Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Bright Comet Erasmus

Posted: November 22, 2020 by oldbrew in Astronomy, News, solar system dynamics

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Short video here.

Spaceweather.com

Nov. 21, 2020: Every 2000 years, Comet Erasmus (C/2020 S3) visits the inner Solar System. News Flash: It’s back. Discovered on Sept. 17, 2020, by South African astronomer Nicolas Erasmus, the dirty snowball is plunging toward the sun for a close encounter inside the orbit of Mercury on Dec. 12th. This is what it looks like:

Gerald Rhemann took the picture Friday morning, Nov. 20th, using a 12-inch telescope in Farm Tivoli, Namibia. “The tail is magnificent,” he says. “In fact, I couldn’t fit it in a single field of view. This two-panel composite shows the first 3 degrees–and it keeps going well past the edge of the photo.”

Comet Erasmus is brightening as it approaches the sun. Right now it is 7th magnitude–an easy target for backyard telescopes. Forecasters believe it will more than triple in brightness to 5th magnitude by the time it dips inside the orbit of Mercury…

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At an estimated $500 billion it’s an expensive model, but ties in with the equally hyperbolic ‘Saudi Arabia of wind’ rhetoric. But neither bears much resemblance to reality.
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JEDDAH — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has touted Saudi Arabia’s NEOM city as a model for a “greener future,” warning G20 leaders that the world risks failing future generations if states do not take bold steps to reduce carbon emissions, reports the Saudi Gazette.

“And if we were in Saudi Arabia today … what I would have loved to have done was to visit the exciting new city of NEOM, whose origins I was able to inspect a couple of years ago,” he said in a pre-recorded address at Saudi Arabia’s virtual G20 summit on Saturday.

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Narrow escape [image credit: BBC News]


This report features the scary video that the screen shot above was taken from. A local meteorologist said the last similar storm bringing such freezing rain occurred 30 years ago.
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A snowstorm has battered parts of the Russian Far-East, causing power cuts, transport chaos and school closures, reports BBC News.

The storm hit the Primorsky region on Thursday. In the port city of Vladivostok winds brought down frozen trees and ice-laden power lines.

A state of emergency has been declared across the region.

Rescue services and the army are scrambling to deal with the fallout. At least 150,000 homes have been left without electricity.

“The situation with the electricity supply remains very difficult – the destruction is widespread,” the deputy head of the region’s government, Elena Parkhamenko, said.

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Bardsey island


Cost per head: over £100,000. Four of the eleven (2019 data) even reside there in winter, when they should be able to enjoy the output of a turbine each with one to spare, in theory. The island is only one mile long.
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The Welsh island of Ynys Enlli could ditch its dependency on diesel to become the world’s first ‘blue energy island’ thanks to a new tidal energy project, reports the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

Nova Innovation has secured an investment of £1.2m from the Welsh government through the European Regional Development Fund for its Enlli project in north Wales.

The installation will generate electricity from the natural ebb and flow of the tide between Ynys Enlli – also known as Bardsey Island – and the mainland of the Llŷn Peninsula.

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SMR transporter


RR has also linked up with American and Czech nuclear firms with a view to developing the international market. Hard to see how the government can get anywhere near its ‘net zero’ electricity targets without this technology. They keep saying ‘build back better’ so here’s an obvious chance to do that, as existing UK nuclear is being retired.
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A consortium led by the engine maker is hoping to secure a further £217m of funding from the government for the project, says Sky News.

A group led by Rolls-Royce has pledged to create 6,000 regional UK jobs within the next five years under plans to build 16 mini nuclear power stations.

The consortium said the jobs would help support the government’s “levelling up” agenda, with up to 80% of the power station components set to be made in factories across the Midlands and the north of England.

These components would then be sent on to existing nuclear sites around the country for rapid assembly.

The plans come at a crucial time for the UK amid rising unemployment caused by the pandemic.

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Come the next potential blackout situation, the battery could give Victorians up to an hour to find a way out of trouble. But making the wind blow harder or the sun shine more won’t be among their options, of course.
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Australia is poised to construct one of the world’s largest batteries, using Tesla’s technology for lithium-ion batteries, reports TechXplore.

The football-field sized battery will provide up to 300 megawatts of power output and 450 megawatts-hours of storage in a country that has been struggling to meet energy demands during skyrocketing power usage triggered by record-breaking temperatures.

Last year, Australia suffered its hottest and driest year ever, with temperatures topping 121 degrees Fahrenheit last December.

The battery, known as the Victorian Big Battery Megapack, will be located in the state of Victoria, Australia’s second most populous region.

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Something else for the usual miserablists to claim will be even worse after Brexit.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Joe Public

image

https://twitter.com/ng_eso/status/1316398489363001344?s=20

This is astonishing for a number of reasons:

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A Friends of the Earth lawyer claimed, re. the ruling now being challenged: “It is the first case that has ruled that government plans for a massive infrastructure project are unlawful on the basis of the Paris Agreement,” she said. But that gives a misleading impression of the verdict, as this report shows. Big infrastructure projects haven’t been declared illegal.
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Heathrow Airport is challenging a ruling that quashed plans to build a third runway earlier this year, based on the UK commitment to the Paris Agreement, says Climate Home News.

Heathrow appeared in front of the UK Supreme Court this week in a bid to overturn a judgment that blocked Europe’s busiest airport from expanding.

In February, campaigners claimed a historic victory in the Court of Appeal, which quashed plans for a third runway at Heathrow on climate grounds. The case was brought by litigation charity Plan B and campaign group Friends of the Earth.

Three appeal judges ruled that government approval of the expansion plan was unlawful because, among other reasons, it failed to consider the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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Fuel cell bus from Wrightbus


The obvious problem for the imagined ‘hydrogen economy’ is that there isn’t any natural source of hydrogen gas. The viability of using electricity generated only from renewables to convert water into industrial-scale hydrogen supplies is questionable, to put it mildly. Brace for the usual ‘green jobs’ claims having a tendency to be wildly over-optimistic.
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The first zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-electric double-decker bus has arrived in Aberdeen, reports Route One.

Aberdeen City Council (ACC) says the delivery, part of an £8.3m project funded by ACC, the Scottish Government and the European Union Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (JIVE) project, underlines the city’s role as the ‘energy capital of Europe’ and its commitment to the transition of green energy in a net zero vision.

Hydrogen offers greater range and faster refuelling while maintaining the efficiency of battery-electric equivalents, the council says.

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HydroFLEX tester train [image credit: BBC]


The government minister is talking up ‘the UK’s hydrogen ambitions’ here. Another potentially massive drain on the increasingly threadbare electricity grid system beckons. How much more pseudo-green pie can these deluded carbophobes lob into the sky?
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Supported by a £750,000 grant from the Department for Transport (DfT), the trial of the HydroFLEX train took place in Warwickshire, reports New Civil Engineer.

It follows almost two years’ development work and more than £1M of investment by both Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham. Unlike diesel trains, hydrogen-powered trains do not emit harmful gases, instead using hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water and heat.

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New coal mine in west Cumbria given green light 

Posted: October 3, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, government, News
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An artist’s impression of Woodhouse Colliery (Credit: West Cumbria Mining)


The usual tedious complaints from climate miserablists ignore the fact that the UK already imports coal from several countries, and steel-making depends on it.
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Cumbria County Council has approved an application to create a new coal mine off the county’s coast, reports ITV News.

Members of the authority’s Development, Control and Regulation Committee considered a revised application from developers West Cumbria Mining today.

Of the councillors in attendance 12 voted in favour of the application, three against and there were two abstentions.

The project, planned for a site near Whitehaven and will be the UK’s first deep coal mine in 30 years.

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Solar Cycle 25 is here, says NASA

Posted: September 17, 2020 by oldbrew in Cycles, News, solar system dynamics
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The Sun from NASA’s SDO spacecraft


Solar Cycle 25 has begun, according to this NASA press release.

During a media event on Tuesday, experts from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discussed their analysis and predictions about the new solar cycle – and how the coming upswing in space weather will impact our lives and technology on Earth, as well as astronauts in space.

The Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, an international group of experts co-sponsored by NASA and NOAA, announced that solar minimum occurred in December 2019, marking the start of a new solar cycle.

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Proposed new nuclear plant, Anglesey [image credit: walesonline]


Unless this scheme is revived, the UK government is putting even more pressure on its ridiculous and damaging ‘net zero’ energy policy. The likely gap between future electricity supply and demand seems wider than ever.

H/T Hatter Eggburn
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Plans for a £15-£20bn nuclear power plant in Wales have been scrapped, reports BBC News.

Work on the Wylfa Newydd project on Anglesey was suspended in January last year because of rising costs after Hitachi failed to reach a funding agreement with the UK government.

Isle of Anglesey council said the company had now confirmed in writing it is withdrawing from the project.

Council leader Llinos Medi said: “This is very disappointing, particularly at such a difficult time economically.”

Hitachi shelved the scheme, the biggest energy project ever proposed in Wales, over funding issues.

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Green apartment blocks are a hit – with mosquitos

Posted: September 15, 2020 by oldbrew in ideology, News

Chengdu green apartment block [image credit: yahoo news]


Another green dream turns out to be a disaster.
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An experimental green housing project in a Chinese megacity promised prospective residents life in a “vertical forest”, with manicured gardens on every balcony, says TechXplore.

All 826 apartments were sold out by April this year, according to the project’s estate agent, but instead of a modern eco-paradise, the towers look like the set of a desolate, post-apocalyptic film.

The problem? The mosquitoes love the plants too.

Only a handful of families have moved into Chengdu’s Qiyi City Forest Garden because of an infestation, state media have reported.

The project in the southwestern city was built in 2018, with every private balcony designed to provide space for plants to grow, according to local media reports.

Without any tenants to care for them, the eight towers have been overrun by their own plants—and invaded by mosquitoes.

Plants have almost entirely swallowed up some neglected balconies, with branches hanging over railings all over the towers, footage shot this month showed.

Full report here.

Wheat [image credit: Phys.org]


Habitual climate miserablists should take a look around at the real world now and again. This year’s poor UK wheat harvest, reported by the BBC with a ‘climate change’ tag, looks like the exception not the rule.
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The International Grains Council (IGC) is reporting that global corn, wheat, and rice production is on pace to set new records this year, destroying an incessant parade of media claims that global warming is devastating crop production.

Here at Climate Realism, we have documented and debunked many of the ridiculous media claims that climate change is decimating crop production, some in the last month.

Global crop production, as well as crop production in most of the world’s nations, sets new records virtually every year as our planet modestly warms.

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Lottery balls


Not many organisations can resist the pressure to resort to imagined virtue signalling in the era of the fake human-caused climate emergency, but there’s no jackpot from this losing bet.
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The first grants as part of a ten-year £100m National Lottery-funded Climate Action Fund have been rolled-out to communities across the UK to help tackle climate change, reports Casino Beats.

The National Lottery Community Fund has announced an initial £14m in grants as it aims to reduce the carbon footprint of communities and support movements that can demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change.

Financial aid from The National Lottery Community Fund will support these projects to work together, share learning and be catalysts for broader and transformative change.

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Shetland peat bog [image credit: Shetland Times]


There’s over £1 billion at stake here, as construction is about to start and a subsea cable project costing more than £600m has been approved, if the project goes ahead. It would be the UK’s largest onshore wind farm in terms of annual electricity output.
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OVER 20 people from across the isles have signed a petition expressing concern that Shetland Islands Council’s (SIC) recognition of a global climate emergency has not taken into account current evidence on the carbon value of peatland, reports Shetland News.

The petitioners say that since the original approval was given to the Viking Energy wind farm from the Scottish Government in 2012 “much of the science has fundamentally changed and we now indisputably recognise peatland as a store of carbon equal to or greater than that of rainforest”.

The petition seeks that the council considers a motion to cease immediately any entity involved in the “destruction of peatlands”.

It points to the current work taking place at Upper Kergord as peat is extracted to make way for an access track to a planned converter station.

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Fine summer weather [image credit: BBC]


So there was at least one higher temperature recorded in England in August 2003. Seventeen more years of increasing ’emissions’, which are supposed to be so dire according to a popular climate theory, haven’t made any difference to the peak figure so far. In fact July 2020 was noticeably cooler than average, but now a southerly wind has blown in some Saharan heat for a few days, most strongly to the near-continent regions. Not before time!
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The UK has seen its hottest day in August for 17 years, as temperatures reached more than 36C (96.8F) in south-east England, reports BBC News.

Crowds headed to the coast to enjoy the weather, but people have been urged to adhere to social distancing.

Warm weather will continue over the weekend for much of the UK, according to the Met Office.

The highest temperatures are expected in England and Wales, with fresher weather forecast for Scotland and NI.

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Someone else who can’t believe the climate can change naturally. But it always has done so.
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He resigns from the influential media company’s board, citing “disagreements over editorial content”, reports BBC News.

In a filing to US regulators, he said he also disagreed with some “strategic decisions” made by the company.

The exact nature of the disagreements was not detailed.

But Mr Murdoch has previously criticised News Corp outlets, which include the Wall Street Journal, for climate change coverage.

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‘Environmentalists say the impact of the project will lead to irreversible damage’ reports newsdevelops.com. But what about the ‘damage’ of not building it – shortage of goods train capacity, lack of seats forcing people on to other modes of travel, etc.? Trying to put the brakes on modern life via the courts has failed this time, but it surely won’t be the last attempt.
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The broadcaster Chris Packham has lost his case against HS2 in the Court of Appeal.

Environmentalists say the high-speed rail project is leading to irreversible destruction of ancient habitats and woodlands.

Packham said the case for HS2 should be revisited despite Friday’s ruling against him.

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