The variability of central England temperature (CET) at inter annual, decadal and 50-year time scales, as simulated by the HadCM3 model, agrees well with its observed variability over the period 1700–1900. The observed warming in annual-mean CET of about 1.0 °C since 1950 is very unlikely to be due to natural climate variations and is consistent with the response to anthropogenic (ANT) forcing, demonstrating a significant human influence on this warming. © Crown Copyright 2006. Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.