Archive for December, 2011

The BBC: Will they or won’t they?

Posted: December 20, 2011 by tallbloke in flames, Philosophy, Politics

I was contacted a number of days ago by a reporter from the BBC, seeking an interview. I’ve fended them off until now. Having talked over the do’s and don’ts with Stephen Wilde of Wilde & Company and hopefully reset the proposed interview agenda through negotiation we decided it’s ok to go ahead.

It came out though that I have ‘previous’ as a BBC interviewee. Whether this will affect the Beeb’s decision on whether or not to let me loose on camera remains to be seen. At least I have a nice full set of upper teeth this time – I was waiting to get the upper fronts that were smashed in the crash fixed at that time.

It’s a long story.

Back in 2006, while I was still flat on my broken back in a kevlar overcoat on my sofa, Richard ‘The Hamster’ Hammond had a go at breaking the ‘flying mile’ land speed record, in a jet powered car.

Unfortunately, having broken the record on the return run at several hundred miles an hour, he broke the car rather spectacularly as well. A suspected front tyre blowout pushed the front end out of shape, and instead of hitting the panic parachute button, the brave little Hammond tried to steer the car straight. After a short flight and a lot of sky-ground-sky-ground-thump-ouch! the wreckage came to a standstill at the south end of the runway at York’s ‘Santa Pod’ Dragway, and the attending team and safety crew dialled the emergency services.

The YAAC pilots and paramedics and CEO Martin Eede. Pic copyright tallbloke.


Serene Sunday

Posted: December 18, 2011 by tallbloke in atmosphere, Carbon cycle, climate

Today, my lady and I walked over the moor to a small market town for a bite to eat and a beer with friends. Life seemed almost normal again.

Arrmscliffe crag from the Chevin


Fighting Fund is all systems go!

Posted: December 17, 2011 by tallbloke in Energy, Philosophy, Politics

I’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity of my readership here in their donations towards new hardware so I can get back on the map in style. A heartfelt thank you to everybody who has donated, left messages of support or just been here. It has helped me through a few dark days and will make a lot more sunny ones ahead.

Now the good folk over at Watts Up With are helping to get a fighting fund together so we can cover legal costs and take the fight forward.

Here is my attorney’s statement:


Maybe with the events of the last couple of days, they are getting worried that on the most tenuous of pretexts, (like non-compliance with legitimate FOI requests for example), law enforcement officers might march into their address and remove computers and records…

…unless we’re not all equal before the law after all?

Greg Laden: Libellous article

Posted: December 16, 2011 by tallbloke in flames, Incompetence, Philosophy, Politics
Tags: , ,

Blogger Greg Laden has libelled me in a scurrilous article on his blog.

Sharp eyed contributors to this site have preserved the article as it was originally published and I am now appealing to any UK lawyer who is willing to assist me on a no-win-no-fee basis to contact me via the ‘suggestions’ page of this blog. Their comments, should any be received will not appear in public. Any proceeds which come my way will be used to fill the tip jars of other blogs fighting to raise public awareness of facts which might otherwise be buried.

UPDATE:08.27am GMT

A little bird tells me Michael ‘the hockeystick’ Mann has retweeted Greg’s libellous article. Does that constitute repetition? Answers from legal eagles below please.

They’d look great as co-defendants. Especially if Greg wore one of his funny hats…

Leo Hickman: Factual Inaccuracy

Posted: December 16, 2011 by tallbloke in Incompetence, Politics

In his Guardian article, Leo Hickman says

“Both Tattersall and a US-based climate sceptic blogger known as Jeff Id said they had received a “formal request” via the blogging platform WordPress from the US Department of Justice’s criminal division, dated 9 December, to preserve “all stored communications, records, and other evidence in your possession””

This makes it sound like the U.S. DOJ is requiring Jeff and I to preserve records on our own computers. As can be see from the preservation notice I published online yesterday before Leo went to press, it is WordPress that has been asked to preserve logs, covering the date that the mysterious ‘foia’ placed a comment on each of our blogs.

I hope Leo has the decency to clarify this ambiguous passage in his article, because now that he has dragged my employers name into this, my job is on the line.

Tallbloke towers raided: many computers taken

Posted: December 14, 2011 by tallbloke in Philosophy, Politics

Visit and buy a t-shirt or mug or something!

An Englishman’s home is his castle they say. Not when six detectives from the Metropolitan Police, the Norfolk Constabulary and the Computer Crime division arrive on your doorstep with a warrant to search it though.

I waved the first three in and bid them head through to the sitting room, where there was less of an chill near the woodburner. Then they kept coming, being introduced by the lead detective from Norfolk as they trooped in. I thought I’d been chosen to host the secret policemen’s ball or something. 🙂

I managed to log out of my email on the big lappy as they sat down, to the annoyance of the Computer expert. he soon regained his composure though and asked his first question.

How many computers do you have in the house?

Oh, I’m not sure… around twenty.

I breezily replied. 🙂 🙂


I have been alerted to a presentation given by Dr Leif Svalgaard to the AGU Fall meeting by regular contributor Gerry. In it, Leif covers, from his own perspective, the history of attempts to find a link between planetary motion and solar activity.  He also includes tidal calculations and discusses gravitational considerations, but does not discuss electromagnetism, which is a shame.

The paper is available at Leif’s site here:

I think there is a lot to criticise here, and I’m grateful to Leif Svalgaard for making a definitive statement which we will be able to refer to in the future.

A few quotes culled by Gerry:


This item is reposted from Thunderbolts, a site dedicated to understanding the role of electro-magnetism in the universe. H/T KuhnKat

Seems Voyager 1 has been able to supply us with more accurate data to enable new calculations of the Solar Electron Flux[1].

In the late 1970’s Ralph Juergens investigated how (or whether) the Sun could be obtaining its energy via an externally supplied flow of electrical power[2]. Now, in late 2011, we find that, because of data just recovered by the Voyager I space probe, Juergens’ estimate of the number of available incoming electrons was far too conservative. Either that, or his initial estimate of the Sun’s required cathode drop (voltage) was far too high.

A recent NASA release entitled NASA’s Voyager Hits New Region at Solar System Edge[3] provides the following important updates to the information Juergens used in making his estimates:

  1. Voyager 1 is now approaching the heliopause (the outer surface of the Sun’s plasmasphere). It is approximately 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the Sun. The probe has not yet crossed the boundary into interstellar space so this is a minimum estimate of the radius of the heliosphere.
  2. Voyager has detected a 100-fold increase in the intensity of high-energy electrons entering our solar system from elsewhere in the galaxy.
  3. The probe has been measuring the speed of the solar wind and for the first time in its journey, the wind now “blows back at us”.


date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 13:23:43 -0500
from: Robert Watson
subject: Synthesis Report (SYR): Summary for Policymakers
to: “Robert Watson” <REDACTED>, “Rajendra Pachauri” <REDACTED>, “Tomihiro Taniguchi” <REDACTED>, “John Houghton”… [And the Core Team….]

Dear core and extended team members of the IPCC Synthesis Report,

I truly appreciate all the effort that you are expending on preparing the IPCC
Synthesis Report.


Title: Solar modulation of transport processes in the winter middle atmosphere
Authors: Arnold, N.Robinson, T.
Publication: 34th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, The Second World Space Congress, held 10-19 October, 2002 in Houston, TX, USA., meeting abstract
Publication Date: 00/2002
Origin: AUTHOR
Bibliographic Code: 2002cosp…34E1844A


Changes in atmospheric heating due to variations in solar insolation alone appear to be insufficient to account for reports of significant perturbations in the Northern Hemisphere winter stratosphere temperature. Non -linear, transient planetary wave activity provides an important contribution to the heat budget of this region. These waves in turn are sensitive to the underlying conditions related to the global scale circulation. Recent observational evidence suggests that there exist relatively small, but sustained solar-induced changes to the flux of atmospheric gravity waves that will modify the circulation. Three-dimensional model simulations indicate that under these conditions, dynamical coupling is able to amplify the solar forcing by a factor of three or more.


Opinion: What is Science?

Posted: December 11, 2011 by tallbloke in Philosophy, Politics

I was interested to see that Keith Kloor has an article on Science journalism over at collide-a-scape.

Rog Tallbloke Says:
December 11th, 2011 at 4:37 am

Keith Kloor says:
“Writers and bloggers have every right to be supporters of science”

‘Science’  is not only the output of academic institutions. Just as  ’Religion’ is not only the teachings of the church, mosque or synagogue.

‘Science’ is a personal odyssey which is (should be?) guided by an adherence to ‘the scientific method’.

‘Science’ is the output of a group combining/winnowing their results in an effort to achieve a consistent set of propositions which reflect reality.

‘Science’ is a corpus of knowledge which has been contributed to by  individuals and groups which has supplanted religion in some parts of the world as the purveyor of Truth about the reality of the physical world and the inner workings of the human mind.

‘Science’ has internicine struggles, revolutions, conspiratorial elements, hidden agendas, revealed agendas, biases and breakthroughs.

‘Science’ has a history and a pathology.

‘Science’ is a reflection of society at large.

Society at large is to some extent shaped by science.

“Supporter of science”?

Which bit of it?

New contributor ‘Jostemikk’ has alerted us to an interesting recent paper from Norwegian scientists Humlum et al.
This paper examines natural climate cycles in the GISP2 Greenland ice core record and the Svalbaard temperature series.

Ole Humlum a,b, Jan-Erik Solheim c, Kjell Stordahl d
a Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
b Department of Geology, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Svalbard, Norway
c Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
d Telenor Norway, Finance, Fornebu, Oslo, Norway
a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t
Article history:
Received 16 June 2011
Accepted 9 September 2011
Available online 18 September 2011


Our regular contributor Vukcevic has been hard at work teasing out the relationship between changes in air pressure and variations in the Atlantic oceanic oscillations. This is very interesting work which will I’m sure generate some further thoughts from others who are interested in atmosphere-ocean interactions such as Roger Andrews and Stephen Wilde.

The North Atlantic’s Subpolar gyre (Image A2) is the engine of the heat transport across the North Atlantic Ocean, which
is a region of the intense ocean – atmosphere interaction. Cold winds remove the surface heat at rates of several
hundred watts per square meter, resulting in deep water convection. These changes in turn affect the strength and
character of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) and the horizontal flow of the upper ocean, thereby altering the
oceanic poleward heat transport and the distribution of sea surface temperature (SST). (Hurrell et al, 2). The thermohaline
forcing, associated with deep water convection, is
thought to be the source of the ‘Icelandic Low’.
Icelandic Low is a semi-permanent, subpolar
area of low atmospheric pressure in the North Atlantic
Ocean. The strength of the Icelandic Low is the critical
factor in determining path of the polar jet stream over the
North Atlantic.


Well, this should spark a bit of renewed interest in paleodendrotealeafology :-)
date: Thu, 01 Oct 2009 13:00:47 +0100
from: Keith Briffa <>
subject: Fwd: paper indicating a link between tree growth and global cosmic
to: t.m.melvin

>Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 16:14:57 +0100
>From: John Grace
>To: Luyssaert Sebastiaan
>         "Smith, Professor Pete" ,

>         Sandy Tudhope
>         Schulze Ernst-Detlef ,
>         "Sellers, Piers J. (JSC-CB)"
>         Sha Liqing  SIEGERT Martin
>         Steve Long  Tarja Lehto
>         Thomas Crowley Tim Hill
 [around 120 names and email addresses removed from here]
>         Torben Christensen
>         "Veenendaal, Elmar"
>         Werner Eugster
>         Yadvinder Malhi
>         Yit Arn Teh  Jon Lloyd
>         Jennifer Pannell
>         Achim Grelle
>         Otmar Urban
>Subject: paper indicating a link between tree
>growth and global cosmic radiation

>Dear Colleagues
>We have found a correlation between tree rings and galactic cosmic radiation:
>This is an unexpected result, for which we don't
>yet have a good explanation. I hope doesn't
>result in scientific excommunication!
>I thought it would be good idea to circulate
>this reference to relevant scientific friends- so here it is.
>We have one other data set for a different
>species, but spanning many more years. We'll be investigating this case.
>Best wishes
>John Grace
>Professor John Grace
>Professor of Environmental Biology
>School of GeoSciences
>Crew Building
>University of Edinburgh

Professor Keith Briffa,
Climatic Research Unit
University of East Anglia


Little Ice age in Tibet

Posted: December 8, 2011 by tchannon in climate

Andrew Monfort (Bishop Hill) has highlighted a paper in Chinese Science Bulletin which will be of great interest to some readers of this blog.


Figure 4 from the paper, click to enlarge.

Liu Y, Cai Q F, Song H M, et al. Amplitudes, rates, periodicities and causes of temperature variations in the past 2485 years and future trends over the central-eastern Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Sci Bull, 2011, 56: 2986?2994, doi: 10.1007/s11434-011-4713-7


Solar polar field, corrected post

Posted: December 7, 2011 by tchannon in Solar physics

Yesterday I put up a post suggesting we are at solar max on the basis of the solar polar field from the Wilcox Observatory.

Wrong! (like anyone, that hurts but such is life, and the good bit is finding it myself, seems no-one has spotted the problem yet)

I should have plotted the data myself first but then things get extra interesting: the plot I did show does suggest near solar max.


This is a copy of the correct official plot as of today, off this web page


Looks like we are at solar max

Posted: December 7, 2011 by tchannon in Solar physics

NOTICE: This post is wrong, wrong plot, read and then link at bottom to corrected new post. Oops.

November Solar Activity Report – sunspots and 10.7cm radio flux up, but the solar magnetic Ap index crashes

What they have not spotted might not have been realised is this… and might account for a magnetic blip


Figure 1, classic polar field. Wilcox Observatory

Centre trace is touching zero, magnetic reversal. (data used by Wilcox is here)


From the BBC:
The planet, shown here in an artist’s conception, lies about 15% closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun

Artist's conception of Kepler 22-b

Astronomers have confirmed the existence of an Earth-like planet in the “habitable zone” around a star not unlike our own.

The planet, Kepler 22-b, lies about 600 light-years away and is about 2.4 times the size of Earth, and has a temperature of about 22C.

It is the closest confirmed planet yet to one like ours – an “Earth 2.0”.


Cart before horse: Agenda driven science

Posted: December 6, 2011 by tallbloke in atmosphere, Carbon cycle, climate

This email from the FOIA2011 release demonstrates one of the ways in which the agenda of those funding scientific work skews the way proposals for research are constructed. The back story to this one is the desire of the political paymasters of the Carbon Climate Catastrophe Crew to downplay uncertainty in the science. This bolsters the appearance that ‘the science is settled’ and those dissenting from the ‘consensus’ can be safely ignored.

(italics are mine)

date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 08:42:56 +0100
from: Wolfgang Cramer
subject: Re: missing-c
to: Mike Hulme ,  Colin Prentice

Dear Mike, dear Colin,
I like the acronym, in general, but at the same time I think it 
would emphasize too much of the missing C story which I believe many 
funding agencies are tired to hear about. Even though this is a 
missing-C-proposal, too, I think we should really emphasize the 
interannual question, rather than the absolute location of the C sink.
But this made me wonder, and I’ll ask this to Colin as well: What 
about the “political preparation” for this proposal. Do you have any 
idea who to contact in Brussels and ask about further views on the 
draft before the deadline?