The Climate Dice and the Butterfly

March 27, 2017






GLOBAL COOLING..

              GLOBAL WARMING... 

                             CLIMATE CHANGE.... 


The physicist Leo Szilard once announced to his friend Hans Bethe that he was thinking of keeping a diary: 'I  don't intend to publish, I am merely going to record the facts for the information of God.' 'Don't you think God knows the facts?' Bethe asked. 'Yes' said Szilard. "He knows the facts, but he does not know THIS version of the facts'


"(From Hans Christian von Baeyer, "Taming the Atom" (from the preface paragraph in "A Short History of Nearly Everything", by Bill Bryson, A Black Swan Book, 2004) 

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The Weekend Sun newspaper is published every Friday in Tauranga ( New Zealand) and contains a range of local information including comments from several columnists. Durng part of 2012, I provided a "Weather Eye" comment which was published on the second and fourth Friday of each month. My column was also published  on the website SunLive  which attracts over 200,000 weekly visitors. 
 
From  March 2013 my column is continuing and is now published each week on Sunlive.

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The latest  WeatherEye No 203 issued on  March 27, 2017



















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"...if man examines the universe and understands it, he knows how small a part of it he is." 



( from " Guide to the Perplexed" by Moses Maimonides, one of the greatest of all Jewish geniuses who died in 1204. The quote is from page 335 of Robert Winston's  book "The Story of God" published by Bantam Books in 2009. 





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In any consideration of climate change, there are opportunities as well as risks 

 
There are always surprises in science ... we do not know everything

The information given on the web pages listed below is provided by Dr John Maunder,  who was President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization from 1989 to 1997, and who over the last 60 years has been involved in the "weather business" in various countries, including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, US, Ireland, Switzerland, and the UK , through activities in national weather services, universities  and international organizations, and publications including four books : "The Value of the Weather" (1970), "The Uncertainty Business - Risks and Opportunities in Weather and Climate" (1986), "The Human Impact of Climate Uncertainty - Weather Information, Economic Planning, and Business Management " (1989), and the "Dictionary of Global Climate Change" (1994). The information is prepared so as to provide a "need to know" background on weather and climate matters, climate change, and "global warming" with the aim to promote a better understanding of these matters.      email:  climate@ihug.co.nz


thumbnail of butterfly diagram

 
 
 
 
              The "Maunder Butterfly


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For the current sunspot bulletin  issued by the Royal Belgium Observatory see:



Sunspots Numbers updated to February 2017








See http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-index-graphics/sidc_graphics.php 

SUNSPOT PREDICTION   October 2016




Source http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov

The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number V2.0 maximum of about 101 in late 2013. The smoothed sunspot number V2.0 reached a peak of 116.4 in April 2014. This will probably become the official maximum. This second peak surpassed the level of the first peak (98.3 in March 2012). Many cycles are double peaked but this is the first in which the second peak in sunspot number was larger than the first. We are currently over seven years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14, which had a maximum smoothed sunspot number V2.0 of 107.2 in February of 1906.





 
 



  
 
 From a cruise ship off Western Australia                 Photo: John Maunder 
 
 
"Everything is appropriate in its own time. But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so, man cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end".  
 
Ecclesiastes  3:11
 
 
 
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 Climate Overview .....
 
 
The website http://climate4you.com is a comprehensive web site which gives links to many official climate data web sites produced by NASA, NOAA, The University of East Anglia. etc. The graph below shows an overview of what has happened to the earth,s temperature over the last 400,000 years. 
 
Reconstructed global temperature over the past 420,000 years based on the Vostok ice core from the Antarctica (Petit et al. 2001). The record spans over four glacial periods and five interglacials, including the present. The horizontal line indicates the modern temperature. The red square to the right indicates the time interval shown in greater detail in the next graph.
 
 
 
 
The last 11,000 years (red square in diagram above) of this climatic development is shown in greater detail in the chart below.
 
The upper panel shows the air temperature at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet, reconstructed by Alley (2000) from GISP2 ice core data. The time scale shows years before modern time. The rapid temperature rise to the left indicate the final part of the even more pronounced temperature increase following the last ice age. The temperature scale at the right hand side of the upper panel suggests a very approximate comparison with the global average temperature (see comment below). The GISP2 record ends around 1854, and the two graphs therefore ends here. There has since been an temperature increase to about the same level as during the Medieval Warm Period and to about 395 ppm for CO2. The small reddish bar in the lower right indicate the extension of the longest global temperature record (since 1850), based on meteorological observations (HadCRUT3). The lower panel shows the past atmospheric CO2 content, as found from the EPICA Dome C Ice Core in the Antarctic (Monnin et al. 2004). The Dome C atmospheric CO2 record ends in the year 1777. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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The graph below shows the Global monthly average lower troposphere temperature since 1979 according to University of Alabama at Huntsville, USA. This graph below uses data obtained by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) TIROS-N satellite, interpreted by Dr. Roy Spencer and Dr. John Christy, both at Global Hydrology and Climate Center, University of Alabama at Huntsville, USA. The thick line is the simple running 37 month average, nearly corresponding to a running 3 yr average. The cooling and warming periods directly influenced by the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption and the 1998 El Niño, respectively, are clearly visible. Reference period 1981-2010. Last month shown: September 2013. Last diagram update: 8 October 2013.
 
As shown the Global monthly temperatures shows very little trend up or down since about 2001.
 
 
 
 
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The Central England surface air temperature series is the longest existing meteorological record. Thin lines = annual values. Thick lines = running 11 yr average. The above graphs for annual, summer and winter temperatures have been prepared using the composite monthly meteorological series originally painstakingly homogenized and published by the late professor Gordon Manley (1974). The data series is now updated by the Hadley Centre. Last update: Summer 2013. Last diagram update: 6 October 2013.
 
 
 
 
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Sunspot Numbers up to January 2016

A graph of the sunspot numbers from 1700 to 2017May 1 2016 is shown below. The graph is from a web site of the Royal Belgium Observatory.

 

 
 

 
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 ARE "WE"  OR "NATURE" IN CONTROL?

     WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW 

 
"The Uncertainty Business: Risks and Opportunties in Weather and Climate" by Dr John Maunder, Methuen, London, 1986, 420pp
 
Weather dice were shown on the cover of my book (shown above) published in 1986. The cover, which has two dice on a "monopoly board", with various weather symbols on each side of the dice, was to represent the reality that most if not all of the weather (and ultimately most of the climate) with the exception of human induced weather and climate affects, is ultimately related to how the weather dice fall.  Who or what controls the fall of the weather dice is the ultimate question for all meteorologists and climate scientists ... and if the "butterfly effect" (see below) is correct, we may really just have to learn to live and adapt to whatever the weather and the climate provides.
 
* Professor Edward Lorenz (1917-2008) was a meteorologist who worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States who in 1972 presented an academic paper entitled " Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?" This paper resulted in the development of "chaos theory"  or simply "the butterfly effect" which among other things endeavours to explain why it it is so hard to make good weather forecasts beyond about 10 days, and has implications for making good climate forecasts, particularly when considering the natural causes of climate change."  For further details see http://www.answers.com/topic/Edward-Norton-Lorenz.
 
 
 
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The IPCC report Working Group 1 released in January, 2014 is available at the following website: 


The first paragraph of the report states:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, human influence on the climate system is clear, and limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. These are the key conclusions from an assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that is released on January 2014 in its full and finalized form.






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THE FOLLWING ARE EXTRACTS FROM THE earlier REPORT released in September 2013.
 

"It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface

temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas

concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the humaninduced

contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period."

 

"Greenhouse gases contributed a global mean surface warming likely to be in the range of

0.5°C to 1.3°C over the period 19512010, with the contributions from other anthropogenic

forcings, including the cooling effect of aerosols, likely to be in the range of 0.6°C to 0.1°C.

The contribution from natural forcings is likely to be in the range of 0.1°C to 0.1°C, and from internal

 

variability is likely to be in the range of 0.1°C to 0.1°C. Together these assessed

contributions are consistent with the observed warming of approximately 0.6°C to 0.7°C over

this period."

 

REACTIONS TO THE ABOVE REPORT include the following:

 http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/24/ipcc-ar5-chapter-11-maintaining-the-spin/

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The IPCC Working Group 2, released in  March 2014 is available at the following website:


http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/IPCC_WG2AR5_SPM_Approved.pdf

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The IPCC Working Group 3, released on April 14, 2014 is available at the following website: 

 http://report.mitigation2014.org/spm/ipcc_wg3_ar5_summary-for-policymakers_approved.pdf

The first paragraph of the 33 page "Summary for policy makers" states:

The Working Group III contribution to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) assesses literature

on the scientific, technological, environmental, economic and social aspects of mitigation of climate

change. It builds upon the Working Group III contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report

(AR4), the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) and

previous reports and incorporates subsequent new findings and research. The report also assesses

mitigation options at different levels of governance and in different economic sectors, and the

societal implications of different mitigation policies, but does not recommend any particular option

for mitigation.

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  • Latest Global Surface Temperatures from NASA : 1996-2016
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    The monthly mean global surface temperatures from January 1996 to May 2016 from the NASA web site:




    Fig C






    As shown there has been very little change - either warmer or cooler - since 1998 except for "normal" month to month variations.

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    The "Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index for the calendar years from 1880 to 2015


    Fig A2

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     As shown there has been very little change - either warmer or cooler - since 1998 except for "normal" month to month variations.
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    There are a variety of viewpoints on this subject (covering the full range from those who consider that we ARE the principal weather makers, to those who consider that we are NOT the weather makers and that  climate change is mainly a natural event**).  I have provided web links to a selection of what I consider to be relevant sites, covering all sides of this complex matter.

     
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    For my web site which gives links to all my other weather/climate related web sites just click on:
     
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    Apocalypse perhaps a little later

     

         
    • IT MAY come as a surprise to a walrus wondering where all the Arctic’s summer sea ice has gone. It could be news to a Staten Islander still coming to terms with what he lost to Hurricane Sandy. But some scientists are arguing that man-made climate change is not quite so bad a threat as it appeared to be a few years ago. They point to various reasons for thinking that the planet’s “climate sensitivity”—the amount of warming that can be expected for a doubling in the carbon-dioxide level—may not be as high as was previously thought. The most obvious reason is that, despite a marked warming over the course of the 20th century, temperatures have not really risen over the past ten years. 
    • For the full article in The Economist  (print edition March 30, 2013):
     
     
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      THE SUN PAYS NO HEED TO HUMAN COMMITTEES NO MATTER HOW POWERFUL THEY THINK THEY ARE #
       
      ... for all our clever inventions, technology and science, natural forces will always have the final say*
       
      ...for He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  Mathew 5:45 
       
      For official information on the UN Durban Climate Conference see:
       
       
      "Nature is a lot stronger than the rest of us (when referring to Hurricane Irene)". Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg (August 27, 2011)  
       

      DISTINGUISHED NZ SCIENTIST REBUTS NON-EXISTENT 'GLOBAL WARMING'

       

      Dr David Kear, former Director-General of the New Zealand Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, former United National consultant, recognised as one of NZ's all-time greatest physical scientists has just printed and published a booklet entitled: Global Warming alias Climate Change [the Non-Existent, Incredibly Expensive Threat To Us All, including To Our Grandchildren. In it, he exposes six grave errors promulgated by the Global Warmers in what he terms their "pseudo-science".

       Download pdf document here

        
       
       
      Cleaning up" the environment is fine, but  whether we can control the climate by doing so is quite another matter
       
      From the G8 Meeting in L'Aquila, Italy in July 2009: ( and also what was expressed at the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009)  " We declare that the average  global temperatures should not be allowed to exceed more than 2 degrees C"   Does "Nature"  no longer have any say?
       
      "(It is) Foolish to believe humans can control global climate". Guest  Editorial by John Maunder in the "Bay Of Plenty Times", July 24, 2009
       
      "As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious"  Albert Schweitzer
       
       "As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer" Genesis 8:22 
       
      "Recent climatic extremes from snow to drought remind us of our dynamic climate. Despite what politicians believe, humans cannot control nature, nature controls us."  ** 
       
      "The laws of physics represent something of beauty in the universe. If you believe in God, then God is responsible  for that symmetry and beauty." *** 
       
      "If we have anything to fear from 'climate change' ,it is not warming, whose effects are almost wholly beneficial . What we need to fear is a return of the cold, dry,hungry ice ages."  Garth George writing in the Bay of Plenty Times on July 7,2012 on "Cold comfort for global  warming"
       
       
       The claim is often made that climate realists (or climate skeptics as many are referred to) ) cannot point to peer-reviewed papers to support their position that there is little evidence of "dangerous global warming:" caused by human emissions of so-called "greenhouse" gases, including carbon dioxide. In this pdf document, Anthony Watts has compiled a list of 450 such peer-reviewed papers.
       
       
    * Kerry Woodham, writing in the "Herald on Sunday" on 18 April 2010
    # This phrase with a small addition is given in a NASA release on "new solar cycle prediction" on May 29,2009
     ** Don Nicholson, 2010-11 President of the the New Zealand Federated Farmers, writing in the "Sunday Star Times" December 26, 2010.
    *** Professor Jeff Forshaw, writing in the book "The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen" by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw , Allen Lane, UK, 2011. 
     
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    The physicist Leo Szilard once announced to his friend Hans Bethe that he was thinking of keeping a diary: 'I  don't intend to publish, I am merely going to record the facts for the information of God.' 'Don't you think God knows the facts?' Bethe asked. 'Yes' said Szilard. "He knows the facts, but he does not know THIS version of the facts'

    "(From Hans Christian von Baeyer, "Taming the Atom" (from the preface paragraph in "A Short History of Nearly Everything", by Bill Bryson, A Black Swan Book, 2004) 
     
    "...if man examines the universe and understands it, he knows how small a part of it he is." ( from " Guide to the Perplexed" by Moses Maimonides, one of the greatest of all Jewish geniuses who died in 1204. The quote is from page 335 of Robert Winston's  book "The Story of God" published by Bantam Books in 2005
     
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    • As noted above, there are a variety of viewpoints on this subject (covering the full range from those who consider that we ARE the weather makers, to those who consider that we are NOT the weather makers and that  climate change is mainly a natural event).  I have provided web links to a selection of what I consider to be relevant sites, covering both sides of the story. For further information please contact Dr John Maunder at climate@ihug.co.nz
    • For a different perspective on John Maunder you might like to check the following site: http://sites.google.com/site/hymnforallseasons/ which is hymn written by John Maunder based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. 
    • **************************************************************************************************************

     

      A very interesting site - updated daily - which gives "equal space" to both sides of the question (i.e. Nature or Man as the cause of climate change) is edited by philosophers from New Zealand's  University of Canterbury. The site provides many web links to relevant sites. See  http://climatedebatedaily.com  
       
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      Latest Temperature, and Solar Data
       
      For the latest  global temperature graphs, showing the deviation of the temperature from  "average" covering the period 1880-2015 for annual values, and 1998-2015 for monthly values, as complied by NASA, see 
       
       
       
      The global land-ocean temperature index from  1880 to 2015 complied by NASA is shown below. Note (1) the general warming from 1910 to the early '40s, (2) the slight cooling from the early '40s to the mid '70s, (3) the general warming from the mid '70s to about 2002, and (4) little change during the last decade.
       
       
       
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      The monthly mean global surface temperatures from January 1996 to January 2015 from the NASA web site:
       
       
       
       
      As shown there has been very little change - either warmer or cooler - since 1998 except for "normal" month to month variations.
       
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      Also see the  National Space Science and Technology Center web site which publishes monthly anomalies of the global, land, ocean, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, and tropical temperatures at http://nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2/uahncdc.mt
       
       
      SUNSPOTS
       
    For the current information on sunspots see http://sidc.oma.be/current/ri.html  We are now moving out of a prolonged period of "spotless days". In 2009 the sun had no spots 71% of the time, which is the lowest number for any year for 95 years. For 2010 there were 51 spotless days.  For 2011 there were 2 spotless days. For 2012 to date the number of spotless days is 0.
     
    For 2011 the values are January 19, February  29, March 56, April 54, May 42, June 37, July 44, August 51, September 78, October 88, November 97, December 73.
     
    For 2012 the values are January 73, February 33, March 64, April 55, May 60, June 64, July 66, August 63, September 61, October 53, November 62, December 41.
     
    For 2013 the values are January 62, February 38, March 58, April 72, May 79, June 52, July 57, August 66, September 37, October 86, November 78, December 90. 

    For 2014 the values are January 74, February 72, Mrach 71, April 70,  ......  December 90.
     
     
    A graph of the sunspot numbers from 1700 to February 2012 is shown below. The graph is from a web site of the Royal Belgium Observatory.
     
     
     
     

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     TROPOSPHERIC GLOBAL TEMPERATURES
     
     
    The latest global average temperatures of the troposphere - those observed from NOAA satellites, as computed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) are available at:
    Http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/
     
    The chart shows that since 1979, when reliable satellite observations have been available, there has been little overall trend in the temperatures in troposphere ( except for "normal" variations), except for a small warming trend. 

     The data for 2011 are as follows: January 0.0 degrees, February -0.02, March -0.10, April +0.12, May +0.14, June +0.32, July +0.38, August +0.33, September +0.29 degrees, October +0.12 degrees, November +0.12 degrees, December +0.10 degrees.


    The data for 2012 are: January -0.09 degrees, February -0.12 degrees, March +0.11 degrees, April +0.29 degrees, May +0.29 degrees, June +0.37 degrees, July +0.28 degrees, August +0.34 degrees, November +0.28 degrees, December +0.20 degrees.
     
    The data for 2013 are: January +0.50 degrees, February +0.18 degrees, March +0.20 degrees, April +0.10 degrees, May +0.07 degrees, June +0.30 degrees, July +0.17 degrees, August   +0,16 degrees,  September  +0.37 degrees, October +0.29 degrees, November +0.19 degrees, December +0.23 degrees.

    The data for 2014 are: January +0.29 degrees C, February +0.17 degrees C, March +0.17 degrees C, April +0.19 degrees C, May + 0.33 degreee C, June  +0.30 degreess, July      , August     , September +0.29 degrees C.

    The data for 2015 are: January +0.35 degrees C, February +0.30 degrees,      December +0.44 degrees C.   


    .
    The data for 2016 are: January +0.53 degrees C, February +0.82 degrees,   March  +0.73 degrees., April =0.71 degrees C.
     
    The coolest months (since 1979) were September 1984 (-0.49 degrees) and November 1984 (-0.42 degrees), and the warmest months were February and April 1998 (both +0.76 degrees).

    UAH_LT_1979_thru_April_2016_v6

    UAH_LT_1979_thru_March_2016_v6

    UAH_LT_1979_thru_November_2015_v6


    UAH_LT_1979_thru_February_2015_v5



    UAH_LT_1979_thru_January_2015_v5



    UAH_LT_1979_thru_September_2014_v5


    UAH_LT_1979_thru_June_2014_v5




    UAH_LT_1979_thru_April_2014_v5

    UAH_LT_1979_thru_March_2014_v5





    UAH_LT_1979_thru_February_2014_v5


    UAH_LT_1979_thru_January_2014_v5.6



    UAH_LT_1979_thru_December_2013_v5.6







     
     

     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
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    The Climate WeatherEye
     
     
    The Weekend Sun newspaper is published every Friday in Tauranga ( New Zealand) and contains a range of local information including comments from several columnists. Durng part of 2012, I provided a "Weather Eye" comment which was published on the second and fourth Friday of each month. My column was also publised  on the website SunLive  which attracts over 200,000 weekly visitors. 
     
    From March 2013 my column is continuing and is now published on Sunlive.
     
    The following lists the various WeatherEyes and the web site address in SunLive for them. 

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    PLUS the latest WeatherEyes  from 2016

    Tauranga Average Afternoon Temperatures: March 1913-2016


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called simply ‘afternoon', for Tauranga for the months of March from 1913-2016.

    March 1947 is not included because of incomplete data.

    The average daily maximum temperature for March 2016 was 23.4 degrees Celsius, 0.9 degrees Celsius milder than average.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in March for Tauranga is 22.5 degrees Celsius, ranging from the cool March months of 1960 with an average afternoon temperature of 20.4 degrees Celsius, and 1940 with an average afternoon temperature of 20.8 degrees Celsius, to the warm March months of 1916 (24.7 degrees Celsius), and 1938 and 1968 (24.6 degrees Celsius).

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for March shows generally normal variations from March to March.

    From 1913 to 2015, there have been seven March months with an average afternoon temperature of 24.0 degrees Celsius or more, and 13 March months with an average afternoon temperature of 21.5 degrees Celsius or less.

    The seven warmest March months – in terms of average afternoon temperatures on record –in chronological order are: 1913, 1914,1916, 1938, 1968, 2010 and 2013.

    In contrast the 13 coolest March months – in terms of afternoon temperatures on record –in chronological order are: 1923, 1934,1936, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1949, 1960, 1974, 1976, 1992, 1993 and 1998.

    The average afternoon temperature for March for the 48 years from 1914-1962 was 22.4 degrees Celsius, compared with an average of 22.6 degrees Celsius for the 48 years from 1963-2011.


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    Tauranga March Rainfalls 1898-2016


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfalls for the month of March have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898 – except for 1904, 1908 and 1909.

    This graph below shows the range of rainfalls from a high of 504 mm in 1979, to a low of 5 mm in 1943.

    The second wettest March was in 1972, when 318 mm was recorded, and two March months – 1921 and 2010 – recorded 14 mm.

    The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for March is 109 mm. The rainfall for March 2016 was 146 mm.

     

    The graph shows no significant overall trend in rainfalls in March during the last 110 years, apart from a small increase in the average rainfall for the 50 years ending in 1960 of 103 mm, compared with 117 mm in the 50 years to 2010.

    Since 1898, there have been eleven March months with a rainfall of 200 mm or more, and eleven March months with a rainfall of 30 mm or less.

    The wettest March months in chronological order are: 1902,1918,1922,1935,1941,1944,1957,1962,1972,1979 and 1987.

    The driest March months in chronological order are: 1903,1905,1921,1943,1951,1952,1953,1969, 2004, 2010 and 2013.


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Professor Ole Humlum, of the Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway, maintains a very comprehensive climate web site and much of this WeatherEye is from his website.  See http://www.climate4you.com/Text/Climate4you_February_2016.pdf

    A graph of five global monthly temperatures January 1979 to January/February 2016 is shown below.

    The graph shows a superimposed plot of Quality Class 1 and Quality Class 2 and Quality Class 3 global monthly temperature estimates.

    As the base period differs for the different temperature estimates, they have all been normalised by comparing to the average value of 30 years from January 1979 to December 2008.

    The heavy black line represents the simple running 37 month mean of the average of all temperature records.

     

    The numbers shown in the lower right corner represent the temperature anomaly relative to the individual 1979-1988 averages.

    It should be kept in mind that satellite and surface-based temperature estimates are derived from different types of measurements, and comparing them directly as done in the diagram above therefore may be somewhat problematical.

    However, the different types of temperature estimates appear to agree quite well as to the overall temperature variations on a two-three year scale, although on a shorter time scale there are often considerable differences between the individual records.

    All five global temperature estimates presently show a general overall stagnation, at least since 2002.

    However, there appears to be  small increase (warming) during the last few years. The year 1998 and the current 2015/16 period was affected by the oceanographic El Nino event.

    This stagnation doesn't exclude the possibility that global temperatures will begin to increase again later.

    On the other hand, it also remains a possibility that Earth just now is passing a temperature peak, and global temperatures will begin to decrease during the coming years.

    Time will show which of these two possibilities is correct. One of several key global temperature graphs is the monthly average surface air temperature calculated by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, at Columbia University, New York City, USA.

    The graph is updated to February 2016. GISS is a laboratory of the Earth-Sun Exploration Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and a unit of the Columbia University Earth Institute.

    The thick line is the simple running 37 month average, nearly corresponding to a running 3 year average

     

    The following link will take you directly to a monthly very comprehensive newsletter with global meteorological information updated to February 2016.

    http://www.climate4you.com/

    The website referred to above is produced by Professor Ole Humlum, of the Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway.

    Global Average Temperatures of the Troposphere: 1979 to February 2016


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The latest global average temperatures of the troposphere – those observed from US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites – are computed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville in the United States.

    The above chart shows that since 1979, when reliable satellite observations became available, there has been little overall trend from the average temperatures during the 30-year period from 1981-2010 in the tropospheric temperatures, apart from a period of somewhat warmer temperatures since about 1997, and two significant warm periods associated with the El Nino events in 1998 and 2015-16.

    The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere.

    It contains approximately 75 per cent of the atmosphere's mass and 99 per cent of its water vapour and aerosols.

    The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17 km in the middle latitudes.

    The tropospheric temperature data for 2011 is January 0.0 degrees Celsius, February -0.02, March -0.10, April +0.12, May +0.14, June +0.32, July +0.38, August +0.33, September +0.29, October +0.12, November +0.12, December +0.10 degrees.

    The data for 2012 is: January -0.09 degrees, February -0.12, March +0.11, April +0.29, May +0.29, June +0.37, July +0.28, August +0.34, November +0.28, December +0.20 degrees. The data for 2013 is: January +0.50 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.20, April +0.10, May +0.07, June +0.30, July +0.17, August +0,16, September +0.37, October +0.29, November +0.19, December +0.23 degrees.

    The data for 2014 is: January +0.30 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.17, April +0.19, May +0.33, June +0.31, July +0.30, August +0.20, September +0.30, October +0.37, November +0.33, and December +0.33 degrees Celsius.

    The data for 2015 is: January +0.20 degrees C, February +0.18 degrees C,  March +0.14 degrees C, April +0.07 degrees C, May +0.30 degrees C, June +0.32 degrees C, July +0.18 degrees C, August +0.22 degrees C, September +0.20 degrees C, October +0.32 degrees C,. November +0.40 degrees C, and December +0.48 degrees C.

    The data for 2016 is: January +0.55 degrees C,  and February +0.83 degrees C.

    The coolest months since 1979 were September 1984, with minus 0.49 degrees Celsius, and November 1984, with minus 0.42 degrees Celsius.

    The warmest months were February 2016 with plus 0.83 degrees C, and February and April 1998, both plus 0.76 degrees Celsius.

    The chart shows the El Nino warming in the 1998 period, and 2015-16 periods, and the Mount Pinatubo, volcanic cooling during 1992-1993.






    ***************************************************

    Average February Afternoon Temperatures 1915-2016


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    This is the 150th issue of WeatherEye

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    It's very common for areas such as Tauranga to have had different observation sites during the years; and the readings from the earlier sites have been adjusted to the present site using ‘standard climatological procedures'.

    It's considered the temperature series described here is a fair and true record of what the temperature would have been if the current observation site (Tauranga Airport) had been used throughout the period.

    It's important to note that in considering ‘climate change', the methodology used in computing an 'official' set of climate observations is very important – as otherwise erroneous conclusions may be drawn.

    Traditionally, temperature observations have been recorded with a set of maximum and minimum temperature thermometers. These record the daily maximum temperature (usually recorded in mid-afternoon), and daily minimum temperature (usually recorded just before dawn).

    This analysis of February temperatures for Tauranga is for the average daily maximum temperatures.

    The graph above shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (called simply ‘afternoon'), for Tauranga for February from 1915-2015.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in February for Tauranga is 23.8 degrees Celsius, ranging from the ‘cool' February months of 1934, with an average afternoon temperature of 21.6 degrees C , and 1921 with an average afternoon temperature of 21.8 degrees Celsius, to the ‘warm' February months of 1916 (26.4 degrees Celsius), and 1998 (26.2 degrees Celsius).

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for February shows generally 'normal' variations from February to February.

    The average afternoon February temperature for the 49 years from 1963-2011 of 24.0 degrees Celsius: this is just 0.3 degrees Celsius higher than the average afternoon February temperature for the 49 years from 1914-1962.

    From 1915 to 2016, there have been six February months with an average afternoon temperature of 25.5 degrees Celsius or more, and six February months with an average afternoon temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius or less.

    The average afternoon temperature for February this year was  25.1 degrees Celsius, which was 1.3 degrees Celsius above the long term average.

    The six ‘warmest' February months (in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are: 1916, 1928, 1954, 1955, 1998, and 2011.

    In contrast the six ‘coolest' February months (in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are: 1921, 1931, 1934, 1940, 1976, and 2004.

     *************************************************************
     A selection of the WeatherEyes follows this list:
     
     
     
    Column 1 "Tauranga rainfalls since 1898" is available at:
     
    Column 2 " No trend in February rainfall" is available at 
     
    Column 3 " Changing Spots on the Sun" is available at
     
    Column 4 " March Rainfalls in Tauranga: Wetter during the last 50 years" is available at 
     
    Column 5 " New Zealand Climate Extremes: Tauranga has one of them" is available at  
     
    Column 6 "Tauranga April Rainfalls 1898-2011" is available at
     
    Column 7 " Climate Change and Villach - what is the connection? is available at
     
    Column 8 " Tauranga May Rainfalls 1898-2011" is available at
     
    Column 9  "Global Annual Temperatures: 1880-2012" is available at
     
    Column 10  "Tauranga June Rainfalls 1898-2011"  is available at
     
     Column 11 "Are we getting warmer or not?  Global monthly temperatures 1996-2012"
     
    Column 12  "Tauranga July Rainfalls 1898-2011"  is available at
     
    Column 13   "England -Winters of the last 200 years" is available at 
     
     
    Column 14  "Tauranga August Rainfalls 1898-2011"  is available at
     
    Column 15  "Tauranga September Rainfalls 1898-2011"  is available at
     
    Column 16  "Tauranga February Rainfalls 1898-2013" is available at
     
    Column 17  "Tauranga Annual Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2013" is available at
     
    Column 18  "Tauranga March Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2013" is available at
     
    Column 19  "Tauranga April Rainfalls 1898-2013" is available at
     
    Column 20  "Tauranga April Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2013" is available at
     
    Column 21  "Sunpots and the Maunder Butterfly"  is available at
     
     Column 22  "A eye on Tauranga May Rainfall 1898-2013"  is available at
     
     Column 23  "A eye on Tauranga May Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2013"  is available at
     
     Column 24  "Tauranga June Rainfalls 1898-2013"  is available at
     
    Column 25  "Global Monthly Temperatures from 1996 -2013... No significant warming or cooling"
     
    Column 26  "Tauranga June Afternoon Temperaturers 1913-2013" is available at
     
    Column 27 "Tauranga July Rainfalls 1898-2013"  is available at 
    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/blogs/printer-friendly/4996-july-tauranga-rainfalls.html
     
    Column 28 "Tauranga July Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2013" is available at 

    Column 29 "The weather dice and the butterfly"  is available at 
     
     
     
    Column 30 "Climate Extremes in New Zealand" is available at 
    Column 31 "Tauranga August Rainfalls 1898-2013" is available at 
     
    Column 32 "Tauranga August Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2013"  is available at

    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/blogs/printer-friendly/5209-august-afternoon-temperatures.html

     

    Column 33 "The first 33 "WeatherEyes"  is available at 

     
    Column 34 "Tauranga September Rainfalls 1898-2013" is available at 
     
     
    Column 35 "Tauranga September  Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2013"  is available at 
     
     
    Column 36 "Is the Arctic Ice decreasing or increasing'"  is available at 
     

    Column 37 "Temperatures in Central England from 1650-2013"  is available at 


    Column 38 "Tauranga October Rainfalls 1898-2013" is available at 
     
     
    Column 39 "Tauranga October Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2013" is available at 
     

     Column 40 "Global Surface Temperatures 1860-2013 ...Stable during since 2000" is available at 

     http://www.sunlive.co.nz/blogs/5521-global-surface-temps-stable.html

    Colum 41 "Global average temperatures observed from satellites 1979-2013" is available at: 

    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/blogs/5557-global-average-temperatures-observed-from-satellites.html

    Column 42 " Tauranga's November Rainfall 1898-2013" is available at:

    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/blogs/5593-taurangas-november-rainfalls-from-18982013.html

    Column 43 " Tauranga's November Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2013: Warmest on record" is available at:

     http://www.sunlive.co.nz/blogs/printer-friendly/5627-november-2013-warmest-on-record.html



    Column 45 " Tauranga's December Rainfall 1898-2013" is available at:

    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/blogs/printer-friendly/5717-taurangas-december-rainfalls-18982013.html


    Column 46 " Tauranga's Annual Rainfall 1898-2013" is available at:




    Column 47 " Tauranga's December afternoon temperatures 1914-2013"  is available at:





    Column 48 " Tauranga's Annual average afternoon temperatures 1914-2013" is available at:




    Column 49 " Tauranga's January's  Rainfall 1898-2014" is available at:





    Column 50. "Groundhog Day February 2" is available at :



    Column 51 " Tauranga's January Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2014"  is available at:



    Column 52 " Global Temperatures 1880-2013.. Are we really getting warmer?"  is available at:



    Column 53 " Tauranga's February Rainfall 1898-2014" is available at:




    Column 54 " Tauranga's February Afternoon Temperatures 1915-2014"  is available at:



    Column 55 " Tropospheric Average Temperatures 1979- 2014"  is available at:


    Column 56 " Sunspots"  is available at:




    Column 57. "Tauranga's March Rainfalls 1898-2014" is available at:


    Column 58. "Climate Extremes in NZ - Tauranga has one" is available at:



    Column 59. "Tauranga 's March Afternoon Temperatures 1915-2014" is available at:


    Column 60. "Arctic and Antarctic Ice" is available at:


    Column 61. "Tauranga 's April Rainfalls 1898-2014" is available at:



    Column 62. "Tauranga 's April Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2014" is available at:


    Column 63. "Tropospheric Global Temperatures January 1979 to April 2014" is available at:


    Column 64. "Climate Change - Methods of Inferring/Detecting Climate Changes" is available at:


    Column 65. "Tauranga 's  Fifth Driest May (2014)  in 1898-2014"  last month.is available at:




    Column 66. "Tauranga 's May Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2014" is available at:



    Column 67. "Planet Earth... the last 420,000 years"



    Column 68. "The Maunder Minimum and Sunspots" is available at:




    Column 69.  "Tauranga’s June rainfalls 1898-2014"  is available at 



    Column 70. "Tauranga June 2014  Afternoon Temperatures - Warmest for 100 years"  is available at:



    Column 71. "Global Tropospheric Temperatures: January 1979 - June 2014" is available at:




    Column 72.  "Brisbane has coldest morning for 102 years" is available at:




    Column 73.  "Climate Change ..Have things changed?  is available at:


    Column 74. "Tauranga July  Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2014"  is available at:



    Column 75. "Polar Ice: Arctic decreasing,  Antarctica increasing" is available at:




    Column 76. "The Year Without a Summer" is available at:



    Column 77. "Sunspots and the Maunder Minimum" is available at:


    Column 78. "1816: The year without a summer" is available at:




    Column 79. "Tauranga August Rainfalls 1898-2014" is available at:


    Column 80. "Tauranga August  Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2014"  is available at:


    Column 81. "Is Global Warming taking a break" is available at:


    Column 82. "UN Climate Summit 2004" is available at:


    Column 83. "Tauranga September Rainfalls 1898-2014" is available at:



    Column 84. "Tauranga September  Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2014"  is available at:




    Column 85. "Global Monthly Temperatures: January 1979 - August 2014" is available at:



    Column 86. "Tauranga October Rainfalls 1898-2014" is available at:



    Column 87. In the Bleak Mid-winter" is available at:

    Column 88. "Global Monthly Temperatures: January 1979 - October 2014" is available at

    Column 89. "Tauranga December Rainfalls: 1898-2014" is available at


    Column 90. "Tauranga December Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2014"  is available at:


    Column 91. "Global Average Tropospheric Temperatures: January 1979 - December 2014" is available at



    Column 92. "Tauranga January Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:


    Column 93. "Tauranga January Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2015"  is available at:



    Column 94. "Tauranga Annual Rainfalls 1898-2014"  is available at:


    Column 95. "Tauranga Annual Average Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2014"  is available at:


    Column 96. "Tauranga February Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2015"  is available at:




    Column 97. "Tauranga February Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:


    Column 98. "Sunspots and the Maunder Minimum : 2015 update" is available at:



    Column 99. "World Meteorological Day - 2015" is available at:


    Column 100. "The Weather Dice and the Butterfly" is available at:



    Column 101 "Tauranga March Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:


    Column 102. "Tauranga March Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2015"  is available at:



    Column 103: "Climate Extremes in New Zealand" is available at:


    Column 104 "Tauranga April Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:


    Column 105. "Tauranga April Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015"  is available at:




    Column 106. "Global Average Temperatures of the Troposphere.. 1970 to April 2015" is available at:


    Column 107. "Global Monthly Temperatures  - January 1979 to April 2015"  is available at:




    Column 108. "Sunspots and the Solar Cycle" is available at:



    Column 109 "Tauranga May Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:







    Column 111 "Global Monthly Average Temperatures  January 1979 - April/May 2105" is available at:



    Column 112 "The Year without a Summer" is available at:


    Column 113 "Tauranga June Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:



    Column 114 "Tauranga June Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015"  is available at:



    Column 115 "The Sun and the next "Maunder Minimum" 2020-2040 is available at:



    Column 116 "Arctic and Antarctic Ice:  Contrasting Data" is available at:


    Column 117 "Tauranga July Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015"  is available at:


    Column 118 "Tauranga July Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:


    Column 119  "Meteorology and Philately"


    Column 120. "Global Average Temperatures of the Troposphere.. 1970 to Jul 2015" is available at:



    Column 121:"Global Monthly Average Temperatures  January 1979 - June/July 2015" is available at



    Column 122 "Tauranga August Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:



    Column 123 "Tauranga August Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015"  is available at:


    Column 124 "Solar Activity and the Earth's Climate" is available at:



    Column 125 "What are El Nino and La Nina" is available at:


    Column 126 "Tauranga September Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:


    Column 127 "Tauranga September Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015"  is available at:


    Column 128 "Global Average Temperatures of the Troposphere :1979-September 2015" is available at:



    Column 129 "Global Monthly Temperatures1979-September 2015" is available at:


    Column 130 "Tauranga October Rainfalls 1898-2015"  is available at:



    Column 131 "Tauranga October Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015"  is available at:



    Column 132 "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" is available at:



    Column 133 "The Southern Oscillation Index   SOI" is available at:



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    The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI)


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is a standardized index based on the observed sea level pressure differences between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia. The SOI is a leading measure of the large-scale fluctuations in air pressure occurring between the western and eastern tropical Pacific (i.e., the state of the Southern Oscillation) during El Niño and La Niña episodes. In general, smoothed time series of the SOI correspond very well with changes in ocean temperatures across the eastern tropical Pacific.
     
    The negative phase of the SOI represents below-normal air pressure at Tahiti and above-normal air pressure at Darwin.
     
    The positive phase of the SOI represents above-normal air pressure at Tahiti and below-normal air pressure at Darwin.
     
    Prolonged periods of negative SOI values coincide with abnormally warm  ocean waters across the eastern tropical Pacific typical of El Niño episodes.
     
    In contrast, prolonged periods of positive SOI values coincide with abnormally cold ocean waters across the eastern tropical Pacific typical of La Niña episodes.
     
    Sustained negative values of the SOI below −8 often indicate El Niño episodes. These negative values are usually accompanied by sustained warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, a decrease in the strength of the Pacific Trade Winds.
    Sustained positive values of the SOI above +8 are typical of a La Niña episode. They are associated with stronger Pacific trade winds and warmer sea temperatures to the north of Australia. Waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean become cooler during this time.

    The graph below shows monthly values of the SOI in recent years updated to October 2015. As shown we are currently in a significant El Nino episode..

    Source : Bureau of Meteorology, Australia


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    Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Carbon dioxide is a colourless, odourless gas vital to life on Earth. This naturally occurring chemical compound is composed of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. Carbon dioxide exists in the Earth's atmosphere as a trace gas at a concentration of about 0.04 per cent (400 ppm) by volume. Natural sources include volcanoes, hot springs and geysers and it is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. Since carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it occurs naturally in groundwater, rivers and lakes, in ice caps and glaciers and in seawater. It is present in deposits of petroleum and natural gas.

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide is the primary source of carbon in life on Earth and its concentration in Earth's pre-industrial atmosphere since late in the Precambrian was regulated by photosynthetic organisms and geological phenomena. As part of the carbon cycle, plants, algae, and cyanobacteria use light energy to photosynthesize carbohydrate from carbon dioxide and water, with oxygen produced as a waste product. Carbon dioxide is produced by plants during respiration.

    Carbon dioxide is a product of respiration of all aerobic organisms. It is returned to water via the gills of fish and to the air via the lungs of air-breathing land animals, including humans. Carbon dioxide is produced during the processes of decay of organic materials and the fermentation of sugars in bread, beer and winemaking. It is produced by combustion of wood, carbohydrates and fossil fuels such as coal, peat, petroleum and natural gas.

    Carbon dioxide is an important greenhouse gas. Burning of carbon-based fuels since the industrial revolution has rapidly increased its concentration in the atmosphere. It is also a major cause of ocean acidification since it dissolves in water to form carbonic acid.

    Source: Wikipedia

    The annual mean growth of Carbon Dioxide at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii is shown in the following chart.

     

    The graph show the annual mean carbon dioxide growth rates for the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii. In the graph, decadal averages of the growth rate are also plotted, as horizontal lines for 1960 through 1969, 1970 through 1979, and so on.

    The annual mean rate of growth of carbon dioxide in a given year is the difference in concentration between the end of December and the start of January of that year. If used as an average for the globe, it would represent the sum of all carbon dioxide added to, and removed from, the atmosphere during the year by human activities and by natural processes. There is a small amount of month-to-month variability in the carbon dioxide concentration that may be caused by anomalies of the winds or weather systems arriving at Mauna Loa.

    Source: NOAA




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    Tauranga October Average Afternoon Temperatures: 1913-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    October 2013 had its warmest October (20.3 degrees Celsius) , since records began in 1913. Since then afternoon temperatures in October 2014 and October 2015 have been 18.3 and 19.4 degrees Celsius.

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites in the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (called simply ‘afternoon') for Tauranga for October from 1913-2015.

     

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in October for Tauranga is 18.1 degrees Celsius, ranging from the cool October months of 1964 (15.7 degrees Celsius), and 1992 (16.5 degrees Celsius), to the warm October months of 2013 (20.3 degrees Celsius), and 1915 (19.9 degrees Celsius).

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for October shows generally normal variations from October to October during the last 100 years.

    The average October afternoon temperatures during the 50 years from 1963-2011 of 18.0 degrees Celsius is slightly cooler than the 18.3 degrees Celsius recorded in the 50 years from 1914-1961.

    From 1913 to 2013, there have been thirteen October months with an average afternoon temperature of  19.0 degrees Celsius or more; and eight October months have had an average afternoon temperature of 17.0 degrees Celsius or less.

    The five warmest October months (in terms of afternoon temperatures), on record, in chronological order, are 2013, 1913, 1915, 1940,  and 2015.

    By contrast, the fifth coolest October months (in terms of afternoon temperatures), on record, in chronological order, are 1941, 1964, 1978, 1982, and 1992.


    *******************
                    
    Tauranga October Rainfalls 1898-2015

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The graph below shows the range of Tauranga's October rainfalls, from an extreme high of 357 mm in 1916 to a low of only 7 mm in 1984.

    The second wettest October was 1928, when 269 mm was recorded; and the second driest October was in 1928, when only 11 mm fell. The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga in the month of October is 110 mm. The rainfall in October 2015 was 27 mm, the eleventh lowest October rainfall.

    The graph of the October rainfall shows at first glance normal variations from year to year. However, there has been a notable decrease in the October rainfalls during the last few years.

    Indeed, the average October rainfall in Tauranga during the 50-year period from 1961-2010 of 88 mm, is only 70 per cent of the rainfall for the 50-year period 1910-1960.

    Since 1898, there have been 11 October months with a rainfall of 200 mm or more (10 of which occurred during the period 1900-1958), and only one October month since then has recorded this much. Ten October months have also experienced rainfalls of 25 mm or less.

    In chronological order the eleven wettest October months are 1900, 1905, 1916, 1918, 1921, 1926, 1928, 1941, 1952, 1958, and 1983.  In contrast the eleventh driest October months are 1906, 1938, 1963, 1965, 1969, 1973, 1984, 1993, 2010, 2013, and 2015.


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    Global Monthly Temperatures January 1979 to September 2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    A graph of five global monthly temperatures January 1979 to September is shown below.

    A superimposed plot of Quality Class 1 and Quality Class 2 and Quality Class 3 global monthly temperature estimates. As the base period differs for the different temperature estimates, they have all been normalised by comparing to the average value of 30 years from January 1979 to December 2008. The heavy black line represents the simple running 37 month mean of the average of all temperature records.

    As the base period for the individual temperature estimates varies, they have all been normalised by comparing with the average value of the initial 120 months – or 10 years – from January 1979 to December 1988.

    The heavy black line represents the simple running 37-month average of the average of all five temperature records.

    The numbers shown in the lower right corner represent the temperature anomaly relative to the individual 1979-1988 averages.

    It should be kept in mind that satellite and surface-based temperature estimates are derived from different types of measurements, and comparing them directly as done in the diagram above therefore may be somewhat problematical.

    However, the different types of temperature estimates appear to agree quite well as to the overall temperature variations on a two-three year scale. Although, on a shorter time scale there are often considerable differences between the individual records.

    All five global temperature estimates presently show a general overall stagnation, at least since 2002. However, there appears to be  small increase (warming) during the last few years. The year 1998 was affected by the oceanographic El Nino event.

    This stagnation doesn't exclude the possibility that global temperatures will begin to increase again later.

    On the other hand, it also remains a possibility that Earth just now is passing a temperature peak, and global temperatures will begin to decrease during the coming years.

    Time will show which of these two possibilities is correct.

    One of several key global temperature graphs is the monthly average surface air temperature calculated by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, at Columbia University, New York City, USA. The graph is updated to September 2015. GISS is a laboratory of the Earth-Sun Exploration Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and a unit of the Columbia University Earth Institute. The thick line is the simple running 37 month average, nearly corresponding to a running 3 year average

    The following link will take you directly to a monthly very comprehensive newsletter with global meteorological information updated to September 2015.

    http://www.climate4you.com/

    The website referred to above is produced by Professor Ole Humlum, of the Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway.



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    Global Average Temperatures of the Troposphere: 1979 to September 2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The latest global average temperatures of the troposphere – those observed from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites – are computed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville in the United States.

    The above chart shows that since 1979, when reliable satellite observations became available, there has been little overall trend, from the average temperatures during the 30-year period from 1981-2010 in the tropospheric temperatures, apart from a period of warmer temperatures since about 1997.

    Of significance, the observations shows there is has been very little change in the overall global tropospheric temperatures during the last 18 years since 1997.

    The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 75 per cent of the atmosphere's mass and 99 per cent of its water vapour and aerosols. The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17 km in the middle latitudes.

    The tropospheric temperature data for 2011 is January 0.0 degrees Celsius, February -0.02, March -0.10, April +0.12, May +0.14, June +0.32, July +0.38, August +0.33, September +0.29, October +0.12, November +0.12, December +0.10 degrees.

    The data for 2012 is: January -0.09 degrees, February -0.12, March +0.11, April +0.29, May +0.29, June +0.37, July +0.28, August +0.34, November +0.28, December +0.20 degrees.

    The data for 2013 is: January +0.50 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.20, April +0.10, May +0.07, June +0.30, July +0.17, August +0,16, September +0.37, October +0.29, November +0.19, December +0.23 degrees.

    The data for 2014 is: January +0.30 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.17, April +0.19, May +0.33, June +0.31, July +0.30, August +0.20, September +0.30, October +0.37, November +0.33, and December +0.33 degrees Celsius.

    The data for 2015 is: January +0.20 degrees C, February +0.18 degrees C,  March +0.14 degrees C, April +0.07 degrees C, May  +0.30 degrees C,  June +0.32 degrees C, July +0.18 degrees C,  August +0.20 degrees C, and September +0.25 degrees C as shown on the chart..

    The coolest months since 1979 were September 1984, with minus 0.49 degrees Celsius, and November 1984, with minus 0.42 degrees Celsius.

    The warmest months were February and April 1998, both plus 0.76 degrees Celsius.

    The chart shows the El Nino warming in the 1998 period, and the Mount Pinatubo, volcanic, cooling during 1992-1993.

    For further information on weather and climate matters see: https://sites.google.com/site/johnmaunder/thesunpaysnoheedtohumancommitteespage%27st




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    Tauranga September Average Afternoon Temperatures: 1913-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites in the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.


    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (simply called “afternoon”) for Tauranga for September from 1913-2015.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in September for Tauranga is 16.6 degrees C, ranging from the “cool” September months of 1964 (14.8 degrees C), and 1977 (14.9 degrees C), to the “warm” September months of 1915 (18.4 degrees C), and 18.3 degrees in 1914. The afternoon temperature for 2015 was 16.1 degrees C, which made it the coolest September for 11 years, and the second coolest September since 1997.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for September shows generally "normal" variations from September to September during the last 100 years, but five of the warmest six September months occurred from 1913 to 1921.

    From 1913 to 2015, there have been ten September months with an average afternoon temperature of 17.5 degrees C or more, and eight September months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 15.4 degrees C.

    The tenth “warmest” September months (in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1921, 1926, 1940, 2006, 2009 and 2014. By contrast, the eighth “coolest” September months (in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are 1935, 1964, 1967, 1977, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1997.

    The average afternoon temperature during September for the period 1914-62 was 16.6 degrees, compared with 16.5 degrees from 1963-2011.

    ***************************************

    Tauranga September Rainfalls 1898-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfall for the month of September have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898, except for 1904, 1907, 1908, and 1909.

    The graph below shows the range of rainfalls from an extreme high of 274 mm in 1973 to a low of only 16 mm in 1965.

    The second wettest September was in 1900, when 256 mm was recorded, and the second driest September was in 1944, when only 27 mm fell. The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for September is 105 mm.

    The graph of the September rainfall shows normal variations from year to year.

    Since 1898, there have been five Septembers with a rainfall of 200 mm or more (four of which occurred during the period 1900 to 1928, but there's only been one since then), compared with six September months with a rainfalls of 40 mm or less.

    The rainfall for September 2015 was  92 mm.

    In chronological order, the ten wettest September months (rainfalls over 180 mm)  are 1900,1912,1919,1923,1928,1946,1960,1969,1971 and 1973.

    In contrast the eleven driest September months (rainfalls of 50 mm or less) are 1910, 1913, 1914, 1921, 1922, 1944, 1965, 1993, 1987, 2006 and 2011.

    The average rainfall for Tauranga for September for the 50 years 1961-2010 of 103 mm is similar to the rainfall for the previous 50 years (1910-1960).


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    What are El Niño and La Niña?

     
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    El Niño and La Niña are complex weather patterns resulting from variations in ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific.

    El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of what is known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.

    La Niña is sometimes referred to as the cold phase of the ENSO cycle, and El Niño as the warm phase of ENSO. These deviations from normal surface temperatures can have large-scale impacts not only on ocean processes, but also on global weather and climate.

    El Niño and La Niña episodes typically last nine to 12 months, but some prolonged events may last for years. While their frequency can be quite irregular, El Niño and La Niña events occur on average every two to seven years. Typically, El Niño occurs more frequently than La Niña.

    El Niño

    El Niño means The Little Boy, or Christ Child in Spanish. El Niño was originally recognized by fishermen off the coast of South America in the 1600's, with the appearance of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The name was chosen based on the time of year (around December) during which these warm waters events tended to occur.

    The term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.

    The presence of El Niño can significantly influence weather patterns, ocean conditions, and marine fisheries across large portions of the globe for an extended period of time.


    A typical El Nino weather pattern (Source NIWA)

    La Niña

    La Niña means The Little Girl in Spanish. La Niña is also sometimes called El Viejo, anti-El Niño, or simply "a cold event."

    La Niña episodes represent periods of below-average sea surface temperatures across the east-central Equatorial Pacific. Global climate La Niña impacts tend to be opposite those of El Niño impacts. In the tropics, ocean temperature variations in La Niña also tend to be opposite those of El Niño.


    A typical La Nina weather pattern (source NIWA)

    El Nino and La Nina weather affects over New Zealand (source Niwa)

    During El Niño, New Zealand tends to experience stronger or more frequent winds from the west in summer, typically leading to drought in east coast areas and more rain in the west. In winter, the winds tend to be more from the south, bringing colder conditions to both the land and the surrounding ocean. In spring and autumn south–westerly winds are more common.

    La Niña events have different impacts on New Zealand's climate. More north–easterly winds are characteristic, which tend to bring moist, rainy conditions to the north–east of the North Island, and reduced rainfall to the south and south–west of the South Island. Therefore, some areas, such as central Otago and South Canterbury, can experience drought in both El Niño and La Niña. Warmer than normal temperatures typically occur over much of the country during La Niña, although there are regional and seasonal exceptions.

    Although ENSO events have an important influence on New Zealand's climate, it accounts for less than 25% of the year to year variance in seasonal rainfall and temperature at most New Zealand measurement sites. East coast droughts may be common during El Niño events, but they can also happen in non El Niño years (for example, the severe 1988–89 drought). Also, serious east coast droughts do not occur in every El Niño. However, the probabilities of the climate variations discussed above happening in association with ENSO events are sufficient to warrant management actions and planning to be taken when an El Niño or La Niña is expected or in progress.

    Solar Activity and the Earth’s Climate


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    A sunspot is a relatively dark, sharply defined region on the solar disc - marked by an umbra (dark area) which is 2000 degrees Celsius cooler than the effective photosphere temperature. The average diameter of a sunspot is 4000 km, but can exceed 200,000 km.

    The NASA Solar Physics website ( and other web sites such as the Royal Observatory of Belgium) includes information on sunspot numbers, the ‘Maunder Minimum', and sunspot cycle predictions. The  sunspot index is updated monthly and available from 1749. The last time the monthly sunspot number was above 100 for any significant period of time was September 2002 when the value was 109.6, and the last time the value was above 200 was in August 1990 when the value was 200.3.

    The recent decline in solar activity may have helped cause the recent/current “hiatus” in the pace of “global warming”.
    The maximum of solar cycle 24 was reached in April 2014, with a maximum of the 13-month smoothed sunspot number at 81.8. Since then, solar activity has steadily declined (the monthly mean sunspot number is now around 50).

    Therefore, solar cycle 24 proved to be 30% weaker than the previous solar cycle, which reached 119.7 in July 2000, and thus belongs to the category of moderate cycles, like cycles 12 to 15, which were the norm in the late 19th and early 20th century.

    As this late maximum comes more than 5 years after the preceding minimum in December 2008, cycle 24 must have now entered its long declining phase, as none of the past observed cycles had longer delays between minimum and maximum. Therefore, the average solar activity should progressively decrease towards a minimum around 2020. However, over the next 2 or 3 years, we can still expect other strong but brief peaks of activity caused by the appearance of a few big complex groups, a typical feature of the late phase of solar cycles.

    We are currently over six years into solar cycle 24. This the smallest sunspot cycle since solar cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906. 

    The “Maunder Minimum” period is named after the solar astronomer Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928), who while working at The Royal Observatory at Greenwich discovered the dearth of sunspots during the 1650-1700 period.

    Time will tell whether the sun will once again go into another “Maunder Minimum” within the lifetime of the present generation, and what affect it will have on our climate.


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    Tauranga August Average Daily Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015

      
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites in the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called simply ‘afternoon' for Tauranga for August from 1913-2015. The average for August 2015 was 15.0 degrees Celsius.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in August for Tauranga is 14.8 degrees Celsius. The coolest August months have been 1932 with 13.8 degrees Celsius, and 1941 and 1992 recording 13.9 degrees Celsius. The warm August months have been 2013 with 16.7 degrees Celsius, and 1915 with 16.4 degrees Celsius, while 2009 had 16.2 degrees Celsius.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for August shows generally normal variations from August to August during the last 100 years.

    But several recent August months have been a little warmer than others since 1913.  This includes August 2013,  the warmest on record with a temperature of 16.7 degrees Celsius, which was 1.9 degrees Celsius above average. In comparison, the value for August 2014 was 15.4 degrees Celsius, which was 1.3 degrees Celsius colder than August 2013.

    From 1913 to 2015, there have been 11 August months with an average afternoon temperature of 15.8 degrees Celsius or more.

    Thirteen August months have had an average afternoon temperature of less than 14.3 degrees Celsius.

    The sixth warmest August months – in terms of afternoon temperatures – on record in chronological order are: 1915, 1967, 1971, 2009, 2012 and 2013.

    By contrast, the fifth coolest August months – in terms of afternoon temperatures – on record, in chronological order are: 1932, 1941, 1966, 1992 and 2004.

    The average afternoon temperatures during August for the period 1914-1962 were 14.7 degrees Celsius, compared with 15.0 degrees Celsius from 1963 to 2011.

    ************************************************



    Tauranga August Rainfalls 1898-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfalls for the month of August have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898, except for 1904, 1907, 1908 and 1909.

    The graph shows the range of rainfalls from an extreme high of 274 mm in 2010 to a low of only 17 mm in 1914.

    The second wettest August was 1916 when 263 mm was recorded, and the second driest August was in 1982 when only 31 mm fell.

    The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for August is 124 mm. The rainfall for Tauranga for August  2015 was 151 mm.

    The graph of the August rainfall shows normal variations from year-to-year. There is a small decrease in the overall August rainfalls during the last 50 years – from 1961-2010 – from an average of 121 mm, compared with an average of 133 mm during the 50 years from 1911-1960.

    Since 1898, there have been 11 August months with a rainfall of 220 mm or more – with 10 occurring during 1900 to 1976 – and only one August month since then 2010, which was the highest rainfall for any August. Only five August months have had rainfalls of 50 mm or less.

    Chronologically, the 11 wettest August months are 1913, 1916, 1920, 1927, 1938, 1942, 1957, 1965, 1970, 1976 and 2010.

    In contrast, chronologically the five driest August months are 1914, 1921, 1982, 1983 and 2002.


    ###########################################

    Global Monthly Temperatures: January 1979 to June/July 2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    A graph of five global monthly temperatures January 1979 to June/July 2015 is shown below.

    As the base period for the individual temperature estimates varies, they have all been normalised by comparing with the average value of the initial 120 months – or 10 years – from January 1979 to December 1988.

    The heavy black line represents the simple running 37-month average of the average of all five temperature records.

    The numbers shown in the lower right corner represent the temperature anomaly relative to the individual 1979-1988 averages.

    It should be kept in mind that satellite and surface-based temperature estimates are derived from different types of measurements, and comparing them directly as done in the diagram above therefore may be somewhat problematical.

    However, the different types of temperature estimates appear to agree quite well as to the overall temperature variations on a two-three year scale. Although, on a shorter time scale there are often considerable differences between the individual records.

    All five global temperature estimates presently show a general overall stagnation, at least since 2002. As indicated on the chart, there has been no real increase in global air temperature since 1998, which was affected by the oceanographic El Nino event.

    This stagnation doesn't exclude the possibility that global temperatures will begin to increase again later.

    On the other hand, it also remains a possibility that Earth just now is passing a temperature peak, and global temperatures will begin to decrease during the coming years.

    Time will show which of these two possibilities is correct.

    One of the key global temperature graphs is monthly average surface air temperature – the thin line – since 1979 according to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, at Columbia University, New York City, USA. The thick line is the simple running 37-month average. The graph is updated to July 2015.

    The following link will take you directly to a monthly very comprehensive newsletter with global meteorological information updated to Jul 2015.

    http://www.climate4you.com

    The website referred to above is produced by Professor Ole Humlum, of the Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway.



    ******************************************



    Global Average Temperatures of the Troposphere 1979 to July 2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The latest global average temperatures of the troposphere – those observed from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites – are computed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville in the United States.

    The above chart shows that since 1979, when reliable satellite observations became available, there has been little overall trend, from the average temperatures during the 30-year period from 1981-2010 in the tropospheric temperatures, apart from a period of warmer temperatures since about 1997.

    Of significance there seems to be very little change in the overall global tropospheric temperatures during the last 18 years since 1997.

    The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 75 per cent of the atmosphere's mass and 99 per cent of its water vapour and aerosols. The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17 km in the middle latitudes.

    The tropospheric temperature data for 2011 is January 0.0 degrees Celsius, February -0.02, March -0.10, April +0.12, May +0.14, June +0.32, July +0.38, August +0.33, September +0.29, October +0.12, November +0.12, December +0.10 degrees.

    The data for 2012 is: January -0.09 degrees, February -0.12, March +0.11, April +0.29, May +0.29, June +0.37, July +0.28, August +0.34, November +0.28, December +0.20 degrees.

    The data for 2013 is: January +0.50 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.20, April +0.10, May +0.07, June +0.30, July +0.17, August +0,16, September +0.37, October +0.29, November +0.19, December +0.23 degrees.

    The data for 2014 is: January +0.30 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.17, April +0.19, May +0.33, June +0.31, July +0.30, August +0.20, September +0.30, October +0.37, November +0.33, and December +0.33 degrees Celsius.

    The data for 2015 is: January +0.20 degrees C, February +0.18 degrees C,  March +0.14 degrees C, April +0.07 degrees C, May  +0.30 degrees C,  June +0.32 degrees C, and July +0.18 degrees C, as as shown on the chart.

    The coolest months since 1979 were September 1984, with minus 0.49 degrees Celsius, and November 1984, with minus 0.42 degrees Celsius.

    The warmest months were February and April 1998, both plus 0.76 degrees Celsius.

    The chart shows the El Nino warming in the 1998 period, and the Mount Pinatubo, volcanic, cooling during 1992-1993.


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    Meteorology and Philately


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    On July 1 (Canada Day) Canada Post unveiled five new stamps designed to showcase one of Canadians' most popular topics: the weather. The five stamps, issued to coincide with the 175th anniversary of continuous weather observing in Canada, feature weather phenomena in all their photographic splendour.


    The five photographs come from every corner of Canada. Daryl Benson snapped hoar frost covering a tree near Beaumont, Alberta. Geoff Whiteway focused on hazy, early-morning fog at Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site in Newfoundland and Labrador. In Saint-Gideon, Quebec, Mike Grandmaison chased a rain shower to shoot a double rainbow, while Dave Reede captured radiant flashes of lightning near Winnipeg, Manitoba. Further north, in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Frank Reardon caught rarely witnessed sun dogs, created by ice crystals in the air, and posted the photograph on The Weather Network, where Canada Post discovered it.

    “From coast-to-coast-to-coast Canada is known for its diversity, and weather is no exception. The images captured in weather wonders illustrate the natural beauty that can be seen across our country,” says the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, responsible for Canada Post.

    “Canadians love to talk about the weather,” says Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. “Our stamp programmme celebrates the people, stories and attributes that capture the Canadian experience and we can all reminisce on a special weather moment.”

    Many countries ( including New Zealand) have also published stamps relating to a weather/climate topic and a a Finish climatologist (Reino Heino)  has made an in-depth study of this subject. Some of his research was published in 2008 in assocaiated with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The title of his book  “From Weather Gods to Modern Meteorology: A  Philatelic Journey” is highly recommended. This  book of meteorology-related stamps and postal history items,  traces the development of weather-related activities, as illustrated in the philatelic pictorial material published by the postal administration of numerous countries.


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    Tauranga July Rainfalls 1898-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfalls for the month of July have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898, except for 1904, 1907, 1908, and 1909.

    The graph for the period 1898-2015 shows the range of rainfalls from an extreme high of 348 mm in 1951, to a low of only 2 mm in 1902. The rainfall for July 2015 was 91 mm.

    The graph shows the second wettest July was 2012 when 328 mm was recorded, and the second driest July was in 1983 when only 22 mm fell. The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for July is 129 mm.

    The graph of the July rainfall shows ‘normal' variations from year to year. There is a very small decrease in the overall July rainfalls during the last 50 years (1961-2010) from an average of 127 mm, compared with an average of 132 mm during the 50 years from 1911-1960.

    Since 1898, there have been 13 July months with a rainfall of 200 mm or more, but only four July months with rainfalls of 40 mm or less. Interestingly, there have been two occasions in July when rainfalls of more than 200 mm occurred in adjacent years (1979, 1978 and 2007, 2009).

    The ten wettest July months (in chronological order) have been 1905, 1927, 1938, 1951,1963,1979,1988, 2007, 2008, and 2012.

    The ten driest July months ( in chronological order) have been 1902, 1918, 1922, 1949, 1969, 1975, 1983, 1997, 2001, and 2010,


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    Tauranga July Average Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The graph below shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called ‘afternoon', for Tauranga for July from 1913-2015. The temperatures for July 2015 was 14.1 degrees Celsius C , the coolest since July 2004, and 1.1 degrees Celsius cooler than July 2014.

    It's very common for areas such as Tauranga to have had different observation sites during the years, and readings from the earlier sites have been adjusted to the present site using standard climatologically procedures.
    It's considered the temperature series described here is a fair and true record of what the temperature would have been if the current observation site, Tauranga Airport, had been used throughout the period.

    It's important to note, in considering climate change, the methodology used in computing an official set of climate observations is very important as otherwise erroneous conclusions may be drawn.

    Traditionally, temperature observations have been recorded with a set of maximum and minimum temperature thermometers.

    These record the daily maximum temperature, usually recorded in mid-afternoon, and daily minimum temperature, usually recorded just before dawn.

    This analysis of temperatures for Tauranga is for average daily maximum temperatures.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in July for Tauranga is 14.1 degrees Celsius, ranging from cool July months of 1918 and 1939, both 12.3 degrees Celsius, and 1965, with 12.9 degrees Celsius.

    Warm July months included 1916 and 2010, both 15.8 degrees Celsius, and 1915 with 15.7 degrees Celsius.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for July shows generally normal variations from June to June in the last 100 years.

    But several July months since 1997 have been a little warmer than July months since 1913.

    From 1913 to 2014, there have been 10 July months with an average afternoon temperature of 15 degrees Celsius or more, and 11 July months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 13.3 degrees Celsius.

    The value for July 2015 was 14.1 degrees Celsius, compared with 15.2 degrees Celsius in July last year.

    The 10 warmest July months for afternoon temperatures on record, in chronological order are: 1915, 1916, 1917, 1984, 1985, 1998, 2000, 2011, 2012, and 2014.

    By contrast, the seven coolest July months for afternoon temperatures on record, in chronological order are: 1918, 1929, 1935, 1939, 1963, 1965, and 1969.

    The average afternoon temperature for Tauranga for July for 49 years from 1914-1962 was 14.0 degrees Celsius, compared with the average afternoon temperature for Tauranga for July for 49 years from 1963-2011 was 14.2 degrees Celsius.


    ************************************************

    Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice: Contrasting Data


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Arctic sea ice extent for June 2015 averaged 11.0 million square kilometers,  the third lowest June extent in the satellite record. This is 920,000 square kilometers below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average of 11.89 million square kilometers and 150,000 square kilometers  above the record low for the month observed in 2010.

    Sea ice extent in Antarctica averaged 14.93 million square kilometers , the third highest June extent in the satellite record. The extent was slightly greater than the 1981 to 2010 average almost everywhere around the continent. The high amount of sea ice in the eastern Weddell and Ross seas is consistent with the pattern observed for the past several months. Satellite data show unusually extensive sea ice growth along the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. This new feature in sea ice growth could be influenced by the strong atmospheric wave-3 pattern that has persisted over the past few months. In a wave-3 pattern, there are three major low-pressure areas around the continent separated by three high-pressure areas.

    The National Snow and Ice Data Centre, in Boulder, Colorado, has an extensive website on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.

    Graphs of the extent of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere ice – updated to June 2015 – from the above website are shown below.

    These show from 1979 to 2015 the Northern Hemisphere ice extent decreased at the rate of 3.6 per cent per decade, compared with an increase of 1.9 per cent per decade during the same period in the Southern Hemisphere.



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    The Sun and the next 'Maunder Minimum' 2030-2040?


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    A new model of the Sun's interior is producing predictions of its behaviour with unprecedented accuracy; predictions with interesting consequences for Earth. Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University presented results for a new model of the Sun's interior dynamo in a talk at the Astronomical Society meeting last week. (http://astronomynow.com/2015/07/09/royal-astronomical-societys-national-astronomy-meeting-2015-report-4/)

    The Sun has an approximately 11-year activity cycle. During peak periods, it exhibits lots of solar flares and sunspots. Magnetic bubbles of charged particles (coronal mass ejections) may burst from the surface during this period, streaming material into space. These ejections can affect satellites and power lines on Earth. However, during lull periods, such activity may almost stop altogether. But the 11-year cycle isn't quite able to predict all of the Sun's behaviour — which can seem erratic at times. Zharkova and her colleagues (Professor Simon Shepherd of Bradford University, Dr Helen Popova of Lomonosov Moscow State University, and Dr Sergei Zarkhov of Hull University) have found a way to account for the discrepancies called a ‘double dynamo' system.

    The Sun, like all stars, is a large nuclear fusion reactor that generates powerful magnetic fields, similar to a dynamo. The model developed by Kharkov's team suggests there are two dynamos at work in the Sun; one close to the surface and one deep within the convection zone. They found this dual dynamo system could explain aspects of the solar cycle with much greater accuracy than before — possibly leading to enhanced predictions of future solar behaviour. “We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs; originating in two different layers in the Sun's interior. They both have a frequency of approximately 11 years, although this frequency is slightly different [for both] and they are offset in time,” says Zharkova. The two magnetic waves either reinforce one another to produce high activity or cancel out to create lull periods.

     
    Comparison of three images over four years apart illustrates how the level of solar activity has risen from near minimum to near maximum in the Sun's 11-years solar cycle. Image credit: SOHO/ESA/NASA.

    Professor Zharkova and her colleagues used magnetic field observations from the Wilcox Solar Observatory in California for three solar cycles, from the period of 1976 to 2008. In addition, they compared their predictions to average sunspot numbers — another strong marker of solar activity. All the predictions and observations matched closely. Their predictions using the model suggest an interesting longer-term trend beyond the 11-year cycle.
     
    It shows that solar activity is expected to fall by 60 % during the 2030's, to conditions last seen during the ‘Maunder Minimum*' of 1645-1715. “Over the cycle, the waves fluctuate between the Sun's northern and southern hemispheres. Combining both waves together and comparing to real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97 %,” says Zharkova.

    The model predicts that the magnetic wave pairs will become increasingly offset during the Solar Cycle 25, which peaks in 2022. Then during Cycle 26, which covers the decade from 2030-2040, the two waves will become exactly out of synch, cancelling one another out. This will cause a significant reduction in solar activity. “In Cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other, peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a ‘Maunder minimum',” says Zharkova.

    The sun was well observed during the period of the original “Maunder Minimum” and this lack of sunspots is well documented.This period of solar inactivity corresponded to a climatic period called the ‘Little Ice Age' when in Europe rivers that were normally ice-free, froze and snow fields remained at low altitudes throughout the year. There is evidence the sun had similar periods of inactivity during the years 1100-1250 and 1460-1550.

    The connection between solar activity and the earth's climate is an area of ongoing and sometimes controversial research.Time will tell whether the sun will once again go into another “Maunder Minimum” within the lifetime of the present generation, and what affect it will have on our climate.

    *The "Maunder Minimum" is the name given to the period from 1650 to 1700 when the number of sunspots became almost zero.  The period is named after the solar astronomer Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928) who  while working at The Royal Observatory, Greenwich discovered the dearth of sunspots during the 1650-1700 period.

    During one 30 year period within the Maunder Minimum there were only about  50 sunspots compared with a more typical 40,000.  Maunder was a driving force in the foundation of the British Astronomical Association, and was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.



    *********************************************************

    Tauranga June Average Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including at the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called simply ‘afternoon', for Tauranga for June from 1913-2015.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in June for Tauranga is 14.7 degrees Celsius.

    The cool' June months were in 1972 with 13.0 degrees Celsius, 1936 with 13.2 degrees Celsius, and 1933 with 13.3 degrees Celsius.

    The ‘warm' June months include last year , 2014 with 16.9 degrees Celsius, and 1916 and 2011, both with 16.6 degrees Celsius.

    June last year had an average afternoon temperature of 16.9 degrees Celsius was the warmest June on record since observations were first made in 1913.

    This compares with an average afternoon temperature in June this year of 15.4 degrees Celsius.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for June shows generally ‘normal' variations from June to June during the last 100 years.

    But many of the last 15 June months since 1996 have been a little ‘warmer' than other June months since 1913.

    From 1913 to 2015, there have been 14 June months with an average afternoon temperature of 15.6 degrees Celsius or more, and 12 June months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 13.9 degrees Celsius.

    The ninth ‘warmest' June months on record, in chronological order, are: 1916, 1971, 1981, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2011 and 2014.

    By contrast, the seventh ‘coolest' June months on record, in chronological order, are 1933, 1936, 1941, 1944,1969, 1972 and 1976.

    The average afternoon temperature in June during the period 1914-1962 was 14.7 degrees Celsius compared with 14.8 degrees Celsius from 1963 to 2011.


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    Tauranga’s June rainfalls 1898-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfalls for the month of June have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898 – except for 1904, 1907, 1908 and 1909.

    The graph shows the range of rainfalls from an extreme high of 381mm in 1925 to a low of 19mm in 1906.

    The second wettest June was 1920, when 309mm was recorded, and the second and third driest June months were in 1959 and 2012 when only 27mm fell.

    The monthly average rainfall for Tauranga for June is 131mm.

    The graph of the June rainfall shows normal variations from year to year.

    There is a small decrease in the overall June rainfalls during the last 50 years, from 1961-2010, from an average of 126mm, compared with an average of 139mm during the 50 years from 1911-1960.

    Since 1898, there have been 17 June months with a rainfall of 200mm or more, and 11 June months with rainfalls of 50mm or less.

    The rainfall for June 2015 was 35mm, which made it the sixth driest on record.

    In chronological order the wettest 17 June months are: 1915, 1917, 1920, 1925, 1930, 1935, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1961, 1968, 1971, 1981, 1985, 1997, 2010, and 2014.

    By contrast the driest June months in chronological order are: 1906, 1913, 1914, 1933, 1942, 1958, 1959, 1967, 2001, 2012, and 2015.



    ***************************************************************************************


    The Year without a Summer


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

     

    Last week most parts of New Zealand experienced extremely cold temperatures with night time temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius being recorded in inland parts of North Otago and South Canterbury – only five degrees Celsius milder than NZ's lowest air temperature recorded at Eweburn in Ranfurly in Central Otago on July 17, 1905.

    With these temperatures in mind, spare a few thoughts for those who lived in parts of the Northern Hemisphere in the summer of 1815 which had “no summer”.

    It was 1816 that was the year without a summer, caused by dust from volcano Mount Tambora in Indonesia shrouding the earth after it erupted in early-April 1815.

    In Switzerland, the damp and dismal summer of 1816 led to the creation of a significant literary work.

    A group of writers, including Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his future wife, challenged each other to write dark tales inspired by the gloomy and chilly weather.

    During the miserable weather Mary Shelley wrote her classic novel ‘Frankenstein'.

    The US Albany Advertiser went on to propose some theories about why the weather was so bizarre.

    The mention of sunspots is interesting, as sunspots had been seen by astronomers.

    And many people, to this day, wonder about what, if any effect, sunspots may have had on the weird weather.

    What's also fascinating is the newspaper article from 1816 proposes such events be studied, so people can learn what is going on.

    For example: “Many seem disposed to charge the peculiarities of the season, the present year, upon the spots on the sun”.

    “If the dryness of the season has in any measure depended on the latter cause, it has not operated uniformly in different places – the spots have been visible in Europe, as well as in the United States and yet in some parts of Europe, as we have already remarked, they have been drenched with rain”.

    “Without undertaking to discuss, much less to decide, on such a learned subject as this, we should be glad if proper pains were taken to ascertain, by regular journals of the weather from year to year, the state of the seasons in this country and Europe, as well as the general state of health in both quarters of the globe”.

    “We think the facts might be collected, and the comparison made, without much difficulty; and when once made, that it would be of great advantage to medical men, and medical science.”

    And from Wood, Gillen D'Arcy. ‘1816, The Year without a Summer'. BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History. Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, we read the following:

    “To be alive in the years 1816-18, almost anywhere in the world, meant to be hungry. Across the globe during the so-called ‘Year without a Summer' – which was, in fact, a three-year climate crisis – harvests perished in frost and drought or were washed away by flooding rains.

    “Villagers in Vermont survived on hedgehogs and boiled nettles, while the peasants of Yunnan in China sucked on white clay. Summer tourists traveling in France mistook beggars crowding the roads for armies on the march.”

    “Famine-friendly diseases cholera and typhus stalked the globe from India to Italy, while the price of bread and rice, the world's staple foods, skyrocketed with no relief in sight. Across a European continent devastated by the Napoleonic wars, tens of thousands of unemployed veterans found themselves unable to feed their families. They gave vent to their desperation in town square riots and military-style campaigns of arson, while governments everywhere feared revolution. In New England, 1816 was nicknamed ‘Eighteen-Hundred-and-Froze-to-Death' while Germans called 1817 ‘The Year of the Beggar'.

    “In the scientific literature, the 1816's cold summer was the most significant meteorological event of the nineteenth century. The global climate emergency period of 1816-18, as a whole, offers us a clear window onto a world convulsed by weather anomalies, with human communities everywhere struggling to adapt to sudden, radical shifts in weather patterns, and to a consequent tsunami of famine, disease, dislocation and unrest.”



    Global Monthly Average Temperatures January 1979-April/May  2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    A graph of five global monthly temperatures January 1979 to April 2015 is shown below.

    As the base period for the individual temperature estimates varies, they have all been normalised by comparing with the average value of the initial 120 months – or 10 years – from January 1979 to December 1988.

    The heavy black line represents the simple running 37-month average of the average of all five temperature records.

    The numbers shown in the lower right corner represent the temperature anomaly relative to the individual 1979-1988 averages.

    It should be kept in mind that satellite and surface-based temperature estimates are derived from different types of measurements, and comparing them directly as done in the diagram above therefore may be somewhat problematical.

    However, the different types of temperature estimates appear to agree quite well as to the overall temperature variations on a two-three year scale. Although, on a shorter time scale there are often considerable differences between the individual records.

    All five global temperature estimates presently show a general overall stagnation, at least since 2002. As indicated on the chart, there has been no real increase in global air temperature since 1998, which was affected by the oceanographic El Nino event.

    This stagnation doesn't exclude the possibility that global temperatures will begin to increase again later.

    On the other hand, it also remains a possibility that Earth just now is passing a temperature peak, and global temperatures will begin to decrease during the coming years.

    Time will show which of these two possibilities is correct.

    One of the key global temperature graphs is monthly average surface air temperature – the thin line – since 1979 according to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, at Columbia University, New York City, USA. The thick line is the simple running 37-month average.

    The following link will take you directly to a monthly very comprehensive newsletter with global meteorological information updated to May 2015.

    http://www.climate4you.com/

    The website referred to above is produced by Professor Ole Humlum, of the Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway.

    **************************************


    Tauranga’s May Average Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    It's very common for areas such as Tauranga to have experienced different observation sites during the years – and the readings from the earlier sites have been adjusted to the present site using standard climatological procedures.

    It's considered the temperature series described here is a fair and true record of what the temperature would have been if the current observation site (of Tauranga Airport) had been used throughout the period.

    Traditionally, temperature observations have been recorded with a set of maximum and minimum temperature thermometers.

    These record the daily maximum temperature – usually recorded in mid-afternoon – and daily minimum temperature – usually recorded just before dawn.

    This analysis of temperatures for Tauranga is for the average daily maximum temperatures.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called simply ‘afternoon', for Tauranga for May from 1913-2015. May 1964 is not included because of incomplete data.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in May for Tauranga is 16.9 degrees Celsius, ranging from the cool May months of 1936, 1940, and 1997 with an average afternoon temperature of 14.9 degrees Celsius, to the warm May months of 1916 with an average afternoon temperature of 19.3 degrees Celsius, 2011 with 19.1 degrees Celsius, and 2007 with 18.9 degrees Celsius.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for May shows generally normal variations from May to May.

    However, the last 20 May months have been a little warmer than other May months since 1913.

    From 1913 to 2015, there have been 13 May months with an average afternoon temperature of 18 degrees Celsius or more, and 11 May months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 16 degrees Celsius.

    The value for May 2013 was 18.5 degrees Celsius, which is the fifth warmest on record, and for May 2014 the temperature was 18.4 degrees Celsius – the sixth warmest on record.

    However, the value for May 2015 was a relatively “cool” 17.3 degrees Celsius.

    The 13 warmest May months, in terms of afternoon temperatures, on record in chronological order are: 1916, 1928, 1938, 1950, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

    In contrast, the 11 coolest May months, in terms of afternoon temperatures, on record in chronological order are: 1913, 1920, 1924, 1936, 1940, 1945, 1959, 1967, 1977, 1983, and 1992.

    The average afternoon temperature in May during the 49-year period 1914-1962 was 16.7 degrees Celsius, compared with 17.1 degrees Celsius for the 49-year period from 1963-2011.

    For more information on climate matters, see: https://sites.google.com/site/climatediceandthebutterfly/


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    Tauranga May Rainfalls 1898-2015

     
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfalls for the month of May have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898 – except for 1904, 1907, 1908, and 1909.

    The graph shows the range of rainfalls from an extreme high of 634 mm in 2005 to a low of 13 mm in 2001. The rainfall for May last year 2014 was 28 mm – the fifth driest May since records became available in 1898. The rainfall for May 2015 was 95 mm, about 25 % less than the long term average.

    The second wettest May was 1950, when 311 mm was recorded, and the second driest May was in 1918, when only 24 mm fell. The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for May is 124 mm.

    Apart from the exceptional rainfall of 634 mm in May 2005, the graph shows a small decrease in overall May rainfalls when two 50-year periods are compared.

    Since 1898, there have been 14 May months with a rainfall of 200 mm or more. In chronological order, the wettest May months are: 1899, 1900, 1917, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1949, 1950, 1956, 1961, 1962, 1971, 2005, and 2010.

    In terms of dry May months, there have been only nine May months with rainfall of less than 40 mm. In chronological order, the driest May months are: 1901, 1918, 1939, 1941, 1978, 1991, 1999, 2007, and 2014.

    Of particular significance is the exceptional rainfall in May 2005. I estimate such a rainfall is likely to occur in Tauranga only about twice in every 1000 years.

    This suggests central government could have had a much more important role in financial implications of the floods, which affected many areas of Tauranga in May 2005.



    **********************************************************************************

    Sunspots and Solar Cycle

     
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The connection between solar activity and the earth's climate is an area of on-going and sometimes controversial research.

    A sunspot is a relatively dark, sharply defined region on the solar disc - marked by an umbra (dark area) which is 2000 degrees C cooler than the effective photosphere temperature. The average diameter of a sunspot is 4000 km, but can exceed 200,000 km.

    The NASA Solar Physics website ( and other web sites such as the Royal Observatory of Belgium) includes information on sunspot numbers, the ‘Maunder Minimum', and sunspot cycle predictions. The  sunspot index is updated monthly and available from 1749. The last time the monthly sunspot number was above 100 for any significant period of time was September 2002 when the value was 109.6, and the last time the value was above 200 was in August 1990 when the value was 200.3.

    The recent decline in solar activity may have helped cause the current “hiatus” in the pace of “global warming”.
    The maximum of solar cycle 24 was reached in April 2014, with a maximum of the 13-month smoothed sunspot number at 81.8. Since then, solar activity has steadily declined (monthly mean sunspot number is now around 40).

    Therefore, solar cycle 24 proved to be 30% weaker than the previous solar cycle, which reached 119.7 in July 2000, and thus belongs to the category of moderate cycles, like cycles 12 to 15, which were the norm in the late 19th and early 20th century.

    As this late maximum comes more than 5 years after the preceding minimum in December 2008, cycle 24 must have now entered its long declining phase, as none of the past observed cycles had longer delays between minimum and maximum. Therefore, the average solar activity should progressively decrease towards a minimum around 2020. However, over the next 2 or 3 years, we can still expect other strong but brief peaks of activity caused by the appearance of a few big complex groups, a typical feature of the late phase of solar cycles.

    We are currently over six years into solar cycle 24. This the smallest sunspot cycle since solar cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.    

    Sunspots are typically confined to an equatorial belt, on the sun, between 35 degrees south and 35 degrees north latitude. At the beginning of a new solar cycle, sunspots tend to form at high latitudes, but as the cycle reaches a maximum – that is a large numbers of sunspots,the spots form at lower latitudes. Near the minimum of the cycle, sunspots appear even closer to the equator. And as a new cycle starts again, sunspots again appear at high latitudes. This recurrent behaviour of sunspots gives rise to the ‘Maunder Butterfly' pattern as shown in the chart from NASA.

    The “Maunder Minimum” period is named after the solar astronomer Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928), who while working at The Royal Observatory at Greenwich discovered the dearth of sunspots during the 1650-1700 period.

    Time will tell whether the sun will once again go into another “Maunder Minimum” within the lifetime of the present generation, and what affect it will have on our climate.

    For further information on a range of climate matters see: https://sites.google.com/site/climatediceandthebutterfly


    ***************************************************************************


    Global Monthly Temperatures January 1979 to April 2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    A superimposed graph of five global monthly temperatures January 1979 to April 2015 is shown below.

     

    As the base period for the individual temperature estimates varies, they have all been normalised by comparing with the average value of the initial 120 months (10 years) from January 1979 to December 1988.

    The heavy black line represents the simple running 37 month average of the average of all five temperature records. The numbers shown in the lower right corner represent the temperature anomaly relative to the individual 1979-1988 averages.

    It should be kept in mind that satellite and surface-based temperature estimates are derived from different types of measurements, and that comparing them directly as done in the diagram above therefore may be somewhat problematical.

    However, the different types of temperature estimates appear to agree quite well as to the overall temperature variations on a two-three year scale, although on a shorter time scale there are often considerable differences between the individual records.

    All five global temperature estimates presently show a general overall stagnation, at least since 2002. As indicated on the chart, there has been no real increase in global air temperature since 1998, which was affected by the oceanographic El Niño event.

    This stagnation does not exclude the possibility that global temperatures will begin to increase again later. On the other hand, it also remain a possibility that Earth just now is passing a temperature peak, and that global temperatures will begin to decrease during the coming years.

    Time will show which of these two possibilities is correct.

    Below is a link which will take you directly to a monthly newsletter with global meteorological information updated to April 2015.

    http://www.climate4you.com/Text/Climate4you_April_2015.pdf

    The website referred to above is produced by  Professor Ole Humlum, of the Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway.


    **************************************************************************



    Global Average Temperatures of the Troposphere - 1970 to April 2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The latest global average temperatures of the troposphere – those observed from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites – are computed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville in the United States.

    The above chart shows that since 1979, when reliable satellite observations became available, there has been little overall trend, from the average temperatures during the 30-year period from 1981-2010 in the tropospheric temperatures, apart from a period of warmer temperatures since about 1997.

    Of significance there seems to be very little change in the overall global tropospheric temperatures during the last 18 years since 1997.

    The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 75 per cent of the atmosphere's mass and 99 per cent of its water vapour and aerosols. The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17 km in the middle latitudes.

    The tropospheric temperature data for 2011 is January 0.0 degrees Celsius, February -0.02, March -0.10, April +0.12, May +0.14, June +0.32, July +0.38, August +0.33, September +0.29, October +0.12, November +0.12, December +0.10 degrees.

    The data for 2012 is: January -0.09 degrees, February -0.12, March +0.11, April +0.29, May +0.29, June +0.37, July +0.28, August +0.34, November +0.28, December +0.20 degrees.

    The data for 2013 is: January +0.50 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.20, April +0.10, May +0.07, June +0.30, July +0.17, August +0,16, September +0.37, October +0.29, November +0.19, December +0.23 degrees.

    The data for 2014 is: January +0.30 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.17, April +0.19, May +0.33, June +0.31, July +0.30, August +0.20, September +0.30, October +0.37, November +0.33, and December +0.33 degrees Celsius.

    The data for 2015 is: January +0.20 degrees C, February +0.18 degrees C,  March +0.14 degrees C, and April +0.07 degrees C, as shown on the chart.

    The coolest months since 1979 were September 1984, with minus 0.49 degrees Celsius, and November 1984, with minus 0.42 degrees Celsius.

    The warmest months were February and April 1998, both plus 0.76 degrees Celsius.

    The chart shows the El Nino warming in the 1998 period, and the Mount Pinatubo, volcanic, cooling during 1992-1993.


    **********************************************************************************

    Tauranga April Afternoon Temperatures 1913-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    It is very common for areas such as Tauranga to have had different observation sites during the years – and the readings from the earlier sites have been adjusted to the present site using standard climatologically procedures.

    The temperature series, as shown in the graph, are based on the data from the original observations from the various sites as available on the NIWA National Climate Database archive, with data from the sites prior to the Tauranga Airport site being adjusted, where appropriate, to temperatures which are likely to have been recorded at the current airport site.

    Traditionally, temperature observations have been recorded with a set of maximum and minimum temperature thermometers. These record the daily maximum temperature (usually recorded in mid-afternoon), and daily minimum temperature (usually recorded just before dawn).

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (called simply ‘afternoon'), for Tauranga for April from 1913-2015. Note April 1947 and 1964 are not included because of incomplete data.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in April for Tauranga for is 20.0 degrees Celsius, ranging from the cool April months of 1925, with an average afternoon temperature of 18.2 degrees Celsius, and 1923 with an average afternoon temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius, to the warm April months of 1938 (22.5 degrees Celsius), and 1916 (22.4 degrees Celsius).

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for April shows generally normal variations from April to April, with several of the last 15 April months being a little warmer than other April months.

    From 1913 to 2015, there have been 13 April months with an average afternoon temperature of 21.0 degrees Celsius or more, and eight April months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 19.0 degrees Celsius.

    The value for April 2015 was 20.3 degrees Celsius, very close to the long-term average.

    The 13 warmest April months – in terms of afternoon temperatures – on record, in chronological order, are 1916, 1924, 1928, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1955, 1956, 1978, 1981, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

    In contrast, the eight coolest April months – in terms of afternoon temperatures – on record, in chronological order, are 1923, 1925, 1940, 1941, 1949, 1980, 1991 and 1992.

    The average afternoon temperatures for Tauranga for the 50 years 1914-1962, and the 50-year period 1963-2011 are both 20.0 degrees Celsius.

    ***************************************************************************

    Tauranga April Rainfalls 1898-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfalls in Tauranga during the month of April 2014 and April 2013 were both relatively wet, with April 2013 recording 284 mm – the sixth highest April rainfall since 1898 – and April 2014 the total was 225 mm – the 17th highest April rainfall in the city since 1898. In contrast, rainfall in Tauranga for April 2015 was just a little less than the long-term average.

    The graph shows the range of rainfalls from a high of 383 mm in 1911 to a low of 10 mm in 1958.

    The second wettest April was 1948, when 333 mm was recorded; and the second driest was April 2010 with only 12 mm. The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for April is 120 mm.

    Since 1898, there have been 10 April months with a rainfall of 250 mm or more. In chronological order, the wettest April months are: 1911, 1923, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1959, 1995, 2000, 2001, and 2013.

    In terms of dry April months, there have been nine months with rainfall of 30 mm or less. In chronological order, the driest April months are: 1898, 1910, 1913, 1919, 1958, 1979, 1984, 2005, and 2010.

    ******************************************************************


    Climate Extremes in New Zealand


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Climate extremes in New Zealand, since instrumental records became available in the 1850's, show a range from the highest temperature of 42.4 degrees Celsius recorded in Rangiora on February 7, 1973, to the most intense rainfall in 10 minutes – 34 mm which occurred in Tauranga on April 17, 1948.

    The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research ( NIWA) updates the weather extremes recorded in New Zealand since observations were officially recorded in the 1850's. The current extremes include the following:

    Wettest: A record 34 mm occurred in 10 minutes in Tauranga on April 17, 1948.

    In one hour, 134 mm was recorded  at Cropp at Waterfall in the Hokitika Catchment. This site also has the NZ record for the highest 24 hours' fall of 758 mm on December 27-28, 1989, and the highest 48-hour-fall of 1049 mm on December 11-13, 1995. It also had the highest fall in a calendar month of 2827 mm in December 1995, and the highest fall in a calendar year of 16,617 mm in 1998.

    Driest: Only 9 mm of rain fell at Cape Campbell, Marlborough, from January to March 2001; the driest three months ever recorded in New Zealand.

    The driest six months was also recorded at Cape Campbell, from November 2000 to April 2001 when only 52 mm of rain was recorded. The driest 12 months was in Alexandra from November 1963 to October 1964, when only 167 mm was recorded. The longest period without rain is 71 days, which occurred in Wai-iti, Marlborough, from February 8, 1939.

    Warmest: Until 1973, the highest temperatures officially recorded in New Zealand was 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit (38.4 degrees Celsius) at Ashburton and Darfield on January 19, 1956.

    However, under extreme northwesterly conditions on February 7, 1973, there was a recorded 42.4 degrees Celsius (108.3 degrees Fahrenheit) at Rangiora. A temperature of 42.3 degree Celsius was also recorded on this day at Jordan, Marlborough.

    Coldest: The coldest air temperature ever recorded was minus 25.6 degrees Celsius in Eweburn, Ranfurly, on July 17, 1903. The lowest grass temperature is minus 21.6 degrees Celsius recorded at Lake Tekapo on August 4, 1938.

    Sunniest: Nelson, Takaka, Riwaka, Blenheim, Lake Tekapo, Tauranga and Whakatane often appear in the list of very sunny places in New Zealand – but officially Nelson has recorded the most sunshine in any one year with 2711 hours in 1931, with Blenheim recording 2673 hours in 1961.

    In the North Island, Whakatane recorded 2602 hours of sunshine in 2012. In contrast, only 1333 hours of sunshine was recorded in Invercargill in 1983.

    For one month, the sunniest location is Nelson with 336 hours in December 1934 (with Taupo recording 335 hours in December in 1950); and the least sunny location is Taumaranui, with only 27 hours in June 2002.

    Wind Gust: The highest wind gusts recorded in New Zealand were 250 km/h at Mt John, Canterbury, on April 17, 1970 and 248 km/h at Hawkins Hill, Wellington, on November 6, 1959, and July 4, 1962.


    ************************************************************************************

    Tauranga March Afternoon Temperatures: 1914-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called simply ‘afternoon', for Tauranga for the months of March from 1915-2014. March 1947 is not included because of incomplete data. The average daily maximum temperature for March 2015 was 22.8 degrees Celsius.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in March for Tauranga is 22.5 degrees Celsius, ranging from the cool March months of 1960 with an average afternoon temperature of 20.4 degrees Celsius, and 1940 with an average afternoon temperature of 20.8 degrees Celsius, to the warm March months of 1916 (24.7 degrees Celsius), and 1938 and 1968 (24.6 degrees Celsius).

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for March shows generally normal variations from March to March.

    From 1915 to 2015, there have been seven March months with an average afternoon temperature of 24.0 degrees Celsius or more, and 13 March months with an average afternoon temperature of 21.5 degrees Celsius or less.

    The seven warmest March months – in terms of average afternoon temperatures on record –in chronological order are: 1913, 1914,1916, 1938, 1968, 2010 and 2013.

    In contrast the 13 coolest March months – in terms of afternoon temperatures on record –in chronological order are: 1923, 1934,1936, 1940, 1944,1945, 1949, 1960, 1974, 1976, 1992, 1993 and 1998.

    The average afternoon temperature for March for the 48 years from 1914-1962 was 22.4 degrees Celsius, compared with an average of 22.6 degrees Celsius for the 48 years from 1963-2011.


    ********************************************************

    Tauranga March Rainfalls 1898-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfalls for the month of March have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898 – except for 1904, 1908 and 1909.

    This graph below shows the range of rainfalls from a high of 504 mm in 1979, to a low of 5 mm in 1943.

    The second wettest March was in 1972, when 318 mm was recorded, and two March months – 1921 and 2010 – recorded 14 mm.

    The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for March is 109 mm. The rainfall for March 2015 was 77 mm.

    The graph shows no significant overall trend in rainfalls in March during the last 110 years, apart from a small increase in the average rainfall for the 50 years ending in 1960 of 103 mm, to 117 mm in the 50 years to 2010.

    Since 1898, there have been eleven March months with a rainfall of 200 mm or more, and eleven March months with a rainfall of 30 mm or less.

    The wettest March months in chronological order are: 1902,1918,1922,1935,1941,1944,1957,1962,1972,1979 and 1987.

    The driest March months in chronological order are: 1903,1905,1921,1943,1951,1952,1953,1969, 2004, 2010 and 2013.

    ********************************************************************


    The Weather Dice and the Butterfly

     
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The Weekend Sun newspaper is published every Friday in Tauranga ( New Zealand) and contains a range of local information including comments from several columnists. During part of 2012, I provided a "Weather Eye" comment which was published on the second and fourth Friday of each month. My column was also published on the website SunLive.
     
    From March 2013, the column has been published each week on Sunlive.
     
    This is the 100th WeatherEye.
     
    The following web site lists the various WeatherEyes and the web site address on SunLive for them. For ease of reference the full text of  the WeatherEyes is also included.
     
    https://sites.google.com/site/theweatherclimateeye/

    Weather dice were shown on the cover of my book  published in 1986.

    The book cover, which has two dice on a "monopoly board" with various weather symbols on each side of the dice, represent the reality that most,  if not all, of the weather (and ultimately most of the climate), is ultimately related to how the weather dice fall.

    Who or what controls the fall of the weather dice, and how significant the role of human induced activities is, is the ultimate question for all meteorologists and climate scientists.

    However, many meteorologists consider that the atmosphere is generally in a chaotic mode and have coined the phase the the "butterfly effect",  which if correct, means that we just have to continue to live, and adapt to whatever the weather and the climate provides.

    Professor Edward Lorenz (1917-2008) was a meteorologist who worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, and in 1972 presented an academic paper entitled "Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?"

    This paper resulted in the development of "chaos theory" or simply "the butterfly effect" which among other things, endeavours to explain why it is so hard to make good weather forecasts beyond about 10 days, and has implications for making good climate forecasts, particularly when considering the natural causes of climate change.


    ********************************************************************

    World Meteorological Day... March 23


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The World Meteorological Organization WMO), is the successor of the International Meteorological Organization (IMO) which was created in 1873. Its fundamental mission is to support the countries of the world in providing meteorological and hydrological services to protect life and property from natural disasters related to weather, climate, and water, to safeguard the environment, and to contribute to sustainable development. This cannot happen without the necessary observations, research and operations that develop the understanding and knowledge of weather and climate.

    Since 1961, World Meteorological Day has commemorated the coming into force on 23 March 1950 of the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization  (WMO) and the essential contribution that National Meteorological and Hydrological Services make to the safety and well-being of society. Each year, the celebrations focus on a theme of topical interest.

    The theme for the 2015 World Meteorological Day  “Climate knowledge for climate action,” provides an opportunity to take stock of the climate knowledge built during the last decades, as an essential base to support the path towards more ambitious action to address climate change and climate variability.

    The structure of the WMO which has headquarters in Geneva involves the Congress, the Executive Council, and eight Technical Commissions. The World Meteorological Congress, the supreme body of the Organization, assembles delegates of Members once every four years to determine general policies for the fulfilment of the purposes of the Organization; to consider membership of the Organization; to determine the general, technical, financial and staff regulations; to establish and coordinate the activities of constituent bodies of the Organization; to approve long-term plans and budget for the following financial period; to elect the President and Vice-Presidents of the Organization and members of the Executive Council; and to appoint the Secretary-General.

    The Executive Council is the executive body of the Organization, which meets annually, implements decisions of Congress, coordinates the programmes, examines the utilization of budgetary resources, considers and takes action on recommendations of regional associations and technical commissions and guides their work programme, provides technical information, counsel and assistance in the fields of activity of the Organization and studies and takes action on matters affecting international meteorology and related activities.

    The Council is composed of 37 directors of National Meteorological or Hydrometeorological Services, serving in an individual capacity as representatives of the Organization and not as representatives of particular Members thereof. They include the President and three Vice-Presidents who are elected by Congress, and the presidents of the six regional associations. The remaining 27 members are elected by Congress.

    There are also eight Technical Commissions which are composed of experts designated by Members and are responsible for studying meteorological, climatological, and hydrological operational systems, applications and research. They establish methodology and procedures and make recommendations to the Executive Council and the Congress. The Technical Commissions usually meet once every four years, when they elect a President* and Vice-President.
     
    *From 1989 to 1996, I was President of one of Technical Commissions, namely the “Commission for Climatology”

    *********************************


    Sunspots and the Maunder Minimum: 2015 Update


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The “Maunder Minimum” period is named after the solar astronomer Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928), who while working at The Royal Observatory at Greenwich discovered the dearth of sunspots during the 1650-1700 period.

    During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum, there were only about 50 sunspots compared with a more typical 40,000. This period coincided with an extremely cold period in Europe. Maunder was a driving force in the foundation of the British Astronomical Association, and was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    Throughout the solar cycle, which is usually about 11 years in length, the latitude of sunspot occurrences varies with an interesting pattern. The chart shows the latitude of sunspot occurrence versus time, in years.

    The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 72 in late 2013. The smoothed sunspot number reached a peak of 81.9 in April 2014. We are currently over six years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.     

    Sunspots are typically confined to an equatorial belt, on the sun, between 35 degrees south and 35 degrees north latitude. At the beginning of a new solar cycle, sunspots tend to form at high latitudes, but as the cycle reaches a maximum – that is a large numbers of sunspots,the spots form at lower latitudes. Near the minimum of the cycle, sunspots appear even closer to the equator. And as a new cycle starts again, sunspots again appear at high latitudes. This recurrent behaviour of sunspots gives rise to the ‘Maunder Butterfly' pattern as shown in the chart from Nasa.

    Time will tell whether the sun will once again go into another Maunder Minimum within the lifetime of the present generation, and what affect it will have on our climate.

    ************************************************************************************

    Tauranga February Rainfalls: 1898-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfalls for the month of February have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898 (except for 1904, 1908, and 1909).

    The graph of February rainfalls in Tauranga shows the range of rainfalls from a high of 343 mm in 1936 to a low of only 7 mm in 1973.

    The graph shows predominantly "normal" variations from year to year.

    Nine February months have had a rainfall of less than 15 mm. Nine February months also have had a rainfall of 200 mm or more.

    The wettest February was 1936 with 343 mm, and the second wettest February was 2001 when 268 mm was recorded.

    The driest February month was 1973 with 7 mm, and the February months of 1942, 1987, and 2011 each had a rainfall of 8 mm.

    The rainfall for February 2015 was 44 mm. The long-term February rainfall for Tauranga is 90 mm.

    In chronological order, the wettest nine February months were 1920, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1960, 1966, 2001, and 2004.

    In chronological order, the driest nine February months were 1942, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1987, 1999, 2000, 2010, and 2011.


    ************************************************************************************



    Tauranga: Average Afternoon Temperatures in February - 1915-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    It is very common for areas such as Tauranga to have had different observation sites during the years; and the readings from the earlier sites have been adjusted to the present site using ‘standard climatological procedures'.

    It is considered the temperature series described here is a fair and true record of what the temperature would have been if the current observation site (Tauranga Airport) had been used throughout the period.

    It is important to note that in considering ‘climate change', the methodology used in computing an 'official' set of climate observations is very important – as otherwise erroneous conclusions may be drawn.

    Traditionally, temperature observations have been recorded with a set of maximum and minimum temperature thermometers. These record the daily maximum temperature (usually recorded in mid-afternoon), and daily minimum temperature (usually recorded just before dawn).

    This analysis of February temperatures for Tauranga is for the average daily maximum temperatures.

    The graph above shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (called simply ‘afternoon'), for Tauranga for February from 1915-2015.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in February for Tauranga is 23.8 degrees Celsius, ranging from the ‘cool' February months of 1934, with an average afternoon temperature of 21.6 degrees C , and 1921 with an average afternoon temperature of 21.8 degrees Celsius, to the ‘warm' February months of 1916 (26.4 degrees Celsius), and 1998 (26.2 degrees Celsius).

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for February shows generally 'normal' variations from February to February.

    The average afternoon February temperature for the 49 years from 1963-2011 of 24.0 degrees Celsius: this is just 0.3 degrees Celsius higher than the average afternoon February temperature for the 49 years from 1914-1962.

    From 1915 to 2015, there have been six February months with an average afternoon temperature of 25.5 degrees Celsius or more, and six February months with an average afternoon temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius or less.

    The average afternoon temperature for February this year was  24.1 degrees Celsius, which was 0.2 degrees Celsius above the long term average.

    The six ‘warmest' February months (in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are: 1916, 1928, 1954, 1955, 1998, and 2011.

    In contrast the six ‘coolest' February months (in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are: 1921, 1931, 1934, 1940, 1976, and 2004.

    ************************************************************************************



    Tauranga: Annual Average Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites in the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph below shows details of the average annual daily maximum temperatures (called simply 'afternoon'), for Tauranga for the years 1914-2014.

    The long-term average afternoon temperatures for Tauranga for a calendar year is 18.6 degrees Celsius, including the cool years of 18.1 degrees Celsius in 1976, 18.1 degrees Celsius in 1992, 18.2 degrees Celsius in 1923, and 18.3 degrees Celsius in 1918.

    In contrast, Tauranga's warmest years (in terms of the average afternoon temperature) are: 20.2 degrees Celsius in 2013, 20.1 degrees Celsius in 1916, 20.0 degrees Celsius in 1998, and 19.9 degrees Celsius in 2010.

    The average afternoon temperature in 2014 was 19.8 degrees Celsius.

    Since 1914, there have been eleven calendar years with an average afternoon temperature of 19.6 degrees Celsius or more. In chronological order these years are: 1914, 1915, 1916, 1928, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014. 

    In comparison, there have been 11 calendar years with an average afternoon temperature of 18.5 degrees Celsius or less. In chronological order these years are: 1918, 1920, 1923, 1941, 1945, 1965, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1991, and 1992.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for the years 1914-2014 shows generally normal variations from year to year from 1915 to the mid-1990s, followed by several years of above-average temperatures, including the last recent four “warm” years: 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014.

    The annual average afternoon temperature shows a warming of about 0.8 degrees Celsius during the 51 years from 1963-2013 from 19.0  degrees Celsius, compared with 18.2 degrees Celsius during the 49 years from 1914-1962.



    ************************************************************************************

    Tauranga Annual Rainfalls: 1898-2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Monthly rainfalls for Tauranga have been recorded at several recording sites during the last 115 years.

    From January 1898 to December 1904, the observation site was described as the Tauranga Harbour, from November 1904 to April 1907 the site was described as simply ‘Tauranga'.

    From January 1910 to December 1923 the site was Waikareao, in Otumoetai; from January 1924 to September 1940 the site was at 148 Waihi Rd, in Judea; from October 1940 to January 1941 the site was at Te Puna; and from February 1941 to now, the site is Tauranga Airport.

    The methodology use in adjusting the older sites to the current observing site is published in the ‘NZ Meteorological Service Miscellaneous Publication' No 180 in 1984.

    It is considered that the homogeneous rainfall series described here is a fair and true record of what the rainfall would have been if the current observation site (Tauranga Airport) had been used since 1898.

    This should be coupled with the understanding that although standard accepted methodologies have been used, any adjustments are only estimates of what would have occurred if the location of the rainfall records had always been in the same place with the same surroundings and the same or similar recording gauge.

    In terms of climate change (such as is it getting wetter or drier, or warmer or colder), the methodology used in computing an ‘official' set of climate observations is very important, as otherwise erroneous conclusions may be drawn.

    The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for the calendar year is 1300 mm, ranging from a low of 747 mm in 2002, to a high of 2049 mm in 1962.

    For comparison, the rainfall for the last year, 2014, was 1125 mm.

    Since 1898, there have been only four years with a rainfall of less than 900 mm, they are 1914, 1982, 1993, and 2002.

    And there's only been four years with a rainfall of more than 1800 mm; they are the two consecutive years of 1916 and 1917, plus 1938 and 1962.

    The ten wettest years on record are: 1962 which had 2049 mm or 57 per cent above of the long-term average, while 1917 had 1985 mm or 52 per cent above average. Also, 1916 had 1941 mm or 49 per cent above average, plus 1938 (1817 mm), 1920 (1789 mm), 1956 (1777 mm), 1979 (1730 mm), 2011 (1696 mm), 2005 (1682 mm), and 1935 (1670 mm).

    In chronological order, these wettest years occurred in 1916, 1917, 1920, 1935, 1938, 1956, 1962, 1979, 2005 and 2011.

    In contrast, the 10 driest years on record are: 2002 (747 mm or 48 per cent below the long-term average), 1914 (773 mm or 41 per cent below the long-term average), 1982 (842 mm or 36 per cent below the long-term average), plus 1993 (863 mm), 1906 (950 mm), 1919 (962 mm), 1997 (978 mm), 1973 (989 mm), 1986 (991 mm), and 1999 (1002 mm).

    In chronological order, these driest years occurred in 1906, 1914, 1919, 1973, 1982, 1986, 1993, 1997, 1999, and 2002.

    The average rainfall in Tauranga for the 50 years 1911-60 was 1365 mm, compared with the average rainfall for the 50 years 1961-2010  of 1263 mm.


    **********************************************************************************************************

    Tauranga: Average Afternoon Temperatures - January 1915-2015


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph above shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (called simply ‘afternoon') for Tauranga for January from 1914-2015.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in January for Tauranga is 23.8 degrees Celsius, ranging from the cool January months of 1920, with 21.6 degrees Celsius, and 1939 with 21.8 degrees Celsius, to the very warm January month of 1935, with 27.7 degrees Celsius.

    In 1970 the temperature reached 25.7 degrees Celsius. The average afternoon temperature in January 2015 was 25.4 degrees Celsius which was the seventh-warmest on record.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for January shows generally normal variations from January to January during the last 100 years.

    The average January afternoon temperature during the 50 years from 1963 to 2011 of 23.8 degrees Celsius, is the same average recorded in the 50 year period from 1914 to 1962.

    From 1914 to 2015, there have been seven January months with an average afternoon temperature of 25.4 degrees Celsius or higher, and seven January months with an average afternoon temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius or lower.

    The seventh-warmest January months (in terms of afternoon temperatures), on record, in chronological order, are 1915, 1935, 1970, 1957, 1999, 2009 and 2015.

    *************************************************************


    Tauranga January Rainfalls: 1898-2015 - Third driest on record


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The graph shows the range of Tauranga's January rainfalls from 1898-2015, varied from an extreme high of 532 mm in 1907 to a low of only 1 mm in 1928. The second wettest January was 2011, when 347 mm was recorded; and the second driest January was in 2013, when only 4 mm fell.

    The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for January is 89 mm. The rainfall for January 2015 was 8 mm (also recorded in 1900 and 1957)

    The graph of the January rainfall shows generally normal variations from year to year.

    Since 1898 there have been eight January months with a rainfall of 180 mm or more, with two such wet January months, 1940 and 1941, being consecutive.

    Fourteen January months have experienced rainfalls of less than 20 mm, with two such dry January months, 1978 and 1979, being consecutive.

    In chronological order, the eighth wettest January months are 1907 with 532 mm, 1920 with 196 mm, 1940 with 254 mm, 1941 with 245 mm, 1951 with 204 mm, 1965 with 183 mm, 1989 with 268 mm, and 2011 with 347 mm.

    In contrast, the sixth driest January months in chronological order are 1900 with 8 mm, 1928 with 1 mm, 1944 with 10 mm, 1957 with 8 mm, 1988 with 9 mm,  2013 with 4 mm, and 2015 with 8 mm.

    ****************************************************************

    Global Average Tropospheric Temperatures: January 1979 – December 2014

      
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The latest global average temperatures of the troposphere – those observed from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites – are computed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville in the United States.

    The above chart shows since 1979, when reliable satellite observations became available, there has been little overall trend, from the average temperatures during the 30-year period from 1981-2010 in the temperatures, apart from a period of warmer temperatures since about 1997.

    However, of significance there appears to be very little change in the overall global tropospheric temperatures during the last 16 years.

    The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 75 per cent of the atmosphere's mass and 99 per cent of its water vapour and aerosols. The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17 km in the middle latitudes.

    The data for 2011 is January 0.0 degrees Celsius, February -0.02, March -0.10, April +0.12, May +0.14, June +0.32, July +0.38, August +0.33, September +0.29, October +0.12, November +0.12, December +0.10 degrees.

    The data for 2012 is: January -0.09 degrees, February -0.12, March +0.11, April +0.29, May +0.29, June +0.37, July +0.28, August +0.34, November +0.28, December +0.20 degrees.

    The data for 2013 is: January +0.50 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.20, April +0.10, May +0.07, June +0.30, July +0.17, August +0,16, September +0.37, October +0.29, November +0.19, December +0.23 degrees.

    The data for 2014 is: January +0.30 degrees, February +0.18, March +0.17, April +0.19, May +0.33, June +0.31, July +0.30, August +0.20, September +0.30, October +0.37, November +0.33, and December +0.33 degrees Celsius.

    The coolest months since 1979 were September 1984, with minus 0.49 degrees Celsius, and November 1984, with minus 0.42 degrees Celsius.

    The warmest months were February and April 1998, both plus 0.76 degrees Celsius.


    ************************************************************************


    Tauranga December Afternoon Temperatures: 1913-2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph below shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called simply ‘afternoon', for Tauranga for December from 1913-2014.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in December for Tauranga is 22.1 degrees celsius, ranging from the ‘cool' December months of 2004 (20.1), 1968 (20.5) and 1944 and 1951 (both 20.7), to the ‘warm' December months of 1940 (24.4), 1937 (24.0), and 1990 (23.8).

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for December shows generally normal variations from December-to-December during the last 100 years.

    The average December afternoon temperature during the 50 years from 1963 to 2011 of 22.2 degrees Celsius is exactly the same figure recorded in the 50 years from 1914 to 1961.

    The average afternoon temperature in December 2014 was 21.8 (one degree cooler than December 2013).

    From 1913 to 2013, there have been 23 December months with an average afternoon temperature of 23 or more, and 12 December months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 21 or less.

    The seven warmest December months (in terms of afternoon temperatures), on record, in chronological order, are 1930, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1990, 1993, and 1994.

    By contrast, the seven coolest December months (in terms of afternoon temperatures), on record, in chronological order, are 1921, 1946, 1951, 1962, 1968, 1977, and 2004.

    ********************************************************************************************************************************************

    Tauranga December Rainfalls 1914-2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The graph below shows the range of Tauranga's December rainfalls, from an extreme high of 447 mm in 1962 to a low of only 4 mm in 1930.

     

    The second wettest December was 2011, when 276mm was recorded; and the second driest December was in 1994, when only 14mm fell.

    The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for December is 100mm. The rainfall for December 2014 was 145 mm.

    The graph of the December rainfall shows, at first glance, normal variations from year to year.

    However, there has been a notable increase in December rainfalls during the last few decades. Indeed, the average December rainfall in Tauranga for the 50-year period from 1961-2010 of 109mm, is 20 per cent higher than the rainfall for the 50-year period 1911-1960.

    Since 1898, there have been eight Decembers with a rainfall of 200mm or more, five of which occurred during the period 1962 to 2011.

    Seven December months have experienced rainfalls of 30mm or less. Of significance are the high rainfalls in the consecutive December months of 1962 and 1963, of 447mm and 224mm respectively.

    In chronological order, the eighth-wettest Decembers are 1924 with 225mm, 1928 with 227mm, 1936 with 240mm, 1962 with 447mm, 1963 with 224mm, 1996 with 241mm, 2001 with 208mm and 2011 with 276mm.

    In contrast, the seventh-driest December months in chronological order are 1902 with 27mm, 1912 with 22mm, 1919 with 22mm, 1930 with 4mm, 1986 with 30mm, 1990 with 21mm and 1994 with 14mm.

    **************************************************************************************************************************************************

    Global Monthly Temperatures: January 1979 to October 2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    A superimposed graph of five global monthly temperatures January 1979 to October 2014 is shown below.

    As the base period differs for the individual temperature estimates, they have all been normalised by comparing with the average value of the initial 120 months (10 years) from January 1979 to December 1988.

    The heavy black line represents the simple running 37 month (c. 3 year) mean of the average of all five temperature records. The numbers shown in the lower right corner represent the temperature anomaly relative to the individual 1979-1988 averages.

    It should be kept in mind that satellite and surface-based temperature estimates are derived from different types of measurements, and that comparing them directly as done in the diagram above therefore may be somewhat problematical.

    However, the different types of temperature estimates appear to agree quite well as to the overall temperature variations on a two-three year scale, although on a shorter time scale there are often considerable differences between the individual records.

     All five global temperature estimates presently show a general overall stagnation, at least since 2002. There has been no real increase in global air temperature since 1998, which was affected by the oceanographic El Niño event.

    This stagnation does not exclude the possibility that global temperatures will begin to increase again later. On the other hand, it also remain a possibility that Earth just now is passing a temperature peak, and that global temperatures will begin to decrease during the coming years.

    Time will show which of these two possibilities is correct.

    Below is a link which will take you directly to a monthly newsletter with global meteorological information updated to October/November 2014.

    http://www.climate4you.com/Text/Climate4you_November_2014.pdf

    This website is produced by  Ole Humlum, Professor of Physical Geography, Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo.

    ******************************************************************

    In the Bleak Mid-winter


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    In the bleak mid-winter,

    Frosty wind made moan,

    Earth stood hard as iron,

    Water like a stone,

    Snow had fallen,

    Snow on snow,

    Snow on snow,

    In the bleak mid-winter,

    Long ago.

    ******************************

    These words, from the first verse of the well-known carol, were written by the English poet Christina Rossetti in 1872 in response to a request from the magazine ‘Scribner's Monthly' for a Christmas poem.

    The carol was selected by the Queen in her TV Christmas message last year.

    It was published posthumously in Rossetti's ‘Poetic Works' in 1904. The poem became a Christmas carol after it appeared in ‘The English Hymnal' in 1906.

    The text of this Christmas poem has been set to music many times; the most famous settings being composed by Gustav Holst and Harold Edwin Darke in the early 20th Century.

    The version by Darke is favoured by cathedral choirs, and is the one usually heard performed on the radio broadcasts of ‘Nine Lessons and Carols' by the King's College choir.

    Of some significance is that on December 15 2013, the ‘Mail Online' (UK) had the following headlines relating to a severe snow storm, which hit the Holy City on Saturday – and at the same time Cairo experienced its first snowfall in more than 100 years.

    Perhaps the Christmas carol has come alive?

    A Christmas card come to Life: Jerusalem hit by worst snowstorm for 20 years, as eight inches fall across Holy City.

    • Unusually heavy snowfall, as temperatures dip below freezing.
    • Dome of the Rock and Western Wall bathed in white blanket.
    • Prime Minister Natanyahu gets in on the fun with family snowball fight.

    The weather is always with us; and although we may all hope the weather each Christmas will be to our liking, it is perhaps important to remember that in the Southern Hemisphere where the carol ‘In the Bleak Mid-Winter' may seem unusual, there have been two significant and tragic weather and other natural disasters..

    The first was on Christmas Eve in New Zealand, in 1953, when the Tangiwai rail disaster occurred with loss of 151 lives. The second was in Darwin, on Christmas Day 1974, when Tropical Cyclone Tracy killed 71 people and destroyed 80 per cent of the city's houses.

    I take this opportunity of wishing all my readers a seasons greeting, and I will be back in 2015 with some more WeatherEyes

    .***********************************************************************************************************



    Tauranga: October Rainfalls 1898-2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The graph below shows the range of Tauranga's October rainfalls, from an extreme high of 357 mm in 1916 to a low of only 7 mm in 1984.

    The second wettest October was 1928, when 269 mm was recorded; and the second driest October was in 1928, when only 11 mm fell. The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga in the month of October is 110 mm. The rainfall in October 2014 was 38 mm, the thirteenth-lowest October rainfall.

    The graph of the October rainfall shows at first glance normal variations from year to year. However, there has been a notable decrease in the October rainfalls during the last few years.

    Indeed, the average October rainfall in Tauranga for the 50-year period from 1961-2010 of 88 mm is only 70 per cent of the rainfall for the 50-year period 1910-1960.

    Since 1898, there have been 11 October months with a rainfall of 200 mm or more (10 of which occurred during the period 1900-1958), and only one October month since then has recorded this much. Ten October months have also experienced rainfalls of 25 mm or less.

    In chronological order the eleven wettest October months are 1900, 1905, 1916, 1918, 1921, 1926, 1928, 1941, 1952, 1958, and 1983.  In contrast the ten driest October months are 1906, 1938, 1963, 1965, 1969, 1973, 1984, 1993, 2010, and 2013.


    ***************************************************************************************


    Global Monthly Temperatures: January 1979 - August 2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    A superimposed graph of five global monthly temperatures January 1979 to August 2014 is shown below.

    As the base period differs for the individual temperature estimates, they have all been normalised by comparing with the average value of the initial 120 months (10 years) from January 1979 to December 1988.

    The heavy black line represents the simple running 37 month mean of the average of all five temperature records. The small numbers shown in the lower right corner represent the temperature anomaly relative to the individual 1979-1988 averages.

    Below is a link which will take you directly to a monthly newsletter with global meteorological information updated to August/September 2014:

    http://www.climate4you.com/Text/Climate4you_August_2014.pdf

    The website is produced by  Ole Humlum, Professor of Physical Geography, Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo.

     

    All five global temperature estimates presently show an overall stagnation, at least since 2002. There has been no increase in global air temperature since 1998, which however was affected by the oceanographic El Niño event.

    Professor Humlum considers that this stagnation does not exclude the possibility that global temperatures will begin to increase again later.

    On the other hand, it also remain a possibility that the Earth just now is passing a temperature peak, and that global temperatures will begin to decrease during the coming years. Time will show which of these two possibilities is correct.


    *****************************************************************


    Tauranga’s September Average Afternoon Temperatures: 1913-2014

      
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites in the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

     

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (simply called “afternoon”) for Tauranga for September from 1913-2014.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in September for Tauranga is 16.6 degrees C, ranging from the “cool” September months of 1964 (14.8 degrees C), and 1977 (14.9 degrees C), to the “warm” September months of 1915 (18.4 degrees C), and 18.3 degrees in 1914. The afternoon temperature for 2014 was 17.6 degrees.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for September shows generally "normal" variations from September to September during the last 100 years, but five of the warmest six September months occurred from 1913 to 1921.

    From 1913 to 2014, there have been ten September months with an average afternoon temperature of 17.5 degrees C or more, and eight September months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 15.4 degrees C.

    The tenth “warmest” September months (in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1921, 1926, 1940, 2006, 2009 and 2014. By contrast, the eighth “coolest” September months (in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are 1935, 1964, 1967, 1977, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1997.

    The average afternoon temperature during September for the period 1914-62 was 16.6 degrees, compared with 16.5 degrees from 1963-2011.



    ****************************************************************************

    Tauranga: September Rainfalls 1898-2014

     
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

     

    Rainfall for the month of September have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898, except for 1904, 1907, 1908, and 1909.

    The graph below shows the range of rainfalls from an extreme high of 274 mm in 1973 to a low of only 16 mm in 1965.

    The second wettest September was in 1900, when 256 mm was recorded, and the second driest September was in 1944, when only 27 mm fell. The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for September from 1898-2013 is 105 mm.

    The graph of the September rainfall shows normal variations from year to year.

    There is a very small decrease in the average for September rainfalls during the last 50 years (1961-2010) from an average of 103 mm, compared with an average of 105 mm during the 50 years from 1911-1960.  

    Since 1898, there have been five Septembers with a rainfall of 200 mm or more (four of which occurred during the period 1900 to 1928, but there's only been since then), compared with six September months with a rainfalls of 40 mm or less.

    The rainfall for September 2014 was 101 mm.

    In chronological, order the ten wettest September months (rainfalls over 180 mm)  are 1900,1912,1919,1923,1928,1946,1960,1969,1971 and 1973.

    In contrast the eleven driest September months (rainfalls of 50 mm or less) are 1910, 1913, 1914, 1921, 1922, 1944, 1965, 1993, 1987, 2006 and 2011. 

    The average rainfall for Tauranga for September for the 50 years 1961-2010 of 103 mm is similar to the rainfall for the previous 50 years (1910-1960).



    *****************************************************************************************

    UN Climate Summit 2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The following is a summary of the Climate Conference held in New York on September 23:

    The purpose of the 2014 Climate Summit was to raise political momentum for a meaningful, universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015 and to galvanize transformative action in all countries to reduce emissions and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.

    An unprecedented number of world leaders attended the Summit, including 100 Heads of State and Government. They were joined by more than 800 leaders from business, finance and civil society.  This summary details their most significant announcements.

    A comprehensive global vision on climate change emerged from the statements of leaders at the Summit including the following:

    Leaders acknowledged that climate action should be undertaken within the context of efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and promote sustainable development.

    Leaders committed to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

    Many leaders called for all countries to take national actions consistent with a less than 2 degree C pathway and a number of countries committed to doing so.

    Leaders committed to finalise a meaningful, universal new agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in 2015, and to arrive at the first draft of such an agreement at a meeting in Lima, in December 2014.

    Leaders concurred that the new agreement should be effective, durable and comprehensive and that it should balance support for mitigation and adaptation.  Many underlined the importance of addressing loss and damage.

    Many leaders, from all regions and all levels of economic development advocated for a peak in greenhouse gas emissions before 2020, dramatically reduced emissions thereafter, and climate neutrality in the second-half of the century.

    Leaders from more than 40 countries, 30 cities and dozens of corporations launched a large-scale commitment to double the rate of global energy efficiency by 2030 through vehicle fuel efficiency, lighting, appliances, buildings and district energy.

    Seventy-three national Governments, 11 regional governments and more than 1,000 businesses and investors signalled their support for pricing carbon. Together these leaders represent 52 per cent of global GDP, 54 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and almost half of the world's population.

    Some leaders agreed to join a new Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition to drive action aimed at strengthening carbon pricing policies and redirecting investment

    Note. Of course not all of the world's media were focused on the Climate Summit.

    Indeed, Christopher Booker, writing in the UK's Daily Telegraph, stated: “Apart from the Middle East, there can have been few more depressing places to be in the world last Tuesday than the UN General Assembly in New York, where an endless queue of world leaders, including Barack Obama and David Cameron, treated an increasingly soporific audience to leaden little appeals for humanity to take urgent action to halt global warming.”

    For a full summary of the summit, click here.

    - See more at: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/blogs/7409-un-climate-summit-2014.html#sthash.DPDjFExS.dpuf
    **********************************************************************************

    Is Global Warming taking a break?


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 and this summit will be held this week in New York.

    The aim of the conference is to galvanize and catalyse climate action.  The Secretary General has asked world leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. I will summarise the finding of this conference next week.  

    Meantime, the so called global warming is currently taking a break. Global temperatures rose drastically into the late 1990's, but the global average temperature has risen only slightly since 1998 , which is too many people is surprising, considering most climate models predicted considerable warming due to rising greenhouse gas emissions. Several so called climate sceptics, although I much prefer the term climate realists, have used this apparent contradiction to question many aspects of the climate change story – or at least the harm potential caused by greenhouse gases – as well as the validity of the climate models.

    However, the majority of climate scientists continue to emphasize that the short-term warming hiatus could largely be explained on the basis of current scientific understanding and did not contradict longer term warming.

    Researchers have been looking into the possible causes of the warming hiatus during the last few years.  Reto Knutti, professor of climate physics at ETH Zurich, in Switzerland, has systematically examined all current hypotheses. In a study published in the latest issue of the journal ‘Nature Geoscience', he concludes that two important factors are equally responsible for the hiatus.

    One of the important reasons is natural climate fluctuations, of which the weather phenomena El Nino and La Nina in the Pacific are the most important and well known. "1998 was a strong El Nino year, which is why it was so warm that year," says Reto.

    In contrast, the counter-phenomenon La Nina has made the past few years cooler than they would otherwise have been.

    The second important reason for the ‘warming hiatus' is that solar irradiance has been weaker than predicted in the last few years. This is because the identified fluctuations in the intensity of solar irradiance are unusual at the present time. In general, sunspot cycles each lasted about 11 years in the past, but for unknown reasons the last period of weak solar irradiance lasted 13 years.

    Furthermore, several volcanic eruptions, such as Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland in 2010, have increased the concentration of floating particles (aerosols) in the atmosphere, which has further weakened the solar irradiance arriving at the Earth's surface.


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    Tauranga’s August Average Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2014

     
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites in the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called simply ‘afternoon' for Tauranga for August from 1913-2014.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in August for Tauranga is 14.8 degrees Celsius, with the cool August months of 1932 with 13.8 degrees Celsius, and 1941 and 1992 both with 13.9 degrees Celsius.

    The warm August months have been 2013 with 16.7 degrees Celsius, and 1915 with 16.4 degrees Celsius, while 2009 had 16.2 degrees Celsius.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for August shows generally normal variations from August to August during the last 100 years.

    But four of the last August months have been a little warmer than others since 1913.

    This includes August 2013, which was 1.9 degrees Celsius above average and the warmest on record.

    In comparison, the value for August 2014 was 15.4 degrees Celsius, which was 1.3 degrees Celsius colder than August 2013.

    From 1913 to 2013, there have been 11 August months with an average afternoon temperature of 15.8 degrees Celsius or more.

    Thirteen August months have had an average afternoon temperature of less than 14.3 degrees Celsius.

    The sixth warmest August months – in terms of afternoon temperatures – on record in chronological order are: 1915, 1967, 1971, 2009, 2012 and 2013.

    By contrast, the fifth coolest August months – in terms of afternoon temperatures – on record in chronological order are: 1932, 1941, 1966, 1992 and 2004.

    The average afternoon temperatures during August for the period 1914-1962 were 14.7 degrees Celsius, compared with 15 degrees Celsius from 1963 to 2011.




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    Tauranga August Rainfalls –1898-2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Rainfalls for the month of August have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898, except for 1904, 1907, 1908 and 1909.

    The graph shows the range of rainfalls from an extreme high of 274mm in 2010 to a low of only 17mm in 1914.

    The second wettest August was 1916 when 263mm was recorded, and the second driest August was in 1982 when only 31mm fell.

    The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for August is 124mm. The rainfall for Tauranga for July 2014 was 82mm.

    The graph of the August rainfall shows normal variations from year-to-year. There is a small decrease in the overall August rainfalls during the last 50 years – from 1961-2010 – from an average of 121mm, compared with an average of 13 mm during the 50 years from 1911-1960.

    Since 1898, there have been 11 August months with a rainfall of 220mm or more – with 10 occurring during 1900 to 1976 – and only one August month since then 2010, which was the highest rainfall for any August. Only five August months have had rainfalls of 50mm or less.

    Chronologically, the 11 wettest August months are 1913, 1916, 1920, 1927, 1938, 1942, 1957, 1965, 1970, 1976 and 2010.

    In contrast, chronologically the five driest August months are 1914, 1921, 1982, 1983 and 2002.



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    1816: The Year without a Summer

     
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    As discussed in a previous WeatherEye, 1816 was ‘The year without a summer', caused by dust from Mount Tambora in Indonesia shrouding the earth after it erupted in early-April 1815.

    And with the sunlight blocked 1816 did not have a normal summer.

    In Switzerland, the damp and dismal summer of 1816 led to the creation of a significant literary work.

    A group of writers, including Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his future wife, challenged each other to write dark tales inspired by the gloomy and chilly weather.

    During the miserable weather Mary Shelley wrote her classic novel ‘Frankenstein'.

    The Albany Advertiser went on to propose some theories about why the weather was so bizarre.

    The mention of sunspots is interesting, as sunspots had been seen by astronomers.

    And many people, to this day, wonder about what, if any effect, sunspots may have had on the weird weather.

    What's also fascinating is the newspaper article from 1816 proposes such events be studied, so people can learn what is going on. For example:

    “Many seem disposed to charge the peculiarities of the season, the present year, upon the spots on the sun.

    “If the dryness of the season has in any measure depended on the latter cause, it has not operated uniformly in different places – the spots have been visible in Europe, as well as in the United States and yet in some parts of Europe, as we have already remarked, they have been drenched with rain.

    “Without undertaking to discuss, much less to decide, such a learned subject as this, we should be glad if proper pains were taken to ascertain, by regular journals of the weather from year to year, the state of the seasons in this country and Europe, as well as the general state of health in both quarters of the globe.

    “We think the facts might be collected, and the comparison made, without much difficulty; and when once made, that it would be of great advantage to medical men, and medical science.”

    Today, we now know volcanoes can pose many hazards. One hazard is volcanic ash can be a threat to jet aircraft where ash particles can be melted by the high operating temperature.

    The melted particles then adhere to the turbine blades and alter their shape, disrupting the operation of the turbine.

    Large eruptions can affect temperature, as ash and droplets of sulphuric acid obscure the sun and cool the Earth's lower atmosphere, or troposphere.

    However, they also absorb heat radiated up from the Earth, thereby warming the upper atmosphere, or stratosphere.

    Historically, so-called volcanic winters have caused catastrophic famines.


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    Sunspots and the Maunder Minimum


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The Maunder Minimum period is named after the solar astronomer Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928), who while working at The Royal Observatory at Greenwich discovered the dearth of sunspots during the 1650-1700 period.


    During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum, there were only about 50 sunspots compared with a more typical 40,000. This period coincided with an extremely cold period in Europe.

    Maunder was a driving force in the foundation of the British Astronomical Association, and was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    Throughout the solar cycle, of about 11 years, the latitude of sunspot occurrences varies with an interesting pattern. The chart shows the latitude of sunspot occurrence versus time, in years.

    Sunspots are typically confined to an equatorial belt, on the sun, between 35 degrees south and 35 degrees north latitude.

    At the beginning of a new solar cycle, sunspots tend to form at high latitudes, but as the cycle reaches a maximum – that is a large numbers of sunspots – the spots form at lower latitudes.

    Near the minimum of the cycle, sunspots appear even closer to the equator. And as a new cycle starts again, sunspots again appear at high latitudes. This recurrent behaviour of sunspots gives rise to the ‘Maunder Butterfly' pattern shown.

    Time will tell whether the sun will once again go into another Maunder Minimum within the lifetime of the present generation, and what affect it will have on our climate.

    A graph of the sunspot numbers, from 1700 to July 2014, is shown below. The graph is from a website of the Royal Belgium Observatory.




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    The Year Without a Summer: 1816

     
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The peculiar 19th Century weather disaster – dubbed The Year Without a Summer – happened in 1816, when weather in Europe and North America took a bizarre turn which resulted in widespread crop failures and famine.

    On April 10, 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia produced the largest eruption known on the planet during the last 10,000 years.

    The volcano erupted more than 50 cubic kilometres of magma. The eruption produced global climatic effects and killed more than 100,000 people, directly and indirectly.

    Pyroclastic flows reached the sea on all sides of the peninsula, and heavy tephra fall devastated croplands, causing an estimated 60,000 fatalities.

    Entire villages were buried under thick pumice deposits. Some of the settlements have recently been brought back to light by archaeological excavations, making the site a called ‘Pompeii of Indonesia'.

    While the death toll of people living on Sumbawa and surrounding coastal areas was high enough, even more fatalities can be attributed to an indirect effect of global climate deterioration after the eruption.

    These changes turned 1816 into ‘The Year without a Summer' for much of Europe, causing widespread famine. It's estimated it caused the death of more than 100,000 people.

    The reason for the climatic changes was increased absorption of sunlight due to a veil of aerosols dispersed around both hemispheres by stratospheric currents from the tall eruption column.

    Global temperatures dropped by as much as three degrees Celsius in 1816.

    ‘The Year without a Summer' was well reported in the United States and Europe, as the following description suggests.

    The weather in 1816 was unprecedented. Spring arrived but then everything seemed to turn backward, as cold temperatures returned. The sky seemed permanently overcast. The lack of sunlight became so severe farmers lost their crops and food shortages were reported in Ireland, France, England, and the United States.

    In Virginia, Thomas Jefferson retired from the presidency and farming at Monticello sustained crop failures that sent him further into debt.

    It would be more than a century before anyone understood the reason for the peculiar weather disaster: the eruption of an enormous volcano on a remote island in the Indian Ocean one year earlier had thrown enormous amounts of volcanic ash into the upper atmosphere.

    For further information, see: www.volcanodiscovery.com/tambora.html or see http://history1800s.about.com/od/crimesanddisasters/a/The-Year-Without-A-Summer.htm

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    Polar ice: Less ice in Arctic, more in Antarctic
     
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Arctic sea ice extent declined at a fairly rapid rate through the first three weeks of July, but the loss rate then slowed due to a shift in weather patterns.

    In Antarctica, the advance of sea ice nearly halted for about a week in early July, and then resumed. At the end of the month, Antarctic extent was at or near a record high for this time of year.

    The National Snow and Ice Data Centre, in Boulder, Colorado, has an extensive website on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. For details, see: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/

    In the Arctic, the July 2014 average ice extent was 8.25 million square kilometres. This is 1.85 million square kilometres less than the 1981 to 2010 average for July.

    July 2014 is the fourth lowest Arctic sea ice extent in the satellite record, with 340,000 square kilometres more than the previous record lows in July 2011, 2012, and 2007.

    The monthly linear rate of decline for July is 7.4 per cent, per decade.

    Arctic sea ice reached its annual maximum extent for 2014 on March 21.

    Overall, the 2014 Arctic sea ice coverage was the fifth lowest in the 1978-2014 record.

    In contrast, Antarctic sea ice reached its annual minimum for 2014 on February 23.

    This is the fourth highest Antarctic minimum in the satellite record. This continues a strong pattern of greater-than-average sea ice extent in Antarctica for the last two years.

    Graphs of the extent of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere ice – updated to July 2014 – from the above website are shown below.

    These show from 1979 to 2014 the Northern Hemisphere ice extent decreased at the rate of 7.4 per cent per decade, compared with an increase of 1.2 per cent per decade during the same period in the Southern Hemisphere.

    For further information on the climate science scene see: https://sites.google.com/site/climatediceandthebutterfly



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    Tauranga’s Afternoon Temperatures: July 1913-2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph below shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called ‘afternoon' for Tauranga for July from 1913-2014.

    It's very common for areas such as Tauranga to have had different observation sites during the years, and readings from the earlier sites have been adjusted to the present site using standard climatologically procedures.

    It's considered the temperature series described here is a fair and true record of what the temperature would have been if the current observation site, Tauranga Airport, had been used throughout the period.

    It's important to note, in considering climate change, the methodology used in computing an official set of climate observations is very important as otherwise erroneous conclusions may be drawn.

    Traditionally, temperature observations have been recorded with a set of maximum and minimum temperature thermometers.

    These record the daily maximum temperature, usually recorded in mid-afternoon, and daily minimum temperature, usually recorded just before dawn.

    This analysis of temperatures for Tauranga is for average daily maximum temperatures.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in July for Tauranga is 14.1 degrees Celsius, ranging from cool July months of 1918 and 1939, both 12.3 degrees Celsius, and 1965, with 12.9 degrees Celsius.

    Warm July months included 1916 and 2010, both 15.8 degrees Celsius, and 1915 with 15.7 degrees Celsius.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for July shows generally normal variations from July to July in the last 100 years.

    But several July months since 1997 have been a little warmer than July months since 1913.

    From 1913 to 2014, there have been 10 July months with an average afternoon temperature of 15 degrees Celsius or more, and 11 July months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 13.3 degrees Celsius.

    The value for July 2013 was 14.9 degrees Celsius, and July this year was 15.2 degrees Celsius.

    The 10 warmest July months for afternoon temperatures on record, in chronological order are: 1915, 1916, 1917, 1984, 1985, 1998, 2000, 2011, 2012, and 2014.

    By contrast, the seven coolest July months for afternoon temperatures on record, in chronological order are: 1918, 1929, 1935, 1939, 1963, 1965, and 1969.

    The average afternoon temperature for Tauranga for July for 49 years from 1914-1962 was 14.0 degrees Celsius, compared with the average afternoon temperature for Tauranga for July for 49 years from 1963-2011 was 14.2 degrees Celsius.

     ************************************************

    Climate Change – Have things changed?


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Among the many climate science meetings I've attended, the most significant – at least in terms of climate change is concerned – is my involvement in the UN-sponsored International Conference in Villach, Austria, in October 1985.

    About 100 from 30 countries attended the meeting – in contrast to the 10,000-20,000 who now attend such meetings – and I was privileged to be the only New Zealander invited.

    We were all there as experts – not representing our respective organisations or necessarily the views of our respective Governments – in various fields of science, endeavouring to do the best we could in looking at the complexities of climate science.

    Among principal findings of this conference was: “while other factors, such as aerosol concentration, changes in solar energy input, and changes in vegetation, may also influence climate, greenhouse gases are likely to be the most important cause of climate change over the next century”.

    At the time, even though I was partly responsible for the writing of the above paragraph, along with a few of my colleagues I had some misgivings about this phrase.

    And I was somewhat surprised that within a year ‘human-induced global warming' caught the imagination of many around the world.

    Today not a day goes by without some mention of global warming, climate change etc – all terms which up until 1980 were the preserve of academic text books along terms such as ‘emission trading schemes', which weren't even thought of until very recently.

    Despite this concern, a colleague of mine from Australia, Bill Kininmonth, who in 2004 wrote an excellent book called ‘Climate Change - A Natural Hazard' has mentioned to me on several occasions I've changed from being the ‘gamekeeper' and become the ‘poacher'.

    Whether this is true is a matter of opinion. However, irrespective of my personal views on the matter, it's clear there are two main views held by climate scientists and others on the subject of global warming and climate change.

    Those mainly involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and many or most government scientists, plus others, such as Al Gore, many politicians and most journalists consider man, including domestic animals, is the prime cause of recent changes in the climate.

    Then there's those – including some university scientists, several retired climatologists and climate scientists, and a minority of politicians and journalists, who consider nature is the main cause of changes in the climate

    Twenty years ago it was unconceivable the New Zealand Government would have a Minister of Climate Change.

    Back then, as weather forecasters and climatologists, we just got on with our job of making the best possible weather forecast and providing the best climate advice to all who requested information – without guidance or interference from the Government of the day.

    How things have changed.

     *****************************************************




    Tauranga 2014 Warmest Afternoon Temperatures in 100 Years

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including at the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called simply ‘afternoon', for Tauranga for June from 1913-2014.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in June for Tauranga is 14.7 degrees Celsius.

    The cool' June months were in 1972 with 13.0 degrees Celsius, 1936 with 13.2 degrees Celsius, and 1933 with 13.3 degrees Celsius.

    The ‘warm' June months include this year – 2014 – with 16.9 degrees Celsius, and 1916 and 2011, both with 16.6 degrees Celsius.

    Last month's average temperature of 16.9 degrees Celsius is the warmest June on record since observations were first made in 1913.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for June shows generally ‘normal' variations from June to June during the last 100 years.

    But many of the last 15 June months since 1996 have been a little ‘warmer' than other June months since 1913.

    From 1913 to 2012, there have been 14 June months with an average afternoon temperature of 15.6 degrees Celsius or more, and 12 June months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 13.9 degrees Celsius.

    The ninth ‘warmest' June months on record, in chronological order, are: 1916, 1971, 1981, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2011 and 2014.

    By contrast, the seventh ‘coolest' June months on record, in chronological order, are 1933, 1936, 1941, 1944,1969, 1972 and 1976.

    The average afternoon temperature in June during the period 1914-1962 was 14.7 degrees Celsius compared with 14.8 degrees Celsius from 1963 to 2011.

     *************************************************

    Tauranga’s June rainfalls 1898-2014

    The sixth wettest on record rainfalls for the month of June have been recorded in Tauranga since 1898 (no data for 1904, 1907, 1908 and 1909).

    The graph shows the range of rainfalls from an extreme high of 381 mm in 1925 to a low of 19mm in 1906.

    The second wettest June was 1920, when 309mm was recorded, and the second and third driest June months were in 1959 and 2012 when only 27mm fell.

    The long-monthly average rainfall for Tauranga for June is 131 mm.

    The graph of the June rainfall shows normal variations from year to year.

    There is a small decrease in the overall June rainfalls during the last 50 years, form 1961-2010, from an average of 126mm, compared with an average of 139mm during the 50 years from 1911-1960.

    Since 1898, there have been 17 June months with a rainfall of 200mm or more, and 10 June months with rainfalls of 50mm or less.

    The rainfall for June 2014 was 229 mm, which made it the sixth wettest on record.

    In chronological order the wettest 17 June months are: 1915, 1917, 1920, 1925, 1930, 1935, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1961, 1968, 1971, 1981, 1985, 1997, 2010, and 2014.

    By contrast the driest June months in chronological order are: 1906, 1913, 1914, 1933, 1942, 1958, 1959, 1967, 2001, and 2012.




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    The Maunder Minimum and Sunspots


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The ‘Maunder Minimum' is the name given to the period from 1645 to 1715 when the number of sunspots – ‘storms' on the sun – became almost zero.

    The period is named after the solar astronomer Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928), who was working at The Royal Observatory at Greenwich when he discovered the dearth of sunspots during this period.

    During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum there were only about 50 sunspots compared with a more typical 40,000.


    Photo image: Google.

    Maunder was a driving force in the foundation of the British Astronomical Association and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    The sun was well observed during the period of the Maunder Minimum and this lack of sunspots is well documented.

    This period of solar inactivity corresponded to a climatic period called the ‘Little Ice Age' when in Europe rivers that were normally ice-free, froze and snow fields remained at low altitudes throughout the year.

    There is evidence the sun had similar periods of inactivity during the years 1100-1250 and 1460-1550.

    Sunspots generally follow a cycle of about 11 years, but cycles have varied from eight-15 years.

    The connection between solar activity and the earth's climate is an area of ongoing and sometimes controversial research.


    Photo image: Google.

    Time will tell whether the sun will once again go into another ‘Maunder Minimum' within the lifetime of the present generation, but if this happens we're likely have a much colder climate for a few decades.

    A sunspot is a relatively dark, sharply defined region on the solar disc – marked by an umbra, dark area, which is 2000 degrees cooler than the effective photospheric temperature.

    The average diameter of a sunspot is 4000km, but they can exceed 200,000km.

    The NASA solar physics website, and other websites such as the Royal Observatory of Belgium, include information on sunspot numbers, the ‘Maunder Minimum' and sunspot cycle predictions.

    The sunspot index is updated monthly and available from 1749.


    Photo image: Google.

    The last time the monthly sunspot number was above 100 during the last 14 years was in September 2002, when the value was 110. February 2014 had a sunspot value of 102.

    The last time the value was above 200 was in August 1990, when the value was 200.3 – and there were no sunspots observed in September 2009. The value for May 2014 was 75.

    For further information on climate matters, see:

    https://sites.google.com/site/climatediceandthebutterfly/


    Photo image: Google.


    *******************************************************************************

    Tauranga’s May afternoon temperatures 1913-2014


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites during the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

     

    It is very common for areas such as Tauranga to have experienced different observation sites during the years; and the readings from the earlier sites have been adjusted to the present site using standard climatological procedures.

    It is considered the temperature series described here is a fair and true record of what the temperature would have been if the current observation site (Tauranga Airport) had been used throughout the period.

    Traditionally, temperature observations have been recorded with a set of maximum and minimum temperature thermometers.

    These record the daily maximum temperature – usually recorded in mid-afternoon – and daily minimum temperature – usually recorded just before dawn.

    The analysis of temperatures for Tauranga is for the average daily maximum temperatures.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures, called simply ‘afternoon' from now on, for Tauranga for May from 1913-2014. May 1964 is not included because of incomplete data.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in May for Tauranga is 16.9 degrees Celsius, ranging from the cool May months of 1936, 1940, and 1997 with an average afternoon temperature of 14.9 degrees Celsius, to the warm May months of 1916 with 19.3 degrees Celsius, 2011 having 19.1 degrees Celsius and 2007 with 18.9 degrees Celsius.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for May shows generally normal variations from May to May.

    However, the last 20 May months have been a little warmer than other since 1913.

    From 1913 to 2014, there have been 13 May months with an average afternoon temperature of 18.0 degrees Celsius or more, and 11 May months with an average afternoon temperature of less than 16.0 degrees Celsius.

    The value for May 2013 was 18.5 degrees Celsius, which is the fifth warmest on record and for May 2014 the temperature was 18.4 degrees Celsius – the sixth warmest on record.

    The 13 warmest May months, in terms of afternoon temperatures, on record in chronological order are: 1916, 1928, 1938, 1950, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

    In contrast, the 11 coolest May months, in terms of afternoon temperatures, on record in chronological order are: 1913, 1920, 1924, 1936, 1940, 1945, 1959, 1967, 1977, 1983, and 1992.

    The average afternoon temperature in May during the 49-year period 1914-1962 was 16.7 degrees Celsius, compared with 17.1 degrees Celsius for the 49-year period from 1963-2011.

    - See more at: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/blogs/6643-taurangas-may-afternoon-temperatures-19132014.html#sthash.kddpxB2h.dpuf



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    Climate Change – Methods of Inferring/Detecting Changes

      
    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    What causes the climate to change as well as understanding the methods for detecting changes in the climate are on-going research activities.

    The following is a brief summary of the methods scientists and others, such as historians, employ in inferring and detecting changes in climate during a variety of time scales. I'm indebted for a website from NIWA for much of this summary.

    Instrumental measurements

    Data from instruments and written or oral records provide quantitative records of temperature and other meteorological records for the last 150 years in New Zealand – and up to 350 years in a few other countries such as summer, winter, and annual temperature charts for central England from 1660-2013 shown in the graph.

    Such records must be analysed carefully, to identify the influence of any non-climate factors, such as changes in observing site or method, or encroaching urban development. Records of sea level and land movements are also important for assessing sea level change.

    Proxy data

    Beyond the scope of instrumental measurements, information about past climate can be obtained from natural proxy archives, as well as historical records of events, such as harvests etc.

    Changes observed in these archives often identify so closely to climate variations they can be used as a substitute for climate records prior to the instrumental record after a careful calibration process has been undertaken.

    Piecing evidence together from various natural proxy data sources includes:

    Ice cores

    Ice cores drilled in Greenland, the Antarctic ice sheets, the Himalayas, and in other alpine regions of the world comprise very important archives because they provide extensive detailed information about past climate variability and atmospheric composition

    The ratio of oxygen isotopes in ice can indicate the temperature at the time ice was deposited as snow. Air bubbles can be analysed to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane concentrations at the time the bubbles were trapped in the ice.

    Dust trapped in the ice may indicate windy, arid conditions. Geochemistry, including trace elements and salts, can tell a story about regional atmospheric circulation. The core from the Russian Rostock station in Antarctica provides information back to at least 160,000 years ago, and when drilling is completed a climate record of the last 500,000 years is probable.

    Fossil pollen and phytoliths

    Different classes of plants produce pollen grains and phytoliths (siliceous formations precipitated by plants) that have distinctive shapes. Pollen grains and phytoliths are often found preserved in sediment cores from ponds, lakes and marine environments.

    Lake sediments

    Composition and sedimentation rates in lakes change in response to variations in environmental conditions during periods of wet and dry climate. Pollen in the sediments can indicate the type of vegetation present, and plankton biota indicates physical and chemical conditions in the lake water. In some cases, stark seasonal changes in lake inflows and sedimentation can cause annual layers to form in lake sediments.

    Annual layers, or varves, commonly form in lakes fed by glacial meltwater, and can be used to infer the amount of melted ice and what past warm season temperatures were like. Within the sediment layers, microfossils like diatoms, bugs, and plant material are preserved. These fossils can also reveal information about what past environmental conditions were like, sometimes with incredible precision.

    Ocean sediment cores

    These cores contain primitive shelled animals (foraminifera) whose abundance in the surface layers of the ocean depends on surface water temperature and other conditions. Off New Zealand the rate and type of sediment deposition depends on factors such as the amount of glacial activity and on other climate-driven erosion processes.

    Pollen types and the isotopic composition of material in the sediments provide further information on past climates. Cores obtained off New Zealand from the international deep sea drilling project provide information as far back as 6.3 million years, and drilling of more cores is planned.

    New Zealand is coordinating an interesting international drilling project near Cape Roberts in Antarctica, to establish more information about past Antarctic climate and ice extent.

    Loess

    Loess are fine-grained wind-blown dust deposits on land. They typically accumulate during periods characterised by dry and windy conditions. In New Zealand, they are associated with cool and cold intervals that coincide with glacial advances. Numerous loess sections can be found on the South Island, particularly in eastern regions.

    Glaciers

    Variations in the past size of glaciers can be inferred from the location of moraines (rocks and debris deposited by glaciers that mark a former ice margin position), outwash fans, buried soils, and by the presence of glacial features in the landscape. In New Zealand, cool summer temperatures are only one factor in promoting ice accumulation on glaciers, and snow accumulation rates also respond to changes in the strength and direction of the westerly wind flow and sea level pressure in summer.

    Speleothems

    Speleothems are used to describe a stalactite, stalagmite or flowstone cave deposit of crystalline nature. These deposits occur within karst terranes in subterranean caverns mainly as calcite precipitated from groundwater that percolated through overlying limestone or marble rock.

    Tree rings

    Tree rings are some of the best resolved records of past climate in the world. This is because, in many cases, one tree ring is grown each year, allowing tree rings to be dated with great precision and with annual resolution.

    Tree growth is dependent on many factors. However, common growth patterns often emerge at the regional scale between trees, suggesting there is a common growth response to climate changes. Correlations of tree ring data with soil moisture, temperature, and precipitation often enable tree ring records to be substituted for instrumental climate data into the distant past.

    In the case of NZ, which has many long lived tree species suitable for dendrochronology, long climate reconstructions of droughts, storms, and even El Nino events are possible.

    Boreholes

    It is sometimes possible to deduce past surface temperatures going back several hundred years by measuring the way temperature varies with depth in a borehole several hundred metres deep (at a suitable site not disturbed by groundwater flow). This is because fluctuations in ground surface temperatures propagate slowly downwards into the earth as a “temperature wave”.

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    Changing Spots on the Sun

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The ‘Maunder Minimum’ is the name given to the period from 1645 to 1715 when the number of sunspots – ‘storms’ on the sun – became almost zero. 

    The period is named after the solar astronomer Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928) who, while working at The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, discovered the dearth of sunspots during this period.

    During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum there were only about 50 sunspots compared with a more typical 40,000. Maunder was a driving force in the foundation of the British Astronomical Association and was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. 

    The sun was well observed during the period of the Maunder Minimum and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity corresponded to a climatic period called the ‘Little Ice Age’ when rivers that are normally ice-free, froze and snow fields remained at low altitudes throughout the year. There is evidence the sun had similar periods of inactivity during the years 1100 to 1250 and 1460 to 1550. 

    Sunspots generally follow a cycle of about 11 years, but cycles have varied from 8 to 15 years. The connection between solar activity and the earth’s climate is an area of on-going and sometimes controversial research. Time will tell whether the sun will once again go into another ‘Maunder Minimum’ within the lifetime of the present generation.


     A sunpot is a relatively dark, sharply defined region on the solar disc – marked by an umbra (dark area) which is 2000 degrees cooler than the effective photospheric temperature. The average diameter of a sunspot is 4000km, but can exceed 200,000km. 

    The NASA Solar Physics website includes information on sunspot numbers, the ‘Maunder Minimum’ and sunspot cycle predictions. The  sunspot index is updated monthly and available from 1749. The last time the monthly sunspot number was above 100 was September 2002 when the value was 109.6 and the last time the value was above 200 was in August 1990 when the value was 200.3. No sunspots were observed in September 2009

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    Tauranga Rainfalls since 1898

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Monthly rainfalls for Tauranga have been recorded at several recording sites over the last 114 years.

    From January 1898 to December 1904, the observation site was the Tauranga Harbour, from November 1904 to April 1907 the site was described as simply ‘Tauranga’, from January 1910 to December 1923 the site was Waikareao in Otumoetai, from January 1924 to September 1940 the site was at 148 Waihi Road in Judea, from October 1940 to January 1941 the site was at Te Puna, and from February 1941 to the present, the site is Tauranga Airport.

    C.S Thompson of the former New Zealand Meteorological Service computed a homogeneous rainfall series for Tauranga appropriate to the current recording site at the airport.

    The methodology use in adjusting the older sites to the current observing site is published in the NZ Meteorological Service Miscellaneous Publication No 180 in 1984.

    Although adjusting rainfall observations from one site to another is not without its difficulties, it is considered that the homogeneous rainfall series described here is a fair and true record of what the rainfall would have been if the current observation site (Tauranga Airport) had been used since 1898, with the understanding that although standard accepted methodologies have been used, any adjustments are only estimates of what would have occurred if the location of the rainfall records had always been in the same place with the same surroundings and the same or similar recording gauge.

    In terms of climate change, (such as: is it getting wetter or drier, or warmer or colder?) the methodology used in computing an ‘official’ set of climate observations is very important as otherwise erroneous conclusions may be drawn.

    The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for the calendar year is 1300mm, ranging from a low of 747mm in 2002, to 2049mm in 1962.  

    For comparison, the rainfall for the past year, 2011, was 1696mm, which made it the ninth wettest year since observations began in 1898.

    Since 1898, there have been only three years with a rainfall of less than 1000mm (1993, 1982, 2002), and only three years with a rainfall over 1800mm (1938, 1917, 1916). 

    The 10 wettest years on record are: 1962 (156% of the long term average), 1916 (147%), 1917 (143%), 1938 (138%), 1920 (136%), 1956 (135%), 1971 (133%), 1979 (131%), 2011 (129%), and 2005 (128%).

    In chronological order these wettest years occurred in 1916, 1917, 1920, 1938, 1956, 1962, 1971, 1979, 2005 and 2011.

    In contrast the 10 driest years on record are: 2002 (57% of the long term average), 1915 (59%), 1982 (64%), 1993 (66%), 1906 (72%), 1919 (73%), 1997 (74%), 1973 (75%), 1986 (75%), and 1999 (76%).

    In chronological order these driest years occurred in 1906, 1915, 1919, 1973, 1982, 1986, 1993, 1997, 1999, and 2002.

    A graph of the rainfalls for Tauranga for 1898-2011 shows little long-term change although the last three decades have shown some tendency towards drier years, with five of the driest 10 years occurring during the last 30 years.

    However, two of wettest 10 years have occurred during the last decade.

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    Tauranga: Climate Extremes

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Climate extremes in New Zealand, since instrumental records became available in the 1850s, show a range from the highest temperature of 42.4 degrees recorded in Rangiora on February 7, 1973, to the most intense rainfall in 10 minutes which occurred in Tauranga on April 17, 1948. 

    Each year, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research updates the weather extremes recorded in New Zealand since observations were officially recorded in the 1850s. The current extremes – up to December 2010 – include the following: 

    Wettest: 34mm in 10 minutes in Tauranga on April 17 1948. 134mm in one hour in the Hokitka Catchment. This site also has the records for the highest 24 hours fall of 758mm on December  27/28, 1989, the highest 48 hour fall of 1049mm on December 11/12/13, 1995, the highest fall in a calendar month of 2827mm in December 1995, and the highest fall in a calendar year of 16,617mm in 1998.  

    Driest: Only 9mm of rain fell at Cape Campbell (Marlborough) from January to March 2001, the driest three-months ever recorded in New Zealand. The driest six months was also at Cape Campbell from November 2000 to April 2001 when only 52mm of rain was recorded. The driest 12 months was in Alexandra from November 1963 to October 1964, when only 167mm was recorded. The longest period without rain is 71 days, which occurred in Wai-iti, Marlbough from February 8 1939.  

    Warmest: Until 1973, the highest temperatures officially recorded in New Zealand was 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit (38.4 degrees Celsius) at Ashburton and Darfield on January 19, 1956. However, under extreme northwesterly conditions on February 7, 1973, 42.4 degrees C (108.3 degrees Fahrenheit) was recorded at Rangiora. A temperature of 42.3 degree C was also recorded on this day at Jordan, Marlborough.

    Coldest: The coldest air temperature ever recorded was -25.6 degrees C in Eweburn, Ranfurly on July 17, 1903. The lowest grass temperature is -21.6 degrees C recorded at Lake Tekapo on August 4, 1938.

    Sunniest: Nelson, Takaka, Riwaka, Blenheim, Lake Tekapo, Tauranga and Whakatane often appear in the list of very sunny places in New Zealand, but officially, Nelson has recorded the most sunshine in any one year with 2711 hours in 1931, with Blenheim recording 2673 hours in 1961. In contrast, only 1333 hours of sunshine was recorded in Invercargill in 1983. For one month, the sunniest location is Nelson with 336 hours in December 1934, and the least sunny location is Taumaranui with only 27 hours in June 2002.  

    Wind Gust: The highest wind gusts recorded in New Zealand were 250 km/h at Mt John, Canterbury on April 17, 1970 and 248 km/h at Hawkins Hill, Wellington on November 6, 1959, and July 4, 1962.

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    Climate change and Villach: What is the connection?

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Among the many climate science meetings I have attended, the most significant, at least in term of climate change is concerned, is my involvement in the UN sponsored International Conference held in the beautiful town Villach, in Austria in October 1985.

    One hundred experts from 30 countries attended the meeting (in contrast to ten to twenty thousand who now attend such meetings), and I was privileged to be the only New Zealander invited. We were all there as experts - and not representing our respective organisations - in various fields of science, endeavouring to do the best we could in looking at the complexities of climate science. 

    Among the principal findings of this conference was that "while other factors, such as aerosol concentration, changes in solar energy input, and changes in vegetation, may also influence climate, the greenhouse gases are likely to be the most important cause of climate change over the next century”.

    At that time, even though I was partly responsible for the writing of the above paragraph, I along with a few of my colleagues, had some misgivings about this phrase, and were somewhat surprised that within a year ‘human-induced global warming’ caught the imagination of much of the world. Indeed today, not a day goes by without some mention of ‘global warming’, climate change, emission trading schemes, etc, all terms which up until 1980 were the preserve of academic text books, as well as terms such as ‘emission trading schemes’, which were not even thought of until very recently.

    Despite this concern, a colleague of mine from Australia, Bill Kinninmonth, who in 2004 wrote a book called "Climate Change - A Natural Hazard" has mentioned to me on several occasions that I have changed from being the ‘gamekeeper’ and become the ‘poacher’. Whether that is true is a matter of opinion. However, irrespective of my personal views on the matter, it is clear that there are two main views held by climate scientists and others on the subject of global warming and climate change.

    First, those who are mainly involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and many or most government scientists, plus others, such as Al Gore, and many politicians and most journalists who consider that man, including domestic animals, is the prime cause of recent changes in the climate;

    Second, those - in the main some university scientists, many retired climatologists, and a minority of politicians and journalists, who consider that nature is the main cause of changes in the climate.

    Twenty years ago, it was unconceivable that the New Zealand Government would have a Minister of Climate Change; indeed back then, as weather forecasters and climatologists we just got on with our job of making the best possible weather forecast and providing the best climate advice to all those who requested information, without guidance or interference from the Government of the day. How things have changed!

    ********************************************************************************************************************************

    Global Annual Temperatures: 1880-2012

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Global annual temperatures for various areas including global (land-ocean), global (meteorological stations), three latitude bands, and hemispheric, are prepared by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA. 

    The global temperature graph shows little change in global temperatures since 2000. This compares with little change from 1880 to about 1910, a general warming from 1910 to the early 1940s, a cooling from the early 1940s to the mid 1970s, a warming from the mid 1970s to about 2000, and little change during the last decade.

    The likely causes of the cooling and the warming periods during the last 130 years are a combination of natural events (including solar activity,  volcanic activity, and ocean currents) and the increases in human induced and animal induced greenhouse gases. These and other causes of climate change will be discussed in a later WeatherEye.

    Since 1880, when comparative instrumental temperature records are available, the four coldest years according to the NASA site are 1890 and 1917 (both 0.39 degrees below the 1951-80 average), and 1877 and 1909 (both 0.35 degrees below the 1950-1980 average), and the four warmest years are 2010 (0.63 degrees above the 1951-80 average), 2005 (0.62 degrees above the 1951-80 average), and 1998 and 2007 (both 0.58 degrees above the 1950-80 average). The graph shows an increase in the global annual temperature, during the last 130 years, of about 0.8 degrees C. Some nations, and some people, may find this as either a risk, or an opportunity, or both. The implications of this will be discussed in a later WeatherEye.

     

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    Are we getting warmer or not?

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Global temperatures are compiled for various areas including global (land-ocean), global (meteorological stations), three latitude bands, and hemispheric, by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA.

    A graph of the global temperatures since 1890 shows a general warming from 1910 to the early ‘40s, a cooling from the early ‘40s to the mid ‘70s,  and a general warming from the mid ‘70s to about 2000. However since then, global monthly temperatures have been relatively steady with no real cooling or warming.

    The yearly global temperatures (expressed as differences from the 1951-80 average) since 1998 are:  1998,  +0.58 degrees; 1999, +0.33; 2000, +0.35; 2001, +0.48; 2002, +0.56; 2003, +0.56; 2004, +0.49; 2005, +0.62; 2006, +0.55; 2007 +0.58; 2008, +0.44, 2009, +0.57 ;  2010, +0.63 ; and 2011, +0.51 degrees.  

    The graph shows the monthly mean global surface temperature anomaly from the base period 1951-1980. The black line shows meteorological stations only; the dotted line is the land-ocean temperature index obtained from satellite measurements.

     

     *****************************************************************************

     

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Tauranga Temperatures 1913-2012

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites in the last 100 years including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.


    It is very common for areas such as Tauranga to have had different observation sites over the years and the readings from the earlier sites have been adjusted to the present site using "standard climatologically procedures".

    It is considered that the temperature series described here is a fair and true record of what the temperature would have been if the current observation site (Tauranga Airport) had been used throughout the period.

    It is important to note, that in considering “climate change”, the methodology used in computing an ‘official’ set of climate observations is very important as otherwise erroneous conclusions may be drawn.

    Traditionally, temperature observations have been recorded with a set of maximum and minimum temperature thermometers. These record the daily maximum temperature (usually recorded in mid-afternoon), and daily minimum temperature (usually recorded just before dawn).

    This analysis of temperatures for Tauranga are those for the average daily maximum temperatures. Later analyses will be for the average daily minimum temperatures.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (called simply "afternoon" from now on), for Tauranga from 1913-2011. Note that the years of 1942,1943,1947,1957,and 1964 are not included because of incomplete data.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature for Tauranga for is 19.0 degrees C. ranging from the "cool" years of 1976 and 1992 with an average afternoon temperature of 18.1 degrees C , and 1923 with an average afternoon temperature of 18.2 degrees C, to the "warm" years of 1916 (20.1 degrees C),1998 (20.0 degrees C), and 2010 (19.9 degrees C).

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures shows generally "normal" variations from year to year with the earlier years of the record (1914, 1915, 1916), and in particular the last few years (1998, 1999, 2010, 2011) being notably "warmer" than other years.

    From 1914 to 2011, there have been 15 years with an average afternoon temperature of 19.5 degrees or more, and 18 years with an average afternoon of 18.6 degrees or less.

    The value for 2012 was 19.4 degrees. The 11 "warmest" years ( in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are 1914, 1915, 1916, 1928, 1938, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2011, and 2012. In contrast the 10 "coolest" years (in terms of afternoon temperatures) on record, in chronological order, are 1918,1920,1923,1941,1945,1965,1976,1977,1980, and 1992.

     

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    Sunspots and the Maunder Butterfly

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The "Maunder Minimum" is the name given to the period from 1650 to 1700 when the number of sunspots (solar storms) became almost zero. 

    The period is named after the solar astronomer Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928) who while working at The Royal Observatory, Greenwich discovered the dearth of sunspots during the 1650-1700 period.

    During one 30 year period within the Maunder Minimum there were only about 50 sunspots compared with a more typical 40,000. This period coincided with an extremely cold period in Europe.

    Maunder was a driving force in the foundation of the British Astronomical Association, and was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    Throughout the solar cycle (of about 11 years) the latitude of sunspot occurrences varies with an interesting pattern. The chart shows the latitude of sunspot occurrence versus time (in years).

    Sunspots are typically confined to an equatorial belt (on the sun) between 35 degrees south and 35 degrees north latitude. At the beginning of a new solar cycle, sunspots tend to form at high latitudes, but as the cycle reaches a maximum (that is, a large numbers of sunspots) the spots form at lower latitudes.

    Near the minimum of the cycle, sunspots appear even closer to the equator, and as a new cycle starts again, sunspots again appear at high latitudes. This recurrent behaviour of sunspots gives rise to the “butterfly'' pattern shown.

    The reason for this sunspot migration pattern, understanding this pattern and how the Sun's internal magnetic field is generated, as well as the connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is a continuing area of research.

    Time will tell whether the sun will once again go into another Maunder Minimum within the lifetime of the present generation and what affect it will have on our climate.

    The Maunder Butterfly diagram shows the position of sunspots since 1950 and shows that these sunspots first form at mid-latitudes and then widen and move towards the solar equator as each solar cycle progresses.

     

     

    ******************************************************

    Central England:  Winters of last 2,000 years

    If you are feeling the cold this winter, you might be thankful that you were not around in 1565, when the Thames was frozen solid between Christmas Day and January 13 and Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed daily trips on the ice.

    This is a comment by reporter Andy Bloxham writing in the  UK Daily Telegraph  on December 26,2011, as well as the following extracts from the work of retired UK meteorologist Jim Rothwell which shows that at least in a part of the UK that there is really"nothing new under the sun".

    ****************** 
     
    Using a wide variety of sources, including some which less diligent researchers might have eschewed, Jim Rothwell, a retired meteorologist, has built what he believes to be the fullest study of weather across central England in existence.

    He has found striking examples of extreme weather going back hundreds of years.

    In 1357, after a dry early summer then downpours throughout the autumn, winter saw starving wolves prowling through Sherwood Forest, taking livestock and even threatening humans.

    The winter of 1458 saw a bridge destroyed over the river Trent because of floodwaters caused by melting ice which followed prolonged and heavy snowfall.

    In 1635, severe blizzards led to very deep snow with drifts up to 20ft deep in Lincolnshire.

    However, he had also found evidence of particularly mild winters.

    In 1607, in the reign of James I, flowers were reported to be in bloom on Christmas Day.

    Four hundred years earlier, in 1249, witnesses claimed the winter was so mild that there were “birds singing like it was spring”.

    The summer of 1375 is also noteworthy, as evidence shows the warm, dry weather lasted well into October.

    As is the rainy summer of 1315, which was so wet that on July 15 that it is thought to be the origin of the St Swithin’s Day belief that if it rains on that day, it will continue for 40 more.

    Mr Rothwell worked for the Met Office for 38 years but was also the expert forecaster for filming of the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball.

    On his retirement in 1989, he began to piece together everything that was known about central England’s weather, a roughly pear-shaped area which extends from the north Midlands to Winchester and London in the south.

    He chose the area as it is largely flat to make chronological comparison more relevant as hills create local weather patterns which are not necessarily representative of the weather for the country.

    Mr Rothwell, 80, who is also a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, has now compiled The Central England Weather Series, which begins at 56 BC in the era of Julius Caesar and is housed with Nottinghamshire County Council’s archives service.

    His sources, which number over 50, range from county council and university archives; to historical reference works, particularly those with pictures showing the weather in detail; to the writing of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, the 17th century diarists.

    He also used local newspapers to corroborate information and even used the library of De Bilt, a publication in Holland, to get weather reports for the Middle Ages.

    One of the quirks he had to overcome was the 11 days added to the calendar by the government in 1752 when England swapped the Julian calendar for the Gregorian to being it into line with the rest of Europe.

    Mr Rothwell, who has a Masters degree in climatology as well as degrees in history and geography, said his combination of skills had helped him in his research.

    He said: “I have used history books containing references to key periods in history as part of the research. If there was a photograph or image showing snow, I have pinpointed that date in the records.

    “There has been much analysis of data to ensure I have the truest record possible. For example, Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn had a tendency to exaggerate some of their descriptions of weather in their diaries.”

    Mr Rothwell said: “The records show that all sorts of unusual weather has occurred during all of the seasons in central England in the past.

    “People are alert to unusual weather patterns at the time they happen, but do tend to forget these exceptions as time goes on.”

    Mark Dorrington, of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: "This is a fantastic and comprehensive record of weather in Central England and we are privileged to have it in our archives.

    “The weather is always a fascination for people and this collection of records is a hidden gem, so we are delighted to let people know it is available.”

    Mr Rothwell’s work is open to the public free of charge at the Nottinghamshire Archives.

    TOP SIX EXTREME WINTERS

    1249 - An exceptionally mild winter, with “the birds singing like it was spring”, and some flowers coming out in January. Turned cold in April and May.

    1258 – A very wet and cool summer, leading to the failure of the crops and an appalling famine into winter which was one of the worst in English history, with 20,000 people starving to death in London alone. There were reports of people driven to eat the bark off trees.

    1357 – A dry summer, wet cold autumn and a bad winter, with widespread starvation and wolves prowling Sherwood forest.

    1458 - A very cold and snowy winter. The floodwater and ice floes destroyed a bridge over the Trent. In later years men were employed to break up the ice before the thaw.

    1565 - An extremely cold, long winter, with bad weather starting in December and lasting until March. Thames frozen from December 25 until January 13. Queen Elizabeth seen daily on the ice.

    1635 – In Gainsborough, Lincs, eight young men drowned in winter when skating on a Sunday in what was known locally as the Divine Tragedy as it was thought their deaths were a punishment for skating on a holy day. Later snows brought 20ft drifts

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    Global monthly temperatures in the last 15 years have been relatively steady with no real cooling or warming.


    Global temperatures are compiled for various areas including global (land-ocean), global (meteorological stations), three latitude bands, and hemispheric, by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA.

    A graph of the global temperatures since 1890 shows a general warming from 1910 to the early 1940s, a cooling from the early 1940s to the mid-1970s, and a general warming from the mid-1970s to about 1998. However, since then global monthly temperatures have been relatively steady with no real cooling or warming.

    The yearly global temperatures (expressed as differences from the 1951-80 average) since 1998 are:  1998, +0.58 degrees; 1999, +0.33; 2000, +0.35; 2001, +0.48; 2002, +0.56; 2003, +0.56; 2004, +0.49; 2005, +0.62; 2006, +0.55; 2007 +0.58; 2008, +0.44, 2009, +0.57 ;  2010, +0.63 ; 2011, +0.51 degrees; and 2012, 

    The graph shows the monthly mean global surface temperature anomaly from the base period 1951-1980. The black line shows meteorological stations only; the dotted line is the land-ocean temperature index obtained from satellite measurements.

    **************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    Is the Arctic Sea ice decreasing or increasing?

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    The University of Illinois compiles daily data of the extent of the Arctic sea ice. The data is available for any day from 1980 to the present; and allows a direct comparison between the extent of the Arctic sea ice on any two days during this period.

    The area of Arctic ice for each month from 2002 to today can also be seen on a website, produced by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. As shown in the graph below, during the last 10 years there has been decreases in the extent of Arctic sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere summer. However, the current NH summer season shows a reversal in this trend.

    Date for the Arctic sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere summer shows that 2012 had lowest extent of the ice (in recent times), followed by 2007 (second), 2011 (third), and 2008 (fourth). However, for 2013 the Arctic ice sheet increased considerably and is now (October 2013) back to the levels of the first decade of 2000.

    Time will tell whether this trend towards more ice in the Arctic will continue with its implications for among other things navigation

     

     

     

    ************************************************************

    Temperatures in Central England from 1650 to 2013

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Various people have been credited with the invention of the thermometer and Galileo Galilei seems to be the first in the early 1600s; with Robert Fludd in 1638 being the first to show a scale to the new invention.

    Thermometers, as we now know them, were then available to record air temperatures; and the first known temperatures were those recorded in England at about 1650.

    The graph below shows the central England surface air temperature series, which is the longest existing meteorological record. Thin lines show the annual values; and the thick lines show the running 11-year average. The graphs for the annual, summer and winter temperatures have been prepared using the composite monthly meteorological series, originally painstakingly homogenised and published by the late professor Gordon Manley in 1974. The data series is now updated by the UK’s Hadley Centre, and has been updated this month (October 2013).

    Among other things, the graphs show the cold of the 1660-1710 decades, associated with very low sunspot numbers; the 1815-1816, a “year without a summer”, associated with the Mount Tambora volcano in Indonesia; and the warming of the 1990-2000 decade.

    The graph is one of many from the website: http://climate4you.com

    It gives links to many official climate data websites, produced by NASA, NOAA, and The University of East Anglia, etc.

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    October Afternoon Temperatures 1914-2013

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    This year, Tauranga had its warmest October since records began in 1913.

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites in the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (called simply ‘afternoon’) for Tauranga for October from 1913-2013.

    The long-term average afternoon temperature in October for Tauranga is 18.1 degrees Celsius, ranging from the cool October months of 1964 (15.7 degrees Celsius), and 1992 (16.5 degrees Celsius), to the warm October months of 2013 (20.3 degrees Celsius), and 1915 (19.9 degrees Celsius).

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for October shows generally normal variations from October to October during the last 100 years. But of note, are the three warm Octobers in the consecutive years 1913, 1914 and 1915.

    The average October afternoon temperatures during the 50 years from 1963-2011 of 18 degrees Celsius is slightly cooler than the 18.3 degrees Celsius recorded in the 50 years from 1914-1961.

    From 1913 to 2013, there have been 12 October months with an average afternoon temperature of degrees Celsius or more; and eight October months have had an average afternoon temperature of 17 degrees Celsius or less.

    The four warmest October months (in terms of afternoon temperatures), on record, in chronological order, are 1913, 1915, 1940, and 2013.

    By contrast, the fifth coolest October months (in terms of afternoon temperatures), on record, in chronological order, are 1941, 1964, 1978, 1982, and 1992. 

    **************************************************************************************************************************************

    GLOBAL SURFACE TEMPERATURES 1850-2013  ...  Stable since 2000.

     

    Much has been written about what is happening to the global climate.

    The following diagram shows the trends in global surface temperatures during the 160 years from 1850.

    The graph shows a cooling from 1880 to 1895, a warming from 1915 to 1945, a cooling from 1945 to 1950, a warming from 1965 to 2000 – and stable temperatures since 2000.

    Global monthly average surface air temperature since 1850 – according to Hadley CRUT, a cooperative effort between the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in the UK – sees the blue line represent the monthly values.

    An introduction to the dataset has been published by Brohan et al. (2005). The base period is: 1961-1990. And, the last month shown is: December 2010. The diagram was last updated January 3, 2011.

    ************************************************************************************************

    Tauranga Annual Rainfalls 1898-2013

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

     Monthly rainfalls for Tauranga have been recorded at several recording sites during the last 114 years.

    From January 1898 to December 1904, the observation site was described as the Tauranga Harbour, from November 1904 to April 1907 the site was described as simply ‘Tauranga’. From January 1910 to December 1923 the site was Waikareao, in Otumoetai; from January 1924 to September 1940 the site was at 148 Waihi Rd, in Judea; from October 1940 to January 1941 the site was at Te Puna; and from February 1941 to now, the site is Tauranga Airport.

    The methodology use in adjusting the older sites to the current observing site is published in the ‘NZ Meteorological Service Miscellaneous Publication’ No 180 in 1984.

    It is considered that the homogeneous rainfall series described here is a fair and true record of what the rainfall would have been if the current observation site (Tauranga Airport) had been used since 1898, with the understanding that although standard accepted methodologies have been used, any adjustments are only estimates of what would have occurred if the location of the rainfall records had always been in the same place with the same surroundings and the same or similar recording gauge.

    In terms of climate change (such as is it getting wetter or drier, or warmer or colder), the methodology used in computing an ‘official’ set of climate observations is very important, as otherwise erroneous conclusions may be drawn.

    The long-term average rainfall for Tauranga for the calendar year is 1300mm, ranging from a low of 747mm in 2002, to a high of 2049mm in 1962.

    For comparison, the rainfall for the last year, 2013, was 1073mm, which made it the 20 driest year since observations began in 1898.

    Since 1898, there have been only four years with a rainfall of less than 900mm, they are 1914, 1982, 1993, and 2002.

    And there’s only been four years with a rainfall of more than 1800mm; they are the two consecutive years of 1916 and 1917, plus 1938 and 1962.

    The wettest years on record are: 1962 which had 2049mm or 57 per cent above of the long-term average, while 1917 had 1985mm or 52 per cent above average. Also, 1916 had 1941mm or 49 per cent above average, plus 1938 (1817mm), 1920 (1789mm), 1956 (1777mm), 1979 (1730mm), 2011 (1696mm), 2005 (1682mm), and 1935 (1670mm).

    In chronological order, these wettest years occurred in 1916, 1917, 1920, 1935, 1938, 1956, 1962, 1979, 2005 and 2011.

    In contrast, the 10 driest years on record are: 2002 (747mm or 48 per cent below the long-term average), 1914 (773mm or 41 per cent below the long-term average), 1982 (842mm or 36 per cent below the long-term average), plus 1993 (863mm), 1906 (950mm), 1919 (962mm), 1997 (978mm), 1973 (989mm), 1986 (991mm), and 1999 (1002mm).

    In chronological order, these driest years occurred in 1906, 1914, 1919, 1973, 1982, 1986, 1993, 1997, 1999, and 2002.

    ********************************

    Tauranga’s Warmest Year is 2013

     

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    During 2013, Tauranga had it warmest year ( in terms of average afternoon temperatures) since records began in 1914.

    Temperatures have been recorded in the Tauranga area at several sites in the last 100 years, including the current Tauranga Airport site from June 1990.

    The graph shows details of the average daily maximum temperatures (called simply ‘afternoon’), for Tauranga for the years 1914-2013.


    The long-term average afternoon temperatures for Tauranga for a calendar year is 18.6 degrees Celsius, ranging from the cool years of 18.1 degrees Celsius in 1976, 18.1 degrees Celsius in 1992, 18.2 degrees Celsius in 1923, and 18.3 degrees Celsius in 1918

    Tauranga’s warm years are: 20.2 degrees Celsius in 2013, 20.1 degrees Celsius in 1916, 20 degrees Celsius in 1998, and 19.9 degrees Celsius in 2010.

    As noted above, 2013 was the warmest year on record, with an average afternoon temperature of 20.2 degrees Celsius.

    Since 1914, there have been only 10 calendar years with an average afternoon temperature of 19.6 degrees Celsius or more. In chronological order these years are: 1914, 1915, 1916, 1928, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2012, and 2013.  

    In comparison, there have been 11 calendar years with an average afternoon temperature of 18.5 degrees Celsius or less. In chronological order these years are: 1918, 1920, 1923, 1941, 1945, 1965, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1991, and 1992.

    The graph of the average afternoon temperatures for the years 1914-2013 shows generally normal variations from year to year from 1915 to the mid-1990s, followed by several years of above-average temperatures.

    The average afternoon temperature shows a warming of about 0.8 degrees Celsius during the 50 years from 1963-2013 (of 19 degrees Celsius), compared with 18.2 degrees Celsius during the 50 years from 1914-1962.


    **********************************************************

    GROUNDHOG DAY  February 2

     

    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a popular tradition in the United States. It is also a legend that traverses many centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates.

    Myths such as this tie our present to the distant past, when nature did indeed influence our lives –and to many, nature is still influencing out lives. It is also the day the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.

    Tradition has it if the groundhog sees his shadow, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole. But, if the day is cloudy and, hence, shadow less, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.

    The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe. It marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important. And according to an old English Song:

    “If Candlemas be fair and bright,

    Come, winter, have another flight;

    If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,

    Go winter, and come not again.”

    The Roman legions, supposedly brought this tradition to the Teutons, or Germans, who picked it up and concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal, the hedgehog, would cast a shadow; thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather, which they interpolated as the length of the ‘Second Winter’.

    In the United States, Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were Germans and they found groundhogs in profusion in many parts of the State. They determined the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal; and therefore decided if the sun did appear on February 2nd, this wise animal would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.

    The Germans thus recited:

    “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,

    So far will the snow swirl until the May”.

    This passage may be the one most closely-represented by the first Punxsutawney Groundhog Day observances because there were references to the length of shadows in early Groundhog Day predictions. The ancient Candlemas legend and similar belief continue to be recognised annually on February 2nd, due to the efforts of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

    Early observances of Phil’s (the Groundhog) predictions were conducted privately in the wooded areas around the town. The celebration today sees thousands of visitors from worldwide as revellers await Phil’s appearance.

    The ‘Punxsutawney Spirit’ newspaper is credited with printing the news of the first observance in 1886.

    “Today is groundhog day, and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen his shadow.”

    In 1993, Columbia Pictures released the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. In the years following the release of the movie, record crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney.

    Punxsutawney Phil gets his longevity from drinking “groundhog punch”. One sip, which is administered every summer at the Groundhog Picnic, gives him seven more years of life.

    And, contrary to the media, Phil’s forecasts are not made in advance by the Inner Circle. After Phil emerges from his burrow on February 2nd, he “speaks” to the Groundhog Club President in Groundhogs. His proclamation is then translated for the world.

    This year, the handlers for groundhog Punxsutawney Phil said he’s forecasting six more weeks of what already has felt like a brutally long and cold winter.

    The US National Weather Service notes that the Punxsutawney Groundhog Day predictions have been right 10 times and wrong 15 times since 1988.

    “The groundhog has shown no talent for predicting the arrival of spring, especially in recent years,” according to the Weather Service. “Phil’s competitor groundhogs across the Nation fared no better.”

    However, I am sure that you, and many others, may well choose to believe the prediction of the famous Groundhog.

    *****************************

    Global temperatures 1880-2013 – are we really getting warmer?


    Weather Eye
    with John Maunder

    Global temperatures are compiled for various areas, including global (land-ocean), global (meteorological stations), three latitude bands, and hemispheric, by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA.

    A graph of the global temperatures (for the land/ocean) from 1880 to 2013, show a general warming from 1910 to the early 1940s, a cooling from the early 1940s to the mid-1970s; and a general warming from the mid-1970s to about 1998.

    However, since then, global annual temperatures have been relatively steady with no real cooling or warming.

    The yearly global temperatures (expressed as differences from the 1951-1980 average), since 1998 are:

    1998:   +0.58 degrees Celsius

    1999:   +0.33 degrees Celsius

    2000:   +0.35 degrees Celsius

    2001:   +0.48 degrees Celsius

    2002:   +0.56 degrees Celsius

    2003:   +0.56 degrees Celsius

    2004:   +0.49 degrees Celsius

    2005:   +0.62 degrees Celsius

    2006:   +0.55 degrees Celsius

    2007:   +0.58 degrees Celsius

    2008:   +0.49 degrees Celsius

    2009:   +0.59 degrees Celsius

    2010:   +0.66 degrees Celsius

    2011:   +0.55 degrees Celsius

    2012:   +0.57 degrees Celsius

    2013:   +0.60 degrees Celsius

     

    The green bars show the uncertainty estimates at various times.

     

     





    **********************************************************************************************************************

    KEY POINTS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

    1.Communities and businesses and individuals should always live within their climatic income - both now and in the future.

    2. There are always surprises in science, and the science of climate change will probably never be fully understood.

    3. It is not always true that the climate we have now (wherever we live) is the best one ... some people (and animals and crops) may prefer it to be wetter, drier, colder, or warmer. However, some species which have adapted well to their current climate may not be able to adapt to a future climate if the rate of change to that climate is too fast.

    4. Climatic variations and climatic changes from WHATEVER cause (i.e. human induced or natural) clearly create risks, but also provide real Opportunties.

    5.  It is important that we should "clean-up" the environment by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, but we should do so because in most cases it makes good economic  and social sense to do so. If, by so doing we ALSO produce a "better" climate, then we will all be winners, but we should NOT expect to be able to "control" the climate.  

    6. One should always be aware that if it is really "Nature" and not "Man" in "control" of our climate,  then our only choice ( as has always been the case ) will be  to adapt to whatever "Nature" provides, and our ability to control such changes will be minimal if not zero.

    7. The need to forecast the changes that will occur in the climate of the future and in particular how the current climate will vary over the next 10 to 20 years remains paramount, and the best climate-scientific brains are required to prepare all countries for whatever the future climate will be.
     
     

    Politics is ruining the debate

    Posted on 16th Jan 2010 00:00 | By Andrew Campbell andrew@thesun.co.nz

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

     

    Tauranga resident and climate scientist John Maunder says the politicisation of the climate change issue is ruining the debate on it. In 1985 there were about 100 people at a World Meteorological Organization meeting which John believes is the beginning of the manmade climate change debate.

     

     


    John Maunder and the weather dice.

    “I was the only one from New Zealand at that meeting,” says John.
    “Our job was to put climate issues to them in words the politicians can understand. In many ways I regret some of the words I wrote. Think the politicians have taken it lock stock and barrel.”


    The polarisation and politicising of climate change from a debate into a belief system has seen many scientists muzzled, says John.
    “It takes a bold person to be questioning the IPCC (inter-government panel on climate change) movement because if they are not in favour, they don’t get much funding,” says John.


    “These days there are two camps in this whole climate area. In simple terms, most of the people who are supporting man made climate change - the IPCC’s argument, most of these people are working for governments round the world.
    “Most governments are following what the official climate agencies are saying. The people who have a bit of concern about this are mostly like myself, who are retired. We have no axe to grind, and we are not being paid by anyone.
    “We think of things differently mainly because we have seen things in the past. There’s nothing new under the sun in terms of climate.”
    Mark Twain said ‘climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.’ John blames it on the weather dice.


    The weather dice appeared on the cover of his 1986 book, “The Uncertainty Business: Risks and opportunities in weather and climate.”


    “The weather’s always changing, the climate’s always changing,” says John.
    “The weather dice decide. Something happens to make the weather dice come down in a certain way and we would have very little control over the weather dice.”


    Any committee that sets out to state how global climate is to be controlled, or an average temperature kept within two degrees, is behaving similarly to the early English King Canute who set an example for his bragging courtiers by decreeing the tide stop, to “let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings”.


    Now retired, John is an adviser for the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, a website whose contributors audit and provide balance to the statements coming out on the global warming debate.

    *********************************************************************************************************

  • The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition mission is to represent accurately, and without prejudice, facts regarding climate change; to provide considered opinion on matters related to both the natural and human-caused climate effects; and to comment on the economic and socio-political consequences of climate change. Their website is updated daily. See http://www.nzclimatescience.org.nz
  • A recent example of what is on their very extensive web site is the following:


     Leighton Smith, radio talkback host, of NewstalkZB, New Zealand tells why he is a "global warming" skeptic: 


      Global warming has nothing to do with how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced or what we do here on earth. For millions of years, solar activity has been controlling temperatures on earth and, even now, the sun controls how high the mercury goes. CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another. Soon it will cool down anyhow, once again, regardless of what we do. Every scientist knows this but it doesn’t pay to say so.
    — Professor Kunihiko Takeda PhD, Vice Chancellor, Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University, Japan

    The science of climate change is far less developed than alarmists want us to know. In spite of massive amounts, tens of billions of dollars, spent around the globe on research, conferences and propaganda, the scientific establishment is a long way from understanding how it all works. Theories abound, but that’s all they are. Anyone who claims the science is settled on global warming is a liar or a danger to themselves.

    The great global warming debate (or scam) has taught me a lot about human nature, reason, critical thinking and the bandwagon effect. I have also learned much about ‘appeal to authority’ and that the path to truth can be easy or difficult depending on how it’s approached. Many, if not most, of us accept as ‘gospel’ what we are told by those who (we presume) know more than us. Science is baffling to the untrained and we want simple but definitive answers to problems that confront us. But I learned through the prostate experience that it doesn’t always work like that. No doctor would tell me what to do. Presented with a series of options and possible outcomes, it was my prerogative to weigh those up myself. It taught me that statistics can be misinterpreted and results manipulated.

    Predictions are not facts and you need to do your own homework.

    So if you are a believer that global warming/climate change is man-made, why do you believe that? Chances are because the vast majority of scientists say so (97 per cent) because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says so and because you see facts, opinions and propaganda in the media on a regular basis — think pictures of cuddly polar bears on an ice cube (a fraudulent depiction, by the way). And then there are all the spooky predictions, the movies and the bandwagon celebrities. And those very few sceptical scientists are in the pay of the big oil companies. As it happens, most of this is rubbish.

    There is no consensus on consensus. The 97 per cent or vast majority is a manufactured myth. The IPCC is not a scientific body but a United Nations subjugate established on the basis that global warming is man-made. Views critical of that are unwelcome, no matter their validity. The mainstream media discredited itself long ago with regard to objective, analytical and investigative reporting on this subject. The New Zealand media has become professional at betraying their purpose. Predictions become facts and headlines rule.

    One of the science world’s leading brains, Freeman Dyson, in his book A Many-Colored Glass says this: "So it happens that the (scientific) experts who talk publicly about politically contentious questions tend to speak more clearly than they think. They make confident predictions about the future and end up believing their own predictions. Their predictions become dogmas which they do not question. The public is led to believe that the fashionable scientific dogmas are true and it may sometimes happen that they are wrong."

    That is why heretics who question the dogmas are needed. When I make predictions I am not speaking as a scientist but as a storyteller …

    There is another way of putting all this: it is ‘behaviour control’. In the late 1980s I referred to something called ‘political correctness’. When callers responded they seemed to have no idea what I was talking about. Then I would get from callers, ‘That’s in America; it’ll never happen here.’ But happen it did and far more effectively than most people realise. Political correctness has stymied our humour, restricted commentary and shackled free speech. Terms like racist and sexist can destroy reputations and careers, no matter their validity. Now it’s not so much the intent of the speaker or writer but the sensitivity of the hearer or reader. Multiculturalism is PC’s sibling and global warming is from the same incestuous family.

    In the early days when I followed the advance of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), it was easy to see why its advocates latched onto it. I recall a conversation on the programme with a listener. She was asking why it was being promoted if, as I was saying, it was bogus. I replied, ‘Power and money.’ Power and control for those regulators from local council, through national governments all the way to the United Nations. And money through both taxation and trading in carbon credits — money out of thin air. Enron, that corrupt and now bankrupt company, was the first to have the idea of carbon trading and they would control it.

    CO2 is related to almost everything we do, beginning with breathing. Control of CO2 output would be the ultimate political power. The UN would like an international CO2 tax (carbon tax if you like) that it would administer and benefit from. Al Gore talks of international governance, and he is not alone. So too does Helen Clark.

    Surrender to that and New Zealand, along with other countries, is in danger of losing its sovereignty and with that its democracy, such as it is. If it’s examples you want, just look to Britain and its relationship with the European Union. Even in the home of the brave and the land of the free, the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Obama has increased its power dramatically. A director has more power than a cabinet secretary, circumventing Congress and the Constitution. It really is extraordinary.

    While conspiracy theories run rampant, I’m not a subscriber. Well, certainly not the extreme conspiracies. Of course, what’s extreme depends on your starting point. My view is most compatible with that expressed by Dr David Evans, mathematician and engineer, in his article "Climate Coup — The Politics" (2012):

    "The theory of man-made global warming is not a conspiracy. It is a confluence of vested interests in increased political regulation of the economy and reflecting market forces: bureaucrats, academics, government scientists, utilities, renewable manufacturers, bankers, most politicians — all these have a shared financial interest in imposing their solutions to manmade global warming."

    The bandwagon effect
    I have been intrigued to watch in New Zealand the bandwagon effect over the last few years: companies, both public and private, professionals of all kinds and individuals, jumping on the wagon. No one wants to be left behind. Most simply accept unquestioningly the ‘authority’ approach. So we have groups for this and committees for that and every business involved gets a ‘green’ sticker.

    I have friends, very good friends, who have a thriving business dealing locally and internationally. After Al Gore was here in 2007, pressure forced them to adopt ‘green’ regulations — sustainability, green miles, etc, etc. They willingly contracted a green consultant who made presentations to staff and gave business advice. ‘No, no,’ they said to my advice, ‘we want to.’ It wasn’t long before things changed. ‘This is ridiculous,’ they said. ‘It’s costing so much money — for nothing.’ And so they terminated the ‘advisor’ and, guess what, the sky didn’t fall and business carried on as normal.

    It became obvious to me that scientists are not above the fray (particularly climate scientists). They are just as much as any other grouping capable of self-deception, if not cheating, lying, fraud and corruption in order to protect their patch. Not for a moment do I mean to implicate all, but there are examples of leading climate scientists guilty of the above. Why? Refer to the earlier comments of physicist Freeman Dyson. As another said, ‘Scientists are no longer in the image of Einstein or Pasteur. Most are journeymen of no exceptional ability.’

    What changed then? Money, and truckloads of it. In the 20-year period from 1989 to 2009, the United States devoted $79 billion to climate-change research. To find out how it came to that we need to go back to 1975. Anthropologist Margaret Mead became known for her 1928 book on the sex lives of Samoans (although claims of fraud developed after her death in 1978). In 1975 she organised a conference where, it is suggested, the present climate debate began, ignoring the fact that discovery of the ‘greenhouse effect’ goes back to the 1820s.

    What is relevant is that also attending the conference were Stephen Schneider, Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren. All three are prominent in the present battle over climate change. John Holdren serves as President Obama’s science czar; Ehrlich was author of an influential book in 1968, The Population Bomb, which has been criticised for inaccurate predictions, but he still continues to have major believability and influence today. And Schneider was promoting an ice age at the time but became a leading alarmist for warming. He died in 2010.

    The 1975 conference, it could be said, was the beginning of the fraud. It is when the politicisation of climate warming began. Also attending was Dr James Lovelock, who in the 1970s invented the Gaia theory. Lovelock produced all sorts of alarmist predictions along the lines of, ‘Before the century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people who survive will be in the Arctic, where the climate remains tolerable.’ Exactly the sort of headline the mainstream media loves to exploit, along with appropriate dramatic pictures. But guess what? Lovelock more recently recanted. He noted how the science of global warming is in its infancy and, ‘we haven’t got the physics worked out yet.’

    In 2007 filmmaker Martin Durkin released his documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle. It was designed to be the silver bullet to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient TruthSwindle was not perfect, but neither was Inconvenient. In fact, I believe Swindle was the greater truth. The version of Swindle shown in New Zealand had some mistakes removed by Durkin.

    Billed as New Zealand’s best-known sceptic by Prime Television, I took part in a post-Swindle debate — two climate scientists, Professor Martin Manning and Dr David Wratt, along with Greenpeace activist Cindy Baxter; on the ‘climate realist’ side were Professor Willem de Lange and me. It was loaded from the outset three to two; however, Willem and I  accounted for the sceptics rather well, or so I’m told.

    I doubt if anyone watching changed their pre-set mind, but if they did it would have been a victory for the sceptics. As it happened, I had the last word in which I emphasised that there was no consensus and, importantly, carbon dioxide was essential for life and was not a pollutant. The debate was filmed and I was overseas when it went to air, so I’ve never seen the finished product. The Swindle documentary was shown on Sky TV New Zealand (as well as the BBC and ABC Australia) and attracted complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority but they were not upheld. Vote one for free speech.

    But such is the influence of political correctness that the above is a rarity; which leads to the role of media and journalism. Much, if not most, of what is called mainstream media is guilty of dereliction of duty. In some cases pure dishonesty seems to be editorial policy. In others, utter ignorance; but many media outlets have been captured by activists. And it’s probably no surprise that the AGW debate breaks down along political lines — those who want to expand the role and power of government versus those who don’t (with some exceptions).

    Failures in journalism
    Journalism in general falls short. It is quite usual to see a television interview of a climate scientist by a reporter not long out of media school. Patsy questions, no challenges and there you are: the world is about to reach Armageddon. It is hardly the reporter’s fault; their knowledge of the subject is basically restricted to the brainwashing they’ve been schooled in.

    And there’s the ‘authoritarian’ acceptance. Whenever I read a ‘science is settled’ authoritarian comment, I wait for an explanation from a worthwhile sceptic (and there’re plenty of them). If you accept the ‘settled’ attitude, journalism will become redundant — at least the analytical kind will.

    Television news continues to be consistently guilty of misrepresentation, as do newspapers. Any climate story continues to be accompanied by misrepresentative pictures of chimney stacks ‘pouring out pollution’. It is actually steam — water vapour — and it is not pollution, but what the heck, it looks great. It is the same with your cuddly polar bears on ice cubes.

    Newspapers are great at reprinting press releases, be they from NIWA, government departments, Greenpeace and particularly the Green Party. There is rarely any journalism involved. And some newspapers have been conned by the ‘authoritarians’ to exclude, almost, any sceptical opinion, because ‘the science is settled’. Question: if the science is settled, why the need to keep pouring billions of dollars into research?

    Before I leave the media, radio is just as capable of regurgitating the party line. Editors and journalists alike could do worse than recognise the words of ‘Mr Gaia’, James Lovelock, who told MSNBC, ‘We don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to more alarmist books, mine included — because it looked clear cut — but it hasn’t happened.’

    Then to the words of one of New Zealand’s most qualified climate scientists. ‘We don’t all subscribe to the alarmist theory. Some of us just prefer to keep our heads down. We appreciate the stand you have taken.’ He and I and one other science professor were having a conversation at a function in 2012. To be fair, I don’t think he was a total sceptic but certainly of the ‘science far from settled’ camp.

    The climate-gate email scandal that broke in 2009 revealed much about the way players in this game work, including their methodology of shutting down those who question the cause. Just ask Auckland University Associate Professor Chris de Freitas. The treatment he received was appalling, but typical. NIWA’s Jim Salinger was involved in a subtle but ham-fisted attempt to discredit de Freitas at Auckland University. Correspondence between Salinger and the rest of the ‘clique’ caused a number of prominent and senior climate scientists, including the esteemed American climatologist Dr Judith Curry, to review their stance.

    I would love to have a New Zealand equivalent of Lawrence Solomon, ‘a world renowned environmentalist, author and activist’ at the forefront of movements to stop nuclear power expansion and to save the world’s rainforests. Solomon did a series of columns on ‘denier’ scientists for the Toronto National Post. Those columns led to a book called The Deniers (2008) — the world-renowned scientists who stood up against the global warming hysteria, political persecution and fraud.

    I recommend it to anyone wanting a real grip on the science and why it is far from understood, let alone settled.

    I have 40 acres just outside Auckland. I have seven acres of grapevines and make some pretty good wine. I have planted over 3000 trees in addition to the five acres of native subtropical forest. I have fenced off the wetland parts to protect them from cattle. So by default, I guess, I’m an unofficial environmentalist. But I can see fraud when it’s about. In my opinion, Al Gore is the high priest of fraud.

    In 2011 one of the most respected viticultural scientists published a seminal work — Wine, Terroir and Climate Change. This work by Dr John Gladstones was described by leading Australian winemaker Brian Croser thus: ‘John Gladstones’ intricately researched understanding of climate mechanisms and history, geology, soil and biology has created a welcome antidote to climate hysteria.’ I’m with Croser.

    Being in the minority, as a climate change sceptic, isn’t the most popular position to hold and from a radio content point of view the subject may not have universal appeal. Yet, I know I broadcast to an intelligent audience who relish critical thinking. What’s more, the bandwagoners, authority believers and alarmists need a radio counterpoint and when it comes to the many falsities that emerge on this subject, someone needs to take them to task. It is fun doing it.

    © Beyond the Microphone by Leighton Smith


     
     
     


     
    J

     

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    WEB SITES and OTHER REFERENCES

    1. Temperature, Rainfall, Solar/Sunspots, Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice, and Sea Level Data

    2. The "Official" Viewpoint (UN FCCC, IPCC, NIWA etc) on "Climate Change/Warming"

    3. Sources questioning the "Official" Viewpoint on "Global warming" 

    4. Other Related Sites (not otherwise cited

    ************************************************************************************************************ 

     The following web sites and references reflect data/views on "climate science ... global warming" 
     
    **********************************************************************************
    1.  TEMPERATURE, RAINFALL, SOLAR/SUNSPOTS, ARCTIC and ANTARCTIC SEA ICE, and SEA LEVEL DATA
     
    Global Temperatures
     
     For the latest temperature data - and historical data to date - for various including areas including global (land-ocean), global (meteorological stations), three latitude bands, hemispheric, and the United States, prepared by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA, see: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/
     
     The "global temperature graph" shows little change in global temperature since  1998.  The yearly global temperatures (expressed as  differences from the 1951-80 average) since 1998 are (all above average) are: 1998,  0.61 degrees; 1999, 0.39; 2000, 0.40; 2001, 0.52; 2002, 0.60; 2003, 0.59; 2004, 0.52; 2005, 0.65; 2006, 0.59; 2007 0.62; 2008, 0.49, 2009, 0.59 degrees;  2010, 0.66 degrees; 2011, 0.54 degrees, 2012 +0.56 degrees.   Since 1880 when comparative temperature records are available, the four coldest years according to the NASA site are 1890 and 1917 (both 0.39 degrees below average), and 1877 and 1909  (both -0.35 degrees below average), and the two warmest years are 2005, 0.65 degrees above average, and 2010,  0.66 degrees above avaerge..
     
    The actual "global monthly mean surface temperature" deviations from the above web site shows that - for land and ocean meteorological stations - the three 'warmest' months  from January 1997 to June 2011 are:  February 1998 (1.01degrees above average), March 2002 (0.99 degrees above average), and January 2007 (1.09 degrees above average), whereas the three 'coldest' months are July 1997 (0.19 degrees above average), January 2000 (0.13 degrees above average), and July 2004 ( 0.19 degrees above average) .
     
    The monthly values for 2008 (all above the 1951-80 average) are: January 2008 was 0.35 degrees, February  0.31 degrees, March 0.66 degrees, April 0.52 degrees, May 0.43 degrees, June 0.37 degrees, July 0.64 digress, August 0.36 degrees, September 0.70 degrees, October 0.67 degrees, November 0.75 degrees, and December 0.57 degrees. 
     
     For 2009, the values to date ( all above the 1951-80 average) are: January 0.65 degrees, February 0.66 degrees,  March 0.59 degrees, April 0.66 degrees, May 0.71 degrees, June 0.77 degrees, July 0.74 degrees, August 0.73 degrees, September +0.87 degrees, October 0.72 degrees, November 0.77 degrees, and December 0.64 degrees .
     
     For 2010, the values to date are: January  +0.90 degrees,  February +0.97 degrees, March +1.05 degrees, April +0.87 degrees, May +0.88 degrees, June +0.78 degrees, July +0.67 degrees, August +0.75 degrees, September +0.79 degrees, October +0.86 degrees, November +0.95 degrees, December +0.55 degrees. 
     
    For 2011, the values are: January +0.63 degrees, February +0.53 degrees, March +0.65 degrees, April +0.71 degrees, May +0.55 degrees, June +0.65 degrees, July +0.73 degrees, August +0.89 degrees, September +0.75 degrees, October +0.76 degrees, November +0.73 degrees, December +0.74 degrees.
     
     For 2012. the values are: January +0.58 degrees, February +0.51 degrees, Mach +0.67 degrees., April +0.77 degrees, May +0.92 degrees, June +0.70 degrees, July +0.59 degrees, August +0.86, September +0.86 degrees, October +0.90 degrees, November +0.91 degrees, December +0.44 degrees.
     
    For 2013 the valuse are: January +0.62 degrees, February +0.53 degrees, March +0.60 degrees, April +0,51 degrees, May +0.56 degrees, June +0.67 degrees, July +0.54 degrees, August +0.61 degrees, September +0.74 degrees, October +0.61 degrees, November +0.78 degrees, December+0.60 degrees. 
     
    *********************************************
     JUne
    The monthly mean global surface temperatures from January 1996 to Jume 2015 from the above NASA web site are shown below. 
     
     As shown there has been very little change - either warmer or cooler - since 1998 except for "normal" month to month variations.

    Fig C



    Fig C




     
     
     
     
     
    **********************************************
     
    The  mean global land-ocean temperatures from 1880 to 2014 from the above NASA web site are shown below.  


    Fig A2



     

     
     
    ***********************************************************************************************************
     
    The Hemispheric temperature changes since 1880 from the above NASA web site ( updated to January 2015) are shown below.
     
     
    Fig A3
     

     
     
     
     
    The latest global average temperatures of the troposphere - those observed from NOAA satellites, as computed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) are available at: Http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ . The shows that since 1979, when reliable satellite observations have been available, there has been little overall change (colder or warmer) in the temperatures in troposphere, except for a small warming trend. The values on the graph are expressed as a deviation from the average for the period 1979-1998.  The warmest deviation values of +0.75 degrees C occurred in 1998 during the pounced  El Nino event, and the coolest deviation values of -0.40 degrees C  occurred in 1992/93 following the Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption.

    The graph of the values from the above web site updated to January 2015 areshown below.


    UAH_LT_1979_thru_January_2015_v5

    UAH_LT_1979_thru_September_2014_v5

    UAH_LT_1979_thru_February_2014_v5
    UAH_LT_1979_thru_January_2014_v5.6
    UAH_LT_1979_thru_December_2013_v5.6
     UAH_LT_1979_thru_November_2013_v5.6
    UAH_LT_1979_thru_October_2013_v5.6
     
    UAH_LT_1979_thru_September_2013_v5.6
     
     UAH_LT_1979_thru_August_2013_v5.6
    UAH_LT_1979_thru_July_2013_v5.6
     
    Arctic Sea Ice
     
    The University of Illinois compiles daily data of the extent of the Arctic sea ice. Daily data is available for any day from 1980 to the present. The web site  http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm  allows a direct comparison between the extent of the Arctic sea ice on any two days during this period.  
     
    The area of Arctic ice for each day/month from 2002 to today can been seen on the following web site produced by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.  As shown, during the last 10 years there has been decreases in the extent of Arctic sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere smmer.  
     
    Date for the Arctic sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere summer shows that 2012 was lowest extent of the ice, followed by 2007 (second), 2011 (third), and 2008 (fourth). For 2013 the Arctic ice sheet increased considerably and is now (October 2013) back to the levels of the first decade of 2000.
     
     
     
     
    A graph showing the extent of the Arctic Sea ice for each year from 2002 to October 5, 2014 from the above web site is shown below.


    Arctic Sea Ice Extent








     

     

     
     
     
     
    The web site "Arctic sea ice news and analysis" produced by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado shows  that in December 2011 the Arctic sea ice extent was 12.38 million square kilometers which was the third lowest since satellite observations were available in 1979.  This value is 970,000 square kilometers below the 1979 to 2000 average. See http://nside.org/arcticseaicenews/
     
     
     









     
    Global Temperatures
     
    The website http://climate4you.com is a comprehensive web site which gives links to many official climate data web sites produced by NASA, NOAA, The University of East Anglia. etc

    Updated to October 2014

    Getting things into perspective:  The BIG picture    2
     Surface temperatures (GISS) for the YEAR 2013 compared to average 1998-2006:  72N-60S   Arctic   Antarctic 22
     Surface temperatures (GISS) for AUGUST 2014 compared to average 1998-2006:  72N-60S   Arctic   Antarctic 2 
     Latest global monthly temperature estimate:  UAH   RSS   HadCRUT   NCDC   GISS  2
     Change over time of global monthly temperature estimates:   UAH   RSS   HadCRUT   NCDC   GISS   C2
     CO2 and global monthly surface temperature estimates:   CO2   HadCRUT   NCDC   GISS
     Sea surface temperature estimates:   UAH   HadSST   NCDC     2
     Sea level:    SeaLevelChange   SeaLevelChangeRate   2
     Sea ice extension: Arctic and Antarctic:   NSIDCnow   IRAC-JAXAnow   NSIDCsince1978  Arctic sea ice thickness and -drift:   ACNFS    2
     Snow cover:   Northern hemisphere   Europe-Asia   Alaska-Canada  USA-Canada  NorthernHemisphereSince19662 

    For those who want a more comprehensive, but still rapid monthly or annual update, click in the appropriate cell in the table below for download:

    YEARJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDECANNUAL
    2014updateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdate     
    2013updateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdate
    2012updateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdate
    2011updateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdate
    2010updateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdate
    2009  updateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdate

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    Click here for information about book on climate published 30 November 2009. Now also as e-book.

     

    About this web site: Climate4you

    The objective is to provide information on meteorological and climatologically issues of general and specific interest. 

    The purpose is to assist reflective people to form a personal opinion on meteorological and climate matters. The purpose is not to provide a forum for discussions, as there are many fine web sites providing excellent possibilities for this.

    It is definitely not the purpose to encourage a passive personal approach by providing a list of 'correct' answers to a list of 'key' questions, but rather to stimulate active, personal thought and analysis. The motto of the Royal Society of Great Britain: nullius in verba - take nobody's word for it, is still highly relevant.

    The main emphasis of the present web site is therefore to provide the interested reader with data and other information on meteorology and climate. Climate change information needs to be both accurate and undistorted, and analysis unemotional. Respecting the notion that information always should be the starting point for personal thought, analysis and interpretation, links to information sources (digital and written) are provided throughout the web site. 

    The least objective part of the present web site is presumably the section on 'Climate Reflections', which is constructed around some of the webmaster's personal interpretations of certain data series. A slightly longer essay (in Norwegian) on the general climate theme can be downloaded by clicking here. An updated version of this text has been published as a book and e-book.

    Some debates, books and other initiatives relating to global climatic changes, appears to be somewhat frustrated by an apparent lack of basic knowledge on updated meteorological conditions and their variations across time and space. Also when it comes to the likely effects of climate change, the lessons of history often appear to be unknown or forgotten. In Europe it is only little more than 200 years since the recognition that Earth is a dynamic planet began to transpire as a result of basic geological research. Previously, in Europe it was widely believed that Earth essentially was unchanging, and only about 6000 years old according to a study of the Bible by James Ussher (1581-1656), the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland. Today it is equally easy to forget that it is only about 160 years since about one million people in Europe died of starvation and epidemic diseases because of climate-induced harvest failures

    The recent focus on climate change has resulted in an increased awareness that climate is not as constant as it may have appeared previously. In this context, even the most extreme and divergent forecasts of future climate may have done some good. This is, however, a situation that should not continue much longer, as it confuses and disillusionates political decision-makers and the general public about the value of so-called ‘climate experts’. In addition, the initial humble scientific attempts of modelling the future climate have unfortunately developed into a large-scale example of groupthink with its own dynamics, making informed political judgment difficult.

    Air temperature remains a central theme in discussions on global climate change, and admirable attempts to estimate the global temperature have been published by different research teams or -institutions. However, a number of issues relating to obtaining representative measurements of surface air temperature still remains, especially in or near areas affected by urban development. Even in Arctic regions it might be difficult to obtain representative air temperature measurements, despite all professional efforts. Also the varying degree of temporal stability displayed by the various global temperature records deserves attention. 

    The difficulty of identifying a new climatic trend deviating from a background of natural variations is therefore real and constitutes an important difficulty for both scientists and policy-makers. As an example: Is it possible to conclude that the late 20th century global temperature increase is unique in relation to previous temperature increases? Or could it just as well represent part of the natural temperature increase following the end of the Little Ice Age ? Click here to read a few reflections on this interesting question. Another important issue is the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature in recent times ?

    The immediate need for climate scientists appears to be improving empirical knowledge on climate change, past and present, and to understand the limitations of the different types of approach to forecasting climate. For the decision-makers the lesson presumably is to allow wider margins for future climatic change; cooler as well as warmer, wetter as well as drier, windier as well as less windy, etc. Preparing for warming only may not be entirely prudent. After all, modern climate change may just be a continuation of ever lasting natural rhythms of climate change.

    Climate science remains a highly complex issue where simplification tends to lead to confusion, and where understanding requires knowledge, openness to new hypotheses, thought and effort.

    The present website is under continuous development, and updates and new material will be added whenever possible, relevant or needed. A list of the latest key updates are shown in the lower part of the panel to the left.  

    Thank you for your interest.

     

    Yours sincerely, Ole Humlum

    Click here for bibliography.

     

    Latest update October 5, 2014.




  •  Global monthly average lower troposphere temperature since 1979 according to Remote Sensing Systems (RSS). This graph uses data obtained by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) TIROS-N satellite, and interpreted by Dr. Carl Mears (RSS). The thick line is the simple running 37 month average, nearly corresponding to a running 3 yr average.

  •  
     
     *****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
     
     
    Global monthly average lower troposphere temperature since 1979 according to University of Alabama at Huntsville, USA. This graph uses data obtained by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) TIROS-N satellite, interpreted by Dr. Roy Spencer and Dr. John Christy, both at Global Hydrology and Climate Center, University of Alabama at Huntsville, USA. The thick line is the simple running 37 month average, nearly corresponding to a running 3 yr average.
     
    *******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
     
     
    Global monthly average surface air temperature since 1979 according to Hadley CRUT, a cooperative effort between the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), UK. The thin line represents the monthly values, while the thick line is the simple running 37 month average, nearly corresponding to a running 3 yr average
     
    *********************************************************************************************************************************************
     
     
     
     
    Global monthly average surface air temperature since 1979 according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), USA. This time series is calculated using land surface data from the Global Historical Climatology Network (Version 2) and sea surface temperature anomalies from the United Kingdom MOHSST data set and the NCEP Optimum Interpolated SSTs (Version3; note version change on May 2, 2011). The thick line is the simple running 37 month average, nearly corresponding to a running 3 yr average
     
    *************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
     
     The US National Space Science and Technology Center publishes monthly anomalies of the global, land, ocean, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, and tropical temperatures at Http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures

     
  • For the month of January 2008, the anomalies were - 0.18, -0.19, -0.18, -0.24, -0.13, and -0.28 degrees; for February 2008 the values were -0.05, 0.00, -0.08, +0.13, -0.23, and -0.39 degrees; for March 2008 the values were -0.14, 0.27, -0.37, 0.07, -0.34, and -0.62 degrees; for April 2008 the values were -0.20, -0.01, -0.30, -.0.09, -0.30, and -0.61 degrees; for May 2008 the values were  -0.29, -0.12, -0.39, -0.20, -0.39, and -0.59 degrees; for June 2008 the values were -0.20, -0.07, -0.28, -0.17, -0.23, and -0.35 degrees; for July 2008  the values were -0.07, +0.09, -0.16, -0.01, -0.12, and -0.13 degrees; for August 2008 the values were -0.15, -0.02, -0.22, +0.04, -0.33, and -0.16 degrees; for September 2008 the values were +0.01, +0.13, -0.06, +0.13, -0.11, and 0.00 degrees; for October 2008 the values were -0.02, +0.17, -0.13, +0.06, -0.11, and +0.03 degrees; for November 2008 the values were 0.00, +0.14, -0.09, +0.10, -0.11, and +0.08 degrees; and for December 2008 the values were -0.05, -0.02, -0.06, +0.18, -0.27, and -0.10 degrees. For the 12 months January to December 2008, 54 of the 72 values listed above were below average.

  • For January 2009, the values were +0.07, +0.17, +0.01, +0.22, -0.07, and -0.17 degrees.; for February 2009 the values were +0.15, +0.46, -0.03, +0.44, -0.14, and -0.18 degrees; for March 2009 the values were +0.03, +0.24, -0.09, +0.06, 0.00, and -0.23 degrees; for April 2009 the values were -0.04, 0.04, -0.09, -0.04, -0.05, and -0.09 degrees;   for May 2009 the values were -0.08, 0.01, -0.14, -0.09,-0.08, and 0.15 degrees; for June 2009 the values were -0.16, -0.07 ,-0.22, -0.17, -0.16, and -0.11 degrees; for July 2009 the values were +0.24, +0.27, +0.23, +0.09, +0.40, and +0.39 degrees; for August 2009 the values were +0.11, +0.21, +0.05, +0.16, +0.05, and +0.38 degrees;for September 2009 the values were +0.30, +0.46, +0.20, +0.39, +0.20, and +0,46 degrees; for October 2009 the values were +0.19, +0.12, +0.24, +0,16, +0.23, +0.260; for November 2009 the values were +0.27, +0.38, +0.22, +0.28, +0.27, +0.40; for December +0.12,+0.15, +0.10, +0.19, + 0.05, +0,35.   

  • For 2010 the values are: January  +0.38,+0.46,+0.34,+0.49,+0.31,+0.57 degrees C ; February +0.40,+0.44,+0.37,+0.38,+0.37,+0.72; March +0.46, +0.58, +0.39,+0.61, +0.37, +0.68 degrees; April +0.34,+0.39,+0.30,+0.50,+0.17,+0.62 degrees; May +0.45,+0.58,+0.38,+0.68,+0.22,+0.76 degrees; June +0.35,+0.42,+0.31,+0.50,+0.20, and +0.40 degrees; July +0.45,+0.49,+0.43,+0.60,+0.31,+0.33 degrees; August +0.47,+0.57,+0.41,+0.61,+0.33, +0.26 degrees; September +0.49,+0.59,+0.43,+0.53,+0.45,+0.19 degrees; October +0.22,+0.33,+0.16,+0.24,+0.21,+0.17 degrees; November +0.12,+0.21,+0.07,+0.23,+0.01,-0.04 degrees; for December +0.01,+0.11,-0.04,-0.01,0.04,-0.22 degrees. 

  • For 2011 the values are: January -0.14,-0.19,-0.12,-0.28,-0.01,-0.36 degrees; February -0.14,-0.24,-0.08,-0.28,-0.01,-0.28 degrees: March -0.25,-0.22,-0.26,-0.35,-0.15,-0.28 degrees: April -0.08,-0.03,-0.11,-0.04,-0.12, -0.28 degrees: May +0.01, +0.06, -0.02, +0.02, -0.01, -0.10 degrees: June +0.18,+0.31,+0.10,+0.27,+0.08,+0.14 degrees: July +0.25,+0.26,+0.18,+0.25,+0.24, +0.11 degrees: August +0.18,+0.37,+0.09,+0.19, +0.17, +0.08 degrees: September +0.17,+0.37,+0.07, +0.24, +0.09. +0.13 degrees: October -0.05, -0.08, -0.13, +0.02, -0.13, -0.09 degrees: November -0.06, -0.04, -0.18,-0.10, -0.02, +0.01 degrees: December -0.05,-0.07,-0.04,-0.09, -0.02, -0.05 degrees. 

    For 2012 the values are:
  •  
  •  January  -0.28,-0.33,-0.25,-0.26,-0.31,-0.31 degrees;
  •  February -0.32,-0.27,-0.28,-0.24,-0.29,-0.34 degrees;
  •  March     -0.03, -0.02,-0.04,-0.04,-0.02,-0.18 degrees;
  • April        +0.11, +0.31, -0.01, +0.17, +0.05, -0.26 degrees,
  •  May       +0.10,+0.29,-0.01,+0.26, -0.06, -0.11 degrees,
  • June       +0.21, +0.30, +0.17, +0.37, +0.10, -0.03 degrees.
  • July        +0.02, +0.05, +0.00, +0.14, -0.09, +0.01 degrees
  • August    +0.10, +0.15,+0.07,+0.10,+0.09, +0.11 degrees
  • September +0.21, +0.26, +0.17, +0.21, +0.20, +0.22 degrees.
  • October     +0.21,+0.22, +0.21, +0.13, +0.29, +0.01 degrees
  • November +0.12, +0.26, +0.09, +0.03, +0.20, +0.17 degrees. 
  • December +0.08, -0.02, +0.04,-0.11, +0.27, +0.14 degrees.
  •  
    For 2013 the values are:
     
    January   +0.38, +0.33, +0.40, +0.37, +0.38, +0.28 degrees
    February +0.05, +0.02, +0.07, +0.09, +0.01, +0.15 degrees 
    March      +0.03,+0.02 ,+0.03,  +0.02, +0.03,+0.18 degrees
    April        +0.00, -0.09,  +0.06,  -0.01,  0.02, +0.10 degrees
    May        +0.01, +0.12, -0.06, +0.11,  -0.10, +0.01 degrees. 
    June        +0.30, +0.40, +0.24, +0.34, +0.26, +0.21 degrees.
    July          +0.17,+0.13,+0.20,+0.14,+0.21, -0.07 degrees.
    August      +0.16,+0.24,+0.10,+0.11,+0.20,+0.00 degrees
    September  +0.37,+0,45,+0,27,+0.34,+0.40, +0.19 degrees.
    October      +0.30, +.35, +0.21, +0.33, +0,26, +0.03 degrees
    November  +0.19, +0.35, +0.10, +0.16, +0.22, +0.02 degrees
    December +.0.27, +0.31, +0.24, +0.28, +0.26, +0.06  degrees.  
     
    ****************************************************************************************************************************************
     
    The Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in the UK has a web site in which it provides their estimates of the temperature anomalies from 1961-90 "average" for various areas of the world. http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3vgl.txt Their estimate for the global average temperature for the year 2011 shows an anomaly of +0.34 degrees C. This is the second smallest positive deviation for a calendar year since 2000. The "global temperature" values since 1998 which had the  "peak" of the current warming of +0.53 degrees, are 1999 +0.30, 2000 +0.28, 2001 +0.41, 2002 +0.46, 2003 +0.47, 2004 +0.45, 2005 +0.48, 2006 +0.42, 2007 +0.40 degrees, 2008 +0.33 degrees, 2009  +0.43 degrees, 2010 +0.47 , 2011 +0.34 degrees.
  • For 2008 the global monthly values are: January +0.07 degrees C, February +0.20 degrees C, March +0.44 degrees C, April +0.26 degrees C, May +0.28 degrees C, June +0.32 degrees, July +0.40 degrees, August +0.39 degrees, and September +0.37 degrees, October +0.43 degrees, November +0.39 degrees, and December +0.30 degrees. 

  • For 2009, the values are : January +0.37 degrees., February +0.36 degrees,  March +0.36 degrees, April +0.41 degrees, May +0.40 degrees, June +0.49 degrees, July 0.49 degrees, August 0.53 degrees, September +0.46 degrees, October +0.44 degrees, November +0.45 degrees, December +0.42 degrees.

  •  For 2010, the values are January +0.49 degrees, February +0.45 degrees, March +0.57 degrees, April +0.56 degrees, May +0.50 degrees, June +0.52 degrees, July +0.53 degrees, August +0.48, September +0.38 degrees, October +0.39 degrees, November +0.44 degrees, December +0.25 degrees.

  • For 2011, values are January +0.21 degrees, February +0.27 degrees, March +0.32 degrees, April +0.40 degrees, May +0.33 degrees, June +0.42 degrees, July +0.44 degrees, August +0.44 degrees, September +0.36 degrees, October +0.34 degrees, November +0.27 degrees, December +0.26 degrees.

  • For 2012, the values are January +0.23 , February +0.21 , March +0.31 , April +0.47, May +0.47, June +0.48, July  +0.46, August +0.51, September +0.51, October +0.48 , November +0.46 degrees. 

  • Thee following graphs ( from this above site as of May 2013) show trends in Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, an Global temperatures from 1860. Of particular significance is that since about 1998, little or no "warming" has been observed

  • Graph
  •  
  • PLEASE NOTE:  There was an investigation into the validity of some of the the temperature data from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. SEE : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_hacking_incident

  •  

  • New Zealand Temperatures and Rainfalls

  • Official temperature records have been maintained in New Zealand since shortly after European settlement began in 1840.

     

  • TAURANGA RAINFALLS

  • A summary of the monthly rainfalls( wettest, second wettest, driest and second driest, plus the long-term averages and the 1961-90 normals), as well as charts for the rainfalls for all months from 1913-2013,  for Tauranga (NZ) from several recording sites over the last 100 to 110 years ( updated to April 2013, all data being adjusted to the current recording site at Tauranga Airport is available at  https://sites.google.com/site/nzrainfalls/newzealandmonthlyrainfalls


  • The annual rainfalls for Tauranga from 1913 to 2012 from the above web site is shown on the chart below. As shown there is very little overall trend in the rainfalls, but as would be expected quite a wide variability in the rainfalls from one year to another.



  • An example of one of the 12 months of the year (January) from the above web site showing the January rainfall at Tauranga from 1898 to 2013 is shown on the chart below. As shown there is very little overall trend in the rainfalls, but as would be expected quite a wide variability in the rainfall from one January to another.






  •  ***************************************************************************************************************************************
  •  
    TAURANGA AVERAGE DAILY MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES

    The monthly average daily maximum temperature data for Tauranga for most months for the years 1913 to 2013 are available at http://john.maunder.googlepages.com/taurangatemperaturedata This shows that most of the warmest months - term of the average daily maximum temperatures - ( looking at each month , i.e. January, April, August etc)  during the last  100 years occurred during the early part of the record (i.e. 1914,1915,1916) and the last decade (particularly 1998, 2010, 2011 . The warmest year was 1916 with an average daily maximum temperature of 20.1 degrees. This web site also shows charts  of the  average daily maximum temperatures for Tauranga for all months for the period 1913 to 2012.
     
    NOTE: This data series ( for all months) has been adjusted where appropriate to account for the several site changes in Tauranga since 1913, and the data is a little different that that from the NIWA "eleven-station" series, examples of which are given below.  





    As shown, there is very lttle trend towards warmer (afternoon)  temperatures over the last 100 years in Tauranga. Notable are the relatively warm periods from 1914-16 and from 1998-2011.

    ********************************************

  • As shown above in the graph for the average daily temperatures in February, there is very lttle trend towards warmer (afternoon)  temperatures over the last 100 years in Tauranga.

  •  

  • ***************************************************************************************************************

  • NIWA has compiled an "eleven -station" climate data series of the average daily maximum and the average daily minimum temperatures for each year of the record for 11 stations in New Zealand.  For Tauranga this is for the period 1913-2009, and for Ruakura, Hamilton 1924- 2009.   My graph of this  data for Tauranga is available at: https://sites.google.com/site/climatescience/annual-temperatures-tauranga-nz ,and the data for Hamilton is available at: https://sites.google.com/site/climatescience/yearly-temperature-trends-hamilton-nz

  •  

    SUNSPOTS
  •  The NASA Solar Physics web site  ( see http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov) includes information on sunspot numbers, the "Maunder Minimum" and Sunspot Cycle predictions. The NOAA sunspot index is updated monthly and available from 1749.  
  • The monthly sunspot index for 2010  is January 13, February 19, March 15, April 8, May 9, June 14, July 16, August 20, September 25, October 23, November 22, December 14.
  •  For 2011, the monthly values are: January 19, February 29, March 56, April 54, May 42,June 37, July 44, August 51, September 78, October 88, November 97, December 73.
  • For 2012, the monthly values are: January 58, February 33, April 55, May 69, June 64, July 67, August 63, September 62, October 53, November 61, December 40.
  • For 2013, the monthly values are: January 63, February 38, March 58, April 72, May 79, June 52, Jul 57, August 64, September 37, October 86, November 78, December 90.
  •  
  • These values can be compared with  an average of about 150 during the peak of the most previous sunspots cycles, the last peak being in October 2001 with a value of 151.
     
    A chart of the sunspot numbers from 1990 to March 2014 from the above NASA website is shown below.

  •  ssn_predict.gif (2208 bytes)

     
     
     
     
    The web site comments on November 1, 2013 as follows
     
    The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 65 in the Summer of 2013. The smoothed sunspot number has already reached 67 (in February 2012) due to the strong peak in late 2011 so the official maximum will be at least this high. The smoothed sunspot number has been flat over the last four months. We are currently over four years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.
     
     

  • A graph of the sunspot number predictions as at September 2013 from the above NASA web site is shown below.

  • ssn_predict.gif (2208 bytes)
     
     
     
     

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  • For a graphical display of the sunspot index, the Maunder "butterfly" diagram, and other solar matters from the Royal Observatory of Belgium, see http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-index-graphics/sidc_graphics.php 
     
  • The "Maunder Butterfly" diagram which shown the range of sunpot data since 1980 from the above Belgium Royal Observatory web site is shown below. The "butterfly wings" were first observed by astronomer E. W. Maunder.
  •  
     
     
     
     
     
    Sunspot Numbers up to December 2015 



     
     
     
     
    ******************************************************************************************************************
    From BBC’s Paul Hudson  October 2013.    Real risk of another  "Maunder Minimum"

    It’s known by climatologists as the ‘Little Ice Age’, a period in the 1600s when harsh winters across the UK and Europe were often severe.

    The severe cold went hand in hand with an exceptionally inactive sun, and was called the Maunder solar minimum.

    Now a leading scientist from Reading University has told me that the current rate of decline in solar activity is such that there’s a real risk of seeing a return of such conditions.

    I’ve been to see Professor Mike Lockwood to take a look at the work he has been conducting into the possible link between solar activity and climate patterns.

    According to Professor Lockwood the late 20th century was a period when the sun was unusually active and a so called ‘grand maximum’ occurred around 1985.

    Since then the sun has been getting quieter. 

    By looking back at certain isotopes in ice cores, he has been able to determine how active the sun has been over thousands of years.

    Following analysis of the data, Professor Lockwood believes solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years.

    He found 24 different occasions in the last 10,000 years when the sun was in exactly the same state as it is now – and the present decline is faster than any of those 24.

    Based on his findings he’s raised the risk of a new Maunder minimum from less than 10% just a few years ago to 25-30%.

    And a repeat of the Dalton solar minimum which occurred in the early 1800s, which also had its fair share of cold winters and poor summers, is, according to him, ‘more likely than not’ to happen.

    He believes that we are already beginning to see a change in our climate – witness the colder winters and poor summers of recent years – and that over the next few decades there could be a slide to a new Maunder minimum.

    It’s worth stressing that not every winter would be severe; nor would every summer be poor. But harsh winters and unsettled summers would become more frequent.

    Professor Lockwood doesn’t hold back in his description of the potential impacts such a scenario would have in the UK.

     
     
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  • SEA LEVEL DATA
  • Sea level data is available for several sites throughout  the world which may be accessed through the University of Colorado at Boulder site at http://sealevel.colorado.edu/results.php Since August 1992, satellite altimiters have been measuring sea level on a global basis with considerable accuracy over the traditional and continuing method of using coastal tidal gauges.  The various links given on this web site highlight the relatively large variability in sea level rise rates in space and time. 

  • However overall, as shown in the chart below, from this web site, there has been a general rise in the global sea level of about 3 mm per year over the period 1992-2012. Data updated as of November 2015.





  •  
     
     
     

     

     
     

  •  

  •  

    Map of Sea Level Trends

    Updated to April 2013      

     

     

    Local trends are calculated with a least-squares fit of 10-day, 0.25 degree resolution grids of sea level. A trend, bias, annual, and semi-annual terms are fit simultaneously. Please note that these trends have been determined for only a nineteen-year (1993 - 2012) period, and reflect the impact of decadal scale climate variability on the regional distribution of sea level rise. Additionally, local sea surface height trends and variations are a result of many factors, including (but not limited to) local crustal displacement, glacial isostatic adjustment, steric effects, and even local wind patterns. Therefore you should consider these effects in interpreting local sea surface height time series derived from our gridded data sets.

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  • OTHER RELEVANT WEBSITES
     

  • The web site http://tinyurl.com/6cauyq gives comments  by Jarl R Ahlbeck ( Akademi University, Finland) which states that there has been "No significant warming since 1995". The author shows two global temperature graphs sourced from the UK Hadley Centre and NASA.

  • See http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30sep_blankyear.htm which discussed the period to 2009 which recorded a large number of days without sunspots - "spotless days".

  • Some scientists suggest that melting of the Arctic ice may decrease the "global ocean conveyer belt". An introduction to this topic is available at https://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/circulation1.html&edu=elem

    Surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008″ – Dr David Whitehouse on the PNAS paper Kaufmann et al. (2011)

    Here is the PDF file: pnas.201102467

    The headlines from the abstract and the conclusion state:

    Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008.

    The finding that the recent hiatus in warming is driven largely by natural factors does not contradict the hypothesis: “most of the observed increase in global average temperature since the mid 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

  •  

    Is Antarctica Melting?
  •  
    A report issued by NASA on January 12, 2010 states that there has been lots of talk lately about Antarctica and whether or not the continent's giant ice sheet is melting. One new paper, which states there’s less surface melting recently than in past years, has been cited as "proof" that there’s no global warming. Other evidence that the amount of sea ice around Antarctica seems to be increasing slightly  is being used in the same way. But both of these data points are misleading. For the full report see:
    www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/.../20100108_Is_Antarctica_Melting.html
     
     

     

     

    Arctic sea ice extent for December 2011 was 12.38 million square kilometers (4.78 million square miles). The magenta line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that month. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. Sea Ice Index data.

    Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
    High Resolution Image

    Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis

    Overview of Conditions


    Arctic sea ice extent in December 2011 averaged 12.38 million square kilometers (4.78 million square miles). This is the third lowest December ice extent in the 1979 to 2011 satellite data record, 970,000 square kilometers (375,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average extent.

    December 2011 compared to past years
    Arctic sea ice extent for December 2011 was the third lowest in the satellite record. The five lowest December extents in the satellite record have occurred in the past six years. Including the year 2011, the linear rate of decline ice December ice extent over the satellite record is -3.5% per decade.

    For details see:

     

    Arctic and Antarctica Ice

  • Arctic sea ice reached its annual maximum extent on March 21, 2014 after a brief surge in extent mid-month. Overall the 2014 Arctic maximum was the fifth lowest in the 1978 to 2014 record. Antarctic sea ice reached its annual minimum on February 23, and was the fourth highest Antarctic minimum in the satellite record. While this continues a strong pattern of greater-than-average sea ice extent in Antarctica for the past two years, Antarctic sea ice remains more variable year-to-year than the Arctic.

    Arctic sea ice extent for March 2014 averaged 14.80 million square kilometers (5.70 million square miles). This is 730,000 square kilometers (282,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average extent, and 330,000 square kilometers (127,000 square miles) above the record March monthly low, which happened in 2006. Extent remains slightly below average in the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, but is at near-average levels elsewhere. Extent hovered around two standard deviations below the long-term average through February and early March.






    The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado has extensive web site on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice .

    .Arctic and Antarctic sea ice data are available on the Sea Ice Index Web site.

    Graphs of the extent of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere ice( updated to March 2014  from the above web site are shown belowThese show that from 1979 to 2011 the Northern Hemisphere ice extent decreased at the rate of 3.0 % per decade, compared with an increase of 2.6% per decade during the same period in the Southern Hemisphere. 

     

     
    *************************************************************************************************
    The Antarctic is almost a geographic opposite of the Arctic, because Antarctica is a land mass surrounded by an ocean. The open ocean allows the forming sea ice to move more freely, resulting in higher drift speeds. However, Antarctic sea ice forms ridges much less often than sea ice in the Arctic. Also, because there is no land boundary to the north, the sea ice is free to float northward into warmer waters where it eventually melts. As a result, almost all of the sea ice that forms during the Antarctic winter melts during the summer. During the winter, up to 18 million square kilometers (6.9 million square miles) of ocean is covered by sea ice, but by the end of summer, only about 3 million square kilometers (1.1 million square miles) of sea ice remain.






  •  

      *************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

  • 2. IPCC and NIWA  (The "Official Viewpoint" on Global Warming)

  •  

  •  

     

    New-Zealands-Changing-Climate-and-Oceans    Report  Augst 1, 2013

    The purpose of this report is to provide New Zealand with an update on the current scientific understandings of climate change and the ways in which it is likely to affect New Zealand over coming years and decades. My Office has been assisted by some of New Zealand’s leading climate scientists in preparing this report. The report focuses particularly on describing likely effects on various regions of New Zealand and explains why only considering predicted average changes leads to an underestimation of the impact of predicted climate change on our environment and economy.

    The science of climate change is both complex and evolving, and it can therefore be difficult for the layperson and policy maker to navigate. Nevertheless, it is important that we all have an understanding of the most likely scenarios ahead as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in our oceans and atmosphere. Climate change and associated ocean acidification have the potential to affect New Zealand directly and indirectly over the coming years. Many decisions will be required at both national and local levels, and within both the public and private sectors. These decisions will need to be made in the face of inevitable and unresolvable degrees of scientific uncertainty.

    An inherent feature of climate change science is its complexity and it must deal with many unknowns. Considerable research into the effects of greenhouse gases has been undertaken globally and, despite inevitable uncertainty, there is a very high scientific consensus regarding the likely magnitude, approximate timing of and the nature of the challenges ahead. It would be highly imprudent to ignore such projected scenarios just because they must be expressed in terms of probabilities rather than certainties. It is important to apply an understanding of uncertainty and of risk and their management to address this challenge and this means using the available and accumulating evidence appropriately. Just because there is an inherent level of uncertainty does not obviate the probability of impactful climate change and the need to be proactive in addressing it through mitigation and adaptive strategies.

    This report intentionally does not address questions of what policy actions should be taken in response to the currently available knowledge on the future of the global and regional climate. The key decision of when and how to respond to climate change falls beyond the scope of this report, not least because it involves considerable reflection about societal values. It will be necessary for New Zealand to address a number of challenges that have both a scientific and value component. These include:

    1. What is an acceptable level of climate-related risk to society?
    2. What are the costs and benefits of adaptation or mitigation compared with other priorities?
    3. How are different stakeholders affected, (either now or in the future)?

    Across these considerations, there are also questions relating to inter-generational equity and international responsibility. These are among the policy-relevant questions that are, and will need to be, addressed. Science can inform these, but cannot alone answer them.

    Sir Peter Gluckman

    *************

    http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/New-Zealands-Changing-Climate-and-Oceans-report.pdf

  •  ***************************************************************************************************************

  •  

  • The Official Report of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC)  from the Copenhagen Climate Conference held in December 2009 is available at this site:

    http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop-15/items/5257.php
  • For the latest "Summary for Policymakers of the Synthesis Report of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report" is in November 2007 see http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/

    For the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the science of climate change issued in November 2007 see    http://www.ipcc.ch/ar4-wg1.htm

    A "Climate Change Statement from the Royal Society of New Zealand " issued on 10 July 2008 is available at  http://www.rsnz.org/news/releases/clim0708.php

    For the latest IPCC report on the impacts, adaptability and vulnerability of climate change issued in November 2007 see  http://www.ipcc/ch/ar4-wg2.htm

    For the latest IPCC report on the mitigation of climate change issued in November 2007 see http://www.ipcc.ch/ar4-wg3.htm

    For a summary, prepared by NIWA, on the IPCC's key findings on the impacts of climate change for New Zealand and the South Pacific download the pdf at www.niwascience.co.nz/ncc

    A study of past climate variations over New Zealand, prepared by the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) ,which describes climate variations over New Zealand during the past 150,00 years, and in particular describes in some detail the climate variations over the last 140 years - including a graph of the mean annual temperature over New Zealand from 1855 to 2008 is available at:  http://www.niwascience.co.nz

  •  

    NIWA's 'Seven-station' series NZ temperature data

    NIWA's long-running 'seven-station' series shows NZ's average annual temperature has increased by about 1 °C over the past 100 years.

     Locations in the "seven station" series

    The series has been derived from seven locations:

    • Auckland
    • Masterton
    • Wellington
    • Hokitika
    • Nelson
    • Lincoln
    • Dunedin

      • Detail of the eleven-station series 

        Below is a table of station names, and the associated network and agent numbers that make up the record for each site.

        A link to a spreadsheet of the data (annual anomalies) for this series is at the bottom of this webpage.  

        Note that while these sites have had no significant moves since the 1930s, their records may be stored in the climate database under more than one network or agent number. This is because the database archiving procedures take account of such things as a change from a manual recording system to an automated recording system. Also, some sites have records going back before 1930, but it’s the period from 1931 where all of these sites are unaffected by significant site changes.

        Table 1: List of stations with long-term records where no significant site changes have occurred.

        Station nameNetwork numbersAgent numbersPeriodRemarks
        Raoul IsJ99700
        J99701
        6169
        6170
        Apr 1940 – Oct 1998
        Dec 1991 – present

        Automation of site
        Tauranga AeroB76621
        B76624
        1612
        1615
        Feb 1913 – Feb 1989
        Jun 1990 – present

        Automation of site
        Hamilton, RuakuraC75731
        C75733
        C75734
        2101
        12616
        26117
        Nov 1906 – Feb 1997
        Nov 1996 – Feb 2007
        Dec 2005 – present

        Automation of site
        Small site shift
        Gisborne Aero/AWSD87692
        D87695
        2807
        2810
        Apr 1937 – Feb 1993
        Jan 1990 – present

        Automation of site
        Mt Ruapehu, ChateauC95251
        C95152
        C95153
        2363
        2357
        18464
        Jan 1930 – Feb 1983
        Mar 1981 – Oct 2000
        Oct 2000 – present

        Small site shift
        Automation of site
        Palmerston NE05363
        E0536D
        3238
        21963
        Jan 1928 – May 2001
        Apr 2001 – present

        Automation of site
        Westport AeroF11752
        F11754
        3810
        7342
        Mar 1937 – Oct 1991
        Nov 1991 – present

        Automation of site
        MolesworthG23021
        G23022
        4461
        7427
        Mar 1944 – Oct 1992
        May 1992 – Jul 1994

        Automation of site
        QueenstownI580615446Nov 1929 – present
        Invercargill AeroI684335814Jun 1948 – present
        Campbell IsK94400
        K94402
        6172
        6174
        Jul 1941 – Aug 1995
        Dec 1991 – present

        Automation of site


                                                                                    These locations were chosen because they provide broad geographical coverage and long records (with measurements started at all sites by 1908).

                                                                                    How the 'seven-station' series is constructed

                                                                                    For each location, temperature records from a number of local sites have been merged together to form a long time series. When merging different temperature records like this, it is necessary to adjust for climatic differences from place-to-place, or even changes in exposure or instrumentation at the same site. If no adjustments are made, significant biases could be introduced. For example, the longest record in the country comes from Dunedin, with climate readings taken at six sites throughout its history.

                                                                                    Learn more about why climate data sometimes need to be adjusted. (Source: NIWA)

                                                                                    New analysis by NIWA confirms the warming trend in New Zealand

                                                                                    The last overall review of the seven station adjustments was performed in 1992. In 2010, as a result of increased interest in the series, NIWA re-analysed the adjustments for the seven locations.

                                                                                    The key result of this revisiting is that the New Zealand-wide warming trend is almost exactly the same as in our previous assessment. In other words, either approach gives an accurate trend result. So without a doubt, on the basis of the 'seven-station' series, New Zealand did indeed get about 0.9°C warmer over the course of last one hundred years.


                                                                                    The pattern of warming is also consistent with changes in sea surface temperature and prevailing winds.

                                                                                    In terms of the detail, the re-analysis concluded that some sites have warmed more than previously calculated, and other sites warmed less, but these variations between the old and new series are within the margin of error.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    This overview document discusses the revision of the 'seven-station' series in more detail.

                                                                                  • NIWA in a special report issued on July  20, 2010 state that there are many lines of evidence showing that NZ has warmed during the past century.  Details of this information are given below.

                                                                                    NZ Temperature Record (Source NIWA)

                                                                                    There are many lines of evidence showing that NZ has warmed during the past century. These include the "seven station" temperature series, the "eleven station" temperature series, and information from ship measurements of sea-surface temperatures and marine night-time air temperatures over the oceans around NZ.
                                                                                                                                                                  • ‘Seven-station’ series

                                                                                                                                                                    NIWA's 'seven-station' temperature series uses temperature measurements from seven 'climate stations'. The locations were chosen because they provide a representative geographical spread across NZ and have reliable records dating back at least to the early 1900s. The trend over the past 100 years (1909-2008) is warming of 0.9 ºC.

                                                                                                                                                                    More detail


                                                                                                                                                                    'Eleven-station' series

                                                                                                                                                                    This series comprises a set of eleven stations spanning New Zealand where there have been no significant site moves for many decades. The data used in this series are raw (unadjusted) – no adjustments are required because the measuring sites have not moved significantly. There is a warming trend over the 77 year period 1931-2008 of close to 1 ºC.

                                                                                                                                                                  •  
                                                                                                                                                                  • OTHER COMMENTS 
                                                                                                                                                                  • To see the special issue on "Climate Change: A guide for the perplexed"  published by "Newsweek" see www.newscientist.com/climatemyths

                                                                                                                                                                    The UK's National Science Academy (the Royal Society) has on its web site a list of "misleading" arguments  about about global warming, each of which is addressed. See http://royalsociety.org/page.asp?id=6229

                                                                                                                                                                  • Dr James Hansen and 14 colleagues have made available through the web their assessment of the current state of climate change in a paper entitled: "The Case for Young People and Nature: A Path to a Healthy, Natural, Prosperous Future". This comprehensive paper from a pioneer in the field is available at : http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110505_CaseForYoungPeople.pdf

                                                                                                                                                                  •  

                                                                                                                                                                  • ***********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

                                                                                                                                                                    3. REFERENCES TO SOURCES QUESTIONING THE  "ESTABLISHED"  VIEWPOINT ON GLOBAL WARMING

                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                  • http://www.climatedepot.com/a/9853/Another-victory-for-science-House-votes-244179-to-kill-US-funding-of-UN-IPCC-It-no-longer-wishes-to-have-the-IPCC-prepare-its-comprehensive-international-climate-science-assessments

                                                                                                                                                                    The above web site states "Another victory for science! House votes 244-179 to kill U.S. funding of UN IPCC! 'It no longer wishes to have the IPCC prepare its comprehensive international climate science assessments'  This IPCC 'amendment' was sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri), who read aloud on the floor from the 2009 U.S. Senate Report of more than 700 dissenting scientists! (Written by Climate Depot's Morano). Luetkemeyer stated that Americans 'should not have to continue to foot the bill for an (IPCC) organization to keep producing corrupt findings'

                                                                                                                                                                    A special report complied by "Climate Depot" to coincide with the UN Climate Summit in Cancun (Mexico) in December 2010 is available at the web site below. Among other things the report lists more than 1000 dissenting scientists from around the world who have challenged many of the "man-man global warming" claims of the IPPC.

                                                                                                                                                                  • http://www.climatedepot.com/a/9035/SPECIAL-REPORT-More-Than-1000-International-Scientists-Dissent-Over-ManMade-Global-Warming-Claims--Challenge-UN-IPCC--Gore

                                                                                                                                                                  • President Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, writing in the "Spectator" on November 5, 2010 highlights the excellent work of Professor Bob Carter of Australia on climate change/global warming. He says that he likes Carter’s emphasis on the crucial difference between global warming (which is part of normal scientific discourse) and ‘dangerous anthropogenic global warming’ (which is ideological propaganda). He is also right when talking about the difficulty in defining who is and who is not a climatologist, and turning our attention to the fact that there is no ‘climate science’, because ‘scientists who study climate change come from a wide range of disciplines’'. - President Klaus in the UK Spectator. For details see
                                                                                                                                                                    http://tinyurl.com/353w4cu

                                                                                                                                                                    • For an overview of what is best decribed as "integrity in science"  and in particular the science of global warming/global cooling etc, the following comments are relevant.  

                                                                                                                                                                      "Climate alarmists do not simply boast of their monopoly over peer-reviewed outlets – they also do their best to call into question peer-reviewed outlets that dare to publish research that challenges any aspect of their moral crusade." says Professor Frank Furedi, writing in The Weekend Australian. For details see:LINK 

                                                                                                                                                                      "I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by AGW voices that there are NO qualified skeptics or peer reviewed/published work by them. In truth there is serious work and questions raised by significant work by very qualified skeptics which has been peer reviewed and published. "   Go here for a list 

                                                                                                                                                                      "The global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS ( American Physical Society) before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. " So states distinguished American physicist Hal Lewis in his letter resigning from the American Physical Society.

                                                                                                                                                                      Details and letter here 

                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                    • The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition mission is to represent accurately, and without prejudice, facts regarding climate change; to provide considered opinion on matters related to both the natural and human-caused climate effects; and to comment on the economic and socio-political consequences of climate change. Their website is updated daily. See http://www.nzclimatescience.org.nz
                                                                                                                                                                    • The Heartland Institute, an independent nonprofit organization, has been very active in the global warming debate, publishing books and monographs, maintaining multiple Web sites providing information on the issue, and in 2009, publishing Climate Change Reconsidered, a comprehensive reply to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

                                                                                                                                                                      The Institute have had four conferences on the subject to date (the latest being in May 2010). Speakers at the conferences  do not all agree on the causes, extent, or consequences of climate change, or what should be done, but the scientists and other experts share their latest research and engage in respectful debate with others.

                                                                                                                                                                    • The First International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-1) took place in March 2008 in New York City. One hundred speakers and panelists came from 26 countries to prove that leading scientists and economists from around the world dispute the claim that global warming is a crisis. More than 500 people attended the conference, which generated global press attention.

                                                                                                                                                                      The next conference, ICCC-2, took place in March 2009 once again in New York City. This time the theme was “Global Warming: Was It Ever Really a Crisis?” Once again speakers and guests came from around the world and the audience grew to more than 700 people. The conference demonstrated that the number of global warming “realists” is growing rapidly, and the scientific community is turning against alarmism.

                                                                                                                                                                      The Third International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-3) took place in June 2009 in Washington, DC. This scaled-down one-day version of the conference, just three months after the second conference, attracted a standing-room-only audience and featured presentations by leading scientists as well as three members of Congress. It took our key message -- that global warming is not a crisis -- directly to the nation’s capital and elected officials.

                                                                                                                                                                    • For further details see


                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  •  Scientists agree that global temperatures are rising, and so are levels of carbon dioxide. But the immediate impact of human activity on natural climate cycles—from ice-sheet dynamics to wind and ocean currents—remains unclear. The Antarctica research reported in the "Wall Street Journal" sited below, could - for the first time - teach scientists how global warming developed when humankind had no hand in it. At a camp here on Earth's remotest continent, American researchers have constructed a towering drill that, like a biopsy needle, periodically plunges thousands of feet into the ice to extract an exotic marrow of frozen gases and isotopes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Their work could settle a central question in the dispute over climate change, by documenting how greenhouse gases influenced temperatures in the past. Only then can researchers accurately analyze climate changes that may be under way today.  An important report on this work in the "Wall Street Journal" dated May 29, 2009 is available at:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  •  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704655004575114010457906340.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_6

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • VETERAN AMERICAN WEATHERMAN DEBUNKS CLIMATE HYSTERIA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John Coleman, meteorologist of 50 years' experience, founder of the US "Weather Channel" and original weatherman on "Good Morning America" demonstrates in user-friendly language why there is no foundation for IPCC claims of carbon dioxide-driven catastrophic "global warming" -   to view video: LINK 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      `
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The web site  ( http://wattsupwiththat.com/  ) 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/floating-islands/#more-15762 is a commentary on "puzzling things in life, nature, weather, climate change, technology etc, compiled by Anthony Watts. It is updated daily and provides a good insight into recent developments in climate science. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • "Solar scientists are increasingly conveying a clear message on the chief cause of climate change: It’s the Sun, Stupid."  - Lawrence Solomon, writing on May 21, 2010 in the National Post, Canada
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LINK 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Shortcomings in the climate change policies of the Australian Government have been brought to light through the initiative during 2009 of independent Federal Senator Steve Fielding seeking a meeting with Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, at which the Senator posed three basic questions. The Minister had two science advisors, and Sen.Fielding had four independents. The questions, the Minister's answers, and the independents' commentary on those answers reveal the appalling lack of justification for the costly "carbon pollution reduction" measures being pushed by the Australian Govt, and similar moves in other western countries. To access go to the "Climate Change Documents" panel on Sen. Fielding's website:  LINK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • An open letter (dated December 12, 2007) to the Secretary-General of the United Nations by over 100 scientists expressing doubts that human-caused global warming constitutes a dangerous problem is available at http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164002. The published list of signatories to this letter ( including several New Zealander's) are available at http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164004
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • "Lord Lawson claims climate change hysteria heralds a 'new age of unreason'". Report by Christopher Booker in the "Telegraph.co.uk" web site on April 7, 2008. See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/04/06/ealawson106.xml
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • "The Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change" which was agreed to at a conference in New York in March 2008 in which scientists and researchers in climate and related fields, economists, policymakers and business leaders, among other things noted that "the causes and extent of recently observed climate changes are subject to intense debates in the climate science community and that the oft-repeated assertions of a 'supposed' consensus among climate experts  are false", is available at http://www.climatescienceinternational.org . This site also includes links to many sites which in the main question the "consensus" than 'man' rather than 'nature' in in control of the climate.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • For a viewpoint of a 15-year student from the US on the results of her research on climate change  which gives a refreshing viewpoint see http://home.earthlink.net/~ponderthemaunder/index.html
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • An internet posting for laypeople who want to know more about "global warming" and questioning whether it is "fact" or "hoax" , see the editorial by James A Peden at http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Am excellent  perspective on climate change emphasing the overall importance of natural causes is given in "Climate Change: A Natural Hazard". This book, written by William Kininmonth, was published by Multi-Science co, UK, in 2004. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • For a research paper on "Climate Change: Climate Science and the Stern Review" written by R.M. Carter, C.R deFreitas, I.M. Goklany, D. Holland, and R.S. Linsdzen which was published in "World Economics", Vol 8, No.2, April-June 2007, in which the authors state:" Wrong science breeds pointless economics; it's that simple",  see:  http://www.nzclimatescience/org/images/PDFs/wec00275_00802_henderson.pdf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •  For a web site dedicated to "sound public policy based on sound science" see:    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org . The Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) urges critical appraisal of legislative "climate fixes" for their social, political, and economic and security costs, along with their relative utility or futility.   "An Inconvenient Expert" is how the "Outside Magazine" describes US MIT climatologist Richard Lindzen. The article asks "Right or wrong - why do so many people think he should be silenced?"  For details see: http://outside.away.com/outside/culture/200710/richard-lindzen-1.html
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • NIWA 7 STATION REVIEW FAILS TO SHOW SIGNIFICANT TEMPERATURE CHANGES IN NZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As a result of probing by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition in 2010, questioning the accuracy of NIWA's Seven Station Series (7SS) temperature records, NIWA undertook a review of 7SS. Dr Vincent Gray, founding member of NZCSC, and IPCC expert review since inception,  has now analysed the review, and finds the results "compatible with the historic view of no significant change since records began." Dr Gray's penetrating paper wsa published in the June 2011 issue of Energy & Environment, Volume 22 No 4. Download pdf here 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Judgment of Mr Justice Burton in the UK High Court of Justice on October 10,2007 in relation to the case involving the showing of Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" to every state secondary school in the UK is given at  http://www.nzcpr.com/weekly102.htm. In paragraph 40 of the Judgment, Justice Burton states that teaching staff should take care to help pupils examine the scientific evidence critically and point out where Gore's view may be inaccurate or departs from that of mainstream opinion.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • A paper on the "Ultralong Solar Cycle 23 and possible consequences " by Joe D/Aleo is available at http://www.intellicast.com/Community/Content.aspx? a=130
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Climate Change - The Real Cause" is the subject of a report by Profeesor Geoffrey Duffy ( FRSNZ) who in his second and final paragraphs states:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "So what are the key players in ‘Climate Change’? The major driver is the sun. Warming depends on the sun. Cooling is due to the lack of sun’s energy. Radiant energy enters the earth’s atmosphere - air (on a dry basis) which mainly consists of nitrogen 78.08% and oxygen 20.94%. Of the 0.98% remaining, 0.934% (almost all) is the inert gas argon. Carbon dioxide CO2 is a trace. It is less than 400ppm (parts per million) or 0.04%. Surprisingly, less than a fifth of that is man-made CO2 (0.008% of the total), and that is only since the beginning of the industrial era and the rapid increase in world population."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Climate and local weather is forever changing. Sure we must minimise pollution of our air and water systems with obnoxious chemical and particulates, and not treat them as ‘sewers’. But even doubling or trebling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For the full report see
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 4. OTHER SITES

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust, a newly registered arm of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, filed a claim in the High Court in New Zealand  (in August 2010)  seeking a declaration by the Court to invalidate the NZ Temperature Record, currently promoted by NIWA, and featured on its website.  To download media release, backgrounder and summary of claim, link here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To download explanatory graph, link here 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The Statement of Claim by the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) and the Statement of Defence by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in the matter of the Court action about New Zealand's temperature records is given below.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NZCSET Statement of Claim: download pdf here 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NIWA Statement of Defence: download pdf here 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • A Powerpoint presentation of a Royal Society of New Zealand sponsored "Climate Workshop"  held in Wellington (NZ) on May 25, 2007, on the implications for NZ of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report see  http://www.rsnz.org/events/ipcc4/  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The New Zealand Institute has published papers on climate change with special reference to New Zealand. For "The economic effects of climate change: positioning New Zealand to respond" see  http://www.nzinstitute.org
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The New Zealand Ministry of the Environment in their magazine "Envronz"  dated July 2008 has a two page article on "Climate Change - Adaptation Demands Attention" . Among the pertinent comments are those of Sue Powell (Environment Ministry General Manager who states " It is not a case of being alarmist, it is simply getting people to use the scientific information available to minimise the risks and maximise the Opportunties that come with the physical impacts of climate change".  For details see http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/about/environz/environz-jul08/index.html?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •  The New Zealand PowerFutures Group forecasts of the spot electricity prices for three areas of New Zealand for selected weeks during the next two years , as well as the predicted  "hydro-electricity-climate" index for a selection of months for the North and South Islands of New Zealand during the next two years are available at: http://nzelectricitypriceforecasts.googlepages.com/home
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • PANEL DISCUSSION ON "CLIMATE CHANGE:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • .....BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A panel discussion on "Climate Change : Both Sides of the Story" ( which I chaired) was held at a  Rotary Conference in Cambridge on June 28 2008. I was President of the Rotary Club of Otumoetai for 2007-08, and Rotary District Governor John Tarbutt asked me in December 2007 to Chair a discussion on the above subject and to arrange the speakers.  I was fortunate to be able to obtain the services of Dr Jim Renwick from NIWA, who in the main, took the side of "man" and Dr Willem de Lange from the University of Waikato who in the main, took the side of "nature" .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The organisers were very generous in giving us 1 hour 20 minutes, and this discussion was held before  600 delegates.  I open the proceedings with a brief overview of the subject with reference to the fact that when I started in the "weather and climate business" over 50 years ago, nobody would have forecast that in 2007, 15,000 people would attend a climate change conference in Bali.  I pointed out that I was the only person invited from New Zealand to attend the key WMO,UNEP, ICSU Climate Conference in Villach, Austria, in 1985, which was in the mind of many people "the start of the whole complex subject of what role 'man' and in particular greenhouse gases have in  'controlling' our climate".  The  following is what I said in my opening remarks :

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ********************
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Forty-seven years ago, after already being a weather forecaster in New Zealand and Canada for a few years, I was appointed to the staff of the University of Otago as a Lecturer in geography.  Among my duties as a Lecturer I presented an Honours course in Climatology.  At Otago the course on climatology included two main topics, first the causes of climate change, and second the evidence for climate change.  At that time, little did I know, nor I suspect any of my students could foresee the explosive nature of the subject of "Climate Science" as it is now called, during the last decade, and particularly over the past few years. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My involvement in climate science has subsequently involved National Meteorological Services in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Universities in New Zealand, Canada, USA and Ireland, as well as many years involved in the World Meteorological Organization including being President of the WMO Commission for Climatology for 8 years. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Among the many climate science meetings I have attended, the most significant, at least as far as this afternoon is concerned, is my involvement in the WMO,UNEP.ICSU Conference held in Villach, Austria in October 1985. One hundred experts from 30 countries attended the meeting,( in contrast to thousands who now attend such meetings)  and I was privileged to be the only New Zealander invited. We were all there as experts in various fields of science endeavouring to do the best we could in looking at the complexities of climate science. -- 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Among the principal findings of this conference was   .......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "while other factors, such as aerosol concentration, changes in solar energy input, and changes in vegetation, may also influence climate, the greenhouse gases are likely to be the most important cause of climate change over the next century." 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At that time, even though I was partly responsible for the writing of the paragraph I have just read, I along with a few of my colleagues, had some misgivings about it, and were somewhat surprised that with a year "human-induced climate change" caught the imagination of much of the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Despite this concern, a colleague of mine from Australia, Bill Kinninmonth, who in 2004 wrote a book called "Climate Change - A Natural Hazard" has mentioned to me on several occasions that I have changed from being the :"gamekeeper" and become the "poacher".  Whether that is true is a matter of opinion.    I am sure Jim and Willem each have a view on that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      However, irrespective of my personal views on the matter, it is very clear that there are two main views held by Climate Scientists and others: 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      *  first those who are mainly involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many or most Government scientists, plus others, such as Al Gore, and many politicians and most journalists who consider that man, including domestic animals, is the prime cause of recent changes in the climate;

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      * second, those - in the main some University Scientists and ,any retired climatologists, and a minority of politicians and journalists, who consider that Nature (or God if you prefer) is the main cause of changes in the climate.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Even 20 years ago, it was unconceivable that the New Zealand Government would have a Minister in Charge of Climate Change.  Accordingly, as weather forecasters and climatologists in the 1960's and 1970's, we just got on with our job of making the best possible weather forecast and providing the best climate advice, without guidance or interference from the Government of the day.  How things have changed!  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Indeed, one of the most fascinating things about the climate change scene is the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tremendous growth in the political and economic aspects of it.  In 1970, I wrote a book called "The Value of the Weather", and later on in 1986 I published a book called "The Uncertainty Business - Risks and Opportunities in Weather and Climate".  In both books, I made only a few references to "global warming" or "climate change" but many references to variations in the weather and climate on a day to day, season to season, and year to year basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • It is my view that these variations are still paramount but the current emphasis seems to be on what is going to happen to the climate 20, 50 and 100 years ahead, and hence the debate we are now to have here this afternoon..

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jim and Willem were each given about 20 minutes to state their case, and this was followed by about 20 minutes of questions, some of which I obtained from attendees at the conference, but most were questions which came from me.  Prior to the conference, both Jim and Willem agreed that I should ask the questions. The following were some of the questions which I asked.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Questions :

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Irrespective of the cause of Climate Change, could you explain why the media and many politicians seem to consider that, in general warming, is a bad thing, and by inference does this mean that, in general cooling, is a bad thing? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. If the IPCC was forecasting a cooling rather than a warming, what difference do you think that would make in Government, UN and Greenpeace attitudes? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. The Maunder Minimum, from 1650-1715, which was a period of very low sunspot activities, and associated with very cold conditions in Europe, was a significant feature of the history of the last millennium.  Are we likely to get another Maunder-like minimum in the near future? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. During the period of Viking exploration from about 800 to 1300AD  the Northern Hemisphere was associated with relatively warm conditions, and in many cases it was warmer then than during the last 30 or 40 years. During that 1200's Greenland had about 3000 settlements period and yet by 1550 the last of them had disappeared.  There was no human-induced greenhouse warming during that period, so is there any reason why we could not have such a period again - perhaps like what we had from about 1970 to about 2000 - unrelated to what people and domestic animals are doing?. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5.  I understand that the IPCC seems to be giving relatively small importance to the role of the sun. Why is this the case? Do we really know all there is to know about solar activity? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6.  A key debate in the climate change arena appears to be whether increases in carbon dioxide ( from whatever cause) causes warming, or whether warming causes increases in carbon dioxide.  When do you think we will be able to establish the truth about these statements, or have I go it it all wrong? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7. Why is an increase in carbon dioxide not considered to be a good thing? I understand that some scientists suggest that the biosphere is currently suffering from "carbon dioxide starvation", and that a doubling of carbon dioxide would increase plant production by 20%. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8.  Many or most climate scientists who have publicly stated that they do not agree with the findings of the IPCC are labeled as "skeptics",  yet economists who disagree with the Reserve Bank on monetary matters are not considered be "economic skeptics", but simply experts who have a different view of things"  Why is this so? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9.  To WILLEM : If in the future it can be established without question that the current viewpoint of the IPCC is correct, how would people like yourself and organizations who take the contrary view of the IPCC, deal with this situation? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10.  To JIM :  If in the future it can be established without question that the current viewpoint of the IPCC is wrong, and that nature is the main driver of climate changes, how would the IPCC, and organizations like NIWA  deal with this situation? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      11.  My understanding is that most climate scientists who support the view that man rather than nature is in control of the climate are Government employees, whereas most climate scientists who support the view that nature, rather than man, is in control of the climate are in the main, retired.  On the other hand University Climate Scientists take a variety of positions on this subject.  Is there  any reason for this?  Is it linked to who finances the research, political agendas, or something else?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ************************************************************************* *********************
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jim and Willem were then given 5 minutes to sum up. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From what I heard from the attendees, the discussion seemed to be an excellent way of presenting this challenging subject, and my sense was that the majority of the audience there were yet to be convinced that man is really in control ( as most media, politicians including the G8 leaders, and the IPCC believe), rather than or nature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jim and Willem agreed on many points, but it was the interpretation of the data, much presented in graphical manner, which was the key difference in their presentation.  Jim obviously took in the main the "IPCC line", but agreed with Willem that we did not know everything, and Willem took in the main the more "academic line", but also agreed that we do not know everything.
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "foolish to believe humans can control global climate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      •  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At the request of the editor of the "Bay of Plenty Times" I was asked to write a guest editorial on climate change. The editorial was published on July 24, 2009. My original heading for the editorial was "Global cooling.. global warming" but this was changed by the newspaper to  "Foolish to believe humans can control global climate" .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • In considering both sides of the “global warming/cooling controversy” there are several key points to bear in mind. First, the climate has been changing ever since planet Earth was created, and climate change is best described as a natural hazard; second, climate change brings opportunities as well as risks – namely the opportunities of economic and social benefits, and the risks of not adapting to change; third, there are always surprises in science - we do not know everything. Further, although "cleaning up" the environment is what we should all do, whether we think we can control the climate by doing so is quite another matter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        However, at the last G8 Meeting in L'Aquila, Italy in July 2009, the G8 summit leaders stated: "We declare that the average global temperatures should not be allowed to exceed more than 2 degrees C". The absurdity of this statement is the belief that the global climate can be controlled by “Man”, and further that a rise of global temperature more than 2 degrees C is a bad thing. What is far more important is for all our political leaders to appreciate that “Nature” and not “Man” is the real driving force of our weather/climate system, and that the Sun pays no heed to human committees – no matter how powerful they think they are. We ignore this fact at our peril.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is very clear that there are two main views held by climate scientists and others:    first, those who are involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many or most Government scientists, plus others, such as Al Gore and his followers, and many politicians and most journalists who consider that man, and domestic animals, is the prime cause of recent changes in the climate; second, those - in the main many University scientists, the majority of retired climatologists, and a minority of politicians and journalists, who consider that “Nature” is the main cause of changes in the climate.  But whatever “camp” you are in, or follow, we (and our political masters) need to appreciate the following:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *. Communities and businesses and individuals should always live within their climatic income - both now and in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        * There are always surprises in science, and the science of climate change will probably never be fully understood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        * It is not always true that the climate we have now (wherever we live) is the best one ... some people (and animals and crops) may prefer it to be wetter, drier, colder, or warmer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        * Climatic variations and climatic changes from whatever cause (i.e. human induced or natural) clearly create risks, but also provide real opportunities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *  It is important that we should "clean-up" the environment by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, but we should do so because in most cases it makes good economic and social sense to do so. If, by so doing we also produce a "better" climate, then we will all be winners, but we should not expect to be able to "control" the climate. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally, one should always be aware that if it is really "Nature" and not "Man" in "control" of our climate,  then our only choice ( as has always been the case ) will be  to adapt to whatever "Nature" provides, and our ability to control such changes will be minimal if not zero. The need to forecast the changes that will occur in the climate of the future, and in particular how the current climate will vary over the next 10 to 20 years remains paramount, and the best climate-scientific brains are required to prepare all countries for whatever the future climate will be.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Big Questions on Climate Change Answered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The following was published in "Weather Watch" on 25 January 2010, and was published on a web site of the "New Zealand Herald"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Weather Watch weather analyst Philip Duncan's blogs on climate change have attracted a lot of reader interest. He took readers' 10 most commonly asked questions and put them to Dr James Renwick, Principal Scientist, Climate Variability & Change at NIWA.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dr James Renwick. File photo / Mark Mitchell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dr James Renwick. File photo / Mark Mitchell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Philip Duncan: 1) It feels like summers in New Zealand aren't as hot as they used to be - it doesn't feel like NZ is getting hotter at all?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dr Renwick: I hear that comment quite a lot, and I think a lot of it is psychological. My perception is that when you're young you spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer...the older we get the more time we spend indoors, in the office, less holidays etc. So our perception is that summers used to be hotter, but I can assure you that the data show it is definitely warming up and has done so over the last century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) If the world is heating up, why are places like USA and UK seeing record cold and snow?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's the difference between global change and regional change. The USA and UK have had a very cold winter, but other parts of the northern hemisphere, such as Greenland, Alaska and the Arctic Ocean have been much warmer than average over the past few weeks, but this didn't make the headlines. We need to be careful with comparing a local region to what's happening across the whole globe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3) Why was Global Warming replaced with the term "Climate Change"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's a really interesting question and I don't believe it ever was changed. My perception is that Climate Change has always been used in the scientific community, however the term "Global Warming" was something perhaps used more by the media and then the term stuck. There's a lot more to climate change than just warming - that's why all the scientists I know use and have always used the term "Climate Change". I don't think there has ever been an "official" replacement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4) Last decade was NZ's warmest decade on record - but wasn't the increase within the margin of error or at the very least, a tiny change?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are two ways of looking at that. One of the records we used was based on seven climate stations which have data for well over 100 years. The difference in the averages (between the 2000s and the 1980s) from those stations was indeed very small and within margin of error. However it's important to note that four decades in a row have been significantly warmer than those before it. There are other records that can be used, such as the 11 reliable climate sites we described on our website last year, and in that data set the 2000s and the 1980s (next warmest decade) were more than one 10th of a degree different, which is significant. So the last 10 years were a bit warmer, and the last few decades have been a lot warmer than all the previous decades in the record, which shows an overall warming trend. If it was natural variability then you would expect a recent decade to have been cooler, like it was in the 1920s, say - but we aren't seeing any decades dropping back to those sorts of levels - and it's very unlikely going into the future that any will be that much cooler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5) If the world is getting hotter, how come 2009 was cooler than average in NZ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is partly the same as question 2. It's important to remember that New Zealand covers a small fraction of the globe. Climate change doesn't mean every year will be warmer in every country. It also doesn't mean every year will be warmer globally. There are always ups and downs but the trend is upwards. For instance, last century the eastern US actually cooled for several decades while the globe overall warmed up significantly. In the last 25 years however, that local cooling has reversed, as the globe has continued to warm. So, the overall trend is upwards, but even then we do see some cooling regions and some cooler periods. There are patches of the globe, sometimes quite large patches, which can go against the overall trend for a while - but that misses the point...if you're thinking about global change you have to look at the whole globe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6)Weather forecasters can't even predict the weather 2 weeks out, how can climate scientists predict 10 or 50 years out?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well that's confusing the weather with the climate. Its true you can't predict the exact daily sequence of the weather more than a week or two out. But we (climate scientists) can say, with quite a lot of certainty, that July is going to be cooler than January in Auckland because seasonal change in the climate is predictable...and changes in the average climate over decades are also quite predictable. We're not in the business of saying what the weather will be like in Jan 2050, but we can predict average conditions several decades out on the basis of greenhouse gas increase. Here are a couple of analogies that might help explain my point:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Analogy1: Imagine you're out in the harbour on your boat. Predicting the weather is a bit like predicting the ripples of the waves on the sea caused by the wind. Predicting the climate is more like predicting the tides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Analogy 2: Nobody can predict exactly when you and I will die, but insurance companies make a lot of money from knowing what the average death rate is - this average can't be applied to any individual. Predicting the climate is like using those life expectancy tables...we can predict the averages and the overall statistics with a fair degree of accuracy. Predicting the weather is more like tracking an individual person...certainly more variable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7) Is 30 years of weather data long enough to use as a "guide" for predicting the future?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The four warmest decades where the last four decades...and some have interpreted that to mean we didn't have data from before that. Actually, we have good records from a lot of stations in NZ from the last 70 or 80 years and some back well over 100 years. Globally, scientists use ice cores, tree rings, and other records to estimate climate over several hundred or thousand years. 30 years is certainly not long enough but no one is actually using just 30 years of data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7B: You just mentioned ice cores - but haven't they showed big warming's in the past?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes you're right, and that tells us the climate is sensitive. ...it just happens that it has been pretty stable while human society has been around. There are certainly natural things that cause fluctuations, such as changes in the Earth's orbit that drive the ice ages, but it's also clear that human activity - CO2, Greenhouse gas release affects the climate as well...in fact, basic physics shows that today's greenhouse gas release is a much faster way to heat the planet than the slow natural warming process that ends an ice age. I often hear this argument: Because there are natural causes of variation then the concept of human-caused variations is impossible - i.e. there's been natural cause in the past so then that rules out a human cause now. That argument just doesn't make sense. Natural influences have caused the climate to change quite a lot in the past and that should give us concern...it shows that the climate is variable, and vulnerable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8)Are scientists scared to speak out about what they really believe for fear of being alarmist or not "going with the consensus"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well no (laughing)...no not at all. Scientists are in the business they're in because they want to find out what's actually happening with the natural world. I don't know one scientist who is scared to speak out about what they believe...and believe is an interesting word. Science is about observing the natural world and building understanding on those observations, it's not about belief. Scientists publish their results openly, there's no fear of speaking out at all. Going with the "consensus" is an illusion too. For instance, the IPCC is a review process - it summarises what thousands of scientists all over the world have observed, or modeled, or deduced - it doesn't dictate to them, just summarises. It turns out 99.9 per cent of work reported does indeed form a consensus... that's a reflection of how things are, of what the real world looks like - it's a very clear picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9) Why does it seem that climate change is so doom and gloom? I'm burnt by warnings of things like SARS, Y2K, Bird Flu, Swine Flu etc how can I trust the experts on this one?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There isn't an easy answer to that...there have been a lot of things in the media that haven't turned out to be as important or dangerous as we are led to believe...and if you're not an expert in those fields then what do you believe? What I can say is that with climate change there is an incredible weight of evidence that shows that climate change is happening...it is definitely a problem. Almost every scientific paper out there supports this view. The IPCC process is designed to help non-experts understand the problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are a lot of dire possibilities with future climate change...all the scientist I know are very concerned, and have a sense of urgency about taking action. To help convey that sense or urgency to the public, we sometimes do focus on the biggest issues or risks. It's important to note though that it's not all doom and gloom...there will be some winners, at least in the short term....perhaps more grass or grape growth in colder parts of New Zealand...but unfortunately there will be more losers than winners for the globe, and more at risk as times goes on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10) Copenhagen seemed like a complete waste of money...are politics helping or confusing your cause?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Science is about evidence and understanding the natural world, so scientists are not in the business of politics. But there has to be a political process to deal with this problem, one that's informed by the science. There is no alternative to dealing with this, and individual countries need to work together. Getting that cooperation going can seem slow and confusing, and a bit of a time wasting process.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From my point of view it would be great if the political process was more efficient and faster. Copenhagen was a bit disappointing...but given human nature, I guess the world community has to go through these stages before we really get somewhere. I was just reading a report on Copenhagen (from the Business Council for Sustainable Development)...and the author said it reminded him of going to a dance as a teenager...it takes a long time to get couples up on the dance floor... but eventually someone gets up and dances, and then everyone wants to dance. That was Copenhagen - things didn't really get going there, but we hope the big players will be ready to dance soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the scientific community there is a great deal of concern and a sense of urgency - that we have to do something now. This hasn't quite gotten through to the international political world. We aren't taking it seriously enough yet...and there isn't a lot of time left to get on top of things.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For further information contact Dr John Maunder at: climate@ihug.co.nz