By Paul Homewood
Since hitting its earliest minimum extent since 1997, Arctic sea ice has been expanding at a phenomenal rate.
Already it is greater than at the same date in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Put another way, it is the fourth highest extent in the last ten years.
Even more remarkably, ice growth since the start of the month is actually the greatest on record, since daily figures started to be kept in 1987.
Experts call this phenomenon the final collapse of sea ice!
By Paul Homewood
By Alister Doyle | September 19 2016
(Reuters) The last gasoline-powered car will have to be sold by about 2035 to put the world on track to limit global warming to the most stringent goal set by world leaders last year, a study said on Thursday.
The report, by a Climate Action Tracker (CAT) backed by three European research groups, said a drastic shift was needed towards clean electric cars and fuel efficiency since transport emits about 14 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions.
Last December, world leaders at a Paris summit set a goal of limiting a rise in temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times while “pursuing efforts” for a much tougher 1.5 C (2.7F) ceiling.
“We calculate that the last gasoline/diesel car will have to be sold by roughly 2035,” the CAT report said, to make the car fleet consistent with staying below 1.5C. It assumes the last fossil-fuel vehicles would be on the roads until 2050.
As the report indicates, this is a much stiffer target than generally thought before. As far as the UK is concerned, cars account for 11% of GHG emissions, plus another 7% for HGV and vans.
The Committee on Climate Change, in their Fifth Carbon Budget, are planning on electric cars and vans accounting for 61% of sales by 2030, but crucially hybrids account for 38%.
Meanwhile, electric car sales still fail to make much headway, with pure electric cars accounting for just 0.4% this year so far. Hybrids fare slightly better with 1.8%.
But just how much difference do hybrids make, and are they cost effective?
Many manufacturers now offer hybrid alternatives, so it is easy to compare like with like. Ford, for instance, have a hybrid version of the Mondeo Titanium. It has similar performance to the 1.5 Duratorq diesel model, so we can make a few comparisons:
|Mpg – combined||78.5||70.6|
|Max speed||119 mph||116 mph|
Of course, real life fuel economy will be worse than the manufacturers figures, but this should apply to both models.
So we find that, not only is the hybrid dearer, it actually has poorer fuel economy. (It should be pointed out that the hybrid is better for urban driving).
There are two other factors to take account of:
1) Ford’s warranty covers the battery for up to 3 years/60000 miles. But, as with all car warranties, this only covers repair or replacement as a result of a manufacturing defect.
Whether they would replace a battery that started to deteriorate before then is anybody’s guess.
What we do know, though, is that Ford’s extended warranty for Years 3 and 4 specifically excludes batteries. This would seem to indicate that they have little confidence that the hybrid battery would last much longer then 3 years.
According to the Hybrid Shop in the US, “despite the sterling reputation of Toyota’s hybrid power storage systems, any given battery can only survive so many charge cycles, and cars reaching into the 100,000 mile range are certainly within the borders of the battery pack danger zone”, and replacement batteries would cost at least $3600.
While this may not affect driver of newish cars, it is likely to mean that second hand prices for hybrid cars will be pretty poor, when it comes to trade them in.
2) The Mondeo hybrid is only available in 4-door, presumably because of the amount of space the battery takes up. This is a definite drawback, particularly as storage space is 30% less than the 5-door (and even less compared with the 2-seat mode).
On the face of it, hybrids now have little going for them. In reality, conventional cars have caught them up in terms of fuel efficiency.
There should be little surprise about this, car manufacturers have been steadily improving this for decades, and without any need for government diktats.
As the Committee on Climate Change show, this has enabled emissions from domestic transport to remain pretty stable, despite the large increase in the number of cars on the road since 1990.
Returning to the initial topic, it is hard to see any significant reduction in emissions arising from large scale deployment of hybrid cars, either in the UK or world wide. It appears to be pure electric cars or bust.
By Paul Homewood
Beware con merchants bearing renewables!
South Korea will invest $27bn in renewables and from next year begin to retire 10 coal-fired power plants.
By Paul Homewood
Hundreds of members of the US National Academy of Sciences have signed an open letter in support of Hillary because global warming.
The signatories – 375 in all – don’t actually mention Donald Trump by name. But it’s pretty clear that that’s whom they’re getting at when they deliver their hectoring screed about certain candidates during the Presidential primary campaign who claimed “that the Earth is not warming, or that warming is due to purely natural causes outside of human control.”
Calling themselves Responsible Scientists, they warn:
Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality. Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revolution. But the burning of oil, coal, and gas also caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This increase in greenhouse gases is changing Earth’s climate.
Our fingerprints on the climate system are visible everywhere. They are seen in warming of the oceans, the land surface, and the lower atmosphere. They are identifiable in sea level rise, altered rainfall patterns, retreat of Arctic sea ice, ocean acidification, and many other aspects of the climate system. Human-caused climate change is not something far removed from our day-to-day experience, affecting only the remote Arctic. It is present here and now, in our own country, in our own states, and in our own communities.
And so on.
If it sounds like stuff you’ve heard a thousand times before from the usual shrill, grant-troughing, rent-seeking, data-fudging, jet-setting, money-grubbing, scientific-method-abusing, FOI-dodging, lying, cheating, climate alarmist scum bags, that’s because you have.
The list of signatories is like a Who’s Who of the very worst perpetuators of the man made global warming scare. (Well almost: it seems they couldn’t quite bring themselves to associate themselves with figures as tainted as Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann or NASA GISS’s resident data-adjuster Gavin Schmidt). Their livelihoods depend on this scam – or hoax or conspiracy: it’s both those things too, whatever they may state – and the last thing they need is a Donald Trump presidency coming to slaughter their milch cow.
Next to their names are their seats of academe: Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, and so on.
As a disinterested reader, you’re supposed to be impressed by the lofty distinction of such credentialled expertise.
But to anyone who knows about what’s been happening in the field of climate science and related environmental studies these last few decades, a more natural response is sheer disgust.
How did every one of our learned institutions get captured by these charlatans?
How do all these tenured professors and PhDs and beneficiaries of taxpayer largesse have the nerve and gall and bravado to append their names to a public statement so dishonest and unscientific?
The first two paragraphs, quoted above, make a mountain out of a mole hill. While few scientists doubt that there may be some anthropogenic influence on climate, all the evidence suggests that such difference as we humans make to it is so trivial as to be meaningless.
It is a flat-out lie to claim, as these ‘Responsible Scientists’ do in the paragraph below, that the debate is over:
We are certain beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that the problem of human-caused climate change is real, serious, and immediate, and that this problem poses significant risks: to our ability to thrive and build a better future, to national security, to human health and food production, and to the interconnected web of living systems.
And the rest – which warns of the terrible consequences if Trump were to become US president and fulfil his threat to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement – is pure politicking.
If the US did pull out of the Paris climate agreement the effect on “global warming” would be zero – not least because, being toothless and non-binding the agreement at Paris does not commit its 190 signatories to doing anything other than make soothing noises about their good intentions.
As for this next bit: it could have been written by Enron – or George Soros. It’s nothing more than a one world government masterplan for a new economic order in which energy users are obliged by state fiat to treat carbon dioxide as a menace – despite the glaring lack of scientific evidence that it is anything other than a harmless and beneficial trace gas.
The United States can and must be a major player in developing innovative solutions to the problem of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Nations that find innovative ways of decarbonizing energy systems and sequestering CO2 will be the economic leaders of the 21st century.
Can and must? Says who?
The man-made global warming scare is the most expensive and large scale fraud in scientific history. The sooner someone prominent on the international stage has the courage to point this out, the sooner the house of cards that is the decarbonisation industry will come tumbling down and the global economy can readjust itself to producing stuff that people actually want and need and that doesn’t require being bailed out by massive taxpayer subsidies.
Whoever does this will require balls of steel and no loyalty whatsoever to the establishment elite.
That person’s name is probably not going to be Hillary.
By Paul Homewood
The Met Office have now published a bulletin on the brief heatwave last week:
A brief heatwave from 12 to 15 September brought exceptionally high temperatures to south-east England, accompanied by some torrential downpours causing flash flooding.
On 13 September, Gravesend (Kent) recorded 34.4 °C, the UK’s highest temperature of the year and the highest September temperature since 1911; this value being around 14 °C above the long-term average. Daily minimum temperatures for 14 September were also exceptionally high, at a few locations exceeding 20 °C.
The heat was associated with a southerly flow of air from France and Spain, with the humidity leading to thunderstorms bringing intense downpours and causing flash-flooding. Several locations recorded hourly totals exceeding 30mm.
By Paul Homewood
It is generally assumed that nuclear plants, such as the proposed one at Hinkley Point, are technically capable of operating at around 90% of capacity.
However, there is a question mark over whether they will actually be able to sell all of their output.
John Constable, of REF, has this analysis at GWPF:
The UK government has, after some delays, given approval to Hinkley C nuclear power station. However, and in spite of subsidies intended to offset risks arising from renewables policy, it is still not clear that the project can actually make money. It remains to be seen whether EDF has the courage to proceed.
By Paul Homewood
From the “Science is settled department”:
The Arctic is nearing its seasonal sea ice minimum this month, but predicting exactly when the region will see its first ice-free summer may be more difficult than previously believed, according to the results of new University of Colorado Boulder research.
After examining both high- and medium-level carbon dioxide emission modeling scenarios for the rest of the 21st century, the study found that it is not possible to reduce the uncertainty window for an ice-free Arctic to a period of less than 21 years due to the inherently chaotic nature of the climate.
The study also found that commonly-used metrics of past and present sea ice thickness, extent and volume are not predictive enough to reduce this long-range uncertainty.
The new findings were published online today in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Scientists typically define an "ice-free Arctic" as having fewer than 1 million square kilometers worth of ice cover, which would leave the Arctic Ocean virtually clear while some pockets of ice would remain in the northern reaches of Canada and Greenland.
"When it comes to predicting the timing of an ice-free Arctic, climate models show a large spread of over 100 years. Many studies have attempted to narrow this wide range to as little as five years in some cases," said Alexandra Jahn, an assistant professor in CU-Boulder’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) and lead author of the new research. "Here, however, we find that the low bound of our predictive ability is significantly longer due to inherent climate variability."
The study, which employed a large collection of simulations from the Community Earth System Model developed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, also found that consecutive ice-free summers would become common after 2060 under the high emission scenario while remaining the exception in the medium emission scenario.
"Overall, these results serve as a sort of caution against over-narrowing the long-term sea ice predictions from climate models" said Jahn, who is also a fellow in CU Boulder’s Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR).
David Hempleman-Adams says we should listen to the scientists.
By Paul Homewood
Plans of how the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station could look.
Now that Hinkley Point has finally got the go ahead, it is time to take a closer look at the costs and subsidies.
A few basic facts:
Hinkley will have a capacity of 3.2 GW
Assuming 90% loading (an assumption made in the Committee on Climate Change’s calculations), this would yield 25.2 TWh annually
The strike price is £92.50/MWh, @2012 prices
This inflates up to £97.87/MWh at 2016 prices
The current wholesale electricity price is £42.40/MWh
On current prices, therefore, the subsidy equals £55.47/MWh, totalling £1398 million a year, or £48.9 billion over the period of the 35-year strike price contract.
This is substantially less than the estimate of £29.7 billion, made by the National Audit Office earlier this year.
The difference lies in the assumption by the NAO that electricity prices will gradually rise in coming years:
They have used DECC projections, which state that the wholesale price will have risen to £65.58/MWh by 2030 (at 2015 prices).
Although they anticipate higher fossil fuel prices, the main reason for the increase is our old friend, the carbon price. We know from the Committee on Climate Change’s calculations behind the Fifth Carbon Budget that the carbon price will add an extra £19.50/MWh to the wholesale price by 2030.
Of course, the term, “carbon price”, is a bit of a euphemism. In reality, it is a tax on fossil fuel plants. Without this tax, the wholesale electricity price projection would only be slightly higher than now (again, in current prices).
In reality, nobody has a clue what will happen to electricity prices in the future, or for that matter oil and gas. What we can safely say, though, is that the cost of the 25.2 TWh, which is due to be produced each year at Hinkley Point, will more than double from its current level of £1068 million to £2466 million, at today’s prices.
Whether prices would have risen to some extent anyway without Hinkley or not, consumers will still be much worse off.
By Paul Homewood
The Balkan region’s first privately-funded power plant came online on Tuesday, increasing the region’s dependency on coal-fired power stations even as environmental concerns are driving them to the brink of the extinction elsewhere in Europe. It was built by China’s Dongfang Electric Corp and financed with the help of a 350 million euro ($391.13 million) loan from the China Development Bank.
Coal-fired power plant Stanari
Planned coal power plants in south-eastern Europe; source Bankwatch
The 300-megawatt plant, in the northern Bosnian town of Stanari, is a foreign investment in a chronically impoverished country that remains heavily dependent on foreign aid more than 20 years after it emerged from war.
Even though the Western Balkans has a power deficit, European investors are reluctant to finance more polluting coal which forms the backbone of supply in the region, attracting Chinese financiers and contractors.
Work on the investment, by Serbian-run but British-based Energy Financing Team (EFT), started in 2013. It was built by China’s Dongfang Electric Corp and financed with the help of a 350 million euro ($391.13 million) loan from the China Development Bank.
EFT, which focuses on power markets in central and southeast Europe, won a 30-year concession in 2008 to build the Stanari plant and expand an adjacent coal mine that will feed it at a total cost of 560 million euros ($625.63 million).
Lignite – the most polluting type of coal – is widely available in the Balkans, making it appealing to governments seeking ways of ensuring security of supply and keeping energy prices low while also placating influential mining lobbies.
The new plant, which will generate 2,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, creating 1,000 jobs, will strengthen Bosnia’s position as a leading energy exporter to the region.
It generates more than 40 percent of its electricity from hydroelectric power, making it, along with Bulgaria and Romania, one of the few Balkan countries with a domestic power surplus.
Environmentalists fear that the region’s cash-strapped governments will be tempted to cut corners in this and other projects, exposing them to costly upgrade costs once they join the European Union.
Some 2,800 megawatts of extra coal-fired capacity is planned across the region in coming years at a total cost of 4.5 billion euros, most of it financed by China.
SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), September 20 (SeeNews) – Bosnian state-controlled coal miner Banovici [SAJ:RMUBR] plans to sign a contract for the construction of a 350 MW thermal power plant (TPP) with China’s Dongfang Electric Corporation at the Riga summit in November, the government of Bosnia’s Muslim-Croat Federation has said.
Works on the project, which were planned to begin in the middle of 2016, have been delayed due to 14 contentious issues which surfaced in the negotiations between Banovici and the Chinese company, the Federation government said in a statement on Monday.
A meeting in China over two of those issues will be scheduled, to be attended by representatives of both firms and the Federation government, as well as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China Export&Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE).
Banovici signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Dongfang Electric Corporation for the plant’s construction in November.
RMU Banovici is one of the biggest coal mines in the Federation, one of the two autonomous entities that form Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is the Serb Republic.
Idiots like Ambrose Evans–Pritchard think that China is serious about cutting the use of fossil fuels!
Meanwhile the West continues to be taken for a ride.
By Paul Homewood
Despite claims by French President Francois Hollande that “all members of the EU are ready to ratify [the Paris deal] as fast as possible,” the Bratislava declaration of the 27 EU leaders ignored to mention the controversial issue altogether.
The EU’s inability to agree a joint statement on how to deal with the Paris agreement does not come as a surprise. Poland has made ratification conditional on EU assurances on investments in new coal-fired power plants.
“The ratification will be possible provided that Poland’s interests in relation to the European climate policy are secured,” the government said last week, adding that it wanted the Paris agreement to be ratified as soon as possible.
The Polish government repeated its position on Friday, saying that it was ready to support ratification at the EU level if it wins unanimous support for its conditions from the bloc’s environment ministers.
In other words, as soon as possible sounds like the usual diplomatic lingo for not very soon.