Running a Temperature

20190215SandRunner1_8mThe breakfast news mentioned that some British children would be walking out of school today in protest at the regime’s lack of any meaningful response to the threat of climate change. Good on ‘em. They must surely see their future slipping away from them. It is time to challenge those with the greatest capacity to make a difference. Put their feet to the fire.

With the end of the first quarter of the current meteorological year being a couple of weeks away, I have been rustling up some data for a Canary Report.

Up to the 13th February, six out of my ten Weather Stations have recorded continuing warming. In the Northern Hemisphere, Beijing and Mumbai contributed to an overall slight cooling of .14° C. In the Southern Hemisphere, a cooler Buenos Aires and Cape Town couldn’t compete with the warmth elsewhere. The south has warmed by 0.48°C so far this meteorological year. Rio de Janeiro and Wellington, New Zealand, are the warmest places this quarter. The Paris Accord, fingers crossed, hopes global warming won’t rise more than 1.5°C above the notional pre-industrial baseline. Rio has gone above 2°C (just) this summer and Wellington has reached 1.96°C. There is no cause for alarm yet – but I think children are right to be concerned.

Here on the Yorkshire Coast, we have had a mild winter. Whitby is on the cusp of breaking through Paris (at 1.4°C above pre-industrial). But, hey, there are still 9 months ahead for the promised Grand Solar Minimum to cool the year down.

I’d like to think thousands of children around the world have walked out of class today, following the example of Greta Thunberg. Hopefully, they will learn something useful that school couldn’t, or wouldn’t, teach them.


Still Getting Warmer

In the first two months of this meteorological year at my ten chosen weather stations, there were six instances of cooler temperatures and 14 warmer.

The five Northern Hemisphere Stations were, overall, 1.01°C warmer than the Ten Year Average (2008/9 to 20017/18).

The five Southern Hemisphere Stations were 1.18°C warmer.

“The literature” about present temperatures suggests varying amounts of global warmth above a notional Pre-Industrial Baseline. Initially, I was going to go for a low estimate (0.6°C) but decided on the middling 0.85°C instead.  NASA is currently suggesting the world has warmed 0.9°C since 1880 so I am being conservative.

So, I have set my Pre-industrial Baseline at 0.85°C above the TenYear Average. The figure is calculated daily for graphing purposes. I have added 1.5°C to give the Paris Accord limit we should attempt to stay below if we are to avoid even more extreme weather events than those recently experienced.

At the 10 Weather Stations in the last two months, the Average Daily Temperatures are 0.25°C above the 10 Year running average figure, leaving us just 0.4°C “to play with” before the Paris Accord limit is passed.

There is no way of telling how representative my chosen Weather Stations are, among the thousands reporting to Weather Underground. It doesn’t seem to matter though. Over the next year or two, the trend to either “runaway greenhouse” or Grand Solar Minimum chill must, surely, become apparent.

Right now the record cold temperatures in the US Midwest are causing a stir. The extreme warming that is forecast to soon follow there will keep tongues wagging. In the southern hemisphere, Australia’s heatwaves are crossing the Tasman and washing over New Zealand.

The warmest of my 10 Stations was Koltsovo, last month, registering 3.65°C above Pre-Industrial. If the Siberian experience is replicated everywhere for a whole year we are all toast.




December Hot and Cold

I copied and pasted December average temperatures for ten weather stations from Weather Underground, for the years 2008 to 2018. (The link takes you to the Beijing Capital Station for December 2018. You may be interested in having a look round the website, perhaps for a weather station close to where you live.)

The 10 years 2008 to 2017 provided a baseline and deducting 1.1°F (0.6°C)  from the figure for each station gives serviceable pre-industrial baselines that may be considered distant cousins to the IPCC’s Global Annual pre-industrial baseline.

The Ten Station December pre-industrial baselines were then deducted from the actual December 2018 figures to give an Above or Below Pre-Industrial result. For Earth as a whole (and on an annual basis) we are told that Anthropogenic Global Warming has pushed temperatures to, roughly, 0.6 to 1.0°C. It may be a surprise to see December Temperatures at three stations colder than they may have been before 1750, or warmer than the Paris Accord’s hopeful upper limit of 1.5°C above pre-industrial.

Canary isn’t interested in “actual figures”. She is only concerned about detecting significant warming OR cooling over the next couple of years. My chosen early warning system involves monitoring the number of days each month that the Average Temperature at the Ten Stations falls below Pre-industrial or rises above the Paris 1.5 degrees C. (Given the wide range of average daily temperatures it is not really surprising that only a few days a month fall between the calculated pre-industrial baseline and 1.5 degrees Paris target.)

Here is part of an Excel spreadsheet that shows just the two Pre-industrial figures for each station.


When January’s figures are in I can begin “joining the dots” and by the end of the meteorological year 2018/19, a pattern may have emerged that will indicate whether we humans will starve whilst baking or freezing.

(Eleven Year histograms show a modest warming trend for nine of my chosen stations. Only Mumbai has gone, immodestly, the other way.)


I watched a couple of YouTube videos yesterday. It is important, I think, to consider both sides, even if you don’t believe one of them.

Ice Age Farmer

The Scott Adams Climate Challenge

Taking Earth’s Temperature

20181231_7spotLadybirdIt was unseasonably mild on the Yorkshire Coast today, reaching 11.3°C at the Whitby Weather Station I’ve “followed” for the last nine years. The average high for the last day of those years is 9°C, with 2011 taking the top spot at 12.4 degrees. This solitary representative (inset) of Coccinella 7-punctata on my yard wall today may have been confused by the recent warmth.

I put genealogy research to one side for the “Festive Season” and concentrated on collecting December temperature data from weather stations in the vicinity of my ten chosen cities. for Canary to peck through. I think I have found a way to graphically display the present meteorological year so that it is clear which way we are heading – towards further warming or plunging into the Eddy Grand Solar Minimum and “Little Ice Age”. Though the human experience of each scenario will be very different, the inability to grow enough food for The 7 Billion is common to both. Either way, the 99% can expect to go hungry.

There is one other possible future. Anthropogenic global warming will wage a battle with the sun, its spots and cycles, and an honourable draw will keep temperatures at a level where grains can “continue to be grown at scale”, (McPherson et al).

I will log the temperatures for the last few days od December tomorrow and offer a brief report in a day or two. Since last mentioning this project I have switched to noting daily average temperatures rather than maximums. I can more easily fall into step with the great warning from the IPCC that we must not put so much carbon into the atmosphere that the global annual average temperature rises more than 2°C above the pre-industrial baseline. (The Paris Accord of a couple of years ago urged all nations to do what they could to keep the rise below 1.5°C so that we might avoid the wildest of weather consequences.)

“Preindustrial” is a bit of a woolly concept and is sometimes rather laughably described as “before 1850”. One of the first characters with a huge carbon footprint (before such a thing was a twinkle) was born in the 17th century and began smelting iron using coke rather than wood in 1709, three decades before James WATT was born.

There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on how much temperatures have risen since pre-industrial but I have plumped for 0.6°C to the beginning of the 21st century. There may have been a further rise of 0.4°C in the last 18 years but, in deference to those who say there has been no noticeable warming since 2000, I’m not taking this into account. Attempting to establish actual figures isn’t the name of Canary’s game, so the notional rise since preindustrial is not really important.

Except for one purpose. I have used the 0.6 figure to give my ten cities (and Whitby) a monthly preindustrial baseline, DEDUCTING this amount from a ten-year average of Daily Average Temperatures (2008 to 2017). I’ve then added the amounts necessary to give a Paris 1.5 degree target and the 2.0 degree “top speed” we must not exceed if human civilization is to continue.

I’ll use this December’s data to show how this scheme might work – and hopefully make sense. Then I’ll return to some genealogy. The main task in 2019 will be to put as many headstone photographs as I can onto FamilySearch Tree. I may not have much time to research local stories.

2018 has been crazy and it is hard to imagine the New Year being any less chaotic. I was relieved that the Ukraine-Donbass contact line remained fairly quiet – but who would have thought Israel would launch a missile attack on Damascus on Christmas Day? Whatever next?

Mini Ice Age Cancelled

This morning, whatever the weather, I planned to photograph the three benches that feature in Today’s Image.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When the trees were cut down a couple of years ago the bench on the right was turned to provide a sea view. I was surprised that the snowy picture was taken in 2012. Memory connects the harsh December with 2010. I’ve checked the Whitby weather data and see that the minimum temperature on this day 2010 was 3.1°C, in 2012 it was minus 2.8 and today, in Filey, 6.2°C. (Weather Underground didn’t host any Filey personal stations back in 2012.)

So, on this particular day of the year, a tiny scrap of the globe has warmed a bit.

Back from my walk, YouTube piqued my interest at coffee break with Mini Ice Age Cancelled. An entertaining seven minutes with a challenging message.

I was inspired to spend much of the day preparing graphs and histograms for Canary’s first end of month report. For the ten years 2008 – 2017, December daily highs trend resolutely upward but at most of my ten sample weather stations, a corner appears to have been turned this month. Ice Age Farmer may be onto something.


You wouldn’t know it from MSM coverage but most of the yellow vest protests in France are peaceful. Paris is the biggest and most frightening anomaly. There is evidence that much of the citizen violence, destruction and looting is done by agents provocateurs. Rural France seems to prefer peaceful civil disobedience and the police don’t intervene.

Meanwhile, in London yesterday, the “ordinary people” asking for the Brexit they voted for were quiet and dignified. None were arrested. The police didn’t have quite such an easy time with Antifa. Although very one-sided, this video gives some sort of “balance”.

A Note from Canary

Nine days of December and in my ten chosen cities 51% of days have been warmer than the ten year average for the month. However, the cold days have been more extreme than the warm in both the northern and southern hemispheres. In the North the daily maximum temperatures are, overall,  .6°F lower than the 2008 to 2017 average for December 1st to 9th. In the South, they are 1.5°F lower. Anomalously warmest city – Rome (winter); coldest – Buenos Aires (summer).

Plenty of time for change this month – but Grand Solar Minimum has its beak in front at the moment. Graphs and histograms to follow early next month.