Opinion; Dr. Tim Ball
Way back in the last century, I suggested that in this 21st century the dominant issue in science would be magnetism and in resources water. This especially applies to climatology, where, thanks to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), they are either marginalized or ignored. It is not the only damage the IPCC have done. They kept the focus almost exclusively on CO2, and temperature within the atmosphere, at the expense of many other factors. William Kininmonth explains,
Climate models track the transfer of energy through the Earth system. The only boundary condition to the Earth system is solar intensity; everything else is dependent on the composition and physical/chemical/biological processes within the Earth system.
The recent article about the role of the “oceanic conveyor belt” in climate is nothing new, but is a reminder of IPCC narrowness. It is even worse with regard to extraterrestrial factors. Simple solar system activities, like the Milankovitch Effect or Svensmark’s Cosmic Theory, are barely included in their discussion and excluded from their models.
Too often, phenomena are considered, but rarely right back to the original mechanism. For example, everybody talks about El Nino and La Nina and accept they are caused by ocean current reversals, but suface ocean currents are created by wind, so the wind has to reverse first. But what makes the winds reverse? The upper level tropical easterlies have to weaken, stop, and start blowing in the opposite direction. What causes that? Van Loon and Labitzke showed correlations between sunspots and El Nino, but what was the mechanism?
Similarly, the Jet Stream shifts from Zonal to Meridional Wave patterns (Figure 1), but what causes that change?
Most of the considerations overlook physical causes, particularly wind, whether as advection within the atmosphere, or the solar wind impinging on the magnetosphere and the atmosphere.
Svensmark’s Theory related variation in solar magnetism to variation in low cloud cover and thus global temperature. It addressed two major issues in climate. First, it provided a mechanism of cause and effect between variations in sunspot numbers, an external forcing, and the internal result, varying global temperature. Second, it explained how there was more cloud formation and precipitation than the estimated available condensation nuclei.
One potential event is bringing magnetism into the public forum, but as usual, it is being exploited. The Earths magnetic field has been weakening for approximately 1000 years (Figure 2) and a simple trend extension suggests it will weaken to zero in the near future. The questions are, will the trend continue, and if it does, when will zero occur?
Like most alarmist exploitations, it is nothing new. Reversals occur on a regular and relatively frequent basis. Periods called Epochs fluctuate between Normal, as at present, with Reverse conditions. Discovery of these polarity reversals was important in establishing the continental drift theory. As lava emerges and cools, when it reaches the Curie Point, magnetically sensisitive minerals align with the existing polarity. The lava layers are a record of the changing polarity. The problem is it is a crude measure, so it’s unclear how long the process takes. We know extensive extinctions occur at the same time, but other impacts are not known. Does it affect the climate? The larger question is how magnetism affects weather in general.
NASA said in September 2013 that we were within 3 to 4 months of a polar magnetic reversal. They were wrong, but now a new paper says it will occur some time in the next 100 years. Either way, alarmists and the sensationalist media see another opportunity. To paraphrase Rahm Emmanuel, the mantra among environmentalists is to “Never let a good catastrophe go to waste.”
Evidence suggests there is no potential harm to humans as one commenter observed,
“The human race has survived many excursions and a few reversals already: so we are likely to come through the next one unscathed.”
Some suggest the Olduvai event was pivotal in human evolution, as that region of Africa is apparently important in the anthropological record. Some attribute demise of the Neanderthals to magnetic reversals, but why them and not others.
What happened to the weather during the reversals? Some researchers link them to dramatic weather pattern changes, but also to volcanic eruptions.
…the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences described the connection between the Laschamp magnetic reversal, the Phlegrean Field (Campi Flegrei) volcanic eruption that devastated most of southeastern Europe, and periods of frequent rapid cooling and warming.
It is not clear if the weather fluctuations are due to volcanic dust or the reversal. This is not surprising because few consider magnetism as a factor and most assume that an exterenal forcing will affect all global temperature globally.
Earth’s Magnetism and Weather
What do we know about relationships between the Earth’s magnetic field and weather? The answer is very little, mostly due to the IPCC hijack, but also inadequate data and knowledge of mechanisms. Are people using solar or earth’s magnetism for weather forecasting? If your forecast works then you likely have the science correct, unlike the IPCC. It looked promising when a search found such sites such as Environment Canada’s “Space Weather”. It was actually a forecast of magnetic activity over Canada. (Figure 2)
There is, to my knowledge, no connection made by EC between this information and the underlying weather. This, despite the fact some are beginning to examine the issue. For example, an article in ScienceDaily is titled, “Sun’s Magnetic Field May Impact Weather and Climate: Sun Cycle Can Predict Rainfall Fluctuations”, references a 2008 work by Baker et al in Geophysical Research , but more on that later. One Aurora information web site from the University of Alaska answers the question, “Does the aurora have an effect on the environment?” with a simple, “Yes, but limited to the high altitude atmosphere.”
They are also primarily a high latitude event, but observations in lower latitudes are a sign of expansion of the dome of cold polar air. In England they were also called Lord Derwentwater’s lights because they were unusually bright on February 24th 1716, when he was beheaded. A bad omen for him, but are they indicators of anything else?
Flying in the arctic and later examining historic records of the region, I became familiar with the importance of these lights for northern indigenous people. They and the fur traders, who called them Petty Dancers from the French petite danseurs, used them as weather indicators.
The Cree in Manitoba forecast cold weather for three to four weeks after a prolonged display. Henry Youle Hind, leader of a scientific expedition across Canada, wrote about Ojibway predictions. On the 19th of September 1858 he wrote:
We arrived at the mouth of the river at 10 A.M., and hastened to avail ourselves of a south-east wind just to rise. Last night the aurora was very beautiful, and extended far beyond the zenith, leading the voyageurs to predict a windy day. The notion prevails with them that when the aurora is low, the following day will be calm; when high, stormy.
Samuel Hearne spent 2 1/2 years with the Chipewyan, (he called them Northern Indians), and wrote in his journal,
The Northern Indians call the Aurora Borealis , Ed-thin; and when that meteor is very bright, they say that deer is plentiful in that part of the atmosphere;,,, Their ideas in this respect are founded on a principle one would not imagine. Experience has shewn tham, that when a hairy deer-skin is briskly stroked with the hand in a dark night, it will emit many sparks of electrical fire, as the back of a cat will.
This effectively describes the phenomenon of static electricity. It is remarkably close to the current explanation of the aurora as an interaction between the solar wind, exciting gas particles of nitrogen and oxygen, causing a neon type glow.
There are some interesting studies that point to a relationship and impact not considered by most, especially the IPCC. For example, in 1974 J. King published Weather and Earth’s Magnetic Field. The abstract says,
A comparison of meteorological pressures and the strength of the geomagnetic field suggests a possible controlling influence of the field on the longitudinal variation of the average pressure in the troposphere at high latitudes. If so, changes which occur in the pattern of ‘permanent’ depressions in the troposphere as the magnetic field varies (for example, as the non-dipole component of the field drifts westwards) may be accompanied by climatic changes.
Another study by Professor Baker links solar activity to precipitation, concludes,
“The interaction between the directionality in the Sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields, the incidence of ultraviolet radiation over the tropical Pacific, and changes in sea surface temperatures with cloud cover – could all contribute to an explanation of substantial changes in the SOI from solar cycle fluctuations. If solar cycles continue to show relational values to climate patterns, there is the potential for more accurate forecasting through to 2010 and possibly beyond.”
The sun’s magnetic field may have a significant impact on weather and climatic parameters in Australia and other countries in the northern and southern hemispheres. Droughts are related to the solar magnetic phases and not the greenhouse effect, according to new research.
A recent article on WUWT provides another perspective on,
a correlation between the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) and polar jet streams, which drive weather events on Earth.
This trend of articles on solar activity and weather suggests it is time to revisit my long-term interest. The quote, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”, is appropriate. All of these factors attracted my interest during research for my doctoral thesis. I discovered a very strong 22-year cycle in a spectral analysis of a long precipitation record for two weather records. One, Churchill, is climatically sub arctic. The other, York Factory is mid-latitude and within the boreal forest. York has the 22-year pattern, but Churchill does not. This mid-latitude precipitation pattern, links with research of drought cycles on the Canadian Prairies. (“Climatic Change, Droughts and Their Social Impact: Central Canada, 1811-20, a classic example.” In C.R.Harington (ed) The Year Without a Summer? World Climate in 1816. 1992).
I also wrote an article for John Daly’s website speaking to a possible mechanism linking solar activity with variations in weather patterns. It stemmed from Environment Canada’s public claims and weather forecasts based on El Nino. It became the forecast fad after 1983 when El Nino pushed into southern California. This was north of its previous, more general, northern South America/Central America location and nothing grabs headlines like beach houses at Malibu being washed away.
Despite using El Nino for their forecasts EC were consistently wrong. I tried to explain that El Nino does not affect Canada; it only appeared like it, because the mechanism that changed El Nino also caused changes in the Jet Stream. What they were doing, was akin to saying that they watched cars and noticed every time the front bumper moved the back bumper moved. They concluded that the front bumper was causing the back bumper to move.
I proposed that a major mechanism is the varying pressure of the Solar Wind on the magnetosphere, down through the layers to the atmosphere, where it causes changes in the major wind patterns. The mechanism has to accommodate two major wind situations. First, is the reversal of upper troposphere equatorial winds, second, is the change from Zonal to Meridional Flow in the Jet Stream. This is achieved if you consider the atmosphere as a bellows that expands and contracts with increasing and decreasing Solar wind pressure. It creates a push-pull effect that causes the weaker tropical winds to stop or reverse and the much stronger Jet Stream to switch between low amplitude Zonal Flow and high amplitude Meridional Flow.
Those who only study one small piece of the complex puzzle that is weather and climate will make specious unhelpful comments, as usual. Others, especially those trying to make more accurate weather and thereby climate forecasts, will understand. We know the IPCC and all national forecasts are consistently wrong. We also know some achieve better results, but they are marginalized and ridiculed by the “official” agencies. Even mention of them here will trigger the cynicism. In general, for seasonal and annual patterns of weather, the Old Farmers Almanac has a reasonable record. It uses sunspot activity among other things. Piers Corbyn survives in the marketplace, where, if he were consistently wrong he would be out of business. His results gained attention from the Mayor of London.
I have not a clue whether his methods are sound or not. But when so many of his forecasts seem to come true, and when he seems to be so consistently ahead of the Met Office, I feel I want to know more.
Corbyn does not disclose his input and methods for commercial reasons. We do know magnetism is part of the mix. The IPCC, and some of its participants, do not fully disclose method and input with no justification, although we know they don’t include magnetism. Their motive is also commercial. They need to keep the industry of deception going, which requires keeping government and crony capitalist funding flowing. It doesn’t matter if the forecasts fail, the political success it what matters. It is essential for them to include or exclude factors that achieve the political goal. Unfortunately, too many skeptics are also unaware of many of the factors, but at least most of them are willing to listen.