Archive for March, 2021

e-wende

‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit: evwind.es]

H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum & Die Welt.

While the auditors are piling on the criticism, the politicians are toying with the idea of producing hydrogen from solar energy in Morocco. That would surely be good for another upward twist to the already spiralling costs of the ‘green dream’.
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The Federal Audit Office has accused the Federal Ministry of Economics of insufficiently monitoring the energy transition and of poorly managing it.

The auditors have now renewed this criticism of energy policy expressed three years ago in a further special report – and added an explosive analysis of security of supply.

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Q_bridge

Scotland’s new Queensferry Crossing road bridge [image credit: BBC]

‘Saving the world’ just isn’t value for money to most Scots it seems, as they look at their ever-rising energy bills. And buying any brand new car is an expensive option anyway. Much-touted ‘green’ ideology and the shrill propaganda of climate alarmists don’t work so well in the real world, where economics matter more than ’emissions’. 
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Cost and confusion are the two main reasons people are not changing to greener options, the BBC finds.

I drive a diesel car, eat meat and just a few months ago had a gas boiler installed in my house, that’s quite an admission for an environment correspondent who reports on climate change, says BBC Scotland’s Kevin Keane.

The problem is that greener options are financially out of reach for me and – it seems – most Scots. That is something I have been investigating for BBC Scotland’s Disclosure. (more…)

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Does Sky think it has a ready-made successor to its daily Covid news bombardment? Welcome to the world of dodgy climate data, viewers.
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Starting this week, Sky News will get deadly serious in its coverage of climate change by highlighting every night the time we have left until the planet overheats, says I-news.

The figure is already less than 12 years, and the on-screen ticker will be counting down, second by second, as we head towards the ominous limit of 1.5°C hotter than when the Earth’s temperature was first comprehensively measured in 1880.

That ceiling was set in Paris at COP21, the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, and Sky News has made its bold statement as we approach COP26 in Glasgow in November.

The ticking clock, built by Concordia University in Canada, will feature on a giant dashboard that will be a permanent studio fixture on The Daily Climate Show, which begins on 7 April as the UK’s first prime-time news show dedicated to the environment crisis.

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carboncreditcertificate

This news has set the cat among the pigeons in climate obsession circles.

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Green campaigners and clean energy experts have expressed shock at the appointment of broadcaster, former politician, and long-time critic of climate action Nigel Farage to the advisory board of a European green finance firm focused on the fast-expanding carbon offset market, says Business Green.

Dutch Green Business Group, a firm focused on financing nature-based carbon offsets, announced on Sunday it had appointed Farage to its new advisory board, arguing he had “unique abilities to communicate relevant ideas to a global audience”.

Former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, Green Alliance executive director Shaun Spiers, conservation campaigner Miles King, and BloombergNEF founder Michael Liebreich were among those to express incredulity at the news in light of Farage’s long record of climate scepticism.

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Just One Number Keeps the Lights On

Posted: March 28, 2021 by oldbrew in Critique, Energy
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There’s going to be a lot more ‘demand management’ aka use of price variation, deals with industrial users, and other tools to lower peak demand when it threatens to get too high for a renewables-oriented system to handle. Whether that will always work is anyone’s guess, but seems unlikely due to cost if nothing else.

Science Matters

windmill20scam

David Wojick explains how maintaining electricity supply is simple in his CFACT article It takes big energy to back up wind and solar.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds. (H/T John Ray)

Power system design can be extremely complex but there is one simple number that is painfully obvious. At least it is painful to the advocates of wind and solar power, which may be why we never hear about it. It is a big, bad number.

To my knowledge this big number has no name, but it should. Let’s call it the “minimum backup requirement” for wind and solar, or MBR. The minimum backup requirement is how much generating capacity a system must have to reliably produce power when wind and solar don’t.

For most places the magnitude of MBR is very simple. It is all of the juice needed on the hottest or coldest low wind…

View original post 746 more words

Anvil_Cloud

Anvil of a thundercloud over Columbia [image credit: Eulenjäger @ Wikipedia]

But that’s not the whole story. It seems from long-term data ‘that these super-cold thunderstorms may be increasing in frequency. There have been as many such events across the globe in the past three years as there were in the 13 years before that.’ Could this be in some way related to the big decline in sunspot activity over the last two solar cycles?
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We’ve all seen those majestic anvil storm clouds that form on a hot summer’s day, but what do you think is the temperature right at the very top? – asks BBC News.

It’s very cold, obviously; at high altitude it is well below freezing.

But would you be surprised to learn it is sometimes below even -100C?

Indeed, scientists have just published research showing the top of one tropical storm cloud system in 2018 reached -111C. This is very likely a record low temperature.

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weather18

Speculative climate ‘lawfare’, a form of extortion via the courts, has overreached itself again and been declared out of scope. Any idea of weather control is an illusion.
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BRUSSELS — The European Union’s top court on Thursday rejected an effort by a Scandinavian youth group and families around the world to force the EU to set more ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, arguing that they were not “individually” affected by Europe’s climate policy, reports The Global Warming Policy Forum.

Those behind the initiative — including a Portuguese farmer, an Arctic indigenous activist and German islanders — expressed disappointment at the ruling, but also were determined to keep fighting for faster action against climate change.

Families from Kenya, Fiji, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal and Romania, along with the Swedish Sami Youth organization, launched the legal action in 2018.

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Struc_batt

Schematic of a laminated structural battery cell containing carbon fiber electrodes and a structural battery electrolyte [image credit: Quay2021 @ Wikipedia]

Another day, another battery ‘breakthrough’, you may be thinking. The idea being to make the battery part of the device itself, rather than being inserted into it. Tesla has already designed its own version of the idea.
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Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions, says TechXplore.

It contains carbon fiber that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material.

Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ‘massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.

The batteries in today’s electric cars constitute a large part of the vehicles’ weight, without fulfilling any load-bearing function.

A structural battery, on the other hand, is one that works as both a power source and as part of the structure—for example, in a car body.

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Credit: airbus.com

Another attention-seeking billionaire with too much time on his hands, dreaming up Hollywood-style schemes? A planned small-scale test is in the offing.
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The Microsoft co-founder, who has donated about $50 billion to various charitable causes, considers climate change one of the most acute problems humanity is facing and has spearheaded several initiatives on research and development of clean energy, says Sputnik News.

A Bill Gates-backed project aims to stop climate change by dropping tonnes of chalk dust into the stratosphere, The Times reported.

According to the newspaper, the initiative funded by several private donors, including the Microsoft co-founder, will be the first serious attempt to deal with the issue of climate change by dimming the Sun.

Essentially, scientists will attempt drop chalk dust in the atmosphere hoping it will create sunshade that will reflect some of the Sun’s rays and heat back into space and dim those that get through, thus preventing our planet from getting warmer.

This summer scientists plan to launch a large balloon carrying 2 kg of chalk above the Swedish town Kiruna and then drop the chalk. Researchers will then monitor how it interacts with the atmosphere.

This information will be used to run simulation tests to see whether increasing the amount of chalk dust will help deal with the issue of climate change.

The scientists behind the project were inspired by the 1991 volcano eruption in the Philippines. Back then, Mount Pinatubo released an enormous ash cloud containing millions of particles of sulphur dioxide, which then formed into droplets of sulphuric acid that floated in the air for more than a year and acted as sunshade.

Scientists say that global temperatures went down 0.5 Celsius as a result of this.

Excuse for Politicians and Potential Impact on Weather System

Despite its popularity, the project has raised concerns among the scientific community.

Full article here.

Credit: concernusa.org


Well, knock me down with a feather. Real world data can expose flaws in ‘greenhouse gas’ infected climate models, which are unable to model El Niño and La Niña events, and mostly predict much more warming than actually occurs.
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New research shows that naturally occurring climate variations help to explain a long-standing difference between climate models and satellite observations of global warming, says Phys.org.

Satellite measurements of global-scale changes in atmospheric temperature began in late 1978 and continue to the present.

Relative to most model simulations, satellite data has consistently shown less warming of Earth’s lower atmosphere.

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Einstein’s Eclipse

Posted: March 23, 2021 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, Gravity, solar system dynamics
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Some real science to remember.

Spaceweather.com

March 22, 2021: On May 29, 1919, the Moon slid in front of the sun and forever altered our understanding of spacetime. It’s known as “Einstein’s Eclipse.” Using his newly-developed theory of relativity, the young German physicist predicted that the sun’s gravity should bend starlight–an effect which could only be seen during a total eclipse. More than 100 years later, Petr Horálek (ESO Photo Ambassador) and Miloslav Druckmüller (Brno University of Technology) have just released a stunning restoration of the photo that proved Einstein right:

The original picture was taken in May 1919 by astronomers Andrew Crommelin and Charles Rundle Davidson, who traveled from the Greenwich Observatory in London to the path of totality in Sobral, Brazil. They were part of a global expedition organized by Sir Arthur Eddington, who wanted to test Einstein’s strange ideas. Glass photographic plates from the expedition were typical of early 20th century astrophotography, colorless…

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Hydrogen pipelines [image credit: US Department of Energy @ Wikipedia]


This is one of several questions to be investigated by a Norwegian research team. The ultimate one may be: what happens to hydrogen’s hoped-for role in the big push for so-called green energy, if the findings are unfavourable to current climate theory?
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Hydrogen is an attractive [Talkshop comment: perhaps, but expensive] alternative to fossil fuels, especially for powering trucks, ships and planes, where using batteries isn’t so easy, says TechXplore.

Hydrogen is an attractive alternative to fossil fuels, especially for powering trucks, ships and planes, where using batteries isn’t so easy.

Batteries quickly become too large and heavy if these large transport vessels and vehicles are going to travel far.

As a result, hydrogen is being discussed like never before. Both Norway and the EU have said they will invest more in hydrogen in the years ahead.

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[image credit: latinoamericarenovable.com]


How things that need constant subsidies could generate wealth is known only to frequent visitors to Cloud Cuckoo Land. Has this former ‘green energy’ lobbyist never heard of Ponzi schemes? Suffice to say they tend to end badly for the ‘investors’, at least the ones who stay in too long.
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The Liberal Democrats want the government to use profits from green infrastructure projects to create a new fund for climate action and green jobs, reports BBC News.

Leader Sir Ed Davey put forward his “sovereign green wealth fund” proposal at his party’s spring conference.

He said the government raised £9bn last month from auctions to build wind farms on the coasts of England and Wales.

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Image credit: livescience.com

The problem is, the ‘wrong’ side is warmer than the other one. Enter Rodinia.
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We’ve known for a long time that Earth’s fiery interior is destined to burn out in the distant future, although new research indicates that this process may be occurring faster on one side of the planet than the other, says IFL Science..

By analyzing the movement of continents and oceanic plates over the past 400 million years, researchers have determined that parts of the planet have remained more insulated than others, leading to an asymmetrical pattern of heat loss.

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A model for California? [image credit: Hitesh vip @ Wikipedia]


Worth asking what is meant by ‘could be economically feasible’ in this context. Running power stations 24/7 looks a lot simpler than having thousands of miles of solar panels to install and maintain, which sit idle without sunlight.
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UC Santa Cruz researchers published a new study—in collaboration with UC Water and the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced—that suggests covering California’s 6,350 km network of public water delivery canals with solar panels could be an economically feasible means of advancing both renewable energy and water conservation.

The concept of “solar canals” has been gaining momentum around the world as climate change increases the risk of drought in many regions, claims TechXplore.

Solar panels can shade canals to help prevent water loss through evaporation, and some types of solar panels also work better over canals, because the cooler environment keeps them from overheating.

Pilot projects in India have demonstrated the technical feasibility of several designs, but none have yet been deployed at scale.

California’s canal network is the world’s largest water conveyance system, and the state faces both a drought-prone future [Talkshop comment: evidence-free assertion] and a rapid timeline for transitioning to renewable energy.

Solar canals could target both challenges, but making the case for their implementation in California requires first quantifying the potential benefits. So that’s exactly what researchers set out to do in their paper published by Nature Sustainability.

“While it makes sense to cover canals with solar panels because renewable energy and water conservation is a win-win, the devil is in the details,” said Brandi McKuin, lead author of the new study and a UC Santa Cruz postdoctoral researcher in environmental studies. “A critical question was whether the infrastructure to span the canals would be cost-prohibitive.”

Canal-spanning solar panels are often supported either by steel trusses or suspension cables, both of which are more expensive to build than traditional support structures for ground-mounted solar panels.

But McKuin led a techno-economic analysis that showed how the benefits of solar canals combine to outweigh the added costs for cable-supported installations. In fact, cable-supported solar canals showed a 20-50 percent higher net present value, indicating greater financial return on investment.

In addition to benefits like increased solar panel performance and evaporation savings, shade from solar panels could help control the growth of aquatic weeds, which are a costly canal maintenance issue. Placing solar panels over existing canal sites could also avoid costs associated with land use.

Now that the new paper has provided a more concrete assessment of these benefits, members of the research team hope this could lead to future field experiments with solar canals in California.

Full article here.

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We eagerly await the BBC documentary based on the book, hosted by Saint David of Attenborough. Or maybe not.

PA Pundits - International

By Dr. Jay Lehr~

There have been dozens of good books written in the past decade telling the true stories countering the incessant lies of alarmists blaming impending environmental disasters on carbon dioxide emissions.

None have been better than the newest contribution by Patrick Moore and certainly none as up to date as this just published contribution to real science. We all know by now that Patrick co-founded Greenpeace. It was in an effort to stop underground hydrogen bomb testing and later to save whales and Harp seals. He was still studying for his degree in Ecology at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Fifteen years later when Greenpeace became a money machine in the war to scare the public with one environmental lie after another, he resigned and became their public enemy number one. The tipping point was the organization’s initiation of a campaign to ban chlorine, the…

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Credit: Vortex Bladeless


The makers say: ‘Vortex Bladeless is a vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator. It harnesses wind energy from a phenomenon of vorticity called Vortex Shedding. Basically, bladeless technology consists of a cylinder fixed vertically with an elastic rod. The cylinder oscillates on a wind range, which then generates electricity through an alternator system.’
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New tech developments are happening in the wind power sector, says ZME Science.

Wind power is mostly associated with sweeping white blades, taking advantage of the strong gusts that blow over the land or the sea.

But what if we could forget about the blades and even the wind and instead just have a turbine?

That’s the idea of a group of European companies, who have come up with new ways to expand wind energy without the limitations of a conventional turbine.

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Cue football stadium quips. We seem to be living in an age of IPCC-generated mass delusion, whipped up by the media, as far as the climate is concerned.
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SOME 60,000 Belgians are suing the government for inaction in the fight against global warming in a case that opened today in a civil court in Brussels, reports thejournal.ie.

Launched in 2015 by the association Klimatzaak (the climate case, in Dutch), the procedure follows a similar one in the Netherlands that led to a ruling against the Dutch government.

The cases attack governments for not respecting the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

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Jakobshavn glacier, West Greenland [image credit: Wikipedia]


This article asserts that climate changes, namely warm periods that it tells us have happened many times before in recent history, can now be attributed to humans if they happen again.
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In 1966, US Army scientists drilled down through nearly a mile of ice in northwestern Greenland—and pulled up a fifteen-foot-long tube of dirt from the bottom, says the University of Vermont.

Then this frozen sediment was lost in a freezer for decades. It was accidentally rediscovered in 2017.

In 2019, University of Vermont scientist Andrew Christ looked at it through his microscope—and couldn’t believe what he was seeing: twigs and leaves instead of just sand and rock.

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Credit: BBC


No correlation between these temperatures and the 0.04% (and rising) of the atmosphere that belongs to carbon dioxide. The low sunspot activity of the last 2-3 years may be starting to have an effect. Reports of ’19th warmest’ month somewhere look a tad desperate, amid all the feverish talk from alarmists of a supposed climate emergency. No doubt a warm spell will give them another doom-mongering opportunity at some point.
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February 2021 was the planet’s coolest February in seven years due to La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean and unusually brisk temperatures that enveloped much of North America and northern Asia, reports Phys.org.

But vast temperature contrasts during February—and during the three-month season—were at play in other parts of the world.

In fact, the Northern Hemisphere as a whole experienced its 8th-warmest winter (December through February) in 142 years, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information.

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