Drought and flood are predictable from solar influences, not CO2 levels

Excerpt from a memorandum by South African hydrologist, Will Alexander

South Africa has a dry climate. In general, the drier the climate the greater the year-to-year variability. This in turn requires larger capacity storage dams to sustain the demand from them. The larger the capacity, the greater the evaporation losses from the stored water. There is another complication. As the demand from a storage dam increases, the greater the reliance on the isolated high inflows (floods) required to reinstate the volume of stored water.

An assessment of the numerical properties of the droughts that deplete water availability, and floods that restore storage became increasingly important over the years. This received growing international attention from 1950 onwards. South Africa was in the forefront of these studies. This was because of the seriousness of the problem in our drier climate and the availability of a large, comprehensive hydro-climatological database.

By the 1960s South Africa had already experienced recurrent droughts that adversely affected agricultural production as well as the need to impose water supply restrictions from major storage dams. A multidisciplinary Commission of Enquiry into Water Matters was appointed in 1966.

In 1970 the commission produced a comprehensive report. It recommended the establishment of a branch of scientific services in the Department of Water Affairs to expand the Department's research activities in the field of water resource development and management. The author of this presentation later occupied this post.

Another administrative recommendation was the establishment of the Water Research Commission that would coordinate and finance research in other water resource related fields. The Water Research Commission was established in 1971. By this time it was appreciated internationally that researchers in the field of applied hydrology were unable to develop satisfactory methods for practical applications, specifically the determination of the properties of concurrent, multi-year, multi-process sequences required for future advanced water resource development and management.

It was at this point that South Africa became a leader in this field. The reasons were twofold. They arose from further recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry. The report recommended that research be undertaken on the development of long-term river flow prediction methods as well as the possible causes of the observed multi-year anomalies being a consequence of extra-terrestrial influences.

Our subsequent research demonstrated that these two objectives were interlinked. It was shown that there was an undeniable, statistically significant (95%), predictable synchronous linkage between the double sunspot cycle, rainfall and river flow. These in turn were related to the behaviour of the Sun and the orbiting planets as the solar system moved along its trajectory through the galaxy.

Our successful, integrated approach was a world first. Our methodology and the database used in the analyses were made available in reports and publications issued during this period. We have achieved the two principal research priorities recommended by the Commission of Enquiry.

Other scientists demonstrated that the dense interior of the Sun is also affected by, and reacts to the Sun’s ‘wobble’ as it moves through the galaxy. This influences solar radiation. Other researchers postulated the presence of influences of activities beyond the solar system.

Climate change

It is not the purpose of this presentation to address climate change theory other than to point out that it is fundamentally different from the hydro-climatological studies described above. The major difference is that it is based on the theory that increasing emissions of carbon dioxide and other undesirable gases into the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations, transport, heavy industries and other sources will create a greenhouse effect.

This in turn will result in a warming of the global atmosphere. This will result in increases in the hydro-climatic extremes – floods and droughts, with consequent environmental damage and loss of unique plant and animal species. One would expect that scientists undertaking these studies would immediately search for evidence of these occurrences to support their theories. Equally, if they were unable to find this evidence they had a responsibility to include this in their presentations, particularly in the widely disseminated, authoritative assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This has not happened. Instead they have gone to the other extreme. The IPCC’s assessment reports completely ignore the wealth of material on the hydro-climatological extremes published during the past 50 years. They specifically reject the possibility that the Earth's climate is influenced by variations in the receipt of solar energy and its global redistribution via large scale atmospheric and oceanic systems. They offer no plausible alternative reasons for the well documented multiyear climate variability.

Full report obtainable from Will Alexander alexwjr@iafrica.com

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