In 2010 we discussed the possibility of a Dalton minimum here. The British media now report:
According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.
However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.
Journey to Perplexity puts the implications thus:
One of the reasons Madame de Maintenon had brought forward, which much assisted her in opposing the siege of Lille, was the excessive cold of this winter [1708-09]. The winter was, in fact, terrible; the memory of man could find no parallel to it. The frost came suddenly on Twelfth Night, and lasted nearly two months, beyond all recollection. In four days the Seine and all the other rivers were frozen, and,—what had never been seen before,—the sea froze all along the coasts, so as to bear carts, even heavily laden, upon it. Curious observers pretended that this cold surpassed what had ever been felt in Sweden and Denmark. The tribunals were closed a considerable time. The worst thing was, that it completely thawed for seven or eight days, and then froze again as rudely as before. This caused the complete destruction of all kinds of vegetation—even fruit-trees; and others of the most hardy kind, were destroyed. The violence of the cold was such, that the strongest elixirs and the most spirituous liquors broke their bottles in cupboards of rooms with fires in them, and surrounded by chimneys, in several parts of the chateau of Versailles. As I myself was one evening supping with the Duc de Villeroy, in his little bedroom, I saw bottles that had come from a well- heated kitchen, and that had been put on the chimney-piece of this bed- room (which was close to the kitchen), so frozen, that pieces of ice fell into our glasses as we poured out from them. The second frost ruined everything. There were no walnut-trees, no olive-trees, no apple-trees, no vines left, none worth speaking of, at least. The other trees died in great numbers; the gardens perished, and all the grain in the earth. It is impossible to imagine the desolation of this general ruin. Everybody held tight his old grain. The price of bread increased in proportion to the despair for the next harvest. The most knowing resowed barley where there had been wheat, and were imitated by the majority. They were the most successful, and saved all; but the police bethought themselves of prohibiting this, and repented too late! Divers edicts were published respecting grain, researches were made and granaries filled; commissioners were appointed to scour the provinces, and all these steps contributed to increase the general dearness and poverty, and that, too, at a time when, as was afterwards proved, there was enough corn in the country to feed all France for two years, without a fresh ear being reaped.
Particularly given the rest of the World’s woes this is not good news. While we hope we are wrong about the global economy, we pray we are wrong about the increasing probability of an imminent ice age. The governments responses to the GFC are making the inevitable downturn worse. They have kicked the adjustment can down the road at the cost of making the inevitable adjustments more painful. Just as the State stepped in to mitigate the effect of the little ice age and “all these steps contributed to increase the general dearness and poverty” so with the GFC. I have no doubt our industrious leaders will similarly exacerbate the detrimental effects global coldening. Just as they have for global warming.
Make no mistake governments have through their plethora of policies and grants done real damage in the name of mitigating the effects of global warming. People have gone cold, hungry and without medical care because of the resultant perversion of public policy preferences. Those kind hearted Greens and their enablers have blood on their hands. This may include you, your family or friends. If so, then repent your position. Confess your mistakes and try to undo the evil done in the name of stopping global warming. As Confucius said “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake”. To err is human and we are all only too human. Something Mercury Malcolm should consider.
The one advantage of concern about an ice age is it presents the possibility of continued funding to academic climate scientists if human induced warming concerns are dismissed by policy makers. No longer will climate alarmists be faced with the choice of continuing to sing from the warmist hymn book or finding a new career. They can simply change the nature of their concerns. After all, it would not be the first time. This may speed up the rate at which the discipline recants, helping to stop the implementation of climate alarmist policies. This will save lives and reduce poverty.