Williamtown RAAF – an interesting case

Williamtown RAAF is one case where the quality control test indicates that the adjustments were justified, even though the homogenization in ACORN-SAT produced a strong change in trend. My report is here and Ken has posted graphs for Williamtown, along with a number of sites with large changes in trend by ACORN-SAT.


This illustrates neatly that a series is not rejected just because the ACORN-SAT increases the warming trend. An ACORN-SAT series should be rejected, however, if it’s trend is inconsistent with its raw neighbours.

Panel tests of the ACORN-SAT temperature network – first results

You may have read Ken Stewart’s excellent blog on the official Australian temperature record. With the publication of the “adjustments.xls” file of the offical adjustments to the raw data in the ACORN-SAT dataset, as reported on JoNova’s blog, there has been a flurry of work behind the scenes, so to speak.

Jennifer Marohasy has been leading the charge also to audit or at least review the practises of the Bureau of Meteorology in adjusting raw temperature to produce the synthetic ACORN-SAT series. Rutherglen in particular has been in the news for massive warming adjustment to the minimum temperature trend.

The story has gone national in The Australian with articles like Climate records contradict Bureau of Meteorology. Even I have been quoted as saying that the BoM may be “adding mistakes” with their data modelling.

Well, all of this kerfuffle has been enough to get me out of hiding and start working on some stuff. I thought it would be good to have a quality assessment method that could reliably test the ACORN data. The idea I came up with is to test the trend of the ACORN-SAT series against the trends of the raw data neighbours. Ideally, if the trend of the synthetic series exceeds the overall trend of all the neighbours, then some thing must be wrong.

The difficulty is that the neighbours all start and stop at different times and so a slightly more complex test is needed than a simple ordinary least squares regression. The answer is a panel test, or POLS. Its all explained in the reports on the first three stations below.

The test seems to work remarkably well. The ACORN-SAT minimum temperatures for Rutherglen and Deniliquin fail the benchmark residual trend of 0.05 degrees C per decade – that is they warm at a much greater rate than their neighbours. ACORN-SAT at Williamtown, by contrast, is consistent with its neighbours and the raw CDO series are not, indicating that the single large adjustment applied around 1969 was warranted.

I intend to keep working through the stations one by one and uploading them to the viXra archive site as I go. I will also release the data and code soon for those who are interested. Its almost at the stage where you enter a station number and it spits out the analysis. Wish it would write the reports too, though latex goes a great deal towards that end.

New energy source confirmed in third party test

As previously covered here, Andre Rossi appears to have delivered the goods…

Cold fusion reactor verified by third-party researchers, seems to have 1
million times the energy density of gasoline

Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat — the device that purports to use cold fusion to
generate massive amounts of cheap, green energy – has been verified by
third-party researchers, according to a new 54-page report. The researchers
observed a small E-Cat over 32 days, where it produced net energy of 1.5
megawatt-hours, or “far more than can be obtained from any known chemical
sources in the small reactor volume.”…

Follow the link to story in full

Third part report is here.

Significant transformation of isotopes of Lithium and Nickel are broadly consistent with the energy produced. this leaves no doubt the source of the energy is nuclear. But the authors are perplexed, nay, dumbfounded, nay, flabbergasted at the possible physics involved as all known nuclear reactions typically have large Coloumb barriers to overcome.

They found it “very hard to comprehend” how these fusion processes could take place at such low energies – 1200C-1500C degrees. While the transmutations are remarkable in itself, they found not trace of radiation during the test, or residual radiation after the reactor had stopped – almost inevitable in a reaction of nuclear source.

What is the possible reaction(s) then? Speculations from the vortex discussion list:

Li7 + Ni58 => Ni59 + Li6 + 1.75 MeV
> Li7 + Ni59 => Ni60 + Li6 + 4.14 MeV
> Li7 + Ni60 => Ni61 + Li6 + 0.57 MeV
> Li7 + Ni61 => Ni62 + Li6 + 3.34 MeV
> Li7 + Ni62 => Ni63 + Li6 – 0.41 MeV (Endothermic!)
> This series stops at Ni62, hence all isotopes of Ni less than 62 are
> depleted
> and Ni62 is strongly enriched.
> I have only briefly skimmed the report, but the basic reaction appears to
> be a
> neutron transfer reaction where a neutron tunnels from Li7 to a Nickel
> isotope.
> The excess energy of the reaction appears as kinetic energy of the two
> resultant
> nuclei (i.e. Li6 & the new Ni isotope), rather than as gamma rays. Because
> there
> are two daughter nuclei, momentum can be conserved while dumping the
> energy as
> kinetic energy in a reaction that is much faster then gamma ray emission.
> Because both nuclei are “heavy” and slow moving, very little to no
> bremsstrahlung is produced. There is effectively no secondary gamma from
> Li6
> because the first excited state is too high. (I haven’t checked Li7).
> There is
> unlikely to be anything significant from Ni because the high charge on the
> nucleus combined with the “3” from Lithium tend to keep them apart (minimum
> distance 31 fm).
> It would be nice to know if the total amounts of each of Li & Ni in the
> sample
> were conserved (I’ll have to study the report more closely).
> Regards,
> Robin van Spaandonk

Fascinating new world of materials science opening up.

Rosenthal et al 2013


“these [modern] fluctuations appear to me to preclude any strong conclusions that the relatively modest increase [in ocean heat content] is unprecedented.”

Originally posted on Climate Audit:

There has been considerable recent attention to Rosenthal et al 2013: WUWT here, Judy Curry here, Andy Revkin here.

The article itself presents a Holocene temperature reconstruction that is very much at odds both with Marcott et al 2013 and Mann et al 2008. And, only a few weeks after IPCC expressed great confidence in the non-worldwideness of the Medieval Warm Period, Rosenthal et al 2013 argued that the Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period and Holocene Optimum were all global events.

Although (or perhaps because) the article apparently contradicts heroes of the revolution, Rosenthal et al 2013 included a single sentence of genuflection to CAGW:

The modern rate of Pacific OHC change is, however, the highest in the past 10,000 years (Fig. 4 and table S3).

In the Columbia and Rutgers press releases accompanying the article, this claim was ratcheted up into the much more grandiose…

View original 1,910 more words

Fact Checking the Climate Council

The Climate Council mini-statement called Bushfires and Climate Change in Australia – The Facts states in support of their view that “1. In Australia, climate change is influencing both the frequency and intensity of extreme hot days, as well as prolonged periods of low rainfall. This increases the risk of bushfires.”

Southeast Australia is experiencing a long-term drying trend.

A moment of fact-checking the BoM recorded rainfall in Southeastern Australia reveals no trend in rainfall.

Another moment of fact-checking the BoM recorded rainfall in Australia reveals an increasing rainfall trend.


A Practical Project for the Hyperloop

When the storied Tesla Motors CEO promoted the Hyperloop, a proposed California high speed rail project between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 30 minutes, instead of the 2 hours and 40 minutes on the VFT, people naturally got excited. But there are three questions. Will the ticket price be compeditive with existing air travel? Second, will the novel technology meet problems in research and development? Third, would consumers like being shot along a tube at almost supersonic speeds?

Given the price of an LA-FS link would be comparable with air travel, and the technology is conventional, the largest question is the third – consumer acceptance.

An alternative to test the third would be to build a smaller mass transit situation to augment or replace an existing airport shuttle service from check-in to terminal, or even between gates. such a system would operate in a mode where the capsules would spend half the time accelerating, and half decelerating. It would not reach the high speeds proposed in the hyperloop of 1000km per hour, and so provide an opportunity to trial consumer reactions and refine the technology.

How fast? A 0.5g force is an acceleration of around 5 m/sec/sec. Consider a 1 km run from the baggage check-in to a remote terminal. Double integrating we get the distance travelled as 5/2 times time squared. Solving for 500m distance we get a time of 14 sec to the half way point. The top speed will be 5t or 70 m/sec (or 256 km per hour). The entire trip with deceleration would take 20 sec.

If travelers are prepared to accept a 1g force in both acceleration and deceleration the entire trip would take 20 sec with a top speed of 100m/sec or 360 km per hour.

This would be sufficient to test the system even on these short runs.

But we all know the feeling of being treated like cattle that comes with the existing shuttle systems at Dulles and other major hubs.

Private, individual or dual pods may be the most desirable aspect to consumers, as they allow transport on demand, no waiting, and would take the ‘mass’ out of mass transport. This might be the major selling point.

Error in calculating Hyperloop ticket price

The semi-technical document on the Hyperloop mass transport system, recently produced by Elon Musk, estimated the price of a one-way ticket as $20.

Transporting 7.4 million people each way and amortizing the cost of $6 billion over 20 years gives a ticket price of $20 for a one-way trip for the passenger version of Hyperloop.

Multiply 7.4 million trips by two then by $20 over 20 years and you get $5.92 billion dollars which is about the $6 billion estimated cost of construction of the Hyperloop. So $20 is the price at which the cost of construction (very simplistically) is returned in 20 years.

The amortized cost is not the ticket price, which must necessarily include such costs as management, operations and maintenance, and financial costs such as interest on loans and profits to shareholders. Thus the actual ticket price of a fully private venture would be comparable to an airfare, at least $100 say.

The Musk document is poorly worded at best or misleading at best. Major media outlets universally quoted a ticket price of $20.

According to New Scientist

He also estimates that a ticket for a one-way Hyperloop trip could cost as little as $20, about half what high-speed rail service is likely to charge.

The Telegraph:

Hyperloop would propel passengers paying about $20 (£13) in pods through a 400-mile series of tubes that would be elevated above street…

The Washington Post

How the Hyperloop could get you from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes for $20.

USA Today, Huffpost, Fox News, and all of the internet tech blogs simply repeated the same story. While this is one more example of the total absence or research in the media, the blame also surely rests on Musk, who should correct the misrepresentation immediately.

Hyperloop for Sydney – Melbourne – Brisbane link?

Elon Musk unveiled his concept for a new mass transport system consisting of capsules shot along a partially evacuated pipe at very high speed.

The details contain estimates of a capital cost of less than $10 billion and the cost of a one-way ticket of $20 — not bad. Compare that to the estimated capital cost of $100 billion for a very fast train (VFT) system, a reduction in the transit time between Los Angeles and San Francisco from 3 hours to 30 minutes, and the proposal looks very attractive.

The numbers would be similar for an equivalent system in Australia. The VFT has been costed at over $100 billion for a Melbourne to Brisbane link – but given this estimate is probably optimistic, it comes in at the same price for a similar distance as the Californian VFT proposal.

The savings on capital cost come largely from the greatly reduced land acquisition of an elevated system. It has been the high capital cost (that would have to be borne by the taxpayer) that has made the VFT uneconomic in the past. (Of course, a colossal waste of public money never stopped the Greens from advocating it.)

The Hyperloop would radically change that part of the equation. As Elon said:

It was born from frustration at his state’s plan to build a bullet train that he called one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world.

If tickets on the Hyperloop were comparable with air and bus transport of $100 – or more given the travel time between Brisbane and Sydney would be around 60 minutes – would provide an adequate margin for an entirely privately-funded venture.

Cold Fusion a Victory for the Free Market

Free marketers and global warming alarmists alike should be heartened by the handful of companies that claim a zero carbon emissions commercial energy plant based on a safe cold fusion (CF) reaction. An Italian company demonstrated a product called E-Cat in 2011, and a Greek company named Defkalion also provided a profession demonstration of their Hyperion product.

The distain for CF by the mainstream government-funded research community and the lack of government funding support is well known. Cold fusion results are routinely and categorically rejected by physics and engineering journals and there has been virtually no support from government funding agencies, except for the military.

Meanwhile, the lack public benefit from government subsidies of green energy sources is an embarrassment. Subsidies for renewable sources such as wind and solar – $88 billion in 2011 – dropping due to political backlash from increasing electricity prices. Hot fusion research over the last 50 years – $50 billion – is no closer to break-even, let alone a working power plant.

One could argue that funding research on government priorities has been deeply harmful to research. If young faculty members in physics find a field promising, but can only secure grants in government-determined priority areas, they are incentivized to focus on politically motivated fields. Keep activists out of research funding!

Nevertheless, the field has progressed thorough the efforts of professionals working in their spare time and amateurs experimenting in their garages, though marked by contradictory experimental results and outright mistakes, secrecy and paranoia by wanna-be entrepreneurs. There are dozens of theories, but none of them properly tested. Defkalion ICCF18 slides show a realtime mass spec system being designed which they hope will nail down what is happening in the NiH fusion processes.

Examples of Scientific Method

Note to global warming alarmists:

“Science is our way of describing — as best we can — how the world works. The world works perfectly well without us. Our thinking about it makes no important difference. When our minds make a guess about what’s happening out there, if we put our guess to the test and we don’t get the results we expect, as Feynman says, there can be only one conclusion: we’re wrong.”


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