Is UK Met Office Right To Claim Global Temperatures Have Risen?

In 2013 UK Met Office stated temperatures had risen 0.81C between 1880 and 2011 – did they deliberately ignore earlier higher temperatures in CET record, or just forget?

A series of parliamentary questions from Lord Donoughue in 2012/13 prompted the UK Met Office to state

The underlying trend of temperature rise from 1880 to 2011 is 0.062 °C/decade giving a total change of 0.81°C.

Met Office seem to have been referring to HadCRUT4 temperature record which they maintain in conjunction with Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia.

A plot of this temperature record shows, even without a trend line, temperatures did rise from about -0.2 to 0.6,  0.8C.


What is more than a little strange is Met Office also hold Central England Temperature record – the world’s longest instrumental temperature record.

Strange no mention was made of CET when declaring the 0.81C rise from 1880 to 2011.

Although CET also shows a rise from 1880 to 2011, 1880 seems to have been a low point and temperatures have been nearly as high as currently several times in the past.  There have also been a number of lows.


Plotting HadCRUT4 and CET,  shows the range of CET is greater than HadCRUT4.



HadCRUT4 is a combination of

  • sea surface temperatures held by Met Office at the Hadley weather center near Exeter
  • land temperatures held by CRU at UEA.

If the CRU land temperatures are also plotted we can see they have a greater range than HadCRUT4 but not such a great range as CET.  Perhaps this is due to CRU temperatures being a ‘average’ of temperatures from around the world, whilst CET is from the middle of England.



Despite the differences in range CET, HadCRUT4 and CRUT4 show a roughly similar pattern for the years they overlap.

This suggests very strongly the impression given by Met Office that world temperatures are rising in a straight line is wrong.

If the HadCRUT4 and CRUT4 records extend back as far as CET it seems most likely they would all show a similar pattern.

Zooming in and comparing the 3 series in recent past (up to 2013) again shows the 3 temperature records showing a similar pattern, with CET showing the greatest variation and HadCRUT4 the least.


I don’t know why Met Office gave the trend from 1880 to 2011.  Perhaps it’s because before 1880 there were not many thermometers around the world.

On the other hand there seems to be a dip in temperatures around 1880 so if you’re aiming to show a rise that’s a good place to start.

HadCRUT4 starts in 1850 and CRUT4 in 1851 so why not look at all the data there is


It seems fairly clear to me going back from 1880 CET, HadCRUT4 and CRUT4 all rise and all have a broadly similar shape with CET having the greatest range and HadCRUT4 the least.

And zooming in this is even clearer



Having seen this do you think it is more likely that temperatures

  • are now set on unstoppable rise to dangerous levels
  • are going to wander about as they have in the past

If we had a temperature record which stretch back 1000, 2000, or 10000 years we might find temperatures have been even higher in the past than they are now.  (Actually you would find this but that’s another story).

If you think temperatures are not rising dangerously then

The£billions of your money being spent on windfarms and other renewables is a waste.

The doubling (or trebling) of electricity prices to subsidize renewable energy is a waste (you’re paying for this remember).

DEFRA/DECC/EA’s policy of knocking down sea walls and flooding farmland is totally unjustified (again you’re paying this too).

Even the money being spent on research into ‘climate change’ is a waste.  It’s estimated to be £billions and yes, you’re paying for that too.

In the UK Conservative, Labour and Lib Dems are all committed to these policies and it wouldn’t make much difference if they weren’t as they are now part of EU law.


Finally – CET shows temperatures have risen more than 1C (and fallen)  several times between 1650 and 1800.  These rises can not be due CO2 emissions caused by humans, as those are not reckoned to have become significant until 1850 at earliest.

So what caused the rise then?

Has this mechanism stopped now,  if not how much of the current warming is due to this non CO2 mechanism?

Download the data and R script used to produce the plots in this post .

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