First up is a fairly long talk by Dr. Valentina Zharkova. A lady who has had a pretty fair skill at observing things and predicting results. She has a “back casting” method that pretty much matches historical solar activity, and is now predicting that we will enter a Super Grand Solar Minimum. Yes, it’s a bit of cyclemania. Cycles in cycles and all that. However that IS how the Sun seems to work.
Some folks are tarting this up as a 350 year long “Ice Age”. In my opinion they are missing that there are smaller cycles inside that envelope that tend to both cold and warm.
So yes, for about 150 to 200 years we have the outer envelope of solar activity narrowing and tending toward colder from our present warmer environment. Inside of that envelope, we shill have shorter cycles of warm / cold / warm / cold. Then we spend another 150 to 200 years in the re-warming process coming out of the cold spell.
There’s also a lot of folks conflating this kind of process with the Younger Dryas and bringing up Mastodons with food in the stomachs, undigested, and asserting we could be in an Ice Age Glacial in just a few seasons. IMHO they are wrong. The Younger Dryas has a fair amount of evidence that it was caused by a meteor impact into the ice pack. Being hit by a mile high ice slush tsunami explains the Mastodons (and a lot of other extinctions then). For normal cycles, some pertinent things need to be kept in mind.
Glacial Ice is known to accumulate over about 100,000 years in an Ice Age Glacial. It may get cold fast, but the snow & ice is a mass transport problem and it takes much longer to stack up. You will not be buried under 1/2 mile of ice in New York City in your lifetime even if the Ice Age Glacial began a decade ago. The ice sheet advances at about 800 feet further south a year. You can out walk it in one good walk on a single Saturday of each year.
Cold Onset can be fast, but even then it tends to leave. Those faster cycles mean that a severe cold episode is followed by a warmer episode. Just a little less warm than last time. Even if there were another “Year Without A Summer”, there will be another summer someday. What changes is how far up the mountain the ice and snow melts. Eventually a glacier forms, and then over decades it starts to grow.
We have massive excess production of crops. We feed most of it to animals. We in the industrial rich west will not starve even if there is significant change of where each temperature / growing band rests on the globe. Farmers are pretty smart folks and they will just shift to faster growing more cold tolerant crops. Yes, eventually it will be a big problem as Canada will be under a mile of ice… but that’s in 100,000 years. Initially it will just mean growing more barley & buckwheat and moving the limit of farming a few miles south of present (up in Alaska… and northern Canada). Yes, there will be disruption as folks currently growing Corn in Indiana revert to the rye and barley they used to grow when I was a kid (before corn growing moved more north – yes, we’ve done this dance before…).
Worst case: We take the aproximately 1/3 of our corn crop we feed to cars and the other 2/3 that is almost entirely fed to cows, pigs & chickens and we instead feed it to ourselves. In reality it will never get that bad. It takes 10 lbs of grain to make a one pound beef steak. There’s no way you can eat 10 lbs of corn even in a week… Like I said, we have a huge excess capacity to grow food.
Already on the self are known nuclear power technologies to heat every house and make all the electricity we need at very affordable prices. The only reason we are not using them is Stupid Political Agendas. If things get bad enough, we will use them. These can also power desalinizing plants for water, electric lights for greenhouses, and heat for them too. I doubt we will ever need that level of effort, but it is available if we need it. IF things ever get that bad, political angst will be set aside.
So keep that kind of stuff in mind. About 1 1/2 hours, and with a hard to follow high pitched accented voice (at least, hard for my semi-deaf ears…) but you can skip forward in some bits of it.
For consideration, we have a NASA report that the thermosphere is showing a great deal of cooling. It does that when the sun goes quiet:
The Chill of Solar Minimum
September 27, 2018 / Dr.Tony Phillips
Sept. 27, 2018: The sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age. Sunspots have been absent for most of 2018, and the sun’s ultraviolet output has sharply dropped. New research shows that Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding.
“We see a cooling trend,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”
That’s how it happens. The sun goes quiet. The upper atmosphere loses heat rapidly. The atmospheric height shortens and the mountain tops start to ice over.
These results come from the SABER instrument onboard NASA’s TIMED satellite. SABER monitors infrared emissions from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances that play a key role in the energy balance of air 100 to 300 kilometers above our planet’s surface. By measuring the infrared glow of these molecules, SABER can assess the thermal state of gas at the very top of the atmosphere–a layer researchers call “the thermosphere.”
“The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It’s one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet,” explains Mlynczak, who is the associate principal investigator for SABER.
Notice that CO2 is a radiative gas that dumps heat to space, it isn’t keeping heat in. I’m skipping a bit here, so hit the link for the whole article.
To help keep track of what’s happening in the thermosphere, Mlynczak and colleagues recently introduced the “Thermosphere Climate Index” (TCI)–a number expressed in Watts that tells how much heat NO molecules are dumping into space. During Solar Maximum, TCI is high (“Hot”); during Solar Minimum, it is low (“Cold”).
“Right now, it is very low indeed,” says Mlynczak. “SABER is currently measuring 33 billion Watts of infrared power from NO. That’s 10 times smaller than we see during more active phases of the solar cycle.”
So is this the start of something big? Or just that we’re in a modest cooling? Time will tell, but I’m expecting something like the Little Ice Age. Livable, but some challenge if you live up north. FWIW, I first claimed it would hit about 2016 to 2018 back in about 2010. So far we are still on track for that.
As something of a postscript, this 1 hour 20 minute video takes a more alarmist stance. It’s a bit “end timesy” religious at times, but it does cite the above folks and their work. Easier to follow, but they make some common errors (like that whole Mastodons chewing grass means an ice age can start in hours…). But it is a lot easier to follow and covers an interesting range of other bits (including the potential that the US Federal Government is prepping for cold in some way – see the 42 minute mark for that). At about the 50 minute mark there’s an interesting Conspiracy Theory about Globalists driving “migrants” into places that are going to freeze – clearing warm spots for themselves, later.
If nothing else, it’s more entertaining ;-)