Archive for September, 2017


Chances are this will go down like a lead balloon with intermittent renewable energy suppliers, who are used to having electricity supply rules working to their own advantage.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is asking the federal agency that oversees the U.S. grid to issue a new rule to restructure electricity markets to fully compensate power plants for the reliability they provide, writes Michael Bastasch at Climate Change Dispatch.

Perry sent his policy proposal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday. The letter asks FERC to create an electricity pricing regime that allows power plants to recover the costs of providing baseload power. It will likely be seen as a lifeline to coal and nuclear power plants.

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Juno Jupiter Mystery

Posted: September 30, 2017 by oldbrew in solar system dynamics
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‘Scientists are puzzled’ as usual when actual evidence arrives, but that’s only to be expected. Not looking good for metallic hydrogen theory?

Acksblog

The Current State of JUNO

The lead scientist, Dr. Scott Bolton, admits essentially that Jupiter is not a gas giant, stating ” We’re seeing a lot of our ideas were incorrect and maybe naive.” (1)  Scientists are puzzled to see that the familiar striped cloud layers ‘may be’ only skin deep. These zones and belts either don’t exist or the Juno microwave instrument just isn’t sensitive to it. (2) The gravity experiment is not seeing a concentrated core at the center of the planet or a pure hydrogen interior, the two competing hypotheses, Dr. Bolton stated “and what we found was that neither are true.” Instead, the data suggests a ‘fuzzy’ core, with unexplained ‘anomalous masses’. (3) The enormously powerful ultraoviolet auroral ovals are imagined to be due to energetic particles descending around the poles, but what the Juno JEDI energetic particle detector has detected to date are streams of…

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London mayor seeks curbs on wood burners 

Posted: September 29, 2017 by oldbrew in Emissions, government, pollution

Image credit: BBC


Saving money on energy and being trendy may have attracted some buyers of wood burning stoves, but now reaction to air pollution claims is threatening to knock many such sales on the head. Bad news for some who already own them.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is seeking new powers to ban wood burning in the most polluted areas of the capital, says BBC News. The mayor has written to the Environment Secretary Michael Gove asking for greater powers to tackle air pollution not caused by traffic.

Mr Khan wants to introduce a network of “zero-emission zones” where the burning of wood or coal is completely prohibited. He also wants tougher controls on the sale of wood-burning stoves.

Under the mayor’s proposals only low-emission versions of wood-burning stoves would be allowed to remain on the market. There are currently 187 areas of London where pollution regularly exceeds European limits.

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The ‘Wooden Wonder’ combat aircraft of the 1940s


The Wooden Wonder Mosquito showed it could work for an aircraft. Now Japanese researchers say ‘wood pulp could be as strong as steel, but 80% lighter’, reports BBC News.

Car parts of the future could be made out of a surprising material. Wood.

Researchers in Japan are working to create a strong material out of wood pulp that could replace steel parts in vehicles within a decade.

Work is also charging ahead in the country to develop plastics that can withstand high temperatures, to replace metal for parts near the engine.

These innovations are part of a wider industry push to make cars lighter.

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Credit: NASA


This is from a Q&A on a website linked with Sydney Observatory. We add brief notes at the end.

Lionel asks: Congratulations on your Venus book.

Excellent. I notice that there is a 243 year cycle for Transits of Venus
243 x 365.242 = 224.7 x 395
So far so good. The axial rotation period for Venus is 243.1 days.
Is this a coincidence or is there some underlying geometrical fact that I cannot see?
well-done,

Answer: An interesting and complex question that I address below.

Patterns in the transits of Venus
Let us first look at the patterns in the transits of Venus. We need to note that Venus and the Earth line up with the Sun every 583.92 days or 1.59872 years. This is called the synodic period.

If there was a transit, say the one in June 2004, for another transit to occur, the two planets must not only line up with each other and the Sun, but do so after an integer number of years so that they are back in the right places on each of their orbits.

Venus and Earth fulfil these requirements after five synodic periods = 7.9936 years as this is almost, though not quite, equal to the integer eight. Thus transits of Venus generally occur in pairs eight years apart. However, because of the slight inequality there is no third transit after another eight years.

A more accurate relationship occurs after 152 synodic periods = 243.00544 years or ~395 Venus years. The pattern of Venus transits thus repeats at 243 year intervals (This is the cycle quoted by Lionel in his question above). For example, the first pair of June transits after 8 June 2004 begins on 11 June 2247. Of course, in the meantime there is also a pair of December transits beginning in 2117.

The rotation of Venus
Scientists using radar observations from the 1960s onwards discovered that Venus spins backwards, that is in the opposite direction to its motion around the Sun, at the slow rate of 243.02 days.

They soon realised that means that Venus, almost but not quite, shows the same face towards the Earth each time the planets are lined up with each other and the Sun. Somehow there is a resonance between the motion of the Earth around the Sun and Venus’ spin around its axis. Scientists are unsure why this is the case, but one suggestion is that Venus is more massive on the face turned towards the Earth at those times and consequently it was gravitationally captured by the Earth.

How is it worked out that Venus shows the same face towards the Earth each time they line up? The quoted value of 243.02 days is with respect to distant stars. With a little arithmetic (taking inverses) we can easily convert that value to the rotation period with respect to the Sun or, in other words, to the day on Venus. It is 116.75 (Earth) days. Five of those periods equal 583.75 days, which is almost the same as the 583.92 day synodic period. So each time the planets line up Venus shows almost the same face to the Sun and hence the same face to the Earth, which is always on those occasions on the opposite side of Venus.

Coincidence or not
As Lionel points out it is interesting that transits of Venus repeat in a cycle of 243 years while the rotation period of Venus with respect to the stars is 243 days, The above detailed discussion indicates that there is no obvious connection that gives rise to the same number in each case. However, the calculations all depend on many of the same factors such as the orbital periods of Venus and the Earth so maybe there was a chance that the same number should recur.

Note the values quoted above are from the NASA Venus Fact Sheet.

Source: Are transits and the rotation of Venus linked? – Observations
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Talkshop notes

Re: ‘Five of those periods equal 583.75 days, which is almost the same as the 583.92 day synodic period.’ [‘Venus and the Earth line up with the Sun every 583.92 days or 1.59872 years’]

Note 1: 23 solar rotations @ 25.38 days = 583.74 days
This also looks like a resonance, this time between the Sun and the Venus day.
. . .
Re: Venus and Earth fulfil these requirements after five synodic periods = 7.9936 years
A more accurate relationship occurs after 152 synodic periods = 243.00544 years or ~395 Venus years.

Note 2: using their own data, 157 synodic periods is more accurate, i.e. closer to a whole number of Earth orbits.
1.59872 * 152 = 243.00534 years (as stated in their notes)
1.59872 * 157 = 250.99904 years (~408 Venus years)
Of course that would be an ‘extra’ five synodic periods = 7.9936 years.

That may contradict the official ‘wisdom’ but there it is. It was discussed in some detail in this 2015 Talkshop post (some readers may find the comments to be of interest):
Why Phi? – a Venus transit cycle model

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A rational look at recent severe weather events, which have been seized on by disaster-starved climate alarmists to push their pre-conceived agendas.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

The recent spate of hurricanes has inevitably attracted attention and spawned wildly inaccurate headlines, such as “a 1000 year event”, “the most powerful Atlantic storm on record”, “storm of the century”, and even “most deadly storm in history”.

Many climate scientists have also jumped on the bandwagon, to claim that these storms have been exacerbated by climate change.

With Hurricane Maria now weakening and heading north into cooler waters, it is perhaps time to take a rational look at what has actually been happening.

First, let’s look at the two most notable storms:

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Dyson to make electric cars from 2020 

Posted: September 26, 2017 by oldbrew in innovation, News, Travel
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Electric car charging station [credit: Wikipedia]


It will have to be better than the last British attempt by an inventor, which was classed as a tricycle, but that should be easy enough. A radical design with a solid state battery are among the few clues available so far, but – like other Dyson products – ‘it won’t be cheap’.

Dyson, the engineering company best known for its vacuum cleaners and fans, plans to spend £2bn developing a “radical” electric car, says BBC News.

The battery-powered vehicle is due to be launched in 2020. Dyson says 400 staff have been working on the secret project for the past two years at its headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

However, the car does not yet exist, with no prototype built, and a factory site is yet to be chosen.

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Renewable energy wars seem to be getting ever fiercer in Australian political circles.

STOP THESE THINGS

If history offers any lessons to our political masters, it has to include those occasions when a fed up proletariat rose up and overthrew those in charge. Australia may not literally be on the brink of a civil revolt. However, there is most certainly a revolt underway in the Federal Liberal/National Coalition government.

The Nationals have already staked their ground, rejecting the Clean Energy Target proposed by Alan Finkel and resolving to slash all subsidies to wind and solar.

Within the Liberal party, a growing band have recognised that their political futures depend upon what happens next in relation to Australia’s self-inflicted power pricing and supply calamity.

Leading the battle for common sense, and political self-preservation, is former PM, Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott to ‘cross floor on energy’
The Australian
Simon Benson
20 September 2017

Tony Abbott has sent a warning to Malcolm Turnbull that he will cross the…

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Image credit: BBC Scotland


In the world of wishful thinking, everyone will drive wind-powered electric cars and run their homes entirely on electricity. In the real world wind power is variable from hour to hour, right down to near-zero sometimes. Relentless carpeting of the countryside with expensive wind turbines is unpopular with people living near them, but not with profit-chasing power companies.

Britain will need to boost its generation of electricity by about a quarter, Scottish Power has estimated. The energy firm said electric cars and a shift to electric heating could send demand for power soaring, reports BBC News.

Its chief executive also said there would have to be a major investment in the wiring necessary to handle rapid charging of car batteries.

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Earth and climate – an ongoing controversy


They could perhaps have taken more notice of this paper by Spencer and Braswell six years ago, which found that Earth’s atmosphere is more efficient at releasing energy to space than models used to forecast climate change have been programmed to “believe.”
H/T The GWPF.

As egg-on-face moments go, it was a double-yolker, writes Nigel Hawkes in The Sunday Times [restricted access].

Last week a group of climate scientists published a paper that admitted the estimates of global warming used for years to torture the world’s conscience and justify massive spending on non-carbon energy sources were, er, wrong. 

The admission was overdue acknowledgment of something that has been obvious for years.

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Insightful if somewhat depressing look at Brexit realpolotik…

The Slog.

me4 The British Prime Minister’s determination to sell out on Brexit is really an acceptance of geopolitical realities as her allies see them. The window available for voters to have their will prevail will be closed….after their Rights have been tossed out of it.


There were only two phrases uttered by Theresa May yesterday of any interest to the 68% of Brits who now want Brexit to go ahead….and who tend to add in research, “So can we just bloody get on with it?”

Mrs Mayormaynot told her audience she wanted “a treaty with the EU”, and that come what may, “The British People are in control”. The first contradicted the second, and the latter is a lie anyway. Nobody has asked us whether we want a treaty with the EU (for myself, I emphatically don’t want any treaty at all with illiberal control freaks) and if the People were…

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It looks as if a lot of car makers will have to raise prices of some models at least, to meet the cost of EU mega-fines tied to average CO2 emissions that are due to come into force in 2021. Phys.org reporting.

Big-name carmakers including Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler face fines running into the billions for failure to meet tough new European carbon dioxide emissions limits slated for 2021, a study has found.

“Only four out of 11 carmakers are forecast to meet the EU 2021 CO2 emission target, with the rest facing significant fines,” researchers from British firm PA Consulting said in a statement Friday.

European Union nations agreed in 2014 that carmakers should limit CO2 emissions to 95 grammes per kilometre across their entire model range within seven years. The figure for 2015 stood at some 130 grammes per kilometre on average.

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Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point, San Francisco


Some may say this smacks of an attempt at extortion, but the oil companies can at least afford the fees of the lawyers. Can it be a punishable offence to lack confidence in some of the claims of some climate scientists?
H/T The GWPF.

Two Northern California cities filed separate lawsuits against five major oil companies Wednesday, asking state courts to force the companies to fund infrastructure the cities say is needed because of climate change.

The suits, filed by San Francisco and Oakland in state Superior Court, are among the first in which plaintiffs are seeking to force companies to pay for infrastructure to protect coastal cities from potential damages caused by rising sea levels.

The cities are asking for the oil companies to pay for sea walls and other infrastructure projects, the cost of which aren’t yet known, according to the cities, but are expected to be in the billions of dollars, they said.

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As a long-time critic of climate alarmism, chemistry graduate Graham Stringer MP is not surprised by the latest cracks appearing in the facade of modern climate science, as the GWPF reports.

Al Gore, the U.S. politician and self-appointed champion of the green cause, famously declared that ‘the science is settled’ on climate change. It was a claim that revealed far more about the intolerance of the environmental movement than the reality of scientific inquiry.

Research should be founded on critical analysis of the evidence, not on wishful thinking or enforcement of a political ideology. Now the hollowness of Gore’s assertion is exposed again by a vital new report that shows how the apocalyptic predictions of the green lobby have been exaggerated.

In a study just published by the respected journal Nature Geoscience, a group of British academics reveals that the immediate threat from global warming is lower than previously thought, because the computer models used by climate change experts are flawed.

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Solar flare [credit: NASA]


Even though the current solar cycle (SC 24) is well-known for its relatively low level of sunspots, it can still produce surprisingly powerful bursts of ‘counter-intuitive’ activity, causing solar scientists to put their thinking caps on.

A series of rapid-fire solar flares is providing the first chance to test a new theory of why the sun releases its biggest outbursts when its activity is ramping down, says Science News.

Migrating bands of magnetism that meet at the sun’s equator may cause the biggest flares, even as the sun is going to sleep. A single complex sunspot called Active Region 2673 emitted seven bright flares — powerful bursts of radiation triggered by magnetic activity — from September 4 to September 10.

Four were X-class solar flares, the most intense kind.

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Mercury [image credit: NASA]


The first photos of ice at Mercury’s poles were released in 2014 but this research goes a step further, as Phys.org reports. It finds that ‘the total area of the three sheets [is] about 3,400 square kilometers—slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island’.

The scorching hot surface of Mercury seems like an unlikely place to find ice, but research over the past three decades has suggested that water is frozen on the first rock from the sun, hidden away on crater floors that are permanently shadowed from the sun’s blistering rays.

Now, a new study led by Brown University researchers suggests that there could be much more ice on Mercury’s surface than previously thought.

The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, adds three new members to the list of craters near Mercury’s north pole that appear to harbor large surface ice deposits.

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cagwComputer modelling used a decade ago to predict how quickly global average temperatures would rise may have forecast too much warming, a study has found.

Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s authors told The Times: “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.”

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Taking a look beyond the over-simplistic climate hysteria that arises as if by a jolt on the electrodes every time a major weather event occurs, especially if it’s in or near the USA.

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: Millions of words were expended reporting about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but too little about the science connecting them to climate change. Here are the details, contrasted with the propaganda barrage of those seeking to exploit these disasters for political gain. Let’s listen to these scientists so we can better prepare for what is coming. Failure to do so risks eventual disaster.

NASA photo of Hurricane Katrina on 28 August 2005 NASA photo of Hurricane Katrina on 28 August 2005.

(1)  A politically useful catastrophe: the Left speaks

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The record-setting twelve-year long hurricane “drought” (no major hurricane landfalls on the US) was just weather. But the Left immediately boldly and confidently declared Harvey and Irma to be caused (or worsened) by anthropogenic climate change. Some of these screeds are mostly rational, just exaggerated or imbalanced. Such as “Harvey Is What Climate Change Looks Like” by Eric Holthaus at Politico — “It’s time to open our…

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Where is Planet 9? [credit: NASA]


This may say something about what is not likely to be true about the mysterious, or mythical, Planet 9 but obviously it’s still all in the realms of theory. If it did form around the sun, how did it get to be so much further away from it than the known major planets in the solar system?

Astronomers at the University of Sheffield have shown that ‘Planet 9’ – an unseen planet on the edge of our solar system – probably formed closer to home than previously thought, reports Phys.org.

A team led by Dr Richard Parker from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy has found that Planet 9 is ‘unlikely’ to have been captured from another planetary system, as has previously been suggested, and must have formed around the sun.

The outskirts of the solar system have always been something of an enigma, with astronomers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries searching for a giant planet that wasn’t there, and the subsequent discovery of Pluto in 1930.

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Hurricanes, AMO , And Sahel Droughts

Posted: September 10, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, research, Uncertainty, weather
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What really drives Atlantic hurricanes? Paul Homewood looks at some relevant research.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

Reader Dermot Flaherty questioned the relationship of ENSO to the Atlantic hurricane season.

There are indeed many factors which affect hurricane activity. As leading hurricane expert Chris Landsea stated in his 1999 paper “Atlantic Basin Hurricanes: Indices of Climatic Changes”:

Various environmental factors including Caribbean sea level pressures and 200mb zonal winds, the stratospheric Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, African West Sahel rainfall and Atlantic sea surface temperatures, are analyzed for interannual links to the Atlantic hurricane activity. All show significant, concurrent relationships to the frequency, intensity and duration of Atlantic hurricanes.

Landsea goes on:

Finally, much of the multidecadal hurricane activity can be linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Mode – an empirical orthogonal function pattern derived from a global sea surface temperature record.

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