Why Phi? – the rainbow angle

Posted: September 3, 2017 by oldbrew in Maths, Measurement, Phi, weather
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The rainbow angle [credit: Hong Kong Observatory]


The minimum deviation angle for the primary bow [of a rainbow] is 137.5° according to Wikipedia. This is known as the rainbow angle. A circle is 360 degrees, so the ratio of the rainbow angle to the circle is therefore the square of the golden ratio i.e. 137.5:360 = 1:2.61818~.
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Hong Kong Observatory has some useful explanatory text and graphics (rounding 137.5 to 138 degrees) titled:
Why is the region outside the primary rainbow much darker than that inside the primary rainbow?
Written by : SIU Kai-chee (summer intern) and HUNG Fan-yiu

Let’s first look at Figure 1, which shows sun rays entering a water drop and going through refraction and reflection.

The ray (ray no. 1) passing through the centre goes directly backward on reflection, i.e. a change in direction of 180 degrees.

For ray no. 2, this angle becomes smaller, following the rules of refraction and reflection.

For the next (ray no. 3) the angle continues to decrease, so on and so forth. This trend does not continue for long, however.

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The El Niño of 1997-8


Another paper attempting to shed some light on the mysteries of long-term cyclical climate patterns is brought to our attention by the GWPF. The abstract looks fair but there are a few nods in the direction of ‘greenhouse gases’ later in the paper, in particular related to what they identify as millennial signals.

Abstract
The identification of causal effects is a fundamental problem in climate change research. Here, a new perspective on climate change causality is presented using the central England temperature (CET) dataset, the longest instrumental temperature record, and a combination of slow feature analysis and wavelet analysis.

The driving forces of climate change were investigated and the results showed two independent degrees of freedom —a 3.36-year cycle and a 22.6-year cycle, which seem to be connected to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation cycle and the Hale sunspot cycle, respectively.

Moreover, these driving forces were modulated in amplitude by signals with millennial timescales.
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Credit: aboutaustralia.com


What is going on with Australian temperature data? It doesn’t look good, as Jennifer Marohasy explains.

Australia is a large continent in the Southern Hemisphere. The temperatures measured and recorded by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology contribute to the calculation of global averages.

These values, of course, suggest catastrophic human-caused global warming. Two decades ago the Bureau replaced most of the manually-read mercury thermometers in its weather stations with electronic devices that could be read automatically – so since at least 1997 most of the temperature data has been collected by automatic weather stations (AWS).

Before this happened there was extensive testing of the devices – parallel studies at multiple site to ensure that measurements from the new weather stations tallied with measurements from the old liquid-in-glass thermometers.

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This may go some way to counter complaints that it’s mostly the better-off who can afford to buy solar power and benefit from its subsidies. On the other hand even council tenant subsidies have to be paid from utility bills in the end.

Andrew James

Solar panels are to be installed in 800,000 low-income homes across England and Wales over the next five years, as part of a new government scheme.

The Dutch firm, Maas Capital is investing £160m in the project.

The panels are expected to save 100,000 tenants living in social housing hundreds of pounds, according to the UK firm Solarplicity.

The first tenants to benefit from the scheme include residents of a sheltered retirement home in Ealing, west London.

Speaking at the site, International Trade minister Greg Hands said, “This initial £160m capital expenditure programme will deliver massive benefits to some of the UK’s poorest households.

“As well as creating 1,000 jobs and delivering cheaper energy bills for up to 800,000 homes, it shows yet another vote of confidence in the UK as a place to invest and do business.”

The firm providing the panels, Solarplicity, will partner with more than 40…

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Texan wetland [image credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.]


This study reported on the U.S. East Coast, but all ideas for protection of increasingly populated coastal areas from severe weather should be under the microscope after the recent floods in Texas. Phys.org reporting.

With the Atlantic hurricane season well under way and Tropical Storm Harvey causing devastation in Texas, a new scientific study reports that coastal wetlands significantly reduce annual flood losses and catastrophic damages from storms.

Led by a team of scientists from the engineering, insurance, and conservation sectors, including researchers at UC Santa Cruz, the study found that coastal wetlands in the northeast United States prevented $625 million in direct flood damages during Hurricane Sandy, reducing damages by more than 22 percent in half of the affected areas and by as much as 30 percent in some states.

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Houston – August 2017 [image credit: BBC]


The author writes: ‘ask yourself whether you would rather buy a house in a flood prone area with effective stormwater management or with CO2 emission controls and subsidies’.

Hurricane Harvey has undoubtedly caused great damage to Houston and surrounding areas on the Texas Coast. The climate alarmists have immediately tried to blame carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by humans, of course.

My comment is that if the US had devoted the resources wasted on CO2-oriented climate research and building “renewable” sources of energy on decreasing the vulnerability of the Texas Gulf Coast to floods the US would have been far far better off.

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German wind farm [image credit: Dirk Ingo Franke / Wikipedia]


If the flood of subsidies looks like turning to a trickle, the backers of renewables soon get cold feet – in Germany at least, as Pierre Gosselin explains (via GWPF).

While Germany likes to fancy itself as being among the “global leaders” in tackling climate change by expanding green energies, the country has in fact taken very little action recently to back up the appearances.

If anything, Germany is more in the green energy retreat mode. There are good reasons for this.

German flagship business daily “Handelsblatt” reported yesterday how Germany’s wind energy market is now “threatening to implode” and as a result “thousands of jobs are at risk”.

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Cassini probe at Saturn
[credit: NASA]


NASA’s Cassini space probe is still sending back useful data before it ends its 20 year mission by diving into the unexplored Saturnian atmosphere.

The spectacular rings of Saturn may be relatively young, perhaps just 100 million years or so old, says BBC News.

This is the early interpretation of data gathered by the Cassini spacecraft on its final orbits of the giant world. If confirmed, it means we are looking at Saturn at a very special time in the age of the Solar System.

Cassini is scheduled to make only two more close-in passes before driving itself to destruction in Saturn’s atmosphere on 15 September. The probe is being disposed of in this way because it will soon run out of fuel.

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Energy costs on the rise


This is the official admission that ‘green energy’ costs due to ideologically-based policies are a significant portion of, and reason for, fast-rising UK domestic energy bills.

Poorer customers could be exempted from paying ‘green’ energy taxes included in bills and pay just for what they use under plans being drawn up by leading power firms, says the GWPF.

Energy regulator Ofgem is consulting consumer groups and power companies on proposals for a ‘safeguard’ tariff, which would protect 2.2 million customers.

This follows on from Prime Minister Theresa May’s pre-Election pledge to cut £100 from 17 million family energy bills.

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Why tropical storm Harvey is showing Texas no mercy

Posted: August 28, 2017 by oldbrew in News, weather

Image credit: Houston Chronicle


“The problem with Harvey is that it is trapped,” an atmospheric scientist and tropical storm expert tells Gizmodo. One fear is that Harvey could drift back out to sea and then return again with renewed force.

Right now, Houston is in the midst of a catastrophic flood disaster as tropical storm Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on the central Texas coastline Friday night, continues to unleash torrents over the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area.

Harvey is expected to drop an additional 15 to 25 inches of rainfall over the next few days, which, combined with 1-2 feet of rain that fell over the weekend, has created a “worse than worst case scenario for Houston,” and could lead to some of the highest rainfall totals the nation has ever seen.

After making landfall, they tend to dissipate quickly, losing energy and organization as they blow across cooler, drier, inland air masses. What makes Harvey both incredibly dangerous and highly unusual is that it has barely budged over the last few days, channelling nonstop belts of rainfall from sea to land.

“There is virtually no precedent for such a slow-moving system maintaining at least tropical storm strength along the Texas coast for five days,” meteorologists Jeff Masters and Bob Henson wrote yesterday on their weather and climate science blog, Category 6.

So, why won’t Harvey leave Texas alone?

“The problem with Harvey is that it is trapped,” Phil Klotzbach, atmospheric scientist and tropical storm expert at Colorado State University, told Gizmodo in an email.

Continued here.

Credit: phys.org


If there was any life left in this climate change scare story, this latest research should finally see it off.

Clathrate (hydrate) gun hypothesis stirred quite the controversy when it was posed in 2003, as ScienceDaily reports. It stated that methane hydrates — frozen water cages containing methane gas found below the ocean floor — can melt due to increasing ocean temperatures.

According to the hypothesis this melt can happen in a time span of a human life, dissociating vast amounts of hydrate and releasing methane into the atmosphere.

Consequently, this would lead to a runaway process, where the methane released would add to the global budget of greenhouse gases, and further accelerate the warming of the planet.

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But still, global climate models will say: Does Not Compute!

No coffins needed on this occasion fortunately.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t AC Osborn

The Mail reports on yet another Arctic expedition that has come perilously close to real grief:

image

Three British rowers attempting a record 1,200-mile voyage across the raging seas of the Arctic Ocean are stranded on a remote volcanic island after being battered by fierce storms.

The trio, part of a six-man crew, were forced to land on the tiny island of Jan Mayen, just 340 miles from their destination on Iceland.

The Polar Row team, including British double Olympic gold medallist Alex Gregory, had endured freezing temperatures and almost constant soaking in their fibreglass boat, which has neither an outboard motor nor sails.

Nightmare: The Polar Row team (pictured) had endured freezing temperatures and almost constant soaking in their fibreglass boat, which has neither an outboard motor nor sails

Nightmare: The Polar Row team (pictured) had endured freezing temperatures and almost constant soaking in their fibreglass boat, which has neither an outboard motor nor sails

Having landed on the island, the three Britons and another rower refused to continue because…

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Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley, suspended from a crane during her recovery from Charleston Harbor, 8 August 2000 [image credit: Barbara Voulgaris, Naval Historical Center]


The Hunley was the first combat submarine to sink a warship, in 1864. It was very basic, being designed for a crew of eight, seven to turn the hand-cranked propeller and one to steer and direct the boat. Its discovery in 1995 was described by the Director of Naval History at the Naval Historical Center as “probably the most important find of the century.” ‘Tens of thousands’ attended an official funeral in Charleston, South Carolina in 2004, including all five branches of the U.S. armed forces.

A full 22 years after their bodies were discovered, scientists have come up with an explanation for the mysterious deaths of the crew of the Civil War submarine the H. L. Hunley 150 years ago, reports the IB Times.

The Confederate crew of eight were found seated in their stations on the hand crank that powered the ship. They showed no sign of struggle or trying to escape. They also displayed no sign of physical injury. The bilge pumps hadn’t been used and they hadn’t tried to escape through the air hatches.

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Also eclipsing internet records


Only to be be expected, but the great American eclipse was a massive internet hit, as the daily sun [sic] reports.

The total solar eclipse of August 21 attracted more traffic to NASA websites than any other event on record, according to data revealed by the US space agency, reports Ians. 

“With more than 90 million page views on nasa.gov and eclipse2017.nasa.gov, we topped our previous web traffic record about seven times over,” NASA officials wrote. 

It was one of the biggest internet events in recent history and by far the biggest online event NASA has ever measured. “We estimate more than 40 million views of our live broadcast on nasa.gov and multiple social platforms,” NASA said. 

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Waiting for a recharge


When are people going to notice that making electric cars compulsory would/will limit them to travelling relatively short distances from home without a break, assuming they can afford one at all?

Green groups have urged the government to demonstrate its commitment to clean growth by accelerating the proposed ban on diesel and petrol engine cars and vans, reports Utility Week.

In a new report published today (25 August), the Green Alliance of environmental charities and groups has called on ministers to require all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2030.

In its air quality plan, published last month, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs set a target that petrol and diesel should be banned by 2040.

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2017 eclipse path over US [credit: NASA — click on image to enlarge]


Time to go fishing for insights into eclipse phenomena, thanks to a loan of specialized US Navy comms equipment.

On Monday, just as CU Denver began the new academic year, an awe-inspiring solar eclipse captivated people across North America, reports Phys.org.

A thin line of total solar coverage spanned, at various intervals, the continental United States, completely blocking out the sun from Lincoln Beach, Ore., to Charleston, S.C., for a few remarkable minutes.

Mark Golkowski, PhD, acting chair and associate professor of Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Denver, and several students collected data during this rare celestial event by using state-of-the-art Naval submarine communication technology.

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Some Pythagorean triples [credit: Cmglee / Wikipedia]


Could Babylonian base-60 maths be about to make a comeback? The tablet has been dated to between 1822 and 1762 BC and is based on Pythagorean triples, as Phys.org reports. It uses ‘a novel kind of trigonometry based on ratios, not angles and circles’.

UNSW Sydney scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, possibly used by ancient mathematical scribes to calculate how to construct palaces and temples and build canals.

The new research shows the Babylonians beat the Greeks to the invention of trigonometry – the study of triangles – by more than 1000 years, and reveals an ancient mathematical sophistication that had been hidden until now.

Known as Plimpton 322, the small tablet was discovered in the early 1900s in what is now southern Iraq by archaeologist, academic, diplomat and antiquities dealer Edgar Banks, the person on whom the fictional character Indiana Jones was based.

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Russian response to the 2013 protest


They got off lightly compared to their Russian fiasco in 2013, as The Barents Observer points out. Probably cheap publicity given the level of fines.

Each of the six activists got from 25,000 to 30,000 Norwegian kroner (€2,700 to 3,200) in fine by the police in Tromsø.

It was last Thursday the activists protested the Norwegian oil company Statoil’s drilling in the Barents Sea. With kayaks, some of the protesters went inside the 500-metres safety zone around the rig «Songa Enabler» at the Korpfjell prospect.

Located 415 kilometres from mainland Norway, the drilling is the northernmost to be explored this season.

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Sunspots [image credit: NASA]


One of the authors of the research says: “The results of our study show us that we have identified the governing parameters in our model”. Both climate and exoplanet research could benefit from the findings.

The Sun shines from the heavens, seemingly calm and unvarying. In fact, it doesn’t always shine with uniform brightness, but shows dimmings and brightenings, reports Phys.org.

Two phenomena alone are responsible for these fluctuations: the magnetic fields on the visible surface and gigantic plasma currents, bubbling up from the star’s interior.

A team headed by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen reports this result in today’s issue of Nature Astronomy. For the first time, the scientists have managed to reconstruct fluctuations in brightness on all time scales observed to date – from minutes up to decades.

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Brew or battery charge?


Another potential snag for electric car owners in a hurry, as Auto Express reports.

Electric vehicle owners may not be able to rapidly charge their car at home at the same time as boiling a kettle, National Grid has warned.

The grid operator said that using a fast charger, which can be installed at home to reduce charging times, is likely to trip a house’s main fuse if used simultaneously with other ‘high demand’ items such as kettles, ovens and immersion heaters.

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