An Ice Age?

From Hot Air. Apparently more scientists are concerned that a decrease in solar sunspot activity could cause the Earth to grow colder. The last such extended period was the Mauder Minimum, which lasted from about 1645-1715 and coincides with the Little Ice Age.

According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century.

The signs include a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles, said experts from the National Solar Observatory and Air Force Research Laboratory.

‘This is highly unusual and unexpected,’ said Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network.

‘But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.’

So now we should put all the carbon we can in the air, or maybe not.

Don’t buy your mukluks for Florida just yet.  This is still a hypothesis, not yet an immutable fact.  The NSO and USAFRL still needs to conduct research to see whether a new Maunder Minimum will come, or if this sunspot cycle has just hiccuped. (NASA notes in a sentence that The Register didn’t include that “The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.”)  That will take at least a couple of years to see what direction solar activity takes and what its impact on global temperatures might be, so no one should rush into policy “solutions” for climate in either direction.  Of course, this is also good advice for AGW hysterics who have been predicting the end of the world in the other direction for 20 years, and whose predictions have so far all failed to materialize.

Of course, if those AGW advocates suddenly convert to Maunder Minimists, why do I have the sneaking suspicion that the same solutions — central control of energy production and usage, elimination of fossil fuels — will be pushed?

I’m sure they any solution they come up with will involve them telling us how to live.