Summers in Central England since 1659

Figure 1

It’s quite a number of years since we have had a really warm Summer [JJA]. The last very warm one was the summer of 2006 which ranked #4 warmest in the series (fig 2), and before that summer 2003, which ranked joint third warmest, perhaps we’ve been spoiled in recent years, and are taking it for granted that every summer will end up being warm or very warm.

Figure 2

Summers have become slightly warmer during the last 358 years in Central England (fig 3), but not so much that you would notice. They have crept up by around +0.36°C in that time, which is almost exactly +0.01°C a decade, if global warming is having any effect on summers in Central England then it’s being very slow about it.

Figure 3

Catastrophic climate change

Courtesy of Energy Matters

Interesting blog from Roger Andrews in his Energy Matters blog that you may find of interest. There doesn’t seem away that I can reblog it, so you’ll just have to follow this link. Obviously he may have an axe to grind, but then again these days who doesn’t. I like how he’s listed the main findings of the IPCC, and also his summation.

Latest GISS global temperature data

There are two key graphs central to the debate about climate change, one of them is arguably the primary reason why global temperatures are rising, and that’s a graph of monthly CO2 (fig 1) as recorded at Mauna Loa (I hope they’ve made allowances for any CO2 being vented by the volcano itself). The other is a graph of monthly global temperature anomalies (fig 2), either from the GISS  data series produced by NASA, or maybe from the CRUTEM4 series produced by the Met Office and CRU. The latest GISS values are now in, and the anomaly for March is +1.12°C, which although slightly up on the February figure (+1.10°C), is down on the +1.28°C of March 2016. That drop might be expected, because last year in March the last El Niño event was just starting to wind down.

Figure 2

Depending on the range of the graph, and this one’s for the last 30 years (fig 2), you produce a different slope in the linear trend, but I think a period of 30 years is a fair length to sample, and I make the decadal rate from the GISS series is +0.181°C per decade. If you look at a linear trend for the last 10 years of global temperatures that decadal rise increases markedly to +0.383°C. I will admit now that in some screenshots in my earlier blogs I may have screwed this value up and I apologise, not that any of my readers seemed to notice it, or if they did they never commented, hopefully I’ve now got it right. Here’s a table of the recent monthly values of CRUTEM and GISS that I used to create the graph with (fig 3).

Figure 3

The latest data from Mauna Loa is ever upward it seems, and the first graph (fig 1) clearly shows the annual cyclical nature of CO2, and the obvious fact that CO2 has been rising inexorably by around 5% per decade since 1958, that’s a decadal increase of around 15.3 ppm if I’ve got that linear trend right, but I much prefer the following graph (fig 4) which shows the 12 month rate of change in CO2 levels. As you would expect the 12 month rate of change in CO2 has been increasing over the last almost 60 years and oscillates a fair bit – and yes I know the linear trend is probably not a good idea.

Figure 4

The relationship between volcanoes and Central England Temperature in recent years


Mount Pinatubo June 1991 Courtesy of Wikipedia

Now that I’ve discovered the VEI database from the NCEI, I can now overlay volcanic eruption events on top of the monthly CET anomalies and chart the results. In the above chart (fig 2) I’ve overlaid all the VEI 4 events or greater from 1980, and was surprised to find that there seemed little in the way of correlation between them. The Pinatubo eruption of the 15th of June 1991 for example was the first VEI 6 event since Tambora in 1815 (fig 1), and lifted more than 5 cubic kilometres of material 25 miles straight up into the stratosphere, coincidentally a typhoon that was passing close by to the Philippines at the same time scattered the ash from the volcano to the four winds. I thought the effects of this would have had a dramatic cooling effect on CET in 1992, but not that you would notice. Of course any cooling in a local temperature series may well be masked by other regional and global factors that influence CET that are going on at the same time, global climate is complicated.

Figure 2

Changes to flight paths could reduce aircraft effect on climate

Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

According to this article I’ve read in the Guardian, changing the flight path of aircraft could reduce their effect on climate change.

Global temperatures drop back

Figure 1

The 12 month moving average of Global temperatures has fallen back in the last few months, after climbing quite sharply for the last four years or so. I’ve included a plot of both the CRUTEM4 and GISS monthly series as you can see (fig 1). I like to use a 12 month moving average because it’s a simple way of removing any seasonality, I’ve added a linear trend for both even though it’s probably not correct or in any way scientific. The linear trends are not aligned because the Americans use the 1961-1990 long-term averages to calculate their anomalies, whilst the British in their wisdom still use the 1951-1980 averages. The rate of increase in global warming is higher in the GISS series during the last 50 years at +0.292°C per decade, as opposed to the slightly lower +0.273°C using the CRUTEM4 series. For a bit of fun (yes I am weird), I thought that I would overlay the El Niño events of recent years (reddish vertical bands). I did read somewhere, that there was a strong correlation between global temperatures and ENSO, so I thought that I’d see if there was. Well that does seem to be true in some events, but not all. The 1991-1992 El Niño for instance, although the cooling that did occur then may have been due to the dust released in the Mount Pinatubo eruption at around that time. Talking of volcanic events the next chart (fig 2) is for the last 30 years and shows all volcanic events during that time, although I’ve only include the ones that scored 4 or higher on the VEI scale. You’ll also notice that the linear trend for both series is much lower during the last 30 years than it was in the last 50 years in the first chart. I have written about this before with regard to linear trends and the CET series, it can be misleading and I’m not going to bother to go into it all over again.

Looking hard at the accumulated evidence of climate change – but what about the CCC report?

A new blog from the Met Office about climate change of all things. I just had to comment even though what I say may well be moderated out so here’s the article and the comment I’ve submitted just in case.

The Met Office seemed to have missed a golden opportunity to link this article (which look like it could have been published at anytime), to the much more important event that happened earlier this week: the release of the five yearly report by the Climate Change Committees into the impacts of Climate Change on the UK. Here’s a link to the 24 page report by the CCC so that you can read what they said, and see just why the Government seems so keen not to talk about any of its conclusions or recommendations. I’ve scanned through it, and the one organisation that seemed conspicuous by its absence in the report itself was the Met Office. A quick search revealed that the phrase ‘Met Office’ occurred only once in the 12,500 word document, perhaps that’s why they ignored it, just like the Government seems to have!

Here’s what the Independent predicted would happen just after Christmas 2016.

Figure 2 – Courtesy of the Independent (Sunday, 27 December 2016)

They predicted it would happen and it did happen. I’m not a big newspaper reader but the Independent have picked up on a story that to me is true, admittedly the Trident cover up of the last week is just as big a disgrace, but this one takes the biscuit, because the implications of what it means in the decades down the line are enormous for the people of the UK. Money of course is key, this Government would seem to be much happier spending £100 billion or more on a Trident replacement than spend it on the NHS or the infrastructure of the country. Here’s the follow-up article from the Independent that they published on Monday, the day that the CCC report was officially released and stifled by the Conservatives.

Figure 3 –  Courtesy of The Independent (Monday, 23 January 2016 )

‘What should be pristine white is littered with blue’ – Timo Lieber’s Arctic photography

Courtesy of The Guardian and Timo Lieber

I noticed this article in the Guardian this morning and thought you might like it.

‘What should be pristine white is littered with blue’ – Timo Lieber’s Arctic photography

Climate changes in the UK since 1910

Just how has the climate of the UK being done since 1910?

The short answer

It’s sunnier, warmer and wetter in the UK than it was in 1910.

The slightly longer answer

Well, with the help of the Met Office, and downloading the monthly climate data series that they maintain, in a bespoke application that I have written, I am now able to generate a chart for any period since 1910 for the following observational elements:

  • Maximum Temperature
  • Minimum Temperature
  • Mean Temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Sunshine

Because the data the Met Office generate is from gridded data, they also produce subsets of the data for all the following regional and National areas:

  • UK
  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • England & Wales
  • Northern England
  • Southern England
  • Northern Scotland
  • Eastern Scotland
  • Western Scotland
  • North East England
  • Northwest England & North Wales
  • The Midlands
  • East Anglia
  • South West England & Wales
  • Southeast England

So with this application I can easily delve into any area for any observational element to see just what’s going on under the hood so to speak. I have constructed each chart in the same way, that is I’ve plotted a running 12 month total or average for each month (grey area series), for instance the first value I’ll plot for rainfall will be in December 1911 and it will be the total rainfall for that year. In January 1911 I’ll plot the total for the period between February 1910 and January 1911, and so on. I like this way of looking at data because it gives you a complete chart with no cold or wet spells that fall between the cracks and get hidden in a simple annual total or average chart.

On top of that I’ve overlaid a moving average (dashed line with yellow outline series), which can be for a period of 1 to 30 years, although the three charts below (fig 1-3) all have a three-year moving average. This is a bit tricky to explain because it’s a moving average of another average if you like.

Finally I’ve added a simple linear trend (red dashed series) so that I can display the trend in the annotation box in the top right.

The first chart (fig 1) shows that annually since 1930 the UK has become 10 hours per decade sunnier in 2016 than it was in 1930. That’s around 80 hours a year sunnier. My devilishly fiendish mind can think of a couple of reasons why that might be:

  • The Clean Air Act of 1956 and because the air is now less polluted by coal fires, places, particularly in Cities and particularly in Autumn and Winter, will naturally be much brighter places to live, with none of the smogs of the 1950’s.
  • The Change in the way we now measure sunshine, perhaps the new sensors are now much more accurate that the old Campbell–Stokes recorder were.

Figure 1 – UK Sunshine

Temperature wise the mean annual temperature across the UK has increased by +0.09°C per decade since 1910 (fig 2), so the mean temperature is now close to being +0.9°C warmer than it was in 1910. This agrees very well with the CET series in this regard, but I’ll leave a comparison of the two datasets for another article.

Figure 2 – UK Mean Temperature

Annual Precipitation totals are also showing an increase of around +7 mm per decade (fig 3). This doesn’t sound a lot, but over 106 years that’s almost 80 mm of rainfall. I could delve into what particular months are wetter, but the purpose of this particular blog and the new coding that I’ve done, was to look at the annual picture rather than break it down into a seasonal or monthly one.

Figure 3 – UK Precipitation

As far as I can see the three charts look comparable to the ones on the Met Office site, not only that, my charts look much better, as if someone has put a lot of care into their construction, which of course they have. If you do see a problem with any of them please let me know.

Fresh doubt over global warming ‘pause’ – you really couldn’t make this up, but it looks like someone has

Fresh doubt has now been cast into the ‘pause’ in global warming after the release of a study in which it was found that SST from ocean buoys have been underestimated for the last 20 years. Interestingly the report says that the NOAA ERSST series used in their global temperature series was correct with its much faster rate of warming than the HadISST series with its colder bias used in the CRUTEM4 global temperature series from our own Met Office.

Figure 1 – Courtesy of the BBC

The Met Office slant on things

The Met Office don’t seem to want to dwell too much on the comments of Zeke Hausfather, the new paper’s lead author in their reaction to the paper on the Met Office Blog (fig 2). They seem to be taking a more pragmatic view on the various biases involved in the ways of measuring SST that they use in constructing their own HadISST series, and the differences between it and the NOAA ERSST series. Apparently they hosted an international workshop in 2015 about this very subject, but are still waiting for the results of a peer-reviewed paper before adding a fudge factor implementing any changes.

Final thoughts

You really couldn’t make this up! It looks to me like a pretty sneaky way of getting rid of the pause and boosting global temperatures in one fell swoop to me – and I’m an agnostic! I can imagine this causing a massive storm in the global warming debate during 2017.

As regards finding an alternative and accurate method of measuring SST from ships, why don’t they simply trail behind the ship a thin cable with a weighted temperature sensor at the end of it (similar to the trailing earth cable that you used to see on cars years ago)? Surely in these days of high-tech, someone could develop an accurate sensor and wireless transmitter that could be towed behind a ship. Perhaps that idea has been discounted because the wake left by the ship could minutely increase the SST.