Archive for January, 2020

Earth’s oldest asteroid crater found in Australia

Posted: January 22, 2020 by oldbrew in Ice ages, News, research
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Credit: earth.com


Theories abound, but the inevitable carbon dioxide one pops up at the end.

Scientists have identified the world’s oldest asteroid crater in Australia, adding it may explain how the planet was lifted from an ice age, reports BBC News.

The asteroid hit Yarrabubba in Western Australia about 2.2 billion years ago – making the crater about half the age of Earth, researchers say.

Their conclusion was reached by testing minerals found in rocks at the site.

The scientists say the find is exciting because it could account for a warming event during that era.

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‘Truths’ is an acronym* but it helps with the publicity. The satellite ‘will be sensitive to light in the visible and near-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum’.
[*Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies]

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The UK is going to lead a space mission to get an absolute measurement of the light reflected off Earth’s surface, reports BBC Science.

The information will be used to calibrate the observations of other satellites, allowing their data to be compared more easily.

Called Truths, the new spacecraft was approved for development by European Space Agency member states in November.

Proponents of the mission expect its data to help reduce the uncertainty in projections of future climate change.

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High pressure over the UK


This is happening at the time of the deepest solar minimum for over a century. A Met Office tweet shown in the article states the record was set in January 1902: ‘UK record of 1053.6 hPa, Aberdeen 31.1.1902’.

Wikipedia says: ‘solar cycle [14] lasted 11.5 years, beginning in January 1902 and ending in July 1913. The maximum smoothed sunspot number (SIDC formula) observed during the solar cycle was 107.1, in February 1906 (the lowest since the Dalton Minimum)’.

The obvious similarity between January 1902 and January 2020, and indeed between solar cycles 14 and 24, could be a coincidence – but is it?
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The weather forecasters have just given us an impressive display of their skill by predicting the scale of the current high pressure zone over the UK, says BBC News.

Overnight, Sunday into Monday, London’s Heathrow Airport recorded a barometric pressure of 1,049.6 millibars (mbar).

It’s very likely the highest pressure ever recorded in London, with records dating back to 1692.

But the UK Met Office and the European Centre for Medium Range Forecasts had seen it coming well ahead of time.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


The headline is straight from the research press release. Of course that suggests alarmists can only hope to blame human-caused ‘carbon emissions’ for the other half of any recent warming, by invoking their own version of a planetary ‘greenhouse effect’.
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Ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) may be responsible for nearly half of Arctic warming from 1955 – 2005, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change.

These findings highlight an unrecognized source of twentieth-century Arctic climate change.

ODSs – halogen compounds that destroy the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere – were used as propellants, refrigerants and solvents during the twentieth century.

Since the 1987 Montreal Protocol, ODS emissions have been curbed, and the ozone layer is now in slow recovery.

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Night train to Brussels

Posted: January 20, 2020 by oldbrew in climate, Emissions, Travel
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Austria’s ‘nightjet’ train


All aboard the virtue signallers’ express! In nuclear-free Austria that is – possibly the only country to fully build a nuclear plant and never operate it.
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The first night train to set off for Belgium in 16 years departed from Vienna Sunday, carrying Austrian and European politicians who hope the new route can set an example as the continent tries to meet its climate targets, reports Phys.org.

The carriages of the “OBB Nightjet” pulled out of Vienna’s main station punctually at 8:38 pm to the strains of a live band playing the EU anthem “Ode to Joy”, the slogan #loveyourplanet emblazoned along their sides.

Scheduled to arrive in Brussels at 10:55 am on Monday, the rail journey emits less than a tenth of the CO2 per passenger than the equivalent flight.

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H/T The GWPF
Same old story, but numbers keep getting bigger. This just reinforces the point that large-scale surplus electricity can’t be stored. But nobody pays non-renewable sources for switching off or reducing output when wind and/or solar are operating at or near their capacity.
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Wind farms were paid up to £3 million per day to switch off their turbines and not produce electricity last week, The Telegraph can disclose.

Energy firms were handed more than £12 million in compensation following a fault with a major power line carrying electricity to England from turbines in Scotland.

The payouts, which will ultimately be added onto consumer bills, were between 25 per cent and 80 per cent more than the firms, which own giant wind farms in Scotland, would have received had they been producing electricity, according to an analysis of official figures.

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Earth and climate – an ongoing controversy

Regular Talkshop contributor and climate expert Ian Wilson highlights the lack of scientific logic in the idea that carbon dioxide (CO2) somehow controls climate variations in the modern era. This has led to such absurdities as claims of a ‘climate emergency’ and demands to stop using oil, gas, and coal, with many countries actively pursuing policies along those lines.

Climate scientists insist that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations (measured in parts per million or ppm) are forcing the Earth’s atmospheric and oceanic temperatures to increase, writes Ian Wilson.

They base their claim on the premise that CO2 is a greenhouse gas that prevents infrared light from escaping the Earth’s atmosphere.

They propose that the trapped infra-red radiation results in a net gain in the energy that is stored in the Earth’s atmosphere (~ 2 %) and oceans (> 90 %).

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Here we learn that the solar wind ‘has a sort of internal heater’, which may be short on scientific explanation but sounds interesting as far as it goes.
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There’s a wind that emanates from the sun, and it blows not like a soft whistle but like a hurricane’s scream, says Phys.org.

Made of electrons, protons, and heavier ions, the solar wind courses through the solar system at roughly 1 million miles per hour, barreling over everything in its path.

Yet through the wind’s roar, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe can hear small chirps, squeaks, and rustles that hint at the origins of this mysterious and ever-present wind.

Now, the team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which designed, built, and manages the Parker Solar Probe for NASA, is getting their first chance to hear those sounds, too.

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Earth-orbiting satellites beware!

Spaceweather.com

Jan. 16, 2019: Yes, there are explosions in Earth’s magnetic field. They happen all the time. Gusts of solar wind press against Earth’s magnetosphere, squeezing lines of magnetic force together. The lines criss-cross and reconnect, literally exploding and propelling high energy particles toward Earth.  Auroras are the afterglow of this process.

On Dec. 20, 2015, one such explosion occurred closer to Earth than anyone had seen before.  It has taken researchers 4 years to fully wrap their minds around what happened, and the results were published just this week in the Jan. 13, 2020, edition of Nature Physics.

Joseph-Bradley-_MG_8407_1450760666 Auroras in the aftermath of a near-Earth magnetic explosion on Dec. 20, 2015. Credit: Joseph Bradley of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Lead author Vassilis Angelopoulos of UCLA explains: “Usually, these explosions happen at least 100,000 miles from Earth, far downstream in our planet’s magnetic tail. On Dec. 20, 2015, however, we observed…

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Volcanic eruption


How good is the evidence for such a connection, and what theories do we have? Does a really low solar minimum – like now – make a difference? Here’s PW’s overview of its article.

Over the long term, the sun is the main driver of weather and climate on Earth and it is also directly connected to such phenomenon as the aurora borealis also known as the northern lights, upper atmospheric “high-latitude blocking”, and the influx of cosmic rays into Earth’s atmosphere, says Perspecta Weather.

The aurora borealis tends to occur more often during times of increased solar activity though they can actually take place at any time of a solar cycle.

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This candidate for the UK’s most expensive non-event ever is already hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons. We’re informed ‘that COP26 attendees will peak at 15,000 on the busiest day, but the overall figure could rise to 90,000 over the period of the conference’. Don’t mention the ’emissions’ – which are what it’s supposed to be all about – as they all fly in and out again.

The cost of a UN climate change conference in Glasgow could be “several hundred million pounds”, police say.

Up to 90,000 people – delegates, observers, heads of state and media – are expected to attend COP26, over 12 days in November, says BBC News.

A Scottish Police Authority report says it will be the largest mobilisation of police officers in the UK.

Scottish ministers say they expect the UK government to cover the “core costs” including emergency services funding.

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To go to the technical discussion, search for ‘Overview’.

Science Matters

Dr. Peter Ward explains at The Hill Greenhouse gases simply do not absorb enough heat to warm Earth Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Science is not done by consensus, by popular vote, or by group think. As Michael Crichton put it: “In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

The drive to demonstrate scientific consensus over greenhouse-warming theory has had the unintended consequence of inhibiting genuine scientific debate about the ultimate cause of global warming.

Believers of “the consensus” argue that anyone not agreeing with them is uninformed, an idiot or being paid by nefarious companies. The last thing most climate scientists want to consider at this point, when they think they are finally winning the climate wars, is the possibility of some problem with the science of greenhouse-warming theory.

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So what’s new? Nothing really, but these issues show few if any signs of being resolved in the near future. Governments intending to pressure or force people to buy EVs are going to be unpopular with millions of car users, it would seem. Woolly climate propaganda isn’t impressing many buyers.

Ipsos, the global research and insights organization, says it has uncovered the thoughts of consumers regarding BEVs, Green Car Congress reports.

These new findings are released in the second module of the Ipsos Global Mobility Navigator Syndicated Study, in which 20,000 consumers worldwide shared their opinions on alternative engines and what it would take to get them to consider one.

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When all their forecasts of doom fail to happen they’re going to look extremely silly.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

I am not making this up. The National Federation of Teachers is promoting the teaching of Action Now! climate radicalism in America’s English classes. They basically claim that climate change hysteria should be part of our culture and it requires a social revolution. Apparently English classes are the proper place to train social revolutionaries.

No wonder the children are terrified of their future. The radical premise of the Action Now! movement is that we are all going to die from climate change unless we rapidly restructure our social and economic systems.

In this case the message is delivered via a long article in the latest issue of NFT’s magazine American Educator, titled “Climate Change in the Classroom: A Natural Part of English Language Arts.” https://www.aft.org/ae/winter2019-2020/beach_share_webb

For those who haven’t kept up, English Language Arts is what used to be called English class, where cool stuff…

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There goes the notion of a zero-emission vehicle. The chief suspect is vanadium, which ‘was the only metal that interacted with the macrophages and was also present in both brake dust and diesel exhaust particles’.

The harmful impact of air pollution caused by diesel exhaust fumes on our health is well known, says The Conversation.

It’s responsible for causing everything from respiratory problems to dementia and even certain types of cancers.

But what most people don’t realise is that exhaust fumes aren’t the only cause of air pollution.

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Low tide in Venice


This so-called man-made climate change thing must be a versatile beast, if it exists outside of myths. Wednesday’s rare super blue blood moon gets some of the blame here, but recent low rainfall also played a part.

Although the water levels in the city’s famous canals rise and fall with the tide, exceptionally low tides have left canals bare, reports Sky News.

Two months ago the high tide in Venice peaked at 187cm (6.14ft), leaving around 70% of the lagoon city centre under salt water.

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The Fainting of Betelgeuse — Update

Posted: January 12, 2020 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, Measurement, News

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This enormous star seems to be fading fast.

Spaceweather.com

Jan. 10, 2020: One day, perhaps in our lifetimes, perhaps a million years from now, the red giant Betelgeuse will dim a little–and then explode. The resulting supernova will rival the full Moon and cast shadows after dark, completely transforming the night skies of Earth. No wonder astronomers are closely tracking the current “fainting of Betelgeuse.”

“Fainting” is an actual astronomical term. It means dimming, the opposite of brightening. And right now, Betelgeuse is definitely fainting.

Brian-Ottum-Betelgeuse_Fainting_4x4_dated_1577930828  Betelgeuse photographed by Brian Ottum of Animas, New Mexico, almost 4 years apart using the same telescope and observing methods. 

Edward Guinan of Villanova University and colleagues caused a minor sensation last month when they reported “[Betelgeuse] has been declining in brightness since October 2019, now reaching a modern all-time low of V = +1.12 mag on 07 December 2019 UT. Currently this is the faintest the star has been during our…

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Kepler-90 Planets Orbit Close to Their Star [credit: NASA/AMES]


In part 1 we looked at the inner four planets: b,c,i and d. Here in part 2 we’ll look at the outer four: e,f,g and h – with a dash of d included.

The largest planet in the system is h, the outermost of the eight so far found, and it’s about the same size as Jupiter. It’s ‘an exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of the early G-type main sequence star Kepler-90’, says Wikipedia. However, ‘it is a gas giant with no solid surface’, so probably no aliens lurking there.

It wasn’t that easy to find synodic patterns of interest, but here we have two examples, both involving planet h.

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Credit: metro.co.uk


The idea is that “Every time the rock sags into the chamber, it creates a resonance and this produces this strange signal that you see far away.” Is this really ‘The Hum’?

Can you hear it? That elemental thrumming emerging just beneath the engulfing din of everyday city and suburban life? 

Well, chances are you’re not losing your mind or developing some extra-human ability akin to comic book superheroes, says SyfyWire.

Better odds are that it’s Mother Earth’s growing pains in the form of loud volcanic stirrings, as revealed in a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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Cardiff trolleybus, 1969 [image credit: David Stowell @ Wikipedia]


They’re certainly quick off the mark and quiet. As with trams the initial costs would be significant, but they do have their advantages.

They were the original electric buses but 50 years ago today saw the plug pulled on the last trolleybus in Wales, says BBC News.

Environmentally friendly and cheap, they finally succumbed to car ownership and fossil fuel on 11 January 1970.

Yet half a century later – almost to the day – local councils now see electric public transport as an answer to congestion and air pollution.

Some experts and enthusiasts even believe that shift could spark a revival for the forgotten trolleybus.

Known as the “trackless trolleys” when they first appeared on UK streets in 1911, trolleybuses became the workhorses of the public transport network.

Freed from the restrictions of tracks, taking their power from overhead cables, they provided clean, affordable and quick transport for the masses.

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