By Paul Homewood
As well as their main dataset of sea ice extent, NSIDC also have Arctic data from MASIE, (Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent).
The two datasets are not directly comparable as they are calculated in different ways. In addition, MASIE data only starts in 2006.
Nevertheless, as even NSIDC themselves accept, it is MASIE which is the more accurate product.
When we compare data for 21st Feb, we find that current extent is higher than 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2015:
Moreover, the year with the greatest extent was 2014, and this was only 1.9% higher than this year. Clearly Arctic sea ice is much more stable than we are told.
Temperatures in the Arctic have been plummeting this month, so it is likely that sea ice will continue to grow for a while yet.
By Paul Homewood
h/t Joe Public/Philip Bratby
From The Times:
Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found.
Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report. It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral.
Green subsidies for wood pellets and other biomass were championed by Chris Huhne when he was Liberal Democrat energy and climate change secretary in the coalition government. Mr Huhne, 62, who was jailed in 2013 for perverting the course of justice, is now European chairman of Zilkha Biomass, a US supplier of wood pellets.
The report was written by Duncan Brack, a former special adviser to Mr Huhne, for Chatham House, the respected international affairs think tank. Britain is by far the biggest importer of wood pellets for heat and power in the EU, shipping in 7.5 million tonnes last year, mostly from the US and Canada.
Drax, Britain’s biggest power station, received more than £450 million in subsidies in 2015 for burning biomass, which was mostly American wood pellets. The report says that the government’s assessment of the impact on the climate of switching from coal to wood pellets is flawed because it ignores emissions from burning pellets in power stations. The assessment counts only emissions from harvesting, processing and transporting wood pellets.
Wood pellets are claimed to be carbon-neutral partly because the forests from which they come are replanted. New trees would eventually absorb as much carbon as was emitted when mature trees were harvested and burnt. However, the report says that this process could take centuries — too late to contribute to preventing climate change over coming decades.
Mr Brack said: “It is ridiculous for the same kind of subsidies that go to genuine zero-carbon technologies, like solar and wind, to go to biomass use that might be increasing carbon emissions. It’s not a good use of money.
“For any biomass facility that is burning wood for energy, unless they are only burning stuff like saw-mill residues or post-consumer waste, their activities will be increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere for decades or centuries. We shouldn’t be subsidising that.”
Pellet companies and power stations using them tended to claim that most of their wood was residues, Mr Brack said. In fact, about three quarters of the pellets from the southern US came from whole trees and residues accounted for only a quarter. “Whole trees can sometimes be misclassified as residues,” the report said. Mr Brack called on the EU to use its present review of energy policies to restrict subsidies to biomass that actually reduced emissions.
Readers will know I have been banging on about this for ages. The significant point here though is that the report is written by Duncan Brack, the former special advisor to Chris Huhne. Far from being a sceptic, he clearly believes in doing the utmost to promote renewable energy.
By Paul Homewood
A few days ago, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center announced that the Antarctic sea ice contracted to just 883,015 sq. miles, which is the smallest on record.
Experts assert that, if changes are not made to pollution and our fossil fuel industry, a number of species will be threatened as sea levels (and temperatures) continue to rise.
By Paul Homewood
From the Telegraph:
Since the reign of Queen Victoria its well upholstered carriages and trusty locomotives have ferried members of the Royal Family the length and breadth of the country.
However, the expense of running the Royal Train led to questions from MPs over its continuing use and it was revealed in 2013 that it would soon have to be scrapped.
But The Telegraph can now reveal that the Royal Train is to continue into the foreseeable future.
The Queen is understood to have made it known that the train is her preferred mode of transport, and that she believes it to be a cost-effective and convenient way for the royal family to travel.
Tests were then carried out on the carriages, which revealed the train’s demise had been greatly exaggerated.
The Queen with Prince Andrew (right) and Prince Edward (centre) in a compartment of the Royal Train before departure from London in December 1965 Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images
Instead of being ready for the scrapyard, Palace sources said the Royal Train was found to be in far better condition than previously thought. The source added there was now “no end in sight” to its use.
There were doubts over the train’s future when Sir Alan Reid, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, told a committee of MPs four years ago that the current rolling stock, mostly dating from the 1970s, had only five to ten years of service life left.
After that, he said, the prospect of replacing it would be a “major decision”, adding: “The figures are quite staggering.”
But with memories still fresh of the fate of the Royal Yacht Britannia – which was retired in 1997 to the Queen’s tearful distress - further tests were carried out on the train’s rolling stock.
The Royal Train at Wolverton Works, near Milton Keynes Credit: Phil Marsh
As a result it was discovered that its life could be extended by many years and that with further efficiency savings the train’s running costs could be reduced.
The Royal Train cost £800,000 in running and maintenance last year, down from £900,000 the previous year. It makes between around 15 trips annually at an estimated £52 per mile, compared with £12 per mile by air.
There was criticism after it was revealed a one-way trip between Windsor and York made by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2012 cost £20,221. As a result, the Queen has increasingly travelled on public trains in recent years to save money.
The latest royal account show that in 2015-2016 13 trips were made by members of the Royal family – seven by the Prince of Wales, five by the Queen and one by the Duke of Edinburgh alone, at a total cost of nearly £250,000, including a trip by Prince Charles from Ayr to Yorkshire and back to Aberdeen, costing £33,249.
It was last used by a Royal on January 24 and 25 to transport the Prince of Wales from Edinburgh to Leicester and on to Loughborough for a series of royal engagements, including a visit to Mountsorrel Railway and Rothley Community Heritage Centre, before being returned to Wolverton.
By Paul Homewood
h/t Tony Heller
Contrary to all the fake news reports of rapidly melting Arctic ice in the last few months, NSIDC now confirm that there is more sea ice now than there was on the same date in 2006.
As of yesterday, Arctic sea ice extent was 14.300 million sq km, compared to 14.286 million sq km on 20th Feb 2006.
In 2006, ice extent actually fell over the next four days, so the gap may continue to grow with a lot of cold air around at the moment there.
It was the global warming cheerleader Mark Serreze who claimed a few years back that the Arctic was screaming. I have a message for him – it was not the Arctic, it was those poor brass monkeys!
By Paul Homewood
Experts tell us that Arctic sea ice is getting thinner.
The reality is much different.
By Paul Homewood
As we all know, the Arctic has been experiencing a heatwave this winter, with resultant massive ice melt.
This is what the new ice free Arctic looks like now:
By Paul Homewood
I mentioned the report into Carlisle’s flooding last winter, which has been recently published.
It concluded that the severity of the flooding had little to do with “climate change”, and everything to do with lack of river maintenance and poor management.
It also included this list of previous flood events in Carlisle:
The cluster of major floods in the early years of the 19thC is particularly noticeable. It also appears that the 1822 flood was the worst of the lot.
As with Storm Desmond, the floods in 1822 affected a much wider area than just Carlisle.
For instance, we have this account from Cockermouth, one of the towns also badly affected last winter:
1822 2 Feb
The Carlisle Patriot reports that ‘the oldest person living never saw anything equal to this flood in this part of the country. The Rivers Greta and Derwent, particularly the latter were never known to be so high and the consequent damage is very great’. A wash house of Forge on the Penrith Road (Greta) was completely carried away with all its contents – 80 stone of oatmeal, a fat pig, a washing of clothes and brewing utensils. Dwelling houses nearby and a wool carding factory also suffered severely with the water 4 1/2 feet deep in the latter. The cottages were flooded to the ceiling, which was ‘higher by two yards than ever remembered’. The roads leading to Borrowdale, Penrith and Bassenthwaite were totally impassable. Rev Brown of Bassenthwaite was washed off his horse and perished. On the Cockermouth road the water rooted up trees and levelled hedges in all directions
The arches of the new bridge (the two-arch stone Derwent bridge probably completed within the previous two years) at Cockermouth were not found large enough and the road in consequence was completely impassable.
The winter was remarkable both for its ‘hurricanes’ and storms of rain as for its mildness. The area experienced destructive wind and rain on 1 Dec 1821, whilst only the highest summits had seen a sprinkling of snow through the whole winter. The February floods were accompanied by a southwesterly gale which was also responsible for widespread damage. On the neighbouring River Eden the level at Carlisle was higher than in the great flood of 1771.
And from Appleby, just up the Eden Valley:
This comment is particularly interesting:
The winter was remarkable both for its ‘hurricanes’ and storms of rain as for its mildness. The area experienced destructive wind and rain on 1 Dec 1821, whilst only the highest summits had seen a sprinkling of snow through the whole winter.
It appears that mild, wet winters are not a modern phenomenon after all!
By Paul Homewood
More from the “News you won’t see on the BBC” Dept.
From the Daily Caller:
Polar bear populations are still growing despite global warming, according to new research.
The new population estimates from the 2016 Scientific Working Group are somewhere between 22,633 to 32,257 bears, which is a net increase from the 2015 number of 22,000 to 31,000. The current population numbers are a sharp increase from 2005’s, which stated only 20,000 to 25,000 bears remained — those numbers were a major increase from estimates that only 8,000 to 10,000 bears remained in the late 1960s.
Until the new study, bear subpopulations in the Baffin Bay and Kane Basin (KB) were thought to be in decline due to over-hunting and global warming. The new report indicates this is not the case.
Scientists are increasingly realizing that polar bears are much more resilient to changing levels of sea ice than environmentalists previously believed, and numerous healthy populations are thriving.
Predictions that bears would die due to a lack of sea ice have continuously not come to pass. Recent rumors about polar bear extinction underscore another time when scientists discovered the creatures possess higher resilience to changing levels of sea ice than previously believed. Another new study by Canadian scientists found “no evidence” polar bears are currently threatened by global warming.
“We see reason for concern, but find no reliable evidence to support the contention that polar bears are currently experiencing a climate crisis,” Canadian scientists wrote in their study, published in the journal Ecology and Evolution.
Polar bears became an icon for environmentalists who claimed that melting Arctic sea ice could kill thousands of bears. Former Vice President Al Gore heavily promoted this viewpoint by featuring polar bears swimming for their lives and drowning in his 2006 film on global warming.
Fears about global warming’s impact on polar bears even spurred the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to say that the bear was “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 2008. Polar bears were the first species to be listed over possibly being harmed in the future by global warming.
Scientists, however, have increasingly been questioning alarmists as there are way more polar bears alive today than 40 years ago.
In fact, polar bears have likely survived past ice-free periods in the Arctic. There is no evidence of large scale marine life extinctions in the Arctic in the past 1.5 million years, despite the Arctic going through prolonged periods with no summer ice cover.
By Paul Homewood
Drax have just published their provisional annual accounts for 2016.
Underlying earnings have fallen from £46m to £21m.
Once again, the figures show just how dependent the whole Drax operation is on biomass subsidies. Year on year, sales of ROCs have increased by £96m to £548m.
Just as significantly, the third biomass unit came on stream on Dec 21st. This receives subsidies via the CfD mechanism, which is much more generous than ROCs, which are worth about £40/MWh.
Under the Cfd, Drax receive a guaranteed, index linked payment of £106/MWh at current prices. With market wholesale prices of £47/MWH at the moment, this means that Drax will receive a subsidy of £59/MWh.
Just in ten days, this has generated £10m of income for Drax. Although it is unlikely to continue at this rate during summer months, it could easily bring in £300m in a full year.
Put another way, this year subsidies could easily amount to a third of total income.
And that’s not all. Drax also receives subsidies under the Capacity Market, under which it guarantees to provide standby capacity. Next year this will tot up to £23m.
It is little wonder that Dorothy Thompson, Drax’s CEO, is so keen to keep the scam going, regardless of the real environmental damage being done to forests in the US and Europe.
Without these subsidies, Drax would be broke.
If anything sums up the madness of the UK’s energy policy, surely this is it?
The full Drax accounts are here: