Little Ice Age Theory

By James A. Marusek, Retired U.S. Navy Physicist who is warning us of what is to come.

I. Introduction

General Discussion
The sun is undergoing a state change. It is possible that we may be at the cusp of the next Little Ice Age. For several centuries the relationship between periods of quiet sun and a prolonged brutal cold climate on Earth (referred to as Little Ice Ages) have been recognized. But the exact mechanisms behind this relationship have remained a mystery. We exist in an age of scientific enlightenment, equipped with modern tools to measure subtle changes with great precision. Therefore it is important to try and come to grips with these natural climatic drivers and mold the evolution of theories that describe the mechanisms behind Little Ice Ages.

The sun changes over time. There are decadal periods when the sun is very active magnetically, producing many sunspots. These periods are referred to as Solar Grand Maxima. And then there are periods when the sun is very weak producing few sunspot. These periods are called Solar Grand Minima. Solar Grand Minima correspond to dark cold glooming periods called Little Ice Ages. And there are states in-between. During most of the 20th century, the sun was in a Solar Grand Maxima. But that came to an abrupt end beginning in July 2000. The sun produced 6 massive explosions in rapid succession. Each of these explosions produced solar proton events with a proton flux greater than 10,000 pfu @ >10 MeV. These occurred in July 2000, November 2000, September 2001, two in November 2001, and a final one in October 2003. And there hasn’t been any of this magnitude since. Then the sun produced one of the weakest solar minimums since the Ap Index was first recorded (beginning in 1932). The current solar cycle (Solar Cycle 24) is very weak. Not quite weak enough to be called a Solar Grand Minima but very close. It is analogous to a period referred to as a ‘Dalton Minimum’.

As we transitioned from a Grand Solar Maxima, which typified the 20th century to a magnetically quiet solar period similar to a Dalton Minimum (~1798-1823 A.D.), it gave us the opportunity to observe the changes in solar parameters across this transition.

I propose two mechanisms primarily responsible for Little Ice Age climatic conditions. These two components are Cloud Theory and Wind Theory. At the core of Cloud Theory are galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and at the core of Wind Theory are diamond dust ice crystals. During Little Ice Ages, there is an increase of low level clouds that cause a general global cooling and an alteration of the jet streams that drives cold air from upper latitudes deep into the mid latitude regions.

Little Ice Age conditions are defined not only by colder temperatures but also by a shift in the patterns of wind streams. They produce long-lasting locked wind stream patterns responsible for great floods and great droughts. They also affect the cycle of seasons producing great irregularity and crop failures. Altered wind streams impacts the development of massive storms and hurricanes. These Little Ice Age conditions in the past caused poor crop yields, famines, major epidemics, mass migration, war, and major political upheavals.

Read the full document HERE: Little_Ice_Age_Theory

Be sure to read Appendix A which catalogs the climate extremes during the Maunder Minimum.  We are on the cusp of a Grand Minimum, Dalton or Maunder type, only time will tell.


Posted in Analysis, Cosmic Rays, Dalton, Discovery, Drought, History, Maunder, Solar, Weather | 4 Comments

Warmer PIK Potsdam Institute Now Warning of “Mini Ice Age”

The No Tricks Zone has the story:

The daily Berliner Kurier here writes today that solar physicists at the ultra-warmist Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are warning that Europe may be facing “a mini ice age” due to a possible protracted solar minimum. – See more at:

The Berliner Kurier writes:

That’s the conclusion that solar physicists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research reached when looking at solar activity.”

The source of the Berliner Kurier report is the Austrian weather site here. The site writes that some solar physicists suspect the current solar inactivity may be “the start of a new grand minimum” like the one the planet saw in the 17th century and left Europe in an ice box.  [Emphasis added]

Full Report is HERE.


Posted in Analysis, Dalton, History, Maunder, Solar | 1 Comment

“Threat Of A Little Ice Age”?

Spooky Pause…Solar Activity Now Has Leading German (Warmist) Science Journalist Asking About “Threat Of A Little Ice Age”

Science journalist Michael Odenwald at the German news weekly FOCUS used to be quite the warmist, and maybe he still is. But his latest article here tells us that he may be opening up to other climate change explanations: natural factors such as solar activity. Solar activity has quieted over the last years. Photo image: NASA Odenwald’s article focusses on the sun’s recent solar activity, noting that the current cycle has only been about as half as active as normal and that the “sun in the second half of the 20th century was unusually active over several cycles.” He then notes how the earth’s climate has suspiciously stopped warming since the sun went quiet. “Our planet could cool down” Before citing the works of geophysicist Ilya Usoskin of the Finnish University Oulu, Odenwald writes: The current low activity of the cosmic oven has possible dramatic consequences for our planet: Our planet could cool down. Perhaps the quiet sun is hidden behind another phenomenon over which scientists have long been wondering about: At around the year 2000 global warming came to a halt.” Odenwald also informs readers that the high level of solar activity from 1950 bis 2009 indeed had been an outlier and that it is clear that “the global temperature, which has increased for more than 100 years, rose most strongly from 1975 to 2000. According to the IPCC the 30-year period from 1983 to 2012 in the northern hemisphere was the warmest in 1400 years. Roughly calculated it coincides with the most recent Grand Maximum.” Warnings of a little ice age Odenwald also writes that some climatologists believe “the real driver of climate change is our sun. Some are even warning of a new little ice age.”  

Read more:

Posted in Cosmic Rays, History, Solar | 3 Comments

Bald Sun for 4 Days.

There are no visible sunspots on the most current solar image; courtesy NASA/SDO,
Meteorologist Paul Dorian shares some thought on the impact when spots vanish, the potential for a grand minimum.

Finally, if history is any guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a cooling impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere – and where we all live. There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830 (above). 

Both of these historical periods coincided with colder-than-normal global temperatures in an era that is now referred to by many scientists as the “Little Ice Age”. One of the reasons prolonged periods of weak solar activity may be associated with colder global temperatures has to do with a complicated relationship between solar activity, cosmic rays, and clouds on Earth.  Research studies in recent years have found that in times of low solar activity – where solar winds are typically weak – more cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, has been found to lead to an increase in certain types of clouds that can act to cool the Earth.

Paul Dorian’s conclusion:

This historically weak solar cycle continues the recent downward trend in sunspot cycle strength that began over thirty years ago during solar cycle 22. If this trend continues for the next couple of cycles, then there would likely be increasing talk of another “grand minimum” for the sun which correlates to an extended decades-long period of low solar activity. Some solar scientists are already predicting that the next solar cycle will be even weaker than this current one which has been historically weak. However, it is just too early for high confidence in those predictions since many solar scientists believe that the best predictor of future solar cycle strength involves activity at the sun’s poles during a solar minimum phase – something we are now rapidly approaching – and the current blank look to the sun is liable to become more and more frequent in the months to come.

Discussion is HERE.


Posted in Cosmic Rays, Dalton, History, Maunder, Solar | 4 Comments

Summer of 1816 in New Hampshire: A Tale of Two Freezes

Ric Werme writing at Watt Up With That has an interesting weather story that takes place during the Dalton Minimum. The article is quite long and he provides this Executive Summary:

  • The proximate cause of the cold weather in 1816 is the explosion of Mt Tambora in April 1815. This may have been the largest volcanic explosion in recorded human history and lofted a lot of sulfuric acid aerosols into the stratosphere. However, 1816 is just one of several cold years blamed on volcanoes, solar activity, and other causes.
  • There were warm days, even a few hot days. There were even some warm months mixed in with the cold ones, so the result was that the annual average temperature wasn’t very far from average. In this and other cases, small deviations can add up to a major impact on the length of the growing season, number of growing degree days, etc.
  • I think the weather pattern was most affected by high latitude cooling and the polar jet stream (the storm track) shifting southward. South of the storm track there was less cooling, but they were still affected by weather systems from the north. There are signs that the jet stream had a “meridional” flow which allows polar air to surge south and tropical air to surge north.The effect of volcanic aerosols is poorly documented, likely because its poorly understood. Pretty much all of the sources talk about the amount of aerosol and the effect on global temperatures. However, I think the effects vary with latitude and that had a major effect on temperatures at different latitudes and the intensity of various weather events.
  • What set 1816 apart from other years were two freeze events. If frosts in June and August hadn’t happened, the harvest would have been very different, and few people would write about the weather of 1816. There was plenty of other cold weather in 1816, so this essay is way too long and needs this executive summary
  • A claim that snow or frosts occurred in every month of the year does not hold for parts of New Hampshire in July. There may have been such events in western Connecticut or Massachusetts, or even Virginia, but some descriptions may be exaggerated. It doesn’t affect the outcome of the year, as most everything that made it through July was killed in August.
  • 1816 set into motion changes in New Hampshire that probably would have happened later, but traces of them still exist today.

The full article is HERE.

I found the comments on the article equally interesting.  My grandmother Thomas was an avid gardener and had a kitchen garden all of her adult life. She kept a record of the last spring frost and the first fall frost in Nevada County CA and adjusted her planting and harvesting based on the record of the past.   An 1812 summer with late and early frosts would have thrown her for a loop.


Posted in Analysis, California, Dalton, History, Solar, Survival, Volcanism | Leave a comment

CLOUD Results:More Cosmic Rays, More Clouds

Our planet’s pre-industrial climate may have been cloudier than presently thought, shows CERN’s CLOUD experiment in two papers published today in Nature

CLOUD shows that organic vapours emitted by trees produce lots of aerosol particles in the atmosphere when there’s no sulphuric acid – a main product of burning fossil fuels.

Previously, it was thought that sulphuric acid was essential to initiate the formation of these aerosol particles but the new research shows that these so-called biogenic vapours are also key to their growth, and can help them grow up to sizes where they can seed clouds.

 “These results are the most important so far by the CLOUD experiment at CERN,” said CLOUD spokesperson, Jasper Kirkby. “When the nucleation and growth of pure biogenic aerosol particles is included in climate models, it should sharpen our understanding of the impact of human activities on clouds and climate.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers that the increase in aerosols and clouds since pre-industrial times represents one of the largest sources of uncertainty in climate change. The CLOUD experiment is designed to better understand such processes.

CLOUD has also found that ions from galactic cosmic rays strongly enhance the production rate of pure biogenic particles – by a factor 10-100 compared with particles without ions. This suggests that cosmic rays may have played a more important role in aerosol and cloud formation in pre-industrial times than in today’s polluted atmosphere.

A quiet sun diminishes the magnetosphere, which then lets more high energy cosmic rays rain down on the earth, with the potential to create more clouds, thus more global cooling.  This could be the mechanism that results in mini-ice-ages.  Your thoughts.

Posted in Cosmic Rays, History, Solar | 5 Comments

Sunspots Point To Looming Mini-Ice Age

From the Times of India:

A recent paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research reports over the past 20 years there has been a steady decline in activity on the sun’s surface and interplanetary magnetic fields, indicated by a dramatic decline in the number of sunspots. Scientists and astronomers from Physical Research Laboratory in India and counterparts in China and Japan write the decline in solar activity could indicate Earth is heading for another “little ice age” or even a more extended period of low solar activity, a Maunder Minimum, by 2020. During the last Maunder Minimum, between 1645 and 1715 AD, the sun was almost completely spotless and Europe and much of Earth witnessed extremely harsh winter.

H/T to Climate Change Weekly

According to the West without Water,  the paleoclimate records show increased climate variability during the Little Ice Age in the Southwest US. It was generally cooler and wetter, punctuated by  episodes of drought, sometimes severe drought lasting for several years.   If low sunspots produced a cool wet climate in the Southwest, including California the past, I think we should consider the possibility it will happen again.  This is in conflict with the promotion of global warming being promoted by the Governor and the environmental wackos at CARB.


Posted in History, Maunder, Solar | 8 Comments