2021 finishes as 4th Warmest year

The Average temperature anomaly for 2021 was O.80 C above the 1961-1990 average. This is cooler than recent years probably due to La Nina. The warmest year overall was 2020 reaching 0.90 C. These calculations (spherical triangulation) are now based on the latest GHCN V4 for the station data and HadSST4 for the SST data. Upgrading  from HadSST3 to HadSST4 has also increased slightly the net warming trend (see previous post).

The final month December saw a further drop in temperature from November of 0.10 C.You can see below that a strong La Ninja redeveloped in December after nearly disappearing in October/November.  Also notice the very cold December temperatures across Western  Canada and Siberia.

Spatial temperatures for December.

The monthly and annual data can be downloaded at these links

I  suspect these results will be very similar to those of HadCRUT5

Posted in climate science, Hadley, NOAA | Tagged | 8 Comments

Omicron heads for Herd Immunity ?

ONS announced today that an incredible 1 in 15 people in England would have tested positive on New Year’s eve for Omicron. They estimated this figure by randomly testing a sample of the population. That equates to 3.7 million people. Clearly the majority of these cases must be asymptomatic. It also implies that many of those previously vaccinated (80%) are now being infected with Omicron mostly with minor or no symptoms. Hospitalisations remain far lower than last year’s peak. The only good news is that Omicron now seems to be displacing the more serious delta variant.

The main problem we face is the loss of key workers due to self-isolation rules following a positive lateral flow test causing knock on disruption in hospitals, schools, transport and bin collection etc.

Hopefully many of those who already have received vaccines/boosters or have previously recovered from past infections are already immune. To reach classic herd immunity otherwise would need about 20 million people in total to be infected and “recover”.


Posted in Covid-19 | 2 Comments

Net Zero Renewable Energy

This December much  of Europe experienced a week long period of “net zero” energy produced by Wind and Solar. Power black outs were only avoided because these grids still maintain large reserves of traditional power generation – Gas, Coal and Nuclear.  The UK basically depends on Gas to regulate the stochastic nature of Wind energy. This is unlikely to change in the medium term.

The essential role of Gas is to regulate Wind power output to meet  Grid demand. At night Gas is switched down and constantly regulated to offset the often erratic output from wind power. Solar power is essentially negligible in winter. Wind energy as shown above includes small “feed-in” wind farms. Click for larger version

The full picture of power balancing for the end of 2021 is shown below. During the “Net Zero” period there were very high prices paid for additional reserve power sources needed to balance the grid.

Power production by fuel type during December. Notice how Nuclear gives a solid reliable base power. Wind can destabilise the fuel mix leading to large fluctuations in pricing and the need for backup reserve power like STOR ( mostly diesel generators).

The UK has passed a law committing us to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 and “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050. The first is in 13 years time !

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

We want to continue to raise the bar on tackling climate change, and that’s why we’re setting the most ambitious target to cut emissions in the world.

There is not a hope in hell of achieving that without a massive increase in Nuclear Power. This is especially true since we must also electrify all transport and heating. Of course by then Boris won’t be there to take responsibility, and nor will Ed Miliband !

Posted in Energy, nuclear, renewables, wind farms | 2 Comments