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Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: What does ‘mean’ actually mean?

Are you a user of global temperature data? If so, have you ever thought about the meaning of the word “mean” in “global mean surface temperature”? I’m guessing that for most people the answer to the second question is “no”. “Mean” is such a ubiquitous concept that we don’t think about it much. But let …

2018-07-20 10:01   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Hay Festival

Recently, I was lucky enough to speak at an event at the Hay Festival – one of the most famous literary festivals in the world. The Festival had paired up three environmental scientists with three artists and authors to produce a series of hour-long live events, and provided us with an opportunity to talk about …

2018-06-06 15:03   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Warming stripes

A new set of climate visualisations, communicating the long term rise in temperatures for particular locations as a changing set of colours from blue to red. Each stripe represents the temperature of a single year, ordered from the earliest available data to now. Annual temperatures in central England from 1772-2017 The colour scale goes from …

2018-05-22 21:08   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: John Tyndall: founder of climate science?

John Tyndall (c.1822–1893), Irish physicist, mountaineer, and public intellectual, is best known for his work on the absorption of heat by gases such as water vapour and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (and for explaining why the sky is blue). Seen in retrospect, he is a critical figure in the history of climate science. Yet …

2018-04-26 18:18   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Heavy rainfall events increasing

Data: E-OBS v17 gridded rainfall dataset. Calculated as the number of gridpoints per calendar year with daily rainfall amounts over 25mm, divided by the number of gridpoints.

2018-04-16 10:38   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Trends in extremes

Twenty years ago, the trend in annual mean global mean temperature became detectable. Ten years ago, regional seasonal mean temperature trends were becoming clear. Nowadays, we can see trends even in weather extremes. In this post I show trends in long-term meteorological station data for hot, cold and wet extremes, and share some thoughts on …

2018-02-19 22:19   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Uncertainty in warming since pre-industrial times

The consequences of the Paris Agreement’s choice of the pre-industrial as its baseline have been discussed previously on this blog. This choice makes sense from a climate forcing perspective (as radiative forcings are measured with respect to a quasi-equilibrated state, and the well-observed recent past is not close to have finished responding to anthropogenic drivers). …

2017-11-28 22:51   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Is the 1.5°C target still reachable?

In the Paris climate agreement it was agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. There has been a debate whether the ambitious climate change mitigation goal of 1.5 °C is still within reach. …

2017-10-03 18:11   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: What do future eruptions mean for climate projections?

The world has not seen a major volcanic event for at least 25 years, but the tropical volcano Mt Agung on Bali is now threatening to erupt. Mt Agung’s last eruption in 1963 was one of the largest during the 20th century and had widespread climatic effects. Going further back in time, ice core-based volcanic …

2017-10-02 16:46   Click to comment


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