Central England Temperature - What a waste of time
With all the hoohah over the US surface stations and the apocalyptic warming the Met Office is warning us of I thought it was time for some investigation.
Met Office: HadCET:Central England Temperature
Central England Temperature is representative of a roughly triangular area of the United Kingdom enclosed by Bristol, Lancashire and London. The monthly series begins in 1659, and is the longest available instrumental record of temperature in the world.
The timeseries shows variations across a broad range of timescales, and illustrates recent warming. 2006 was the warmest calendar year in this record by a considerable distance, coming on top of a long run of warm years.
The HadCET data series consist of daily, monthly and seasonal temperatures. Anomalies are also calculated with respect to 1961-1990 climatology. The stations used to compile CET are chosen from the UK surface station network to be consistent as possible with those used historically. The data is then adjusted to ensure consistency with the historical series.
So I have spent several hours looking at the stations, adjustments, aerial photos, musing over the non adjustment for urban warming at Oxford Radcliffe Observatory and then I find that a commenter at Climate Audit has done all the work for me and I had been wasting my time.....
Climate Audit - by Steve McIntyre » Warmest Month
From 1878 to 1930, the monthly CET mean temperature record was the average of “Lancashire” and Oxford, where “Lancashire” was derived from four to seven stations in the northwest of England reduced to a common standard (Manley, 1946)
From 1931 to 1973, the Oxford record was thrown out and replaced by the “corrected” Radcliffe Observatory monthly mean (Knox-Shaw and Balk, 1932).
From 1974 to October 2004, the whole lot was thrown out and replaced by Rothamsted, Malvern, and the average of Squires Gate and Ringway.
And since October 2004, it’s been comprised of Rothamsted, Malvern, and Stonyhurst, equally weighted.
Now, any scientist worth his salt will tell you that while this makes for an interesting record, we cannot draw any kind of firm conclusions regarding the record. In particular, comparing the pre- and post- 1974 records is useless.
Having said all that, here’s the record so you can judge for yourselves whether the current warming is unusual …