Gosh this is fun… you wait ages for a paper on a warm event and then 2 come along together :-).

Anyway, thanks to FB for pointing out How unusual was autumn 2006 in Europe? in Climate of the Past. This is almost but not quite the same thing as the 2003 event so I had all the code ready and submitted a little comment. Since its on-line open access you can see it, just click on the interactive discussion.

Looking in the Chase et al. style hemispheric context, 2006 doesn’t look so unusual, even when looking at T1.5m.


  1. #1 Alexander Ac

    Oh, sure.

    Not enough for sceptics. If you tell them, that there was a warmest winter in 500 years, or warmest autumn in 1000 years, or warmest summer in 100 years, they will just push the borders further… finally, we will never get hotter on Earth, than at “big bang”.
    What a pitty!!:-)

    [Its best to know the truth. In this case, summer ’03 looks exceptional, viewed as the sfc. But autumn ’06 is doubtful -W]

  2. #2 Jonathan Vause

    But the paper did say that global warming made that type of autumn 10 to 50 times more likely, even if it was still pretty unusual – unless, as they say, the models are ‘missing some non-linear physics’. I know you like to downplay these things, but isn’t it possible the models underestimate the scale of the problem?

    [I have no problem with that part of the paper. The bit I’m commenting on was only the “ws it really unusual” bit. I’m not saying it wasn’t, just that its not as clear-cut as they suggest -W]

    Would like to hear your comments on this year’s UK weather, btw.

    [Its wet :-). I think my month-on-month-off theory still works: we’re alternating good and bad months. Sorry, thats not serious, the answer is, I just live through it. I’m somewhat grateful June isn’t far too hot as it often is here; I’m not grateful for the rain though -W]

  3. #3 Adam

    June’s weather is 1.7C above average CET and nearly 189% of normal rainfall (according to Philip Eden at http://www.climate-uk.com/). The CET was over 2C above average until a couple of days ago. See also http://www.climate-uk.com/page2.html

    This is pretty much in line with the UKMO seasonal forecast of tending to above average temps and above average rainfall (see http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/seasonal/summer2007/index.html which has recently been updated, but said a very similar thing earlier on).

  4. #4 Gareth

    If a warm autumn alone is not enough, how about looking at in conjunction with the warm winter. New Scientist reports on a paper in GRL:

    Separately, the temperatures experienced during autumn 2006 and winter 2007 are likely to have been the warmest in 500 years, they say. But the sequential combination of two such warm seasons is a still rarer event – probably the first since 1289.

    The UK MetOffice is experimenting with deriving current climate figures from 15 years of historic data and 15 years of model projections, because using purely historical data doesn’t give enough information about the changes being observed.
    And – purely anecdotal, based on gut-feel and overflowing drains and gutters – rainfall intensification is here and happening. Any papers on that?

    [There is a certain persistence to temperature, so 2 warm seasons in a row isn’t a (1/500)^2 event. But it does make it more unusual.

    Yes, people are starting to get interesting in running the model projections from “now” rather than random model state now. Tricky though.

    It does seem to be pissing with rain, true. Don’t know about papers: I’m supposed to be going camping at the weekend :-( -W]

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