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THE SOLAR CONNECTION by Professor Will Alexander February 22, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions, sunspots.
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Note: The below memo should be read in conjunction with the paper
from the Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering titled:

Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development by: W J R Alexander, F Bailey, D B Bredenkamp, A van der Merwe and N Willemse <Click here to download paper>

THE SOLAR CONNECTION by Professor Will Alexander

Received via email February 19, 2009

Memo 13/09

Climate change – the solar connection

Thursday 19 February 2009

Out of Africa – sceptics vs believers. (Internet photo.)

This memo is more technical that the previous memos but I urge you to study it.

The IPCC assessment reports are voluminous documents. For this reason the IPCC produces summaries for policymakers. The assessment reports include lists of publications referenced in the reports. Nevertheless, it is possible to identify the key issues on which the IPCC’s assessment reports are founded. The most important of these is the causal linkage between variations in solar energy received on earth and synchronous variations in climate. This is the subject of my memo.

The IPCC’s position is that solar energy received on earth is sensibly constant and that all anomalies (pages full of them), are therefore a consequence of human activities. As I demonstrate in this memo this view is fundamentally in error. The source of the error is the IPCC’s reliance on process theory instead of observation theory which is the basis of the engineering sciences.

I have attached a copy of our five-authored paper Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development. It was published in the Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering in June 2007. In our paper we demonstrate that a synchronous relationship exists between the sun’s wobble as it moves along its trajectory through galactic space under the influence of the orbiting planets, all the way through to the principal hydrological characteristics – rainfall and river flow.

The IPCC’s approach to the solar linkage will be found in pages 188 to193 of Part 2 of Chapter 1 of the report of Working Group II (WG2) titled Changes in atmospheric constituents and radiative forcing. For those of you who have a professional interest in this subject I suggest that you download this chapter from the IPCC’s website. The file description is


Fundamental differences

I will now guide you through the issue in easy steps. Start with the title of our paper. It is positive and unambiguous. Linkages exist between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development.

Read our introductory summary. Notice in particular the final sentence of the first paragraph of the introduction. It reads

Despite a diligent search, no evidence could be found of trends in the data that could be attributed to human activities.

Compare this with the following statements in WG2’s executive summary on page 131.

Radiative forcing (RF) is a concept used for quantitative comparisons of the strengths of different human and natural agents in causing climate change… The combined anthropogenic RF is estimated to be +1.6 Wm-2. This RF estimate is likely to be at least five times greater than that due to solar irradiance changes.

Here in lies the rub, to quote Shakespeare. These are two fundamentally opposing views on a critically important issue.

Now take a quick glance through our paper. It includes ten figures and seven tables. Compare this with the WG2 report that has two figures and no quantitative tables on this subject. The IPCC quotes many examples of change but none of them are quantitatively linked to progressive changes in climate other than by inference.

If you have an enquiring mind, you should have noticed that I emphasised the word quantitative in the above paragraph. This single word is the very essence of the fundamental differences in our approach to this issue. Our paper is based on the interpretation of observations in many fields that are continents apart. Their approach is based exclusively on theory in a single field (variations in solar radiation itself) without the support of quantitative observations of the consequences on the earth’s climate. As shown in my recent memos, these consequences have been known, documented and studied for more than a century, but completely ignored by the IPCC.

In our paper we demonstrate that the evidence of the solar linkage is all around us. It can be seen in the hydrological processes (Tables 1 and 2). The unequivocal linkage with sunspot activity is demonstrated in Figure 1 and Table 3. We quantify the periodicity in Figures 2 and 3 as well as in Tables 4, 5, 6 and 7.

In Figures 5 and 6 we move further afield to Lake Victoria in central Africa and then northwards to Ireland in the northern hemisphere.

Changes in momentum

At this point I have to introduce the concept of changes in the momentum of the bodies that make up the solar system. Please bear with me.

If you are a passenger in a motor vehicle travelling at high speed you will be comfortable as long as the vehicle travels at a constant speed. If the driver applies the brakes you will lurch forward. If the vehicle accelerates suddenly, you will lurch backwards. Your discomfort is directly related to the change of momentum of your body relative to that of the vehicle.

The same principle applies to the bodies in the solar system. They all accelerate and decelerate relative to the velocity of the solar system’s centre of mass as it moves a constant speed through the galaxy. Please refer to our Figure 7 and note the slope of the ecliptic plane. If one of the bodies lags ‘behind’ the solar system’s centre of mass it will have to accelerate as it rotates towards the ‘bottom’ of the plane ahead of the solar system’s centre of mass. It will then decelerate as it moves back again.

Please refer to our Figure 1. Sequences BC, DE, and FG are all drought sequences as shown by the downward slopes of the lines. Conversely, sequences AB, CD, and EF are sequences of above average river flow. This is the well-documented Joseph Effect. What is also important is the transitions are sudden and not gradual as is the case with the sunspot numbers. This is due to the natural inertia in the system, and increasing instability that eventually overcomes the inertia. These changes are quantified in our Table 3. Both our Figure 1 and Table 3 show that these sudden changes are concurrent with changes in sunspot activity.

One more point. These clearly apparent reversals are associated with the occurrence of the sunspot minima which in turn are concurrent with the reversals in the sun’s magnetic polarity.

Scientific proof

These observations in themselves are not sufficient. We had to identify the causes. Fred Bailey’s ground-breaking studies are illustrated in Figures 7, 8 and 9 as well as in Table 7. His coup de grâce is delivered in Figure 10. The earth does not orbit the sun. It orbits the solar system’s centre of mass. Consequently, the earth to sun distance is not constant. Consequently the level of solar energy received on earth must also vary.

In my earlier memo this year Fred Bailey demonstrated that variations in received solar energy are more than 17 times that of human causes quantified in the WG2 report.

To summarise, in our paper we demonstrate that a synchronous relationship exists between the sun’s wobble as it moves on its trajectory through galactic space under the influence of the orbiting planets, (Figure 9), all the way through to the flow in the Vaal River in the interior of the African subcontinent (Figure 1). This relationship is statistically significant at the 95% confidence level, (points H in Figure 1).

The IPCC’s position

With all this in mind we can return to the IPCC’s position detailed on pages 188 to 193 of the report of WG2. These are some extracts for your amusement. The emphases are mine.

The estimates in long term solar irradiance changes … have been revised downwards… by identifying detectable tropospheric changes associated with solar activity…

[Note the following two extracts in particular.]

The most likely mechanism is considered to be some combination of direct forcing by changes in total solar irradiance, and indirect effects of ultraviolet radiation on the stratosphere. .. Least certain, and under ongoing debate are indirect effects induced by cosmic rays. [Dear oh dear!]

The primary known cause of contemporary irradiance variability is the presence on the sun’s disk of sunspots and faculae… Models that combine the records of global sunspot darkening directly from white light images and the magnesium irradiance index as proxy for the facular signal do not exhibit a significant secular trend during activity maxima… Nor do the modern instrumental measurements of galactic cosmic rays. [These people are either ignorant or totally clueless. Sunspots cannot possibly cause climate changes.]

[And finally.]

The direct RF due to increase in solar irradiance is reduced from the third assessment report to +0.12 Wm-2 (90% confidence interval: +0.06 to +0.30).

In my Memo 07/09, Fred Bailey calculated that for the past five years the range was equal to 28 Wm-2 compared with the IPCC’s estimate of the anthropogenic component of 1.6 Wm-2 , and their estimates of the solar irradiance component of only 0.12 Wm-2. Something is radically wrong with the IPCC’s figures. Now we know why. They omitted to consider the prime driver of variations in received solar energy. It is the synchronous variations in the earth to sun distance.

This brings me back to the issue raised in my last memo. Why did they omit any reference to the effects of the changing earth to sun distance in their report? Surely this must be the most obvious cause of the earth’s climatic variations bearing in mind the wealth of documents and studies dating from biblical times through to the present.

I am forced to ask this question no matter how embarrassing it may be. Was this omission due to ignorance, dishonesty or fraud? I find it extremely difficult, bordering on the impossible, to believe that this omission was not deliberate.

My suspicion is reinforced by their reference to the Maunder Minimum relative to contemporary activity, as the point of departure. They dared not ignore it as they did in their notorious hockey stick graph in their third assessment report. So they used it as a point of reference which saved them from having to explain it. They offered no descriptions of the processes that caused the Minimum.

Even then they made a serious mistake. Fred Bailey also produced illustrations similar to those in Figure 8 of our report. These covered the Maunder Minimum as well as the unusual warmer periods. They demonstrated that these periods were also the consequence of unusual planetary positions relative to the solar system’s centre of mass during these periods.

Those of you who have some understanding of the influence of the relative positions of the major planets should appreciate that the plane of the planetary orbits is at an angle to the trajectory of the solar system’s centre of mass, (our Figure 7). As a consequence, the planets also accelerate and decelerate as they move along their orbital paths. This in turn means that the combined planetary centre of mass not only moves closer to and further from the solar system’s centre of mass but its position relative to the solar system’s centre of mass is also important. This is because its position indicates whether the bodies, including the sun itself, are accelerating or decelerating relative to the constant velocity of the solar system’s centre of mass. This is illustrated in Figure 8 of our paper.

It is this combination of circumstances that gives rise to the longer pseudo-cyclical periodicities often quoted in the literature. The WG2 report mentions solar related cycles near 90, 200 and 2300 years. These are coincidental.

In conclusion

We are very confident of our conclusions. We list some outstanding uncertainties but they do not invalidate the results of the fundamental studies described in our paper. There is little more that we can do to demonstrate the overwhelming ignorance (dishonesty in my opinion) that permeates the IPCC’s approach to the climate change issue. The affluent nations can look after themselves. The African nations are at the mercy of these patently dishonest practices and the political motives that drive them. We will see examples at the forthcoming Midrand Summit on Climate Change that starts 12 days from now.

There will be no opportunity for serious debate. Take or leave it. This is a serious political risk in the light of the increasing economic recession and joblessness in this country, as well as the insurmountable differences between the major developing and developed nations. There is absolutely no reason for hasty decisions by South Africa. The truth will eventually become public knowledge. The press will have a juicy tale to tell, especially in the light of recent political developments.


Will Alexander

Click on the “more” button below to read Professor Alexander’s introduction to this memo

Email 13/09.

Thursday 19 February 2009

Dear all, (especially my climatological colleagues).


The attached memo is of international interest, but I address this email specifically to my climatological colleagues.

How many times have I pleaded that we get together on this climate change issue?

How many times have I insisted that a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary to address this climate change problem?

My pleas have been ignored. Now your profession is about to suffer the consequences.

The critical issue in climate change science is the claim that human activities are the direct cause of undesirable changes, and that radical measures will have to be taken to control the consequences.

In the attached memo, as well as in my recent memos, it is shown that the postulated consequences of human activity are not only undetectable, but also that the dominant cause of climate variability is synchronous variations in received solar energy.

Our paper that forms the basis of the memo meets all the requirements of scientific proof from basic theory all the way through to solid, statistically significant verification.

Climatologists in particular should study this memo together with our attached paper and the report of the IPCC’s Working Group II.

Based on the study that is described in the attached paper, for the past two years I have predicted that severe droughts can be expected during the period 2009 to 2016. If you study Figure 1 in our paper, you will notice that the climate reversals are sudden. There will be no slow development of drought conditions. In other words, no time to start developing counter-measures.

As you are aware, I requested that my predictions be evaluated by others. There was no response.

In this and my previous memos I refer to the indisputable causal linkage between solar activity and the hydro-climatological responses. I also demonstrated that there is neither scientifically believable evidence nor theory, to support the human causality claims in the IPCC documents.

Within the next two weeks, the South African authorities will announce measures that will be taken to control greenhouse gas emissions. This will be an exercise in futility.

There will be a public outcry when it becomes known that the South African climatologists including those in university departments as well as in the civil service, were aware of the basic shortcomings in their recommendations to the South African authorities as well as to the public. There are many examples of falsely based alarmism, Engelbrecht’s paper of being the most recent.

Even the NGOs have become actively involved. The longer you take to correct your mistakes, the greater the outcry when the errors are exposed.

It is not for me to suggest what you should do. All that I can do is to warn you yet again with all the seriousness at my disposal, that the climatological community in particular, and the scientific profession as a whole, are about to experience the wrath of society. If I have any influence at all, I suggest that you advise the authorities that there are doubts, and that they should appoint an independent, multi-disciplinary commission of enquiry before any irreversible decisions are made.

I urge you to copy this e-mail and the attachments to your SASAS colleagues. It is very important that your whole profession be informed of the situation.

I have received many messages of encouragement. This is a recent example received from an unknown person in Australia.

Keep up the good fight. You have more support than you’ll ever know.

I am not prepared to remain silent.

What happens next is not in my hands.

I dedicate this memo to Zoltan Kovacs, my friend and professional colleague for many years. He pioneered the concept and application of the Regional Maximum Flood that superseded the concept of the Probable Maximum Flood that has no scientific foundation in applied hydrology.

This is an email that I have just received from him.



– – – – – – – –

Dear Will,

Thank you for sending me since years your interesting and convincing studies and letters against the “global warming caused by human activity” pseudo-scientific dogma. Future will tell whether you and the minority of sound thinking scientists can gain against the presently dominant deception. I hope so.

Even as a layman in this field, I can affirm the validity of your views by my 30 years of daily minimum and maximum temperature and rainfall data. These reveal that the period 1979-1994 was on the average drier and warmer than the last 15 years.

The reason why I am asking you to remove me from your list is that because of a shoulder operation and arthritis I have become much weaker and my days are short: I am getting up late and going to bed early (with my wife’s help). Already a time ago I have chosen to gradually abandon technical and scientific reading. Instead, I am using my shorter days mainly to read literature, ancient history, archaeology and also the holy books of the great world religions (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Zoroastrism).

I have not entirely abandoned flood hydrology: from time to time I accept smaller jobs and make my comments and recommendations on technical reports in this field (mainly in connection with projects in tropical Africa).

You have made an immense contribution to hydrological research, development and education in South Africa. Your book “Flood hydrology for southern Africa” is an indispensable reference. I am using it in almost all of my jobs. I hope that one day you will return to this field, and perhaps prepare a second edition of this book!

I should like to wish you good health, energy and success to continue your admirable battle against the usurpers of climatology. And I also should like to thank you once more for the knowledge, stimulation and advice you have given me during the past decades.

Kind regards



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