Archive for May, 2015

Battsby: Farage-Oh

Posted: May 17, 2015 by tallbloke in Politics
Tags: ,

Guest post from Battsby

I have harboured a mistrust of the European Union and of politicians in general since long before 1975. I saw union power cripple industries; wildcat strikes, flying pickets, one-out/all-out and often on a whim. Two minutes-worth of tea break, efficiency drives, mechanisation and more; any excuse it seemed, back in the sixties and seventies and the all-powerful shop steward would snap his mighty fingers and the crack would be heard across the land. But in one thing the unions and I were agreed; there was something rotten about Project Europe.

Then after Wilson’s victory in 1974 on a promise to hold the first referendum in our history I saw the way in which the two sides, pro and con, handled the debate. Despite the overwhelming feeling in the country that we lost something of ourselves when Ted Heath signed us up, the big money of the ‘in’ campaign bombarded us with the slick propaganda of fear. We were already in, they said, and it’s fine. To leave before we gave it a chance would make us look ridiculous. As a declining world power our voice could only be heard as part of something bigger. If we weren’t inside the Common Market we would be outside all markets. It stank. And as a result of that stink the British pinched their noses and voted against their heart.

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A dying breed?

A dying breed?


A drastic energy policy change by the new UK government as GWPF reports:

Local residents will be able to block all future onshore wind farms under new measures to be fast-tracked into law, the new energy secretary has announced. “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support.”

Amber Rudd revealed she had “put a rocket” under her officials to “put the local community back in charge” of their own neighbourhoods.

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US hurricane [image credit: NOAA]

US hurricane [image credit: NOAA]


Global warming pundits have failed miserably with regard to US hurricane frequency in recent years. NASA investigates:

The United States hasn’t experienced the landfall of a Category 3 or larger hurricane in nine years – a string of years that’s likely to come along only once every 177 years, according to a new NASA study.

The current nine-year “drought” is the longest period of time that has passed without a major hurricane making landfall in the U.S. since reliable records began in 1850, said Timothy Hall, a research scientist who studies hurricanes at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York.

Statistical analyses from hurricane track data indicate that for any particular Atlantic Hurricane season, there is about a 40 percent chance that a major hurricane (category 3 or higher) will make landfall in the continental United States. However, during the period from 2006 to 2014, no major hurricanes have made landfall.

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Things that wink in the night

Image

Analysis of Moon impact flashes detected during the 2012 and 2013 Perseids
José M. Madiedo, José L. Ortiz, Faustino Organero, Leonor Ana-Hernández, Fernando Fonseca, Nicolás Morales and Jesús Cabrera-Caño
A&A, 577 (2015) A118
Published online: 13 May 2015
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201525656 (open access on registration)

ABSTRACT
We present the results of our Moon impact flash detection campaigns performed around the maximum activity period of the Perseid meteor shower in 2012 and 2013. Just one flash produced by a Perseid meteoroid was detected in 2012 because of very unfavorable geometric conditions, but 12 flashes were confirmed in 2013. The visual magnitude of the flashes ranged between 6.6 and 9.3. A luminous efficiency of 1.8×10 -3 has been estimated for meteoroids from this stream. According to this value, impactor masses would range between 1.9 and 190 g. In addition, we propose a criterion for establishing, from a statistical point of view, the likely origin of impact flashes recorded on the lunar surface.

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BBC’s Climate Stance In Brazen Defiance Of The Law
Date: 07/03/15 Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph

When it comes to climate change, the BBC’s coverage is quite deliberately one-sided, argues Christopher Booker
bbc-greenpeace-medNext January will see the 10th anniversary of one of the most curious episodes in the history of the BBC. At a “secret seminar”, many of its most senior executives met with a roomful of invited outsiders to agree on a new policy that was in flagrant breach of its Charter. They agreed that, when it came to climate change, the BBC’s coverage should now be quite deliberately one-sided, in direct contravention of its statutory obligation that “controversial subjects” must be “treated with due accuracy and impartiality”. Anything that contradicted the party line, from climate science to wind farms, could be ignored.

The BBC Trust later reported that the seminar had taken this momentous decision on the advice of “the best scientific experts” present. Only years later, after the BBC had spent tens of thousands of pounds trying to suppress the identities of its “scientific experts”, did it emerge that they had been nothing of the kind. The room had been full of rabid climate activists, from pressure groups such as Greenpeace and Stop Climate Chaos.
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Nigel_Farage_MEP-sLast Thursday, UKIP gained nearly four million votes at the UK general election. This was a little less than half what the 100+ year old Labour party achieved, and a little more than a third of what the victorious Conservative party achieved. UKIP also overtook the Liberal Democrats to firmly establish itself as the third force in UK politics, despite the infamous ‘first past the post’ voting system giving UKIP only one parliamentary seat to represent its nearly 4,000,000 voters.

The party leader, Nigel Farage, narrowly lost in the contest for the Thanet South constituency. Having previously said it wouldn’t be tenable to remain as leader if he wasn’t able to lead the parliamentary party from within the house of commons, he offered his resignation. However, it turned out that the UKIP parliamentary party consisted of a single MP, Douglas Carswell, and Doug stated that he didn’t want to stand in a leadership election, as he had his constituents and family to take care of.

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Claims of up to 70% efficiency have been made for converting ‘wrong time’ electricity produced by intermittent generators such as wind turbines to ‘right time’ electricity supplied onto the grid. The proposed storage medium is liquid air (with co2 and water vapour first removed. This -190C medium is used to drive a piston engine without combustion, and waste heat is re-used.

dearman-engine

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Proton flux jump and earthquake

Posted: May 12, 2015 by tchannon in Astrophysics

Tim writes: The radio brought news of another [two] severe Nepal earthquakes today with more damage and deaths.

I logged in to the Talkshop and glanced at the space weather graphic, a step rise in proton flux today, a distinct event..

Image

Proton flux from NOAA

Checking with USGS

M7.3 – 18km SE of Kodari, Nepal
2015-05-12 07:05:19 (UTC)
M6.3 – 33km NNE of Ramechhap, Nepal
Timed 2015-05-12 07:36:53 (UTC)

nepal-ql

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amber-ruddWho is Amber Rudd? I hear you ask. Wikipedia tells us about her (lack of) expertise in energy policy and climate science:

After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in history, she joined J.P. Morgan & Co., working in both London and New York. She then worked in venture capital in London, raising funds for small businesses. After working as a financial journalist, she founded specialist Executive Search and Human Resources consultancy Lawnstone Ltd,[2]with clients in Financial services and in Business media.[3] She also recruited the extras for the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Great. What  else?

Rudd has been an active campaigner whilst in Parliament, standing up for women’s issues. She is Vice Chair of the APPG on Female Genital Mutilation, which has been campaigning against FGM and calling for tougher penalties and confidence to begin prosecutions in the UK. She has championed the cause of sex equality as Chairman of the APPG for Sex Equality,[5] which recently published a report on women in work. Rudd Chaired a cross party inquiry into “Unplanned Pregnancies” which called for statutory sex and relationships education in all secondary schools[6] She has called for a higher proportion of women in the Cabinet[7]

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This is an experimental work which I am sure has been done far better by professionals who will have proper access to special data and expertise. [updated with corrections]Image

Figure 1, overlay plots of pairs of almost raw datasets, in each case the Met Office areal mean temperature data for England and Wales, less annual, against gridded UAHTLT V6 beta 2, UAHTLT V5.6, RSSTLT V3.3, Hadcrut4 V4.3.0.0, the latter is unfair because it is gridded at 5 degrees instead of 2.5 degrees. In all cases the geographic area overlap is very approximate.

Click image for larger but preferably download this PDF (106KB) since as a vector plot zoom/enlargement and pan allow examination in great detail.

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Ron Clutz restates some easily demonstrated truth bout the direction of energy flow from ocean to atmosphere.

Science Matters

You only have to compare Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) from HADSST3 with estimates of Global Mean Surface Temperatures (GMST) from Hadcrut4 and RSS.


This first graph shows how global SST has varied since 1850. There are obvious changepoints where the warming or cooling periods have occurred.

This graph shows in green Hadcrut4 estimates of global surface temperature, including ocean SST, and near surface air temperatures over land. The blue line from RSS tracks lower tropospheric air temperatures measured by satellites, not near the surface but many meters higher. Finally, the red line is again Hadsst3 global SST All lines use 30-year averages to reduce annual noise and display longer term patterns.

Strikingly, SST and GMST are almost synonymous from the beginning until about 1980. Then GMST diverges with more warming than global SST. Satellite TLT shows the same patterns but with less warming than the surface. Curious as to the post 1980s…

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roosevelt-quote It’s hard to be objective about the outcome of the elections, having been in the thick of the battle. This post is more about my personal experiences of the campaign and reflections on the aftermath. I joined UKIP because it is the only party with a sane energy policy, and as an engineer with a degree in the history and philosophy of science, I’m only too aware of the danger to our country’s economic and social well being of the insane energy policy pursued by successive Labour and Conservative governments. Although the main parties avoided the energy question during the election campaign, I believe it to be the most important issue underlying UK politics. (more…)

Level and length of cyclic solar activity during the Maunder minimum as deduced from the active-day statistics
J. M. Vaquero, G. A. Kovaltsov, I. G. Usoskin, V. M. S. Carrasco and M. C. Gallego
A&A, 577 (2015) A71
Published online: 06 May 2015
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201525962
(open access with registration)

Image

 

ABSTRACT
Aims. The Maunder minimum (MM) of greatly reduced solar activity took place in 1645–1715, but the exact level of sunspot activity is uncertain because it is based, to a large extent, on historical generic statements of the absence of spots on the Sun. Using a conservative approach, we aim to assess the level and length of solar cycle during the MM on the basis of direct historical records by astronomers of that time.

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UK 2015 election aftermath

Posted: May 8, 2015 by tchannon in Politics

Tim writes, posting an article on politics on someone else’s blog, especially when they are running for office, is delicate.

What I know so far

  • Cameron continues as prime minister, has visited HRH Queen Elizabeth about forming a government
  • Ed Milliband has resigned as leader of the Labour party
  • Nick Clegg has resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrat party
  • Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of UKIP
  • The Conservative majority is slender
  • Scottish SDP managed a bloodbath in Scotland taking all but three seats, a massive swing includes seats which were held by the Labour Party for over 80 years.
  • The Green Party are reduced to one MP
  • UKIP are reduced to one MP
  • UKIP received a large increase in their share of the vote, this not translating into seats, is one of the oddities of the UK, not unusual.
  • Welsh and Irish MPs continue. Sien Fien will continue to abstain from attending Westminster.
  • Tattersall lost in the Pudsey parliamentary election, coming in a distant third but nevertheless a good result for a first attempt and in the face of the two dominant UK parties. Breaking in is very hard.

The results for local mainly county based or city/town based elections will appear over the next few days. England does not have a regional parliament. These will bring a different slant on the result.

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Dam Bureaucrats!

Posted: May 8, 2015 by tchannon in solar system dynamics

Is this on the dam level?

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

ATT000022

Henry P sends me this amusing piece of correspondence!

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania. This guy’s response is hilarious, but read the State’s letter before you get to the response letter, you won’t stop once you start. WOW Love this man.

This is an actual letter:

State of Pennsylvania’s letter to Mr. DeVries:

SUBJECT: DEQ … File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr. DeVries:

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream…

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Ed Davey is gone

Posted: May 8, 2015 by tchannon in Politics

<b>[edit] From comments, thank you for getting the result, expect Roger will be along later

marchesarosa says:

Pudsey General Election

Con hold with a 8.8% majority, 72% turnout

candidates………………..votes…………..%

Con Stuart Andrew……23,637……….46.4%
Lab Jamie Hanley…….19,136……….37.6%
UKIP Roger Tattersall..4,689…………..9.2%
Ryk Downes……………..1,926…………..3.8%
Claire Allen……………….1,539…………..3.0%

Well done, Roger! A good effort.</b>

[/edit]

Cabinet minster, Energy Secretary Ed Davey

Kingston & Surbiton

2015 Result: Con gain from Lib Dem

http://news.sky.com/election/constituency/342/kingston-and-surbiton

Move of -15%, a vote down, not a swing.

At the point of writing it looks as though the Conservative party will hold a slim majority. Mostly as expected.

If a devil goes, who will be next in the post?

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online-pollsThe polls open at 7am tomorrow for voters to cast their ballot in the 2015 general election. The insurgent UK Independence Party (UKIP) has turned this election into the most unpredictable contest in decades. Their standing in the polls is uncertain and methodologies are disputed, with ratings ranging from 10 to 18% among the trad pollsters, and as much as 53% in high volume online polls.

Clearly, UKIP supporters are very active online, the party’s Facebook page has more likes than all but the Conservatives, who spend big bucks to buy bucketloads of approval monthly. Leader Nigel Farage has 224,000 twitter followers. This online activity is partly due to the attacks on, and exclusion of UKIP from the mainstream media. Kippers have found their natural medium, where news and views can be formulated by anyone and exchanged in quickfire fashion. It’s what Douglas Carswell refers to as iDemocracy.

This has had a beneficial effect on UKIP, not solely in terms of visibility, but also in terms of shaping policy direction. Memes rapidly emerge, and good ideas are noted by the party’s leadership for inclusion into policy discussion. This makes the party internally meritocratic; ordinary party members can be heard by senior party officials.

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Snow-clearing in Boston [image credit: ABC News]

Snow-clearing in Boston
[image credit: ABC News]


Last winter parts of the USA received record snowfalls according to reports. While one winter is not a trend, it was also the second consecutive year of severe freezing of the Great Lakes on a scale not seen for decades.

A particularly harsh winter left many states over-budget on snow removal, with some having to kick in tens of millions in additional funding, according to a survey released Monday.

The survey of 23 states, conducted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, found that combined spending on winter maintenance operations exceeded $1 billion for the period between October, 2014 and March, 2015, the Associated Press reports.

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Not this time [credit: northshireneedle.com]

Not this time [credit: northshireneedle.com]

Daily Telegraph report:
Scientists monitoring an Australian radio telescope have discovered that a series of strange signals which have baffled astrophysicists for 17 years were caused by the facility’s kitchen microwave being opened while in use.

The finding was made by Emily Petroff, a PhD student, who set up an interference monitor at the site to investigate the signals, known as perytons, which were thought to be from space but were also known – somewhat unusually – to be detected only during business hours.

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Paul Homewood with an Antarctic and southern ocean update

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

s_extn

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/index.html

Time to take a quick look at the sea ice situation down under, as I must have missed it on BBC News!

s_plot

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/index.html

According to NSIDC, a new record high has been set for April, beating last year. Ice is above average virtually all around the continent.

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