Met Office Data Uncertainties


Image Credit : Met Office

And the people cried “Let my data go !” And lo, it came to pass, that the time came for the UK’s Met Office’s Hadley Centre’s new HadCRUT4 near surface temperature analysis data set to be born online.

And across the land, the people wielded Excel spreadsheets and the like in the quest for visual engagement with the hot new numbers.

And it was seen that the year 2010 was hotter than 1998, and a number of other years in between were similarly warmer than 1998, and many climate change sceptics who had been so withering in their blanket denial of global warming quaked in their doubtful boots.

Interestingly, trends could be seen in the global averages, and so a linear trendline was plotted :-

And it could also be seen that the most recent data strayed above this trendline quite significantly, so instead polynomial curves were drawn :-

That cooling that had been going on for the best part of 10,000 years clearly had its end acound 1880 – following which, global warming kicked in, and appeared to accelerate.

And there were attempts to visualise the new kinds of uncertainty in the new data set. By judicious use of a colour spectrum, it could be seen that the smaller the uncertainty, the darker the colour :-




It could be seen that doubt is more present where black is not the dominant colour. And these interesting things were noted :-

1. The Southern Hemisphere uncertainties remain quite large relative to the Tropics and the Northern Hemisphere.

2. The Northern Hemisphere and Tropics data is (or “are” if you’re being pedantic) quite uncertain recently, since about the year 2000. Why should that be so ?

One thought on “Met Office Data Uncertainties”

  1. And yet there’s been no statistically significant warming since 1999, sea level rise has ground to an almost complete halt, Antarctic sea ice extent is above the 1979-2000 average, global sea ice extent is above the 1979-200 average and Arctic sea ice might soon cross the 1979-200 average as well. Things just aren’t working out well for you premature climaxers, are they?

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