Climate change in Guyra

22nd Nov 2022

With COP27 and climate change in the news at the moment, readers may be interested in how the climate is changing in Guyra. The daily maximum and daily minimum temperatures for the weather station at Guyra Hospital are available on the BOM’s website. The figures extend from 1/1/1981 to the present. For each year, I calculated the average daily maximum and the average daily minimum. The results are shown in the accompanying diagram. Because the averages jump around a bit from year to year, I have added a straight trend line to each series. These show that the average daily maximum has increased at 0.4 degC per decade since 1981 and the average daily minimum has increased at 0.2 degC per decade.
Of course, you can easily “cherry pick” the data and pretend there is no warming trend by comparing an unusually hot year in the past with a more recent and unusually cool year. For example, compare the average maximum in 1982 (17.9 degC) with that in 2021 (17.0 degC), and you can assert that the climate has cooled by nearly a degree over the last 39 years. This spurious assertion, based on judicious cherry picking of the data, is quite common on denialist websites and has also appeared in the Gazette.
However, it Is possible to make valid comparisons that avoid cherry picking and use all the data. For example, we can compare the twenty years from 1981 to 2000 with the next twenty years from 2001 to 2020. Looking at individual daily maximum temperatures, we find that in the period 1981 to 2000, there were only three days on which the maximum temperature in Guyra exceeded 32degC. In the period 2001 to 2020, there were 26 days on which the maximum temperature exceeded 32degC.
On these measures, there is little doubt that Guyra’s climate has warmed in the last forty years.
Ian Reeve