Archive for the ‘wind’ Category

Arctic blast brings record cold to the US

Posted: February 5, 2023 by oldbrew in News, Temperature, weather, wind
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Ouch! The ‘rapidly warming’ Arctic, as climate alarmists like to claim, can still pack a hefty punch. Weren’t such days supposed to be over, in theory at least?
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Weather authorities say an “epic, generational Arctic outbreak” caused record cold temperatures and life-threatening conditions in the northeastern United States on Saturday, reports DW.com.

The summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire reported a low of minus 78 Celsius (minus 108 Fahrenheit) — the coldest temperature ever recorded in the United States.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Caribou, Maine, said it received reports of “frostquakes.”

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Omega blocking highs can remain in place for several days or even weeks [image credit: UK Met Office]


Bring on the loaded questions, such as ‘How does climate change affect windstorms?’ The BBC casts around for suspects, like La Niña and meandering polar jet streams, but it’s all inconclusive. Are the ‘extreme weather’ climate obsessives feeling deprived?
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By February, the UK would normally have had around three storms given names by the Met Office – just like Arwen, Barra and Callum, says BBC News.

But so far this autumn and winter, there hasn’t been a single one.

Weather patterns have been calmer across the Atlantic and towards northwest Europe. But why?

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German forest with wind turbines


The research team ‘concludes that wind power development in forests must be avoided’, if at all possible. Not what climate obsessives want to hear, but hardly surprising news. More scientific evidence of what was already known.
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More than 30,000 turbines have already been installed on the German mainland so far, and the industry is currently scrambling to locate increasingly rare suitable sites.

Thus, forests are coming into focus as potential sites, says Berlin’s FVB research institute.

A scientific team from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) now demonstrated in a new paper published in the scientific journal “Current Biology” that wind turbines in forests impair endangered bat species: Common noctules (Nyctalus noctula), a species with a high risk of colliding with rotor blades, are attracted to forest wind turbines if these are located near their roosts.

Far from roosts, common noctules avoid the turbines, essentially resulting in a loss of foraging space and thus habitat for this species.

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If the North Atlantic Right Whale is a right-thinking whale, it will leave that area and not come back.

PA Pundits International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

The world’s biggest offshore wind array is Hornsea 2, which is 1,386 MW with a turbine size of 8.4 MW. Operational in 2022 it is the state of the OSW art. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_offshore_wind_farms

But Virginia’s phase 1 array is a whopping 2,600 MW, with huge 15 MW turbines. Clearly it is a giant, far bigger than anything that has ever been built. The cost is estimated as $10 billion to build.

Moreover there are a dozen or more comparable giant arrays proposed to be built at the same time, lining the Atlantic coast. Last I heard the combined proposals topped a gigantic 40,000 MW.

From an engineering point of view this is nuts. No one has ever done anything like this so let’s do a hundred billion dollars worth and see how it goes, right? Work up to it? Start small then scale up, learning…

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LNG vessels [image credit: offshoreenergytoday.com]


Who knew? Just as night follows day, replacing on-demand power generation with intermittent sources can and does cause reliability and other issues of varying severity. Preferring imported gas to domestic sources was another avoidable mistake, leading to far more of the supposedly fearsome CO2 emissions than necessary. The climate excuse is wearing thin.
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The UK will be scrambling for highly expensive gas imports to meet its energy needs this winter to stave off blackouts whenever the wind doesn’t blow, warned a leading energy expert.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, told City A.M. that the intermittent performance of domestic renewable power is proving costly for the West.

He argued the country lacks a reliable alternative base-load of power aside from highly expensive natural gas.

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Image credit: sanibelrealestateguide.com


Trying to use Atlantic hurricane patterns to promote climate alarm in the US and elsewhere was blown off course this year. Instead the predictive reputations of the experts of all shades of global warming opinion took a battering. Natural variation threw them off the scent somehow.
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While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) held firm to its prediction of an above-normal hurricane season – despite zero hurricanes at the halfway mark – the 2022 season proved to be nothing out of the ordinary, says CNS News (via Climate Change Dispatch).

Hurricane season, which runs from June through November annually, turned out to be pretty average this year, NOAA’s end-of-season report reveals.

There were just two “major” hurricanes (categories 3-5), below the annual average of three and less than NOAA’s prediction that there would be 3-6.

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Windy enough today?


This recent Yale Environment360 article came into focus today when Sky News headlined with: Future of renewable energy in balance as UK suffers wind drought – with ‘global stilling’ to come. Ironically, climate theory has it that warming will happen and will reduce wind speeds over the decades ahead. According to one expert (says Yale), a 10 percent decline in wind speeds would actually result in “a 30 percent drop [in output], and that would be catastrophic.”
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Last year, from summer into fall, much of Europe experienced what’s known as a “wind drought,” says Yale.

Wind speeds in many places slowed about 15 percent below the annual average, and in other places, the drop was even more pronounced.

It was one of the least windy periods in the United Kingdom in the past 60 years, and the effects on power generation were dramatic.

Wind farms produced 18 percent of the U.K.’s power in September of 2020, but in September of 2021, that percentage plummeted to only 2 percent. To make up the energy gap, the U.K. was forced to restart two mothballed coal plants.

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Hurricane Dorian


If ‘evidence indicates that the Atlantic has experienced even stormier periods in the past than we’ve seen in recent years’, as stated below, then natural variation can easily account for whatever happened in those recent years. No need to invoke changes to the level of any minor trace gases to explain the data.
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If you look back at the history of Atlantic hurricanes since the late 1800s, it might seem hurricane frequency is on the rise, says The Conversation (via Phys.org).

The year 2020 had the most tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, with 31, and 2021 had the third-highest, after 2005. The past decade saw five of the six most destructive Atlantic hurricanes in modern history. [Talkshop comment – define ‘destructive’, money-based comparisons tell us nothing]

Then a year like 2022 comes along, with no major hurricane landfalls until Fiona and Ian struck in late September.

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Moray East windfarm [image credit: offshorewind.biz]


It turns out that ‘when a windfarm is constrained off or constrained down, it doesn’t actually have to switch off or switch down. It is free to divert power via a private wire to anyone who will pay for it.’ Someone with a big battery, for example.
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I recently noted that Moray East, a very large and very new windfarm situated off the Scottish coast, is spending a remarkable amount of time switched off – something like a quarter of the time, in fact, says Andrew Montford @ NZW.

As is widely known, windfarms can receive so-called constraint payments when the transmission grid doesn’t have the capacity to deliver power from windfarms (typically in the north, and often far offshore) to markets (in the south), so Moray East receiving such payments was not a surprise; only the scale of the payments was.

A constraint payment is worth around £60 per megawatt hour, which is around the fixed price at which Moray East contracted to sell power to the grid.

However, as noted elsewhere, Moray East has failed to take up that contract, and it is therefore able to sell its output into the open market at £200, £300 or even £400 per megawatt hour.

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Credit: Wikipedia


Interesting, if the suggested predictions work. Tallbloke identified this 13 years ago.
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How long is a day on earth? The obvious answer of 24 hours is accurate enough for many applications, says the Met Office blog.

But for those interested in GPS or deep space, then understanding the fluctuations of about one millisecond in the length of a day can be fundamentally important.

A team at the Met Office, led by Professor Adam Scaife, has calculated that these length of day fluctuations are predictable out to more than one year ahead and this is all to do with predicting the strength of atmospheric winds.

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Australian coral [image credit: heraldsun.com.au]


Probably not much of a shock. One researcher said: “The models are accurate in projecting at a global scale that cyclones in the future are highly likely to be more intense because of climate change. But they are less accurate in projecting how those cyclones will affect individual coral reefs — that is the result of more localised conditions such as the pounding of waves.” But ‘accurately projecting’ that something is ‘highly likely’ in the future sounds more like an assertion than actual science.
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Climate models are unreliable when it comes to predicting the damage that tropical cyclones will do to sensitive coral reefs, according to a study published in the journal Earth’s Future.

With the expectation that tropical cyclones will increase in intensity with climate change, there has been interest among conservationists to use the models to identify the vulnerability of reef communities to storm damage, and to target conservation and protection efforts at those coral reefs that are less likely to be impacted by climate change, says Science Daily.

But a team of researchers from the University of Leeds in the UK, the Australian Institute for Marine Science and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CISRO) is urging caution when using the climate models, arguing they are not yet reliable enough to determine which reefs will be most at risk from cyclone damage.

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Credit: weather.com


A 2020 news report (H/T Belfast Telegraph) headlined Extreme weather being caused by jet stream ‘not because of Arctic warming’, with the sub-heading: ‘Any link is more likely to be a result of random fluctuations in the jet stream influencing Arctic temperatures, researchers say’ – cites a study that comprehensively contradicts the findings described in the article below. “The well-publicised idea that Arctic warming is leading to a wavier jet stream just does not hold up to scrutiny”, said Professor James Screen [University of Exeter]. “With the benefit of 10 more years of data and model experiments, we find no evidence of long-term changes in waviness despite on-going Arctic warming.” But the stated lack of evidence hasn’t deterred this new research. Are they flogging the proverbial dead horse?
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A quartet of researchers, two with the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics and two with Pukyong National University, has created a group of simulations of changes to the jet stream under global warming, says Phys.org.

In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes using math theory to describe wind motion under given circumstances to create their simulations.

Over the past several years, the jet stream has become wavier than it used to be. Both peaks and valleys have become more extreme.

This has led to changes in weather patterns—some places have grown wetter and some drier, and there have also been more extended hot and cold spells around the globe.

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


This has been the case since the Climate Change Act was passed in 2008 with minimal political debate, even without ‘perverse loopholes’ in contracts. Renewable energy is in effect a licence to print money.
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London, 1 September: Net Zero Watch has condemned the Government’s green energy policies as “a national disaster.”

This follows the announcement that a major offshore windfarm will not activate an agreement to sell power at a much lower cost to the grid.

The Times has reported that the Hornsea 2 windfarm, which had a contract to sell power at £73 per megawatt hour, will instead sell in the open market, where prices have averaged £200 per megawatt hour this year, and reached £508 last week.

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Hornsea wind project


At least they admit solar panels don’t like too much sun: ‘work much less well in high temperatures’. But high pressure systems often mean very low wind speeds.
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The ongoing drought in the UK and Europe is putting electricity generation under pressure, say experts.

Electricity from hydropower – which uses water to generate power – has dropped by 20% overall, says BBC News.

And nuclear facilities, which are cooled using river water, have been restricted.

There are fears that the shortfalls are a taste of what will happen in the coming winter.

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Wind Turbine Collapses: ‘Leaking Oil Everywhere!’

Posted: July 25, 2022 by oldbrew in News, turbines, wind
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Example of product type used by the wind industry


So much for ‘keeping it in the ground’, as climate obsessives like to intone to anyone who will listen to their anti-oil rants.
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On Sunday, puzzled Swedish journalist and political commentator Peter Imanuelsen tweeted the news: “A wind power turbine just collapsed in Sweden”, says CNS News.

“People are being warned to keep their distance because…it is now leaking oil everywhere! “Wait, these “green” wind turbines use oil???”

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Saharan dust storm [image credit: BBC]


As a recent paper noted: ‘a comprehensive understanding of the global dust cycle and its climatic and environmental impacts has significant scientific and practical implications. Our current knowledge about dust aerosols is still limited.’
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A new instrument headed to the International Space Station (ISS) will help researchers learn how dust storms heat or cool the planet, says Phys.org.

NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) mission, which launched today, will greatly broaden scientists’ view of areas affected by mineral dust.

“Currently, the dust impacts of climate change are based on about 5,000 samples of soil for the entire Earth. EMIT will collect more than 1 billion usable measurements for the arid regions of the world,” said Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Roger Clark, a Co-Investigator on the EMIT mission.

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Texan wind project [image credit: Newscom]


It’s an obvious problem that politicians ‘would much rather not talk about’, as the article puts it, while noting it may be ‘good news, at least for birds’. Running away from reality isn’t going to work.
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The Texas energy grid has been under severe stress due to a heatwave, and lower than average wind speed means wind energy has been unable to counter demand, says OilPrice.com.

Texas is suffering a major heat wave. Three-digit temperatures are straining the state’s grid and earlier this month prompted ERCOT, the Lone Star State’s grid operator, to ask Texans to conserve energy. It also severely affected wind power generation.

Bloomberg reported this week that wind turbines in Texas are operating at just 8 percent of their capacity because of low wind speeds. This is really unfortunate because demand for electricity is on a strong rise because of the weather.

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Climate alarmists touting greater intensity and/or frequency of strong hurricanes, while advocating endless renewables, ought to take note of this.

PA Pundits International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

My regular readers know that I have been fussing about the threat of hurricanes destroying proposed Atlantic coast offshore wind arrays. The issue arises because the offshore wind industry is based in Europe, which does not get hurricanes. My focus has been Dominion’s massive project off Virginia, but the whole East Coast is hurricane alley.

Now I have found some research that actually quantifies the threat and it is very real. It looks like wind generators will have to be redesigned specifically to withstand hurricanes. In fact that work is underway. In the meantime we should not be building conventional offshore wind towers.

The 2017 press release is succinctly titled “Offshore wind turbines vulnerable to Category 5 hurricane gusts”. The PR says this: “The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s

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Image credit: sanibelrealestateguide.com


Unusually, this is the third year in a row under La Niña.
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La Niña conditions and warm ocean temperatures have set the stage for another busy tropical storm year, says Eos.

If forecasts are correct, this season will mark the seventh consecutive above-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic.

NOAA forecasts out today predict a 65% chance of an above-average season, a 25% chance of a normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The ranges account for uncertainty in the data and models of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

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Credit: British Antarctic Survey


Much ado about sea ice in recent times, but usually in terms of promoting climate alarm. On closer inspection East Antarctica (2/3rds of the continent) tells a somewhat different story.
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Some ice shelves in the eastern Antarctic have grown in the last 20 years despite global warming, a study suggests.

Researchers say that sea ice, pushed against the ice shelves by a change in regional wind patterns, may have helped to protect the ice shelves from losses, reports Yahoo News.

Ice shelves are floating sections of ice attached to land-based ice sheets and they help guard against the uncontrolled release of inland ice into the ocean.

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