Saturday, 4 December 2010

Global Warming and Valley, Anglesey

As the United Nations Climate Change Conference is taking place in Cancun, Mexico as I type; from 29 November to 10 December 2010, I though I would look at some historical data.

The chart below shows the min temperatures for November from 1914 to 2008, as recorded at Valley, Anglesey. The raw data is available on the Met Office website. The red line is the trend line (linear), which shows the min temp decreasing over time (less cold in other words).

I’m not claiming that this alone proves global warming, it most likely shows a change in the seasons, we do experience milder autumns. But if that is the effect, then maybe global warming is the cause.

Also remember the earth's wobble, and its constantly changing path around the sun. The chart below (data from Redshift) shows the nearest distance the earth gets to the sun (perihelion), as you can see we are in the current cycle where we are moving further away from the Sun during winter and conversely closer during summer. You would think therefore our summers should be warmer and our winters colder . The perihelion-aphelion distance will be equal sometime after 38,000 AC.

The reason why this winter is so cold could be explained by the perihelion chart below, and why next winter it could be even colder, before it starts to warm up again.


Photon said...

Interesting, but I think the climate system is far more complex than you intimate. The reason why it's difficult to come up with a definite answer to climate change being man-made is because there are so many variables that have to be taken into account. So a simple analysis of one or two variables, such as above, are rather unlikely to suddenly reveal the world's most complex computing models as having overlooked something fundamental.

We're warming up, that's for sure. I'm personally also certain that, if you're uncertain about the cause, then you stop doing those things we know are probably not helping - burning fossil fuels - when we have alternatives we can use (subject to political will and freedome from business influence).

Rhys Williams said...

My point is this; the world on average is getting warmer, whilst we should be getting colder. Whatever the reason this cannot be good for the future of mankind.

Prometheuswrites said...

These are all good points.

Complex system - yes
Unpredictable - yes
Climate change - yes
Man made - Yes and who knows what else
Freedom from business influence - yes it would be nice, however that runs against the current tendency for mega-corps forcing the SME businessman out of business - see what's happening in USA with Latino farmers and the US gov.

I spent an interesting evening last night browsing through the latest thoughts on the Lesser Dryas, that period 12,000 to 9,000 years ago that led to the Magdalenian culture.

Current thinking is that this 'mini' ice age took hold over a period of 10 years, (yes, that's right 10), lasted for 2,500 and ended aboput 9,000 years ago with about 100 foot of sea level rise.

NB. Total sea level rise (in three stages) is about 350 foot since the Oldest Dryas cira 28,000 years ago that signalled the end of the last long period of a Major Ice Age.

Mankind has survived much worse events - check out the Toba population bottleneck:

and I'm not sure that a repitition wouldn't be a bad thing, given the rate of extinctions and the squeeze on genetic diversity.

Maybe next time round we'll avoid consumer capitalism. :)