UK Climate Resilient Infrastructure: billions needed to combat climate change effects on Wi-Fi signals

Crazy bureaucrat -- Caroline Spelman Photo: PHILIP HOLLIS

News Post by Ryan Maue

A government issued report from the UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) sounds the alarm about the incredible impacts of climate change upon UK:  Wi-Fi signal range and strength will be greatly affected because of warmer temperatures. Of course, there are other concerns like railroad tracks buckling, better wind turbines to deal with higher winds, and flood protection.

I think the UK Telegraph and Guardian are sort of mocking the story, especially with the deadpan language and imagery in their stories.  To me, it seems there are better ways to promote infrastructure stimulus funding rather than highlighting the effects of climate change on Wi-Fi signals.

Climate change ‘threatens UK wi-fi connections’, says government reportUK Guardian

Climate change ‘could disrupt wi-fi and hit power supply’UK Telegraph

[note: commenter wiglaf says: They are missing a word in the title. It should read: Climate change regulation ‘could disrupt wi-fi and hit power supply’.]

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163 thoughts on “UK Climate Resilient Infrastructure: billions needed to combat climate change effects on Wi-Fi signals

  1. Ryan…
    This is my Government.. This lot are just as stupid as the last lot. I guess politicians are very sensitive to this extra CO2.

  2. Over at ace.mu.nu , they headlined this story thusly;
    “New Attempt To Scare You: Global Warming Will Destroy Your Access To Internet Pr0n”
    without the typos in the P word…
    RR

  3. Do not fall into the trap of believing that the Daily Telegraph mocks environmental issues. The journalist concerned (Louise Gray) is nothing other than an unthinking mouthpiece for the ubergreenists.

  4. Where does she get her “science” from?
    99.9% of wi-fi is used inside buildings, so even if she were correct, since when do we get heavy rainfall indoors?
    Wi-fi affected by temperature? Poppycock!, maybe by increased humidity.
    Then she is only talking about 2.4GHz signals, which are slap bang on the water absorption frequency (which is why microwave ovens use that frequency — hey! she missed that one — YOUR MICROWAVE WILL STOP WORKING!).
    Absolute garbage – for which she should really be looking for a new job. Since she isn’t her boss most certainly should be!

  5. Because I use most of my Wi-Fi indoors, this tells me to crank up the air conditioning. If I’m going to use Wi-Fi in the backyard, turn up the air conditioning more so there will be less signal lost inside the house and that will compensate for the loss outdoors due to higher temperature.
    Be careful what you warn people of, they might get the wrong message.

  6. Never take your laptop outside on the patio where it may be a few degrees warmer…it could be bad. /sarc
    This is the most effing stupid thing I’ve ever read.

  7. The Telegraph and the Guardian both have articles on this report, only the Telegraph allows comments and they are virtually 100% disparaging of both Journalist and Govt Minister.
    The Guardian supports this guff but even they knew allowing comments would be an own goal 😉
    Sadly our Govt believes this tripe despite WiFi working very well in the Sahara at 40C summer after summer.

  8. Meanwhile, according to NCDC, this April was cooler than last April and the temperatures for the most recent 12-month period going back to 1998 shows a trend of 0.73 degrees F per decade of cooling.
    But they have already convinced the children that things are warming.

  9. and i thought our pols ( U.S.A ) suck the most. Guess U.K. pols suck too!!!

  10. Cross posted on The Daily Telegraph:
    “Already the transport sector is preparing for temperatures above 104F (40C) this summer, which could lead to breakdowns on the railways.”
    Dear Loiuse
    If you were just a reporter I suppose you could get away with your article. However as the environment correspondant for this paper do you not think it would be appropriate to question why they are “planning for 40C and also to question if this temperature was to be reached could the railways accommodate the thermal expansion.
    I guess it probably could because it is not the temperature that is important its the range the track was designed to expand and contract. Most engineering solutions adopt a factor of safety. Are there any specialists out there who could help? Also most track in the uk is I think welded?

  11. From the Gruaniad article:
    “The UK’s entire major infrastructure will be affected by climate change,…”
    Yeah… like during the next glacial. Otherwise, the UK seems to be doing just fine during this interglacial.
    Is anyone out there in the UK sunk up to their axles in the melting tarmac? …Anyone? …Anyone?
    I thought not.

  12. Quite the amusing read
    I have often wondered what the net impact of the millions of varied technological emissions that we have taking place everyday, 24×7, has on our atmosphere.
    Think of how things have changed over the last half century.
    We now have 800 or so Satellites beaming down on us.
    Perhaps 10’s of thousands of cell/communication towers and billions of cell and cordless phones and wireless network device.
    How many more, and also more powerful, radar systems on Land, Sea and Air globally.
    The list is long and getting longer each day.
    I find nothing published that explores the cumulative impact on our global conditions from the ever increasing use of varied wireless technologies. Just wondering if anyone else may ?

  13. They are missing a word in the title. It should read:
    Climate change regulation ‘could disrupt wi-fi and hit power supply’.
    [ryanm: nice…copied comment up to the end of post]

  14. Dear Anthony
    I think you need to set up a special page so that we can all make up stupid reasons for anything that could be affected by global warming. 🙂
    Buildings will start to crack and fall down because of excessive expansion.
    People with pacemakers are advised to place ice packs over their hearts in heatwaves. The ice should be contained within a lead shell which will protect the pacemaker from long and short wave radiation generated by the heat.

  15. Oh, my God!
    Does this mean that Wifi is bad in Africa, and runs super-fast in the poles?
    Or, since I need some more bandwidth, I’ll try to put the antennas on the floor, where it is colder (hot air rises), but propagates less? Or use it at night?
    Anthony, you’re right. It can’t get much stupider than this! But it will!
    Ecotretas

  16. Well, you know they have been complaining about not getting their message out….
    ..or re-framing the message they do get out
    Why do they feel so driven to make predictions…
    ..when it’s their predictions that have made them look like utter fools

  17. Philip Peake says on May 9, 2011 at 11:40 am
    Then she is only talking about 2.4GHz signals, which are slap bang on the water absorption frequency (which is why microwave ovens use that frequency — hey!

    A popular misconception; it happens to be a convenient frequency (for a variety of reasons I won’t go into).
    From wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven

    A microwave oven, or simply a microwave, is a kitchen appliance that heats food by dielectric heating.
    This is accomplished by using microwave radiation to heat polarized molecules within the food. This excitation is fairly uniform, leading to food being more evenly heated throughout (except in dense objects) than generally occurs in other cooking techniques.
    Microwave heating is sometimes explained as a resonance of water molecules, but this is incorrect: such resonance only occurs in water vapor at much higher frequencies, at about 20 GHz.
    Moreover, large industrial/commercial microwave ovens operating at the common large industrial-oven microwave heating frequency of 915 MHz—wavelength 328 millimetres (12.9 in)—also heat water and food perfectly well.

    Electromagnetic absorption by water: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_absorption_by_water
    .

  18. “Wi-Fi signal range and strength will be greatly affected because of warmer temperatures.”
    Aussies!
    Hows yer bloody wifi?

  19. OssQss says:
    May 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm
    I find nothing published that explores the cumulative impact on our global conditions from the ever increasing use of varied wireless technologies. Just wondering if anyone else may ?

    The cumulative impact of these wired technologies is a rounding error compared to the varied effects of the Electro-Magnetic radiation being emitted by that great fireball in the sky.

  20. The only threat to UK power generation is the insane UK Government’s energy policy.
    You can read that both ways: That the UK Government is insane or that the energy policy is insane; both are true.

  21. 2.4 GHz will get cut off in fog. I used a WISP for a while that was about 6 miles away. The only time I lost access was in fog (pretty dense fog). I’m not a “climate scientist”, but global warming should bring us less fog (in theory the CO2 keeps the air temp from dropping as close to the dewpoint as it otherwise would. Temperature has no effect on those signals.

  22. Stacey,
    You must have read all the horror stories about train derailments and related catastrophes in central Africa, Australia, and the U.S. southwest, where temps routinely get well above 40°C.
    [/sarc]

  23. Oh no. Now the providers can blame any lack of this service on the Planetary Fever. And given the chance, they will.

  24. Oh come on, everyone knows ‘Global warming’ started with the introduction of Radio Communications. As the years have gone bye the frequency’s in use have got higher and higher until we got to cellular communications when we started to microwave the planet big time 🙂

  25. I fear you are in error.
    Caroline Spelman isn’t a “Crazy Bureaucrat”.
    She is a Crazy Member of Parliament for Meriden and Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
    She hasn’t even enough intelligence to be a bureaucrat.

  26. If the exercise was to show how utterly stupid and ill-informed the British politicians really are then we scored…… big time.

  27. The name ‘Louise Gray’ on any so-called environmental article is similar to the food warning lable, but with a minor change – ‘This article may contain information dreamed up by a nut.’

  28. “• More heat-resistant rail tracks to prevent buckling…”
    Beyond stupid. Doltish, ignorant, idiotic pseudoscientific drivel without any connexion to reality. This makes Homer Simpson look like Aristotle in comparison. Tell me this is a May Fool’s joke. Please. Has the entire UK government gone barmy?

  29. OssQss says on May 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm:

    I find nothing published that explores the cumulative impact on our global conditions from the ever increasing use of varied wireless technologies. Just wondering if anyone else may ?

    Have not observed much (here in the field) aside from raising the overall ‘noise floor’ and making ‘frequency planning’ more of a challenge for those radio engineers charged with that responsibility … and aside from an occasional RF/radio/wireless transmitting source that malfunctions and emits on/outside the band it was licensed/type accepted for; it’s not uncommon to experience one or two of those a year now too, but if it emits, it can be tracked down, although it can be a challenge with some ‘sources’ that may transmit only intermittently or affect systems some distance away during periods of, say, ‘enhanced tropospheric ducting’ …
    There was the time that Nortel (down the road just a little bit) was doing open-air testing (not in a screen room; gear hooked up to outside antennas, etc.) of a 450 MHz-based/AMPS-compliant cellular infrastructure radio base station for a South American market … all would have gone unnoticed probably except for the fact they chose the input frequency for a local 440 amateur radio repeater! The giveaway was the AMPS ‘registration’ transmissions (periodic buzzing) that went on … DFing with a small Yagi-Uda beam and receiver pinned it down to the Nortel complex and a phone call later the situation was remedied …
    .

  30. Why not simply go with :
    “Global warming will destroy your for capacity for rational thought?”
    Given the overwhelming body of observational evidence, even the most hardened sceptic would be hard-pressed to refute that one…..

  31. crosspatch says:
    May 9, 2011 at 11:50 am
    “But they have already convinced the children that things are warming.” This is a huge problem in the USA. Is there some way to prevent the government from programmatically lying to children? The upside is that this behavior weakens the public school system, which should allowed to collapse, and strengthens the private school system.

  32. Small point about Blackfriars station mentioned in the Telegraph. The local power system for the trains is 750 volt DC. So whilst solar panels may provide some power it will only be to tell the commuters that there are no trains!

  33. Eric (skeptic) says on May 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm
    2.4 GHz will get cut off in fog. I used a WISP for a while that was about 6 miles away. The only time I lost access was in fog (pretty dense fog).

    More’n likely it was anomalous ducting; excessive refraction owing to the same effect that created the fog (much cooler air mass near the surface) … think ‘lens effect’ where the radio signal was bent away from the intended path by a non-homogeneous medium through which the RF signal path passed … it can also take on characteristics of ‘waveguide’ and duct your signal away from an intended path.
    .

  34. JohnOfEnfield says:
    May 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm
    ‘The Romans had a phrase for this type of argument:-
    “reductio ad absurdum” ‘
    I’ve got a phrase for it too: Absolute bollocks.

  35. Philip Peake says: May 9, 2011 at 11:40 am
    [Where does she get her “science” from?—————Absolute garbage – for which she should really be looking for a new job. Since she isn’t her boss most certainly should be!]
    ———————————————————————————
    Philip Peake. Louise Gray has been writing crap for the Daily Telegraph since she began. She is always torn to shreds in the comment section. I can only conclude that the DT wants this reaction and has set it up for that purpose. The DT cannot be so stupid as to subscribe to the crap she writes but they at least know who their readers are..
    Douglas

  36. The goal of these types of reports is that a large portion of readers will just run with it, not stopping to think or check facts. If the reporter believes it, so too must a few of his readers! This has got to stop, it is a sort of libel affecting us all, I hope somebody is keeping track. Perhaps the threat of prosecution for spreading false information will at least slow this insanity.

  37. If you can raise a posibility that you may be impacted by the possibility of future adverse climate change, then you gain access to the certain and real river of money for climate mitigation.
    These departments may be cleverer than we think – they may be just securing funding by whatever insane method works.

  38. Who will rid the UK of these crazy people? Worse – who is advising them? These are the real Lysenkos.

  39. What the world is witnessing here is a typical product of the UK’s policy of “Care the Community”

  40. Following back to the original story here we find this gem:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/09/ipcc-renewable-energy-power-world
    Now the IPCC has brought the same stellar expertise to economics as they brought to the field of climafantasy. And what do you know, it fits their message perfectly.
    That’s it. Debate is over. Higher energy prices are really lower. The sun always shines, the wind always blows (not too fast, not too cold), and windmills and solar panels are organically grown. What a wonderful world.

  41. I would ask our friends in Florida what they think about this, but obviously it is too warm for their internet connection to work.

  42. This is so depressing. From the report (p 40):

    New road surface specifications, similar to those applied in the south of France, have been introduced by the Highways Agency to adapt to higher temperatures.

    But what is actually happening to the roads in the UK? From a newspaper report in Jan 2010:

    As if ice and snow were not enough, the Arctic conditions gripping the country are causing roads to break up and potholes to appear. Temperatures have been so low for so long that roads are deteriorating much faster than is normally expected, creating “especially treacherous” driving conditions.

    And, from the BBC in Feb 2011

    The government is giving local authorities in England an extra £100m to repair potholes caused by last year’s freezing conditions. Last December was the coldest on record and the conditions led to damage on many road surfaces.

  43. Hey , if you’re an alarmist , anything goes . Since people have become more skeptical the warmists have really ramped up the hype and it has evolved into near hysteria . Besides recycling the old rubbish they are making up new , even scarier scenarios . Expect it to worsen – they rely on fabrication and gullibility .

  44. It’s all falling apart! Monbiot smacks head first into more reality.

    Within the following two weeks – probably on 16 May – the cabinet will decide whether or not to drop its commitment to prevent runaway climate change……..Suddenly it is asking whether environmental legislation – yes, all of it – should be “scrapped altogether”. Listed as negotiable are the entire Climate Change Act, the clean air acts,………….The regions in which big renewable power plants are due to be installed are in full-scale political revolt……………it’s now clear that there’s a limit to how much more renewable power can be deployed before it clatters into a mountain of public opposition. ”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/09/coalition-greatest-threat-to-environment

  45. WiFi works perfectly fine in our tropical country. It’s in all the major hotels. The UK will have to get considerably warmer than the tropics for this to happen.

  46. I live in an area that during the summer the tempertature exceeds 90F (32C) most days. I don’t notice a difference between summer and winter. Is it a problem then?

  47. They need something scarier. How about “Global Warming will disrupt Apple’s AppStore”?

  48. Surely they forgot the climatic effect of heat on the Wombles. Also there’s that well known phenoma of widespread fire in warmer weather causing massive destruction of organic remains until nothing is left but charred bone aka BBQs.
    Oh and hot roads have heat haze, haze is likely to impair the drivers view causing many people to think they have eye problems causing a run on the health service which in turn will lead to a run on plastic and as oil is running out this could trigger a run on oil and so a run on the pound which could in turn cause a run on the world economy and total economic collapse, which in turn would reduce the amount of litter causing massive problems to Wombles

  49. _Jim says: May 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm
    Eric (skeptic) says on May 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm
    2.4 GHz will get cut off in fog. I used a WISP for a while that was about 6 miles away. The only time I lost access was in fog (pretty dense fog).
    More’n likely it was anomalous ducting;

    It could also be wet surfaces: before we moved the TV aerial onto the roof, we used to get significant reduction in signal whenever the roof got wet. I presume a similar effect could cause any wet surface to affect the signal.

  50. Ok. Lets have climate absurdity.
    WiFi causes global warming which feeds back into itself to damage WiFi, proven by the fact that WiFi is affected.
    That of course is a preposterous statement. No more ridiculous, however, than c02 increase causes global warming which feeds back to cause even greater global warming, yet if you had enough propaganda and government backing to the appropriate scientific organisations, it would be a readily accepted paradigm

  51. So now climate change will alter the spatial permittivity of the universe??
    Hilariously stupid people with mouths = the modern media.

  52. “OSLO (Reuters) – Rich countries have missed a U.N. deadline for outlining aid to help developing nations combat climate change.
    Among industrialised nations, only Russia and Ukraine sent letters to the United Nations by the May 1 deadline — only to say they did not feel obliged to contribute under a deal to provide almost $30 billion in initial “fast-start” climate funds from 2010-12.”
    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/5/7/worldupdates/2011-05-06T194829Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_-568290-1&sec=Worldupdates

  53. It’s Met Office “barbecue summer” time again : “ … the transport sector is preparing for temperatures above 104F (40C) this summer… “ – all at 51 to 58 degrees north, in a maritime climate surrounded by ocean!
    Has anyone FOI’d the Met Office’s cabinet office forecast again (as last winter)?

  54. “ More heat-resistant rail tracks to prevent buckling…”
    Those rail tracks in Arizona must be quite something then, with the heat in summer in the high forties C and a zillion tons of the world’s biggest trains rolling over them it’s a wonder the rails don’t melt let alone buckle.
    My son and family in Phoenix reported no wi fi problems last Arizona summer, and my offspring in England reported no problems last winter while they were shoveling snow.
    Here in Natal we had a storm on Saturday evening that was high enough and in the right direction to block out my satellite TV signal for a while but no interference whatever with my wi fi.
    Perhaps we are expecting U.K. temperatures of 60 C. That should melt the tarmac.

  55. Tell you what, an air burst nuclear weapon would produce an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) that would be far more disruptive to the UK’s (and others) wi-fi access than climate change.

  56. Oh no. Please tell me this was just a practical joke in that department! “let’s see if the Guardian publishes this nonsense” or something similar?

  57. @Jim – I never said anything about resonance effects. It is, as you (indirectly) point out, dielectric heating effects – which really doesn’t matter, the fact is, that those losses happen to be greatest around those frequencies.

  58. The only warming that will disrupt your Wi-Fi connection is that from heating your “hot pockets” in a microwave oven.
    Both 802.11b and 802.11g operate in the same spectrum as the average microwave oven, i.e. 2.4 GHz. Later version wireless base stations try to go around any interference from microwave ovens, but it can easily reduce your speed by a factor of 10 or more for older Wi-Fi units.

  59. Obviously this person has never had the delights of sitting by a pool with an iPad, beer and 80 degrees temperatures and wifi working perfectly.
    The tracks In hrs uk allow for thermal expansion and contraction. Were quite good at engineering here.
    Utter bollocks and drivel such as this does the anti-global warming movement the best service possible, as anyone with half a brain can see it’s a load of crap.

  60. Jimbo says: “WiFi works perfectly fine in our tropical country. It’s in all the major hotels.”
    Ah, I see a perfect research project for a climate scientist: WiFi works well here, but we all know it has been affected (negatively) by climate change. For a nice research grant we can determine – through modeling – how much better it would have worked without the negative effects of extra CO2 in the atmosphere.
    The above is the framework for a successful career in climate science. Just apply and repeat as often as it takes to get tenure.

  61. Excuse me? Anyone want to explain how 0.2°C change in average global temp is going to effect the RF of a WiFi signal? This 25 year veteran of Space Communications for NASA (which includes all wavelengths, environments, distances and error correction/detection options) wants to hear a valid and defensible theory on how air temp effects EM for WiFi distances.

  62. “[note: commenter wiglaf says: They are missing a word in the title. It should read: Climate change regulation ‘could disrupt wi-fi and hit power supply’.]”
    Yes.
    Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid, UK says:
    ”The days of permanently available electricity may be coming to an end […] We keep thinking that we want it to be there and to provide power when we need it. It is going to be much smarter than that. […] We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available”
    Indeed, if electricity is not available permanently or at least when it is needed, that can have a somewhat detrimental effect on wi-fi. Common sense is not enough to show it is that way, that’s not scientific enough. We are much smarter than that. We need guvmint grant money and need it now.

  63. BTW, where is the peer reviewed study showing how this would work – I want to see what morons passed this crap off as valid engineering or science.
    Good lord, if you can sit in your house detect 5-7 home WiFis (as I can) clearly we are not on the verge of signal degradation.
    The real tragedy here – our school systems have produced people so naive and gullible this kind of story does not get you fired for total incompetence.

  64. sorry – extra ‘s’ – should be
    “Yo Rag Lies U” – but you get the gist anyways………….

  65. Ladies and Gentlemen today you have just witnessed a little bit of history:
    The United Kingdon of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has officially been declared the World’s first ‘Parliamentary Idiocracy’.
    Too many Idiocrats with too much time and too much of our money!

  66. jorgekafkazar says: May 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    “• More heat-resistant rail tracks to prevent buckling…”
    Beyond stupid. Doltish, ignorant, idiotic pseudoscientific drivel without any connexion to reality.
    ———————————————————————-
    Railroad (railway in the UK) rails are welded now. When the temperature rises, the rails get longer. That’s the temperature coefficient of expansion of steel, a structure insensitive property. Rails are slender members in engineering parlance and will buckle if loaded in compression. To prevent this, the rails are torch heated before welding so that they cool and go into tension, which is a stable state. As long as the rail ambient temperature doesn’t exceed the temperature when welding, they will be OK. But if the ambient temperature rises too high, the rails will buckle and possibly derail a train. Here in the US Southwest desert, the rails are heated to higher temperatures before welding so they can take higher ambient temperatures.
    That long-winded explanation just means that higher-than-predicted temperatures can buckle the rails. Here’s an example of a UK RSSB report: Review of the Effect of Track Stiffness on Track Performance . It’s a .pdf online, so I can’t link it directly. The report claims 70 derailments in the UK in 2003 due to temperature stresses.

  67. Keep a watch out for Climate Change being blamed for wreaking havoc on Digital TV reception when the enforced switchover from Analogue to Digital transmission here in the UK gathers pace.
    Digital TV has been promoted as a higher quality alternative so we must all rush out to shell out more money for set top boxes or new TV’s with receivers built in.
    Here on the outer fringes of East Anglia we already lose this wonderful signal in a mass of pretty pixellations when it rains heavily or there is a high pressure system with a mass of warm air over us. Just as the old analogue signal used to dissolve into a a mass of hissing static in the same situations.
    But with new super duper Digital you can bet it will be good old Climate Change getting the blame, and what’s the betting we’ll have to pay an increased licence fee to build new transmitters to combat that nasty CO2 build up ?

  68. This article is based on a government issued report. Although we should be criticising the ‘reporter’ for her lack of critical thinking, we should also be aiming our vitriol at the report.
    From http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/summary-report-final-version2.pdf they state:
    1. Information gaps: improving specific climate information and research to industry. Work by PwC8 found that while there is growing awareness of climate change based on Government funded information, …..
    It’s the “Government funded information” that we should be worried about.
    I also note that, although they mention climate change, the premise is that the change will only be in one direction – higher temps. No chance of being prepared for more cold winters.
    (Wi-Fi working fine in Oz)

  69. Correction: That high number was track buckles, not derailments in the UK in 2003. The report claims one derailment that year due to temperature buckling. Sorry

  70. Heat and electronic equipment don’t mix: if the smoke escapes, it’s dead. So they gotta do something, anything, *NOW* to keep all the smoke in!

  71. the UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) sounds the alarm about the incredible impacts of climate change upon UK: Wi-Fi signal range and strength will be greatly affected because of warmer temperatures.
    Life is tough. It is even tougher when you are stupid.

  72. “Berényi Péter says:
    May 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm
    “[note: commenter wiglaf says: They are missing a word in the title. It should read: Climate change regulation ‘could disrupt wi-fi and hit power supply’.]”
    Yes.
    Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid, UK says:
    ”The days of permanently available electricity may be coming to an end […] We keep thinking that we want it to be there and to provide power when we need it. It is going to be much smarter than that. […] We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available”
    Indeed, if electricity is not available permanently or at least when it is needed, that can have a somewhat detrimental effect on wi-fi. Common sense is not enough to show it is that way, that’s not scientific enough. We are much smarter than that. We need guvmint grant money and need it now.”
    So, should this actually happen here is how it could, possibly, maybe go down.(to borrow from the pro-agw crew)
    If your last name starts with “Los” and it is Tuesday, even number date, with a full moon, odd numbererd address on a north/south aligned street, you are left-handed, and the town you live in starts with a “Z”, you may turn on ONE light for 5 minutes.

  73. I don’t see a problem. When the roads melt it will merely fill in all the pot holes made by that nice warm December we had in the UK.

  74. Dan in California says:
    May 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm
    Correction: That high number was track buckles, not derailments in the UK in 2003. The report claims one derailment that year due to temperature buckling. Sorry

    I’m sceptical of that one derailment. Snow causes much more rail havoc. Just ask UK Joe public.

  75. Steve in SC says:
    May 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    the UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) sounds the alarm about the incredible impacts of climate change upon UK: Wi-Fi signal range and strength will be greatly affected because of warmer temperatures.

    Life is tough. It is even tougher when you are stupid.

    Now this is what you call living in denial. It’s all part of the theory of Warmcold Wetdry.

  76. WiFi connection too slow? GLOBAL WARMING!
    Neighbor’s kids outside playing too loudly during your favorite TV program? GLOBAL WARMING!
    Barista at Starbucks took too long making your Venti Macchiato? GLOBAL WARMING!
    Somebody cut you off on the way home? GLOBAL WARMING!
    There hasn’t been a scapegoat that fits all the world’s ills so nicely since Bush 43 left office…

  77. “By 2030, you’d be more likely to find a climate change advisor swinging gently from a lamppost, than competitive renewable energy. Committees of wise men and other bureaucrats can make recommendations – but politicians, who must implement the policies, have to face real voters”
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/09/cccomm_renewable_energy_report/
    And the tarmac will not melt and fill the holes……by now the holes have holes……and the little repair done has already disappeared into another hole. Here (UK) new tarmac has to be “quiet” (less tyre noise) unfortunately it is also porous, and slippery.

  78. Reading through the comments at the Telegraph brings a smile to my face. Not too long ago the few daring to speak out against this kind of propaganda were buried under piles of appeals to authority and name calling. Now it’s quite the opposite.
    Yeah, gotta get that “message” out there… sure. The message is out. The people can see right through it.

  79. When I read this I gained some confidence that the MSM is beginning to poke fun at these folks – the Wi-Fi connection figured TOO prominently in the article for it to be taken seriously.
    I thought the article was written in a way to expose the insanity of it all. An insider’s joke. As in …. give them all the rope they need. A True Believer Journalist would have buried that element somehow…..?
    Its totally embarrassing.

  80. Relax, folks.
    As somebody who uses WiFi at 30-35 C (yes, I live in a very hot area…), I can assure you, no problem.
    My, I wonder if that is sheer stupidity or something beyond that.

  81. Philip Peake says on May 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm:
    @Jim – I never said anything about resonance effects. It is, as you (indirectly) point out, dielectric heating effects – which really doesn’t matter, the fact is, that those losses happen to be greatest around those frequencies.

    I would appreciate greatly seeing a cite or even original notes on the measurement of that effect vis-a-vis the “water absorption frequency” being greatest at or about 2.4 GHz (it was Wiki that made the reference to resonant effects, which are often linked with loss and/or ‘absorption’ effects). You do realize that our national premier meteorological RADAR, the WSR-88D (as well as the WSR-98D) operate not too far above 2.4 GHz (as do our ASR series of RADARs, but those are another story), for the purpose of less (or least) attenuation (to precip) while still using as high a frequency as possible to keep the wavelengths short (a trade-off for best antenna size for a given beamwidth angle, about a degree on the NEXRAD series) in contrast to either C-band wx RADAR (e.g. the TDWR systems and many TV station wx RADARs) or heaven forbid an X-band (10 GHz RADAR) which shows the highest attenuation to precip/liquid water suspended or precipitating out of the atmosphere (via Cumulonimbus usually) but has the shortest wavelength/smallest dish size for a desired beamwidth.
    BTW, pls make a note of the screen name, as there are other Jim(s) about: “_Jim”.
    Regards
    .

  82. Re Dave Andrews says: May 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Tell you what, an air burst nuclear weapon would produce an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) that would be far more disruptive to the UK’s (and others) wi-fi access than climate change.

    Nature does it bigger/louder/faster. All we’d need to disrupt a lot of the modern world is another Carrington Event. Massive CME, very bad for sensitive radios. I get the feeling that this is a typical bit of Gray churnalism. She’ll happily slap her name to any press release, and suspect there’s a request for funding behind this one. Or it’s spin to try and boost the value of more UK spectrum auctions that are due soon.

  83. Dave Andrews says on May 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm
    Tell you what, an air burst nuclear weapon would produce an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) that would be far more disruptive to the UK’s (and others) wi-fi access than climate change.

    From what I have seen this effect is most pronounced on series-string street lamps using dated (’30s) techniques to minimize the lay-out of wire and fed by specialized constant-current transformers and each light having individual over-voltage (burned-out bulb bypass) ‘shorting’ discs that bypass an open filament (much like a series-string Christmas tree light set) so as to keep current flowing through the entire set …
    /sarc (partly)
    Ref: Did High Altitude EMP Cause the Hawaiian Streetlight Incident?

  84. Wow…. Just Wow! (Dumbfounded to the max!) I’d say more but my dumbfounded condition prevents it. Wow!

  85. Anthony Watts says:
    May 9, 2011 at 11:48 am
    Never take your laptop outside on the patio where it may be a few degrees warmer…it could be bad. /sarc
    This is the most effing stupid thing I’ve ever read.

    Indeed it is, welcome to the UK Government, but similar policies coming to a nice country like yours, sooooooooooooooon.

  86. AJStrata says:
    May 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm
    Excuse me? Anyone want to explain how 0.2°C change in average global temp is going to effect the RF of a WiFi signal? This 25 year veteran of Space Communications for NASA (which includes all wavelengths, environments, distances and error correction/detection options) wants to hear a valid and defensible theory on how air temp effects EM for WiFi distances.

    From another engineer that has a similar background, you are correct.
    Please note that WiFi works just as well in the summer as it does in the winter, a much greater delta in temperatures than anybody has dared claim for AGW.

  87. 3 men in white coats are looking for her if you come across her do not talk or go near her just ring the police

  88. Commenting via wi-fi from my dock @ 92 deg F & 73% relH in Fla, warmer than they’ll ever see in the UK …. oh wait, you probably can’t read this because wi-fi won’t work in hot humid weather. Hmmmm, if you can read this, the article is a crock.

  89. reason says:
    May 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    ——————-
    Let me carry on from where you stopped.
    Bad body odour – blame global warming
    Been arrested – blame global warming
    Can’t dance – blame global warming
    Having an affair – blame global warming
    Failed to do your homework – blame global warming
    Forgot to buy milk – blame global warming
    Forgot to pay child support – blame global warming
    Global warming is like the Devil – it made me do it. Co2 is a Satanic gas.

  90. I hope that no one with nut allergies was harmed in the publishing of these articles 🙂

  91. All you folk claiming to be posting comments from hot climates – stop with the lies. Your claims are blatantly false. We know you can’t be posting in heat, because that’s what the models say.

  92. Well from my amateur radio experience. Warmer temperatures and increased humidity can actually ‘improve’ radio reception/propagation of VHF/UHF /SHF over a longer distance!

  93. This is not an example of insanity but of inanity: take a place, any place, and find another place with a 3 or 5C warmer annual temperature. What billions of infrastructure are needed to maintain that other place? NEGATIVE billions. You SAVE money by living in a slightly warmer place. We move from Calagry to Phoenix, Arizona to save infrastructue dollars.
    These people have the real world experience of house plants.

  94. The most annoying thing about this sort of nonsense is the very same people warning of disaster after disaster seem determined to cause real disasters by preventing the reliable and affordable supply of electricity to homes and businesses. The simple outcome of this is blackouts, with all their attendent drain on the economy, and deaths caused by people either not having access to or being unable to afford heating in winter.
    Never mind the wifi, what about the cooking and heating!

  95. Smokey says:
    May 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm
    Smokey
    I fondly recall staying in a little Cockroach Hilton next to the Santa Fe/Burlington
    Track in in Winslow AZ and the 3:00 am wake-up of an 85 mph intermodal
    whizzing by about 50 ft from my room. With an Air Temp of 85F. after a 105 F
    day- no derailment that I recall…
    Crazy, indeed….

  96. But they have already convinced the children that things are warming.
    Children always rebel, and that is the Warmists undoing.
    Wait until the children have to walk 5 miles to school in blizzards while the Warmists have special priveledges to drive.
    Most of the environmentally conscious adults are now waking up to the fact that the Warmists are selling insurance for something that is not happening.

  97. I’ve read some crazy stuff regarding global warming before, but this one is the craziest one yet.
    The sound of stupid is a painful ringing in my ears. I’m flabbergasted that someone actually put this article into print.

  98. Even if true, just raise two fingers to Ofcom’s ridiculous UK 100mW output power restriction.

  99. Its encouraging to see the past agw threat digress to the point of mocked humor. Amused, heartened, and exonerated for about a thousand rants made over the years to those many doomsayers in my life…..cheers.

  100. One of the biggest flaws in environmental thinking is their assumption that the world is absolutely static – that we live in an unchanging perfect (or even semi-perfect) state that does not change. Its bollocks and Caroline Spelmans complete intellectual inadequacy is completely laid bare.
    How long have we had wireless ? Not even 10 years …. How long have we had e-mails ? Barely 20 … maybe ? The rate of change of what we use technologically is infinitely faster than any climate effect – manmade or natural. And to make out that something we use now, which will have been superceded and obsolete within years- let alone decades – is a reason to be concerned due to something which changes over centuries ….. truly it makes me ashamed to be British. That we can elect such idiocy.

  101. Didn’t you know Ron? they only run the Ghan throught the cool parts of the Simpson and the Stony Deserts, the bits that only get to 55°C

  102. _Jim says:
    More’n likely it was anomalous ducting;
    Scottish Sceptic says on May 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm:
    It could also be wet surfaces:

    I will give this a bit of a try under controlled conditions: An S12 (transmission) test using a pair of 2.4 GHz dipoles on an HP Network Analyzer spaced a half a meter apart and between the two dipoles I’ll introduce a ‘layer’ or thin film of water on a suitable RF transparent material …
    .

  103. Re the buckling of roads and tracks
    This is going to be more insidious than you may think.
    Not too many years back I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The roads there are, or at least were ( don’t know the current situation), notoriously bad. During one very hot summer heat wave many concrete roads, including Interstates buckled badly, but there was more than just the heat involved.
    As you know, concrete expands, which is why there are expansion joints every few feet, filled with a rubbery-like material. The material will compress when the concrete expands, and expand when the concrete contracts, keeping the road uniform. Well, it seems like the politicians found other uses for the tax money collected for road maintenance – Lousiana has had a history of competing against Illinois for the title of, “Most Corrupt Government”. The expansion material had deteriorated and washed away over the years, and of course nothing done. In its place, gravel, road debris, bits of car parts, etc. had filled in the gaps between the concrete slabs. When the heat-wave came and the concrete expanded, the path of least resistance for the slabs was up.
    If this were to happen now, what would be blamed? Global warming, of course. The ultimate CYA response for bureaucrats. I can see the future: politician: “We’re going to start replacing all the concrete roads and tracks we have with heat resistant materials to avoid global warming problems.” (and give my brother-in-law the billion dollar contract of which he’ll kick a couple of mill back to me). “Oh, and we’ll have to raise your gasoline taxes to pay for it.”
    Are there any government run/subsidized Wi-Fi networks in the UK? I could see them “proactively” replacing them with “heat-tolerant” components – which will result in someone making a lot of money and give the government an excuse for another tax.
    And when something does go wrong, it will be the fault of GW, not bureaucratic incompetence, graft, or corruption.
    Global warming – the gift to government that keeps on giving.

  104. Has all this warming yet brought back the British wine industry that the French wanted canned in the Medieval Warming? Just curious, we have Napa, French and Italian wines at the local Safeway, but no British ones so far! (H.H. Lamb, Vol. 2, p 277).
    The great mysteries of history. How did the polar bears ever make it? And how high did the seas finally rise? Not as high as the British vineyards, thank God! Looking forward to the first sip of that delightful British wine. Too bad that Wi-Fi was not around then, I am sure HHL would have included it in his book.
    I suppose everyone here is familiar with the UN climate shenanigans in progress, but if not check out http://sovereignty.net/p/clim/2011-GCF-html. Three reports by Cathie Adams.

  105. Re: RR track buckling.
    (1) We’re only looking at a couple of degrees in this century. If Arizona can have railroads, the UK should be able to handle an extra 2°C, unless their tracks were installed (a) in a shoddy manner or (b) without any safety factor at all or (c) without maintenance.
    (2) Possibly 50% of the warming “record” is caused by higher minimum (nighttime) temps, rather than higher daytime temperatures, so 2° is more like 1°.
    (3) Temperatures have flatlined, so 0° or less is more probable. .
    (4) Long pipelines are protected from expansion kinks by suitable joints. For an example of one such joint in RR applications, see: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4171774.html
    Not really a big deal, just more AGW reaching-for-straws.

  106. It has to be said that whoever is in charge of the home page for the Daily Telegraph has a sense of humour. It is noticeable that they now ensure there is a front page link to Gray’s “Cut and Paste” delusions!
    I guess they know we can all do with a good laugh to start the day and my, my, she does get panned in the comments! Even the trolls that used to turn up to support her have given up along with the Met Office media people that used to feed her fodder.

  107. This is what we have to put up with in Britain.
    The Earth has survived six great ice ages lasting millions of years, but, according to her previous statements on global warming, Caroline Spelman believes the Earth will be destroyed by cow farts.

  108. Fortunately Australia will be perfectly safe from the loss of Wi-Fi due to AGW – we are investing at least $35B AUD (and probably double that again) in a “National Broadband Network (NBN)”.
    Everyday I count my blessings for having such a wise and benelovent Government to spend the tax money that I earn.
    I’m sure that the British politicians could learn a thing or two from their colonial cousins, especially wrt devising plans to save themselves from the ravages of AGW. All we seem to need in Australia is a politician, a paper napkin, a pen and a few glasses of red wine served by an RAAF hostie…

  109. I’m a bit late to this but if I (as a retired former railway engineer) may interject?
    Yes, rails are installed deliberately to cope with a wide range of temperatures. They are either continuous welded steel installed under tension to allow for thermal expansion or, for secondary routes, are mainly 60 ft. sections bolted together with a small gap to allow for expansion. The trick is to get the amount of tension right to cope with the expected temperatures over the whole summer period as it’s not a job that can be done quickly to react to continuously changing circumstances. It is not always possible to get this right so occasionally buckles do occur; what is more likely is that speed restrictions are imposed to cope with major short term variances.
    Now to the temperature bit. Do not confuse track temperatures with air temperatures. Anyone who is a motor racing fan (especially F1 fans in the UK) will be familiar with the difference between the temperature on the tarmac and that of the air around the circuit. Don’t forget that the air temperature is not that in exposed sunny areas whereas the track temperature certainly is. The same is true for railways – temperatures at the rail exceed 40C virtually every summer at least somewhere in the UK, sometimes by a very large margin, even though we’ve never had a recorded temperature above 38.5C (IIRC).
    All the above is well known to railway engineers and is not surprising, unusual and definitely not caused by ‘global warming’. Oh, and for the record, Spelman is definitely an arse, as is the journalist involved.

  110. It is quite alarming how many politicians lack intelligence and common sense. It frightens me that these people are running countries. Don’t they think things through in a logical scientific manner or even have advisors with an ounce of intelligence?

  111. DaveS says:
    May 9, 2011 at 11:33 am
    This is my Government.. This lot are just as stupid as the last lot. I guess politicians are very sensitive to this extra CO2
    It is probably caused by ‘back-radiative cephaloporosis,’ a politician’s disease, amplified by the fresnel lens over the Palace of Westminster. So the problem really is global warming.

  112. Spelman is nearly as daft as that loon that chairs the EPA.
    I can see solar flares doing this sort of damage. Perhaps Spelman sees climate change driving solar flares!

  113. WARNING: SUN SOON TO GO DARK
    UK Government discovers Global Warming blocks photon transmission….
    Possible to go dark in broad daylight. Extra lights to be installed to make up the loss.
    Glad we invented those solar panels for power…. oh, wait a minute….
    Never mind, just follow me over this cliff… aaaaaaahhhhhhhh…. SPLAT !

  114. _Jim and Scottish Sceptic, it was fog. I had a 200 foot drop to the valley floor and the WISP was on the other side of the valley. When the fog lay below the line of sight I had signal, when it was above, I lost signal. I also did some neighborhood point to point links and foliage was worse than nonfoliage and wet foliage was even worse. Fog was a problem too if it was dense enough.

  115. You know, I consulted my textbooks on the effects of atmospheric temperature on the propagation of 2.4 and 5.8 Ghz RF. Nothing there, not even a coefficient.
    Rain, yep, temperature, no.

  116. Annei says:
    May 10, 2011 at 1:51 am
    It makes you wonder how they manage to operate in the UAE and other very hot places!
    Herein lies the question;
    Do they specify different kit/parts etc. for wi-fi in hotter countries? If not then the claim is bollocks.

  117. I remember when trains went der clickety clack der clichety clack over the expansion joints, did some one forget to tell our post modern engineers that most metal expands a little with temperature increases. I must say I am impressed that stations in London have not been dragged northward in the last winter, it would seem there are some discontinuoses in the rail lines. The WI-FI thing is just dumb beyond belief.

  118. The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. ~Harlan Ellison
    Confirmation abounds.

  119. This is coming bZ#thftt*ssptt… from deep in the%($KKK#FFT#(*&*Ftropics at 9 degrees norZZbcd$*%^&th. Wi-fi getting worse every F$*LD)%*day. Don’t know how long we %9WI$(DO*%$(can hold out – much worse than $*(DL#((&&we thought. Please adopt carbon %*(FIIBZZO$**@^&Vffftsds taxes to save us all! fffzzzttssfljk;pop.

  120. re : Rail Breakdowns In High Temperatures
    Here in NJ along the northeast corridor rail line we do have frequent breakdowns during periods of extremely hot weather (for us), in the 100F range. The cause is not rail line expansion but drooping overhead electric cables. When the air temperature is that high the overhead wires lose tension and the standing wave created by the pantograph doesn’t move at the required speed. Normally speed restrictions are put in place to prevent breakages, but we do get the occasional stalled train.
    Obviously it’s possible to set the tension on the wires to cope with a higher temperature. I would imagine it’s difficult to change the tension on a day to day basis though.
    Annoyingly enough breakages are also a problem during cold weather.
    Mike.

  121. Like Douglas DC, May 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm, in the 1960s I spent two summers in Las Vegas, Nevada working on a survey crew for the Union Pacific Railroad. We spent one week in Yermo, California, which at that time was nothing more than a stop for train crews. We stayed in an un-airconditoned railraod hotel where as far as I can remember the outside temperature never dropped below 80F and got as high as 108F. The tracks at Yermo are on a slight grade. Passenger trains travelling downgrade passed by like a bat out of hell. If I had only been aware of the potential danger to the passengers on those trains, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep–which I couldn’t do anyway because it was so bloody hot. I’d be surprised if England on its hottest day ever saw temperatures like Yermo in the summer. Part of our job was to sweep up the bodies when the rails buckled and the passenger trains derailed. Fortunately, we were never called to perform that function. Now that I have been enlightend by Ms. Spelman, I wonder why.

  122. Jimbo – oh man, this could be hours of fun!
    Father of Deadbeat Hipster: “For the love of Pete, when are you gonna get off your butt and go get a job?”
    20-something Deadbeat Hipster: *pauses his MMORPG* “I totally tried to get a job today. Really…”
    Father: “…and…?”
    Deadbeat Hipster: *exasperated huff* “Global Warming!”

  123. Weather does effect Wi-Fi signals under certain conditions, usually the technology evolves quicker than these “climate change” stories can be pushed out, the public at large wouldn’t even notice one tiny packet drop.
    Weather on the other-hand isn’t climate!

  124. This demonstrates yet again that MPs and Ministers havent bloody clue how things
    work, most of them have never had a “proper job” they listen to drivel from “experts”
    and repeat it to the general public mistakenly believing the public are as thick as
    politians.

  125. Actually, it’s all a bit of a misunderstanding, (see http://russep3.posterous.com/spelman-and-the-wi-fi-story-that-never-was), but it does point to the uselessness of MSM these days, who just parrot press releases without reading the whole document.
    You see, when the full document mentions ‘wireless’, it clearly is meaning cell (mobile phone) networks, NOT wi-fi. Unfortunately, the poor sap who wrote the press release, thought wireless meant wi-fi, Ms Spelman read the press-release as did MSM.
    That then begs the question whether cell networks need to strengthened to copy with a few extra degrees in the UK? Thought not.

  126. Hmm, sounds like time to buy a slightly higher gain aerial for my wifi access point… (sark)
    Totally nuts with a sprinkle of refined insanity on top for good measure..

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