Guest Posting from Tonyb
In comments Tonyb made these remarks. He also said:
“Hope this is in the right place please relocate as appropriate.”
Well, I think it is appropriate as a posting, so with that, take it away Tonyb:
Full size image at: Wikipedia
I have been analysing longer temperature data sets and am writing an article on my findings. Thought you would be intersted in this snippet as it relates to the Uppsala temperature record you carried recently.
“I want to take you on a brief journey through time to the Little Ice age thermometers that predate the CRU dataset.
Here are CRU global temperatures commencing 1850
Amongst the longer lived records are two that I wish to highlight, as they complement each other. Stockholm commenced recording in 1756
It provides interesting information as the graph shows clear peaks and troughs, but particularly intriguing is that a couple of years ago Stockkholm recorded its mildest winter since ‘records began’ (in 1756) which heralded the start of much publicity about global warming.
However, by a delicious irony, we find that the home city of Arrhenius himself-Uppsala-had an even longer temp data set than Stockholm, from which we can see the upturn in temperatures to a period warmer than today during the 1720-1740’s which includes a series of very mild winters.
Intriguingly, both cities have had substantial studies made on them to identify the Urban heat island effect. Uppsala for example expanded three fold from 1850 to 1890 and continues to develop. Both data sets are due to be amended to reflect this. (Note there are lots of caveats with siting, uhi, instrument reliability etc)
If we look before 1850 we can see considerable temperature variations belying the notion that today is unprecedented and that variability in the past was limited, as co2 at 280ppm was not sufficiently high to be a primary driver, in contrast to today.
If we then go to the granddaddy of them all- Central England Temperatures (CET) not only can we see the huge temperature fluctuations each year (the data is not smoothed) but a confirmation of the peaks around 1720 (when Uppsala commences) and in this case ending at a l trough in 1660.
We know that temperature goes through other peaks and troughs-for examples the 1530’s and 40’s are known to have been very warm, as were the 1420’s and 30’s, the 1300’s generally were very cold and a peak of warmth was reached in the Medieval warm period from around 850 to 1250AD (although there were cold spells within that.)
To the surprise of no one we have got warmer since the end of the LIA, but we are able to see the modern era in a much better context as just part of a constant variation.
Natural variability has enabled our present civilisation to enjoy what appears to be a period of ‘comfortable normality’ with our age comfortably placed as instrumental temperatures meander gently somewhere between the LIA and the MWP values-despite liberal enhancement of UHI in some cases. Our equitable situation doesn’t require legislation or expensive remedies. Enjoy it while you can- until nature throws the next extreme at us
Thanks, TonyB. My comments follow
This part started life as a comment over on WUWT, but I’ve decided to “preserve” it here, since I’ve posted similar things a few times.
E.M.Smith (16:22:05) : (in response to)
JimInIndy (14:42:51) :
“I was born in 1937. I don’t put much stock in 30 year trends. Let’s look back at the low ice levels of the pre-WWII, pre-fossil fuel exploitation, pre-CO2- increase period and explain the high temps of the 1930s, compared to the lower temps of the 2000s. A longer perspective sometimes offers a better focus.”
Truer words were never spoken. This ought to be printed out 10,000 times and sent in paper mail to the jokers looking at arctic ice. Maybe if they had to read it that many times it would sink in, just a little bit…
(Realize that times runs the other way on these very long history ice charts. You’d think climate folks would have standardized on one direction for time… Oh Well.)
Take a look at this chart:
140,000 years of “temperatures” via proxies.
Here is a close up of the last 40,000 years in ice:
Notice for that the entire 10-12,000 years of the Holocene we have been in a general downtrend. Slowly, inexorably, cooling. Notice that it is an incredibly flat stable time when compared to the rest of the 140,000 years. Then ask just exactly how “extreme” our “climate change” has been when it has been ’steady as a rock’ in comparison to the past…
Now look back to the LAST interglacial. Notice the “pop and start dropping” with not very long at the top? (Though the top of the “pop” was hotter than our peak this time.) We are incredibly lucky ours has been flatter; and we will need to be ever more incredibly lucky if we are to prevent that “drop” this time by any means possible.
There is some process that acts as a hard lid on temperatures just a bit above our present temperatures. (If you look at longer duration charts you see all the inter-glacials whack into it and bounce off). There is no such protection to the downside. ALL the risk is to the downside.
The cold has rapid onset, but the ice build up (bottom line) is slower:
No, it isn’t an issue any time soon. The ice extends as a wobbly linear trend in a glacial. Take the max extent at last glacial and measure the distance to the Greenland sheet. Divide by 100,000 years. You get the ice advancing at about 800 FEET per year.
We could easily already be in the “next” glacial and the LIA might have been the start. We wobble that much, but the max extent of ice in the NEXT LIA ought to be all of “800 feet further south per year since the last LIA” (at the bottom of the next one). Not the kind of thing to get excited about in any one human lifetime… Call me in 1000 years and we’ll see if the ice is 800,000 feet or about 150 miles further south than in 1816.
You can walk south farther in a few minutes than the ice advances in a year, on average. That’s the “fun” part of the “Ice Age Is Coming!” disaster scenario. You get to have all the disaster and panic talk, but nobody gets hurt for 1000 years ;-)
The real question we ought to be asking is “Why has this interglacial been so stable and hospitable to life when prior interglacials were pop-and-drop spikes? And how do we keep this one from dropping off a cliff like the last ones?”
Update: Ellie, in comments, provided a nice UK Graph
The graph below is of the entirety of the UK data, from the first thermometer to the last, in the Global Historical Climate Network data set downloaded from NOAA at:
The U.S. Historic Climate Network (USHCN) data are at:
though they are also in the GHCN data set.
I detail where to get the data along with where to get more guidance in:
So what is this graph? You can down load MAX, MIN, or AVERAGE data. This is the average of the daily high and low temperatures for each day of the month, that are then averaged together by NOAA to make a “monthly average mean”. I have taken those “monthly average mean” data and averaged them together for the whole year and for all the thermometer records in the UK Country code. Ellie has been kind enough to turn that into a gif for me, and here it is:
We can see the more severe winters of the LIA. The “1800 and Froze To Death around 1810-1817”. The 1920 to 1930 or so warmth during the “dust bowl era” then the plummet into the 1970’s “Ice Age Is Coming” scare. Also interesting is the 1850 to 1880 or so warmth. As I remember it, that was something of a golden era of the British Empire. Looking at the red line, we have about an 80 year long “ripple”. That GIStemp chooses to “start history” in 1880 at the bottom of one of those ripples is, IMHO, no accident. The peak tends to come about 45 years after the bottom of a dip; and the last dip was about 1975, so that would make it 2020 that we fall off the top again. Right in keeping with the current “Sign your life away so we can save the planet by 2020” chant around the Copenhagen meeting. Only someone may have forgotten that a Simple Moving Average lags the reality by about 1/2 a period So call it 2005 for the “turn”. Gee, hasn’t it been getting cooler on a global basis since, oh, 200x? Another interesting feature is the tendency for the top peaks to “hit a wall” at about 10C. There is an upward trend to the data, but it is very small, and it is not the tops getting hotter, it is the bottoms moderating the severe winter lows. This also happens at the tops of ripples. Hardly anything terrible, IMHO. Especially coming out of a Little Ice Age as we were over this time.
The thermometer count rises over this time period from the one and two range, to 40s, then back down to 10. It is highly likely that the averaging of more thermometers will also have a dampening effect on the extreme events in the average, Inspection of the actual sites used for the early records might be enlightening.
I see nothing at all to be worried about in the UK temperature trends.