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HH Lamb & Sea Level Changes

September 15, 2014

By Paul Homewood


We are often fed the impression that sea levels have remained pretty much constant since they stopped rising after the ice age ended, until the last century.

It is worth, therefore, seeing what HH Lamb had to say on the subject, in his book “Climate, History And The Modern World”.


First, he finds that there is considerable agreement that

The most rapid phases [of sea level rise] were between 8000 and 5000 BC, and that the rise of general water level was effectively over by about 2000 BC, when it may have stood a metre or two higher than today. [The book was published in 1982].


He then goes on to state that

The water level may have dropped by 2 metres or more between 2000 and 500 BC. What does seem certain is that there was a tendency for world sea level to rise progressively during the time of the Roman Empire, finally reaching a high stand around 400 AD comparable with, or slightly above, present.

The slow rise of world sea level, amounting in all probably to one metre or less, that seems to have been going on over the warmer centuries in Roman times, not only submerged the earlier harbour installations in the Mediterranean, but by 400 AD produced a notable incursion of the sea from the Wash into the English fenland, and maintained estuaries and inlets that were navigable by small craft on the continental shore of the North Sea from Flanders to Jutland.

The existence of pre-Norman conquest salterns – saltpans over which the tide washed and from which salt-saturated sand was taken – outside the later sea dykes on the Lincolnshire coast may point to a period of slightly lowered sea level between the late Roman and the medieval high water periods. There is other evidence to suggest this between the seventh and tenth centuries.

But many later saltpans are known in the area, also on the sea-banks, standing up to 3 metre above the present mean sea level

Close study by Sylvia Hallam, over many years of the history of human settlement near the coast of the Wash in eastern England has indicated that sea level was rising from some centuries before up to a maximum attained in the last century BC. There was then some recession of the water until about 200 AD, followed by a major high stand and incursion of the sea around 300 – 400 AD. Sea level was again rather lower in the 7th and 8th centuries, but seems to have been again high in the late 13th to 15th centuries.

The present writer’s opinion [Lamb] is that the impression of a high level of the sea as late as the 15thC may in reality owe a good deal to storm surges – recurrent sea floods as storminess increased.



Lamb goes on to offer some more detail about the Middle Ages.


Read more…

Models Wanted!

September 15, 2014

By Paul Homewood


UK Models



Apply to the University of East Anglia! 

Freewheelin In Spain!

September 15, 2014

By Paul Homewood



I’m away for a week, cycling in Catalonia, so posting will be light.

Everybody’s Favourite Bearded Millionaire!

September 14, 2014

By Paul Homewood 




The Guardian reports:


Richard Branson has failed to deliver on his much-vaunted pledge to spend $3bn (£1.8bn) over a decade to develop a low carbon fuel.

Seven years into the pledge, Branson has paid out only a small fraction of the promised money – “well under $300m” – according to a new book by the writer and activist, Naomi Klein.

The British entrepreneur famously promised to divert a share of the profits from his Virgin airlines empire to find a cleaner fuel, after a 2006 private meeting with Al Gore.

Branson went on to found a $25m Earth prize for a technology that could safely suck 1bn tons of carbon a year from the atmosphere. In 2009, he set up the Carbon War Room, an NGO which works on business solutions for climate change.

But by Klein’s estimate, Branson’s “firm commitment” of $3bn failed to materialise.


 Then she adds the coup de grace!


“So the sceptics might be right: Branson’s various climate adventures may indeed prove to have all been a spectacle, a Virgin production, with everyone’s favourite bearded billionaire playing the part of planetary saviour to build his brand, land on late night TV, fend off regulators, and feel good about doing bad,” Klein writes in This Changes Everything, Capitalism vs The Climate.






Antarctic Sea Ice Sets New Record High

September 14, 2014

By Paul Homewood 




Antarctic sea ice extent has officially set a new all-time satellite era record, expanding to 19.626 million sq km on 12th September.

This beats the old record of 19.578 million sq km, set last year on 30th September.

The 1981-2010 climatological average maximum extent is 18.581 million sq km, which on average is set on 23rd September, so it is likely that this year’s extent will increase further over the next week or so.


The chart below shows maximum extents have changed since 1979.



Virginia Governor Fighting The Wrong Problem

September 13, 2014

By Paul Homewood





SFGate report:


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe launched his climate change commission on Wednesday, urging the panel to develop concrete ideas to blunt the impact of rising seas along Virginia’s threatened coast.

The Democrat made it clear he’s no climate change skeptic.

"I believe it when scientists say climate change is real, it’s happening and it’s caused by human actions," he said, calling the science "settled on this."

McAuliffe addressed the Climate Change and Resiliency Commission, which met for the first time. The panel’s 30-plus members include utility officials, environmentalists and climate scientists, among others. Two McAuliffe Cabinet secretaries co-chair the commission…..

Virginia’s coast is among the most vulnerable in the world to rising seas, not only because of climate change but because of sinking land mass caused by the creation of the Chesapeake Bay millions of years ago.

Rising seas already cause widespread flooding in Hampton Roads during routine rains, but also threaten historic sites such as Jamestown.

McAuliffe said battling climate change will involve more than building new seawalls to preserve coastal properties. He said clean energy solutions, including nuclear power, energy efficiency, and better land use decisions should be a part of the solution.



I’m not sure how much difference it will make to sea levels if he builds his “clean energy solutions”, but I wonder if he realises just how much of the problem of rising seas is due to subsidence, both due to isostatic factors since the end of the ice age (areas such as Canada now rising as the weight of the ice cap is gone, with the result that the eastern seaboard is sinking), and local factors in Chesapeake Bay, which is the site of a 35 million year old impact crater, caused by a large comet or meteor. (More detail on this here.)

A study by Boon, Brubaker and Forrest in 2010 found that at Sewell Point (Hampton Roads) the land was subsiding at the rate of 2.72mm a year, accounting for 60% of the relative sea level rise of 4.52mm, i.e. the amount measured by tide gauges. [Sewell Point is SWPT]


Read more…

Germany’s “White Elephants In The North Sea”

September 13, 2014

By Paul Homewood 





Breitbart report on the problems affecting Germany’s flagship offshore wind project:


Germany’s flagship Bard 1 offshore wind farm has been described as “a faulty total system” as technical problems continue to plague the project, casting major doubts on the feasibility of large scale offshore projects.

The wind farm was officially turned on in August last year but was shut down again almost immediately due to technical difficulties that have still not been resolved – and now lawyers are getting involved.

The wind farm comprises 80 5MW turbines situated 100 km off the north German coastline. The difficulty facing engineers is how to get the electricity generated back to shore. So far, every attempt to turn on the turbines has resulted in overloaded and “gently smouldering” offshore converter stations.

Built at a cost of hundreds of millions and costing between €1 and €2 million a day to service, the project is estimated to have cost €340 million in lost power generation over the last year alone. And if the problems with the technology are deemed not to be the fault of the operator, German taxpayers will be on the hook for the running and repair costs, thanks to the German Energy Act 2012.

Understandably, the project’s investors are becoming increasingly nervous, which is why lawyers are now scrambling to pin the blame elsewhere. According to the German magazine Speigel “everything has turned to the question of who is responsible for the fiasco – and the costs.”

Inevitably, the fiasco has brought into question the feasibility of the entire green energy industry. The Bard 1 project was designed to be the global leader in offshore wind design: a model for everyone else to follow. That it doesn’t work has already cast doubt on other projects. Energy company Trianel are concerned that their ‘Windpark Borkum’, Germany’s second largest major offshore project, will now not work when it comes online next month. And they have already shelved plans for a further 200MW offshore project until the technology can be proven.



Read the rest here.

Ant, Dec And Scorchio!

September 12, 2014

By Paul Homewood 






I am sure we are all jolly glad about that!!


For those not familiar with Ant and Dec, they are a pair of cretins who are supposedly “entertainers”.


Ant and Dec


The Met Office say they were given TV presenter training for their Saturday Night Takeaway show.



The only question I have is whether they also trained Caroline Aherne.



Autumn Rainfall Trends In The UK

September 12, 2014

By Paul Homewood  


We are warned to expect wetter winters, but what about autumn months? Autumn is, on average, the wettest season of the year, so, as far as flooding is concerned, surely we should be just as concerned about what happens then.




Using the long running England & Wales Precipitation Series, we can chart autumn precipitation back to 1766.



Figure 1


There seems to be little going on as far as the trend is concerned. The extremely wet autumn of 2000 is anomalous, but there has been no indication of anything remotely out of the ordinary since.

We can also look at the distribution of the wettest twenty five autumns, which equates to effectively the 90th Percentile. 




Figure 2


Other than the autumn of 2000, the last such autumn was 1984. The truth is that what is on average a 1 in 10 year event, has only occurred once in the last 30 years.

Prior to 2000, the wettest autumns were 1852, 1960 and 1935.


The Met Office would like us to believe that UK rainfall is increasing, but it appears that things are not quite that black and white.

Curiouser And Curiouser

September 12, 2014

By Paul Homewood




Reader may recall the Telegraph story in August 2013, revealing how Owen Paterson, then Environment Secretary, had commissioned a report to look at how renewables affect the countryside and the rural economy. One major factor they would be investigating was the impact on house prices, and a consultancy company, Frontier Economics had been employed to assess this.


The Telegraph suggested that the report was being blocked by officials at the Dept of Energy & Climate Change.


Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has commissioned a consultancy to investigate whether renewable technologies – including wind turbines – lower house prices in the countryside.

Coalition sources said the report is being blocked by officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), run by Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat, amid fears it will conclude that turbines harm property prices.

Mr Paterson has made clear that he intends to make the document public as soon as it is completed.

On Tuesday, this newspaper disclosed that a report into renewable energy had been commissioned by Mr Paterson’s Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The decision to order the report is said to have caused anger within Mr Davey’s department, which viewed it as encroachment upon its remit.

It has emerged that a significant focus of the report will be the financial impact of wind farms upon the value of neighbouring properties.

Opponents of wind farms claim it is “highly likely” that the report will reveal that turbines in rural areas will detract from the value of nearby homes.

The consultancy company, Frontier Economics, has been asked by Defra to calculate how house prices will be affected by a series of energy projects across Britain. It has been asked to look at onshore and offshore wind, overhead power lines, shale gas, anaerobic digestion plants and nuclear power plants.

The remit of the report states that it “aims to determine whether [energy projects] have a significant impact on the prices of houses nearby and, if so, compare how that impact differs between different types”.

It will feed into Mr Paterson’s final report on how renewables affect the countryside and the rural economy.


 When, after a couple of months, no report appeared I sent a FOI to DEFRA asking to see the report. Last November, they replied:




They also stated that this was a joint study by DEFRA and DECC, which rather suggested that Ed Davey was looking to suppress any negative findings.



Last month, as I still had seen nothing of the report in the press, I decided to FOI again, guessing that maybe the report had been slipped out with little publicity. I was astonished to receive this reply yesterday:




It is clear that, in good Sir Humphrey fashion, the report has been shelved indefinitely because it is far too inconvenient to DECC’s renewable strategy. There can be little doubt that, if the study had found little impact on house prices, it would have been blazoned across the headlines.


Meanwhile, Owen Paterson is gone, replaced by the less troublesome Liz Truss, so we are unlikely ever to find out the truth.