On the Cusp: Climate Change Comes on Little Paws

Russ Steele

In studying grand minimum climate change I have been watching for the unusual freeze events, both in late spring and early fall and indicators of the coming weather changes resulting from a much quieter Sun. But some times the event creep much slowly, initially as just colder days, that become colder weeks and eventually months. We do not really notice, it is just weather, until years go by and the change becomes the normal.

Here is an example of a monthly change reported by P. Gosselin at the No Tricks Zone:

Sweden Records One Of Its Coldest and Wettest June Months Since Records Began In 1786

The English language Swedish online news site The Local.se/ reports on how the weather in Sweden has been so far during the month of June: wet & cold.

According to the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), temperatures have been well below average in June, at just 13.3 degrees Celsius. Normal is 15.2°C.

On June 2, the temperature in Stockholm rose only to 6°C, the coldest high in 84 years, read more here. Earlier in the month one town recorded a temperature of 6°C below zero – the coldest June temperature in Sweden in 20 years. Snow even blanketed parts of northern Sweden.

Normally in the month of June, the mercury rises to 25°C or more on just days 5 days on average. This June the mercury never reached that mark. In fact it didn’t even reach the 22°C mark. The high temperature for June in Stockholm was only 21.6°C. This is only the second time the temperature has failed to reach 25°C in June in 92 years.

This only becomes significant if the trend  continues for several years in a row, and even more so if it continues for 20 plus years, with some variation above and below the trend line. The climate change associated with grand minimums comes slowly on little paws, with some violent swipes outside the norm to remind us that change is happening. We will know it happened, when the little fellow in the picture above comes to bash down the door.


On the Cusp?: Antarctic Station Observes New Low: -100.8F

Russ Steele

University Of Wisconsin Antarctica South Pole 

P Gosselin has the story at the No Tricks Zone: 

According to the University of Wisconsin, Madison here, on June 11, 2012, the South Pole Station measured a new record low temperature.

Antarctica weather station. Photo source: http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/aboutus/

The mercury dropped to -73.8°C/-100.8°F, breaking the previous minimum temperature record of -73.3°C/-99.9°F set in 1966.

H/T to No Tricks Zone.

Keeping an Eye on the Sun

Russ Steele

The Sun appears to be going quiet once again, with only a small spot showing. See center of elipse on the graphic. A few week ago we saw a similar quiet sun and then some energetic spots re-appeared.  We are seeing the smallest sunspot cycle in 100 years and we should keep an eye on the Sun. The lack of sunspots has been correlated with cooler weather on the Earth.

Looking For Killing Summer Frost Events

Russ Steele

My friend George Rebane, a Phd systems scientist, an I often discuss climate change and the onset of the next grand minimum.  In George’s view a June killing frost in America’s bread basket will be clear indicator the next grand minimum has arrived. Therefore, I keep track of June frosts events. Here is the latest: Eastern Idaho spuds hit hard by early summer frost

Blackfoot Idaho — Potato crops throughout Eastern Idaho were heavily damaged by cold temperatures early June 7.

Aberdeen grower Ritchey Toev estimates 100,000 acres in the region covering Bingham County, the Fort Hall Indian Reservation and north to Bonneville County were potentially affected.

Toevs said about 300 acres of his own crop sustained vegetation damage.

“North of Aberdeen, every field is at least burnt. Some are burnt clear back,” Toevs said. “They will re-grow with less bulk to them. The cold kind of roughens up the crop, too.”

Driving past fields of potato plants with wilted, black foliage, Blackfoot area grower David Cooper explained his spuds likely survived the brief spell of frigid weather, but he guesses it set the crop back about three weeks. He also anticipates his yields will be down 75 to 100 hundredweight per acre, and spud quality will be impaired.

You can read the rest of the story HERE.  This was not a killing frost, nor was it in the America’s Breadbasket, but close.

NASA June 2012 Solar Cycle 24 Prediction – Lowest in 100Yrs


The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 60 in the Spring of 2013. We are currently over three years into Cycle 24. The current predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years.

The prediction method has been slightly revised. The previous method found a fit for both the amplitude and the starting time of the cycle along with a weighted estimate of the amplitude from precursor predictions (polar fields and geomagnetic activity near cycle minimum). Recent work [see Hathaway Solar Physics; 273, 221 (2011)] indicates that the equatorward drift of the sunspot latitudes as seen in the Butterfly Diagram follows a standard path for all cycles provided the dates are taken relative to a starting time determined by fitting the full cycle. Using data for the current sunspot cycle indicates a starting date of May of 2008. Fixing this date and then finding the cycle amplitude that best fits the sunspot number data yields the current (revised) prediction.

Continue reading

On the Cusp: Canberra, Coldest May in 50 years

Russ Steele

Details at the Canberra Times:

The coldest May in more than 50 years has left Canberra’s gardeners with frostbitten plants and dying blooms.


Canberra hasn’t suffered through a cold spell like this since 1961.

Average temperatures fell to minus 0.2 degrees compared to the historical average of 3.1 degrees.

The only colder May on record was in 1957, when the average low was minus 2.6 degrees.

This is only weather, but after 15 years it becomes climate change.  1957 was at the end of the 1940 to 1957 cold period when some scientist were worried about the coming of the next ice age.  Stay tuned.