JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Jeopardy: What happens when your single largest generator is uncontrolled and coordinated by clouds? Watch Western Australia

Western Australia is a giant experiment: Even the Energy Experts are saying solar is  jeopardizing the grid — it’s “dumb”

Watch this space — blackout coming, 3 years and counting…

The Western Australian grid is a separate island from the rest of the nation. It’s roughly a 2.5 GW system for 2.5 million people. WA is getting into trouble faster than nearly anywhere else. Solar PV is now up to …. something larger than 850MW (which is the size of the coal fired generator). The ABC doesn’t tell us what the real figure is (according to the AEMO it’s around 1300MW, and growing at 120MW a year). There are no interconnectors to rescue WA, just the taxpayer or hapless electricity consumer.

Unreliable solar is now the largest single generator in the Western Australian grid. It’s not only bad because there are no other states to dump the excess energy on, or to save the state, but despite the vast size nearly everyone lives within 100 kms (60 miles). So when the sun peaks for one it nearly peaks for all. When the clouds roll over, especially when those nice north-south aligned fronts roll in, it covers most of the [...]

Giles weather station — sited next to almost the only bitumen for 500 km

I visited the famous Giles weather station a couple of weeks ago. It’s an ACORN top ranking site, it even has a Met office. Because it so central and so remote the measurements here are used to estimate temperatures across a vast area — indeed, arguably, it’s the most influential site in terms of Australia’s area-averaged temperature. It’s 1,700km drive from Perth (1,000 miles) and the last 800 km of that is dirt road with wild camels. It’s so remote the nearest post box is 340 km away across the state border at Uluru / Ayers Rock.

This could have been the best site in Australia, unaffected by UHI, open since 1956, staffed with professionals.

Despite the site being surrounded by three deserts and 500,000 square kilometers of wilderness somehow the only short stretch of bitumen for miles starts 600m from Giles and runs within 10m of the Stevenson screen.

Giles is arguably the most central and most remote station in Australia.

Never fear, civilization is here:

 

Giles, Bureau of Meteorology, ACORN, site, Stevenson screen, WA.

Stepping back — the site is surrounded by gravel:

There is even a kind of gravel car park beside the [...]

Port Hedland: one man with a keen interest knows more about this site than the Bureau of Met does

If the planet was at stake you’d think the BOM would be doing this research, not unpaid volunteers.

Bill Johnston has shown again, that the BOM is apparently unaware and, perhaps most damningly, not even interested in most of the things that happened to their official thermometer sites.

Port Hedland is supposedly “one of the best” researched sites in Australia — so it is a certified ACORN site (one of the 112). The trends matter, and being remote, it influences a large area. But one man with dedication and no funding at all can find key historical maps and photos that the BOM, with its million dollar-a-day budget, cannot.  Instead of doing this hard work the BOM uses the magical homogenization process “to fix” up all the anomalies by hunting for data in sites hundreds of kilometers away that can be used to adjust the records at Port Hedland. This is the secret process that even the BOM admits it cannot describe in full to anyone outside the BOM. As Johnston says, it’s a process so bad it “should be abandoned”. There is no saving the error correction that starts with bad data, missing documents, and barely any historical research [...]

EPA Part 2: How many degrees Celsius of warming will these new WA Guidelines abate?

Time for the cost-benefit question. In a sane world, the business case for carbon mitigation is like a naked singularity. No matter how many times the question is asked, no numerical answer ever emerges.

Yet whole economies are circling around this very question.  – Jo

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Question 2:  How many degrees Celsius of warming will these new requirements abate, and how will this outcome be measured?

What are the benefits to the Western Australian environment from the EPA recommendations, especially given that almost no nation is trying to reduce emissions and installing as much renewable energy as rapidly as Australia already is.[1]

The WA population is 2.6 million or about 0.03% of the total population of Earth. Given that the largest economies in the world, such as China, India, Brazil, Japan and Indonesia are not going to achieve significant emissions reductions, the imposition on the people of WA poses a large burden on the industry and economy of the state which may be entirely pointless. Only 16 countries are even aiming to meet their Paris targets.[2] One of those 16 is Indonesia, but only five months ago Indonesia threatened to withdraw from Paris Agreement.[3] The United States of America is [...]

EPA Part 1: Has the EPA done due diligence on the IPCC Climate Report? (Has anyone?)

The WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) wants every new project to aim for carbon neutrality, costing billions, almost certainly increasing pollution overseas, but hoping to lower temperatures over WA by 2100 AD.

The EPA is a scientific advisory body — the government doesn’t have to follow their advice — but if it does, and the advice was wrong — who is responsible for loss and damages which are foreseeable? The IPCC favoured models do not include solar magnetic, spectral or particle-flow parameters, and repeatedly fail. They are unaudited, unvalidated, and unaccountable. If the sun controls the climate these models will not show that. If the EPA is not doing due diligence on reports of a foreign committee, which person representing Western Australians is?

– Jo

 

Submission for the EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment Guidance – Consultation

Joanne Nova, Sept 2, 2019:  Submission ID: ANON-1TDB-D593-G.

___________________________

Question 1: Has the EPA done due diligence on the IPCC Climate Report?

The EPA’s core role is to “protect the environment and abate pollution”, Section 15 of the Act (s.15) Therefore, the EPA would be legally obligated to assess the scientific evidence. The question upon which [...]

Submission due for the West Australian EPA on Monday

The West Australian EPA is calling for submissions by Monday Sept 2.

Given the timeframe, this is a draft post — just to flag this and start a discussion. Suggestions welcome. More coming Monday.

In March the WA EPA astonished the state by suddenly declaring that all new projects would need to “demonstrate how they would offset all emissions from their developments.” After an outcry these were withdrawn, but the EPA still wants them and are calling for submissions.

The requirements were so drastic they would affect the whole country just because of the size and the revenue lost from the WA projects. Not to mention that if the WA EPA gets away with this scientifically empty power grab, other EPA’s will follow…

Tens of billions of dollars in new resource projects will be at risk after Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority announced tough new measures around carbon dioxide emissions.

The new regulations will affect planned projects such as Woodside Petroleum’s $US11 billion ($15.6bn) Scarborough gas project and its $US20.5bn Browse development, as well as existing projects such as the $US34bn Wheatstone LNG plant and the $US54bn Gorgon LNG plant.          — [...]

Albany robbed of its coldest ever April day, BOM adjusts temp up 15 degrees C?!

Friday April 19th set more records than anyone realized. Not only was it the earliest recorded snowfall at Bluff Knoll and WA, but it was also the coldest ever April day in Albany and many other towns in south-west Western Australia. It may also be the largest single day temperature mystery I’ve ever seen in the official “raw” data.

Days like the 19th are extremely unusual in Western Australia — it’s a state that often doesn’t get any snow all year and when it does, the length of the entire snow season is measured in hours. So you might think the million-dollar-a-day Bureau of Meteorology would be paying extra attention. Instead it appears they have lost that day’s data in Albany, despite having two thermometers there to record it. One station is in the city itself and there’s an official “expert” ACORN station at the airport about 10km away.

Luckily Chris Gillham, unpaid volunteer, was watching the live half hour observations roll in at and saw that thermometers at the airport recorded a maximum of only 10.4°C at 11am that day, which he remarks is the lowest April maximum the BOM has ever recorded there. Strangely, the 10.4°C seems to have disappeared. Somehow, the BOM has [...]

Earliest recorded snow event in Western Australian history

Remember when climate modelers told us fossil fuels cause longer snow seasons?

No neither do I.

Albany, snowboarding, earliest snow, WA, 2019. | ABC Facebook

It is the earliest recorded snow event in a calendar year in the state’s history. Statistically, we can tell how anomalous this is by the behaviour of the local wildlife – seen snowboarding in shorts on the driveway in Albany. (Even going across the road). It’s possible this is the longest snowboard ride in the state’s history too. Though technically it is hail-boarding.

See snowboarding in Albany Western Australia

For foreign readers, WA (Western Aust) doesn’t have a snow season. Last regular snow was probably circa 20,000BC.

The ABC reports:

BOM forecaster Matt Boterhoven said snow was an extremely rare occurrence in April.

“It’s exceptional. We’ve only recorded once, in the last 100 years, snow as early as this on top of the Stirling Ranges,” he said.

“It’s related to a very strong cold air mass moving over the south-west of the state, so when conditions get below freezing and there’s precipitation, snow can form on top of Stirling Ranges.”

Mr Boterhoven predicted further [...]

First they came for the coal industry, now for oil and gas: West Australian EPA decides state must meet “Paris” alone

Who’d want to invest here?  Image Catmoz

Suddenly, with five minutes warning, Western Australia may be going it alone to meet Paris on behalf of Australia. Not because an elected government decided that, but because of five people chosen by a state Minister. Who is in charge here? The West Australian EPA is a QUAGO (quasi-autonomous-and-governmental organisation) –  paid by the government, but magically “independent” of it. They are annointed saints charged with protecting “the environment” but as far as I can tell, that does not include the dominant fauna nor the entire plant kingdom.

Billion-dollar WA projects at risk from new EPA emission rules

Paul Garvey, The Australian

 Tens of billions of dollars in new resource projects will be at risk after Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority announced tough new measures around carbon dioxide emissions.

WA has only 10% of Australia’s population but generates more than a third of the national exports. Or it did. Watch this space…

The new regulations will affect planned projects such as Woodside Petroleum’s $US11 billion ($15.6bn) Scarborough gas project and its $US20.5bn Browse development, as well as existing projects such as the $US34bn Wheatstone LNG plant [...]

Too much fuel causes extreme bush fires, not climate change

What was Australia’s Environment Minister thinking?

Melissa Price succumbs to pagan witchcraft:

“There’s no doubt that there’s many people who have suffered over this summer. We talk about the Victorian bushfires; (in) my home state of Western Australia we’ve also got fires there,” [Melissa Price] told Sky News this morning. “There’s no doubt that climate change is having an impact on us. There’s no denying that.”

L

WA

Let’s look at her home state. After 67 years of fire management in the giant, hot, dry state of WA, the trend is clear — the more prescribed area we burn, the less wildfire does.  In the graph below the prescribed burns declined for forty years and wildfires increased for thirty. After the Dwellingup Fire in 1961 the state ramped up the preventative burns, and reduced wildfires.

As the BushFireFront team say:

“We can’t control the weather but we can control the fuel loads“

Tough call — what do we do, redesign our energy system, pay billions, change our cars, our houses and our light globes in the hope that bush fires will be nicer, or do we just go back to doing what [...]

Extraordinary powers triggered: Blackout threat from rooftop solar panels in Western Australia

Panels are going in everywhere in Perth.

In Western Australia the uptake of solar panels has rocketed as electricity prices leaped — there’s a slow motion solar train-wreck underway. Solar PV panels are now on more than one in four houses and growing at a phenomenal rate.

The South West Grid is small, with around one million customers and a daily peak of around 2 – 3,000 MW. But the solar generation now totals as much as 1,000MW, and is growing at blistering 180MW a year. Already, there are times solar can be the largest “single” source on this grid, and the AEMO has no control over it, which is why emergency notices are being issued more and more. The AEMO suggests the answer is more batteries, but we are still subsiding the installation of these unnecessary panels making the problem worse, and electricity prices are forecast to rise another 7% this year. As readers TomOMason and TonyfromOz say, so much for cheap solar — watch out: “Batteries Not Included”. The hidden costs get you every time, and the cost of the impact on the rest of the grid is only becoming known as we do this live experiment.

[...]

West Australia – Unskeptical conservatives wiped out in election – No Trump, No Brexit vote

Don’t mention the climate — unskeptical conservatives give away some of their best weapons

The local Liberals (conservatives) got smashed on the weekend in the Western Australian election. Polls predicted it, but instead of a Trump-surprise, Colin Barnett’s team got a nasty shock instead — wiped out. There was no “hidden vote” waiting there because the local Liberals are just another brand of The Establishment. There is nothing politically brave about them.

In WA climate was a non-issue, yet pandering to the religion still cost conservatives. One of the main election messages was about the privatisation of “Western Power” (Electricity supplier). This strange spectacle unfolded where McGowan, the leader who’d suggested the ridiculous 50% renewables target was thumping Barnett’s campaign with messages of fear about rising electricity prices after the privatization. Barnett didn’t hit back — No one seemed to notice the incongruity of Mr Renewables accusing someone else of making electricity expensive.

There are many reasons the WA Libs crashed (read some here). But the “climate” policy hole gets forgotten. Colin Barnett was unarmed, unskeptically accepting the unaudited foreign committee reports. In 2014, when semi-skeptical-Abbott was PM, the premier of a state that lives off mining and energy wasn’t [...]

Climate Change means Perth smashes the coldest ever record for February

Plan for Ghost Town has been delayed

Yesterday Perth had it’s coldest ever February day (since 1910) with temperatures only making it up to 17.4C. This is not just 0.1 or 0.2C below the previous coldest record in February, but a whole 1.7C colder. Perth also got its second wettest February Day (of any season) with a 106mm of rain.

This is peak summer. So much for Tim Flannery’s Ghost Town prophesy.

(To put a fine point on just how far from normal this is, the actual coldest observation in February before this was in 1991 at 19.8C, but that was adjusted down by 0.7C  in the All-Wondrous-ACORN data set. So yesterday was a “sigma-lot” below normal). I’ll post soon on how this is not just a one-day thing, but part of a longer curious record for the region.

Another bazillion gigatons of coal emissions since 1991…

POST NOTE: It’s sweltering on the east coast, and still cold and now flooding on the west. The tables below were updated — today was yet another “top ten” coldest ever day in Perth.

How long before the “hot-n- cold” floods-in-summer thing is blamed on air conditioners? -  Jo

[...]

Coldest Perth September recorded in 120 years of records (must be climate change)

In the last 120 years in Perth there has never been a September as cold as this one. We know that thanks to Chris Gillham, who has been tracking Western Australian weather in detail for years at WAClimate.net.

The headline in The West Australian today was Perth shivers through it’s coldest ever September. For some reason (I can’t think why) the extreme weather journalists did not mention climate change (has that ever happened on a hottest ever record story?). It’s so unusually cold here that wheat farmers, only weeks away from harvest*, are struggling with frost damage on crops. They are making snowmen from the frosts. It is supposed to be rapidly heating up but it is three degrees below normal.

Given the freak weather, Will Steffen immediately announced that “This is a prelude to a disturbing future. And it’s only going to get worse if we don’t address climate change.”  No. Wait. Scratch that. That was South Australia, where one bad storm was caused by coal fired electrons. A record cold month is just weather.

Curiously, The Bureau of Meteorology(BOM) announced it was the coldest ever September for Perth since 1994 when records started at Mt Lawley, and [...]

Nanny State Goes Ballistic: $100 fine if you fly a kite or dig a hole on beach.

Welcome to council-control-freak insanity in WA –  the ruling class who think there is no cost to adding more rules and regulations, assume they can replace common sense with guidelines that dictate the size of the hole you can dig on a beach.

From The West Australian 22-Sept-2010

In Australia we’re passionate about our beaches and equally so about them belonging to all Australians. But one of the most popular beaches in Perth could be hit with council rules that stop you flying a kite, digging a hole, bringing a toy truck, or meeting with 11 friends. Good intentions run amok.

[...]