UK temperature analysis from 1659 to 2019

Introduction

The politically-motivated UN IPCC offers no proof that man-made CO2 is causing dangerous global warming, just unproven, unconvincing assertions based on hopelessly-exaggerating “Garbage In, Garbage Out” (GIGO) computer climate models.

These UN IPCC assertions are debunked by analysis of the benchmark Central England Temperature (CET) series, plotted below. The CET may not be global but it aligns well with the broad trends if not the precision of global temperature series such as HadCRUT4.

The analysis shows no credible evidence of any discernible man-made global warming ever, regardless of a possible warming bias from the UHI effect. This conclusion has been confirmed by a well-known independent scientist, for the global HadCRUT4 series as well as the CET.

The linear trendline shows the gradual recovery from the cold of the Little Ice Age starting well before the start of the industrialisation, as discussed in the Long Slow Thaw by a well-known climate historian. The UN IPCC has no explanation for this “inconvenient” long-term trend. They tried to hide it with their infamous “hockey-stick graph“ which they gleefully plastered all over their publicity material until it was proved to be fraudulent. Now they simply ignore it.

The smoothed series (red) is calculated from the CET public data annual mean values as a centred 11-year moving average. With nice symmetry, it shows a temperature increase of 0.5ºC from 1850 (around the start of the industrial revolution and coincidentally the end of the Little Ice Age) to 1950, followed by a further 0.5ºC increase from 1950 to 2014 when the centred moving average series ends.

The level of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere had not risen much above pre-industrial levels by 1950, as shown graphically here, which means that the 0.5ºC of CET warming from 1850 to 1950 must have been mostly if not wholly due to natural causes rather than atmospheric CO2, as explained mathematically here. So why shouldn’t the 0.5ºC of warming since 1950 have been mostly if not wholly natural as well, as the following facts strongly suggest?

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1950 to the present

Between 1950 and 1967 the CET moving average fell by 0.4ºC despite steeply rising atmospheric CO2 levels, coinciding with a preponderance of naturally cooling La Nina events. This cold phase persisted for the next 15 years during which the moving average rose by just 0.1ºC. This pronounced cold was experienced globally, causing widespread droughts and dwindling world grain reserves and even provoking alarm calls about a possible new Ice Age.

Then, in a reversal too sudden and short-lived to be attributable to rising atmospheric CO2, the CET moving average rose steeply by 1.1ºC from 1982 to 2002, coinciding with reduced global cloud cover and a preponderance of naturally warming El Nino events.

Next, in contrast to steadily increasing atmospheric CO2, the moving average fell abruptly by 0.3ºC from 2002 to the end of the series in 2014. Thanks probably to recent natural El Ninos, the annual mean series ended with 2019 being 0.1ºC warmer than the 2014 moving average, despite which 2019 was 0.3ºC colder than both 2002 and 1990.

The UN IPCC unconvincingly asserted in AR5 that human influences are “extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”. This assertion is extremely implausible given that (i) the only period of sustained CET warming to date since before 1950 has been the obviously-natural 0.6ºC per decade spurt from 1982 to 2002 and (ii) they themselves say that alleged CO2 warming is supposed occur at a slow but steady rate of about 0.2 ± 0.1ºC per decade.

These CET changes since around 1950 map neatly onto the cyclical changes of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), shown below, the natural cycle which has varied in lockstep with the more pronounced ups and downs of global land and sea temperatures over the past 170 years yet, disgracefully, has never been mentioned in any UN IPCC summary report for policymakers. The 20-year continuation of the well-documented “pause” in global temperatures from around the turn of the century maps onto the AMO’s top-of-cycle warm phase. If it follows its previous regular patterns it will soon enter its cooling phase.

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Pre-1950

Going back to pre-1950 when atmospheric CO2 was too low (see above links) to have much, if any, alleged influence on climate, the CET moving average nevertheless rose 0.5ºC from 1922 to 1948, corresponding to the warming phase of the previous 60‑year AMO cycle (and the USA dust bowl years). It shows similar rises and falls over earlier decades and centuries, all at very low levels of atmospheric CO2.

Well before any industrialisation, the CET moving average rose by a stonking 1.7ºC between 1694 and 1733 with the mean for 1733 warmer by 0.2ºC than the mean for 2019. That came just after the extreme cold spell known as the Seven ill years of the 1690s which caused severe famine and depopulation in Scotland. The description of the Coronavirus recession as being “the worst in over 300 years” refers to that time. Most people have no idea how lucky they are to be living in today’s benign climate.

Climate spin, misinformation, exaggerations and deceptions

Few people realise that the UN IPCC is only mandated to study the risks of human, not natural, influences on climate. They then shamelessly pretend that greenhouse gases – emphasising man-made CO2 and not even mentioning water vapour, the most important greenhouse gas – and other “anthropogenic forcings” are the main drivers of climate, taking the general public (and gullible politicians) for fools.

As for alleged “extreme weather”, history shows that weather conditions during the Little Ice Age were far worse than today. That is exactly as would be expected scientifically due to the strengthened thermal gradients which then prevailed across the then colder UK latitudes. In today’s benign climate, the Yorkshire floods of early 2020 were due to bad water management, not climate change. Owen Paterson sorted the Somerset flooding of 2014 when he was Defra Secretary by overruling the useless EU regulations and reinstating ancient dredging practices.

Even the UN IPCC says there is no evidence of worsening extreme weather due to human influence. Even the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation brands the alarmist climate narrative “religious extremism”.

The indisputable CET evidence going back centuries shows negligible correlation between changing temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels. In fact many studies have shown that atmospheric CO2 levels rise after global temperatures have risen.

All the evidence indicates beyond reasonable doubt that the alarmist theory of dangerous man-made global warming is a blatant political sham, a subterfuge power bid to “dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives”.

The above historical temperature and climate facts make a mockery of the “climate emergency” recently declared without a shred of scientific or statistical justification by our shameless (or very poorly informed) politicians.

Disgracefully, these same facts are never mentioned by our conniving establishment scientists. The linked article refers to a 2010 op-ed by a leading Met Office climate scientist wondering if scientists shouldn’t be doing more to counter unscientific climate alarmism. Despite the continuing lack of empirical evidence for man-made global warming, he appears to have dropped all such thoughts (dissembling by omission) and has now sunk to promoting the desperate new alarmist phrase “global heating” instead of “global warming”. This Met Office propagandist has even been awarded an MBE for “services to understanding climate change”.

Conclusion

It is the height of madness (or devious deception) to disregard such devastatingly contrarian climate evidence in order to “justify” a hopelessly unrealistic and self-harming £ multi-trillion Net Zero emissions decarbonisation scheme which:

Douglas S Brodie, Nairn, July 2020