Departmental vested interest in helping Met Office?

In reviewing recent Parliamentary answers on the subject of the Met Office winter forecast for 2010-11, one discovers a very different tone and approach when comparing responses from different departments.

One the one hand we have answers from the Cabinet Office – to whom the forecast was provided and with whom the Met Office were in direct communication to ascertain and agree the accuracy of the briefing that was to be issued to government departments.  On the other hand we have answers from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which merely received the forecast from the Cabinet Office, but which shares the Met Office’s quasi-religious belief in the field of man made global warming.

Compare and contrast (click to enlarge screenshots):

13th January 2011 – Cabinet Office

20th January 2011 – DECC

27th January 2011 – Cabinet Office

27th January 2011 – DECC

Now, colour me sceptical, but given the significant difference in the tone of the answers and the demonstrable exaggeration of the forecast by the Department for Energy and Climate Change by excluding caveat information (such as the words ‘slightly increased risk’) , is this evidence of vested interests at work at DECC and an attempt to hold the line for the Met Office from inside Whitehall?

Also, one wonders what the Secretary of State for Defence (the MoD being the parent department of the Met Office) would think if he realised he and his officials were retailing a deception engineered by Met Office Chief Executive, John Hirst.  On 17th January 2011, former SAS troop commander and now a Minister at the MoD, Andrew Robathan, submitted this answer to a question about the infamous temperature probability map:

As this blog’s Freedom of Information request turned up, a recommendation was tabled by Hirst to rename the temperature probability forecasts and locate them in a different part of the department’s website in order to manage the presentation of these longer range forecasts.  The Minutes of the Met Office Board meeting on 26 January 2010 make it very clear.

What seems probable is that the government has the Met Office’s back, because the Met Office is producing computer models and warmist narrative that fits in with the government’s climate change policies.  As such, it seems for now that no amount of evidence and no number of Parliamentary questions, such as these and this are going to see the Met Office’s executive held to account for the department’s manifest failings.

3 Responses to “Departmental vested interest in helping Met Office?”


  1. 1 John 09/02/2011 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t have any data but it seems to me that my part of the Northern Hemisphere has been unseasonably mild through January and February. If it continues, the updated January-March forecast referred to by Gregory Barker (DECC 27 January) will also need a lot of spinning.

  2. 2 Uncle Badger 09/02/2011 at 7:08 pm

    I’m quite sure that your final conclusion is the right one.

    There never was a chance that iDave would stand for either an investigation or a reprimand.

    They’re playing his tune an he likes what he hears.

  3. 3 Martin Brumby 09/02/2011 at 7:49 pm

    But why do they need a £33 Million Supercomputer (now apparently not big enough)?

    To produce results saying it could either be a bit cool, a bit warm or a bit average, they wouldn’t even need anything as sophisticated as a tame parrot.


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