Archive for February, 2020


They are up against it. Governments are now finding themselves increasingly boxed in by their own climate ideology. From the report below:
Richard Tol, professor of the economics of climate change at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said it is “highly unlikely” that the Netherlands will rise to the challenge, saying a [extra] 10% emissions reduction by the end of 2020 would “require shutting down a substantial part of the economy”.

But what options are there? Nuclear power is unpopular and can’t be built quickly anyway, while wind and solar power are part-time, intermittent, and relatively expensive. No viable ‘off-the-shelf’ way exists to store electricity on a massive scale. Awkward.
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The Netherlands is under pressure to slash emissions in sectors such as power generation and agriculture in 2020 after a ruling by a top court made the government a reluctant ‘test case’ for tougher global climate policies, says Climate Home News.

The government of conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte is working out new measures after the Dutch Supreme Court in December ordered it to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the end of 2020, compared with 1990 levels, as its fair share to combat climate change.

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Heathrow expects… [credit: your.heathrow.com]


This may all be a bit of an over-reaction, as a legal appeal is pending. Even if the appeal fails, it’s not clear what taking the Paris agreement into account really means, as far as the courts are concerned. Having said that, some cages must have been rattled at the prospect of various projects being undermined.

Dozens of airport, road and energy projects have been thrown into doubt after judges delivered a crushing blow to plans for a third runway at Heathrow over its impact on the environment, reports The Times (via The GWPF).

The Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that the government’s policy on expanding the airport was unlawful because ministers had failed to take proper account of how it affected Britain’s climate commitments.

A refusal to properly consider the UN Paris agreement, which limits rises in global temperatures, when approving the third runway was “legally fatal”, the judges said.

The government said it would accept the ruling, striking a severe blow to plans for the runway.

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ISSN 1063-7737, Astronomy Letters, 2019, Vol. 45, No. 11, pp. 778–790.c Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2019. Nicola Scafetta1*,FrancoMilani2, and Antonio Bianchini3, 41Department of Earth Sciences, Environment and Georesources, University of Naples Federico II,Complesso Universitario di Monte S. Angelo, via Cinthia, 21, 80126 Naples, Italy 2 Astronomical Association Euganea, via N. Tommaseo, 70, 35137 Padova, Italy3INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padova, Italy 4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Universit `a degli Studi di Padova, via Marzolo 8, 35131 Padova, Italy Received May 18, 2019; revised October 2, 2019; accepted October 23, 2019

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Climate paranoia has hit the UK courts big-time. It now seems illegal not to obsess over trace gases in the atmosphere, due to the Paris climate agreement.

Heathrow Airport’s controversial plans to build a third runway have been thrown into doubt after a court ruling, reports BBC News.

The government’s Heathrow’s expansion decision was unlawful because it did not take climate commitments into account, the Court of Appeal said.

Heathrow said it would challenge the decision, but the government has not lodged an appeal.

The judges said that in future, a third runway could go ahead, as long as it fits with the UK’s climate policy.

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Obsessing over trace gases and toying with computer models won’t provide the answer.

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

Trying to imply that cooling is right around the corner when we’re watching record-breaking warm ocean temperatures to me seems a big stretch, but current facts and the history around the five previous ice ages that came and melted before fossil fuels became recognizable words may be worthy of reviewing.

The real climate crisis may not be global warming, but global cooling, and it may have already started. These events may not be an anomaly, but a predecessor of things to come:

  • Planting was one month late due to cold Spring weather across the Great Plains of North America in both 2018 and 2019.

  • In 2019 Spring was wet and cold and ~40% of the huge USA corn crop was not planted.

  • Summer 2019 was cold, and snow came early in the Fall, and the crop was a failure across much of the Great Plains.

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That’s how the BBC sees it, based on a belief that trace amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are somehow a major problem. Fuel-burning power plants are clearly less costly and more productive than wind and solar options, but there’s a lot of pressure from climate obsessives not to build them, despite the obvious benefits.

The continent desperately needs more power but it also wants to avoid damaging the environment, says BBC News.

Africa is both the world’s least electrified continent and the most vulnerable to climate change.

And as the continent with the world’s fastest growing population, the decisions that African politicians make to boost power supplies could have an impact both locally and globally.

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Follow that termite!

Posted: February 25, 2020 by oldbrew in Batteries, Carbon cycle, Emissions, research
Tags: , ,

Termite mound in Australia [image credit: Wikipedia]


So termites could lead us to the solution to…
CO2-generating termites? The wizardry of would-be planet savers – or could it be the sharpness of opportunists? – never ceases to amaze.

Hidden metal deposits needed to transition the world to low emission technologies can be discovered using metallic blue crusts in soils and on termite mounds as signposts, according to new research from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

CSIRO’s study in the southern Pilbara region of WA used new advances in sample analysis to show how metallic blue crusts, known as manganese crusts, display unique zinc signatures that indicate the presence of other base metals in the surrounding area, reports Technology.org.

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Mars from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope


Tales of the unexpected on Mars: ‘Day-night fluctuations and things that pulse in the dark’, and other mysteries. What’s unique to Mars?

New data gleaned from the magnetic sensor aboard NASA’s InSight spacecraft is offering an unprecedented close-up of magnetic fields on Mars, says Phys.org.

“One of the big unknowns from previous satellite missions was what the magnetization looked like over small areas,” said lead author Catherine Johnson, a professor at the University of British Columbia and senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.

“By placing the first magnetic sensor at the surface, we have gained valuable new clues about the interior structure and upper atmosphere of Mars that will help us understand how it – and other planets like it – formed.”

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The less efficient the vehicle, the shorter the wait at the traffic lights, and vice versa – electric cars and newer vehicles must wait longer. So the incentive lies with inefficiency – genius!

Approximately 6 billion gallons of fuel are wasted in the US each year as vehicles wait at stop lights or sit in dense traffic with engines idling, according to US Department of Energy estimates.

The least efficient of these vehicles are the large, heavy trucks used for hauling goods—they burn much more fuel than passenger cars consume when not moving, reports Green Car Congress.

Now, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have designed a computer vision system—using the preexisting stop-light cameras of GRIDSMART, a Tennessee-based company that specializes in traffic-management services—that can visually identify vehicles at intersections, determine their gas mileage estimates, and then direct traffic lights to keep less-efficient vehicles moving to reduce their fuel consumption.

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Typical electric car set-up


Expensive energy-intensive processes are needed to make a key battery ingredient for electric vehicles. How does this make any sense at all? They talk about the factories needed ‘to meet homegrown demand’ – but where is it?

As Europe looks to declare its tech independence by becoming a leader in next-generation batteries, it will have to start by making its own graphite, says TechXplore.

The problem is, nearly all of it now comes from Asia, mainly China.

So France’s Carbone Savoie and Germany’s SGL Carbon, the only European firms deemed capable of taking up the challenge, have been corralled into an ambitious battery alliance launched by Brussels last year.

“Thank you for bringing us on board this ‘Airbus for batteries,’ though to be honest, we weren’t even on the passenger list,” Carbone Savoie’s chairman Bruno Gastinne told France’s deputy finance minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Thursday.

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


Hansard (the Official Report) is the edited verbatim report of proceedings of both the House of Commons and (in this instance) the House of Lords.

These extracts from a very recent debate highlight serious EV safety issues which seem to have been ignored to date:

Lord Snape:

My Lords, like previous speakers I thank the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh, for introducing this debate. It is apparent that smart motorways have few friends—other than perhaps in the Department for Transport.

Those of us who have used them are aware of the dangers and see from time to time the awesome consequences of all four lanes of traffic being in use at exactly the same time.

Baroness Randerson:

Finally, I raise the issue of electric vehicles. When an electric vehicle ceases to function, it stops; it does not coast in the way that other vehicles do.

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Another fiasco on the way is the EU’s plan to go ‘carbon neutral’ at vast expense, with no obvious post-Brexit source of funding.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

Melanie Phillips is one of the few who have been fighting back against global warming dogma since the early days.

Despite being marginalised by the Daily Mail, she is still continuing the fight:

image

A few commentators have begun to stumble towards the fact that the policy of becoming “carbon neutral” by 2050, as adopted by the UK and the EU, would undo modernity itself.

On Unherd, Peter Franklin observes that, if carried through, the policy will have a far greater effect than Brexit or anything else; it will transform society altogether.

“It will continue to transform the power industry, and much else besides: every mode of transport; how we build, warm and cool our homes; food, agriculture and land use; trade, industry, every part of the economy”.

Franklin is correct. Even so, he seems not to grasp the full implications of the disaster he intuits –…

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Credit: Wikipedia


This contradicts climate alarmist claims such as: Global Warming Is Messing with the Jet Stream. Whether 40 years of data is enough to establish what is ‘normal’, is another matter. The fastest jetstream on record of 231 mph has only just been set, we’re told.
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Rapid Arctic warming has not led to a “wavier” jet stream around the mid-latitudes in recent decades, pioneering new research has shown.

Scientists from the University of Exeter have studied the extent to which Arctic amplification—the faster rate of warming in the Arctic compared to places farther south—has affected the fluctuation of the jet stream’s winding course over the North Hemisphere, reports Phys.org.

Recent studies have suggested the warming Arctic region has led to a “wavier” jet stream—which can lead to extreme weather conditions striking the US and Europe.

However, the new study by Dr. Russell Blackport and Professor James Screen, shows that Arctic warming does not drive a more meandering jet stream.

Instead, they believe any link is more likely to be a result of random fluctuations in the jet stream influencing Arctic temperatures, rather than the other way around.

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Bulk carrier


Here comes the latest ‘green’ pipedream that won’t work, as the report almost admits. Another thin excuse to bang the tedious climate change propaganda drum.

Ocean-going ships could be powered by ammonia within the decade as the shipping industry takes action to curb carbon emissions, says BBC News.

The chemical – the key ingredient of fertilisers – can be burned in ships’ engines in place of polluting diesel.

The industry hopes ammonia will help it tackle climate change, because it burns without CO2 emissions.

The creation of the ammonia itself creates substantial CO2, but a report says technology can solve this problem.

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Climate obsessives need to admit that ‘jerking around with renewables’, as Bill Gates put it, is never going to work in the modern world – whether they like it or not.

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

As we all recognize, access to clean and reliable energy is fundamentally important to countless aspects of our lives, our social and economic communities, and our long-term abilities to live in healthy balance with natural ecosystems.

So, this being the case, can we expect a new so-called “clean energy revolution” — primarily referring to wind and solar — to replace the “dirty old” hydrocarbon industries?

For example, like what happened when hydrocarbon-fueled internal combustion horsepower disrupted buggy whip businesses of the early 1900s — and when flip-phone makers lost out at the dawn of Apple’s iPhone?

Don’t count on such reality-challenged notions regarding hydrocarbon obsolescence occurring anytime soon.

No current energy technology on the immediate horizon has a game-changing potential anywhere nearly analogous to the truly revolutionary invention of the transistor or internet.

Nor, for that matter, has any so-called “alternative” energy source or invention supplanted…

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Image credit: Newsyworld


Not sure where the 90 mph winds were supposed to be (the report says ‘parts of the UK’), but it has been blustery on and off for a few days. Enough for politicians to raise the spectre of ‘climate change’ once again, anyway. The video of an A380 Airbus making a hairy ‘crab’ landing at Heathrow, ending on the grass off the main runway, gives some indication of wind strength.

One reporter jokingly suggested watching the massive plane struggling to get on the ground could help climate campaigners, by putting people off flying altogether.
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Storm Dennis battered the UK with flooding, heavy rain and 90mph winds at the weekend.

A minister has said climate change means the government cannot protect every household from flooding, reports Yahoo News.

New environment minister George Eustice claimed the government had not been caught off-guard by the floods caused by Storm Dennis.

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You really couldn’t make this stuff up, except possibly in jest.

The Amazon boss and world’s richest man gives 8% of his fortune to fight the planet’s “biggest threat”, reports BBC News.

The world’s richest man said the money would finance work by scientists, activists and other groups.

He said: “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change.”

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image credit https://visitgreenland.com/

Mike Waite left the following comment over at Paul Homewood’s excellent not a lot of people know that blog yesterday:

There is an interesting paper by MacGuth et al (2013) which supports you :

From their summary:

-“We calculate the future sea-level rise contribution from the surface mass balance of all of

Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps (GICs, ca. 90 000 km2) using a simplified energy balance

model which is driven by three future climate scenarios from the regional climate models

HIRHAM5, RACMO2 and MAR. Glacier extent and surface elevation are modified during the

mass balance model runs according to a glacier retreat parameterization. Mass balance and glacier surface change are both calculated on a 250 m resolution digital elevation model yielding a high level of detail and ensuring that important feedback mechanisms are

considered. The mass loss of all GICs by 2098 is calculated to be

2016 +/- 129 Gt (HIRHAM5 forcing),

2584 +/-109 Gt (RACMO2)

and 3907+/- 108 Gt (MAR). This corresponds to a total contribution to sea-level rise of

5:8 +/- 0:4,

7:4 +/- 0:3

and 11:2 +/- 0:3 mm, respectively. “-

The future sea-level rise contribution of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps

H Machguth1,2, P Rastner1, T Bolch1,3, N M¨olg1, L Sandberg Sørensen4,

G Aðalgeirsdottir5, J H van Angelen6, M R van den Broeke6 and

X Fettweis7

Online at stacks.iop.org/ERL/8/025005

Even if subsequent calculations modified these figures they are unlikely to be an order of magnitude higher and the sea level rise to 2098 calculated here is at most 11mm (not cm or feet or metres).

Can’t someone take these activists, sit them in a quet room and just read the literature to them since they seem incapable of such study themselves.

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Well this is a disappointment.

After the fiasco in 2018 when I revealed the data-shifting technique the MET-Office were using to never be wrong about their ‘decadal’ forecast, and the late update in 2019 , the MET-O have now disappeared the ‘decadal’ forecast altogether. This after they promised to update it in January 2020.

EDIT: The forecast has been found! See comments below.

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A beefier computer is still just a computer. The report says ‘Around half of the processing work – the research devoted to climate change – could be located in countries blessed with easy sources of clean energy. Iceland with its geothermal sources and Norway with its hydropower are both possibilities’.

Ever wondered why your village was suddenly flooded by a thunderstorm the weather forecasters hadn’t mentioned? Or why they failed to warn you about the dense fog shrouding your home in the morning?

The fact is that predicting the “big picture” of future conditions has got a lot better – Storm Dennis was spotted six days before it arrived, says BBC News.

But getting local forecasts right – street by street and hour by hour – is still a massive challenge.

And that might now change as the Met Office secures the help of a supercomputer project costing £1.2bn.

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