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Update On Thermal Growing Seasons

May 9, 2016
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By Paul Homewood 

 

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https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/thermal-growing-seasons-in-the-uk/

 

Last week, I showed this graph from DECC, analysing thermal growing seasons.

 

Top recap, the data is from CET and according to DECC:

 

image_thumb19

 

The last report published by DECC only took us up to 2012, so I asked them if the data was still being maintained.

It is pleasing to report that I got the following very prompt and full reply:

 

As far as I can make out this data used to be updated every January but stopped when the person who did the work left the department about 3 years ago and it seems to have been completely forgotten. I think it is an interesting dataset which is also reasonably long term and I might do an update when all the 2016 data is in. In the meantime the growing season lengths in 2013, 2014 & 2015 (which are all provisional as they were obtained manually) appear to be 228 days, 336 days and 303 days respectively. 2013 is well below the 1961-90 average (252 days) because of the very cold spring of that year, 2014 is slightly above the previous highest value of 330 days (in 2000) due to the absence of any sustained cold spell in the first few months of that year; it was not until early December that the first 5 day cold spell appeared. 2015 only exceeded 300 days because of the freakishly warm December in 2015, otherwise it would have been fairly average. The initial data for 2016 suggests a possible return to normality depending on what happens in the autumn.

I see that you recently posted up an article about this dataset on your blog. Regarding Dorian’s comment suggesting a lack of correlation between DECC’s growing season curve and a 20th century UK mean temperature graph from another post, I don’t think that is the case.  The latter graph includes January & February, months which don’t normally figure in growing season statistics, though it can happen in February. Met office data show these 2 months were on a downward trend up to about the 1950s with only a slight recovery up to about 1980. Spring & autumn on the other hand warmed up throughout the 20th century apart from a dip in the 1960s & 70s. These trends appear to have been captured by DECC’s growing season curve.  On NeilC’s comment criticizing the use of temperature as the sole criterion, I am not a plant expert so I can only speak for myself but it seemed to be good enough for HH Lamb who knew a thing or two about climate variation (Lamb used 6 degrees as the threshold compared to DECC’s 5 degrees according to the blog’s extract from his book). The other factors mentioned in the comment undoubtedly have an influence, especially in greenhouses,  but I would suggest that at the start and end of the growing season in the UK natural environment temperature is the critical factor.

Best regards

Paul Munro

Climate change statistics

 

 

Just to pick up on one of Paul’s points, the 1981-2010 average is 270 days, implying a growing season of roughly mid Feb to mid Nov. DECC state that the increase since 1980 is largely due to the early onset of spring, which would indicate warmer Februarys, rather than warmer springs.

This would appear to correlate with the Met Office temperature record for February, showing a sharp uptick from the mid 1980s. It is clear that this is predominantly due to the lack of any really cold months since 1986, and that the warm months are not getting any warmer.

 

 

image

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2016 9:45 pm

    Excellent, lets hope that it is updated, published and maintained….

  2. May 9, 2016 10:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  3. Graeme No.3 permalink
    May 9, 2016 11:15 pm

    Enter the name Paul Munro on the list of those to keep when the inevitable culling of the Department occurs.

  4. May 10, 2016 6:07 am

    A friend of mine who was a farmer’s son always used to maintain that grass did not start to grow until the temperature reached 6 degrees.

  5. Dorian permalink
    May 10, 2016 6:46 am

    Let’s take this one step at a time:

    Firstly lets deal with this first bit of nonsense:

    As far as I can make out this data used to be updated every January but stopped when the person who did the work left the department about 3 years ago and it seems to have been completely forgotten. I think it is an interesting dataset which is also reasonably long term and I might do an update when all the 2016 data is in. In the meantime the growing season lengths in 2013, 2014 & 2015 (which are all provisional as they were obtained manually) appear to be 228 days, 336 days and 303 days respectively. 2013 is well below the 1961-90 average (252 days) because of the very cold spring of that year, 2014 is slightly above the previous highest value of 330 days (in 2000) due to the absence of any sustained cold spell in the first few months of that year; it was not until early December that the first 5 day cold spell appeared. 2015 only exceeded 300 days because of the freakishly warm December in 2015, otherwise it would have been fairly average. The initial data for 2016 suggests a possible return to normality depending on what happens in the autumn.

    Before I begin, I would like to clarify something. I am taking the whole paragraph as a whole to respond to and not sentence by sentence, which I would do if I where referring a paper. It would take too long do this. Furthermore I will respond, in a non-ish technical manner, for if I went technical (that is I bring in stats/math jargon, I will be guilty of the same things that I accuse of those other blogs -like whatesupwiththat- taking science argumentation out of where it belongs…. IN JOURNALS!). Ok so let’s get into it….

    When you reply with “As far as I can make out…”, and “I think….”, it illustrates you are not sure of what you are talking about, and that tells me, are you even qualified to even try. Furthermore, statements like “…dataset which is reasonably long…” are oxymoronish! How do you get the idea what is reasonably long? Since after all you said yourself you’re not even sure about what you are doing. You then select 3 years to make a point about a period of data that goes for 100 years! This is not scientific reasoning, this is, CHERRY PICKING! This is exactly the kind of IDIOTIC, MORONIC and SELF SERVING CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR I have been talking about that has inflicted Science now for may years. And then you make the biggest mistake that NO 1ST YEAR SCIENCE MAJOR OR EVEN HIGH SCHOOL SCHOOL STUDENT SHOULD DO…That is, you said, “…initial data for 2016 suggests a possible ….”, BWHAHAHAHAHA, are you that incompetent? GOLDEN RULE ABOUT DATA PERIODS, you can never assume what the end data points are going to do in the post-data period!! You have no idea of what you are doing. That is why, taking climate data for the last 20 or even 50 years IS MEANINGLESS. For climate trends take up to several hundred years to unravel before you even see a trend! For example, take the last 1,000 years!! This entire paragraph is wacko nonsense, in the extreme.

    In short, Paul Munro, your first paragraph of stupid nonsense, is exactly that, STUPID NONSENSE. You have no idea of what you are talking about, which you admit to, you have made NO SOUND observations, which ANY SOUND SCIENTIST would attest to.

    Lets now get to your next foolish nonsense, exhibit two…

    I see that you recently posted up an article about this dataset on your blog. Regarding Dorian’s comment suggesting a lack of correlation between DECC’s growing season curve and a 20th century UK mean temperature graph from another post, I don’t think that is the case. The latter graph includes January & February, months which don’t normally figure in growing season statistics, though it can happen in February. Met office data show these 2 months were on a downward trend up to about the 1950s with only a slight recovery up to about 1980. Spring & autumn on the other hand warmed up throughout the 20th century apart from a dip in the 1960s & 70s. These trends appear to have been captured by DECC’s growing season curve. On NeilC’s comment criticizing the use of temperature as the sole criterion, I am not a plant expert so I can only speak for myself but it seemed to be good enough for HH Lamb who knew a thing or two about climate variation (Lamb used 6 degrees as the threshold compared to DECC’s 5 degrees according to the blog’s extract from his book). The other factors mentioned in the comment undoubtedly have an influence, especially in greenhouses, but I would suggest that at the start and end of the growing season in the UK natural environment temperature is the critical factor.

    Oh, where do I begin? (Apologizes to Engelbert Humperdinck -now there was someone who really knew what he was doing, great singer). Moving on. Once again, you say, “I don’t think that is the case…”. Ok prove it! You have all the data. Then do a correlation between the two charts. I STAND BY MY OBSERVATION. DO THE CORRELATION! You do know how do a correlation don’t you? Munro, you have all the data, you call yourself “Climate Change Statistics”. Listen genius, doing Excel charts, any numbskull can do. That doesn’t make you a Statistician. DO THE STATS! Let’s see the REAL NUMBERS. I want to see a correlation coefficient, I want to see, std devs.

    Furthermore, cherry picking periods again doesn’t prove anything. You need to see TRENDS, and trends are only valid when you have HIGH correlations. So show the high correlation here OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF DATA, not 2 or 3 years. Furthermore, you state, “..I am not a plant expert…”, hey buddy, newsflash, you’re not even a stats/data expert either. As for LAMB, I could write a book about his nonsense. He’s work was based nearly 50 years ago, when there was NO GLOBAL WARMING HYSTERIA, BUT THERE WAS A GLOBAL COOLING HYSTERIA. Lamb’s work has further been, twisted and abused to stupid extremes. Better leave the dead alone, lets just say that much of Lamb’s work is highly questionable now, as it should be. Then we get to the pièce de résistance, I quote genius Munro at his best, “The other factors mentioned in the comment undoubtedly have an influence, especially in greenhouses, but I would suggest that at the start and end of the growing season in the UK natural environment temperature is the critical factor”; oh how I could spend two days on this piece of *&#!. Greenhouses? Hey brainiac, you do understand that in a greenhouse, YOU CONTROL THE TEMPERATURE AND GROWING PERIOD, it ain’t Mother Nature. Sheeesh, some people are really stupid! Then there is the whole question of the start and end of the growing season. Right now it is 5 days of a certain temperature threshold. Think about it brainiac, 5 days in 365 days in a year amounts not even allowing a 2% variation. Let me do the math for you genius (I know, I know, I promised no heavy math, well for most of you, what I do now isn’t heavy, but for Brianiac Munro, its a toughie, so apologizes to Brianiac), so here it comes, 5 divide by 365 multiplied by 100, (for the rest of us, 5×100/365), is approx. 1.4%. Does that sound like to you a very good definition for the start of end of period. It doesn’t even allow a 2% change in climate/weather changes! How about something more reasonable, like 5%, something like 10 or 14 days. I can remember many times where there has been warm spells and cold spells last 5 days in the middle of summer and winter, and if they occur in spring or autumn, you really play havoc with the length of the growing period; which all goes back to my original observation, WEAK TO NO CORRELATION. All you have to do is look at the charts, one goes up, and the other goes weakly up. Hey, any electronic engineers out that, I just detected an amplification effect in climate. Take a look at the mean temp variation chart, it slightly goes up, but the length the season change is magnified….Hey Munro, you see it! You want to partner with me and write a paper on a new cause/effect we have discovered. We can win a Noble Prize. Hey guys, don’t laugh!! They give Nobels for a lot less these days! Ok Ok, back to the serious matter at hand…..

    This all goes back to my original post. Where is the correlation. I DON”T SEE IT. PROVE ME WRONG….WITH FACTS. Show me the numbers. Better and more appropriately, yet, PUT IT IN A JOURNAL, and lets test the hypothesis out with solid science, and have it verified.

    And last but not least, you wrote….

    Best regards

    Paul Munro

    Climate change statistics

    My reply to that is, you’ve got to be kidding. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

    And to the following remarks:

    Just to pick up on one of Paul’s points, the 1981-2010 average is 270 days, implying a growing season of roughly mid Feb to mid Nov. DECC state that the increase since 1980 is largely due to the early onset of spring, which would indicate warmer Februarys, rather than warmer springs.

    This would appear to correlate with the Met Office temperature record for February, showing a sharp uptick from the mid 1980s. It is clear that this is predominantly due to the lack of any really cold months since 1986, and that the warm months are not getting any warmer.

    Read what a wrote about Munro. Don’t cherry pick. Look for trends for the entire period. As I also said, many times now, 100 years of data is meaningless, show me data for 1,000 years. Which I know doesn’t exist.

    I know that Man has a tendency to be attracted to formulate opinions and theories even with the most limited amount of data. But this is when, training in Science and Math must take over. You can’t let your desires and worse, your political and social beliefs get in the way of what Mother Nature takes thousands of years to do. There is nothing, I SAY NOTHING, in the data illustrated today, or in the other post about Seasonal Lengths that betray anything that is anthropomorphic, in the sense of that Man is heating the Earth. However, re-read what I stated in the older blog about Seasonal Lengths. Munro and ilk have not even bothered to raise the issues that I stated in the 2nd comment. That being about Man’s technology in the agricultural sciences. We can grow crops now in more sever climates, thanks to crop hybridization and genetic manipulation. Don’t forget seeds today are much more hardier than seeds of 100 years ago. And so on the argument goes. This has nothing to do with Global Warming, and yet, people still look for linkages.

    As I have said many, many, many times, this kind of discussion we are having here IS WRONG. There is not enough data, there is not enough knowledge, there is not enough understanding of the Natural processes that are going on, for Man to formulate any opinion on what the Earth is going through.

    Ok Enough with this idiocy. I wasted enough time on this matter this morning, I need to get back to serious work.

    • Dorian permalink
      May 10, 2016 10:18 am

      Out of curiosity, is the Climate Change Statistics organization associated with Denmark’s Council of Ethics?

      I ask because I have a very disturbing feeling something here is all too familiar. Hmmm.

  6. Bloke down the pub permalink
    May 10, 2016 11:25 am

    BZ to Paul Munro.

  7. NeilC permalink
    May 10, 2016 12:19 pm

    How anyone can think temperature alone is the key for plant growth is just stupid, and I don’t care what HH Lamb thought.

    As I mentioned in my first comment, All plants in the UK need at least some photons near the UV wavelength (sunshine), heat (temperature), and mositure (rain or high humidity).

    It obviously depends on species. Mosses, ferns and lichens grow best with less sunshine variable temperatures (some like warm/some like cool) and higher levels of humidity or rain.

    Think about when you start cutting your grass at the beginning of a season (maybe once or twice at most in March) and then at the end of a season (October maybe once or twice) – at most 245 days, but it doesn’t grow equally or at all, every day,

    Think about when trees turn colour in Autumn end of growth (September/October) then think when trees start to bud (March/April) start of growth. Maximum growth days 245.

    Lack of, or low levels of sunshine; no or slow growth, lack of, or little mositure; no or slow growth, heat stress no or low growth. So 300+ days Themral Growing Index is nonsense.

    My photosynthesis Index had 2013 – 103 days; 2014 – 145 days; and 2015 – 116 days, which considering the stop/start nature of plant growth and the combination of factors necessary for growth seems reasonable.

  8. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 10, 2016 5:22 pm

    Is Bloke Down The Pub a naval signalman?

  9. Paul Munro permalink
    May 11, 2016 6:25 pm

    Nice to see the interest in this. Leaving aside Dorian’s wonderfully OTT comments, in his email to climate change stats Paul asked if there were any updates hence I gave the missing last 3 years in the response. Nothing to do with cherry-picking 3 years of data to make a point about a hundred year dataset. On my suggestion of a possible return to normality in 2016 this was qualified by pointing out it depends on what happens in autumn, or as Dorian would say the end data point.

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