Mars-Earth comparison [image credit: Wikipedia]

Mars-Earth comparison
[image credit: Wikipedia]


It’s an old question, and investigations are hotting up.

Phys.org reports: ‘On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring will pass by Mars only 132,000 km away—which would be like a comet passing about 1/3 of the distance between Earth and the Moon.’

In other words, very close. And NASA’s MAVEN probe will arrive at Mars just in time to see the show.

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Heysham power station [image credit: Belfast Telegraph]

Heysham power station
[image credit: Belfast Telegraph]


Lurking in a NYT report on the recent shutdown of four nuclear reactors (three in the last week, one in June) for ‘safety checks’ is this sobering analysis:

‘The reactor problems highlight that most of Britain’s nuclear installations, which generate about 20 percent of the country’s electricity, are approaching the end of their lives. The four EDF reactors under investigation were commissioned in 1983 and are officially scheduled to be removed from service in 2019.’

Then comes the bombshell:
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Airport scene [image credit: Wikipedia]

Airport scene
[image credit: Wikipedia]


The New York Times reports on one advantage of owning a large block of land:

‘With a single well, drillers can bore down a few thousand feet, turn sideways and drill lateral wells up to two miles long. In other areas of Pennsylvania, that can mean having to secure permission from hundreds of property owners. The airport, though, is 9,000 acres with a single landlord.’

“It’s like finding money,” said Rich Fitzgerald, the county executive of Allegheny County, which owns the airport. “Suddenly you’ve got this valuable asset that nobody knew was there.”

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Bob Fernley-Jones asks an important question needing wide discussion.

First, let’s quickly review the basics of the existing four or so laws.
[skip to dicussion]

td-laws-small

Credit: Marc de Falco [1] (click full size)

  • Zeroth Law: According to Arnold Sommerfeld, Ralph H. Fowler invented the title ‘the zeroth law of thermodynamics’ when he was discussing the 1935 text of Saha and Srivastava. They write on page 1 that “every physical quantity must be measurable in numerical terms”. They presume that temperature is a physical quantity and then deduce the statement “If a body A is in temperature equilibrium with two bodies B and C, then B and C themselves will be in temperature equilibrium with each other”… [Source Wikipedia]
  • Law 1: The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic systems. The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed… [Source Wikipedia]
  • Law 2: …The German scientist Rudolf Clausius laid the foundation for the second law of thermodynamics in 1850 by examining the relation between heat transfer and work.[17] His formulation of the second law, which was published in German in 1854, is known as the Clausius statement: Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time. [Or] Heat cannot spontaneously flow from cold regions to hot regions without external work being performed on the system… [Source Wikipedia]
    This is the form of law 2 that has been well defined by the humorous fun of Flanders and Swann (1963) , but ordinary folks should be alerted that despite the truth of the above, there have been “definition refinements” that maybe could be renumbered to Law 2.1:

    • Law 2 Updated: The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy… [And much more: source Wikipedia]

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Climate quote of the week

Posted: August 12, 2014 by oldbrew in climate, humour, Psychobabble
Did I say that? [image credit: simpsons.wikia]

Did I say that?
[image credit: simpsons.wikia]

“The fundamental laws of physics say that as the temperature goes up, it has to get warmer,” Liu says.

Nice work Professor. Homer Simpson couldn’t have put it better.

So you still take "climate scientists" seriously?

hh-p3Image from NOAA press release

NOAA operate a number of hurricane hunter aircraft including three venerable P3-Orion turboprops for low level long duration surveillance.

Taking two out of service for maintenance work as the peak of the hurricane season approaches looks remiss.

I suppose that depends on the true role in 2014 in an era of satellites, radar and alternate aircraft. However according to wikipedia there is also the USAF 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron  flying into tropical storms, perhaps that is sufficient.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/53rd_Weather_Reconnaissance_Squadron

There again perhaps NOAA believe the season will be quiet… NOAA superstitious? That’s more like it, remove resource, the gods respond.

The story comes from Reuters

Retrofit leaves one plane to fly into U.S. East Coast storms

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Clams [credit: Wikipedia]

Clams [credit: Wikipedia]

El Niño and its twin La Niña are under the spotlight this year as climate-watchers hunt for signs of expected activity that seems to have gone largely missing in recent years if compared to, say, the 1990s.

Has the strength of these phenomena changed in modern times? Apparently not.

‘The charts created by the research team suggest that the ENSO cycle does not have a predictable cycle and also that it has not been increasing in strength over the course of the Holocene as others have suggested.’

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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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[credit: BBC]

[credit: BBC]


‘What correlates with what’ may well be one of the key questions in climate matters.
Let’s see if any of this can shed light on any mysteries…

‘Solar physicist Dr. Leif Svalgaard has revised his reconstruction of sunspot observations over the past 400 years from 1611-2013.’

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Image

On 5th August 2014 I archived the US Navy graphic of the track of hurricane Bertha into just a storm. Today is the 10th August 2014 where a storm is about to arrive in the UK with forecast fairly strong winds and rain. [update] Forget to mention, the timing is correct, dot over England was for 18hrs 10th.

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Science in action

Science in action

The Hockeyshtick highlights a peer reviewed paper that puts media personality and ‘official climate science’ promoter Bill Nye in the spotlight.

‘Not only did the authors find that addition of the non-greenhouse gas Argon had similar heating effects to CO2, the Argon control actually heated up slightly more than in the greenhouse gas CO2 experiment, definitively proving that such experiments assume the wrong “basic physics” of radiation were responsible for the heating observed, instead of the limitation of convection due to CO2 having a greater density compared to air.’

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The great diesel scandal

Posted: August 9, 2014 by Andrew in Incompetence, Politics

imageThe Western world is now well into the ‘Repent at leisure’ phase following years of hysterical reaction to the hypothetical threat that was “Global Warming”. The mantra of  ‘reduce CO2 at all costs’ is now coming back to haunt the tax payer. The solution, as always, is to tax the public to nudge them in the right direction, which just happens to be completely opposite to the previous direction nudged earlier; meanwhile politicians pretend that these new taxes are for our own good, no matter the side effects. The latest example being extra tax on diesels entering Central London.

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Pulled out of the hat

Pulled out of the hat


You might like this recent announcement from The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).

***
On July 27, SEPP announced the winner of this year’s April Fools award at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP). Each year SEPP conducts its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a piece of coal on a pedestal. Readers of The Week That Was are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving, following these criteria:

# The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.
# The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
# The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.
# The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.

There were 20 nominations representing 4 countries and the States of California and Vermont.
The votes have been tabulated.

[Drum roll]

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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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Not Geoffrey Lean  [image credit: BBC]

Not Geoffrey Lean
[image credit: BBC]

Fishy business – James Delingpole takes aim at the Telegraph’s leading ‘green’ reporter. Hard to miss really.

Dellers: ‘The Telegraph’s resident enviro loon Geoffrey Lean has come up with some new terrifying evidence for the existence of “global warming.” ‘

‘So what, er, is the new most important metric for global temperature rises, now that it’s not measured global temperature rises, our Geoff?
Well, apparently, it’s…..fish.’

Won’t spoil the fun – read it here

Propeller power [image: BBC]

Propeller power [image: BBC]

Another technology hoping to make a splash on the renewable energy scene is tidal power. But can it be anywhere near to economically viable? Installation is known to be expensive, but tides are predictable and never take the day off.

My limited understanding of these things is that they work best where the tide is channelling water into a narrow passage so the rate of flow is higher than the open sea, so the number of suitable sites may be limited.

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Propeller city [credit: BBC]

Propeller city [credit: BBC]

Breitbart London reports:

‘A Danish university has fired one of its professors who was critical of wind farms. Acoustics expert Henrik Møller, who is internationally recognised in his field, was ostensibly sacked because he did not generate enough revenue for the university, although some are questioning this explanation.’

Why are they questioning it?

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imageAfter ten years, five months, four days and six and a half billion kilometres,  the Rosetta space probe has arrived in orbit around Comet 67P.

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Formula One boss fast-tracks justice in Bavaria

Posted: August 6, 2014 by oldbrew in humour, Legal

f1picState of Bavaria prosecutor: “Mr Bernard Ecclestone, we charge you with the crime of bribery.”

Ecclestone: “Here’s a cheque for 100 million dollars.”

Prosecutor: “Wunderbar! That’ll do nicely.”

Judge: “Out of court settlement – case dismissed.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/f1-boss-bernie-ecclestone-pays-staggering-60million-out-of-court-settlement-to-be-cleared-of-bribery-charges-in-germany-9648030.html

Ebola breaking news, US patients respond

Posted: August 6, 2014 by tchannon in Uncategorized

From live broadcast voice interview BBC R5

Infected US nationals have been given in-development via IV experimental ex-mouse and ex-tobacco plant anti-bodies of some kind, binds to blood circulating Ebola virus, body recognises bound combination as bad, removes from bloodstream, response inside hour.

To do this an official must have given permission or perhaps unlawfully, patients (medically qualified) apparently assented.

I hope this news is correct. Hope some more and no dire side effects.

The situation in west Africa essentially out of control, extreme.

Wire news

Sierra Leone, Liberia deploy troops as Ebola toll hits 887
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/05/uk-healh-ebola-africa-idUKKBN0G41D820140805

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