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Second Coldest Year In England Since 1996

January 2, 2013
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By Paul Homewood



As I forecast a couple of months ago, CET figures just released confirm that 2012 was the second coldest for sixteen years, second only to 2010. The provisional figure is 9.70C, which is 0.27C colder than the 1981-2010 average.

For the whole of the CET series since 1659, there have been 81 years that have been warmer. Let’s take a look at the charts.





Figure 1


Figure 2

Interestingly, as Figure 1 shows, the 1911-2012 average is actually slightly higher, at 9.82C than this year. It is also worth noting that several years in the last century were nearly as hot as warmest of the last decade.

The hottest year was 2006, at 10.82C. Yet temperatures reached 10.62C in 1949 and 10.47C, as far back as 1921. There were perhaps more “cold spells” earlier in the record, but what really does stand out is just how little things have changed in the last 100 years.

Figure 2 illustrates, more clearly, how temperatures in the last 5 years have dropped away since the batch of warmer years around the turn of the century. This can also be seen well in Figure 3, which shows 12 month running averages.



Figure 3

Finally, let’s take a look at how the five year running averages look throughout the CET series.



Figure 4

Two things stand out:-

1) Current temperatures are less than half a degree above the long term trend.

2) The last five year average of 9.86C is lower than the run of years from 1729-1739, which peaked at 10.01C.


There is no doubt that the sharp uptick in temperatures from the late 1980’s through to 2006, which was exacerbated by the colder interlude in the 1960’s and 70’s, convinced many that this was the start of a linear, or even exponential, trend. Events, however, in the last few years must now be casting real doubt on this assumption, particularly with the AMO due to turn negative in the next few years.


Precipitation data should also be out in a day or two, so I’ll update that as and when, along with the more detailed Met Office for the whole of the UK.




Full CET data is here.



Having mentioned the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, I might as well put the graph in! First though, let’s recap on what NOAA say about it.

What is the AMO?

The AMO is an ongoing series of long-duration changes in the sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean, with cool and warm phases that may last for 20-40 years at a time and a difference of about 1°F between extremes. These changes are natural and have been occurring for at least the last 1,000 years.

How much of the Atlantic are we talking about?

Most of the Atlantic between the equator and Greenland changes in unison. Some area of the North Pacific also seem to be affected.

What phase are we in right now?

Since the mid-1990s we have been in a warm phase.

What are the impacts of the AMO?

The AMO has affected air temperatures and rainfall over much of the Northern Hemisphere, in particular, North America and Europe. It is associated with changes in the frequency of North American droughts and is reflected in the frequency of severe Atlantic hurricanes. It alternately obscures and exaggerates the global increase in temperatures due to human-induced global warming.




The warmer interlude in the 1940’s and 50’s, and again since 1990, are well correlated with the warm phases of the AMO. Based on previous cycles, we may have another decade to go before the AMO returns to its cold phase. And as NOAA point out, it has been around for at least 1000 years, so it won’t be going away tomorrow!

If current Central England Temperatures have already peaked, we could all be in for a rather cold next few decades!


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