We are in a global cooling cycle and this may be a:
- a regular c. 30 year warming/cooling cycle influenced heavily by the multi-decadal ocean cycles, or
- another Little Ice Age – dominated by the solar sunspot cycles – with the current Landscheidt Minimum comparable to the Dalton or the Maunder Minimum, or
- the ending of this interglacial with a gradual return to glacial condition.
If anything can ensure that we are in for another Ice Age it must be this rather inane statement by the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) when answering a question in the House of Lords:
All of the climate models and policy-relevant pathways of future greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions considered in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent Fifth Assessment Report show a long-term global increase in temperature during the 21st century is expected. In all cases, the warming from increasing greenhouse gases significantly exceeds any cooling from atmospheric aerosols. Other effects such as solar changes and volcanic activity are likely to have only a minor impact over this timescale.
With regard to future glaciation the timescales are very long. Changes in the Earth’s orbit are considered to have driven the glacial cycles that have occurred every 100,000 years approximately, during the past one million years. The British Antarctic Survey has advised that the Earth is about halfway through the current interglacial period and the onset of the next glaciation is not expected for around 10,000 years at least. Although a future extensive glaciation would have huge geopolitical consequences, the transition into such a state would be slow, allowing for adaptation over many generations.
The slow changes in the Earth’s orbit are not, however, expected to cause any net global cooling over the next several centuries, which will be dominated by a warming global climate due to greenhouse gas emissions.
Baroness Verma’s faith in the IPCC and her religious adherence to global warming orthodoxy is touching. But the only thing we can be absolutely certain about is that the UK Government and Baroness Verma have surely got it wrong. In fact, the propensity of Baroness Verma to get (all) things wrong would suggest that glaciation has already started.