Print
Jul
11

Rising Sea Level Forecasts: Fact or Fiction?

Author: Professor Cliff Ollier on 11 Jul 2014

Australia is a great place to study sea level at the present time. Fremantle, along with Sydney has the longest record of sea level measurements in Australia, going back to 1897

rising sea levels

Nearby Rottnest Island is the site of famous studies of sea level variation over the past few thousand years, including some sea levels a few metres higher than present.

In the last two years several papers have been published showing there is no reason to be alarmed over sea level rise and several alarmist papers also appeared (see references). Some alarmists claim there will be a rise of several metres by the end of the century. In this article, prepared for The Council for the National Interest WA (CNI),* we see why cherry-picking of data is a real cause for concern. 

There are two basic methods of estimating future changes in sea level: direct observation by tide gauges or by satellites, and computing by models.

Tide gauges are set up at stations to measure sea level at regular intervals. Technology has improved over time. While it is commonly assumed adjacent land is stable, it is known that some land is moving either up or down relative to the sea. The longer and more complete the record the better. The Fremantle record starts in 1897. Another station was set up at Hillarys in 1992. The records are shown in Figs. 1 and 2 (bottom of article).

Without statistical manipulation the Fremantle data appears to show a slight rise but nothing alarming, although there are some exceptionally high tides, and low tides (note 1941 and 1993).

Print
Jul
10

Denmark: wind turbines disrupt human menstruation

Author: Mark Duchamp, World Council for Nature on 10 Jul 2014

The Danish press reports the case of a garden centre going out of business because of nearby wind turbines. Headaches are frequent among employees, and female workers complain of unusual bleeding and problems with their menstruation cycles. Danish windfarm They are worried that more serious illnesses may follow and five of them recently resigned from their jobs. The owner is now closing shop for fear of being held responsible should a child be born with deformities, as happened to numerous mink puppies at a fur farm near wind turbines in Jutland (1).

Boye Jensen, the owner of Lammefjordens Perennials, is 67-year-old. He started his plant nursery 43 years ago, and it became a prosperous business with 15 employees and annual sales of 12 million krones (equiv. $ 2.1 million). He was planning to continue working for another 6-7 years, then sell the nursery. But his business is now worth nothing, causing him an important financial prejudice.

He is presently consulting with his lawyer whether he should sue Vattenfal, the company that owns the wind turbines, or the Municipality of Holbaek, which approved their installation 400-700 metres from his garden centre. He will go to court, and seek damages worth several million krones.

Print
Jul
09

The Biofuel Curse

Author: Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser on 09 Jul 2014

Certain western governments and their science advisers think that alternative energy sources (like wind and solar power) and biofuels in particular are the salvation from “climate change,” previously called “global warming.” biofuels

They view “carbon pollution” (a misnomer, as they actually mean carbon dioxide, CO2) as the root cause of the current economic and environmental malaise in general. That’s why they blessed the nation with the “Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).”

I think the opposite is true; neither CO2 nor the “carbon footprint” is the cause of today’s many problems. In fact, the world today would be much better off if that (scientifically proven) nonsense had never become a political football.

If anything, the world today is not suffering from excessive “carbon footprints” but from excessive “carbon think” by politicians in cahoots with all kinds of NGO (non-governmental organization) “experts.” The “grow-your-fuel” idea is just one of those NGO-driven and politician-embraced problems that do more harm than good. Let’s look at biofuels more closely.

Bio-Ethanol

The push to have a large proportion of corn converted to bio-ethanol for admixture into the nation’s gasoline supplies came from then Vice-President Al Gore as a means to garner votes in his home state of Tennessee. Then termed “global warming” was perceived as the number one threat to mankind’s survival and prosperity on the planet.

Agitators like Maurice Strong, Al Gore, David Suzuki and others promoted the idea of CO2 as a “global evil” that would cause runaway global warming, the starvation of millions of people and, ultimately, the wholesale destruction of life on earth. Thus was born the idea of growing fuel.

The farmers in the corn-growing areas were very receptive to that idea as they could foresee rising demand for their product, supported by the biofuel mandate and government handouts. Since its inception in 2005 this mandate has been expanded at least twice, from an initial 5% ethanol in gasoline to the current 15% (with seasonal and geographical variations) on average. That represents a lot of corn; in fact somewhere in the order of one third of what is grown in the U.S.

Print
Jul
07

Do doctors understand test results?

Author: William Kremer, BBC World Service on 07 Jul 2014

Are doctors confused by statistics? A new book by one prominent statistician says they are - and that this makes it hard for patients to make informed decisions about treatment. 

confused doctor

In 1992, shortly after Gerd Gigerenzer moved to Chicago, he took his six-year-old daughter to the dentist. She didn't have toothache, but he thought it was about time she got acquainted with the routine of sitting in the big reclining chair and being prodded with pointy objects.

The clinic had other ideas. "The dentist wanted to X-ray her," Gigerenzer recalls. "I told first the nurse, and then him, that she had no pains and I wanted him to do a clinical examination, not an X-ray."

These words went down as well as a gulp of dental mouthwash. The dentist argued that he might miss something if he didn't perform an X-ray, and Gigerenzer would be responsible.

But the advice of the US Food and Drug Administration is not to use X-rays to screen for problems before a regular examination. Gigerenzer asked him: "Could you please tell me what's known about the potential harms of dental X-rays for children? For instance, thyroid and brain cancer? Or give me a reference so I can check the evidence?"

The dentist stared at him blankly. 
Print
Jul
07

Life on Titan - it's a salty ball!

Author: Brid-Aine Parnell, the Register on 07 Jul 2014

Astrophysicists have come up with compelling evidence that the ocean inside Saturn’s largest moon Titan is as salty as Earth’s Dead Sea, making it an unlikely location for alien life. Titan

The scientists used the data collected during repeated flybys of Titan by NASA’s Cassini satellite to study the gravity and topography of the massive moon. The data gave the boffins a model structure for Titan that they could use to find out more about its outer ice shell.

Scientists reckon that this shell is rigid and in the process of freezing solid, something the current study agrees with. But the researchers figured out that a relatively high density was needed in the subsurface ocean to explain Titan’s gravity. That density is probably provided by extremely salty water, mixed with dissolved salts that contain sulphur, sodium and potassium.

"This is an extremely salty ocean by Earth standards," said the paper's lead author, Giuseppe Mitri of the University of Nantes in France. "Knowing this may change the way we view this ocean as a possible abode for present-day life, but conditions might have been very different there in the past."

The clue is in the comparison to the Dead Sea – so not really a hospitable location for life to be flourishing. The saltiness isn’t the only thing getting in the way of extraterrestrial microbes though. Cassini data also shows that the ocean is slowly crystallising and turning to ice.

The topography indicates that the thickness of Titan’s ice crust varies from place to place, which would be best explained if the shell was stiff and slowly freezing. This process would also mess with the habitability of the moon, as it would limit the ability of materials to exchange between the surface and the ocean.

Print
Jul
06

BMA ACCUSED OF IGNORING HEALTH EFFECTS OF WIND TURBINES

Author: Nick Hallett, breitbart.com on 06 Jul 2014

The British Medical Association (BMA) is facing a backlash from Scottish doctors who say it is not doing enough to investigate the effects of giant wind turbines on the health of people living near them. wind turbine noise

Residents who live within a few miles of wind turbines have complained of chronic sleep deprivation due to the whirring of the blades, while others report nausea and headaches linked to the low frequency sounds they emit.

The symptoms are collectively known as Wind Turbine Syndrome, yet the Sunday Times reports that a meeting of BMA representatives was last month urged to support renewable energy due its purported benefits in mitigating the effects of climate change.

It was even suggested that if the BMA – which acts as a trade union of doctors – holds any assets in fossil fuel companies, it should switch them to "those providing renewable energy sources."

Some doctors are now angry that the BMA is apparently ignoring pleas to address the public health impact of wind farms. The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) had been lobbying the BMA to address the health of patients within close proximity of turbines, yet this was not considered at their meeting

A BMA spokeswoman said that EPAW had made contact after the deadline for submissions had passed, and added that the BMA does not make direct investments.

An EPAW spokeswoman said, however: "That a vote was subsequently taken at the meeting to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy without members having had access to the information we sent raises an issue of conflict of interests. Since May, attempts were made to have information given to members concerning adverse health effects of turbines. These attempts failed."

Print
Jul
05

Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?

Author: Natalia Wolchover, Quanta magazine on 05 Jul 2014

For nearly a century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice. Solvay conference

This idea that nature is inherently probabilistic — that particles have no hard properties, only likelihoods, until they are observed — is directly implied by the standard equations of quantum mechanics. But now a set of surprising experiments with fluids has revived old skepticism about that worldview. The bizarre results are fueling interest in an almost forgotten version of quantum mechanics, one that never gave up the idea of a single, concrete reality.

The experiments involve an oil droplet that bounces along the surface of a liquid. The droplet gently sloshes the liquid with every bounce. At the same time, ripples from past bounces affect its course. The droplet’s interaction with its own ripples, which form what’s known as a pilot wave, causes it to exhibit behaviors previously thought to be peculiar to elementary particles — including behaviors seen as evidence that these particles are spread through space like waves, without any specific location, until they are measured.

Particles at the quantum scale seem to do things that human-scale objects do not do. They can tunnel through barriers, spontaneously arise or annihilate, and occupy discrete energy levels. This new body of research reveals that oil droplets, when guided by pilot waves, also exhibit these quantum-like features.

Print
Jul
05

Global Warming And Settled Science

Author: Andre Lofthus, American Thinker on 05 Jul 2014

 

The AGW community would have you believe that the science in favor of AGW is settled. As a professional scientist, a physicist with 40 years experience in aerospace and extensive knowledge of atmospheric physics, I can tell you that, indeed, the science is settled, but not the way the AGW extremists would have you believe. burning earth Atmospheric transmission measurements taken in the 1950s demonstrate conclusively that increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere cannot be the cause of global warming if global warming even exists.

A basic principle of science is that correlation does not prove causation. Climate scientists are working overtime fudging temperature related data showing global warming over many decades that correlates with the industrial revolution and increasing use of carbon-based fuels. Climate scientists are boldly asserting that this correlation proves global warming is caused by increased CO2 in the atmosphere.

Real scientists would demand to know the physics of how increased CO2 in the atmosphere causes global warming.  Is there any real physics behind this unsupported bold assertion?  As I am about to explain, based on test data from the 1950s, there is not.

There are three points I want to make that fall in the categories of physics and atmospheric physics. First, molecules in the atmosphere absorb lightwaves over what are called spectral bands. The spectral band can be narrow, as small as a single wavelength, or broad, covering a continuum of wavelengths or frequencies. This molecular absorption causes increased vibration within the molecule exciting certain vibration modes. The physics of each molecule determine which wavelengths can be absorbed to excite internal vibrations. Spectral band absorption in the atmosphere can be quantified based on measurements over a certain distance through the atmosphere such as “90 per cent absorption in this spectral band over a distance of 300 meters at sea level through the atmosphere”.

The second point is not really atmospheric physics, but more fundamental. Objects like the earth emit a spectrum, or wavelength continuum, of radiation that is completely described by “Planck’s Law” of black body radiation, derived in the 1900 by Nobel-winning physicist Max Planck. That curve predicts the peak intensity of light from the sun in the visible spectral band, and the peak intensity of light emitted by the earth in the LWIR spectral band. Planck’s curve has been validated by experimental data for over a hundred years, and was a huge breakthrough for the physics community in the 20th Century.

Print
Jul
04

The BBC's re-education programme

Author: bishop-hill.net on 04 Jul 2014

 

The BBC Trust has issued a new report into progress on adopting the recommendations of the Steve Jones review of science coverage. bbc biasThis was the integrity-free publication that recommended keeping sceptics off air as much as possible.

According to the new paper, the BBC has been holding a series of seminars to bang home the "keep sceptics off air" message and will keep up this re-education programme in the future. There's also this:

"The Trust wishes to emphasise the importance of attempting to establish where the weight of scientific agreement may be found and make that clear to audiences. The Trust also would like to reiterate that, as it said in 2011, “This does not mean that critical opinion should be excluded. Nor does it mean that scientific research shouldn’t be properly scrutinised.” The BBC has a duty to reflect the weight of scientific agreement but it should also reflect the existence of critical views appropriately. Audiences should be able to understand from the context and clarity of the BBC’s output what weight to give to critical voices.“

Given that we know that BBC editors are telling their staff not to allow scientists to appear opposite anyone who might disagree with them, I would suggest to readers that the paragraph quoted above is entirely mendacious. And the idea that the English literature graduates and environmentalists who infest the BBC are going to "properly scrutinise" scientists is beyond contempt. It is simply a case of putting two fingers up to the general public.

It's time to close the BBC down.

Read more at www.bishop-hill.net

 

Print
Jul
04

Apollo Astronaut: Climate Alarmism Is the ‘Biggest Fraud in the Field of Science’

Author: Craig Bannister, cnsnews.com on 04 Jul 2014

Climate alarmism is "the biggest fraud in the field of science" and the 97% consensus claim is nonsensical, Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham tells MRCTV in a preview of his presentation at the upcoming Heartland Institute climate conference, July 7-9. Cunningham

"Since about 2000, I looked farther and farther into it," Col. Cunningham (USMC, Ret.) tells MRCTV in an exclusive interview. "I found that not one of the claims that the alarmists were making out there had any bearings, whatsoever. And, so, it was kind of a no-brainer to come to the conclusion."

Cunningham rejects the notion of man-made climate, not only as fact - but also as even qualifying as an actual "theory":

"In the media, it was being called a theory. Obviously, they didn't know what it means to be a theory."

"If we go back to the warmist hypothesis - not a theory, but, a hypothesis - they've been saying from the very beginning that carbon dioxide levels are abnormally high, that higher levels of carbon dioxide are bad for humans, and they thought warmer temperatures are bad for our world, and they thought we were able to override natural forces to control the earth's temperature. So, as I've looked into those, that's the problem that I've found, because I didn't find any of those to be correct - and, they certainly were not a theory, it was just their guess at what they wanted to see in the data they were looking at."

Cunningham urges Americans to look at the data and decide for themselves, instead of taking anyone else's word for it:

"You go out and take a look at it and you find out that a lot of it is pure nonsense and wishful thinking on the part of the alarmists who are looking for more and more money to fall into their hands."

"Don't believe it just because your professor said it. You gotta go take a look at it. Go back and look at the history of temperature and carbon dioxide, and you look at the value of carbon dioxide, and how it's a benefit today."

Print
Jul
03

Aussie Climate Professor Exposed as Dishonest Alarmist

Author: Dr Judy Ryan, Dr Marjorie Curtis on 03 Jul 2014

Professor Ken BaldwinBaldwin
Director Energy Change Institute
The Australian National University
Building 141, Linnaeus way
Canberra, ACT, 0200

Dear Professor Baldwin,

On Wednesday 28th May 2014, Tony Dale and I attended a presentation you gave at a community forum run by the University of the Third Age (U3A) in Canberra. The topic was the future of renewable energy in Australia. You made a number of comments there that we think were misleading, either by omitting relevant information regarding renewable energy or exaggerating the effects of climate change.

According to my notes, your introduction included the statement   it is imperative to reduce our carbon emissions to combat global warming”………. we need to move away from using fossil fuel.

As you surely must know, it is carbon dioxide, not black carbon, that is emitted from fossil fuel fired  power stations. CO2 is a transparent trace gas which is essential for all plant life. Its solid state is dry ice, therefore impossible to be emitted upwards from the point of combustion. It is neither a pollutant or a warming agent. You were extremely misleading when you referred  to it as “carbon emissions”. The listener was led to believe that you were referring to some form of ‘black carbon’. Some forms of black carbon are pollutants, albeit at a regional level.  However, as you must be aware, Clean Air Laws, were introduced in most industrialised nations more than a century ago.  The  result is that black carbon (soot) is no longer emitted into the atmosphere. Further, Australia’s  coal and its power stations are amongst the cleanest in the world. 

Print
Jul
01

Changes In Albedo Are Called An Enhanced “Greenhouse Effect”

Author: Carl Brehmer on 01 Jul 2014

 

A study done by John Christy (IRRIGATION-INDUCED WARMING IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA?) has been touted by some as being “proof” that humidity causes an enhanced “greenhouse effect”.

The conclusions drawn in the paper are based on the following two graphs (the red trend lines were added for clarity):

Brehmer fig 1 and 2

At first glance the increase in the daily minimum temperature (just before sunrise) exceeds the decrease in daily maximum temperature (~2:30PM) giving the impression that there was an over-all increase in the daily mean temperature from 1930-2000, but look at the scale. Each line in the TMin graph is 2 °C while each line in the TMax scale is 4 °C.

So, as you can see the daily minimum temperature increased about 2 °C while the daily maximum temperature decreased by about 2 °C meaning that the overall affect of irrigation on the daily mean temperature was nil. Rather, the affect of irrigation in this study shows that ground water decreases the diurnal temperature swing. This is not surprising since water has a higher specific heat than does dry soil. As a result the specific heat of wet soil is nearly double that of dry soil.