JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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The brutal cold of the Maunder Minimum and the Great Irish Frost

A Scene on the Ice by Hendrick Avercamp, circa 1600

Dennis Avery reminds us of just how painfully cold the Little Ice Age was (see below) and also pointed me to this excellent historical description:

The Great Irish Frost of 1740, Longest Period of Extreme Cold in Modern European History

Biot Report #442:July 13, 2007

An extraordinary climatic shock—the Great Frost—struck Ireland and the rest of Europe between December 1739 and September 1741, after a decade of relatively mild winters. Its cause remains unknown. Charting its course sharply illuminates the connectivity between climate change and famine, epidemic disease, economies, energy sources, and politics. David Dickson, author of Arctic Ireland (1997) provides keen insights into each of these areas, which may have application to human behaviors during similar future climatic shocks. The crisis of 1740-1741 should not be confused with the equally devastating Great Potato Famine in Ireland of the 1840s.

Though no barometric or temperature readings for Ireland (population in 1740 of 2.4 million people) survive from the Great Frost, Englishmen were using the mercury thermometer invented 25 years earlier by the Dutch pioneer Fahrenheit. (1) Indoor values during January 1740 were as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The one outdoor reading that has survived was 32 degrees Fahrenheit, not including the wind chill factor, which was severe. This kind of weather was “quite outside British or Irish experience,” notes Dickson. (1)

How different life would have been then. We are reminded just how useful it is to stay one step ahead of mother nature, if we can.

Climax of Catastrophe

The catastrophe climaxed in spring-summer 1741. Dysentery and typhus raged through county after county. One observer wrote:

“Mortality is now no longer heeded; the instances are so frequent. And burying the dead, which used to be one of the most religious acts among the Irish, is now become a burthen: so that I am daily forced to make those who remain carry dead bodies to the churchyards, which would otherwise rot in the open air; otherwise I assure you the common practice is to let the tree where it fall, and if some good natured body covers it with the next ditch, it is the most to be expected. In short, by all I can learn, the dreadfullest civil war, or most raging plague never destroyed so many as this season. The distempers and famine increase so that it is no vain fear that there will not be hands to save the harvest.” (14)

More riots occurred as wealthy person increasingly feared that by the summer of 1741, the epidemics would reach them. This fear led to a purge of diseased Dublin vagrants who officials led to the Workhouse where they died in great numbers. In the year beginning June 1741, for example, more children died in the Workhouse (700 children) than were actually admitted into it, according to Dickson.

MAUNDER MINIMUM 1740—REPLAY IN 2020?,

Carbon-14 record for last 1,100 years (inverted scale). Solar activity events labeled. Source: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-0095-00/

By  DENNIS T. AVERY

A reader recently pointed out a fascinating temperature comparison—between 1700 AD and today. He marked two sections of the world’s oldest temperature record–Central England Yearly Average Temperature 1660–2008: The first section showed our famous recent temperature surge from 1976–1998. He also marked a similar strong temperature surge from AD 1688–1738.

The killer in the comparison is that the temperature surge after 1688 was followed by a sudden plunge into one of the coldest periods in the entire Little Ice Age. The cold of 1739-40 was called The Great Frost, and it devastated Europe from Italy to Iceland.

The linkage? The Great Frost followed a period of very few sunspots—The Maunder Minimum (1645–1715). Today, we know that fewer sunspots predict colder temperatures, and the modern world has just undergone a similar dearth of sunspots, from 2007 to 2011.

During the Maunder period, Europe’s glaciers were much larger than today; it was the Little Ice Age, after all. But the glaciers didn’t advance during the sunspot dearth. The winters of the 1730s were actually fairly warm. But during and after the winter of 1739, glaciers advanced strongly through France and Germany, and north into Sweden, Norway and Iceland and didn’t retreat for the next 50 years.

Ireland suffered the most severely. In the depths of the winter of 1739-40, winds and terrible cold intensified. Rivers, lakes, and waterfalls froze and fish died in the first few weeks of the Great Frost. Coal dealers found their coal piles and unloading docks frozen solid. Mill-wheels froze, so the millers and bakers could produce no bread.

Ireland’s crucial potato crop—normally left in the ground until needed for food—froze underground. The tubers were ruined for food, and useless as seed for the following year. The following spring came drought, and the winds remained fierce. The winter wheat and barley sown the previous fall died in the fields. Sheep and cattle died in the pastures. The fall of 1740 saw a small harvest, but the dairy cattle had been so starved that few of them bore calves. Milk production plummeted as the cows’ milk dried up.

That winter, blizzards ranged along the coast, and great chunks of ice sweeping down the River Liffey sank vessels in the harbor. Dublin wheat prices rose to all-time highs.

Meanwhile dysentery, smallpox, and typhus were ravaging a weakened population. Farm workers had seldom gone to town when they had food on their tables; now they wandered in seeking food or relief assistance—and died in great numbers.

The climate disaster finally ended in the summer of 1741. An estimated 400,000 people had died. Desperation gripped the people following both the Great Frost and a warmer bad-weather famine from 1726 to 1730. The harsh variability of the Little Ice Age was being felt full force. Thousands of Irish families began immigrating to America. The emigration of Ulster Presbyterians, for example, peaked between 1740 and 1760. Ministers took whole congregations to the Carolinas and Virginia, where they found like-minded people and cheap farmland.

Usually, there’s about a ten-year lag between sunspot changes and their impact on earth’s temperatures. The sunspots began predicting lower temperatures about 2000, for instance, and the cooling trend began eight years later in 2007. Now the sunspot minimum that just ended is predicting quite serious cold, perhaps about 2020.

Don’t throw away your electric blankets—and make sure that greenhouse emissions limits don’t steal the electricity to heat them.

H/t Bob S and thanks to Dennis for permission to reprint his work.

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71 comments to The brutal cold of the Maunder Minimum and the Great Irish Frost

  • #
    Jud

    Thanks for this – very interesting and something I will look into more deeply.
    Also interesting to note my (albeit anecdotal) experience when I visited Ireland this past Christmas.

    After being stuck in Heathrow airport for 2 days en-route due to ‘cold weather’(don’t get me started on that place – please avoid it as a stop-over at all costs if you possibly can) I finally got to Ireland via a rented car and ferry trip.

    I couldn’t believe the snow and ice covered roads and the low temperatures (the car thermometer showed -15c on my drive up from Dublin).

    At my mother’s place the electricity supply was sporadic and the water was off due to frozen pipes for most of my 2 weeks there.
    She is almost 85 and cannot recall anything like it.

    As I said, purely anecdotal but very noteworthy and an interesting data point on the sunspot hypothesis.


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  • #
    Keith H

    This is a cross post of mine from Chiefio’s site some time ago and I know I’ve mentioned it here before but it directly relates to this thread and is becoming more relevant as temperatures fall.

    From the late John Daly’s excellent 10th May 2000 article titled “What’s Wrong With The Surface Record” (http://www.john-daly.com/ges/surftemp/surftemp.htm).

    On Page 13 headed “Station Records and Climate Models” he had noted the value of looking at, quote: “individual station records, particularly those which are known to be rural, have continuous and consistent data and are known to be properly supervised. The ‘ideal’stations are those which have everything – a long-term record, no breaks, scientifically supervised,completely rural (i.e., ‘greenfields’) and set in a climatically strategic location.

    An example is Valentia in Ireland which is located on an island in the extreme southwest of Ireland, right on the coast of County Kerry facing the North Atlantic. It is the first point of interception for the Gulf Stream entering northern Europe and is directly exposed to the prevailing south-westerly winds which blow in from the ocean. It is the perfect location to monitor climate change and as we can readily see (in accompanying graph) there hasn’t been any. There has been variation year-to-year over a 2 degree range, but no overall trend since 1869 ******( a year which was itself warmer than 1999). The pre-war warming is present – just, but quickly followed by a similar cooling.”

    ****** Interestingly the graph record shown by John started in 1869 but the graph now shown on the gistemp site starts from a much colder 1880. Make of that what you will!

    On checking what had happened in the ensuing 10 years, the 2 degree range rhythmic rise and fall has been maintained at Valentia. What really caught my attention though, is the 1.5 degree fall recorded over the last four years. On checking the nine stations in Ireland still being used by NASA,Gistemp, they had all consistently recorded similar falls.

    Apologies for the state of the table below. It looked OK before submitting!

    Ireland Temps. Fall 2006-2010 Length of Record

    Casement Aero 1.7degrees 1993-2010
    Dublin Airport 1.8 ” 1880-2010
    Shannon Airport 1.6 ” 1948-2010
    Belmullet 1.6 ” 1961-2010
    Belfast/Alder 1.4 ” 1880-2010
    Cork Airport 1.5 ” 1949-2010
    Malin Head 1.5 ” 1955-2010
    Valley 1.5 ” 1955-2010
    Valentia Obs 1.5 ” 1880-2010


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  • #
    incoherent rambler

    Let me preempt the response from the AGW fanatics.
    The temperature drops and variation is weather not climate and the changes are caused by global warming.


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  • #
    Keith H

    Also relevant.

    From Alaska Climate Research Center http://gi.alaska.edu/

    “Decadal Climate Change in Fairbanks 2010

    The best linear fit of the data points of the last decade displays a fairly strong cooling of 1.8°F. Recent cooling has also been observed in other parts of the world, and some climatologists have attributed this trend to the low solar activity we have experienced over the last few years. Another symptom of this can be seen in the aurora activity, which has decreased over the few last years here in Fairbanks. It is worthwhile to point out that during the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), a time period of very low solar activity, Greenland froze over and the Vikings had to leave, as agricultural activities became more difficult.

    The temperature has varied widely over the last century, 1926 being the warmest year. In 1976/77 a sudden and substantial temperature increase was observed in Alaska, which we attributed to a change in circulation, which is expressed in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The PDO shifted from dominantly negative to dominantly positive values. Since that change, the temperature trend has been fairly flat for Fairbanks.”

    All the signs are that natural variability is going to put the CAGW scam into deep freeze, hopefully never to be seen again!


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  • #
    Manalive

    Junk Science is about the only site with a clear graphic of the temperature surge after 1688 and the sudden plunge of 1739-40.
    I understand that Phil Jones is now custodian of the CET record so the latter period may include some ‘adjustments’.


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  • #
    wes george

    There could be volcanic reasons for the short lived, if deadly, cold climate change of 1740. Short cold spells that quickly warm fit the profile of volcanism as the most parsimonious solution to the riddle. For me, at least, the sunspot record seems too short to be a reliable predictor with the level of precision that Avery’s forecast requires.

    http://www.thurles.info/2010/12/31/the-great-frost-or-forgotten-famine-of-1740/


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  • #
    Bruce of Newcastle

    David Archibald has a timely reminder of the cost of solar minima today at WUWT.

    The CET is a great dataset for analysing patterns like this: if you use the relationship between previous solar cycle length and temperature out of Butler and Johnston (similar latitude to the CET) and throw in a PDO/AMO (65 yrs +/-0.13 C sinewave) and Ray Spencer’s 2XCO2 of 0.6 C you can match the CET trend to 4 decimal places since 1755. But the Maunder throws the relationship off because I can’t work out the SCL – is it one cycle of 33 years, 2 of 16 or 3 of 11 years? No sunspots, and no radios back then tuned to F10.7.

    In short, yep the Svensmark/Friis-Christensen/Lassen hypothesis seems to hold up, certainly it explains the temperature record a sight better than all the IPCC GCM’s seem to.

    And if this is true, since SC23 was about 13 years long and the PDO is on its way back down then we’re in for some cold for about the next 3 decades.


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  • #
    RWTH

    If they eventuate cooler temperatures will kill the AGW scare, even if it takes a decade… Whatever the cause of the Great Frost, the descent into the coming (overdue) ice age is going to look very similar. If we have to prepare for something, that is it. Typical of us crazy monkeys to have it backwards!


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  • #
    crakar24

    No, no, no, no, no, no the only affect the sun has on climate is TSI!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  • #
    wes george

    I once believed in the evidence for AGW. But then I began to have some nagging doubts. By 2005 I realized that CAGW had become the new theoretical basis for eco-leftist nexus to justify state-controlled social and economic systems they’ve been committed to all along anyway. Their end game is to bleed social, economic and political power away from local communities and individuals (whom our morally superior elites believe are too ignorant to make rational decisions for themselves) and concentrate it in all-knowing, unelected technocratic institutions. It’s all for our own good, of course.

    Shamefully, Avery’s and Archibald’s forecast for cold climate change is reminiscent of the rhetorical style of the Warmenists. First a recital of dire potential catastrophes, then a forecast based on thin – but perfectly plausible – evidence, which no layperson can easily refute. Yet, the fact that the Earth’s geophysiology is the most complex nonlinear system in the known universe, and therefore all inter-decadal forecasts are doubtful, is never addressed.

    Ironically, Avery’s and Archibald’s argument, just like the Warmenist CAGW argument, isn’t really about the science at all. It’s driven by politics. In Avery’s case, he seems to wish to drive the final nail in the coffin of AGW. But the coffin is empty, the eco-leftist zombies aren’t inside.

    The elitist eco-leftist minority that appropriated the AGW hypothesis as an excuse to impose their values on society never gave a damn about the science at all. They hate science and all that it stands for. Destroying the methods of rational inquiry while securing global political dominance was supposed to be a twofer!

    So the eco-leftists will be happy to adopt this latest climate apocalypse – the Eddy Minimum – as their own. First, the minimum will be offered as evidence the AGW hypothesis was right all along! AGW will be hailed as the reason why we aren’t suffering the fate of the 1740 Irish.

    Then the new climate apocalypse narrative will be used to impose punitive taxes, ration individual civil liberties, and enforce the same intolerant orthodoxy and groupthink oppression drummed up for the last climate scare. Colding or warming, what’s the difference? Once the science is settled, the debate needs to end. The eco-leftist political and socio-economic solutions will remain the same.


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  • #
    John Brookes

    Nice history, but no useful predictive power.


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  • #
    overseasinsider

    That’s the point Johnny Boy!!! If you believe ANYONE can predict future weather/climate, then I have a lovely piece of ocean-front land in Alice Springs I’d love to sell you!!!


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  • #
    Greg

    It’s worth remembering that warming and cooling run in cycles and so do the media scares. The current cooling is right on time and will likely last for about 20 more years, more or less. Here.

    Give it a few more years before the alarmists start shrieking about global cooling and ice ages.


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  • #
    The Loaded Dog

    Nice history, but no useful predictive power.

    Sigh. Thanks for that pearl Johnboy.

    You can never learn anything from history right?

    There truly are none so blind as those who will not see…


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  • #
    The Loaded Dog

    Oh further to my last Johnboy. History has in fact proven that the “predictive power” of Nostradamus was atrocious and nothing more than gobbledegook.

    But try telling that to the “true believers”…


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    The lag between sunspot changes and land temperatures must be due to the heat absorbed by the oceans. I would be interested to find out how the ocean convection patterns that give rise to the decade pressure oscillations such as the ENSO are related to the 11 year sun spot oscillations.


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  • #
    Grumpy old fart

    So how long can the establishment ‘hide the decline’ for? They’ve got to be getting desperate about the lack of ‘warmest year ever’ temperatures before their anti-carbon measures come into play and can be used to plausibly explain the cooling.

    The stunt they pulled with 2010′s ‘warmest year ever’ isn’t going to be possible for too much longer without some blatant chicanery, so the pressure will be on the propaganda and political messages to make up for it.

    Interesting times ;)


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  • #
    Mark D.

    John Brookes @ 11

    Nice history, but no useful predictive power.

    Hey John, you’ve provided “no useful predictive power” either. Besides that, I can’t say you have a “nice history” either.


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  • #
    Mark D.

    Brian, do you mean the “travesty” ocean heat?


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  • #
    Matt b

    Hey JB… just imagine if the world’s leading scientists at the time had all informed Ireland that this was about to happen and they should do all they can to prepare for it. Of course that couldn;t really happen back then, but today… well you think we’d learn from history and listen up!


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Well, John has the “predictive power” of AGW to place his confidence

    - what a joke. But will the failure of AGW theory to account for anything change his mind?

    Never. This incomprehensible conclusion is the source of the irreparable (evidently insurmountable) schism between global warmers and the sceptics.


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  • #
    Damian Allen

    Some interesting sites about the cooling world. Bye Bye global warming!!

    1,000 References of Global Cooling……

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2010/12/1000-references-of-global-cooling.html

    World cooling has set-in warns astrophysicist – BBC & ‘Global Warming apologists’ challenged to end ‘cover-up’ by Piers Corbyn

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3307&linkbox=true&position=4


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  • #
    Mark D.

    Wes @ 6, Are you clarifying; “well understood”?


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  • #
    Mark D.

    MattB @20 are you saying there were no scientists in Ireland?

    Or are you saying that the world’s leading scientists in that time could not predict what was happening?

    Or are you suggesting a conspiracy against the Irish?


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Matt is trying to say that he really doesn’t believe any millennium temperature patterns except the “hockey stick” because that is his Bible and anything else is a pack of lies from “greedy people” and “oil companies.”


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  • #
    Matt b

    Mark D – I’m saying that in all liklihood the scientists of Ireland and the globe had not been warning for 20 years that the big frost was coming. No conspiracy. Just suggesting we should be thankful for our advances and put them to good use.


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  • #
    Mark D.

    Mattb So you are skeptical of the scientific abilities of the best scientific minds of the time?


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  • #

    Loaded Dog at comment 15 mentions Nostradamus.
    What has always amazed me about Nostradamus is the way that they make current events ‘fit’ those predictions he, er, made.
    There has never been a case of:
    “Warning, Warning, Nostradamus prediction about to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, soon.”
    It’s always a case of fitting what has happened to his prediction.
    Nostradamus provided us with a sort of like, er, ancient computer model.
    Let’s make the prediction fit the model.
    It seems that AGW operates in reverse.
    Make the past fit the model, and if not, then similar to Nostradamus, make the model fit the Past, and then it becomes easier to say what will happen in the future.
    So, extrapolating that out, current computer models are the Nostradamus of now, the present, and whatever does happen in the future can be made to fit the model.
    It’s sort of like a win win ….. for AGW believers.

    Tony.


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  • #
    The Loaded Dog

    Matt b:

    well you think we’d learn from history and listen up!

    Absolutely Matty. So why don’t you warmists learn from it instead of trying to alter, adjust or “smooth” it?


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    Brian G Valentine

    Tony, this is just a need for some people to have the world come to an end from “evil people.”

    Nostradamus: “A great power will cause global disruption and suffering.”

    In the 1950′s people took this to mean the Communists.

    By the year 2000 the tabloids took this to mean Al Qaeda.

    In this decade lefties took this to mean “oil companies.”


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  • #
    Louis Hissink

    The only plausible causes for this “cool period” would be meteorite swarm and/or significant peturbations in the geomagnetic field and auroral (northern lights) activities. Archaeologist Peter Mungo Jupp has pointed out that before white settlement the Australian Aborigines recounted a time of great death associated with the southern lights, but the precise timing of this seems impossible to pin down.

    I would also study the Choson Annals – these might extend to the period being considered in Jo’s post.

    But the cooling isn’t a regular cyclical thing, but an unpredictable influence on the earth from an external causation. The whole evolution of the earth, as presently understood, has no periodicity in it at all – which is also the point Piers Corbyn makes concerning his work – while there is a pattern for the sunspots etc, these are simply backdrops for a more unpredictable input from the sun/galaxy system.

    The point I want to make is that ice ages are not predictable due to some natural cycle. They are unpredictable once off events that cause global grief, as did the external effect that caused the LIA.


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  • #
    Matt b

    “Mattb So you are skeptical of the scientific abilities of the best scientific minds of the time?”

    No not at all… but it is clear to say that we know a lot more than we did then thanks to the continuing good work of scientists then and now. I’m sure there were great breakthroughs at the time, I mean it was approaching the dawn of the industrial age and there are many celebrated minds of the era.

    That Isaac Newton was pretty handy I gather. Gallileo useful at a pub quiz no doubt. Me old China Darwin.


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  • #
    Mark D.

    Matt B @ 32….it is clear to say that we know a lot more than we did then thanks to the continuing good work of scientists…..

    Sure! So with all that “Lot more” what caused the Great Irish Frost?


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    overseasinsider

    Matt, I’m stunned that I am actually going to write the following…..

    I actually agree with you on something!!! If the scientists of the day had warned the Irish of the impending disaster they may have been able to prepare for it. If we are to accept that CAGW is real (which I don’t), then it is our “warning”. However, the part I agree with you on is that we can prepare for any changes that happen….. not prevent them from happening!!! The Cost Benefit Ananlysis is heavily infavour of preperation compared to prevention (which actually isn’t possible!!!).


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  • #
    Matt b

    ” So with all that “Lot more” what caused the Great Irish Frost?”

    Like duh… cold weather dude.


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  • #
    Matt b

    p.s. the Irish CEntral tells me:
    “The Great Frost of 1740 is believed to have been partly caused by the volcanic eruptions on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia which sent thousands of tons of dust into the atmosphere.”
    Which it appears is gleaned from Dickson’s book as per the OP.


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    Mark D.

    Matt B @ 35:

    Like duh…

    Said with the backing of all 30 something years of science education and state of the art references together with peer input. Very impressive Matt B.


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  • #
    Matt b

    Well I thought it was funny anyway.


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    wes george

    The big Irish frost of 1740 probably wasn’t caused by the solar cycle. So why claim it was?

    http://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=volcanic+eruptions+in+1740&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&redir_esc=&ei=VWLMTZKnH4mKvQOCvcyiAQ

    I’m not objecting to the evidence for the possibility of a coming cool period as has often been presented at WUWT.

    What I do object to is for those sceptical of the CAGW narrative to adopt the same propagandistic approach when popularising alternative climate forcing theories and forecasts. How is exchanging a hotting climate apocalypse myth for a chilling climate apocalyptic fear a rational improvement?

    It’s not. It’s the morbid results of Warmenista domination of the rhetoric and language we all now use to think about and describe the natural evolution and cycles of climate. Warmists have so perverted the discourse that some skeptics can’t think about “climate change” without reference to catastrophic scenarios and biblical plagues, while adopting the Alarmist penchant for not mentioning serious evidence against their theories…

    Obviously, the sceptics have won the hard science debate. The strong CAGW hypothesis is no longer useful to describe the climate, even for politicians… but deleterious Warmenist memes apparently will continue sap our ability to clearly form rational ideas about the nature of climate for some time to come.


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  • #
    Matt b

    Wes I think warming is based on theory relating to CO2, ond ok some think that is bunkum, but cooling seems based on something akin to reading a stock-market chart. I think Louis summed it up pretty well at the end of #31:
    “The point I want to make is that ice ages are not predictable due to some natural cycle. They are unpredictable once off events that cause global grief, as did the external effect that caused the LIA.”

    IN comparison to a Graeme Bird approach of being certain we are on the verge of a brutal and pulverising stage of what is already a brutal and pulversing ice age.


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  • #

    Matt b @ 38,

    Don’t quit your day job to become a comedian. You are far more skilled at being a troll.


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    Mark D.

    Wes, no argument here for what you say in 39 although hyperbole has value.

    To be clear, at 23 what I said was making fun of the state of climate science not your comment at 6. Matt B was kind enough to provide additional evidence.

    Matt B must have nightmares about this (pulled from JoNova)

    Cole:
    May 12th, 2011 at 4:39 am edit

    Hey Joanne!

    Great news, (don’t know if you’ve heard but here’s reputable peer reviewed proof the sun was responsible for the vast majority of warming…Already up at the University of Cornell and Harvard’s Smithsonian/NASA sites.

    The paper finds that the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) has increased since the end of the Little Ice Age (around 1850) by up to 6 times more than assumed by the IPCC. Thus, much of the global warming observed since 1850 may instead be attributable to the Sun (called “solar forcing”), rather than man-made CO2 as assumed by the IPCC.

    http://www.aanda.org/index.php?option=com_article&access=standard&Itemid=129&url=%2Farticles%2Faa%2Fabs%2F2011%2F05%2Faa16173-10%2Faa16173-10.html


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  • #

    Shamefully, Avery’s and Archibald’s forecast for cold climate change is reminiscent of the rhetorical style of the Warmenists. First a recital of dire potential catastrophes, then a forecast based on thin – but perfectly plausible – evidence, which no layperson can easily refute. Yet, the fact that the Earth’s geophysiology is the most complex nonlinear system in the known universe, and therefore all inter-decadal forecasts are doubtful, is never addressed.

    Wes, I couldn’t have said it better myself. As far as I’m concerned, take away the three decadal oscillation we’re still on an upward trend. It simply won’t be possible to prove a downward trend for another ten years or more.

    Weather is not climate. Climate is a non-linear system.

    These two statements of fact refute arguments that draw any comparisons in the article above.

    I’ve done alot of study of the stock markets over the years and every time I look at climate graphs I see a trading prices chart. Like any good economist knows, you can’t pick future prices. We don’t know enough about cause and effect. But, you can follow the fundamental investment rule:

    Buy on an upward trend and sell on a downward trend. Never guess the turn-around(top or bottom of the market).

    This is pretty much the state of affairs with climate science. Of course, as a trader you will take on the opposite perspective of trying to pick the turn-arounds. Not that it relates to climate at all but, it would be interesting to do a candlestick analysis of climate charts to see if the recent past has any turn-around patterns in the data.


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    Ian George

    Totally agree with you, wes.
    I too believed in AGW until I actually started checking the ‘facts’ they were stating. The fraudulent ‘hockey stick’ theory and having internet access to past weather/climate records convinced me they were up to no good. And then Copenhagen with its blatant transfer of wealth from developed to underdeveloped/undeveloped countries with the monitoring and fining of countries, convinced of their real agenda – ultimate control.
    If we sceptics fall into the trap of offering up scenarios that are based on faulty science and political biases, we will become like them. The climate is too complex to make predictions as those who pushed global cooling in the 70s found to their discomfort.


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    RobJM

    I still haven’t seen sufficient evidence to link solar cycles with the longer term 1000year climate cycles. I’m inclined to think these are related to the deep ocean cycle. (hence the 800year CO2 lag)
    Based on that I would expect to see benign conditions for another couple of centuries with the smaller PDO atmospheric cycle overlaid.
    I hope i’m right for all our sake!


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    debbie

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/22/failed-mirth-earth-day-predictions/#more-38484

    Here are some of the other ‘alarmist’ quotes from the 70s.
    The last one is the classic that Greg @ 13 and some of the others have referred to.
    It is true you know, I’m old enough to remember these.
    We were going to be in an ice age by now. Kenneth Watt, ecologist, said so!
    Seems to indicate that the cost benefit analysis would definitely favour preparation rather than prevention.
    Otherwise we would have all been working to avoid an ice age in 2000.
    Oh! Wait a minute, now we are talking ice age again! Aren’t we? No! Wait a minute, it’s the opposite isn’t it?
    Somehow or other they have to prove that we need our all seeing, all knowing centralised government has to tax us to ‘prevent’ the upcoming catastrophe.
    They have no chance of me supporting a tax for prevention of a climate catastrophe.
    How extraordinarily conceited of all of them.
    How on earth can a tax and a redistribution of wealth manage the climate for fox ache?
    That is a ridiculous argument.
    No one can ‘manage’ the climate.
    They can only ‘manage’ what we currently believe about the climate.
    Lucky we have people like Jo to call them out on it.


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    RWTH

    Calm down wes, postmodernism is as dated as uniformitarianism.


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    Damian Allen

    A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of the pearly gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked “what are those clocks?”
    St Peter Answered.. “Those are lie-clocks. Everyone who has ever been on earth has a lie-clock. Everytime you lie, the hands on your clock move”.
    Oh, said the man “Whose clock is that?”
    “That is mother Teresa’s “, replied St Peter. “The hands have never moved, indicating that she has never told a lie”.
    “Incredible”, said the man.. and “whose clock is that one?”
    St Peter responded.. “That is Abraham Lincoln’s clock, the hands have moved twice, telling us that Abraham told only two lies in his entire life”.
    Where is Julia Gillard’s clock?” asked the man.
    St Peter replied. “Jesus has it in his office, He uses it as a ceiling fan”
    My comment….. Not funny… TRUE


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    Matt b

    Hey Jo… generally related to dodgy science, but as a mum you’ll appreciate this…

    Researchers say that infants who sleep badly is CAUSED BY grumpy parents with deteriorating marriages!! My bet is childless, single researchers aged 50+ or early 20s. Talk about cart before the horse.

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/lifestyle/a/-/lifestyle/9428570/babies-sleep-woes-linked-to-rocky-marriages/


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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    I have a slight problem with using sun spots as the blame to the planet cooling. It could be right but here is why I have my doubts.

    The greatest heat from the sun is at the equator or the sun due to it’s massive diameter, distance from the planet and the centrifugal force is the greatest.
    The planet is held from drifting by repulsion of the magnetic field that comes from both poles equally. This is a rotating magnetic field that at the sun core is slightly faster than this planet and all the other planets(different sizes and densities) except 3 planets(these can be explained as to why they are different and slowing more). There is only one day apart out of 4.5 billion years in rotation.

    This planet has a great deal of checks and balances that is very complicated and inter-related. From pressure changes to cloud cover to salinity changes. Many regional events have no bearing to the overall planet yet science has put emphasis to these. Cloud cover and storms NEVER cross the equator and the drifting from the equator to the poles takes 30 years. From pole to pole can be by hundreds of years.
    This planet looses water at a rate of 2.5 mm every 10,000 years but must have been faster earlier on as the ocean water cover was ALL over this planet. We have ocean salt deposits that are only dated 1 billion years as the oldest in high regions of this planet in many parts of the world.

    Just my observation and research.


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    Louis Hissink

    Predicting the climate on earth is much like being in the Cambrian studying tribolites and then proposing the development of dinosaurs in the future using the tribolites as a starting point. If the past has been a unpredictable process arriving at the present, then the future will be as unpredictable as was the past.


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    The Loaded Dog

    Matt b:

    I laughed.

    Hey Matty, that 1 thumbs up you see for your comment above was me. I gave it to you as I figure you must like a good joke. I mean you must; you believe in AGW.

    It’s just that you haven’t been able to “get” the punch line yet and you don’t want to be seen as slow eh!

    Don’t give up, you’ll “get it” eventually.

    The rest of us? We’ve been rolling around on the floor laughing at it for quite some time now…


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    Graham

    According to the graph, the Medieval Maximum is less than the Modern Maximum. That seems to conflict with the graphs here. Any comments, please?


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    Louis Hissink

    Graham @ # 57

    The graph here is C14 versus time, the others are temperature (proxies) vs time. Apples and pears statistically.


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    TrueNews

    @Brian G Valentine:
    “Nostradamus: “A great power will cause global disruption and suffering.”

    In the 1950′s people took this to mean the Communists.

    By the year 2000 the tabloids took this to mean Al Qaeda.

    In this decade lefties took this to mean “oil companies.””

    And also in this decade, those of us that know, took it to mean the UN.
    (Maybe Nostradamus had a point)


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    Numberwang

    That painting by Hendrick Avercamp from 1600 proves that Michael Mann is right. The hockey sticks are clearly visible. :-)


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    TrueNews

    @Matt b:
    “…warming is based on theory relating to CO2,… but cooling seems based on something akin to reading a stock-market chart.”

    I have a theory of equalibrium Matt, and given that you know about stock-market charts, you might appreciate it.
    The theory is, that the globe will compensate for everything you throw at it. (a bit like the investment banks)

    PROOF:
    Put hundreds of warmenists, somewhere like Copenhagen for example, and the globe compensates for all the hot air by pouring beautiful white snow on it.

    Some of us here offered to help Matt, but apparently “Yellow Snow” does not have the same cooling properties !


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    Graham

    Louis Hissink @ #58

    Thanks, Louis. Me redfaced!


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    Bruce of Newcastle

    Joe Lalonde at #54

    Joe – sunspots are just a symptom, a magnetic one. The mechanism seems to be as described by Prof Svensmark, that when solar magnetism is in a quiet patch you get fewer sunspots AND the terrestrial magnetic field is less compressed. The latter is the apparent reason for cooler temperatures, since less compressed field lines leads to more penetration by cosmic rays, which in turn causes more cloud formation, which leads to cooling. The preliminary results of the CERN CLOUD experiment seem to support this proposed mechanism, but it is still early days as I recall.

    As I posted the previous solar cycle length strongly correlates with the temperature during the next solar cycle. I don’t think solar scientists understand why, but the data is compelling. (I don’t understand either, but I’m a chemist so I have an excuse). Given this empirical correlation it is reasonable to predict cooling if, as was the case with solar cycle 23 just completed, that it was longer than average. This goes the same way for shorter cycles – SC 22 was only about 9.5 years in length and the decade of 2000-2010 was hot as could be expected.

    I really wish this carbon tax silliness could’ve waited a couple of years, when the solar and PDO related cooling really kicks in. Then it’d be obvious even to the ALP carbon commandos that the consensus was crock and a carbon tax could only trash their own party. There is no scientific basis for it.


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    MattB

    TN in 61
    “The theory is, that the globe will compensate for everything you throw at it. (a bit like the investment banks).”

    If you were right… well what we know about historic climates at least shows that the globe’s compensation, unfortunately, results in a globe that is often an extremely unpleasant place for humans. Personally I don’t think there is much to indicate that the earth has some sort of internal balancing ability.


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    John Brookes at post # 11:

    Nice history, but no useful predictive power.

    Can you say that about all those wonderful IPCC temperature modeled “projections” to year 2050 and 2100?

    he he…


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    Tim

    Could it be that the global policy-captains know we’re probably already 10 years into a mini ice age, and simply hastening its onset with AGW measures. Population reduction?


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    Joe Lalonde

    Bruce of Newcastle @ #60,

    The movements of currents of warm water to the arctic generated vast amounts of evaporation which this winter virtually covered the whole land mass of the northern hemisphere. This certainly was NOT sun spot related.


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    crakar24

    Joe in 51,

    As Bruce in 60 said SS’s are just a symptom. We look at the sunspot activity to gauge the activity and progress of the solar cycles. The size and numerousy of sunspots is directly related to magnetic fields also mentioned by Bruce. Sunspots however can not help us predict the next cycle only the progress of the current cycle…….well until now.

    Many years ago Theodore Landschiet (spelling) predicted SC 23 will be long and cycle 24 and 25 will be long and low, he based his predictions on the orbits of primarily Jupiter and Saturn with Uranus and Neptune playing a role. His predictions have come to fruition but now he is dead. Livingston and Penn picked up on his work and are one of many scientists attempting to predict solar cycles and out of all of them L&P are the only ones still in the game………….there prediction< sunspots will disappear by 2015.

    The reason why is because of the polar magnetic fields are collapsing, no fields no sunspots just like in the LIA. So without visable sunspots how do we know the progress of the solar cycle? Using the latest evidence it would appear as though we have reached solar max all ready so 24 will be a complete fizzer and 25 will be no better.

    So what does all this mean? well we know when this happened before it got cold and we have just experienced the snowiest decade on record and we have had no warming for at least ten years so the choice is simple which has more control over the climate 390 ppm of the atmosphere or that big fusion reactor on the sky?


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    Bruce of Newcastle

    Joe at #64

    I agree with you, almost certainly the snow you refer to is ENSO related. ENSO has a link to the PDO, and indeed if you have a big la Nina you’ll usually see warm patches in the mid latitudes along with the colds at the equator. So no surprise to see record snow packs in the Sierras and floods here.

    I mentioned the PDO/AMO effect on temperature up at #7. Their empirical effect on el Nino/la Nina can be seen here – significantly more la Ninas and fewer el Ninos in the downswing phase.


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    crakar24

    Hey Bruce the northern hemisphere has just experienced its most snowiest decade on record……….i am not saying PDO/ENSO does not play a part, in fact i would whole heartedly agree, however there is much, much more to this than meets the eye.

    Hint snow records dont go back as far as the maunder minimum as far as i am aware.


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    NikFromNYC

    Keith H wrote:

    “Interestingly the graph record shown by John started in 1869 but the graph now shown on the gistemp site starts from a much colder 1880. Make of that what you will!”

    GISS cuts all data off prior to 1880 since that’s how far back they decided to take their global average due to there being a large loss of station numbers prior to that year. Hey, if the global average only goes back that far, why not delete the older data in individual records, right? GISS doesn’t even properly list London, which is part of the Central England Temperature record going back to 1659.

    Valentia island still shows no trend.

    The most amazing thing about this isn’t the science but is in fact human psychology. Logic alone dictates that if global temperature history is a hockey stick then there should better damn well be lots of little hockey sticks showing up in single site records of long duration, but there is not. And yet this logic is glossed over, far and wide. When I post thiscollection of records to news comments online, little armies of greenshirts come crawling out of their echo chamber existence on cult web sites to attack my character with straw man arguments and to scream about how scientific organizations all agree that AGW is real so that’s that! Since I made these myself from raw data archives and few skeptics are even promoting this argument, it’s funny to be accused of merely parroting “denialist talking points!!!”.

    I’ve figured a bit more out about this extremely negative emotionality and smear tactic behavior. They feel very threatened, basically. And it’s not just their worldview that is at stake, nor just their self-image as good guy tree huggers up against evil capitalists, but in fact it’s a very deeply mammalian social animal fear that is viscerally felt. They are part of a herd, part of a group movement that coddles them, provides them group-based power and status. It’s a fear of having to think for themselves, fear of ever having to go it alone. If their group threatens to dissolve then they face existential terror, not just an embarrassment. The psychology of their leaders, well, that’s just lust for power and status, the desire to be gurus, and rich ones too.

    This story of the left’s favorite playwright, David Mamet, turning from liberal to hard core conservative (and climate skeptic) explains this effect, as was featured on the Fox News channel show Redeye here.


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    NikFromNYC

    Corrected Redeye link.


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    Peter Walsh

    Jo, you is scaring the brown stuff (not Newcastle Ale) out of me as I read this in my little bungalow north of Dublin and on the coast. Makes me shiver..Brrrr.

    Maybe I’ll go back to NZ to live.

    Peter


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    Bush bunny

    John and Matt B. We are slowly coming out of a interglacial. I don’t think we have to worry so much in Australia but in America
    they are reporting fruit, tomatoes have not done well this summer.
    I only got two tomatoes too.

    What’s turning the weather back towards a mini ice age, is not humans it is the Gulf Stream is slowing and effecting the Northern
    Hemisphere. You will get warmer periods prior to it cooling.

    Just face it chappies, the Earth is an ice planet, and enjoy what
    you can of this interglacial. It wouldn’t matter if we burned more coal, wood, or oil. As CO2 doesn’t cause AGW. All we need now is a bleedin’ big volcanic eruption somewhere in Indonesia like Toba or Krackatoa (can’t spell it) and that will make it colder even more.

    Now what would make the Al Goreans make up all these lies, yes they have invested in clean energy and carbon permits.

    Gud site to tune into if you get bored with Al Gores 24 hour climate reality is the opposite point of view. Free download today.

    http://blip.tv/tba-productions/the-changing-climate-of-global-warming-5367199


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