In his latest post Paul Homewood looks at rainfall trends in England and Wales and finds:
“On average, it is fair to say that it is a little bit wetter now than it used to be in the early 19thC. But above all it is the year to year variability which dominates the record, just as it always has.”
tom0mason writes in the comments:
Yep, UK not very drought prone. Makes one wonder how the population can get so upset by such minor variations.
We in Britain do not (most of us) live near the climactic margins of our type of civilisation.The changes of the figures in the climactic tables from one period to another do not look very impressive . Nevertheless, they are significant in various respects, affecting for instance the geographical limits of cod and herring and birds and the thriving of crop plants and trees. With some of these the response to climactic shifts is very quick. The winter climate in Finland in the 1930s was no severer than that of Denmark in the last century. The winter climate of London in 1780-1820 was about the same as that of the Rhineland in our times. The summer climate of southern England (as far north as the line from the Fens to Hereford) in the early Middle Ages was similar to that of the Paris-Touraine region of northern France nowadays : between 1930 and 1949 our summer climate again approached this level (and I believe peach trees and other southern varieties did well accordingly) but since 1950 the figures in summer, as in winter, are back to late nineteenth century standards. We do not know whether the latest turn in our climactic fortunes, since the optimum years of the 1930s, marks the beginning of a serious downward trend or whether it is merely another wobble – one more of the semi-regular oscillations on a time scale of 20 to 60 years. There have been other striking ‘ameliorations’ before – even during the Little Ice Age : the mild periods around the 1630s, 1730s, 1770s and 1840s must have been quite impressive.
So why does it concern us? Maybe it comes down to an ever increasingly populous mostly focussed in the drier South – where we are more likely to pick up a drier continental flow than the more Atlantic influenced North and West – and a lack of reservoirs to deal with these dry patches we often hit along the way. According to a 2013 BBC article only one resevoir was built in London in the past 100 years:
After a couple of dry years (particularly winters) by April 2012 there was much gnashing and wailing…just before the “wettest drough evah” hit us…but there was truth in the need for solutions to our ever changing climate:
Thames Water wanted to build a £1bn reservoir in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, but the plans were rejected by the government. Anglian Water has also toyed with it in the past.
“The water companies are keen, but Ofwat and the Environment Agency don’t seem to be,” …
A shown by Paul a warmer Britain is a slightly wetter Britain, a sign of a changing climate and a thankfull retreat from the cold dry depths of the Little Ice Age, but it’s exactly as Hubert Lamb wrote of rather than due to the CO2 drivel spouted by activists and their ilk. Instead of sensible policies accepting we have dry/wet warm/cold periods (and everything in between), we get (and always have I might add) “this [insert current weather] is the new normal” just before the weather volt faces on them.
I wrote a few years back:
Probably the key message we should be taking, one that is well lost in the race to throw more money on ‘limiting’ carbon emissions, providing vast subsidies for unreliable renewable and preparation for a warmer, drier Mediterranean climate in Northern Europe that never came, is believing the ‘amelioration’ would continue and basing our lives on that assumption. In April it is often warm and sunny, so a visitor to these Isles may be fooled into leaving the jacket at home, whilst those of us with more experience rarely leave the home without it to hand. Lamb makes an interesting observation that lies at the heart of how we should base our future planning for our changing climate;
“I have always thought it a misfortune that the general introduction of plumbing into British homes coincided with the quite unusual run of mild winters between 1896 and 1936. And possibly some of the modern glass architecture and the hill-top sites with an open south-west aspect which became so desirable a few years ago seem less to be recommended in the 1950s.”