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Extreme Temperatures In England

August 27, 2021

By Paul Homewood




Discussion of “extreme temperatures” tends to revolve around highs rather than lows. In a warming world, high temperature extremes will inevitably become more common, just as lows get rarer. But is there any sign that the former will outweigh the latter?

In other words, are temperatures really becoming more extreme?


As far as this country is concerned, we can check out the Central England Temperature series.

ECAD provide a useful tool, which shows the number of days each year when temperatures were either below the 10th or above the 90th percentile since 1900:




As we would expect, the number of warm days has increased, and the number of cold ones declined.

When we add the two together, we find that if anything the trend has declined since 1900. The most extreme year was, by the way, 1947, with 1919 in second place:



Somehow, I doubt whether the Met Office will tell you this!

  1. JimW permalink
    August 27, 2021 10:48 am

    As I have been saying for years, its a very dangerous outbreal of extreme MILDNESS. Which is exactly what you would expect from a very slight increase in CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • August 27, 2021 11:03 am

      Why would CO2 be a driver of temperatures at all?

      • August 27, 2021 11:28 am

        Could it be that the Earth’s temperature, driven mainly by the sun, cosmic rays and water vapour, nevertheless, as far as we know, a marked simplification, drives the atmospheric pCO2 ?

        If that is so, all the ballyhoo about the reverse mechanism is diametrically wrong.

      • Adam Gallon permalink
        August 27, 2021 12:54 pm

        Radiative physics.

      • T Walker permalink
        August 27, 2021 2:32 pm


        At one time I would have just said yes you are right BUT now we know that some bits of “Settled” radiative physics are not accurate – ??????

        The video is well worth a view IMHO

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        August 28, 2021 9:20 am

        Adam, if you think the climate iis that simple and has no feedback mechanisms whilst simultaneously believing that it does, I suggest you are a bit confused.

        If its basic radiative physics why (i) are the models so vast and (ii) so lacking in skill? Why isn’t a few lines of Excel sufficient?

    • bobn permalink
      August 27, 2021 11:06 am

      Which is exactly what you would expect from a very slight increase in solar activity radiating into the atmosphere. Fixed it.

  2. dave permalink
    August 27, 2021 1:10 pm

    Not quite sure what is being suggested here.

    ‘Skewness’ of a graph measures symmetry and therefore the extent to which the tails differ from one another, e.g. one tail might go further out than the other. The ‘moments’ calculation of skewness uses the third* powers of the deviations from the average of whatever is being graphed.

    ‘Kurtosis’ measures the extent to which the tails are fatter or thinner than the tails of a normal distribution and the ‘moments’ calculation of this uses fourth powers of deviations.

    (The ‘mean’ and the ‘variability’ are measured using first* and second powers, respectively).

    Obviously someone who is anxious to say “‘Something awful’ is going on!” will hope that various data series will show, as time goes on, a change in the mean, and failing that a change in the variability, and failing that a change in the skewness, and failing that a change in the kurtosis, and failing that…

    Is Paul claiming to demonstrate a lack of evidence for a change in skewness or ketosis or both? The null hypothesis would be that skewness and ketosis in data which has already been stylized as much as the CET has should not change with a small change in the mean.

    *First and third powers preserve the distinction between missing the mean on the upside and missing it on the downside. Second and fourth powers do not.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      August 28, 2021 9:22 am

      Why not explain your point rather than quote definitions?

  3. mwhite permalink
    August 27, 2021 8:05 pm

    The tropical troposphere.

    If models and data do not agree, there must be a problem with the data.

    • Weklers permalink
      August 28, 2021 10:49 am

      Great video – one of the very best I’ve seen on the problems with climate models. Dr John Christy’s commentary towards the end are outstanding.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      August 28, 2021 12:21 pm

      The adjustocene. I refer you to Richard Feynman. 😇

    • August 29, 2021 9:47 am

      The (missing) tropical hot spot [2014]

      We are really glad that three of the main players in this controversy have accepted our invitation to participate: Steven Sherwood of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Carl Mears of Remote Sensing Systems and John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

      Lots of discussion and comments.

  4. cookers52 permalink
    August 27, 2021 9:29 pm

    Fog days have declined since the Clean Air act was enacted, and further declined again after stubble and straw burning was stopped.

    I cannot remember a fog day recently, when I was a lad we had loads of them.

    I hold a pet theory that this makes a difference to the UK climate but nobody else seems interested.

    Reduction of fog days is mentioned in the weather reporting but that’s the end of any analysis

    • August 27, 2021 10:10 pm

      I agree completely! Throughout the autumn and winter, when I was a youngster, we experienced very many days of fog, which, even when not dense, was sufficient to mask sunlight to a great degree. Watch almost any film or outdoors programme filmed in Britain, and the general mistiness of the scenes is apparent. This must surely have kept temperatures a tad lower than today?

  5. cookers52 permalink
    August 28, 2021 8:27 am

    Extreme weather events have always occurred and in the UK we are not well prepared.

    Political policy has left us exposed to impacts from extreme weather. In particular drought and prolonged cold will cause harm. We have infrastructure designed for a population of 50 million but there are 20 million more of us around.

    The worst example is no additional major reservoirs have been constructed for many years, so when drought occurs it will not be pleasant.

    The politicians will blame climate change and the media will not challenge them

  6. Phoenix44 permalink
    August 28, 2021 9:43 am

    It’s interesting that the increase has been in the frequency of years with warmer days rather than an increase in the number of warm days in any given year. Thus it’s true an average over a period will show increasing warmth but at any given point it’s not warmer. For most species therefore there’s no change in climate whatsoever as they live/die by actuals, not averages. Nor does it point to any problems for humans – why would having say ten years out of fifteen rather than five out of fifteen with 20% of days above the 90% distribution cause any kind of problem?

    Climate activists are misusing averages to create non-existant problems.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      August 28, 2021 12:22 pm


  7. cookers52 permalink
    August 28, 2021 10:16 am

    This makes an interesting read, do not be put off by the title it just shows that extreme weather and climate change have always occurred.

  8. August 28, 2021 2:06 pm

    These poor guys are up against an accountant. There’s nowhere to hide.

  9. Ulric Lyons permalink
    August 29, 2021 2:36 am

    A warmer world alters the mean not the extremes. The extremes are discretely solar driven.

  10. August 29, 2021 9:28 am

    Thanks, Dave, so it looks as if enhancements of cosmic ray activity and perhaps other variables contribute to and are an explananation of temperature variations at the extremities of the rangers.

    Sounds very plausible and natural if the sun’s intensity of activity is fairly constant.

    • August 29, 2021 10:56 am

      Variations in average sunspots *per day* between different solar cycles can be considerable.

      The last cycle (24) had the lowest listed average at 49. The previous seven cycles going back to 1933 were all over 80.

    • dave permalink
      August 30, 2021 6:57 pm

      Yes, but I should have said that the TOTAL energy output of the sun is fairly constant. The output at some wavelengths and from some locations is very variable.

      You can see how the sunspots are just a part of what is going on.

      • dave permalink
        August 30, 2021 6:58 pm

        That link does not work for some reason. Try googling ‘SOHO very latest images.

  11. dennisambler permalink
    August 29, 2021 3:58 pm

    “I doubt whether the Met Office will tell you this!”

    They daren’t. Their masters at BEIS would be dreadfully upset, with COPS and Robbers on the horizon and some might get cancelled, although unfortunately, not the Glasgow Jamboree.

  12. tom0mason permalink
    August 29, 2021 11:03 pm

    The main problem in the UK is there is just the summer months when it gets warmer (warmer in summer — who knew? 🙂 ), and that’s when all the usual ‘climate change is because of humans’ advocates can get their propaganda out. So far it been an ordinary sort of summer with some warmer days and some dry days but nothing on par with the drought and summer 1976 (London had a record June average temperature of 95°F !)
    During the winter these same ‘know nothing’ advocates will be dismissing cold snaps as mere weather and not indications of trends in the climate.

    Besides what is wrong with a warmer UK (or the planet)? Add to that warmer atmosphere usually gives a slightly wetter planet. Coupled to that we have better atmospheric levels of CO2, so the growing seasons everywhere should at least stabilize if not improve significantly.

    We’ve had a warmer planet before and humans, along with most of nature, did very well with it — see and for more.

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