Updated monitors of UK Power Generation

3pm 20/06/17

I have updated my monitoring of UK Power production to include Solar Energy. These are calculated by the University of Sheffield on behalf of the National Grid. Solar Energy and embedded wind farms are not metered centrally but appear as a reduction in demand on the Grid. In other words The Grid needs to use less traditional generation if output is high. I also correct the metered wind output  to include also embedded farms. The two icons on the right hand menu at the side of this page point to: 1)live power gauges and 2) a timeline of the last 24 hour power generation (shown below)

Posted in Energy, nuclear, renewables, Science | 4 Comments

Central England Temperatures – Spring Record

The Met Office announced that this Spring saw record temperatures in  Wales and Northern Ireland. England was 2nd warmest behind 2011, while Scotland was  fifth warmest. However it was the Central England Temperature (CET) record which seems to have hit the news media, because it shows the warmest year for those stations that contribute.  Let’s have a look.

Yes, 2017 (10.3C) just scrapes past 1893 and 2011 which tied for the previous record of 10.2C. You can also see that there is a long term warming trend which also shows a steeper rise after about 1980.  What about the other seasons?

Here are the trends for all 4 seasons up to 2016

Monthly averaged temperatures for winter(DJF), Spring (MAM), Summer (JJA) and Autumn (SON)

You do see  similar rises in Winter and Autumn, but strangely no significant change at all in summer. These increases still remain small compared to annual variability, for example 2013 was among the coldest Springs on record.

Is there now clear evidence that 400ppm of CO2 is affecting temperatures in the UK? Lets take a look at the annual data.

Annual CET averages. The Blue curve just shows Moana Loa CO2 data extrapolated back to 1750. It has an arbitrary scale.

I think there  is an effect, but make your own mind up.

What about the Little Ice Age? Between 1607 and 1814, there were a total of seven major frost fairs held on the frozen River Thames. The Thames also froze in 1963 and in 1947 and sea ice formed around some beaches.

View from Windsor in 1963

I still remember 1963 because as a small boy I went sledging every every weekend for nearly 3 months. Hamleys sold out of sledges!


Posted in AGW, Climate Change, UK Met Office | Tagged | 26 Comments

Mid Pliocene Warm Period

Is the warm period in the Mid Pliocene analogous to today’s warming climate? If so can we use it to infer future temperature rise? This is what Wikipedia says:

The mid Pliocene warm period is considered a potential analog of future climate. The intensity of the sunlight reaching the earth, the global geography, and carbon dioxide concentrations were similar to present. Furthermore, many mid-Pliocene species are extant helping paleotemperature proxies calibration. Model simulations of mid-Pliocene climate produce warmer conditions at middle and high latitudes, as much as 10–20 °C warmer than today above 70°N. They also indicate little temperature variation in the tropics. Model-based biomes are generally consistent with Pliocene paleobotanical data indicating a northward shift of the Tundra and Taiga and an expansion of Savanna and warm-temperate forest in Africa and Australia.

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide concentration during the mid Pliocene has been estimated at around 400 ppmv from 13C/12C ratio in organic marine matter[12] and stomatal density of fossilized leaves,[13] decreasing carbon dioxide levels during late Pliocene may have contributed substantially to global cooling and the onset of northern hemisphere glaciation.[10]

Interestingly though the subject is only mentioned once in the IPCC AR5 report concerning Sea Levels (5.6.1), which is surprising if the above statements are true.   Here is their Benthic Foram proxy data on which the warm period is based.

As you can see what they define as the warm period is centred  at 3.2 million years ago. So was the sunlight intensity really the same as today? I have used the Laskar astronomic ephemeris to calculate seasonal insolation at 65N back to 5 million years ago. This is what I get.

Daily insolation at 65N for different months over 6 millions.

There is an exact match to current orbital conditions 2.8 million years ago but not 3.2 million years ago. The Mid Pliocene ‘warm’ period corresponds to an era of high eccentricity more like that during the Eemian which was warmer than the holocene despite slightly lower CO2 levels.

Therefore I do not think the claim that the Mid Pliocene warm period tells us very about future warming  is valid. I also think it is hard to justify that it was really that much warmer than earlier times either. Here is my plot of the LRO4 stack.

LRO4 Benthic Foram stack plotted in forward time.

I doubt whether you could claim a clear Mid Pliocene warm signal here. This may be why it doesn’t feature in AR5.

Posted in Climate Change, Ice Ages | Tagged | 6 Comments