Posts Tagged ‘Met Office’

UK maintains a stiff upper lip as the great St. Jude’s storm drizzles past

October 28, 2013

Well the St. Jude’s storm  came and it is going. It will be gone in about 3 hours.

Some people apparently noticed it.

There has been more disruption by precautionary measures than by the storm itself. “Precautionary” measures have included cancellation of trains and planes and buses. Some consumers had their electricity turned off in areas where damage was possible. It was going to be the greatest storm since 1987!

The reality is just sinking in. Leaves have been blown down. They have been blowing about chaotically. Waves have crashed on to land in several coastal areas. They could be seen reaching the shore in Brighton. In the worst hit areas some twigs were violently torn of the trees and blown several feet away. Flags flapped ominously outside Broadcasting House where the intrepid BBC Radio reporter braved the storm of the century. The wind was clearly audible. It may not have been raining but our reporter could only see a very few patches of blue sky.

The Met Office spokesman is on air just now explaining – defending – the alarmism. He admitted that this was not a hurricane but they never said it was going to be one. And in any event, even if the storm would pass the UK within about 3 hours it could cause great damage in Denmark and the Netherlands and northern Germany!

Ripples in a tea-cup. A listener has just complained that he does not really need the mighty BBC news machine to inform him that flags can flap in the wind.

This comment from a Guardian reader just about sums it up:


Looking outside my bedroom window here in Birmingham I can hardly believe the scale of the destruction. At least 5 wet, shattered, leaves, are lying haphazardly across my back garden, creating a biblical scene of leaf-chaos. At the front of the house, last nights gale has wrenched a Lidl plastic bag and a Twix wrapper from their usual resting places in the gutter, and they now lie, a full four feet away, against my door step. And dont get me started on the rain! There’s enough water on the windscreen of my car to necessitate me using the wipers at least once to clear it.

Its a sobering reminder what nature is capable of. Thank God we were warned.

UK Met Office to hold summit to redefine all weather events as climate (change)!

June 14, 2013

From the ever reliable Guardian (Leo Hickman) comes this story. All weather events will now be taken as evidence of global climate change!

Met Office brainstorms UK bad weather

Washout summers. Flash floods. Freezing winters. Snow in May. Droughts. There is a growing sense that something is happening to our weather. But is it simply down to natural variability, or is climate change to blame?

To try to answer the question the Met Office is hosting an unprecedented meeting of climate scientists and meteorologists next week to debate the possible causes of the UK’s “disappointing” weather over recent years, the Guardian has learned.

Tuesday’s meeting at the forecaster’s HQ in Exeter is being convened in response to this year’s cool spring, which, according to official records, was the coldest in 50 years.

The one-day gathering will be led by Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre and professor of meteorology at the University of Reading, and will include up to 20 experts from the UK’s leading climate research institutions.

The “roundtable workshop” will attempt to outline the “dynamical drivers of the cold spring of 2013”, but attendees are expected also to debate the “disappointing summers of the last seven years”. 

Official records show that above-average temperatures in summer last occurred in 2006, a season that had above-average sunshine hours, and below-average rainfall. The only summer since then to give us average conditions nationally was in 2010.

The meeting will also discuss the washout summer of 2012 and the freezing winter of 2010-11.

The Met Office said it had never held a formal meeting in this way to discuss possible causes behind the UK’s unusual weather of recent years. … 

But rather than admit that climate models have become a fiasco, it would seem that the “establishment” is now “circling the wagons” and rationalising to be able to connect all weather events to “man-made climate change” – defined as being anything over and above “natural variability”. Why would the “natural variability” of just the last 150 years be the benchmark. Why would the Little Ice Age or the Roman Warm Period or the Medieval Warm Period not be part of the “natural variability” to be used as the reference? If the flood levels in Germany this spring reached the same level in Passau 500 years ago, why wouldn’t the weather/climate of 500 years ago also be part of “natural variability”?

If the UK spring this year was the coldest since the 1890’s then it surely proves that weather events today are much the same as 130 years ago.  Even the great 2011 Tohoku quake and  tsunami were events that were a repeat of something that happens every 1000 years or so. It  was not “unnatural” just because it had not happened for 1000 years. Anytime a weather event today is merely a repeat of an event which has taken place in the past, then the preponderance of probability is that it is a part of natural variability.

Everything not within a discernible “natural” pattern is not due to anthropogenic effects. It may well be in the realm of what we don’t know that we don’t know.

The Guardian goes on:

…. One attendee at the meeting, Doug Parker, professor of meteorology at the University of Leeds, said: “We are universally finding that the links between the weather and climate communities are increasing and overlapping. Most climate issues reduce down to questions about what weather events are like, and the representation of short-term weather events is a key challenge in climate modelling. People are increasingly conscious that there is a change [to our weather]. There have been informal discussions in our communities about this for a while now. The key question is whether this is down to natural variability alone, or whether climate change is now projecting on to, and adding to, natural variability. I am going to the meeting with my eyes and ears open.”

But – it seems to me – with a closed mind!

A Met Office spokesman said: “We have seen a run of unusual seasons in the UK and northern Europe, such as the cold winter of 2010, last year’s wet weather and the cold spring this year. This may be nothing more than a run of natural variability, but there may be other factors impacting our weather there is emerging research which suggests there is a link between declining Arctic sea ice and European climate – but exactly how this process might work and how important it may be among a host of other factors remains unclear.”

Finally — a climate model is revised

January 9, 2013

UPDATE! The important point of this story is not whether global warming has stopped or is continuing or if the world is cooling. Climate will go the way it will. The real significance of this story is that climate models are not just far from perfect – they are plain wrong. And what is worse is that when a model is not borne out by reality, the “politically correct” but false assumptions (such as that man-made CO2 causes significant  warming or that solar effects are minor) are not even reviewed.

This has been doing the rounds for a few days now but the BBC – which tends to be one of the pillars of the Global Warming religion – has finally come round to reporting that the British Met Office has predicted that global temperatures could decrease somewhat over the next decade. Of course it is good to see that a climate model is being revised in the face of reality. Unfortunately most climate models just retain their assumptions and add fudge factors every time reality fails to meet their forecasts where – instead – they ought to be questioning the very assumptions their models are built on. But that loss of face would be too expensive in terms of the funding already flowing into continuing with discredited models and would be too much to take in one go. But the fundamental requirement of good science is that when models don’t fit it is time to question the assumptions in the model – not to find fudge factors.

BBCClimate model forecast is revised

The UK Met Office has revised one of its forecasts for how much the world may warm in the next few years. …. If the forecast is accurate, the result would be that the global average temperature would have remained relatively static for about two decades.

…. Climate scientists at the Met Office and other centres are involved in intense research to try to understand what is happening over the most recent period.

The most obvious explanation is natural variability – the cycles of changes in solar activity and the movements and temperatures of the oceans.

Infographic (Met Office)

Infographic (Met Office): The forecasts are based on a comparison with the average global temperature over the period 1971-2000

Of course the BBC report then goes on to proclaim that this not a global cooling and that global warming will continue.

But of course neither this or any of the other exaggerated models will remove the assumed global warming – man-made carbon dioxide link for which there is no direct evidence whatever.

Tallbloke reported on the story here a few days ago.

New papers confirm solar effects could bring on little ice ages

October 10, 2011

There seems to be a renewal of interest in solar effects on climate change and especially on little ice ages. It would be too much to expect an early abandonment of the carbon dioxide hypothesis. Equally unlikely is any acknowledgement that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is of insignificant influence for climate. But the acknowledgement of solar influences on climate helps to redress some of the balance.

The UK Met office research referred to in yesterday’s Sunday Times article might well refer to this paper in Nature Geoscience published online yesterday which makes the link between UV radiation variation during solar cycles and cold winters in the Northern hemisphere. The authors are from the Met Office Hadley Centre, Oxford and Imperial College.

Solar forcing of winter climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere by Sarah Ineson, Adam A. Scaife, Jeff R. Knight, James C. Manners, Nick J. Dunstone, Lesley J. Gray & Joanna D. Haigh  Nature Geoscience (2011) doi:10.1038/ngeo1282

Sarah Ineson – Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon EX1 3PB, UK 

Abstract:An influence of solar irradiance variations on Earth’s surface climate has been repeatedly suggested, based on correlations between solar variability and meteorological variables. Specifically, weaker westerly winds have been observed in winters with a less active sun, for example at the minimum phase of the 11-year sunspot cycle. With some possible exceptions, it has proved difficult for climate models to consistently reproduce this signal. Spectral Irradiance Monitor satellite measurements indicate that variations in solar ultraviolet irradiance may be larger than previously thought. Here we drive an ocean–atmosphere climate model with ultraviolet irradiance variations based on these observations. We find that the model responds to the solar minimum with patterns in surface pressure and temperature that resemble the negative phase of the North Atlantic or Arctic Oscillation, of similar magnitude to observations. In our model, the anomalies descend through the depth of the extratropical winter atmosphere. If the updated measurements of solar ultraviolet irradiance are correct, low solar activity, as observed during recent years, drives cold winters in northern Europe and the United States, and mild winters over southern Europe and Canada, with little direct change in globally averaged temperature. Given the quasiregularity of the 11-year solar cycle, our findings may help improve decadal climate predictions for highly populated extratropical regions.

A sceond paper in Nature Geoscience also released online yesterday reports that simulations with a climate model using new observations of solar variability suggest a substantial influence of the Sun on the winter climate in the Northern Hemisphere.

Atmospheric science: Solar cycle and climate predictions by Katja Matthes Nature Geoscience (2011) doi:10.1038/ngeo1298

Katja Matthes is at the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany

Interestingly a paper from 2001 with Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt  (of climategate infamy) as co-authors has similar findings:

Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimum by Drew T. Shindell, Gavin A. Schmidt, Michael E. Mann, David Rind and Anne Waple,  Science 7 December 2001: Vol. 294 no. 5549 pp. 2149-2152 DOI: 10.1126/science.1064363

Abstract:We examine the climate response to solar irradiance changes between the late 17th-century Maunder Minimum and the late 18th century. Global average temperature changes are small (about 0.3° to 0.4°C) in both a climate model and empirical reconstructions. However, regional temperature changes are quite large. In the model, these occur primarily through a forced shift toward the low index state of the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation as solar irradiance decreases. This leads to colder temperatures over the Northern Hemisphere continents, especially in winter (1° to 2°C), in agreement with historical records and proxy data for surface temperatures.

Update! The BBC reports on this story here but takes great care to pay due respect to global warming orthodoxy with the statement “The researchers emphasise there is no impact on global warming”.

Of course not – It’s only the sun stupid! And what can the sun possibly have to do with warming the planet?!


Colder winters to come and solar influence on climate beginning to get its due

Is the Landscheidt minimum a precursor for a grand minimum? 

UK Met office reported to be predicting a new little ice age!!

October 9, 2011

This report in GWPF where the UK Met Office is said to predicting a return of a little ice age is said to be based on a piece by Jonathan Leake in today’s Sunday Times (which I no longer read or access ever since they starting hiding behind a pay-wall). Somewhat surprising since it supports what I think is happening with our climate and especially since the Met Office, Nature, Jonathan Leake and the Sunday Times are all strong believers in the anthropogenic global warming orthodoxy.

Frost Fair on the Thames 1683-84 by Thomas Wyke. During the Great Frost of 1683–84, the worst frost recorded in England, the Thames was completely frozen for two months: wikipedia

Met Office U-Turn: Europe May be Facing Return Of ‘Little Ice Age’

Britain should brace itself for another freezing winter with the return of La Niña, a climate phenomenon known to disrupt global weather, ministers have warned.

La Niña, in which cold water piles up in the equatorial eastern Pacific, is linked to extreme winter weather in America. Some suggest that last year’s strong La Niña was linked to Britain’s icy winter, one of the coldest on record. The connection between La Niña and weather in Europe is scientifically uncertain but ministers have told transport organisations and emergency services to take no chances.

The warning coincides with research from the Met Office suggesting Europe could be facing a return of the “little ice age” that gripped Britain 300 years ago, causing decades of bitter winters. The prediction, to be published in Nature, is based on observations showing a slight fall in the sun’s emissions of ultraviolet radiation, which over a long period may trigger mini ice ages in Europe.

Some sort of confirmation is in this post here which quotes the same article but is equally incredulous about the U-turn by the Met Office:

Met Office Research Suggests Return of The Little Ice Age?

Global Warming has “paused” and climate change forecasts are “flawed”

August 6, 2011

The Times They Are a-changin’

1. The UK Met Office is an ardent follower of the Global Warming Doctrine but even they have had to now admit that global warming has “paused”.

“Two research papers shed new light on why the upper layers of the world’s oceans have seen a recent pause in warming despite continued increases in greenhouse gases.”

But the religion of global warming need not worry. The pause is – conveniently – only due to “natural variability”. The Met Office does however admit that the science is a long way from being settled and that with more measurements (and perhaps with a little less slavish acceptance of model results) “it would be possible to account for movement of heat within the ocean and do a better job of monitoring future climate change”.  One can hope that they may be returning to a science based on observations leading to models leading to further measurements to validate the models , but religions are not cast aside so easily! 

The independent studies from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the Met Office show how natural climate variability can temporarily mask longer-term trends in upper ocean heat content and sea surface temperature.

The upper 700 metres of the global ocean has seen a rise in temperature since reliable records began in the late 1960s. However, there has been a pause in this warming during the period from 2003 to 2010. The papers published this week offer explanations for this.

Climate model simulations from KNMI show that such pauses in upper ocean warming occur regularly as part of the climate system’s natural variability. … A different set of model simulations from the Met Office supports the idea of heat moving to the deeper ocean explaining the recent pause in upper ocean warming.

The same research also suggests that with deeper ocean observations it would be possible to account for movement of heat within the ocean and do a better job of monitoring future climate change.

GRL website (KNMI paper)(Katsman, C.A. and G.J. van Oldenborgh)

GRL website (Met Office paper) (Palmer, M. D., D. J. McNeall, and N. J. Dunstone)

2. In the meantime a study at Lancaster University charges that “inaccurate climate forecasts costs the world considerable money” and “the overwhelming focus on limiting green house gases alone may well be mis-guided”.

Climate change forecasts used to set policy and billions of pounds in investment are flawed, according to new research from Lancaster University Management School (LUMS).

Complex climate models have been used by scientists to reach a consensus (through the International Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC) of global warming of 0.2 °C per decade. But this fundamental finding for governments and the global population continues to be fiercely contested by sceptics of the role of human activity in climate change. The competing interest groups involved have led to a decline in confidence generally in the wake of claims of manipulated data from the University of East Anglia, and incorrect projections – such as Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035 .

The new study by Robert Fildes and Nikolaos Kourentzes at the Lancaster Centre for Forecasting applies the latest thinking on forecasting to the work of climate change scientists, in a bid to make 10 and 20 year ahead climate predictions more accurate and trustworthy for policy-makers, and help address growing doubts over the realities of climate change. Such decadal forecasts have the most relevance to current thinking and policy plans and if they are to be credible and useful, they need to demonstrate their accuracy.  But the forecasts produced by the current models do not achieve this.

The authors set out a new basis for ‘decadal’ forecasting which is to be a major component of the next IPCC assessment report. Using a combination of models, with statistical  benchmarking as checks,  current forecasts prove almost certainly less accurate than they could be. Inaccurate climate forecasts costs the world considerable money. The implication is that the climate modelling community needs to open up its research agenda. As yet it has not demonstrated that it can produce better forecasts than simpler statistical methods. A consequence of this, explored by Fildes and Kourentzes, is that the overwhelming focus on limiting green house gases alone may well be mis-guided. The hydrologist Keith Beven’s work on modelling carried out in the Lancaster Environment Centre leads to the same conclusion. In short, eclectic forecasting methods and a wide range of policy responses are what is needed if we are to overcome the problems of emerging warming. 

UK Met Office fears ridicule from public more than from their paymasters!

January 5, 2011

The UK Met Office is busy spinning the story that it actually did forecast the coldest December in the UK in a 100 years but secretly informed only the cabinet of the UK government about this in October 2010. Secret forecasts for fear of being wrong! After all kings of old also had their own private soothsayers to study the entrails but they were usually executed if they could not spin their way out of wrong forecasts. But the Met Office story does not stand up and their credibility is in tatters.

The UK Met office (as an institution) is one of the most ardent supporters of Global Warming dogma which is concerned with climate not weather. This can only be a “political” choice or an act of faith since climate trends are of little significance for their main task of weather forecasting. While weather is only a subset of climate I find it difficult to believe that poor weather forecasting can be a sound bottom-up basis for forecasting climate.

I say that climate trends are of little significance for detailed weather forecasting because climate change considers temperature changes of about one degree per century or less whereas the daily variation at any particular location is typically 10 to 15 degrees, seasonal variations at any location are around 40 – 50°C over a year and geographical variation around the globe is also upto 50 °C at any moment in time. Any climate trends of the order of 1°C per century are then immaterial for the immediate weather forecast.

At a cost of some £200 million per year they do forecast the weather with some accuracy for upto about 5 days ahead but are notoriously poor with their long range forecasts (but I note that even their short term forecasts are not more accurate – statistically – than the simple statement that “the weather tomorrow will be the same as today”). As recently as October 2010 the Met Office published weather maps showing warm expectations for November, December and January – but they insist they did not make any long range forecasts. We are told by Harrabin of the BBC that this was because of their sensitivity to the ridicule poured on them after their forecasts of a “barbecue summer” in 2009 and a mild 2009/2010 winter proved spectacularly wrong. But , we are assured by Harrabin, they actually did forecast – correctly – a cold and snowy winter but only informed the UK cabinet secretly.

Presumably any future ridicule or budget cuts by the cabinet of the UK Government for being wrong would be preferable to any public ridicule!!

In any event the cabinet did not do very much with this confidential information (perhaps it was anonymous) and all the counties were woefully unprepared.


Green hijack of the UK Met Office

December 26, 2010

Christopher Booker has an interesting article in The Sunday Telegraph describing how a supposedly science-based institution can be perverted by political dogma; in this case global warming dogma perverting the forecasts of the UK Met Office.

By far the biggest story of recent days, of course, has been the astonishing chaos inflicted, to a greater or lesser extent, on all of our lives by the fact that we are not only enjoying what is predicted to be the coldest December since records began in 1659, but also the harshest of three freezing winters in a row….. But central to all this – as the cry goes up: “Why wasn’t Britain better prepared?” – has been the bizarre role of the Met Office…… in these past three years the Met Office’s forecasting record has become a national joke. Ever since it predicted a summer warmer and drier than average in 2007 – followed by some of the worst floods in living memory – its forecasts have been so unerringly wrong that even the chief adviser to our Transport Secretary might have noticed.

The real question, however, is why has the Met Office become so astonishingly bad at doing the job for which it is paid nearly £200 million a year – in a way which has become so stupendously damaging to our country?

The answer is that in the past 20 years, as can be seen from its website, the Met Office has been hijacked from its proper role to become wholly subservient to its obsession with global warming. (At one time it even changed its name to the Met Office “for Weather and Climate Change”.) This all began when its then-director John Houghton became one of the world’s most influential promoters of the warmist gospel. He, more than anyone else, was responsible for setting up the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and remained at the top of it for 13 years. It was he who, in 1990, launched the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Change, closely linked to the Climatic Research Unit in East Anglia (CRU), at the centre of last year’s Climategate row, which showed how the little group of scientists at the heart of the IPCC had been prepared to bend their data and to suppress any dissent from warming orthodoxy.

The full article is here.

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