Observations being taken at rain gauges in Seathwaite in the Lake District in 1895 CREDIT Met Office

Rescued Victorian Rainfall Data Smashes Former Records

New paper published in the Geoscience Data Journal

DATA ARTICLE Open Access

Millions of historical monthly rainfall observations taken in the UK and Ireland rescued by citizen scientists

Ed Hawkins, Stephen Burt, Mark McCarthy, Conor Murphy, Catherine Ross, Mike Baldock, John Brazier , Gill Hersee, Jacqui Huntley, Richard Meats, John O’Grady, Ian Scrimgeour, Tim Silk

First published: 24 March 2022 https://doi.org/10.1002/gdj3.157

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi:10.1002/gdj3.157

Abstract

Recovering additional historical weather observations from known archival sources will improve understanding of how the climate is changing and enable detailed examination of unusual events within the historical record. The UK National Meteorological Archive recently scanned more than 66,000 paper sheets containing 5.28 million hand-written monthly rainfall observations taken across the UK and Ireland between 1677 and 1960. Only a small fraction of these observations were previously digitally available for climate scientists to analyse. More than 16,000 volunteer citizen scientists completed the transcription of these sheets of observations during early 2020 using the RainfallRescue.org website, built using the Zooniverse platform. A total of 3.34 million observations from more than 6000 locations have so far been quality controlled and made openly available. This has increased the total number of monthly rainfall observations that are available for this time period and region by a factor of six. The newly rescued observations will enable longer and much improved reconstructions of past variations in rainfall across the British and Irish Isles, including for periods of significant flooding and drought. Specifically, this data should allow the official gridded monthly rainfall reconstructions for the UK to be extended back to 1836, and even earlier for some regions.

Press Release

130 years’ worth of data transcribed by volunteers fills in gaps in UK’s rainfall history

Peer-Reviewed Publication

UNIVERSITY OF READING

Seathwaite gauge 1895
IMAGE: OBSERVATIONS BEING TAKEN AT RAIN GAUGES IN SEATHWAITE IN THE LAKE DISTRICT IN 1895 view more  CREDIT: MET OFFICE

Record-breaking Victorian weather has been revealed after millions of archived rainfall records dating back nearly 200 years were rescued by thousands of volunteers during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

The Rainfall Rescue project was launched by the University of Reading in March 2020 and offered members of the public a way of distracting themselves from the pandemic by digitally transcribing 130 years’ worth of handwritten rainfall observations from across the UK and Ireland.

Some 16,000 volunteers responded to the challenge, digitising 5.2 million observations in just 16 days. Ahead of the two-year anniversary of the project launch, on Saturday 26 March, these records have now been made publicly available in the official Met Office national record, extending it back 26 years to 1836.

The volunteers’ efforts have revealed some new records for extreme dry and wet months across the UK, as well as providing more context around recent changes in rainfall due to human-caused climate change.

‘Blown away’

Professor Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading and Rainfall Rescue project lead, said: “I am still blown away by the response this project got from the public. Transcribing the records required around 100 million keystrokes, yet what I thought would take several months was completed in a matter of days.

“Thanks to the hard work of the volunteers, we now have detailed accounts of the amount of rain that fell, back to 1836, as seen through the eyes of other dedicated volunteers from several generations ago. To put that in context, 1836 was the year Charles Darwin returned to the UK on the Beagle with Vice-Admiral Robert Fitzroy, and a year before Queen Victoria took to the throne.

“As well as being a fascinating glimpse into the past, the new data allows a longer and more detailed picture of variations in monthly rainfall, which will aid new scientific research two centuries on. It increases our understanding of weather extremes and flood risk across the UK and Ireland, and helps us better understand the long-term trends towards the dramatic changes we’re seeing today.”

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said: “The UK rainfall record is notoriously variable, with extremes of weather presenting us with drought and flood. The more we can shine a light into the earlier chapters and extremes within the rainfall record, the better we are able to understand the risks presented to us by climate change and future extreme weather events.”

Notable details uncovered by Rainfall Rescue volunteers include:

  • The driest year on record is now 1855 (786.5mm), thanks to the new data.
  • For many regions and England as a whole, the driest May on record was May 2020 (for England 9.6mm), when some volunteers were still helping confirm the Rainfall Rescue transcriptions. In doing so they shifted those records back to May 1844 (for England 8.3mm).
  • November/December 1852 were confirmed as exceptionally wet months – December 1852 now being the third wettest month on record in Cumbria (364.9mm) and November 1852 being the wettest month on record for large parts of southern England. Floods are known to have occurred in a number of locations at this time, and are known as the Duke of Wellington Floods as they started around the time of his state funeral in London.
  • Observations were made by people from a range of backgrounds – such as ‘Lady Bayning’, who recorded rainfall in Norfolk between 1835-1887, even taking her rainfall gauge to London for the social season.
  • A vast number of locations with rain gauges across the country were included, including one next door to Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop Farm in the Lake District, where she wrote many of her most famous books.

Pre-digital age

Paper records studied by Rainfall Rescue volunteers contained observations between 1677 and 1960, based on rain gauges located in almost every town and village across England and Wales.

Rainfall has been monitored systematically for the whole UK since the 1860s when George Symons established the British Rainfall Organisation to coordinate voluntary rainfall measuring activities, which later became a branch of the Met Office. However, the majority of the observations made in the pre-digital age, before 1960, have not previously been transcribed from the original paper records.

Each of the 65,000 pieces of paper held in the Met Office National Meteorological Archive showed monthly rainfall totals across a 10-year period and had been scanned during 2019. Many of the recordings were written in ornate handwriting, requiring human eyes to transcribe it.

The Met Office’s official UK rainfall series previously went back to 1862. Thanks to the Rainfall Rescue project, there is now around six times the previous amount of observational data for the years before 1960. The number of rain gauges contributing data to the national record for the year 1862 has increased from 19 to more than 700.

These earlier, detailed records could also help increase knowledge of the impact of how weather is affected by climate change not caused by humans.

Redefining archives

After all the data had been transcribed, eight dedicated volunteers helped arrange the data into chronological sequences for each location. These eight volunteers are named as co-authors in a paper published today (Friday 25 March) in Geoscience Data Journal.

Some 3.3 million of the newly-transcribed observations have been processed by the Met Office and added to the publicly available national rainfall statistics on its website.

Catherine Ross, Met Office archivist, said: “This project has broken the definition of an archive. In its lifecycle a document moves from being a record, in everyday use, to an archive where it is kept as part of a memory – in our case the National Memory of the Weather.

“However, this project’s 66,000 formerly inanimate sheets of numbers have been given a new life by placing data that can be interrogated and compared into the hands of scientists at the Met Office and around the world.”

The volunteers who took part in the project expressed their admiration and thanks to the observers who creating the original detailed rainfall records, and to the British Rainfall Organisation for coordinating their work.

Jacqui Huntley, one of the eight Rainfall Rescue volunteers based near Stranraer in Scotland who worked across the whole project, said: “I got involved because I’m British and therefore a fanatic about the weather, especially rain. And it rains a lot where I live in Scotland. The data are obviously valuable to scientists, but I have also loved learning about the rainfall observers who were so dedicated in measuring the weather day after day. It has been fun, and a true team effort, from start to finish.”

NOTES TO EDITOR

A map showing the locations of all the rainfall gauges that contributed data to the Rainfall Rescue project can be found at public.flourish.studio/visualisation/5534063

The Rainfall Rescue project was carried out on Zooniverse, a platform for people-powered research.


JOURNAL

Geoscience Data Journal

DOI

10.1002/gdj3.157 

METHOD OF RESEARCH

Data/statistical analysis

ARTICLE TITLE

Millions of historical monthly rainfall observations taken in the UK and Ireland rescued by citizen scientists

ARTICLE PUBLICATION DATE

25-Mar-2022

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Carlo, Monte
March 26, 2022 6:17 am

Clearly the Adjustors will be needing to fix these to match whichever numbers look the scariest.

Reply to  Carlo, Monte
March 26, 2022 6:37 am

I’m sure the griffters of the world will be eager to help with that project.

After all, the longer the time period, the fewer new “records” there are from which to cherry pick your disaster scenarios. At least until some bright xir figures out how to redefine “weather” the same way as they have redefined “woman” to include men with long hair.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  writing observer
March 26, 2022 7:48 am

Having the “driest evah” shifted from 2020 to the 1850s is totally unacceptable.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
March 26, 2022 1:53 pm

This must really be upsetting to the alarmists.

Not Chicken Little
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
March 26, 2022 3:00 pm

And the driest year still over 31 inches lol…

griff
Reply to  writing observer
March 26, 2022 10:25 am

The longer the period for skeptics to pick extremes and use the spurious ‘see it happened (once) before defence’

4E Douglas
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 10:36 am

First Down vote! Actual data Griff. Having a hard time with that?

David Kamakaris
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 10:48 am

Griff, this is why I ask how long your record is.

Mr.
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 11:10 am

But aren’t these recorded direct observations the essence of the null hypothesis for AGW –

that these same weather events, conditions & effects have previously been observed to have occurred before and while CO2 levels have been both higher and lower than current readings.

Nigel in California
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 11:28 am

The longer the period the harder it will be to support alarmist claims of ‘see, this hasn’t before, therefore it’s a crisis’.

Bob boder
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 12:12 pm

Griffy is just sad that his “unprecedented” events just got even less unprecedented.

Robert B
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 12:59 pm

“Defence”?

If you want to insist that a weather event would only have happened because people drive SUVs, then you need to have an airtight argument. We are doing the defenders of The Science a service when we point out that it happened when a degree cooler, so the quarter of a degree warmer from fossil fuel emissions is hardly likely to be the culprit.

Say “thank you”, child.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 1:01 pm

If it happened before, that’s proof that your claim that only CO2 could have caused it this time is wrong.

Graham
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 2:10 pm

Put your brain into gear before spouting rubbish Grief.
It has all happened before fossil fuels were being used to any extent .
Every flood or drought or storm is now blamed on fossil fuel .
You and the so called climate scientists refuse to accept that the earth has been much warmer in the last eleven thousand years than the in the last 40 years. You and these phony climate scientists are the deniers.
It has certainly happened before as it was warmer in the Medieval Warm period ,the Roman warm period and the Climate Optimum all since the earth recovered from a Ice age which covered a large part of North America northern Europe and northern Asia with mile deep ice .
Go and look at the history before showing us how dumb you are .

b.nice
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 2:22 pm

Poor griff, more data to show the reality..
For his tiny mind, it didn’t happen in his pitiful lifetime.. its “unprecedented” 😉

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 2:24 pm

“The longer the period for skeptics to pick extremes and use the spurious ‘see it happened (once) before defence’”

It’s all weather. And this is precisely why you’re mistaken when you think recent weather is due to AGW. Climate Change can ONLY be seen retrospectively.

b.nice
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 4:02 pm

You still have absolutely zero evidence that anything out of the ordinary is happening with the weather or climate, do you griff. !

Its all just mindless bluster from a very small, brain-washed mind.

observa
Reply to  griff
March 27, 2022 12:41 am

Spurious climate modelling for you but hard weather data records for us. Awww shucks shucksters!

LdB
Reply to  griff
March 27, 2022 1:17 am

In god we trust all others bring data.

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
March 27, 2022 3:19 am

griff, that IS how science is made!… It seems that you never understood that.

DaveS
Reply to  griff
March 28, 2022 6:02 am

Even by your standards that is one dumb comment.

Wharfplank
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
March 26, 2022 8:54 am

The Adjusters are huddling with the Homogenizers as we speak…

Dave Fair
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
March 27, 2022 12:38 pm

A promising sign? “These earlier, detailed records could also help increase knowledge of the impact of how weather is affected by climate change not caused by humans.”

2hotel9
March 26, 2022 6:19 am

Very glad this was done. The question now is will it be “revised” to fit the politically driven climate consensus narrative?

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  2hotel9
March 26, 2022 10:46 am

I’m surprised their paper didn’t start with the words, “It’s worse than we thought…”!

another ian
Reply to  2hotel9
March 26, 2022 9:13 pm

Are there archive copies of the data before any fiddling?

2hotel9
Reply to  another ian
March 27, 2022 4:41 am

Well, that is what this project was digitalizing so hopefully people are getting copies of that original data before it is corrupted.

GeologyJim
March 26, 2022 6:25 am

DATA! Like the silver cross to Dracula – – “Begone! Begone!!”

Martin
Reply to  GeologyJim
March 26, 2022 4:35 pm

Tie for an exorcism… “The power of data compels you!”

Oldseadog
March 26, 2022 6:29 am

We now need to see the raw data before the adjustments start to appear.

Fraizer
March 26, 2022 6:46 am

Griff will be along any minute to tell us that that rain wasn’t as wet as the rain now.
Come to think of it, does Griff work weekends or will we have to wait until Monday?

Ebor
Reply to  Fraizer
March 26, 2022 7:56 am

Oh Griff, Griff, wherefore art thou Griff? We are in need of the humorous interlude that only you can provide us…(too much real scary S going on these days like Biden randomly almost causing WWIII, etc.)

MarkW
Reply to  Ebor
March 26, 2022 8:47 am

Give him time, talking points memos don’t get written and distributed instantly.

Reply to  MarkW
March 26, 2022 1:24 pm

Okay, Frazier, Ebor, Mark W, et al –
Why are you being such patsies?

I’m not a fan of ‘Griff’ as I don’t think he has any intention to debate, and has nothing to offer. But his gambit works, doesn’t it? He only has to say a couple of words, and off you go….

And, if he’s not around, you startup the badmouth crap before he has even appeared.
I’m just fed up with you guys and your really infantile comments. I come here for sensible comment and debate, and you…. well, you ain’t it!

Please desist. Your presence defaces Anthony’s otherwise excellent blog, and belittles your intellect. Please just quit, or maybe the moderators will make you quit.

So sad.

Graham
Reply to  mothcatcher
March 26, 2022 2:48 pm

So Sad .
They are just having a joke at poor old Griffs expense .
Lighten up.
A lot of other people who have swallowed the lies and propaganda from the warmist camp would put their two cents into this blog but they see the response that Griff gets when he drops rubbish one liners here.
If the clown contributed and made some valid points he would be given a hearing .

MarkW
Reply to  mothcatcher
March 26, 2022 4:41 pm

If we offend your delicate sensibilities I have a simple solution.
The door is that way.

Reply to  Ebor
March 26, 2022 10:59 am

And years ago Biden even made a promise about our grandchildren regarding future war … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUi69lRQz_k

Roger
Reply to  Ebor
March 29, 2022 12:41 am

Wherefore, meaning why. A very good question, like “why cancer?”

griff
Reply to  Fraizer
March 26, 2022 10:27 am

I usually take weekends off… the international communist conspiracy doesn’t pay overtime.

you can amuse yourselves by looking at what the UK Met Office has to say about weather this century, now you know how diligent it is about collecting and publishing records (hint: it shows the UK adversely affected by climate change)

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 10:47 am

And how do you know that? Perused the entire 3.4 million new lines of data, have you?

David Kamakaris
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 10:48 am

Griff, how long is your record?

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 12:32 pm

Oh Griff, give it a rest. You’re really rubbish at this.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 1:03 pm

Actually it doesn’t show UK being adversely affected by climate change, but don’t tell griff that, he’ll be heart broken. And out of a job.

b.nice
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 2:28 pm

Or you can look at the much rainier periods before that. Or you can go back to the MWP and before, and see how much warmer it really was.

You really need to get out of your mental basement and enjoy life and the weather, and the huge benefits that fossil fuels have brought to western civilisation, rather that sitting there in the dank fetid dark of your puny mind, trying to come up with more and more idiotic things to type. !

John in Oz
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 5:17 pm

Most readers here appear to have no issue with accepting that climate changes. Always has. Always will.

It is the cause that is debatable.

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
March 27, 2022 12:47 pm

Griff, the weather this century (I assume you mean 20th Century) is but a blip compared to the previous periods now being revealed. And the CliSciFi practitioners still haven’t explained the early 20th Century warming (little CO2) and the 18+year pause beginning late-20th Century (lots of CO2).

commieBob
March 26, 2022 7:14 am

I’m guessing that rainfall data back to the 1600s has heretofore been based on proxies. Now we have some actual data against which the proxies can be verified. I wonder if that will be inconvenient for anybody.

oeman 50
Reply to  commieBob
March 26, 2022 8:34 am

Hmmm. Could they be compared to ring data from a singe tree in Yamal?

michael hart
Reply to  oeman 50
March 26, 2022 8:44 am

They would rewrite Shakespeare if it helped.
“Shall I compare thee to a single tree in Yamal?”

griff
Reply to  commieBob
March 26, 2022 10:28 am

This is additional data, completing the online record. There was quite enough online/already available to get the general picture (this is not filling empty space)

David Kamakaris
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 10:49 am

Griff, how long is your record?

b.nice
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 2:30 pm

Yes, and that picture tells us there is absolutely nothing untoward happening with weather or climate.

A slight, but highly beneficial warming since the coldest period in 10,000 years..

Be very grateful !

Graham
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 5:44 pm

Nothing could fill the empty space between your ears Grieff

Drake
March 26, 2022 7:33 am

So UEA and other climate “science” experts have been doing all their “research” without this data?

How much have they been paid in grants for 20 or more YEARS while they didn’t even bother to process this data themselves?

Oh, I forgot, CLIMATE is only 30 years so they had all the “data” they needed from 1960 on!

fretslider
March 26, 2022 7:44 am

Up until now the BBC and MO have stated…

“Records began in 1910.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19427139

Oh dear.

glenn holdcroft
Reply to  fretslider
March 26, 2022 9:15 am

We didn’t have weather before 1910 , every ‘ climatologist ‘ knows that .

dearieme
March 26, 2022 7:58 am

monthly rainfall observations taken across the UK and Ireland between 1677 and 1960″

Good grief, a couple of those numbers might have been taken by the boyish me.

I am outraged to think that the fruit of my labours has not been used until now. To whom should I direct my complaints?

Matt Kiro
Reply to  dearieme
March 26, 2022 9:47 am

Are you a bicentennial man?

Andre Lauzon
March 26, 2022 8:20 am

How to anger academia! use volunteers instead of paying thousands in grants.

Drake
Reply to  Andre Lauzon
March 26, 2022 9:23 am

Oh come on, they wouldn’t want to do that WORK for any price. They just want to play with their computer games.

Editor
Reply to  Drake
March 26, 2022 2:06 pm

Pfizer offered to do the work for an undisclosed price.They estimated that it would take 75 years until the data could be released.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Andre Lauzon
March 27, 2022 12:57 pm

Wait a minute, folks! These volunteers are not credentialed, published climate scientists so we must ignore their input like we do to the other unwashed.

BallBounces
March 26, 2022 8:26 am

This update in records reminds us that scientific pronouncements are only as reliable as the data they are based on. What “the science says” coheres more or less with reality. Futuristic models are even less reliable. A bit of epistemic humility is warranted.

Gunga Din
Reply to  BallBounces
March 26, 2022 9:56 am

“Sybill Trelawney (to Ron): Your aura is pulsing, dear. Are you in the beyond? I think you are.
Ron Weasley: Sure.
Sybill Trelawney: Look at the cup. Tell me what you see.
Ron Weasley: Yeah. Harry’s got sort of a wonky cross. That’s trials and suffering. And that there could be the sun and that’s happiness. So… you’re gonna suffer, but you’re gonna be happy about it.”

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
March 27, 2022 4:58 am

OOPS!
That was meant as a reply to MarkW’s comment below. (March 26, 2022 8:50 am)

Dave Fair
Reply to  BallBounces
March 27, 2022 12:59 pm

What “the science says” coheres more or less with reality.” Demonstrably not true in the paleo climatological field.

MarkW
March 26, 2022 8:50 am

Off Topic but still relevant

Centenary University in New Jersey has announced a new graduate degree in Happiness Studies.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/university-announces-masters-degree-happiness-studies

dodgy geezer
March 26, 2022 9:05 am

Archived weather data in the UK?

‘There’s a lot more where that came from!’

(apologies to the shade of Spike Milligan)

Last edited 4 months ago by dodgy geezer
Gordon A. Dressler
March 26, 2022 9:16 am

From the above article:
“Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said: ‘The UK rainfall record is notoriously variable, with extremes of weather presenting us with drought and flood. The more we can shine a light into the earlier chapters and extremes within the rainfall record, the better we are able to understand the risks presented to us by climate change and future extreme weather events.’

There you have it folks. With his two back-to-back, somewhat contradictory sentences, Dr. McCarthy blew it!

The past records being “notoriously variable” is somehow different from (asserted) “future extreme weather events”???

Then again, maybe English as used in the UK has different meanings from English as used in the United States today.

And, yes, I do realize that incorporating the phrase “climate change™” in any publication greatly increases the opportunity for additional public funding of one’s pet project.

MarkW
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 26, 2022 10:28 am

The UK rainfall record is notoriously variable

For some reason this is making me think of recent claims of how a 6% increase in UK rainfall over the last 30 years is proof positive that CO2 is changing the climate.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  MarkW
March 26, 2022 10:53 am

I thought the increase in pirates caused the increase in rainfall. Or was that the increase in rainfall caused the increase in pirates? Or did the increase in pirates cause increase in the talk of “Climate Change™”? I can’t fathom what caused what, but I’m sure it’s “Settled Science™” nonetheless!

Peta of Newark
Reply to  MarkW
March 26, 2022 11:47 am

Clear as mud: “The UK rainfall record is notoriously variable”

  • Do we take that as The Record is variable
  • ……..or………
  • That The Rainfall (amount) is variable

In any case, all UK residents would dispute that.
It rains in the UK, fairly consistently and reliably. period.

Yes, on the millimetre per day scale, it is variable but is that really a problem?
If you want dry weather, you go to Southern Europe.
If you want wet weather, you come to the UK

Then the word ‘notorious’ is implying something it’s not.
> Let’s look up the definition of notorious and ask:
Why is rainfall ‘unfavourable’
If it really is so badly horrible notoriously distasteful, then leave.
simply go away. go on. clear off. depart.
let’s hear no more of your whining and grumbling.

wtf is wrong with these people…

John M
March 26, 2022 9:22 am

Records schmecords. Who needs ’em?

I read this morning that an ice shelf in East Antartica collapsed for “the first time in human history.” Maybe we need some volunteers to go through all those old Roman satellite records.

March 26, 2022 9:40 am

This is the Ed Hawkins, of the “warming stripes” and “climate spiral?” Starting to look at the data, instead of dressing up the scare du jour for public consumption? He may become a scientist yet.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Neil Lock
March 26, 2022 12:36 pm

Don’t worry – Ed managed to get the usual guff about climate change shoehorned into his statement.
“the long-term trends towards the dramatic changes we’re seeing today”
The man is a charlatan.

Matt Kiro
March 26, 2022 9:52 am

So within three years (1852-1855) we have records for drought and flooding!!
All when CO2 was a comfortable 280ppm. And here I thought only increased CO2 would cause such extremes.
I bet there are even temperature records we could use to determine if cold or warmth affected the rainfall.

griff
March 26, 2022 10:24 am

and a couple of 19th century records which match todays frequent extreme weather aren’t proof of anything – except that climate change is causing more frequent extreme results in the UK in this century

David Kamakaris
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 10:49 am

Griff, how long is your record?

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 10:54 am

Please show your work, and cite all references. In other words, use data, not just hand-waving.

Bob boder
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 12:16 pm

Except those records are all during a cooling phase, which may be what we are in now.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 1:07 pm

The fact that UK climate has been highly variable going back hundreds of years is proof that today’s variability is more variable.

Really? Is that the best you can come up with?

Climate believer
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 1:10 pm

No it isn’t, prove me wrong.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 2:32 pm

“…aren’t proof of anything – except that climate change is causing more frequent extreme results in the UK in this century”

Lol. This is brand new data. Do you have a paper supporting that argument?

What will you think if it turns out that the variability today is much the same as the variability always has been?

b.nice
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 4:07 pm

“”

More brain-dead unsubstantiated nonsense. Give it a break.!

Nothing untoward has happened to the climate in yours or your ancestors life time.

If anything we are living is a rather settled climate period as we warm naturally and beneficially out of the LIA.

Mike
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 7:34 pm

and a couple of 19th century records which match todays frequent extreme weather aren’t proof of anything.

It is proof that it can happen without extra co2 in the atmosphere. Therefore, it needs to be thoroughly explained away before we can go further with the human co2 hypothesis.
Over to you…

Paul Blase
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 8:46 pm

Post your analysis, please. If Willis can do it, you can too.

Capell
March 26, 2022 11:52 am

This is immensely kind of the MET Office to organise this work. But then, they are a publicly funded organisation.

I recall contacting them in 2013 to ask them if they could make some airfield weather reports available to me for an an analysis of the quality of the UK’s wind energy resource. You’d think that might be in all our interests?

‘Yes’, they replied, ‘happy to do that. It will £1,800 per airfield, per year plus VAT.’

So: give it a few years and I expect they’ll be charging for this data.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Capell
March 26, 2022 12:40 pm

Robbing gypos.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Capell
March 27, 2022 1:06 pm

Government grants will cover any cost, no matter how outrageous.

Nik
March 26, 2022 2:16 pm

Preservation of the originals and several certified copies will be paramount.

b.nice
March 26, 2022 4:00 pm

Paul’s headline is good

Weather Records Shattered–180 Years Ago

Old Cocky
March 26, 2022 4:21 pm

Digitising historical data is a valuable exercise, so congratulations to the entire team involved.

With a little luck, the same record set will have min and max temperatures as well.

Wind speeds and directions will be less likely, because daily sampling is of little use.

Daily minimum and maximum air pressure readings might be available as well. Reconstructing pressure systems would be a valuable exercise, but possibly on par with extracting saurian DNA from amber.

Geoff Sherrington
March 26, 2022 4:38 pm

The UK exercise as reported here invites questions about other times and places. There are other countries with historic, hand-written data sheets that have not been digitised. How about authorities like Australia’s BOM announcing how many available pages there are (approximately).
Then why is rainfall only mentioned in the present UK example? At least some of these early observers would have recorded temperatures and possibly wind speed and direction, maybe cloud cover and barometric pressure as well. Can we hope that these weather records will one day go through a crowd exercise, now the precedent is set?
How about some of the better-placed WUWT readers thinking about getting organisations involved? For example, Australia has the Institute of Public Affairs that might be interested to coordinate a citizen crowd data digitisation effort. Geoff S

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
March 27, 2022 7:58 am

Indeed, just how much data has been excluded from “the historical record” simply because it hasn’t been conveniently available? How many of the thousands of climate studies have ever noted in the SI sections that the data sets used “only include previously digitized data, because accessing earlier paper records would have required work not possible while sitting at our computers still dressed in pajamas”.

Blah, blah, blah … wettest year ever*

* based on records going all the way back to 1960 that were also conveniently available online.

I have to believe the same issue affects climate data from other countries. Thankfully the paper records were preserved.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
March 27, 2022 1:13 pm

Since this volunteer work came to light, every country should run out and protect all written data from climate scientists. We’ve given CliSciFi the idea that such information would provide a deeper insight to past climate changes. Their current paleo reconstructions show there has been no past changes to temperatures.

Dennis
March 26, 2022 6:33 pm

I read many years ago about a proposal to record weather entries from sailing ship’s logs in storage at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK.

Did that proceed and if so what was the outcome?

Dennis
March 26, 2022 6:36 pm

It’s time to write a new poem for the East Coast of Australia which this year has become the land of flooding rains, the land of flooding rains, the land of flooding rains ………. and more predicted.

Neville
March 26, 2022 7:17 pm

The Ashcroft study also added to the SE Aussie rainfall with much earlier rainfall records from 1839 to 2017.
The Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney early rainfall records were used and found very heavy rainfall and droughts in the much earlier data. David Karoly was among the authors so it may not have been a labour of love, but anyway credit to him and their study.

https://joannenova.com.au/2019/05/178-years-of-australian-rain-has-nothing-to-do-with-co2-worst-extremes-1849-1925-1950/

Rick
March 26, 2022 9:08 pm

Humorist Jerome K Jerome writing in that era could confirm the inclement weather they experienced. This is from his book Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/849/849-h/849-h.htm#link2H_4_0009
In audio book: Section 7 On The Weather
https://librivox.org/idle_thoughts_of_an_idle_fellow_by_jerome_k_jerome/

ozspeaksup
March 27, 2022 2:27 am

wow well done to all those amazing people!

Frank Hansen
March 27, 2022 3:18 pm

Will somebody please download these data and preserve them for posterity, preferably on hard drives not connected to the internet.

Carbon500
March 31, 2022 3:47 am

Professor Ed Hawkins says: “It increases our understanding of weather extremes and flood risk across the UK and Ireland, and helps us better understand the long-term trends towards the dramatic changes we’re seeing today.”
Dramatic changes? Nonsense!
I’m 73 years old, and I’ve lived in the UK for all of those years. The climate in the United Kingdom is defined as an oceanic climate, or Cfb in the Köppen climate classification system – and remains so.
Perhaps Ed Hawkins might care to show us all exactly where all the dramatic changes are in these Met Office records going back over 100 years, month by month:
https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/uk-temperature-rainfall-and-sunshine-time-series

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