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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Australian grid teeters on edge of blackouts tonight

The Queensland grid is in crisis — the forecast price for nearly the entire next 24 hours is $15,000 per megawatt hour.

I have never seen a graph like this one. It’s a “white knuckle ride” as Paul McArdle describes it. The IRPM (or Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin) is just 8%. “This shows total Available Generation of 31,679MW ready to supply aggregate ‘Market Demand’ of of 29,201MW at this point … so a surplus of only 2,478MW NEM-wide.” But only last week there was a record day where the grid demand was 32,000MW — the highest winter demand day for years.

AEMO

Reserves are incredibly thin, not just in Queensland, but also in NSW.

AEMO

Market Notices from the AEMO are flowing like confetti. There is an Actual Lack of Reserve Level 2 (LOR2) in Queensland as of 6pm to 8pm. There is an LOR2 running for NSW as well, and an LOR1 for Victoria. If things shift up to LOR3 that means blackouts are likely, and LOR3s are forecast — in QLD tonight and in NSW tomorrow night. The margins are thinner than they look. Because extra generation on one part of the grid may […]

There were Bigger Floods and Rain-bombs in the 1800’s

If only the $3 million dollar a day ABC could afford a science team that could do as much research as one unpaid volunteer does in a day?

Thanks to Cliff Ollier and Ken Stewart for the BOM graph of past Brisbane Floods. Clearly things were worse in the 1800s.

If CO2 has any effect perhaps it reduces flooding?

There have always been big floods in Brisbane | BOM Source | KensKingdom

One day when the ABC finally gets the Internet they’ll be able to find official pages like “Known Floods in the Brisbane and Bremer River Basin“. And one day the half billion dollar BOM agency will be able to update graphs like this within a week of a new flood peak, like bloggers did (above).

Ken Stewart went looking for lost Rain Bombs and found them

As Ken reports the ABC made a fuss over three Queensland sites recording more than 1 metre of rain in just four days. But neither the ABC or the BOM is telling Australians that there have been at least nine similar “Rain Bombs” before and most of them were more than one hundred years ago.

I went […]

The devastating floods of Brisbane in 1893

At least eight people have died in dreadful flooding in South East Queensland and Brisbane. The slow moving rain system moved south through NSW, inundating towns, and has arrived in Sydney and surrounds, where evacuations have begun.

Despite the pain, some are already exploiting the situation for their climate religion or their retirement plan. What was torrential rain is now a rain-bomb, and to stop floods they yell at us that the Climate Change Emergency must be our priority!

A few days ago the floods in Brisbane peaked at 3.85m. Apparently this was due to a surplus of coal fired power or a lack of wind turbines, or something like that. But this photo below, was taken in Brisbane 129 years ago, when there were almost no coal turbines anywhere in the world, and CO2 levels were ideal, yet floods reached 8.3m.

Not climate change: the flood waters rose to 8.3m.

And in the land of flood, fire and drought, it keeps happening. In 1974, floods in Brisbane reached 5.45m. In 2011 the waters were 4.46m deep. Obviously things have changed a bit: the Wivenhoe dam wasn’t there during the first two floods, and the hydrology of city […]

Bureau of Met reads tea leaves and finds warming at Horn Island that no thermometer can see

Ken Stewart has been looking at the mysterious pattern of temperatures on Horn Island –– right at the top of Cape York Australia. It’s almost as far north as things get in Australia. There was no thermometer there before 1995, so the Bureau of Meteorology has rattled the nearest tea-leaves to find out how warm it was.

The towns listed on the map are its nearest neighbours. “Near”, in the Australian sense, meaning loosely within 500 kilometers.

Horn Island and it’s nearest neighbours

This, below, is the way 70 years of temperature dregs roll at all those sites.

This is what the Bureau of Meteorology sees (note the scale has changed on the temp axis). That’s two degrees of warming in far north Queensland.

So the average minimum temperature now looks half a degree cooler in 1960 than what your lying eyeballs suggest.

Ken goes into much more detail and deserves our thanks for bothering to try to unpack the mysterious merging of thermometer records in at the BoM department of Tasseomancy.

Visit his site: Garbage In, Garbage Out- Horn Island

 

10 out of 10 based on 59 ratings […]

A cold snap in Queensland cut the state’s solar power to just 5% of its average daily output

As Paul McArdle of WattClarity says: “the NEM* is becoming increasingly dependent on the weather“

Saturday week ago in Queensland was cold enough to break records. Brisbane “only” made it up to 17.9C (64F). It hasn’t been that cold there in May for 40 years. At the same time a band of cloud covered the populated slice of the state.

The cloud cover meant all the large solar “farms” in Queensland — with a total rated capacity of 1.7GW — produced only 79MW as an aggregate average daily output.

Sunshine State forgets its own branding on Saturday 23rd May 2020

Averaged across the 24 hours in the day yesterday, average aggregate output across all of the Large Solar plant in QLD was a very meagre 79MW only:

1a) Dividing this by an aggregate 1,664MW installed capacity* across the Large Solar plant in QLD this represents a capacity factor the day of just 4.7%

Not surprisingly the same clouds that ruined the large solar farms also wrecked the rooftop solar.

One in three homes in Queensland have solar panels. With 1.8GW of theoretical capacity, rooftop solar is Queenslands largest generator (except it hardly ever […]

Fires in August in 1951 in Queensland were described as “catastrophic” when CO2 was 311ppm

The Bushfire season started in August in 1951 in Queensland

In 1946 in August “Mt Archer, in the Kilcoy district, was a 1500 ft torch tonight”. The 1951 fires did £2m of damage, and within three years the people of Queensland responded by creating six times as many fire teams and more firebreaks. One farmer put in 500 miles of firebreaks on his own property.

Since then humans have put out 85% of all the CO2 emissions we have ever put out, showing that cutting our emissions by 85% (in reality, even going wildly negative to get back to 311ppm) won’t stop fires in August in Queensland.

We don’t have a climate emergency, we have a history emergency. It’s like hundreds of years and the effort of thousands of people just doesn’t exist.

16 Aug 1951: Adelaide Advertiser: Bushfire out of control in Queensland.

11 Aug 1951: Townsville Daily Bulletin: Bush Fires Rage Over Wide Areas

 

The outbreaks hare been the worst for years. The fire risk is being maintained by westerly winds and the tinder-dry nature of the land.

Flames are laping 60 ft high and whirlwinds carrying blazing foliage […]

Australian grid wars: MP says Queensland should cut off other states to make electricity cheaper

Guess which state, big business will be headed to next?

Brilliant! Let’s talk about a Quexit of the NEM. Nationals MP, Keith Pitt is suggesting that Queenslanders could cut their power bills if Queensland stands alone and disconnects from the rest of the Australian National Grid. There are concerns from experts within the energy sector that this could result in blackouts in other states… (is there an “e” in electricity?).

Keith Pitt says these are Queensland assets paid by the Queensland people, owned by the Queensland people, but we can’t continue to prop up states that make silly decisions. He’s driven by one motivator, and that’s price for consumers.

Check out the AEMO data dashboard. On any given minute Queensland is probably sending electricity to most of the NEM.

 

#9News can reveal #EXCLUSIVE details on a bold new plan to cut power prices. @jekearsley #auspol #9News pic.twitter.com/OGVfxfLOxW

— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) August 20, 2019

 

simon holmes à court @simonahac

this is _the_ dumbest idea i’ve heard @keithjpittb since gina’s dad suggested using nuclear bombs for earthmoving. while you’re there, you may as well blow up the highways in and out of […]

Whole suburbs flooded after exhaustive expert flood modelling says they won’t

Another triumph of modeling

In 2014, Townsville City Council launched a detailed flood mapping service.

The maps will allow people to search individual properties to find out the risk of it being inundated during a one-in-100-year flood event.

Five years later and they’re publishing inundation maps. Sadly, new suburbs were built with the wrong expectations.

Townsville flood maps reviewed as more homes go under

Jared Owens and Charlie Peel The Australian

Townsville City Council’s spokeswoman said last night the model, which was based on expert modelling of different scenarios, was overwhelmed by an “unprecedented” monsoonal trough …

Local Government Associa­tion of Queensland chief executive Greg Hallam said Towns­ville’s flood maps relied on “exhaustive modelling of every possible scenario”, looking at variable­s such as rainfall and artificia­l structures.

“We’re not God. We don’t have supreme knowledge. We only have the best science, the best knowledge we can have,” he said. “We now know with the (dam) gates fully open … what will flood and what won’t, so there will be a new set of flood maps prod­uced out of this event.”

If we had better climate models, perhaps we might […]

Townsville floods again: 1881, 1892, 1946 and 1953. It’d be climate change if it stopped flooding

After epic flooding in Townsville, witchdoctors are blaming climate change.

Queensland’s recent extreme weather – bushfires, heatwaves, coral bleaching, drought, Cyclone Penny, Townsville’s floods – showed Queensland is clearly experiencing climate change, Professor Ian Lowe said.

Thus spake the Druid of Runes waving a bunch of multifactor complex processes that have been happening forever, can’t be predicted and only have scary trends if you draw short graphs with no error bars. Verily we see doom, doth payth my grant, or whatever it is that keeps Prof Ian Lowe going. He is allegedly in the Queensland Climate Advisory Council (QCAC) — an organization so successful its only existence on the internet appears to be a sidebar on page 15 of a government PDF. But whoever they are, they’re experts, trust us, that the media doesn’t need to ask for an alternate opinion.

Wouldn’t you know it though, floods seem to happen quite a lot in Townsville

This is not to say that the current floods are not serious but just that Townsville is a floody kind of place. It’d be climate change if things stopped flooding in Townsville.

In the last ten days Townsville has had 600mm […]

Even in sunniest Queensland, solar can’t run without big subsidies — so big they have to be kept secret

Solar is so competitive that the Queensland government has to pour in money to keep solar developers from running away.

How much money? Who knows. Whatever it is, it’s so big, the government has to keep it a secret.

Queensland taxpayers kept in dark as they prop up solar firms

MARK SCHLIEBS, The Australian

The Queensland government is concealing its financial support for large-scale renewable energy projects, guaranteeing subsidies to solar companies that do not ­appear on balance sheets.

With an expert panel previously finding the government would need to spend between $500 million and $900m in subsidies to meet its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, there are now calls for spending to be made public.

The government has struck four deals with major solar-farm developers, under “contracts for difference”, with floor prices nominated for the sale of their ­energy in order to attract finance. When the market price falls below that threshold, the government has to make up the difference.

Luckily for Queensland taxpayers — who don’t know how to spot a good investment or the energy source of the future — the Government can spend their money for […]