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SOLAR CONNECTION November 1, 2008

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Professor William Alexander

Professor William Alexander

Via E-mail

By Professor Will Alexander

Friday 31 October 2008

Multiyear anomalies in the climatic data and their synchronous linkage with solar activity (the sunspot cycle) have been known and reported for more than a century. Notwithstanding the wealth of evidence, the IPCC and his adherents continue to deny the solar linkage. It threatens their claims that the increasing undesirable greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity will cause rising global temperatures, with a whole range of damaging consequences, including floods and droughts.

While our observational evidence is solid, we lacked a theoretical basis for the multiyear grouping of these sequences and their linkage with solar activity. My professional colleague and co-author Fred Bailey in the UK has provided the theoretical basis. He is a retired naval architect. He therefore has a sound knowledge of the movement of ships on the high seas. Wave action forces them to accelerate and decelerate, tilt from side to side and forward and backward as they move from one point to another. Gravity plays a part as it keeps the ships upright.

These are the reactions of the vessel to the physical forces that act on it. They can be calculated mathematically

The sun and the orbiting planets are subject to similar motions as the solar system moves through galactic space. These motions can be calculated mathematically. Once this is known, the ever-changing distance between the earth and the sun can also be calculated. Finally, this leads to the calculation of the changes in solar energy received on earth and all its climatic consequences.

This is the missing link in the whole climate change debate. It comes at an opportune time. The earth stopped warming 10 years ago. The sun is unusually quiet as the regular sunspots have yet to appear. Droughts have started in parts of South Africa. Many parts of the northern hemisphere are experiencing abnormally cold weather for this time of the year, despite claims of global warming.

Returning to earth, despite all those claims that road and air transport activities are contributing to global warming, increasing intercity road traffic congestion in South Africa is a pain. The departure lounges of our airports are more like bus stations. Our coal exports are increasing. The global economic situation is a setback but it gives us time to catch up infrastructure development and develop poverty alleviation measures.

It is with increasing amusement that we watch the frantic efforts of the WWF and other environmental NGOs. Their Doomsday scenarios have increased in frequency and intensity as the rest of the world passes them by.

Africa has many problems. Scientists should be searching for solutions instead of disseminating their provably false and alarmist scenarios. If implemented, these can only increase joblessness, poverty and misery of millions of people on this continent.

Read the rest of Professor Alexander’s memo, click the “more” button below

Memo 42/08
Solar connection
Will Alexander

Friday 31 October 2008

Lord Kelvin’s Legacy

Some of you may recall Lord Kelvin’s address to the Royal Society in the 1890s when he stated that there was no linkage between sunspot activity and the world’s climate. You may also recall that he maintained that heavier than air machines could never fly. One of my grandsons reminded me that the Queen reprimanded Lord Kelvin in the novel Around the world in 80 days. He must have been quite a character.
It seems that the present Royal Society has followed Lord Kelvin’s path. It not only continues to deny the solar connection (by implication) but has issued requests to the media not to report the views of climate change sceptics, despite the requirements of freedom of expression.

Now let us move on to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was established 20 years ago. It is reported to have thousands of supporters. Something strange is happening. In its assessment reports to decision-makers, it has forcibly and unequivocally continued with Lord Kelvin’s view that there is no linkage between variations in the earth’s climate and synchronous variations in received solar energy.
The IPCC’s assessment reports rely on the output of complex global climate mathematical models (GCMs) to support their views on the threats to life on our planet. Yet these same models are unable to predict whether next year’s rainfall will be above or below average.

Putting this all together I smell a rat. (Shakespeare put it more politely). Let me make it quite clear – there is a cover-up in progress. It all hinges around the relationship between variations in received solar energy and the consequent variations in the earth’s climate. The IPCC and its supporters are adamant that no such causal relationship exists. This is despite the huge volume of observations stretching over a period of more than a hundred years that demonstrates that there is indeed a connection.

In this memo I describe the monumental work by my professional colleague and co-author Fred Bailey on this subject. I begin with some simple examples that explain the basic principles and then continue with a short description of Fred Bailey’s work. Those who have a closer interest are advised to purchase his book and to study it in detail.

As a result of Fred Bailey’s studies it is now possible to predict abnormalities in hemispherical climate not only for next year but for centuries ahead. This is completely beyond the capability of the GCMs and those who believe in them.

The basics

The whole climate alarmist theory in South Africa and internationally, rests on the output of global climate models (GCMs). The fundamental assumption in all these models is that the world’s climate is in a near constant, stable condition. Human activities (principally undesirable greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere), will upset that stable condition and result in a whole range of disastrous consequences, eventually leading to the end of life on this planet.

It has long been known that the earth’s climate is by no means constant on any time scale. It is known for example, that there was an abnormally cold period when the Thames River froze over, called the Maunder Minimum. There was another unusually warm sequence of years called the Medieval Warm period.
The IPCC’s 2001 assessment reports contained the infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph that showed a dramatic increase in global temperatures in recent years that it ascribed to human activities. It deliberately suppressed these well-documented historical groupings of above and below average hemispherical temperatures. This raised a furore among concerned scientists but the IPCC was unrepentant. It has yet to admit that it made a serious mistake and misled the decision-makers.

We all know that it is the energy received from the sun that drives the earth’s climate. It follows that any irregularities in the receipt of this energy on earth will be reflected in changes in the earth’s climate.
The problem, until now, was the causal linkage between the solar activity and the earth’s climate. Climate alarmists steadfastly maintain that the sun’s output is constant and that it cannot cause variations in the earth’s climate. They missed the point. As a consequence they have been unable to explain the causes of the well-known and well documented climatic variations that include the Maunder Minimum and the Medieval Warm periods, right down to the regular multiyear El Niño and La Nina phenomena. It is the predictable changes in solar energy received on earth that is the issue.

My co-author Fred Bailey has made a breakthrough. In his book Textbook of gravity, sunspots and climate, he provides details in a readily understandable format. As he explains, his method is based on the sound principles of physics and, unlike the GCMs, his calculations can be replicated by others who have an interest in this subject.

In the notes below I explain the basis for his method and his conclusions using simple examples that everybody should be able to understand. All that is required is a little imagination and common sense.

Example #1
Imagine a seesaw in a children’s playground. You have a pet fox terrier. You place it at one end of the seesaw and instruct it to sit. You climb onto the other side of the seesaw. Where will you sit so that the seesaw is in a horizontal position? Obviously much closer to the pivot. Mathematically, your distance from the pivot multiplied by your weight must be equal to the fox terrier’s distance multiplied by its weight.
Now assume that you instruct your Alsatian to sit somewhere on the same side of the seesaw as the fox terrier. Obviously you will have to sit further from the pivot to keep the seesaw horizontal. You can also calculate this distance mathematically.
To make things a little more difficult, assume that you and the fox terrier sit on one side, while the Alsatian sits on the other. Again your distance from the pivot can be calculated.

Example #2
Assume that you hammer a large nail through a thin plank of wood. Turn it upside down and place one of those old gramophone records on the sharp point of the nail. It will be horizontal. But before you do this, draw two concentric circles on the record, one near the outer edge and the other near the middle. Also, using a ruler draw two lines at right angles across the record. For reference purposes mark the four ends of the lines north, east, south and west.
You have an old chess set. Take two pieces, a bishop and a knight. Place the knight in the northern position on the outer circle and the bishop also in the northern position on the centre circle.
Now take the king, which is the heaviest piece in the chess set. Where will you place it so that the record remains horizontal? Obviously somewhere along the southern line. This distance can be calculated.
Assume that the bishop and the knight move around their circular orbits in the same direction but at different speeds. The reciprocal movement of the king can be calculated. When the other two pieces are on the same side of the record, the king will be further from the pivot than when they are on opposite sides. During its orbit the king will therefore move closer to or further from the pivot depending on the relative positions of the other two pieces.

Example #3
Now draw another circle on the record close to the centre. Place a pawn on this circle. Fasten a torch battery onto the king and light bulb onto the king’s crown. These make the king much heavier than the other pieces.
Now comes a very important observation. The pawn follows a circular path around the pivot and NOT around the king. It has the least weight of all the pieces and therefore has very little influence on the position of the king.
As the bishop and the knight move at different speeds along their circular paths, the king will have to occupy a reciprocal position in order to keep the record in a horizontal position. This means that the distance between the king and the pawn will vary. At times the pawn will receive more light from the torch bulb and at other times less light.

Example #4
To make matters slightly more difficult, the pawn is not upright but has a permanent tilt in a northerly direction. When the pawn is north of the king its base will receive more light from the king than its top, and vice versa when it is south of the king.

The real world

The above examples are my explanation of the basic principles involved. We can now start examining Fred Bailey’s report. The interpretations are mine. I have oversimplified some of the concepts but the fundamentals are sound and the conclusions are solid.

The sun and its planets have what is called the solar system’s centre of mass (SSCM). Each of the planets orbits the SSCM and jointly they have a planetary centre of mass (PCM). The position of the PCM varies according to the relative positions of the planets. The sun must always occupy a reciprocal position on the opposite side of the SSCM to that occupied by the PCM but much closer to the SSCM because of its large mass.

The location of the PCM at any point in time can be calculated mathematically. Once this is known, the position of the centre of the sun can also be calculated. The sun moves closer to and further from the SSCM depending on the ‘leverage’ exerted by the combined positions of the planets at any given time.
The radiation from the sun received by the earth not only varies depending on the earth’s distance from the sun. Because the earth is tilted on its axis, the earth’s hemispheres will receive relatively different amounts of energy depending on whether at a particular time the northern or southern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun. (I am not referring to seasonal variations.)

Let me explain. When the sun’s displacement is furthest from the SSCM its orbital velocity must be greater than when it is closer to the SSCM. The sun must therefore accelerate and decelerate as it moves towards and away from the SSCM.

There is another complication. The earth orbits the SSCM once every 12 months but the sun orbits the SSCM every 11 years or so. It is obvious that the greater the displacement of the sun from the SSCM, the greater the seasonal differences in the earth’s climate as it orbits the SSCM. (It does not orbit the sun).
Taking this one step further, if the earth’s axis is tilted say towards the north position and the sun’s maximum displacement from the SSCM is also towards the north position, then the earth’s southern hemisphere will be closer to the sun during its summer, than the distance of the northern hemisphere from the sun six months later.

While the theory is straightforward the mathematical calculations require a lot of work. Fred Bailey takes the readers through all the processes in his book which includes 39 illustrations.
His two most important illustrations for first-time readers are Figures 29 and 33. Fig 29 shows the annual positions of the planetary centre of mass relative to the orbit of Jupiter (which is used as a reference) during the Medieval Warm Period 1263 to 1306. Fig 33 shows the positions of the PCMs during the Maunder Minimum cold period 1662 to 1703. Bear in mind that the sun will always be in a reciprocal position much closer to the SSCM. In the immediately preceding figures in his book he shows the continuous tracks of the PCM during these periods.

You should note the following when interpreting these two figures.

• Received solar energy increases with increasing distance of the PCM (and therefore the reciprocal distance of the sun) from the SSCM. This is because the further that the sun is displaced from the SSCM, the closer the earth approaches it and recedes from it as the earth orbits the SSCM.
• The northern shaded quadrant represents periods when the northern hemisphere received proportionately more radiation than the southern hemisphere and vice versa. This is related to the direction of the tilt of the earth’s axis relative to the position of the sun.
• The unshaded areas represent periods when the two hemispheres received proportionately much the same radiation, i.e. the earth’s tilt was at right angles to the direction of the sun and not towards or away from it.
Given this information, note not only the preponderance of years when the northern hemisphere was tilted towards the sun during the Medieval Warm Period but also the greater solar displacement distances from the SSCM, particularly during the period 1302 to 1305. The combination of the two resulted in an unusually warm period in the northern hemisphere at that time.

Fig 33, shows virtually the opposite situation. During the Maunder Minimum period both the number of years and the magnitude of the sun’s displacement were appreciably less in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere. This resulted in an unusually cold period in the northern hemisphere during which the Thames River froze on occasion.

Now perhaps everybody will understand the complexity of the calculations required to describe the motions of the components of the solar system; the changes in distance between the earth and the sun; the consequent changes in solar energy received on earth; and on occasion the differences between the energy received in the northern and southern hemispheres.

The decade ahead

For the technically minded, Fig 25 on the front page of this memo is a two-dimensional representation of the four-dimensional (three space and one time dimension) movement of the PCM through galactic space for the period 2005 to 2017. We are now in the middle of this period. The track of the PCM is towards the viewer in this figure. The reciprocal track of the sun can be seen in the figure in my last memo 41/08.
Note that the location of the PCM is only about half way to Jupiter’s orbit and remains at this distance for the whole period. This means that the acceleration and deceleration of the sun will be minimal during this period. The dense interior of the sun will not be subject to sudden changes of direction, so the sun will produce fewer sunspots and flares. It is not until 2017 that the PCM will move outwards towards Jupiter’s orbit once more. Does all of this ring a bell? I have seen several predictions of a quiet period of solar activity through to about 2015 to 2017 but not one of them has provided the reasons for this as described in this memo.

Another consequence is that the reduced changes in energy received will minimise the redistribution of this energy through the atmospheric and oceanic systems. This is another very important observation that climatologists overlook. It must be understood that received solar energy drives the atmospheric and oceanic energy redistribution systems. It is the changes in these energy redistribution systems that are responsible for climatic variability, not changes in the received energy per se. When the sun is in a quiet phase, these energy redistribution systems are less active, rainfall decreases and droughts prevail.

Another professional colleague and co-author David Bredenkamp who is an expert geohydrologist, is actively involved in these energy redistribution process studies.

All of this agrees with my predictions based on an analysis of an extensive hydrometeorological database. Putting all our studies together, they provide irrefutable proof of the dominant role of variations in received solar energy on synchronous variations in the earth’s climate.

In his book Fred Bailey describes the far more complex four-dimensional movement of the components of the solar system. This includes their acceleration, deceleration and gravitational interactions. He then continues with the final step which is the calculated changes in energy (watts) received on earth as a result of the ever-changing distance between the earth and the sun.
Refutation of climate alarmism

Fred Bailey’s studies refute the fundamental assumption that the solar energy received on earth is sensibly constant and has no influence on variations in the earth’s climate. The opposite is true. It is the dominant cause of these variations.

His studies provide evidence of the causes of the two well-documented prolonged warm and cold periods experienced in the northern hemisphere several centuries ago. Even the existence of these periods is implicitly denied in the 2001 IPCC documents (the hockey stick). Furthermore as shown in our five-authored joint paper Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development published in June 2007, and my subsequent article The likelihood of a global drought in 2009-2016 published in June 2008<click here for paper>, the multi-year periodicity in the hydrometeorological data is synchronous with the variations in received solar energy described by Fred Bailey in his book.

Our studies demonstrate where the alarmists and the contributors to the IPCC reports have got it all wrong. It also explains why they are unable to produce usable predictions for the years ahead. They should have spent more time studying the swings, seesaws and roundabouts in children’s playgrounds than fruitlessly manipulating their global climate models.


1. John Blethen - November 1, 2008

Only one problem: Alexander implies that during the MWP the NH warmed and the SH cooled and during the LIA the opposite occurred. But both the MWP and the LIA were global (see and ).

2. John Blethen - November 1, 2008

See co2science.org index, MWP and LIA.

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