Astrophysicist Ian Wilson has emailed me to ask for a brainstorming session at the talkshop to assist him. Ian writes:

“I was wondering if you or your colleagues (e.g. oldbrew) could help me work out the solution to the following lunar puzzle”

Drift_01

The Conundrum

The diagram below shows the Perigee of the lunar orbit pointing at the Sun at 0.0 days. In addition, the diagram shows the Perigee of the lunar orbit once again pointing at the Sun after one Full Moon Cycle (FMC) = 411.78443025 days. It takes more than 1.0 sidereal year (= 365.256363004 days) for the Perigee to realign with the Sun because of the slow pro-grade (clockwise) precession of the lunar line-of-apse once every 8.85023717 sidereal years.

1.0 FMC falls short of 15 anomalistic months (= 413.31824817 days) by 1.53381792 days (= 1.5117449198O). During these 1.5117449198 days the Perigee end of the lunar line-of-apse rotates by 0.17081406in a prograde direction, producing an overall movement of the line-of-apse (red line) of 1.34093086O (= 1.5117449198O – 0.17081406O) with respect to the Earth-Sun line (blue line).

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Credit: dragonproductsltd.com


H/T GWPF / RealClearEnergy

The author notes that ‘the rigs are getting roughly twice as productive every three years. No other energy technology is improving that quickly.’

Wind and solar are now experiencing a declining rate of improvement as those technologies start to approach their limits in terms of what physics permits. Shale technology is a long way from its physics limits. In fact, the shale industry is at the beginning of what I’ve earlier termed Shale 2.0.

The Promethean task of supplying energy to the U.S. economy and the rest of the world involves scales that are truly difficult to visualize. Many options appear to make sense until you crunch the numbers. That’s why Bill Gates said that people need to bring “math skills to the problem.”

Consider petroleum alone, which accounts for about one-third of global energy use.
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Credit: globalccsinstitute.com


There goes another £2 billion or so. The long-term aim is ‘de-carbonising the UK gas networks through conversion to 100 per cent hydrogen’ – just as UK shale gas drilling is about to start.

Plans to convert the gas grid in Leeds to run entirely on hydrogen have moved a step closer to becoming reality says Utility Week, after Northern Gas Networks opened an office in the city dedicated to the endeavour.

The office has been tasked with delivering innovative projects which prove the case for conversion to hydrogen, not just for Leeds but for the whole of the UK.

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) opened the site with the help of Leeds City Council to further examine, and build the foundations to deliver, the conversion strategy outlined in its H21 Leeds City Gate study.  

The research project, which was funded through the Network Innovation Allowance and conducted alongside Wales and West Utilities, concluded last year that substituting natural gas with hydrogen in UK networks would be “technically possible and economically viable”.
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Signatories (light green) and parties (orange) to the Paris Agreement [credit: Wikipedia]


H/T GWPF / Washington Times

It may be a bit of a legal minefield but it would put an extra element of democracy into the current situation.

As President Trump’s top advisers prepare to hash out a final policy on the Paris climate agreement dumped onto their laps by President Obama, another option has hit the table: Declare the deal a treaty and send it to the Senate to be killed.

The treaty option could emerge as the middle ground in the increasingly tense battle between “remainers” on the one hand, who say the president should abide by Mr. Obama’s global warming deal, and the Paris agreement’s detractors, who say Mr. Trump would be breaking a key campaign promise if he doesn’t withdraw from the pact.

Mr. Trump’s principal advisers are slated to meet Thursday to hash out a final set of recommendations for the president, with several deadlines looming next month.
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Cartoon of the day: Gavin’s Goggles

Posted: April 27, 2017 by tallbloke in humour

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windset

Future UK energy policy under the green tories

As a followup to the commonsense stuff UKIP’s Roger Helmer suggested yesterday, here’s James Delingpole’s take on what is likely to happen. Reposted from Breitbart

Suppose you were a Conservative leader hoping to win a stonking majority in your general election campaign, which of these two manifesto propositions do you think would win the most votes?
a) Our energy policy will remain in the clutches of a cabal of vested interests – rent-seeking, crony capitalist shysters; green ideologues with junk-science degrees in Gaia Studies from the University of East Anglia; eco-fascist lobby groups and NGOs; compromised scientists with their snouts in the trough; goose-stepping technocrats; really, really, really dim MPs – ensuring that the landscape continues to be blighted by an ever-greater-proliferation of shimmery solar panels and ginormous bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes.

We remain committed to the Climate Change Act which will cost the UK economy over £300 billion by 2030, costing each household £875 per annum; and also to the Levy Control Framework (LCF) which, combined with carbon taxes, cost the UK £9 billion in 2016 alone. Then we’ll pretend it’s the fault of the greedy energy companies by hammering them with a price cap – thus driving their share prices down (bad luck pensions and investors!), reducing competition and innovation, and signalling that we intend to be a meddling, interventionist government which has no truck with free market principles.

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The ITCZ is the central band of bright white clouds in this composite image [credit: NASA]


This seems to add weight to the idea that the moving position of the ITCZ can be a useful indicator of natural climate change, in conjunction with other data sources.

The tropical rain belt, also known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), is in a state of constant migration, as Phys.org reports.

It continuously changes position in response to the seasons and follows the sun’s zenith, with a slight delay. This in turn determines the wet and dry periods in the tropics and subtropics over the course of the year.

The tropical rain belt therefore effectively controls the climate in most of the tropical and subtropical regions, such as the monsoon season in Southeast Asia and Central America.

An international team of researchers led by Franziska Lechleitner from the Geological Institute at ETH Zurich has proven for the first time that the migration of the tropical rain belt is quite sensitive to even small changes in global temperatures.
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Roger Helmer MEP enlarges on current UKIP energy policy

Roger Helmer MEP

The EU has long been committed to “the fight against global warming”.  In this context it has created a series of measures, most of which increase energy costs for industry and for households.  The result has been to force millions of UK households into fuel poverty, and to drive energy-intensive industries off-shore.  Industries which have borne the brunt of these policies have included steel, aluminium, chemicals and fertilisers, petroleum refining, cement, glass and ceramics.

Plant closures are only part of the problem: we should also bear in mind potential new investment, which is driven offshore by these measures.  We are in fact exporting industries and jobs, while worsening our balance of payments as we import materials previously made in Europe.  And the real irony is that the production often goes to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards, so the result is an increase in global emissions.

Measures have included aggressive…

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A compact model of the heliosphere, supported by the latest data [Credit: Dialynas, et al.]


It seems the interstellar magnetic field is a lot more powerful than scientists expected, as Phys.org reports.

New data from NASA’s Cassini mission, combined with measurements from the two Voyager spacecraft and NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, suggests that our sun and planets are surrounded by a giant, rounded system of magnetic field from the sun—calling into question the alternate view of the solar magnetic fields trailing behind the sun in the shape of a long comet tail.

The sun releases a constant outflow of magnetic solar material—called the solar wind—that fills the inner solar system, reaching far past the orbit of Neptune. This solar wind creates a bubble, some 23 billion miles across, called the heliosphere. Our entire solar system, including the heliosphere, moves through interstellar space.

The prevalent picture of the heliosphere was one of comet-shaped structure, with a rounded head and an extended tail.
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Despite Saturday’s so-called “March for Science,” the almost simultaneous release of a Second Edition of a Research Report showing the exact opposite of what some of the marchers claim to be the conclusions of climate science, has brought home the Orwellian reality that the marchers have gotten their claims concerning what the science says exactly backwards, as Alan Carlin explains.

The Climate March website says their forces of “The Resistance” won’t tolerate institutions that try to “skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science.”

If the marchers really support science, they should be supporting climate skeptics, not the climate alarmists. How Orwellian can you get? The science is clear.
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City life in China

Maybe the courts could order the issue of free anti-pollution masks, pending any government ‘clean-up’ action.

The UK government may face legal action after seeking to delay publishing its plan to tackle air pollution until after the general election, says BBC News.

The courts had given ministers until 16:00 on Monday to set out draft measures to combat illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. A 2016 court ruling said existing measures proposed by the government did not meet the requirements of law.

The general election is scheduled to take place on 8 June.
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Interesting historical round-up from Paul Homewood, which concludes:
‘There is no written law of nature that says glaciers should be the size they were in Victorian times.’

Indeed.

Update – see also the follow-up post: Rapid Retreat Of Glaciers In Early 20thC

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

Scan

From HH Lamb’s “Climate, History and the Modern World”

We know that sea levels have risen since the late 19thC, and that much of this is due to melting of glaciers and ice sheets. However, we also know that the same glaciers were growing rapidly during the Little Ice Age, so can we say that 20thC sea level rise is anything other than a natural process?

Let’s remind ourselves of just how great and widespread this glacial advance was.

The history of glacial advance in the European Alps is well documented. Historian, Brian Fagan, offers us this horrifying account:

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Carving at Göbekli Tepe


The alleged event appears to pre-date the Göbekli Tepe site itself by at least 1,500 years, which seems at odds with the idea that the carvings were intended as observations of it.

Ancient stone carvings confirm that a comet struck the Earth around 11,000BC, a devastating event which wiped out woolly mammoths and sparked the rise of civilisations, says the Daily Telegraph.

Experts at the University of Edinburgh analysed mysterious symbols carved onto stone pillars at Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, to find out if they could be linked to constellations. The markings suggest that a swarm of comet fragments hit Earth at the exact same time that a mini-ice age struck, changing the entire course of human history. 

Scientists have speculated for decades that a comet could be behind the sudden fall in temperature during a period known as the Younger Dryas.
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Credit: NASA/JPL


After 20 years of service its time is up, but due to its plutonium power source Cassini can’t be left to find its own final destination. Before its September demise it will weave through Saturn’s rings making yet more observations.

Cassini has used a gravitational slingshot around Saturn’s moon Titan to put it on a path towards destruction, reports BBC News.

Saturday’s flyby swept the probe into an orbit that takes it in between the planet’s rings and its atmosphere.

This gap-run gives the satellite the chance finally to work out the length of a day on Saturn, and to determine the age of its stunning rings. But the manoeuvre means also that it cannot escape a fiery plunge into Saturn’s clouds in September.
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Quote: ‘Flying through Steve, the temperature 300 km above Earth’s surface jumped by 3000°C’.

Thanks to social media and the power of citizen scientists chasing the northern lights, a new feature was discovered recently, as ESA reports.

Nobody knew what this strange ribbon of purple light was, so … it was called Steve. ESA’s Swarm magnetic field mission has now also met Steve and is helping to understand the nature of this new-found feature.

Speaking at the recent Swarm science meeting in Canada, Eric Donovan from the University of Calgary explained how this new finding couldn’t have happened 20 years ago when he started to study the aurora.

While the shimmering, eerie, light display of auroras might be beautiful and captivating, they are also a visual reminder that Earth is connected electrically to the Sun.
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H/T GWPF

Put the ‘consensus’ to a test, and improve public understanding, through an open, adversarial process, says Steven Koonin in the Wall Street Journal.
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Tomorrow’s March for Science will draw many thousands in support of evidence-based policy making and against the politicization of science.

A concrete step toward those worthy goals would be to convene a “Red Team/Blue Team” process for climate science, one of the most important and contentious issues of our age.

The national-security community pioneered the “Red Team” methodology to test assumptions and analyses, identify risks, and reduce—or at least understand—uncertainties.
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It sounds promising, but what happens if the satellites fail to predict a serious eruption? The case of the convicted but later exonerated Italian earthquake experts springs to mind.

A UK-led team of scientists is rolling out a project to monitor every land volcano on Earth from space, reports BBC News.

Two satellites will routinely map the planet’s surface, looking for signs that might hint at a future eruption. They will watch for changes in the shape of the ground below them, enabling scientists to issue an early alert if a volcano appears restless.

Some 1,500 volcanoes worldwide are thought to be potentially active, but only a few dozen are heavily monitored. One of these is Mount Etna where, last month, a BBC crew was caught up in a volcanic blast while filming a report on the new satellite project.
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Map readers required?


H/T Climate Depot

Another story from the ‘Climate change causes everything’ file. Fortunately Colombia has not over-reacted.

TODAY VENEZUELA – Venezuela tried to downplay its illegal entry of troops into Colombia this week by claiming the constantly changing direction of a river near the border accidentally led the soldiers beyond their jurisdiction.

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said the Venezuelan soldiers entered Colombia’s eastern department of Arauca as a result of the Arauca River, which she said is constantly changing its flow and direction.

A diplomatic commission still has to clarify the incident, which is reportedly expected in the coming hours.
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Credit: VIRTUAL TELESCOPE [click to enlarge]


Dr Roy Spencer discusses today’s asteroid approach, the closest for 13 years.

An asteroid capable of destroying Washington D.C. and New York City at the same time will be making its closest approach to Earth on April 19.

At a half-mile wide, it will have over 30,000 times as much mass as the 2013 meteor which exploded over Russia in 2013.

The current asteroid, called “2014 JO25“, is traveling at the unimaginably fast speed of 75,000 mph. It has been estimated that an asteroid of this size is capable of wiping out an area the size of New England, and causing global cooling from the dust that would be lofted into the stratosphere.

“2014 JO25” will be the closest approach asteroid of this size in the last 13 years.
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[credit: cityam.com]


H/T GWPF

It’s been a bumpy road so far for UK shale gas and there could be more of the same ahead, but for now it’s progress. The US has shown that big economic benefits to the nation are there for the taking if the drilling is as successful as predicted.

British unconventional exploration company Cuadrilla plans to start the drilling stage of its shale gas exploratory plans in northwest England within the next “couple of months,” company CEO Francis Egan said this week.

Egan welcomed the UK’s High Court decision dismissing two claims made against Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid’s approval of planning for Cuadrillla’s Preston New Road site.

Last year, the company had its planning application denied by the local Lancashire councillors, but that was overruled by Javid, following a recommendation to approve from the council’s planning officers.
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