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Discussion > Trouble At T'Jewel in the Crown

Richard - thanks. Your remarks read and noted.

May 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Richard Betts,

Hi Richard if you have a few minutes can you please help resolve the following?

Either I am confused or just plain getting it wrong?

In the Feb HadCRUT4 numbers Jan 2013 was +0.432C made up from CRUTEM4 at +0.891C and HadSST3 at +0.292C.

Now in the Mar HadCRUT4 numbers Jan 2013 is down to +0.378C made up from an increased CRUTEM4 at +1.182C and HadSST3 still at +0.292C.

So as HadSST3 remains the same I am puzzled as to how an increase of +0.291C in CRUTEM4 can result in a decrease of -0.054C in HadCRUT4?

Any idea where I am going wrong?

PS I am aware of "Update: CRUTEM4 has been updated to version CRUTEM." but cannot see how that resolves the above, there are other such "anomalies"

May 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Richard - your statement that clients with a 'vested interest in the belief of climate change' come to the Met Office for evidence to perpetuate their case truely IS turkeys voting for Christmas. Personally I do not consider that to be, in any possible way, evidence that the Met Office are acting in an honourable way.

May 10, 2013 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

Green Sand

Thanks for pointing this out. I spoke to John Kennedy earlier about it, and he and Colin Morice are looking into it.


I'd be interested to hear why you think mining and oil companies have a "vested interest in the belief of climate change".

May 11, 2013 at 12:05 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

May 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM | Richard Betts

Incidentally, My Climate and Me is not "propaganda". They also did an article on rainforests may be more resilient to global warming than previously thought. Interestingly, that didn't receive any comments at all.

I don't think anyone has declared that "My Climate and Me is "propaganda", Richard. However, what many have observed is that it promotes headlines which are tantamount to "propaganda". Or is there some other word you would choose to describe the March 12, 2013 headline / post title:


above an ever-changing text that contains no link to the "analysis" - or to that which shows that this "analysis" does not support the headline? Not to mention the sounds of deafening silence, rather than responses to the questions that were posed in the comments, as the "text" of this post ... uh ... evolved?

May 11, 2013 at 6:11 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Er, Hilary, in the first posting on this thread, I said

"One symptom of this discord is the Met Office's recent "My Climate and Me" website - apparently aimed at impressionable young people and putting across the AGW message. Presenting itself as explaining science but really pure warmist propaganda."

When I saw Richard Betts's statement in his 10:13 AM comment, I looked up the C.O.D. definition of "propaganda". It's pretty much what I had in mind when I made the comment:
an organized programme of publicity, selected information, etc., used to propagate a doctrine, practice, etc.

If you watch the My Climate and Me videos by Kate Willetts I don't see how you could conclude it is anything other than an organised programme of selected information intended to propagate the Met Office doctrine of AGW.

So from my perspective, the term is appropriate. But I can see that, from the perspective of the Met Office, who have a firm belief in the objectivity of their science, the term would appear pejorative.

May 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Richard Betts

Thanks Richard, appreciated

May 11, 2013 at 2:58 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

May 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Martin A

Mea culpa, Martin. Indeed you did as (I now notice) have others.

If you watch the My Climate and Me videos by Kate Willetts I don't see how you could conclude it is anything other than an organised programme of selected information intended to propagate the Met Office doctrine of AGW.

Perhaps that's my mistake, then. I didn't watch the videos. The amateurishness of the site - not to mention the almost robotic "please reduce your question to 140 (?) characters" responses - led me to conclude that there were better things I could spend my time on. Such as wondering (as I have noted elsewhere) why:

- they chose to post without examining the so-called “science” on which the [Marcott et al] press release was based

- they have chosen to leave this clearly alarmist “headline” intact, some six weeks almost two months after it was firmly established that it is not supported by the underlying paper

In short, why is this “jewel in the crown, of British science and global science” participating in the passive perpetuation of the “over-selling” of an ‘apparently unsupported claim’ of “unprecedented rates of warming”?

My questions remain unanswered. Of course, I could <gasp> speculate. But evidently, that's not allowed. Unless the speculation happens to be that of a climate scientist.

So from my perspective, the term is appropriate. But I can see that, from the perspective of the Met Office, who have a firm belief in the objectivity of their science, the term would appear pejorative.

Now that I think about it ... perhaps in this instance, the term is both "appropriate" and "pejorative". And, with each passing day, increasingly deservedly so!

May 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Hilary, "In short, why is this “jewel in the crown, of British science and global science” participating in the passive perpetuation of the “over-selling” of an ‘apparently unsupported claim’ of “unprecedented rates of warming”?

Actually it has been answered, it was answered by Richard Betts, it's Big Science in action, and it's why the climate science community remain silent about one climate science scandal after another. Money.

"So, it does not receive direct funding in the same way as government departments. All government funding is essentially a subcontract from other departments, and increasingly there are new sources of revenue such as commercial contracts with the private sector, which are competed for against other organisations (including commercial consultancies). This includes a growing areas of climate consultancy and climate services (ie: advice on climate variability and climate change sold to other organisations and businesses who see a business benefit in being able to make informed decisions on aspects of their operations which are sensitive to climate. "

All those consultancies on adaption/mitigation of climate change would disappear, so no one has an interest in closing down the scares. Outside the hallowed halls of climate science this would be seen as a conflict of interest.

May 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

JOHNNY ZERO - Met Office Hero?

Barry Woods (May 3, 2013 at 1:51 PM) posted:

Totally Met Office

Rob Hutt
Creative Facilitator & Innovation Consultant at Met Office
Exeter, United Kingdom | Environmental Services

Current:My Climate & Me Creative Director and Johnny Zero Executive Producer at Met Office, Creative Facilitator & Consultant at Met Office, Busi...

This got me curious. Who/what is the Met Office's Johnny Zero? It sounded very creepy to me (see below). However, I surmise that it is a project that the Met Office has now dropped, in view of its "we just do science" position.


Rob Hutt is the Met Office's "My Climate & Me Creative Director".

According to his LinkedIn page pointed to by Barry Woods, he was also "Johnny Zero Executive Producer". (That mention has recently very disappeared. I kept a screen shot of what Google yielded.) Here is the entry from Rob's previous Linkedin page:

"Johnny Zero:
A project designed to use the animated character Johnny Zero and his friends to help engage and educate children at key stage 2 level (7-11) on the subject of climate science."

[ From (The Johnny Zero mention has disappeared in the last day or two) ]

From a conference on "communicating uncertainty: climate change and risk":

"Additionally, Paul (Paul van der Linden, Met Office Hadley Centre) indicated that the Met Office is now making a more concerted effort to attend to the difficult issue of climate change communication. In particular, they are developing a new project that will introduce a cartoon character called "Johnny Zero", who will be used to encourage lower energy consumption etc."
[ From AHRC Science in Culture Exploratory Award Workshop 2 – 12th June 2012 ]

The Met Office was sufficiently serious about Johnny Zero to register a domain name:
"Domain name:
Registrant Contact:
Met Office
Helen Ticehurst ()
FitzRoy Road, Exeter
Devon, EX1 3PB

[From ]

As I said, my guess is that it's no longer a live project. If anyone has any information to the contrary, it would be interesting to know how Johnny Zero is progressing.

May 13, 2013 at 9:45 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Looks like johnny zero has been torpedoed by Michael Gove's decision to cut the green propoganda for school children. My guess is they were preparing to sell these cartoons to schools for the planned indoctrination programmes. It's all about money.

May 14, 2013 at 6:50 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I wonder if Gove has also torpedoed 'my climate and me'? This from a DM article about his recent attention to grammar:

youngsters will need to know parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and prepositions, plus appropriate use of tenses and ‘I’ and ‘me’.

May 14, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

jamesp - I have no idea whether the title "my climate and me" was intentionally chosen to be grammatically wrong and thus suitably "dumbed down" (= condescending) for its intended youthful audience or whether the grammatically correct usage, as the object of a sentence, really was intended.

If the latter, it's beyond me to come up with an example that makes any sense.

May 15, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Is this sinister Johnny Zero initiative part of the legacy of Robert Napier at the Met Office? I would like to know what he did there, and I wonder if we shall ever find out.

Anyway, well done Barry Woods and Martin A for keeping an eye on this. The domain name registration expires in December this year, and hopefully that will be the end of it.

Although if it had gone ahead, it would have provided more evidence of the degeneration of the Met Office from being a provider of weather forecasts into being an arm of state propaganda. Why else would someone like Robert Napier have been attracted to it?

May 15, 2013 at 11:54 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

I must check if the Met Office owns ""

May 15, 2013 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

TBYJ: lol.

May 15, 2013 at 12:27 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Why else would someone like Robert Napier have been attracted to it?
May 15, 2013 at 11:54 AM John Shade


I think you got the question the wrong way round. It should be "Why else would it have recruited someone like Robert Napier?"

The answer is that he was put in place to continue the task of transforming the Met Office from being a weather forecasting bureau into, as you rightly say, an arm of state propaganda. The task that had been started by Houghton.

The monument to his success in this endeavour is the Climate Change Act.

Richard Betts, in an earlier comment, said 'Incidentally, My Climate and Me is not "propaganda" '.

Today, they have a posting which gives a link to a Time page, on which I noticed stuff like:

“For a long time now, Earth has been running a fever. Never mind the few remaining climate-change deniers — really, never mind them; the world has at last moved on — it’s getting awfully toasty down here.


More important than those statistics are our everyday experiences — the droughts and wildfires searing the American West, the succession of 90-degree days in U.S. cities that once enjoyed less-punishing summers, the steadily rising sea levels inundating coasts and swallowing islands. The planet is sweating, and we feel it every day.”

Science? Or propaganda?

May 15, 2013 at 2:31 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

It's no surprise that the MO is getting increasing income from consultancy etc. No organisation can do anything these days without first showing that they have spent a lot of money on "green" reports and studies into whatever it is they want to do. An application which demonstrates that large sums have gone to UKMO is bound to impress officials.

May 15, 2013 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Re the MO and consulting....
"If you are not part of the solution, there's money to be made in consulting"

May 15, 2013 at 5:28 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

May 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Green Sand

Hi Green Sand,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. When we moved to the new version of CRUTEM, the station data for January 2013 was only partially filled. We've fixed the problem now.

The January 2013 anomalies for the three data sets are now:
HadSST3 0.292 (unchanged)
CRUTEM4 0.935 (up slightly from the value published in February)
HadCRUT4 0.450 (up slightly from the value published in February)

Thanks again,


Jun 6, 2013 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Kennedy

Jun 6, 2013 at 3:50 PM | John Kennedy

Hi John many thanks for getting back on this. I understand that there could have been issues with the move to the new version of CRUTEM, been there, done that, have the scars.

I understand how this would affect the CRUTEM numbers but my puzzle was, and still is, the effect the CRUTEM numbers had on HadCRUT4.

Below is a comment on I directed to Richard Betts on a different thread, if you get chance (I know time is always in short supply) I would appreciate your comments:-

Richard Betts, if you get a few minutes could you please take a look at the following?

Previously on this thread I posted the notation on the HadCRUT4 page regarding Jan 13 data.

I am puzzled by the explanation; the original issue was with how the CRUTEM4 numbers affected the HadCRUT4 calculations. Not with the CRUTEM4 numbers themselves.

HadCRUT4.1.0.0 Jan 13 was +0.432C made up from CRUTEM4 at +0.891C and HadSST3 at +0.292C.

HadCRUT4.2.0.0 Jan 13 was +0.378C made up from CRUTEM4 at +1.182C and HadSST3 at +0.292C.

So with HadSST3 remaining the same, the puzzle was how an increase of +0.291C in CRUTEM4 could result in a decrease of -0.054C in HadCRUT4?

There may well have been a problem with CRUTEM4 data but I am at a loss to see how that could be responsible for the above?

The "new" "corrected" set of numbers for Jan 13 referred to in the MO notation are now:-

HadCRUT4.2.0.0 Jan 2013 is +0.450C made up from CRUTEM4 at +0.935C and HadSST3 at +0.292C.

Still puzzled, could you please ask somebody to explain where I am going wrong?



Jun 6, 2013 at 9:55 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Hi Green Sand,

As a very rough approximation, you can think of HadCRUT as a weighted combination of CRUTEM and HadSST. What happened during the update was that a large amount of land data for January 2013 didn't get read in, effectively reducing the weight of CRUTEM in the mix. As the amount of land data falls, the weighted average tends towards that of HadSST. In the extreme case of "no land data", HadCRUT would be the same as HadSST. In January 2013, the HadSST average was lower than the CRUTEM average, so even though the CRUTEM average increased, the drop off in station data meant that it got a much smaller weight in the HadCRUT global average. The latter effect won out, so the average fell. When we fixed the bug and read in the full complement of data, the average went back up and behaved more like you would expect.

The blending of HadSST and CRUTEM to give HadCRUT isn't quite that simple, but I think this is the effect you spotted.


Jun 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Kennedy

Hi John

Thanks, that makes sense! But prompts a few other questions, would appreciate your comments.

I quite understand:-

The blending of HadSST and CRUTEM to give HadCRUT isn't quite that simple

Taking out the "rogue" Jan 13 issue, could you please give an estimate of the sort of movement that happens on a monthly basis? I take it there has to be a threshold?

Am I right in thinking that in an ideal world we would get 2x 100% of stations reporting (full grids)? 100% land and 100% SST and then the weighting would be "geographical" global ratio of land to ocean approx 29 to 71?

Roughly by how much, on a regular basis, can this ratio/weighting be affected by station drop out (empty grids)? Is it more likely to affect the land or SST reporting?


Many thanks for your replies


Jun 10, 2013 at 5:17 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

On May 12, I had asked [re MyClimateAndMe's ever-changing post on Marcott et al]:

why is this “jewel in the crown, of British science and global science” participating in the passive perpetuation of the “over-selling” of an ‘apparently unsupported claim’ of “unprecedented rates of warming”?

I never did see any answers to my questions from this "jewel in the crown"; however, it seems that sometime between May 12 and today the powers that be at MyClimateAndMe decided to (finally!) remove the misleading post title. It has been replaced with "Article Removed" - which they continue to praise with faint damnation by citing from the FAQ and noting that:

In the light of this statement from the authors, we no longer consider our headline to be appropriate.

If someone from the Met Office happens to be reading this, perhaps you could advise when the latest incarnation of this MC&M post made its entrance into the blogosphere; then I can update my own post accordingly.

Thanks :-)

Btw, the reason I happened to stumble across this change, is that earlier today Richard Betts had retweeted a "birth announcement" of a FaceBook page, called "Cheeky Climate". YMMV, but I've never known Richard Betts to tweet or retweet any positive highlights from the skeptical side of the fence. So I hazarded a guess that this was more likely to be in keeping with the school of thought at the Met Office.

In light of the apparently "stillborn" Johnny Zero, I was wondering if this might have been another of Rob Hutt's brilliant outreach and communication ideas; so I went to MC&M in search of an announcement. Didn't see one so, I thought I'd check out the latest on what is now "Article Removed".

But I digress ... back to the birth of "Cheeky Climate" ...

The about section indicates no "real" person behind the page but that whoever is responsible joined FaceBook on June 7. This section also tells us that:

Climate Change memes - A fresh and fun take on our global climate change problem. Tweet your own to @CheekyClimate, send them to our facebook or email us at CheekyClimate [at]! ;)

Interestingly one of the first posts (if not the first) on the timeline, above a pic of a Polar Bear, languishing in a pool of water, with one paw cutely covering one eye while the other is closed (and captioned "Climate change ... I can't bear it"), reads:

"However, since the early 1900s, our climate has changed rapidly due to persistent man-made changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use"-

Now, how "fresh and fun" is that for a take, eh?! Any connection to the Met Office? Nah ... must just be coincidence, right?!

Jun 11, 2013 at 7:05 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Fresh and creepy.

I can't believe even the Met Office advocates this sort of stuff.

Jun 11, 2013 at 8:14 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A