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1919 or 1719?

04 Nov 2020 | OP ED Watch

Andrew Montford notes that the UK’s Central England Temperature Record is one of the best we have, going back to 1659 though with decreasing precision in the early period. And if you look at his chart, you do see a warming trend. But, he observes, not in what passes in England for recent. Indeed, “climate change means that flowers are flowering earlier, birds are arriving earlier from their wintering grounds, and that all manner of ills are currently befalling us. Doesn’t it?” But actually “it would be fair to say that there has been no warming at all in the Central England Temperature Record for 30 years. Thirty years! This is rather remarkable in my opinion. We are supposed to be in a climate emergency, you know. But temperatures haven’t changed since I was a student.”

Does it matter? Some say no; we have had some odd comments on our 1919 or 2019? The Movie video to the effect that it doesn’t matter whether or not individual bits of the planet are warming because the whole Earth is not the sum of its parts.

We do not understand what it can mean to speak of global temperature except as the sum of all local temperatures. We also realize, perhaps better than many alarmists, that we do not have good historical or even contemporary measurements of local temperature in many places. (And those we have, for instance of high American temperatures in the 1930s, seem to displease us sufficiently that we “adjust” them.)

To declare that “the planet” is warmer now than in 1920 requires you to know not only what its overall temperature is now but what it was then, and if the former is hard the latter is much more so. But we insist that the difficulty in measuring it does not change the basic principle: If the Earth is warming, large parts of the Earth must be warming. So where’s the roast beef?

It seems to us that it lies in the places where we have decent records going back a century or so. And on that basis we want to issue a challenge here, to friends and foes alike.

Without going and checking how the temperature fits your preconceptions, make a list of 10 places chosen on non-climate grounds. Places you’ve been. Places you’d like to go. Places where historic events happened. Places your ancestors lived. Anything that gives you a wide selection unrelated to temperature, precipitation, storms etc. Then write it down and no fiddling it.

Once you have, go and try to find reliable temperature records for those places going back some distance. It won’t always be easy or even possible, of course. As Montford notes, the CETR is unusual in its completeness and basically only reflects temperature in the “Midlands” which, for the historically minded, are more or less the old Angle kingdom of Mercia and for everyone else it’s the bit between the south and the north.

Most of the world doesn’t have anything like this record. Indeed most of Britain doesn’t, and it’s among the best-documented. If your ancestors were penguins, you’re probably out of luck with respect to the old country. But do your best. And make yourself a chart of temperatures in those places then and now.

One showing every day of the year if you can, or the overall annual monthly or yearly average if you must. And put them on top of one another without labeling them and show them to people and ask them to spot the difference. Because in the end, it’s the facts that matter.

4 comments on “1919 or 1719?”

  1. I keep hearing the comment that we don't know the global temperature because we don't have weather stations everywhere. That is irrelevant. Climate change is not about specific temperatures, it's about warming or cooling trends. If global temperatures are trending up or down then the trend should be captured in every one of the locations included in the '1919 or 2019' contest, and in Central England.
    Just check your own home town. If the climate change over the last 100 years has been too small to notice, then it's not a 'crisis' or even a concern.

  2. I'm happy to believe the facts about the Central England temperature record (not least as I originated not far from there), but I'm slightly lost on the photo which appears to be the Schwarzenberg shipping canal (now a hiking trail) in Šumava National Park in the Czech Republic and not really connected with Central England at all?

    As I've observed before, the Warmists are all over the place with "facts" more or less changing the definition of 'fact' so we need to be very precise.

    I can happily provide a nice photo of somewhere in Central England if you need one.

  3. I’ve been using NOAA climate at a glance data for a exactly what you suggest. Monthly temp reading and just did Dallas TX and it is up 0.2 Degrees F. What emergency! And nationally up 1.7 degrees over 100 years. What emergency? And it is not that it is warmer. It is that winters a a couple degrees less cold/cool. What’s wrong with that?

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