Met Office 1 Public Purse 0

And so, one year after MPs doggedly refused to examine the evidence of Met Office lies and deceptions, a group of them have determined that supercomputers are required because they want the Met Office to produce seasonal forecasts but be clearer about the chances of getting them wrong.

The long running saga of Met Office distortions, whitewashes and cover ups covered on this blog last winter started as a result of Julia Slingo bleating about the need for yet more public money to ramp up Met Office supercomputing power.  Thanks to the Parliamentary equivalent of the three wise monkeys, we have come full circle and her wish is almost certain to be granted.

Ignorant of the fact the Met Office does create seasonal forecasts (click on ‘lies’ link above for documentary evidence) and only renamed them and changed their location because of their poor accuracy, and ignorant of the fact that all the supercomputing power in the world is useless if the models used are populated with assumptions and biases that do not reflect the reality of natural and chaotic climate system, the politicians are readying themselves to hand over millions of pounds more of our money on a whim.

We know why it is happening, and that it suits corporate interests but that doesn’t make it acceptable.  Not one MP (and I engaged with a number of them at the height of the Met Office winter forecast scandal and provided them with evidence of Met Office lies to parliament and the public) has stood up for truth and probity, or defended the interests of the public.

When our elected representatives continue to set aside the facts and ignore reality there is no hope that we can prevent this raid on the public purse.  We can confidently forecast one thing, even with the new supercomputing power we will not see any improvement in Met Office predictions.  Their determination to push the AGW narrative and the man-made CO2 scapegoat means their models are biased towards rapidly increasing temperatures.  It’s why they got forecasts badly wrong before and why they will continue to do so.  At our expense.  Nothing has changed.

18 Responses to “Met Office 1 Public Purse 0”


  1. 1 David Jones 21/02/2012 at 7:38 am

    It’s depressing.

  2. 2 Oldrightie (@OldRightie) 21/02/2012 at 10:36 am

    I spent all my working life in aviation and in touch with Meteorological and climatological theory. The most significant factor was always experience. As you rightly point out, all the computer power in the world is not enough when fed with self-interested geek models and AGW political bent.

    Using my modest experience and following annual pressure system patterns was able to produce a fairly accurate winter forecast last October http://oldrightie.blogspot.com/2011/10/long-range-weather-forecast.html.

    Cost, zilch! We have more pressing things to spend our borrowed money on
    and this political tool and arm of Government needs less not more.

  3. 3 Steve 21/02/2012 at 10:47 am

    Hmmmm. Well, I remember when the Met Office stopped long range weather forecasts in the early 80’s when the Shackleton flights (yes, I am that old!) over the North Sea were stopped.

    But then they got these: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1484268.stm

    They are still staggeringly powerful machines – so why the need for new number-crunchers?

  4. 4 dave ward 21/02/2012 at 12:11 pm

    “The Shackleton flights” – Ah, do you mean 10,000 rivets flying in close formation?

  5. 5 AJC 21/02/2012 at 3:17 pm

    Julia Slingo appears to have appears to have adopted a cloak of invisibility recently. Perhaps her management have remembered the WW II poster “Loose Lips Sink Ships” and kept her firmly gagged.

  6. 6 orkneylad 21/02/2012 at 3:29 pm

    If in Doubt Blame the Computers!
    http://www.glebedigital.co.uk/blog/?p=5465

    “Faster computers with inadequate data and bad assumptions will never improve the quality of predictions. — Yes the ability of multiple computer runs will produce more data for interpretation but an average of rubbish is still rubbish.”

  7. 7 Name? Required? Why? 21/02/2012 at 6:57 pm

    According to WeatherAction, if the Met would incorporate their solar theories, we could have 10 day forecasts with the accuracy currently expected for a 12 hour forecast.

    Imagine the game-changer THAT would be, in every walk of life. We’re talking about incalculable benefits, both economically and in terms of lives saved.

    The cost of not doing so is what’s stressing me out, not the microscopic amount of money they’ve received for new computers. They aren’t spending millions on bad climate models, but on good computers. The politicians’ reasoning is awry, but consequentially speaking, there are more important things to fight against than this.

    You are not complaining primarly because of the waste of public money, or you would not be talking about any issues concerning science funding. Just because the global warming dogma caused the funding for the field to jump tenfold in the 80s still does not make it a prime budget concern.

    For instance…

    What about all these tax incentive schemes for businesses that would otherwise be uncompetitive? Aren’t they straining our economy considerably more than this one-time bill can? We’re actually paying to stifle innovation. It’s amazing…

    I say to people that we’re working on the assumption that simpy using technology improves it, and I get asked by almost everyone, “Well doesn’t it?” So let me be clear before anyone makes that mistake here: It is the miracle of consumer capitalism that drives innovation, NOT subsidising the old, crap v ersions of a technology that couldn’t compete without the subsidy. That dulls the incentive to innovate, for extremely obvious reasons.

    Whatever qualms you may have about capitalism, you don’t win an argument by overstatement, and you don’t criticise free markets without acknowledging what they’re good for. People who deny that free markets drive technological innovation have their heads up their culos.

    If simple use of a technology improved it, we’d surely by now be able to recycle card and paper more economically and more ecologically than by making it from raw materials. We still can’t. We’ve only added to the list of things we’re trying to recycle now. Even batteries!

    We are NOT short of landfill space and there is ZERO evidence that they leak heavy metals into the ground. They really are the safest place for batteries. (Eco-warriors say leach, but they mean leak and are overstretching themselves by trying a clever version of the word. It has pretty much the opposite meaning. They’re effectively complaing that landfills absorb heavy metals FROM the soil. They don’t do that either though.)

    We should recycle aluminium. To the best of my knowledge, that’s about it. And it’s only for economical reasons, not ecological ones. We’re not short of the ore; it just costs a lot of energy to extract from the ore. And since we all love CO2 round here, I’m sure nobody will have a deep problem with that :)

    Double handling of our waste is uneconomical and causes hygiene problems with the two week wait for the proper bin to be collected. It encourages idiots to throw things away guilt free, because the bin is green. I say stop doing that, and I don’t care how many glorified PlayStations we buy for the Met Office. I will not feel it.

  8. 8 Joe Public 21/02/2012 at 7:44 pm

    Was there a measurable + worthwhile improvement in the Met’s forecasting accuracy the last time us Taxpayers bought them a new toy?

    Were their post-purchase forecast-improvements as accurate as they’d predicted, when they submitted their justification to buy their current super-computer?

    If not, then they don’t need a new one

  9. 9 Chuckles 21/02/2012 at 10:27 pm

    They seem not to know that Lorenz showed in the late fifties and early sixties that weather systems are chaotic (Royal McBee, story of Mel and all that), and NO amount of additional digital computing power will ever be sufficient to extend or improve their forecasts.
    It’s toys for boys, tell them to get back to basics.

  10. 10 Steve 21/02/2012 at 11:10 pm

    @Dave: LOL!!!!

  11. 11 Name? Required? Why? 22/02/2012 at 12:53 am

    Actually @Chuckles, Lorentz merely proposed the concept, rather than demonstrating it. Exactly how transient weather/climate is, we’re still not sure, although he was probably right — mostly.

    I say mostly because it’s not just any weather, but specifically, weather that’s caused by other weather, that is chaotic. By looking at an external driver of the system, however, we can potentially make predictions on longer timescales.

    Give a hard kick to a compound pendulum and it behaves extremely unpredictably — until the next hard kick.

    That is what the Met Office and the Royal Society are denying. The Met Office refuses to accept the veracity of the very best forecasts anyone is making at the moment — because they come from solar physicists who say that CO2 is irrelevant.

    For instance, the Royal Society looked at only 20 years of data in a much publicised study where they stated that they couldn’t see the claimed relationship between solar activity and temperature. That was extraordinary, given that over 200 years of good data exists, and that the claimed relationship has a period of 22 years. They keep talking about the 11 year cycle of sunspots as if that were the end of the story. In fact even numbered cycles (such as cycle 24 which we’re in now) do not have any warming effect; only the odd numbered cycles do.

    Even so, if it were an 11 year cycle in temperatures that they were supposed to be looking for, saying that there’s no pattern because you looked at 20 years of data is pretty weak. It’s less than two periods for crying out loud. I say again that they used the last 20 years of data only, even though there is over 200 years of good data.

    Should I mention that the 20 years in question actually DO show the pattern, despite their efforts? Could anybody not guess that part? They don’t only lie by the bare minimum amount, you know. They really don’t mind lying at all.

  12. 12 Chris 22/02/2012 at 2:05 pm

    Hmmm – need new planes to fly of our empty aircraft carrier – oooh, no cash.

    New computer for faster “Crysis” sessions at the met – here’s a cheque.

    Priorities.

  13. 13 Name? Required? Why? 22/02/2012 at 4:46 pm

    @Chris What kiind of moron ARE you? Have you ANY IDEA of the difference in price between those two options? That is THE STUPIDEST thing I have heard anyopne say in a MONTH.

    Tiny one time bill versus many ongoing huge ones?

  14. 14 Name? Required? Why? 22/02/2012 at 5:05 pm

    @Joe Public

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they did extend the forecast by a day, last time — although not being a statistician with access to all the data makes it impossible for either of us to say.

    I see you specify ‘+ worthwhile’ — almost as if you know they extended the forecast slightly, but you don’t regard a small extension of the forecast as worthwhile. If so then you’re certainly no business man.

  15. 15 Joe Public 22/02/2012 at 6:26 pm

    @ N?R?W?

    “I see you specify ‘+ worthwhile’ — almost as if you know they extended the forecast slightly, but you don’t regard a small extension of the forecast as worthwhile. If so then you’re certainly no business man.”

    I didn’t know they extended the forecast. You really shouldn’t make assumptions. Remember the 1st x 3 letters of that word.

    I specify “+worthwhile” because as any Fule Kno, something may be measurable, but so insignificant, that it has no economic justification. I suggest that knowing the distinction, it gives me a good qualification to be a successful businessman.

  16. 16 Chuckles 22/02/2012 at 8:50 pm

    @NRW,

    I’m sure that all you say is wonderfully relevant to weather and weather forecasts, but I was actually talking about digital computers.
    Please forgive my frequent inability to convey my thoughts sufficiently clearly that others may understand them.

  17. 17 Steve 23/02/2012 at 8:06 pm

    Joe Public, the Met Office has to achieve targets to improve their forecasts year on year. As well as having a good model, the key issue is the initial data, and then having a rapid system to process the initial data, run the forecast, analyse the output and deliver to customers.

    Improvements in the model do come from the ability to run at higher resolution that a bigger computer can enable, but they also come from being able to deliver outputs more quickly (ie by analysing the initial data and running the model more quickly) as the earlier they are delivered the more useful they are.

    For example, the output from the ECMWF model run by the EU is scientifically better, but that is in part because they delay the start of the model in order to do a better analysis of the initial data. They can do this because they don’t have the Met Office deadlines to meet (their focus is on “medium range weather forecasting” – out to 10 days or so). They also have the benefit of being able to attract the best scientists given that with EU pay scales they can offer tax free salaries 2-3 times that of the Met Office.

    Now that the Met Office have successfully exported their model to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea and the US airforce, the Met Office may be able to benefit from wider scientific experience in improving the model.

    NB the weather and seasonal forecasts do not include any effects of rising CO2 since the effects would be minimal over the day to year or so the model runs.

    My opinion, not my employers’ :-)

  18. 18 stewgreen 25/02/2012 at 7:13 pm

    If they can wait until after the election they can buy Putins’ election prediction computers …they always get the results you want

    Gulag for “denialists” is another idea they might copy as well


Comments are currently closed.



Enter your email address below

The Harrogate Agenda Explained

Email AM

Bloggers for an Independent UK

AM on Twitter

Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public.

STOR Scandal

Autonomous Mind Archive