global cooling

German scientists predict global temperature will decline throughout this century

German scientists contend that two natural cycles will combine to lower global temperatures throughout the 21st Century.

The scientists show that there is an approximate 200-year solar cycle, supported by historical temperature data and proxy data from stalagmites in caves.  “The solar activity agrees well with the terrestrial climate. It clearly shows in particular all historic temperature minima.”

There is also an approximate 65-year cycle of the Atlantic/Pacific oscillation (AMO/PDO) which is well-established by multiple lines of observations.

The 200-year solar cycle has just passed its maximum and will decline during the 21st Century.  It is at least in part responsible for the warming of the last decades of the 20th Century. The AMO/PDO cycle is also beginning its cool phase and will reach a minimum in 2035.

The scientists say that “Non-periodic processes like a warming through the monotonic increase of CO2 in the atmosphere could cause at most 0.1°C to 0.2°C warming for a doubling of the CO2 content, as it is expected for 2100.”  This positive forcing will be overwhelmed by the stronger negative forcing of natural cycles.  They conclude that “the global temperature will drop until 2100 to a value corresponding to the “little ice age” of 1870.”  Read more here.  Below is a graph of historical temperatures and temperature predictions.


This work has been published in two papers:

H.-J. Lüdecke, A. Hempelmann, and C.O. Weiss: Multi-periodic climate dynamics: spectral analysis of long-term instrumental and proxy temperature records, clim. past, 9, 447-452, 2013

F. Steinhilber and J. Beer, Prediction of solar activity for the next 500 years, Jour. Geophys. Res. Space Phys., Vol. 118, 1861-1867 (2013)


Global cooling predicted for the next 30 years

Dr. Norman Page says that “The earth is entering a cooling phase which is likely to last about 30 years and possibly longer.” See his detailed analysis here.

Page’s prediction is based on observation of the geologic record. He notes that there has been no net warming since 1997 even thought carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has risen 8.5%. Page says that atmospheric temperature is driven by sea surface temperature (SST) which is, itself, solar driven. The oceanic oscillations control the general climate. There is good correlation between solar cycles and SST, but note that because of the enthalpy and thermal inertia of the oceans, there is a 10 – 12 year lag between solar cycle troughs and global SSTs. This lag time definitely establishes cause and effect similar to the lag in carbon dioxide changes following temperature changes in the major glacial cycles as shown in ice cores The graph below shows the variations in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the major oceanic oscillation (the red line is actual measurement, the blue line is predictive modeling.) (Graph source here.)


 Page says than in the figure “an approximate 60 year cycle is obvious by inspection and this coincides well with the 30 year +/- positive (warm) and 30year +/- negative (cold) phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.” The graph “shows warming from about 1910 to 1940-45, cooling from then to about 1975, warming to about 2003-5 and cooling since then. Total warming during the 20th century was about 0.8 degrees C.” He also says that it is clear that we are entering the beginning of a 30-year cool phase of the PDO.

Page goes on to say:

“The major ice age climate cycles are controlled by the sun – earth orbital eccentricity, and the earth’s obliquity and precession. These cycles are approximately 100,000, 41,000 and 21,000 years in length respectively and are well documented in the ice core and geological record. It is useful to keep in mind that the warmest temperatures in the current interglacial occurred about 7500+/- years ago and the general trend is now a cooling towards the next ice age.”

“These long term cycles are modulated by quasi cyclic trends in solar activity which may be decadal, centennial, or millennial in length. Of particular interest in deciding where we are with regard to the solar cycles is the approximately 1000 +/- year cycle which produced successively the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Ages, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the recent 20th century warming.”

These cycles are shown in the 2,000-year temperature reconstruction below (the white line is the smoothed curve):


 Page says that “A reasonable case can be made that the warming peaks of a 60 year PDO cycle and the 1000 year solar cycle coincided at 2000 +/- and we are likely on the cooling slope of both.”

For a broader view, the graph below shows a temperature reconstruction for the past 11,000 years:

CCIP fig1

 n his conclusion, Page says “Often the signal for a climate direction change is a see-saw effect between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. The Arctic is still reflecting the peak in the warming trend with low summer ice values. The first indication of a cooling event is however the increase in Antarctic sea ice which has already occurred.” (See my post: The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw)

Page is not alone is his prediction. Two years ago I reported that NASA was also predicting a cooling period based on the same natural parameters. (See NASA Says Earth Is Entering A Cooling Period).

If this predicted cooling trend comes to pass, it will show, once again, that the forces of natural variation easily overcome the weak warming effect of carbon dioxide. And, by the way, if indeed the predicted cooling trend proceeds, atmospheric carbon dioxide will decrease because a cooler ocean can absorb more carbon dioxide.

This phase shift has some policy implications. It shows that curbing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels is unnecessary and perhaps contraindicated. If you believe that such emissions do have a significant effect on global temperature, we should continue and perhaps even increase emissions to forestall or lessen the effect of the cooling trend lest we find ourselves in another “little ice age.”

Global cooling since 1990?

If climate scientists can be believed (an to some that is a big if) the global mean temperature has dropped 1°C since 1990. That occurred even with ever increasing carbon dioxide emissions which climate alarmists claim is the major cause of recent global warming (in spite of the lack of supporting physical evidence).

Pierre Gosselin, a graduate of the University of Arizona, resident of Germany, and proprietor of the blog NoTricksZone, translates German scientific papers into English and offers comments.

Gosselin documents scientific literature from ca. 1990 which claims that the global mean temperature then was 15.5°C.

Gosselin also points out that German scientific literature of 2012 claims the global mean temperature is now 14.5°C. Even the IPCC’s 4th assessment report uses the 14.5°C figure while at the same time claiming the global temperature has risen by half a degree.

So, does anybody really know what the mean global temperature actually is?

Read Gosselin’s full article here.

I should point out that satellite measurements of global temperature show no net warming since 1998 (see here).

Whether it’s 14.5°C or 15.5°C, that’s still much cooler than the “normal” of around 22°C of the last 250 million years (see here).

See also:

IPCC Admits Its Past Reports Were Junk

New study shows that 50% of warming claimed by IPCC is fake

July 2012 not hottest according to NOAA data

US Temperature trends show a spurious doubling says Anthony Watts

Urban heat island effect on temperatures, a tale of two cities

Most US maximum temperature records set in the 1930s

Water evaporated from trees cools global climate

“Scientists have long debated about the impact on global climate of water evaporated from vegetation. New research from Carnegie’s Global Ecology department concludes that evaporated water helps cool the earth as a whole, not just the local area of evaporation, demonstrating that evaporation of water from trees and lakes could have a cooling effect on the entire atmosphere.” –from press release Carnegie Institution.

The abstract from the paper:

Land use and land cover changes affect the partitioning of latent and sensible heat, which impacts the broader climate system. Increased latent heat flux to the atmosphere has a local cooling influence known as ‘evaporative cooling’, but this energy will be released back to the atmosphere wherever the water condenses. However, the extent to which local evaporative cooling provides a global cooling influence has not been well characterized. Here, we perform a highly idealized set of climate model simulations aimed at understanding the effects that changes in the balance between surface sensible and latent heating have on the global climate system. We find that globally adding a uniform 1 W m 2 source of latent heat flux along with a uniform 1 W m 2 sink of sensible heat leads to a decrease in global mean surface air temperature of 0.54 ± 0.04 K. This occurs largely as a consequence of planetary albedo increases associated with an increase in low elevation cloudiness caused by increased evaporation. Thus, our model results indicate that, on average, when latent heating replaces sensible heating, global, and not merely local, surface temperatures decrease.

Read full paper here.

Evaporation uses heat energy to put water vapor into the atmosphere. Water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas. Furthermore, when that water vapor condenses into rain or snow, it gives up its heat back to the atmosphere. The evaporation-condensation cycle is, however, energy neutral. The difference, apparently is that the cycle produces clouds which reflect sunlight, less energy reaches the ground. According to the Carnegie research, the net effect is one of cooling. IPCC climate models do not do well with clouds and assume a positive feedback, whereas the Carnegie research shows a negative feedback. Note that the Carnegie research is also a computer simulation. With all computer modeling, results depend on assumptions. In view of the poor record  of the IPCC climate models versus observations, it seems that the Carnegie model is closer to reality.

See also:

A Basic Error in Climate Models

Climate Model Projections vs Real World Observations

A Perspective on Climate Change a tutorial



So now burning coal causes cooling?

Climate modelers are having a problem. The global temperature is not cooperating with the way the modelers say it should if their theories are correct. We learned of their consternation from the “Climategate” emails: Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

Now the modelers claim that China has saved the day by burning coal. A paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (written, by the way, by two geographers and two economists) claim that increased coal burning in China has put enough sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the air to block the alleged warming effect of carbon dioxide.

The logical, but perhaps absurd, conclusion of this claim is that we should abandon wind turbines and solar arrays, to burn much more coal.

If we stipulate that air quality near Chinese coal-burning power plants is foul, the question remains: is this a local effect or is it world-wide, enough to affect global temperature? Well, apparently the effect is not world-wide. The EPA measures air quality and the graph below shows that in the U.S., sulfur dioxide content of the air has been steadily decreasing. (Source )

SO2 air quality

 This “China syndrome” seems to be another attempt to explain away the failings of climate modeling and the divergence between model predictions and real-world observations. Perhaps the IPCC had it right when they said in their Third Assessment Report: “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible.”

UPDATE: New NASA paper says volcanoes primarily responsible for increased SO2:

Recently, the trend, based on ground-based lidar measurements, has been tentatively attributed to an increase of SO(2) entering the stratosphere associated with coal burning in Southeast Asia. However, we demonstrate with these satellite measurements that the observed trend is mainly driven by a series of moderate but increasingly intense volcanic eruptions primarily at tropical latitudes.

See also:

A Basic Error in Climate Models

Climate Model Projections vs Real World Observations

How Mother Nature Fools Climate Scientists

Your Carbon Footprint doesn’t Matter

A Modest Proposal: Triple Your Carbon Footprint

Possible consequences of the coming solar minimum

As I reported earlier this week, astronomers, using three independent lines of evidence, predict that sunspot activity will go into hibernation portending a long, and possibly significant cooling period.

Some warmists are trying to minimize the potential effects by referring to the relatively weak total solar irradiance cycle rather than the much stronger coincident effect from changes of the solar magnetic field.

 Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, Professor of Geology, Western Washington University, looks at the scientific and historical record of what happened during the Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1700 AD. Here is an excerpt from his post:

The Maunder Minimum was not the beginning of The Little Ice Age—it actually began about 1300 AD—but it marked perhaps the bitterest part of the cooling. Temperatures dropped ~4º C (~7 º F) in ~20 years in mid-to high latitudes. The colder climate that ensued for several centuries was devastating. The population of Europe had become dependent on cereal grains as their main food supply during the Medieval Warm Period and when the colder climate, early snows, violent storms, and recurrent flooding swept Europe, massive crop failures occurred. Winters in Europe were bitterly cold, and summers were rainy and too cool for growing cereal crops, resulting in widespread famine and disease. About a third of the population of Europe perished.

Glaciers all over the world advanced and pack ice extended southward in the North Atlantic. Glaciers in the Alps advanced and overran farms and buried entire villages. The Thames River and canals and rivers of the Netherlands frequently froze over during the winter. New York Harbor froze in the winter of 1780 and people could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island. Sea ice surrounding Iceland extended for miles in every direction, closing many harbors. The population of Iceland decreased by half and the Viking colonies in Greenland died out in the 1400s because they could no longer grow enough food there. In parts of China, warm weather crops that had been grown for centuries were abandoned. In North America, early European settlers experienced exceptionally severe winters.

Read Easterbrook’s full post here.

Little Ice Age

See also:

Ice Ages and Glacial Epochs

Astronomers predict a major drop in solar activity, that means a cold spell

Geophysicist predicts new “Little Ice Age” by 2050

Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect

NASA Says Earth Is Entering A Cooling Period

Geophysicist predicts new “Little Ice Age” by 2050

Swedish geophysicist Nils-Axel Mörner, in a new peer-reviewed paper, predicts that by the year 2050, we will be experiencing a cold period similar to the “Little Ice Age” that enveloped the world between about 1550 AD and 1850 AD. During that time, global temperatures were up to 2 degrees F colder than now and that chill had a significant effect on food production.

The paper’s abstract reads:

At around 2040-2050 we will be in a new major Solar Minimum. It is to be expected that we will then have a new “Little Ice Age” over the Arctic and NW Europe. The past Solar Minima were linked to a general speeding-up of the Earth’s rate of rotation. This affected the surface currents and southward penetration of Arctic water in the North Atlantic causing “Little Ice Ages” over northwestern Europe and the Arctic.

The contention of the paper is that solar cycles affect ocean circulation in the Arctic and that during solar minima, this change in circulation causes cooling. “Variations in Solar activity lead to changes in the Solar Wind and in Solar irradiance, both of which may affect Earth’s climate. The variations in irradiance are known to be small or even minute. The variations in Solar Wind are large and strong, via the interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere, it affects Earth’s rate of rotation, by that forcing several different terrestrial variables like the Gulf Stream beat in the North Atlantic.”

Read the 13-page paper here.

Declining Sunspots may trigger strong cooling period

Two Tucson solar scientists with the National Solar Observatory at Kitt Peak have been keeping track of sunspots. The steady decline in sunspots may foreshadow a period of strong global cooling. The last time sunspots behaved this way was from 1645 to 1715, a time known as the Maunder Minimum, and also “the little ice age.” Following is the press release from

( — Sunspot formation is triggered by a magnetic field, which scientists say is steadily declining. They predict that by 2016 there may be no remaining sunspots, and the sun may stay spotless for several decades. The last time the sunspots disappeared altogether was in the 17th and 18th century, and coincided with a lengthy cool period on the planet known as the Little Ice Age.

Sunspots are regions of electrically charged, superheated gas (plasma) on the surface of the sun, formed when upwellings of the magnetic field trap the ionized plasma. The magnetic field prevents the gas from releasing the heat and sinking back below the sun’s surface. These areas are somewhat cooler than the surrounding sun surface and so appear to us as dark spots.

Sunspots have been observed at least since the early 17th century, and they are known to follow an 11 year cycle from solar maximum to solar minimum. The solar minimum usually lasts around 16 months, but the current minimum has already lasted 26 months, which is the longest minimum in a hundred years.

Since 1990, Matthew Penn and William Livingston, solar astronomers with the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson, Arizona, have been using a measurement known as Zeeman splitting to study the magnetic strength of sunspots. The Zeeman splitting is the distance between a pair of infrared spectral lines in a spectrograph taken of the light emitted by iron atoms in the atmosphere of the sun. The wider the distance, the greater is the intensity of the magnetic field.

Penn and Livingston examined 1500 sunspots and found that the average strength of the magnetic field of the sunspots has dropped from around 2700 gauss to 2000 gauss. (In comparison, the Earth’s magnetic field is below one gauss.) The reasons for the decline are unknown, but Livingston said that if the strength continues to decrease at the same rate it will drop to 1500 gauss by 2016, and below this strength the formation of sunspots appears to be impossible.

During the period from 1645 to 1715, a time known as the Maunder Minimum, there were almost no sunspots. This period coincided with the Little Ice Age, which produced lower than average temperatures in Europe. Livingston said their results should be treated with caution as their techniques are relatively new and it is not yet known if the decline in magnetic field strength will continue, and that “only the passage of time will tell whether the solar cycle will pick up.”

David Hathaway, a solar physicist with the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, also cautioned the calculations do not take into account that many small sunspots with relatively weak magnetic fields appeared during the last solar maximum, and if these are not included in the calculations the average magnetic field strength would seem higher than it actually was.

Penn and Livingston’s paper has been submitted to the online colloquium, International Astronomical Union Symposium No. 273.

Maybe, instead of trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, we should follow my modest proposal to triple our carbon footprints.