JUST IN: Researchers Find Deep Ocean Getting Colder

A pair of researchers, one with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the other Harvard University, has found evidence of deep ocean cooling that is likely due to the Little Ice Age. In their paper published in the journal Science, Jake Gebbie and Peter Huybers describe their study of Pacific Ocean temperatures over the past 150 years and what they found.

The model showed that the Pacific Ocean cooled over the course of the 20th century at depths of 1.8 to 2.6 kilometers. The amount is still not precise, but the researchers suggest it is most likely between 0.02 and 0.08° C. That cooling, the researchers suggest, is likely due to the Little Ice Age, which ran from approximately 1300 until approximately 1870. Prior to that, there was a time known as the Medieval Warm Period, which had caused the deep waters of the Pacific to warm just prior to the cooling it is now experiencing.

Prior research has suggested that it takes a very long time for water in the Pacific Ocean to circulate down to its lowest depths. This is because it is replenished only from the south, which means it takes a very long time for water on the surface to make its way to the bottom – perhaps as long as several hundred years. That is what Gebbie and Huber found back in 2012. That got them to thinking that water temperature at the bottom of the Pacific could offer a hint of what surface temperatures were like hundreds of years ago.

To find out if that truly was the case, the researchers obtained data from an international consortium called the Argo Program – a group of people who together have been taking ocean measurements down to depths of approximately two kilometers. As a comparative reference, the researchers also obtained data gathered by the crew of the HMS Challenger – they had taken Pacific Ocean temperatures down to a depth of two kilometers during the years 1872 to 1876. The researchers used the data from both projects to build a computer model meant to mimic the circulation of water in the Pacific Ocean over the past century and a half.

Super Grand Solar Minimum Hypothesis Considered

Professor Valentina Zharkova gave a presentation of her Climate and the Solar Magnetic Field hypothesis at the Global Warming Policy Foundation in October, 2018.

Zharkova models solar sunspot and magnetic activity. Her models have run at a 93% accuracy and her findings suggest a Super Grand Solar Minimum could begin in 2020.

A Super Grand Solar Minimum would have four magnetic fields out of phase. There was about 40-60 years of cold weather 350 years ago. This was a Maunder Minimum of lower solar activity. The historical cold weather had two magnetic fields out of phase.

Zharkova is predicting a cooling effect that is 2.5 to 4 times larger than the Maunder minimum. Zharkova’s analysis shows an 8 watts per square meter decrease in TSI (Total Solar Irradiance). A 2015 Nature study looked at 2 watts per square meter decrease causing a 0.13-degree celsius effect. A four times larger effect would be 0.5-degree celsius.

Zharkova believes the warming models are including the warming effect of increased solar activity. If she is correct there would be cooling and the warming models would be wrong.

Numerous studies have identified links between past climate and solar variability. During the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), very few sunspots were seen despite regular observations. If the past relationships between TSI and ultraviolet irradiance and sunspots are the same as are observed for modern solar variability, then a decline in both TSI and ultraviolet for this period can be assumed.

The Maunder Minimum coincided with more severe winters in the UK and continental Europe and many reconstructions suggest atmospheric conditions were broadly comparable with the regional effects on European atmospheric circulation found here. Some modeling studies also support the idea that similar regional cooling and circulation changes occurred during this period.