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Williamson Letter Part Two

July 2, 2017

By Paul Homewood


Back to the Williamson letter:


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


Now for the first part of that letter. A few thoughts.


  1. It is good to see that he agrees airports are a very poor place to place weather stations on. Perhaps he might like to comment on the fact that airports now account for roughly a half of all the stations in the supposedly gold plated GHCN.
  2. He talks about “worldwide highs”. He provides no evidence of this, but I have analysed many such claims before, and they all ended up as fake.

Many are based on sites with only a few years history, such as Gravesend and Faversham in the UK which only have date since the late 1990s. No serious scientist would claim “record” temps at these sites.

Many others are at airports (think Heathrow!), or in big cities, where rising temps are due to UHI.

What we do know is that if we look at sites with long term data and little UHI, temperatures are not going up in the way he describes.

In the US, it is absolutely indisputable that most record high temperatures occurred in the 1930s, even outside of summer months. Also very few records have been set since 2000.

In Britain, by far the hottest summer was in 1976, and the highest daily temperature in the CET was recorded in 1976, and equalled in 1990

Many of these supposed records in any event are not “heat” but simply slightly milder temperatures in winter or spring. The idea that people will die from this is frankly irresponsible scaremongering.


3) He talks emotively about thousands dying from these supposed record temps, and half the world at risk from deadly heat.

But he forgets to mention that, in the UK alone, some 25000 a year die from the cold every winter. It is cold that kills, even in countries like India.

And in the past millions have died from floods, drought and other weather events. There is absolutely no evidence that more people will die of the weather than do now.





I would ask him just what temperature he would like to see the Earth at. Would he prefer the 19thC maybe, when millions died in India and China from drought?

Just what does he imagine LIA temperatures would do to global food production?

Or maybe he would prefer 1930s style dustbowls? Or the killer tornadoes that the 1970s brought.


I have already complained about the dreadfully one sided article he wrote for the Spectator. From a blogger such as me, that might be acceptable. But from a supposedly impartial scientist, we should surely expect something better, with all the facts on show.

  1. July 2, 2017 10:38 pm

    ‘the rate of the rise in the sea level is, unfortunately, accelerating – even if Mr Booker says it isn’t.’


  2. Don B permalink
    July 3, 2017 12:30 am

    Of the 50 USA state maximum temperature records, 36 were set prior to 1940.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 3, 2017 5:44 pm

      Thickipedia page shows just 2 records set since 2000, and neither are in the last 2 years when the planet has been the hottest evah!

  3. Graeme No.3 permalink
    July 3, 2017 1:06 am

    Well said, but it won’t penetrate the amour plate around the minds of those in East Anglia.

  4. Europeanonion permalink
    July 3, 2017 6:48 am

    There has to be a correlation between temperature change and immigration. One sure way of raising the temperature would be to have more people, especially in such a small land mass as ours. If temperature is such a hair-trigger then perhaps the powers that be might consider halting migration?

  5. July 3, 2017 8:22 am

    Quite right Paul. And to add to this the traffic at these airports has increased dramatically with cheaper airfares since the early 90s.

  6. Mike Jackson permalink
    July 3, 2017 8:54 am

    Facts, Paul? Facts?! We don’t need no stinkin’ facts. We ars savin’ the planet, man! Get with the program!

  7. dennisambler permalink
    July 3, 2017 9:44 am

    Do they actually believe what they are saying?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 3, 2017 5:42 pm

      That is always the question. It is either groupthink at work or they are Marxists where anything is acceptable for the cause.

  8. July 3, 2017 11:11 am

    Maybe it is time to republish the brilliant student article from UEA of the advantages of peeing in the shower. That was one of the funniest and the comments had me laughing until I cried. UEA has given us “climategate” and “peeing in the shower.”

  9. A C Osborn permalink
    July 3, 2017 12:44 pm

    Paul, has Steven Hawking lost his mind or is he also like Williamson?
    It is all over the MSM that he has advised President Trump that if he doesn’t change his mind the Earth will end up like Venus with an Atmospheric Temperature of 250 Degrees C, wind speeds of up to 100 metres per second and raining sulphuric acid.

  10. July 3, 2017 11:13 pm

    His comment on ocean warming sadly reaffirms the necessity to close down the UEA, before any further damage is done to science.

  11. tom0mason permalink
    July 4, 2017 3:56 am

    To the hubristic Williamson

    ““It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty—a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it: “– Richard Feynman

    You know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth would be what is required from a scientist of merit.

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