The extreme heat of 1666

UK FlagThe UK is home to the longest single running temperature series in the world, and Paul Homewood caught up with the latest data. Two hundred years before the first coal fired power plant opened the summer of 1666 was hotter than the summer of 2019 in the centre of the UK.

Global warming is “still within the noise”.  There’s a warming trend there, but this fantastic long dataset rather puts it in perspective. Even though the 1680 – 1700 period is regarded as the depths of the Little Ice Age, even then, there was still the odd hot summer.

Paul Homewood was responding to the headlines of “Hottest late August Bank Holiday Monday on record!” The only thing that’s extreme about this summer in the UK is the climate propaganda.

With 2,000 possible permutations and combinations of records at that inane level, there’s a new record somewhere every day of the year, not to mention that there weren’t too many air conditioners, tarmacs or concrete towers back in 1700 to warm the thermometers then.

 Summer Heatwaves? It Was Hotter In 1707!!

Paul Homewood, Notalotofpeopleknowthat

Last month was no warmer than 1801, 1842 and 1932.

The summer of 1976 still remains top of the list, but second hottest was way back in 1826.

Indeed there have been warmer summers on 28 occasions prior to 1900. Notably, one such summer was 1666, the 18th warmest. That was, of course, the year of the Great Fire of London, which swept through London between the 2nd and 6th of September.

 Almost all human emissions have come out since 1945. Note the catastrophic effect.

Summer Temperatures England, last 400 years.

Summer Temperatures England, last 400 years. (Click to enlarge)

Could it be that in a cooler, drier climate, we just get more extremes? The average might be cooler, but the maxes might just as hot as they are now.

Well spotted by Homewood. Did anyone at Hadley or the BBC make this point? All they had to do was grab that data and graph it….

Meanwhile the UK is spending billions to avoid hot summers?

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77 comments to The extreme heat of 1666

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Could it be that in a cooler, drier climate, we just get more extremes?’

    Not necessarily drier in midlatitudes, a meandering jet stream and blocking high pressure will produce weather extremes. Its a global cooling signal, happening as we speak.


  • #
    Kalm Keith

    We need some perspective here.

    What’s meant by the term “extreme” with respect to temperature.

    Let’s consider a few interrelated parameters.

    First out Earth: the temperature of the transition point between the innermost core and the next layer is 6,000 °C.

    Human activity is comfortably accommodated between 0° and 30°C.

    At an altitude of say 10,000 metres the temperature is in the order of minus 38°C.

    Further out into space the “temperature” is about minus 272°C.

    Think about that.

    The IPCCCCC is saying that temperatures will rise by up to 2C° if we don’t all go and live in bark huts on the shores of the Murrumbidgee river. Apart from the fact that human origin CO2 cannot create atmospheric temperature increases the effect of such change is something that humans can live with as demonstrated in the past.

    Perspective please.



  • #
    Bill in Oz

    Nice post Jo. As someone who is interested in history
    I think it is important to have that long term perspective
    And remember that London burned
    In that long dry English Summer of 1666


    • #
      Graeme No.3

      And thanks to john cooknell
      September 2, 2019 8:08 pm
      Parliament did declare a climate emergency during the reign of Charles 2nd just before the hot summers you describe.
      The first time the UK Parliament declared such a thing was in 1661. History repeats itself exactly!
      The Fast to be observed in Westm. Abbey, and the Bp. of St. David’s to preach.
      “Whereas His Majesty hath been pleased, by Proclamation, upon the Unseasonableness of the Weather, to command a general and public Fast, to be religiously and solemnly kept, within the Cities of London and Westm. and Places adjacent: It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament assembled, That the Lord Bishop of St. David’s is hereby desired to take the Pains upon him, to preach before the Lords of Parliament, on Wednesday the Fifteenth Day of this Instant January in the Forenoon, in the Abbey Church of Westm. being the accustomed Place where their Lordships have used to meet upon the like Occasion.”

      Samuel Pepys Diary
      This morning Mr. Berkenshaw came again, and after he had examined me and taught me something in my work, he and I went to breakfast in my chamber upon a collar of brawn, and after we had eaten, asked me whether we had not committed a fault in eating to-day; telling me that it is a fast day ordered by the Parliament, to pray for more seasonable weather; it having hitherto been summer weather, that it is, both as to warmth and every other thing, just as if it were the middle of May or June, which do threaten a plague (as all men think) to follow, for so it was almost the last winter; and the whole year after hath been a very sickly time to this day. I did not stir out of my house all day, but conned my musique, and at night after supper to bed.
      1. Samuel Pepys 21st jan 1661
      It is strange what weather we have had all this winter; no cold at all; but the ways are dusty, and the flyes fly up and down, and the rose-bushes are full of leaves, such a time of the year as was never known in this world before here.


      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Rutgers Global Snow Lab
        Northern Hemisphere Snow Extent 1967-2019

        Although nowhere as long as the UK’s 1659-2019 CET mean summer temp record (which clearly shows CO₂ has no effect on temperature as it is an effect, not a cause, of temperature fluctuations) the 52-year-long upward trend of NH snowfall extent proves the devil miracle gas of life is beneficial to the ski industry – totally anathema to the UN-theorists and followers of CCCrap™.

        Looking at the maps for this weekend and next week, both Australia (south-east) and NZ are in for a late winter battering of snowdelicious intensity – don’t put yer thermal underwear away just yet! September 23 is our Vernal Equinox this year and I tend to go with the astronomical Spring as opposed to the meteorological timing which, based on the man-made Gregorian calendar via Rome/Babylon, is so far out-of-whack the Greens probably believe in it… as well as their flatulent pink unicorns.


    • #

      Bill in Oz – I too am an Aussie history wonk. I am currently reading vol 4 (of 4) of Churchill’s Life and Times of Marlborough, where Churchill quotes from contemporary letters of Marlborough (John Churchill, the first Duke) and several others referring to the ‘great frost’ of the first half of 1709, where rivers, lakes and even the sea froze between and over a large part of southern England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Not many thermometers then, but very sad story of many people freezing to death, failed crops, commerce stopped by road and ship, etc. And of course Marlborough, as leader of the Grand Alliance then fighting against Louis 14th of France, was frustrated at not being able to carry out his military activities until months later than usual. Fabulous historical writing. No wonder Sir W S Churchill was awarded a Nobel prize for literature!


  • #

    For the last 30 years there has been no significant increase in the CET record, in spite of increasing CO2. For the 30 years prior, temperatures trended downwards, again in spite of increasing CO2. If CO2 does what is claimed for it, then there should be an annual increase in temperature coincident with annual rises in CO2. This is not the case. Summer trends slightly down, Spring is flat, Autumn trends slightly up and Winter trends slightly down.

    Current temperatures in the CET relative to the period 1959-1988 happened over a short period from 1986 to 1990, when they rose from 8.74 to 10.63C, a rise of 1.89 C, totally unrelated to CO2 and more likely related to the AMO: These temperature jumps have happened before in the CET, in both directions.

    When annual differences in temperature in the CET are charted against annual differences in Mauna Loa CO2 figures, there is no correlation, CO2 does not raise temperature, cause and effect is absent.

    “All they had to do was grab that data and graph it….” They much prefer to rely on anomalies and their favourite base period is 1961-90, which had some of the coldest periods of the 20th century, guaranteed to give positive anomalies.


  • #

    a major production by the Beeb:

    3 Sept: BBC: Climate change: Greenland’s ice faces melting ‘death sentence’
    By David Shukman
    (Produced by David Brown, Robert Magee, Kate Stephens and Nassos Stylianou. Edited by Paul Rincon and Jonathan Amos)
    During this year alone, it lost enough ice to raise the average global sea level by more than a millimetre.
    Researchers say they’re “astounded” by the acceleration in melting and fear for the future of cities on coasts around the world…

    Essentially because its ice sheet is seven times the area of the UK and up to 2-3km thick in places. It stores so much frozen water that if the whole thing melted, it would raise sea levels worldwide by up to 7m.
    No one is suggesting that could happen for hundreds or even thousands of years but even a small increase in the rate of melting in coming decades could threaten millions of people living in low-lying areas…

    One of the scientists studying the ice sheet, Dr Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), says he’s unnerved by the potential dangers and that coastal planners need to “brace themselves”…
    Recent years have seen hundreds of billions of tonnes of ice lost – and a rough guide to the effect on sea level is that 362 billion tonnes of melt raises the average ocean level by a millimetre…ETC ETC ETC


  • #

    Heat waves and cold waves coming close together are no annual thing, but they are a thing. It’s happened a few times recently, but now we get more detail more quickly, giving the impression of novelty. However, 1936 in N America was a terrible double whammy, as was 1896 in the N East of the US. 1899, year of the Great Blizzard, was also a heat wave year. In England, the 1976 drought/heat wave was followed by saturation and a miserable summer, and the 1975 summer which rivalled 1976 was punctuated by a freak cold snap in June which set record minima.

    Not many details about that July 1707 heat wave in England, but it was remembered as a killer. Nonetheless, the coldest of springs and winters were just around the corner in 1708 and 1709. The ruinous cold, blizzards and storms of the early 1740s were, bizarrely, coupled with drought. The trough of the LIA around 1700 was not without extremes of dry and hot. Anyone who wants to live in a technically cooler time than this had better check the history books – and don’t skip over Ming China.

    None of this new, none of this secret, all of this ignored. As with the recently issued engineering report of a certain building collapse, something can exist in plain sight but its existence can be totally ignored by every major media outlet. Easy peasy, when the shills and dice-loaders own the game and only pretend to compete with each other.



    • #
      el gordo

      ‘Not many details about that July 1707 heat wave in England …’

      July 19th was the killer day, the Sahara blast caused many deaths, but the interesting thing is the run up to that event. From approximately March 12 to May 22 the days were unusually hot and the nights cold, which gives us a clue to the atmospherics at the time.

      The cold winter of 1708-09 was a shocker, the intense frost set in around mid January 1709 and lasted 50 days. April and May were also cold and wet, and the price of wheat soured by 200% in the following year.

      By the time we reach the winter of 1715 the Thames was frozen for three months, it was a climate emergency.


  • #

    4 Sept: RechargeNews: Shift to tenders ‘three goal’ failure for German wind sector
    Goals for installation targets, price cuts and diversity of players all missed since 2017 EEG reform, WWEA study finds
    by Bernd Radowitz in Berlin
    Germany’s government has missed all three self-imposed targets associated with a shift to tenders in the allocation of support for renewable energy, a joint study by the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) and the Renewable Energy Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (LEE NRW) has found.
    “The German government has missed all three goals, which it had linked to the introduction of auctions: neither has it reached its installation targets nor have the auctions achieved cost-effective results. Also the diversity of actors has suffered greatly since the beginning of 2017, which calls into question the acceptance of wind energy and the energy transition as a whole,” WWEA secretary general Stefan Gsänger said…

    The study will be available in English next week, the German version can already be downloaded (LINK)…

    At the same time, significant obstacles related to licensing laws, particularly in the areas of air traffic control, military airspace use and nature conservation, are preventing the further expansion of wind energy throughout Germany, the association said…READ ON

    behind paywall in major NewsCorp papers tomorrow:

    4 Sept: The West: Coal is still best for poor nations
    by Bjorn Lomborg
    Many western donors love the idea that instead of dirty, coal-fired power-plants, poor nations should ‘leapfrog’ straight to cleaner energy sources such as off-grid solar technology.
    The World Bank is at the forefront of these efforts, no longer funding coal energy project

    4 Sept: Inquirer Philippines: Green energy use to rise but coal to remain necessary
    By Ronnel W. Domingo
    Fossil fuel-based power generation is going to fade as expected amid steep dives in the cost of renewable energy technology, but coal—along with gas—will remain necessary for decades to come, according to the latest annual forecast of BloombergNEF.
    The research firm—which has regional offices in New York, London and Tokyo—discussed this in a forum held yesterday at the Bonifacio Global City, even as anticoal activists demanded the government to impose a ban on new coal power plants.

    BNEF’s New Energy Outlook 2019 shows that renewables like solar and wind power will follow the international trend of falling costs, but coal will remain the biggest contributor of electricity in the Philippines for at least two more decades…
    “By 2050, wind and solar will provide 46 percent of total electricity [in the Philippines] with other renewables providing a further 11 percent,” Chua said. “We expect only 43 percent of the country’s electricity production to result from burning fossil fuels by 2050, down from 78 percent today.

    Still, (Caroline Chua, BloombergNEF’s energy analyst for Southeast Asia) said coal-fired power generation would see a steady increase and remain the largest single source of electricity until 2041, although coal would reach its peak in 2034.
    “By 2050, the Philippines will still have almost as much coal-fired generation as today,” Chua said. “While new renewables beat coal on a new-build basis, existing coal is relatively new and cheap to run.”…

    4 Sept: LiveMint: Deals in India’s renewable sector decline amid waning interest from investors, developers
    By Tanya Thomas
    While the number of acquisitions of operating renewable energy power plants has dropped, bidding for new government projects have halved this year from the same period last year.
    Developers blame the slowdown on uncertainty over power purchase agreements (PPAs) being honoured and a lack of financing for the sector…
    Our database shows that there were more than 200 bidders for solar projects in 2015 but this number has fallen sharply to just about 30 developers in H1 2019…


  • #

    Facts have nothing to do with Climate Change.

    Despite being totally unsupported by facts, engineering or science, Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is promising $3Trillion to pay for Clean Energy within ten years.

    ‘Warren’s plan calls for trillions in spending over the next decade in order to make her ten-year goal a reality:

    All told, a federal investment of $3 trillion will leverage additional trillions in private investment and create millions of jobs. And we will achieve:

    By 2028, 100% zero-carbon pollution for all new commercial and residential buildings;
    By 2030, 100% zero emissions for all new light-duty passenger vehicles, medium-duty trucks, and all buses;
    By 2035, 100% renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation, with an interim target of 100% carbon-neutral power by 2030.
    Warren also tried to extinguish concerns from coal workers and others in the fossil fuel industry, promising “early retirement benefits — job training, union protections, and benefits, and guaranteeing wage and benefit parity for affected workers,” according to her plan.

    Warren’s broad climate change pitch pulled from many of her existing proposals, including her Clean Air and Water plan, Protecting Public Lands plan, Green Manufacturing plan, Clean Energy plan, Green Infrastructure plan, Sustainable Agriculture plan, and Tribal Lands plan.’

    All Green gobblygook as usual and of course something to protect her Cherokee ancestors, which is not true either.

    Finally, in true Bill Shorten socialist style, she is going to pay for all this by “getting rid of the Trump administration’s tax cuts.” Now that’s going to be a vote winner.


  • #
    Ken Stewart

    In Queensland, currently very very dry atmosphere, and unusually hot in the daytime, but many centres reporting record and near record cold mornings. Rockhampton relative humidity on 3rd 5%; 7.3C that morning, 33.4C in the afternoons. Little moisture= rapid heating and cooling.


  • #
    el gordo

    The Thames froze over in the winter of 1634-35 and 1649, then in the following decade the freezing winters were associated with violent wind storms. By the 1660s it had now become dry and cold.

    The winter of January 1662 was like summer and Samuel Pepys records that on January 15th a general fast was declared to intercede for colder weather. Uncharacteristic extremes are a sign of global cooling.

    The pattern seems to be the same, generally cool wet conditions advance to the cold and dry Maunder.


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  • #
    Another Ian



  • #

    I don’t know how those poor Brits survive with a mean summer temperature of 14-16 °C. Just imagine how catastrophic a further 0.5-1.0 °C rise could be. Yes, definitely a climate emergency.


  • #
    Gee aye

    This post has some sciency looking stuff in it. Really it does. It would look more sciency if that very unsciency bar graph was replaced by simple dots for each data point and the y-axis chosen to focus on the active region of the data (ie don’t include stuff that is way outside of the active range). Also, it looks like the graph is rooted at zero which of course is not true. So, data presentation 101 is don’t use bar graphs for non-accumulative data.



  • #

    I’m 70 years of age, and I was born in the UK (England). I’ve lived here for all of that time, and readers can rest assured that whatever twaddle the media put out over here, the English climate hasn’t changed a jot.
    To suggest that it’s changed on the basis of a few trivial temperature variations is laughable.
    We had a pleasant warm spring, followed by a somewhat chilly summer, with quite a lot of rain. It’s typical for this country; nothing new at all.