Two years to a 1740-type event?

Guest essay by David Archibald

Wiggle-matching has been used by the best. Hubert Lamb, considered to be the most meticulous climatologist of all time, used wiggle-matching in this wind data graph he published in 1988:


He had plotted up 600 years of wind data at London, noted a 200 year periodicity and copied the line 200 years to the right to make a forecast.

One of the puzzles of the last 300 years of climate is the temperature drop of 1740. It came out of the blue after a number of warm years in the 1730s. There is nothing in the Be10 record or the volcanic record to suggest a cause.

It came a couple of years after the peak of a fairly strong solar cycle. The event of 1740 attracted the attention of Briffa and Jones in their 2006 paper “Unusual Climate in Northwest Europe During the Period 1730 to 1745 Based on Instrumental and Documentary Data”. From the abstract of that paper,” This study focuses on one of the most interesting times of the early instrumental period in northwest Europe (from 1730–1745) attempting to place the extremely cold year of 1740 and the unusual warmth of the 1730s decade in a longer context.” The only conclusion that they came to was climate might vary more than is commonly accepted.

So what does that period up to 1740 wiggle-match with? It matches with the warmth of the last 30 years:


The graph above shows the Central England Temperature (CET) record from 1703 to 1745 as the blue line. Plotted on it is the CET record from 1978 to 2012. Normally when you align 34 year lengths of temperature records you don’t get any correlation. The correlation on this particular matchup is 0.112. The statisticians amongst us can argue over whether or not anything can be read into that. If something can be read into it, we only have to wait two years to experience the consequences. The spike down is also prominent in the de Bilt record:



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Steve Keohane

Brrrr! Not what I would prefer, and certainly more dangerous than warming.

Chris @NJSnowFan

Could of had something to do with the PDO and AMO.


Well even if we don’t understand the causes, and even if we have to suffer a debilitating cold would at least kill off the CAGW nonsense….you would think?

Hopefully confined to the Northern Hemisphere like “global” warming…


“The correlation on this particular matchup is 0.112.”
I presume you mean r²? Sorry, I’m not impressed. Wiggle-matching is interesting, and a way to look at data to spot possible relationships or mechanisms, but that’s about it. I’d say the relationship here, if any, is very tenuous, with an r² of less than 0.4.

jai mitchell

The UK Met recently called an emergency meeting with the world’s top climate scientists to discuss how melting polar ice is radically altering that country’s weather. A permanent blocking high pressure system has formed over Greenland. This high has, effectively, caused the Arctic to invade the UK with increasing ferocity. The state is now so extreme that the Met is calling a meeting of the world’s climate experts to discuss what the future may hold.
Yes Dorothy, it really IS climate change
Dr. Slingo, Britain’s top climate scientist notes how persistent high pressure systems are blocking the polar wind pattern from moving. What this means is that the weather simply cannot change. Increasingly, the UK has become a part of the Arctic. Slingo noted to ITV News:
Its called a “blocking pattern”
If this is how climate change could manifest itself, then we need to understand that as a matter of urgency.
Absolutely no one can deny that the weather is changing in the extreme. Keep your eyes on the arctic.

jai mitchell

More research on the Greenland blocking high
As stated, a blocking pattern like this ranks among the strongest ever; to further illustrate that fact, I have plotted the 500 mb height composite anomaly from the 12 separate dates on which the AO plunged to its most negative values in recorded history. The composite, shown below, reveals positive anomalies in excess of 350m near Greenland – neatly matching the current block’s intensity.
One more remarkable aspect of this major league block: observations over Greenland are threatening to break the worldwide record for highest barometric pressure of 1083.3 mb, set on Dec. 31, 1968 in Siberia. NCEP’s Ocean Prediction Center analyzed the surface map (from Tuesday night) below, which features a high pressure center of at least 1074 mb over Greenland.

jai mitchell says:
“Keep your eyes on the arctic.”
What mitchell really means is, ‘Pay no attention to the Antarctic’, because the Antarctic falsifies everything mitchell is saying: Total global ice cover is increasing. Long term polar ice is rising [the red line]. But mitchell ignores facts that do not support his climate alarmist world view.

James Allison

jai mitchell says:
June 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm
So its the melting icecap thats causing the blocking high is it?


Sigh! IF it does head that way, standbye for the rush to any form of nuclear energy plant that can be built ASAP, under the new post Obama World Energy Emergency Management plan, renamed as World Obama Management Energy Nuclear plan WOMEN Plan ,,,[no gender insult intended!!], just good warm world housekeeping..

David Archibald

jai mitchell says:
June 18, 2013 at 9:30 pm
A blocking high possibly caused by the Ap Index or the EUV being very week.


David, you missed the most interesting part. What has the frequency of the southwest wind at London done in the past 20 years?
I would guess that, given the low temperature crisis that jai mitchell is worried about, that we might just be at the nadir on the graph predicted by Lamb. Southwest wind should tend to bring balmy air to Britain — and thus a low frequency of southwest winds should correlate to lower temperatures.
If Lamb’s prediction is right, then the crisis will start to abate soon.


I continue to believe that kinetic energy should be a primary factor in the climate models. When conditions in the climate system are such that incoming solar radiation is efficiently converted to kinetic energy in the atmosphere, the remaining energy available for heat is lowered. Conversely, when conditions are not favorable to kinetic energy development the energy balance shifts to favor heating of the atmosphere and re radiation out into space.
I’ll spend the rest of my years trying to get a coherent hypothesis together and then discover I am completely wrong! That’s the beauty of science; it is a marvelous journey that is never “settled”.


jai mitchell says:
June 18, 2013 at 9:30 pm
More research on the Greenland blocking high
Does that have anything to do with the extremely warm temps in Alaska right now or is that a separate phenomenon. I’ve heard reports of temps ranging from 82 – 98 degrees across the state after having unusually cold temps until just recently.


I often wonder on which planet some internet commenters reside. This thread has me wondering the same. But okay, sure, we’ll keep our eyes on the Arctic. Because, you know, with everything else that’s been going on, somehow we forgot to look there. Right?

Theo Goodwin

jai mitchell says:
June 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm
“The state is now so extreme that the Met is calling a meeting of the world’s climate experts to discuss what the future may hold.”
Why is the Met calling this meeting? Clearly, the Met is at a loss as to what is going on or they would tell us what is going on. Are they looking for help? Seems unlikely because all the Met understands are their own computer models. Could it be that (1) they are attempting to change the topic from their own disastrous performance of recent years and (2) they are calling upon friends to help them recover from the implosion of their rationale for claims of CAGW, also known as creating a new consensus?
If the blocking high will be stuck there for years then England, parts of Europe, and parts of Asia face another Little Ice Age. Now what does AGW have to do with that? We cannot lower CO2 emissions dramatically enough to prevent such a Little Ice Age. Are you suggesting that the blocking high will remain in place until emissions are lowered dramatically? I think that you have pushed into an area of theory where even Alarmists fear to tread.


Is everyone watching how the climate alarmists are slowly turning themselves around.
Once was global warming (that stopped 17 or so years ago),
then climate change, (not much happening there, still up and down all over the place, is it has always been)
then extreme weather..(hurricanes etc mostly declining)…
. next step is global cooling…. just watch…. 🙂
Jai’s already on the march down that laneway !


> Southwest wind should tend to bring balmy air to Britain
Also, a large blocking high over Greenland should cause less southwest wind in London. This would be compatible with (but *not demand*) similar blocking high patterns 200 years ago. And 400 years ago. And so on.

John F. Hultquist

The only conclusion that they came to was climate might vary more than is commonly accepted.
If this was just for one year, 1740, then “climate” may be the wrong word. So, substitute the word “weather.” The real issue is who gets to say what is “commonly accepted”? They didn’t ask me. I’m pretty convinced that both weather and climate vary considerably. If it is very cold or very warm in 2 years, I won’t be surprised or concerned. Interested, yes.

Gary Hladik

How well does the 34-year CET record preceding the 1740 event correlate with random 34-year CET records (i.e. other than 1978 – 2012)?

Reblogged this on The Next Grand Minimum and commented:
This is an interesting observation that needs more study.

I think the correlation of the two graphs is coincidental and a micro ice age is unlikely.
In the UK we have had a succession of mild winters in the nineties and noughties, this has caused the more ill-informed climatologists to metaphorically run around in ever decreasing circles telling us we are all doomed! The last four winters have been colder than average, because that is what averages do! To demonstrate the ineptitude of these so called scientists, Slingo and co have called a meeting to discuss the current “extreme” weather and it’s relationship with AGW. Sorry to disappoint, but it is neither extreme nor AGW induced. No doubt they have come to the very opposite conclusion because although the science says “no”, their mantra says “yes”!

To the best of my understanding melting ice would release enthalpy of fusion, warming the ocean and thereafter the atmosphere, causing low pressure, not high.
Have you ever watched the NOAA 12000m animation? Cooling and descending air is the definition of high pressure. It is the reason we have subtropical deserts. It is the reason we see high pressure anomalies throughout the Arctic these days. Shifting here and there, but very persistent overall. The high pressure does not result from the melting ice, it causes the ice to melt.
The science is simple and well understood. The optical properties of ice are surprisingly similar to water. UV goes into it as if it were butter. IR not much. Pretty much why it reads blue to us when backlit.
Try not to demonize change. The winds today are the winds of change, but they are the very same winds that have blown since time immemorial.

Air temps in the Arctic are lower than normal for this time of the year and may even stay as low as if not lower than 1993 and 1980, leading to a shorter melt season? Interested to hear what others may think about this.
All due to CO2 of course, /sarc


It appears that we’re entering a 187 year solar cycle. It happens that after every 17 solar cycles, there is a particular Jovian planet conjunction and a consequent transfer of orbital momentum to the sun. The transfer of orbital momentum (and barycenter shift) perturbs the sun’s plasma and creates conditions of high solar activity (late 20th Century) followed by periods of abnormally low solar activity. Humans have seen this many times in the past, most recently during the Dalton (1790-1830) and Maunder (1645-1715) Minimums. Whether or not the abnormally cold conditions during the low solar activity periods are caused by low altitude clouds precipitated by cosmic rays and muons, the fact remains that we may be witnessing the start of our very own “Minimum”. From what I can gather, warming is preferable, not only from a comfort and energy preservation point of view, but also because dramatic cooling adversely affects the growing season and harvest production.

Stephen Wilde

I have been dealing with the change in jet stream behaviour since 2008 having first noticed a reversal of the earlier trend back in 2000.
It cannot be anything to do with reducing Arctic ice for the following reasons:
I) Up to 2000 reducing ice was for 20 years accompanied by more poleward zonal jets. The opposite of what we have now.
ii) The southern hemisphere is also seeing similar changes in jet stream behaviour and sea ice has been increasing in the Antarctic.
I cannot understand how it can be that experienced climatologists are not aware of those facts.
The changes are due to solar variations affecting the temperature of the stratosphere as I explained here:
“How The Sun Could Control Earth’s Temperature by Stephen Wilde: LLB (Hons.), Solicitor, Associate Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, guest post at Climate Realists ”
Monday, November 15th 2010, 8:26 AM EST
I suspect that a sudden short term dip after a period of warming could be due to the system remaining in ”fast transfer of energy throughput’ mode for a few years after the solar warming effect ceases.
Then the speed of energy throughput slows down as the circulation changes result in more cloudiness and the system recovers somewhat from the initial dip.


@Niff – Sorry, it would actually be quite the opposite: It would only kill off anything at all, IF we DID understand the cause. — If your present understanding is formed based upon what you know already / so far, NOT adding extra insight is NEVER a reason to change anything… I hope you don’t work like that at home 😉

jai Mitchell said;
‘Absolutely no one can deny that the weather is changing in the extreme. Keep your eyes on the arctic.’
I replied to this nonsense in the Muller thread. We can see numerous examples of blocking highs and jet stream movements in the old weather observations dating back hundreds of years. If you are British you need to learn more about the climatic history of your own country. Read some Lamb and then follow it up with a comprehensive overview from Ladurie..

Stephen Wilde

jai points out the higher pressure recently over Greenland and the Northern Arctic in general but fails to note that the switch to such a negative AO is pretty much coincidental with low solar activity.
In contrast, the high solar activity of the late 20th century was coincidental with a generally positive AO.
The same relationship was observed in the cooler middle part of the 20th century, the warmer early 20th century, the LIA and the MWP.
The evidence is clear in my view.
In ice ages the AO would have been even more extremely positive with climate zones and jets pushed way down towards the equator. In those cases orbital changes altered the solar effects whereas on shorter time scales (1000 years or so) the changes appear to arise from cyclical shifts in the mix of particles and wavelengths from the sun as activity waxes and wanes.
Such changes in mix appear to alter stratospheric temperature differentially between equator and poles thus affecting the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles thus allowing the jets and climate zones to slide to and fro latitudinally.
The mechanism is via changes in the balance of destruction and creation of ozone at different heights.
Overall, an active sun cools the stratosphere whilst an inactive sun warms the stratosphere which is the opposite of established climatology but matches observations if one takes the assumed effects of CO2 and CFCs out of the mix.
I think it will turn out that the cooling stratosphere of the late 20th century was nothing to do with us after all or if we had any effect it was dwarfed by natural variability

Here is Cet from 1538 to the present day measured in 10 and 50 year periods and showing the 1740 dip well.. The overall variability can be readily seen. Note , it is my reconstruction from 1538 to 1659 which is the start date of the CET instrumental record.


Although statistically significant data is helpful in confirming or disconfirming CAGW theory, I think well-meaning scientists risk falling into the same trap as CAGW zealots, when presenting data with little statistical significance; which this data, with an R2 of just 0.11, appears to be.
Yes, it would be interesting–and damning–to CAGW theory if there was a sudden and severe drop in global temperatures within the next 2 years, but if the opposite should happen with a strong El Nino event, then perhaps some credibility is lost.
Perhaps I’m reading too much into this post, but I do believe discretion is the better part of valor.


I hope to heck that this doesn’t happen.
The UK’s energy supply is in such a parlous state due to the green agenda. Wind turbines don’t work well when they are frozen !!
They need time to build it back up, which they will have if the coming temperature decline is gradual. If its a quick drop, they are in deep trouble. !
If Obama gets his way, America could have real energy supply problems well. They need to stop that idiocy in its tracks before its too late !
At least Germany and China will have the benefit of a good solid coal powered electricity system. Neither a warming climate or a cooling one is a major issue so long as your energy supply system is robust. Unfortunately, this is an area where great damage has been done by the CAGW hoax.

Cees de Valk

That is not a match in any reasonable sense but an exercise in self-deception. You can “match” any two relatively short stretches of a smoothed noisy signal (smoothing makes them look like waves). Despite that, in this case, the agreement is still poor.


And what’s this about ice melt.?
The Arctic Sea Ice area, for June, is above any value its been in the last 8-10 years !




And the weather here in the UK is not ‘extreme’. We are used to it – that’s why we talk about it all the time.’The coldest spring for a hundred years’ we read – what caused it a hundred years ago? I ask. The Met have always struggled to predict the weather.

M Courtney

SAMURAI says at June 19, 2013 at 12:09 am
Spot on.
Weather is not climate.
TonyB’s work on long term trend in the Midlands is climate.
A couple of bad (olr good – it’s subjective) years is not signiicant. It is weather.

richard verney

jai mitchell says: June 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm
“Yes Dorothy, it really IS climate change…Absolutely no one can deny that the weather is changing in the extreme. Keep your eyes on the arctic.”
Having lived in the UK for approximately 50 years, I am unaware of any climate change as far as the UK is concerned. Sure there have been variations from year to year, but nothing beyond the bounds of natural variation, and nothing which indicates some form of climate shift.
Since 2000, CET has fallen by about 0.5degC, which effectively cancels out half the warming seen in the 20th century. CET winter temperatures have fallen by about 1.5degC. As far as winters are concerned, this has cancelled out the 20th century warming.
2 points to note:
(i) the fall in winter temperatures (Dec to Feb) is substantial (-1.5degC) but since the annual fall is only 0.5degC it follows that there has been much smaller reduction in the other seasonal average anomaly, indeed, summer temps have fallen little. So this is mainly a winter phenomena.
(ii) since it is mainlly a winter phenomena, Arctic ice coverage has little to do with matters. Arctic ice reaches a summer minimum in September, thereafter it begins to recover. Winter ice extent in the Arctic has not varied much. The reality is that the ice extent in December and January, just when the UK is receiving its cold weather, is not significantly different from the long term norm!
Of course, the UK has in the past had some cold winters, eg., the winter of 1963 and the late 40s. Are you suggesting:
(a) that these were the result of Arctic ice extent?
(b) Are you suggesting that in 1963 and 1948, the Arctic ice melt was similar to say the period 2009 to 2012?
(c) If those cold winters were not due to the state of Arctic ice in those years, what caused those winters to be cold?
(d) If when answering (c) you allege that they were not due to Arctic ice extent but due to some other reason, please explain why that other reason is not responsible for the cold winters seen from 2009 onwards.
I cannot see what there is not to like about an ice free Arctic. The melt does not give rise to sea level rise (since Arctice ice is floating sea ice), and it is part of the self regulator, namely that an ice free Arctic allows heat from the Arctic ocean to radiate to space rather than being trapped by ice (which acts like a lid on a sauspan preventing heat loss from the ocean), and this increased heat loss would more than off’set any extra heat brought about by change in summer albedo.
It is funny that if the weather is changing, all or nearly all records are in the past, namely warmest day, coldest day, rainiest day, coldest winter, wettest year etc. These are all past records. This strongly suggests that weather is variable and any perceived recent change is not outside the usual limits of variability.

Bill N

Two questions for consideration and request for references:
(1) Is it established that during ice ages the jet stream was at much lower latitudes and that temperate/tropic temps were above “normal” for a nearly “normal” TSI? Cue pictures of balmy conditions within close proximity to a wall of ice.
(2) Has there been recent literature discussing an Ice Age “see-saw” with NH ice cover 12kyr ago and SH (i.e., Atarctic) Ice Age now? Ice reached around 40N where most land in SH is closer to equator than 40S.


I represent Joe Public who knows nothing about climate science but read this site with a huge amount of interest. What brought me here? Alarmist media claims that made me afraid for my family and so I wanted to know more – to be informed. The alarmist media have created a psyche in the general population that almost ANY weather event of interest is AGW related. It is only when you point out to people that we had snow in 1964 and 100 years ago that was similar to what we have experienced recently that they then break the link between weather events and supposed AGW. And even in the face of falling temperatures articles like this appear that STILL bang on about how a rise in 2 degrees cannot be avoided and that this means we are all going to starve.
Anyway – sorry to interrupt the intellectuals! Post on 🙂

Gail Combs

DMarshall says:
June 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm
….Does that have anything to do with the extremely warm temps in Alaska right now or is that a separate phenomenon. I’ve heard reports of temps ranging from 82 – 98 degrees across the state after having unusually cold temps until just recently.
Actually yes. This is what Stephen Wilde has been going on about for years. comment link
Blocking Highs are to be seen frequently when the Jets move from Zonal flow to Meridional flow as they have done in recent years. (For definitions and descriptions see link 1 and link 2) The Russian drought a few years ago was caused by a Blocking High. NASA: Extreme 2010 Russian Fires and Pakistan Floods Linked Meteorologically… research finds that the same large-scale meteorological event — an abnormal Rossby wave — sparked extreme heat and persistent wildfires in Russia as well as unusual downstream wind patterns that shifted rainfall in the Indian monsoon region and fueled heavy flooding in Pakistan.
This is why the CAGW Media propaganda has switched from ‘Global Warming’ to ‘Weather Weirding/Extremes’ Meridional flow IS going to give you weather extremes, such as droughts, floods, extreme heat and extreme cold. This means you can get great headlines. Remember
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ~ H. L. Mencken
And the goal of politics is control of the population while they and their buddies extract as much wealth from the sheeple as possible. Why the general population has not figured that out and realized ALL our present politicians with few exceptions no matter the affiliation are crooks is beyond me.

Greg Goodman

jai mitchell says:
“The state is now so extreme that the Met is calling a meeting of the world’s climate experts to discuss what the future may hold.”
What is extreme is the corner they’ve got themselves into.
They are looking for an exit strategy. They were the first and AFAIK still the only major national climate research body to down-grade their short term climate predictions. I think they have understood what is about to happen and are trying to work out how to U-turn after 30 year of alarmist without looking totally stupid and incompetent.
At least they are looking for a way out. Others are still looking for the ‘missing heat’.

Gail Combs

The NASA link on the Russian drought is this link.


@ mark. “’The coldest spring for a hundred years’ we read – what caused it a hundred years ago”
And down here (near Sydney, Australia) this year we finally reached the temperature record of 74 years ago, after all this warming . and of course Sydney hasn’t grown as an urban centre at all since then 😉 No urban warming down here, y’know !!

Niff says:
June 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm
Well even if we don’t understand the causes, and even if we have to suffer a debilitating cold would at least kill off the CAGW nonsense….you would think?
Probably not. CAGW is a religion, not science.

Gail Combs

AB says: @ June 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm
Air temps in the Arctic are lower than normal for this time of the year…. Interested to hear what others may think about this.
If the temp continues low and more importantly the North Atlantic is cooler so the Arctic ice ‘Recovers’ we can expect a media blackout on those facts and lots of spin by the Peccatogenesists.

Greg Goodman

Stephen Wilde says: jai points out the higher pressure recently over Greenland and the Northern Arctic in general but fails to note that the switch to such a negative AO is pretty much coincidental with low solar activity.
I’m still trying to understand why CO2 at Mauna Loa seems so closely linked to AO.
Especially since 2000 AO seems to account for almost all the variation from the mean rise of 2ppm/a
The two phase shifts I fitted seem close to the two of main peaks in E-W trade wind speeds:
I have not looked at the timing of those cycles post- and pre-2000 but that may be interesting.

Greg Goodman

When I say still trying to work out , a lot has to be to do with Henry’s Law as I noted under the graph. I just don’t see why Arctic is either so dominant or else correlated to that which does dominate.
Henry’s Law:
the solubility of a gas in a liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of the gas above the liquid.


@David – The graphs don’t have anything that I see as predictive. What was left out? The solar cycle overlay?
@Jai – you have got to be kidding me. This is about the most ridiculous claim ever.
” A permanent blocking high pressure system has formed over Greenland.”
Permanent? Did I miss some Icelandic volcanic active that put up a 15 mile high dike recently?