Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ivar Giaever: Climate Change Denier

I guess we have to call him a climate change denier.

Prof. Ivar Giaever has some harsh words for President Obama and other global warmists. He has again openly disparaged their dogma. The trouble is, Giaever is a Nobel prize winning physicist. Presumably, this means that he knows more about science than, say, certain political and religious leaders.

Yesterday, Giaever’s views were reported in the Daily Caller:

“I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem,” Giaever, who won the Nobel for physics in 1973, told an audience at the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting earlier this month.

Giaever ridiculed Obama for stating that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” The physicist called it a “ridiculous statement” and that Obama “gets bad advice” when it comes to global warming.

“I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong,” Giaever said.

And also:

Giaever said he was “horrified” about the science surrounding global warming when he conducted research on the subject in 2012.

But by 2011,  Giaever left the American Physical Society because it officially stated that “the evidence is incontrovertible … [g]lobal warming is occurring.” The Society also pushed for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Global warming really has become a new religion,” Giaever said. “Because you cannot discuss it. It’s not proper. It is like the Catholic Church.”

Giaever argued that there’s been no global warming for the last 17 years or so (based on satellite records), weather hasn’t gotten more extreme and that global temperature has only slightly risen — and that’s based on data being “fiddled” with by scientists, he said.

“When you have a theory and the theory does not agree with the experiment then you have to cut out the theory. You were wrong with the theory,” Giaever said.

Long time readers of this blog might recall that this is not the first time I have cited the “denialist” views of Giaever and other important scientists. Links here and here.

The astonishing part is: no one really cares. Those who belong to the Church of the Liberal Pieties believe in the dogma of global warming. And they believe so strongly that they refuse to allow mere facts shake their conviction.

That’s the great irony. Roman Catholics are divided on the issue. Members of the Church of the Liberal Pieties do not have that luxury. They wallow in a swamp of group think and are not allowed to utter the least disparaging word about the global warming dogma.


Dennis said...

Many of us were calling Global Cooling a religion years ago. For your edification:
If this does not have you wondering about "settled science" you might want to question how much of this is built on faith or actual "peer reviewed" science. Given the corrupt nature of "peer review" one might wonder at the acceptance of so much drivel. History is littered with tales of "settled science." Sadly some scientists are the easiest to fool because they want to believe. There we have the practice of a religion, not a science.
Just consider for a moment aphelion, perihelion, the angle of the sun in relationship to the Earth and the fact that Earth wobbles its way through space. This is not to even consider the various cycles that exist. Would it not be interesting to wonder why we might have growing ice in Antartica and a very small lessing of ice in the Arctic?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Dennis: Don't ask so many questions.

Dennis said...

For your edification concerning solar cycles: Suffice it so say that we know far less than we know and should be very careful attempting to control those thing we do not truly understand. If people really believed in science there would be far less emphasis on pejoratives, invective and name calling. These actions are taken by people who cannot or do not provide the science to underpin their ideas. Why would they require such tactics? People who cannot forecast the weather with any true certainty should not act like they are experts on the climate.

priss rules said...

According to Obama, courage is man cutting his ding dong off to become a 'woman' like 'Caitlyn Jenner'.

PS. I concede it takes some balls to cut off one's own balls.

Larry Sheldon said...

Actually, I think the Prof. is wrong and the President is right--the Earth IS warming, and will probably (if the President has his way) reach thermo-nuclear temperatures before the snow flies widely.

Sam L. said...

The AlGorebullWorming people have a PARTY LINE and any deviationist will be purged or sent to re-education camp until he repents!

We know global warming is occurring, as there are no glaciers extending from Canada to the middle of the US, and there used to be.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

People snicker when I say I am a Christian (and Catholic, to boot) and they chide me about the "bearded man in the sky" (their vision of God) and all these other pejoratives about what a fool I am for going to the "magic show" (Mass), and how ignorant I am in believing in God and this God-man (Jesus), and how corrupt the institutional church is (the Vatican), et cetera. What they really mock is my faith. I'm not tolerated... my faith is simply wrong! So let's talk about faith. Their views about Climate Change require faith: lamenting of a hopeless manmade desert armageddon scenario. So we have two faith propositions: one claims divinely-inspired scripture, the other claims the certainty of climatological computer models. One is clearly supernatural, the other claims predictable natural phenomena. I can't empirically prove my faith position, but their models are predictions that have not come to pass. So the question now becomes: Which proposition invites man to a higher calling and contribution to fulfill his purpose? They have their conclusions, and I am confident about mine. I'm for the proposition that feeds me and calls me to create, not the one that says I'm an insatiable sack of protoplasm that's destroying the earth. Mine comes with an open invitation to join Him. Theirs comes with a demand that we're all doomed by default, according to their "scientific truth." Pardon me for thinking it's a false choice, like many we’ve seen before under different guise. No doubt Ivar Griaver has a different faith life than I (if any at all), but he makes a courageous stand for truth when he calls mainstream Climate Change what it is: a religion. The Western experience shows we can live in a religiously pluralist society, but can we all live in a totalitarian society requiring that we assent to scientific speculation posing as "truth"? I suspect not.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I find it humorous that the people (politicians and their voters) who brought us "Hope and Change" see no hope for the earth, and no possibility of its climate and dynamic ecosystem changing. And they will call us names in hopes we will stop denying their articles of faith, erstwhile claiming "the science is settled," as though their theories are scientific laws that we can test and predict. And on and on it goes. And of course the only institution that can prevent all this terrible destruction is... government. And if government can't do anything to stop climate change (which it won't), then we'll need more government. Perhaps a global government, with the integrity, moral courage and capabilities of... the United Nations. I shudder.

I continue to be amazed that people cannot see what is afoot here. It's the same cast of characters, with the same ideology, monolithically proclaiming certain doom for us all, with the same tired, old solutions that never work. "Repent, repent!" they say. "Return to the primitive with us." There's nothing creative about it whatsoever. It's a dissonant racket of fatalist doom. We're all going to die, and man is just a virus, a pall on our beautiful spaceship earth. We might as well kill ourselves now. That's what people want to believe. I feel like I'm listening to Jor-El (Marlon Brando) predicting the death of Krypton. The Catholic Church Giaever compares looks like an intellectual dynamo compared the Church of Liberal Pieties. At least the Catholic Church can be discussed, and membership is optional. The climate change crowd looks more like Iran or Scientology.

The earth may be warming. Climate certainly changes. But the main contention is that man's activity is inducing and accelerating a global climate catastrophe. The recommended remedy is that man will halt or reverse these climate trends through enforced scarcity based on government oversight guided by science. Haven't we seen this movie before? Does anyone really believe that will happen? If we're going to have a conversation about what man's role should be in the ecosystem, fine. That takes place in the political realm, not by executive fiat through ideological regulatory authorities. Don't use science to scare the wits out of people to achieve non-scientific ends. Once you enter that realm, you're treading on dangerous ground. The debate needs to take on a different tone. We can conserve and be good stewards of our planet while not condemning man to this proto-pantheistic, neo-Malthusian totalitarian belief system driving a rigid scarcity regime enforced at the end of a gun… all proclaimed in the name of SCIENCE.

The Church of Liberal Pieties is a totalitarian religion seeking police power. Their goal is ideological purity and ruthless control. Just like every other totalitarian regime in the history of man. Their priests just claim to be more intelligent. Are they? Seems like their as human as those they condemn.

Ares Olympus said...

Ah, what would we do without conservative news making up news? What is the news? A nobel-prize winning physicist has been saying grumpy stuff ever since he was on a panel back in 2008?

The "new" article seems to be sourced here:

And we have an abstract from a recent statement here:
Because of the following statement from the American Physical Society:
“The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”

I resigned from the society in 2011.
1. nothing in science is incontrovertible.
2. the “measured” average temperature increase in 100 years or so, is 0.8 Kelvin.
3. since the Physical Society claim it has become warmer, why is everything better than before?
4. the maximum average temperature ever measured was in 1998, 17 years ago. When will we stop wasting money on alternative energy?

So he's still grumpy over a American Physical Society statement and still trying to defend his protest.

Here's a 2012 analysis of his older claims:
In his talk, Giaever complained that he had become famous for his climate contrarianism, which he claimed indicated that dissenting opinions on the subject are not welcome. On the contrary, Giaever has been criticized for repeating long-debunked climate myths which he could have easily learned about through a little bit of research - by perusing the Skeptical Science database, for example, where we have debunked all of his Googled climate misconceptions.

Instead, Giaever has used his position of scientific authority as a Nobel Laureate to misinform people about a subject on which he has not even done the most basic research. That is not how a good scientist should behave, and that is why Giaever has rightfully and deservedly been criticized. Giaever finishes his talk by proclaiming

"Is climate change pseudoscience? If I’m going to answer the question, the answer is: absolutely."

The problem is that Giaever has not done his homework, which is why he gets the wrong answer, and his presentation deserves a failing grade. Ironically, Giaever defines "pseudoscience" as only seeking evidence to confirm one's desired hypothesis, which is precisely how Giaever himself has behaved with respect to climate science.

Listening to Giaever's opinions on climate science is equivalent to giving your dentist a pamphlet on heart surgery and asking him to crack your chest open. While climate science has a basis in phyiscs (and many other scientific fields of study), it is an entirely different subject, whose basics Giaever could undoubtedly grasp if he were willing to put the time in to do his homework.

But individual scientists (even Nobel Laureates) suffer from cognitive biases like anyone else. That's why we don't rely on indvidual scientists or individual papers to draw conclusions about climate change. The only way to get an accurate picture is through the work of many scientists, peer reviewed and scrutinized over decades and tested against multiple lines of evidence. Giaever demonstrates how far cognitive bias - reinforced by a few hours of Googling - can lead anyone to the wrong conclusions, and also proves that no individual's opinion, regardless of his credentials, can replace the full body of climate science evidence.

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. Ivar Giaever's 2012 speech is here: part 1 part 2 part 3

My "grumpy old man" opinion seems to be accurate.

Anyone can be a contrarian. I like the role. but I don't claim my contarianism is correct, but can as well be a sign of my ignorance that someday be clarified.

Anonymous said...

Oh, c'mon, Ares... you have a lot of certainty behind your uncertainty, and most everything else. Anyone can be a contrarian, and we all know you like the role, but you don't seem to have a lot of modesty about your positions. Maybe they will one day be clarified, but I doubt you'll care. You'll just move onto the next item. There's a word for that kind of thing.

labman57 said...

One of the great misconceptions of the scientifically-illiterate is the assumption that every scientist is an expert in all areas of science, somewhat akin to the Professor on Gilligan's Island.

The "expert" opinions of scientists who study quantum mechanics, or astrophysics, or nuclear chemistry, or plate tectonics are not going to have the same gravitas as the conclusions of scientists who actually have spent their careers studying atmospheric chemistry or climatology.

It would be no different than if you had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and so you sought out the expertise of several oncologists and neurosurgeons to discuss your options ... but then a couple of proctologists overhearing the conversations gave their two cents and insisted that their opinions carried as much weight as those of the consulted doctors.

It would make no sense to give much credence to the advise given by the proctologists ... unless your head was lodged up your ass.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I love how people come out of nowhere to comment on climate change posts...

Anonymous said...

It's a crisis. Just like all of them.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Presumably, Nobel prize winning physicists know the difference between science and pseudoscience. As I have often pointed out, the (retired) head of climate science at MIT, Richard Lindzen agrees with Giaever.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Also, check out this post:

Dennis said...

If one is truly a scientist then one is always open to other ideas. Other ideas help to improve one's own, aid in making corrections to one's ideas or creates the possibility that maybe one's ideas may not be correct. This is true in almost every thing in life. That is why the ability to have a true debate and dialogue is so important. None of us have the total answer to anything.
What are people afraid of if they cannot have their ideas challenged? Are they so insecure in their beliefs that they have to shut down debate and dialogue. For me anyone who has to use pejoratives, invectives or name calling lacks credibility because they fail to present a well reasoned argumentation for their ideas or opposition.
Add that to the idea that large numbers of people really want to feel that they are doing good by saving the planet, making everyone equal, saving women from those bad men that one is not, et al and one has the conditions that creates the desire to be that hero or white knight. It follows that the point is reached where activism begins and the loss of the larger picture begins to fade into the background.
Anyone who has spent time around academia, scientists, engineers, et al know they are as vulnerable to the vagaries of life as anyone else. Consider that Nicolas Tesla worked for Thomas Edison and tried to tell him that AC was more efficient and safer in the long run. Edison was so tied to his invention of DC that he would not listen to reason and left Westinghouse to profit? If this was just an anomaly one might ignore it, but there are far too many examples in history where this is the case.
I would go into the reasons why computer modeling has real problems, but I have done that before. Suffice it to say that science is NEVER settled to the true scientist for there is always more to learn.
Question, Why is it that when one sees a globe in many libraries there is this item denoting degrees attached to it and usually someone sets it to the angle that meets its current status? Further why is there more than one setting for the degrees?
Ares, you still have not progressed. Is that because you are on high in Olympus as the god of War looking down at all those human beings who will not rise to the level you believe you have reached?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Are we talking about applying scientific principles to other fields of scientific endeavor, or are we saying we'll just leave all the decisions up to the subject matter experts in micro-specialized disciplines with 20+ years of experience? The latter seems like an invitation to ossified consensus and groupthink. Scientific principles in reviewing data and recreating experimental results don't require oodles of background knowledge. If they do, this makes peer-reviewed articles into an even greater opportunity for a cosmic sham because they're reviewed by people who think like they do and reflect the occupational or specialized consensus. Are we not saying this is what's going on in Climate Change circles?

I recall reading that most of the scientific breakthroughs come from practitioners who have 5 years or less in their specific field of study. In other words, their "beginner's mind" does not expose them to the suggestibility that comes out from consensus and not wanting to rock the boat. Look at most of the great scientists and when they did their groundbreaking work... it was early in their career or early in their exposure to a specialty. It's also the space to work these things out. Isaac Newton worked out his "Principia Mathematica" while he was home quarantining himself from the bubonic plague. Einstein was a clerk at the Swiss patent office. Also, you have the escalating trend in academic white papers that are written by collaborators from different disciplines... showing that cutting edge findings are coming from different sets of eyes from different fields of study looking at new problems. Or old problems.

We are not exempt from the admonishments of our humanity because we are "scientists." Human beings have a great capacity for self-delusion, and become very attached to specific outcomes. This is true of theologians, plumbers, gardeners, teachers, botanists, etc. No one is exempt. They want hypotheses to be true so much so that the hypothesis becomes the foundation of belief itself, not the observed outcome. That's where we get into politics, destroying data, manipulating data, etc. It happens in every field of human endeavor. That's the genius of what America's Founding Fathers came up with in the Constitution: specific, enumerated powers separated into three branches. It is up to those three branches to stand up for their power and prerogatives within the boundaries outlined in the Constitution. But they don't always do that, do they? It's the same thing everywhere. Man is a fallen creature. We would be wise to recognize our limits instead of proclaiming the certainty of our certainties about certain inevitable certainties.

Science is settled when we have scientific law. Climate Change is a scientific theory, not a law. Thus this theory is subject to speculation, and I speculate that it is an arrogant falsehood being used by the Left as a justification to impose their bogus worldview on others, to be enforced in a police state environment because "it's a crisis!". I'm not going to follow this line of thinking until someone can show me the LAW of climate change, which you never will be able to until you can control for ice ages, volcanism and extraterrestrial impacts. Everywhere we hear scientists telling us how small we are, that we're a collection of cells and atoms, that our planet is a dynamic ecosystem we don't fully understand, etc. Until we talk about Climate Change. Then it's as certain as the sunrise. That doesn't make sense to me.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Pardon my skepticism, but all this righteous indignation from the Left about this imminent intra-planetary doom is becoming a farce. It seems ridiculous to watch grown adults falling all all over each other to talk about how little time we have left... year after year, decade after decade. Someone should put up a "Climate Change Death Clock" in Time's Square so we know. Maybe someone can use carbon offset credits to pay for it.

Sophisticated celebrities -- all scientific child prodigies, no doubt -- believe in the shadow of Climate Change annihilation, and it's just over the horizon. Always. Prince Charles, that particular "lucky sperm club" dignitary, is on every tabloid lending his authoritative voice on these deep scientific explorations. When you have minds like that on your side, the rest of us fall on our knees in despair, cowering in the presence of such profound scientific genius. Stop, stop... no mas! Has there ever been a scientific theory more aggressively marketed to the public? Do you ever sit back and wonder why that is? Is it because of imminent doom? Temperatures haven't changed in 17 years! We get news of killer storms like Katrina, all tied to Climate Change. Then we hear told "Climate is not weather" when he trends are not favorable to the theory. Which is it?

I'll tell you what it is, it's "Heads I win, tails you lose" because it's not science. It's ideology. It's political maneuver masquerading as scientific certainty. It's a way to create a political result without a conversation, because the conversation isn't really needed... because it's based on SCIENCE. Yet it's really arguing an article of faith, not observable, predictable phenomena. It's like listening to an economist predicting the next crash. It's like the Seventh Day Adventists. It just has a scientific aura about it that causes people to believe what they already want to believe: the capitalist economy and human overpopulation are destroying the planet! Look at the remedies that are being offered in all this. Are you blind???

My favorite counter is: "With stakes so high, and with death so possible, shouldn't we do SOMETHING?" You mean change our entire economy based on a speculative scientific theory? Umm, no... I don't think we should do that.

Years ago, we heard all the talking heads parroting on the Glowing Box that the "hockey stick" AGW scenario was as real as could be. Now it's proven to be bunk. Who should we believe? A bunch of intercontinental politicians who increase their carbon footprint to attend IPCC conventions where everyone agrees with each other? Seems like such events present an area of unnecessary waste we could curtail immediately. But we don't. Why? What are the consequences of their recommendations? Will those recommendations work in reversing the "imminent threat"? How do we know? More government is not the cure for everything, yet we're told again and again that swift, expansive economic regulation by the world government(s) is how we're going to turn things around. While China and India get exemptions. Really? You believe ALL that? I am not saying anything that is not available in the digital ether for public consumption.

Ares Olympus said...

Rational wiki has a fun "The denial staircase" of 12 steps. I'd say I'm on #12 (Although its certainly debatable if its the "greatest threat to future generations", I might consider a mile-wide meteorite strike for instance), but I do think we're pretty much "locked in" to whatever future is going to happen, and whatever effects higher CO2 have, we're going to have them for centuries to come, whether a new garden of Eden or the desertification of the earth.

In contrast, Ivar Giaever also agrees with me that we're on a completely unsustainable path, and that population is a huge problem without an ever greater energy source than fossil fuels will ever provide for 9 billion people. But his savior is nuclear energy, and as a 1950's Physist we can understand his continued hope in "energy that's too cheap to meter" just around the corner to solve all our problems.

As they say, the stone age didn't end for a lack of stones, right, and we'll stop using fossil fuels when dilithium crystals come along, and laugh at the idea of burning fossiled dead stuff was a good way to run a civilization. As geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes said, "Oil is too valuable to burn."
Global warming deniers form a sliding scale of denial which is outlined below — in general these beliefs are designed to prevent action being taken.
1. Not only deny global warming, but insist the opposite is occurring (taken from the Conservapedia homepage). This probably goes beyond denialism and verges on the psychotic.
2. Simply deny global warming is happening[27] — and maintain that no action is necessary — an increasingly uncommon position.
3. Global warming is happening, but it’s not caused by humanity — so we don’t have to do anything.
4. Global warming is happening, and it is in part caused by humanity, but mostly it's caused by solar activity — so we don't have to do anything.
5. Global warming is happening, and it is in part caused by humanity, but predicting future emission levels is equivalent to astrology — so we don't have to do anything, Ehrlich![28]
6. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, but it may be a good thing — so we don’t have to do anything.[29]
7. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it may be a bad thing, but [insert emotional appeal and/or false dichotomy about how doing anything about it would prevent the world's poor from improving their lives] — so we don't have to do anything.
8. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it may be a bad thing, but there are still more serious crises that deserve higher priority — so we don't have to do anything.
9. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it is a bad thing, but China and India aren't doing anything — so we don’t have to do anything.[30]
10. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it is a bad thing, and maybe China and India are willing to do something, but I've heard about this new energy source/technology that's going to completely solve the problem in 10-20 years — so we don't have to do anything.
11. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it is a bad thing, but even if China and India do something it’s too late for us to do anything and it would cost us a shitload of dough — so we don’t have to do anything.
12. Global warming was happening, it was caused by humanity, it is a very bad thing and previous governments could and should have done something, but it's too late now!

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. The original video didn't play well, but I found it copied here, 30 minutes. Ivar Giaever: Global Warming Revisited (2015)

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Hey Ares,

Looks like the sun COULD "go to sleep" in 2020, creating a mini ice age:

SCIENCE says global temperatures will plummet because solar activity will drop 60% in the 2030-2040. Sounds like the "climate" might change. Or is it weather? After all, everyone knows weather is not climate, right?

This is curious, that SCIENCE is telling us this, because haven't skeptics been mentioning solar cycles as a possible explanation of temperature peaks and valleys? Haven't all the scientists been telling us it's all for an anthropomorphic reason, because of our use of fossil fuels? This seems strangely incongruous to the evidence SCIENCE is pointing to here.

Whodathunk that the sun could make such a difference?

And it wasn't even Ivar Giaever who told us about this! After all, he's a climate change "denier" which is somewhere on the subhuman spectrum after "skeptic" and "white male."

Do you think the IPCC climate models took such phenomena into account? How do you program in a "Maunder Minimum"? Wouldn't those climate models have to hold solar activity as a constant? After all, solar activity is not a not a factor, so they say. There have been Maunder Minimums before, in cycles precious to Cycle 26. The last mini ice age was before the internal combustion engine and high human populations, so this is particularly vexing.

Since this is evidence for climate phenomena that might impact global temperatures, I can only expect Pope Francis will consider it.

OMG, we only have five years!!!

So, should we do all kinds of crazy things to our economy, making multi-trillion dollar preparations? All because of something scientists say could happen? What does Ban Ki Moon and the rest of the United Nations think of this? Should we create a world government and get a bunch of scientists in a room to come up with a way to replace the sun??? Should we have Druids go to Stonehenge and pray to the sun to find out if this is true? Certainly no expense or investment would be too great to stop this solar-climatological freight train that is barreling toward us!


It's in the news, in a foreign newspaper, and -- I'm sure you would agree -- is therefore real. And the newspaper isn't even owned by Rupert Murdoch! But I do have to admit that the Koch brothers do fund a lot of scientific research, so perhaps this research is tainted. But SCIENCE says this may come to pass, so shouldn't we throw all caution to the wind and "do something"???


The scientist quoted is working at the Wilcox Solar Observatory in California, which is probably a very good one. And the scientist has a non-Anglo last name, which is really important because that means so's not tainted by Western ethnocentrism or influenced by greedy oil companies.

Even better, there's a Wikipedia article on the phenomenon, called a Maunder Minimum, so now it really must be true!

Where does the Maunder Minimum fit in your "climate change denial staircase"? #13?

Ares Olympus said...

Late update IAC, but I've been looking for opinions. Here ya go:
So, in order to trigger another Little Ice Age, a new grand solar minimum would have to cause about 1°C cooling, plus it would have to offset the continued human-caused global warming of 1 to 5°C by 2100, depending on how our greenhouse gas emissions change over the next century.

In the Jyllands-Posten article, Henrik Svensmark (the main scientist behind the hypothesis that the sun has a significant indirect impact on global climate via galactic cosmic rays) was a bit more measured, suggesting,

"I can imagine that it will become 0.2°C colder. I would be surprised if it became 1–2°C"

So these two articles are suggesting that a grand solar minimum could have a net cooling effect in the ballpark of 1 to 6°C, depending on how human greenhouse gas emissions change over the next century. Is it plausible that a grand solar minimum could make that happen?

The short answer is, 'No.'
The bottom line is that the sun and the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth are very stable. Even during the Maunder and Dalton grand solar minima, global cooling was relatively small - smaller than the amount of global warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions over the past century.

A new grand solar minimum would not trigger another LIA; in fact, the maximum 0.3°C cooling would barely make a dent in the human-caused global warming over the next century. While it would be enough to offset to about a decade's worth of human-caused warming, it's also important to bear in mind that any solar cooling would only be temporary, until the end of the solar minimum.

The science is quite clear that the human influence on climate change has become bigger than the sun's. At this point, speculation about another mini ice age is pure fantasy.

Ares Olympus said...

For IAC, a newer reply:
This month there's been a hoopla about a mini ice age, and unfortunately it tells us more about failures of science communication than the climate. Such failures can maintain the illusion of doubt and uncertainty, even when there's a scientific consensus that the world is warming.

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.

The first failure of science communication is present in the Royal Astronomical Society press release from July 9. It says that "solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s" without clarifying that this "solar activity" refers to a fall in the number of sunspots, not a dramatic fall in the life-sustaining light emitted by the sun.

The press release also omits crucial details. It does say that the drop in sunspots may resemble the Maunder minimum, a 17th century lull in solar activity, and includes a link to the Wikipedia article on the subject. The press release also notes that the Maunder minimum coincided with a mini ice age.

But that mini ice age began before the Maunder minimum and may have had multiple causes, including volcanism.

Crucially, the press release doesn't say what the implications of a future Maunder minimum are for climate.

As discussed previously, the impact of a new Maunder minimum on climate has been studied many times. There's 40% more CO2 in the air now than during the 17th century, and global temperature records are being smashed. A new Maunder minimum would slow climate change, but it is not enough to stop it.

Is there any quantitative basis for claims of a mini ice age? Zharkova and her colleagues have cited a 1997 article by Judith Lean, who showed the sun's brightness (quantified by solar irradiance) was 3 W per m2 less during the Maunder minimum than today. More recent studies, including those by Lean, find the solar irradiance varies less than was thought in 1997.

In plain English, the small change in sunlight reaching the Earth during a new Maunder minimum wouldn't be enough to reverse climate change. For the technically minded, even a 3 W per m2 change in irradiance corresponds to a radiative forcing of just 0.5 W per m2 (because the Earth is a sphere and not a flat circle), which is less than the radiative forcing produced by anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

To be blunt: no mini ice age for us. The real story of the impending mini ice age isn't about climate at all. It is a cautionary tale, of how science should and shouldn't be communicated.

The lessons to be learned from this is scientists must communicate their science concisely and accurately, especially if we are to avoid the media frenzy highlighted by the ABC's Media Watch. If scientists, science organisations and media aren't careful, they can inadvertently end up promoting dangerous misinformation.