Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Amsterdam

Cooling off in Amsterdam [image credit: Amsterdamian]

Once you start believing that a change to 0.01% of the atmosphere of the Earth is a big issue, all sorts of climate hobgoblins appear on the horizon. The example here is the increasing use of air conditioners in Europe, which gets blown up out of all proportion to its importance. Enjoy the fine weather when you get it.
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“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” Noel Coward famously sang in 1931, mocking British colonials who ventured out into the scorching midday sun at the hottest time of day.

“The Dutch also still think the sun is their friend,” says researcher Lenneke Kuijer. During the August 2020 heat wave she investigated how Dutch households deal with hot weather, reports TechXplore.

“It’s time for change while it’s still possible,” she believes. “Less air conditioning, more outdoor shading and a different way of dealing with heat.”

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Hurricane_Season

Image credit: sanibelrealestateguide.com

Quote: ‘No evidence’. Not more intense either. Reports claiming otherwise were greatly exaggerated or at least ill-informed, it seems (as well as being frequent, and intensely irritating). Climate alarmists will not be amused.
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Researchers affiliated with several institutions in the United States have determined that the increase in the number of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic over the past several years is not related to global warming, says The Conversation (via Phys.org).

They suggest instead, in their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, that it is simply reflective of natural variable weather patterns.

Over the past several decades, scientists studying satellite data have found that the number of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean has been increasing.

Many in the field have suggested that this is due to the impact of global warming.

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solarflare

Solar flare erupting from a sunspot [image credit: space.com]

Using trees as solar cycle and cosmic ray detectors here. The researchers say: ‘Notably, other evidence suggests that the sun was also undergoing a decades-long period of increasing activity.’ We may ask, with a view to the current era: how often does that happen, and why?
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The sun constantly emits a stream of energetic particles, some of which reach Earth, says Phys.org.

The density and energy of this stream form the basis of space weather, which can interfere with the operation of satellites and other spacecraft.

A key unresolved question in the field is the frequency with which the sun emits bursts of energetic particles strong enough to disable or destroy space-based electronics.

One promising avenue for determining the rate of such events is the dendrochronological record. This approach relies on the process by which a solar energetic particle (SEP) strikes the atmosphere, causing a chain reaction that results in the production of an atom of carbon-14.

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alarmism1

Credit: nationalreview.com

Anything supposedly ‘rapidly increasing’ or ‘extreme’ in Earth’s climate now or in the near future has to be treated with some suspicion, to say the least. Experience tells us alarmists armed with assumptions don’t need much excuse to go off the deep end to try and stir up the populace.
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In the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience rapidly increasing high-tide floods, when a lunar cycle will amplify rising sea levels caused by climate change, predicts Phys.org.

High-tide floods—also called nuisance floods or sunny day floods—are already a familiar problem in many cities on the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported a total of more than 600 such floods in 2019.

Starting in the mid-2030s, however, the alignment of rising sea levels with a lunar cycle will cause coastal cities all around the U.S. to begin a decade of dramatic increases in flood numbers, according to the first study that takes into account all known oceanic and astronomical causes for floods.

Led by the members of the NASA Sea Level Change Science Team from the University of Hawaii, the new study shows that high tides will exceed known flooding thresholds around the country more often.

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iceland_plate

Evidence for plate divergence in Iceland [image credit: Rob Young @ Wikipedia]

There could be more to Iceland than meets the eye. A lot more, if these theorists are right.
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Academics believe they have identified a remarkable geological secret: A sunken continent hidden under Iceland and the surrounding ocean, which they have dubbed “Icelandia”, says Phys.org.

Academics believe they have identified a remarkable geological secret: A sunken continent hidden under Iceland and the surrounding ocean, which they have dubbed “Icelandia.”

An international team of geologists, led by Gillian Foulger, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University (UK), believe the sunken continent could stretch from Greenland all the way to Europe.

It is believed to cover an area of ~600,000 km2 but when adjoining areas west of Britain are included in a “Greater Icelandia,” the entire area could be ~1,000,000 km2 in size.

If proven, it means that the giant supercontinent of Pangaea, which is thought to have broken up over 50 million years ago, has in fact not fully broken up.

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Belo_Monte_Dam

Impression of Belo Monte dam

A case of nature not conforming to expectations. This could apply to numerous such schemes, giving climate alarmists yet another conundrum to wrestle with.
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When climate researcher Dailson Bertassoli went to measure greenhouse gas emissions at the Belo Monte hydropower plant in Brazil, the first thing he noticed was the bubbles, says Phys.org.

Developers have built hundreds of hydroelectric plants in the Amazon basin to take advantage of the allegedly “green” energy generated by its complex of rivers.

But climate researchers now know hydropower is not as good for the environment as once assumed. Though no fossil fuels are burned, the reservoirs release millions of tons of methane and carbon dioxide as vegetation decays underwater.

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Milky_Way

The Milky Way in the night sky over Black Rock Desert, Nevada [image credit: Steve Jurvetson / Wikipedia]

Not only that, but it’s likely ‘rotating on a scale never seen before’, says Phys.org. ‘How the angular momentum responsible for the rotation is generated in a cosmological context is one of the key unsolved problems of cosmology.’
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How big is too big? – asks Space.com.

A newly discovered crescent of galaxies spanning 3.3 billion light-years is among the largest known structures in the universe and challenges some of astronomers’ most basic assumptions about the cosmos.

The epic arrangement, called the Giant Arc, consists of galaxies, galactic clusters, and lots of gas and dust.

It is located 9.2 billion light-years away and stretches across roughly a 15th of the observable universe.

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EarthspaceScientists previously proposed 26 million year cycles of mass extinctions, but this appears to correct the period. They suggest ‘cycles of activity in the Earth’s interior’ could be behind their new period, but then say: ‘However, similar cycles in the Earth’s orbit in space might also be pacing these events.’ Their study also says ‘a strong secondary signal occurs at a period 8.9 Myr’.
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Geologic activity on Earth appears to follow a 27.5-million-year cycle, giving the planet a ‘pulse,’ according to a new study published in the journal Geoscience Frontiers. Phys.org reporting.

“Many geologists believe that geological events are random over time. But our study provides statistical evidence for a common cycle, suggesting that these geologic events are correlated and not random,” said Michael Rampino, a geologist and professor in New York University’s Department of Biology, as well as the study’s lead author.

Over the past five decades, researchers have proposed cycles of major geological events—including volcanic activity and mass extinctions on land and sea—ranging from roughly 26 to 36 million years.

But early work on these correlations in the geological record was hampered by limitations in the age-dating of geologic events, which prevented scientists from conducting quantitative investigations.

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solar-systemThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) research laboratory has been looking at some of the Talkshop-featured PRP papers, in particular those by Ian Wilson and Jan-Erik Solheim, plus others by names familiar to many Talkshoppers (Sharp, McCracken, Abreu, Scafetta, McIntosh etc.). It likes what it finds, describing Ian Wilson’s 2013 PRP paper, from which they cite his 11.07 and 193-year solar-planetary periods, as ‘highly instructive and recommendable’ (available via the PRP link above, or the one at the top of the Talkshop home page, or here). This is all something of a contrast to the original publishers, who washed their hands of all the PRP papers under pressure from the IPCC and/or its influential supporters. We may not agree entirely with all their interpretations of the data, but their approach is refreshing. 
H/T Lori
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Solar physicists around the world have long been searching for satisfactory explanations for the sun’s many cyclical, overlapping activity fluctuations, says Phys.org.

In addition to the most famous, approximately 11-year “Schwabe cycle”, the sun also exhibits longer fluctuations, ranging from hundreds to thousands of years.

It follows, for example, the “Gleissberg cycle” (about 85 years), the “Suess-de Vries cycle” (about 200 years) and the quasi-cycle of “Bond events” (about 1500 years), each named after their discoverers.

It is undisputed that the solar magnetic field controls these activity fluctuations.

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AMOC_circ

A portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation [image credit: R. Curry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution @ Wikipedia]

Widely differing climate models are supposed to be a reliable guide to the future? Clearly not. Here the uncertainty gets investigated, and pinned on a phenomenon that was recently claimed by Mann et al not to exist. Of course all these models make the assumption that carbon dioxide at a tiny 0.04% of the atmosphere is a key variable of concern, despite all the other variability in the climate system that they have to wrestle with.
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Thirty state-of-the-art IPCC-climate models predict dramatically different climates for the Northern Hemisphere, especially Europe, says Phys.org.

An analysis of the range of responses now reveals that the differences are mostly down to the individual model’s simulations of changes to the North Atlantic ocean currents and not only—as normally assumed—atmospheric changes.

The work, by Katinka Bellomo, National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, and colleagues is published today in Nature Communications and is part of the European science collaboration, TiPES, coordinated by the University of Copenhagen.

All climate models vary in the details. Variables such as atmospheric pressure, cloud cover, temperature gradients, sea surface temperatures, and many more are tuned to interact slightly differently for every model. This means that the predictions of the many models also vary.

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eclipse_1999

During a total solar eclipse, the Sun’s corona and prominences are visible to the naked eye [image credit: Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be ]

Expecting a variable, researchers found a constant.
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From traversing sand dunes in the Sahara Desert to keeping watch for polar bears in the Arctic, a group of solar scientists known as the “Solar Wind Sherpas” led by Shadia Habbal, have traveled to the ends of the Earth to scientifically observe total solar eclipses—the fleeting moments when the Moon completely blocks the Sun, temporarily turning day into night.

With the images, they’ve uncovered a surprising finding about the Sun’s wind and its wispy outer atmosphere—the corona—which is only visible in its entirety during an eclipse, says NASA (via Phys.org).

From more than a decade’s worth of total eclipse observations taken around the world, the team noticed that the corona maintains a fairly constant temperature, despite dynamical changes to the region that occur on an 11-year rotation known as the solar cycle.

Similarly, the solar wind—the steady stream of particles the Sun releases from the corona out across the solar system—matches that same temperature.

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ocean wavesSome climate theories aren’t plausible either, including the one that thinks that atmospheric goings-on are more important than ocean dynamics like El Niño and La Niña. But the fear show must go on.
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Today the Hamburg-based Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society” (CLICCS) publishes a new, essential study on climate futures, reports Phys.org.

The study represents the first systematic attempt to investigate whether a climate future with net-zero carbon emissions is not only possible but also plausible.

The authors examine plausibility from a technical-economic perspective, but also with regard to the societal changes necessary for such a future.

They conclude that deep decarbonization by 2050 is currently not plausible—the current efforts to bring about societal transformation need to be far more ambitious.

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heatpump

Domestic Air Source Heat Pump [image credit: UK Alternative Energy]

Forcing householders to replace gas boilers that release the harmless and vital trace gas CO2 with expensive heat pumps, to conform to curious and unproven climate-related ideas, may be an even worse plan than originally thought.
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Heat pumps are widely regarded as a silver bullet to the problem of decarbonising heating systems, but a new report from the German government suggests the refrigerants used in many units may have serious environmental impacts, particularly on water, says Renew Economy.

The findings do not spell doom for the heat pump revolution many climate activists want to see, but they would require a significant overhaul in the way many air conditioner and heat pump manufacturers build their systems.

The report, the result of a two year study by the German Environment Agency, concerns the use of halogenated refrigerants – known in the English speaking world as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) – in air conditioners and heat pumps.

It concludes that their use is already adding significant amounts trifluoroacetate acid (TFA) to the atmosphere, contaminating rain and water supplies, and potentially causing health problems such as liver and kidney damage.

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ocean_co2

The ocean carbon cycle [credit: IAEA]

Proving once again how massively important carbon dioxide is to nature, via photosynthesis.
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Tiny algae in Earth’s oceans and lakes take in sunlight and carbon dioxide and turn them into sugars that sustain the rest of the aquatic food web, gobbling up about as much carbon as all the world’s trees and plants combined, says Phys.org.

New research shows a crucial piece has been missing from the conventional explanation for what happens between this first “fixing” of CO2 into phytoplankton and its eventual release to the atmosphere or descent to depths where it no longer contributes to global warming. [Talkshop comment – evidence-free assertion.]

The missing piece? Fungus.

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Walker_neutral

Generalized Walker Circulation (December-February) during ENSO-neutral conditions. Convection associated with rising branches of the Walker Circulation is found over the Maritime continent, northern South America, and eastern Africa. [Credit: NOAA Climate.gov — drawing by Fiona Martin]

El Niño and 100,000 year glaciation/climate cycles feature prominently in this research. The Walker circulation has been described as ENSO’s atmospheric buddy.
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While it is widely accepted that climate change drove the evolution of our species in Africa, the exact character of that climate change and its impacts are not well understood, says Phys.org.

Glacial-interglacial cycles strongly impact patterns of climate change in many parts of the world, and were also assumed to regulate environmental changes in Africa during the critical period of human evolution over the last ~1 million years.

The ecosystem changes driven by these glacial cycles are thought to have stimulated the evolution and dispersal of early humans.

A paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week challenges this view.

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Earth_Moon

The Moon in front of Earth [credit: NASA]

A recurring pattern over the period of the Sun’s 22~year Hale cycle (two magnetic polarity reversals) seems to have emerged. One outcome is said to be ‘a higher likelihood of severe space weather late in the current solar cycle between 2026 and 2030.’
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Planned missions to return humans to the Moon need to hurry up to avoid hitting one of the busiest periods for extreme space weather, according to scientists conducting the most in-depth ever look at solar storm timing.

Scientists at the University of Reading studied 150 years of space weather data to investigate patterns in the timing of the most extreme events, which can be extremely dangerous to astronauts and satellites, and even disrupt power grids if they arrive at Earth, says Phys.org.

The researchers found for the first time that extreme space weather events are more likely to occur early in even-numbered solar cycles, and late in odd-numbered cycles—such as the one just starting.

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Scientists at the University of Michigan, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and University of Colorado Boulder recently used TSIS-1 SSI satellite data in a global climate model for the first time – and got a few surprises. Another dent in the myth of ‘settled’ climate science.
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Have you ever worn a dark T-shirt on a sunny day and felt the fabric warm in the Sun’s rays? asks NASA-GISS.

Most of us know dark colors absorb sunlight and light colors reflect it – but did you know this doesn’t work the same way in the Sun’s non-visible wavelengths?

The Sun is Earth’s power source, and it emits energy as visible sunlight, ultraviolet radiation (shorter wavelengths), and near-infrared radiation, which we feel as heat (longer wavelengths).

Visible light reflects off light-colored surfaces like snow and ice, while darker surfaces like forests or oceans absorb it. This reflectivity, called albedo, is one key way Earth regulates its temperature – if Earth absorbs more energy than it reflects, it gets warmer, and if it reflects more than it absorbs, it gets cooler.

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atlantic1

Credit: NASA – GISS

They refer here to the same AMOC that was recently claimed by Mann et al to be of no significance, or even not to exist at all. But empirical evidence has its uses.
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From 50,000 to 15,000 years ago, during the last ice age, Earth’s climate wobbled between cooler and warmer periods punctuated by occasional, dramatic ice-melting events, says Phys.org.

Previous research has suggested that these oscillations were likely influenced by changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a pattern of currents that carry warm, tropical water to the North Atlantic, where it cools, sinks, and flows back south. However, the precise role played by the AMOC in ancient climate fluctuations has been unclear.

Now Toucanne et al. have reconstructed the historical flow of a key current in the upper part (the northward flow) of the AMOC, the Glacial Eastern Boundary Current (GEBC), shedding new light on how the AMOC can drive sudden changes in climate.

The GEBC flowed northward along Europe’s continental margin during the last ice age (it persists today as the European Slope Current). To better understand the GEBC’s role in the AMOC, the researchers collected six seafloor sediment cores off the coast of France.

Analysis of grain sizes and isotope levels in the core layers revealed the current’s strength when each layer was deposited, yielding the first high-resolution, 50,000-year historical record of the current.

This new historical record shows that the GEBC flowed faster during warmer intervals of the last ice age but weakened during the coldest periods.

The timing of these changes aligns well with previously established records on AMOC speed and the southward return flow of deep waters to the west.

Comparing the history of the GEBC with other records also shows that major ice-melting events, in which ice age glaciers released huge amounts of freshwater into the Atlantic, correspond with periodic weakening of the current and of the AMOC in general.

Full article here.

Amazon_forest

Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus [image credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT @ Wikipedia]

Which is more likely: nature has got it wrong, or ‘scientists’ (which ones) have got it wrong?
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The Global Warming Policy Forum & AFP reporting:

The Brazilian Amazon released nearly 20 percent more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the last decade than it absorbed, according to a stunning report that shows humanity can no longer depend on the world’s largest tropical forest to help absorb man-made carbon pollution. [Talkshop comment – ‘carbon pollution’ is a man-made fiction].

From 2010 through 2019, Brazil’s Amazon basin gave off 16.6 billion tonnes of CO2, while drawing down only 13.9 billion tonnes, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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speleothems

Six most common speleothems [image credit: Dave Bunnell / Under Earth Images @ Wikipedia]

The MIT research article this report is based on includes the phrase ‘carbon cycle conundrums’ in its title. In the discussion section we find this: ‘However, atmospheric CO2 and CH4 concentrations did not exceed Holocene levels during MIS 11, seemingly indicating that widespread ground thaw did not initiate a permafrost carbon feedback where increased atmospheric greenhouse gases and subsequent warming thaw permafrost that releases more greenhouse gases.’ If no ‘carbon feedback’, what does that say about the theories behind current climate paranoia?
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Nearly one quarter of the land in the Northern Hemisphere, amounting to some 9 million square miles, is layered with permafrost—soil, sediment, and rocks that are frozen solid for years at a time, says Phys.org.

Vast stretches of permafrost can be found in Alaska, Siberia, and the Canadian Arctic, where persistently freezing temperatures have kept carbon, in the form of decayed bits of plants and animals, locked in the ground.

Scientists estimate that more than 1,400 gigatons of carbon is trapped in the Earth’s permafrost.

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