The true state of knowledge about historic climate

In a paper published by Richard A. Muller et al, a new estimate for temperatures of the last 250 years is given. Helpfully, error bars for single and double standard deviations are also provided. The graph looks like this:

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The temperatures of the single year chart in the 18th century are all over the place, reaching even current levels, despite the little ice age still in progress. But even in the much smoother 10 year average, the temperature cannot be determined with an accuracy of one degree.

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How the UK Met Office denies Global Warming without admitting it

The UK met office released an interesting press statement last Christmas – and I’m certainly not the first to point it out.

The latest decadal prediction suggests that global temperatures over the next five years are likely to be a little lower than predicted from the previous prediction issued in December 2011.

It is obvious that this must be a British weather service, because this is the understatement of the century (so far).

The following picture is the global temperature forecast (blue line) of the UK Met Office of December 2011. It shows a forecast for the following 10 years. The computer models of the medium forecast for the year 2017 is about 0.4K higher than today (black lines). The computer models suggested that monstrous rise of up to 0.6K was absolutely possible, yet anything less than a 0.2K rise was not.

This is a bold claim. A rise larger than the rise of temperatures in the last 60 years within the next 6 years was deemed to be much more likely than the possibility that temperatures would simply stay as they were in the year 2011.

fcst_global_t1

The updated version the same graph in December 2012 shows a completely different picture. First of all, the forecast no longer extends for 10 years, but only 5 years. That is why 2017 was chosen as the reference point. Secondly, the medium forecast for the year 2017 shows a rise of 0.1K, with predictions ranging between -0.05K and +0.25K.

fcst_global_t4

Just four weeks ago, anyone who would have doubted the Met Office forecast for 2017 of +0.2K…+0.6K was a denialist. Two weeks later, the forecast for the same year is -0.05K…+0.25K. The intervals almost do not overlap.

This is what the endgame of a pathological science looks like.

What 1975 knew about Fukushima Daiichi

As you can probably tell by now, the blogging hiatus was spend (among other things) researching the safety of nuclear power and the  Fukushima Daiichi accident in particular.

The Fukushima nuclear power plants, both operated by TEPCO, had 10 nuclear reactors at the time of the Tohoku earthquake. The designs of the power plants were derived (that is: copied) from General Electric boiling water reactors. The three types used are BWR-3, BWR-4 and BWR-5.

The most modern type, BWR-5, was introduced in 1968, the year when Apollo-10 flew around the moon in a rehearsal for the landing by Apollo-11. It is also the most powerful of the three types (about 1GWe (3GWt) – where “e” is for electric power and “t” is for thermal). BWR-5 reactors were only offered in the improved Mark II containment.

The BWR-3 (440MWe) and BWR-4 (740MWe) reactors were offered in the original “Mark I” containment. Its design was finished in 1962, the year when John Glen became the first American to complete an orbit around the earth.

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Hiding Death and Devastation – On the Moral Character of Antinuclear Activism

March 11th 2011 has certainly been a watershed moment for antinuclear activism. It is widely perceived in Germany as the day when the antinuclear movement was proven right.

I want to make the case here, that it has instead revealed its moral character.

In our time the most comprehensive source of general knowledge and even news is the Wikipedia, although it has been argued that its articles are merely a reflection of the political consensus in some cases. A lot can be determined just from looking at where priorities are put in an article, what information is mentioned where and how often. I will let the following speak for itself.

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Nobody claims that fusion is 30 years away

This post began life as a digression in the last post, but started to have a life of its own. So why not …

To give an example of what ideologies look like take this slate artice on Fusion Energy.

The critique of fusion energy has a long history and so do the arguments brought forth. It has been stated in the 1980ies that people have been saying for 30 years now (since the 1950ies), that commercial fusion will be viable in 30 years. Today, another 30 years later, the same phrase is still being repeated – even though no such claims have been made in the meantime.

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When Politics defeat Science

It is about time I resume blogging. And since this is not even a new years resolution, failure is not guaranteed. 😉

Todays post was inspired by a tweet by @svenrudloff (deep-)linking to a lecture held by Mark Lynas. (BTW I’ve registered the account @tp_1024 there, where you may want to follow me.) The gist of the lecture is that although he was (among others) responsible for starting the Anti-GMO movement (against genetically modified organisms), he joined the list environmentalists now denouncing it.

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