Cha-am Jamal, Thailand

That Mother Nature is Chaotic is well understood. These three books do a good job of presenting that argument with data, examples, and case studies: EA Jackson, Exploring Nature’s Dynamics; C Letellier, Chaos in Nature; Cushing et al, Chaos in Ecology. References to chaos in nature are also found in the climate change literature. These two excellent papers by Timothy Palmer are a good introduction to the subject of chaos in climate data: “A nonlinear dynamical perspective on climate prediction” Journal of Climate 12.2 (1999): 575-591, and “Predicting uncertainty in forecasts of weather and climate” Reports on Progress in Physics 63.2 (2000): 71.

A common method of detecting fractal/chaotic behavior in long time series of field data is to compute the so called Hurst exponent “H” of the time series as a way of detecting persistence in the data.  Persistence implies that the the data in the time series do not evolve independently but contain a dependence on prior values. This method was first described by Harold Edwin Hurst in 1951 in the only paper he ever published which is still cited hundreds of times a year every year ( Hurst, H.E. (1951). “Long-term storage capacity of reservoirs”. Transactions of American Society of Civil Engineers).

The Hurst exponent method of detecting non-linear dynamics in time series data is used in climate change research. This trend in climate science has been led by the very charismatic and controversial hydrologist Demetris Koutsoyiannis, Professor of Hydrology, National Technical University of Athens. Demetris finds that many hydrology time series behaviors that climate science ascribes to emissions can be explained in terms of non-linear dynamics. Here are some examples from the literature of  Hurst persistence analysis of climate data: Cohn, Timothy etal “Nature’s style: Naturally trendy.” Geophysical Research Letters 32.23 (2005); Weber, Rudolf etal. “Spectra and correlations of climate data from days to decades.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 106.D17 (2001): 20131-20144; Koutsoyiannis, Demetris. “Climate change, the Hurst phenomenon, and hydrological statistics.” Hydrological Sciences Journal 48.1 (2003): 3-24; Markonis, Yannis, “Climatic variability over time scales spanning nine orders of magnitude: Connecting Milankovitch cycles with Hurst–Kolmogorov dynamics.” Surveys in Geophysics 34.2 (2013): 181-207; Pelletier, Jon etal. “Long-range persistence in climatological and hydrological time series: analysis, modeling and application to drought hazard assessment.” Journal of Hydrology 203.1-4 (1997): 198-208; Rybski, Diego, et al. “Long‐term persistence in climate and the detection problem.” Geophysical Research Letters 33.6 (2006). 

Much of the empirical work in climate science is presented in terms of time series of field data (field data means data made by nature over which the researcher has no control – as opposed to data collected in controlled experiments). Information about climate contained in these data is usually gathered by researchers in terms of OLS (ordinary least squares) regression analysis. Surprisingly, even at the highest levels of climate research little or no attention is paid to the assumptions of OLS analysis which include for example the assumption that the data in the time series evolve as I.I.D, (independent identically distributed). The stationarity assumption further enforces the requirement that the distribution must not change as the time series evolves. A good reference for regression analysis of time series data is “Time Series Analysis: Forecasting and Control, Wiley 2015, by George Box & Gwilym Jenkins. Another is Time Series Analysis and Its Applications with Examples, Springer 2017, by Robert Shumway. These authors have shown that when time series analysis goes awry you can bet it has to do with violations of OLS assumptions.

In my work with temperature, sea level rise, precipitation, solar activity, and ozone depletion, I tested the time series for OLS violations by computing the Hurst exponent H. The theoretical neutral value with no serial dependence is H=0.5 but it has been shown that the neutral value for comparison in empirical research needs to be adjusted for the specific sub-sampling strategy used in the estimation of H. In all my work, this estimation is carried out twice – once with the data and again with a Monte Carlo simulation of the data that generates a corresponding IID/stationary series. The two values of H are then compared. If the difference between the two values of H is not statistically significant, we conclude that there is no evidence of Hurst behavior in the data and OLS regression results may therefore be interpreted in terms of the phenomena under study. However if the value of H in the data is greater than the value of H in the IID simulation, then we can conclude that the data contain Fractal/Chaotic behavior by virtue of Hurst persistence and that therefore OLS results may not be interpreted strictly in terms of the phenomena under study. Nonlinear dynamics must be considered.

A list of these studies appears below with links to the freely downloadable papers.

  1. Ozone Depletion Latitudinally Weighted Mean Global Ozone 1979-2015
  2. Warming Seasonality and Dependence in Daily Mean USCRN Temperature 
  3. Precipitation The Hurst Exponent of Precipitation
  4. Warming A Robust Test for OLS Trends in Daily Temperature Data
  5. Solar Activity The Hurst Exponent of Sunspot Counts
  6. Warming The OLS Warming Trend at Nuuk, Greenland
  7. Warming The Hurst Exponent of Surface Temperature
  8. Warming OLS Trend Analysis of CET Daily Mean Temperatures 1772-2016
  9. Precipitation The Hurst Exponent of Precipitation: England and Wales 1766-2016
  10. Warming  Hurst Persistence in UAH Zonal Mean Lower Troposphere Temperatures Zonal monthly means of UAH satellite based measurements of lower troposphere temperature anomalies 12/1978 to 4/2017 are examined for violations of the independence assumption of OLS linear regression. The Hurst Exponent (H), computed at a monthly time scale, is used as the measure of dependence. It is found that the independence assumption of OLS linear regression is violated in the UAH temperature anomaly time series. The apparent multi-decadal non-linearity found in a prior work may be related to non-linear dynamics implied by the Hurst phenomenon. The interpretation of OLS linear regression trend lines for these time series in terms of anthropogenic global warming should be made with caution, particularly so in view of the short time span of the data, because the data do not comply with OLS assumptions.

 

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Before it was expropriated by the global warming/climate change movement, the term “Greenhouse Effect” referred to the effect of elevated carbon dioxide in greenhouses on crop chemistry. We know from greenhouse studies going back to the late 19th century that crop chemistry reflects the balance between soil chemistry, air chemistry, and light intensity. The important features of air chemistry are the availability of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and of oxygen for plant respiration. The important features of soil chemistry are the availability of water, nitrates, phosphates, and minerals.

Greenhouse operations include irrigation, air circulation to maintain air quality, heating for temperature control, the introduction of carbon dioxide to maintain elevated carbon dioxide levels of 1000 to 2000 parts per million for photosynthesis enrichment, and the availability of sufficient light for photosynthesis to occur. Photosynthesis enrichment improves crop yield. Corresponding changes to soil chemistry is required to preserve the nutritional quality of the crops.

It has been found in numerous greenhouse studies since the 19th century that if elevated carbon dioxide is not matched by corresponding changes to soil chemistry, crop chemistry may shift in the direction of higher starch content and lower nutritional quality. These effects are crop specific and vary greatly among crop types.  However, proper greenhouse management involves the management of light and soil chemistry that is appropriate for any given level of carbon dioxide so that crop nutritional quality is maintained. These relationships are described in some detail in the Stitt&Krapp1999 paper listed below and highlighted in bold.

The various works of Bruce Kimball of the US Water Conservation Laboratory (with full text available free from the USDA) are unique in this line of research as they are not greenhouse studies but a survey of a large number of such studies carried out to estimate the impact of climate change on crop yield. His work followed in the heels of the landmark “Climate Sensitivity” presentation made by Jule Charney in 1979 in which he presented the finding from climate model studies that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will cause mean global temperature to rise by 1.5C to 4.5C. The Charney Climate Sensitivity still serves as the fundamental relationship in climate science for the “greenhouse warming effect” thought to be caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide. Kimball followed the Charney format and presented his finding that  a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will increase crop yields worldwide by about 30% with some differences among crops and for different conditions and latitudes. The relevant citations appear below.

Kimball, Bruce A. “Carbon Dioxide and Agricultural Yield: An Assemblage and Analysis of 430 Prior Observations 1.” Agronomy journal 75.5 (1983): 779-788.

Kimball, B. A., and S. B. Idso. “Increasing atmospheric CO2: effects on crop yield, water use and climate.” Agricultural water management 7.1-3 (1983): 55-72.

Kimball, B. A., et al. “Effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 on vegetation.” CO2 and Biosphere. Springer, Dordrecht, 1993. 65-76.

Mauney and Kimball. “Growth and yield of cotton in response to a free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) environment.” Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 70.1-4 (1994): 49-67.

Kimball, Bruce A., et al. “Productivity and water use of wheat under free‐air CO2 enrichment.” Global Change Biology 1.6 (1995): 429-442.

Kimball, B. A., K. Kobayashi, and M. Bindi. “Responses of agricultural crops to free-air CO2 enrichment.” Advances in agronomy. Vol. 77. Academic Press, 2002. 293-368.

Idso and Kimball. “Effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on plant growth: the role of air temperature.” Agriculture, ecosystems & environment 20.1 (1987): 1-10.

The findings of a selection of greenhouse studies presenting actual measurements as well as the nutritional loss due to an imbalance in CO2 and soil nutrients are as follows:

  1. RT Besford, et al 1990, Journal of Experimental Botany 41.8: 925-931: Compared with tomato plants grown in normal ambient CO2, the 1000 ppm CO2 grown leaves, when almost fully expanded, contained only half as much RuBPco protein. Note: corresponding soil enrichment was not used.
  2. Peter Curtis et al, 1998, Oecologia 113.3: 299-313: Total biomass and net CO2 assimilation increased significantly at about twice ambient CO2, regardless of growth conditions. Low soil nutrient availability reduced the CO2 stimulation of total biomass by half, from +31% under optimal conditions to +16%, while low light increased the response to +52%.
  3. Kramer, Paul J. 1981, BioScience 31.1: 29-33: The long-term response to high CO2 varies widely among species. Furthermore, the rate of photosynthesis is limited by various internal and environmental factors in addition to the COconc.
  4. Curtis, P. S. 1996, Plant, Cell & Environment 19.2: 127-137: Growth at elevated [CO2] resulted in moderate reductions in gs in unstressed plants, but there was no significant effect of CO2 on gs in stressed plants. Leaf dark respiration (mass or area basis) was reduced strongly by growth at high [CO2] > while leaf N was reduced only when expressed on a mass basis.
  5. Shahidul Islam et al, 1996, Scientia Horticulturae 137-149: CO2 enriched tomatoes had lower amounts of citric, malic and oxalic acids, and higher amounts of ascorbic acid, fructose, glucose and sucrose synthase activity than the control. Elevated CO2 enhanced fruit growth and colouring during development.
  6. Stitt & Krapp 1999Plant, Cell & Environment 22.6-583-621: Increased rates of growth in elevated [CO2] will require higher rates of inorganic nitrogen uptake and assimilation. An increased supply of sugars can increase the rates of nitrate and ammonium uptake and assimilation, the synthesis of organic acid acceptors, and the synthesis of amino acids. Interpretation of experiments in elevated [CO2] requires that the nitrogen status of the plants is monitored.
  7. Galtier, Nathalie, et al. 1995, Journal of Experimental Botany 1335-1344:  At elevated CO2, the rate of sucrose synthesis was increased relative to that of starch and sucrose/starch ratios were higher throughout the photoperiod in the leaves of all plants expressing high SPS activity. At high C02 the stimulation of photosynthesis was more pronounced. We conclude that SPS activity is a major point of control of photosynthesis particularly under saturating light and C02.

The eco scare that human activity is killing off the fish in the oceans predates climate change. In the BC days (before-climate), a combination of over-fishing, seafaring, and discharges of plastics and pollution into the oceans by humans were cited (“Sea’s riches running out”, 1977). In AC times (after climate) there is of course only one cause for all things and that is human caused global warming by way of fossil fuel emissions (Oceans running out of fish, Bangkok Post, 1994), (Ocean’s fish could disappear, Bangkok Post, May 19, 2010), (A New Warning Says We Could Run Out of Fish by 2048, HuffPost, Dec 14, 2017), (All seafood will run out in 2050, say scientists, The Telegraph, 22 May 2018), (Oceans are running out of fish much faster than previously thought, ZME Science, 20 January 2016).

 

In the AC after-climate era, causes of the fish apocalypse is described in terms of rising ocean temperature and ocean acidification by fossil fuel emissions. As well, the language of fish apocalypse is changed from gradual reduction in numbers to “depletion at alarming rates” and that marine life on earth is “at a breaking point”. There is also a timeline given for when the oceans will become devoid of fish. That will happen in the year 2050. Unless of course we get serious about the Paris Accord, stop using dirty polluting fossil fuels, and save the planet. And the fish.

Fossil fuel emissions cause droughts

Africa is a serious drought prone continent and has suffered numerous tragic droughts over the last 500 years. These droughts are natural occurrences. They are not caused by carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. There is no trend in the severity of these droughts and the current one is not the most severe. African scholars have written to refute efforts to associate the current drought with the global warming agenda. One of these scholarly articles was recently published in the Bangkok Post. Also, the dropping of water levels in Lake Victoria and other lakes there is a known effect of a cascade of dams on the Nile and cannot in any way be related to the use of fossil fuels. The New York Times columnist who makes these alarming charges is the same individual who once fell for the oldest trick in book in Cambodian brothels and paid a large sum of money to “purchase freedom” for a young prostitute and then wrote a column about his heroic deed. The young lady had by then returned to the brothel. This is the level of gullibility we are dealing with in this column as well. One should use a big dose of critical thinking when consuming this kind of information.

“The dearth of scientific knowledge only adds to the alarm”

Global warming scientists cited the shrinking of the Chorabari Glacier in the eastern Himalayan Mountains as evidence that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels is causing global warming and that global warming in turn is causing Himalayan glaciers to melt. Although the data are insufficient and conflicting, they project that in a hundred years, the glacial loss will affect water supply to a vast region whose rivers get their water from these glaciers. With respect to the absence of sufficient data to support this projection, they propose the odd logic that “the dearth of scientific knowledge only adds to the alarm”. There are a thousand glaciers in the Himalayan Mountains. Some of them are retreating. Some of them are expanding. Some are doing neither. We don’t have sufficient data to know what most of them are doing except that there has been a gradual net retreat of the glaciers since the year 1850 which marks the glacial maximum of the Little Ice Age. The Himalayans are folded mountains and the folding is currently in process. It is a geologically active area. There is a lot of geothermal activity in these mountains particularly in Uttaranchal where Chorabari Glacier is located. Steamy hot springs there are a major tourist attraction. Neither the geothermal nor volcanic activity is included in the assessment of glacial melt as an effect of fossil fuel emissions. The assessment is that the end is near for Himalayan glaciers due to fossil fuel emissions. The end may very well be near but the prediction of its coming would be more credible if their computer model included volcanic and geothermal activity both on land and in the bottom of the ocean. A computer model based on the assumption that all surface anomalies of the planet are due to human activity is not the appropriate tool for the determination of the role of human activity in climate phenomena.

Fossil fuel emissions are causing Greenland to melt

Although there has been some thinning of coastal ice in Greenland, the total ice mass there is actually increasing because of a rapid increase in ice thickness at higher elevations. If we could cause all of Greenland’s ice to melt into the sea, it would raise the sea level by 7 meters, as the scaremongers say, but that scenario does not appear likely given the data. One should also take note that during the last decade, Greenland has not become warmer. It has become colder. It is therefore not possible to ascribe changes in its ice mass to global warming or to fossil fuel emissions. As a footnote, Greenland’s coast was in fact green with vegetation in the tenth century when it was discovered by Nordic sailors. It was warmer then than it is now. Since then it has been through the Little Ice Age from which it is currently recovering.

The Fang Zhi is kind of a government gazette that has been issued by Chinese governments for thousands of years. Data on extreme weather events and famines are included in this gazette. The data show that floods and droughts are common in China and that they are periodically particularly severe.

A cyclical pattern of famines caused by severe drought followed by devastating floods may be traced back through all of recorded history in China. The period of this cycle has been estimated to be about fifty years. A peculiarity of this weather cycle is that floods and droughts can occur at the same time in China because weather in Southern China is about 180 degrees out of phase with that in Northern China. History has recorded many cases when the south is flooding from torrential rainfall while the north is in drought or conversely when the north is flooding and the south is dry.

Much of the sociology, philosophy, literature, and politics of China have been shaped by the flood and drought cycle. Some scholars go so far as to claim that all of Chinese history is a story of the people’s fight against famine caused by this calamitous cycle of weather. One of the largest infrastructure projects in history is the failed attempt to link southern Chinese rainfall with northern Chinese rainfall using a very ambitious canal network. The construction and maintenance of granaries on an immense scale has consumed a succession of Chinese dynasties while famines have been the downfall of others.

The 2005 drought in Hainan and Guangdong along with torrential rains and floods in Northern China fits the known pattern of extreme weather in China. If you truncate history at 1961, however, these weather events will appear to be unusual and unnatural. An equally unnatural cause for this kind of weather may then be assessed. In particular, those with a predisposition to the global warming/climate change hypothesis contained in the Kyoto Protocol and the UNFCCC will find in these events the kind of evidence they need to support their predisposed position (See for example, Waiting in vain for rain that’s two years late has Hainan’s farmers fretting about their future, The Nation, Bangkok, June 3, 2005).

Fossil fuel consumption has risen dramatically since 1961. The data also show what appears to be an irregular increase in the CO2 content of the atmosphere in parallel with rising fuel consumption. At the same time we find the average temperature of the earth has been rising since 1979. It is tempting to draw a causal link from fossil fuels to CO2 and from CO2 to temperature and from there to extreme weather events. These relationships appear so convincing that no further scientific evidence is sought to support the subsumed causalities.

In the Chinese weather data however, the global warming enthusiasts have been undone by the Fang Zhi. Their claim that fossil fuel consumption is to be blamed for this year’s drought in southern China and floods in northern China appears grossly childish and specious in light of history.

  1. On the one hand, Western pundits warn us about the dangers of an impending “population bomb” brought about by overpopulation. We are told that the planet is being overwhelmed by the sheer number of people on it and will soon be unable to supply us with sufficient food, water, shelter, and energy and so we must do everything we can to control the population growth rate.
  2. On the other hand, we find that the Western nations themselves are scrambling for population growth to the point that the United States is now counting on a vigorous fertility rate to boost its population to 400 million by the year 2050 as a way of gaining economic advantage over nations with more stable populations (America will be just fine, Bangkok Post, April 7, 2010).
  3. We thus find that the same nations that fund anti-fertility programs to limit population growth in Asia and Africa are, at the same time, provide tax benefits for having children and brag about their ability to increase fertility and growth rate of their own populations.
  4. These contradictions raise serious questions. Is population growth good or bad? Is the population bomb a global problem or a localized one? To protect the planet from the population bomb should the population growth in some areas be restricted while that in others encouraged?
  5. CONCLUSION: THE POPULATION BOMB DOES NOT MEAN THAT THERE ARE TOO MANY OF US. IT MEANS THAT THERE ARE TOO MANY OF THEM!

Reference: Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes, April 17, 2010

1. Global warming scientists have come up with the idea that carbon dioxide causes volcanic eruptions in Iceland. The argument goes that carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming, global warming in turn causes glaciers in Iceland to melt, and melting glaciers lighten the weight of the ice cap on volcanoes and thereby trigger eruptions (Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes, Bangkok Post, April 17, 2010).
2. It is clearly a sinister attempt to ride the media wave created by the volcanic eruption under the Eyjafjallajoekull glacier and to use that fear factor to sell the war against carbon dioxide. The reality is of course very different. Melting glaciers do not cause volcanic eruptions. Volcanic eruptions cause melting glaciers.
3. We now know that much of the glacier melt that the global warming people tried to pin on carbon dioxide was actually caused by geothermal activity under the ice not just in Iceland but also in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and in Greenland.
4. In the heydays of the global warming movement glacial advances were ignored and glacial retreats exaggerated and ascribed to carbon dioxide emissions. Geothermal effects were not considered even after it became known that the melt data on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were taken from a region with volcanic activity under the ice (The fire below, Bangkok Post, April 28, 2008).
5. Now that the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull has erupted and broken through the ice for all to see, can we expect yet another humiliating retraction from the IPCC with respect to retreating glaciers in Iceland along the lines of their retraction of the state of impending catastrophe about retreating glaciers in the Himalayas?
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  • chaamjamal: sorry sir but the web service that hosted the document has gone out of business and the page has disappeared. Here are some kind people who have tried
  • chaamjamal: i recall that this note had appeared in my weird-but-true page about a decade ago. the reference is of course brad steiger. his home page is http://
  • Simon: !!!! No logic there really! Of course it has a massive effect on the rain fall..if you have a large forest you are likely to have omre water resources