Archive for August, 2018

Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

Update: The NASA Fireball Network, monitoring only a few U.S. locations, logged 56 Perseid fireballs last night.

The best meteor shower of the year — the Perseids — peaks tonight. In preparation for a planned outing to a dark sky site, I ran my camera from our roof last night for 8 hours. Despite significant light pollution, I made the following captures. The first was only 1 hour after sunset, and is an “Earthgrazer”, when the radiant is still below the horizon and meteors skim the upper atmosphere with long tails:

Perseid “Earthgrazer”, taken with Canon 6D, 15 sec exp., 20mm f/2.8, ISO3200. No cropping.

While one might suspect this was a satellite, the angular extent of the path is 60 deg., and in only 15 sec satellites cover only a small fraction of that distance; plus, the green color indicates a meteor. Also, the NASA fireball network picked this one up (one of the sensors is close to my house).

The second photo is after the radiant is well above the horizon, so the meteors have shorter paths directly into the upper atmosphere:

As in the previous photo, but with 100% crop, and taken about 2 a.m.

Given that the NASA Fireball Network logged 56 fireballs last night, I’m hopeful for tonight’s display, which should be approximately twice as productive. You can watch in any part of the sky starting after dark. The long trail meteors will be earlier in the evening, then increase in number through the night but have shorter tails. If you have a choice of directions to look, I would suggest directly overhead (use a reclining lawn chair to save your neck), or generally north-eastward as a second choice. But meteors can occur in any part of the sky.

Hoping for mostly clear skies tonight.

Make Agriculture Great Again: Record corn yield and soybean production predicted for 2018

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Today the USDA released its forecast for corn and soybean yields and production for the 2018 growing season. It is expected that corn yields (bushels per acre) in the U.S. will experience their third consecutive record year, with an average of 178.4 bu/ac:

The last time there were three consecutive record high yield years was over 30 years ago: 1985-86-87.

Soybean production is expected to be at a record high, and with a near-record in yield:

Clearly, the widely expected decline in U.S. agricultural production due to global warming has yet to materialize, as improved varieties and farming practices continue to push yields ever higher. Not only are the trends upward (as seen in the above charts), it appears both corn and soybean yields will have actually experienced 5 consecutive years over and above those upward trends.

Make Agriculture Great Again.

Fake Climate News from Reuters

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Will Google down-rank Reuters for spreading fake climate news?

I spoke at Heartland’s America First Energy Conference, held in New Orleans on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. A young Reuters reporter was there, who asked me before I spoke to tell him what I was going to say.

I simply replied, why don’t you come and listen to my talk to find out?

The result was a news story with this headline: Sea level rise ‘overblown,’ solar energy ‘dumb,’ climate change deniers tell forum

Climate change deniers“? Really? This is what passes for responsible journalism today?

As readers here know, I don’t deny climate change. I doubt any in attendance deny climate change.

I don’t even deny recent warming could be mostly human-caused.

The following photo of me speaking had the caption (emphasis added):

Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama, said the presence of Trump administration officials at the conference gave a boost to climate change deniers. (Edmund D. Fountain/Reuters)

I have no idea what I said that led the reporter to write: “Spencer said…the presence of Trump administration officials at the conference gave a boost to climate change deniers”. Where did that come from?

The mainstream news media (MSM) is treading on dangerous ground as Google is now deciding what web content is climate-denying and what isn’t. They don’t even understand the arguments. There are crappy science arguments being routinely published on the web on both sides of the debate.

About the only climate-related statements I might characterize as unsupported scientific claims would be, “the climate has cooled in recent decades”, or “there is no such thing as a greenhouse effect”.

But even though I consider those to be demonstrably wrong, I would not support censoring or putting disclaimers on such content. Even the most ridiculous claims (the Earth is flat, the Moon landings were a hoax) should be allowed to be heard and subjected to questioning, and maybe even ridicule.

If such censorship and search engine down-ranking is implemented, will they do the same for the recent “hothouse Earth” claims, which are little more than speculative sci-fi climate porn, with no new science, and totally ignore the most recent evidence that global warming of the oceans and atmosphere over the last century indicate the climate system is twice as resistant to warming as the IPCC claims?

Such hypocrisy is part of the reason why Americans (Canadians, Australians, et al.) are increasingly distrustful of the MSM.

UAH Global Temperature Update for July, 2018: +0.32 deg. C

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for July, 2018 was +0.32 deg. C, up from the June value of +0.21 deg. C:

Global area-averaged lower tropospheric temperature anomalies (departures from 30-year calendar monthly means, 1981-2010). The 13-month centered average is meant to give an indication of the lower frequency variations in the data; the choice of 13 months is somewhat arbitrary… an odd number of months allows centered plotting on months with no time lag between the two plotted time series. The inclusion of two of the same calendar months on the ends of the 13 month averaging period causes no issues with interpretation because the seasonal temperature cycle has been removed, and so has the distinction between calendar months.

Some regional LT departures from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 19 months are:

2017 01 +0.33 +0.31 +0.34 +0.10 +0.27 +0.95 +1.22
2017 02 +0.38 +0.57 +0.20 +0.08 +2.16 +1.33 +0.21
2017 03 +0.23 +0.36 +0.09 +0.06 +1.21 +1.24 +0.98
2017 04 +0.27 +0.29 +0.26 +0.21 +0.89 +0.23 +0.40
2017 05 +0.44 +0.39 +0.49 +0.41 +0.10 +0.21 +0.06
2017 06 +0.22 +0.33 +0.10 +0.39 +0.51 +0.10 +0.34
2017 07 +0.29 +0.30 +0.27 +0.51 +0.61 -0.27 +1.03
2017 08 +0.41 +0.40 +0.42 +0.46 -0.54 +0.49 +0.77
2017 09 +0.54 +0.51 +0.57 +0.54 +0.29 +1.06 +0.60
2017 10 +0.63 +0.67 +0.59 +0.47 +1.21 +0.83 +0.86
2017 11 +0.36 +0.33 +0.38 +0.27 +1.35 +0.68 -0.12
2017 12 +0.41 +0.50 +0.33 +0.26 +0.44 +1.37 +0.36
2018 01 +0.26 +0.46 +0.06 -0.11 +0.58 +1.36 +0.42
2018 02 +0.20 +0.24 +0.16 +0.03 +0.92 +1.19 +0.18
2018 03 +0.25 +0.40 +0.10 +0.07 -0.32 -0.33 +0.59
2018 04 +0.21 +0.31 +0.10 -0.13 -0.01 +1.02 +0.68
2018 05 +0.18 +0.41 -0.05 +0.03 +1.93 +0.18 -0.40
2018 06 +0.21 +0.38 +0.04 +0.12 +1.19 +0.83 -0.55
2018 07 +0.32 +0.42 +0.21 +0.29 +0.50 +0.29 +1.37

The linear temperature trend of the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies from January 1979 through July 2018 remains at +0.13 C/decade.

The UAH LT global anomaly image for July, 2018 should be available in the next few days here.

The new Version 6 files should also be updated in the coming days, and are located here:

Lower Troposphere:
Lower Stratosphere: