Tag Archives: climate change

Is There A Mini Ice Age In Our Future?

There has been a lot of press lately about a report by Professor Valentina Zharkova stating that we are going to experience a Mini Ice Age within about 15 years and that it could ultimately last for around 10 years.

mini ice age

Reasons For A Mini Ice Age

It’s been known since around 1843 that the sun routinely goes through cycles of activity that last for about 11 years.

In a presentation at the National Astronomy meeting, Professor  Zharkova  outlined the results of a new model that he and his team have created to better understand the these cycles.

This new model suggests that the sun’s activities could fall by as much as 60 percent between the years of 2030 and 2040.

Since the energy from the sun’s activities is one of the things that keeps our world warm,  a lower level of these activities would also lower the temperatures around our globe.

Chance Of A Mini Ice Age

If this models conclusions hold up it seems that we have a good chance of seeing a mini ice age happen.

The last time that such a lull in solar activity was observed was in the 17th Century between 1645 and 1715.

This period is called the Maunder Minimum, named for the two astronomers,  Annie and E. Walter Maunder,  who studied sunspots and helped identify the sun’s strange activity during that period.

That time period saw only 30 sunspots or about one one-thousandth of what would normally be expected and coincided with a “Little Ice Age” in Europe.

It was during this period when the planet experienced heavier than normal snow falls and large bodies of water like the Thames River and the Baltic Sea froze over.

maunder minimum

The conclusion that Professor Zharkova and his team reached are still a matter of debate but even if they are partially true we could be in for a weather change in the near future.

The Counter Argument

But then again, maybe not.  It seems that there is also a lot of evidence that the Little Ice Age of the 17th Century may have been strongly influenced by a rash of volcanoes that were erupting at that time.

This caused more ash in the air that blocked the sun’s heat and might have caused the temperature drops.

Many feel that there is just not that much difference in the suns heat that reaches the earth whether there is a lot of solar activity or very little activity.

Or the Mini Ice Age that they experienced in the 17th century might have been caused by some combination of these two factors.

The bottom line is that no one seems to know for sure and we really won’t know until we get to 2030 and see what happens.

How A Mini Ice Age Would Affect Our Lives

If there was a new mini ice age, it would probably happen slowly and we would be able to adapt to the changes.

It’s much more likely that any weather changes that we see would be because of the rising impact of greenhouse gasses.

At the best, most scientists believe that a new Maunder Minimum would only reduce the total warming trend that we are currently experiencing only slightly and then only for a brief period.

Even though it sounds contrary to logic the global warming that is happening is already going to cause colder, harsher winters and more unpredictable weather so this new data isn’t going to be of a huge impact.

Conclusion to Mini Ice Age

There are a lot of times when the media gets ahold of some bit of scientific information and runs with it, looking for what seems like a new dooms day scenario.

This idea of a mini ice age seems like one of those times.  It shouldn’t distract us from the very real changes that are currently happening because of global warming.

Whether or not you believe that global warming is real or not isn’t the issue since we are seeing things happening that only the most stubborn person would deny.

Those are the weather changes that we should be worried about.  In fact, if there is a mini ice age it wouldn’t really be a bad thing.

It would give us a respite, no matter how small to get the things that we need to do to stop global warming from getting worse.

What we should really be worrying about is whether or not we have reached the tipping point where we can’t avoid global warming and its longer lasting and detrimental affects to our climate.

In fact, the researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research used a sophisticated computer model to predict the effects of a future “grand solar minimum” on our climate between 2020 to 2070.

Their model suggested the even though the solar minimum might  slow down global warming  by 20-30 percent during the solar lull within a couple of decades later the expected temperatures of global warming would return.

So, the bottom line is that this solar lull, even if it happens, probably isn’t going to get us out of the global warming problem.

This is certainly not the news that we want to hear but better than having a mini ice age with all the possible problems that would bring.

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Climate Change and Urban Disaster

Climate change and urban disasterClimate Change and Urban Disaster are tightly linked together and something that anyone concerned with urban disaster survival should consider in their preparations.

Is Climate Change Real

Whether the predictions that warn man’s effect on our climate is ultimately going to cause an apocalypse are not is still a subject for debate.

How bad these changes could be may still not be known but with California going into it’s fifth year of drought, massive storms in the east, and high temperatures baking parts of the country it has to be accepted that things are changing.

How fast we will experience these changes and whether or not it’s because man is affecting the climate are subjects for another article.

This one looks at the potential for the climate changes that we are seeing to cause urban disasters.

Climate Change and Urban Disaster

Many people might ask why climate change and urban disaster were  connected.  And even if they are why we should really be worried about it since we are talking on the scale of centuries.

But the fact is that at least some of the changes won’t wait until the next century and then suddenly occur and be someone else’s problem.

A recent huge study by the UN concludes that many of the changes are going to happen a lot faster than we think.

In fact, they are happening right now and the savvy prepper needs to take these changes into consideration in their preps.

California’s Drought

One example is the drought that California is experiencing.  While some parts of the country are getting unusually large amounts of rain, places like California and Washington are experiencing drought conditions.

climate change and urban disasterOne climate change forecaster has stated that one major change  we are going to see that is going to happen right now is with the rain patterns.  When it rains we are going to get more than normal and when it doesn’t it could go longer between rains.

So California has been getting little or no rain for 5 years now.  The result is that the aquifers that are being used for water are being drained faster than they are being refilled by rain.

Why This Is A Problem

You might wonder why this is a problem if you don’t live in California. The answer is that California produces much of the produce that the rest of the Country eats.

More than 80% of the water used in California is for food production.  If the drought conditions continue it’s extremely likely that further restrictions will be placed on water usage that could dramatically raise the cost of produce.

Temperature Changes

Another forecast is weather extremes that we have experienced in the last few years will not only continue but get worse.

It will get colder with more winter storms and hotter in the summer with more heatwaves.

These storms and heat waves have a direct economic effect on our economy.

Winter Storms

Like the rain the snow fall is going to become more erratic.  There could be areas where snow is lower than normal and long lasting storms like we saw this last winter that drop unprecedented amounts of snow.

Since many parts of the country rely on snowfall in the mountains to fill their water reservoirs for summer less than normal snowpack can lead to summer droughts.

Climate change and urban disaster
(AP Photo/Peter M. Fredin)

During heavy winter storms stores and other businesses lose money because they can’t be accessed or they can’t get supplies.  People lose income because they can’t get to their jobs.

Roads become impassable and that stops or slows deliveries not only to the affected areas but also across the nation as manufactured goods stand in store rooms rather than being delivered across the Nation.

This may not seem to be a problem for you until the store shelves start to empty because food can’t be delivered or your power in your home suddenly goes off because power lines go down.

Summer Heat

This summer we are already seeing extreme high temperatures in parts of the country.

Not only can this lead to heat related deaths but further taxes our aging electrical infrastructure as people use more power for cooling their homes.

Food Production

Many of the crops that we rely on for food or that feed livestock depend upon certain weather conditions to grow.

climate change and urban disasterToo much heat or lack of water can cause crop failures that threatens our food supply.

Higher temperatures in the ocean are already affecting the supply of seafood and the jobs that are being lost as those changes affect the seafood industry.

Even a change of a degree or two in temperature can cause major changes in where or even if fish flourish and that affects not only what is available to eat but the jobs created by this industry.

Conclusion to Climate Change and Urban Disaster

The bottom line is that there are changes that are already happening.  And those changes aren’t going to be spread evenly.

The poor are going to be effected more than the rich and those areas of the world that already are having problems are going to get worse.

For the prepper that means that we should strive to be more self sufficient and not rely on others to solve this problem for us.

Solar panels are continuing to lower in price while becoming increasingly efficient.  This allows us to power our own home and not depend upon distant plants and fluctuating prices.

Many areas of the country are relaxing laws against or even encouraging rainwater collection for both drinking and watering gardens.  This gives us the chance to grow our own food.

It’s important to become more self reliant on food production.  Even a small garden can make a big difference in your food supplies.

What steps that you take depend upon what area of the country you live in and what problems you might face.

But climate change and urban disaster are a lot more closely linked than many of us would think.

 

 

 

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