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Thu, 27 Feb 2020
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Gear

Global warming? A new ice age? The only certainty is that YOU'RE paying for the hysteria of our politicians

Who would possibly have thought it? The latest news is that the world may be threatened by a sharp drop in temperatures, possibly so severe that it could herald a new mini ice age.

And one reason being put forward for this is that all the pollution being chucked out by thousands of coal-fired power stations may be blocking the sun's heat from the Earth.

Dr Robert Kaufman of Boston University blamed China this week. 'During the Chinese economic expansion there was a huge increase in sulphur emissions,' he said. And this was the cause of global cooling.

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© Press Association
Ice age on its way? The latest news is that we may be threatened by a sharp drop in temperature

Fish

Gray Whales Likely Survived the Ice Ages by Changing Their Diets

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© iStockphoto/Marshall Bruce
A grey whale mother and calf off the coast of Baja California. If ancient gray whale populations migrated and fed the same as today's whales, what happened during the Ice Ages, when their major feeding grounds disappeared?
If ancient gray whale populations migrated and fed the same as today's whales, what happened during the Ice Ages, when their major feeding grounds disappeared? UC Berkeley and Smithsonian paleontologists argue that gray whales utilized a range of food sources in the past, including herring and krill, in addition to the benthic organisms they consume today. As a result, pre-whaling populations were two to four times greater than today's population of around 22,000.

Gray whales survived many cycles of global cooling and warming over the past few million years, likely by exploiting a more varied diet than they do today, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, and Smithsonian Institution paleontologists.

The researchers, who analyzed California gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) responses to climate change over the past 120,000 years, also found evidence to support the idea that the population of gray whales along the Pacific Coast before the arrival of humans was two to four times today's population, which stands at about 22,000. The whale is considered a conservation success story because protections instituted as early as the 1930s have allowed populations to rebound from fewer than 1,000 individuals in the early 20th century, after less than 75 years of systematic whaling.

Ark

US: 4,517 Bones Found At Colorado Ice Age Fossil Site

snowmass dig
© 7News

Snowmass Village -- Crews are racing against time to finish the dig at an Ice Age fossil site near Aspen.

Excavation began at the site last fall after a bulldozer operator uncovered a bone while working on an expansion of Ziegler Reservoir. Work stopped for the winter but resumed in mid-May.

Crews are finishing work this weekend before construction on the reservoir resumes next week.

During the last seven-week dig, crews found 4,517 bones from at least 20 different kinds of Ice Age animals, according to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Sun

Scientists See Sunspot Hibernation But No Ice Age

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© Reuters/NASA
An image of the sun taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft on June 15, 2011.
Washington - Sunspot cycles -- those 11-year patterns when dark dots appear on the solar surface -- may be delayed or even go into "hibernation" for a while, a U.S. scientist said on Wednesday.

But contrary to some media reports, this does not mean a new Ice Age is coming, Frank Hill of the National Solar Observatory said in a telephone interview.

"We have not predicted a Little Ice Age," Hill said, speaking from an astronomical meeting in New Mexico. "We have predicted something going on with the Sun."

The appearance of sunspots helps predict solar storms that can interfere with satellite communications and power grids.

Hill and other scientists cited a missing jet stream, fading spots and slower activity near the Sun's poles as signs that our nearest star is heading into a rest period.

"This is highly unusual and unexpected," he said in a statement released on Tuesday. "But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation."

Sun

New Maunder Minimum? Scientists Predict Rare "Hibernation" of Sunspots

sunspots maunder minimum
© AFP/Getty Images/Jared C. Tilton
US scientists say the familiar sunspot cycle seems to be entering a hibernation period unseen since the 17th century, a pattern that could have a slight cooling effect on global temperatures.
US scientists say the familiar sunspot cycle seems to be entering a hibernation period unseen since the 17th century, a pattern that could have a slight cooling effect on global temperatures.

For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite.

The signs include a missing jet stream, fading spots and slower activity near the poles, said a trio of studies presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

"This is highly unusual and unexpected," said Frank Hill, associate director of the National Solar Observatory's Solar Synoptic Network.

"But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation."

Solar activity tends to rise and fall every 11 years or so. The solar maximum and solar minimum each mark about half the interval of the magnetic pole reversal on the Sun, which happens every 22 years.

Experts are now probing whether this period of inactivity could be a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period when hardly any sunspots were observed between 1645-1715 known as the "Little Ice Age."

Comment: More on this subject:

Scientists: Sun's Approaching 'Grand Cooling" Assures New Ice Age

Global warming and the sun

Eminent geophysicist rejects global warming theory, says world on verge of 'mini ice age'

What those who pin their hopes on "global warming" to offset the effects of sun cycles seem ignore is that the onset of ice ages have been preceded by a drastic warming phase. Nothing could be further from the truth:

Climate Change Swindlers and the Political Agenda


Sherlock

'Incredibly exciting' rare pre-Ice Age handaxe discovered on Orkney

Rare handaxe

Discovered: The tool could potentially 'set back our known history'.

A Palaeolithic handaxe has been found by a local walker on an Orkney beach.

An "incredibly rare" pre-Ice Age handaxe which may have been used to kill woolly mammoths, has been found on an Orkney beach.

The Palaeolithic - or Old Stone Age - tool, which could be anything between 100,000 and 450,000 years old, is one of only ten ever to be found in Scotland. The axe, which was found on a stretch of shore in St Ola by a local man walking along the beach, is the oldest man-made artefact ever found in Orkney.

The stone tool, which is around five-and-a-half inches long, has been broken, and originally would have tapered to a point opposite the cutting edge, but at some point in time, the point broke off and someone reworked the flint to its present straight edge.

Orkney-based archaeologist Caroline Wickham-Jones, who has studied the axe, described its discovery as "incredibly exciting".

Ms Wickham-Jones, who a lecturer in archaeology at Aberdeen University, said: "This axe is definitely older than 100,000 years - so old it's become geology.

Snowman

Eminent geophysicist rejects global warming theory, says world on verge of 'mini ice age'

Image
© NASA
Sunspot activity since 1990
An eminent Mexican geophysicist says that despite predictions of global warming based on computer models, the world may be on the verge of an eighty-year cold period similar to the "little ice age" experienced by Europe from 1300 to 1800 A.D..

Víctor Manuel Velasco, of the University of Mexico's Institute of Geophysics, says that recent winter conditions are similar to those of the "little ice age", and in particular the "Maunder Minimum," a period during which sunspot activity dropped significantly. He also notes that the Earth is in a similar position today in relation to the rest of the solar system, a fact which he regards as significant for climate.

"We are talking about the period between 1645 and 1715, which is known as the Maunder Minimum, a period in which the sunspots practically disappeared from the surface of the sun, and in which our planet occupied a position similar to which it has today, with respect to the center of gravity of our [solar] system." Velasco said in an interview published by the university.

Info

Did Quiet Sun Cause Little Ice Age After All?

Ice Age
© Hendrick Avercamp / Wikimedia Commons
Brrr ... Cold winters in 17th century Europe, as shown in this painting by Hendrick Avercamp, may have been caused by a lack of solar activity after all.

Boston - For decades, astronomers and climatologists have debated whether a prolonged 17th century cold spell, best documented in Europe, could have been caused by erratic behavior of the sun. Now, an American solar physicist says he has new evidence to suggest that the sun was indeed the culprit.

The sun isn't as constant as it appears. Instead, its surface is regularly beset by storms of swirling magnetic fields. As a result, like a teenager plagued with acne, the face of the sun often sprouts relatively dark and short-lived "sunspots," which appear when strong magnetic fields inhibit the upwelling of hotter gas from below. The number of those spots waxes and wanes regularly in an 11-year cycle. However, even that cycle isn't immutable.

In 1893, English astronomer Edward Maunder, studying historical records, noted that the cycle essentially stopped between 1645 and 1715. Instead, the sun was almost devoid of sunspots during this period. In 1976, American solar physicist John "Jack" Eddy suggested there might have been a causal link between this "Maunder Minimum" in the number of sunspots and the contemporaneous Little Ice Age, when average temperatures in Europe were a degree centigrade lower than normal.

Bizarro Earth

US: Mysterious Maine Earthquakes Caused by Ice Age Rebound

Mid Coast Earthquakes
© Wire.com
Mid coast earthquakes.
On the last day of April and first five days of May, dozens of tiny earthquakes caused Maine's eastern coast to tremble. What could have shaken this geologically quiet region, located in the middle of a tectonic plate, far from any active faults?

The last ice age, say geologists. Like a trampoline's surface after liftoff, Earth's crust along the eastern seaboard is still springing back from the pressing weight of a massive ice sheet that has since melted. The earthquakes are a present-time reminder of processes that are prehistoric at a human scale, but from a geological perspective still ongoing.

"This action is still taking place," said Robert Marvinney, director of Maine's Bureau of Geology. "Five or ten thousand feet of ice weighs a lot."

Igloo

US: Temperatures Lowest For Time Of Year Since 1940s

Chicago - Not only has Chicago dealt with chilly rain, hail and even snow this week, but temperatures Tuesday were at their lowest for this late spring date since the 1940s.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros says the high Wednesday is expected only to reach 46 degrees with a peek or two of sunshine, but the chilly conditions will make it feel like winter never ended. As of 6:45 a.m., the temperature in Chicago was just 34 degrees.

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© Columbia Broadcasting System
Cold, pouring rain had people running downtown Tuesday night.
Glaros says if there were precipitation Tuesday morning, some snow would likely be mixed in. Fortunately, the storm systems have moved east and conditions were just cold and overcast.

On Tuesday, the high topped out at 38 degrees in the city. In the early evening hours, just walking a few blocks along the streets of Chicago felt like going out to sea in an open boat during a rainstorm in northern Canada. Anyone walking against the wind was blasted continuously in the face with cold droplets of rain, and given the strength of the winds, an umbrella was as good as useless.

And that was before the severe storms even hit. Lightning bolts and thunder claps soon appeared, and hail of up to 1 inch in diameter was spotted in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.

More than an inch and a half of rain fell in less than half an hour Tuesday evening, forcing the cancellation of more than 450 flights at O'Hare and Midway international airports, and leaving people sleeping on terminal floors.