Archive for April, 2013

Earlier today, I spotted the wailing and gnashing of teeth beginning over the fact that the airborne fraction of co2 is about to pass 400 parts per million – 0.04% of the atmosphere. Peter Gleick was one of the protagonists.

So I tweeted this response:


Over on the Hockey Schtick we have been alerted to a new paper which inadvertently offers a clue about the degree to which co2 levels are dependent on temperature, rather than the other way round, as the upside-down warmists claim. The last time this issue was discussed here at the talkshop, we made some real progress with the help of some excellent contributions from Richard Courtney, Bart, Roger Andrews, Stephen Wilde and others. That thread ended with a tentative conclusion from Roger A that the human contribution to the ~80ppm increase in airborne co2 since the 1950’s was between 25 and 60%, depending on the ‘residence time’ selected (5-15 years). Couple with the new lower estimates of sensitivity – the amount of warming expected for a doubling of co2 concentration – of around 1.6-2C this leaves cAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) pretty much dead in the water. The new paper may help constrain that estimate, so I’m putting it up for discussion again.


Figure 3 from:’Atmospheric verification of anthropogenic CO2 emission trends’
Roger J. Francey, Cathy M. Trudinger, Marcel van der Schoot, Rachel M. Law, Paul B. Krummel, Ray L. Langenfelds, L. Paul Steele, Colin E. Allison, Ann R. Stavert, Robert J. Andres & Christian Rödenbeck
Nature Climate Change 3, 520–524 (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1817


In advance of a more technical post about Ian Wilson’s new paper, this article from his blog lays out in the clearest possible terms the basics of the model he has developed in accordance with observations. Mainstream solar scientists don’t have any explanation for the longer term behaviours of the Sun. This model has both explanatory and predictive power, since the movement of the planets can be accurately pre-determined from first principles using celestial mechanics theory and the ephemerides created from it. The power of planetary tidal effects on the boundary conditions of the Sun are not yet known, but building a model which accords with observations is a powerful step along the way to a complete theoretical development.


As with any new idea there are many people who have contributed to its overall development. Listed here are just a few people who  have contributed to the evolution of the VEJ Tidal Model over the years:

J. P. Desmoulins
Ulric Lyons
C-C. Hung
Ian Wilson
Ray Tomes
P. A. Semi
Roy Martin
Rog ‘Tallbloke’ Tattersall
Paul Vaughan

However the first reference that we can find to this model [hat tip to Paul Vaughan) is that of:

Bollinger, C.J. (1952). A 44.77 year Jupiter-Earth-Venus configuration Sun-tide period in solar-climate cycles. Academy of Science for 1952 – Proceedings of the Oklahoma 307-311. who  illustrated the ~22 year JEV cycle  over 60 years ago — see the configurations illustrated in Table 1 on p.308.


Surfacestation Gringley On The Hill

Posted: April 29, 2013 by tchannon in Analysis


Gringley On The Hill, Nottinghamshire. Village has a web site.
Seems on a small farm.
Image spring 2012. 11km Doncaster airport, probably a former RAF base and maybe an earlier location.

“24 hours ending 2200 on 28 Apr 2013:
UK Highest max 0900-2100 14.9 °C Gringley On The Hill”

53.406151° -0.884318° Bing maps, Google maps


Geoff Chambers on Lewandowsky at Bristol

Posted: April 29, 2013 by tchannon in Politics

lewpaper_crop1England has acquired another migrant from Australia to join the head of the Green Party.

Goeff Chambers has blogged… (opens new window)

A Tale of Two Steves
Posted on April 28, 2013 by geoffchambers

Stephan Lewandowsky, Professor of Cognitive Psychology, formerly of the University of Western Australia, now of Bristol University, England, recently published a paper establishing a causal link between climate denial and belief that the Apollo moon landing was a hoax. This link was based on four anonymous responses (out of a total of more than 1300) to a faulty on-line survey. There is good evidence that two of the four responses were faked.

This paper has received widespread uncritical publicity in the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Huffington Post, the Raw Story, the Daily Beast and Salon, and elsewhere.

I’m not sure how wise it is posting on what is a highly controversial matter.


This reblog from WUWT would seem to back up Makarieva et al, who say forests are vital to local climates. As well as the water they evaporate, they also release more aerosols as temperature rises which assist cloud seeding by building the size of cloud condensation nucleii.

Watts Up With That?

Recall a couple of days ago that I posted on the aerosols released by trees: Those dirty trees: why hasn’t the EPA called for trees to be regulated?

Now, from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis  comes a cause-effect for climate.

Plants moderate climate warming

As temperatures warm, plants release gases that help form clouds and cool the atmosphere, according to research from IIASA and the University of Helsinki.

The new study, published in Nature Geoscience, identified a negative feedback loop in which higher temperatures lead to an increase in concentrations of natural aerosols that have a cooling effect on the atmosphere.

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Heavy H2O Hits Houston

Posted: April 28, 2013 by tallbloke in Clouds, data, weather

Houston, Texas isn’t a place noted for having a lot of rainfall, but yesterday, according the the Weather Underground, the airport there got 6 inches of rain in 24 hours, with 1.17in falling in a seven minute period. Compared to the 8.3mm in the year to date, this is a serious amount of water; see the summary below the break:


Jan 2012 floods in Houston Texas


Angela Fritz of tweeted:


Surfacestation Killowen

Posted: April 28, 2013 by tchannon in Analysis, Surfacestation


Red line and arrow, line of sight for Google Streetview, see below.

Killowen, County Down, Northern Ireland, Killowen Outdoor Centre, Carlingford Lough.

Data from 1997, as AWS from about 2000, older data somewhere near from 1961
24 hours ending 2200 on 27 Apr 2013:
UK Highest max 0900-2100 12.9 °C Killowen

54.076877° -6.184006° Bing maps, Google maps

Altitude 4 metres

Estimated Class 4, fails Class 3 on > 10% “Ground covered with natural and low vegetation (<25 cm) representative of the region;” and “at more than 10 m from artificial heat sources and reflective surfaces (buildings, concrete surfaces, car parks, etc.)” with 10 metres. (hedge / wall)

UHI, local, isolated marina, heated public centre, vehicle parking, signs of outfall close to lough edge. Distance, none.


earth cross section

I think there are probably quite a lot of ramifications to this news for climateers to consider which I’m too tired to think of. Over to the talkshop massive:

The core of the Earth is nearly 1,000 degrees hotter than previously thought, making it as fiery as the surface of the sun.

Following new experiments, scientists have established that the core temperature is 6,000 C, much higher than the previous estimate of 5,000.

Using X-rays to probe into the behaviour of iron crystals, putting samples of iron under extreme pressure, researchers were able to examine how iron crystals melt and form.

The new tests, using one of the world’s most intense sources of X-rays located at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the research team were able to re-create the same pressure at the core.

Here is much better copy, the original press release PDF here


The Comet Family of Jupiter

The origin of “the other big bang theory” dates back to 1766 when the astronomer Johann Daniel Titius of Wittenberg noted a strange “gap” [or “empty space”] in the pattern of planetary distances.

If one began a numerical sequence at 0, then included 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, etc., doubling each time, and added four to each number and divided by 10, this produced a remarkably close approximation to the radii of the orbits of the known planets as measured in astronomical units.

This pattern, now known as the Titius–Bode law, predicted the semi-major axes of the six planets of the time (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) provided one allowed for a “gap” between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

In his footnote Titius declared,
“But should the Lord Architect have left that space empty? Not at all.”

Surfacestation Writtle

Posted: April 27, 2013 by tchannon in Analysis, Surfacestation


Writtle, Essex. (at Writtle college, just west of Chelmsford)
Records marked from 1940 but the location then not known.
Recent conversion to full AWS 2009.

51.733441° 0.429085°

Altitude 32 metres

Estimated Class 4, fails Class 3 on “Ground covered with natural and low vegetation (<25 cm) representative of the region;” within 10 metres. As a secondary station this seems hard but a ploughed field some of the year is inconsistent.

UHI moderate, housing to south and south west, agricultural college with glasshouses to north, edge of large town of Chelmsford 1.2km, centre 2.7km to the east.


Surfacestation Altnahinch Filters

Posted: April 27, 2013 by tchannon in Analysis, Surfacestation


Altnahinch Filters, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

55.047836° -6.255353° Google browser map

Altitude 213 metres.

Estimated Class 4, fails Class 3 on road and sewage tank within 10 metres. Suspect shadow from trees and hill to south west as well. (see Google Streetview below)

UHI, perhaps local sewage works, otherwise none.


Pyrgeometers untangled

Posted: April 26, 2013 by tchannon in Measurement, methodology, Surfacestation


This drawing shows the basic internals of a simple passive pyrgeometer.

Heat flows from roughly earth ground temperature into the body, finds it’s way through the body to the underside of the thermoelectric generator, then through that and for a clear sky then radiates from the top side to space, unless there are heavy clouds or it is raining.

I repeat, heat flow is from the ground upwards. (under very rare meteorological conditions a minor reverse flow happens, the former is overwhelmingly dominant)

This is far from the whole convoluted story, which I will now try and explain. In reality it is very simple.


Is wind energy’s future bladeless?

Posted: April 26, 2013 by tallbloke in Energy, wind

From the “Why didn’t we do some more R&D before carpeting the country in useless bird killing machines” department:


The Saphon device wobbles in a 3D knot shape generating electricity via pistons at the same time (Source: Saphon)

A Tunisian wind energy startup says it is in talks with a number of major industrial players as it looks to move its bladeless wind towers to a commercial scale.

Saphon Energy’s sail inspired towers wobble in the wind, with pistons converting kinetic energy to electricity. It says that by removing blades and gearboxes it can “comfortably” reduce the cost of wind energy by 25%.

Empirical tests it has conducted suggest bladeless wind devices could be 2.3 to 2.5 times more efficient than three-blade turbines, capturing about 60-70% of the wind’s kinetic energy.


The UKIP effect seems to be taking hold

Posted: April 25, 2013 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

From the Telegraph:


Every so often, Britain is shaken by a new political force that articulates a sense of frustration at the old structures, or a yearning for something new. Sometimes these movements – like the Labour Party at the start of the 20th century – turn into a momentous presence that permanently transforms the national landscape. More usually they wither and fade.To begin with, the political establishment almost always ignores these new movements. This is because they articulate heretical thoughts that cannot be countenanced within the framework of mainstream discourse and practice. They are so challenging that it is much easier to pretend they do not exist.

Reblogged from The Gatestone Institute

Auditors have refused to sign off on EU accounts for 18 years in a row, and EU officials have been sacked for exposing corruption and fraud within the vast bureaucracy. by Samuel Westrop April 25, 2013 at 5:00 am
censor1The European Union (EU) is pouring millions of pounds into organizations that advocate state control of the press. For many, the funding — uncovered recently by Telegraph journalist Andrew Gilligan — is yet further evidence of the EU’s increasingly Orwellian, authoritarian nature. The Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has for years referred to the organization as the EUSSR.

One recipient of European taxpayers’ money, Mediadem, for example, has been given 2.3 million pounds. Mediadem describes its mission as working to “reclaim a free and independent media.” Addressing the topical issue of how to restructure the system of redress for those wrongfully accused or defamed by newspapers, Mediadem recommends the “imposition of sanctions beyond an apology or correction” and the “co-ordination of the journalistic profession at the European level.”

Mediadem’s representative, Dr Craufurd Smith, has written, “Liberal conceptions of media freedom focus on editorial freedom for government interference…. [however] states may also be required to take positive measures to curtail the influence of powerful economic or political groups…. this entails that neither the media, nor those individuals who own or work for the media, enjoy an absolute right to freedom of expression.”

This is not the first time the EU has sought to control freedom of expression. In 2001, the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU was allowed to suppress political criticism of its institutions and of leading figures. The court ruled that the EU was lawfully allowed to punish individuals who “damaged the institution’s image and reputation.”


Excellent article from Ruth Dixon, who I had the pleasure to meet at the Oxford Union debate recently. The historical context of climate debate revealed.

My Garden Pond

“… who, by altering the surface of the earth has changed the course of the atmosphere and thence the influence of the seasons.”  Antoine-Alexis Cadet de Vaux, “Observation sur la sécheresse actuelle, ses causes, et les moyens de prévenir la progression de ce fléau,” Moniteur Universel, 26 August 1800.

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Hilary Ostrov takes MET Office climate scientist Richard Betts to task for his vague and evasive statements…

The View From Here

The Met Office is a jewel in the crown, of British science and global science. As a nation we should be more aware of that, and proud of it, than we are. […] Your excellence is an asset for British diplomacy, enhancing our soft power leverage on climate change all over the world.

John Ashton, “Climate Change and Politics: Surviving the Collision
Met Office, Exeter, 11 April 2013

I don’t know whether the U.K. Met Office’s Richard Betts was in the audience or not when E3G’s Ashton, who is “equally at home in the worlds of foreign policy and green politics”, delivered his epic exhortations to the troops at the Met Office on April 11. But I do know that he’s a nice guy; a climate scientist who – unlike his colleague Myles Allen – has sense of humour:

Thanks Josh. Fame at last 🙂

I’ll print…

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zombie_beer_t460From EUactiv: This is an attempt to resurrect the ETC carbon cred scheme, which crashed and burned last week when the European parliament voted down a proposal to withold nearly a billion carbon indulgences from the market as a way of driving up the (currently rock bottom) price.

Backloading amendment to return for ‘second round’Published: 23.04.2013

EU environment and energy ministers are scheduled today (April 23) to discuss strategies to return a variant of the European Commission proposal to a restive Parliament.One Commission source told EurActiv that he foresaw the issue “coming back to a vote in plenary in two months time.”German MEP Matthias Groote, chairman of the Parliament’s environment committee, “will look at the text and probably work with what he has in terms of changing it, perhaps introducing the ‘fallback amendment’,” the source said.The European Parliament vote on 16 April sent the Commission’s proposed one-line legal amendment back to the environment committee, from whence it had come.


walportSir Mark Walport, the government’s new chief scientific advisor has given a talk at Cambridge University setting out his stall for the job ahead. It’s fairly dry and I doubt many here will sit through all of it, but I just thought I’d highlight minutes 12 to 16 where he discusses energy. In giving a passing nod to ‘sustainability’ as “one of three lenses” energy policy needs to be looked at through (the others mentioned ahead of it being energy security and energy affordability), Sir mark, unusually for a policy wonk, gives a mention to space-weather; “the ionising, the electromagnetic radiation from the Sun”. Now that’s a bit of a curve ball to throw in to a talk about the science-policy interface, and I think it’s a coded message to the enviro-lobbyists that they’re not going to find Sir Mark compliant on the issue of ‘the science’. It’s not so much a shot across the bows of Greenpeace as a gesture towards a box of limpet mines. Maybe my missive really did hit it’s mark, or maybe Sir Mark was already alive to the Climate and Solar uncertainty issues. Either way, I’m glad to see we have a chief science advisor who has a broader perspective on the thorny issues around energy policy than his predecessor.