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Sheep entrails and the Cult of Thermageddon

The power of mathematical thinking, Book.Commenter Kratoklastes finds this pointed parody of modern peer review.

Kratoklastes:

There is an excellent chapter (Chapter 9) in an excellent book (How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg) that gives a very good description of inherent biases in research – taking John Ioannides’ 2005 paper (“Why Most Published Research Is Wrong”).

The chapter starts with a parable, which is clever and funny…

Imagine yourself a haruspex; that is, your profession is to make predictions about future events by sacrificing sheep and then examining the features of their entrails, especially their livers. You do not, of course, consider your predictions to be reliable merely because you follow the practices commanded by the Etruscan deities. That would be ridiculous. You require evidence. And so you and your colleagues submit all your work to the peer-reviewed International Journal of Haruspicy, which demands without exception that all published results clear the bar of statistical signficance.

Haruspicy, especially rigorous evidence-based haruspicy, is not an easy gig. For one thing, you spend a lot of your time spattered with blood and bile. For another, a lot of your experiments don’t work. You try to use sheep guts to predict the price of Apple stock, and you fail; you try to model Democratic vote share among Hispanics, and you fail; you try to estimate global oil supply, and you fail again. The gods are very picky and it’s not always clear precisely which arrangement of the internal organs and which precise incantations will reliably unlock the future. Sometimes different haruspices run the same experiment and it works for one but not the other—who knows why? It’s frustrating. Some days you feel like chucking it all and going to law school.

But it’s all worth it for those moments of discovery, where everything works, and you find that the texture and protrusions of the liver really do predict the severity of the following year’s flu season, and, with a silent thank-you to the gods, you publish.

— Jordan Ellenberg

It goes on to wend its way through mechanisms (the ‘file drawer’ problem whereby only positive findings are published; problems of p-hacking – and of statistical inference generally) by which even a genuine researcher can find himself taking the first steps down the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire.

I propose that we refer to the High Priests of the Cult of Thermaggeddon as Haruspex Maximus – who somehow claim that their forecasts for the increase in the mean temperature 100 years out has a confidence interval that is less than a tenth of a degree wide… when the forecast for mean temp 10 years out has a wider forecast range than that. Somehow chained uncertainty reduces the forecast envelope – I think it helps if your work is only reviewed by others who think exactly the same as you (I doubt that a similar ‘International Journal of Geocentrism Studies’ would ever have found fault in any papers that fit the data using novel epicycles).

From a comment at 2016/03/21 at 7:08 am

UPDATE:

A haruspex warmist,a seer,
Sent some work for review by a peer,
Who replied, “you’ve looked deep,
At the guts of a sheep,
And your climate-change forecasts are clear”.

– Ruairi

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170 comments to Sheep entrails and the Cult of Thermageddon

  • #
    John A

    Thanks to commenter Kratoklastes, and to you for re-posting it.

    70

    • #

      In keeping with the best traditions of demagogy, Kratoclastes caters to local opinion.

      Jordan Ellenberg clearly knows more about past uses of sheep than present and future climate science.

      00

  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    One this you will NOT find is how much water loss to space we have had over the billions of years…
    Why?
    Because it was NEVER considered!

    52

    • #
      Yonniestone

      As in H2O escaping through the Exosphere?, that would claim our water cycle isn’t a closed loop system, can you elaborate, thanks.

      40

      • #
        Joe Lalonde

        We have alot of water vapour moisture in our atmosphere.
        What happens when it is hit open with pieces of meteors?
        You do lose water vapor.
        Lots of meteor scarring when looking from above show angles of lakes being created.
        We had far more water by my research—2 miles more which left us with huge amounts of salt deposits and the silicon structure of sand was made from extreme pressure hitting cold.

        51

        • #
          Yonniestone

          Interesting Joe, I’m a bit time poor ATM to reply,thanks.

          40

          • #
            Joe Lalonde

            Anytime. Since our days are definitely numbered.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX9Lv7Jc_sQ
            US gave their military permission to deploy Nuclear Weapons.
            Not just the US President that has their fingers on the trigger.

            30

            • #
              Yonniestone

              Yes the ‘Tactical Nukes’ re-labeling is concerning and will develop apathy in the populations that have them, I don’t agree with the possibility of taking on Russia & China as this scenario was played out in the minds of both sides many times during the Cold War, it was too catastrophic then as it is now.

              20

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Don’t know about liver but the High Priests have certainly vented plenty of Spleen over their constant inaccuracies.

    ‘Be grateful for small El Nino’s’ is probably a well used verse.

    81

  • #
    Binny

    Yes -10 day forecasts that update every 6 hours. But us farmers are told to use these ‘tools’ to run our bussiness. All we need now is a ‘tool’ that tells us which one of the 40 other ‘tools’ is the correct one, and we’re set. :)

    172

    • #
      Mjw

      Five days out from Black Saturday, the BOM underestimated (calculated) the temperature by 17C, two days out by 11C, Friday evening, 6C and on the morning 3C.
      Enough said.

      50

  • #
    Ruairi

    A haruspex warmist,a seer,
    Sent some work for review by a peer,
    Who replied, “you’ve looked deep,
    At the guts of a sheep,
    And your climate-change forecasts are clear”.

    370

    • #
      Robdel

      Please continue with your limericks Ruaiiri. I much prefer them to your other verse forms.

      51

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        A freshly disbowled sheep and a fresh pile of sheep poo ( in winter ) have one thing in common – both are steaming piles of …

        Sorry, couldnt resist….

        Keep up the limericks Ruairi.

        60

      • #
        PeterPetrum

        I agree – your limericks are sublime!

        41

    • #
      Annie

      I love your limericks Ruairi but take the point that you made on a previous thread about the effort involved in producing them. I’ll certainly enjoy and fully appreciate them when they appear but enjoy the couplets too. Thank you, Annie.

      60

    • #
      Mike

      A haruspex economist is far more humane
      And the sheep are quite easy to train.
      The fleeces are counted, collected, made certain
      So that the CO2 emissions can then be determined
      From the debt to the private bankers they obtain

      30

    • #
      Ceetee

      Your best work Ruairi.

      10

      • #
        Mike

        There is never a “best” for it has been preordained.
        At our level in the creation of what is called “increasing diversity” in the rest of the megalocosmosis course.

        10

  • #

    If we could get accurate weather forecasts a week in advance, it would be great. The BOM needs to use different sheep.

    141

  • #
    Mari C

    I want to know if these people are smoking entrails. I mean, with items like this
    http://in.reuters.com/article/climatechange-carbon-emissions-idINKCN0WN1QI and this
    http://phys.org/news/2016-03-human-carbon-unprecedented-million-years.html
    I am thinking either I need MORE drugs, or they need fewer.

    70

    • #
      pat

      Mari C -

      adding these to your links!
      their guess is as as good as….

      Rate of carbon emissions put in context
      BBC News – ‎4 hours ago‎
      We are now putting carbon into the atmosphere at a rate unprecedented since at least the age of the dinosaurs, scientists say.

      Human-driven carbon release rate unprecedented in past 66 million years
      National Science Foundation (press release) – ‎7 hours ago‎

      More carbon released today than anytime in past 66 million years
      University of California – ‎31 minutes ago‎

      Carbon emissions ‘highest since dinosaurs’
      SBS-2 hours ago

      Humans are releasing carbon 10 TIMES faster than ever before
      Daily Mail – ‎7 hours ago‎

      Carbon emissions highest since dinosaurs walked the earth
      Bangor Daily News-7 hours ago

      Carbon emission release rate ‘unprecedented’ in past 66m years
      In-Depth-The Guardian-7 hours ago

      Human carbon release rate is unprecedented in the past 66 million …
      Highly Cited-EurekAlert (press release)-7 hours ago

      Earth Hasn’t Heated Up This Fast Since the Dinosaurs’ End
      In-Depth-National Geographic-7 hours ago

      Carbon emissions ‘highest since dinosaurs’
      NEWS.com.au-2 hours ago
      Lead author Richard Zeebe, of the University of Hawaii, said geological records were vague and “it’s not well known if/how much carbon was released” in that cataclysm…

      71

      • #
        TdeF

        Amazing.

        In all this, the implied silly science is that you can simply increase the CO2 in the air by outputting more CO2 into a complex system where the oceans contain vastly more CO2 than the thin atmosphere.

        This is nonsense in physical chemistry and a denial of everything we know about CO2 and equilibrium between air and the massive oceans. Ignorance triumphs over facts. Why doesn’t a real scientist anywhere correct these absurd statements?

        Then if anyone dares admit the CO2 goes into the ocean, you get ocean ‘acidification’. Sure CO2 is an acid in solution, but 98% of all free CO2 is already in the oceans which are alkali anyway. Why doesn’t a real scientist say something?

        This faux science is akin to heavier things fall faster because it is obvious and consensus dictates it.

        50

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          98% of CO2 in solution is there as a gas, not reacted.
          The reaction to bicarbonate is pH dependent and gets slower as pH drops, and eventually peters out around 5.5.
          Sodium bicarbonate solutions are slightly alkaline. Calcium and magnesium salts either precipitate (by conversion) or are taken up by marine organisms e.g. corals.**
          CO2 becomes less soluble as the temperature goes up, so the Gullible who believe in CO2 induced warming haven’t realised that if true it will stop any “ocean acidification” which wouldn’t happen anyway.

          ** I keep pointing out the White Cliffs of Dover laid down (under the ocean) when the CO2 level was 1600+p.p.m.

          50

          • #
            TdeF

            Dissolved CO2 dissociates to form carbonic acid, H2CO3. It is a mild acid but it is dwarfed by the other components and all the carbonates in a buffered solution. Acidification is semantic not reality. The world’s oceans are alkali and given they are stuffed with CO2, what’s a little more?

            50

  • #
    spangled drongo

    And when the subject is all hepped up with drug-induced liver diseases no wonder the models are saying what they do.

    60

  • #
    Another Ian

    Jo and Tony Oz

    More on predictions

    “Game just changed again

    It’s an absolute game-changer

    The citation on the award of a Danish design prize to the Tesla powerwall battery in 2015

    Tesla has quietly removed all references to its 10-kilowatt-hour residential battery from the Powerwall website, as well as the company’s press kit. The company’s smaller battery designed for daily cycling is all that remains.

    Recent news report

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2016/3/21/game-just-changed-again.html#comments

    100

    • #
      Analitik

      The initial “game changer” award was wrong anyway as the 10kWh Powerwall was never designed to be used as a time shifter – it was a backup source while the “7kWh” (6.4kWh in reality) Powerwall is the one spec’d for time shifting and the one that has consumer interest (with healthy spruiking as usual by Elron Musk)

      http://www.designboom.com/technology/tesla-powerwall-2015-index-award-winner-08-29-2015/

      50

      • #
        Analitik

        And as a further tie between reading animal entrails and Tesla, we only have to look at the predictions by stock analyst Trip Chowdhry who continually projects that this subsidized, hyped up, farce of a car company is worth as much as GM.

        60

        • #
          RB

          Here in Adelaide, I saw one or two Tesla cars a day for a week. Not one since. My original thought that people were actually buying them was quickly dismissed. Probably being driven around as advertising during the Clipsal 500.

          30

          • #
            Greebo

            They only make sense in California. If anything makes sense in California that is.

            30

          • #
            Analitik

            Actually, Hong Kong is a reasonable place as any to run them. The hidden cost there is getting a charging point installed at your parking spot (since almost everyone lives in an apartment complex).

            They are still a totally irrelevant indulgence for rich people, though, and the tax credits available for them in many countries is a blatant case of robbing the poor to pay the rich. Plus they skip any excise that should be levied for road use.

            30

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    This might be the start of new discoveries.

    The Haruspexka virus – infects and affects brains causing shrinkage and loss of critical function.

    Haruspexity – anxiety induced by forecasts of doom.

    Haruspexanoia – sufferers join Greenpeace etc.

    90

  • #
    gnome

    Does examining the entrails work any better for predicting bowel cancer, or is it only aliens doing that for their own nefarious ends?

    50

    • #
      el gordo

      Shaking the arrows and chatting to your favorite gods might also be useful.

      “For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the household idols, he looks at the liver.”

      Book of Ezekiel 21:21:

      60

      • #
        Mike

        It is usefull to consider that all these quotes relate to various schools at the time.
        For instance, there was the school of John, Paul, Mathew.
        Of course because schools were a function of lines of thought requiring the attribution of various concepts to be expanded.

        00

      • #
        Mike

        Flat earthers had their gods also
        The chronology of schools is what us being describe here,

        00

    • #
      Ceetee

      Gnome, I suspect the examination could be as detrimental as the prognosis, a bit like blood letting.

      00

      • #
        Ceetee

        In fact, now that I think of it, this entire fiasco is a form of modern day high tech bloodletting.

        00

  • #
    Neville

    Here’s more of that pesky data showing the pause, even after the big jump in Feb. Ken Stewart updates this data monthly for a number of areas of the planet using UAH V6. Antarctica has shown no warming since Dec 1978. Plenty of graphs to look at here.

    https://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/the-pause-update-february -2016

    61

    • #
      Peter C

      Thanks Neville,

      Did anyone see the article in yesterday’s AGE by Caitlin Guilfoyle; Record March temperatures in Australia a warning- experts
      http://www.smh.com.au/national/record-temperatures-for-march-a-warning-of-whats-to-come-say-experts-20160320-gnmkc9.html

      The article conjures up all sorts of terrifying propheses and is illustrated by a truly alarming temperature graph.
      http://www.datagraver.com/case/world-temperature-anomalies-for-februari-2016

      By visiting datagraver.com I found the the graph is supposed to show Global Temperatures since 1981 and the original source is NASA GISS. Even allowing for the short time interval the apparent temperature increase is substantial and there is no pause at all!

      Does anyone know how NASA GISS produced their graph?

      61

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Yeah but heres the thing – in the Southern Highlands, this summer was a non event – its was fits and starst of heat, and we lost all our fruit on vines and trees due to the rubbish growing season – some heat, lotsof rain, heat again, humidity….by all considerations a mild summer.

        So all this alarmism annoys me – its complete tosh having seen summer first hand. I still recall in my teenage years in the Riverina not being able to sleep at 1am because it was 30C+ and the cicadas were so loud – for 2 weeks at a time.

        So its complete nonsense in my book….

        101

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I find the lack of ability to comment on these articles ( which are just really pro-CAGW pieces ) annoys me – they quoted Flannel-ears, whom we know to be *cough* highly accurate…..

        93

        • #
          ianl8888

          That’s how the MSM works … the power of the public megaphone. It’s why most journos do what they do.

          It’s also why the MSM hate Trump so much – he doesn’t need them and they have no real influence over the increasing number of his supporters. In fact, the louder the MSM shriek at him, the more support he garners.

          Loss of power, loss of credibility, vanity dented big-time … the MSM need still another big metaphorical punch in the nose.

          80

          • #
            Dennis

            Obviously Donald Trump is another politician feared by the NWO/OWG agenda socialists from the worldwide web of socialism.

            50

      • #
        AndyG55

        “yesterday’s AGE by Caitlin Guilfoyle”

        She probably had her air-con set on 30ºC and could figure out why it was so warm !!

        51

      • #
        Another Ian

        Peter C

        By looking at entrails and their output as a cross check?

        10

      • #
        ROM

        Peter C @ # 12.1

        Does anyone know how NASA GISS produced their graph?

        Interesting bit of semantics in that question as it refers to ”producing the graph”, not as “recording the data” , a vast world of difference in both meaning and action.
        But a so accurate example of the difference between science and what passes for science as Jo’s post notes in the CAGW world of “adjusted” climate data.

        As to how GISS produces their graphs which are passed off as some semblence of some sort of climate science. well I think that Norwegian Proffessor Ole Humlum has this pinned down to large extent in another graph on his Climate4you blog site.

        Go to menu item [ LH side ] Global temperature

        Scroll down to ; “Temporal stability of global air temperature estimates”.

        Scroll down a little further and you will find two graphs, amongst the many and various there, that show the continuing adjustments made by the NCDC and GISS to the temperature data record.
        Plus the time period, ie; year and month when each of those “adjustments” were made.

        In GISS’s case the temperature anomaly data differences are calculated and no doubt using modeled algorithms to do the automated adjustments between the months of January 1910 and January 2000.

        [ A lot of historical observed and recorded temperatures going back to the start of the 20th century are actually changed on a daily basis through the use of algortithms. Openly admitted on Climate Etc by a couple of climatologist who were eyeball deep in those adjustments, unbelievable as it might be to a common sense based lay person. And thats where by far the greatest increase in global temperatures actually originates, in the numerous and varied and unsubstantiated and constantly fluxing adjustments made by the keepers of the historical global temperature data, ]

        In May 2008 GISS had this temperature anomaly difference between the January 1910 and January 2000, some 90 years apart, listed as an increase of 0.45C. over those 90 years

        BUT, by March 2016 after further “Adjustments” by GISS, that temperature anomaly difference between those two January temperatures some 90 years apart had increased to 0.69C

        An adjustment that for no known rhyme or reason that had apparently increased the official global temperature rise by 0.24C. a quarter of a degree of warming that had NO base in observed reality and was done purely through the GISS’s “adjustment algorthims”.

        And through those adjustments of an extra 0.24 C , GISS has added a spurious, non observed rise of around 40% to the claimed and generally accepted [ prior to the rise of the CAGW cultist beliefs ] long term average of 0.6C per century  rise in global temperatures that has been ongoing since the end of the LIA in the mid 1700′s.

        70

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Amazing stuff.

          But then.

          Common sense can’t coexist with high levels of grant money.

          30

        • #
          Peter C

          Thanks for the link to the Climate4you site ROM,

          That looks like a good answer to my question and a lot more beside.

          20

    • #
      el gordo

      Neville your comment over there is of interest because the Dark Age cooling is absent. It feels like the bipolar seesaw.

      ‘Antarctica was warmer than today from 141 ad to 1250 ad ( med wp) and had a warmer spike from 1671 to 1700. So where did that warmer spike suddenly come from…’

      Did the LIA begin in the Southern Hemisphere?

      50

    • #
      el gordo

      Your other date is intriguing and I’ll follow it up when time allows.

      ‘The Siple Dome ice core also contained its highest rate of melt layers (up to 8%) between 1550 and 1700, most likely because of warm summers.’

      wiki

      70

    • #
      PeterPetrum

      Thanks Neville, really useful.

      40

    • #
      el gordo

      Neville its generally agreed that 1670 to 1700 was a cool time in both hemispheres, here is South Africa.

      http://www.nature.com/articles/srep01767

      If the warm spike can be verified then we might have a scoop. Do you have a link?

      40

  • #
    pat

    for the record. excellent interview:

    AUDIO: 22 Mar:2GB: Alan Jones – Jennifer Marohasy
    Alan talks to the scientist and author about the future of the Murray-Darling on this World Water Day
    http://www.2gb.com/article/alan-jones-jennifer-marohasy-0

    50

  • #
    Peter Miller

    Isn’t comparing the methodology of a typical climate scientist with a haruspex being a tad rude to the haruspex?

    I wonder if a haruspex has ever heard of homogenisation?

    62

    • #
      Vlad the Impaler

      ” … homogenisation?”

      AAAAAAAAAAaaaarrrrrrrgghhhhhhhh!!!!!!! Visual NOT GOOD!!!!! Visual NOT GOOD!!!!!!!

      00

  • #
    Manfred

    A nub question could be to ask what happened to haruspices that got it wrong too many times? Battles lost not won, weddings that shouldn’t have happened, children that were daughters not sons, crops that failed, weather that didn’t. I suspect the entrail gazing, fate diving priests were a perfect example of the healthy worker effect, that is, the surviving population of haruspices beat the odds slightly more than random chance and got to survive. Those that misread the entrails didn’t. No one wants a diet of failed prophecies or bad news and the answer to getting it wrong must all too often have been the business end of a gladiatorial sword.

    Meanwhile over at Fabius Maximus a dose of political virtual reality and why whatever the haruspices come up with may not matter.

    Why skeptics will lose the US climate policy debate

    60

    • #
      ianl8888

      Those that misread the entrails didn’t

      Perhaps not well known, but Genghis Khan prepared a large and expensive armada to invade Japan – twice.

      Both times an unpredicted typhoon sunk most of the fleets (which is, I’m told, why the Japanese call a typhoon the Divine Wind).

      One wonders at the fate of Genghis’ entrail-reading soothsayers :)

      50

      • #
        Manfred

        “…not well known”

        You’ve gotta smile. Doubtless there was a news blackout. The strategic ramifications of your enemies knowing that your haruspices are off beat may not bode well. So damage control at the very least would amount to a purge or two, possibly of both haruspices and duff sacrificial animals.
        I wonder what the level of personal indemnity might have been?

        20

    • #
      Akatsukami

      At the naval Battle of Drepana in 249 BCE, the sacred chickens (used in an alternate form of fortune-telling, augury) refused to eat, a horrible omen. The Roman commander P. Claudius Pulcher threw them overboard, saying “If they won’t eat, let them drink!” No doubt a failing haruspex suffered the equivalent from time to time.

      (Incidentally, Drepana was the worst Roman defeat of the First Punic War. Perhaps Pulcher should have accepted the omen and declined battle.)

      40

  • #
    ROM

    A little of the beaten track but as this post is about aspects of scientific output I spent a bit of time digging and came away even more confused.

    My question was; How many peer reviewed scientific articles are published each year?

    There is a bit of background to this question.

    Way back in a previous life when I had a fair bit to do with researchers and farm advisers from the old Victorian Department of Agriculture in the days when The Department handed out advice, often good advice in those days, to farmers for free before the whole farm agronomy / farming advice thing was handed over to the private and company advisers, I happened to be talking about Ag research with a well respected adviser.

    Even back then perhaps 30 years ago now he was pretty scathing about the Departments research system. He told me of one of his then recent experiences. He needed some information on chicken husbandry and knowing that a Chook / Chicken research project had been funded to do an extensive amount of research into Chickens /Chooks a few years before, he headed down the corridor to check with one of the guys he knew was involved with that research.

    On asking what had happened to that Chicken research and where could he lay hands on the paper and results, the other officer stood up, took a couple of steps to the Public Works type cupboard, reached up and took a heavy folder down from the top of the cupboard.

    And there it all was, the full bottle on the Chicken research project from a number of years perviously as funded, fully documented, written up and NEVER submitted for review or publication.
    People had moved on and as is human nature, left it up to somebody else to do the housecleaning and tidying up the loose ends with that research project.
    So it never happened.
    Nobody had ever got around to sending it in for review or publication even in the Departments publications

    So some quotes from a couple of the sources I looked up the numbers of scientific publications published each year, not including those such as that chicken research which never gets published or worse, research that proves a negative, that a well promoted hypothesis isn’t valid and is in fact, not valid or can be substantiated after research into it, a negative result.
    A negative result is rarely if ever published by the science journals as they are all looking to promote circulation by selecting and publishing sexy, sometimes, more frequently than ever these days, some quite spurious articles and papers because they make outlandish claims and seem exciting and are supposedly peer reviewed.
    Plus of course some very high profile scientists who do their utmost to see that any papers that dare to question their own science never gets to see the light of day.
    Read the ClimateGate mails to see this type of a blatant example of gross scientific corruption in full flight from Phil Jones and etc of the CRU ;
    And this is just one of a whole phalanx of similar examples of highly prominent scientists protecting their patch by ensuring any research that casts doubt on or conflicts with their own beliefs and findings never gets to see any publication.

    Quotes;
    Scientific journal publishing: yearly volume and open access availability

    Results. We estimate that in 2006 the total number of articles published was approximately 1,350,000. Of this number 4.6% became immediately openly available and an additional 3.5% after an embargo period of, typically, one year. Furthermore, usable copies of 11.3% could be found in subject-specific or institutional repositories or on the home pages of the authors.

    And the kicker!

    Smithsonian Mag.

    Academics Write Papers Arguing Over How Many People Read (And Cite) Their Papers

    There are a lot of scientific papers out there. One estimate puts the count at 1.8 million articles published each year, in about 28,000 journals. Who actually reads those papers? According to one 2007 study, not many people: half of academic papers are read only by their authors and journal editors, the study’s authors write.

    But not all academics accept that they have an audience of three.
    There’s a heated dispute around academic readership and citation—enough that there have been studies about reading studies going back for more than two decades.

    In the 2007 study, the authors introduce their topic by noting that “as many as 50% of papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, referees and journal editors.”
    They also claim that 90 percent of papers published are never cited.
    Some academics are unsurprised by these numbers. “I distinctly remember focusing not so much on the hyper-specific nature of these research topics, but how it must feel as an academic to spend so much time on a topic so far on the periphery of human interest,” writes Aaron Gordon at Pacific Standard. “Academia’s incentive structure is such that it’s better to publish something than nothing,” he explains, even if that something is only read by you and your reviewers.

    &
    Nature Newsblog
    [ my bold]

    Global scientific output doubles every nine years

    “We identified three growth phases in the development of science, which each led to growth rates tripling in comparison with the previous phase: from less than 1% up to the middle of the 18th century, to 2 to 3% up to the period between the two world wars and 8 to 9% to 2012,” they write.

    Bornmann and Mutz take an ingenious approach to estimating total scientific output: they define it as any reference – including not just papers, but books, datasets and websites – subsequently cited by another academic publication in the Web of Science database (including social sciences and arts and humanities disciplines). By analysing more than 755 million cited references in 38 million publications from 1980 to 2012, they totted up all publications from 1650 onwards that were ever cited (after 1980). The rates of increase are similar even if publications are limited to just the natural sciences, or just health and medicine.
    &
    Does this proliferation of papers represent real growth of knowledge? As far back as 1965, Price noted a now familiar observation: “I am tempted to conclude that a very large fraction of the alleged 35,000 journals now current must be reckoned as merely a distant background noise, and as very far from central or strategic in any of the knitted strips from which the cloth of science is woven”.

    Today’s “salami slicing”, in which scientists may pursue additional publications for career advancement, only adds to this effect, says van Raan. “The behaviour of scientists to publish more, to split up papers, to publish first a short paper followed by a more detailed one, and so on, would imply an ‘extra’ growth which is not necessarily ‘real’ growth of science,” he points out. “It would be fascinating to develop a framework in which ‘sustainable’ contributions to scientific development can be identified and used as a kind of measure to see how our total scientific knowledge is growing.”

    So non-real growth it may be – but for the beleaguered academic, it all counts as more stuff to keep track of.

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    Roy Hogue

    It’s frustrating. Some days you feel like chucking it all and going to law school.

    The goalposts in law seem to move around as fast as those in science. Supreme Courts and legislators both seem bent on keeping it that way too. So I wonder if that’s an out for anyone. But I haven’t yet heard of entrail gazing in the legal profession, for which I suppose we should be grateful.

    Mathematical Thinking??? I wonder if even the discipline of math can save us anymore. ;-)

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    • #

      Roy mentions this:

      Mathematical Thinking??? I wonder if even the discipline of math can save us anymore.

      When I see how people are so utterly conned into the belief that renewable power can somehow replace CO2 emitting power plants, I shake my head and wonder if they have indeed been consulting sheep’s entrails.

      I use Maths to explain how renewable power fails so comprehensively, and I get looks of absolute disbelief, and I’m instantly dismissed, because people just cannot understand the maths that proves that renewables fail.

      Even those who know renewables are a flop are still dumbfounded when the maths is proved to them, because it just sounds so unbelievable.

      A classic case was on the most recent Weekend Unthreaded when I explained it at this link.

      This is almost the same as truth being stranger than fiction.

      Tony.

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        Bulldust

        Looks like at least one person can’t handle the truth.

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      • #
        Retired Now

        “I use Maths to explain how renewable power fails so comprehensively, and I get looks of absolute disbelief, and I’m instantly dismissed, because people just cannot understand the maths that proves that renewables fail.”

        I feel for you. Your info and maths matter as does the the issues of renewables and power plants. However the issue of maths and how to understand findings isn’t confined to the issue of power. I gave a report looking at the lapse rate of members in a club I belong to. My report was ignored because the figures couldn’t be “that bad”. Someone else would have told them before! After several attempts to address it I have given up.

        30

      • #
        The Backslider

        Thank you so much for that reply on unthreaded Tony. I really want to learn how to get my head around this stuff.

        00

        • #

          The Backslider

          The formula I use is the Industry Standard for finding the total power generated from a power plant, of any type, even rooftop panels. That formula is:

          NP X 24 X 365.25 X CF
          (Where NP is the Nameplate for the plant, 24 hours in a day, 365.25 days in a year, and CF is Capacity Factor)

          Typical average CF for for the main two different types of renewables are,

          Wind – 30%
          Solar PV – 13.5% (this also included rooftop solar)

          Now renewable urgers will scoff at those figures saying that they are higher than that, but years and years of doing this has shown me that those figures hold out as accurate, and in fact are probably on the high side for some places, as wind in Europe, especially Germany with so much of it, is barely managing between 20 and 25% for the whole fleet of wind power. Rooftop solar can vary depending on Latitude, but that 13.5% holds up in most cases. Most panel retailers claim around 17.5% and some as high as 25%, (yes actually, can you believe it?) but 13.5% across the whole year is around the average.

          There was a story on the local Queensland News Bulletin on Ch9 last night, (Tuesday) how the State Government led by Palaszczuk wants to implement a solar schools project, where they cover the roofs of State schools with solar panels so they can supply some of their own power, and in fact to onsell the extra to their neighbours. I love news stories like this because I’ve learned to listen closely for any piece of information which might be useful, and there was one.

          As an example, they showed an average sized local school in Brisbane, and the head teacher said that they have a 10KW System on the roof of part of the school, and that’s 40 panels mind you. This system is supplying, (wait for it) 3% of the school’s electrical power needs. Now I couldn’t care less about the panels, as the interest here for me was the 3%, because I wanted to know how much power is consumed by an average school.

          So, using the above formula, I worked out from the 10KW rooftop system how much power the panels generated across a year, and as that was 3%, then this average school consumes around 1.1MWH of power each day, (averaged across the year)

          The average home in Australia consumes around 20KWH of power a day, so an average sized school consumes around the same power as 55 average homes. Keep in mind that the school is only operational during the daylight hours, and most power consumption in the Residential Sector is at Peaking Power time, after 4PM, when schools have closed for the day.

          Now, how many schools are there in your area where you live? In you area? In your City?

          It all adds up to lots of power being consumed by cities, and schools are now in the realm almost of essential services really, so they need their power pretty much constantly, another reason to add to the long list of why renewable power is a flop when it comes to an absolute requirement for constant reliable electrical power.

          Tony.

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          • #

            I have a clarification for this point I made: (my bolding here)

            The average home in Australia consumes around 20KWH of power a day, so an average sized school consumes around the same power as 55 average homes. Keep in mind that the school is only operational during the daylight hours, and most power consumption in the Residential Sector is at Peaking Power time, after 4PM, when schools have closed for the day.

            The average home consumes two thirds of its power during that peaking Power period, which is 4PM till around 9 or 10PM, so during the daylight hours, the same hours as for school operation, then the average home is only consuming around 6KWH.

            So that means that during the same daylight hours the average school is consuming a similar amount of power as almost 170 homes.

            Tony.

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            • #
              Greebo

              I was fascinated to see on the Apple “keynote” yesterday that they claim to have reached 93% renewable energy across their entire operation. That is, all their offices, their retail operations, and their cloud storage. I doubt they’d be believed if they claimed this for manufacturing, given that it’s 99.9% done in China.
              I raise this because, in the Ellenberg’s parable he mentions predicting AAPL stock from the entrails. My haruspex was at least prescient enough to clear out after he advised me NOT to buy back in 1999.
              Apple gave us a big stage promo of their “green” credentials, and their aim to be 100% renewable dependant. All quite laudable, I’m sure.
              Thing is, they have been consistently banging on about ‘climate change’ for years. Steve Jobs even played a congratulatory message form none othe than Al Gore at the iPhone launch in 2007.
              I know Apple is based in California, but it seems that while the phones may be smart, the people aren’t.
              Tony, can you possibly explain how a company with the footprint of Apple can claim 93% reliance on renewables and reasonably expect to be believed? After all, they have a quite large prescience in Ireland.
              Seems to me that enormous sums of money can buy enormous amounts of hubris.

              10

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Tony,

        I know this isn’t something you don’t realize but often total fiction is accepted as truth. How else can sites like skeptical science thrive? How else can the world’s current turmoil go on the way it is? I suspect there’s more fiction used to make decisions in life than actual verifiable facts.

        21

        • #
          Rod Stuart

          Roy
          In case you haven’t seen this foreign policyspeech, I draw it to your attention.
          As an observer in another land, I suggest that in this The Donald looks very presidential indeed.

          10

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            He’s able to come across as more informed about the details than I’ve generally seen. And I’ve always understood why he’s so attractive to angry voters.

            We’ll soon see how it all works out. Hillary still looks like the most probable next president.

            00

      • #
        Uncle Fred

        Tony
        Here is a publication which you might not have seen. It is a comprehensive examination of the economics (or lack thereof) of PV solar.

        10

    • #
      ianl8888

      … entrail gazing in the legal profession …

      Well, actually, extremely expensive QC/SC’s who assure their clients that the Supreme Court or the High Court couldn’t possibly make an unfavourable decision on their case with all the precedents, judge-shopping and pure inside knowledge at their disposal – this is indeed a form of entrail reading.

      I’m told that when an adverse decision does result (often enough), the hara-kari screams from the various offices can be heard right across town.

      In my experience, most lawyers understand the scientific method quite well. But they only employ it if they believe it suits their purpose. Consequently, one cannot rely on the Courts for evidence-based decisions.

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        Roy Hogue

        …one cannot rely on the Courts for evidence-based decisions.

        Good point Ian.

        I sat on a jury years ago where there were four charges against the defendant. Two of those charges were burglary, identical except they applied to two separate locations from which he took various items. He was caught with all the loot from both burglaries in his possession and at trial all the items were identified as those taken in the burglaries. Nine of us recognized that the evidence that convicted him on one burglary must also convict him of the other or it couldn’t convict on either one. How simple can it get? But three jurors couldn’t see it that way and agreed to convict on one burglary but not the other. As a consequence we deliberated four days instead of probably one before giving up — a rather vivid memory of the case where you can’t rely on the courts for evidence based decisions. I remember the fight to this day that the nine of us made to try to get the other three to realize how straight forward it was.

        20

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      Greebo

      But I haven’t yet heard of entrail gazing in the legal profession

      I’ve certainly met some lawyers who might find sme navel gazing to be of benefit.

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    Bulldust

    New hottest year evah ranting at the ABC (whomever that may belong to, certainly not me):

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-22/climate-report-reveals-world-temperature-increase-alarming/7264904

    I find myself becoming more ignorant reading their piece, for example:

    Climate change is driven by greenhouse gases, many of which are released in large quantities by humans.

    The two most important ones are carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Both of these greenhouse gases set new records in 2015.

    Crazy me… I used to think water vapour had the most impact … but I am no climate expert, so…

    Also, we had the biggest hole in the ozone layer, “ever”:

    Although the world acted to phase out gases which damage the ozone layer in 1987, they linger in the atmosphere for decades.

    Weather conditions in the upper atmosphere can make the hole bigger or smaller and 2015 was a huge one.

    It arrived late, starting only in August, and NASA’s records showed it was the biggest ever.

    Again, silly me, I had no idea we knew the extent of the hole’s size prior to the last few decades. I guess it has been accurately modelled back to the Big Bang or sumptin…

    I dare not read anymore… it is having an impact equivalent to a MinusIQ pill.

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    • #
      sophocles

      Also, we had the biggest hole in the ozone layer, “ever”:

      Where?

      In Antarctica it wasn’t. You can find out for yourself at NASA’s ozone watch page. 2006 won.

      Here’s area few things to think about things to think about:
      1. according to NASA’s earth observatory the ozone layer

      protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet light, which damages DNA in plants and animals (including humans) and leads to skin cancer.

      Yet the so-called ozone hole over Antarctica is monitored closely. Antarctica is the world’s largest desert Where are the plants and animals the increased UV is mutating?
      2. The ozone “hole” was discovered in the late 1950′s by a Swedish Scientist —before we began large scale manufacture of Chlorinated Fluoro Carbons. So how can it be caused by CFCs if there weren’t any around?
      3, The ozone hole is supposed to be caused by Chlorine and Bromine released from CFCs (at about 60 miles altitude) by UV radiation. Yet CFCs are heavt molecules. How do they get up that high and in such concentration?
      4. Atmospheric free chlorine is monitored by instruments at McMurdo Sound 10kms downwind from an active volcano.
      Mt Erebus is 10km directly upwind of McMurdo. It’s been in continuius eruption since 1970. It’s volcanic plume was measured to emit about 1000 tons of Chlorine per day. Erebus has molten lava in its crater. That’s a feature of an actively erupting volcano.
      5. The NOAA satellite shows ozone depletion in the hole at least a month before the sun returns to Antarctica. That’s not bad for what is supposed to be a photo-chemical reaction, it’s depleting without the sun.
      7. It was modelled that about 1% of CFCs found their way into the stratosphere to be dissociated by UV light. That would be about 7,500 tons at 1989 manucfacturing rate of 750,000 tons. That compares with 365,000 tons pa from Mt Erebus and 640,000,000 tons pa from sea spume.
      8 The computer modellers are modelled the scary ozone hole in the 1980s are mostly the same people who are computer modelling scary klimate today.

      I have four questions:
      1. How can a photochemical reaction (chlorine and bromine destruction of ozone) occur without the sun?
      2. How does the ozone choose/select the CFC released chlorine (from about 7000 tons pa) to react with rather than the 653million tons pa of natural chlorine?
      3. Why are we worried about a slight decrease in ozone over the world’s largest uninhabited desert? (Research scientists don’t count. The penguins seem pretty unconcerned too.) Ozone forms with UV and is destroyed by UV. That suggests a dynamic state and dynamic stability. Mankind is not needed.
      4. What happened to the `cancer epidemic?’

      The ozone hole ramped up in 1980. What about Solar activity?
      The ozone hole fills the Auroral Australis ring. What goes in there is stratospheric air and solar wind. For all cycle 24 has been low on sunspots, it was still throwing hissy fits (plenty of flares) and CMEs at our planet in fine fashion. The auroras both boreal and austral have been very active and colourful.

      Given that the predicted skin cancer epidemic hasn’t occured, and the data shows the hole to be fairly stable in size and the decrease fairly consistant, then the Montreal Protocol was unnecessary. CFC manufacture dropped dramatically before 1990. So why is the hole still there?

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        el gordo

        Is there a hole over the Arctic or only Antarctica?

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        • #
          sophocles

          There was one over the Arctic in their winter of 2011. The temperature dropped to below -50Celcius and there it was: a column of ozone depleted air.

          The Antarctic temps drop below -50C every winter, so far. There is a `polar see-saw,’ the Artic warms and the Antarctic freezes, and when the Arctic freezes, the Antarctic warms. When that happens, we might see the ozone hole swap poles.

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          • #
            el gordo

            Thanks, do you have a graph of temperatures in Antarctica back to the time of Christ?

            00

            • #
              sophocles

              el gordo:

              do you have a graph of temperatures in Antarctica back to the time of Christ?

              No I haven’t. I don’t think it was measured very accurately, back then, and nobody asked the penguins, so they didn’t keep any records..

              If you can find a good database, I would be interested in having a look. The GISP (Greenland) ice cores might be a good record to put alongside the Vostok (Antarctica) ones for comparison. The Dark Ages could show up as being cold enough if the detail is fine enough.
              .

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              • #
                el gordo

                ‘If you can find a good database…’

                I’m flying blind.

                http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/last_2000_yrs.html

                00

              • #
                el gordo

                ‘The Dark Ages could show up as being cold enough if the detail is fine enough.’

                True.

                This is what Neville was on about earlier, it comes from Past Global Changes (PAGES) 2K Study and I’m not confident of its veracity.

                ‘Antarctica was probably warmer than 1971–2000 for a time period as recent as A.D. 1671–1700, and the entire period from 141–1250 was warmer than 1971–2000.’

                00

          • #
            ROM

            From IceCap [ January 2011.]

            James Lovelock, [ CH CBE FRS ] originator of Gaia theory, inventor of the electron capture detector (which made possible the detection of CFCs and other atmospheric nano-pollutants) and of the microwave oven.

            Quoted;

            I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.

            ——————

            Icecap;

            “As the world marks 20 years [ from 1989 ] since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry.
            If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change.
            Markus Rex, an atmosphere scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, did a double-take when he saw new data for the break-down rate of a crucial molecule, dichlorine peroxide (Cl2O2).
            The rate of photolysis (light-activated splitting) of this molecule reported by chemists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California1, was extremely low in the wavelengths available in the stratosphere – almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate.

            “This must have far-reaching consequences,” Rex says. “If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being.” What effect the results have on projections of the speed or extent of ozone depletion remains unclear.

            Other groups have yet to confirm the new photolysis rate, but the conundrum is already causing much debate and uncertainty in the ozone research community. “Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. “Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”

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            • #
              sophocles

              Icecap. Thanks ROM, I’ll follow that link up.

              10

              • #
                ROM

                .
                sophocles @ # 18.1.1.1.1

                I think you will find that all references to the NASA JPL experiment on dichlorine peroxide has been made to disappear.
                Soon after this result was announced there were howls of outrage from all sorts of dubious types who had been in the 1980′s Ozone Hole industry and numerous claims that the JPL had it all wrong.

                The facts are of course that if you take another look at what James Lovelock has claimed about the standards of science or complete lack of scientific standards re the Ozone Hole affair then there were a hell of a lot of very dubious science being done by all sorts of so called scientists / troughers who were busily troughing their hardest to create as much alarmism as possible about the dangers of the Ozone Hole so as to keep the lucrative funding going.

                Today in some science quarters it is quietly being suggested / admitted that maybe that Hole has always been there but has varied extensively due to not yet adequately known / guessed at reasons , the most likely reason and about the only valid one being the solar influences what ever they might be on the seasonal formation and seasonal disappearance of the Antarctic Ozone Hole .

                Recently it has also been suggested that a lot of the more prominent practitioners of alarmist climate science plus a whole swag of climate modellers very smoothly moved from Ozone Hole alarmism to Climate warming catastrophe alarmism and its modelling .

                The similarities in the language and the types of alarmism being spouted by a lot of the older climate “experts” sure looks almost identical to the same type of language and claims that were made during the Ozone Hole debacle

                Cynically some of those “scientists” [ ?? ] and self styled experts on the climate [ Flannelears, "Gore" otherwise translated as the" Climate Goebbels" ] no doubt don’t even believe the alarmism they are so publicly spouting forth on.
                But, hey! it sure makes for ensuring a nice comfortable and lucrative income in very salubrious surrounds in academia and out of the suckers out there who have been conned into believing this climate alarmism crap.

                And then there are the perks such fully paid attendance’s at numerous conferences in numerous exotic locations, the hell with all that CO2 from the First Class seating jets on those thousands of kilometers jet travel to those conferences .
                After all its for the best cause of the lot and thats making sure climate scientists incomes remain somewhere in the stratosphere in the realms of science incomes.

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    • #
      Bulldust

      ABC has a brand new scare – “rate of carbon (sic) emissions” is the highest in 66 million years!!11!1!one

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-22/carbon-emissions-'highest-in-66-million-years'/7266032

      There was no lag at all. A quick calculation showed that the carbon could not have been emitted in less then 4,000 years, or about 1 billion tonnes per year, the scientists reported.

      By comparison, human activity — industry, energy production, deforestation, agriculture — is pumping out about 10 billion tonnes of carbon annually. That is 10 times as much.

      “Aside from the huge impact that killed the dinosaurs, what we are seeing now is the fastest rate of climate change in 66 million years,” Professor Ridgwell said.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to start with this stuff… perhaps a few paper bags for the scientists to control their hyperventilation?

      Does anyone really think humans will be emitting significant amounts of CO2 from fossil fuel burning in 50 to 100 years? I certainly think not. If we haven’t cracked fusion or safe thorium fission by then I think bigger things already went awry. Who knows, maybe renewables will even prove useful in that timescale, but that seems far less likely despite the billions upon billions heaped upon them every year. In terms of energy density they simply don’t cut it, until we create a Dyson Sphere or the like, which is a ways off yet.

      12

  • #
    pat

    two headlines that made me smile today:

    Top wine regions at risk from climate change
    The Australian (subscription) (blog)-10 hours ago

    An Upside To Climate Change? Better French Wine
    Highly Cited-NPR-9 hours ago

    meanwhile,

    it’s like a Sci-Fi movie, sobering, staggering, strange, new normal, astounding, astonishing, astronomical.
    WBUR’s Young says there are still global warming deniers.
    ends with Young asking Blunden to pick one word above all others. scary, says Blunden.

    AUDIO: 5mins37secs: 21 Mar: WBUR Public Radio Boston: Running Out Of Words For Climate Change
    Scientists say the world is getting hot – so hot that the people documenting climate change are at a loss for words. February was such an extraordinary month that Jessica Blunden of the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration told the Associated Press, “It’s insane.” Blunden speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young about the challenge of words.
    http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/03/21/running-out-of-words-for-climate-change

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  • #
    handjive

    The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has poked & sifted through the entrails …

    “To find out what could lie in store, the WMO invited television weather presenters from around the world to imagine a “weather report from the year 2050.”
    . . .
    Surprising to find after all the carbon (sic) taxes, windmills, pushbike riding and solar panels by 2050, there is an emergency at all.
    But there is, proving that current measures are doomed to failure.

    Meh? I’m sticking with climate science guru, Bob Geldof’s realistic prediction:

    Bob Geldof has claimed that the Earth as we know it could end by 2030 thanks to the ravages of climate change.
    “We may not get to 2030.”

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  • #
    pat

    wonder if listeners to WBUR Boston are wondering if the station broadcast that NOAA/gloBULL warming piece just in time to avoid the following:

    21 Mar: CBS: What’s Next After The Snow Ends?
    Thursday looks MUCH colder. Highs will be stuck in the 30’s and 40’s with the chance of some light wintry precipitation at times…
    Turnpike could be left spinning their wheels in the 30’s and low 40’s…
    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2016/03/21/snow-boston-weather-forecast-massachusetts-wbz-accuweather-terry-eliasen/

    Spring snow storm shuts down Logan Airport flights
    Metro.us-14 hours ago

    Spring snow: New York temperatures drop 36 degrees in 11 days
    wtkr.com-16 hours ago

    Temps to fall below freezing in parts of metro overnight
    WSB Atlanta-5 hours ago

    Tuesday’s forecast: Rain, snow for the West
    USA TODAY-44 minutes ago
    West: Rain and mountain snow will persist across the Pacific Northwest, central and northern California

    Blizzard to threaten travel shut downs in central US this week
    AccuWeather.com-11 hours ago
    A storm will spread a swath of snow from Colorado to Michigan with the potential for blizzard conditions in part of the north-central United States this week

    Whistler-Blackcomb has so much snow that they are extending season
    Vancouver Sun (blog)-8 hours ago
    Whistler-Blackcomb is so packed with snow that they are extending ski season by an additional week..

    etc etc

    60

  • #
    gnome

    We need to send more money to Tasmania Island ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-22/tasmania-blackouts-likely-as-energy-crisis-deepends-union-says/7266828 ).

    I hope Christine Milne is enjoying the “exciting opportunities of renewable base-load electricity generation” in her retirement. As Tony asked on the weekend, why diesel, why not turn to additional wind and solar power when such a great opportunity presents itself?

    50

  • #
    pat

    what a cosy little CAGW family!

    21 Mar: ClimateChangeNews: Ed King: Bank of England regulator warns of growing climate risks
    Risk to financial system lessened by companies’ disclosure of their exposure to fossil fuel assets, says Paul Fisher
    The financial impacts of climate change could hit global markets hard and at any time, a senior Bank of England official has warned.2
    Vulnerable companies include those holding long term high-carbon assets and businesses who could face legal action for their contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions
    “As climate change evolves those responsible for causing it or not mitigating it are likely to get sued,” said Paul Fisher, deputy head of the Bank’s regulatory body.
    Better levels of transparency were now essential to guide investors through the transition away from fossil fuels, he told a meeting in London hosted by the ***IPPR think tank…ETC
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/21/bank-of-england-regulator-warns-of-growing-climate-risks/

    ***that would be “progressive” think tank IPPR, according to Wikipedia, where Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney’s wife, Diana Fox Carney, is director of strategy & engagement!

    Nov 2015: UK Independent: Tom Bawden: Climate change: Banks face threat from global warming, report says
    Climate change poses such a threat to Britain’s banking sector that the government must introduce mandatory “stress testing” of City institutions to determine which are the most vulnerable, a new report warns.
    The risks posed to banks’ solvency would remain high even if a robust deal was reached at the UN climate change summit in Paris over the next fortnight, said Joss Garman, a co-author of the IPPR think-tank report…
    Local-authority pension funds alone are understood to hold £14bn of fossil fuel assets, while 19 of the FTSE 100 list of the biggest companies are in the natural resource and extraction business, according to the report, co-written by the IPPR’s director of strategy and engagement, ***Diana Fox Carney, the wife of Bank of England Governor Mark Carney…
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/climate-change-banks-face-threat-from-global-warming-report-says-a6753786.html

    IPPR: History
    In the early 1990s, we published the highly influential report of the Commission on Social Justice…
    In 2009, IPPR turned 21 and won the Green Thinktank of the year award for its groundbreaking work on climate change…
    In 2015, IPPR won the Energy and Climate Change Thinktank of the Year award…

    Diana Fox Carney is also involved with The Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, whose Chair & co-founder is Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild. Sir Evelyn De Rothschild is on the Board. also involved are Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, our own Sharan Burrow, etc. Donors include Rockefeller and Ford Foundations.

    40

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    pat

    21 Mar: ReutersCarbonPulse: Stian Reklev: BP in 4m Shenzhen permit buy-back, China’s biggest carbon deal to date
    BP has signed a buy-back deal with a Shenzhen-based energy producer for 4 million CO2 allowances in what is the biggest deal to emerge in China’s carbon market so far, as some traders look for ways to bank in on the uncertainty surrounding the transition to a national emissions trading scheme.
    The UK-headquartered oil major signed the contract with Shenzhen Energy Group at a conference on Saturday, according to an announcement by the China Emissions Exchange, which hosts trading in the city’s pilot ETS.
    BP bought the Shenzhen Emissions Allowances (SZEAs) and will sell them back at a fixed price ahead of the June annual compliance deadline.
    The companies declined to offer further details of the deal.
    “I’m pretty sure it’s a bet on falling allowance prices. That is the simplest play with a borrow or buy-back transaction; you get them now, liquidise them, buy back later for cheaper, and sell back [to the lending firm],” one market observer told Carbon Pulse…READ ON
    http://carbon-pulse.com/17306/

    21 Mar: ReutersCarbonPulse: Mike Szabo: Second Brit charged by German authorities in EU ETS tax evasion probe
    German prosecutors have charged a second Briton over his alleged role in a gang that evaded €138 million in tax through the EU carbon market between Sep. 2009 and Apr. 2010, they said on Monday.
    The 58-year old man was not named by the Frankfurt prosecutors due to German law, but they said he was arrested on the sidelines of a boxing match in Las Vegas in May 2014 and extradited to Germany from the US in Sep. 2015.
    According a German legal source and US court documents, the accused is British businessman Mohammad Safdar Gohir, who authorities “strongly suspect” of masterminding and funding a VAT carousel fraud ring through his Dubai-headquartered MP Solutions FZE during the period in question…
    The German source said a number of suspects in the case remain at large, but could not provide further details…
    http://carbon-pulse.com/17342/

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  • #
    ScotsmaninUtah

    Locusts, Ants and Bees…

    I think it helps if your work is only reviewed by others who think exactly the same as you

    When faced with so many , who are posessed of the same intention, only then do you realise that you are standing in the middle of something dangerous :o

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  • #

    Sheep entrails are too gruesome for me, I’d rather ask Native Americans…

    It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the weather was going to be.

    Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that
    the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the
    village should collect wood to be prepared.

    But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, “Is the coming winter going to be cold?”

    “It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed,” the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

    So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared. One week later he called the National Weather Service again. “Is it going to be a very cold winter?”

    “Yes,” the man at National Weather Service again replied, “it’s going to be a very cold winter.”

    The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find. Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again. “Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?”

    “Absolutely,” the man replied. “It’s going to be one of the coldest winters ever.”

    “How can you be so sure?” the Chief asked.

    The weather man replied, “The Indians are collecting wood like crazy.

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    The Backslider

    Here is a good one on just this topic Jo.

    Thermageddon indeed is coming.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2681.html

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    • #
      TdeF

      The problem with this logic is so obvious. Yes, we are releasing 1 million years of carbon dioxide for every year, burning up 150 millions years of fossil fuel in only 100 years. So? Big deal.

      That does not mean we can increase the amount of CO2 in the air. This unproven logic, conceded tacitly even by most skeptical scientists is wrong. People then go on to argue that 50% extra CO2 does not warm the earth much at all when firstly we did not and cannot increase CO2 and secondly, it is a very minor player.

      No matter how much we profiglately burn fossil fuels, CO2 levels in the atmosphere are determined by physical chemistry and volumes and forces which dwarf our tiny output. If these people, so fascinated with isotopes C13 and O18 to proxy ancient temperatures would only look at C14, they would see instantly that there is almost no fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere. We puny ants do not control the golf course. The only way we can affect climate is in our handling of water. CO2 is outside our control.

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      • #
        TdeF

        If there is an international concern with the 7 billion people on the planet, the IPCC should be focused on water management. Only 2% of the world’s water is fresh and most of that is locked up in Antarctica, 20% in the Great Lakes, 20% in Lake Baikal. Only 2% of 2% is controlling our life on earth and the Greens have stopped any new dams in Australia in 50 years.

        So around the world we are burning oil and coal to make electricity to make water. Even where water is plentiful. Tasmania’s crisis is only the most obvious conflict between Green mantra and common sense. Rains have been near normal except the last few months but they have now flown in 200 diesel generators to help cope with the total loss of water and thus hydro and much agriculture because of Green Carbon tax greed. Plus ship loads of diesel. The Tasmanians must be suffering terribly from the effects of Green dictatorship, their land locked up, their jobs vanishing and the dams near empty, all sacrificed to Green nutty logic to save the planet. For whom? The Greens could not run a chook raffle. Besides, they would not, on principle.

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        • #
          Analitik

          Here’s some of the latest on Tasmania’s electricity situation

          Tasmania Govt Promises Lights Will Stay On

          Hydro Tasmania staff preparing their homes for 24-hour blackouts, union says

          Tasmanian energy crisis: CSIRO buys generators to protect critical facilities against power restrictions

          I love the Greens’ accusation that the Tasmanian government is “drunk on diesel” for the emergency measures they have undertaken to shore up the grid with diesel gensets.

          One wonders what the Greens would do to make up the shortfall from the dams. And why aren’t the Greens hammering the CSIRO for acquiring their own diesel generators to protect their equipment?

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            David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

            Thanks for posting those links, I’ve just finished reading them on the ABC site., which itself is a surprise. Another surprise is that someone in CSIRO is getting realistic, and there’s a good list, in the CSIRO article, of more things which require the 24/7/52 power availability that our Tony emphasises.
            Again, thanks,
            Dave B

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              Analitik

              One I missed previously

              More generators shipped in to Tasmania as state’s energy crisis continues and lake levels drop

              As well as the all diesel generators being installed, they are hoping the Trent gas unit (repaired in Dubai under warranty) will return to Tasmania earlier than expected and be in service in the first week in April, adding another 58MW at the Tamar Valley Power Station.

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              • #
                Uncle Fred

                they are hoping the Trent gas unit (repaired in Dubai under warranty) will return to Tasmania

                I thought you might be interested in the background. Trivial, perhaps, but you will find it interesting.
                Such tidbits of information at first glance would appear to suggest that a machine failed, as machines do, and had to be repaired prior to further operation.
                However, this is not the case. The machine in question is a Rolls Royce Trent 60WLE, identified as unit 104.
                It was way back in 2013 that Rolls informed the owner that operational data had revealed the possibility of a catastrophic turbine disc failure sometime after 6,000 hrs total time. This was 2,000 operating hours into the future, so it did not impact unit availability. Eventually, in September 2015, there was apparently a decision to proceed with the disc replacement. There were rumours that once the engine was overseas it would be offered for sale. It was only after the Bass Link failure that the machine was hurried to Dubai rather than Derbyshire for a faster turnaround. Rolls Royce, incidentally, sold the related business unit to Siemens in 2014. During the intervening two years a great deal of haggling took place as to whose account would bear the brunt of the cost.
                This is the industrial version of the Trent 600 flight engine. You might recall an incident with a Qantas flight 32 from Singapore’s Changi airport May 2009 during which a disc failed on a Trent 900 flight engine. Root cause in that case was an internal oil fire. I mention it only becasue it illustrates the result of a turbine disc failure.

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          • #

            Those links of Analitik’s go to articles from the ABC Media. At any of them, look at the top right of the article under the heading Environmental News, and there’s an article about the, umm, hopes for a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta.

            Take the link and at that article, in the text is a further link to the article at this link.

            At that article it mentions this (my bolding here)

            “This is the first step in the development of a one gigawatt solar projects portfolio in the solar rich regions of India — this amount of solar is enough energy to supply a city the size of Adelaide,” Mr May said.

            Amazing how an official like this, who is actually an insider on projects like this can get away with saying something like this, because he should know better.

            Solar Thermal Power, or more correctly Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) has a Capacity Factor (CF) of only (an average) 28 to 32%.

            What this person has done here is take the total power consumption of Adelaide and compare it with the total power output of this plant (or, as will be the case here, a number of these plants) across a whole year, and because the total is similar, then he says that plants of this solar nature can provide power for a city like Adelaide.

            The trouble with this is that Adelaide requires its power for 24 hours of every day for 365 days of that whole year, for every year.

            With a CF of only 30%, then these types of plant only supply their power for 30% of the day, averaged across the year, or for only a little over 7 hours a day.

            That’s if they can make the d@mned plants work at all, as shown by those CSP plants in the U.S. at Ivanpah and the Abengoa Plant at Gila Bend in Arizona, where they are having trouble supplying to what they said they would.

            It’s a clever ploy, one which is misleading at best, and hides the truth in plain sight to cover his own fundament.

            Tony.

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              Graeme No.3

              TonyfromOz:

              I think you are being too generous to the CSP people. Sure they make big claims but that doesn’t make them true. As far as I know the RECORD High CF for solar heat is 32.4% which was set in the early desert morning with a very clear sky at minus 8℃ (better Carnot drop). And that plant with Stirling engine converters didn’t become ‘commercial’.
              One of the Abengoa solar tower plants in southern Spain managed to run for 31 weeks continuously, but the output dropped from a nominal capacity of 50MW to below 17. Indeed early morning they seemed to have cut back to ~13MW. And to meet the early morning peak demand it was necessary to warm the molten salts with natural gas. The same applied to Ivanpah where 25% of their output is achieved with natural gas, so much that they had to get their license modified to avoid being classed as a gas fired plant. Despite this their output is below the predicted output and their cost above that in the press releases.

              The result if built at Port Augusta will be a fiasco. Nowhere near enough output to replace the old coal fired station, nowhere near as reliable in output (100MW if they’re lucky v 540 from an old clapped out coal plant using low grade coal), and nowhere near the cost (electricity from solar towers is about 9 times the cost of that from Victorian cola fired plants – the new Noor plant in Morocco is about $274 per MWh v $30.)

              The only “good” thing is that South Australia is broke so the necessary subsidies will have to come from federal taxpayers. Especially as an election is coming! And it will provide employment all right, each of those 55,000 (or more) mirrors will have to be cleaned every second day. (Long pole with squeegee).

              OH! Nearly forgot, the Spanish plants don’t work in the 3 winter months. Expect the same in Port Augusta.

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            • #
              Analitik

              They can increase the capacity factor if they increase the volume of molten salt storage. In theory, you could scale up the storage to cover a week of cloudy conditions (since the heliostats only present usable power in full sunlight) but considering that the Crescent Dunes plant took 2 months to melt its 10 hours of salt storage, you wouldn’t want to have even a short cloudy period after the storage was depleted. And of course all this additional storage boosts the costs.

              And the proposed Port Augusta CSP plant will only have 8 hours of storage and only be 110MW vs the almost 800MW of coal generators still operating (for now). South Australians had better start buying up diesel generators as the whole state will soon be off the grid.

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              • #
                Graeme No.3

                Not so. The design sets the capacity; they can only collect so much and it doesn’t matter whether it is used straight away or after storage. So a 100MW plant could (sometimes) produce 100MW for 5 hours and very little else so nothing into storage. As I pointed out the nominal capacity drops as they divert energy during the day into storage, but the overall capacity factor stays much the same as it is calculated over a year.
                Tower plants are bloody expensive to build, and the electricity is correspondingly expensive. For much the same cost they could have a Closed Cycle Gas Turbine plant supplying 10 times the electricity at a quarter of the cost. It is time that the SA Cabinet underwent psychiatric assessment.

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              • #
                Analitik

                Any CSP plant with storage is overbuilt on the collection side in terms of power output else there won’t be any energy to store. If the overbuild is such that the total daily thermal energy use is less daily the collected energy, then you can build up a store for cloudy periods (as long as you have more storage than is required for overnight and early morning opertion).

                As you noted, it does not increase the capacity factor of the mirror array and collector tower but it does allow for power generation in cloudy periods. It does drive up the (already hideous) capital cost but so does building excess wind turbines, not to mention PV arrays.

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              • #

                Analitik,

                These plants are set at the design phase, for either no storage, or storage in different time size blocks, 4, 8, 12, or 16 hours.

                The greater the storage, the less the actual power rating.

                They can run a 125MW unit, well, they try to anyway with no storage, but the more the storage, then the total power falls off.

                With 16 hour storage, so far the best they can manage is 20MW, and even that plant only gives the full 16 hour storage, hence the hoped for 24 hour operation for maybe 40 days absolute tops in the middle of Summer. As soon as the summer ends, that time delivery for power falls off dramatically, and in this case, even that 20MW plant closes totally in mid Winter, nothing at all.

                The diagram at this link goes some way towards explaining it, and be aware that even this, umm, model, is for mid Summer operation.

                As I mentioned, this diagram is a model, and the power output shown down the right side vertical axis in MW indicates 50MW output, something that still has not been achieved.

                If more heat is diverted to storage, the the total power output falls, every time.

                What is actually happening, as Graeme No.3 mentions is that they are using Natural Gas to run the unit until the solar part of the plant has enough heat to take over the operation, and if there is heat diversion, then that NG part of the operation runs for longer.

                These plants are horrendously expensive for very little power delivery, and no matter how much the technology improves, it will never produce power on the scale or amount or delivery of the plants they propose to replace.

                People can believe whatever they want. Engineering and Maths will never line up with green dreams and wishes.

                By the way, a heliostat is just a mirror that moves to follow the path of the Sun, so that the focus point at the top of the tower is always having the maximum Sunlight focussed on that point. Each of those mirrors is mounted on a table and that table is electrically driven to move with the Sun, and that is called the heliostat. And where does the electrical power to drive each of those thousands of mirrors come from. Why, the power generated by the plant itself, be that part of the solar operation or the NG part of the operation.

                As for building up heat diversion to cover ….. days of cloudy periods, these plants barely have enough heat diversion to cover the set at design heat diversion times I mentioned above. The molten salt will last only enough for the maximum time designed and then there is not enough heat to boil water to the steam at a temperature and pressure high enough to drive the turbine which in turn drives the generator. And even that is only at the height of Summer.

                Tony.

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              • #
                Analitik

                What part of “Any CSP plant with storage is overbuilt on the collection side in terms of power output else there won’t be any energy to store” doesn’t translate to what you (and Graeme No.3) said???

                CSP and its fundamental limits is easy to understand and there are no technological breakthroughs that can improve it (without having providing equal or greater benefits to other forms of thermal generation)

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            Uncle Fred

            Oh, the irony.
            When construction was underway in 2007 as an Alinta project, Hydro and Aurora were very hostile with regards the private sector becoming involved.
            Consequently, Aurora insisted that Alinta build the facility as dual fuel. While this was far beyond the realm of practicality for the base load plant, it was possible and only beyond logic and common sense for the peaking plant.
            Consequently, all three machines which Hydro had acquired in 2000 during the last crisis, (the 1972 build engines purchased from a scrap merchant in the USA), had to be refitted to enable liquid firing. The new Rolls Royce machine was also procured as a dual fuel machine. As expensive as all that was, it paled in comparison to the cost of storage tanks, fuel forwarding pumps, fuel unloading facilities, fuel reticulation, etc. all added into the cost of the project. No amount of sound reasoning could sway the HT and Aurora civil servants that the exercise was a complete waste of resources and time, since there would only be enough liquid fuel to operate for seven hours, and the electricity would cost in the order of $500 per MW-hr. Even information and data from Canadian operators of undersea gas pipelines would not sway them. The economic argument that a conditional future purchase contract for electricity would be far less expensive insurance against a gas pipeline failure could not cut any ice.
            Apart from commissioning and tests, this feature was never deployed. Now the shoe is on the other foot. At least the Diesel fuel will be cheaper now that it was ten years ago.

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        el gordo

        What is the percentage of natural CO2 emissions?

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        • #
          The Backslider

          Gordo – human emissions are only 3% of the total of CO2 emissions, the remaining 97% being natural emissions from the biosphere.

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          • #
            TdeF

            That’s one way of looking at it, if you count the rapid exchange of CO2 with the oceans as emissions.

            In the CO2 story, the major player is the ocean, 50x bigger than the IPCC or their friends will admit as they argue without proof that the deep ocean is not part of the CO2 cycle because the currents do not mix.

            So while the human generated CO2 output from oil and gas and coal is very large, it all is mixed rapidly with the massive CO2 in the oceans with a half life of 14 years. Or put another way, half of all CO2 disappears into the oceans in 14 years, to be replaced by CO2 from the massive reserves.
            This is self evident from C14 levels.

            The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is set primarily by ocean surface temperature, absorbing CO2 in the cold arctic waters and releasing it in the warm tropical waters. So you could say CO2 is set by Global Temperature and you have Dr Salby’s startling conclusion while temperature and CO2 are completely uncorrelated, CO2 is directly linked to the integral of temperature, the heat impulse.

            However the desperation to blame CO2 for all of man’s ills, to label it irrationally as pollution and to attack Western democracies is overwhelming in the UN. China, Russia and India just ignore it. Everyone else wants a piece of the carbon cash.

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            • #
              The Backslider

              I don’t accept the 14 year thing.

              Do you know by how much atmospheric CO2 levels are above equilibrium due to the carbon cycle?

              This is the important factor to understand if we are going to put a number on how much anthropogenic emissions push up atmospheric CO2 levels.

              Just thinking about it, I know it will not be by very much at all.

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              • #
                TdeF

                The 14 year thing is self evident fact, not an opinion. When we accidentally doubled radioactive C14 during the 1965 atmospheric bomb tests, it has decayed with a precise e-kt. A single curve. Perfectly straight line on a log graph. Only one sink. A precise half life. Now 95% of that C14 is now gone in just 50 years, but C14 takes 5700 years to decay to half and no power on earth can change that, so where has it all gone?

                As Dr. Suess suggested in 1952, it has left the biosphere and the only place where that is possible or likely is the deep ocean which contains 98% of all the gaseous CO2 on the surface of the planet. Basically the one in a trillion extra C14 atoms were part of CO2 and the CO2 has gone. So with all man made CO2.

                Of course this means the whole man made CO2 thing is nonsense. That has been my point for many years now.

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              • #
                TdeF

                Also I have read all sorts of things about CO2. The IPCC actually admit all the CO2 is going into the oceans where it is insignificant but they say 80 years half life, without bothering to say how they know that. It is not in any references I can find.

                Some IPCC referenced articles even talk about a large proportion of man made CO2 hanging around for thousands of years, in total defiance of simple chemistry and physics. I do not know where people get such ideas?

                Even skeptics quote a large range of years, some as low as 4 years. Again the origin of these figures is unknown. We had one unintended experiment some called the silver lining in the bomb tests where we tagged one in a trillion CO2 molecules, like a Barium meal. We can follow what happens. In telling us about C14, it tells us everything about all Carbon compounds. They all vanish from the atmosphere quickly.

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              • #
                TdeF

                Oh, I get your point. You want to put a number of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. That is (groan) my favorite topic. Just measure the C14 level. 100 million year old fossil Carbon has no C14.

                To give an example of how scientists can date even the oceans using CO2 with C14.

                What everyone is refusing to do is date the air, or at least the C14 in the air. If you subtract off the doubling and decay from the bomb blasts, you can see anthropogenic C14 is under 5% and possibly under 2% as it was in 1956. Unless someone contends that WW1 and WW2 and the Korean war did not generate any CO2.

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              • #
                The Backslider

                It actually only takes 15 days for one year of our CO2 emissions to be absorbed by the biosphere. The ocean is not the only sink.

                I don’t think you quite followed my thought. We have a “carbon budget”, that is, CO2 into the atmosphere, CO2 out of the atmosphere. Because of this cycle the atmospheric level must be pushed above the equilibrium level to some degree, because the process takes time. This is the number I was looking for.

                Because we know how much of annual emissions are anthropogenic, we can use this number to calculate how much CO2 actually in the atmosphere is anthropogenic.

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  • #
    TdeF

    The point about certainty is underlying all this climate change. As Prof Plimer points out, the BOM has a huge legal disclaimer on their weather predictions just for tomorrow. The uncertainty over ten years is great and there is always an unpredictable and unfathomable big event like El Nino and natural variation.

    However over a century, the Global Warming magicians say they can predict the world’s temperature to 0.1C? Being wrong does not faze them. So far we are thirty years into this prediction and the simple mathematics of 0.1C per year, 1C per decade, 5C for the century is completely wrong but the IPCC insists what was in hindsight an unexpected blip in the late 1980s is the undeniable truth and we are all going to die in hell fires because of the automobile because CO2 is still the complete explanation for this blip in temperatures thirty years ago.

    So a whole generation of people have grown up in Western democracies with this as real science when it does not fit the facts, the essence of science. That is the definition of a religion, an absolute belief even dependence on something which is unprovable and unlikely and in this case demonstrably not true. Auspices make more sense.

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  • #
    AndyG55

    News Limited reject ALA advertisement.

    because “it doesn’t fit their brand”

    https://vimeo.com/159889083

    This is political censorship and shows what Australians are up against to get rid of the far-left scourge that infests the media.

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    • #
      el gordo

      News is covering their backs, Fairfax would be happy to run the ALA ads, especially those with a religious bent.

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      • #
        ianl8888

        News is just another zombie outfit now, run by closet leftoids. Been trammelling in that direction for about 12 months now.

        Yesterday’s Aus was absolutely vomitous in its’ sycophancy for Lord Waffle.

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        • #
          el gordo

          Within 12 months the Fairfax organisation may decide to close their doors, leaving the Murdocracy to hold sway.

          10

        • #
          el gordo

          Turnbull intends purging the Senate and a DD election is the trigger, any hope of the ALA getting up in this environment seems unlikely.

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    • #
      Frank

      Particularly the [snip] ‘ The Australian’

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  • #
    ScotsmaninUtah

    “lifespan of a windfarm”

    O/T
    According to a study at Edinburgh University the lifespan of a windfarm is more likely to be 10 years ( not 25 )
    The first 2 years are used to recover the carbon cost, so that leaves 8 years of useful capacity/generation.
    The 14,000 unit windfarm in a California desert (now abandoned) did manage to last 15 years. The one in Hawaii also suffered the same fate and operational timespan

    These numbers seem very low, it would be interesting to see actual production/generation statistics (over its lifetime) for a modern windfarm and real maintenance costs.

    If we have to replace windfarms every 10 -15 years ?

    Note: Apologies if this has already been covered here

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    • #
      Dennis

      I did not keep the information but read last year about one wind farm Board in the EU advising shareholders that Directors had decided to close the business because the costs involved in replacing wind turbines that needed to be replaced exceeded operating profits achieved by the wind farm since it became operational.

      Renewable energy investors could be in for a shock.

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      • #
        David Maddison

        A lot of “ethical” investment funds put money into these windmills. There are going to be a lot of very upset investors in the future.

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    Reed Coray

    It’s off to see the wizard,
    the wizard of PSU.
    If ever a wonderful wiz there was,
    the wizard of Penn is one because, because, because
    he follows the piglet’s entralls,
    and conjures the feeling PU.

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    john

    Europol issues organized crime threat assessment focusing on cybercrime, hacking, money laundering and drugs

    http://www.duhaimelaw.com/2013/03/21/europol-issues-organized-crime-thre

    4. Economic Crimes

    In the EU, the VAT-specific crime, the so-called ‘missing trader intra community (“MTIC“) fraud’ also known as ‘carousel’ fraud, results in billions of Euros of tax losses to governments annually. MTIC fraud involves charging and retaining VAT from sales but not reporting or remitting it to tax authorities. Vast networks of MTIC fraud rings apparently operate in all parts of the EU and are becoming an increasing economic problem for governments.

    Also of concern is the increase in advance fee fraud, a scheme whereby consumers are asked to pay in advance for goods or services over the Internet that are never provided. The advent of the Internet means that cybercriminals can operate remotely and far distances from the victims.

    Interestingly, SOCTA noted the emergence of economic fraud cases exploiting electricity and gas markets following a scheme targeting carbon credit trading. Apparently, 90% of carbon trading credits in the EU in recent years were driven by fraud.

    Organized crime groups such as the Cosa Nostra, Camorra and Ndrangheta are reported in the SOCTA as being heavily involved in renewable energy (wind and solar) and waste management businesses all over the EU which are used to launder funds.

    With respect to renewable energy, the involvement of organized crime commences at the financing of infrastructure and continues to operating wind farms and solar energy companies. The generous EU subsidies, tax credits and tariff fees are attractive to organized crime because it means ultimately that the government is funding organized criminal activities.

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    Dennis

    The federal election news today is;

    The Australian

    DAVID CROWE

    Malcolm Turnbull will back a pair of renewable energy programs that Abbott wanted to scrap.

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  • #
    Kratoklastes

    This bit shouldn’t be inside the blockquote… it’s my coda, not Ellenberg’s text.

    “It goes on to wend its way through mechanisms (the ‘file drawer’ problem whereby only positive findings are published; problems of p-hacking – and of statistical inference generally) by which even a genuine researcher can find himself taking the first steps down the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire.

    I propose that we refer to the High Priests of the Cult of Thermaggeddon as Haruspex Maximus – who somehow claim that their forecasts for the increase in the mean temperature 100 years out has a confidence interval that is less than a tenth of a degree wide… when the forecast for mean temp 10 years out has a wider forecast range than that. Somehow chained uncertainty reduces the forecast envelope – I think it helps if your work is only reviewed by others who think exactly the same as you (I doubt that a similar ‘International Journal of Geocentrism Studies’ would ever have found fault in any papers that fit the data using novel epicycles).”

    The entire book is terrific, by the way. Berkson’s Fallacy, the surrogate endpoint problem, and about half a dozen other excellent applications of good, solid, time-tested maths to problems – and times when solid maths produced bad results.

    Chapter 17 (‘There’s no such thing as Public Opinion‘) does an outstanding job of showing why survey data can be sliced and diced to generate almost any desired result.

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    • #

      There’s a part of this that very few people take into consideration.

      Older wind plants go towards making up the total percentage of the makeup of renewable power. As each new wind plant comes on stream, that percentage (very slowly) rises.

      However, as these older wind plants are now failing long before their expected 25 year life span, then they need to be also replaced just to keep that percentage rising, otherwise the percentage will just stay fairly static, no matter how many new plants come on stream.

      I wonder how soon it’s going to be that people actually start asking questions.

      Some of Australia’s older wind plants are now getting towards that 15 year time frame now.

      Tony.

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      • #
        Analitik

        The also fall in output as they age due to blade deterioration, etc – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148113005727

        Of course, the wind lobby has a solution for all this. Spend more money to “repower” the older sites with larger/taller turbines. Of course virtually nothing of the existing farms can be reused since the bases won’t be large enough and the transmission capacity won’t cope either. Where all the useless old towers, blades, bases etc end up is rarely discussed

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          David Maddison

          What is the mechanism of their premature failure?

          10

          • #
            Analitik

            Gearbox bearings, yaw bearings, blade shedding, fire, tower collapse…

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            Graeme No.3

            Dave Maddison:

            The blades are made from unsaturated polyester resin. This has limited fatigue resistance unless more expensive resins are used and even there the ‘constant’ flexing and air turbulence will cause cracking. You are looking at around 3.8 million twists/flexing per year, with resins normally only tested to 1 million cycles, and in service with variable and sometimes strong stress it takes special resins to last 25 years. They cost far more and the wind turbine manufacturers are facing strong competition.
            The surface will be gelcoat as the process/design comes from the marine business, and that breaks down slowly in sunlight and water, and impacts (think hailstones, birds etc.). Its life could be improved by painting it with aliphatic polyurethane as used on aircraft but that is costly and requires special application – you can’t just spray paint it unless in an exhausted booth with personal breathing apparatus.

            Gelcoats have improved in the last 20 years but some problems are inherent. The better the sunlight resistance the more brittle and costly they get. And they aren’t reinforced so cracking occurs and impacts can gouge small chips out. The rough spot then becomes a point of weakness and breakdown accelerates at that point and extends into the underlying laminate, which can lead to catastrophic failure. When a stress fracture propagates it can do so faster than the speed of sound. A rough surface also reduces the efficiency in extracting power from the wind, so those figures of deteriorating performance with age are no surprise.
            I believe the failure rate for a blade is 1% per annum, but one failing puts the turbine out of action for some time.

            All in all, I am glad I’m not the chemist trying to formulate the resins or gelcoats given the requirements esp. cost. That they do so well is evidence of a lot of work going into the design.

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    pat

    just got off the phone with Energex, opting out of their cleverly-worded Meter Upgrade & Power Quality Monitoring Trial:

    Energex: Network Improvement Technology Trial
    What is the Network Improvement Technology Trial?
    A five-year trial to evaluate new technologies to prepare for future needs of the electricity grid and its customers. This includes supporting things like solar photovoltaic (PV) and electric vehicles. It will provide instant information about the network to make it more efficient and help reduce interruption…
    What are the new meters Energex is installing?
    The new meters are advanced electronic meters. These meters as well as measuring standard energy quantities have some specific features to support our trial…
    https://www.energex.com.au/contact-us/frequently-asked-questions/network-improvement-technology-trial#57889

    the letter from Energex begins with a claim the meter is old & needs replacing. at least, on page 2, you are told u can opt out.

    ABC shills 24/7 for CAGW policies that add all these costs to electricity bills, then seems to delight in reporting how payments should be deferred for 2 years!

    23 Mar: ABC: Energy retailers ‘should face fines’ for not helping Victorian customers pay bills
    Victorian power companies should be fined up to $20,000 if they do not try to help customers struggling to pay their bills, while some consumers should have to pay before they use it, the industry regulator has recommended.
    The Essential Services Commission made a range of recommendations as part of an inquiry into the soaring rates of electricity disconnections in the state and financial hardship programs available to customers.
    It suggested struggling customers be placed on a payment plan.
    If their debt continued to grow after three months, the customer should be placed on a pre-payment plan and have their debts deferred for up to two years, the commission said.
    The report also said companies should work intensively with customers to help them bring their energy usage into line with what they could afford.
    The recommendations are expected to be adopted by July next year…
    A report released by the Brotherhood of St Laurence last year found electricity prices had tripled in six years.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-23/energy-retailers-should-help-struggling-customers-regulator-says/7268832

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    pat

    21 Mar: BishopHill: Game just changed again
    Tesla has quietly removed all references to its 10-kilowatt-hour residential battery from the Powerwall website, as well as the company’s press kit. The company’s smaller battery designed for daily cycling is all that remains.
    COMMENT by speed: Greentech Media has some details.
    Tesla Discontinues 10-Kilowatt-Hour Powerwall Home Battery
    The economics for backup power alone just aren’t that attractive.
    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Tesla-Discontinues-10kWh-Powerwall-Home-Battery
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2016/3/21/game-just-changed-again.html

    presumably the following involves the “smaller” battery!

    21 Jan: TechExec: Peter Galin: Energy First: Tesla’s Powerwall Put to Work in QLD
    Australia’s first solar battery trial started this week in Queensland that will see Tesla’s Powerwall in action for the first time
    Launched by State Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, the year-long trial aims to offer consumers a better deal on their electricity, encourage the take-up of solar, and provide data to help improve the integration of innovative technology with traditional power supply…
    At the time, CEO, Elon Musk, explained that markets like Australia’s with variable energy rates make the Powerwall the most efficient choice for consumers…
    On Monday, the Premier made it clear that green energy, particularly solar, was crucial to the government’s ongoing plans for meeting the state’s energy needs…
    The trial data – which will come out of monitoring energy usage in the homes of Energex employees’, as well as the company’s regular customers – will be used to “provide cost-effective outcomes for Queenslanders,” Bailey said.
    The trial data – which will come out of monitoring energy usage in the homes of Energex employees’, as well as the company’s regular customers – will be used to “provide cost-effective outcomes for Queenslanders,” Bailey said.
    The Powerwall can supply seven hours a day of electricity – enough to meet the conventional needs of a household…
    http://techexec.com.au/energy-first-teslas-powerwall-put-to-work-in-qld/

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    Andrew McRae

    Jo, (or mods), just want to point out you have not preserved the indentations in the original comment, then you’ve appended the book author’s name to the end of Kratoklastes’ comment as the attribution. That falsely claims that Jordan Ellenberg said all of those words, but he didn’t.
    The mathematician Jordan Ellenberg did not refer to global warming supporters as

    High Priests of the Cult of Thermaggeddon

    I would not have known unless I clicked the link to read the original comment. (Although given that the author seems to have so much confidence in mathematics that he believes its products are always true regardless of fact, that might suggest he would never make disparaging comments about global warming.)

    Anyhow, a little nip-and-tuck on the formatting will clear up any confusion easily.

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    pat

    22 Mar: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: James Hansen’s apocalyptic sea level study lands to mixed reviews
    Critics accuse prominent climate scientist of unprofessional behaviour and alarmism, in debate over risk of rapid ice sheet melting
    In the final version published on Tuesday, the headline changed from “2C global warming is highly dangerous” to “2C global warming could be dangerous”. Otherwise, the conclusions are largely the same.
    That doesn’t mean they have been fully accepted by the scientific community. Thanks to the transparent approach adopted by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, you can read all the responses.
    The paper attracted more than 60 comments, an exceptional number for an open review. Leaving aside the 20 that denied the foundation of climate science – that greenhouse gases cause global warming – there were many heavyweight critiques…READ ON
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/22/james-hansens-apocalyptic-sea-level-study-lands-to-mixed-reviews/

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    pat

    the more things change…

    22 Mar: ClimateChangeNews: Alex Pashley: UN weather agency pivots to developing countries in warmer era
    Better forecasting tools to aid farmers and health planners emerging priority, says head of World Meteorological Organization
    Petteri Taalas, the ***new secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization:
    “We are seeing more weather-related disasters like heatwaves, drought and tropical storms,” he tells Climate Home by phone from Geneva. “We have to be better prepared.”…
    Taalas, who left the Finnish Meteorological Institute to replace Michel Jarraud at the WMO in January, wants to prioritise what he calls “climate services”…
    To get there it means accelerating collaboration between leading national bodies like the UK’s Met Office, America’s NOAA or China’s Meteorological Administration and local forecasters…
    The Swiss body has set out funding for work in polar and mountainous regions like the Himalayas, and programmes to build capacity in world’s least developed states…
    But more resources are needed to top up the WMO’s 266 million Swiss franc-budget (US$274m) for the next four years, he says.
    “I am quite optimistic there will be new resources from the World Bank, Green Climate Fund and some dedicated funds from the UK [Department for International Development].”…
    “The future is happening now,” said Taalas in a release…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/22/un-weather-agency-pivots-to-developing-countries-in-warmer-era/

    22 Mar: ClimateChangeNews: Ed King: Meet Jonathan Pershing, the ***new US climate envoy
    With Todd Stern to step down as top US climate envoy on 1 April, Pershing returns to a beat he knows well, as secretary of state John Kerry alluded to on Monday…
    During the Bill Clinton administration he was deputy director of global change at the State Department, and a lead author for the UN’s IPCC climate science reports.
    Stints followed at the International Energy Agency in Paris and the World Resources Institute in Washington, before he returned to government in 2009 under Barack Obama.
    Seasoned US climate talks observers seem to agree he’s a good choice to take over for the remainder of Obama’s term in office – after which all bets are off…
    “He knows the brief, knows the players, knows the strategy – I don’t think they’re going to miss a beat,” said Alden Meyer from the US Union of Concerned Scientists…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/22/meet-jonathan-pershing-the-new-us-climate-envoy/

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    gbees

    “the increase in the mean temperature 100 years out has a confidence interval that is less than a tenth of a degree wide… when the forecast for mean temp 10 years out has a wider forecast range than that.”

    If like me you check the weather forecasts daily you will note that not only are they very inaccurate but they change regularly in increments almost like iteration until the result matches the actual weather event.

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    RB

    It’s a science of not being wrong

    Science is the art of realising that you guessed wrong. Engineering is about not getting it wrong.

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    Climate Heretic

    Off Topic, but urgent, that people get to read about it. Malcolm Turnball has pledged 1 Billion dollars for renewables.

    See these News articles

    Regards
    Climate Heretic

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    Mike

    More ‘debt sheep’ entrails to examine here.

    SunEdison Plummets On Imminent Bankruptcy; Axiom Sees “The Beginning Of The End” And 85% More Downside

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-23/sunedison-plummets-imminent-bankruptcy-axiom-sees-beginning-end-and-85-more-downside
    “More importantly, he also notes that “should SUNE be forced to liquidate projects out of its 5.5GW backlog in a Bankruptcy, the impact to US solar market project fundamentals (incl. rooftop) could be detrimental.” This means that none other than Elon Musk may be slammed after SUNE has no choice but to file.”

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    Roy Hogue

    And here they go again. Our old friend James Hansen is back. And of course it’s more reading of the innards of a sheep, predicting clear out to the year 2100.

    I could enjoy all this a lot more if they would sell candy and popcorn for these earthshaking events.

    Be patient, the video takes a few seconds to start.

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    David Maddison

    Never before has so much time, effort and money been spent on a problem that does not exist. Just imagine if the money was spent on real problems or, better yet, returned to taxpayers.

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    John N. Mather

    Only the first three paragraphs of the quote are from Jordan Ellenberg’s book. The last two paragraphs are from Kratoklates’s comment. It is misleading to ascribe the whole quote to Jordan Ellenberg. I think this ought to be corrected.

    I have been visiting Jo Nova’s blog for several years. I admire her for standing up to the climate bullies.


    John. Thanks. You are right and I have fixed that. I was very distracted at the time. — Jo

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