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THE NOAH EFFECT by Professor Will Alexander February 11, 2009

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THE NOAH EFFECT

Professor Will Alexander

Professor Will Alexander

By Professor Will Alexander

Via email, February 10, 2009

Most of the affluent nations of the world have a slow population growth. Their citizens enjoy the amenities of life. Now consider the plight of the African countries. They have fast-growing populations. Many of their citizens do not have access to even the basic amenities of life — treated water, sanitation and electricity. Surely action should be directed towards their upliftment and not in the opposite direction.

With the South African general election within months, the parties have all distributed their election manifestoes. They all stressed the need to overcome joblessness and poverty. Not one of them includes climate change in its manifesto.

What then is the purpose of the Midrand Summit on Climate Change? There will be no benefits to the citizens of our country — only penalties.

Will the Minister pursue his doomsday scenario when many thousands of South Africans are already exposed to joblessness, poverty, malnutrition and disease?

The only beneficial motive that he can possibly have is to entice affluent nations to part with substantial sums of money so that we can adapt to the inevitable.

That also poses problems. How can we adapt to something if we cannot measure it? This is the crux of the matter. Measurement involves the application of observation theory based on the huge wealth of observations world-wide.

As I demonstrate in this series of memos, climate alarmists have chosen to ignore observation theory and to rely on abstract process theory. It is simply impossible for them to quantify the well-documented anomalies in the world’s climate that have been known since biblical times.

This memo on the Noah Effect is the first of three memos that describe the well-known climate anomalies that are described in the hydrological literature, but are completely ignored in the climatalogical literature.

Please distribute.

Memo 10/09

Climate change – the Noah Effect

Tuesday 10 February 2009

— were all the fountains of the deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. Genesis, 6, 11-12.

The Noah Effect is well documented in the hydrological literature of the 1960s and 1970s.

In April 1856 floodwaters from the Mgeni River crossed its banks and flowed across Durban and into the harbour.

Background

The oldest known remains of the human race Homo sapiens were discovered within 100 km of my home. The site is now a national monument named The cradle of humankind. The earliest civilisations on this planet developed at the other end of Africa. This has an arid climate. The people were directly dependent on the annual inundation of the floodplains for their existence. Three of the Earth’s major religions developed in this arid region — Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The first reference to a major flood (called outlier floods these days), was Noah’s experience recorded in the Old Testament.

Coming south again, South Africa’s Noah flood occurred in April 1856, when the Mgeni River overflowed its banks and flowed through Durban into the harbour. This has never happened again since then. There is a lot of evidence that shows that the floods of the mid-1800s were the worst on record in South Africa.

The next area of interest is Europe. Many years ago my wife and I started our travels through Europe based on the guidebook Europe on five dollars a day. You can guess when that was. We travelled on the Rhine cruise (strongly recommended) from Rotterdam in Holland to Strasbourg in France. We moved on to Paris but could not find any five dollars a day accommodation. So we took a train to Orleans on the Loire River. This was Joan of Arc’s home town.

Bridge across the Loire River in Orleans.

Next morning we walked down to the river. I noticed an old, well constructed stone bridge across the river. I was curious. Historical flood lines were engraved on the side of the bridge. The highest was dated 9 June 1856.

Now we have two major floods, continents apart, with maximum recorded floods within months of each other. Was this a coincidence? The answer is no. Our studies show an undeniable, synchronous linkage between the double sunspot cycle and river flow. Our studies also showed that high floods are associated with the sunspot minima, not the sunspot maxima as many scientists assume. They are clearly related to the reversal of the sun’s magnetic polarity.

The solar minimum occurred in December 1855. Note the close synchronous occurrence of these three events. It cannot be coincidental.

In our joint paper Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development, we demonstrated a causal linkage between variations in solar activity and corresponding variations in the hydro-climatological processes. We also stated that there were no detectable changes in the data that could be attributed to climate change. I have shelves full of calculations, figures, tables, photographs, reports and PowerPoint presentations to support this linkage. It is undeniable.

Notwithstanding the wealth of evidence extending over more than 100 years, that confirms the solar linkage, the climate alarmists continue to refuse to acknowledge its existence! This is what the IPCC had to say in its Climate Change 2007 Synthesis Report that was distributed at Bali 15 months ago. The emphases are mine.

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal —–,

and later,

During the past 50 years, the sum of solar and volcanic forcings would likely have produced cooling. Observed patterns of warming and their changes are simulated only by models that include anthropogenic forcings. Difficulties remain in simulating and attributing observed temperature changes at smaller than continental scales.

Note that solar forcings are not included in the models. Note also the references to model simulations for their conclusions and complete absence of references to studies published in the South African hydrological literature from 1978 through to the present.

This is all that the IPCC had to say on a subject that is critical to its whole climate change philosophy. Why did they not follow the simple route of examining the hydro-meteorological data or consulting expert solar physicists? Once again the answer is obvious. They were not prepared to acknowledge studies that challenged their claim of exclusive human influence on climate change.

Studies of flood-producing rainfall

For a number of years my colleague Prof Johan van Heerden occupied the chair of meteorology in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria. His office was on the other side of the passage from mine. We conducted a number of commissioned studies. One was for the Department of Transport titled Determination of the risk of widespread interruption of communications due to floods. The report included 1620 monthly rainfall maps and monthly rainfall probability maps of South Africa based on district rainfall records from October 1921 to September 1989.

Part of the study was Johan’s examination of four-day, flood-producing rainfalls for the period 1956 to 1989. He divided South Africa into 15 regions and classified the rainfalls into six categories from zero to five. The numbers of flood-producing rainfall events are shown in the bottom panel of the figure below. The other two panels show concurrent sunspot numbers and air temperatures at Cape Agulhas at the southernmost point of Africa.

What do you see?


Figure 1. Concurrent increases in solar activity, air temperatures and rainfall.

During the past century sunspot activity increased, temperature increased and rainfall increased. The increase in rainfall is consistent with increases in temperature that increase evaporation and thereby increase rainfall.

What more evidence is needed to demonstrate the presence of a solid linkage between increasing solar activity, rising temperatures and increasing rainfall? There is a huge wealth of information in the hydro-climatological data demonstrating the linkage.

PLEASE study the three processes during the first 25 years of the last century, and compare them with the last 25 years. Now consider the position if the next 25 years are similar to the first 25 years of the last century. There are many indications that this may well happen. We can expect global temperatures to decrease as well as the number of dam-filling rainfall events.

Is this possibility not much more important than all those hypothetical, computer-based simulations on which climate alarmists rely for their nonsensical claims?

Floods are beneficial

Now the alarmists have to be careful. There are many reports expressing concern that the sun has entered an unusually quiet phase.

Table 1 from our report shows the numbers of events in each category of severity as the sums of the regional values. Just as in the case of the floods in ancient Egypt, in arid and semi-arid climates all floods are beneficial in that they fill dams and restore water supplies. It is only the Class 3, 4 and 5 floods that are more damaging than beneficial. They only constituted 2% of the widespread, severe rainfall events during the 70-year record. Increases in floods will therefore be more beneficial than damaging.

Table 1. Widespread severe rainfall events

Class

Number of events

Damage potential

0

4061

Negligible

1

1761

Minor

2

222

Moderate

3

99

Serious

4

24

Extreme

5

4

Disastrous

Total

6171


This table together with Figure 1 is yet further confirmation that floods along the whole Class range are likely to decrease as solar activity decreases during the rest of the solar cycle that ends in 2016.

The claim that climate change will result in increases in undesirable floods, while omitting references to the beneficial effects, is completely unscientific, misleading and unethical. It is unsupported by observations or by hydrological theory. This whole climate change fiasco would not survive scrutiny by an independent, multidisciplinary panel of experts.

Regards

Will Alexander




Comments»

1. Jeremy - February 11, 2009

“This whole climate change fiasco would not survive scrutiny by an independent, multidisciplinary panel of experts.”

It can and it has, repeatedly. IPCC, the G8 combined national academies, the Royal Society, the US Academy of Science, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Woods Hole Research Centre, American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Research Council, Geological Society of America, NASA’s Goddard Institute, UNEP, EPA, Pew Centre for Climate Change, International Energy Agency…

How many more do you want?

2. Simon - February 12, 2009

Great Article!

Not sure about this though:

“The first reference to a major flood (called outlier floods these days), was Noah’s experience recorded in the Old Testament.”

http://library.thinkquest.org/C005854/text/mythfarworld_f.htm

3. May - July 7, 2009

It astounds me that Dubai has spent billions of dollars building their 3rd millenium city with peripheral man-made islands in the face of impending disaster of predicted significant sea level changes consequent upon the man-made global warming as dictated ex-cathedra by all the august bodies below
form the ” IPCC, the G8 combined national academies, the Royal Society, the US Academy of Science, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Woods Hole Research Centre, American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Research Council, Geological Society of America, NASA’s Goddard Institute, UNEP, EPA, Pew Centre for Climate Change, International Energy Agency…

How many more do you want?”

Some common sense would be a good start!

4. Frank - September 5, 2010

>”Note that solar forcings are not included in the models. Note also the references to model simulations for their conclusions and complete absence of references to studies published in the South African hydrological literature from 1978 through to the present.”
Has our Emeritus Professor actually read this report, rather than skimmed its conclusions? The simulations he refers to most definitely INCLUDE solar forcing.
As to the “Noah effect” a recent comprehensive analysis of SA rainfall for its Water Research Commission using the correct statistical approaches (as opposed to those espoused by the professor) finds that solar forcing is NOT linked to SA rainfall variations at the decadal or multi decadal scale. This argument is no longer viable. Apologies are in order.


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