Archive for the ‘Analysis’ Category

Guest post from Peter Morecambe aka ‘Galloping Camel’


The Kyoto Protocol

Elites around the world tend to believe that rising levels of CO2 in our atmosphere will cause catastrophic climate changes. Collectively they wield enough power to shape energy policies in many nations according to commitments laid down in the “Kyoto Protocol” and subsequent accords. It is interesting to compare the fate of the Kyoto Protocol based on the work of “Climate Scientists” such as Michael Mann with that of the Montreal Protocol based on the work of people like McElroy.

The Montreal Protocol essentially banned the production of Freon and similar compounds based on the prediction that this would reduce the size of the polar “Ozone Holes”. After the ban went into effect the size of the ozone holes diminished. This may mean that the science presented by McElroy and his cohorts was “Robust” or it may be dumb luck. Either way, McElroy has credibility and “Skeptics” are ridiculed. The Kyoto Protocol did not fare so well.


Ferenc Miskolczi

Well here’s a nice surprise. Out of the blue, Dr Ferenc Miskolczi has dropped a link onto Tim Channon’s thread, which goes to his major new paper, published by the SEI. So we are privileged to be among the first to read it and start a discussion. It challenges the entire basis of the IPCC AGW theory by deriving a theoretical atmosphere which fits observations and demonstrates stability of the Earth’s radiative balance. Thanks Ferenc!

Ferenc Mikolczi 2014 Abstract


Repost from Roger Pielke Sr’s weblog. Important this isn’t lost, because it shows a fatal error in Schmidt and Benestad’s paper. A paper still relied on by the IPCC in AR5 to dismiss solar forcing as an important climate variable, five years after Nicola demolished it. Benestad and Schmidt claim they successfully rebutted Scafetta’s exposure of their fatal error, something Scafetta vigorously disproved. We’ll take a look at that part of the controversy later.

Roger Pielke Sr’s original intro:
On July 22 2009 I posted on the new paper on solar forcing by Lean and Rind 2009. In that post, I also referred to the Benestad and Schmidt 2009 paper on solar forcing which has a conclusion at variance to that in the Lean and Rind paper.

After the publication of my post, Nicola Scafetta asked if he could present a comment (as a guest weblog) on the Benestad and Schmidt paper on my website, since it will take several months for his comment to make it through the review process. In the interests of presenting the perspectives on the issue of solar climate forcing, Nicola’s post appears below. I also invite Benestad and Schmidt to write responses to the Scaftta contribution which I would be glad to post on my website.

venus-transit-2012Congratulations to Astrophysicist Ian Wilson who has had a new paper published at Pattern Recognition in Physics:
Discussion of this paper is going to be in the form of a workshop with specific objectives, and comments will be strictly moderated for relevance. The objectives will be announced by the main participants, Ian Wilson and Paul Vaughan, in their opening comments. Basically, unless you have something to contribute to the mathematical exposition, please sit this one out and watch.

This new peer-reviewed paper is available for (free) download at: . This post reproduces the one at Ian’s blog.


Gerry Pease has sent us a solar cycle 24 update:

It’s all downhill now for solar cycle 24. Cycle 24 Max (smoothed sunspot number 81.9) appears to have occurred in April, 2014:

Cycle 24 progress (last update December 1, 2014

Cycle 23 Solar Max (smoothed sunspot number 120) was in early 2000:

Solar cycles 23-24 (last update December 1, 2014)

Note the progression from cycle 21 to 24:

Graphical comparison of cycles 21, 22, 23 and 24 (last update December 1, 2014)

Similar cycles 12, 14, and 16 had lower peaks than cycle 24, and similar cycles 10, 12, 13, 14, and 16 all had earlier peaks:

Graphical comparison of cycles 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 24 (last update December 1, 2014)

Smoothed solar activity since April is projected to be successively lower each month.


Scientist Paul Pukite has built a simple model involving Total Solar Irradiance , the Chandler wobble and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation which does an impressive job of emulating the Southern Oscillation index from Darwin and Tahiti. Here’s the result:




The BBC’s Roger Harrabin reports on a Royal Society report into the Somerset flooding (with a straight face). We covered this extensively as it happened last winter

somerset-flood-updateThe authors of a Royal Society report on resilience to extreme weather have told BBC News that they believe the campaign to protect the Levels prompted politics to override science.

They say those resident on the Levels may have to get used to living with floods, and they question whether investment to protect farmland is the best use of public money.

“These so-called experts haven’t got a clue what they are talking about. We are used to being flooded – but we don’t expect to get ignored for so long”

James WinsladeSomerset farmer


Reposted from

Energy policy and the return of the State
Rupert Darwall

RupertDarwallEnergy policy represents the biggest expansion of state power since the nationalisations of the 1940s and 1950s and is on course to becoming the most costly domestic policy disaster in modern British history. By committing the nation to high cost, unreliable renewable energy, its consequences will be felt for decades to come. Energy is an iceberg policy: its implications for the demise of a competitive market in electricity – the final achievement of the Thatcher years – are poorly understood and tend to be consigned to footnotes and annexes of policy documents.

Like its predecessor, the Coalition Government has three policy objectives:

Keeping the lights on;
Keeping energy bills affordable; and
Decarbonising energy generation.

These do not require the policies the Government is implementing. Indeed, energy policy militates against having cheap, reliable energy. Worries about the lights going out have intensified as the country becomes more dependent on the weather for its electricity. The market is the best way of providing reliable and affordable electricity. Converting the electricity system to wind and solar power does neither. Even on favourable assumptions, these are inefficient ways of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.


Over at the Hockey Schtick, Michael has an interesting new angle on determining planetary surface temperature from pressure and gravity – a subject covered extensively here at the Talkshop over the last three years. Here’s an extract. Of particular interest here is his new method of using the centre of mass of the atmosphere as a reference point. Head on over to read the full post.

Step 2: Determine the height at the center of mass of the atmosphere

We are determining the temperature gradient within the mass of the atmosphere and the equilibrium temperature is thus at the center of mass. The “effective radiating level” or ERL of planetary atmospheres is located at the approximate center of mass of the atmosphere where the temperature is equal to the equilibrium temperature with the Sun. The equilibrium temperature of Earth with the Sun is commonly assumed to be 255K or -18C as calculated here. As a rough approximation, this height is where the pressure is ~50% of the surface pressure. It is also located at the approximate half-point of the troposphere temperature profile set by the adiabatic lapse rate, since to conserve energy in the troposphere, the increase in temperature from the ERL to the surface is offset by the temperature decrease from the ERL to the tropopause.

Fig 1. From Robinson & Catling, Nature, 2014 with added notations in red showing at the center of mass of Earth's atmosphere at ~0.5 bar the temperature is ~255K, which is equal to the equilibrium temperature with the Sun. Robinson & Catling also demonstrated that the height of the tropopause is at 0.1 bar for all the planets in our solar system with thick atmospheres, as also shown by this figure, and that convection dominates over radiative-convective equilibrium in the troposphere to produce the troposphere lapse rates of each of these planets as shown above. R&C also show the lapse rates of each of these planets are remarkably similar despite very large differences in greenhouse gas composition and equilibrium temperatures with the Sun, once again proving pressure, not radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, determines tropospheric temperatures.

Fig 1. From Robinson & Catling, Nature, 2014 with added notations in red showing at the center of mass of Earth’s atmosphere at ~0.5 bar the temperature is ~255K, which is equal to the equilibrium temperature with the Sun. Robinson & Catling also demonstrated that the height of the tropopause is at 0.1 bar for all the planets in our solar system with thick atmospheres, as also shown by this figure, and that convection dominates over radiative-convective equilibrium in the troposphere to produce the troposphere lapse rates of each of these planets as shown above. R&C also show the lapse rates of each of these planets are remarkably similar despite very large differences in greenhouse gas composition and equilibrium temperatures with the Sun, once again proving pressure, not radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, determines tropospheric temperatures.

Step 3: Determine the surface temperature

For Earth, surface pressure is 1 bar, so the ERL is located where the pressure ~0.5 bar, which is near the middle of the ~10 km high troposphere at ~5km. The average lapse rate on Earth is 6.5 km, intermediate between the 10C/km dry adiabatic lapse rate and the 5C/km wet adiabatic lapse rate, since the atmosphere on average is intermediate between dry and saturated with water vapor.

Plugging the average 6.5C/km lapse rate and 5km height of the ERL into our equation (6) above gives

T = -18 – (6.5 × (h – 5))

Using this equation we can perfectly reproduce the temperature at any height in the troposphere as shown in Fig 1. At the surface, h = 0, thus temperature at the surface Ts is calculated as

Ts = -18 – (6.5 × (0 – 5))

Ts = -18 + 32.5

Ts = 14.5°C or 288°K

which is the same as determined by satellite observations and is ~33C above the equilibrium temperature with the Sun.

Thus, we have determined the entire 33C greenhouse effect, the surface temperature, and the temperature of the troposphere at any height, entirely on the basis of the 1st law of thermodynamics and ideal gas law, without use of radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, nor the concentrations of greenhouse gases, nor the emission/absorption spectra of greenhouse gases at any point in this derivation, demonstrating that the entire 33C greenhouse effect is dependent upon atmospheric mass/pressure/gravity, rather than radiative forcing from greenhouse gases.

Future low solar activity periods may cause cold winters in North America, Europe and Russia.
Jarl Ahlbeck – Abo Akademi University, Finland

Historically, low solar activity periods like the Dalton and Maunder Minima have been connected to cold winters in Europe. It seems very possible that the low solar activity forced areas of low pressures into a southern route or caused a negative Arctic Oscillation, AO, which in turn allowed cold air from the North Pole to flow across Europe. But can we obtain from real measurements that low solar activity really is able to do that?



I am both pleased and perplexed by a result which raises more questions.

There are 4 traces on this plot.Image

This is the Chilbolton data shown a few days ago but now I have worked out more of the insolation computation. If you look at the type CNR4 pyranometer specification this is within accuracy. Water vapour value from a specialist instrument is shown as a guide to humidity change, not used in the computation.


HT to the Hockeyschtick for spotting this essay from Marine Biologist Walter Starck at Quadrant Online. More scientists are coming out to call the alarmist position for what it is.

Walter Starck: The Climate Scam’s Meltdown

uksnowiceThe rent-seekers, opportunists, third-rate academics, carbon-market scam artists and peddlers of catastrophic prophecy can see the alarmist bubble deflating, so they’re trying harder than ever to sustain the scare. Problem is, Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.

This doesn’t mean the climate change “debate” will stop, the news media will cease reporting weather as a dire threat, or that the true believers will no longer be obsessed by it. However, the ultimate arbiter, climate itself, has made clear its decision by ceasing to warm for over 18 years. Despite the ongoing use of fossil fuels, a proclaimed 95% certainty of 97% of scientists and the high-powered projections of the world’s most advanced climate models, the climate has refused to pay the slightest heed.

Contrary to all the confidence and predictions of alleged experts, storms are no more intense nor frequent, while droughts, floods and sea levels have declined to confirm alarmists’ barely concealed hopes of disasters. The simple fact is that the alleged experts and their high-powered models were wrong. The climate has ceased to warm and, with little or no [enhanced] greenhouse warming, the entire theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW), aka Climate Change (CC), aka Global Warming, aka Extreme Weather, is left with no basis.


This article caught my eye because Isaac Held stuck his oar in. Talkshop readers will have a field day with this I think.

Researchers show that a canonical view of global warming tells only half the story.
Genevieve Wanucha | Program in Atmospheres Oceans and Climate
November 10, 2014

In classrooms and everyday conversation, explanations of global warming hinge on the greenhouse gas effect. In short, climate depends on the balance between two different kinds of radiation: The Earth absorbs incoming visible light from the sun, called “shortwave radiation,” and emits infrared light, or “longwave radiation,” into space.

Upsetting that energy balance are rising levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), that increasingly absorb some of the outgoing longwave radiation and trap it in the atmosphere. Energy accumulates in the climate system, and warming occurs. But in a paper out this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MIT researchers show that this canonical view of global warming is only half the story.


Rain: Is this cause for concern?

Posted: November 12, 2014 by tchannon in alarmism, Analysis, methodology, weather

A few days ago Paul Homewood picked up an item where the Met Office seem to make a fuss about UK heat and wet, although Robert Ward seems to be the one fussing. Since I have have the precipitation data on hand what do I make of it?

More Misleading Claims From The Met Office” (7th Nov)

This cites Yahoo News.

I’ll ignore the temperature, here is the precipitious matter ‘since records began in 1910 it has been the second wettest.’ [1]
Presumably more than 194 million tons of water dropped on London according to calculations by the British Rainfall Organisation [3]

The Met Office ploy is add the data January through end October and make that a year by year spot value.


2008 110.07
2014 104.47
1927 103.47

Independently reproduced above. Seems a strange measure so lets look some more.



I may be boring folks yet detail is what breaks to understanding. This is rather fun, things fit. 


UK extremes


Parameter Location Value
Highest maximum temperature Gravesend 14.1 °C
Lowest maximum temperature Pennerley 5.7 °C
Lowest minimum temperature South Newington -2.0 °C
Highest rainfall Redesdale Camp 19.8 mm
Sunniest Leconfield 6.0 hours

Issued at: 2303 on Tue 04 Nov 2014


Hourly data, a peak temperature which elsewhere seems to coincide with a short period of high visibility, probably sunshine. But look at the green wind data trace, falling west wind, calm, east wind then resume west. Humidity drops low.  The station is on a tidal estuary.

The estimate tide from various web sites at Gravesend-Broadness was low tide at 16 hours but the PLA chart for Tilbury which is 2km downstream is  0.76 m @  17:10 hrs


History of Met Office Gravesend-Broadness site

Posted: November 4, 2014 by tchannon in History, Surfacestation


Image OpenStreetMap / Author

New information has appeared so this is based on photographic evidence. The drawings are approximate and simple.

Those who want to look and with access to Google Earth here is a ZIP of Google KMZ files (4kB). Invoke and will go to the image for the date given.
51.464261° 0.310574°

The Met Office station commenced operation during 1996. It is not a full station. I assume it is treated as a minor synoptic station.


The Catch-22 of Energy Storage

Posted: November 1, 2014 by tallbloke in Analysis, Energy, Maths, wind



H/T @hockeyschtick1 for this great article on the non-viability of wind/solar as large-scale replacement for fossil/nuclear. Now can we scrap the CCA please?


Originally posted on Brave New Climate:

Pick up a research paper on battery technology, fuel cells, energy storage technologies or any of the advanced materials science used in these fields, and you will likely find somewhere in the introductory paragraphs a throwaway line about its application to the storage of renewable energy.  Energy storage makes sense for enabling a transition away from fossil fuels to more intermittent sources like wind and solar, and the storage problem presents a meaningful challenge for chemists and materials scientists… Or does it?

Guest Post by John Morgan. John is Chief Scientist at a Sydney startup developing smart grid and grid scale energy storage technologies.  He is Adjunct Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at RMIT, holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry, and is an experienced industrial R&D leader.  You can follow John on twitter at @JohnDPMorgan First published in Chemistry in Australia .

Several recent analyses of the…

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Last day of October 2014 (31/10/2014) was lovely and warm over much of eastern England, particularly the south east. Mostly weak sunshine and a slight southerly wind. The Gravesend site has in the past been the subject of questioning why it is so warm, estuary, not in town.

There was a south wind too in the Cairngorms where the temperature gradually rose all day, with a twist, the wind was rising from 48 mph to 60+ mph, gusted to 84 before last thing the wind shifted and fell. This suggests a general flow.


This confusing plot shows an unusual situation. The highest temperature was recorded at Gravesend, logged by the Met Office as 23.6C, 0.3C above the hour mean. The oddity is this occurred an hour earlier than the other group of stations, or perhaps is an effect of quantisation.


Reposted from Clive Best’s excellent blog 
Posted on October 23, 2014 by Clive Best
I have noticed that wind power delivered to the Grid is always less than 6 GW, no matter how windy it gets. This was clearly demonstrated on October 21st when wind speeds across the country reached around 50 mph for most of the day. The wind output was simply bumping along continuously below 6 GW. Something fishy is going on – What is it?



Ex-Environment minister Owen Paterson is tonight delivering the annual GWPF lecture. In it he will say the climate change act should be scrapped. UKIP has been saying this for years and has had a detailed energy policy document out for years detailing better alternatives for a viable mixed energy policy. The full text of his speech has been published at the Spectator. Here’s an except:

The vital importance of affordable energy

owen-patersonBut first, let us consider what is at stake. We now live in an almost totally computer-dependent world. Without secure power the whole of our modern civilisation collapses: banking, air traffic control, smart phones, refrigerated food, life-saving surgery, entertainment, education, industry and transport.

We are lucky to live in a country where energy has been affordable and reliable.

Yet we cannot take this for granted.

While most public discussion is driven by the immediacy of the looming 2020 EU renewables target; policy is actually dominated by the EU’s long-term 2050 target.

The 2050 target is for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent relative to 1990 levels. The target has been outlined by the European Commission. But it is only the UK that has made it legally binding through the Climate Change Act – a piece of legislation that I and virtually every other MP voted for.

The 2050 target of cutting emissions by 80 percent, requires the almost complete decarbonisation of the electricity supply in 36 years.

In the short and medium term, costs to consumers will rise dramatically, and the lights would eventually go out. Not because of a temporary shortfall, but because of structural failures, from which we will find it extremely difficult and expensive to recover.

We must act now.