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Northern Europe and the coming climate refugees crisis

Northern Europe and the coming climate refugees crisis

Northern Europe summer (June, July, August) temperature reconstruction (esper et al. (2014), Northern European summer temperature variations over the Common Era from integrated tree-ring density records. Journal of Quaternary Science 29: 487-494.

Northern Europe summer (June, July, August) temperature reconstruction (Esper et al., Northern European summer temperature variations over the Common Era from integrated tree-ring density records. Journal of Quaternary Science 29: 487-494, 2014).



The Gulf Stream that helps to keep Britain from freezing over in winter is slowing down faster now than at any time in the past millennium according to a study suggesting that major changes are taking place to the ocean currents of the North Atlantic.

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say, The Independent, 23 marzo 2015



The death rate in England and Wales is about a third higher than normal for this time of year, official figures show, as the winter freeze tightens its grip on swaths of Britain…In the winter of 2012-13, 31,000 deaths were linked to the cold weather, prompting criticism of energy firms’ profits while many Britons were unable to pay the bills.

Death rate rises as cold snap grips UK, Guardian, 4 February 2015

The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age.

S. I. Rasool of the NASA and Columbia University, U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming. Washington Post, 9 July 1971

The Earth may be heading towards a mini-ice age period, which is similar to what was observed in the 17th century. During the time, the sunspots on the Sun were absent. This led to a drop in northern hemisphere temperature by 2-3 degrees. The current scenario is almost same. Such climatic conditions might affect the agricultural pattern and health and trigger disasters in the worst scenario.

Shrinivas S. Aundhkar, Director of the MGM’s Centre for Astronomy & Space Technology, Nanded, India, Space scientist fears return of ‘mini ice age’, The Times of India, 21 January 2015

Arctic sea ice extent averaged for the month of September 2014 was 5.28 million square kilometers (2.04 million square miles)… 1.65 million square kilometers (637,000 square miles) above the record low monthly average for September that occurred in 2012… The peak Antarctic value recorded so far of over 20 million square kilometers (7.7 million square miles) sets a new record over the period of satellite observations.

National Snow & Ice Data Center, 7 October 2014

The world’s best 50 models were run and 95% of them have Antarctic sea ice decreasing over the past 30 years.

John Turner, climate scientist, British Antarctic Survey, Why is Antarctic sea ice at record levels despite global warming?, Guardian 9 October 2014

If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.

Hans von Storch, climate scientist, Director of the Institute for Coastal Research at the Helmholtz Research Centre, Why Is Global Warming Stagnating?, 20 June 2013

Why did the glaciers retreat in the middle of the 19th century, although the large CO2 increase in the atmosphere came later? Why did the earth ‘tip’ in such a short time into a warming phase? Why did glaciers again advance in 1880s, 1920s and 1980s? […] Sooner or later climate science will have to answer the question why the retreat of the glacier at the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850 was so rapid…In the northern hemisphere, we are now in a cooling phaseGlaciers will come back because in the northern hemisphere we are still in an Ice-Age mode…Geologically speaking, the current development is nothing new…The engine of climate change is solar activity. In addition, tectonic movements and the shifting of the seasons in the northern hemisphere play a role. Volcanoes can also be a trigger.

Christian Schlüchter, Professor emeritus for Quaternary Geology and Paleoclimatology at the University of Bern in Switzerland, 7 June 2014

We also see a cooling period starting around the turn of the (21st) century. The current cool phase will continue until the 2030s.

Judith Curry, climate scientist, former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, 16 September 2014

These latest series of predictions from the SSRC highlights the growing importance for politicians to formulate a plan B rapidly, given the likely possibility that their plan A (based onfuture warming as forecasted by CO2-driven climate models) will fail thoroughly in the years to come. The prospect of a significant decline of agricultural production due to lowertemperatures is very disturbing.

Ole Humlum, geoscientist and climatologist, University of Oslo, Historic Global Temperature Drop Predicted, 20 November 2014

At the end of the century we were sitting on the highest global temperature value of the modern record. Since then we have leveled off and we may in fact be cooling. “We have reached the top of the mountain”, therefore it’s not surprising that the last decade is one of the warmest on record. The important aspect is that the warming of the 80s and 90s has stopped and the models missed it completely! The important issue is that we have entered a new regime in global temperature tendency.

Anastasios Tsonis, climate scientist, University of Wisconsin, September 2013

The most reasonable way to fight against the coming Little Ice Age is a complex of special steps aimed at support of economic growth and energy-saving production in order to adapt mankind to forthcoming period of deep cooling which will last approximately until the beginning of the 22nd century.

Habibullo Ismailovich Abdussamatov, solar physicist, head of the Space Research Laboratory at Pulkovo Observatory, in Saint Petersburg, 25 November 2013

In fact global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning. No climate model has predicted a cooling of the Earth – quite the contrary. And this means that the projections of future climate are unreliable…we are advising our friends to enjoy global warming while it lasts.

Henrik Svensmark, solar physicist and cosmoclimatologist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen, Mens Solen sover, Jyllands-Posten, 9 September 2009.

This phenomenon has been announced by event like the so-called Snowpocalypse (in 2010, Chicago was the most affected U.S. city), the Siberian cold that hit Europe in 2011 and the North American Arctic polar wave of 2013-2014, which led to the freezing of Niagara Falls and to various polar vortices. Under this scenario, the trend of low temperatures is currently in a transition phase and will deepen within six years, to reach its most intense phase between 2020 and 2040.

Víctor Manuel Velasco Herrera, geophysicist (National Autonomous University of Mexico – UNAM), El enfriamiento global continuará todo el siglo xxi como parte de la mini era del hielo iniciada en 2010, 22 February 2014

Solar Cycle 24 has started and we can expect serious cooling…Ken Schatten, the solar physicist with the best track record in predicting solar cycles, suggests we could be heading for a Maunder Minimum [the coldest period in the entire Holocene]. There is also a De Vries cycle of 210 years, and the last one was 201 years ago, so the next one is due. If the two cycles are superimposed it will be even colder.

Cliff Ollier, emeritus professor at the School of Earth and Environmental Studies, the University of Western Australia, Global warming and climate change: science and politics, Quaestiones Geographicae, 32(1), 2013

The globe is warming, so we do have “global warming” indeed! It proceeds in up and down cycles, but the general trend is up, no doubt about it. What is happening is very similar to the time 115,000 years ago, when the last glaciation started. It is difficult to comprehend, but it is really so: The last glacial was accompanied by the increase of a really averaged global mean surface temperature, alias global warming.

What happened then was that the shifting sun warmed the tropics and cooled the Arctic and Antarctic. Because the tropics are so much larger than the poles, the area-weighted global mean temperature was increasing. But also increasing was the temperature difference between the oceans and the poles, the basic condition of polar ice growth. Believe it or not, the last glacial started with “global warming”!… Evidence of approaching ice age is in accelerated global warming… Man is responsible for a PART of global warming. MOST of it is still natural.

George Kukla (1930 – 2014), paleoclimatologist, former senior researcher at the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

These scientists are probably correct in their assessments.

There may well be cooling times ahead of us (The solar wind is 13% cooler and 20% less dense, NASA, 23 September 2008; Sun Headed Into Hibernation, Solar Studies Predict, National Geographic, 14 giugno 2011; Solheim et al., The long sunspot cycle 23 predicts a significant temperature decrease in cycle 24, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 80, May 2012, Pages 267–284; Global warming pause ‘may last for another decade’, scientists suggest, Telegraph, 21 August 2014; IPCC report: Britain could cool if Gulf Stream slows, Telegraph, 26 September 2013; Observed decline of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation 2004–2012, Ocean Science, 06 February 2014; Solar activity heads for lowest low in four centuries, New Scientist, 1 November 2013; Real risk of a Maunder minimum ‘Little Ice Age’ says leading scientist, BBC, 28 October 2013; Is our Sun falling silent?, BBC, 18 January 2014; Volcanic aerosols, not pollutants, tamped down recent Earth warming, ScienceDaily, 1 March 2013; Sun-kissed sulphur reveals volcanic effects on climate, Science Nordic, 14 February 2013; Des poussières volcaniques islandaises polluent le nord de la France, Le Figaro, 26 September 2014; Study Finds Earth’s Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed, NASA Science News, 6 October 2014; A global temperature conundrum: Cooling or warming climate?, Science Daily, 11 August 2014; Arctic Ice Melt Seen Doubling Risk of Harsh Winter in EU, Bloomberg, 27 October 2014).

The impact of solar cycles and volcanoes on climate has been unjustifiably left out of the picture for decades, even though the correlation between solar and volcanic activity has been known for quite some time (cf. Stothers, R.B., 1989: Volcanic eruptions and solar activity. J. Geophys. Res., 94; Temperature fluctuations: Atlantic Ocean dances with the sun and volcanoes, Science Daily,31 March 2014).

And it shows:


Because five of the last 6 interglacial periods have lasted about 11,500-12,000 years, and the Holocene began approximately 11,700 years ago, we should not discount the possibility that we might be nearing the end of the present interglacial period, a tipping-point which will return us to a glacial period marked by cooler, dryer climate, killer frosts, frequent floods, lower food production,and expanding ice sheets and sea ice.

Incidentally, interglacial periods end with a global warming phase, as a gap is needed between warming tropics (warm oceans provide the necessary moisture) and cooling subpolar zones, for a glaciation to occur (Andrews and Barry, Glacial Inception and Disintegration during the Last Glaciation, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 6, p.205, 1978; How Global Warming Can Chill the Planet, Live Science, 17 December 2004; Kukla and Gavin, Did glacials start with global warming? Quaternary Science Review, Vol. 24, August 2005, pp. 1547–1557; Wallace S. Broecker, The End of the Present Interglacial: How and When?, Quaternary Science Reviews, 1998, Vol. 17, pp. 689-694; Tatjana Boettger et al., 2009, Instability of climate and vegetation dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe during the final stage of the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) and Early Glaciation, Quarternary International, 207, 137-144; María-Fernanda Sánchez-Goñi et al., 2013, Air-sea temperature decoupling in Western Europe during the last interglacial/glacial transitionNature Geoscience, Vol. 6, pp. 837–841).

third highest sea ice extent

third highest sea ice extent

It is not unreasonable to expect a marked cooling between 2016 and 2020, with wild swings in climate, and a drop of Northern Hemisphere sea and air temperatures greater than in the late Sixties (Thompson et al., An abrupt drop in Northern Hemisphere sea surface temperature around 1970, Nature, 467, 444–447).

The two main features indicating that we have already entered a transition phase are (cf. Müller and Kukla, North Atlantic Current and European environments during the declining stage of the last interglacial, Geology, 2004; Risebrobakken, Dokken and Jansen, Extent and Variability of the Meridional Atlantic Circulation in the Eastern Nordic Seas During Marine Isotope Stage 5 and Its Influence on the Inception of the Last Glacial, American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph Series 158, 2005; Stefanie B. Wirth, The Holocene flood history of the Central Alps reconstructed from lacustrine sediments: Frequency, intensity and controlling climate factors, Quaternary Science Reviews, September 2013):

  1. Increasing precipitations during the cold season at high latitudes and on the mountains (Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Anomalies, NOAA 1967-2013), which causes a quick build-up of the ice sheets;
  2. A cooling North Atlantic, as the North Atlantic Current struggles to penetrate into the Nordic Seas;

NOAA SST-NorthAtlantic GlobalMonthlyTempSince1979 With37monthRunningAverage

This transition generally takes place rather abruptly (Mini ice age took hold of Europe in months, New Scientist, 11 November 2009; Steffensen, J. P.,et al., 2008, High-resolution Greenland ice core data show abrupt climate change happens in a few years, Science, 321, 680-684; Flückiger, J., 2008, Did you say “fast?”, Science, 321, 650-651):

During the past 110,000 years, there have been at least 20 such abrupt climate changes. Only one period of stable climate has existed during the past 110,000 years–the 11,000 years of modern climate (the “Holocene” era). “Normal” climate for Earth is the climate of sudden extreme jumps–like a light switch flicking on and off…The historical records shows us that abrupt climate change is not only possible–it is the normal state of affairs. The present warm, stable climate is a rare anomaly.

Jeffrey Masters

The most famous evidence of this abrupt weather change comes from Otzi, the “Tyrolean ice man” whose remarkably preserved body was discovered in the Eastern Alps in 1991 after it was exposed by a melting glacier. Forensic evidence suggests that Otzi was shot in the back with an arrow, escaped his enemies, then sat down behind a boulder and bled to death. We know that within days of Otzi’s dying there must have been a climate event large enough to entomb him in snow; otherwise, his body would have decayed or been eaten by scavengers. Radiocarbon dating of Otzi’s remains revealed that he died around 5,200 years ago (Baroni & Orombelli, 1996). The event that preserved Otzi could have been local, but other evidence points to a global event of abrupt cooling. Around the world organic material is being exposed for the first time in 5,200 years as glaciers recede.

Lonnie G. Thompson, Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options, 2012

So, the question we should ask ourselves is: what would be the fate of North America and Northern Europe if climate change orthodoxy (the anthropocentric, megalomaniac AGW paradigm) were wrong (A complete list of things allegedly caused by global warming)?

What if the massive increase of sea ice extent in Antarctica (Growing Antarctic Ice Sheets May Have Sparked Ice Age, Live Science, 04 December 2014), the growing winter snow cover in the regions surrounding the Arctic, the Arctic sea ice rebound of 2013 and 2014, the long pause in the rise of global temperatures (and the slight decline since 2004) despite the constant increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, the extended, ongoing solar cycle, which historically is a precursor to temperature drops, simply mean that the Holocene is nearing its end?


Ominous signs are all around us and, if we fail to take notice of all these early warnings, we shall only have ourselves to blame (Robot Sub Finds Surprisingly Thick Antarctic Sea Ice, LiveScience, 24 November 2014).

Both the South and the North Pole are cooling (UAH – September 2014).

The volume of Arctic in 2013 was about 50% higher compared to 2012 (European Space Agency, 16 December 2013).

Since 2013 there has been a marked 41% and 9% recovery in autumn and spring Arctic sea ice volume, respectively, more than offsetting losses of the previous three years.
European Space Agency, 15 December 2014

According to the Danish Meteorological Institute, summer Arctic sea ice extent has increased by 60-70% since 2012 (National Snow & Ice Data Center; Centre for Ocean and Ice  –  Danish Meteorological Institute).

The Great Lakes of North America are various degrees colder than normal (Michigan Live, 9 October 2014).

Norway’s glaciers retreat is already slowing down markedly (Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, 2014).

Glaciologists on the Ben Nevis have detected the first stages of the formation of a glacier (Glacier-like hazards found on Ben Nevis, BBC, 21 August 2014).

Himalayan glaciers are mostly steady (Bahuguna et al.: Are the Himalayan glaciers retreating? 2014)

Many Swiss, French and Italian glaciers have become steady or are growing back (Die ersten Gletscher wachsen wieder, Schweiz am Sonntag, 28 September 2013; Alpes: un répit pour le retrait des glaciers en 2013, le Dauphine, 11 February 2014; Ghiacciai alpini tornano a crescere: ecco i perché di una stagione boom, Meteogiornale, 21 novembre 2014).


It’s time to weak up to reality

Recent scientific literature on the relationship between climate change and solar activity

Katya Georgieva, Yury Nagovitsyn, Boian Kirov, Solar magnetic fields and terrestrial climate, Proceedings of the XVIII conference “Solar and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 2014”, November 2014

Adolphi et al. Persistent link between solar activity and Greenland climate during the Last Glacial Maximum, agosto 2014

Aslam and Badruddin, Study of the influence of solar variability on a regional (Indian) climate: 1901–2007, Advances in Space research, ottobre 2014

Herrera et al., Reconstruction and prediction of the total solar irradiance: From the Medieval Warm Period to the 21st century, New Astronomy, gennaio 2015

Maliniemi et al, Spatial distribution of northern hemisphere temperatures during different phases of the solar cycle, Journal of Geophysical Research, agosto 2014

Moreira-Turcq et al., A 2700 cal yr BP extreme flood event revealed by sediment accumulation in Amazon floodplains, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, agosto 2014

Wang et al., Seasonal temperature variability of the Neoglacial (3300-2500 BP) and Roman Warm Period (2500-1600 BP) reconstructed from oxygen isotope ratios of limpet shells (Patella vulgata), Northwest Scotland, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, agosto 2012

Morley et al., Ocean-atmosphere climate shift during the mid-to-late Holocene transition, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, febbraio 2014

Moffa-Sánchez et al., Solar forcing of North Atlantic surface temperature and salinity over the past millennium, Nature Geosciences, marzo 2014

Lockwood et al., The solar influence on the probability of relatively cold UK winters in the future, Environmental Research Letters, luglio 2011

Wang et al, The nature of the solar activity during the Maunder Minimum revealed by the Guliya ice core record, Chinese Science Bulletin, dicembre 2000

Chakrabarty and Peshin, Global warming and solar anomaly, Indian Journal of Radio & Space Physics, Dicembre 2013

Raspopov et al., Deep Solar Activity Minima, Sharp Climate Changes, and Their Impact on Ancient Civilizations, Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 2013

Florides et al., Reviewing the effect of CO2 and the sun on global climate, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2013

Magny et al., North-south palaeohydrological contrasts in the central Mediterranean during the Holocene: tentative synthesis and working hypotheses, Climate of the Past, 2013

van Geel and Ziegler, IPCC underestimates the sun’s role in climate change, Energy and Environment, 2013

Anet et al., Impact of a potential 21st century “grand solar minimum” on surface temperatures and stratospheric ozone, Geophysical Research Letters, 2013

William Happer, Emeritus Professor of Physics at Princeton University

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About stefano fait

Social forecaster/horizon scanner, entrepreneur, Arts and Culture reporter for "Trentino" & "Alto Adige", social media & community manager, professional translator, editor-in-chief of futurables.com, peer reviewer and contributor for Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, University of British Columbia Press, IGI Global, Infobase Publishing, M.E. Sharpe, Congressional Quarterly Press, Greenwood Press. Laurea in Political Science – University of Bologna (2000). Ph.D. in Social Anthropology – University of St. Andrews (2004). Co-author of “Contro i miti etnici. Alla ricerca di un Alto Adige diverso” (2010)
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