Cyclical Random Spontaneous Organization


On Judy Curry’s Climate Etc. blog, a commenter on one thread said the following and I had a reply all typed up, but decided to post it her, instead.

[WebHubTelescope] Here is a simple financial market model, which essentially demonstrates the effects of implied correlation. When stock’s move in unison, then market swings become larger. When stocks differentiate themselves, some up some down, then the swings are smaller because the individual movements can cancel. We are entering a phase where the implied correlation is high and the stock market no longer shows useful differentiation. 400 to 600 point swings will become the norm.

How would you test this hypothesis?

Yes, exactly!  ( A light goes on in my head…)

When they “move in unison”…  Yes, that happens.  It is about cyclical organization, perhaps in an unrecognized cycle that hides within what seems random but isn’t.  Stocks or heat packets are normally randomized to some “normal” level.  But in that randomness is also a propensity from time to time for things to align – to push in parallel.   Just like rolling a die that comes up three sixes rolled consecutively.
This kind of thing could and would happen on several different scales over time.  Sometimes the organization entrains a LOT of heat packets or stocks.

Look at clouds.  Normally random and mostly vertical plumes, though their size and morphology fall into classes, but mostly some variation on “mandlebrotian” mushroom shapes.  Yet we’ve all seen cloud patterns where there are very long rows in the sky.  The wind action or something for a while is no longer acting random, though even the organization itself is a randomness.  But maybe not.  Look up also “Undulatus asperatus” clouds.  What I saw was WAY better than that shown on Wikipedia.  I have photos myself of this newly delineated cloud type, where they look like the underside of a vaulted ceiling, each vault 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile wide, and consistent in their widths, row after row and miles and scores of miles long.  And it stayed that way long after I drove 30 miles.  I did see the end of the pattern, and the wind flow still existed, even when the visible clouds had gradually faded to blue sky.  Thus, it was not the clouds as the cause, but as the effect.  They also extended far in the other direction, as far as I could see in that direction.

Here is perhaps the best image:

Undulatus asperatus clouds, Hoffman Estates IL, along I-90, May 26, 2009

Here you can get an idea of the length of them:

The photos do not do the reality of them justice.

The purpose of this post is not about clouds, however.  It is about randomness having within it periodic – and in some cases perhaps cyclical – organization to it.  I would call it Random Organization, or more fully, Cyclical Random Spontaneous Organization.

And I have seen undulatus asperatus clouds again, too.  In randomness can appear organization, which doesn’t make sense – but it does happen.

The purpose of this post is not to show cool clouds.  The purpose is to

If chaos theory does not cover random cyclical organization, it should.

A hurricane, after all, is even spoken of as “organized” – and it IS.  Yet what made that one depression organize when several others didn’t?  Randomness?  Yes, but two randomnesses can sometimes ad up to organization.  Why?  What governs this?  Does it have to do with, say, El Niño?  PDO?  AMO?  Climate overall?  It would only take a little bit of organization for the temps to warm up or cool down for a few years.  We call it variability, but it isn’t random; warm years tend to (but don’t always) foster more warm years, and the same goes for cool years and periods.  Climate study is – or should be – about these cycles.  By knowing them WELL, we would know what else is anomalous when it happens.  Without knowing these cycles, we are flying blind.

It also appears to me that once an organization occurs, it may have some staying power, that the organization has to be “broken”.  It does so with cloud shapes, as I’ve seen. Does it also occur in climate systems, and have some temporal stability when it does?  It seems quite possible to me.

The obvious climate – versus weather – phenomenon that this might apply to is the El Niño.  This warm plume appears every 3-6 years or so along the Equator in the Pacific and directly affects the entire length from Peru to well into Indonesia.  When it is not present, the condition is called “La Niña” which lasts 1-3 years – about half the cycle.  The duration of either is itself random and unpredictable.  Its full name is the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), since it occurs in the “South” Pacific, meaning the tropical Pacific – AND that it does oscillate from one state (regime) to the other.

No one knows exactly where the heat comes from.  And it is not merely a more focused arrangement of the heat energy.  There really is more of it.  See this.

ENSO is not the only oscillation in the planet’s heat system.  Farther north there is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which deals with far more total energy.  The PDO is much more newly discovered, and less is known about it.

We know about such climate things as the seasonal monsoons and the Gulf Stream, but those we have meteorological explanations for.  ENSO and the PDO we do not.  We do not know what causes them.  They do not, like the monsoons, come every year.  They are not permanent like the Gulf Stream.  Coming only every few years and at different times of the year, ENSO has something else governing it, other than annual seasonal warming and cooling.  The PDO lasts for multiple decades, usually two or three.  So whatever drives it, it must be cyclical, but not any cycle that is currently known.

This is one of those things that I run across and then have to cogitate on for a good long while, hoping my mind will attract more information.  Eventually, enough information will come along, and then I will see if this has validity or not.

Thoughts on this are definitely invited.  Input is good.

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