Climate Reason - The Little Ice Age Thermometers
A study of Climatic Variability from 1660-2009


The Little Ice Age Thermometers project is an attempt to compile instrumental readings from 1660 that predate the era of modern ‘global temperatures’ as recorded by Hadley (1850) and Giss (1880).

It demonstrates that climate variability prior to the modern era is much greater than officially recognised, and that global records are measured from troughs of the little ice age and should therefore cause no surprise when they subsequently rise. Context to past temperatures that predate instrumental records can be found by examining the various articles within this web site regarding the warmer MWP and Roman warm optimum and the world wide impacts of these- and other- warm and cold events.

Modern warming -where it exists- often appears to be an artefact of the way temperatures are compiled, or represent very real warming caused locally by the Urban Heat Island effect (see article) UHI is poorly calculated in correction factors used in the global temperature datasets although they themselves are a reflection of the dramatic urbanisation of the world during the past fifty years.

This web site therefore exists primarily as the means to examine historic aspects of climate change in the belief this will help to put the modern era into context as merely a continuation of what has occurred in the past.

This page links to articles by Tony Brown and other commentators, as well as highlighting a variety of related web sites. Although never intended as a blog, your enquiries, comments or suggestions for links to additional relevant sites/articles are welcomed by Information on the location of historic temperature data sets is particularly welcomed.


Article: A Reconstruction of the historic temperature record. Author: Tony Brown

A warming trend can be observed from 1659, the start date of Central England Temperature (CET) - the oldest instrumental record in the world- to today. It would be a notable coincidence if the warming started at the exact point that this record began. The purpose of this paper is to reconstruct CET from its current start point, through the use of diverse historical records, to 1538, in order to see if the commencement of this centuries long warming trend can be identified from within this time frame. Retracing our climatic steps provides an opportunity to revisit the respective works of Hubert Lamb and Dr Michael Mann- both famous for their reconstruction of temperature records- in the light of the evolving science and additional information that has become available over the last few decades.

Article: This piece contains much useful historic data, records and links. Author: Tony Brown

'The Long slow thaw' contained a great deal of original research information gathered from such places as the archives of the Met office. A link to this research, caveats and observations on the data and findings is contained within the article itself just above the start of section five, but this supplementary information is also available here with references and observations dating back as far as 1407.

Article: A look at historic Sea levels. Author: Tony Brown

The IPCC AR4 projected sea level rise in 2100 to range from 18-59 cm, depending on the emission scenario. More recent projections are for a 1 m sea level rise in 2100 [here and here]. Apart from the issue of uncertainty and reliability of these future sea level projections, how do these magnitudes of sea level rise compare with historic variations in sea level rise?

Historic variations in sea levels is in three parts. Part 1 covers the Holocene to Roman times. Part 2 traces sea level changes to the Medieval Warm Period. Part 3-the modern age from 1700 to today.

Article: Historic Sea surface temperatures. Author: Tony Brown

Sea surface temperatures are one of the 'gold standards' of global temperatures. Here we examine the surprising and often haphazard manner in which they were historically collected and the manner in which a small number of data points can be used to interpolate SST data over a wider geographical area

Article: History and reliability of global temperature records. Author: Tony Brown

This article (part 1 of a series of three) examines the period around 1850/80 when Global temperatures commence, and looks at the long history of reliable observations and records prior to the development of instrumental readings.

Article: A look at the reliability of the temperature record. Author: Tony Brown

This article – part two of a series of three- examines some of the inherent problems with the historic temperature record-such as methodology and instrumental error- that have been known for over a hundred years.

Article: A comparison of Global Temperatures and CET. Author: Tony Brown

This article - part three of three - examines the latest Global temperature figures from BEST and compares them to CET (Central England Temperatures). It illustrates that CET is a good - but not perfect - proxy for global temperatures and confirms the 350 year long warming trend –with numerous advances and retreats – that puts the Giss and Hadley temperature datasets into historical perspective as a staging post- and not the starting post- of increasing long term warmth.

Article: A quick look at our ever changing climate. Author: Tony Brown

Climate always changes is a familiar refrain. Here are some notable examples gathered from history to illustrate how true this maxim is.

Article: The Great Arctic warming in the 19th Century. Author: Tony Brown

This long article -with many links- examines the little known period 1815-60 when the Arctic ice melted and the Royal Society mounted an expedition to investigate the causes.

Article: In search of cooling trends. Authors: Verity Jones and Tony Brown

The notion of 'Global warming' has become firmly rooted in all our minds. Intriguingly, separating out the individual stations from the composite of stations used to create an 'average global temperature' yields some surprising results. It appears that warming is by no means global as there are many hundreds of locations around the world that have exhibited a cooling trend for at least 30 years-a statistically meaningful period in climate terms.

Article: The Futility of Carbon Reduction? Authors: Tony Brown and Ed Hoskins

This article takes a serious look atthe economics (citing such documents as the Stern report) and the practicalities of carbon mitigation through the provision of renewables, (citing Professor David Mackay) and then concentrates on trying to determine the end result of the temperature reduction that could be achieved by aggressive global carbon reduction policies by the year 2200. The answer is extraordinarily small, compounded by the reality that as only a small percentage of countries even intend to try to reduce emissions the reductions that can be achieved by such countries as the UK, who are in the vanguard of an ambitious and highly expensive carbon mitigation programme, appears to be too small to measure.

Article: Historic Variations in C02. Author: Tony Brown

In this article I have endeavoured to look at the little known social aspects of CO2 from the 18th Century onwards, in order to demonstrate that accurately measuring this gas was a common place occurrence and that the historic records appear to show that levels have changed little over the past 200 years. The comments enhance the article with numerous links, making this one of the most comprehensive resources on this subject available on-line.

Article: Has Charles Dickens shaped our perception of climate change? Author: Tony Brown

Charles Dickens. Victorian winters. A Christmas Carol. Ice fairs on the Frozen Thames. Cold Cold Cold Cold Cold. Dickens has irrevocably moulded the climate views of generations of Anglo Saxon peoples as TV, Films and plays all promote his image of icy winters in that era. Is this view of Dickens winters correct? We take a look at his life through the prism of climate.

Article: Three long temperature records in USA. Author: Tony Brown

This article links three long temperature records along the Hudson river in the USA. They illustrate that a start date of 1880 (Giss) misses out on the preceding warm climatic cycles and that UHI is a big factor in the increasingly urbanised temperature data sets from both Giss and Hadley/Cru

Article: Three long temperature records from Europe. Author: Tony Brown

In examining these records from Europe the climatic variabilty prior to the Giss records of 1880 are again shown, demonstrating that no one should be surprised when temperature readings commencing from a trough of the Little Ice Age should subsequently rise again in our own era.

Article: Travels In Europe. Author: Tony Brown

In this article we look at the lives and times of famous people living in Teignmouth on the South Coast of England and examine the warming trend experienced through the 19th Century by following one of this towns famous sons as he travels through Europe.

Article: 18th Century Climate variability in Sweden. Author: Tony Brown

This short article was the genesis of my interest in long temperature records and the effects of UHI, through the examination of records from Uppsala, Stockholm and CET. It illustrates that even going back just another thirty years (as is possible with Uppsala) can put subsequent temperature rises into better context.

Article: Politics of climate change. Author: Tony Brown

Climate change has become highly politicised and the British Govt - long time leaders in funding research into the subject - were very heavily implicated in making it a political issue in order to promote their own agenda. An unsual subject for me, but very well referenced with numerous links and quotes from such bodies as the Environmental Audit Committee of the House of Commons.

Relevant Articles by other commentators.

Article: Arctic warming 1919-1939. Author: Dr Arnd Bernaerts

I have often written short pieces on the frequent episodes of Arctic warming back to the Ipiatuk some 3000 years ago, and one day will work them up into a longer piece. This free online book by Dr Arnd Bernaerts examines the last great warming -prior to the modern one- in great detail.

Article: The Medieval Warm Period. Author: Von Rudolf Kipp

This is another topic that I intend to write about some day, but this excellent piece will probably save me the trouble. It takes the numerous studies of this period and graphically displays the resultant temperature information. In addition it provides much interesting textual information. Here in German:

Also carried here in a more accessible form for English speakers:

Article: Peer Reviewed papers on causes of climate change. Author: Andrew of Popular Technology

That there are no peer reviewed papers supporting a non anthropogenic view of climate change is a myth perpetuated by those that like to believe they have a monopoly on climate knowledge (although it is true that obtaining funding for sceptical research is very problematic) This item collates some 450 peer reviewed papers that query the current orthodoxy.

Article: Graphic representation of Giss temperature records for the British Isles. Author: Lucy Skywalker

Article: Circling the Arctic. Author: Lucy Skywalker

This is a very useful graphical representation of historic arctic temperatures

It nicely complements the two arctic articles carried here.

Article: Impacts of land use cover. Author: Fall, S., D. Niyogi, A. Gluhovsky, R. A. Pielke Sr., E. Kalnay, and G. Rochon, 2009:

Humans undeniably have an impact on their local environment and local temperature, of which the Uhi effect is the best known (see links from within this website). Land use is also a major contribtor to localised temperature change, not only from the obvious impact of building, but through deforestation, planting new crops, ploughing up grassland etc. This technical article explains some of the issues involved.

Impacts of land use land cover on temperature trends over the continental United States: Assessment using the North American Regional Reanalysis. Int. J. Climatol., DOI: 10.1002/joc.1996.

Article: Global trends of measured surface air temperature. Author: James Hansen

This is the original article by James Hansen from 1987 where he identified the stations worldwide that he felt could be used in his own dataset that was to start from 1880. Figure 2 sums the numbers up. Essential reading for climate researchers as it puts the GISS datasets into context.

Article: Improved Understanding of Past Climatic Variability from Early Daily European Instrumental Sources. Author: Camuffo D and P D Jones

Phil Jones of CRU was apparently fascinated by the temperature data sets preceding the 1850 cut off point that he chose in 1993. He subsequently identified seven as being of particular interest and in 2002- together with Dr D Camuffo- wrote a fascinating book on early (pre 1850) climate as measured by seven data sets.(behind a pay wall)

The link to the book/dvd is towards the bottom of the article. The caveats expressed about the longer data sets are worth reading. In it he mentions:

"The actual warming rate has been proven to be at such a slow rate that temperature changes, over years (i.e. 0.006°C/yr) and even decades (i.e. 0.06°C/decade), are in most cases smaller than the instrumental resolution and can hardly be directly detected."

Article: Study of historic European weather records. Author: Miscellaneous

There was an additional study of old weather records carried out in Europe. As CRU was the UK partner Phil Jones seems to have been involved in this also:

This is well worth reading, as it is fascinating and provides a better understanding of current interpretation of past recorded climate.