Our June weather last week was not even as hot as it was in 1878, a century before the great global warming scare was invented.
Headline writers were itching during last week’s heatwave to proclaim that it was a “record breaking” June, particularly on June 21, when the BBC flashed up that the temperature had hit “35 degrees” (in fact it had only been 34.5).
The problem, as all had to admit, was that this was only the hottest June spell since the drought year of 1976, when June temperatures on seven days exceeded 34.5, followed by months more of exceptional heat before the drought broke in September.
But the suspicions of that expert analyst Paul Homewood were aroused when he noticed that the 34.5 degrees had only been recorded in one place, Heathrow airport: just as happened two years ago when the Met Office splashed across the media that July 1 2015 had been “the hottest July day ever”, with a temperature of 36.7 degrees, again recorded only at Heathrow airport.
Homewood’s detective work on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog suggested that the 36.7 figure had nowhere near been matched by the official weather stations nearest to Heathrow.
Even there it had only been recorded in a fleeting spike at 2.15 in the afternoon, by a thermometer sited on heat-radiating tarmac, near a main runway where it could have been affected by a blast from a passing airliner.
The Met Office confirms that last week was similar, where weather stations nearby recorded temperatures no higher than 33.8 degrees, equal to one recorded in 1995.
For a better perspective on last week’s heatwave, Homewood looked at the Central England Temperature record, based on centuries-old recordings at three weather stations across the country.
He found that there were hotter spells and June days recorded in more than a dozen previous years going back to 1878, showing that there was nothing exceptional about last week.
But the real reason why the global warming-obsessed Met Office and BBC are so desperate to convince us that the world is getting hotter than ever must itself be seen as only part of a much wider story, which I have lately been analysing in a paper for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, to show how the belief in man-made climate change has in every respect been a perfect case study in the rules of groupthink first identified 45 years ago by Irving Janis, a professor of psychology at Yale.
For years the greatest problem for the warmists was the failure after 1998 of global temperatures to continue rising as all their computer models had predicted.
Programmed to assume that as CO2 levels continued to rise, so global temperatures would follow, they had all agreed that in the 21st century the world would continue to get hotter by at least 0.3 degrees every decade.
But after the unusually strong El Niño year of 1998, this simply hadn’t happened. 1998 still stubbornly remained the hottest year in the modern record, and the trend failed to rise at all, in what became recognised, even by warmists, as the “Pause”.
So how could this be explained away? Around 2012, they thought they had the answer. The world was indeed continuing to warm according to the theory. But the reason why this was not reflected in the global temperature record was that all that extra heat was hiding away in the deep oceans.
Then, between 2014 and 2016, they thought they had been saved: by another El Niño, even stronger than that in 1998, which made 2016 the new “hottest year ever”.
All this was gleefully put together in a recent article in The Spectator by Philip Williamson, a scientist at the University of East Anglia who used it to show how the “denialists” had got it all totally wrong.
The Pause after 1998 had indeed been an illusion, Williamson claimed, because, during that time, an astonishing “93 per cent” of the extra heat created by human activity had simply been absorbed by the oceans, with only a mere 1 per cent reflected in surface temperatures.
But, once again, Homewood looked at the evidence for this. It was all based on data provided since 2004 by the US Argo buoy system. But he found that this only measures temperatures in the upper 2,000 metres of the oceans, and even this had only recorded a minuscule rise of 0.02 degrees.
However, when oceans warm, they expand, causing sea levels to rise. And measurements from tide gauges across the world show that there has been no increase in the rate of sea-level rise since the start of the Modern Warming 200 years ago.
When Williamson triumphantly referred to 2014, 2015 and 2016 as the “hottest years ever”, showing that the heat was once again emerging, he tellingly relied only on the two main surface temperature records, one kept by his colleagues at the UEA’s Climatic Research Unit and the UK Met Office.
But these have in recent years been controversially “adjusted” to show a temperature rise much larger than that actually recorded.
Significantly, Williamson made no mention of the much more comprehensive satellite temperature records, which have long been giving a very different picture.
They indeed agreed that 2016 was tied for heat with 1998. But they have since shown a drop of more than 0.6 degrees, putting recent months way below their 2016, 2010 and 1998 El Niño peaks.