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A hundred years of freezing

Professor Mike Lockwood says that even in a warming world we could have one or two centuries of frigid winters to come here in the UK. He even says it with a straight face.

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Reader Comments (74)


Dec 30, 2010 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

You should not get so angry, this is a very helpful development. Once we can get away from the idea that Climate Change has anything to do with the warming or cooling of the planet, things will go much more smoothly. Similarly, we will shortly get away from the idea that Climate Change has anything to do with CO2, It will still be something we have to study, get excited about, hold international conferences on, All that will continue, It will still be blamed or credited with all manner of things. But it will have become metaphysical.

You will be able to believe in Climate Change like all decent right minded people, without holding any particular views on whether cold winters are more or less likely. It will be a bit like Christianity. At one time people were very worried that accepting Christianity would prevent them engaging in wars, which were so important to their way of life. Well, it turned out that one could be devout but fight vigorously against either one's fellow Christians or infidels. That was an enormous relief to everyone concerned.

It will be the same with Climate Change. Everyone will believe in it, but it will not be invoked in any context of action on one side or the other. It will be totally absent from public policy debates.

And at dinner parties, if one wants to be invited again, when its mentioned, one will look grave and agree that this is indeed the great topic of our age. Whatever you do, do not mention the Hockey Stick. Not if you want to be a guest anyone ever wants to sit down to dinner with.

Dec 30, 2010 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered Commentermichel

Don't get angry........................*7%@

That was a blatant pitch for funds. "look at me, look at me"

I am singing from the same hymn sheet but I am slightly out of tune.

Look at me, I need money for singing lessons

Dec 30, 2010 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

And the reason we didn't mention cold winters and the jetstream before was because the science was settled and we knew it was going to be hot with milder winters and no snow because of CO2 ...oh, wait a minute.....let me get my story straight... the reason it's not hot is because it's cold, no that's wrong, it's cold in spite of the heat, but actually we have CAGW which makes it hot, and so it will be cold in the winter for 100 years, and we shall all fry, unless we don't in which case we shall freeze. And anyway, in the 1970s our predecessors predicted Global Cooling - see, they were right and now so are we (I think). There, that's clearer, isn't it?

Dec 30, 2010 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

How do these guys keep a straight face?

It will mean cold winters, maybe 2-3 hundred years of cooling (Solar minimum, linked to LIA) but it's all in the context of global warming?

Square peg, very round bloody hole don't-cha think Mike?

Didn't Mikey MANN spend years denying the LIA?? Didn't fit in with his HOKEY STICK did it......phew, I can't get on with this post normal world.
Black is the new white, Jet stream = cooling (sometimes -depends which side of bed an alarmist rises from - doh), warm is cold and cold is AGW.

Simple, that's sorted then?!**!!?

Dec 30, 2010 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

Is this the same Mike Lockwood who said the debate was settled only 3 years ago.
Things obviously change fast in climatology land. He must have had another look at the numbers or something...

"No Sun Link to Climate Change"

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan

How man centuries of cold and cooling summers can we expect, I wonder?

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

That should of course be ... 'How many centuries of cold and cooling summers can we expect, I wonder?'

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

It's tough to hide the truth, when the truth is freezing the butts off of the populace.

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill-tb

When is someone going to have the guts to stand up and say

We were wrong !!!!!!

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of fresh air

Winter 2011 predicted to be coldest of this millennium.

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Alan. The very same person.

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"'How many centuries of cold ... "

If we are at the end of this interglacial, about 900 centuries of cold are coming. Mind you, if we aren't at the end of this interglacial yet, the 900 centuries are still coming, just not quite yet.

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

What is that big word which describes the state of simultaneously believing two diametrically opposed theses? Anyone doing a Psychology PhD on that particular topic would have a perfect case study in the good Professor.

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterFZM

OK, so it'll be cold for a century or two. But this will simply be covering up AGW, which will still be going on unabated, in the background. Is this all really so difficult for you deniers to understand? Look, the world will still be warming, even though it's cooling at the same time.

And at the end of this new "Little Ice Age", man-made warming will be back - with a real vengeance.

Then you'll be sorry you turned up the heating this winter, mark my words.

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

What I'm looking forward to is we get a long period of completely normal weather in the New Year; average temperature, average rainfall, average sunshine, everything absolutely on the normal button & it's claimed it's due to Globa...............

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterpete

Good God, this man is a Professor! He has all the authority of a failed ice-cream salesman.

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

"it's claimed it's due to Globa..............."

It will of course be due to Climate Change. When the normality of the weather is mentioned, the correct reaction will be to look grave but thankful, and express the hope that Climate Change permits it to continue normally. Everyone will nod, and conversation will resume.

It is a bit like the expression 'God Willing'. Yes indeed, things may indeed get better, God Willing.

Dec 30, 2010 at 6:54 PM | Unregistered Commentermichel

What is that big word which describes the state of simultaneously believing two diametrically opposed theses?


Dec 30, 2010 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Interesting - he's talking about the sun and the jet stream, the Potsdam Institute scientists are talking about shrinking Arctic sea ice and teleconnections. There seems to be a consensus missing...

Dec 30, 2010 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

To be fair to Mike Lockwood,

Dec 30, 2010 at 7:13 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

(sorry - html let me down!)

To be fair to Mike Lockwood, he did change his viewpoint before the current extreme winter:

Dec 30, 2010 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

The big word(s) are "cognitive dissonance".

Dec 30, 2010 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterrogerh

Another idiot, Tom Chivers Strategic Events Editor for the Telegraph

Dec 30, 2010 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of fresh air

Related to matthu post and latest media warmer rants about "extreme" weather. I haven't really experienced anything extreme yet. If we had this kind of snow in July, I might begin to consider things "extreme". I grew up near Lake Erie in the 1980's. We always got a ton of snow in Winter related to the warming effect of Lake Erie...similar to how Buffalo, NY got pounded with Blizzards. I haven't experienced that kind of snow since while living in Chicago and the Northeast US. However, I do remember my in-laws snow-blowing their roof a few years ago....maybe it was around 2003. Anyway, this Winter has been nothing out of the ordinary so comparison.

Dec 30, 2010 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Here is the article from April, 2010 about Lockwood et al's ideas concerning the less active sun causing cold European winters.

Note that Lockwood gives a nod to the AGW religion by saying this has nothing to do with global warming.

Especially note in the final paragraph that Michael Mann approves this message, and says he knew the sun was behind the cold 300 years ago and the warmth 1000 years ago. (For Europe, that is.)

Dec 30, 2010 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

A follow-up to the article above, here is Jasper Kirkby's report on why CERN was doing the cosmic ray - cloud experiment. On page 3 are graphs showing the world-wide, not just European, correlation between solar activity and climate.

Dec 30, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

The real story (something the Bish should make the subject of his next book) is the corrosive effect that Big Government politics has had on science in the last few years. I fully expect that we will now see politicians of a particular persuasion funding studies on how CO2 leads to climate *volatility*. In other words, any climate variation or adverse weather is due to capitalism, -- err, I mean anthropogenic CO2. And that the only way to control the tides and the weather is remake the economy with dramatically more public sector control and fewer individual rights and freedoms.

The way science now works is that many scientists will answer the call and produce papers and receive grant money. Those who find that CO2 does not lead to climate volatility will get no more funding. Those who manufacture papers that support the politicians' agenda (that CO2 leads to climate volatility) will get richly rewarded with new grants, fame and maybe even a Nobel prize. The new advocates of Anthropogenic Climate Volatility will then form a peer group, and effectively seize control of the narrative. Dissent will be extinguished. In this environment of state-funded science, those who are the most compliant succeed, while those who buck the will of the politicians see their careers fail.

The top climate scientists have become like dogs after a biscuit -- willing the perform any necessary "trick" to get the treat. I suspect that many are not even consciously aware of how they are being manipulated (and others simply don't care so long as they get the biscuit). Its scandalous and the press (who would normally be a check and balance) seem totally blind to it (or perhaps complicit).

Dec 30, 2010 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterbob

"OK, so it'll be cold for a century or two. But this will simply be covering up AGW, which will still be going on unabated, in the background. ... And at the end of this new "Little Ice Age", man-made warming will be back - with a real vengeance. Then you'll be sorry." - Paul Boyce.

The gentleman presumes continued reliance on fossil fuels a century or two hence. He also ignores the really terrible consequences of prolonged cooling and the exacerbation of same by policies that restrict energy production in the here and now.

""These a***holes should be lead out at dawn and shot" - Anoneumouse.

If we are indeed headed for something on the order of the Maunder minimum, the summary execution of a few climate scientists and their enablers will pale in comparison with the global misery that ensues. Regardless of what the weather brings, the case for public trial stands - the charge being the purposeful perversion of science (and the misuse of public funds) or personal gain and ideological proclivity.

Dec 30, 2010 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterT. A. Speaker

The internet really does bring out the worst in people. Or at least the worst people. The guy barely mentioned anything about global warming - he was talking about the jet stream. Save your vituperative rants for when they're warranted.

Dec 30, 2010 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarkB

Here is Mike Lockwood in 2007. Note the 'we in the UK were likely to experience warmer, drier winters'

'Global Warming: Causes, Predictions and Ways to Reduce the Impact
25th October 2007
Scientists are now 90% certain that we are experiencing climate change associated with global warming - and have been for several decades. There is now no serious scientific doubt that man-made climate change is a reality. Over ten years ago predictions were made that we in the UK were likely to experience warmer, drier winters and wetter summers along with more "extreme events" such as heatwaves and torrential rain.

Professor Lockwood's research recently quoted in Nature, the Economist and in the BBC News has eliminated the last remaining alternative explanation to man-made climate change - which was solar change. The consequences for every inhabitant of this planet are profound, but there are ways governments can limit the effects if we act quickly.'

Here is Mike Lockwood in 2010. Note 'the UK and Europe could experience more cold winters than during recent decades.'

'Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity?
Solar activity during the current sunspot minimum has fallen to levels unknown since the start of the 20th century. The Maunder minimum (about 1650–1700) was a prolonged episode of low solar activity which coincided with more severe winters in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Motivated by recent relatively cold winters in the UK, we investigate the possible connection with solar activity. We identify regionally anomalous cold winters by detrending the Central England temperature (CET) record using reconstructions of the northern hemisphere mean temperature. We show that cold winter excursions from the hemispheric trend occur more commonly in the UK during low solar activity, consistent with the solar influence on the occurrence of persistent blocking events in the eastern Atlantic. We stress that this is a regional and seasonal effect relating to European winters and not a global effect. Average solar activity has declined rapidly since 1985 and cosmogenic isotopes suggest an 8% chance of a return to Maunder minimum conditions within the next 50 years (Lockwood 2010 Proc. R. Soc. A 466 303–29): the results presented here indicate that, despite hemispheric warming, the UK and Europe could experience more cold winters than during recent decades.' (Published 14 April 2010)

Regarded as one of our top scientists. FRS. A prolific publisher. Sits on the NERC Funding council, along with the other names of similar AGW climate persuasion. Involved in the CERN CLOUD Experiment.

Well. A biblical 'how are the mighty fallen' New Year to them, with a finger in the air to their predictive expertise.

Dec 30, 2010 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Come on guys, they should be able to change their minds.

Dec 30, 2010 at 9:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

'Pete : What I'm looking forward to is we get a long period of completely normal weather in the New Year; average temperature, average rainfall, average sunshine, everything absolutely on the normal button'

A long period of 'normal' weather - how extraordinarily unprecedented that would be (I certainly can't remember any such thing over my lifetime)?! The absence of extremes would surely refect some drastic and desperately worrying change to the climate - hmm, sounds like 'climate disruption' to me.

Dec 30, 2010 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

I wonder if the UK taxpayers would be prepared to fund their climate scientists to the extent that they could buy the appropriate hats with multiple points and bells?

Pity the other expert couldn't make the segment '...his train is delayed at the moment...' presumably he or she was going to explain how the word 'floor' is shortly to be replaced by 'ceiling' (and vice versa, to avoid confusion), by government mandate.

Dec 30, 2010 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

I agree Shub, but msm or true journalists should pick up on these "changes of mind" & ask why.

also found his BBC 2007 comment funny/relevant re the HSI -

"Dr Lockwood initiated the study partially in response to the TV documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, broadcast on Britain's Channel Four earlier this year, which featured the cosmic ray hypothesis.
"All the graphs they showed stopped in about 1980, and I knew why, because things diverged after that," he told the BBC News website.

"You can't just ignore bits of data that you don't like," he said."

well said that man, that's what most sceptics think also.

Dec 30, 2010 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

Bit like old times, isn't it? Was it not once widely claimed that the breakdown of the North Atlantic jetstream was one of the tipping-point calamities which are said to be possible given continued global warming?

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered Commenteranonym

does chivers live under a rock?

30 Dec: UK Tele: Tom Chivers: Joe Bastardi has a wonderful name. But he's still wrong about global warming
Mr Bastardi – that’s “Bastardi” – told the Fox Business Network that people who say that all this cold weather proves global warming are acting like children who don’t get their way. Which would be fine, if anyone was saying that...

25 Dec: NYT Judah Cohen: Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming
How can we reconcile this? The not-so-obvious short answer is that the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes...
The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it.

AER: Judah Cohen, Ph.D.
Dr. Judah Cohen, Director of Seasonal Forecasting, joined Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. as a Staff Scientist in 1998. Prior to AER, he spent two years as a National Research Council Fellow at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies after two years as a research scientist at MIT’s Parsons Laboratory. Cohen received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from Columbia University in 1994 and has since focused on conducting numerical experiments with global climate models and advanced statistical techniques to better understand climate variability and to improve climate prediction. In addition to his research interests, as principal scientist, Cohen directs AER’s development of seasonal forecast products for commercial clients who include some of the largest investment firms in the US. He has been interviewed on local and national television, the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Investor’s Business Daily, among others. His work is highlighted as breakthrough technology by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Dr. Cohen has a Research Affiliate appointment in the Civil Engineering Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He has published over two dozen articles on seasonal forecasting in their journals and others. Most recently, Dr. Cohen was appointed Associate Editor of the Journal of Climate, a peer-reviewed publication of the AMS. He continues to further his research, in addition to directing operational long range forecasting at AER.

10 Feb 2008: UK Times: Climate scientist they could not silence
This, Hansen wants to warn us, is a recipe for global warming disaster. The recent warm winters that Britain has experienced are a clear sign that the climate is changing, he says...

2003: BBC: 'Less snow and rain' for islands
The amount of snow falling on Scotland's islands could drop by almost 90%, according to a report on global warming...
The work was carried out by the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, which is part of the Met Office...

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

According to Meteogroup, 2010 has been the coldest year in the UK since 1986 - but nothing particularly out of the ordinary:

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie

He was talking about the jet stream and sun spots.

He briefly mentions " a warming world" at about 2 minutes in. Other than that it seemed kosher. If he has said different things in the past then do explain this instead of piling in on him.

I wonder why he mentioned the "warming world" bit? Was he talking about the past or the future?

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Whoops - here is the link that Alan posted earlier from the BBC...

A new scientific study concludes that changes in the Sun's output cannot be causing modern-day climate change.

It shows that for the last 20 years, the Sun's output has declined, yet temperatures on Earth have risen.

It also shows that modern temperatures are not determined by the Sun's effect on cosmic rays, as has been claimed.

Writing in the Royal Society's journal Proceedings A, the researchers say cosmic rays may have affected climate in the past, but not the present.

"This should settle the debate," said Mike Lockwood, from the UK's Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, who carried out the new analysis together with Claus Froehlich from the World Radiation Center in Switzerland.

It's hard to reconcile this 2007 statement with the video.

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

For those of you who wish to see a real live example of the "Coprophagic Smile" well known to politicians and "climate scientists" who are left out in the cold by reality, I do suggest you examine Professor Mike Lockwood as he explains why his kids are seeing a white Christmas.

The man is a twerp. He makes it sound like it is a UK only issue. Look at the ENTIRE northern hemisphere from China, around to the US to Europe, to Russia, back to China. Lots and lots of snow. How does he explain that? He doesn't. He makes it sound like a local UK issue hoping you didn't catch the riots at the Moscow airport a couple days ago, or the fantastic skiing in the Sierras this week end, or what happened in China last week.

Weather is cyclic, much like the ocean tides, but runs on a longer cycles, some twenty or so years, and others longer. I saw this all 25 and 50 years ago. Hopefully, I see it again in 2035, but I doubt I will. But some of you and your kids will.

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

"Come on guys, they should be able to change their minds." - Shub.

Of course they should. I tell my students that every scientific paper is wrong, the only questions being to what extent and how long it takes people to figure it out. But what's been going on here isn't science, at least not what I take science to be, which is figuring stuff out for its own sake.

Climate scientists as a group have been deeply involved in policy promotion. And that has consequences. One is that it that it distorts objectivity; the other that the policies themselves have consequences. The UK, with its recent history of promoting green energy at the expense of traditional sources, is getting a taste of what will follow if the climate cools for real.

Should an enraged, freezing populace metaphorically storm the barricades and haul prominant climatologists off for judgment, it will not be because the former made scientific mistakes. Rather, it will be because they promoted policies that proved disastrous, even while overstating / misrepresenting the evidence with which they buttressed their positions.

Is this any different than a pharmaceutical house's suppressing internal studies suggesting that its newest product has dangerous side effects? Does it differ from the tobacco industry's attempting to conceal the risks of smoking? If yes, pray explain in what way.

Bob above

"The top climate scientists have become like dogs after a biscuit."
has it just right. There is a scientific-political complex, and it is dangerous.

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterT. A. Speaker

this is for tom chivers. so many good bits in here:

30 Dec: Fox: Maxim Lott: Eight Botched Environmental Forecasts
Ehrlich told that the consequences of future warming could be dire.
The proverbial excrement is "a lot closer to the fan than it was in 1968," he said. "And every single colleague I have agrees with that."
He added, "Scientists don't live by the opinion of Rush Limbaugh and Palin and George W. They live by the support of their colleagues, and I've had full support of my colleagues continuously."
But Ehrlich admits that several of his own past environmental predictions have not come true:
7. "By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people ... If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." Ehrlich, Speech at British Institute For Biology, September 1971.
Ehrlich's prediction was taken seriously when he made it, and New Scientist magazine underscored his speech in an editorial titled "In Praise of Prophets."
"When you predict the future, you get things wrong," Ehrlich admitted, but "how wrong is another question. I would have lost if I had had taken the bet. However, if you look closely at England, what can I tell you? They're having all kinds of problems, just like everybody else."...

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat


1986 is right, the Met CET chart demos it:-

The interesting feature is "the red line is a 21 point binomial filter, which is equivalent to a 10 year running mean" which is trending down quickly, as quick as it went up. A change in direction and magnitude to any trend is usually thought to be significant. Time will tell.

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Mike Lockwood's words bring to mind the Symptomless Coma sketch from Jam:

Dec 30, 2010 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered Commentermay as well make light of it all

I think that what Lockwood is trying to say is that a small increase in worldwide average annual global warming cannot be detected in the natural variability of weather. Extremes will continue to be extremes and averages (especially those with wide spatial and temporal distribution) mean essentially nothing. The claims of AGW proponents that past warm winters were proof of AGW were clearly spurious as many of us thought at the time. Lockwood has been exposed by this.

There is currently no evidence that AGW has resulted in a higher frequency of extreme weather. There may be some evidence that it results in small increases in average global temperature. Thus we can conclude that AGW, if it exists, does not cause climatic hazards that are dangerous to society. There is therefore no need for costly measures to "combat" climate change.

Dec 30, 2010 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterpotentilla

Don Pablo,
It's more than just the northern hemisphere. In Australia, where it's summer, we have had snow in three states (NSW, Victoria and Tasmania) and gigantic floods in Queensland and NSW. The pre-summer forecast from the Warmies (including our weather bureau) was for a very hot and dry summer everywhere except the south-western part of Western Australia. The reverse has happened. No apologies or even proper explanations from the Warmies of course.

Dec 30, 2010 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterHanrahan

What is that big word which describes the state of simultaneously believing two diametrically opposed theses? Anyone doing a Psychology PhD on that particular topic would have a perfect case study in the good Professor.

In 1984 (Orwell), it was called Doublethink.

In Psychology, we would call it Cognitive Dissonance.

Dec 30, 2010 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

Question: Has the Global Warming industry established such influence over the political agenda that no amount of global cooling will shake our govrenment's acceptance of the AGW threat?

Question: Is there no political grouping which would benefit from challenging this obscene hoax, even as the public turns ever more sceptical?

Dec 31, 2010 at 12:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Shub, Lockwood is entitled to change his opinion, except that he doesn't seem to have changed it. He still pays tribute to the CAGW cult. Incidentally, I think he looked quite embarrassed in that interview. So few scientists are rushing to the media for an explanation at the moment. It is not like they can attribute the exceptional cold to global warming that easily. CAGW scientists seem to have gone in hiding... or hibernation until the next summer heat wave.

Also, regarding the divergence between temperature and solar output, I think that graph is ripe for a 'Mike's Nature trick'.

Dec 31, 2010 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

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