Tag Archives: Global Warming

TV Sets and Global Warming – a Ground-breaking Study

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Filed under Global Warming, Things to Consider
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Climate scientists have developed new models which plot natural oceanic temperature cycles, solar activity, and cathode-ray-tube (CRT) television household penetration against average global temperatures over time.  They show a surprising an unexpected result.  The recent unprecedented change in climate appears to be closely related to the number of cathode ray television sets in use.

At the beginning of the second world war, there were only about 8000 sets in use.  By 1949, there were over 3,602,872 in the US alone, and by 1959 accumulated sales in the US totalled more than 67 million.  Sales continued through the 70s and 80s at over 10 million sets per year.  As the global economy flourished, the trend was replicated all over the developing world.  The studies showed that the globe warmed more and more rapidly, matching the rising numbers of TV sets, until around the turn of the millennium, when it paused for ten years, and now appears to be in decline.

Interestingly, the models hind-cast the temperature variations since 1950 with astonishing accuracy. And critically, when the CRT penetration is removed from the models, we cannot explain those temperature variations.  There is no other acceptable conclusion, no other factor that can achieve the match with temperature variations.

Ah, I hear you object, China and India, the new Asian super-economies, are booming.  The number of TV sets sold is sky-rocketing again.  If Global Warming has ceased, how could it possibly be related to TV sets?  Right now, the number of sets in use in the world is 1416338245.

Pay attention!  TV technology has undergone a sea change.  The cathode-ray tube is out.  In the twenty-first century, flat-screen TFT and LED screens have taken over.  These do not emit the same radiation as the older, earth-warming monsters that sat in the corner of the room and heated our planet.  And as the old CRT screens sputter, distort and die, they are being replaced by the new, green, tree-hugging, polar-bear-loving flatties.  We are saved!

Earlier climate models achieved a reasonable match using global CO2 atmospheric variations, enough to give cause to speculate that the reason for the rise might be CO2.  But only to speculate.  CO2 concentrations are still rising at an increasing rate, but the global temperature since 2000, initially flat, is now declining.

And that, dear readers, should be the end of the argument.  I defy you to show me that this little analysis is any less robust or scientific than all of the scientific reports used by the IPCC, Al Gore, the EU or Skeptical Science.  The data behind my reasoning shows a closer match to world temperature fluctuations than any of the computer models used by NASA, GISS or UEA.

Trust the science on this.  Using our model, we can predict with 98.73% certainty that the temperature will decline for the next thirty years to at least the same level as it was in 1970.  More likely it will be even lower, as by 2040 there will be very few CRTs still in use.

What’s that?  You want to examine my data?  You have a confounded cheek.  It’s commercially sensitive and the TV companies have placed it under an embargo.

And I didn’t archive it, and seem to have lost it.

Joe Bastardi – The Message or the Medium?

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Joe Bastardi is a weatherman.  He works for Weatherbell, a US-based forecaster, that provides global weather reports and forecasts through its website, http://www.weatherbell.com/.  Joe also has a number of corporate clients, for whom he prepares specific detailed forecasts tailored to their weather information needs.

If one judges a weatherman by the success rate of his seasonal forecasts, then Joe is a super-weatherman.

When my wife and I came from New Zealand to live in the Haarlem in the Netherlands in 2008, we needed local weather information.  My Dutch language skills were non-existent, so I went looking in the internet for English-language reports on current conditions and forecasts.  The most accurate forecasts for Haarlem at the time were on the website of Accuweather, another global weather forecasting company, at http://www.accuweather.com/en-gb/nl/north-holland/haarlem/quick-look.aspx.

I had long been interested in the Anthropogenic Global Warming debate, which had wide publicity in New Zealand.  My interest (and suspicions) had been aroused by the way in which every weather event was described as evidence of human-influenced global warming.  However, the concept behind the idea seemed worthy of investigation, so I was interested in finding out more.

A Dutch television channel showed a film called “An Inconvenient Truth” featuring Al Gore showing a PowerPoint presentation which presented Michael Mann’s hockey-stick graph and argued in apocalyptic terms that the earth was in danger of a runaway greenhouse effect, caused by human beings, and specifically, the CO2 that we produce.

That film was a tipping-point for me.  “An Inconvenient Truth” was far from being a reasoned, scientifically-based presentation.  It was full of half-truths and special pleading, presented by a salesman.  For the first time, I began to suspect that the AGW scare was a textbook real-life example of the behaviour illustrated by the classic fable of Chicken Little.

One of the blog links on the Accuweather site that caught my attention was also hosted by Accuweather.  Joe Bastardi’s European Weather blog.  Bastardi is no Shakespeare, but his postings were always entertaining and well-argued.

Now Joe Bastardi has left Accuweather, and resurfaced at the Weatherbell site.  Inexplicably, his blog posts are behind a paywall – they are in the premium section of Weatherbell.  That is tragic.  One expects to pay for premium services – after all, they are a big part of the income of a web-based service.  But to pay for blog-posts?

Bloggers blog to be read.  They blog to communicate, to give their ideas the widest possible coverage.  Including pensioners who cannot afford the premium subscriptions. I am over sixty-five years old, and at the end of this month, I too shall be a pensioner.

So long, Joe.  I shall miss your posts.

Power in NZ on the Rim of Fire

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Filed under Random Grumps & Raves
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It is time to think carefully about the future of coal and oil-fired power stations in the NZ power-supply portfolio.   New Zealand has a lot of choices for power generation, renewable and non-renewable.  The renewables we have include hydro, geothermal and even the most expensive and unreliable of all renewable sources, wind.  We also have coal and gas-fired thermal stations.

We need them all.  Our capacity can be crippled by earthquakes at any time, and we would be foolish indeed not to  be prepared.

2503 MW of NZ’s electric power capacity is provided by dams built along the Southern Alps, which exist because of the great alpine fault in the South Island.  They provide reliable, renewable power, but they are at risk if (when) the really big earthquake strikes.  The recent Christchurch earthquake tragedy that has befallen New Zealand is a reminder of what is just around the corner, and when that happens a large proportion of our power supply will be severely compromised, if not destroyed.

NZ’s biggest thermal plant, with a capacity of 1448 MW, is at Huntly in the North Island.   It is run by Genesis Energy.  Here is the information from Genesis:

http://www.genesisenergy.co.nz/genesis/index.cfm?0E16177E-E313-418B-F397-3021BCE6E1EF

And here is the Wikipedia information about the site:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H…

According to the Wikipedia entry, there are plans to emasculate the Huntly facility, shutting down much of its capability and reducing it to a backup role.  The entry says:

“The plant, as one of the biggest carbon dioxide greenhouse gas generators of the country, contributing over half of New Zealand’s emissions of greenhouse gases from electricity generation, has repeatedly drawn the ire of environmentalists and has been the focus of associated protests. A 2006 government report outlining future anti-climate change and energy policies was seen by the operator as a sign that the plant might have to be closed by 2015 under these plans, with around 10 years of design life still remaining.

Resource consents to operate the four coal fired units expire in 2013.  Due to increasing costs of coal, equipment reaching its design life and costs due to the emissions trading scheme, operation of the four steam units is expected to be phased out, with their role declining to dry year, reserve generation. One of the four coal fired units will be taken out of service in 2012, and a second in 2015.”

I don’t know how much of what the Wikipedia article says about the capacity reduction is true.  I hope it is not, and that the plant will continue to operate.  It is one thing to aim to maximise power generation from renewable sources, especially reliable and high-producing ones like hydroelectric and geothermal sources.

Relying totally on renewable energy resources is quite another matter, especially when they are at risk.  And given our position on the Pacific rim of fire, those resources certainly are at risk.  More than most countries, we need considerable redundancy and diversity of power supply.  Failure to build more fuelled thermal power plants would be as foolish as failing to to take advantage of our hydroelectric and geothermal opportunities.  Removal of existing thermal capacity years before the end of its design life would be more than foolish.

It would be criminally stupid.