Archive for June, 2013

The Sun newspaper is claiming an exclusive today Sunday 30th June

Ministers approve weather machine

BLUNDERING weather boffins are to get a new £100million supercomputer to help improve their forecasting.

Link here The Sun (loud web site, may play script bouncing tricks)

So far I cannot find independent confirmation but WhatDoTheyKnow? cites the Sun with this

Will the latest £100m of supercomputer spend for the Met Office be competitively tendered to EU regulation?



  • The final frontier: Nasa’s Voyager 1 on the verge of entering interstellar space
  • Spacecraft has been in uncharted territory since last summer
  • Scientists dubbed new layer of the solar system the ‘magnetic highway’
  • New research says probe has almost broken through into interstellar space

A paywalled item in Science apparently says things about the status of Voyager 1 but surprisingly a daily newspaper June 28th has done the legwork for a read. Sorry about the other content there.

Mail Online, Science & Technology


Magnetic storm June 29 2013

Posted: June 29, 2013 by tchannon in Geomagnetism


Seems there was a severe space weather storm early hours 29th June 2013, Universal Time.

h/t Vukcevic at WUWT



Figure 1, daily data. See note [1]

The solar constant has long been of interest to science, with good measurements in existence for over a century. Today and measured from satellite this is known as TSI (Total Solar Irradiance), but presumably there will be a slight difference between space based measurements and terrestrial measurements caused by irradiance wavelengths which are totally blocked by the atmosphere and cannot be deduced. Far UV probably being an instance. However this might be of little importance since parasitic irradiance from eg. high atmosphere Ozone which will see far UV might fill in within bandwidth.

1. A single data point 1957 is present, perhaps an original transcription error.


BGS shale gas study released

Posted: June 27, 2013 by tchannon in Shale gas


A long awaited report by British Geological Survey on the mainland shale gas geology has been released.

The region covered is usually referred to as the Bowland shale and is under most of the former industrial north of England.

The report does not cover all of the UK but nevertheless the estimated volume of shale gas is huge, you in your lifetime will never see the end of it, nor probably the end of bleating either.

Extraction efficiency is as ever indeterminate but unimportant at this stage. Not that humans ever get better at doing things.

Link to PDF here (5.4M, from servers)


Politics: So what happens in Australia now?

Posted: June 27, 2013 by tchannon in Politics

The news that prime minister Gillard had been zapped came as a surprise but on learning of the details I am highly amused.

“Gillard had said whoever loses the vote should quit Parliament at upcoming elections, and Rudd agreed.”

“In accordance with the pledge I gave earlier today I announce that I will not recontest the federal electorate of Lalor at the forthcoming election,” Gillard said at a news conference.”

— one of the more balanced reports

It seems that Gillard has a narrow background, pure politico rooted in childhood belief, presumably from her parents and/or schooling, that’s why I find Gillard calling on you or I the falling of the arrogant. She thought she would win. Not a mature move for a politician.



Commentator Stephen Richards writes in a comment here “Incidently, anyone noted the recent steep rise in stratospheric temperature shown by satelite on Roy Spencer’s blog.”?

I hadn’t nor can I find mention but if there really is a rise this is one of the most important changes in many years.



Image courtesy Remote Sensing Systems. North Atlantic March 2013

It was a chilly March for the UK with incessant Easterly wind originating in the Arctic. The map provides very clear evidence.

This is a new and welcome facility from RSS who seem to be working on a number of new datasets from various satellites, such as high stratosphere.



Vannière, B., Magny, M., Joannin, S., Simonneau, A., Wirth, S. B., Hamann, Y., Chapron, E., Gilli, A., Desmet, M., and Anselmetti, F. S.: Orbital changes, variation in solar activity and increased anthropogenic activities: controls on the Holocene flood frequency in the Lake Ledro area, Northern Italy, Clim. Past Discuss., 8, 4701-4744, doi:10.5194/cpd-8-4701-2012, 2012.


It’s a news release from today (but was embargoed earlier, fed to press) so here it is

June 2013 – New research from the Met Office has raised the possibility that man-made aerosols, industrial pollution, may have impacted the number of Atlantic hurricanes.

The paper, published in Nature Geoscience today, suggests aerosols may have suppressed the number of Atlantic hurricanes over the 20th Century and even controlled the decade-to-decade changes in the number of hurricanes.

Says Nature Geoscience Letters.

Anthropogenic aerosol forcing of Atlantic tropical storms
N. J. Dunstone, D. M. Smith, B. B. B. Booth, L. Hermanson & R. Eade



Weep for the poor dear PV brigade, went so dark I popped outside and noticed lights on instead of approaching 1kW/sqm and this the day before longest day of the year. Lowest moment 39W.


Bishop stoops on windfarms

Posted: June 24, 2013 by tchannon in Robber Barons, wind

“The low-down on windfarms”

The Scottish Wild Land Group has published a special edition of its members magazine devoted to the desecration of the landscape by windfarms. This has been made available to everybody here.
[at BH]

Andrew then provides a link to the PDF

His blog article is here.


Review: Frozen Annals by Willi Dansgaard

Posted: June 24, 2013 by tchannon in books, climate, Ice ages

Willi Dansgaard with ice core

Greenland Ice Cap Research
Willi Dansgaard
124 pages

Dansgaard is the father of radioisotope ice history. This is his story from discovering about rain through to Vostok ice core.

Edited by The Department of Geophysics of
The Niels Bohr Institute for Astronomy, Physics and Geophysics at
The University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


In 1969 an icebreaking oil tanker broke through the North West passage but only with assistance.

A prominent program during this time was CRREL ’s participation in the two test voyages of the icebreaking oil tanker Manhattan. Five CRREL researchers journeyed aboard the Manhattan for the “Arctic Tanker Project,” which was financed mainly by Humble Oil, with some assistance from Atlantic Richfield and British Petroleum. The expedition began in September 1969 with two Canadian icebreakers and one U.S. icebreaker trailing the Manhattan. The arrangements were for the icebreakers to carry out search and rescue operations if needed, but the main icebreaking effort was the task of the supertanker. The objective was to have the Manhattan, the largest U.S. commercial vessel then in service, ram itself into the thickest ice that could be found.

The Manhattan eventually succumbed to the ice of McClure Strait, where ice ridges at that time towered up to 40 ft above the water.


Maunder monopole sun

Posted: June 23, 2013 by tchannon in Solar physics, solar system dynamics


The plot here is not directly related to the subject of this article which is changed from it’s original preparation during 2011 (one of many unpublished), retained because it marks a solar barycentre closest approach with perhaps slightly changed flare activity.

This happens to be coherent with the “flat” which seems to occur in solar polar magnetic data at zero crossing, at about the time of magnetic field reversal. Mid 2013 we might be seeing another “flat” in the polar field data. Whether this is real or an artefact of the difficult to do measurement via proxy I know not.


Talkshop contributor Ian Wilson has put up a post on his own blog

Linking the Orbital Configuration of Jupiter, Venus and the Earth to the Terrestrial Lunar Tides

Cherry picking Ian’s content

This conjecture was based upon the following two observations:
1. Synchronization of the Draconic year with the Jupiter’s orbital period.




Achnacarry Castle, Lochaber, Scotland Clan Cameron 1802

“Three men had an appointment at Achnacarry Castle – a Dutchman, an American and an Englishman.” — Aljazeera

In 1928 Achnacarry served as the meeting place for global petroleum producers in an effort to set production quotas. A document known as the Achnacarry Agreement or “As-Is” Agreement was signed on 17 September 1928.[4]

4. Bamberg, J.H. (1994), The History of the British Petroleum Company, Volume 2: The Anglo-Iranian Years, 1928–1954, Cambridge University Press, pp. 528–34 The 18 August 1928 draft of the Achnacarry Agreement.

— wikipedia



Illustration from

Duncan Steel: Perihelion precession, polar ice and global warming (PDF).
Journal of Cosmology[1]

I’ve not had a chance to look at this item so I am linking as-is. I’m familiar enough with Berger to know this has real meat behind it. Errors would not surprise me but caveat emptor.


Met Office: Beddington joins board as a director

Posted: June 20, 2013 by tchannon in Politics

Press release dated 17th June, didn’t see it this morning 19th when I asked via telephone when the Spring weather report was going to be issued, pointing the provisional was linked from a much newer PR.

Not going to. Dodgy methinks, that means there never will be a spring report so nothing was said.

Look now and it has vanished and a new press release has appeared, maybe I was blind.

Appointment of new Non-Executive Directors

17 June 2013 – The Met Office is pleased to announce the appointment of Wendy Barnes, Christine Tacon, David Burridge and Sir John Beddington as Non-Executive Directors.


Venus wind speeds increasing

Posted: June 19, 2013 by tchannon in Astrophysics, wind


A strange effect is reported in a paper about analysis of images from ESA Venus Explorer, which has been in orbit since 2006. The already very high upper atmosphere wind speeds have increased.

Why is not known.

I note a hint of a solar activity signature.

Cloud level winds from the Venus Express Monitoring Camera imaging
I.V. Khatuntseva, b, , , M.V. Patsaevaa, b, D.V. Titovc, d, N.I. Ignatieva, b, A.V. Turina, S.S. Limayee, W.J. Markiewiczd, M. Almeidaf, Th. Roatschg, R. Moisslf, d