Guest essay by:
Horst-Joachim Lüdecke, EIKE, Jena, Germany
Alexander Hempelmann, Hamburg Observatory, Hamburg, Germany
Carl Otto Weiss, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig, Germany
In a recent paper  we Fourier-analyzed central-european temperature records dating back to 1780. Contrary to expectations the Fourier spectra consist of spectral lines only, indicating that the climate is dominated by periodic processes ( Fig. 1 left ). Nonperiodic processes appear absent or at least weak. In order to test for nonperiodic processes, the 6 strongest Fourier components were used to reconstruct a temperature history.
Fig. 1: Left panel: DFT of the average from 6 central European instrumental time series. Right panel: same for an interpolated time series of a stalagmite from the Austrian Alps.
Fig. 2 shows the reconstruction together with the central European temperature record smoothed over 15 years (boxcar). The remarkable agreement suggests the absence of any warming due to CO2 ( which would be nonperiodic ) or other nonperiodic phenomena related to human population growth or industrial activitiy.
For clarity we note that the reconstruction is not to be confused with a parameter fit. All Fourier components are fixed by the Fourier transform in amplitude and phase, so that the reconstruction involves no free ( fitted ) parameters.
However one has to caution for artefacts. An obvious one is the limited length of the records. The dominant ~250 year period peak in the spectrum results from only one period in the data. This is clearly insufficient to prove periodic dynamics. Longer temperature records have therefore to be analyzed. We chose the temperature history derived from a stalagmite in the Austrian Spannagel cave, which extends back by 2000 years. The spectrum ( Fig. 1 right ) shows indeed the ~250 year peak in question. The wavelet analysis ( Fig. 3 ) indicates that this periodicity is THE dominant one in the climate history. We ascertained also that a minimum of this ~250 year cycle coincides with the 1880 minimum of the central European temperature record.
Fig 2: 15 year running average from 6 central European instrumental time series (black). Reconstruction with the 6 strongest Fourier components (red).
Fig 3: Wavelet analysis of the stalagmite time series.
Thus the overall temperature development since 1780 is part of periodic temperature dynamics prevailing already for ~2000 years. This applies in particular to the temperature rise since 1880, which is officially claimed as proof of global warming due to CO2, but clearly results from the 250 year cycle. It also applies to the temperature drop from 1800 ( when the temperature was roughly as high as today, Fig. 4 ) to 1880, which in all official statements is tacitly swept under the carpet. One may also note that the temperature at the 1935 maximum was nearly as high as today. This shows in particular a high quality Antarctic ice core record in comparison with the central-european temperature records (Fig. 4, blue curve).
Fig 4: Central European instrumental temperatures averaged the records of Prague, Vienna, Hohenpeissenberg, Kremsmünster, Paris, and Munich (black). Antarctic ice core record (blue).
As a note of caution we mention that a small influence of CO2 could have escaped this analysis. Such small influence could by the Fourier transform have been incorporated into the ~250 year cycle, influencing slightly its frequency and phase. However since the period of substantial industrial CO2 emission is the one after 1950, the latter is only 20% of the central European temperature record length and can therefore only weakly influence the parameters of the ~250 year cycle.
An interesting feature reveals itself on closer examination of the stalagmite spectrum ( Fig.1 right ). The lines with a frequency ratio of 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.25 with respect to the ~250 year periodicity are prominent. This is precisely the signature spectrum of a period-doubling route to chaos . Indeed, the wavelet diagram Fig. 3 indicates a first period-doubling from 125 to 250 years around 1200 AD. The conclusion is that the climate, presently dominated by the 250 year cycle is close to the point at which it will become nonperiodic, i.e. “chaotic”. We have in the meantime ascertained the period-doubling clearer and in more detail.
In summary, we trace back the temperature history of the last centuries to periodic ( and thus “natural” ) processes. This applies in particular to the temperature rise since 1880 which is officially claimed as proof of antroprogenic global warming. The dominant period of ~250 years is presently at its maximum, as is the 65 year period ( the well-known Atlantic/Pacific decadal oscillations ).
Cooling as indicated in Fig. 2 can therefore be predicted for the near future, in complete agreement with the lacking temperature increase since 15 years. The further future temperatures can be predicted to continue to decrease, based on the knowledge of the Fourier components. Finally we note that our analysis is compatible with the analysis of Harde who reports a CO2 climate sensitivity of ~0.4 K per CO2 doubling by model calculations .
Finally we note that our analysis is seamlessly compatible with the analysis of P. Frank in which the Atlantic/Pacific decadal oscillations are eliminated from the world temperature and the increase of the remaining slope after 1950 is ascribed to antropogenic warming , resulting in a 0.4 deg temperature increase per CO2 doubling. The slope increase after 1950, turns out in our analysis as simply the shape of the 250 year sine wave. A comparable small climate sensitivity is also found by the model calculations /3/.
 H.-J. Lüdecke, A. Hempelmann, and C.O. Weiss, Multi-periodic climate dynamics: spectral analysis of long-term instrumental and proxy temperature records, Clim. Past, 9, 447-452, 2013, doi:10.5194/cp-9-447-2013, www.clim-past.net/9/447/2013/cp-9-447-2013.pdf
 M.J. Feigenbaum, Universal behavior in nonlinear systems, Physica D, 7, 16-39, 1983
 H. Harde, How much CO2 really contributes to global warming? Spectroscopic studies and modelling of the influence of H2O, CO2 and CH4 on our climate, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 13, EGU2011-4505-1, 2011, http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/EGU2011-4505-1.pdf