Bitterly cold weather slid over from Canada and settled into Interior Alaska with forecasters saying temperatures could continue to slide to nearly 50 degrees below zero in coming days.
Over the weekend, the mercury at Fairbanks International Airport dropped to 39 degrees below zero. Areas in the Interior outside the city were even colder; 46 below on the Yukon Flats, 41 below in Fort Yukon and 44 below in Central, according to the weather service.
IBD points to a trend for 2008:
2008 has been a year of records for cold and snowfall and may indeed be the coldest year of the 21st century thus far. In the U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month of October.
Global thermometers stopped rising after 1998, and have plummeted in the last two years by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius. The 2007-2008 temperature drop was not predicted by global climate models. But it was predictable by a decline in sunspot activity since 2000.
When the sun is active, it’s not uncommon to see sunspot numbers of 100 or more in a single month. Every 11 years, activity slows, and numbers briefly drop near zero. Normally sunspots return very quickly, as a new cycle begins. But this year, the start of a new cycle, the sun has been eerily quiet.
Meanwhile, Watt’s Up With That defines the issue further, and points towards a possible repetition of the “Dalton Minimum”:
The total number of spotless days this spolar minimum is now at around 510 days since the last maximum. The earliest the minimum of the sunspot cycles can be is July 2008, which would make the cycle length 12 years 3 months, longest since cycle 9 in 1848. If the sun stays quiet for a few more months we will rival the early 1800s, the Dalton Minimum which fits with the 213 year cycle which begin with the solar minimum in the late 1790s.
The Dalton Minimum was the third and final of the three sunspot minimas believed to be responsible for the “Little Ice Age,” starting in the Medieval era and ending in 1850 – 20 years after the Dalton Minimum.
This doesn’t conclusively put paid to the AGW theory (or the opportunity cost of dealing with it), but it certainly does give one the impression that its adherents have spectacularly poor timing.
In the meantime, bundle up.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
– Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, scene 5.