From Russia – with Cold
Agent 007 had it easy. In the movie From Russia with Love, all he had to do was to prevent a typewriter -(remember those?) -sized device falling into the hands of the other side. Now, the world is faced with a new and bigger problem, i.e. “From Russia – with Cold.”
It’s Cold in Siberia
Everyone knows, it’s cold in Siberia, at least some of the time, but Siberia is far away. Now comes the news that the Siberian temperatures may spread further. The Voice of Russia reports that ”Global warming which has been the subject of so many discussions in recent years, may give way to global cooling.” The Global Warming Policy Foundation warns says “A freezing Russian spring has reignited the climate change debate.” Even NASA states “The Sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now.” What a dreadful thought.
In case you forgot, the Maunder-Minimum was a 75-year long period starting in the mid 1600’s when the world experienced a dramatic cooling.
As has long been recognized, there is a strong correlation between the sun’s activity and the climate on earth. The sun’s activity is readily apparent from the number of sun-spots (measured for over 2,000 years), i.e. dark areas on its surface which commonly wax and wane in 11-year cycles. Superimposed on such short-term cycling are longer-term cycles, including a 200-year cycle which is to begin anew anytime.
Despite being somewhat counter-intuitive, fewer sun-spots translate into less sun-irradiance (less energy) hitting the earth, hence colder temperatures. The reason is that these (visibly dark spots) on the sun’s surface are actually areas from which strong electromagnetic fields and energy-impulses arrive here.
Declining Sun Activity
The declining sun activity is not unexpected. We are just coming off the latest 11-year cycle (Cycle-24) maximum and are going towards the next minimum. What’s different this time is that the next 200-year cycle is also kicking in and both the maxima and minima for the next several 11-year cycles are likely to be smaller than in the previous ones. It’s all coming together, as shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. Observed sun-spot numbers for the period 1749-2010, and predicted frequency thereafter.
According to the German Herald, Russian scientist Dr. Khabibullo Abdussamatov from the St. Petersburg Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory it [recent cooling] is proof as he said earlier that we are heading for a “Mini Ice Age.” Abdussamatov who recently joined Principia Scientific International (PSI) is the head of space research at the Pulkovo and also Director of the Russian segment of the International Space Station. His predictions for solar irradiance for the next decades, published in early 2012, are given in Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Measured (1980-2011) and predicted (2011-2040) solar irradiance; source: H. Abdussamatov.
Even The Hindu reports that “March in Russia saw the harshest frosts in 50 years, with temperatures dropping to –25° Celsius in central parts of the country and –45° in the north. It was the coldest spring month in Moscow in half a century.” Moreover, NASA scientists Drs. Matt Penn and William Livingston predict that “By the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed.”
So, what’s Next?
For the next few months (in the northern hemisphere at least) spring is coming and perhaps a nice summer. Many have been eagerly awaiting it.
For the next few years the prognosis is not as good. If the solar irradiance declines further, as predicted by Abdussamatov and confirmed by NASA and others, the globe could be in for a severe bout of cooling.
Then, no amount of so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would change that; that carbon dioxide-global warming theory has been debunked for good. Not even Agent 007 will be able to change that.
Regardless of any prognostications though, time will tell.