Could varying concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide cause the planet to warm and cool? This was a key question facing scientists from the mid-1800s onwards – not because of a concern over man-made emissions of CO2, but because of a desire to understand the causes of the ice ages (identified by Louis Agassiz in 1837).
Then, 75 years ago, in February 1938, a little appreciated scientist, Guy Stewart Callendar, presented the first evidence that the planet had recently warmed. Callendar also suggested that changes in atmospheric CO2 had caused a large part of this observed warming. A new paper reanalyses Callendar’s work to mark the 75th anniversary of his landmark study. Continue reading Global temperatures: 75 years after Callendar
I was alerted to an article on climate change in Mongolia which claims that temperatures there have already risen by more than 2C since the 1940s. A few minutes on Climate Explorer allowed me to check. Continue reading Temperatures in Mongolia
A recent article on the BBC website said:
The UK has experienced its “weirdest” weather on record in the past few months, scientists say.
The question today is then, is this true? Continue reading How "weird" has UK weather been in 2012?
At a recent weather festival, Roger Brugge presented a reconstruction of temperatures from 1863 to 2011 for a small patch of the UK, namely Berkshire, which I found interesting. Continue reading A 150 year temperature history from Berkshire
Previous posts have described some initial analysis of the data from the Old Weather project, which is using public volunteers to digitise new historical weather observations from Royal Navy ships during World War 1. The good news is that these observations will improve our knowledge of the atmospheric circulation. Continue reading The value of old weather observations
In a previous post I discussed the Old Weather project which is using volunteers to transcribe the hand-written weather data from Royal Navy ships logs in the World War 1 period. The good news is the first 243 ships have been completed (providing data scattered throughout the period 1914-1923), and some simple analysis shows whether this data can help reconstruct past Atlantic atmospheric variability. Continue reading Reconstructing Atlantic atmospheric variability
Understanding the climate of the past is extremely valuable to help put modern weather observations into a long-term context. Although we have considerable records of past weather, especially over land, more data is always welcome. Given the British obsession with the weather it is perhaps of no surprise that more data is available, it is just buried in hand-written logbooks. Transcribing this data is normally a time-consuming and expensive task…. Continue reading Learning about past climate from ships logs
Something a little bit different for this post…. After all the recent controversy over hacked emails, IPCC errors and the British public apparently growing more skeptical about climate science and scientists, it is perhaps interesting to take a step back and look at why we believe that emissions of various gases can influence our climate. Continue reading A brief history of early climate science