Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Winter deaths in Scotland at highest level in 18 years

Posted: October 16, 2018 by oldbrew in News, weather

Scottish winter forecast [credit: BBC]


Whatever the causes may be, an excess of mild weather and/or low heating bills can safely be ruled out.

The number of people who died in Scotland last winter hit a 18-year high, new statistics have revealed.

There were 23,137 deaths between December 2017 and March 2018, according to the National Records of Scotland – the highest figure since 1999/2000, reports BBC News.

It also revealed that the seasonal increase in mortality – the number of “additional” deaths in winter – was significantly higher than in 2016/17.

The main underlying causes of the deaths were influenza and pneumonia.

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Credit: mygridgb.co.uk


Opponents seem to imagine there’s a magic button to press for extra energy when it’s dark and not windy, rather than use the reliable power of fuel-burning. But in the real world the UK already uses vast amounts of gas for heating, cooking, electricity generation, industrial processes and more.

Exploratory shale gas drilling will begin today in the UK for the first time in seven years, reports PEI.

However, already this morning protesters have tried to prevent shale gas firm Cuadrilla from recommencing ‘fracking’ at a site in Lancashire, England.

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Ocean currents
[image credit: SPL/BBC]


The latest NOAA synopsis says: ‘Overall, the oceanic and atmospheric conditions reflected ENSO-neutral, but with recent trends indicative of a developing El Niño.’ Sounds like a ‘definite maybe’ there, with models now forecasting a relatively weak El Niño.

Warming waters in the equatorial Pacific give increasing confidence that El Niño will be here soon, says Discover magazine.

It’s still not here yet, but El Niño sure looks like it’s coming.

In its latest forecast, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there is a 70 to 75 percent chance that El Niño will form “in the next couple of months and continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2018-19.”

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Fracking campaigner FAILS in High Court battle

Posted: October 12, 2018 by oldbrew in alarmism, Energy, Legal, News
Tags: ,

shale_gas_extraction2
Another waste of time and money for all concerned. Time for the real work to begin.

An environmental campaigner has failed in his High Court action to temporarily block energy firm Cuadrilla from fracking in Lancashire, reports TLE.

Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan had described the challenge as “a last gasp attempt at trying to frustrate the process.”

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An obvious problem with hydrogen is the likely high cost of production. Another one is the vast amounts of renewables needed to make the plan work, or if coal or gas is used, the high cost and doubtful viability of large-scale carbon capture.

Meantime, Environment Minister Melissa Price has rejected the findings of a major climate report, despite not having read it, says the Sydney Morning Herald.

The federal government’s top scientist Alan Finkel says Australia could slash global carbon emissions and create a multi-billion dollar export industry by developing hydrogen as an everyday energy source to replace fossil fuels used in vehicles, homes and industry.

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Clearly the main reason for not putting a news item on the front page is that it won’t help to sell the newspaper. UK weather variability is standard.

Today’s frontpages of most UK newspapers ignore the new IPCC report, reflecting the declining concern of most Brits about the climate agenda – despite the habitual alarm, says The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).  

UK Survey: Brits Are Chilled About Global Warming

Press Release, Global Warming Policy Forum, 11 July 2018

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Another climate meeting, another heavyweight clash of opinions as committing national economic self-harm struggles to catch on. Ho-hum.

International talks on how to present the science around 1.5C of global warming just ran into overtime in Incheon, South Korea, reports Climate Weekly.

National delegates are expected to argue well into Saturday about the feasibility of holding temperature rise to 1.5C – the stretch goal of the Paris Agreement – and its implications for sustainable development.

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Credit: NASA


Meet ‘The Goblin’. This body’s maximum distance from the Sun is a massive 2300 times further out than Earth’s.

A newly spotted dwarf planet, 2015 TG387, adds to the mounting evidence that an unseen super-Earth prowls the edge of the solar system, reports Cnet.

Astronomers have found a small object far beyond Pluto that orbits the sun in a lonely, oblong loop, a discovery that supports the notion of a larger, more distant planet — often referred to as Planet X — wandering the edge of our solar system.

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Forecaster highlights the jetstream over the UK [image credit: BBC]


‘Record-breaking’ turns out to mean ‘as warm as three other UK summers’, but now things have calmed down. Probably just a temporary return to sanity until the next weather event, however unexceptional for the UK, gets the usual suspects agitated again.

The UK’s record-breaking hot summer was followed by a return to more typical weather in September, the Met Office has said.

Provisional figures show last month’s mean temperature across the country was 12.4C – safely below the all-time record for September of 15.2C, set in 2006, says BT News.

The average maximum temperature last month is estimated to have been 16.3C.
This was also well below the 2006 record of 19.2C.

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Image credit: BBC


One Saudi energy official commented: “Everyone is just hoping this whole idea would just die”. Looks like it has run into the sand.
H/T DW.com.

Citing Saudi government officials, the US business daily Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Monday that Saudi plans to build the world’s biggest solar power generation facility had been shelved, as the desert kingdom was working on a “broader, more practical strategy to boost renewable energy.”

The solar project was expected to generate about 200 gigawatts of energy by 2030 — more than three times the country’s daily needs.

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Three jailed over Cuadrilla fracking protest 

Posted: September 27, 2018 by oldbrew in fracking, Legal, News
Tags: ,


A reminder that exceeding the permitted limits of protesting can have negative consequences for the protesters themselves as well.

Three protesters have been jailed for a causing a public nuisance after they climbed on to lorries outside a fracking site, reports Energy Voice.

The disruption at energy firm Cuadrilla’s base in Preston New Road in Little Plumpton, Lancashire, in July 2017 lasted just short of 100 hours as the campaigners refused to come down.

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Cuadrilla to start fracking in England in weeks 

Posted: September 22, 2018 by oldbrew in fracking, News, Politics
Tags: ,

UK fracking regulation – a very slow process


It’s been a long time with many obstacles to overcome, but UK fracking seems finally to be close to the start line.

H/T The GWPF

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Shale gas developer Cuadrilla will start fracking at its Preston New Road site in northwest England in the next few weeks, it said on Wednesday as it announced government approval for a second well.

Hydraulically fracturing, or fracking, involves extracting gas from rocks by breaking them up with water and chemicals at high pressure and was halted in Britain seven years ago after causing earth tremors.

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Another case of ‘do as we say, not as we do’ as UN globe-trotting by fuel-powered machines takes precedence over its claims that there’s a serious problem with man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Not so serious that they can’t ignore it whenever it suits them to do so, which seems to be most of the time judging by this report.

The head of the UN body that leads on sustainability and green issues has been criticised for extensive and expensive air travel, reports BBC News.

A draft internal audit, obtained by the Guardian and seen by the BBC, says that Erik Solheim’s actions risked the reputation of UN Environment.

The report says he incurred costs of $488,518 (£373,557) while travelling for 529 out of 668 days.

There was “no oversight or accountability” to monitor this travel.

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German car giants face EU emissions probe

Posted: September 18, 2018 by oldbrew in Emissions, Legal, News, Travel
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Note this is not about the original issue of diesel ‘defeat’ devices. Another report at AFP says ‘Daimler and VW are widely reported to be putting themselves forward as whistle-blowers in the case, in order to win leniency with the EU authorities.’ Sounds like a guilty plea.

German carmakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen are to face an EU inquiry for allegedly conspiring to restrict diesel emissions treatment systems, BBC News reports.

The European Commission said it was investigating whether they agreed to limit the development of systems to reduce harmful emissions. It said that if proven, this could mean that consumers had been denied the chance to buy less polluting cars.

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US ‘monster’ hurricane set to strengthen

Posted: September 11, 2018 by oldbrew in News, Ocean dynamics, weather
Tags:

Image credit: sanibelrealestateguide.com

Right on cue at the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, three major storms are barrelling westwards. So far, the first one looks like being the most powerful. Mandatory evacuations for more than a million people near the US east coast have been declared.

North Carolina’s governor warns the state Florence will be a “life-threatening, historic hurricane”, reports BBC News.

Hurricane Florence – the most powerful storm to threaten the Carolinas in nearly three decades – is expected to strengthen, say forecasters.

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Small modular reactor [credit: ANS Nuclear Cafe]


It looks as if the UK government has got cold feet about the small modular reactor concept, possibly under pressure from the ‘green’ lobby. Meanwhile subsidies for unreliable weather-dependent power generation continue, more or less unabated.

London 10 September: An important new briefing paper published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation reveals that the government has kicked a key nuclear programme into the long grass, says the GWPF.

This follows an announcement last week by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on its small modular nuclear (SMR) competition, which outlined new funding for feasibility studies into a range of new nuclear technologies.

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Credit: wonderfulengineering.com


“No science should be locked behind paywalls!” says a preamble document. Exactly.

European Commission special envoy Robert-Jan Smits has spearheaded a plan to make all scientific works free to read, the journal Nature reports.

Research funders from France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and eight other European nations have unveiled a radical open-access initiative that could change the face of science publishing in two years — and which has instantly provoked protest from publishers.

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The climate alarmist targets of the professor’s ‘glassy-eyed cultists‘ jibe won’t take kindly to this. If their chances of selling fast-approaching doom and gloom to the President were low before, they must be close to zero now.

Princeton academic has said carbon dioxide buildup benefits planet.

William Happer, a physics professor and vocal critic of mainstream climate science, has joined the White House as a top adviser, says Sciencemag.

Happer, 79, told E&E News in email that he began serving yesterday on the National Security Council as the senior director for emerging technologies.

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Saturn’s north polar vortex and hexagon along with its expansive rings. The hexagon is wider than two Earths [image credit: NASA]


Another case of observing something that wasn’t thought possible. As the report notes: ‘The presence of a hexagon way up in Saturn’s northern stratosphere, hundreds of kilometres above the clouds, suggests that there is much more to learn about the dynamics at play in the gas giant’s atmosphere.’

The long-lived international Cassini mission has revealed a surprising feature emerging at Saturn’s northern pole as it nears summertime: a warming, high-altitude vortex with a hexagonal shape, akin to the famous hexagon seen deeper down in Saturn’s clouds.

This suggests that the lower-altitude hexagon may influence what happens up above, and that it could be a towering structure spanning hundreds of kilometres in height, reports Phys.org.

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Northwest Passage Yacht Sinks In Thick Ice

Posted: August 31, 2018 by oldbrew in Accountability, Idiots, News, sea ice
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Maybe the Canadian coastguard should get more pro-active, and penalise anyone who ignores their warnings and then gets into difficulties.
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Heavy and difficult ice conditions this season may compromise the Northwest Passage transit of some vessels, the coast guard added.Ottawa Citizen report.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

From the Arctic Northwest Passage blog:

image

The Canadian Coast Guard rescued two passengers of a sinking sailboat who were trapped on an ice floe in Arctic waters early Wednesday morning. The incident took place in Bellot Strait. (CBC)
Drama in the northwest passage
Sailing yacht gets into drift ice in the middle of the night, gets breached and sinks within minutes. The crew had to flee onto sea ice
Pascal Schürmann on 29.08.2018
https://www.yacht.de/aktuell/panorama/drama-in-der-nordwestpassage/a118316.html



Yesterday night, the French-flagged yacht “Anahita”, an aluminum Ovni 345, sank in Ballot Strait of the Northwest Passage. The disaster occurred in Depot Bay, just east of Bellot Strait. According to initial information, the ship was trapped by drifting sea ice from which it could not escape.




The course of “Anahita” from Nuuk on the coast of Greenland went via Baffin Bay to Pond Inlet and on to the entrance of Bellot Strait…

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