# Thread: The coming--or not--"mini ice age" as a Fermi Problem

1. ## The coming--or not--"mini ice age" as a Fermi Problem

This is for the math folk.

In his excellent book Physics of Societal Issues: Calculations on National Security, Environment, and Energy, physicist David Hafemeister says that he wants to teach his students to think like the great Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi. That sounds like a worthy goal, but why Fermi in particular? The answer to that question has two parts.

First, the main premise of Hafemeister’s book is that societal issues should whenever possible be quantified before attempting to formulate possible solutions. Second, a corollary to that premise is that the best way to start the quantification process is to frame the issue as a Fermi problem. But what exactly is a Fermi problem?
The societal issue that will be framed as a Fermi problem is the periodically and recently reported prediction that Earth is headed for a mini ice age in a decade or so, due to an unusually large reduction in the Sun’s energy output around that time. See for example environmental scientist Dana Nuccitelli’s informative article "The 'imminent mini ice age' myth is back, and it's still wrong"
Agricultural scientist Sou, the keeper of the valuable HotWhopper website, did us a considerable favor when she transcribed[4] Radio National New Zealand’s 13 July 2015 interview of Professor Zharkova.[5] Professor Zharkova seemingly just wanted to talk about her solar research, but was repeatedly pressed by the interviewer to opine on what her research meant for human-caused climate change. After demurring several times on the grounds that she was a solar physicist, not a climatologist, she finally ventured a guess. Here is a key quote of Professor Zharkova from the RNZ interview:

… the solar irradiance which comes to the earth will drop to the level that say like the Maunder Minima in 1645-1700, which was about 3 W/m2 reduced irradiance from the sun.

And here is another:

So it will be temperature less irradiance by 3 W/m2 which gives you a decrease of the temperature probably a couple of degrees. I don't know umm.
As it turns out, when it comes to Earth’s surface temperature, Professor Zharkova really doesn’t know, since as we shall see her guess is too big by an order of magnitude, according to those who do know; we are however prepared to accept her figure for the drop in solar irradiance, since that is her field of expertise.

(Note: The Maunder Minimum[6] contributed to, but was neither the initiator nor the sole cause of the so-called Little Ice Age.[7][8])

Equipped with Professor Zharkova’s estimate for the drop in solar irradiance, we are now ready to set up the Fermi problem, or actually two Fermi problems, to boost confidence in the answers.
The first model we shall use is the simple n-layer model of the atmosphere.
In this model, the formula for the average surface temperature T (in units of K = kelvins) of the Earth is:[10]

T = [(n + 1)S (1 - α )/(4σ )]¼ (1)

The quantities appearing in the RHS (right-hand side) of Eqn. (1) are

n = number of atmospheric layers
S = solar constant (in units of W/m2 = watts per square meter)[12]
α = Earth’s albedo (reflectivity to solar radiation)[13]
σ = Stefan–Boltzmann constant = 5.67X10-8 (W/m2)/K4 (K = kelvin = unit of absolute temperature)[14]
As we saw above, according to Professor Zharkova the decrement ΔS in the solar constant S will be 3 W/m2. Now it might be supposed that in order to plug that value into Eqn. (1) to estimate the decrement ΔT in the average surface temperature T we would need to know the putative number of layers n in Earth’s atmosphere; however, that is not the case.

Instead we proceed by defining the sensitivity of T to S as the ratio of the relative change in T to the relative change in S:

Sensitivity = (ΔT/T )/(ΔS/S) (2)

Applying Eqn. (2) to Eqn. (3) (this step requires elementary differential calculus) we find that:

Sensitivity = ¼

This is a very fortunate result since it means that the sensitivity is independent of the value of n.

We can now calculate the value of ΔT as follows:

ΔT = Sensitivity×(T/S )×ΔS = ¼×(288/1360)×(-3) = -0.16 °C

Here we have made use of the following facts[10]

T = 288 K (= 15 °C, just so you know)
S =1360 W/m2 = present value of the solar constant
The Kelvin and Celsius temperature scales use degrees of the same size
But the above value for ΔT doesn't take into account the fast climate feedbacks (i.e., the feedbacks that operate on the century timescale).[10][15] The rule of thumb is that the feedbacks roughly double the effect, so we have:

ΔT ≈ -0.3 °C with feedbacks (retaining only one significant figure)

This value is indeed an order of magnitude lower than Professor Zharkova’s “couple of degrees.”
The second model we use is based on the simplified equations of the WGI (Working Group I) contribution to TAR (Third Assessment Report) of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), which is available both in book form[16] and as a PDF file.[17] The model we need consists of Eqn. (6.1) on p. 354 of TAR WGI:

ΔT = 0.5 ΔF TAR WGI (6.1)

The quantity ΔF in the RHS of the above equation is the change in the radiative forcing F and in this case is the same as the decrement in the solar constant ΔS but divided by 4 to account for the curvature of the Earth’s surface.[10] We therefore calculate as follows:

ΔT = 0.5×(-3)/4 ≈ -0.4 °C (again retaining only one significant figure)

This time we don’t need to double the result because the TAR Eqn. (6.1) already has the effects of the fast climate feedbacks built into it.
How do these solutions to the Fermi problems compare with the numbers obtained by actual climate scientists using more sophisticated approaches? We return to the article by Dana Nuccitelli for an answer:[3]

The most important takeaway point is that the scientific research is clear – were one to occur, a grand solar minimum would temporarily reduce global temperatures by less than 0.3°C...
Agreement is good!

When we combine these results with the following facts[10]

1 °C of warming has already taken place since the advent of the Industrial revolution
There is additional committed warming in the pipeline due to the high thermal inertia of the climate system
The stock of CO2 in the atmosphere is still going up
CO2 once added to the atmosphere stays there for centuries to millennia, whereas

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3. The mini ice age is starting in the 2020's, it will culminate in the 2030's and if history repeats itself, many will die directly or indirectly from reasons related to it. If we are prepared and more wise this time around, we will get through it with some relatively minor bruises. I don't have much if any faith in our incompetent leaders, but I still don't see the future as necessarily grim even though I know how humans can be in their cruelty and selfishness. Either our species will come together through the catastrophe or kill each others in wars which will ensue from it.

Only time will show what will happen. Even if man has abanoned God in his arrogance, God hasn't abandoned us.

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5. Unfortunately, the science estimates that it won't, in fact, occur...I guess that's not a surprise but if it does...hallelujah because it would reduce the impact of warming, if only for a little while.

It is a very good point about 'quantification' because it is the lack of consideration for such an important factor that begins many senseless arguments that propagate up and down from the top echelons to us little people.

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7. From my research:

The sun has gone from a G star (yellow) to an F (white):

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/sub...tartypes.shtml

...and is now hotter. Also, we have entered a hotter region of space. All the planets have shown signs of getting hotter, Earth has had a massive amount of chemtrailing (sprayed aerosols) to reflect as much sun energy back into space as possible by the deep state to perpetuate as close to normal temperatures, BUT we can see the permafrost melting in many locations.

Sorry, no ice age coming, but a pole shift and increasing chaotic sun energy with many more Coronal Mass Ejections in our near future.

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9. Ah, still buying the old global warming lie? Well, let's hope it gets warmer, because I don't like cold. Especially freezing to death.

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11. *Skips past all the equations and stuff* :spinning:

One of them other folk who said something about 'pole reversal', might have been Braden in the 90's.. but keep thinking it was someone else... not Nassim, but maybe too. gee. not that it matters..

One of'em speaking about the action of a pole shift where the magnetism of the spin and pole is a bit like the mechanics of a magnetic storage device? Interrelated were accounts of the Hopi and such commenting on 3 days of static night (or day), and then recommencement where the sun then tracked across the sky in the opposite direction.
The point was that this action could maybe have a reset effect, a hard drive wiping effect within things, including beings. Maybe the source of the human amnesia.

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13. Good idea!

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15. Originally posted by Wind
Ah, still buying the old global warming lie? Well, let's hope it gets warmer, because I don't like cold. Especially freezing to death.

Global Warming is an article of faith for the clueless and intellect challenged. Problem is, the challenged are incapable of knowing their limits. They preen and strut like emperors with no clothes believing they are well covered. "Send In The Clowns" is the theme song for Global Warming and the shoddy globalist plans to deceive.

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17. Originally posted by NotAPretender
Good idea!
I expect it must be hilarious watching from the outside, as the fish examine the glass with wonder and tell fables upon the murky distortions they try to make out beyond it.

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19. Well, I believe the entire solar system is warming (and thusly earth) so it is not human carbon dioxide emission per Al Gore and his fellow reptiles.

I started down the New Maunder Minimum path about 10 years ago and once felt a cold spell was on the horizon as well, but, unfortunately it is much more complicated than that.

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21. well since emissions ain't no thing...I think I'll go out a buy me a 1957 Batmobile..

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23. Emissions still pollute the air which can still make us sick, global warming or no. (I know you know that)

I'm most fond of the idea that the whole solar system is lighting up.

As far as I know, earth has had a pretty steady stream of warming trends followed by cooling and the only question is really when does the next changeover happen?

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25. Yes, please understand that pollution of every type is a massive problem. CO2 is the head fake the deep state uses as a cover for the sun heating up.

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27. Originally posted by Dumpster Diver
Yes, please understand that pollution of every type is a massive problem. CO2 is the head fake the deep state uses as a cover for the sun heating up.
The myth that carbon dioxide emissions would be the cause of climate change is nothing other than an economically and politically exploitable guilt trip. Humans and vertebrate animals exhale carbon dioxide. Therefore, putting the blame for climate change on carbon dioxide emissions allows them to...

• further curtail our liberties;
• instate a carbon tax; and
• trade carbon credits with countries whose carbon dioxide emissions stay below the legally established threshold.

The latter is of course just another way to shuffle the money around. Because in the end, money is all that matters to a politician. Well, money and fame.

First of all, carbon dioxide may indeed be a greenhouse gas, but the total amount of carbon dioxide makes up for only 0.04% of the atmosphere, while water vapor, which is also a greenhouse gas, is present in far greater quantities.

Secondly, if they were so concerned with an increase in carbon dioxide, then all they'd have to do is stop cutting down the rainforest and stop the proliferation of more polluting industry, because plants absorb carbon dioxide and release pure oxygen as part of their photosynthesis process. It's the perfect symbiosis between plant and vertebrate. We produce what they need, and they produce what we need.

In addition to that, the junk that they're spraying by way of their chemtrails and which is supposed to reflect the sunlight back into space, is eventually going to have to come down again. And it does, and then it pollutes the soil and the water — both the water we drink and the water that fish swim in. The result is poisoned water, poisoned soil, poisoned vegetables, and lots of dead fish. They're probably killing off more lifeforms that way than the amount of species that would supposedly vanish when Earth's climate gets too hot.

Lastly, the dinosaurs ruled the Earth for approximately 165 million years. In that time, Earth has passed through the galactic equator thousands of times, and there were many temperature variations. Apparently it didn't kill the dinosaurs, and even though it is said that they eventually became extinct because of a meteor impact in Mexico, there is ample zoological evidence that dinosaurs have simply evolved into birds.

Life will adapt. It always has. It is incredibly arrogant — and stupid — to assume that mankind is the master and ruler of life on this planet, not to mention that they're willfully ignoring the warming of all other celestial bodies in the solar system.

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29. One has to take a close look at the numbers. Frankly, I read a series of articles concerning the 'state of truth' in current society and while I was put off by the general dismissal of certain 'conspiracy theories' it did examine the numbers of global warming. Most counter-arguments to the factors leading to warming are incomplete in their analysis of what, why, and when. A good example is the analysis that Dreamtimer put up in the OP.

Another example is the general warming of the Solar System. I, for one, have been debating with myself for quite some time how that impacts Earth's temperatures and warming. It turns out scientists have 'included' that factor into the math and it is not a mathematically significant contributor any way.

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