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Letter from Phillip Williamson

July 2, 2017

By Paul Homewood

TheTelegraph have published the following letter today from Phillip Williamson, in response to Booker’s column last week:


SIR – Christopher Booker is right to question whether busy airports provide suitable locations for weather stations, particularly for temperature extremes (“Nice heatwave, but June 1878 was hotter”, June 25).

However, his historical analysis fails to mention that 57 per cent of worldwide highs were recorded since 2000, causing many thousands of fatalities. More than half the global population is likely to be at risk from deadly heat in the decades ahead.

Reliable records of ocean warming have existed since the Sixties. These show that the seas are warming from surface to sea floor, soaking up almost all of the extra heat retained by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Furthermore, the rate of the rise in the sea level is, unfortunately, accelerating – even if Mr Booker says it isn’t.

Dr Phillip Williamson
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia, Norwich



Unfortunately the letter is highly misleading.

I will deal with the first section later, but first let’s examine his claim that sea level rise is accelerating.

As I pointed out in my post last week, a recent paper found that the GMSL rose with the rate of 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr during 1993–2003 and started decelerating since 2004 to a rate of 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012.


In other words, sea level rise is back to the 20thC average and has actually been decelerating, if you want to cherry pick such short periods.


We also know from the IPCC that sea levels between 1920 & 1950 were rising at a similar rate to 1993-2010


It is clear these things go in cycles, and it is grossly misleading to draw trends from the upward part. For instance, New York:



I will be writing to the Telegraph letters column to inform its readers of the real facts

  1. quaesoveritas permalink
    July 2, 2017 1:04 pm

    “More than half the global population is likely to be at risk from deadly heat in the decades ahead.”
    Does he mean that over half the global population could die as a result of “global warming”?
    It sounds like he is hinting at that, but I am sure that is just alarmist hyperbole.

  2. dearieme permalink
    July 2, 2017 1:25 pm

    “School of Environmental Sciences
    University of East Anglia, Norwich”

    Say no more.

    • Joe Public permalink
      July 2, 2017 2:03 pm

      Sharing a campus with:


      UEA pioneered the teaching of Creative Writing in the UK. We established the first MA in Creative Writing in 1970 and the first PhD in Creative and Critical Writing in 1987. Creative Writing at undergraduate level has been taught informally since the 1960s and formally since 1995.”

      • roger permalink
        July 2, 2017 2:39 pm

        No doubt the earliest examples are the Jonesian essays in email form.

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      July 2, 2017 9:13 pm

      You just beat me, I was going to write a sarcastic comment about the Doctor of “environmental sciences”, sounded like an April the1st con……but then as we know, the scare stories are a major part of the UN attitude to Capitalism. It does not like it! I do wonder just how big his grants are?

  3. Adrian permalink
    July 2, 2017 1:40 pm


  4. July 2, 2017 2:06 pm

    The letter is more than a little misleading because the number of deaths from heat is not an appropriate statistic. As any professor of environment ought to know the relevant statistic is the net number of deaths from both heat and cold.

    And more people worldwide die of cold than heat.

    Which might explain why retirees in both Canada and the northern states of the US migrate to the southern states of the US.

    Those of us who like heat much more than cold choose the tropics, the closer to the Equator, the better.

    Even 30 degrees north or south of the Equator is a fridge too far.

    (I hereby declare the last sentence above to be in the public domain.).

    • A C Osborn permalink
      July 2, 2017 5:51 pm

      As you say many times more die of the Cold than die of being too warm.
      However in both cases the answer is simple, very low cost, reliable and available to all ENERGY.
      What CAGW and Renewable proponents suggest provides exactly the opposite, it is as if they are trying to bring about their predictions.

    • July 3, 2017 10:58 am

      You can be run off the road in West Virginia when traveling the speed limit on I-79 (70 mph) by those with Ontario, Canada licenses zooming to Florida in the late fall and winter.

  5. July 2, 2017 3:56 pm

    The sun heats the oceans, the oceans heat the atmosphere. He has it the wrong way round. And greenhouse gases cannot retain heat. One thing is for sure – he ain’t a physicist. They don’t do physics any more as the University of Easy Access.

  6. treghotel permalink
    July 2, 2017 4:22 pm

    I hope your letter is published Paul as I have written several letters decrying global warning,but they are never published.As a Telegraph reader of several decades I am increasingly aware that the paper is becoming more and more “arty” and Guardian like and am considering changing my newspaper.Problem is that all newspapers seem to be global warmist in context.

  7. Curious George permalink
    July 2, 2017 4:50 pm

    The School of Environmental Science. Bad enough. The University of East Anglia. Dr. Williamson is a “my way or the highway” type. Booker said that – I say this – surely I am right!

  8. tom0mason permalink
    July 2, 2017 5:14 pm

    Phillip Williamson appears to be one of the church of AGW priests, specifically the fire and brimstone sect.

    Here’s something for him —

    Shoreline changes in reef islands of the Central Pacific are stable or getting larger? Computer models say NO.
    However a report called ‘Shoreline changes in reef islands of the Central Pacific: Takapoto Atoll, Norther Tuamotu, French Polynesia.‘ by Duvat, V.K.E. and Pillet, V. in 2017 Geomorphology 282: 96-118. say otherwise. ( )

    Their report highlights that against all UN-IPCC claims to the contrary (of what must happen), between the years 1969 and 2013, shoreline and island changes on Takapoto Atoll, Northern Tuamotu, French Polynesia, most of the reef islands “exhibited either a real stability (41%) or expansion (33%),” including the two largest islands (772 ha and 320 ha), which showed expansion and stability, respectively.
    In commenting on these findings, the two researchers say “our results therefore confirm that the reef islands of the northern Tuamotu chain are robust landforms showing no sign of widespread erosion or of positional instability as a result of contemporary sea-level rise.”

    In nearly 44 years the island are stable or growing! So Mr Hubris Williamson weren’t these places supposed to vanish with rising sea-levels?
    Look Mr. Phillip Williamson (and UN-IPCC) it ain’t happening!

    Other reports on sea-levels not behaving as expected are at

  9. July 2, 2017 5:53 pm

    Heathrow is busier now than it ever was, so yet more poor science (not comparing like with like). The heat island effect from the tarmac i would assume has been constant, but the number of flights has increased substantially as the relative price of flying has fallen.To give an idea of the thrust from ONE jet engine and the energy it expends on take off, watch this entertaining video:

  10. dave permalink
    July 2, 2017 6:05 pm

    “…deadly heat…”

    And yet, and yet…

    tropical cyclone energy in Southern Hemisphere this year…


  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 2, 2017 6:53 pm

    It’s a modelled statistic. Odds on. This is fake news – that’s not worth the candle. IOW: A lie.

  12. Bradley Curtis permalink
    July 2, 2017 7:57 pm

    Sound like published Fake News, “there’s a huge amount of that going around ” Nice to be supporting real news. Thanks.

  13. Ian Miller permalink
    July 2, 2017 9:18 pm

    In as much as a blanket of CO2 greenhouse gas is said to hold in heat at the earth’s surface allegedly preventing heat from escaping and thus warming the planet, surely this same blanket will insulate the planet from heat entering from the sun ?

    If this CO2 blanket will hold in as much fossil fuel heat, as hold out the sun’s heat, then CO2 emissions can only have a broadly neutral effect on Climate, contrary to what the ‘authorities’ who wish to curtail us all, – would desperately try to tell us. Furthermore how can CO2 at 0.04% of the atmosphere possibly affect any significant heat transfer ?

    So, this grossly expensive, unreliable ‘renewable energy’ White Elephant allegedly to save the planet from CO2 having NO effect on world temperatures, only serves to impoverish us all – big time through misappropriation of our resources !

  14. July 3, 2017 5:54 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  15. tom0mason permalink
    July 3, 2017 10:25 pm

    I see that Germany has issued a new banknote so you can evaluate the worth of both the Paris Accord and all the CO2 mitigations measures you country employs —

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