Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If DMK loses polls, blame their Renewable Energy policy in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu had finally voted on April 13th though counting is on May 13th. In what is seen as an extremely tight contest with tempers rising high during the campaign, among the major poll issues was the acute power shortage faced by the state. With voting over, Tamil Nadu is set to face longer power outages following a decision by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) to increase the load shedding period from two hours to three hours every day.

Chennai faces an-hour-long power cut while other parts of the state it will be not less than 3 hours a day. The TANGEDCO decision comes in the face of an increasing power deficit in the State, combined with rising deficits in other States. 
“This has created a situation where Tamil Nadu cannot purchase power from these States. Even the power purchase for Rs 50 crore per day has proved insufficient to meet the demand. With no other options available, it has been decided to increase the power outage,” read a statement from the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation.

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation is expecting this acute shortage to continue for a few weeks. The corporation has asked the people to put up with the cuts as it was expecting the yield from wind energy sources to increase in the coming weeks. Speaking to Express, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) Chairman and Managing Director C P Singh said it would be difficult to speculate on how long the extended outage would be in place. “It will depend on a number of environmental factors. How intense the summer is will also play a role,” he said.
Asked if there was some sort of a roadmap to make up for the power deficit in the State, Singh said, 
“There is no roadmap. We have exhausted all our sources. Power is just not available. The extended power cuts will reduce the deficit from 3,500 MW to 1,500 MW.”
Wind power accounts for a little more than 15-20% of the state's overall capacity. The State’s contribution is 60 per cent of the installed capacity of the country’s wind mill power projects. Much of it has been installed in the last 10 years when not many major conventional plants have come online.  
As an energy consultant observed "Tamil Nadu has put too many of its eggs in the wind basket." 

The result - just as agriculture in the country is a gamble on the monsoon, the power situation in the state has become a gamble on wind. The city, which is facing rolling power cuts and other unscheduled outages, may be sufering the consequences of an unbalanced development of wind power in the state. With conventional power generation capacity stagnant for the last 10 years in Tamil Nadu, wind has become the marginal, peaking power expected to meet the city's additional power needs exactly the wrong application for wind power, say experts.

While the state sweats, the air-conditioned offices of Greenpeaces, WWFs, Oxfams and ChristianAids, advocates of renewable energy are hardly affected as they have multiple systems of power backup. Many of the staff reportedly have gone on vacations to hill resorts!

Meanwhile, the agenda of these foreign funded NGOs with their  hidden agenda appears achieved - bringing industrial activity in the state to a standstill. Industrial activities, particularly a majority of engineering, manufacturing, textile and small, tiny and micro units in Tamil Nadu are likely to shut down on May 5 to protest against continuing power cuts, both scheduled and unscheduled, seriously affecting production. Speaking to reporters, M Kandhasamy, president, Coimbatore District Small Industries Association said members of 83 associations of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Southern India Engineering Manufacturers Association, South India Mills'' Association, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Monday, April 25, 2011

As La Niña tapers off, how will the Indian Monsoon shape up?

It’s the last week of April and yet no sign of heatwaves that is so typical of a La Niña summer. Instead of dry and hot weather, South India; Sri Lanka and countries in the South China Sea were actually experiencing pleasant and wet weather conditions during the last week as indicated in the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) map.

The IMD finally released their monsoon forecast, after dithering for some time.  Speaking to CNBC-TV18's Karan Thapar, Ajit Tyagi, Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), said this year the forecast in quantitative terms is of 98%, which falls in the normal category. 
"We are confident within the model areas of plus/minus 5%. In extreme cases to be below normal category, which is between 90 and 96%—to be preciously the 93%, if we minus 5% from the 98%," he said raising hopes of higher farm output that could help the government tame high food prices."
The monsoon acts as a lifeline for India's farm-dependent economy, which is also the world's leading producer and consumer of several key commodities such as sugar, grains, oilseeds and cooking oils.
"There is no abnormal global signals in the weather system to hint that there could be a drought this year," D. Sivananda Pai, Director at IMD told Reuters.
Below is an excerpt of the interview on CNBC-TV18 is given by

Q: You are predicting a normal monsoon this year for the layman. What exactly do you mean by normal?

Tyagi: Normal monsoon is a category, which is based on the last 50 years of informed data, that monsoon will be within the range of 96% to 104% of its long term average for the four months of monsoon season. This year we have given a forecast in quantitative terms is of 98%, which falls in the normal category.

Q: I have looked at the data that you put out and you are saying that there is a 53% probability that the monsoon will be between 96% and 104% of the long-term period average. But a 53% probability is just about a 50-50% confidence level. It is not a very high confidence level?

Tyagi: No. If you are seeing the table along with the probability, which we have given, and the distribution is 33% normal percentages, it will be 17% and 16% below normal and above normal. This is a normal distribution, again same category of the access and deficit rainfall. This is how the distribution of last 100 years of rainfall is there. So against the normal 33%, which should occur on average this year, we have got higher probability of 53% or so.

But along with this also, the second highest category is below normal rainfall category of 33% or so, which is also higher than the climatological. So the category, which is the highest, is the normal category and there is also higher probability as compared to other categories being slightly below normal.

Q: For layman, give me a simple answer, how confident is you that we will have a normal monsoon?

Tyagi: We are confident within the model areas of plus/minus 5%. In extreme cases to be below normal category, which is between 90 and 96%—to be preciously the 93%, if we minus 5% from the 98%.

What the forecast gives with a high degree of confidence is that it is not going to be an excess year and also not going to be a deficit year plus/minus 10% departures. 

Q: The South Asian climate outlook forum has predicted that there will be a below normal monsoon both in the North West and the North East. Do you agree with that?

Tyagi: Yes to a degree. But there also the probabilities that the below normal may not be very high. They are just above the climatological averages. So we have indicated in these regions, the pockets, yes there could be below normal rainfall.

If you look at North West India, it is just the areas bordering Pakistan. Essentially, it is Afghanistan and Pakistan where the below normal rainfall is predicted. But also along with them some of the areas of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana also are included. So this is general geographical area.

Devinder Sharma, noted food security expert and social activist expressed his disappointment with this forecast:
“Disappointing because right in April, they are able to say nothing more than a broader picture, which I think my grandmother could do better. Why I am saying this is: you [IMD] are saying in June, we will tell you what July picture would be. In July, we will tell you what August would be and in August we will tell you what September would be.

I think there is a need to tell us if at all the department is very clear about it as to what long range forecast would be.”

I am great fan of Devinder Sharma and follow his blog very carefully. But one of Sharma’s shortcomings is that he champions the cause of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) but does not appear to know much why monsoon forecasting is proving exceptionally challenging this year. For an agricultural expert it is strange that Sharma appears to have no clue about the weather and yet he champions the cause of AGW vehemently.

As per the latest data from the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia, the La Niña, which brought above normal rainfall to India last year, has run its course with the central Pacific returning to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)  neutral conditions as reflected by the Nino 3.4 Index being 0.4 C deg. Since January this year, due to the La Niña effect, daytime maxima have been too low for ‘monsoon comfort’ since sustained heating of the northwest region is crucial to set up the keenly watched ‘heat low’ to build. The heat low builds due to sustained heating of northwest India, adjoining Pakistan and the Arabia desert.  

It is these conditions what posed a dilemma for IMD in their forecast of the monsoon and they dithered finalizing it until it became clear that we have returned to ENSO neutral conditions by mid-April, which can reduce rainfall in the country. We can now hope that daytime maxima returns to normal fully in May to establish the south-westerly monsoon wind regime before heavy monsoon rains start over western India. Unlike other low-pressure areas, the ‘heat low’ is topped up by clear, cloud-free skies due to special reasons associated with the geography. 

BusinessLine Update:
"The Busan, South Korea-based APEC Climate Centre has said in updated forecast on Monday that India might witness ‘enhanced rains' during May-June-July.This was slightly at variance with some other global models that saw a weaker start to the southwest monsoon, only to be followed by a burst mid-season till the end.
The forecast said that the East Asian coast and Indonesia will receive less rainfall than normal. On the other hand, enhanced precipitation is expected over Indochina and the Philippines, apart from India." 
A normal monsoon means the country receives rainfall between 96-104% of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres during the four-month rainy season, according to IMD classification. Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand are expected to witness normal rains in 2011, while Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan could see below-normal rainfall.  

The question is have we seen the back of the La Niña for good? This is where climatologists are divided.

According to Boulder-based climate researcher Klaus Wolter, La Niña’s fade may only be temporary, suggesting that there’s a better than 50 percent chance that the pattern could redevelop next winter. This is based on historical patterns showing that strong La Niñas often last a couple of years.

How the long-term pattern develops should be clear in the next three to six months, he added.  
“If you look at the historical performance (of La Niña) during the last 150 years, they have a tendency to disappear in the summer, then they come back.” 
Wolter said, adding that there’s almost a direct relationship between the size of the La Niñas and their propensity to return for a second, and sometimes a third year. If the pattern does re-intensify, it probably won’t be as pronounced as this year.
"Historically, if you look at two-year La Niñas, the second year is usually much lower than the first year.”
That Wolter could be right is illustrated by the fact that while Niño 3.4 Index has turned neutral, another key La Niña Index, Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) remains strongly positive. The latest (11 April) 30-day SOI value is +25. The SOI has been consistently positive since early April 2010.  The Bureau of Meteorology of Australia  seems to share this line of thinking too:
"However, atmospheric indicators of ENSO continue to be at odds with recent trends in the ocean, and remain consistent with a well developed La Niña event. The latest 30-day Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) value (+30.2) is only a little short of the highest April monthly value on record (+31.7, recorded in 1904), and has remained consistently high throughout the event.
Cloudiness near the date-line remains below normal while trade winds continue to be stronger than normal. These atmospheric indicators are expected to return to neutral over the coming months in response to the changes in the ocean."
This means the chances of NE Monsoon being on the above normal side are high. Winter will be cold but the good news is that it would be much milder the record cold last year

For those who are interested in the Monsoon, try this excellent link: Monsoon Watch at

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Send Pachauri to investigate Pluto - its Global Warming there too!

NASA data shows that every planet in our solar system is warming up. Unfortunately, climate activist do not join the dots to discover the sun as responsible for climate not only on Earth but in every planet of our solar system. Either that or they do not want to on fear that their lucrative career gets busted if they acknowledge the truth.

Jane Greaves of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, have found strong evidence of global warming of Pluto’s atmosphere using the 15-meter James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii. They also detected carbon monoxide in its atmosphere.  
Global Warming On Pluto Caused By The Sun (Even 3 Billion Miles Away!)

The Online Financial Times Deutschland reports that a British team of astronomers, led by Jane Greaves of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, have found strong evidence of global warming of Pluto’s atmosphere using the 15-meter James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii. They also detected carbon monoxide in its atmosphere.

The researchers also say that new findings show that Pluto’s atmosphere extends to more than 1860 miles (3000 km) above the surface -  or a quarter of the distance out to its largest moon, Charon. Before it was thought to be only 100 km thick. Greaves will present the new discovery today at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Wales.

Pluto’s atmosphere appears to have expanded due to warming. Greaves says:
"The change in brightness over the last decade is startling. We think the atmosphere may have grown in size, or the carbon monoxide abundance may have been boosted.”  
The Financial Times writes;
"Pluto’s extremely low density atmosphere has a fragile balance made up of the coolant carbon monoxide and the greenhouse gas methane. It is probably the most sensitive in the solar system, Greaves said." The far away dwarf planet is probably currently experiencing climate change, said Greaves.
‘We believe that the expansion of the atmosphere has grown. in 1989 Pluto passed its closest point to the sun in its orbit. Probably the stronger solar radiation vapourised additional ice and the atmosphere expanded.”
In the new study, scientists found that the carbon monoxide gas on Pluto is extremely cold, at about minus 364°F (-220°C ).
"This simple, very cold atmosphere, which is greatly influenced by the sun’s warmth, could give us important information on the fundamental physical interactions and thus a better understanding of the earth’s atmosphere," Greaves said.
Yeah – like the sun plays the major role on atmospheric behaviour and climate, even when it is 3 billion miles away (the earth is only 93 million miles away) and that everything else, like oceans and atmospheres, reacts to its changes and orbital changes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Official: Wind farms are totally useless: James Delingpole, Telegraph

Official: Wind farms are totally useless

Before I take my break, I cannot resist drawing your attention to a new report on wind farms - perhaps the most damning I have ever read. What makes it even more significant is that it has been sponsored by an environmental charity. Normally the people most busily pushing these bird-chomping, bat-crunching, taxpayer-fleecing monstrosities on our magnificent landscape are those who claim, ludicrously, to be “green.” Thank you, John Muir Trust, for reminding as that being “green” doesn’t necessarily have to include economically suicidal schemes to destroy perhaps our greatest national asset: the British countryside.

Here’s its summary:

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS in respect of analysis of electricity generation from all the U.K. windfarms which are metered by National Grid, November 2008 to December 2010. The following five statements are common assertions made by both the wind industry and Government representatives and agencies. This Report examines those assertions.

“Wind turbines will generate on average 30% of their rated capacity over a year.”

“The wind is always blowing somewhere.”

“Periods of widespread low wind are infrequent.”

“The probability of very low wind output coinciding with peak electricity demand is slight.”

“Pumped storage hydro can fill the generation gap during prolonged low wind periods.”

This analysis uses publicly available data for a 26 month period between November 2008 and December 2010 and the facts in respect of the above assertions are:

Average output from wind was 27.18% of metered capacity in 2009, 21.14% in 2010, and 24.08% between November 2008 and December 2010 inclusive.

There were 124 separate occasions from November 2008 till December 2010 when total generation from the windfarms metered by National Grid was less than 20MW. (Average capacity over the period was in excess of 1600MW).

The average frequency and duration of a low wind event of 20MW or less between November 2008 and December 2010 was once every 6.38 days for a period of 4.93 hours.

At each of the four highest peak demands of 2010 wind output was low being respectively 4.72%, 5.51%, 2.59% and 2.51% of capacity at peak demand.

The entire pumped storage hydro capacity in the UK can provide up to 2788MW for only 5 hours then it drops to 1060MW, and finally runs out of water after 22 hours.

So what have the Oxfams, ChristianAids, Greenpeaces and Sunita Narains now to say? 30 Years of Warming Erased In 15 Months!

According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global surface temperature increased by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C during the 20th century.

The UAH globally averaged satellite based temperature for March 2011 is out. From a high of +0.72 deg C in January 2010, global temperature anomaly has plunged - 0.1 deg C by March 2011 or a drop of 0.8 deg C within a span of 15 months.  That’s a magnitude nearly equivalent to IPCC’s global warming signal - an extremely sharp precipitous drop.

Yr             Month         N Hemisphere      S.Hemisphere     Tropics       Global
2011         March           -0.073                   -0.126           -0.345        -0.099

As seen further, the cooling is global - the Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere and Tropics temperatures all in the negative territory, with the Tropics demonstrating the largest negative temperature anomaly.  Driven by the La Niña Pacific Ocean cooling event, global average temperatures in March 2011 were the coolest March since 1999, according to Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

It was the fifth coolest March in the tropics, where the average temperature fell 0.35 C (about 0.63 degrees Fahrenheit) below seasonal norms. Three of the five coldest tropical Marches in the 33-year satellite temperature record have happened in the past dozen years: 5th, 2011, -0.35 C: 3rd, 2000, -0.42; and 2nd, 2008, -0.58 C.

Last summer, NGOs and environmentalists had a field day creating hysteria around the El Niño induced drought and heatwave conditions within the country. The Centre for Science & Environment (CSE), an organization that positions itself as a knowledge based environment organization, released a press release entitled “Studies say rising mercury levels could be connected to global warming”  had this to say as climate hysteria:

“The summer of 2009 has just begun, and India is already reeling under extreme temperatures as the mercury climbs unprecedented heights....According to Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), there is enough scientific evidence of long-term changes – including temperature increases -- happening not only in India, but across the world, which suggest the influence of climate change.”

The draft of the India Disaster Report of 2011, a NGO publication sounded even more rabidly hysterical:

“The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for March 2010 was the warmest on record at 13.5°C (56.3°F), which is 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F). This was also the 34th consecutive March with global land and ocean temperatures above the 20th century average (NOAA 2010)."

This blog had challenged both CSE (Read here, April 15, 2010) and the draft India Disasters Report (Read here, June 17, 2010). We provide extracts to our challenge to the latter:

“In fact, the period January to May this year had been the hottest in satellite-temperature recorded history. Unfortunately, it also holds no particular significance per se! You may ask why so. For a research involving the study of climate, you need to put the year 2010 in true perspective - this is the year of the El Niño. The IPCC Chair, Pachauri’s The Energy Research Institute (TERI) singled out the El Nino as the most important phenomenon that affects the climate in South Asia. Even NOAA you referred to you concedes that much of this year’s warming is attributed to the El Niño effect, a natural phenomenon.

The El Niño occurs once every 3-4 years, with one out of their every four occurrences proving exceptionally strong. As the above graph illustrates, the last super El Niño was during the period 1998-99. Every time this happens, average global temperatures tend to spike steeply....

What is more interesting to take note is the post-El Niño global temperature behaviour that is usually conditioned by a reverse phenomenon called la Niña. If the past is any indicator, we should soon see global temperature anomaly turn negative as illustrated in the 2007-08 El Niño graph below before slipping once again into some state of equilibrium again, fluctuating within a narrow temperature band. The sharp temperature decline induced by la Niña conditions, as in the case of the El Niño temperature spike is to be treated as a blip and statistically considered an outlier.”

Global temperatures rise and fall all the time, cyclically. It’s no big deal. The El Niño causes drought and heatwaves while its sister, the La Niña cause floods and drops in temperature in the country. Anyone who arrogate themselves the role to educate the nation on climate issues should be aware of this basic fact. It is not so much that the Oxfams, ChristianAids, Greenpeace and the Sunita Narains of Centre for Science & Environment are not aware of these simple basic truths. What’s the real problem is that they only choose to highlight temperature rises and keep silent when temperature plunges. It is this selectivity that provides an impression of insincerity, a scam that they willing engage themselves into at the cost of their organizational integrity!

So let’s assume they gather the courage to react to this charge of being scamsters. What are they likely to say? You guessed it.  El Niño is climate and La Niña weather!