CLIMATE MODELS FOR MONKEYS February 8, 2009Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
Tags: climate change, global warming, Professor Will Alexander
CLIMATE MODELS FOR MONKEYS
By Professor Will Alexander
Via email, February 7, 2009
I completely fail to understand why our Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism decided to hold the Midrand Summit on Climate Change at this stage. South Africa has nothing to gain and much to lose by this hasty action.
Equally, I fail to understand why our Water Research Commission has chosen to abandon our tried and tested methods for water resource development while our available water resources rapidly approach depletion. As I demonstrate in this memo there is no way whatsoever that climatological computer models can be used for future water resource development and operation.
Why should the citizens of our country and the rest of Africa, particularly the poor and disadvantaged communities be burdened with this nonsense when we have much higher priorities to address?
Please distribute the attached memo widely. Time is running out.
Climate models for monkeys
Saturday 7 February 2009
I have always had a soft spot for monkeys – ever since one bit me on the cheek. I was too slow when producing the peanuts to feed it. I took this photograph of my sister and some monkeys in 1937 with my Agfa box camera.
More recently, we visited our daughter and her husband in East London. Their home is located on the side of a densely bushed valley. We listened to the birds during the day and were visited by a troop of monkeys who stole a loaf of bread from the kitchen. At night we watched the geckos catching moths on the window panes.
Sometimes I get the impression that the climate alarmists consider that the rest of us mortals have an intelligence that is on the level of that of the monkeys. This is especially the case when it comes to global climate computer models. They assure us that these models are far too complex for the rest of us to understand. They say this to disguise the fact that these models all have a fundamental shortcoming. They fail to incorporate the critical fourth dimension in their model structures – time.
Let me explain. I start with some quotes to set the scene.
This is the opening sentence of the Climate Change Summit announcement.
The South African government regards climate change as one of the greatest threats to our planet and to our people.
What is the basis for this doomsday pronouncement? It is based entirely, let me repeat entirely, on the outputs of global climate computer models. Remove all references to these models from the IPCC’s assessment reports and the whole fabric of climate change theory collapses.
Now consider this introductory paragraph of the Water Research Commission’s report Towards defining the WRC research portfolio on climate change for 2008 — 2013. The emphases are mine.
The evidence for global climate change, largely as a result of human activities that produce greenhouse gas emissions, is overwhelming. There is a rapidly growing consensus among global climate model projections regarding the nature and extent of the change. The main climate change consequences related to water resources are increases in temperature, shifts in precipitation patterns, an increase in the frequency of flooding and droughts, and, in coastal areas, sea-level rise.
For a start where is this evidence? There is no evidence that any of these dramatic changes are taking place in South Africa. The only ‘evidence’ relating to our water resources is the output of their climate models.
Then there is the issue of consensus. Note the cunning reference to consensus in this paragraph. It refers to a consensus among the computer projections. Previously, alarmists maintained that there was a consensus among scientists. But they knew very well that this would no longer hold water. Now they are on dangerous ground. This phrase confirms that all their assumptions relevant to water resources are based on their computer model outputs and not on studies of our comprehensive hydro-climatological databases.
The next issue is temperature. However, temperature does not feature at all in water resource analyses. Were the compilers of this report not aware of this elementary fact?
This is followed by claimed changes in precipitation patterns. But there is no mention at all of corresponding changes in river flow. Have these people never heard of phrases such at the Hurst Phenomenon, or the Noah and Joseph Effects, or solar linkages? Applied hydrologists have addressed these anomalies in rainfall and river flow for decades. Are we expected to believe that they can be accommodated in global climate models?
Again there is mention of increases in flooding and droughts. I have been searching for evidence of changes in these processes that could be attributed to climate change ever since 1993. It does not exist. Where long records are available, the most severe floods were in the mid-1800s. The Great Depression drought of the early 1930s remains the most damaging country-wide drought. The tropical cyclone Domoina in 1984 is the only known tropical cyclone to cross into and again out of South Africa.
Finally they mention sea-level rise. The observed increase in sea-level at our ports is equivalent to the width of my thumbnail every ten years.
I am flabbergasted. This introductory paragraph is a manipulation of the truth. The providers of the information in this introductory paragraph are totally ignorant of the foundation of water resource analyses. They insult our intelligence. Does the WRC not realise that climatological models are fundamentally incapable of producing quantitative information required for water resource analyses? I cannot believe that they are so dumb.
Like tortoises, the alarmists have stuck out their heads. I am about to chop them off.
My favourite source of distorted views is the article Is climate prediction model flawed? by Midgley and Underhill in the Water Research Commission’s magazine WaterWheel published in April 2007. I am quoted adversely 23 times in the three-page article. I intend framing it for the amusement of my grandchildren. For the purpose of this memo I merely want to report that they specifically rejected my analyses that demonstrated the predictable, 21year periodicity in the hydro-climatological data and its linkage with the double sunspot cycle. They ended by stating the following.
We noted that the results presented in Alexander (2004) have been the basis for a sustained level of criticism by this author against climate change response policy in South Africa, and indeed more widely, and therefore that this and related work deserves a careful reanalysis using appropriate statistical methods, and retraction if it is confirmed to be incorrect.
They also rejected my statistical analyses. This was especially amusing. Statistical analyses are far more advanced in engineering hydrology than in any other scientific discipline. I have studied, developed and applied them for the past 25 years.
Now the Water Research Commission has a fundamental problem. If the climate alarmist community rejects my well established, predictable, 21-year periodicity in hydro-climatological data and its linkage with solar activity, as well as my statistical analyses, how on earth are they going to solve future problems associated with water resource development and management? How are they going to generate hydrological time series if they do not even understand the basic statistical procedures for time series generation and analyses?
Climate models for monkeys
I now have to introduce you to the development of computer models for water resource development and management. It is based entirely on my own experience during the past 25 years.
Before I start, my very important question is why are these models that are described below, and which have rainfall, river flow and open water surface evaporation in their inputs, not included in the classification of climate prediction models? What is the difference between predicting future rainfall and flows in our rivers and predicting future temperatures in South Africa? The reason why hydrological models are not considered to be climatological models is obvious. They completely undermine climate change theory and the models based on it.
I wrote my first computer program in 1983 on a Sinclair ZX80 microcomputer. It was about a quarter of the size of today’s laptops. The programs were stored on a conventional tape recorder. The black and white output was to my TV monitor.
Within a year I upgraded to a BBC microcomputer. It had an excellent BASIC language. I used it in the lecture room for teaching. For example, I could show a number of interlinked dams on the video projector screen. I would then run historical or synthetic time series. The students could see how the storage in the individual dams changed with time.
This is the clue. I could include the time dimension in my computer models. That was 25 years ago.
Now consider the GCMs. They do not have a time dimension in their structure. How on earth can they be used for water resource analyses? It is my view that by following the climate change route, the WRC is misleading the public and wasting the taxpayers’ money. It will NEVER succeed in solving our future water resource problems by using climatological models. In the meantime we are heading towards drought periods that do not even feature in the WRC’s research programme.
Let me repeat. An essential component in all water resource studies is the development and analysis of historical and synthetic hydro-meteorological time series. Climatological models are fundamentally incapable of producing this information. Why can’t the WRC understand this simple fact?
The substance of the WRC’s report on climate change is completely useless. The same applies to the Doomsday statement in the Midrand Summit announcement. The South African authorities face severe criticism should they continue with their present tactics. The public will start asking questions when all these machinations and the suppression of the facts become public knowledge.
As a conscientious citizen I am desperately trying to avoid this situation. I must make one thing abundantly clear. Global climate models are valuable tools in weather forecasting. I am not criticising the models or their developers. Like all computer models the reliability of the output depends on the reliability of the input. It is the input that is being increasingly challenged.
In my field I challenge the absence of the well-documented and well-established solar linkage in the models. As I reported in a previous memo this influence is more than 17 times that of the claimed human influence. I also challenge the absence of the well-established multiyear periodicity in the models. Other scientists have challenged the claimed linkage between carbon dioxide emissions and global temperatures.
Climatologists who ignore the considerable doubts about the model inputs cannot complain when they are criticised for making alarmist predictions based on a suspect input data.
As I have said so often, I am more than willing to discuss this issue around the table. Reasons for refusing to discuss the issue in front of an impartial audience are obvious, even for somebody who enjoys the company of vervet monkeys.
Now let me change the subject.
Rise and fall of Western civilisation
I took this photograph of the Roman amphitheatre at Sabratha near Tripoli in North Africa in 1943.
I have my own doomsday scenario for your consideration or amusement depending on your philosophy of life.
Many years ago I toured North Africa and Europe at government expense. I was fascinated by the rise and fall of civilisations particularly that of the Roman Empire. The ruins were scattered along the North African coast, with a large spectacular amphitheatre at Sabratha near Tripoli. There are many fine examples in Italy and in other countries of Europe.
Since the start of the global economic crisis and the unstable conditions of the Middle East, I have often thought that we could be witnessing the end of Western civilisation. Now I see these fears starting to develop on the Internet. They are mainly based on the inability of the Western nations to overcome the international financial crisis. There are also many signs of growing social and political unrest that lead to this conclusion. This is my list.
• The inability of the affluent nations to overcome the global economic recession by co-ordinated, joint action.
• The failure of the World Trade Organisation to close the gap between the rich and the poor nations.
• Rising unemployment and job losses in many countries. This has already given rise to social and xenophobic disturbances in some countries. These are likely to increase.
• Open warfare in the Middle East has been kept under control for the present but the underlying tensions remain.
• A meaningful international agreement on enforceable measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is unlikely to be achieved at Copenhagen this December. If it fails, it is most unlikely that any future agreement to replace the Kyoto protocol that expires in 2012 will be reached. South Africa will be out on a limb. The major players, the European Union, USA, China and India will be at loggerheads in apportioning blame. This will further sour the already strained international relations.
• The increasing activities of the green movements with their emphasis on environmental concerns above humanitarian concerns, are threatening democratic structures.
• The compartmentalisation of science in a period when there is an urgent need for multidisciplinary approaches to global problems.
• The political misuse of science that the world is now experiencing in the climate change issue. Imagine the outcry when the nations of Africa appreciate that pressures from affluent countries to undertake measures that will damage their economies and make them less competitive in global markets, signal a return of colonialism. Several African countries have already taken steps to increase trade with China, India, South Korea and Brazil and lessen their ties with the UK and the rest of Europe.
My Doomsday, and hopefully unsubstantiated conclusion, is that WWIII is just around the corner. The imminent droughts may be the triggering mechanism as they were in the early 1930s. There are also fears of the start of another ice age. I sincerely hope that I am wrong.