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At around 2040-2050 we will be in a new major Solar Minimum. It is to be expected that we will then have a new "Little Ice Age" over the Arctic and NW Europe. The past Solar Minima were linked to a general speeding-up of the Earth's rate of rotation. This affected the surface currents and southward penetration of Arctic water in the North Atlantic causing "Little Ice Ages" over northwestern Europe and the Arctic.
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VOLUME 22 No. 3 2011
Nils-Axel Mörner (Sweden)
Nils-Axel Mörner
Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Rösundavägen 17, 13336 Saltsjöbaden, Sweden,
At around 2040-2050 we will be in a new major Solar Minimum. It is to be
expected that we will then have a new “Little Ice Age” over the Arctic and NW
Europe. The past Solar Minima were linked to a general speeding-up of the Earth’s
rate of rotation. This affected the surface currents and southward penetration of
Arctic water in the North Atlantic causing “Little Ice Ages” over northwestern
Europe and the Arctic.
Keywords: Arctic environment by 2040-2050, next Solar Minimum, return to
Little Ice Age conditions.
Both ACIA (2004) and IPCC (2001) predict a unidirectional opening of the Arctic.
This is repeated in the last IPCC-report (2007). This has affected economical and
trading scenarios, too. We often hear that, by year 2050 (if not even before), the Arctic
will be ice-free allowing trans-Arctic voyages.
Karlén (2008) showed that there hardly is anything unusual going on in the Arctic
region today, rather variations of the same type as recorded throughout the Holocene.
Furthermore, he found those variations quite similar to the changes in Solar activity as
recorded by the atmospheric 14C-variations.
Höpner Petersen (1984) has shown that the low summer sun with only around +3-
9°C air temperatures cannot compensate the heat loss during the Polar nights with air
temperatures at minus 20-40°C. Therefore, he argues that air temperature cannot melt
polar ice, only ocean water-heat may do this. He states (Höpner Petersen, 2010)
“Millions of years with polar nights created the deep, polar oceans, the polar currents
and the polar life systems. The solar system controls the polar nights and their
influence on the global climate in periods from tens, to hundreds, to thousands, to
millions of years.”
In 1984, I launched the theory that angular momentum might be transferred back
and forth between the solid Earth and hydrosphere; affecting primarily the surface
circulation of the main ocean currents, and especially the Gulf Stream and Kuro Siwo
Current which bring oceanic water masses from low to high latitudes (Mörner, 1984a,
1984b). This was followed up in a series of papers (Mörner, e.g. 1988, 1995, 1996a,
1996b). I then realized that the Solar Wind might affect the rotation of the entire
terrestrial system (Mörner, 1996b, 1999). The Solar minima were found to correspond
to periods of speeding-up of the Earth rate of rotation (Mörner, 2010).
Changes in the Earth’s rate of rotation and their feedback interactions are illustrated
in Figure 1. Many variables are interacting. Changes in the oceanic surface circulation
are proposed to play the dominant role with respect to centennial and multi-decadal
changes in climate (Mörner, 1995). Variations in the Solar Wind are held as the
external driving force (Mörner, 2010).
Long ago, Eddy (1976) proposed that Little Ice Ages occurred at periods of Solar
minima. Indeed, there seems to be a good correlation between cooling events over
northern Europe, the North Atlantic and the Arctic. During the Spörer, Maunder and
Dalton Solar Minima, Arctic water was forced southwards all the way down to Mid-
Portugal and the adjacent land areas experienced “Little Ice Ages” (Mörner, 1995,
2010). At the same time, however, the Gibraltar and NW Africa experienced warm
events. This North–South opposed climate conditions are well understood in terms of
differential distribution of current flow-masses along the northern and southern
branches, respectively, of the Gulf Stream (Mörner, 1995, 2010).
The relation among centennial Solar maxima/minima cycles, the Earth’s rate of
rotation and the changes in dominant ocean surface current activity in the North
Atlantic is illustrated in Figure 2.
Today, we are at the end phase of a Solar Maximum and in some 30-40 years we
will be in a new Solar Minimum. This paper will discuss the optional scenarios for the
changes in climatic conditions in the Arctic within this century, with special regard to
the effects of Solar variability.
208 Energy & Environment · Vol. 22, No. 3, 2011
Figure 1. Effects and feedback interactions of changes in the Earth’s rate of
rotation (from Mörner, 1995). Ocean surface circulation is proposed to play
the dominant role in the redistribution of ocean-stored energy (recorded by
paleoclimate) and water masses (recorded by past sea level changes).
The forcing function in the scenario here proposed is the effect of changes
in the Solar Wind upon the Earth’s rate of rotation.
In the Global Warming scenarios (IPCC, 2001, 2007; ACIA, 2004) the Arctic will
face a unidirectional warming. By the middle of this century, the Arctic is said to
become ice-free (Figure 3A). This statement has lead economists and businessmen to
postulate new trading routes and political competition within the Arctic. This
concerns natural resources like oil and gas, water for fishing, location of potential
harbours, etc.
In these scenarios, little or no respect is paid to the natural variability in climate,
and the solar-terrestrial interaction.
Arctic Environment by the Middle of This Century 209
Figure 2. Relations among solar cycles, Earth's rate of rotation and the observed
changes in the ocean circulation in the North Atlantic (from Mörner, 2010).
Figure 3. Approximate Arctic ice-cover today (2000-2010) and proposed changes
by 2050 according to IPCC (A) allowing trans-Arctic shipping, and by 2040
according to the cyclic long-term Solar changes (B) predicting Little
Ice Age climatic conditions.
If we “put the Sun back in the centre” (Mörner, 2006a, 2006b) – in analogy to what
Copernicus did in the 16th century with respect to the old Aristotle’s and Ptolemaist
geocentric concept – the prospect of the Arctic will be totally different, however
(Figure 3B).
210 Energy & Environment · Vol. 22, No. 3, 2011
Figure 4. Variations in Solar activity lead to changes in the Solar Wind and in
Solar irradiance, both of which may affect Earth’s climate. The variations in
irradiance are known to be small or even minute. The variations in Solar Wind
are large and strong, via the interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere, it affects
Earth’s rate of rotation, by that forcing several different terrestrial variables like
the Gulf Stream beat in the North Atlantic. Simultaneously, the shielding capacity
affects the concentration of cosmogenic nuclides (Bard et al., 2000), like the
aa-index (Cliver et al., 1998). At any rate, there are two different ways for how
changes in Solar activity may affect Earth’s climate; via irradiance or via the Solar
Wind. In the present case, it is the left line that is considered.
It is common knowledge that the Earth is predominantly heated from the Sun. Any
variation in the solar activity might, therefore, be a potential factor for changes in the
terrestrial climate.
The 11-year sunspot cycle is well known phenomena, and so are, to a lesser degree,
also the 22-year cycle, the 80 year Gleissberg Cycle (sometimes even given as
60 year), the 120 year VMV Cycle and the 240 de Vries Cycle. The search for those
cycles in terrestrial variables has a long history (e.g. Schove, 1983; Sanders &
Fairbridge, 1995; Finkl, 1995). Still, the matter was far from clear.
Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991) established an excellent correlation, for the
last 150 years, between changes in the length of the sunspot cycle and general changes
in global mean temperature. This gave evidence of a strong solar-terrestrial linkage,
despite the fact that the physics behind this linkage remained unknown.
On the centennial basis, the solar activity (instrumental, observation, aurora, aa-
index, 14C-production, 10Be in-fall) exhibits cyclic variations between Solar Maxima
and Solar Minima (e.g. Stuiver and Quay, 1980; Hoyt and Schatten, 1993; Lean et al.,
1995; Cliver et al., 1998; Lean and Rind, 1999; Bard et al., 2000; Bond et al., 2001;
Mazzarella, 2007).
The Solar Minima – the Dalton Minimum 1800–1820, the Maunder Minimum
1645-1705, the Spörer Minimum 1420-1500 and the Wolf Minimum 1290-1350 –
have attracted special attention because they have been proposed to correlate (e.g.
Eddy, 1976) with cold periods or Little Ice Ages (Lamb, 1979). In the west European
records (Guiot, 1992), there are quite clear cold minima at 1440-1460, 1687-1703 and
1808-1821 (Mörner, 1995, 2010), i.e. right within the last three Solar Minima.
The observed solar-terrestrial interaction have been interpreted in the following
three ways, illustrated in Figure 4.
(1) Solar irradiance
The solar-terrestrial interaction is often explained in terms of variations in irradiance
over the sun-spot cycle and it multiples (e.g. White et al., 1997). The variation in energy
output during a sunspot cycle is found to be far too low, however, or only in the order
of 0.2 % (Willson, 1997). Therefore, this mechanism does not apply per se. Only by
assuming unknown and hypothetical amplifying forcing-functions may it be converted
to effects large enough to explain observed changes in climate (e.g. Lean et al., 1995).
(2) Solar Wind and cosmic ray in-fall
In a number of papers, Svensmark (e.g. 1998, 2007) has proposed that Earth climate
may be strongly controlled by cloud formation driven by cosmic rays which, in its
turn, is modulated by the interaction of the Solar Wind with the Earth’s geomagnetic
field. Svensmark has proposed that this mechanism is responsible not only for the
short-term changes in climate, but also for the long-term changes through-out the
Earth’s history (Svensmark & Calder, 2007). This is a splendid new theory.
(3) Solar Wind and Earth’s rate of rotation
Changes in Earth’s rate of rotation due to Solar Wind changes is a novel concept
(Mörner, 1995, 1996b, 2010; Gu, 1998; Mazzarella, 2008), but several authors have
Arctic Environment by the Middle of This Century 211
noted a correlation between sunspot activity and Earth’s rotation (e.g. Kalinin and
Kiselev, 1976; Golovkov, 1983; Mazzarella and Palumbo, 1988; Rosen and Salstein,
2000; Abarca del Rio et al., 2003; Mazzarella, 2007, 2008; Mörner, 2010, Le Mouël
et al., 2010) or Solar-planetary cycles and Earth’s rotation (e.g. Scafetta, 2010). Due
to the changes in rotation, the oceanic surface current system is forced to respond
(Figure 1). As a function of this, the Gulf Stream alters its main distribution of water
along the northern and southern branches, and simultaneously cold Arctic water can,
at the speeding-up phases of Solar Minima, penetrate far down along the west coasts
of Europe creating Little Ice Age environmental conditions (Figure 2).
Alternatively, a planetary beat (cf. Mörner, 1984a) may act not only on the Sun
causing its variations in time, but also directly on the Solar Wind interaction with the
magnetosphere by magnetic torques and/or by gravitational forces on the Earth’s rate
of rotation (Scafetta, 2010). The correlation between the 60 years terrestrial LOD
cycle and the 60 years cycle of changes in the orbital speed of the Sun around the
centre of mass of the solar system (SCMSS) is striking (Scafetta, 2010, Fig 14).
Whatever, it is the response in oceanic circulation that generates the changes in climate
(Mörner, 1995, 1996b, 2010) illustrated in Figure 1 and 2.
(4) A combination of points (2) and (3)
Finally, there are all reasons to believe that mechanism 2 and 3 may interact and
operate simultaneously.
The Solar activity follows cyclic patterns, and can fairly easily be extended into the
future. What happened in the past will also happen in the future. The combination of
cycles can be done in different ways. Originally, we used a combination of the 60 year
“Gleissberg” and 240 year De Vries cycles for the past 600 years and extended it into
the Future giving a new Solar Minimum at around 2040-2050 as given in Figure 5
(Mörner et al., 2003; Mörner, 2003, 2006a, 2006b, 2007).
212 Energy & Environment · Vol. 22, No. 3, 2011
Figure 5. Cyclic phasing of the combined “Gleisberg” and De Vries Cycles over the
last 600 years giving a new Solar Minimum at about 2040-2050 (from Mörner,
2006b). Vertical scale gives temperature in centigrade.
Later, I use the Solar Irradiance curve of Bard et al. (2000), noting that this curve, in
fact, rather should be labelled “a Solar Wind Curve” as it is constructed from the
variations in cosmogenic nuclides controlled by the variations in shielding capacity of
the Earth’s geomagnetic field as given in Figure 4 (cf. Mörner, 2010). Along this curve
(Figure 6) I have marked the changes recorded between Gulf Stream stages 2 (above)
and 4 (below) situations as given in Figure 2 (cf. Mörner, 2010). In the middle of this
century (at about 2040-2050), we should, by cycle extrapolation, have a Future Solar
Minimum when the past Gulf Stream situation should repeat; i.e. we would have a new
stage 4 situation with “Little Ice Age” conditions in Europe and in the Arctic (Figure 7).
This is in sharp contrast to the scenarios of IPCC (2001) and ACIA (2004), which
predict a unidirectional continued warming leading to the opening of the Arctic basin
within this century. Their prediction is based on modelling excluding the effects of the
Sun, however.
Personally, I am convinced that we need to have “the Sun in the centre” (Mörner,
2006a, 2006b), and doing so, we are indeed facing a new Solar Minimum in the middle
of this century. Whether this minimum will be as the past three once were (Figure 6),
or it will be affected by anthropogenic factors, is another question.
Arctic Environment by the Middle of This Century 213
Figure 6. The main Solar cycle in the last 800 years and its expected extension into
the future using the Solar Wind curve established from the atmospheric 14C (and
10Be) variations. At the three past Solar Minima, NW Europe, the North Atlantic and
the Arctic experienced cold phases known as “Little Ice Ages”. It should be noted
that the seven maps of past ocean circulation changes are observationally based
records. A new Solar Minimum is predicted at 2040-2050 with an expected return to
Little Ice Age climatic conditions (from Mörner, 2010).
The date of the New Solar Minimum has been assigned at around 2040 by Mörner
et al. (2003), at 2030-2040 by Harrara (2010), at 2042 ±11 by Abdassamatov (2010)
and at 2030-2040 by Scafetta (2010), implying a fairly congruent picture despite
somewhat different ways of transferring past signals into future predictions.
The onset of the associated cooling has been given at 2010 by Easterbrook (2010)
and Herrara (2010), and at “approximately 2014” by Abdassamatov (2010).
Easterbrook (2010) backs up his claim that the cooling has already commenced by
geological observations facts.
At any rate, from a Solar-Terrestrial point of view, we will, by the middle of this
century, be in a New Solar Minimum and in a New Little Ice Age (Figure 7). This
conclusion is completely opposite to the scenarios presented by IPCC (2001, 2007)
as illustrated in Figure 3. With “the Sun in the centre”, no other conclusion can be
drawn, however.
In the years 1997-2003, I headed an INTAS project on “Geomagnetism and Climate”.
It was within this project that we lay the ground for the view on the Solar-Terrestrial
interaction (presented at the EGU-AGU-EGS meeting in Nice, 2003), later developed
and integrated in the way here presented.
214 Energy & Environment · Vol. 22, No. 3, 2011
Figure 7. At around 2040-2050 the extrapolated cyclic behaviour of the observed
Solar variability predicts a new Solar Minimum with return to Little
Ice Age climatic conditions.
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Reviewed by: Professor Don J. Easterbrook
Professor emeritus in geology at Western Washington University, Bellingham, USA.
218 Energy & Environment · Vol. 22, No. 3, 2011
... The ocean surface circulation can be simplified in 8 dominant systems and their directions of motions (Fig. 1). The ocean surface circulation system is super-sensitive to changes in Earth's rate of rotation in a feedback coupling and interchange of angular momentum (Mörner, 1984(Mörner, , 1985(Mörner, , 1987(Mörner, , 1988(Mörner, , 1989(Mörner, , 1993(Mörner, , 2010(Mörner, , 2011(Mörner, , 2012(Mörner, , 2015. Fig. 1. ...
... Main global ocean surface circulation patterns: the main equatorial currents (4) lagging behind the Earths's rotation, the Kuroshio and Gulf Stream systems bringing warm equatorial to mid and high latitudes (2), the Southern Hemisphere currents bringing cold Antarctic water to low latitudes and being responsible for significant coastal upwelling (7), the southward flow of Arctic water (1) cooling Atlantic mid-latitudes, the Circum-Antarctic current (8) sealing off a cold Antarctica. (from Mörner, 1987Mörner, , 1988Mörner, , 1989Mörner, , 2011Mörner, , 2012. ...
... The changes in LOD (down implies acceleration and up deceleration) and corresponding changes in temperature and sea level in the Northwest European region (from Mörner, 1996). The correlations seem good and lend support to the rotational/circulation theory proposed (Mörner, 1988(Mörner, , 1989a (Mörner, 2010(Mörner, , 2011(Mörner, , 2013a. The next Grand Solar Minimum is due at around 2030-2040 (Mörner, 2015b). ...
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... At the Spörer, Maunder and Dalton Grand Solar Minima the circulation pattern of the North Atlantic changed dramatically [5] as illustrated in Figure 2 [5] [11]. ...
... Therefore, the same is supposed to re-occur at the New Grand Solar Minimum at 2030-2040 [5] [11]. This was quite a revolutionary conclusion [5] [11] as it totally contradicted the scenario by the IPCC of a continually increasing warming over the next centuries [45]. ...
... In conclusion, we assign an age of the approaching New Grand Solar Minimum of about 2030-2040. This implies that we must expect cold conditions [11]-not warm conditions [45]-at the middle of the present century [11]. Another way of estimating the changes is to use the cyclic pattern of the cosmogenic radionuclides (i.e. 14 C and 10 Be) of the last 800 years with an extrapolation into the 21 st century [11]. ...
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... The [52]. The observed expansion/contraction changes are illustrated in Figure 8. ...
... The alternation between Grand Solar Maxima and Minima must be driven by Planetary-Solar forcing [1,2,3,4,5,24]. The Gulf Steam beat and the periods of Little Ice Age climate conditions follow the Grand Solar Cycles oscillations in great details over the last 600 years [13,25,26]. ...
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"New Dawn of Truth" is the theme of the London Conference on Climate Change: Science and Geoethics. Day-1 is devoted to observational facts on a predominant solar forcing of chi mate change on Planet Earth. Day-2 covers the small to negligible effects from the increase in atmospheric CO2 content, and the disastrous effect of the general fixation of a co2-driven global warming. The conference ends with an open multifaceted debate with mutual respect in the centre.
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This volume includes Extended Abstracts of the talks presented plus Commentary Notes and constitutes the Conference Volume of the London Conference on Climate Change: Science & Geoethics to be held at Conway Hall, Central London, September 8–9, 2016.
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There is a strong linkage between Earth's rate of rotation and the changes in ocean circulation. The ocean circulation changes, in their turn, are strongly linked to the paleoclimatic evolution on the bordering land masses. This is due to the high heat storing capacity of the oceans and the ocean-air-land heat flux. We propose that the paleoclimatic changes on the decadal-to-millennial time scale are primarily driven by the causal connection between Earth's rotation and ocean circulation changes in a feed-back coupling relation. This operational mechanism is recorded in the ENSO/non-ENSO alternations and in the European instrumental records of the last 300 years. It seems successfully applicable to the historical climatic records, the 1000 AD shifts, the 16 Holocene "super-ENSO" events, the high-amplitude changes at 13-10 Ka BP, and the 20 Ka oceanic circulation. This imply that the oceanic system - in this case the ocean surface circulation - has a much more important role than previously appreciated which should significantly affect our modelling of past and future climatic changes.
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It all began with observations. With Ovidius changes and metamorphoses were incorporated in the ancient «scientific» knowledge. Aristotle's was to formulate the world's first model claiming that the Earth was in the planetary centre. This model fooled the world for 1800 years. There is a danger in ruling models. The nuclear waste handling and the global warming scenario are two such modern ruling models, both of which are here challenged because of observational facts. Geoethics calls for an increased respect for observational facts. Observation-interpretation-conclusion must be the base and backbone for science today, as it has been in the past.
Analyses the decades to millennial cycles in climate and the possible mechanisms involved in the solar and Milankovitch cycles. -from Author
Based on a quantitative study of the common fluctuations of 14 Ca nd10Be production rates, we have derived a time series of the solar magnetic variability over the last 1200 years. This record is converted into irradiance variations by linear scaling based on previous studies of sun-like stars and of the sun’s behavior over the last few centuries. The new solar irradiance record exhibits low values during the well-known solar minima centered at about 1900, 1810 (Dalton) and 1690 ad (Maunder). Further back in time, a rather long period between 1450 and 1750 ad is characterized by low irradiance values. A shorter period is centered at about 1200 ad, with irradiance slightly higher or similar to present day values. It is tempting to correlate these periods with the so-called ‘‘little ice age’’ and ‘‘medieval warm period’’, respectively. An accurate quantification of the climatic impact of this new irradiance record requires the use of coupled atmosphere‐ocean general circulation models (GCMs). Nevertheless, our record is already compatible with a global cooling of about 0.5‐1°C during the ‘‘little ice age’’, and with a general cooling trend during the past millenium followed by global warming during the 20th century (Mann et al., 1999).
Quantitative studies on energy flows in arctic, temperate and tropical ecosystems on the marine shelf and in lakes indicate that in the arctic the benthic energy flow dominates, and in the tropics the pelagic flow dominates. This is confirmed by the different structures of the ecosystems. The variation between midnight sun and polar darkness, the timelag between the steps in the energy flow, the synchronization of the organism’s life histories, and the low temperature all favour the benthic energy flow in the subarctic. Polar darkness seems to have appeared 20 – 30 million years ago. This is in conflict with the geophysical and astronomical theories, which assume an almost constant earth axis tilt through the ages. The data may be taken to suggest that theQearth axis’ tilt is changed from the present angle of about 23 to approximately perpendicular to the ecliptic by unknown forces two times during a cosmic year.
The Stockholm symposium brought forward a well of new observational data and new ideas and theories of their interpretation, all of which was discussed — applauded and/or criticized — at the symposium. The authors in this book have been given time to consider the material presented and discussed before they submitted their papers. Consequently, this book is a true proceedings of the symposium. This means that each paper must stay for itself and form its own conclusions (which also applies to this paper).
During the past ∼120 years, Earth's surface temperature is correlated with both decadal averages and solar cycle minimum values of the geomagnetic aa index. The correlation with aa minimum values suggests the existence of a long-term (low-frequency) component of solar irradiance that underlies the 11-year cyclic component. Extrapolating the aa-temperature correlations to Maunder Minimum geomagnetic conditions implies that solar forcing can account for ∼50% or more of the estimated ∼0.7–1.5°C increase in global surface temperature since the second half of the 17th century. Our analysis is admittedly crude and ignores known contributors to climate change such as warming by anthropogenic greenhouse-gases or cooling by volcanic aerosols. Nevertheless, the general similarity in the time-variation of Earth's surface temperature and the low-frequency or secular component of the aa index over the last ∼120 years supports other studies that indicate a more significant role for solar variability in climate change on decadal and century time-scales than has previously been supposed. The most recent aa data for the current solar minimum suggest that the long-term component of solar forcing will level off or decline during the coming solar cycle.
The glacial eustatic rise in sea level after the 20 ka BP glaciation maximum led to an increase in the equatorial radius and hence a general deceleration in the Earth's rate of rotation. The sea-level rise can be approximated by two superposed exponential curves with a transitional period about 13-10 ka radiocarbon years BP. This period is known to cause high-amplitude climatic changes and regionally irregular changes in sea level. This is interpreted as a break down in the Earth-Moon adjustment to the post-glacial deceleration, which was instead compensated by rapid re-distributions of oceanic water masses and interchanges of angular momentum between the hydrosphere and the solid Earth. At about 6000 years BP the glacial eustatic rise in sea level ended and a new set of circumstances began, which were characterized by feedback interchanges of angular momentum between the solid Earth and the hydrosphere. It is proposed that the palaeoclimatic changes on a decadal to millennial time-scale are primarily driven by the causal connection between the Earth's rotation, oceanic circulation, ocean/atmosphere heating, atmospheric (wind) heat transport and continental palaeoclimatic changes.