No Trend in UK Rainfall Since Records Began

The Guardian had an article in mid-August with some interesting statements on the UK's recent climate:

"An expert on climate change policy has called for more action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as it emerged the country saw the warmest period from January to July since records began in 1910.

It was also the third-equal wettest such period for those months, the Met Office confirmed.

So far, not including 2014, seven of the UK's warmest years on record, and four of the five wettest years on record, have all occurred since 2000.

Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE, who had analysed the figures which the Met Office confirmed, said: 'These figures are further evidence of the impact of climate change on the UK. This should increase the urgency of UK politicians to join international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and take measures to make us more resilient, such as boosting flood defences.'"

Of course, what has been left out of this story entirely are any serious discussions of trends -- and that is where essentially all of the important climate change information resides.

There is no sign of a significant trend in the January-July rainfall totals for the UK since records began back in 1910. Since the Guardian's story was released, the August 2014 rainfall has been published. No surprise: there is also not even a remote hint of a significant trend in the January-August rainfall totals, either, since records began.

To finish this off, between 1910 (when records begin) and 2013 (the latest year with complete non-provisional data), there have been no significant trends in UK rainfall whether we look on an annual basis, or on a seasonal basis, or a monthly basis. Not one for any month or season.

Yes, the UK has gotten wetter since the mid-1970s. But the UK was getting drier from 1910 to the mid-70s. Overall, these drying and wetting trends offset each other to yield a 104-year long period with no significant trend in precipitation. That fact should have also been mentioned in the Guardian's piece, rather than just one-sided alarmism. Thankfully, there are media outlets such as the one you are reading that correct the poor climate science reporting by the mainstream media.