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Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade

Physicists say sunspot cycle is 'going into hibernation'

By Lewis Page

14th June 2011

What may be the science story of the century is breaking this evening, as heavyweight US solar physicists announce that the Sun appears to be headed into a lengthy spell of low activity, which could mean that the Earth – far from facing a global warming problem – is actually headed into a mini Ice Age.

The announcement made on 14 June (18:00 UK time) comes from scientists at the US National Solar Observatory (NSO) and US Air Force Research Laboratory. Three different analyses of the Sun's recent behaviour all indicate that a period of unusually low solar activity may be about to begin.

The Sun normally follows an 11-year cycle of activity. The current cycle, Cycle 24, is now supposed to be ramping up towards maximum strength. Increased numbers of sunspots and other indications ought to be happening: but in fact results so far are most disappointing. Scientists at the NSO now suspect, based on data showing decades-long trends leading to this point, that Cycle 25 may not happen at all.

This could have major implications for the Earth's climate. According to a statement issued by the NSO, announcing the research:

An immediate question is whether this slowdown presages a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period with virtually no sunspots [which occurred] during 1645-1715.

Click on the link for the full article

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I'll be nice, and not pull up some of my global-warming-thread posts. :)

Well, if we do go into an ice age, then some artificial man made pollutants to warm up the globe might just be the thing we need :pfft:

Stop the ice age... Buy a Hummer. I can imagine that being a slogan, can't you?

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The last little ice age was somewhere between the 1500's and 1800's on and off. There's no telling what the actual effect of lower solar production would be long term for us but if it works like the last little ice age chances are we'll just have some colder than usual winters for a little bit- like say a couple hundred years with some warming decades thrown in there. Hey I hope it takes effect quickly so I can enjoy the colder winters in my lifetime. I love winter, its my favorite season.

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Funny, how they pieced different parts of NASA pages together to give a story, but completely failed to mention this part of the press release:

http://www.nso.edu/press/SolarActivityDrop.html

""We are NOT predicting a mini-ice age. We are predicting the behavior of the solar cycle. In my opinion, it is a huge leap from that to an abrupt global cooling, since the connections between solar activity and climate are still very poorly understood. My understanding is that current calculations suggest only a 0.3 degree C decrease from a Maunder-like minimum, too small for an ice age. It is unfortunate that the global warming/cooling studies have become so politically polarizing.""

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WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

You mean the earth has naturally occurring warming and cooling cycles?

Of course it does. That however does not mean that man can't influence his enviornment. We've created deserts, lakes, islands. We've artificially induced snow, rain, lightning, wind, etc. We've caused the extinction of tens of thousands of animals and plants. We've created germs and diseases and cellular organisms that never lived before our tinkering. We've altered the chemical make up of entire oceans. We've bring people back from the dead on almost a daily basis. More, we have definitively proven that it was our efforts that created the ozone hole and a change in our behavior helped it heal.

And you don't think we are vast and destructive or creative enough to nudge a thermometer? Preposterous.

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The last little ice age was somewhere between the 1500's and 1800's on and off. There's no telling what the actual effect of lower solar production would be long term for us but if it works like the last little ice age chances are we'll just have some colder than usual winters for a little bit- like say a couple hundred years with some warming decades thrown in there. Hey I hope it takes effect quickly so I can enjoy the colder winters in my lifetime. I love winter, its my favorite season.

The LIA, by most accounts, started well before the maunder minimum and was through several solar output regimes. The worse of it did occur during the maunder minimum, but the maunder minimum didn't cause the LIA.

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From Wiki:

The recent rise in global temperature is too large to be caused solely by recent changes in solar luminosity.[23]

Observations have shown correlations between the length of the solar cycle and observed (or proxy-calculated) atmospheric temperature on the earth.

The most well-documented connection between solar activity and climate change is the Maunder Minimum, during which cold weather prevailed in Europe.[24] Research suggests a new 90-year Maunder minimum would result in a reduction of global average temperatures of about 0.3°C, which would not be enough to offset the ongoing and forecasted average global temperature increase due to global warming.[25]

Reference #25

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yep shocking. because people have been arguing all along that NOTHING BUT man-made factors influence climate. right?

I am sorry..... but this sort of snickering, while COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE, kinda makes you seem like a brick. no?

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I am sorry..... but this sort of snickering, while COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE, kinda makes you seem like a brick. no?

While I agree entirely with your sentiment, I feel compelled to point out that your letter p is upside-down. ;)

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yep shocking. because people have been arguing all along that NOTHING BUT man-made factors influence climate. right?

I am sorry..... but this sort of snickering, while COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE, kinda makes you seem like a brick. no?

No. I've said all along that we contribute, but that the sun has a dramatic impact as well. And that's why Mars has been warming as well.

What here makes me look like a brick?

---------- Post added June-16th-2011 at 12:49 PM ----------

The POT. Agree, or your a brick/prick/idiot. Even when they're wrong. :)

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The last little ice age was somewhere between the 1500's and 1800's on and off. There's no telling what the actual effect of lower solar production would be long term for us but if it works like the last little ice age chances are we'll just have some colder than usual winters for a little bit- like say a couple hundred years with some warming decades thrown in there. Hey I hope it takes effect quickly so I can enjoy the colder winters in my lifetime. I love winter, its my favorite season.

There have been at least 5 ice ages in earths history.... The last one is still going on and has been going on since humans have existed. Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation, started about 2.58 million years ago during the late Pliocene when the spread of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere began. Since then, the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating on 40,000- and 100,000-year time scales called glacial periods, glacials or glacial advances, and interglacial periods, interglacials or glacial retreats.

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No. I've said all along that we contribute, but that the sun has a dramatic impact as well. And that's why Mars has been warming as well.

What here makes me look like a brick?

If you agree that human activity contributes in a significant way to global warming, then considering both his first and second lines, maybe he didn't intend to aim that at you.

But if you were trying to oversimplify and gloss over the human aspect with your humor, then hey, maybe it was for you after all. :ols:

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well.. no DUH the sun has an impact on the temperature of the earth.

but that is not ever the issue.. the issue is always the inevitable SECOND step of that logic train:

"heredity is the single biggest factor affecting average life expectancy... so who cares if i smoke raw fiberglass insulation and share needles with gay haitian heroin addicts...."

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If you agree that human activity contributes in a significant way to global warming, then considering both his first and second lines, maybe he didn't intend to aim that at you.

I think the answer is certainly somewhere in the middle. I think the "OMGZ!!! Humans are destroying everything," AND the "we don't have an effect, it's all sun cycles and whatnot" crowds are equally foolish.

The one thing I do know for sure is that over-politicizing something this important is counterproductive.

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