Letters to the Editor

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

Climate change

Beware, the iceman cometh!

NASA recently predicted, with usual great accuracy, that the current sunspot cycle No. 24 will equal the fewest maximum sunspots in any cycle in 200 years. NASA’s David Hathaway said, “… like the Dalton Minimum – two solar cycles in the early 1800s that peaked at about an average of 50 sunspots – lies in the realm of the possible.”

On June 14, the American Astronomical Society announced that the next solar cycle (No. 25) could be greatly reduced. “In fact, some scientists are questioning whether this drop in activity could lead to a second Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period from 1645 to 1715 when the sun showed virtually no sunspots.”

The Dalton Minimum was a period of extreme cold from about 1790 to 1820. The Maunder Minimum was the coldest time of the Little Ice Age. Add to this a nascent Pacific Decadal Oscillation cooling lasting 20 to 30 years and we have the perfect recipe for a lasting big chill. Then consider that the end of present interglacial may be overdue.

In response, we shutter coal-fired plants and erect windmills!

Yes, climate change is coming – but perhaps not in the form you think.

Jerry Olson


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