Archive for the ‘Uncertainty’ Category

nuke-powerIn a surprise move, the UK govt has put the brakes on the Hinkley Point nuclear power contract. Yesterday, there was anticipation in the media that the directorate of EDF would approve the scheme. In the event, the vote was 10 to 7 in favour, though one director resigned beforehand.

Maybe the depth of the split on the EDF board has given the new UK government the jitters. In a brief two line statement this morning, the business secretary, Greg Clark, said the government would now examine all components of the deal and decide in the Autumn whether to go ahead, or not.

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Chinese wind power [image credit: clearwinds.co.uk]

Chinese wind power [image credit: clearwinds.co.uk]


Even if the turbines themselves are in working order, unreliable intermittent wind power remote from the areas of densest population can cause havoc to China’s power grid system, as Andrew Follett reports in the Daily Caller.

The government stopped approving new wind power projects in the country’s windiest regions in early March, according to China’s National Energy Administration statement. These regions previously installed nearly 71 gigawatts of wind turbines, more than the rest of China combined.

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credit: IB Times

credit: IB Times


This non-project (so far) must hold some sort of record for delays, doubts, cost increases and basic feasibility. PEI reports on the latest negative news.

The beleaguered Hinkley Point C project in western England is set to suffer another setback, with the unions involved in EDF reinforcing their opposition to the nuclear power plant project going ahead.

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Therein lies the problem – or one of them. How’s that cloud modelling going for instance?

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.cato.org/blog/climate-modeling-dominates-climate-science

An interesting study from Pat Michaels and David Wojick:

Computer modeling plays an important role in all of the sciences, but there can be too much of a good thing. A simple semantic analysis indicates that climate science has become dominated by modeling. This is a bad thing.

What we did

We found two pairs of surprising statistics. To do this we first searched the entire literature of science for the last ten years, using Google Scholar, looking for modeling. There are roughly 900,000 peer reviewed journal articles that use at least one of the words model, modeled or modeling. This shows that there is indeed a widespread use of models in science. No surprise in this.

However, when we filter these results to only include items that also use the term climate change, something strange happens. The number of articles is only reduced to roughly…

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Bumpy road ahead?[image credit: RWE]

Bumpy road ahead?[image credit: RWE]


Pursuit of short-sighted energy policies is leading Germany on a dangerous path, as DW.COM reports from the AGM of major company RWE (aka ‘npower’ in the UK). Turning a blind eye to the possibility of future reliance on renewables won’t end well, says the CEO. Will any top politicians listen to the advice?

German power group RWE endures a bruising shareholders’ meeting. Still heavily involved with coal, the energy company has caught the brunt of activists and market changes. But its CEO has fought back, making the case for non-renewable energy sources.

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Empty supermarket shelves before Hurricane Sandy [credit: Wikipedia]

Empty supermarket shelves before Hurricane Sandy [credit: Wikipedia]


Running out of…sanity? Probably not, but the media has to get its ‘news’ stories from somewhere, as this GWPF report implies.

What explains our insatiable appetite for stories about shortages? Ever since Thomas Malthus warned of imminent food shortages and mass starvation in 1779, the spectre of a Malthusian resource catastrophe has resurfaced among each new generation of pessimists.

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Tim writes,

Image

Figure 1, Met Office Hadley monthly rainfall series for England and Wales start date 1766. Winter 2015/16 was wet but ordinary. (data processing by the author, see previous articles)
Plots for all data series as PDF (2MB).

Some other parts / regions of the country do show an extreme but this adds weight to the flicker noise (or 1/f) hypothosis for weather noise.

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False alarm

False alarm


It may only be the conclusion of one expert, but it makes a change from the usual tidal wave of evidence-light negative assertions about the potential future of our Earth. He said it was ‘extremely difficult’ to find a correlation between carbon dioxide levels and temperature trends.

The global average temperature is likely to remain unchanged by the end of the century, contrary to predictions by climate scientists that it could rise by more than 4C, according to a leading statistician.
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Warming up for climate negotiations ? [image credit: businessnewsdaily.com]

Warming up for climate negotiations ?
[image credit: businessnewsdaily.com]


That’s the headline of this Yahoo News report. Looks like another marathon arm-wrestle when the Paris climate crowd jet in for their annual jamboree in a few weeks’ time.

Frustration ran high Wednesday at the snail’s pace of talks for a climate rescue pact, with three days left for diplomats to craft a blueprint for a year-end UN summit. With an eye firmly on the clock, diplomats in Bonn despaired at the mountain of work they face after an acrimonious start on Monday cost them more than a day of negotiating time.

“I am, to be honest, very concerned,” said climate envoy Laurence Tubiana of France, which will host a November 30-December 11 UN summit tasked with inking a 195-nation pact to rein in global warming. “I don’t think this way of working is going to bring us where we need to be by the end of the week and to stand a chance of success in Paris.”

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Mothballed Plants On Standby To Avoid Blackouts

Posted: October 15, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, Uncertainty
Tags:

darkness
It’s time for the annual ‘will they or won’t they?’ – lights stay on – as the UK National Grid limbers up for the stresses and strains of the coming winter’s electricity demands, as Sky News reports. Nobody wants to end up praying for wind….

The National Grid has insisted it has the “right tools” in place to cope with this winter’s energy demands. The company’s Winter Outlook report said that without the measures it had put in place, spare capacity – the gap between generating capacity and peak demand – would plunge to just 1.2%.

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Gas power station [credit: gov.uk]

Gas power station [credit: gov.uk]


UK energy policy is in danger of crumbling, with delays and doubts over its nuclear plans and now a financial crisis facing its gas power plans, as the Daily Telegraph reports.

The UK Government’s plans to keep the lights on have suffered a fresh setback after it emerged the only new large gas power station due to be built in coming years is now in doubt.

Energy firm Carlton Power was awarded a subsidy contract by the Department of Energy and Climate Change last year to build a new 1.9 gigawatt plant at Trafford in Greater Manchester – big enough to supply power to 2.2 million homes.The £800 million plant was due to start generating in October 2018, but Carlton Power told the Telegraph it could no longer meet that date – and had so far failed to secure financial backers for the project to go ahead at all.

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isoprene1This may sound like a joke but it seems not – it’s all over the usual blogs and sceptic media. Does it put a spanner in the works? This from The Register’s report:

As world leaders get ready to head to Paris for the latest pact on cutting CO2 emissions, it has emerged that there isn’t as much urgency about the matter as had been thought.

A team of top-level atmospheric chemistry boffins from France and Germany say they have identified a new process by which vast amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted into the atmosphere from the sea – a process which was unknown until now, meaning that existing climate models do not take account of it.

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[credit: softpedia.com]

[credit: softpedia.com]


Phys.org is running an article headed: On Wikipedia, politically controversial science topics vulnerable to information sabotage. This is no great surprise apart possibly from the fact that it’s being openly discussed by academics.

Wikipedia reigns. It’s the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, the sixth most visited website in America, and a research source most U.S. students rely on. But, according to a paper published today in the journal PLOS ONE, Wikipedia entries on politically controversial scientific topics can be unreliable due to information sabotage.

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[credit: Wikipedia]

[credit: Wikipedia]


More pseudo-religious climate nonsense in Thursday’s Guardian:

Quote: ‘James Inhofe, infamous for tossing a snowball across the Senate floor to demonstrate ‘the greatest hoax ever perpetrated against the American people’, says Pope Francis should ‘stay with his job’ during a pitch to fellow unbelievers

The Guardian report later says: ‘In the world outside, anticipation was building for the pope to deliver his much-awaited encyclical next week, when he is expected to cast climate change as a moral issue.’

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NASA 'global warming satellite' (their description)  [credit: NASA]

NASA ‘global warming satellite’ (their description)
[credit: NASA]


Two choices: whether to laugh or cry at the latest fortune-telling exercise from NASA’s warming-obsessed spin-doctors. Climate models are famed for their predictive inadequacy – incompetence even – so this looks exactly like an exercise in futility.

NASA has released a dataset setting out how rainfall and temperature patterns are likely to change in the coming decades, Gizmag reports. The data covers 21 climate models, mapping how our environment could change due to growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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UK internet usage per hour (2012) [image credit: ISPreview]

UK internet usage per hour (2012)
[image credit: ISPreview]


The UK Daily Telegraph says the internet is already consuming at least 8 per cent of Britain’s power output and this figure is bound to rise. The Press Association (via Yahoo! News) reports:

Britain’s internet demand is expanding at such a rate that it could consume the nation’s entire power supply by 2035, an expert has warned.

Andrew Ellis, professor of optical communications at Aston University, said the success of video-streaming websites such as YouTube and Netflix along with new innovations meant optical fibres could reach their limit within eight years.

Prof Ellis said rationing internet use or charging more so that more cables can be installed may need to be considered, as experts prepare to meet at London’s Royal Society later this month to discuss what can be done to avert a web crisis.

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21st century seascape

21st century seascape


The New York Times reports the difficulties likely to face US power generation companies due to the pace of change demanded by the latest government rules and the ever-increasing reliance on part-time power sources scattered all over the place. Does this sound familiar at all?

WASHINGTON — As President Obama prepares to unveil his climate change regulations on coal-fired power plants, the nation’s electric utilities are preparing to transform the system that keeps the lights on in America. But some companies fear that in the process, the lights may go out.

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By the time people realise the climate ‘experts’ got it all wrong – again – most of the culprits will have retired, most probably with nice pensions.

Real Science

Scientists warn that we are about to pass a global warming tipping point.

ScreenHunter_8651 Apr. 17 05.58

While we may not yet have reached the “point of no return”—when no amount of cutbacks on greenhouse gas emissions will save us from potentially catastrophic global warming—climate scientists warn we may be getting awfully close.

Have We Passed the Point of No Return on Climate Change? – Scientific American

This sounds bad, but is actually excellent news. In 1989 they only gave us until the year 2000 to stop global warming, so this is actually quite a nice reprieve.

ScreenHunter_8659 Apr. 17 06.37

Mercury News: Search Results

But it is even better than it seems! Forty years ago this month climatologists told us that unless we let them melt the polar ice caps, global cooling would kill us all.

ScreenHunter_8656 Apr. 17 06.15

denisdutton.com/newsweek_coolingworld.pdf

So far, we have a total of 40 years of passing the global cooling/warming tipping point. But the news gets even better. Seventy…

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NCAR Research Data Archive Blog

2015-03-30
1938 atmospheric river that caused the Los Angeles flood of 1938
At least one person asked why I used a reanalysis that does not assimilate satellite water vapor data to study an atmospheric river (AR) event.

That’s a good question because the NOAA/CIRES Twentieth Century Global Reanalysis Version 2c (20thCR V2c) only ingests three things: surface pressure, sea ice coverage and sea surface temperature. The rest of the analysis is generated by the physical models of NOAA’s Global Forecast System (GFS).

http://ncarrda.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/1938-atmospheric-river-that-caused-los.html

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Maps of sea surface temperature anomaly [credit: NOAA]

Maps of sea surface temperature anomaly [credit: NOAA]


What follows are extracts from the US NOAA’s own blog. They report: ‘After twelve months of El Niño Watches, we are issuing an El Niño Advisory.’ But the conditions are ‘extremely weak’ at this time [note: the maps shown are NOT current conditions]:

Over the last several months, we’ve seen warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical Pacific, including the Niño3.4 region, which we track as one indicator of El Niño. The seasonal Niño3.4 Index has been at or above 0.5°C since September, and the most recent weekly Niño3.4 index was +0.6°C.

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a coupled phenomenon, though, so we also monitor the atmosphere for signs that it is responding to those positive SST anomalies. For the last few months, we’ve been seeing some suggestions of borderline atmospheric El Niño conditions, but until this month [March] we were below that borderline. This month, we’ve finally crept above it, and thus NOAA is declaring the onset of El Niño conditions.

But what does it mean for North American and global weather?
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