Archive for the ‘Analysis’ Category

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

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Reposted from Reform.co.uk

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.

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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?

temp-turku-AO

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Image

2008 110.07
2014 104.47
1927 103.47

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

 

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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

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History of Met Office Gravesend-Broadness site

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

Image

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.
Or
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.

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The Catch-22 of Energy Storage

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

tallbloke:

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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…

View original 1,723 more words

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.

Image

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.

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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?

winds


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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.

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Guest post from Ben Wouters

Geothermal flux and the deep oceans.

To appreciate how the small geothermal flux of ~100 mW/m2 can play a significant role in our climate we’ll take a look at a cross-section of the Pacific in Fig 1.

fig1

Fig 1

A typical temperature profile is given in Fig 2 below

Fig 2

Fig 2

First the profile below ~1000 m. Slowly decreasing temperature with depth, more or less the same for all latitudes. The dark blue layer (~30 C) can be regarded as the top of the cold deep oceans. From 1000 m. upward the temperature increases rapidly, warmest water at the surface in the (sub) tropics. The dark blue layer only reaches the surface at high latitudes (red arrows). All water above this dark blue layer is warmed from above by the sun, either directly or indirectly. This layer also loses its energy again at the surface to the atmosphere, and eventually to space. Solar energy only warms the upper ~1000 m. between ~50N and 55S. How high the surface temperatures will be, depends on the temperature of the deep oceans and how much the sun can warm the upper layer above the deep ocean temperature.

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Guest post from Jeremy Shiers (@JeremyShiers), whose blog is at http://jeremyshiers.com/

Temperatures were 2ºC warmer 5000 years ago according to
archaeological and geological evidence from Skara Brae in Orkneys,
Scotland

Professor Ian Stewart presented the series Making Scotland’s
Landscape
, one program, part 5, focused on historic climate.

I produced the following chart from 3 separate charts shown on the
program, the original charts are shown lower down.

Temperature Scotland 4000BC to 1400AD

It is clear

  1. current temperatures
    are not unusual
  2. there have been a
    number of changes in temperature over the millenia

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Disagree with the Met Office, moi? 

30 September 2014 – Early Met Office figures show this is set to be the driest September across the UK since records began in 1910, with exceptionally low rainfall for many parts of the country.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2014/early-september-stats

Using Met Office published data 1910 onwards where I am specifically looking for abnormality taking into account variation through the year and the natural asymmetry of wet and dry. This is a non-trivial task.

 

Region Sept 2014 Z score
East Anglia 85th -1.5
England 21st -2.1
England and Wales 20th -2.1
England E and NE 36th -1.9
England N 17th -2.2
England NW and N Wales 14th -2.4
Engalnd S 42nd -1.9
England SE and Central S 66th -1.6
England SW and S Wales 45th -1.9
Midlands 26th -2.0
Northern Ireland 6th -2.6
Scotland 27th -2.0
Scotland E 54th -1.8
Scotland N 62nd -1.7
Scotland W 16th -2.3
UK 14th -2.3
Wales 28th -2.1

Oh well, my software or method must be defective. Or perhaps it rained a lot between 30th September and 1st October. An age old British tradition of sogg’in in Autumn on the 31st.

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Paul Vaughan has suggested we hold a discussion on bi-decadal climatic variation, which exhibits quasi-cyclic patterns in various datasets. To get the ball rolling, Paul has kindly given some time to producing some very interesting plots which he has introduced across a few recent threads. This posts puts these in one place and acts as an invitation to those interested in a focussed discussion on the topic.

The Bidecadal Oscillation

Is it caused by the solar Hale Cycle as suggested by Tim Channon or is it caused by the velocity of the sun with respect to the solar system barycenter as suggested by Nicola Scafetta?

http://s18.postimg.org/74uty1eix/Bidecadal_SST_Sun_Velocity_Hale_Cycle.png

Bidecadal_SST_Sun_Velocity_Hale_Cycle
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Image

The UK Met Office / Hadley Centre (Met Office) / Climatic Research Unit (UEA) construct and publish global time series for temperature based on published 5 degree gridded. How this is derived from land meteorological station readings and ship board for sea surface temperature is unclear. The gridded to eg. global is a simple (cosine) weighted average which takes into account the variable area of a linear grid representing a sphere.

I have put together maps showing the data counts for decades over a world shore outline. These are provided as vector plots (master work), PDF, or for casual looks, PNG. The results are disturbing and particularly in the light of the Met Office producing 100 different versions of HadSST3. “Each of the following files is a zip archive containing ten realisations of the HadSST3 data set. There are 100 realisations in total.”

Do I detect obfuscation, flapping for distraction?

[update] Roger Andrews has pointed out this work ought to use HadSST2, my mistake. I’m not sure what to do about this, updating the files is not too difficult but is there a material difference? I’ve created new files and am looking at introducing the hadcrut4 data.[update]

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Coal, There’s Just No Alternative

Posted: September 14, 2014 by tchannon in Analysis, Energy, Incompetence, Politics

Tony Thomas mentions he has an opinion piece up on Quadrant about the reality of electricity and human wealth in all the ways not so obvious, but also right on the past cries of environmentalists deeming the undeveloped world must not get wealth.

Thomas discusses US author and energy specialist Robert Bryce

Bryce didn’t discuss the merits of the catastrophic human-caused global-warming hypothesis. He just delineated the irrationality of draconian global and national targets to cut CO2 emissions, given the developing world’s determination to use electricity to lift its people from poverty:

“I’m a resolute agnostic about the climate issue. Tell me CO2 is good, tell me it’s bad. I’m bored with the nastiness.

“The question that too few people are willing to ask is this one: where, how, will we find the energy equivalent of 27 Saudi Arabias and have it all be carbon-free?”

Oh yes, nastiness, a hallmark of forcing others to do your bidding…

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