Archive for April, 2016

Tim writes, amused,

We have watched bemused at the twists and turns. An MEP is caught speeding on his way back from Brussels, starting a train of events. This black barrister/judge, much had been made of that as new in England, was friends with one of both of the Huhne’s. As a judge at a case over perverting the course, Bricoe was suddenly arrested by the police… I didn’t know why. Seems an eagle eye spotted Bricoe altering court submissions in favour of one of the accused!

Briscoe disbarred for role in Huhne speeding points scandal

15 April 2016 By Chloe Smith

A barrister and former part-time judge was today disbarred for ‘persistent dishonesty’ in what may be the final judicial act in the Huhne/Pryce speeding points scandal.

The bar disciplinary tribunal found that Constance Briscoe (pictured) had engaged in conduct which was dishonest and discreditable to a barrister, prejudicial to the administration of justice and likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession or administration of justice.

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/briscoe-disbarred-for-role-in-huhne-speeding-points-scandal/5054808.fullarticle

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Dr Bill Gray R.I.P.

Posted: April 16, 2016 by Andrew in atmosphere, Natural Variation
image

Image credit: heartland.org

Dr.Philip Klotzbach has announced the passing of Dr. William “Bill” Gray.

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Credit: NASA - GISS

Credit: NASA – GISS


There have been many studies reporting climate cycles with a frequency in the 60-year range, and another one has just arrived.

Two things to consider are the general idea of the existence of such a cycle, which has often been proposed, and the prediction that we are entering (to quote the paper abstract) the ‘declining phase’ of it .

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ENSO trend [credit: NOAA]

ENSO trend [credit: NOAA]


How much of recent El Nino-backed warming was ‘man-made’, if any? NOAA has issued a La Niña watch so we may well see average temperatures going into reverse before too long.
H/T GWPF

El Niño is quickly fading. Sea surface temperatures are coming down in the tropical Pacific, and winds in the region have weakened. History tells us, and forecast models predict, that La Niña conditions will be quick on its heels.

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credit:TheGuardian

credit:TheGuardian


We’ll no doubt get plenty more of this brainwashing language of climate-speak in the years ahead. How expensive energy is going to help poorer countries is, unsurprisingly, not mentioned.

The World Bank has announced a new plan which it hopes will succeed in keeping up positive momentum towards a clean energy transformation as laid down in COP21.

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New fuel source [image credit: telegraph.co.uk]

New fuel source [image credit: telegraph.co.uk]


Despite appearances this is a Daily Telegraph report, not an April Fool joke.

Hundreds of homes in Cumbria will be heated using cheese from next month, as a new government-backed green energy plant starts producing gas from cheddar production waste.

The anaerobic digestion plant at the Lake District Creamery in Aspatria will receive millions of pounds in subsidies for turning whey and other residues from the cheese production process into “biogas”.

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Intense X-ray flares thought to be caused by a black hole devouring a star [credit: NASA]

Intense X-ray flares thought to be caused by a black hole devouring a star
[credit: NASA]


The astronomers are reported to say such a ‘large-scale spin distribution has never been predicted by theories’. A professor states: “This is not obviously expected based on our current understanding of cosmology. It’s a bizarre finding.”

Deep radio imaging by researchers in the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape, in South Africa, has revealed that supermassive black holes in a region of the distant universe are all spinning out radio jets in the same direction – most likely a result of primordial mass fluctuations in the early universe.

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Is Science Really Self-Correcting?

Posted: April 12, 2016 by oldbrew in research

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Great scientific advances over the years don’t mean that all science is great, as Donna Laframboise rightly points out.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Managers, journals, and colleagues are all averse to the possibility that scientific fraud is being committed.

physicist_found_guilty_miscclick for source

We’re told that science is special. Not only is it based on evidence rather than dogma – so goes the argument – it contains a built-in mechanism that identifies and corrects errors. How marvelous.

But what if this is one of those blind faith mantras that has been repeated so frequently everyone believes it’s true irrespective of the actual facts? Eugenie Samuel Reich is the author of Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World. In telling the story of a young physicist named Jan Hendrik Schön, her book demonstrates that there’s nothing systematic or straightforward about how the scientific record comes to be corrected.

Lots of people tried and failed to reproduce Schön’s work, in the process wasting months of their lives and significant portions…

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china-steelFrom the Daily Express

By MARCO GIANNANGELI
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sun, Apr 10, 2016

BRITISH taxpayers have been forced to subsidise the very Chinese steel companies that are threatening 40,000 UK jobs, critics say.

It comes after revelations that the European Investment Bank has given so-called “soft loans” to China of £80million as part of a climate policy intended to lower emissions.

The astonishing figures include a loan of £40million to one of the world’s worst “steel dumping” culprits, the Wuhan Iron & Steel Corporation.

To add insult to injury Wuhun, the world’s eighth largest steel producer, boasts the Chinese state as its main shareholder. Wuhun is such a prolific steel dumper that it has now been especially targeted by the European Commission, which wants to slap it with 36.6 per cent tariffs.

The loan was paid out under the China Climate Change Framework Loan II. The money is supposed to persuade the steel giants to invest in lower emission technology.Furious critics last night pointed out the irony that the loan was concerned with reducing the cost of power generation while one of the complaints of Tata Group is the high cost of energy associated with its steel production operation in South Wales.
 

Others asked whether Wuhan would have been in a position to dump steel so aggressively if their energy costs had been higher.

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pyrrhic-beaverReposted from View To a Hill

Over the past few days we’ve seen the implosion of the ‘Remain’ campaign. That doesn’t mean Leave will definitely win the referendum, only that if ‘Remain’ do still win the price they pay for victory will be so high that the reputations of the politicians and institutions involved will be too damaged to recover. But before we look at ‘Remain’s’ disastrous week, let’s remind ourselves of the context in which the referendum campaign is taking place.

The referendum was promised in the Conservative manifesto of 2015. It was a potent weapon in persuading wavering UKIP voters to back the Conservatives. If a potential Kipper said, ‘I’m thinking of voting UKIP’ a Eurosceptic Tory canvasser could say to them, ‘look, no one loathes the EU more than me, but I’m working my socks off here to make sure we get our referendum, to get us out of the EU.’ In my opinion it worked more often than not. Slightly less Eurosceptic canvassers could say, ‘we’re going to have a referendum, but only after a full renegotiation and treaty change which will see powers flowing back from Brussels to the UK. So, even if you lose your referendum, the ratchet of EU integration will be broken.’ Once again it was an effective tactic and it was backed up by what was in the manifesto of 2015. What happened was very different, Cameron asked for nothing and received less. The ratchet of European integration has not been broken, Cameron did not take back control of Employment Law as he promised. We are still not in control of our borders and a case can be made that the renegotiation actually weakened some of the protections we previously enjoyed. Most important of all, there is no treaty change and there is absolutely no guarantee that even the pathetic changes Cameron achieved will be accepted by the EU commission and parliament.

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sun-earth-moon

Using satellite data on how water moves around Earth, NASA scientists have solved two mysteries about wobbles in the planet’s rotation — one new and one more than a century old. The research may help improve our knowledge of past and future climate.

Although a desktop globe always spins smoothly around the axis running through its north and south poles, a real planet wobbles. Earth’s spin axis drifts slowly around the poles; the farthest away it has wobbled since observations began is 37 feet (12 meters). These wobbles don’t affect our daily life, but they must be taken into account to get accurate results from GPS, Earth-observing satellites and observatories on the ground.

In a paper published today in Science Advances, Surendra Adhikari and Erik Ivins of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, researched how the movement of water around the world contributes to Earth’s rotational wobbles. Earlier studies have pinpointed many connections between processes on Earth’s surface or interior and our planet’s wandering ways. For example, Earth’s mantle is still readjusting to the loss of ice on North America after the last ice age, and the reduced mass beneath that continent pulls the spin axis toward Canada at the rate of a few inches each year. But some motions are still puzzling.

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Tim writes,

Image

Figure 1, Met Office Hadley monthly rainfall series for England and Wales start date 1766. Winter 2015/16 was wet but ordinary. (data processing by the author, see previous articles)
Plots for all data series as PDF (2MB).

Some other parts / regions of the country do show an extreme but this adds weight to the flicker noise (or 1/f) hypothosis for weather noise.

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Decision time? [credit: Bussolati]

Decision time? [credit: Bussolati]


Now EDF has to show it wouldn’t be sidelining renewable energy projects if it committed to building Hinkley nuclear plant, reports the Telegraph. Can it get any more farcical?

Hinkley Point C could still be postponed, French energy minister Ségolène Royal has said, in an apparent sign of division within the French government over the controversial nuclear project.

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credit: b3regions.eu

credit: b3regions.eu


Try not to be too surprised. The research recommends everyone to ‘place recent and predicted rainfall-pattern changes in a millennium-long context.’
H/T GWPF

Predictions that a warmer ­climate will lead to more rain for some but longer droughts for others might be wrong, according to a study of 12 centuries worth of data. The study, published today in science journal Nature, found there was no difference between 20th-century rainfall patterns and those in the pre-­industrial era.

The findings are at odds with earlier studies suggesting climate­ change causes dry areas to become drier and wet areas to become wetter.

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Rinks Glacier, West Greenland  [image credit: NSIDC]

Rinks Glacier, West Greenland
[image credit: NSIDC]


A new angle on glaciations perhaps, but HeritageDaily quotes one of the researchers: ‘The mechanism driving these expansions of southern sourced water into the deep Atlantic still needs working on.’

The North Atlantic Ocean played a key role in the last great tipping point in Earth’s climate system, pioneering new research has shown. An international research team has discovered ground-breaking new reasons why large continental ice-sheets first grew in North America and Scandinavia during the late Pliocene Epoch era, 2.7 millions of years ago.

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Earth from the Moon [image credit: NASA]

Earth from the Moon [image credit: NASA]


ScienceDaily points to new research saying ‘We suggest the Moon as a necessary ingredient to sustain the Earth’s magnetic field’.

They believe ‘The Earth continuously receives 3,700 billion watts of power through the transfer of the gravitational and rotational energy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system’.

The Earth’s magnetic field permanently protects us from the charged particles and radiation that originate in the Sun.

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Water gauge on the Danube [image credit: EuroTravelogue.com]

Water gauge on the Danube [image credit: EuroTravelogue.com]

A slight problem in England could be that parts of the south e.g. London have been slowly sinking into the clay for centuries, so readings might not tell the whole story.

When it comes to predicting climate change, most scientists use state-of-the-art supercomputers to model future trends. But researchers at the University of Sheffield are hoping to gather information that is a little closer to home. 

Scientists are hunting for ancient floodstones which record the high level of water going back hundreds of years.

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We need to keep stressing these important points even if they do start to sound repetitive. Paying more and more for less reliable electricity is simply not going to work.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/04/02/were-following-germany-to-an-energy-disaster/

Booker takes from three of my recent posts in his column today:

A far darker shadow is hanging over Britain than that of the collapse of our steel industry. As she is the sister of a leading figure in the campaign to keep Britain in the EU, we may not be surprised by the warning from Amber Rudd, our Energy and Climate Change Secretary, that “Brexit” would raise our energy bills by £500 million a year. Her brother Roland, as a key behind-the-scenes strategist for Stronger in Europe, might be described as “the Rudd who doesn’t want us to leave the sinking ship”.

But in making that “half a billion a year” claim, Ms Rudd must hope that we don’t recall those recent figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility projecting that within four years – due entirely to her own Government’s policies – we will…

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R.J. Salvador has sent in an update showing the performance of his LOD model, which is based on our solar system dynamics theory. He tells us that:

Below is an update of the comparison of actual LOD data to the LOD model prediction from December 1st 2015 to March 1st 2016. The actual data tracks well to the model prediction. There is a deviation from the model from around January 1st to January 12 that is within 2 sigma and then the actual data tracks the model prediction again. I wonder what caused that? I will update the comparison again in two months. So far it is looking good.

LOD model March 1 update_zpsinkh9hbf

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SunEdison on the verge of bankruptcy 

Posted: April 2, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy
Tags: ,

Sun setting on SunEdison? [image credit: sunelec.com]

Sun setting on SunEdison? [image credit: sunelec.com]


Its website says it’s a ‘Global Leader in Renewable Energy Development’. Recently it was said to be ‘the world’s largest renewable energy development company’. Not for much longer it seems.

Investing.com reports — Shares in SunEdison Inc fell as much as 50% in after-hours trading after the Wall Street Journal reported late on Friday that the Missouri-based solar energy company could be on the verge of declaring bankruptcy.

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