Little Ice Age ping pong

5 Apr 2017

At last, a study that recognises that low sun spot numbers are not entirely the whole story when it comes to the Little Ice Age - see ... Professor Mike Lockwood from Reading University has published a paper in Astronomy and Geophysics which says the overall shift in climate temperature were quite small. These are average temperatures. Hence, although sometimes it was bitterly cold other times it was fairly warm. One could narrow it down decade by decade it one were to choose to that but that doesn't appear to be the point of the research. On that basis the lack of sun spots is largely irrelevant - which appears to upset a lot of the commenters at WattsUpWithThat. They claim it is a white wash in order to rubbish sceptics- but solar physicist Leif Svalgard has been telling them for years that lack of sun spots does not mean it is going to become cold. 

Lockwood, and team, show that in comparison with the Younger Dryas episode, average temperatures were less than catastrophic. This puts it into perspective - and the bitty nature of the Little Ice Age. The blog author at Climate Reason has been saying something similar for a long time. Some years, very often lasting several years, or decades, temperatures were very cold. In the next decade they seem to have been able to return to normal. So, we have a period of time, in the 17th and early 18th centuries, where cold winters were common, but there were also mild winters too - and hot summers as well as cool summers. Lockwood puts his finger on the pulse and targets volcanic activity as the culprit. This blasts debris into the upper atmosphere creating an opaque sky - inhibiting the warmth of the Sun. The Little Ice Age saw a lot of volcanic activity is the claim - much more than in the modern world where the atmosphere is generally quite clean. However, unsaid by Lockwood is the number of dense meteor streams that occurred in the 17th century and underpin the religious hysteria of the period. Some very prominent comets were also seen in the sky - throughout the 17th century. Meteors can also cause debris and cosmic dust to accumulate in the upper atmosphere - and aid in the creation of an opaque sky.

The point made by Lockwood appears to be that global warming will not stop as a result of low sun spot activity.

Meanwhile, at ... which is quite true - all you have to do is read HH Lamb's books on climate in the 20th century. Sea loss in the modern world is similar to sea ice loss in the 1930s and 1940s - and the Met Office know this full well as the records of Royal Navy vessels are (or were) kept in the basement of their offices. All they had to do was go down the stairs and all the info was there - but it meant reading papers and documents written by hand. They obviously didn't think climate occurred before computers.