Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

arctic-sea-ice

Arctic sea ice [image credit: Geoscience Daily]

‘New research is pouring cold water on once-hot theory’ – WashPo. Researchers refer to ‘overestimation’. (Weird in this context at least tends to mean something like ‘not well understood’).
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An influential, highly publicized theory — that a warming Arctic is causing more intense winter outbreaks of cold and snow in midlatitudes — is hitting resistance from an ongoing sequence of studies, including the most comprehensive polar modeling to date, says the Washington Post.

The idea, first put forth in a 2012 paper by Jennifer Francis, now at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, and Stephen Vavrus, at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is that two well-established trends — Arctic amplification (intensified global warming at higher latitudes) and depleted sea ice — can force the polar jet stream to dip farther south, thus causing more intense bouts of winter weather than might have otherwise occurred.

Over the past decade, this hypothesis sparked widespread public interest and scientific debate, as various high-profile cold waves and snow onslaughts hit North America and Eurasia, including a deadly, prolonged cold wave in Texas last February.

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brazilian-coffeeDude! What’s this cold white stuff doing here?
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Brazil has experienced rare heavy snowfall since Thursday, threatening crops and bewildering locals who don’t usually see snow, reports The Independent.

More than 40 cities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul had icy conditions and at least 33 municipalities had snow, reported the meteorology company Somar Meteorologia.

On Friday, there were warnings of cold temperatures as a polar air mass travelled toward the centre-south of the agricultural powerhouse, threatening coffee, sugarcane and orange crops with frost.

The unusually cold temperature in the country has already forced coffee prices to rise.

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omegablock

Credit: The Weather Network

Of course they could have been. The question is, were they? Assigning weather events to ‘global warming’ is ambiguous without a full definition of what the assigner means by that term. Jet stream blocking events discussed below are well-known to meteorologists, and constantly claiming them as evidence of a new human-caused problem with the climate is a stretch, to say the least.
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The recent record-shattering heat wave in the Pacific northwest and devastating floods in western Europe have both been ascribed to global warming by many climate scientists, says Science Under Attack.

But an alternative explanation, voiced by some climatologists yet ignored by the mainstream media, is that the disasters were caused by the phenomenon of jet-stream blocking – which may or may not be a result of global warming, and could instead arise from a weakening of the sun’s output.

Blocking refers to the locking in place for several days or weeks of the jet stream, a narrow, high-altitude air current that flows rapidly from west to east in each hemisphere and governs much of our weather.

One of the more common blocking patterns is known as an “omega block,” a buckling of the jet stream named for its resemblance to the upper-case Greek letter omega, that produces alternating, stationary highs and lows in pressure as shown in the figure below. Under normal weather conditions, highs and lows move on quickly.

According to the blocking explanation, the torrential rains that hovered over parts of western Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands came from a low-pressure system trapped between two blocking highs to the west and east – the opposite situation to that shown in the figure.

Precipitation tends to increase in a warmer world because of enhanced evap­oration from tropical oceans, resulting in more water vapor in the atmosphere. So with a blocking low stuck over the Rhine valley and the ground already saturated from previous rainfall, it’s not surprising that swollen rivers overflowed and engulfed whole villages.

A similar argument can be invoked to explain the intense “heat dome” that parked itself over British Columbia, Washington and Oregon for five blisteringly hot days last month. In this case, it was a region of high pressure that was pinned in place by lows on either side, with the sweltering heat intensified by the effects of La Niña on North America.

Several Pacific northwest cities experienced temperatures a full 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) above previous records.

There’s little doubt that both of these calamitous events resulted from jet-stream omega blocks. Blocking can also induce cold extremes, such as the deep freeze endured by Texas earlier this year. But how can blocking be caused by the sun?

Over the 11-year solar cycle, the sun’s heat and visible light fluctuate, as does its production of invisible UV, which varies much more than the tenth of a percent change in total solar output. It’s thought that changes in solar UV irradiance cause wind shifts in the stratosphere (the layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere), which in turn induce blocking in the tropospheric jet stream via a feedback effect.

Blocking can also stem from other mechanisms. In the North Atlantic at least, a 2008 research paper found that during periods of low solar activity, blocking events in more eastward locations are longer and more intense than during higher solar activity.

Right now we’re entering a stretch of diminished solar output, signified by a falloff in the average monthly number of sunspots as depicted in the next figure.

The decline in the maximum number of sunspots over the last few cycles likely heralds the onset of a grand solar minimum, which could usher in a period of global cooling.

Full article here.

e-truck

E-truck test route in Germany [image credit: transport-online.de]

Another one from the Department of Bad Ideas? Before they rush into anything, they might want to note the assessment of a writer for Mass Transit magazine 10 years ago, on the subject of overhead (catenary) lines. Here’s the opening paragraph in full: ‘They are expensive. They are dangerous. They are unsightly.’ Much more here, but let’s quote a few other comments:
‘Overhead lines require a lot of maintenance given the direct contact of the pantographs and their constant exposure to weather’
‘Winter storms play havoc with overhead wire systems’
‘Loose wires in the summer and wire breaks in the winter as a result of lines contracting and expanding with the temperature also create maintenance headaches’
‘A catenary line is a live wire suspended in the air. Weather issues therefore become serious safety concerns.’

Did somebody mention climate change as a reason for the road experiment?
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The government will fund the design of a scheme to install overhead electric cables to power electric lorries on a motorway near Scunthorpe, as part of a series of studies on how to decarbonise road freight, reports The Guardian.

The electric road system – or e-highway – study, backed with £2m of funding, will draw up plans to install overhead cables on a 20km (12.4 miles) stretch of the M180 near Scunthorpe, in Lincolnshire.

If the designs are accepted and building work is funded the trucks could be on the road by 2024.

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BBC_weather

Credit: BBC

A meandering jet stream can lead to unusual weather conditions. Blaming ‘climate change’ (pick your own definition) is so vague as to be meaningless, but may serve to divert the spotlight away from political leaders.
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The Global Warming Policy Forum has called on the UK government to learn the key lesson from the German flood disaster and adopt policies that prioritise effective and relative low cost flood protection over massively expensive and ineffective renewable energy targets.

In recent days, meteorologists and extreme weather researchers have blamed a ‘monumental failure of Germany’s flood warning system’ for the death and devastation triggered by disastrous flooding.

Experts had warned the German government four days before the first floods about the high risk of flooding in the Rhine basin, but the government failed to implement flood protection measures that are, in any case historically underfunded and thus ineffective.

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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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metofficecomputer

Weather forecasting technology

Maybe they need better ideas, not just more expensive modelling gear run by the same climate obsessives pushing worn-out theories that have never worked. Sales talk of ‘delivering the quantum leap’ sounds a bit thin after decades of posing as masters of climate understanding.
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Top climate scientists have admitted they failed to predict the intensity of the German floods and the North American heat dome, says BBC News.

They’ve correctly warned over decades that a fast-warming climate would bring worse bursts of rain and more damaging heatwaves.

But they say their computers are not powerful enough to accurately project the severity of those extremes.

They want governments to spend big on a shared climate super-computer.

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Electricity1

[credit: green lantern electric]

‘What a surprise’, said no-one. Cue vague waffle about facing the issues, mainly caused by ditching reliable (compared to renewables) on-demand electricity generation from coal and gas.
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Britain faces catastrophic power cuts because of an increasing reliance on electricity to run everything from cars to home boilers, the Committee on Climate Change has warned. The Telegraph reporting.

Decarbonisation plans, which involve switching transport and heating away from petrol and gas, will mean outages in the future have a greater impact, the Government’s independent advisory committee on climate change has said, as it urged the Government to make sure the system could withstand extreme weather.

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windger

German Chancellor Merkel surveys an offshore wind site [image credit: evwind.es]

Wind ‘farms’ are allergic to each other it seems, sometimes leading to sizable drops in output. Awkward when space isn’t unlimited, some of the best sites are already taken, and the plan is to multiply the existing fleets. Weather dependency is even greater than expected.
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The expansion of wind energy in the German Bight and the Baltic Sea has accelerated enormously in recent years, TechXplore.

The first systems went into operation in 2008. Today, wind turbines with an output of around 8,000 megawatts operate in German waters, which corresponds to around eight nuclear power plants.

But space is limited. For this reason, wind farms are sometimes built very close to one another.

A team led by Dr. Naveed Akhtar from Helmholtz Zentrum Hereon has found that wind speeds at the downstream windfarm are significantly slowed down.

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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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Frost2

Frost fractals [image credit: Schnobby – Wikipedia]

A similar story is reported in France, Germany and the Netherlands, to name a few nearby countries. It was sunnier than typical Aprils, but so was the same month last year – without the high number of frosts.
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April 2021 had the lowest average minimum temperatures for April in the UK since 1922, as air frost and clear conditions combined for a frost-laden, chilly month, despite long hours of sunshine, says a Met Office press release.

Early provisional figures from the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre indicate that April had the third lowest average UK minimum temperature for the month since records began in 1884, while Wales, Scotland and England all reported their figures in their top five lowest ever recorded.

Average daily maximum temperatures were also below normal, but not by as much as the minimum temperatures.

It had already been reported that April had seen its highest level of air frost in 60 years, with an average of 13 days of air frost topping the previous record figure of 11 days in 1970 (records for air frost go back to 1960).

This number of air frosts is more typical for December, January or February, whereas the average number of air frosts in April is five days.

For gardeners and growers there were also a record high number of ground frosts with 22 days this month compared to an average of 12 days.

Despite the low minimum temperatures and frosts, much of the UK has basked in sunshine through April, with all UK countries currently reporting sunshine hours for the month in their top five ever recorded since 1919.

Continued here.

stream_high

High pressure over the UK

Why isn’t rising CO2 putting an end to all the frostiness, we may ask, if currently fashionable climate theories are so smart?
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This month is provisionally the frostiest April in the UK for at least 60 years, the Met Office has said.

The month saw 13 days of air frosts in the UK, compared with the previous record of 11 in April 1970, reports BBC News.

Northern Ireland had eight days of air frosts, while Scotland recorded 16.

The Met Office says the conditions have been challenging for farmers and growers and are advising gardeners to keep their tender plants indoors.

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TypicalLaNina

Typical influence of La Niña on Pacific and Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity. Map by NOAA Climate.gov, based on originals by Gerry Bell.

Prediction time as the 2021 season approaches. The expected impacts of El Niño and La Niña on hurricane seasons in both the Atlantic and Pacific ocean areas are discussed by NOAA here. Hurricane detection has improved over time, so what is considered ‘average’ now is unlikely to be the same as it used to be.
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The year 2020 saw the most active hurricane season on record and marked the fifth consecutive year for above-average activity, says Phys.org.

A University of Arizona-led hurricane forecasting team predicts another year of above-average hurricane activity over the Atlantic Ocean in 2021.

The team predicts 18 named storms, including eight hurricanes, throughout the 2021 North Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

In comparison, the 30-year average is 13 named storms and seven hurricanes annually.

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metofficecomputer

Weather forecasting technology

Before they even build it, everyone knows what kind of answers the ‘climate supercomputer’ will be required to produce. These will then be presented as evidence of the pre-conceived climate theories, which will be tagged as ‘science’ and everyone will be expected to be impressed.
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The Met Office will work with Microsoft on a supercomputer which will help model climate change, says BBC News.

They say it will provide more accurate weather forecasting and a better understanding of climate change.

The UK government said in February 2020 it would invest £1.2bn in the project.

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The Climate Blame Game 

Posted: April 14, 2021 by oldbrew in alarmism, climate, Critique, data, modelling, weather
Tags:

weather18

A diet of daily assertions that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions are a big deal, isn’t evidence of anything.
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A paper published today shows that attempts to blame extreme weather on human-caused global warming are “overconfident and probably wrong”, says The Global Warming Policy Forum.

The paper, by statistician and philosopher of science Dr William M Briggs, reveals that mainstream attribution science is beset by flaws of reasoning, modelling and data.

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The Green Mirage

Posted: April 13, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, ideology, weather
Tags: ,

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Wind is generating a mere 1-2% of UK electricity today, the cause being a high pressure weather system with very low wind speeds, which no amount of subsidy can ever prevent. Discuss.

Science Matters

Mirage (2)

John Constable writes at Civitas The Green Mirage: Why a Low-Carbon Economy May be Further Off Than We Think. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images. h/t Real Clear Public Affairs

Spain renewables

Findings:

  • The prospects for a sustainable, low-carbon economy as the result of current UK national and EU-wide policies are poor.
  • Empirical experience in Spain and Germany shows that the costs of supporting renewable energy generation are too high.
  • Rising employment in the renewable energy sector compared to the wider UK economy stems from unsustainably high subsidies.
  • Renewables are naturally less productive, so as they are relentlessly pursued, a painful rebalancing of the economy will occur, with fewer jobs and less economic growth.

green-and-environment

Bottom Line: The current prospects for a sustainable low-carbon economy are poor in both the UK and across the European Union (EU). Germany and Spain have already clearly shown what happens when state coercion forces…

View original post 354 more words

FRANCE-AGRICULTURE-WEATHER-VINEYARD

A winegrower lights anti-frost candles in a French vineyard [image credit: thelocal.fr]

Government policy is to try and make the climate cooler. Now read on.
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The French government is to declare an agricultural disaster over an unusual early spring frost that has damaged crops and vines across the country, the agriculture minister said. Phys.org reporting.

Julien Denormandie told Franceinfo radio late Thursday that the cold snap had been “particularly difficult” for the sector with “significant losses” registered.

“We are completely mobilised so that the accompanying measures can be put in place as quickly as possible,” he said.

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solar1

Solar activity [image credit: NASA]

What drives the weather can drive the climate. In this case the chances of non-correlation are said to be extremely low.
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A new study shows a correlation between the end of solar cycles and a switch from El Nino to La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean, suggesting that solar variability can drive seasonal weather variability on Earth, Phys.org reports.

If the connection outlined in the journal Earth and Space Science holds up, it could significantly improve the predictability of the largest El Nino and La Nina events, which have a number of seasonal climate effects over land.

For example, the southern United States tends to be warmer and drier during a La Nina, while the northern U.S. tends to be colder and wetter.

“Energy from the Sun is the major driver of our entire Earth system and makes life on Earth possible,” said Scott McIntosh, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and co-author of the paper.

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Anvil_Cloud

Anvil of a thundercloud over Columbia [image credit: Eulenjäger @ Wikipedia]

But that’s not the whole story. It seems from long-term data ‘that these super-cold thunderstorms may be increasing in frequency. There have been as many such events across the globe in the past three years as there were in the 13 years before that.’ Could this be in some way related to the big decline in sunspot activity over the last two solar cycles?
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We’ve all seen those majestic anvil storm clouds that form on a hot summer’s day, but what do you think is the temperature right at the very top? – asks BBC News.

It’s very cold, obviously; at high altitude it is well below freezing.

But would you be surprised to learn it is sometimes below even -100C?

Indeed, scientists have just published research showing the top of one tropical storm cloud system in 2018 reached -111C. This is very likely a record low temperature.

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Such floods, or lack of them, were ’caused by a range of factors’ so not conducive to any particular brand of alarmism, it would seem.
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Severe river floods are escalating in temperate climates and putting at risk populations, livelihoods and property, according to evidence published today in Geophysical Research Letters by an Oxford-led international team, says Phys.org.

The first global examination of recent changes in the size, frequency, and probability of extreme river floods using historical river records, the paper shows that dangers of extreme river flooding demand close monitoring of rivers for decades to come, to understand and account for the potential impact of such changes.

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