Archive for February, 2017

Proposed path of Planet 9 around the sun with Neptune and several notable TNOs for reference [credit: Wikipedia]

Proposed path of Planet 9 around the sun with Neptune and several notable TNOs for reference [credit: Wikipedia]


Researchers suggest the pair may have got too close to the hypothetical Planet Nine, resulting in their current orbits.

The dynamical properties of these asteroids, observed spectroscopically for the first time using the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, suggest a possible common origin and give a clue to the existence of a planet beyond Pluto, the so-called ‘Planet Nine’, reports Phys.org.

In the year 2000 the first of a new class of distant solar system objects was discovered, orbiting the Sun at a distance greater than that of Neptune: the “extreme trans Neptunian objects” (ETNOs). Their orbits are very far from the Sun compared with that of the Earth.

We orbit the Sun at a mean distance of one astronomical unit (1 AU which is 150 million kilometres) but the ETNOs orbit at more than 150 AU. To give an idea of how far away they are, Pluto’s orbit is at around 40 AU and its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) is at 30 AU. This discovery marked a turning point in Solar System studies, and up to now, a total of 21 ETNOs have been identified.

Recently, a number of studies have suggested that the dynamical parameters of the ETNOs could be better explained if there were one or more planets with masses several times that of the Earth orbiting the Sun at distances of hundreds of AU.
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South Australia has found out the hard way that relying too much on wind turbines is bad news for everyone, including the politicians who ordered it.

STOP THESE THINGS

jay weatherill Jay Weatherill’s political future all but blacked-out.

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While the power pricing and supply calamity that is South Australia is down to the subsidies awarded to wind power under the Federal government’s Large-Scale RET, the state Labor government has done plenty to create the unfolding disaster and nothing to mitigate it.

It’s vapid Premier, Jay Weatherill must know that, as a wind power champion, he’s yesterday’s ‘hero’ and, as a so-called political leader, today’s fool.

Third world beckons as Weatherill plays the fool
The Australian
Nick Cater
14 February 2017

It would be wrong to give Mike Rann and Jay Weatherill all the credit for turning South Australia into wackadoodle windmill world. We should recognise the contribution of those who egged the premiers on, like Al Gore, auteur of An Inconvenient Truth. When it came to showing leadership on renewable energy, said Gore, South Australia was “one of best examples…

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Image credit: relativelyinteresting.com

Image credit: relativelyinteresting.com


Results so far from climate models are very unconvincing, despite huge resources of manpower and technology.

London, 21 February: Claims that the planet is threatened by man-made global warming are based on science that is based on inadequate computer modelling. That is the conclusion of a new briefing paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).   

The report’s author, eminent American climatologist Professor Judith Curry, explains that climate alarm depends on highly complex computer simulations of the Earth’s climate. 

But although scientists have expended decades of effort developing them, these simulations still have to be “tuned” to get them to match the real climate. This makes them essentially useless for trying to find out what is causing changes in the climate and unreliable for making predictions about what will happen in the future. 
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Bill Nye, Fake Facts & the New York Times

Posted: February 21, 2017 by oldbrew in propaganda, Critique

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Fake news is an insidious form of propaganda.
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Donna Laframboise takes a closer look.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

I’m aware of two occasions in which the Science Guy has misled the public. But the New York Times says he’s saving us from misinformation.

bill_nye_saves_the_world___netflix

Eleven days ago, the New York Times ran a story headlined: “In an Age of Alternative Facts, Bill Nye’s New Show Brings Real Ones.” How charmingly naive. If you’re in a rush, and want to know about Nye’s misleading video as well as his misleading article in the very same New York Times, scroll down to the navy-coloured text below. But the longer story is entertaining.

The notion that some people are a source of real facts, while others are a source of fake/alternative facts, is currently being pushed hard by the mainstream media. Journalists have decided that a major part of their job is to tell the rest of us who to believe.

Their message isn’t that skepticism is always necessary, and that even smart people are often wrong. Rather, this is an attempt…

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nasalogo
It looks more like ‘winding down’ at this stage, but ‘scrapping’ eventually. Not unexpected, if it goes ahead as suggested.
H/T Europe Breaking News

Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century. This would mean the elimination of Nasa’s world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena.
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Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China


This runs counter to claims that a warming world leads to more extreme weather. The summer monsoon strength shows a consistent decline over the study period. But last year was an exception – possibly related to the big El Niño?

In one of the most comprehensive studies on trends in local severe weather patterns to date, an international team of researchers found that the frequency of hail storms, thunderstorms and high wind events has decreased by nearly 50 percent on average throughout China since 1960, as Phys.org reports.

The team analyzed data from the most robust meteorological database known, the Chinese National Meteorology Information Center, a network of 983 weather observatories stationed throughout China’s 3.7 million square miles. Meteorologists have been collecting surface weather data through the network since 1951 or earlier, which provided the researchers an unprecedented look at local severe weather occurrences.
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Credit: slate.com

Credit: slate.com


It should be harder for NOAA to brush this off than it was when the last President was in office.
H/T GWPF

Revelations by the Mail on Sunday about how world leaders were misled over global warming by the main source of climate data have triggered a probe by the US Congress.

Republican Lamar Smith, who chairs the influential House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, announced the inquiry last week in a letter to Benjamin Friedman, acting chief of the organisation at the heart of the MoS disclosures, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

He renewed demands, first made in 2015, for all internal NOAA documents and communications between staff behind a controversial scientific paper, which made a huge impact on the Paris Agreement on climate change of that year, signed by figures including David Cameron and Barack Obama.
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Credit: ABC News

Credit: ABC News


Tough conditions for many as the southern California weather continues its winter wild streak.

One of California’s strongest storms in years – dubbed a “bombogenesis” or “weather bomb” – has hit the state, killing at least four people and bringing torrential rain and floods.

Power cuts hit 150,000 households and sinkholes swallowed cars. Hundreds of homes were evacuated amid fear of mud slides near Los Angeles. More gusts, heavy rain and flash floods are expected on Saturday but the storm is due to subside by Sunday.
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Phase-shifter [image credit: Reinhausen]

Phase-shifter [image credit: Reinhausen]


This has been going on for a while but is probably getting worse. The Poles and Czechs are now setting their phase-shifters to ‘stun’. 😉
H/T GWPF

Germany’s excess power spills over the border into Polish and Czech territory and threatens their electrical grids with collapse, companies and governments there say.

A battle is raging in Central Europe over the balance of power—the electrical kind. Poland and the Czech Republic see Germany as an aggressor, overproducing electricity and dumping it across the border. Germany sees itself as a green-energy pioneer under unfair attacks from less innovative neighbors.

As part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Energiewende, or energy revolution, Germany will shut its nuclear power plants by 2022 and replace them with its rapidly expanding wind and solar power. But the volatile renewables don’t always perform, and the Germans are also relying on coal- and gas-powered plants to keep the lights on.
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Image credit: carmagazine.co.uk

Image credit: carmagazine.co.uk


The predictable war on diesel cars is underway. The days of promoting them as ‘climate-friendly’ are over, in the UK at least. Diesel trucks, vans and buses are overlooked.

London’s air pollution problem is so bad that just five days into 2017 Brixton had already used up its traffic fume allowance for the year, reports iNews.

Brixton has since been overtaken by Knightsbridge as Britain’s most polluted district so far this year. The wealthy west London suburb has exceeded the EU nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limit for a total of 52 hours already this year, nearly three times the legal annual allowance of 18 hours, according to the latest figures from Dr Gary Fuller at King’s College London.

But traffic pollution is by no means confined to these London hotspots.
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Map of Scottish woodlands

Map of Scottish woodlands


A related issue is that Scottish woodland is currently being invaded by an army of wind farm constructors whenever they get the chance.

The SNP’s plans to increase the amount of woodland in Scotland in an attempt to fight climate change risks damaging the nation’s “dramatic open views and vistas”, according to mountaineering and gamekeepers groups.

The Scottish Government has proposed increasing the amount of woodland cover from 17 per cent to 25 per cent by 2050, with a commitment to planting 10,000 extra hectares of trees between now and 2022 included in its draft Climate Plan, as iNews reports.

But Mountaineering Scotland and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) are concerned that the changes could damage the nation’s wild moorland, arguing it forms a crucial part of Scotland’s “unique” landscape.
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happer
If not, then certainly mildly irritating to some people anyway. 😎
H/T GWPF

The word “cult” may be a little over the top, but whatever it is, it sure isn’t science, says The Manhattan Contrarian.

Will Happer is an eminent physicist at Princeton who has chosen (along with his colleague Freeman Dyson) to plant a flag on the skeptic side of the climate debate. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Happer on a couple of occasions.

Recently his name has been floated as a potential candidate for the position of Science Advisor to President Trump. (This is the position that has been held by eco-fanatic John Holdren during the Obama presidency.)  Although it is not final, and others remain in the running, Happer has said that he will take the position if offered.

Yesterday Happer gave an interview to the Guardian newspaper. When it came to the issue of “climate change,” Happer didn’t pull any punches.
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gr_prob
The research team thinks its results are ‘difficult to understand in terms of dark matter’, reports Phys.org. The study was earlier reported here.

The distribution of normal matter precisely determines gravitational acceleration in all common types of galaxies, a team led by Case Western Reserve University researchers reports.

The team has shown this radial acceleration relation exists in nearby high-mass elliptical and low-mass spheroidal galaxies, building on last year’s discovery of this relation in spiral and irregular galaxies.

This provides further support that the relation is tantamount to a new natural law, the researchers say.
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New Zealand may be part of a submerged continent 

Posted: February 17, 2017 by oldbrew in Geology

Credit: GSA Today / Sott.net

Credit: GSA Today / Sott.net


Maybe there will be some counter-arguments but it’s a novel idea.

Scientists say they have identified a new continent, and called it Zealandia, reports Sott.net.

In a new paper, a team of 11 geologists have proposed that a region of the Pacific Ocean east of Australia and containing New Zealand and New Caledonia, be considered a continent.

Geographically speaking, six continents are recognised: Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Eurasia, North America, and South America. Eurasia is the geographical landmass that includes Europe and Asia.

At 4.9 million square kilometres, Zealandia would be Earth’s smallest continent.
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NOAA & The Oroville Dam

Posted: February 15, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, general circulation, weather
Tags:

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Over forty years ago ‘climate scientists understood that global cooling causes extreme weather, and global warming causes mild weather.’ – Tony Heller.
http://www.thegwpf.com/1975-global-cooling-extreme-weather/

Nowadays many of them seem to have ‘forgotten’ about that.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Oldbrew

image

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/event-tracker/flooding-concerns-oroville-dam-water-levels-reach-capacity

NOAA have a good account of what has been going on with the Oroville Dam:

As mentioned previously in the Event Tracker, California is going through one of its wettest water years (October – September) on record. In particular, precipitation so far in 2017 is on a record pace for northern and central California. While the water has been a godsend in reducing and relieving drought conditions, it also has been too much of a good thing as flooding has resulted. One case in particular is the ongoing emergency at the Oroville Dam north of Sacramento. Tremendous amounts of precipitation have led to the Lake Oroville reservoir—the second largest reservoir in the state—to fill past capacity. The need to funnel water out of the reservoir and accompanying complications has led to flooding concerns and evacuations below the dam.

Oroville Dam, Flooding, rain

(top) Aerial view of the…

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Dwarf galaxy NGC 5264 [image credit: ESA/Hubble]

Dwarf galaxy NGC 5264 [image credit: ESA/Hubble]


Dark matter faces quantised inertia. One of these ideas must leave town, or the galaxies, it seems.

British physicist Dr Mike McCulloch, who previously used quantised inertia to explain how the controversial electromagnetic space propulsion technology EmDrive works, says that he has new evidence showing his theory can also explain galaxy rotation, which is one of physics’ biggest mysteries, as the IB Times reports.

McCulloch, a lecturer in geomatics at Plymouth University’s school of marine science and engineering, says he now has even more evidence that his “new physics theory” about quantised inertia works, and that it makes it possible to explain why galaxies are not ripped apart without using theory of dark matter.

One of the biggest problems in physics today is how galaxies rotate. Galaxies are collections of millions of stars swirling around, and galaxies spin so rapidly that their centrifugal force should cause them fly apart, as there isn’t enough visible matter in them to hold them together by the force of gravity.
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Kingdom of Judah [credit: IB Times]

Kingdom of Judah [credit: IB Times]


The ‘two Iron Age spikes’ in magnetism could be worth investigating further.

Ancient clay jar handles can act as a record of the Earth’s magnetic history, a new study finds, confirming evidence of sudden, sharp spikes in the strength of the field, as the IB Times reports.

Fragments of pottery were historically stamped with an emblem of the rulers of the Kingdom Judah, which encompassed Jerusalem and nearby areas. These jars were also marked by the state of the Earth’s geomagnetic field at its time of construction, offering researchers a unique chance to reconstruct the past of the Earth’s magnetic field.

The study is based on the technique of archaeomagnetism. Some minerals in clay are magnetic, and before they are heated they are aligned randomly. As the pottery is heated during the firing process, the magnetic particles tend to align with the Earth’s magnetic field. The stronger the magnetic field, the greater the degree of alignment in the magnetic minerals.
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blower
The arguments stirred up by the NOAA’s ‘pausegate’ whistleblower rumble on. A UK Met Office expert asserted ‘the slowdown hasn’t gone away’. This one could run and run.

David Rose’s splendid and significant article in last week’s Mail on Sunday certainly caused a stir. The initial reaction, mostly distractions, have been easily dealt with by David Rose in this week’s installment.

One of the points raised concerned a paper submitted to the Journal of Climate by Huang et al. It is about the new ERSSTv5 sea surface temperature dataset.

It is an interesting paper that claims that ERSSTv5 shows a lower rate of warming than the previous ERSSTv4 which was used by the now famous Karl et al paper in 2015 which claimed that — contrary to the IPCC — there had been no slowdown in the rate of temperature increase in the past 15 years or so – the so-called Pause.

One persistent activist said the paper was stolen and it was unethical to comment on it. In reality the preprint was obtained from a public webpage, anyone could have downloaded it. It has been in circulation for weeks.
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Credit: cleantechnica.com

Credit: cleantechnica.com


One claim by the developer is that ‘its devices could increase the revenue of a wind farm by 25 per cent, through increased output and exploiting higher wholesale prices when the wind isn’t blowing’. It has to be said that battery and storage innovations have a poor record of turning into commercial success, but as ever time will tell.

An Adelaide company has developed a silicon storage device that it claims costs a tenth as much as a lithium ion battery to store the same energy and is eyeing a $10 million public float, reports Sott.net.

1414 Degrees had its origins in patented CSIRO research and has built a prototype molten silicon storage device which it is testing at its Tonsley Innovation Precinct site south of Adelaide.

Chairman Kevin Moriarty says 1414 Degrees’ process can store 500 kilowatt hours of energy in a 70-centimetre cube of molten silicon – about 36 times as much energy as Tesla’s 14KWh Powerwall 2 lithium ion home storage battery in about the same space.
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Solar system [credit: BBC]

Solar system [credit: BBC]


The details of interest here are:
Jupiter’s orbit period (J): 11.862615 years
Jupiter-Saturn conjunction period (J-S): 19.865036 years (mean value)
Solar Hale cycle (HC): ~22.14 years (estimated mean value)

Looking for a solar-planetary beat frequency (BF):
28 J = 332.15322 years
15 HC = 332.1 years
28 – 15 = 13 = number of beats in the period

Since Jupiter’s orbit period is a known value:
BF (approx.) = 332.15322 / 13 = 25.550247 y

Turning to J-S, consider the ‘Jose cycle‘ of 9 J-S:
9 J-S = 178.78532 y
7 BF = 178.85172 y
The value of BF using J-S known value:
178.78532 / 7 = 25.54076 y

Percent match of the two BF values = > 99.96%

Result – on the basis of the selected Hale cycle period:
Jupiter’s orbit matches the calculated solar-planetary beat frequency in the ratio 28:13.
For the Jose cycle (9 J-S conjunctions) the equivalent ratio is 9:7.
The Hale cycle ratio is 13 BF:15 HC by the above definitions.

Conclusion: this beat frequency connects the three items of interest as described.

(Note: 9 J-S figure updated 14/02/17 due to a typo).