Archive for December, 2013

I’m amused to see Global Warmist Professor Chris Turney’s expedition to Antarctica to retrace polar explorer Douglas Mawson’s route and replicate measurements has run into a spot of bother.


Doug Proctor: Essay on West and beyond

Posted: December 27, 2013 by tchannon in books, media, Philosophy, Politics

Doug has posted an essay[1], book review with wider commentary

I’m reading “American Betrayal”, by Diana West, macmillan (2013).

It is concerned with not the fact of Soviet influence (through placement and support of specific pro-Communist figures in the WWII+) American government, but with the refusal to recognize American political (and military and intelligence) life had been infiltrated by agents working against American (and British) best interests. Her book is a polemic, unfortunately, a rant written in a self-indulgent way that will be easy to dismiss as shrieking from a soapbox in Hyde Park. But her point is extremely well made and very, very pertinent to our on-going fight about CAGW: it is not the facts that are in dispute but the “implication” (her term) of those facts. To accept the implication of Soviet penetration is to accept that our view of the last 70 years is false, that the control and decision-making of our wise fathers was not for our but of Stalinist betterment. This is a paradigm shift that is simply unacceptable so as each unassailable point comes up, something is done to destroy the reputation of the teller, or negate the point as a “detail” within a broader, “normal” background.

Sound familiar?


Climate politics choreography

Posted: December 27, 2013 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

The View From Here

There’s a woman by the name of Liz Gallagher, who happens to be one of the stable of luminaries associated with John Ashton‘s E3G shop. Ashton, you may recall, is the man who claimed that the U.K. Met Office is a “jewel in the crown, of British science and global science”.

Gallagher’s E3G bio indicates that:

[She] leads E3G’s Climate Diplomacy programme […which] focuses on how to construct high leverage political interventions which can shape an ambitious outcome in 2015 and beyond.


Liz has been working in the field of climate change and development since 2006, specialising in international climate politics. Whilst at [“the official Catholic aid agency for England and Wales”] CAFOD, Liz co-chaired Climate Action Network’s international lobbying and policy group on climate finance at the UNFCCC negotiations, influencing and meeting with delegations from across the world. [hyperlinks added -hro]

To Gallagher’s credit, she…

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Tough call forecasting, Met Office fail

Posted: December 26, 2013 by tchannon in weather, wind

Site close to storm damage area, southerly gale

From press release Met Office warns of storms around Christmas

23 December 2013 – Met Office forecasters are expecting a stormy start and end to Christmas week. However, there will be a calmer, colder spell for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The only expectation was

This storm brings the potential for disruption to transport.

23/24th December the storm broke electricity feeds to initially perhaps 50,000 in southern Home Counties not far from London and still many thousands will remain broken through 26th, in addition there is serious flooding.

BBC: Storms leave homes without power ‘until at least Boxing Day


19 December 2013 – The global average temperature in 2014 is expected to be between 0.43 °C and 0.71 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 °C, with a central estimate of 0.57 °C, according to the Met Office annual global temperature forecast.

This is aimed at the average of GISS, NCDC, and HADCRUT4. Seems a strange idea to me because the Met Office only have their own stuff in their control and knowledge, are predicting against others. Herd mentality perhaps. And GISS?

Met Office are using 1961-1990, 30 year reference. Keeps the numbers high.

Last year (needs cross check)

20 December 2012 – 2013 is expected to be between 0.43 °C and 0.71 °C warmer than the long-term (1961-1990) global average of 14.0 °C, with a best estimate of around 0.57 °C, according to the Met Office annual global temperature forecast.

Identical 2013 and 2014 forecasts.


Taking into account the range of uncertainty in the forecast and observations, it is very likely that 2013 will be one of the warmest ten years in the record which goes back to 1850, and it is likely to be warmer than 2012.

Hang on a minute… pea and thimble…


Global Temperatures Report – Nov 13

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

Paul Homewood provides a temperature roundup.


By Paul Homewood






A divergence this month between satellites (down) and surface (up), that has led to a bit of discussion. I don’t get too exercised by any of this, as on a month to month basis this sort of variability is quite common. Usually, the different datasets come back into line after a month or two.

There has, however, been a lot of hot air about it being the “hottest November on record”, so we need to get a few facts straight.


1) Leaving aside the satellite sets, where on RSS this November is the 3rd coldest of the century, it is not even the hottest November on HADCRUT.

2) There are 12 months in every year, so over a 12-year period, the odds of getting a “hottest month” is once a year.

3) Taking all months of the year, the…

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Season’s greetings to all our readers and regulars. I thought I’d post a few photos from my Spain trip last week for a taste of festive cheer.


This is the Plaza at the top of the Calle Marques de Larios in Malaga, which is the wide boulevard shown below the break.


The Hodograph turns up in a few places and is about constant acceleration. As it turns out the hodograph of an orbit is a circle, perhaps of interest to some Talkshop readers.


A text on this by Dr James B. Calvert

Associate Professor Emeritus of Engineering, University of Denver

Registered Professional Engineer, State of Colorado


This is an article by Roger Andrews.

A few years ago I did some work on urban heat islands and I’m taking the opportunity to document the results. [note 1]

Figure 1

Figure 1

One of the problems with urban heat islands is a lack of information on how large they are. Available data consist of temperature profiles across an idealized metro area, IR satellite images, maps showing temperatures on a summer afternoon or a winter morning or comparisons of temperature gradients at urban stations with surrounding rural stations. But there are no maps, or at least none that I could find, that plot absolute mean temperatures in and around a UHI. So I drew some.

Figure 1 shows the world’s largest UHI – Los Angeles, California, metro area (more…)

The View From Here

So, while Richard Betts of the U.K. Met Office, aka a “jewel in the crown” of U.K. and global science, continues to generate diversionary and dismissive fog, other prophets of doom from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), led by the math-challenged modeller and message manipulator in chief, Thomas Stocker, current Co-Chair of the IPCC’s Working Group I (WG1) have been holding forth on the IPCC’s “three main messages” for its “primary customer“, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Here’s a screen capture of Stocker and some of his colleagues spreading the gospel at an AGU press conference:


You can watch the video here [registration may be required]. It is interesting that at approx. 29:36, Stocker expresses his satisfaction that some of their “headline” (although he calls them “highlights”)…

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UPDATE 23:12;13 – I’ve bumped this post back to the top, as we now have a link to the special edition with all the papers collated in one place, along with our introduction and conclusion. There are still two more papers, from Nicola Scafetta and Ivanka Charvatova, being finalised which will hopefully appear at the same url before the new year. Download and enjoy – Merry Christmas everybody!

This post will help explain why I haven’t been around as much as I’d like over the last couple of months. Thanks to the tireless effort of our handling editor Nils-Axel Morner, the special edition of the journal ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics we’ve been working on is nearing completion. Here’s the cover:



The main issues affecting the progression of the project are the ground conditions in the site, particularly the presence of hard rock, coupled with challenging wave conditions which could impact construction. Beyond this, there is a significant presence of basking sharks, which environmental groups continue to study to get a greater understanding of their movements in the area.

“However, it is our view that the Argyll Array project is not financially viable in the short term. As cost reductions continue to filter through the offshore wind industry, and as construction techniques and turbine technology continues to improve, we believe that the Argyll Array could become a viable project in the long term.

Scottish Power news release Friday 13th


Guest post from Roger Andrews, who says: ” This is a review that extends Euan Mearns’ article on sunshine hours, cloud cover and SAT in the UK over mainland Europe and the North Atlantic. It reveals some interesting features that I make no attempt to explain – basically because I can’t – but someone else may have some ideas.” Apologies to Roger A for the delay in getting this article posted.

by Roger Andrews

The recent “UK temperatures since 1933” post discussed the relationships between sunshine hours, which were assumed to be an inverse cloud cover proxy, on surface air temperatures (hereafter SAT) at 23 UK stations. Here I summarize the relationships between sunshine hours, cloud cover and SAT over  Europe using observations from ~30 stations selected from the European Climate Assessment (ECA) data set (acknowledgement as requested to Klein Tank, A.M.G. and Coauthors, 2002. Daily dataset of 20th-century surface air temperature and precipitation series for the European Climate Assessment. Int. J. of Climatol., 22, 1441-1453.) Station locations are shown in Figure 1:




From the NZ Herald:

A backpacker coming home for Christmas had every bit of electronic equipment stripped from him at the airport.

A Customs officer at Auckland International Airport took law graduate Sam Blackman’s two smartphones, iPad, an external hard drive and laptop – and demanded his passwords.

Mr Blackman, 27, who was breaking up travelling with his journalist fiance Imogen Crispe for a month back in New Zealand for Christmas, was initially given no reason why the gear was taken.

The only possibility of why it occurred was his attendance – and tweeting – of a London meeting on mass surveillance sparked by the Snowden revelations, he said.


The Hindu are carrying a syndicated piece by The Guardian (UK) to which I do not want to link.

Randy Schekman says his lab will no longer send papers to Nature, Cell and Science as they distort scientific process

Leading academic journals are distorting the scientific process and represent a “tyranny” that must be broken, according to a Nobel prize winner who has declared a boycott on the publications.

Randy Schekman, a US biologist who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine this year and receives his prize in Stockholm on Tuesday, said his lab would no longer send research papers to the top-tier journals, Nature, Cell and Science.


Reposted from Richard Tol’s blog

RTol_crop_smallI welcome the inquiry by the Select Committee into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The focus of the inquiry is on Working Group I of the IPCC and its Fifth Assessment Report, neither of which are in my core areas of experience and expertise. I was a contributing author to IPCC WG1 AR3; I was a lead author in a few reports of WG2 and WG3; I am currently a convening lead author for WG2 AR5. I will therefore address only a few of the issues raised by the Select Committee.

· How effective is AR5 and the summary for policymakers in conveying what is meant by uncertainty in scientific terms ? Would a focus on risk rather than uncertainty be useful?

The agreed distinction between risk and uncertainty goes back to Knight (1921), with risk characterized by known probabilities (the throw of a dice) and uncertainty by unknown probabilities. Climate change is better described by uncertainty than by risk. In other arenas the IPCC has tried to redefine widely accepted concepts (e.g., vulnerability) which has led to endless, fruitless discussions on semantics. It would be regrettable if the IPCC would repeat this mistake with regard to risk and uncertainty.

This is a guest post by Jerry Lundry

Two plots are presented for annual average temperature in the United States Historical Climate Network (USHCN). This data set is highly regarded by some in climate science and is sometimes used as a surrogate for world-wide temperatures. Among its attributes are its coverage of a large land mass (the forty-eight contiguous United States), dense coverage of that land mass (1218 stations), and records that are complete to 1912 and missing only about eighty stations back to 1895. Temperatures for all stations are also provided for 1908.

In 2012, the author downloaded and produced annual average temperatures for this data set. The first figure below provides average annual temperatures for 1908 and 1912-2011. The curve faired through the data is a standard Excel sixth-order polynomial. This curve shows minima in years 1914 and 1970, and maxima in years 1940 and 2004, give or take a year or two.


Figure 1


Glasgow helicopter crash, first AAIB report

Posted: December 10, 2013 by tchannon in Analysis

AAIB (Air Accident Investigation Branch of Department of Transport) have published a Special Bulletin.

No causal found so far.

Following list is quoted extracts from the report with comment and bolding.

  • “At 2218 hrs, the pilot requested clearance from ATC [Air Traffic Control] to re-enter the Glasgow Control Zone and return to GCH [not known, assumed heliport]; this was approved. No further radio transmissions from the pilot were received.”
  • “Radar contact with the helicopter was lost at 2222 hrs.”
  • Weather was not exceptional.
  • “Preliminary examination showed that all main rotor blades were attached at the time of the impact but that neither the main rotor nor the fenestron tail rotor were rotating.”, which supports eye witness accounts.
  • “Once removed from the building, approximately 95 litres of fuel were drained from the fuel tank system.”
  • “Initial assessment provided no evidence of major mechanical disruption of either engine and indicated that the main rotor gearbox was capable of providing drive from the No 2 engine power turbine to the main rotor and to the fenestron drive shaft.” and crash damage prevented a similar check for engine 1.


Get it while it’s hot. Link below the break. Thank you, secret Santa. 🙂


Northern Ozone dance

Posted: December 7, 2013 by tchannon in atmosphere, ozone

Image processed to show land outlines and grid

Northern hemisphere ozone receives little attention.

Fairly recently a partial view of the north has become available, still incomplete, model output, nevertheless this might be eye opening.

The images used here are from NASA [1]  are tilted partial northern hemisphere. Image left  here is making the geography clear, barely makes the Mediterranean, southern US or Japan.

Fingers of ozone reaching far south has been known for a long time, pre-dates satellites, is rarely mentioned.

Satellite sensing is restricted by how it has to be done: the only proper way is by transmission through the atmosphere, which means from the ground. Reason: measurement uses the difference in absorption between a pair of spectral lines where a light source shining through, daytime the sun, night-time reflected sunlight, the moon, hence remote sensing has no data night side.