The Middle Ages were dominated by a series of solar minimums – each named after the researchers that discovered them; Wolf, Maunder and the Dalton minimum all created a cooling effect on Earth. Our sun does not maintain a constant intensity, instead it cycles between solar maximums and solar minimums.
Manmade global warming seems set to take a back seat as solar minimums return after two centuries
In January of this year, The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Nasa's Goddard Institute declared 2015 "the warmest year on record".
Sceptical scientists were quick to slam this assessment as being chalked up with "adjusted and modelled" data.
According to Tony Heller, who runs a leading climate change-sceptic blog, 45 per cent of the data used to construct the "warmest year on record" was in some way tampered with. He points out that to come to this conclusion the US agencies modelled data for massive swathes of territory like the entire Russian territory of Siberia, because they do not have access to those areas. Data from those places conveniently uses the highest possible values, he claims.
Dr Roy Spencer, who runs one of two US satellites that measure temperature, both of which show no warming and even a cooling trend when unadjusted, has charged that the NOAA removes or adjusts the more reliable rural surface data and instead uses unreliable urban data showing warmer temperatures due to the effect of human activity.
Even as Nasa's Goddard Institute proclaims that the Earth is overheating, its own research on Antartica challenges the conclusions of
other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.
According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tonnes a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tonnes of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.
Our sun does not maintain a constant intensity, instead it cycles between solar maximums and solar minimums. The Middle Ages were dominated by a series of solar minimums – each named after the researchers that discovered them. From the Wolf minimum, to the Maunder minimum to the Dalton minimum, the fluctuating solar activity over 400 years brought less solar irradiation to Earth, creating a cooling effect.
In addition to the lesser irradiation, solar minimums also tend to increase volcanic activity, which in turn cools the Earth even more by blocking sunlight from reaching the Earth's surface.
But that's not all, solar minimums also allow cosmic rays to penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, which in turn seed low level clouds, cooling even more. Known as the Mini Ice-Age this period saw intense winters in the northern hemispheres and snow in the tropics. The MIA was not consistent, some periods were devastatingly cold, others not so bad.
The year 1816 was one of the most disastrous during the MIA period. Smack in the middle of the Dalton minimum and it's massive volcanic activity, it became known as the year without a summer as snow fell in the spring and summer, wreaking havoc on crop production. As a result, the world's population decreased by 20 per cent due to famine and disease. There had been similar weather phenomena during the 1600s' Maunder minimum.
In the 1960s and '70s scientists pioneered climate science based on natural cycles. One of these scientists was a brilliant woman named Leona Woods Libby. Libby was the youngest and only female scientist to work on the nuclear reactor during the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb. After World War II she helped pioneer climate science based on natural cycles.
Using tree-ring data and ice cores, Dr Libby and other scientists such as George Kukla determined that the overall climate was determined by recurring natural cycles dominated by the sun. Using the past cycles they forecasted the future. They predicted in the 1970s (which had been the fourth decade of a cooling trend going back to the '30s) that there would be global warming for two decades until 2000, followed by a 50 year cooling trend.
Theodor Landscheidt was another scientist of the era who theorised that in addition to solar activity, the Earth's climate can be dominated by the solar system's giant planets. Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus in certain configurations during a solar minimum can bend the Earth's magnetic poles to create a perfect storm like the one that occurred in 1816.
Since 1988 establishment climate science has been dominated by the theory of anthropogenic (manmade) global warming, and climate science based on natural cycles has been shelved.
But around 2010 the solar minimums returned after a hiatus that had lasted since the early 1800s. Once again the volcanoes are bellowing with solar activity decreasing at its fastest rate in 10,000 years.
Scientists expect it to bottom out in 2030 for several decades before recovering to healthy solar maximums after that. Cold weather anomalies have been intensifying as the sun's activity decreases.
Polar vortices are increasingly drifting down into the US and Europe. The winter of 2014-15 broke snow and cold records all over the world with snow penetrating into southern latitudes like Texas, central Mexico, Vietnam, Libya and Syria. Cuba and Florida experienced their coldest winters ever during that period. In the summer of 2015 it snowed in the summer in Canada, the US and China. Just this month central Mexico was hit with heavy snow again and there was a foot of snow 300km south of Hanoi. Also this month New York and Boston had their coldest March in 100 years. Last month New York's Whiteface Mountains reached an insanely cold minus-78.88C. Temperatures usually only recorded in the north or south poles. The terms "Snowmaggeddon" and "Snowpocalypse" are now being used to describe the annual winters in both Europe and the United States. London has experienced winter conditions not seen since the MIA, and this year Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan experienced their first snow in recorded history.
With the establishment sticking with anthropogenic global warming, independent researchers like John Casey, a former US White House and Congress science adviser, are dusting off the old natural-cycle climate science to predict an era of sustained colds, insisting that scientists like Dr Libby were right all along.
David DuByne, an independent researcher who follows Casey's work, notes that around 2020 both the PDO (Pacific Decadel Oscillation) and the AMO (Atlantic Multi-Decadel Oscillation) Indexes (which fluctuate between "warm" and "cold" modes and have traditionally reversed each other) will be "cold". David DuByne also produces Adapt 2030 a video series following the effects on our planet and forecasting through 2024 the severity and location of cold weather changes globally.
Along with the factors mentioned earlier, the perfect storm may occur in a few years and these current
cold spells are building up to that storm.