Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Eli Takes a Bow

While Eli is not the world's most accurate news source, allow the Bunny to take a bow.  Back in July 2016 the observant readers read

. . . . . .

These questions include why the US Congress is not mounting a full bore investigation into why the Russians are "helping" Mr. Trump out.  There is a good argument that without Russian money Trump is flat broke and two of the advisors closest to him, Paul Manafort and Carter Page, are mobbed up with Putin.  Eli uses the term mobbed up with intent.  Russia is not an autocracy, it is a kleptocracy.

Ms Rabett, who has some experience in such matters on the compliance side of the fence, points out that money laundering violations define the expensive real estate market in places like NY and SF, as brokers have accept money from peculiar sources.  It is certain that the Trump Organization has accepted the money.  What is not certain until law enforcement serves papers, is whether they did their due diligence and reporting.  Eli suspects not, and if systematically done, which Eli suspects so, that is a RICO violation.

Eli must also ask whether Wikileaks is a front for Russian intelligence. Julian Assange more or less admitted that with the usual, you can't prove it That puts a different twist on a whole bunch of things they have done in the last five years.  Or perhaps they are just stooges for the Russians, sort of like the dead end Bernie Bros.

This story is moving fast and the reaction of the Benghazi crazed Republicans in the US Congress will provide some interesting tales.  For example, Trump has conceded that his Russian "friends" were behind the hack.

Dear Lord.
. . . . . . .

Rabett Run where you read it before it happens

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Electric Buses Charging Ahead

Nice article by David Roberts on electric buses. A similar range of opinion that we see on passenger EVs - they're coming, and someday they'll take over, but medium terms predictions are all over the map.

Roberts is on the bullish end, saying electric will dominate by 2030. I agree with the fact that in the US, federal support for capital costs shifts the incentives strongly to cheap O&M for local governments, and that's where electric shines. Why should they buy non-electric?

I can give one reason - when I was on the board of a water district, I pushed for an internal EV mandate. Our O&M staff pushed back, saying our service bay already was too small and they couldn't service two types of vehicles (I think they've since added them). So inertia is a problem.

Roberts is putting a lot of his optimistic eggs in a single basket, the Proterra electric bus maker. Let's hope they and their competitors succeed in a revolution, but it's still early days.

My guess is that Roberts is likely right. Financial incentives and pollution incentives are strong. I think Roberts also underplayed the convenience factor. EV buses have more torque, so you can redesign and accelerate your routes and get your passengers to destinations faster, especially hilly routes or ones with lots of stops - but only if all the buses on the route are electric. Cities will be incentivized to switch to all-EV buses.

An early test of these predictions is whether bus manufacturers slow down on the R&D for ICE buses. We should see that in less than 10 years if EV buses really are going to be predominant-to-exclusive by 2030.

On a personal note, my wife and I are very slowly getting more used to buses. Going down to one car between us is a good incentive. The train is great, but I still tend to put my bike on the train or use GoBike rather than find a bus at the end of the train route. Despite that, there's a great bus route to San Francisco Airport that's far more convenient and cheaper than parking a car there, and another along the main drag here in San Mateo County that's also pretty good for shorter trips. Maybe faster EV buses would get us onboard more.

Here ya go Brian.  Already in service in Krakow Poland Solaris Urbino 8.9.  100 km range, 4 hour charge time - Eli

Friday, October 20, 2017

Why the Green Plate Effect Has Had an Effect

The Green Plate Effect (GPE) post is a gedanken experiment posed by your friendly bunny, which uses simplifications to think through the consequences of a proposition.  The proposition is that as several  have claimed, that the Greenhouse Effect (GHE) violates the second law of thermodynamics.

Discussion of the GPE has occupied more that a few places, including Rabett Run, Roy Spencer's bodega, and the Dragons Lair (be sure to wear protection when going there or better yet do not), but contrary to the Weasel, there does seem to have been an effect.  (BTW he has been tossed out of his condo and retreated to the original hovel)

The GPE post drove home two ideas:

1.  The GHE is not a statement about two bodies, a hot and a cold one, e.g. the surface and the atmosphere, but a statement about three bodies, a heat source, the absorber of energy from the heat source and the thermal shield, In the GPE these are the illumination source, the blue plate and the green plate. 

This idealization can be extended to the sun, surface atmosphere system at the cost of mathematical complication involving things such as geometry, viewing angles, emissivity, thermal conductivity, diurnal cycles, etc.

Were bunnies to go acaveating it might be mentioned that the blue plate would cool more quickly in the absence of the green plate when the light was turned off.  This, happens in real life.  Night time temperatures fall much more quickly in the desert than in Mississippi and yes, Betty, water vapor does absorb IR emissions from the surface and yes, something is needed to heat the surface first.

2.  Simple analysis shows that in the GPE the presence of the green plate makes the blue plate hotter.

The myriad attempts, some here, some there, involve changing the problem to something else or they break down into first or second law contradictions or they tie themselves up into algebraic knots.  Mathocists are invited to look at the comments at RR, Dr. Roys, or Postma's Pablum Palace.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The New Merry Minuet

In Eli's dotage the need to crouch under a young bunny's desk waiting for the nuclear end has returned.  While this never was much more than a hope, waking up every morning wondering whether one has indeed done so is not much fun.

Their was a song which captured this back in the day

But it needs updating, a task that Eli has taken on

They're rioting in Charlottsville
They're starving in San Juan
There's hurricanes in Florida
And Houston has floods

The whole world is festering with unhappy souls
Bannon hates McConnell, Burmese hate Rohingyas
Suni hate the Shia, Brexiters hate the Dutch
And I don't like anybody very much!!

But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
For Trump's been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud
And we know for certain that some lovely day
The asshole will set the spark off
And we will all be blown away!!

They're rioting in Charlottsville
There's strife in Iraq
What nature doesn't so to us
Will be done by the Republicans

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New York Times misleads on Germany's "huge" investments in renewable energy

The NY Times ran a piece on Saturday Oct 7 by reporter Stanley Reed, headlined

Germany’s Shift to Green Power Stalls, Despite Huge Investments

The reporter is puzzled about the failure of Germany to reduce carbon dioxide emissions below the levels that obtained in 2009.

In the last decade or so, Germany has subsidized solar panels and wind turbines. The total bill since 2000 is 189 billion euros or $222 billion. At first glance, it looks like a huge investment. but to put that amount in perspective, realize that Germany has a population of 82 million. The annual per capita cost is…

(cue the sound effects as I reach for my calculator) $222 billion/(82 million X 17 years a mere $159 per person per year. Mathematically, the average German citizen pays $159 per year, or $13.25 a month or 44 cents a day. That doesn’t sound like “huge” investments.

Another calculation is to consider the German GDP which is $3.5 trillion. Divide by 82 million people to get the per capita GDP of $3.5 trillion/82 million = $43 thousand.

The annual per capita renewable subsidy as a fraction of the GDP is $159/$43,000 = 0.004, so the allegedly “huge” investments are 0.4% of the GDP.

Either way, the investments are not huge.

Reed quotes one 27-year old student who voted for the far-right “Alternative for Germany” party, who says that his family pays an additional 800 Euros ($936) every year for subsidies for the energy policy. (This number is in agreement with the calculation above if the student’s family has 6 members because 936/159 = 5.9). We don’t know the size of the student’s family, or whether or not that individual is typical.

In addition, not everybody pays taxes at the same rate. Germany has a lot of wealthy people with a strong aversion to paying taxes, who often succeed in shoving off the tax burden onto everybody else. Back in the USA, the hotel billionaire Leona Helmsley famously proclaimed that “only little people pay taxes” and she was accurate. Warren Buffett has remarked that his secretary pays taxes at a higher rate than he does.
To return to the NYT article….

It’s no great mystery why the carbon dioxide emissions have not decreased, Reed has answered the question in his article. Germany’s energy plan is not to phase out coal, but to phase out nuclear power by 2022. Nuclear power plants have very low carbon dioxide emissions, so closing nuclear power plants has meant that Germany has become “more reliant on its sizable fleet of coal-fired power stations, which account for the bulk of emissions from electricity generation.” (as Reed states)
In short, the decision to phase out nuclear power by itself would have caused carbon dioxide emissions to increase. Germany’s investments in wind turbines and solar panels have prevented the total carbon dioxide emissions from rising, but they have not been enough to cause emissions to decrease.

While the costs of the subsidies to wind power and solar panels do not seem “huge”, they may have run up against up a limit of political tolerance, given the lopsided distribution of income in Germany and the opposition of wealthy Germans to paying their fair share of taxes.


Saturday, October 07, 2017

The Killer Rabett of Caerbannog Has a Chew on Steve (Tony Heller) Goddard

Eli's friend, the Killer Rabett of Caerbannog noticed Eli's comment on Steve Tony Goddard's sense of misdirection, and had a few words on the Twitter.  There were more that a few clues to Steve Tony's methods and materials which, both of us agree, are worthy of gathering in one place for future use with a few expansions of Twitterisms and such.  Rabett of caerbannog T-shirts available at Shirtoid

In response to the usual cherry, pick with a topping of political agenda, Caerbannog. . . well let Eli go to the Twitter

Here, says Caerbannog pointing to Eli, is proof that Goddard aka Heller is a tinfoil-hat-wearing nutter

What else can be said about someone who works a construction project into a grand global conspiracy to manipulate temperatures? He's *nuts*.

As for the content of the message? I've addressed data adjustment issues many times here, but you fail to understand.

  • I have shown many times that adjustments are required to correct for the effects of station moves (i.e. 100s from city centers to airports). 
  • I have pointed you to information about data adjustmnts, including links to NOAA's adjustment package that includes all code
  • *and* full instructions on how to build/run it. The NOAA package includes a complete test-suite to make it easier for others to verify....
Bottom line -- when I post substance, you completely ignore it and blow it off.

Recap for others here: Heller focuses on USHCN instead of GHCN because USHCN covers only about 1.5% of the Earth's surface area. As a result, short term temp swings (aka "noise") are  highly correlated over temp stations. When averaged together, this results in less "noise cancellation".

That means a lower "warming" SNR. The US-only temperature trend is just emerging. A small local trend means adjustments can change slight cooling to slight warming. Also, there is more likely to be a temperature bias for localized regions, where many temperature stations may have had similar changes in equipment and procedures.

It turns out that for USHCN as well as GHCN, many stations were moved from city centers to airports. Many airport stations have data from before 1900.

When you see airport stations with data going back before there were airplanes, what does that tell you about those stations? Think hard.

Also warming has not been uniform over the continental USA. The West has warmed more than the South. That means area weighting is important.

Overall station density a bit less in the West than in other regions. So without area-weighting, the area with the most warming is underrepresented.

The problem can be worsened if you select a subset of stations. You must ensure reasonably uniform geographic weighting in your averaging. This is especially true if the warming is fairly weak relative to the year-to-year variation. This will often be true for small regions.

USHCN, because it covers only 1.5% of Earth area with annual temp variations large relative to warming, gives Heller opportunities to mislead. If Heller were to look at GHCN, where coverage is global and the warming trend is much larger than global year-to-year variations he wouldn't have any "wiggle room" to spin results and make accusations. The global temperature trend is huge relative to the noise and huge relative to adjustments.

That's why Heller won't touch GHCN. The warming signal to noise ratio for the entire Earth is much stronger than the warming signal to noise ratio for just the USA.

There's no way that Heller could "cherry pick" the GHCN warming trend away. The warming signal too strong. So Heller will never touch GHCN.

So Heller will never touch GHCN. That is, Heller will *never* show adjusted vs. unadjusted *global* temp averages from GHCN data. The results would destroy his message.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

The Green Plate Effect

An evergreen of denial is that a colder object can never make a warmer object hotter.  That's the Second Law of Thermodynamics, so according to the Agendaists, the Greenhouse Effect, with greenhouse gases playing the role of the colder object, is rubbish.  They neglect the fact that heating and cooling are dynamic processes and thermodynamics is not.

Eli, of course, is a dynamic bunny and knows how to add and subtract. Divide is also possible.  What is happening is that one does not have just a hot body and a cold body, but a really hot body, the sun, constantly heating a colder (much), but still warm body the Earth, which then radiates the same amount of energy to space.

In elevator speak, Tyndall put it

[T]he atmosphere admits of the entrance of the solar heat, but checks its exit; and the result is a tendency to accumulate heat at the surface of the planet.
Eli had a different but not as elegant elevator tweet

Today on twitter, Eli stepped through the simple math and he thought it would be a good thing to put the thread on this blog for future reference.  We start with a simple case, imagine the Earth is just a plate in space with sunlight shining on it.   Maybe 400 W/m^2

The sun warms the plate, but as the plate warms it radiates until the radiated heat matches the heat being absorbed from the sun

Using the Stefan Boltzman Law you can calculate the temperature of the plate when it reaches equilibrium (400 W/m2) = 2 σ Teq4   where  σ is the Stefan Boltzmann constant 5.67 x 10-8 W/(m2 K4), factor of 2 for a two sided plate per m2. Run the numbers Teq=244 K.

Now lets add another plate. We'll color this plate green for greenhouse. It is heated by the first at a rate of 200 W/m2

But after a while, it too has to heat up and reach an equilibrium temperature. . . so as a first guess something like

That's wrong though because there are 400 W/m^2 going into the two plate system and 300 coming out.  At equilibrium an equal amount of energy has to be going in as coming out  So what happens??

The entire system has to heat up to reach the equilibrium condition.  T1 and T2 are the equilibrium temps of the plates.

Looking at the two plate system, the energy going in is 400  W/m2 and the energy going out is  σT14 +  σT24    Since these will be equal at equilibrium

400  W/m2  = σ T14 +  σ T24 

And there also has to be an equilibrium for the energy going in and out of the green plate

σ T14 =  2 σ T24

The bunnies can rearrange the second equation to get

σ T24 =  1/2 σ T14

and substitute for σ T2 back into the first equation 

400  W/m2  = σ T14 +  1/2 σ T14
400  W/m2  = 3/2 σ T14 

Solving for T1 the answer is T1 = 262 K.

Without the greenhouse plate it was 244 K.  

Introduction of the second plate raised the equilibrium temperature of the first by 18 K. 

The Green Plate Effect

Show this to the next fool with an agenda who thinks that the Green Plate Effect violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Steve Goddard Needs to Visit Suburban Washington

The unwary amongst the bunnies might, given provocation, search Beltsville Laurel USHCN.  Were a bunny so foolish the bunny would quickly run into some spit flecked harumphing from Steve Goddard, aka Tony Heller, or visa versa.  Unlike Eli Steve Tony can't keep his selfs strait, but no, never mind.  The title of the piece is Extreme UHI fraud at NOAA and, like most of Willard Tony's dastardly discoveries, the answer is nu?. (By the way, Surface Stations could use a spring cleaning).

Eli became aware of this via some of the usual agendaists** who pointed to it as evidence of perfidy but since the Rabett lives only a few miles away from the locale of extreme UHI fraud, he though he would actually take a bit of a closer look

Steve Tony's claim has two parts.  First that NOAA closed a perfectly good long running station in Laurel Maryland.  Laurel is roughly half way between Baltimore and DC, about 20 miles from each. As an older suburban area, it is pretty well developed.

NOAA has 16 USHCN stations in Maryland, but they have stopped collecting data from all but four of them. One of the disappearing stations is at Laurel, which has been collecting since 1895 – but no data reported since August 2015. 
The really interesting thing about this is that down in the comments, Mark Albright pointed out that
The Laurel USHCN station was closed in August 2015. According to the Historical Observing Metadata Repository (HOMR) the reason for closing Laurel 3 W was due to construction at the site:

However, no agendaist** took notice of this.  The construction was a large shopping center to the north and work in the highway interchange surrounding the site.  Blowing the picture up shows a bunch of serious power lines going through the top end and pictures from Google Maps in 2012 show serious earth movers pushing stuff around in the interchange

The USHCN station was over to the left (west) side of the D interchange.

So what about Greenbelt.  Well what does Steve Tony have to say about that
Beltsville (at I-95 and The Beltway) is five miles closer to Washington DC and shows two degrees warming during that period as the city has expanded. Beltsville is one of the four stations still reporting.
and he shows a map

with a red dot right on I-95 where Beltsville is.  However, as anybunny who lives in the DC area knows, that is not I-95, but US 1.  And, again, as DC folk know, Beltsville is where the USDA has its experimental farms.  The Beltsville station has moved about.  There have been nine locations on the various farms, starting to the east of US 1 in 1931 and now sitting to the west (nearer to 95, but not nearly as close as the Laurel site was right in an interchange.

The dot shows the current location.  The metadata shows that the station has always been located on farmland.

So much for Steve Tony.

 ** New Rabett Run name for those who deny global warming to advance a political agenda.