Posts Tagged 'Weather'

A day in the life of the Met Office’s London forecast

How the Met Office’s general forecast for London has changed over a 24-hour period.

24 hours ago

12 hours ago


If this is the amount of change the Met Office makes to a forecast in one day how can we possibly rely on longer range forecasts?  Perhaps they would do better to spend our money trying to get the basics right, you know, just a day or two ahead so we know what weather to expect before it arrives.

Met Office ‘nowcasting’ and the power of wind

While the Met Office hits back at critics and points to its five-day forecast record as ‘evidence’ of its accuracy, over the last 24 hours it has been quietly revising its forecasts so they look very different on the BBC Weather page to what they did two days ago.

It’s very easy to claim wonderful accuracy when you simply point to the last forecast only hours before the weather condition arrived.  This time yesterday the forecast overview page for London did not display a single snow flake.  But now…


Hypothetically, anyone hoping for no snow who was making plans and relying on the Met Office forecast of two days ago are likely to be disappointed tonight.  Yet this ludicrous organisation still enjoins the public to trust is accuracy in forecasting weather trends years ahead, even though it has been forced to change those in recent weeks.  This isn’t forecasting, it’s nowcasting and we can all do that for ourselves by looking outside.  Yet we pay a fortune for this slanted crap.

Moving on from the Exeter-based scam artists, now is a good moment to take a quick look at another scam – wind power.  It’s a bitterly cold night, increasing the need for energy to warm homes.  So how much power is wind energy pumping into the grid at inflated prices?

When it’s needed most, it’s not there.  Yet billions of pounds of our money are being poured into this unreliable and inefficient form of generation, with thousands more turbines planned.  The insanity continues.


The problem with having taken a leave of absence from the blog is catching up on stories that are days old and presenting them as timely.

No matter, this little weather related story that emerged last week is worth covering nearly a week on. It comes in a blog post by our good friends down at the Met Office, reporting average temperatures across the UK in September were 0.7C below the 30-year average.

Of course, it’s weather not climate. However it goes without saying that if this was an increase of 0.7C it would have been a lead item on BBC News and in the Guardian, and cited worldwide as another indicator of the forthcoming thermogeddon. If I blinked and missed it then I take it back.  But, being a fall in temperature, it seems to have been relegated to being a one sentence footnote swept smoothly to the margins as the focus is put firmly on there having been more rain and more sunshine. The message is clear, nothing to see here… move along.

The provisional figures for the whole of September are in and, overall, the UK received 112.4mm of rain which is 117% of the long-term average. The wettest period of the month fell between the 23rd and 26th but with a very dry start to the month, the UK ended up 29th wettest in the national record that goes back to 1910.

The UK was also a little sunnier than usual, with 144.2 hours of sunshine, making it the 10th sunniest September on record. Meanwhile, the average temperature was 11.9°C which is 0.7°C below the 30-year average.


Met Office forecasting produces another epic failure

Regular readers will remember the intense period of blogging activity during the 2010/11 winter about the Met Office’s weather forecast failures and our work in exposing their fraudulent attempt to conceal the reality of their seasonal forecasting activity.

After handing the information and evidence on a plate to the Daily Mail and the Daily Express who then ignored the story – and being told by three MPs they would investigate the evidence but true to form did not keep their promise – this blog has largely left the Met Office alone.  It seemed pointless devoting time and effort pulling back the curtains to show the Met Office in its true light because the establishment has a vested interest in protecting the Met Office due to its high profile role and profitable role in the climate change industry.

But perhaps there is still some value in drawing attention to the rank failures of the Met Office in the hope more people ask questions about why the department gets its weather forecasting so wrong so often, and ask why its executives are lavishly rewarded each year with substantial performance related bonuses and are protected from scrutiny and criticism despite demonstrably false statements.  So it is we offer our thanks to Paul Homewood – writing on Watts Up With That? – who draws global attention to the Met Office’s seasonal forecast for UK for the period including April.

It is another epic failure by the Met Office characterised by a forecast of drier and forecast of warmer weather being more likely (as always, in line with their global warming orthodoxy and warming bias of their computer models) in the UK during April.  No doubt the Met Office will issue its now standard retort that people do not understand ‘probability’ and excuse that these forecasts must be used in conjunction with 30-day, 15-day and 1-to-5-day forecasts.

The observed reality makes a mockery of the Met Office precipitation and temperature forecasts once again.  This month just gone was the wettest April since records began in 1910, and the coldest since 1989, at some 0.65C below than the 1971-2000 average.

As always, there will be no investigation.  The media will happily mock the contrast between the drought in force in southern and central England, but will steer well clear of serving the public interest by focusing on why these forecasts are so badly wrong.  Attention will be diverted by all parties to other subjects, particularly efforts to fight climate change.  The performance bonuses will continue to flow to the Met Office’s executives as surely as night follows day.

It’s always helpful to connect the dots.  The Chairman of the Met Office is Robert Napier.  Not only is he a Non-Executive Director of Anglian Water, which has a drought order in place, he is also the former Chief Executive of WWF-UK, the UK arm of the World Wide Fund for Nature.  That is the same WWF exposed as being engaged in systematic fraud in the developing world and which supplies the International Panel on Climate Change with material to prop up the climate change industry.

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.

Harrabin achieves aim despite BBC Weather Test unravelling

EU Referendum has a tidy summary of events this morning, building on today’s Mail on Sunday story about the Roger Harrabin inspired BBC Weather Test project falling apart.  If Weather Test does finally collapse it will not be any surprise to regular readers here.

For in addition to the issues highlighted on EU Referendum, we can point to our coverage of the evident lack of impartiality among the individuals and institutions Harrabin had lined up to assess the weather and the forecasts for the project, which would fundamentally undermine it:

  • The Met Office would be acting as competitor and judge, using its own weather stations
  • The statistics would be dealt with by Leeds University – one of three academic institutions with whom the Met Office formed what is described as ‘a world class academic partnership to tackle the problems of climate change ‘
  • The ‘independent’ meteorologist for the project, Philip Eden, is another BBC man and has since that blog post been accused of making disparaging remarks questioning the accuracy of independent weathermen’s forecasts

After we had aired these factors we went on to speak to several meteorologists and established a major flaw at the very heart of the project, concerning the weighting of the day to day results and major weather events.  If a competing forecaster was able to produce a forecast accuracy rate for, say, 75% of the days in the test period when there are no major weather events, but completely miss major events, how would that be weighted to demonstrate that when it comes to forecasts that really matter their accuracy was found wanting?

There was nothing in any of Harrabin’s written or verbal pieces about the Weather Test that suggested any thought had been devoted to this.  It defies belief that Harrabin would have had dealings with meterological specialists about this project and not known this problem or communicated how it would be addressed.

When everythying is looked at in the round it is hard to argue that the BBC Weather Test was set up to do anything other than fail.  Perhaps the reason for this is that is provided a convenient distraction from the highly public failings of the Met Office over its lamentable 2009 summer and 2010-11 winter forecasts.  Maybe that was all that was needed.  The Met Office would be afforded some breathing space from its warm-biased forecasts if it was committed to having its predictions measured against other forecasters whose records appeared to be more accurate.  People would wait for qualitative evidence that proved what they had long suspected.

Harrabin has done his bit for the organisation he has repeatedy provided cover for.  Greater love hath no journalist than he lay down his credibility and career for the cause. Having been completely compromised by his warmist affiliations and biased analyses, and now safely tucked out of sight in the United States, Harrabin can’t be held to account for the wreckage he has left behind.  But he has bought time for the Met Office and deflected attention from its failures for a time, and for that he will have earned the eternal gratitude of the Met Office and the AGW alarmist community for his services to the cause.  It is mission accomplished – and the money from speaking at or chairing warmist events will continue to flow into his bank account as a lavish reward.

One week weather check

There are a number of weather forecasters who publish a five to seven day look ahead at local and regional weather.

In previous comment threads over recent months there have been several references to weather forecasts adjusting significantly over the five day lead time.  So this blog is carrying out its own, albeit unscientific, ‘weather test’ to compare forecasters’ predictions over the next five days for the weather on Thursday.  I will be working in Birmingham that day, so that is the appropriate location as I can record the observed actual weather.

Each day between today and Thursday, this blog will screenshot of the online weather forecast for Thursday for Birmingham that are published on the following sites:

Met Office
BBC Weather
Weather Underground
Weather Outlook

Then on Thursday we will check the current observations against the forecasts and note if/how forecasts were adjusted as the day drew closer, and if possible discern which was the most accurate.

If you know where you will be on Thursday why not try it for yourself?  The more comparisons the better.

The story continues (Northern Ireland edition)

Following on from Richard North’s piece on EU Referendum ‘The Story Continues’ about BBC reports of snow falling at the summit of Mount Snowdon in Wales on Friday (despite a story three years ago suggesting all snow would disappear from the mountain within 15 years), we are pleased to bring you the Northern Ireland edition.

Savour if you will these images published on the BBC NI website from the village of Comber (pronounced Cumber) in Northern Ireland, which sits a few minutes south east of Belfast. They were taken on the evening of Thursday 9th June 2011.

It was the talk of the area and even prompted phone calls from my family in the area to tell me about the cold and miserable weather and series of hail storms. Needless to say the weather is somewhat out of the ordinary.  But that is not the view of the BBC.  It was at pains to ensure the caption under one of the images contained this message from one of its weather forecasters:

BBC weather forecaster Angie Philips said hail was not very unusual in June.

Given the scale of the hail storm they experienced, the good folk of Comber may beg to differ.

Met Office losing commercial customers

Earlier this month a report in the Sunday Express (published online late on 7th May) about the forecast for the Royal Wedding made a couple of interesting observations that prompted a blog post here on AM.

Firstly there was confirmation that the Met Office will pay performance-related bonuses this year which will push the total paid to its 1,800 staff in the last six years to almost £15million. Apparently these bonuses are based on profitability and when the Met Office meets its targets on forecasting accuracy.

Secondly there was a reminder that the majority of the Met Office’s £190million annual income comes from public funds by means of contracts to provide services to government departments and that critics say it is time to force it to compete in the open market against other forecasters.

It was these factoids that made me curious about the reality of the Met Office’s forecasting performance.  Do its executives really deserve the bonuses they are going to receive?

While the Met Office might like to aggressively counter stories like that in the Sunday Express, as it did on 9th May by claiming its forecast the day before the Royal Wedding was more accurate than the newspaper claimed, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.  Or in weather forecasting terms, seeing how many private customers are sufficiently satisfied with Met Office forecasts to continue buying services from them commercially.  So this blog submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Met Office asking them:

Please will you supply me with full details of:

1. The number of non-Governmental (private) customers purchasing
forecasting services from the Met Office in the years 2008, 2009
and 2010 respectively

2. The total revenue received from non-Governmental (private)
contracts for forecasting services provided by the Met Office in
the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively

Please note I am not requesting details of the individual customers
or specifics of their contract terms.

It was a clear enough request.  However, the Met Office’s reply seemed to be trying to conceal something:

The number of commercial customers purchasing services from the Met Office over the three year period would show us whether the customer base is stable, rising or falling.  The number of commercial customers is a fair reflection of customer confidence in Met Office forecasts.  But the Met Office clearly did not want to deal in specifics.

So a follow up was sent asking that they provide me with the exact number of commercial customers in each of the three years specified as per my request.  Their reply arrived today:

While revenues (for the years where figures are available) have remained fairly constant, we can now see that since 2008-9 the Met Office commercial customer base has shrunk by 17.3%.

We can now see why the figures were not provided in response to the original request.  And this is happening against a backdrop of independent forecasters adding customers to their books.

Customers generally don’t leave specialist service providers that deliver good performance, so it is reasonable to assume that faith in Met Office forecasting is declining due to accuracy failings.  If performance is on the wane the question that must be answered is how can the Met Office’s executives continue to award themselves bonuses year on year?

Without the cushions and comfort blankets provided by guaranteed government contracts funded with our tax pounds one wonders how the Met Office would fare operating exclusively in the private sector.

There now follows a propaganda broadcast for the Met Office

Although it took place at around 8.20am this morning, this should not be allowed to pass without comment and I’ve been itching to get online to do just that.

The venue was BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (listen again), the interviewing host was Sarah Montague and the guest was the Met Office’s government services director, Phil Evans. The subject was the Commons Transport Select Committee’s recommendation of investing £10m more in the Met Office to improve its seasonal weather forecasting.  Or so it thinks.

The Met Office’s money grubbing for millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to pay for more supercomputing power is something this blog has covered before.  But the Transport Committee has swallowed hook, line and sinker the distraction techniques employed by the Met Office over the failure to forecast the extremely cold early winter and played into the Met Office’s hands by endorsing their ‘if only we had more money’ plea.

As the post title suggests, this wasn’t an interview, it was a naked PR exercise.  Montague was worse than useless.  There was no challenge about the 70% average or cooler versus 60% average or warmer ‘forecast’, which the Met Office has previously said proved they had seen the harsh cold snap coming and told the government.   There was no probing to test the claim that longer range forecasting could be improved by buying more computing power.  There was no answer given to the comparison question about whether this was something other countries have that results in more accurate forecasts.  And when asked what the new investment would do, Evans’ answer was meaningless waffle about running models to get more details about the atmosphere and so give the Met Office a sounder footing about understanding the risk of severe weather.

Why was no one like Piers Corbyn from WeatherAction asked for comment? Or someone from Positive Weather Solutions to examine whether (supposed lack of) supercomputing capability is the reason Met Office forecasts of anything more than a couple of days hence are so unreliable? Why was no effort made to track down Bryan Leyland, whose own forecasts outperformed the Met Office although he used nothing more technical than Microsoft Excel?

This was nothing more than the uncritical and disgracefully biased BBC giving a free pass to their climate change campaigning friends at the Met Office to broadcast a partial viewpoint, without challenge or scrutiny, that might result in yet more taxpayers’ money being poured down the drain.  It was yet another example of BBC propaganda at its worst and the listening public being presented with wildly distorted opinion masquerading as fact.

BBC Weather Test plugged again

Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme may have heard Roger Harrabin holding forth about his little project to compare the accuracy of weather forecasters, the Weather Test.

We’ve covered the Weather Test’s multiple conflicts of interest previously and shortly after that we identified some possible flaws in the project.  But of course none of these have been given a public airing by Harrabin and the wheeze trundles along after a year of planning and a distinct absence of definition.

It was interesting that Harrabin referred to the Met Office’s nervousness about the project. Given that just about every outside agency and University involved in assessing forecast accuracy are Met Office partners in various meteorology and climate change, that seems to be over egging things.  Maybe the source of that titbit was Harrabin’s Met Office ‘deep throat’ who fed him the lie that the extremely cold early winter had actually been forecast to the government.

Perhaps the amount of time being devoted to getting his vanity exercise off the ground is the reason why Roger Harrabin’s reporting of the Met Office spin, disinformation and outright deception was non existant in December and January.  Or maybe it was simply Harrabin sticking rigidly to the party line in defence of his Met Office friends, thus furthering the BBC’s deeply entwined relations with the department.

Met Office covers itself in forecasting glory again…

Courtesy of a Freedom of Information response from the Cabinet Office, we can now see what the Met Office advised the government about the weather for January to March 2011.

(click to enlarge)

So far we know that the UK was very slightly cooler than 1971-2000 average in January and experienced its ninth warmest February in the last 100 years, that at 2deg above the average can be considered more than mild for the time of year. No doubt this will be presented by the Met Office as another successful bit of work.

Given the fact they have demonstrated again that forecasting beyond several days ahead is ineffective, you would think they would focus on addressing the way their computer models work.  But instead they want us to count aircraft con-trails and watch bubbles float around as part of a ‘climate survey’ !!  And we pay for this out of our tax pounds.

Piers Corbyn shreds Met Office evidence to Transport Committee

Following on from the post about the written evidence submitted to the Transport Select Committee about the preparedness (or otherwise) for the early winter weather in December, Piers Corbyn has a post on his WeatherAction site that is required reading.

In addition to providing some useful documents for readers to download, Piers lambasts the Met Office’s written evidence, declaring:

THE MET OFFICE’s submission is, I would say: a Mubarak-style, bunkerish, self-serving, denial of reality

It’s hard to disagree. Read it all here.

Met Office undermined by evidence to Transport Committee

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee inquiry into the impact on transport of recent adverse weather conditions has published the ‘uncorrected’ written evidence that has been submitted. It includes a submission from the Met Office.

As one would expect from the unreconstructed propaganda the Met Office likes to spread about itself, the submission they have made can be summarised as claiming to have got all their forecasts right, that the public and Met Office customers agree and everything is just peachy, with only some minor lessons learned with respect to further developing the National Severe Weather Warning Service. Some highlights from the Met Office’s written evidence include:

This prolonged period of finely balanced weather conditions provided a real challenge for the Met Office’s forecasting capability. Overall, we performed well not only in forecasting the key hazards but in providing consistent, timely and useful advice to Government, customers, the emergency response community and the public.

What this actually refers to is the Met Office’s self congratulatory boast that it managed to forecast the bad weather 1-2 days before it hit as shown in their evidence’s Annex A below:

But what of the seasonal forecast and advice to government? Like the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) the Met Office is engaged in some outrageous revisionism. The two departments clearly have spent time getting their ducks in a row.

As Freedom of Information requests have shown, the Met Office advice somewhat different to what they now claim.  Where is the mention of there being ‘no clear signals for the winter’? Where is the admission that while the chance of an average or colder winter was 70%, they believed the chance of an average or warmer winter was 60%?  What about their agreement with the Cabinet Office that there was only ‘a slightly increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season’? Clearly they have forgotten their own advice below:

Small wonder the Met Office submitted its evidence in writing.  Whom would have had the gall to give oral evidence and risk cross examination by any member of the Transport Committee in possession of this information?  But perhaps the questions will be asked anyway in light of other written evidence that has been supplied to the committee.

Firstly we have the evidence from the Automobile Association (AA).  Uniquely among organisations submitting written evidence, they refer to this having been the third successive bad winter and the fact early seasonal forecasts appeared to be in conflict.  They also mention the great Roger Harrabin fiction of the Met Office privately forecasting ‘an exceptionally cold start to winter’ that ‘had not been made public because of potential embarrassment caused by the unreliability of long range forecasting’. A claim destroyed by the document above.

More pertinent, and certainly more damaging for the Met Office, was the written evidence from the Royal Automobile Association (RAC). Their reference to the inability of the Met Office for forecast major weather incidents two or more weeks ahead makes clear how the public and a great number of organisations were let badly by the Met Office, regardless of the spin emanating from propaganda central in Exeter.

It is this submission, more than any other, that gets to the heart of the matter. It is that that undermines the Met Office’s spin and attempts to rewrite history.  Bloggers can be ignored, but evidence from one of the nation’s biggest motoring organisations is a great deal harder to dismiss.  It is this evidence that should that offers valuable insight to the Transport Committee and that should shape the nature of the committee’s further investigation into adequate preparation for major weather incidents such as that in December 2010.

The only written evidence that brings home the human impact of the failure to forecast weather more than a couple of days in advance, was that provided by Dr Philip Bratby – an occasional commenter on this blog.  It is best read in its entirety.

Overheating Britain revisited

It was nearly three years ago that the global warming hype was running riot in the Independent. The Environment Editor, Michael McCarthy published a piece in April 2007 that began:

The possibility is growing that Britain in 2007 may experience a summer of unheard-of high temperatures, with the thermometer even reaching 40C, or 104F,a level never recorded in history.

Adding to the hype, inevitably, was the Met Office and Climategate central – the University of East Anglia’s CRU.  McCarthy reminded readers at the time:

The Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, in a joint forecast with the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, has already suggested that 2007 will be the hottest year ever recorded globally.

A year after McCarthy’s breathless article and with poorer weather evident a now sleeping blog, The Daily Brute, wondered what had become of McCarthy’s speculation.  It seems rarely does a year go by when the Met Office and the propagandists at CRU are not declaring that we could experience the warmest year on record.  Indeed, they have already declared that 2010 (12th coldest year in the UK in the last 100 years) was a statistical tie with 2005 as the warmest year globally even though a substantial percentage of the globe does not have surface temperature stations.

The obvious thing to conclude here is that while Britain’s lower temperature must have played some part in dragging global temperatures down in 2010, freak conditions such as the intense heatwave in Russia must have had the effect of dragging them up. So it’s a misnomer to conclude that ‘global’ temperatures have risen.  The UK is part of the globe and the temperature here has fallen.  Indeed in many places temperatures were lower and in others warmer.  But the impression given by the climate hysterics is a uniform increase the world over, which is nonsense.

Despite this we can expect more McCarthyesque idiocy in the media fuelled by the money grubbers at CRU and the Met Office as their fixation with CO2 blinds them to the more powerful drivers such as oceanic behaviour and solar influence.

Climate idiocy and money grubbing continues

The EurActiv website leads with a story that ‘Flood studies bring climate change lawsuits a step closer’:

A leading climate professor says that new evidence which further reinforces the connection between global warming and extreme rainfalls is “extremely important” in setting out a methodology which could one day be used to sue fossil fuel companies for climate damage.

So we have this latest piece of alarmism about the floods in the UK in 2000, despite climate scientists who believe in AGW admitting after the floods in 2007 that there is no established link at all – and they said so in the British house journal of climate propaganda.

This is nothing more than a continuation of ‘computer model’ games.  If the model doesn’t give you the result you want, then you simply change the parameters and make adjustments until it does. Hey presto you then declare that the model ‘proves’ the finding you set out to achieve.  Then as your bandwagon trundles along people like Professor Carlo Jaeger of the Potsdam University for Climate Impact Research, whose funding depends on the existence of a problem to tackle, leaps aboard and provides media with scare story momentum. There’s nothing quite like vested interest, is there?

If as Nature magazine, home of the false claim that 40% of the Amazon was at risk of climate change in the Amazongate saga, contends:

There is no doubt that humans are altering the climate

perhaps they will be kind enough to provide the irrefutable evidence that no climate scientist possesses, that converts the man made global warming theory into a concrete certainty.  Maybe they should fairly reflect their propagandist behaviour by renaming themselves Climate Pravda.

The possible flaw in Harrabin’s BBC ‘Weather Test’

Regular readers will be familiar with the Weather Test project that BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin is trying to construct.  This blog has previously speculated on the Weather Test and asked how likely it is to be impartial when the key players behind it have commercial and academic partnerships with each other.

But there is another question to ask about the Weather Test, and that is how likely it is to provide any value.  After discussions with some meteorologists a scenario has emerged that has the capacity to render the whole project worthless.

In the UK there are typically around four or five major weather events per year.  The problem with a project like Weather Test (if it ever sees the light of day) is how to weight the forecasts appropriately.  If a competing forecaster was able to produce a forecast accuracy rate for, say, 75% of the days in the test period when there are no major weather events, but completely miss major events, how would that be weighted to demonstrate that when it comes to forecasts that really matter their accuracy was found wanting?

Such weighting before any such test commenced would by definition be arbitrary – a bit like the adjustments and smoothing applied to temperature readings that always seem to increase the recorded temperature.  So what is the real value of such a project?

Perhaps a more effective guide to comparing the accuracy of forecasters would be to turn our eyes to the commercial sector and see who retains business because of their accuracy and who loses business for inability to pinpoint in good time what really matters – namely those major events that have the most bearing on commercial customers.  Is there really any value to Harrabin’s little endeavour?

DECC deliberately misleading MPs over Met Office forecast

Following on from this post about recent Parliamentary answers on the subject of the Met Office winter forecast for 2010-11, the very next day saw the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) at it again:

Nuance is one thing.  But constructing answers that distort the forecast advice from the Met Office is something else altogether. To say the information being shared in the answer by Gregory Barker on behalf of DECC is selective is an understatement.  The Parliamentary written answer supplied to Peter Lilley on 10th February deliberately excludes information the Met Office included in the forecast and thus distorts the context.

Let us just remind ourselves of the advice from the Cabinet Office to the rest of Whitehall, approved by the Met Office.  Note the elements of the forecast that have been omitted by DECC:

This is a disgraceful manipulation of the information, for which the only possible purpose is to protect the Met Office from scrutiny for the fundamental failings in its seasonal forecasting.  The Met Office did not forecast an extremely cold early winter.  While saying there was a 70% chance of an average or colder winter, it caveated this by saying there was a 60% chance of an average or warmer winter.

The summary clearly states there was ‘a slightly increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season’ – something DECC refuses to concede in its answers to MPs.  When a department is allowed to get away with deception of this type it is undermining the parliamentary process and perpetrating a fraud against the public.  It is outrageous.

Is the Met Office becoming irrelevant?

A strange question perhaps, considering the considerable political influence the Met Office has within political circles when it comes to energy and climate policy.  But certainly one worth asking following a comment by Northern Ireland’s Regional Development Minister last month.

On the topic of burst water pipes and the seve supply problems affecting thousands of people in Northern Ireland over the Christmas period, the Belfast Telegraph reported on 19th January:

Forecasts of another seven years of the extreme winter that triggered the burst pipes crisis in Northern Ireland may force changes to how water is plumbed into homes, the regional development minister has warned.

Conor Murphy, facing questions from his Stormont scrutiny committee on the Christmas emergency, said some meteorologists believed the region had entered a weather cycle that would see successive deep freezes.

In the face of that, Mr Murphy said the Executive may have to look at changing building regulations to ensure that water pipes are buried deeper and insulated better.

What makes the comment interesting is this response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Autonomous Mind (using an alias), enquiring which Meterologists provided this advice and requesting a copy of the advice that was provided to the Minister enabling him to make his assertion.

The response from the NI Department for Regional Development (click to enlarge) is telling:

This shows that for all his multitude of failings, Conor Murphy is listening to what meteorologists other than the Met Office are saying about changes to our weather that contradict the Met Office line of ever increasing warming. Not only that, they are using what they have listened to in official evidence to government committees.

A very small example maybe, but marginalising the Met Office in this way – intentionally or otherwise – represents a visible crack in the climate consensus that has consistently told us mankind is changing the climate, making the world warmer and the result will be warmer and wetter winters.  The structures are weakening.

Bastardi: A trace atmospheric gas can not push nature around

On his Sunday 6pm entry on his Accuweather blog, Joe Bastardi explains that the sudden collapse of the warmth in the equatorial Pacific has a lag effect on global temperatures.

Bastardi goes on to say that when one considers the amount of heat in energy in the oceans, and how it is stacked into the tropical oceans, one sees why the co2 argument about global warming is so far fetched. The section below puts his argument into context:

But the fact is this. YOU ARE THE DENIER if you dont think the oceans play an enormous role! And if you think that trace amounts of co2 in the atmosphere will push around the entire ocean-atmospheric system.. you are delusional. Seriously. I mean I am bending over backwards to say, okay lets watch this global temp the next 20-30 years, but if you dont see in the end the oceans are the main control ( if one does not start with the true source, the sun) then you really, that is almost incomprehensible.

Now the counter argument is that the oceans are warming because of the air above. Well then let me ask you this. How is the warming you think is occurring CANT EVEN FORCE THE COOLING OF THE STRATOSPHERE WHICH IS THE REAL SMOKING GUN?! A true positive feedback and tropospheric warming should be forcing a contraction of the stratosphere and major cooling. Nothing, nada, zilch. And the density considerations of the stratosphere are next to nothing compared to the oceans. So let me get this straight… you want to warm the oceans via the warmer troposphere above it, in other words have something with less energy push something around with much more, yet you cant even get the response first in what it should obviously be able to do?

But no matter how many scientists and meteorologists point this out the politicians and corporations press ahead with their lucrative plans for a low carbon world.  They have too many vested interests at stake to let the very serious question marks over the science of climate change knock them off course.

If you are on Twitter you can follow Joe via @BigJoeBastardi (and you can follow @Autonomous_Mind on Twitter too).

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