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Is Global Warming

for Real?

J. C. Sprott
Department of Physics
University of Wisconsin -
Madison

Presented at the
Chaos and Complex Systems
Seminar
In Madison, Wisconsin
On January 17, 2006
Some Evidence
From Recent Seminars
Greenland Ice-core Data (C. S. Clay)

782,000 years

Lake Mendota Ice Cover (John Magnuson)

150 years
Prediction
Methods
■ Extrapolation methods
◆ Simple extrapolation
◆ Moving average
◆ Trends
■ Linear methods
◆ Simple regression
◆ Autoregression
◆ All poles method
■ Nonlinear methods
◆ Method of analogs
◆ Artificial neural network
Simple
Extrapolation
3
2
1

Order = 0

Fit the last few points to a polynomial


Moving Average

Lags = 0
1
2 3

Average some number of previous points


Trends

2
1

Lags = 0

Follow the trend of some number of previous points


Linear
Regression

2
3

Order = 0
1

Fit a polynomial to the entire data set


Autoregression

4
2

Order = 0

xt = a0 + a1xt-1 + a2xt-2 + …
All Poles Method

Poles = 0
2

4
1

Assume a sum of poles in the complex plane


Method of
Analogs

Lags = 0
2

Find the closest similar previous sequence


Artificial Neural
D aij N bi
Network

6 neurons Lags = 3

tanh x

xt = xt-1 + Σbitanh[ai0 + ai1xt-1 + ai2xt-2 + ai3xt-3]


Artificial Neural
Network

6 neurons Lags = 3

xt = xt-1 + Σbitanh[ai0 + ai1xt-1 + ai2xt-2 + ai3xt-3]


Artificial Neural
Network

6 neurons Lags = 4

xt = xt-1 + Σbitanh[ai0 + ai1xt-1 + … + ai4xt-4]


Artificial Neural
Network

6 neurons Lags = 9

This year: 26 days

xt = xt-1 + Σbitanh[ai0 + ai1xt-1 + … + ai9xt-9]


Artificial Neural
Network

6 neurons Lags = 9

Chaotic?

450-year prediction
~30-70 days frozen

xt = xt-1 + Σbitanh[ai0 + ai1xt-1 + … + ai9xt-9]


Conclusion
■ Eight predictors with ten or more
values for the parameter give 80
very different predictions

■ We could take an average of all


the predictions

■ Better yet, take the median of the


predictions (half higher, half lower)
Median of 80
Predictions

Prediction for this season: 91 days (March 19th thaw)


Ice Core Data
Neural Network
Predictor

6 neurons Lags = 9

782,000 years

xt = xt-1 + Σbitanh[ai0 + ai1xt-1 + … + ai9xt-9]


Ice Core Data
Average of 80
Predictions

782,000 years
Closing
Thoughts
■ The Earth is getting warmer
■ Human activity may not be the
main cause
■ Global warming may not be a
bad thing
■ Technological solutions may
be available and relatively
simple
References

■ http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/ le
warming.ppt (this talk)

■ sprott@physics.wisc.edu
(contact me)