Is Met Office trying to hide inconvenient temperature records?

On the excellent Watts Up With That blog, reader Steve Rosser writes:

…the UK Met Office website, it’s undergoing a refresh at the moment and the CET link seems to have been mysteriously cut.  It used to be readily accessible via the UK Climate summaries page, see below, however this link now redirects you to a global temperature page instead.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2010/

Thinking it may be a genuine mistake I e-mailed an enquiry and received a very polite response redirecting me to find it via the obscure link below.  It’s hard to argue that this location provides a sufficiently high profile for such an august dataset..

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/people/david-parker

It may be that the original link will reinstated over the next few days in which case this is a non story.  However, it looks suspicously like they are taking the focus away from the CET as after 2010 it’s showing an embarrasing disinclination to follow the AGW orthodoxy (+0.4 deg C since 1780).  To do so would be a betrayal of their lack of impartiality which I’d personally find very disappointing.  It would also send a message that rather than face-up and make the case for 2010 being a rogue year for UK temperatures they’d rather brush the whole thing under the carpet. I hope I’m wrong.

Purely by coincidence (if you believe in that sort of thing) as Anthony Watts points out, this ‘presentation of the data’ as the Met Office would put it follows the Central England Temperature Record getting a lot of attention of late. Watts relays what Joe D’Aleo at ICECAP pointed out recently (emphasis his):

The Central England Temperature record is one of the longest continuous temperature record in the world extending back to the Little Ice age in 1659. December 2010 was the coldest December in 120 years with an average of -0.7C just short of the record of -0.8C recorded in December 1890 and the Second Coldest December Temperature in the entire record (352 years).

Given such actions, some people might conclude that the Met Office is deliberately pushing records that fit with a pre-determined agenda, rather than long standing records that put recorded temperature into its much wider context.  Decide for youself. Meanwhile we will watch to see if the link is restored to its original, less obscure place.

5 Responses to “Is Met Office trying to hide inconvenient temperature records?”


  1. 1 jameshigham 14/02/2011 at 4:08 pm

    This is becoming the resource page for all things Met.

  2. 2 microdave 14/02/2011 at 6:49 pm

    I downloaded the CET records from WUWT a few weeks ago, and have it stored on my hard drive. However it’s a .DAT file which I can read with Open Office, but just as a simple text file. If anyone can suggest ways of importing it into a data base or spreadsheet without having to type every line individually I would love to know. Not being divided into columns it just becomes a jumbled mess if I try and paste it in…

  3. 3 Anthony 15/02/2011 at 2:15 am

    @Microdave

    Alas, no. A .dat file is a fairly generic file format, and the format needed to view it is defined by the hexidecimal value attached to the file – i.e. a program will recognise the hex value attached to a .dat file as its own and open it properly. A generic program will usually default to something like notepad hence the textual mess you see.

  4. 4 Anthony 15/02/2011 at 2:24 am

    @Microdave

    Sorry – upon reading, that definition is not clear. A .dat file has a hex value associated with it, and this value defines what is the default program to be used to open it. If you don’t have the correct program installed locally, then your computer will default to your configured text viewer i.e. notepad, word, or in your case, openoffice. Hence the mess.

    Sorry, too much good wine.

  5. 5 microdave 15/02/2011 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks, Anthony. I’m going to do it the hard way – one line at a time!!

    I may need some wine later….


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