[PUBLIC] Start of the Gore Minimum?
Apr. 27th, 2008 @ 02:37 pm
A bit less than 400 years ago the Earth entered an extended period of relative cool. This became known as the Maunder Minimum and was repeated a bit less than 200 years later, in the early 1800's, by the Dalton Minimum which lasted from the late 1790's until the 1820's.|
What causes these?
One theory is that the 178.8 year cycle for the center of mass of the entire solar system results in changes in the number of sunspots that are produced, and this in turn affects cosmic radiation and cloud formation. Various papers, such as this one, document the relationship between sunspot counts and orbital geometry.
What does this have to do with Al Gore and climate change?
Weather and climate news has been dominated by the carbon dioxide related global warming, but the situation in the solar system at large has received little or not press. If these papers are correct, and the data appears to show a very strong correlation between sunspot counts, the center of mass of the solar system, and global climate, we should begin entering a period of global cooling which will last two or more 11 year sunspot cycles.
We are just now entering Solar Cycle 24, which officially began January, 2008 with the first sunspot having a reversed polarity from the sunspots of cycle 23 having been sighted. It last just a few days before disappearing. The second cycle 24 sunspot was sighted in April, 2008 with spots from cycle 23 making up the rest of the very minimal sunspot activity. It, too, was very short lived.
As this chart from NOAA shows --
1998 was a record year for the global mean surface temperature, with no year since 1998 breaking that record. That year occurred two years after the start of cycle 23, which was slightly less active than cycle 22 which is the most active cycle on record.
How will this lead to global cooling?
As this paper shows, there is a strong correlation between solar cycle length and global mean temperature. If cycle 24 has not yet really started, and two very short lived sunspots aren't convincing everyone that cycle 24 actually started, each day that the cycle is delayed implies some amount of global cooling. The bitter '07-'08 winter in the Northern Hemisphere reflects the lower mean global temperature from 2006, and the forecast for 2008 is that this year will be cooler, on average, than 2007.
Is this the start of a new Ice Age?
No. This is not the death knell of Global Warming. This is part of the normal cycle -- the Dalton and Maunder Minimums being the two most recent -- that people such as myself have long used to argue against a CO2-only, or CO2-dominated global climate model. When the Gore Minimum ends in several cycles, global warming will resume, but this time bigger and badder than before, unless CO2 emissions are reduced. In another 178 years, unless something changes, a far warmer planet will again experience a few decades of relative cool before warming again.
What action is required?
I don't personally believe that any year in the coming solar cycle will surpass the global mean surface temperature record of 1998. Last year I said my thoughts about breaking the 1998 record depended on cycle 24, and based on what I've read -- and I'm no expert by any means -- cycles 24 and 25 will be such that there will be a downward bias in global mean temperature. Depending on cycles 26 or 27, global warming will pick right back up where it left off, unless something is done. The weather where I live today is cold, rainy and miserable, which is not typical at all for the Cat Farm this time of the year.
Fortunately, the something which must be done is precisely the same something we need to do to avert a catastrophic collapse of the global economy in the very near term -- quit relying on fossil fuels. When I first started actively engaging the climate change folks on the subject, oil was half the price it is today. The global economy is heading in a direction where unless oil prices begin to decline, the global economy will stall and collapse. There is only one way to reduce the price of oil in a free market economy -- reduce consumption. As we near Peak Oil, increasing production is not an option, no matter how much Pres. Bush pounds his fist on the table, demanding that oil production in the Arctic be permitted.
The option to purchase hybrid vehicles, and engage in the forms of energy conservation I've undergone, should be pursued by those who have the means, even if they "barely" have the means. The underclasses -- lower and working -- often lack the personal working capital to purchase products, such as hybrid cars or solar power systems -- which can effectively reduce overall oil consumption. Once economies of scale and free market competition make these products available, everyone should switch.
At the political policy level, governments should begin heavily taxing fossil fuel consumption, with rebates or exemptions for the lower classes, with the cap on income for receiving a rebate or exemption being reduced each year as the products penetrate the market. The goal of this strategy would be to convince the upper classes, which can afford to reduce fossil fuel consumption to do so, and thereby pay no tax, while any taxes collected are used to move others off of fossil fuels.
|Date:||December 30th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)|| |
thanks for the support on RC
It's amazing that over there nobody gets it!
Re: thanks for the support on RC
Yeah, I'm quite surprised as well.
I think their behavior is maladaptive -- that if they admit the big ball of fire has any bearing on the matter that suddenly AGW is "wrong". But there's no claim, in any of the good AGW science, that CO2 is all there is. I think I read that CO2 related AGW is only 60% of "all of it".
Personally I think SC24, which is proving to be a real dud of a solar cycle, is a gift from G-d. If we were anywhere else in the cycle between grand minima and grand maxima we'd be in big trouble. But because SC24, and very likely SC25, are going to be a grand minimum by the looks of things, we have that extra time to very aggressively attack the problem of CO2.
Hopefully the oil shock of 2007 and 2008 will be enough to motivate people to cut CO2 emitting fuel usage. But if not, if we continue on this path for another 20 years, I feel sorry for humanity when SC26 or SC27 get going and the climactic benefits of a grand minimum are lost.
In my analysis above, I stated that I didn't think SC24 was going to break the 1998 record.
Based on what I've seen, and particularly how SC24 is shaping up, I'm going to revise that comment to say that I don't believe we'll see a new record for HadCRUT prior to 2014. If we don't see a new record by 2018, I don't believe we'll see one until SC24.
This might sound like I believe Global Warming is dead-dead-dead, but even if SC25 is a dud, the likelihood that CO2 will push us over the 1998 record is much higher and the '20s are far more likely to produce new records, even with a quieter solar cycle.