Archive for the ‘Uncertainty’ Category

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The NLCs are playing a game of hide-and-seek this season, bemusing regular observers.

Spaceweather.com

Jan. 8, 2021:

They’re back. Noctilucent clouds (NLCs), recently missing, are once again circling the South Pole. And, in an unexpected twist, they’ve just appeared over Argentina as well.

“This is a very rare event,” reports Gerd Baumgarten of Germany’s Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, whose automated cameras caught the meteoritic clouds rippling over Rio Grande, Argentina (53.8S) on Jan. 3rd:

A second camera recorded the clouds at even higher latitude: Rio Gallegos (51.6S). At this time of year, noctilucent clouds are supposed to be confined to the Antarctic–not Argentina. In the whole history of atmospheric research, NLCs have been sighted at mid-southern latitudes only a handful of times.

“Personally, I am thrilled to see NLCs in Argentina, as I had not expected them to occur so far north,” says Natalie Kaifler of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), who operates a lidar (laser radar) alongside one of Baumgarten’s…

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Is it a coincidence that we’re just past the end of the lowest sunspot cycle for over a century?

Spaceweather.com

Dec. 28, 2020: Something strange is happening 50 miles above Antarctica. Or rather, not happening. Noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which normally blanket the frozen continent in December, are almost completely missing. These images from NASA’s AIM spacecraft compare Christmas Eve 2019 with Christmas Eve 2020:

“The comparison really is astounding,” says Cora Randall of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. “Noctilucent cloud frequencies are close to zero this year.”

NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. They form when summertime wisps of water vapor rise up from the poles to the edge of space. Water crystallizing around specks of meteor dust 83 km (~50 miles) above Earth’s surface creates beautiful electric-blue structures, typically visible from November to February in the south, and May to August in the north.

A crucial point: Noctilucent clouds form during summer. And that’s the problem. Although summer officially started in Antarctica one week…

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Typical electric car set-up


Researchers cite lithium and cobalt production as the most likely to fall short of expected demand levels in the next few years, if EV take-up grows as desired or mandated by many political leaders. In short, new discoveries of supplies will be required if present battery technology is to be maintained. Failing that, ‘net zero’ may need a plan B.
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As the world shifts to electric vehicles to reduce climate change, it is important to quantify future demands for key battery materials, says TechXplore.

In a new report, Chengjian Xu, Bernhard Steubing and a research team at the Leiden University, Netherlands and the Argonne National Laboratory in the U.S. showed how the demands of a lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese oxide dominated battery will increase by many factors between 2020 to 2050.

As a result, supply chains for lithium, cobalt and nickel will require significant expansion and likely additional resource discovery.

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‘this is data covering just 800 days, and here we have 265 occasions where the power loss exceeds 500MW.’ = almost one day in every three, on average. [Links to parts 2 and 3 at the end of the post].

PA Pundits - International

By Anton Lang ~

Introduction

We have all heard that wind power generation is intermittent, that it goes up and down on a daily basis. However, is that really all that much of a problem, and if so, how big a problem is it? We have also heard that constructing more wind plants will go towards alleviating this problem. Is that correct? Or will that only make the problem worse?

Well, it is in fact quite a large problem, and constructing more of those wind plants is making the problem worse.

Macarthur Wind Plant In Victoria Australia

For many years now, I have been looking at wind power generation here in Australia, and in fact recording and keeping wind generation data on a daily basis now for more than four years. After looking at this data on a daily basis for so long, I could see that it went up…

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Antarctica


If they were hoping to see a steady rate of change that matched carbon dioxide emission levels, they were disappointed. Natural variations inconveniently got in the way, two in particular: ‘When two extreme snowfall events in 2009 and 2011 dropped around 600 gigatons of snow and ice, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet thickened so much that it temporarily halted the entire continent’s ice losses, said Wang—a pattern that had previously escaped notice.’
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A new analysis of long-term satellite records shows the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is unexpectedly dependent on fluctuations in weather.

This study may improve models of how much sea levels will rise, says Eos News.

As more coastal communities face the looming threat [Talkshop note: unsupported assertion] of rising sea levels, it’s more important than ever to accurately predict changes in one of the greatest potential sources of sea level rise—the melting of Antarctica’s massive ice sheet.

Recently, scientists analyzed nearly 2 decades’ worth of data from sensitive NASA satellites documenting mass changes in the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

They found the ice inventory ebbed and flowed across the continent in unexpectedly variable patterns.

Traditionally, some groups of Antarctic researchers have assumed the rate of change across the ice sheet is constant, but they drew their conclusions from data sets that spanned only a few years, said Lei Wang, a geodesist at The Ohio State University who will present this research at AGU’s virtual Fall Meeting 2020.

“These long data records give us the capability to characterize the ice sheet’s variation over a range of timescales,” rather than just modeling seasonal variations and short-term trends, Wang said.

Understanding Long-Term Trends

The Antarctic Ice Sheet, the largest mass of ice on Earth, is divided into two unequal portions, with the East Antarctic Ice Sheet covering about two thirds of the continent. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, although smaller, has historically been more closely studied because it’s melting faster. (The East Antarctic Ice Sheet sits on bedrock above sea level, said Wang, so it is less susceptible to the effects of the warming ocean.) NASA estimates Antarctica has lost 149 billion metric tons of ice per year since 2002.

When so much ice is involved, projections of how sea levels will respond are uncertain—especially when trends already are so difficult to gauge.

Indeed, the field still argues about sea level changes in the past century, said Jim Davis, the study coauthor and a geodesist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. “We’ve got to get to the point where we can talk about what’s happening this year in sea level change,” he said.

To do that, researchers need a more sophisticated model of how Antarctica’s shield of ice is evolving.

Full article here.

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Is La Niña having an effect on Antarctica already?

Spaceweather.com

Dec. 2, 2020: Consider it the tip of the iceberg. Noctilucent clouds (NLCs) over the south pole are AWOL.

“Normally we see the first NLCs of the southern season around Nov. 21st,” says Cora Randall of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). “But this year, it’s already December and we’re still waiting.”

Above: What a different one year makes. NASA’s AIM spacecraft took these pictures of NLCs over Antarctica on Nov. 29, 2019 (left) and Nov. 29, 2020 (right)

Missing NLCs is just one of the curious weather patterns currently underway at the southern end of our planet.

Making a list: (1) Earth’s southern ozone hole is not only open, but also the biggest it’s ever been in December. (2) The air above Antarctica is currently at record cold levels for this time of year–the result of an icy polar vortex that refuses to break…

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Photosynthesis: nature requires carbon dioxide


This seems open to interpretation. Does it lead to the possibility that most CO2 rise is natural, and therefore all attempted reductions are an even bigger waste of time, money and resources than they were anyway? Here the BBC serves up another dollop of warmist assertions it can’t or won’t try to justify, presumably in an attempt to prevent any inconvenient notions about greenhouse gas theory from entering its audience’s heads.
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The global response to the Covid-19 crisis has had little impact on the continued rise in atmospheric concentrations of CO2, says the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

This year carbon [dioxide] emissions have fallen dramatically due to lockdowns that have cut transport and industry severely, says BBC News.

But this has only marginally slowed the overall rise in concentrations, the scientists say.

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Domestic gas central heating boiler


Now you see it — now you don’t. The claimed ‘climate emergency’ will just have to wait, until 2025 at least. A reprieve for new home buyers.
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The prime minister’s pledge to ban gas boilers from new homes by 2023 has been withdrawn, says BBC News.

The promise first appeared on the Downing Street website this week attached to Mr Johnson’s climate plan.

But the date was later amended, with the PM’s office claiming a “mix-up”.

The original statement from Number 10 announced this goal; “2023 – Implement a Future Homes Standard for new homes, with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency.”

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Cumulus clouds over the Atlantic Ocean [image credit: Tiago Fioreze @ Wikipedia]


Clouds again: “For 50 years, people have been making climate projections, but all of them have had a false representation of clouds”, says a top atmospheric science professor who served as a lead-author of Chapter 7, “Cloud and Aerosols” for the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Despite this glaring deficiency in climate models, governments insist on framing energy policies on the assertion that human ’emissions’ will be the main cause of any observed or future global climate change.

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Above the Atlantic Ocean, puffy white clouds scud across the sky buffeted by invisible trade winds.

They are not ‘particularly big, impressive or extended,” says Dr. Sandrine Bony, a climatologist and research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. “But they are the most ubiquitous clouds on Earth.”

Clouds are one of the biggest question marks in global climate models, and a wild card in predicting what will happen to the climate as temperatures rise, says Phys.org.

They play a vital role in how much of the sun’s radiation makes it into and gets trapped in our atmosphere.

The more clouds there are, the more radiation bounces off their tops and is reflected back into space; it also means that if there are more clouds, the radiation reflected by Earth gets trapped.

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Cumuliform cloudscape over Swifts Creek, Australia
[image credit: Wikipedia]


Do we see a chicken and egg conundrum when reading that there’s ‘a project to study how low clouds respond to climate change’? Accurate data on clouds in general is sparse, making any assertions about future climate questionable.
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One of the biggest weaknesses in computer climate models – the very models whose predictions underlie proposed political action on human CO2 emissions – is the representation of clouds and their response to global warming.

The deficiencies in computer simulations of clouds are acknowledged even by climate modelers, says Science under attack (via The GWPF).

Yet cloud behavior is key to whether future warming is a serious problem or not.

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How will they react if or when it turns out that ECS only exists in their imaginations anyway?

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

Climate science is dominated by alarmists addicted to the idea that increasing carbon dioxide will cause dangerous global warming. How much warming is thus the central scientific question.

This question has been surprisingly difficult to answer despite 40 years of research, costing tens of billions of dollars. Now the issue is exploding because two different answers are emerging, one harmlessly low and the other dangerously high. This divergence is a crisis for the alarmist community. How they handle it remains to be seen.

What follows is a slightly technical explanation of the situation.

The issue centers on a benchmark estimate of the impact of increasing CO2 on global temperature. This is called the “equilibrium climate sensitivity” or ECS. The basic question is what will the global average temperature be when the CO2 level is double the supposedly original level of 280 ppm? That is, what…

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Climate models: the limits in the sky

Posted: October 13, 2020 by oldbrew in climate, Clouds, modelling, Uncertainty
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The debate about the role of clouds in climate — whether in isolation, or relative to other possible factors — rumbles on, and on, and adequate data is just not available. A rather large hole in the IPCC-claimed ‘settled science’, it seems.
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Climate modellers hope machine learning can overcome persistent problems that still cloud their results, says E&T Magazine.

The discipline of climate modelling has entered its sixth decade. Large-scale analyses of Earth’s behaviour have evolved considerably but there remain significant gaps, some persistent.

One in particular helps illustrate challenges that are now being tackled by, almost inevitably, using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

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Instead of promoting meaningless climate thresholds, targets etc., alarmists might want to take a closer look at the neglected topic of natural factors.
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A new study demonstrates how a prolonged warming pause or even global cooling may happen in coming years despite increasing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases — caused by natural climatic variability, says The GWPF.

Natural climatic variability has always been a topic that contains a lot of unknowns, but it has been rarely explicitly stated just how little we know about it.

Such variability has been habitually underplayed as it was “obvious” that the major driver of global temperature was the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, with natural variability a weaker effect.

But the global temperature data of this century demonstrate that natural variability has dominated in the form of El Ninos.

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Are climate models getting any better, or even getting worse? Their ‘projections’ almost invariably expect more warming than is observed, often a lot more. Now the uncertainty is increasing.
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As scientists work to determine why some of the latest climate models suggest the future could be warmer than previously thought, a new study indicates the reason is likely related to challenges simulating the formation and evolution of clouds, says ScienceDaily.

The new research, published in Science Advances, gives an overview of 39 updated models that are part of a major international climate endeavor, the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The models will also be analyzed for the upcoming sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Compared with older models, a subset of these updated models has shown a higher sensitivity to carbon dioxide — that is, more warming for a given concentration of the greenhouse gas — though a few showed lower sensitivity as well.

The end result is a greater range of model responses than any preceding generation of models, dating back to the early 1990s.

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Credit: NASA


This BBC link includes a video which shows the weakening of the magnetic field over the last 400 years (under ‘Magnetic flip’ sub-heading).
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In an area stretching from Africa to South America, Earth’s magnetic field is gradually weakening, says Phys.org.

This strange behaviour has geophysicists puzzled and is causing technical disturbances in satellites orbiting Earth.

Scientists are using data from ESA’s Swarm constellation to improve our understanding of this area known as the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly.’

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Loch Vaa, Scotland


Despite an unusually dry April in the notoriously rainy Scottish Highlands, an unpredictable local loch is now way above normal levels, baffling experts and locals.
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The level at a loch that mysteriously lost millions of gallons of water a year ago has risen to one of its highest in years, reports BBC News.

Loch Vaa, near Aviemore in the Cairngorms, is fed by a spring.

In May last year, its lease-holders reported the water level had dropped by 1.4m (4.5ft) for unexplained reasons.

However, after returning to normal levels later in 2019, it has now risen by an extra 2.5m (8ft), the highest level in decades.

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Mixed messages ahead. Can anyone explain the apparent discrepancies?

The UK Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has issued a warning: large areas of England will face significant risk of drought due to climate change, and water companies need to find billions of extra liters per day by 2050 to keep up, reports New Atlas.

But days earlier we had this from the Met Office Press Office:
Climate change to bring heavier rainfall events.

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‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit: evwind.es]


Intermittency, meaning unreliability, is of course guaranteed with wind and solar power. The problem being that some governments now proceed as though that doesn’t matter any more, preferring to trumpet absurd claims about ‘saving the climate’. If they persist, eventual power shortages look inevitable.
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Germany now generates over 35% of its yearly electricity consumption from wind and solar sources, says the Asia Times.

Over 30,000 wind turbines have been built, with a total installed capacity of nearly 60 GW.

Germany now has approximately 1.7 million solar power (photovoltaic) installations, with an installed capacity of 46 GW. This looks very impressive.

Unfortunately, most of the time the actual amount of electricity produced is only a fraction of the installed capacity. Worse, on “bad days” it can fall to nearly zero.

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This GWPF report paints an uncomfortable picture of increasing instability in the UK electricity supply system, as ever more renewables are injected into it while older but more predictable thermal power plants are retired. The author says bluntly that until recently customers ‘could rely on the system. That is not the case today.’ Come the power cut, you’re on your own.

It has been widely claimed that Distributed (or embedded) Generation, such as solar and wind connected to the low voltage distribution network, reinforces electricity system stability.

The final reports into the widespread blackout of the 9th of August last year by the UK electricity regulator, Ofgem, and the British government’s Energy Emergency Executive Committee, E3C show that this is not the case.

Distributed Generation is now under the spotlight as a leading cause of the severity of the 9 August blackout, and as a hazard increasing future risks to security of supply.

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This extract from an article at Historic Mysteries looks at the demise of the city, linked to major climatic changes that happened centuries before the arrival of the modern industrial world. Cahokia Mounds is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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In Southern Illinois, situated along the Mississippi River in Collinsville, an ancient settlement that we call Cahokia rose to great power between 800-1200 CE.

Nicknamed America’s Forgotten City or The City of the Sun, the massive complex once contained as many as 40,000 people and spread across nearly 4,000 acres.

The most notable features of the site are hand-made earthen mounds which held temples, political buildings, and burial pits.

Cahokia Mounds are a testament to the highly organized culture of the early Mississippian people who built the largest city in pre-Columbian North America.

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