Met Office volcano ash computer model proved wrong

Imagine the shock!  Last month there was a growing chorus of criticism about the Met Office’s computer models that are being used to plot the spread and density of volcanic ash clouds from the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland.  Here on this blog, readers were reminded that criticism has previously been aimed at the Met Office’s for its determination to push a global warming narrative based on computer modelling and flawed temperature records and data sets – irrespective of all-important evidence and observation.

Now, with the passage of time and the exhaustive collation of evidence and observation, the Met Office models for the volcanic ash clouds we have been repeatedly warned about have been shown to be so inaccurate as to be worthless (hat tip: EU Referendum).  Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of British Airways, which forced the re-opening of UK airspace when it sent a number of long haul flights towards the UK and stated they were landing come what may, has said in an interview (seemingly not picked up in the UK media) that:

‘Not only have we not found any damage from ash, we have not found any ash,’

8,000 inspections of BA aircraft engines and their filters have been carried out by BA engineers and engine plant has even been sent to laboratories for closer analysis.  Yet despite the sporadic closures of airports and UK airspace because of volcanic ash clouds, often described as ‘dense’, the observation and evidence has shown there to be no ash in the engines.

When cooler heads who refused to be whipped up into panic by the scare story said that the Met Office’s approach and reliance on modelling-derived probability, rather than observed findings, had resulted in the unnecessary closure of British and European airspace, they were right.  This caps another inauspicious week for the bonus-hungry Met Office team, which has suffered the indignity of seeing the seaside town of Bournemouth launch its own weather site because Met Office forecasts have proved so unreliable they have caused visitors to stay away despite balmy conditions.

Perhaps it’s time the Met Office put more stall in evidence and observation than virtualisation and computer models.  The permanent failing of computer models is that if you put rubbish in you get rubbish out.  This has proven true for volcanic ash clouds and will without doubt prove true for global warming hysteria.

3 Responses to “Met Office volcano ash computer model proved wrong”


  1. 1 JohnRS 21/05/2010 at 6:17 pm

    Until there is some impact on the tribes of civil service numpties that are overpaid to run systems like this so that they feel some personal pain when they bugger up everyone’s life then this type of stupidty will continue.

    At local level it’s exactly the same. A council wil just close a road for work to be done and stick two fingers up at the shops whose income has been trashed for weeks while they lean on their shovels or drink tea.

    At all levels there needs to be something put in place so the uncivil service have an incentive to make sure the public arent inconvenienced by their actions. I can think of a range of options from docking their pay to (if they still won’t listen) sharpened wooden stakes and boiling oil.

  2. 2 Gareth 21/05/2010 at 6:19 pm

    “[Willie Walsh] has said in an interview (seemingly not picked up in the UK media) …”

    It probably won’t be either. The news that some airlines had found no damage and no ash in their jet engines was briefly granted BREAKING NEWS status on Sky and BBC’s news tickers. This was a few days ago at least.

    The Met Orifice have been wrong pretty much from day one.

    16th April: Research aircraft returns to volcanic ash plume

    “The same team flew out to the plume’s expected location on Thursday, but did not find the ash. Although this outcome was negative, this does necessarily mean the ash clouds are not dispersing as the models predict – further investigation is needed. After returning to refuel and replenish supplies, they are now going back to take further measurements.”

    I believe a “n’t” or “not” is missing from that sentence. The plain fact of the matter is the best aircraft they have for detecting it (BAe-146 G-LUXE) was in bits and the Dornier 228 couldn’t find the clound where the Met Orifice said it would be. They then got G-LUXE in the air by 20th April and things started moving again.

    Then there was this story just a few days ago: The ash cloud that never was: Inaccurate Met Office forecast causes airport chaos for 50,000

    “The airport chaos that hit tens of thousands of travellers yesterday was based on a faulty ash cloud prediction.

    Officials closed south-eastern airspace for ten hours following a Met Office alert about dangerous levels of ‘black’ ash.

    Yet when the forecasters took fresh soundings, and sent up a plane to check, they found their assessment was flawed: there was no such ash.”

  3. 3 jameshigham 21/05/2010 at 7:19 pm

    another inauspicious week for the bonus-hungry Met Office team, which has suffered the indignity of seeing the seaside town of Bournemouth launch its own weather site

    [Chuckles quietly to himself]


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