By Paul Homewood
Readers of this blog will be well aware that by far the wettest 3-month period on record in the UK was not this winter, as the Met Office would like you to believe, but November 1929 to January 1930.
During those three months. a total of 554mm fell across the UK, compared with 531mm this winter. (October 1929 was also very wet – the October to December total that year was 553mm).
As I also pointed out previously, the wet winter of 1929 followed a remarkably dry first nine months of the year.
I have across this paper by Lily Winchester of the University of Liverpool, written in 1930, entitled “The Abnormal Weather of 1929”, which shows what a remarkable year it was.
After describing the cold start to the year and hot, dry spring and summer, she moves onto wet end to the year.
The similarities to the recent winter are striking.
- Arctic air masses advancing far to the south, in the North Atlantic. (Think – jet stream!)
- An open and clear airway.
- Depressions accompanied by heavy rain and high winds followed one another in quick succession along this open pathway.
- Disastrous floods and storms.
Julia Slingo tells us that global warming is making rainfall more intense, yet, under similar circumstances in 1929, more rain fell.
Although they did not know about the jet stream in those days, Lily Winchester correctly identified how sometimes the “normal pressure conditions of the world” can be modified. And all without mentioning Mann-made warming!
It’s a pity the current crop of grant addicted “scientists” are not prepared to learn from the past.
By Paul Homewood
Bjorn Lomborg sums up the economic pros and cons:
NEW YORK – When politicians around the world tell the story of global warming, they cast it as humanity’s greatest challenge. But they also promise that it is a challenge that they can meet at low cost, while improving the world in countless other ways. We now know that is nonsense.
Political heavyweights from US Secretary of State John Kerry to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon call climate change “the greatest challenge of our generation.” If we fail to address it, Kerry says, the costs will be “catastrophic.” Indeed, this has been the standard assertion of politicians since the so-called Stern Review commissioned by the British government in 2006.
That report famously valued the damage caused by global warming at 5-20% of GDP – a major disruption “on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the twentieth century.”
Tackling climate change, we are told, would carry a much lower cost. The president of the European Commission promised that while the European Union’s climate policies are “not cost-free,” they would amount to just 0.5% of GDP. Indeed, politicians of all stripes have reiterated the Stern Review’s finding that global warming can be curtailed by policies costing just 1% of world GDP.
Climate policies, moreover, are said to help in many other ways. US President Barack Obama promised that policies to combat global warming would create five million new green jobs. The EU claimed that green energy would help “improve the EU’s security of energy supply.”
With the completion of the latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we can now see that this narrative is mostly wrong. The first installment of the IPCC report showed that there is indeed a climate problem – emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO₂, lead to higher temperatures, which will eventually become a net problem for the world. This result was highly publicized.
But the report also showed that global warming has dramatically slowed or entirely stopped in the last decade and a half. Almost all climate models are running far too hot, meaning that the real challenge of global warming has been exaggerated. Germany and other governments called for the reference to the slowdown to be deleted.
The second IPCC installment showed that the temperature rise that we are expected to see sometime around 2055-2080 will create a net cost of 0.2-2% of GDP – the equivalent of less than one year of recession. So, while the IPCC clearly establishes that global warming is a problem, the cost is obviously much less than that of the twentieth century’s two world wars and the Great Depression.
Again, not surprisingly, politicians tried to have this finding deleted. British officials found the peer-reviewed estimate “completely meaningless,” and, along with Belgium, Norway, Japan, and the US, wanted it rewritten or stricken. One academic speculated that governments possibly felt “a little embarrassed” that their previous exaggerated claims would be undercut by the UN.
The third installment of the IPCC report showed that strong climate policies would be more expensive than claimed as well – costing upwards of 4% of GDP in 2030, 6% in 2050, and 11% by 2100. And the real cost will likely be much higher, because these numbers assume smart policies, instantly enacted, with key technologies magically available.
Again, politicians tried to delete or change references to these high costs. British officials explained that they wanted such cost estimates cut because they “would give a boost to those who doubt action is needed.”
By Paul Homewood
From the “It’s Raining Today, So I’m Just Playing With Some Numbers” Dept!
On the GISS website, they have a full list of the stations they use, in turn supplied by the GHCN website. I would stress that this does not necessarily mean they are all currently live, but the list includes details on the Brightness Index, and also whether the station is airport based.
From this we can glean the following. (The Brightness Index runs from 0=Dark to 256 = Bright; GISS regard 10 and under as being “rural”)
In other words, only 394 out of 1904 stations can be regarded as unaffected by UHI influences, a ratio of 20.7%.
Again, I would emphasise that not all of these stations are currently live, though, if I had to guess, more rural sites would have dropped than airport and urban sites over the years. Nevertheless, it raises considerable doubt over the reliability of the US temperature record.
By Paul Homewood
In my last post on Illinois temperature adjustments, I compared December temperatures for 1977 and 2013 within the Northeast Division. In most cases, last December was much colder than in 1977, but two sites bucked the trend, Park Forest and Elgin, which were warmer by 0.8F and 0.3F respectively.
Elgin, with a population of 109,000 would appear to be affected by UHI, but Park Forest is a much smaller town of 22,000. However, the Station Metadata gives a clue as to why the temperature record may not be reliable at Park Forest.
The blue marker shows where the current weather station has been located since 2007, and the red is where it was previously.
Now let’s zoom in.
The station is now located at, what COOP records describe as, the Water Department, amid concrete surroundings, (and also next to the railway line). Previously, it was tucked away in a garden.
Clearly, this is one temperature record that is worthless.
By Paul Homewood
Steve Goddard has been regularly reporting how NOAA temperature adjustments have been making this winter appear less cold than it really has been.
For instance, in this post, he reports that NWS have declared December to March as the coldest 4-month period on record in Chicago. Yet, according to NOAA it is only the 4th coldest.
The State Climatological Reports have now been published for December, so we can now check individual stations in detail, and see how they stack up against NOAA’s claims.
According to NOAA, December 2013 was the 28th coldest since 1895 in Illinois.
We can drill this down into individual divisions, and the chart below is for Division 2, the Northeast Division which includes Chicago.
In this division, December 2013 ranks 21st coldest, and ties with December 1977 at 21.8F.
But how do the individual stations listed in the State Climatological Reports compare with 1977?
The Illinois Report for 1977 lists 16 stations, of which 9 are still currently reporting. The table below compares the December mean temperatures in fahrenheit for both years. I also show the airport stations and population (based on GISS).
Even including the three Chicago sites in the average, December 2013 works out as 1.1F colder than 1977, contrasting with NOAA’s claim that the two years are the same. There is also clearly a UHI effect in Chicago, where the average difference is 0.7F, as against 1.3F for the other six stations.
One would also suspect that Elgin, with a population of over 100,000 is also heavily affected by UHI. Indeed, at the two sites with 10,000 population or less, Marengo and Peru, the difference between the two years goes up to 2.2F.
(GISS use the Brightness Index to determine whether a station is rural or not. The Index ranges from 0 to 256, and they count anything of 10 or below as rural. The only site above that fits this category is Ottawa).
So where does this all leaves us? We can safely say that NOAA’s claimed temperature record for this Division is showing 2013 as at least 1.1F hotter than the individual station records justify.
Furthermore, when UHI is factored in, the true figure could be over 2F.
At this stage, someone usually waves their arms and shouts “TOBS” , or Time of Observation Bias. This can creep in when the times, that temperature readings are taken, change. NOAA adjust for this, though many meteorologists insist it is, statistically, a non issue.
But let’s test whether the TOBS adjustment can account for the difference we have identified.
Marengo is one station where the time of observation changed, from 6pm in 1977 to 7am currently, and we can use the USHCN database to find out how much allowance has been made for TOBS.
The answer is 0.8F, i.e the temperature for 1977 has been artificially adjusted down by 0.8F. So, even assuming this adjustment is justified, and that no compensating adjustment needs to be made for UHI, Marengo was still 1.9F colder last December than it was in 1977.
These discrepancies keep cropping up across the USA, as I have regularly pointed out, and it is clear that there is a fundamental flaw in NOAA’s system.
Interestingly, Steve Goddard’s calculations show that 1970’s temperatures in Illinois have been adjusted down by something like 1.5 to 2.0F, a very similar picture to the one I have found.
It is clear that NOAA’s temperature record for the US is rapidly becoming worthless.
1) State Climatological Reports are available here.
By Paul Homewood
Dellers in excellent form!
Says the company’s head of sustainability Joanna Yarrow: "We have been working with WWF looking at meatballs and various other food items that we sell and looking at how we can tweak our recipes to give great taste but also perhaps less of an environmental impact. I can assure you that getting that recipe adjusted will have a real cumulative impact."
"On methane…we are aware of the meat issue with greenhouse gases. We are looking at all our food products from a sustainability perspective but specifically meatballs. They are very popular and they are also our most carbon-intensive food item on our menu."
IKEA – the place you go to, reluctantly, because the furniture is so cheap and practical, not because you want to save the planet for Mother Gaia – actually employs a "head of sustainability"? If that’s not a strong dump signal for the stock, I don’t know what is.
What’s worse, though, is that IKEA actually admits to allowing the kind of food it serves in its restaurants to be dictated not by the needs of its customers – who order 150 million plates of meatballs every year – but by activists from a hard-left environmental NGO like the World Wildlife Fund. That’s not capitalism. That’s not customer service. That’s eco fascism.
This is not, of course, the first time that the democratically unaccountable political activists of the WWF have been invited to meddle where they have absolutely business whatsoever. From the Climategate emails, for example, we learn that in July 29, 1999, Adam Markham of the WWF wrote to University of East Anglia climate scientists Mike Hulme and Nicola Sheard, gently suggesting that they skew their scientific findings in accordance with the WWF’s alarmist campaigning narrative.
"I’m sure you will get some comments direct from Mike Rae in WWF Australia, but I wanted to pass on the grist of what they’ve said to me so far. They are worried that this may present a slightly more conservative approach to the risks than they are hearing from Australian scientists. In particular, they would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible."
Read the rest here.
By Paul Homewood
It seems the Irish Independent is truly independent, unlike its British marxist sister version.
The UN has released its latest report into global warming or, as we’re now meant to call it, climate change.
And, like all UN reports, it should be treated with the same kind of scepticism and contempt that greets every utterance that is farted out of the bowels of that corrupt, counterproductive, bloated and profoundly dangerous organisation. One could quite easily make the argument that the United Nations is the single most pernicious and wickedly pointless body operating in the world right now – a vast, massive idiocractic bureaucracy that specialises in wasting money and time and accommodating lunatics. In fact, you could also say that the UN dropped any pretence of morality or relevance roughly 20 years ago, when they sat back and did nothing in Rwanda – a feat or truly depraved indifference that has forever consigned their name to damnation.
Yet people still insist on bowing before the clay claws of this counterproductive behemoth and their latest warning is this – unless we all stop driving our cars and using air travel and unless we start paying more green taxes, we’re all going to die. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the UN’s other recent contribution to the debate, which was to blame Western meat eaters for methane emissions from cows, and their suggestion that we all go vegetarian.
Even Ireland’s very own UN big cheese, Mary Robinson, a woman who never met a meaningless platitude she didn’t like, was quick to hop on the bandwagon – don’t worry, it was a Prius – when she informed us that: "A global framework for sustainable development that acknowledges the impacts of climate change and an international climate agreement that is fair and legally binding is required to keep our people and our planet safe. It is critical that we choose policies that are transformative, not revisionist."
Indeed. One couldn’t have elucidated more unclearly oneself.
It says a lot about Robinson’s ability to stand anywhere and wibble meaninglessly with the best of them that even the UN’s main report managed to make more sense than she did. But it was interesting to note that they claimed man made emissions have increased more in the last decade than in the previous 30 years.
And this is where the argument becomes interesting.
Because if you want to stop climate change, you must automatically be happy to see black babies die. Or you are happy to let brown and yellow babies live in misery, squalor and fear. And are you happy with that?
I’m going to be a bit presumptuous here and suggest that, maybe, you’re not all that happy with starving children. If anything, they end up on the news and make you feel guilty when you’re eating your dinner.
But where do you think the massive increase in emissions is coming from? America? No. Europe? Are you mad?
No, the biggest polluters and biggest emissions are coming from emerging countries and superpowers such as India and China who have spent the last decade engaged in a process of massive industrialisation, hence the spike in emissions
Someone like Robinson and her idiot followers can change to as many crap light bulbs, or buy as many bad cars, as they want. And Robbo can continue to fly around the world and further engorge her carbon footprint wagging her fingers at gullible, guilt ridden Westerners all she wants. But one uncomfortable fact remains – the people who matter in all this couldn’t give a toss what Robinson or Al Gore or Duncan Stewart have to say.
Because the only way to drag your people out of poverty and starvation is industrialisation – of food, of the economy, of the way they live their lives.
Increased living standards and life expectancy comes through industrialisation and with that comes pollution and with pollution comes emissions – which is making poor Mammy Earth feel unwell.
So what do you want? Clean air or dead babies?
Answers on an eco-friendly post card whenever you have the answer …
Thank you for a bit of honest and common sense, sir!
By Paul Homewood
The above chart shows temperatures in Greenland since the ice age, derived from ice cores data.
Some people seem to be worried by this tiny recent rise in temperatures.
Perhaps some people are also prats.
Click on the link to get a better image.
By Paul Homewood
John Hultquist has sent me an interesting article on solar panel degradation, by Jack Dini, an author on environmental and science issues.
He highlights serious quality issues and premature failure in many solar panels installed, manufactured in China particularly, but not exclusively.
From the Canada Free Press.
Everyone has heard the pitch for solar energy, install solar cells on your roof and get free electricity from the sun. Sure they cost a lot up front, but they will last 25-30 years—which just happens to be about the payback time given current electricity rates from coal, nuclear and natural gas. So when the solar panels start failing in two or three years the economics of solar power collapses like a house of cards. That is exactly what is happening around the world. Cheap Chinese solar panels have flooded the market and are now starting to fail at an alarming rate. Solar panels covering a warehouse roof in Los Angeles were only two years into their expected 25-year life span when they began to fail. Worldwide, solar power adopters are reporting similar problems and the $77 billion solar industry is facing a quality crisis reports Doug Hoffman.
In May 2013 The New York Times exposed this growing scandal at the heart of the solar power industry. No one is sure how pervasive the problem is since there are no industry wide figures about defective solar panels. And when the defects are discovered, confidentiality agreements often keep the manufacturer’s identity secret, making accountability in the industry all the more difficult.
Most of the concerns over quality center on China, home to the majority of the world’s solar panel manufacturing capacity. Inspections of Chinese factories on behalf of developers and financiers revealed that even the most reputable companies are substituting cheaper, untested materials. Others are outsourcing production to smaller, less reputable companies. SolarBuyer, a company based in Marlborough, Mass., discovered defect rates of 5.5% to 22% during audits of 50 Chinese factories over the last 18 months notes,
In order to accelerate production and become the world’s leading solar panel manufacturing area, the Chinese incurred billions of dollars in debt. Now, these solar manufacturing companies are under pressure to cut costs and are substituting less expensive materials that are untested or whose use-by date have expired or subcontracting to smaller manufacturers where there is no quality control. In effect, the price war that Chinese manufacturers waged was a suicide mission. Now even they’re going bankrupt, including their erstwhile number one, Wuxi Suntech, when the banks pulled the ripcord in March 2013.
Defective Chinese panels wouldn’t be a big issue if there were plentiful domestically-produced alternatives. Unfortunately, thanks to our unfair trading relationship with China, American manufacturers haven’t been able to stay in business. China has heavily subsidized their green energy companies, offering such perks as free land, interest-free loans and export subsidies to ensure that their companies have all the advantages they need to conquer the rest of the market. Chinese solar companies have dumped their products on the US market at below market rates, putting their American competitors out of business.
That said, it is not just Chinese solar arrays that are failing—the defective panels installed on the Los Angeles area warehouse were made by an American manufacturer. Furthermore, all solar panels degrade and gradually generate less electricity over time.
The German solar monitoring firm, Meteocontrol, found that 80 percent of the 30,00 solar installations it reviewed in Europe were underperforming. Enertis Solar tested solar panels from 6 manufacturers at two power plants in Spain and found rates of malfunctioning as high as 34.5 percent. An inspection of a solar plant in Britain found that 12 percent of its Chinese modules failed. In the United States, an American solar manufacturer, First Solar, budgeted $271.2 million to replace defective modules it manufactured in 2008 and 2009.
Google was eager to learn about how its system performed. A review six months after installation revealed it was only getting about half of the power it expected.
Read the rest here.
By Paul Homewood
Dave Ward sent me this article from the Eastern Daily Press, which is interesting for what it does not tell you, rather than what it does.
The solar farm at Caister is said to have a capacity of 14MW. (This checks out as the 56,000 panels would be 250 watts each.)
It is also reported that last week they produced an average of 55,000KWh a day. From this we can work out the capacity utilisation.
1) Full Capacity = 14 x 24 = 336MWh/day
2) Actual output = 55MWh
3) Capacity utilisation = 16.4%
Bear in mind that we are now past the Spring Equinox, and that the weather in recent weeks has been dry, settled and reasonably sunny, so the output figures are likely to be flattered.
It is, of course, true that lack of production at night is not a critical problem, as demand is much lower then. But the times when demand is critically high is during winter months, and especially early mornings and evenings.
We can make some informed guesses about what the capacity utilisation is likely to be during winter. DECC produce quarterly energy statistics, currently up to date at December 2013, and we can see how much solar output fluctuates during the year.
On a pro rata basis, we can say that Q1 utilisation is 163/727 of Q2’s, i.e. 22%. If this ratio holds good for January v April, the 16.4% utilisation figure, which we see above for Caister, would drop to just 3.6% ( i.e 16.4 x 22%).
(This number actually ties in very closely to DECC’s own theoretical figures, which give solar capacity in Q1 of 2151MW nationally).
The conclusion is stark – the contribution of power from solar panels during winter months is effectively worthless, regardless of how many solar farms are built.
Two other points:
1) The farmer is keen to brag about the multi purpose use of his farmland, by grazing sheep there. Not that I am a horticultural specialist, but I would have thought that the growth of any grass in the shade of the panels would be severely inhibited, thus reducing the value of the land.
2) He is also naturally keen to receive his quarterly rental payments from the solar company, but it is the rest of us who are subsidising this.
Just as a reminder, any new solar farm starting up this year is guaranteed £120/MWh at 2012 prices for the next 15 years. At 2014 prices, this is already inflated to about £125/MWh, compared to the current wholesale price of electricity of £49.40. This makes a subsidy of £75.6/MWh.
Using a utilisation figure of 16%, the Caister solar farm would produce about 19,000 MWh annually, equating to a subsidy of £1.4 million a year. Surely we would all be better off, except for the farmer, if the land was returned to proper agricultural use?