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« Sokal hypothesis confirmed | Main | Learned societies and Stalinism »

Met Office still brazen

Readers may recall the paper I wrote for GWPF on the problems with the UKCP09 climate projections. These were demonstrably unreliable: the predictions were formulated as a weighted average of possible future climates, but it was discovered that only unrealistic future climates were taken into account. Readers may also recall that this has all been acknowledged by the Met Office, but that they are refusing to acknowledge that it is a problem.

Astonishing then to see that the Met Office is still pushing UKCP09, with a new paper in Nature Climate Change, dutifully (and inevitably) picked up by the BBC:

Scorching summers such as the one in 2003 look set to become more common in England and Wales, a study suggests...

The work draws on a major analysis, known as UKCP09, released back in 2009 which offered projections of the future British climate divided into 30-year periods.

Can anyone think of a way in which this could be seen as:

  • reputable behaviour by the scientists concerned
  • reputable behaviour by the journal involved
  • reputable behaviour by the BBC?

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Reader Comments (76)

Did you need to ask for this one?

Jul 7, 2015 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

What! There's a post at the GWPF saying the Met office are forecasting wetter summers. Oh well an each way bet I guess

Jul 7, 2015 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterColin

Usually this is all resolved by safely esconcing a sentence or two saying "the prediction skills of the models used in this work are outside the scope of it". A sentence that won't be seen by virginal journalistic eyes.

Honesty it ain't. There is something rotten in Model-mark.

Jul 7, 2015 at 10:37 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos
Jul 7, 2015 at 10:37 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

ps the very logic of this work contradicts Betts' Pooh Sticks analogy. Either he didn't know what he was saying, or these people are publishing garbage. Tertium non datur.

Jul 7, 2015 at 10:40 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Hot UK summers - climate change
Cold US winters - weather

Jul 7, 2015 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterClovis Marcus

No, no and no. For all Richard Betts' blather, the Met Office is unscientific and dishonest. It is only interested in the money and pushing the greenblob agenda.

Jul 7, 2015 at 10:55 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Bit about this on the radio this morning, banging on about warmer winters becoming the norm, those of 2009 and 2010 would be rarities etc etc. Reminded me of that other Professor from the School of Tea Leaves and Chicken Entrails, Professor Vines, Viner, something like that, who robustly declared in about 2000 that snow was a thing of the past.....

Jul 7, 2015 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

'Astonishing then to see that the Met Office is still pushing UKCP09, with a new paper in Nature Climate Change, '

not really , Nature Climate Change a journal that only exist to promote CAGW

The Met Office an organisation that despite still failing to produced accurate long and mid term forecast has seen budget increases and its leader honoured of the back of CAGW

And the BBC, an organisation fully committed to 'the cause' long before the infamous '28' meeting

So it is exactly what you would expect .

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr


Despite its age, this never gets old...

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteveW

Why doesn't the MO just issue its PR employees with Sandwich Boards emblazoned with 'The End is Nigh'?

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

@ P Bratby The same could be said of many government departments. And, in response to the warmist scoffing "hahaah the government and the scientists are all in this together are they, keeping it quiet, and sending the bill to the 'little people' eh?" well thats not as daft as one might think. Its certainly happenend in education. You will remember before we had GCSEs we had O levels and CSEs. A CSE was worth half an O level. Somehow, in Lefty-think, CSEs 'disadvantaged' working class kids. So after years of agitation, we got GCSEs instead. This would be 'fairer'. But it turned out that one exam for all didn't really work. Some kids were too thick, or teachers too useless, to manage to pass even these noddy exams. So a Foundation GCSE was introduced, worth half a regular GCSe....back to the start, aren't we? So not only did socialist theory fail in the face of reality yet again (reality: some kids are more stupid than others; socialism: kids perceived stupidity is an oppressive class construct....) BUT NOT ONE MINISTER ever publicly announced this demarche, nor did any teacher rat them out in letters to the press or anywhere else. The only way I found out about it was about 10 years ago when the parents of a daughters friend were told that their kid was being put in for this dimwits exam in one subject.So yes, government and professionals all keeping schtum .. not so unlikely actually.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

George Osborne Public sector cuts all round
Less civil servants less civil servant salaries and pensions.

Slash and burn at the BBC
Slash and Burn at the Met Office

Privatize the Met Office who needs Micheal Fish when you can get your own personal accurate subscription forecast online and then retweeted.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

This suggests that Met Office papers are politically motivated and nothing to do with science.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

UKCP09 is as I understand it - the basis for much official planning.

As I've pointed out here before - official bodies using this unvalidated twaddle are less than keen to disclose their reliance on these projections.

The English Environment Agency are using numbers contrived from UKCP09 to justify the design criteria for the TE2100 project which literally puts these numbers into vast amounts of concrete at considerable public expense..

Sea level rise in the Thames over the next century could be between 20 centimetres and 88 centimetres.


Funny thing is though - that I have yet to have sight of an elusive document - the technical case document for the scope and extents of the proposed works has been AWOL for some 4(?) years leaving us with tidbits like p.28 of this and the assertion that the EA have "enhanced UKCP09"....

The technical design document I refer to is referenced a number of times in assd. EA PDFs and web pages but has *never* made it out into the "wild".

The Marine section is quoted variously as 80cm, 90cm and even 200cm "by 2100 " when the validated studies indicate that the biggest threat is from surges consequent from tides and weather....

Where 100s of millions of £££ are being spent on public works - and the EA won't disclose the numbers used to justify the spend - there can be little doubt that the only thing being protected here - is the Environment Agency...... if there was ever a case for slash and burn......

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:20 AM | Registered Commentertomo

This is all part of a last ditch attempt to save the climate scam from going under at the Dead Parrot Talks in December.

It seems that someone has persuaded the alarmists that for the next few months they are morally obliged to go much further than they have ever gone before in fabricating the data, lying about the "science" and generally creating one enormous propaganda machine of lies.

And it won't work.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:23 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

jamspid: "Slash and burn at the BBC, Slash and Burn at the Met Office"

I saw what was happening to the BBC and chuckled - I can't think of a group more deserving to be cut back, but I hadn't realised the Met Office were getting the same treatment!

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

The Make-it-up-as-you-go-along Office, who are doing their sterling best to keep the tax-payer funded bandwagon rolling all the way from Exeter to the last tango in Paris.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

The Mop and Bucket Office really ought to be honest about the accuracy of their model forecasts. Zero.

This may be due to the accuracy of their models. Zero.

Many years ago, they gave up on issuing Medium Range Weather Forecasts, because accuracy was Zero.

With what level of confidence, should anyone treat any climate forecasts, based on their flawed models, science, data, credibility, political bias and funding aspirations?

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phillip Bratby "the Met Office is unscientific and dishonest".

I agree that many at the Met Office, particularly some of the higher nutters are unscientific and dishonest, but I suspect that as we go down and get to those who actually understand the weather they become more and more sceptical and less and less propagandist alarmist zealots.

Indeed, it is not impossible that some have very much the same view of the climate scam as we do - except, they can't say so in public, because for obvious reasons, people with the scientific ability to understand that the Met Office heads are nutters and the honesty to say so, don't get far in the Met Office.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:31 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

From the abstract:

According to two such projections, UKCIP02 (ref. 4) and UKCP09 (ref. 6), the UK will experience ‘hotter drier summers and warmer wetter winters in the future. This message is about a typical rather than any individual future season, and these projections should not be compared directly to observed weather as this neglects the sizeable contribution from year-to-year climate variability.

In other words, it will get hotter on average but too gradually to be noticed (except by experts) and not enough to change the weather.

This is close to being a lukewarm paper.

Shame it's in Nature Climate Change and therefore not deemed fit for proper peer review.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

MikeHaseler, the problem is that repeats of previous alarms and reports of "scientific" press releases which are straight making stuff up is probably much cheaper. I don't expect the cuts at the BBC to make any serious impacts on their global warming agenda, especially as this seems to be one of the core beliefs at the BBC.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

NCC 1701E said:

Why doesn't the MO just issue its PR employees with Sandwich Boards emblazoned with 'The End is Nigh'?

The public would see through that. I get the impression the press releases work on the basis of 'recent interesting weather taken to an extreme'.

If spring is early spring will get earlier (but if spring is late we commence hand waving). If winter turns cold and snowy we'll get more snow and cold snaps. If winter turns mild future winters will all be mild (and we won't know what snow is). A few weeks of persistent downpours becomes a wetter, flooded future. etc.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Another result of modern educational practice is the most people don't know when to use 'fewer' and NOT to use 'less'.


Jul 7, 2015 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Sydney

MikeHaseler, if weather forecasters ould extend the accuracy of 5 Day forecasts out to a whole week, maybe 2, that would be brilliant.

In the meantime, their climate science boffins and upper management really ought to be suffering the Norwegian Blues, with the Dead Parrot talks heralding a deep depression.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

MikeHaeler: That is why I said it was the Met office that was unscientific, not individual scientists at the coal-face. I'm sure there are some of them who are afraid to contradict their bosses in order to keep their careers on track.

The BBC are just enviro-nuts who think that using an unvalidated computer model is doing research.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

While I am on the same off-topic subject (the distinction between 'less' and 'few/fewer') I usually explain it thuswise:

'Consider a bowl of sugar lumps. One lump is removed. The result is that the bowl contains fewer lumps and, it is equally true to say, less sugar.'

Off topic but forever relevant.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Sydney

From the BBC site:

'And devastating rains such as in Britain's worst winter in 2013-14 may be less likely in the decades ahead.'

That would be the rains that all and sundry were blaming on 'climate change', then?

It rains, it doesn't - 'climate change'.
It's wet, it's dry - 'climate change'.
It's hot, it's cold - 'climate change'.
You name it - whatever it is or isn't, it's 'climate change'.

It has become a parody of its own certainty and is now the most complete and utter bo!!ocks imaginable.

Jul 7, 2015 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Joseph Sydney, so would it be correct to say that the Met Office with fewer staff could make more accurate weather forecasts, if less of the remainder were wasting less taxpayer funding on climate forecasts?

I prefer my coffee with 2 spoons of sugar, but only ever use one spoon, and don't like the taste of spoons anyway.

Jul 7, 2015 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Off topic but forever relevant."

But much fewer interesting than you imagine.

Can the Met Office tell me when I will no longer need the central heating to be running? Also, was there an unexpected eclipse today? It has been v dark this morning

Jul 7, 2015 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterVictoria Sponge

chesirered: Absolutely. A few years back someone (here I think) came up with a term which I use all the time: "Climate Bollocks".

Jul 7, 2015 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

The BBC and the Met Office take out the two biggest cheerleaders for Climate Change and they are getting burned by the Internet

Who needs Micheal Fish when you can read the Weather forecast for free on Twitter.
Who needs the BBC when there,s Netflix and now Netflix has got Clarkson.

PS and Euro Sport has got the Olympics.

Jul 7, 2015 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Wasn't there a Winter forecast made for one of the recent cold Winters that went 33% prob cold, 33% prob normal and 34% prob warm, which considering the amount of effort (well you have to assume some effort) and money it cost was as much use as a fart in a space suit and alternatively easily achievable with a few coin tosses. And they still spun it after the event as a good forecast.

So what exactly are we paying for, mainly it seems to be an amplifier for Green propaganda.

Jul 7, 2015 at 12:53 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Jimmy - I think that was me. I will claim it anyway, in the absence of any prior claim.

Regards from the strath, (where apart from one week in April and 1 day in July, we have had a non-existent spring and cold summer). It was 13C the other day, at lunchtime. I had to put the air conditioning on in the car to get warm, in JULY, ffs. I checked and it was 17C in Nuuk.

Jul 7, 2015 at 12:56 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Cheshirered, remember it was all due to global warming, until it was realised the globe was not warming, so it was renamed climate change in the hope no one would notice.

By doubling the height and width of a barn door, you quadruple the size of the target to be hit with a blunderbuss. Precision and accuracy are no longer required at all.

Whole squadrons of flying pigs are fed and ready for take off, from the Met Office at the merest hint of a drop in taxpayer funding

Jul 7, 2015 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Paul Homewood (and Booker) have last week's 'hottest (July) day evah!' nicely summarised here.

IIRC, the MO wouldn't give PH the temperature data (they wanted money) for the station, presumably because it was from one instrument enjoying a hair-dryer moment from a passing Jumbo...

Paul's final remark is depressingly accurate:
"There was a time when the UK Met Office led the world in meteorological science. Sadly, the current bunch of well rewarded apparatchiks have destroyed that legacy."

Jul 7, 2015 at 1:18 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Just heard that M&S are reporting poor clothing sales, and blame the cold weather in May. I don't recall the Met Office getting BBC and Guardian headlines about May's colder than normal weather.

The rag trade and rogue traders always need good excuses, and if the Met Office are neither, they will stick with economising with the truth, rather than climate science.

Jul 7, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


There are two occasions in the summer when warm weather can be relied upon: the exam period and the arrival in the shops of autumn/winter fashions. Mrs P is already ordering summer sale stuff that is being sold off to make room for the latter...

Jul 7, 2015 at 2:27 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

We're all going to die, and ready cremated.......:o)

Jul 7, 2015 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

@ Breath of Fresh Air: Yes it was the last cold one, 2010? in which the Wet Office claimed they had accurately predicted the cold snap, although I believe the figures were simpler, such as 30% warmer, 30% normal, 40% colder, thus the overwhelmingly accurate claim for correctly forecasting the cold weather! More by luck than judement if you ask me. I suppose they have finally succumbed to the scattergun technique, whereby one predicts enough variety in the forecasts one can always claim a degree of accuracy in one's prediction! If you have three options to predict, statistically, one of them will be right!

Jul 7, 2015 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

jamesp - TChannon has also had a look at the MO's dubious Heathrow record for July:

Is this FUBAR? Heathrow “record” temperature

Jul 7, 2015 at 2:45 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

jamesp, in a recent survey, 8 out of 10 cats said they preferred Met Office records and forecasts, as they smelled more fishy.

Jul 7, 2015 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@ Jul 7, 2015 at 11:59 AM | Joseph Sydney

So you've 'lowered' the sugar lumps.

(pet hate of mine)

Jul 7, 2015 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterClovis Marcus

If you laid all the Met Office's climate scientists end to end, they would all point in the same direction.

Jul 7, 2015 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The chances are, that, 99% of all the output from the department of prognostication and climate rumour mongering will be the usual - statistical hogwash and which in all cases, should be swallowed with a large quantity of Irish - because sober analysis reduces sane men and women into fits of howling giggles and makes you scream with mocking laughter.

Jul 7, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

A plea for assistance! I am dealing with my acquaintance on FB regarding the article concerned, & he has repeated the Wet office's claim that winter of 2013/14 was the wettest evaaa in the UK. When the WO made this claim at the time, there was a rainfall chart dating back to the beginning of the last century, showing monthly rainfal figures, in which it was clearly seen that the winter of 1929/1930 was in fact the wettest on monthly. two monthly, & three monthly scales. I have so far been unable to find it. Can anyone of BH readers kindly point me in the right direction, much appreciated.

Jul 7, 2015 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit


Thanks for the link. One of the comments led to this, where the MO are trying to deflect attention to other sites where there were ‘record’ temperatures. Funny they didn’t mention those at the time...


Jul 7, 2015 at 3:09 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Nature Climate Change editors:

Chief Editor: Rory Howlett, three years as Media and Communications Officer at the UK National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.

Senior Editor: Monica Contestabile, quantitative economist by training, with a PhD in environmental economics, worked with WWF-UK developing research on sustainable consumption.

Senior Editor: Bronwyn Wake, chemical oceanographer, with a PhD in trace element biogeochemistry and first class Honours in Antarctic Studies from the University of Tasmania, Australia. Prior to joining Nature Climate Change, Bronwyn was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southampton.

Associate Editor: Alastair Brown, Prior to Nature Climate Change, was with the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) at the University of Oxford.

Editorial Advisory Panel in Social Science and Policy, notable here are Suraje Dessai at Leeds University School of Earth and Environment,, which is also tied in with Stern at LSE (Grantham) via ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, He gained his PhD in Environmental Science at UEA.

Also noteworthy is Diana Liverman, former head of Environmental Change Institute at Oxford,, now co-director of the Environment Institute at Arizona University, where Crispin Tickell has been an "Adviser At Large to the President of Arizona State University" since 2002, and is a member of the Advisory Council for Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford.

She was a student of Stephen Schneider at NCAR and now proclaims herself as a "Senior Fellow of the Center for American Progress". This operation is part funded by George Soros and was set up by John Podesta, adviser to Barack Obama. It is the parent organisation to Joe Romm's Climate Progress.

She is also a global governance protagonist, as a one-time steering committee member of the Earth System Governance Project, a core initiative of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change. A very political scientist, also IPCC.

"Earth system governance is defined in this project as the interrelated and increasingly integrated system of formal and informal rules, rule-making systems, and actor-networks at all levels of human society (from local to global) that are set up to steer societies towards preventing, mitigating, and adapting to global and local environmental change and, in particular, earth system transformation, within the normative context of sustainable development."

Bringing up the rear is Malte Meinshausen, now running a Potsdam satellite group at Melbourne University, former WWF and Greenpeace, former student/colleague of Myles Allen at Oxford, lead author and co-author of papers on the "Trillionth Tonne" carbon budget meme, "leave it in the ground" etc. Also IPCC

Jul 7, 2015 at 3:11 PM | Registered Commenterdennisa

I can not conceive of anything more utterly pointless than attempting to prove that one climate model is less accurate than another, that is what his grace's GWPF paper attempts to do.

Jul 7, 2015 at 3:36 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Come on. Did you really think that the Muppet Office would do anything else?

Preservation of a gravy train does not care about real science!

Jul 7, 2015 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered Commentercharmingquark

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