Are we entering a new mini ice age?

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diggernotdreamer
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Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265302Post diggernotdreamer »

After another awful summer, we have only just been able to make hay for the animals, cut it on wednesday, been turning it by hand to get it dry and managed to get it into the barn this evening before it pees down with rain tonight. The old folk here remember in years gone by that everyone made hay, silage was unheard of and there was usually good weather with a couple of good weeks to get the hay dried and in without having to do it all at break neck speed. We did it last year, not because of the good weather but just because it did not rain for 5 days. I watched a programme some while ago about the mini ice age around 1750 or thereabouts, seemed the same thing happened then, the seasons went haywire, the summers were wet, the hay couldn't be got, crops failed and a lot of people starved. This is in contrast to the weather in the Medieval times when people were outside a lot more and it seemed much warmer. So do other people think we are heading into another mini ice age, I did read that when climates change, wet places get wetter and dry places get drier, which would appear to be the case in America where they have a drought and have abandoned huge fields of crops and in the uk and Ireland we have had record rainfall and cold. I am seriously thinking of buying another polytunnel as we have had great crops inside and a bit touch and go outside. What do you think?

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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265329Post Thomzo »

I do hope not. It's just so difficult to tell.

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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265337Post EcoSam »

I'm more inclined to think that we're entering a period of more extreme weather brought about by climate change. One of my lecturers said that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events would occur until a certain tipping point where climates would shift to either a cold or warmer climate depending on ones location... Pretty scary stuff, especially as the recent weather suggests that things might be heading that way.

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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265381Post MuddyWitch »

The high altitude winds, (including the 'Jet Stream' which runs across the North Atlantic), are responsible for the majority of rainfall. In Ireland & the UK the wet conditions are due to the Jet Stream passing over us rather than going further North as would be usual in the Northern hemispere's Summer.

EcoSam is quite correct to say that climate change, ie a warming, adds more energy into the system, therefore causing the winds to occilate more noticably and mess up the weather patterns.

(Incidentaly, the 'mini-iceages' of the 17th and late 19th century were due to large volcanic eruptions dumping huge ammounts of dust into the atmosphere causing 'global dimming' and blocking the Sun's rays. Mt St Helens had a much lesser, but recorded effect in the 1980s.)

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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265385Post boboff »

Oh, the weather not whether we are off to watch a short animation by Disney PIxar!

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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265388Post diggernotdreamer »

[(Incidentaly, the 'mini-iceages' of the 17th and late 19th century were due to large volcanic eruptions dumping huge ammounts of dust into the atmosphere causing 'global dimming' and blocking the Sun's rays. Mt St Helens had a much lesser, but recorded effect in the 1980s.)

MW[/quote]
I was wondering if the Icelandic eruption would have any long term repercussions, we had loads of yellow dust in our village and the sky was a strange yellow colour for a while.

MW where are you planning to live in Ireland, we came here four years ago, hope you have better luck than us, I haven't managed to find a job since coming here, no going back for us though as we sunk all our money into our house which is now worth a fraction of what we paid for it, but we are making the best of things

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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265389Post gregorach »

Whilst it's been a pretty lousy summer for the UK and Ireland, that's not representative of the wider climate. There have been record heat waves in the US, an unprecedented surface melt of the Greenland ice sheet, and we seem to be on course for a record low in Arctic sea ice.

So I guess I'd have to say "No"...
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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265402Post KathyLauren »

gregorach wrote:Whilst it's been a pretty lousy summer for the UK and Ireland, that's not representative of the wider climate. There have been record heat waves in the US, an unprecedented surface melt of the Greenland ice sheet, and we seem to be on course for a record low in Arctic sea ice.

So I guess I'd have to say "No"...
I mostly agree with you. However, one of the conjectured consequences of global warming could be the shutting down of the Gulf Stream due to desalinization of the North Atlantic by meltwater from Greenland. A consequence of that could be a mini ice age in Europe at least.

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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265406Post contadina »

Just as the parts of Europe affected by the North Atlantic Drift; mainly Ireland, Britain and the Nordic countries have seen colder winters and wetter summers for the past few years, the opposite has occurred in the parts of Europe not affected by it. Down here in Italy, for example, we've seen no rain since May and temperatures have, in the most part, been in the upper-30s to mid-40's. This used to be a rare occurrence, but higher temperatures are becoming more frequent now. Similarly, the past few winters have been really mild. Extreme weather events around the world (be it hotter or colder) are equally scary as is the unpredictability of climate change.

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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265407Post gregorach »

KeithBC wrote:
gregorach wrote:Whilst it's been a pretty lousy summer for the UK and Ireland, that's not representative of the wider climate. There have been record heat waves in the US, an unprecedented surface melt of the Greenland ice sheet, and we seem to be on course for a record low in Arctic sea ice.

So I guess I'd have to say "No"...
I mostly agree with you. However, one of the conjectured consequences of global warming could be the shutting down of the Gulf Stream due to desalinization of the North Atlantic by meltwater from Greenland. A consequence of that could be a mini ice age in Europe at least.
With heavy emphasis on the word "conjectured"... Sure, we can't entirely rule it out, but it's one of the remoter possibilities, and there are no signs that it's actually happening yet. There was some talk based on some preliminary results back in 2005, but more recent (and much better) data seems to show this to have been in error. Plus, as that link mentions, the consequences of a slowdown in the Atlantic overturning are unlikely to be very dramatic, especially in the context of a warmer world. As MuddyWitch mentioned up-thread, the principle culprit here is the jet stream.
Cheers

Dunc

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Re: Are we entering a new mini ice age?

Post: # 265443Post GeorgeSalt »

Any weather effect obervable in a five-year time period (ie. comparing this year to last year, or the year before..) is highly unlikely to be attributable to climate change (a much better term the "global warming"). Last year was a drier than average spring for most of the UK and this year was a wetter than average spring for most of the UK. But any two points will always lie on a straight line and this is where the danger lies in conjecture about weather trends based on very limited data. It is in the nature of averages that you will get periods above or below the mean and periods of fluctaution either side of the mean. For climate, this is in addition to variation as a result medium- and long-term cycles (eg. the El Niño/La Niña southern oscillation, and the lesser known Atlantic oscillation) and long-term trends in the mean (eg. climate change).
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Post: # 265509Post oldfella »

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