Most of my family and friends know that as a hobby I like to look at the weather and the related issues of climate change. Needless to say that many have already asked me to write something about my findings. I have always held back a bit. Climate and climate change is really such a very difficult subject. It is so complicated! One challenge is already to write something in such a way so that the average person can easily understand it. For example, there are at least 6 solar cycles that we have identified; namely, of average year lengths ca. 11 (Schwabe), 22 (Hale-Nicholson)), 87 (Gleissberg), 210 (De Vries), 1000 (Eddy) and 2500 (DeBray) years, respectively. Those are just the ones we know of. I also found high correlation between the position of certain planets and some of the sine waves of irradiance in these solar cycles. [Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but it could]. It appears the moon may also have influence on the weather, by facilitating either more or less mixing, of the upwelling cold waters from the deep oceans, depending on the difference between your low and high tides. Furthermore, probably due to a combination of solar, lunar and planetary influences there is evidence of an apparent 62 year cycle that affects the temperature of the oceans. Since the oceans have much more mass than the atmosphere, it is the sea surface temperature that we should keep an eye on to predict global temperature. Last, and probably not least, we still have an elephant in the room. Most people only think about this monster once they start sweating, after going deep into a mine. Note that he has been moving, lately, faster this last 100 years than in the century before; north-east, to be exact, if we go by the magnetic north pole. For those not sure what I mean: I am talking about earth’s inner core, which consists of hot molten iron and I strongly suspect that its movement due north-east could be the main reason for the currently observed Arctic & Greenland ice melt. If you have visited Iceland or Hawaii and seen some of the volcanic eruptions there, you must realize that this process is going on, all the time, in large areas on the bottom of the Atlantic- and the Pacific oceans….
In the interglacial periods that the earth has been going through, temperatures were in fact occasionally higher than they are at present, resulting in the melting of the ice sheets (mostly Antarctica/Arctic/ Greenland), and a sea level much higher than today. Around the Cape here (South Africa) you can see the places when the water was in fact 30 meters higher than today and in those days the Cape Peninsula was just a string of islands. Of course we cannot blame man for this ……..can we? Due to the melting of ice in Greenland, some settlements that were made by the Vikings more than a 1000 year ago, are only now becoming visible and explorable… (Eddy cycle?)
For the past 10000 years (Holocene) in the current interglacial, sea levels have remained more or less constant and this is the period when man showed up on earth….. The recent increase observed in melting of ice in the Antarctic could simply be due to increased volcanic activity in that area.
I considered that with so much heat coming from all kinds of natural origin it becomes very difficult to see if there is really any man made warming [e.g. by us adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere] and what percentage of warming, if any, we could attribute to it, compared to the natural warming due to e.g. a hotter sun, more volcanic activity, etc.
Feeling a bit guilty about driving my big old truck, I decided that I should test the theory of man made warming, to satisfy myself, at the very least….
With all the hype created about our ‘carbon footprint” it seems we have forgotten that we are all made of carbon and that everything we eat depends on getting that same CO2. It is our ‘dung’ in the air, so to speak.
……I hope you can see what my problem was investigating this issue…and how really complicated….
To be sure, Jesus did mention that nobody knows for sure which way the wind will blow, exactly, and indeed, you will now understand why He was right about that!
Without going into too much detail then, let me try to give a small summary of my investigations into climate change that started in ca. 2009/2010
Concerned to show that man made global warming (AGW ) is correct and indeed happening, I thought that here [in Pretoria, South Africa] I could easily prove that. Namely the logic following from AGW theory is that more carbon dioxide (CO2) would trap heat on earth; hence we should find minimum temperature rising pushing up the mean temperature. Here, in Pretoria, in the winter months, we hardly have any rain but we have many people burning fossil fuels to keep warm at night. On any particular cold winter’s day that results in the town area being covered with a brown-greyish layer of air, viewable from a high hill outside town in the early morning.
I figured that as the population increased over the past 40 years, the results of my analysis of the data [of a Pretoria weather station] must show minimum temperature rising, particularly in the winter months. Much to my surprise, I found that the opposite was happening: minimum temperatures here were falling, any month….
I first thought that somebody must have made a mistake: the extra CO2 was cooling the atmosphere, ‘not warming’ it. As a chemist, that made sense to me as I knew that whilst there were absorptions of CO2 in the area of the spectrum where earth emits, there are also the areas of absorption in the UV and 1-2 um and the 4-5 um range where the sun emits. Not convinced either way by my deliberations and discussions as on a number of websites, I first looked at a number of weather stations around me, to give me an indication of what was happening:
The results puzzled me even more. God was throwing a ball at me…..The speed of cooling here followed a certain pattern, best described by a quadratic function.[Note: the black figures in the table are the derivatives of the least square equations that you get by doing the backward regressions for each period as indicated, for each weather station, as applicable; this part of my investigation was done in 2015 and therefore included the results of 2014.]
My latest results on how the temperatures in South Africa have changed over the past 40 years are here:
I carefully looked at my earth globe and decided on a particular sampling procedure to find out what the global result would be. There are 54 weather stations in my global sample, 27 of each hemisphere, and all 54 stations are carefully balanced to zero latitude. I do not include all the black figures again but needless to say that I can show those figures if requested. Here is just the graph showing my final result on that:
When I first saw this graph, I was even more surprised. It showed a perfect curve, Rsquare =1, over the period examined, 1973 – 2015, which is more or less one half the size of the 87 year Gleissberg solar cycle. The fact that I am finding that earth is already cooling – however small the amount may be – and the perfect natural curvature means of course that there is no AGW or it is simply so small that we cannot even measure it compared to the natural factors at work. There simply is no room for any man made climate change in my equation…..?
Admittedly, the observed drop in the global minimum temperature over time is not much: it is about -0.2 degree C (or -0.2K) since 2000 but bear in mind that this is for an observer standing on the equator.
Having answered the important question on the issue of AGW, [at least for myself], I still had to think about natural climate change and how that could all affect us, here in South Africa. The drought times here are notorious. I found one weather station with good rainfall data going back almost 100 years, namely in Potchefstroom, and here is my result of the analysis of my data on that:
- As you can see, the trend line in the first graph showing the average rainfall as recorded each year is almost straight: in other words, over the period of 92 years examined, the rainfall pattern in Potchefstroom has not really changed.
- If we sort the results into the relevant solar cycles, we note that the rainfall pattern seems to follow an equation similar to that of the path of the pendulum of a clock: Going up and coming down. The 4 Hale cycles make up for the one Gleissberg cycle. This means that in 2014 the pendulum was at its highest point. Consequently, it must come down again, as indicated by me with the red line. So indeed, yes, looking into the future, it does look like we are going to have some 5% less rain, here, in South Africa, compared to the previous Hale cycle.
- Now, again, a 5% drop in precipitation for the next few decades may not sound like a lot but remember that our population is still growing and our economy is still expanding. In the future, we need to collect more water or start using less…..
Isn’t all of this terribly interesting and absorbing? The weather just works like a clock. There is really nothing man can do to change it. I realized that the weather is part of God’s creation and everything I have found during my studies is further proof of a very intricate and extremely intelligent design, made exactly in such a way so as to prevent overheating or too much cooling.
In fact, from the Scriptures we know that it is only God who knows the exact date when this clock will stop…..