Global Temperature Anomaly updated for June 2020

The global temperature for June 2020 was 0.79C based on my spherical triangulation method. Here are the monthly results based on the latest GHCN-V4 and HadSST3 data as compared to those from original V3C station data.

‘3D’ Global monthly temperature anomalies relative to a 1961-1990 baseline. The dashed red line shows  the long term average from  1998-2019

The temperature peaked in February at 1.1C and has since been falling. The Northern Hemisphere also shows a notable hotspot across Siberia as shown below.

Spatial temperature distribution based on a triangular mesh.

Half way through 2020 we can also calculate the annual temperature anomaly. This gives an average value for the first 6 months of 0.98C. For comparison I also show the results based on HadCRUT4.6 up to 2019. CRUTEM4 station data is not yet available for June 2020.

Annual global temperature anomalies. HC4-3D uses Spherical triangulation. HadCRUT4.6 is the traditional version

2020 looks set to become the warmest year to date, although the monthly trend still appears to be dropping.

Posted in climate science, NOAA, UK Met Office | Tagged | 2 Comments

ONS Covid Infection Survey

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Covid-19 infection survey is based on random testing of a representative sample of the public in England. It is updated once a week. This gives by far the clearest estimate of the overall infection rate within the community ( The data actually use fortnightly results so the weekly figures represents a rolling average of infections). The results for July 8 show that the level of active infections have fallen to roughly 0.04% of the population and seems to be levelling off at that level. About 1 in 4000 people are currently infected with COVID-19 in England. ONS provide an embedded version of their results which I am hoping gets  updated weekly.

The population of England is 56 million people so an infection rate of 0.03% means there are currently ~ 14,000 people with Covid-19  Another way to see this is to look at the risk of anyone in the public catching COVID-19.

This says that on average there is roughly a 1 in 2500 chance of being infected with COVID-19 each  week. An alternative narrative is that with this level of infection it would take 50 years for everyone to catch COVID-19 at least once and  a further 5000 – 10000 years to actually die from it. This assumes there is no herd immunity or that any  vaccine available.

Here are the regional infections for England.

The graphs in this post should update automatically as the ONS updates their survey results each week. If so I will make a new “widget” !

We shall see next week!

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Comparisons of UK Covid Deaths with Italy

The number of cases and deaths in the UK has been slowly declining and the Government will allow Pubs and Restaurants to open from tomorrow. This post looks at how the UK’s “lighter” touch lockdown compares to that applied in  Italy and then looks wider at the rest of the world. Figure 1 shows a comparison between UK deaths and Italian deaths.

Fig 1. Comparison of UK deaths with those in Italy. The dashed curve are the Italian data advanced 2 weeks.

The UK was just 2 weeks behind Italy although at the time we didn’t know that. The shape of both curves are very similar but the UK eventually fared worse than Italy even after  allowing for the difference in population. It also looks like something went wrong between  the 23rd May and the 8th of June and we are still suffering the consequences.

We also now know that there were far more infections by the beginning of March than were assumed at the time,  so a lockdown 1 week earlier might  have saved up to half the total number of deaths. The reason why we were in the dark in March was simply due to the lack of widespread testing capacity. Italy actually did remarkably well at testing and curtailing the epidemic and now has a low level of infections. The cases curves for both countries are shown in Figure 2.

Fig 2. Confirmed Cases Italy and UK. The flattened curve for UK is due to low early testing capacity.

The reported number of cases in each country also reflects partly the widespread level of testing at the time. For Italy it appears that testing levels were high enough early on in the epidemic because  the shape is similar to reported deaths. The UK shape instead clearly shows a lack of testing data early on highlighting just how unprepared we were initially.

Note also the error in the PHE data for Cumulative Deaths on the 20th May (the negative dip). These are their figures for “Pillar 2” (cases in the community).

18/05 70488
19/05 71796
20/05 70615
21/05 72063

Finally figure 3 shows  how both countries compare to the overall global  picture.

Fig 3. Global Daily Deaths compared to UK/Italy. On this scale the initial outbreak in China looks tiny (are their figures correct?).  Note also the very pronounced “weekend” effect everywhere.

Unfortunately this makes it clear that the pandemic is still quite a long way from ending. There are still increasing numbers of cases across South America, Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. It is also worrying that talk of an Oxford/AstraZeneca  vaccine as early as this September has now been quietly been dropped by SAGE.

Posted in Public Health | 6 Comments