Thursday, January 20, 2011


                             STATE OF MIND                                                                        5-14-99
                                                                    BRUCE W. GLADSTONE, PH.D
     One evening I watched a remarkable program on the Discovery channel about the mysterious killings of numerous
rhinoceros somewhere in Africa.  Many rhinos had been found dead after being badly beaten and gorged.  It was clearly
not the work of poachers who used guns and who took the rhinos’ horns.
These rhinos had been brutally beaten and mauled.  Who could have done such a thing and why?
     Animal experts investigating these unusual rhino killings soon learned that the killers were adolescent male
elephants roaming in small bands.  They filmed these bands of teenage elephants chasing the rhinos, teasing them,
throwing rocks and dust at them, pushing them down and preparing to gorge them with their tusks.
     While the mystery of the rhino deaths was solved, the question still remained as to why the adolescent male
elephants would behave in such an aggressive manner, so belligerent and out of control.
     As the investigators continued to observe the teenage elephants they noticed that there were no mature male
elephants around.  They had all been poached for their tusks. The absence of mature adult males elephants was
striking but could it account for the murderous rampage of the teenage males?
     To find the answer to this question the investigators arranged for several bull elephants to be imported to the area.  
Within a short period after the mature male elephants arrived, the killing and harassment of the rhinos by the bands of
adolescent males stopped completely.  The simple presence of the mature males was enough to accomplish this result.  
When the male teenagers stepped out of line and threatened the rhinos or overstepped their boundaries, a gesture and
a bellow from the adult males brought them back in line. The young males even seemed to welcome the stability and
authority of the older bulls.
     In our society an increasing number of young males seem lost and out of control, as recent shootings in schools
across the country indicate. Verbal abuse, belligerence, disrespect for elders and authority and a sense of
hopelessness seem to go far beyond healthy adolescent rebellion in search of identity. My sense is that the shootings
are just the “tip of the iceberg.” of very serious problems for boys in our culture which we have not wanted to face.
Hopefully we will begin to face them, quickly and thoughtfully.
     At times, the behavior of many young males scares and intimidates us, as they mock our values, defy rules, and
identify with anti-social energy like fascism, racism, neo-nazi and other hate groups. Often it seems there are no
accepted rules, anything goes, everyone looks out only for himself, there are no accepted boundaries and no one is in
charge.  Of course, this is not true for all adolescents, but it is true enough to warrant grave concern from all of us.
     Although the troubles of our youth today are much more complex than the troubles of adolescent elephants in
Africa, there is no denying that father absence is a problem our teens have in common with the elephants.
     In our industrialized and technological society, fathers have become increasingly absent from their homes and family
life and from the responsibilities of raising children. This is one consequence of the Industrial Revolution which began in
the 1800s and of our competitive, compulsive work ethic.  Most fathers work long hours in industry, businesses and
professions farther and farther from home.  Technology has not made more time for parenting.
     There are many ways fathers leave their sons.  They are poached by a ruthless work-ethic that insists on winning at
all costs and making money as the highest forms of success.  They leave through alcohol, drug abuse and television.  
They leave through marital strife and divorce.  They exit through doors maintained by an educational-corporate-socio-
economic system which declares that men should not feel.
     As fathers have become increasingly absent, adolescent males have become increasingly agitated.
The focus of parenting (fathering)  them is more on control, management and discipline and less on knowing them,
connecting with their souls, uplifting and developing their unique gifts and creative genius.  There isn’t time for all that!!!  
Too often the essence of who a boy is gets lost in the shuffle of working schedules, busi-ness and other priorities, until it
is too late. Adolescent boys feel lonely, sad and
abandoned in our society and they cannot admit to it.  Its not their job to admit to it.  That is our job, the job of their
fathers and mothers and it is time we all wake up to that and begin thinking of making some serious changes in how we
raise boys to be men.  
     Like the rampaging adolescent elephants in Africa, our boys need strong, loving and mature male influence.  They
need their fathers and they need the entire village.  They need to know who is in charge.  They need to know what the
rules are and they need firm, loving attention.  Many boys get this, but far too many do not.

Report Card on Obama's First Two Years (American Thinker)


By K.E. Campbell
Two years ago today, Barack Obama was inaugurated as president of the United States.  Are you better off today than you were two years ago?
Numbers don't lie, and here are the data on the impact he has had on the lives of Americans:

January 2009


% chg


Avg. retail price/gallon gas in U.S. (regular conventional)





Selected commodities:

     Crude oil, European Brent (barrel)





     Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel)





     Natural gas, Henry Hub, $ per MMbtu





     Gold: London (per troy oz.)





     Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL





     Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL





     Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. fob





Consumer Price Index (for all urban consumers)





Producer Price Index:  finished goods





Producer Price Index:  all commodities





Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall





Unemployment rate, blacks





Number of unemployed





Number of fed. employees, ex. uniformed military (curr = 12/10 prelim)





Real median household income (2008 vs 2009)





Number of food stamp recipients (curr = 10/10)





Number of unemployment benefit recipients (curr = 12/10)





Number of long-term unemployed, in millions





Poverty rate, individuals (2008 vs 2009)





People in poverty in U.S., in millions (2008 vs 2009)





House price index (current = Q3 2010)





S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index: 20 city composite (curr = 10/10)





Number of properties subject of foreclosure filings, in millions





DJIA (12,403 on 6/3/08, date BHO clinched Dem. nomination)





NASDAQ (2,480 on 6/3/08)





S&P 500 (1,378 on 6/3/08)





Global Dow





U.S. rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings





Consumer Confidence Index (curr = 12/10)





Present Situation Index (curr = 12/10)





Failed banks (curr = 2010 + 2011 to date)





U.S. dollar versus Japanese yen exchange rate





U.S. money supply, M1, in billions (curr = 12/10 preliminary)





U.S. money supply, M2, in billions (curr = 12/10 preliminary)





National debt, in trillions






1 - U.S. Energy Information Admin.

2 - Wall Street Journal

3 - Bureau of Labor Statistics

4 - Census Bureau

5 - USDA

6 - U.S. Dept. of Labor

7 - FHFA

8 - Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller

9 - RealtyTrac

10 - Heritage Foundation and WSJ

11 - The Conference Board

12 - FDIC

13 - Federal Reserve

14 - U.S. Treasury


Page Printed from: at January 20, 2011 - 07:48:10 AM CST

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NASA Sun Spot Number predictions revised again

Full Article at:


Posted on January 18, 2011 by Anthony Watts

WUWT Commenter J Gary Fox writes:

The solar cycle 24 predicted sunspot maximum has been reduced again – predicted peak down to 59 Max. (1/3/11)

click to enlarge

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. Philosopher Y. Berra

This will be at the level of the Maunder Minimum of 1675 -1715.
Previous NASA predictions below:

  • 2010 October: Predicted peak 60-70
  • 2009 May 29: predicted peak: 80-90 range
  • 2009 Jan 5: predicted peak: 100-110 range
  • 2008 Mar 28: predicted peak: 130-140 range

Here’s an animation showing all of the prediction graphs from NASA that we have thus far:

click for a larger animation at full size

Why the Left Hates Sarah Palin (American Thinker)


By Robin of Berkeley

When I was ten years old, I participated in an act of unadulterated group evil.  It happened at a sleep-away camp in the Catskill Mountains. 

Starting in third grade, I was shipped off to this summer camp for three months at a time.  Although I was in no way ready to be so far from home, my parents wanted the summers free and clear -- so I was whisked away, like hundreds of other Camp Tawonga kids.

I lived in a bunk with a gaggle of other girls, with two teenagers to oversee us.  Since our counselors were more absorbed in the male staff than in us, we girls had the run of the house.

One day, my bunkmates decided to punish Barbara, a popular and confident child.  The masterminds held Barb down while a few others stripped off her clothes.  Barbara struggled and screamed as the rest of us watched, transfixed.  The details are blessedly murky, but they involve mocking Barbara and grabbing at her body.

Although I wasn't a major player, I also did nothing to stop the madness, which shames me to this day.  I even recall feeling a strange, wicked thrill surging through my body.  Now that I analyze it, it was the maniacal power of sadism -- and evil.

I've always wondered why Barbara was chosen to be tortured, and not a nerdy girl instead.  But after beholding the horrible treatment of Sarah Palin, I finally understand: Barb was a sweet and happy and innocent child.  The leaders of the pack wanted to knock her down from her high horse.

My mind flashed to this awful memory after hearing that Palin was being scapegoated for the Tucson Massacre.  Palin has been a target of the left's wrath from the moment she was nominated for vice president.  Many conservatives have tried to explain why.

Some say it's jealousy, which is true; Palin is a lovely woman with a handsome husband.  She's also a self-made woman; Palin has risen to power on her own, without the coattails of husband or father.

Some conservatives believe that the hatred is a result of brainwashing; this is true, as well.  Liberals respond robotically, like Pavlov's dogs, whenever Palin's name is uttered.

But there's a darker reason for the abject hatred of Palin, and the clues can be found in that Catskill Mountains bunk.  Because evil can manifest when people project their own badness and shame onto another. 

People on the left hate Palin for one simple reason: because she is everything they are not.  She is their polar opposite because her life journey has diverged from the prescribed liberal path.

Palin was raised to be self-sufficient and independent since "idle hands are the devil's tools."  Little Sarah was up at the crack of dawn, hunting with her dad; in sharp contrast, liberal kids like me were still fast asleep. 

Palin didn't have life handed to her on a silver platter, like so many in the ruling class.  Instead, Sarah balanced school, chores, jobs, and sports.  While liberal girls like me were glued to the boob tube, Sarah had no time for sloth.

Palin attended church with her family on Sundays. On Sunday morning, young liberals like me were recovering from Saturday night.

From her devout Christian upbringing, Sarah learned to be a good girl.  In contrast, I learned everything I needed to know about how to be a modern girl from the monthly Playboy Magazine, which was conspicuously displayed on our living room table.

Sarah dated and then married her high school sweetheart; I learned that my body was a commodity that I "owned."  And I could use my body -- and allow it to be used -- to temporarily still the pangs of loneliness.

There's a lyric from a Matt Maher song that always moves me to tears.  It's when he cries out to God: "Where were You when sin stole my innocence?"  

When I hear these words, an unspeakable pain cuts through me.  I feel the ache of something stolen from me -- something precious, never quite recovered.  And there are countless others out there, similarly robbed, though they have no idea what has gone missing.

And then, out of the blue, Sarah Palin, like a majestic bird in flight, swooped onto the scene of a depraved and deprived nation.  With her children and grandchild, her religion and her patriotism, Sarah is the antithesis of everything the progressives stand for.  Palin is not just pro-life, but she emanates life -- and good, clean living.   

And what does the left do?  They try to drag her through the mud to sully her.  The hardcore among them want to eliminate her, even if this means putting her life at risk. 

The progressives "joke" about gang-rape, make pornographic movies about her, and leer at her legs.  (Would any of this be tolerated against Michelle Obama?)

Palin's church was torched during the primary, a vicious crime that was hushed up by the MSM.  And now, with the smears about Tucson, death threats against Palin have soared.

Yes, leftists attack Palin because they envy her beauty; and true, she's a political threat.  But the main reason for the hatred is something deeper and darker.

Leftists loathe Palin because she has retained something that was stripped from them years ago: a wholesomeness, a purity of heart.  People on the left despise Palin because she shines a bright light on their shame and unworthiness, which they try desperately to deny.

The progressives, like that brutal gang of abandoned girls, want to drag Palin down into the gutter with them; they want to spoil her.  Of course, their efforts will be futile; Palin is fueled by a Spirit that isn't simply her own.

The left knows only how to point fingers, and threaten, and menace.  Why?  They are lost, abandoned children as well; they have shunned the only Force who could wash them clean and bring them home again.

A frequent American Thinker contributor, Robin is a recovering liberal and a psychotherapist in Berkeley.  Robin's articles are intended to inform and entertain, not to provide psychotherapeutic advice or diagnosis.  You can reach post a comment for this article here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

There are times when civility is not the answer

The American Thinker Blog ^ | January 15, 2011 | Bill Weckesser

Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011 4:52:32 AM by Scanian

There can certainly be too much civility. This is especially true where civility morphs into a hyper politeness that politicians can cower behind as political subterfuge. There's hardly a more graphic example than the black genocide going on in....America.

Chuck Colson, on his Breakpoint Commentary, relates the story of Walter Hoy, a modern day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Like Dr. King, Hoy uses non-violence to focus his ministry on the plight of African Americans. Additionally, like his predecessor, he's spent time behind bars for his convictions. Mr. Hoy has been jailed in the U.S. for violating a "bubble zone" ordinance in an abortion facility where he'd been counseling for life.

"When Dr. King wrote his letter, From a Birmingham Jail, he addressed those who thought his civil rights activities unwise and untimely. In his speeches, Hoy also addresses those who say that his cause is worthy and just but that he should just wait. 'I can't wait.' Hoy says. 'You see, my people are dying.'

Since 1973, he notes, over 14.5 million black babies have been killed by abortion. Every, single day, 1,200 black babies are put to death in abortion facilities, making abortion the leading cause of death among African Americans! Nearly half of all black babies conceived die in abortion chambers today. Hoy says this means that a black child is safer on the streets of the worst neighborhoods in American than in his mother's womb.

Hoy notes that between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan. Today, abortion kills more black Americans in less than three days than the Klan killed in 86 years! Think of it.

American blacks make up twelve percent of the U.S. population, yet thirty-seven percent of all abortions are performed on black women. This is because eugenic-minded pro-abortion forces target American blacks by putting abortion clinics in black neighborhoods, according to Hoy.

He's also turned his rhetorical guns on America's first black president. Quoting Elvita King, niece of Dr. King, he says that 'those of us who care about the civil rights of all Americans-born and unborn--oppose Obamacare because we oppose the expansion of the most racist industry in America--the abortion industry.'

The high black abortion rate has ominous implications down the road. According to the 2006 U.S. Census, the black fertility rate is 1.9--well below the replacement rate of 2.1. 'Within a few decades,' Hoy warns, 'African Americans may well be an endangered species.' This is why he calls abortion the 'Darfur of the black community.'"

Mr. Obama's silence on this African American genocide is deafening. Of course, he's quite civil on the matter. He's civilly and politely quiet. And, sadly, so too are all those tea-party conservatives who admonish us to disregard the moral issues. Perhaps we do so at our own peril.

Scripture relates the story of Jesus over-turning the tables of the merchants who'd turned the ancient temple into a bazaar. The Apostle Paul counsels that one can, "be angry and sin not." (Eph 4:26). Certainly there are moral matters worth fighting for, even if doing so ruffles feathers and appears to be uncivil.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sceptics ask: Is the UK government’s climate propaganda machine finally falling apart?


Just when you think things are as inanely silly as they can be, they raise the stakes. It’s a game of double or nothing in the race to the bottom. The close common interests of three big government agencies is fragmenting and instead of skeptics launching the FOI’s, this time, the BBC is.

Just in case there is anyone who doesn’t know, the UK Met predicted a winter a couple of degrees above the usual. Then supertankers of snow turned up and dumped on the nation, surprising people, and making life difficult for everyone who hadn’t made arrangements for the return of the British Blizzard and the coldest December on record. The UK Met, having got it completely wrong, decided the best course of action was to announce post hoc that actually they did get it right, really, they predicted cold weather, but they didn’t tell the public, they just told the politicians. The politicians apparently asked them not to let on to the public, or so the story goes, and the plot thickens.

One way or another someone is using tactics with all the forward thinking you’d expect from a five year old. If the Met office is not incompetent then the implication is one of implacable dishonesty from either the BOM or the UK government (or possibly — both).

The BBC reported it, without asking too many hard questions, which makes them look a bit silly too. Now, instead of the Big Scare Campaign Team working together, three big formerly aligned groups are fighting for their own cred. The BBC versus the Met, versus The Government.

On January 6th the GWPF asked:

Did UK Government Keep Cold Winter Warning Secret In Run-Up To UN Climate Conference?

It would appear that the extreme weather warning was kept secret from the public.

According to media reports, the Cabinet Office has been unwilling to confirm whether or not it failed to pass on the Met Office warning to local and road authorities, airports and water companies.

“Not only is the lack of Government preparedness a cause for concern, but we wonder whether there may be another reason for keeping the cold warning under wraps, a motive that the Met Office and the Cabinet Office may have shared: Not to undermine the then forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun,” said Dr Benny Peiser, the GWPF director.

The full GWPF press release is here.

Today Benny Pieser of the GWPF reports of the developing FOI’s described in an article in the Canada Free Press, 11 January 2011

John O’Sullivan

The BBC serves Freedom of Information request (FOIA) on UK Government over weather forecast failures secrecy in worst winter for 100 years.

In an almighty battle to salvage credibility,  three British government institutions are embroiled in a new global warming scandal with the BBC mounting a legal challenge to force ministers to admit the truth. Sceptics ask: Is the UK government’s climate propaganda machine finally falling apart?

Last week the weather service caused a sensation by making the startling claim that it was gagged by government ministers from issuing a cold winter forecast. Instead, a milder than average prediction was made that has been resoundingly ridiculed in one of the worst winters in a century that has been resoundingly ridiculed in one of the worst winters in a century.

With the BBC appearing to take the side of the Met Office by seeking to force the government to give honest answers, untold harm will likely befall Prime Minister Cameron’s global warming policies on energy, taxation and the environment.

Rift between BBC, Met Office and UK Government Grows

Mention of the ‘secret’ cold winter forecast appears in the Quarmby Report (Section 2.4) which states, “The Met Office gave ‘early indications of the onset of a cold spell from late November’ at the end of October.”

Giving a strong hint that a major rift appears to have opened up between Met Office chief executive, John Hirst and Climate Minister, Huhne, Harrabin further revealed, “The Beeb now has an FoI [freedom of information request] to Cabinet Office requesting verbatim info from [the] Met Office.”

Why did the BOM keep it’s cold prediction secret? The other possibility as mentioned by autonomous mind, is that they were quite hurt with the criticisms last year, and didn’t want any more put-downs if they got it wrong. Autonomous mind also has a good copy of the October predictions.

The real answers are of course obscured in public relations speak, which Bishop Hill dismantles well.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Climate PR effort to heat up - Why we need your help to fight the global warming liars


UPDATE: The December Central England Temperature which is one of the longest running record extending back to the Little Ice Age (1659), by the Hadley Centre as -0.7C. This is the SECOND COLDEST DECEMBER trailing only 1890 which came in at -0.8C. It was also the 20th coldest month in the entire record.

The enlarged is here. The data can be downloaded here.
Keep this in mind when you read the garbage pedaled by Samuelsohn and all the agenda-driven, rent-seeking liars below. Much more on this December to Remember early this week.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

That 97% Solution, Again (Canada’s National Post)


By Larry Solomon, The National Post

[SPPI Note: Also see the Dennis Ambler SPPI report.

How do we know there’s a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2500 - that�s the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.

To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered that they were mistaken - those 2500 scientists hadn’t endorsed the IPCC�s conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCC’s mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, sometimes vehemently.

The upshot? The punditry looked for and recently found an alternate number to tout - “97% of the world’s climate scientists” accept the consensus, articles in the Washington Post and elsewhere have begun to claim.

This number will prove a new embarrassment to the pundits and press who use it. The number stems from a 2009 online survey of 10,257 earth scientists, conducted by two researchers at the University of Illinois. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers - in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change.  The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout.

The two researchers started by altogether excluding from their survey the thousands of scientists most likely to think that the Sun, or planetary movements, might have something to do with climate on Earth - out were the solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists and astronomers. That left the 10,257 scientists in disciplines like geology, oceanography, paleontology, and geochemistry that were somehow deemed more worthy of being included in the consensus. The two researchers also decided that scientific accomplishment should not be a factor in who could answer - those surveyed were determined by their place of employment (an academic or a governmental institution). Neither was academic qualification a factor - about 1,000 of those surveyed did not have a PhD, some didn�t even have a master�s diploma.

To encourage a high participation among these remaining disciplines, the two researchers decided on a quickie survey that would take less than two minutes to complete, and would be done online, saving the respondents the hassle of mailing a reply. Nevertheless, most didn’t consider the quickie survey worthy of response - just 3146, or 30.7%, answered the two questions on the survey:

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

The questions were actually non-questions. From my discussions with literally hundreds of skeptical scientists over the past few years, I know of none who claims that the planet hasn’t warmed since the 1700s, and almost none who think that humans haven�t contributed in some way to the recent warming - quite apart from carbon dioxide emissions, few would doubt that the creation of cities and the clearing of forests for agricultural lands have affected the climate. When pressed for a figure, global warming skeptics might say that human are responsible for 10% or 15% of the warming; some skeptics place the upper bound of man’s contribution at 35%. The skeptics only deny that humans played a dominant role in Earth’s warming.

Surprisingly, just 90% of those who responded to the first question believed that temperatures had risen - I would have expected a figure closer to 100%, since Earth was in the Little Ice Age in the centuries immediately preceding 1800. But perhaps some of the responders interpreted the question to include the past 1000 years, when Earth was in the Medieval Warm Period, generally thought to be warmer than today.

As for the second question, 82% of the earth scientists replied that that human activity had significantly contributed to the warming. Here the vagueness of the question comes into play. Since skeptics believe that human activity been a contributing factor, their answer would have turned on whether they consider a 10% or 15% or 35% increase to be a significant contributing factor. Some would, some wouldn’t.

In any case, the two researchers must have feared that an 82% figure would fall short of a convincing consensus - almost one in five wasn’t blaming humans for global warming - so they looked for subsets that would yield a higher percentage.  They found it - almost - in those whose recent published peer-reviewed research fell primarily in the climate change field. But the percentage still fell short of the researchers’ ideal. So they made another cut, allowing only the research conducted by those earth scientists who identified themselves as climate scientists.

Once all these cuts were made, 75 out of 77 scientists of unknown qualifications were left endorsing the global warming orthodoxy. The two researchers were then satisfied with their findings. Are you? Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and the author of The Deniers.
See SPPI blog post here.

Dec 30, 2010

December cold - unprecedented?

Posted on WUWT, December 29, 2010 by Verity Jones

BBC news has reported that 40,000 homes are still without water in Northern Ireland after the recent spell of freezing temperatures. Many have been without water for more than 10 days, and reservoirs are being drained due to an unprecedented number of leaks since the thaw. Calls to a few friends confirmed that, yes, it is bad - friends in Lisburn have been without water since Christmas Eve due to a frozen mains supply (i.e. not in their house); others in Belfast report low water pressure. Water is being rationed in places.

Was it really that cold? A search of the BBC site revealed “‘Baltic’ Northern Ireland” tucked away on the BBC NI news page. Castlederg in the West of the province recorded a low of -18C on 20th December - a new record. The thing about Ireland is that it sits on the very western fringes of Europe, bathed by the warm Gulf Stream (which is why Doug Keenan considered the 7000 years of Irish tree ring data so important that he pursued Queen’s University through FOI requests). Ireland, despite its latitude, just doesn’t do ‘very cold’ (or ‘very hot’ for that matter).

When I first got interested in climate I ended up corresponding with Tonyb about the temperature records of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland. These stretch back to 1796. How does this current cold month compare with the historical record at Armagh? Was the recent cold unprecedented?

The currently incomplete December record for Armagh consists of raw data - three automated readings per hour. Rather than waiting until they calculate the December average I looked for nearby stations on Weather Underground and found Glenanne PWS, about 15km to the SW of Armagh. The average temperatures for the two stations over the month of November is plotted in Figure 1. This gave a good linear fit (R^2 = 0.889) with an offset � Armagh being on average colder by just over 1C.

Figure 1. Average temperatures for Armagh and Glenanne N. Ireland through November 2010 (enlarged here).

Figure 2 shows the December data for Glenanne on the same scale. Up to the 28th December, the monthly average is -0.86C. Mild conditions are expected for the next three days and, if I plug the forecast max/min (29th 8/6; 30th 8/4; 31st 6/2) into my spreadsheet to complete the month, the monthly average rises to an estimated -0.23C for Glenanne, remembering that this is an approximation for Armagh, which is typically colder.

Figure 2. Average temperatures for Glenanne N. Ireland through December 2010 (enlarged here).

In the Armagh historical record, which I have for 1796-2002 from [1] the average temperature for December is 4.9C; January average is colder (4.1C). There are just two individual months colder than December 2010: January 1814 (-2.2C) and January 1881 (-0.9C) which puts this one as the third coldest on record at Armagh (2010 might yet tie with 1881 when the actual average for the month is published).

Coldest months according to the Armagh record:

1.January 1814 -2.2C
2.January 1881 -0.9C
3.December 2010 -0.2C
4.February 1855 0.0C, January 1963 0.0C
5.February 1895 0.2C
6.February 1947 0.4C
7.January 1985 0.5C, December 1878 0.5C

The list above also puts it in perspective with respect to other extreme years in living memory - most notably 1963 and 1947. According to the Armagh records none of the coldest months in these years saw such extreme cold as the Christmas period this year. The Arctic cold cut though the mild Atlantic air this year resulting in a monthly average 4-5C below normal (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Enlarged here.

Even without all the warming we have been led to expect wink December�s cold probably can be described as unprecedented. I’ll await with interest the actual December figures for Armagh (and those from the Met Office). As for this being caused by global warming - bull - it was just an extreme weather event. They happen. Go back >100 years and they happened then too.


[1] C.J. Butler, A. M. Garc�a-Su�rez, A.D.S. Coughlin and C. Morrell. Air Temperatures at Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland, from 1796 to 2002 Int.J.Climatol. 25: 1055-1079 (2005) [Full paper]

UPDATE - from the Daily Mail (h/t Spectator in Tips & Notes).  Looks as if this will be a similar record in other parts of the UK too:

“Met Office figures show that the average temperature from December 1, the first day of winter, to December 28 was a bitter minus 0.8C (30.5F). This equals the record December low of 1890.”

The article goes on to point out that December is rarely the coldest month in the UK and a continued cold spell could beat the record set in 1683-84 of -1.17C.


The first of many official reports from around the country and world of a brutal, even coldest ever December is here in South Florida.

Dec 27, 2010