Posts Tagged ‘solar’


The UK electricity system’s so-called transition to renewables hits yet another bump in the road. The dream of guaranteed income was just an expensive illusion.
– – –
One of the country’s largest solar farm owners has entered administration amid the fallout from a scandal that forced an Essex council leader to resign, reports The Guardian.

Administrators at Interpath Advisory have been appointed to Toucan Energy Holdings, which owns a portfolio of 53 solar parks with a combined capacity of 513 megawatts across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A recent investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that Thurrock council in Essex, Toucan’s main creditor, borrowed hundreds of millions of pounds to invest in the solar farm scheme run by globetrotting financier Liam Kavanagh.

(more…)

Image credit: BBC


Some pushback against the excesses of climate obsession.
– – –
Liz Truss is poised to ban solar projects from most farms in England in a move that will dismay climate change campaigners and some Tory backbenchers, says Yahoo News.

The prime minister has long been opposed to solar farms on agricultural land, condemning them as “a blight on the landscape” when she was environment secretary in 2014.

And during the Tory leadership campaign this summer, she said she wanted to see farmers producing food with crops and livestock, “not filling fields with paraphernalia like solar farms”.

(more…)

Netherlands beach [image credit: dutchreview.com]


Dutch meteorologists expect ‘we will have more cloudy summer weather again’ sometime in the future. For now: more sun = more heat. Who knew?
– – –
The Netherlands this summer has had the highest amount of solar radiation recorded since 1976, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KMNI) reported.

The “sunny summer fits in with the trend of increasing solar radiation in the Netherlands since the 1990s,” the KMNI added.

The Dutch west coast currently receives 9% more sunshine than the country’s east though solar radiation has increased 3% in summer and 5% in spring, KMNI reported.

(more…)

Layers of Earth’s atmosphere


Q: What could possibly go wrong? A: Even the sky’s not the limit.
– – –
A group of international scientists led by Cornell University is—more rigorously and systematically than ever before—evaluating if and how the stratosphere could be made just a little bit “brighter,” reflecting more incoming sunlight so that an ever-warming Earth maintains its cool, says Phys.org.

Their work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Solar radiation modification—or solar geoengineering, as it is sometimes called—is a potential climate change mitigation strategy that involves injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere, so more sunlight bounces off the Earth’s atmosphere.

(more…)

A New Form of Space Weather on Betelgeuse

Posted: August 18, 2022 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, Solar physics
Tags:

.
.
“We’re watching stellar evolution in real time.”

Spaceweather.com

August 12, 2022: You’ve heard of a CME, a “coronal mass ejection.” They happen all the time. A piece of the sun’s tenuous outer atmosphere (corona) blows off and sometimes hits Earth. Something far more terrible has happened to Betegeuse. The red giant star produced an SME, or “surface mass ejection.”

Above: An artist’s concept of an SME on Betelgeuse. Credit: Elizabeth Wheatley (STScI)

Astronomers believe that in 2019 a colossal piece of Betelgeuse’s surface blew off the star. The mass of the SME was 400 billion times greater than a CME or several times the mass of Earth’s Moon. Data from multiple telescopes, especially Hubble, suggest that a convective plume more than a million miles across bubbled up from deep inside the star, producing shocks and pulsations that blasted a chunk off the surface.

“We’ve never before seen such a huge mass ejection from the surface of a…

View original post 266 more words


Some bold claims made here. Results needed to back them up.
– – –
New research shows that a “solar clock” based on the sun’s magnetic field, rather than the presence or absence of sunspots, can precisely describe and predict many key changes throughout the solar cycle, says Eurekalert.

The new framework offers a significant improvement over the traditional sunspot method, because it can predict surges in dangerous solar flares or changing weather trends years in advance.

It also accurately describes many more parameters related to the solar cycle than sunspots alone.

(more…)

Cosmic Rays are Decreasing

Posted: July 29, 2022 by oldbrew in Clouds, cosmic rays, Cycles
Tags:

.
The article notes: ‘Climate scientists are engaged in a lively debate about whether or not cosmic rays affect cloud cover.’

Spaceweather.com

July 26, 2022: Cosmic rays in the atmosphere are rapidly subsiding. In the past year alone, radiation levels in the air high above California have plummeted more than 15%, according to regular launches of cosmic ray balloons by Spaceweather.com and Earth to Sky Calculus. The latest measurement on July 23, 2022, registered a 6 year low:

This development, while sudden, is not unexpected. Cosmic rays from deep space are repelled by solar activity; when one goes up, the other goes down. Since 2021, Solar Cycle 25 has roared to life faster than forecasters expected. The onset of the new solar cycle has naturally led to a decrease in cosmic radiation reaching Earth.

To many readers this may sound counterintuitive. After all, don’t solar flares produce radiation? Yes, but most high-energy radiation doesn’t come from the sun; it comes from deep space.Every day galactic cosmic rays from distant supernova explosions…

View original post 180 more words

California wildfire [image credit: NASA]


Another day, another topic of model uncertainty. ‘Refining’ an admitted high level of uncertainty is an odd concept, but researchers assert the issue will be ‘cleared up’. However, their belief in ‘potent climate-warming agents’ doesn’t inspire confidence.
– – –
New research refining the amount of sunlight absorbed by black carbon in smoke from wildfires will help clear up a long-time weak spot in earth system models, enabling more accurate forecasting of global climate change, says Phys.org.

“Black carbon or soot is the next most potent climate-warming agent after CO2 and methane, despite a short lifetime of weeks, but its impact in climate models is still highly uncertain,” said James Lee, a climate researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory and corresponding author of the new study in Geophysical Research Letters on light absorption by wildfire smoke. “Our research will clear up that uncertainty.”

The Los Alamos research resolves a long-time disconnect between the observations of the amount of light absorbed by black carbon in smoke and the amount predicted by models, given how black carbon is mixed with other material such as condensed organic aerosols that are present in plumes.

(more…)

.
Governments insist that citizens should obsess about the harmless and beneficial trace gas carbon dioxide. What happens to the waste products when the vast new acreages of solar panels expire?

PA Pundits - International

From the team at CFACT ~

By Steve Miller:

The pathway to a green future involves taking millions of acres of pristine wilderness and turning them into fields of windmills and hot expanses of glistening panels.

The Biden Administration’s goal of supplying 40% of the nation’s energy from the sun by 2035 means covering millions of acres of forest and desert habitat with vast solar panel installations fenced off like prisons. It would require 8,800 square miles of land, or 5.6 million acres, to generate that power (leaving out small installations on buildings and the like) — about the size of Rhode Island and Massachusetts combined.

But the push to convert that land from pastoral to energy-productive is galvanizing a new environmental movement, one led by citizen groups and small non-profits rather than the monied green interests arrayed against them — ones ironically accustomed to casting the fossil fuel…

View original post 1,611 more words

The Bastille Day Event

Posted: July 14, 2022 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Solar physics, solar system dynamics
Tags:

.
Some interesting solar physics here.

Spaceweather.com

July 14, 2022: When a solar storm is so strong that the Voyager spacecraft feel it at the edge of the solar system, you know it must be special. Twenty-two years ago today, July 14, 2000, the lonely travelers were on the verge of escaping space weather altogether when giant sunspot AR9077 exploded. The flare was so intense, it sent shockwaves to the very edge of the solar system.

SOHO images of the Bastille Day solar flare (left) and CME (right). The onset of snow in the images is a result of energetic protons hitting the spacecraft

Earth was on the doorstep of the blast, dubbed The “Bastille Day Event” because it coincided with the national day of France. Subatomic particles, especially protons, arrived in a ferocious wave, peppering satellites and penetrating deep into Earth’s atmosphere. Sensors on Earth’s surface registered a rare GLE–a “ground-level event.”

“People flying in commercial…

View original post 498 more words

Arctic sea ice [image credit: Geoscience Daily]


Hardly surprising, given the endless overestimates of global warming by climate models. They found that ‘Melt ponds covered 21% of the observed area during the summer, while the two models indicated 41% and 51%’.
– – –
New research shows two widely used computer models that predict summer melt pond formation on sea ice greatly overestimate their extent, a key finding as scientists work to make accurate projections about Arctic climate change, says Phys.org.

The finding comes from measurements made during a year-long expedition aboard the research vessel Polarstern.

For the Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate expedition, or MOSAiC, the ship was allowed to freeze into place in the Arctic and drift with the ice pack from September 2019 to October 2020.

(more…)

Solar flare erupting from a sunspot [image credit: space.com]


Who knew!? – asks ScienceAlert. The article links to an interesting new paper on solar cycles, which makes some predictions for the current SC 25 (see section 3.2: Forecasting Using the Solar Unit Cycle). One of those is that it should end in October 2031 ± 9 months, and the authors go on to suggest forthcoming NASA and ESA missions make it probable that ‘Cycle 25 will be the last solar activity cycle that is not fully understood.’
– – –
Something weird is going on with the Sun.

So far, almost every day in 2022 it has erupted in flares and coronal mass ejections, some of which were the most powerful eruptions our star is capable of.

By itself, an erupting Sun is not weird. It erupts regularly as it goes through periods of high and low activity, in cycles that last roughly 11 years.

The current activity is significantly higher than the official NASA and NOAA predictions for the current solar cycle, and solar activity has consistently exceeded predictions as far back as September 2020.

But a solar scientist will tell you that even this isn’t all that weird.

(more…)

Sunspots [image credit: NASA]


The Sun may still have a surprise or two for solar cycle 25 theorists, but what we hear is: “I believe this will likely be the best forecast to come out of one of the NOAA/NASA Cycle prediction panels.” The article below doesn’t include the question mark in its headline.
– – –
The Sun is waking up, says Sky and Telescope.

In recent weeks, NASA has announced X-class solar flares, observers have seen large sunspot groups with the unaided eye, and online services have issued multiple aurora alerts even for mid-latitudes.

After years of quiescence — the Sun was more often spotless than not in 2018, 2019, and 2020 — the change of pace is exciting solar observers.

(more…)

Credit: worldatlas.com


Namibia is a long way from Europe, but desperate emissions-obsessed governments may not care. Morocco is a lot nearer as one UK energy firm has already noticed.
– – –
As Europe struggles to decarbonise its economy and wean itself off Russian oil and gas, one of the world’s sunniest and most arid nations is pitching itself to the continent as an answer to its problems, says Euractiv.

A delegation from sub-Saharan Africa’s driest country has been touring Europe to tout their nation as a potential powerhouse of clean energy.

They say Namibia can produce so much solar power it will soon be self-sufficient in electricity – and, by the end of the decade, could become an exporter of so-called green hydrogen.

“We came to Europe saying we have this amazing sun,” said James Mnyupe, economic adviser to the Namibian presidency.

(more…)

Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica


It’s noted that ‘Getting clouds right…is important for calculating how much solar radiation reaches Earth.’ A difference of 10 watts per square metre could be involved in some zones, the researchers found.
– – –
Clouds come in myriad shapes, sizes and types, which control their effects on climate, says Phys.org.

New research led by the University of Washington shows that splintering of frozen liquid droplets to form ice shards inside Southern Ocean clouds dramatically affects the clouds’ ability to reflect sunlight back to space.

The paper, published March 4 in the open-access journal AGU Advances, shows that including this ice-splintering process improves the ability of high-resolution global models to simulate clouds over the Southern Ocean—and thus the models’ ability to simulate Earth’s climate.

(more…)

.
.
Trend or blip? The former looks more likely at the moment, but the sun can cause surprises.

Spaceweather.com

April 5, 2022: New sunspot counts from NOAA confirm that Solar Cycle 25 is racing ahead of the official forecast–and the gap is growing:

See the complete labeled plot or play with an interactive version from NOAA

Sunspot counts have now exceeded predictions for 18 straight months. The monthly value at the end of March was more than twice the forecast, and the highest in nearly 7 years.

The “official forecast” comes from the Solar Cycle Prediction Panel, a group of scientists representing NOAA, NASA and International Space Environmental Services (ISES). The Panel predicted that Solar Cycle 25 would peak in July 2025 as a relatively weak cycle, similar in magnitude to its predecessor Solar Cycle 24. Instead, Solar Cycle 25 is shaping up to be stronger.

In March 2022, the sun produced 146 solar flares, including one X-flare and 13 M-flares. Auroras were sighted as far south…

View original post 38 more words

.
.
Solar cycle 25 is about to reach the interesting stage, when we find out what it’s really made of.

Spaceweather.com

March 23, 2022: Solar Cycle 25 is intensifying–and Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding.

“The Thermosphere Climate Index (TCI) is going up rapidly right now,” reports Linda Hunt of Science Systems and Applications, Inc. “It has nearly tripled in the past year.”

TCI is a number published daily by NASA, which tells us how hot Earth’s upper atmosphere is. The thermosphere, the very highest layer of gas, literally touches space and is a sort of “first responder” to solar activity. Hunt created this plot showing how TCI has unfolded during the last 7 solar cycles.  Solar Cycle 25 (shown in blue) is just getting started:

“So far Solar Cycle 25 is well ahead of the pace of Solar Cycle 24,” notes Hunt. If this trend continues, the thermosphere could soon hit a 20-year high in temperature.

Before we go any farther, a word of caution: This does not mean Earth is…

View original post 198 more words

The Mystery of Orange Auroras

Posted: March 5, 2022 by oldbrew in atmosphere, solar system dynamics
Tags:

.
.
Why now, we may ask. Either we didn’t notice them before or they weren’t there.

Spaceweather.com

March 4, 2022: A recent display of auroras over Canada has experts scratching their heads. The mystery? They were orange. Pilot Matt Melnyk was flying 36,000 feet over Canada on Feb. 23rd when he saw the strangely-colored lights from the cockpit window:

“I have been chasing and photographing auroras for more than 13 years (often from airplanes) and this is the first time I have ever seen orange,” says Melnyk.

What’s so strange about orange? Joe Minow of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center explains: “Theoretically, nitrogen and oxygen (N2, N2+, and O2+) can produce emissions at orange wavelengths, but these are typically weak compared to stronger emissions from the same molecules at the red end of the spectrum. It is hard to understand how orange could dominate in an auroral display.”

Even so, Melnyk says “these appeared to be real auroras.” The orange fringe danced in sync with regular red…

View original post 246 more words

The Termination Event has Arrived

Posted: February 26, 2022 by oldbrew in Cycles, Solar physics, solar system dynamics
Tags:

.
.
According to a new theory of solar cycles, that is.

Spaceweather.com

Feb. 25, 2022: Something big just happened on the sun. Solar physicists Scott McIntosh (NCAR) and Bob Leamon (U. Maryland-Baltimore) call it “The Termination Event.”

“Old Solar Cycle 24 has finally died–it was terminated!” says McIntosh. “Now the new solar cycle, Solar Cycle 25, can really take off.”

The “Termination Event” is a new idea in solar physics, outlined by McIntosh and Leamon in a December 2020 paper in the journal Solar Physics. Not everyone accepts it–yet. If Solar Cycle 25 unfolds as McIntosh and Leamon predict, the Termination Event will have to be taken seriously.

Above: Predictions for Solar Cycle 25. Green would be average. Blue is the “official” prediction of a weak cycle. Red is a 2020 prediction based on the Termination Event.

The basic idea is this: Solar Cycle 25 (SC25) started in Dec. 2019. However, old Solar Cycle 24 (SC24) refused to go away. It…

View original post 345 more words

Image credit: MIT


Industrialising the countryside is now deemed a plus for the environment by climate obsessives, including the government. Solar power is ineffective in UK winters, when electricity demand is often at its highest during the long hours of darkness anyway.
– – –
Drawing on new data from the solar industry the campaign group Net Zero Watch has revealed that an astonishing 37,000 MW of land based solar PV capacity is in pre-planning.

If built, this would take 150,000 acres of farmland – or 75,000 football pitches – out of production at a time when Britain has less farmland in use than at any time since 1945, and is losing such land to industrial and other uses at the rate of about 99,000 acres a year, increasing import dependency.

Solar energy should not be permitted to add to this serious problem.

(more…)