Temperatures, Sunshine & The Clean Air Acts

Written by Paul Homewood

UK Mean temperature - Annual


We are all doubtless familiar with the Met Office’s UK temperature chart, showing a clear rise during the 1990s and early 2000s, but one that has levelled off since.

You may be less aware, however, of a very similar increase in sunshine hours, which began at around the same time, and which has also since levelled off.

UK Sunshine - Annual

Coincidence? Maybe.

But in their recently published State of the UK Climate 2017 Report, the Met Office show that the rise in land temperatures was also very closely matched by a similar rise in sea surface temperatures in near-coastal waters:



FIGURE 20 UK annual mean temperature over land 1910–2017 and UK annual mean sea surface temperature across near-coastal waters around the UK 1870–2017, expressed as anomaly relative to the 1981–2010 long term average. The table provides average values (C)


GHGs certainly cannot account for such a rise in SSTs, but the sun definitely can. And warmer seas will then have a knock on effect on land temperatures.

It is worth recalling what the late Philip Eden wrote in 2015:




In particular:



He also wrote about the topic the month before:



All of this raises the very real question, is the recent rise in UK temperature the result of cleaner air and therefore more sunshine?

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