Grand Minimums Do Not Happen Overnight, it Takes Generations

Russ Steele

Doubt that I will be around to see the depth of the next Grand Minimum, as they take place over generations and I am over 70.  From the start of the Little Ice Age in 1300 to the depth of the LIA it it was about 350 years, at that time about ten generations. Today with our health care systems about 4.5 generations.

However, when you look at this chart by Climatologist Cliff Harris & Meteorologist Randy Mann, you can see there was rapid cooling that increases year by year.

Initially these changes are seen as weather, but progressively average temperatures decline and cold weather events become more numerous and more intense. Reading letters and journals of historical figures during the Maunder Minimum and the Dalton Minimum we discover that back yard gardens and local framers suffered huge crop losses which resulted in poor nutrition. In turn this poor nutrition lowered resistance to life threatening diseases. Millions died from malnutrition and disease during these cold periods.

Where are we now? We are the cusp of the decline, but the signals are still weather events like these:

  • Canberra has shivered through its coldest stretch of winter mornings in 47 years.

The mercury dropped to a chilly minus 4.8 degrees at 6.51am this morning, topping off eight consecutive mornings below minus 2.3 degrees.

The eight-day cold spell, with an average minimum temperature of minus 4.9, is the coldest string of July mornings since 1965. The all-time record was in July 1962, when the average temperature over an eight-day period was minus 7.

  • Heavier than expected ice in Arctic waters off Alaska will likely delay until August Shell’s long-anticipated exploration drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, said company spokesman Curtis Smith on Friday.

Sea ice is “the number one reason we won’t be drilling in July,” said Smith. “At this point, we’re looking at the first week of August.”

  • Piles of snow at Whistler form a maze on mountain trails. Highly unlikely this show will melt before it starts snowing again in the fall.

  • Something strange going on. Last night the BBC reported birds that normally migrate in the autumn are arriving in the UK now. In mid July! The report said the birds were mainly from Iceland.

July is normally the warmest month of the year on average in Anchorage. This July is the coldest on record (so far) by more than 1.5º with an average monthly temperature of 52.7º. The coolest July on record occurred in 1920 with an average monthly temperature of 54.4º.

“Brutal sea ice conditions that northwest Alaska battled all winter haven’t receded in parts of northern Canada,” says this article from CBC News.

“Two resupply ships are stuck waiting at the mouth of Frobisher Bay in Iqaluit because of tough ice conditions. Frobisher Bay is an inlet of the Labrador Sea.

“In June, winds and currents pushed heavy ice in to the area, CBC News reported on Wednesday.

“Now, two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers are trying to punch a path through for the resupply vessels. However, the ice is so thick that it’s closing in around the icebreakers before the other ships can follow.”

Our concern should be the slope of the decline. Each year will be colder than the next, with some variation as the result of El Niño warming events, but made more intense by colder La Niña events.  Two steps colder and one step toward warning, but the long term tend is rapid cooling. Look at the slope of the graphics above.

While our political leader prepare for warming, taxing our CO2 emissions, the world is cooling and has been for thousands of years. A new tree ring study shows 2000 years of cooling – previous studies underestimated temperatures of Roman and Medieval Warm Periods.

This was confirmed by this 1993  study covering 3,500 years.

As you can see every warming period was followed by a cooling period. We has the Modern Warming Period and not it is time for a cooling period.  The Pacific PDO has flipped to cool and the sun spots are historically quiet.  While it could be a Maunder level quiet period, which led to the LIA, we may be blessed with a Dalton level quiet period. Stay Tuned.


12 thoughts on “Grand Minimums Do Not Happen Overnight, it Takes Generations

  1. Russell Steele July 14, 2012 / 10:29 pm

    According to the National Weather Service, Anchorage, Alaska is experiencing record cold temperatures this month. Usually July is Anchorage’s hottest month, but it’s been warmer the last few days in Barrow, 800 miles to the north on Alaska’s Arctic coast, than it has been in the state’s largest city.

    • Anthony j. Mengotto July 15, 2012 / 1:42 pm

      When I said, that we were going to see rapid cooling soon, a few weeks ago,I was going according to fact’s, and the data. Now let’s look at the data. 1. Solar cycle 20 topped out with a smooth sunspot number value of 120. (we where cooling.) 2. Solar cycle 23 topped out with a smooth sunspot number value of 130. (we still cooled a little bitt.) Now let’s look at the fact’s. If we still cooled with a smooth sunspot value of 120 or even with 130. Then the sunspot threshold should be changed from 80 as to weather you warm or cool to 140 respectively. In order to keep track if were going to be warming or cooling!!!! Because we have a better way of counting sunspots today then we did 50 years ago. The data and the fact’s speak for themselve’s.I think if we counted solar cycle 19 which topped out with a smooth sunspot value of 199, today with modern technology today, we would of had a smooth value of anywere between 220-230 respectively.What do you think russ?

      • Russell Steele July 15, 2012 / 2:36 pm


        I agree that we have better methods of observing sun spots today and that tends to distort our ability to compare the present with the past. The McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope is the largest solar instrument in the world, came on line in November of 1962. I think the real disparity came from the pre 1900 observations with those that followed.

        As for the cooling during Cycle 19 which had a large peak and was a bit shorter at 10.5 that the average of 11, we should note that these were years when the Pacific was in a cool phase PDO, which could account from some of the cooling. With a much lower Solar Cycle 20, the cooling was more evident and then the sun was very active in cycles 21, 22 and 23 which in my estimation could account for some the global warming.

      • Anthony j. Mengotto July 15, 2012 / 4:01 pm

        Thanks, russ.But, everyone has to take into consideration that where not coming off of a very strong cycle like cycle 19. And if my theory is correct, then we will be cooling more faster than the 1970’s. Once were past the solar max of cycle 24.Between 2013-2014.Since cycle 23 was not as strong as 19. And we were still cooling in cycle 23.The end of cycle 24 could put us right back into the 1800’s temp’s, mainly the late 1800’s 1850-1899!!! Thanks again, Anthony

      • Russ July 15, 2012 / 4:51 pm


        Excellent point. The prediction for Cycle 25 is one that is smaller than 24. If the start of 25 slow starting and 24 become a extra long cycle, it is going to get very, very cold.

  2. TinyCO2 July 15, 2012 / 8:06 am

    I’m not sure we’d necessarily recognise the point we reach the top of a warm period until we’re well past. Will it feel any different? I have wondered if the odd nature of the jet stream these last four years has been significant but then the last time we went through solar minimum I didn’t know AGW as an issue and the last time we went through a quiet phase I was a kid. Did the jet stream play up then? Will we have to wait for the next negative phase of the Atlantic before we know if things are on their way down? Will we just plateau for decades? After all, previous warm periods were longer than the current one.

    I do worry that I’m hearing more talk from warmists that the date of the next ice age is still undetermined. Their claims that CO2 will prevent it are no comfort to me at all.

    • Russell Steele July 15, 2012 / 2:43 pm

      During the last relatively quiet solar cycle I was an Air Force Navigator and we always wanted to know where the jet stream was. It is a major factor in navigation and a thunderstorm trigger. When both the Atlantic and Pacific are in the cold phase and the we have a quite sun, it will be time to invest in woolen coat companies and the makers of long underwear. When is the Atlantic most likely to go to the cold side?

      • Anthony j. Mengotto July 16, 2012 / 2:30 pm

        Russ, There’s a very good article on ICECAP.US about the AMO,and the PDO. Im sure you will find interesting dated on july 8, 2012. Titled RELIVING THE 1950’S-1890’S 60 YEAR CYCLE. That will explain when the atlantic will go negatively to the cold side. Anthony

        Russ Replies: Here is a link to this excellent article:

  3. Juergen Uhlemann July 15, 2012 / 1:27 pm

    We can only predict but we don’t know how it will progress. There are lots of signs including small once. I watched the other day over 50 crows picking in a small patch of grass that had warmed up a bit for insects. I also see crows fighting over my cherry tree. The cherries are not ripe yet but the crows pick on them. However, they drop these green cherries and all of the picked cherries fall to the ground. There is hardly a cherry on the tree right now. I believe the birds don’t find a lot of food and that’s why they behave like this. Mother nature shows me that something is not right.

    Ireland has a mild climate but since the end of March (!!!) the sky was mostly cloudy and rained quite often. The water reservoir not far from here has a water level that was not that high at that time of the year according a friend of mine that lived his whole life beside the water reservoir.
    The temperature hardly hits the 20s. I stood in the sunlight the other day and I noticed that it didn’t feel really warm in the face.

    I’ve seen the graph of solar cycle 24 and I know of the prediction of Dr Habibullo Abdussamatov that the new “Little Ice Age” could begin in 2014.

    You and I might not see the depth of the next Grand Minimum but I guess we will see and feel the start. My worry is a possible energy and food crisis in the Winter time. Last Winter France and Germany were close to a rolling blackout, as Russia didn’t deliver the usual amount of gas as they needed it themselves. The Winter before last showed a lot of transport (air, rail and road) problems. A bit colder and a bit more snow and we will have a chaos.

    • Russell Steele July 15, 2012 / 2:45 pm

      I am looking at the impact on food and nutrition and would like to come up with a simple scale for tracking the impact. I tried the wheat index, but that seem too complicated.

  4. Lynn Erickson July 16, 2012 / 10:31 pm

    Russ, somewhat off topic here, but there is a very good article titled “Extreme Global Warming: NOAA Confirms Modern U.S. Warming Not As Hot vs. 1930s” at .
    The title is a bit misleading, since the article is about state maximum temperature records. No new records have been set (not tied) since 1999.
    The data is from .
    It’s interesting to note that at least three records are from stations that to my knowledge haven’t been around all that long. Laughlin, NV, Lake Havasu City, AZ, and the NM Waste Isolation Pilot Plant weren’t around when most of the state maximum temperature records were set. I wonder what they would have recorded in the 1930’s
    .I think this would be a good topic for you to address in a blog article.

    • Russ July 17, 2012 / 8:45 pm


      I will look into the extreme temperatures at these stations.

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