By Paul Homewood
The absurd Matt McGrath hypes the latest Met Office modelling exercise!
Sweltering temperatures of up to 40C could be a regular occurrence in the UK by 2100 if carbon emissions stay very high says the Met Office.
The current record stands at 38.7C, set in Cambridge last July.
This new study says there is an “increasing likelihood” of going beyond this figure, because of the human influence on the climate.
Under the worst emissions scenario, the 40C mark could occur every three and a half years by the end of this century.
The past two summers have seen periods of significant and uncomfortable heat across much of the UK and Europe.
Met Office researchers are clear that these hot summers occurred partly as a result of warming gases originating from human activities.
In fact, the use of energy, transport and all the other carbon that we’ve been producing made the heatwave of 2018 around 30 times more likely.
The Met Office’s new modelling study says that this human influence on UK temperatures is going to continue.
“We find that the likelihood of extremely warm days in the UK has been increasing and will continue to do so during the course of the century with the most extreme temperatures expected to be observed in the South-East of England,” the report finds.
The scale of the impact, though, is still very much in our hands.
Right now the chances of any part of the UK hitting 40C are extremely low – it could occur once every 100 to 350 years.
This changes significantly by the end of the century, depending on how much more carbon is emitted.
The researchers say the chances of hitting that high mark are “rapidly accelerating” with a 40C day occurring every 3.5 years, under a very high emissions scenario.
Under a more modest carbon projection, the 40C mark happens about once every 15 years.
“If we think about the climate that we would have had, had we not emitted any greenhouse gases, and something like 40C looks looks well nigh impossible, because it is so extreme,” said Prof Peter Stott from the Met Office, one of the paper’s authors.
“But now we’ve already entered this scenario where we can see over 38C as we saw last summer, and increasingly the chances of seeing 40C become ever higher if we continue emitting greenhouse gases,” he told BBC News.
For a start, Stott gives unwarranted prominence to one temperature measurement at Cambridge last summer, which as we know had very serious siting issues. Whereas Cambridge reached 38.7C, the nearest anywhere else in the country got was 37.9C, and that was next to the tarmac at Heathrow and did not even beat the previous 2003 record at Faversham. To spook the public with threats of 40C temperatures based on one dodgy location is not science.
That is not to say that that day last July was not an extremely hot one. Many places in the country had record temperatures, although many others did not break their records set in 1990, another extreme day. But it was only one day, and it was caused by an unusual meteorological set up. The days before and after were four degrees or more cooler, at least as far as CET was concerned.
One hot day does not have any climatic significance at all. While 25th July 2019 was the warmest day on CET, we can see that the heatwave of 1976 was far longer and more intense than any other summer since.
Stott’s paper itself gives the game away, as his chart below shows:
The red and blue bands are simply modelling and can be ignored. It is the black line which measures the actual warmest day each year, as represented by the UK average. While 2019 is an outlier, there seems to be little in the way of an upward trend since the 1970s.
Yet Stott conjures up three or four degrees of warming in the next few decades. But, of course, this is based on modelling and not actual data.
We can see the actual trends more clearly on my chart of CET daily highs:
Again, last year stands out, but other than that it has not peaked above 1976 and 1990 since. While other recent years have been relatively warm, they have not been dissimilar to many other other earlier periods, such as the 1940s.
Quite simply, the actual data does not support Stott’s projections.