Climate Alarmist’s Predictions Don’t Match Real-world Data
TOWN HALL - Whenever there is a new record set, whether rain, hurricane, drought, etc., those in the climate change alarmist camp seem to be quick to point to global warming as the cause and make more dire predictions regarding the future—even when there are other documented reasons and even when hard data (not models) disputes the claim. Such is the case with Lake Mead. On May 20, the federal Bureau of Reclamation announced that the nation’s largest reservoir reached an all-time low. The current level slipped below the previous record set in June 2015.
Despite reports of the mismanagement of the important water resource, USA Today responded to the news by proclaiming: “Due to a long drought and climate change, Lake Mead’s water levels continue to fall.”
Brad Udall, a senior water and climate research scientist at Colorado State University, and brother to former Colorado Senator Mark Udall and cousin to New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, declared: “This problem is not going away and it is likely to get worse, perhaps far worse, as climate change unfolds.” According to the Desert Sun, he added: “Unprecedented high temperatures in the basin are causing the flow of the river to decline.”
“Climate change is water change. The two go hand in hand. Heat drives the water cycle. …You have to invoke temperatures to explain the current drought.”While Udall’s statements are dramatic and coincide with the climate crisis narrative his better-known family members espouse, they do not, according New Mexico hydrologist Mike Wallace, reflect actual temperature and stream flow records in the Colorado River Basin. (I highlighted Wallace’s work on ocean acidification in December 2014.)
Both Wallace and Udall claim to be experts in the hydrology and climatology of the western U.S. However, Wallace told me: “I’m the only hydrologist who is publishing moisture and temperature forecasts in reaches of the Upper Colorado River, years in advance, with consistently high accuracy.”
Wallace, who counts the city of Santa Fe as one of his forecasting business clients, pioneered the discovery that moisture patterns in his area of study—which overlaps Udall’s—are deeply anchored to ocean indexes and sunspot numbers. He boldly asserts:
“There is no correlation of CO2 emissions history to the moisture time series that I have evaluated. Also, for the same stations that I review there is little or no correlation of temperature to streamflow. Rather, ocean drivers can account for changes in temperature and moisture in this region, and those drivers appear to be driven themselves by solar cycles.”While Udall believes temperatures are rising and causing reduced streamflow into Lake Mead, Wallace disputes the premise. Wallace says he has three years of successful forecast exercises to back up his claim that, in his study areas, “temperatures are hardly trending in any direction and, in any case, those temperatures are not correlating to streamflow.”
Wallace’s study regions include many of the tributaries of the Colorado River such as the San Juan River and the Green River—both of which are sourced in the Rocky Mountains. He says:
“There haven’t been any unusually low streamflow rates or unusually high temperatures in my area of focus. In fact, flows are going up, not down, compared to two and three years ago and some temperatures are actually trending down over the same recent time frame.”Using his proprietary method (patent pending) with more than 200 accurate forecasts, and applying to areas near the nexus of the Upper Rio Grande and the Upper Colorado Rivers, Wallace is projecting 3-4 years of generally increased water flows, followed by 3-4 years of generally decreasing moisture (drought). He posits that his innovations help municipalities, flood control authorities, irrigation districts, and resource management agencies better plan for future moisture and temperature conditions.
Wallace has written and presented several papers on his discoveries. But he continues to experience resistance from major peer-reviewed journals to publish any of his findings. The troubles likely lie in his demonstrations that emissions are uncorrelated to climate in his study regions. In any case, scientific papers are often considered as precursors to actual applications, and Wallace already has a working, proven application. He is receiving steady and growing recognition from the hydroclimate community. In April, he was an invited presenter to the 30th Annual Rio Grande Basin Snowmelt Runoff Forecast Meeting, sponsored by the USDA SNOTEL network and attended by top regional hydroclimate scientists from agencies including the National Weather Service (NWS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
If Wallace is correct, and he has a successful climate forecast record to back up his projections, Udall can’t also be right. Wallace believes most of Udall’s climate assertions, such as the claim that regional temperatures explain everything about the drought, are too simplistic. He also expresses concern regarding Udall’s use of the term “drought.”
“To accept those Lake Mead statements as factual,” Wallace said, “anything short of an epic flooding event, must be an epic drought event.”The natural processes that Wallace has distilled down to a working forecast system, don’t, in any way, appear to fit the crisis narrative that Udall and many climate “authorities” perpetuate. You should ask if we really need more funding, bigger departments, and greater public anxiety to fix something that, at least, in the western U.S., appears to wholly be explained by natural cycles.
The Largest Emitters of Carbon Dioxide: Volcanic Eruptions, Oceans, Decomposition of Plants and Animals, and Forest and Wild FiresIn a Geological Society of America abstract by Dr. Easterbrook, data showed we were in a global warming cycle from 1977 to 1998, at which time we entered into a new global cooling period that should last for the next three decades. The Pacific Ocean has a warm temperature mode and a cool temperature mode, and in the past century has switched back and forth between these two modes every 25-30 years. This is known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO. In 1977 the Pacific abruptly shifted from its cool mode (where it had been since about 1945) into its warm mode, and this initiated global warming from 1977 to 1998. The PDO typically lasts 25-30 years and assures North America of cool, wetter climates during its cool phases and warmer, drier climates during its warm phases. The establishment of the cool PDO in 1998, together with similar cooling of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), virtually assures several decades of global cooling and the end of the past 30-year warm phase.
Water vapor is the overwhelming greenhouse gas [it is 30 to 50 times more important than carbon dioxide (CO2)], and CO2 attributed to man is minuscule. Yet government-paid scientists claim HUMAN-INDUCED CO2 is the primary climate driver and must be eliminated to save the earth. Of course man is prideful enough to think he is a major player when in actuality man is an insignificant producer of CO2.
The greatest amount of CO2 is locked up in plants, rocks and the oceans. It should not be surprising that these each contribute more CO2 emissions than any other sources. This is a good thing, since there is a relatively stable and finite amount of both oxygen and carbon on this planet.
If it weren’t for carbon dioxide, the earth could well be a frozen ball in space, and life, as we know it, would probably not be able to survive.
The largest emitters of carbon dioxide are volcanic eruptions, forest and wild fires, and natural decomposition of plants and animals. Thankfully, ocean water has a great propensity for absorbing this gas, and, as ice melts, it means that the oceans can take in a great deal more CO2.
1. The biggest source of CO2 emissions is volcanic eruptions. At any given time, according to agencies such as the USGS, there are about 13-17 volcanoes erupting somewhere on Earth.
2. Next in line for emissions is the natural decomposition of plant life.
3. The next biggest emitter of carbon dioxide is probably the ocean.
4. Other large emitters of carbon dioxide are forest and wild fires.
A person may wonder where man and animals fit into all of this. Animals and mankind breathe in oxygen and breath out CO2, and their bodies also contain CO2 and carbon, which is released when they die and decompose. Man burns fossil fuels, which release CO2 as a byproduct. Animals and mankind don’t produce nearly as much carbon dioxide as the major producers, with the possible exception of the death and decomposition of animals.
The instrument temperature records since 1850 or so (until satellite measures started in the 1970s) which are used to prove human-induced global warming (AGW) have been shown to be inaccurate, unreliable, and tainted by numerous errors. Dr. Don Easterbrook, Professor of Geology at Western Washington University, suggests that since the IPCC climate models are now so far off from what is actually happening, that their projections for both this decade and century must be considered highly unreliable.
The current solar cycle, #24, is the weakest solar cycle in more than a century and it is now heading towards the next solar minimum phase which would be the beginning of solar cycle #25. The last solar minimum phase lasted from 2007 to 2009 and it was historically weak. In fact, it produced three of the most spotless days on the sun since the middle 1800’s (bar graph below). The current solar cycle is the 24th solar cycle since 1755 when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began. Solar cycle 24 is currently on pace to be the weakest sunspot cycle with the fewest sunspots since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906. Solar cycle 24 continues a recent trend of weakening solar cycles which began with solar cycle 22 that peaked around 1990.
Top "sunspotless" days since 1849; last solar minimum produced 3 of these years
The latest solar image (above) shows a rather quiet looking sun with only a couple of visible sunspot regions (indicated by arrows). With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun's X-ray output has flatlined. The number of nearly or completely spotless days should increase over the next few years as we continue to move away from the solar maximum phase of cycle 24 and approach the next solar minimum phase and the beginning of solar cycle 25 (current location indicated by arrow below).
We are currently more than seven years into Solar Cycle 24 and it appears the solar maximum of this cycle was reached in April 2014 during a spike in activity. Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles in the previous 23 that have had a lower number of sunspots during its maximum phase. The peak of activity in April 2014 was actually a second peak in solar cycle 24 that surpassed the level of an earlier peak that occurred in March 2012. While many solar cycles are double-peaked, this is the first one in which the second peak in sunspot number was larger than the first peak. The sunspot number plot below also shows a clear weakening trend in solar cycles since solar cycle 22 peaked around 1990.
Sunspot numbers for solar cycles 22, 23 and 24 which shows a clear weakening trend; courtesy Dr. David Hathaway, NASA/MSFC
Consequences of weak solar cycles
There can be important consequences from weak solar cycles; especially, if they are part of a long-term pattern. First, this particular weak solar cycle has resulted in rather benign “space weather” in recent times with generally weaker-than-normal geomagnetic storms. By all Earth-based measures of geomagnetic and geoeffective solar activity, this cycle has been extremely quiet. However, while a weak solar cycle does suggest strong solar storms will occur less often than during stronger and more active cycles, it does not rule them out entirely. In fact, the famous "superstorm" Carrington Event of 1859 occurred during a weak solar cycle (#10). In addition, there is some evidence that most large events such as strong solar flares and significant geomagnetic storms tend to occur in the declining phase of the solar cycle. In other words, there is still a chance for significant solar activity in the months and years ahead.
400 years of sunspots with Maunder and Dalton Minimums; courtesy wikipedia
Second, it is pretty well understood that solar activity has a direct impact on temperatures at very high altitudes in a part of the Earth’s atmosphere called the thermosphere. This is the biggest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere which lies directly above the mesosphere and below the exosphere. Thermospheric temperatures increase with altitude due to absorption of highly energetic solar radiation and are highly dependent on solar activity.
Finally, if history is any guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a cooling impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere - and where we all live. There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830 (below).
Both of these historical periods coincided with colder-than-normal global temperatures in an era that is now referred to by many scientists as the “Little Ice Age”. One of the reasons prolonged periods of weak solar activity may be associated with colder global temperatures has to do with a complicated relationship between solar activity, cosmic rays, and clouds on Earth. Research studies in recent years have found that in times of low solar activity - where solar winds are typically weak - more cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, has been found to lead to an increase in certain types of clouds that can act to cool the Earth.
The increasingly likely outcome for another historically weak solar cycle continues the recent downward trend in sunspot cycle strength that began over thirty years ago during solar cycle 22. If this trend continues for the next couple of cycles, then there would likely be increasing talk of another “grand minimum” for the sun which correlates to an extended decades-long period of low solar activity. Some solar scientists are already predicting that the next solar cycle will be even weaker than this current one which has been historically weak. However, it is just too early for high confidence in those predictions since many solar scientists believe that the best predictor of future solar cycle strength involves activity at the sun’s poles during a solar minimum phase – something we are now rapidly approaching.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian