Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Arctic Ice Already Exceeds Six Wadhams

Posted: October 14, 2021 by oldbrew in Natural Variation, News, sea ice
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Attention COP26 attendees! Please refrain from flogging the dead horse of terminal Arctic sea ice decline.

Science Matters

The images above come from MASIE showing ice extents starting day 266, the lowest daily extent in 2021. Over the last 18 days, Arctic ice has grown by 1 Wadham (1M km2) to now exceed 6 Wadhams, about 276k km2 greater than the 14-year average for day 284. At the bottom center Barents Sea ice reaches out to Iceland.  Svalbard bottom right becomes encircled by ice.  East Siberian Sea top right has ice connecting to the shore. Top center Beaufort and Chukchi seas are also adding ice rapidly.

The ice recovery since September minimum is shown in the graph below.

Day 260 was the 14 year average annual daily minimum at 4.39m km2. MASIE 2021 was 776k km2 above average, and SII was 427k km2 lower than MASIE.  Note that 2007, 2019 and 2020 weere much lower than average throughout the period. SII is again tracking MASIE since day 274.

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Drax power station, generating 7% of Britain’s needs, is partly converted to burning imported woodchips.

Biomass has been rumbled in the City. Unlucky! But what took them so long to see through the climate hype?
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The City of London feeds off rumours and yesterday Drax was the name on the tip of every trader’s tongue, says the Daily Mail (via Thisismoney).

The energy company saw its shares tumble 5.3 per cent, or 27p, to 483p amid talk in the market that one of the world’s most powerful money managers had blacklisted the stock.

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North Sea oil platform [image credit: matchtech.com]

Shouting ‘climate’ in court doesn’t guarantee legal victories. Appeal to the Supreme Court pending.
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Environmental group Greenpeace has lost its case against the UK government over a North Sea oil field permit, reports BBC News.

Permission to drill the Vorlich site off Aberdeen was given to BP in 2018.

Greenpeace argued in Scotland’s highest civil court there had been “a myriad of failures in the public consultation” and the permit did not consider the climate impacts of burning fossil fuel.

The Court of Session ruling means operations will continue at the field. Greenpeace plans to appeal.

The UK government welcomed the outcome.

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Norwegian hydro-electric site

The suspicion has to be that Britain’s ‘excess’ wind power, if any, would sell for a low price as Norway doesn’t need it, whereas a shortage of power in Britain would allow Norway to sell for a high price, assuming availability at request time. Water can be stored but wind can’t. Some reports are calling this ‘cheap hydro’, but at £1.4 billion just for the cable system such claims appear unconvincing.
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Norwegian reservoirs will begin powering homes in Great Britain today as the world’s longest subsea power cable was switched on, in a boost to renewables and tight energy supplies this winter, says New Scientist.

The 724-kilometre North Sea Link is the sixth of a growing network of electricity interconnectors between Great Britain and its European neighbours, to trade energy and adapt to grids increasingly reliant on the variable output of wind, solar and hydro.

First tested in June, the copper cable along the seabed of the North Sea will operate at half its potential for three months before reaching its 1400 megawatt capacity, enough to power 1.4 million homes.

Power is expected to initially mostly flow from Norway, which generates almost all its electricity from hydro, to Great Britain, where electricity prices are higher.

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reykjanes1A local expert comments: “There seems to be still enough magma from whatever reservoir the eruption is tapping. So it could go on for a long time.”
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It will be six months on Sunday that the volcanic eruption currently mesmerising spectators near Reykjavik first began, making it the longest Iceland has witnessed in more than 50 years, says Phys.org.

The first lava began spewing out of a fissure close to Mount Fagradalsfjall on the evening of March 19 on the Reykjanes peninsula to the southwest of Reykjavik.

And the ensuing spectacle—ranging from just a slow trickle of lava at times to more dramatic geyser-like spurts of rocks and stones at others—has become a major tourist attraction, drawing 300,000 visitors so far, according to the Iceland Tourist Board.

Iceland’s sixth volcanic eruption in 20 years is already longer than the preceding one in Holuhraun, in the centre-east of the island, which lasted from the end of August 2014 until the end of February 2015.

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Electricity1

[credit: green lantern electric]

The ‘incident’ as they call it is likely to put the affected power link to France out of action for about four weeks [update: up to 6 months]. Is paying in excess of £450 per megawatt-hour of electricity sustainable? This is what can happen when fuel-burning power stations are closed and not replaced, as per political climate obsessions.

A fire halted a power link between France and Britain on Wednesday, squeezing tight UK electricity supply further and sending prices to near record highs, reports Reuters.

Day-ahead British power prices jumped almost 19% on the news, nearing record highs hit this week exacerbated by low wind supply and soaring gas prices. read more

National Grid said the fire prompted the evacuation of its IFA1 interconnector site in Sellindge in Kent.

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Chevy_Bolt21

Chevy Bolt [image credit: GM Authority]

No hope of ever breaking even on that model now, if there was any to start with. Another edition of the recurring lithium-ion safety issue in the world of EVs: battery ’emissions’. 
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DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide to fix a battery problem that could cause fires.

The recall raises questions about lithium ion batteries, which now are used in nearly all electric vehicles.

President Joe Biden wants to convert 50% of the U.S. vehicle fleet from internal combustion to electricity by 2050 as part of a broader effort to fight climate change.

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English money going down the drain

Money down the drain [image credit: thisismoney.co.uk]

Show us your numbers! You have 35 days to do so, no more ducking and weaving allowed. ‘It is likely MPs were misled’ — strong stuff. Results due before the COP26 climate gab-fest.
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The Information Tribunal has ordered the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to publish the calculations behind its claim that the UK economy can be decarbonised at modest cost, reports The GWPF.

The CCC’s figures were presented to Parliament ahead of the Net Zero emissions target nodded through in June 2019 to enshrine it in law.

The case was brought by Andrew Montford, the deputy director of the Global Warming Policy Forum.

The ruling, which dismisses almost all of the CCC’s arguments, comes after a two-year battle to obtain the cost calculations.

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megafire

Big battery fire [image credit: reneweconomy.com.au

Three days plus! They hadn’t even started using it. It all sounds so simple on the Tesla megapack website. ‘No assembly is required, all you need to do is connect Megapack’s AC output to your site wiring.’
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A large blaze at Victoria’s “big battery” project has been brought under control by firefighters after burning for more than three days, allowing investigators to begin examining the site, reports The Guardian.

A Tesla battery bank caught fire while it was being set up in Moorabool on Friday morning, and then spread to a second battery.

The fire burned throughout the weekend and into a fourth day, before it was declared under control just after 3pm on Monday.

Fire crews will remain at the site for the next 24 hours “as a precaution in case of re-ignition” and will take temperature readings every two hours, the Country Fire Authority said.

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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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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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