Jan 232011

There has been much hype about last year being one of the warmest on record. If you look at the data that hasn’t been “corrected” to fit a model, 1934 was the warmest on record. 1998 was the second warmest and 2010 was below 2010. However, most of the anthropogenic global warming supports have corrected their data over time and have declared 2010 the warmest on record. They have also deleted the Medieval Warm Period. If you delve into the IPCC reports over the years, this is clear. But, there is quite a buzz building about the future.

NASA recently reduced their forecast for the current solar cycle, solar cycle 24. The current revision moves the peak level to 59 sunspots. A team of Russian scientists have been predicting aggressive cooling due to reduced solar activity for quite some time. NASA has been playing catch-up and the continuous reduction in their sunspot forecast is show below. There are two solar minimum in “recent history” that they are comparing this too.

NASA's historic predictions for Solar Cycle 24 keep dropping

NASA's historic predictions for Solar Cycle 24 keep dropping

First, the Dalton Minimum is associated with Solar Cycles 5 and 6 from 1798 to 1823. During the Dalton Minimum these solar cycles had sunspot peaks of 49.2 and 48.7 sunspots. At a prediction of 59, Solar Cycle 24 is close to this range. There are very few temperature records that go back to this time period, but 3 stations did show downward temperature trends. Oberlach in Germany showed an average temperature decline of 2 degrees Celsius during this time frame. The famous “Year Without a Summer” happened during this time frame. The Year Without a Summer was probably also affected by a major volcanic eruption.  Also, winters were characterized by people being able to skate on the Thames River. The winter of 1813-1814 was the 4th coldest on the Central England temperature record. London had great Christmas snow during this time frame, too:

Christmas Snow in London

Christmas Snow in London

The other major solar minium in recent history is called the Maunder Minimum. The Maunder Minimum is associated with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age. The Maunder Minimum lasted from 1645 to 1715. During the Maunder Minimum, lower temperatures were noted across Europe. Given that Central England just had their coldest December in 400 years, it should be noted that their coldest winter in the last 500 years occurred during the Maunder Minimum and is know as the Great Frost of 1709. The London area recorded temperatures of -12C that winter.

New Scientist ran a good article last summer, What’s Wrong With The Sun (New Scientist, 14 June 2010). If you want something with deeper technical information, Are Cold Winters in Europe Associated with Low Solar Activity (Environmental Research Letters, 5, 14 April 2010), provides details on how this is manifested and the actual data to support the theory. Average temperatures dropped by as much as 2 degrees celsius for the Maunder Minimum. This would wipe out all of the warming of the last century.

Other than our New Years cold wave, we have had a nice, warm winter. That hasn’t been the case elsewhere. The global average temperature has dropped since the El Nino aggressively switched to a La Nina. England, Europe and Australia have all been cold. The climate conference in Cancun in December was greeted with the coldest December temperatures ever recorded.

Personally, I think the long lingering snow and ice of the last few winters, and the associated damages, are a result of the long solar minimum and the current weak solar cycle. But, what really got me started was this recent video blog post from Joe Bastardi at Accuweather:

So, what will we be facing? We should be prepared for colder temperatures and the associated effects. Will it last two solar cycles like the Dalton Minimum, or 60 years like the Maunder Minimum? That is the question.

One more note. Friday saw the setting of new record lows for International Falls, Minnesota. At -46F, it was the 5th coldest temperature ever recorded at International Falls since 1897.

 Posted by at 6:26 am
Sep 212009

So, I have alluded to questions over the future of the current El Nino. There are two seriously differing camps. Unfortunately, it is falling along the hard core lines of human caused global warming(HCGW) believers and those that question human caused global warming. Jim Hansen, of NASA, is committed to Human Caused Global Warming. Given the significant cooling that has occurred since roughly 2001, he needs a big win, like another 1997-1998 Super El Nino.

As I mentioned over the weekend, a moderate El Nino is in place, with some holes. Those that question HCGW are pointing out that the future of this El Nino appears to be weaker with an early demise. Compared to the Super El Nino, the differences are large. Here is an excellent blog I recommend you read:  JPL’s Patzert: “It’s actually eroding the credibility of long-range forecasters and climatologists”

Neither camp did great with the summer prediction, other than the questioners favoring a cool summer in the Eastern US. Time will tell.

I think this winter will be similar to the last few. If we have heavy snow fall, it will stick around for a long time. We will probably end up with average snowfall, overall. The sun will recover some, but will not return to the intensity of the last couple cycles. Those are my thoughts.

One last note; did you notice there is now more sea ice area in the Artic than this date in 2005?

 Posted by at 7:18 pm
Apr 302009

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation(PDO) is a cousin of El Nino Southern Oscillation(ENSO). It operates on a much longer, decadal, time scale. The temperatures of the Northern Pacific Ocean can be a big effect on Arizona’s Precipitation. It has been negative, or cool, for several years. Recently, it has moved more severely in that direction. Here is a recent article about it: The PDO’s influence on Climate Change: How low will it go? I think there is still a valuable question about how the sun’s current low output and activity will effect our precipitation in Northern Arizona. Could the combination of a cooling climate offset the cool phase PDO?

Well, for this weekend, it looks like we could get a little precip on Saturday and Sunday. Small amounts with a slight cooling trend.

Apr 282009
Summer 2009 Prediction

Summer 2009 Prediction

This picture is a summary of previous analog years from Joe D’Aleo at Intellicast. The accompanying article can be found at ENSO Update. This analysis is based on analog years of solar activity and El Nino Southern Oscillation(ENSO).

If this summer is like the analog years, we could be looking at summer being a couple degrees below normal in Northern Arizona.

This outlook contrasts with the Climate Prediction Center‘s outlook below.

Climate Prediction Center Outlook May-July 2009

Climate Prediction Center Outlook May-July 2009

Mar 252009

For the brave, I would like to point out this article: Coorelation Between Cosmic Rays and Ozone Holes.

For everyone else, I recommend you learn a little more about ozone holes here: ICECAP

You may have to search for the article on the Icecap site. I’m not saying CFC’s are particularly good for everything, but shouldn’t we learn and decide?

Oh yeah, for Thursday, we get wind. Expect conditions similar to last weekend. Roar!

Mar 182009

It looks like there will be a break in the warm, sunny weather. Most models are agreeing that there will be some precipitation this weekend. Most likely on Sunday in the Flagstaff area.

The entire southwest continues with near record warmth, while the northwest suffers exceptional cold.  From Oregon: Blame Sunspots for Cold Winter/Spring Weather

Mar 112009

We are going to continue to see mostly warm and pleasant conditions around Flagstaff. A small amount of precipitation is forecasted on Thursday and Friday. It just doesn’t look like much and will probably fall as rain in Flag. Spring break week should be mostly beautiful after a small chance of rain early on.

On another topic, the sun continues to be dim and inactive. Here are a couple links that discuss what is going on. We are witnessing history.

Intellicast’s Joe D’Aleo has an over all summary: Sun Continues to Hibernate

This link covers the details around the multiple cycles that influence the sun: Clilverd – Solar Cycle 24

This link shows the agricultural effects as a result of the above: Solar Cycle 24 – Agricultural Effects

Mar 052009

Nothing seems to be converging. Any chance for signifcant precip keeps floating out farther into the future. Just some wind and cooler temps seem to be on tap.

But, in the meantime, here is a new article on solar influence: http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Willie_Soon-Its_the_Sun_Stupid.pdf.  Enjoy!

Mar 022009

The South and East would argue that it is the lion’s start to March. For us, at least til Friday, it may feel like the lamb. Here are yesterday’s records:

City (period of record) new high previous record/year
Flagstaff (1899 - 2009) 67 66 in 1921
Fort Valley (1909 - 2009) 64 64 (tied) in 1986
Greer (1917 - 2009) 71 60 in 2008
Petrified Forest (1931 - 2009) 73 72 in 2008
Springerville (1912 - 2009) 70 69 in 2008
Williams (1898 - 2009) 70 68 in 1910

Temperatures are going to be near record again today. Then, we are in for a change. Clouds and cooler temps are on the menu for the rest of the week. Seems like everyone and every model is seeing something in the Friday-Sunday time frame. The Nogaps model is showing a sizeable storm, but this model has missed this far out this season. The GFS model is showing something smaller on Friday. Other forecasts are mixed in between. A couple more storms are on the way beyond next weekend.

The Shark Oil Barometer has been mostly clear, until yesterday afternoon. Now, it is clouding up again.

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