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!


About Clive Best

PhD High Energy Physics Worked at CERN, Rutherford Lab, JET, JRC, OSVision
This entry was posted in AGW, Climate Change, UK Met Office and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Central England Temperatures – Spring Record

  1. edhoskins says:

    /Users/edhoskins/Desktop/CET for TB/CET for TB 2-17/Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 20.10.47.png

    clive: this one? – needs full URL

  2. edhoskins says:

    For recent, since 2000, CET performance have a look at the end of this post


    -0.3 degC since 2000 and if continued -1.90 degC this century

    Thats cooling !!!

  3. DrO says:

    This is a rather naughty cherry picking of data and some “double slight of hand”. If we are going to pretend to be scientists than let’s actually appear at least a little like scientists.

    0) If you are going to compare Mona Loa to CET you are assuming that a single point on the other side of the world, should be compared to, virtually, a single point on this side of the world. Is that really sensible? If it is, please provide proof.

    1) I expect you will make an excuse that you are just looking at CET (though you do at least mention the “little ice age”), but it is noteworthy that the “medieval warming period” (at which time CO2 was even lower, but temps much higher) is just to left of your chart’s edge, and most of your chart covers the tail end of the “little ice age” providing a massive bias. As such, the “big picture” pretence that there is “correlation/causality” of CO2 “causing” warming is, at the very least, exaggerated, and possibly untenable.

    2) Critically, all measures of CO2 v Temp always have Temp moving AHEAD of CO2, so the data shows “causality” that is the opposite implied by your presentation and the UN/IPCC et al rhetoric.

    These “reverse causalities” can be observed not only in the long data history (paleoclimate), but also in the current “real time” records, such as p39 Re “phase relationships” in temp and CO2, here (http://www.climate4you.com/Text/Climate4you_April_2017.pdf).

    ASIDE: pp 46-47 of that edition of Climat4You (http://www.climate4you.com/Text/Climate4you_April_2017.pdf) also illustrates that scientists in the 1960’s and 1970’s had a very different view of GAT, compared to the continuously revised IPCC version of GAT (i.e. Had/GISS etc) starting in the late 1980’s. In the day’s before it was hijacked by politico’s, the GAT showed more warming in the 1940’s and much greater cooling in 1950’s – 70’s. The temperature records used by pre- and non-IPCC scientists are critically different … why is there no mention of this?

    Nor indeed, of the continuing and profound divergence between land vs. satellite data, which shows a DECOUPLING (or sign change) in the CO2/Temp correlation.

    In this context, your first chart should be accompanied by an explanation of why the Spring ave temps take a giant cooling between 1950 – 70, all the while CO2 is continuing to its “ballistic” increase … again, the DECOUPLING is important and requires explanation.

    3) You seemed to have chosen your “red lines” in the first chart all too carefully, which COVER UP the temp “pause” over the last 20 or so years.

    4) Critically, for reasons beyond me, the CET data you claim to be using is up to at least Apr 2017 (at least as Had has published as of today Jun 16, 2017). Yet, your CO2 data is massively out of whack. The current accepted CO2 concentration by the IPCC et al crowd is around 410 ppm. Yet your chart shows CO2 around 390 ppm.

    This is seems like “double slight of hand”, since you have covered up the “pause”, and you’ve “short changed” the CO2 chart. If you chart had been created “consistently” it would show a DECOUPLING of (or change in sign) of correlation between CO2 and Temp … and that would be ignoring still that you have the causality “backwards”, or at least have not proved why the “backwards causality” should be accepted as correct.

    5) The extra cooling in 1963, though your photo does not state month, was in part due to the GAT dropping about 0.5C due to the eruption of Mt Agung in Feb 1963. Perhaps these sorts of critical factors impacting GAT should not be hidden.

    Also, while instruments for recording temps started to come into existence in the early 1600’s, most analyses shows convincingly that “reliable” instruments were not really available until after about 1725. If the first chart was plotted form 1725, it would not show the preceding “giant dip”, which creates a bias. Alternatively, include also the mediaeval warming.

    … and as always, the first time in history humans had reliable global temp measurement starts in 1979 … again, so many choices for cherry picking, why not try something “fair”.

    Finally, the Spring temps in the lower chart don’t give any particular “freight” wrt temps, as does your first chart, when compared to the other seasons. Why cherry pick the Spring data set in isolation, and why exaggerate it in the first chart (yes, you will say that is what the news reported, but see below)?

    The “total warming”, if it exists, implied by your presentation might stem from changes in Autumn temps. Though the Winter temps “highs” and to a lesser extent averages, are not moving too much, the Winter lows are not as low as those in the past (though that is a bit misleading, since the Winter temps have massive relative volatility, so this may be some unexplained non-stationarity). This could contribute to an overall average that is higher, but NOT actually be indicating a warming across the board.

    Indeed, the overall average trend may be negative even, according to the analysis provided by edhoskins. Though, I expect some will criticise his chart as being also in “isolation” to some extent, as the data is over the later part of the “pause” and, for some, too short a time frame, but which does have a down trend (which is also shown/confirmed independently in the satellite data).

    SO, THAT DOESN’T FIT with the CO2/Warming theory. If CO2 was warming the planet, then one might expect “consistent” warming both over time and over seasons. The Summer months especially might be expected to see the greatest warming since that is when the planet is radiating (by far) the greatest amount of energy into/through the atmosphere. Yet, your second chart shows essentially no change in Summer (or Spring) temps, perhaps even cooling. Why is there no “GHG/AGW” CO2 correlation there?

    Why not “call the Met out” on this, why do you not, for example, instead or also, isolate the Summer months? etc etc??

    How many times do we need to quote Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” … most especially in the context of aperiodic non-linear dynamics.

    … and so we come full circle, cherry picking and slight of hand does not science make … but it is very helpful to those with a political agenda.

    • Clive Best says:

      The only reason I made that plot showing M-L CO2 levels is because I was asked to do so by “Joe Public” in this post https://clivebest.com/blog/?p=7603

      The plot doesn’t really make much sense because Forcing (and Temp response) should really go as the Log(CO2) according to Calculations – see https://clivebest.com/blog/?p=4697

      All your other points are valid. Clearly there is more going on in climate than just CO2 ! This is the basic difference between our(my) position and that say from the climate fundamentalists to be found on ATTP’s web site.

  4. Charles May says:


    It has been a while.

    I may have an answer for the question you posed.

    I analyzed both the CET monthly and CET annual datasets.

    The CET monthly data are quite noisy but they both came out with approximately the same answer.

    The function for CO2 looks like this.


    The fitting functions were:

    for i=1 to n
    co21=co2(‘x[1]) x is the date
    co2=co2(‘x[i]) co2 is the CO2 level for each of the dates
    y[i]=b[1]+b[2]*ln(co2/co21)/ln(2) y is the measured anomaly. The b values are the initial guesses for both the initial temperature and the ECS.
    next I

    This is a short view of the solution table.


    You can see the number of iterations required and the final solution values under the b column.

    The resulting solution looks like this.


    I did the same for CET monthly. The data are noisy.


    I have done the same for H4 global and RSS global

    For H4 the ECS came out to be 2.02 and for RSS it came out to be 1.94.

    I am pleased that all of these values are close to one another. One thing that caught me off guard a little bit is that the CO2 line in the RSS data fell almost on top of the linear fit for the data.


    Don’t let the green line in the last figure fool you. When I combine CO2 and natural variability I get an ECS value of less than 0.25.


  5. erl happ says:

    DrO….well said. In particular “The Summer months especially might be expected to see the greatest warming since that is when the planet is radiating (by far) the greatest amount of energy into/through the atmosphere. ”

    Apart from which, a little warming in winter is a good thing considering that winters are uncomfortably and unproductively cold.

    Looks ‘all good’ to me.

    Stupid people linking carbon dioxide to temperature.Exceedingly stupid.

    • Clive Best says:

      In general a slightly warmer climate for the UK won’t necessarily be a bad thing. Is CO2 linked to temperature? If the temperature rises then CO2 levels also rise and if the temperature falls then CO2 levels fall. This has been the case for the last 5 million years due to warmer and cooler Oceans. Changes in CO2 levels have not ‘forced’ any changes in temperature at all. Instead they have acted as a feedback to enhance slightly the orbitally forced changes in temperature.

      The only time when CO2 rise probably forced a temperature rise was 56 My ago at the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), when more CO2 was released than if we were to burn all known fossil fuel reserves.

      We are doing something similar today but on a slightly smaller scale.

  6. Tony Price says:

    “Yes, 2017 (10.3C) just scrapes past 1837 and 2013 which tied for the previous record of 10.2C.”

    – no, your chart has 1837 @ 5.6°C and 2013 @ 6.9°C.

    And later “2013 was among the coldest Springs on record.”

    • Clive Best says:

      Yes – That was pretty stupid of me ! I used the record lowest dates !

      Yes it should have read 1893 and 2011 (corrected now)

    • Clive Best says:

      Here is the correct Winter data. Winter 2016/17 is plotted at 2016 (not sure what the correct convention is) but here are the results showing noted record years.

      Winter 1962/3 was the 3rd coldest in 367 years.

  7. Tony Price says:

    Your winter data is calculated wrongly – you’ve averaged Jan, Feb and Dec in the same calendar year, so that for example, winter 1684 on your chart is 0°C, whereas the correct figure (Dec 1683, Jan & Feb 1684) is -1.67°C.

  8. Why do you use a linear scale for CO2 when we know the scale should be logarithmic?

    And how come we don’t examine the UHI effect for central England?

    • Clive Best says:

      Only because I was asked to here https://clivebest.com/blog/?p=7603

      Yes DT should depend on Log(C/C0)

      We shouldn’t read too much into it for UK alone. I probably shouldn’t have shown it.

      UHI clearly is a significant effect – especially since 1650 and is likely to be more significant during winter months. Perhaps the Thames no longer freezes over because of all the waste heat from buildings, busses and cars.

  9. Hi Clive

    I read your blog regularly which I enjoy (I guess that’s why I read it!)

    You say DT should depend on Log(C/C0)

    Should does not mean does. After all trains can not go faster than 40mph for it has been proved if they do all the air will be sucked out of the carriages.

    It seems to me on the matter of CO2 and temperatures you assume the effect then produce evidence to support what you have assumed.

    CO2 may have some effect on temperatures but is it the dominant effect?

    A cursory glance at http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1990 shows a dip around 1992 (volcanoe) and peaks around 1998 and 2016 (+ others). It is noteworthy the temp anomaly fell almost 1C in a few months after the 2016 el nino.

    You seem to like log(C/C0) but how about this a fit of two cosines (why should sines get all the action) one about 60 year, the other a bit over 300


    And the pause http://jeremyshiers.com/blog/global-temperature-pause-september-1996-july-2014/

    Correlation is not causation, I’m sure you say that with your prayers.
    But lack of correlation is fatal for claims of causation


    From 1960 to 1976 and 2004 to 2014 temperature anomalies are not correlated with rise in CO2 (as measured at top of volcanoe in middle of pacific).

    Clearly from 1960 to 2014 the rise in CO2 does not correlate very well with temperature anomaly. But the annual net change in CO2 correlates much better.

    Copying Murray Salby I took the monthly CO2 levels for 1959 and uses them to generate a pattern for 1960, then used this to generate for 1961 and so on till 2014. C = A+ C(previous) + B * T.
    Where A and B were fit parameters. Comparing the results from 1960 to 2014 there was correlation of 0.99971717.

    I can see no way this can occur if increasing CO2 causes rising temperature.

    I don’t know if you’ve heard of Henry’s law from chemistry. The amount of gas which can be dissolved in a liquid falls as temperature rises.



    • Clive Best says:

      I know what you are saying, and of course at some level you are correct. CMIP5 models have been tuned basically to agree with Volcanic eruptions (aerosols) to suppress their tendency to predict high CO2 sensitivity, but yet still agree with recorded temperatures. It does look a bit fishy.

      Yes Henry’s law determines how soluble CO2 is in the oceans. So if T rises CO2 rises as during an interglacial and vice versa during a glaciation. The ‘official’ answer is that in these cases ‘CO2’ acts as a feedback to enhance warming/cooling.

      Murray Salby gives a very convincing argument, and clearly to a detailed level he is right. Yet you still have to find why some other long term trend is increasing temperatures slightly rather than CO2 emissions. You also have to prove that human emissions are not accumulating in the atmosphere, which I think they obviously are.

      I am a Lukewarmer !

  10. Charles May says:


    I looked at some of your links and I like what I see. Here, I offer some of my own.


    The red line is my cyclic fit that includes a contribution from CO2. It as a quite low ECS value as shown on the graph. I include the 67-year cycle because Dr. Curry is always pointing out that the models don’t explain the warming from 1910 to 1940. That line explains it.

    With as few as 9 cycles I come up with a decent approximation of the H4 data.


    I am not completely sold on the 209-year cycle. I manually substituted it one time for a 350-year cycle and it seemed to work. This is where I am but I am still a little uncertain.

    I have gone through the same on RSS and UAH data. I posted some of this in an earlier comment on this subject. Here is where I am now on RSS. BTW, I do actually go through a computation to determine where the “pause” line should start.


    Here is where I calculated the slope and where I determined the start point to be.


    Here is how it works with the climate models.


    Here is the same with a MA of RSS.


    In both instances, the model anchor point was the first point in the linear fit.

    I will look at your efforts in greater detail.

    Cheers to you too.

    • Clive Best says:

      Lots of nice fits!
      Of course if we add longer term cycles whose wavelength is of the order of the measured datasets then we can find CO2 effect is negligible. I expect TCR is around 1.1 – 1.5 C based on calculated effects.

    • Hi Charles

      a fine collection of plots

      why don’t you stick them on a blog (perhaps you already have)
      wordpress is free

      I don’t have any time to concentrate on non work stuff during the week so I’ll have a closer look next weekend

      In the meantime It seems to me you are plotting cycles and looking at ECS
      surely if you believe something is causing cycles what is the point of worrying about ECS (or CO2)

      yours confused


  11. A C Osborn says:

    How can anyone, with confidence, differentiate between the Temperature rebound from the LIA plus UHI and any so called “CO2 Forcing”?
    It is obviouse that in the original Temperature datasets, ie before they were recently reworked that the CET, USA and world Temps did NOT show a nice smooth CO2 induced temperature increase, in fact it showed quite a few Step Changes both UP and Down as well as longer inclines and declines.
    Most of the Step changes can be tied to Natural events like AMO, PDO and El Ninos.

    • Clive Best says:

      There is evidence of a natural 60y cycle ion temperature variations which seem to be related to the AMO. Long term trends might suggest that the earth should be cooling towards another glaciation because obliquity is gradually decreasing in its 41,000 year cycle. There could also be other natural cycles – lunar tides, Bond events etc. However the last 50 years seems to show that natural cycles are superimposed on a gradual logarithmic increase consistent with CO2. Here is my fit.

      • Hi Clive

        the equation your fitting attributes the recent temperatures to CO2
        but we know CO2 is not responsible for everything

        for example have you tried removing the effect of el ninos and volcanic eruptions?

        why not try fitting the 2 sine/cosines like I did and using AIC or equivalent to compare the goodness of fit with your d(C/C0)??

        In the unlikely event I get some free time I’ll try your equation and compare goodness of fit



        • Charles May says:


          This is a comment I made note of regarding volcanoes. It took me a while to find it.

          Salvatore Del Prete says:

          July 8, 2014 at 10:39 am

          I have many other studies which show this to be fact which is one of the parts of my solar/climate connections.

          Quite right. Seismic activity is NOT independent of solar activity:

          NASA:Volcanic eruptions and solar activity
          The historical record of large volcanic eruptions from 1500 to 1980, as contained in two recent catalogs, is subjected to detailed time series analysis. Two weak, but probably statistically significant, periodicities of ~11 and ~80 years are detected. Both cycles appear to correlate with well-known cycles of solar activity; the phasing is such that the frequency of volcanic eruptions increases (decreases) slightly around the times of solar minimum (maximum). The weak quasi-biennial solar cycle is not obviously seen in the eruption data, nor are the two slow lunar tidal cycles of 8.85 and 18.6 years. Time series analysis of the volcanogenic acidities in a deep ice core from Greenland, covering the years 553-1972, reveals several very long periods ranging from ~80 to ~350 years and are similar to the very slow solar cycles previously detected in auroral and carbon 14 records. Solar flares are believed to cause changes in atmospheric circulation patterns that abruptly alter the earth’s spin. The resulting jolt probably triggers small earthquakes which may temporarily relieve some of the stress in volcanic magma chambers, thereby weakening, postponing, or even aborting imminent large eruptions. In addition, decreased atmospheric precipitation around the years of solar maximum may cause a relative deficit of phreatomagmatic eruptions at those times.

          Possible correlation between solar and volcanic activity in a long-term scale.

          I suppose if the planets can affect solar cycles they could also influence our plate movements. Jost thought it was interesting and the possibility that further links exist.

          On the Nino regions, I track them too. Here is one of them.


  12. Charles May says:


    I tried your formulation and it did work. In your equation shouldn’t you be dividing the CO2 ratio by the ln of 2 since the ECS value only applies to a doubling. I did that. it really does not change much. The ECS value to 1.86.

    Anyway, using your frequencies here is what resulted.


    It does reveal the importance of longer period cycles. It should lower the contribution from CO2. In my prior comment I have a near 1000 year cycle and the 208 year cycle which can largely account for the temperature rise since 1850.

    Clive, when I started all of this some years ago I could explain the various datasets with only natural cycles. Later I added a CO2 contribution. I wanted to know if I could accommodate a CO2 contribution and still maintain the fits I was getting.

    The low value of ECS I get is not a rigorous solution. There are those like Dr. Evans that say the ECS should be lower than 0.5. There are others too that are saying that. I just can’t recall their names.

    I have fun with it but the fact that I do end up with a contribution from CO2, although a minor one, does make me part of the 97%.

    I don’t remember exactly but Dr. Curry said something like this, “The CO2 contribution is there but it is nothing to worry about.”

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