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Plus ca Change–UK Climate Trends

September 27, 2019
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By Paul Homewood


The GWPF have now published my latest report on UK climate trends:



The UK Parliament declared a climate emergency earlier this year. And they are not the only ones. It is estimated that half of the UK’s principal local authorities have done the same.

Meanwhile the Committee on Climate Change claim that extreme weather events are increasing, and the head of the Environment Agency has stated that global warming is driving both more extreme weather and hotter drier summers.

But where is the evidence for any of this? After all, it should be obvious by now, if there really was such an emergency.

Using the recently published UK Met Office “State of the UK Climate 2018”, along with other Met Office data, this paper examines UK climatic trends and assesses the truth of climate emergency claims.

The analysis finds that:

  • There was a step up in temperatures between the 1980s and early 2000s, since when temperatures have stabilised. This increase is closely associated with a rise in sea surface temperatures around the same time, itself connected to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, a natural cycle, which is currently in its warm phase.
  • The temperature data provides no evidence that temperatures will resume their upward trend in the foreseeable future.
  • Seasonal temperatures follow a similar pattern.
  • In particular, summer temperatures have still not exceeded those of 1976, despite last year’s long heatwave.
  • Based on the Central England Temperature series (CET) daily temperatures, the heatwaves of 1975 and 1976 were much more intense than anything since, including last summer, with daily temperatures peaking at higher levels and for longer. For instance, in 1975 and 1976, there were four and nine days respectively with temperatures over 30C. By contrast, last summer there was only one.
  • Whilst daily temperature extremes are not rising at the top end of the scale, extremely cold days have become much less common. In short, UK temperatures have become less extreme, contrary to common belief.
  • Although the UK Met Office claimed that last summer in the UK tied with 1976 as the hottest on record, the well respected CET tells a different story. In fact, it shows the summer of 2018 as only 5th warmest, not even as hot as 1826. This casts doubt on the Met Office’s UK gridded temperature network, which provides its official climate data, but which relies on many UHI affected sites, such as Heathrow.
  • Although there has been a clearly increasing trend in UK precipitation since the 1970s, this is largely due to increasing totals in Scotland. In the rest of the UK, there appear to be little in the way of long term changes.
  • The long running England & Wales Precipitation series (EWP), which begins in 1766, offers a longer perspective, and shows that the higher levels of rainfall experienced in the last two decades are not unprecedented.
  • Seasonal analysis of the EWP shows little trends in winter or summer rainfall since 1900, nor for that matter spring or autumn. This runs counter to regular claims of “wetter winters” and “drier summers”.
  • Analysis of EWP also provides no evidence that rainfall is becoming more extreme, whether on a decadal, monthly or daily basis. There is, however, evidence that extremely dry years have become less common.
  • Sea levels have been rising at around 1.4mm a year, after correcting for vertical land movement. Recent rates of sea level rise are similar to those in the first half of the 20thC. There is no evidence that sea level has been accelerating.
  • There is little long term data for storms, but limited data from the UK Met Office indicates that storms have not become more frequent or stronger in the last five decades.

In short, although it is slightly warmer than it used to be, the UK climate has actually changed very little. In particular, there is no evidence that weather has become more extreme.

Heatwaves have not become more severe, nor droughts. Rainfall data offers no evidence that floods have become worse either.

Neither is there any evidence from past trends that the climate will become significantly hotter, wetter or drier. Nor that sea level rise will accelerate.

Widespread claims that we are now living through a climate emergency or breakdown are just so much hot air.


The full report is here.



There is also a short video:

  1. September 27, 2019 10:57 am

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  2. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 27, 2019 11:22 am

    I was concerned to hear the Chief Scientist talking about sea-level trends based on polar ice melts and long-range predictions of further warming in excess of the 1.5 deg C IPCC target and, in his understanding, far in excess of 2 deg C (he even managed to get it up to SIX Deg at one point!!). He claimed that he arrived at this conclusion because the models from UEA had predicted this and more. But what he failed to say was, a) models have been known to wrong for many years, b) he was taking the very worst-case predictions (he didn’t use the modellers’ preferred phrase: ‘projections’) yet did not say so, leaving the (gullible) listener to believe that we’re all doomed.

    • johnbillscott permalink
      September 27, 2019 12:44 pm

      In all representations of data sets, one usually gets upper and lower bounds, Looks like the Chief Warmist always uses the upper boundary, hence, his stupid predictions. It seems weather people simply love the extremes – “hottest evaah”,” coldest evaah” dramatics.

  3. mikedaggitt permalink
    September 27, 2019 11:50 am

    Thank you, Paul, for your in-depth report. As always I have tweeted it and emailed it to my many contacts, including family.

  4. Ken Pollock permalink
    September 27, 2019 11:56 am

    Paul, could you comment on the sea level rise given by the latest IPCC report? Their chapter 4 on the subject gives the average increase over the last 20 years (1995 – 2015) as 3.6mm/yr. This is higher than earlier years, and clearly applies to the globe as a whole, rather than the UK. They also claim a 1.1m rise by 2100, equivalent to a 4′ 6″ rise per century, as opposed to the 8″ rise we commonly quote for the UK. Any thoughts?

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      September 27, 2019 2:23 pm

      Hi Ken, the IPCC statements on sea level are couched in very misleading language that is easily misread. The summary says:

      “”It is very likely that the mean rate of global averaged sea level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm yr–1 between 1901 and 2010, 2.0 [1.7 to 2.3] mm yr–1 between 1971 and 2010, and 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr–1 between 1993 and 2010. Tide-gauge and satellite altimeter data are consistent regarding the higher rate of the latter period. It is likely that similarly high rates occurred between 1920 and 1950.”

      What this says actually is:

      1901 – 2010 is 1.7 mm/yr
      1971 – 2010 is 2.0 mm/yr
      1993 – 2010 is 3.2 mm/yr

      I believe that is deliberately written to mislead people into thinking “acceleration”. But its not true. The reason is that the rates are for very different periods

      1901 – 2010 is 109 years
      1971 – 2010 is 39 years
      1993 – 2010 is 17 years

      The problem is that the rate will always appear lower over longer intervals than shorter intervals for a time series like sea level.

      The giveaway that there is no acceleration is in the final IPCC statement:

      “It is likely that similarly high rates occurred between 1920 and 1950”

      They did! If you plot a 30 yr moving slope graph of sea level rise the period up to the 1950s is clearly a higher rate than the latest 30 yr period and the data clearly show an approximately 60 year quasi-periodicity. As does global temperature data.

      Lots of people have been fooled by the way this is written. To properly describe the data it would have better to write:

      1. The data show a long term trend of linear sea level rise of around 1.7 mm/yr.
      2. There is a quasi-periodic pattern with a period of around 60 years evident
      3. Over 30 year periods, the peak rate of sea level rise can be as high as 3.2 mm/yr and as low as 1 mm/yr
      4. The maximum short term rate observed in a 30 yr period is the period ending 1956 and has a rate of 3.4 mm/yr. The latest 30 yr period ending in 2010 also shows a higher rate of sea level rise but still less than the period ending 1956.
      5. The 30 yr moving average rate was less than 0.9 mm/yr for the 30 yr period ending in 1991

      • Ken Pollock permalink
        September 27, 2019 3:10 pm

        Dear Paul,

        Many thanks for the complicated but convincing explanation. No wonder the non-scientists that write and broadcast about these things pick the most dramatic headline and hope we will not enquire further.

        Keep up the good work!


        Cllr Dr Ken Pollock,

        Member, Tenbury Division, Cabinet Member Responsible for Economy and Infrastructure, Worcestershire County Council, County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP

        0789 979 4858 01242 582025

  5. Joe Public permalink
    September 27, 2019 12:07 pm

    “Sea levels have been rising at around 1.4mm a year, after correcting for vertical land movement. Recent rates of sea level rise are similar to those in the first half of the 20thC. There is no evidence that sea level has been accelerating.”

    Here’s some evidence there’s no evidence that sea level has been accelerating:

    • Lez permalink
      September 27, 2019 3:58 pm

      The difference appears to be <0.1 GC.
      (GC = gnats cock)

    • mothcatcher permalink
      September 27, 2019 9:02 pm

      Hmm, you do know the German High Seas Fleet is now 20-50 metres below the surface of the anchorage now, don’t you? In only 100 years!

      • Mack permalink
        September 27, 2019 10:44 pm

        Sea levels at Scapa Flow must be falling then, or the land rising, because when Admiral Ludwig van Reuter ordered the scuttling of the fleet the depth of the anchorage varied between @30m and 60m. That’s climate change for yer. Zzzzzzzzz

      • splendens2160a permalink
        September 28, 2019 7:08 am

        That’s UHI adjusted, Mack (Underwater Heat Island)

  6. tonyb permalink
    September 27, 2019 12:12 pm


    I have had the discussion about uhi and its effect on CET with Tim Legg at the met office several times and was told they were examining whether the current amount of uhi needs to be adjusted from the levels set in 1974.

    As far as I am aware the report has not yet been published and Cet adjusted accordingly, but it may be that as I have been busy elsewhere I missed the announcement and the subsequent expected cooling of modern values through a uhi adjustment has happened.

    The population of the UK is 25% larger than in 1974 and the amount of infrastructure and buildings far higher, so it is difficult to believe there has not been some additional amount of human caused warming since the last adjustment .

    After discussions at the Met office with David Parker a few years ago I think the upsurge in the 90’s was more to do with uhi and especially the choice of stations, rather than a dramatic upsurge in temperatures, although undoubtedly there was some warming between the 1980’s and 1998.

    The current CET trend is very marginally down from 1998. In other words no one living in England since 1998 has known a warming trend ,although you would not know that when looking at the images of concerned school children striking in fear of their future.

  7. mjr permalink
    September 27, 2019 12:38 pm

    Assuming you did send copies of this superb document to MSM especially the BBC and The Guardian i will look forward to seeing hearing and reading the news reports tonight and over the next couple of days .

  8. Steve permalink
    September 27, 2019 1:17 pm

    The sea temperature near Bordeaux was unusually cold this summer. Nobody seems to know why.

  9. September 27, 2019 1:53 pm

    Well done Paul. Let’s hope this gets media coverage. But I’m with mjr, I don’t expect a peep from the BBC, Channel4, Sky, the Grauniad etc etc.

  10. Coeur de Lion permalink
    September 27, 2019 1:56 pm

    When I get home I’ll use the well worn track to COMPLAIN to the BBC that they haven’t done a story about this because of their inherent bias.

  11. ThinkingScientist permalink
    September 27, 2019 2:00 pm

    Hi Paul, I think Figure 17 might have the (a) and (b) panels swapped?

    17(a) is labelled “Wettest Years” with a range 500 – 800
    17(b) is labelled “Driest years” with a range 1000 – 1300

    Brownie points for using the same scale for both plots though!

    • September 27, 2019 2:48 pm

      I agree. A single graph from 500 – 1300mm could have been used to show both the driest and wettest years.

  12. HonestJoe permalink
    September 27, 2019 2:53 pm

    Thank you Paul, I am really very grateful to have this report in my hands! Sanity at last amid a turbulent sea of purile fear provoking crap. Do they think if we are frightened enough, taxes can be raised to help ‘combat climate change’ and we will rejoice when it all works, and be amazed at how effective we have been in saving our corner of the planet Earth. Plus ca Change. It is time the Emperor did have some clothes!

  13. September 27, 2019 3:09 pm

    It is a pity Christopher Booker is no longer with us to cover these facts. No doubt James Delingpole will give it good coverage, but it will not be read so widely.

  14. Mack permalink
    September 27, 2019 3:19 pm

    Brilliant summary. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if just one MP had the courage to stand up in Parliament and read your wise words out loud to the throng of the faithful who daily wail and bemoan the ‘climate emergency’? Sorry guys, nothing much is going on and, if anything, our climate is rather pleasant at the moment with no sign of any deterioration on the horizon…. until the AMO turns negative in conjunction with a solar minima, that is. Now, get a grip and do something useful with all the cash you are needlessly spunking down the green plughole to combat a non-problem!

  15. A C Osborn permalink
    September 27, 2019 4:34 pm

    Good one Paul, I just wish that you had mentioned the rise in Average temps was mostly due to the Minimum Increasing.

  16. John189 permalink
    September 27, 2019 4:45 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with Paul’s analysis and with most of the points above, and would like to contribute a few thoughts myself.

    Starting with Extreme Weather. I suspect that many “extremes” are local. The media discover them from time to time and then really go to town, linking such events with “increasing storminess” etc simply because this has become the given “knowledge” of media chatter. My own first experience of extreme weather was in February 1962, listening to a lee wave gale smashing with an unearthly screech into our house and watching next door’s garage disappear into the night. It was both terrifying (I refuse to use the ridiculous word “scary”) and fascinating, and I have been interested in weather ever since. Other extreme events followed, some national like the winter of 1962-63, others local, for example an eight day period of daily thunderstorms in August 1967 and a tornado in January 1978. Extremes have always occured and always will, and they seem to be less, not more, common in a slightly warmer world – could this be a diminished temperature gradient between the tropics and the poles? In any case, climate hysteria is pointless. Whatever the climate has in store for us, we have to cope.

    Secondly, it is my experience that temperatures have indeed increased since my boyhood in the 1960s. Less snow at low levels in winter; higher maxima in summer, but then this is no surprise. Apart from the bounce back after the cooler 60s and 70s, the cleaning up of the British atmosphere must have contributed to higher Tmax recordings. Gone the smoke of thousands of factory chimneys – can we not remember how brighter Sundays used to be than weekdays! Disregarding MetO warnings, I went for a good walk during the spike in temperatures on Thursday 25 July this year: I passed close to the automatic Bingley SAMOS which recorded approx. 33 Celsius around 4pm if my memory serves me correctly. This is a higher reading than was achieved for example in nearby Bradford Lister Park in 1976 or in 1975, and it is my clear impression that the sky on 25 July this year was bluer and clearer than on the hottest days of 1975 and 1976.

    Food for debate!

  17. Teaef permalink
    September 27, 2019 5:07 pm

    Prince Harry needs a copy of this.

    • jack broughton permalink
      September 27, 2019 5:22 pm

      Isn’t he one of the sons of the Clown Prince of Wallies? If so no point in giving him sensible facts, he’ll have that famous Ladybird book to guide him..

  18. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 27, 2019 5:37 pm

    Although the growing season is clearly more consistently longer in recent years, there have only been a handful of years that have exceeded the more lengthy growing seasons from way back in history by a week or so.

    This according to Monty Don and Country File will require a complete change of gardens/farm crops – nuts! Last week Monty actually strongly insinuated Box Blight and Moth are the fault of climate change – it’s entirely down to abysmal bio-security (courtesy of the EU single market).

    Click to access thermal_growing_season_summary_report.pdf

  19. arfurbryant permalink
    September 27, 2019 5:59 pm


    [“There was a step up in temperatures between the 1980s…”]

    Has it occurred to anyone that the system of recording temperature was changed in the early 80s?

    Prior to that period, temperature was recorded by a human eyeballing a glass thermometer at a chosen time (normally every hour at most but often less frequently. After that period the temperature was recorded by a platinum electrical resistance thermometer, which automatically records at least every minute (and possibly every few seconds or less) so enabling a valid high temperature which happened between the hourly reporting time.

    The UKMO’s own Data User Guide has the following interesting notes: (my bold)

    [Electrical thermometry is now in widespread use; its main virtue lies in the ability to automate the measurement process. Electrical resistance thermometers (ERT) first came into regular use in the early 1980s at the fully automatic SAWS stations, and since then have been introduced at all Met Office synoptic stations.]

    [Sources of error: 

    Common errors in the measurement of temperature include:
    ▪ Gross errors of manual reading: typically 1, 5, 10 degrees, reporting the wrong sign, or reading the wrong end of the minimum index (7 degrees)
    ▪ Breaking of the liquid column
    ▪ Parallax
    ▪ Maximum or minimum thermometers not properly reset the previous day

    It seems to me that any comparison of today’s ‘extreme’ temperatures with historic (pre-1980) temperatures is invalid as the time, precision (actually ERTs are possibly less precise than glass thermometers) and – crucially – accuracy of the reporting are inconsistent. A record high set last year cannot be properly compared to a record high recorded by a bloke (or woman) 100 years ago with even an hourly check as the highest temperature could actually have occurred in the period between recordings!

    This smacks of the ‘comparing apples with oranges’ issue when comparing ice core data v tree ring data v modern thermometer data.

    It does not seem scientifically honest.



    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      September 28, 2019 1:04 am

      I used to be on the rota for our school weather station. We had a barograph whose paper trace was changed weekly, and a rain collector which was basically a two part tin can with a funnel several inches from the open top that fed a jam jar, which was tipped out into a narrow measuring cylinder to record the rainfall to a nominal 1/100th of an inch. The Stevenson screen contained wet and dry bulb thermometers and we had to record the temperatures and the implied humidity judged off a nomogram, and ensure there was enough water in the wet bulb reservoir and that it was wicking. There was also a max/min thermometer with two arms and a pin in each that recorded the maximum and minimum temperatures as the pins were pushed around by the mercury. The pin heads marked the daily extremes, which were recorded before using a horseshoe magnet to drag each pin down to the mercury ready to record the next 24 hours of extremes.

      Mercury and the spirit used in the wet and dry bulb thermometers take time to expand in response to temperature changes, and this delayed response is the reason they don’t record quite the same extremes when there is a short lived excursion.

      • arfurbryant permalink
        September 28, 2019 7:06 pm

        Thanks for helping to make my point. I wonder if your school still uses those instruments to fill the dataset? If so, they are being more honest scientifically than the UKMO…!😉

  20. HonestJoe permalink
    September 27, 2019 6:04 pm

    Having now read the report I am really puzzling as to why we have got into the situation where we have had data ‘destroyed’ or ‘modified’ to provide ongoing proof? I think there is an element of truth in the article that said children are being frightened by the doom scenarios fed directly at them by irresponsible media. The Proms? What is the purpose behind it all? Weather and climate are scienes, what is the endgame for distorting data to promote this fantasy? These fanatics are the ones who are scaring the children by their evermore graphic fairy story brainwashing. The number of stories almost daily are becoming far more extreme. How can it be brought under control?

  21. The Man at the Back permalink
    September 27, 2019 7:58 pm

    Great work as usual Paul – Thank you for all you do.

    • The Man at the Back permalink
      September 27, 2019 8:12 pm

      I meant to add that I am very grateful for the advice of BBC Gardeners’ World, who frequently have segments advising us all on drought tolerant plants, many of which have been washed away this last few days!!

      It seems like Horrobin sends a memo out each week saying GW must mention climate change at least twice in each program. This last week even Monty Don, who usually appears a little more sane than most on the subject, had CC in his script.

  22. not banned yet permalink
    September 27, 2019 8:17 pm

    Thanks for all your work Paul – I’ll add this to my reading list!

    Plus I’ll put a pint or two in the tip jar over the weekend as a general “thanks for the site” 🙂

  23. Huw Thomas permalink
    September 27, 2019 8:36 pm

    An excellent report. Another much needed dose of reason and sanity. Please sent it to the BBC !!!

  24. I_am_not_a_robot permalink
    September 27, 2019 10:18 pm

    “… There was a step up in temperatures between the 1980s and early 2000s, since when temperatures have stabilised. This increase is closely associated with a rise in sea surface temperatures around the same time, itself connected to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, a natural cycle, which is currently in its warm phase …”.
    Also during the 1980s there was an increase in solar insolation, most relevantly over the Equator that is mostly ocean, due to a reduction of cloud cover of ~5% correlating with an increase in the global average temperature:

    Tropical (15oN-15oS) total cloud cover (green) according to the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), and global monthly average surface air temperature (blue) according to Hadley CRUT.

    • jack broughton permalink
      September 28, 2019 10:59 am

      It looks as though the cloudiness reduction was a reaction to the massive power station sulphur oxide and particulate reductions that happened between 1960 and 1980. But, that would be man-made global warming!!!

      • I_am_not_a_robot permalink
        September 28, 2019 9:55 pm

        Good point, one forgets all those heavy industries and coal-fired generating plants in Isla Isabela, Tuvalu, Weno etc., not to mention the Congo and Amazon Basins, that were closed or cleaned up during the Eighties.

  25. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 28, 2019 1:06 am

    A valuable resource for debunking nonsense. Thanks for putting the effort in to collate this. I shall be passing it on and quoting from it.

  26. George L permalink
    September 28, 2019 7:06 pm

    Dr.Mototaka Nakamura, MIT, NASA, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science
    “Our Models are Mickey-Mouse Mockeries of the Real World”

  27. September 28, 2019 9:18 pm

    I have sent a copy to my representatives in the Welsh assembly (which recently declared a climate emergency), to my MP (UK Parliament recently declared a climate emergency) and to the chief executive and leader of my local council (which recently declared a climate emergency)

  28. M E permalink
    September 28, 2019 9:52 pm

    From New Zealand. School children are being frightened by climate predictions say the online news media who are those who publish sensational predictions as click bait to allow advertisers to promote their products for a fee. It’s all about making an income to pay the now inadequate staff of their research departments after many lay offs of older personnel.. Local elections now feature several candidates who put climate change last in their profiles sent to electors.

  29. September 30, 2019 10:36 pm

    Plus ca change?
    Non. Pluie, va-t’en! (Ce soir)
    Rien ne change jamais!

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