24 February 2015
A study of temperatures over the past 120 years suggests Jersey is getting warmer.
The figures, from Jersey Met, show a fall in the number of record low temperatures and a steady increase in the number of highest maximum temperatures.
Jersey Met records maximum and minimum temperatures every day, and keeps a list of the highest and lowest maximum and minimum temperature that has ever been recorded on each day of the year, taken from its weather station at Maison St Louis in St Helier. The details are entered into the ‘Blue Book’ of extreme temperatures, pressures and rainfall. This data goes back to 1894.
Forecaster Mark Le Cornu has updated the records, and figures from the last decade confirm a trend towards warmer temperatures. The figures show fewer daily record low temperatures. Record high temperatures are being recorded more often too. The same trend is also reflected with minimum temperatures.
Senior Forecaster John Searson said “The remarkable increase in high minimum temperatures in the last decade is striking and is consistent with what we would expect to see as a result of global warming, caused by an increase in greenhouse gases. The greenhouse gas carbon dioxide has been increasing due to the burning of fossil fuels. An increase in water vapour in the atmosphere is another likely contributor.”
He added that 2014’s global temperature was confirmed by meteorological agencies across the world as the warmest year in modern history.
- The number of record hot days is increasing - there’s been a steady increase recorded in the number of highest maximum temperatures for any particular day since the records began
- The figures indicate fewer very cold days. The number of record cold days measured at Maison St Louis has dropped in the last ten years
- The figures indicate a big increase of record high minimums – days when our lowest temperature (usually night time) don’t drop far. Nearly a third of the highest minimum daily temperatures have occurred in the last eleven years (this is more than double that of any previous decade since records began in 1894)
- In 2014 alone, the record highest night time temperature for a particular day occurred 12 times
- There are also fewer days when the top temperature is low – the figures measured at Maison St Louis show a steady decline in the number of low maximum temperatures
- There has been a steady increase in the number of highest maximum temperatures since the records began and a decline in the number of low maximums