Tuesday 2 April 2024

Temperatures in my youth and now

How have external temperatures changed in my lifetime? I have been playing with graphs that show current X (e.g. temperature) as a line versus historic X as typical ranges. Here is one showing temperature in East Anglia in my youth (age 0 to 21) versus the last six whole years. The shaded areas show the range of temperatures seen from 1963 to 1984, with green and blue being below the median while orange and red are above the median. The temperatures are the average, including overnight, The maximum temperature chart actually looks much the same only shifted up a bit.

Mean temperatures by month in East Anglia from 2018 through 2023, versus typical temperatures (shaded) from 1963 to 1984. Click to see this enlarged.

Most of the time, the temperatures from the last six years are comfortably in the orange and red zones. Every year the peak is in the red zone - that means that peak for the last six years has been in at least the top 20% of years from my youth. In all six years there is at least one month where the average temperature is above the red zone. That means it is above the 97.5 percentile from my youth.

Winters are also warmer but there are still cold periods. In three of the years. the winter temperature goes into the green which is below average for my youth. However it never goes into the blue, the coldest 20%.

The same kind of chart for rainfall looks much more erratic, though there do seem to be more extremes of drought than wetness.

As above but showing total rainfall for each month.

Longer, hotter summers mean we use more water and more frequent droughts means we have less available. Combined with population growth this puts huge pressure on our water resources. Please fill in the Transition Cambridge water usage survey - and pass this on to your friends.

All the data is from the Met Office for East Anglia.

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