Day 056 – Gloucester to Ross-on-Wye bike ride…

After 46 Miles (76 KM) of hills and heat, i’m back home and not feeling too bad. One of the hottest days of the year and right in the middle of our UK heat wave, Mr MCK and I decided on a round trip into the Forest of Dean, to Ross-on-Wye. Glos - Ross bike ride 07.07.13 - 23 Some amazing scenery on-route, with our journey taking us via Newent. Some challenging hills and we even had to get off the bikes and push a couple of times!

We had a well-deserved stop in Ross by the river with a pint of cider. Maybe not the best idea in terms of energy levels but nice : ) Ross bike ride 07.07.13 At the same time as our journey back, Andy Murray was in the process of comprehensively beating Djokovic in the Wimbledon final – I was hoping Murray would drop a set so I could catch the end but he wrapped up his first Wimbledon title in straight sets. At one point I was checking the sat nav on my mobile phone while also checking the final game points in the tennis! Well done Andy!


A new climate change colour is created…

One of the reasons why people in general are maybe less concerned about climate change than the science is saying we should be, is that there are very few immediate or noticeable changes. If the world has warmed only 0.7 degrees C since the start of the Industrial Revolution, then how are we meant to be responding to this? What cues or events are there for us to respond to?

A recent event, or series of events, linked directly to climate change are the Australian bush fires which have been ravaging many parts of the country. For me, one of the most significant visual representations of the reasons for the bush fires (the excessive heat) is the adding of a new temperature range to the Australian heat maps.

PDF of the article here: Australia adds new colour to temperature maps as heat soars | Environment | The Guardian

Australian Bureau of Metereology temperature map

The new range is 52-54 degrees celcius. That is more than halfway to boiling, in the open air. While the hottest areas will be in the warmer central region, the coastal areas don’t escape the heat, with the average temperatures across the country reaching 40 degrees. I can’t say i’ve ever experienced that sort of heat near the 50 degree range and i’m not sure I want to. The highest i’ve got is maybe nearer 40 degrees in maybe Florida or Thailand, but a full 10 degree more than this? Wow.

As of 2009, Australia was number 11 on the global list of CO2 emitting countries per capita of population.

There are plenty more reasons to believe this ranking will keep rising over the next decade, with the huge fossil fuel energy and mining projects coming forward. The actual inhabitable area of the country is already small and will carry on getting smaller.


Waste incinerator issues…


Some interesting but scary quotes from: ‘The Health Effects of Waste Incinerators – 4th Report of the British Society for Ecological Medicine (Second Edition June 2008)’ IncineratorReport_v3[1] ‘Incineration has been reported to be more expensive than alternative waste strategies even … Continue reading

Log burning experiments…

The great thing about spending time at home is that I can carry out all sorts of little science experiments and observations about the things around us. The latest one was about log burning and internal temperatures.

I wanted to know how long it takes for the internal temperature to go up, using the wood burner. So, this morning, after a cold night, the temperature was 17.8 degrees and after an hour of the fire being on, this went up by 1 degree.

8:30          17.8 degrees

9:30          18.8 degrees

10:00        19.8 degrees

10:30        20.4 degrees

10:40        20.8 degrees

So, after the initial hour when the stove was heating up and increasing its output, the temperature went up by 1 degree every 30 minutes, so in just over 2 hours, it went up by 3 degrees.

The other thing was to work out how many fires the pile of logs by the stove would give us. My first guess was about 1 week, but now i’ve worked it out properly, it works out as 16 days! Each fire uses 6 cm of logs (about a row) and 12 logs per row.

Once the fire is on a up to a good temperature, I only need to put on a single log at a time to keep it going.


Insulation, temperatures and stove…

Some observations about heating, insulation and the stove…

The difference between the inside and outside temperatures last year before started to use the stove was 9 or 10 degrees. We would get the temperature up to the low 20’s in the evening with the stove on, then in the morning, it would be as low as 16 or 17 degrees, meaning quite a large overall drop during the night.

So far this year, before we just lit the first fire last night, the temperature difference between inside and outside was something like 12 or 13 degrees. The outside temperature was around 6 degrees for a couple of days in the morning, while inside it was around 19 degrees, giving a 13 degree difference. This was after two very cold days, with clear nights.

Since last winter, we have had the loft hatch replaced with a new and much less draughty one, had the double glazing replaced with new and had the external insulated render installed. The hypothesis is that more heat will be retained within the house and for longer periods. I also hope that less heat will need to be produced in order to raise the temperature inside (due to less heat escaping and less cold air entering).

Last night was the 1st fire of the year. The temperature was 21.6 when we went to bed and in the morning, it was 19.2 degrees, giving a 2.4 degree drop over the 8 or 9 hours with a clear night. The outside temperature this morning was 9 degrees, giving a 10 degree difference.

So, the difference seems to be around 10 degrees still but the temperature drop was only 2.4 degrees, compared to last year when it was something like 6 degrees. Seems like progress but we haven’t had the really cold weather yet!

The other thing i’ve noted is the amount of wood which we just used, out of the stack by the stove. For the 4 hour fire last night, we used about 1/7 of the whole stack, meaning about 7 days (1 week) worth of fires, burning between low and medium heat.