Guest post by Steven Goddard
The UK National Trust is warning of a 2-4C rise in summer temperatures by the end of the century. They envision English gardens full of palm trees, Bougainvillea and tropical fruit, as seen above.
The apple orchards have been replaced with orange groves, the turf covered over with gravel and the summer borders replanted with cacti. They may look like scenes from a Portugese holiday, but these images could be the future of the traditional English garden, plant experts claimed yesterday. The striking images are part of a National Trust campaign to highlight how gardens will look if global warming brings Mediterranean weather to Britain in the next few decades.
And Met Office Climate models expect most of the northern hemisphere to turn red hot, particularly the Arctic which they expect to warm up by more than 16C in the next ninety years.
In the real UK (the one that exists outside the Met Office Supercomputers) the last three summers have all been complete washouts, the last two winters have been bitter cold, and over the last eighty years, summertime temperatures have risen only 0.5C.
Graph generated from Met Office UK temperature data
Most of the observed 0.5C rise has likely been due to UHI effects, as the UK population has increased by 50% since 1930. Many people in England would prefer to see the tropical paradise which the National Trust promises, but in the meantime they will just have to live with the usual UK rain. However, it is commendable that the National Trust employs top notch artists with an active imagination.
These studies by the Met Office and National Trust lead me to the inevitable scientific question – what are these people thinking with these forecasts?