The National Trust’s Climate Myths

To add to Paul’s deconstruction I’m picking up on a couple of Matthew Oates howlers;

Winters have become milder, and often wetter and stormier, with the exception of the more traditional winter of 2010-11.

According to the Met Office Winter Summary Winter 2010/11 it was;

less cold than winter 2009/10 which was 1.6 °C but still the second-coldest winter since 1985/86 whilst the December was exceptionally cold across the UK; the coldest December in over 100 years, with the highest number of air frosts in at least the last 50 years.

Quite ‘traditional’ indeed, so it’s worth reminding Matthew Oates what the colder winter of 2009/10 was like:

The mean temperature for the winter [2009/10] was 1.6 °C, which is 2.0 °C below average, making it the coldest winter since 1978/79 (1.2 °C). Over England and Wales it was also the coldest since 1978/79. Over Northern Ireland and Scotland, winter 2009/10 was comparable with 1978/79 and 1946/47, with only winter 1962/63 significantly colder in series from 1910.

Going back to 2008/09;

Mean temperatures over the UK were 1.1 °C below the 1971-2000 average during December, 0.5 °C below average during January and 0.2 °C above average during February. The UK mean temperature for the winter was 3.2 °C, which is 0.5 °C below average, making it the coldest winter since 1996/97 (also 3.2 °C).

The most benign month of recent years has been September. People planning on getting married would be wise to choose September.

It has nearly always been so.

Philip Eden;

most thinking people would regard as preposterous the notion that the atmosphere can remember how it behaved on a particular date in previous years so that it can do the same this year. Put as starkly as that, the idea is certainly irrational and unscientific. But a gargantuan heap of statistical work over the last century and half has identified some significant tendencies to unusual weather at particular times of the year. These seasonal tendencies are called ‘singularities’ a word coined by the German climatologist, A.Schmauss, in 1938.


Rigorous statistical techniques were applied to daily sea-level pressure patterns over Europe and the north Atlantic over a period of 60 years. The end result was that several key periods were identified throughout the year when these synoptic patterns deviated markedly from the normal seasonal progression. The events certainly did not happen every year, nor were any exact dates set in stone, but more than 20 singularities which occurred in more than half the years of the analysis were detected in the British climate:

Early-Sep warmth 1-17 Sep 82%
Mid-Sep storms 17-24 Sep 60%
Old Wives Summer 24 Sep-4 Oct 64%

Trevor Harley;

“September contains the hottest day of the year just under 10% of the time. On average, somewhere Britain reaches the magical 27C (80F) every couple of years. Is September cooling down? Whereas before 1974 somewhere in Britain exceeded 30C on average every 5 years (16 times between 1895 and 1973), it has only happened once since (just, in 1999). It has been more than 50 years since 32C has been exceeded, yet this happened several times in the first half of the twentieth century. September certainly doesn’t show much sign of getting any warmer, unlike most other months. Overall September tends to be the second most anticyclonic month of the year (after May).”

Surely someone can lend poor Matthew a copy of Hubert Lamb’s The Changing Climate (1966). He might learn something.


By Paul Homewood


From the “How to confuse weather with climate” department:

From the National Trust:

Ten years ago the National Trust began conducting annual reviews of the impact of the year’s weather on our wildlife. Although every year has been unique, bringing different wildlife winners and losers, some patterns have become clear.

Winters have become milder, and often wetter and stormier, with the exception of the more traditional winter of 2010-11. Last year brought the mildest December on record. After a cold start, this December has been tracking it. Children in the south now rarely play in snow.
Spring has jumped the gun and come earlier, and been more vulnerable for it – with cold or wet weather setting in after early, promising starts. May has become a disappointing month.
The UK last enjoyed a good summer back in 2006. Since then, we have at best experienced blemished…

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