Archive for the ‘Uncertainty’ Category

After the Ferrybridge fire and Hunstanton nuclear power station, more bad news for the hard pressed National Grid.

didcotgeorginemilesZainab Mirmalek, who lives opposite the power station, said: “There’s lots of water gushing down on it, lots of smoke and steam but the fire is definitely under control now.”

Fellow Didcot resident Leila Qureshi said: “We got quite near before the road was shut.

“The fire was ferocious. You could feel the heat and smell it.”

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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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Emperor penguins, Antarctica [image credit: USAF / Wikipedia]

Emperor penguins, Antarctica [image credit: USAF / Wikipedia]

We’ll highlight some points from the official reaction later but first the opening details from a press report. Note the eagerness to talk down the relevance of Antarctic sea ice.

‘Sea ice surrounding Antarctica reached a new record high extent this year, covering more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s. The upward trend in the Antarctic, however, is only about a third of the magnitude of the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.’

‘The new Antarctic sea ice record reflects the diversity and complexity of Earth’s environments, said NASA researchers. Claire Parkinson, a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has referred to changes in sea ice coverage as a microcosm of global climate change.’

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Hot off the press release press, NASA tells us what I’ve been telling everyone who will listen for the last four years – large amounts of heat cannot magically descend through a marginally warming (or cooling) upper ocean to lurk in the abyss… The second law of thermodynamics doesn’t like that sort of thing.

image shows heat radiating from the Pacific Ocean as imaged by the NASA’s Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System

While the upper part of the world’s oceans continue to absorb heat from global warming, ocean depths have not warmed measurably in the last decade. This image shows heat radiating from the Pacific Ocean as imaged by the NASA’s Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System instrument on the Terra satellite. (Blue regions indicate thick cloud cover.) Image Credit:  NASA

The cold waters of Earth’s deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years.

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably. Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

“The sea level is still rising,” Willis noted. “We’re just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details.”

In the 21st century, greenhouse gases have continued to accumulate in the atmosphere, just as they did in the 20th century, but global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases. The temperature of the top half of the world’s oceans — above the 1.24-mile mark — is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures.

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The plot below needs little explanation. The globally average surface temperature hasn’t warmed in over 18 years according to the RSS satellite dataset.

18yrs1mth

 

Now, Some say the surface hasn’t warmed because the ‘missing heat’ has gone into the oceans instead of warming the surface.However, if we look at ARGO; the best data we have for ocean heat content (OHC) (before it got reworked in 2010 by dropping buoys showing cooling from the dataset) – we see that Ocean Heat Content actually fell from 2003 to 2008:

Loehle-OHC-800

Where else could the heat have ‘hidden’? Well, the warmists claim it went deeper than the bulk of the ARGO system measures – below 700m, where uncertainty rises dramatically. However, they offer no plausible explanation of how energy is transferred through a 700m deep COOLING layer, in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics.

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The UK Met Office forecast for things they choose, such as Arctic sea ice extent but seem completely silent on Antarctica or even handedly dealing with both of pairs of extremes.

Ah well, wait a month or two… forecasting is better after the event IYSWIM

Image

Annotated extract from Met Office Arctic sea ice forecast page
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/long-range/arctic-sea-ice

It is possible the file dates do not reflect change in the documents.

NSIDC announcement for 2014 page here (where NSIDC also acknowledge the Antarctica extreme)

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Georgia Institute of Technology professor Judith Curry [image credit: Wikipedia]

Georgia Institute of Technology professor Judith Curry [image credit: Wikipedia]


Someone the current US President might do well to listen to before voicing opinions on climate matters is profiled here.

E & E News reports: Judith Curry thinks climate scientists view her as their “biggest threat.”

“I do not pay obeisance to the consensus and I think for myself, and they don’t like that,” said Curry, a professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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The size of the sun is of critical importance to solar studies yet this is poorly known, let alone if and how the size varies over time. Paper published this week in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Image

Fig.1. Left: solar radius measurements (red symbols) made since the seventeenth century (Rozelot & Damiani 2012). The mean value of all these measurements is close to 960 arcsec. Right: focus on solar radius measurements made since 1970. …

Fig.2. Evolution of the solar radius variations over time for ground instruments (Solar Astrolabe, DORAYSOL and SODISMII monthly mean at 782.2 nm), balloon experiment (SDS), and space instrument (MDI) vs. daily sunspot number time-series. For each series, the mean has been taken as reference value.

Fig.2. Evolution of the solar radius variations over time for ground instruments (Solar Astrolabe, DORAYSOL and SODISMII monthly mean at 782.2 nm), balloon experiment (SDS), and space instrument (MDI) vs. daily sunspot number time-series. For each series, the mean has been
taken as reference value.

 

Ground-based measurements of the solar diameter during the rising phase of solar cycle 24
M. Meftah, T. Corbard, A. Irbah, R. Ikhlef, F. Morand, C. Renaud, A. Hauchecorne, P. Assus, J. Borgnino, B. Chauvineau, M. Crepel, F. Dalaudier, L. Damé, D. Djafer, M. Fodil, P. Lesueur, G. Poiet, M. Rouzé, A. Sarkissian, A.Ziad, and F. Laclare

Paper access is available with registration.

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German power grid at risk of widespread blackouts

Posted: September 25, 2014 by oldbrew in Energy, Uncertainty, wind

[image credit: Wikipedia]

[image credit: Wikipedia]


Pierre Gosselin at Notrickszone reports:

‘There was a time when Germany’s power was mostly generated by the traditional sources of coal, nuclear, oil, natural gas and hydro. These sources were reliable and keeping the power grid under control was a routine matter. Germany’s power grid was among the most stable worldwide. But then came Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act, and with it the very volatile sources of sun and wind.’

‘As a result, today’s German power grid has become a precarious balancing act, and keeping it from collapsing under the load of wild fluctuations has become a real challenge.’

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An important new(ish) paper from a team including Ken McCracken looks at the likely continuing slowdown in solar activity:

McC-etal-fig3

CharlesW. Smith1,2, K. G. McCracken3, Nathan A. Schwadron1,2, and Molly L. Goelzer2,4
1Physics Department, Space Science Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA, 2Institute for
the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA, 3Institute of Physical
Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA, 4Department of Chemical Engineering,
University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA

Abstract
Recent papers have linked the heliospheric magnetic flux to the sunspot cycle with good
correlation observed between prediction and observation. Other papers have shown a strong correlation
between magnetic flux and solar wind proton flux from coronal holes. We combine these efforts with
an expectation that the sunspot activity of the approaching solar minimum will resemble the Dalton or
Gleissberg Minimum and predict that the magnetic flux and solar wind proton flux over the coming decade
will be lower than at any time during the space age. Using these predictions and established theory, we
also predict record high galactic cosmic ray intensities over the same years. The analysis shown here is a
prediction of global space climate change within which space weather operates. It predicts a new parameter
regime for the transient space weather behavior that can be expected during the coming decade.

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Spot the polar vortex [image credit: BBC]

Spot the polar vortex
[image credit: BBC]


Before the usual media suspects get too worked up at yet another ‘study’ proclaiming something or other about humans and climate effects, let’s note what this well-known IPCC author thinks of it:

‘Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, … said he doesn’t agree with Yoon’s study.’

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Ferrybridge Power Station fire [image credit: Sky News]

Ferrybridge Power Station fire [image credit: Sky News]


It’s no secret that UK electricity supplies are likely to be stretched at peak times in the coming winter, and probably a few more winters after that, as some coal generation is phased out to meet EU rules, and most of the existing nuclear reactors become obsolete.

The pressure to ensure adequate service is increasing and in response new schemes are in the pipeline. The great unknown of course is: will it be enough?

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Myth Of Arctic meltdown exposed again

Posted: August 31, 2014 by oldbrew in propaganda, sea ice, Uncertainty

Arctic ice [image credit: NASA]

Arctic ice [image credit: NASA]


This one runs and runs, but as it’s featured in a story in the UK national press (Daily Mail Online) quoting leading climate science figures like professor Judith Curry, we’ll give it another airing.

There does seem to be a good deal of suspect logic being thrown at the inconvenient fact that Arctic sea ice is refusing to go away as predicted by the UN IPCC and assorted like-minded pundits peddling their biases. Claims that ‘natural variability’ is just a confounding factor interfering with the supposed real story – i.e. significant man-made effects – have the appearance of wishful thinking, as no actual data is offered in support.

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oldbrew:

.

Looks like another example of the Al Gore effect…

Originally posted on Real Science:

In the 1950’s the US averaged about one major hurricane strike per year. Now we average zero per year.

ScreenHunter_2303 Aug. 25 10.28

HURDAT Re-analysis Chronological List of All Hurricanes

View original

Ocean currents [image credit: BBC]

Ocean currents
[image credit: BBC]


Bad news for fans of global warming theory dreaming of ‘strong’ El Ninos or indeed anything that might point global temperature stats in an upward direction.

Even the BBC is having to come to terms with climate reality, to some limited extent at least.

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Igloo time [image credit: Ansgar Walk / Wikipedia]

Igloo time
[image credit: Ansgar Walk / Wikipedia]


This is worth a look just for the last paragraph, which undermines most of the rest of it. Under the optimistic sub-heading ‘Warming to recommence’ we find:

‘Despite the warming hiatus, Knutti is convinced there is no reason to doubt either the existing calculations for the climate activity of greenhouse gases or the latest climate models.’

“Short-term climate fluctuations can easily be explained. They do not alter the fact that the climate will become considerably warmer in the long term as a result of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Knutti.

‘He believes that global warming will recommence as soon as solar activity, aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere and weather phenomena such as El Niño naturally start returning to the values of previous decades.’ [bold added]

Translation: as soon as the sun, the weather and volcanoes – all natural factors – allow, the world will start warming again. Who knew?

Farsnews report: Why Global Warming Is Taking a Break

Good to hear a warmist trashing his own theory in order to explain the lack of temperature rise this century – without realising it.

Scottish wind farm

Scottish wind farm


A few days ago the Talkshop highlighted the sacking of a Danish professor which appeared to be connected to his research and strong views on wind turbine noise.

Now this:
‘The Scottish government has commissioned a report into the health effects of wind farms at 10 sites across the country, following concerns that many people may be suffering from the effects of infrasound emitted from the turbines.’

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A quantum of space hype at NASA?

Posted: August 8, 2014 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, innovation, Uncertainty

To boldly go... [image credit: Wikipedia]

To boldly go…
[image credit: Wikipedia]


Is NASA close to inventing a ‘quantum spaceship’?

The New Scientist quotes astronomer and blogger Phil Plait:

‘The internet has been buzzing about a paper published by a team of engineers at NASA claiming that they have built a device that creates thrust without propellant. There have been lots of articles written about it, it’s spawned a zillion tweets, and I’m getting plenty of emails asking me about it.’

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Time for a forecast [credit: Wikipedia]

Time for a forecast
[credit: Wikipedia]

The Alaska Dispatch News reported:

Predictions of Arctic summer ice melt come with lots of uncertainty

http://www.adn.com/article/20140801/predictions-arctic-summer-ice-melt-come-lots-uncertainty

(H/T GWPF Reports)

A few highlights:

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Reblogged from Euan’s excellent site, Energy Matters.

“The Scottish Government’s targets are for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption by 2020.” What will the consequences be for the Scottish People?

This post models Scottish electricity production and consumption in 2020 and compares this with 2012. It is assumed that Scotland’s two nuclear power stations remain operational in 2020. The reader is asked to always recall that the numbers are based on models and the conclusions therefore carry uncertainty. The consequences of this energy policy may be:

  • A large electricity surplus of about 15 TWh may be produced in 2020, worth about £2.5 billion at 17p / KWh.
  • There are currently many ideas but no certainty about where this surplus might go. It seems possible that a large part may simply be wasted.
  • Assuming that marine renewables remain negligible and hydro output remains unchanged in 2020 then the bulk of the expansion in renewables to meet the target will most likely be met by wind that will require a 5 fold increase relative to 2012.
  • In an independent Scotland the subsidy payments currently made to renewables companies by 63 million UK citizens would fall pro rata on the shoulders of 5.3 million Scottish citizens. This, combined with the 5 fold increase in wind capacity may mean a 25 fold increase in the level of renewable subsidy born by Scottish electricity consumers. Electricity bills may double.

In summary, the Scottish Government energy plan may result in a large electricity surplus that at present has nowhere to go, the number of wind turbines may increase 5 fold and electricity bills may double.

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