Articles Tagged "Mike Lockwood"

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UK faces more harsh winters in solar activity dip by Mark Kinver, BBC News: Updated by Lewis Page
Wednesday, July 6th 2011, 7:37 PM UTC
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Click source to read FULL report from Mark Kinver, BBC News

Updated below by Lewis Page
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Is Britain about to be plunged into a Little Ice Age?
Monday, July 4th 2011, 1:06 PM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Scientists think Britain and Europe could be in for a chilly few years predicting a 'Little Ice Age' could be on its way in just a few decades time.

Average temperatures in Britain could fall by two degrees centigrade, according to the study led by Mike Lockwood, professor of space environment physics at Reading University, because of a drop in the amount of sunspot activity.

Sunspots are darker patches seen in the sun's surface which are caused by small areas of magnetic activity which disrupts the normal flow of intensely heated gases.
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Many years of cold winters lie ahead by Dick Ahlstrom
Tuesday, November 30th 2010, 12:20 PM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
CLIMATE: WE ARE likely to experience several years of colder winters with more frequent cold spells similar to the current conditions, according to a UK climate expert.

The change comes as a result of a link between the sun and the high altitude jet stream winds, explained Prof Mike Lockwood of the department of meteorology at the University of Reading.

He and colleagues have established a link between low solar activity and a phenomenon known as “jet stream blocking”.

It causes a change in the normal weather patterns, keeping warmer Atlantic air away and instead channelling frigid Arctic and Siberian air across western Europe, including Ireland, he said.

“It looked last week like we had a blocking event formed,” he said. “The phenomenon is really a snaking of the jet stream. It can start to pull lower altitude, cold Russian air back in over Europe.”

Solar activity in this case does not mean heat or light from the sun but the energy emitted from the solar surface by sunspots.
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2009/10 Winter El Nino Very Different from 1997/98 by Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
Saturday, October 23rd 2010, 10:00 AM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Drew Shindell, NASA modeller who works with James Hansen showed here in a paper in Science (2001) how low solar periods with reduced ultraviolet leads to less ozone chemistry warming in high altitudes over low and mid latitudes. This apparently allows for cooling and expansion of the polar vortex and more blocking in high latitudes (a negative NAO/AO).

Here Shindell shows the difference between the Maunder Minimum temperatures of 1680 and those of much more active sun period 1780. You clearly see the negative NAO and AO and a cold winter in the continents in the low sun period.

Writing in Environmental Research Letters (2010), Mike Lockwood et al. have verified that solar activity does seem to have a direct correlation with Earth's climate by influencing North Atlantic blocking (NAO) as Shindell has shown.

CLICK to download PDF file to read FULL report from Joseph D’Aleo, CCM at
Some Weather Extremes are Real, but Causes are Natural by Joseph D’Aleo
Sunday, October 3rd 2010, 1:49 PM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Image AttachmentWe have had some extreme conditions the last few years – of cold, heat, snow and rain. Detailed summaries on the cold last winter can be found here and on the hot summer here. Both were memorable seasons indeed. Though the second author did an excellent job detailing the summer records and did mention the amplified and frozen jet stream, he went on to say man made global warming contributed to it.

Whereas the media and alarmists like to portray extremes (Holdren has called it “Climate Disruption”) as the result of or greatly amplified by man made greenhouse gases, natural factors can be shown as the cause. Too many scientists and media ‘enviro’ bloggers have stated “it must be man-made – what else could it be?”


The sun is the major driver for climate. The variations in the sun including irradiance, ultraviolet warming through ozone chemistry, galactic cosmic ray diffusion through the solar wind cause variations in the earths atmospheric and surface temperatures, changes in the jet stream and affect the tendency for blocking events. The sun is a factor probably through its effect on blocking also in how persistent patterns are which leads to anomalies to build for the seasons. The actual anomalies vary year to year with other factors such as ENSO and the state of the ocean multidecadal cycles – PDO and AMO.

As New Scientist magazine recently reported “Mike Lockwood at the University of Reading, and Joanna Haigh of Imperial College London have found that although the sun’s brightness does not change much during solar maxima and minima, the type of radiation it emits does. During maxima the sun emits more ultraviolet radiation, which is absorbed by the stratosphere. This warms up, generating high-altitude winds…a stronger jet stream. The reverse is true in solar minima, and the effect is particularly evident in Europe, where minima increase the chances of extreme weather. Indeed, this year’s cold winter and the Russian heat wave in July have been linked to the sun’s current lull, which froze weather systems in place for longer than normal.”

CLICK to download PDF file and read FULL report from Joseph D’Aleo
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Catastrophe and prosperity by Julian Morris
Saturday, August 28th 2010, 5:14 PM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Millions are suffering and thousands have died from flooding in Pakistan and China. An extraordinary heat wave in Russia sparked fires causing dreadful pollution and wiping out swathes of the wheat crop. Are these weather-related disasters caused by global warming? Do they portend to worse catastrophes? What can be done? Should Pakistan get more aid?

In its most recent report, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, asserts that as the world becomes warmer, “flood magnitude and frequency are likely to increase in most regions.” This seems plausible: a warmer world is also likely to be a wetter world, as more water evaporates from the oceans into the atmosphere. But, although rainstorms last week put out some of the fires, Russia has a drought.

The IPCC also claims that droughts, too, are more likely in a warmer world – and that they have become more frequent since the 1970s, partly because of reduced precipitation. In fact the number of droughts reached a low point between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s: The evidence shows there has been no statistically significant increase in droughts since the 1950s. Given that global temperatures appear to have risen considerably since then, it seems a stretch to blame the Russian drought on global warming.
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Scientists Link Quiet Sun & Cold Winters by Doug L. Hoffman
Friday, April 30th 2010, 3:27 PM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Asking the somewhat obvious question, “are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity?” a group of scientists have announced that the answer is yes. While this may seem unsurprising, the finding is another indication that Earth's climate is not simply driven by greenhouse gas emissions. Even so, some scientists are only grudgingly accepting the finding, cautioning that this only applies in the central UK and refusing to admit that the Sun could affect global mean temperatures as well. Still, the researchers found that average solar activity has declined rapidly since 1985 and cosmogenic isotopes suggest a possible return to Maunder minimum conditions within the next 50 years. This could be a sign that climate science is starting to recover from its CO2 fixation.

Writing in Environmental Research Letters, Mike Lockwood et al. have verified that solar activity does seem to have a direct correlation with Earth's climate—at least in the central UK. The reason that the scope of the study is limited to that area, or at most Europe, is that it is one of the few regions that there is a reliable, continuous temperature record going back to the Little Ice Age. The authors explain their work:

Lower winter temperatures were common in Europe during the second half of the 17th century, famously allowing frost fairs to be held on the Thames in London before riverine developments increased the flow rate. These cold winters coincided with the Maunder minimum in solar activity when the Sun remained virtually free of sunspots for almost 50 years. However, establishing that this was not just a chance occurrence requires that the relationship continue to hold over a long interval, such that cold European winters become less frequent when solar activity is high and then more common again when solar activity falls. Various indicators show that during the recent minimum of the 11 year sunspot cycle, the Sun has been quieter than at any time in the previous 90 years. This yields an opportunity for a better test of the relationship between solar activity and cold European winters. To do this, we require two long and homogeneous time series: one which quantifies solar outputs relevant to seasonal/regional climate and the other relevant to European winter temperatures. We here use the Central England temperature (CET) data set which is the world's longest instrumental record of temperature and extends back to 1659, at the start of the Maunder minimum.

Click source to read FULL report by Doug L. Hoffman
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Quieter activity on Sun may push Britain into a modern-day Little Ice Age
Thursday, April 22nd 2010, 6:27 AM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Scientists believe cold winds travel south towards Europe and mild west winds are blocked due to a bend in a jet stream. The bend is thought to be caused by low solar activity

Horse racing on frozen rivers? Ice bowling? Activities last seen during Britain's Little Ice Age could once more be seen, researchers believe.

Having just emerged from a bitterly cold winter the experts are warning that Britain could return to the mini ice-age at the end of the 17th century. This is despite claims that global warming is causing Arctic ice to melt and temperatures to rise.

Back then the Thames played host to 'frost fairs' complete with puppet shows, horse races and ice bowling. Henry VIII is even said to have travelled all the way from central London to Greenwich by sleigh.

The prediction of a return to an annual deep freeze follows research linking solar flares and other activity on the surface of the Sun with the weather across northern Europe.
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Will Colder Winters become more Frequent over Northern Europe?
Thursday, April 22nd 2010, 6:06 AM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Researchers from the University of Reading (UK) have found a link between the colder winters of northern Europe and low solar activity.

The report describes how we are entering into an era of lower solar activity which is likely to result in UK winter temperatures more like those seen at the end of the seventeenth century, which was very cold.

A look at the 2009-2010 winter temperature anomalies over Europe (NOAA).
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The researchers suggest that the anomaly in Northern Europe's winter temperatures could be to do with a phenomenon called 'blocking', according to the EurekAlert release.

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Link Between Solar Activity And The UK's Cold Winters from
Wednesday, April 21st 2010, 5:59 AM UTC
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
A link between low solar activity and jet streams over the Atlantic could explain why, despite global warming trends, people in regions North East of the Atlantic Ocean might need to brace themselves for more frequent cold winters in years to come.
A new report published in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters describes how we are moving into an era of lower solar activity which is likely to result in UK winter temperatures more like those seen at the end of the seventeenth century.

Lead author Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading said: "This year's winter in the UK has been the 14th coldest in the last 160 years and yet the global average temperature for the same period has been the 5th highest. We have discovered that this kind of anomaly is significantly more common when solar activity is low."

The new paper, 'Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity?', differs from previous efforts to explain the UK's recent cold winters by comparing the most comprehensive, but regionally specific, temperature dataset available (the Central England Temperature dataset) to the long-term behaviour of the Sun's magnetic field, and to trends across the entire Northern Hemisphere.

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