UK National Temperature record at Cambridge Botanic Garden –An examination of the data.

Guest Post by Tony Brown

Section 1 Introduction

A visit to the Botanical gardens in Cambridge was made by the author of this paper on August 7th 2020 between 10.15AM to 12.25pm.  The purpose was to look at the site of the Stevenson screen there,  following the establishment at this location of the highest ever recorded UK instrumental  temperature, confirmed by the Met Office as 38.7 C ( 101.6 Fahrenheit ) taken at the gardens on 25 July 2019, and to determine the possible effects on this record caused by urbanisation.  From the botanic garden web site we note:

 “Analysis of the Garden’s weather records show that over the last 100 years our average temperature has risen by 1.2 Celsius and the hottest day, highest monthly and yearly average have all occurred within the last 20 years. The highest ever temperature recorded at the Garden before this new record was 36.9 C, recorded on 10 August, 2003.”  * See; “Section 5; Temperature trends.”

Cambridge University Botanic Garden records highest ever UK temperature – Cambridge Botanic Garden

Some context is provided by firstly examining the past and present urbanisation of the gardens, the location of the Stevenson screen and there then follows an examination of various temperature recordings locally to determine what affect if any the urbanisation may have had.  

The visit  was  made during one of the hottest spells of the 2020 summer and  in similar conditions to the record, in as much it had been hot in the days running up to the record with  prolonged sunshine and light winds and these were mirrored on the day of the visit. The preceding day, August 6th 2020 was partially cloudy and very warm at 27C, close by at Cambridge Airport.

The day of the visit was sunny from the outset, with little wind. It was very warm on arrival at the parking close to the gardens at 10AM at 27C. (Car temperature reading)*See note 1

Section 2; Urbanisation inside and outside the garden

Figure 1) and 2)  Photos taken within the gardens on 12 August 1957, kindly supplied by the Met Office.

Figure 1

Figure 2

The area immediately around the screen appears to be nicely maintained, although probably a little close to the glasshouses. The screen was subsequently moved and the glasshouse area very considerably augmented over the years most notably with the Tropical Glasshouse in 1989.

The extent of the Botanic Gardens can be seen here;,0.1294666,113m/data=!3m1!1e3

It is suggested this tab is left open whilst this article is being read.  Zooming in and out once or twice will give a good view of the immediate urbanised surroundings and the extent of the buildings within the gardens themselves, and provides essential context for the comments that follow. The weather station was originally established in 1904 and self-evidently the wider setting overall has become more urbanised over the years. The new buildings inside the gardens and immediately outside its curtilage, may further compromise readings.

The current location of the screen is below and to the right of the large named Sainsbury’s Laboratory building, in a close up of the Google photo. It is the small white square set in a green square of grass and with a narrow grass path going from left to right.

The gardens are relatively small at 40 acres and the Stevenson screen on which the 2019 record was recorded is just inside the gardens, approximately 150 yards from the ‘Railway’ Gate in Hills Road that the author accessed the Botanic garden by.

This gate is to the top right of the google photo, between a building marked ‘Apple Research’ and the ‘eye’ shaped ‘Mills and Reeves’ Cambridge. This latter one, called Botanic House is some 7 storeys high and sits beside a very busy main road. It was completed in 2012 and replaced a modest 3 storey building.

Figure 3 ; Botanic House.

The building can be seen in the photo shown above, together with a statue which is marked as “The Hills Road War Memorial”

This provides a chance for further orientation being directly outside the main ‘Railway Gate’ entrance and in a developed area with much recent and current building activity.

There is a gravel path from the Railway Gate to close to the screen, which is in the position previously described. In front of the screen during the 2020 visit was an ‘experimental beds’ area (see figure 4) with up to waist high indigenous plants, mostly dying back. This took up most of the area above the screen and reaching towards the gate, especially the area adjacent to the screen.

Figure 4

To the bottom of the screen area,  was a mostly low cut grass area,  some of which looked newly seeded and was being irrigated by a rotating spray close by, falling just short of the screen which presumably altered the temperature of the screen on the day of the visit. It looked quite different in 2020 to the google photo, where there was little vegetation.

The Sainsbury’s research building (opened 2011) is on the top left of Figure 4, the other substantial buildings  to the right of the screen were for Algal research  opened on 9 May 2016 and included a two storey glasshouse and a hangar type building, the Plant Growth Facility  the end of which was planted. There was air handling units in a compound well to the rear.

Figure 5

Behind the screen (figure 5) is a mature hedge of Leylandii type evergreen trees which looked to have been cut in the last year or so, as much of it was brown, as the height and width reduction had gone into old growth and this type of tree will not make new growth when this happens. The buildings to the left of the Stevenson screen that have seats set in a circular gravel feature (in the Google photo)  is reached by a gravel path shown in Figure 6 below, passing next to the entrance to the Screen area .

Figure 6

The gravel path passing in front of the Algal buildings shown in figure 4 then became a ‘York’ stone type path as it passed immediately in front of the new 2storey Sainsbury’s Laboratory research building. It then widened considerably into a patio type area towards the new cafe area. The heat from the sun even at mid-morning was ‘bouncing off’ the walls and paths, making for an extremely warm canyon of heat that stretched past the café, until the access into the main grounds where it became noticeably cooler.

The Sainsbury building was opened on 27th April 2011 and has hundreds of solar panels on its roof, plus dozens of industrial size air handling units. The building is substantially higher than it appears and what with this, the hedge, the Algal buildings and the other buildings and paths referenced,  all means the screen was fairly well encircled on 3 sides at a variety of distances, and was a noticeable sun and heat trap. In some of these areas it was uncomfortable to even walk through it. The visit was made around 10 days and a year later than the UK record, and in similar weather conditions, so the strength of the sun, its elevation and other factors, such as the heat reflected from surfaces, together with shading and plant growth would be broadly similar. 

 The substantial changes to the gardens over recent years can be seen in this sequence of photos from 2000 to 2008. The 2008 photo shows the beginning of the Sainsbury building constructions during which the Stevenson screen would have been relocated away from the building work.

Some photos of building work in the 2000’s 






Figure 7

Clicking on the link below will enable the images to be enlarged

These however predated the largest changes whereby through 2011/12 the 7 storey “Botanic House” (figure 3) opened just outside the main gate, whilst the Sainsbury building was opened ‘inside’ the curtilage of the gardens with the adjacent Algal building following in 2016. A number of paths have also been created, whilst others are more formalised.

The link below provides a more general look from the 1950’s to 2000’s by each decade

It shows a constant programme of improvement and development over the decades.

2.1: Temperature-urban versus semi-rural

The possible effects of UHI on temperatures are well documented and the differences between a built up area and one less built up can be substantial. Generally, higher temperatures in urban areas are influenced by a number of factors, including the month, orientation, warmth and duration of sun, wind direction and speed, conditions in preceding days, as well as the effects of buildings reflecting warmth, or trees, bushes and paths having an impact, ranging from minimal to substantial.

The point at issue is multi layered, for as well as the UK being a heat island according to the calculations made for Central England Temperature (where an allowance of 0.2C is made) rapidly developing Cambridge is itself a substantial heat island and the considerable urban growth observed immediately around the botanic gardens adds a third level to the UHI effect, whilst the buildings-many large and modern- around the Stevenson screen in the gardens themselves, adds a fourth level.   

There is no reason to believe that the experienced staff at the gardens misread the equipment, nor that the equipment is not functioning correctly, as a follow up visit was made by Met office staff to ensure the screen met their criteria and determine the overall circumstances constituted a record. The criteria was queried directly with the Met office

“….. We have now received the following reply to your question in your email. Our Networks Manager notes that the standards, use application and background across all the elements are a complex subject and has tried to sum this up into the brief statement below.

Stations are operated for a number of purposes and roles, the observed parameters will also vary depending on the requirements for data from the location. Representation of the surrounding environment is sought with metadata collected periodically to capture the environment under which the data is observed. For the extremes product the data is provided from a sub set of stations that are considered representative of the UK climate being experienced’.

Other information was available online confirming the criteria.

“On Monday afternoon (29th July 2019), Phil Johnson, SE England Met Office Regional Network Manager, carried out a climate inspection at the Garden’s weather station to verify the reading. This included checking the weather station instruments against Met Office precision equipment. Based on his report, the Met Office has confirmed the 38.7 degree C recording is now officially the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK. This figure exceeds the previous record of 38.5°C recorded in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.22C.”

So it has been determined that the equipment is of the correct technical specification and those recording the data do so accurately.

Note: On the morning of the visit by Mr Johnson, the temperature (at the airport 2 miles away,for which data is available) was 22C with a high of 26C later and partly cloudy, so this was substantially cooler than on the day of the record and the sun would not have had the same impact on the reflection of heat from the buildings, paths nor other surfaces, as was observed on 7rth August 2020.

On 25th July 2019 for reference, the maximum temperature was 38C dead at Cambridge Airport approximately two miles away.  Note; within the link below, is a drop down menu showing other months and years.

Weather in July 2019 in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom (

In addition; (on 25th July 2019) “The National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) published a reading of 38.1°C in the city. But today it was announced that a thermometer in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden weather station had reached 38.7°C.”

Both the airport and NIAB sites are in semi -rural areas but have a number of buildings close by, especially at the airport which also has a tarmac runway.

So the temperature in the general area was around 38C, assuming the airport and the NIAB (an official Met office site) are not affected by UHI and the instruments are calibrated.

Section 3; Temperatures on day of Botanic Garden visit on 7th August 2020

The author was staying in a semi urban area some 2 miles away from the Botanic gardens in a private residence. This showed a shaded temperature reading in the garden, on a reliable max/min thermometer, of 25C at 9.30. This temperature was maintained for most of the 2 mile journey to the gardens, as shown on a car thermometer which read in half degrees and had been shown to be close to the readings of the max/min thermometer.

*Note 1; No claim is made that either device were scientific instruments but they showed close correlation with each other, several digital reading en route to Cambridge the previous day and with digital weather stations at the authors own home.

It was 32C by car thermometer when the author left the gardens at 12.45. and generally, once away from the immediate vicinity, around 28/29C in the 20 minute journey back and 28.7 in the shaded garden area when the author returned.

It remained hot and sunny throughout the rest of the day in all local locations with a little fair weather cloud building in the afternoon. The maximum reached in this general area in the shade of the rear garden of our accommodation was 30.2C as recorded by our max/min thermometer and 30C by car thermometer, reached  at around 5pm. The maximum temperature at Cambridge airport 2 miles away was 36C, at NIAB 35C at a similar distance and at the Botanic gardens it was published at 34.7 C.

On the previous day, 6th August it was partly cloudy and 27C at the Airport and at the Botanic gardens 27C and at our location 26.4C.

Height of location, wind speed and direction, the inclination of the sun and its strength and longevity, will all affect the relative warmth of a location, with the urbanisation factors outlined adding in another dimension. However there still seems a considerable discrepancy between the various sites measured. The quality of official instrumentation and the accuracy of the reading taken by experienced garden staff and the subsequent inspection by Mr Johnson means these factors can be taken as assured. The personal instrumental devices used are of course not calibrated but have been shown to be reasonably accurate (see note 1) and would not account by themselves for a 5 Degree C temperature difference between locations.

Consequently, taking in  to account all these factors, concerns must then be expressed as to whether with all the urbanisation that could be observed, as to whether the reading set on 38.7C on 28th July 2019 should be treated as scientifically accurate enough for a UK record.

Section 4; Criteria for weather stations

The criteria set by the CIMO+ for grading of weather stations is here;

CIMO_Guide_2014_en_I_1-2_Annex_1B.pdf (

The screen site appears to fail the criteria for a Class 1 station due to a variety of factors including the closeness and heat reflectivity of the new buildings within the gardens, which are estimated at approx. 50 metres. The screen area is loosely encircled by buildings on 3 sides at varying distances.

It would seem to fall into class 2 where the distance criteria drop to 30 m.  As the Met office themselves recognise the impact of UHI with their 0.2C current allowance for England as represented by CET,  perhaps a similar more localised uhi impact could be applied, especially  with the noticeable heat effect in the sunshine of the Sainsbury’s building which is topped by numerous air handling units and solar panels.

Whether an important national record should be accredited to a class 2 station with unresolved UHI issues is an open question.

The gardens have over a century of weather recording, during which time the Stevenson screen has been moved a number of times as circumstances changed.  Currently there would seem to be less developed sites within the gardens that might be better suited to the location of the Stevenson screen, if it is to fall within the CIMO rules for a Class 1 site that should presumably be used to establish national records.

“Established by the predecessor of WMO, the International Meteorological Organization, the Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO) ensures the accuracy of weather observation by facilitating the creation of international standards and, thus, the compatibility of measurements.”

Section 5; Temperature trends

Just after the introduction to this piece, this quote was placed just under a link to the highest recorded temp achieved in the UK;

“Analysis of the Garden’s weather records show that over the last 100 years our average temperature has risen by 1.2 Celsius and the hottest day, highest monthly and yearly average have all occurred within the last 20 years. The highest ever temperature recorded at the Garden before this new record was 36.9 C, recorded on 10 August, 2003.”

A look at the development around the screen this century (figure 3) typified by the Sainsbury’s building in 2011, Botanic house just outside the main gate a year later, and the Algal centre in 2016, when viewed against the current placement of the screen, might give pause for thought  as to whether it is development, rather than generally rising temperatures, that is responsible for a proportion of the observed temperature changes of 1.2C, as CET,  plotted from 1900 (figure 4) shows an annual trend rather lower than this value.

Figure 8

However, over the last 20 years temperatures have levelled off substantially, with an annual trend  of some 0.56C over a century, with autumn values actually falling* (figure 9)

Figure 9

CET are daily and monthly temperatures representative of a roughly triangular area of the United Kingdom enclosed by Lancashire, London and Bristol. The monthly series, which begins in 1659, is the longest available instrumental record of temperature in the world. The daily mean-temperature series begins in 1772. Manley (1953, 1974) compiled most of the monthly series, covering 1659 to 1973. Both series are now kept up to date by the Climate Data Monitoring section of the Hadley Centre, Met Office. Since 1974 the data have been adjusted to allow for urban warming: currently a correction of -0.2 °C is applied to mean temperatures.

Parker, D.E., T.P. Legg, and C.K. Folland. 1992. A new daily Central England Temperature Series, 1772-1991. Int. J. Clim., Vol 12, pp 317-342 (PDF)

CET is considered a useful proxy for England and a much wider geographical area. Cambridge is situated in the east of the country, just outside of the specified CET area.  


The day of the authors visit was hot and on subsequently researching the temperature readings from the Airport and the Botanic gardens it appeared that new UK records were set by both locations on the 7th August 2020 .

Cambridge airport reported 36C  on 7th August and NIAB 35C, but the UK record for the 7th August is 34.0 in Bromley in 1975 as can be seen from the chart below (figure 10) . The gardens were slightly lower at 34.7C, so again, a record, if the other locations were discounted for any reasons..  

Records are shown below  

*Gravesend – Swanscombe (Kent) 2003
Kew Botanic Gardens (London) and Wisley (Surrey) 2003
734.093.2Bromley (London) 1975
834.293.6Heathrow Airport (London), Stanstead Abbotts (Herts) 1975
936.798.0Raunds (Northants) 1911; 36.7*/98* Canterbury (Kent)1911; 36.6*/97.9* Epsom (Surrey) and Beddington (London) 1911
1038.1100.6Gravesend – Swanscombe* (Kent) and Kew Botanic Gardens (London) 2003;

Figure 10

TORRO – British Weather Extremes: Daily Minimum Temperatures

 The author subsequently emailed the Met office pointing out the reported temperatures (at the Airport and the Gardens) and the apparent breaking of the record, asked for their confirmation and received this reply  ; 

“The temperature figure provided in my previous email is based off model data – not an actual measurement – so it cannot be taken as a value to be considered where records are concerned. Unfortunately, due to the nature of how we provide historical data as a charged service, I’d be unable to provide the maximum recorded for the day.

Your point on verifying station data  (for a record) is correct – this is usually done within a few days, as you suggested; you can read more about this here.”

Tony Brown February 2021


The Met office for Data and photos

Temperature reading from NIAB

Ed Hoskins for graphics-
Online data gathered from a variety of named web sites

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Keef Wivaneff
February 12, 2021 10:13 pm

Whompy Wecord.

Phillip Bratby
February 12, 2021 10:53 pm

If I wanted to find a record high temperature where would I look? In a city. f I wanted to confirm that temperature, where would I look? In a nearby airport. The public will easily be fooled (courtesy of the BBC). It’s strange, because in its weather forecasts, the Met Office often says “these temperatures are in towns and cities, the temperature in the nearby countryside will be several degrees cooler”.

Well done Tony.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 13, 2021 3:08 am

When talking about the Peak District the East Midlands forecast includes the usual several degrees but adds “and even colder in areas with lying snow” and similar phrases.

February 12, 2021 10:57 pm

One of the first changes to consider with weather stations is the fitment of electronic instruments. I have no idea what the UK Met has done but the recording appears to have a step change around 1985.

After the damning review of the Bureau of Meteorology homogenisation process, a few years back now, there was a recommendation to establish an industrial grade quality control process. That recommendation is beginning to bear fruit with the BoM now producing quality documentation for station changes.

Cape Moreton is one of the long records in Australia I often refer to for conditions in Southern Queensland. This link shows the documentation now assembled for that site:
Page 14 gives the detail of the first electronic instrument – albeit incomplete:

03/AUG/1995 INSTALL Temperature Probe – Dry Bulb (Type Rosemount S/N – NONE) Surface Observations

Observing the temperature record shows a step change after that date.

I understand the US attempt to digitally damping the electronic reading but that does not occur in Australia. The electronic transducers will respond to a 5 second squirt from the exhaust of a jet engine.

All of any measured warming in Australia can be placed squarely on measurement system flaws and fiddles. Like the US, Australia’s homogenisation adjustments is highly correlated with CO2.

It is a self-sustaining cycle that is gradually breaking from reality – CO2 increases; model predicts temperature increase based on rising CO2; temperature adjusted to match models; model predictive capability confirmed. There is a fantasy that confirms a fantasy.

Reply to  RickWill
February 12, 2021 11:26 pm

Its around 7Am here in the U.K. Its cold and very windy. It seems a very long time since my warm visit to Cambridge in August

The wind is from the east so we have had a very cold couple of weeks. The night time temperatures reached a 60 year low. The Thames froze over near London, again the first time in 60 years. It’s weather.

Later today the wind will swing round to the west and thank goodness the temperature will eventually rise some 8 Degrees Centigrade. It will also rain, we have had exceptionally low humidity the last few weeks as the air has been cold and dry.

Wind direction make a huge difference to the weather mass over us, and combine hot weather in Cambridge over a few days, with the steadily increasing heat as the buildings, ground, and other surfaces warm up over a wide area, all bathed in sun, and it is likely that temperatures will rise high, as they did during the record and my visit.

The current rise in temperatures began in the mid 80’s but have tailed off the last 20 years overall, although individual records have been set.

A difference in the way weather stations record data? Greater urbanisation? More sun raising temperatures? A shift in wind patterns? A genuinely upwards trend for whatever reason?

All of these and more, but at least we should be able to better define the effects of UHI better than we currently do


Reply to  tonyb
February 13, 2021 2:08 am

We had ‘weather’ at Cambridge in the 1960s. I remember well skating on the River Cam near the Mathematical Bridge at Queens’ College.

Tom Foley
February 12, 2021 11:05 pm

Has anyone compiled a list of weather stations that have not been moved, and where there has been minimal urbanisation around them? Have there been any set up in the recent past (ie last 20-30 years or so) specifically for the purpose of developing a record into the future not affected by the heat island effect? A National Park might be an appropriate location, though not near the visitor car park.

Reply to  Tom Foley
February 13, 2021 2:13 am

The town of Weaverville California should have a good and long record. The town’s population has barely changed in well over a century. This was a Gold Rush town with its heyday around the late 1860s to 1890s. There would have been tens of thousands of miners at that point in time. After that the population dwindled, and logging became a main industry. The population is little changed for the last 120+ years. Although the forest certainly changed across that entire period.

Joe Public
February 13, 2021 12:18 am

That Cambridge City Airport.

O’Hare or Heathrow it isn’t.

Jan de Jong
Reply to  Joe Public
February 13, 2021 12:35 am

Ofcourse. But there is a fair bit of asphalt.

Joe Public
Reply to  Jan de Jong
February 13, 2021 3:14 am

There’s actually less asphalt per hectare than the local residential streets in the vicinity of the gardens.

comment image

Ian Magness
February 13, 2021 12:26 am

Thank you for carrying out this detailed report Tony. You have nailed this down as a clear and deliberate deception by the Met Office and the reading, whilst interesting, has no validity as a comparator to other U.K. weather records.
One important point backing up your work, however, is missing. It was well covered by Paul Homewood at NALOPKT at the time. It is this – the Botanic Garden site was, in fact, originally in the CET record. As is made clear in a Met Office document from, perhaps 1915 (I forget the date), however, growing concerns over UHI had the site removed from the CET. Yes, that’s right: there were serious concerns about UHI for this site over a hundred years ago, and matters have clearly got considerably worse since. Given the the Met Office cannot begin to claim ignorance over its own documents, this doubled down on the depth of the Met Office’s deception that this is a valid temperature recording site for comparative purposes.

Reply to  Ian Magness
February 13, 2021 12:42 am

Yes, the reading is interesting but should not be classed as a record bearing in mind the local circumstances.

Deliberate deception? I don’t think so. The Met office have always been helpful with any requests for data, and in meetings I have had with them at their offices.

I think the problem lies more with group think and a failure to look more closely at all the factors surrounding a record, or indeed what locations has the criteria to make a record meaningful.

I don’t think the Gardens-nice as they are-can allow records to be set in that location of the grounds, but possibly there is space a few hundred yards away where a Class 1 station could be set up, although the encroaching Cambridge is likely to cause more problems in the future.


Patrick healy
Reply to  tonyb
February 13, 2021 2:00 am

Tony b,
Thank you for all your efforts.
I am sitting here100 yards from the North Sea in Carnoustie with a bitingly cold south wind tossing the waves.
It is particularly ironic that this week we recorded the coldest February night at Britain since 1955 as you are relating summer heat.
The coldest winter tempreature in 25 years at minus 23° C. was recorded this Wednesday at Braemar.

Also another interesting event in the Soviet enclave of Scotland this week.
They blew up the boiler room of Longannet coal fired power station.
It was once the largest coal fired power station in Europe.
We are now “the Saudi Arabia” of windmill unreliable power – according to our beloved leader Grupen Frau Sturgeon.
No golf – again – today.

A C Osborn
Reply to  tonyb
February 14, 2021 2:34 am

Sorry Tony, I cannot agree about the Met Office not using deception.
They have a very obvious Climate Change bias on a massive scale, pushing warmth and hot records at every opportunity.
I am sure that the people working for them are very helpful and most probably don’t care about Climate Change.
But the Policy makers certainly do.
All BOMs all over world are being deceitful if they use any Airport data for comparisons, trends or records.
How can they possibly compare for any purpose the likes of Heathrow Airport in the 1930s which had a couple of runways and a few propeller driven aircraft.
Even in the 40s, 50s and 60s they were still mostly using propeller driven aircraft.
Now there are many Runways and taxiways and 100s of Jets landing and taking off every day.
The Airport has been expanded to handle the extra workload and passenger numbers just since 2000 have incresed from 60Million a year to 80Million year.

The weather stations are not there to supply data to the world wide temperature calculations, or for record creation.
They are there to supply local weather conditions to Pilots who need the for take off and landing calculations.

Just consider that nice Mr Johnson, from the Met Office did not mention that the Station could no longer be classed as a Class 1station and therefore not suitable for establishing records, which as has been mentioned, Paul Homewood reported shortly after the record declaration.
Classic deception, talk about the Instruments calibration and not the suitability.

Reply to  A C Osborn
February 14, 2021 4:43 am

A C Osborn

I think there are several different issues. There is the fact that Met offices round the world have always used certain types of sites including airports and that these have become increasingly poor places to use. Similarly with urbanised sites. When that precedent is broken at a global level and it is no longer the norm because “we have always recorded there” then we might move on.

Secondly there is undeniable group think which emanates from Met Office staff around the world funded by their respective govts. It is in their interests not to turn over the stone as they like it in its current position. Which is not to say that everyone has that attitude but they would be swimming against the tide to disagree.

How we can persuade our own met office to be more circumspect and that the fact the readings were taken by a competent observer or that the instruments were working properly is only a part of the consideration-the suitability of the site being another.

I have previously been in touch with Richard Betts about this record and now I have assembled more information will ask if a class 2 station with obvious issues is a suitable site for a national record.


February 13, 2021 12:48 am

Where’s the Hockey Stick? I wanna see the Hockey Stick.

Reply to  fred250
February 13, 2021 1:10 am

Looks more like a snooker cue

February 13, 2021 12:53 am

This sort of cherry picking nonsense doesn’t alter the significant facts of record temperatures… if you had been able to take temperatures across Cambridge at the time of the record, you’d have clearly seen extreme high temperatures across the region, urban and rural, in excess of any previous recordings.

the UK climate is seeing (much) hotter weather and arguing about greenhouse placement doesn’t undermine the evidence for that.

Reply to  griff
February 13, 2021 4:29 am


As you surely read, temperature reading WERE taken across Cambridge-one of the fastest growing cities in the country. So how is that cherry picking?

The point is that the record was recorded at the increasingly urbanised gardens inside and outside the boundaries at what is at best a Class 2 station.

If you think those conditions constitute the correct means to establish an important national record I would suggest we need to apply a bit more rigour


Clyde Spencer
Reply to  griff
February 13, 2021 7:48 am

The question is not whether some kind of record was set, but what the record means! If the Cambridge Botanic Garden (CBG) is recording temperatures that are anomalously high because of siting issues, then it may mean nothing. If the record high is a result of urbanization — which would not have happened in the absence of building out the CBG grounds or the surrounding suburban areas — then we have an index of the impact of urbanization. It is well known that the UHI effect exists. I doubt that even you would ‘de-Nye’ it! The question that really isn’t answered is whether and to what extent the Earth and all of its different climate regions are experiencing global warming from anthropogenic CO2, as distinguished from changing local land-use, i.e. urbanization. The implied importance of the record temperature at the CBG is that it is evidence for at least national warming and possibly global warming. Tony has made a good case that the CBG site is not fit for the purpose of differentiating the impact of local land-use changes from anthropogenic CO2.

P.S. While I have your attention, have you ever apologized to Susan Crockford for arrogantly accusing her of not being a scientist?

Reply to  griff
February 13, 2021 8:01 am

“This sort of cherry picking nonsense doesn’t alter the significant facts”

griff, I totally agree with you;

The significant facts are –

  • We are cooler than the Medieval, Roman, Minoan Periods & considerably cooler than 15,000 yrs ago.
  • The ‘earth’s climate’ has not altered significantly since the closing of the Panama Isthmus about 3 million years ago .
  • The UK has the same basic climate now, as when ‘Stonehenge was built; but we are cooler
  • Any increase in CO2 has little effect on weather.
  • The sun, oceans & water vapour controls the earths heat balance, stupid arrogant mankind doesn’t have a look-in.

Read (& understand) geology & the laws of physics.

Reply to  saveenergy
February 13, 2021 9:40 am

The graph below says it all – beyond about 280ppm CO2, only additional H2O affects absorption. As you said (and obviously Griff hasn’t) – read (and understand) geology and the laws of physics!

(Courtesy Notalotofpeopleknowthat)

February 13, 2021 1:15 am

CRU may need to be fixed, which means around one million graphs in the Climate Etc. comment threads will be null and void.

February 13, 2021 1:16 am

Looks more like a snooker cue

February 13, 2021 1:19 am

Figure 8 is notable for the very linear warming of the last 120 years.

During this time the increase in CO2 has been far from linear, more like approximately exponential with most increase in the last 40 years.

These two fact – linear warming alongside exponential-like CO2 increase, argue strongly against the possibility of accelerated warming in future from CO2. The effect of CO2 on temperature, if real at all, is very weak indeed, and getting logarithmically weaker. No basis for a faux crisis and a global political coup.

February 13, 2021 1:36 am

Just heard a weatherman saying that 31 states are currently experiencing snowstorms, Happy Global Warming.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  goldminor
February 13, 2021 7:51 am

Did you see my latest responses to you on SciTechDaily about amalgam?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 13, 2021 3:53 pm

Yes, I read that several days ago. Some character at the mining area on the Feather gave me several jugs of acids, nitric and hydrochloric which is what I used for cleaning my gold. The guy had sores up and down his arms which he tried to claim came from some allergic reaction. He was leaving camp, and did not want to take the several jugs of acids with him, obviously he was a cooker. It was quite the crowd that year in camp.

February 13, 2021 1:58 am

On a lighter note, my quote of the month or even a year, Bill Gates
“I can’t deny being a rich guy. I own big houses and fly in private planes, so who am I to lecture anyone?”

Peta of Newark
February 13, 2021 3:21 am

As I often do, maybe take yourself a hike around the local Wunderground stations for that place and date/time
Horribly fiddly and frustrating and even more so as you seem to need switch off your Ad-blocker to get the thing to work. Just how much bandwidth and screen space do these clowns actually think exists?

One thing I saw on the few stations I found that did seem to have Good Data was that the gentle westerly breeze that had been blowing all the preceding week, did a perfect and very abrupt 180 degree about-turn on that fateful July day.
Just that July 19 day

(Let’s ignore the airport = what you see due East. Its a joke. Am sure everyone in Cambridge loves it dearly – apart from one of my twin daughters presently shacked up about 3km SE of The Garden. She’s more into turtles and horses)

Incoming air thus came over many more houses, buildings and roads before it got to The Gardens.

There is your weather record – blowing in the wind.

If you or anybody really wants to know, finds it interesting or important and is actually serious about;
The Temperature Of The Surface Of The ‘expletive’ Earth.

Get down on yer knees and plant your measuring device there
and The Very Last Things to be relied upon = Sputniks
The Surface and The Air immediately above it exist in totally different time dimensions.

Let Ma Nature take care of all the averaging and other dodgy mathematics and thereafter let her be = The Authority you appeal to on these matters

Nice work Tone but what was the desperate rush to get there?
All your painstaking attention-to-detail at the crime scene are hardly worth much at 13 months after the crime was committed.
You’re not an actual UK Plod are you?, Sounds ’bout right if true

If they’d been reseeding the turf/grass around that sad little box, that alone would trashed its readings.
Or even simply how long they left it between running the lawnmower over it.

Last edited 2 years ago by Peta of Newark
February 13, 2021 3:26 am

Thanks Tony for the in-depth look at the Cambridge site.

Some time ago I looked at the Sheffield site (not in as much detail);

Set up in1882 the days of horse & cart, the Weston Park Stevenson screen is now 25m off the A57 Manchester Rd (major bus route) & the Air-Ambulances serving the 3 close major hospitals land within 30m, for 6mths of the year the exhaust of an ice-cream van is 25m up wind of the instrument.
Weston Park is one of the Met Office’s official climatological stations. !!!

In this picture – – you see the instrument; in the background is a bus on the A57 & The Children’s Hospital.

View of screen over top of arts poster from Children’s Hospital,-1.49163575,132.22646745a,0d,60y,4.15107908h,80.67725343t,0r/data=IhoKFmVZNWJFaHB1a3pnNU8wazFuYTZkcWcQAg

Stevenson screen is on right of big tarmac patch (where they land the Air-Ambulances),-1.49131948,129.4879117a,84.14347578d,35y,0h,0t,0r

Reply to  saveenergy
February 13, 2021 6:56 am


Zooming out from your last link is instructive. The site is even more built up than Cambridge.

Surely its not an official site?

You would have seen the criteria for a Class 1, 2 and 3 station towards the end of my article. I have no knowledge at all of the Sheffield site but it is Class 2 at best, arguably a class 3 but even that doesn’t take into account local urbanisation effects.

With your local knowledge and the classification, what do you reckon?


Reply to  tonyb
February 15, 2021 3:09 am

Hi tony, used to pass it on a daily basis, but we moved to Anglesey in 2000.

Surely its not an official site?” Apparently ( Station Number: 4061 )

Classification – I’d say worse than class 3 !!

The air ambulance pad is to right of this pic just in front of person, glasshouse demolished ~1999.

Wind speed is recorded on roof of the art gallery see top left in this pic –
Weston Park Hospital is 100m to the left of the gallery.

In these pics you see the Art Gallery & Children’s Hospital

The screen is downwind of dozens of air-con units

Interesting that in 1884 August Tmax = 22.6C;
but in ‘the hottest year ever’ 2020 Aug Tmax = 21.2

Paul Homewood (Not a Lot Of People Know That ) Lives in Sheffield & may have more info.

Last edited 2 years ago by 1saveenergy
Don Keiller
February 13, 2021 3:43 am

Yet less than 3 miles away the highest temperature recorded was just 36.1C.

February 13, 2021 6:29 am

Here are 265 Stations that show no warming, and many outliers during the recent decade. I think that if you dig deeper into the Central England I think that you will find that the trend changes exactly when they altered the number and location of the stations.

More Info.

Reply to  CO2isLife
February 13, 2021 6:59 am


I discussed this very point with David Parker at the Met Office a couple of years ago. There was a change round of stations, including Ringway, near the airport.

The changes were set out in a paper David wrote. However I am still suspicious of the stations used during the time when the CET originally shot up in the 80’s


February 13, 2021 7:14 am

Ah, B of M, the ol’ urban-heat-island-measuring-trick!

Some recent context, those time pics of the site. Some long term context, Tony’s Figure 9!

February 13, 2021 8:41 am

I am reminded of a comment on this site by Climanrecon on July 30 2019:

“Evidence that Cambridge Botanical Gardens has significant UHI from the horse’s mouth: it was dropped by the Met Office from CET DAILY after 1931:
” While retaining three stations, we replaced the Cambridge (Botanical Gardens) station with Rothamsted Observatory in 1931 because of evidence of urban warming at the former by that time” … Page 321 of:”
(Original comment here:

I will be interested to hear if someone knows of an update to that comment. Is it still valid to use it in a discussion?

Gary Masding
February 13, 2021 10:03 am

It’s interesting to compare the temperature records from the botanical garden with those that can be found here:

graham dunton
February 13, 2021 12:02 pm

These of course should be labeled as urban max or min temperatures.

Has this brain washing fog, of the IPCC great reset, nullified all common sense?

February 13, 2021 12:06 pm

if you simply look at google maps you can count the air conditioning units on the nearby new buildings. nuff said.

Pat from kerbob
February 13, 2021 1:11 pm

I think Roy Spencer post a week ago on UHI effect is bang on.

I was west of calgary Wednesday afternoon, over a 30 min period I passed thru the city heading east to Saskatchewan

-31 west of city limits, -26 in middle of town, -32 on east side

Huge swing over ~30km and is typical

In fall we don’t worry about frost when there are warnings in the countryside.

Any city/airport sensor should be automatically subtracted instead of homogenizing the cooler country based sensors to match the hotter cities

Dermot Lee
February 14, 2021 1:28 pm

Digital Technology Group,formally Cambridge University Computer Laboratory have a weather station on the roof of their building.I am not sure if it is WMO compliant. This building is possibly 1.5 to 2.0km from the Botanic Gardens as the “proverbial”crow flies.
On the record breaking day,their temperature gauge ( readings every half-hour) recorded three max temperatures of 36.1C. This compared very favourably with two thermometers I use in my garden.( digital 36.2C and a greenhouse max/min at 36.3C). I am only 1 km from their site.
The DTG site is very user friendly.
Interestingly the NIAB site only displayed raw data for that period.It, It I believe remained that way through 2020.

Matthew Sykes
February 15, 2021 12:19 am

Still, even if it is 1.2 C, that isnt much for 45% more CO2.

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