Science and scientists are falling into what the greatest physicist produced by the USA, Richard Feynman, called "Cargo Cult Science." To wit:
The term cargo cult science was first used by the physicist Richard Feynman during his commencement address at the California Institute of Technology, United States, in 1974, to negatively characterize research in the soft sciences (psychology and psychiatry in particular) - arguing that they have the semblance of being scientific, but are missing "a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty". Feynman used the allegory of a cargo-cultist to argue against an inductive approach to scientific theory whereby the previous behavior of a system is taken in isolation to predict its future performance, rather than a deductive approach in developing theory based on an understanding of the principles of operation of the system, informed and confirmed by previous behavior.....Just as cargo cultists create mock airports that fail to produce airplanes, cargo cult scientists conduct flawed research that superficially resembles the scientific method, but which fails to produce scientifically useful results.
Feynman cautioned that to avoid becoming cargo cult scientists, researchers must first of all avoid fooling themselves, be willing to question and doubt their own theories and their own results, and investigate possible flaws in a theory or an experiment. He recommended that researchers adopt an unusually high level of honesty which is rarely encountered in everyday life, and gives examples from advertising, politics, and behavioral psychology to illustrate the everyday dishonesty which should be unacceptable in science. Feynman cautions that "We've learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature's phenomena will agree or they'll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven't tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it's this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in Cargo Cult Science."
The idiots in question who evidently exhibit a quasi-religious belief in AGW are Germans, always a bit loony when it comes to voodoo religious phenomena and subject to "St. Vitus' Dance" collective mythologies in times of distress and general fearfulness, such as during the Black Death, when the collective misbehavior of the Germans was noted by historians of other nationalities.
A new Maunder-type solar activity minimum cannot offset the global warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions," wrote authors Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf, noting that forecasts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have found a range of 3.7 Celsius to 4.5 Celsius rise by this century's end compared to the latter half of the 20th century.
"Moreover, any offset of global warming due to a grand minimum of solar activity would be merely a temporary effect, since the distinct solar minima during the last millennium typically lasted for only several decades or a century at most."
Only several decades or a century at most? Thank you, Georg & Stefan.
UPDATE: A non-idiot named Frank Hill, at the National Solar Observatory noted:
"The solar cycle may be going into a hiatus....This is highly unusual and unexpected....but the fact that three completely different views of the sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation."
Here are explanations and the conclusions that Hill derived from his team's research:
Sunspots are temporary patches on the surface of the sun that are caused by intense magnetic activity. These structures sometimes erupt into energetic solar storms that send streams of charged particles into space.
Since powerful charged particles from solar storms can occasionally wreak havoc on Earth's magnetic field by knocking out power grids or disrupting satellites in orbit, a calmer solar cycle could have its advantages.
Astronomers study mysterious sunspots because their number and frequency act as indicators of the sun's activity, which ebbs and flows in an 11-year cycle. Typically, a cycle takes roughly 5.5 years to move from a solar minimum, when there are few sunspots, to the solar maximum, during which sunspot activity is amplified.
Currently, the sun is in the midst of the period designated as Cycle 24 and is ramping up toward the cycle's period of maximum activity. However, the recent findings indicate that the activity in the next 11-year solar cycle, Cycle 25, could be greatly reduced. In fact, some scientists are questioning whether this drop in activity could lead to a second Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period from 1645 to 1715 when the sun showed virtually no sunspots. [Video: Rivers of Fire Inflame Sunspots]
Hill is the lead author of one of the studies that used data from the Global Oscillation Network Group to look at characteristics of the solar interior. (The group includes six observing stations around the world.) The astronomers examined an east-west zonal wind flow inside the sun, called torsional oscillation. The latitude of this jet stream matches the new sunspot formation in each cycle, and models successfully predicted the late onset of the current Cycle 24.
"We expected to see the start of the zonal flow for Cycle 25 by now, but we see no sign of it," Hill said. "The flow for Cycle 25 should have appeared in 2008 or 2009. This leads us to believe that the next cycle will be very much delayed, with a minimum longer than the one we just went through."
Hill estimated that the start of Cycle 25 could be delayed to 2021 or 2022 and will be very weak, if it even happens at all.
The second study's conclusions use different methodologies, but come to essentially the same conclusion that a long-term period of solar cooling [as happened in the sixties & seventies in the northern hemisphere] might be in store for our planet after three decades of GW.
In the second study, researchers tracked a long-term weakening trend in the strength of sunspots, and predict that by the next solar cycle, magnetic fields erupting on the sun will be so weak that few, if any, sunspots will be formed.
With more than 13 years of sunspot data collected at the McMath-Pierce Telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona, Matt Penn and William Livingston observed that the average magnetic field strength declined significantly during Cycle 23 and now into Cycle 24. Consequently, sunspot temperatures have risen, they observed.
If the trend continues, the sun's magnetic field strength will drop below a certain threshold and sunspots will largely disappear; the field no longer will be strong enough to overcome such convective forces on the solar surface.
In a separate study, Richard Altrock, manager of the Air Force's coronal research program at NSO's facility in New Mexico, examined the sun's corona and observed a slowdown of the magnetic activity's usual "rush to the poles."
"A key thing to understand is that those wonderful, delicate coronal features are actually powerful, robust magnetic structures rooted in the interior of the sun," Altrock said. "Changes we see in the corona reflect changes deep inside the sun."
Altrock sifted through 40 years of observations from NSO's 16-inch (40 centimeters) coronagraphic telescope.
New solar activity typically emerges at a latitude of about 70 degrees at the start of the solar cycle, then moves toward the equator. The new magnetic field simultaneously pushes remnants of the past cycle as far as 85 degrees toward the poles. The current cycle, however, is showing some different behavior.
"Cycle 24 started out late and slow and may not be strong enough to create a rush to the poles, indicating we'll see a very weak solar maximum in 2013, if at all," Altrock said. "If the rush to the poles fails to complete, this creates a tremendous dilemma for the theorists, as it would mean that Cycle 23's magnetic field will not completely disappear from the polar regions. … No one knows what the sun will do in that case."
If the models prove accurate and the trends continue, the implications could be far-reaching.
"If we are right, this could be the last solar maximum we'll see for a few decades," Hill said. "That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth's climate."
No one knows what the sun will do in that case except Georg & Stefan, and they ain't talking.....!
"Live Science has a piece published June 6th reviewing some of the past sunspot histories and what scientists who actually don't jump to conclusions like Georg & Stefan theorize what may be going on.
A dearth of bright spots on the sun might have contributed to a frigid period known as the "little ice age" in the middle of the past millennium, researchers suggest.
From the 1500s to the 1800s, much of Europe and North America were plunged into what came to be called the little ice age. The coolest part of this cold spell coincided with a 75-year period beginning in 1645 when astronomers detected almost no sunspots on the sun, a time now referred to as the Maunder Minimum.
Past studies had mulled over whether the decreased solar activity seen during the Maunder Minimum might have helped cause the little ice age. Although sunspots are cool, dark regions on the sun, their absence suggests there was less solar activity in general. Now scientists suggest there might have been fewer intensely bright spots known as faculae on the sun as well during that time, potentially reducing its brightness enough to cool the Earth.
The dip in the number of faculae in the 17th century might have dimmed the sun by just 0.2 percent, which may have been enough to help trigger a brief, radical climate shift on Earth, researcher Peter Foukal, a solar physicist at research company Heliophysics in Nahant, Mass., told LiveScience.
"The sun may have dimmed more than we thought," Foukal said.
Foukal emphasized this dimming might not have been the only or even main cause of the cooling seen during the little ice age. "There were also strong volcanic effects involved — something like 17 huge volcanic eruptions then," he said.
Foukal also cautioned these findings regarding the sun did not apply to modern-day global warming. "Increased solar activity would not have anything to do with the global warming seen in the last 100 years," he explained.
Caution is always better than religious certainty.