Globally Bad Weather: A Musical and a Sweatshirt Tribute

Mike Mish Shedlock

Retail spending is down in the US and the UK. Don't worry, there's globally bad weather everywhere one looks.

Bloomberg reports U.K. Consumer Spending Growth Cools to Weakest in Almost Two Years.

U.K. household spending grew at the slowest pace in almost two years last month as freezing weather kept shoppers at home.

Annual consumption growth slowed to 2 percent, the weakest since April 2016, Barclaycard said in a report on Tuesday. Spending in stores fell 1.9 percent as Britons opted for online shopping as the “Beast from the East” snowstorm engulfed the country.

A separate survey by the British Retail Consortium found modest sales growth in a “volatile” March. The industry group said that despite the extreme cold, the early timing of Easter helped bolster sales toward the end of the month.

US Retail Sales

Meanwhile, Back in the States ....

It appears we have had continually bad weather since November.

I happen to have a musical tribute

Meanwhile, In South Korea

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (6)
No. 1-6

Weather is warming up now, so is the PPT gonna come out to play?


"U.K. household spending grew at the slowest pace in almost two years last month as freezing weather kept shoppers at home." Weren't winters supposed to have become warmer and less snowy?


Some thinkers are putting the recent weather down to the onset of a "grand solar minimum" cycle which will last on for the next 3-5 decades. Right now we are the bottom of a local solar cycle, and each successive cycle of just a few years will bring about colder weather.

I find that these cycles are usually charted by number of sunspots and there is indeed right now not a single sunspot on the sun's surface. Here's a couple of charts:


The most pessimistic proponents of the solar minimum theory liken this and the next coming few decades to the "Dalton Minimum," or even "Maunder Minimum;" which was the climax of the previous "Little Ice Age" of the post-medieval warm period.

That would seem to be our worst case scenario, and it likely means among other things: famines. Though it isn't at all clear who shall be the victims of these hypothetical famines when taking future global economic forces into consideration.

But, some thinkers have gone even further than this and pointed to evidence that the earth's magnetic field is weakening at an accelerating rate (the expansion of the south-atlantic anomaly) and that we may see a pole-reversal shift within our lifetimes (the magnetic poles keep accelerating), extrapolating the exponential curve.

Together with a solar minimum this means maximised exposure to cosmic rays, and taken alone this predicts maximised subterranean activity. Thus more implications on our weather than I could possibly enumerate, but the picture they're trying to paint is clear: throw in a socio-economic disaster and a few plagues (maybe swine-flu and bird-flu recombine into something as deadly as the black death - which could actually happen) and you've got yourself a beautiful "Winter is Coming!" Game of Thrones type doomsday scenario on our hands. Wonderful.


However, optimists and sceptics point out that both the science of predicting these solar cycles is underdeveloped, and earth's magnetic field changes even more so. Proponents of doomsday dramas are of course always biased to paint these gruesome futures because that's what entertains them and draws them an easy audience. What mainstream consensus there is suggest that a little cooling may come, but that it will be canceled out by global warming trends as CO2 continues to accumulate in the atmosphere.

So nobody who doesn't enjoy panicking is panicking just yet. But boy if weather in the US goes on like this for long enough, some big names in the science world may lose their nerve. :)

Global Economics