Wednesday, 2 September 2015

England/Wales v CONUS temperatures

Having digested overseas climate in recent years, I noted the record-warm January 1880 over the eastern US as exceptionally dry and cold over Western Europe – although similarly dry months there are not necessarily hot as far west as the US.

It is well-known that the contiguous US (CONUS) is by areal average much hotter than England and Wales in the northern summer, and colder in the winter. What I will try to do here is see how much variation there is between these normals, since the annual temperature means overlap somewhat. Since the CONUS averages a little hotter than England and Wales over the whole year, I will take positive as meaning the CONUS is hotter, negative that the CONUS is cooler than England and Wales.

Data exist for the years from 1895 to 2014, and I will do figures for fiscal year (July to June) as well as temperature. Fiscal year should provide a better picture than calendar year due to the greater influence of winter temperatures an annual variation, avoiding situations where unusually cold or warm winters are divided between two years.

Month # CONUS hotter # CONUS cooler Year of “highest” departure Year of “lowest” departure
July 120 0 1954 +17.94˚F
1983 +6.89˚F
August 120 0 1922 +16.33˚F
1997 +5.72˚F
September 120 0 1931 +15.43˚F
2006 +1.06˚F
October 108 12 1931 +8.72˚F
1969 -4.37˚F
November 29 91 1915 +6.07˚F
1951 -9.22˚F
December 3 117 2010 +1.73˚F
1924 -16.65˚F
January 0 120 1941 -0.70˚F
1930 -18.54˚F
February 8 112 1991 +5.83˚F
1903 -16.36˚F
March 45 75 1910 +6.46˚F
1912 -9.20˚F
April 114 6 1986 +10.42˚F
2007 -1.62˚F
May 120 0 1902 +13.97˚F
1917 +0.09˚F
June 120 0 1977 +16.38˚F
1976 +5.2˚F
Fiscal year 118 2 1962/1963 +5.40˚F
1911/1912 -0.37˚F

It can be observed that some extremes, noted in red above, seem to be systematically influenced by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

Although I could use an earlier date since rainfall records in the southern hemisphere indicate man-made global warming (countered in the northern hemisphere by short-lived aerosol pollution) was taking control of the climate as early as 1967, I will use the 1980 Lonie Report – which paved the way for major expansion of polluting freeways in by far the planet’s worst greenhouse polluter (Australia) – as a cut-off for “natural” variability. Previous records for those established since are:
  • July “lowest”: 1976 (CONUS averaged 72.90˚F or 22.72˚C; CET was 18.7˚C or 65.66˚F)
  • August “lowest”: 1975 (CONUS averaged 71.53˚F or 21.96˚C; CET was 18.7˚C or 65.66˚F)
  • September “lowest”: 1949 (CONUS averaged 63.73˚F or 17.63˚C; CET was 16.3˚C or 61.34˚F)
  • April “lowest”: 1944 (CONUS averaged 48.97˚F or 9.43˚C; CET was 10.2˚C or 50.36˚F)
  • December “highest”: 1933 (CONUS averaged 36.43˚F or 2.46˚C; CET was 1.3˚C or 34.88˚F – though Scotland was actually milder than England or the CONUS)
  • April “highest”: 1908 (CONUS averaged 52.75˚F or 11.53˚C; CET was 6.0˚C or 42.8˚F)
  • February “highest”: 1954 (CONUS averaged a record 41.11˚F or 5.06˚C; CET was 2.6˚C or 36.68˚F)
Temperature for the winter of 1916/1917. Note the uniform cold over most of the northern hemisphere apart from the subtropics, Central Asia, Greenland and Sakhalin.
The case of May 1917, after a very long and severe winter across the northern hemisphere apart from Central Asia and Greenland (à la January 1963) is amazing. The month was by mean percentile (as opposed to temperature) easily the coolest every observed across North America. At 55.13˚F or 12.85˚C, May 1917’s mean temperature stands 5.06˚F or 2.8˚C below the virgin mean, and only May 1907 comes within 2˚F (1.1˚C) in terms of coolness. What’s more amazing is that no district in the contiguous US ranks higher than 41st coolest for the month! The pattern from the winter of 1916/1917 persisted remarkably through the spring, as can be seen below:
Temperature anomalies for May 1917. Note the extreme and uniform cool over North America, Australia, East Asia and and eastern Europe (parts of southwestern Canada would probably come out slightly hotter than normal if something closer to the virgin mean were used)
In fact, May’s case of the CONUS being as cool as England and Wales during what is almost summer is much more exceptional than January 1880. Although accurate data do not exist, it is almost certain that in January 1880 the United States was around 2˚C (3.6˚F) hotter than England and Wales. Most places east of the Rockies averaged 9˚F or 5˚C above normal, and even the Pacific Northwest which received snowfalls comparable to the record cold January of 1950, was slightly milder than normal – though Canada was extremely cold.
Mean temperatures for January 1880, the most recent January where the CONUS averaged hotter than England and Wales (it’s a pity I can’t obtain figures relative to a mean less influenced by Australian greenhouse gas emissions, which would not show the western US as substantially cooler than average).
October 1969 is a striking month, which I have long known in Australia as the driest October in Perth and Adelaide, but a very wet month in northern New South Wales with Gilgandra under water from its biggest flood since 1956.
Rainfall over Australia for October 1969. Note the heavy rainfall over northeastern NSW and southeast Queensland, as well as over the wet-dry tropics (where it proved a false beginning and was followed by the last big wet season failure before Australian greenhouse emissions eliminated such occurrences.
Globally, October 1969 saw an “Indian summer” in England and the beginning of a warm winter in a cold era for Alaska, but cold weather in western Russia, south America and New Zealand as well as the contiguous United States:

April 1944 was very cool in the US and also in most of Australia (in Melbourne it is the seventh coolest April since records began in 1855, whilst the West Central division of Kansas was equal coolest) but notably warm in Canada, western Russia and western Europe.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

“Googly Summer” or the true “Year without a Summer”?

The year 1816, following a major volcanic eruption, is often referred to in US and European history chronicles as “The year without a Summer” as Western Europe and the United States went through a summer where – at least supposedly in the absence of large-scale climatological data – frosts and snows occurred all through the “summer”. What data does exist does suggest a very cool summer in these regions, but nothing to suggest a major global cooling.
As we can see above, the exceptionally cool conditions in Western Europe were balanced by hotter-than-normal conditions further east. This may suggest rain was the culprit behind major agricultural problems, since cool weather on a western flank and hot on an eastern one suggests exceptionally wet conditions at the boundary between the two anomalies, as can be seen here for July 1993 in the US:
Average temperatures for the conterminous US in July 1993. Note the record cool in the Northwest (as much as 9.1˚F or 5.1˚C below normal in southern Idaho – an anomaly which has a virgin or constant-greenhouse-forcing return period certainly far beyond 121 years) and the very hot weather in the Southeast

Rainfall for the conterminous US in July 1993. Note the heavy rainfall in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri near the boundary between much-hotter and much-cooler than normal conditions.
The impression if often given that 1816 is without analog. However, from my knowledge of old county cricket I was aware 1907 was the coolest cricket season in England since the record cool and wet summer of 1879, but recently I found that Winnipeg averaged an amazing 4.3˚C. This is as much as 6˚C cooler than Winnipeg’s virgin mean May temperature – an astonishing anomaly for a month in the hotter half of the year. As can be seen below, anomalies for May 1907 were even larger over northern Minnesota:
Conterminous US temperature anomalies for May 1907. Note the extreme cool in the Upper Midwest, where many places averaged below freezing overnight.
In fact, the April to September half-year was astonishingly cool over the Lower 48 (certainly the coolest since 1895), though the unusual thing is that it followed a winter that was very mild south of the northern tier of states:
Indeed, the 1906/1907 winter is the sole pre-Lonie-Report winter remaining as of 2015 among the top ten warmest in Arizona, and despite the global warming produced by Australian greenhouse emissions still remains the hottest winter on record in Texas and New Mexico. The winter was also extremely wet except in the Northeast and Deep South.

Although it’s often the case that temperature anomalies in the contiguous US do not reflect global trends (e.g. March 1946) the summer of 1907 seems not to follow such a pattern, being cool to very cool almost everywhere with reliable data. May 1907’s extreme cool (if the base period on the top map is manifestly outside the virgin period and unnecessarily influenced by Australian car and coal pollution) can be seen to extend well into the Arctic Circle.

The extremely cool summer in the US and Britain is hardly counterbalanced at all – like we would expect it to be in the maps for the 1906/1907 winter, the summer of 1816, and July 1993. It is true that there is a hotter-than-normal area just west of the Urals, but unlike many more famous months of simultaneous unusually cool weather in the US and Europe, there is no markedly hotter-than-average weather over the Labrador or Bering Seas. This suggests 1907 really was a “year without a summer” on quite a wide scale, though global temperature data do not show this as far as I am aware – the winter of 1906/1907 was extremely cold in southeastern Europe, Canada and Greenland, but very mild in Scandinavia and northwestern Russia.

It’s interesting to see that this “year without a summer” saw googly bowlers – expected to be at their best in a hot and dry summer – do so well. It’s almost as if the extreme cool weather did not make pitches softer as would be expected, especially as if it was windy they might have dried out well as is indicate by the high proportion of finished matches for a summer with only 53 dry days out of 123.

It may also have helped Arthur Fielder gain his surprising return of 172 wickets in an era when fast bowlers tended to be valueless in wet weather – if this very cool summer and improved drainage made getting a foothold easier, it makes sense Fielder could against weaker batsmen do so well.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

100 years since the unique Great Cancer Conjunction

Although I’m one full week late to put it down, this month is 100 years since the “Great Cancer Conjunction” which featured seven planets in Cancer – all except Mars in Gemini, Saturn in Pisces and Uranus in Aquarius. The state of six planets (not necessarily the Moon) in ♋ occurred from 11 to 19 July, when Neptune left ♋, apart form a brief retrograde from 20 March to 1 May 1916, until 4 July 2065.
United States chart for 1915 “Great Cancer Conjunction” at midpoint of seven planets in ♋
It is a unique conjunction for the following reasons:
  1. it is the only case between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries of seven planets in a single water sign
  2. the conjunction includes both Neptune and dwarf planet Pluto in the sign of the conjunction
  3. it is the last occurrence of simultaneous empty fire and empty earth until 26 February 2053
This empty fire and empty earth combination, as it will, allows the naturally conflicting air and water signs to conflict much more strongly than otherwise, especially with the quincunxed planets in Aquarius that at times formed the rare phenomenon of inconjunct stellia during 1914 when Jupiter was in Aquarius.

The traditional ideal of mercy and equality before natural law of the feeling-oriented water signs has consistently conflicted with the ideals of justice and radical equality of result inherent in the psychological type of the air signs. Throughout the Enriched World, this conflict is symbolic of the class conflict played out over the past century and a half – the air signs feel the water signs are unfair, the water signs feel the air signs are uncaring and concerned with only worldly gain.

In the United States chart shown above, Aquarius rising with Uranus and the North Node, and Midheaven in Scorpio, symbolises the “culture wars” at its clearest. Eastern Canada also had ♒ rising, and produced an even deeper philosophical conflict brought to breaking point by the “Green Revolution”and changes in employment suggested by an even fuller sixth house than in the US chart:
Australia, with the conjunction on the Midheaven, becomes the globe’s effective power (contrast with the 1899 Sagittarius conjunction) as its minerals gain a control over not only economy, but also the very climate and ecology of the planet as huge amounts of fossil energy are used to break extremely tight bonds between oxygen and Australia’s superabundant lithophile metals:
The Arab Gulf States, with the conjunction on the Ascendant, are rising from poor and completely isolated to become major powers due to their natural resources. With Mercury on the Ascendant, their rulers use this power to spread ideologies that are extremely antiquated (♋) from the perspective of the Enriched World’s native urban populace.
East Asia, with the conjunction in the tenth house, becomes the “mother of business” as it provides (more and more advanced) consumer goods for the rest of the world. ♍ rising in this chart for South Korea symbolises the role of perfection and efficiency in this quest to produce goods for the world, and eastern China would have had ♍ rising over its whole area:
Europe had Gemini rising for the most part with Uranus on the Midheaven (in high latitudes like Scandinavia Cancer would have been rising but Aquarius still on the Midheaven), and this Uranus conjunct Midheaven symbolises the degree of social experimentation governments have found necessary to deal with mass class struggle resulting (in part) from record levels of income inequality during World War I:
Africa, with Taurus rising for the most part, becomes devoted to agriculture as its largely illiterate and poor population and abundant flat land specialised in the least skilled field available. It consequently failed to advance in less practical fields, especially with the conjunction in the second house of Taurus itself.

Monday, 29 June 2015

A look at my garden

Although I seldom do this, my mother has long been noticing her orchid in flower in this mild and dry weather, and this morning she decided to photo it and I – affected by shoddy iron-on patches and the prospect of ruining a pair of jeans that actually fits my fatter-than-ever body – accepted the photo although my heart was in nothing but getting a properly sticking pair of iron-on patches or sending the jeans to a tailor. I have a glimmer of hope about this issue but fear ruining a good pair of clothes!
The orchid is striking when looked at – and the beauty of the flowers actually matches some of the textbooks on the topic I recall reading years ago. The picture still reveals the problems the house has had with its back and side walls – it is not something with a rustic appeal like so many older goods handmade from quality materials.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

How widespread are pejoratives?

Although it is only recently that I have browsed and browsed for pejorative terms for soccer and gridiron used by fans of the other sport, an old memory has over the past few weeks made me feel as if there is some sympathy among the soccer- and the gridiron-watching publics for these pejorative words. When I used to look at weekly charts by one Nigel Jones, I recall he said this of Rod Stewart’s ‘You’re in My Heart’:
#7: Rod Stewart — You’re In My Heart
When it entered at number seven, this single looked a sure fire bet to hit the top, but instead it climbed to number three and spent three weeks there. It must have come as some surprise to many young lovers who‘d adopted this song as ‘their song’, when they discovered that it wasn’t about the love of a woman at all, but about Rod’s love of football (the ‘real football’ with a round spherical object, that I refuse to call the ‘S’ word). In hindsight the references such as United, Celtic were obvious as they refer to Rod’s favourite Football clubs (I wonder why he didn‘t mention Brentford though, he was once on their books).
When I read this circa 2001, I knew Nigel was contrasting “real football” with gridiron (American football) rather than with Australian Rules (which I mean when saying “football”). I assumed people who called soccer ‘football’ would use the conventional names ‘American football’, ‘Canadian football’ and ‘Australian Rules football’ for other codes, but it does dawn on me that this Nigel Jones might prefer the “h” word – though his writings do not say one way or the other. In fact, there are enough “hash” tags “#handegg” to suggest many Europeans – even those who do not post on forums – would prefer that the word ‘football’ never be used for sports other than soccer.

On the gridiron side, I don’t imagine things are that different – the view that soccer is not a real sport (because of ties and the way players supposedly fake injuries) seems from what evidence I have to be very widespread even in Australia, whose main sports are not as violent as gridiron or ice hockey. The name “football” is a symbol of prestige to both gridiron and soccer fans – something which my background cannot understand – and for this reason I feel abuse would be likely equal on both sides.