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Stop Bristol Airport Expansion! (SBAE) is an alliance comprised of the following groups:

cpreBristol Friends of the Earth

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All content © Stop Bristol Airport Expansion, 2009.


100 months

How the UK has warmed 1914-2005

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This animation shows one frame for each year from 1914 to 2001, showing the average temperature for that and the following 5 years versus the average for the whole period. This smooths out individual cold and hot years so underlying trends can be seen. The data is from Met Office official monthly averages.

Each area is measured relative to its own average for the period, hence Scotland seems no colder than Devon. The graph at the top left shows the average variation for the whole country. Note that by the end of the animation it is 0.85 degrees centigrade above the average for the whole period (and that average includes the last 20 warm years). Some parts of the country have warmed by far more than this - although some of the intense white dots are due to urban warming, the more disperse bright pinks are in rural areas.

You will notice that for most of the sequence the image is in the blues and greens ie around the average for the whole period, there are some warmer times (1945 was famously warm) and colder ones (1963 was cold for months) but overall the variations are very small.

From 1986 onwards, however, the trend is strongly upwards, with the picture getting redder and redder. This shows that the hottest years in the UK have all been in the last 20 years - which is also true of global average temperatures. The data for 2006 is not in yet, but it could well be the hottest year on record, already having the hottest July and September, hottest May-September and 3rd hottest October.

Note that the west edge of the UK has not warmed as much as other parts - this is the very edge that is normally warmer due to the Gulf Stream, and it may indicate that the Gulf Stream is weakening.

This is some of the evidence that convinces us that we must act to reduce emissions - and that means not allowing irresponsible growth in emissions due to expansion of airports