Archive for the ‘research’ Category


Has the media been trying to bury bad news here? Embarrassingly bad news for its enthusiasm for supposed man-made global warming, that is.

Last week a team of researchers from the UK Met Office, the University of East Anglia, the University of Gothenburg, the University of Southern Queensland and the Sorbonne published in the journal Science Advances an interesting paper showing that the recent much debated and researched 21st century “slowdown” in global surface temperatures was real and could be explained by reduced solar activity and increased volcanic counteracting climate forcing from greenhouse gases.

It achieved almost no media coverage despite being published in a high profile journal, writes Dr David Whitehouse @ The GWPF.

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If ‘slowdowns’ in global average temperatures can be natural, why not ‘speed-ups’ as well? Recent global temperature patterns correlate very poorly, if at all, with changes in the trace gas CO2 as required by IPCC-supporting climate theorists.

A team of researchers from the U.K., Sweden and Australia has found that three periods of global warming slowdown since 1891 were likely due to natural causes rather than disruptions to the factors causing global warming, reports Phys.org.

In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their study of global mean surface temperatures (GST) since the late 19th century and what they found.

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Nepal Earthquake [image credit: BBC]


Back to the drawing board for earthquake forecasting, by the sound of it.

A new study questions previous findings about the value of foreshocks as warning signs that a big earthquake is coming, instead showing them to be indistinguishable from ordinary earthquakes, reports Science Daily.

No one can predict when or where an earthquake will strike, but in 2011 scientists thought they had evidence that tiny underground tremors called foreshocks could provide important clues. If true, it suggested seismologists could one day warn people of impending temblors.

But a new study published in the online June 4 issue of Nature Geoscience by scientists at Stanford University and Bogaziçi University in Turkey has cast doubt on those earlier findings and on the predictive value of foreshocks.

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Of course this may sound ‘far out’, but let’s have a look at the short video from VoA News anyway.

In today’s energy-hungry world, scientists are constantly revisiting every renewable resource looking for ways to increase efficiency.

One researcher in the Netherlands believes even gravity can be harnessed to produce free electricity on a scale sufficient to power small appliances.

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Antarctic sea ice [image credit: BBC]


Have scientists been looking through the wrong end of the telescope, so to speak, regarding ice ages theory?

Ancient rainfall records stretching 550,000 years into the past may upend scientists’ understanding of what controls the Asian summer monsoon and other aspects of the Earth’s long-term climate, says EurekAlert.

Milankovitch theory says solar heating of the northernmost part of the globe drives the world’s climate swings between ice ages and warmer periods.

The new work turns Milankovitch on its head by suggesting climate is driven by differential heating of the Earth’s tropical and subtropical regions.

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Wavy jet stream
[image credit: BBC]


This could be a step forward in unravelling the whys and wherefores of the phenomenon of jet stream blocking.

The sky sometimes has its limits, according to new research from two University of Chicago atmospheric scientists.

A study published May 24 in Science offers an explanation for a mysterious and sometimes deadly weather pattern in which the jet stream, the global air currents that circle the Earth, stalls out over a region, reports Phys.org.

Much like highways, the jet stream has a capacity, researchers said, and when it’s exceeded, blockages form that are remarkably similar to traffic jams—and climate forecasters can use the same math to model them both.

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Appalachia [click to enlarge]


Actual evidence contradicts colourful but unresearched scare stories once again.

A study of drinking water in Appalachian Ohio found no evidence of natural gas contamination from recent oil and gas drilling, reports Phys.org.

Geologists with the University of Cincinnati examined drinking water in Carroll, Stark and Harrison counties, a rural region in northeast Ohio where many residents rely on water from private underground wells.

The time-series study was the first of its kind in Ohio to examine methane in groundwater in relation to natural gas drilling.

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The headline from the source should perhaps mention that those ‘variations’ can include ‘no global warming trend’, or hiatus, as explained below.

New research has shown that natural variations in global mean temperature are always forced by changes in heat release and heat uptake by the oceans, in particular the heat release associated with evaporation, reports Phys.org.

Analysing data from six climate models that simulated future climate change scenarios for the last International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Report, which appeared in 2014, University of Southampton Professor Sybren Drijfhout has shown that in all cases variations in global mean temperature were correlated with variations in heat release by sensible and latent heat.

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In their latest report the authors point out: ‘it is never mathematically proper to attempt to validate any theory embedded in a model using the model itself.’

As discussed last week, several reports have shown in the last year or two that carbon dioxide (CO2) does not significantly affect global temperatures, contrary to endless repetitions to the contrary by climate alarmists and the mainstream press.

Today some of the same authors of the reports discussed last week have released a new report that among other things makes a similar point using a different data set, making a total of 15 such data sets between the earlier reports and this new report.

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Drought conditions in Northern China

But what is driving the drivers – that bright thing in the sky perhaps?

A recent study reveals the large-scale dynamic drivers of the prolonged spring-summer drought over North China, where prolonged drought tends to begin in spring and persists to summer with severe societal impacts, says EurekAlert!.

North China, where almost half China’s population lives and most wheat and corn are grown, is facing serious water crisis. Since the late 1990s severe and extreme droughts have frequently dropped by and drought affected area has been increasing by 3.72% decade-1 in the past five decades, posing great challenges for regional sustainable development.

Scientists have been concerned that if climate continues to warm in the future, there is a high confidence level that drought over North China will continue to increase. Thus, it is of great importance to identify the drivers and dynamic mechanisms of North China drought in order to improve drought prediction and better water management.

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Room for one more? [image credit: NASA]


There’s a suspicion of confirmation bias, or seeing what you wanted to see, in stories like this. But we’ll look for any merits in the ideas anyway. Claims that Planet 9 can’t hide much longer haven’t proved correct so far.

Observations made a thousand years ago could help modern scientists find the theoretical “Planet Nine” in the outer reaches of the solar system, says Live Science.

The far reaches of the outer solar system may be home to an icy giant — a hypothetical planet scientists have dubbed “Planet Nine.”

Meanwhile, archives back on Earth are home to dozens of medieval records documenting the passage of comets through the heavens. Now, two researchers from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland are hoping to use these old scrolls and tapestries to solve the modern astronomical mystery of Planet Nine.

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Screenshot from NASA video


There’s the usual speculative talk of exotic materials, mysterious dynamos and so forth, but the probe is delivering plenty of data for scientists to analyse and ponder over.

When NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently flew over the poles of Jupiter, researchers were astonished, as if they had never seen a giant planet before, says Phys.org.

And in a sense they hadn’t.

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The edge of the Thwaites glacier [credit: NASA photograph by Jim Yungel]


This BBC report seems unaware that a study in 2014 found that parts of the Thwaites Glacier are subject to melting due to subglacial volcanoes and other geothermal “hotspots”. The existence of this group of volcanoes has long been known.

British and American scientists will assess the stability of one of Antarctica’s biggest ice streams, reports BBC News.

It is going to be one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in Antarctica.

UK and US scientists will lead a five-year effort to examine the stability of the mighty Thwaites Glacier.

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Leaving aside whether ‘climate sensitivity’ (to carbon dioxide) is a valid concept in the first place, it’s been obvious for a while that climate modellers have seriously overestimated the actual level of any warming that has occurred in recent years. If that doesn’t suggest to them that something is wrong, what would?
H/T The GWPF

London, 24 April — A paper just published by the Journal of Climate concludes that high estimates of future global warming from most computer climate simulations are inconsistent with observed warming since 1850. The implication is that future warming will be 30 to 45% lower than suggested by the simulations.

The study estimates climate sensitivity — how much the world will warm when carbon dioxide levels increase* — from changes in observed temperatures and estimates of the warming effect of greenhouse gases and other drivers of climate change, from the mid/late 19th century until 2016.

The paper also addresses previous criticisms of the methodology used, finding that these are unfounded.

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We’re informed that ‘these findings definitely challenge the widespread view of trees as static, passive organisms’.

A high-precision, three-dimensional survey of 21 different species of trees has revealed an as-yet unknown cycle of subtle canopy movement during the night, reports Phys.org.

Such ‘sleep cycles’ differed from one species to another. Detection of anomalies in overnight movement could become a future diagnostic tool to reveal stress or disease in crops.

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Lithium ion battery


Of course the ‘could’ in the headline tells us this has yet to be proven beyond the laboratory, and many of these battery claims seem to fizzle out in the end, or may be overtaken by newer ideas. But a professor here is saying: “We’ve opened up a new chemical space for battery technology”.

A research team led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, has opened the door to using metals other than cobalt in lithium-based batteries, and have built cathodes with 50 percent more lithium-storage capacity than conventional materials, reports EurekAlert.

Lithium-based batteries use more than 50 percent of all cobalt produced in the world. These batteries are in your cell phone, laptop and maybe even your car.

About 50 percent of the world’s cobalt comes from the Congo, where it’s largely mined by hand, in some instances by children.

But now, a research team led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, has opened the door to using other metals in lithium-based batteries, and have built cathodes with 50 percent more lithium-storage capacity than conventional materials.

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Earth’s atmosphere [image credit: BBC]


“These results are going to require rewriting the textbooks,” according to the research program director.

Not all of the nitrogen on the planet comes from the atmosphere, according to a UC Davis study in the journal Science. Up to a quarter comes from Earth’s bedrock. 

The discovery could greatly improve climate change projections, says Eurekalert. 

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Sprites, elves and jets [image credit: NOAA / BBC]


While speculation about theoretical dark matter and big bangs may be more popular, there’s plenty still to learn about these observed near-Earth electrical phenomena.

A new mission aboard the International Space Station is taking storm chasing to new heights, reports BBC News.

Thunderstorms are some of the most spectacular events in nature, yet what we can see from the surface of our planet is only the beginning.

There are bizarre goings on in Earth’s upper atmosphere, and a new mission aims to learn more about them.

Launched to the International Space Station on Monday, the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) will observe the strange electrical phenomena that occur above thunderstorms.

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Levee breach on the Mississippi river [image credit: Wikipedia]


This shows once again that glib claims about climate-related flooding due to ‘extreme weather’ should be treated with great caution, or even suspicion. The reality is that other factors are at work.

A new study has revealed for the first time the last 500-year flood history of the Mississippi River, as Eurakalert reports.

It shows a dramatic rise in the size and frequency of extreme floods in the past century — mostly due to projects to straighten, channelize, and bound the river with artificial levees.

The new research, led by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), also uncovered a clear pattern over the centuries linking flooding on the Mississippi with natural fluctuations of Pacific and Atlantic Ocean water temperatures.

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Distant galaxies [image credit: phys.org]


Does the exception prove the rule, or is the rule on shaky ground? Nobody knows.

Scientists have imaged a “transparent” galaxy that may have no dark matter, reports BBC Science.

An unusually transparent galaxy about the size of the Milky Way is prompting new questions for astrophysicists.

The object, with the catchy moniker of NGC1052-DF2, appears to contain no dark matter.

If this turns out to be true, it may be the first galaxy of its kind – made up only of ordinary matter. Currently, dark matter is thought to be essential to the fabric of the Universe as we understand it.

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