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« Climate scientists | Main | The WGII battle begins »

Some comments on the Royal Society report

Reader Alex Henney sends some comments on The Royal Society/National Academy of Sciences Report on Climate Change that he sent to the President of the Royal Society and the British authors of the report.1

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, if it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.

Richard Feynman

1. The document continues to espouse models which are flawed, see p. 5, even though the final draft of the 2013 SPM commented “Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10-15 years”.  John Christy2 compared the performance of 39 climate model that were used in AR5 over the period 1975 to 2012 with measured temperature data.  The models over back-cast temperature significantly in a range 0-0.7oC. 

Global CMIP5 RCP45 39 models, annual Tas reference base 1979-1983, 7-yr running average

In 2007 a team of climate scientists from the Met Office wrote a paper “Improved Surface Temperature Prediction for the Coming Decade from a Global Climate Model” using their new modeling system which forecast:-

  • There would be 0.3°C warming over the decade 2004-2014
  • At least half of the years after 2009 would be warmer than the record year of 1998.

Vicky Pope of the Met Office gave a talk on these predictions, stating that " these are very strong statements about what will happen over the next 10 years".  These predictions are wrong - there has been no warming at all since 2004; none of the years since 2009 have broken the record of 1998 according to HADCRUT3 data.

The failure of the models is very significant.3 According to the IPCC and Royal Society they are based on an understanding of the physics, chemistry, and biology of the climate. The failure demonstrates that the IPCC scientists do not understand the science of the climate. The failure also indicates that climate model forecasts are of no value.

If we were dealing with real science, and not politicized pseudo science reliant on public subsidies with both scientific and political face involved, the models would be scrapped and scientists would be looking around to attempt to explain the reality.

2. It fails to explain the pause. Page 12 is largely sophistry. So far 10 speculative stories have been advanced to explain the pause of which 9 are by warmists wanting to rescue the CO2 story.

3. It does not refer to the fudge over climate sensitivity, which is perhaps the key number in WG1’s material. The GWPF report, “A sensitive matter: how the IPCC buried evidence showing good news about global warming” by Nicholas Lewis and Marcel Crok, shows how the IPCC massaged the presentation of the increasing number of observational estimates of lowering climate sensitivity as opposed to estimates derived from climate models. For the first time the IPCC avoided giving a best estimate for climate sensitivity – perhaps the most important number in the report - citing “a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies”.  Lewis and Crok observe that “AR5 lowers the 10–90% range for TCR4 of 1–3°C established in AR4 to a ‘likely’ range of 1–2.5°C ...we suggest that an observationally-based ‘likely’ range for TCR could reasonably be 1–2°C, with a best estimate of 1.35°C. The average TCR for global climate models is much higher, at just under 2°C.  These lower, observationally-based estimates for climate sensitivity and TCR suggest that considerably less warming and sea level rise is to be expected in the future than the model projections imply”.  Lewis and Crok used the data in AR5, which the IPCC authors danced around.

The climate models on average overestimate warming by 50% over the last 35 years; so their TCR estimates are inflated; so their forecasts are useless.

4. The report dismisses the significance of the sun by focusing on its irradiance, which varies little over the solar cycle, p. 7.  NASA has recently published a press release commenting:

There is, however, a dawning realization among researchers that even these apparently tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate. A new report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate,” lays out some of the surprisingly complex ways that solar activity can make itself felt on our planet

Jasper Kirby, the head of the CLOUD project at CERN, gave a presentation “Cosmic rays and climate – to be or not to be”, available on wattsupwiththat on 6/11/13.  The IPCC carefully avoids dealing seriously with the sun because it would spoil the CO2 storyline; the Royal Society/National Academy are following suit.

5. It is factually incorrect to claim that “The speed of the current climate change is faster than most of the past events” – the  rate of temperature rise in the first decades of the last century was similar to that of the last two, see exhibit on p. 11.

6. Sea ice in the Arctic increased in 2013.  But so what?  In his seminar at the House of Commons on February 2012 Richard Lindzen noted the observations of the US Weather Bureau in 1922:

The Arctic is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot.  Reports all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.  Expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

As Lindzen commented:

In fact, the Arctic is notoriously variable.  Similar statements are available for 1957, and the US submarine Skate surfaced at the North Pole on 11 August 1958; so much for ‘unprecedented’!  Whilst there really doesn’t appear to be that much going on, anecdotal information can be more dramatic. 

7. When I read (p18) that scientists are very confident that earth will warm over the next century, when they have got the last 16 or so years wrong and numbers of solar physicists are predicting cooling, I am reminded of the saying in the Koran “He who professes to forecast the future lies, even if correct.”  One would have thought that after the failure of recent forecasts, the Royal Society/National Academy would be more cautious.

8. I draw your attention to the Climate Change Statement Review Workshop of 8/1/14 which the American Physical Society undertook.  This is grown up scientific discourse, not the glib dogma the Royal Society promotes. The Society has raised a number of trenchant questions about the pause, climate sensitivity, model accuracies, sea ice and the basis of confidence in identifying a possible small anthropogenic effect among others in influencing the climate.

On the principle of “follow the money” can it be that the Royal Society’s views reflect 1) that most of its climate members are on the public payroll directly or indirectly (along with Grantham’s payroll), and 2) the Society gets 68% of its income from HMG which turns it into a quasi quango.  Or am I being too cynical?

An important point to recognize is that most – if not all – of the named British and all of the US authors have been involved in IPCC ARs.  So the document is merely the same hymn sheet, but badge engineered.  The situation is similar to that in 2005 when the Royal Society wrote a letter to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs5 when it was considering The Economics of Climate Change.  The letter could have been written by the IPCC’s press office.  It claimed that “The IPCC is the world’s leading authority on climate change and its impacts” and its “work is backed by the worldwide scientific community”.  It went on to rebut what it called “misleading arguments put forward by the opponents of climate change.”  Its position is perhaps not surprising given that the letter was prepared by a group co-led by John Houghton FRS who played a leading role in the IPCC from 1988-2002.  Given that the uninformed media might misinterpret the document as being the independent fruits of leading scientific minds, I suggest this is not a particularly praiseworthy piece of optics.

The consequence of the demonisation of carbon dioxide by the Met Office, Royal Society and others has been that for no useful purpose we have messed up our electric market and have generation policies which will increase costs significantly but will achieve absolutely nothing to mitigate CO2 emissions, while the Chinese, Indians, and others (including the Germans and Dutch) build coal stations galore.  Our policies are to:

  • Build the most expensive nuclear plant in the world at £16bn for 3200MW (for which one could build 27,000MW of gas turbines).  The headline contract price of £92.5/MWh (compared with the current wholesale price of about £50/MWh) is misleading because the price is indexed.  By the time the plant is finished the price will be about £120/MWh which compares with the current wholesale price of electricity of about £50/MWh.
  • Support residential solar panels in our gloomy climate with subsidies which make nuclear look cheap.
  • Support expensive (£95/MWh) - and for offshore, very expensive (£155/MWh) – wind.  But these figures are only part of the story –there will be additional costs of up to £20/MWh for system balancing and additional transmission.  Furthermore, in a system such as ours with little hydro, the vagaries of wind output have to be balanced by ramping gas or coal plant up and down.  This reduces their thermal efficiency hence increases their CO2 emissions.  Consequently wind farms do not achieve the mitigation of CO2 they claim on the tin.
  • Throw money at wood chips from new cut trees which are imported at considerable cost from the US.  But cutting down trees to burn them actually increases CO2 emissions.

I suspect that in the not too distant future if the "pause" continues, the signatories to the report, and past FRSs and PRSs who have actively and politically promoted anthropogenic climate warming/change will be thought to have discredited the Royal Society.  Then members may remember the advice of its member the late New Zealander Charles Fleming, a distinguished ornithologist and avian palaeontologist;  “Any body of scientists that adopts pressure group tactics is endangering its status as the guardian of principles of scientific philosophy that are worth keeping.”  I suggest The Royal Society should leave pseudo science and “scientific” advocacy to green NGOs and politicians who know no better.


1 Slightly edited to tidy it up.

2 Christy is Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and is Alabama’s State Climatologist. He was a lead author in the 2001 IPCC Report and a “key” or “contributing” author on others.  The University’s satellite based temperature dataset is one of the 5 data sets that are widely used.  For his work on its development he received a Special Award by the American Meteorological Society and NASA’s Medal Exceptional Scientific Achievement.

3 “Bounding Greenhouse Gas Climate Sensitivity for Use in Regulatory Decisions”, A Report of the Right Climate Staff Research Team, which comprises 25 retired Apollo Program scientists and engineers.  They claim they are “highly trained and experienced in making critical decision on complex issues where human safety is involved, and have the requisite education and experience to comprehend the critical issues in Anthropogenic Global Warming research.” They point out that the have experience in analyzing complex systems and in using computer models.  But they lay stress again and again on using validated models – “In God we trust, all others bring data”.  They note that although the climate models are not validated, they are the basis for the IPCC’s predictions – to which they give no credence.

The lead author commented “I believe in computer models. My whole career was about using computer models to make life or death decisions. In 1963 I had to use them to calculate whether, when the lunar module landed on a 12 degree slope it would fall over or not – and design the landing gear accordingly. But if you can’t validate the models – and the IPCC can’t – then don’t use them.”

4 Transient Climate Response, a measure of warming from a doubling of CO2 over a 70 year period.

5 P. 295 et seq,

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Reader Comments (54)

Climate Science, insofar as it exists, is an observational business, so that Feynman's remark about experiments if inapplicable.

Mar 25, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Dearieme, in this case the 'experiment' was to wait to see what the climate did. Like any experiment you predict what's going to happen then see if it does, there's no limit on timescales.

Mar 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterNial

Better sending it to David Rose. No alarmist ever reads anything at all that disagrees with the alarmism or indeed anything at all about the real state of the science and they are very proud of that unsullied record. When you demonise your opponents then you don't have to think about their arguments.

Personally I've just about given up. It's down to us engineers to try and put lipstick on these various alternative energy pigs in order to avoid the worst of the coming energy catastrophe. Gawd help us.

Mar 25, 2014 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG
Mar 25, 2014 at 12:46 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Alex Henney - Well said and well done!

dearieme - In the case of climate, the theory is imbedded in the model that is claimed to simulate reality, the experimental results are the observations of reality. The model output and therefore the theory on which it is based, is wrong.

Mar 25, 2014 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterSC

Climate science has a number of hypothoses;

1. Increased CO2 in the atmosphere will cause temperatures to rise;
2. At a doubling of CO2 from 280ppm the temperature will rise by 3C;
3. The changed climate will be disastrous for human beings, you know, Death, Pestilence, War and Famine, that kind of stuff.

In the light of the pause more work needs to be done on understanding what happens when we put more CO2 in the atmosphere.

The doubling of CO2 causing an increase of 3C in temperatures is, at best, flaky.

The upcoming apocalypse is, well, scientists trying to help their green buddies get control of our lives.

In any event dearieme, it cannot be science without a testable hypothesis, and it must have a condition that falsifies the hypothesis. Yet the most prestigious scientific society in the country and maybe the world is pushing this bull with everything they've got.

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

JamesG - as a fellow engineer, I share your depression/frustration. There seems to be no end to 'climate change' being mentioned in every possible context on the telly and elsewhere, as though it was, as they say, 'settled'. Nothing could be farther from the truth - but as there are no vehicles to express that view (apart from on here and by the likes of the doughty Delingpole), then we just have to wait for - nothing to happen. Unfortunately, I don't have long enough left to witness that...
Particularly on electricity generation (in which I once worked) - the 'solutions' which the politicians have chosen are simply ludicrous. Don't even get me started on the jaw-dropping response I got from the DECC when I pointed out to them that, a few days ago, electricity output from wind was as near to zero as makes no difference, but was told the UK has an 'excellent wind resource..' Bangs head on wall....
Cheer us up, someone...!

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Well done, Alex Henney. This is 'cut-out and keep' stuff.

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:24 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
the courage to change the things
which can be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Talking of climate, the alarmists' propaganda machine doesn't seem to be convincing anyone with this article:

The comments are decidedly off message. Usually, in these situations the comments section gets closed down early or there is a mysterious surge in posts supporting the BBC (ie alarmist) line at some point.

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Where do I start with this one???

Climate models are theoretical, but based on hard physics.
The models, when run, do not agree with the observations.
So something is wrong with the theory.

This is actually not surprising given that the feedback mechanisms and the inherent non-linearity in the system.

If Feynman were alive today I suspect he would be having a field day with all this.

Mar 25, 2014 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterEd B

Of course Feynman was assuming, for the point of the argument, that the experimental data was correct. If you have a branch of science where the data is very difficult to collect, or is done very badly by people who have little experimental desire, competence, or experience, then the experimental data may need to be constantly adjusted.

...And so with one bound they had escaped Feynman's skewer.

Mar 25, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

BBC news is covering more alarmist nonsense from the Met Office.

Mar 25, 2014 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSC

Steve Jones 1:26 PM

Thanks- I liked this one

About as useful as Cornwall John's Weather Forecasting Stone, which is, basically, a stone hanging from string with the following instructions:

Stone is wet > Rain
Stone is dry > Not raining
Shadow on ground > Sunny
White on top > Snowing
Can't see stone > Foggy
Swinging stone > Windy
Stone jumping up & down > Earthquake
Stone gone > Tornado

Mar 25, 2014 at 2:22 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Steve Jones - the Shukman piece on the Met Office's suggestion that our weather will be hot and cold reminds me of the classic piece in the Telegraph by Sean Thomas:

“Here come de heap big warmy. Bigtime warmy warmy. Is big big hot. Plenty big warm burny hot. Hot! Hot hot! But now not hot. Not hot now. De hot come go, come go. Now Is Coldy Coldy. Is ice. Hot den cold. Frreeeezy ice til hot again. Den de rain. It faaaalllll. Make pasty.”


Mar 25, 2014 at 2:29 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

I live near Hull where Seimens are going to put their windmill factory. I'm wondering how much taxpayers money had to be thrown at them. I'm also wondering what will happen when it finally dawns on the powers that be that the things are useless.

Interestingly, some of my ancesters used to be windy millers. They went out of business when the likes of Rank-Hovis-McDougal industrialised the flour industry.

Mar 25, 2014 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

@Cheers Stoneyground I just posted in the Scunthorpe Telegraph. It's 3 years since Siemens started interest, and BBC Radio Humberside has been hyping since then. But since Siemens had sacked it Greeny boss and closed it's windfarm factories in Germany I was guessing only a huge subsidy from Cameron the son-in-law of our local £1000/day subsidy baron was going to get them to sign. The more mills they produce the higher the peasants leccy bills will be.

Mar 25, 2014 at 4:26 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I really believe that climatology is the most unscientific branch off science, ever.

Mar 25, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

'The failure of the models is very significant.3 According to the IPCC and Royal Society they are based on an understanding of the physics, chemistry, and biology of the climate. The failure demonstrates that the IPCC scientists do not understand the science of the climate. The failure also indicates that climate model forecasts are of no value.'
Based on that.

Mar 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterEddy

"Siemens had sacked it Greeny boss and closed it's windfarm factories in Germany".

No mention of that in the press release. Does AC/DC Cameron know that?

BTW, it's "Siemens had sacked its Greeny boss and closed its windfarm factories in Germany".

Mar 25, 2014 at 4:57 PM | Registered Commenterperry

@Eddy: you can add to that the fact there appears to be no null hypothesis. Not falsifiable? Then it's not science.

Still, what do I know? I'm just a chartered engineer.

Mar 25, 2014 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Weetabix

I went to have a look at the BBC article in the link posted above to check the comments but couldn't get past the first two paragraphs. These people are without shame:

British winters are likely to become milder and wetter like the last one but cold spells still need to be planned for, says the UK Met Office.

Summers are likely to be hotter and drier, but washouts are still on the cards, it adds.

The above is a description of typical British weather, in what way has British weather ever been different from that described above.

Prof Betts, hang your head in shame over this nonsense.

Mar 25, 2014 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

Steve Jones,

Blimey, I think that's the first time I've seen a BBC article on "climate" where the comments are dominated by scepticism.

Mar 25, 2014 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Alex - please do let us know how the RS reply. Well done.

Mar 25, 2014 at 5:31 PM | Registered Commenterjeremypoynton

"I really believe that climatology is the most unscientific branch off science, ever."
Mar 25, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Peter Stroud

"Based on what, not liking its findings?"

Maybe lack of evidence?


Mar 25, 2014 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

“cheer us up, someone.”

Imvho, the alarmists have already lost. Excluding the far left, the public’s reaction to all this global warming nonsense is essentially a collective yawn. Europe is waking up to its grievous policy missteps and the Republicans look to be resurgent in the U.S. in the wake of Obamacare...

Trying to measure progrees against how hard the alarmists are spewing their propaganda is a mistake, except if it is to understand that their fury is a measure of their increasing desperation...They’re al in, in poker terms. They can’t turn back.

Fear not. The tide is slowly turning.

Mar 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterpokerguy

pokerguy: Very well said. But desperate alarmists spewing propaganda and dodgy scientists doing the same have always had supporters in higher places. That's why triumphalism is also premature in my view, It isn't over till it's really over, UN, EU and scientific academy entities and insiders included. (By which I mean they've truly given up the attempted power grab, not been converted to using the unvarnished truth at all points in future. That could take longer ...)

Terrific comments to help the Royal Society see the light, by the way, Alex Henney.

Mar 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

@dearieme: Mar 25, 2014 at 12:27 PM

This is a transcript of Richard Feynman defining the scientific method...


Now I'm going to discuss how we would look for a new law. In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it (audience laughter), no, don't laugh, that's the truth. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right, if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply and then we compare the computation results to nature or we say compare to experiment or experience, compare it directly with observations to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it's WRONG. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn't make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn't matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is... If it disagrees with experiment, it's wrong. That's all there is to it.

So "experiment" also imples "observation".

Mar 25, 2014 at 7:02 PM | Registered Commenterpogo

Excellent letter, Alex Henney. I am grateful (as a Kiwi) that you have spotlit the fact not all Kiwi scientists are looking for the missing heat in the vasty depths!

Mar 25, 2014 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

From: The Office of the President of the RS

Dear Mr Henney

Thank you for your letter. You have clearly made the mistake of confusing science with "climate science". You should be aware that 97% of cat owners who stated a preference said that their cat agreed it was extremely likely that the science of "climate science" is settled. Perhaps it would be helpful if I sent some of the boys round to educate you in the realities of "climate science"; this meeting would be held under Chatham House rules, which means we reserve the right to allude to it afterwards.

Yours sincerely

Mar 25, 2014 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

CommenterSwiss Bob said of the Met Office's latex climate change predictions:

The above is a description of typical British weather, in what way has British weather ever been different from that described above.

Ah... but you overlook the fact that unless we cut our CO2 emissions we will be getting more British weather than ever before. Presumably the Met Office have a means of quantifying the amount of weather we get. I am not sure what unit is used to measure the quantity of weather - perhaps a crystal ball full.

Mar 25, 2014 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

You are a "climate scientist". "Climate science"(as we have come to suffer it) dies the strangulated, twitching and whimpering death it so thoroughly deserves.


Do you have a skill(set) that business/the_real_world needs/recognizes?

Mar 25, 2014 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenry Galt

@henry galt

You raise a very good question. Who on earth would employ a middle-aged redundant climate modeller with no positive achievements on their CV?

Even the classic 'will you take fries with that, sir?' jobs require people with some ability to successfully interact with the reality of the outside world - a skill that modellers resolutely and stubbornly refuse to acquire on pain of excommunication from the Climatologists Guild.

And commercial computing companies require the job to be completed according to the pre-agreed spec. They do not take kindly to the climos habit of making post-hoc adjustments to the spec (data) so that it agrees with what has been delivered.

Mar 25, 2014 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

The conclusion of an experiment contains observed or collected data. If the experiment contains data that disagrees with the theory, the theory is wrong.

A lot of the papers that purport to support the theory of global warming are little more than experiments in collecting a wide range of data from selected or limited or truncated or spliced sources. Now that the real observational data is beginning to accrue, i.e. actual temperature data that shows a lengthening stasis in temperatures, the theory is not so beautiful any more.

Mar 25, 2014 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Even the warmist BBC couldn't prevent their presenter David Shukman (who, to be fair, is slightly less fanatical than his colleagues) from sounding completely stunned by the latest rubbish from the Met Office.

As others have pointed out, they describe traditional British weather perfectly and then claim it is proof of AGW.

They really should be shut down.

Mar 25, 2014 at 10:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterSC

In the interests of clarity and in case anyone is wondering whether I was saying that the BBC should be shut down or that the Met Office should be shut down, then let me be absolutely clear.

Both should be shut down, of course.

Mar 25, 2014 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSC


Thanks for the reminder of the Thomas article. Indeed it is one of the funniest skits I think I have ever had the pleasure of.

However, for me, the icing on that particular cake is the picture, with written underneath "Huddersfield 2017" (and in a very understated way too...adds to the effect for me).

Thanks again.

Mar 25, 2014 at 11:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Oh, and the last bit of the Thomas I laaarfed...

"So who are we to believe? For a final word, I turned to the greatest climate change scientist of all, Dr David Viner, one-time senior research scientist at the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia, who predicted in 2000 that, within a few years, winter snowfall would become "a very rare and exciting event".

However, he was trapped under a glacier in Stockport, so was unable to comment at the time the Telegraph went to press."

Cheers again.

Mar 25, 2014 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones

@pokerguy: Alarmists might not be beat just yet, but they do seem to be drawing to an inside straight. A hockey stick and a prayer...

Mar 25, 2014 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterjbirks

The latest MetOffice climate BS which needs strangling at birth is the nonsense given an outing in the Shukman piece on the BBC mentioned above by Steve Jones:

Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre ... He points out that a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, and that the most intense downpours seem to have become more frequent over the past 50 years - what the report calls the changing "character" of British rainfall.

The MetOffice never mentions the fact that this might be because, since the invention of radar and its first application to weather in 1955, they can measure rainfall rates with great detail (finer resolution than a network of rain gauges - see over the whole UK.

Mar 26, 2014 at 6:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Some of you might like to have another look at the comments made about this item (as I posted above):

Take a look at the lowest rated ones, it will make you chuckle at the oft-repeated alarmist nonsense that has been voted down.

Ed Davey has also been mentioned on the BBC singing the praises of wind power:

' Wind power is an efficient means of producing energy, he said.

"Offshore wind is producing 80-85% of the time," Mr Davey told the BBC. "We are the leading country in the world for offshore (wind) investment,."

The public is behind wind power, which will "create a huge number of green jobs", he added.'

I make that £300,000 per temporary job created. Also, Mr Ed doesn't mentioned where we get electricity from for the 15-20% of the time that windmills aren't generating a trickle charge. It would appear he either hasn't seen, or more likely his carers won't let him see, this site:

Mar 26, 2014 at 7:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

If we were dealing with real science, and not politicized pseudo science reliant on public subsidies with both scientific and political face involved, the models would be scrapped and scientists would be looking around to attempt to explain the reality.

While many (most?) if the readers of BH might agree with this, including it in anything that you expect to be read by anyone from the RS just flags the whole document as being from an oil-funded anti-science den***. They would probably read no further.

And since it adds nothing to the arguments, including this paragraph could be seen as somewhat reckless.

Mar 26, 2014 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

"where we get electricity from for the 15-20% of the time that windmills aren't generating a trickle charge"

Simple: We need to buy our own back-up generators for that scenario.

Mar 26, 2014 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Well I do declare, fortunate telling forecasting is made simple for all the saps [taxpayers] who are forced to pay their wages [me and you]. Verily, do the alarmist goblins civil servants in the MO have all bases covered, the weather will be; wet, dry, windy, not windy, cold, hot and everything and anything in between - what a bunch of clever dicks they all are - ah, it's money well spent.

What would the politicians do without them? Though, for the rest of us - if the MO permanently shut down this afternoon: I'm not sure anyone would notice.

Mar 26, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Thank you for that lucid critique. It reinforces my belief that we have been sold a false hypothesis (CAGW), a false promise (controlling CO2 will save the planet) and a false solution (wind farms et al).

Unfortunately we have chumps in charge who are, seeminly, incapable of thinking for themselves - namely the current crop of politicians of the three main parties. The political establishment has, as a matter of policy, deliberately delegated both its thinking and its actions to "experts" who now have the nation in an arm lock. On scientific matters that thinking has been delegated to the Royal Society. On the action front look no further than the Environment Agency and the Climate Change Committee as examples of institutionalised delegation, fortified by legislation. These bodies are packed with supporters, often parachuted in by the very politicians who bought into the CAGW religion. Thus Parliament is dominated by group think. It will be extremely difficult to change, though there are some signs that some politicians are trying to do so. In the meantime we waste £billions.

Mar 26, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Latimer Alder
Many years ago I was a test and reliability engineer in Electronic Equipment manufacturing. One of the interesting parts of the job was identifying problems with field failure in LSI and VLSI components which were nff in test. Sometimes this was down to undocumented issues with the components. One of today's major players in the field would never admit that there was a bug in the design, it was always an undocumented feature which frequently became documented in the next issue of the specification. Climate alarmism has a similar feel.

Mar 26, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommentersandyS

The reportage about the new NRC study of effects of the sun, at least in the Huffington Post, say that the effects would only be regional, as they were -- according to the HP, but not reality -- during the Little Ice Age. Since the HP isn't overflowing with scientific talent, I expect this story line came from the climate change community.

We have seen so many reports in the last five years that the LIA was worldwide, not just in Europe, or Europe and Greenland and the Mid Atlantic (Lloyd Kiegwin's totemic 1996 article in Science showing that the Sargasso Sea area was 1 degree C colder than the mid 1990s during the LIA, but 1 degree warmer during the Medieval Warm Period).

But the climate change modeling community wants it both ways. They want to imply that maybe the Sun is responsible for the "pause," at least in part, yet they also want to deny that the sun is important enough to have caused a world wide LIA -- that would call lots of things into question. Very clever, and very Machievellian. But if it could only cause a regional cooling when we went 70 years without sunspots, in the Maunder Minimum in the depth of the LIA, then how could it bear responsibility for the "pause"?

Mar 26, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

dearieme, even if observational fields can't do *controlled* experiments, they still do experiments, going far out of their way to observe nonobvious data related to the theory in question. Nobody can tweak the direction that the continents are moving to see if the results turn out as expected, or rerun the Big Bang with a different fine structure constant. But many of the important checks (on continental drift, evolution by natural selection, and lots of stuff in astronomy and meteorology) are rather subtle experimental measurements --- e.g., measuring patterns of tiny magnetic fields frozen into old rocks, or measuring solar neutrino flux, or systematically sequencing particular types of DNA (e.g. mitochondrial or Y chromosomal) and checking that statistical correlations make sense --- that are performed intentionally as experiments.

Even climate science has done some of this. Not very well, IMNSHO. (Among other things, I agree with Steve McIntyre's complaints about how they avoided doing this in some of the obvious ways, like bringing the tree ring data up to date. And in e.g. ice cores, it is very seriously screwed up to be coy about what observations to release, and to prefer to release cooked results with poorly documented connections to raw primary data.) But off the top of my head there have been some significant improvements in satellite sensing (admittedly sometimes hard to disentangle from what's important for day to day meteorological work) and I dimly remember at least some experimental investigation of the extent to which tropospheric warming actually occurs.

Mar 26, 2014 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Newman

Just to point out the blindingly obvious shortcomings inherent with energy obtained from windmills, that Mr Ed seems to be blind to, have a look here:

Not only is wind currently producing about 14% of installed capacity look what happened between 0900-1000 this morning (26 March). The surge in demand certainly wasn't met by wind but by that evil source...gas.

Mar 26, 2014 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

That Christy graph is designed to deceive. This graph is how it looks before Christy smoothed out the inconvenient peaks and re-baselined the data. Why would he do that?

See also...

Mar 26, 2014 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

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