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The Cost Of Liz Truss’ Nuclear Future

October 31, 2014

By Paul Homewood  



New DEFRA Secretary, Liz Truss, was given a bit of a mauling by Andrew Neil last week, but what drew my attention was her constant reference to expansion of nuclear power.

So, let’s see how that might work out.


Current capacity looks like this.


Coal 21
Gas 35
Oil 2
Nuclear 10
Hydro 4
Wind 11
Bio 2



With peak demand running close to 60GW, consumption likely to rise during the next decade, and the need for a sensible reserve, we would certainly need at least 90GW of capacity by 2030.


Wind and solar cannot be included in any calculations of capacity, as they are intermittent, while all but 1GW of current nuclear at Sizewell B is due for closure well before 2030.

Assuming that the current level of gas capacity remains in place as standby, we would need 55GW of nuclear capacity, equivalent to 17 Hinkley Point C’s.

So, how much would all of this new nuclear cost in subsidies?

The contract for Hinkley Point C gives a guaranteed price of £89.50/MWh, assuming two reactors are built. This is based on 2012 prices, so is equivalent to about £94 at today’s prices. With a current wholesale electricity price of under £50/MWh, this implies a subsidy of £44/MWh.


Now for the sums.


Assuming plants are run at 80% utilisation, 55GW capacity would produce 385TWH pa.

A subsidy of £44/MWh would therefore cost £16.9 billion pa!

Yes, you read that right – an incredible £16.9 billion, an annual cost per household of £651.

This would, of course, be in addition to the subsidies that would also be thrown at wind and solar.


Liz Truss kept warbling away about how people are concerned about forests and bees. But I suspect that they would be a bit more concerned about the way their energy bills are going to skyrocket in the next few years!

The Hood, The Bad and The Ugly

October 30, 2014

By Paul Homewood



The always excellent Fenbeagle has been at it again!




Violent Tornadoes On The Decline In The US

October 30, 2014

By Paul Homewood  




As we, fortunately, head towards the end of the third quiet tornado year in a row, let’s take a closer look at the intensity of tornadoes in the US.


We often hear claims that tornadoes are growing stronger as a result of global warming. But what do the facts tell us?


NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center maintains a database of tornadoes back to 1950. However, it is generally accepted by tornado experts that data is unreliable from the 1950’s and 60’s, which were known as the “tornado growth period”, as observation practices began to develop.

Another problem during these early decades was that, according to the SPC’s Greg Carbin, there were too many higher-rated tornadoes because of post rating.

Therefore, any analysis can only be reliably started from 1970.

It is also well accepted that many more small EF-0 tornadoes are spotted nowadays, that would have gone unnoticed previously, so these too need to be excluded from any analysis.


[Quick note -  The EF-Scale was introduced in 2007, to replace the F-Scale. All above references to EF-Scale refer to both.]


From the SPC data, we can therefore plot the annual number of EF-1+ tornadoes.



Figure 1


As we see, the number of tornadoes has been on a declining trend.


But within this total, are stronger tornadoes on the increase? We can plot the percentage totals of each category.


Read more…

New Zealand Temperature Trends

October 30, 2014

By Paul Homewood


Hokitika Aero


The only long running rural temperature station in New Zealand, listed by GHCN, is Hokitika Aero, located on the South Island 94 miles from Christchurch.

What can Hokitika tell us about long term trends?





Between 1909 and 2009, mean temperatures rose at a rate of just 0.3C/century. This, of course, is in line with the results of the study be de Freitas et al, which found a similar trend for New Zealand as a whole.


It is also worth looking at the trend since 1979, which has been flat. Note also the cold years of 1983 and 1992, which were associated with the El Chichon and Pinatubo eruptions.



New paper finds no significant 20th century warming for NZ

October 30, 2014

By Paul Homewood


A new paper finds no significant 20th century warming for New Zealand 


A Reanalysis of Long-Term Surface Air Temperature Trends in New Zealand * by C.R. de Freitas, M.O. Dedekind and B.E. Brill.


A research paper on the homogenisation of the temperature record in New Zealand, reducing the current official rate of 0.9°C per century to 0.3°C, has just been published in the international scientific journal Environmental Modeling & Assessment.

The paper addresses the values of the data adjustments required during 100 years of the Seven-station Series, which is recognised as being representative of New Zealand as a whole. It also considers corrections to station data contaminated by vegetation growth, urbanisation and other factors.

The New Zealand historical temperature trend has not been addressed in the scientific literature since the first Seven Station Series was published by MJ Salinger in 1980. At about the same time, a paper by JWD Hessell called in question the quality of the New Zealand historical weather data used in the series.

The new paper builds on both viewpoints by applying modern techniques to correct sub-optimal raw data and to recalculate the 1980 adjustments. The method used for recalculations was that described in the leading New Zealand paper, Rhoades & Salinger (1993).

Lead author Chris de Freitas commented: “Regional and national temperature trends are widely used for a large number of societal design and planning purposes and it is important that they should be as reliable as modern methods allow”.

He added “New Zealand provides one of the longest continuous climate series in the Pacific Ocean as well as one of the longest in the Southern Hemisphere. This means our trends are of ongoing interest to a wide audience of scientists.”

The paper finds that New Zealand warmed over the 20th century at the rate of 0.3°C per century, which allowing for accepted margins of error means that there has been no significant warming.



Detecting trends in climate is important in assessments of global change based on regional long-term data. Equally important is the reliability of the results that are widely used as a major input for a large number of societal design and planning purposes. New Zealand provides a rare long temperature time series in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is one of the longest continuous climate series available in the Southern Hemisphere Pacific. It is therefore important that this temperature dataset meets the highest quality control standards. New Zealand’s national record for the period 1909 to 2009 is analysed and the data homogenized. Current New Zealand century-long climatology based on 1981 methods produces a trend of 0.91 °C per century. Our analysis, which uses updated measurement techniques and corrects for shelter-contaminated data, produces a trend of 0.28 °C per century.

You Lead, But I Won’t Follow!

October 29, 2014
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood





There’s a few snippets that are worth highlighting from the GLOBE database on countries that have enacted climate laws.



Below is the summary box provided by GLOBE.




Note that the 2020 Pledge has turned from the original promise to cut emissions by 25% to an increase of 3.1%. This is all, of course related to Japan’s problems with nuclear power.

Nevertheless, it reemphasises the fact that Japan has no intention to make any serious cuts by 2020. It is debatable whether they ever did have any such intention, since emissions have not fallen below 1990 levels at any stage since then.


Read more…

Moderation Rules

October 29, 2014

I’ve had a few remarks about comments waiting in moderation.


WordPress has a default that all comments including two or more links are put into moderation, and depending on time of day these can stay there a while!


I have altered the default to four links now, to hopefully get around the problem.


If anybody needs to include more links, just split into two posts.



Don’t Bank On The Rest Of The World To Cut CO2

October 29, 2014

By Paul Homewood 






Lord Deben, formerly Gummer, likes to claim that that many other countries are following our lead, by committing to cutting CO2 emissions, as in his response to Owen Paterson.

His claims, however, have little to do with reality.


GLOBE, the organisation of which Deben was President, and is now Honorary President, keeps track of climate legislation worldwide, and this is where he gets his “66 countries” from.




Fortunately, GLOBE also offer an interactive map to check the details of what each country is doing.




Using this tool, I have analysed how many countries have actually made pledges to reduce CO2 emissions. This turns out to be only 22, of which 11 are in the EU.


Read more…

Global Temperature Report – Sep 14

October 29, 2014

By Paul Homewood


Sep 2014 0.21 0.30 0.59 0.77 0.72
Change from last month +0.02 +0.10 -0.07 +0.07 -0.03
12 month running average 0.23 0.25 0.55 0.65 0.68
Average 2004-13 0.23 0.19 0.48 0.58 0.59
12 month average – 1981-2010 Baseline 0.13 0.25 0.26 0.26 0.26










Surface and satellite temperatures continue to diverge, as the graph below shows. So far this year, GISS is running 0.06C warmer than 2013. RSS and UAH both post slight increases of 0.01C.






UAH and RSS are the two satellite datasets, that measure temperatures in the lower troposphere, from the surface up to about 8000 metres. The NCDC, HADCRUT and GISS datasets measure surface temperatures.

All temperatures are presented as anomalies, i.e the difference, measured against a baseline, that is different across all four sets. (This means that the anomalies are not directly comparable between sets)

The baselines used are:

RSS – 1979-98

UAH – 1981-2010

HADCRUT – 1961-90

GISS – 1951-80

NCDC – 1901-2000 

HADCRUT is maintained the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre in conjunction with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

GISS is run by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA.

NCDC is the National Climatic Data Center, part of NOAA.

UAH is the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and their dataset is part of an ongoing joint operation with NOAA and NASA.

RSS is a scientific research company, Remote Sensing Systems.



1) RSS

2) UAH




Slightly Cold Winters In Germany Caused By Global Warming

October 29, 2014
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood     




According to the incredibly dim Geoffrey Lean:


It’s been a frequent debating point from climate sceptics. Recent cold winters in Britain and Europe, they often say, undermine the case that the world is growing warmer. Scientists have tended to reply that that is to mix up the short-term effects of weather in a particular region with long term climate change, and that the cold winters therefore are of little significance.

But now new research suggests that both are wrong – that the icy weather is indeed evidence of change but that, counterintuitively, it reinforces the case for global warming rather than the reverse.

Research at Tokyo University and Japan’s national Institute of Polar Research – published in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience – has linked the cold winters with the “rapid decline of Arctic sea ice”, caused by warming, over the past decade.

The most comprehensive computer modelling study on the issue to date, it concludes the risk of severe winters in Europe and Northern Asia has doubled as the result of the climate change.



Apparently nobody told the Germans.