NASA extreme low sunspot counts indicate global cooling onset
NASA space weather observations, extremely low sunspot counts, and a severe Polar Vortex are consistent with cyclical global cooling onset.
The complex flows of ions and electrons inside the Sun produce sunspots that average about ten times the size of the Earth and have magnetic fields that are ten thousand times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field. Sunspots were first observed by Galileo in the early 1600s and have been scientifically tracked as 11-year cycles since 1755.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center, using NASA's Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics satellite, conducts Sunspot Number Progression counts, measuring F10.7cm Radio Flux and the Ap Index geomagnetic activity, and its SABER carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO) instruments gage infrared solar output in Earth's top atmospheric level.
As the Earth was completing Solar Cycle 24, sunspot counts and magnetic activity were expected cyclically to fall from a high of over 100 in 2014 to a low of zero in 2022. But the sunspot count plunged to zero in mid-2018 and has remained substantially lower than forecast for Solar Cycle 25. The data could indicate onset of a super-cycle "Maunder Minimum." The last Maunder Minimum period from 1645 to 1715 was a period with 7 percent less sunspots and global cooling, referred to as the "Little Ice Age."
The Little Ice Age altered atmospheric circulation patterns across northern Europe, resulting in widespread crop failures, famine, disease, and increased child mortality. London's Thames River froze over most years during the period.
Martin Mlynczak of NASA's Langley Research Center reported in September: "High above Earth's surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold."
The Swiss National Science Foundation also published in early 2017 a research paper by the Physical Meteorological Observatory Davos, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich, and the University of Bern that warned that particle and electromagnetic "radiative forcing" could cause Maunder Minimum low temperatures in "in 50 to 100 years' time."
The United Nations' International Panel on Climate Change has been the major "denier" of cyclical solar activity "forcing" climate change, because it directly challenges the supposedly settled science that "anthropogenic" releases of fossil fuel CO2 is the exclusive cause of global warming that threatens destruction of all living creatures.
As the evidence of solar forcing has mounted, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change argues that climate model simulations of the period suggest that multiple factors, "particularly volcanic activity in the northern hemisphere," caused the Little Ice Age.
But the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction issued an October warning that the Ring of Fire's 452 volcanoes along the edge the Pacific Ocean edge that cause 90 percent of earthquakes and tsunamis had entered their 100-year active phase.
The Polar Vortex is a center of low pressure that typically spins near the North Pole. But in January, it dipped down to cause 22 hypothermia deaths in the U.S. and at least ten in Poland. Eleven U.S. states and Poland recorded temperatures lower than minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Chicago reported frostbite cases after just 60 seconds' exposure.
Winter Storm Lucien that brought freezing rainfall and flooding across California, then dumped three feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is forecast to dump another 12 to 18 inches of freezing rain and sleet across the Midwest over the next three days.
Dr. Robert Hartwig, president of the International Insurance Institute, said, "Severe winter weather is the third-largest cause of insured catastrophe losses, after hurricanes and tornadoes." Based on a similar Polar Vortex experience, he warns that U.S. insured losses from severe 2018-2019 winter will likely exceed $2.5 billion by year's end.