In Germany there is one weather station that has be intact and unchanged for some 138 years.
It has never been moved and never been corrupted by the urban heat island (UHI) effect. Moreover it has consistently used the same instrumentation and computation method over the entire period, thus making it rare indeed. Few station can boast having those instrumentation qualities.
That measurement station is one operated at the Klostergarten of the St. Stephan Abbey in Augsburg just northwest of Munich.
44-year veteran German meteorologist Klaus Hager reports the following results of this station (reproduced with permission):
The chart below shows the chaotic ups and downs of the mean value of the January temperatures measured in the Klostergarten of the St. Stephan Abbey in Augsburg:
First it’s important to note:
- The measurement location has not changed since 1879, nor has it been relocated. The garden area remains 1 hectare in size, and thus is completely representative of the Augsburg inner city area.
- The mean temperature was computed by halving the sum of the high temperature and the low temperature.
- The measurements were always done using glass thermometers – a mercury thermometer for the maximum and an alcohol thermometer for the minimum – inside an official so-called Stevenson screen.
Thus real continuity with respect to measurement is assured.
Over the entire 138-year observation period the measurements were carried out according to the same technical requirements, which is something that unfortunately can only be said about very few measurement stations.
As the chart above shows, one can see considerable temperature fluctuations from year to year. The deviations from the 138-year mean of -1.0°C are shown in red for above-mean temperatures and in blue for those below the mean. Of course since the end of the 1980s, positive deviations have been far more common, but there remains no detectable relationship with the continuously rising CO2 in the air.
Because nature – as is the case with temperature – is constantly undergoing fluctuations, one ought to be especially careful when it comes to making projections into the future. Unfortunately nature’s complexity also does not allow it to be modelled adequately.
January of 2017 was the seventh coldest since 1879, posting a mean of – 6.1°C.
Finally let’s not forget to thank the fathers of the St. Stephan Abbey for having recorded the temperatures every day until today.