How Ecological Homeostasis and Hysteresis Regulate Climate

by Lewis Loflin


Environmentalism has 'become a religion' and does not pay enough attention to facts.

Says James Lovelock. In his Gaia hypothesis, James Lovelock stated that the entire mass of living matter on Earth (or any planet with life) functions as a sort of vast organism that self-regulates its environment. Thus the planet maintains homeostasis.

Silly religious undertones aside, there's many simple examples of homeostatic mechanisms everywhere. When atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise, plants are able to grow better and thus remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In fact greenhouses introduce extra carbon dioxide to speed plant growth. Calling carbon dioxide "carbon pollution" makes as much scientific sense as calling oxygen a carcinogen, which it technically is.

Dr. Lovelock has pulled back from his 2006 book "Revenge of Gaia" and states, "I was a little too certain in that book. You just can't tell what's going to happen." The Guardian 3/30/2014.

Here I'll attempt to put this complex subject into layman's terms without religion.

When dissolved in water carbon dioxide forms a weak acid that in rain will erode limestone creating natural caves. In other reactions it forms natural cement that with silica for instance could form beds of sandstone by binding sand particles.

Carbon dioxide is a trace gas forming 0.03 to 0.04 percent of the atmosphere. Many times that once existed in the atmosphere when the earth was far more lush and full of life than today.

One popular but false claim is the oceans are becoming acid because increased levels of trace gas C02. This is false because the pH of the oceans is basic at 8.2. Below 7.0 is acid.

Again the earth's ability to self-regulate or homeostasis steps in. As CO2 dissolves in the oceans it interacts with dissolved magnesium and calcium ions to form limestone, chalk, and through biological organisms sea shells and coral. The extra CO2 simply becomes rock.

Homeostasis once again keeps things fairly constant over time.

There is no chance the oceans would ever become "acid" or even less basic unless one had hyper-massive levels of super volcanic activity or a major meteor impact that poisons the entire biosphere with toxic gases and ash.

Hysteresis is defined as "literally, to be late." Systems that do not directly follow the forces applied to them, but react slowly, or don't return completely to their original state.

In the environment the interaction between homeostasis and hysteresis is much too slow to be observed except over longer periods of time. This is climate change versus daily weather reports.

Predicting climate decades in advance is scientific nonsense. We can study past geological - historical records and they contradict present alarmist computer models - CO2 played no part in past climate changes in the last 65 million years.

Through homeostasis Gaia adjusts to any factor within reason introduced into the system. The main factors being introduced are random and unpredictable thus making these computer model crystal balls a running joke - none over the last 40 years has ever worked out in the real world.

The interaction of cosmic rays and solar radiation can't be predicted. The sun throws out electromagnetic radiation (heat, light, UV, etc.) and solar wind. All electromagnetic radiation will become heat as it moves through the system.

Solar winds are positively charged protons (hydrogen atoms stripped of their electrons) that are mostly diverted by the earth's magnetic field. But magnetic fields can't deflect electromagnetic radiation because it has no charge. But solar winds can stop or attenuate cosmic rays and other forms of high energy electromagnetic radiation.

High sunspot activity, etc. can vary heat output and solar winds. That means more heat-solar wind is delivered to Gaia and less cosmic rays reaches the atmosphere forming clouds that reflect sunlight. So less cloud cover combined with higher levels of solar radiation will cause the climate change closely related to solar cycles in addition to the variations to the earth's axial tilt and orbit around the sun.

Cosmic rays aren't constant either. These random bursts of stellar radiation are produced from exploding stars, etc. Sorry they can't be predicted. Thus more solar radiation-wind introduces more energy into the earth biosphere combined with less cosmic radiation- thus clouds - that lets in even more light, etc. that becomes heat.

Now we had hysteresis kick in as the effects were not immediate and took time to build up. That has been the case since the late 1970s which caused a lot of problems into the early 1990s as atmospheric expansion produced greater "drag" on low-orbiting satellites bringing the old Skylab back to earth in 1979. A lot of energy was pumped into the system for several years - it took time for this extra energy to move through the system as it was absorbed by oceans, etc.

In the book History of the Earth by William K. Hartmann (P. 223 published in 1991) he brought up the issue of global warming and he was simply sounding the alarms of others at this time. The chart on the page was the infamous "hockey stick" of Michael Mann. As of publication most of the temperature change was before 1980, wiggled around until 1990, then it was predicted to shoot off the charts after 1990.

Most of the temperature rise was in the 1930s and not the 1990s as it turned out. Mann has been discredited since that time by researchers at the University of Delaware. Spare me the data NASA uses - a Senate hearing revealed the data was tampered with (adjusted) to play down the earlier data. NOAA simply quotes the U.N.s IPCC political committee. The 1930s was the warmest decade since the end of the Little Ice Age in the 1900s based solely on the raw data.

This seemed to raise the temperature less than .5 degree very quickly in the 1980s-90s. Even ice caps on Mars were observed melting at this time. The temperature stabilized after 1999 and by 2012 was dropping.

Hysteresis thus slowed an immediate rise in temperature and the temperature continued to rise as heat worked its way through the system for a decade or two even after solar output dropped. Then it stabilized for a decade or so, now it's dropping as solar output has decreased and the heat from previous years is radiated into space from the poles. That's why the last two springs have been so cool.

That's what's behind sea ice melt in the Arctic that has been open three times in the last 10,000 years. Polar bears did just fine. The Little Ice Age ended in the 1900s and the temperature should have gone back up.

Mechanisms of homeostasis: feedback.

When a change of a variable occurs there are two main types of feedback:

Negative feedback is a reaction in which the system responds in such a way as to reverse the direction of change. Since this tends to keep things in a general range, it allows the maintenance of homeostasis.

In positive feedback the response is to amplify the change in the variable. This has a de-stabilizing effect on homeostasis. Positive feedback is less common in natural systems than negative feedback.

Here's why the climate apocalypse computer models have failed. Activists assumed that above a certain level of "greenhouse gasses" feedback would feed on itself cooking the polar bears. This was nonsense as in ancient times many times present CO2 levels did no such thing. This is why rising CO2 levels don't track temperature changes in the real world which are driven by the sun and cosmic rays - by ocean currents - and to a lesser degree geology.

The effect of additional CO2 is at best background noise. Yes we should do away with burning coal, etc. for a number of reasons - but not to impose totalitarian political agendas or religion. Nuclear and gas are obvious candidates - there are no real technical problems with nuclear and new designs can even recycle and "burn" spent fuel rods for several centuries. This would be a big plus for the environment, but environmentalists are not having any part of it. They have other agendas.

Bristol Virginia-Tennessee broke a record for cold on April 15, 2014. The temperature plunged to 24 degrees Fahrenheit killing my tomato plants. The real enemy is not carbon dioxide - it's Gaian socialism.

New Little Ice Age in the offing?

A report to an academic conference in New Mexico in the United States predicts a sharp reduction in solar activity in the coming 30 years similar to that during what is known as the Little Ice Age between 1645 and 1715. Russian physicists urge caution in such forecasts.

Ref. 15 June 2011.

Russia is enduring its harshest winter in over 70 years, with temperatures plunging as low as -50 degrees Celsius. Dozens of people have already died, and almost 150 have been hospitalized.

The country has not witnessed such a long cold spell since 1938, meteorologists said, with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees lower than the seasonal norm all over Russia.

Across the country, 45 people have died due to the cold, and 266 have been taken to hospitals. In total, 542 people were injured due to the freezing temperatures, RIA Novosti reported...Over the weekend, meteorologists predict temperatures will plunge even lower in the Moscow region, hitting -25. The Russian capital is also expected to be swept with snow, RIA Novosti reported.

Temperatures have been 7 degrees lower than the norm for five days already, which is considered an anomaly, according to the website. The cold spell in the Moscow region is expected to continue for at least three more days. Ref. RIA Novosti December 19, 2012.

California Cold Hits Record Low Temperatures

In Los Angeles movie stars bundled up against the cold. California citrus growers fight to save their crops. In the Los Angeles area, famously torrid Woodland Hills, which usually makes news for its triple-digit temperatures, hit a low of 30 degrees Sunday morning. That was warm compared to Lancaster in north Los Angeles County, which hit 15 degrees...

Temperatures reached the low 20s in the San Francisco Bay Area...In San Diego, zoo keepers offered extra heat and shelter for some animals.

The cold air was flowing east into neighboring Arizona, where metropolitan Phoenix was approaching the halfway point in a four-day cold snap that's expected to mark the coolest stretch the area has seen since 1988. Temperatures late Saturday dipped to 30 degrees at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Low temperatures across Arizona included 23 at Tucson International Airport and 7 below in Flagstaff. So says the Huffington Post 01/13/13.