What evidence is there in England and Wales for Global warming?

Authors Avatar

Stuart Bird

My question:

 What evidence is there in England and Wales for Global warming?

My plan:

Firstly I will attempt the question of ‘What is global warming’?- looking at the causes of global warming and what factors affect global warming.

I will then look at the pieces of data I have been given and choose which sets of data I will be using for my investigation of What evidence is there in England and Wales for Global warming?

Also I will have a brief look at what other factors there are that I cannot get data for that could possibly affect global warming and its results.

I will then state my two hypotheses. One will be concerning England and Wales and then my second will be comparing England and Wales to Northern Ireland and Scotland together.

I will then start into my analysis. Here I will use Excel to create graphs using the data I have been given and use calculation methods and tools inside of Excel to calculate necessary numbers for comparing information concerning my two hypotheses.

I will then draw up conclusions using my analysis with reference to my hypotheses.

Lastly I will write an evaluation, writing how I felt the investigation went and what I would like to look into further if I had the opportunities.  

Firstly I must determine what is global warming in my case

   There is nothing as hot as the debate that has  surrounded global warming. Most mainstream scientists believe that human activity-notably emissions of greenhouse gases- has contributed to a significant increase in the average surface temperature of the planet and therefore increased rainfall levels and sunshine hours. These hypotheses and announcements from leading scientists has caused a lot of media hype surround the topic of global warming and I shall be looking at some data that I have obtained from the English Met Office (  ) in order to make my own conclusions about the subject.

   Firstly I must decide what global warming actually is. Many scientists agree that human pollution, mainly from burning fossil fuels, has increased global warming in the past 50 years. The fossil fuel industry is one that is huge and accounts for a large slice of countries economy. In the past 50 years this industry has boomed due to new technologies enabling more oil to be located and therefore dug up. These fuels now once acted upon in factories etc are then spewed out as gases from car exhausts,aerosol cans and fridges. These gases add to the blanket of gases high up in our atmosphere. It just so happens that these new gases are 15 times more effective than trapping and keeping in heat than the gases already up there. Therefore over the past few decades as more and more gases have been released the temperature of the earth has arguably risen. Due to this as well as getting hotter, we are likely to get much wetter, both through increased rainfall and rising sea levels, due to melting ice caps.

   I will be looking at data for, total rainfall and mean average temperature for each year in the four countries of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. These are not the only factors that I could and would like to measure concerning global warming in the UK. For example there is also growing movement that argues that the Sun is a more significant factor in climate change. It has been suggested that the solar wind and the Sun’s magnetic field can limit the number of cosmic rays (high energy particles) that enter the Earth’s atmosphere. These cosmic rays are said to collide with air molecules to produce secondary particles that seed the cloud types that act to cool the Earth. In other words, increased solar activity means fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and more warming. So I must look for patterns in what data I have and see if they match my hypotheses:

My hypotheses:

  • That the data will show a definite increase from 1961 to 2003 in mean yearly temperature and therefore also in rainfall levels. In my case as I will be drawing graphs I will expect to see positive gradients and positive correlation between the inputs. I will want to show this as in the last few years there have been increasingly higher levels of media hyper about increasing global warming and its affects on the planet.
  • I will then compare my results from England and Wales to both Scotland and Northern Ireland and see if there is any relation as England and Wales are on different latitudes to Scotland and Northern Ireland. In this I will be comparing gradients of graphs and comparing standard deviation and also correlation figure between each of the two areas.. Because of the geographical factors of latitude I would expect there to be a bigger increase in rainfall levels and lower mean temperature in the Northern most countries.


I must check the reliability and factors concerning these six sets of data:

   Although nothing can be done or changed about this now I must take into consideration the way and from where these sets of data came from.

As you can see the data is set out yearly from 1961 to 2003. In the print screen above it shows Northern Ireland’s Mean temperature with an average reading for each month of the 42 years. Each month’s reading is an average from all recordings stations around the country. Obviously I do not know the position of these stations, for they might be located at a higher or lower altitude than the norm therefore gathering different readings every time.

Join now!

The same applies with the rainfall levels. I do not know the position of these reading stations and so therefore do not know whether possibly one station was in a rain shadow etc. I must assume that each average for every month of every year is a representative average and that these stations or recording equipment have already been placed around the country carefully and strategically.  I am assuming that the data has been collected using stratified sampling. Which is where the population (the weather recording stations) have been split into identifiable groups and then used accordingly. For example the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay