Grand Minimum Drought

Russ Steele

I have written before about connection between grand minimums and drought. P Gosselin writing at the No Tricks Zone has another paper that supports that connection.

Yet Another Paper Shows “The Enormous Importance Of Solar Activity Fluctuations On Climate”

Yet another study has appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research, this one looks at the precipitation history on the Tibet Plateau of the last 1000 years.

Figure 1: Reconstruction of precipitation amounts for the edge of the Tibet Plateau. The bars on the chart depict prominent weak phases of solar activity, which correspond to Om = Oort Minimum; Wm = Wolf Minimum; Sm = Spörer Minimum; Mm = Maunder Minimum; Dm = Dalton Minimum). Figure from: Sun & Liu (2012).

Geologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning and chemist Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt have written a summary of this paper, which I’ve translated in the English:

New Study of the Tibet Plateau: Whenever Solar Activity is Weak, the Rains Disappear
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt

The Tibet Plateau is at 3000 to 5000 meters elevation the highest and most expansive high plateau on Earth. Therefore it reacts sensitively to climate changes. Junyan Sun and Yu Liu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences studied tree rings in the northwest plateau edge from two living 1000 year old trees. Tree growth in the area of study is particularly sensitive to the amount of precipitation.

Both scientists were able to reconstruct the distinct precipitation fluctuations occurring over the last 1000 years. The corresponding wet and dry periods each lasted some decades. A comparison to the other climate reconstructions coming from the same region shows great similarities in moisture development and that we are dealing with a representative regional climate signal. There were pronounced periods of droughts from 1092-1172, 1441-1517 and 1564–1730. Especially the Great Drought of 1441-1517 is mentioned in numerous historical documents and catastrophe reports. The Great Drought occurred during a weak period of solar activity, the so-called Spörer Minimum, which occurred from 1420 to 1570.

Interestingly, almost all other periods of drought occurred during times of solar minima, among them the Oort Minimum, Wolf Minimum, Maunder Minimum and Dalton Minimum (see Figure 1 above). Every time the sun goes into a slumber for a few decades, the rains on the Tibet Plateau stay away. A frequency analysis of precipitation curves also delivers evidence on solar cycles. Here the Gleissberg Cycle (60-120 year period) and the Suess/de Vries Cycle (180-220 years) are seen in the datasets.

Here in California out political leaders are preparing for global warming, when solar scientist are telling us that we are on the cusp of the next grand minimum.  Rather than build more dams to collect what will moisture we will have in the Sierra, our political leaders are supporting environmentalist demands that we destroy dams blocking salmon runs. The world is not warming from CO2 and the sun is going quiet and we are on the cusp of the next grand minimum.


Author: Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

2 thoughts on “Grand Minimum Drought”

  1. Russ
    You have a state that is running expanding deficits due to budgets that exceed forecasts and revenue that is less than forecasts, things that they ought to have control of, and every resolution they come up with seems to make things worse. Would you really trust these clowns to change the water resource management for the better?


    We are in a minimum,

    and at least for the Tibet Plateau that means drought.

    Sure enough, he [you] called it.

    And, you know what that means! Yup. The AGW loons at the Huffington Pest are howling at CO2.

    When there’s real science, the eco-nuts are AWOL, as usual.

    – See more at:
    The warmists refuse to see any causes other than CO2, to their and our detriment. Thanks for not being one of them.

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