Nile Floods, Sunspots, Planets

This is an interesting paper from 1985. It correlates sunspot cycles with Nile Flood history with planetary positions. It has a decent record of the Nile Floods in it, at least the more recent ones.

Cycles Research Institute

by William Arnold

Originally published in Cycles, December 1985 under Research by Others.
Reproduced with the permission of the Author

Table of Contents
I Abstract
II Introduction, Electro-Magnetic Nature of the Solar Wind
III Analysis of the Primary 22-Year Sunspot Cycle, See Figure 1
IV Analysis of the Nile Flood Cycle, see Figure 1
V Analysis of the Secondary 100-Year Sunspot Cycle and the 100-Year Weather Cycle,
see Figure 1 and Schedule 1
VI Analysis of the Primary 22-Year Sunspot Cycle Nodes, see Schedule 1
VII Theory of a Special Order, see Figures 2, 3, 4 and 5
VIII EMF (electro-magnetic force) Mechanism of a Galactic-Solar-Planetary System
Postulated, see Figure 6
IX Philosophical Considerations on an Ordered Galactic-Solar-Planetary System
X Bibliography


On the Special Theory of Order postulates Order. It holds that the physical laws of reality, known as “physics” in the realm of Science, extend into deep space. Certainly, they extend from the center of our own Milky Way galaxy to the center of our own Solar-Planetary System, the Sun. A Special Order on a cosmic scale, as demonstrated by this paper, is observed in the positive Correlation between the Sunspot, the Weather and the Planetary Cycles. In a previous paper on Solar-Planetary System Order (in Cycler, “Bode’s Law Explained,” 197)) this author demonstrated Ordinal Proportionality between planetary average distances from the Sun. In this present treatise, when planetary synodic cycles are oriented to the Galactic-Solar Axis (26G°-86°), a positive correlation is shown to exist between these mechanical events and subsequent electromagnetic data observed in the Sunspot cycle and earthly Weather cycles. An emf (electro-magnetic force) mechanism is postulated, and supported by the work of Hale, Nicholson, Ellerman, Joy, Slurzberg and Osterheld, Sheeley, Parker, Van Allen, Chambers, Nelson, Jones, Bray and Loughead, and will account for the modulated cycle effects, supported by the work of Dewey, Shirk, Jarvis, Ludwig, Eddy and Hand. The Special Theory of Order about the mechanism of our Galactic-Solar Planetary System with the planets acting as conductor-inductors within the solar wind field when oriented to the Galactic center now appears more evident, suggesting a Special Order from the Macrocosm down to the micro.

Skipping down into the paper, we have a description of some of the solar changes seen.

In 1915 George Chambers published drawings of the Solar corona of the Solar eclipse at Sunspot maximum of 1882, as the left diagram, and the Solar corona of the Solar eclipse at Sunspot minimum of 1867, as the right diagram.

Chambers observed, “When sunspots are at or near their maximum, the corona has generally been somewhat symmetrical, with synclinal groups of rays making angles of 45 degrees with its general axis …at the epochs of minimum sunspots, the corona shows polar rifts much more widely open, with synclinal zones making larger angles with the axis, and being, therefore, more depressed towards the equatorial regions, in which, moreover, there is usually a very marked extension of coronal matter in the form of elongated streamers reaching to several diameters of the sun.”

It will be postulated by this author that these two very distinct coronal displays are caused by two very distinct planetary synodic events: the former, symmetrical, shape during sunspot maximums appears associated with an expanded solar field whereas the latter, “more depressed towards the equatorial regions,” shape during sunspot minimums appears associated with a compressed solar field (see EMF Mechanism Postulated).

In 1951 John H. Nelson demonstrated the ability to predict sunspots and variations in the Earth’s magnetic field by the relative positions of planets to each other.

There are also some leads on other things to look up:

In 1966 Edward R. Dewey stressed the importance of the 22 year sunspot cycle in “The 22-Year Cycle in Sunspot Numbers, Alternate Cycles Reversed.” Then in 1970, in “Cycle Synchronies,” Dewey demonstrated positive correlations between the sunspot primary cycle and its harmonic multiples and subharmonics with periodic earthly cycles: including, Business Failures, Stock Prices, International War Battles, Floods in the Mississippi Valley, Rainfall in London, Tree Ring Growth, and literally thousands of other cycles whose turnpoints turn in unison with mechanical precision. As early at 1801, William Herschel, also known for his discovery of Uranus, had found comparative cycles in sunspot numbers and the price of wheat.

As the paper has a ‘dedication’:

In Memorium, Edward R. Dewey, 1895-1978
Founder, Foundation For The Study of Cycles

It looks like some of that work ought to be found on that site.

The Nile Flood cycle (see Figure 1, upper portion of chart) was compiled from data by C. S. Jarvis, Cycles, 1964.

Note, Nile historian, Emil Ludwig designated the 1781-1797 and the 1899-1915 periods as “low water” eras of supreme drought throughout Africa. Note, also, that 19 meters seems the normative mean water for a Nile Flood over the past three centuries, Note the major primary drought periods, the 1630s-1710s, 1780s-1830s, 1870s-1920s and 1970s-2010s (history records drought in Africa, 11 years straight, circa 1973-1985).

A Weather Cycle as observed in the Nile Flood cycle, Max rain followed by Min rain, appears discernible with maximums at 1750, 1860, 1950 and minimums at 1670, 1800, 1900 and a minimum at 1990 predicted. The range in meters between a plentiful flood and a drought flood seems minor in the numbers but real in consequence. In the 1900s, 17.17-20.40 meters, a range of 3.23; in the 1100s, 15.32-18.33 meters, a range of 3.01; and in the 600-700s, 16.29-18.50 meters, a range of 2.21. When the flood hits the upper limits it meant a good Nile flood, and good times; while those years it hit only the lower limit meant a bad Nile flood, and bad times. A range of three meters, or 9 feet, without variation, over the centuries (Jarvis, 1964), has beat harmonically with the music of the sunspot cycle to the synodic planetary dance, determining good times and bad rhythmically on a cosmic scale.

We can now ‘test’ that 1990 prediction.

Both Burkina Faso, northern Nigeria, southern Niger, far northern Camaroon (near Lake Chad), central Chad, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia had struggled with dwindling rain fall since the 1960s. Famines like the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia was caused by this from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, when the rain fall began to return to normal in Ethiopia and the Sudan.

So lots of drought, ending a bit after 1990 when rain started rising again.

The great drought in the Nile basin during the 1980s had reduced Lake Nasser to its lowest levels since the completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 to end with the Egyptian water crisis of 1988.

So within a year or two. Not bad. Not bad at all…

It then goes on to make some predictions on sunspot numbers that, it looks to me, were not quite right, and then goes into a planetary positions argument. The basic idea being that when the large gas giants, and in particular Uranus, are ‘behind’ the sun from the point of view of the galactic center, they “cut” more magnetic field lines from the sun; whereas when in ‘front’, the lines are more curved, so less ‘cut’. Then (hand waving) that somehow changes the solar activity and thus weather. (Presumed some electrical / magnetic coupling to the sun).

A positive correlation between the Secondary 100-Year Sunspot Cycle, the 100-Year Weather Cycle (the Nile Flood Cycle) and Planetary Synodic Cycles can be demonstrated by analysis of Figures 1, 2, 3> 4 and 5. The data suggests that the smoothed cycle and lower number of sunspots at nodes during the 1648-1714, 1783-1829, 1874-1919 and the 19652009 (predicted) periods corresponds with a lower Nile flood (drought) during the same intervals. Both of these 100-year full-wave sunspot and weather cycles appear to be caused by the Saturn-Uranus Synodic Cycle of planetary conjunctions-oppositions of Figure 2 when oriented to the Galactic-Solar Axis (a line drawn through their respective centers, the galactic center at longitude 266.1314° and 086.1314′).

Significant enhancement of maximums, minimums, timing of turnpoints and nodal periods of both 100-year cycles appears to be caused also by the Jupiter-Uranus Synodic Cycle (Figure 3), the Uranus-Pluto Synodic Cycle (Figure 4) and the Uranus-Neptune Synodic Cycle (Figure 5) when also oriented to the G-S Axis.

I think some of the cycle length estimates may ‘have issues’ and I’d also suggest that there may be an ‘edge effect’ where things can have a stochastic resonance “jitter” in them (so sometimes a 100 year cycle, sometimes 120 with added / removed one solar cycle). Much like sunspot cycles themselves average 11 years, but are almost never exactly 11 years, but cluster on each side of it in two nodes. But that is more speculation on my part than any analysis.

The ‘Nile’ paper points out that during the 1988 drought the Aswan Dam kept folks from too much grief. So it “works” well for fixing the Nile Flood cycles. (One hopes they don’t have a repeat of the 100 year long droughts of some extreme earlier cycles… the lake would run dry…)

It would be interesting to see if during any known historical “bad times” (those ‘Intermediate Periods’ we looked at here.) have any particular orientation of the planets relative to the Galactic core. I also note in passing that the present solar wind has dropped a lot, and that we have had some kind of ‘Grand Alignment’ in December 2012. Now sunspots are down and we’re getting cold and snowy… I have no idea if that ‘alignment’ has the planets in the ‘right’ position per the paper. Looking at this site: it looks like the planets were more or less all over (and I don’t see a galaxy center indication).

So that’s a bit of a “Dig Here!” for folks interested in planet / galaxy positions.

The truth is that planet alignments come and go all the time but life as we know it, keeps on. Take a look back at the planetary alignment on February 4, 1962. It featured a rough line up of the Earth, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn as well as a total solar eclipse. History shows that the aligning of these planets is fairly common, around every 50 to 60 years. A similar alignment took place on May 5, 2000 and was known as the “Grand Alignment.”

So looks like 2000 was the year. (Didn’t “Global Warming” end just about then? Hmmm….)

It does look like things “out there” track better with our weather “down here” than any CO2 gas levels.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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14 Responses to Nile Floods, Sunspots, Planets

  1. Baa Humbug says:

    In the Olympic sport of The Hammer Throw, where the athlete swings a heavy weight around and around at the end of a long chain, some very strong forces act on the athlete, making him look like he is wobbling as he spins around. And the faster he goes around, the more forces acting on him.
    If the chain was longer, the forces acting on the athlete would be even stronger.
    Imagine if the athlete had to swing a number of ‘hammers’ of differing weights at the end of a number of chains of different lengths. He would tangle himself up in no time.

    Our sun Sol is that athlete. The force of gravity is the chain and the planets are the weights attached to the chains. Old Sol doesn’t just swing one weight at the end of one chain, but many different weights at the ends of many different lengths of chains. But old Sol has had billions of years to hone his craft. Early in the piece, Sol got tangled up a bit and a few planets smashed into each other, but now, after much practice, he is nicely balanced and is beautifully spinning around, wobbling gently to the demands of the “weights” at the ends of his chains.

    Sol isn’t solid, at least his surface is not. So as he spins around and around, the surface gets pulled from one side to the other (a bit like ocean tides on earths surface).
    It’s not hard to imagine there are cycles to this hammer throwers spinning dance, it’s just that it is difficult to make sense of these cycles and whatever effects they have on the solar surface and the planets themselves, especially the ‘live’ ones like Earth.

    I imagine there are dozens of cycles of various lengths, all effecting Earths climate in varying degrees from negligible to profound.
    I also imagine we’ll figure out these cycles one day, probably with the aid of a super computer.

    p.s I don’t often comment, but I get the RSS feed and read most of your posts. Thank you E.M for an informative, interesting and entertaining blog. I’ve learned much.

  2. R. de Haan says:

    It’s interesting to refer to the work of Prof. Theodor Landscheidt who studied the solar cycles and planetary effects and he successfully predicted the end of the great Sahelian drought; as well as a period of drought in the U.S.A. around 1999. He also predicted the last five global temperature anomalies; the last three El Niños; and the course of the last La Niña prior to his death and of course the upcoming Landscheidt Minimum: and many other links on the web including the Landscheidt Papers.

  3. Gail Combs says:

    R. de Haan, It is interesting that solar physicists like Leif Svalgaard completely trounce any idea of the planets effecting the sun by saying the forces involved are much to small. Yet Landscheidt and others like Nicola Scafetta (WUWT link) find there is correlation.

    Svalgaard seems to be the guardian of the Status Quo for the IPCC position – “the sun does not effect climate” from what I have seen at WUWT. He will not even discuss the fact the UV varies more than TSI and any paper that refutes the Status Quo, he says has been ‘debunked’ usually by him.

    It is also interesting that while he will trash Nir Shaviv’s work at WUWT he will not go to Sciencebits and go head to head with Shaviv. link When I have quoted Shaviv and got shot down by Svalgaard I have told him to take it up with Shaviv but he never does. It is left for us peons to convey the information back and forth. (The link shows what I mean in the comments)

  4. Pingback: Nile Floods, Sunspots, Planets | Musings from the Chiefio | Solar Flare 2012

  5. R. de Haan says:

    Yes, I have noticed a quite intense controversy between Leif Svalgaard and quite some posters some which took off some odd four or five years ago at WUWT, not only with Landscheidt’s theories which are now practically banned at WUWT, but also with George Sharp, who by the way also was blacklisted by WUWT for some time, Nicola Scafetti, Nir Shaiviv but also David Archibald who is still publishing at WUWT on a regular basis. WUWT published an article a few years ago where the orbital position of planets on the sun was defied. I can’t remember the author anymore and I can’t find the article but since it was published Anthony practically closed the door on Landscheidt and Sharp for that matter. Because Leif, contrary to David Archibald hasn’t come up with a (for Anthony) satisfactory explanation for the sudden drop in solar magnetic output in 2008 Archibald is in a healthy debate with Svalgaard. I have taken notice from all views and make my own observations. I regard Shaviv and Archibald as brilliant scientist and I also think Geoff Sharp and his blog are on the right track. The most interesting aspect of our time is the fact that we have these marvelous tools to exchange information and the fact that we have a front row seat to watch the development of the current solar cycle with so many sensors at our disposal. What I really despise is the political climate doctrine and the corrupt cadre of activist scientists to keep it alive. Open discussion and confrontation is the only way to bring u forward. Making decisions based on consensus like it sometimes happen with NASA isn’t my cup of tea, thank you very much and refusals to engage in a public discussion either.

  6. R. de Haan says:

    There could be another variable over time that could affect long term measurement. The mass of our earth and our planets. There is this theory that over millions of years the earth mass and diameter is expanding due to material from outer space. This includes all the water in making up for our oceans. Because this theory pulls quite a few rugs from under established consensus theories there is a lot of discussion ahead of us. i think it’s an interesting subject.

    P.s what triggered my mind thinking about this was a documentary about the tunnel construction under the Bosporus in Turkey where the builders struck on archaeological finds at quite a depth below street level. In Northern Europe, known as flatland we see archaeological digs at similar depths, from 5 to 15 meters below street level/

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    There is another factor to the increase of space bodies mass and matter. Matter “sucks” on the fabric of space. Gravity is an effect that is manifested from this. Addition of material to the surface from space as well as material increase in the matter of the body. pg

  8. R. de Haan says:

    p.g.sharrow says:
    5 May 2013 at 3:44 am
    There is another factor to the increase of space bodies mass and matter. Matter “sucks” on the fabric of space. Gravity is an effect that is manifested from this. Addition of material to the surface from space as well as material increase in the matter of the body. pg”

    Right, PG that’s exactly why I think the consensus stating 1. the earth’s mass is constant through times 2. the earth’s diameter is constant through time is not correct. I reject any consensus that states that everything is constant except for the influence of humanity. We see this in climate and solar science as well.

    So I don’t buy this consensus, any consensus, especially because another consensus, alhough nobody is sure, claims that the water from our oceans comes from space via water rich meteors, comets (proto planets) that rained down on the earth. Well, if that’s the case we also received enormous masses of matter because no meteorite or comet exists of 100% water.

    We only have to look at the craters on the planet and the moon to see the millions of impacts to know this theory of an expanding planet makes more sense than the current consensus.

    In geological terms we can read the eartht’s history in layers as well. Peel them of and the mass and diameter of the body will reduce…

    Now if we adopt this concept of an expanding planet this also has consequences for the theory of plate tectonics. I just dug up some links:

    First of all WIKI of course: and

    Anyhow, lot’s of reading up to do here.

  9. M Simon says:

    In 1951 John H. Nelson demonstrated the ability to predict sunspots and variations in the Earth’s magnetic field by the relative positions of planets to each other.

    You might also want to look up the effect of planetary positions on HF (3 – 30 MHz) communications.

    effect of planetary positions on radio communications

    Well whadyaknow?

    Also try – John H. Nelson RCA

  10. M Simon says:

    It is interesting that solar physicists like Leif Svalgaard completely trounce any idea of the planets effecting the sun by saying the forces involved are much to small.

    Small forces can store a lot of energy if there is a resonance involved. To say “small forces” and end the discussion does not actually close the topic.

  11. J Martin says:

    If the Earth is gaining mass, then that would have side effects, the planet’s rate of spin would slow, the orbit would change, I have no idea if we would move nearer the Sun or away from it. I guess we would move further away from the Sun which might also perhaps account for the very long term climate signal which is looking as if the planet will end up in a snowball Earth state.

    Perhaps that also accounts for the switch from the 41k World to the 100K World.

    Interesting and perhaps worrying to some future generation.

  12. Gail Combs says:

    R. de Haan says:
    4 May 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Yes, I have noticed a quite intense controversy between Leif Svalgaard and quite some posters….
    Yes there seems to be a tendency to ban certain ideas at WUWT and to allow ‘Defenders’ of the core IPCC/Warmist assumptions plenty of room. It does promote a lively debate at times without treading on authoritarian sensibilities too hard or getting the site branded as a seriously “kook”

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @J. Martin:

    I calculated the rate of mass gain once, long ago, from estimated infall of debris and comets / asteroids. It’s not very significant. Then again, if it comes in ‘waves’, like large lumps when we are in galactic arms or… then that calculation could be bogus..

    As to ‘closer or further’, that depends on the direction and velocity of the stuff doing the infall. If faster than present orbit and “from behind”, we go further from the sun. If slower, or “from the front”, we move closer to the sun (as the orbital velocity slows). In either case, it just isn’t much.

    IMHO the “switch” from one regime to the other was due to changes of ocean currents due to change of position of the continents.

    @Baa Humbug:

    Nice example. Yes, resonance matters a great deal.

    Oh, and don’t forget that you get more momentum from distance from center of rotation than from mass… so those “small things far away” have a very large angular momentum…

    @R. de Haan:

    I really would like to work my way through that whole site, but I just don’t have the time … just small ice cream scoops of it from time to time ;-)


    Part of the reason this blog came into existence (beyond just my desire to put my arguments in one place where I could link to them instead of retyping ;-) was as a place with looser limits on what was “reasonable’ to discuss. Especially the “planets involvement”.

    Anthony tends to classify some things as more ‘flaky’ and put them off limits (like Barycenter …) while I’m more willing to say “I thing FOO is wrong, but go ahead and make your case”. It’s a valid separation, BTW… Anthony has a reputation to uphold as a ‘science blog’, while this is just my notebook and fireside chat ;-)

    @R. de Haan:

    I think the solar link is best explained by orbital resonance with the lunar orbit, and the moon moving the oceans in 56 ish year cycles. There’s a couple of postings here on it, but no matter how many times I’ve pointed that correlation out to folks, Leif and his side don’t care as long as it isn’t the sun.. and the solar folks don’t want to hear that it might only be a solar correlation not causal. Sigh.

    So, IMHO, the most likely answer that has been shown to match all the known facts doesn’t get anyone irritated enough to notice it…

    Per “digs” and stuff getting buried:

    There’s giant amounts of dust blown around from surface erosion. There’s a constant uplift and erosion, so, for example, where the Grand Canyon is thousands of feet up, it was once ocean bottom. It eroded back into the ocean (filling in the area under the Salton Sea and more to about 9000 ft depth…) but along the way a lot of it went “blowing on the wind”.

    It doesn’t need much infall from space, just a lot of dust storms down here…

    Then again, who know what happens when the solar system goes through dust clouds… we’re in a locally sparse area at the moment, but it wasn’t always that way….

    @M. Simon:

    Nice Catch!

    Yes, there’s a very definite correlation between the planets and radio propagation / sunspots. It’s the “how” that’s a bit vague ;-)

    But I remember 1/2 Century ago listening to shortwave and having sunspot / propagation predictions… come to think of it, I think some of them were from RCA…

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