Rescue of 66,000 Sheets of Actual Rainfall Observations in UK Dismisses Alarmist Claims of Extra Drought – Watts With It?

From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin

Europe experienced a dry summer this year and global climate alarmists claimed droughts were becoming more frequent. This is the new normal, they like to claim.

However, a body of hard data completely refutes this. A recent paper by the Royal Meteorological Society by Hawkins et al. provides amazing results tabulated from over 300 years of old, meticulously handwritten observations.

Hat-tip: The cold sun is here.

What follows is the abstract of the paper. The key statements are highlighted:

The recovery of additional historical weather observations from known archival sources will improve understanding of how the climate is changing and allow detailed examination of unusual events within the historical record.

The UK National Meteorological Archive recently more than scanned 66,000 sheets of paper containing 5.28 million handwritten monthly precipitation observations taken between 1677 and 1960 across Britain and Ireland.

Only a small fraction of these observations were previously available digitally for climate scientists to analyze. More than 16,000 volunteer Citizen Scientists completed the transcription of these observation sheets in early 2020 using the website built with the Zooniverse platform. A total of 3.34 million observations from more than 6000 locations have been quality checked and made publicly accessible so far. This has increased the total number of monthly precipitation observations available for this period and region by a factor of six. The newly rescued observations will enable longer and much improved reconstructions of past rainfall variability across the British and Irish Isles, including for periods of significant flooding and drought. In particular, these data should allow the official gridded monthly precipitation reconstructions to be extended to 1836 for the UK, and even earlier for some regions.”

It is truly amazing that such a body of valuable data has been ignored for so long by research institutes that are publicly funded tens of millions of dollars a year to reconstruct the historical climate.

Now that it took 16,000 volunteers to do this work, we have since gained a much clearer picture of Britain’s past climate. Some of the results are interesting if not surprising, especially given all the doomsday drought claims that have been made lately.

The driest year on record was not recently, but in 1855. Additionally, as the graph above shows, the trend has been wetter, not drier. Rainfall averaged 10% more than recently, compared to the mid-19th century.

The drought years since 1950 are proving to be nothing out of the ordinary.


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