Archive for January, 2020


Whether any change in UK climate policy is linked to this manouevre remains to be seen.

In a surprise move, the woman appointed to run the crucial UN climate summit in Glasgow in November has been sacked, reports BBC News.

Claire Perry O’Neill, a former climate minister, had been assigned the post of “president” of the event, known as COP 26.

The British government has confirmed that the job will now be handled by the business department, BEIS.

In a tweet, Mrs O’Neill said she was “very sad” to lose the role, and went on to criticise the government.

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Drax power station [credit: drax.com]


Once again climate scaremongers will attempt to overthrow the political decision of a democratically elected government in the courts. An irony in this case is that Drax already burns imported woodchips for power generation, producing vast amounts of carbon dioxide, but this is ignored by alarmists.

Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom gave the go-ahead for Drax to convert its coal-fired units in North Yorkshire to gas generation last October, reports Energy Live News.

A legal challenge has been launched at the High Court by ClientEarth against the UK Government’s decision to approve what would be the largest new gas power plant in Europe.

Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom gave the go-ahead for Drax to convert its coal-fired units in North Yorkshire to gas generation last October, on the grounds gas would emit less carbon than coal and some fossil fuel capacity would be needed to provide backup for intermittent renewables.

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Something happening in the “ignorosphere”.

Spaceweather.com

Jan. 29, 2020: A new type of aurora is rippling across Arctic skies. Citizen scientists who discovered it nicknamed it “The Dunes” because of its resemblance to desert sand dunes. A paper published in the Jan. 28th issue of AGU Advances describes the new form and the unexpected physics that causes it.

864572_1_unknown_upload_7036138_q0m4d8_1573153212Above: Aurora dunes over Laitila, Finland, on Oct. 7, 2018. Credit: Pirjo Koski. [more] Dune-shaped auroras form in a narrow altitude range 80 km to 120 km above Earth’s surface. Turns out, this is an extremely hard-to-study layer of Earth’s atmosphere. It’s too high for weather balloons, and too low for rockets.

“Due to the difficulties in measuring atmospheric phenomena between 80 and 120 km, we sometimes call this region ‘the ignorosphere‘,” says Minna Palmroth, Professor of Computational Space Physics at the University of Helsinki and the lead author of the study.

Sky watchers in…

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M42 ‘smart’ motorway [image credit: Snowmanradio @ Wikipedia]


UK smart motorways have been getting negative press lately for safety – or lack of it – reasons. Running out of EV battery power could be a risk too far on such roads, branded by some as ‘death traps’.
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Smart motorways could be rendered obsolete within a decade as they are not suitable for electric cars, it was claimed yesterday.

AA boss Edmund King warned the routes would be even more dangerous because it would not be possible to tow the stranded vehicles to safety, says All World Report.

He said driverless cars could also run into problems on smart motorways, where the hard shoulder is used as a regular traffic lane to ease congestion.

Developers recommend if a motorist falls asleep in an autonomous vehicle then it should pull over in a safe place – but this may prove impossible with no hard shoulder.

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A Coronal Mass Ejection with the surrounding cloud visible (1999) [image credit: NASA/ESA]


Even non-catastrophic solar storms can be troublesome, such as one in 1967 which nearly triggered nuclear war, according to evidence from retired U.S. Air Force personnel.
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A ‘great’ space weather super-storm large enough to cause significant disruption to our electronic and networked systems occurred on average once in every 25 years, according to a new joint study by the University of Warwick and the British Antarctic Survey.

By analysing magnetic field records at opposite ends of the Earth (UK and Australia), scientists have been able to detect super-storms going back over the last 150 years, reports Phys.org.

This result was made possible by a new way of analysing historical data, pioneered by the University of Warwick, from the last 14 solar cycles, way before the space age began in 1957, instead of the last five solar cycles currently used.

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Maybe the climate alarmist leaders have finally grown tired of being panned for blatant exaggeration and dishonest fearmongering, based entirely on failing climate models. But of course much of the desired psychological damage has already been done.

Scientists should stop using the very worst predictions for carbon emissions, a study suggests – reporting by the BBC.

Referred to as “business as usual”, the scenario assumes a 500% increase in the use of coal, which is now considered unlikely.

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


In short, Scottish wind power often produces too much for the electricity system to handle, yet more is planned. Meanwhile the super-expensive Western Link is failing miserably to draw off the excess power. Matt Ridley is trying to blow the whistle on this fiasco in the House of Lords, with some success.

Last weekend the Italian cable manufacturing company, Prysmian, released a statement announcing to the markets that the Western Link High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) interconnector between Hunterston and Deeside had failed again, on the 10th of January, says the Renewable Energy Foundation.

This grid link, which is a joint venture between Scottish Power Transmission (SPT) and National Grid (NG), employs cables manufactured by Prysmian.

This £1 billion project has a peak transit capacity of 2.25 GW and was designed solely to facilitate the export of Scottish wind power to the English and Welsh markets.

In doing so it was expected to reduce constraint payments to wind power, payments which amount to £630m since 2010, with a record £130 million in 2019 alone.

The project was expected to come online at the end of 2015 but in fact did not become fully operational until late 2018 and has been plagued with faults ever since.

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Who would be paying for these vast numbers of new jobs? Energy consumers of course, i.e. everyone. All the ‘specialists’ would have to come from somewhere too, at a time when UK unemployment is low so many would have to be poached from their existing employers. The selling point would be to tell them they’re ‘tackling climate change’, but what that might look like would be left to their imaginations – like any other fantasy.

The report reveals more women want a ‘job of purpose’ to help deliver the UK’s 2050 target, says Energy Live News.

More than 400,000 jobs need to be filled across the energy industry to help deliver the UK’s 2050 net zero target, bringing opportunities for skilled tradespeople, engineers and other specialists across every region of the country.

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Significant changes since 2007 or so are observed but not explained, which seems to leave them open to interpretation. To get that ball rolling the recent solar slowdown could be mentioned.
A 2015 NASA study said that ‘an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.’

Using the latest satellite technology from the European Space Agency (ESA), scientists from the University of Bristol have been tracking patterns of mass loss from Pine Island — Antarctica’s largest glacier, reports SciTechDaily.

They found that the pattern of thinning is evolving in complex ways both in space and time with thinning rates now highest along the slow-flow margins of the glacier, while rates in the fast-flowing central trunk have decreased by about a factor of five since 2007.

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Salar de Atacama, Chile [image credit: Francesco Mocellin @ Wikipedia]


Wikipedia says: ‘Salar de Atacama is the world’s largest and purest active source of lithium, containing 27% of the world’s lithium reserve base…Extraction of lithium-rich brines is causing conflict with water use by local communities and is damaging the ecosystem, including the Andean flamingo.’ Do self-styled planet savers approve of this?

Global demand for lithium is expected to triple in six years.

But mining companies are increasingly coming into conflict with indigenous communities who are worried about the future of their ecosystems, says DW.com.

In the middle of the world’s driest desert is a vast expanse of turquoise basins, each one like a colossal swimming pool, up to 20 times the size of a football field.

The pools are filled with a salty brine pumped up from ancient reservoirs under the desert. It also contains lithium carbonate, the raw material for a light, silvery metal that happens to be a component of the batteries now used by virtually all computers, phones and electric cars.

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The Thunberg Fallacies

Posted: January 26, 2020 by oldbrew in alarmism, climate, Critique, propaganda
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People will be more than sorry if they allow these fanatics to have their own way.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

Ever since she splashed into view I have wondered about Greta Thunberg’s reasoning. Her quoted statements, blasting the world for not doing the impossible, have given no clue where she is coming from.

Now, thanks to some detailed published statements of hers, from the World Economic Forum in Davos, I have my answer. It turns out she is hotly embracing not one, but two, howling fallacies. No wonder she sounds nuts.

To begin with, she cites the IPCC report on climate change from 2018, which claims we have only a few years left to act if theres a 67% chance of keeping the global temperature rise from now to below 0.5 degrees C. (She, like everyone else, talks about a rise of 1.5 degrees, but the IPCC says that 1.0 degrees has already happened, which she knows.) If she said a half a…

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Oh. Ah.

Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin

dd

At the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, there seemed to be spat between Greta and Donald though they did not meet.

Image result for greta thunbergDonald Trump

As far as I can see one is “Drill, baby, drill”. and the other is stop using oil now i.e yesterday.

This article highlights the issues oil companies face, which are considerable.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-davos-meeting-oil/oil-industry-in-davos-torn-between-greta-and-trump-idUSKBN1ZM1Z6

The end is most interesting as it lays out the problems of going renewable ASAP along with electric cars. The obstacles to the energy transition are not the amount of wind or sun, or whether devices can be made to trap the energy, or the design of electric vehicles. The technology may be available now, but that does not make it possible.

It boils down to the availability of the metals required to do this. Here Richard Herrington just mentions cobalt and Copper

Richard Herrington, head of earth sciences at…

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Most things the UK CCC suggests are likely to be a bad idea, but that’s another story. If this is all they can think of, they’re scraping the barrel. How long does the list of experts trashing tree burning policies have to get before the government takes any notice?

A suggestion by the UK Committee on Climate Change to burn more wood and plant replacement trees as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels has drawn criticism from think tank Chatham House (reports OilPrice.com), which says this is hardly the best approach to reducing emissions.

“Expanding forest cover is undoubtedly a good thing, if you’re leaving them standing,” energy expert Duncan Brack told the Daily Telegraph.

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Small modular reactor [credit: ANS Nuclear Cafe]


The plan sounds fairly low-key, suggesting they don’t expect great demand any time soon, even though electric cars are being heavily promoted in many countries. The report claims they’ll be competing with ‘low-cost renewables such as offshore wind’, but where are these supposedly low-cost installations, and why do they always need to be subsidised?
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Mini nuclear reactors could be generating power in the UK by the end of the decade, reports BBC News.

Manufacturer Rolls-Royce has told the BBC’s Today programme that it plans to install and operate factory-built power stations by 2029.

Mini nuclear stations can be mass manufactured and delivered in chunks on the back of a lorry, which makes costs more predictable.

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Notes on why an all-electric world is wishful thinking.

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

When I read the WSJ article “The Best-Laid Energy Plans” referencing Government planning and subsidies that were supposedly intended to make America the world’s green-electricity superpower, create millions of jobs, and supercharge the economy. It brings to mind the most terrifying nine words in the English language: ” I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

In pursuit of a way to store the daytime intermittent electricity from solar panels, for use when the sun is not shining, the reality is closer to the financial failure at Crescent Dunes. This being a Nevada solar-energy plant that went bust after receiving a $737 million federal loan guarantee. No worries. It’s only taxpayer money,

Crescent Dunes was the first concentrated solar power system that generated solar power by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a receiver plant with a central receiver…

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Norway’s Goliat oil platform [image credit: T3n60 @ Wikipedia]


Another attempt to use the courts to impose the will of climate alarmists bites the dust, at least until the next and final appeal, if it happens. When are they going to take Russia to court over Arctic drilling? Too risky perhaps.

A Norwegian court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by two environmental groups which had sued Norway for granting new oil licenses in the Arctic, reports Phys.org.

A Norwegian court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by two environmental groups which had sued Norway for granting new oil licenses in the Arctic.

Greenpeace and Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth) had called for the cancellation of exploration licenses granted in May 2016 to 13 oil companies in the fragile Arctic region, saying the concessions violated the Norwegian constitution which since 2014 guarantees the right to a healthy environment.

They argued that new oil activities in the region would be contrary to the 2016 Paris climate accord, which seeks to limit average global warming to under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and which Norway has signed.

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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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