Great news – early spring!

It’s wonderful to hear from the forecasters that after the fabulous BBQ summer and the mild winter we are now hurtling towards the early spring. It’s just a pity that could be on our snow sledge in near freezing temperatures! The forecasters seem to specialise in winding us up these days.

However, as readers of this site will know, this is just weather, not climate. The problem is we seem to get a lot of weather these days, with two snowfilled winters in succession and a cold wet summer in between. There’s no sign of any of my daffodils appearing from the soil as they clearly could not hear the message about early spring for all the snow there’s been on top of them.

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21 Comments

  1. Thatcher-right
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    We've got snowdrops here in Salisbury! Spring is on its way.
    Doesn't invalidate your point, though.

  2. alan jutson
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Rest assured they will pop up John.

    Nature does not need a Financial stimulus.

    Its about the only thing you can guarantee nowadays, it may be a few days, or even a few weeks late, but it will happen without the interference of Politicians, Bankers, Benefits, subsidies and the like, they just want to be left alone to do there own thing.

    A bit like most of the population really.

  3. John C
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I prefer to believe Punxsutawney Phil. He says that we have another six weeks of winter this year (so, it seems, do your daffodils).

    I bet if someone looked up the stats, he is probably about as accurate as the Met Office.

    • Number 7
      Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      The stats they are using are from 1976 to (surprisingly) 2007.

      They couldn't be hiding inconvenient data could they?

      • DennisA
        Posted February 9, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        2005 even….More than 80% of trends between 1976 and 2005 indicate earlier seasonal events.
        http://www.ceh.ac.uk/news/2010_news_item_04.html

        The question of course is earlier than when? I don't think they had this sort of analysis when the climate was cooling for the previous 30 years, as it is now starting to do again.

        They probably got a call from Jedward Miliband to see if they could come up with anything to climate sceptics with.

        • DennisA
          Posted February 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          "attack" climate sceptics with…..

        • Posted February 9, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          DennisA

          Could you tell the recorded data that it's getting colder, because last year was the second hottest on record and 2005 was the hottest.

          The previous hottest year on record was 1998, which is why some people made up the lie about it getting colder. Temperatures which were on a rising trend weren't quite as hot as 1998 so somehow that became the world getting cooler.

          There's a collection of temperature graphs at http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/hottest-ye… with a little bit of analysis.

        • Number 7
          Posted February 10, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          Dennis A – I stand corrected

          Ian Patterson – The NASA GISS recoerd you are using has already been updated by Hansen himself after Steve MacIntire discovered some errors in the records from 2000. Hansen now says that 1934 was the hottest year on record along with a number of other recalculations and analysis here:-
          http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/14/foiad-email

          As to your comments on last year and 2005, the same applies.

        • Number 7
          Posted February 11, 2010 at 12:34 am | Permalink

          Typo – Ian Pattinson.

        • Posted February 11, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          Number 7

          Pardon?

  4. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    If we have a cold, wet summer, it will be weather. If we have a hot, dry summer, it will be climate change. Who says so? Every politically correct jerk and hypocrite, including the 15,000 people who travelled to Copenhagen (many by air) and stayed at nice hotels.

    Nevertheless, it would be good to end the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere and in the oceans, and it would also be good not to make car transport the whipping boy. There are many other things that can be done – calmly, rationally, steadily and (as Lord Lawson says) as cost effectively as possible.

  5. Posted February 9, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    We've got daffodils next door. Snowdrops everywhere in the fens. And we wake up to a sunrise too!

  6. Socrates
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I find it very amusing that the Anthropomorphic Warming Lobby cite Climate Change Denial as akin to Holocaust Denial. Surely Climate Change is tautologous – climate changes – it's the weather stupid!

    Arguing that being sceptical about Anthropomorphic Warming is denying Climate Change is very unsound logic – those of us who went to schoo,l and paid attention, will be aware that millennia ago there were ice ages covering Britain and now there aren't. So obviously there has been Global Warming since then – but it wasn't caused by humans.

    The suggestion of human causation is at least speculative if not downright religious.

    It may be that we are affecting the climate, by emitting CO2 but it is inane to suggest that stopping CO2 emissions will stop Climate Change.

    In general, like Stern, the basic physical constants are exaggerated by a factor of at least six, any impact we may have is insignificant compared with external causes.

    Why can't we have a sensible debate about possible human impact. Those of us old enough to remember "THE WAY OF THE WORLD" column, would hear Dr Spacely Trellis saying – we are all guilty – but as usual we probably aren't!

  7. Mark
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I note that in a recent opinion poll conducted for the BBC they recorded an increase in the numbers said to believe that climate change wasn't happening from 15% in November 2009 to 25% recently. The question actually asked was "From what you know and have heard, do you think that the Earth’s climate is changing
    and global warming taking place?"

    This is presented as an increase in climate change deniers, when in fact it probably simply records those who are aware that the data over recent years suggests that the warming trend evident in the late 20th century has halted and perhaps reversed since they had little credible alternative way to express their understanding of the science. Straight out of the Sir Humphrey book of conducting opinion polls, isn't it Bernard?

  8. DBC Reed
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Our daffodils are about two inches out of the ground and the Canada geese have turned up and started fighting on the local pond (in Northampton).But its bloody freezing!

  9. Andrew Duffin
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    As I'm sure you are aware, Mr. Redwood, when it gets warmer that is climate change; when it get colder it is just weather.

  10. John Bowman
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    And what would climate be without weather?

  11. DennisA
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Ian Pattinson:

    Ah, Tamino, another hockey team member, cold is hot. Interesting that he quotes James Hansen commenting that HadCrut didn't include the Arctic; as if he did himself:

    When claiming that 2005 was the hottest year on record, he only thought it was: From a newspaper interview at the time….

    “A surprising Arctic warm spell is responsible for a 2005 that was likely the warmest year since instrument recordings began in the late 1800s”, added Hansen, who nevertheless admitted that the analysis had to estimate temperatures in the Arctic from nearby weather stations because no direct data were available.

    As a result, he said, “we couldn’t say with 100 percent certainty that it’s the warmest year, but I’m reasonably confident that it was”. Hansen and other researchers wrote in the analysis that “the inclusion of estimated Arctic temperatures is the primary reason for our rank of 2005 as the warmest year.” (Mercosur News Agency, 27/01/06).

    So ESTIMATED temperatures from the Arctic, which has very few data stations, that may be a thousand miles or more apart, this is SCIENCE? This is what we are supposed to destroy our economies for?

    Why is it a lie that it has got colder since 1998, don't you believe your own senses? There isn't even any such thing as a global temperature and if there were who would decide what it should be? James Hansen? Tamino? Michael Mann? Phil Jones?
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/abs_temp.html
    "To measure SAT (surface air temperature), we have to agree on what it is and, as far as I know, no such standard has been suggested or generally adopted."

    "For the global mean, the most trusted models produce a value of roughly 14 Celsius, i.e. 57.2 F, but it may easily be anywhere between 56 and 58 F and regionally, let alone locally, the situation is even worse." (Responsible NASA Official: James E. Hansen, 2005-07-12)

    If someone were to have been writing a scare headline about global warming in 1733, for the Central England Temperature series, they could have said this:

    1733 – "Unprecedented Warming: The UK has heated by a massive 3.2 degrees over the last 4 decades, to the present 10.47 deg C." (2005 average CET was 10.45 Deg C).

    Or what about 1779 – "If the warming trends of the last 40 years continue, the UK could have a Mediterranean climate in the early years of the next millennium. The warming of 0.89deg C per decade to the present 10.40 deg C is without precedent since records began." (CET average last year was 10.11 deg C).

    There are many other examples. But of course the warmers don't go back beyond 1850 when making their claims of unique temperature, because they say recording instruments were not reliable. Unless of course they happen to be treemometers that can rule out the historically recorded Mediaeval Warm Period and the devasting Little Ice Age and produce a hockey stick.

    The main difference that occurs now is that winter temperatures are not as extreme, because cities have expanded and the urban heat island effect, massively downplayed by Phil Jones, keeps average temperatures higher. Summer average CET was 0.17 deg C higher for the 30 year period 1781-1810 than the period 1961-90. 1961-90 is the baseline "normal " against which all comparisons are made.

    Temperature charts are all about selection and they are the ones doing the selecting.

    • Posted February 13, 2010 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      DennisA

      There's a collection of denial talking points so predictable people have compiled webpages about them. Next time check out http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2008/07/how… first to save yourself the time and energy of repeating stuff that's been discounted already.

      No source for temperature records? How about thousands of weather stations all around the globe, all showing a rising trend in average temperature?

      Also, from the very same page you linked to about measuring air temperature, the bit that shows you're missing the point-

      "Q. If the reported SATs are not the true SATs, why are they still useful ?
      A. The reported temperature is truly meaningful only to a person who happens to visit the weather station at the precise moment when the reported temperature is measured, in other words, to nobody. However, in addition to the SAT the reports usually also mention whether the current temperature is unusually high or unusually low, how much it differs from the normal temperature, and that information (the anomaly) is meaningful for the whole region. "

      With the polar temperatures taken out 2005 was only the second warmest year, joint with 1998. So your point was what exactly?

      Anecdotal evidence isn't a lot of use in scientific study. But if you insist on knowing what I've noticed since 1998 I've seen the weather get weirder. Lots of "one off" extreme weather events- floods, heatwaves etc., which would be consistent with a more energetic global weather system as predicted by climate change science. It's a lie that it's got colder since 1998 because it hasn't got colder since 1998.

      The medieval Warm Period was a localised effect. We know it was warmer in Europe because that's where people wrote about it. In the parts of the world for which written records don't survive- where tree ring and other data is the most reliable way of finding the past temperature- there's no evidence of a heatwave.

      The urban heat island effect is compensated for in temperature measurements and is too localised (and too little of the planet is sprawl) to be noticeable on a worldwide scale.

      It's obvious you're dedicated in your denial. But you need to do a bit more digging, because the stuff you're bringing up has all been disproved already. If you dig too deeply, though, you'll find that it's not the scientists who have been lying to you.

      • DennisA
        Posted February 13, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Who is being lied to? Who is denying facts here? Do you really accept estimates and guesswork as science? That is my point. Hansen cannot claim 2005 as the warmest on record based on guesstimates. That is not science and policy should not be based on such flimsy stuff. The CET records are the records maintained by the Hadley Centre, do you dispute them? Do you dispute the challenges over the falsified Chinese data, which even Tom Wigley thought were valid, in an e-mail to Phil Jones? Sorry, taken out of context.

        You say that anectdotal evidence is not evidence. So historic records of advancing glaciers destroying alpine villages don't count? The Irish Potato famine doesn't count? This doesn't count?

        “But the climate became more erratic during the thirteenth century. Alpine glaciers began to advance, and seasonal temperature changes became more extreme. As Arctic regions cooled, the thermal contrast between the Greenland & Iceland region and middle Atlantic latitudes steepened, causing greater storminess. Great westerly gales conspired with the prevailing high sea levels to cause vast destruction. Powerful wind storms and surging sea floods inundated low­lying North Sea coasts, drowning hundreds of thousands of people in some of the worst weather disasters ever recorded.”

        "By 1500 European summers were about seven degrees Celsius cooler than they had been during the Medieval Warm Period. The growing season in England was shortened by about three weeks, and by as much as five by the seventeenth century. At the same time, the ground grew wetter. Marshes spread, and rivers flowed more strongly, making agriculture even more of a struggle." Fagan 1999 Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Niño and the Fate of Civilizations (Basic Books, 1999).

        You are claiming that the Mediaeval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were local events. On what do you base that claim? Why, on the Hockey stick team and RealClimate of course. It is classic Mann. It is isn't true, but why let the facts get in the way of a good story.

        ICE CORE PALEOCLIMATE HISTORIES FROM THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

        Ellen Mosley-Thompson
        Byrd Polar Research Center, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

        Lonnie G. Thompson
        Byrd Polar Research Center, Department of Geological Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

        Domack et al. report their cores contain a Medieval Warm
        Period (1.15 ka to 0.7 ka), a Little Ice Age signal (0.7 ka
        to ~0.15 ka) and 200-year oscillations in the regional climate/
        oceanographic conditions. At present there are no high-resolution ice core histories from the Antarctic Peninsula longer than 1200 years so that land-based evidence to support these oceanographic records does not exist.

        You've "noticed that the weather gets weirder". Wow, that really is scientific. Here's a few more one off weather events:
        1606 Flood: 2,000 died around the Severn Estuary, Tuesday, 20 January 1606 (OS)/30th January 1607 (NS). Lowlands on both sides of the Estuary suffered inundation, with the Somerset & Gwent levels suffering devastating effects.

        1663 17th December 1663, A flood (driven by gales) submerged Whitehall, and was produced by a high tide that was said not to have been exceeded for more than 200 years.

        1809 January: "The Great Thames Flood". A major flood causing much damage, which amongst other things took away the central arch of Wallingford Bridge, part of the old Bridge at Wheatley, and damaged or destroyed bridges downstream, e.g. at Bisham, Eton & Windsor.

        1894(November) Major Thames Valley Flood – Major flooding across the mid/upper Thames Valley – The Thames burst its banks and affected scores of towns / hamlets along the river, and many thousands were driven from their homes.

        There is a whole record of far worse weather events than we have experienced in the last few decades, when in fact we have had a fairly benign period in comparison to previuos centuries, but it won't last.

        Can I suggest that you research a little further than the pages of denier sites like RealClimate etc, and realise that there is nothing unique about our current climate in a historical context.

  12. Posted March 8, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    You seem to have fallen for all the denial talking points, so any further debate is just going to be me pointing out the stuff you've got wrong and you shouting about how it's all a con. You don't want to accept the data collected and analysed by people who know what they're talking about. You'd rather grab onto whatever flimsy counter-claim comes along.

    So I'll leave you in your safe little denial world and see if there's anything I can do to solve the problem without you.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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