which is now rapidly warming.

One such study looked at the climate consequences of a future Maunder Minimum-type grand solar minimum, assuming a total solar irradiance reduced by 0.25 percent over a 50-year period from 2020 to 2070. The study found that after the initial decrease of solar radiation in 2020, globally averaged surface air temperature cooled by up to several tenths of a degree Celsius. By the end of the simulated grand solar minimum, however, the warming in the model with the simulated Maunder Minimum had nearly caught up to the reference simulation. Thus, a main conclusion of the study is that “a future grand solar minimum could slow down but not stop global warming.”

– Robert Monroe

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85 thoughts on “Study: Reduced Energy from the Sun Might Occur by Mid-century – cooling the climate

  1. Rrrrright. We have observations of variations in output, but not even the sun can stop global warming (simulations).

    • Excerpted from article:

      The Sun might emit less radiation by mid-century, giving planet Earth a chance to warm a bit more slowly but not halt the trend of human-induced climate change.

      Since no one actually believes that the “heat” is hiding in the ocean, a dire need of a new CYA is necessary.

    • When it’s freezing cold and Canada is becoming a glacier,
      just remember CAGW will always be just a government grant away.

    • Either way, busted on fake science and bad simulations, or a Maunder (type) Minimum, Warmunists need to just STFU.
      Heaven forbid the world should be caught out by a real glacial.

    • CO2 “slows down” cooling, thereby, increasing heating, which causes more moisture to produce more snow that forms glaciers to create an ice age that “slows down” human-caused warming, but does not stop it, Did I get that right?

      • No:
        You missed out the bit where the bottom of the glaciers are melting.
        It doesn’t slow it down to a sig degree as the reduced cooling is being taken up elsewhere (chiefly the oceans) and the increased albedo is negligible.

    • Yes Bryan and the coming onset of the remainder of the current Pleistocene ice age is completely inevitable. The Holocene optimum is just a short interglacial optimum like many others between 10 and 15 thousand years typically, we have already cooled dramatically 5,000 year ago and we are already overdue to return to ice. What the dullard who wrote the above pile of crap ignores, seemingly to enhance his loony narrative is that CO2 concentrations have been much higher throughout the entire history of the world, 600,000,000 years ago during the cretaceous CO2PPM were above 8,000PPM and the average is above 2,500PPM and the only other time in history we were so low on CO2 was during the Carboniferous -Permian border 300,000,000 years ago. It rose again to above 2,000PPM due to an incredible piece of luck within the evolution of bacteria and then gradually has been dying away again to dangerously low PPM. Now these bloody fools tell us that we are in danger of run away holocaustic warming and that the world will “Burn Up” as a consequence of the equal lowest levels of CO2 in the planets history…God give me strength. If we didn’t have run away heating at 8,000PPM and above, then how is it possible that we will at 400PPM?
      According to the kinds of scientists I pay attention to the sun is displaying little ice age behavior and if that is ongoing the next little ice age will be a lot sooner than these imbiciles “believe” as the little ice age came on very quickly, and this time it may not be so “little.”
      My prediction is that this will happen sooner rather than later and that Chicken Little will blame global cooling on global warming. And the “$cientists” will require massive spending to tell us a bunch of bullshit and that the Globalists will attempt the next New World Order again if they haven’t already succeeded this time. Socialists are like that. They will never stop. I also predicted the Pause, based on the same sun cycles that created the last cooling, and the last heating before that, ad infinitum. I might have been wrong to have made that prediction based on my limited understanding of the sun, dunno, but I was however right in the outcome and my prediction did not cost two trillion dollars plus. Three people paid attention and I didn’t make a cent…oh well.

  2. In some newspapers here they said a 7% eduction in solar output. Seemed impossible to me as the “normal” reduction is 0.1% over a solar cycle. 7% in the UV range may be possible. Changes in UV over a solar cycle does influence the ozone layer and the position of the jet streams, including rain patterns.
    Will be interesting times, if this gets real…

    • 7% sounds like a misreading of the press release, where it says
      “There is a well-known 11-year cycle in which the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation peaks and declines as a result of sunspot activity. During a grand minimum, Lubin estimates that ultraviolet radiation diminishes an additional seven percent beyond the lowest point of that cycle.”
      So it’s 7% of the normal 11-year dip, not of total TSI (or UV). And that doesn’t seem very much.

      • The -7% is in the EUV band 100-180nm.
        That results in reduction in ozone and thus stratospheric cooling and leads to a cooler troposhere.
        They studied 33 sun—like stars and how many were in EUV quiesence. Our sun is due. If so EUV declines dramatically.

      • “The -7% is in the EUV band 100-180nm.
        That results in reduction in ozone and thus stratospheric cooling and leads to a cooler troposhere.”
        No, what it does is result in is a cooler Stratosphere above the tropics/extra-tropics in winter, which results in a reduced PNJ (strat jet). That can, along with other drivers, such as the MJO (being in the correct phase) and ENSO regime result – in high level blocking (-AO/-NAO) within the Troposphere (one is taking place as I type) – and that results in a MOVEMENT of air in the trop – not a cooler one overall, as that would require sig -W/m^2 of energy.

      • Nick,
        So a -7% reduction in EUV “doesn’t seem very much” but an increase of ~4% of the total CO2 (by ~120 ppm) seems like a lot. ??
        Give it up.
        B

      • “an increase of ~4% of the total CO2 (by ~120 ppm) seems like a lot. ??”
        I just fall back to the usual contrarian argument as a rebuttal, and turn it around.
        It’s enough of an increase to “green the planet” as many say on here. And is “all good”.
        So why then does that argument not apply to a reduced cooling effect, as we know the properties of GHG’s?
        “Give it up”
        Exactly.

  3. We wouldn’t want to include any other factors that might tip the balance of long-range warming and safe global warming conclusion now would we. Only safe and scary outcomes get past the climate censors and all the players know that. From time to time they do try slip in a few small counter items though. This one was sufficiently small. Just don’t make it a habit or you’ll end up on the Mann watch list.

  4. Why? When this has been repeatedly debunked by our local solar go-to guru. Have you had enough of him?

    • If There’s grant money in catastrophic warming, then catastrophic cooling demands equal money.
      Besides, Global Cooling would be far, far worse than an 3degC warming. And not just to climateers!

    • Its just the usual business as usual from the warmers lobby. Mybfear is that when a natural cooling occurs that the greens will say ” we told you so, our policies are working at last ” & then demand even more restrictions on thevproduction of energy.
      That is really what its all about, co2 is just the smokescreen.
      Mje

      • But their policies won’t be working. Which is to say, atmospheric CO2 will continue to rise unabated (as well as emissions) in the face of their alleged success. It will be easy to call them out on that. The global cooling scare of the 70s died. AGW will die with the onset of imminent cooling…

    • Unfortunately the baloney is the grant money, usually found in the last paragraph as a commercial afterthought.

  5. Backup plan in case the globe gets colder. The one requirement is that it doesn’t counter the overall global warming hypothesis.

  6. “After hundreds of thousands of years of CO2 levels never exceeding 300 parts per million in air, the concentration of the greenhouse gas is now over 400 parts per million, continuing a rise that began with the Industrial Revolution.”
    So one part CO2 in 10,000 is enough to cancel out this solar minimum? That’s one magic molecule!

  7. Our man Dan Lubin has it all figured out. Now that the missing ingredient (AKA Dan’s secret sauce) has been added to recipe, we can nail global temps to the nth. degree for the next 100 year’s.
    Can there be any doubt that excessive funding, has spawned a cadre of science hacks, beholding the CAGW alter!

  8. “…giving planet Earth a chance to warm a bit more slowly but not halt the trend of human-induced climate change…..” It amazes me how the warmist cult completely ignores any natural warming. They act like it has never happened, and isn’t hapenning now, despite all the evidence to the contrary and expect everyone else to ignore it as well. Do they really think people are that stupid (besides themselves)?

  9. lf they know that during the Maunder Minimum that southern Greenland warmed while europe cooled. Then they should have understood what was a likely cause of the cooling in europe.

  10. The study is interesting. It is based on the idea that we can learn about solar variability by studying other Sun-like stars. However the conclusions are not solid. The sample is too small and the assumptions are unsupported.
    The idea that we are about to enter a solar grand minimum is peculiar and unsupported. The article doesn’t say anything about that, just the press release.

  11. The Little Ice Age killed millions from crop failure and freezing to death. Assuming CO2 warms the planet, and assume we are heading to another cold period, then we are saving humanity from the same as happened during the LIA.

    • No we aren’t, I’m afraid. CO2 is not an important climate driver, your assumption is incorrect. It won’t save us at any realistic atmospheric concentration from the next LIA-like event.

  12. Let’s see… One weak solar cycle and we wind up with a hiatus in global warming. But a string of weak cycles will produce just a slow down. (brilliant aren’t they?) Keep in mind, now, that a pause in agw wipes out feedbacks, too. How much agw can possibly occur over the next fifty years with the anthro signal canceled out and zero feedbacks?

  13. “By the end of the simulated grand solar minimum, however, the warming in the model with the simulated Maunder Minimum had nearly caught up to the reference simulation.”
    Ya gotta laugh at this one quote. Now they are using 2 models to compare to each other. 1 useless computer model referencing another useless computer model. And dont forget they are doing simulations up to the year 2070. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaagh

    • The Maunder Minimum occurred during the Little Ice Age, the next Minimum would likely resemble the Dalton Minimum, instead. And we already know their models overstate warming by a bunch.
      If we could just force them off of non-renewable power, we wouldn’t be bothered by their crappy modeling.

  14. The awesomely amazing, magical powers of CO2 never cease to amaze me, even outdoing the sun and oceans. Color me flabbergasted.

    • Bruce dont be fooled by small amounts of this ‘magic gas’. 100ppm more caused a 14% increase of forest cover on the planet and obvious visible greening over 30 years. Without this measly amount of CO2, this would be a dead planet! This has been pointed out before and should have been obvious anyway. For some reason, many wont let go of this kind of careless thinking and it only makes sceptics look foolish.

  15. And when the mile high glaciers are marching down Pennsylvania Avenue…
    just another predicton of the global warming models
    /sarc

  16. “Reduced Energy from the Sun Might Occur by Mid-century…”
    A reduction or change in total solar output (both particles and EM radiations) may happen tomorrow, or may have already begun over a thousand years ago.
    Nature has far more surprising processes than a person’s imaginative capabilities.

  17. This is just another trend in our Interglacial Period of ups and downs of a few degrees, from the made up average over the past 12,000 years, after scientists said the last Glacial Maximum ended. The observations of what actually happened – as scientists have concluded – during this Interglacial Period is not enough to go by those cycles. That these “scientists” look at outside sources of other star’s to get their information?
    The CO2 connection to warming should be laid to rest after the last 20 years of not happening. Just as in the last Interglacial Period where CO2 was much higher and a Solar Minimum created the Glacial Maximum and all that CO2 diminished to flora starvation levels by its ending. These scientists have inserted the CO2 warming ideology, that the coming cooling cycle will not be as bad as the LIA, with the increasing CO2 by the time the cooling happens. Ignoring that events like the LIA only affect the same general Eastern America to Russia as in past cycles. Where the rest of the Earth is only slightly affected by the cooling.

  18. The worst mistake these scientists make is that they start with preconceived ideas about CO2 and try and fit what they have found out from their research around their unproven theory.
    The theory of climate change ( global warming ) depends on positive feed backs to enhance the warming and on the tropical hot spot which has not been found ..
    The planet has warmed a little since the satellite era but it is no warmer than the Medieval Warm Period or the Roman warm period .
    They cannot prove that the warming since the late 1970s is not natural climate variability .
    Scientists should start with open minds not tunnel vision as so many portray .
    I have been following this debate about AWG for over 30 years and no one has come up with any substantial proof in that time .
    Consensus YES .
    Hockey sticks YES
    Climategate YES
    Deliberate data tampering YES
    The alteration of the climate records to erase the medieval warm period and the little ice age YES
    Why would any one believe anything that these people statewithout compelling evidence .
    Evidence NO NONE ZILCH

  19. So, when we find that the earth is going to be, say, three degrees colder, does anybody really think the warmists are going to recommend we all burn more fossil fuels to keep the temperatures higher?

  20. The Earth has been in a long-term cooling trend for over 6,000 years, since the peak warmth of the Holocene Climatic Optimum. We are now in the coldest 10% of the past 10,000 years, according to Greenland ice and sediment core studies. The current warming trend is just a natural recovery from the coldest period of the past 10,000 years, the Little Ice Age (1350 to 1850 AD). This inconvenient truth echos the fluctuations of long glacial and short interglacials periods of the past 2.6 million years. Only 125,000 years ago the Eemian interglacial featured warmer weather and higher sea levels than any disclosed by observation or proxy studies during the Holocene interglacial – without any amplification or diminution by fluctuating atmospheric CO2 levels. During each interglacial, as temperature peaked, cooling commenced. No runaway mechanism noted. Markedly inconvenient, no?

  21. “The cooling effect of a grand minimum is only a fraction of the warming effect caused by the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. After hundreds of thousands of years of CO2 levels never exceeding 300 parts per million in air, the concentration of the greenhouse gas is now over 400 parts per million,”
    That same hundreds of thousands of years of CO2 levels from ice core records show that CO2 increases were lagging behind temperature increases. So you can’t draw any conclusion of warming effect of CO2. But Lubin et al keep repeating the same unsupported claim as if repetition is a substitute for scientific observations. They must be a big fan of Lewis Carroll:
    “Just the place for a Snark!” the Bellman cried,
    As he landed his crew with care;
    Supporting each man on the top of the tide
    By a finger entwined in his hair.
    “Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
    That alone should encourage the crew.
    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
    What I tell you three times is true.”
    (The Hunting of the Snark)

    • Sallie Baliunas is an unsung heroine. Former director of the historic Wilson Observatory where legendary astronomers Hale, Hubble and Wilson had worked. She studied sun’s influence on climate and climate models since 1983 before Svensmark and before AGW became fashionable. A vocal skeptic since 1995. Judith Curry, Jo Nova and Jennifer Marohasy followed her lead

  22. Notice the disclaimer at the start, that it will not ‘halt’ AGW.
    Just to make sure that you don’t get the wrong idea when reading the rest.

  23. The IUE satellite was launched on January 26, 1978. It had an expected lifetime of 3 years, with a goal of 5 years, but exceeded that beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. When it was shut down on September 30, 1996, it had been in continuous operation for 18 years and 9 months.
    https://science.nasa.gov/missions/iue
    This satellite was operational during the last part of solar cycle 21, all of solar cycle 22 and half of solar cycle 23?
    I defer to Dr. S. ….not again, please….

  24. As long as the predominant pattern in the oceans is evaporation, not absorption, we will be warm, more or less. Climate warming in one sentence.

  25. It strikes me that many “climate scientists” will still be claiming it is only a “pause” in man-made global warming when the glaciers return and overwhelm their house.

  26. Again the paper’s very first sentence is a hysterical slogan. As always with these papers. Someone somewhere has ordered this – someone who no climate scientist dares disobey.

  27. So solar grand minima are significant enough to be detectable on stars many lightyears distant – but are still overwhelmed by the effect of CO2? Not convinced.

  28. So, instead of looking at the historical evidence of what happens in a grand solar minimum they choose to create an elaborate computer climate model once more. They never seem to learn.

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