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Discussion > Questions for the UKMO

Mar 25, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Richard Betts

and it's true that you can take the numbers and put them in a ranked order, even if that doesn't particularly mean very much.

However, on 3 April 2012, Bob Ward tweeted:

Met Office: last month was third warmest in UK since records began in 1910: [url]

What the gentleman forgot to mention in his tweet is that, from that dataset, January 2012 was 10th warmest since 1910, February 2012 was 17th warmest since 1910 and the "winter" was 16th warmest since 1910. I am sure a gentleman as clever as Bob could have given the full story within 140 characters, but that would not have excited his followers, would it?

As we can see from Bob's pathetic tweet, ranking of the numbers can lead not only to "not meaning very much" but also to encourage cherry-picking to generate alarmist tweeting.

If as you say, ranking the numbers "doesn't particularly mean very much" why does the Met Office bother to produce and publish that data set?

Unless of course, it is part of Met Office policy to give warmists some stuff (albeit meaningless) that they can use to back up their alarmist agenda?

Moreover, as far as I can see, there is no caveat on that Met Office page about the "uncertainties" or even a warning that "these rankings do not particularly mean very much".

If you have the time, perhaps you could could have a word with the author of the data set and ask him to, er, mention, in big letters, that there are many uncertainties and that the rankings do not mean very much.

Thank you.

Apr 16, 2012 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

"Impacts on the UK energy industry" (Last Updated: 7 April 2011)

"Using our climate models to assess future temperature increases, we looked at how this could effect all aspects of the energy industry. This included factoring in issues such as the affect of heat on the efficiency of thermal power stations. We also studied the potential changes in demand as our seasons are altered under climate change — such as an expected shift in peak power demand to the summer as people rely more on air conditioning."

Simple question, who at the Met Office actually believes that the following statement is true?

" - such as an expected shift in peak power demand to the summer as people rely more on air conditioning."

Please post it on the MO internal email and carry out a poll the results should be interesting.

Apr 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

The Verified Emissions Data (CED) released by European authorities showed a 2.4 per cent drop in emissions in 2011, nearly twice the fall expected by analysts. A variety of explanations was given, including unusually warm weather and the economic downturn, but what surprised some analysts was the 3.1 per cent fall in emissions from the power sector when a 1.6 per cent increase had been anticipated, particularly after the closure of nuclear power stations in Germany.

In fact, German emissions fell 1 per cent overall, and emissions from its power sector were down 1.9 per cent. Fossil fuel generation in France slumped 11 per cent. Analysts said because France had completed only 25 per cent of its data, the fall could be greater.

When is a free market solution *not* the answer? When it isn’t free.

Quite a good answer to your question Greensand! Perhaps the only one we will obtain.

Apr 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Hi Lord B, many thanks for the link, will have a read, re the following:-

“In fact, German emissions fell 1 per cent overall, and emissions from its power sector were down 1.9 per cent.”

I wonder:-

Whilst in the UK:-

Apr 18, 2012 at 4:30 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

I am confused! Not an unusual occurance but I am sure I saw an interesting comment here from Brownedoff that was quite relevant?

Where has it gone? If it breached rules I would appreciate knowing why, just to make sure I do not digress

Apr 20, 2012 at 1:05 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

I've no idea why it's been removed.

Apr 20, 2012 at 1:23 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Apr 20, 2012 at 1:05 AM | Green Sand
Apr 20, 2012 at 1:23 AM | Lord Beaverbrook

Thank you for your interest.

Having created the post, I began to wonder about the word "plonker".

Having seen some of the definitions after Googling, I decided that it could be seen as a very naughty word indeed and I requested that the comment be removed.

However, I just wish that people who do not have the first idea about thermal power stations would just mind their own business.

I read somewhere that there was a questionaire in the USA about household electricity supply and where it came from, and a large majority expressed the view that it came out of the wall.

It seems to me that this is a widely held view.

Apr 20, 2012 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

Thanks Brownedoff, I fully understand and may I say well done, It is very important to be "happy in your own skin". There have been times when I have looked back at my comments, winced and resolved to be more careful with my choice of words in the future.

Though I must add I did not think there was too much wrong with your post.

Apr 20, 2012 at 9:56 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand


Could you or one of your colleagues tell me if it is possible for a Morning Glory cloud formation to form across the UK, because after searching a huge amount of pictures and video on the internet that is the closest approximation that I can find to the cloud I saw across the Midlands yesterday evening, but I get the impression that they only form in tropical zones.

May 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Hi Dr Betts, know you are busy but I have just tripped over the following comment at WUWT and would appreciate your comments:-

“tonyb says:
May 17, 2012 at 12:53 am


You read it here first, but I suspect that in AR5 Trenberths missing heat in the abyssal depths will be taken as established fact. Why do I think that?
I was an ‘expert reviewer’ on the Ar5 draft.
In the chapter on sea levels and temperatures was a piece saying that research showed this abyssal warming was well established.

When I asked for this piece of research the IPCC told me I needed a citation from the draft and they would supply it. After a lot of toing and froing over what was only an assertion but not a citation (with a reference number) they said that without a citation they couldn’t supply the established research. But as it was merely an assertion without a citation I couldnt of course give the citation and correponding reference number….This went on for a month. So expect to see this abyssal warming as an established fact.


Is the section in bold (my bold) possibly a true statement? I don’t mean did it actually happen but rather is it possible within the AR5 struture?

Secondly do the Met Office GCMs include “heat in the abyssal depths”? If so what is the derivation of the input data? Is it based on observational data or on modelled energy/heat balance?


May 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Hi Green Sand

Yes, I can see how such a response would arise - if the author has not provided a citation then there is nothing that can be provided by the Technical Support Unit (TSU) to the reviewer. The reviewer should therefore comment that the assertion in question needs to be backed up with one or more appropriate citation. If the reviewer disagrees with the assertion then they should say so, and give an appropriate citation in support of their disagreement. Either way, the Review Editor should check that there is an appropriate response in the second order draft. Assuming the authors provide a citation in the Second Order Draft, the reviewer can then ask for it.

On heat in the deep ocean - yes this happens in the models, as a consequence of the simulation of thermodynamics and ocean circulation. It's not really my area, but the change/variability in heat content below 700m seems to be important, and down to about 2000m the models are reasonably well-constrained by observations from ARGO. Sparse observations below 4000m suggest that the very depths may also be important - see this paper for more discussion.



May 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

May 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM | Lord Beaverbrook

Only just noticed your very interesting question - sorry for the delay!

I think Morning Glory clouds are unusual in the UK, but I don't think it's impossible. I'll ask whether anyone else reported one on May 10th. Did you take a photograph? Our library would probably be quite interested, especially if it was a good one.



May 19, 2012 at 12:07 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts


Not a good representation of the enormity of the cloud, too close by the time I stopped, but there are three videos here from my iphone, so not high quality but a record none the less.

May 19, 2012 at 7:21 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Lord Beaverbrook

Thanks, that's great! Very impressive cloud, and the third video is useful in showing its movement. Was there a hill upwind by any chance?

May 19, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts


Locally I would not say that the lay of the land was hilly, A50 Midlands area is quite flat, obviously the Peaks are in the North of the area. The size of the cloud though from the high point of the Toyota island, A50-A38 junction, was from horizon to horizon moving roughly South West to North East, Birmingham to Nottingham, absolutely huge and roll shaped. I now wish that I had got some video from that vantage point, next time maybe.

May 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

May 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM Richard Betts

Many thanks for the explanation and for the link to Palmer et aL.:"IMPORTANCE OF DEEP OCEAN...". Will have a read.


May 19, 2012 at 4:12 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Why is the MO no longer an honest broker?

For years I have defended the integrity of the establishment and decried those that have called foul. However I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that my loyalty was sadly misguided.

My association with the MO began with my father teaching me how to "read" the weather by following the Shipping Forecast around the UK and now I find myself back there as the Shipping Forecast, updated 4 times a day, is the only information the MO produces that has not yet been contaminated. Or am I misguided in that view as well?

Jan 1, 2013 at 11:01 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

At a time when the MO is under attack for changing past forecasts amongst other things, is it too much to expect Mr Betts to come and help us understand?

Jan 1, 2013 at 1:22 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The trouble is that when you get to a "forecast" which is updated 4 times a day, the amount of actual fore in the cast is minimal.

A surprising amount of so called weather forecasts are in fact "nowcasts", which information is not actually useful in most cases.

This leads on to the issue of the forecasts being the test for the climate model which supposedly verifies them - but which forecast? 24 hr, 48 hr, further out? As they rarely agree to any realistic degree, it can't be all of them.

I regularly listen to the inshore waters forecast in the summer and it is practically useless for planning in western Scottish waters - the 48 hr forecast almost never matches the 24 hr one 24 hours later. The actual predictions are so vague anyway that it's remarkable that they can still be wrong. "Winds force 4 - 7" isn't any use, and as they claim accuracy if the outcome is within +/- 1 BF, it could be anything from 3 (virtually nothing) to 8 (severe storm) and UKMO would claim "Accurate forecast".

Jan 2, 2013 at 2:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterNW


Have your models yet taken into account the measured and indisputable data from the NASA Lunar Diviner instrument which shows the average temperature of the Moon to be 197K.

The Earth's underlying temperature, without he effect of atmosphere, would of course, because of virtually identical regolith and insolation, be virtually the same at 197K instead of the 255K theoretically estimated.

This of course means that the effect of atmosphere on global temperature would be to raise it by 91K to the present 288K, not the 33K the IPCC refers to.

How can that be due to GHE alone and how can the models accurately estimate the temperature rise for an increase of CO2 when the basic assumptions are shown by measurement - not hypothesis - to be so far out.

And if the models have not been calibrated to allow for this revised Lunar/Earth temperature then why not please?

Jan 2, 2013 at 6:17 AM | Registered CommenterRKS


You recently made the somewhat surprising statement here at BH that the flatlining for the past 15 years was 'just within' the model forecasts, although scientists at NOAA seemed to think that a flatlining for 16 years meant the models were wrong.

Can you please tell us what the error margins were for this period [before being re-written] in terms of minimum and maximum expected temperature rise, and when these forecasts were made.

Jan 2, 2013 at 6:31 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

Just for reference if anybody needs them.

Jan 2, 2013 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Well done LB, many thanks for compiling, saved me a job.

Have taken the liberty of saving your page for future reference, had a problem deciding an apt file name, eventually saved under the heading “Met Office Graffiti”

graffiti plural of graf•fi•ti
Writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place.

Jan 2, 2013 at 3:41 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand


Like it, just remember I may add fresh posts to the page but you will only need to scroll through to find what you need.

Jan 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook


Is this why there was obvious discrepencies between modeled and observable temperatures?

The global-mean cooling in the middle stratosphere, around 25–45 km in altitude, is nearly twice as large in the NOAA data set as it is in the Met Office data set (see the figure) The differences between the NOAA and Met Office global-mean time series do not occur in a single discrete period of time, but begin around 1985 to increase until the end of the record. According to the Nature article: “The differences between the NOAA and Met Office global-mean time series shown in Fig. 1 are so large they call into question our fundamental understanding of observed temperature trends in the middle and upper stratosphere.”

Jan 17, 2013 at 6:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook