Growing evidence we may be in for a 'mini-ice age'

Christopher Booker, writing in the Sunday Telegraph of April 27:

"Has there ever in history been such an almighty disconnect between observable reality and the delusions of a political class that is quite impervious to any rational discussion?"

What "observable reality"?

"Here in Britain, where we had our fifth freezing winter in a row, the Central England Temperature record - according to an expert analysis on the US science blog Watts Up With That - shows that in this century, average winter temperatures have dropped by 1.45C, more than twice as much as their rise between 1850 and 1999, and twice as much as the entire net rise in global temperatures recorded in the 20th century."

Peter Ferrara has compiled an eye-popping list of climate statistics to show that a realization is developing in some of the scientific community that we may be in for a couple of decades of global cooling that will mimic the worst of the "Little Ice Age" that lasted from approximately 1250-1850.

The Little Ice Age, following the historically warm temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period, which lasted from about AD 950 to 1250, has been attributed to natural cycles in solar activity, particularly sunspots. A period of sharply lower sunspot activity known as the Wolf Minimum began in 1280 and persisted for 70 years until 1350. That was followed by a period of even lower sunspot activity that lasted 90 years from 1460 to 1550 known as the Sporer Minimum. During the period 1645 to 1715, the low point of the Little Ice Age, the number of sunspots declined to zero for the entire time. This is known as the Maunder Minimum, named after English astronomer Walter Maunder. That was followed by the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1830, another period of well below normal sunspot activity.

The increase in global temperatures since the late 19th century just reflects the end of the Little Ice Age. The global temperature trends since then have followed not rising CO2 trends but the ocean temperature cycles of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Every 20 to 30 years, the much colder water near the bottom of the oceans cycles up to the top, where it has a slight cooling effect on global temperatures until the sun warms that water. That warmed water then contributes to slightly warmer global temperatures, until the next churning cycle.

The late March temperature dip was not confined to Britain. The same held true all over Europe. And even the US temps supplies some fodder for the global cooling theory:

Booker adds, "Last week it was reported that 3,318 places in the USA had recorded their lowest temperatures for this time of year since records began. Similar record cold was experienced by places in every province of Canada. So cold has the Russian winter been that Moscow had its deepest snowfall in 134 years of observations."

The theory of sunspots having a causal relationship to temperature is hardly new, nor is news about the lack of sunspots being predicted in the future. Ferrara supplies no alternative theories for the cooling, which may, indeed, be temporary.We don't know if his facts have been cherry-picked, although he seems to give a serious and thorough treatment to the sunspot theory.

But Ferrara is as guilty as global warming alarmists of not giving us the entire picture. There are competing theories for why global warming shut down in the 1990's and it would have been nice if Ferrara had included a summary of them.

Of course, you'd never know there was any dissension at all from the global warming paradigm by the way that Obama, Gore, and the rest of the climate hysterics are acting. The president is moving forward with his war on CO2 oblivious to the record, bound and determined to stick it to the CO2 "polluters." The elimination of the coal industry, a doubling of electric bills for US consumers, and thousands of more pages of regulations for US businesses don't matter.

And neither, apparently, does competing theories about the climate that get in the way of government control of the energy industry.