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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Spotless Sun again. Even a little ice age won’t slow the Man-Made Climate Monster

Spotless Sun June 29th, 2016  |  | SDO/HMI

The Sun is spotless again. I hasn’t been this inactive for a hundred years. This week there are a spate of news stories about a little ice age coming — even from the uber warmista Potsdam Institute.

Looks like a spot of bother for the people feeding off the carbon reduction gravy train? Not so.  I predict they will mutate the argument, and with a completely straight face — the effect of carbon dioxide will turn out to be “more complicated”, scientists will rediscover that the  molecule emits infra red too — and now  rather than just simple warming,  it will be responsible for  “transforming regional patterns”, “shifting layers” and “wandering jet streams”. It will turn out the sun controls the climate but CO2 amplifies the solar effects. It’s bad, bad, bad — still causing storms, floods, rain on the weekends, rotting reefs and reckless fish.

Predicting discoveries is easy — just ask  what establishment scientists would need to discover to keep their fame, status and salary package.

The Quiet Sun: “Winter is Coming”

A meteorologist at Vencore Weather, Paul Dorian, has stated that the sun has gone completely [...]

Major Drop in Solar Activity Predicted: Little Ice Age, part II?

Ominously, the embryonic markers of solar cycle 25 are three years late and are nowhere to be seen. Scientists are asking if this could be the start of another  Maunder-type Minimum. (The bummer with that, being that during those 70 quiet years the world slipped into the Little Ice Age; animals froze in barns, people starved, disease raged… see The brutal cold of the Maunder Minimum and the Great Irish Frost for some light entertainment.)

If it were going to happen, we ought to start preparing now, right? You know, take precautions, “buy insurance”, figure out if CO2 actually does any useful warming (and if so, pump more of it into our atmosphere). You know it makes sense…

Seriously, if the cold is coming, we really ought to pay attention. — Jo


From the press release today (June 14):

Major Drop in Solar Activity Predicted

“This is highly unusual and unexpected,” Dr. Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network, said of the results. “But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.”

Normally cycles [...]

If carbon didn’t warm us, what did?

Svensmarks Cosmic Ray Theory. TOP: If the sun’s magnetic field is weak it allows more cosmic rays, which may seed more clouds on Earth. BOTTOM: A strong solar magnetic field blocks the same rays and could mean less clouds and clearer skies.

People have known for 200 years that there’s some link between sunspots and our climate.  In 1800, the astronomer William Herschel didn’t need a climate model, he didn’t even have a calculator — yet he could see that wheat prices rose and fell in time with the sunspot cycle. Since then, people have noticed that rainfall patterns are also linked to sunspots.

Sunspots themselves don’t make much difference to us, but they are a sign of how weak or strong the sun’s magnetic field is. This massive solar magnetic field reaches out around the Earth, and it shields us from cosmic rays. Dr Henrik Svensmark has suggested that if more cosmic rays reach further down into our atmosphere, they might ionize molecules and help “seed” more clouds. As it happens, this year, the sun has almost no sunspots, but for much of the late 20th Century, the solar magnetic field was extremely active. If the theory is [...]