Archive for July, 2021

brazilian-coffeeDude! What’s this cold white stuff doing here?
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Brazil has experienced rare heavy snowfall since Thursday, threatening crops and bewildering locals who don’t usually see snow, reports The Independent.

More than 40 cities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul had icy conditions and at least 33 municipalities had snow, reported the meteorology company Somar Meteorologia.

On Friday, there were warnings of cold temperatures as a polar air mass travelled toward the centre-south of the agricultural powerhouse, threatening coffee, sugarcane and orange crops with frost.

The unusually cold temperature in the country has already forced coffee prices to rise.

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homechargeEven local electricity blackouts could be on the cards for determined hackers, it seems. A far cry from rolling up at the local filling station for a few minutes.
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Security researchers have discovered failings in two home electric car chargers, reports BBC Click.

The researchers were able to make the chargers switch on or off, remove the owner’s access, and show how a hacker could get into a user’s home network.

Most of the faults have now been fixed but owners are being told to update their apps and chargers, to be safe.

It comes as proposed new legislation on cyber-security for appliances – including chargers – is published.

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earth-temp

Image credit: livescience.com

It’s not as hot as we thought, they could say. That’s been obvious for a long time, but the defensive bluster of modellers has finally dried up, it seems. Time to dump the pointless and ‘implausible’ extreme scenarios and think seriously about some of the assumptions, such as greenhouse gas theory and its supposed climate consequences, and other suggested shortcomings.
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Leading climate scientists conceded that models used to estimate how much the world will warm with rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are running too hot, reports The Australian (via The GWPF).

“It’s become clear over the last year or so that we can’t avoid this,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Science ­magazine.

The admission is seen as a significant development by scientists who argue that not enough attention has been paid to natural ­cycles in the earth’s climate.

It puts another question mark over the use of the most extreme scenarios generated by models, RCP8.5, to estimate what could be expected in a warming world.

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RR_SMR2

Rolls-Royce’s revised reactor building design.

An obvious problem here is that the latest nuclear ‘plan’ looks a long way behind the closure dates of most of the UK’s existing nuclear facilities. What happens in the meantime is anyone’s guess but a yawning gap in electricity production is on the horizon, if not nearer. The government can waffle about ‘carbon emissions’, but sensible people are likely to be more interested in their lights and appliances etc. coming on when required.
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The UK government has published a call for evidence setting out its suggested approach for building the first advanced modular reactor (AMR) demonstrator: part of its plan for a zero-carbon economy.

The plan proposes exploring high-temperature gas reactors (HTGRs) as the most promising route forward, says E&T.

The £170m AMR demonstration programme aims to explore the potential for AMRs to play a part in the UK’s energy future; it will be delivered by the early 2030s. it is part of a larger £385m package to accelerate the development of more flexible nuclear technologies.

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omegablock

Credit: The Weather Network

Of course they could have been. The question is, were they? Assigning weather events to ‘global warming’ is ambiguous without a full definition of what the assigner means by that term. Jet stream blocking events discussed below are well-known to meteorologists, and constantly claiming them as evidence of a new human-caused problem with the climate is a stretch, to say the least.
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The recent record-shattering heat wave in the Pacific northwest and devastating floods in western Europe have both been ascribed to global warming by many climate scientists, says Science Under Attack.

But an alternative explanation, voiced by some climatologists yet ignored by the mainstream media, is that the disasters were caused by the phenomenon of jet-stream blocking – which may or may not be a result of global warming, and could instead arise from a weakening of the sun’s output.

Blocking refers to the locking in place for several days or weeks of the jet stream, a narrow, high-altitude air current that flows rapidly from west to east in each hemisphere and governs much of our weather.

One of the more common blocking patterns is known as an “omega block,” a buckling of the jet stream named for its resemblance to the upper-case Greek letter omega, that produces alternating, stationary highs and lows in pressure as shown in the figure below. Under normal weather conditions, highs and lows move on quickly.

According to the blocking explanation, the torrential rains that hovered over parts of western Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands came from a low-pressure system trapped between two blocking highs to the west and east – the opposite situation to that shown in the figure.

Precipitation tends to increase in a warmer world because of enhanced evap­oration from tropical oceans, resulting in more water vapor in the atmosphere. So with a blocking low stuck over the Rhine valley and the ground already saturated from previous rainfall, it’s not surprising that swollen rivers overflowed and engulfed whole villages.

A similar argument can be invoked to explain the intense “heat dome” that parked itself over British Columbia, Washington and Oregon for five blisteringly hot days last month. In this case, it was a region of high pressure that was pinned in place by lows on either side, with the sweltering heat intensified by the effects of La Niña on North America.

Several Pacific northwest cities experienced temperatures a full 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) above previous records.

There’s little doubt that both of these calamitous events resulted from jet-stream omega blocks. Blocking can also induce cold extremes, such as the deep freeze endured by Texas earlier this year. But how can blocking be caused by the sun?

Over the 11-year solar cycle, the sun’s heat and visible light fluctuate, as does its production of invisible UV, which varies much more than the tenth of a percent change in total solar output. It’s thought that changes in solar UV irradiance cause wind shifts in the stratosphere (the layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere), which in turn induce blocking in the tropospheric jet stream via a feedback effect.

Blocking can also stem from other mechanisms. In the North Atlantic at least, a 2008 research paper found that during periods of low solar activity, blocking events in more eastward locations are longer and more intense than during higher solar activity.

Right now we’re entering a stretch of diminished solar output, signified by a falloff in the average monthly number of sunspots as depicted in the next figure.

The decline in the maximum number of sunspots over the last few cycles likely heralds the onset of a grand solar minimum, which could usher in a period of global cooling.

Full article here.

e-truck

E-truck test route in Germany [image credit: transport-online.de]

Another one from the Department of Bad Ideas? Before they rush into anything, they might want to note the assessment of a writer for Mass Transit magazine 10 years ago, on the subject of overhead (catenary) lines. Here’s the opening paragraph in full: ‘They are expensive. They are dangerous. They are unsightly.’ Much more here, but let’s quote a few other comments:
‘Overhead lines require a lot of maintenance given the direct contact of the pantographs and their constant exposure to weather’
‘Winter storms play havoc with overhead wire systems’
‘Loose wires in the summer and wire breaks in the winter as a result of lines contracting and expanding with the temperature also create maintenance headaches’
‘A catenary line is a live wire suspended in the air. Weather issues therefore become serious safety concerns.’

Did somebody mention climate change as a reason for the road experiment?
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The government will fund the design of a scheme to install overhead electric cables to power electric lorries on a motorway near Scunthorpe, as part of a series of studies on how to decarbonise road freight, reports The Guardian.

The electric road system – or e-highway – study, backed with £2m of funding, will draw up plans to install overhead cables on a 20km (12.4 miles) stretch of the M180 near Scunthorpe, in Lincolnshire.

If the designs are accepted and building work is funded the trucks could be on the road by 2024.

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energy_cleaning_3057805No surprise that cranking up the cost of essentials is a greater burden for people on low incomes than for others. But nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of overblown climate obsessions, it seems. Carbon dioxide must be demonised no matter how tenuous the evidence against its tiny 0.04% share of the atmosphere, much of which pre-dates the modern era anyway.
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Energy poverty could be exacerbated ad prices rise under the European Commission’s proposed revamped emissions trading scheme, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has warned, with other stakeholders raising similar misgivings.

Proposals under the European Commission’s Fit for 55 package include creating a new emissions trading scheme to impose a carbon price on road transport and buildings (ETS II), says Euractiv.

But stakeholders are warning that the move would hit society’s most vulnerable.

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no-power

More to come? [image credit: thecount.com]

Futile climate obsessions over 0.01% of the Earth’s atmosphere have clouded the political world so badly that thinking straight seems to have gone out of the window. Bad news for voters, left with no-one sensible to turn to.
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Boris Johnson has always tried to take a ‘cakeist’ position on Net Zero, says the Telegraph (via The GWPF).

We can drastically cut carbon emissions while boosting living standards, he claims.

But the truth is, the sacrifices being demanded of us in the name of Net Zero are incompatible with democracy, and the PM knows it.

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The title speaks for itself. Severe flooding events in towns for example have been recorded for centuries.

PA Pundits - International

By Dr. John Happs ~

People have always been drawn to the coast and rivers because of their scenic locations. In earlier times there were clear advantages from riverside and coastal living since they provided easier trade and communication with other parts of the country and overseas. Around the world, building on the fertile soils of riverside floodplains has been widespread and still continues even though we know that floodplains are plains that will always flood.

Queensland Floods 1974

Climate change received little or no mention by the media or politicians during the inundation of Queensland floodplains in 1974:

After this event, houses were rebuilt only to suffer later flooding. There were floodplain inundations in Queensland during 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019 and 2020. The more recent floods were met, not with expressions of regret for allowing building to continue in these areas, but with the anticipated cries of “global…

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Thomas_Fire

Smoke from forest fires in Southern California [image credit: NASA]

Will this be the end of climate alarmists feeding their confirmation biases over these events, resulting in the usual hysteria against atmospheric gases generated by humans? Almost certainly not, as they can still cling to the notion that the summer fires aren’t mostly due to lightning, arson or faulty power lines. Another report says: ‘Further analyses suggested that large fires were not associated with higher temperatures’.
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A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in the U.S. and one in Canada has found that the increasing number of large fires in Southern California during the autumn and winter months is mostly due to the Santa Ana winds and power line failures, rather than rising temperatures, reports Phys.org.

In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their study of fires in Southern California going back to 1948.

Large wildfires in California regularly make the news because of their magnitude and ferocity.

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Climate-1The cost of all this climate folly is likely to be a major under-estimate anyway. Hammering the economy for no good reason, and hitting people’s incomes with carbon taxes and other so-called climate regulations, won’t sell well at election time either. Obsessing about the weather has gone way too far.
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Proposals to reduce emissions to ‘net zero’ as part of Boris Johnson’s plan to make the UK a ‘world leader’ in green policies have been thrown into disarray after Rishi Sunak raised objections to the eye-watering cost to the Treasury, says the Mail on Sunday (via The GWPF).

As part of the net zero plan –which would decarbonise the economy by 2050 – No 10 had been expected to publish in the spring details of the strategy for moving away from gas boilers ahead of Glasgow’s COP26 climate change conference in November.

But this has been delayed until the autumn amid mounting alarm about the bill.

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SA_Scamp_1966

A 1966 Scottish Aviation Scamp [image credit: DeFacto @ Wikipedia]

That’s the claim of a local newspaper at least. Little did the makers know they would eventually be proclaimed as forerunners of the mythical ‘fight against climate change’. What will be in EV museums in another 50 years?
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An electric car from Dundee that can only travel 20 miles is wowing visitors at the world’s biggest climate conference, says the Dundee Evening Telegraph.

The Wee Scamp, Scotland’s first attempt at the electric car, has a starring role at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26).

On loan from the Dundee Museum of Transport, it has a top speed of just 35mph and looks a lot like Postman Pat’s van.

It has a battery distance of 20 miles and takes eight hours to charge, so just 12 of them were ever made.

Museum manager Alexander Goodger was amazed to be one of just eight of the 250 applicants worldwide to be selected to exhibit at the climate conference.

Full article here.

moapaPeople don’t want a 14 square-mile eyesore in their neighbourhood, even if it comes with a ‘saving the planet’ sales pitch. Bad for tourist business as well, in this case.
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The push to transition from carbon-emitting fuel sources to renewable energy is hitting a roadblock in Nevada, where solar power developers are abandoning plans to build what would have been the United States’ largest array of solar panels in the desert north of Las Vegas, says TechXplore.

“Battle Born Solar Project” developers this week withdrew their application with the federal Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the Moapa Valley hilltop where the panels were planned, KLAS-TV Las Vegas reported.

California-based Arevia Power told the television station that its solar panels would be set far enough back on Mormon Mesa to not be visible from the valley.

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NLCs Setting Records

Posted: July 23, 2021 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Clouds, research, solar system dynamics

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NASA’s AIM Mission Overview says: ‘The primary goal of the mission is to determine why these night-shining clouds form. They are of special interest to scientists because the increased occurrence may be related to climate change.’ But it admits they’re ‘mysterious clouds’.
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Spaceweather.com

July 21, 2021: Noctilucent cloud (NLC) season is now 8 weeks old. This animation from NASA’s AIM spacecraft shows everything that has happened since the first clouds appeared in late May:

The last frame says it all: Noctilucent clouds are still bright and abundant. In fact, at the highest latitudes they are setting records.

“We’re seeing more clouds at 80°N than in any other year since AIM was launched,” says Cora Randall of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Research. “Cloud frequencies at 80°N are around 85%, whereas it’s more typical to see frequencies of about 75%.” (‘Frequencies’ are a measure of patchiness. 100% is complete coverage; 0% is no clouds at all.)

“This morning, I watched a fantastic display, the best of the year so far ,” reports Marek Nikodem, who photographed the clouds from Szubin, Poland (53°N) on July 21st:

“It’s not the end of…

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Green Britain faces winter power crunch

Posted: July 23, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy
Tags: ,

Electricity1

[credit: green lantern electric]

Electricity suppliers are already licking their lips at the prospect of inflated prices if or when the UK struggles to meet winter demand due to ongoing power station closures. How this plays out with millions of electric cars and electric home heating in the glorious ‘clean, green’ future (?) is a mystery, but doesn’t look good.
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Britain must prepare for low energy supplies this winter as two nuclear plants shut down and workers return to the office, the business behind the power network has warned. The Times reporting (via The GWPF).

Low wind speeds and surging demand in Europe may also squeeze the amount of electricity available as the months get colder, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).

The Hunterston B and Dungeness B nuclear stations are both due to shut within months, taking away a stable energy source at a time when unpredictable wind and solar generation is an increasingly part of the country’s power mix.

There is also uncertainty over how much energy will come from remaining coal-fired power stations as they start to shut down.

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golden-eagle

Golden eagle in Scotland [image credit: argyllholidays.com]

Hardly surprising, but the destruction of the countryside will continue regardless.

H/T Windwatch UK
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Wind farms are shrinking golden eagles habitats as they are afraid of the blades, a study has found.

The birds of prey are eight times less likely to fly near turbines when they are rotating compared with when they are switched off, scientists from the ecological company Natural Research Projects have found.

It is thought the birds are avoiding areas where turbines are situated because the noise and movement makes them feel threatened.

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Amsterdam

Cooling off in Amsterdam [image credit: Amsterdamian]

Once you start believing that a change to 0.01% of the atmosphere of the Earth is a big issue, all sorts of climate hobgoblins appear on the horizon. The example here is the increasing use of air conditioners in Europe, which gets blown up out of all proportion to its importance. Enjoy the fine weather when you get it.
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“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” Noel Coward famously sang in 1931, mocking British colonials who ventured out into the scorching midday sun at the hottest time of day.

“The Dutch also still think the sun is their friend,” says researcher Lenneke Kuijer. During the August 2020 heat wave she investigated how Dutch households deal with hot weather, reports TechXplore.

“It’s time for change while it’s still possible,” she believes. “Less air conditioning, more outdoor shading and a different way of dealing with heat.”

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Accept EVs, accept anything – forever?

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

If you listen to the “woke” futurists, or even to the majority of auto companies pledging to stop manufacturing gasoline and diesel vehicles, it might be time to sell your auto stocks. Do you really think the U.S. is about to build 280 million electric vehicles to replace the 270 million internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that many states (and many countries, not to mention auto manufacturers) want to ban (from the highway not just from new sales) by 2030, 2040, or maybe 2049?

Forget if you will all the arguments about the massive amount of earth mining using slave labor those 270 million EVs will generate to acquire the cobalt, nickel, lithium, and other metals without which EVs cannot be built, much less operate. Forget the huge costs of expanding the electric grid to account for all of the electricity needed to move those vehicles…

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BBC_weather

Credit: BBC

A meandering jet stream can lead to unusual weather conditions. Blaming ‘climate change’ (pick your own definition) is so vague as to be meaningless, but may serve to divert the spotlight away from political leaders.
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The Global Warming Policy Forum has called on the UK government to learn the key lesson from the German flood disaster and adopt policies that prioritise effective and relative low cost flood protection over massively expensive and ineffective renewable energy targets.

In recent days, meteorologists and extreme weather researchers have blamed a ‘monumental failure of Germany’s flood warning system’ for the death and devastation triggered by disastrous flooding.

Experts had warned the German government four days before the first floods about the high risk of flooding in the Rhine basin, but the government failed to implement flood protection measures that are, in any case historically underfunded and thus ineffective.

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sse-hydro

Jabs no more

Climate conference or Covid jabs, folks? Hardly worth asking — it wouldn’t be the conference. But then, those concerned don’t get asked if they want to delay, or go elsewhere for, their jabs so 20,000 foreigners (all fully jabbed?) can invade Glasgow for a chin-wag about the weather.
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A decision to permanently close one of Scotland’s key mass coronavirus vaccination centres at the end of this weekend has been described as “madness”, reports inews.

The facility at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow will close at the end of Sunday in preparation for the COP26 climate change conference in November.

Between now and then it is also due to host a series of concerts featuring artists including Genesis, Haim and McFly.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said it was switching its focus away from mass vaccination centres and towards mobile facilities and drop-in centres in local communities.

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