Climate Change Realities?

Climate Change Pic 1 031114

Mean monthly temperatures, Ross-on-Wye, measured from 1931 to 2013. Source: UK Met. Office.


Close to Home


The UK has some of the best weather records in the world. People have been measuring the weather for longer on this small island than almost anywhere else. My ‘local’ weather station, at Ross-on-Wye, has 83 years of data; i.e., a human lifetime’s worth.

Is it true, as some claim, that the rate of warming has flattened off in the last few decades? Or has it only warmed at sites where the land uses have changed radically over the last 60 years; e.g., Heathrow?

Land uses at Ross-on-Wye have not changed radically. The graph shows the monthly mean temperatures recorded from 1931 to 2013. The best approximation to a trend line that I could obtain shows relatively little change for the first 30-40 years followed by a marked warming since the late 1960s. The mean annual temperature has apparently risen by 1.0-1.5 degrees K.

All is superimposed, of course, on normal fluctuations. We can only deal in the statistics of this; there are no absolute certainties.

Similar figures are published on the Met. Office website for over 50 sites spread almost from Land’s End to John o’ Groats. Anyone can download the figures into a spreadsheet and plot it on a graph. Maybe others who read this could look at their local weather station data and report what trend it shows?


World View


The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change has published a report saying what it thinks will happen if we continue on our present business as usual course [1]. It is not ‘a pretty sight’.

I have ‘only’ read part of the 40 pp. ‘summary’. I ‘skimmed’ the rest. The document turned out to be extremely ‘heavy going’. Far longer versions are available if one has the time.

As always, combatting the climate change problem seems to depend on action in the next few decades. This could restrain the temperature rise to a further 2 degrees K.

But we have been making similar comments to this for over a decade, so time is getting pretty short for some serious action. What I notice is that there are millions of opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions in ways that make money, rather than lose money as all too many ‘non-oil’ options seem to do – I pointed this out in the last blog when I actually went as far as supporting some things which Owen Patterson MP had said.

I am writing a post on one major example of these ‘win-win’ technologies. I intend to publish it within about a week.