General Category > Science, Technology and Knowledge

Is Recent Record Cold Just La Niña, or the Onset of Global Cooling?


Is Recent Record Cold Just La Niña, or the Onset of Global Cooling?
May 17, 2021

Little noticed by the mainstream media in their obsession with global warming is an exceptionally chilly 2020-21 winter in the Northern Hemisphere and an unusually early start to the Southern Hemisphere winter. Low temperature and snowfall records are tumbling all over the globe. The harsh cold has already crippled this year’s crops and vines in Europe, while the U.S. state of Texas was ravaged by the subfreezing polar vortex.

Is this the beginning of the predicted grand solar minimum, which was the subject of an earlier post – or simply a manifestation of the naturally occurring La Niña cycle? A grand solar minimum is signified by a steep decline in the maximum number of sunspots during the 11-year solar cycle – a decline that appears to be underway already.

The familiar El Niño and La Niña cycles arise from seesaw changes in surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean and last for periods of a year or more at a time. The persistent but irregular pattern is visible in the graph below, showing satellite measurements of the global temperature since 1979. Warm spikes such as those in 1998, 2010 and 2016 are due to El Niño; cool spikes like those in 2000 and 2008 are due to La Niña. The climatic effects of El Niño and La Niña include catastrophic flooding in the western Americas and flooding or severe drought in Australia; La Niña has also been tied to major landfalling hurricanes in both the U.S. and the western Pacific.                               


[0] Message Index

Go to full version