Archive for the ‘News’ Category

First X-flare of Solar Cycle 25

Posted: July 5, 2021 by oldbrew in Cycles, Geomagnetism, News
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Is this solar cycle finally lifting off?

Spaceweather.com

July 3, 2021: Now, Solar Cycle 25 has really begun. On July 3rd, new sunspot AR2838 produced the first X-class solar flare since Sept. 2017. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash:

The July 3rd explosion registered X1.5 on the Richter Scale of Solar Flares

A pulse of X-rays ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a shortwave radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean: blackout map. Mariners, aviators, and amateur radio operators may have noticed unusual propagation effects below 30 MHz just after 1429 UT.

X-flares are the strongest kind of solar flare. They are typically responsible for the deepest radio blackouts and the most intense geomagnetic storms. This is the first X-flare of young Solar Cycle 25. More are in the offing. During the previous solar cycle (Solar Cycle 24) the sun produced 49 of them. Forecasters believe that Solar Cycle 25 should be at least…

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summer18

UK summer 2018 [image credit: BBC]

Hilarious.
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The BBC has removed an educational page laying out the “benefits” of climate change after a furious online reaction, reports The Guardian.

BBC Bitesize, its website for schoolchildren, claimed warmer temperatures “could lead to healthier outdoor lifestyles” and that a benefit of climate change could mean easier access to oil in Alaska and Siberia.

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Huge Comet Discovery

Posted: June 25, 2021 by oldbrew in Astronomy, News, solar system dynamics
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It’s really big, but its vast orbit won’t bring it past Earth.

Spaceweather.com

June 23, 2021: Astronomers have just discovered a comet so big, it might actually be a minor planet. The object is named 2014 UN271. Astronomers Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein found it in archival images from the Dark Energy Survey. It appears to be about 100 km wide, 2 or 3 times bigger than record-breaking Comet Hale-Bopp of the 1990s.

Above: A discovery image and orbit of huge Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein

Now for the bad news. Although 2014 UN271 is falling toward the sun, we may never see it with our naked eyes. At closest approach in early 2031, the behemoth comet will be just outside the orbit of Saturn, too far for naked-eye viewing. Some astronomers are estimating a maximum brightness near magnitude +17, about the same as Pluto’s moon Charon.

It’s still an amazing discovery. 2014 UN271 has an extremely elongated orbit stretching from ~the neighborhood of…

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hockeystickHere’s the BBC to tell us it wasn’t a scandal after all, as the scientists who admitted behaving badly by ignoring Freedom of Information requests, and other suspect practices, were really just innocent victims of ‘cyber terrorism’ and malevolent climate sceptics. What a surprise – not.
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The Crown’s Jason Watkins will star as a professor who found himself at the centre of a media storm, says BBC News.

Hackers stole thousands of emails and documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in Norwich in 2009.

Line of Duty actor Jason Watkins is to star in The Trick playing climate change scientist Prof Philip Jones.

Watkins said it was a “privilege to play the brilliant scientist… whose own world was so threatened”.

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Model_3

Tesla Model 3 [image credit: Vauxford @ Wikipedia]

Climate or environment? The confusion, or conflation, of the two is obvious, often deliberate, and not by any means confined to Tesla’s boss. If the company is waiting until ‘mining shifts to using more sustainable energy’, it could have a long wait.
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Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin due to climate change concerns, its CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet.

Bitcoin fell by more than 10% after the tweet, while Tesla shares also dipped, reports BBC News.

Tesla’s announcement in March that it would accept the cryptocurrency was met with an outcry from some environmentalists and investors.

The electric carmaker had in February revealed it had bought $1.5bn (£1bn) of the world’s biggest digital currency.

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XR_pinkboat

Oxford Circus climate demo [image credit: London Evening Standard]

Even ill-informed, climate-obsessed attention seekers calling themselves activists can take things too far, it seems. Having already got away with various reported actions that most people would consider to be outside the law, tolerance is wearing thin.
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LONDON (Reuters) — British climate activist Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of the Extinction Rebellion group, was arrested at home on Tuesday for conspiracy to cause criminal damage and fraud after her group attacked banks such as HSBC and Barclays, says yahoo!news.

Activists from the group smashed the window frontage of HSBC and Barclays in Canary Wharf last month and have targeted Lloyd’s of London as part of what the activists cast as a “Money Rebellion”.

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Featured Image -- 48215According to AP: ‘Additionally, the court supported the idea that severe restrictions on freedom are acceptable when related to efforts to prevent climate change.’ Severe! You have been warned. 
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Clean Energy Wire reports:

Germany’s Constitutional Court ruling that the government’s climate policies are insufficient will have a major impact on the country’s election campaign and beyond, media commentators say.

“The political impact of the ruling is likely to be enormous,” writes Jakob Schlandt in Der Tagesspiegel. “The judges leave no doubt at all that there is a robust, actionable scientific consensus on man-made climate change,” which results in an obligation for politicians to act, Schlandt writes.

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ThreeGorges

Three Gorges Dam [image credit: caixinglobal.com]

Nothing if not ambitious. Needless to say it will need a lot of concrete, which will no doubt dismay climate botherers.
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China is planning a mega dam in Tibet able to produce triple the electricity generated by the Three Gorges—the world’s largest power station—stoking fears among environmentalists and in neighbouring India, reports Phys.org.

The structure will span the Brahmaputra River before the waterway leaves the Himalayas and flows into India, straddling the world’s longest and deepest canyon at an altitude of more than 1,500 metres (4,900 feet).

The project in Tibet’s Medog County is expected to dwarf the record-breaking Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in central China, and is billed as able to produce 300 billion kilowatts of electricity each year.

It is mentioned in China’s strategic 14th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March at an annual rubber-stamp congress of the country’s top lawmakers.

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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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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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[image credit: latinoamericarenovable.com]


A Government cave-in to the climate obsessives, with the writer of the BBC report below well to the fore, looks inevitable now.
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A public inquiry has been announced into plans for the first new deep coal mine in the UK for decades, reports BBC News.

The government had previously decided not to intervene on the project near Whitehaven in Cumbria, which was in the hands of local officials.

But ministers have taken control because of “increased” controversy.

Green campaigners say the mine will increase carbon emissions and send the wrong signal in the run-up to a UK-hosted climate conference in October.

The Woodhouse Colliery would extract coking coal for the steel industry from the seabed off St Bees, with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells.

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H/T Climate Change Dispatch
An ‘abuse of power’ challenge. The AGs claim Biden’s climate policies are a costly and ‘massive expansion’ of regulations.
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A group of Republican state attorneys general alleged in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that President Joe Biden’s climate policies are a major overreach and could damage their states’ economies, reports The Daily Caller.

The 12-state coalition said Biden overstepped his constitutional authority by declaring there were “social costs” of continued greenhouse gas emissions in a Jan. 20 executive order.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Missouri, argued that assigning such costs is a “quintessentially legislative action” that falls within Congress’ authority.

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Some carbonaceous chondrites from earlier finds [image credit: NASA]


This rare type of meteorite (less than 5% of all known falls) was also collected by the Japanese Hayabusa space probe from an asteroid in 2010, but these UK samples arrived free of charge. The linked report includes an interview with the ‘wobbly legs’ researcher who collected it.
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Several rocky fragments have been recovered from the fireball that lit up the sky above southern England just over a week ago, reports BBC News.

They came down in the Winchcombe area of Gloucestershire.

A householder first alerted experts after noticing a pile of charred stone on his driveway. Other members of the public have since come forward with their own finds.

It’s 30 years since meteorite material was last retrieved in the UK.

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Image credit: bus-bild.de


An attempt to put some of the blame on a tractor protest by farmers, holding up traffic, sounds a bit weak. A solution adopted by some e-bus builders is to use fuel-powered heating systems, described here as ‘an absolute oxymoron for the electric vehicle industry’.
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By 2030, Berlin wants all local public transport buses to be electric, says the Teller Report.

Passengers and drivers are already experiencing what this can mean in a cold winter.

Apparently one type of vehicle in particular causes problems.

According to information from The “Berliner Morgenpost” newspaper, a dozen of the electric buses operated by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) are currently out of action.

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Winter in Braemar [image credit: BBC]


Must be a blast from the past, before the invention of a ‘climate emergency’.
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The Met Office says an overnight temperature of -22.9C recorded in Scotland is believed to be the lowest in more than 25 years, reports BBC News.

BBC weather presenter Simon King described the temperatures in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, as “incredible”.

The Met Office said it was provisionally the coldest night since 1995.

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Credit: CBC News


Not your run-of-the-mill winter snowfall, only six weeks after a similar event described by the BBC as ‘record-breaking’ .
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People of the northeastern U.S. shoveled themselves out Tuesday after a two-day snowstorm that shut down public transport, canceled flights and closed coronavirus vaccination sites, reports Phys.org.

Some bands of snow were still moving through parts of Maine and Pennsylvania in the morning, but the worst was over, with more than 30 inches (76 centimeters) in parts of New Jersey and just a few inches in Boston.

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Credit: Met Office


January 2010 was itself described as the UK’s coldest January since 1987. All three of these cold months occurred within a year or so of a solar minimum (end of a solar cycle). Cold weather and snow are continuing in some parts today, but not on a par with the current major US snowstorm.
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The average temperature last month was 2.2C – the coldest January since 2010, Sky News reports.

This makes it the coldest January since 2010, when the average was 0.9C.

The coldest January on record was 1963, when conditions averaged -1.9C.

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Image credit: BBC


The BBC didn’t think it would be reporting a widespread outbreak of toboganning and British-built snowmen in 2021, judging by its longstanding practice of trying to consign such pastimes to history along with Arctic sea ice.
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Severe weather warnings are in place across much of the UK after large parts of the country saw heavy snowfall, reports BBC News.

The blanket of snow drew people outside for sledging and winter walks, but motorists have been warned to take extra care on icy roads.

Several coronavirus vaccination and testing centres were closed in England and Wales due to the conditions.

Police forces have reminded the public to stick to Covid lockdown rules while enjoying the snow.

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Drax power station [credit: drax.com]


Another attempt by climate obsessives to dictate UK energy policy to the government via the courts, bites the dust. Reliability of national electricity supply is not completely dead yet.
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The UK Court of Appeals has rejected a bid from environmental campaigners to prevent Drax from building the biggest gas-fired power plant in Europe, reports NS Energy.

The proposed plant, based next to an existing facility in Selby, North Yorkshire, was given the go-ahead in October 2019.

It was a controversial decision as the UK government, in approving the project, overruled its own planning authority’s recommendation to reject it on climate grounds.

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


European leaders are too fond of their so-called climate policies to take much notice of practicalities like engineering limitations. The fragility of the power supply can only get worse under existing policies, if these warning signals are ignored.
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On 8 January 2021, the European electricity grid only just missed a large-scale collapse, says The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

Around 13:04 p.m. there was a sharp drop in frequency that could have paralysed Europe. The cause was apparently a power failure in Romania.

According to the Austrian blackout expert Herbert Saurugg, it was the second most serious major incident in the European network to date.

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