Cartoon in the South African Sunday Times in July 2008 during the G8 meeting in Japan

National crisis ahead

Facebook Twitter

“Increasing reports that the world could be entering a mini ice age.” – Professor Will Alexander

National crisis ahead

By Will Alexander

Cartoon in the South African Sunday Times in July 2008 during the G8 meeting in Japan

(Excerpts) – I have experienced the consequences of extreme events that were well beyond the conventional design criteria. One of them was the flood that destroyed the town of Laingsburg in 1981. It was greater than palaeofloods that occurred thousands of years previously. Consider the situation if a drought of equal severity commenced in the months ahead.

Statistical analyses of hydrological time series are an essential component for the development and management of water resources in countries with dry climates. This becomes critical as the water requirements approach the maximum available resources. To complicate matters, the drier the climate the greater the variability of the climatic processes on all time and space scales.

Multiyear droughts are the greatest concern. The most important question that needs to be addressed is: are these droughts predictable? Joseph’s biblical prophecy of seven good years followed by seven years of famine is an example of a successful prediction and subsequent measures that were taken to reduce the consequences. Why is it that 3000 years later, modern scientists are still incapable of developing reliable drought prediction methods? Consider the following.

In 641 AD – more than a thousand years ago – a water level gauging structure was built on Rodda Island in the Nile River at Cairo. The record from the Rodda Nilometer is the longest available hydrological record in the world. In 1950 the civil engineer R.E.Hurst analysed 1080 years of data from the Rodda Nilometer recorded during the period 641 to 1946. He needed this to determine the required storage capacity of the proposed new Aswan High Dam.

He applied the Rippl method to successive segments of equal length, i.e. n=10, 20 etc, and found an unexplained anomaly in the data. The value of the coefficient h for the Nile River was approximately 0.75 instead of 0.50. He then analysed other long geophysical records, where he found the same anomaly.

Predictable periodicity related to solar cycles

It is important to note that the same multiyear anomalies that were present in the flow records of the Nile River were also present in other climatological and geophysical processes. Surely it must be very obvious that all these processes must be related to a single cause. The only conceivable common cause is variations in received solar energy. Why does the Hurst phenomenon not feature in today’s hydrological and climatological studies?

My personal concerns

In January 1950 I married the girl next door. After our honeymoon at the foot of Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg, I joined the Department of Water Affairs. The next 19 years we moved like nomads from one construction site to another building dams, tunnels, and canals while raising our family.

It was a wonderful experience watching nature at work, especially the dramatic rejuvenation of vegetation and living creatures after the rare rains. It was also very satisfying observing the equally dramatic explosion of biological activities as the dams filled, and water from them started flowing down the dry river beds.

False, alarmist and opportunistic

Now it is sad and disturbing to read reports in the scientific literature that storage dams should not be built as they cause environmental damage. This statement is false, alarmist and opportunistic. Clearly the writers have never lived and worked in the conditions they describe. Why do we not read about these periodic rejuvenations in their papers? The natural environment is in dynamic, long-term equilibrium. It is never in a constant state. Do they not understand this? Do they not understand that it is necessary to have a sound knowledge of natural climatic variability at the site being investigated before they can attribute adverse environmental changes to human activities?

Why is it that now as I approach the end of my days I have to read publications by wet behind the ears scientists that infer that my work in the field building and operating these structures many years ago was in vain? My conscience will not allow me to remain silent when others express these juvenile views that, if accepted, could cause damage to the welfare of our country and its citizens.

Development of a climate prediction method

Together with professional colleagues, staff and students we have developed and verified a multiyear prediction method that unequivocally explains the observed multiyear variations in the natural hydro-climatic processes. Our methodology is well documented in our many published papers, reports and frequent memoranda. Nobody has had the courage to question our studies or conclusions on scientific grounds.

Snow in the southern hemisphere

Alarmism is a favourite tactic of climate change scientists. How often have we been told that climate change will result in large regions of South Africa becoming warmer and drier? At about 10 o’clock in the morning of 7 August when I looked out of the lounge window I was astonished to see flakes of snow falling to the ground where they promptly melted. This was the first snowfall in Pretoria since 1959. This particular system deposited snow over a larger area of South Africa than had previously been observed. Notice in particular the concurrent snow falls in Australia forwarded by a colleague. This was a hemispherical occurrence.

The synchronous snowfalls in the southern hemisphere were preceded by severe drought conditions in the USA and unusual conditions in Europe. Nobody dared postulate that they were the consequence of climate change caused by human activities. But please read my article in Civil Engineering published in 2008 on the likelihood of global droughts from 2009 to 2016. Perhaps the day will come when our prediction methods are formally recognised.

The world could be entering a mini ice age

I have repeatedly mentioned that there are increasing reports that the world could be entering a mini ice age. This possibility was confirmed by our own studies of South African hydro-meteorological data. There was more to come.


Despite the remaining uncertainties, there can be no doubt whatsoever that there is a multiyear, predictable oscillating pattern in the hydro-meteorological processes. Those who reject the existence of the predictable periodicity and attempt to suppress this information must inevitably face the ridicule of the scientific community and the public at large.

Here in South Africa, last week there were riots by striking mine workers 34 of whom were killed. Elsewhere in South Africa there are growing tensions arising from unemployment (now 25% of the workforce) and the deteriorating infrastructure, principally electricity and water.

My personal distress rises from the fact that I have undertaken voluntary work in our poor communities. On one occasion I reported that there were people living in conditions that no human beings on this planet should have to endure. Now, neither the water supply authorities, nor the scientific institutions, nor experienced scientists and engineers seem to be aware of the possible national tragedy that lies ahead when our water supplies fail without warning. This is not an alarmist statement as I have personal experience in managing water supplies under these conditions. This time there will be outbreaks of civil disturbances and economic crises. We are currently experiencing a foretaste of these conditions but there are no signs of the development of measures needed to meet these challenges.

I have submitted a hard hitting paper for presentation and publication at the SANCIAHS symposium to be held from the 1st to 3rd October. It is titled Water resource management during prolonged drought periods. I intend distributing it in my next memorandum. I appreciate that I risk excommunication for distributing it at this stage although to different audiences. In the past others were burned at the stake when they questioned current beliefs.

I have recommended that the water supply situation and climate change be vigorously discussed at the symposium. To date climate change scientists have refused to participate in multidisciplinary discussions on this vital, national issue. This attitude is totally unacceptable. They should be exposed as being disloyal and having a blatant disregard of the principles for the advancement of science as detailed in the 1999 Budapest Declaration on Science.

I urge all readers to understand the importance and urgency of the situation.

Read entire paper:

Thanks to Hans Schreuder for this link

About the author

Professor W J R (Will) Alexander, is a distinguished hydrological scientist who has served South Africa and the United Nations in top official water management capacities, and latterly as a Professor at the University of Pretoria. He has produced a series of papers demonstrating that extreme climatic events such as floods and droughts fell into a pattern of predictable periodicity related to solar cycles.

The International Hydrological Decade (IHD) was established by the United Nations in the 1970s. Alexander was appointed as South Africa’s representative and attended the 1975 conference in Paris together with David Bredenkamp and another member of his staff. The South African National Committee (SANCIAHS) was subsequently established. Its 16th symposium will be held from the 1st to 3rd October this year and is the reason for these fundamentally important comments.

“A most important warning from a serious and genuine Professor,” says Hans (a retired analytical chemist).

19 thoughts on “National crisis ahead”

  1. Professor William J R Alexander and his co-authers publized this essay back in 2007, about the solar cycle and the the water cycle in Africa. It was an eye-opener for me and this essay will stand as a classic in climate science.

    Returning from a journey to Lofoten islands two days ago, some thoughts. Despite the melting of the polar cap, the climate conditions during spring and summer in northern Norway have been in general cold. The harvest of strawberries in the gardens is 2 to 3 weeks delayed and blueberries in the hills,about 2 weeks late for picking. But, the volumes are great, because of the rain. Last year it was a mild season, but in 2010 the frost in the soil of farmers inland in Troms was still there in June. A very bad year for farmers in nortnern Norway.

    What I also learned, the fishermen do not rely any more on the weatherforcasts from, or Meteorologisk Institutt, but used the forecasts from Iceland. My guess, the poor predictions from MI are a result of the global warming models from Reading, UK. All over Norway people are complaning of the poor forcasts, some sources are saying that the succsess rate is maybe a bit more than 50 %.

    The climate in southern Norway, were I live,has improved this year, compared to last year, when I had to cut down my tomato plants in the middle of August. But, due to the low activities in the northern Atlantic, we have had showers nearly every single day from the midst of June. That cools the ground when the water start to evaporate. So my american blueberries on the open field have not produced what I expected. But I have had a god harvest of tomatoes and cucumbers, and I will get a very good harvest of peppers. And – they all has been developed inside my greenhouses.

  2. The BBC are reporting that Arctic sea ice cover is at its lowest ever – even surpassing the record of 2007. The reduced ice cover means that more heat is being absorbed by the darker waters of the Arctic ocean and less being reflected out into space by the ice.
    If global warming is taking place, then why is the ice cover in Antarctica not declining? Being a land mass which reaches an altitude of over 3000 metres, any melt would occur only around the coast.

  3. An ice age (or mini ice age) is perfectly congruent with reduction or even elimination of the Arctic floating sea ice. This was predicted in an article in the “Atlantic” magazine over 50 years ago, in 1962 (“The Atlantic Thermostat”). With the reduction or elimination of the floating sea ice, evaporation from the Arctic ocean is much greater, and the resulting snow accumulates year by year, starting a new ice age. The article concludes “the next ice age will begin with slush, which won’t entirely melt by the next winter…” The article predicted that the floating Arctic sea ice would vanish by 2050, ushering in the next ice age. However, we should not be total alarmists. Some areas will become much colder, but others will experience no glaciation, and less cooling. (See the 400,000 year record from the lake bed sediments in the Chukchi Peninsula.)Farmers will simply adjust their crops, methods and varieties to the new conditions. Already many of the tomatoes sold in the US year round (!) come from Canada, where they are grown hydroponically in greenhouses, with grow-lights to speed them along. Plentiful hydroelectricity makes this economical, and melting edges of glaciers provide an excellent source of water for hydro power.

  4. In California, at the south end of SF Bay is the Santa Clara Valley. There has been an on going program since 1929 that stores water in the underground basin. The water is fed from mountain reservoirs and pipelines and canals from the central valley. I worked on this project for many years. The Santa Clara Valley Water District has always been light years ahead.

  5. and in usa right now you have a bunch of climate/greentards who got the fools in some states to OK blowing up the dams that were the life and area saving resources for thousands.
    so the water flows to the sea and people and animals die.
    smart, real smart.
    hope their names are filed for future legal action.

  6. And yet, reliable reports? continue to appear that tell us how the Arctic Sea ice is retreating and on Greenland each year, what to make of it ?
    Quite an internet discussion has been going on the phenomenon of the Sun setting more northerly than before, even the Inuit talk about it, so if the northern hemisphere is slightly more tilted towards the Sun, its rays would enter the atmosphere at a slightly steeper angle, thus producing more heat, hence more meltoff during the summer. Feasable or not ?

    1. Yes I would agree and the earth’s tilt did shift after the last Chilean and Japan earth quakes. Even the smallest dimension would make a huge difference!

  7. Thanks for bringing these articles based on true scientific findings Robert.
    I’ve just read the information that (according to NORSEX) the Arctic ice has reached another record low.
    I really don’t think that this is true, but they will certainly start to use this as the new “heat wave” hype to push their GW agenda.
    I disagree with them, because the analysis of the UK Met Office tells a very different story
    and the Antarctic icecap continues its steady growing trend,
    despite the strong oscillations that happen on a daily basis, where we can see in the graph that the SP icecap has had a positive anomaly during the entire year of 2012, which if confirmed for the rest of the year would be and unprecedent mark.
    Just 2 weeks ago the anomaly reached +900,000 km2, and I believe it’ll reach the +1 million mark again this year.
    This data is also in agreement with the reports of unusual cold from S. Africa and Australia and, because (as you remarked in another post) the Antarctic icecap contains 90% of the glaciers of the world, this could also be an important factor in the recently observed lowering of sea levels, since 2010 (when the 2nd highest record anomaly was reached in the SP)
    The logical analysis of the facts can indicate clearly where the truth is and where it’s not. That’s part of the scientific method and we can use on our favor because we’re talking here about the facts, not biased models.
    The report of Prof. Alexander is coherent with other data and analyzes, not the least of them is the known low solar radiation of the present cycle, but the hype about the Artic icecap from NOAA and other sources, seems “strange” and suspicious.

    1. So many climate altering variables,just not enough time in a human life span to pin point the eureka moment when we are all freeze dried like the mamoths of siberia. I will add my 2 cents anyways,a bit of research on the Chandlers Wobble cycle…confirms that we all live on a floating solid piece of earth crust buoyant on the magma and shifting around like slow motion pack ice. I can see why the inuit suspect the sun is appearing to be in a different position in the north hemi…that being said with a more direct angle of radiation from the sun on the north leaves the south hemi more shadowed of the suns energy,building more ice,especially the antarctic continent. Milankovitch,volcanic aerosols,Suns own climate cycle,asteroids all contribute to a earth super cool down…question is which. Geo- physical event will trigger man to basically fight for every minute of existence in the horrific event of an all out global iceage. Here’s some data on the increased chandler wobble.

  8. I have said for years that huge underground cisterns needed to be built to store water. For every history buff knows that after cyclical floods come cyclical droughts. Nobody has listened. Water is fast becoming a rare resource in many areas of the U.S.A. because nobody would listen to a common citizen. What does a home researcher know eh? Guess what? I obviously knew a lot more than their so-called experts.

  9. it’s coming, notice how harsh winters have become in Europe, since 2009 especially ?
    Meanwhile climatologists debate on global warming, how palm trees will grow as far as Eastern Europe close to Moscow, and Southern Europe will soon become desert…not ! it’s the opposite way ! ice ice ice !

  10. No Japan/Nihon, that island-group is called “Diaoyu islands” not “Senkaku islands”. Off topic, I know…

      1. C. Peter Davis,

        They’re still called, “Senkaku Islands.” That’s what they’re called in Japanese. The Chinese call them “Diaoyu islands.”

        This isn’t as innocent as, say, whether we’re called, “The United States” or “Los Estadus Unidos.”

        Japan owns and administers those islands.

        When the Chinese insist that a certain group of Islands, in the South Chinese Sea area, have Chinese names rather than the names given to them by the country that owns them, they’re insisting that those islands belong to China.

        The Chinese government is claiming that the entire South China Sea, to include islands on them, are part of Chinese territory. It doesn’t matter if those islands are a lot closer to other countries than they are to China.

        Those Chinese claims are laughable at best, insane at worse.

        Oh, yeah, Hello Robert! 😀 We’ve corresponded in the past, via email. Glad to finally be able to interact on your website.

Comments are closed.