The Pope has spoken

2,000 years of accumulating wealth and making canny investments means the “poor” church is actually sitting on vast wealth in securities, property, works of art and other assets.

A report in Italy’s L’Espresso claims the Vatican is worth €9-10 billion (£7-8 billion). London assets include shops on New Bond Street including the jewellers Bulgari and a property in St James’s Square.

Other international assets – funded by a huge donation by Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini as a thank you for recognising his regime – include places in Switzerland and a home belonging to former French President Francois Mitterrand.

Even the figure of €9-10 billion is believed to be an under-estimate – the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples is said to have holdings of €7 billion.

In recent years, the church has paid out vast amounts in compensation to child sex abuse victims, including $2.5 billion in the US alone.

In a startling recent admission, Pope Francis said one priest in 50 may be a paedophile.

Of course it’s all about the poor. Greenpeace really, really cares about the poor too, so much so that they are happy to prevent access to cheap lifesaving energy whilst they jet to work and all over the planet for climate jamborees. No wonder the Church were so keen to join in the crusade.

Tallbloke's Talkshop

imageThe climate Comms event of, at least this week, has arrived early due to a leak. The Vatican has released its view on the state of the planet. Much anticipated by some on both sides of the debate, the leak will no doubt leave the usual suspects scrambling to spin the Encyclical for all it is worth.

A crime against nature is a crime against ourselves and a sin against God”

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Blowing Cold and Wet in Scandinavia

A rather longer piece I did over at the WA News blog

WeatherAction News

wctan1 European temperature anomalies. Image NOAA

As the summer solstice approaches this weekend many across the Atlantic Coasts of the northern hemisphere are still waiting for the first breath of summer, with only a flickering moist tongue of warmth to sate them so far. It seems no sooner do the temperatures and humidity rise, then they quickly retreat as cool dry polar air immediately follows behind. Like much of Northern Britain, Scandinavia has also been cool and wet in recent weeks. The warmth of last year brought untold benefits, but was anything but spectacular in the British Isles last year, excepting Halloween, being more notable for the lack of low temperatures than a surfeit of high ones.

This is the Icelandic Met Office’s review of 2014 but it could easily have been for most of Northern Europe. Note the wet and often cloudy weather which inhibited low temperatures.

The year 2014 was very warm…

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Solar Fossil Fueled Fantasies

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach.

Sometimes when I’m reading about renewable technologies, I just break out laughing at the madness that the war on carbon has wrought. Consider the Ivanpah solar tower electric power plant. It covers five square miles in Southern California with mirrors which are all focusing the sun on a central tower. The concentrated sunlight boils water that is used to run a steam turbine to generate electricity.

ivanpah solar power plant

Sounds like at a minimum it would be ecologically neutral … but unfortunately, the Law of Unintended Consequences never sleeps, and the Ivanpah tower has turned out to be a death trap for birds, killing hundreds and hundreds every year:

“After several studies, the conclusion for why birds are drawn to the searing beams of the solar field goes like this: Insects are attracted to the bright light of the reflecting mirrors, much as moths are lured to a…

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Temperatures According to Climate Models

I was recently reading a 1975 paper “The Influence of Snowcover on the Atmospheric Circulation and Its Role in Climatic Change: An Analysis Based on Results from the NCAR Global Circulation Model”.

What was refreshing (in the paper) was simple models* to help understand the processes. Although the models have improved, increasing complexity and a CO2 control knob does not mean increased skill.

* by today’s standards. This image shows the evolution well-

Science Matters

In December 2014, Willis Eschenbach posted GMT series generated by 42 CMIP5 models, along with HADCRUT4 series, all obtained from KNMI.
The dataset includes a single run showing GMT from each of 42 CMIP5 models. Each model estimates monthly global mean temperatures in degrees Kelvin backwards to 1861 and forwards to 2101, a period of 240 years. The dataset from CMIP5 models includes 145 years of history to 2005, and 95 years of projections from 2006 onward.

The estimated global mean temperatures are considered to be an emergent property generated by the model. Thus it is of interest to compare them to measured surface temperatures. The models produce variability year over year, and on decadal and centennial scales.

These models can be thought of as 42 “proxies” for global mean temperature change. Without knowing what parameters and assumptions were used in each case, we can still make observations about…

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Climate Models Explained

Science Matters

A comment by Dr. R.G. Brown of Duke University posted on June 11 at WUWT.

noaa climate model Overview of the structure of a state-of-the-art climate model. From the NOAA website

First about the way weather models work

That is not quite what they do in GCMs. There are two reasons for this. One is that a global grid of 2 million temperatures sounds like a lot, but it’s not. Remember the atmosphere has depth, and they have to initialize at least to the top of the troposphere, and if they use 1 km thick cells there are 9 or 10 layers. Say 10. Then they have 500 million square kilometers of area to cover. Even if the grid itself has two million cells, that is still cells that contain 250 square km. This isn’t terrible — 16x16x1 km cells (20 million of them assuming they follow the usual practice of slabs 1…

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Sunset Jets On Rosetta’s Comet



When night falls on Rosetta’s comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the bizarrely shaped body remains active. This can be seen in new images of the Ma’at region located on the comet’s “head” captured by OSIRIS, the scientific imaging system on board the Rosetta spacecraft. They were taken approximately half an hour after the Sun had set over the region and show clearly distinguishable jets of dust escaping into space. Researchers from the OSIRIS team believe that the increasing heating-up of the comet is responsible for the newly observed phenomenon.

“Only recently have we begun to observe dust jets persisting even after sunset”, says OSIRIS Principal Investigator Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. In the past months, the comet’s activity originated from illuminated areas on the day side. As soon as the Sun set, these jets subsided and did not re-awake…

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NASA Spacecraft Detects Impact Glass on Surface of Mars

Cosmology & Space Research Institute

Researchers have found deposits of impact glass preserved in Martian craters, including Alga Crater, shown here. The detection is based on data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/Univ. of Arizona

Fast Facts:

  • Glass deposits in impact craters on Mars have been detected in observations by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
  • Impact glass could preserve evidence about whether Mars ever had life.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has detected deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars. Though formed in the searing heat of a violent impact, such deposits might provide a delicate window into the possibility of past life on the Red Planet.

During the past few years, research has shown evidence about past life has been preserved in impact glass here on Earth. A 2014 study led by scientist Peter Schultz of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, found…

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It’s The Water, And A Lot More (vapor)

Musings from the Chiefio

The title of this posting comes from an old beer commercial. Olympia Beer, for decades, had the slogan “It’s the Water, and A Lot More!”. Trivia for those who might not have a familiarity with beer from the Pacific Northwest of America from 40 years ago 😉 It was the first beer I ever drank, at about age 12… Light, tasty, gentle hops. Just a very drinkable beer with a crisp bubbly finish. Since then it got mergered and the brewery closed in 2003 or so.

The Olympia Brewing Company was a brewery firm in Tumwater, Washington, USA which existed from 1896 until 1983. It was acquired in the latter year by what would eventually become Pabst Brewing Company. The Olympia Brewery in Tumwater was purchased by SABMiller and operated until its closure in 2003.

Though they still have an official site:

Every so often I’ll hear ‘the…

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