Translation of Jyllands-Posten's Grand Solar Minimum Article
Posted on 11 August 2013 by oslo
This is a translation of a scientifically bogus article in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten
The sun's activity can trigger a new mini ice age
Climate: Despite all scientific research, earth might be headed to a new mini ice age with significant colder winters according to several researchers. The explanation is according to many researchers the sun's bizarre behaviour with a significant decline in activity.
Everyone knows that ice melts faster out in the sun than in the shadow.
Therefore, it gives meaning when scientists tells that the sun has a powerful influence on climate.
But many will undoubtedly question the latest message, because scientists now say that we may be headed to something that resembles a new mini ice age as the one that ruled the northern hemisphere until about 1900 with ice cold winters and sea ice on Storebelt, Øresund and even the the river Thames in London.
The sun's activity in form of sun spots changes in a cycle of 11 years, where the activity goes up and down. Thereby comes a tendency that can last for hundreds of years where the activety goes up or down. Just now we are headed to the lowest activity in over 100 years – which according to the scientists resembles he sun's activity during the mini ice age from the 1400s to the end of the 19th century.
Lowest activity in 100 years
We now have the lowest activity we have seen in 100 years concludes David Hathaway from the American space institute NASA in a resent presentation of new numbers for the sun's activity.
He describes the activity in this 11 year cycle half as powerful as the last cycle, and anticipates an even lower activity in the next cycle, that will hit us in a few years.
According to th Irish sun expert Ian Eliot, it can have dramatic consequences.
This suggests that we are heading for a new mini ice age. It seems reasonable that we are headed for a period with very low activity, which implies that we are headed for some really cold winters.
Ian Elliots opinion is that we already have had a taste of the future, because according to him the sun's low activity was the reason for the northern European cold winters in 2009 and 2010.
Professor Henrik Svensmark from the Danish Technical University (DTU) is of the same opinoion.
When the sun's activity is low it has an effect on the climate the professor says, which for years have meant that the activity on the sun is underestimated by the IPCC.
Since 1940 and until about 10 years ago we have had the highest activity of the sun in a 1,000 years. Last time we had such high activity was from year 1000 to about 1300, Henrik Svensmark confirms.
Historically in the latest 1,000 years there has been a relationship between the sun's activity and temperature. Therefore, the sun's activity will have an impact in the following years.
The unusual just now is that the sun's activity is falling, and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is rising sharply. Therefore the question is how much the earth will cool down when the sun's activity is falling.
Henrik Svensmark points to the fact that the temperature on earth have not increased in 10-15 years, even if the amount of CO2 have gone sharply up.
The development fits nicely with the sun's falling activity that has a cooling effect. This may imply that the temperature will not rise for the next 30 years, or even start to fall, Henrik Svensmark predicts.
One to two degrees colder
"During the mini ice age for until 150 years ago it was 1-2°C colder than today. I do not believe we will see a fall of 1-2°C, but we cannot know. I can imagine that it will become 0.2°C colder. I would be surprised if it became 1-2°C," Henrik Svensmark says.
Henrik Svensmarks opinion is that many of the climate models of the IPCC used to predict the future overestimates the effect of CO2, and that the effect from the sun is underestimated.
Svensmark sees no chance in that the next IPCC report that is due next month, will revise its opinion on the sun's influence, or that IPCC will downturn the forthcomming large global warming.
"I expect nothing. IPCC is presenting the case very one sided, so I don't think that there will be any sensible in the next report," the danish sun and climate researcher says.
Other scientists, such as Giuliana de Toma from High Altitude Observatory in Boulder Colorado USA does not believe in a new mini ice age. He acknowledges that we are headed for a period of extreme low sun activity, but believes that the activity will rise in a few years, without having any effect on the temperature on earth.
Giuliana de Toma simply doesnt believe that the sun's activity for a longer period will be as low as in the mini ice age 150 years ago.
Global warming has stopped – where is the warming?
It should get warmer and warmer – instead the heat goes into the oceans
Despite the predictions that the temperature on earth will rise very rapidly, nothing has really happened the last 10-15 years.
Climate scientists although is firm that we are in the midst of the most rapid warming ever, and that the temperature will rise at least 2 to 4°C towards 2100.
Since 1997 the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen about 10%, without the surface temperature on earth rising. But this is due, according to research leader Sebastian Mernild from Glaciology and Climate Change Laboratory Center for Scientific Studies in Valdivia in Chile, to the warming being burried in the sea.
"This is because that much of the energy from the sun, is accumulated in the ocean, and burried by the deep ocean currents" Sebastian Mernild explains.
The accumulation of energy in the deep ocean might be even greater than before. So even if the surface temperature don't seem to have become higher, it is not a sign of any slowdown of global warming Mernild says.
The ocean is a climate trump card
The world's ocean is generally seen as the big trump card in the climate discussions. The ocean can hold lots of energy and CO2, which is believed to be the main responsibillity for the greenhouse effect. Researchers understand that about a third of the CO2 we release in the atmosphere is taken up by the oceans, and therefore does not contribute to changing earths climate, unless we start changing so that the oceans starts to release CO2.
Professor Henrik Svensmark from the DTU does not believe in this theroy:
"How can the ocean below 700 meters be heated up, without the upper ocean warming up accordingly?" he asks.
"For the period 1990-2000 we could see a rise of ocean temperature, which fitted the greenhouse effect. But this we haven't seen for the last 10 years. The temperature is not rising, and ocean heat content have not increased. The thousands of buoys that we have deployed after 2003 to measure the ocean temperature, have not registrated any temperature rise."