Archive for April, 2018

The planet Mercury, as imaged by the MESSENGER spacecraft [Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington]


More theoretical speculations about Mercury’s origins, arising from what is now believed to be evidence of historical volcanic activity.

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, but far from being a dull cinder of a world, it has instead turned out to be a real eye opener for geologists, says Phys.org.

Among the revelations by NASA’s MESSENGER probe, which first flew past Mercury in 2008 and orbited it between 2011 and 2015, is the discovery of a hundred or so bright red spots scattered across the globe. Now they are at last being named.

Although they appear more yellow-orange than red on the accompanying colour-enhanced images, they are the reddest features on Mercury, a planet that looks dull and grey on unenhanced images.

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Keeping an open mind on climate matters is considered a thought crime in some quarters. Others think it’s just the rational approach.

CO2 is Life

NyeandBridenstine-2017-AP-640x480.jpgNASA’s new Administrator Jim Bridenstine is a climate change skeptic – and naturally the usual suspects are furious.

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The incorrect demonising of carbon dioxide has poisoned the minds of many political leaders. Painful reality is bound to catch up with them and their misguided energy polices sooner or later.

STOP THESE THINGS

It takes a special brand of ignorance to still believe that the world can run on sunshine and breezes. Whether you blame a breakdown in the education system or a Trotskyite takeover of the mainstream media, the results are the same: there’s a stubborn rump who continue to turn fantasy into ‘fact’; who are incapable of distinguishing the former from the latter; and who are by far the most rabid and shrill when it comes to the topic of the generation of electricity.

Our good friends logic and reason were sacrificed on the altar of ideology, a generation ago.

Defending those critical attributes of an ordered and civil society is what STT is all about. Of course, the wind and sun cult hate us for that.

You can’t blame them; when you have a child-like belief in something you deeply love (think Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, talking unicorns) and…

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California is investigating Tesla for workplace safety

Posted: April 20, 2018 by oldbrew in News

Tesla plant [image credit: Steve Jurvetson @ Wikipedia]


More negative publicity for the electric car maker. The report includes a response from Tesla, in which it says: ‘The injury rate at our Fremont factory is half what it was in the final years of the UAW plant operated by GM/Toyota immediately before us, and we care deeply about the safety and well-being of our people and strive to do better every day.’ Are electric car plants more dangerous than non-electric ones?

Days after reports of possible dangerous working conditions, Tesla is now under investigation by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, as Futurism reports.

Well, people, it’s happening: California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is officially investigating Tesla, according to a statement.

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ANTARCTICA : It’s Time We Had That Talk

Posted: April 17, 2018 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

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Surprise: Antarctic climate change is of opposite sign to model expectations.

Climatism

Ross Ice Shelf - ANTARCTICA (popular mechanics)The Ross Ice Shelf is Freezing, Not Melting. Which Is Weird | Popular Mechanics

IT’S time for “the talk.” You know, the one we’ve been putting off because it’s “inconvenient”. That end-of-life conversation…

YEP! Antarctica, the ‘inconvenient’ pole, the naughty child, has been gaining ice mass and cooling for decades, despite a 20 percent increase in atmospheric CO2, and model predictions to the contrary.

2015 NASA Study

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 6.43.58 am.pngNASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses | NASA

Guardian Report 2015

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 7.12.50 am.pngWhy is Antarctic sea ice at record levels despite global warming? | Environment | The Guardian

2017 Study

Antartica 2017 Ice mass gain study.png

From the abstract:

Mass changes of the Antarctic ice sheet impact sea-level rise as climate changes, but recent rates have been uncertain. Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) data (2003–08) show mass gains from snow accumulation exceeded discharge losses by 82 ± 25 Gt a−1, reducing global sea-level…

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Credit: Coal India Limited


A big vote of no confidence in the Paris climate agreement, by the world’s second most populous country. Political reality comes first: coal is much cheaper than nuclear.

India has decided to cut its planned nuclear power plant construction by two-thirds, says The GWPF. This will further expand the country’s use of coal for electrical power generation.

The Financial Express, one of India’s major newspapers, reports that the Narendra Modi government, which had set an ambitious 63,000 MW nuclear power capacity addition target by the year 2031-32, has cut it to 22,480 MW, or by roughly two-thirds.

The decision has enormous implications for expanding use of coal for electrical power generation and for release of CO2, other greenhouse gases, and for adding to India’s dire air pollution problems in its major cities.

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We’ve been having a good knockabout on twitter with Patrick Moore concerning Ned and Karl’s Pressure-Insolation theory; their discovery that a simple formula using surface pressure and solar distance will accurately give you the surface temperature on vastly different planets and moons throughout the solar system.

N-KFig_4

Figure 4: The relative atmospheric thermal enhancement, observed surface T/No -atmosphere T (Ts/Tna ratio) as a function of the average surface air pressure according to Eq. (10a) derived from data representing a broad range of planetary environments in the solar system.

Patrick is a great guy, and a good sport, and has been mostly putting up with Ned’s jibes and arguing his corner. I thought it might help others to understand Ned and Karl’s ideas if we look at a few of the objections Patrick raises and our answers to them.

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The original technology was demonstrated in an Atlantic crossing that took place in 1926, but Norsepower says it has created various new improvements for which several patents have been granted.

Last year (reports New Atlas) we detailed how Norsepower had rediscovered an engineering innovation, which sees large cylinders installed atop big ships to harness wind for propulsion.

Now a passenger ship has been treated to the Rotor Sail Solution and has set sail on wind-assisted trips between Finland and Sweden.

The M/S Viking Grace – which has 880 cabins and can accommodate 2,800 passengers and around 500 cars – went into service in 2013, when it was reported to be the first ship of its size to be fueled by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

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There’s a new paper coming out in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Wu, Usoskin et al that is of interest to us. It reconstructs solar activity over 9 millennia. When I get a copy of the data, I’ll compare it to Steinhilber et al’s 2012 effort.

solar-9k-usoskin

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Who to Blame for Rising CO2?

Posted: April 14, 2018 by oldbrew in Analysis, atmosphere
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As Dr Ed Berry says: ‘How can human carbon dioxide, which is only 5 percent of natural carbon dioxide, add 30 percent to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide? It can’t.’

Science Matters

Source :NOAA

Blaming global warming on humans comes down to two assertions:

Rising CO2 in the atmosphere causes earth’s surface temperature to rise.

Humans burning fossil fuels cause rising atmospheric CO2.

For this post I will not address the first premise, instead refer the reader to a previous article referencing Fred Singer. He noted that greenhouse gas theory presumes surface warming arises because heat is forced to escape at a higher, colder altitude. In fact, temperatures in the tropopause do not change with altitude (“pause”), and in the stratosphere temperatures increase with altitude. That post also includes the “meat” of the brief submitted to Judge Alsup’s court by Happer, Koonin and Lindzen, which questions CO2 driving global warming in the face of other more powerful factors. See Courtroom Climate Science

The focus in this piece is the claim that fossil fuel emissions drive observed rising CO2 concentrations. IPCC consensus scientists…

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Scandalous.

Sweden installs section of electrified road

Posted: April 13, 2018 by oldbrew in innovation, News, Travel
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Slot cars [image credit: Thomas Mielke @ Wikipedia]


Forget solar panels on the road surface – this is a different idea. Power is picked up by vehicles on the move, similar to slot cars. The report says: ‘They have also taken measures to ensure the rail is functional during inclement weather.’ Trialling in Sweden should put that to the test.

A team making up the eRoadArlanda project has announced that they have electrified a section of road near Stockholm, which will be tested by a battery-powered test truck.

The team is part of an initiative set up by the Swedish government’s Transport Administration to meet its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, reports TechXplore.

The Swedish government has been funding projects aimed at developing a fossil-free road transport system for many years. In this new effort, the focus was on implementing a road technology that could be used by currently available vehicles. The result is what some have called a human-sized slot car system.

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Promoting public awareness of the high cost and lack of reliability of weather-dependent power generation is important. Once fortunes have been spent and national grid systems are creaking under the strain of on-off power, it’s much harder to change course.

STOP THESE THINGS

Renewables rent seekers keep telling us how cheap wind and solar are, compared to those ‘evil’ fossil fuels, coal and gas.

But ‘price’ and ‘value’ are not the same animals. What we pay for something, and what it’s worth depends entirely upon what we get. And, in relation to the consumption of electricity, whether or not we get it, at all.

Wind power might be ‘free’, but try purchasing it, at any price, when the wind stops blowing.

Comparing weather dependent wind generation with sources available, around-the-clock, irrespective of the weather, is a game played by intellectual pygmies. There is, of course, no comparison.

So when you’re faced with a pile of numbers said to show how wind stacks up against the big boys, the obvious retort is, ‘when’? When I need it, or when the wind is just right?

Donn Dears picks up that thread quite neatly in this…

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Looks like polar bear alarmists could become an endangered species, struggling for the negative propaganda material necessary for survival.

Susan Crockford explains…

polarbearscience

Until now, my scientific paper post at PeerJ Preprints for review, about the failure of Steve Amstrup’s 2007 USGS polar bear survival model (Crockford 2017), has been formally ignored by Amstrup and his colleagues. But now Amstrup and his colleagues have taken to lying to the media about my analysis because he can’t refute it in a scholarly manner.

Mother with cubs Russia_shutterstock_71694292_web size

Amstrup was quoted by Erica Goode in her New York Times article on the Harvey et al. (2018) BioScienceattack paperpublished Tuesday (10 April 2018: “Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine. Scientists Are Pushing Back”):

“Dr. Amstrup, however, said that according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the average September sea ice extent for the years 2007 to 2017 was 4.5 million square kilometers, “nowhere near the low levels projected it would be by the middle of the century.”

“To say that we already should have…

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Lithium ion battery


Of course the ‘could’ in the headline tells us this has yet to be proven beyond the laboratory, and many of these battery claims seem to fizzle out in the end, or may be overtaken by newer ideas. But a professor here is saying: “We’ve opened up a new chemical space for battery technology”.

A research team led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, has opened the door to using metals other than cobalt in lithium-based batteries, and have built cathodes with 50 percent more lithium-storage capacity than conventional materials, reports EurekAlert.

Lithium-based batteries use more than 50 percent of all cobalt produced in the world. These batteries are in your cell phone, laptop and maybe even your car.

About 50 percent of the world’s cobalt comes from the Congo, where it’s largely mined by hand, in some instances by children.

But now, a research team led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, has opened the door to using other metals in lithium-based batteries, and have built cathodes with 50 percent more lithium-storage capacity than conventional materials.

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Is there evidence of a cause and effect connection between geological forces and El Niño generation? A look at one theory.

The Next Grand Minimum

El Niño and La Niña weather patterns have a significant impact on California climate. This illustration shows the drought impacts.

west-with-out-water-page-54

Long-term La Niña periods have been associated with long-term droughts in the southwest lasting 200, 90 and 55 years. More specifically severe droughts from AD1021 to 1051, AD1130 to 1180, AD1240 to 1265, AD1360 to 1365.

I often wondered what was the controlling mechanism that generated long-term La Niña conditions with few La Niño conditions. Plate Climatology Theory may be one possible answer, the generation of La Niña events by undersea volcanic activity.

I found this article on Plate Climatology most interesting.

eruptive-warm-burstGeologically induced “Eruptive” warm burst that helps generate 2014-2015 El Nino.

All El Ninos originate at the same fixed “Point Source” located east of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Fixed point sources are typical of geological features, and not typical of ever moving atmospheric or ocean…

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Canadian rail route


All pain for no obvious gain is a hard sell for climate-obsessed politicians. The Canadian public seems to be suffering from propaganda overload.

There is no issue dividing us more than the environment, says Canada’s Globe and Mail.

The debate around climate change has, at times, devolved into one big shouting match. And, today it’s louder than it’s ever been.

Most people believe human-caused climate change is real, but far fewer agree on how to fix the problem. A new poll says a majority of Canadians favour setting emissions targets but aren’t sure carbon taxes are the way to reach these goals.

Meantime, hypocrisy abounds.

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Antarctic sea ice [image credit: BBC]


Another mystery in ‘settled’ climate science. Experts now say they ‘acknowledge that the Antarctic is an important factor in climate change, but still a poorly understood one’. Snowfall is arriving on the land mass while ice is drifting into the sea – as usual in that part of the world. What is needed is accurate data before reaching for the alarm bell.
H/T The GWPF

Previous climate change models predicted that global sea levels would rise by a meter by the year 2100 due in part to melting Antarctic ice, but those estimates have proven to be flawed.

Over the past century, the Antarctic has gone from being a vast Terra Incognita to a continent-sized ticking time bomb: according to NASA, Antarctica has lost “approximately 125 gigatons of ice per year [between 2002 and 2016], causing global sea level to rise by 0.35 millimeters per year.”

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Recycling renewables

Posted: April 9, 2018 by oldbrew in Big Green, turbines
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Recycled wind turbine tower [image credit: inhabitat.com]


Like it or not, there are already industrial quantities of renewable installations and their hardware in many places around the world. Sooner or later the problem of what to do with hordes of obsolete wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and suchlike ‘green’ paraphernalia has to be addressed to prevent a massive pile-up of industrial waste.

Renewable energy has been hailed as the great salve for the world’s climate change woes, says Chemical & Engineering News.

Building massive infrastructure for solar and wind energy, and introducing electric vehicles, will help citizens in developing countries live the lifestyles they desire without the need to burn dirty fossil fuels.

But though these technologies have existed for decades, there’s no plan to make sure they remain green to the end.

Experts forecast hundreds of thousands of tons of old wind turbine blades, batteries, and solar modules will need to be disposed of or recycled in the next decade—and millions of tons by 2050.

Read on about the technologies evolving around the world to handle this unusual waste stream – here.

Earth’s atmosphere [image credit: BBC]


“These results are going to require rewriting the textbooks,” according to the research program director.

Not all of the nitrogen on the planet comes from the atmosphere, according to a UC Davis study in the journal Science. Up to a quarter comes from Earth’s bedrock. 

The discovery could greatly improve climate change projections, says Eurekalert. 

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