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Rumbling on

The rumpus over the Met Office's downgrading of its climate predictions rumbles on (much like my lurgy!). The Mail covered the story yesterday evening (H/T Jonathan Jones), and included a couple of interesting quotes.

Graham Stringer:

Labour MP Graham Stringer said the Met Office’s short-term forecasts had improved, but their climate change analysis was ‘poor’.

He said: ‘By putting out the information on Christmas Eve they were just burying bad news – that they have got their climate change forecast wrong.

‘For a science-based organisation, they should be more up front, both about their successes and failures.’

and Myles Allen


Professor Myles Allen of the University of Oxford said: ‘A lot of people  were claiming, in the run-up to the Copenhagen 2009 conference, that warming was accelerating and it is all worse than we thought.

‘What has happened since then has demonstrated that it is foolish to extrapolate short-term climate trends.

‘While every new year brings in welcome new data to help us rule out the more extreme scenarios for the future, it would be equally silly to interpret what has happened since the early 2000s as evidence that the warming has stopped.’


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Reader Comments (120)

I think the decadal thing comes from their super dupe model that they announced in 2008/9. The model was said to be so good that they used the same one for climate change and day to day forecasts. Among their claims was that they would be selling accurate 10 year forecasts from this model.

BIG FAIL as usual. The problem is that ALL departments of the UK Met off rely on this model for their work.

Jan 10, 2013 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Delingpole Daily Mail article gets a kicking from the MO !

Jan 10, 2013 at 5:01 PM | jazznick

Watch the thimble. You have to read their reply very very carefully. They are being deliberately obtuse. I think picking a fight with Delingpole might not be clever but then no one has ever accused the MO of being clever.

Jan 10, 2013 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Jazznick link to MO rebuttal of Delingpole, the MO state:

"Further on in the print version of the article (although amended online), Mr Delingpole says “According to the Met, Britain is apparently experiencing more rain by volume and intensity than at any time since records began.” Although he is right in saying the Met Office has published preliminary observations which show an increase in the intensity and volume of rain, we are clear that this relates to a period from 1960 onwards – not ‘since records began’ as he claims."

So why is the BBC reporting "since records began"? And why are the BBC apparently reporting this in the context of records for Britain back to 1910 when there are records for England & Wales back to 1766, which contradict this claim?

The WUWT article by Paul Homewood is a good read on this:

Jan 10, 2013 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Oh come on guys you know that this climate change stuff is serious - people have money to make!!!

Anyone who thinks CAGW isn't a mass hysteria event - should have a look at the list of things CO2 is capable of doing, and therefore generating grant money.

H/T - Mauritzio Morabito at Omnologos


Jan 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

Wonder what will happen to this News Release from Sept 2009

Global warming set to continue14 September 2009

Global warming continues to pose a real threat that should not be ignored - a claim reinforced in a new study by scientists, reported in a supplement of the August issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This is despite very small global temperature rises over the last 10 years.

Met Office Hadley Centre scientists investigated how often decades with a neutral trend in global mean temperature occurred in computer modelled climate change simulations. They found that despite continued increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, a single-decade hiatus in warming occurs relatively often.

Jeff Knight, the article's lead author, explained: "We found about one in every eight decades has near-zero or negative global temperature trends in simulations which would otherwise be warm at expected present-day rates. Given that we have seen fairly consistent global warming since the 1970s, these odds suggest the observed slowdown was due to occur."

But why do these anomalies occur at all, whether in climate models or in reality? The answer lies in something called 'internal climate variability' - the capacity for slow natural variations in the oceans to temporarily modify climate. Computer models used to make climate predictions reproduce this intrinsic character of our climate because they successfully represent many of the necessary fundamental climate processes.

One such internal fluctuation over the last decade could have been enough to mask the expected global temperature rise. However, the Met Office's decadal forecast predicts renewed warming after 2010 with about half of the years to 2015 likely to be warmer globally than the current warmest year on record.

Will it be dissappeared or rewritten ?

Jan 10, 2013 at 6:23 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

And Whitehouse has given Hickman a 'judicial' kicking at GWPF.

Jan 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

@John Shade...My kingdom for a spellchecker on this blog's commenting panel!

Fat finger syndrome Jnho?

P.s.I should add (Sic) to the above just in case someone accuses me of the same!


Jan 10, 2013 at 7:06 PM | Registered Commenterpeterwalsh

Athelstan - 9:39pm 9th January

From your linked article at Climate Realists

" I remember in Winnipeg three Environment Canada employees telling me after a presentation that they agreed with me but would lose their jobs if they spoke out."

I was told by a reliable source that it was a disciplinary offence at the Met Office to show even mild scepticism about "The Cause".

Jan 10, 2013 at 7:12 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave


Whitehouse shows up, in the good old English faintly sarcastic way, how much Hickman gets wrong, and its a lot. Has Hickman any expertise in the subject he's supposed to be writing about. He has made some very fundamental errors. Whitehouse is on fire at the moment but then there are so many easy targets - Shukman's numerical incompetence, and Louise Grey's as well as IMHO Channel 4's arrogance.

Are these journalists the best we have or were they free in a competition. If I were the editor of the Guardian I'd dump Hickman and Carington and the others and hire Whitehouse.

Jan 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterThr

Dellers bounces back in double quick time.

Is this a record ? Fingers that type faster than Bob Ward,

Popcorn anyone ?

Jan 10, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

Here's some underhand stuff - or so it would seem - from the Met Office:

Paul Homewood notes

The white curves are previous predictions, as the narrative explains. In the latest version, this line heads downwards from around 2005 to today’s levels. In other words, they seem to be giving the impression that previous predictions anticipated the drop in temperatures in the last couple of years.

Yet look at the Dec 2011 version, and you can see that this is absolutely not what they were predicting then. On the contrary, they were forecasting a significant increase in temperatures throughout the period.

It would appear that the Met have deliberately fabricated a new version of their Dec 2011 forecast, in order to avoid making the original version look too ridiculous.

As he goes on to note "Is this really what “science” has come down to?"

Jan 10, 2013 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Delingpole: "one of its in-house turd-polishers"

James, not polishing for that is not possible - now rolling it in glitter....

Jan 10, 2013 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

ssat: :0)

Jan 10, 2013 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

I'm just reading Laurence Bergreen's book about Magellan, "Over the Edge of the World," and I thought this passage on the two kinds of maps before Magellan was relevant to the debate between alarmists vs. skeptics:

"The [pilots'] charts simply showed how to sail from point to point; the cosmographers tried to include the entire cosmos in their schemes. The cosmographers relied primarily on mathematics for their depictions, but the pilots relied on experience and observation. The pilots' charts covered harbors and shorelines; the cosmographers' maps of the world, filled with beguiling speculation, were often useless for actual navigation."

Jan 11, 2013 at 2:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterLloyd R

Another cup of tea has been flung at the kitchen radio. Feedback 4.30pm
Presenter Roger Bolton said "Met Office report on climate change- the headline was that 'climate change will not be as severe as previously thought' . We had numerous phone calls......"

Then two interviews with phone -in people who thought it was shocking to tell us that things weren't going to be as bad as we had been told. "So was the headline correct ? says Roger B. "We'll ask Julia Slingo."

Julia Slingo sounds VERY cross. It is the sceptic blogs' fault and we have cast nasturtiums and misrepresented the integrity of science. ... the earth will continue to warm to record levels and in future records may well be broken. In no way has the Met Office made changes in the long term projections and we still will have serious problems.

Or words to that effect.

Jan 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Jan 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM | Messenger

The quote from Julia Slingo that got my attention was when, at the end, she said if the Met Office had been given the opportunity, the news (of the change in the forecast) would have been accompanied by 'the appropriate messaging'.

The Met Office seem unable to say anything with loading it up with the necessary propaganda (presumably to save their more than generous grant structure).

Jan 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

@ Messenger and Billy Liar, I now have a full transcript of the R4 Feedback segment with Julia Slingo (will also post this in Unthreaded):

I googled the two callers, out of curiosity, and they are both climate activists, one of them a founding member of Campaign against Climate Change (CaCC).

Jan 11, 2013 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Is it just me or does this all have a sightly disingenuous ring to it?

Richard if you are reading this, the Met office is making a fool of itself. If you can't see that you need glasses!

Jan 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM | Dolphinhead

Yes and 2) they will continue to do so because they have no real choice until the government OKs it. They know their models are useless. They have known it since the beginning of this corrupt science and don't forget if you say the science is corrupt then the scientists are corrupt. You cannot separate the two. So; why do we even bother to discuss our science with the corrupt.

Jan 12, 2013 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Have the Met Office said what changes they made to the model to produce these slightly different predictions?

They stick to their basic falsified theory, but can’t be called out if warming doesn’t restart for the next few years … as a layman did I understand right?

How lucky for them that their changes to the science happened to lead them to this relatively comfortable position. Tactically they couldn't have dreamed of a more convenient outcome.

Jan 12, 2013 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Page

Entropic man, appears the missing heat is still that...missing! :)



Jan 13, 2013 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

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