By Dennis T. Avery, Hudson Institute
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
A team of water experts says the pattern of droughts and floods in South Africa shows our global warming was triggered by the variability of the sun's irradiance rather than by human-emitted CO2. They say variations in South African rainfall patterns are keyed to periodic reversals of the sun's magnetic field--and to the constantly changing distance between the sun and the earth as both move through space.
In South Africa, alternate 11-year sunspot cycles produce opposite rainfall results. One complete "double sun cycle" occurs every 20.8 years: the "first" cycle brings a big flood, followed by a small drought; the next brings a big drought, followed by a small flood. �
Lead author Will Alexander used the double sunspot cycle to publicly predict the end of major South African droughts in both 1995 and 2006. He notes that South African droughts have often been broken at 11-year intervals by severe floods associated with sunspot maxima--as in 1822, 1841, 1863, 1874 and 1885. The research summary appears in the June 2007 issue of the Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering.
The South Africans' conclusion is reinforced by Dr. Robert Baker of Australia, who told a recent meeting of the International Geographical Union that he has found the same 21-year cycle in Australian drought and rainfall. Baker says "the sun is like a musical instrument, vibrating in complex patterns," with all of the planets moving in similar relationships.
H. N. Bhalme and D. A. Mooley published similar conclusions about India's floods and droughts in the Journal of Applied Meteorology, September, 1981, based on an Indian flood index compiled from 1891 to 1979. They reported that "a highly significant 22-year cycle in the flood area index was nearly in phase with the 22-year double sunspot cycle."� Bhalme and Mooley also noted that the western U.S. has a similar relationship with the double sunspot cycle and severe flooding.
Clearly, what these water experts are all describing is a global climate connection with the sun.
The number of sunspots on the sun, and their intensity, varies in a cycle averaging 11 years. The distance between the sun and the earth keeps changing slightly and predictably because 1) they move on slightly varying paths through space; and 2) both bodies accelerate and decelerate constantly depending on the combined gravitational forces of the other big planets.
These factors apparently produce the moderate 1,500-year climate cycle on earth, which was discovered in the Greenland ice cores in 1980s and has since also been found globally in seabed and lake sediments, fossil pollen, tree rings and peat bogs.
Earth's recent global warming occurred too early--before 1940--to be blamed on human CO2 emissions. The net global warming since 1940 is only 0.2 degrees C, with none at all since 1998. There's little correlation between the earth's recent temperatures and CO2 levels, but a strong correlation between the sunspot index and subsequent changes in our sea-surface temperatures.
The 1,500-year climate cycle shifts temperatures about 2 degrees C above and then 2 degrees C below the long-term average at the latitude of Washington and Paris, with greater temperature changes near the poles. Temperatures change little near the equator, but rainfall patterns can change greatly; for example, 5,000 years ago the Sahara was wet enough for grazing and hunting, while Kenya was very dry.
The UN climate change panel has declared the solar variations "too small" to produce the climate warming of the past 30 years. However, a recent Danish experiment showed that the solar variations may be amplified fourfold because they create significant changes in the earth's cloud cover. More clouds cool the earth by deflecting more of the sun's heat back into outer space.
The evidence for a sun/climate connection keeps pouring in, while all we hear from the Kyoto crowd is "The computer models agree with each other."