Tuesday, 8 December 2015

2015: Hottest year on record

Yes, 2015 is the hottest year on record. It's official! Admittedly my records only go back three years. But this year is definitely the hottest!

Usually we switch on the heating 1st December. This year it's already a week later and we haven't thought about switching it on yet. It doesn't feel like we need it, but maybe that's just us getting hardy? 

With sixteen thermometers built into the the house, recording data for the past four years, it's possible to actually check the data. Numbers don't have feelings!

I looked at just three temperatures: the centre of the slab, the south-west corner of the slab, and the north-west corner of the slab. The slab is something like seventy centimetres deep, so there is a big different in the fluctuation of temperature from top to bottom, and up to a couple of degrees difference in actual temperature. The temperature at the top of the slab can vary by up to half a degree in a day, while at the bottom it's more like half a degree a week. 

As of 8th December, the middle of the slab is warmest, currently around 23 degrees. The South West corner is a couple of degrees cooler, around 21 degrees, and the North West corner is a few degrees cooler still, around 17 degrees. This is near the front door, and that's another story. 

As the temperature outside rises and falls, the temperatures inside slowly follows, heat making it's unassailable journey from hotter to cooler. The North East corner of the house gets cooler quicker, less affected by the sun, and more affected by outside air. The centre of the house is slowest to cool, surrounded by all the thermal mass of the concrete. In the summer it is the slowest to warm up.

Looking back over data for the last three years, the house was at the same temperature on 16th November 2014, 13th November 2013, and 20th November 2012. That's around three weeks earlier. 

The threat of global warming threatens increased flooding, extreme weather conditions and climate disruption. A reduction in my already very small heating bill may offer a silver lining, admittedly a pathetically thin one that may not help people who have to cross their living room by dinghy. I may be able to buy a new paddle for my dinghy.