Trump to open up climate to actual debate

For those sceptics like me who’ve seen the evidence and followed the appalling behaviour of climate nutter academics, there has been no doubt that those like NASA are little more than environmental activists pretending to be scientists in order to use their pretended science to push the US and others toward a pure eco-nutter goal.

However, if you’re not a scientist, have not had time to follow the debate, and/or get all your news from those like the BBC who have pushed a relentless tirade of climate nutter output, even the most level headed pro-science politician might find it a little difficult to just take us sceptics at our word and do the right thing.

I can appreciate the problems for a sane level headed politician who doubts what he’s being told by the mass army of eco-nutters in academia and places like NASA. But equally I might be appalled if they didn’t follow the advice of academic scientists in other areas.

However, it seems Trump has found a way through this impasse:

President Trump has privately said he supports a public debate to challenge mainstream climate science, according to administration officials. But there’s infighting about how it should occur — if at all. The president has told U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt during several conversations that he supports Pruitt’s plan for a “red-team, blue-team” debate aimed at challenging the prevailing scientific consensus about humans’ impact on climate change, a senior administration official told E&E News. Another administration official said that “there is support for the initiative at the highest levels.” –ClimateWire, 11 December 2017

This of course, is the last thing the climate nutters want. Because they know full well that after 20years of the satellites showing no real warming, they do not have the evidence to back up their nuttery, and the only argument they have is “we’re climate ‘scientists’ do what we tell you”.

But now they are damned if they do, and damned if they do not. If they do debate, they will lose and they will lose in the most highprofile manner. If they don’t debate, Trump has called them out and they have shown they have nothing to offer except denier insults and he will wipe the floor with them.

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The Celts are no more – the Celtic myth has fallen!

Nearly two decades after I first highlighted the fact that there is no evidence that the Britons were Celts, it seems that British archaeologists and historians have finally accepted this fact. However, you can be forgiven for not having heard it.

For a long time those people like the Caledonians above, in the North and West of Britain have been described as Celt. There is no evidence to support this identification and it now appears that the archaeological and historical community are beginning to accept this fact.

For a long time those people like the Caledonians above, in the North and West of Britain have been described as Celts. There is no evidence to support this identification and it now appears that the archaeological and historical community are accepting this

Indeed, I only heard the news by chance at 2pm this morning – not by way of any grandiose press release – but in a snippet I heard by pure fluke in a BBC program on “Invasions”. Call me a sceptic but putting this out in  in a program that you’ve got to be a serious historical nerd to watch, when the Irish border and Brexit is filling all the newspapers must be a good way to get out this news with the least possible furore. A good year to bury bad news?

What does this all mean?

The simple fact, is that we Britons (who have for generations been taught that we used to be a Celtic race until the Anglo Saxon invasion and supposed genocide of the former “Celtic” peoples of Britain) were never Celts anyway. And that is about all it means.

Instead the term “Celt” rightly belongs to a tribal grouping of just one part of the nation of Gauls in France. And we have this on no lesser authority than Caesar himself: the conqueror of the Gauls.

However, just because you change the name of a football team doesn’t change the team, nor any of the basic stats. And likewise, just because generations of historians and archaeologists have been using the wrong tribal name to describe us Britons, hardly anything now changes about our history.

The Welsh (formerly thought to be the remnants of Celts in Britain) are still Welsh. They still have a distinct language and culture. They are still linguistically related to the Cornish, Bretons and Cumbrians. Welsh and Gaelic as languages are still more similar than for example Welsh and German, so they can be considered a different language group. In one sense, it is nothing more than a name change, a rebranding of our identity: We were never Celts – just plain ancient Britons.

But in another sense it is perhaps the most momentous change in British history we’ve seen in many generations. And … you’ve got to wonder how such a glaringly obvious mistake came to be relied on by so many generations of academics.

The answer is simple: such a fundamental thing wasn’t something anyone was researching. The matter was settled hundreds of years ago, and unless it was for awkward people like me – who don’t rely on research grants to decide what we resarch, there would have been no need to re-examine the matter.

A good year to bury bad news?

I can’t help wondering whether the timing of this news is entirely coincidental. In archaeological terms it’s simply a name change. But on the basis of a long held belief that the Scots and Irish are “Celtic” a whole generation of politicians, artists, writers & even footballers and created a “Celtic” identity that is now without foundation. I can’t see them being too pleased.

Just now, the papers are obsessed by Brexit and particularly the Irish ones are totally focussed on the issue of the Irish-Northern Ireland border. It is indeed a good year to bury the Celtic myth.


Why was I looking at the Celts nearly two decades ago? The answer was that I was not. I had no interest in the Celts. Instead I was interested in the development of early Christianity in Britain and I was getting extremely confused with references to the “Celtic Church”.

The problem was that evidence now shows that Christianity has been present in Britain from a very early period but in England. It was therefore quite clear that there must have been a church in Roman Britain – the part that wasn’t “Celtic” and there is no(?) evidence for any “Celtic” church at this period. I just couldn’t understand whether this “Celtic church” was the same as the one in Roman Britain or whether there may have been two different churches.

And in trying to understand whether there were two early churches, I found I had to understand what was and wasn’t meant by “Celtic”. And so as I traced back the evidence on the British “Celts” and I repeatedly found no evidential foundation for what was being said. Indeed, I then started reading all the available Roman texts to find out what they were saying about the Celts. And none of them referred to Celts in Britain. None of it pointed to the Celts being in Britain.

After thoroughly checking, I eventually raised the subject on the Britarch forum, and got nothing but howls of incredulity from every reply. However, when did that ever stop me?

And that is the story so far, but it will not be the end of the matter. In nearly two decades of quiet research, do you really think I have not developed my ideas further?

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What makes a liquid viscous?

Anyone who has done physics, will have heard of viscosity which is usually described in terms like “honey is viscous because it doesn’t flow freely and water is not”.

Fortunately … just the mention of viscosity ought to be enough to put off everyone from reading further – so I make no apologies for the numerous videos which I think were fun!

The problem is that most people have never spotted the glaring anomalies with viscosity. We all accept that atoms in a liquid are in constant movement – yet if they experienced viscosity then as a form of “friction” between particles, it would cause them to all stop moving within a fraction of a second and everything would be a solid. Likewise, we accept that sound waves propagate through a liquid or gas almost unattenuated, but we somehow accept that if instead of being moved toward and back, that if instead the molecules are moved past each other they somehow dramatically change from almost frictionless movement to experience “friction”. That is total absolute bollocks!

I thought if I looked I could find a description of what actually happens at the molecular level – but it’s strangely difficult to find anything on the subject. That often means the “experts” haven’t got a clue which means that as I’ve no reputation to tarnish by admitting how little I know on the subject, I’m quite happy to ask the very awkward question of what viscosity really is. Continue reading

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User’s experience with Openoffice (Libre) Database called “Base”

As a thoroughly convinced supporter of most products of Openoffice I regularly use the spreadsheet for all kinds of things. So, when I wanted to analyse some historical sites I naturally started by importing a CSV (comma separated variable) file into a simple spreadsheet. This gave me the basics of name, location, etc.

However, I realised very soon that because I could not afford to visit all the sites, I was severely limited in what information I could get. And therefore I had to rely on: images available on the web, descriptions (often only a few words about each location), maps, aerial photography and streetview.

Most of this information is visual, so for each site I wanted to have stored alongside the text descriptions and “yes/no” about what features were at a site, the original source photos. And whilst I have copy-n-pasted images to a table many times before, it has always been problematic.

Paradoxically, although you’d think storing an image with data would be easy in calc (spreadsheet), my experience is that it is best stored in openoffice writer, as it copes much better with resizing to fit images than openoffice calc . In writer (when you remember how?) they stay in the table, but in calc, it seems like the images have a life of their own and very quickly I find odd images all over the place that no longer “belong” to any record. (Maybe that’s because you inevitably try to sort tables – and the images get “left behind”).

However, openoffice tables may be better formatted and easier to work with when images are present, but they are much more difficult to use when the data extents over several screen widths. You gain because the tables expand – but that means that very quickly the table is absolutely enormous if any of the fields are large. And that is what I had, images + several screen widths of columns. Also, it’s a real pain when you have odd data for example data that is really a choice of “OPTIONS” (small, medium, big, mega).


Realising that the project to analyse the data could take up to a month, I reasoned that it was worth spending some time optimising the method of recording the data. From my previous experience with Access & MySQL that was clearly a form based approach with a database “table” (aka spreadsheet) sitting in the background being populated by the form.

So, whilst I’d tried and failed before, I thought it worth taking a look at the Openoffice base product because my application was SO SIMPLE. My reasoning: “how could it fail to do something so simple?” (Well it did)

Obviously, I’d had a look at base before, but I wasn’t impressed because it seemed to lack all the features that I had found so useful in Access. However, because I didn’t need complex features and it was mainly a question of “scale” and efficiency of data entry and I didn’t need a lot of complex features, I decided to give it another go.

Now, the reality is that when you open base, there isn’t a lot there which is immediately off putting. Indeed, there is no option for importing or exporting data – which was the first thing I had to do. And it drives you potty when you can’t even start a project without reading loads of help forums to find the answer.

It turned out that “all I had to do” was copy and paste. I put that in quotation marks, because it’s almost unusable as a feature. Yesterday (as I tried to migrate out of base) the only way I could copy my data out of base was to another version of base connected with MySQL, was that I had to copy each table, close down base, open it up again, then paste, and close it down for each and every table (it keeps trying to paste the same data no matter what you do until you force it to clear it’s memory by closing it down).

And why was I trying to store my data in MySQL – because base crashed the first day I used it, wiping out my entire database (and there is no automatic backup as in other products) and it has crashed regularly ever since. Fortunately, I managed to recover the form, which was paradoxically the main man-hours of effort. But it has crashed almost every day I’ve used it. And for the simplest of things … like just dragging a box around on the form designer …. CRASH … and not only Based but the whole of open office goes and at that time it included work that had not been saved in writer.

So, in case you want the short answer to whether to use base, I can’t honestly recommend it to anyone for any purpose.


NO – DON’T USE IT Continue reading

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The physics of mud (it’s a load of *&%$!!)

From my previous experience examining the physics of falling over, I’ve realised that the simplest things are often the hardest to explain.

This is an unfinished article – unfinished because I’m metaphorically “stuck in the mud”. I’ve been reading up what I can, but e.g. I’ve bought a book on “Soil Mechanics” which doesn’t even mention Mud in the index. Mud is a pretty ubiquitous thing – but it seems that just like physical mud, most scientists just try to avoid it altogether.

So, any comments or inspiration will be gratefully received in comments.


The physics of mud can be distinguished by many questions:

  1. Why is mud slippery
  2. Why do we slowly sink in mud but not water
  3. Why does water make loose soil stick together?
  4. Why does the removal of water then turn mud into solid?
  5. How can a solid flow
  6. Why is mud – mud coloured?

The specific question I have relates to why a patch of waterlogged ground will turn to mud. In science there are four states of matter (and two that do not matter).

  • Solid
  • Liquid
  • Gas
  • Plasma

Mud however does not fit any of these. It has some of the properties of a solid, in that small quantities can support their own weight. But it also behaves like a liquid. But ground is clearly “solid” – and waterlogged ground is still solid, at least until it is agitated, whereupon it can (but does not always) turn to mud.

The specific properties of mud are:

  • Softness
  • Adhesiveness
  • Slipperyness
  • Churability
  • Suction
  • … and capacity to dampen explosives (OK from this you might guess I got the list from a military book).

One of the big questions about mud – is why when soil is just small rocks – doesn’t something like sand turn to mud. A possible reply was found in this reply on Stackexchange by John Rennie:

There is a profound difference between sand and mud.

Sand is composed of grains of silicon dioxide, and these grains are relatively large and approximately round but with jagged facets. The grittiness of water/sand mixtures is due to physical interactions between these grains. At low volume fractions sand water dispersions have low viscosity, but at volume fractions of greater than around 0.5 interactions between the grains cause the dispersions to become dilatant.

On the other hand mud is composed largely of clays. The word clay is a generic term for a large class of aluminosilicates all of which have a layered crystal structure and many of which delaminate in water to form small and very thin platelike crystals. This has two consequences. Firstly a small amount of clay expands to take up a large amount of water, so clay dispersions are typically very viscous. Hence the gluely feel of clays. Secondly, under shear the plates tend to align and can slide over each other even at high volume fractions of clay. That is why clay is thick at low shear rates but can be deformed at high stresses – this property is known as shear thinning.

Both sand/water dispersions and clays are non-Newtonian fluids, but their behaviour under shear is essentially opposite.

This answer seems to explain the difference, but given the lack of any reference to evidence to support the answer I would wonder whether it was a knowledgeable person’s guess rather than the result of careful testing. My main concern, is that it would appear to me that mud moves because the water lubricates the particles – and that is as true of clay used by potters as it is of boot-sucking mud.


The sinking of person in mud is mostly due non-Newtonian behaviour of mud.  i.e Mud can have very high viscosity initially when force is applied to it.

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The future of global warming

There’s no doubt that global warming is a load of unscientific nonsense, but it’s far from clear what that means in terms of the future, because although the climate is clearly not going to comply with this idiocy in the long run, it’s also true that people continue to believe a lot of unscientific nonsense.

From a scientific point of view the future is clear: CO2 is a relatively unimportant gas, there are extremely good candidates in sulphates and con-trails for the 1970-2000 warming which is ALL that was ever a concern, the bandwagon can be traced from its beginning and at no point was science ever in the driving street – instead it was environmentalists pushing it uphill against the science all the way, and whilst climate takes a time to reveal the truth – the climate itself will not comply with this millennium stupidity.

However … I don’t think that is enough to convince many people, indeed I can be certain that there will always be a minority who will continue to believe that CO2 must be a major problem irrespective of the lack of any evidence to support them.

And … unfortunately, just as NASA completely fabricated a new metric (which doesn’t show temperature but a fake figure which is only vaguely related to temperature) … so it does not seem beyond the bounds of belief, to think that NASA, or whoever controls the satellites that have provided the only independent and untampered with metric for (near) global temperature would find a way to change their output so as to create a fabricated warming in the satellite measurements as well.

But I know myself … that as soon as I have to start altering the data to make it fit the theory … I lose confidence in the theory. And I’ve worked in cultures where data tampering was the norm … and not only is it very obvious what is going on to anyone coming in … but the culture spreads until the whole organisation is rotten and not fit to work for. This I think … this knowledge that they cannot make the data fit … will be more poisonous to the global warming madness than anything we sceptics could ever say.

The key change is one from a culture of “the data generally agrees – even if we’re currently in an outliar period” to one of “the data does not agree – so we have to find a way to make it agree”.

To put it another way … the very fact they stopped using temperature data and started using a metric that no longer means anything (certainly not temperature) was an admission that the models had failed.

Where now?

Scenario 1

That the academics and eco-nutters suddenly embrace science, admit that they were wrong and sceptics get financial compensation for the time and effort we have spent because of their mistakes … (just having a laugh).

Scenario 2

That as those academics leading the nuttery retire, as new data continues to come in showing they’ve been stupid, that the “new guard” find a way to maintain their own status by subtly dropping the stupidity about CO2. No apologies, no compensation, but at least we move closer to real science.

Scenario 3

That the culture of data tampering remains so endemic that no one has a clue what the global temperature is doing and the scam keeps going because everyone is clueless as to one is really happening.

Scenario 4

We already know that global warming is pretty much a religion amongst its believers. But they at least pretend it has something to do with “science”. However, one strong possibility is that global warming gradually morphs into a fully fledged religion. The advantage of this approach for the believers is this is what they currently are anyway – and there is none of the inconvenience of pretending to try to justify their views from science. In other words, we see a move toward the view that if the majority of people believe something to be true, then it is true – and you’re wrong to reject it irrespective of what the (impartial) evidence says.

Addendum – The stupidity of Greens

Of course, one factor I omitted was the utter stupidity of Greens. Just as it is very likely that their zealous cleaning of the atmosphere of sulphates caused a sudden increase in temperature (1970-2000) so it’s equally possible that the Greens will jump on another bandwagon with equally unforeseeable consequences – either for the climate – or for their own credibility – or global warming may suddenly become a huge inconvenience for their next crusade (whatever that is).

For example – I’ve no doubt that even if it caused 10x as much pollution, most greens would fall for “electric planes”. And as con-trails are likely to be causing some degree of warming – a sudden change like that could see a massive and …. yes we all know “worrying change” in the climate. OK, electric planes are about as crazy as electric cars for serious journeys (not a two minute trip to the “wholefood” shop). But so are most of the schemes invented and pushed by greens.

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Understanding rivers

For an obscure reason I’m trying to understand rivers and particularly the changes in width, depth & velocity along a river.


For anyone new to rivers, the important property of rivers is that water having once joined a river tends to keep flowing down the river. Therefore

Q = w d v
(where Q is flow, w average width, d average depth, v average velocity

Of course the very terms “average … ” width, depth, etc are complicated for rivers. However, the usual meaning is that if we take a cross section of area A (which is equal to average depth x average width)  and we measure the velocity and flow through this cross section then:

Q = A. v

Thus for a river at constant speed,

w = Q/d

Thus going down the same stretch of river, we tend to see wider-shallower sections and deeper, narrower sections.

Similarly for a river of constant width

v ∝ Q / d

Meaning that shallow sections tend to be faster (aka rapids)

And for constant depth

v ∝ Q / w

Thus when we have a “spout” where the channel is squeezed, we tend to see an increase in speed.

However, these changes require another variable to change. In this case, the prime variable that allows these changes, is a change in the river slope.

The following article explores the above relationships when the river slope is not seen as an independent variable changing to facilitate the above, but instead I attempt to understand the situation when the slope is controlling the above. This makes the whole concept far more complex, as there is no longer any “freedom” within the system. For slope to change, something else must in turn give – so we can no longer make simple assumptions.

River Relationship

In general terms the hydrology of a stream is governed by simple relationship:

Energy gained from going downhill = Energy going to increased  water velocity + Energy lost to heat (through turbulence).

And the energy lost to turbulence per unit length in a channel can be equated with:

frictional roughness of the channel bottom and sides x channel “wetted perimeter”.

Thus, in general, because channels on higher slopes gain more energy per unit distance travelled, this must be offset by having a rougher channel, consisting of larger stones or bedrock, OR by tending to have a relatively wider channel with a larger contact area with the turbulent (energy losing) bottom and sides

However, this obvious “bed roughness” of larger particles is not the only way that kinetic energy gets turned into heat. Such losses of forward energy can occur whenever the laminar flow of a river is caused to be turbulent. One common example of this is when the river turns a corner. In order to turn the corner, there must be an inward force, effectively pushing from the bank toward the centre of the turn. But because water is not a solid, this force is exerted as a pressure gradient. And this in turn is expressed as change in river surface level. Thus, the outside of a bend will be marginally higher than the inside. We can easily see this effect if we stir a cup of water – the water “creeps” up at the sides and depresses in the middle in the well known shape of a whirlpool.

However, whilst this pressure gradient is sufficient to turn the “average” part of the river, it has different effects on water that is flowing faster or slower than average. Water near the surface tends to move faster than water near the bottom of a river. So surface water is faster than average and bottom flows slower. But because the inward force needed is proportional to velocity squared,  and because the whole column experiences the same pressure, the pressure gradient is TOO LOW to turn the faster flowing water near the top of the river and TOO HIGH for the slower water near the base.

As a result, the pressure is insufficient to turn the faster moving surface water so that it tends to move outward from the centre of bulk flow on corners, whilst the lower water moves inward toward the centre. This creates a “corkskew” like vortix – whilst helps move bottom particles in toward the centre, deepening the outside of the bend, and making the inside shallow.

Helical flowHowever, when the river stops turning … because the water has momentum, it continues in its helical flow. Something which cannot stop until this helical flow gives rise to subsidiary vortices, and those in turn to others until the whole flow becomes a mass of whirling vortices, which quickly diminish in size until they are no different from the internal molecular movement known as heat.

Thus, merely turning a corner, can create a vortex which creates a mechanism to turn the energy gained in forward movement into heat. In other words, turning corners slow down the flow and creates a way to dissipate the energy gained from going downhill.

Thus whilst the primary energy losing mechanism in the river in the rough uplands is through the surface roughness of the river, the primary mechanism when the average particle size drops to that which provides a relatively smooth bottom – is through “meandering”. Not just from side to side, but also through “sand dunes” on the river bed.

And now there is a balance. If the river becomes too “lossless” in terms of energy loss to vortices – in other words too “smooth”, the water flow increases velocity until it can eat away the bottom or banks – material which is then deposited in bottom dunes, or internal parts of bends to increase the “bendiness” or “roughness” of the river thus enhancing the vortex forming ability of the stream which increases the energy loss per unit travelled.

Ford-Pool sequence

If you read any textbook on rivers, you will quickly learn something about the supposed “riffle-pool” sequence – however since a “riffle” isn’t in my vocabulary and doesn’t seem to have much meaning – and it depends on the state of flow … I’ll call it a shallow-pool or perhaps even ford-pool sequence.

According to this theory all rivers exhibit a sequence of pools interspersed by shallower (fords) at around 6x the length. To be honest I’m not convinced by this theory  on more mountainous streams as it seems to owe much to the fact that a river with a random bottom height will tend to see pools and shallows – and unless you carefully measure the depth – to the casual observer the river is a sequence of (unknown depth) pools and “shallows” – where the water goes over the one point which just happens to be higher than all the other points up to the previous such point so as to create a pool. So, it may not be much shallower than many other places – it just needs to reach that threshold to be the shallowest part of the river within that section.

However, that is not to say that rivers do not show regular longitudinal features. In essences, this is a sequence whereby the water goes through a relatively smooth section – where (particularly in flood) it gains energy – and also tends to pick up particles, followed by a section where the bulk vortices that tend to form in the faster flowing section (particularly at corners or whilst going around obstacles) – begin to create smaller and smaller subsidiary vortices until the whole flow becomes one swirling mass of what quickly turns that into molecular movement we call heat.  This process slows the water and tends to deposit material – thus enhancing the distinction between the deeper pools and shallower “fords” or shallows. Likewise, there is also a change in width of the river. Because the flow along the river must be the same volume, when the river speeds up the area of flow reduces and visa versa, on slower sections the area of flow increases. Thus in order to slow down over the shallows and deposit material, the area of flow must significantly increase. But these are already relatively shallow (because of deposited material), so the width must be significantly greater than average.

This however is what tends to happen at flood – which is the channel forming flows where the river is much higher. But because the added water level is added to the channel profile, during flood there is less distinction between “shallows” and deeps.

Inverting the shallow-pool relationships between flood and droufht

In flood the water is fast through the pools, and slows in the shallows. However, paradoxically, when the water subsides, the pools are then cut off by very shallow shallows. Thus the shallows see a massive change in the flow cross sectional area and the result is that whilst in flood, the shallows tend to be the slower parts of the river, in drier periods, these piles of rocks and other debris form a barrier effectively containing the pools and now the shallows, instead of being slowest in flood, are now the spouts pouring out of the pools ans so the fastest sections of the rivers (aka rapids).

So that the pools (which are faster in flood) become areas of slow moving water in drought, and the shallows (which are slower in flood) with lower water levels become the “lips” of the dams forming the “rapids” in drought.

“Braided” rivers.

As I’ve discussed before (do braided rivers exist) braided rivers are rivers than contain many bottom “sand-dunes” that tend to be on steeper gradient terrain such that the water level often falls below the level at which the braided nature of the river is exposed. In other words, all rivers whose bottoms are composed of particles will tend to form these “sand-dunes” but only those on relatively steep gradients will drain dry enough at low flow to expose them.

Thus the “braided” nature of a river is to some extent a function of the peak to average flow. A river whose flow is always constant, will never expose its “braids”. A dry river, with fine enough sediment to form such features, will always appear “braided” due to the inherent “sand-dune” nature of the bottom.

Width-depth ratio

For obvious reasons as the size of a river increases (i.e. bigger volume of flow), it tends to gain in width and depth. For this reason it is difficult to compare widths, not just between rivers but even from one river to itself after changes like a a tributary joining.

However, whilst width and depth increase, the ratio is not so obviously affected by the size of the river flow.So this metric has been used to try characterise some rivers.

Unfortunately, this is where it all gets hazy, because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of research in this area and that which has been done is sometimes confusing or even contradictory. But it appears from various papers that the width-depth is strongly related to particle size (alpha here is the ratio):

The proviso here is that particle size is itself strongly related to the gradient of a river. So whilst the graph shows an apparent relationship between width-depth ratio and particle size, the physical relationship may be with river gradient (i.e. energy that can be gained per unit moved).

It will also be noticed that the graph does not include finer sediments. I could not find anything giving the whole spectrum, but eventually I found something – but this time it did not include the courser sediments.wd2


However, another proviso: because rivers tend to reduce in gradient & contain finer particles as they get larger, it is difficult to separate out cause and effect.

But between them, this does seem to suggest that the width/depth ratio changes from around 6 (bedrock rivers) to >200 (fine sands and silts). This means that in general, as we go down a river, whilst the flow increases by many orders of magnitude, the width increases much faster than the depth. Thus paradoxically, even relatively large rivers can be relatively shallow – much shallower than we’d assume from the depth of much smaller rivers.

The fundamental reason for this, is that (because the sides of a river are quite small and sloping and can often be ignored) as the river increases in size, the size of the energy absorbing area of the stream needs to increase proportionately if it is to maintain the same speed. But the main energy absorbing contact area is the bottom, so the width needs to increase proportionately to flow to maintain the same flow speed. Thus for the same gradient of stream, in order to flow at the same speed, a much larger river needs to have a proportionately larger width – such that the depth remains constant.

In reality, whilst larger rivers do have a larger width/depth ratio, they are also deeper – which is offset by faster flows (which because turbulence is non-linear with speed have a greater resistance).

To put this another way –  in order to slow down, a river must increase the rough area that a flow is exposed to – so it slows down by widening.  Conversely, a river that deepens, will flow more easily and speed up. These can be self- enhancing. A slowing river deposits more material – tending to broaden out the flow. A fast flowing river can scour the bed, deepening the river.

And in effect, the distance between “slows”, will be the time/distance needed for the river to accelerate to speed, the time thereafter that it takes for large-scale vortices to form, and then for the tide for these large-scale whole-river features to form subsidiary vortices which in turn form further vortices until the whole macro structure (that had formed)is turned into heat.

Of course, occasionally, the features of the river itself create a highly turbulent flow – such as a water-fall. Now, the flow is slowed in the churning as it hits the pool.

Sediment Size

Faster rivers can move larger particles (at least when talking about those larger than sand). As a result, the flow in faster rivers tend to remove much of the fine sediments leaving a bottom “armament” of particles that cannot be easily moved.

Likewise, as a flow slows, the largest particles are the first to be deposited. As a result, the size of the particles along a river can give a good indication of the speed of flow (during channel forming flows).

If however, we return to the pool-shallow sequence, when in flood, the pools are faster flowing so the flows tend to scour their bottoms. Then as the energy is dispelled through vortex formation and slows, the first particles to come out of the flow are the largest, and the size of particles reduces until the slowest part of the flow. Thus we should see a grading of particle sizes along the flow with the smallest at the shallows or “rapids”. Likwise, the particle size tends to increase in the faster “pools” – often becoming bare bedrock in the fastest sections.


The aim of this article was to attempt to describe the various relationships between parameters of a river. It’s beginning to make sense – if you disagree or don’t understand please leave a comment.

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The real difference between black and white

NotBlackNorWhiteFor a long time I have totally rejected the idea that I’m white – for the simple reason that I’m not, nor am I black, nor in reality is anyone black or white. Instead these were terms invented to highlight the differences between the North-western Indo-European peoples and a variety of African races that in the past were not even recognised as distinct.

So, one day I wondered what exactly was the colour of “black” people versus “white”. And so I took a spot from just above the nose from a white person (at the time Tony Blair the PM) and a black person (some one had recently got publicity in the lords). The idea was to get the colour value. But I knew there wasn’t much difference when I had to check which photo which “patch” came from.

Today I thought I’d have another go at reproducing that. This time I searched for “Black man” and then “white man” and took the first image of each. link, link. Ironically the articles featuring these people suggest one was arrested for racist graffiti and the other is a race supremacist.

And for info, the colours are:

Hex: f7b89b (decimal: 247, 185,155)
Hex: e4b08a (decimal: 228,176,138)

That makes the difference

Red: 7%
Green: 4%
Blue: 7%

Making an (RMS) average colour difference equivalent to 6% of the difference between actual white and black. In other words you could say far from being different, “blacks” and “whites” are 15x more alike than we are different.


From this analysis, it is very obvious that humans are far far  more sensitive to skin colour (15x) than the actual difference that is present. You could draw the following conclusions:

  1. Racism is natural – in that we are programmed to see things that distinguish between people
  2. Racism is learnt – in that we are not looking at the true skin colour instead we are recognising other features and then projecting a false concept of “colour” onto a minuscule difference.
  3. Skin colour is important for other reasons – such as recognising when someone is healthy, is blushing etc. and it’s just unfortunate  that we’re super sensitive to skin colour which then distorts what we see when we see slight changes in hue between different people.

However … before anyone accuses me of being some idiotic rose-tinted-glasses multiculturalist wanting to paint the world in a single hue, it’s also very clear to me that there are some distinct difference between peoples. And in the same way we should stop referring to peoples by skin colours that none of us have, I think we should also be equally honest and forthright about the differences where they do exist.

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Climate modelers are not scientists.

I’ve long known that climate modellers were charlatan “scientists” who only got called that term by gullible media, politicians and politically motivated academics and other campaign groups. However, I’ve never seen such a coherent condemnation of them as on WUWT.

So, I’m shameless pinching the best bit:

Continue reading

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Can you spot the cause of “global” warming?

In a previous article I outlined the evidence showing that so called “global warming” that occurred after the global cooling scare in the 1970s and up to the pause around 2001 was far from global.pattern

This far from “global” warming was certainly neither correlated with the rise of CO2 in terms of time, nor space. In short, there’s no evidence at all it had anything to do with the longer GLOBAL rise in CO2.

The real cause of 1970-2000 warming.

In this article I simply want to show you the cause of global warming – or to be more precise of previous cooling. Can you spot it?






Village outside Glasgow



If you haven’t spotted the commonality between all these old pictures here’s a clue:


Ten specimens of the horned lark, collected across the county near 1900. The birds on the right were collected in California or far from Midwestern pollution; the birds on the left were collected near Chicago.

Now as the final clue as to why there might have been a sudden increase in temperature from 1970 to 2000 in areas upwind of major industrialised areas, here is some overlaid graphs showing what happened to pollutants in the atmosphere after the worldwide implementation of clean air acts in the 1970s.

Note this graphic contains two very different data sets. It is only for illustration.

Note this graphic contains two very different data sets. It is only for illustration.

And if you’re still clueless you’re either a politicised academic who cannot accept any evidence which does not fit their pet theory – or you are so used to seeing old pictures where the objects in the distance fade into fog, that you’ve grown to believe that pictures naturally fade in this highly specific way such that only the objects in the distance become cloudy.


CO2 as a gas is relatively quickly dispersed around the world. As such the difference in concentration between areas is relatively small and so a change in CO2 would have a GLOBAL impact and not regional. In contrast, pollutants which cause sun blocking cloud, do so by becoming part of water droplets which are then washed out when it rains. As such they are relatively short lived and will only affect the climate for a few days downwind of where they are produced. As such the “hotspots” in warming upwind of major industrialised areas clearly show that the culprit was the removal of a former short lived pollutant involved in sun-blocking cloud formation. It was certainly NOT CO2.

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