back to article Mathematician: sunspot could mean mini ice age from 2030

Astronomers working in the years 1645 to 1715 observed many fewer sunspots than they were accustomed to seeing. The lower-than-expected rate of sunspots has since come to be known as the “Maunder Minimum” and a new theory suggests we're about to get another one. So says Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University, …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    This good be good news or bad news.....

    Now all the deniers will have more ammo to go to war with the true believers. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out as that big orange ball in the sky is a variable that has been ignored an awful lot by both sides.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

      Or, in the spirit of compromise : it would be a good idea to accept the 'Climate Change' argument and cut back heavily on use of fossil fuels, so that come 2030 (if this prediction turns out to be right) we'll have a stockpile of stuff to burn to keep us warm.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

        AGW-skeptic right here, and you might be surprised to find that many of us are actually in favour of moving away from fossil fuels. Just not out of some (imo) terror of AGW. They are polluting and cause adverse health effects. They are finite, meaning we must start changing away from them. They are heavily produced in regions ruled by despotic regimes we should not be supporting.

        All of these are good reasons to be moving away from fossil fuels. Though not to wind power which is a dreadful ideal, but to nuclear which is cleaner, has plentiful fuel and doesn't result in us protecting the Saudi royal family from those they oppress.

        AGW doesn't come into it, as far as I'm concerned

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

          "They are heavily produced in regions ruled by despotic regimes we should not be supporting." UK an US presumably?

          1. Tom 13

            @AC Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            Yeah, some folks aren't keeping up with the new about who the current biggest producers are and where the largest known reserves have moved. Either that or they just hate both countries.

          2. Andrew Williams

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            There are various degrees of despotism, and I suggest you try going living under one of the more useful despotic regimes, such as but not limited to, the new,y founded caliphate.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

          Have you seen where a lot of the uranium comes from?

          I'm all for building up our nuclear power production but claiming you want to do it for the good of the people is just nutty. Have a little read about what human rights watch has to say about Kazakhstan: https://www.hrw.org/europe/central-asia/kazakhstan

          1. Filippo

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            Uranium comes from bad countries too, but the fuel is only a small fraction of the cost of nuclear power. We'd be giving bad suppliers far, *far* less money, compared to using fossils. And newer designs use thorium which is a lot easier to find.

            Also, solar panels are made in China. Just saying.

            1. Andrew Williams

              Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

              I am presuming you mean Australia is one of said "bad countries"

          2. Tom 13

            Re: where a lot of the uranium comes from?

            Do try to keep up with the posters. He's one of the thorium advocates, so no need for uranium.

            I'm agnostic on the issue myself and haven't bothered to look into enough to have an informed opinion.

          3. tony2heads

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            A lot also comes from Canada & Australia

          4. h4rm0ny

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            >>"Have you seen where a lot of the uranium comes from?"

            Kazakhstan may mine Uranium, but there are also plenty of other sources globally where it can be mined very economically. For example, whilst Australians are frequent complainers about their government, I doubt even they would refer to their government as a despotic regime (mostly). And that's just Uranium. When you get onto Thorium reactors, fuel is so globally plentiful it's absurd.

            You can get oil from places other than Qatar, Saudi, et al. But with oil, Western support of despotic regimes seems to have been intractable. Nuclear power, the fuel is so easily sourced that if we decide we don't like Kazakhstan's human rights, shifting to another provider is perfectly doable with only a modest financial impact. Maybe even none.

          5. Martin Budden Bronze badge

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            Have you seen where a lot of the uranium comes from?

            Have you seen who has the biggest uranium reserves?

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

              "Have you seen who has the biggest uranium reserves?"

              Uranium is everywhere, just like thorium. The problem is that it's a toxic bitch to extract and needs shitloads of energy applied to it simply in order to make it usable as LWR reactor fuel (CANDU will take natural uranium, but they're not common or lightwater jobbies)

          6. Robert Sneddon

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            Places like Canada (Cigar Lake) and Australia (Olympic Dam)?

            Uranium is mined all over the place, it's not particularly scarce or very expensive. It can even be extracted in useful quantities from seawater although that's not as cheap as digging it up, extracting it from mine spoil heaps or underground leaching.

          7. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            "Have you seen where a lot of the uranium comes from?"

            Yes, but Uranium is a poor fuel for civil nuclear power(*) and water-cooled reactors are a fundamentally BAD idea.

            Lester's been pushing Thorium(**) on ElReg for years. Do try and keep up, or acquaint yourself with LFTRs and the Oak Ridge MSRE of the 1960s.

            Uranium was a great starter fuel inasmuch as proving controlled nuclear reactions are possible but the plants are wildly inefficient. Molten Salt systems are James Watt's engine to Water-based systems' Newcomen engine.

            (*) It's rare, hard to extract, mindbogglingly expensive to enrich to usable levels (Gigawatts of gas centrifuges churning away in the USA producing fuel for civil plants) and you end up throwing away about 30% of the uranium as "useless" after enrichment - not good when it's a toxic heavy metal. On top of that you only use 1-2% of the stuff in a civil reactor before throwing the rest out as "waste".

            (**) On the other hand we have more thorium than we know what to do with, even if thorium nukes were rolled out everywhere in the world for 11 billion people and it produces less than 1% of the waste that Uranium cycle systems do. Nice side effect - they can burn that left over waste from uranium plants too.

        3. Beau
          Happy

          Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

          An up vote for you Sir/Madam, very nice to read something about climate change, that is actually sensible! We all know that the Earths Climate has always been changing, for one reason or another.

          I have no doubt it will continue to do so whatever we do. It's not to be denied that cleaning up our act is a very good idea.

        4. TheOtherHobbes

          Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

          > nuclear which is cleaner, has plentiful fuel and doesn't result in us protecting the Saudi royal family from those they oppress.

          Nuclear also has the advantage that it reliably makes towns and cities uninhabitable. So there won't be much fossil fuel use happening there.

          What's that Sooty? You say "But those were accidents"?

          Yes. Yes they were. In an industry well known for having a creative and lateral approach to safety, very nasty accidents do happen - which is a complete surprise to everyone. But there it is.

          I guess we still have to work out what to do with all the waste. But if it's cold enough, we can just freeze it at the bottom of a rusty pool for a decade or two and let the next generation deal with it.

          A bit like we're doing now, in fact.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            @ TheOtherHobbes

            "Nuclear also has the advantage that it reliably makes towns and cities uninhabitable."

            Eh? We have Chernobyl, the fantastic and predictable work of communism providing the best for its people in propaganda but not in practice. Lacking in safety or hope the inevitable happened. Then we have the second worst nuclear disaster to grace our planets nuclear power generation Fukushima. This devastating event managed to kill a grand total of zero people and due to the doom it has brought upon us, is predicted to have zero deaths attributable to it.

            2 natural disasters killed many. These were unexpected disasters with very low chance of occurring, the plant was an old design, the backups were even taken out!!!! And still zip. If this is the worst we have then we are pretty good.

            The regulations are so excessive on nuclear that my watch would be classed as a hazardous material.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

              Fukushima. This devastating event managed to kill a grand total of zero people and due to the doom it has brought upon us, is predicted to have zero deaths attributable to it.

              Allow me to preface my question with this statement. I love nuclear power and I think it is the future for our species.

              However, is it still the case that there have been no deaths due to Fukushima? I can't clearly recall where, but I do remember reading about 1300 deaths, though did not at the time ascertain the source.

              1. D@v3

                @ LucreLout

                As far as I was aware, any deaths were attributed to the earthquake and or tsunami, and not the power plant.

                I could of course be wrong (wouldn't be the first time, sure as hell won't be the last)

              2. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

                @Myself

                Well, I had a spare 30 mins and have done some very basic research. Essentially it boils down to this:

                I can't find a single credible source of information that links any deaths at all to the nuclear plant at Fukushima. Even the Samurai are still with us.

                That's not to say it was "free", for certainly there are increased risks of cancer, particularly among those living near the plant when it went pop and those clearing up the aftermath. Risks increase by upto 70%, but that will account for around 15 additional cases for Thyroid cancer, and its entirely possible none of those cases will be terminal due to the fatality rate standing at 4%ish and halving every ten years.

                Genuinely, I'm impressed. It'd be better to modernise plant design, location, and operation, but as it stands.... This, in terms of deaths, seems less of a disaster than letting 17 year olds called Billy drive Ford Fiestas while in posession of ginger hair.

                ETA: D@v3 - no, you have it entirely right and I've upvoted you for that.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

                  @ LucreLout

                  Technically I think there was 1 death caused by hydrogen buildup which caused an explosion if I remember right but as far as death due to nuclear the number is (as far as I am aware) still zero and the predicted deaths attributable to the event will remain at zero.

                2. <shakes head>

                  Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

                  what do you have against billy's ginger girlfriend :¬)

              3. h4rm0ny

                Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

                >>"However, is it still the case that there have been no deaths due to Fukushima? I can't clearly recall where, but I do remember reading about 1300 deaths, though did not at the time ascertain the source."

                There have been no deaths attributable to radiation or other direct effects of Fukushima. There have, however, been a number of deaths due to the hysterical ways of responding to it. That's hysteria in the clinical sense, not the humorous one. For example, many aged people have become ill or passed away from stresses and emotional trauma brought on by being moved away from their homes, from loved ones, kept in evacuation centres, loss of livelihood and financial devastation from losing homes. There have been many cases of severe depression and trauma amongst people who have basically seen their entire community and life taken away from them as villages are emptied and the inhabitants scattered to the wind. I'm not sure about your figure, but statistically many people have suffered adverse health effects and mortality has increased amongst affected demographics. The great tragedy being that it's avoidable. Nearly all of the evacuated areas are fine to live in and even the areas really close are essentially just a "you have a very slightly increased risk of cancer, statistically speaking".

                However, the Japanese government was and is terrified of being accused of not doing enough. You're familiar with the way someone will always show up to tear down a government with claims of how they could have done X and why didn't they do Y. They even upgraded the rating of the nuclear disaster to its highest level (despite not meeting the criteria at all) because someone accused them of not taking the disaster seriously enough by putting it lower than the maximum. Disastrous evacuations and traumatic break up of communities and families followed.

                I'm not exactly sure of your numbers, but that is likely what you have seen referred to as "deaths due to Fukushima". The media loves its disaster porn.

                1. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

                  @Harmony

                  There have been no deaths attributable to radiation or other direct effects of Fukushima. There have, however, been a number of deaths due to the hysterical ways of responding to it.

                  Yep. When I looked for the source of the numbers I recalled, it turned out that none were due to actual health effects of radiation and all were linked to increased stress due to relocation away from communities, or unnecessary panic over the radiation which then impacted their health far more significantly.

                  For the avoidance of doubt, my view is now that there have been zero deaths due to radiation at or from Fukushima and there are expected to remain zero deaths in the future.

                2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

                  " For example, many aged people have become ill or passed away from stresses and emotional trauma brought on by being moved away from their homes, from loved ones, kept in evacuation centres, loss of livelihood and financial devastation from losing homes. "

                  The same problem occurred in Christchurch NZ after the quakes there. Rest homes moved residents to other towns because the local infrastructure was broken and ~25% of them promptly popped their clogs.

                  Old folk don't take change very well, if at all

              4. Captain DaFt

                Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

                "However, is it still the case that there have been no deaths due to Fukushima? I can't clearly recall where, but I do remember reading about 1300 deaths, though did not at the time ascertain the source."

                Well, you see, there was this humongus earthquake and ginormous tidal wave that occurred at the time. That's what killed 1300 people and left thousands more homeless.

                But that was hardly covered in comparison to the "OMG!! A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT BROKE!!! WE'S ALL GONNA DIE!!" scare headlines that get eyeballs for the media.

                After all, who cares about a natural disaster affecting thousands, when you can big up a nuclear accident that had very little effect?

                1. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

                  Well, you see, there was this humongus earthquake and ginormous tidal wave that occurred at the time. That's what killed 1300 people and left thousands more homeless.

                  Well, you see, it didn't. That killed about 18,000 people. When trying to be clever, first be clever ;-)

                  After all, who cares about a natural disaster affecting thousands, when you can big up a nuclear accident that had very little effect?

                  Quite.

              5. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: This good be good news or bad news..... @CodeJunky

                "However, is it still the case that there have been no deaths due to Fukushima?"

                Yes, unless you count the crane operator who died in the earthquake.

                The tsunami killed a lot more than 1300 people.

            2. D@v3

              @codejunky

              I am tempted to sign up again, just so I can give you another up vote.

          2. Denarius
            Meh

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            Ah the old nukes is deadly brigade turn up at last. Lets see now, how do you define disaster?

            Chernobyl: old reactor design more suited to making stuff that goes bang, badly trained staff, badly run and the staff did everything possible to make it break. Yep, true disaster, but not really the technologies fault. Cars kill more people, every month.

            The effort in Japan is probably next in fear parade. Built beside the sea in a tsunami prone place, with the emergency pumps in the basement. Wow, real disaster planning there. Hit by an earthquake 3 times it was designed for and so far, only definite injuries are 24 burned ankles. Lots of fud, because now we can measure tiny amounts of radiation. Unsettling, and probably going to be worse because of cultural avoidance of issues to save face, but not a catastrophe.

            So since human (usually PHB ) stupidity can be counted on, a rational decision is to use one of the multiple new reactors, designed to produce only energy, not plutonium. These designs are fail safe. They shut down if cooling stops, even if the idiots are in charge. Thorium would be nice, especially as it can burn light water uranium waste in some designs. or the 4G types if you must use uranium.

            How many workers killed in windmill construction ? How much wild life killed by solar cookers and wind mills ?

            In meantime h4rm0ny, well put. It is also silly to burn chemical feed stocks.

            1. Pete4000uk

              Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

              I'm pro nuclear, ONLY of its something like thorium which is safer than the old gen nuke plants.

              I will be glad when Oldbury on the river Severn down the road shuts down as that's showing its age

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

                "I will be glad when Oldbury on the river Severn down the road shuts down"

                I will be even happier if its waste is fed to a thorium plant.

            2. Philip Lewis

              Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

              Obligatory XKCD https://xkcd.com/radiation/

            3. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

              "Chernobyl: old reactor design more suited to making stuff that goes bang, badly trained staff, badly run and the staff did everything possible to make it break. "

              Not only that but they attempted to cover it up for a week past the accident.

              Fukushima got as bad as it did because the japanese refused to ask for external help and incompetent management kept giving stupid orders which made things worse until the onsite engineer grew some cojones and told them to fuck off - it was at that stage things started improving.

              See a pattern here?

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

            "Nuclear also has the advantage that it reliably makes towns and cities uninhabitable. "

            Nuclear scares people. Radiation levels are higher in the Yorkshire Dales (or downtown Helsinki) than anywhere in Fukushima province other than right next to the reactor vessels. Those big tanks of contaminated water are less radioactive than the thermal pools at Bath.(*)

            Chernobyl is a bit harder but other than a few concentrated spots it's safe - and for all the fearmongering, and with those accidents and including all the military accidents and even the 2 bombs on japan, the deaths-per-TWh of nuclear generation is a factor of several thousand less than for coal (and there's still a lot of room for improvement on the nuclear generation plant)

            On the subject of coal: Burning coal releases entrapped radioactive particles - the radium content alone of coal emissions is larger than several Chernobyls each year, but we don't care about that just like we don't care about the high radiation dose we get from cosmic rays every time we fly (civil transport aircrew have the highest radiation exposure levels of any profession and they're not exactly dying off like flies or even developing cancers at statistically unusual rates)

            On top of that the largest ecological disaster in the USA in the last decade wasn't Deepwater Horizon - it was a coal sludgepond in Tennessee breaking its dam - there are 5000 more sites just like that which are known about in the USA (they didn't have to be notified until 15 years ago, The EPA is still discovering them).

            (*) A lot of the problem in Japan is down to the authorities slashing allowable radiation levels by 90% immediately after Fukushima in a total panic kneejerk. Even if the meltdowns hadn't happened most of the radioactivity levels in fish, etc would have been above those new limits.

        5. Charles Manning

          AGW == poetic justice

          To many greenies, modern living is evil and should be attacked. There is no need to attack it rationally - just attack it via any mechanism available: AGW, occupy Wall St, taxing, cell phones, pesticides...

          It does not matter whether or not AGW stacks up logically, or is scientifically sound, modern society is evil and if it gets attacked via the wrong mechanisms, well that's just poetic justice.

          Unfortunately getting it right does matter if you're actually trying to find any engineering solution to a problem.

          The hype around AGW is so large that it has completely swamped other real environmental issues which we understand way better and have the ability to actually fix with far lower expenditure.

          Obama has said that AGW is the biggest threat out there, yet surely there are far larger issues for both mankind (long term economic prospects) and the environment (degradation in some areas).

          No matter that during the last 50 years our consumption of fossil fuels has increased, yet much of our pollution has decreased. There are now fish in the Thames River again. New Jersey rivers don't catch firs any more. Nobody worries any more about acid rain eating the buildings in Europe.

      2. Evoflash

        Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

        Genius. It's not even compromise. Superb.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

          >>"Genius. It's not even compromise. Superb"

          It's not some clever method of tricking AGW-skeptics into supporting anti-climate change measures. I AM a skeptic. And for example, I get very unhappy when I see extras tacked onto my electricity bill and am forced to subsidise wind farms which are hugely inefficient. (Solar and nuclear I'm in favour of, wind power is downright destructive).

          I just happen to be an AGW-skeptic who would like to head off staggering rises in energy costs (which increasingly expensive to extract fossil fuels inevitably lead to), who detests regimes that stone women and would like to see London's vehicles emit water vapour rather than black filth.

      3. Sean Houlihane

        Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

        There is no shortage of stuff to burn, at least for the next 30-50 years. No need for compromise in order to conserve the stockpiles. What we do need to do is stop wasting money on pretending that the current technologies are worth a wide roll-out. More research, more fission (in the medium term), prepare for adaption.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

      Actually there is no ammo - at least for Europe.

      Both when modeled produce the same result for Europe - climate goes more continental. Colder winters, hotter (albeit shorter) and drier summers. Up to 10-15 degrees colder and up to 5-10 degrees hotter respectively.

      So we are looking not at the Maunder minimum but one of its predecessors like the turn-of the first millenium small ice age. If historical references are to be believed the Black Sea regularly froze up to several hundred kilometers from the shore. The Northern Adriatic, bay of Venice, bay of Marseilles and Mare Marmaris froze too. North Sea and Baltic was regularly frozen too.

      There is a reason why all the Vikings who could, packed their stuff in a boat and went to conquer Normandy, the Slavic tribes along the Dnepr (to form what is today's Russia) with some of them ending up as far as the Mediterranean. Regardless of will, on average, the Earth warm up or chill down we will observe that reason again in Europe and it ain't going to be pretty.

      By the way, Texas, New Mexico, etc got many times more rainfall in places during the same period (at the expense of Mexico proper which saw drought). I would suggest to any denier to reconsider and buy an amphibious vehicle or a boat about now.

      1. Hud Dunlap
        Boffin

        Re: This good be good news or bad news.....@vorlands right hand

        Don't quite get all of the down votes. Wunderground.com has been saying the same thing about colder winters, hotter summers and blaming it on climate change.

        So if it does happen the climate change people are still going to blame climate change.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

      It'll be interesting to see how this pans out as that big orange ball in the sky is a variable that has been ignored an awful lot by both sides.

      The problem is that by the time we reach 2040, the damage done to developed and developing economies will be epic (in the proper sense of the word). The hockey team and other enviroMentalists will have killed more people than socialism by the time we get to 2040, and all they'll do is move the goal posts again.

      Keep driving they said, and by the millenium the UK will have the climate of Portugal. I guess the 2800 hours of sunshine they get are tourist board propaganda?

      Every barrel of oil is going to be dug up and burned/used at as faster pace a civilisation requires. It just is. So instead of endlessly over egging their warnings, they'd be better off looking at mitigation technology, otherwise they'll achieve literally nothing between now and their much vaunted apocalypse.

      Here's a hint that will save the warmists a very joyless and ultimately fruitless life: It isn't that we haven't heard your message. It isn't that we haven't understood. We do as we do because either we do not beleive you or because we do not care. Shouting louder is only giving you a sore throat and the rest of us a head ache. So quiet down.

      1. Graham Marsden
        Facepalm

        "either we do not beleive you or because we do not care"

        The wise man changes his view depending on the facts. The fool changes the facts to fit his view.

        In either case, as I've said before, I don't get involved in this increasingly silly and partisan argument, I'll just re-iterate the fact that we are using more energy than we ever have before and will keep on doing so, therefore we should use the energy we have more efficiently (note: this does not involve living in yurts or wearing hair shirts) that way we a) reduce emissions and b) buy ourselves sometime to get alternatives such as Fusion working.

        Win-win.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: "either we do not beleive you or because we do not care"

          I'll just re-iterate the fact that we are using more energy than we ever have before and will keep on doing so, therefore we should use the energy we have more efficiently

          We're using less today than we will tomorrow, for almost any value of tomorrow you want to pick.

          Using the energy more efficiently means getting more done for the same input, not using a lower input, meaning a) reduce emissions isn't going to happen. Only by ensuring efficiency increases faster than economic growth / world population could you achieve that, and sadly, that's just not realistic. Greater efficiency means lower price and lower price makes other consumption viable - patio heaters, air conditioning, etc etc being examples of this from history.

          buy ourselves sometime to get alternatives such as Fusion working.

          We should be working on alternatives certainly, but there is no time based rush - we will not run out of oil for several generations to come.

          How far, I wonder, could a car drive on a litre of fuel had we spent the tax income from enviroMentalism there, instead of on windmills? How far could a plane fly on a tank of fuel had we spent the tax on R&D for jet propulsion? Perhaps aerodynamics would have been a better target. Who knows. What I do know, is that while we persist with the AGW scare stories and foot stomping, actual real world scientific advances are being held up due to misallocating their funding to AGW initiatives.

          Being green, where I grew up, meant naive. Little seems to have changed.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: We're using less today than we will tomorrow

            Not exactly. We're using more total energy but we're using it more efficiently. "We" in this instance being the entire planet and not just the GB or the US. There is some debate about how much less we might be using if all the places coming online were using current technology.

            I think your essential point still stands: we're not on the exponential curve the alarmists cry havoc about. More probably a straight line and possibly asymptotically decreasing.

          2. Graham Marsden

            @LucreLout - Re: "either we do not beleive you or because we do not care"

            Some interesting questions, I agree.

            Now here's a couple for you: How much less fuel would the USA be using if their politicians hadn't caved to the automobile industry lobbying to define SUVs as light trucks, thus exempting them from fuel economy regulations?

            How much less power would people be using if, instead of using AirCon or central heating, houses were better insulated which keeps temperatures more stable? (Of course this makes houses a bit more expensive to build...)

            It is not simply a case of "getting more done with the same input", but also "getting the same done with less input". It's not either/ or, it can be both.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: @LucreLout - "either we do not beleive you or because we do not care"

              It is not simply a case of "getting more done with the same input", but also "getting the same done with less input". It's not either/ or, it can be both.

              No, for as long as we're using progressively more energy, and we are, then efficiency is only about getting more done for the same input. We'll never use less.

              How much less fuel would the USA be using if their politicians hadn't caved to the automobile industry lobbying to define SUVs as light trucks, thus exempting them from fuel economy regulations?

              With the advent of shale / fracking, I'm not sure it matters anymore. Peak oil is quite possibly something our great grandchildren will need to conquer, but only if they don't continue our work to increase efficiency, find more oil, or develop better extraction techniques. For anyone alive today, there is no peak oil.

              How much less power would people be using if, instead of using AirCon or central heating, houses were better insulated which keeps temperatures more stable?

              Given the utterly inexpensive price of loft insulation and energy efficient LED bulbs, it does make me wonder why the green lobby waste so much time and money trying to force the rest of us to believe their fallacy, when if they believed it themselves, they could have spent their time and money insulating their homes, those of their neighbours, and pretty well their whole street by now. Instead, they've achieved, well, nothing since about the late 80's.

              I'd quite like to insulate my own house further, but as it's single skinned, I'd have to have the outside rendered, which would cost about £10k. In economic terms, that will simply never pay for itself, at least not within any time I'll own the house. Amazingly, none of the environmental lobby groups seem interested in contributing to the cost, which would permenantly lower that houses energy use..... which pretty much tells you all you really need to know about them and how much the believe their hype.

              1. Graham Marsden
                Thumb Down

                Re: @LucreLout - "either we do not beleive you or because we do not care"

                LucreLout: It seems to me that you're quite happy just to kick a problem down the road and say "Meh, I don't have to worry about it, let someone else deal with it whilst I concentrate on making money".

                1. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: @LucreLout - "either we do not beleive you or because we do not care"

                  @Graham Marsden

                  It seems to me that you're quite happy just to kick a problem down the road and say "Meh, I don't have to worry about it, let someone else deal with it whilst I concentrate on making money".

                  Perhaps it is your own reflection you see? It seems to me you're happy to gift crippling debts and fake solutions to non-existant problems to the future to pay for your failed ideology today.

                  The world has enough real problems, things that genuinely are an issue, that we would struggle to resolve within our own lives. There is simply no need of these manufactured synthetic issues with which to occupy us.

                  We cannot fix all the problems of the future, so pragmatism and realism are the order of the day. Peak oil is not an issue for us or our childrens children. We have a pretty ready solution in nuclear should peak oil ever be a problem for future generations. Energy use then, simply isn't one of the big problems we're gifting the future.

                  Lack of new antibiotics/phages, massive national debts with crumbling infrastructure, religious aggression, famine, proliferation of WMDs, and disease. These are just some of the real problems we're gifting the future. Our efforts would be better spent combating them than fictional bogeymen, no?

                  1. Graham Marsden

                    Re: @LucreLout - "either we do not beleive you or because we do not care"

                    "non-existant problems"?

                    Hmm, how long ago was it that doctors were prescribing antibiotics for colds and other viral infections, even when they knew that they would have no beneficial effect, simply to get patients out of their waiting rooms? And what about parts of the world where you can buy antibiotics over the counter without prescription, take a few, feel better and not finish the course, thus helping resistant bacterial strains? And the only people objecting are those like the enviroMentalists (Oh, ho ho! Gosh, isn't that a clever name?) saying "Maybe this isn't a good idea", to which the pharmaceutical companies reply "whatever" and keep raking in the money?

                    As for Massive Debts, I'm sure we'll disagree on this, but personally I think the way to make a country's finances secure is not to keep building on the roof whilst undermining the foundations. Still, who cares when, to quote Douglas Adams, nobody is poor, at least nobody worth speaking of.

                    But the point is that these *weren't* problems until they got out of hand and then, suddely, the whole situation changed.

                    You may be happy to dismiss this as "ideology" (whilst merrily continuing with your own ideology), but some of us are not so casual as to say "hey, we've got plenty of energy, why should we worry?"

                    Oh, and, by the way, I do think that nuclear is a viable option, but you don't just wave a magic wand and have a nuclear power station appear, neither is it good for a country's finances when you get a foreign organisation (EDF) to build it for you with a dodgy deal that involves paying £90 billion to France and guaranteeing to pay double the price for the electricity it generates for 35 years!

                    PS WMDs? ROFL! You really are reaching now...

                    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                      Re: @LucreLout - "either we do not beleive you or because we do not care"

                      "neither is it good for a country's finances when you get a foreign organisation (EDF) to build it for you with a dodgy deal that involves paying £90 billion to France and guaranteeing to pay double the price for the electricity it generates for 35 years!"

                      Allowing for inflation, the price will double anyway. If the deal is double current prices with inflation on top then it's a bad 'un and hopefully it will be undercut by newer reactors.

                      Personally I'd prefer that EDF don't build a PWR, but we don't have GenIV reactors yet.

                      As for timescales: 90% of the delays are regulatory. In an "all stops pulled" build even with mandatory inspections, etc the thing could be build in a lot less than half the time.

                    2. LucreLout Silver badge

                      Re: @LucreLout - "either we do not beleive you or because we do not care"

                      As for Massive Debts, I'm sure we'll disagree on this, but personally I think the way to make a country's finances secure is not to keep building on the roof whilst undermining the foundations.

                      We can't build anything on the roof because the country didn't fix it while the sun was shining. Which led us to get soaked when the storms arrived. The foundations of the economy are not to be found in its public sector, that is merely the frosting on the cake.

                      You may be happy to dismiss this as "ideology" (whilst merrily continuing with your own ideology), but some of us are not so casual as to say "hey, we've got plenty of energy, why should we worry?"

                      And some of us are intelligent enough to see environmentalists for the watermelons that they are. Funny how none of their solutions are market based (and they could so easily be)... an objective person may wonder why that is.

                      Oh, and, by the way, I do think that nuclear is a viable option, but you don't just wave a magic wand and have a nuclear power station appear, neither is it good for a country's finances when you get a foreign organisation (EDF) to build it for you with a dodgy deal that involves paying £90 billion to France and guaranteeing to pay double the price for the electricity it generates for 35 years!

                      I quite agree. Which is why we should build lots of our own as soon as the economy can afford it.

                      PS WMDs? ROFL! You really are reaching now...

                      Deaths from AGW? Zero. None historically, none now, and none predicted later. Deaths from WMDs are rather higher than that this year alone. Reasoning is the word you seek, not reaching.

      2. Bunbury
        Joke

        Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

        "Every barrel of oil is going to be dug up"

        You do know that the oil is not actually down there in barrels already, don't you? Rather than a drill bit we'd need a wider pipe and a lot of suction. FwwwwWWWUMPH!!! - and another one arrives...

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

          @Bunbury

          You do know that the oil is not actually down there in barrels already, don't you? Rather than a drill bit we'd need a wider pipe and a lot of suction. FwwwwWWWUMPH!!! - and another one arrives...

          *chuckle* yeah, I'd heard that. Think I was trying to flush a football pitch sized fatberg somewhere in Wales at the time though and may have been distracted. You have no idea how long it took me to get that bad boy down the crapper.

      3. Tom 13

        Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

        let me fix that for you:

        The hockey team and other enviroMentalists will have killed more than doubled the number of people than killed by socialism by the time we get to 2040, and all they'll do is move the goal posts again.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

      "of a sort that could render worries over future anthropogenic warming considerably less significant"

      Only for the duration of the Maunder Minimum of course.

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: This good be good news or bad news.....

      It's not ignored. The effects from variation in solar flux are fairly minor compared to those of insolation caused by changing greenhouse gas levels.

  2. MatsSvensson

    Hmm...

    I wonder if we could fix the whole thing by simply spewing more poison into our breathing air?

    Yeah, lets try that one first!

    1. MondoMan

      Poison?

      Without some CO2 in the atmosphere you'd starve to death. It's not a poison, it's just (effectively) insulation.

      1. The Axe

        Re: Poison?

        As you say, without CO2 you'd starve - its plant food. More CO2 means more crops means more food.

        1. Robert Sneddon

          Re: Poison?

          Actually no. Scientists did SCIENCE! on it and discovered higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere don't improve plant growth. Pity about that.

      2. Graham Marsden
        Facepalm

        Re: Poison?

        Fine, now have a nice deep breath of this concoction of Methane, Nitrous Oxide and Ozone...

  3. JonW

    What does this mean for PV?

    Move to renewable continues at same rate

    Large % of base load PV

    ITER still being built with costs spiraling

    New Solar Minimum

    Bugger

    Do we need any more reasons to build good old fashion nuke plants?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: What does this mean for PV?

      Er fuck all - the difference in radiation is fractions of a percent. The term minimum refers to the number of sunspots.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Tom 13

          Re:The difference is about 0.1% over a sunspot cycle

          Which is about 10 times as much change as we've seen in actual surface temperatures over the last 20 years.

      2. thames

        Re: What does this mean for PV?

        "Er fuck all - the difference in radiation is fractions of a percent. The term minimum refers to the number of sunspots."

        Especially as the evidence linking sun spot activity to temperature is shaky at best. Recent research has been pointing the finger at volcanoes rather than sun spots.

        1. Dalek Dave

          Re: What does this mean for PV?

          Actually the correlation between solar output and sunspot activity is well recognized and has been measured, very accurately, for many years. (About 400).

          This does not prove causality, of course, but there is a relationship.

          Whether it lower solar output that reduces sunspot count or the other way round, or whether a third factor affects both the other two, nobody can yet say for certain.

          However the evidence suggests that it is the changes in the magnetosphere of the sun than induces sunspots, and that these changes are caused by internal factors that also reduce the output by magnetic compression.

          1. MondoMan

            Re: "Solar output"

            The sun "outputs" many things; not all are reflected in the "solar output" value. Describing a person's output with a single number doesn't work too well, either.

      3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: What does this mean for PV?

        The minimum does refer to sunspots, and the total energy output of the sun does not vary much, but there is a definite correlation between sunspot activity and global temperature (spanning hundreds of years). The current understanding of the physics suggests that the weaker solar magnetic field during minimum causes more cosmic rays to penetrate the atmosphere, seeding more clouds, which increases Earth's mean albedo.

        This correlation between solar activity and global temperature does not necessarily deny the existence of AGW, but no doubt it will muddle (and muddy) the discussion on AGW (yet again). Futile, really, because getting rid of dependence of fossil fuels is a good thing for many reasons besides the warming issue (as many others have noted).

        What worries me (a bit) is that I have got myself a load of (expensive) solar astronomy kit, and it would be a shame if the views get boring. On the other hand, nobody knows what the sun looks like in H-alpha during the onset of a Maunder-type minimum, so recording it (IF it happens) is going to be interesting. Even a fairly quiet sun in white light can be full of drama in H-alpha, as can be seen in this shot (with Earth to scale added)

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: What does this mean for PV?

          Michael - the worst case for the Maunder minimum was 0.5% reduction in energy reaching the earth's surface. That was assuming no volcanic effects etc so it may be closer to the 0.1% of a normal sunspots.

          Hope the astronomy kit gets use - my kit makes clouds!

        2. Tom 13

          Re: total energy output of the sun does not vary much

          Neither does the variance mean solar temperatures. In fact the correlation between these two is much stronger than the the Cult of Warming will acknowledge.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: What does this mean for PV?

      "Large % of base load PV"

      Uh yeah. Right. Whatever.

      Come back and tell me how much of your baseload is being catered to by PV on a still, cloudless, winter night even before gas boiler setups are outlawed (they will be eventually)

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    "Mediaeval astronomers working in the years 1645 to 1715..."

    They must have been getting on a bit.

    1. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: "Mediaeval astronomers working in the years 1645 to 1715..."

      Pretty certain the young uns' would have been using paper by then as well.

      Coat: I'm off to find a goose feather to write with...

    2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: "Mediaeval astronomers working in the years 1645 to 1715..."

      Downvote?

      Is it coz I'm ageist?

  5. stuarth

    Winter is coming...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Summit in Llandudno (urghh) it's only a slightly above Rhyl on the North Wales shitola resorts trail. Who was managing the conference budget, the Greek Finance Minister ?

    1. KingStephen

      Nope, if it were the Greek finance minister, it would be in a six-star Caribbean resort, with an extra week tagged on, and the bill sent to the Germans.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Go

        Steve, fair point. Perhaps I should of said booked by Angela Merkel on their behalf post bail out.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Summit in Llandudno (urghh) it's only a slightly above Rhyl on the North Wales shitola resorts trail

      I can tell you've never been there then. Llandudno is one of the UK's premier seaside resorts. It's also a vibrant shopping centre in its own right. Go there in the depths of winter on a rainy afternoon and it will still be heaving with people. In summer it would be a great place to hold a conference especially as it has a very nice conference centre.

      I don't live there (I did many, many years ago) but my Dad does so I get to visit a few times a year. I've never known it be anything other than busy and a walk along the promenade in the (very frequent) sunshine is always worth it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What he^ said. Plus, thanks to the prevailing winds having to pass over Snowdonia, the Föhn effect makes it one of the septic island's comparatively less inclement spots.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ AC

          Bollox, Snowdonia is to the S/W of Llandudno. Go there when it's blowing between W NW or N and you'll know what a drenching means.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ Mine's a Guinness

            ...and the prevailing winds are south-westerly.

            Buy yourself a dictionary and you'll know what prevailing means.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @AC

              If you are trying to sell Llandudno as föhn soaked paradise then you are sadly mistaken, go there in winter as it gets battered by winds and rain from both sides. That strip between the Little Orme and The Great Orme can be quite a frightening place to be on a double decker bus.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @ Mine's a Guinness

                Not trying to sell anything to anyone and Llandudno certainly isn't even mine to sell. Sadly.

                Deeply curious as to how you managed to interpret "...one of the septic island's comparatively less inclement spots" as a "sales pitch" for a "föhn soaked paradise". You haven't been listening to Windows 8/10 marketing again, have you?

                Also not sure how/why you're failing/refusing to comprehend the significance of the Föhn effect. Here's a little map that might help clear things up for you. Great Orme clearly visible, although curiously the same can't be said of Anglesey... http://www.british-towns.net/weather/images/british_annual_precipitation.jpg

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @AC How dare you !

                  Windows 8/10 indeed, Linux here if you don't mind.

                  Back on track, I couldn't care less for a precipitation map - when the winds swing around it's a very exposed place that gets absolutely battered in the winter. I've first hand experience.

                  http://www.holiday-weather.com/llandudno/averages/

                  http://www.holiday-weather.com/manchester/averages/

                  It's wetter than Manchester, with almost twice as much rain in the winter

                  1. AndrueC Silver badge
                    Happy

                    Yeah the weather in winter can be a bit unpleasant occasionally but most of the time it's no worse than anywhere else. But I'm not trying to sell you the entire town as a place to live. I was addressing the idea that it was a bad place to go for a conference in summer.

                    You have excellent transport links (two train stations, and the A55 can get you to Manchester airport in less than 90 minutes). You have a large and modern conference centre. During breaks you can go outside and enjoy a very nice promenade. In the evenings more night life than you can shake a stick at and you can extend your stay by a day or two and have access to the gorgeous Conwy valley and all parts south.

                    Okay so you've had some kind of bad experience of the area. I feel the same way about Colwyn Bay because that was my local benefit office during the mid 80s when we lived in Rhos on Sea(*). But you should get over yourself. I wouldn't choose to live there myself (not enough employment opportunities for a programmer and as a golfer I wouldn't appreciate the winter weather) but as a venue for a conference in summer it's a very good choice.

                    (*)Now there's a retirement town.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      @andrew

                      Colwyn bay, that really is a shithole we have agreement on :)

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    @ Mine's a Guinness

                    Hmmm... curiouser and curiouser...

                    Somewhat puzzled by your reasoning in plucking Manchester out of the air as it too enjoys the oological warming & shelter so kindly provided Snowdonia but with the tiniest bit more of the same from the north and east, thanks to the embrace of those pathetic little bumps the English call The Peaks.

                    Of course, as you've successfully observed, any coastal town will get a bit breezy when the wind blows onshore. Hence the significance of shelter from *prevailing weather, so beautifully illustrated by maps of *mean* conditions. It's sad but *unusual* that your visit was spoiled by *unusual* weather. As you disliked the last one, here's another map to stick up your pompous English arse... http://www.propertyinvesting.net/cgi-script/csNews/image_upload/specialreports_2edb.uk-mean-annual-temperature-map.gif Mean temperature this time. Llandudno and The Great Orme is the little bump at the top of Wales. Can't miss it - it's the red bit.

                    PS Humblest apologies if you thought I meant to imply that you're the sort of person who might use Windows. My though was that you may have innocently been exposed to, and thus damaged by, some of the marketing material. I see now that the root of your problem must lie elsewhere.

                    PPS +1 to Colwyn Bay being a shithole... but it's even *more* sheltered than Llandudno!

                    :P

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      @AC

                      Upvote +1, apologies for the Windows slur accepted.

                      My problem lies in being sentenced to the British gulag known as North Wales for three years :)

                      1. h4rm0ny
                        Facepalm

                        >>"My problem lies in being sentenced to the British gulag known as North Wales for three years :)"

                        My problem lies in wading through 15+ posts dealing with your personal misery as the only English child in the village. Move on!

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          My problem lies in wading through 15+ posts dealing with your personal misery as the only English child in the village. Move on!

                          I know, it was very traumatic. I could never get a girlfriend there as I'm a cat person so a sheepdog was out of the question.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Coat

        Perhaps he was confusing it with

        Prestatyn

        or any of the other places that seem to be home to a million static caravans along the coast.

        Coat because whenever I go to N. Wales it rains just about the whole time I am there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Perhaps he was confusing it with

          @ steve D 3, Prestayn is known locally as Deprestatyn.

          1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Perhaps he was confusing it with

            Nights in Prestatyn

            Never reaching the end

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        AndrueC

        It's a dilapidated toilet, the North Wales coast doesn't start to improve until you get past Penmenmawer. I know the area very well thanks as I used to live there, thankfully I obtained my A levels and left for Uni.

        PS Since when is waiting for God vibrant ? The average age there in winter must be at least 95.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Mine's a Guinness

          But not so well you know how to spell Pen properly? :)

          Agree you need to keep going past Penmaenmawr and Bangor (to be honest) to get to the real beauty but I can't complain about Llandudno, working there over the summers kept me in beer tokens when I went back to Uni.

          And I wound say the views from the Vardre are stunning on a sunny day - river, estuary, sea, mountains all in one small area.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I'm not Welsh, don't vote plod cumri and couldn't be arsed spelling torturous welsh place names correctly. I'd have rather spent 3 years living in gulag than living on the North Wales coast and was exceeding glad to return to my beloved former English city of abode from where I had be forcibly removed by my parents. North Wales (between Chester and Llandudno) is a fine place to go if you are over 80, have Alzheimer's Disease and a desire to die.

        2. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          It's a dilapidated toilet, the North Wales coast doesn't start to improve until you get past Penmenmawer

          Well of course if you want to enjoy the beauty of North Wales you won't want to be stuck in any town. But we're actually talking here about places to go for a conference. Conferences held on estuary flood plains, tops of mountains or in a field are rarely successful.

          Anyway you clearly have some kind of hang-up about the place (or maybe haven't seen how much it's changed over the last couple of decades) so I don't think anyone's going to have a sensible discussion with you about it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @andrueC

            Llandudno is one of the UK's premier seaside resorts

            Are you joking, do you work for the Welsh tourist board ? Scuba diving has been my hobby for 20 years and I've just about visited most places around the coast of Britain and Llandudno is pretty low on Britain's most beautiful coastal towns. I still go diving from Anglesey and I do pop my head in occasionally and no it hasn't changed enough, it's still standing.

      4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: "a walk along the promenade in the (very frequent) sunshine"

        What ?

        The UK would have a place that not only has sunshine, but very frequently ?

        I call piddlywugs. You sir, have to be in the tourist business.

  7. John Sager

    Old news

    This has been doing the rounds for days in the dead tree media, even to the extent of suggesting the Thames freezing again (probably not as it's mostly channeled now). The author did a Principle Component Analysis on magnetic observations from 3 sunspot cycles and came up with some insights into the magnetic behaviour of the sun. Presumably she only used 3 cycles as the observations only go that far back. TBH I would want a longer series to analyse but you have what you have. It'll be interesting to see how the predictions match reality over the next cycle but I'm not holding my breath for a 'Maunder Minimum' in the 2030s.

    1. Dalek Dave

      Re: Old news

      There most definitely won't be a Maunder Minimum in the 2030s.

      There may be a minimum, but it won't be called Maunder.

      Dalton and Spörer also had minima named after them.

    2. Tony W

      Re: Old news

      Exactly. Fitting a curve in the past is not guarantee of future.

      1. h4rm0ny
        Thumb Up

        Re: Old news

        >>Exactly. Fitting a curve in the past is not guarantee of future.

        Modded you up in the belief that this is subtle and cheeky satire. :)

  8. Justicesays

    Check the angular vector of the moon!

    Oh hang on, Zarkova , got confused there for a second.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Coat

      Re: Check the angular vector of the moon!

      This morning's unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm...

  9. Eclectic Man
    Trollface

    Boffinry?

    Does Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University count as a boffin? No mention of boffinry in the article. We don't want a repeat fo a previous incident when someone threatened to post a sarcastic comment, if he wasn't described as a boffin, now do we?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody 10m band will remain dead...

    I might as well sell the 10m (28MHz) transceiver. Probably get $10 for it.

    1. PlacidCasual

      Re: Bloody 10m band will remain dead...

      Thanks for that comment it spurred me on to find out what the hell you were talking about and increased my knowledge by a small fraction.

  11. thomas k

    Time to begin stockpiling

    some long johns, I suppose.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Time to begin stockpiling

      so it was you who bought Queen Vic's knickers then?

  12. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "...cycle lasting about 11 years..."

    "The two waves move around the Sun over a cycle lasting about 11 years."

    Actually the "11-year" sunspot cycle is about 22 years if you include magnetic polarity. 11-years is more precisely the approximate duration of the half-cycle as made visible by the sunspots.

  13. ntevanza

    Solar climate denial

    Another solar minimum is just going to make us more blasé about solar maxima. These are especially nasty for the long bits of metal on which all readers, and indeed writers, of this site rely for their livelihoods.

    https://www.lloyds.com/~/media/lloyds/reports/emerging%20risk%20reports/solar%20storm%20risk%20to%20the%20north%20american%20electric%20grid.pdf

  14. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Holmes

    Welcome back to the 1970's

    I have been saying for a while that it was time to stop pushing global warming and start touting the Ice Age again, and here we are!!!

    (See previous posts in Global Warming threads over the last few years).

    Hows that Watson??!!

  15. pop_corn

    If only nuclear was as safe as coal mining

    When nuclear started, it was billed as energy so cheap, you wouldn't have to meter it.

    And that would have been true too, if the excessive safety regime hadn't been allowed. If nuclear was allowed to be as safe as coal mining for example, it would be cheap.

    So cheap that you could probably supply all of Africa's needs, providing fresh clean water to the population, and irrigation to the land, wiping out famine and hunger, and provide light for education, and power for heating.

    That's right, African poverty is a choice, a choice we've made by imposing the most ridiculous levels of safety on nuclear power. As others have mentioned, the deaths from nuclear are tiny, about 4,000 from Chernobyl, and sweet f.a. from everything else, even the 1 cancer death from Fukushima is in dispute.

    Coal mining kills that number every year or so. In 2005 for example there were nearly 6,000 coal miner deaths in China alone. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_accidents

    And when a hydro-electric dam failed, it killed 171,000 in a single incident in 1975, but no one worries about dams do they? Not to mention the people who die building the things, 96 died just building the Hoover dam in the US.

    Then there's the end user deaths of burning fossil fuels, which dwarf the above figures: "According to the World Health Organization in 2011, urban outdoor air pollution, from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year and indoor air pollution from biomass and fossil fuel burning is estimated to cause approximately 2 million premature deaths"

    So we're looking at 10's of thousands of deaths a decade from digging up fossil fuels, and millions from burning them. Make Nuclear as safe as coal, and Bob Geldoff would have all the electricity he needs to feed the world.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      WTF?

      That is a novel stance

      Interesting. When anything happens that is described with the word "nuclear" in it, all of Greenpeace goes ballistic, railway transport gets shut down in Germany due to greeny protesters and Facebook/Twitter drown in anti-nuclear prose.

      If, Heaven forbid, an actual accident takes place then you have literally months of people sagely telling you that we absolutely have to shut down those nuclear plants and stop irradiating the planet willy-nilly, opinion transmitted by all media known to Mankind and put on loop on every newscast for weeks.

      And that despite the fact that, as you yourself acknowledge, the nuclear industry is one of the most heavily safety-regulated.

      Then, apparently, you put on your tinfoil hat and go into full-out conspiracy mode to say that it's all a ploy to keep Geldoff from powering Africa.

      Hats off to you, sir. That is by far the most wacky consideration I have read on these pages in a long time.

      Yeah, let's make nuclear safety less stringent. Let's have nuclear power stations institute a regular radiation release schedule, to balance reactor pressure or something like that. And let's have illegal spent uranium dumping sites while we're at it.

      All that would certainly allow Geldoff to power Africa. I'd bet he'd rather live there at that point as well.

  16. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Well, at least there's enough time to grow a thick layer of fur.

    I'm guessing that the current fashion for beard has something to do with all this.

  17. Joe Gurman

    The "little ice age" was a lot longer....

    ....about 300 years by most definitions; by contrast, the Maunder minimum was ~ 75 years in duration.

    Wake up call for Northumbria U. press hacks: correlation does not imply causality. if it did, then warming of the terrestrial troposphere (the little ice age started much earlier) caused the Maunder on the Sun. D'oh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The "little ice age" was a lot longer....

      "...correlation does not imply causality..."

      Actually, correlation does 'imply' causality. Especially when repetitive and/or combined with other inputs (e.g. observations, common sense).

      Even Jellyfish know that.

      It just doesn't *prove* it. Which is where jellyfish fall down a bit.

  18. Spaceman Spiff

    Ah yes, the Maunder Minimum. Well, my father was an astro-geophysicist and Guggenheim scholar in the 1950's through the 1980's and the solar corona and similar studies were some of his specialities. Statistically, there is only a very loose correlation between the minimum and any kind of global weather effects. As the saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics! Only time will tell if in this case correlation == causation.

    And for whatever it's worth (that and $5USD will get you a nice latte at Starbucks!), both Fred Hoyle and Harlow Shapley were close family friends and colleagues of my dad. Of course, Hoyle never did admit that his steady state theory of the Universe should be dropped in favor of the big bang!

  19. BanjoPaterson

    Reminds me of Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice:

    Some say the world will end in fire,

    Some say in ice.

    From what I’ve tasted of desire

    I hold with those who favor fire.

    But if it had to perish twice,

    I think I know enough of hate

    To say that for destruction ice

    Is also great

    And would suffice.

  20. DougS Silver badge

    The timing jibes with the solar "maximum" in 1859

    When a huge solar storm caused telegraph wires to catch on fire, etc. The timing of the minimum, the proposed 370 year cycle, etc. works out well for a non-cancellation maximum around that time (and earlier, but since we didn't have wires strung up and pretty much no electrical devices, we wouldn't have seen the effects)

    If they're correct it is good news for the world power grid, our satellites, etc. By the time we leave the minimum we will have a century of additional technological advancement to deal with it (or have ignored it and be even more exposed)

    Better yet, if we're warming the planet we'll cancel out the nasty side effect of colder weather, and have a century to figure out how to suck all that CO2 from the atmosphere when the minimum ends and we're due to finally pay the piper and see significant warming.

  21. kwazeemodo

    The following contains one of the biggest secrets in society today.

    I would like to clarify the nuclear options, and point out some irrefutable FACTS.

    Of the "poisons", or environmental toxins, if you will, Nuclear is one of the non-naturally occurring contaminants ( meaning radioactive particles do not naturally disperse in large refined quantities into the atmosphere) , and these nuclear contaminants travel the food chain, not being naturally coped with by living organisms and lasting for decades to thousands of years in the ecosystem, as a poison.

    They are not absorbed and transmuted by natural systems the same way that organic toxins are. What this means is that the natural system ( ie. our living world, or ecosystem) cannot cope with this kind of poison in the effective ways as it can from coal or oil burning, or other natural events ( yes, a coalmine exposed to the surface can be hit by lightning and catch fire etc, so that kind of pollution can occur naturally, but that is not the point. the contaminants from that are short lived, and living organisms can cope with the effects far more effectively than a radioactive release of particulates.

    I see that people are stating the usual propaganda, just like during 3 mile island the GM nuclear power plant makers and owners of one of the 3 big TV networks NEVER said anything bad about it. Money talks, and some very rich and influential people have a vested interest in ensuring these systems are believed safe, which includes propaganda to make people BELIEVE it is safe.

    I see another poster state that fukishima was built on a fault line next to the ocean, and that was a bad thing, implying that it was a fluke. NO, that was by design, check your facts, MOST nuclear reactors are built in seismically active or danger zones, and MOST are built by large bodies of water. MOST is defined as a large percentage, so don't nit pick. it is a large #.

    It is almost as if it is intentional, so as to cause as much damage when the inevitable occurs.

    Another states that the fukishima reactor was an old design, and that we have better ones.

    So? I have ideas for a better car, soup spoon and bullshit detector, but that has nothing to do with the real, tangible world.

    Fact, almost every reactor in the world is NOT safe, and is not of the auto-shutdown variety, they are the old DANGEROUS GE style.

    Fact. most are in populated areas, by large bodies of water, or above reservoirs, very dangerous.

    Fact, Fukishima is still going on, and many hundreds to thousands of people have died already, from cancer brought on by radiation contamination. Many, many children are being born in that area with deformities, directly attributable to magic fairies living under fukishima or the radioactive contamination of the water, land and atmosphere which you can decide depending on your openness to truths that might not fit your perceived world view or your likelihood to be deluded, duped and fooled by propaganda.

    It is easily verifiable through CDC and other reports that the cancer rates have increased from tens to thousands of times in the recent decades, depending on the types of cancer and geographical area.

    Check for videos of the deformed babies being born at fukishima, yes, these are all faked with Hollywood special effects by bored 13 year olds... The same goes for the babies in Iraq, all faked propaganda by communist 13 year olds in north korea.

    There are hundreds of videos on youtube with people showing their REAL and CALIBRATED radiation meters, some costing in the thousands of dollars, and of the same type used by nuclear engineers etc, showing 2 Geiger counters in some vids. Many readings in the continental US, where the fallout from this nuclear event are falling. These are all obviously faked by the wind turbine lobbyists, or the radiation levels, once admitted as dangerous by officials, are actually safe levels now.

    And when they increase the contamination level that is deemed as safe it is always because it is really safe, and not because they are trying to minimize panic and repercussions such as lawsuits and public outcry.

    The US, Russia and some other countries have detonated over 2500 Nuclear weapons since WW2, and many were in the atmosphere. There was a Russian Nuclear spacecraft that exploded in the atmosphere, and the scientists said that every person on earth had a particle in them from that.

    Radioactive contamination is inside you, and the effect is cumulative. Also, one particle in one person may cause cancer, and 100 in another may be cause no negative effects. This is very poorly understood, but if the particle settles in certain areas it may cause more damage. Some contamination may be passed, or absorbed and transmuted by our organs, depending on health, iodine intake etc.

    Radioactive Exposure sources could be right next to you, and you could be "exposed" for weeks, months, and years. this happened in Chicagoland, at the Omega restaurants, due to radioactive materials recycled into their tables, . You are Exposed when you get an X-ray. This can cause cancer also.

    Check for the videos of Iraq and Aphganistan, of the deformed children, the statistics were normal before the wars that fired thousands of rounds of depleted uranium, and our servicemen who got cancer because they posed for a pic on the tank they just shot up with those shells didn't have it before the war also.

    Then there are the GMOs which the mainstream Elite serving media refuses to report, the cancer rates in lab tests are again, hard to dismiss. All hail Monsanto, helping along agenda 21.

    Then of course, there are the additives and artificial sweetners and other foodpoisons, I mean foodstuffs.

    And then there are the Vaccines, the actual vaccine may not be dangerous, but the mercury and other additives are. and if you want to deny that then I hope somebody forces your kid to drink 1 gram of mercury, after all it is safe right? and the other "type" thymerisol etc, are even more dangerous, not less...

    Then there is the radiation from radio sources, ionizing radiation such as microwaves. See documentaries like wifi-a warning signal.

    This IS one of the real biggest secrets.

    This WILL collapse societies, governments and maybe even our civilization.

    Governments that waste our time, wagging the dog, pretending they care about us and "fighting" for fair health care know that the entire system is collapsing, that the day will come soon when they have to answer for their fascism, for profiting off the damage to nature, society and the majority of life on this planet, for callapsing entire ecosystems for a profit. And for lying to us while we suffer for their actions.

    How many of your relatives will have to get cancer, lose their homes and or die before you realize this is an epidemic caused by several dozen fascist terrorist seditious treasonous families with no allegiance other than their own power and wealth.

    Believe it or not.

    Long term, All I want is to see people taking names, and noting locations and family members, after all, their families are the ones that profit from their fascists actions, and those that become just like their parents, fascist thugs, statistically speaking. and making sure that justice is finally served by the people, for the people, the majority, and most importantly for the future when the time comes.

    However, I myself will be in a hole during those times, and will watch from the sidelines...many millions will be sacrificed to maintain order..

    Agenda 21, the iron mountain report, and the lords of the masons connection are all real, and affecting your lives in every way imaginable...

    :|

  22. GrantB

    Oh dear

    "The paper presents a model for the sun's magnetic field and sunspots, which predicts a 60% fall in sunspot numbers when extrapolated to the 2030s. Crucially, the paper makes no mention of climate"

    Just surprised it was not Lewis using the reporting as proof that there is no AGW.

    But wonder how many people actually read what the Boffins concerned actually wrote?

    ref: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11487632

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