Thursday, December 28, 2006

Farcical Wind Farms

Bob Graham, Chairman of Highlands Against Windfarms, posted this comment to the Telegraph

Sir – Once again the public are being misled by the wind industry. These windfarms, which are going to cover over 100 square miles of the approaches to the Thames Estuary, will never power one third of London homes.

If as suggested the installed capacity of the 400-plus turbines is 1.3 Gw (1300Mw) then even with a generous load factor of 30 per cent the average output will only be 390Mw. This would in fact be enough to provide 5Kw to 78,000 homes, about enough to power an electric kettle and a toaster. If, as there frequently is, a high pressure system is sitting over south-east England , then there will be zero output from these windfarms. The claims about carbon dioxide savings are equally dishonest. Using widely accepted data the annual, theoretical savings of CO2 for these turbines would be approximately 1.46 Mt and would reduce global levels by a farcical 0.005 per cent

What your readers really need to know is that these windfarms will receive approximately £160 million per year in subsidies, paid for by them. This windfarm scandal has gone on long enough and needs to be exposed for what is. We are destroying our landscapes and now our seascapes for nothing more than green tokenism, and are being expected to pay for it as well.

What? £160 million per year. Ok lets do the sums again. £160 million is equivalent to AU$400 million, and for just $468 you can provide a child in africa or bangladesh water, education, food, shelter and medicine.

0.005 per cent of 0.6 degrees per centry increase means that the wind farms will be saving at most 0.00003 degrees per year, or we could give that money to the poor and give 854,700 children things that we in the western world take for granted.

That's almost a million children could be given food, shelter, medicine, education and fresh water every year for the rest of their lives.

The environmental motives of rich people in western countries are killing people in the worlds poorest nations.

Energy bills to increase by up to 40%

Engergy bills are tipped to increase by up to 40% according to Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

"I don't think the consumers fully understand the price tag associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions,"

he told The Courier-Mail in an exclusive interview. He said solar power was four to five times more expensive than electricity from coal and that wind power was twice as expensive - even though it was heavily subsidised.

"While the energy source is free, converting that to electricity is expensive,"

he said of wind and solar power.

What happened at the AGU?

limatologist Kevin Vranes talks about his concern about the evolution of the global warming

We tried for years - decades - to get them to listen to us about climate change. To do that we had to ramp up our rhetoric. We had to figure out ways to tone down our natural skepticism (we are scientists, after all) in order to put on a united face. We knew it would mean pushing the science harder than it should be. We knew it would mean allowing the boundary-pushers on the “it’s happening” side free reign while stifling the boundary-pushers on the other side.

But knowing the science, we knew the stakes to humanity were high and that the opposition to the truth would be fierce, so we knew we had to dig in. But now they are listening. Now they do believe us. Now they say they’re ready to take action. And now we’re wondering if we didn’t create a monster.

We’re wondering if they realize how uncertain our projections of future climate are. We wonder if we’ve oversold the science. We’re wondering what happened to our community, that individuals caveat even the most minor questionings of barely-proven climate change evidence, lest they be tagged as “skeptics.” We’re wondering if we’ve let our alarm at the problem trickle to the public sphere, missing all the caveats in translation that we have internalized. And we’re wondering if we’ve let some of our scientists take the science too far, promise too much knowledge, and promote more certainty in ourselves than is warranted.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bad Santa

Franesca Price has written an article in the Sunday Star, a New Zealand newspaper entitled "Bad Santa". It talks about how our landfills are overloaded (??) and how we can make this christmas a greener christmas. And her word is spreading. One of my friends has decided to wrap her presents in coles recycle bags instead of wasteing wrapping paper.

She also suggests to buy less presents to conserve energy, saying that you may be less popular at christmas time, but don't worry, your kids will still love you.

She does, to her credit, suggest to buy a goat for Oxfam, a great cause. However, her decision to buy her friends Carbon Zero Credits?

You can buy carbon credits to offset a loved-one's CO2 emmissions and the money is used to regenerate native forests.

But native forests love CO2! Either way, I' not going to be a grumpy bum scrooge this christmas, unlike Francesca.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No matter what way you look at it: Antarctica is still cold

Count Iblis II has been hot on my trail. Unfortunately he doesn’t really know a lot about statistics claiming that “P values that are not very low are meaningless”. This is unfortunate for him, however he has been pushing me to do some analysis to see if there is a significant difference in the current trend of temperatures and an increase of 0.6 degrees per century. So, I did and here are the results:

There is no evidence to suggest significant lower maximum temperatures than a 0.6 degree increase at Mawson (F = 0.72, p= 0.4; -0.006 +/- 0.013 per year – note that even though the difference is not significant, the trend is still amazingly at a negative 0.6 degree less trend per year).

However, there is evidence to suggest a significant lower minimum temperature trend than a 0.6 degree in crease at Mawson (F=5.26, p = 0.026, -0.017 +/- 0.015 per year).

Tests were done using Mawson’s (Antarctica) maximum and minimum temperatures. So we can conclude that despite what we would normally expect of a 0.6 decrease in maximum temperature (as compared to an increase in 0.6 degrees), the result is not significant. One must conclude that we need more data in this case, as results only go back to the 1950s for Mawson’s records.

However when looking at minimum temperatures, we can conclude that the difference is significant. So in summary:

There is no evidence to suggest tat Mawson’s maximum and minimum temperatures are significantly increasing or decreasing. There is no evidence to suggest that Mawson’s maximum temperatures are significantly lower than a 0.6 degree increase per century, however there is significant evidence to suggest that Mawson’s minimum temperatures are significantly lower than a 0.6 degree increase per century.

In other words, Mawson (Antarctica) just isn’t heating up, and not even close to a 0.6 increase per century.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Never new there were so many frogs

Although this is news a little while ago, I thought I'd give the author a chance to reply:

News is that global warming has already made a terrible toll. According to Camille Parmesan of the University of Texas, at least 70 species of frogs have already become extinct. She did a review of 866 papers (so she didn't do the research herself, just has summarised others).

"I feel as though we are staring crisis in the face, It's not just down the road somewhere. It is just hurtling toward us.

But of course there is this information to:

While it's impossible to prove conclusively the changes are the result of global warming, the evidence is so strong and other supportable explanations are lacking, Thomas said, so it is "statistically virtually impossible that these are just chance observations."

So it's impossible to prove, but impossible to be anything else. And what's more, statisticall impossible - can you give me a p value on this conclusion? Thought not.

I emailed Camille Parmesan, asking her if she can give me the list of the 70 species of frogs that had gone extinct.

I have yet to receive a reply.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Humans responsible for 1/50th of recent warming

According to a new paper by Khilyuk and Chilingar (2006) which was presented in the peer-received journal of Environmental Geology, they show that

[a]one percent increase in current solar radiation reaching the Earth’s body translates directly into approximately 0.86 K increase in the Earth’s global temperature.

They continue to show that the earth’s orbit about the sun changes over long periods of time resulting in up to 7.5°C modulation of the earth’s temperature and conclude that

The scope and extent of these processes are 4–5 orders of magnitude greater than the corresponding anthropogenic impacts on the Earth’s climate (such as heating and emission of the greenhouse gases).


the global warming observed during the latest 150 years is just a short episode in the geologic history. The current global warming is most likely a combined effect of increased solar and tectonic activities and cannot be attributed to the increased anthropogenic impact on the atmosphere. Humans may be responsible for less than 0.01°C (of approximately 0.56°C (1°F) total average atmospheric heating during the last century)

as far as what we should do about it, the conclude that:

Any attempts to mitigate undesirable climatic changes using restrictive regulations are condemned to failure, because the global natural forces are at least 4–5 orders of magnitude greater than available human controls.

And on Kyoto:

Thus, the Kyoto Protocol is a good example of how to achieve the minimum results with the maximum efforts (and sacrifices). Impact of available human controls will be negligible in comparison with the global forces of nature. Thus, the attempts to alter the occurring global climatic changes (and drastic measures prescribed by the Kyoto Protocol) have to be abandoned as meaningless and harmful

Wow, amazing. In such a stringent peer-reviewed scientific journal as well.

England spend $2.5 Billion on Cars - Millions Starve

England will spend AU$2.5 Billion over the next four years replacing the governments 78,000 vehicles with cars that are much greener and slash carbon emissions by 15% according to TimesOnline.

What? a 15% decrease in carbon emissions and the are prepared to fork out $2.5 billion for this?

Ok, the average car produces about 6 tons of carbon dioxide a year. So 78,000 cars and we have 468,000 tons. A 15% decrease means that AU$2.5 billion will save the world from about 70,000 tons, which is of course a good effort.

In 2001, the world produced around 24,000,000,000 tons of carbon into the atmosphere. This means that the 70,000 tons that the UK government is going to save will be about 1/300,000th of the carbon emissions saved. Basically, jack shit.

According to Wigley (1998), if we are to reduce our emissions by 43% this will result in a decrease in world temperature of 0.07 degrees C. Basically immeasurable by normal ground thermometers.

So lets do some more maths, and we find that England, in spending AU$2.5 billion in changing their cars over will reduce the world wide temperature of around 0.000000023 degrees Celsius.

Well done.

But wait there’s more. According to World Vision Australia. For just AU$468, one can sponsor a child in Africa or Bangladesh. They will receive education, medicine against diseases, and fresh drinkable running water. What we all take for granted, but is a luxury in some of these parts of the world. Essentially, the British government could have spent their AU$2.5 million on this, and sponsored 5.3 million people, but they obviously have other vote grabbing agendas.

Tell me which you would rather do. Reduce the world wide temperature by 0.000000023 degrees Celsius or give over 5 million starving malnourished children shelter, water and medicine?

There is no need to answer that question.

Bushfires and no sun!

Massive bushfires in victoria and no sun at all in NZ. My dolphin and whale boating trip was even cancelled due to massive rain and huge winds.

Damn Climate Change! The IPCC are right, climate change is going to cost us heaps and maybe even ruin lives.

I guess that's what happens when you spend billions on changing something that isn't going to change much, instead of the sick, starving people in say, Africa or Bangladesh. I mean you've got a choice? Spend money on the malnurished people living today with no form of opportunity in their life or spend on money on maybe changing the lifestyle of people 100-1000 years from now. Hmm.....

The ocean is colder....kinda

In the latest article by Ivchenko and Aleynik (2006) as posted in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, and as outlined by the World Climate Report shows that

almost all depths, including the surface, the entire North Atlantic Ocean has less heat content from 1999-2005 than on average during the previous 100 years

and that

the trend in heat content is clearly downward or non-existent. Any warming appears only north of 50°N.

Damn! The ocean gets cold in melbourne, I would have enjoyed a warmer swim.

It's green to be hot

As Andrew Bolt explains, Moreland Council has banned air conditioners at it’s child care services because well, they release too many greenhouse gasses and traditionally past generations didn’t have air cons, so why should we?

Perhaps we should suffer in the heat.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Holy Cow!

A new report suggest that cows are the biggest contirbuter to global warming than anything else. That's right moreso than dirty cars or non renewable energy. I always had a feeling that the cow was evil!

Cricket Ban

Well, it looks as though some of my friends have to give up their favourite pastime in Geelong because they don't have enough water to water the grounds. Cricket has been cancelled for the upcoming year.

This considering, that despite us having a lower than average rainfall, it is far from the worst drought we've had. We're just using too much water.

In fact, isn't it funny that the seats in the latest election that most favoured the greens were Fitzroy, Richmond and Melbourne, the cosmopolitan seats in Melbourne and furthest from the bush. Yet, Fitzroy has had the greatest increase in water usage, up 20% per person. I guess it’s all about do what I say, not what I do. Kinda like, we must act now and reduce power – but I still want my Air Con, TV, and Car.

The Glaciers are growing in New Zealand

My trip to New Zealand included a great look at the world heritage Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers. It was interesting to see how they moved. In general, these glaciers increase in size by about 1.5 meters a day which is huge compared to other parts in the world. This is caused by snowfall and the névé, which is at the very top of the glacier or top of the mountain. But the glacier also melts at the terminus, which is the very bottom of the glacier. Depending on how quickly the snow falls up the top and the temperature down the bottom defines if the glacier increased in length or not. Obviously the two factors are highly correlated. There is a 5 year delay in the amount of snow falling at the névé and the length of the glacier. E.g. If we had a bumper snow fall this year, it would take 5 years to see the effect of this on the length of the glacier.

Now for a bit of history. Back in the ice age, around 10,000 years ago the glacier actually fed into the Tasman Sea. But since then has been case of gradual decrease. In fact sign posts around show where the glacier was in 1740 and 1840 and today based on rock studies and more recently photographs and explorers diary’s. But since the mid 1980’s the glacier has actually grown in size. In the mid 1970s the glacier was nothing great to look at, and could hardly be seen from the lookout post, but it has grown quite a bit since, in some cases growing by as much as 70cm in a day.

So what does this mean? Well obviously the length of the glacier has a strong relationship with temperature in the region. This means that the glacier was at it’s longest when the ice age was, and hence we were at our coldest (obviously). Since then, we’ve been coming out of an ice age until about the mid 1970’s, where the weather must have got a lot colder.

So this area of New Zealand has therefore been warming up considerably from about 1750 to 1970 and then getting a bit colder since. This goes against the world wide temperature data of an increase in temperature from 1970, and it also shows that the increase in temperature from 1750 to 1970s was not due to CO2.

Of course I don’t have data on NZ temperatures, so my case suggesting temperature increases and decreases in this area is largely an assumption. There might well be other means of why the glaciers increase and decrease in size that has yet to be discovered (human physical contact perhaps?). However, temperature is largely correlated to the size of the glacier, and this suggests to me that we were still coming out the influences of the last ice age, and that two things just aren’t heating up as much as we expect, if at all, in the central-western region of the South Island of New Zealand.

Wind farms not that windy

The telegraph explains that wind farms in southern scotland are not providing much energy at all.

This produces 7·7 per cent of the electricity it would if there was enough wind for it to run continuously at full power.

The study says the turbine at GlaxoSmithKline's pharmaceutical plant at Barnard Castle, Co Durham, which is in a built up area and uses second-hand turbines, operates at 8·8 per cent of capacity. "We are really talking about a garden ornament, not a power station. These are statements about the company's corporate social responsibility, not efficient generating capacity," Mr Constable said.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lets chance the results to suit our needs

Assoc. Prof David Deming tells of some strange funny business when it comes to researching science:

We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.

Even the IPCC has played down global warming

In their 4th report due to be given out in Feb, the IPCC have downplayed humans involvement in global warming by 25%. This article shows it all. Whilst of course, they still say we are heading towards complete devistation. So how on earth, given the evidence, have they miscalculated by 25%? Maybe they were not 100% sure beforehand?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

In New Zealand

No posts in a while, I'm currently on holiday in New Zealdand until the end of the week. They'll be plenty of posts when I return, including some interesting information about the glaciers that I've visited down here. Back real soon.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Africa's Misery

The Stern report suggests that global warming will hit Africa the hardest, and that we must spend billion of dollars to stop the temperature rising 1 or two degrees instead of, for example, spening billions of dollars on education, clean water, and disease control.

But never mind, according to this article,

Although the 1990s were reported to be the warmest decade of the past millennium, this was not reflected in an unusual increase in the numbers and magnitudes of exceptional hydrological events in South Africa. More recently, the 2005 global temperatures were proclaimed to be higher than any in the recent geological past. Yet again, no exceptional rainfall, river flows, floods or droughts occurred during the year.

neither South African climatologists, nor their overseas counterparts, have produced evidence that links increased carbon dioxide emissions to South African rainfall patterns

and records show a significant 21-year periodicity in the South African annual rainfall and river flow records that is synchronous with solar activity.

As their natural water consumption increases, more focus is put on Africa's energy-consuming seawater desalination of which only coal power is the most econimical to run.