Russia is burning, Pakistan is flooded, icebergs are melting, and so many are pointing the finger at “global warming”, or “climate change” which both have their underpinnings in the belief that human produced CO2 is having disastrous effects to the Earth’s climate. The cyclical reasoned justification for this is that Russia is burning, Pakistan is flooded, and icebergs are melting.
Rest assured dear reader, so-called extreme weather happens all the time, it is quite natural, and therefore not extreme whatsoever.
This naturally occurring cyclical chaos does not have any basis in the CO2 concentration present in the atmosphere, but rather in the concepts of constructive and destructive interference.
A visual lesson on constructive and destructive interference will follow, but first I would like to submit three pieces of evidence in this trial of CO2. Firstly, I will submit an historical record of fires in Russia, and secondly an historical account of a horrible cyclone in Pakistan, and lastly a discussion of the history of Arctic icebergs calving.
First, as to the current fires in some parts of Russia:
I would like to thank “oakwood” on the Watts Up With That blog for providing a translation created by “Trofim” and posted in an article on the Guardian’s website. The translation of historical accounts by Trofim and provided by oakwood is presented following.
1298: There was a wholesale death of animals. In the same year there was a drought, and the woods and peat bogs burnt.
1364: Halfway through summer there was a complete smoke haze, the heat was dreadful, the forests, bogs and earth were burning, rivers dried up. The same thing happened the following year . . .
1431: following a blotting out of the sky, and pillars of fire, there was a drought – “the earth and the bogs smouldered, there was no clear sky for 6 weeks, nobody saw the sun, fishes, animals and birds died of the smoke.
1735: Empress Anna wrote to General Ushakov: “Andrei Ivanovich, here in St Petersburg it is so smoky that one cannot open the windows, and all because, just like last year, the forests are burning. We are surprised that no-one has thought about how to stem the fires, which are burning for the second year in a row”.
1831: Summer was unbearably hot, and as a consequence of numerous fires in the forests, there was a constant haze of smoke in the air, through which the sun appeared a red hot ball; the smell of burning was so strong, that it was difficult to breathe.
The years of 1839-1841 were known as the “hungry years”. In the spring of 1840, the spring sowings of corn disappeared in many places. From midway through April until the end of August not a drop of rain fell. From the beginning of summer the fields were covered with a dirty grey film of dust. All the plants wilted, dying from the heat and lack of water. It was extraordinarily hot and close, even though the sun, being covered in haze, shone very weakly through the haze of smoke. Here and there in various regions of Russia the forests and peat bogs were burning (the firest had begun already in 1939). there was a reddish haze, partially covering the sun, and there were dark, menacing clouds on the horizon. There was a choking stench of smoke which penetrated everywhere, even into houses where the windows remained closed.
1868: the weather was murderous. It rained once during the summer. There was a drought. The sun, like a red hot cinder, glowed through the clouds of smoke from the peat bogs. Near Peterhoff the forests and peat workings burnt, and troops dug trenches and flooded the subterranean fire. It was 40 centigrade in the open, and 28 in the shade.
1868: a prolonged drought in the northern regions was accompanied by devastating fires in various regions. Apart from the cities and villages affected by this catastrophe, the forests, peat workings and dried-up marshes were burning. In St Petersburg region smoke filled the city and its outlying districts for several weeks.
1875: While in western europe there is continual rain and they complain about the cold summer, here in Russia there is a terrible drought. In southern Russia all the cereal and fruit crops have died, and around St Petersburg the forest fires are such that in the city itself, especially in the evening, there is a thick haze of smoke and a smell of burning. Yesterday, the burning woods and peat bogs threatened the ammunitiion stores of the artillery range and even Okhtensk gunpowder factory.
1885: (in a letter from Peter Tchaikovsky, composer): I’m writing to you at three oclock in the afternoon in such darkness, you would think it was nine oclock at night. For several days, the horizon has been enveloped in a smoke haze, arising, they say, from fires in the forest and peat bogs. Visibility is diminishing by the day, and I’m starting to fear that we might even die of suffocation.
1917 (diary of Aleksandr Blok, poet): There is a smell of burning, as it seems, all around the city peat bogs, undergrowth and trees are burning. And no-one can extinguish it. That will be done only by rain and the winter. Yellowish-brown clouds of smoke envelope the villages, wide swaithes of undergrowth are burning, and God sends no rain, and what wheat there is in the fields is burning.
The original source is in Russian here.
It seems obvious that the current fires are not at all unprecedented.
Second, as to the current flooding in Pakistan:
The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and India’s West Bengal on November 12, 1970. It was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, and one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern times. Up to 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta. This cyclone was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, and also the season’s strongest, reaching a strength equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane.
The cyclone formed over the central Bay of Bengal on November 8 and travelled north, intensifying as it did so. It reached its peak with winds of 185 km/h (115 mph) on November 12, and made landfall on the coast of East Pakistan that night. The storm surge devastated many of the offshore islands, wiping out villages and destroying crops throughout the region. In the most severely affected Thana, Tazumuddin, over 45% of the population of 167,000 was killed by the storm.
So, it seems the current flooding is not at all unprecedented either, even in modern times, and so what should be recent memory for environmental reporting.
Third, as to the recent calving of the Petermann ice shelf:
We discussed this before, but I wanted to analyze more closely the lack of journalistic integrity in the reporting done by not only CNN, but every account I have read of the event.
In the CNN article we have:
The ice island, which is about half the height of the Empire State Building, is the biggest piece of ice to break away from the Arctic icecap since 1962
However, we have no mention of how the current calf compares to the one calved in 1962. The current calf is only one fourth the size of the calf in 1962. This is easily researched and the “reporter” should have thought to do so.
Also, our CNN “reporter” (no idea who this is, as no attribution is made) never thought, “what caused the event in 1962?” while reporting that the recent event was CO2 related.
So the iceberg calving is not only unprecedented, but really unremarkable. As it turns out, iceberg’s calve. They do this because they grow so large and in such irregular shapes that gravity does its magic.
The honorable profession of journalism is dead. Few investigate or stop to think in a cut-and-paste society that demands deadlines be met at Internet speeds.
Alternatively, we are deliberately being marketed a product, the product being “man made global warming is real and detrimental, listen to us”.
Now to the promised visual lesson on constructive and destructive interference.
We will first discuss destructive interference.
The following graphs were generated using the excellent freeware package MathGV. Many thanks to Greg VanMullen for both his time and effort, and for making his program free for download!
In the below graph, we have a simple sine wave:
This sine wave gently undulates up and down through its cycles in a repeatable fashion. Let’s consider this sine wave to represent the distance I am from the Sun during the day. As the Earth rotates, I move closer and then further from the Sun. The pattern is predicable and repeatable as is the sine wave.
The next sine wave will represent the distance my friend Ali is from the Sun throughout the day. My friend Ali is from Pakistan, and for the purposes of the post I will consider Ali’s location to be directly opposite mine on the globe. (Note to Janet Napolitano: I haven’t seen Ali since K-State nearly 20 years ago.)
Ali’s distance from the Sun would be opposite mine:
Now to the destructive interference. Suppose we wanted to plot the total distance from the Sun of both Ali and me? Here are the two sine waves plotted together:
My sine wave is represented as Y=sine(X), and Ali’s is Y=-sine(X), the opposite of mine. The Y axis is the vertical axis and represents the distance from the Sun. The X axis is the horizontal axis and represents the time of day.
Let’s add our two curves together to see the total distance of the two friends from the Sun at any point during the day. What does sine(X) + -sine(X) equal:
The reader has no doubt guessed it would be a flat curve at zero along the X axis. We have together no motion about the Y axis, no further or nearer the Sun throughout the day.
For each positive point on my curve there was a correspondingly negative point on Ali’s curve, and for each positive point on Ali’s curve there was a correspondingly negative point on my curve. This is destructive interference, we cancelled each other out.
Now let’s look at constructive interference:
Back to my curve:
Fortunately, Ali and his family and friends were okay during the current flooding, and he has come for a visit. His curve would now look like mine:
Suppose we want to once again find the total distance of the two friends from the Sun at any point during the day. What does sin(X) + sin(X) look like:
Here our curves complement each other perfectly, each peak is twice as high and each valley twice as deep. This is constructive interference.
Now let’s introduce some interplay between the curves we’ve seen so far to see how fast things get complex.
We have seen the curve of sine(X), and the curve of sine(X)-sine(X) and the curve of 2sine(X). These are very simple curves producing simple graphs. Let’s look at another curve. This one is sine(2X)-sine(X). Really similar to what we have looked at thusfar, so we would be right in assuming another very simple graph of this curve. However, here is the graph of the curve sine(2X)-sine(X):
Things get really complicated really fast! Suppose this were a graph of the climate. What one would expect to occur next would really depend on where the observer begins on the graph, that is when the observer was born or otherwise became interested in studying the climate.
Consider each graduation between lines on the X axis as a generation of man. How could anyone be expected to know what would occur to the climate in the next generation?
In almost every generation, an observer would not see the trendline described by their father and would believe their grandfather simply had lost his mind!
And this was a very simple curve, most certainly less complicated than the actual curve that describes the climate (if one can actually be constructed – which I doubt.)
I propose that climate is the sum total of all of the effects on the climate. Revolutionary, I know, no doubt Nobel Prize winning material there.
Each effect on climate can be plotted as a curve. Some of the curves would be continuous, such as wind or ocean current flow. Some of the curves would be single events such as a volcano erupting or a meteor strike.
The total number of contributors to the climate system, and therefore the number of curves necessary to plot a climate curve, that is, to make a prediction, is unknown.
Although climate scientists use super computers, the actual number of variables and their influences through constructive and destructive interference with one another is unknown.
Don’t be fooled dear reader into believing that simply because scientists use super computers the results are therefore accurate. The results depend entirely on the proper inputs being identified, the proper effect of each input on each other input being identified, the proper climate model being created, and the proper bug free program being written.
Needless to say, I feel this is a hopeless, silly endeavor. Predicting the weather is important, predicting future climate is unpossible (Simpson’s anyone?) The climate models we have today do not even predict past climate accurately, why should they be trusted to predict future climate?
What are some of the climate variables a simple man from Kansas is aware of:
- Slight changes in the distance of the Earth from the Sun as the Sun’s gravity well drags the Earth about the cosmos
- Slight changes in Earth’s position within the plane of the ecliptic as the Sun’s gravity well drags the Earth about the cosmos
- Slight changes in the Solar System’s location within the galactic plane as the galaxy’s gravity well drags the Solar System about the cosmos
- Slight changes in the Sun’s intensity
- Slight changes in the relationship between the tilt of the Earth/Moon system’s gravitational axis and the Sun’s equator where the Sun’s magnetic disturbance and thus solar flares are greatest
- Slight changes in cloud cover caused by infrequent cosmic ray activity
- Slight changes in cloud cover caused by precipitation changes
- Slight changes in cloud cover due to changes in the jet stream and other wind patterns
- Slight changes in wind patterns due to slight changes in the height of mountain ranges due to plate tectonics
- Slight changes in wind patterns due to slight changes in the depths of valleys as running rivers erode the Earth
- Slight changes in precipitation on land due to changing wind patterns alternating whether rain is deposit on land or sea
- Slight changes in atmospheric gas concentrations
- The occasional eruption of volcanoes on land
- The occasional eruption of volcanoes under the sea
- The continuous belching forth of our planet’s innards upon itself along the ocean ridges
- Slight changes in the width of the ocean’s ridges, reducing or increasing the resistance to the release of gasses
- Slight changes to the amount of continental plates as they subduct or grow, or perhaps slightly expand the volume of the planet
- Slight changes in magmatic patterns within the mantle
- Slight changes in the drift of the core
- Slight changes in land use patterns (the changes in the amount of land dedicated to farming, forestry, cities, etc.)
- Slight changes in the amount of methane welling up from the ocean’s floors
- Slight changes to the reflectivity of the Earth (albedo) as plants grow and cast shadows and then die, and as buildings are built or destroyed, and as natural occurrences darken or lighten waters
- Slight changes in albedo due to changing ice patterns
- Slight changes in the Earth’s magnetic field that allow or disallow a varying amount of cosmic rays and solar radiation into the atmosphere
- Slight changes to the Sun’s magnetic field
- The occasional earthquake
- The occasional meteor strike
- The continuous depositing on the Earth of the Solar System’s dust that becomes trapped in the gravity well of the Earth
- Slight changes to the ratio between the volume of plant matter (respirators of oxygen) to animal matter (respirators of carbon dioxide)
- Slight changes to the production of energy by mankind
Each of the above, and I am sure there are many more, would have their own curve representing their contribution to Earth’s climate. None of the curves are likely the simple sine waves this post has presented, and to make the point again: each of the above would have to be evaluated against each of the other to properly account for the constructive and destructive influence each would have on the climate.
Further, and more to the point of this post: each of the above have different times between the repetition of their patterns, for those that are not one-offs. The varying durations (periods) of the curves, the varying shapes of the curves, the varying intensity (amplitudes) of the curves, and the varying amount of interference due to the current presence or non-presence of each of the above plus all the actual climatic influences makes for a natural yet chaotic climate system.
Super computer or not, I just simply cannot accept that human produced CO2 is the driving factor of the Earth’s climate, or really, that it is of much concern at all.