DECC on the ropes? [image credit: BBC]

DECC on the ropes? [image credit: BBC]

The UK government’s energy department (DECC) seems to be on the ropes – or is it the deck? – thanks to the creation of a new body called the NIC, as PEI reports.

There is some confusion as to the role of the Department of Energy and Climate Change following a reorganisation announced by the UK’s chancellor for the exchequer George Osborne this week. The entire energy policy brief has been ceded by DECC to the new National Infrastructure Commission (NIC).

With the energy portfolio has gone all the big issues on its agenda. These include the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, indeed the entire future of the UK nuclear power programme. It is not entirely clear what DECC, headed by secretary of state Amber Rudd, will now hold responsibility for, following the announcement.

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A 750-mile (1,200-km) -long feature spotted on Saturn’s A ring by Cassini on April 15, 2013 could be a new moon in the making (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI) has a story on waves of disturbance in Saturn’s rings which indicate an interior rhythmic disturbance. Earth gets a mention too. The fact that this is described as a ‘hum’ is very encouraging, as it was the title of my first paper, suppressed by some IPCC lead authors, when they got Copernicus, the innovative science unpublishers ™ to shut down Pattern Recognition in Physics, the journal which published our special edition on solar system dynamics.

Unusual ripples in Saturn’s rings are revealing the mysterious inner workings of the great gas giant. Planetary scientists and modelers are slowly picking apart that mystery.

Billions of particles race around Saturn’s 170,000-mile-wide (273,600 kilometers) set of rings, which are mostly water ice with a smattering of rock. The rings are full of activity, including waves that ricochet outward in spiral patterns, most caused by the gravitational pull of Saturn’s 62 moons. Waves caused by the moons, which orbit outside the rings’ sphere, always travel outward.

But then there’s a set of waves heading inward. That means there’s something moving inside, too. [Video: Fly Through Space ‘In Saturn’s Rings’]

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U.S. Offshore Wind: A Government Pipe Dream 

Posted: October 7, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government, wind

Troubled waters for US wind power?

Troubled waters for US wind power?

Economic, engineering, legal and political problems are plaguing the advance of the US government’s offshore wind dream, reports Master Resource.

“Offshore wind is essentially a government-made market that would not exist in the U.S. but for a massive intervention from Washington and an ‘at-any-cost’ mentality at the state level. Of the alleged 15,650 MW of offshore wind in DOE’s pipeline, a very small fraction represents projects proffered by private entities.”

It’s official. At a White House summit last month, the Obama administration publicly backed its new government program – offshore wind. With America’s first offshore project now under construction, and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) latest analysis  showing 21 projects totaling 15,650 megawatts in the works, the political boost could trigger a development boom.

But don’t count on it. The already uneconomic on land is only worse off in the waters.

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Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Originally posted at Quadrant online

The basis for the Paris climate talks in December is “the science” produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The science must be good because it’s coming from the world’s top climate-type scientists,[1] or so the story goes.

Well, the story is guff.

The IPCC scientists aren’t the best available, far from it. They’re a motley crew assembled via a typical United Nations boondoggle that stacks the scientific ranks with heavy quotas for Third Worlders, along with special consideration for females. The IPCC rules explain that the IPCC hierarchy “shall reflect balanced geographical representation with due consideration for scientific and technical requirements.” (My emphasis).

The senior scientists draft the all-important Summaries for Policymakers (SPMs), as distinct from their thousands of back-up pages of science studies. Then politicians and bureaucrats, not the scientists, sculpt the wording on the final drafts, including the Synthesis Report.
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Ice House of Mirrors

Posted: October 5, 2015 by oldbrew in humour, sea ice
image credit: Pocket Perspectives

image credit: Pocket Perspectives

Ron Clutz at Science Matters offers an unusual perspective on Arctic sea ice data.

In the fable of Snow White, the evil step-mother asked her hand mirror: “Who is the fairest in the land?” The mirror on the wall always flattered her, but this mirror did not. As we all know, the hand mirror told the truth, the queen was angry and people had to suffer.We expect mirrors to tell the truth, to show us the objective reality. That is why it is amusing at the carnival sideshow to gaze into mirrors that make normal people look obese or like a beanpole, or otherwise distort one’s appearance.

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Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has an article akin to the BBC “expert” conference[1] but this time “Organizers of a climate conference co-sponsored by the UK Supreme Court” and selective supply of information

Climate Secrets at the UK Supreme Court

Organizers of a climate conference co-sponsored by the UK Supreme Court won’t reveal who attended, how much the event cost, or how many participants had their airfare paid by the United Nations.

Image from Donna’s site

Last month, the UK Supreme Court co-sponsored a 3-day climate change conference. There are a number of reasons why this should ring alarm bells, but organizers have unexpectedly added another one: refusal to answer routine media inquiries.

[UPDATE] Damning new article


Why? What is going on?

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Interesting paper from Xhao & Feng finds strong coherence of De Vries 208 year millennial solar variation with temperature in Antarctica. Also finds incoherence between CO2 and temperature.


Fig. 2.

(a) Squared wavelet coherence between the SSN and T time series. The thick black contours indicate the 95% confidence level against red noise. Black arrows represent phase angles of the cross wavelet (with in-phase pointing right, anti-phase pointing left, SSN leading T by 90° pointing straight down, and SSN lagging T by 90° pointing straight up). The regions inside COI are removed. (b) The global wavelet coherence (Cg, solid line) and the phase angle strength (Sθ, dashed line) between SSN and T plotted against period. (c) Same as (a) but for the CO2 and T time series. (d) Same as (b) but for the CO2 and Ttime series. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)


The solar impact on the Earth’s climate change is a long topic with intense debates. Based on the reconstructed data of solar sunspot number (SSN), the local temperature in Vostok (T), and the atmospheric CO2 concentration data of Dome Concordia, we investigate the periodicities of solar activity, the atmospheric CO2 and local temperature in the inland Antarctica as well as their correlations during the past 11,000 years before AD 1895. We find that the variations of SSN and T have some common periodicities, such as the 208 year (yr), 521 yr, and ~1000 yr cycles. The correlations between SSN and T are strong for some intermittent periodicities. However, the wavelet analysis demonstrates that the relative phase relations between them usually do not hold stable except for the millennium-cycle component. The millennial variation of SSN leads that ofT by 30–40 years, and the anti-phase relation between them keeps stable nearly over the whole 11,000 years of the past. As a contrast, the correlations between CO2 and T are neither strong nor stable. These results indicate that solar activity might have potential influences on the long-term change of Vostok’s local climate during the past 11,000 years

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California drought is a man made crisis

Posted: October 4, 2015 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

smeltOriginally published on

By Steven Greenhut

SACRAMENTO, California — I was walking through downtown Sacramento recently when raindrops started falling. People on the street stopped dead in their tracks, looked up at the sky and began acting giddy. “What’s that?” I asked a man. “I think it’s something called rain,” he responded. Such is the gallows humor in a state that hasn’t seen substantial rainfall in years.

The obvious lack of rain is the seemingly obvious reason for the state’s lack of sufficient water. Water levels in state reservoirs are falling, officials are cracking down on “excess” water use (lawn-watering, etc.), and voters passed a water bond on the 2014 ballot to help fund more storage. The Capitol crowd is obsessed with the water issue, while local planners use the crisis to clamp down on building permits.

State officials say California’s drought is “one of the most severe droughts on record” and they warn that even an El Nino rainy season is unlikely to fix the situation. In fact, nothing seems to fix the situation. Californians have slashed their water use by 31 percent during July — well above the 25-percent reduction targeted by the governor. And there’s still not enough water.

But as this Watchdog series will show, California’s drought is largely a man-made crisis. It is caused by a series of policies — some from the past, many that are ongoing — which has prioritized environmental demands above the basic provision of water resources to the public. More than half of the state’s water resources simply flow out the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

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Here’s a 2009 paper I missed at the time which shows the ‘top down’ modulation of seasonal weather by changes in solar activity. I think Ren and Stephen Wilde will like this one.



Large effects of solar variability related to the 11-year sunspot cycle (SSC) are seen in the stratosphere, but only if the data are grouped according to the phase of the QBO (Quasi-Biennial Oscillation). New results based on an extended, 66-year long data set fully confirm earlier findings and suggest a significant effect of the SSC on the occurrence of the Major Midwinter Warmings (MMWs) over the Arctic as well as on the strength of the stratospheric polar vortex and on the mean meridional circulation. By means of teleconnections the dynamical interaction between the Arctic and the Tropics in the stratosphere and in the troposphere is shown for the whole data set and compared with the anomalies of single events. The results suggest strongly that during the northern winter the teleconnections between the Arctic and the Tropics were determined by the MMWs and the undisturbed, cold winters, respectively. These events in the stratosphere depend, however, on the 11-year SSC and on the QBO. The stratosphere is least disturbed during the northern summer when the interannual variability is small. And if the different phases of the QBO are introduced, a large solar signal is found in the eastphase of the QBO (more than two standard deviations). It is shown that the QBO not only modulates the solar signal on the decadal scale, but that the QBO is itself modulated by the solar variability.

Full paper here

Re-blog of a post by Russell Cook on American Thinker

We’re told there is a moral imperative to stop catastrophicDnyer human-induced global warming, as seen in twin events last week where Pope Francis implied as much in his visit to the US, and within a letter signed by 20 scientists to President Obama imploring him to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to punish immoral “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”

The operative word in these twin events is the word “trust.” Trust that the pope sought the advice of the whole range of experts on global warming, and trust what the authors of the RICO letter (viewable now only in archive form here, since it has been erased from its original online location) say in their second paragraph about extensively documented sources proving the corruption of those “corporations and other organizations”.

What happens if you attempt to verify if the situations are true? First, the pope is revealed to have received advice on the global warming issue from highly questionable individuals, and second, the RICO letter’s assertion about extensively documented corruption is revealed to be a literally unsupportable talking point.

Allow me to elaborate on that second problem.

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Climate-FundingOh dear, it seems the US house Science, Space, and Technology Committee takes a dim view of partisan scientists publicly funded with $63million since 2001 trying to get climate sceptics imprisoned under the RICO act…

Space Ref, 1 October 2015
Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent a letter to Dr. Jagadish Shukla, a professor of climate dynamics at George Mason University who founded the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES).

IGES is a non-profit organization that has received millions of dollars in federal grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.

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UKIP Barred from the Skainos centre

Posted: October 2, 2015 by tallbloke in Big Brother, Politics
Tags: ,



Skainos is partly funded by the EU. Denies access to UKIP. Shameful

Originally posted on UKIP in Northern Ireland:

Today at 11am, The day of the Event, UKIP were informed that they have been barred from the Skainos Centre.

UKIP are in the process of relocating this evening’s Steven Woolfe MEP event on Brexit and Migration and will issue a statement during the afternoon on the new venue.

“This is a blatant attempt to stifle democratic expression of a legitimate national political party representing 4 million people across this country.”

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Aircraft Contrails: Where does the moisture come from?

Posted: October 2, 2015 by tallbloke in atmosphere

contrailsBe warned: any mention of ‘chemtrails’ will result in comments being ditched in the bit bucket.

Roger Clague writes in suggestions:

Contrails, does the water vapour come from the burnt fuel or the air?

According to Nasa 99.9% is from the air 0.01% from the burnt fuel.

“Nearly all of the contrail is created from the moisture in the atmosphere. “
Justified by R.G.Knollenberg(1972) paid by Nasa
“There are at least four orders of magnitude more ice present in the contrail core than the Sabreliner originally exhausted!”
A later Nasa paper says
Atlas, Wang and Duda ( 2006)
“The average ice water per meter along the length of the contrail is 1.6 104 g m 1 , some three to four orders of magnitude greater than the water vapor released by typical jet aircraft, also similar to previously reported values.”

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India submits climate plan ahead of Paris COP

Posted: October 2, 2015 by tallbloke in Politics
Tags: , ,

From the Times of India

BERLIN: India on Thursday submitted its ‘climate action plan’ to a UN body at Bonn in Germany, telling the world that the country would fight the climate change by taking energy efficiency route and reducing its ’emission intensity’ (carbon emission per unit of GDP) substantially as well as increasing the share of clean energy by huge 40% in its total energy mix by the year 2030.

The country, however, clarified that “India’s INDC do not bind it to any sector specific mitigation obligation or action, including in agriculture sector” and said its successful implementation would depend on cooperation from the developed countries.

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goldman-sachsTake a deep breath and make some fresh coffee, this is a long post. We’ll start at the same source the original ‘follow the money’ post was drawn from, two days before my house was raided by the climate cops: the climategate emails.

date: Mon, 18 May 1998 10:00:38 +010 ???
from: Trevor Davies <???>
subject: goldman-sachs
to: ???@uea,???@uea,???@uea


We (Mike H) have done a modest amount of work on degree-days for G-S. They
now want to extend this. They are involved in dealing in the developing
energy futures market.

G-S is the sort of company that we might be looking for a ‘strategic
alliance’ with. I suggest the four of us meet with ?? (forgotten his name)
for an hour on the afternoon of Friday 12 June (best guess for Phil & Jean
– he needs a date from us). Thanks.


Professor Trevor D. Davies
Climatic Research Unit
University of East Anglia
Norwich NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Goldman Sachs is an investment banking house with a long history of trying to influence democratically elected governments fiscal, energy and climate policy with its placemen. They lost a lot of cash in the 2007 banking crash, and now they want to cash in on the potential $20T ‘global carbon dioxide market’ to recoup their losses, and make some handsome profits.

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isoprene1This may sound like a joke but it seems not – it’s all over the usual blogs and sceptic media. Does it put a spanner in the works? This from The Register’s report:

As world leaders get ready to head to Paris for the latest pact on cutting CO2 emissions, it has emerged that there isn’t as much urgency about the matter as had been thought.

A team of top-level atmospheric chemistry boffins from France and Germany say they have identified a new process by which vast amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted into the atmosphere from the sea – a process which was unknown until now, meaning that existing climate models do not take account of it.

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Vacancy: Freelance Energy Bill factchecker/researcher

Posted: October 1, 2015 by tallbloke in Energy

Full Fact is currently recruiting for a freelance researcher/factchecker to take a lead factchecking the claims made in the passage of the Energy Bill.

He/she will be responsible for identifying the claims made by stakeholders, politicians and the media in debates about the Bill, and analysing the sources of these claims to assess their accuracy. A sound knowledge of energy policy is a must, as is the ability to communicate clearly issues of scientific and economic complexity.

He/she will prepare concise, factual and impartial written and verbal briefings. The role will involve working closely with other researchers and the Communications team.

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This image of Ceres is part of a sequence taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on May 5 and 6, 2015, from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600 kilometers)

This image of Ceres is part of a sequence taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on May 5 and 6, 2015, from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600 kilometers)

It’s ‘baffled scientists’ time again, but now they want the public to help them out, reports

Throwing open the doors to the hallowed halls of science, stumped researchers welcomed help from the public Wednesday in solving a number of nagging mysteries about dwarf planet Ceres.

NASA’s space probe Dawn, which travelled seven-and-a-half years and some 4.9 billion kilometres to reach Ceres in March this year, is the first to orbit a dwarf planet.The probe is seeking to learn more about the structure of Ceres, which circles the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, in a bid to better understand the formation of Earth and other planets.

But many of the features of Ceres have left researchers scratching their heads — including a six-kilometre (four-mile) high protrusion they have dubbed “Lonely Mountain”.

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Sea ice waves

Posted: September 29, 2015 by tchannon in sea ice

Since Roger kind of raised the subject

DO01235 do? Not very good as a dataset, never mind, use data some rate. On automatic update system here anyway.

Over the past couple of years most of the daily sea ice data has been removed from public access leaving low grade stuff. How curious.


Drawing straight lines is not good when the data is plainly natural, nature does not do straight. Any of you have examples?

My guess is as good as any and the above is what a tool on automatic spat out, less finer twiddles.

The ripple is ~22 years a la solar magnetic and surface temperature. Exactly what causes this is of course unknown just the same as other non-experimental systems.

Why the shape? Is it sane? Oh yes.

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Tamino: Epidemic of Denial

Posted: September 28, 2015 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics



Tamino takes Ron Clutz to task for some shoddy stats work. Oh the irony.

Originally posted on Open Mind:

Wouldn’t you know it, I just posted about how dumb it is to talk about “trends” without enough data to talk about trends intelligently, when it’s brought to my attention that there’s yet another example of doing just that.

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