So far this year many parts of the world have seen weather records broken, and not always happily, as floods, storms, heat, cold, drought and more reach new extremes – but, in the temperate United Kingdom, swept frequently by Atlantic storms and Arctic gales, a sunshine record is something to marvel at. That’s what has just been the experience of the city of Oxford, home not only to an ancient university but to a collection of the longest single-site weather records in the UK, with worldwide relevance. The university’s Radcliffe Meteorological Station has measured a new record for sunshine. The total for the month just gone was 331.7 hours, making May 2020 the sunniest calendar month in the city since sunshine records began in February 1880, and far beyond the previous holder of the title, July 1911, with its total of 310.4 hours.
Climate News Network 4th June 2020 read more »
As the UK officially enters meteorological summer (June to August), it offers a chance to look back at a remarkable, record-breaking spring. The sunny weather of the past three months has grabbed the headlines, with March-to-May clocking in as the sunniest spring and May being the sunniest calendar month on record. However, while many have enjoyed the fine weather, the season was also exceptionally dry. May 2020 ranks as the driest May on record for England and the second driest for Wales. This comes in stark contrast to the extreme rainfall observed through the winter – including the UK’s wettest February on record. In this article, we look back on the recent spring and the factors that contributed to it.
Carbon Brief 4th June 2020 read more »
Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen strongly to a new peak this year, despite the impact of the global effects of the coronavirus crisis. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 417.2 parts per million in May, 2.4ppm higher than the peak of 414.8ppm in 2019, according to readings from the Mauna Loa observatory in the US. Without worldwide lockdowns intended to slow the spread of Covid-19, the rise might have reached 2.8ppm, according to Ralph Keeling, a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He said it was likely they had played a small role, but that the difference was too small to show up against other factors causing year-to-year fluctuations.
Guardian 4th June 2020 read more »
Prof Tim Palmer from Oxford University said there were still too many unknowns in climate forecasting. And in the month the SpaceX launch grabbed headlines, he said just one of the firm’s billions could transform climate modelling. Short-term weather forecasting is generally very accurate. And long-term trends in rising temperatures aren’t in doubt. But Prof Palmer says many puzzles remain unsolved: take the recent weird weather in the UK, with the wettest February on record followed by the sunniest Spring.
BBC 5th June 2020 read more »