Archive for April, 2015

One of Greenland's islands [credit: Wikipedia]

One of Greenland’s islands [credit: Wikipedia]

Science Daily reports on recent research by Oregon State University (H/T The Hockeyshtick):
A new study using evidence from a highly detailed ice core from West Antarctica shows a consistent link between abrupt temperature changes on Greenland and Antarctica during the last ice age, giving scientists a clearer picture of the link between climate in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Greenland climate during the last ice age was very unstable, the researchers say, characterized by a number of large, abrupt changes in mean annual temperature that each occurred within several decades. These so-called “Dansgaard-Oeschger events” took place every few thousand years during the last ice age. Temperature changes in Antarctica showed an opposite pattern, with Antarctica cooling when Greenland was warm, and vice versa.

In this study funded by the National Science Foundation and published this week in the journal Nature, the researchers discovered that the abrupt climates changes show up first in Greenland, with the response to the Antarctic climate delayed by about 200 years. The researchers documented 18 abrupt climate events during the past 68,000 years.

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Are the Austrians going to press ahead with this as a favour to anti-nuclear Germany, expecting some reward?

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2015/04/countdown-begins-for-hinkley-nuclear-power-challenge-as-decision-published.html

PEI report:

The European Commission’s decision on Hinkley Point was published in the Official Journal on Tuesday, and there now commences a two month period whereby potential objections from Austria, Luxembourg and other entities can be recorded. If the decision is contested it may prove a fatal blow to the UK’s nuclear power ambitions due to the lengthy delays that would entail.
Dr Dorte Fouquet, Partner, BBH Brussels who has been advising Vienna on the matter of their objection to Britain’s flagship nuclear power project on the basis of State Aid contravention, told an audience at Platts Power Summit in central
London today that if Vienna presses on with its challenge it could set back construction of the Hinkley Point C project for around eight years based on average case statistics.
She added that were it to go unchallenged “this decision would be practically the end…

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warming-coolingH/T to GwPF’s Benny Peiser

The Hill, 28 April 2015

Timothy Cama

A Senate committee voted Tuesday to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using ‘secret science’ to back its regulations.

The vote in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee came after the GOP-controlled House repeatedly approved the bill. It previous was stalled in the Democratic-majority Senate.

Under the measure, which President Obama has threatened to veto if the Senate passes it, the EPA would only be allowed to use scientific studies whose detailed results are posted publicly online.

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Dr Roy Spencer has announced the release of the latest version of the UAH temperature data set.

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“By far the most extensive revision of the procedures and computer code we have ever produced in over 25 years…”

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This paper published 10th March tries to identify major episodic solar activity by using both 14C and 10BeImage

(note to reader, above x-axis has advancing time running right to left)

Grand solar minima and maxima deduced from 10Be and 14C: magnetic dynamo configuration and polarity reversal
F. Inceoglu, R. Simoniello, M. F. Knudsen, C. Karoff, J. Olsen, S. Turck-Chiéze, B. H. Jacobsen
A&A 577 A20 (2015)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201424212

Abstract

Aims. This study aims to improve our understanding of the occurrence and origin of grand solar maxima and minima.
Methods. We first investigate the statistics of peaks and dips simultaneously occurring in the solar modulation potentials reconstructed using the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) 10 Be and IntCal13 14 C records for the overlapping time period spanning between ~1650 AD to 6600 BC.

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I’ve included this on the front page because I think the bimodality of solar data is an important matter where this work adds weight to the effect being real.

http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2015/04/aa21064-13/aa21064-13.html
Open access with registration

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Guest post by Tony Thomas

Money-down-the-drainIn a further demonstration that no alarmist undertaking is too improbable for public funds to underwrite, the climate-change careerists at Melbourne University have teamed up with their equally error-prone counterparts in Potsdam. Bear this in mind when the next vice-chancellor cries poor

Two groups that like to out-vie each other on climate catastrophism have linked arms to give the Australian public and taxpayers a double dose of the scares. Melbourne University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have formed a Melbourne-based joint graduate body called theAustralian-German College of Climate & Energy Transitions. It has 16 multi-disciplinary PhD students, none pondering the 18-year halt to atmospheric warming. Expect lots of Melbourne/Berlin tripping and jetliner contrails.

This is yet another climate institute or centre in academia, one of hundreds interlocked throughout the Western world  (at least a dozen are in Australia, the ANU alone boasting five varieties). It’s a lucrative industry for normally funding-starved academics.[1]

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Usual response: never mind the data, get the ‘D’ word into a headline!

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

ScreenHunter_2060 Apr. 27 11.16

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/climate-change-sceptic-group-sets-up-inquiry-into-accuracy-of-global-temperature-records-10204961.html

It has not taken long for the left wing press to attack the investigation into the integrity of global temperature records!

The UK’s most prominent climate change denial group is launching an inquiry into the integrity of global surface temperature records.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), established by notable climate-change sceptic Lord Lawson, announced an international team of “eminent climatologists, physicists and statisticians” would investigate the reliability of the current data.

Professor Terence Kealey, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, has been appointed chair of the international temperature data review project.

Professor Kealey studied medicine at Oxford University before lecturing on clinical biochemistry, which is primarily concerned with the analysis of bodily fluids, at Cambridge University. It is unclear what experience he has in the field of climate change.

The other five commissioners of the data review project: Petr Chylek, Richard McNider, Roman…

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Sodium gas tail, image from http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/image_highlights.html

Executes Last Orbit-Correction Maneuver, Prepares for Impact
MESSENGER mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., conducted the last of six planned maneuvers on April 24 to raise the spacecraft’s minimum altitude sufficiently to extend orbital operations and further delay the probe’s inevitable impact onto Mercury’s surface.

With the usable on-board fuel consumed, this maneuver expelled gaseous helium — originally carried to pressurize the fuel, but re-purposed as a propellant. Without a means of boosting the spacecraft’s altitude, the tug of the Sun’s gravity will draw the craft in to impact the planet on April 30, at about 8,750 miles per hour (3.91 kilometers per second), creating a crater as wide as 52 feet (16 meters).

At the start of yesterday’s maneuver, at 1:23 p.m. EDT, MESSENGER was in an orbit with a closest approach of 8.3 kilometers (5.1 miles) above the surface of Mercury. With a velocity change of 1.53 meters per second (3.43 miles per hour), the spacecraft’s four largest monopropellant thrusters released gaseous helium to nudge the spacecraft to an orbit with a closest approach altitude of 18.2 kilometers (11.3miles).

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Texas House votes to ban fracking bans

Posted: April 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Politics
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Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer / Wikipedia]

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer/Wikipedia]


From the US State synonymous with oil: legislation to limit the power of ‘nimbyism’ in developing – or not – natural energy resources.

Texas has moved a step closer to pre-empting cities and counties from banning fracking. On April 17, by a vote of 122-18, the Texas House passed House Bill 40 recognizing the Texas Railroad Commission’s long-held authority to regulate oil and gas exploration and production, including hydraulic fracking, in the state.

The bill was a reaction to the Denton, Texas’ fracking ban. Denton’s ban, approved by city voters in November, was the first ever attempt by a Texas city to assert local power to ban oil and gas production. If HB 40 ultimately becomes law, the bill would ban any ordinance that prohibits an oil and gas operation. A companion bill awaits action in the Texas Senate.

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Major earthquake hits Nepal

Posted: April 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Earthquakes
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Earthquake zone [credit: BBC]

Earthquake zone [credit: BBC]


BBC reports: Several thousand* people [*last Talkshop update: 28 April] are known to have died in a powerful earthquake that struck Nepal, wrecking many historic buildings, officials have said.

The quake measured 7.9 and struck an area between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara, the US Geological Survey said.

Tremors were felt across the region, as far afield as Pakistan, Bangladesh and neighbouring India.

A Nepali minister said there had been “massive damage” at the epicentre.

Report (on first day of ‘quake): Nepal earthquake: More than 100 dead, many injured – BBC News.

Here we have the real underlying economic agenda of the Labour/SNP/Green party. It is in denial of scientific facts and makes false claims about weather events in denial of past mismanagement of rivers by Eco-bureaucrats carrying out EU diktat.

ed-wants-you

Image Credit: Tory Aardvaark

Labour’s Green Plan
GLOBAL ACTION TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE
As the terrible impact of the floods in Britain showed last year, climate change is now an issue of national, as well as global security. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made clear that if the world is going to hold warming below the internationally agreed goal of two degrees, global emissions need to peak and then decline rapidly to reach net zero emissions by the second half of this century. The weaker the action now, the more rapid and costly the reductions will need to be later.

The general election means 2015 is a critical year for Britain. It is also a critical year for the world on climate change. Within months of Britain voting, the UN is holding a summit in Paris to agree a binding global agreement to tackle climate change. Analysis of the plans submitted so far, however, reveals they are not ambitious enough to limit global temperature rises to two degrees above pre-industrial levels. Based on the pledges made by governments, warming would only be limited to 2.9 to 3.1 degrees – well above the two degree threshold.

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Windy Standard wind farm, Scotland [credit: RWE.com]

Windy Standard wind farm, Scotland [credit: RWE.com]


As this Herald Scotland piece points out: ‘Dumfries and Galloway … already has over 200 operational turbines, with a further 333 consented, 260 awaiting consent and at least another 450 ‘at scoping’.’ But major landowners like the Duke of Buccleuch want more – lots more. Martin Williams reports:

PLANS involving one of Britain’s biggest private landowners to develop a windfarm of up to 140 turbines stretching for several miles in Dumfries and Galloway have been described as “insane” by conservationists.

Buccleuch and 2020 Renewables, a prominent windfarm developer, announced they are examining the potential for the significant windfarm in the Lowther Hills, between Sanquhar and Wanlockhead as part of a “major land use strategy”.

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21st century seascape

21st century seascape


The New York Times reports the difficulties likely to face US power generation companies due to the pace of change demanded by the latest government rules and the ever-increasing reliance on part-time power sources scattered all over the place. Does this sound familiar at all?

WASHINGTON — As President Obama prepares to unveil his climate change regulations on coal-fired power plants, the nation’s electric utilities are preparing to transform the system that keeps the lights on in America. But some companies fear that in the process, the lights may go out.

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A solar 'prominence' [credit: NASA]

A solar ‘prominence’ [credit: NASA]


Not being an expert in such matters I turn to NASA for a brief explanation of terms:

‘The primary source of energy to the Earth is radiant energy from the Sun. This radiant energy is measured and reported as the solar irradiance. When all of the radiation is measured it is called the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI); when measured as a function of wavelength it is the spectral irradiance.’
NASA – Solar Irradiance

The abstract of a new paper suggests there’s a need to take a lot more notice of ‘SSI’ compared to ‘TSI’.
Note in particular its last sentence
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‘Therefore, it appears that SSI rather than TSI is a good indicator of the chromospheric activity, and its cycle length dependent variation would be more relevant to the possible role of the Sun in the cyclic variation of the Earth’s atmosphere.’

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The Climate Water Wheel

Posted: April 22, 2015 by oldbrew in climate, Ocean dynamics
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Planet Earth or Planet Ocean? Ron Clutz offers a water-based model.

Science Matters

I recently came across this comment:

“During the height of the day at the equator, 1361 joules/m2/second (less 30% Albedo) is coming in from the Sun but the surface temperature only increases as if 0.0017 joules/m2/second is absorbed (or impacts the temperature at 2 meters). The extra 959.9983 joules/m2/second flows away from the surface effectively almost as fast as the energy is coming in.

Your calculator says surface temperatures should increase to 87C.

At night, virtually no radiation is coming in (and the upwelling less downwelling radiation) says the surface should be losing about 100 joules/m2/second but it actually only loses 0.001 joules/m2/second.

This is the real-world now versus the theoretical.” Bill Illis

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/13/a-conversation-with-an-infrared-radiation-expert/

And then Derek John posted this:

I was intrigued by the wheel in the diagram, but also puzzled about the numbers. In comparison to the moon, the earth’s temperature decrease is small, but still the image…

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Hubble telescope reaches 25 year milestone

Posted: April 21, 2015 by oldbrew in Astronomy, innovation
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Hubble telescope orbiting Earth [credit: NASA]

Hubble telescope orbiting Earth [credit: NASA]


Hubble, the first telescope to revolutionize modern astronomy and change our view of the universe by offering glimpses of distant galaxies, marks its 25th year in space this week, reports phys.org

“Hubble absolutely has changed the way humans look at the universe and our place in it,” said astronomer Jennifer Wiseman, one of the telescope’s senior scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“It shows us that the universe has been changing over time, that stars in fact are an integral part of producing the type of element that we need for life, for planets, for our well-being,” she told AFP.

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China to finance huge coal power projects in Pakistan

Posted: April 20, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy
Tags: ,

Moving coal in Pakistan

Moving coal in Pakistan


Asian countries don’t have the same paranoia as many Western governments about using coal to provide much-needed electricity to their vast populations. While the West toys with ineffective and hugely expensive weather-dependent systems, they take a far more practical approach. It looks like a follow-up to the massive Gaddani energy park scheme.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to unveil a $46 billion infrastructure spending plan in Pakistan that is a centerpiece of Beijing’s ambitions to open new trade and transport routes across Asia and challenge the U.S. as the dominant regional power. The largest part of the project would provide electricity to energy-starved Pakistan, based mostly on building new coal-fired power plants.

The plan, known as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, draws on a newly expansive Chinese foreign policy and pressing economic and security concerns at home for Mr. Xi, who is expected to arrive in Pakistan on Monday. Many details had yet to be announced publicly.

“This is going to be a game-changer for Pakistan,” said Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan’s planning minister, who said his country could link China with markets in Central Asia and South Asia.

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US Coastguard icebreaker [credit: NSIDC]

US Coastguard icebreaker [credit: NSIDC]


Once again reports of the imminent death of Arctic sea ice have been greatly exaggerated. As even the pro-alarmist BBC has conceded, ‘to understand Arctic sea ice requires measurement of both area and thickness’, and it turns out that sea ice volume is well above the lowest recorded level for the time of year.

BBC: Although Arctic sea ice set a record this year for its lowest ever winter extent – that was not the case for its volume, new data reveals.

Europe’s Cryosat spacecraft routinely monitors the thickness of floes in the far north.

The thinnest winter ice it has ever seen was in 2013. This February, in contrast, the Arctic floes were about 25cm (17%) thicker on average.

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A five-mile "Hyperloop" test project is planned for Quay Valley

A five-mile “Hyperloop” test project is planned for Quay Valley


Couldn’t see anything about energy storage in this report, so we don’t know where the power is supposed to come from at night when solar has stopped working. Maybe it’s in the small print somewhere. More about the hyperloop here.

Roy Higgs reports:
While California’s verdant Central Valley is the fastest growing area in the state, the entire population of the 22,500-square-mile region is a comparatively modest 6.5 million people — Los Angeles County alone boasts over 50% more residents. However, this single region, which is responsible for producing 25% of all of the food consumed in the United States, is expected to absorb many of the 10 million people the state is projected to grow by over the next few decades. It is also home to one of the most ambitious and distinctive new developments in modern American history: Quay Valley.

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Spring 2015

Posted: April 18, 2015 by tchannon in weather

A gentle chat about the ordinary.

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May blossom, 18th April 2015, hedgerow central southern England, abt 5x life size. Click for larger. Various common names.

My impression is of a late spring for trees, landscape is still bare some places, just the start of greening but normal of low growing plants. Cherry here has been in blossom for a week.

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