Archive for the ‘Measurement’ Category

Winter solstice sunrise at the historic site in Sicily [image credit: Giuseppe La Spina]

Winter solstice sunrise at the historic site in Sicily [image credit: Giuseppe La Spina]

A team of researchers exploring the southern coast of Sicily have found an intriguing prehistoric calendar rock, reports Ancient Origins.

After conducting some empirical observations, they discovered the rising sun of the winter solstice aligns perfectly with a large hole in a rock formation on a hill near a prehistoric necropolis.

They also discovered a fallen megalith that would have stood directly in front of the hole. Stonehenge-like comparisons abound in the media.

Synchronized orbits of the Kepler-80 system [Credit: Florida Institute of Technology]

Synchronized orbits of the Kepler-80 system [Credit: Florida Institute of Technology]

Another example of planetary resonance has been discovered thanks to NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

Located about 1,100 light years away, Kepler-80, named for the NASA telescope that discovered it, features five small planets orbiting in extreme proximity to their star.

As early as 2012, Kepler scientists found that all five planets orbit in an area about 150 times smaller than the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, with “years” of about one, three, four, seven and nine days.


It’s finally happening. Thanks to Herculean efforts by Niklas Morner, we are presenting a two-day conference in central London on the 8-9th September. Speakers are coming from all over the world to present their work, and it is not to be missed!


Take the 8-9th September off work and join us for this historic event. The first UK climate conference in decades which will counter the scaremongering of the IPCC with a cool, rational approach to the study of climate change, presenting alternative explanations, new data, theory and commentary. Topics include solar-planetary theory, causes of ENSO, sea ice extent, sea level, ozone depletion, volcanos, regional forecasting, journal gatekeeping and many more.

The list of contributors is long, we are packing a huge number of presentations into this two day event. Speakers include Niklas Morner, myself, Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller,  Nicola Scafetta, Per Strandberg, Jan-Erik Solheim, and thats before lunch on day one! Piers Corbyn will be there! So will  Christopher Monckton! See the full programme and the extended abstracts in this 35 Megabyte document for full details. There are also some travel and booking details on the website. An updated version is available on reseachgate


Ultraviolet image of Venus' clouds [credit: NASA]

Ultraviolet image of Venus’ clouds [credit: NASA]

Is it the cloud cover or the enormous atmospheric pressure at the surface that makes Venus hot? Whatever, it seems the poles are colder than Earth, and by a wide margin, as reports. Models based on a ‘greenhouse effect’ weren’t expecting this.

Thanks to a thick layer of cloud cover trapping in heat, Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, with temperatures boiling over at 850 degrees Fahrenheit (454 C). But in a study published last week in Nature Physics, the European Space Agency found something surprising at the planet’s poles: temperatures more frigid than anywhere on Earth.


Water gauge on the Danube [image credit:]

Water gauge on the Danube [image credit:]

A slight problem in England could be that parts of the south e.g. London have been slowly sinking into the clay for centuries, so readings might not tell the whole story.

When it comes to predicting climate change, most scientists use state-of-the-art supercomputers to model future trends. But researchers at the University of Sheffield are hoping to gather information that is a little closer to home. 

Scientists are hunting for ancient floodstones which record the high level of water going back hundreds of years.


There’s been a lot of loud rhetoric flying around about the update to the RSS satellite temperature series. What it actually amounts to is a consolidation of the satellite temperature measurement effort.


The two time series are now in good agreement and exhibit a warming rate of 0.13K/decade during the 1980-2015 period.


credit:  John Evans and Howard Periman, USGS

credit: John Evans and Howard Periman, USGS

In between the climate scare stories come the excuses for the non-events the scares were about. How the world becomes ‘increasingly hot’ with little or no increase in average temperatures is not addressed.

As glaciers melt due to climate change, the increasingly hot and parched Earth is absorbing some of that water inland, slowing sea level rise, NASA experts said Thursday.

Satellite measurements over the past decade show for the first time that the Earth’s continents have soaked up and stored an extra 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes and underground aquifers, the experts said in a study in the journal Science. This has temporarily slowed the rate of sea level rise by about 20 percent, it said.


Solar hard UV is weakening.

Posted: November 21, 2015 by tchannon in Measurement, Solar physics

The EUV spectrum of the Sun: Irradiances during 1998–2014
G. Del Zanna 1 and V. Andretta 2
A&A 584, A29 (2015)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201526804
(c) ESO 2015
Open access on registration

Examples from paper Fig 6

From abstract

… show that the irradiances in the hot (2–3 MK) lines are significantly
lower for the cycle 24 maximum compared to the previous one.

From Introduction

1. Introduction
The present paper is part of an on-going effort to provide the
best possible solar spectral irradiance in the extreme ultraviolet
(EUV). The solar EUV variability causes dramatic changes in
the temperature and density of the thermosphere
, and it could
also have some indirect effects on the climate. Indeed, some of
the current global circulation models also require EUV irradi-
ances to properly take the solar forcing into account.


Phi and the Great Pyramid of Khufu

Posted: November 19, 2015 by oldbrew in Maths, Measurement, Phi
Great Pyramid of Giza from a 19th-century stereopticon card photo [credit: Wikipedia]

Great Pyramid of Giza from a 19th-century stereopticon card photo [credit: Wikipedia]

Let’s have a look at some numbers for the Great Pyramid.

Source: Building the Great Pyramid (aka Cheops)
Copyright 2006 Franz Löhner and Teresa Zuberbühler

Dimensions as designed (in Egyptian royal cubits):
Length: 440
Height: 280
Slope: 356

Original dimensions as built (a,h and c in the pyramid diagram below):
Length: 230.36m (half = 115.18m)
Height: 146.59m
Slope: 186.42m


Perfect harmony? [image credit: homedit]

Perfect harmony? [image credit: homedit]

From the believe-it-or-not file, reports a possible solution to an old puzzle:

Almost 350 years ago, Dutch inventor and scientist Christiaan Huygens observed that two pendulum clocks hanging from a wall would synchronise their swing over time.

What causes the phenomenon has led to much scientific head-scratching over the centuries, but no consensus to date.

‘But now’ – as Tomorrow’s World presenters used to say…


Pacific ocean [image credit: Wikipedia]

Pacific ocean [image credit: Wikipedia]

Let’s see if this new paper in the same journal as the ‘what hiatus?’ effort gets the same level of publicity as the other one, given that ‘Nieves et al…find substantially less warming in the top 100 m of the oceans in the current decade than in the previous one.’

If there is one topic that illustrates the state of climate science it is that of the so-called “pause” or hiatus – the observational fact that global surface annual average temperatures, as well as satellite data on the lower troposphere, hasn’t changed for a decade or more.


This is an experimental work which I am sure has been done far better by professionals who will have proper access to special data and expertise. [updated with corrections]Image

Figure 1, overlay plots of pairs of almost raw datasets, in each case the Met Office areal mean temperature data for England and Wales, less annual, against gridded UAHTLT V6 beta 2, UAHTLT V5.6, RSSTLT V3.3, Hadcrut4 V4.3.0.0, the latter is unfair because it is gridded at 5 degrees instead of 2.5 degrees. In all cases the geographic area overlap is very approximate.

Click image for larger but preferably download this PDF (106KB) since as a vector plot zoom/enlargement and pan allow examination in great detail.


US Coastguard icebreaker [credit: NSIDC]

US Coastguard icebreaker [credit: NSIDC]

Once again reports of the imminent death of Arctic sea ice have been greatly exaggerated. As even the pro-alarmist BBC has conceded, ‘to understand Arctic sea ice requires measurement of both area and thickness’, and it turns out that sea ice volume is well above the lowest recorded level for the time of year.

BBC: Although Arctic sea ice set a record this year for its lowest ever winter extent – that was not the case for its volume, new data reveals.

Europe’s Cryosat spacecraft routinely monitors the thickness of floes in the far north.

The thinnest winter ice it has ever seen was in 2013. This February, in contrast, the Arctic floes were about 25cm (17%) thicker on average.


As I promised here is the result from the thermal radiation instruments where as expected little was seen through light cloud.


Figure 1. CNR1 radiometer. (two pairs, looking up/down, short/long wavelength)

There is a minor effect during the eclipse. I live close by where the sun could be made out through light cloud. Around 12 hrs the cloud cleared abruptly. Video taken at Chilbolton shows similarly sudden sunshine.

Two factors in figure 1 need comment.


Weather station [image credit: Peter West/National Science Foundation]

Weather station [image credit: Peter West/National Science Foundation]

Long-time critic of climate alarmism Christopher Booker has no doubt what the answer should be in his latest piece at the Telegraph:

When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.

Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.


Recntly, NASA released data from the OCO satellite borne instument measuring CO2 emissions across the globe. The December data with a map of the Earth’s rainforests in the image below clearly shows where most CO2 is being emitted.


But looking at NASA’s ‘Earth Now’ page for CO2, you wouldn’t recognise the true situation.

Celestial light and earthshine

Posted: January 17, 2015 by tchannon in Astronomy, climate, Clouds, Measurement, moon, Uncertainty

This paper is about adding a further layer of correction to earthshine measurements and therefore albedo determination by terrestrial based observations.

Influence of celestial light on lunar surface brightness determinations: Application to earthshine studies
P. Thejll, H. Gleisner, C. Flynn
A&A 573 A131 (2015)
(open access with registration)


Aims. We consider the influence of celestial-sphere brightness on determinations of terrestrial albedo from earthshine intensity
measurements. In particular, the contributions from zodiacal light and starlight are considered.

Results. We find that celestial-sphere surface brightness can be so large that a considerable and unacceptable error level would have
an impact on half of typical earthshine-based albedo-determinations if left unaccounted for. Considering the empirical uncertainty on
ZL, we show that almost all our earthshine data can be used if a sky correction is made. In real observations we find up to a 1% effect
on albedo results of correcting for the celestial brightness.


Earth's Axial Tilt, or Obliquity [Credit: Wikipedia]

Earth’s Axial Tilt, or Obliquity [Credit: Wikipedia]

This Atlantipedia report (reproduced below) from 2010 concerns research by English-born George Dodwell, who held the post of Government Astronomer for South Australia for 43 years (1909 – 1952) until his retirement. He came across a study by a Professor Drayson who cited ancient astronomical observations and put forward a revision to standard Earth precession theory which Dodwell found ‘untenable’, but he became interested in the data.

Dodwell: ‘it seemed to me worthwhile to trace out more clearly just how much, and why, the ancient and mediaeval observations of the obliquity of the ecliptic, on which Professor Drayson based his conclusions, differed from Newcomb’s internationally accepted formula for the secular, or age-long, variation of the obliquity. These observations went back to values given by Strabo, Proclus, Ptolemy, and Pappus in the early centuries of the Christian era. They indicated a consistent and increasing divergence in past ages from the values calculated by means of Newcomb’s formula.’ [bold added]


I am both pleased and perplexed by a result which raises more questions.

There are 4 traces on this plot.Image

This is the Chilbolton data shown a few days ago but now I have worked out more of the insolation computation. If you look at the type CNR4 pyranometer specification this is within accuracy. Water vapour value from a specialist instrument is shown as a guide to humidity change, not used in the computation.


A new facility here for creating clear air insolation data, without the more involved absorption effects or cloud, etc. needed some testing and so…


This plot appeared during July 2012[1] after Dr. Hans Jelbring made available hourly data from the Koorin Expedition to Daly Waters, Australia during the astral winter of 1974[2]. A new plot trace has been added, computed by a new dynamic language[3] library, a wrapper around an unaltered version of NREL SOLPOS[4]. This produces an output value for one point in time, the plots here were created by a program feeding in different parameters, producing a time series, all very simple.

This result is similar to a result with data from Chilbolton Observatory, England from a Kip & Zonnen CNR4 net pyranometer / pyrgeometer[5]. Around 22% of inward solar radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere in excess of that computed by SOLPOS.